Discussion | Reading Atmosphere

We all have our ideal reading atmosphere’s, dedicated areas or spaces that we prefer to read in. We may have a favorite chair, pillow, favorite drinks and snacks and more. I even have preferred sounds I like to listen to when I’m really in the reading zone.

Now, sometimes I don’t listen to anything, but if I am really wanting to get lost in reading then I definitely put in some earbuds and turn something on. One of my favorite things to listen to are ASMR rooms. I’m not one for traditional ASMR sounds but nature sounds, soft music etc is something I enjoy.

I also really like just general ambient sound, with my favorites being either the ocean or rain sounds – they are definitely sounds that are soothing to me so they allow me to immerse myself.

The other thing I turn to, depending on my mood, is music. Sometimes if I know of an artist that fits the mood of the book I’m reading, or a playlist that really lends to the vibe then I will listen away.

What do you guys listen to when reading? Do you prefer silence, or do you like music/sounds like I do?

Happy reading!

Writing Update | 9/8

I figured while 2020 is trying to fill out its bingo board I would talk about something that could serve as a distraction. You know, something to take my mind off things while I hide in my blanket fort.

Writing is actually progressing well! Granted, it’s likely because of the escapism of it all, but I’ve working on an existing as well as started blocking out a new idea that came to me.

I am cautiously optimistic (and getting more optimistic) about NaNoWriMo in November. I would feel even better if 2020 would just take a little break and stop stressing me out.

How’s everyone else’s writing coming?

Happy writing!

Highly Anticipated Releases | Anthologies

Anyone who knows me knows that one of my favorite things to read are short story collections/anthologies. Now, I already have a pile on my TBR that I need to read, but that doesn’t stop me from hearing about upcoming ones and immediately wanting them – so I thought I would share a few of the ones I’m really excited about.

Come On In: 15 Stories about Immigration and Finding Home – From some of the most exciting bestselling and up-and-coming YA authors writing today…journey from Ecuador to New York City and Argentina to Utah…from Australia to Harlem and India to New Jersey…from Fiji, America, Mexico and more… Come On In.

With characters who face random traffic stops, TSA detention, customs anxiety, and the daunting and inspiring journey to new lands…who camp with their extended families, dance at weddings, keep diaries, teach ESL…who give up their rooms for displaced family, decide their own answer to the question “where are you from?” and so much more… Come On In illuminates fifteen of the myriad facets of the immigrant experience, from authors who have been shaped by the journeys they and their families have taken from home—and to find home.

Vampires Never Get Old: Tales with Fresh Bite – In this delicious new collection, you’ll find stories about lurking vampires of social media, rebellious vampires hungry for more than just blood, eager vampires coming out―and going out for their first kill―and other bold, breathtaking, dangerous, dreamy, eerie, iconic, powerful creatures of the night.

Welcome to the evolution of the vampire―and a revolution on the page.

Vampires Never Get Old includes stories by authors both bestselling and acclaimed, including Samira Ahmed, Dhonielle Clayton, Zoraida Córdova and Natalie C. Parker, Tessa Gratton, Heidi Heilig, Julie Murphy, Mark Oshiro, Rebecca Roanhorse, Laura Ruby, Victoria “V. E.” Schwab, and Kayla Whaley.

A Universe of Wishes: A We Need Diverse Books Anthology – In the fourth collaboration with We Need Diverse Books, fifteen award-winning and celebrated diverse authors deliver stories about a princess without need of a prince, a monster long misunderstood, memories that vanish with a spell, and voices that refuse to stay silent in the face of injustice. This powerful and inclusive collection contains a universe of wishes for a braver and more beautiful world.

AUTHORS INCLUDE: Samira Ahmed, Jenni Balch, Libba Bray, Dhonielle Clayton, Zoraida Córdova, Tessa Gratton, Kwame Mbalia, Anna-Marie McLemore, Tochi Onyebuchi, Mark Oshiro, Natalie C. Parker, Rebecca Roanhorse, V. E. Schwab, Tara Sim and Nic Stone.

Are any of these on your radar? What are you looking forward to?

Happy reading!

Reading and Writing Plans | September

I don’t know how it happened, but it’s already September! August was a better reading month for me, so I’m hoping that trend continues.

I definitely am still clearing my half read books, though I got really excited with how much I cleaned up my ‘currently reading’ shelf on Goodreads, but I have a stack that wasn’t listed on Goodreads – so those are next. Beyond that getting caught up on review books is always a priority and I have some great blog tours coming this month.

As for writing, it’s actually been going pretty well. It seems that maybe, just maybe, my muse has returned. Hopefully it will stay through November so I can crush NaNoWriMo this year.

Fingers crossed!

Friday Roundup | Bookish Merch

I’m going to try something new occasionally, hopefully on Friday’s where I’ve decided I want to feature shops and such that make bookish merch. These may be shops I’ve shopped with myself and enjoyed, things other people have suggested to me or even just shops I found where I fell in love with their items and am waiting to order from them when I have a little extra money. So let’s get into the ones I wanted to talk about today!

NekoJinny – This shop doesn’t have a ton of items right now, but what they have I immediately fell in love with. I kind of want all of their stickers, bookmarks and prints. They are definitely going on my watch list.

CPickeringCo – My mom makes me book sleeves, so I haven’t really had a need to buy any but when I found this shop I was definitely in love with some of the colorful prints they carry and their bookmarks are really cute too!

dreamyandco – Not only does this shop have bookish pins, magnetic bookmarks, art prints and more – they have their own box that they send out!

PeanutButterTaco – This shop was recommended to me in one of the bookish groups I’m in and I’ve got to say – I want to buy so many of their bookish stickers and planner stickers in general!

Last but not least I want to give a shout out to Mir over at FangirlPixieJar, who so wonderfully created my banner for the blog. The shop is currently taking a break, but make sure to show some love when the shop opens back up!

Do you have any favorite shops that you purchase bookish merch from? Share some of your favorites with me in the comments!

Writing Update | 8/23

So the last time I really mentioned my writing was near the end of July, where I hadn’t had the best round of Camp NaNoWrimo but I was optimistic about perhaps getting out of the funk I’ve been in.

I can happily say that in the last couple weeks I got inspired to work on a certain story, one that was already in progress. In the last week I’ve managed to add 5700 words and finally feel like I’m getting back in the groove. It’s all very rough because I’m just letting if flow, but it feels very good to be writing again.

I haven’t decided yet if NaNoWriMo this year will be a completely new project, or if I will simply work on something that is existing. We’ll see what ideas the muse has in store for me when November comes.

Anyone else planning on doing NaNoWriMo this year? What are your writing plans?

Happy writing!

Weekend Reading Plans

So where I am it’s already around 3 p.m. in the afternoon on Saturday, but I still thought I would discuss my reading plans for the weekend. I’ve got a lot of ARCs to read and it is ARC August so I’m hoping to make good progress. Since this weekend is projected to be some of the hottest days of the year in my neck of the woods, camping on the couch with a stack of books near the AC is not a bad thing to do.

I’m in the middle of a few different books, so those are definitely top priority on my list. I would really like to tackle my review books because there are so many books I have wanted to request, but haven’t allowed myself to because I want to get more caught up, so the weekends of August will hopefully be devoted to those books (as well as others in my half finished pile).

With that said, wish me luck and it things do well I’ll do an update post to catch up tomorrow evening (fingers crossed)!

Happy reading!

Two Year Blogiversary!

I was debating what I wanted to post today, and going back and forth a bit – but then WordPress notified me that today is actually my Two year blogiversary!

When I first created this blog two years ago, I was trying to get the courage to actually do this thing. I had a lot of self doubt regarding if anyone would read or value my content and that almost made me stop before I even began. What kept me going was wanting to be a part of this community, wanting to share my thoughts and make new friends who I knew I had something in common with.

The first year didn’t see much in the way of posting, I was still very unsure if I could do it and if anything I said would be valuable. Last October I decided I would participate in Book Blogtober and post every single day of the month – and I haven’t stopped posting since. I’ve made it my goal to post at least once every single day and I’m so glad I did.

So here’s where you come in – what would you like to see on the blog going forward? Do you want more reviews, more tags, more writing content? Let me know!

Thank you all for coming on this ride with me. Here’s to two years and hopefully many more!

August Reading and Life Plans

So anyone who follows my content may have noticed that for the last couple months I have been more loose about my planning because mentally I acknowledge I’ve been struggling. I’ve admittedly been in a bit of a reading slump and if you’ve read my NaNoWriMo posts, a writing slump as well. I’m determined to break this cycle and get back in my groove with some planning.

So what is the plan I’ve come up with? I’m not going to be super strict with myself and I am going to simply work on getting back on track. My day job responsibilities have ramped up even though I’m working remotely, so that is a priority and I have to recognize my own limits.

So in short, the goals I am setting for myself are as follows:

-Read more of my backlist books, and get back to listening to more audiobooks like I was doing previously.
-Try to carve actual writing time out, and decide on a project instead of floating between a few different ones.
-Really do some preparation for November’s round of NaNoWriMo so that I’m ready to hit the ground running.
-Get better about my daily tracking. I have a reading bullet journal set up, but in the last couple months I’ve gone from updating every day, to updating maybe once a week.

That being said, this might not happen. I have to concentrate on self care and taking care of my mental health – so if I can’t accomplish all of these things, then that’s ok.

Take care of yourselves and happy reading!

Harlequin Christmas In July Watch Party

I have something exciting to talk about today. Tomorrow, July 23rd, Harlequin is hosting a free Facebook Live movie watch party, featuring the book-to-movie adaptation A Very Country Christmas. The movie is based on the Harlequin Special Edition novel His Country Cinderella by Karen Rose Smith.

DATE: Thursday, July 23, 2020
START-TIME: 5:00 p.m. PST / 7:00 p.m. CST / 8:00 p.m. EST

Make sure to RSVP at HarlequinWatchParty.com to receive viewing details, a calendar reminder and a watch-party guide complete with snack, drink and décor ideas! To get the free watch party guide complete with snack, drink and Christmas décor ideas, click “Find Tickets” at HarlequinWatchParty.com to register for your free Eventbrite ticket.

Want to know more about the book? Read on:

Hold on to your Stetsons! A reliable source tells me that Zane Gunther is hiding out in Thunder Canyon. Now the tweets and texts are flying about the music legend and a certain single mom who’s having trouble making ends meet Zane came to the Montana mountain town to escape the paparazzi and a tragedy he can’t forget. But keeping a low profile seems next to impossible, especially once he falls hard for local girl Jeannette Williams. Is this cowboy looking to make a home in Thunder Canyon? Stay tuned, loyal readers, to see if Zane is getting ready to propose to the widowed waitress who’s already gaga over him by crooning a love song straight from his heart.

Purchase links | Amazon | Apple | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Harlequin.com

Award-winning author Karen Rose Smith lives in Pennsylvania and has sold over 80 novels since 1991. Her romances have made both the USA TODAY list and the Amazon Contemporary Romance Bestseller list. Believing in the power of love, she envisions herself writing relationship novels and mysteries for a long time to come! Readers can e-mail Karen at http://www.karenrosesmith.com or follow her on Twitter @karenrosesmith and on Facebook.

Happy watching and reading!