Book Tag, Books!, Inspiration, Signal Boost

Secret Life of a Book Blogger Tag

Hey all, Dani here.

It has been a little bit since I’ve done a tag, so thank you to Katie at Never Not Reading for tagging me in this lovely little tag. It’s been a little while since I was tagged, but better late than never, right. And the header for this tag was created by Maddie at Munch Reviews, so feel free to check out the blogs of either of these ladies.

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Okay, this is a get-to-know-you type tag, so let’s just jump into it. The rules are pretty much just to answer the questions. Simple.

  1. How long have you been blogging?I started Mousai Books in January 2016, so it has been almost three years. But I had a couple other blogs about a decade ago that didn’t go so well, so I don’t exactly count them in my total blogging time.
  2. At what point do you think you’ll stop blogging?

    Currently I don’t see me stopping with blogging any time in the near future. But if at some time blogging became more of a chore than something I enjoy doing, I would need to take a break and re-evaluate. But honestly, I so enjoy talking about books and other nerdy hobbies, so I don’t see that happening.
  3. What is the best thing about blogging?The community is absolutely the best part of doing this. I have made some wonderful bookish friends in the past few years, and I am just so glad to have people I can discuss books and games and all sorts of other topics with. It’s wonderful.
  4. What is the worst thing? What do you do to make it okay?The pressure. This time last year I literally was posting something each and every day, but with work and life changes, I haven’t been able to maintain that sort of schedule this year. I’ve had to spend quite a bit of time trying to figure out how to adjust my time and my planning and my prep to keep posting, though I wish I could post so much more. I don’t know if there is anything special I do to make that okay, but I do try to reassure myself that pretty much all of us deal with the pressure, and that it’s okay to not post every single day.
  5. How long does it take you to make/find pictures to use?I don’t spend more than a couple minutes setting up a photo if I’m taking it myself. Otherwise I just grab the cover image of a book from Goodreads and use it for reviews.
  6. Who is your book crush?Is it sad that I don’t actually have a book crush right now? Honestly since I met my fiance, all the fictional characters just haven’t been able to compare. I realize that is a bit sappy, but it is also true for me.
  7. What author would you like to have on your blog?Oooh…right now I’d have to go with Emily A Duncan, author of the upcoming debut Wicked SaintsThis book will be released in early April 2019, and it currently tops my most anticipated list. Also, Emily Duncan is a fan of some of my favorite metal bands, and she is a librarian from Ohio. So we went to the same grad school, which is really cool. It would be cool to be able to do an author interview with her. Actually, is it okay if I said that I would love to just go hang out with her at a coffee shop and just talk about writing and books and stuff?
  8. What do you wear when you write blog posts?Umm…whatever I want? It really depends on where I write the posts. But for the most part I suppose I am in lounge pants and a t-shirt. When I’m at home I generally like to be comfy. So I wear pajamas and sit on the couch with my computer on my lap and books stacked all around me. It is a setup that has worked for me over the past year and a half.
  9. How long does it take you to prepare?This depends on what post I’m working on. For reviews it doesn’t take that long. The only real prepwork is to grab the cover image, the purchase links, and the summary details. After that it is just a matter of typing up my intro and my review. When it comes to book tags, I prep by copying over the questions and linking to the tag creator and/or the person who tagged me. For some tags I can just answer the questions, but for others I may need to go and look around my personal library for a little while.  But really, most of my posts only take me about a half-hour or so to write up, which isn’t really that bad.
  10. How do you feel about the blogging community?I absolutely love the blogging community. Like I mentioned before, it is my favorite part of blogging, and I have made some great online friends because of it. I can also say that this community has introduced me to so many fun tags and readathons and book clubs, and I am so glad for all of it.
  11. What do you think one should do to create a successful blog?

    There are many things that any of us could do to create a successful blog, but I think being passionate about what you are doing is key. That and trying to have an active presence online. My previous blogs were ones where I didn’t exactly comment on other blogs and try to be a part of the community, and so they never really grew or developed at all. With this blog I have started following a bunch of other blogs, and reading and commenting on other posts, and it has greatly helped me.

Wow, okay, so now I’m supposed to tag people so they can do this tag as well. Hmm… I will tag these people, but if any of you would like to do this one, then by all means consider yourself tagged.

That’s all from me today. I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

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Books!, Inspiration, NaNoWriMo, Signal Boost, Writing

Plans for the Rest of 2018

Hey all, Dani here.

I am making some plans for the remainder of 2018, and I really need your help to follow through with some of them…well, one in particular. So thanks for reading this post, and as a warning, it may get a little ramble-filled. We’ll see.

Anyway, my first planning category is obviously reading. My current Goodreads Reading Challenge goal is 100 books, but seeing as how I have finished 93 books already this year, I’m thinking I’ll need to increase this goal a little bit. I’m going to be a little conservative, and probably bump my goal up to 120 books.

Next up for my plans over the next few months is blogging, naturally. I’m doing pretty good with having my Wrap-Up/TBR post each month, as well as my Calendar Girls post each month, so those are definitely sticking around. I also plan to continue with my What I’m Reading posts each Wednesday. They are pretty easy to put together little by little through the week. Since I’m still reading quite a few volumes of manga, it is likely that I will be able to continue with my Manga Monday reviews (with the exception of the first Monday of each month, which is the Calendar Girls post day). What I hope to do is to also have one other post each week, whether that is a review or a book tag or something. Most likely reviews, because those are really starting to pile up on me.

Finally…here is the part where I need your help. Writing. I used to write all the time, working on drafting novels and then edit them, with the hope of publishing. I have been in a pretty big writer’s block for the past couple years, at least when it comes to creative writing. The truth is that I really miss writing. But now that I’ve spent so long not writing regularly, I’m struggling to get back into it. I just stare at my notebooks or my word document on my computer…and nothing happens.

So my plan is to spend the next six weeks trying to do some planning and preparation. Maybe some writing exercises to try to get used to creative writing again. Then, in November, I will participate in NaNoWriMo again. The last couple years I have still completed the NaNoWriMo challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days during the month of November, but a lot of it has been forcing out words that honestly end up being 90% garbage.

That’s where I need your help. I need people to keep me accountable for my writing. People who will bug me in comments here on the blog and/or on social media. I need people to ask how my writing is going, and to keep asking me.

What I’d like to do is to start writing this novel I’ve been dreaming of for a little over a year now. Ideally I would write at least 50,000 words in November and then keep writing in December and on until I finish the novel.

I’ll probably try to do a couple writing posts between now and the start of NaNoWriMo (with some more random writing posts throughout this writing process). One of those posts will likely be some vague chatter about this novel that I plan on writing with a reader survey included.

So, can you help me out, my lovely online book friends?

Thanks for reading, everyone, and I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

Books!, Signal Boost

What I’m Reading (17)

Hey all, Dani here.

Well, here we are at the midpoint of yet another week, which means that it is time to talk about books…the books we’ve finished reading recently, the books we are currently reading, and the books we are hoping to start reading soon.

So, I haven’t actually finished any books in the last week, but that’s okay. The month is just getting started and I’m really enjoying my current reads, so I predict that next week’s post will be filled with lots of fun reading progress. Honestly, I guess that means we should just move on to the current reads section of this post and I can talk about where I am in my reading at the moment.

My current reads are: Dread Nation by Justina Ireland, The Unbinding of Mary Reade by Miriam McNamara, and Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon. Hmm…I guess I was in a historical reading mood without really realizing it.

Dread Nation is doing a fine job of setting up this alternate history, where the dead started to rise and now there are actually young women who are trained in etiquette as well as combat, who are hired by wealthy families to serve and protect them. The main character is pretty good at the combat portion of the job, but struggles with the poise and etiquette stuff. I’m really enjoying it and look forward to seeing what sort of trouble she’s going to get herself into.

I just started The Unbinding of Mary Reade yesterday, but it is proving to be a very quick read. I am liking the dual timeline of the novel too, because we get to see more of Mary’s past, while also enjoying her current pirate adventures with Anne Bonny and Calico Jack.

Finally, I am still working on Dragonfly in Amber. I’m fine taking my time with this series. I know that if I sat down and put my mind to it, I could finish a book each weekend, but then I would completely catch up on the series and have to wait a few more years for the next installment. But, I would like to at least get myself caught up on the show, and I’m not letting myself watch season 2 until I’ve finished this book, so I probably need to spend a little more time reading this one.

As for what I’m hoping to start reading soon, I think my next read will probably be either The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli or A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers. After all the historical fictions, I think I will need either a contemporary or a science fiction for a nice change of pace. This is especially true seeing as how I actually have two other historical fiction reads on my June TBR– The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee and And I Darken by Kiersten White.

I suppose that is all for today. I will be back soon with more bookish content. Until then, let me know what book(s) you’re reading right now.

Book Tag, Books!, Signal Boost

Sunshine Blogger Award (6)

Hey all, Dani here.

I can’t believe that I’ve been nominated again for this award. Seriously, thank you all so much for enjoying my blog and feeling that I am worthy of being nominated. This time around, my nomination comes from Jenna over at Bookmark Your Thoughts, so please go and check out her blog because she is awesome.

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WHAT IS THE SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

THE RULES

  1. Thank the person/persons that nominated you and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions your nominator has given you.
  3. Nominate 11 other people and give them 11 new questions to answer.
  4. List the rules and display the award.

QUESTIONS I WAS ASKED

  1. What made you want to start a book blog?

    So, I just really like talking about books, and I didn’t really have any big book people around me at home/work and I needed an outlet. Plus, I’ve had blogs before and while I didn’t really have a big follower count or anything (I had 7 followers) and pretty much no commenters, I just enjoyed writing about books. And since this blog I’ve gone to book conventions and I’ve talked with so many of you wonderful people, so I’m glad I decided to try again with book blogging.

  2. Tell us one thing about yourself that you probably haven’t shared in your posts.

    Oh man…umm…see, you guys already know that I’m a reader, a blogger, an author, a geek, and I have mentioned my love of making cupcakes on here before too. Gosh, what can I tell you about me?

  3. Name three books releasing this year that you’re most excited for.

    So this one isn’t that difficult really: Access Restricted by Gregory Scott Katsoulis (Release Date: August 28th) is my absolute most anticipated book of the year. I’m also really excited for the release of The Emerald Sea by Richelle Mead (Release Date: June 26th). For a third release I’m anticipating, I guess I have to go with Smoke and Iron by Rachel Caine (Release Date: July 3rd), though I’m also excited for The Towering Sky by Katharine McGee (Release Date: August 28th). Yay, bonus book!

  4. Name three movies releasing this year that you’re most excited for.

    Oooh…three movies…okay, so Incredibles 2, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. But I’m also excited for Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2, Aquaman, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and Mary Poppins Returns.

  5. Shout out three bloggers you’ve recently started following.

    Yikes, I’ve been bad about following bloggers lately. Because of my hectic schedule at the moment, it has been difficult to even keep up with everyone I’m following already. I’ll just go with the first three that pop up in my reader feed: Flavia at Flavia the Bibliophile, Paige at Just One More Pa(i)ge, and Brittany at Perfectly Tolerable.

  6. What’s your favourite read of 2018 so far?

    I feel like this question is a spoiler for my upcoming top reads of 2018 (part one) post, but I also can’t pick just one, so here’s three:

  7. Rewatching movies and TV shows: Yes or no?

    Yes, absolutely. I see things I missed with each rewatch, so I like the experience. It’s like rereading books.

  8. What’s your spirit animal?

    Probably something feline in nature…my fiance says housecat, but get on my bad side and probably more like a lion.

  9. Name two pointers you have for book bloggers in regards to writing reviews.

    Don’t give a play by play of the contents of the plot. A lot of those who would read the review probably haven’t read the book yet and most likely don’t want those spoilers.
    Also, it is perfectly fine and acceptable to gush, squee, fangirl/fanboy, rage, etc in your review. We want to know what you liked, what you loved, what bothered you. We just (well, I just) would prefer for these emotive exclamations to be non-spoilery.

  10. Introvert | Ambivert | Extrovert: which best describes you?

    I’m a pretty extroverted introvert, so technically I guess I would be an ambivert.

  11. Name one thing you are grateful for.

    I am so incredibly grateful for my fiance. He came into my life at the perfect time, right as my home life was about to implode. Without him, 2017 would have been so much worse for me, so I am so so lucky to have him in my life.

MY NOMINEES

Well, since I already tagged them earlier in this post, I suppose I’ll go ahead and nominate those three lovely bloggers for this.

– Flavia at Flavia the Bibliophile
– Paige at Just One More Pa(i)ge
– Brittany at Perfectly Tolerable
– Kathy at Books & Munches
– Alyssa at A Reader’s Journey
– Holly at Nut Free Nerd
– Katie at Never Not Reading
– Sofii at A Book. A Thought.
– Jenna at J.K. I’m Exploring!
– Krista and Dawlyn at Little Blind Book Finds
– You!

MY QUESTIONS

Jenna’s questions were so interesting, so I will shamelessly just take them and give them to you lovely nominees.

  1. What made you want to start a book blog?
  2. Tell us one thing about yourself that you probably haven’t shared in your posts.
  3. Name three books releasing this year that you’re most excited for.
  4. Name three movies releasing this year that you’re most excited for.
  5. Shout out three bloggers you’ve recently started following.
  6. What’s your favourite read of 2018 so far?
  7. Rewatching movies and TV shows: Yes or no?
  8. What’s your spirit animal?
  9. Name two pointers you have for book bloggers in regards to writing reviews.
  10. Introvert | Ambivert | Extrovert: which best describes you?
  11. Name one thing you are grateful for.

All right, well that is all for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

Book Tag, Books!, Inspiration, Signal Boost

Sunshine Blogger Award (5)

Hey all, Dani here.

Once again, I feel so honored to have been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award. This time my nomination comes from Finding French Charming, so thank you so much. Also, I haven’t really been doing any tags lately on my blog, as I’ve been trying to catch up on my reviews and all of that. I promise you that I do have around 10 or so tags to do at some point.

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As always, let’s start by quickly getting the rules of the tag/award out of the way.

The rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you
  2. Display one of the Sunshine Blogger Award logos
  3. Nominate 11 (or however many you want) bloggers to receive the award and write 11 questions for them to answer

Now, moving on to the questions I was given to answer.

1. What movie would you consider closest to your own life story?

If you had asked me this question a year ago, I might have answered with The 40 Year Old Virgin, but now, I don’t know…I am failing at thinking of awesome nerdy romance type movies. Okay, this is sort of a cop out because it is technically a web-series, but I think more people should watch it, and the two seasons together are pretty much the length of a standard movie, so LARPs the Series. Go check it out.

2.  What accent do you find the sexiest when you hear someone speak?

Now why do you have to ask this question? Okay, so when I was around 5 years old I really loved the Cajun accent (blame Gambit. I loved the animated X-Men TV series when I was a kid). I am totally a sucker for an Irish or Scottish accent, as well as an Australian accent. Of course, a good ole’ Southern drawl is nice as well.

3.  What is the most attractive quality in a potential (or current) partner?  Examples: Humor, Romance, Intelligence, or a physical quality?

My fiance is a wonderful, caring, supportive, creative, goofy nerd. It was his creativity that snagged my interest initially, and then talking to him/texting him over the following weeks helped me get to know him, and it made me fall in love with him. Oh, and he’s really nice to cuddle up with on the couch while we watch shows or read (separate books) together.

4.  Go to beverage or comfort food after a hard day?

My go-to beverage is usually sweet tea, and my comfort food is absolutely macaroni and cheese…though I do have a soft spot for tacos as well.

5.  What is your favorite thing to spend money on, more than you should at times?

Is this supposed to be a trick question? –Books– Well, okay, I also spend a lot of money on D&D accessories.

6. Super Hero or Vampire?  Which would you be and why?

Superhero. Interesting costume, witty one-liners, and hopefully some sort of superpower…it all sounds pretty cool to me. Honestly the idea of living forever at the expense of drinking blood just doesn’t sound appealing to me.

7.  What movie could you watch 100 times?  Every time you come across it on TV you watch it even if you come in somewhere in the middle?

A League of Their Own, The Shawshank Redemption, LOTR/The Hobbit, pretty much any superhero movie… this list could probably go on for a while but I’ll stop now.

8.  What was the best “come back” line you’ve ever had?  (Ex. for me, I was fighting with a boyfriend and my friend asked if I had ever read “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus”.  I replied “It won’t help, he’s from Uranus”)

I honestly can’t think of any good “come back” lines I’ve had right now.

9.  What is your signature scent?

I like beach/ocean scents or rain.

10.  What is one piece of advice you hand out the most?

I think most of the advice I give out has to do with book/movie/TV/game recommendations, or writing advice during NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNoWriMo.

11.  What is the most bizarre gift you ever received?

Okay, so for my graduation party from grad school once I had earned my Master’s degree, one of my parents friends gave me a plastic baggie with a napkin and some money in it. The napkin had a note written on it that basically said that he thought about getting me a card, but then he figured I would have more use for the money, so he included an extra $3 to cover the cost of the card he didn’t get me. I thought it was a pretty nice gesture.


My nominees for this wonderful award are:

I am awful at doing these nominations you guys. I think all of you are great, and you should all be nominated, so if you are reading this, then consider yourself TAGGED!


Finally, my questions for you lovely people: I actually really enjoyed the questions I was asked, so I’m just going to repeat them.

1. What movie would you consider closest to your own life story?

2.  What accent do you find the sexiest when you hear someone speak?

3.  What is the most attractive quality in a potential (or current) partner?  Examples: Humor, Romance, Intelligence, or a physical quality?

4.  Go to beverage or comfort food after a hard day?

5.  What is your favorite thing to spend money on, more than you should at times?

6. Super Hero or Vampire?  Which would you be and why?

7.  What movie could you watch 100 times?  Every time you come across it on TV you watch it even if you come in somewhere in the middle?

8.  What was the best “come back” line you’ve ever had?  (Ex. for me, I was fighting with a boyfriend and my friend asked if I had ever read “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus”.  I replied “It won’t help, he’s from Uranus”)

9.  What is your signature scent?

10.  What is one piece of advice you hand out the most?

11.  What is the most bizarre gift you ever received?


Well, that’s it for today, and I’ll be back soon (possibly tomorrow) with more bookish posts.

Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Signal Boost

January Wrap Up and February TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

Success! I managed to get posts up every day this week. I am going to try and keep going with this trend, because I have 21 reviews that I need to write up, the next few recommendation posts for the month of February need to be written, I have at least ten or so book tags that I can prep (if I have the time), and there are a couple other fun random posts I would like to do in February. So, as you can see, if I can find the time to write up these posts, I actually will be able to have regular posts up for a couple of months at the very least.

But that’s not what I’m here to talk about today. No, today is about going over all the books I read and purchased in January, and then to discuss the books I’m hoping to read in the month of February.

So let’s just get started.

I read 11 books in the month of January, which is a pretty good number, though I’m still a bit upset that I didn’t get a few more finished. Still, they were all 4 and 5 star review books, so that’s great. I already have reviews up for a couple of them, and reviews of the rest are hopefully coming soon enough.

Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking — 4 stars

The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West — 4 stars

My Hero Academia, Vol 7 by Kohei Horikoshi — 5 stars

My Hero Academia, Vol 8 by Kohei Horikoshi — 5 stars

My Hero Academia, Vol 9 by Kohei Horikoshi — 5 stars

My Hero Academia, Vol 10 by Kohei Horikoshi — 5 stars

Love Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed — 5 stars

Vox Machina Origins, Issue #4 by Matthew Coville, Matt Mercer, Olivia Samson, Travis Ames, and Chris Northrop — 5 stars

Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills — 4.5 stars

The Paper Magician by Charlie N Holmberg — 4 stars

The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking — 4 stars

All right, well that’s it for my reading wrap up, and now it’s time for my January book haul, complete with my January OwlCrate unboxing. I liked the OwlCrate box, though I was sad that I didn’t guess what the book was ahead of time because the day my subscription box arrived, I also received a package from Barnes & Noble, so now I have two copies of the same book. Oh well.

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Honestly, with the January OwlCrate, the exclusive cover for The Cruel Prince is nice, but I prefer the original more this time around. The wax melt burner is a nice addition to the box as well, and I think I’m going to have to make a print wall for all the lovely art prints I keep getting in these boxes. The February theme is Hidden Worlds and the OwlCrate booklet says that the book pick is a unique story that is about modern day fairy tales with a hint of darkness, so I need to try and figure out what the book will be so I don’t continue to have multiple copies of some books.

Finally, let’s talk about my February TBR. A lot of it is ARC review reading, but I’m not complaining, because I am so excited about these books.

I also plan to finish reading Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman, and it is time that I can finally let myself finish reading Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, because we are getting pretty close to the release of Obsidio.

Basically, I have given myself a pretty hefty reading list for the month, and hopefully I’ll be able to actually accomplish it all.

Well, have a lovely weekend everyone–probably when you are reading this post I’ll be at Barnes & Noble buying more books. My fiance pointed out that we hadn’t gone book shopping in a while…gotta love how he indulges my book buying addiction. I’m going to try and have some more reviews, book tags, and more up for you next week. I think I’ll be able to carve out a few hours of blog prep time this weekend.

Book Tag, Books!, Inspiration, Signal Boost

Sunshine Blogger Award (3)

Hey all, Dani here.

I feel so honored to have been selected for the Sunshine Blogger Award again, this time by Amanda over at Peaks and Pages. Honestly what is awesome about this tag is that you can do it multiple times because the questions change each time. Also, go check out Amanda’s blog because she is wonderful and has some awesome posts.

sunshine-blogger-award-logo

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?
This award is given to those who are creative, positive, and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

How does it work?
-Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and link back to their blog.
-Answer 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
-Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
-List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your blog.

1. What were your favorite books growing up?

Oh man, that is a tough question. I read soooo many books when I was growing up, and I’m sad that I can’t remember them all because I didn’t have something like Goodreads to keep track of my reading progress. I wish I had filled a notebook with what I read, but I didn’t think about wanting a record of everything I’d read.

Anyway, I absolutely was obsessed with the Animorphs series, and I still own every single one of them. Obviously Harry Potter was a staple of my time in high school-college. There are probably so many more answers that I’m just not thinking of right now, so I’m going to stop with those.
2. Where is your favorite place to read?

I suppose right now my favorite place to read is on my couch, all curled up with a blanket, with a drink and maybe some snacks on the side table.
3. Which genres do you read the most?

Fantasy is still my favorite genre, though paranormal and sci-fi are also good. I guess lately I’ve also been reading more contemporary than I used to.
4. Who is your favorite author?

Y’all know I don’t like picking favorites. There are so many amazing authors I love. Just to name some of my faves: Rachel E. Kelly, Jim C. Hines, Brandon Sanderson, Richelle Mead, Morgan Rhodes, Adam Silvera, Renee Ahdieh…the list could go on and on.
5. What’s a trope or cliché that you’re tired of seeing?

I’m tired of seeing love triangles, which mostly seem to consist of one person who can’t decide which of two others they like. How about more books that focus on strong relationships that don’t have the drama of one possibly cheating on the other? You can find the excitement/drama in other aspects of the story.
6. Who is your OTP?

Hmm…most of the time I’m good with who characters choose to partner with in stories, but I guess I’ll say that I’ve always wished that Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood had ended up together.
7. What is your favorite book-to-screen adaptation?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, I suppose is the one I’ll say for this question. You don’t get a better adaptation than one that was written and directed by the book’s author.
8. What is your reading beverage of choice?

I really like drinking a good sweet tea. Though a nice caramel cappuccino (hot or frappuccino) is also good.
9. What’s the most disappointing book you’ve read this year?

Well, this year just started, so I haven’t really had any disappointing reads yet, but the lowest rated reads for me so far have been Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking, and The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West, both of which I gave 4 stars to, so by no means disappointing.
10. What is a sequel you’re highly anticipating?

The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco, More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer, Love & War by Melissa de la Cruz, The Emerald Sea by Richelle Mead, Access Restricted by Gregory Scott Katsoulis, The Towering Sky by Katharine McGee, and The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden, just to name a few.
11. What are some diverse books you’ve read and loved?

Why don’t you go check out my Diverse Reads recommendations post for the answer to that question. Of course, I can now absolutely add Love, Hate & Other Filters to that list.


My nominations

Okay, well now I’m supposed to nominate 11 people. Oh boy–I don’t think I’ll be able to rattle off that many right now. I guess here we go:


I guess that just leaves the 11 questions for me to ask you.

  1. What is a bookish goal you have for 2018?
  2. If you could have any 2018 ARC in your hands right now, what would you want most?
  3. What are your favorite kinds of posts to write?
  4. Do you plan out what posts you want to write in a particular week/month/etc or do you just write them up when you get an idea?
  5. How long have you been book blogging?
  6. How do you balance work/school/etc with reading and blogging?
  7. What is your favorite book to TV series adaptation?
  8. How often do you try and read?
  9. What is your reading and reviewing process like?
  10. I know it’s still really early in the year, but what has been your favorite read of 2018 so far?
  11. What are some books you want more people to read? (Give me your book recommendations!)

All right, well that’s all for today, and I’ll see you guys soon (hopefully) for another post.

Book Releases, Book Review, Book Tag, Books!, Conventions, Cover Reveal, Graphic Novel, Manga, NaNoWriMo, NetGalley, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Recommendations, Signal Boost, TBR Purge, Writing

The Road So Far (2)

Hey all, Dani here.

Why mess with the tradition I started last year? I might as well keep using the awesome “Supernatural” reference for my retrospective over the last year. You can find my overview of 2016 here.

Today also happens to be my 2 year blogaversary. I started this blog in 2016 to help me cope with my paternal grandmother’s death. Well, technically that was the catalyst for starting it; I had been thinking of starting up a blog again for a while because I needed to talk about books with someone.

2017 was such a rollercoaster year for me, and yet, looking back I wouldn’t change any of the lows I went through. Not only because the highs really kept me afloat, but also because the lows allowed me to fully understand how great the highs were.

Anyway, in January I found out that I was approved for the vacation days from work that would allow me to go to Book Expo and BookCon. Though I knew I was going alone, I knew that I would have a fun time surrounded by other book lovers and getting to check out a bunch of upcoming releases.

Also in January, my parents separated after 30 years together, and started the process of getting a divorce. The drama and issues from this event would send shockwaves through roughly 2/3 of the year.

I lost myself in books, both reading them and buying them. I pushed myself to work more on my blog, and to start interacting more with other members of the book community. It was the start to me really feeling like a good book blogger. But in those early months it was also the way I had to cope with what was happening in my life. Well, my books and Dungeons & Dragons.

It was Dungeons & Dragons that introduced me to the man who I would start dating in April. As it turns out this would be the event that helped me get through everything else. Admittedly, I know some people in my real life got annoyed with how much I gushed about my guy and how great things were. I can’t help it that my life started to feel like I was part of a romance story.

After my trip to NYC for Book Expo and BookCon, my blog really started to take off. I reached 100 followers, and later in the year 200. I’m not sure when follower 250 came around, but it might have been just before 2017 ended. So thank you to each and every one of you who has joined me in this process. You are all amazing.

Even with my work and my relationship, I somehow managed to still keep up with all of my reading and blogging, and actually I started having posts go up every single day, something I never would have thought I would be able to do.

I participated in quite a few readathons over the course of the year, from both sessions of Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathons, to a few other assorted events. All in all I think those helped me connect with more of you, and to read a bunch more books. The 24 Hour events always seem much more successful to me than the week long events, but I still keep trying with them. Hey, any excuse to read more, right?

I rekindled my fondness for manga in 2017, and I can honestly say that I am devouring so many of them. My list of manga reviews waiting to be written up is getting decently long.

Oh, and my boyfriend and I were able to go to Indianapolis in August with another friend of ours for a one day pass to Gen Con, which is a gaming convention. There we were able to get a lot of books, dice, and games, as well as to meet the cast of Critical Role. It was a really fun day.

For the 12th time I participated in NaNoWriMo, and managed to earn my 12th win, but I realize that the novel that came out is mostly incoherent. With any luck I’ll be able to start from scratch and re-write the book in 2018. I’d actually love to be able to share it with the world. And it would be nice to really get back into writing (and possibly publishing) again.

And I managed to do a TBR purge and go through a list of well of 800 books on Goodreads, taking it down to just over 400 books. I imagine this will be something I’ll have to do again soon, but I still feel pretty good with where I’m at now.

But, the greatest event of 2017 was towards the end of December. On Friday, December 22nd, on a day when we thankfully had a shutdown day at work, my boyfriend and I went shopping at Barnes & Noble where he both bought more books than me and spent more money than me. You guys, that rarely happens. You’ve seen my typical book hauls. I usually get a heck of a lot of books.

After that shopping trip, we made our way to the zoo, where we walked around for a couple hours, looking at all of the animals and then also checking out the massive holiday light display they put up each year. And it was while sitting on a bench overlooking Conservation Lake at the zoo, that my wonderful boyfriend sank down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was honestly just like a scene out of a Hallmark channel holiday movie, and I so look forward to seeing what our future will be like.

I hope you all had some moments of 2017 that were really nice as well, and I hope that we all have a very nice 2018.

Books!, Inspiration, NaNoWriMo, Readathon, Signal Boost, Writing

Goals for 2018

Hey all, Dani here.

Well, here we are, a whole week into the new year already, and I am just now getting a post up where I talk about my goals for the year. Normally I would have had the post up already, but with the schedule I had figured out a month or so ago, this was the best I could do.

Last year I had a similar post, but I called it my 2017 Bookish Resolutions. So it seems fitting that I just continue that trend and talk about things I want to continue doing or improve on over the next twelve months.

First up: Reading. Obviously this is a big and important part of my life each and every year, which is probably why I list it first. Typically I started my reading goal at 75 books, but the past few years I have always increased the goal a couple times or so after reaching it with months left in the year. I still think this is a very doable goal, and I look forward to sharing my reading experiences with all of you. And part of sticking to this goal will be doing readathons. Right now I am already doing the Manga Madness Readathon, which is happening this week. I also plan to keep an eye out for 24 Hour Readathons from both Zoe Herdt (@readbyzoe on Twitter and YouTube), and @24Hourathon on Twitter. Then, of course, there is Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon in both April and October.

Second: Blogging. Another big part of my life the past couple of years is this blog. 2016 may not have been a super popular year for my blog, but I felt like I grew a lot in 2017 and I started posting a lot more and interacting even more than that. So I look forward to seeing what is to come in 2018. I’m working on creating a book tag, and I hope you will all enjoy that. Plus, I am continuing my weekly recommendation posts, and as always, throw out more suggestions for themes/topics/etc for these posts. Also, I have a nice backlog of book tags and other post ideas that I’m hoping to get to, so I’m hoping to continue having lots of nice content on here for all of you.

The third item on my list of goals is: Writing. This has been the hardest resolution or goal to stick to the past couple years. Yes, I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo and continued to win, but I know I could and should be doing more. There is a book inside of me that I’ve been wanting to get out for the past year, so I’m honestly hoping I can get a decent draft of it finished in 2018. I’ll keep you guys posted on how I’m doing though. And honestly, a little motivation could help me out too. So, if you think about it randomly throughout the year, ask how the writing is going for me in the comments. I used to do some of my most regular writing back when I posted it online chapter by chapter using fictionpress. And it goes without saying, though I will say it now anyway, that I will definitely be participating in NaNoWriMo again this year.

Finally: Bookstagram. I only posted to Instagram a handful of times in 2017, and I feel really bad about that. Taking photos, particularly of books, is something I have enjoyed, so I need to try and get back into that again. Though, I suppose part of that would include bringing some of my Bookstagram photo props to my apartment instead of abandoning them at my mom’s house. I will start to post more on there; I promise. You can find me @danielle.thamasa on Instagram.

Okay, okay, so I guess technically I have a fifth category and that is goals for my non-bookish life. Because, let’s be honest, 2017 was a pretty good year for me away from this blog as well. My guy and I met, started dating, and moved in together. Now we are making more and more plans for the future, and it is kind of awesome. Right now we are definitely planning to attend all four days of Gen Con in August 2018, so that will be fun (it will also be my 30th birthday weekend so yay!), and we may even be going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter this fall. We have to see if it will fit in the budget. So I am looking forward to a year of more board games, anime, video games, Dungeons & Dragons, and just cuddling up on the couch with my favorite guy.

I know there’s not a whole lot of concrete goals for this post. I’m not saying that I’m going to post a certain number of times each week, or that I’m going to write a certain number of words or for a certain length of time each day for my novels. I’ve been doing pretty good at having around 5 posts each week on the blog, but there could be times when work or life keep me from posting that much. At the very least I know that I will have a post or two up each week, but as much as possible I’m going to try and maintain my current posting schedule. Hopefully. And for my writing, I think it’s enough to say that I would like to have a whole draft finished for the book I’ve been wanting to write. It doesn’t set me up with a word count goal, but I still have a general idea of how much work I need to put in to achieve it.

What about you guys? What goals do you have for 2018? I would love to hear all about them in the comments, or even a link back to your own post (if you’ve already written one up).

Book Releases, Books!, Diverse December, Inspiration, Signal Boost, Writing

Guest Post: FADVERSITY – Diversity as a Genre by Hannah Carmack

Hey all, Dani here.

 

Okay so today I am excited to bring to you a guest post by an author I’ve been speaking with recently. I shall also have a review up for her newest release within the next week based on my currently scheduled posts.

But I’ll start off with giving you some details about Hannah’s book.

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In the midst of the cold war, the CIA’s finest and most fatal female agent, Diana Riley, vanishes. Kidnapped by the KGB and taken to the backcountry of North Carolina, she and her team of unsavory partners are forced to undergo illegal experimentation.

But, when the experiments leave them horribly deformed and unable to reenter society without someone crying monster, the previously glamorous and high-maintenance spies must escape KGB captivity and avoid recapture at the hands of Nikola, a ruthless KGB agent with an intense and well-justified grudge against her former flame.

You can snag a copy of this book right now from Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.

And now I’m going to pass this post over to Hannah. Enjoy.


I’m going to open right away by saying these are some deep waters. In no world is a 300-500 word post going to cover the intricate details of the recent viralization of #ownvoice/Diverse Voices manuscripts. I’m coming at this simply as a debut-author publishing through a niche, #ownvoices dedicated press.

To say that navigating what is acceptable and what isn’t acceptable in the genrefication of diversity is difficult is an understatement. From MSWL to Twitter Pitch Scandal, there’s no right way to talk about it. The only thing we can know for certain is although diversity shouldn’t be a fad, it is.

In a perfect world, diversity is just a way of life. Our world is diverse, so our fiction is. Currently, there is a push for more diverse book, which I think is good! More marginalized voices are being heard. I would have never found my publisher and gotten SEVEN-SIDED SPY published if not for the active search for LGBTQIA+ voices.

That said, there’s also anxiety in the publishing world that sometime soon diversity is going to go out of style. I was at a literary conference not too long ago. While there I was able to grab lunch with some fairly reputable authors, all of whom were talking about when the “vampire bubble” burst. You know, that sweet spot in literary history where the vampire boom from Twilight was finally over. A lot of authors, and readers rejoiced (As someone who loved Vampire’s Assistant I was –slightly- bummed). But, there’s no denying that for a while it seemed like you couldn’t pick up a YA book without a bloodsucker jumping out of the pages at you, and then just as sudden as it started, it was gone.

The conversation seemed normal, until everyone then transitioned into talking about “the diversity bubble.” In which case, all the wheels in my mind came to a screeching halt. I want to say that there will be no end to #ownvoices. That in this good perfect world our books will always be as diverse as our world. But, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think they were right.

“Trends” in literature come and go. For a while it was vampires, then it was zombies, currently, it feels like we’re in the ending days of dystopia, and soon we’ll be ushering in an era of #ownvoices. It’s no secret that one of these things is not like the other. Diversity shouldn’t be shelved alongside “dystopia” and “paranormal romance,” but it very well could be if we don’t keep speaking up and demanding our voices be heard.

The authors at that conference were right. We’re in a “diversity as a trend” bubble. Which has its pros –easier to find books featuring different races, religions, abilities, genders, ect, ect- and cons- trivialization of serious topics, problematic representation. It seems like the best thing we can do at the moment, is keep writing. Don’t shy away from your all-queer cast or your genderfluid track star or your coming of age about a girl with an ileostomy. Keep writing and keep reading books that speak to cultures that aren’t your own, the unconventional, the often shyed away from. There is a “trendification” of diversity going on. It’s up to readers and writers, to make sure it lasts even if this “bubble” bursts.


All right, Dani again. So tomorrow I’ll have two posts up: one on my underwhelming reads of 2017 and one for my top reads of 2017 (the July-December edition).