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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Reading in February and March

Here it is at last - the reading update for February and March.

I haven't tackled the TBR pile as much as I'd liked but continued listening to audio books. 15 out of the 20 books belonged to a series - yes I did start some new ones because of availability but I do want to dwindle down my series to something more manageable *grin*.


  1. Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone  (Warlock Holmes #1) by G.S. Denning | 4.5 stars
  2. Dragon Blood (Hurog #2) by Patricia Briggs (audio read by Joe Manganiello) | 5 stars
  3. The Bad Guys: Apocalypse Now (Bad Guys #4) by Aaron Blabey (childrens) | 5 stars
  4. Stone Castles by Trish Morey | 5 stars
  5. Beauty and the Beast (Spindle Cove #3.5) by Tessa Dare (novella) | 5 stars
  6. The BFG by Roald Dahl (audio read by David Walliams) | 5 stars
  7. Magic Study (The Chronicles of Ixia #2 - Study #2) by Maria V. Snyder | 4.5 stars
  8. Don't Look Back (Lake & March #2) by Amanda Quick (audio read by Josephine Bailey) | 5 stars 
  9. Red Hot Lover (Winged & Dangerous #3) by Mel Teshco (novella) | 5 stars
  10. The Untamed Bride (Black Cobra Quartet #1) by Stephanie Laurens (audio read by Simon Peeble) | 4.5 stars
  11. Late for the Wedding (Lake and March #3) by Amanda Quick (audio read by Josephine Bailey) | 5 stars
  12. Hit (Makedde Vanderwall #4) by Tara Moss (audio read by Tara Moss) | 4.25 stars
  13. Secrets of Sloane House  (Chicago World's Fair Mystery #1) by Shelley Gray (audio read by Tavia Gilbert) | 4 stars
  14. A Stolen Season by Tamara Gill | 4.5 stars
  15. One Foot in the Grave (Night Huntress, #2) by Jeaniene Frost (audio read by Tavia Gilbert) | 5 stars
  16. Devil's Bride (Cynster #1) by Stephanie Laurens | 4 stars
  17. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo graphic novel (Millenium #1 graphic novels) by Denise Mina  | 4 stars
  18. Homer's Odyssey by  Seymour Chwast (graphic novel) | 4 stars
  19. The Singing Bones: inspired by Grimm's Fairy Tales by Shaun Tan (scultpures to passages from fairy tales) | 5 stars
  20. The Seventh Son (The Tales of Alvin Maker #1) by Orscon Scott Card (audio read by various readers) | 4 stars

Happy Reading!


Saturday, April 8, 2017

2016 - series reading greatness...



I've been offline for the last couple of months, so there's been a delay in my 2016 reading posts. That's right I'm not done with 2016 yet!

These are the series that I continued to read that I really enjoyed. Unless otherwise indicated these were all 5 star reads for me.



A Song of Ice and Fire
by George R.R. Martin

Epic Fantasy

Book 5 - A Dance With Dragons: Part 1 Dreams and Dust
Brilliant. The world building is complex and integrated. The characters are complex and vivid. No wonder they made a show out of this series and they had to par back on some of the details.


I'm currently reading book 5, part 2: After The Feast.







Ghost Hunters
by Jayne Castle

Futuristic romance

Book 2 - After Glow (audio)
The mystery of Lydia's missing time is explained. Adventure, romance, dust bunnies - what more could you want?! This sci-fi romantic suspense series has bee hooked. I'm intrigued by the world of Harmony - there are connected series to explore as world.


Book 0.5 - Bridal Jitters - 4 stars
This is a short story set in Harmony but with a different couple.



Soul Screamers
by Rachel Vincent

YA Paranormal

Book 4 - My Soul To Steal
Book 4.5 - Niederwald (short story)
- 4 stars
Book 5 - If I Die


This series about a teen girl who discovers she's a bean sidhe (banshee) which explains a few things in her life. It continues to have twists and turns and I really like Kaylee. She's a good kid who wants the best for others.









In Death
by J.D. Robb

Futuristic crime (with romantic elements)

Book 5 - Ceremony in Death 

Eve Dallas continues to work in homicides with danger around every corner. This time she looks into a cult. Her relationship with Roarke continues to grow strong and their understanding of each other is what the other needs.







Walker Papers
by C.E. Murphy

Urban Fantasy (with romantic elements)

Book 6 - Spirit Dances

The weird supernatural happenings continues to follow Joanne Walker around, starting with a dance actually turning her into a coyote. More fun and games leaves Joanne with more questions about her mother. There's the continual attraction with her boss which seems to get stronger despite themselves.








Retrievers
by Laura Anne Gilman

Urban Fantasy (with romantic elements)

Book 3 - Bring It On 
Book 4 - Burning Bridges
I did make an error and read book 4 before book 3 somehow missing the fact there was a book 3 (the books aren't numbered so it's easy to do - truly *wink*)

The series continues with lone-jack Wren using her talents with manipulating electricity to retrieve items for clients. She's now in a relationship with her business partner, which gets complicated when his past comes to haunt them. She's also getting caught up in the world of the Fatae and councils, which is totally against the lone-jack way. I feel it's getting better with each passing book.


Freefall (book 5) is on my currently reading list. 







Dark Angels
by Keri Arthur

Urban Fantasy (with romantic elements)


Book 2 - Darkness Rising
Urban fantasy, spinoff from the Riley Jenson, Guardian series. This story is about Risa Jones - the hybrid werewolf (who can't change into the wolf form) and Aedh (spirit creature) and she's all grown up. The gang from Riley Jenson makes an appearance but it's the Risa show all the way staring a aedh lover and gorgeous reaper. She's smart, sassy, fun but has a lot of sadness in this book. 







The Four-Sided Pentacle 
by Denise Rossetti

Fantasy romance


Book 3 - The Lone Warrior 
"Some are drawn to the light. Some are drawn to the dark. Some desire both." In the world of the four sided pentacle, dark forces want to envelop the world in darkness and full of pain.  The series follows those who try and follow a path of light and have power over elements which can stop these forces.


Currently reading book 1.5 (novella set in this world) Rubies and Black Velvet





Allegra Fairweather Mysteries
by Janni Nell

Paranormal detective tales with romantic elements


Book 2: South of Salem
Allegra is a paranormal investigator, though her family thinks she's crazy. Until they need her help with some mysterious sleep walking occurrences. With the help of  her gorgeous guardian angel, Casper, she tackles a paranormal entity bent on taking lives.  Full of sass, intrigue and a hint of romance.









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



Audio

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]


E-books
  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~