Friday, February 7, 2014

New Feature: Series Review


"Series Review" is a new feature I'm starting to review series as a whole rather than as individual books. This will allow me to read a whole series before I decide on what to rate it. I hate reading series and getting so excited only to be disappointed with the last installment. I will rate each book within the series as well as an overall "series rating" and review each book in the series with a little blurb review. This way I won't get spoiler-y with my reviews either, which I sometimes think my longer reviews start to do.

I hope to start this feature within the next couple of weeks, I just have to kick out a few kinks and remember the last series I read in order to write those little reviews. This feature will hopefully make me take notes about the books I'm reading as well, so that I'll remember what I want to say about each installment when it comes time to review the series.

For series that I am reading that are incomplete, I may do a series review from the beginning until the currently released book, then do individual reviews for the rest. Or I'll just split the series and put a few books into one series review and the rest into a "part 2" after I read the rest. (These are some of the kinks I need to work out with the system). I'll try to keep all of the reviews short and to the point while still providing enough input for other readers to make their own informed decision about the books. I'll still provide links to Goodreads descriptions and Barnes & Noble and Amazon buying links.

Anyway, stay tuned for this new feature, I'm going to try to make it a monthly event (provided I read fast enough to do that in the future, right now I have a couple series that I have already read that will be enough to get me started anyway).

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Year of the Series (2014 Goals)

The Midnight Bookworm 2014 Blog Goals

So, I haven't posted in a few months... and that's one of my big goals for this year (to stop that, not continue it). I also want to read a lot more. I believe my total for 2013 was around 25, assuming that my Goodreads is accurate, which it usually is. In 2012, I read 65 books. Last year I obviously wanted to beat that number. This year I just want it to not be a pitiful 25 again! I've set a manageable goal of 50 books for this year. I hope to read far more than that.  My major goals for the year are:

- Finish redesigning/restructuring the blog. Since I started this project last summer I think I should finish it sometime soon.

- Finish reading the series on my shelves. This is a big one this year. I started so many series in previous years that I have not finished and I want to fix that. I plan on re-reading the books in the beginning of each series to get caught back up and remember what the series is about. I thought this might be a feasible thing to actually accomplish this year (and still read other books), however I just made an Excel spreadsheet (because I'm obsessed with spreadsheets) to track the books I'd need to read in order to just complete the series that I've already read at least one book in. The grand total would be 104 books if I re-read the books in the series I had already read. O.O Let's be series on that one, not going to happen to the point where I can cross them all off my list. I'm still going to want to read stand alones and new books that release this year. I think a more reachable goal would be to set myself up to complete 7 series this year (some of the series I have on my list are 7-12 books each).

- Keep up with 2-3 challenges including the one I set for myself to read the series on my shelf. I also want to keep up with the YA Contemporary challenge because I don't read enough contemporary novels throughout the year. I'm also going to challenge myself to catch up on my NetGalley reads/reviews (I'm sure there's an official challenge out there somewhere for this, I just haven't found it yet). Generally I'm really good at saying "Yea I'll participate in that challenge" and then reading like one book that qualifies for it. In order to meet the challenges of catching up on my series and NetGalley reads, I'm going to have to limit my book buying this year. Except for the essentials (and books that arrive that I have no control over) I need to stop buying books this year (hahaha I know, I know.. Never going to actually happen).

- Post at least 2-3 times per week

- Get more involved around the blog/social media universe. I started using BlogLovin' a while back, I just have to get into the habit of checking it daily & actually clicking into people's posts and commenting on them. I want to get involved in a couple of the weekly memes floating around so that I get into the habit of posting on a regular basis. If you know any fun ones let me know about them.

- Post a review for all the books/series I read this year. I didn't post reviews for a lot of the books I read last year and I definitely should have. I'm going to set up a new feature called Series Review where I review the entire series (provided the entire thing is out and I've read it all) in one post, doing mini reviews for each installment of the series. I'm also going to do a DNF feature of books I don't finish (not that it happens often) and why I didn't finish them, that way they're still featured somewhere on the blog.

I'm going to BEA again this summer so I need to have a good chunk of my TBR pile gone through by then so I'm not just adding a million more to my already too long list of things I want to read.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Teaser Tuesday (45): United We Spy by Ally Carter


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Title: United We Spy

Author: Ally Carter

Series: Gallagher Girls #6

Pages: 296

Teaser: " 'What is it Gallagher Girl?' Zach asked.
I shook my head. 'I don't know. It's just . . . something isn't right.' " - Page 131

Description Order: Amazon Order: Barnes & Noble

Enjoy the teaser this week! I absolutely LOVED this book. A wonderful conclusion to the Gallagher Girls series.

PS - Don't miss out on the extra special short story only Barnes & Noble's edition of the book has! The book is complete without this bonus content, however, it's just a super fun read about what happened after that final semester at the Gallagher Academy.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Cover Reveal: The Secret Diamond Sisters & a Giveaway

Title: The Secret Diamond Sisters
Author: Michelle Madow
Series: The Secret Diamond Sisters #1
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Pages: 400
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million | Book Depository

More about this book

Description:
Savannah. Courtney. Peyton.

The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad—a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite. Suddenly the Strip's most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.

Michelle is hosting a book release party on March 1, 2014. Find out more information here.


About Michelle Madow

Michelle Madow wrote her first novel, Remembrance, in her junior year of college. Remembrance is the first book in the Transcend Time Saga, a three part series about reincarnation and true love that Michelle successfully self-published. The series was inspired by Taylor Swift's "Love Story" music video. Michelle's upcoming YA trilogy, The Secret Diamond Sisters, about three sisters who discover they are the secret heirs to a Las Vegas billionaire casino owner, will be published by Harlequin TEEN in Spring 2014.

Michelle graduated from Rollins College in 2010, cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the International English Honor Society Sigma Tau Delta. She received the Charles Hyde Pratt Award for Excellence in Creative Writing in 2010.

She lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she is writing more novels for young adults. She loves reading, spending time with family and friends, traveling, shopping, sunshine, Disney fairy tales, Broadway musicals, and spends way too much time on Facebook and Twitter.


And of course, the giveaway...



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sweet Legacy Book Blitz: Mini Excerpt and a Giveaway!

Title: Sweet Legacy
Author: Tera Lynn Childs
Series: Medusa Girls #3
Release Date: TODAY! September 3, 2013
Pages: 376
Links: Indiebound | Amazon | Kindle | Apple | Barnes & NobleNook | Books A Million | Book Depository

More about this book

Description:
Greer has always known she was privileged, though she had no idea how special her second sight made her, even among her triplet monster-fighting sisters. But when a god starts playing with her mind, can Greer step up in her pretty high heels to prevent anything from stopping her sisters’ mission?

Grace loves her adopted brother, Thane, but now that he’s back and has joined her sisters’ team, it’s clear his past is full of dark mysteries. She wants to trust him, but will Thane’s secret put the girls in even more danger?

Gretchen knows she can rely on her sisters to help her stop the monsters. But after getting to know some of the beasties in the abyss, she finds her role as a huntress comes with more responsibility than she ever imagined. How can she know what her birthright demands of her now?

The girls cannot hesitate as they seek the location of the lost door between the realms, even as monsters and gods descend on San Francisco in battle-ready droves. In this exciting conclusion to the Sweet Venom trilogy, these teenage heirs of Medusa must seek the truth, answer the ancient riddles, and claim their immortal legacy.

Now for the Excerpt: Tera chose one excerpt from each girls' point of view. Here's Greer's.

“I saw it.“ My voice is barely a whisper. I don’t want Grace to overhear, but I need to say it out loud to Thane.

Even if he already knows.

I can’t stop the tears stinging at eyes. “I saw you save her. Back in the apartment, when you said you wanted to come with us. I saw precisely what just happened. I knew you were going to save Grace.“ I blink away the moisture. “I didn’t know you were going to save me.“

“I know.“

That is the craziest part. He does know.

“But how?“ I ask.

I have no idea how or why I see what I see. The entire process is a mystery that feels more like chance than skill. I know I inherited Medusa’s power of second sight, while Gretchen got Sthenno’s super strength and Grace got Euryale’s autoporting ability. I know that I have visions of things and those visions are coming true. I have no control over it, not yet. And I have no idea how Thane fits into the picture.

“How?” I repeat.

“Greer, I—“ His gray eyes shadow over. “It’s complicated.”

“I have an IQ of 154. Try me.”

He takes a deep breath and looks me in the eye. “I … don’t know how to.”

And of course, the Giveaway... 

See below to win a complete set of Tera's books, or one of the many other awesome prizes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Find Tera Lynn Childs on these social media sites:

Website
Twitter
Facebook

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Transcend Time Book Blitz: Deleted Scene from Timeless & a Giveaway!




Welcome to the Transcend Time Book Blitz! XPresso Book Tours are hosting this great tour for Michelle Madow's Transcend Time book series. A series about reincarnation, love, and revenge. It's a fantastic, well written series, and seriously, how can you resist these covers? They're gorgeous!


Remembrance
Michelle Madow
Series: Transcend Time Saga #1
Release date: July 27th 2011
Pages 314
ISBN: 9780615512445
Genre: YA Time Travel
Purchase:  Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  iBooks 

Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from Regency Era, England ... but she doesn't know it yet.

Then Drew Carmichael transfers into Lizzie's high school at the beginning of the year, and she feels a connection to him, almost like she knows him. She can't stop thinking about him, but whenever she tries talking with him about the mysteries behind her feelings, he makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with her. Reaching him is even more difficult because she has a boyfriend, Jeremy, who has started to become full of himself after being elected co-captain of the varsity soccer team, and her flirtatious best friend Chelsea starts dating Drew soon after his arrival. So why can't she get him out of her mind?

Even though Lizzie knows she should let go of her fascination with Drew, fighting fate isn't going to be easy.



Vengeance
Michelle Madow
Series: Transcend Time Saga #2
Release Date: December 8th 2011
Pages: 66
ISBN: 9780615559711
Genre: YA Time Travel
Purchase:  Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  iBooks

How far would you go to get revenge?

When Chelsea Givens discovered that her ex-boyfriend Drew dumped her to be with her former best friend Lizzie, she'd never felt so betrayed in her life. Then her new friend Shannon tells her she can help set things right. Chelsea's willing to listen, but what Shannon wants her to believe -- that she shared a past life with Drew -- is impossible. And what she wants her to do to get him back … well, it's downright crazy.

Could Shannon be telling the truth? And if she is, what lengths will Chelsea go if it means making Lizzie pay?

Find out in Vengeance, the second part of the Transcend Time Saga.

*Vengeance is the short story that bridges the events in Remembrance and the final novel in the Saga.



Timeless
Michelle Madow
Series: Transcend Time Saga #3
Release date: November 14th 2012
Pages: 230
ISBN: 9780615692931
Genre: YA Time Travel
Purchase:  Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  iBooks  

IT'S A RACE AGAINST TIME.

In Remembrance, Lizzie and Drew changed the course of fate so they could be together.

In Vengeance, Chelsea set fate back on its original, deadly path.

Now, strange things keep happening to Lizzie. Things that are omens of darkness to come. A curse has doomed her to die an early death, just as she did in her past life. To make matters worse, even if she can figure out who cast the curse, it's irreversible. There's only one option left for her to save herself. It's crazier than anything she's heard yet, and to do it, she'll need Drew and Chelsea's help.

Because to make things right, they must go back to when it all began ... and Lizzie discovers that the final events in her past life were more sinister than she ever imagined.



Transcendence
Michelle Madow
Series: Transcend Time Saga Bonus Material
Release Date: December 25th 2012
Pages: 160
ISBN: 9781481165563
Genre: YA Time Travel
Goodreads
Purchase (Free): Smashwords

This series also contains a new BONUS packet called Transcendence
This bonus material can be downloaded FOR FREE! 


INCLUDED IN THE BONUS PACKET:

- Sneak peak of Remembrance
- Bonus scene for Remembrance
- Deleted chapter from Timeless
- Character extras for Lizzie, Drew, Chelsea, Jeremy, and Hannah
- Author interviews
- Essays written by Michelle Madow about the series


And now, straight from Michelle's bonus content in Transcendence, the deleted scene from Timeless. *Please be warned, this deleted scene may contain spoilers as it is from book 3 of the series.

DELETED CHAPTER FROM TIMELESS

Lizzie telling Keelie about being reincarnated

This chapter was in the advanced copy of Timeless I gave to reviewers, but I removed it before publishing the final version. It slowed the pacing of the book, and I decided not to have Lizzie tell Keelie about being reincarnated. So this scene never happened in the story, but if Lizzie were to tell Keelie everything, here is how it would go down! This chapter would have occurred after Lizzie’s mom agreed to go to England.


With all of this unbelievable stuff going on in my life, it was hard to remember that I was supposed to be a typical sixteen year old high school junior. Ever since the beginning of the school year when I saw Drew for the first time, my entire life had changed. But for everyone else who hadn’t recently discovered that they were reincarnated from Regency Era, England, and that their best friend accidentally cast a curse to kill them so they now had to travel back to the past to fix things, life was still normal.
I reminded myself of that when Keelie texted me later that night saying she thought Jeremy was interested in her, and how she wanted to make sure that was okay with me since we broke up recently.
Seeing that text made me realize something: Keelie was a kind, considerate person, and I truly wanted to be her friend. Throughout the years I grew comfortable with the friendship I had with Chelsea, but it had faults, especially after everything that had happened within the past few months. I had been afraid to tell Chelsea about my feelings for Drew, since she had announced her interest in him first. Luckily, Drew and I had the reincarnation-bond between us, which eventually brought us together again, but if circumstances had been normal, what would have happened? Would Chelsea have gotten the guy, and I would have been shafted because I was afraid to say something to my best friend since I didn’t want her to be angry with me? And if I did tell her, I knew Chelsea well enough to suspect that she would have claimed that she noticed him first, so I should let her be happy and focus on mending my broken relationship with Jeremy.
But maybe I wasn’t being fair to Chelsea. She might have done that before discovering the past lives that bound us together, but perhaps things had changed with her now. I wanted to believe that people could change, and that my friendship with Chelsea could return to normal.
At the same time, I had to branch out and get closer to other people—people like Keelie, who wanted to be friends with me. She cared enough about being friends to make sure it was okay with me that Jeremy was interested in her, even though I had no claim on him anymore. She also left Shannon’s party early to help me, even though we didn’t know each other well. On the car ride back to my house, I’d skimmed over what had happened between myself, Drew, Chelsea, and Jeremy, because I wanted to keep the reincarnation stuff secret from Keelie.
Now that I saw the possibility of a real friendship with her, was it fair to keep so much secret? Could a true friendship be formed when one person wasn’t being honest with the other?
It wasn’t difficult to figure out the answer to that question.
It’s fine with me, I replied to Keelie’s text. What are you up to tomorrow?
I should be working on a paper for class, but I’m up for distractions! she said.
Which is why five minutes later, we had plans to get ice cream the next day. 
I couldn’t believe I was planning on telling Keelie everything. But if I wanted to be friends with her—true friends—I had to start the friendship off right.

* * *

The next morning, I wasn’t as confident about my decision as I had been last night. There was a high probability that Keelie would think I’d gone nuts, which was the same reason I hadn’t told my mom the full story. But unlike my mom, Keelie wasn’t a psychiatrist, so hopefully she wouldn’t psychoanalyze everything I said.
Even though she wouldn’t try diagnosing me with a mental disorder, there was the possibility she would think the story was crazy.
Hopefully Keelie had an open mind.
We ordered our ice cream and sat down at a booth in the corner—as far away from other people that I could find. I didn’t want others eavesdropping in on this conversation.
“Are you sure you’re okay with Jeremy asking me out?” Keelie asked. “If you’re not, I understand. You can tell me.”
“I’m sure,” I said, meaning it. “Even though we broke up recently, it had been coming for a while. And remember, I’m the one who broke up with him, so if he said he’s ready to move on, he means it.”
She spooned some ice cream into her mouth. “What did happen between you two?” she asked. “If there’s a reason why I should stay away, you would tell me, right?”
“He’s basically a good person, but we grew apart,” I said. “We had different interests. I was focusing on school since junior year is important for college applications, and doing more with my art. He didn’t understand why I wasn’t as interested in sports as he was.”
“You did look bored at the soccer game,” Keelie said with a laugh.
“Because I was!” I said.
“It’s that bad for you to watch?”
“Yep.” I nodded. “I don’t see the point of watching people kick a ball back and forth on a field. I find it boring. No offense to people who like it,” I added, since Keelie liked watching soccer. “It’s just not my thing.”
“I can sort of get that,” Keelie said. “I’ve never thought about why I like watching sports; it’s just something I enjoy. I guess it’s because I like the unknown … having no idea who’s going to win, and hoping that sitting there cheering will encourage our team and help bring them to victory. It’s also the competition that I like—how passion can trump logic. You never know how a game is going to end. It’s fun.”
“I never thought of it that way,” I said. I wasn’t going to turn into a sports fanatic now, but it was interesting to hear someone’s point of view that was different from mine. Chelsea only liked going to the games to socialize, and Jeremy wasn’t well-spoken enough to voice his opinion like Keelie just did. “It sounds like something Jeremy would think.”
“So you think the two of us will be good together?”
“I could definitely see it working,” I said. “You’re a much better fit for him than I ever was.”
“I’m glad you said that,” she said with relief. “I didn’t want to make things awkward for you if I started hanging out with him more.”
“It’s totally not awkward,” I assured her. “I would be happy for both of you—really.”
“Anyway, how are things with Drew?” Keelie asked. “When I drove you home from Shannon’s party, it sounded like everything was a disaster and you wanted nothing more to do with him. I’m taking from seeing the two of you around school that you’re together now?”
“We are,” I said, although I didn’t know how to continue from there. How was I supposed to tell her that Drew and I loved each other in a past life, but we never had the opportunity to be together, and now we were reincarnated so we could have a real chance in this life?
I felt ready last night, but now I had no idea where to begin.
“Is everything okay?” Keelie asked. “You just got really quiet.”
“Everything’s fine,” I said. “It’s just that the night of Shannon’s party, when I told you everything that happened with me, Drew, Chelsea, and Jeremy, I didn’t tell you the whole truth.”
“Oh?” Keelie raised an eyebrow.
“This is going to sound strange,” I warned her. “But do you believe in reincarnation?”
“That’s random,” she said. I had a feeling she was stalling because the question was so unexpected that she had no idea how to reply. “It’s one of those things that would be cool if it were real, but I never thought of it as an actual possibility.”
“So you don’t believe in it?” I asked.
“I’m not sure,” she said. “Why? Do you?”
“Well, I didn’t believe in it … until I met Drew.”
She looked at me in disbelief. “And since you met Drew, you believe in reincarnation?” 
I nodded, my cheeks turning red. This was more humiliating than I had anticipated.
She leaned forward, and I hoped she was at least intrigued. “Do you think you and Drew … knew each other in a past life?”
“I don’t think so,” I said. “I know so.”
And the story spilled from there.

* * *

“You believe me?” I asked after I finished telling the story. The only part I kept to myself was how Genevieve was Shannon’s aunt. Chelsea had promised Shannon no one would find out, and I didn’t want to break that confidence. 
“I think so,” she said. “There’s no reason for you to make this up, and I don’t think you would have told me if you didn’t believe it. Also, it would have been too coincidental for you, Drew, and Chelsea to remember the same things without talking with each other about it first. So it’s the only explanation that makes sense. It’s a lot to take in, though.”
“It was like that for me at first, too,” I said. “Sometimes there are still days when I wake up and wonder if this has actually happened, or if it’s been one long dream.”
“I suppose I can believe the past life stuff,” she said. “That you and Drew are soul mates and were reincarnated to be together. It’s romantic. But the rest of it, with the spells and the time travel—that’s where it gets hard for me to believe.”
“Understandable,” I said. It seemed like she thought I was loony for believing that time travel might be possible, but she was being nice in not making me feel bad about it. “I look at it like this. If it’s possible, then I’ll go to England, visit a time that I never thought I could, and make it so Chelsea’s spell has no effect on this life. If the spell didn’t do anything and we can’t go back in time, then at least I’ll have gone to England with Drew, and have had an incredible Christmas.”
“You’ll have to tell me all about it when you get back,” Keelie said.
“I will,” I promised.
Hopefully when I returned, I would have only good things to share.


Amazing right? This series is just great. I loved reading all three books and I sincerely look forward to reading more from this author. Now go get to purchasing these books & downloading the FREE bonus pack!


Now for the giveaway. Fill out the form below and a winner will be selected at random on March 28th!

Information for this tour provided by: 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Teaser Tuesday (44): Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Title: Unravel Me

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Series: Shatter Me #2

Pages: 480

Teaser: "His lips twitch. 'You tried to kill me.'
'That amuses you.' " - Page 274

Description Order: Amazon Order: Barnes & Noble

Enjoy the teaser this week! I'm thrilled to be reading this book, definitely one of my favorites.