Wednesday, January 25, 2017

I've Been Reading

So my world of reading has been sort of here and there lately. Between baby stuff, kid stuff, business stuff, and life stuff, we’ve been pretty busy lately. Or I’ve just been too exhausted to do much of anything besides sleep. I have however managed to read a couple new (to me) books this month, and re-read a few old favorites.

The Sisters of the Craft Trilogy by Lori Handeland

The three books in this series are ones I picked up on a whim, all together, during a visit to my local bookstore during the holiday season. (I should have been shopping for Christmas gifts for other people, but as usual I was lured into buying myself something while I was at it!) And then they sat on my bookshelf waiting. I finally picked up the first one a couple weekends ago and ended up devouring all three within a few days.

I loved the story. The magic of it, the mystery, the romance. I loved the way Lori allowed the plot to develop naturally, without much of the forced leaps or tough jumps in timeline or logic that many trilogies (and far too many series) end up laying out for the reader. I think having the magic or paranormal aspect to the story was at least one of the big reasons why the story didn’t feel forced and why the relationships that formed felt right.

I also enjoyed the fact that though you can fully understand and follow the stories in the trilogy, they are linked (however direct/indirectly) to her other series. That doesn’t mean that you need to read the other stories – but it is a great indicator that if you like this trilogy you’ll also like her other works!

Check out the details of these three books here and if you like, spend some time exploring the rest of the author’s website to learn more about her other works.

The Maggie’s Grove Series by Dana Marie Bell

A community of paranormal beings is nestled in the woods of Maryland. Vampires, dryads, werewolves and anything else you can imagine lives there. When I first stumbled upon this series a few years ago it was new and over time, I’ve truly enjoyed watching as the series has progressed, and how the characters have grown and changed. From the first glimpse of Maggie’s Grove and its menagerie of characters in Blood of the Maple it’s been a series that I’ve loved and have come back to time and again… Just as I did earlier this month when I was in a slump and searching for something lovely to read.

For information about all the books of the series so far, please check out the author’s website here.

The Interstellar Brides Series by Grace Goodwin

Several months ago, as many as six even, one of the books in this series was offered at a discounted rate through Book Bub. I’d just finished another space, sci-fi series and figured I’d get the book just to see. I bought it and then got distracted and never read it. A couple weeks ago I started to see sponsored ads on Facebook for a different book from the series, the most recent release Her Mate’s Secret Baby, and thought well before I buy any more I’m going to go back and read the one of I’ve got. Let’s just say that I liked that one enough that I’ve since ended up buying the other 8 books currently available in the series.

These books lean more to the erotic side of the romance spectrum – something I’m not opposed to, but something that I don’t regularly read either. Many of the books in this series include ménages. They all include aspects of BDSM. If that’s something you’re not in to, or don’t enjoy reading about for sheer curiosity or for the sake of entertainment, then these books are very likely not for you. However, if you enjoy a hot read, and hotter men, then pick up these books. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

There are currently 9 books available in the series, with 4 more set to release this year. There is a certain amount of chronology to the story lines but, I think, they could all be read as stand-alone stories with little confusion.

For info about the currently released titles, look here for the author’s booklist. If you’re interested in the “correct” order of the books here it is:
Prequel: Mastered By Her Mates
#1- Assigned A Mate
#2- Mated To The Warriors
#3- Claimed By Her Mates
#4- Taken By Her Mates
#5- Mated To The Beast
#6- Tamed By The Beast
#7- Mated To The Vikens
#8- Her Mate’s Secret Baby

Other recent reading has included a re-read of Dark Seduction (book 1, Masters of Time) by Brenda Joyce, My Christmas Fiance by Serenity Woods, The Brands Who Came For Christmas by Maggie Shayne, and His Jingle Bell Princess by Barbara Dunlop.

So… What have you been reading?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Right Now

When I started Ups, Downs, Ins & Outs (years and years, and years ago) I didn’t have any defined goal about what I was going to do with the page: what I would talk about, who I was trying to reach, or even how I intended to reach them. I didn’t sit down and build a plan, or set down in black and white where and how I would work with the blog.

Over the years I’ve posted at random – frequent, infrequent. I’ve posted reading lists, rants (and raves) about things I’ve seen/read online, book/movie/TV show reviews, and more. I’ve run contests, done interviews, hosted guest bloggers, run events.
Some things have been popular, some haven’t.

Some things have gone well, some haven’t.

I’ve worked with promotion companies, privately with authors, and for my own pleasure.

I never set out to make money as a book blogger – though there isn’t a single one of us that wouldn’t love to make something, sometime, somehow.

For years, I reviewed books that I’d lovingly selected and bought from the book store, or as technology changed the e-books that I purchased online. In the last couple years, I’ve been lucky enough to receive some copies of e-books from authors or through promotion companies and I’ve reviewed those. (I will admit there have been 3 or 4 books in the last 3 years that after reading the books sent to me, I simply couldn’t review – though I’ll keep the reasons to myself.)

Being a book blogger has been a journey that I’ve enjoyed all these years, in all the various ways that I’ve done it. There have been good times and bad, good people and bad. I wouldn’t a change a moment.

This is not a goodbye. I’m not going anywhere.

I will still be reading and reviewing. I will still be talking about and sharing books I liked, or didn’t. I’ll still be fangirl-ing all about favorite authors and such. I’ll still be sharing music that I love, movies that me and my family watch, fanfiction that I read and enjoy. Princess will still be sharing some of the books that she particularly loves too.

But, life in the Corner Table House is changing once again and as with most changes in our lives it means that our schedules will change. Over the next several months (and more) my availability and, quite simply put, my energy will likely decrease for a while. My Facebook page will continue to have (near) daily updates and I encourage you to follow me there – I always link blog posts there so you’ll be assured you won’t miss anything. I’m also on Twitter, G+, and Instagram and would love to see you there as well. And you can always reach me by email… I will actually be setting up new email accounts for my blogs by the end of the month and will let everyone know about those ASAP.

For now it’s time for me to say good day.

Until next time…. Happy reading, writing, or whatever you may be doing!!