Saturday, July 28, 2012

Stacking the Shelves {6} & My Reading Pile {10}

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews, so as I am sharing what was in my mailbox this week, I am giving a big shout out to her.

Wow! Has it really been three weeks already since my last STS post? I can't believe it.

First of, I have to mention an amazing book I forgot to talk about during my last Stacking the Shelves post. I'm not sure how many of you participated in the #CleanUpTBRPile Read-a-thon that the wonderful Valerie from Stuck In Books hosted a while back. It was such an amazing event, and Valerie did an amazing job with it. During one of the twitter parties I actually ended up winning a prize which I was allowed to pick myself. There were quite a few winners before me, so I had to keep my fingers crossed that the book I really wanted would still be available by the time it was my turn to choose.

Well, I got lucky and it was, in fact, still available, so my choice was

Exiled by M.R. Merrick!!! The author himself send me a Kindle copy of it and I cannot wait to get started. Now, I'm just waiting to finally get my Kindle, but it will come. So, yes, I am super, super excited for this book! Thank you so, so much to both Valerie and M.R. Merrick! You guys rock!


I received four books in the last three weeks and each and every one of them is fantastic!

If you've read my last STS post, you probably know how devastated I was about having to bring Veronica Roth's Insurgent back to the library before finishing it. Well, lo and behold, two days after I returned it, this beautiful, beautiful ARC showed up at my front door.

I won it a few months ago, but there were some shipping issues, so it took a little bit longer. But it was sooo worth the wait! I read it right away and it was absolutely fantastic. Though, I haven't decided yet whether I like this one more than Divergent or not. At the moment, I'm leaning more towards Divergent being my favorite, to be honest.
Thank you so much to the lovely Harmony of Radiant Reads!!!


The next two books I won during ArmchairBEA. The amazing Cindy from Cindy's Love Of Books was offering a Gift Card and I was the lucky one who won it. With it, I picked these two fabulous books.

I had a really tough time deciding which books to pick. Well, that's actually only half true, because I always knew I would pick Rachel Vincent's Shadow Bound, mainly so I would finally get off my butt and read Blood Bound which has been collecting dust on my shelves for way too long. There are three books I have to finish first, but after that I'm going to make a list and both, Blood Bound and Shadow Bound, will be very close to the top.

Now, I had real trouble picking the second book because there are so many I really want to read. At the end, it came down to If I Stay by Gayle Forman and Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers.
My dear friend Alba (from BookPics) urged me to get If I Stay. She absolutely loves the book and the author; and after some research at my local library, I discovered they were purchasing Grave Mercy. Just like that, the decision was kind of made for me, both by the library and Alba. I know I'll have to have lots of tissues handy when reading this, so I'm going to wait until I'm in the mood for a real good cry to read this one.


 The last book is a book that got sent to me directly from the author.

It's called Die Klingen der Rose (Jenseits des Horizonts) by Zoe Archer, which is the German version of her book Warrior (The Blades of the Rose #1). She also included some really neat swag. I especially love the pen, I've been writing everything with it ever since I got it. Yes, I admit, I'm a sucker for swag. *lol*


Now, off to topic number two...

My Reading Pile {10}

The fabulous fiktshun came up with this wonderful idea to share the books you are planning on reading each week. So, as I am sharing my picks with you, I am giving credit her.

I have two books on my pile this week.

The first one is Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen. It is the book club read for July and since our next meeting is on Tuesday, I better get at it. So far, I have only read the first couple of pages, but I am liking it already. I can't wait explore this new world some more.

The second book is a book I received for review - House of Shadows by Rachel Neumeier. I have read the first chapter already and it's a little bit difficult to keep up because there are so many strange names, but I am hoping the more I get into the story, the easier it will get to tell who is who.


You know what I will be reading this week, so it's your turn to tell me. I would love to hear from you!

Have a wonderful reading week!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Long-overdue Apology & a HUGE Thank You!

I feel so, so terrible...

With great shock, I realized I haven't posted ANYTHING in TWO WEEKS!!! Two weeks is an incredibly long time when it comes to blogging. This is so not acceptable, and I want to take this time to sincerely apologize to anyone who I might have let down with this involuntary hiatus.

These past two weeks seem to have just flown by and I have no idea where they went.

I had been in kind of a writing slump even before these two weeks - can you believe I STILL haven't written my review for Before I Wake? It's been a month since I've read it! *sigh* Then real life got really busy and somewhat stressful, and to top it all off, there was/is all this drama in the blogosphere going on.

I won't go into detail or really talk about all the horrible things that have been going on, but they have shaken me up quite a bit.

Even though, none of the issues affected me personally - apart from probably the whole MyFreeCopyright mess (go HERE to find out what I'm talking about if you don't know already) - but it all just makes me really, really sad.

I have only been blogging for six months, but have already made a few really wonderful blogger friends, and I was having a fantastic time, but all this negativity going around kind of put a damper on all that. Maybe some people will say I'm overreacting, and that's it's really not that bad, but I am a very emotional person and things like these just get to me and can really put me down. It's why - apart from tweets for the YA Crush Tourney - I have been staying offline for the most part of the last three or four days. It's been refreshing and so relaxing as well.

So, yes, this is basically why I have been somewhat of a slacker around here lately, but I am starting to find my groove back, so be on the lookout for more regular posts coming your way.

Thank you so much for not giving up on me!!! I really, truly appreciate each and every one you!!!


Before I go to bed, I want to send a  MASSIVE THANK YOU to all the #TeamTOD and #TeamREAPER peeps out there! Even though we lost, you guys absolutely ROCKED MY WORLD!!! We made it to a whooping 31% and 1659 votes which is pretty impressive if you ask me.

Thank you guys all so much! We would never have gotten there without any of you!!! 


Tod and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!!


That's it for tonight. Have a wonderful weekend with tons and tons of books!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

#YACrushTourney 2.0 - VOTE FOR #TeamTOD TODAY!!!



GO #TeamTOD!!! GO #TeamREAPER!!!


I am Ina from smiling_ina's bookish corner and I am very proud to be the advocate of a gentleman who is loved by many, many readers. He is one of many amazing characters of Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamers series. She created a fantastic world with bean sidhes, reapers, hellions, and other Netherworld creatures. In doing so, she also managed to create one of the best male fictional characters to ever appear in the bookish world. Of course, I am talking about none other than


He has thick blond boy-lashes over bright blue, swirling eyes, cherubic lips, and a mop of short blond curls. He has a strong, square chin and a short, pale goatee. As if that wasn't enough to draw you in, he also has an impish grin highlighting his angelic features, lighting him from within.

AND he has DIMPLES!!! Plus, with his mesmerizing swirling eyes it is very, very hard NOT to fall for him. If all this doesn't make your heart skip a beat or two, then I don't know what or who would....


Being a reaper comes with a few sweet "powers." He can teleport from one place to another within seconds - he could even take you with him. In addition to that, he has selective corporeality which means he can chose who sees and hears him. He plays some hilarious tricks on his brother with that. It's too adorable! It is also a very handy quality to have since you only need to hold his hand - or otherwise touch him *winkwink* - and the two of you will not be heard or seen by anyone else, unless you want them to.

I can imagine a TON of situations where this could be so very useful...

He is very, very talented at being sarcastic.

"Anything else? Can I fan you with a big palm leaf? Feed you grapes while you write your homework in my blood?"

Since he also is a super fast pizza delivery guy, you'll never have to wait another hour for your favorite Italian food again. *yum*


Of course, being a reaper means he has a dangerous side to him as well. He would never do anything to purposefully hurt the people he cares about. However, if you cross his path or try to harm a person he loves in any way, you're in deep, deep trouble. Reapers are known as the "Bringers of Death" and there is a good reason for that....

Having said that though, Tod is the perfect mix between charming and dangerous. Being a reaper makes him by default dangerous, and believe me when I say you do not want to be on his bad side.

He is sweet and somehow always seems to know the right words and things to say, especially when it comes to Kaylee.

He is extremely loyal, caring, and there is nothing he wouldn't do for the people he loves - even if it means sacrificing his own life.

He is incredibly funny and ALWAYS has a hilarious comment on his lips. He loves to just pop up out of nowhere and annoy his brother to no end. He never ever fails to amuse me.


To show off both his humorous and his sensitive side, here are a few quotes of his I love:

"I'm dead, not impotent. Nasty rumors like that must be squashed before they gain momentum. Feel free to emphasize how very functional I am."

"So, would you say I'm closer to a zombie or a vampire? I gotta know - are my parts going to rot and fall off, or am I forever frozen in youthful perfection?"


"There's a good kind of crazy, Kaylee," [...] "It's the kind that makes you think about things that make your head hurt, because not thinking about them is the coward's way out. The kind that makes you touch people who bruise your soul, just because they need to be touched. This is the kind of crazy that lets you stare out into the darkness and rage at eternity, while it stares back at you, ready to swallow you whole."


"[...] You're the brightest thing I've ever seen, Kaylee. You're this beautiful ball of fire spitting sparks out at the world, burning fiercely, holding back the dark by sheer will. And I always knew that if I reached out--if I tried to touch you--I'd get burned. Because you're not mine. I'm not supposed to feel the fire. I'm not supposed to want it. But I do. [...] I want the fire. I want the heat, and the light, and I want the burn."

So, to sum it all up, Tod is freaking amazing!!! More often than not you will find a mischievous grin on his face which means he could be up to ANYTHING. However, he also has a more serious side to him which he won't just show to anyone. You will have to earn his absolute trust first.

He looks out for his family and friends and does everything in his power to protect them. He is charming, smart, witty, and stands up for what he believes is right.


I can in all honesty say TOD HUDSON is my most favorite fictional character EVER!

I love:
  • his humor, the way he just pops up behind people and scares the bejeezus out them, and then acts all innocently.
  • his vulnerability which he only seems to show when he's around Kaylee.
  • his cheeky grin and mesmerizing eyes.

AND I absolutely LOVED it
  • when he punched his own brother in the face - YAY! GO TOD because Nash definitely deserved that one!

    Please give Tod your vote and I know he'll be forever grateful! He has an eternity to look forward to, so I mean FOREVER! ;)

    Go #TeamTOD!!! Go #TeamREAPER!!!

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

    #YACrushTourney 2.0 - TOD's match starts at MIDNIGHT!!!

    This is just a quick reminder to all my fellow #TeamTOD and #TeamREAPER lovers!

    Tod's very first match is going live at 


    and will be on for 

    24 HOURS!!!

    Keep an eye on the YA Sisterhood website after midnight, and I will also be posting the link right here on the blog once it's live.

    Don't forget to get everybody voting - tweet, facebook, tumblr - every single vote counts!

    Thank you all so much!!! I'm so excited to get this started!!!

    GO #TeamTOD!!! GO #TeamREAPER!!!

    Sunday, July 8, 2012

    Stacking the Shelves {5} & My Reading Pile {9}

    Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and by sharing what I received in the mail this week, I am giving credit to her.

    I had two incredible weeks at my mailbox. I was going to put up a post last Saturday, but my birthday and a busy weekend got kind of in the way of that. Anyway, off to why you're really here.

    So, last weekend was my birthday and my amazing husband got me a gift card for Amazon, so that I can buy my very own Kindle. I haven't bought one yet though, because there are rumors of a Kindle Touch with Light/Glow releasing some time this month. I have waited this long already, so a couple more weeks won't hurt.

    One of my longest and dearest friends, Susi, also gave me an Amazon gift card. She thought it was kind of a boring gift idea, but I couldn't have been any happier. Thanks to her, I can now call these two beautiful books my own.

    I love how the camera light made the title for Masque of the Read Death look so colorful. I think everybody who knows me, knows how much I have wanted to have this book and I cannot believe it has finally found its way onto my bookshelf.

    Everneath by Brodi Ashton is another one of those books that have been on my to-buy list for a very long time. Its cover is absolutely gorgeous and I cannot wait to dive into the world of Nikki and Cole.

    Thanks to the wonderful people at Hachette Canada, I know own my very first physical copy of a review book. The cover for House of Shadows is so stunning, and the story sounds so very interesting.

    Wrecked by Anna Davies is a book I won during a giveaway at  My Shelf Confessions and the lovely people from Simon & Schuster Teen sent it to me.


    Lastly, I got some really neat swag from the #DaemonInvasion Tour. Aren't they pretty? Thank you so much to Janae from Janae's Book Obsession for sending this to me!

    This week at the library

    Yes, yes, I know I have too many books already and I haven't even finished my last library books yet, but when I saw that this book was being acquired I just had to put my name on the "hold" list. Now, it's my turn to get sucked right back into the world of The Mortal Instruments.

    Yes, that is City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare! It has taken me everything I have to stay away from all kinds of website around the Internet to avoid reading any spoilers. Apart from one thing which I read by accident when somebody tweeted about it on twitter, I don't know about anything that happens in this book. I haven't even read the back cover yet and I won't until after I read the book. I am very excited about this one!

    My Reading Pile {9}

    As I am sharing what I will be reading this week, I am giving a huge shout out the wonderful Rachel over at fiktshun who came up with this brilliant idea.

    I am ashamed to admit I haven't read anything in three weeks. Rachel Vincent's Before I Wake totally and utterly destroyed me and I just haven't been able to pick up another book ever since I finished it. That is really not good AT ALL, especially considering I now only have about a day and half to read Insurgent by Veronica Roth and I am only about sixty pages in. If I don't finish it now though, I won't get another chance for at least another month or two since the waiting list for this book is extremely long at my library. Well, we shall see what happens.

    For pretty much the same reason and because I am dying to find out what happens in this fifth book of the series, my read after Insurgent is going to be City of Lost Souls.

    If I happen to have more time to read this week - and don't end up in another reading slump - I will also add House of Shadows to my reading pile.


    So, what about you? Did you get any bookish goodies in the mail this week? Do you have a list of particular books you would like to read in the following days? I would love to hear from you!

    Have a wonderful reading week!!!


    And don't forget Wednesday, July 11th is #TeamTOD's first match at the #YACrushTourney 2.0!!!

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

    #YACrushTourney 2.0 - TOD CRUSH BUTTONS!!!

    Grab your TEAM TOD button TODAY!!!

    Here just a quick post to let everyone know that the FANTASTIC Rachel from fiktshun designed some super awesome crush buttons for our favorite reaper!!!

    Feel free to grab them and put them on your blog's sidebar or even use them as your AVI! Anything and everything will help spread the word!

    Without further ado, look at the awesomeness:

    Team Tod

    Team Tod


    Some of you might also still remember the really cute AVI Rachel Vincent's husband created specifically for last year's #YA Crush Tourney.

    If you would like to use it again this year, feel free to grab it.


    Fiktshun's Rachel also made me an incredible Advocate's button:

    Ah, I could stare at it all day long!


    See a button you like? Feel free to grab it and help spread the word for TEAM TOD!!!

    Thank you again so, so much, Rachel for these fabulous buttons!!! Tod and I will be forever grateful!!!

    Only one week and a little over an hour until Tod's first match!!!

    GO TEAM TOD!!!

    UPDATE: I can't get the first button to show up, but it looks like the one at the top of my right sidebar. The code works!!!

    #YACrushTourney - TOD HUDSON's advocate!!!

    Hello my lovelies!

    I'm so sorry I've been a little bit absent over the weekend, but it was a busy one and today was the first quiet and relaxing day - it felt so good.

    That's not the reason for this post though. I am sure a lot of you remember the amazing YA Sisterhood's Crush Tourney last year. It was the event and the incredible advocating job of Rachel from fiktshun who got me into reading Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamers series and ultimately made me fall in love with our one and only reaper, Tod Hudson. Back then, I didn't even have a blog - I was barely realizing there actually WERE blogs dedicated only to books.

    This year there will be another YA Crush Tourney and I still cannot believe I am saying this but I - yes, silly old me!!! - will be Tod's advocate this year!!! When I first find out, I literally jumped up and down screaming - there might even have been a hysterical laugh thrown in here or there. My other half just looked at me a bit weird, but I didn't care.

    I AM TOD HUDSON's ADVOCATE - yes, THE Tod Hudson!!!

    I cannot say it often enough, I am so, so excited and proud and am really, really hoping to do him and Rachel Vincent justice. I have very big shoes to fill after the incredible and amazing job fiktshun did last year.

    Tod and I will need ALL of YOU to help get him to the second round. His first match is a really tough one. 


    WEDNESDAY - JULY 11th, 2012 against Magnus Bane from Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments series

    Voting will be open from 12:00am to 12:00am Eastern Time.

    I will be posting the link here on the blog on match day, and you will also see me tweeting @smiling_ina all day long, so be prepared to get spammed with Tod and #YACrushTourney tweets on July, 11th. You can also follow Julie from Confessions of a Teenage Bibliophile on twitter @lBrokenAngel since she is a member of TEAM TOD as well.

    We need to rally up as many friends, relatives, bloggers, anybody to vote for Tod! If you want to help Tod, please tweet, facebook, tumblr, as much as you possibly can before and on his match day. Please remember though, to keep everything friendly. No bashing of Magnus Bane or Cassandra Clare. It's all supposed to be a lot of fun, so we don't want any negativity.

    I am super stoked to get this thing started!!!