Mug Monday & Re-read Talk

Hola and welcome to another glorious Monday!

Bah. * wave off * Who am I kidding? Monday´s suck big time and this Monday isn´t any different from any other Monday. Staying positive on the first day of the week is a greater challenge, for me, than being forced to read a book I don´t want to read. And we all know how that can ruin someone´s mood.

It´s not only Monday, though. It´s Mug Monday! I get to share another piece from my wonderful mug collection. In fact- I´ll be showing my newest purchase.

A beige short mug with black stipes. I cannot begin to tell you how much I love my new mug.

Mug Monday Q
Book: What He Doesn´t Know by Kandi Steiner

 

I´m in mucho love. So much so that I completely forgot where I got it. ( what I can say is that that´s my garden and the grass was ant infested )

Normally, I´d include a book feature from a current – haven´t – read – before read but… I´m in a re-read phase at the moment.

 

Due to a super busy schedule ( Yes. Life decided to show it´s cruel side again ) I can´t find it in me to start a new book and actually try to enjoy it.

So, what does a girl do? A girl re – reads.

Let´s face it… re-reading personal favorites is AWESOME. 

Some books are just so great that they deserve a re-read, a re-re-read and a re-re-re-read. And the best part about re – reads? You re – discover things you´ve forgotten or you suddenly realize things you weren´t aware of after the first reading round.

 

 

At the moment I´m falling in love with Kandi Steiner´s What He Doesn´t Know Duet all over again.

5 minutes here. 10 minutes there. Dramatic scenes after dinner and the heavy emotional stuff before bed. That´s what I call a perfect re – read session!

Of course, I don´t always read bits throughout the day and stamp that off as re – reading. Sometimes I do sit down and actually read from start to finish. Sometimes.

 

My personal favorite re -read book list

We all have that one book / series we always get back to once in a while. Here´s a small list of my all time – always within reach  favorite books I love to re -read ( links incl.)

 

Hands down,… this is my sacred reading list. My go – to books. The loves of my life. The books I keep in my bedroom because I´m afraid someone with breathe on them.

Granted, they´re all a tad older but SO WORTH IT!

 

Ladies and gentlemen….

What are your favorite re-reads? Do you prefer to re-read series or standalones? 

 

Hope you all have a wonderful day!  ❤ ❤

 

 

Mug Monday Instagram Feature

 

 

Hot Book Topic – Faleena Hopkins Trademark Escapade

 

And I thought I´ve seen it all. I guess I haven´t ( and I´ve seen some crazy stuff happening in the book universe ).

Faleena Hopkins. You´ve probably heard of the author of the `Cocker Brothers Of Atlanta series´… A contemporary romance that´s 17 books heavy ( Yes. A series with 17 books ). You´ve heard of her, right?

Well, to be honest… I haven´t, either.

 

But thanks to the little shitstorm the author created with her trademarking the word `cocky` I am now fully aware of the author and her books.

Opinions are split over the subject. Some people think it was a good call from the author to trademark a single word as a way to protect her books / the title or whatever. Some believe the author has done the unthinkable. Some think it´s a clever marketing strategy. And then there are those few who don´t give a flying f**k.

My overall opinion at first? Who cares. Whatever floats a person´s boat is always fine by me. As long as something doesn´t affect others in a negative way then I don´t realy care.

That´s the problem, though. By trademarking a word for a book ( as the author so kindly did ) she prevented other authors from using that word for their own titles. In a way that´s harmful. Just as any other trademarked word would have been harmful.

cocky

The whole shitstorm then shifted and became worse. Not only did Faleena Hopkins trademark a word  she also felt the need to defend herself on Twitter, via video.

Faleena Hopkins Meltdown Vid

I´ve seen it and I can´t really decide if I desperately want to UNsee it or if I need to watch it again. It´s like a train wreck happening in slow – motion.

Faleena Hopkins, author of a book series I´ve never heard of before, was accusing others for cyber bullying.

Excuse moi?

Okay. Let´s take a moment for a quick breath and try to see this with a more clear mind by simplifying the whole mess.

Author trademarked a  word.

Outcome: She pisses off many authors + puts herself in a questionable light.

Author feels bullied because people are questioning her actions.

Outcome: She uploads a video and pisses everyone off.

Author starts suing people.

Outcome: She´s creating chaos and pissing more people off.

Sometimes it´s best to shut up.

 

I can´t say I blame the people for not agreeing with Faleena Hopkins. I can´t even blame the many so-called “attackers” for not accepting Faleena Hopkins actions or her attempt at acting like the victim, because her video displays exactly that: The author going against internet faces that don´t agree with her. It´s a war that shouldn´t even have started. But then again… an author shouldn´t trademark a word, either.

I´m not one to take sides, as I love to be the one sitting back and having an eye on things, thinking about how many questionable people are roaming the grounds of the world. But since this has escalated into a terrible soap opera I feel obliged to check the internet for updates now.

Personally, I belive you can´t piss people off by playing by the written and unwritten rules. That´s a given. If my neighbor doesn´t let his dog relieve himself on my doorstep then I don´t have a reason to be mad / sad / hurt / enraged. Neither does my neighbor, for that matter.

Ever since that long cringe – worthy and totally unnecessary meltdown  video there have been statements and documents released that have been even more wince – worthy. So much so that even I feel ashamed that one person has gone to such great lengths, as the author has already done, for something that could have been easily avoided in the first place.

BY PISSING PEOPLE OFF. 

And this is coming from someone who´s actually very debate – friendly. I love to have a great discussion. A decent, civilized banter. But I don´t appreciate people lashing out to such extremes, no matter what the topic is.

The author caused mayhem in a normally peaceful book universe. Who does that?

As far as I´m informed, the author has 3 trademarks already for the following below:

  • The Cocky series
  • Cocky
  • Cocky in the font on her covers

Dare I say that I find the second and third point a bit pointless? To some extent I can understand that the author would want to trademark her series ( keyword: to some extent ). But the rest? Unless the cover was done by the author herself ( which it hasn´t been ) then I see gloomy court visits ahead for the author.

Look. It´s different when you open a business and want to trademark a shop/store name. This just doesn´t apply for words on book titles. Who does that?! It doesn´t make sense.

And because I have no wish to be sued by the author I will say that I believe her intentions were good, but not well thought through… like, at all.

You just don´t do shit like that. But then again, what do I know? I´m just a poor book blogger with a little opinion. A tiny voice among a sea of other voices.

While I wish the author no evil I still don´t believe that all this ( basically the virtual hurricane she created ) will have a positive outcome for Faleena Hopkins.  Especially after the statements she´s made towards readers. How one author can degrade readers like she´s done… I can´t even wrap my head around that. I have no doubt her words have bitten the author in the backside and that her book sales have suffered.

Sure, all this talk has gotten people curious about the author and her books. I´m definitely guilty of being curious. Why wouldn´t I be? I´m a book blogger. I´m sitting here thinking “Well, she must be pretty damn special and must have written explosively good books to pull off a stunt like that. And she must have millions to be able to shit on readers.” It´s only natural that I start googling and looking all her books up on Goodreads. Check out what reviewers have to say on Goodreads

Despite this annoyingly good Author vs. The Rest Of The World issue having a negative effect on me as a potential reader I did find some things that were also a little off-putting for me.

  1. I´m not one of those romance readers who´ll grab a book that has the word `Cocky`on the title. I know I shouldn´t judge a book by it´s title but… Meeh. That´s just not my cup of tea, if you will. Unless a “Cocky” book is recommended by my trusted reading hombre´s… I won´t consider reading a Cocky book.
  2. The `Cocker Brothers Of Atlanta` series has 17 books ( says Goodreads ). Now, while I´m aware that some readers LOVE for a series to continue on forever I´m not one of those readers. I often feel overwhelmed. I even become easily bored with an 8 book series. Seeing book #17 is a tad off-putting for me, even if each book can be read as a standalone.
  3. ” Don´t judge a book by it´s cover.” They said. I´m also guilty for doing exactly that. I´m not a fan of character images ( as faces on a cover could influence the image I want to create for myself when reading ). I prefer faceless.
  4. When all else fails I do give the synopsis a chance before I completely write a book off. I can´t say I was extremely tickled by those, either.
  5. The reviews, new and old. Normally, reviews don´t rattle my world as reviews are subjective. But the combination of the recent events and my dislike for title / cover image / synopsis… I can´t say that I want to rely much on the older 5 star reviews that have been published.

 

All 5 points above aren´t crucial and would normally never bring an author to weep ( at least not publicly ).  Take away the war Faleena Hopkins started and my points for not wanting to read her `Cocky` series would be fine on their own.

 

Now for my final, overall opinion:

( this might leave a bad taste in some author´s mouth )

There is no way to re-invent the wheel. There are countless books on the market from all genres. Any author will have a heck of a hard time coming up with a new story to write about. But it´s not really about coming up with something new. It´s what an author makes out of a story that has already made it´s rounds. Love triangles, roommates, love at first sight, FWB turned couple, baby billionaires, college bad boys…. it´s all been there before. But it´s about what the author does with certain topics. This includes title names!

If an author is afraid their book will be mistaken for another book that has the same title… Then my advice would be to do some homework and check if there´s been an over usage for a certain word in a title before staking a claim to the word. Maybe picking a different title could do the trick? It would certainly prevent shit from hitting the fan.

If an author gives in to drama ( drama said author has started ) and rides that drama wave for no greater purpose then said author should be prepared for the hate that´s attached.

Faleena Hopkins should have known how people would react. The author should have seen the outcome of her actions. No person is that oblivious.

If you become an author you automatically become a public figure. And when you make yourself available you have to think about your actions before you make a move.

The author is in no position to be a public figure when she can´t handle the heat. She´s not allowed to call herself the victim when she caused this mess in the first place. Unless…..

 

The author made a smart publicity move.

 

Now, I´m not accusing the author of being a marketing wizard because I can´t know what the author´s real intentions were but you have to admit that all this sounds like a clever marketing strategy. It´s not particularly nice but no one ever said everyone had to play nice when it came to personal goals.

Bad publicity is still publicity.

While the author hasn´t only  been bathing in the positive feedback tub from her little escapade she most certainly had / has people talking about her. The key is to get noticed. Some people don´t care how that happens, as long as it happens.

Personally, I think it´s a risk that can backfire easily. But then again… I´m just a book blogger with no wish to be on Faleena Hopkins list of people to sue so I´m just assuming all this and saying that it´s a possibility.

Let´s just assume the author did all this for marketing reasons.

 

Meeh. * wave off * Doesn´t make the situation any better, either. She´d still be in the wrong with her trademark thingy. And if not because of that then definitely due to her hurtful statements she´s made towards readers.

Now that we´ve got all this covered I can say what I really wanted to say from the start.

Ready?

Bullshit. Horseshit. What a complete crock of shit.

If you´re interested, you can check out the following hashtags on Twitter. There, you´ll find many authors fighting for the greater good. #cockygate #byefaleena #getloud and you´ll get some insights on the newest Faleena Hopkins happenings.

 

What are your thoughts on the subject. Should an author be allowed to trademark a single word in order to secure their book titles? Does any of this make sense to you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: The Little Book Of Hygge: The Danish Way To Live Well – Meik Wiking

synopsis 2

Denmark is often said to be the happiest country in the world. That’s down to one thing: Hygge.

‘Hygge has been translated as everything from the art of creating intimacy to cosiness of the soul to taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things. My personal favourite is cocoa by candlelight…’

You know hygge when you feel it. It is when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one, or sharing comfort food with your closest friends. It is those crisp blue mornings when the light through your window is just right.

Who better than Meik Wiking to be your guide to all things hygge? Meik is CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and has spent years studying the magic of Danish life. In this beautiful, inspiring book he will help you be more hygge: from picking the right lighting and planning a dinner party through to creating an emergency hygge kit and even how to dress.

Meik Wiking is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. He is committed to finding out what makes people happy and has concluded that hygge is the magic ingredient that makes Danes the happiest nation in the world.

 

My Thoughts 2

 

One of my most anticipated reads for this month and…. I can´t really say I was disappointed. I found this read to be gripping.

Interesting enough- This book on how the Danish live well was categorized on Goodreads under Self – Help and psychology, yet this book didn´t feel like that at all.

It felt more like a little guide of Denmark, or a guide on how the Danish live. hygge

Which is perfectly fine by me. I love to learn about different cultures and get to know what exactly it is that makes them who they are.

The word that´s focused on here is Hygge. The definition of Hygge is: There isn´t one.Hygge is a word that describes  the Danish ritual of enjoying life’s simple pleasures.

Good company, family, food and… candles.

Looks like the Danish are obsessed with light. There was no shortage on the mention of candles in this read. Looks like candles are the way to live a cozy life.

Too bad I think candles are dust collectors. I prefer my cozy moments with floodlights ( because I´m as blind as a bat )

Besides the candle parts ( which are almost always mentioned ) I do love the Danish lifestyle.

Just shows that life isn´t always about work and work and.. work.

Life is about taking a step back and appreciating your surroundings. Just ask the Danish people. They obviously have it all worked out. They know how to be content.

As much as I loved this book I did find a few things  that would never work out for me, personally. The 10 inexpensive Hygge Activities, for example:

  1. Bring out the board games. I´m a bad loser. It´s been said that I´ve thrown a board game off a table once because I can´t stand losing. ( that´s only half true. I walk away when I´m losing .  And that one time when the golf driver slipped out of my sweaty hands and flew towards my husband… An accident. ) I´m competetive and can´t lose. Board games are not an option.
  2. TV Night. I used to love TV nights with friends. Now I have friends who go to bed early ( even on the weekends ).
  3. Make a fire. Not a bad idea if someone would mow the lawn beforehand.
  4. Swap Party. NO. No no no. People never want to swap good stuff. That idea just doesn´t work for me at all. I really don´t want my best friend´s self made robot.
  5. Sledding. Another nice idea if there was something to sled on. Like snow. Or a sled. I don´t even have a sled ( because we hardly ever get snow ). I thought this was supposed to be an inexpensive Hygge activity. To sled I´d have to buy one and book a vacation to somewhere where it snows. Too expensive for me.

So, as you can see… I´ll have a hard time doing typical Danish activities.

That part about spending time with friends and family… Listen, I love my friends ( and some of my family ) but I don´t want to see them all the time. Some of them are exhausting AF. They all can destroy my Hygge vibes. Lol.

What I did approve of were the stuff I already include into my daily life.

  • read ( I had to laugh at that one )
  • enjoy a hot beverage and have ceramic ( this one got another laugh )
  • food ( because food is AWESOME )
  • going slow ( because you miss out on so much when moving too fast )
  • Wool sweaters and socks ( And I have the ugliest wool wardrobe, EVER!)

 

All in all I really liked this book. Enough to want to go visit Denmark in the near future.

It´s been mentioned many times before – The Danish people are the happiest in the world. I can believe that after reading this book.

Would I recommend this book? Definitely. It´s a nice book that gives you LOTS of insight on how simple it can be to be happy and feel content with the little things in life. Also, this book gives a taste on what Denmark is about.

Would I re – read this book? Sure. It´s definitely something I´ll take a look at once in a while.

 

The Cover – 5 Stars ( The cover was the first thing I fell in love with. )

The Idea – 5 stars ( Great idea to introduce the perks of Denmark and the people who live there. )

The Writing – 5 stars ( Written by CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, Meik Wiking. His study sounds like a lot of fun. His writing has an easy-going, joyous touch.)

My emotional state after finishing this read – On my way to join the Hygge movement.

5 stars

Purchase Link

Amazon.comhygge

 

 

 

 

 

Mug Monday & Book Blog Goals

Mug

GreenGate: Latte cup, star, warm grey

Book Topic

Book blogger goals.

 

I remember I didn´t have any goals when I started to blog… 8 years ago.

It´s extremely hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that I´ve been book blogging for so long. Do you guys know what this really means? That I´ve been staring at my computer screen for close to a decade.

 

 

I´m not going to start handing out advice on how to blog because if we´re all honest here… book blogging is something unique. It´s personal. Everyone has different ideas on how to book blog.

Besides, I suck at giving any type of advice. Shall I ever share my wisdom with you then do yourselves a favor and ignore it. There´s a huge possibility that my advice might get someone into trouble. And I´m not ready to have fingers pointed at me nor am I up for having people in my garden ready to attack me with pitchforks.

 

 

I might not have had book blogging goals from the get – go but I did develop some goals after a few weeks.

 

Keep in mind: In 2010, there wasn´t as many book blogs as there are today. Back then, it was easier not to feel the pressure some book bloggers are feeling these days. Social media was much more fun to handle and Goodreads wasn´t a vicious playground. And not many authors had annoying PAs who dealt with everything. It was easier to get in touch with authors, self published AND traditional published, alike.

There were a few huge book blogs I followed and I even picked one of those blogs to be a “role model” for me ( which turned out to be a bad idea. Lol ).

 

Back to the goals…

 

I didn´t have many goals back in the beginning of my book blog career. There were less than a handful of things I wanted to achieve as a book blogger.

To help you understand the next part a little better I´m going to give you a little book blog background info from myself.

 

Morgana´s Book Blog Résumé

  • 2010 – 2015,  blogged @ the Divas Book Blog with my 2 besties
  • 2015 – 2016, left Divas Book Blog,  guest reviewed for other Book Blogs
  • 2016 –          , Solo Book Blogger under new name and new blog

 

Of course, there´s more to that résumé but that´s for another time. We´re concentrating on goals today. So, what exactly were my goals?

 

Note: I might have had goals but I never, not even in my wildest dreams, believed any of the 2 goals would ever be reached. I mean, I´m me. I don´t belong to the luckiest bunch in the world. Yet, I had hope ( even if those hopes were too far out of my reach ).

 

My first goal: Receiving a signed paperback copy from an author. I´m not talking about the signed copies we usually have to pay for these days. I´m talking about the books that have been given freely from the heart with a small personal note. A smaller goal but still not easy to achieve ( unless you go to a book signing event or pay for an author´s signature ).

My second goal: To have my name / blog name / tagline from one of my reviews on a book cover. To be fair, I had no idea how that was going to happen. All I knew was that I wanted one book with something from myself on it. This wasn´t a realistic goal of mine.

 

You know how you sometimes say that you could die a happy man / woman if something you´ve dreamt of ever happened?

That´s what I always said.

“If my name ever gets printed on a book then I´ll retire and die happy.” 

Well, I reached my first goal quicker than I thought I ever would.

 

signed books

 

 

That, in the pic above, means the world to me. My first bookish goal. Through hard work ( many hours networking, book blogging, spreading the word, etc ) I received my personalized signed paperbacks.

I couldn´t have been more happy.

Until this happened….

 

wp sleeve
Pic #1: Dangerous To Know & Love ( romance ). Pic #2: The Devil´s Eyes               ( paranormal romance ).

 

This was a faint – worthy moment for me. My words. On the backside of a paperback book. I truly thought my blogging goals couldn´t be topped.

I was wrong.

 

sleeve cover
The Frost of Springtime ( Historical romance )

 

The best moment of my book blogging career. I made it on a book cover. The front.

I´m not a crier but when that day… when the book arrived… I was bawling my eyes out.

 

 

Now that I´ve long reached my bookish goals… do I have anything else I´d like to achieve as a book blogger?

This may sound ungrateful but, no. I´m happy as I could ever be. As of now, I don´t have any book blogger goals. But who knows what the future might bring, right?

 

This post isn´t about parading my achievements and tooting my own horn. This post is for everyone who has a book blogger goal ( or any goal, for that matter ).

THIS TYPE OF ADVICE YOU CAN TAKE FROM ME.

No matter how big or small, how insignificant or meaningful your goals are… Never forget that you are able to achieve those goals.

 

If your goal is to become a successful blogger – you can do it!

If your goal is to be unique – be unique!

If you want to host a book signing event – no one is stopping you!

With a little love, sweat, energy and time… you can reach your goals.

 

Look at me… If I can get my name on a book cover then you certainly have the power to achieve whatever it is you have your mind set on.

 

Speaking of name… Don´t be confused if you´ve read Julia on the signed books in pic #1. I go by both, Morgana and Julia. ( first and middle name )

 

Dream small. Dream big. No matter what you do, make those dreams come true!

Do you have any blog goals? Have you reached them yet? Share your thoughts and secrets! I would love to discuss your goals with you.

Much love and warm hugs,

Morgana ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading List – April 2018

I´m a little late with this post. But, better late than never, amirite?

If you´re wondering what happened to last month´s reading list…. Well, I didn´t finish it.

I know. It´s not that big of a tragedy. But… but… I hate not being able to reach my goals. It´s something that never sits well with me. I mean, how hard is it for a book blogger to read less than a hand full of books in a month? Not hard. Yet, extremely hard if the whole house is under quarantine.

Anyway –  Not being able to read them doesn´t mean I´ll never read them. It also doesn´t mean those books will land on my never-ending TBR pile.

I´m going to have to find a way to shove those in… somehow. Right between the books I bought for my April reading list.

Which looks a lot like this…

april reading list

Oh yeah, baby. This list is a lush one. Full of relationship drama. The best part is – I can already tick off 2 1/2 books from that list! GO ME!

The Birthday List – Devney Perry ( romance )

What He Doesn´t Know ( What He Doesn´t Know Duet #1) – Kandi Steiner ( romance )

What He Always Knew ( WHat HE Doesn´t Know Duet #2) – Kandi Steiner ( romance )

The Divorce ( The Relationship Quo #1 ) – Nicole Strycharz ( romance )

ALL THE ADULT LOVE!

Seriously, I´ve grown tired of reading about college kids acting like they´ve been married for 200 years. I want some grown up stuff. I want to read about issues I can relate to.

This list suits me fine because April is another month where I´d really like to hop in the car and just drive. And drive and drive until I run out of gas. So much to do and so little month to get everything done.

Okay, lovely people. I´ve gotta get some major war plans ready ( both my girls are April babies. One on the 16th and the other on the 17th. Yeah. I did a REALLY great job there, didn´t I? )

I hope you all have a lovely day! Don´t forget to share the book ❤

 

Morgana xoxo