The Sunday Post AKA What’s On My (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 3-30-14

Sunday Post

Time passes so quickly. Reading Reality’s 3rd anniversary is this Friday. My birthday is Saturday, so this Friday I’m holding my annual Blogo-Birthday Celebration. By celebrate I mean giveaway! This year I’m planning to give away a gift card and some books from my recent collection. For international visitors, I’ll do a giveaway from Book Depository (I wish they did gift cards!!!)

But until Friday rolls around, here’s what else has been happening:

Current Giveaways:

The Accident by Chris Pavone (hardcover)
$25 B&N Gift card and an ecopy of The Cottage on Juniper Ridge courtesy of Sheila Roberts

Winner Announcements:

$10 Amazon Gift Card in the Leaping Leprechauns Blog Hop – Piroska B.

Accident by Chris PavoneBlog Recap:

B+ Review by Cass: A Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop
A+ Review: The Accident by Chris Pavone + Giveaway
C+ Review: Turned by Virna DePaul
B+ Review: The Cottage on Juniper Ridge by Sheila Roberts
Guest Post from Sheila Roberts about the REAL Icicle Falls + Giveaway
B+ Review: Silent Blade by Ilona Andrews
Stacking the Shelves (82)

 

Coming Next Week:

blogo birthday one dayThe Descartes Legacy by Nina Croft (review)
Waiting on You by Kristan Higgins (blog tour review)
Four Friends by Robyn Carr (blog tour review)
Duke City Split by Max Austin (blog tour review
Fool for Books Giveaway Hop
Reading Reality’s 3rd Annual Blogo-Birthday

Blogo-Birthday Giveaway Winners!

During last week’s Blogo-Birthday Celebration there were four, count ’em four giveaways!

As promised, the announcement for the winners of those giveaways is today.

The winner of the ebook copy of Heather Massey’s erotic clockpunk novella The Watchmaker’s Lady is Lee.

The winner of the ebook copy of Heather Massey’s science fiction romance Queenie’s Brigade is Tina B.

The winner of the $15 Amazon giftcard is Louis H.

And the winner of the $20 Amazon giftcard is Krista.

Congratulations to all the winners. They’ve all received emails to confirm where they want their GCs or ebooks sent.

I want to thank everyone for coming to my party. This was so much fun, I think I’ll do it again next year!

Birthday Giveaway of Queenie’s Brigade

Today is my birthday. Not Reading Reality’s blogoversary, but my actual birthday.

I’ve been referring to this celebration as a hobbit’s birthday. For anyone who has not read J.R.R. Tolkien’s masterpieces, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, hobbits give presents to other people on their birthdays.

Reading, and re-reading The Hobbit and LOTR gave me my love of fantasy, and led to my lifelong adventures in genre fiction. From that introduction, I followed the primrose and circuit-strewn path to science fiction, and thus became a geek girl forever.

The biggest argument I had with Tolkien, then and now, is that there were almost no strong female characters. My current favorites generally don’t have that problem.

One of my favorite books from 2011 is Queenie’s Brigade, by Heather Massey. Queenie is a very strong woman, the leader of a prison colony at the edge of known space. This ebook science fiction romance was on my Best Ebook Romances of 2011 column at Library Journal. I could only pick 5 books, but Queenie’s Brigade had to be one of those five. Read my review and you’ll understand why it made my top 5.

Heather Massey, in addition to being an SFR author, also follows science fiction romance as the pilot of The Galaxy Express blog. Interested readers and fellow travelers should climb aboard The Galaxy Express. It’s a fantastic ride.

But about Queenie. Queenie is an alpha heroine leading a fight against overwhelming odds. Queenie’s Brigade has been called The Dirty Dozen in space. Why? Because Queenie joins the freed inmates of her prison colony to the crew of the last spaceship escaping from a doomed Earth Federation. Queenie and the captain of the spaceship team up to turn the prisoners into soldiers.

I called it great science fiction with hot romance. And thanks to Heather Massey, I get to giveaway a copy of Queenie’s Brigade to one reader of Reading Reality for my birthday.

(If Queenie’s Brigade sounds good, take a look at the review of Heather’s latest erotic clockpunk romance, The Watchmaker’s Lady. There’s still plenty of time to get in on that giveaway.)

To have an ebook copy of Queenie’s Brigade for your very own (PDF, EPUB or .mobi) , here’s all you have to do. Leave a comment that answers the following question: if you were in command of a ragtag fleet of barely repaired ships, which evil science fiction empire would you rather be up against? And also let me know which format you want you ebook in if you are the lucky winner.

The deadline to enter the giveaway is 12:01 a.m. EDT on the morning of April 8, 2012. I will announce the winner on April 9th.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blogo-Birthday, Day 2

There are no calories in a picture of a birthday cake. The only problem is that there’s no flavor, either.

Notice that it’s a picture of a VERY chocolate cake. When I think birthday cake, I think “chocolate”.

I remember laughing out loud, and for quite a long time, the first time I read Sandra Boynton’s famous book Chocolate: The Consuming Passion. There’s a page about white chocolate, where she describes the taste of white chocolate by telling the reader to cut out a page of the book and eat it. That’s her opinion of white chocolate. Mine too.

This is a book that seriously needs to be back in print.

I got here from chocolate cake. Honestly. The strangest things remind me of books, and often by the most twisted of paths. (Birthday to Chocolate Cake to Boynton)

Just as the blogoversary was a time to reflect on a year of blogging, my birthday is a time to reflect, But then I changed my mind. Why reflect when I have so many wonderful books to escape into?

Instead, earlier this week, I sort of got a different kind of present. As I might have mentioned (a few dozen times) I’m a librarian. Not just because I’ve worked in libraries, but because I have a Master’s Degree in Library Science.

My MLS is from a little school in Kentucky. Yes, the University of Kentucky, who won the NCAA Basketball Championship earlier this week. This may be one week when if I say I went to UK, no one asks what I mean, even in Atlanta.

Since this is a hobbit birthday, and I am giving presents (don’t worry, I will get at least one very nice present from my husband), there is a giveaway for all of you who have patiently read to the end of this post.

Or maybe you just skipped down to the Rafflecopter! The question to enter the giveaway is a birthday-related question, since this is a birthday-related giveaway. What was your favorite birthday present?

(There is still plenty of time to enter yesterday’s giveaways. You can take your chances on a $15 Amazon GC here and an ebook copy of Heather Massey’s fantastic erotic clockpunk romance The Watchmaker’s Lady here.)

This drawing is for a USD$20 Amazon Gift Card. The giveaway will be open until 12:01 a.m. EDT the morning of April 8, 2012. I will announce the winner on April 9th.

 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

It’s a Blogo-Birthday!

And what’s that, you might very well ask?

On April 4, 2011 this blog was born. The first version was Escape Reality, Read Fiction! Courtesy of The Wayback Machine, here’s what it looked like, back in the early days of…last year. (My own birthday is tomorrow, so blogo-birthday)

Escape Reality, Read Fiction! is still on the masthead, but now it’s under the bar. For anyone who wonders where that phrase came from, like so much wisdom, I got it off a t-shirt–which doesn’t make it any less true. I firmly believe that you can escape reality for very large periods of time by reading fiction. And that’s a good thing!

I’m equally firmly of the opinion that you can’t judge a book by its movie. Also from a t-shirt. There’s some great stuff on t-shirts, if you look for it. Especially if you like pithy.

So, about last year. April 4 was a Monday. My first post was published that day, after a weekend of Galen and I setting things up. There was one absolutely paralyzing bit about selecting a WordPress theme from the zillion and one options I still have nightmares about.

I knew I would write about books. Not a big surprise. I expected to be writing more on the, I guess you would say meta-level, about the business of books, or the business of libraries, rather than book reviews.

I never expected it would be quite so easy to get books to review. I thought I’d be reviewing from my already large TBR stacks. Instead, the TBR stacks are getting bigger by the day, but mainly in the virtual sense. I get most of my review copies in ebook form, with the exception of conference ARCs.

A year means it’s time to reflect a little bit. That’s why there have been a few changes in the last month.  I’ve added features to bring in more traffic. I’ve discovered that writing the blog, even every day, isn’t the hardest part. Getting people to come and read it, the promotion, that’s the more difficult bit. At least for me. As the saying goes, YMMV.

So in addition to regular features like Ebook Review Central, it’s time for Reading Reality to participate in a couple of memes like In My Mailbox and On My Wishlist. On My (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand turned into a meme itself this past weekend. I’m also participating in some blog tours and blog hops, like the Where’s That Bunny? hop hosted by Reading Romances this week.  (By the way, Nat at Reading Romances designed the Blogo-Birthday graphic. Thanks, Nat!)

But I want to make sure that the loyal readers of Reading Reality keep reading. So, as I start my second year, I want to hear from you. What do you look for in a blog? What keeps you following? Comments please!

This is a Blogoversary Celebration, so of course there is a giveaway!

Here are the steps to enter the drawing for a USD$15 Amazon Gift Card. This giveaway will be open until 12:01 a.m. the morning of April 8, 2012. I will announce the winner on April 9th.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bloggiesta Recap

Murphy’s Law being what it generally is, more stuff happened over Bloggiesta weekend than was originally planned. Which means that I didn’t participate in the Bloggiesta events as much as I would have liked.

There will be another Bloggiesta September 28-30, and I hope to participate in the actual festival next time.

But that doesn’t mean that we (Galen and I) didn’t get anything crossed off the Reading Reality Bloggiesta to-do list.

  • Finalize the plans for my Blogo-birthday celebration April 4-5!!!!!!
  • Fix up my blog’s Facebook page
  • Update my review policy page
  • Add an advertising policy page
  • Check out triberr
  • Create a page for collecting my challenge progress
  • Add Networked Blogs back to my sidebar
  • Check out Mister Linky for WordPress (should the Virtual Nightstand be a meme?)
  • Write an advertisement for an associate reviewer

Accomplishments were definitely made!

Next Sunday, the Virtual Nightstand will have a few more details about the meme. It’s there and it works, but the concept could probably use a few more details.

Networked Blogs is working, as well as Linky Followers. Follow me through one or the other (or both!) and I’ll follow you.

Triberr turned out to be an idea for…not yet. It’s an interesting concept, but the idea of auto-approving tweets from my tribe, or having to curate the tweets, not now. Maybe by the next Bloggiesta.

And oh yes, my Blogo-Birthday Celebration! Everything is set! We’re going to have a party! A two-day party for a two-day event. April 4 I will be giving away a $15 Amazon GC and a copy of Heather Massey’s new clockpunk erotic novel The Watchmaker’s Lady to celebrate the Blogoversary of Reading Reality.

And on April 5, I’ll be giving away a $20 Amazon GC and a copy of one of my favorite science fiction romances of 2011, Queenie’s Brigade, in celebration of my own birthday.

Everyone’s invited. Here’s your invitation to the party!

 

What’s on my (mostly virtual) nightstand? 3/11/12

The Book Bloggers and Publishers Online Conference is winding down. The final sessions are this evening, March 11. The conference has been absolutely awesome, and I’m definitely planning to do it again next year. I’ve learned so much.

However (cough, cough) my to-do list for the next couple of weeks has grown by leaps and bounds because of all the good information I’ve picked up.

And it is definitely conference season. This week, March 14-16, we have the Public Library Association Conference in Philadelphia. We meaning I’m going to Philly. And since public librarians purchase a lot of fiction, there should be a lot of Advance Reading Copies available on the exhibit floor.

The good news is that because my husband works for a library vendor, I discovered at ALA Midwinter I can ship the ARCs I pick up back home with their booth. The bad news is that I can ship the ARCs I pick up back home with their booth. Those of you who are addicted to books know exactly what I mean.

Because of PLA, I am pleased to say that the nightstand for the upcoming week is not quite as covered with books as it might be. Catch up time!

First up is Haevyn by Darcy Abriel. This is the second book in her Humanotica series, after Silver. And just like Silver, I have also promised to review this for Book Lovers Inc. Haevyn is due out on March 20, and I need to get them my review before then. Howsomever, when you read my review and/or my thoughts about Silver, although it was interesting, you’ll see that it wasn’t my favorite book. It’s SFR, which is why I took it, but Silver was not a main character with agency. Thankfully Silver isn’t the point-of-view character for Haevyn. I’m hoping for more worldbuilding and a main character who moves the story under his own steam instead of waiting for thing to happen to him.

My other title is Suzanne Brockmann’s Born to Darkness. I haven’t read Brockmann before but I’ve heard tons of good things. This title is the first in a new series, and it’s military-based paranormal. I’ve really enjoyed the military-based romances I’ve read recently (The Night is Mine, SEAL of my Dreams, and military sci-fi titles too numerous to mention) and I adore paranormal, so this seemed like a great way to try some of Brockmann’s work. There’s a prequel e-only short story for Born to Darkness titled Shane’s Last Stand. Completist that I am, I’m going to read that first. Of course.

As far as last week’s nightstand goes, I finished Motor City Mage, and it was a treat! I think this might be the last we see of magical Detroit, because this is the last couple to be matched up in this group of otherworldly and magical beings. I’m sad to see this one end.

It looks like Apocalypse to Go and The House of Velvet and Glass are going to be my “airplane books” for the trip to Philadelphia. I always take at least one print book for the plane, so I have something to read when they make me turn of my iPad. Those will be it.

Reading Reality‘s blogoversary is coming up! April 4 marks the one year anniversary of the blog. It’s the day before my birthday, too. But I’d like to do something special to mark the blogoversary. Because of the two conferences, I still have my thinking cap on.

I would love to hear ideas for the blogoversary from readers. I’d love for you to help me celebrate!

But until the party starts, it’s still a regular week. Ebook Review Central is tomorrow. See you bright and early with featured titles from Carina Press.