Monday Morning Question: New Favorites

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Good Monday Morning, it is still technically morning… just barely.  I was struggling to come up with a topic for this morning’s question and decided to go through my review index for inspiration.  Just over a year of blogging and I’ve run out of questions to as already…not a good sign. Anyway I started to notice a good portion of my reviewed books were through review requests, either by me though Net Galley or another site, or from authors themselves looking for reviews.  To me this is the best perk of blogging, people giving you free books to read!  Over the past year there have been many that I’ve enjoyed and plenty that I’ve felt eh about and even a few that I didn’t like.  I thought I would share with you some of the authors that I’ve discovered through review requests and ask:

What new (or new to you) authors have you discovered through reviewing books?

Here are some of my new favorites found this year.  Book picture linked to reviews.

Dead Heat (Alpha & Omega, #4)

I received a different book in this author’s other series last year, just before or around the start of my blog.  It was like book 7 and I needed to read the entire series before I could start that one, thank goodness my library had them!  Loved the world and am thrilled to still be approved to review her releases.

The Martian

This is perhaps one of my biggest review request titles and the biggest surprise for me.  I actually received the physical book, having requested it on a whim.  LOVED it, as you might already know.  It also serves to remind me to take a chance every now and again and request something a little different from my normal tastes.

Vincent (Vampires in America, #8)

This is another author that I requested something like book six in the series.  I didn’t know much about the author having never heard of her before, but loved the action packed world I found and quickly requested all the other books in the series for review.

Prototype (Archetype #2)

This author was great,  loved this dystopian world she created.  So hope she decides to add new stories in this world as I feel there is so much potential left to explore.

Provoked (Dark Protectors, #5)

If you are looking for steam and action give this author a try. Her series I discovered is finished, but I’m curious so see what her new series is all about.

Angel Bait (The Angel Assassins)

Another great new author. Loved her writing and am looking forward to seeing where she takes us next.

Making Magic (Books of the Kindling, #3)

This is one of the independent authors that reached out to me for a review.  I decided to take a chance and found a fun new world to explore.  Don’t be so quick to turn down indie authors,  you are going to miss out on some great reads!

Guardian's Patience

 

This book I saved for last because technically I started reading her books well before my blog.  Still I would not have found her work if it had not been for a review request that I signed up for on Goodreads.  She is another super talented indie author that I highly recommend.

 

 So, what authors have you discovered through review requests?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Pre-Blog Favorites

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Weekly Blog Meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday.  This week they ask us to share:

March 3: Top Ten Books You Would Classify As ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS from the past 3 years (you can extend it to 5 if you need to).

A lot of these lists tend to look the same after a while.  Our favorite books are our favorite books and the same ones tend to pop up on my top ten list quite frequently.  So this week I am going to twist the list just a little bit and only include books I liked that are pre-blog.  Some of the titles might be the same that I’ve shared before, can’t get away from them altogether…, but really, aren’t you tired of seeing me pimp Andy Weir’s The Martian already…

Ten of my favorite pre-blog reads.

  1. The Gargoyle I know, I know this one has been on my TTT lists before.  Really though, it is a beautiful story.  Why haven’t you read it yet?
  2. The Time Traveler's Wife Seen this one before too, but again so beautiful.  Made me cry…a lot.
  3. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon  What is Mr. King doing here?  He may have fallen out of my favor and I am no longer interested in reading anything of his anymore, but this was a pretty amazing story.
  4. The Stand  This one too.  And the Gunslinger series, but that’s about it for King, Alright…I also like the one about dragons (forget the title) and maybe one other.  But that is it!
  5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)  While this series didn’t get me back into reading as much as the next selection I was pretty obsessed with this series when it came out too.  This series is going to be my reread this year.  Look for that in June.
  6. Twilight (Twilight, #1)  I did just write a blog post, Monday Morning Question: Outgrowing a Story?, but still I have to give credit where credit is due.  Without this series I would not be the avid reader I am today.  I wouldn’t, even if I don’t love this story as much as I used to.
  7. Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #8)  All hail Ms. Kenyon!  Couldn’t have a list of all time favs without one of her titles here to represent.
  8. Inferno (Robert Langdon, #4)  This book was amazing and my favorite in the entire series.  Loved the locations, the mystery and that it story completely surprised me in the end.
  9. They Shoot Canoes, Don't They?  Okay it has been a while, more than 20 years since I read this author, but if you like short funny, like don’t even think of drinking anything while reading this, stories about rural life then try this author.
  10. Mr G: A Novel About The Creation  Okay, I was looking for a last book to round out the list.  This story however is very clever and an interesting look at God and creation.

There you have my list folks,  I look forward to seeing what books you all share.

(Edited to remove the over abundance of the word like)

Top Ten Tuesday: Kick-Ass Heroines

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Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular blog meme, Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week they ask us to share:

February 24: Top Ten Favorite Heroines From Books (Or you could pick movies/tv): We’ve done this topic before so you could always do heroines you love since the last time we did this topic, heroines in a particular genre, etc.

I can’t remember if I’ve participated in this one or not, and being too lazy to go back an check my earlier posts, I’m just going to assume that I haven’t.  As many of you know most of my favorite genres by now; paranormal, fantasy, urban fantasy, sci-fi, romance, and dystopian.  All of these has the potential to host a pretty kick-ass heroine who can be a great example and break stereotypes of traditional roles women play in society.  Not always, but in most of the books I read, at least.  So here are some of my favorite female leads from the different series I enjoy.

My ten favorite kick-ass heroines.

  1. Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1)  Merit from Chicagoland Vampires series:  Took me several books to warm up to this character, but once I did she became one of my favorites.  Need to return this series and see what happens next for the Chicago vamps.
  2. Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows, #1) Rachel Morgan from The Hollows:  This is now a finished series, but still oh so good.  Rachel has a lot of problems, and trouble always seems to find her, but she is there for her friends and the little guy always trying to do the right thing.  Lots of ups and downs but had a satisfying end.
  3. First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)  Charley from the Charley Davidson series:  LOVE this girl.  Her wit, sarcasm and the ability to take me from tears of mirth to sorrow in a single page is amazing.  Reyes doesn’t hurt the appeal of this series either.
  4. Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, #1) Mercy from the Mercy Thompson series:  Discovered this series last year and read them all in two weeks.  Great world and great heroine.
  5. A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1) Ysabeau from All Soul’s Trilogy:  While I love Diana, I think Ysabeau is such an interesting character and quite the kick-ass vamp.  If I could have my wish, it would be that Ms. Harkness would write a spin-off series centered on her and Philippe’s life together.
  6. A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)  Daenerys from A Song of Ice and Fire series:  LOVE this heroine.  She started off pretty weak, but man by book three she has really come into her own.  I so hope she ends up on the iron throne.
  7. Arya Stark from A Song of Ice and Fire:  Was torn between these two for this series, so I decided to include both. Arya is such an interesting contrast to her sister and kinda the stereotypical tomboy, but I have enjoyed watching her progression through this war-torn world.
  8. Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1)   Cat from Night Huntress series: Cat is pretty much the definition of a kick-ass heroine.
  9. Bound by Flames (Night Prince, #3) Leila from Night Prince series:  Leila really surprised me in the third book of this spin-off series.  Ms. Frost put her through so much in this book and she came through it all and kept fighting.
  10. Illusion (Chronicles of Nick, #5) Kody from The Chronicles of Nick series:  The latest release of this series gave us so much information on this character,  I could hardly believe my eyes.  Kody has such an interesting back-story and I so look forward to seeing how she develops in this world.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top ten books I’ve read in 2014

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Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular blog meme, Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week they ask us to share the top ten books we read this year.  I’ve read a lot of books that I enjoyed this year and it is kinda hard to pick just ten of those.  I’ve decided to limit it to only one book in a series and only books I’ve given five-star rating to.  So here are ten of my favorite books of the year and links to their reviews.

  1. The Martian The Martain by Andy Weir
  2. The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy, #3) The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness
  3. First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1) First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
  4. Up From the Grave (Night Huntress #7) Up From the Grave by Jeaniene Frost (review before blog)
  5. Illusion (Chronicles of Nick, #5) Illusion by Sherrilyn Kenyon
  6. Son of No One (Hellchasers, #6; Dark-Hunter, #13) Son of No One by Sherrilyn Kenyon (I know same author as #5, but it is a different series…kinda)
  7. Vincent (Vampires in America, #8) Vincent by D.B. Reynolds
  8. Fury (The Cure, #1-3) Fury by Charlotte McConaghy
  9. Blood Assassin (The Sentinels, #2) Blood Assassin by Alexandra Ivy
  10. Haunted Honeymoon (Casa Dracula, #4) Haunted Honeymoon by Marta Acosta (review before blog)

Monday Morning Question: Favorite Author?

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Good Monday morning everyone.  This post is going to be a quick one so I can get back to helping the husband on his book project.  This morning I ask you: If you could only read one author’s books ever again who would it be?  Now this is a hypothetical question inspired by some commercial I remember seeing as a kid, promoting Mormonism I believe.  Still I thought it was an interesting thought.  We all have our favorites and some of us tend to stick to a genre or select group of authors that we know we enjoy.  Some of you are more adventurous and will read anything put in front of you.

If I had to pick only one author to read ever again or even a shorter time frame like a year, I would pick Sherrilyn Kenyon.  Hands down, no contest.  She has several long running series in a few different genres and even under an alias.  I would have a nice selection of titles to pick from and am going to almost be guaranteed a good or great read. I love her Dark Hunter world and all its spin-offs, enjoy her Sci-Fi series, The League,  and want to try her Belador series written with another author.  I would even like to try her books written under the name Kinley MacGregor, especially since the Lords of Avalon is somehow connected to her upcoming release, Son of No One.

So you have my pick,  how about you?  Which author would you select if you could only read one author from now on?

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Favorite Movies

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Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday Meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week they ask us to share: July 15: Let’s talk about other types of stories! Top Ten Favorite Movies or TV Shows! (can break it down to top ten favorite romance movies or comedy shows etc. etc.).  I’ve picked movies because I watch a total of three TV shows (Big Bang Theory, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Once Upon a Time).  I just don’t watch that much TV, my husband and I do however watch a movie or two together each weekend, so I’ll share my recent favorites of those.

Top Ten Favorite Movies:

  1. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty This is an amazing movie!  Could not believe how good it was.  Loved the message, loved the beautiful settings, love love love this movie!  It was inspired by a short story, that is nothing like the movie, but still good.  If you watch no other movie on my list watch this one.
  2. Star Trek Love my Star Trek!  Also really like what J.J. Abrams has done with the franchise.
  3. Star Trek Into Darkness Was going to include all the Star Trek movies in with the last one, but I am such a Trekkie that two spots needed to be reserved for these beloved films.  This one is probably my favorite of the two posted.
  4. Skyfall Also enjoy James Bond movies.  This one is my current favorite, partially for being filmed in Turkey.  At first didn’t think I would care for Daniel Crag as bond, but am happy to report I was so wrong.
  5. This Means War  This movie was great.  So funny, plenty of action, and plenty of eye candy!
  6. The Matrix Had to include this one for my husband.  Sure I like it, but it is his favorite movie.  We have watched this so much I can recite lines along with what is going on on screen.
  7. Mamma Mia!  If you are having a bad day watch this movie.  Sure its silly and lots of singing, but it always makes me smile.  Love the setting too, reminds me of our time in Turkey.
  8. Red  This is another great movie.  Funny and full of action.
  9. Men in Black 3 Surprisingly this is my favorite of the Men in Black trilogy.  Made me cry at the end.
  10. Sherlock Holmes Loved the wit and humor in this movie.  Husband isn’t a fan, so I don’t get to watch it very often.

So there you have it, my top ten favorite movies…for now at least.  How about you?  Share your favorite movies in the comments!  Look forward to seeing your lists too.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 books read this year.

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Welcome to another addition to the weekly blog meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week they ask us to share the top ten books that we have read this year so far.  While I have read 83 books this year I struggled to come up with 10 that I LOVED.  Now I did give plenty of five stars, but I didn’t want to include more then one book from a series and I wanted to have that excited-about-sharing feeling when I considered it.  So after going through the list of read books this year here is my list. Hope you enjoy.

Top 10 books read so far in 2014

  1. Illusion (Chronicles of Nick, #5) My 5 Star Review.  This is probably my favorite books this year.  Favorite author and we learned so much in this book.  Of course we still had lots of questions needing to be answered, but I could not believe she handed us so many answers in this addition to the spin off Dark Hunter series. So looking forward to reading more!
  2. First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1) My 5 Star Review  This book was the beginning of a new obsession of mine.  I love this series!  Its funny, touching, action packed, and has Reyes.
  3. Up From the Grave (Night Huntress #7) My 5 Star Review  Loved this series and while sad to see it end I think it was so well done. Going to miss my Cat and Bones.
  4. Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, #1) My 4 Star Review  This book is more a representation of the series then this particular book.  Series really surprised me.
  5. Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega, #1) My 4 Star Review  This is a spin off of #4 and again it is more of a representation of the series then this specific title.
  6. Fury (The Cure, #1) My 5 Star Review  This was a review request over at Net Galley and blew me away with how much it made me think.  I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading the next.
  7. Allegiant (Divergent, #3) My 5 Star Review  A lot of people did not enjoy the end of this series.  I did.  I thought it was a fitting end and enjoyed it.
  8. Haunted Honeymoon (Casa Dracula, #4) My 5 Star Review  Read this one back in January, think it was the third or fourth book I read this year.  Fun little series and this was a great ending.
  9. Fated (Dark Protectors, #1) My 5 Star Review  This was one of my guilty pleasures this year.  I loved this book even thought I agree with so many of the comments about what was wrong with it.  Still I loved it.  It was fun and hot.
  10. Bared to You by Sylvia Day My 4 Star Review This book represents the series as a whole.  So much better then 50 Shades of Grey.  The characters are a train wreck but you just can’t help but getting sucked in and obsessed with this story.

There we have it, my top ten books this year so far.  Look forward to reading all your lists.  Have a great Tuesday!

Favorites so far…

I promised to share with you some of my favorite books so far this year.

Here they are in no specific order:

Allegiant by Veronica Roth – 5 Stars

I know there was some contriversy about the ending of this series, but I loved it.  I thought it was a fitting end for this dystopian YA novel.  If you wish to read my full review you can do so here.

Bared to You by Sylia Day – 4 Stars

I am a fan of the 50 Shades of Grey series (Hey, no judging) and a friend recommended this series to me after she was gushing about it all over Facebook.  We got copies of it in at our library and I decided to give it a try.  I am so glad I did, it is much better written than the Grey series and is quite captivating.  Read my full review here.

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs – 4 Stars

I could easily list all the books in this series here, but won’t.  Instead I will let Moon Called stand for the whole lot. Now I LOVE paranormal books, but tend to prefer my vamps.  This series started me thinking I have been missing out by shying away from the Were and Shifter stories.   Read my full review here.

Up From the Grave by Jeanine Frost – 5 Stars

This was a bitter sweet read, the ending of a series I desperately loved.  It was a much better end than the Sookie Stackhouse series,  and I am happy to see it end on a good note rather than limp along and destroying what made it so great.  Read my full review here.

Haunted Honeymoon by Marta Acosta – 5 Stars

This was another last book in a series I enjoyed.  It is a lighter side of paranormal book, full of humor and silly situations.  This series is really a fun read if you just want something that is going to make you laugh.  Read my full review here.

These are just some of the titles I have enjoyed so far this year.  Most of my reviews will not be set up like this, but I didn’t want to post a full length review for each book in one post.  Have you read any of these?  Did you enjoy them as well, or do you disagree with me?

Happy Reading. Amy