Commitment to Reading Goals

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At the beginning of the year, I set my reading goals for the year.  I’m not the only one.  Many people choose to follow different kinds of reading challenges or design their own.

Now, it’s half-way through February.  It seems like a good time to check-in and see if I’m on track.

Book Count …

I read 166 books last year.  I hoped to read 150 this year.  So far, I’ve read 21, which means I’m on track.

New Authors …

My goal was 3 per month.  So far, I’ve read 10 new authors.  I love it when I find a new author that I like.

Weekly posts …

I wanted to create two more weekly posts.  I’ve continued my Teaser Tuesday post where I feature a hot image that includes a quote from a favorite book.  I started a new Friday’s Five Star Finds where I list all the books that I recently awarded 5 stars.  Perhaps I’ll come up with another weekly post soon.

New genres …

I have a couple in my reading schedule line-up.  This year, I’m more organized and created a spreadsheet to keep track of books that I have scheduled to review and books that I want to read.

How is your reading challenge going?

See

Book Blogging Goals for 2016

Friday’s Five Star Finds – February 12

Five Star Books

Five Star Books that I’ve reviewed in the past week

(click on book to read the review)

February 12

Boiling Point by Tessa Bailey

Wild Aces by Marni Mann

A Sudden Crush by Camilla Isley

January 29

Brave Enough by M. Leighton

January 22

Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines

Prince Hudson by Lily Cahill

January 1

Blood Kiss by JR Ward

She Whom I Love by Tess Bowery

What Five Star Books have you read lately?

Book Blogging Goals for 2016

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  1. Find New Authors to Read (my goal is 36 – 3 per month)
  2. Rate all books I read on amazon, bn, and goodreads.  I prefer to discuss the things I enjoy most about a book more than I do assigning a single digit number to put a “value” on a book.  However, in the past year I’ve come to realize how important book ratings are to authors.  As in the past, I will never bash an author.  Therefore, if I feel like the book deserves a 1 or 2 star rating, I will refrain from blogging and rating the book.
  3. Read 6 books outside of the romance genre
  4. Create 2 more weekly book-related posts
  5. Archive favorite quotes from books

What are your reading or book blogging goals for 2016?

How to end a book series?

The one bad thing about a great book series – all good things come to an end.  Some authors do this better than others.

A few of my favorite book series came to end recently.  It was very sad, but the authors did a fantastic job in distinctly different ways.

First, Epilogue for all the characters

Abbi Glines – Sea Breeze Series

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The final book, Until the End, included an epilogue for each of the characters.  Each book in the series essentially was a romance that centered around one couple.  All the characters were connected throughout the series.  Admittedly, it’s been a while since I read the first few books.  As I read the final book, the epilogue brought back found memories of each individual book.  I felt like it was a final goodbye to each character.  And, the teasing last line was PERFECT!

Samantha Young – On Dublin Street Series 

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This series didn’t actually end.  Samantha Young surprised fans of her series, like myself, and published an additional novella this past November, On King’s Way (on my TBR list).  I included this series because in Echoes of Scotland Street the author also included an extended epilogue touching on all the characters.

Additionally, Samantha Young has published a single novella to include all the characters centering around a holiday.

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Second, tying up all the loose ends

Tiffany Reisz – Original Sinners Seriesabf601b9fb8115c03469a4643da5268f.jpg

This series was told in an unique way.  The story was about few characters whose relationships were complexly intertwined.  The series doesn’t follow a typical chronological order of story telling.  While I was terribly disappointed to know that the series was ending, the author did a brilliant job of clearing up all the gaps in the plot in the last novel.  I can’t wait to read the entire series again from start to finish, knowing what to expect.

Third, the spin-off (excellent for continued book sales)

In the past, I blogged about some of my favorite spin off series, check out the post at:

Favorite Spin-off Book Series

Lorraine Loveit – Playing the Game Series

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This series ended very well.  This series must be read in its entirety and in order to truly understand the ending.  The author is planning a spin-off (date unknown).

Not all authors end a book series well.  I won’t mention names, because I don’t believe in book bashing.  This particular 13 book series involved a triangular relationship and I absolutely hated the way it ended.  I realize that it is simply my opinion, but the main character should have ended up with the other guy.  I found it so upsetting that I refuse to read another book by that author – EVER.

Another note on ending a book series.  Once it’s over, let it be over.  Trying to squeak out an extra book that is tangential to the series is annoying.  A few of my favorite authors have done this, but I always find the books disappointing.

As always, thank you to all the authors that fill my head with amazing characters.

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One Year Anniversary – A Year of Thanks

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Seeing that I just reached my one year anniversary for my blog and that it is the week of Thanksgiving (for those in the U.S.) I thought it would be a perfect time to say thank you.

I would like to thank:

those that have chosen to follow my blog; I hope that you continue to enjoy my posts

anyone that stopped by to view a post or more

all the authors that have shared their books with me in exchange for an honest review

all the authors that I read for the first time this year, filling my time with hours of fabulous reading and helping me reach my goal of reading 50 new authors this year

Here are all the new-to-me authors I read this year:

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To Audiobook or Not

I couldn’t image listening to an audiobook.  I didn’t want someone else’s voice in my head.  When I read, I like to imagine how the characters’ voices sound and I didn’t want someone else altering that experience.  I figured that hearing someone else read would completely ruin the fantasy of the book.  I love to get lost in the author’s words.  I didn’t want any distractions.

But then I found myself entrenched in those pesky times of the day when I had to tear myself away from a good book and actually clean the house, do laundry, make dinner, etc.

A few days ago, I finally decided that I would try an audio book.  I chose a book by a well known author that I adore.  I downloaded the book and put in my ear buds.  I set very low expectations and pressed play.  Surprisingly, I didn’t feel the urge to cut-off the voice.

It didn’t take long until I was hooked.  Even when I had time to return to my traditional book, I wanted to finish the audiobook.  Yes, I found a new love for audiobooks.

After I finished my first audiobook, I quickly downloaded another.  Eager to start another book, I began it immediately.  Whoa!  There it was.  An annoying voice that grated on my nerves.  The inflections and accent were all wrong.  After five minutes, I couldn’t bare another minute.  There was no way that I could endure listening to that voice for an entire novel.  I’m not usually one to abandon a book but this was dreadful.

I considered whether or not I should give up on audiobooks completely.  I decided I would give it another shot.  The quality of the audio of the third book was not as good as the first but still very enjoying.

What do I think of audiobooks?  Well, just like all books, some are good and some are not.  They definitely fill a gap in my day when I have to do mundane chores.  Even sorting laundry doesn’t seem so terrible when I’m listening to a book.  Also, after spending an entire day working at the computer, my eyes are sometimes too tired to focus on a traditional book.  An audiobook is a nice substitute.  Of course, there are limitations.  I read much more quickly than an audiobook.  So when I’m listening to an audiobook and I’m desperate for the happily-ever-after, I have to dig deep for a little extra patience.

I guess I’m a traditional girl at heart and prefer a book that I can hold in my hands and turn the pages, be it a paperback or an ebook.

In the end, the format of the book doesn’t really matter.  All that matters is the quality and enjoyment of the story.

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image from http://www.buzzfeed.com/alannaokun/perfect-gifts-for-book-loving-babies?sub=3245433_2942977#.mnJ4eZddb

HAPPY READING!

Misleading Book Blurbs Lead to Bad Reviews

I’m a romance book junkie!  I can’t get enough.  I read all kinds of romance: historical, suspense, humorous, sad, BDSM, erotic, cowboys, sports, paranormal, and everything in between.  I love the build up, the tragedy, and the happily ever after or happily for now.

What don’t I like?  Book Blurbs that represent a book as being a romance novel or novella, but then include graphically violent scenes that include things such as rape.  There’s nothing romantic about rape.  The one exception is when the story mentions that a character has been violated in the past and it is done as part of the character development.

However, CONSENSUAL simulated rape in a kinky BDSM scene in a novel can be hot if written well.

A reader’s reaction to a book starts at the book blurb.  It puts the reader in a particular mindset and sets up expectations.  When the book doesn’t meet those expectations it can be disappointing.  If the book goes off into a completely different direction, it can either be great or can be a bust.  That’s a serious risk.  Beware, the result can be a scathing review.  It’s the bad reviews that make more of an impression than the good reviews.

I’ve been an avid book reader for years and I’ve been blogging about books for one year.  I try to be very fair about my book reviews.  I make it a policy not to bash authors or books.

Please don’t misrepresent a story with a falsified book blurb.

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