Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2011


In a few short days, it will no longer be 2010. I have to say that the year absolutely flew by for me. With the upcoming celebration of New Year's, I always feel this insatiable need to make a list of things that I would like to accomplish to make myself better each year. No resolutions. Why? Resolutions are meant to be broken and I do always break them. So, I do like I do everything else in my life ... I make a list. For 2011, I'd like to accomplish a few things.

  1. Be more socially active. This goes for the blogging world and in my day-to-day life. I am all about staying home and being by myself because I'm just a naturally shy person. I have been all of my life. When I first graduated from high school, I literally blossomed into a social butterfly - I was out all the time, enjoying my life. I need more of this in my life because I'm starting to feel like a hermit. I don't want as much as before because I just don't have that type of time free anymore, but I can be more social than I am now. I also need to do the same with blogging. I read a lot of posts, but my comments to posts ratio is very pathetic right now.
  2. Schedule my life better. I have a ton of books that I review, plus I'm in charge of not only my house chores, but also bills and anything unexpected that may come up. Sometimes, I flutter from one thing to another, just doing what I need to do to get by and that's it. That needs to change. I need a more concrete schedule where I put aside a certain amount of time for chores, for bills, for reading and for blog posts. Ugh, blog posts definitely need to be written ahead of time so I'll have more free time for other things that may come up.
  3. Write my reviews right after I read a book. Or at least jot down some notes so I don't go completely insane when I write reviews. I'm actually doing better on this. I'm more efficient with my book journal BUT I still have moments where I'm writing my reviews and drawing blanks. So, I'm obviously not doing something right. This shall be refined in 2011.
  4. Exercise and eat right! I had this down for last year too and I did do better, it's just not as good as I'd like it to be. I need to exercise more regularly and find things to eat that are not only delicious, but healthy as well. I don't want to be a health nut in the least - I love my southern foods entirely too much for that. I just want to find a happy medium where I can enjoy food without (a) overindulging, and (b) gaining even more weight. Ew.
  5. Make more time for cooking and crafting. Nick and I ate out entirely too much this year and I missed cooking all the time. Actually, I think that I'm losing my cooking touch... and that is NOT acceptable. So, I need to start putting those 30+ cookbooks to use. I also have a ton of crafts that I've been wanting to work on. I am going to work on it. Darn it.
  6. Read more. I read a nice amount of books last year, but not as much as I'd like. On a decent night, I can finish a 400+ page book before I go to bed. I want to do this on as many nights as possible so I can not only get through my review books quicker, but other books that I have that I haven't been able to get to.
Those are the things that I'd like to improve in 2011. I'm pretty confident that all of these things will be achieved. So, here's to a better 2011! :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Poll Results!

All the numbers are in and everything is counted - which I have to admit took much longer than I anticipated because there were so many participants/entrants. I want to say thank you guys so much for participating! You have no idea how much this helps me out and how much it means to me that you would help me out so very much!!

Now, without further ado ... here are the results!!

Best YA Reads of 2010

Top 3

1 - Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins
2 - Last Sacrifice, by Richelle Mead
3 - Paranormalcy, by Kiersten White

Honorable Mentions

1 - Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver
2 - Clockwork Angel, by Cassandra Clare
3 - The Iron King, by Jula Kagawa

Most Anticipated YA Reads of 2011

Top 3

1 - City of Fallen Angels, by Cassandra Clare
2 - Delirium, by Lauren Oliver
3 - Across The Universe, by Beth Revis

Honorable Mentions

1 - Wither, by Lauren Destefano
2 - The Iron Queen, by Julie Kagawa
3 - Bloodlines, by Richelle Mead


I have to say that I was very surprised that some other novels weren't on here as Beat Read though I've heard so many good things about them. What do you think? Happy with the results?

Statistics: There were over 300 individual participants in this poll/giveaway, along with almost 150 extra entries to tally. In total, there were 42 Best Read titles entered as well as 49 Most Anticipated novel titles given. The Top 3 winners each received over 15 points, with Mockingjay and City of Fallen Angels each receiving over a whopping 50 votes each!

Monday, December 27, 2010

2011 Guest Posts

2011 is full of new and wonderful possibilities for not only myself, but for this blog as well. As you know, I have some wonderful new features that will be making their debut the upcoming year. I'm extremely excited about this! I don't think it's enough, though. I not only want to feature new books and authors, but I'd also like to get my fellow book bloggers and followers in on the fun as well.

A good percentage of the blogs that I follow came from referrals one way or another, mostly through guests posts and interviews that I read. So, I think this is what I want to do here. I'm taking it one step further and adding guest reviews as well. Exciting, right? Okay, maybe I'm just really excited about it.


There is one very simple rule to being hosted on my blog: you must have your own blog to link back to! The purpose of this is to generate more traffic to your own blog through mine, as well as me just showing off some of my favorite bloggers to my other followers.

To be hosted, please fill out the form below with all of the appropriate information. I will contact you via e-mail as soon as I can and we will figure out a time to schedule your post on here.


Edit: If you don't have a blog, but write well-written reviews on Goodreads and would like more publicity, you may also fill out the form. When filling out the form, just put your Goodreads profile link as your Blog URL.


Thanks, guys!


Fill Out Form Here

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

In this crazy holiday season, we should try to remember what's really important: friends and family that have been there for us over the years. I don't think that there's a better present than that. I know that I'm feeling extremely lucky this year for all of the loved ones that I have been gifted with - and I'm including all of you as well. There's not enough words to express my gratitude for you all in supporting this little blog of mine.

Let's also keep in mind those that aren't lucky enough to get to spend the holidays with their families. If you pray, maybe send a little prayer that way. If you don't, then you can always do like my non-Christian friends and send good vibes. Either way, keep them in your thoughts as you're spending time with the ones you love. And if you see someone that looks like they're having a less than spectacular holiday, then take the time to offer them a smile and a "Merry Christmas." You never know what something as simple as that can do for people during this stressful time.

I'll be pretty scarce for the next week, but I'll be back in full-force very soon. Until then, enjoy the holidays ... and be safe!

Much love.

Friday, December 24, 2010

In My Mailbox (6)


Hosted By: The Story Siren
Inspired By: Pop Culture Junkie


I haven't done an In My Mailbox post in over three weeks, so I hope you guys are ready for some craziness!


Banished, by Sophie Littlefield
Confessions of A Vampire's Girlfriend, by Katie MacAlister
The Demon Trapper's Daughter, by Jana Oliver



Devil's Kiss, by Sarwat Chadda
Five Flavors of Dumb, by Antony John
The Fortune of Carmen Navarro, by Jen Bryant



The Long Weekend, by Savita Kalhan
Memento Nora, by Angie Smibert
Night Star (The Immortals, #5), by Alyson Noel



Origins (The Vampire Diaries: Stefan's Diaries #1), by L.J. Smith
The Radleys, by Matt Haig
Shadow of the Sun (Timeless #1), by Laura Kreitzer



Trickster's Girl, by Hilari Bell
The Water Wars, by Cameron Stracher
XVI, by Julia Karr



Wish Stealer: A Dangerously Uncommon Tale
, by Barbara Kolberg






Vampire Academy series (books 1-6), by Richelle Mead
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]




The Body Finder, by Kimberly Derting
The Candidates (Delcroix Academy #1), by Inara Scott
Crescendo (Hush, Hush #2), by Becca Fitzpatrick




Matched, by Ally Condie
Suck It, Wonder Woman!, by Olivia Munn


I seriously feel so overwhelmed right now, but I know my review books are a challenge that I can live up to. Also, because of said reviews and their deadlines ... I'm having to put the Vampire Academy series off for a few weeks, which makes me sad because I've so been looking forward to re-reading the first five and finally reading Last Sacrifice! Oh well, it'll just give me more motivation to read faster!! =)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

New 2011 Feature Needs Your Help!



New feature, peoples! I was trying to figure out something to do on occasion to make a post more personal, yet still book-related in some way. My brainchild would be this: Thoughts On Thursday. Each Thursday, I'll select a topic and write out a post with my two cents on said topic. If you would like, you can join in as well by either commenting or making your own post and letting me know about it so I can read it.

I have a few topics already gathered from my book review journal (yes, I am that big of a book nerd) and various places, but I don't have as many as I'd like. So if you could take a moment out of your time, I'd like to know what you guys think. Below is a link to a form where you can enter your own topics. I like keeping these forms because it's easier for me to keep up with, especially with the amount of paperwork that I keep otherwise. Also, if you'd like credit and recognition for your own blog, I added a place where you can put that as well. If you don't want to get credit, just leave it blank.

Thanks so much for your help!!

!! FORM HERE !!

Edit: If you need help, an example of a topic that I have is: "Do other bloggers' reviews influence you to add more books to your TBR list?" or "What's your blogging schedule like?"

Monday, December 20, 2010

New 2011 Features!

I am interrupting Monday's typical posting of "Monday Readings" for some very exciting news. I have two reasons for doing this: (1) My reading schedule this week is based on review books I've yet to receive, so it's a little up in the air, and (2) I'm bouncing in my seat to share this information with you guys!

It's that time, guys! I told you all that I would share what I have in store for 2011 on this blog as soon as I knew more. Well, I know more!


Here are some of the confirmed features that I will have active on Missy's Reads & Reviews for the year 2011.


After Hours

I read a lot of books, which is no secret. The part that may amaze you is that I read about as many non-YA books as I do YA books. However, my blog has pretty much been YA-based – so all you see is the couple of reviews I do per week for Young Adult books. I still want this blog to be more about YA, but I think it's doing an injustice to all of the other books I read to not review them as well. So, one of my ideas was After Hours, which will be what I call for non-YA books that I read. However, they'll be scheduled differently than YA. Where YA is scheduled to post in the mornings, After Hours book reviews will be posted after 8pm EST.

There will also be reviews for more adult-oriented books that I read (Lords of the Underworld being the first one off the top of my head), so they'll be posted with an "Mature" warning as well - along with scheduled posts more on the weekends.


Before & After

I'm exceptionally excited about this because it will be a feature including a nice number of 2011 debut authors! This feature is a more personal look at the authors behind our most anticipated debut books for the year. Before & After is a showcase of how an author feels before and after their big debut release. I have been researching and e-mailing like crazy … and so far, the response has been wonderful.


First Line Fridays

This one is pretty much self-explanatory. On Fridays, I'll be starting a meme where I post the first lines to some random reads – whether they are some of my favorite reads, current reads, anticipated reads, or whatever I may feel like posting.


Self-Published Saturdays

I get requests from authors that are self-published every now and then. Since I don't post much on Saturdays, I've decided to reserve these reviews for these days.


Then & Now

This is a companion feature to Before & After, though it will feature 2010 debut authors. The point of this is about the same as Before & After – but authors will share how they felt THEN (last year before they were published) and what they're working on NOW. I'm still working out the kinks on this one, so it may make it's debut in February or March.


So, there they are. Some of the new 2011 features for my blog. What do you think?

Edit: You'll also notice an increase in random posts on policies and other things within the next few days. Please excuse them. I'm prepping for a better 2011 - and part of that is the nitty, gritty posts that are a necessity!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday


Darkness Becomes Her
by Kelly Keaton

Waiting Until ...
February 22, 2011


Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is.

Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued.

She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very...different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her.

Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Teaser Tuesday


My Worst Best Friend, by Dyan Sheldon

"You forgot one." I was still standing. "Did I lie?"

Savanna bit into a brownie. "You didn't lie, Gray. You just edited the truth a little. Really a little. Because the point is that I was in the house most of the night. But not, like, all of it."

Words are funny. They are important, but not as important as what they describe. You know, like in a war when civilians are being bombed into oblivion and the army calls it "collateral damage." You could call it chicken soup, but it would still be killing innocent people. Editing the truth ... fictionalizing ... omitting a couple of tiny facts ... It didn't matter what you called it. It was still lying.

Review: The Cries of Vampira, by Sean H. Robertson

The Cries of Vampira: The Horror of Gaad Grey, The Evil Alpha Werewolf - Volume 1
Sean H. Robertson
Paperback, 82 pages
CreateSpace
November 2, 2010
isbn: 1453808418
isbn13: 9781453808412

Princess Kristin, Princess Kylie and Prince Kolbe Robertson are Triplet Teen Assassin Vampires. Their royal family, the Robertson Clan, occupied the throne of Scotland during the 11th and 12th centuries. Their peaceful homeland of Vampira is under daily attack from the evil Alpha Werewolf Gaad Grey and his horde of Grey Wolves, who seek to decimate the Vampire species and enslave humanity as well.


The story starts out with the Vampirians and Grey Wolves battling one another. There are many casualties, including the Vampirian King as well as Gaal and Gomer Grey of the Grey Wolves - which their son, Gaad, is there to witness firsthand. As the wolves retreat, a lone wolf named Loki comes into the picture and takes Gaad under his wing. Now, seventeen years later, Gaad is set on revenge against the Vampirians, while the King's triplets - now seventeen - are seeking peace between Vampira and the Grey Wolves. But it seems like the only way they can do that is to destroy Gaad, who's hellbent to destroy Vampira and all that it stands for.

Those that are weak at heart when it comes to gore and violence may need to take warning that you will see a lot of that in this novella. This story is surprisingly dark and menacing in ways that I did not think was possible for such a short story, but Sean somehow managed it. For a novella, there was a ton of story and lots of action crammed into the story. Like most novellas that I enjoy, I have to say that this story is too short! I'd love to read a lot more, though I'm sure I'll get my wish with upcoming volumes - I'm just impatient and want to read it now! ;)

For a short story, you get a pretty good sense of what each of the characters are about. Like most vampire/werewolf stories, the two supernatural beings are arch enemies. However, that's where the similarities stop. Unlike most cute and cuddly stories these days, this story takes us back to the unforgivingly violent look at these species. The werewolves in the story definitely take the driver's seat in the violence, as the Vampirians seek peace between their kinds. I have to say that the vampires did disappoint me because I thought they were a little too nice, but maybe they will be redeemed in upcoming volumes. I sure hope so!

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this story and ran through it very quickly. I can't wait for the next in the saga!

Source: Author


Avg. Rating: 3.5

More Info On This Book
HubPages

Buy This Book
Amazon

A special note from the author, Sean H. Robertson:

When YOU add this book to your To-Read shelf today, YOU'LL be helping to SAVE THOUSANDS OF LIVES in 2011 through my donations to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, part of my global suicide prevention movement. You'll enjoy the NEW & MOST ORIGINAL Vampire series at the same time, which is now on 224 To-Read shelves worldwide since 11-8-10!

The author, Sean H. Robertson, is now donating TEN PERCENT of his royalties for the entire "Cries of Vampira" book saga to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, because as their slogan says, "With Help Comes Hope." Sean is an overcomer of depression as a former victim of child molestation & wants to help EVERYONE who is battling hopelessness & despair worldwide.
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5/26/2013: If you're here and you're reading this.. thanks for sticking around! I know I've been gone for a while but I am definitely coming back. This blog will be going through some crazy transitions (layout and such) for the next few days, but I should be back up and ready to review VERY soon. Thanks so much for your patience and support!! xoxo, Missy
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