Bout of Books 10: Goals & Updates (This Post Only)

I can’t believe it is time already for another Bout of Books read-a-thon! I did pretty well last time and managed to read 3 of the 5 books. I doubt I will be as ambitious this coming week as I have a number of time-consuming engagements, but you just never know. In order to prevent spamming you guys, just as I did last time, the sign-up, goals and my updates will all be on this post only. Also, I am doing the annoying multi-color thing again. I liked it so much last time and since I didn’t hear any complaints…

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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, May 12th and runs through Sunday, May 18th 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 10 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

These are my goals as they stand right now, but things can and probably will change. I will alter and update this page as the changes occur, in addition to my daily progress updates of course. :) Yay! I can’t wait for Monday!

Time Devoted to Reading

I will be reading every day.

My Goals

  • Read 3 books
  • Read 700 Pages
  • Write 1 Reviews

Books to Read

  • Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer
  • Read Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
  • Read Shattered Ink by Laura Wright

Updates

Monday
Number of books I’ve completed today: 0
Total number of books I’ve completed: 1
Number of pages I read today: 173
Total number of pages I read: 173
Reviews written: 0
Total number of reviews written: 0
Books/Reviews: Shattered Ink by Laura Wright
Currently Reading: Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer
**Notes: So far I haven’t read any of the books I *planned* to read. I blame this in part to my forgetting to pack any of the books for my husband’s and my impromptu trip to the mountains. Instead, I had my Kindle with me and just picked what looked good. Oh well, it’s been more fun this way.

Tuesday
Number of books I’ve completed today: 0
Total number of books I’ve completed: 1
Number of pages I read today: 30
Total number of pages I read: 203
Reviews written: 0
Total number of reviews written: 0

Books/Reviews: Shattered Ink by Laura Wright
Currently Reading: Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer
**Notes: Hunter is a hard POV to read from. I HAVE to know what happens next in this series so I am pushing on, but that doesn’t stop me from disliking Hunter more and more. I hope to finish this tomorrow so I can move onto something else and get some more books finished!

Wednesday
Number of books I’ve completed today: 1
Total number of books I’ve completed: 2
Number of pages I read today: 178
Total number of pages I read: 354
Reviews written:0
Total number of reviews written:0

Books/Reviews: 1) Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer; 2) Shattered Ink by Laura Wright
Currently Reading: Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
**Notes: Finally! Finally finished Spirit! Whew! The second half was particularly good, as was the plot developments both for the individual book and for the entire series. Secret and Sacrifice are going to be intense, I can feel it. I already have Secret, so I might pick it up after Lock and Key and finish the week up with The Song Will Save Your Life. I’ve got four days, I can totally do this. 

Thursday
Number of books I’ve completed today: 0
Total number of books I’ve completed: 2
Number of pages I read today: 175
Total number of pages I read: 529
Reviews written: 0
Total number of reviews written: 0

Books/Reviews: 1) Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer; 2) Shattered Ink by Laura Wright
Currently Reading: Lock & Key by Sarah Dessen
**Notes: Pretty sure I’ll be finishing this one up tomorrow, which would be awesome because I’ll be closing in on at least two of my goals for this read a thon if I manage it. The last Dessen book I read, I had a really hard time connecting with, but this one is flying by so there’s a good chance I’ll be wrapping it up tomorrow. Also, I’d like to manage at least 2 reviews tomorrow.

Friday
Number of books I’ve completed today: 0
Total number of books I’ve completed: 2
Number of pages I read today: 0
Total number of pages I read: 529
Reviews written:
Total number of reviews written: 

Books/Reviews: 1) Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer; 2) Shattered Ink by Laura Wright
Currently Reading: Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
**Notes: Unfortunately, not at all productive today. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Saturday
Number of books I’ve completed today: 0
Total number of books I’ve completed: 2
Number of pages I read today: 0
Total number of pages I read: 529
Reviews written:
Total number of reviews written: 

Books/Reviews: 1) Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer; 2) Shattered Ink by Laura Wright
Currently Reading: Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
**Notes: Unless I spend all of Sunday reading and writing reviews I’m definitely not going to meet my goals :( It’s not Lock and Key’s fault, I knew I wouldn’t have much time for reading yesterday and today. My plan is to finish up Lock and Key tomorrow and write-up/post 1 review. The weather says it’ll be raining all day tomorrow, perfect reading weather :)

Sunday
Number of books I’ve completed today: 1
Total number of books I’ve completed: 3!
Number of pages I read today: 247
Total number of pages I read: 776
Reviews written: 0
Total number of reviews written: 0

Books/Reviews: 1) Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer – Hardest book to get through in this series yet! 2) Shattered Ink by Laura Wright – Surprisingly fleshed out for only 50-something pages! 3) Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen – Found a number of awesome quotes for my review, L&K is a another Dessen success IMO :) :)
**Notes: Could I have dedicated more time to read? Probably. Perhaps picked more fast-paced books? Definitely. I didn’t meet any of my original goals, but the headway I made this week wasn’t too shabby if I do say so myself. Until next time!

Review: Pushing the Limits

pushing the limits UKTitle: Pushing the Limits

Author: Katie McGarry

Source: Galley via NetGalley (Thank you NetGalley and Harlequin UK!)

Edition: Ebook

Genre: YA, Contemporary

Publisher: Harlequin UK

Published Date: July 31, 2012
My Rating: 5parachutes

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From Goodreads:

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with ‘freaky’ scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.

But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again

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Date Read: July 6, 2013

My Review:

*I received a copy of this book for review. This in no way affected my opinion or influenced my review*

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry blew me away. Mrs. McGarry’s writing kept my rapt attention from the start to finish. And don’t even get me started on that ending! I finished reading this book at the park and I was reduced to a blubbering mess of hot, fat tears. Few authors manage to move me the way Katie McGarry did with PTL!

Both Noah and Echo and their friends felt so real I swear I went to school with Echo. Their struggles, their triumphs became my struggles, my triumphs.

I can’t say enough good about this incredible book. Pushing the Limits is a new favorite and it won’t soon be usurped. Not only will I be purchasing a copy for my personal library, but I would recommend this book to friends and family.

Recommendation: Older Teens and up

Content: Slightly Mature Themes, Grief, Loss

Challenges: N/A read this last year, just now posting review

Stacking the Shelves

Hey everyone sorry about the disappearing act. I’ve been prepping for a move and yay finally we’re all moved and unpacked. Thought I’d share the goodies I have purchased over the last three weeks. Not too many physical copies, an embarrassing eBook collection though :/
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Stacking the Shelves by Tynga’s Reviews is a weekly meme where you get to share the books you’ve gotten each week. As usual book covers/hyperlinks will take you to their respective Goodreads’ page.

Book buying bans are for the birds, or something like that ;) Also I hadn’t actually realized how many eBooks I’ve purchased in the last couple of weeks until I created the post. Sheesh, maybe I should consider another ban!

Physical Books:

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  • Spark & Storm by Brigid Kemmerer

Spark & Storm I found at 2nd & Charles for super cheap.  I’ve read both of these when they came out, but I’ve been looking for physical copies for my bookshelf.

I found the last three at the Publix closest to my new apartment, they had a huge box overflowing with books for 80% off. I’ve read and loved Smart Girls Get What They Want last year, but the other two are new to me.

For my Kindle:

insurgent allegiant divergent see me unmaking hunter kennedy almost red at night grave matters breathefirst ink lovely vicious  a land more kind than home first grave on the right hangman's daughter

 

  • I actually read Insurgent, Allegiant, & Divergent in that order. That’s what I get for seeing the movie before reading the book. *shakes head*
  • See Me was a pre-order that came in. Wendy has to be one of the most adorable authors. If I hadn’t met her at an author signing I don’t know if I’d be reading this because I like her Sweet Evil trilogy, I just don’t love it. After meeting her though I’ll read everything she writes. Funny how that works.
  • Unmaking Hunter Kennedy and Almost were GR recommendations. I didn’t love them, but I didn’t hate them either. Cute HEAs
  • Red At Night was a freebie from another author that I love. Who else is excited about McGarry’s newest announcement? I am so excited about Breaking the Rules and more Noah and Echo!!
  • I stumbled across Grave Matters recently and plan on reading it soon, this weekend maybe. Yay more Riley and Beck :) :) I can’t get enough of this series!
  • Breathe was on sale.  I’ve never had any interest in the Sea Breeze books, but I liked Glines PNR  a couple of years ago, so I figured I’d give it a shot.
  • First Ink, Lovely Vicious, a land more kind than home, First Grave on the Right and the Hangman’s Daughter were all impulse buys. I don’t usually get something until I’ve checked their GR’ rating, but all of these had compelling blurbs. I’ll have to get back to you on how they fare.

Author Interview: Wynne Channing (What Kills Me Trilogy)

I’ve got an incredible treat for you guys today. A short while ago I read two amazing books: What Kills Me and the sequel I Am Forever by Wynne Channing. As you noticed from my reviews that I shared yesterday there is no shortage of my adoration for this trilogy. Well, today’s treat is an interview with none other than author and journalist, Mrs. Wynne Channing. Be sure to comment below and share some love for this awesome author. Enjoy!

Interview with Wynne Channing

First, tell us a little about your current series. How many books can we expect? Why vampires?

I had planned three books in the What Kills Me series. Unless, its characters beg to stay alive (ha!), I will conclude the adventure after the next book.

Why vamps? Why not? I loved reading Anne Rice when I was younger. I find the idea of immortality fascinating. I just think that if we were all immortal, we’d be so bored out of our minds.

In this series, I’m more interested in the super hero’s tale. What would you do if you discovered that you were the most extraordinary creature in the world? What would do with your infinite power and how would that change you?

Second, okay you have an idea for a story, what do you do next?

Put pen to paper! A hundred words of the worst poop you’ve written is better than zero words.

Do you use an outline? If so, are there ever any surprises?

Some writers explore as they write. I’m a plotter. I plot every twist and turn until the last page.

For What Kills Me, I imagined key scenes throughout the story. A girl crawling out of a well covered in blood. A fight scene in a Taipei alley. A spectacular and shocking conclusion. I see my book very cinematically. The same goes for the sequel; I have moments that I see very clearly in my mind, including an epic ending. Everything in the middle, I’m not so sure about. So there’s a little bit of exploration involved there.

Plotting allows me to plan for twists. It allows me to see where I can put in red herrings, moments of irony, and foreshadowing. Plus, What Kills Me is the first of a series. Since I’ve plotted parts of Part Three, I know what bread crumbs to leave in Part One to lead up.

Let’s talk about those beautiful covers. What was your initial idea for them and did it change?

For the first book, I saw an image done by artist, Liliana Sanches, and I loved the idea of matter exploding from a girl’s body. I asked Liliana to design the face of my book.

The first draft that she came up with for What Kills Me was beautiful but it did not fit the spirit of the story. It featured a beautiful girl, sitting by the waterside. It said: “Hey, every vampire in the world is trying to cut my head off but let me relax on this rock for a moment.” We went back to the drawing board.

Liliana’s cover for I Am Forever is inspired by a moment where Zee is standing in the snow and she has discovered some terrifying news about her family.

Who are some authors you would say influenced you and your writing, if any?

I admire so many writers. Ernest Hemingway for his economy of words. Rohinton Mistry for his rich narration. Cormac McCarthy for his poetic prose.

Finally, in your opinion, what makes a great storyteller?

A great storyteller takes the reader away. She tickles or enlightens or educates or moves.

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i am foreverCheck out the blurb for I Am Forever, Book Two:

Axelia fought an army of vampires and survived. Once fated as the destroyer of the vampire race, she is now welcomed into the immortal empire and revered as a god.

But instead of relishing her victory, she faces a dangerous new world and an empire at war. Axelia is thrust into the position of supreme vampire and caught in the crossfire of battle. To make matters worse, her role alienates Lucas, the one vampire that she trusts.

Her power spawns evil enemies. And they know how to get to her — by hurting those whom she loves most.

Buy I Am Forever: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | B&N | Smashwords | Goodreads

What Kills MeAbout What Kills Me, Book One: An ancient prophecy warns of a girl destined to cause the extinction of the vampire race.

So when 17-year-old Axelia falls into a sacred well filled with blood and emerges a vampire, the immortal empire believes she is this legendary destroyer. Hunted by soldiers and mercenaries, Axelia and her reluctant ally, the vampire bladesmith Lucas, must battle to survive.

How will she convince the empire that she is just an innocent teenager-turned bloodsucker and not a creature of destruction? And if she cannot, can a vampire who is afraid of bugs summon the courage to fight a nation of immortals?


Buy What Kills Me:
Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | iTunes | Goodreads

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About Wynne: Wynne Channing is a national newspaper reporter and award-winning young adult novelist. Wynne loves telling stories and as a journalist, she has interviewed everyone from Daniel Radcliffe and Hugh Jackman to the president of the Maldives and Duchess Sarah Ferguson. The closest she has come to interviewing a vampire is sitting down with True Blood‘s Alexander Skarsgard (he didn’t bite). She briefly considered calling her debut novel “Well” so then everyone would say: “Well written by Wynne Channing.”

 

Connect with Wynne

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Google+ | Pinterest |YouTube |Amazon Author Page

Reviews: What Kills Me & I Am Forever by Wynne Channing

Be sure to come back tomorrow as I have a most excellent treat to share with all of you pertaining to What Kills Me author Wynne Channing.

what kills meTitle: What Kills Me, Book One
Author: Wynne Channing
Source: Purchased from Amazon
Edition: Ebook
Genre: vampires, young adult
Publisher: Jet & Jack Press
Published Date: June 6th, 2012
My Rating: 4parachutes
My review: Wow! What an intense read. I was hooked from the first page. This incredible tale begins when we meet average teenager Axelia while she is still human, studying abroad in Italy. Axelia, anxious to step out of her comfort zone and take her best-friend-back-home’s advice she starts hanging out with the cute stranger, Paolo. Things go from odd to running for her life in hardly any time at all.

Once Axelia climbs out of the ancient well, the plot really escalates as we are thrust into a world of hierarchical vampires bent on extinguishing her immortal life.

Characters Axelia and Lucas were hilarious together and the perfect companions for this adventure.

The story was captivating from start to finish. The plot flowed seamlessly and the pace was perfect. While I was reading time was a blur and I was finished before I knew it. This is not “just another vampire” book, this is something else with a twist. What kind of twist? Well you’ll have to read it for yourself to see what I mean.

i am foreverTitle: I Am Forever, Book Two
Author: Wynne Channing
Source: Purchased from Amazon
Edition: Ebook
Genre: vampires, young adult
Publisher: Jet & Jack Press
Published Date: December 31st, 2013
My Rating: 4parachutes
My Review: Another win for this talented author who made me care about vampires again when I thought for sure I could never read another vampire book again.

Axelia and Lucas are back only now they’re living under the same roof as the Empress and as is typically par for the course things are complicated. This time around the cast expands even further and we meet Lucas’ brother and Axelia’s friend from back home, as well as some other really great new characters like Axelia’s chaperone, San, who can be counted on for many good laughs and Brogan, her maid.

I Am Forever starts off a little slow, but then picks up rather quickly and doesn’t stop until the very end. Overall, a fantastic follow-up to What Kills Me. I can’t wait to see how the story ends in the final installment!