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2014 Review Pile Reading Challenge: June Reviews

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Welcome to the sixth month of the Review Pile Reading Challenge hosted by me – Rachel @ Fiktshun – and Reanna @ Phantasmic Reads!

While this challenge is well underway – and almost half over – it is still not too late to join! Just check out the SIGN-UP POST for more details.

If you’ve already signed up, then all you have to do is stop back and leave your links to your June review book reviews at the bottom of this post. This month’s Linky List – and each month’s list throughout the challenge – will be open for one week beyond the end of the month, closing on July 7th.

If for some reason you forget to link up your review during the month, you can always add that link to next month’s Linky List. BUT you cannot enter a review link more than once.

June RPRC Giveaway

The giveaway for this sixth month of the challenge is for…

TWO books of your choice (not to exceed $40) to be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository – to ONE winner.

You can enter this month’s giveaway by leaving your review links in this month’s Linky List below AND by leaving a comment at the bottom of this post listing which review books you hope to tackle in June (or July if you’re posting later in the month).

This giveaway is only open to those signed up for the challenge, leave a comment and who leave at least one review link this month. There are extra entries for each additional review link left.

The winner will be chosen by Random and announced on July 9th.

***UPDATE***

And the winner is…

#134 Jennifer @ FFT Reviews for her review of Never Entice an Earl.

***END OF UPDATE***

April & May Reads

Since I’m posting every other month, I have two months worth of bookish reads to share. And since I won’t be posting again until August, I thought I’d share which books I hope to read in June and July.

And while I didn’t read all of my planned reads, I did read many of them. Which isn’t too bad, especially since I’ve already passed the number of books I’d hoped to read for this entire challenge.

Of course I didn’t get to review them all just yet.

My April & May reads were…
  1. TEASE by Amanda Maciel. Read 4.9.14.
  2. DON’T LOOK BACK by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Read 4.11.14.
  3. TEASE by Sophie Jordan. Read 4.14.14.
  4. ALL LINED UP by Cora Carmack. Read 4.18.14.
  5. THE LOVELY AND THE LOST by Page Morgan. Read 4.30.14.
  6. TEMPTING THE BODYGUARD by J. Lynn. Read 5.2.14.
  7. DON’T CALL ME BABY by Gwendolyn Heasley. Read 5.4.14.
  8. BREAKABLE by Tammara Webber. Read 5.6.14.
  9. TAKE ME ON by Katie McGarry. Read 5.11.14.
  10. THE STEPSISTER’S TALE by Tracy Barrett. Read 5.18.14.
  11. SNOW LIKE ASHES by Sara Raasch. Read 5.26.14.

While it’s four fewer books than I read last time around, that’s because I read a few less review books and a few more books I had in my collection over the past couple of months. Not many. Just a few. But still, I loved reading every single one of those non-review books.

June & July Reads

I’m terrible at planning ahead. Especially since I haven’t had a moment to think about what’s coming up over the next couple of months. And as my mood has been shifting like crazy, I just don’t know what I’ll end up reading. I just hope I get the chance to review a few more than I did over the last couple of months.

My reads…

If I’m staying on plan, I hope to read eight books during the months of June and July and I hope to review at least four of them.

In June I hope to read:

TRIAL BY FIRE by Josephine Angelini (releases September 2nd)

THE PERILOUS SEA by Sherry Thomas (releases September 16th)

WINGS by Elizabeth Richards (releases June 12th)

#scandal by Sarah Ockler (releases June 17th)

In July I hope to read:

THE HALF LIFE OF MOLLY PIERCE by Katrina Leno (releases July 8th)

MORTAL DANGER by Ann Aguirre (releases August 5th)

DELIVERANCE by C.J. Redwine (releases August 26th)

A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU by Claudia Gray (releases November 4th)

What about you?

What review books are you planning on reading this June? Whether you wish to enter the giveaway or not, leave a comment as I’d love to know!

June Link Up!




2014 Review Pile Reading Challenge: April Reviews

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Welcome to month four of the Review Pile Reading Challenge hosted by me – Rachel @ Fiktshun – and Reanna @ Phantasmic Reads!

While this challenge is well underway, it’s still not too late to join! Just check out the SIGN-UP POST for more details.

If you’ve already signed up, then all you have to do is stop back and leave your links to your April review book reviews at the bottom of this post. This month’s Linky List – and each month’s list throughout the challenge – will be open for one week beyond the end of the month, closing on May 7th.

If for some reason you forget to link up your review during the month, you can always add that link to next month’s Linky List. BUT you cannot enter a review link more than once.

April RPRC Giveaway

The giveaway for this fourth month of the challenge is for…

A book of your choice (not to exceed $25) to be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository – to ONE winner.

You can enter this month’s giveaway by leaving your review links in this month’s Linky List below AND by leaving a comment at the bottom of this post listing which review books you hope to tackle in April.

This giveaway is only open to those signed up for the challenge, leave a comment and who leave at least one review link this month. There are extra entries for each additional review link left.

The winner will be chosen by Random and announced on May 9th.

***UPDATE***
And the winner is….

Lauren @ Lose Time Reading – entry #60!

***END OF UPDATE***

February & March Reads

Since I’m posting every other month, I have two months worth of bookish reads to share. And while I didn’t list which books I’d hoped to read in March in my last post for the challenge, I will be sharing which books I hope to read in April and May.

But I am happy to say that I managed to read most of my planned February reads. Although I didn’t quite get the chance to review them all.

My February & March reads were…

  1. THE UNSEEMLY EDUCATION OF ANNE MERCHANT by Joanna Wiebe
  2. FIRE & FLOOD by Victoria Scott
  3. LANDRY PARK by Bethany Hagen
  4. DEATH SWORN by Leah Cypess
  5. THE SECRET DIAMOND SISTERS by Michelle Madow
  6. STEADFAST by Claudia Gray
  7. THE PINK and THE SELL OUT from the GRIM ANTHOLOGY by Amanda Hocking and Jackson Pearce
  8. THE WINNER’S CURSE by Marie Rutkoski
  9. HALF BAD by Sally Green
  10. ELUSION by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam
  11. THE FOREVER SONG by Julie Kagawa (review TK April 8th)
  12. FORETOLD by Rinda Elliott
  13. THROUGH TO YOU by Lauren Barnholdt
  14. ON THE FENCE by Kasie West
  15. THE RING AND THE CROWN by Melissa de la Cruz
April & May Reads

Planning a couple of months ahead is not easy. Who knows what my reading mood will be sixty days from now. But I hope I stay (somewhat) on track. And I hope I manage to review a few more of those February and March books.

My reads…

If I’m staying on plan, I hope to read eight books during the months of April and May and I hope to review at least four of them.

In April I hope to read:

DON’T LOOK BACK by Jennifer L. Armentrout (releases April 15th)

TEASE by Amanda Maciel (releases April 29th)

THE WARRIOR by Victoria Scott (releases May 6th)

THE LOVELY AND THE LOST by Page Morgan (releases May 13th)

In May I hope to read:

CHANTRESS ALCHEMY by Amy Butler Greenfield (releases May 6th)

SECOND STAR by Alyssa B. Sheinmel (releases May 13th)

TEASE by Sophie Jordan (releases May 27th)

MY LAST KISS by Bethany Neal (releases June 10th)

Of course I plan on reading so many more of the upcoming review books I have on hand before their release dates in April or May.

What about you?

What review books are you planning on reading this April? Whether you wish to enter the giveaway or not, leave a comment as I’d love to know!

April Link Up!




Epic Fail Moments in Blogging #4: Giveaways

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Sharing my fail moments one post at a time…

Epic-Fail-GIVEAWAYS

You’d think it would be pretty hard to fail when it comes to giveaways, wouldn’t you? I certainly thought so. I mean, you have something to give away, it’s free and it’s likely that someone wants it, so where exactly is there room for failure? Answer: In the execution, for starters.

And in my case, it was all about the execution.

I’ve given away lots of stuff for free in real life. People would travel for miles to pick up the stuff I was giving away on craiglist. I put up flyers on my apartment’s community board with pics and people would call asking if the set of dishes, furniture, DVDs I was giving away were still available.

But my first couple of giveaways on the blog? Complete and total fails. Epic fails. They were such big failures that I’m mortified to even admit that I held them. I still cringe when thinking about them. Yes, they were that bad.

To start with, there was the issue with timing. I was a really small blog. I had no audience. While giveaways have the potential to draw an audience you have to be able to get the word out in the right way. And, of course, the giveaways have to make sense.

I had no following on social media, I hated sharing posts on Twitter – I think I’d been on Twitter for a week (or less) at the time – I had no following on my blog and my giveaways were were so poorly thought out I still wonder just how my brain managed to take a vacation without me knowing about it.

The backstory….

In November 2010 I was still clueless about book blogging. I have a slow learning curve. And being anti-social doesn’t – and didn’t – help. My friend Nic offered up suggestions on things to do, as she was much more comfortable scoping out blogs online than I was.

She told me I had to get the GFC widget as other blogs she’d discovered had them. She told me I had to make my blog posts available by email, so that she could read them in her inbox, like she did other blogs’ posts. And she told me that I really should think about hosting a giveaway as that seemed to be something other book bloggers did.

As I was no stranger to giving things away, I figured, “Why not?!?”

Here’s what happened… a.k.a. how I failed.

I let my brain get the best of me.

I came up with an idea, a theme if you will, for the giveaways. Which, at that time, I’d labeled “contests.” It was a bad, bad, bad, idea. Which, come to think of it, probably explains why I use Jaime as my sounding board. I do not want to make that kind of mistake again. And, for the record, no, I never bounced my ideas off Nic after that.

But before I reveal my “shame spiral” idea, I have to say that, sadly, this wasn’t the only fail when it came to my first two giveaways.

I’d taken a look at some of the giveaways Nic had pointed out to me so that I could structure the rules for mine in similar fashion. I decided upon follow via Google Friend Connect and leave a comment for the first giveaway. I’d gotten a little more enthusiastic with the second by adding, in addition to those two options, tweet about the giveaway and post the contest on your blog.

On first glance the rules don’t seem entirely ridiculous – though I still think posting about a giveaway is too much to ask – but… I did not specify if any of those things were mandatory or optional. And looking back at them today, I’m still not entirely sure what my intent was.

If I don’t have the first clue how can I expect anyone else to?

Which leads to the next reason my giveaways failed…. THE IDEA. Yes, this ties in to people being clueless.

*Cringes* … *Cringes again*…

I thought it would be a grand idea to have the winner of the contest be someone who could “Guess My Favorite Quote” from the book(s) I was giving away. Yes, that’s right. Because a complete stranger should somehow know me well enough to figure out what single quote in a three book (or more) series is my favorite. Or in the alternative know that I likely would have listed said favorite quote on my Goodreads profile.

Oh, and no, it was not multiple choice….

And, yes, the only person who entered both giveaways was my friend Nic. And, no, she didn’t guess correctly for either, though I did award her both prizes.

Why else did I fail?

I held both giveaways within a few days of one another. Even when I knew the first one was a complete and utter failure.

I did not tweet about either giveaway beyond the first day I posted them. So my twenty (or fewer) twitter followers likely never even knew I was hosting a giveaway.

At the time I was getting less than forty visitors a day on my site, so even if the contest was less convoluted and the rules more clear, I probably wouldn’t have had more than five or ten entrants.

I wasn’t a part of the blogging community. I hadn’t made any friends, I’m not even sure I’d spoken to a book blogger at that point, so I didn’t have anyone who could help spread the word.

Lesson learned?

Heck yes.

Aside from posting about author giveaways in order to gain entry into their giveaways, I stayed giveaway-free on the blog until February when I held a fairly quiet thank you giveaway for my three month blogoversary.

And while I did try again with the “Guess My Favorite Quote” idea – yeah, I went there – it was multiple choice and it was only for an extra entry opportunity.

Have I recovered?

No. Not yet. But maybe, just maybe, now that the cat is out of the bag I can begin the recovery process.

I think I’ve always been waiting for someone to call me on this, to say, “Hey, remember that ‘brilliant’ idea of yours to have a ‘Guess My Favorite Quote’ contest? Well, I’m still laughing about that one.”

And while that may still happen, at least now it won’t be out of left field. This FAIL isn’t a “dirty little secret” I’m just waiting for someone to discover. It’s out in the open.

I am owning the FAIL.

But what about you?

Were any of the giveaways you held a flop? Was it due to the fact that it was just too soon in your blog’s existence? Or did you have it all wrong, like I did, and it was a failure of EPIC PROPORTIONS?

Was it the execution that failed? The giveaway prize? Or was it a combination of both?

How long did you wait before you tried again? Or was it so bad you’ve yet to take the risk?

And did you even think it was possible for there to be epic fail moments when it came to giveaways?


Novella Reading Week Begins!

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It’s finally here! I cannot believe I get to spend an entire week reading novellas. It feels like such a guilty pleasure. Especially with the pile of review books I have. But the timing couldn’t be more perfect, as I am totally in the mood to dive into shorter reads.

And I’m super excited to be co-hosting the week with Mindy of Magical Urban Fantasy Reads who has some amazing novellas on her pile this week. If you’d like to check out what she’s reading, stop by her site, HERE.

While I already mentioned the five books I definitely plan on reading for Novella Reading Week in the My Reading Pile post on Saturday, I thought I’d show them, and a few other novellas I’d love to read, here.

The Novellas

While I only think I’ll be able to read the five I mentioned in My Reading Pile, my goal is to read seven novellas this week. And if I can read a few more, then I’ll be totally stoked!

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GLITTER & DOOM (Masque of the Red Death #1.5) by Bethany Griffin

DESTROY ME (Shatter Me #1.5) by Tahereh Mafi

ORIGINS: THE FIRE (Mila 2.0 #0.5) by Debra Driza

DIE FOR HER (Die for Me #2.5) by Amy Plum

FLIRTING WITH MAYBE by Wendy Higgins

UNDONE (Unraveling #1.5) by Elizabeth Norris

RADIANT (Unearthly #2.5) by Cynthia Hand

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IN PERU (The Bane Chronicles #1) by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan

THE ASSASSIN AND THE PIRATE LORD (Throne of Glass #0.1) by Sarah J. Maas

THE ASSASSIN AND THE DESERT (Throne of Glass #0.2) by Sarah J. Maas

THE ASSASSIN AND THE UNDERWORLD (Throne of Glass #0.3) by Sarah J. Maas

ONE DAY MORE (A Life After Theft Novella) by Aprilynne Pike

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And while I have listed these twelve novellas for this challenge, I may go off-pile and read any of the twenty or thirty other novellas I have on my Kindle waiting to be read. Maybe I’ll even find a new one.

The Giveaway

As mentioned in the sign-up post, there is a giveaway associated with this reading week.

What’s up for grabs?

$25 in Books of Your Choice to TWO (2) Winners!

The Deets

To be eligible for the giveaway you must have signed up for the challenge in the post linked above.

There are TWO ways in which you can gain an entry into this giveaway, which ends at the end of Novella Reading Week at 11:59 p.m. Pacific on June 16th:

1) Leave a link to your review post on your Blog, Facebook, Tumblr, Goodreads or other online site in the Linky in this post. Each review link will count as one entry.

OR

2) Share your non-spoiler-y thoughts in the comments, then leave a generic link in the Linky in this post to a place you hang out online – Blog, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Goodreads – so we can contact you if you’ve won. But only your comment will count as an entry. So be sure to leave a new comment with your thoughts about each novella you read.

Winners will be chosen via Random and announced in this post and contacted by email.

The Winners

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Everyone’s entries were thrown into Random and it has chosen…

Novella Reading Week Winners

Congratulations Vivien and Jen! Random chose you as the winners for Novella Reading Week. I will be contacting you You’ve been contacted by email for your details and your book selections. I hope you had an awesome time reading those novellas!

And thanks so much to everyone who participated in the event last week and for sharing your thoughts about each of your reads!

***A note: Both winners did share their thoughts. The Random only says “not a review” as that was my alert that the entry was only the name, not a link to the review, and that I needed to check the comments for the number of review entries that should get added.***

Link up!

Good luck in the challenge this week! I hope you get to read a few novellas you’ve been just dying to read and maybe even a few new ones you hadn’t even thought about reading until now!

Just leave your review links in the Linky below or your thoughts in the comments.

Happy Novella Reading!




Today is a Most Dire Day Indeed + an Unfortunate Giveaway

Today is a most #DireDay thanks to Harper Collins Children’s Books. Yesterday I received three boxes of Lemon Snicket’s THE BAD BEGINNING which was terribly unfortunate for me. But today things are much, much worse.

Because, today, I will be sending this most unpleasant of books out into the world. And I will be spreading my misfortune to YOU.

If Friday the 13th wasn’t enough of a reason to stay indoors and hide yourself away, perhaps knowing that Lemony Snicket and his most wretched book THE BAD BEGINNING will be hitting the streets and taking over a city near you will suffice. And if not? Well, you have been warned. A copy of this most unfortunate book might find its way to you.

But even if you thought you were safe by staying indoors, away from these pitiful books being dropped, you were mistaken. Because there is no escaping this bothersome book.

See? I told you it was a most #DireDay!

While the largest group of these terrible books will be spreading their misery throughout my city, I can’t help but want to share the misery with those across the country and around the world.

And so I will be giving away 30 copies of this most unfortunate book here on the blog – up to 10 of which I will be willing to share internationally. Yes, how unfortunate a day it will be for you!

So if you would like to win a copy of this terrible book, THE BAD BEGINNING, enter for your chance in the form below. And hopefully you, too, will get to experience this #DireDay for yourself.

For Some More Unpleasantness

If you have not yet had the misfortune of meeting Lemony Snicket or learning about this first book in his A SERIES OF MOST UNFORTUNATE EVENTSyou can find more unpleasantness…

On FACEBOOK

On his WEBSITE

On GOODREADS.

And to find other ways to win one of these extremely unpleasant books, be sure to look for the #DireDay tweets on TWITTER. Because as this is such a #DireDay you might just be unlucky enough to win.

A Most Bothersome Book

 

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Dear Reader,

I’m sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.

In this short book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast.

It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

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A Most Unfortunate Giveaway

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What’s up for grabs:

Thirty pitiful copies of THE BAD BEGINNING by Lemony Snicket

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UPDATE: The giveaway should have said THIRTY WINNERS not ONE WINNER! My apologies! 

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The deets:

1. One entry per household.

2. There will be ONE winner. THIRTY WINNERS.

3. You must be 13 or older.

4. Giveaway is International up to 10 copies.

5. Contest ends on Friday, July 13th at 9:01 p.m. Pacific.

6. Winner WINNERS will be chosen by Random.org through Rafflecopter and announced on July 14th in this post.

7. Winner WINNERS will have 72 hours after notification to respond with their details.

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There is no requirement to like or follow. But to help spread the misery, there is an extra entry opportunity if you tweet!

If you are viewing this post via email you may have to click the link to enter the giveaway on the blog if the Rafflectoper form doesn’t work.

Enter at your own risk below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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