Thursday, December 31, 2015

December Monthly News

Welcome to the December edition of monthly news!
Did you sign up for the 100+ Book Challenge? We're back for a third year and always enjoy challenging our reading habits to do more. Books are brain food!  :-)
I managed to read more than 100 books this year. Check out my list.
I've also signed up for some challenges on others' blogs. What is one challenge you can't miss??
The bad news was my pc dying.  Terribly traumatic for me. 
The good news is Boxing day sales got me a new and better pc! YAY!
Bring on 2016!!


MOVIES:
  1. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (recommend)
  2. Paper Towns (recommend)

Yearly Total: 103 Books, 10 Products & 20 Movies

Book of the Month:



Book of the Year:


BLOGGER/MONEY-MAKING RESOURCES: 
1. SwagBucks (earn gift cards)
2. GiftHulk (earn gift cards & paypal cash)
3. Moo Business Cards
4. Unique Rewards (earn paypal cash)
5. Honest Insite (earn cash)
6. Glitter Network (ad affiliates)
7. LinkVehicle (sponsored posts & ad affiliates)
8. SnapSaves (save on groceries)
9. SuperPoints (earn gift cards)
10. Speakr (sponsored social media for bloggers)
11. TapInfluence (sponsored content for bloggers)
12. SocialSpark (sponsored content for bloggers & advertisers)
13. Izea (soponsored content for bloggers)
14. Buzzoole (connecting brands and bloggers)


    CHALLENGES COMPLETED:
    1. 2015 Women Challenge (completed in May)
    2. 2015 Non-Fiction Reading Challenge (completed in November)
    3. What's In A Name Challenge 2015 (completed in November)
    4. 2015 Monthly Keyword Challenge (completed in December)
    5. You Read How Many Book Challenge (completed in December)
    6. 52 Books in 52 Weeks (completed in December)

    CHALLENGES FAILED:
    1. Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge (failed by 12-16 books)
    2. Foodies Read 2015 (failed by 9+ books)
    3. Read Your Freebies Challenge (failed by 1 book)
    4. NetGalley Reading Challenge (failed by 12-21 books)
    5. 2015 Mount TBR Challenge (failed by 33 books)
    6. 2015 Color Coded Challenge (failed by 6 books)
    7. 2015 PopSugar Reading Challenge (failed by 21 books)
    8. Reading Bingo Challenge Canadian Edition (failed by 18 books)
    **No compensation was received for posting. Opinions are owned by Freda's Voice.

    Wednesday, December 30, 2015

    Last Review Of The Year: Paper Towns #Movie

    Adapted from the bestselling novel by author John Green, PAPER TOWNS is a coming-of-age story centering on Quentin and his enigmatic neighbor Margo, who loved mysteries so much she became one. After taking him on an all-night adventure through their hometown, Margo suddenly disappears - leaving behind cryptic clues for Quentin to decipher. The search leads Quentin and his quick-witted friends on an exhilarating adventure that is equal parts hilarious and moving. Ultimately, to track down Margo, Quentin must find a deeper understanding of true friendship - and true love.

    AVAILABLE NOW!

    Rated PG
    108 mins

    AMAZON US   |   AMAZON CA   |   AMAZON UK




    REVIEW:
    A great coming of age story!
    There were moments of me laughing out loud, moments of adventure and excitement, and even a moment where I shed a tear. This movie was one of the best coming of age stories I have ever seen in film.
    Sadly, I have not read the book so I have nothing to compare it to.
    I can just imagine how epic the novel is if the movie is this good. For me, the book is usually better.
    The Notebook is still my favorite Nicholas Spark's film, with this one running a close second.
    I think it's a fantastic story, great actors playing the parts and it all comes together beautifully.

    5/5


    **No compensation was received for posting. Compensation will be earned if purchases are made from the links within. A copy was provided to facilitate a review. Opinions are owned by Freda's Voice.

    Shelf Love Challenge 2016


    Guidelines For The Shelf Love Challenge 2016

    • Read books that are in your personal library that were obtained before January 1, 2016.
    • Responsibly obtain books for your personal library.
           You may wish to abstain from purchasing
           books or set a book budget for yourself.
           You decide the best way to get control of your TBR pile and read the books you
           already own.
    • Library books (and textbooks) do not count for the challenge. You may use your library to obtain different formats of books you already own and count those towards your goal.

    Now Select Your Goal For The Shelf Love Challenge 2016!


    A photo posted by Freda Mans (@fredasphotos) on


    GOAL: 11-20 books: pat your shelves on the back


    1. Pop Sonnets - Erik Didriksen
    2. Since You've Been Gone - Morgan Matson
    3. Moon At Nine - Deborah Ellis
    4. CSFTS O Canada: The Wonders of Winter
    5. Nimona - Noelle Stevenson
    6. Revenge Wears Prada - Lauren Weisberger
    7. The Fault In Our Stars - John Green
    8. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - Rachel Joyce
    9. Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir - Stan Lee
    10. Winter Chill - Joanne Fluke


    FEBRUARY CHALLENGE: BOOK BOYFRIEND
    My book boyfriend would have to be Ash from The Iron Fey books. He is strong, independent, courteous, courageous, and chivalrous. Every time I read about him in story, my heart goes pitter-pat. Too bad I'd have to fight Meghan Chase for him, 'cause she seems like shed kick my ass....


    MARCH CHALLENGE: WHAT I HATE ABOUT READING
    Do I even have reading peeves? Yeah, I guess I do.
    I don't like reading books, mostly classics, that are 'old English'. It's annoying. I just like the words to flow easily off the page, letting my imagination decide what the person sounds like. 
    Small beans, but enough for an espresso cup.


    APRIL CHALLENGE: LIBRARY LOVE
    I commented on the original post. The library and I are on a break up at the moment.


    MAY CHALLENGE: LITERARY ROAD TRIP BUCKET LIST
    Most of the books I read are based somewhere in the US, which is totally not where I am. I guess the settings help me escape to another place, but still stay in familiar territory. I do love reading about other cultures, like in the Middle East or Asia, and I did read one back in January that I really liked that had me in Iran, titled Moon at Nine. As for a list, do I have one, not really, no. Never thought to make one, I just read wherever it takes me.


    JUNE CHALLENGE: MID-YEAR CHECK IN
    I am 7 books in. That means I only need 4 more to hit the minimum in the challenge!! I am positive I will hit that goal, and then some. I'd share another pic, but the pile has grown... LOL


    JULY CHALLENGE: HOW TO READ YOUR TBR PILE
    My TBR pile that is dated before 2014 is so massive, and by massive I mean about 150 books, so I won't be lining them up. That stack would bury me.
    Now how do I pick the books I read from it? Randomly. I have noticed that they seem to all be from 2010 and not very good. Do I see a trend of bad books for 2010?! I'm starting to wonder...


    AUGUST CHALLENGE: READING RITUALS
    I have no rituals. Zip.


    SEPTEMBER CHALLENGE: BE KIND TO WRITERS AND EDITORS
    My way of being kind is by giving back. I have closed myself off most of this year to reviews, to focus on this TBR pile that has gotten out of control. Getting those old reviews done is a priority, but also opening myself up for a few new ones too. At least for a minute... or a month. Writing honest and thorough reviews without spoiling it for others is what writers need, and personally, I can't see a better way to give back.


    OCTOBER CHALLENGE: BOOKISH GIFT WISHLIST

    I don't usually ask for anything for Christmas, let alone bookish gifts, but this year is different.
    I do a lot of reading in bed at night, especially when the hubby is working night shifts and I'm all alone. I need this:
    This is a lap pad for your laptop, tablet and of course the Kindle. I also know you can use these for your print books. No more sore neck for me!!
    I also have a request for a book I need. Crazy thing is, I read book one, won book three, so now I need book two. Which book am I referring to??
    So if any of you talk to my hubby and kids, or if you wanna send me prezzies, you now know what I want could use. :-)


    NOVEMBER CHALLENGE: ITEMS WE'RE THANKFUL FOR
    I am thankful for all the signed books I have. They really have become my most prized possessions.


    YEAR-END CHECK IN
    I am one book away from my goal. I am hopeful that I will get at least one more book to complete the challenge, but after moving, finding my books are now an issue. (Also why I cannot show a photo, unless you want to see a box.) 
    Will I be participating next year? Sadly, no. I am not doing any challenges in 2017, not even my own that I host. I need a break from challenges as my life falls back into a new normal. 2018 I will be back at it! 


    **no compensation was received for posting. This post is part of an annual reading challenge.

    Tuesday, December 29, 2015

    2016 Mount TBR Challenge




    Challenge Levels:

    Pike's Peak: Read 12 books from your TBR pile/s
    Mount Blanc: Read 24 books from your TBR pile/s
    Mt. Vancouver: Read 36 books from your TBR pile/s
    Mt. Ararat: Read 48 books from your TBR piles/s
    Mt. Kilimanjaro: Read 60 books from your TBR pile/s
    El Toro: Read 75 books from your TBR pile/s
    Mt. Everest: Read 100 books from your TBR pile/s

    Mount Olympus (Mars): Read 150+ books from your TBR pile/s

    And the rules:
    *Once you choose your challenge level, you are locked in for at least that many books. If you find that you're on a mountain-climbing roll and want to tackle a taller mountain, then you are certainly welcome to upgrade.  All books counted for lower mountains carry over towards the new peak.

    *Challenge runs from January 1 to December 31, 2016.

    *You may sign up anytime from now until November 1st, 2016.

    *Books must be owned by you prior to January 1, 2016. No library books. 


    *Rereads may count only in the following circumstances: If you did not own the book when you read it long ago and far away [based on your age, you can decide what that might mean--definitely not within the last five years...my arbitrary pick for a limit] and you bought the book pre-January 1, 2016 intending to reread it now that it's your very own.  [To clarify--the intention is to reduce the stack of books that you have bought for yourself or received as presents {birthday, Christmas, "just because," etc.}. Audiobooks and E-books may count if they are yours and they are one of your primary sources of backlogged books.]

    *You may count any "currently reading" book that you begin prior to January 1--provided that you had 50% or more of the book left to finish in 2015.  I will trust you all on that. 

    *You may count "Did Not Finish" books provided they meet your own standard for such things, you do not plan to ever finish it, and you move it off your mountain [give it away, sell it, etc. OR remove it from your e-resources]. For example, my personal rule (unless it's a very short book) is to give a book at least 100 pages. If I decide I just can't finish it and won't ever, then off the mountain it goes and I count it as a victory--the stack is smaller!  

    *Books may be used to count for other challenges as well.

    *Feel free to submit your list in advance (as incentive to really get those books taken care of) or to tally them as you climb.


    *There will be quarterly check-ins and prize drawings! 



    I failed miserable two years in a row at this one. I even did worse this year than last... blame the awesome books that came out in 2015. Or blame me for falling off that mountain from the start.
    This year I hope for different. 
    I joined the Blogger Shame challenge which has me reading from my dreaded tbr pile. Seriously I have a couple books I am sad to say have 2009 dates on them. Yup. So my mission is to get 'er done. I'm also gonna be realistic in my choosing. So it won't be the Canadian mountain I try to tackle this year. Nope, let's stick to a more realistic goal.


    PIKE'S PEAK - Read 12 books from your TBR

    1. Just Don't Call Me Ma'am - Anna Mitchael
    2. Slip Of The Knife - Denise Mina
    3. Corked - Kathryn Borel JR
    4. Detectives Don't Wear Seat Belts - Cici McNair
    5. The Happiness Project - Gretchin Rubin

    QUARTER UPDATE
    3 books is not bad. It has me at the first base camp, and resting nicely. Here is my favorite cover of the three books;
    The wino in me loves this cover, for obvious reasons... lol.. The story inside didn't live up to the cover though, so that kinda sucked.



    HALF YEAR UPDATE
    Now I'm falling behind.
    I've read 1 book since the quarter update, which means I'm not far from the first base camp. The air must be thin and getting to me 'cause I've lost track of time. I hope to pick it up now that I'm aware and alert again.
    So this is the book I read;
    It was a debut author, and this is their memoir. 
    I wasn't really feeling it. And after like 5 or 6 years on my pile, it wasn't worth the wait.


    THIRD QUARTERLY UPDATE
    I have only read 1 TBR book again this quarter. I must have a rock in my boot. 
    My favorite character out of all the books so far would have to be Anna Mitchell, from Just Don't Call Me Ma'am. She is not actually a character, well, she is, but it's a memoir. I love her for her snark, not so much her story. I only gave the book a 2 rating, so it was just okay, but I liked her. 


    **No compensation was received for posting. This post is part of an annual reading challenge.

    2016 Blogger Shame Review Challenge



    Challenge Details


    Challenge begins Jan 1, 2016 and ends Dec 31, 2016

    All review books that have been on your review list for 6+ months count.

    Any book format counts.

    Crossovers with other challenges are okay.

    You pick the number of books for your individual challenge.

    Once a quarter there will be a wrap up post to show off progress!

    (sign up post--now through jan or whenever you join)
    quarter 1 post--end of March
    quarter 2 post--end of June
    quarter 3 post--end of September
    quarter 4 post--end of Dec wrap up post

    There's a FB group for our challenges this year if you'd like to join for support, suggestions and event updates! Just go HERE.

    This is a challenge for every blogger who reviews books. We all have a stack or more that we haven't got to yet. I plan on tackling that TBR like nobody's business in 2016, so this challenge is made for me.


    GOAL: 12 Past-Due Review Books

    1. Just Don't Call Me Ma'am - Anna Mitchael (2010 TBR)
    2. Slip Of The Knife - Denise Mina (2010 TBR)
    3. Corked - Kathryn Borel JR (2010 TBR)
    4. Detectives Don't Wear Seat Belts- Cici McNair (2010 TBR)
    5. The Happiness Project - Gretchin Rubin (2010 TBR)


    QUARTER UPDATE
    As you see, I've got 3 of the 12 books done. Yeah, I thought I'd be at a better pace, but there's a reason they sat on my shelf this long... seems they are usually a 2 out of 5 rating. So not great... But I don't give up that easy and hopefully there's a gem in there somewhere.


    HALF WAY UPDATE

    I moved up one lousy book. Basically, if I don't pick up the pace then I will fail the challenge. I hate to fail, so I best get on it. The one thing I do notice, is all the book are from 2010. I also notice they weren't that great... Was 2010 the year of bad books??


    **No compensation was received for posting. This post is part of an annual challenge.

    NonFiction Reading Challenge 2016



    The Challenge:  Read any non-fiction book(s), adult or young adult.That's it. You can choose anything. Memoirs? Yes. History? Yes. Travel? Yes. You get the idea? Absolutely anything that is classified as non-fiction counts for this challenge. 

    I always like levels in my challenges, so here are mine:

    Dilettante--Read 1-5 non-fiction books

    Explorer--Read 6-10 

    Seeker--Read 11-15

    Master--Read 16-20

    This challenge will last from January 1 to December 31, 2016. You can sign up anytime throughout the year. 

    Another challenge I love and participate in yearly. Last year I chose Master level and accomplished my goal, so I will do it again in 2016!

    MASTER - Read 16-20 NonFiction Books

    1. Just Don't Call Me Ma'am - Anna Mitchael
    2. CSFTS O Canada: The Wonders of Winter
    3. The Literature Book
    4. The Movie Book
    5. Corked - Kathryn Borel JR
    6. The No Time To Cook! Book - Elena Rosemond-Hoerr
    7. Detectives Don't Wear Seat Belts -  Cici McNair
    8. The Happiness Project - Gretchin Rubin
    9. Based On A True Story - Norm Macdonald
    10. Wake Up To The Word - Joyce Meyer


    **No compensation was received for posting. This post is part of an annual reading challenge.


    52 Books in 52 Weeks 2016



    Are you ready to join me for another year of Reading 52 Books in 52 Weeks? The rules are quite simple. How you get there is up to you.  Whether you are a monogamous reader or like to dip into multiple books at a time, love diving into chunky books or sailing along with a beach read, submerging yourself in a classic or weighing anchor with those dusty books gathering dust on your shelves, it all averages out in the end.  The goal is to read 52 Books. 

    This is another challenge I love doing yearly. It's quite simple really, read one book a week. There is mini-challenges too, but I have not done them.

    1. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - F. Scott Fitzgerald
    2. Pop Sonnets - Erik Didriksen
    3. The Shamrock Case - Linda Weaver Clarke
    4. Killer Pursuit - Jeff Gunhus
    5. Slip Of The Knife - Denise Mina
    6. Uglies - Scott Westerfeld
    7. The Iron Warrior - Julie Kagawa
    8. The Literature Book
    9. Nimona - Noelle Stevenson
    10. Stars Above - Marissa Meyer
    11. My Mother's Kitchen - Meera Ekkanath Klein
    12. Revenge Wears Prada - Lauren Weisberger
    13. The Perfect Ruin - Lauren DeStefano
    14. The Fault In Our Stars - John Green
    15. The Treatment - Suzanne Young
    16. The Remedy - Suzanne Young
    17. The Martian - Andy Weir
    18. The No Time To Cook! Book - Elena Rosemond-Hoerr
    19. The Mysterious Doll - Linda Weaver Clarke
    20. Pretty Girls - Karin Slaughter
    21. When I Was The Greatest - Jason Reynolds
    22. Soldier - Julie Kagawa
    23. Detectives Don't Wear Seat Belts - Cici McNair
    24. The Fourteen Day Soul Detox - Rita Stradling
    25. Centuries of June - Keith Donohue
    26. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - Rachel Joyce
    27. The Sunlight Pilgrims - Jenni Fagan
    28. The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest - Melanie Dickerson
    29. After Alice - Gregory Maguire
    30. Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir - Stan Lee
    31. Armoires and Arsenic - Cassie Page
    32. Winter Chill - Joanne Fluke
    33. The Midas Tree - Lesley Phillips
    34. The Deathday Letter - Shaun David Hutchinson
    35. Fractured - Catherine McKenzie
    36. Hotel of the Lost (Hotel Ruby) - Suzanne Young
    37. The Right Wrong Number - Barbara Delinsky
    38. Cold, Cold Heart - Karin Slaughter
    39. The Midnight Games - David Neil Lee
    40. Never Let You Go - Chevy Stevens
    41. The Candidate - Lis Wiehl
    42. Wake Up To The Word - Joyce Meyer
    43. A Court Of Mist And Fury - Sarah J. Maas
    44. Carniepunk: The Three Lives of Lydia - Delilah S. Dawson
    45. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - Deborah Moggach
    46. Hollow City - Ransom Riggs
    47. Isle of the Lost - Melissa De La Cruz
    48. Heartless - Marissa Meyer
    49. Stardust - Neil Gaiman
    50. Dec 4

    **No compensation was received for posting. This post is part of an annual reading challenge.


    Monday, December 28, 2015

    #103: If You Dare by Kresley Cole

    With If You Dare, Cole introduces a thrilling new romance trilogy featuring fierce Scottish brothers with dangerous lives, dark desires, and a deadly curse.
    Can he exact revenge?
     
    High in the Pyrenees, a band of mercenaries led by Courtland MacCarrick wages war for General Reynaldo Pascal. When Court turns on the evil general, Pascal orders him killed but Court narrowly escapes and exacts revenge by kidnapping Pascal's exquisite Castilian fiancée. 
    Can she deny her passions? 
    Lady Annalía Tristán Llorente despises her towering, barbaric captor almost as much as she does Pascal. Her inexplicable attraction to the Highlander only fuels her fury. But nothing will stop her from returning to Pascal -- for if she doesn't wed him, she signs her brother's death warrant, as well as her own. 
    Can there be love between them? 
    From the moment Court discovers that Anna's prim façade masks a fiery, brave lass, his heart's ensnared, and he dares to defy the curse that has shadowed his life -- to walk with death or walk alone. But Pascal vows that he'll hunt the two, never stopping until he's destroyed them both.

    • Kindle: 2334 KB
    • Print Length: 384 pages
    • Publisher: Pocket Books (January 1, 2006)
    • ASIN: B000FCKM9C

    AMAZON US   |   AMAZON CA   |   AMAZON UK



    Kresley Cole is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Immortals After Dark paranormal series. Her books have been translated into many foreign languages, garnered two RITA awards, and consistently appear on the bestseller lists in the U.S. and abroad. Poison Princess is the first book in her new young adult series, The Arcana Chronicles. Visit her at KresleyCole.com.




    Other Books I Reviewed By This Author:

    REVIEW:
    Steamy!
    Like fog up the computer screen kinda steamy. The chemistry between Anna and Court, you can totally see why they are fated.
    I also appreciated the realness of the story. I an honestly say that this is the first book I've ever read where the virgin losing her virginity does not have such a good time. That's realistic, since the first time is not very pleasant. Usually romance novels keep it fluffy and I hate that.
    Being a fan of Kresley Cole's vampire story and another romance I read, I had a feeling that I might like this one too. It's her writing that I enjoy. Such an ease of flow that keeps you reading, no matter the plot or setting.
    Lots of romance fans will eat this one right up! Has the hot couple with opposites attracting, some action and super graphic x-rated action, and even a 'happily-ever-after'. What could be better than that?!

    4/5


    **No compensation was received for posting. Compensation will bee earned if purchases are made from the links within. This copy was read free at XOXO After Dark Reads. Opinions are owned by Freda's Voice.

    Stella & Dot

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