Saturday, February 28, 2015

Bookish Digest: February 2015

Hello lovelies! Welcome to Bookish Digest - something we'll be putting together at the end of every month to highlight our recent favorite reads and recap any posts you may have missed. We also include an About My Life and Things I'm Looking Forward To section in an effort for you to get to know us better. Don't forget to tell us in the comments some things that happened to you over the past month so we can get to know you guys better too!

Updates for 2015 TBR Pile Challenge:

Stand Alone
Young Adult, Contemporary
Website:Jennifer Mathieu 

To be posted May 27th
Rachel Walker is devoted to God. She prays every day, attends Calvary Christian Church with her family, helps care for her five younger siblings, dresses modestly, and prepares herself to be a wife and mother who serves the Lord with joy. But Rachel is curious about the world her family has turned away from, and increasingly finds that neither the church nor her homeschool education has the answers she craves. Rachel has always found solace in her beliefs, but now she can’t shake the feeling that her devotion might destroy her soul.


Author/Book Promotion
The Emma of Nomandy Trilogy by Patricia Bracewell {Author Interview}
Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear {Author Interview}
Rules of Seduction by Jenna Mullins {Cover Reveal}
In The Company of Educated Men by Leonce Gaiter {Author Guest Post}
The Sparks by Kyle Prue {Author Interview}
The Queen of Arèthane by Kelly Riad {Author Guest Post}

All About Blogging
How to Request Free Books for Review
Interview with Kelsey Dickson from Simon and Schuster Children's
Interview with Elizabeth Mason from Bloomsbury Children's
Interview with Rachel Lodi from Penguin Young Readers

About My Life in February

I got completely overwhelmed by things in February. We got back from our visit in Poland on February 10th, and after spending 3 blissful months there, everything - once again - is on my head now. Aside from having to run after my now 1-year-old baby (who JUST discovered she can run around and get in trouble), I have to do all the housework by myself, walk the dog, do the shopping AND try to read something before I pass out in the evening. I know I sound whiny, but hey, you don't get to judge me until you're an ocean away from your family, have no one to help you with, have a child AND a dog to take care of and your sanity is one of the endangered species.

We moved. Long story short we had asshole neighbors (I am gonna say it again, ASSHOLE neighbors) who played music, games and freaking yelled on top of their lungs in the middle of the night (2,3,4 am). Our management - who told us before that if our dog will be loud, we'll get kicked out - didn't do anything about it. We had to pack up and move in -7F. Yeah, happy times!

We celebrated Tori's first year :) The only positive and happy thing that happened to me this month!

Things I'm Looking Forward to in March
Some calm and peace, now that we're mostly settled and adjusted.

Warmer weather. Hopefully. Really, enough with the waist-high snow and cold that freezes the boogers in your nose the moment you step out.

Finishing my All About Book Blogging Project that I had to put on hold because of all the things listed above.


Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Website:Allison Pataki

New York Times bestselling author Allison Pataki follows up on her critically acclaimed debut novel, The Traitor’s Wife, with the little-known and tumultuous love story of “Sisi” the Austro-Hungarian Empress and captivating wife of Emperor Franz Joseph.

The year is 1853, and the Habsburgs are Europe’s most powerful ruling family. With his empire stretching from Austria to Russia, from Germany to Italy, Emperor Franz Joseph is young, rich, and ready to marry.

Fifteen-year-old Elisabeth, “Sisi,” Duchess of Bavaria, travels to the Habsburg Court with her older sister, who is betrothed to the young emperor. But shortly after her arrival at court, Sisi finds herself in an unexpected dilemma: she has inadvertently fallen for and won the heart of her sister’s groom. Franz Joseph reneges on his earlier proposal and declares his intention to marry Sisi instead.

Thrust onto the throne of Europe’s most treacherous imperial court, Sisi upsets political and familial loyalties in her quest to win, and keep, the love of her emperor, her people, and of the world.

With Pataki’s rich period detail and cast of complex, bewitching characters, The Accidental Empress offers a captivating glimpse into one of history’s most intriguing royal families, shedding new light on the glittering Hapsburg Empire and its most mesmerizing, most beloved “Fairy Queen.”

Reading Multiple Books {Feature & Follow}
Fantasy vs. Realistic {Feature & Follow}

Romance {Top Ten Tuesday}
I Got 99 Problems {Top Ten Tuesday}
Bad Ass Chicks {Top Ten Tuesday}

Branching Out {Socratic Seminar}
Signed Sealed Delivered

Author/Book Promotion
The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons {Author Interview}
 When My Heart Was Wicked by Tricia Stirling {Author Interview}
The Crimson Gate by Whitney A. Miller {Blast}
The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace {Author Interview}

About My Life in February
I got to hang my clothes. We've been in our house for about two years and have teeny-tiny closets. So my clothes have been in these storage units in the basement. The problem was that they were all folded on shelves and not hanging as they should have been. I finally got around to going to Home Depot to buy some metal rods, screws, and other necessary items and now . . . ta da! The basic storage units are now full functional closets and it's so pretty I want to cry.

I've been stuck in a reading/reviewing/blogging rut. I've been very blah when it comes to all things books recently. (For further detail, check out my discussion on Branching Out.) Basically it's taking me forever to read books and I'm feeling very meh about most of them, which the opposite of how I usually am. I've only read 11 books this year, which may seem like a lot, but more me that's pitiful. And I don't like feeling poppy about a hobby I love so much! rawr.

I got a preview of my wedding pictures! Our photographer sent us about 30 or so pictures from our wedding and I absolutely love them! I keep scrolling through and each time I love them just a bit more than last.

Things I'm Looking Forward to in March
Pulling myself out of said rut. I've gotten somewhat better by following non-book blogs, but it's still a pretty deep hole I've found myself in. Hopefully I found some simply amazing books this much that suck be back in.

An end to the snow and extreme cold? Now I don't know where you live, but if you're like me and live in the North Eastern/Eastern part of the States, you are so done with the snow/extreme cold. I haven't gotten it here as bad as those on the East Coast or New England, but still. Enough!

Getting back the rest of our wedding pictures. Our photographer said we would get the remaining pictures from our wedding by the end of March. I'm hoping that an "at the latest" estimate and I really get them within in the week. While I love the preview - it's also such a tease!


The Falconer #1
Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Website:Elizabeth May 

To be Posted March 6, 2015
Edinburgh, Scotland, 1844

Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined for a life carefully planned around Edinburgh’s social events – right up until a faery killed her mother.

Now it’s the 1844 winter season and Aileana slaughters faeries in secret, in between the endless round of parties, tea and balls. Armed with modified percussion pistols and explosives, she sheds her aristocratic facade every night to go hunting. She’s determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother, and to destroy any who prey on humans in the city’s many dark alleyways.

But the balance between high society and her private war is a delicate one, and as the fae infiltrate the ballroom and Aileana’s father returns home, she has decisions to make. How much is she willing to lose – and just how far will Aileana go for revenge?

About My Life in February
I am behind on my Goodreads reading challenge.  I have been in a horrible reading slump... I am reading but not at my normal rate of a book every 2-3 days.  I mean I am enjoying the books that I am reading, but nothing seemed to be blowing me away.  However, The Falconer by Elizabeth May changed that and I hope that my 2015 reading habit is now changed.

Winter is kicking my butt.  Yes, I am Canadian but I am done with winter.  I am done with days being so cold that I shiver the second that I leave my house and am scared to look at my hydro bill and see the cost of keeping warm.  Whiner... Yes!  However, I am so ready for warmer days...  Heck at this point I would even take -10, because these -30 or lower days are just too much and I want to be able to read in the sun!!!

Things I'm Looking Forward to in March
Redecorating.  A recent visit with my Mom has prompted a redecorating of my apartment. Admittedly I have wanted this for awhile but it just wasn't possible.  Now I am looking forward to nicer furniture and a more permanent set up.

Reading all my Indie novels.  April we are going to celebrate all of the wonderful Indie Girls we can and I am beyond excited.  I am a huge supporter of Indie authors, and have always been lucky to work with so many wonderful authors.  So with excitement I will be starting to read my little heart out and preparing for a month of awesome!


Fire & Flood #2
Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
Website:Victoria Scott 

What would you do to save someone you love?

In Fire & Flood, Tella Holloway faced a dangerous trek through the jungle and across the desert, all to remain a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed for a chance at obtaining the Cure for her brother. She can't quit--she has to win the race, save Cody, and then fight to make sure the race stops before it can claim any more lives. In the next legs of the race, across the ocean and over mountains, Tella will face frostbite, sharks, avalanche, and twisted new rules in the race.

But what if the danger is deeper than that? How do you know who to trust when everyone's keeping secrets? What do you do when the person you'd relied on most suddenly isn't there for support? How do you weigh one life against another?

The race is coming to an end, and Tella is running out of time, resources, and strength. At the start of the race there were one hundred twenty-two Contenders. As Tella and her remaining friends start the final part of the race, just forty-one are left--and only one can win.

In His Keeping by Maya Banks {4/5}
Claimed by Evangeline Anderson {3/5}

Indie Author Spotlight

Saruuh Kelsey {Guest Post}

About My Life in February
My birthday! I turned 19 on the 12th, and it was seriously a great day. Not huge and exciting--nor did I get any huge and exciting gifts--but the day was happy and it was the best. So many people wished me a happy birthday (including Jennifer L. Armentrout AKA MY FAVORITE AUTHOR EVER) and that's what I wanted more than anything. I wanted people to wish me a happy birthday and then let me tell them how much I heart them and how lucky I am to have them. (I am so incredibly lucky, there aren't really words.) MISSION ACCOMLISHED.

Montgomery County Book Fest! This is a book festival in Houston and it was the greatest time. Victoria Scott was there, Rachel Harris was there, some friends and authors I've been wanting to meet (or been wanting to see because it's been so long!) were there. I got to pet a finished copy of Salt & Stone for the first time. And goodness gracious, it was just so fun to SEE and MEET everybody!

I met Richelle Mead! I have a picture of this somewhere, but I went with my friend Mary and she took the pic on her phone and I keep forgetting to ask her for it back. (Guess this is a huge reminder to me, eh? Heh.) But Richelle was in Austin and I finally got to meet her! I have story upon story about my experience reading her books, and it was amazing to get to meet the woman behind them. Richelle was so nice, and I hope I get to meet her again someday. (Maybe/possible at RT this year???) That was also a good time because I got to hang out with my friend Mary (you know, the one holding my picture with Richelle hostage?) and that is always so fun! I heart her.

Things I'm Looking Forward to in March
Austin Book Fest! On March 7th, I'm going to be at Austin Book Fest with so many super cool authors. Jennifer L. Armentrout will be there, Molly McAdams will be there, and Shelly Crane, and Colleen Hoover, and so many more it'd take some serious time to list them all right now. On top of that, I'm going to be Rachel Harris' assistant that day, which means I get to hang out at her table (and help her with stuff, of course, but it'll be FUN) all day long! Rachel Harris is one of the sweetest people I know, and I am so looking forward to hanging with her!

The Orphan Queen signing! On the Thursday after Austin Book Fest, Jodi Meadows is going to be doing an Orphan Queen signing at a small bookstore not far from where I live. I am so excited to meet Jodi Meadows, get The Orphan Queen, and see my friend Mary who's coming back down my way to attend the signing, too. YAY!

Spring. Break. I have no great plans for this, but I am so, so, SO ready for a week off from school. I'm trying not to set my goal too high for things I want to get done during that week, but I'm already looking forward to having some free time to do ALL OF THE THINGS. (But most specifically read. You know, if I live through the time in March before break where I have a million and one things to do. Ha. Cross your fingers for me, y'all!)



Most Popular Review
Andrea is a proclaimed "historical fiction nut" and she absolutely loved this story about Sisi” the Austro-Hungarian Empress. She had never come across this woman before and is shocked it's taken so long to learn about this incredible woman. Allison is an amazing talented writer, and her research shows in her novels, and this is not a historical fiction novel you're going to want to pass up!

Most Popular Non-Review
Evie gives out some ticks and tips when it comes to requesting free books from publishers. Evie reminds us that "there's no one perfect way of going about it. No golden rule-book for blogging and getting review copies for free (or rather in exchange for honest reviews)." We're not experts here at Bookish, we just have personal experiences to pull from.

Tell us - what went on in your month?! What were some of your favorite books this month? Favorite posts from either your blog or others? What are some new (or old) and noteworthy things we should know about? Be sure to leave a link! 

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