The Christmas Book Haul 2017

Christmas 2017 Book Haul Horizontal

Book Santa was great to me again this year! (It helps that “Book Santa” is actually my mom.)

  • Priestess of the White, by Trudi Canavan: I’ve heard good things about this author, and I found the second book in this trilogy at a used book sale, so I picked it up. I hadn’t managed to find either the first or third in the same manner, so I put the first on my Christmas list. Let’s hope I like it!
  • Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman: I loved American Gods. I love Neil Gaiman. This one’s obvious.
  • Fingersmith, by Sarah Waters: I’ve seen this on a lot of recommendation lists, especially LGBTQIA+ lists. And it sounds interesting.
  • Dreams of Gods and Monsters, by Laini Taylor: I borrowed this trilogy from the library and decided I needed my own copies. I already found the first two used, and now my trilogy is complete!
  • The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue: Booklr is absolutely raving about this one, and it sounds like fun.
  • Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman: Technically this is my husband’s, but who am I kidding, I’ll read it too. Of course I will.
  • A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness: Same as Dreams of Gods and Monsters, except this time I was missing the first book instead of the last one. And I even managed to score matching editions!

With these shiny new beauties safely on my shelves, it’s time for me to go on a book-buying ban. I know, I know, I’ve tried these before, but I’m still swimming in unread books. So I’m not going to buy anymore until my Thriftbooks birthday coupon shows up at the end May. That gives me five solid months to read down my stacks and clean out my Kindle.

(The one exception is if any of my indie-author buddies put out new books between now and then–supporting them is more important to me than sticking to the ban. And ebooks are cheap!)

As the New Year hovers just over the horizon, I’m anxious to get started on my new reading challenges. I’ve put putting together my PopSugar task list, and once again I should be able to field most entries out of the books I already have. There might be a few tricky ones (a book related to my ancestry? Nordic noir? Too bad I already read the Millenium trilogy!) that I’ll need to research and request from the library, but I’ve got about 2/3 of the tasks filled in already.

Who else can’t wait for their 2018 reading?

Happy Holidays!


Today I’m celebrating Christmas with my family. I’ll be back on Wednesday with pictures of my book haul (which I have no doubt will be excellent) and on Friday with book reviews as usual.

After that, we get to start a whole new year! I’m excited to host my first reading challenge, and to tackle the other challenges I’m participating in. Have you checked out the Expand Your Horizons Challenge? I’d love to have you!

In the meantime, I hope you are having a lovely season filled with good food, friends and family, and of course, books.


The Twelve Days of Christmas Blogging, Day 12


What am I grateful for this Christmas?

My husband, my health, my family and friends.  Those practically go without saying!

But the other big thing I’m grateful for this Christmas is the Internet.  Yes, you read that right, and yes, I mean it.

I could not have become an author without the Internet.  This glorious series of tubes brings 99% of what I need to my fingertips: writing tips, writing friends, research, articles on every aspect of the process from rough draft to published work.  I could not have become an author without the Internet.

It allows me to work at something I love, and it brings my words to you.  Without the Internet, I would have no audience.  (Well, almost none, anyway.)

If you have purchased and read my book, then, you’re awesome, and I’m grateful to you.

If you haven’t, you’re still awesome because you’re reading my blog anyway, and I’m grateful to you as well.

If you’re a friend I’ve made online in the past year through any social media, you’re super awesome, and I hope I can continue to lean on your friendship when I need an ear to bend next year!

I can’t say thank you enough to everyone who’s been with me through any part of this process, and I’ll leave everyone with one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever been given: Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

I would not be where I am today if I had been.  So I’m grateful for me, too, this version of me that’s braver than the old one, that’s happier than this time last year because of all she’s accomplished, that’s looking forward to learning more and doing more next year.

The Twelve Days of Christmas Blogging, Day 11


What was my favorite childhood Christmas present?

I loved getting toys and dolls and books and all sorts of things, because beneath my childish exterior beat the heart of a truly materialistic soul.  I still love things, though most of that love has transmuted from the need to acquire into the need to create.

But my favorite childhood Christmas present is one I don’t remember getting, though it’s one I still have.  For my first Christmas I received a teddy bear from our neighbors, a perfectly reasonable gift for a baby.

Most children have a favorite toy, and this bear was that toy for me.  His name is Fred, though obviously at not-yet-a-year-old I didn’t name him.  I don’t know who did, actually–I never asked my parents.  Maybe I did name him later when I could talk.  I just know that his name is Fred.

I slept with him every night until I was ten or so and finally decided that I was getting too old for that.  But he still went with me everywhere.  He came along on every vacation–still does.  (I am not sentimental about much, but I never travel without him with me.  Mom joked once that I should make him his own passport.)

He’s old now, too fragile to be handled much–I keep him on one of my bookshelves.  His fur is faded, matted, worn right through in spots.  His nose used to stick out, but now it’s flattened back into his face, and I’ve had to sew him shut a few times over the years to keep his insides inside.

But he still gives the best bear hugs.

The Twelve Days of Christmas Blogging, Day 9


Who will be sitting with me for Christmas dinner?

My mother, who will be smiling and talking about the last book she read and why I should probably read it too.  (A common topic, I read a ton, but she reads more.)

My father, who will work bad puns into the conversation, which will make us laugh and groan in equal measure.

And my husband, who will recite lines from A Christmas Story along with the TV, making us laugh even more.  If I asked him to, right now, I’m sure he could perform it as a one-man show, word for word.

Christmas dinner with my family is awesome, and I’m really looking forward to it!

The Twelve Days of Christmas Blogging, Day 8


Share a local Christmas tradition in your town or country.

I have family traditions, and I guess I have American traditions–rampant capitalism being a big one.  But I’m struggling to think of any local things.  There’s a WinterFest-type event (that might even be the name of it, I can’t remember) that I’ve never been to, but I feel like that’s in January and not Christmas-related.

I’m sure at least some of the local churches have Christmas plays or pageants, but again, I haven’t been to any, and it’s not a town-wide tradition.

This is really making me sound like a stay-at-home stick in the mud, but my holidays are completely eaten up by getting ready for, and then having, two separate family Christmases.  Which I wouldn’t give up for anything, don’t get me wrong, I need that vacation for the second one.

So the “local” tradition that I associate with second-Christmas is actually a New Year’s Eve tradition.  There’s a big party downtown with a ball drop and beer and hot chocolate and everything, and we all bundle up and go stand in the cold for an hour or two with everyone else in town until the fireworks go off at midnight.  I’ve only missed one year in the four or five our family’s been going–I was too sick to brave the frigid night air.

And this year, I get to stand under the fireworks a published author, which was only a resolution last year.  So I’m looking forward to it.

And, of course, to my midnight kiss.  Because that’s a fantastic tradition!