goodreads

My Super Late June Wrap Up

Better late than never right?….

Books Read

Shadowland (Cassandra Palmer, #4.2) Updating Pritkin (Cassandra Palmer, #5.5) The Force of Wind (Elemental Mysteries, #3) Milk and Honey Sputnik Sweetheart First Drop of Crimson (Night Huntress World, #1) Ride the Storm (Cassandra Palmer, #8) Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7) Feral Sins (The Phoenix Pack, #1) Faro's Daughter My Life as a White Trash Zombie (White Trash Zombie, #1)

Highlights

Ride the Storm

Ride the Storm by Karen Chance ★★★★★

The 8th book in Chance’s Cassie Palmer series sees several long running story lines come to a head (at last!). I had been waiting with bated breath for some of these and was not disappointed with the outcome.

The series follows Cassie Palmer, a clairvoyant time-traveling disaster magnet (love her!!), on her adventures ( or misadventures…) as the supernatural community’s new leading clairvoyant, The Pythia. Cassie isn’t your usual urban fantasy leading lady, she’s much more of an “every-woman” than a “warrior-woman” thrust into strenuous situations she isn’t prepared for. And, heck, we’ve all been there!! Cassie handles it all though and comes back swinging.

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Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur ★★★★☆

I gave this 4 stars but 3.5 would be more accurate. A lot of the poems really resonated with me but I disliked the formatting and it occasionally seemed more like whining from a young woman’s diary than observations on life.

A lot of poetry seems to be written in this format now, all lower case and just a few sentences… it doesn’t seem like poetry to me but who the heck am I to judge!

Some parts I loved some I found frustrating but I guess the point of poetry is to make you feel something which it certainly did.

The Force of Wind

The Force of the Wind by Elizabeth Hunter ★★★★★

The 3rd book in Hunter’s Elemental Mysteries series is a slow burner for the most part and then explodes into a rousing inferno. Three anticipated story lines come to a head with varying outcomes.

The Elemental Mysteries follows Giovanni Vecchio and Beatrice De Novo as they unravel the secrets behind Beatrice’s missing father, Giovanni’s long lost library, his iniquitous son and how these things may be connected.

Oh and Gio is a vampire with fire elemental abilities.

First Drop of Crimson

First Drop of Crimson by Jeaniene Frost ★★★★★

Now I know everyone seems to LOVE Cat and Bones from Frost’s Nighthuntress series but I gotta say I preferred this spin-off novel way more. I don’t know what it is about those two but I just don’t like them all that much… Cat and Bones are not the main characters in this book but I would recommend following the authors suggested reading order. There are some definite spoilers for Nighthuntress if you’re reading it.

This one follows two friends of Cat and Bones as they battle a shape-shifting demon. Much more paranormal romance focused than the other series as well. A very fun read, I gobbled it up.

Sputnik Sweetheart

Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami ★★★★★

This one really surprised me. I had never read anything by Murakami and only listened to this because it was part of Scribd selects last month. I didn’t really know what to expect from the author or the story (I was flying totally blind) but it grabbed me and sucked me in like a whirlpool. The story follows a disquieting love triangle (not the annoying YA kind) between K, Sumire and Miu. The relationships the three characters have really highlight human emotion, the need for connection, friendship and desire.

Lover Avenged

Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward ★★★★★

Took me ages to get into this book and damn near got whiplash from all the POV’s. Freaking loved it in the end though. This is the 7th book in Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. The romance plot for this one centres on Rehvenge but the book follows most of the main characters. The story is very exciting and the lessers are finally starting to look like a serious threat and interesting enemy.

Faro's Daughter

Faro’s Daughter by Georgette Heyer ★★★★★

Despite Heyer being considered the mother of Historical Romance by many, I had never heard of her. I had spotted the audio book on Scribd selects a few times but never gave it much of a glance until last month. I couldn’t sleep and this was free and short, I figured ‘what the hey?!’. I ended up loving the story. It reminded me a bit of Elizabeth Hoyt’s or Kresley Cole’s historical romances with a sassy strong willed heroine and a roguish hero engaging in an intriguing têteà-tête. 

My Life as a White Trash Zombie

My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland ★★★★★

First of all, how cool is that cover?! About as cool as this freaking book!! Such a fun story that may seem familiar if you’ve watched iZombie but only as far as both protagonists are blond females who happen to be zombies and work in the morgue. Another similarity is that the zombies seem to remain intelligent and fresh as long as they continue to eat brains. But White Trash Zombie was so much fun!! I listened to the audio book of this and the narrator was amazing, I highly recommend the audio.

The story follows Angel Crawford after she wakes up in the ER after an apparent overdose with no idea what’s going on, a new job and delivery of mystery milkshakes. Her “life” takes some mad turns and then a serial killer shows up to keep things interesting. Brilliant story, I ordered the next book before I even finished this one.


So that’s it for June. I didn’t read too much last month (I’ve already read more this month) but it was a good month. I really enjoyed almost all of the books I read.

Now I’m off to do dishes, make dinner and listen to my audiobook. Laters!

Vampire Academy Reading Challenge

People, it’s June, can you believe it??!! Since we’re half way through the year it’s time to finish my biannual reading challenges. This year I done two 6 month challenges from Jan to June. Luckily most of the books I read suited both challenges.

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Duration
6 months

Levels
Bachelors Degree – 12 books 2 tasks per module
Masters Degree – 24 books 4 tasks per module
Doctoral Degree – 36 books 6 tasks per module

Modules
♱ Immortality & Resurrection
♱ Celestial Transitions
♱ Fangology
♱ Strigoi Studies
♱ Undead Politics
♱ Interspecies Relations


Doctoral Degree – 36 books Jan – Jun 2017

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Being a member of the Undead, living eternally
Read a book where…
1. a character is a vampire Carmilla 1/1/17
2. a character is immortal Dark Desires After Dusk 2/1/17
3. a character dies Claimed By Shadow 6/1/17
4. a character resurrected The Darkest Passion 27/1/17
5. there are zombies or ghosts Ghost Story 20/1/17
6. a character is over 500 years old Changes 16/1/17

Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu Dark Desires After Dusk (Immortals After Dark #6) by Kresley Cole Claimed By Shadow (Cassie Palmer, #2) by Karen Chance The Darkest Passion (Lords of the Underworld #5) by Gena Showalter Ghost Story (The Dresden Files, #13) by Jim Butcher Changes (The Dresden Files, #12) by Jim Butcher

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No more sun, life in the moonlight
Read a book…
1. that takes place during summer Darkfever 1/2/17
2. with werewolves Shiver 5/1/17
3. that has a blue cover (blue moon) Before Midnight 8/1/17
4. with a circular object on the cover Here There Be Monsters 23/1/17
5. from the sci-fi genre Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets 3/3/17 wouldn’t have considered this sci fi but over 1000 people tagged it science fiction so I’m going with it
6. with vampires that can go out in the sun (even if it’s for a small amount of time) Spider’s Bite 11/1/17 (hide spoiler)]
Section completed 3/3/17
Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1) by Maggie Stiefvater Before Midnight (Blood Prince, #1) by Jennifer Blackstream Spider's Bite (Elemental Assassin, #1) by Jennifer Estep Here There Be Monsters (Iron Seas, #0.5) by Meljean Brook Darkfever (Fever, #1) by Karen Marie Moning Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2) by J.K. Rowling

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Taking care of your fangs, biting for blood
Read a book…
1. with teeth on cover Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? 10/2/17
2. where a character is a dentist or doctor Angel in Scarlet 10/2/17
3. where a character drinks blood Halfway to the Grave 13/1/17
4. that has a white cover The Harlequin 21/2/17
5. with a British character The House at Cobb End
6. that is a ‘guilty pleasure’ Depravity 15/1/17

The House at Cobb End (Cassandra Palmer, #5.1) by Karen Chance Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1) by Jeaniene Frost Depravity (Beastly Tales, #1) by M.J. Haag Angel in Scarlet by Jennifer Wilde Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? by Max Brallier The Harlequin (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #15) by Laurell K. Hamilton

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Vampires through the ages
Read a book…
[1. from the Historical genre The Leopard Prince 18/1/17
2. a book that you find scary or something scary happens Cold Days 31/1/17
3. with vampires that cannot go into the sun Jabril 16/2/17
4. with several species of vampire Side Jobs: Stories From the Dresden Files
5. with vampires that have special abilities Raphael 8/1/17
6. set in eastern Europe Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 12/4/17

Raphael (Vampires in America, #1) by D.B. Reynolds The Leopard Prince (Princes Trilogy, #2) by Elizabeth Hoyt Side Jobs Stories from the Dresden Files (The Dresden Files, #12.5) by Jim Butcher Cold Days (The Dresden Files, #14) by Jim Butcher Jabril (Vampires in America, #2) by D.B. Reynolds Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4) by J.K. Rowling

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Vampire laws, sect communications
Read a book…
1. where some of the characters live in a sect/pack/group Devastation 17/1/17
2. with a governing body/lord/queen Small Favor 2/1/17
3. there is a war/fight between groups Refugee 22/1/17
4. a character goes rogue Shitty Beer 6/1/17
5. a character breaks the law Turn Coat 10/1/17
6. a leader is attacked The Professional 20/1/17

Devastation (Beastly Tales #3) by M.J. Haag Small Favor (The Dresden Files, #10) by Jim Butcher Refugee (The Captive, #3) by Erica Stevens Shitty Beer by Karen Chance Turn Coat (The Dresden Files, #11) by Jim Butcher The Professional (The Game Maker, #1) by Kresley Cole

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Interacting with other creatures i.e. werewolves, witches, demons, etc.
Read a book…
1. with werewolves or shifters Kitty and the Midnight Hour 29/1/17
2. with angels or demons Skin Game 12/2/17
3. with humans that have abilities Web of Lies 6/2/17
4. with witches Embrace the Night 22/2/17
5. with fae/elves (includes goblins, brownies, dryads, etc.) Grizzly 31/1/17
6. with any other supernatural creature e.g. mermaids, dragons, unicorns, banshee, etc.) Deceit 16/1/17

Deceit (Beastly Tales, #2) by M.J. Haag Kitty and the Midnight Hour (Kitty Norville #1) by Carrie Vaughn Grizzly (The Realms, #1) by Bonnie Bliss Web of Lies (Elemental Assassin, #2) by Jennifer Estep Skin Game (The Dresden Files, #15) by Jim Butcher Embrace the Night (Cassandra Palmer, #3) by Karen Chance


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Duration 6 months
18 Books

May’s Reading Challenge

This challenge was hosted on My Vampire Book Obsession and written by the wonderful Dee.

Duration: May 1st to May 31st

How It Works
Ten books each month is a lot, so there will be 5 different levels. So pick which level you want to do and that's how many items you will need to check off.

Levels:
Transitional - 2 books
Fledgling - 4 books
Vampire - 6 books
Master - 8 books
Vampire King or Queen - 10 book

1. May Day, the first of May is celebrated around the world. It has a number of meanings. In many other countries it is a celebration of spring and the coming of summer. It is celebrated with many spring flowers, many of them blooming right in your own backyard. To communist and socialist countries, it is a celebration for the workers. 
Read a book that takes place in spring or with a flower/s on the cover.

2. On May 5, 1862, the Mexican army defeated the French army at the Battle of Puebla. This single military battle signified defeat of a European colonial power, and a victory for the Mexican people. This single battle was the roots of Cinco de Mayo. 

Today, this holiday is celebrated by Mexicans, and especially the Hispanic community in the U.S. It is a time of song, dance, partying, and in general a time to be proud to be of Hispanic descent. 
Read a book with a celebration or a book set in Mexico.

3. International No Diet Day encourages us to appreciate the bodies we have. You could consider it a "Big" backlash against becoming little (err thin) people. This day is intended for us to appreciate the body we have. It encourages us to recognize that people come in all shapes and sizes....... and that's okay.
Read a book with more than one paranormal species or a book with a (skinny) chick on the cover.

4. It's time to get out your sandals and flip flops. For today is No Socks Day. Go ahead..... free your toes of the confines of socks and stockings. Give those toes of yours a breath of fresh air. The creators of this day also profess that No Socks Day will reduce your laundry load, and therefore, is healthy for the environment.
Read a book with a vampire that does not sleep in a coffin or with a hot guy on the cover.

5. Clean Up Your Room Day is a day parents eagerly await........... and kids dread!

If you've got kids, it is very possible that their rooms are a vast wasteland, completely filled with "good stuff". "Messy" is too kind of an adjective to describe the conditions. Its impossible to walk through the room. Every dresser and shelf (and under the bed), is packed with everything imaginable. Dust has been piling up as long as your child has been around. Comfy, cozy, and quite livable to the child, its an everyday source of frustration for the "folks".
Read a book that has been on your TBR pile for a couple months.

6. Twilight Zone Day is mysterious, weird, surreal and perhaps a little scary. We can think of many other adjectives, but I think you get the picture. Every once in a while, you have a day like this. And, today is designed to be that day.
Read a book that you think is a little scary or a book with a dark cover.

7. No Dirty Dishes Day is a reprieve from the daily pile of dishes to wash and dry. Day after day, we do the daily chore of washing and drying dishes, then put them away in various cabinets and drawers. We perform this task after each and every meal, and often after snacks. Even putting them in and out of the dishwasher and running it, can be a chore.

You deserve a break from this routine. And, today is that day. The objective of this day is to have no dirty dishes. It is not intended to pile them up until tomorrow.
I would like to say....don't buy a book today, but we all know, I would fail. Read a book in which someone has to do a task or a book with a white cover.

8. This is a great day! It's World Goth Day.

As it should be, everyone who is into the Goth sub-culture, now has a day to celebrate who they are. Go out and embrace your inner and your outer Goth today.
Read a book with a vampire or a Steampunk book.

9. It's National Tap Dance Day. Today is a great day to dance the night away.... and the daytime, too!

This day was created in honor of the birthday of legendary tap dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson on May 25, 1878.
I think I'll wear my tap shoes today! Read a book that you think is fun or a book with a fun cover.

10. Today is Pack Rat Day. C'mon, admit it... .. you're a Pack Rat like the rest of us. If you are a Pack Rat, you're in good company. You might as well come out of hiding behind those piles of valuable "stuff", and celebrate this fun day.

Its really easy to let things pile up. After all, each item you acquire along the road of life may have value or serve some meaningful purpose. 'Ya just never know. Making the decision to discard something of even remotely questionable value, is difficult, if not impossible to do. We understand you perfectly. Why? Because most of us are pack rats.
Read a book with a pack or a book with an animal on the cover.

May Monthly 2017 photo IMG_0299_zpshku1x58e.png

How pretty is the heart for this challenge???? Love it!


Here are my selections, books and read dates.

01. Read a book that takes place in spring or with a flower/s on the cover. Bossypants 26/5/17

02. Read a book with a celebration. Unmasqued 1/5/17

03. Read a book with more than one paranormal species or a book with a (skinny) chick on the cover. Drink Deep 17/5/17

04. Read a book with a vampire that does not sleep in a coffin. Hard Bitten 11/5/17

05. Read a book that has been on your TBR pile for a couple months. Master of Seduction 4/5/17

06. Read a book with a dark cover. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children 15/5/17

07. Read a book in which someone has to do a task or a book with a white cover. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 10/5/17

08. Read a book with a vampire or a Steampunk book. The Greyfriar 22/5/17

09. Read a book that you think is fun. Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency 9/5/17

10. Read a book with a pack or a book with an animal on the cover. The Handmaid’s Tale 26/5/17 I’m counting the bird as an animal

Unmasqued by Colette Gale Master of Seduction (Sea Wolves, #1) by Kinley MacGregor Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently #1) by Douglas Adams Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5) by J.K. Rowling Hard Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, #4) by Chloe Neill Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1) by Ransom Riggs Drink Deep (Chicagoland Vampires, #5) by Chloe Neill The Greyfriar (Vampire Empire, #1) by Clay Griffith The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood Bossypants by Tina Fey

Do you Book Club?

Good morning everyone!

Hope you all had a great weekend and a not so bad Monday.

I’m sure everyone has heard about the Wizarding World Book Club at this stage but in case you haven’t Pottermore is launching an official Harry Potter book club in June. I’m sure there are a bunch of these on Goodreads already but it’s really cool to have an official international one.

my vampire book obsession goodreads group book club

 

I avoided book clubs for years because I don’t like being told what to read but I always loved the idea of a book club (I’m also a big ol’ introvert and avoid social situations). I was one of those people who joined Goodreads groups, lurked for a little bit and then never returned. Occasionally I would comment in the introductions thread and not a peep after that. Last year I joined a group whose name alone sang to my soul, My Vampire Book Obsession. It was so easy to chat with people and everyone loved the same books as me. I had found my online book family! (and I absolutely love you guys!!) I loved it so much I eventually became a mod and now torment people with reading challenges (you guys love it, don’t try to deny it). Once the books were the right genre I found I didn’t mind being told what to read. I ended up increasing my reading from 2 or 3 books a month to 2 or 3 books a week! (I’m a slow reader so that is a huge increase)

But what about real life book clubs??? I always figured it was a waste of time since there doesn’t seem to be anyone around that reads the same books as me (and I’m a big ol’ introvert). Book clubs seem to focus on literary fiction and bestsellers which I have nothing against and do read just not very often. But I figured, of the ten books I usually read each month making one a book club read isn’t that daunting. So I joined a local book club last month and met some really nice people. The book was something I would never have picked myself but I ended up enjoying it (Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld) and we had a really great chat about books. I guess I shouldn’t have been so narrow-minded about the whole thing. I’m really glad I joined, it was fun and the people there were really friendly.

Goodreads groups allow you to chat every day with people as obsessed with reading as you are and in your genre. But real life book clubs have their benefits too. Like getting an introvert out of her house!


Do you attend a book club or use Goodreads groups?

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If you use these sites I would love to hear from you.

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Scrappy Little Nobody – Anna Kendrick

31411951Title: Scrappy Little Nobody
 
Author: Anna Kendrick
 
Genre: Autobiography
 
Goodreads Rating: 3.98/5
 
 

Synopsis: A collection of humorous autobiographical essays by the Academy Award-nominated actress and star of Up in the Air and Pitch Perfect.

“I’m excited to publish my first book, and because I get uncomfortable when people have high expectations, I’d like to use this opportunity to showcase my ineptitude, pettiness, and the frequency with which I embarrass myself. And while many of my female inspirations who have become authors are incredibly well-educated and accomplished comedy writers, I’m very, very funny on Twitter, according to Buzzfeed and my mom, so I feel like this is a great idea. Quick question: are run-on sentences still frowned upon? Wait, is ending a sentence with a preposition still frowned upon? I mean, upon frowned? Dammit!” —Anna Kendrick

Anna Kendrick’s autobiographical collection of essays amusingly recounts memorable moments throughout her life, from her middle class upbringing in New England to the blockbuster movies that have made her one of Hollywood’s most popular actresses today. Expanding upon the witty and ironic dispatches for which she is known, Anna Kendrick’s essays offer her one-of-a-kind commentary on the absurdities she’s experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture.

 
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What I thought about the book: I listened to the audiobook for this one. It was a lot of fun, Anna is very entertaining and easy to listen to. She’s lived a pretty normal life but that doesn’t mean her story is boring. Her wit and character make for a very uplifting read.
 
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My Rating:
4 paws

Angel in Scarlet by Jennifer Wilde

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Title: Angel in Scarlet

 
Author: Jennifer Wilde
 
Genre: Historical Romance
 
Series: n/a
 
Goodreads Rating: 3.97/5
 
 
Synopsis: Jennifer Wilde’s dazzlingly passionate, superbly witty New York Times–bestselling novel about a schoolmaster’s daughter who becomes the toast of late eighteenth-century London and the woman two extraordinary brothers vie to possess

Angela Howard, the spirited daughter of a village schoolmaster, will never forget her first provocative glimpse of Lord Clinton Meredith, the gorgeous, golden heir to magnificent Greystone Hall. But it is Clinton’s illegitimate brother, Hugh Bradford, who claims Angie’s innocence—and her heart. They share one glorious night before violence and tragedy separate them. Her heart shattered, Angie moves to London, where she meets the mercurial, sensual playwright James Lambert . . . and a portrait painter named Gainsborough vows to turn her into a legend.

But through the years of fame and glory and wealth and success beyond her wildest dreams, Angie is haunted by the man she loved and lost—a man who won’t rest until she is his again.

Angel in Scarlet is a winner of the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Best Book Award.

 
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What I thought about the book: I don’t know who wrote the synopsis but they only skimmed some of the details in the book. Hugh and Clinton are cousins, not brothers.
Anyway, I really enjoyed this. There’s so much more to the story than what you get from the synopsis. We’re really following Angie’s life more than her romance with a single man. And she has lived quite a life! Great story, occasionally far-fetched but entertaining and emotional.
 
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My Rating:
5 paws