This past week on FYFA (and in my life):
I decided to take the week off from blogging this week and just enjoy some family time (well, and editing time—I need to finish that editing project, so I couldn’t take the week off from that). We spent Christmas Eve serving at church (pretty much all day, from 9 AM to 6:30 PM or so). Sounds exhausting, but we really enjoy doing worship at our church, so the day went fast. Then, on Christmas day, we opened presents and my dad came over for a bit (my mom was already here). We don’t see him as often anymore, so it was nice to have him visit.
Then, we went to an escape room, which we decided to make a family tradition since we loved it so much last year. The one we went to this year was really cool—all hand-crafted (the owners also do an annual haunted house that they’ve been doing for 23 years, so they’re used to making cool set-ups). It was a time-travel theme and we had to build a time travel machine and then go into it and travel back in time to save the world (the actual “time travel” part was in a little room that jostled you all around—very fun!).
We’ve also been getting some doctor’s appointments out of the way—Jade was finally able to take the boot off (that she got after her ankle surgery)! And my younger daughter Danielle got her learner’s permit on the very same day. Hopefully we don’t have any more car accidents in our future! On a not-so-good note, we found out that our pup Bella has hip dysplasia. She’d been limping lately after walks, and from the way her leg seemed to splay out, I wasn’t surprised by the news. Unfortunately, it’s just one more thing for us to spend lots of money on (meds are expensive!) and, worse, she will probably be in more pain as she gets older.
Here’s what you may have missed on the blog since my last Sunday Post:
And just a reminder that you can sign up for the 2020 Book Blog Discussion Challenge
Book Blogger Birthdays and Blogoversaries:
Here are the birthdays and blogoversaries for this week! I hope you’ll go wish these bloggers well on their special days! Make sure you check out the calendar to see what you might have just missed or what’s coming up. (If you want to be added to the calendar, it’s easy! Just fill out the birthday/blogoversary form.)
- January – Tarissa @ In The Bookcase‘s Birthday
- January – The Emerald City Book Review‘s Blogoversary
- Jan 1st – As Told By Tina’s Blogoversary
- Jan 1st – Based on a True Story’s Blogoversary
- Jan 1st – Brooke Reviews and Sweeps‘ Blogoversary
- Jan 1st – Sarah Withers Blogs‘ Blogoversary
- Jan 3rd – Angel’s Guilty Pleasures‘ Blogoversary
- January 3rd – Heather @ The Frozen Library‘s Birthday
- January 3rd – Milky Way of Books‘ Blogoversary
- January 3rd – Novel Knight‘s Blogoversary
I received a finished copy of Chosen by Kiersten White from Simon & Schuster! I already read this book, and let me tell you, I LOVED it! (Watch for my review, coming very soon.) Having a finished copy is the cherry on top of the sundae. 🙂
My friend Megan Freeman and I have a weekly update call where we share our writing progress for that week (VERY motivating, let me tell you!).
Well, on our last call, I mentioned how my husband made a base so we could use just the very top of our artificial Christmas tree this year, and she mentioned this book: Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree, where the top of a tree is cut off and keeps getting cut and passed down to a smaller creature (ending with a family of mice).
Imagine my surprise when the book showed up on Christmas Eve! Thank you so much, Megan, for the wonderful surprise!! I just had to take a pic next to our mini tree. 🙂
Amazon had a Buy 2, get 1 Free sale for Black Friday, so I had to take advantage! (The third book I bought was a gift for someone.) I got the two latest Harry Potter Illustrated editions. (I already owned the first two.)
Great Discussions/Goings On Around the Blogosphere:
- Nerdy Book Club gives us 2019 POETRY AND NOVELS IN VERSE
- Jessica @ a GREAT read asks what we think of movie tie-in covers
- Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books talks about READING OR RUSHING? HOW TO BETTER PACE YOURSELF WITH ALL THE BOOKS
- Pamela @ Reverie Society gives us Must-have Apps for bookstagram that save my life every day
Also, a reminder that I’m not doing my list of ALL the reading and blogging challenges I can find this year. Here are two other bloggers who’ve created very similar lists:
- Girl XOXO’s The Master List of 2020 Reading Challenges
- And Reading Challenge Addict’s 2020 Reading Challenges
Listed in order of release date. Any new deals that I just added to the list this week will be denoted with a *** so you can easily find them!
Please note: Almost all pre-order giveaways run “while supplies last,” so they might not be open until the date listed. Pre-0rder early for your best chance to get all the goodies!
- Pre-order WOVEN IN MOONLIGHT by Isabel Ibañez to receive an annotated PDF of the first chapter. US pre-orders will also receive an illustrated bookmark, a 5 x 7 art print, and a sticker. (INT)(ends 1/6)
- Pre-order THE NIGHT COUNTRY by Melissa Albert to receive an original Hazel Wood chapbook featuring fan-favorite Finch! (US only)(ends 1/6)
- Pre-order A HEART SO FIERCE AND BROKEN by Brigid Kemmerer to receive a designed art print of a quote from the first book. (USA–not PR, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand)(ends 1/6)
- Pre-order SCAVENGE THE STARS by Tara Sim to receive a 9 X 12 art piece, 3 character cards, a bookmark, & a signed bookplate. (INT)(ends 1/6)
- Pre-order THAT NIGHT, WHEN THE LIGHT WENT OUT, HERE THERE ARE MONSTERS, I HAVE NO SECRETS, THE SIMILARS, THE LAST TO DIE, SCARED LITTLE RABBITS or THE LAST WITNESS to receive one of four custom magnets and be entered to win a 6-month subscription to Hunt-a-Killer and a $100 gift card! (US only)(ends 1/6)
- Pre-order OASIS by Katya de Becerra to receive an art print and a query critique! You’ll also be entered to win a grand prize. (INT)(ends 1/6)
- Pre-order THE MAP FROM HERE TO THERE by Emery Lord to receive exclusive bonus content written by the author! (US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and India)(ends 1/6)
- ***Pre-order ROGUE PRINCESS by B.R. Meyers OR request it from your local library to receive a bookmark, a signed bookplate, a postcard and a personal note from the author. (US/Can only)(ends 1/20)
- Pre-order STORM FROM THE EAST by Joanna Hathaway to receive exclusive bonus scenes from Dark of the West. You’ll also be entered to win a grand prize! (INT)(ends 2/15)
- Pre-order DEFY THE SUN by Jessika Fleck OR request it from your local library to receive a bookmark, a signed bookplate, and a custom dye-cut sticker. US pre-orders will also be entered to win a grand prize! (INT)(ends 3/9)
- Pre-order TO SLEEP IN A SEA OF STARS by Christopher Paolini to receive a limited edition enamel pin! (US/Can)(ends 1/6, but other goodies will be available until 4/14)
- Pre-order THE OLD TRUCK by Jarrett Pumphrey & Jerome Pumphrey from BookPeople to receive a signed and personalized copy and an enamel pin! (ends 1/7)
- Pre-order THRONE OF SWANS by Katharine and Elizabeth Corr to be entered to win a bookplate signed by both authors, an exclusive bookmark, an enamel pin badge and a Swarovski swan necklace. (UK/Ireland only)(ends 1/8)
- Pre-order A LONGER FALL by Charlaine Harris to receive an exclusive, collectible print of Dixie. (US only)(ends 1/13)
- Pre-order THE ECHOES BETWEEN US by Katie McGarry to receive a limited-edition notebook! (US/Can)(ends 1/13)
- Pre-order THE CONFERENCE OF THE BIRDS by Ransom Riggs to receive an exclusive photo personally selected by the author and a luggage tag. (US only)(ends 1/13)
- Pre-order A BEGINNING AT THE END by Mike Chen to receive a download copy of the short story ANONYMOUS, which was the basis for Chen’s next novel WE COULD BE HEROES. You’ll also be entered to win a giveaway! (ends 1/14)
- Pre-order DIANA, PRINCESS OF THE AMAZONS by Shannon and Dean Hale, art by Victoria Ying to receive an adorable 2″ Acrylic charm! (ends 1/14)
- Pre-order EVERY OTHER WEEKEND by Abigail Johnson OR request it from your local library to receive a bookmark, a signed & personalized quote bookplate, and an exclusive sticker. US pre-orders will also be entered to win a grand prize! (INT)(ends 1/14)
- Pre-order BEYOND THE SHADOWED EARTH by Joanna Ruth Meyer OR request it from your library to receive a bookmark, a signed bookplate, and 4 character art cards. (TEENS can receive the goodies even if they’re not able to pre-order.) (US only)(ends 1/14)
- Pre-order INFINITY SON by Adam Silvera to receive a Phoenix enamel pin. (US or UK & IRELAND)(ends 1/13)
- ***Pre-order THE HAND ON THE WALL by Maureen Johnson to receive an exclusive Ellingham Academy Lenticular Map Print. (US only)(ends 1/20)
- Pre-order ASHLORDS by Scott Reintgen and you’ll be entered to win a chance to be a character in a new series! Pre-orders from indie bookstores will receive two entries. (ends 1/20)
- Pre-order DIAMOND CITY by Francesca Flores to receive a signed diamond-designed bookplate, a glossy bookmark, and a letter from the author to you. You’ll also be entered to win a grand prize! (INT)(ends 1/27)
- Pre-order SPELLHACKER by M.K. England to receive a bookmark, two stickers, a signed bookplate (If you preorder from Fountain Bookstore, your book will also be hand-signed), a postcard, an emailed PDF with a printable SPELLHACKER-themed card to give as a gift, and a Disasters short story. (INT)(ends 1/27)
- Pre-order THIS VICIOUS CURE by Emily Suvada to receive three signed (and personalized, if desired) bookplates and three signed bookmarks – one for each book in the series. (US residents can also get a signed postcard for ordering THIS MORTAL COIL or THIS CRUEL DESIGN.) (INT)(ends 1/28)
- Pre-order DON’T READ THE COMMENTS by Eric Smith OR request it from your local library to receive an enamel pin, a signed bookplate with pixel art, and a laptop decal! There’s also an option for teachers and book clubs to receive a Skype visit or have the author come to your classroom (read the details on his site). (INT)(ends 1/27)
- Pre-order ALL THE STARS AND TEETH by Adalyn Grace to receive a Keel Haul limited edition pin and a signed bookplate! (US only)(ends 2/3)
- Pre-order THE STARS WE STEAL by Alexa Donne to receive a digital, exclusive bonus short story. US pre-orders will also receive 2 bookmarks, a limited edition art print, a signed bookplate, and a limited edition “half agony, half hope” Persuasion laptop sticker. (US/INT)(ends 2/3)
- Pre-order BELOW by Alexandria Warwick to receive a digital swag pack, including complete annotations, an extended scene, Inuit resources used for research, early art inspiration/images/aesthetics, and two scenes from the North series book 2. Paperback pre-orders will also receive a signed limited edition World of the North card. (INT)(ends 2/3)
- Pre-order CHIRP by Kate Messner to receive a class set of bookmarks and a poster! (US/CAN)(ends 2/3)
- Pre-order THE GRAVITY OF US by Phil Stamper to receive a signed bookplate that’s been sent to space! (US/Can only)(ends 2/3)
- Pre-order BELLE REVOLTE by Linsey Miller to receive a signed FIREreads bookplate, 4 character cards and an exclusive print of the map of Demeine! (US/Can)(ends 2/3)
- Pre-order THE QUEEN’S ASSASSIN by Melissa De La Cruz to receive one of two exclusive enamel pins. (US only)(ends 2/3)
- Pre-order HOW TO SPEAK BOY by Tiana Smith OR request it from your local library to receive a X♡X♡ leather notebook, a X♡X♡ tin of mints and a mini bookmark! (US only)(ends 2/7)
- Pre-order YES NO MAYBE SO by Aisha Saeed and Becky Albertalli OR request it from your local library to receive a signed postcard featuring scenes from the cover art. (INT)(ends 2/8)
- Pre-order NIGHT SPINNER by Addie Thorley OR request it from your local library to receive a bookmark, a signed bookplate, a quote sticker, and an exclusive character art print. The first 50 US pre-orders will also receive an exclusive book band! (INT)(ends 2/10)
- Pre-order THE GOBLETS IMMORTAL by Beth Overmyer to receive a bookmark, a signed bookplate, and a mini replica of the silver sword that makes an appearance throughout the book. (ends 2/12)
- Pre-order BREAK THE FALL by Jennifer Iacopelli OR request it from your local library to receive a signed bookmark and a teal Sexual Assault Awareness enamel pin! (INT)(ends 2/17)
- Pre-order OF CURSES AND KISSES by Sandhya Menon to receive two GORGEOUS custom art postcards. (US only)(ends 2/17)
- Pre-order GLITCH KINGDOM by Sheena Boekweg OR request the book at your local library OR email the author fan art to receive five character art stickers, a bookmark, and a personalized and signed bookplate! You’ll also be entered to win a custom Funko Pop! (US only)(ends 2/17)
- Pre-order THE SOUND OF STARS by Alechia Dow to receive a magnet, a sticker, a button, a postcard and a bookmark. (INT)(ends 2/24)
- Pre-order THE ADVENTURE ZONE: PETALS TO THE METAL by Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Travis McElroy, Justin McElroy, and Carey Pietsch to receive a digital version art print and an exclusive recording of the live show from the McElroys SDCC Book Launch for Murder on the Rockport Limited. You’ll also be entered to win a grand prize. (US/Can)(ends 2/29)
- Pre-order CHAIN OF GOLD by Cassandra Clare to receive a limited edition wooden bookmark! (UK & ROI only)(ends 3/2)
- Pre-order CRESCENT CITY: HOUSE OF EARTH AND BLOOD by Sarah J. Maas to receive an exclusive art print! (US, Can, UK, ROI, AUS, NZ, and India)(ends 3/2)
- Pre-order THE KINGDOM OF BACK by Marie Lu to receive a custom book pouch! (US only)(ends 3/2)
- Pre-order THE RAVEN AND THE DOVE by Kaitlyn Davis to receive an exclusive double-sided art print! Print pre-orders will also receive a bookmark and a signed bookplate/sticker to attach to your book. (US only)(ends 3/8)
- ***Pre-order THE JABBERWOCKY PRINCESS by Cece Louise to receive two autographed bookmarks and a silver Forest Tales tree charm. (US only)(ends 3/11)
- ***Pre-order DRAGON HOOPS by Gene Luen Yang to receive a downloadable print-at-home Gene Luen Yang READ poster. You’ll also be entered to win a limited edition Dragon Hoops mini backboard. (US/Can only)(ends 3/17)
- Pre-order THE DERBY DAREDEVILS by Kit Rosewater OR request it from your local library to receive a special letter about the pre-order (or libraries being awesome) and some fun facts about the book, a bookmark featuring a Daredevils player, an official roller derby glossary, and a blank postcard for dropping a line to friends. Pre-orders will also receive a signed bookplate and a die-cut sticker of the Daredevils logo! You’ll also be entered to win a grand prize. (ends 3/23)
- Pre-order THE EMPIRE OF GOLD by S.A. Chakraborty to receive a set of six pins featuring the tribal sigils of each tribe of Daevabad! (US only)(ends 6/29)
- Pre-order UNRAVEL THE DUSK by Elizabeth Lim to receive swag (to be announced later). (US only for now–but check back in future)(ends 7/13)
- Pre-order TRAITOR by Amanda McCrina OR request it from your local library to receive pre-order goodies (details forthcoming). (ends 8/24)
- Twitter Giveaways:
- @artsydraft is giving away a book of your choice!
- @Dusti_Bowling is giving away audio downloads of her books
- @amylvpoemfarm is giving away 5 copies of Write! Write! Write!
- On my blog, you can enter the giveaway for the November or December 2019 Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up & Make Me Read It Giveaway, and the December Discussion Challenge and Giveaway.
- Head over to Christy’s Cozy Corners for a chance to win the first 2 books in the Charlie Hernandez series and $25 Visa Gift Card!
- Lots of blogs participating in the WINTER ROMANCE Hop!
- Bookcrushin’ is giving away 30 books to 7 winners! And they’re also giving away one of their favorite adult 2019 reads.
- Head over to SFFBookBonanza for a chance to win a Mega Book Gift Basket!
- Head over to Drizzle and Hurricane Books for a chance to win Loveboat, Taipei
- Head over to The Candid Cover for a chance to win a Copy of Night of Knives + an Exclusive Pin
- Lots of blogs participating in the Dashing Giveaway Hop!
- Lots of blogs participating in the December of Books Giveaway Hop! (And For What It’s Worth has combined it with a 10-year blogoversary giveaway!)
- Head over to It Starts at Midnight for a chance to win a hardcover copy of Reverie
- Head over to BookHounds for a chance to win THE MONSTER HYPOTHESIS
- Head over to Life Within the Pages for a chance to win ONE DAY AT DISNEY
- Read It Forward does a weekly giveaway. This week you can enter to win Read it Forward’s Favorite Reads of 2019!
Lots of good stuff! Have any giveaways or great discussions happening on your site right now? Feel free to share them in the comments!
Poor dog. I hope the expensive meds make her feel better. I’m glad you had a good Christmas and escape room adventure. Have a great week!
Ha! Yes, I hope the expensive meds make her feel better too! Guess I should have gotten pet health insurance!!
I am so so so JEALOUS of your copy of Chosen! Being an international blogger it’s impossible to get one. But I am happy that you loved it! Now time off the blog is great too. It helps to bring new ideas I think. And I’ve been to an escape room two years ago and we had so much fun!
Yeah, you international bloggers definitely get the short end of the stick when it comes to review copies. Definitely get your hands on the book as soon as you can!!
My oldest daughter is old enough now for her UK Provisional driving licence but isn’t interested in learning how to drive – yet. Where do the years go! Lol!
I took advantage of some Black Friday deals too to finish up my Xmas shopping. 😉 Hoping to get some deals in the January sales too.
Quite a few bloggers I follow took the Christmas week/fortnight away from blogging, I might consider that for next year …
Happy New Year, Nicole, and I hope you enjoy the rest of your week.
Here’s my Sunday Post
Neither of my kids were all that eager to get their drivers’ licenses, but I pushed the issue because I don’t want to have to drive them around forever! (Of course, then when my daughter got in a car accident, I felt pretty guilty about that—but she’ll be leaving for college in the fall and she’d have to start driving eventually!)
I love escape rooms! They are so much fun. I’ve never actually escaped from one though!
Krystianna @ Volumes and Voyages
We didn’t escape the room we did last year, but this year we managed it!
I’m looking forward to reading Chosen eventually, as a Buffy fan I enjoyed Slayer
I’m glad you had a lovely Christmas.
Wishing you a great reading week and a Happy New Year
As a fan of Buffy, I was nervous to read Slayer, but I ended up loving it! Chosen is just as good.
An escape room sounds fun. Sorry to hear about your pup. Poor thing.
The escape room was lots of fun—we definitely plan to do one again next year!
Sounds like you had a great Christmas, Nicole. And I like the new tradition of the escape room. Fun! Love that used only the top of the tree… so clever and so much easier! Great that Jade got to remove the boot. Hopefully she doesn’t need any kind of physical therapy.
We definitely didn’t have the energy for a full tree this year (and we’ll probably have to take it down soon because of painting). This little treetop was the perfect solution!
I’m glad you had a nice Christmas! I’m sorry to hear about your cat though – never fun to hear your little fur kids are in pain. That picture book you mentioned sounds adorable, and how fun you just used the top of your fake tree. I like it!
Yeah, it’s very sad, especially since it’s not something that we can just take care of. She’ll have issues for the rest of her life. 🙁
Looks like you had a good Christmas! Thank you for remembering my blogoversary!
You’re welcome! You have LOTS of company when it comes to blogoversaries this week!
The Potter illustrated books always release around my birthday in October, so I treat myself when they do..LOL I adore them! Glad you are all caught up! The Escape Room sounds like a lot of fun! Happy New Year!
Sounds like a perfect birthday gift!
I remember Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree from when I was a kid. Now I am smiling just remembering it. Sorry about your pup. Poor doggie. The news about your kids is great though. An escape room, what a fun tradition to start. I did it once at work, and it was so much fun.
I had never read it, but it was perfect for my little tree! 🙂
I’ve yet to do an escape room. They sound like fun, but I feel like I wouldn’t be able to “survive!” Lol.
Oooh! I loved Chosen! I’m wondering if this one was a duology or if it will be longer. It was so much fun! I adored this series!
Hope you enjoy all the other new reads and goodies from the holidays!
Here’s my StS
Have a GREAT day!
Old Follower 🙂
We didn’t make it out of the one we did last year, but we did manage to escape this one!
I was wondering the same thing about Chosen. It seems like the end of a duology, but I certainly won’t complain if there are more books!
Sounds like you had a full and wonderful Christmas. Not familiar with the Escape Room but a family outing sounds so fun. Sorry about your dog.
Escape rooms are a really fun group activity where you have to work together to solve clues and “escape” from the room. This is the second year we’ve done one, and it was so much fun!
So glad you liked Mr. Willowby! And I love your darling little tree. 🙂 xoxo
I love it! Thank you so much!!
Sounds like a lovely week off! I’ve enjoyed the couple of escape rooms I’ve been to also. Sorry to hear about your pup. Happy New Year!
The escape room was definitely fun—we’ll be continuing that tradition.
I share your regrets about the pet insurance. My dog has had two expensive surgeries. Knock on wood, he’s healthy now!
Congrats on the learner’s permit and glad you had a nice Christmas!
Yeah, we should have learned our lesson from our first dog, who was on medications when he got older. Bella’s only five though, so we weren’t expecting these health issues.
It sounds like such a lovely week off! I’m so sorry to hear about your pup though, I hope the medicine will help <3
Sending you lots of love <3
So far the medicine doesn’t seem to be doing much, but it’s still early to tell. Poor thing—it’s hard to watch her hobbling around when her hip is bothering her!
Sounds like you had a fun but tiring Christmas! And I’m glad to hear Jade is out of the boot now. But I am sorry to hear about your pup. 🙁 Bug hugs!
I have quite enough problems without any bug hugs, thank you very much! (I know, I’m sorry, but I just couldn’t resist. 🙂 )
I am so sorry about Bella! I hope that she does as well as she can, that is not easy. But glad that your daughters are doing well and that you all had such a nice holiday! The escape room sounds SO fun!!
Our dogs are such a huge part of our family—it’s sad to see Bella in pain!
Yay for your older daughter getting the boot off and for your younger daughter getting her permit! And I’m so sorry to hear about your dog. Meds are so expensive for them and it’s so hard seeing them in pain. I hope the medicine is making her feel much better.
Yes, we’re hoping this medicine will help her. (Even if it is awfully expensive!)
I am glad you took a bit of a holiday to enjoy your Christmas and it sounds like you had a lovely time, going to church, spending it with family and also being able to do the escape room again! I have never done that before 😀 So sorry to hear about your doggy though 🙁
Yes, it was nice to take a little time off for Christmas!
Sorry about your dog, but glad you had a nice Christmas! I took a big break from blogging, too, to focus on my family and friends visiting.
Yes, it was nice to spend a bit of time focusing on my family for the holidays!