The Road So Far

Hey all, Dani here.

Yes, I am well aware that the title for this post is a Supernatural reference. It was kind of intentional since my post today is going to be a reflection of the past year on this blog…and because I am a fan of the show Supernatural anyway.

I started this Mousai Books blog last January, just after my paternal grandmother died. She was exactly one month away from her 90th birthday so she had lived a long and full life, but I can also say that her death was the first major one to happen in my life. I lost great grandparents and great aunts and great uncles who I didn’t really know so they didn’t pack as much of an emotional punch to me. But I had spent a lot of time with Granny, and the last five years of her life she actually lived with my family so I was around her a lot.

I had thought about starting up a new blog for a while, since my one on Blogger never really had many views or followers. So I guess it was because I just really needed something to do while I was on my three bereavement days away from work.

A lot has happened in the past year, both in a narrow personal focus and on the national and global scales–and I’m not going to get into it here because political trolls are everywhere. Through it all I have been blessed to be able to continue and buy new books and start to really build a presence and find a place in the online book community.

Books have always been a refuge for me, a way to escape whatever is going on in life. They have helped me process life, love, loss, and so many other feelings and events. And they have led me to form some great friendships with authors, which is really cool.

There is this quote from The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger that says: “What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.” In today’s modern world, a lot of us at least can reach out to authors via social media and sometimes find that they will answer back. But I actually have a few authors whose phone numbers I do know, and though I haven’t called them, I know that I have that opportunity. And yes, I do still squee when an author likes my tweet or retweets a link to a review of their book from this blog; it seriously makes my day a little bit better.

Starting and developing this blog, I’ve also found that I’m gaining more acceptance for e-galleys and ARCs, and I’m hopeful to develop this aspect even more in 2017 and beyond. I’m really trying to keep up with my NetGalley reads and reviews, and this year I’ll be attending Book Expo America, which means I’ll be picking up a few Advance Reader Copies in a physical format.

But when I first started this blog, I admit that I worried that it would be like my last blog, that I would be writing in this little black hole on the internet with no interaction from anyone. Thankfully though you lovely bookish people started liking my posts and following my blog. It makes my day when I check my notifications and see that I have another like or follow. My goal for 2017 is to start getting more comment interaction on my posts. So part of that means having more of a presence in the comment section on other book blogs too.

I can also say that 2016 was not a good writing year for me. I’m really trying to get everything all wrapped up on my next book so I can get it published. It’s possible that I needed a break, and it’s also possible that starting the year off with a big death in the family got to me way more than I thought. After all, I do write books about Death and the Angel of Death so…

Writing takes time. Reading takes time. Blogging takes time. Then you throw in the need to post on social media and build your presence there. Oh, and don’t forget going to work at a soul crushing job that actually does pay the bills. That typically takes at least 45 hours out of my time each week. I spend a lot of time at work day dreaming, sometimes about books I’m reading or TV shows I’m watching, and other times about my own writing. I use my break and lunch times to squeeze in more reading. I would totally listen to audiobooks if my commute wasn’t only 5 minutes. I don’t listen to audiobooks at home because an audiobook chapter might take 26 minutes but I can physically read that same chapter in like 4 minutes.

Oh, also in 2016 I found myself expanding my reading horizons a bit. Thanks to the recommendations of several BookTubers (PeruseProject, abookutopia, JesseTheReader, polandbananasBOOKs, katytastic, readbyzoe, and emmmabooks) I picked up some more middle grade books and historical fiction and cutesy contemporary YA reads. I found new to me authors who I intend to follow as they release new material.

I weeded out my library a bit, but then still needed to buy another bookcase because of all my book purchases–and I think I’m about ready to buy another bookcase now. Speaking of, I reorganized my bookshelves over my Christmas shutdown from work, so as soon as I clean up some of the clutter around my room I owe you all a bookshelf tour.

In 2016 I attended my first convention as an author. While I only sold a couple copies of my book, it was still an interesting experience. I spent time each morning before the convention floor opened walking around and chatting with other authors and artists. It was a great networking opportunity.

My books finally became available in an actual store at the end of 2016. There is a local store in the mall that has used books, comic books, board games, D&D and Magic: The Gathering, and myself and a couple other local authors are prominently featured when you walk in the store. The store owners have been absolutely wonderful about helping me to spread the word about my books. (I can admit that I am sometimes awful when it comes to self-promotion).

Basically last year was an absolute roller coaster of events. I’m not sure what all is going to happen in 2017, but I have a personal library filled with books and I’m finding my place in the amazing online book community. As long as I have that I think everything will turn out okay.

How about you guys-what has your blog journey been like so far? Let me know in the comments!

Bookish Events! BEA!! BookCon!

Hey all, Dani here.

I guess the first thing I want to say is wow…this blog has been running for just over a year and I’ve written over 100 posts. I’m actually pretty pleased with that. I had a book blog back in college and grad school and it just never yielded very many views or comments. I think there were about 7 people subscribed to the blog. This one though, I feel is doing pretty well so far, and it can only grow. Right? Right!

So thank you to everyone who has followed me so far, liked my posts, and commented. I really appreciate it. Thank you so much.

Today I just want to talk about some upcoming bookish events that I’m going to be participating in. Some are ones I’ve done in the past and others are brand new to me this year. So…let’s just jump right in, shall we?

First up is something I kinda made up, but it should be pretty fun, and that is Middle Grade March. I was looking at my bookshelves the other day and realized that I’ve purchased quite a few middle grade books and just haven’t gotten around to reading them yet. So in March I plan to read and review as many of them as I can. Obviously if I have any e-galley or ARC books for review, I’ll still post those too, but my main focus will be some lovely MG reads. If this sounds like fun to you, feel free to join in, and let me know so I can follow your blog/vlog/etc.

Next up is National Library Week, which is being held April 9-15, and obviously celebrates libraries and librarians. I’m hoping to have a post or two up about how much libraries and librarians have shaped my life in that time.

To go along with that I’ll once again be participating in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon on April 29, and I have decided that I am going to read a bunch of books about magical libraries, librarians, and bookstores. I’ll have a post about the event and my TBR about a week or so before, and then a day or so after I’ll post a Readathon wrap up post.

Oh, and in April I’ll be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, but with so many other events going on at the same time, I imagine that I’ll be setting my word count goal around 25,000 or so.

Another readathon I hope to participate in is National Readathon Day, which is hosted by the American Library Association and Penguin Random House. I’ll post more details about this as I learn them because the web site for this event still has the 2016 details up.

After that is my big brand new bookish event experience, and that is Book Expo America and BookCon!! You can probably tell that I am super excited about it. BEA will be held May 31-June 2, and BookCon is June 3-4, and this year both events are back at the Javits Center in NYC. I have seen so many awesome blogs and vlogs about these events and they just look like so much fun and a great opportunity to meet up with authors, publishers, and readers/bloggers/vloggers. I have already purchased my passes for both events and booked my hotel room, so all I have to do is worry about transportation. I cannot wait to spend a week in NYC hanging out with other people who are passionate about books. So if you’re heading to BEA and/or BookCon, let me know! I would love to meet you in the real world.

Of course, here is where I should also mention that June is GLBT Book Month. I like to try and read diversely whenever I can, and this is a month where I highlight that diversity on my social media accounts. So I’ll be sharing books with characters who are gay, lesbian, bi, trans, queer, asexual, etc. If you have any suggestions for books I should look into for GLBT Book Month, let me know in the comments.

Camp NaNoWriMo is held again in July and I’m hoping to do a good month of writing this time around.

As usual, August takes me to Wizard World Chicago Comic Con. Held this year from August 24-27, I’ll be roaming the convention floors, attending panels, and buying bookish and nerdy merchandise. It’s always a fun time.

In September I’m going to try to do Self-Publish September again. I started to in 2016 but then sorta got distracted. This is a month where I highlight self-published and indie authors who I think should get more attention and recognition.

September 22-24, you can find me at Cincinnati Comic Expo where Mousai Books will be set up at the Colorworld Books booth. It’ll be a great time and you can pick up some amazing books and artwork.

Banned Books Week is Sept 24-30, and I’ll likely talk about my experiences with banned books, and share some of my favorites.

Then Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon will come around again in October. I really enjoy this event because I read so many books and it’s just great to connect with others who are also participating.

Obviously in November I participate in NaNoWriMo. If I’m lucky I’ll be able to pre-schedule some book reviews and other posts to get through the month. If not, you’ll know why I suddenly fall off the social media radar.

Whew! It’s going to be a very eventful bookish year for me, and I am so looking forward to it. There’s lots of writing, lots of reading, and lots of talking books with all you amazing bookish nerds out there.

Review: Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Hey all, Dani here,

Today I’m excited to talk about a book that has already made it onto my favorite books read in 2017 list because it was just so darn interesting. It is still a fairly new release, having come out at the end of November, but I cannot recommend this book enough. It was such an intriguing premise and was pulled off so creatively. Let’s just jump into the review.

scythe

Summary

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

I started hearing buzz about this book a couple months before its release and it sounded like something I would enjoy. Obviously the whole concept of Scythes is one I like since I have written a similar theme with my Project Death series, though I have Reapers instead of Scythes. The concept is basically the same though.

This was my first book by Neal Shusterman, and I can honestly say that I am a fan now, and plan to go back and read more of his books sometime soon-ish. I really connected with a lot of the characters, and there were a few that I despised, so the characters are well done.

Scythe is a multi perspective novel mostly following Citra and Rowan, though there are journal entries by several Scythes throughout, and a few sections following other Scythes without an apprentice being around.

The futher I got into this book the more I wanted to ignore the rest of the world and finish reading it. There were so many little twists and turns and revelations throughout the novel, and I was so excited to just sit back and enjoy the ride.

So, the book follows Citra and Rowan, who have both been apprenticed to the same Scythe, Scythe Faraday, and he’s a pretty cool, compassionate, and rational guy. But there really is no precedence for a Scythe choosing two apprentices at the same time, so at one of the conclave meetings it is proposed that one apprentice will receive the ring elevating them to Scythe, and instead of the other one being free to return to their former life, the new Scythe will have to immediately take their life. This complicates them, especially when it seems clear that perhaps Citra and Rowan might be developing romantic feelings towards each other.

I won’t say more about the plot or anything because so much more happens after Citra and Rowan are pitted against each other, and it was just a fun quick read.

And the way it ended…man, it was the perfect ending for making me really desperate for the second book, which I’ve learned will be titled Thunderhead and will be out in November 2017.

Where to Buy

You can pick up this book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.

Series I Want to Read/Reread in 2017

Hey all, Dani here,

Based on all of my book hauls, TBRs, most anticipated releases, and my bookish resolutions posts it’s probably clear that I have a lot of books I’d like to read now and in the future. But I also find that sometimes I just need to go back and pick up a series I’ve read before.

Today I’m going to talk about a few series I want to either finish reading or would like to read again.

Okay, first up: the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. So, in 2016 I actually reread both Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, which means I plan on finishing a reread of the rest of the series this year. I’m going to be completely honest with this one, and say that I have read the early books in the series many times, but I think I’ve only read the last two books once (maybe twice for Half Blood Prince). Oh, and I managed to snag the entire new UK paperback series from BookOutlet so it really seems like the perfect time to return to Hogwarts.

Next: the Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes. I lucked into approval for both Falling Kingdoms and Rebel Spring from NetGally and easily fell for this amazing fantasy series. Then somehow, I’m not exactly sure how but I’ll blame an influx of new books, I stopped reading the series. I own them all in hardcover, and I keep hearing that they get better and better with each release, but I haven’t opened the books. In 2017 I hope to reread the first two books and then finally read the rest of the released books so far.

Another series in the “I started it but never finished it” category: the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. I didn’t even pick up the first book until it was almost time for the final book to be released. I greatly enjoyed reading The Raven Boys and was very eager to keep reading, so I grabbed The Dream Thieves off my bookshelf…and only made it a few chapters in before I stopped. I really want to finish this series, so I want to pick up book two again soon.

I’m actually a tiny bit ashamed that I never finished this next series, but at the time I just didn’t want it to end, and that’s: the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. I was obsessed with these books in high school, but when the final book of the trilogy ended up becoming two books due to length and I got busy with college, I kinda forgot to read Inheritance, the final book. It’s been so very long since I’ve read these, so I would have to reread the first three books so I can finally mark this whole series as read.

The final series on this list is actually several series in the same universe: the Shadowhunter Chronicles. Yeah, I want to reread The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, the Bane Chronicles, Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, and then finally sit down and read Lady Midnight. Yes, that’s right…I bought the first book in The Dark Artifices the week it was released and it has been sitting unread on my bookshelves ever since. I’m a bad bookworm.

As you can see it is a fairly lengthy list, and once you consider all the brand new releases I want to read, I’m going to have to create a reading schedule so I can juggle it all.

Are there any series you want to finish or reread in 2017? Let me know in the comments!

Review: Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill

Hey all, Dani here.

Happy Friday the 13th! So far this has been a pretty decent year for reading, and with all the amazing book releases already in 2017 as well as all of the upcoming releases, I hope I find the time to keep up with everything. I have finished 5 books already, two of which were 2017 releases.

Today though I am here to talk about a 2016 release that I recently finished, and it was pretty darn good. So let’s just dive right in, shall we?

everthehunted

Summary

Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.

However, it’s not so simple.

The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars

This was a super quick read. I actually managed to read it in just a couple hours while stuck at work last Saturday. I mostly enjoyed it, though there could have been a bit more worldbuilding and reasoning behind the mistrust and violence between the two countries. It just seemed like nobody could really explain why it was going on; it was basically just “They don’t like us so we don’t like them.” I’m sincerely hoping that there will be a little more about the world in the sequel.

My main issue with this book was actually the romance plot. Cohen just wasn’t a good romantic partner in my opinion. I really wanted something to happen with Leif, because he just seemed like a more sweet and grounded character. It would have been nice to have more scenes in the book with him.

Instead we got a lot of Cohen and Britta. But anytime Cohen was around Britta just got so dopey about his smell or him and she acted like a ditz. It was a bit frustrating. On her own Britta was actually pretty good at hunting and tracking, and there were several times when her guards were knocked down a peg or two because she knew more about it than they did. However, Cohen’s presence flustered Britta to the point where she wouldn’t pay attention to signs around her. This relationship took a relatively capable young woman and turned her into nothing more than a dimwit who melted just by being in the presence of a young man. I wanted so much more from this aspect of the story.

I really liked Enat though. She was an interesting character, and she could have done so much more with helping us understand this world and what is happening with Britta, and what happened to Britta’s mother. Plus Enat brought a lot of wisdom to the book, since she was an older woman. I truly appreciated her character.

I am curious enough about what could happen next that I’ll definitely check out the sequel. Hopefully the worldbuilding will be in place by then, and hopefully there will be some actual substance formed in the romance. This was still a good read and I’d probably recommend it to somebody who wants a fantasy read that isn’t as crazy in-depth on development and description. This is more of a “light” fantasy, though that doesn’t mean it is bright fluffy or focused on cheerful elements, just that it isn’t a dense read.

Where to Buy

You can pick this up wherever books are sold: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Book Depository, or your local independent bookseller.

Review: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Hey all, Dani here,

Happy Book Birthday to a lovely debut based on Russian folklore. I had the privilege of receiving an egalley of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are wholly my own.

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Summary

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4.5 stars.

This was a magical read and I was very intrigued by all the elements of Russian folklore weaved into the story. I suppose it should also be mentioned for anyone unfamiliar with Russian based stories that most of the characters are referred to by three or four different names/nicknames. So while it is an enjoyable read, someone with an interest in Russian culture or history or folklore might find this to be a more interesting read.

My only issue with the whole novel was that it moved a bit slow at times, but even the slow moments had nice development of the setting, characters, and overall plot. There are several times where the story will jump ahead a few years. When the story begins Vasya/Vasochka/Vasilisa hasn’t even been born, and by the end of the book she is almost fifteen.

But I was so interested in Vasya, and in this whole idea of Morozko as a character. I haven’t done much research into Russian beliefs or folktales, but Morozko or Frost is sort of like their version of Jack Frost, but he has also apparently gone through several incarnations, changing a bit each time. And I’ve found out that this is supposed to be at least a trilogy, so there will likely be more development and such as we progress.

The writing style was interesting to me. I did feel like it was a bit magical and wondrous, and I found myself swept away by the tales told by and the lives lived by the characters. There is also a wonderful plot in this book that is basically the old way of the gods and many creatures and demons and such, and the new way of Christianity. So much of this book centers on that, and I found myself cheering for Vasya as she continued to honor the household spirits and the old ways, even as others tried to make her change to this new way that believed they were devils and demons.

It may take a little bit of time to get fully invested in this novel, but it was a great debut novel and definitely worth the read.

Where to Buy

You can pick this book up anywhere books are sold: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Book Depository, or your local independent bookstore.

Review: The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova

Hey all, Dani here,

Today I have the privilege of reviewing a book I was lucky enough to receive through NetGalley. Also, being granted early access to this novel did not influence my rating and/or review. And I guess I should also say that you won’t have to wait long to pick up your own copy, because The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova will be released next Tuesday, January 10, 2017.

Okay, so in the past year or so I had seen a lot of posts on Bookstagram hyping up Elise Kova, particularly her Air Awakens series, and it made me intrigued, so at the end of 2016 I finally caved and purchased a copy of Air Awakens, but then I was on NetGalley and saw that the first book in her next series was available, and it too sounded interesting, so I requested a copy, not completely expecting that I would be approved, and yet I soon received the message that I was free to download and read The Alchemists of Loom.

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Summary

Her vengeance. His vision.

Ari lost everything she once loved when the Five Guilds’ resistance fell to the Dragon King. Now, she uses her unparalleled gift for clockwork machinery in tandem with notoriously unscrupulous morals to contribute to a thriving underground organ market. There isn’t a place on Loom that is secure from the engineer turned thief, and her magical talents are sold to the highest bidder as long as the job defies their Dragon oppressors.

Cvareh would do anything to see his sister usurp the Dragon King and sit on the throne. His family’s house has endured the shame of being the lowest rung in the Dragons’ society for far too long. The Alchemist Guild, down on Loom, may just hold the key to putting his kin in power, if Cvareh can get to them before the Dragon King’s assassins.

When Ari stumbles upon a wounded Cvareh, she sees an opportunity to slaughter an enemy and make a profit off his corpse. But the Dragon sees an opportunity to navigate Loom with the best person to get him where he wants to go.

He offers her the one thing Ari can’t refuse: A wish of her greatest desire, if she brings him to the Alchemists of Loom.

My Thoughts

I was very quickly drawn into this story and really did not want to put it down. There was another January 10th release day book I was also reading and I ended up putting it to the side so I could focus solely on this wonderful tale.

The world was rather interesting, with elements of fantasy and steampunk intertwined. We follow three different groups/races: the Fenthri, the Dragons, and Chimera. Fenthri are divided into five different Guilds, and the people themselves are black, white, or varying shades of grey. Don’t let the term Dragon fool you either, because they are just as humanoid as the Fenthri. Dragons are a magical people and their skin colors are varying shades of color, some red, some blue, etc. Finally there are the Chimera, who are Fenthri with Dragon magic and at least a couple Dragon parts in them.

The action of the story starts very quickly, with Ari coming across Cvareh, and each has their own motives behind working with the other, but as the situation becomes more complicated and more people get pulled into this journey, the story gets more intriguing and more addictive. I loved Ari and Cvareh and Florence as characters, and following their journey, especially as they all broke through their prejudices for each other, and began to learn more about each other…it was so great to witness.

I’m really trying not to go into details, because I really don’t want to spoil this for anyone, but there were so many awesome plot points, twists, and revelations in this book, and I devoured it so quickly. If it hadn’t been for work and familial obligations I probably would have read it in one sitting.

When I reached the end of the book I was so upset that I didn’t already have the second one in my hands, ready to continue the story. Thankfully there’s only a few more months to wait before The Dragons of Nova is released, and with any luck I’ll be able to get an early copy of it as well.

The Alchemists of Loom has definitely set the bar fairly high for best reads of 2017. I am now such a fan of Elise Kova, and I am really looking forward to going back and reading her first series.

Rating 5 stars

Where to Buy

You can pick this up from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Booksamillion, Book Depository, or any indie book store. If they don’t have it in stock, have them order copies in.

2017 Bookish Resolutions

Hey all, Dani here.

The tradition this time of year is to make a whole bunch of resolutions for your life, and with a large number of the resolutions we all only make it a couple weeks before we slack or just stop all together. That’s actually why I stopped making lifestyle resolutions like eating better, exercising more, or losing weight.

But making book related resolutions typically works out quite a bit better for me, so I’m just going to run through a few of those I’ve made for myself in 2017.

First up: reading. My initial goal is to read 75 books. I know this is an easily achievable goal, but I also know that if I manage to devour a lot of books quickly I can always increase my goal number. I’ve changed my goal the past several years. In 2016 my goal went from 75 to 100 to 130. More than that, though, I plan to participate in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon in both April and October, because I really enjoyed my experience with the readathon in 2016.

Second: blogging. I will have at least one book related blog up each week. Right now I have several bonus posts figured out thanks to some of my egalleys and ARCs, but I am really going to work to make sure that I maintain my posting schedule.

Third: vlogging. I have been watching BookTube for a while now and have thought that is something I could do myself. I love talking about books with other people. This is going to be the most difficult resolution for me though, because I am so nervous about this. Taking pictures or video of myself has never felt natural or comfortable to me, but I’m going to work through those feelings. With a bit of repetition and practice, I’m sure I’ll start getting used to filming and editing videos. So I’m going to start…soon.

Fourth: writing. This is actually an area where I really did slack in 2016. I did write on a few different things, but I didn’t finish a project or release one to the world. This needs to stop. Writing needs to be a priority in my life too. So, I will get Project Death: Revelation finished and released in the next couple of months. Then I need to get my focus onto the third book in the series. I’d like to have both Revelation and Redemption out in 2017. I guess this is also the area where I mention that I’m participating in Camp NaNoWriMo in April and July, and NaNoWriMo in November.

Fifth: Bookstagram. I loved being an active part of the book community on Instagram in 2016, and I’d like to keep building on that. Book photography is actually pretty relaxing and fun. So in 2017 I’d like to keep building my account, participate in at least a few monthly photo challenges, and just enjoy connecting with all my new book friends.

Sixth: Conventions. For this year I plan to be at a brand new local author event being held by my public library in March. I also am really hoping to make it to BEA and/or BookCon this year. As always, I’ll be attending Wizard World Chicago Comic Con, where I’m looking forward to seeing which authors show up, because I usually come home with a nice haul. And for right now my only author appearance at a convention will be Cincinnati Comic Expo in September; Mousai Books will be teaming up with Colorworld Books and it should be a lot of fun.

Well, I think that’s it for my bookish resolutions. That’s quite a hefty list when you look at it all together. Thanks for being a part of the first year of this blog, and I look forward to talking about bookish and nerdy things with all of you throughout 2017. It’s going to be a great year.

2016 Wrap Up and January TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

Well, 2016 is officially over, and I honestly hope that 2017 is a better year overall. What I can be pleased on over the past year was my bookish accomplishments. I started this book blog and did a pretty decent job at consistent posting. I also managed to read 134 books over the year, most of which were amazing, and there were quite a few that were a deviation from my norm of fantasy and paranormal.

I guess the other part of 2016 I should mention is my end of year wrap up and book haul. Because of NaNoWriMo I didn’t do a November wrap up, but I did read three books while writing on my novel, and then in December I read seven books, so let’s jump into this wrap up.

November

Dreamworld by Rachel E Kelly (5 stars)

Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir by Stan Lee (4 stars)

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling (4.5 stars)

December

Let Your Heart Be Light by Crista McHugh (4.5 stars)

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick (5 stars)

The Wicked + The Divine, Vol 4: Rising Action by Kieron Gillen (4 stars)

Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls and Everything In Between by Lauren Graham (5 stars)

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid (5 stars)

Freeks by Amanda Hocking (3.5 stars) (ARC)

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (5 stars)

Next up on the wrap up for 2016 would be my last couple book hauls. Because of these, I have so many great books to look forward to reading. Between these and some of the releases I’m anticipating, I don’t know how I’m going to squeeze all these books into my reading time. Maybe I’ll just have to sign up for more readathons.

My November book haul was actually fairly small in size (for me). I was trying to keep myself in check, especially because of NaNoWriMo. I didn’t want to be tempted by too many great new books. But my December book haul was awesomely ridiculous. Between Christmas gifts, my subscription boxes, gift cards, and a random trip to Barnes & Noble, I ended up with quite a few awesome books. It makes me wish that I had just a bit more free time for reading. I’ll find a way to read all of these eventually.

Finally, there is my January TBR. Now, quite a few books I have on my reading list for the month will actually be released in January so I had to pull their cover images off the Internet, but there’s a few I have from recent book hauls.

I am so looking forward to reading these books, and I sincerely hope that I’m able to get through all of these in January.

All right, well I think that’s it for now. Did you guys get any really awesome books or bookish merch in December? Are there any books you are really looking forward to reading in January? Let me know in the comments.