Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 Read Your Freebies! Reading Challenge

This challenge was made for me! As I said yesterday (maybe?) I got a mini laptop handed down to me!  Now I can read ebooks without having to sit in the living room and using the PC. I have been obsessed/addicted with getting  free stories and books!  I downloaded Kindle for the PC from 
amazon and Nook for the PC from Barnes and Noble. I have tons!! 
You can pair this challenge with the 2014 Ebook Reading Challenge from Workaday Reads.

To sign up click here.

In 2011, Missie @ The Unread Reader started the Show Me the Free reading challenge as a way to get some of those freebie ebooks read. It was a hit and in 2012 it morphed into the Why Buy the Cow? challenge and she invited Kelly atReading the Paranormal to join her as a co-host. Missie was unable to continue hosting and handed the challenge off to Kelly and Amanda @ On a Book Bender. Unfortunately, Kelly and Amanda are unable to continue hosting and graciously handed the challenge off to me. While the hosts have changed, the goal remains the same: read those freebies!
I bought my first Kindle back in 2010 and I’ve been hoarding collecting free ebooks ever since. I currently have 300+ free ebooks on my Kindle, so you can see how badly I need to participate in this reading challenge. If you’re like me and have lots of free ebooks sitting on your reader waiting for you to read, then this is the reading challenge for you!

Reading Challenge Details:
  • Runs January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2014 (books read prior to 1/1/2014 do not count towards the challenge). You can join anytime before 9/30/2014. Sign up on The Book Vixen’s blog.
  • The goal is to read at least twelve (12) free ebooks. While twelve is the minimum, there is no maximum limit. See the different levels below and pick the one that works best for you. You can move up a level as often as you’d like but no moving down.
  • This reading challenge is for LEGALLY obtained FREE ebooks. We do not condone ebook piracy. These can be books offered through bigger sites, such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, or smaller sites, such as Smashwords and All Romance Ebooks. Ebooks offered through author or publisher websites are acceptable as well, provided they are available free to everyone at the time of download.
  • Any ebook format will work for this challenge (azw, EPUB, iBooks, mobi, PDF, etc.). You DO NOT need to have an ereader to participate in this challenge. You can read ebooks using Amazon’s Free Kindle Reading Apps, which you can download for your iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC, Blackberry and more. Free audiobooks also count towards this challenge provided they are free to the public. They can't be free as a condition of signing up for a service and they can't be provided by the publisher for review.
  • Only ebooks and audiobooks that were available free, in a legal manner, to the public will count towards this challenge. eARCs, library books, ebooks free through Amazon Prime, and/or books won or gifted are not eligible for this challenge.
  • Books can be any genre (fiction, nonfiction, romance, fantasy, mystery, thriller, horror, etc.).
  • Crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed, however, re-reads are not eligible for this challenge. The goal is to read the freebies you’ve legally acquired so that they are off your TBR pile.
  • To join this challenge, grab the 2014 Read Your Freebies! Reading Challenge button and post this reading challenge on your blog to track your progress. Please include a link back to this sign-up post so others can join the reading challenge too. You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads, LibraryThing, BookLikes, Libib, etc., so as long as you have a dedicated shelf for the 2014 Read Your Freebies! Reading Challenge and your profile is not private. The point of linking up is to have a place where people can see what you’re reading.
  • I have decided to forgo the review link-up for 2014. If you plan to review the books you read for this challenge, link them up in your 2014 Read Your Freebies! Reading Challenge post.

         Coupon Clipper: read 12 books
         Penny Pincher: read 24 books
         Buying in Bulk: read 36 books
         Super Saver: read 50 books
         Extreme Couponer: read 100+ books

    Want to know where to start looking for those freebies?
    • Amazon's Top 100 Free Kindle eBooks
    • Barnes & Noble's Free NOOK Books
    • Smashwords (you can sort the list by checking the tabs on the top of the page)
    • All Romance eBooks: Romance | Erotica (ARe also offers random freebie books throughout the year. Signing up for the newsletter is the best way to stay updated about new freebies.)
    • Pocket After Dark (offers free online reads that change monthly and/or every two weeks)
    • Check out your favorite authors' blogs. They often have hidden gems for their readers.
    • Additionally, you can follow The Book Vixen on Facebook and Twitter, where we often post Kindle freebies.

I am going for the Super Saver: read 50 books.

2014 PoC Speculative Fiction

I found this really interesting challenge on A Novel Challenge. Check it out!

Sign up here.

Speculative fiction is defined as science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Within those categories exists many other subcategories, for example cyberpunk, magical realism, and psychological horror. The terms “multicultural,” “person of color,” “women of color,” and “people of color,” are generally considered United States terms that came into use in order to redefine what it means to be a part of historically marginalized racial and ethnic groups within Western society. A writer of color is generally defined as a writer that is a part of a marginalized culture in regards to traditional Euro-Western mainstream culture. This includes Asians, African-Americans, Africans, Native Americans, and Latinos. (Source: Wikipedia)
Since I read a lot of speculative fiction by and about persons of color, I thought I would create this reading challenge.
Details of the Challenge:
  1. This reading challenge runs from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2014 (books read prior to January 1, 2014 do not count towards the challenge). You can join anytime before November 1, 2014
  2. Read speculative fiction (and non-fiction) books by and about persons of color. For a list of authors, check out the listings on Wikipedia OR books from my personal library tagged ‘afrofuturism’ onLibraryThing.
  3. Books can be any format (print, ebook, audio). Graphic novels are also fine
  4. Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed
  5. You can choose your books as you go or create a list in advance
  6. I will put up a post for reviews at the beginning of January
1-5 books — Shapeshifter
6-10 books — Sorcerer
11-15 books — Superhero
16+ books — Post-apocalyptic Survivor
Once you pick a level you can go higher and read more books but you cannot go down a level.
To Sign-Up:
To join this challenge, grab the 2014 PoC Speculative Fiction Reading Challenge badge and post on your blog to track your progress. Sign up using Mr Linky if you’re a blogger, and if you’re not a blogger simply leave a comment below. Please include a link back to this sign-up post so others can join the reading challenge too.
Note: You do not have to be a book blogger to participate. You can track your progress on Goodreads, LibraryThing, etc.
I am going to start with the Shapeshifter level of 1-5 books!

2014 Victorian Reading Challenge

I've not hosted any challenges at Becky's Book Reviews lately. But. I really want to join a Victorian Reading Challenge, and since I haven't found one for this year, I thought I'd try hosting it myself. It will be a simple challenge. Nothing fancy. No giveaways. No monthly link-ups. Of course, if you want to share in the comments what you've been reading, you can! But no obligations to come back and leave links.

Goal: Read two or more Victorian books. Preferably books published during the Victorian years (1837-1901). But books about those years are fine. Here is a list of authors you may find useful if you are looking for ideas.
  • Fiction or nonfiction.
  • Books, e-books, audio books all are fine.
  • Books and movies can be reviewed together or separately.
  • You can create a reading list if you want, but it's not a requirement
  • If you do make a list, consider adding a list of five books you'd recommend to others
  • If possible try to try a new-to-you author! I know it can be really tempting to stick with familiar favorites.
  • Children's books published during these years should not be forgotten!
  • Rereads are definitely allowed if you have favorites!
Join by leaving a comment. Sign up here.

My choices are:
1. History of a Six Weeks' Tour by Mary Shelley
2. The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
3. A Collection of Beatrix Potter Stories - The Original Classic Edition

Romance Reading Challenge 2014

I can't believe it's time for Romance Reading Challenge 2014. Love is in the air people.

I started this reading challenge in 2008 and this will be my sixth year running it. I want to say a big "thank you!" to all who join and participate. You rock. Last year 40 readers joined and 89 reviews were posted! I love seeing this challenge generate interest and inspire people to read a little romance. Love makes the world go round doesn't it?

Without further ado, here are the rules:
1. The challenge runs from January 1st, 2014 through December 31st, 2014. 

2. "Romance" isn't limited to steamy Harlequin novels. There is a huge selection of books in this category such as contemporary romance, historical romance, new adult romance, romantic suspense and paranormal romance to name a few. As long as the story has romantic love between the two main characters your selection will fit this challenge. The novels do not need to have a happy ending either, there can also be unrequited love.

3. Choose at least 5 novels to read. You can change your choices at any time. Crossovers between other challenges are fine.
All kinds of books count, ebooks and audiobooks as well. Re-reads are fine, no ARC's or review request copies. The books you read for the challenge should be books you choose as personal reads, not books that are review requests from authors or publicists. Books you request for yourself are fine...i.e. NetGalley books.

4. Read your book selections at your own pace in 2014 then post the link to your review(s). You don't need to have a blog, posting your reviews on Goodreads and LibraryThing counts as well. If you do have a blog and are joining us, please consider linking back to this post either with text or with one of the buttons provided below to help spread the word.

I hope you will join us! Happy reading :)  Sign up here.

My choices are:
1. Love is Darkness by Caroline Hanson
2. Few Are Angels by Inger Iversen
3. The Beauty Bride by Claire DelaCroix
4. Amethyst by Lauren Royal
5. Time Was by Nora Roberts

His Twisted Choice by Amelia James

This book is the third in The Twisted Mosaic. This time the main focus is on Will.   He has moved to Denver to be closer to Talia.  He knows that she has chosen Alex but is still hoping that she will come back to him. He starts to date Claire, Alex's paralegal. He makes her more self assured but he still wants Talia deep down. Will things work out between the threesome?

I liked this book but I did not care for the F/F action at the beginning.  It's not my cup of tea, well, neither are threesomes! But I do enjoy how much the characters have changed and love each other.

From the author's site:
Will loves Talia, and he’s willing to give up everything to be with her. Their future hinges on her answer to one simple question. But when he leaves his life behind to pursue her, he’s confronted with choices he didn’t expect.
Alex loves Talia, but he needs proof he can trust her. Words mean nothing to him without action. But his actions lead him to believe that love has no limits, and the choices he faces may not either.
Talia loves Alex… and Will. One man pushes her sexual boundaries and indulges her fantasies, while the other understands her twisted desires and keeps her secure in his heart. How can she possibly choose between them?
No more secrets. No more lies. Old love? New love? Or do they have a third option?
Sometimes, love takes an unexpected twist.

Pages: 194
Published: 2013

Monday, December 30, 2013

2014 YA Paranormal Book Challenge

From Shawna Romkey's blog: Hi everyone. If you’re interested in doing this book club with me, I’d love to have you join me. The deal is to read a YA paranormal book a month according to the schedule below. Then check in when I post about it for the month and give your thoughts, leave a review, like the author and all that if you liked the book, and get a chance to win a prize for commenting on my Facebook page.

January is Angels / Nephilim, so obviously I’ll recommend my book, Speak of the Devil. But feel free to read another YA angel book. On the 15th of the month I’ll ask you to start checking in. The prize for doing so will be different each month! Here’s the schedule so you can start shopping for books with all your Christmas gift cards!!

January- Angels/Nephilim
February- Demons/Devils
March- Dragons
April- Elves/Fey
May- Ghosts
June- Gods/Goddesses
July- Mermaids/Sea Creatures
August- Other
September- Vampires
October- Werewolves/Shifters
November- Witches/Wizards/Psychics
December- Zombies
So January is Angels/Nephilim. Start looking for books to read. Check in when you know what you’re going to read on my Facebook page and keep us posted. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shawna-Romkey-Author/137998326331706
The January prize for taking part is an iPhone feather case as pictured here:
Also, if someone is involved and takes part all year, a grand prize will be awarded in December!
Looking forward to this! Hope you join me on my FB page. :)

My choices are:
January- Angels/Nephilim - Fallen by Lauren Kate
February- Demons/Devils - Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
March- Dragons Dragon's Keep by Janet Lee Carey
April- Elves/Fey Impossible by Nancy Werlin
May- Ghosts The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong
June- Gods/Goddesses Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
July- Mermaids/Sea Creatures Lost Voices by Sarah Porter
August- Other Blue Bloods: The Graphic Novel
September- Vampires Bloody Little Secrets by Karly Kirkpatrick
October- Werewolves/Shifters The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
November- Witches/Wizards/Psychics The Calling by Kelley Armstrong
December- Zombies

Anne & Kristilyn’s 2014 Book Bingo Reading Challenge

It’s almost 2014, which means it’s time to sign up for the 2014 Book Bingo Challenge, hosted by myself and Anne from Creativity’s Corner!
Throughout 2013, we had been asking for feedback on the challenge and we took your suggestions to heart, which means some changes have been made this year! When we thought about all the things we wanted to include in this year’s challenge, we ended up making a list:
  • Reading the books in our TBR pile
  • Re-reading some books
  • Stepping outside of our comfort zone in reading
  • Reading some newly released books
  • Reading books from series that we have started & have been neglecting
In order to keep track of everything, we came up with a fancy, schmancy scoreboard:

Of course, a challenge isn’t really a challenge unless there are some rules and guidelines:
  1. Be awesome. If you’re not, this isn’t going to work.
  2. The challenge runs from January 1 to December 31, 2014.
  3. If you want to participate, you can join in any time of the year! Feel free to write up a blog post with the rules linking back to my and Anne’s blog in your sign-up post. You can add your post to the Linky at the end of this post!
  4. If you read one book for the “1 book” in any category, you can’t change it later on when you read another book to “2 books.” Once a square is crossed off, it’s crossed off for good! (Feel free to print off the scoreboard to keep track!)
  5. Books read for one square are for that square ONLY and cannot be counted towards another category. This is all about reading ALL THE BOOKS.
  6. The FREE SQUARES are a little different this year — now you can use those squares to read ANY book you like of any genre! Woo!
  7. You can start your board over again, but ONLY if you receive the stamp of awesome by completing a blackout. The “winners” of the challenge will be the ones who achieve the most winning combinations by the end of 2014.
  8. You can feel free to post your reading list for each category, though it’s not a requirement.
  9. Having a blog or writing reviews for books read is not required. So long as you want to have fun, you can participate!
  10. Every 3 months I will post an update here and all participants can link to their own updates. An update post will go up April 1st, July 1st, October 1st, and December 31st.
  11. This isn’t a race, but don’t be afraid to rub your reads in the other player’s face. This will be seen as encouragement. Feel free to use the hashtag #BookBingo2014on Twitter!
While you can definitely “win” by the boring ol’ vertical or horizontal (or diagonal!) lines, the best ways to win are as follows:
BINGO Wins 2014-01
Like it says in the guidelines, the ONLY way to start a new board is to become the SUPER READER! The goal is to read ALL THE BOOKS! To be a winner (thus, to become the awesomest reader around), you’ll want to accomplish as many wins as possible!
I am going to read my books and just see what will qualify on this challenge!

TBR Pile

One Book:

Two Books:

Three Books:

Four Books:

Five Books:

Mix It Up

Free Square- Newberry Award Winner: The Giver by Lois Lowry



Historical Fiction Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier

New Releases

Their Twisted Love – The Twisted Mosaic, Book 2

This is the second in The Twisted Mosaic series. This time the focus is mainly on Alex.  He has moved to Denver to get away from all of the memories.  He is working as an ADA.  Talia gets hired as a forensic accountant to work on a case they are prosecuting.  Alex's feelings get all messed up.  He loves her but can he make her happy?  What will actually make Talia happy? SEX!?!  She has a boyfriend, Scott, but is not really happy with him.  She is bouncing around between Scott, Alex and Will. Does she love Alex?
Once again I am captivated by these characters. I want to slap Talia quite a few times through this book. Make up your mind woman!! I was given this book by the author. I cannot remember if I won it in a raffle or if she asked who wanted a copy.  My review is not biased on that.
From the author's site:
Alex has everything he wants. He loves the power that comes with his job, and fooling around with his boss provides the illicit kink he needs. He’s in charge and trusts no one.
Will should’ve learned something from his disastrous past, but he’s distanced himself from everyone who loved him, keeping the pain in protective custody. He has no use for entanglements.
Talia has a new man, safe and secure—and boring as hell. She won’t sleep with him until she knows she wants only him. But she can’t forget, or forgive, the men who indulged her wildest fantasies and violated her trust.
They’re happy apart… until Alex’s case forces them back together, and Talia discovers she still craves both her former lovers. Can only one love her enough to satisfy her twisted desires and provide the stability she needs?
Sometimes, giving up control is the only way to keep it.
Pages: 162 
Published: 2013

Sunday, December 29, 2013

2014 Historic Fiction Reading Challenge

~Challenge Details and Guidelines~

  • The challenge will run from January 1st, 2014 - December 31st, 2014. Sign-ups will remain open until December 15th, 2014
  • You don’t have to have a blog to participate, as long as you can post your reviews somewhere (GoodReads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc)
  • This challenge encompasses both YA and adult historic books
  • Any subgenre of historic fiction counts - historic romance, paranormal historic fiction, historic fantasy, etc. Time slips (where a character(s) goes back and forth between the present and the past) also count. Publication date doesn’t matter - whether it was published this year or thirty years ago, it counts.
  • Any length and format of book count - audiobooks, ebooks, novellas, etc.
  • Create a sign-up post for the challenge (or tweet, Facebook post, GoodReads status, etc if you don’t have a blog), include the graphic at the top of this post, along with a link back so other people can sign up, and be sure to tell us which level you’re aiming for (levels are below). You don’t have to list the books you intend to read, but you can if you want. When you add your link to the Linky below, please use the direct link to your sign-up post.
  • At the beginning of each month, I’ll post a new Linky where you can add your reviews for the month. If you forget to link up one month, you can link up the next, just please don't link the same review twice. Unfortunately I can’t afford to do giveaways each month, but I’m hoping to do surprise giveaways* for participants, and there will definitely be a giveaway at the end of the year. The more books you review, the more entries you get in the grand prize giveaway!
  • Reviews must be posted for the first time between January 1st, 2014 and December 31st, 2014 to count.
  • If you’re on Twitter, feel free to tweet updates, reviews, etc using the hashtag #2014HFRC so we can all find each other and cheer each other on. I’ll randomly retweet tweets using that hashtag throughout the year.
  • You don’t have to follow Ramblings of a Daydreamer to enter the challenge, but you might want to follow via BlogLovin’ or email so you know when the monthly link-ups are posted, along with surprise challenges or giveaways.
  • Each month I’ll be updating the 2014 Historic Fiction Reading Challenge page at the top of the blog with everyone’s progress. Each person who posts a review will get their name added, along with all the reviews they link up each month - hopefully that will drive more traffic to your blog!  

    *If you’re an author, blogger, publisher, publicist, etc who would like to donate historic fiction books (physical, ebooks, audiobooks, anything) or swag as prizes for this challenge, or if you'd like to offer books for review opportunities to participants, please contact me at irishstar_83(at)hotmail(dot)com. For anyone willing to donate, I’ll do my best to promote your blog, book, website, etc., and you'll get special acknowledgements on the 2014 Historic Fiction Reading Challenge page at the top of the blog.

1-5 books ~ Testing the bonds of time
6-12 books ~ Slipping through time
13-20 books ~ Traveling back in time
21+ books ~ Living in the past

I have decided to start with the Slipping through time 6-12 books.