Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Top Ten New-To-Us Authors We Read For The First Time In 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.
Every once in a while I participate in this one when I either
1) Like the theme, and/or 2) Have the time!

This week's topic:
Top Ten New-To-Ua Authors We Read For The First Time In 2016

Not all of these authors are 2016 debuts, but it was the first time Mandy and I had ever read books by them, so it still counts as being a new author to US!!!

In no particular order...

1) UPDRAFT by Fran Wilde

I heard about this book at BEA 2015, but never got a chance to read it because I gave it to another blogger to read first and never got it back, and she couldn't remember the title to tell me what it was so I could buy it. ^^;; AND THEN I was sent a review copy this fall reminding me about the book. ...AND the author was at a local signing!!!

I really liked the unique world-building and am excited to read more books in this world!

My Review



I really loved reading A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING this year--a debut novel--and am really excited to read the sequel in 2017!

My Review


3) THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS by Marieke Nijkamp

I guess this one is technically a cheat. I was lucky enough to read THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS really early in 2015, even though it didn't come out until January 2016. So I didn't read it this year! BUT I recommended it a LOT this year--and just voted for it every round in the Goodreads Choice Awards. So I think it still deserves a place here. Great debut novel!!!

My Early Spotlight


4) THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON by Kelly Barnhill

I bought Kelly Barnhill's novel IRON-HEARTED VIOLET when it came out...and never had a chance to read it. I met her at BEA a couple of years ago and got a signed ARC of THE WITCH'S BOY...and never had a chance to read it. In that sense, the author isn't new to me, but since I've never READ her before, she counts, right??? THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON was breath-takingly beautiful. I cheered when I heard that the man who helmed the movie Kubo and the Two Strings optioned to bring this to animated film as his next movie. This book is just SO GOOD!!!

I still need to review this. I even filmed a design vlog. I just...haven't yet. *hides*



There has been so much good buzz about this book, and for good reason! It mixes a contemporary world, historical fiction, and lands of myth together seamlessly in the best way possible. Plus, Heidi Heilig is an awesome person whose Tweets I love seeing whenever I'm on Twitter!!! I voted for her as debut every round in the Goodreads Choice Awards even before reading because they want to know the AUTHOR you like the best in that category, not the book--at least, that's how I take it. And I love how she is the most! ♥

Guys, I just finished this YESTERDAY. Give me time to write a review!!! ^.~


6) SABRIEL by Garth Nix

I bought SABRIEL (And possibly LIRAEL) the spring of my senior year of high school. Everything from that time got boxed up when I went to college. I recently got to meet Garth Nix at BEA when CLARIEL was about to come out, and this fall, he did a tour stop in my hometown. So...I figured I'd better finally read him, right!?

Mandy reviewed this one!


7) WINTERSONG by S. Jae-Jones

This is one of those books that probably shouldn't count because it doesn't come out until 2017, but I read it in 2016, so....

If you like Labyrinth and want a book that was inspired by the movie and is full of romance, you definitely want to pick up WINTERSONG when it debuts in February!!!

Here's my spotlight post!


8) MAGNETIC SHIFT by Lucy D. Briand

 This was a really cool contemporary that missed sort-of kind-of X-Menish abilities into the contemporary world of Nascar-style racing. It was a unique hybrid that I really enjoyed! I can't wait to read more books from Lucy D. Briand!

My Review


9) IVORY AND BONE by Julie Eshbaugh

A book inspired by Pride and Prejudice with wooly mammoths and sabertooth tigers!? How can you NOT want to read it!? It was an excellent debut, and I'm definitely ready for the sequel!!! Plus, Julie is a local author, and super duper nice!!! And that cover!!!

Okay, so there is no review yet because Mandy and I are going to review it TOGETHER and just haven't had the time!


10) RUINED by Amy Tintera

I LOVED this book!!! (And I think it's still on sale for $1.99 if you read e-books!!!) I read it earlier this year and had to read Amy Tintera's first duology because I wasn't ready to say goodbye to the world of RUINED. I desperately need to read the sequel in 2016!!!

My Review


1) THE FORGETTING by Sharon Cameron

The Forgetting

My fingers had been itching to pick this book up for months. I just had a good feeling about it. And I was not disappointed. A review will be coming soon, but for now I'll say that it's dystopian, a little sci fi, and I devoured it in a day.


2) TITANS by Victoria Scott


Titans was such a good read! Strong characters, a highlight on the strength we gain from familial and friendly support systems, and the bond between human and machine. Alsoooo all the visuals of horses made of metal.

My Review


3) SPLINTERED by A.G. Howard

Splintered (Splintered, #1)

I am now obsessed with this series. I'd seen it on the shelf at the beginning of this year. It's been around for a while but I hadn't really truly SEEN it. When I had the opportunity to read it for Wonderland week I was ecstatic and it was everything I hoped for. Quirky, dark, twisted and creative. The characters all have hidden depths.

My Review


4) SIGNS OF YOU by Emily France

Signs of You

I can't stop fawning over this book. Once I start talking about it I can't shut my mouth. It's contemporary on the surface, but there's an intriguing supernatural undertone. France handles the concept of the afterlife in a way I've never seen in fiction before and it left my head spinning.

My Review



Luckiest Girl Alive

I was late on the Psychological Thriller train, but I was so glad that I picked this one up. The main character is quirky and odd, there's something unique and distinctive in the narration, which pulls you in. And when the climax hits well, all I can say is that my jaw dropped more than once.

My Review


6) THE LAND OF FORGOTTEN GIRLS by Erin Entrada Kelly

The Land of Forgotten Girls

I will admit I cried several times while reading this. The sisterly feels hit you hard and Kelly has such a talent with pulling readers into the narration.

My Review


7) SUMMER OF LOST AND FOUND by Rebecca Behrens

Summer of Lost and Found

If you ever wanna take a walk down the road of historical fiction, this book is gorgeous. Rebecca Behrens makes history fascinating by wrapping it around well written characters and colorful narration.


8) THE CALL by Peadar O'Guilin

The Call

 I read this one around halloween and oh my gosh. It was everything I loved in a dark book about Fae, but with this extra edge that gave me goosebumps. I am hoping to read more from the author soon!

My Review


9) MAGONIA by Maria Dahvana Headley

Magonia (Magonia, #1)

You aren't supposed to judge a book by it's cover, but I'll admit this one pulled me in. I'm about halfway through and the imagery this plot creates is breathtaking. Pirate ships in the sky? A girl who is sickly on earth but healthy and powerful in another world? Count me in! Such an amazing book.


10) FURTHURMORE by Tahereh Mafi


I've only just started this one, but oh sweet baby jesus am I in love. The writing is stunning, which I expected because a friend is in love with Tahereh's teen series Shatter Me. You can feel that the story pulls inspiration from multiple fairytale sources, but the plot itself is so vibrantly unique.

What books are you most excited to read???

Monday, December 5, 2016

{Month in Review/Monthly Preview} From Owlcrates and Exclusive Funko Pops to Toppling 2016 TBRs and Sleepy Puppies!

The Holidays Are HERE!!!

Is it just me, or is this always the absolute busiest time of the year?

I feel like most of the year is pretty steady, but once fall hits, everything explodes. I've been SO crazy lately, and it's only gotten moreso this past month. I don't see things letting up until the new year!!!

But....it's also a great time of year! In addition to all of the normal curveballs life throws our way, this is a great time of year for spending time with family, because there are so many holidays! Especially in my family, when you add a lot of fall/early winter birthdays into the mix!

Do you have any great plans for the holidays this year? I get to go to Chuck E. Cheese next week for my niece's birthday party (First time I've been there in I can't even tell you how long!), then a week later, it's her mama's birthday. Three days later, there are Christmas Eve plans, THEN Christmas Day plans, THEN Boxing Day plans with out-of-town family, then yet one MORE out-of-town get-together. Busy, busy!

I hope you'll have an amazing holiday as well, no matter what you celebrate!


I know, I know! I've had at least one book signing every month this fall! I've been incredibly lucky!!

This month, it was just a little signing, not a big event, with Tor authors Lawrence M. Schoen and Fran Wilde. 

I've never read Schoen's books, but I recently read (and reviewed!!! Check it out!) Wilde's UPDRAFT. I picked up the companion novel CLOUDBOUND at the event and am eager to read it!

Since the authors were just sitting at a table and chatting with fans, rather than doing a big panel event, I was able to talk to her a while and ask questions and hear some awesome behind-the-scenes stuff. It was really cool!

UPDRAFT has one of the most unique worlds I've seen in a novel in 2016, so if you like fantasy and want something new, you should totally check it out! It's technically an adult title, but I would feel no qualms giving it to a teen because it could have easily been published as YA!


Ha. Ha. Ha!

I knew I'd be behind starting off. I had a couple of blog tours at the beginning of November and then I had to put a lot of posts together for our week-long A Week of Wonderland event. So I was already two weeks behind the crowd!

Then I did a day...and then I changed what I was working on. And then I got sick. And then I realized I didn't have enough time to do anything substantial.

PLUS, my crazy-long booklist of everything I have to read by the end of the year started worrying me. (I was on a book-reading ban to write....and you guys!!! You'll see the picture below in my TBR pile section, but I have FOURTEEN BOOKS left to read. That's a LOT. So eep!!!)

I'm going to do my own NaNo in January/February instead!


Hunting for...Exclusive Funko Pops!!!

Okay, I guess this is TECHNICALLY a set of December pictures because I found my last Moana Pop on December 1st.

BUT I spent most of November hunting these gals down, so!!!!

The Hot Topic exclusives were both pretty easy to snag. Baby Moana was on their website and Translucent Ariel was in the store. I've never had a non-Hot Topic or Barnes and Noble Pop before, so I didn't know how hard/easy it would be to find the others---especially in busy stores like Walmart and Target! So the other three Pops? Not so easy!!!

Walmart eventually put Voyager Moana on their website, and now she is mine!!! The Target exclusive....someone gave me the UPC and told me to use a website called Brickseeker. When I saw that my Target got it in, I flew there the next day....and an employee had to get it out of the stockroom for me!!!! I felt bad, but she made my day!!!

I would say Target was the hardest exclusive to get, since she's STILL not on the website and I had to get her in a very convoluted way, HOWEVER, Glitter Ariel was probably the real hardest/rarest of the Pops. She's a secret Chase Pop. She was originally a Hot Topic Exclusive, but then they scrapped her for the Translucent Ariel, so Funko mixed her in with all the "Regular Dress" Ariels in their shipment. No unique UPC, no sticker saying she was special, NOTHING!!! You had to either pay a fortune on Ebay/Amazon for people who had found and snagged her or be lucky enough to snag her in the wild. I couldn't believe it when I went into Michael's Crafts and found her mixed in with the regular Ariel at the register. Especially since I didn't know Michael's even SOLD Pops! AND I had a 55% off coupon, so she was only six bucks!!! #win

All my exclusives in a row with their boxes!!!!
(I shot it crooked, I know, sorry!!)

The various stages of Moana!!!!
I think the Target exclusive is my favorite!
I was SO Happy to finally find her there!!!

Such pretty belles of the ball!!!
You have to make the picture bigger to see Ariel's glitter,
but she's so sparkly!!!!
My First Owlcrate!!!

I have an unboxing video here if you want to see better images of everything, but look!!!

If you want a Wonderland Owlcrate too because you need that exclusive HEARTLESS cover as much as I did, Owlcrate JUST put up a new batch of boxes you can buy! 

So click here and grab it---for yourself, OR for a holiday gift idea!!!


My nails were short again most of the month. *sigh*

They were FINALLY getting long again--and nine of them broke last week!!! So now only my left thumb is long. During Holiday Nail Art Season!!! SO BUMMED!!!!

So ignore how short my nails are--I know designs don't look as nice on short nails.

I did two cute manicures this month!

One was for a wedding (And I didn't have the time to do anything fancy, so I cheated and used nail stickers ^^;;;;), and the other was a fun design for Black Friday!!!

Revlon Nail Stickers for a Wedding!!!
They're starting to wear and tear in this picture (sorry!!!),
but I love doing some kind of black and white design every year on Black Friday!!!
I always use my beloved Zoya "Purity" and Orly "Liquid Vinyl" because I love how strong and shiny they are.
This year, I also used a Sally Hansen nail art pen in black for the dots!!!


Here are some of the photos I've taken and shared this month!

When you're on break and a co-worker offers you a *kiss*
....you take it!!!
I love the Santa Hat Design on the Hershey Kisses this year!
On Black Friday, Barnes and Noble had their Leatherbound Collection half price.
I love collecting these beautiful books and had to stock up!

Look at these pages!!!!!!!!!!!
Especially the green! *swoon*
Sleepy Puppy needed to cuddle with my foot while I was watching TV after Thanksgiving Dinner!
I couldn't get up or change positions, but it was so worth it!!!Add caption
Have you gotten HEARTLESS by Marissa Meyer naked yet?
So pretty!!!
My haul one day when I was excite to find the Hot Topic Exclusive Ariel
AND the special Beauty and the Beast issue of Entertainment Weekly on the stand early!
....plus, I spent Kohl's Cash on a pricey brand of nail polish and paid barely anything for it!!!


Christmas music!!!! Only since Black Friday, but....that's most of what I've heard this month! It makes me happy to pull it out for a few weeks!

How about you?


Behind on everything, of course! I wasn't allowed to watch anything when I was going to do NaNo, so....I've seriously only watched Once Upon a Time and Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. this month, and only because I watch them when I visit with my dad on Sunday evenings! Or else I'd be caught up on nothing!!!!

That was my November.

How was yours???

Here's a look at everything that happened this past month!


None atm, but two are coming! ^.~

Check out the October Blog Tour Schedule for more upcoming giveaways!
(Most blog tour stops feature giveaways as well!)

*EVER THE HUNTED by Erin Summerill  {12/20 Review}
*Gifts for Writers---I'm going to guest post over at That Artsy Reader Girl later this month!!!


{All links to Goodreads!}

*CARVE THE MARK by Veronica Roth (but I'll probably be done this and on THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE by Heidi Heilig by the time you read this because I'm close to the end!)


Do you seriously want to know the answer to this?
Because HAHAHA You're funny! 

This is EVERYTHINGI need to read in the next month if I want to read all of the "Best of the Year" books.

So, um.....tell me which ones to prioritize???

[link to my GoodReads account so you can see my blurb feed as I read]
{All links to Goodreads!}

TOTAL: 6 Books...so much for a book ban! Once I knew I wasn't NaNoing...well, it was a contemporary month for me!

*UPDRAFT by Fran Wilde {Adult with YA slant}
*THE HATING GAME by Sally Thorne {Adult}
*BY YOUR SIDE by Kasie West {YA}
*PS I LIKE YOU by Kasie West {YA}
*THE HATE YOU GIVE by Angie Thomas {YA}
*#Famous by Jilly Gagnon {YA}

{All link to our reviews!}

*EVERYDAY MAGIC by Emily Albright {YA}
*RED GIRL, BLUE BOY by Lauren Baratz-Logsted {YA}[Redux]
*UPDRAFT by Fran Wilde {Adult with YA slant}
*SEEING REDD by Frank Beddor {YA}
*HATTER by Daniel Coleman {YA }[Redux]
*JABBERWOCKY by Daniel Coleman {YA} [Redux]
 *SPLINTERED by A.G. Howard {YA} 
*HEARTLESS by Marissa Meyer {YA}
*QUEEN OF HEARTS by Colleen Oakes {YA}
*BEWARE THE LITTLE WHITE RABBIT Anthology by Various Authors {YA+}
*THE YOUNG ELITES by Marie Lu {YA}[Redux]
*LIFT THE FLAP: FAIRY TALES by Emma Jennings w/illustrations by Victoria Ball {Picture Book}[Vlog Review]
*PS I LIKE YOU by Kasie West {YA}
*TITANS by Victoria Scott {YA}

*Talking about Japan, Fantasy/PN YA novels that actually have ISSUES, and Featuring A DARKLY BEATING HEART by Lindsay Smith!

*{Blitz} BLOOD FOR BLOOD by Ryan Graudin
*{Month in Review / Monthly Preview} November is all about Wonderland Goodies and NaNoWriMo!!! 
*A Week of Wonderland: Schedule of Events
*Discussing Todrick Hall's "Taylor in Wonderland" featuring Maddie Ziegler from Dance Moms!

*Top Ten Alice in Wonderland-themed Books! 
* Happy Book Day to HEARTLESS by Marissa Meyer!
Stylish Wonderland-Themed Gloves--for writers and the cold-handed alike!
*{Design Analysis Vlog} HEARTLESS by Marissa Meyer (Both UK & US Editions!}

*Discussing...Disney's Alice Through the Looking Glass and Why I--*gasp* LIKED It!!!
*Wonderland Fashion Inspired by QUEEN OF HEARTS by Colleen Oakes
*Discussing Frank Wildhorn's WONDERLAND Cast Recording

****FREE EBOOK!*** HER MAD HATTER by Marie Hall (Or a FREE pack that also includes GERARD'S BEAUTY and RED AND HER WOLF!!!)
*Discussing SyFy's ALICE Retelling...Set 150 Years in Our Future!
*Fashion Inspired by OF FIRE AND STARS by Audrey Coulhurst

*Unboxing the Wonderland Owlcrate!
*Ten Most Recent Books We've Added to our TBR!
*What Makes a Villain? What Makes a Hero? Feat. THE YOUNG ELITES by Marie Lu