Reading Challenge

Fantastic February

The first smaller reading challenge I’m doing this year is a monthly (February) book challenge. If you missed my previous post about the yearly reading challenge I’m doing  you can check it out here.

The Fantastic February reading challenge is hosted by Kathy, author of the Books and Munches blog, and you can find all the details here.

Basically, this is a challenge that focuses on reading fantasy/paranormal books. Since I have a bunch of those on my unread bookcase, this is perfect!

Here is my TBR list for February:

fantastic february books

The Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine- I started this series awhile back and only have four books left in this series, so I’ll be finishing the series this month – Black Dawn, Bitter Blood, Fall of Night (not pictured), and Daylighters. 

The Queen of Hearts series by Colleen Oakes – I loved the first book and can’t wait to read the last two in this trilogy – Blood of Wonderland, and War of the Cards.

The Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz – This books sounded so good I pre-ordered it, and just haven’t had a chance to read it yet.

Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo – I’ve heard so many good things about this book,  it had to be added to the list.

After Alice by Gregory Maguire – I’ve actually never read a book by Maguire before, but have heard many good things about him, I decided to give this book a try. Also, this is an audiobook. (Audiobooks are one way I up my book count for the year.)

If you couldn’t tell, I love fairytale retellings, and am psyched to be doing a fantasy-themed challenge. I realize this is an ambitious list, but I will be trying to fit them all in. Like I said in my previous post, challenges motivate me. 🙂

What’s on your TBR list for February? Are you participating in Fantastic February or any other reading challenge for the month? Let me know in the comments.

 

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Reading Challenge

The #unreadshelfproject2018 Reading Challenge

unread shelf

This year, I’m focusing on my reading by having more specific goals, and with that comes the reading challenges. I love a good challenge. I’m a bit competitive, so challenges really motivate me. 🙂

If you follow me on Instagram (@charityrau), then you know I’m participating in the #unreadshelfproject2018. What is that, you ask?  It is a reading challenge hosted by @theunreadshelf,  @katereadsbooks_, and @calsreads on Instagram.

The objective of the challenge – to focus on reading your own unread books. I have a ton of books that I haven’t read yet, and had been contemplating doing something like this for 2018 when I found this challenge. It’s the perfect motivation! The hosts will be posting weekly, and sometimes monthly, challenges throughout the year which will help me stay motivated and stick to my goal.

One of the first challenges was to count your unread books. Now, when I say I have a ton of unread books, I’m not exaggerating. Some are in boxes and others are scattered among books I have already read. I started with the one bookcase I know contains mostly unread books.

unread bookshelf

There are 120 unread books on that shelf, so that’s my goal for the year – to read 120 of my unread books.  I read 140 books last year, so this is doable for me. I will read a few library books as well, but only ones that qualify as highly anticipated reads for this year.

First I’ll be reading series – there are several series I’ve started, but haven’t finished. I’m currently finishing up the Lunar Chronicles.  I’m also planning to finish The Queen of Heart series, The Morganville Vampire series, the Beautiful Creatures series, and The Throne of Glass series.

This is my big reading challenge for the year, but I’ll also be doing some smaller challenges to help me stay motivated. I’ll be posting about some of those a little later. 🙂

What are your reading goals for 2018? Are you participating in any challenges? Let me know in the comments!

 

Book Reviews

Chivalry’s Children Review

Hi everyone! I took a bit of a break for the holidays, but I’m back and will be posting again every week. Hope everyone had a great holiday season!

One of the last books I read in 2017 was Chivalry’s Children by Alexis P. Johnson. Set in medieval times, it follows four girls and their friends.

IMG_1243

From the back of the book:

Meridian the blacksmith, Keira the minstrel, Aurielle the alchemist, and Ivy the librarian, are four spirited and very different young women of Orion’s Court in the European nation of Laudeland. Knights, inventors, and even a prince share in their daily adventures from woodland hunts to masquerade balls. 

But their peaceful existence is shattered when a ruthless villain from their past lays siege to their country in vengeance, transforming their lives forever. The ladies and their comrades are then thrown into an even greater conflict that will test the strength and endurance of each of them, yet the inner trials of their hearts may prove to be even more challenging. As iron sharpens iron, the nation of Laudeland will need to unite in honor and chivalry as they face the storms of change.

Because there were so many primary characters, it took me a few pages to get into the story, but once I did, I flew through the book. The world building was great. I felt like I could have stepped into Laudeland through the pages, and I loved how the women were able to have the jobs they wanted without the stigma of something being “a man’s job”.

I could tell Alexis has a background in screenwriting, because this book would make a great movie. I could totally envision it as one while I read. I also really loved the spirit of camaraderie among the characters. It reminded me of the relationships I have with my siblings and a couple of my closest friends.

Overall, this was a great read. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy, medieval reads, or adventure.

You can find out more about Chivalry’s Children and Alexis P. Johnson here.

Beauty and the Beast Series

Hunted

Hunted by Meagan Spooner is the fifth and final book in the Beauty and the Beast reading challenge. This book was excellent! Set in medieval Russia, it wove the story of the Firebird into the Beauty and the Beast tale.

Synopsis: Yeva is a skilled huntress. She’d rather live in her father’s hunting lodge than the fancy house in town. So when her family loses their fortune, and they have to move back to the lodge, she is not disappointed. Then her father disappears. Before disappearing, he claimed a beast was following him,  and Yeva is afraid the beast has caught her father. Determined to find him, she sets out on her own, traveling deep into the forest.  There she finds magical things, things from the stories her father had told her when she was little. But she can’t let these things distract her from goal – killing the beast.

I had a lot of emotions when reading this book  (a sign of good writing!). I kept reading, wanting to know what was coming next.  At first, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the end, but I did. It ended in a satisfying way, tying up all the little pieces of magic that floated throughout the book.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fairytales, retellings, and fantasy – and to anyone who is looking to step out of their normal genre of reading. This just might be the book that hooks you on fantasy. 🙂

Questions: What did you think of the way the author portrayed want in the story? Did you like the way the author weaved in the Firebird tale? What was your favorite part? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Blogger awards

Liebster Award

I was nominated for one other award this summer – the Liebster Award.  It’s taken me awhile, but I’ve nominated a few of my favorite blogs for this award. This works similar to the other awards.

You answer the questions from the person who nominated you. Thanks to Marge Tesch for nominating me! After answering the questions, you nominate up to 11 other people, then ask them 11 questions.

Questions from Marge:

1.How long have you been blogging, and what motivated you to start your blog? I’ve been actively blogging about a year and a half. I started my blog as a way to communicate with my readers and share all the info about my upcoming books.
2. In a single sentence, what is your blog about? On my blog, I share good books as well as bits of my life with my readers.
3. How did you decide on the name for your blog? It’s my author blog, so by default it got my name 🙂
4. Where do you get the ideas for your blog posts and how often do you post? I get inspiration from lots of things: books, movies, things that happen to me. I try to post once a week.  (I’m better at this some times, and not so good at it at other times.)
5. Do you ever get “writer’s block,” and, if so, how do you deal with it? Not a lot, but when I do have trouble thinking of something to write about, I take a step back from the computer. I go and do something else for awhile. When I come back, I am usually able to come up with something.
6. What’s your favorite post that you’ve written? Could you provide a link to that post? This is a hard question, but after skimming through my blog post, I decided on Interview with Jessica Day George. This was the first author interview I did.  It was pretty exciting and a lot of fun to do!
7. What is the best advice you can give your fellow bloggers about how to get new subscribers? Interact with other bloggers. Comment and share.
8. Do you belong to any writers’ or bloggers’ associations and, if so, which ones? I am in several facebook writer groups – Platform Challenged, Word Nerds Unite, The Motivated Writer, and Institute of Children’s Literature
9. Where will we find you on social media? FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest
10. Other than blogging, what is your favorite activity? Spending time with family. I also like reading a lot 🙂
11. What one thing would you like to be remembered for? Writing books that people love and remember forever. I want my books to inspire people.

These blogs all have great content. You’ll want to check them all out if you haven’t seen them before.  A lot of them have some cool Instagram accounts too!

And My Nominees:

Brianna Mae Morgan

Heir of Glitter

DM Simpson

Connie Cockrell

Juanita Millhouse

Trena’s Adventures

The Hunt For Paperbacks

Timea Stan

Gabrielle

The Reality Bug

Long for Writing

Questions for nominees:

  1. What inspired you to start a blog?
  2. How long have you been blogging?
  3. What is your favorite book and why?
  4. What are some of your hobbies (besides writing)?
  5. What is the best writing tip you’ve ever been given?
  6. What is the first thing (that you haven’t yet done) on your bucket list?
  7. If you could choose to spend a day anywhere in the world, where would you spend it?
  8. Are you a cat person, a dog person, or both?
  9. What do you do to get rid of writer’s block?
  10. Which of your blog posts is the best one/favorite one you’ve ever written? (Feel free to share a link to the post.)
  11. What do you most want readers to take away from reading your blog?

And to the nominees, no pressure. I understand as writers and readers we have busy lives. I look forward to reading the answers to the questions when you have a chance to post them!