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 ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Cover Trends: Part Two (Paranormal, Fantasy & Horror)

Hi! Welcome back to Book Cover Trends!

If you thought there was nothing left for our Book Cover Trends show and tell, then you´re  wrong. Oh, so wrong.

The book world doesn´t just live off of young love novels and cheesy romances. There´s more. Much more. As much as I´d like to continue discussing headless men with pumped abs I do feel the need to dive further into the book cover world.

Werewolves, witches, shapeshifters, vampires, assassins, faeries and serial killers deserve book covers, too. It´s the darker book cover side.

Let´s see what´s hot and what´s not in the make-believe world.

Ready?

 

Someone Needs To Wear The Crown  ( Dystopian, Fantasy )

I´ll admit that these covers are really cool. I like crowns. Wish I wore one myself. As far as book covers for Dystopian / Fantasy go, this is all I see lately. A crown here, a crown there. So many crowns.

crowns

There´s just alot you can do with crown images.

I predict a LONG reign for these types of book covers.

The Crow ( Paranormal, Fantasy )

The crow. Probably THE MOST used animal for book covers. I get it. They´re black. They´re mysterious. They´re always attached to the paranormal world. The world has over 8.7 million species.It´s believed that 1-2 million of those species are animals. You cannot tell me that the crow is the only mysterious animal. It´s certainly not the only black one.

I guess the black bear, a black bat, the black widow, a black bunny were already taken?

crows

I see this trend going nowhere. Crows are here to stay. As long as no one is willing to break this stereotype then I guess we´ll be seeing many more crows.

 

Let´s move on to bad ass women….

I´m Going To Save The World With My Awesomeness ( YA, Dystopian, Fantasy)

These covers definitely say “I´m the chosen one!” A reader knows the story is about a dysfunctional world and someone, a chosen individual ( there´s a 90% chance that someone is a poor human living in some type of slums), will right the wrongs and bring justice to a corrupted world.

These are my least favorite book cover images. I just think they´re…ugly. There´s no other way to express my feelings towards these covers. But still…..

bad ass

… readers love this cover image. In my opinion, you have to be a huge fan of the fantasy genre to accept the badassness these covers have. Or you just don´t give a hoot. I do, though. There are other ways to attract a reader´s attention. How about using a crown?

Me? I´m The Chosen One That Has To Save The World? ( Dystopian, YA, Fantasy)

Sometimes the badass female lead develops her backbone much later in a story. She has to grow into her role as the chosen one. But before she swaps her pitch fork for a glowing faerie sword she has to change her clothes. One cannot win battles in Versace´s Dystopian Autumn collection.

not badass

These ladies want to make a difference. I can´t say which I prefer. The assassins or the princesses.

Speaking of ladies…. up next is a girl who needs our pity….

Emo Girl  ( YA, Fantasy )

emo girl

Okay. I love this story. It´s Twilight with Angels only better. The Fallen by Lauren Kate is one of my favorite reads. But…. the girl on the cover ( which I assume is supposed to be Lucy, MC, is far from being an emo child) does not represent the Heroine. Having 2 hot angels chasing your booty ain´t a good enough reason to cry.

 

Let´s get away from tough cookie Heroine´s and sobbing messes.

Artistic ( fantasy, Children, YA )

artsy

Because it doesn´t always have to be an image of some sexy beast. Okay… Both books are intended for children´s minds so the cover has to match. I totally understand that. And I think it´s okay to use an illustrated cover image. Spot on in these cases.

 

Doors & Windows  ( Mystery, Thriller, Horror )

doors1

Definitely creepy. Normally, doors do nothing for me except keep me safe inside my house. But on a book cover? An absolute 9 on the creep scale. Also, these won´t ever go out of style. A trend that´ll stay!

A Rose IS A Rose, Is A Rose, Is A Rose….  ( All genre´s )

Yupp. Roses are DA SHIT!

rose

Seriously, roses are perfect. Old as time but perfect for any genre. You´ve written a romance? Just use an image of a rose. You´ve written a suspense with a psycho? *snorts* Just use a rose that´s leaking blood as a cover image. Is your book about having din-din with a sexy vampire? I recommend a black rose, because…well, you know. The black crow isn´t THAT fitting. Wanna write a fantasy? Ooh, you can´t use a red rose then. Use a white one. Werewolves? Oh, please *wave off* Werewolves are known to be rose experts. They have gardens filled with long-stemmed roses. High quality you´ll only find in a McWolfy garden.

Funny enough, roses can be used for all genre´s. It´s only a matter of how an author / publisher pimps it to match the theme of the story. What´s even funnier? Most of those books don´t have a single rose in their stories. But the covers are often quite stunning.

 

 

Okay, people… That´s it for today. Stay tuned for Book Cover Trends: Part Three…. Coming soon!

 

Hope you enjoyed the lists so far! If you have any ideas you´d like to add or see in the future then feel free to hit me up! Drop a comment below and let me know your thoughts!

xoxo

 

Mug Feature & Book Talk & Private Ramblings

Mug –Ikea

Book – Dangerous To Know & Love by Jane Harvey-Berrick

 

I´m a person who´s mind runs a million miles per hour. I´m not much of a multitasker but I can think of many odd things all at once. I´ve been told it´s an Aquarius trait. Not that I would know. I don´t pay attention to star signs, zodiac readings or whatever else they´re called. I know my mind runs off while I´m doing stuff. A fact I can live with.

Monday and Wednesday´s are my days off. The girls are at my mom´s enjoying their beloved Grandma-time so that leaves me with nothing to do. Literally. With the house clean, laundry done and lunch cooked I have all the time in the world ( 4 hours to myself feel like an endless amount of time) to do the things I enjoy most. 

Call me weird but… I like doing nothing. We live in a fast living world where everyone´s running from A to B all the time. There´s hardly any room during our busy lives to properly relax. Unless we make time. That´s what I do. I make a point out of doing nothing sometimes. Why? It´s important for the mind and body. 

In my case, I like to read and drink hot chocolate during my relax time. I like to aimlessly walk around the house in my hot pink bathrobe and just appreciate the silence. I´ll sometimes look out the kitchen window and watch my neighbors chat on the street, I´ll watch others pass by my house with their dogs.. I swear, there´s nothing better than having enough time to appreciate the little things in life. 

While sipping my hot cocoa I took an extra few minutes to admire the color of the mug. Speaking of mugs- An Ikea purchase ( because I can never walk out of that place without something from the Dining department). Was the color turquoise? Blue? Teal? Then I thought of how great it would be if a book cover had that same color. The search for the matching book cover began.

It took me a full hour of rummaging to find what I was looking for. Voila!

WP Mug Turquoise
Book- Dangerous To Know & Love by Jane Harvey-Berrick

Okay, fine. Black, white and gray dominate the cover but there is a color splash of teal.

One of my all time favorite romances. And it´s an older one, too. Not one of those new romances where the Hero is some rich hot-shot who owns half a city and whisks a middle class 20-year-old off her feet with outrageous sex. 

No. This is a simple, relatable romance. It´s emotional. I love it. `Dangerous To Know & Love` is one of those stories where you feel the character´s pain and just want to do everything to jump right in and help out. I remember I felt like a peeping Tom while reading Lisanne and Daniel´s story.  They had a slow-moving relationship with relatable up´s and down´s.  I didn´t really suffer from any emotional trauma after reading this book but I do remember feeling so utterly satisfied and excited. 

There aren´t many books I cherish. I have a handful of books I call my romance Bible. This book definitely belongs to those. 

Two hot cocoa´s later I realized I was rereading the book. Something I wasn´t planning on doing because I have more than enough books on my oversized TBR list. Books that are anxiously waiting for some attention. 

I guess swooning over Daniel and Lisanne´s lovestory was more important. I have time, right? My TBR list isn´t going anywhere. A quick reread and another hot cocoa can never hurt… Especially not me. 🙂

I hope you enjoyed Mug Monday. Until next week….

Much Love,

Morgana xx

Book Info

Title: Dangerous To Know & Love  Dangerous to Know and Love

Author: Jane Harvey-Berrick

Publication Date: May 17th 2013

Genre: New Adult, Romance

Favorite Quote (s): “I don´t want to be defined by this.”

“I´m so fucking happy you´re here,” he whispered. “It makes it hurt less.”

Purchase Links: Amazon.comAmazon.co.ukAmazon.de

 

Review- Gilded Cage by Vic James

Book Description

Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved.

Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world. 

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price? 

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution. 

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?

My Thoughts

It was through a dear friend of mine ( who also happens to be a writer ) when I first met author Vic James, writer of `Gilded Cage`. Our encounter was brief but Vic James left a positive impression and before she left for the evening she kindly handed out a promotional poster from her newest release. Mind you- I´ve never heard nor seen anything from Vic James before so the author and her work were completely new to me. All I was told was that I had to read her work. She´s a brilliant writer. Well, okay. If my friend says she´s brilliant then she probably is. ( I so hoped she was right.)

Even if I´m not huge on dystopian stories I really enjoyed this one.

In a nutshell, `Gilded Cage` is about inequality. A world devided into two parts- the aristocrats and the commoners. The aristocrats have magical powers and the commoners, who are just normal humans, have nothing magical but have to devote 10 years of their lives as slaves to the aristocrats. Those ten years were due anytime during a commoners lifespan. ( Totally interesting, right? I sure thought so.)

Outside a nutshell ´Gilded Cage´ is so much more. It´s exhilarating, gripping, powerful and magical. A total page turner. This is a read where you gladly do an over-nighter because you just HAVE to know how the story continues. ( Sleep is overrated anyways * wave off *)

A huge surprise for me was how I easily accepted the multiple POVs. I´m usually annoyed when a story has more than two POVs. Because, let´s face it- most multi-POVs in one story are unnecessary and / or just repetitive. That´s not the case in `Gilded Cage`. Each POV was mandatory and each contributed to the story. Just like it´s supposed to be.

I can´t really say if I have any complaints now because `Gilded Cage` is the first in a series and definitely the build-up story for what´s to come. By the feel of it- there´s going to be something huge happening in the next installment ( at least I hope there will be ).

Vic James is an icredible worldbuilder and storyteller. That alone is rare combination and I fully appreciate the authors talent because without her abilities… I would have died of boredom ( that´s not really true, I would have slept. Lol )

I fully recommend `Gilded Cage´ to anyone who loves themselves a great dystopian story with lots of everything any YA reader craves.

The Cover – 5 stars ( I am so in LOVE with the cover. It´s an eye catcher )

The Story – 4 stars ( I´m not a big fan of dystopian stories but this is definitely worth it. There´s romance, corruption, Good vs. Evil, suspense and a whole lot of nail bite worthy scenes.)

The Characters – 4 stars ( I see book #1 as a build-up and because of that I thought the characters were pretty good. Very interesting, very clever and strong. Definitely interested in getting to know them more. )

My emotional state after finishing this read – I´m anxious to continue the story. Roll on book #2… I´m not getting any younger!!

I´m giving `Gilded Cage` ( Dark Gifts #1 ), by Vic James, 4 out of 5 stars.

To purchase this book all you need to do is click here and begin to read.

Enjoy! xx

gilded-cage

 Also featured with Morgana´s Book Box on Instagramgilded-cage-2

Review- A Four Letter Word by Michelle Lee

Book Description

Zoey has had a crush on Evan since they first met in high school, but has never acted on those feelings. She has always felt she wasn’t Evan’s type and their friendship means too much to her to jeopardize. At a Halloween party, Zoey meets Griffin, something Evan isn’t too happy about. Zoey and Griffin’s budding relationship grows into something Zoey never thought she would find, that four letter word, love. When she is ready to marry Griffin, Evan decides to let his true feelings be known. Ultimately, Zoey has to decide, marry the one the currently loves, or be with the one she’s always loved.

My Thoughts

It´s another wonderful classic romance! Sweet, cute, romantic… It´s everything I could ever hope for in a light and quick read.

After all the new releases I´ve been reading I felt it was time to dive deeper in my TBR list and see what I had on that evil neverending list.

I remember buying this book. I even remember admiring the cover. What I can´t remember is why I haven´t read it right away. * hangs head in shame * `A Four Letter Word´ by Michelle Lee is so darn cute. Simple and predictable yet the story sets off all the right emotional triggers.

A total heartwarming lovestory.


It´s as if the author wanted the romance genre to go back to the roots. Keep it normal, keep it realistic. Keep readers on their toes. Readers will most likely be able to relate to the story and / or the characters more because of how normal everything felt. Because, believe it or not… life isn´t always about abuse, drugs, sex, hot CEOs and what not.

There actually isn´t much to tell about the story because the book description says it all. Still- The ultimate question is:

Will Zoey marry the one she currently loves or will she be with the one she´s always loved?

Read the story and find out for yourselves. * wink *


Reading about the characters and what they went through to find their own happiness was a joy. I´d like to call Evan and Zoey´s friendship / relationship „ old school“ because you knew they were friends….and you also knew there was more. A blind person could have easily seen that they were meant for each other, but the characters weren´t so sure themselves. * sigh * That was the major dilemma. Even Zoey and Griffin were as normal as couples come. So what was Zoey´s issue? Oh yes. Her „What if´s“.


The end was fantastic. I saw that one coming but I still loved it. It was cool to see that somehow history did repeat itself in one way or another. Fab ending!
All in all a well told story for every romance lover. `A Four Letter Word` is fully recommendable.

The Cover – 5 stars ( Love it. )


The Story – 4 stars ( The story isn´t anything new, but it´s told in a great way.)

The Characters – 4 stars ( I was able to relate to Zoey and her problems. I was able to see some of my real life friends in other characters. I liked that alot but it also scared me a little. Lol.)

My emotional state after finishing this read- Totally happy.

I´m giving `A Four Letter Word`, by Michelle Lee, 4 out of 5 romantic stars

a-four-letter-word Click here for purchase