Tuesday, December 31, 2019

December/End of 2019 Wrap-Up Post and Looking Forward to 2020

December has gone by so fast, and now we are at the end of the year, and the end of a decade!  And it has been a decade of blogging for me as well!

Got probably more reading done this month, although a few of the books were either really short audio books and one was a re-read of a book I'd gotten to do kind of a beta read as a critique partner on a website I was trying out for getting my own stuff read.

I got the last two weeks off for holiday break, great Christmas times with family and my friend who got a job at Macmillan this past summer was home and I got to sit down with her one morning and talk about her job and catch up.  I haven't gotten as much as I would like to get done though, because the bookstore where I work didn't hire enough holiday help, so I've had to work a ton.  Money though, right?  I am looking forward to being the assistant bowling coach for my high school where I am a librarian though in January and February.  No, I'm not a good bowler or anything, they just needed an assistant, so I decided to volunteer!

On with the reading stats for December

According to Goodreads, I've completed my goal that I upped to 220 books as I got closer to it, and I've gone over by 4 more books.  December made up 22 of those. So yay for reaching and exceeding my goal! 

Here is a list of books I read in November, and I'll link to my review if I've finished it:

  1. Shopping for a Billionaire #1 by Julia Kent
  2. Shelf Awareness by Katie Ashley
  3. Adorkable by Cookie O'Gorman
  4. The Lineup by Meghan Quinn
  5. Shopping for a Billionaire #2 by Julia Kent
  6. Beard Necessities by Penny Reid
  7. The Younger Man by Karina Halle
  8. The Boss Who Stole Christmas by Jana Aston
  9.  If You Give a Jerk a Gingerbread by Jana Aston
  10.  Song of the Crimson Flower by Julie C. Dao
  11.   The One Night Stand Before Christmas by Jana Aston
  12.  Wait for Me by Tia Louise
  13.  Recipe for Disaster by Allie York
  14.  Shopping for a Billionaire #3 by Julia Kent
  15.  The Pretenders by Rebecca Hanover
  16.   Shopping for a Billionaire #4 by Julia Kent
  17.  Dear Beau by Penny Reid
  18.  So That Got Weird by Amelia Kingston
  19. Beauty and the Beard by Penny Reid
  20. The Setup by Rachel Van Dyken
  21. Chosen by Kiersten White
  22.  The A.I. Who Loved Me by Alyssa Cole
I did really good this past month about reviewing everything I read except for the audiobooks I listened to.  I did get audiobooks I was behind on reviewing done though, six of them HEREBeauty and the Mustache, Dating-ish, Happily Ever Ninja, and Grin and Beard It by Penny Reid, as well as #Heart by Cambria Hebert, and Back in the Game by Meghan Quinn.  One other review I didn't get done last month was Naughty or Nice by Rachel Stewart.

Another stat I want to talk about is books that I don't finish.  While I haven't added anymore since October, there is one ARC that I'm close to DNFing if I don't get back to it soon.

My number of posts in December was much better, only 36!  I'm getting much better about turning down tours that I might normally want to go ahead and try.  But I'm still kind of booked to the gills for the first month or two of 2020.  Now, of those 36 posts, 13 were reviews.  I've been good with my weekly posts I want to keep up with too.   My average rating was down to 4.3 stars.

I did a fun Book Tag this month:
I rejoined the Top 10 of the year posts and completed them all for 2019:

    Okay, on with my challenges.

    1.  I mostly kept up with my Looking Forward To posts, on Wednesdays as much as possible to tie in with the Can't Wait Wednesday posts.  However there really aren't a lot of books that come out in December to share.

    December 10th
    December 31st

    I'm still working on visiting other blogs and commenting as much as I am posting on my own blog, but I still haven't been keeping track of it in my calendar where I was trying to do that.  Don't know if that'll ever get going again.

    Been doing well on cleaning up my Goodreads TBR with my weekly post and giveaway (except that I keep adding new to Goodreads), as well as even my physical TBR a little.  I think I now have two people occasionally joining in, and you should feel free to join in as well.  Here are the posts for that:

    December 7th
    December 14th
    December 21st
    December 28th - giveaway still going till January 3rd!

    2.  My Reading Goals for the Goodreads challenge as I mentioned above were completed.

    3.  Still no writing actually completed. But still planning to try to get a story ready to submit to SmartyPants Romance next year.

    Overall my Beat the Backlist Challenge was a bust.  I only got four of the 12 books I planned to read:

    I only got two of my goal of four discussions done.  :-(.

    I never came up with a button for the First in the Series Challenge, although I didn't complete my goal of 6, I'd say only 3 done, and two of those weren't on my original list

    Looking forward to in January:
    Okay, so here is my proposed TBR based on my blog tours and review requests for this month:

    1. Oasis by Katya de Becerra - I am reading this as I write this post, should be posting the review on the 2nd.
    2. Keystone by Katie Delahanty - Supposed to be doing a review tour and posting on the 4th
    3. Just Kidding by Lani Lynn Vale - Supposed to be doing a review tour and posting on the 7th
    4. Always Mine by Kennedy Fox - supposed to be doing a review tour and posting on the 7th
    5. You Too? 25 Voices Share Their #MeToo Stories - part of a review tour and posting on the 9th
    6. Jane Anonymous by Lauri Faria Stolarz - part of a review tour on the 10th 
    7. Spark by Aleatha Romig - part of a review tour on the 14th
    8. Finding Mr. Better Than You by Shani Petroff- part of a review tour on the 16th
    9. Frenemies by Emma Hart - part of a review tour and posting on the 22nd
    10. BMBG by Meghan Quinn -Not sure exactly what book this is but I'm scheduled to post a review as part of a tour on the 24th, and if it's by Meghan Quinn, I'll love it
    11. Must Love Forever by Leigh Lennon- part of a tour that I'll be posting on the 27th
    12. Bachelor Bastard Society by Sara Ney - part of a tour to post a review on the 28th
    13. A Favor for a Favor by Helena Hunting - part of a tour to post a review on the 30th
    ARCS I have that I hope to get to this month:
    1. Echoes Between Us by Katie McGarry
    2. What I Carry by Jennifer Longo 
    3. Wardens of Eternity by Courtney Allison Moulton
    4. A Castle in the Clouds by Kerstin Gier
    5. The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring - been trying to get this one read and reviewed for a couple months now
    6. A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy - this is the one I kind of started, but may end up DNFing.

    Hopefully I will get the audiobooks I haven't reviewed yet posted on my blog.  I signed up for a lot of tours this month it seems.  May keep me from getting writing done or any extra books read.  We'll see. 

    I think I'll do a separate post later this week with my challenges that I'm signing up for in 2020.  

    So, how was your December?  Are you excited for 2020?


    Top 10 of 2019: Books I'm Looking Forward to in 2020

    Top 10 of 2019 is hosted once again by Kimberly Faye Reads, and this year she has a co-host Ginger @greadsbooks.   Today's topic was the easiest, because even though there are tons of books I'm looking forward to next year, there are ten that definitely stand out the most!


    Loved the original His Fair Assassin series, and the book that started us back, Courting Darkness, so I need this one soon!


    I really liked the first two in this series and have been patiently waiting for this one, has it been over a year?


    Christina Lauren books can be hit or miss on whether I am excited for what the book is about, but this one sounds perfect!


    Seeing as the first book in this series was on my top list for last year, it's probably obvious how anxious I am for this one!


    I've also mentioned how much I love Cletus Winston, so a whole series where he is solving mysteries?  Sign me up!


    I also can't wait for Jackson James to finally get his own HEA.


    No cover yet, but I am ready for the conclusion? or at least the third book in yet another series by JLA that I adore!


    Even though I don't think I picked the first book, The Haunted, on any of my other Top 10 lists, it was a really good book, so I'm eager to see where the author will take it next.


    So, I'm not positive if this is coming out in 2020, it says it is, but the author also mentioned that she is having a bit of trouble with it. But I hope it does, because I love this series!


    Now this one comes out in January, so I'm ready for it now though!  I love Hunting's hockey boys, new and old, and I love when she brings the older characters back in these stories as well.

    Were any of these books on your TBR for 2020?  If not, I hope maybe I've given you a few to add to your list.

    I always love doing these Top 10 lists every year, but kind of sad it's over.  Now on to determining what challenges I'm going to do for next year!

    Also, while you're here, make sure you go enter into my weekly Cleaning Up My TBR Giveaway HERE.  It's open until this Friday until midnight!

    ARC Review: Chosen (Slayer #2) by Kiersten White

    Book info:
    Title: Chosen
    Author:  Kiersten White
    SeriesSlayer #2
    Genre: YA paranormal
    Release Date:  January 7th, 2020
    Publisher:  Simon Pulse
    Source:  ARC traded for from Twitter's Books for Trade hashtag
    My rating:  5 stars

    “Will get Buffy fans up in their feels.” —Entertainment Weekly on Slayer

    Nina continues to learn how to use her slayer powers against enemies old and new in this second novel in the New York Times bestselling series from Kiersten White, set in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

    Now that Nina has turned the Watcher’s Castle into a utopia for hurt and lonely demons, she’s still waiting for the utopia part to kick in. With her sister Artemis gone and only a few people remaining at the castle—including her still-distant mother—Nina has her hands full. Plus, though she gained back her Slayer powers from Leo, they’re not feeling quite right after being held by the seriously evil succubus Eve, a.k.a. fake Watcher’s Council member and Leo’s mom.

    And while Nina is dealing with the darkness inside, there’s also a new threat on the outside, portended by an odd triangle symbol that seems to be popping up everywhere, in connection with Sean’s demon drug ring as well as someone a bit closer to home. Because one near-apocalypse just isn’t enough, right? 

    The darkness always finds you. And once again, it’s coming for the Slayer.

    My Review:
     It was so easy to jump right back into this series with page one of the book.  I also adored all the little cameos of characters from the original BTVS tv series, Clem, Oz, Harmony, just to name a few.   The author does a great job with hitting just the right sense of humor and snark with the characters in a way that reminds me of the original tv series.  For instance, when they misheard a name, and called him Ian Von Assface.  But I also loved the newer pop culture additions, like Harry Potter references, fist pump for all my fellow Hufflepuffs, like Nina.  Then there were twists and turns, where I just knew something was going to happen, but what did happen in the end was totally not what I'd been expecting.  There were the betrayals of those I thought you could trust, as well as ones I suspected throughout.   I loved that the author even brought in the Tales of the Slayer stories in a way, when she referenced the history of slayers, and of course loved Buffy always being referred back to.  Because even though this is a new series with new characters, Buffy will always be "THAT" slayer.  Probably more well known than even the First Slayer, to all current slayers.  I loved it so much.  I just hope that the author can continue to write more in this world and that I will have a third book to look forward to next year!

    Monday, December 30, 2019

    Top 10 of 2019: Best of the Best (Favorite Books)

    Top 10 of 2019 is hosted once again by Kimberly Faye Reads, and this year she has a co-host Ginger @greadsbooks.   Today's topic is best of the best, so you know it was hard.  Just 10?  I think that would be impossible for me. So, the only way I could come up with to do this so that I didn't end up with tons and tons of books was to do it monthly, and still divide it up by YA and my Romance titles.  And I'm not going to put any explanation.  Also, I might have picked a few so that I was picking just a standalone vs. a series, because whenever I pick one from a series, example - Winston Brothers, I end up just arguing with myself over which was best. So here we go!













    Have you read any of these yet?  Did you like them if you did?

    If you're interested in joining in to the Top 10 of 2019, you can go to the links at the top for the hosting blogs.  There's only one more day to do it!

    Also, while you're here, make sure you go enter into my weekly Cleaning Up My TBR Giveaway HERE.  It's open until this Friday until midnight!