BAM! Like That | November wrap up

Its been a while since I've done a monthly book wrap up post. There were so many great books that I've read that I'm excited to share with you.

For a few months now, I've not really been into reading. I would pick up a book and get about 20% or sometimes less into it, and my mind wasn't willing to go any farther. It was like I had hit a brick reading wall. 

Most days I picked music over reading which is out of the ordinary. Finally, about a week ago and several books later, I was found a book that sucked me in and got me back on track.

I'm just going to lay all the books out there, like BAM!


So, all but five of these books were review copies from Netgalley or Edelwise. I think I might have a problem. There are 471 books on my TBR shelf, but yet I keep adding new books everyday and not reading the ones I said I would. Next month, I've made a commitment to read more books from my TBR pile then ARC copies. Cross your fingers.

What Books have you read in November?

8 Things I Learned About Instagram

Instagram, the second most popular social media app, only out shined by the god of all social media apps, Facebook. Its also extremely popular with book bloggers and book photographers. I think I heard somewhere that it is the number one place for these book connoisseurs, but I have no studies to back up this statement.

As I myself try to grow my own Instagram, for my reviews and for my of books, I've tried many things and some of them don't work at all. Some of them do.

I'm going to share with you what I have found to work successfully at growing my Instagram account. Hold onto your shorts, because here we go.

1. Quality Photos
We've all been told this many times. The quality of the photos you produce can make or break you. No I am not one for pulling out my Cannon 7D and shooting a million photos just to pick three or four that I like to grace my Instagram page, although, I do have a super cool camera that I can do that with. I find this process extremely time consuming and I, as a mother, do not have extra time in my day to spend staging photos.

What I have found is that the quality of pictures take with my phone are still good enough for now. Just find some natural light and go for it.

I like to find a few accounts out there in Instagram land to pull inspiration from. If you don't know what to do, check your feed. See what is popular.

2. Answer Comments
Make sure that you are answering your followers comments. Take time to keep in touch. Let them know that the time they spent to comment on your photo really meant something to them.

I love to strike up a conversation with my followers about a book. See what they loved or didn't love about a certain read. It keeps them involved and creates what I like to call "Sticky Followers." The ones who stick around.

3. Make 3 Comments
Pick three accounts and make a comment. Make sure it means something. Don't just say "Great Photo," or "Love this." That really doesn't have anything to do with what the poster was talking about in their caption. Let the Instagramer know that you actually read their caption and comment accordingly.

4. Post often
I post at least once a day. Showing up on your followers feeds often, keeps you relevant. Now, posting too often can also make you super annoying and make your followers unfollow, and that is not what we are going for.

I've noticed that larger accounts with thousands of followers post several times a day, where smaller accounts will post once a day. Its really up to how often you post. I would just recommend no more than three times a day.

5. Awesome Captions
This one can be hard. What do you talk about? Is it going to be relevant to my followers? Whatever you caption your photos, make sure it fun. It doesn't have to be about the photo, but try to find something that your followers can comment on. I like to add a question of the day to invoke thought and follower interactions.

6. Follow Three Accounts
You can follow three huge Instagram accounts with thousands of followers, but is that really going to get you noticed. Those accounts have a lot of traffic and it would take a lot to get on their radar and have them follow you back. I like to pick small accounts, around 100-2000 followers. Those are the ones that have the highest possibility to follow you back.

The way I like to find these accounts is pick one of the photos I've commented on and start going through the other comments. Those people are doing the exact same thing you are and they might have a low follower account. If you like their photos, give them a like.

7. #Hashtags
Instagram allows you to have 30 hashtags on your post. Use them. The more hashtags you have, the more people will possibly see your post.

I came across a list of the most popular bookstagram hashtags a while back, and now I use them on everything.

#Amreading #Booklovers #Bibliophile #BookAddict #Bookshelf #Books #Ebook #BookChat #LitFic #Goodreads #Kindle #whattoread #Suspense #Bookworld #PopBooks #Epicreads #Bookclub #Booknerd #Bookstagram

Of course, also add the author and name of the book in their own hashtag, or anything else relevant you can think of. Get creative. Use up those tags. 

8. Feature Another Account
Use this one sparingly, maybe once a week. Repost a photo from another account and make sure you tag the in it. Tell them what you liked about their photo and give them a shout out. This is a great way to connect with others in your bloggosphere.

Remember, the larger accounts are great fun, but its the smaller accounts that have to stick together.

Do these 8 tips everyday, and your account will grow. I've noticed at least 10 new followers everyday since I've started this, and the number keeps growing. Try it out and let me know how successful you are.

Who Will Pay The Price | Tarnished City by Vic James

Title: Tarnished City
By: Vic James
Genre: Dystopian / Urban Fantasy
Pages: 352
Release Date: February 5th, 2018
Publisher: Del Rey

Summary from Goodreads: A corrupted city. A dark dream of power.

Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his mind. But as the Jardines tighten their grip on a turbulent Britain, brother and sister face a fight greater than their own.

New alliances and old feuds will remake the nation, leaving Abi and Luke questioning everything – and everyone – they know. And as Silyen Jardine hungers for the forgotten Skill of the legendary Wonder King, the country’s darkest hour approaches. Freedom and knowledge both come at a cost. So who will pay the price?

Review: Well, lets start off with the fact that I loved the first book and I was super excited to be approved to review this book. Too bad the feeling didn't last. 

I felt like there was little world building, and I know that this is the second book in the series and world building has already been done, but there was literally no descriptions of the world around me. It was all action and story and nothing to help me build a picture. 

With that being said, the story was still great and I will definitely read the next book.   

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

Burrito, Bacon, Schnitzel | #WeeklyMenu Week #225

Hello Monday! What a wonderful week. There has been so much food and family this week. Some from close by and others from far away. I couldn't have asked for more. Well, maybe a larger stomach. 

Made some good headway on my new book. Its going to be great once I actually get it done. There has also been some questions as to when I will be writing the third book in my Hunter Saga. I really have no idea when I will start it. There is kind of a story line, but I'm not sure where I want it to go yet. So, that one is on the back burner for now. I'm sorry, you will have to be patient.

Lets get to the yummy stuff. Enjoy this weeks menu!







Tuna Sandwiches

A Bear, A Witch and A Raven | My Favorite Covers

This year has been filled with wonderful books and beautiful covers, 2018 promises to be even better. I've picked three books from three different categories, Read and loved, Read and didn't love and haven't read yet. Without further due, here are my three picks.

A book that I've read and loved.  Bear and the Nightingale. I loved this book and the cover is amazing. The whole series has amazing covers and I can't wait to read the third book, but for now, I will have to do with gazing at these beautiful covers. 

A book that I've read and didn't love. The Bone Witch. I tried to get into this one, but it just didn't read right for me. It's hard to explain since its been so long. The cover is gorgeous thought, and that's what turned me on to this book.

A book that I haven't read yet. This cover is amazing and it drew me towards it. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this bad boy and dive into its covers. 

These are my three favorite cover picks. Leave me a comment below, letting me know what your favorite cover is.

Not the Only One With Secrets | My Husband's Wife by Jane Corry

Title: My Husband's Wife
By: Jane Corry
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 373
Release Date: January 31st, 2017
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books

Summary from Goodreads: It won't be so bad when you're there, says my new husband before kissing me on the mouth. He tastes of Rice Krispies and that strong toothpaste of his which I still haven't gotten
used to. I know, I say before he peels off to the bus stop on the other side of the road. Two lies. Small white ones. Designed to make the other feel better. But that's how some lies start. Small. Well meaning. Until they get too big to handle.

When young lawyer Lily marries Ed, she's determined to make a fresh start. To leave the secrets of the past behind. But then she takes on her first murder case and meets Joe. A convicted murderer whom Lily is strangely drawn to. For whom she will soon be willing to risk almost anything. 

But Lily is not the only one with secrets. Her next-door neighbor Carla may be only nine, but she has already learned that secrets are powerful things. That they can get her whatever she wants. When Lily finds Carla on her doorstep sixteen years later, a chain of events is set in motion that can end only one way.

Review: Ok, I was a little bored with this story. The writing was good, but I just couldn't get into the concept. There was nothing in it that gave me the chills. Maybe next time, Jane Corry.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

To Boldly Go | Star Trek: Treknology by Ethan Siegel

Title: Star Trek: Treknology
By: Ethan Siegel 
Genre: Non-fiction Scifi
Pages: 216
Release Date: October 15th, 2017
Publisher: Voyageur Press

Summary from Goodreads: The name Star Trek conjures images of faster-than-light spacecraft, holographic crew members, and phasers set to stun. Some of these incredible devices may still be far from our reach, but others have made the leap from science fiction to science fact—and now you can learn the science and engineering of what makes them tick.

Treknology looks at over twenty-five iconic inventions from the complete history of the Star Trek television and film universe. Author Ethan Siegel explores and profiles these dazzling technologies and their role Star Trek, the science behind how they work, and how close we are to achieving them in the real world today.

This stunning collection is packed with 150 superb film and television stills, prop photography, and scientific diagrams to pull you into another world. Brace yourself for a detailed look at the inner workings of Star Trek’s computing capabilities, communications equipment, medical devices, and awe-inspiring ships. This book is one that no fan of Star Trek, or future tech, will want to miss.

Review: I am a huge Trekkie. Anyone who knows me can attest to that. I grew up with Star Trek the next generation, Deep Space 9, Voyager, Enterprise and now the rebooted Star Trek. I know this genre.

I picked up this book for the pure science of it. The content is so in depth with real situations that correlate with Star Trek technology. We've come so far, and a lot of the things we take for granted on the show, are close to becoming reality. The photos are great and placed throughout the book. The writing was excellent, although a little dry at times.

My ten year old autistic son would love this read. He is all about the science. I will be passing this book along to him. 

This would be a great Christmas present for anyone who loves Star Trek and has a thing for science.  

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Put your books down today and spend some time with your family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving!

Book's I'm Thankful For | Top 5 Wednesday

It's top 5 Wednesday! I love this series. It really makes me dig deep into why I love a book or hate a book. There is really no limit to what you can come up with.

Today's topic is Book's I'm thankful for. This one was hard for me to come up with 5 picks. If you really think about it. What would you be thankful for with fantasy books. They give us a great story, but its not that my life would have changed much by reading it. I really had to dig deep and come up with some awesome picks for you.

Let's get to it!

1. Jade Green - I'm thankful for this book because it was the first book I've ever read from front to back in one sitting. It started me on my journey through the paranormal and helped me fall in love with reading. It was one of the first books I've ever owned, although that copy was eaten by a rabbit, I now have a new copy sitting on my shelf.

2. Hunter - This one holds a special place in my heart because it was the first
book that I ever had published. Hunter started my journey as an author, and lead to several other books and hopefully a life long publishing journey.

3. Sabriel - Garth Nix was the first author that I ever fell in love with and to this day is one of my favorites. I've added more favorite authors over the years, but Garth Nix and Sabriel will always hold a special place in my heart.

4. A Court of Thorns and Roses - I am thankful for Sarah J. Mass. She has
shown me that a woman can write something unique and sensual, but still tasteful. I will always admire this author.

5. Crimson Sky - I am thankful for Amy Braun and her encouragement and friendship. The world of authordom can be a lonely place and I've been blessed to know this author and share in her triumphs with this series.

I am thankful for many things this Thanksgiving. Family, a great job, a roof over my head and wonderful books to fill my shelves. What are your top 5 picks this Wednesday? Leave me your comments below.

Magic Would Make Life Easier | Warning Call by Danny Bell

Warning Call
Danny Bell
(The Black Pages, #2)
Publication date: December 21st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Elana Black. Saving the day even if she has to tear a hole in the universe to do it.
An unbeatable mythological horror has its sights set on Elana, and that’s not the worst of her problems. Gods want to use her, shadowy agents want to eliminate her, and a powerful sorcerer wants to kill her; all as she rushes to stop an event which portends the death of her best friend, Olivia. It’s all catching up with her, and just in time for Christmas. Elana is going to have to figure out how all of it is connected but she’s in over her head, outnumbered, and running out of time.
And she always thought magic would make her life easier.
There is also a limited release cover:

Author Bio:
My name is Danny Bell. I want to tell stories and avoid writing author profiles. I read—when I should be interacting with people, I named my cat after a cat I liked in a book, I’m pretty sure I saw a ghost one time—though I’ll never admit it publicly, I’m too tall for the earth, and I’ve never eaten a vegetable. I lied about the vegetable part. Wait… is someone going to read this?