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Death Marked Giveaway

Book Giveaway

Death Marked ARC Giveaway

Death Marked by Leah Cypess

I’ve gotten my hands on an extra ARC of Death Marked and of course have to share it! I loved the first book, Death Sworn, so I’m very excited to get to push the sequel on you all ;-). If you haven’t checked out this duology, here’s the blurb for the first book so that I avoid spoilers. If you’ve already read the first book, get excited for DEATH MARKED!
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Owl and the Japanese Circus {Cat Sitter Wanted + Giveaway!}

Owl and The Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish

Guest Post by Kristi Charish

Author of Owl and the Japanese Circus

Today I’m ecstatic to welcome Kristi Charish to the blog to give us a little insight into her heroine Alix (otherwise known as Owl). She is the author of Owl and the Japanese Circus, which you should add to the 2015 list for when it publishes January 13th! It has an eastern dragon, what else do you need to know??? Also don’t miss out on the giveaway at the bottom :D.

Wanted: One Cat Sitter

(Snagged off Seattle’s Craigslist Wanted Section)

Wanted: One cat sitter for the duration of one week, potentially with the need to stretch the duration to two (it’s been known to happen before). The cat in question is a somewhat overweight Mau (see photo) who is known to raid food cupboards and any bags/backpacks/jackets you bring into his territory that may or may not house food…. He likes to be sure. Below is a list of guidelines any cat sitter responding to this ad will be required to follow. Please read carefully before contacting*.
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Updates from the Lair 12/14/14

Updates from the Lair

Updates from the Lair is my weekly wrap-up post that includes what happened in my real life, what I’ve been reading, my posts from the week, and what I’m thinking about reading next week (and would love your advice on!). 

This week was pretty weird for me I must admit. I had a final project originally due on Monday, then pushed back to Wednesday. Normally I’m done with this sort of thing several days if not a week before, but we had so much trouble getting the actual data from experiments with our program that we were finishing it on Monday D:. We also had to do a presentation for that project on Tuesday and we were making slides Monday afternoon *procrastination station* >.>. On top of finals, I had organized a science day for two classes of local third graders, which was a lot of fun, but also a lot of work. I hadn’t realized when scheduling when that would happen that I had a final Tuesday afternoon >.>. So from 9am-1:30pm on Tuesday, I was corralling third graders and teaching them SCIENCE! It all worked out in the end though :D. Then, on top of that, we had our annual NSF site visit to our center where external reviewers come by for two days to see how everything is going and see where improvements can be made. This year was also our renewal year, meaning that we needed to convince them that we should be approved for another five years of funding *gulp*. It went well from my perspective though, so *fingers crossed*. Needless to say, less reading than hoped for got done ;-).

My Week

Unbound I got Unbound in the mail this week and had to start it right away :D. I’m a big fan of the Libriomancer series because who doesn’t love book magic, but I’m especially loving this current installment because it is going in directions I really didn’t expect this sort of series to go. Hines is doing a really great job of throwing out the rule book and playing with all the possibilities that exist when our modern world has magic secretly living alongside it in the form of books! I can’t really tell you more without giving away surprises from the previous books, but just trust me that it is unexpected and awesome :D.

Stitching Snow So my organization sometimes fails me…. I could have sworn Stitching Snow was a December release but apparently it was released in October, oops >.>. I started it on a whim at the doctor’s office and am enjoying it so far. I had feared from the synopsis that it would be similar to Cress, but it really isn’t at all. Essie is a fighter and hacker and I sniff a treasure-seeking adventure and a rebellion in this book’s future :D.

Legion: Skin Deep My audiobook for the week has been Legion: Skin Deep and I’m really enjoying this sequel. You can easily read it without having read the previous book since it’s a completely new mystery and Leeds’ mental condition that causes him to hallucinate 47 different people with 47 different skill sets is explained ;-). I love this near-future sci-fi setting where the technology is similar enough to our time that it could be next year or next decade or right now and we don’t know it! The narration is spectacular again <3.

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Balancing Blogging: No Posts Mondays or Thursdays?

Book Discussion

I Need to Better Balance Blogging

There is a poll in the middle of this post where you can vote whether Mondays or Thursdays are my dead air days going forward, I would really appreciate you taking the time to click through and vote if you care at all ;-).

I’ve found recently that my life has become a bit hectic. I don’t precisely mind prioritizing reading and writing blog posts over chores and sleep, but I’m realizing that might be a bad idea long term. I think what I’m realizing more than anything is that I need to shift my priorities a bit. I love blogging and I love reading and I’d go crazy without them. However, I’m also trying to get more involved with the science blogging community and am gearing up for serious research mode. Secretly I’m also TERRIFIED of being a teaching assistant next term and am convinced it is going to suck all possible time I have away >.>

So while I am actually quite happy on the surface with posting every day, I think that I need to force myself to chill out a little so that I have those extra minutes to think about science a little bit more or really relax with a good book that just happens to be nonfiction ;-). Instead of just reassuring myself that I’ll do a little less, you’ll see, I realized I need to be very firm with where the line is in order to actually make a real change. I also want to make an official declaration to you so that you can hold me to this decision (with the exceptions of the blog tour posts that I’ve already agreed to >.>).
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Sci-fi and Fantasy Friday {ARCs and $5 Giftcards Weekly!}

Sci-fi And Fantasy Fridays

Link-up Your Sci-fi and Fantasy Reviews and Giveaways!

I’m a huge sci-fi and fantasy fan, to the point that that is really all I read anymore. Therefore, I decided to start a weekly feature where I get all of you to gather the sf/f reviews and giveaways you’ve published and found so that we can all discover new books, blogs, and giveaways in our favorite genres!

Congrats to Kayla for winning this week! Enjoy Zodiac and Toxic Heart :D. (It always makes me happy when a book that’s been on the pile for a while finds a good home <3.) This week I’m starting the deluge of ARCs I got from the Great House Cleaning with:

The Name of the Blade Touch of Power In the Time of the Dragon Moon

Every week I’ll pick a random link and the email address that submitted that link will get $5 at Amazon or two ARCs from my SFFF-Books shelf!

Here are the more stringent rules concerning links for the giveaway:

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The Name of the Blade by Zoë Marriott ARC {4 Stars}

The Name of the Blade by Zoë Marriott is a fun and funky adventure through London running from Japanese myths that suddenly have become all too real. Forget anything you’ve heard about The Name of the Blade already! I honestly disagree with a lot of the negative things I’d been worrying about so much that I don’t really understand how I read the same book as everyone else D:. The Name of the Blade is a seriously delightful adventure that is different from the YA we read all too often here in the States and one of the reasons why I love getting books originally published elsewhere :D.

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Name of the Blade from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Name of the Blade by Zoë Marriott ARC {4 Stars}

The Name of the Blade by Zoë Marriott (The Name of the Blade #1)
Published by Candlewick Press on Nov. 11th, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Fantasy, YA
Length: 368 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

When Mio sneaks the family's katana -- a priceless ancestral sword -- from her parents' attic, she just wants to spice up a costume. But the katana is much more than a dusty antique. Awakening the power within the sword unleashes a terrible, ancient evil onto the streets of unsuspecting London. But it also releases Shinobu, a fearless warrior boy, from the depths of time. He helps to protect Mio -- and steals her heart. With creatures straight out of Japanese myths stalking her and her friends, Mio realizes that if she cannot keep the sword safe and learn to control its legendary powers, she will lose not only her own life . . . but the love of a lifetime.

4 Stars

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Best of 2014 Giveaway Hop! (INT)

Best of 2014 Giveaway Hop

I am back with another giveaway hop! What can I say, when Pabkins tells me to join her in giveaway hop madness, I just give in! But this one is fun because I get to push my favorite 2014 reads on you :D. The winner can choose a copy (or pre-order) of the following books (or others in the series!):

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente Earth Star by Janet Edwards Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen Silverblind by Tina Connolly

Infinite Harmony by Tammy Blackwell The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson Among Thieves by Douglas Hulick Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
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Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2014

Top Ten Tuesday

Thanks to the gals of The Broke and The Bookish for hosting this meme every week!

I feel like I spent a lot of time reading authors I already knew I loved and sequels this year. I was in that mood where you just want a safe bet ya know? But, there are still of course lots of new authors that I discovered and loved, and perhaps read several of their books this year >.>.

Why Didn’t I Read Them Sooner??

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente The Martian by Andy Weir Among Thieves by Douglas Hulick Traitor's Blade Dreamer's Pool by Juliet Marillier
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This Night So Dark by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner {3.5 Stars}

This Night So Dark by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner is a connecting between between These Broken Stars (which I loved!) and This Shattered World (which I hope to love soon!). It is free on Amazon, so I figured I’d give it a shot even though I normally don’t read novellas ;-). It is quite short and a fun adventure with a bit of Lilac and Tarver to swoon at, but I ended up not feeling particularly attached to the idea of everyone reading it, though I guess I’ll see if my opinion changes after reading This Shattered World.

This Night So Dark by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner {3.5 Stars}

This Night So Dark by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner (Starbound #1.5)
Published by Disney Hyperion on Oct. 7th, 2014
Genres: Novella, Romance, Sci-fi
Length: 109 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
Amazon - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Tarver still has nightmares about the night, six months before the Icarus crash, when he rescued a group of civilian researchers being held hostage by brutal mercenaries. Now Tarver and Lilac must reconcile his memories of that fateful night with the truth that they uncovered on a mysterious planet after the Icarus crashed.

3.5 Stars

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Updates from the Lair 12/07/14

Updates from the Lair

Updates from the Lair is my weekly wrap-up post that includes what happened in my real life, what I’ve been reading, my posts from the week, and what I’m thinking about reading next week (and would love your advice on!). 

The week after holiday traveling is always a wash right? The first couple of days I felt so overwhelmed that I went into manic mode, ended up with a lovely migraine Tuesday, and then trying to get lots of things done left me with no reading time D:. I seriously read about fifty pages this week I think, so frustrating! I have about five books on my currently reading list because I just can’t seem to find time to sink into and focus on one. Here’s to a better reading week next week!

My Week

Assassin's BladeI currently feel qualified to talk about Assassin’s Blade since that’s what I was listening to on my drive to the boy’s place on Friday :D. I’ve been frustrated with Celaena claiming how she was the best without seeing any evidence of that in book one and in the first novellas. I’m now on The Assassin and the Underworld and am happy to see her suffering and working hard to actually be an assassin instead of just talking about it ;-). I’m horrible to characters is really what it comes down to, but I need proof that a character is strong, not just talk D:.

FirefightIn my few minutes of reading each night, I’ve been reading Firefight since I got halfway on the drive home from Thanksgiving! I have to say that David’s humor is just not appealing to me this time around strangely. I loved his weird metaphors in book one and how dorky he was, but now he’s just annoying me :-(. I am really excited about where the series is heading in terms of what is actually causing all these powers!

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