January – Goodreads Challenge

As I previously posted, I am participating in a Goodreads Reading Challenge. It involves reading 30 books throughout the year. I thought it would be fun to post my results at the end of each month; it might just keep me on track, too!

For January, I had to read (1) A book I really liked when I was little, (2) A book I couldn’t fit into a previous challenge, and (3) A book that’s becoming – or is – a movie.

The results? Success! I managed to read a book for each category so I’m off to a good start (phew!) Instead of a full review, I think I’ll talk about why I picked each book and offer a few of my favorite quotes from each.

  1. A book I really liked when I was little. I read the BFG by Roald Dahl. I chose this because I remember my mom reading it to me before bed when I was little. We both laughed so hard at the funny words the BFG used (it stands for Big Friendly Giant, if you haven’t read it.) It’s a super fun book for kids, if you are looking for something sweet but also funny. Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

 ‘You is trying to change the subject,’ the Giant said sternly. ‘We is having an interesting babblement about the taste of human bean. The human bean is not a vegetable.’

‘Of course not,” Sophie said. ‘I just love the way you talk.’ ‘How wondercrump!’ cried the BFG, still beaming. ‘How whoopsey-splunkers! How absolutely squiffling! I is all of a stutter.’

  1. A book I couldn’t fit into a previous challenge. I haven’t actually done a previous challenge before so I just read whatever I wanted. I chose Gone Baby Gone by Dennis Lehane. (This also could have fit into category 3 and if you haven’t seen the film, I highly recommend it.) This is book 4 in the Kenzie and Gennaro series, which is a series I”m really enjoying. Hopefully I can fit a few more of his books into the challenge this year. Honestly, this was a tough read about a child abduction. After I finished the last line, my thought was people are the worst. But I’ll give you a few quotes anyway:

Each day in this country, twenty-three hundred children are reported missing.

But amid all that noise, nothing is louder than the silence of a missing child.

  1. A book that’s becoming – or is – a movie. For this I picked Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews. This book was actually pretty hilarious, which is hard to pull off when one of the main characters is dying of cancer. The way it’s written is really different style-wise. I’m looking forward to seeing the movie! A few quotes:

One thing I’ve learned about people is that the easiest way to get them to like you is to shut up and let them do the talking. (Note: I find this so very true.)

Maybe ‘awesome’ is too strong a word. The sentence should be: ‘I was pleasantly surprised when the first day of senior year did not make me want to freak out and hide in my own locker pretending to be dead.

Are you doing a reading challenge? What did you read in January?

Re-post: Exclusive excerpt from OUTSIDE

Below is a post from my friend and fellow Loomis Park Press author Nicole Sewell! Her book releases this Thursday (!!!) Check out her post and read her excerpt below!

Nicole’s post:

Okay here’s the deal. My book comes out in five days. Right now it’s available for pre-order at a special price ($.99). Once the book is released, the price will go up. So, in the interest of boosting pre-sales and saving everyone some money (I’m so nice!), I’m posting an excerpt. Check it out below […]

https://nicolesewell.wordpress.com/2016/01/23/exclusive-excerpt-from-outside/

It’s a tour! It’s a blitz! Does it work?

laptop

As the release of my book, The Trouble with Family, approaches, I am starting to think about promotional tools. Actually, I’ve been thinking about this for a while. But now I’m finally ready to start actively trying to schedule things!

The problem? There are so.many.options. And such a wide variety of prices! I’ll cover the various promotional sites I end up using in a later post, but for now I want to talk about book blog tours.

If you don’t know, a book blog tour is a virtual way for authors to promote their books. There is usually some type of giveaway involved and the various promotional blog posts can include interviews, excerpts, reviews, guest posts, etc.

I’ve been reading a lot about these tours and feelings seems to be mixed. Some writers consider a tour an essential part of promoting a book while others consider it a waste of money.

Instead of a full-out book blog tour, I’ve decided to do a book blitz with YA Bound Book Tours.  The blogger’s posts will include my book cover, summary, buy links, and an excerpt. The cost is $30 (compared to the $100+ a tour can cost.)

The blitz will start on my release date and run for a week. I will come back and post the results of the blitz, for those that are curious!

So, my question to you…If you’ve participated in a book blitz or tour, what was your experience? Would you do it again?

Books that make me want to travel

I don’t need a book to fuel my love of travel – it’s one of my favorite things to do. But, there are books that certainly make me want to travel to a particular place. Here are my top five (at the moment; it’s ever-changing!)

  1. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling. One ticket to Hogwarts, please! Okay, I can’t actually go there (sad) but I can visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando. I can’t wait to go there one day and drink butter beer while holding a wand from Ollivanders.
  1. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt. This book made me want to go to Savannah, Georgia, so much! I think it’s a mixture of the way Berendt describes the city as well as the odd characters. I have a cousin that lives in Atlanta so I may have to plan a trip soon. 
  1. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. Okay, so I am not ‘outdoorsy.’ At all. But this book is hilarious, and I could really picture the Appalachian Trail in my mind throughout this story. This book made me want to go on an adventure.
  1. Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants by Ann Brashares. This book made me want to go to Greece! At the time it was mainly because I wanted to meet someone like Kostos and have an epic summer romance. But now that I’m married, I would still love to go for the amazing culture!
  1. Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. Before you think I’m crazy, let me explain! This book made me wish I could have experienced the Chicago World’s Fair. It sounds amazing. It does not make we wish I could meet a serial killer. Also, if you haven’t read this, you should!

Are there any books that make you want to travel?

LibraryThing Early Reviewers

lterbig

If any of you are LibraryThing members, my book is available for an Early Reviewers Giveaway! I have 30 eBook copies to give away (Mobi, PDF, and ePub are all available).

If you are unfamiliar, LibraryThing Early Reviewers provides free advance copies of books in exchange for honest reviews. You can request The Trouble with Family throughout January and copies will be sent in early February.

Here is the link! https://www.librarything.com/er/list

cropped-cropped-trouble-with-family-high-resolution.jpg

Goodreads Reading Challenge

163489

I’ve been on Goodreads for a while now but I haven’t necessarily been an active member. In the past, I’ve mainly used it to track the books I’ve read and the books I’d like to read (wow, that list just keeps getting longer!) Over the past few months, I’ve decided to actually attempt to be more active on Goodreads so I’ve added friends, joined groups, etc.

This year I’m participating in a Reading Challenge, which isn’t something I’ve done before. The specific group is called “2016 30 Books Reading Challenge.” The 2015 version is posted above but the 2016 edition is pretty similar. Over the course of the year, I need to read books that fall into the 30 listed categories.

The challenges I’m most looking forward to: (a) a book you own but have never read (oh, so many), (b) a genre you don’t usually read, and (c) a book set in another continent.

I think this will be a fun way for me to expand my reading horizons while also reading a good number of books. I do see a lot of people on Goodreads with challenges of 100+ books but I think I’ll start with 30 and see how I do!

Now I just have to decide what to read!

Do you participate in reading challenges?