What Am I Reading?

I thought I’d jump in on the “It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?” meme, hosted by Book Journey, as I haven’t had a Sunday post for you in a couple of weeks and I’ve had a pretty nuts reading week. There will be a Sunday post this week, however. :)

I finished: Meet Me at the Cupcake Café by Jenny Colgan.

I picked up my copy of Cupcake Café from The Works when my dad was visiting in Summer. I’d been itching to read Sweet Shop of Dreams so snapped this one up when I saw it. I finally read it because I have Christmas at the Cupcake Café to read for review and I always read in order. I loved it! Shall be reviewing it soon (I hope).

I started: Hoboy.. I picked Fairy Metal Thunder by J.L. Bryan back up after putting it on hold a loong time ago. I have about half an hour’s worth of reading left in this book but I’ve been gone so long I’m a bit bemused by everything going on, but I shall finish it off soon.

I started reading Alight, K.C. Neal’s sequel to the brilliant Pyxis, but swiftly realised I wasn’t in the mood for this type of book. It starts off much better than Pyxis did, I can say that much, but my review for this one might be a little while longer. I hate writing tainted reviews and I know I’ll enjoy Alight when I’m in a more young adulty mood.

I also picked up The Awakening, the first of The Vampire Diaries books by L.J. Smith after finally finishing watching the end of series 3 and neeeding more but my word the book and the series are two completely different entities. Everything is different. Everything. The town, the characters.. Elena is a blonde, Queen of the school preppy type who cares not for others, Stefan is Italian, Jeremy doesn’t exist, instead she has a 4 year old sister, and they lost their parents 3 years previous. It’s shallow and just plain drags. Dunno how far I’ll go with this one.

So feeling lethargic and needing to read something, I finally picked up Single in the City by Michele Gorman and hit paydirt. Hannah (great name, by the way) is an American from Connecticut who out of the blue moves to London without a plan. She stumbles around, realising that American and British culture are very different from each other, but she makes the most of it and tries to make friends where she can. It’s interesting, well written and best of all, funny. And I also have Misfortune Cookie and The Twelve Days to Christmas to read afterwards and can’t wait.

I might read next: I’ll most likely finish off Fairy Metal Thunder and Alight before starting anything new, but we’ll see where my reading mood lies. I’ve started bringing out the tinsel to get me ready for the stash of Christmas chick lits I’ve got and may take a look at Christmas At the Cupcake Café by Jenny Colgan, Married by Christmas by Scarlett Bailey, or A Winter Flame by Milly Johnson.

Fairy Metal Thunder Read-Along & Scavenger Hunt: Ch. 21-27

Fairy Metal Thunder Read-Along and Scavenger Hunt

Fairy Metal Thunder Read-Along & Scavenger Hunt hosted by In the Closet with a BibliophileReading the ParanormalTina’s Book Reviews and The Unread Reader.

1.  Grizelmore the Goblin has some really weird cravings and eating habits. Tell us about some of your weird eating habits. Bonus point if you can show me a picture!

I think I’m the fussiest eater I know. I don’t like vegetables or salad, and hell I really wish I did, and so certain foods bore me (*cough* I’m looking at you, bread). It doesn’t leave me with many options from day to day.

2.  In chapter 22 Aiode and her friends try to go and get their instruments replaced at the factory. There are a ton of different instruments there being made for the fairies, but man are they a fortune. Do any of you play any instruments? Have you ever played an instrument? If not, what would you play if you could?

No I do not. I do not have the talent or the patience for it. I tried learning clarinet when I was 10 but I just wasn’t picking it up. I also tried to learn guitar when I was about 17 but my guitar was crappy and I think the fact that my creepy ex was teaching me and kept coming on to me put me off for life. I have not fooled myself since. I just don’t have what is needed to be able to play an instrument or even sing and I am okay with that!

3.  Jason and the band are finally discovered by the elf (with the crazy long name) and Buttercake the freaking adorable unicorn who turns into something not so adorable. If you were a detective who would you choose for your magical accomplice?

My magical apprentice would have to be a magical talking Border Collie. They could go for hours and hours and by god they’re adorable.

4.  The book ends on a happy but painful note. What do you think of the ending? Were you happy with the turn of events?

I haven’t quite managed to finish it yet *sad* but believe me, I’m going to. I was just hit by such a huge reading slump over the past couple of weeks I’m having to roll with it for now but this book is fantastic. So fantastic, in fact, that it has completely rekindled my faith in indie fiction. So I will most definitely be finishing it soon and eyeing up the copy of Jenny Pox on my Kindle.

5. Tell us your favorite quote(s)/part(s) from the book!

I’m struggling to pick out any one part. I really enjoyed the whole thing I’d be here all day! I love the light fun mood you get from the characters, I love how the obstacles Jason encounters keep the story moving along without making the story too gritty, and I absolutely love J.L. Bryan’s representation of Faerie! How could I pick any one quote or part of the book?

Fairy Metal Thunder Read-Along & Scavenger Hunt: Ch. 14-20

Fairy Metal Thunder Read-Along and Scavenger Hunt

Fairy Metal Thunder Read-Along & Scavenger Hunt hosted by In the Closet with a BibliophileReading the ParanormalTina’s Book Reviews and The Unread Reader.

1. In the beginning of chapter 14, poor Jason is having a tough time at work. Its busy, people are rude, there are hot girls talking to him, big lady’s are about to starve, all in all bad work day. So tell us about a time when you had to deal with a pushy customer or rude behavior, did you freak, keep it together, throw a slawburger?

I work in retail. Nuff said. There are always pushy and rude customers. You can’t get by in a retail job if you’re not able to keep your cool. Though I must admit, throwing a slawburger sounds fabulous but it would be more than my job’s worth. In all honesty though, I might perhaps get a little antsy sometimes when the folk I’m working with decide it’s perfectly okay to turn their back on the till and leave the queues to me. Every now and then the customers get a big smile and a, “One sec, I’m just going to go and get somebody to jump on this other till for you guys.” And run off to snark before running back and apologising.

I can think of a few instances that had me have to leave the vicinity of the till to go and cool off and more times than not it was related to who I was working with and not the customers. Though I can remember one customer being entirely grumpy because I had to charge her 5p for a bag, I couldn’t magically scan everything with a simple glance, and I wasn’t aware that she needed a receipt and so she walked off calling me useless.. I really wanted to throw a slawburger at her.. “Hold the slaw?! It’s a freaking slawburger you douchecanoe!!” Generally though. Smile, apologise, and keep your cool.

2. In chapter 16 Jason is getting ready to shoot his rocking music video and perform for a crowd. Have you ever made a rock video, been in a play or anything that shows you doing something with musical talent? Extra points if you want to show us.

I was going to say no, I have no musical talent but actually I was in a performance arts Summer school thing when I was 11. I can’t sing, dance, play an instrument, any of that, but it was a lot of fun. At the end of the week we did a performance. We sung and danced, we did a little acting, mostly singing and dancing though. I don’t have any pictures, however, and I am quite glad for that. OH! How could I forget. I was also in a local youth drama group which was a lot of fun! I’d go there on a Friday night and we’d act and have fun and at the end of it we put on a little play in the village hall. We also had a float on the village carnival. Much fun! Still.. no pictures, sadly.

3. Speaking of videos, the boys have a little chat about Steven Spielberg in chapter 17, what is your favorite Spielberg movie? Can’t think of one…well then tell us about one of your favorite Sci-fi movies.

I’ll have to go with ET because I’m fully under the impression that Mr. Spielberg is overrated but you can’t deny ET.

Note: I just browsed IMBD.. didn’t know he was involved in Gremlins!!

4. At the end of Chapter 17 the guys say bye to Dred who is getting ready to move, did you ever have to start over in a new school or new place when you were in highschool? Was it good, bad…horrible?

Hm. Well our school system’s obviously a bit different but mine was even more so. In the UK, you do 4-11 (upto year 6) in primary school, and then 11-16 in a secondary school (aka high school). That is where compulsory education ends but you can do 16-18 in a secondary school or college for A levels if you choose. My county did things a little different in high school. 11-14 (years 7-9) in one school, and 14-16 (years 10 and 11, the GCSE years) in a separate school. I have no idea why, but the upheaval was definitely a little offputting. I hated my GCSE years so much after being split from my friends but I stayed on there for my A levels and it was actually a lot of fun then.

5. If you had a pet Unicorn what would you name it?

Oh. Dude. You went there.


And just for fun: Would you rather be pecked to death by a vulture or eat a Goblins toenails???

Toenails. I don’t quite wish for death at the age of 23!

Fairy Metal Thunder Read-Along & Scavenger Hunt: Ch. 7-13

Fairy Metal Thunder Read-Along and Scavenger Hunt

Fairy Metal Thunder Read-Along & Scavenger Hunt hosted by In the Closet with a BibliophileReading the ParanormalTina’s Book Reviews and The Unread Reader.

1. Unfairly grounded by his parents, Jason decides to lie to them so he can go to the audition in Minneapolis. Unfortunately, not only does the audition end poorly but his parents discover his lie and things go downhill from there. Tell us the most outrageous lie you’ve ever been caught in. Bonus points if you can provide pictorial proof. Reenactments eagerly accepted.

Don’t you remember last week when I said I was a good girl? Gawd. I know I have lied before, I am a human being after all, but I’ve never really been caught because I don’t go with ‘outrageous’ lies. I never had any reason to! My dad has always let me do my own thing so why lie?

Ooh I can think of one.. I was friends with a guy in my teens who was a bit mental, I loved him to bits. He knew somebody from his college who wouldn’t leave him alone and he found entirely annoying. This particular person was coming out as gay (as was my friend) and my friend wanted to scare him off so the MSN conversation started up and my job was to scare him so.. I pretended to be from another town nearby and really come on to him and talk about how *ahem* sexually active I was etc. etc. Unluckily, this guy found me hilarious and we became quite close friends. The truth never was revealed.

No pictures, I’m afraid. They would involve dildos.

2. In Faerie, Aoide is summoned to see the Faerie Queen. Have you ever met someone important like the Faerie Queen? Someone famous? Tell us the story behind how it happened. Once again, pictures are a plus!

I met Seal once. I didn’t have a picture taken but we were at the Max Power show (worst. weekend. ever.) because my dad had a stall selling some watches and at the end of the show this guy walks up to us and introduces himself as Seal, kissing me on both cheeks, shaking my dad’s hand and professing his interest in the watches.

3. Caught lying to his father about his non-existent job at the car wash, Jason has now found gainful employment at Buddy McSlawburger’s – where he’s forced to wear “the funny hat” as part of his uniform. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? Did it involve a particularly noxious uniform? Tell us about it – in riveting, full-color detail!

I have, thankfully, not had any awful uniforms. Just nasty polo shirts and shoes that have deformed my feet. As for worst.. I’ll often talk about my time in the charity shop as my favourite time but there were afternoons sorting through the clothes where I’d come across mould, bugs and all sorts of nasty grime in those bags. By all means, donate your rubbish to charity shops but PLEASE clean it before you donate, you aren’t doing anybody any favours otherwise.

4. In an effort to regain their stolen instruments, Aoide and Rhodia travel to the sugar swamp to hire a hunter. Wouldn’t you love to live somewhere where the water is sweet and the grass is made of sugar cane? Show us a picture of you enjoying your favorite sweet treat. Or, rewrite history and tell us how your version of the sugar swamp would differ from the one in the book.

I don’t think I would! I’d live with constant headaches! I am a total chocoholic though so I must go with..

Yeah, I know, not a swamp. But C’MON!

Once Upon A Read-a-Thon Wrap-Up

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon

Whew! What a read-a-thon. I read a chunk of Going Postal and Fairy Metal Thunder for their respective read-alongs and I started and finished Grave Witch by Kalayna Price (which by the way, I recommend if you like urban fantasy). Not only is it a first for me to finish a whole book during a read-a-thon, but especially so during a three day one! I also really enjoyed the challenges I took part in and chatting to other read-a-thoners. Thanks to Candance, Lori and Angela for hosting! All of my updates and challenges are in this post. :)

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon

Sup. So another read-a-thon! This time I’m actually going to spend it reading (she says). Yet again, I have three days off falling on the 9th – 11th – lucky me! – so my aim is to sit and read a lot. I have a lot to get through and catch up on and I plan to, even if it means many surprise naps in my comfy chair. I do, however, have a couple of blog posts to write and publish during the read-a-thon, a doctor’s appointment today which will take a couple of hours although I will be reading in the waiting room, and on Wednesday I have a team day thingy which I don’t massively want to go to but I said I would so guess I’ll go for a couple of hours. Even so lots of reading time for me and I plan to use that!

My Goals

Just to read. As much as I can. I need to get on with Going Postal as the read-along post for that is tomorrow, and maybe get on with next week’s reading as well and the next part of Fairy Metal Thunder. I think I might read a couple of fantasy novels in the next week or so for an upcoming fantasy feature so that I can focus on review books in August. However, I’m not setting any numbers or specific books as a goal because doubtless I’ll change my mind or not manage or whatever so yes. We’ll just say I have lots to read and I’ll do my best!


I shall post daily updates here. I won’t be taking count of page numbers if I’m chopping and changing books but I will keep updates rolling.

Monday – Started off the day by sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s, so I did a little reading there and then I was distracted by Smiths, charity shop browsing and snack purchasing because hey. Read-a-Thon! Then I read a little more and gave Dan a lift into work, where I proceeded to drop in the library and come home. PC distracted me a bit but I got back to reading and finished off this week’s reading for the Going Postal read-along.

After having dinner and some ginger beer, I read the next chunk of Fairy Metal Thunder for that read-along and then realised it was 9.30pm and I was too tired to function. It’s now almost 11pm and I’m still not in bed. Go figure. Tomorrow I’ll decide properly what to read next.

Tuesday11.58: I have gone through my emails and had breakfast and generally slacked off. I read maybe 3 pages of Clash of Kings and a page of Rules of Civility and now I’m going to head off to drink ginger beer (yes, it is my current obsession) and pick a book to read. I could be a while!

14.32: I ended up picking up Grave Witch which I received for review back in January.. *gulp* So far enjoying it well enough and I’ve read about 50 pages just needed to stretch my legs!

17.29: Well I think we can say my legs are well and truly stretched now? Seriously, why does the PC always steal chunks of my day?! Off to read again.

19.15: Nom nom dinner. I’ve read a little more of Grave Witch and now back to carry on. I was really hoping to finish it today. 300 pages? Pssh! But apparently I’m incapable of focusing for long enough. *sadface* Still, least I’m enjoying it.

20.24: Since my last update I have been on Tumblr. You’re very welcome to go see how I’ve been procrastinating.

23.01: Well once I’d finally dragged myself off the PC I read quite a bit and I’m now halfway through Grave Witch. Very good book and I’d love to stay up and finish it but I’m getting too sleepy now. Think I’ll move my reading to the bed, let in some fresh air and let myself sleep when I need to. Probably very soon. Have to go out for a few hours tomorrow.

Wednesday11.08: I’ve read a few pages so far while I bummed around on the PC but I haven’t sat down to properly read just yet. I’m really hoping to finish this one today and get onto Grave Dance so that I can review them both fairly close together. And then the post arrived and distracted me..

13.55: Still haven’t managed to sit down and start reading *flail* I hoped I’d have a few hours before the team day. Well, I guess I’m sneaking books into the team day! “Activities” .. woo..

21.45: The team day wasn’t too bad. We did some shooting things which I was terrible at, archery which I was okay at and whatnot. It sucked up my day of reading but can’t complain, it was free and the free burgers were nice. I may even have snuck a couple of pages while people were on the go-karts and I wasn’t. *sniggers* Now I’m finally off to read until I get too tired to carry on.

00.53: Because technically I started late due to sleeping.. and hey it’s still read-a-thon for a lot of you guys, right? Plus.. I haven’t slept yet and therefore it’s still Wednesday. I finished Grave Witch!! This is definitely a first for me in a read-a-thon, I only hope I can keep it up normally. My god I read so much. A great read-a-thon – thanks for running it!


And I’ll post any challenges here!

IB Book Blogging

Question 1:

What is your favorite cover that has been revealed this summer and why? Post a link or picture of the cover if you want.

Ooh I dunno.. the follow-up to Everneath is pretty nice, and the reissue of Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Empire of Black and Gold. However I think I’ll go with Wrayth, book three of Philippa Ballantine’s Book of the Order series. The covers for this series are always astonishingly gorgeous and I’m tempted to pick up Geist now just to find out more about the massive lion.

Question 2:

Do you rely on the cover to help you choose whether you want to read a book or not?

Sometimes, it depends. I mean.. I will look at the covers more than the blurb if I have a massive pile to choose from and every now and then you see a book cover that is so awesome that you don’t care what the book’s like, you have to own it. But generally, I go by my reading moods and review piles.

Kindle Fever

As the story teller, I now want you to tell me which two characters are fighting and WHY! If you want to, you’re also more than welcome to guess the outcome. ;)

Tyrion Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire vs. Mr. Pump from Going Postal

“I demand you let me past you empty-headed mound of dried mud!” The Imp laid one hand on his hip as he looked far upwards into the glowing embers of the golem’s eyes. The golem merely glanced down at him impassive.

“I Am Afraid I Cannot Do That, Sir.”

“And whyever not? What is it to you, precisely?”

“It Is Against Section Thirty-Two D Of The Regulations.” The deep rumbling voice made Tyrion feel uneasy but he was used to feeling uneasy by now. He had felt uneasy his entire life.

“What regulations?” He hissed. This was beyond ridiculous. He merely wanted to go to the pub. Was that so much to ask? Apparently.

“The Regulations, Sir. Please Step Aside And Be On Your Way.”

Tyrion approached the golem and immediately regretted it, however he’d gotten too close – quite literally – to back away now. He prodded the golem as he spoke in his most ‘don’t you know who I am’ voice. “Now look here, you walking hillock, I am Tyrion Lannister, Son of Tywin Lannister of Casterly Rock. I am in ownership of more gold than you could ever possibly begin to comprehend – if you comprehend at all – and more power than you will ever have. I command you let me past at once!”

With that, Mr. Pump, the gargantuan golem, lifted Tyrion Lannister by the scruff of his doublet and raised him to eye level. “You Cannot Win Against A Golem, Sir. I Suggest You Leave Now.”

The Imp gulped. “I could pay you..”

The Reader Bee

What is your most anticipated book for 2012?
(It can be an upcoming release, or one that’s already been released.)

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff. Japanese steampunk fantasy. Need I say more?! Alongside the awesome sounding story and rising hype (it clearly deserves it) is a rarity: a US cover that I much prefer to the UK cover. Isn’t it gorgeous? I will definitely be pre-ordering the US hardback.


Fairy Metal Thunder Read-Along & Scavenger Hunt: Ch. 1-6

Fairy Metal Thunder Read-Along and Scavenger Hunt

Fairy Metal Thunder Read-Along & Scavenger Hunt hosted by In the Closet with a Bibliophile, Reading the Paranormal, Tina’s Book Reviews and The Unread Reader.

1. At the beginning of the story, the Assorted Zebras are just a garage band, but they are expecting to make it big. Who knows, you just might find yourself at one of their concerts someday. Until then, show me your favorite concert t-shirt. It could be a picture of a concert you actually attended or a pic of a vintage tee of your favorite band. Be sure to tell me the story behind the tee.

Oh this is hard. I don’t have any images because I haven’t attended any gigs or concerts since I was a kid. (Simple Plan, anybody?!) My favourite band is Foo Fighters for sure but the image that comes to mind, though I myself am not really a Pink Floyd fan, is this gorgeous print we bought for Dan’s brother’s birthday:

2. Jason’s mom forces him to agree to do some yard work for Mrs. Dullahan, which wouldn’t be so bad if she wasn’t rumored to be a witch. Tell me about the worst chore you were ever forced to do. Who make you do it? Bonus points if you have a picture to share of you doing the dirty work.

You’re all going to hate me, I suspect, but I grew up spoiled and still am to this day. I’ve never been ‘forced’ to do any horrid chores, so I’ll have to go with doing the wasteage at work. When an item reaches its’ best before date, we have to take it off of the shelf and bin it however we also have to recycle so the food has to go in clear bags and the packaging in a separate bin. One evening, the wasteage wasn’t done so I had to do it the next day. Let’s just say many many pots of Müller Rice Pudding in those clear plastic bags..

3. Uh oh! There seems to be a jewelry thief in the neighborhood. Have you have had anything stolen from you? Or have you ever lost something precious? Did you ever find it? Make a Reward if Found poster for the stolen or lost item. Convince us to find it for you. Make the reward good!

Oddly enough, yes. I have had a beloved piece of jewellery stolen from my very wrist and it was one of the deciding factors in why I no longer drink, especially excessively in bars and clubs. See, I have an obsession with charm bracelets. I think they are utterly fantastic pieces of jewellery and I love them.. so my previous boyfriend bought me a silver one and occasionally we’d add charms to it. I always wore it. One night we went to a club we regularly went to, I would have been dancing away to whatever silly 80s music was on at the time until he wanted to do shots. So after the tequila came back up (yum yum..) I noticed a cheapy bracelet was snapped on my wrist and oh lordy, where had my charm bracelet gone? We only ever found the little padlock.

4. In Faerie, Jason declares himself as Jason the Guy Who Wants That Necklace Back. Weird, but then again every name has a meaning. What does your name mean? What is the origin? Do you go by any kind of nicknames? How did you get that nickname?

My name is Hebrew in origin and means ‘graced by God‘. I always found it pretty boring because I’m an atheist, or at least not Christian, however it is a palindrome which is kinda fun. Once.. you know.. everybody stopped with, “Oh my god! Did you know your name is the same backwards as forwards?!” Nooo! Really?!

As for nicknames, these days just Han or Hannah. Oh, I tell a lie, I also have Jaedia but that’s an internet pseudonym rather than a nickname. It means nothing, it’s just something I named a character and it stuck.

5. When Jason gets home from his all night adventures through Fairy, his parents unfairly ground him for a month! Care to share a time you were grounded by your parents for no good reason?

*blushes and mumbles* I’ve never been grounded. In fact, I may have been once. But I can’t remember why as I was 5 years old and I’m fairly sure I requested the grounding.. I was most definitely a weird child. But no, I was a good little girl.

Regarding Yesterday’s Ramble

Hey guys! I never realised yesterday when I started typing out my rambling stream of thoughts that you would help me sort out my head so much but you did and I think for that you deserve a cute image as a thank you.

And really, everything you guys said makes sense. In fact, the main piece of advice I took away from your comments was, “Don’t read what you feel you have to, you’re supposed to be having fun, read what you want to. We’ll still be here!” Looking back, this is really quite stupidly obvious and I should have known, but somehow I got myself all wrapped up in feelings of obligation to the publishers and authors who had sent me all of these wonderful books that I forgot where I’d begun and had forgotten how fun reading could be. And I know that those of you who matter don’t really give a flying shit what I’m reading and I shouldn’t lose sight of that.

With those things in mind: thank you. Thank you for reminding me how book blogging works, even though I already knew and just yesterday wrote a post with advice just like this, and how awesome you guys are. I will now be reading what I want. I will not be requesting books unless I really want to read them. And once I’m caught up with all of my silly anxieties, I do have a few ideas for the blog that I am really excited for. And you’re going to love them! *mystery wiggly fingers*

I’ll be reading primarily adult fiction again, but I will not be specifying exactly what. I am an eclectic reader and always have been. I love urban fantasy, epic fantasy, cyberpunk, steampunk, dystopia, magical realism, retellings, humorous chick lit, historical fiction, the odd contemporary, classic.. anything quirky and/or olderworldly, and most of all well-written, in some way and I hope you enjoy what I have to put out there! Naithin will be around in all of his SFF glory and hopefully soon we shall have a third reviewer along for the ride as well. Sure, I will still read young adult fiction but I am not getting caught in that trap any more. I have never been a romance reader (chick lit excepted) and I need to drastically reduce the amount of romance with fantasy/paranormal side stories I devour!

Thankfully, I do not need to take a break. :) On the contrary, I adore blogging it was the reading I was struggling with, trying to keep on top of my review copies and drastically failing. All of the guest posts I’ve taken on are not a problem at all, I love guest posts and promoting all sorts of fiction, I just need to make more use of calendars and diaries and that is what I’m doing now.

Yes, Once Upon A Time will be changing a little bit but hopefully you agree that it’s for the better.

A Bloggish Ramble

Oyoyoy. I felt the need for a little blog ramble as I have a few things swirling around my head.

The first thing being my sudden disregard for young adult fiction and anything paranormal romance. As you might be able to understand from various In My Mailbox posts and my review shelf, this is quite a problem in the review book department!! I know if I read them and can’t get on with them I would not only be wasting my time but wouldn’t do the books justice but I also don’t feel right simply not reading so many books sent over for the purpose of reviewing them. This is also a problem because I know a lot of you guys are first and foremost young adult readers. Whilst I doubt (hope) I wouldn’t offend anybody by sticking to adult fiction once again as I did when I started out, before becoming swamped in young adult fiction, I also figure a lot of you would have little to no interest in my blog if there was barely any young adult fiction featured here. We’ll see.

Basically, I will read what I am in the mood to read, but I don’t want to turn my back on my readers completely by doing so. I was actually quite hoping for an associate reviewer situated in the UK with an interest in young adult fiction who I could maybe send the odd review copy along to but hey. I reckon I’ll give some of these books I have waiting for me a go.

I’ve also completely lost track of time. I keep forgetting to send out guest posts, forgetting about ebooks I need to read, forgetting when upcoming blog tours need to be featured and generally not getting around to things because I’m too tired to remember anything. This is a problem. This is also why I am not actually accepting review requests (unless from a publisher I know of already) for the forseeable future. I just hope this passes soon and I start making better use of my diary.

I have a few goals. They’re pretty much not going to happen for a while, but I’d really, really like to get back into epic fantasy in a big way and having time to read my own books and whatever I’m in the mood for at the time. And when I do request something, I’d rather it be something I definitely want to read asap. We book bloggers sometimes get caught in the “ooh that sounds interesting” trap and I know I’m not alone on that one, but I promise I’ve realised what was happening now and I’m barely accepting anything at the moment. I’d also like to get my hands on Scrivener, finally, and start writing properly. My only real goal in life is to be a published author and I want to do it properly. I have ideas and I have to get these ideas written down, edited, proof-read.. everything. I’m serious about this and I’ve just been slacking off with this for way too many years. If it wasn’t for NaNoWriMo I still wouldn’t have started writing, I bet.

TLDR; Slight reading slump. Young adult/paranormal romance “blahs”. Scared of offending publishers and boring blog readers. Not even to do lists can help me now. Really want to get back to epic fantasy and reading as the mood takes me. And it’s about damn time I started taking creative writing seriously.

Edit: I also wanted to apologise for any downtime over the weekend.. My blog was hacked. A huge, huge, huge thanks to my wonderful host and friend who is wonderfully efficient and to whom I owe many, many cookies. If you notice anything suspicious at any point, do let me know, though it should be okay now.

Guest Post: Finding Time to Read

This guest post is from the fantastic Amanda. I personally find I don’t have as much time to read since I started working and have to set aside a little time each day, make sure I’m reading something that I want to read, and set myself a goal of 100 pages. I don’t always reach it but it does help me a lot. What about you guys? Do you have the same problem?

You don’t find time to read; you make it.

The last few months of 2011, I was basically unemployed and had plenty of time to read, and read I did.  But I also managed to burn myself out with reading in the process, and my reading languished at the beginning of January.  I struggled to read.  Then I accepted a last minute temp teaching job (no, really, I was called on a Saturday and I started teaching the following Monday), and I went from having all the time in the world to having none.

Zero.  Zip.  Zilch.

14 hours of my time every week went into being in the classroom, 10+ hours was spent simply commuting to work, and I spent the rest of my time preparing for classes.  You know that adage that says we always want what we can’t have?  Yeah.  As soon as I lost time to read, I wanted to read.

But with work and other commitments swallowing up my time, I began to realize that if I was going to read, I would have to carve out a space in my schedule.  When you are really busy, time to read won’t magically appear.  You have to make a conscious effort to set aside reading time.  And trust me, if you love reading as much as I do, giving yourself reading time when you’re busy can make the rest of your life seem more manageable.

Here’s a few ways to make time for reading:

1. Listen to audiobooks.  I started listening to books on my commute to work, and with those 10 hours in the car, I’m able to listen to about a book a week.  But you’re not limited to listening to audiobooks on your commute — you can do it while cleaning or cooking, or during any other mindless chore.

2. Reward yourself with reading.  I really do this in two ways.  One, I allow myself to take a break when I get stressed.  My reasoning goes like this: yes, I have a lot of other work to do, but I’ll be in a much better place mentally (and possibly emotionally) if I take the break.  Reading is like a recharge, where I forget all my problems for the space of a book. Secondly, I use reading to motivate myself to get my work done.  I tell myself, “If you finish X, Y, and Z, then you can read a book.”  I know this tactic won’t work for everyone, but it has a tendency to get me to focus on finishing work that I’ve been putting off.

3.  Set aside a little time every day for reading.  Before you go to bed at night, while you eat — whatever! — get a few pages or chapters in.  I’m not the type of person who can read a few chapters or pages at a time, but if I was, I would!  You don’t have to read a book front to back in one sitting, so why not grab a few minutes of your day to do some reading?

Random Reads: April

Hey guys! This isn’t technically the first time I’ve participated in Random Reads but it is the first time I’ve mentioned it. I picked a random book from my review shelf last month and it was Decoy… which I’m still only halfway through. But hey, I tried! So this month I tried again and this is where it landed.

Oh, and for those of you who perhaps haven’t heard of the meme before, all you do is open up your Goodreads shelf, pick a number between 1 and X (however many books on your shelf) on Random.org, and whichever number it chooses is the number of the book on your Goodreads shelf you read. There are different ways you can do this but that’s the easiest way. That probably made more sense in my head.. best click on the little post header image for more information. (Hint: Join in! It’s a lot of fun.)

My April Pick

I wasn’t going to be reading this one for a little while but suppose I shall do now once I finish at least my current read. It shall be started and hopefully read in April, I have all month.