Monday, June 30, 2014

Updates!


Happy Monday bookworms!

Well, or at least as happy as Monday can be :). I'm here to give you a couple of updates.

You probably already saw the New Member Portal. If you want to invite someone to the book club, send them to that page! If you don't want to link them directly to it, there's a little link in the right hand side bar that says "New? Start here!" and that will take them to the same place.

Make sure you read the changes to the Top Commenter Incentive Program. It's still essentially the same, but I wanted to clarify some of the rules to make sure everyone understood. Especially now that we have more members participating.

Vlog going up tomorrow! I'll vlog the winner of this month's gift card.

Also, we now have a Google Plus page! If you'd like to follow us there, they'll be a button in the right hand sidebar shortly. It's bare bones now, but I'll update it soon. Stay tuned for a slight revamp of our site as well :).




New to our book club? Welcome! Here are your first steps:


You'll definitely want to do this first. Signing up for our mailing list guarantees that you'll know what we're reading next, and that you'll get any announcements throughout the month! I only send 1-2 emails a month, so there's no worry about spam. I promise! While at the Mail Chimp site, make sure to fully fill out your profile! Your emails there are what I use for Spotlight emails.

* Find a way to follow this blog!
In the right hand side bar, you'll find link buttons. Feel free to follow via RSS, BlogLovin', Google Plus, or any other way that fits your needs best. The important part is that you don't miss a post! 

Have a Facebook profile? I can add you to our group on there too! Simply shoot me an email from whichever account you link to Facebook, and I'll add you.

* Get situated on Disqus!
Our discussion threads us Disqus as their basis. It easily allows you reply to people, and keeps comments sorted in their respective discussion sections. Sign up! That way you'll get an email whenever someone responds to you, and you can stop back in!

* Look in the right hand sidebar for what we're reading this month. 
I'll always keep the picture updated to what our current read is. If you missed a discussion post at any point, simply type the name of the book into the search bar at the bottom of the page! It'll bring up all the past posts.

Have fun, and happy reading!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Antigoddess - Final Discussion Post

I know this didn't go up yesterday, and you're probably all waiting anxiously to talk about the ending of this book! My apologies for all the feelings you have wrapped up inside you, my bookish friends. Let me give you a place to talk about them, shall I?

It's that time again, time to finish up our discussion of Antigoddess.

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Discussion Questions:

I know you're so very eager to talk about the ending, so let's gush like crazy! What did you think about the climatic fight between the gods? Was it what you were expecting? Do you feel like Cassandra came into her own? What about Athena? I know you're all hurting too, so go ahead, we'll mourn with you. What do you think about the death of Aiden?

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Don't forget that we love to hear your thoughts, but try to leave spoilers behind if you've read ahead! I, and your fellow book club members, thank you.

This is your last chance to put some questions out to Kendare! They'll be heading over to her this coming Wednesday. Thought of something you want to ask? Put them here

***

My Thoughts?

I seriously don't even know what to write! I'm pretty sure that my mouth was hanging open for a good majority of the end of the book. First all, I'll admit that I was slightly pissed when Cass and Aiden just decided to take off. My brain refused to wrap itself around the fact that they wouldn't stay and fight. Color me surprised when they came back, and that fight was all sorts of crazy! Poseidon is terrifying, Aphrodite is absolutely insane, and Hera is still just as violent as ever. I was so impressed by the fact that Athena fought so bravely. I love her more than ever.

In my opinion, Cassandra is still holding back. I'll forgive her for it, but it's obvious she has so much power hiding inside her. I swear, I almost wanted to blame her for the fact that our poor Aiden (Apollo) is no longer alive. I feel like she could've fought harder. Is it petty? Probably. I just loved that boy. My thoughts on the matter though? I have a sneaky suspicion he's not really gone. I can't tell you why I think so but... well... I'm overly optimistic anyway.

I loved this book! I can't wait for the next one :).


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Member of the Month - Kari Recommends...

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Well it's the end of the month, and that means it's almost time for Kari's reign as our Bookishly Delighted Spotlight member to come to an end. If you missed her interview, don't forget to go visit and say hi!

That does mean it's time to choose someone new! I'll be sending out an email very soon. In the meantime, we'll round out the month by sharing Kari's favorite books with you! Here's hoping you find something new, and awesome, to read.



Five Favorite Books:
I'm going to cheat (I wouldn't cheat on the 1 word description, yet I cheat everywhere else. Oh, yeah.) and not include ones I've already mentioned in the interview, but the ones listed there are totally favorites too.


1. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult: One of the single most amazing and impacting books I have ever read, but I probably couldn't stand to reread it because it left me such a broken, emotional mess. It also really kick started my Jodi Picoult obsession and except her very first 2 books, I've now read every single title she has put out. But this one still takes the cake

2. In Honor by Jessi Kirby: Rusty pretty much made this book for me. He's kind of a jerk, but also pretty sexy, and just that right amount of broken that totally does it for me. There's so much awesome in this book, and such a big story told in a pretty short word count. It's impressive, actually.

3. Pivot Point by Kasie West: Technically, anything by this amazing woman, but we'll go with her debut for this list. The voice is stunning, the writing so smooth, and I even snuck pages at work I was so obsessed with this story. It's easy to fall into, and refuses to let you go. Actually, every Kasie book does that.

4. Honor Reclaimed by Tonya Burrows: SETH. Which might have no meaning to any of you, which means you should pick it up so you find out (bonus if you already read her books, or have read any of her Wilde brothers Brazen books, since you see Seth in those). But this man was an Afghanistan prisoner of war, that finally gets released. Now, he's trying to fix himself, get his head back on right, and he ends up being sent back to Afghanistan. I have a probably unhealthy love for broken guys, and he just might take the cake. This book has suspense, drama, action and adventure, plus a hefty dose of romance, passion and some dang hot sexy scenes. Unf.

5. The Program by Suzanne Young: Again, anything by this author is well worth it, but we'll target this title for right now. It's so insanely romantic, even while it's so depressing. But considering it's about a suicide epidemic and a Program that tries to "Treat" it, depressing goes with the territory. One of my favorite scenes ever is in this book, and if you read it, bonus points to you if you can guess which one. But it has so much between the lines, and it is one of those almost insane kind of love stories that really sort of rips your heart to shreds with how painful but beautiful it is.


Monday, June 23, 2014

July is novella month!


If you've been paying attention to the calendar, you know that we're nearing the end of the month already! Which means you're probably wondering, "Hey, Jessica, where is our poll for next month's book?" and I wouldn't blame you. Don't despair! I've got your answer right here.

I'm officially declaring the month of July to be novella month! I know not everyone has the time to read a whole book, even if it's split up over a month. So, in order to give you a chance to participate, we'll be reading four shorter books in July! I've picked very different books, to entice people from all reading groups. 

Now, I've done a ton of research (seriously, you have no idea how many reviews I've read) and I've chosen four books that I think you'll love! Here's what we'll be reading in July.

Click the books to be taken to Amazon. These are all only available online, but all of them are between $.99 and $2.99 in price.


June 30th - July 6th * John Connolly The Wanderer in Unknown Realms
“Books alter men, and men, in their turn, alter worlds.”

Soter is a man who has been haunted by World War I. But when he’s sent to investigate the disappearance of Lionel Maudling, the owner of a grand country house whose heir may be accused for his death, he encounters a home that will lead him to nightmares he could have never imagined.

Maudling’s estate houses countless books of every sort—histories, dramas, scientific treatises. But none seems to offer Soter any hint to Maudling’s whereabouts, until he’s led to an arcane London bookseller where the reclusive scholar made his last purchase. What Soter finds at the end of a twisted maze of clues is a book like no other, with a legacy that will put everything he knows in danger…

An inventive horror novella from internationally bestselling author John Connolly, this is a story of madness, of obsession, and of books’ power to change the world.

July 7th - July 13th * Julia London The Bridesmaid
Getting her to the wedding on time is the least of his worries...

Kate Preston just moved to New York, but she has to get back to Seattle in time for her best friend's wedding. Joe Firretti is moving to Seattle, and has to get there in time or risk losing his new job. But fate's got a sense of humor.

Kate goes from rubbing elbows on a plane with a gorgeous but irritating strange (doggone armrest hog) to sharing one travel disaster after another with him on four wheels. Joe thought he had his future figured out, but sometimes fates has to knock you over the head pretty hard before you see what opportunity is standing in front of you...in a really god-awful poufy bridesmaid dress.

July 14th - July 20th * Kealan Patrick Burke Jack & Jill
When they were kids, Gillian and John used to visit the local cemetery every Sunday after church. It was a curious place for children to frequent, but they had their reasons. The main attraction was the lofty hill that separated the cemetery from the elementary school, and the act of tumbling down it like Jack and Jill was a ritualistic escape from the abuse they were suffering at their father's hands.

It was an escape that lasted only until John's tragic death.

Now, Gillian is all grown up. Married with two children, she has managed over the years to force the trauma of her nightmarish childhood into the darkest recesses of her mind.

But lately there are dreams, and in them Gillian sees impossibly vivid reenactments of the horrors she endured as a child. Nightly, she sees John die all over again, only not in the way she remembers.

And something else is in those dreams, stalking her, a terrible figure with wire-hanger hands and a plastic bag wrapped around its rotten face. A monster whose reach starts to extend beyond the boundaries of sleep into the waking world, threatening everything Gillian holds dear.

A monster she once called Daddy.

July 21st - July 27th * Frank Tuttle The Mister Trophy
A troll’s missing head could cause Markhat to lose his own.

A Markhat story.

All the finder Markhat wanted was a beer at Eddie’s. Instead he gets a case that will bring him face to fang with crazed, blood-craving halfdead, a trio of vengeful Troll warriors, and Mama Hog’s backstreet magic. Plus, the possible resurgence of the Troll War.

All right in his own none-too-quiet neighborhood.

Through the town of Rannit’s narrow alleys and mean streets, Markhat tries to stay one step ahead of disaster. And ignore Mama Hog’s dire warnings that this time, the head that rolls could be his own.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Antigoddess - Discussion Post #3

See, I told you I'd put this week's post up on time. *pats myself on the back* Hey, I try. I'll grant you the fact that I literally just finished the last chapter for this week, right before I sat down to post this. Still, it's going up!

Let's talk Antigoddess!

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Discussion Questions:

New thoughts on Cassandra and Aiden's relationship? So many feelings going on between the two of them! Am I right?

How are you feeling about the other characters now? Still loving Athena and Odysseus?

We're nearing the end of the book, and that means it's prediction time. Pull your best Cassandra, and give us your glimpse into what might happen at the end!

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Don't forget that we love to hear your thoughts, but try to leave spoilers behind if you've read ahead! I, and your fellow book club members, thank you.

Also don't forget that we're collecting questions for Kendare! Put them here. Trust me, you can even ask her what her favorite snack is if you're curious ;).

***

My Thoughts?

So many FEELS! I was kind of bowled over by this set of chapters, and it took all my willpower not to keep reading on to the end. Athena is still, by far, my favorite character. She's so strong, and fierce, and sad. I know I'm answering the questions above out of order, but I don't care! I just want Odysseus to wrap her up in his arms, and for everything else to melt away. It sucks so much that they're stuck in this situation. I don't want her to die. I don't want him to loose her. I want... well hell... I want a happy ending.

As for Cassandra and Aiden, I'm on the fence about how I feel. You'll recall last week I was a little nitpicky about how blase she was about the whole "Hey, I'm a god!" thing. Now? I'm really sad. He isn't a bad guy, and he had to hide a lot to keep her safe, so I don't think he deserves to be written off so easily. It breaks my heart. I sincerely hope that they all make it through this in one piece, and that there are all kinds of lovey kissing scenes! Oh, and random side note? I absolutely loved the Halloween costumes in these chapters. I'd probably be dressed as Jack the Ripper though.

What is coming at the ending, you ask? I have no flipping idea. I hope it's not a huge cliffhanger that keeps from seeing an epic fight between the gods. If the small scuffle and Athena and Apollo had is any indication, there's big things coming around the bend. They are strong, and it doesn't matter that it's being hampered by the fact that they're dying. I've said it before, I'll say it again. I just want happy, lovey dovey kissing scenes. I probably won't get them, but a girl can dream.

*swoon*


Monday, June 16, 2014

Special Announcement time! Are you ready?



It's time! Time to announce what this month's special surprise is.

One thing that I love about being a book blogger is getting to interact with authors. A lot of us are lucky enough to have the chance to chit chat about books with the people that wrote them, and it's a great feeling! So I wanted to bring that feeling to all you.

Thanks to Kari, and her ever present charisma, this month's surprise is...


Kendare answers YOUR questions!

Yes lovely book clubbers, the author herself is willing to answer your questions. Have you been reading Antigoddess and wondering "Why don't they just KISS already?" or thinking "Is Hera really all that evil?". Well here's your chance to ask Kendare. Give her your best shot!

Feel free to add questions to this post as often as you think of them. We'll be forwarding them to Kendare at the end of the month, once the book is finished, for her to answer!

Super huge hugs to both Kendare and Kari. You guys rock!


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Antigoddess - Discussion Post #2


So I'm a little behind this weekend. All sorts of things have been happening, all good things, and I just got a little distracted :). I know today is Father's Day and most of you are probably out and about with the awesome men in your lives. Feel free to pop back in and comment any time this week! I promise the next discussion post will go up on Saturday, as scheduled.

Let's start our chat about Antigoddess.

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Discussion Questions:

What are your opinions on Athena and Hermes as main characters? Are they holding your interest?

In these last few chapters, so many things have happened! What do you think about Cassandra's reaction to Aiden's confession? Agree with it? Disagree with it?

Where do you think Kendare Blake is taking us next?

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Don't forget that we love to hear your thoughts, but try to leave spoilers behind if you've read ahead! I, and your fellow book club members, thank you.

***

My Thoughts?

This story is all kinds of crazy, but in a good way. I'm loving Athena's fire, and her ability to persevere even when things seem bleak. I'm kind of on the fence about Hermes. He seems like he might be the type of character who changes sides at some point. I know that he and Athena have a "friendship" going on right now, but... well.. I'm not a trusting person when it comes to characters. Lol. I'm always wary.

In terms of Cassandra's reaction to Aiden, it honestly made me laugh. If I were here, and he straight up told me "Hi, I'm a God! And I have been the entire time we've been together!", I think I'd be a little more stressed out. The reason I'm willing to forgive her though is that her visions are getting intense. Maybe she's more open to all the weirdness that has ensued, simply because of that fact. I wouldn't want to be the one with those visions. They are just brutal. I'm wondering how it's going to affect her life coming up.

Which leads me to where I think the story is going. I really feel like there's going to be a much more epic showdown in the chapters to come. I was so excited when Hera appeared, and a little disappointed when she wasn't as bad-ass as I'd hoped. Still, she played it smart. I think she's going to attack with a vengeance once she gets the rest of her group together. I can only hope that Athena and Hermes find their group too. It's going to be amazing!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Each month one of you, lovely members that you are, will be the member of the month! Your feature will include an interview with you, a picture of you (if you choose to provide one), and a list of five of your favorite book recommendations!

Why go through all the trouble? The best part about book clubs is getting to know one another. To bond over a mutual love of books. Since we're online only, it takes away from the group dynamic a bit. I want to build a community of readers, and what better way than to give people the chance to put a face to the people that they're chatting with?

When it is your month, I'll send you an email containing your spotlight interview and further instructions. Once again, thanks for being a member!


Past Spotlight Members
June 2014 - Kari Olson *Interview *Book Recs
July 2014 - Tina Barak *Inteview *Book Recs
August 2014 - Keri Wiley *Interview *Book Recs 
September 2014 - Tricia Ballard *Interview *Book Recs


Friday, June 6, 2014

Antigoddess - Discussion Post #1


Well, you've made it to Friday! Congratulations! 

As I mentioned before, I'm putting this post up now because I'll be busy all weekend :). My brother is on leave from the Army, and so the weekend shall be all about him. Other than obligatory Facebook posts and pictures, I probably won't be online much. So chat away! I'll stop in when I can!

Let's start our chat about Antigoddess.

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Discussion Questions:

Before anything else, I'm curious: is this your first adventure into YA? With all the craziness going around regarding adults reading YA, I thought I'd throw it out there. Are you a YA reader?

How do you feel about the story line so far? Does it catch your interest, or do you feel lost?

Show of hands, who out there loves Greek myths and legends?

What do you think of Kendare Blake's writing style so far?

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Don't forget that we love to hear your thoughts, but try to leave spoilers behind if you've read ahead! I, and your fellow book club members, thank you.

***

My Thoughts?

To keep myself from going off on a three page rant about the uninformed piece of junk that calls itself an article going around, I'll simply say this: Read what you want. I personally love YA fiction. It's fun to get lost in, there are amazing stories out there, and a lot of it still resonates with me even now that I'm nearing 30. I don't think you have to be a teen to appreciate it. I just think you have to be willing to open up your mind.

As far as Antigoddess goes, I'll admit that the first time I tried to read this book I was lost in these first few chapters. At the time, I was trying to read this for a review and reading way too quickly. This time I was able to savor the words on the page, and step back to see the whole picture. I'm a fan of Greek myths and legends, so seeing Gods and Goddesses flit around on the page in teenage human form is pretty cool. I sense something big is coming around the bend, and the way that Chapter 5 ended has me wishing I could read on. I'll resist. Or at least I'll try, but man. 

Which means of course that I do like Kendare Blake's writing style! I may be a little biased because I've read other books by her, but I love that she has the power to evoke a picture of the setting in my mind as I read. Her characters always feel solid to me, and this is no exception. If things continue on as they are now, I'll have to give in and read on to the end. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Member of the Month!

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It's Wednesday! That means you've made it half way through the week, and you deserve a pat on the back. Or some chocolate. Definitely some chocolate.

I'm happy to announce our first Bookishly Delighted Spotlight member, the lovely Kari!



I'm going to embarrass the heck out of her for a second, and tell you that she's a hilarious and absolutely amazing person! We actually met on Twitter when our mutual love of books, and her love of promoting authors, led us to work together on a book tour website. The rest, as they say, is history!

We've never actually met in person, mind you. We do however chat on the phone as often as our crazy lives will allow, and Kari regales me with stories about her adorable (and totally manipulative... damn those eyes...) dog, Toby.

I'll shut up now and get to her interview. Later on in the month Kari has worked to orchestrate a surprise for you all, and then you'll see a list of some of her favorite books! Here on Bookishly Delighted, we love our members. It's the truth.





* If you had to describe yourself in just one word, what would it be?
Ridiculous.


* Okay now that you have us in suspense, elaborate! Why did you pick that specific word?
Because it seemed a little egotistical to simply say "Kari" even though that probably sums it up. And "Ab-addicted" seems like it's technically two words. Also, I really am my own brand of ridiculous. And I wonder where my dog gets it from. Huh.


* Inquiring minds want to know, why did you join Bookishly Delighted?
Jessica made me. No, not really. Well, probably kind of. But also, I'm a huge book nerd, and I always love to talk about books, especially ones I am really in to.


* What's your favorite type of book to get lost in?
Something that will rip my heart out. Funny and happy are great and all, but I really loved to be sucked in, so emotionally invested and probably almost in physical pain for what the character(s) are going through that I just can't walk away until I'm done. and even then usually I end up thinking about them for days after I'm done. Bonus points if the book makes me cry - I rarely do.


* Do you have any other bookish hobbies besides participating in the book club?
I'm an Assistant Editor for Heather Howland at Entangled Publishing. It's pretty much the best job ever. I get to read books by writers I love, and help shape them and make them better, and get paid for it. I edit YA, NA, and category romances (both Brazen - high heat woo! and the upcoming Lovestruck line). I also spend way too much time playing with and fighting with my dog, Toby, who is the cutest little brat on the face of the planet. He drives me crazy, but I can't imagine life without him. He's also almost 16, and has a huge spleen mass that will likely end up rupturing eventually, but I'm in denial about all that. 


* Where might we find you reading?
In my bed. Or in my recliner. Sometimes at my desk. 


* Who's your favorite male lead in a book? Your favorite female lead?
I think I'll have to go with Travis from Something Like Normal by Trish Doller. He's so freaky sexy to me, and there is something so honestly unfiltered about his mindset ("I'm harder than trigonometry", I mean come on, so awesome). He's also a little bit broken, a whole lot of loyal and determined, and a crazy mess of awesome. I'm going to cheat on this one and say a super close second is Nate from Tempted by the Solider by Nicolette Day. I should say I did help edit this one, but this book has such a special place in my heart, and that's very largely due to Nate. He's so broken and in pain and such a freaking mess you just root so dang hard for him to finally get his head together. Full disclosure, this book even made me tear up. 

As for female lead... most definitely Alice from Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy (let it be said, Harvey is also in the top male leads list). Alice is prickly, and not really all that nice of a person, but she is so determined, and has this crazy strength, and dang it she was given a really crappy hand and she actually does what so many of us only think about. I connected so hard to this girl, and had crazy respect for her, even when she was at her worst. (Which also means do not be shocked when this shows up in a future poll to pick the next month's book.)


* What are you reading right now?
2 submissions, and 1 manuscript to do first pass edit on - an upcoming Katee Robert book that I freaking love. I've got Beware the Wild by Natalie Parker cued up to read when I have some reading down time. 


* Any final thoughts?
I sadly don't get to participate as much as I'd like, since between my day job in medicine and the editing, I keep pretty busy. But if you follow me on twitter (@flamingo1325) I can promise a ridiculous amount of pictures of hot men (hey, I have to inspire my romance authors!), my crazy awesome adorable rotten dog, and the drunk cupcakes I regularly bake. Yes. Drunk cupcakes. Cupcakes with various kinds of alcohol in them. They are pretty awesome.



Toby says thanks for stopping by to read about Kari! 
Also he wants you to bring him treats. Lots and lots of treats.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

House Cleaning + New Features!


Well, it's a new month! If you haven't already received it, the first June Newsletter is on its way! It'll give you the reading breakdown for Antigoddess by Kendare Blake to get you all set to start reading tomorrow. How exciting is that?

Now let's get some house cleaning stuff done, and then I'll be announcing a new feature. Are you ready?

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This month's top commenter was Tina!

Congratulations my friend! You contributed great things to May's book discussions, and in return you'll be receiving a $10 Amazon Gift Card to spend on anything you wish. Perhaps this new book? :)

***

Don't forget, you can be the Top Commenter too! Check out the main page for that to see how to get points, and get started!

***

Periodically I need to see how many of you out there are actually getting access to these posts. For my own sanity, please leave a comment on this post if you have read it! Remember,  it's vital that you find a way to follow this blog. I only send out two newsletters a month, and everything else will pop up on here :).

***


Here's the first new feature that I'll be launching this month! From this point forward, until we run out of participants of course, I'll be featuring one of you for the month! You feature will include a picture of you (if you choose to provide one), a mini interview, and a list of your favorite books.

Why go through all the trouble? The best part about book clubs is getting to know new readers! Since we're online, it takes away from the group dynamic a little bit. I want to give everyone the opportunity to get to know you and put a face to your brilliant comments :).

You can, of course, always choose not to participate. When it's your month I'll let you know.

Keep an eye out for the first Spotlight post this week!




Curious what we've already read?