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Friday, February 3, 2017

January 2017 reading wrap up

Not a bad start to the year. I have focused on series reading this month and continuing listening to audio books. I did make the mistake of listening to an abridged audio - Split Second - not too bad for abridged but I managed to find the ebook to fill in the blanks.  Unabridged is always much better.

  1. Hands of Flame (Negotiator/Old Races Universe #3) by C.E. Murphy | 4.5 stars
  2. City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare (audio read by Ari Graynor) | 4.5 stars
  3. Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham (audio - read by Lauren Graham) | 4.5 stars
  4. Kiss Me, Annabel (Essex Sisters #2) by Eloisa James | 5 stars
  5. Helloween: a collection of horror short stories by Samantha Comb | 4 stars
  6. Fairy Dust (Sookie Stackhouse #4.1) (short story) by Charlaine Harris | 4 stars
  7. Split Second (Sean King & Michelle Maxwell #1) by David Baldacci (Abridged audio / e-book) | 4 stars
  8. Rise of the Blood (Latter-Day Olympians #3) by Lucienne Diver | 5 stars
  9. Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich (audio read by Kate Schorr) | 4 stars
  10. Cat on the Edge (Joe Grey Mysteries #1) by Shirley Rousseau Murphy (audio read by Susan Boyce) | 4 stars
  11. The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #2) by Rick Riordan (childrens/MG) | 5 stars
  12. The Questionable Client (Kate Daniels #0.5) (short story) by Ilona Andrews (short story) | 5 stars

~Happy Reading in February!~

Sunday, January 22, 2017

2016: Discovering New-to-me Authors

There are always those books that stay with you for various reasons even long after you've read it. They tend to be the ones I mark with 5 stars. 

In 2016, I discovered some 'new-to-me' authors, who I plan on reading more from. 

Tessa Dare 
Dare's Spindle Cove series is a fun historical romance series. Spindle Cove is known as Spinster's Cove - a refuge for women who don't fit in society and are unusual. There's choas and hilarity as the world of the ladies and the new militia merge together.
  • A Night to Surrender (#1)
  • Once Upon a Winter's Eve (#1.5)
  • A Week to Be Wicked #(#2)
  • A Lady by Midnight (#3)

Susan Elia MacNeal
The Maggie Hope Mystery series follows Maggie Hope who is a secretary for Winston Churchill. I've only listened to the first one and enjoyed it immensely. Maggie is a spit fire in war torn London and I want to see what she does next for her country.
  • Mr. Churchill's Secretary (Maggie Hope Mystery, #1)

Jeaniene Frost
I was on the fence about this one initially but the dry humour did win me over. Cat is a half vampire and she makes it her mission to rid the world of vampires. Vampire bounty hunter Bones enters her life and they form an unlikely partnership.
  • Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1)
  • Reckoning (Night Huntress, #0.5)

Carrie Vaughn
I met Carrie Vaughn at WorldCon in 2010. It's taken me this long to get to the book I got her to sign! And it really is a great book. Kitty has spunk but also it's interesting to see the pack dynamics from such a low member of it. Great premise of having a DJ coming out on a radio show that she's a werewolf and a talk show is about this and other paranormal things. Most think it's a publicity stunt but those who know the truth have now got a place to get advice.
  • Kitty and the Midnight Hour (Kitty Norville #1)

Divergent audio cover
Veronica Roth
I've seen the first two movies and thought I'd like to see where they came from. A teen who's gutsy but is also scared witless with life. The way she deals with things is a combination of her upbringing and her wanting to break free from this upbringing. At heart she is a good person who must hide what she is if she's to survive.
  • Divergent (Divergent, #1)

Aaron Blabey
I discovered The Bad Guys series via an 8 year old. This is a fabulous children's book series about a group of misunderstood 'bad guys' - a wolf, shark, piranha, snake. Seriously hilarious. Text and images work hand in hand to tickle the funny bone.
  • The Bad Guys: Episode 1
  • The Bad Guys: Episode 2 Mission Unpluckable
  • The Bad Guys: Episode 3: The Furball Strikes Again

I love discovering new authors but my To Read pile is groaning at the addition of more titles. :)

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Reading Quote: Charlaine Harris

Charlaine Harris is the author of three series I am reading - The Southern Vampire Mysteries (Sookie Stackhouse), Lily Bard Mysteries, and Aurora Teagarden.


~Happy Reading~

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

2017 Reading Challenges - lace up those shoes!

The one good thing in 2016 I can safely say is that it had been a good year of reading. I'm aiming to do more challenges in 2017 to keep motivated and to maybe put some order into the chaotic world of my reading lists and TBR piles.

100 book challenge

Goodreads asks that you set the number of books you would like to read in a given year. For 2017, I chose 100 books. It's more than the 60 I set last year but less than the actual achievement of last year. This year, I'll be including short stories/picture books that are published separately as one read each. It makes it easier to equal that up with the Goodreads read count.

I've already finished off six titles:
  • Hands of Flame (Negotiator/Old Races Universe #3) by C.E. Murphy
  • City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare
  • Someday, Someday, Maybe by  Lauren Graham (audio)
  • Kiss Me, Annabel (Essex Sisters #2) by Eloisa James
  • Helloween: a collection of horror short stories by Samantha Comb 
  • Fairy Dust (Sookie Stackhouse #4.1) (short story) by Charlaine Harris

100 book challenge page


I'm aiming for 45 books this year, the 'My Precious' level or should that be My Precioussss?

I'm currently listening to
  • The Time of My Life by Cecelia Ahern
  • Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich
  • Split Second (Sean King & Michelle Maxwell #1) by David Baldacci

Audio Challenge page

Australian Women Writers Challenge

I'm aiming for 25 books this year and to review 15 of these.

I'm currently reading
  • Stone Castles by Trish Morey
  • Dead Actually by Kaz Delaney

TBR list

I'm tackling the TBR pile a little different this year. While I will have both print and ebook lists, I will be having two (count them - one, two) challenges to tackle them. I'll accept books from other non-TBR challenges to fill these but not between the two challenges.

Author Name -TBR Challenge

I decided this year the Author Name challenged should be linked to my TBR pile. This will help me read more a wider ranger of authors. This will be with either the first letter of either of the first or last name of the author corresponding with the letter of the alphabet.

This means 52 books - 26 for print and 26 for ebooks.

Author name - TBR page 

Book Title -TBR Challenge

For those books that don't fit into the Author Name challenge, I'll be using the book titles to correspond to the alphabet. Again, I hope to have one list for print and one list for ebooks. However, I won't be as strict with this one if at the end of the year, I need to combine them. After all that will be another 26 to 52 books on top of the challenges above (which really add up to more than 100 books).

Book title - TBR page

Hopefully this will help clear a backlog from the TBR pile!!

I'll also be keeping a master list of TBR books read from all the lists.

A-Z Author Name Reading Challenge

This one is not my own personal one but one by the group I belong to, DarkSide DownUnder. The name of the game is to read as many DarkSider author books that fit into the alphabet. I'm able to use other challenges in this one if I want to.

DarkSider A-Z Author Name page

As you can see these challenges will keep me out of trouble - I hope *wink*.

Why not join me in a challenge or two?

Happy Reading to you all in 2017!

Monday, January 9, 2017

2016 and tackling the TBR piles

courtesy of Pixabay
I made a real effort to tackle the TBR (to be read)  piles this year - both in print and in e-books.

Certain books like the A Song of Ice and Fire series have been sitting on my bookshelf for a very long time to read. I am talking many many years here folks. It's not like I didn't want to read these books. Alas my reading had decreased as I got busier initially and then because of my health.

The other factor is that while I want to know what happens in a series, my brain needs time to percolate on the book I have just read. In the old days I could have inhaled a series one book after another, but now days this is rare.

I think being a writer is a factor as not to unconsciously emulate the work I'm reading. Hence the shuffle of different books and the multiple books at the same time.

Still I have boxes of books that I want to read and don't get me started on my eTBR pile! Eeek!

My TBR pile on Goodreads is about 253 books but this is mainly series titles and books I know off by heart that I have. There are boxes more! Eeeek!

My name is Eleni and I'm a book purchasing addict!

I buy books when they are released or on sale, when it's next in my series reading. I buy when friends have book launches or book signings, and auto-buy authors who I have read for years. I don't know when I'm going to read all these books, but I can't stop buying. And it's not only print - there's ebooks which gives me digital only books especially novellas  (occasionally short stories), but also it's a lower price point so I can get more for the same amount. I would say I'm about 1/2 and 1/2 now - I still love my physical books but there is definitely room in my life for ebooks.

To help me catch up (and the budget), I'm currently on a print book buying freeze except for series. With ebooks it will be authors I have read or be part of a series.

In 2016, I aimed for 15 print books and 15 ebooks. I achieved both with 22 for print and 16 for ebooks, totalling 38 books, which is not a bad effort.

Print books

  1. My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent [2013]
  2. The Patterson Girls by Rachael Johns [2015]
  3. Spirit Dances by C.E. Murphy [2015]
  4. How to Get Over Your Ex by Nikki Logan [2013]
  5. To Catch A Bride by Anne Gracie [2009]
  6. The Seven Month Itch by Allison Rushby [2009]
  7. Bring It On by Laura Anne Gilman [2006]
  8. Burning Bridges by Laura Anne Gilman [2007]
  9. What the Lady Wants by Jennifer Crusie [>1 year]
  10. Little Gems Short Story Anthology: Diamond (2012) by Romance Writers of Australia [2012]
  11. His Princess in the Making by Melissa James [2009]
  12. The Accidental Wedding by Anne Gracie [2010]
  13. Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn [2010]
  14. The Lone Warrior by Denise Rossetti [2011]
  15. A Dance with Dragons, Part 1: Dreams and Dust by George R.R. Martin [2014]
  16. Bound by the Unborn Baby by Bella Bucannon [2016]
  17. Bride by Mistake by Anne Gracie [2016]
  18. The Misted Cliffs by Catherine Asaro [2005]
  19. Darkness Rising by Keri Arthur [2011]
  20. Captive of Sin by Anna Campbell [2009]
  21. If I Die by Rachel Vincent [2015]
  22. Christmas at the Castle by Marion Lennox [2013]

  1. Bloodlust Denied by Christina Phillips [2013]
  2. The Christmas Gift by Monica McInnery 
  3. Hellcursed (Shadowfae #0.5) by Erica Hayes (short story) [2009]
  4. Chaos Born by Rebekah Turner [2012]
  5. Write or Die by Scott Nicholson [2011]
  6. This is Your Afterlife by Vanessa Barneveld [2014]
  7. Blind Attraction by Eden Summers [2013]
  8. Dead Faint by Lizzie T. Leaf [2014]
  9. A Pretty Mess by Carla Caruso [2014]
  10. The Short Story Toolshed by Della Galton [2015]
  11. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle [2013] - read half as ebook and listened to half as audio
  12. The Final Wish by Tracey O'Hara [2012]
  13. Legend of the Timekeepers by Sharon Ledwith [2013]
  14. Dark Child (Awakenings) Episode 1 by Adina West [2013]
  15. Angel Thief (Out of the Bottle #2) by Jenny Schwarz [2012]
  16. South of Salem (Allegra Fairweather Mystery #2) by Janni Nell [2012]

~Happy Reading~

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Series reading: Authors beginning with J - part 2

I interrupt the 2016 reading challenge wrap ups to bring you another installment of the series reading posts. This is part 2 of authors beginning with the letter J. Part 1 is here.

Johanna Lindsey

Reid Family
Genre: Historical Romance

Regency era romance series of couples falling in love.

Up to: #2 - The Devil who tamed her

2016: 0
2014: #1 audio

John Marsden

Genre: YA

Australia is invaded but a bunch of teenagers escape capture.

Up to: #4 - Darkness, Be My Friend

2016: #3

John Scalzi

Old Man's War
Genre: Sci-fi

"John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife's grave. Then he joined the army.

The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce-- and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So: we fight. To defend Earth, and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding."
Up to: #3 - The Last Colony

2016: 0
2011: #2

Joss Whedon

Buffy Graphic Novels
Genre: Graphic Novel-horror

"This comic book series is a sequel to the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer."
Up to: Season 8: #2 - No Future for You

2016: 0
2009: #1

J.R. Ward

The Black Dagger Brotherhood
Genre: Paranormal romance

"Puts a modern spin on classic Greek myths! Follow the ins and outs of divine social life at Mount Olympus Academy where the most privileged godboys and goddessgirls in the Greek pantheon hone their mythical skills."

Up to: #10 - #10: Lover Reborn; 6.5 Father Mine
The Black Dagger Legacy is a spin off series and runs parallel. First published in 2015

2016: 0
2011: #9

Fallen Angels
Genre: Paranormal romance

"Puts a modern spin on classic Greek myths! Follow the ins and outs of divine social life at Mount Olympus Academy where the most privileged godboys and goddessgirls in the Greek pantheon hone their mythical skills."

Up to: #2 - Crave

2016: 0
2011: #1

Julia Quinn

Smythe-Smith Quartet
Genre: Historical Romance

The Smyth-Smith family have a quartet of single female musicians who play annually to family and friends. No one said they were good musicians but on the whole they are enthusiastic as is the family who listens to them. This series is about the romances of members of the quartet.

Up to: #2 - A Night Like This

2016: #1 (audio)

Juliet Madison

Tarrin's Bay
Genre: Contemporary Romance (Coastal)

"Puts a modern spin on classic Greek myths! Follow the ins and outs of divine social life at Mount Olympus Academy where the most privileged godboys and goddessgirls in the Greek pantheon hone their mythical skills."

Up to: #4 - February or Forever on eTBR

2016: 0
2015: #1

That's it for the Js.
~Happy Reading~

Saturday, January 7, 2017

2016 Author Name Challenge - A-Z!

I found a few years ago when I used to do the challenges on the eHarlequin community boards that using the Author Name Challenge could make you read people you may not have discovered before.

It really wasn't the case this time around. I found the letters to go with authors I happen to read, the exception being finally getting around to read a  Julia Quinn (for U) and Amanda Quick (for Q) books.

I did manage to complete the A-Z for both male and female authors, and even managed to get the A-Z only for female authors, but alas not for male authors.

A- Aaron Blabey - The Bad Guys: Episode 1 - Jan - 5 stars!
B - Vanessa Barneveld - This is Your Afterlife
C - Christina Phillips - Bloodlust Denied - Jan-  5 stars!
D - Tessa Dare - A Night to Remember - Mar - 4.5 stars!
E  - Eoin Colfer - Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident Graphic Novel
F - Jeaniene Frost - Halfway to the Grave - May - 5 stars!
G -Anne Gracie - To Catch A Bride - 5 stars!
H - Erica Hayes - Hellcursed - Jan - 5 stars!
I - Ilona Andrews - Magic Bites - Jun - 4.5  stars
J - Rachael Johns - The Patterson Girls - Jan - 5 stars!
K - Lisa Kleypas - Dreaming of You - Feb - 5 stars!
L - Nikki Logan - How to Get Over Your Ex - Feb - 5 stars!
M - Mike Venezia - Stephen Hawking: Cosmologist who gets a Big Bang out of the Universe - Jan -  3 stars
N - Nicolas Brasch - The Earth's Place in Space - Jan - 4 stars
O - Tracey O'Hara - The Final Wish - Nov - 4 stars
P - Suzanne Elizabeth Phillips - Heroes are my Weakness - Apr - 4 stars
Q - Amanda Quick - Slightly Shady - Nov - 4.5 stars
R - J.D Robb - Ceremony in Death - Feb - 5 stars!
S - Nalini Singh - Caressed by Ice - Apr - 5 stars!
T - Thomas Canavan - Science FAQ: Why are Black Holes Black? - Jan - 4 stars
U - Julia Quinn - Just Like Heaven - Nov - 4.5 stars
V - Rachel Vincent - My Soul to Steal - Jan - 5 stars!
W - Sean Williams - Troubletwisters: The Monster - Apr - 4 stars
X - Marion Lennox - Christmas at the Castle - Dec - 4 stars
Y- Yarci Garcia - The Girl in the Converse Shoes - Jan - 3 stars
Z - Jenny Schwart- Angel Thief - Dec - 4.5 stars

The following female authors names replace the male names in the list and complete the female A-Z.

A -  Allison Rushby - The Seven Month Itch - Mar - 5 stars!
E -  Eden Summers - Blind Attraction - 5 stars!
M - Monica McInerney - The Christmas Gift - Jan - 3 stars
N - Nalini Singh - Whisper of Sin - Jun - 4 stars
T -  Rebekah Turner - Chaos Born - Apr - 5 stars!
W - Adina West - Dark Child (Awakenings) Episode 1 | Dec | 4.5 stars


These are extra male authors but there are still missing letters of C, F, H, I, K, O, P, Q, S, U, V, X, Y, Z.

B - Julian Barnes - Arthur and George | Nov | 4 stars
D - Arthur Conan Doyle - The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes | Nov | 4 stars
G- George R.R. Martin - A Dance with Dragons, Part 1: Dreams and Dust - July - 5 stars!
J - Jim Butcher - Grave Peril - May - 4 stars
L - Lewis Carroll - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Jul - 4.5 stars
R - Arnold Ridley - The Ghost Train - Dec - 4 stars

Happy Reading!