See you in 2013!

Monday, December 31, 2012
So that's it from us here -- 2013 is going to be an excellent year and I can't wait to see you all. I'm pretty excited for a new year!

10 Best Young Adult Novels of 2012

Friday, December 28, 2012
I finally have my coputer back! I've not been around much since November - took a bit of a blogging hiatus - and then my computer died in early December. It's finally fixed and back (my preciousssss), so I am back. I hope to be back to my 4 reviews a week patten by January. But, without further ado, my 10 favorite YA novels, of any genre, from 2012.

Honorable Mentions:

Gone, Gone, Gone by Hannah Moskowitz
Vaclav & Lena by Haley Tanner
White Cat by Holly Black
The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta
The City's Son by Tom Pollock

#10. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha #1)

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.

#9.The Diviners by Libba Bray (The Diviners #1)

 It's 1920s New York City. It's flappers and Follies, jazz and gin. It's after the war but before the depression. And for certain group of bright young things it's the opportunity to party like never before.

For Evie O'Neill, it's escape. She's never fit in in small town Ohio and when she causes yet another scandal, she's shipped off to stay with an uncle in the big city. But far from being exile, this is exactly what she's always wanted: the chance to show how thoroughly modern and incredibly daring she can be.

But New York City isn't about just jazz babies and follies girls. It has a darker side. Young women are being murdered across the city. And these aren't crimes of passion. They're gruesome. They're planned. They bear a strange resemblance to an obscure group of tarot cards. And the New York City police can't solve them alone.

Evie wasn't just escaping the stifling life of Ohio, she was running from the knowledge of what she could do. She has a secret. A mysterious power that could help catch the killer - if he doesn't catch her first.

#8. Unwind by Neal Shusterman (Unwind #1)


The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. 

Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self.

To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live.

But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside.

When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

Eva's life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination--an echo. She was made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her "other," if she ever died. Eva spends every day studying that girl from far away, learning what Amarra does, what she eats, what it's like to kiss her boyfriend, Ray. So when Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva should be ready.

But sixteen years of studying never prepared her for this.

Now she must abandon everything and everyone she's ever known--the guardians who raised her, the boy she's forbidden to love--to move to India and convince the world that Amarra is still alive.

What Eva finds is a grief-stricken family; parents unsure how to handle this echo they thought they wanted; and Ray, who knew every detail, every contour of Amarra. And when Eva is unexpectedly dealt a fatal blow that will change her existence forever, she is forced to choose: Stay and live out her years as a copy or leave and risk it all for the freedom to be an original. To be Eva.

From debut novelist Sangu Mandanna comes the dazzling story of a girl who was always told what she had to be--until she found the strength to decide for herself.

On my fourteenth birthday when the sakura was in full bloom, the men came to kill us. We saw them come, Aimi and me. We were excited, because we did not know how to be frightened. We had never seen soldiers before.

Suzume is a shadow-weaver. She can create mantles of darkness and light, walk unseen in the middle of the day, change her face. She can be anyone she wants to be. Except herself.

Suzume died officially the day the Prince's men accused her father of treason. Now even she is no longer sure of her true identity.

Is she the girl of noble birth living under the tyranny of her mother’s new husband, Lord Terayama? A lowly drudge scraping a living in the ashes of Terayama’s kitchens? Or Yue, the most beautiful courtesan in the Moonlit Lands?

Everyone knows Yue is destined to capture the heart of a prince. Only she knows that she is determined to use his power to destroy Terayama.

And nothing will stop her. Not even love.

I have two weeks. You’ll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.

That’s what you do to enemy agents. It’s what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine — and I will do anything, anything, to avoid SS-Hauptsturmf├╝hrer von Linden interrogating me again.

He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I’m going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France — an Allied Invasion of Two.

We are a sensational team.

Before Briony's stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family's hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it's become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment.

Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and mane of tawny hair. He's as natural as the sun, and treats her as if she's extraordinary. And everything starts to change. As many secrets as Briony has been holding, there are secrets even she doesn't know.

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.

Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?


I'm dreaming of the boy in the tree. I tell him stories. About the Jellicoe School and the Townies and the Cadets from a school in Sydney. I tell him about the war between us for territory. And I tell him about Hannah, who lives in the unfinished house by the river. Hannah, who is too young to be hiding away from the world. Hannah, who found me on the Jellicoe Road six years ago.

Taylor is the leader of the boarders at the Jellicoe School. She has to keep the upper hand in the territory wars and deal with Jonah Griggs - the enigmatic leader of the cadets, and someone she thought she would never see again.

And now Hannah, the person Taylor had come to rely on, has disappeared. Taylor's only clue is a manuscript about five kids who lived in Jellicoe eighteen years ago. She needs to find out more, but this means confronting her own story, making sense of her strange, recurring dream, and finding her mother - who abandoned her on the Jellicoe Road.

Review: Gilded by Karina Cooper

Sunday, December 16, 2012
Title: Gilded
Author: Karina Cooper
Genre: steampunk
Series: The St. Croix Chronicles #2
Pages: 384 (Nook ARC edition)
Published: expected December 26, 2012
Source: publishers via edelweiis
Rating: 4/5

The second book in Karina Cooper's stunning steampunk series featuring fearless heroine Cherry St. Croix, in which she is faced with two men after her heart—and one killer out for her blood.

In the gleaming heights of Victorian London, a world of deception awaits an unconventional Society lady whose taste for adventure makes her a most formidable adversary . . .

Though Society demands that I make a good marriage, I, Cherry St. Croix, have neither the time nor the interest. I am on the trail of a murder with no victim, a mystery with no motive, and the key to an alchemical formula that could be my family's legacy.

Yet the world is not so kind as to let me pursue simple murder and uncomplicated bounties. Above the foggy drift, an earl insists on my attention, while my friends watch my increasingly desperate attempts to remain my own woman. From the silken demands of the Midnight Menagerie—to whose dangerously seductive ringmaster I owe a debt—to the rigorous pressures of the peerage, all are conspiring to place before me a choice that will forever change my life.

Second in a steampunk series that continues to grow on me more and more as I get my hands on them, Gilded is a nearly perfect follow-up to the oodles of fun and suspense that was Tarnished.  As before, Karina Cooper's obvious talent for worldbuilding, setting, and for crafting real, complex characters rises to the surface and helps to make this one of the better steampunk novels I've read this year. I raced through and loved the first book earlier this year, and I can say that the months of expecting this sequel was more than worth the wait. The take on the steampunk aspect is still fresh, fun, and above all, wholly original in its execution; Cherry remains the same stubborn, clever, funny heroine she showed herself to be before. 

I've said it before, but I love how uniquely this author incorporates the steampunk aspect into her novel of murder and mystery. So many "steampunk" novels pay bare lip service to the label; supplying an airslip, clockwork or an automaton does not a steampunk novel make. Karina Cooper's version of a London split in two - Upper London, above the smog, and Lower London among it - merged with air canals and sky gondolas. In my review for the first I thought the concept made this London feel like a steampunk, if thoroughly English, Venice. It's creative, it's unique, and most importantly, Karina Cooper makes it work for her story and world. While the world itself isn't expanded too much from what was shown and revealed in the first novel, the solid foundation laid down in Tarnished continues to reap benefits in its direct sequel. This is how I want my retrofuturistic cities to be done - originally, with careful thought, and with relevance to the world it exists within.

The cast of characters of the novel are another bonus. Cherry is just as lively and complex as she had been, but characters that I had been ambivalent towards before were fleshed out and more involved than before. I actually got a feel for Earl Cornelius Compton (who, honestly, I was rooting against in the love triangle for Cherry's attention), and for Cherry's previously aloof governess. The more time and attention spent on these secondary characters made it a more rewarding effort. The villain might have been a tad too obvious for my liking, but overall, was camouflaged well with Cherry's thoughts and through several clever, throughout-out red herrings.

Fast-paced, action-packed, full of revelations and Society intrigue, Gilded is a quick and easy read. The pages really do fly by as Cherry maneuvers among the nobility and collects among the lower classes below the drift. I was never bored, and trying to keep one step ahead of this quick-thinking sleuth was hard to do. The ending was particularly well-done; I did not see that coming, and it throws the trajectory of the series into a new direction. Cooper is a deft and clever writer; one that is more than capable of lulling her readers into a false sense of security and then pulling the rug from under their feet. I was impressed, entertained, and always engaged with this novel.

I must say, I am a fan of Karina Cooper and of this series. It's just that the plot of book two didn't grab me quiiiiiiite as much as the one for the first of the series, Tarnished. That one remains my favorite of the two, but Gilded is no slouch. There is plenty of action, several gamechanging (and very unexpected) plot twists that will keep readers engaged and continually guessing who will win in this deadly game Cherry has begun. Fans of steampunk, clever and capable heroines, and well-done plotting should really pick this series up and give Miss St. Croix a chance. 

Book Tour Review: The Raven's Heart by Jesse Blackadder

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Title: The Raven's Heart
Author: Jesse Blackadder
Genre: historical fiction
Series: N/A
Pages: 462 (ARC edition)
Published: January 2011
Source: HFVBT for review
Rating: 4/5

 Scotland, 1561, and a ship comes across the North Sea carrying home Mary, the young, charismatic Queen of Scots, returning after thirteen years in the French court to wrest back control of her throne.

The Blackadder family has long awaited for the Queen's return to bring them justice. Alison Blackadder, disguised as a boy from childhood to protect her from the murderous clan that stole their lands, must learn to be a lady-in-waiting to the Queen, building a web of dependence and reward.

Just as the Queen can trust nobody, Alison discovers lies, danger, and treachery at every turn.

This sweeping, imaginative, and original tale of political intrigue, misplaced loyalty, secret passion, and implacable revenge is based on real characters and events from the reign of Mary Queen of Scots.

An impressive and lengthy historical fiction debut from an author with a unique perspective, Jesse Blackadder explores and animates Scotland in the 1500's with this detailed and epic look at a family desperate for their ancestral inheritance during the time of the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots. With some of the hallmarks expected from a novel looking at a treacherous Court of an unsteady Queen like betrayal, deception and unrequited love, Blackadder still manages to inject some new ideas and characters into a story well-known hundreds of years later. With a tagline of "a story of a quest, a castle, and Mary, Queen of Scots" I had a feeling this would be a novel right up my alley - and I was right. I was vastly entertained by Blackadder's vision, and found myself both eager for resolution and reluctant to end my time with such indelible characters.

The strongest aspect of the novel is without a doubt the main character and narrator of Alison Blackadder. I can honestly say that this complicated and realistic young woman is utterly unlike any other historical fiction protagonist I have ever read before. I always love reading about girls disguising themselves as boys - to spy, to learn, whatever the cause may be - and Alison's years masquerading as a young man named Robert left a mark on her character. She is androgynous, bisexual, smart, patient, and above all, authentic in all her various manifestations. There are some obvious parallels between her and her Queenly counterpart - two displaced young woman desperate to come into their own and their inheritance, one as a Queen and the other as noble without her ancestral castle - but Alison is unique, and interesting. Even more so than the Queen she loves and cannot escape, Alison commands a lot of attention. I thought her narration was consistently strong, and the benefit of having such a unique voice is not lost as the pages rapidly add up.

Alison/Robert is the strongest in a strong cast, but Blackadder extends the same believability and roundedness to her other players. Mary, the Queen, is conflicted and willful, dangerous and scared, determined and unsure; one never can know which way this Queen will turn. Her personal evolution over the six years that are covered in the novel is natural, and in tune with the historical record. It can be hard to re-imagine such a prominent figure in English/Scottish history, but Blackadder is more than up to the task, as she proves with The Raven's Heart. Her Mary is just as engaging and compelling as that from more established writers, and can stand up to similar versions like the one Margaret George rendered in Mary, Queen of Scotland and the Isles. The latter may have been the first novel about this infamous queen I had read, but Blackadder proves she can match and improve on what has been printed before.The relationship between the two central female characters is the foundation of the novel and for much of Alison's actions throughout, and I found it refreshing to have two such varied, but strong, illustrations of women in a time when those few and far between.

Blackadder's personal history with the real-world lost castle that Alison maneuvers for adds another layer to an already fresh take on the story. I loved the historical facts mixed so seamlessly into the novel, but it was Alison's fictional plot about a real castle, one that the author has legitimate ties to, that captivated me the most during my read of The Raven's Heart. Alison and her quest are imagined, but they felt real while I was reading. I invested early with this character, and through her hurts and her far-too-few triumphs, I was always hoping for the best, if not expecting things to fall how I wanted. Blackadder doesn't necessarily end the story the way one would expect, and though the frequent back-and-forth nature during the last 100 pages made me slightly dizzy, I loved how the quest came to its fruition. I could've done without a few of the turnarounds - after the third, I stopped counting - but it was well worth the wait to see how it all fell to for Alison, her father, and her future.

A unique perspective, a well-drawn and realistic main character, an involving plot and a more than well-set scene make The Raven's Heart a welcome addition to the well-known story of Mary, Queen of Scots. A rather dense novel with easy and blunt prose, this is a book that will linger in my memory. I look forward to whatever else Jesse Blackadder does in the future with her considerable talent, and also to the future rereads and fun I will have with her historical fiction debut.

Don't miss the tour stops still to come!

Thursday, December 6 
Review & Giveaway at Griperang's Bookmarks

Friday, December 7
Review & Giveaway at Paperback Princess

Monday, December 10
Review at Book Journey
Review & Giveaway at Oh, For the Hook of a Book!

Tuesday, December 11
Review & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick

Wednesday, December 12
Review at Bonjour Cass
Review at The Worm Hole

Thursday, December 13
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair

Friday, December 14
Review at Book Dilettante

Monday, December 17
Review at Confessions of an Avid Reader

Tuesday, December 18
Review at One Book at a Time
Review & Giveaway at Book of Secrets

Wednesday, December 19
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee

Thursday, December 20
Review at The Musings of a Book Junkie
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Friday, December 21
Review at JulzReads
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review at Raging Bibliomania

Book Tour Review: The Master of Verona by David Blixt

Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Title: The Master of Verona
Author: David Blixt
Genre: historical fiction, retellings
Series: Star-Cross'd #1
Pages: 592 
Published: July 2007
Source: HFVBT for review
Rating: 4/5

In 1314, seventeen year old Pietro Alighieri  travels to Verona with his father, the infamous poet Dante, at the invitation of its leader, the legendary Francesco “Cangrande” della Scala.  A sneak attack from Padua leads Pietro into his first battle, fighting alongside the charismatic Cangrande, and into a tight friendship with Mariotto Montecchio and Antonio Capulletto.  Behind the scenes, repeated attempts are made against the life of a child believed to be Cangrande’s illegitimate son and possible heir.

Pietro is drawn into the web of intrigue around the child and the tension building between Mariotto and Antonio over a woman betrothed to one and in love with the other – a situation that will sever a friendship, divide a city, and ultimately lead to the events of the best known tragic romance in the world.

If you were to create a sweeping historical novel set in 14th century Verona with prophecy, jealousy, conspiracy, deception, murder, betrayal and star-crossed love, The Master of Verona is what you would get. It's a long novel, a dense one as well, that packs in a multitude of players, ideas, themes, and carries them from place to place in convoluted, intricately-woven plot of destiny and desire. Taking favorite novels like Romeo and Juliet, and authors of Italian classics like Dante himself, and reinterpreting/re-humanizing them in a new way, David Blixt has set quite a standard with just the first in his Star-Cross'd series. With a keen eye for period and setting detail as well as for crafting a diverse, interesting cast of engaging heroes (and anti-heroes), Blixt has proven himself a more than capable storyteller with talent to burn.

As the author acknowledges in his (extremely readable and interesting) afterward, certain details from historical record have been hedged or completely changed to suit the version of the story he wanted to create. It's all to the benefit of the story, as the immense detail and description provided do more than enough to create a real feel for both characters and the Italian city-state they fight for, and defend, so staunchly. The place as character is really worth mentioning - it's as top notch as the brisk battle scenes, and as alive as the eponymous master of Verona himself, Francesco "Cangrande" della Scala, himself. So much about The Master of Verona is epic in scope - the characters, the plot - and the setting(s) of the novel are no different. Each time the narrative jumps from one place to another, be it Antonia in Florence or a battle in Padua, each scene set in an Italian city is remarkably vibrant, down to the clothes the characters are wearing. Verona especially receives the time and attention of this detail-orientated author, and it is ever more to the benefit of his readers. Seeing the disparate parts of a war-like and divided Italy recreated by such an able author was endlessly fascinating, from Venice to Verona to Padua.

With new twists on famous people, either fictional (Romeo, Juliet) or factual (Cangrande, Dante), Blixt breathes life into his characters. Main character and chief protagonist Pietro Alaghieri (formerly Alighieri) is one of those most interesting characters, but it is the titular Master of Verona, Cangrande himself, that looms larger than life in this debut novel. His actions affect everyone around him, set the plot in motion, and engage the reader. He's more distant than 3rd-person narrator of Pietro, but he commands a lot of attention from the page he is introduced. As Pietro is drawn ever closer to the Great Hound of Italy, plots and conspiracies grow ever more dangerous. The beginning is the hardest go get a sure grasp on the cast, and their respective agendas - the complicated and multiple names, alliances, marriages, cousins - of each character can make it hard to differentiate between multiple people. While the dramatis personae and supporting characters listed at the front of the novel do help, soon nough Blixt grants each character more than enough time, dialogue and action to distinguish themselves from their compatriots (or enemies, in the case of minor antagonist Marsilio de Carrara), but none more than the illustrious and charmed Capitane of Verona.

Clocking in at a hefty and respectable 592 pages, reading The Master of Verona is no mean feat, or an easy commitment. The daunting page count, the impressive cast of characters, the innumerable plots and subplots can be daunting when starting out on such a detailed, intricate journey. I did find this a rewarding, engaging read -- for the most part. The tendency to wax poetic and get rather longwinded is one of the few faults I found while racing through this novel over a two day period. Obviously the digressions and occasional repetitions were not egregious enough to put me off my read entirely, but certain sections of the novel do seem worthy of editing down a page or five, and kept this from a 5/5 rating for me, personally. It was so close to perfect, but I couldn't completely sign off on the last chapters of this epic novel. The last 150 pages, barring the final 10, were the hardest for me to get through patiently. I was eager to get to the bottom of everything that had come to pass, and it all seemed just a little bit too drawn out - with escapade after escapade coming quickly.

With complicated characters, a truly ingenious plot full of unforeseen - and gamechanging! - twists, Blixt is an author who certainly knows how to subvert expectations skillfully. The ending events and revelations that come at the denouement of The Master of Verona are, without doubt, one hell of a doozy. It was one that managed to take me completely by surprise, due to the actions of characters with even more hidden agendas than I had figured out/assumed. Not afraid to toy with preconceptions or previous hints, Blixt ably and succinctly pulled some very deft maneuvering that felt both natural, as well as remarkable. The revelations are creative, clever, and a smart way to ensure continued readership for the next book in Blixt's series, Voice of the Falconer.

I had a lot of fun with this book. I love when authors aren't afraid to try for a lot, or something new, and Blixt does both here, in a debut, no less! I was impressed by the subtlety of the plot, the complexity of the characters and their motivations, and by the ease with which he re-imagined such pop culture favorites (the new Capulletes and Montecchio's and how complelxly their feud evolved had me more invested in a R&J retelling than any I've read before). Fourteenth century Italy has never been more intriguing, or dangerous, than when penned by this promising and talented author. I can't wait to see what is in store for the final two volumes of the Star-Cross'd series. 

If you're interested, don't miss the other stops on the virtual tour!

Tuesday, December 4
Review (Her Majesty's Will) at A Bookish Affair
Review (The Master of Verona) at Ageless Pages Reviews
Wednesday, December 5
Review & Giveaway (Colossus) at Broken Teepee
Author Guest Post & Giveaway (Her Majesty's Will) at A Bookish Affair
Thursday, December 6
Review & Giveaway (The Master of Verona) at Peeking Between the Pages
Friday, December 7
Review (Her Majesty's Will) at So Many Books, So Little Time
Review (The Voice of the Falconer) at Tanzanite's Castle Full of Books
Monday, December 10
Author Guest Post at Bibliophilic Book Blog
Review & Giveaway (The Master of Verona) at Confessions of an Avid Reader
Tuesday, December 11
Review (The Voice of the Falconer) at Ageless Pages Reviews
Wednesday, December 12
Review (The Master of Verona) at The Musings of a Book Junkie
Author Guest Post (Her Majesty's Will) at A Bookish Libraria
Thursday, December 13
Review (Her Majesty's Will) at Oh, For the Hook of a Book!
Author Interview (The Master of Verona) at The Musings of a Book Junkie
Friday, December 14
Review & Giveaway (Her Majesty's Will) at Kinx's Book Nook
Author Guest Post & Giveaway (Her Majesty's Will) at Oh, For the Hook of a Book!
Monday, December 17
Review (Her Majesty's Will) at Broken Teepee
Tuesday, December 18
Review (Fortune's Fool) at Ageless Pages Reviews
Wednesday, December 19
Review (The Master of Verona) at Enchanted by Josephine
Review & Giveaway (Her Majesty's Will) at The Maiden's Court
Thursday, December 20
Review (Voice of the Falconer) at Enchanted by Josephine
Friday, December 21
Review (The Master of Verona) at Bippity Boppity Book
Review (Voice of the Falconer) at Historical Tapestry & The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader
Author Interview at Enchanted by Josephine

TBR Planning for December 2012

Saturday, December 1, 2012
So my second year of blogging is winding to a close. It's been a good year but I think I need some more change to get where I want to go with this hobby. I took some steps: I renamed my blog. I took on a coblogger. I found a rhythm, but  I also got into a lot of slumps where I wasn't productive. I put a lot of pressure on myself and then got mad when I couldn't meet those impossible goals. For me? I've realized I can't post every day.

I can read every day, post sometimes, and have a life.

Or I can read sometimes, post everyday, and have a life. I choose the former. I think my content is better that way and I don't drive away people with my verbosity.

But I am not going to post less -- just not feel the internal/external pressure to post EVERY DAY. With Dani around, I have more than enough help to make next year better.

That said, organization is key. I am really going to work on getting myself in a helpful routine. I have found I do a lot better when I review a novel right after reading. I also do better when I try to hold to a loose reading plan. Not a schedule, but an idea of things I definitely need to prioritize in that month.

For the last month of this year, I plan to read and review:

In the gleaming heights of Victorian London, a world of deception awaits an unconventional Society lady whose taste for adventure makes her a most formidable adversary . . .

Though Society demands that I make a good marriage, I, Cherry St. Croix, have neither the time nor the interest. I am on the trail of a murder with no victim, a mystery with no motive, and the key to an alchemical formula that could be my family's legacy.

Yet the world is not so kind as to let me pursue simple murder and uncomplicated bounties. Above the foggy drift, an earl insists on my attention, while my friends watch my increasingly desperate attempts to remain my own woman. From the silken demands of the Midnight Menagerie—to whose dangerously seductive ringmaster I owe a debt—to the rigorous pressures of the peerage, all are conspiring to place before me a choice that will forever change my life.

Gilded by Karina Cooper (St. Croix Chronicles #2)
The second in a romance steampunk series I find myself enjoying more than anticipated.

The Raven's Heart by Jesse Blackadder
LGBT and genderbending history! You know that I signed onto this blog tour as soon as I could finish reading the summary. It looks and sounds fascinating -- plus a fresh POV on English history is always wanted.
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