Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday #7: Five Recent 5-Star Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Hey guys! This week we're talking about the books we most loved recently. I haven't had as much time to read as I'd like (thankfully a bigger vacation is coming up soon and I'll have time for binge-reading), so I'm only doing my Top 5 recent reads. You'll notice that three of them have something in common *coughs*

1. Stronger Than Fear - Marc Levy 
2. Dead In The Water - Hailey Edwards
3. Firstlife - Gena Showalter
5. Replay - Marc Levy

Remember in February when I said that it was the month of binge-reading the books of one of my favorite authors? That was Marc Levy, if you didn't figure that out already. I can't wait to get my hands on his latest books. I still have three books of his to read (one that I DNFed the first time, one that I'm deathly scared of because of the subject and one that I just never got around to read). Anyway, long story short, these are the top 5 books that I read so far in 2016 that I absolutely loved. 

What about you? Which books did you read recently that you loved?

Monday, March 28, 2016

Blogging Extravaganza #5: Tell Us Your Ways

Hello folks! Welcome to a new installment of the Get Up Offa That Slump Blogging Extravaganza. I know what you're thinking! "Ruby, you haven't posted in a while!" I know, I know, bad blogger. Work has been super hectic these last two weeks and I'm also having to deal with some personal stuff, and I couldn't find any energy to post anything. I'm enjoying the last days of Easter mini-vacation though, so I'm writing as many posts as I can. Oh, and I also know I missed some posts in this challenge. I've decided I'll still write and publish them, even if I'm a few days late, because I really enjoyed this event and because I really want to write those posts. Anyway, without further ado, let's get into today's topic, which is about some tips and tricks about how I personally blog.

You're going to think I may not be the most adequate at giving out advice when it comes to blogging. But I do have some ideas and some things that I do to help me blog, and I'll share those with you.

  1. Keep a diary
  2. You're going to think I'm joking. I'm not. I actually have a diary for my blog. It's mostly filled with random notes about reviews, discussion post ideas and book soundtracks, but it helps me a lot. Because I am one of those people that think better writing things down by hand, it can be really difficult sometimes to transfer those on my blog. It's hell, actually. But, even if it is time-consuming, it is a great way for me to keep the ideas coming and to not forget what happened in a book when I need to write a review.

  3. Write that post no matter what
  4. Have you heard of those writers that tell other people who want to become writers to just sit in front of a computer and write down whatever it is that comes to mind? I find that if I really commit to writing down something, eventually it will turn out into a fit-to-be-published post. This is usually true only for discussion posts, since I love to babble on and on. With reviews it's kind of difficult to apply this technique, mostly because it's about my inspiration on what to actually say about a book, especially for those books I absolutely adored.

  5. Write down a schedule
  6. I know, you'll think I'm such a hypocrite. BUT! I've actually used schedules before and, when I was posting more regularly, the schedules helped.

  7. It's all about that playlist
  8. As you probably know, music is a big thing for me. Just go on Youtube, Spotify or 8tracks and pick a playlist that you like or put on a random playlist to discover some new, cool music, that will also inspire you to write. (Right now, I'm listening to country music, because country music rocks!)

  9. Change it up
  10. I know this is supposed to be mainly a book blog, but have you noticed I'm also occasionally writing about movies or TV shows? If something inspires you to write a post and share it with the world, then write it. It's your blog!

  11. Get inspired
  12. Don't be afraid to look at other blogs or media to get ideas for posts. PLEASE, PLEASE DON'T TAKE THIS AS PERMISSION TO PLAGIARIZE. There's a difference between getting ideas and copying without permission. And if you're not sure if getting an idea from someone for your post constitutes as plagiarism, ASK. Send an email to the original blogger and ask if you can use their post as inspiration for something for your blog, wait for their answer, and if it's positive, go ahead and write that post. AND CREDIT THE ORIGINAL BLOGGER!!

  13. Do you
  14. Don't try to fit a mold. Some people use GIFs in their reviews, some don't. Other bloggers that I follow write a summary of the book they're reviewing in the review, others don't. A few bloggers write their reviews in the form of lists, others write super lengthy reviews. The point is, everyone has different styles in blogging, so don't try to do what you think readers might like. Do what you like. I love it when I can feel a blogger is passionate about what they're talking about, no matter the format. Just as I can tell (and readers/viewers in general can tell this) when a blog post or a booktube video is forced or not necessarily something that the blogger loves/likes.

  15. Write about what you want to write about
  16. This ties up to number 5, so again, if you want to write about a new recipe that you discovered or a new TV show, or your newest favorite album, do that!

  17. Don't be afraid to say no
  18. I've found that ever since I took down my Review Policy page and since I decided not to accept review requests, my blogging has gotten more easier. I still receive books for review, but these are books that I request from Netgalley or books that I receive based on certain criteria (like adding them to my TBR on Goodreads). But since I started saying no, I found that I'm much more relaxed in my blogging.

  19. Take breaks
  20. I swear, these help 10000000000%. When you start to feel burned out or uninspired, take a blogging break. Your blog will still be there when you clear your head and find something you want to write about, I promise. And your followers will be there also.

So that's it, that's how I do it. Or that's how I try to do it. What about you? How do you blog?

Monday, March 21, 2016

Release Blitz: Drifter by Bella Jewel

Title: Drifter
Series: MC Sinners Next Generation #2
Author: Bella Jewel
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
 Release Date: March 21, 2016


They say opposites attract.
In my world that isn’t a good thing.
I did everything I could to escape the motorcycle club I grew up in when I turned twenty-one.
It wasn’t about fear, or betrayal, or even lack of love.
I just needed my own life.
I had to know how it felt to stand on my own two feet without their protection.
Then I met Diesel.
Mysterious, dark, with eyes that screamed to be understood.
From the second I met him, I knew I needed to be in his life.
There’s just one problem – he’s a member of a different motorcycle club.
Two things that should never be combined.
Yet I can’t stay away. No matter how hard he pushes. I can see beyond his mask.
I need to know who he is and I’ll overcome any obstacle to be in his life.
A friendship is born, followed by an epic love.
Our relationship is forbidden.
But I’ll do anything to be in his life.

Purchase Links


Also Available


Author Bio

Bella Jewel is a self published, USA Today bestselling author. She’s been publishing since 2013. Her first release was a contemporary romance, Hell’s Knights which topped the charts upon release. Since that time, she has published over five novels, gaining a bestseller status on numerous platforms. She lives in North Queensland and is currently studying editing and proofreading to further expand her career. Bella has been writing since she was just shy of fifteen years old. In Summer 2013 she was offered an ebook deal through Montlake Romance for her bestselling modern day pirate series, Enslaved By The Ocean. She plans to expand her writing career, planning many new releases for the future.

Author Links


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Blogging Extravaganza #4: A Letter To A Book I Hated

Happy Wednesday dear readers and welcome to day four of the awesome even Get Up Offa That Slump Blogging Extravaganza! For today's challenge, participants had to choose between writing a review of their favorite book ever or a review of a book they hated without letting people know which book that is. 

I was actually going to write a nice, positive post about my favorite book ever. At the last second, though, I realized how typical for me that post would be, so I decided to write a negative post instead. The challenge for this topic is to not give away any details that would let people know what book I'm talking about. So after I thought about it long and hard (more like I went with the first idea that came into my head), I give you:

A Letter To A Book I Hated

Dear Book,

Let me start by saying that I didn't finish reading you. I just couldn't. And I'm sad because of that. Remember how we met? I saw you at a book fair about 7 years ago. You were all alone, surrounded by books with flashier covers. Someone put you in the middle of a sea of books with dark covers and you were the only one with a white cover. Your big, red title drew my eyes and I decided to try to make friends with you. I really thought we'd be buddies, you know? You let me down!
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You mocked my history knowledge, which, let me tell you it might not be as big as it should be, but it was good enough. Worse, you mocked my country's ancient history, which pissed me off. Because what you said was untrue, stupid, petty, ignorant and... and... *takes a deep breath*

I don't know if the next part was the translator's fault or if it was all on you, but after that offensive misrepresentation, you started getting a bit Shakespearean. Only you are not Shakespeare! Oh no, you were like a virgin cocktail trying to pass for a real alcoholic beverage. You were bad at it, sister! You really were. Actually, you were so bad, I was laughing my ass off. What were you trying to do, charm me with your poetry?

 photo tumblr_moeha83A5l1qhigt0o1_250_zpsf33f477b.gifThis is actually how I looked like trying to read those lines. And the sad part is that you weren't even trying to be funny. You just wanted to describe something, instead you made me cry, I was laughing so hard. What's even sadder than that is that you are not a comedy book. You're a very serious book, about a very serious topic. So I don't understand where the poetry and the spouting of epithets and metaphors came from (see, I'm not as ignorant as you thought I was!).

I see you got some pretty good reviews on Goodreads, and if I were to ever send you this letter, I'd go on and ask all those readers what the hell did they get from you that I missed? Because I honestly wanna know!


Look, you need to stop looking at me from your spot in the bookshelf. It's creepy! We ain't happening! Ever! We're not going to be buddies anymore. And, sure, I could give you away and let you find happiness with someone who'd appreciate you, but I still remember how sad and lonely you looked that day at the book fair. I can't do that. But I'm not going to put you on my nightstand again, I'm not going to stuff you in my bag and take you out once I sit in my favorite seat on the bus when I leave for work. It's not happening. It's not me, it's you!

I'll just end this letter here, before you start crying.


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Wow, that was easier than I thought, guys! I feel so much better now! Thank you, Rachel, for this challenge! I didn't think it would be this easy. I feel like a changed blogger now. Seriously, it's so easy to be mean. I'm mean on a daily basis with most people, though, so it wasn't such a hard task. No I'm not, I'm just joking. I'm a nice girl! Anyway. I can't wait for Friday's challenge! And I can't wait for the weekend to catch up on reading the other participant's posts!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday #6: Top 10 Books On My Spring TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Hey guys! It's been a while since I participated in Top Ten Tuesday. Today's topic is

Top 10 Books On My Spring TBR List

I love TBR lists, because they allow me to get a little bit organized. Not only that, but it also allows me to at least try to take some books off of my big TBR mountain. Here are the books I hope I get around to reading this spring (in no particular order):

  1. The Children Of Hurin - J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. Unfinished Tales - J.R.R. Tolkien
  3. The Shadow Thief - Marc Levy
  4. The Children Of Freedom - Marc Levy
  5. Scarlet Feather - Maeve Binchy
  6. The Wedding Girl - Madeleine Wickham
  7. The Taxidermist's Daughter - Kate Musso
  8. Matilda - Roald Dahl
  9. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
  10. Blood Price - Tanya Huff

What's your spring TBR? 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Blogging Extravaganza #3: The Unpopular Book Tag

Hello all and welcome to our third day of Get Up Offa That Slump Blogging Extravaganza! I hope you all had a great weekend.

For today's challenge we had to choose between talking about what-ifs, specifically "If I were a fictional character", or we could do a book tag. Since I wanted to talk about books more than I wanted to talk about me, I decided to do a book tag. So, without further ado, I give you The Unpopular Book Tag, created by booktuber The Book Archer.

1. A popular book or series that you didn’t like

Oooooh boy!

Sorry, guys! As you might remember, I enjoyed the first half or so of the Clockwork Angel, but then I ended up with a 3 star review. And I tried to read City Of Bones, but I couldn't get past a well-known trope that I'll talk about on another question in this tag.

2. A popular book or series that everyone seems to hate but you love

I've seen tons of mixed reviews for The Witch Hunter on Goodreads. I'm not saying everyone hates the book, but a considerable amount of book bloggers that I follow don't give this book a higher rating than 3 stars.

3. A love triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with OR an OTP that you don’t like

Would you believe me if I told you that the answer to this question is NONE? Honestly, there aren't any couples I'm not happy with. And the only OTPs I don't like are usually from the books I end up DNFing. Not because I seek out to hate that couple, but just because by DNFing the book, I end up not finding out why those characters work together, why they fell in love with each other.

4. A popular book genre you hardly reach for

Sci-fi. I realized a few days ago, as I was marathoning the first season of The 100 that I don't read sci-fi as much. I plan on changing that this year. Do you guys know any good sci-fi books? Share in the comments if you want :D

5. A popular or beloved character you don’t like

I struggled a lot with this question. Mainly because again, it's pretty difficult to pick a character that I don't like in a book that I finished reading. Even Snape manages to somewhat win me over, even if he did act like a giant ass half of the times for no apparent reason other than Harry being James Potter's son. I would probably say Snape, but again, even he manages to sometimes persuade me to like him just a tiiiiiny little bit.

6. A popular author that you can’t get into

Stephen King. I just can't...

7. A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing (examples: lost princess, corrupt ruler, love triangles)

This is the trope I said I was going to talk about. Pretty girl means bitchy shrew. I swear to the book gods, if I read about the pretty mean girl one more time, I'll scream. Why is it that even now, in the so-called modern age, we have this trope? Why do we try to make beauty a symbol for pettiness, and internal ugliness? Why can't we just have a pretty and good girl? I'm sick of the two things being mutually exclusive.

8. A popular series that you have no interest in reading

*long sigh* Here's the thing. I'm not saying this book is not a worldwide phenomenon, because it is. In fact, it's been one of those books, the ones who managed to change thousands of people and turned them into avid readers. Which is great, because I do believe that books are among man's greatest inventions ever. But I personally can't get past the sparkling. I know, you'll think it's childish on my part. And maybe it is. But I don't want my vampires to sparkle. Or to inspire unhealthy obsessions, if the books are anything like the movies in that department.

9. The saying goes “the book is always better than the movie”, but what movie or TV show adaptation do you prefer more than the book?

It's not that I prefer it to the book, but you gotta admit that Colin Firth playing Mr. Darcy makes the classic Pride and Prejudice a lot better than it was. The book is fantastic, but then there's Colin Firth.

That's it for today's Blogging Extravaganza, guys! I hope you enjoyed it. I can't wait to see what the other participants wrote about.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Blogging Extravaganza #2: Inspirational Women In Fiction

Hello, wonderful readers! Welcome to the second day of this Blogging Extravaganza. Today we're talking about one of my favorite topic:

Inspirational Women In Fiction

I'm all for girl power, ladies and gentlemen, because let's be honest here: we need more of kick ass women in fiction.

Here are some of the women that I've seen on screen of that I've read about in books that inspired me: (Just as an FYI, some of the books/tv shows/movies I'll mention might not be PG-13, but will be dedicated to a mature audience)

  • Wonder Woman - Wonder Woman comic book series
Because not only did she kick tons of ass, she was a female superhero.
  • Hermione Granger - Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Because she showed me and tons of other little girls that it was okay to want to have good grades in school, that it was okay to wear glasses at a young age, that having brown hair doesn't make you boring, and that you can be smart, have your own opinions and be a main character without having to feel guilty for it.
  • Elizabeth Bennet - Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
Because she showed everyone that even though society tries to dictate how you should dress, how you should move, walk, talk, even what your hobbies should be, you don't have to bow down to nobody's rules but your own.
  • Jessica Randall - Club Shadowlands by Cherise Sinclair
Because she showed readers that wanting something that's not the vanilla, old-fashioned missionary sex isn't a bad thing, that you're not "sick", "depraved" or "not normal" when everything is safe, sane and consensual between adults.
  • Buffy - Buffy The Vampire Slayer TV show
Because she showed viewers that being a female doesn't automatically mean that you're weak and in need of protection from a bigger, stronger male character.
  • Veronica Mars - Veronica Mars TV show
Because she took the horrific thing that happened to her at a party and turned it into a weapon instead of allowing others to shame her for it. Because she was smart and because she accepted to become friends with people who don't necessarily fit the description of "good guys" perfectly in the eyes of the society, but they were good friends to her.

I could probably go on a little bit more (I actually planned on it, tbh), but it seems as if my fever is back (did I forget to mention I'm sick? Because I have the flu from hell) and I need to get into bed, otherwise I fear the cold from this fever will make me have frostbite if I don't get warm and toasty.

What are some female characters that you love in fiction? Do share, please!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Wednesday Chatter #14: When Fictional Worlds Keep Growing Bigger

Wednesday Chatter is a weekly feature at Ruby's Books where we'll be talking about anything and everything related to books and reading. Click here if you want to see what we talked about in the previous weeks

WARNING: Some bad words might be used in the following post. Don't say I didn't warn you!

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Hey guys! Happy Wednesday! It's been a while since I've been so excited about a discussion post. Before I go on with today's topic though, I want to say something. I'll be discussing some books, some movies and some TV shows here, some in a positive way and others in a not-so-positive way. This doesn't mean I don't like them or that I'm changing my mind about them, it just means that I feel these stories are good examples of the things I'm going to talk about. So don't hate on me okay? Okay!

As you all probably know, there's a Harry Potter play that will be published this July and the Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them movie is actually going to be a trilogy. The Potterhead in me is doing major happy dances. Disclaimer: When I first saw the teaser trailer for the movie, I cried a little. Just like I cried when I saw the first Hobbit trailer. I'm not even ashamed about that.

I was reading this article on Tor and it got me thinking. Everyone was ecstatic when the news of not one, not two, but THREE more Avatar movies were going to be made. I was probably the only idiot on the entire planet confused by that decision, because what else was there to say in that story, but I didn't crap on anyone's joy.

And remember the joy everyone felt when news finally broke out that The Hobbit finally got the green light and was going to be filmed? I remember that day. I went like this:

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That doesn't even come close to describing how I felt when I saw the trailer (remember, I just told you I cried!). Because in my opinion there should be no limits to Middle Earth. I always want to learn more of Tolkien's fictional world and I'm always happy when I find out there's another book out.

 photo tumblr_mu91xr74A01s7udfuo1_400_zpsa22c150d.gifAt the same time though, there are book series that are getting too big and that have me wondering where could the story possibly go now? I'm looking at you, Sookie Stackhouse. For me, it all depends on storytelling and POVs. If a book series is told solely from one character's perspective, I get tired. Because how many bad things can happen to one person?

Sure, you could think that the character is like Dean Winchester in the Season 3 Mystery Spot episode when he dies again and again and again in different ways. After a while, though, the plot becomes repetitive. 

We already know, with each crime drama on TV that someone dies a somewhat horrific death and a team of great detectives find the killer usually in one episode, unless it's a special villain and it takes 2, maybe 3 episodes to catch him/her. Of course, there's the "Big Bad" of crime shows, but those are few. Most of the time it's a bad guy killing a good guy and the cops catch them. Do I keep watching those shows? Yes, because even if it's repetitive, it's become part of my weekly routine. How could I not watch it?

Are there too-long series out there? Yep. Do people still read/watch them? Yep. Will they keep watching? Some might, some might move on to other shows and other books. 

I have found myself wondering "Really, another one?" when there's a new book or a new movie or a new season announced for a long-running story. Sometimes it feels as if the story is like "butter scraped over too much bread", to quote Bilbo Baggins. It's not about me not wanting more news from my favorite characters, it's that sometimes it seems like those news just make those characters lose their essence. It's different for book series where each book tells the story of a different character. Because then it becomes like a huge puzzle, like there's this huge world that I don't know anything about and it's in black and white, but as more books come out, pieces of that world becomes colored and why would that be a bad thing?

I personally have no issue with authors or movie/tv people deciding to make a world bigger and bigger. For example, I choose to ignore the fact that Sookie doesn't end up with Eric and it works just fine for me. Just like I want to believe that Xena ended with Gabrielle bringing her bestie back from the dead in season 6, instead of letting her stay dead to not release the angry spirits. In the same way I want to hug the scholars who discover more of Tolkien's work regarding Middle Earth.

But why is it that some people get mad when an author decides to write another book in a series? Or to renew a TV show? Sure, you might argue that with TV shows, that means that a brand new TV show won't be made. And you're right! How many times have we not heard the "ratings weren't as high as we wanted them to be" excuse for cancelling a show, while at the same time a show with less than good ratings is kept on the air? A lot of times. But is that really a reason to get mad over?

It's not as if someone is forcing you to read or watch something. It's one of the things that have always confused me when seeing people displeased by "yet another....." whatever. You can change the channel or not buy a book, you can not watch a movie. You can choose to ignore all the new trivia that Rowling gave us in the last years about the wizarding world, just like you can can choose to accept them and to allow your imagination to run wild with all that new information. But I feel like at the end of the day, if a writer wants to add more details to their work, it's their choice. Because it's their work. And no one knows that world better than the creator of that world.

What is your take on this subject? Should authors and movie/TV creators stop making their fictional world bigger or should we just choose when a world stops growing for us, without crapping all over everyone else's parade?

Blogging Extravaganza #1: Interview With Myself

Hey guys! Last week I saw Rachel's post for this challenge and I thought I'd sign up. As you probably noticed, I've been pretty absent lately, since I started my internship. This is because I've been a lazy human, basically. However, since I am a responsible adult *snorts*, I've decided to do something to improve my blogging skills. That and I want to join in, because this sounds lice fun. And because I also love talking and rambling (in case you missed that!). So here we are. The first challenge is to interview yourself. Here we go!

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Q: Hello, self! What's your name?
A: Hello! I'm Ruby.

Q: Nice to talk to you, Ruby! What's the last book you read that absolutely loved?
A: Stronger Than Fear by Marc Levy. I loved the fact that after reading that book, I'm not sure if the plot unfolded completely in one character's imagination, because he was in a coma, or if those things actually happened.
Awesome! Errr...Next question!

Q: A bookish pet peeve.
A: What kind of questions are these, self? *long sigh* Dog-eared corners. Why is that even a thing? It shouldn't be done!

Q: Wow, don't be so touchy! You are talking to yourself here! A song you currently have on repeat?
A: Huh, I guess that's true! I See Fire by Ed Sheeran. I actually have Ed Sheeran on repeat in general right now.
Good choice, self!

Q: Latest TV show obsession?
A: Ha! That's a long answer. Second Chance, The 100, Strike Back, Blindspot, Supernatural, How To Get Away With Murder, NCIS, Quantico, Once Upon A Time, Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter, Arrow, The Flash, and these are just a few.

Q: Coffee or tea?
A: Both. It depends a lot on my mood. And how hot it is outside.

Q: Favorite ice cream flavor?
A: Mint chocolate chip. Although coffee ice cream is also really tasty!
Yes it is!

Q: What's the funniest book you've ever read?
A: Probably Can You Keep A Secret by Sophie Kinsella. I still giggle whenever I remember the scene when Emma thinks a drawing of a tree, I think, was actually a drawing of a uterus. Because that was the funniest thing ever!

Q: What's one theme you never thought you'd enjoy watching or reading about?
A: Time travel. The idea of landing somewhere in the past or in the future freaks me out for some reason. Either I know absolutely nothing about the world, or I'm used to certain stuff that I wouldn't have access to in earlier centuries. Can we say toilets and hot water?? And yet, I did enjoy watching Outlander. I haven't finished watching the entire season, because I want to read the book first. But as far as I got (I think episode...3?) I enjoyed it. And Claire is a smart woman, which is probably why I enjoyed it so much. Okay, and Jamie too.

Q: Is it strange having your interview taken?
A: By myself you mean? Yes, because apparently I have no imagination when it comes to asking questions! Although that last question was pretty good, if I may say so!

Q: Well, it was nice talking to...myself.
A: Yes it was. As it says in that Facebook meme (that I can't find right now, for some reason), sometimes you need some expert advice, and who better to give it than yourself?

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That's it for the first post of the Blogging Extravaganza. I hope you had fun and I can't wait to read your posts too!

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