Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Goodbye to 2013, Hello to 2014 (Giveaway)

Today it’s the first day in a new year. And time for me to look back at 2013, saying goodbye to the past year, and embrace the new one.

So, what happened blog wise for me in 2013? A lot actually. I left Dangerous Romance in August, and started my own blog – the one you’re at right now. I learned a lot from Laurie, and we’re still friends, but it was time for me to move on, to try my own wings.
 The amazing design I have now is due to Ren from R&R Designs. I love it, and was VERY excited to have it up and running before December.
Another friend helped me start Sabina’s Adventures In Reading; Penny from The Library at the END of the Universe, she even made the initial design for me. Not to mention all the times she listened to me when I was asking how I did this or that, since I wasn't used to working with Blogger. Or when I needed a shoulder to lean on in general. Thank you My Dear for being there for me, even when you where going through your own personal hell.

Hugs N Kisses

Book wise, it’s been an amazing road. I’ve read 103 books in 2013. Some really good, a few… meh. My review for Bound by Wish and Mistletoe by Kat Bastion got quoted on Amazon and B&N under editorial reviews. I even got to see one of my old reviews from Dangerous Romance(All Spell Breaks Loose) quoted in Lisa Shearin’s new book; The Grendel Affair.

I’ve met new authors, friends, bloggers, revised myself as a person and a blogger, and most importantly… I’ve had fun. My love for books is what drives me (like so many other bloggers), and when an author contacts me, may it be for a possible review, interview, spotlight, Author Take Over, or when a reader of my blog leaves a message, my heart swells with love and pride. I want to say Thank You and give a big hug to everyone who supported me this year, been by my blog, read my reviews, liked my statuses and participated in one way or another. Another even bigger hug goes to every author I've reviewed, received a free book from and gotten to know. I owe some of you a review, I'm hoping to catch up on this in January & February (one of the reasons why I haven't signed up for any blog tours); so please be patient with me a little longer. I'm reading and typing as fast as I can :-)

2013 was a turbulent year for me, both as a blogger and personally, but all in all, it has been an amazing year. SO, I’m raising my teacup, saying Goodbye to the wonderful year that was 2013, and Welcome to 2014. I’m excited to see what you bring us all.

I’m starting 2014 by looking back at 2013 and mention some of my favorite reads. There’s been quite a few, and it wasn’t easy to make a top 10. Take a look, and let me know; was one of your favorite reads on my list? (The books are listed in random order.)
R.L. Naquin:
I seriously CAN'T choose between her two books and two short stories. This year alone, I've read Pooka in My Pantry, Fairies in My Fireplace, Ill-conceived Magic & Hidden Holidays. All 4 was wonderful. I love the world Rachel has created, and I'm always excited when we're closing in on a release from her. Monster Haven Series has everything I'm looking for in a book; humor, serious topics, heartaches, hope, magic, love, magical creatures (ALL kinds of creatures!!!), and a world I can get lost in. If you're looking for a new author, a good book, you really should check out Rachel's Monster Haven Series. Amazing and wonderful is just a few words to describe them!!
Kait Ballenger:
Another wonderful author (and friend), who released her first book this year. Her novel Shadow
Hunter was featured in After Dark with Gena Showalter in June, and her first book in her Execution Underground Series was released August. I was also so lucky to be able to help Kait and Beat read her next book; Immortal Hunter (releases in April), and I'm telling you, you do NOT want to miss this series. Just be prepared to stock up on food and beverages, because once you settle in, you're not letting go of her books until you're done with the last page. Don't ask me to choose between Shadow Hunter, Twilight Hunter & Immortal Hunter. It's impossible. I love each book on its own, everyone brings something special to me as a reader and to the series. Kait Ballenger is definitely an author you should keep an eye on!
Kat Bastion:
I was caught from the get go when I started reading Forged by Dreams and Magick. Bound by Wish and Mistletoe proved to be just as good, and I can't choose between them. I loved Forged by Dreams and Magick due to the time travel, the love, an impossible situation turned worse, the history weaved into the pages, just as I loved Bound by Wish and Mistletoe due to the feistiness of Susanna, protectiveness by Robert, and the magic brought by Christmas.
Kat spins a tale that leaves you hungry for more, and I was honored to receive early ARC's of both.
Sonya Loveday:
Sonya published her first book this year; Casted. I have to say, I was soooo not prepared for what was lying ahead of me when picking up this book. Magic, love, ancient war come to live, and don't get me started on the ENDING!!! Casted was an intense read, a book I found myself unwilling to let go off, even after the last page was turned and the book closed. Casted stayed with me in my mind, and I had so many questions I wanted answers to. Luckily, I got something REALLY awesome in my mailbox yesterday - nope, not telling... Yet. *smiles*
Sarah J. Carr:
Again, an author new to me this year. It started innocently with me receiving and reading the prequel
pRevealing Hamilton. It was quickly followed by Revealing Hamilton, and the short story Engaging Kennewick and my first read in 2014 will be Embracing Hamilton (#2 in JackRabbit7 Series). Almost done actually, and so far it is living up to my expectations. Sarah's books are not cuddly, but filled with mystery, science, fear, loss, hope, frustration, action and twisted plots. Just when you think you know where the story is going, Sarah pulls the rug out from underneath your feet. Brilliant, but scary read!!!
Lisa Shearin:
If you read my review yesterday, you will know exactly why The Grendel Affair is on this list. My expectations for this book was high (it is Lisa Shearin, after all!!), and not only did Lisa meet my high expectations, but she RAISED the bar. I loved every damn second of The Grendel Affair. Thank you Lisa, for creating another wonderful book, I hope the next will be just as amazing!!
Shelley Adina:
I am late to the party with Shelley's Magnificent Devices Series. Lady of Devices was released in 2011, but I read it this in January 2013. In 2013, I almost caught up with the entire series, just shy of one; A Lady of Resources, the last released in Magnificent Devices. To me, this is Steampunk when it is amazing. The wonderful devices, the adventure, Lady Claire's bravery, the mopsies.... Just to name a few. If you're not sure if steampunk is for you, you should try Shelley's Lady of Devices (Magnificent Devices #1). I know I LOVE this series.
Debbie Viguié:
I've read both The 13th Sacrifice and The Last Grave in 2013, but the one who stands out the most in my mind, is The 13th Sacrifice. I made the mistake of starting reading this when it was pitch dark outside, and my hubby had gone to bed. 1,5 pages. That was all it took, and I was literally running off to bed to crawl under the covers next to my husband, it was THAT scary. Her third book in this series will be released in 2014, and I am curious to see where Debbie takes Samantha next.
Katalina Leon:
I don't know what I expected when picking up Fairy in the Flesh, but certainly not what I was getting.
This book is just 121 pages long, but what an amazing story Katalina packed into those pages. Time travel, absinthe, painter, an impossible love, heartache, and an ending to die for! I am going to look into more of Katalina's books, because if Fairy in the Flesh is an indication of how her writing style is..... wow... I'm definitely in trouble then!!
Jill Archer:
In 2013 Jill released the Fiery Edge of Steel (Noon onyx #2), and even though it took me a while to
read the book, it was amazing. Jill asked the question; what if the demons won Armageddon? What would happen, would live continue, or would everything perish?

Jill gave me a left hook when the book was about to end, and I was left shell shocked and wondering what would happen. Because I did SO not see that one coming. The characters are wonderful, I loved the new ones coming into play, and how Noon had matured compared to the first book; Dark Light of Day.
This was my top 10 for 2013, but of course there are many books that I loved that I would've wanted to put on the list; Cursed by SJ Harper, Death of the Mad Hatter by Sarah J. Pepper, Chasing the Star Garden by Melanie Karsak, Immortal Eyes by Dama Blythe, Three Wishes by Paula Millhouse, Blood Roses by Lindsay J. Pryor, and many, many more.
Taking a closer look at 2014, there are quite a few books, I'm looking forward to; Immortal Hunter by Kait Ballenger (yes, I have read it, but it was a beat read, and I'm telling you, it is AWESOME, and it will be even better when it is done!),  Golem in My Glovebox (Monster Haven #4), Hunting Hamilton by Sarah J. Carr, the next book in Kat Bastion's Highland Legends Series,  Lisa Shearin's Dragon Conspiracy (SPI Files #2), Sonya Loveday's next book - just to name a few.
Which books are YOU looking forward to in this new year?

This is my list of favorite reads in 2013. Was one of these your favorite as well? Comment on this post and tell me which books was your favorite reads in 2013. I will choose one winner from the comments. The prize? Free choice of one of the books from my top 10 list (e-book version), or a GC to amazon on $5 if you already have all the books. Closing January 7!!


  1. I haven't read any, but I do want to read Fairy in The Flesh.

    1. Hi Amy,
      Fairy in the Flesh was definitely a good read, and caught me utterly by surprise. Not many authors manage to pack so much into so few pages AND make it a story you can't let go off!!

  2. Thank you Sabina, I'm so honored!

  3. You wrote a damn good book Katalina and made me care for your characters, made me hope against hope that there would be a happy ending. It was an amazing read, and one that stuck with me for a loooong time. :-)

  4. Loved the new series by Kait!!

    1. Hi Libby,
      yes isn't Kait just AWESOME? I love her books as well!!! And I'm telling you that Immortal Hunter (coming in April) is just as good!!

  5. Thanks for including FIERY EDGE OF STEEL in your 2013 Top Ten! I'm flattered and grateful. Sounds like you've had a great year, Sabina. I enjoyed reading this post. Best wishes to you and your readers for 2014!

    1. 2013 was a wonderful year (although very stressful). So many things happened that I wouldn't even dream of occurring. I'm a very lucky girl!!
      And of course Fiery Edge of Steel would be on my list. You wrote an amazing story, and it stuck with me for a long time afterwards. :-) Can't wait for White Heart of Justice!!

  6. I have not read any on your list but I see some to add to my list. I read so many books, but I have strange tastes and what I like not many others do. I am thankful we have so many different authors to satisfy our various delights for reading.

    1. That is the beauty of it. Sooo many books, sooo many authors - which always gives me trouble choosing my next book!! :-D

  7. Seriously interested in a few you listed, have a few you listed on my TBR pile.
    My favorite book of the last year... if I have to select just one.... The Mark of Abel, posted in my Top Authors of 2013.
    Thank you for the mention love, you know I would help you out any day.

    1. I know you do, and I love you dearly for it!!
      The Mark of Abel - have to write that one down, maybe I'll get a chance to read it later this year :-)

  8. Great List! Kat Leon is an amazing author. I love her work. I also really enjoyed Affliction by Laurell K. Hamilton. While Anita's books are getting boring, bringing Death back is always a plus!

  9. Hi Melissa,
    thank you for coming by!
    I must confess, I haven't read any of the Anita books, mainly due to the fact that I've heard SO many complain about them lately.:-/
    I was truly surprised by Kat and Fairy in the Flesh is certainly NOT the last one I will be reading of her books!! <3