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Updates from the Lair 11/23/14

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!). 

Lovelies! I just spent a large chunk of time responding to comments because I’d gotten behind and I feel the need to make sure you all know that I freaking love you! You have no idea how much of a fool I look like when reading and responding to comments because of the grin on my face. The boy seriously has laughed at me before! Anytime I’m feeling down about blogging for some silly reason, I just need to read over comments and talk to you because I instantly feel better, so hugs all around!

Oh you want to hear about my week too????? Well I got the last steroid injection and am feeling pretty good (and sleeping laying down *gasp*), though kind of sore now that I’m moving like normal humans are supposed to >.>. And otherwise my week has been kind of all over, but fairly productive as I prepare for THE GREAT MINNESOTA ADVENTURE! i.e. the week the boy and I take every holiday to drive to and all over Minnesota to visit with all of our family. Fortunately the boy drives most of it so I’ll get to read, though he’ll need me to take over in Wisconsin since he finds it boring to drive through ;-). Audiobook time! Anyway, can you tell I’m hyper on comment love???????

My Week

Hammered I haven’t had much time to actually READ, but I have had time to listen to the audio of Hammered! I have to admit that I’m clearly not in an Atticus mood since Hammered isn’t doing much for me. I think that I got so attached to the every-day dynamics with Oberon and his staff that since Hammered takes place mostly away from home, I’m just not getting what I had come to expect. I just got through the part where we find out why everyone hates Thor so much. I also just wasn’t that into how that information was delivered >.>. I’m such a downer on this one right now D:

A Court of Thorns and Roses Yes, I caved and started A Court of Thorns and Roses even though that is a ridiculous decision! I’m only like 50 pages in since I’ve been reading it right before bed and I’ve just been exhausted this week. I’m worried about the Beauty and the Beast retelling aspect since that is just a hit or miss tale for me, but I’m loving that the Fae are creepy and where masks because MASKS ARE AWESOME! I’m having so much fun imagining the beautifully described masks and trying to figure out why they wear them :D.
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Advice for Starting a Blog

Book Discussion

My Advice for Starting a Blog

You may have noticed that I’ve been blogging here for a while (3 years? I don’t even know >.>), but what you may not know is that I recently have been getting a second blog up and running for my research lab (science!). I still remember back to when I was first starting up this blog and I’ll tell you a secret: I didn’t even know about the book blogging community! I just wanted to make a blog to try it out and reading was the only hobby I had ever stuck with long term so it seemed to be a reasonable thing to blog about, ha. If you really want to take a walk down memory lane with me, go ahead and check out my original WordPress.com blog ;-).

In any case, I frequently see advice from experienced bloggers to people thinking or in the process of starting a blog (such as Kelly’s post that originally inspired this one) and to be honest, those articles kind of overwhelm me even though I already have a blog D:
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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 Betsy for winning this past week and excellent choices (Stitching Snow and The Ophelia Prophecy!), enjoy :D. As usual it seems, I still need to clear out a lot of these ARCs, so we’ll do two books to US winner’s again and here are the new ones on the pile:

Burn for Me The Courage of Cat Campbell

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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Captive by Aimee Carter ARC {4 Stars}

Captive by Aimee Carter continues Kitty’s fight for survival in a future where the results from a test determine your entire future and worth to society and she is about to find out just how dark her country’s secrets are in Elsewhere. If you haven’t read Pawn, I definitely recommend stopping now and going to check out that review instead since there are some crazy awesome plot twists that you don’t want to spoil ;-). I know Pawn was a fairly divisive book, so really if you enjoyed Pawn, you’ll love Captive, but if you didn’t, Captive continues in the same style though darker, so you’ll have to decide for yourself whether to continue the series.

Note: I read an advanced copy of Captive. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Captive by Aimee Carter ARC {4 Stars}

Captive by Aimée Carter (The Blackcoat Rebellion #1)
Published by Harlequin Teen on Nov. 25th, 2014
Genres: Dystopia, YA
Length: 304 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

For the past two months, Kitty Doe's life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate the Prime Minister's niece, her frustration grows as her trust in her fake fiancé cracks, her real boyfriend is forbidden and the Blackcoats keep her in the dark more than ever.

But in the midst of discovering that her role in the Hart family may not be as coincidental as she thought, she's accused of treason and is forced to face her greatest fear: Elsewhere. A prison where no one can escape.

As one shocking revelation leads to the next, Kitty learns the hard way that she can trust no one, not even the people she thought were on her side. With her back against the wall, Kitty wants to believe she'll do whatever it takes to support the rebellion she believes in—but is she prepared to pay the ultimate price?

4 Stars

Strengths:
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This Shattered World Bound Manuscript Giveaway!

Book Giveaway

This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

This Shattered World Manuscript Giveaway

At BEA I was very lucky to grab a bound manuscript of This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner! I absolutely loved the first book, These Broken Stars, but this is a companion so you don’t have to worry about catching up if you haven’t gotten to These Broken Stars yet (but you should >.>). This Shattered World sounds like it’ll have a more space sci-fi feel to it:
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The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas Audiobook {4 Stars}

The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas is a fantasy series that has been getting a crazy amount of hype. When the second book, The Perilous Sea, came out earlier this year, I knew I needed to find out what everyone was gushing about. Therefore, I turned to audiobooks because how else was I supposed to fit it in in a timely manner?? Fortunately, there was pretty good narration, so I now have happily started The Burning Sky series and am just one book away from being all caught up! While I wouldn’t say it blew my mind, I can definitely see where The Burning Sky has the potential to begin a truly ground-breaking fantasy series, and it has that whole girl-disguised-as-a-boy thing that so many of you love ;-).

Note: I listened to The Burning Sky which inarguably influences my reading experience.

The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas Audiobook {4 Stars}

The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
Narrated by Philip Battley
(The Elemental Trilogy #1)
Published by Balzer & Bray on Sept. 17th, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Length: 464 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

It all began with a ruined elixir and a bolt of lightning.

Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she's been told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the most powerful tyrant and mage the world has ever known. This would be a suicide task for anyone, let alone a reluctant sixteen-year-old girl with no training.

Guided by his mother's visions and committed to avenging his family, Prince Titus has sworn to protect Iolanthe even as he prepares her for their battle with the Bane. But he makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the tyrant closing in, Titus must choose between his mission—and her life.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Updates from the Lair 11/16/14

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!). 

First off, I’ve been nominated in the Best Sci-fi and Fantasy category for the Book Blog Awards and so would love for you to go check out all the nominees (in all the other categories that interest you too!) and vote for who you’d like to vote for ;-).

But now that that’s over, hmmm this week was… average? I had productive days and unproductive days but overall am feeling pretty good with the blog, reading, and work/class. I’ve started bringing our lab blog back from the dead, which has been fun to transfer all the skills I’ve learned from this blog to that since blogging and social media is becoming big in science as well now. I feel like I’ve finally started hitting that wall where I’m reading more than I can write reviews for mostly because I’ve been in the mood for reading instead of review writing >.>. I just need to have a productive blogging weekend to catch up really, but the weekends have been a bit… not that, ha. I’ve gotten really into nail polish all of a sudden, I think due to the lack of color in Michigan this time of year, hehe.

My Week in Books

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My Life Expressed as Four YA SF/F Books {INT Giveaway Hop}

Getting to Know You Hop

 My Life Expressed as Four ARCs

Cuddlebuggery Getting to Know You HopThose four to be specific: Death Marked, Unleashed, A Wicked Thing, and Quake. And yes, those are the four ARCs the US winner can receive. If an international reader wins, then they’ll have their choice of pre-orders from those four or one of the previous books in the series! :D
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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 Shay for winning Catalyst and Rogue Knight last week, enjoy :D. We’ll do another week of two ARCs for US winners, we’re almost to the point where I’m sending out more books than bringing in, which is kind of the goal ;-). Here are the books I’m adding to the stack:

Anybody Shining Infinite Sky Books of Storms

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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Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker eARC {3 Stars}

Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker is a spooky tale set in the swamplands of the south and full of a diverse array of characters to boot. Even if you’re a bit of a scaredy cat like myself, you just have to get through the first half and it becomes much safer to read Beware the Wild before bed ;-). While in the end Beware the Wild didn’t finish as strong as it started, fans of gothic and southern tales, as well as standalones, won’t want to miss out.

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

Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker eARC {3 Stars}

Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker
Published by HarperTeen on Oct. 21st, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Fantasy, YA
Length: 336 pages
How I got my copy: Edelweiss
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

It's an oppressively hot and sticky morning in June when Sterling and her brother, Phin, have an argument that compels him to run into the town swamp -- the one that strikes fear in all the residents of Sticks, Louisiana. Phin doesn't return. Instead, a girl named Lenora May climbs out, and now Sterling is the only person in Sticks who remembers her brother ever existed.

Sterling needs to figure out what the swamp's done with her beloved brother and how Lenora May is connected to his disappearance -- and loner boy Heath Durham might be the only one who can help her.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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