Monday, November 30, 2015

#BookBlogWriMo - Day 30 - Wrap-Up

Another year of BookBlogWriMo is coming to a close. It's been a fun month, although a little hectic since I got off to a late start. I've enjoyed having you along for this little ride, and I hope you enjoyed it at least a little bit too. I've liked having this opportunity to talk a little bit more about myself (which is weird because I don't really like talking about myself in general). I feel like it helps you to understand where I'm coming from with my rating and reviewing and maybe my general flakiness with my TBR list.

I feel like what I've gained most from this experience is the reminder that the blog doesn't have to be just about the books that I've read, but it can be about other things too (although I imagine that most of you would still prefer that the main focus be on books, and I'm cool with that.)

Are there any things you gained from following me through this month? Is there anything you'd like to see me do more of throughout the year that I maybe touched on this month? Let me know. - Katie

Sunday, November 29, 2015

#BookBlogWriMo - Day 29 - The Future of My Blog

Where do I see this blog in the future? I see it staying right here where it is. This is the point where I'm supposed to say I want to be more organized and get 2,000 new followers and things like that, but I try very hard to not set unrealistic expectations for myself, that way I rarely let myself down. That being said, over the next year I would like to become a bit more consistent with posting reviews, and providing a variety of reviews in different genres both indie and traditionally published. I have also been considering adding a Kids Korner feature to the blog where I review children's books on a regular basis. I'm not sure if that's something y'all would be interested in seeing though, and if you guys have no interest in it, there's not much point in doing it.

I also just got an idea this morning to do daily spotlights on the blog with different themes each day. Because I'm already planning on doing a holiday themed spotlight marathon in December, that is something that will start with the new year, if I get my butt organized enough to set it up. It will create more work for me, but it's something that I think would be fun and helpful. I'm definitely going to give it some more thought though.

But in general, I'm pretty comfortable with the way things are running now and don't feel the need to make any major changes. Are there things you would like to see done differently around here or features you would like to see me add? I'll certainly take them into consideration. - Katie

Saturday, November 28, 2015

*Review* Karen's Witch by Ann M. Martin

Photo Credit: Goodreads
Genre: Children's
Published: January 1, 1988
Pages: 97
Ages: 4-8


Karen lives next door to an old lady named Mrs. Porter. Mrs. Porter wears long black robes and has wild grey hair. Her black cat is named Midnight. No wonder Karen thinks Mrs. Porter is a witch!

Mrs. Porter is having a meeting at her house. Karen is sure the meeting is for witches.

Are the witches going to cast a spell on Karen? Or will she be brave enough to send them away - once and for all? 


The Babysitter's Little Sister series was one of my favorite series as a kid and I re-read them every summer (for at least three years which seems like a lot when you're 8). I recently found several of them at my local thrift store and bought them all (in the hopes that one or both of my children will enjoy them as well.) Since I needed to read a book from my childhood for the Popsugar reading challenge, I figured I'd start at the beginning.

Reading this book as an adult, I'm not sure why I loved it so much as a child, and I honestly don't remember. I suspect it may be that it was relatively easy to read, but it might also be because I wanted to be Karen. Honestly, the series makes divorce sound like an amazing thing for children. You get two Thanksgivings, two Christmases, etc. and what's not to love about that? As an adult, I think that actually does a huge disservice to all the kids whose parents don't have an amicable divorce though.

I suppose the story was relatively interesting on a seven year old's level. It has the added benefit of being about a witch, so it's appropriate for Halloween. It didn't really keep my attention this time around, but it wasn't really designed to either. 

Overall I give it 4 out of 5 stars because it still makes me feel nostalgic. - Katie 

Buy the Book

About the Author

Ann M. Martin is the bestselling author of the momentous series The Baby-sitters Club, as well as the Main Street series. Her other acclaimed novels include "A Dog's Life," "Belle Teal," "Here Today," and the Newbery Honor Book "A Corner of the Universe." She lives in upstate New York. For more information, visit


I used Karen's Witch to fulfill my 1 book re-read for the book bingo challenge since I did read this book as a child. 

For the Popsugar reading challenge I used it to fulfill the Book from my Childhood requirement (again, because I read it as a child.)

Other categories it could fulfill include
A funny book
A book by a female author
A mystery or thriller (for children of course)
A book I can finish in a day (I didn't this time around, but I have in the past)

#BookBlogWriMo - Day 28 - Show Me Your Shelves

Today's post is all about my library(s). I have discussed previously this month about having books all over my house, and about half those places include bookshelves, so I kind of have a lot to show you today. Get ready!

This is part of my library. The bookcase on the right holds only Goodreads giveaway wins. This is the first bookcase that I check out when I'm trying to decide what to read (when none of the books on my TBR list are grabbing my attention that is.) These are all books that I do feel a strong urgency to read because the point of the Goodreads giveaway program is to garner reviews for the books offered. Now this isn't all my Goodreads giveaway wins, because I have several of those in my office as well since I started doing my weekly Mail Call blog posts. It's easier for me to build those posts if I have the books included next to me, and I have not gotten around to taking a lot of them downstairs to add to my shelves. The bookcase would probably be about full if I did.

The shelf on the left is full of books that I've bought at the thrift store here in Germany. I am very much a book hoarder (and darn proud of it!) If I see a book at the thrift store that even remotely captures my interest, I buy it because it probably won't be around long and they're cheap.

This bookshelf at the end here also contains books that I've purchased at the thrift store. Honestly, that's most of the books that I have from here on out. This bookcase does contain several Goodreads wins as well, but only ones that I have already read and reviewed on Goodreads.

The bookcases in this picture are the only ones (besides my Goodreads bookcase), that have any sort of organization involved at this time for my adult books. The bottom shelf on the left has cookbooks (in both English and German). The bottom shelf on the right has all of the books that I bought from my thrift store in German (which is silly since I still don't know German, but I keep hoping it will provide some impetus for me to learn it.) The second shelf from the bottom on the left is my religion shelf. It's got Bibles, the Q'uran, the Bhagavad Gita, as well as religion based novels like The Left Behind series. The top shelf on the left contains all of my Stephen King novels, I guess you could call those top shelf books :) The next shelf down houses my Harry Potter collection as well as my favorite signed indie novels. And the third shelf from the right also houses cookbooks, although they are about to be boxed up and stored to make room for more thrift store books (I basically never use them anyway.)

I would like to have all of my books organized again, but I haven't found the time and the desire to do it since we last moved. When I do organize them, I will do it in a bit of a dewey decimal system, where books are grouped by genre and/or theme, and then alphabetized because I'm OCD like that (although not so OCD that not having them organized right now drives me nuts, cause it really doesn't.) It's nice having them organized though because it makes it easier to find specific books when I'm looking for them (like two months ago when I had to look through all my shelves to find Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert for book club, which would have been super easy to find had my books been better organized.)

These are some of my many Goodreads wins from the office, basically all of the ones that will fit on the shelves I had free in the office in fact. Some of them are books that are on my TBR list, and that's part of the reason for their location here, because I want to keep them separate from all the other Goodreads wins as that makes them easier to find. I'd love to have them all organized so that the spines are visible, but I've found I can fit more books on the shelves if I don't do that. Making the best use of the space has become more important than displaying them unfortunately.

This concludes the adult book section of my bookcases. Now we will move on to my children's books, which I actually have slightly more organized than my books. I have three bookcases in the dining room (it's where they fit, and where at least one was needed for our school books) that hold books, although the bookcases aren't entirely dedicated to books. I keep the books on the shelves that are actually accessible to the children. I think you can tell just by looking at this shelf that I group books in series together, at least some, although I do have some rearranging to do in order to add some books that already have series starters pictured on shelves that have no more room for new books. Luckily, I have an almost entirely empty shelf right above the top shelf in this photo that I can add books to.

As you have probably noticed, if you've seen my thrift store haul photos on Facebook at least, I buy a lot more children's books than I do for myself at the thrift store now. I am really hoping that my children will love reading as much as I do, but they're not old enough to fully express opinions on what they're going to want to read in the next few years, so I buy books in just about any series that seems like it might appeal to at least one of my children, or books in series that I loved as a child. The Goosebumps Horrorland books are definitely because I hope my children will love them too like I did, but even if they don't, having the books again will be worth it for when I want to take a trip down memory lane. I also have a whole mess of Babysitter's Little Sister books (although nowhere near the whole series) because I loved those books as a child and hope that at least my daughter will enjoy them when she learns how to read. I've also got a good start on the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series because it's my understanding that those books appeal to boys, and I have one of those too. It's a little bit harder for me to pick out books that I think my son will like because I was never a little boy, and it does seem like there are more series out there targeted more towards girls (even though I truly believe there is no such thing as boy books and girl books, I do understand that children will have different opinions on that matter.)

This bookcase holds all of the emergent or beginning reader books that we own. The books with the reader level generally clearly listed in the upper right hand corner of the cover. Because I truly want to help my children love to read, I have bought every single one of these books that has seemed the least bit interesting, or that features characters that they like even a little bit, that I have found at the thrift store and at our PX (where our bookstore is located.) The bottom two shelves are almost entirely full of these books, and the third shelf from the bottom has several different series of books that are supposed to be read in number order for young readers. I feel like I have a pretty impressive collection of them that I will likely never get rid of, even when my children are in high school, because one day they will have children of their own and then I can pass them down to my grandchildren.

And my final bookcase is the linen closet that is located right outside the kids bedrooms. We don't have a ton of linens, and the ones we do have all fit in the linen closet that is located outside the master bedroom, so I converted this closet into a place to store children's books. It just makes sense. I had this closet full of books right away and had to employ some creative shelving in order to fit all of the children's books that we owned when we moved onto the shelves. I tried to keep the books that the children really aren't ready for reading independently on higher shelves, leaving the board books and other small readers lower for easier access for them. As much as it sometimes annoys me, I always love it when one of my children randomly brings me a book and asks me to read to them. I do need to do some organizing between these shelves and the ones in the dining room, because I have some books from series that are primarily located in the dining room on these shelves, and I really need to go through and get rid of any duplicates that I surely have purchased (because it's really hard to keep track of numbers in series when you're buying from so many. I should make a list on my phone.)

So there you have it. Basically all of my bookshelves. If you didn't believe me before about books being my life, I'm pretty sure you probably will now :) Feel free to drop a shelfie or two of your own over on the Facebook page. I love seeing other people's shelves. - Katie

Thursday, November 26, 2015

#BookBlogWriMo - Day 27 - What Was Reading Like for Me as a Kid

I have been a reader for as long as I can remember. My parents helped to instill a love of reading in me from a young age, I assume by reading to me when I was an infant/toddler, and by bribing me with money to read over the summer once I became an independent reader. I'm not sure the bribes were really necessary though.

One of my favorite things from school were Scholastic book orders (there were a couple other book order programs too I think. I know I would occasionally have three different book orders that needed to be turned in on the same day.) Every time I would bring home a new book order form, I'd ask my mother how much money I could spend, and I was fortunate that we were in a financial position for me to usually spend $20-$30 per book order. When the orders came in, I'd always have a whole stack of books compared to the rest of my classmates 1 or 2. At the time, I thought that was an indication that I just liked reading more than the rest of my class, but now that I'm an adult I wonder if in some cases it just indicated that they couldn't afford the expense. 

1st Day of School - 2nd or 3rd grade
My mother likes to tell a story about getting a call from the school when I was in second grade. Apparently my teacher and the school administration were concerned because I wanted to spend my recess time reading rather than running around and playing. My mother has a degree in education, so she understands that one of the primary purposes of recess is to allow children to burn off their extra energy, so she asked if I was causing problems in class because I was reading during recess. The teacher assured her that I was a great student and not causing problems in class, so my mother asked what the problem with me reading was then? I was a scrawny kid, so it wasn't a matter of me needing the extra exercise, and we had PE every day at school anyway. In any case, after that the teachers started checking my pockets and my coat before recess to make sure I wasn't taking a book out with me. 

That's not the only time I got in trouble in school over books though. My senior year of high school we had a "class" that lasted for thirty minutes right after lunch because we shared a building and several teachers with the junior high, so this "class" was during the junior high's lunch time. They had the same thing during our lunch time. The "class" was dedicated to reading, mostly. On Mondays and Wednesdays we read books, on Tuesdays we had a rather simple math word problem to do. On Thursdays we read Newsweek, and on Fridays we read the newspaper. My teacher during this class didn't really care if we were reading as long as we were being quiet. It was seriously perfectly acceptable to sit with our heads on our desks for the entire period as long as we were quiet. I didn't really like reading Newsweek or the newspaper, so I started taking a book with me on Thursdays and Fridays to read instead. That was not okay with the teacher. At one point he told me if I brought a book to class one more time, I'd get a detention. I felt that was unfair since he didn't require us to read Newsweek or the newspaper if we didn't want to, so the next day I brought a book with me. I wasn't even planning on reading it that day (and didn't) and I got a detention that the principal insisted I serve. I still think it was bullshit, but I served my time. 

I remember being made fun of a lot because I loved to read as a child, and that actually hasn't changed much depending on who I'm talking to. I've had "friends" here in Germany that have poked fun at me for reading. It didn't really bother me as a child, and it doesn't bother me much now (although I do tend to avoid those people more now because why would I want to be friends with someone who doesn't like to read?) 

What was reading like for you as a child? - Katie 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

#IABBAddict: 180 Days by T.E. Ridener

Check out more information on #IABBAddicts here
Join us every Thursday for IABB #Confessions


Author: T. E. Ridener

Title: 180 Days

Pages: 268

Genre: Transgender Contemporary Romance

Date published: September 30, 2015

Lydia McIntosh left her old life behind when she said goodbye to Prairie Town, North Carolina and started over halfway across the country with her beloved Gran; away from her family, away from everyone who knew the person she once was, and from the identity she never quite wanted in the first place. When her grandmother passes away, she returns home and while she only intends to stay for the funeral, her grandmother has other plans, from the grave. Her will states that Lydia must remain in Prairie Town for six months in order to give her family and her old town a chance to get to know the new her, the real her.

Lydia has had years to adjust to long hair, summer dresses, and nail polish, but she understands her family will need time to get reacquainted with a daughter they’ve never known and a sister they’ve missed terribly. Anticipating the worst, as she always has, Lydia’s feelings about her old town begin to change when she meets her brother’s best friend, Callum. Callum is kind and more accepting than she could have ever imagined and she’s falling for him.

When her 180 days are over, will she be able to say goodbye to the family she’s missed so much? Will she survive her mother’s endless intolerance? Can she really leave the man who acknowledges her past and still wants her?


Her laughter died down as she stared at him. “I want to, you know—to trust you. I really do.” “Then take a chance.” He whispered, gripping her chin lightly and tilting her head back. Inching forward, he waited for a sign, to continue, to back off. “I wish I could.” Moisture glistened in her eyes. “But it isn’t that easy and you know it. I fought really hard to get to this point in my life, Callum.” God, hearing his name fall from her lips was nothing short of heavenly. “You don’t have to fight alone anymore, Lydia. When I said I liked you, I meant it. I mean it. You’ve been so brave and courageous this whole time. What’s keeping you from taking another risk?” She sucked in a breath and released it in a shaky sigh. The distance between them was minimal and all it would take was one small movement to bring their lips together. His heart was thundering in his ears as he cradled her face between both hands and lowered his mouth to brush lightly against hers. She gasped, but didn’t pull away. However, feeling her lips tremble against his, Callum did. “You’ve never been kissed before, have you?” He asked, his voice husky from desire. He’d be lying if he said his jeans weren’t extremely tight at the moment. Lydia was gorgeous and his body had taken a quick liking to hers, but his parents had raised him to be a gentleman. “No,” she whispered. “Is that bad?” “No.” He replied, grinning. “It’s not bad, Lydia. I just want your first kiss to be one you’ll never forget.” She smiled the most beautiful smile he’d ever seen and her cheeks warmed beneath his touch. “I don’t really imagine it getting any better than that.” “You can’t be serious.” He blinked. “You think that was a real kiss?” “Well, no, but…” She lowered her head and her hair fell down, covering her face from his view. “I don’t really believe that Hollywood’s depictions of romance are accurate.” “Hollywood?” He laughed. Loud. “Sugar, this is the south. We don’t pull none of that Hollywood stuff around here.” Lifting her head until their gazes met, Callum leaned in and laid one on her she wouldn’t soon forget. Their lips molded together and if it was sloppy, he didn’t notice. The only thing he could focus on was how sweet and perfect her mouth felt against his. Absolute perfection.


T.E. Ridener resides in the small community of Gray, Kentucky with her equally eccentric yet amazingly interesting family. Miss Ridener has written a handful of novels as well as various short stories during her career as a writer. When she is not writing, she enjoys listening to nearly every genre of music, watching movies, and spending time with her niece and nephew. Her greatest accomplishment to date has been The Blood Betrayal Series, with characters she dreamed up while she was still a teenager. She believes that the Blood Betrayal Series will go far one day, despite the overrating of vampires in the past few years. According to her, vampires will never go out of style even if their fashion choices do!


Tell me if you've ever wanted to read a novel featuring a transgender character and why. I may just choose you to...
Posted by T. E. Ridener-Author on Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What inspired you to become an author?
Honestly? Reading.  I read quite a lot as a child (to the point my father grounded me from reading at the dinner table. Worst. Punishment. Ever.)  I had lots of stories swirling around in my mind and I began dabbling with short stories in my notebook when I was about 7.  I’ve got stacks of them now, somewhere, haha.  When I read up on Amazon’s KDP program back in 2011, I seized the opportunity.  Nothing has ever made me happier.  I love sharing my worlds and characters with people.  It’s the best feeling.

I assume all authors also love to read, so what book inspired your love of reading?
Bunnicula! It’s the first book I remember really loving and from there I moved on to R.L. Stine.  I loved both his Fear Street and Goosebumps Series.  After that I began devouring Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Dean Koontz novels.  Oh, and I also read a lof of the romance novels my grandma would pick up from yard sales.  They were totally inappropriate for a girl my age, but I couldn’t get enough.  I read every book I could get my hands on.

How old were you when you wrote your first story?
7-ish.  I couldn’t tell you what it was about though.  I do remember writing some Backstreet Boys and Hanson fanfiction when I was a little older.  It’s totally laughable now.

Who are some of your favorite authors now?
Some of my favorite authors now include Josie Wright, Jaclyn Osborne, Colleen Hoover, Nancy Straight, Katie Kenyhercz, Nicki Charles, Marie Hall, and loads more.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
100% representing my pantser folks.  I don’t know how else to operate.

Are your characters based on people you know?
Some of them definitely are, but the majority are conjured up in my mind.  A lot of my characters just have chunks of my soul in them, and anyone who knows me can easily identify them.  Well, most of those chunks are easily identifiable.  In my next release I’ve bared more of my soul than I’m comfortable with, but I feel it’s necessary.

What are some of your writing rituals?
Coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. I usually try to start writing in the morning after the kids are off to school because they are a huge distraction in the evening time.  But there are rare all-nighters in which I have…you guessed it, more coffee! 

How do other books influence your writing? 
They most certainly help.  Sometimes if I’m struggling with a fight scene or a love scene I’ll pick up the nearest book to see how the author did it.  It really does unclog my brain and help things move along.  I’d like to think it’s made me a better writer.  

How do you get motivated to sit down and write with all the real world interruptions?
Sometimes it’s hard, I’m not going to lie.  There are days and even weeks when I don’t want to open anything.  But I’m one of those weird people who gets really grumpy when I can’t write when I want to.  I mean…I get moody as heck about it.  Writing is like an addiction for me and I have to have a fix.  The best motivation, for me, is knowing my fans are dying to know what’s going to happen next.  That keeps me going.

Which one of your books is your favorite? 
One of my all time favorite books that I’ve written is definitely Kadenburg Revealed, book 4 in the Kadenburg Shifters Series.  There’s just so much happening in it and so many truths are told.  I love when the pieces finally fit together and that book gave me a lot of satisfaction.  If I could have high-fived my brain, I would have.  (Sounds a little painful though, now that I think about it…)

If you could have a writing retreat anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be and why?
Ireland.  I love Ireland.  I have wanted to visit since I was a little girl.  I probably wouldn’t get much achieved during the first few days there, but I’d eventually cozy up with a cup of coffee and get back to business.  Maybe.  I mean, come on. IRELAND. 

If your main character were an alcoholic beverage, which beverage would they be and why?
If we’re talking about Lydia from 180 DAYS, I’d say she’s tequila.  You don’t quite feel the effects until you’re standing up and it’s too late.  I think that’s how she snags Callum.  

If you could live in a fictional world, which world would you choose and why?
Kadenburg, hands down.  I would LOVE to live in Kadenburg.  It’s a nice little Tennessee Town with lots of friendly folks.  Everybody knows your name there, you know?  There isn’t enough of that today.  Plus, hot bear-shifters.  Yes, please!

What’s the best way to hide a body?
Fried Green Tomatoes had the right idea.  The secret’s in the sauce!

This or That

Coke or Pepsi? Pepsi
Paperback or e-reader? Paperback
Facebook or Twitter? Facebook
Peeta or Gale? Gale
Edward or Jacob? Jacob
Money or love? Love
Tattoos or bare? Tattoos
Hairy or smooth? A little furriness, please!
Call or text? Call
Hot or cold? Hot
Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings? Lord of the Rings
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
Halloween or Christmas?  Christmas
McDonald’s or Burger King? Burger King
Batman or Spiderman? THOR (Sorry.) I’ll choose Batman if I must.
Oatmeal raisin or chocolate chip? Chocolate Chip

#BookBlogWriMo - Day 26 - Book Footprints

Today is all about books that leave their marks on our very souls. The books we can't shake no matter how hard we try (not that we actually try to shake them very often). But specifically, it's about the last book that I just can't get out of my head.

The last book that I read, that I just can't get out of my head and that I'm still consistently recommending to people is Alice by Christina Henry. You can read my full review here.

I don't re-read books very often anymore because there are just so many books out there that I desperately want to read, and that doesn't leave much time for re-reading. But I really want to re-read Alice already, even though I just read it in July. I want to experience it again, although I really wish I could experience it for the first time again.

So what was the last book that left it's mark on you? - Katie

#BookBlogWriMo - Day 25 - Advice for New Bloggers

I've been blogging for two whole years now, and honestly, I still feel like a newbie. I see other bloggers throwing around words like "SEO" and "plugin" and I'm honestly freakin' clueless as to what they're talking about (and frankly, I'm probably just a little too lazy to do the research to figure out what those things are. I have books to read after all.) But I'm not here trying to be the biggest fish in the pond or even the blogger everyone goes to for help (because I'm probably the last person you should go to for help with blogging.) This is a hobby for me, a time-consuming hobby, but a hobby nonetheless. I just want to share my love of books with the world, and I can do that without knowing what an SEO is.

So even though I don't consider myself an expert by any means, I do have some advice for new bloggers that I think is pretty universal.

If you are open to review requests, the first thing I would suggest, and it's something I hadn't done until about six months ago, is create a page for your blog where you outline what you like to read, which genres you accept requests in, and any information that you want included with your review requests. Include your name, even if it's a nickname that you use for the blog because you prefer to keep your anonymity (which some bloggers do for various different reasons). If you post as K-Diddy on the blog, include that (especially if you are blogging with others) so that authors can address their requests to you personally (trust me, you'll appreciate being addressed personally.) Doing this will cut down on requests for books that you'd never be interested in reading in the first place because you really don't like paranormal romances. Also, make sure it's easy for authors to contact you, whether it's through a form on the blog, or a link to a Google doc, or simply by providing your blog email address.

My next piece of advice: it's okay to say no. When Courtney and I first started the blog, we accepted every single request that came our way, which ended up with us being super backed up on reviews and reading books that weren't necessarily our thing. I currently average one review request every other day (this is since I made my reading desires more clear on the blog), and even though I genuinely want to read most of the books that I get requests for, it's not feasible. I really can't keep up the pace of one book every two days while also writing reviews, building blog posts, and adulting at home. Sure, there are some weeks when I read 5 books in a single week, but there are others where I'm lucky if I can finish one. It's called balance. And there's really no good reason to accept a review request for a book that you don't really think you'll enjoy from the outset.

Another tip is use all the stars. I know the arguments against leaving 1 and 2 star reviews. "I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings"; that's fine because the reviews are for readers not authors. "Just because I didn't like a book doesn't mean others won't"; you're absolutely right, and if you are clear in your reasons for not liking the book, your 1 star review may inspire another reader to buy the book anyway because everything you didn't like about the book are things they know they enjoy. Sofia the Great from Platypire Reviews has a great blog post on this topic (read it here) that includes a 1star review for a book that I read and loved, and I still would have read it after reading her review because the things she didn't like are things I find interesting. But if you rave about every single book you read, how can anyone take you seriously?

And my last piece of advice is to know your limits. It's possible that you want to help everyone, but that is really not feasibly possible unless you are Superwoman. Building blog posts, keeping up on social media, and reading all the books takes a LOT of time. It's okay to take breaks if you're starting to feel burnt out (I do it.) It's okay to never sign up for a single release blitz. It's okay to not accept review requests at all and only read the books that you find on your own. The important thing is to be happy with what you're doing, because if you're not, it will slowly start to suck the life right out of you. - Katie

*Read This Round Up #59*

Photo courtesy of KissinBlueKaren
Welcome to Read This, a collection of book reviews and giveaways that were posted in the past week or so from around the web. This is a collection of book reviews & contests from real reviewers. If you want to be included in the next edition start with the guidelines, then use the submission form.
Want to read more reviews? Check out Read This for a list of the latest reviews and stellar reviewers. You can also follow on twitter for the latest round ups. Read This is now accepting photo submissions for each edition.

























Enter to win (1 of 2) $10 Amazon Giftcards!

#BookBlogWriMo - Day 24 - Top Ten Blog Posts

Have you ever wondered which blog posts are really the most popular around here? (To be honest, I don't really pay a whole lot of attention to the numbers besides seeing which ten are my current top 10 on the right hand side of the page.) So it's rather enlightening for me to check out my stats page to see which 10 of my 480+ blog posts were the most popular of all. I am linking to each post through their titles if you wish to check them out.

#10 - #IABBAddict: Bound by the Summer Prince by Mistral Dawn - This post includes an interview with the author, and she was kind enough to share it on her social media which drew a lot of attention to it from outside sources.

#9 - *Review* Affliction by S.L. Dearing - This is what it says, just a review, but S.L. Dearing shared it on her social media too, so her fans and followers also stopped by to check it out.

#8 - *Author Spotlight* Erin McFadden - This is a spotlight of all Ms. McFadden's work and it includes an interview. Once again, it's a post that was shared with her followers via her social media which greatly increases visibility for my blog.

#7 - *Book Bingo Challenge* - I'm not really sure why this post was so popular other than the fact that it's a reading challenge and reading challenges are fun.

#6 - *Author Spotlight* J.W. Snootz - This is just a spotlight of Mr. Snootz's books that includes an interview with the author. It was shared on his social media sites as well so his fans stopped by to check it out.

#5 - *Review* The Man I Love by Suanne Laqueur - This review includes video of me reading the first chapter from the book, and I do believe that Ms. Laqueur has shared it on her social media as well, although it has seen a few surges where it has been one of the ten most popular books in the past month on more than one occasion as well. It is also one of my Diamonds in the Rough, so people may check out the review from that page as well.

#4 - #BookBlogWriMo - Day 20 - #TBT - Best Books of 2014 - I'm not surprised to see this on my list of Top Ten blog posts of all time because I personally messaged all the authors that made the list and I know at least some of them shared it with their followers.

#3 - Author Bullying: When the Shoe is on the Author's Foot - It's not really a surprise that a blog post discussing bullying would be one of the top viewed posts. Everyone is drawn to drama, at least a little bit (even people who claim to abhor it), and bullying is a hot topic on the internet and in the indie world. Authors and reviewers are equally at risk for being bullied, and under no circumstances is it okay.

#2 - Batman: Attack of the Fans - This is another blog post where I was attacked for a review I had written. The basic argument is that I shouldn't have reviewed a graphic novel simply because I don't have extensive experience in the genre (as if that precludes me having an opinion on the graphic novel that I did read.)

And now, the moment you've been waiting for. My top blog post of ever.

#1 - *Pre-Release Blast and Giveaway* Falling Away by Penelope Douglas - This post has over 2,000 views, so it's not going anywhere any time soon. Now how did a pre-release blast get over two thousand views on my blog? Simple. Penelope freakin' Douglas shared MY blog post on her FB page. Honestly, I freaked out when I saw that she had shared my post on her page. There was screaming involved and everything.

There are some conclusions that can be drawn from this list (and my elaborations.) Only three of my top ten blog posts weren't shared by the author they're about (one of them because it's not about an author at all). The reason that every other post is in it's spot is because it was shared by the author. This just makes me wonder how many overall views I'd have on my blog if every author was as active as the ones featured above? It sure would be nice to see, but I also certainly won't hold my breath on it. - Katie

#BookBlogWriMo - Day 23 - eReader or Physical Book

For me, there is no debate on this issue, and while I have preferences, my preferences vary depending on the situation. I feel that both avenues of reading have their merits, so that's what I'm going to talk about today.

"Huge" selection
I love my eReader's (Kindle's mostly, although I also have iPads and an iPhone that I read on from time to time) because they provide instant access to whatever books I want to read. This is especially important where indie books are concerned because I live in Germany, but only speak English. I can't just go to the local library and check out books at will (I wouldn't anyway because I don't like not owning the books I read, but that's irrelevant), and my base library is fairly limited as well. My base bookstore is even more limited, only containing two not particularly long rows of shelves with books on both sides. I rarely find the books that I want to read right now on the shelves at the bookstore (although I have had varying levels of success finding them at my local thrift store.) I also love being able to read in any environment without having to worry about the light not being bright enough to see the page. The other benefit to the eReader is that ebooks tend to be cheaper than their paperback counterparts (particularly indie books), so I get more bang for my buck that way. Finally, with the eReader, I can buy loads of books without cluttering up my house or adding more weight to our household goods when we move back to the states, and I can take thousands of books with me when I travel without taking up much space in my luggage or carry-on.

I love my physical books because it is physically calming to be surrounded by books for me. If I'm excessively stressed and losing it, I actually go sit in my library to help me relax and calm down. Another area where I prefer physical books to eReaders is when I'm reading while taking a bath. Yes, I have taken my eReader with me to the bath before when I was in the middle of a proofreading job and wanted to relax a little while reading, but I prefer paperbacks in this instance because if I should happen to drop it (which has NEVER happened to me yet), at least the paperback will dry and still be readable. The eReader will be toast. I also tend to prefer physical books for Big 5 published books because I can get those cheaper used than I can get them in eBook format. I did just score the entire Crossfire Series by Sylvia Day for $1 at my thrift store last Wednesday.

So eReader or physical book, either way I'm happy, as long as I have a book in my hands. How do you prefer to read? - Katie

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

*Review* Corrupt by Penelope Douglas

Photo Credit: Goodreads
Genre: Romantic Suspsense/Erotica
Published: November 13, 2015
Pages: 460
Ages: 18+


From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Douglas comes a new dark romance... Erika I was told that dreams were our heart’s desires. My nightmares, however, became my obsession. His name is Michael Crist. My boyfriend’s older brother is like that scary movie that you peek through your hand to watch. He's handsome, strong, and completely terrifying. The star of his college’s basketball team and now gone pro, he’s more concerned with the dirt on his shoe than me. But I noticed him. I saw him. I heard him. The things that he did, and the deeds that he hid…For years, I bit my nails, unable to look away. Now, I’ve graduated high school and moved on to college, but I haven’t stopped watching Michael. He’s bad, and the dirt I’ve seen isn’t content to stay in my head anymore. Because he’s finally noticed me. Michael Her name is Erika Fane, but everyone calls her Rika. My brother’s girlfriend grew up hanging around my house and is always at our dinner table. She looks down when I enter a room and stills when I am close. I can always feel the fear rolling off of her, and while I haven’t had her body, I know that I have her mind. That’s all I really want anyway. Until my brother leaves for the military, and I find Rika alone at college. In my city. Unprotected. The opportunity is too good to be true, as well as the timing. Because you see, three years ago she put a few of my high school friends in prison, and now they’re out. We’ve waited. We’ve been patient. And now every last one of her nightmares will come true. *Corrupt is a STANDALONE dark romance with no cliffhanger. It is suitable for ages 18+.


In the newest book from New York Times Bestselling author Penelope Douglas, we are taken into a world most of us can only dream of, the world of the wealthy. A place where teenagers can get away with just about anything because Dad's money runs deep. But the pranks aren't always harmless. We're certainly not on Fall Away Lane anymore, Toto.

The beginning of Corrupt had me on the edge of my seat. I was anxious and excited and curious about what had happened in the past. I found the story unpredictable which is a major bonus for me.

Unfortunately, while the beginning of the book had me excited, the middle started to feel a lot like Bully to me. The specifics were different, but the basic plot felt the same, just with more players.

The sex scenes were deliciously kinky. And even though I finished Corrupt four days ago, I'm still having dreams featuring Michael.

The book did have several spelling and grammar errors, way more than a book this size should reasonably contain. Because I have worked with Ms. Douglas in the past, I contacted her with my notes on the errors, and she has posted on Facebook that she has submitted changes to Amazon.

Overall I give Corrupt 4.5 out of 5 stars because it felt too much like Bully at times. I would definitely recommend it to dark erotica fans. - Katie 

Buy the Book

About the Author

Penelope Douglas is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her books include the Fall Away Series, Corrupt, and Misconduct, due out December 1, 2015. She dresses for autumn year round, loves anything lemon flavored, and shops at Target almost daily. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and their daughter. 

Follow her:  Facebook // Twitter // Website // Goodreads // Instagram // Pinterest