Brilliantly Novel Has Officially Moved!

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It just dawned on me that not all of you follow me on Twitter. This is not all that important, except for the fact that some of you may have missed the big announcement!

Brilliantly Novel Has Officially Moved!

You may remember that one of my Blogging Resolutions for 2015 was to take the blog self-hosted. Well, I did it! With the assistance of the amazing Ashley from Creative Whim, Brilliantly Novel was packed up and moved to a new location. You can now find all of my bookish adventures at:

brilliantlynovel.com

If you happened to have missed yesterday’s post (there’s a Giveaway!), why don’t you go ahead and head on over to check the place out. It’s pretty sweet, if I do say so myself ;)

It’s Moving Day!!!

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Just a little note to say that I DID IT!!!! I took the plunge, bit the bullet, and generally went through the motions to become self-hosted! YAY!!!

So today is the day that the movers came, packed up all of my quotes, reviews, features, and other miscellaneous odds ‘n ends, and hauled them over to my new place. I’m gonna follow them over there in just a little bit to do some unpacking, maybe shove a few boxes in the guest room, and make the place passably acceptable for company because I was thinking about having a little house warming party tomorrow. Nothing too big. Just a few of us hanging out, maybe some snacks. Possibly a giveaway or two. I think it’ll be fun! You’re definitely going to want to make an appearance ;)

December Book Haul or Why I Need to Have a Book Buying Ban

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I’ve never really been one to keep track of the books that I acquire each month (although maybe I should have), but since I’m home sick today and my Book Outlet Boxing Day order FINALLY arrived, I thought I’d take a look back at what I added to my shelves in December. Let’s see what I got :)

xmas haul

  1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  2. The Way of Shadows (Night Angel #1) by Brent Weeks
  3. Shadows Edge (Night Angel #2) by Brent Weeks
  4. Beyond the Shadows (Night Angel #3) by Brent Weeks
  5. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart ~ THANK YOU HEATHER!!!

dec one click

  1. The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings
  2. Panic by Lauren Oliver
  3. Princess of Thorns by Stacy Jay
  4. Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper
  5. Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern
  6. Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  7. Vicious by V.E. Schwab
  8. The Walled City by Ryan Graudin
  9. Wicked by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  10. Zac & Mia by A.J. Betts

book outlet boxing day haul

  1. Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn
  2. The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan
  3. City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster
  4. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  5. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  6. Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger
  7. Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
  8. The Nightmare Dilemma (The Arkwell Academy #2) by Mindee Arnett
  9. Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
  10. Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay
  11. On the Road to Find Out by Rachel Toor
  12. Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong
  13. Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo
  14. Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo
  15. Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo
  16. Transparent by Natalie Whipple

See why I need to have a book buying ban?

2015 Re-Read Challenge

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Re-Read Challenge

The lovely ladies over at So Obsessed With and Belle of the Literati are hosting a Re-Read Challenge for 2015! I thought it would go along swimmingly with the Finish the Series Challenge that I’m doing (I could definitely benefit from revisiting a few of the first books), so I’m totally gonna do it. Check out the deets:

The Re-Read Challenge Details

  1. This challenge will run from January 1, 2015 – December 31, 2015. The sign-up linky will remain open until the end of January, but join at any time by adding your intro post to any monthly re-read recap linky.
  2. Any genre, length or format of book counts, as long as it’s a re-read.
  3. We will have two giveaways – one at the six-month point and one at the end of the year. Giveaway details posted closer to the halfway point!
  4. You don’t have to follow our blogs to participate or be entered in the giveaways.

How You Sign Up

  1. Write a post about joining The 2015 Re-Read Challenge on your blog. In the post, include the banner, a link back to our sign-up page, the number of books you’d like to re-read and list some books you’re hoping to re-read for the challenge.
  2. Add the direct link to your sign-up post in the linky.
  3. Optional: Put the challenge button in your sidebar.
  4. DONE. It’s as easy as that to get started.

How You Participate

  1. Re-read some books!
  2. In the first week of each month, we will post a re-read recap on Belle of the Literati and So Obsessed With that includes a linky that will be open all month. Write a post detailing what you re-read the last month, and add the direct link to our linky to be entered in our giveaways.
  3. If you write any re-read reviews (it’s totally optional!), add those to the monthly linky for additional entries (one per post) in our giveaways.
  4. If you miss a monthly post, just link up your reviews and/or recap in the linky during the next month.

Sounds easy enough, right? I though so too. I think I’d like to try and re-read at least 12 books by the end of the year (one each month). Check ‘em out:

reread challenge

  1. Angelfall by Susan Ee
  2. Easy by Tamara Webber
  3. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
  4. Legend by Marie Lu
  5. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  6. Partials by Dan Wells
  7. Prodigy (Legend #2) by Marie Lu
  8. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  9. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
  10. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
  11. Splintered by A.G. Howard
  12. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Of course this list is subject to change, but I really only see it growing in size ;)

Do you like to re-read? Join the Challenge!

2105 Blogging Resolutions

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HNY

I know I’m a day late to the party, but I was a total bum yesterday and it was GLORIOUS! I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday and is ready to ROCK IT in 2015!

New Year’s Day is a magical day where the slates are wiped clean, everything is shiny and new, and the possibilities are endless! I spent mine with an incredible urge to clean and reorganize ALL THE THINGS, but managed to restrain myself (somewhat). Really, after performing some obligatory Grown-Up Things, the husband and I spent some quality time together—him playing games on the new XBox 360 I got him for Christmas, while I putzed around on my laptop trying to figure out the meaning of life. No, not really. I mean, he was playing his video games, but I was really buying more books that I don’t need and thinking about my goals and aspirations for the blog this year. Resolutions, if you will. Here’s what I came up with:

2015BR

♥ Book Buying Ban

  • You guys. My to-read pile runneth over. Like, way, WAY over. According to my To-Read shelf on Library Thing, I have 150 books on my bookshelves ALONE that I have yet to read (that’s 3 YEARS worth of Goodreads Reading Challenges!) —and that DOESN’T include the books that I’ve ordered that haven’t come in yet. Not to mention my Kindle. I don’t even want to talk about what’s on my Kindle. Basically, I need to do something about all of this craziness, and I have a plan, but we’ll talk about it later.

♥ Go Self-Hosted

  • I’ve been thinking about this for a little while now and I think I’m gonna go for it. No, I’m DEFINITELY gonna go for it. There’s so much more freedom when you have a self-hosted blog (or so I’m finding out) and the creative options seem to be endless. The process itself appears to be a bit daunting, but I’ve been talking to Ashley over at Creative Whim and she has a Self-Hosting-Hand-Holding service (it’s not really called that) that makes it seem not so scary. Plus her other blog, Nose Graze, has tips and tricks that answer ALL KINDS of questions that you may have about coding or just blogging in general. In other words, she’s pretty awesome :)

♥ Learn Basic Coding

  • If I’m going to have a self-hosted blog and attempt to be all fancy and stuff, I should at least know a little bit about how to tweak my site and posts to make them, well, fancy and stuff. I found this great FREE site called Codecademy that teaches you how to code at your own pace. I’ve done the first lesson and, so far, it seems to be super user friendly and easy to understand.

♥ Be a Better Commenter

  • This is a resolution that I have every year. I think I’ve improved over time, but I still think—no, I KNOW I can do better.

♥ Participate in at Least One Blog Hop

♥ Participate in at Least One Readathon

  • Doing the Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon was probably the highlight of my bookish year last year! It was SO MUCH FUN! They hold the readathon twice a year, the next one being on April 15, 2015. I don’t know if I’ll be able to participate in both, but I DEFINITELY want to do at least one of them. I already have a game plan and everything :D

♥ Review at Least 1/2 of the Books I Read

  • I’m notorious for reading a book, loving it, and then. . .not reviewing it. So, in an effort to combat that, from now on I’m going to attempt to sit down and review a book as soon as I finish reading a it. Even if I have to hand-write the review and type it up later, I want to be able to capture all the feels before they run away and write the best review possible. Now, I’m not silly enough to think that I’ll do it for EVERY book that I read—that’s why I’m setting my sights on half. Nobody likes to set themselves up for failure, after all.

♥ No More ARCs

  • Yep, you read that right. I’m giving up reading ARCs. They stress me out. A LOT. I like the idea of being one of those sophisticated book blogs who requests ARCs, gets approved for them, and then writes terribly clever reviews to send off to the publishers. Yeah, that’s SO not me. I tried the whole advanced reader copy thing and it kind of blew up in my face. Because I’m a mood reader I don’t do well with reading on a timeline, which I found out the hard way by missing all kinds of release date deadlines. Missing the deadlines stressed me out. And made me feel incredibly guilty. Reading should NOT be stressful. Or guilt inducing. So I’m not going to do it anymore. No. More. ARCs.

♥ Be Myself / Do What Works For Me

  • I’ve been blogging for just over three years now and I have yet to find my groove. Largely I think this is because I’ve been going about it all wrong. Well, all wrong for ME. I’ve been trying to blog like everyone else and I just can’t keep up. I’m not saying that I haven’t learned a lot of great things from a lot of great blogs, I’m just saying that reading 100 books a year and posting every day (or close to it) is something that I’m just not capable of. It took me a looooooong time to come to terms with this, and now that I finally have, I’ve got some ideas that I’m pretty excited about trying out this year. I’m going to be me, only LOUDER.

♥ Post More Consistently

  • And by “more consistently” I don’t mean “every day” (see above). I just mean, like at least once or twice a week—instead of once or twice a month. Hopefully implementing the ideas I have will make this more than doable :)

♥ Take Breaks

  • I realize that this is exactly the opposite of what I just said, but hear me out. I do want to post more regularly than I have been, but I also need to learn that it’s okay to take a break if I need one. That taking a breather may actually increase creativity. And that the world will not come to a screeching halt if I don’t have time to sit down with my laptop for a couple of days.

♥ Have Fun

  • This probably seems like an obvious statement, but sometimes I think I take myself a wee bit too seriously. Therefore, henceforth I am going to try and keep things light and guilty-free around here! I’m going to try and remember that this is a HOBBY that I ENJOY doing, not a JOB that I HAVE to do. And, most importantly, I’m just going to try and have FUN with it all.

2015RC♥ Goodreads Reading Challenge

  • This year I have pledged to read 50 books in the Goodreads Reading Challenge. I don’t think this will be a problem considering I’ve surpassed that number of books read the past two years in a row ;)

♥ Finish the Series Challenge

  • I saw this challenge over on Cook’s Reviews and thought that it would be a great way to help whittle down some of my TBR pile. I have SO MANY series that I’ve started but haven’t finished that it’s kind of ridiculous and I figured that participating in this challenge would motivate me to see how they all end. The original challenge can be seen here. The rules are as follows:
    • You must FINISH reading the series in order for them to count.
    • If the series isn’t complete yet, you must read up to the most recently published book in said series.
    • Novellas are optional.
    • You do not have to have started the series in 2015, you just need finish it before December31, 2015.
    • The series has to have at least 2 books out prior to December of 2015.
  • There are four different levels of completion that you can aim for:
    • Bronze: 1-3 completed series
    • Silver: 4-6 completed series
    • Gold: 7-11 completed series
    • Platinum: 12 or more completed series
  • I think I’m gonna go for the GOLD and attempt to finish the following series by the end of the year:
  • Bonus ~ Series that I haven’t started yet, but want to read this year:

2015waybr

Top 10 Books of 2014

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Sooooo, this list was harder to make than it should have been. As I looked back at the books I had read this year I was struck with the realization that, while I liked most of the books that I read, very few of them really WOWED me. I don’t know, maybe my expectations were a little to high—I was really craving something spectacular. Sadly, most of my reads in 2014 fell just short of that.

That being said, there were a handful books that did reach my ridiculously high-set bar. But, because their numbers were few, ranking them was SUPER difficult to do. So, the moral of the story is this: If a book made its way onto this list it was REALLY GOOD. Amazing even. Recommendation worthy for sure. Basically, I would pimp these books out to anyone who cares to listen to me shouting their praises from my rooftop. Okay, maybe not my rooftop—because that’s just dangerous—but you know what I mean :)

As usual, the books on this list are ones that I READ this year, but that doesn’t mean that they were necessarily published in 2014 alone. Clicking on each book’s graphic will take you to its description on Goodreads.

top102014.png

10Jackaby

Robert Downey Jr.’s version of Sherlock Holmes meets Supernatural in the best way possible. This book was so much fun!

9familiarthings2

This book was deliciously witchy! It’s the perfect read for Halloween :)

8openroadsummer2

Great road trip book. Also, probably the best fictional friendship of all time.

7cityofheavenlyfire

I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S OVER! This one made me cry for unexpected reasons.

6cress

I swear this series gets better with each book that comes out.

5alittlesomethingdifferent

This is the most ADORABLE book that has ever been written. EVER.

4athousandpiecesofyou2

Such an amazing concept. Also, SO ROMANTIC. I can’t wait for the next book!

3snowlikeashes2

Most unique world building EVER. Plus, a totally kick-ass heroine. Definitely re-reading this next year.

2afterido2

OMG, THE FEELS. This one got to me. Bad. And it gave me a lot to think about.

1thearchived

If you read my review of this book, you know how much I loved it! It practically left me speechless. Seriously, there are no words to adequately describe the amazingness that is this book—you really just need to read it and experience the awesomeness firsthand ;)

yourtop10

 

The Jolly Blogger Award

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jolly-award

I was nominated for this festive little award by the wonderful Brin Guivera over at Brin’s Book Blog. She is quite a lovely lady and y’all should definitely go check out her blog :) I thought this would be a fun post to do today since it’s Christmas Eve and all, so here we go!

the rules2

1. Answer the twelve questions that have been left for me.

2. Create twelve new questions.

3. Nominate ten lovely bloggers!

brins qs

1. What is on your Christmas Wish list?

Books, obviously ;) But I also really want one of those Keurig K-Cup coffee makers so I can make a hot cup of tea in under a billion years. I love to sip me some chamomile tea before bed, but it’s such a hassle to make!

2. What would be the perfect Christmas?

Hanging out with my family, playing games and watching movies after having a huge Christmas breakfast and opening presents, all while the fire is roaring in the fireplace and Christmas music is playing softly in the background. So, basically last weekend :D

3. What’s your favourite winter make-up look?

We’ve talked about how I kinda suck at being a girl before, so I don’t really have an answer for this one. If nothing else, a little mascara and a little lip gloss go a long way.

4. Do you believe in Santa?

Not anymore, but I love the idea of him.

5. What is your favourite Christmas food or drink?

Hot chocolate and sugar cookies :)

6. Will you be travelling for Christmas, if so where?

Nope. Everyone is coming to my house this year.

7. Would you prefer Christmas with or without snow?

I wouldn’t mind some snow, but no ice please. And, yes, there is a difference.

8. Do you like eggnog?

Actually, I don’t. I can’t exactly say why other than I just don’t like the way it tastes.

9. What is your favourite winter clothing?

Big, comfy hoodies with sleeves long enough to completely cover my hands.

10. Do you leave Santa cookies, if so who eats them?

Back when I was still a believer my parents used to put out cookies and I would bet that my mom was the one who ate them :)

11. What was the best gift you ever received?

When my husband was in the Marines he had to go away for training from time to time. Well this one time, right before Christmas, when he came home he brought me back A WHOLE CASE of Thin Mints. A. Whole. Case. Like, twenty-something boxes of my absolute most favorite Girl Scout cookie, nay, COOKIE in the whole wide world. Best. Gift. Ever.

12. What is your favourite Christmas memory?

One year when I was little, probably 8 or so, my family took a trip to Big Bear Mountain (in California) for Christmas. We rented a log cabin, went on a trail ride through the snow on horseback, rode sleds down the mountain, built a snowman, and made snow angels. It was really magical. We also got our very first Nintendo that year ;)

my qs

1. Which book are you most hoping to find underneath your Christmas tree?

2. Favorite Christmas movie and/or TV Special?

3. Hot Chocolate or Eggnog?

4. What is the sneakiest thing you’ve done to try and find out what gifts you’re getting before Christmas day?

5. Real tree or Artificial tree?

6. Favorite Christmas villain: The Grinch or Ebenezer Scrooge?

7. What book would you most like to GIVE as a gift this Christmas?

8. Of all of your family’s Christmas traditions, which one is your favorite?

9. White Christmas lights or Multi-colored Christmas lights?

10. Favorite Christmas song?

11. Wrapping paper or Gift bags?

12. Do you want to build a snowman?

I nominate2

Books & Cleverness

Books For Thought

Cook’s Reviews

I Think I’m Obsessed

Nut Free Nerd

Spirit of Children’s Literature

Stephanie’s Book Reviews

A Well Read Woman

Woven Magic Books

The Writing Hufflepuff

merry christmas

Book Outlet Black Friday Haul

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It’s FINALLY here!!!!!

Well, technically it was here on Thursday, but this is the first opportunity I’ve had to sit down at the good ol’ laptop to make a post. As you guys know I’m a HUGE fan of bookoutlet.com and how could I not be when they have sales like this?! The Book Outlet Black Friday Sale was off the hook! Not only did they offer 30% off of their already ridiculously low prices, but if you helped spread the word about the sale beforehand, they also gave you a $10 coupon to put towards your purchase! I feel like I’m using a lot of exclamation points, but I can’t help it, it was so exciting! I mean, I got 14 books and it only cost me $36.50, and that INCLUDES SHIPPING! I know, right?! Check out what I got:

black friday 2

black friday 1

Have you read any of these? What should I read first?

Speaking of sales, Book Outlet is having their Boxing Day Sale next Friday (Dec. 26th) and if you help spread the word about it you’ll get 50% OFF of your purchase!!!! So, what are you waiting for? Book it on over to their website, share the love, and save big! :)