2010 Blog Improvement Project

Thanks to Reading with Tequila I’ve signed up for the 2010 Blog Improvement Project. The 2010 Blog Improvement Project is a year-long blogging challenge co-hosted by Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness and Jackie at Farm Lane Books Blog. The BIP will consist of twice-monthly activities to improve your blog. Every first and third Monday of the month there will be an activity posted on this blog that will related in some way to making your blog better. Each participant should spend the next two weeks focusing on that aspect of their blog. Possible topics include goals setting, writing better content, building community with readers, getting more readers, and blog layout and design.

If you choose to participate in this project, there is no obligation to participate in every challenge, and you can customize each challenge so it makes sense for your particular blog and goals. Participate when it makes sense for you.

There’s still time to sign-up so head over here and check it out!!

Reading with Tequila’s 300 Follower Giveaway!!

Head over to Reading with Tequila

to enter her HUGE 300 Follower Giveaway!!

20 Books to Chose From
3 Winners
1st winner = 3 books
2nd winner = 2 books
3rd winner = 1 book

But That’s Not All

350 followers will add another winner = 1 book
400 followers adds another
450 followers another
500 followers and another

For a Total of 7 Winners

Did I Mention This Giveaway is International?
Giveaway Ends 11:59pm EST on February 18th

The Books
From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris
Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs
White Witch, Black Curse by Kim Harrison
Three Days to Dead by Kelly Meding
Born of Fire by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Soulless by Gail Carrier
Kitty’s House of Horrors by Carrie Vaughn
Fade Out by Rachel Caine
Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich
Covet by J.R. Ward
Nice Girls Don’t Live Forever by Molly Harper
Street Game by Christine Feehan
Heart of Darkness by Gena Showalter
Ashes of Midnight by Lara Adrian
Desire Unchained by Larissa Ione
The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
Swallowing Darkness by Laurell K. Hamilton
7th Heaven by James Patterson
Bitten by Cupid by Lynsay Sands

The Rules
Fill out the form below to enter
Must be a Google Connect follower to enter
Leave any extra entries completed after filling out the form in the comments and they will be included
All winning entries will be verified
Winners will be emailed and have 72 hours to respond

Extra Entries

+5 Old followers (before 1/18)
+1 New followers
+5 Blog about this giveaway
+3 Tweet about this giveaway
+2 Put my badge on your blog
+2 Become a Facebook Fan
+1 Add me to your blogroll
+1 Follow me on Twitter @Tequila Reader
and
+10 Be one of the top ten commenters when the contest closes

Any comments not relevant to the posts will be deleted.

What are you waiting for?! Head over now!

Like her new button? Check out tSG designs!

Who Am I Stalking? {1} Good Books Inc

This feature isn’t nearly as creepy as it sounds… at least I hope not. Here is where I shine the spotlight on a fellow book blogger that has earned a spot in my GoogleReader.

First up…. Padfoot & Prongs at Good Books Inc!

I believe I’ve mentioned a time or two how much I love these ladies and their blog, but here’s a refresher on why AND a fun mini-interview with them. (there may also be a giveaway involved)

Good Books Inc is a book blog that has been around for a few years and reviews books from all different genres. If you can’t tell by their name, they are Harry Potter fans. But they don’t just review YA! You can find reviews for Ayn Rand, H.G. Wells, Jane Austen, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr….

They made it on to my GoogleReader pretty early on in my blogging. I think I may have come across them via Bookworms with Ink or possibly just searching for book reviews. They post reviews, run a new online book club (Good Books Club), and have a fantastic Etsy store full of literary related amazingness (P&P Printing)!!

My Favorite Posts

Interesting stuff – How to Write, Amazing Library, and RIP John Updike

– They share with tips from George Orwell on how to become a better writer, show you pictures of a library that will have you wiping the drool off your face, and say goodbye to John Updike.

Top 10 Favorite Opening Lines

– The girls put together a list of the 10 best opening lines of books. I had to add to my TBR pile after this one!

Prongs – Fifth Review – Jonathan Livingston Seagull

– I’m sure most of you know by know that I love JLS. Prongs review of the book is excellent! It even includes a JLS tattoo!

Ray Bradbury loves me more than you….

– This one includes some facts about how awesome Ray Bradbury is (as if we didn’t know that!), a letter to the author about how much she loves Something Wicked This Way Comes, and proof that he loves her more than you.

Mini-Interview

1. Why did you start a book blog?

We started a book blog last December because we needed an outlet (other than each other) to help with our book addiction. It was getting a bit out of control and our blog is a way to channel all of that built up book love into a healthy action (as opposed to buying 30 books a week!).  Our bank accounts and our peace of mind has thanked up ever since. When we began our blog it was very selfishly motivated, just something to make ourselves happy, but since then it has turned into such a wonderful outlet that has put us in touch with a whole community of filthy addicts like ourselves. We can’t imagine what it would be like to have our blog with our all of our loyal marauders to share our love with!

2. If you could have dinner with any author (dead or alive) who would it be?

Padfoot – Neil Gaiman. To ask him how someone could come up with a plot liek American Gods.

Prongs would pick J.K. Rowling (shocker right?). Firstly so that I could kiss the ground she walks on. Secondly to convince her to write an 8th book.

3. Do you have a secret favorite book? A guilty pleasure?

Both Padfoot and Prongs agree that you should never feel guilty when it comes to reading. Literature, no matter how basic or silly is still wonderful because it gets people thinking and talking. So ladies feel free to bring ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ out from where ever it has been hidden.

4. Sum up your day, your life, or yourself using just six words:

We read way to much.  Refrigerator.
5. Do you have any advice for fellow book bloggers?

Our advice to fellow bloggers is fairly simple. Blog about what you love. Don’t feel that you are tied down by your posts. Quality over quantity kids. When we blog it is because our hearts are spilling over with literature love and that helps to keep the passion alive. If you are feeling yourself slow down with posts don’t be afraid to take a step back and breathe.

Thank you so much ladies! And remember that giveaway I mentioned above….

We’ve put together a Don’t Panic Prize Pack!

Including an amazing mug from P&P Printing!

And a copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams!!

Just head over to the post about the giveaway

to see how you can earn more entries and leave a comment!

My Blog Kicks @SS!! (And so do these!)

I recently received a blog award from Cara at Ooh Books! and I couldn’t be more honored!! I absolutely love her blog. She hosts FreeVerse and shares the beginnings of short stories in Opening Passages (along with great book reviews and author interviews). So I now I get to post an awesome Serenity themed blog award and pass it along to 5 kick ass bloggers 🙂

{Book Review} Intertwined by Gena Showalter

Intertwined table

intertwined I told myself no more starting series that haven’t been finished. I HATE not knowing how a story ends… I didn’t realize that Intertwined by Gena Showalter was the beginning of a series. That’s what I get for not doing my research prior to picking up a book…

Aden Stone may seem like your normal schizophrenic trouble maker, however, the voices in his head are much more than figments of his imagination. Aden shares his body with four spirits that each bring something strange to the table. One sees the future – often the death of those around him. One raises the dead. One allows Aden to posses others. One can take Aden to past versions of himself often altering the future as he knows it. As terrible as sharing your head may sound, Aden has come to love these spirits and wants to help them find their own lives. He hasn’t known anything different. That is until he meets Mary Anne. She somehow quiets the voices, allowing him the peace he only dreamed of. That peace doesn’t last long, however, somehow him meeting Mary Anne is bringing the paranormal world out of hiding to find him.

I started this book at 7am the morning of the Read-a-Thon. I am not by any means a morning person so that may very well account for why it was so hard for me to get into the story. I felt like it was slow to start, but once it got going I couldn’t put it down. The added paranormal world definitely grabbed my attention. The characters became more well rounded and the more I learned about them the more I wanted to know. The only thing I didn’t like about the book was how rushed the end felt.  Overall, I liked the book and I will be reading the next one when it comes out. I’d recommend borrowing or checking this book out… I’m not sure if I can say “go out and buy it!”… maybe after the next one…

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I heard about this book from Blogs with Bite. So here are my answers to their discussion questions: May contain minor spoilers!!

#1  Do you feel the ending was cut short and needed more to be resolved before the book ended? I felt that it was rushed, but not necessarily that there needed to be more resolved. I felt almost like too much was resolved too quickly… if that makes sense…

#2 Regarding Question #1, what are your thoughts on series books? I love series books! I hate waiting to find out what happens next… but with series you get to know the characters and their world much better.

#3 Which “trapped” soul was your favorite and do you see potential in the future story lines with the remaining three? My favorite was probably Elijah. Although all the souls cared about Aden, he seemed the closest to him. I think Caleb will have the most interesting back story… but you never know 🙂 I’m really looking forward to seeing how they find out who the souls are and how they grant their dying wishes.

#4  When a larger-than-life character such as Vlad Tepes aka Dracula is used as a side-plot character do you believe it gives the story a more factual base, or makes it less real? I think it makes it more “real” or connects it with stories you may have read in the past. A character like Dracula in particular, that was based on a real man, helps bring the story into our world.

#5 What did you think of the side plot involving Tucker and Penny?  Do you think the issues from that plot were adequately resolved? I think it helped build Mary Anne’s character. We get to see how she deals with betrayal and she loses those that were close to her. I’m interested to see what happens with Penny and the child. Will it be a demon? Will Mary Anne tell her?

#6 What is your best guess as to what Aden Stone’s superpower is – the power he possess without his souls? I honestly have no idea. He seems to draw magical energy to him. I’m sure the fact that him and Mary Anne were born in the same place at the same time will play a big role in finding out what their powers are.

* read during 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

* counted towards 101 Books Challenge

* “I” book for A-Z Books Challenge

Friday Firsts: The Regime of Austerity

Friday Firsts is hosted by Well-Read Reviews

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The first line can make or break a reader’s interest. Just how well did the author pull you in to the story with their first sentence? To participate in this weekly book meme is extremely easy.

  • Grab the book you are currently reading and open to the first page.
  • Write down the first sentence in the first paragraph.
  • Create a blog post with this information. (Make sure to include the title & author of the book you are using. Even an ISBN helps!)
  • Did this first sentence help draw you into the story? Why or why not?

I found out about Friday Firsts via Ohh Books! and I’m stealing her idea of sharing the beginnings of short stories that can be found online. I’m also stealing her short story from this week because I LOVED it and want all of you to read it. (Promise to find my own next week!)

{The Book – Short Story} The Regime of Austerity

{The Author} Veronica Schanoes

{First Sentence – Paragraph}

Under the Regime of Austerity, Stella can no longer afford much color. What she gets she uses on her hair and her eyes, even though all the magazines say that’s a waste. Hair falls out and eyes tear up, and eventually the color wears away and she’s left with nothing until her next ration coupon. The magazines recommend using color on things like coats and shoes, things that last a long time and don’t get washed often. These days there are a lot of gray people walking around in bright blue coats with green shoes. Lately it’s become popular to use color on the inner walls of your home. There are a lot of people walking around completely gray, and it’s hard to tell whether they’re trendy or simply too poor to afford any color at all.

Read the rest here.

{Did this make you want to read the rest of the story?}

YES! As soon as I left a comment on Ohh Books!’s post I headed over and read the rest of the story and I really loved it. It made me think of Jasper Fforde’s upcoming novel Shades of Grey which comes out Dec 29, 2009.

Reading with Tequila is hosting her first giveaway!

In honor of the 24 Hour Read-a-Thon, Jennifer at Reading with Tequila is hosting her first giveaway! Enter to win 2 Bewitching Mysteries and more!

One lucky winner will receive these 3 books
The Trouble with Magic (Bewitching Mystery #1) by Madelyn Alt
A Charmed Death (Bewitching Mystery #2) by Madelyn Alt
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Rules:
Deadline for entry is Monday, October 26, 2009 11:59pm EST.
Giveaway is open to all US residents.
To Enter: (mandatory)
Follow this blog on Google Connect (see left sidebar) or any other subscription method.
Leave a comment letting me know how you follow.
Include your email address if it is not attached to your profile.
Extra Entries: (leave a separate comment for each)
  1. Blog about this giveaway and link back here. Leave your link in your comment.
  2. Grab my button (in left sidebar), post it on your blog, and leave me a comment with a link to your blog. If you already have my button, let me know.