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Best Audiobooks of 2014 Giveaway Hop (US/Can)

I Love Audiobooks Giveaway Hop

My Favorite Audiobooks of 2014

I’m so excited to be participating in the Best Audiobooks giveaway hop again this year :D. First I’m going to share the five audiobooks I loved most this year and then I’ll be giving away one Audible book in addition to the grand prize of three audiobooks of the winner’s choice :D. The giveaways are open to everyone as long as you can use Audible books!

Dreamer's Pool by Juliet Marillier Dark Triumph Hounded

White Cat Legion Skin Deep
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Updates from the Lair 1/24/15

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!). 

What?? Did you fall through a wormhole and miss Saturday? No, don’t worry, it’s not you, it’s me ;-). Tomorrow is going to be a fun giveaway, so I’m posting Updates today instead :D. I’m really proud of how productive I was with work and school this week. I graded all my students’ work right away, got lots of research and homework done, but not a lot of reading. That’s good though since it means my priorities are finally straightened out a bit, ha!

My Week

A Court of Thorns and RosesI am finally turning my attention fully to A Court of Thorns and Roses :D. Unfortunately “my full attention” only amounts to about twenty pages currently, but they were enjoyable pages, ha. I finally got to find out why everyone is wearing party masks and my interest is definitely peaked! It probably speaks to how exhausted I’ve been each night that my eyes started going double pretty quickly and I didn’t stay up all night reading ;-).

The Boy Who Lost FairylandI am very lucky to be on the tour for The Boy Who Lost Fairyland and had to start reading my eARC right away! I have actually been able to make more progress on Fairyland because I have four hours of office hours during the week when I help students who stop by, but no one has been stopping by much since it is the beginning of the term. Of course I’ve been using that waiting time quite well ;-). I also had to wait for my doctor’s appointment for a while and they apologized but I didn’t mind, haha!
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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 Ria for winning last week, enjoy buying something fun :D. Here is what I’m adding to the pile this week!

Etiquette and Espionage The Fog Diver The Lightening Catcher: The Secrets of the Storm Vortex

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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Hammered by Kevin Hearne Audiobook {3 Stars}

Hammered by Kevin Hearne is the third book in the Iron Druid Chronicles, the story of a very old druid living in the modern world and trying to avoid pissing off too many old gods at one time ;-). There will definitely be spoilers below for those of you who haven’t read Hounded (book one, 4.5 stars!) and Hexed (book two, 3 stars), so feel free to check out those reviews instead just to be safe. For those of you who have read the series, I’m very curious to hear your thoughts on whether I should continue. I had high hopes for Hammered, but it ended up falling fairly flat for me. Since this is now a two-book trend, I’m worried that this just isn’t the series for me :(.

Note: I listened to Hammered on audio, which definitely impacts my reading experience.

Hammered by Kevin Hearne Audiobook {3 Stars}

Hammered by Kevin Hearne
Narrated by Luke Daniels
(Iron Druid Chronicles #3)
Published by Del Rey on July 5th, 2011
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Length: 310 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Thor, the Norse god of thunder, is worse than a blowhard and a bully—he’s ruined countless lives and killed scores of innocents. After centuries, Viking vampire Leif Helgarson is ready to get his vengeance, and he’s asked his friend Atticus O’Sullivan, the last of the Druids, to help take down this Norse nightmare.

One survival strategy has worked for Atticus for more than two thousand years: stay away from the guy with the lightning bolts. But things are heating up in Atticus’s home base of Tempe, Arizona. There’s a vampire turf war brewing, and Russian demon hunters who call themselves the Hammers of God are running rampant. Despite multiple warnings and portents of dire consequences, Atticus and Leif journey to the Norse plain of Asgard, where they team up with a werewolf, a sorcerer, and an army of frost giants for an epic showdown against vicious Valkyries, angry gods, and the hammer-wielding Thunder Thug himself.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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Middle Grade ARC Giveaway! {Beastkeeper+}

Book Giveaway

Beastkeeper, Villain Keeper, The Box and the Dragonfly, and Stolen Magic Giveaway

Hello lovely people! You have probably guessed by now that middle grade fantasy holds a special place in my heart full of wonder and whimsy :D. Therefore, I wanted to do a giveaway highlighting some of the GREAT middle grade fantasy that is coming out in the coming months so you can read it early! Which books am I giving away you ask? (hint: look up!) Here is more information on them all (click the images for Goodreads) ;-)

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Stitching Snow by R. C. Lewis eARC {3 Stars}

Stitching Snow by R. C. Lewis is a futuristic sci-fi retelling of Snow White and a fairly fun tale of adventure and love. I had originally worried it would be too similar to Cress based on Stitching Snow’s description, however I’m happy to report that those fears were completely unfounded! While the combination of fairytale elements with sci-fi technology was often cute, Stitching Snow ended up having some pretty big pacing and character dynamics problems that left me finding it only mildly enjoyable. It was a fun adventure while it lasted though!

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

Stitching Snow by R. C. Lewis eARC {3 Stars}

Stitching Snow by R. C. Lewis
Published by Disney Hyperion on Oct. 14th, 2014
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, Sci-fi, YA
Length: 338 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Princess Snow is missing.

Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back—but that’s assuming she wants to return at all.

Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.

When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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Updates from the Lair 1/17/15

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!). 

What a week it has been! As I discussed yesterday, my back has been giving me a whole lot more trouble this week and I’m back on some pretty heavy dose pain meds, woohoo! I worked late pretty much every night this week except when the boy drove out to see me on Wednesday :D. Normally we don’t see each other in the middle of the week, so that was exciting. He has moved to 12-hour night shifts where he works two days, has two off, works three days, has two off, etc. This means he’s working every other weekend, so I was on my own this weekend for the first time since I started grad school! If my back wasn’t hurting so much, I would have been crazy productive, but as it was I got some fun bloggy things caught up on and read some books :D. I don’t even have to be sad about missing him since he has Monday off so I’ll see him then :D. Oh and I started class and TAing >.>. Which are both going quite well ;-).

Also I feel the need to put in a plug for the electronic pulse massager I’ve been using on my back because it is AMAZING. My muscles keep spasming and cramping because of my back being messed up and this thing sends little electrical shocks to reset them just like my physical therapist does when I see her on bad days. If you get muscle spasms, you seriously have to try this thing!

My Week

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. MaasAmusingly, the two books that I had planned to start this week after finishing my current reads are the ones I ended up reading and finishing >.>. So I finished Crown of Midnight this weekend (which is good since it is expired!) and while I wasn’t blown away by it (4.5 average rating on Goodreads?????), I do see why so many people enjoy this series now ;-). Celaena definitely is less annoying and the magic in the world is getting cool. I have yet to form a strong emotional connection with this series, but they are enjoyable and easy enough that I’ll continue with them, haha.

Calling on DragonsHaha, so this is not the cover for Calling on Dragons that my edition has, but I couldn’t resist using it since there really is a flying donkey in it :D. This was the other book that I said I’d start last week and look, I started and finished it :D. Since this week was pretty hard, a fun middle grade was really all my brain was up for at times, ha. I didn’t laugh as much as I did with the first two books, but I had fun and that’s all I really needed.
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When Life Gets Hard

Book Discussion

Personal Time: When Life Gets Hard

Today’s post, as it says above, is going to get personal and not be super book related except to discuss how life difficulties have affected my reading and blogging ;-). Feel free to skip if you aren’t that interested in my life, hehe. In any case, some of you might have noticed that it has gotten quieter and quieter around here even past my decision to no longer post on Mondays. I want to first reassure you that I’m not going anywhere, I love this blog and I love reading so I will always come back despite ups and downs!

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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 Angie for winning last week, enjoy the giftcard :D. This week I’m adding a series along with a fun upcoming!

Leveller Scorched Shattered

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 Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas Audiobook {2 Stars}

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas is a collection of novellas that tell the story of Throne of Glass’ heroine, Celeana, before the events of the first book. Since The Assassin’s Blade was released in a gorgeous bound edition, I of course had to buy it. And since I owned it, I wanted to actually read it ;-). I had heard that The Assassin’s Blade is where Celaena really proves herself to be the country’s best assassin, so I went in having high hopes that my concerns after book one would be soothed. However, I ended up just getting more frustrated for much of The Assassin’s Blade since I really don’t feel that Celaena was acting like even a halfway decent assassin, let alone the best in her guild. Before you start throwing rotten fruit, let’s discuss ;-).

Note: I listened to The Assassin’s Blade on audio, which definitely changes my reading experience.

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas Audiobook {2 Stars}

The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas
Narrated by Elizabeth Evans
(Throne of Glass #0.1-0.5)
Published by Bloomsbury on March 4th, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Length: 448 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan's most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin's Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas - together in one edition for the first time - Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn's orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.

2 Stars

Strengths:
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