#yallwest

Hello friends! I haven’t been around much lately, on Twitter, Instagram or my blog. I started a new job and was looking for a place to rent, I’m happy to say I found one, and most night I was too tired to do much more than fall asleep. I also read some amazing books which kept me busy, I’m sure you can all appreciate that excuse! LOL
I will be really busy in May as well, moving in to my new home and working from time to time, but I promise I have a stack of reviews on the way AND I will tell you all about Yallwest! It is happening this weekend and I am so gosh darn excited! It will be the first weekend I have been alone since I became a mom and while I am feel very guilty about it I am also REALLY looking forward to three nights of undisturbed sleep. And of course the panels and book signings! Haha, sorry folks, those of you with kids will understand how amazing just a simple night of good sleep is. I have never been to any kind of signing so I am jittery with anticipation and kind of nervous. Leigh Bardugo is at the very top of my must meet list and I will see her at the Fierce Friday preview night. Who else do I really really want to meet? Erin Bowman, Alexandra Bracken, Sabaa Tahir, Mercedes Lackey and Renee Ahdieh. I want to meet SO many more authors but I also want to go to panels and eat and hang out with my friends, so we will see what happens!! I better go to bed now, I have to be up at 3am to drive to the airport. Hope you are all well and thanks for understanding my internet absence. Here I come California!!

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Confession of a Book Hoarder: Bookmarks!

img_20160410_132348Where has April gone? I have been so busy that I feel like I havent written a blog post in forever! It’s only been five or six days but I have been pretty absent from all social media. I have been so busy and that always puts me in a creative slump. So here’s me trying to un-slump myself.

A little while back, on my Instagram account, I shared my book mark collection and promised I would do a post telling you all a little more about each one. I think it’s something most book hoarders have but something we don’t talk about, not nearly as much as our book collection. I really like seeing and hearing about book marks, they’re all unique and often have interesting stories behind them. I have book marks I made, or received as gifts, lots of them are from Etsy and some of them are signed by authors. When I choose one to use in a book, I tend to choose one that has the same colors as the cover, or matches the mood of the story. Does anyone else have a method for choosing? Do you use them all evenly or do you have favourites? Thinking about it now, I realize I only use a fraction of my collection for their intended purpose.

 

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This is a photo of all my book marks from Behind The Pages, a shop on Etsy owned by Gina. She is the sweetest to talk to and her designs are stunning, I am so glad I found her account six months ago. I love having a bookmark to match my favourite books and the foil versions are SHINY! Who doesn’t love some book bling? I most recently ordered her Crooked Kingdoms design because I need something to do while I wait for September. She also sells posters and 3D collages.

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Here I have a hedgehog bookmark from Chapters that use often, I love that you can clip it to the cover and use the ribbon to mark your page. Then there is the beautiful green and burgundy water-color painted by a friend of mine that I like to use at Christmas. Get Lost In A Good Book is one I colored, mounted and laminated myself. The butterfly is neat, the wings fold down so when your book is closed it looks like a butterfly is perched on the page edge. Another one I use regularly is the Book Definition book mark, its big so it’s hard for me to lose and I love the “definition”. Lastly is a Book Depository book mark that I just adore. It’s pretty dark but I think we have all felt like the character depicted, clutching ours books like they are The Precious.

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Starting with the adorable green owl from Skinny Hues, I just love owls and I find a lot of book hoarders do too. Is it because we are up late like owls? The golden book mark in the center was made for me by my friend Jennifer F. Santucci and it goes well with many of my books, most recently The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. The writing on the book mark on the right is hard to read but it is a Borrowed Book Reminder. My #otspsecretsister sent them to me; you simply fill one out when your lend a book and tear off the stub at the bottom so you both have a reminder. I rarely lend out book but I thought these were a fabulous idea! Lastly we have my magnetic book marks, which I must admit I rarely use. I could not resist Toothless or the hot air balloon, and I had a book dragon as well but I seem to have misplaced it. You can find these and more like them at BeeDoo1107Studio and CraftedVan on Etsy.

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And here are a few of my signed book marks; I don’t use them often but I like to collect them. So that is just about my entire collection, more than I need but not completely out of control in my opinion. I would love to see some photos of your collection! Do you have a lot of a few? Do you prefer magnetic or standard? Tassel or no tassel? Curious minds want to know.

 

 

Page 394

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Page 394 is an original meme that began here at Novelcravings. The meme is simple, turn to page 394 in your current read or a favourite book, find a passage you love and share it with us! Everyone is welcome to join. Please remember to link back to this page and share the link to your blog post in the comments below. The meme happens on the 14th of every month.

This week I will be quoting Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo 23437156

“There was nothing to do but run. They bolted past the entrance to the colonnade and into the circular courtyard. There were druskelle everywhere – in front of them, behind them, Any moment they’d be gunned down. That was when the explosion hit.”

Page 394

I had some trouble with this months post. My most recent reads had more than 394 pages but nothing inspiring happened on them. So I went back to a favourite. This quote from Six of Crows may not be inspiring but it captures the fabulous action that Leigh Bardugo infused her beautiful blackened pages with.

What is on your Page 394?

Check out these other blogs participating in the meme:

Beth @ Betwixt the Pages

MC @ Blame it on the Pages

Emma @ emdoesbookreviews

hermionefowl @ addlepatesandbooknerds

Yasmin @ thewildreaders

Kirstie @ Upside-Down Books

Good Books & Cups of Tea

March Wrap Up & Challenge Update

April is here! This is my favourite time of year with all the flowers blooming and we are already hitting highs of 20+ degrees. I cringe
to think of how hot it will be here in July, it seems to get hotter every year. April is also the month of my birthday, which isn’t as fun as it used to be, the years seems to slip by quicker and quicker and I am no longer excited to be a year older. However I will be going to Yallwest at the end of the month as my birthday treat to myself so I am pumped for that!

This is a wrap up though, so lets talk about March. It felt like a long month, with its highs and lows. My health wasnt very good, emotionally or physically, at the start but greatly improved by the end of the month. I took some books I no longer had interest in to a local second-hand book store and received a ton of credit! So I got some new books without spending a dime! Which means I sort of stuck to my book buying ban. I received some incredible book mail from my friends Kelly and Jennifer, both of whom I will be enjoying Yallwest with. I also LOVED this months Owlcrate which included a feather quill, A book of writing prompts, The Serpent King by Jeff Zetner and more! It was their best crate in my opinion and you can read my recent interview with Owlcrate HERE.
As far as reading in March I think I did really well! I read more than I planned and accomplished all four of my buddy reads! A lot of them also applied to reading challenges I’m doing so that’s a bonus. My Goodreads goal this year was to read 55 books and I am 9 books ahead of schedule! I almost can’t believe it, and I havent read anything below a 3 star. I wonder if I’m too easy to please? Do you ever feel too critical or too lenient when it comes to rating books?

Books I Read In March

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Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman – ★★★★
This was my first buddy read of the month and the first Erin Bowman book I have ever read, needless to say I would like to read more of her work. It is also the first YA Western I’ve read and I think it was done really well. *Review to come*
Challenges Met: Around the World in 52 Books  – #32 A historical fiction book

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The Winners Curse by Marie Rutkoski – ★★★★
I had heard a lot of good things about this trilogy and while it didnt blow me away I have to agree that it was a good start. I read it with a lot of the #RockmyTBR members and from what I hear the second book is even better so I am excited to continue reading about Kestrel.
Challenges Met: Around the World in 52 Books – #22 The first book in a new to you seriesBacklist Books ChallengeFlights of Fantasy Challenge, #RockmyTBR

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Air Awakens by Elise Kova – ★★★★★
Wow! Another book that I had heard given high praise and I think it deserves it. It felt fresh and hooked me for the next book in the series. Read my full review HERE
Challenges Met: Around the World in 52 Books – #17 A book with a beautiful coverFlights of Fantasy Challenge, #RockmyTBR

Tales of Beedle The Bard by J K Rowling – ★★★
I have always wanted to read these short stories but I rarely enjoy novellas and the like so I was hesitant. My favourite one was The Fountain of Fair Fortune.
Challenges Met: Around the World in 52 Books – #51 A short story from a well-known authorBacklist Books Challenge

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Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen – ★★★★
I really enjoyed The Queen of the Tearling so I had high expectations for this sequel. While I did enjoy it and the action certainly ramped up, the main character I loved in the first book annoyed me in this one. Not enough that I wouldn’t read the conclusion later this year.
Challenges Met: Around the World in 52 Books – #3 A book from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2015 (winner or nominated)Flights of Fantasy Challenge

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The Princess, The Scoundrel and the Farm Boy by Alexandra Bracken – ★★★★
When I discovered that Alexandra Bracken had written a Star Wars book I was interested in reading one for the first time. It was great! It has been awhile since I watched this movie so I really enjoyed reliving it with her beautiful writing style.
Challenges Met: None

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Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb – ★★★★★
This was the book of the month for the Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge Book Club. I love fantasy so I am always eager to try a classic. I wasn’t sure I would like it at first, the beginning didn’t sink its claws into me but I had this feeling that if I stuck with it I would love it. And I was right! **Review to Come**
Challenges Met: Flights of Fantasy Challenge, Backlist Books Challenge, #RockmyTBR

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – ★★★★★
This is not my usual genre but I heard good things about it and thought I could relate to a MC who loves to write. My #otspsecretsister was kind enough to send me a copy in February and I just picked this one up on a whim. I read a lot of fantasy so I guess I needed to change it up. I listened to the audiobook and read my physical copy at the same time. I really enjoyed it, I don’t know if I will read anymore Rainbow Rowell and I have no interest in Carry On but this will be a future re-read for sure. Also Levi has now set the boyfriend standards unattainable high. LOL **Review to come**
Challenges Met: Around the World in 52 Books – #34 A book about mental illness
Backlist Books Challenge, #RockmyTBR

Challenge Progress So Far..

Goodreads Challenge: (23/55) 42%
Around the Year in 52 Books: (16/52) 31%
Flights of Fantasy: (10/16) 63%
Backlist Books: (11/16) 69%
#RockmyTBR: (5/35) 14%
Finishing The Series: (0/6) 0%

April TBR

I swear at some point this year I will use my TBR tin, hopefully starting in May. I haven’t used it once yet and April will be no different because I am trying to read a bunch of books in preparation for Yallwest.

What about you?

I hope you are all enjoying springs arrival and had a good reading month in March. I would love to hear all about it and your plans for April! What been your best read this year? What upcoming release are you looking forward to?

 

Sunday Street Team: Interview with Julia Ember

Interview with Julia Ember,
author of Unicorn Tracks
Released April 21st 2016

 


downloadAbout the author…

Originally from the Windy City, Julia Ember now resides in Sunny Scotland where she learned to enjoy both haggis and black pudding. She spends her days working as a professional Book Nerd for a large book wholesaler, and her nights writing YA Romantic Fantasy novels.  She also spends an inordinate amount of time managing her growing city-based menagerie of pets with Harry Potter themed names. Presently, she is the haggard slave Sirius Black and Luna Lovegood the cats and Bellatrix Le Snake. She also owns a freakishly adorable cob pony called Africa. A world traveller since childhood, Julia has now visited over 60 countries. Her travels inspire the fictional worlds she writes about and she populates those worlds with magic and monsters. 

Website: http://www.julia-ember.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/juliaemberwrites/
GR: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13734129.Julia_Ember
Twitter:  @jules_chronicle
Email: Julia_ember@yahoo.com
Pre-Purchase Link: https://www.harmonyinkpress.com/books/unicorn-tracks-by-julia-ember-363-b

The Interview…

You’ve traveled a lot! What is one country you would like to re-visit?

(Julia) I’d really like to go back to China. I visited Hong Kong and Beijing when I travelled there before, but wasn’t able to explore the interior or get to any rural places. From what I’ve read and seen in travel publications, going to the interior is almost like visiting an entirely different place.What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?(Julia) Probably turning my first draft into the second. I write pretty quick first drafts and tend to just word vomit into my computer! But then cleaning that manuscript up into something I wouldn’t be ashamed to show my critique partners can take me some time.

Did you want to be an author from a young age?(Julia) I actually wrote my first ‘published’ short story when I was eight! I submitted it for a contest in a magazine for a girls’ club I was a member in that was similar to Girl Scouts. It won third place and the magazine printed it! I think from then on, I always had dreams of writing a novel.

What other legendary creatures would you like to write about?

(Julia) There are quite a few mythical beasts in Unicorn Tracks besides unicorns! I’ve got a book coming out in 2017 that is about magical tigers and I’m currently querying a project about mermaids! I’d really like to write something about dragons as they are also favourites of mine!

Favourite book in the Harry Potter series?

(Julia) Prisoner of Azkaban, definitely. I read it over and over when I was a kid. I used to be able to quotes all the Marauders’ Insults to Professor Snape via the Map!

What would your patronus be?

(Julia) I’d like to say something amazing like a phoenix, but in reality probably a house cat. I’m pretty lazy and hedonistic at times.

Who are some of your favourite authors?

(Julia) So many! Tamora Pierce, JKR, Sarah J Maas, Melinda Salisbury, Ken Follett, Justina Ireland, Suki Fleet, Emily Skrutskie, Janet Taylor .. I’ve been really impressed with so many of the other books I’ve read that are coming out this year as well. I think 2016 is going to be a really strong year for YA.

Do you have a quote or saying that is special to you?

(Julia)I’ve never been much of a quotes person, but I do like poetry! One of my enduring favourites is the opening dedication from Faust because I think it so perfectly captures the feeling of longing and anxiety tinged with hope for something better (kind of a downer, but I’ve loved it for years).

I feel the spell of long-forgotten yearning,
For that serene and solemn spirit realm,
And like an Aeolian harp my murmuring song,
lets its uncertain tones float through the air.

All about the book…

25231892After a savage attack drives her from her home, sixteen-year-old Mnemba finds a
place in her cousin Tumelo’s successful safari business, where she quickly excels as a guide. Surrounding herself with nature and the mystical animals inhabiting the savannah not only allows Mnemba’s tracking skills to shine, it helps her to hide from the terrible memories that haunt her.


Mnemba is employed to guide Mr. Harving and his daughter, Kara, through the wilderness as they study Unicorns. The young women are drawn to each other, despite that fact that Kara is betrothed. During their research, they discover a conspiracy by a group of poachers to capture the Unicorns and exploit their supernatural strength to build a railway. Together, they must find a way to protect the creatures Kara adores while resisting the love they know they can never indulge.

Click here to add it to your Goodreads TBR

Enter to win an awesome prize pack, including swag and a signed ARC of Unicorn Tracks! 

– Signed copy of Unicorn Tracksfullsizerender-5-300x293
– Swag incl. Postcard and Bookmark
– African Tribal Pattern Headband
– Unicorn Plush
– Millie Marotta’s Wild Savannah Adult Colouring book with Pencils — Author will colour and sign the first page! ❤
– Artisan Spiced Chocolate — Mnemba’s favourite.

a Rafflecopter giveaway