Top Ten Tuesday: May 9, 2017 – Ten Things on My Reading Wishlist

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic: 
Ten things on my reading wishlist

If you say any of these things, I’m pretty much ready and lining up to read these books! This list has probably changed a lot over the years so here are my current reading obsessions! 

BANTER
Give me alllllll the flirty, romantic, sexual-tension banter. I absolutely love it and can never get enough!!

BROMANCES
I just love strong male friendships. I don’t know why but bromances just get me. I love seeing loyalty to friends.

TIME TRAVEL & PARALLEL UNIVERSES
This is nothing new and I’m sure some people are sick of all the time travel books but as of right now, I can never have enough. I want all of it. All the time.

PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLERS THAT I CAN’T GUESS
It’s hard to have a psychological thriller nowadays where I can’t guess the ending and be toooootally bowled over. I’ve been a big mystery/thriller reader for a long time so when you read so many, you tend to catch on to patterns from authors and pick up on things. I want to be TOTALLY FLOORED.

MAGICAL REALISM
It still depends on the context a little bit but somehow I’ve become a sucker for magical realism! I used to actively avoid it because it just wasn’t for me and something just changed over the years.

UNIQUE RETELLINGS/ADAPTATIONS
Forget fairy tales. I want to see retellings of other awesome things, especially things that make me nostalgic for my childhood. Troop Beverly Hills. Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Fraggle Rock. Legends of the Hidden Temple. Indiana Jones. Babes in Toyland. Let’s do itttttt.

ALL-ENCOMPASSING FRIENDSHIPS
The friendships in The Raven Cycle were just so amazing. It can be hard to get a group together like that without it being clingy or stalkery or without love triangles/squares/pentagons(?) but I’d love to see more!

And while we’re on the topic… REALISTIC FRIENDSHIP GROUPS
I’d love to see more groups of friends and not just girls with girl best friends, guys with guy best friend or a male and female best friend falling for each other (although I do love a friends-to-more story). One of the things I loved about THE START OF ME AND YOU was the friendship group and how it was a whole bunch of kids hanging out. I had my best friends as a teenager but I also had regular groups of people that we all hung out with.

NEW MAGIC SYSTEMS
I love elemental magic but there are only so many ways we can figure out how to make that work in a story. I love seeing new magic systems and that’s one of the reason I love Brandon Sanderson’s books so much! Every book has a brand new magic system and some of them are soooo unique and every single one is so detailed.


Okay so that’s only nine and this wasn’t a very decorative post but my eyes are hurting from the computer screen and I’m tired and I wrote this on Monday and it’s MONDAY. (Well, by now it’s Tuesday but you know…)

Which of these things would you love to see more of in books!?

Fast Five Friday | Historical Fiction With a Twist

fast five friday

I love blogging and writing and recommending books… but I know that I tend to get a little long-winded in my blog posts! FAST FIVE FRIDAY is a means for me to recognize some favorite books and round them up for recommendations without talking your ear off.

FAST FIVE FRIDAY | HISTORICAL FICTION WITH A TWIST

I’m currently reading HUNTING PRINCE DRACULA, the sequel to STALKING JACK THE RIPPER by Kerri Maniscalco and loving it! I’m not really a big historical fiction person but I have found that I’ve been loving historical fiction with a twist of its own. Whether it’s the addition of magic, a brand-new mystery, or an alternate timeline, historical fiction with a twist has really been grabbing me lately and I’m loving the intrigue of true life meets fiction!

kerri maniscalcoGrave Mercy

What: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Who: Kerri Maniscalco
Why: Audrey Rose is all thorns and roses, feminine and yet tough, and she starts on the Jack the Ripper murders while apprenticing for her uncle as a forensics student.
Where: Goodreads | Review

What: The Crown’s Game
Who: Evelyn Skye
Why: Imperial Russia takes a twist with the introduction of a history of magic. A battle to the death arises as two enchanters fight to become the right-hand magician of the Tsar of Russia.
Where: Goodreads| Review

What: Born Wicked
Who: Jessica Spotswood
Why: Historical fiction meets magic again, this time with more witchy involvement in our past. An alt-history take on the Salem Witch Trials. Are these books good on audio? I desperately need to finish this series!
Where: Goodreads | Review

What: Grave Mercy
Who: Robin LaFevers
Why: Grave Mercy is some serious historical fiction complete with wars, tactics, and actual historical figures. There’s a lot of history in these books but I didn’t feel bogged down with facts and data. The story was fantastic, plus, assassin nuns. Nice mythology twist to bring a dark and mystical side.
Where: Goodreads | Review

What: Walk on Earth a Stranger
Who:  Rae Carson
Why: I actually wasn’t the biggest fan of this book because for as much as it was advertised as historical fantasy, there wasn’t a whole lot of magic in this first book, BUT I did love that it focused on a time/place that isn’t often covered — the Gold Rush.
Where: Goodreads | Review


That’s my fast five for today! Do you have any other favorite historical fiction novels with a good twist to them? I’m totally in the mood for these right now and always up for more!

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1) – Rae Carson

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1) – Rae CarsonTitle: The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1) by Rae Carson
Publishing Info: September 20, 2011 by Penguin
Source: Audible
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: March 7, 2017
Related Posts: Walk on Earth a Stranger (The Gold Seer Trilogy #1)

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one.
But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can't see how she ever will.
Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.
And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people's savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.
Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.
Most of the chosen do.

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Well hello again from the black sheep side of the world! Sadly, it has not been long since I’ve been over here.

THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS has been on my TBR for so many years and I’ve heard nothing but good things about it… But this first book, man. I had a very hard time with it.

The beginning was not a struggle. I enjoyed that Elisa was not perfect, not slender, not the favorite. She does bear the Godstone which brings about her important marriage to a king in another land. I appreciated so many things about Elisa but her character felt very young compared to other YA characters that have been thrown into the same situations and her naiveté just really bothered me at times. I appreciated that the romance was not a main focus BUT I was annoyed that there were three different non-romances that Elisa was involved in and it was bothersome for her to have at least some form of feelings for so many different people. I also had a hard time with knowing that Hector becomes such a big character in future books (because of everyone’s flailing) so the romances (or lack thereof) with other guys was just frustrating because I wanted it all to be Hector.

Can we just pause here for a second, though? Why. Is the stone. In her belly button. I don’t know why but that bothered me so, so, SO much. It was weird and annoying and she was getting some… intense sensations from it. (Okay, it was nothing sexual but the descriptions were weird sometimes.) I just really hated it.

I didn’t really ever get into the story either. I enjoyed the first part of the book and I was interested to see it go somewhere… and then in my least favorite plot turn ever in any book, everything is upended and the characters get taken somewhere brand new and are around 100% different people, totally changing everything that you spent time getting to know in the first third of the book. I also didn’t like the people that Elisa ended up with in the next part of the book when everything changed so it was really just all downhill from there for me. I also really didn’t like the ending of the book and I was hoping for something in a different direction.

Things just fell apart after the first third of the book for me and it was annoying enough that I don’t know if I even want to continue the series. I’ve heard such good things about the series but if I didn’t enjoy the plot and tone and where this one went… I don’t know if it’s worth continuing for me.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Unique heroines. I really liked the fact that Elisa wasn’t an easy heroine. We watched her learn and grow and struggle through some common things instead of being a perfect little snowflake.
Left Me Wanting More: Consistency. The story felt like it flipped halfway through the book and it just felt like a totally different story. I wished it had been structured much differently.

Addiction Rating
Get a second opinion

So many people love this series but it just wasn’t a hit with me. I’m not sure if I’ll continue so I’d recommend checking out other reviews and not just mine!

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BOOKS LIKE THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS

(Click the cover to see my review!)

    THE WRATH AND THE DAWN

Strange the Dreamer | A Dream Come True + Giveaway!

I partnered with Little, Brown today for a really fun post all about one of my new favorite books, STRANGE THE DREAMER by Laini Taylor! I was asked to participate in this series of posts and when I heard about it, I immediately said yes. I want to continue spreading the love for Laini Taylor and her books and having just finished STRANGE THE DREAMER not too long ago, it’s a book that needs to be in everyone’s hands!

Before we jump into the giveaway (yes, there’s a giveaway), I have some fun DREAMER-related content as well as book info! I was asked if I wanted to share some fun optional content for my blog post today about a dream of mine that’s come true already or a dream that I would like to come true and the answer to this one was easy!

Strange the Dreamer | A Dream Come True + Giveaway!Title: Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor
Publishing Info: March 28, 2017 by Source: Audible, Anderson's Bookshop
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: April 18, 2017
Related Posts: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1), Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2), Night of Cake and Puppets (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2.5), Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3)

A new epic fantasy by National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Laini Taylor of the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy.
The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around--and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he's been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.
What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?
The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries--including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo's dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? and if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?
In this sweeping and breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.
Welcome to Weep.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Laini Taylor is a New York Times bestselling author and a National Book Award finalist. She is the author of the global sensation the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy: Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Days of Blood & Starlight, and Dreams of Gods & Monsters, and the companion e-novella, Night of Cake & Puppets. She is also the author of the Dreamdark books Blackbringer and Silksinger, and the highly acclaimed Lips Touch: Three Times. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband, illustrator Jim Di Bartolo, and their daughter Clementine.

MY BOOKISH DREAM

I’m sure everyone knows by now but if not, I own and run the candle shop Novelly Yours Candles. When I started it, it was just a fun hobby that I wanted to share with friends by making candles available for purchase on Etsy so I could share them since I couldn’t afford to give candles away to everyone. Well, when I started it, it was really just for fun for myself and once I started sharing what I was doing, the interest really picked up. A year and a half later and I’m soooo close into turning this into my full-time job, and what a dream that would be!!! It’s hard and scary to be self-employed but doing this has been so amazing and I can only dream of what it would be like to work for myself while doing something that I love. Being able to spend time with my husband, doing a job that I really love and care about, seeing all of the joy that people share when receiving my product, and of course the perks of any vacation time I want and not having to get up at 5:30am every day! This would truly be a dream come true and one step close to really making this an even better business.

It’s scary going into business for yourself because I would become dependent on consistent sales which is never a guarantee and there are so many variables by making a living off of selling bookish candles, but it’s a big dream that just might work! It’s my current long-term goal and something my husband and I are currently working very hard towards! He’s been so helpful and encouraging throughout my candle endeavor and I couldn’t have set up my new work space without him!!

STRANGE THE DREAMER BONUS CONTENT

There is some awesome bonus content for this book as well, including videos and a quiz (which I am totally taking, by the way). Check out everything you need to complete your STRANGE THE DREAMER experience below!

Official Site + Social Media

 Bonus Content!

  • Which Godspawn are you? Take the quiz! (I got Feral!)
  • Download a variety of quote-art here.

Sneak Peek at the Book

Video Content

GIVEAWAY

The folks at Little, Brown are also providing a giveaway for today’s post! One lucky winner will win a hardcover copy of STRANGE THE DREAMER by Laini Taylor and a $25 Visa gift card to use to pursue one of your dreams! Giveaway open to US addresses only. Prizing and samples provided by Little, Brown & Co.

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It Started With Goodbye – Christina June

It Started With Goodbye – Christina JuneTitle: It Started With Goodbye by Christina June
Publishing Info: May 9, 2017 by HarperCollins
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Retelling
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: April 7, 2017

Sixteen-year-old Tatum Elsea is bracing for the worst summer of her life. After being falsely accused of a crime, she’s stuck under stepmother-imposed house arrest and her BFF’s gone ghost. Tatum fills her newfound free time with community service by day and working at her covert graphic design business at night (which includes trading emails with a cute cello-playing client). When Tatum discovers she’s not the only one in the house keeping secrets, she finds she has the chance to make amends with her family and friends. Equipped with a new perspective, and assisted by her feisty step-abuela-slash-fairy-godmother, Tatum is ready to start fresh and maybe even get her happy ending along the way.

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I was so excited to read IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE, Christina June’s debut novel! I’ve known Christina since we were first both bloggers way back in the day and it was such an honor to be able to read her debut novel and hold a physical copy of her ARC in my hands! I received a copy of IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE from the publisher and it was so neat to read a book written by someone I had met and talked and to watch their journey to become a published author! The fact that I know Christina June does not affect my review in anyway aside from the fact that this was a big reason of why I wanted to read this book!

This book was very quick and easy read and a lovely modern take on Cinderella! Contemporary adaptations of fairy tales are always so interesting because I love seeing how magical things get adapted to a real world. I really loved the nod to the original fairy tale and how Christina June fit the story to a modern-day teenager. There were even some direct references to Cinderella which were so fun to note, along with the general story line that paralleled it.

IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE was a great book about finding yourself and being comfortable in your own skin. It’s hard as a teenager (okay, it’s hard as an adult sometimes too) and it made things even worse for Tatum with a stepmother who always seems to have it out for her and a stepsister who can do no wrong, following in her stepmother’s footsteps. Much like another recent Cinderella contemporary adaptation, GEEKERELLA, the modern take here also focuses on the redemption of the family members and the main character realizing that sometimes there is more behind that “evil” facade than meets the eye.

I actually wish there was more focus on the relationships in the beginning of the book because it was a little slow to start for me despite the fact that this was a very quick read. I wanted to just race through it and I found myself hitting rough patches with the direction of the plot and was hoping for more of a focus on the core relationships instead of branching out to include other acquaintances first. Especially with how short the book was (which I appreciated, actually!), I would have loved a stronger focus on the best friend and romance specifically, along with the family, instead of adding in more minor friends. I wasn’t as interested in the secondary characters and some of their stories seemed to take focus where I would have rather read about Tate, although I know a lot of my friends enjoyed those other friendships.
Also with the split of Tatum from her best friend, she felt sort of solitary throughout the first half of the book and I felt like she didn’t really have anyone to share the story with so secondary characters were forced into the mix. I would have loved to see some more heart-felt dialogue with someone she could share more secrets with and I was really missing that best friend vibe, or even just someone close that she could have talked to in the beginning. The cute little romance didn’t catch me right away, I think because the initial meet-up was crowded with other characters, so the warm-fuzzies got a little bogged down in the character relationships all around.

The family dynamic was the hit of this book for me and I really enjoyed how things progressed with each family member. Tatum establishes new relationships with her stepmom, stepsister, and even her dad, who had really always been in her corner but reached a point in this book where their relationship hit a turning point. With the kids growing up and stepmother Belen often in charge while he is out of town, Tatum’s relationship with her father really began to change and then mature throughout this book. I also really liked that the father-figure was just traveling for work and that was was created his frequent and long absences instead of death. We did have the absence of Tate’s mother but I liked that she wasn’t orphaned for this book!

IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE was an easy and quick read with some really well-founded family concepts. I didn’t quite connect with it like I had hoped but I feel like it’ll do great with the teen crowd (who is really its intended audience) who are going through the same situations with best friend fights, family relationships, and first-time big crushes. The Cinderella adaptation adds a really nice touch to this book and it’s a great pull into the story and motivation to pick it up!

 

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Kept Me Hooked On: Modern adaptations of fairy tales. I was so giddy when I found direct references to the original Cinderella fairy tale! I think this adaptation and concept were spot on and I loved the modern take.
Left Me Wanting More: Relationship focus. I felt like there was a strong focus on the family throughout the whole book but I was missing the best friend and/or crush vibe in the beginning. I think I’m just so used to reading young adult books that are constantly surrounding those two relationships that are so prominent in teenage lives that I come to expect that to the be the focus of every book. They were definitely still featured here but it didn’t feel like the strongest relationship of the book for me, which was okay but a little bit of a surprise for me.

Addiction Rating
Try it!

IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE was a fun and quick read! I loved how the concept fit together and

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BOOKS LIKE IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE

(Click the cover to see my review!)

    THE SUMMER OF CHASING MERMAIDS

Book and a Beverage [174] – Kasey from The Story Sanctuary

Book and a Beverage

Welcome back to BOOK AND A BEVERAGE!

In case you don’t know the deal about Book and a Beverage, it’s a very simple yet fun feature: We read books, we drink beverages, we take pictures of them and then I share your photos and a little about you to the blogging world!

Give a big welcome to Kasey from The Story Santuary!

Name & Blog Name: Kasey @ The Story Sanctuary
Tell us a little about your blog! I started The Story Sanctuary in 2013 because I wanted to create a place where readers could find information about new books and what kinds of content they contained. I was a pretty sensitive reader growing up, so I wanted to make a site that would list information about violence, profanity, or sexual content without being judgmental about why those things are included in a book. I’m a solo show at present, so I only read/review about 150 book per year, but I take suggestions from readers as much as I can.h other book lovers and share my passion for all things literary. My blog primarily features Young Adult fiction, and I share reviews, book lists, playlists, and more.
What’s been your favorite post you’ve written so far? My favorite post is about a costume my mom made for me as a birthday present last year. She took some of the stories I love most and incorporated them into a Steampunk Book Fairy costume. I wore it to YALLFest last fall in Charleston and to ApollyCon in March in Orlando.
Got anything special coming up we should know about? One of the ARCs I was super excited about getting is the third book in the Great Library series by Rachel Caine. I can’t wait to share my review, which will be posted in the first week of July.


Whatcha reading?
The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia
Where did it come from? (Library, purchased, publisher, etc) I write reviews for an organization called Children’s Literature and they sent me a review copy.
Any special reason you chose to feature this book? Yes! I met Kami Garcia at ApollyCon in March and really enjoyed chatting with her. I already had The Lovely Reckless on my list to read of course, but talking with her about writing and her process made me want to read it even more. She is awesome.
What’s important that we should know about this book? Would you recommend it?c I think at first glance, this book looks like a typical good-girl-falls-for-bad-boy type of story, but there are some things that make it way cooler than that. Frankie, the heroine, has PTSD resulting from seeing her boyfriend beaten to death. She’s forced to move in with her dad, who’s an undercover cop and change schools to a public school in a rougher part of town. She makes friends with some kids into street racing, and finally starts to feel alive again after her boyfriend’s death. Then all these high stakes parts of her life– the unresolved murder, an open case her dad’s working, and her new racing friends begin to collide, and I feel pretty desperate to know whether Frankie makes it out okay! I’m on page 229 right now, and so far, I definitely recommend it.


Whatcha drinking?
I am drinking iced coffee with a splash of coconut milk.
What’s your favorite thing to drink while reading? Yeah, okay, usually I’m boring and drink water while reading. Sometimes I’ve been known to live it up with a glass of red wine, probably Apothic Red. 🙂
Favorite beverage of all time. Go! You know what I LOVE and don’t get to have nearly enough of is Thai iced tea. That stuff is SO good. I’m not sure if it’s my favorite of all time, but it’s gotta be pretty close.

What are your top three books you would recommend to other people? Oh, man. Only three??? Hmmm. I’m gonna go with Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage because it’s one of the most amazing southern fiction books I’ve ever read, Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine because it’s one of the coolest re-imagined history/dystopian books I’ve ever read, and Freedom’s Just Another Word by Caroline Stellings because it’s a really fantastic story about music which follows a biracial girl in her search to become a great singer like Janis Joplin in 1970s Texas.
What’s your proudest blogging/reading/writing moment? I’ve loved getting to meet some of the authors whose work has inspired me and changed me as a person. That’s pretty cool. But I guess my proudest moment has been those times when my own readers come back to me to tell me they’ve read and fallen in love with a book they heard about on my blog. It’s hard to imagine anything better than that. 🙂
Anything else you’d like to share? Earlier this year, I became an author myself! After working with a number of indie authors interested in having books reviewed, I found myself saying the same things over and over as I tried to coach them through the process. A friend of mine suggested collecting the information and putting it together in an e-book as a guide for indie and small press authors looking to network with book review bloggers. I’ve received a lot of positive feedback so far. The book is called Reviews Wanted and is available at Amazon.


Thanks, Kasey! Congrats on becoming an author! That’s such an amazing accomplishment!! Thank you for being on Book and a Beverage today!! 

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Kasey! Connect with her at the links below!
Blog // Twitter // Facebook

If We Were Having Coffee… April 25, 2017

Jamie from The Perpetual Page-Turner has been doing a series called “If We Were Having Coffee” that’s a nice blog series started by many bloggers out there to catch people up on the odds and ends of life that doesn’t fit into a pretty blogging box. Since I apparently missed my five year blogoversary the other week (which is kind of a big one, especially to miss, no?), I thought I’d do a “If We Were Having Coffee” post of my own to catch you up a bit with what’s been going on! 

A post shared by Brittany S. (@bookaddictsguide) on

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you that it’s been hard to keep up with the blog lately, though I’m sure you’ve noticed that. I haven’t been posting as often and it’s hard to stay as excited as I once was with blogging.

If we were having coffee… I’d let you know that I still love my blog but life has been BUSY. I switched over to a new position at work and where I used to have a lot of free time before to read and blog and chat and hang out on Twitter, I’m working very hard all day, every day now. (Although I guess isn’t that what you’re supposed to be doing at work??) I don’t have those little moments where nothing is happening to catch up on my blog because there’s always something happening and I’m constantly trying to catch up.

If we were having coffee… I’d let you know that part of the reason why I’m behind is partially because I was off of work for two months. (I mean, I’d still be “behind”  because of the way the job was left to me when I took over, but this is also part of why I haven’t caught up yet.) My husband was inpatient in a hospital out of state being seen by a specialist and going through high-dose chemotherapy. I stayed with him the entire two months and fortunately my employer was gracious enough to let me stay with him throughout the whole treatment because I don’t know how we could have gone through that if they didn’t.

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you yes, I didn’t end up telling Twitter/Instagram/the blogging community know what we were going through during this time. It was a hard time for us both and it’s been and on/off battle with cancer for two years. It’s hard to tell a very large group of people about something so personal because it changed our lives in so many ways and it’s also very hard for me as an introverted person to share that piece of my life. It’s hard to update so many people and keep them constantly updated, reply to comments, reply to questions, and stay “on” while going through a hard time. It may be a surprise but it’s okay to talk about now that it’s all over. You can read a bit more about our story on this Instagram post (click on the link to access the full photo + caption).

A post shared by Brittany S. (@bookaddictsguide) on

If we were having coffee… I’d say yes, thanks for asking! He’s doing much better now. Ever since my husband left the hospital, his tumor markers have normalized and he’s starting to recover and feel back to normal.

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you that I meant to do sooooo much blogging and reading and catch up in the hospital but I ended up doing a LOT of work on my new website for my candle business, Novelly Yours. I built the website from a template, designed the store, added all of the listings, and set up all of the extras while in the hospital. It was a really, really long process (it literally took me months of working on it to get it all set up) but I’m so happy with how everything looks now! It’s still a lot of work maintaining my own website and store so that’s still taking up a lot of time too.

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you that Novelly Yours is going great! It’s busier than ever, which a great thing, but also quite exhausting while I’m still working a full-time job. The hours are long but at least I love my candle business!

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you that I had a candle in April’s Owlcrate box! It’s been so amazing working with Owlcrate and I’m just honored to have been a part of their box. I can’t even tell you how it feels to see that many people receive your candle!

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you that I’ve been in a horrible, horrible reading slump. I think it’s just that I’m SO busy all the time and don’t have any time to take a break and just sit down and read. Things are constantly going which is good and keeps me busy but I don’t know how to relax anymore. Even the books that I’m loving I’m only able to read 20 minutes at a time so they’re just all broken up.

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you that I went to go see Laini Taylor in the beginning of April! I’ve always wanted to meet her and only met her VERY briefly at BEA last year so it was great to hear her speak and get all of my books signed!

If we were having coffee… I’d let you know that I missed my five year blogoversary!!! I realized about ten days too late that I missed my blogoversary, and a big one at that. It’s kind of crazy that I’ve been doing this for five years and I’ve known some of you amazing people for five years! I definitely still love blogging but I miss the time I used to have for it. Before I made candles, I had so much free time and now I have none so I’m looking to find time to write posts and come up with unique topics like I used to. I want it to still be fun and I don’t want to do it because I feel like I have to keep up.

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you that sadly, I’m not going to BEA this year. I usually go with my best friends, Alyssa and Amy, and we kind of all have had a lot going on this year. I don’t have any more vacation time left since I used it all staying at the hospital so I can’t take the time off to go to BEA mid-week and I can’t afford to stay in New York City just for BookCon. Truly, I won’t really miss the ARCs. I’ve been having a very hard time keeping up with ARCs in the first place and I’ll kind of be happy not to have the temptation to grab things I won’t be able to read right away. But I will absolutely miss seeing my blogger friends that I only get to see once or twice a year and publishing friends that I only get to see at BEA!

If we were having coffee… I’d let you know that instead of BEA, I’ll probably go to ALA Annual because it’s in Chicago this year! That should be an easy one to do and who knows where I’ll be by mid-summer. I could have a lot more free time by then!


Thanks for sharing this coffee date with me! I’m glad I got to catch everyone on up on everything that’s been going on. Life has been non-stop, with so many things to do, and I really am trying to keep up with my blog because I’m still so proud of it and so happy with this little corner of the internet. I’m okay with slowing down and things being a little bit different but I definitely don’t want to lose it!