Saturday, August 31, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (5)



Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in a physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!


Here is what I've added in the last week:



In the Mailbox:

From the Library:


Kindle Freebies: (Please note these may no longer be free)


Purchases:

Nothing this week, go me! ;)




What fabulous finds did you add to your shelves this week?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Blog Events by Amanda Shofner

From Goodreads:

How do you draw your community to your blog while growing your network and establishing your expertise?

Blog events.

They're not just for hobby bloggers--they'll help your business too.

And Blog Events provides a framework for setting up your own successful event.

You'll cover why blog events are beneficial to you, how to define your event's purpose, what to consider when deciding on particulars, tricks for developing an effective marketing plan, how to tackle systems and responsibilities, and how to deal with the wrap-up.

Blog Events also has a special bonus section, filled with the secrets of a veteran blog event host--from what makes an event successful to tips that'll help keep your sanity intact. Because you can never be too prepared.

From the time I joined my first online read-a-thon I dreamed about hosting my own blog event. How hard could it be, right? It's actually a lot harder than you might think, but maybe it doesn't have to be if you go about it the right way.

Enter Amanda Shofner with her new little tome Blog Events.

Amanda is the co-host of Bout of Books, a 3 times yearly, week long online read-a-thon that engages between 400-500 participants. We just finished up Bout of Books 8.0, so yes, I'm one of those participants. I am reviewing this from the point of view of an event attendee who sees the polished end result, not the behind the scenes and I am always impressed with the professionalism and smoothness with which it seems to run.  There are twitter chats, daily challenges and the overall feeling of a festival.  I always come away feeling like I'm part of a community and looking forward to the next one, wishing it wasn't so far in the future.  I call that successful, which is why when Amanda announced that she had released Blog Events I was eager to read it and find out her secrets.

The beauty of this book is that you can apply it to any blog event, big or small, any purpose, hobby or business.  While she uses Bout of Books as an example, those examples are easy to adjust to your own needs.  Simply, she makes holding a blog event accessible to anyone by breaking it down into manageable parts and providing a checklist of things you need to consider to make your event successful without driving yourself crazy.

Some key points I took away from this:

  • Define your purpose clearly, what are your participants gaining, and what are you gaining?  Answering both of these questions is important to help the event stay focused and benefit both sides.
  • Stay organized and enlist reliable help.
  • Use your community to spread the word, make it easy for them and they'll do the work for you, generating more traffic through their own excitement over the event.

I can see Blog Events becoming a treasured handbook to refer back to again and again before, during and after events.  Yes, I'm a fan of Amanda and her Bout of Books co-host Kelly, so you might think I'm biased, but guess what?  I'm a fan because of a successful event, so I think Amanda knows whereof she speaks!

Visit Amanda at her website The Path of Least Revision to learn more!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

WWW Wednesdays 8/28/13



To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?
* What did you recently finish reading?
* What do you think you’ll read next?

Then head on over to Should be Reading and leave a comment with a link to your post so others can see! 


What I am currently reading:


New this week:



Still working on from previous weeks: 



What I have recently finished:



What I think is up next:



I can't wait to see what the rest of you have been up to! Happy Wednesday!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Monster Review-a-thon


The Book Monsters are holding a Monster Review-a-thon now that Bout of Books 8.0 is done to help us catch up on all those reviews!  I can't boast of too many books finished during Bout of Books, but I thought joining in and stretching my reviewing muscles would be a great exercise for me. 

My goal will be to write a review a day during the Review-a-thon:

* Agent to the Stars - John Scalzi finished 9/1 scheduled for 9/9
* Mr. Real - Carolyn Crane
* Blog Events - Amanda Shofner finished! 8/27
* Dragon Bound - Thea Harrison
* A Short History of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson finished! 8/29 scheduled for 9/2
* The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie - Alan Bradley
* Indexing - Kindle Serial on 8/12 parts, but I think I can write a non-spoilery type review.

Wish me luck!  If you'd like to join us, just click on the graphic above.

Updates:

8/26 - Generated list of reviews for one per day goal.  Did not actually write one today, but maybe I can make it up if I can stay on track the rest of the week.

8/27 - Daily Goal met! Wrote review for Blog Events to post on Thursday 8/29.

8/28 - Prepped 5 review posts with picture and synopsis so they are ready for just the reviewing.

8/29 - Wrote up review for A Short History of Nearly Everything for posting on 9/2.  So I'm way behind, but I'm still feeling productive.

8/30-8/31 - These turned into Finish Season 2 of Doctor Who and upgrade my computer days, so finally I wrote something in the wee hours of 9/1 (which still is 8/31 to me!)

9/1 - I did NOTHING today past Agent to the Stars early this morning.  So overall I only managed not quite half of my goal, lesson learned.  but that's okay, I'm set up to do a few more, so I'm pleased with my meager progress!

Thanks to The Book Monsters for hosting!  I think maybe I need to take September off from 'A-Thoning of anything, I'm kind of burnt out! LOL!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Bout of Books 8.0 Bookish Mad Libs Challenge Winner!

Bout of Books


Wow you guys! I was blown away by the response to this little challenge of mine! I have to tell you, I was super nervous that people would be like, "what kind of weird thing is that you want us to do?" but instead you all embraced it and did fantastic entries! I am so gratified by all the wonderful comments you made regarding it as well, I have all kinds of warm fuzzies!

I want to thank our lovely hostesses Amanda and Kelly for giving me the chance to step out of my comfort zone and be so visible during Bout of Books 8.0, and also for keeping me out of trouble when I don't know enough to myself! *blush* I had mentioned in my write up that the winner would be the Mad Lib that I enjoyed the most, which turns out to be a no-no for this kind of thing, which is actually good, because it took the pressure off me to choose! LOL! So, instead I used an online randomizer to choose my actual winner, and then I'll share some fun stats from all the entries. Yes, I really did go read them all, I love how they turned out, what you had to say about them, and what you commented to each other about them! FEEL THE LOVE! ;)

Without further ado, the Bookish Mad Libs Challenge Winner for Bout of Books 8.0 is *drum roll*:


Danielle from The Book Barn!

Here is Danielle's Mad Lib:


Help! I'm being held captive in Azkaban by Lord Voldemort!
It is very white here!
He is demanding five dragons to set me free!
I have just discovered that Katniss was captured too!
On second thought, please send cookies, and don't worry if you don't hear from us for awhile!

Much Love,
Danielle

 Fun Stats:

So we had places from Salamandastron to parallel universes and everywhere in between!

Your main villains were President Snow (The Hunger Games) and The Darkling (The Grisha Trilogy? Haven't read these yet, but I want to!), although several of you were afraid of The White Witch (Narnia) and Lord Voldemort (Harry Potter)

Jericho Barrons (The Fever series) only slightly beat out Mr. Darcy (Pride and Predjudice), and a few of you chose to hang with your best girlfriends Hermione (Harry Potter) and Katniss (The Hunger Games) which is totally cool too!

By a landslide Chocolate was the top dessert, but  you were pretty excited about cupcakes and lemon cake too! I approve!

I think 1,000 terracotta dogs was probably my favorite of the weird things our villains wanted to set you all free!  Apparently someone was wanting to set up their own version of  Qin Shi Huang's terracotta army.
 
I truly enjoyed hosting this challenge, thank you all for making Friday an awesome day as I watched the entries roll in!  80+!  Wow!  Just Wow!


Stacking the Shelves (4)



Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in a physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!


Here is what I've added in the last week:



In the Mailbox:

From the Library:


Kindle Freebies: (Please note these may no longer be free)


Purchases:





What fabulous finds did you add to your shelves this week?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Bout of Books 8.0 Challenge - Bookish Mad Libs - Closed!

Bout of Books


Welcome to Day 5 of Bout of Books 8.0 and to the
Bookish Mad Libs Challenge!


I'm am so excited to be hosting this challenge for you, I hope you find it as much fun as I had making it, but without all the nervousness!  I can't wait to see your answers!


The Prize

You may choose either a $20.00 USD Amazon Gift Certificate, or books of your choice worth up to $20.00 USD from The Book Depository.

Please verify that you are able to use either the GC or that the Book Depository ships to your location before entering, thank you!



Rules and Regs

*You must be 18 or older to enter.

*The contest will run from Midnight CST on August 23rd through 11:59 PM CST August 23rd.

*This contest is open to international participants, please check the link above to verify that The Book Depository delivers to your country if outside the US.

*You must be a Bout of Books participant - your sign up will be verified.

*Please submit any questions regarding this contest to me either @Shaunesay on Twitter or e-mail me shaunesay(at)gmail(dot)com  I do work during the day, so I will answer you as quickly as I can, but please be patient.

*You must leave me a way to contact you in your entry (or if you have an e-mail link on your blog that I can easily find that is okay.)



The Winner

The entry that I enjoy the most will be our winner!



The Challenge

If you have never played Mad Libs before I think you are in for a treat!  Mad Libs is a word game where one player prompts another player for a list of words that they will then fit into a prepared story.  The player supplying the words doesn't get to know what the story is beforehand, only what type of word is needed, so you can imagine how silly it can get!

I have made up a list of what words you need to supply, but they must all come from an actual book title, or be a character whose title or series you must list.  You do not have to have these books in your possession, so go out and search the interwebs for the most fantastic books you can find, as long as I can verify they are real!  You may even use a full or partial title instead of one word, if that title or phrase fits the category asked for, as I will show below.  Please either post your answers below (Book list, and finished Mad Lib), or a link to your blog posts with the answers in the comments.  You MUST include the list of book titles or you will be disqualified!


Are you ready?  Here we go!


Make Your Book List

Here is the list of words we need.  Please don't scroll down to the story, it will be more fun if you don't know what you're looking for!
 
You can copy and paste this list into your entry, then replace each item with your book title and author:

A. Place name or type (from a book title) can be a proper name or noun like Italy or mountains
B. Fave Villain (from a book - list title/series)
C. Adjective (from a book title) (hot, cold, dark, etc.)
D. Number (from a book title)
E. Noun (from a book title)
F. Fave Hero/Heroine you wouldn't mind spending a LOT of time with (from a book - list title/series)
G. Dessert (from a book title)


Here is my Sample List to help give you an idea:

A. The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber
B. Lord Voldemort - Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
C. The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling
D. Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James
E. A Game of Thrones by G. R. R. Martin
F. Jamie Fraser - Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon
G. Strawberry Shortcake Murder - by Joanne Fluke

Is your list all ready? Okay, lets put our answers into the Mad Lib and see what we get!


Fill in the Template

Copy this template into your entry and replace each letter with the corresponding word/phrase from your list:

Help! I'm being held captive (in/in the/at) A, by B!
It is very C here!
(He/She) is demanding D E(s) to set me free!
I have just discovered that F was captured too!
On second thought, please send G(s), and don't worry if you don't hear from us for awhile!

Much Love,

(Your name/ID)


Here is my sample to help you out:

Help! I'm being held captive at The Inn at Rose Harbor by Lord Voldemort!
It is very casual here!
He is demanding fifty thrones to set me free!
I have just discovered that Jamie Fraser was captured too!
On second thought, please send Strawberry Shortcake, and don't worry if you don't hear from us for a awhile!

Much Love,

Shaunie


Now it's your turn!  Let the Mad-ness commence!

 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

WWW Wednesdays 8/21/13



To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?
* What did you recently finish reading?
* What do you think you’ll read next?

Then head on over to Should be Reading and leave a comment with a link to your post so others can see! 


What I am currently reading:


New this week:



Still working on from previous weeks: 



What I have recently finished:
This was excellent! My Review
A lot of fun, review to come!


What I think is up next:



I can't wait to see what the rest of you have been up to! Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Bout of Books 8.0 - Starting Line, Goals, Updates

Bout of Books


I am so excited that it's Bout of Books time again! *Does a happy dance, accidentally knocks over a stack of books, looks embarrassed and quickly sits back down.* I am also a challenge host this time, that's a big step for me and I'm very nervous about it! I hope you will have fun with that on Friday when it goes live! In the meantime, lets get our read-a-thon on and see what we can do!

If you're wondering what Bout of Books is all about, here is a quick note of explanation. If you click on the picture above it will take you to the Bout of Books site where you can join the fun!


The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 19th and runs through Sunday, August 25th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 8.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.
- From the Bout of Books team


Goals:


*Visit at least 10 other Bout of Books-ers - 10/10
*Host a challenge
*Do a challenge
*Read/listen to the following:



Updates:

Day 1 8/19/13:
*Currently reading Dragon Bound - page 76
*In Six Words:  It's as good as they said!

Day 2 8/20/13:
*Currently reading Dragon Bound - page 130
*Listened to about 3.5 hours of City of Ashes
*Did the Re-Title it Challenge at Music Plus Books.  I re-titled Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison to Bored Dragon Meets His Match
*Visited 4/10 Bout of Books-ers: Miki, The World for the Reading, Elsi and Nimrodiel
*In Six Words:  Do not mess with angry dragons!

Day 3 8/21/13:
*Currently reading Dragon Bound - page 170
*Finished City of Ashes, about another 1.5 hours
*Started Agent to the Stars about 1 hour
*Visited Never too Fond of Books
*In Six Words: His tail is bigger than theirs! O.o


Day 4 8/22/13:
*Currently reading Dragon Bound - page 234
*Currently listening to Agent to the Stars about 1.5 hours
*Got my Bookish Mad Libs Challenge post ready
*In Six Words: Scalzi and Wheaton, the perfect team!

Day 5 8/23/13:
*Currently reading Dragon Bound - page 280
*Currently listening to Agent to the Stars about 3.5 hours
*Bookish Madlibs was a success!  There are so many entries to look through, and many people seemed to like it!  I am so excited that it went so well!
*In Six Words: I will finish two books Saturday!

Day 6 8/24/13:
*Finished Dragon Bound - 312 pages total
*Started Valiant by Holly Black
*Currently listening to Agent to the Stars about 1.5 hours
*Posted Bookish Mad Libs Winner
*In Six Words: Finishing my goals isn't gonna happen!

Day 7 8/25/13:
*Visited Jennifer @ A Librarian's Library, Ann @nothingmiss15, Lou @ Relaxed Reads, Just Another Rabid Reader, Fortune Favors the Brave, Cheap Thrills, Heydor Reads
*Finished Agent to the Stars total listening time 8:49:45
*Currently reading Valiant - 102 pages
*In Six Words: Another great Bout of Books done!

Totals:
Books finished = 2 full, 1 partial, started a 4th
Total pages = 414
Total time listened =  almost 14 hours
 


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Vamps Vs. Zombies Blog Hop Aug. 17-31

Vamps vs Zombies Event


Welcome my friendly ghouls and ghastlies to the Vampires Vs. Zombies Blog Hop! I'm very excited to join my friends at My Shelf Confessions in this fun month long event by offering for giveaway a book that was one of my top ten reads last year!

I'm typically team vampire and my giveaway for the hop will follow suit. I just finished up the third book of the Vampire Empire trilogy in the Blood, Books and Brains Read-a-thon that kicked off our month-long celebration.  I am sad to see it end, but for you my friend the story is just beginning! I present for your reading pleasure The Greyfriar (Vampire Empire #1) by Clay and Susan Griffith. My review

From Goodreads:

Vampire predators run wild in this exciting steampunk adventure, the first in an alternate history trilogy that is already attracting attention. In 1870, monsters rise up and conquer the northern lands, As great cities are swallowed up by carnage and disease, landowners and other elite flee south to escape their blood-thirsty wrath.

One hundred fifty years later, the great divide still exists; fangs on one side of the border, worried defenders on the other. This fragile equilibrium is threatened, then crumbles after a single young princess becomes almost hopelessly lost in the hostile territory. At first, she has only one defender—a mysterious Greyfriar who roams freely in dangerous vampire regions.


One lucky winner will receive a copy of The Greyfriar in their choice of the following formats: Kindle (US), Nook (US) or paperback from The Book Depository (US/International). This contest will be open from Midnight August 17th through August 31st. Please enter through the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to visit these other blog hop participants as well!
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