Mug Monday & Book Recommendation Talk

Hi and welcome to Mug Monday! The place where I love to feature my Mug of the Day and current read.

My current read is `The Birthday List` by Devney Perry. A book recommendation from a fellow book blogger.

mug monday & book recommendation

Book recommendations come in many MANY forms these days. I´m a fan of the classic face to face book talk but will definitely settle for the good old review reading. Instagram book recommendations are my least favorite because I often have to hunt a book description down after seeing a cover to my liking.

 

Now, I´ve slightly given up on book recommendations from friends and blog buddies. Not because the recommendations are crappy. Not at all.

The whole problem is, book recommendations and I have a love hate relationship.

Because let´s face it – When someone recommends a book they loved then there´s a 50 % chance of actually hating that very same book. Some recommendations are pushy. They´re the in – your – face – type. You let someone talk you into reading a book because THEY loved it so much. Then you read. Then you finish the book and wonder why you´re even friends with that person.

And then things become awkward.

You have to give your thoughts on the book to the same person who recommended the book in the first place.

If you´re like me ( which I truly hope you´re not because I´m extraordinarily weird ) then you won´t have any problems voicing your real thoughts to the people you love ( and to those you don´t love )

“I love you, Marlene. But promise me you´ll never recommend a book to me again.”

And my friend always replies with a..

“Pfft. You have no idea what a good book is.”

Touché.

It´s because books are a matter of taste. My friend´s taste differs from mine by a long shot. Always does.

On the other hand, though, I LOVE when someone recommends a book. I love it when the recommendation is made in a not so obvious way. Kind of like an unspoken “You have to read this.”  I love to listen to the passion and see the excitement in someone´s face when they talk about a book.

“The characters! You´ve never met such intense figures… And what they go through! Girl, you´re in for a ride with those.” 

It´s a one-sided conversation I fully enjoy. I just sit and listen like some kid hearing about Santa for the first time.

 

That´s exactly what happened with `The Birthday List` recommendation. I had time to appreciate the thoughts that were given regarding the book. I had time to see the appeal. I was allowed to become curious.

That where I think the main problem lies with book recommendations ( for me ).

It´s not just a matter of taste when it comes to book recommendations. It´s a matter of how the recommendation is delivered.

A pushy book recommendation doesn´t really give you time. It´s a “READ THIS NOW!” situation. Words like LOVE, AWESOME, FANTASTIC, BRILLIANT, LIFE CHANGING are thrown into a convo and you hardly have time to process everything because the only things that stuck were the words “READ” and “NOW”. You READ IMMEDIATELY and realize in the end that the book was okay but not as LIFE CHANGING as it was set out to be by your friend.

When the recommendation is subtle but at the same time passionate then you have air to breathe and time to appreciate the love coming from the other person.

Does this make any sense? * scratching head *

So, now you know about my book recommendation love / hate relationship.

What did we learn today? That my friends don´t have taste and neither do I.

Thank you for joining in on Mug Monday & Book Recommendation Talk.

I hope you enjoyed this post.

Much love,

Morgana xoxo

 

 

Mug Monday & Book Besties Talk

Bookish Topic

Book Besties

Mug

Mynthe, Gray – IbLaursen

 

Happy Monday!

May I present – My book bestie, Mirjam.

You know that moment when you finish a great book and you literally have no one around you to talk to about the amazing book? Yeah, well… I don´t have that someone. No one in my inner or outer social circle tends to be a fan of what I like to read. Not even my book bestie.

But that´s what book besties are for, right? I thought that´s what book besties did. Talk about the books they love.

In my / our case… we don´t gush over books we love ( well, we do. But you don´t necessarily want to be apart of those Whatsapp conversations or late night, on the sofa chats ). No. Our book bestie friendship is on a different level.

We talk book business. And we put authors under our imaginary magnifying glass and discuss every tiny little detail.

That´s us.

You´re probably thinking, “That´s odd. Book besties should have something in common.”

 

Mirjam book

 

And you´re right. We should. We do. We just don´t like the same genres.

While I´m more of a full-blown Romance worshipper, Mirjam is more for Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Thrillers ( who occasionally reads romances and YA / NA).

While I´ll spend days / weeks swooning over Jesse Ward from the This Man trilogy and suffering from terrible book hangovers, Mirjam will chew your ear off with Harry Potter and will give you a Powerpoint presentation on Game of Thrones that will leave you speechless.

Our tastes couldn´t be more apart from another but we have one thing we do agree on:

Books.

That´s right. It´s not the genre that get´s us going. It´s the anatomy of a book. It´s the author, the writing style, the quality of a cover / print. It´s a story idea, book fans, reviews and so much more!

We don´t need to love the same books to be book besties.

Mirjam book2

 

We talk about our latest book purchases. How we load our basket on Amazon and get the shock of our lives when we see the amount and then we sort that basket out with a tear in our eyes.  We discuss poor dialogues and editing issues.

Kindle Unlimited is also a favorite topic of ours.

We´ve even gone so far and thought of doing a podcast for books because we have so much to say!

That (!) is what a book bestie is.

Having someone to talk books. Talking about every stinking detail regarding books. We don´t always agree on everything but we do with most bookish topics.

She´s my partner in crime in all other areas in life. She´s my quirky friend who lives down the road. She´s my book bestie and bff material….

book bestie 2

… who has a healthy love for tea.

As it usually is with friends, our outer bookish interests go their seperate ways, too.

Tea. Mirjam is a tea drinker. Not just any kind of tea drinker. I´ve never met a person who knows their tea like she does. I find people who know how to remember which temperature is used for what sort of tea and how long to let a tea sit really fascinating ( because I lack that sort of interest and patience). I only drink tea when I´m dying of some Hell sent flu, or when Mirjam invites me to drink black tea ( that nearly killed me ).

Mug l

I, hereby, dedicate this Mug Monday to my book bestie and bestie in all other areas.

Here´s to you. ❤

I hope you enjoyed today´s Mug Monday.

Don´t forget to share the book love!

xxx

 

 

 

Mug Monday & Bookish Private Life

Bookish Private Life Topic

My daughter´s dream career.

Mug Info

Disney´s Baby Princesses Mug- Purchased in Paris

 

Happy Mug Monday!

It feels like I haven´t done one of these since…. Okay. I can´t remember. Let´s forget about that.

My topic of the week is something I´ve been wanting to share for a while but with my girls around ( and me falling asleep right when Mommy Time starts ) it´s hard to share bookish stories about my private life.

It´s probably known by now that I have 2 girls. Eve, my 10-year-old day dreamer… And Lillian, my 6-year-old firecracker. They don´t kid you when they say you´ll never have two of the same kind ( and by “they” I´m referring to the neighbors, my mother, mother in-law and every other woman who had kids and even the one´s who don´t have kids ).

For a while now, my babies are living out the phase of making plans for their future.

“I wanna be a dancer / a singer / a firefighter / a vet. I wanna pick flowers for a living!”

Most of the time those bold statements are followed by these questions:

“Do I have to see blood when I become a vet? Can I be one without having to deal with blood? Do I have to dance in front of an audience, or can I just dance at home?”

Innocent questions asked by innocent minds and all those dream jobs and questions come from my youngest, Lillian. Eve has only had one dream job she´s been wanting to do ever since the job picking phase in my house started.

She wants to become a writer.

“Mommy, what do I have to do to become a writer?”

She´s 10, so she can deal with the truth, right?

The first thing I wanted to say was, “Are you sure?!” but decided I didn´t want to make her doubt her choice of profession.

“Baby, being a writer is hard work. It´s not as easy as you think it is.” Is what I say to her, instead. And it´s true. Being a writer isn´t easy. Not that I´ve experienced that at first hand…. I haven´t. I´m not an author. But thanks to the blogging years I have under my belt I´ve seen enough struggling authors to last me a lifetime.

“What´s not easy about being an author? I have tons of ideas, Mom.” And I see the determination in her eyes. She wants to become a writer and she isn´t going to allow me to crush that dream for her. She has yet to comprehend that I´m not crushing any dreams… I´m helping her understand the hardships of being a writer.

“It´s not only about ideas, babe. If you have the ideas then collect them. Add to those ideas. Write them all down. You can even use my laptop to write. Make sticky notes and plaster your room with them. Take a notepad to school with you, incase you think of something fabulous to write about. Just never let that idea disappear.  But, what good are ideas if you have no one who reads them?”

I think this is a point a lot of authors can relate to. Not my child, though. For her, it´s more than enough if me, my husband, both Grandma´s and a few school friends read her stories. And that´s more than fine. In fact- If that´s the route she believes she should take then she has my full support.

Have I mentioned how determined Eve is? Ever since our little discussion she´s been writing like a mad – child. Every night she presents a new chapter of her latest “Moonlight Wolf” short story and wants me to edit the chapters for her at night.

mug i
Right side- My daughter´s chapters, waiting for edits.

Am I proud? Definitely! She wants to be a writer. If that´s her dream job then I´m the last person to object. Who am I to argue with someone over their dreams, right?

Now, to the mug…. Dear Heavens above! Last year we thought a Family Trip to Paris would be a great idea. All 4 of us, driving down to the city of love. The girls made HUGE plans. All they wanted to see was the Eiffel Tower and the rest?… They didn´t care much for whatever else Paris had to offer. Hubby and I have visited Paris many times before so we had a good idea on what we could do with the girls and how to make their city vacation a great experience.

We had it all planned out. We made charts and reservations. We bought tickets to all major tourist attractions to avoid standing hours in line. We were prepared. 4 days in Paris and we were determined to exhaust our girls and fill their minds with beauty and history. ( That´s a parent´s dream. If you ask my kids what they remember of our Paris vacation they´ll just say they had to walk a lot )

We were not prepared for the Disney store on the Champs Elysees.

Let´s just say we spent over 2 hours in there and spent more money than I planned to ever spend in a Disney store for Disney stuff.

Thankfully, I was able to buy myself a mug. A self-pity purchase, on my part. A note to all parents: Never take your children in a Disney store. You´ll never get them out. Not even the Eiffel Tower will get them to leave.

 

That´s it for today. I hope you enjoyed my little private bookish blog post.

Until next time!

 

Much love,

Morgana ❤

Fine me

Book Spoilers – What Is A Spoiler? What´s Not A Spoiler?

WARNING: This article is about book spoilers. 

 

“Don´t spoil the story!”

“I don´t want to hear it!”

“Great. Now I don´t need to read the story because you spoiled it for me.” 

 

Book spoilers. There´s nothing more a reader hates. To have a story spoiled for them.

book spoiler

 

That´s a book spoiler. Pretty informative, right? You know exactly what a book spoiler is. But you don´t, really. Because book spoilers aren´t necessarily book spoilers.

Believe it or not- Readers have their own definition of a book spoiler.

But who get´s to decide what an actual book spoiler is, and what´s not? Is revealing an insignificant piece of info enough to be considered a spoiler? Is explaining a story a spoiler?

I think it´s obvious that revealing an end scene / the end of a book is considered a major spoiler. That´s just ruining it right on the spot.

But the rest? Who is the judge of what a true spoiler is or not?

If you want an answer from off the top of my head I´d say that it depends on the person / reader. Some readers don´t mind when a review reveals minor details and some go completely ballistic when a tiny bit of detail is mentioned. It´s a matter of opinion- Like everything else is.

I´ve been reading more often, than not, how readers don´t want to be spoiled. Something I completely understand and respect. But what I don´t understand is:

Why attempt to read a book review if you don´t want to be spoiled?

Has anyone ever thought of book spoilers as book teasers? Because book teasers are often included in reviews, too. Let´s see what the definition of a book teaser is:

book teaser

Oh-HO! This means a book spoiler isn´t actually any different from a book teaser. Technically- A book teaser is a spoiler. It reveals an aspect of a story others would have found out themselves, for sure.

Book teasers come in a few forms: Graphic quotes ( a line taken from said book included with a lovely fitting graphic), excerpts, or book teasers can be built in reviews ( 3 lines that are enough to tickle a reader but not enough to full spoil the story). Funnily enough- teasers ( in all their many forms) are excepted.  But it´s not okay to reveal a spoiler? I´m confused.

I´m a book blogger. That means, I read a book and then I write a review that´s hopefully helpful for those who are looking for their next read. I include the following in my reviews:

  • Title, author, special features in form of graphics ( e.g maps, book cover, gif )
  • Plot summaries ( If needed. Sometimes the synopsis, provided by the author / publisher, goes into great detail )
  • A one – liner ( One-liners can be used for quick social media posts that could hook a reader )
  • Including useful info   (Main characters. Were they credible? Which were my favorite characters. )
  • Personal experiences ( Was I able to relate to the characters? Did I experience a similar event as the characters?)
  • My opinion ( Did I like the book? What was my favorite / least favorite part/ scene?)
  • My recommendation ( Would I recommend said book? And to whom would I / would I not recommend said book?)

The above are what I try to include in all my reviews. Sometimes, a book doesn´t allow me to add all at. Sometimes emotions play a bigger role and over rule everything else. But one thing I try my best to do is: Not to reveal, what I think could be, spoilers.

That´s harder to accomplish than one would think.

When I write my reviews I take my time to think of what can be seen as a spoiler and what not. I read the book´s synopsis twice before adding a plot summary ( because who wants to repeat what´s already available, right?). I sit and wonder and ponder and break my little head over words and sentences. My biggest problem is not how to write a review- It´s about what information I can include to avoid someone telling me that my review contains spoilers.

 

These days, I feel like I should include a spoiler warning in all my reviews. You just never know who´s going to spot something they consider a spoiler. And I do add spoiling warnings.

I want my reviews to be read. I mean- That´s why I´m spending my free time writing and publishing them in the first place.

Other bloggers want the same thing- For readers to read their reviews.

How does a book blogger recommend a book without revealing a tiny, itsy bitsy piece of detail about a story? Because when I read a review where someone just repeats the synopsis and doesn´t give me something more, other than a “I really enjoyed this book / I loved this read.” then I will hop on to the next review that hopefully has something more convincing. I would rather read something I don´t already know. I need that little convincing push.

A book blogger not only writes a review. In that moment when a book blogger publishes their review they recommend a product. They want others to see WHY they´re recommending the product. They want you to know HOW they came to love / hate the product. They want you to find out WHAT is so special. No one wants to buy the whole cow, but everyone wants a taste of the milk first. They want to know if a product would be something they´d also like or dislike. If a review is so diplomatic and 100% neutral then I, as a reader, have no flipping clue what a book is about. In that moment, I don´t need to waste my time with a review and can stick to reading the synopsis until I turn blue and purple.

So, my question still stands: What is considered a book spoiler?

I´ve talked to alot of people and have learned that many despise any type of book spoiler. Which is fine. To each is their own, I say. But in that moment where you´re talking books with someone, face to face, who doesn´t like spoilers… you´re completely handicapped.

“Don´t spoil anything.” They say, often in a frantic, slightly louder voice. ( as if saying that in a normal tone wouldn´t work as well. Lol)

Well, if that doesn´t kill a conversation on the spot then I don´t what does. So you find other ways to try to convince your friend / family member / neighbor to buy the book that´s REALLY good.

“It´s a great book.” You say and you leave it at that because your hands are tied. Conversation = Over

On to the next subject which is usually food. * insert laugh*

Book conversations are safe when both parties have finished reading the same book. But, recommending a book is just as much fun as discussing the aftermath.

Personally, I don´t mind spoilers. I actually belong to those people who can listen to someone rave about a complete story in great detail and I´d STILL want to read the book.

I can literally hear you all holding your breath and see you shaking your heads now. But I truly don´t mind spoilers at all. Why? Because everyone perceives a story differently. Everyone explains a story differently. I might envision something entirely different.

For me, there are 3 different types of book spoilers:

  1. Minor Spoiler –  This is where a review adds a little more detail about the story than the synopsis has already revealed. A minor spoiler does not reveal the story.
  2. Random Opinion – This could be anything from quoting a piece of a dialogue to ranting about what a certain character has done to evoke stong feelings from a reader. Random opinions do not influence my book purchase.
  3. Major Spoiler- This is where something highly significant is revealed, such as: sickness/illness, plot twists / game changers, ending scene. Anything that can actually ruin a story for someone.

 

I understand the concept of spoiling. I also understand and respect others when I´m told not to spoil a book. I would never go against someone´s wishes.

There´s a fine way to avoid spoiling ANYTHING for ANYONE. It´s called “giving a spoiler warning” beforehand. Two words- that´s all it takes to make the world safe for spoiler haters. spoilers

That way, the person reviewing a book can always wash their hands in innocence. It takes a few sublte words to make a major impact on a bloggers reputation. Because no one likes to be thought of as the one who ALWAYS spoils.

So, after all that´s been said… I think it´s safe to say and to point out that whatever a reviewer does, it´s always wrong. Or always right ( depending on a person´s perspective).

This article is dedicated to those who hate spoilers and to those who spoil. You are both loved.

xxx

 

 

 

 

The Mafia Mug / Book Talk

Book Feature

Monster in His Eyes ( Monster in His Eyes #1)

Torture to Her Soul ( Monster in His Eyes #2 )

Mug Feature

GreenGate Mug, Alice

 

Happy Monday, world!

Let´s get into book talk mode. Topic of the day?

Dark Romances and the nasty book hangovers attached.

Have you ever suffered from a book hangover? I have. Many others have. A book hangover is when you´ve finished a book and realize you aren´t ready to jump back into the real world. You´re still in the book world. For me- Book hangovers are a tad more dramatic. I´m a daydreamer. When I finish a book ( and I loved the story ) I tend to suffer for a super long time, thinking about the events characters went through, if I would have acted differently, etc. Weird, I know.  Thank God I don´t suffer all too often from those pesky feelings.

When I think of book hangovers I think of one author- J.M. Darhower.

mug JMDARHOWER

I remember, way back in the early blogging days, when rumor had it that J.M. Darhower would release a new novel, `Monster in His Eyes`. Soon the cover reveal made it´s rounds through social media and I… well, I was reluctant to read the book because of the hype readers/bloggers created. I avoid overly hyped books with a passion because I always get disappointed when my expectations are too high.

Needless to say- I ended up buying the paperback a month after the book released.

What I thought would be another sappy romance turned out to be an action packed, nerve wrecking, gut turning, dark ( with a hint of erotic ) romance. A romance about a hitman who´s on a mission but get´s distracted along the way and needs ( seriously NEEDS) to stay focused on his task(s). Let´s just say that Ignazio / Naz is one unique character who you will fall head over heels for, no matter what he does.

For me, reading this book felt like I was a fly on the wall, in a room filled with dangerous Italian mafia, spying.

Jesus! What a mindblow story.

`Monster in His Eyes` sucks you right in and grabs tight, leaving you no other choice but to keep reading. The writing style is a joy. The characters are fabulous. I just have so much love for this book, it´s not even healthy, anymore. ( said the book psycho who´s writing this article)

And the best part? There´s a second book to `Monster in His Eyes`.

`Torture to Her Soul` picks up right where `Monster in His Eyes` left off. Let me tell you…. It´s different but OH SO GOOD. I´m surprised I didn´t have heart problems while reading the second installment because it´s filled with action, love and lots of angsty moments. Let´s say the story is brutally romantic.

Then there´s book #3, `Target on Our Backs`. What can I say that I haven´t already said? It´s just a piece of wonderful mafia art. A nice conclusion to a fab story with great sub-characters worth remembering * wink wink * ( Check out the Scarlet Scars 1&2)

I loved it. You´ll love it. My girl ( and fellow book chica) Kristi from over at KristiesBook Knook loves it.

You should listen to the convo´s Kristi and I have over these books. They´re worth gold.

For me, J.M. Darhower is a Goddess of dark romances.

As for my mug: the poor thing slipped in the J.M. Darhower shadow.

I call my red mug the Mafia Cup. For one- It´s red. Red suits a dark read, especially when there´s violence involved. Plus my mafia mug can hold a decent amount of hot chocolate which allows me to enjoy a few chapters before having to refill.

I can´t recall what possessed me to buy a red mug, though. I´m usually more of a cold color type ( lots of gray, blue, purple, etc.). All I remember is walking through the GreenGate shop and thinking “Why the hell not?”, which isn´t really a good reason to buy something.  A knee-jerk purchase I haven´t regretted….yet.

 

That´s it for this week. I hope you enjoyed Mug Monday!

Until next week!

Morgana xxx

Book Info

Title:  Monster in His Eyes (#1), Torture to Her Soul ( #2 ), Target on Our Backs ( #3 ) monster in his eyes

Author: J. M. Darhower

Publication Date: 2014, 2014, 2016

Genre: Dark, Adult, Romance

Favorite Quote (s): ” Maybe Cinderella didn´t live happily ever after. Maybe, come midnight, she wanted to run away. Maybe her prince wouldn´t let her. Mine didn´t.” (Monster in His Eyes)torture in her soul

When you love people, you want what´s best for them, and sometimes what´s best for them isn´t you. ( Torture to Her Soul )

“Judge him by his actions and not by your suspicions” he says. “Because if the only measure of a man´s worth is what he does to make money, alot of good men would be judged unfairly.”  ( Target on Our Backs )

Purchase Links  target on our backs

Amazon.comAmazon.co.ukAmazon.de