January Featured Author: Darby Karchut

If you have followed my blog at any length of time,  then you  have heard me rave about Darby Karchut. So it only makes sense that she becomes a featured author, after all, she is one of my few D.E.A.R. authors.  I didn’t know that a review that I posted almost 6 years ago would blossom into a dear friendship. Darby is a wonderful person and amazing author.  But here is my journey from the beginning to now. Darby has also stopped by her for a couple of guest posts, and I am happy to host her. So check by throughout January for some Darby Karchut-goodness!

Darby Karchut author photo

About the Author: If you want to know about Darby, please check out her website. But in short, she is a former middle school teacher, originally from New Mexico but currently resides in Colorado with her husband.  She has won multiple awards (well deserved) and is currently getting ready for new release (which we will be discussing here, later!)

Current works:  You can click on the covers for my reviews!

Griffin:

Griffin Rising (Griffin, #1) Griffin's Fire (Griffin, #2)

Griffin's Storm (Griffin, #3)

The Adventures of Finn MacCullen

Finn Finnegan (The Adventures of Finn MacCullen, #1) Gideon's Spear (The Adventures of Finn MacCullen, #2)

The Hound at the Gate (The Adventures of Finn MacCullen, #3) Finn's Choice  (The Adventures of Finn MacCullen, #4)

Bannerman Boru:

The Stag Lord (Bannerman Boru, #1) Unholy Blue (Bannerman Boru, #2)

Stonewall Wheeler

Stone's Heart

 

Upcoming Release:

Del Toro Moon temp cover

 

 

Always Shine!

 

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Scattered Reading Sunday

I enjoyed doing this last weekend so I thought I’d do it again this weekend. This is great since there’s quite a few books that i have to read before I can really dive into my own stacks of books. (It’s also good if you don’t know what to read next.) Here are the books that I’ve read today, I’ve even finished a couple.

Finished:

Guilty Blood by Rick Acker

Made Progress With:

I am halfway through this, and I’m really looking forward to finishing this one and the rest of the trilogy.

Started:

This is book club pick for August. I read the first chapter and I think I’m going to like it. Either way, I’m glad to finally getting to it.

Well, that is what I was doing today. What about you?

Always Shine!

Top 7 Books I’ve Read So Far

Top 7 Books I’ve Read and Would Recommend so Far

I thought that now would be the perfect time to review the books I’ve read so far, and see which books have stayed with me.  Though these are supposed to be books, there are three exceptions….

Borderline (The Arcadia Project, #1)The Ballad of Black TomGame of ShadowsMagic Binds (Kate Daniels, #9)Binti (Binti, #1)Princeless, Vol. 1: Save YourselfOur Talons Can Crush Galaxies

 

  1. Borderline by Mishell Baker- this is a book that I picked up because of my Awards project. It was nominated for the Nebula, and I completely understand why. While I had heard about this book previously it was in a vague “Ooh I’d like to read this one day” kind of way. Millie was a character that I really liked, though she is completely flawed. I have already ordered the next book in the series and can’t wait to read that!
  2. That Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaVelle – this is the first exception, since this is a novella. But this is something else that I picked up for my Awards project. This was nominated for both the Nebula and the Hugo. LaVelle is an author that was never on my radar, but now I want all of his books. I’m excited because he has an assortment of books to choose from; short story collections, novellas and full length novels.
  3. Game of Shadows by Erika Lewis- this was a book that I was given for review, and I loved it. I want to say that this is the first book by this author, but I could be wrong. Either way, I am looking forward to the next book.
  4. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor- Again, this is a novella. It’s something that’s been on my radar for a while, but I picked it up when I received the second one for review. I really liked this story, and I can’t wait to read the second one. (I don’t know what I’m waiting on since I have it ready to go….)
  5. The Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews- I didn’t read the entire this series this year, but I read the last two or three books this year. I am eagerly waiting for the next book, unfortunately I will have to wait a year.
  6. Princeless Volume 1 Save Yourself by Jeremy Whitley – This is a graphic novel, and it’s a re-read. I really enjoyed it and while I tend to not collect graphic novels, this is one that I will collect.
  7. Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies by Brooke Bolander- this is the final exception, as this is a short story. I was surprised that I loved this short story so much. But it was exceptional. I hope that Bolander plans on writing a full-length novel soon. This is another story that I read because of my Awards project, it was nominated for the Nebula.

Well, these are my favorites so far. And I would recommend all of them to everyone. I have been pretty happy with all of my reading so far this year. I am still surprised that I have enjoyed the picks for the Awards, I didn’t expect to enjoy every single book. But I’ve only been reading the shortlist for the Nebula. Next, I will read the shortlist for the Hugo. After that I’m going back in time in reading the shortlist for the very first Arthur C. Clarke award, so we will see how that goes.

 

What I’m Reading Wednesday

I am trying out something new, and if it works out I’ll continue it. So, please, let me know what you think.click the image foe the Goodreads summary.

I am currently reading 4 books. I usually don’t read this many at the same time, but 2 are review books, one is for a month long read-a-long, and  one I just have to read right now.

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This is the review book that I just started. So far, I like it.

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This is a book I requested from the publisher. I ask loving this book. It’s scary, and good and I waver between needing a break and not wanting to put it down.

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This is the book that I’m reading for a month long read-a-long. There will actually be a good reads group opening up this weekend if anyone wants to join in.

Finally,

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I’m reading this to continue the Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy. I read the first one for my Kindle clean up Project. It’s just that good, I had to have the next book. This is true for the third book as well.

What are you reading right now?

Always Shine!

Top Ten Series I’ve Been Meaning to Start but Haven’t

This is a meme starts and hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. I thought I’d join in this week.

1. John Cleaver by Dan Wells

2. Partials Sequence by Dan Wells

3. Temperance Brennan by Kathy Reichs

4. Virals by Kathy Reichs and Brandon Reichs

5. The Original Shannara Trilogy by Terry Brooks

6. Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

7.Foundation by Isaac Asimov

8. Reckoners by Brandon Sanderson

9. Sword of Truth Terry Goodkind

10. Bob Lee Swagger by Stephen Hunter

Honorable Mentions: Rizzoli and Isles by Tess Gerritsen and Mitch Rapp by Vince Flynn

The saddest part is that, except for the Terry Brooks series, I own at least one book in each series. In fact, for four of these I own all of the books in the series.  I have no idea what I’m waiting on.

 

 

What about you? Are there series you’ve been meaning to start but haven’t?

 

Always Shine!

Quarterly Goals Check In Jan- Apr

 I wanted to quickly check in with the progress I was making with my reading projects/goals.  I also wanted to be specific with what I was aiming for in the second quarter of the year.

First Quarter-

#offmybookshelf- 7

#Kindlecleanup-4

Classics Club- 2 DNF’d, 0 Read

Banned Books- 0

Series/Trilogies- 3 Completed and 3 DNF’d

So looking at what I’ve read the first quarter, I know that I want to do better. I’ve read a lot of books but, most of them have not been my own.  I know that I have DNF’d quite a few books and 3 series, and I am okay with that. So I am seeing movement, but not as much as I would like. So, for the next quarter I want to do a lot better.

Second Quarter Goals –

#offmybookshelf = 21

#kindlecleanup = 12

Classics Club = 6

Banned Books = 3

Series/Trilogies = 3

Hugo/Nebula Nominees* = All of the Nebula Nominees for the novel, novella, novelette and short story

Black Writers Matter* = 6

I know that these are pretty ambitious goals for the second quarter. But, I believe that if I read intentionally that they are all possible. The reading from the first quarter, I pretty much read whatever I wanted with the exception of review books. I still have quite a few review books that I need to get through, but my focus will be these goals. It’s not that bad since books can overlap as many of the goals as possible.

 

Well, let me know how your reading is going so far this year. Are you doing well with your reading goals?

*New projects that were added at the end of the first quarter/beginning of the second quarter.

 

How are you doing with your reading goals?

Quarterly Wrap-up Jan-Apr 2017

Okay, so this is being posted a little later than I had planned for it. And in my haste, I added in an extra month. I am okay with that, so I guess you’ll have to be okay with it too. But I promise I will do better next time. 

First Quarter Wrap-Up and Check In

So, I thought that I would still do Friday Reads and monthly wrap-ups, but I guess life had other plans. I am in no way complaining since most of my time has been consumed with my beautiful new baby girl and my rambunctious adorable 2 year old. I have also undertaken two new projects. One I cannot tell you about just yet. The other project is my Award Nominee Project. This is a bit time consuming but, my goal is to have it complete by the end of the year. For this project I am reading all of the novels, short stories, novella, novelettes and series that were nominated for the Hugo and Nebula awards.  (The series will roll into next year).

But I wanted to check in to go over the books that I’ve read and the progress I’ve made with my reading goals and projects.

First the Books:

I have read a total of 42 books so far.  Here’s the Good Stuff—

My Favorites/5 stars:

5 novels and 3 short stories/novellas!!!

Queen's Own (Valdemar: Arro...

Heralds of the Queen trilogy by Mercedes Lackey

Behind Her Eyes

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

Merlin's Nightmare (The Mer...

 Merlin’s Nightmare by Robert Treskillard

Magic Binds (Kate Daniels, #9)

Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

The Rook (The Patrick Bower...

The Rook by Steven James

Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies

Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies by Brooke Bolander (Short Story)

The City Born Great

The City Born Great by N.K. Jemisin (Short Story)

The Ballad of Black Tom

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor Lavelle (Novella)

Series Completed/Caught up on

3!!!!

Heralds of Valdemar by Mercedes Lackey (Finished)

Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews (Caught up, Next book out in 2018)

Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris (Completed)

 

Least Favorite/ 2 stars or below

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Torched by April Henry

Department Zero by Paul Crilley

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

 

Books and Series that I’ve DNF’d

House of Night Series by P.C. and Kristin Cast

The Morganville Vampire Series by Rachel Caine

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Blood Ransom by Lisa Harris

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

The Sweetest Thing by Jill Shalvis

I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Ian Reid

Unfolding by Jonathan Friesen

Firstborn by Lorie Ann Grover

The Blue Enchantress by M. L. Tyndall

 

All in all, I would say that I have had a decent reading quarter. Now how did I do with my goals/projects? My next post will talk about this… I’m sure it was an epic fail though.

How has your reading been?

 

Always Shine!