August Reading Goals and July Wrap-up

In order to help myself tackle more review books, both print and digital, once a month I will be posting a list of books that I hope to read during that month.  I work more efficiently when I have a game plan, so hopefully these monthly posts will keep me focused on my goal of reading and reviewing more books, and will make my TBR not seem so intimidating.  By breaking away chunks of the TBR mountain, I can better manage my reading. In theory, anyway!

While I was able to get back into a reading groove, I completely veered off course with the planned reading schedule.  I read 18 books (34 pages away from 19!), but only 3 of them were from my July list.  My favorite read of July 2012 was Black Heart by Holly Black (review).  If you haven’t read her Curse Workers series, give it a shot.

I upped the stakes for August! I have a huge reading list, in a mix of genres – let’s see how many I can squeeze in!

Can’t Hurry Love by Molly O’Keefe

Blades of Winter by G T Almasi

In a Fix by Linda Grimes

The Short and Fascinating Tale of Angelina Whitcombe by Sabrina Darby

Body & Soul by Stacey Kade

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

When You Wish Upon A Duke by Isabella Bradford

Blackwood by Gwenda Bond

The Forgetting Curve by Angie Smibert

Library Wars Vol 7 by Kiiro Yumi

This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

Storm by Brigid Kemmerer

Scandal’s Mistress by Bronwyn Stuart

Jiu Jiu Vol 1 by Touya Tobina

Beautiful Lies by Jissica Warman

The Drops of God vol 1 by  Tadashi Agi & Shu Okimoto

Hell on Wheels by Julie Ann Walker

The Night Is Mine by M L Buchman

Shift by Kim Curran

Seducing Cinderella by Gina L Maxwell

Chase Me by Tamara Hogan

Most Improper Miss Sophie Valentine by Jayne Fresina

Lady Amelia’s Mess and a Half  by Samantha Grace

The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda

What’s on your reading list for August?

Ready! Set! READ!!

Interview with Amber Garr, Author of The Syrenka Series

Amber Garr is the author of The Syrenka Series.  She dropped by the virtual offices to chat about her books, and after the interview, you can enter for a chance to win all three books!  Amber will be giving away paperback and ebook sets of Promises, Betrayal, and Arise!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Amber Garr] A writer, marine biologist, dancer, and animal lover. I’m always busy with something when not creating stories through words or choreography.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about your Syrenka series?

[Amber Garr] The Syrenka Series focuses on a hidden society of mermaids, selkies, and water sprites. At the center of the story is Eviana, a teenage mermaid being forced into clan politics and responsibilities before she’s had much of a chance to grow up. There’s an arranged marriage, an opportunity for her to run away, and a battle to protect humans that she must deal with. Throughout the series you will see her mature, accept some of her responsibilities, and become the leader her parent’s always envisioned. Of course there is also a little bit of a love triangle (square?) that resolves itself by the end of Arise.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters?

[Amber Garr] The first chapter of Promises was originally a short story. I enjoyed the selkie folklore and thought it might be interesting to write a “forbidden” love between a selkie and a mermaid. But once I had that story written, the rest of it filled my head and one short story turned into an entire trilogy!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was your greatest challenge writing this story?

[Amber Garr] There were a few. First, I wanted to make sure that the series deserved three books and that the overarching plot lines were interesting, relevant, and would bring the readers back for more. Second was finding the time. I wrote Promises and Betrayal in about one month each, but Arise took a little longer because I had to focus on writing my dissertation. However, once I carved out the time, it was a welcomed relief to immerse myself in Eviana’s world. And third, was the actual publishing. It really was one of the scariest challenges! What if no one bought it? What if all the reviews are bad? It was such an experiment in learning how well I could really handle it all. But so far, I have to say that I’m very glad I did it.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Eviana?

[Amber Garr] Feisty, loyal, and brave.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Eviana’s single most prized possession?

[Amber Garr] I think it would be her collective group of close friends. She relies on them to help her through some tough times and in the end she will do anything for their well being.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Amber Garr] Music. That probably comes from all my years of dance training, but I will create a story to any and every song I hear. I also think nature is a big influence for me. Being outside, in the water, on the beach, climbing a mountain…all inspire me to create a story, scene, or even a dance.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Amber Garr] Music, dedicated time (even if it’s just an hour), and my muse, Bitsy Cat.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Amber Garr] Oooh…I classify those types of books as the ones that I will (have) read several times over. So I think the last one like that was probably The Hunger Games.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Amber Garr] Probably one of the first books I remember as a kid: Where the Wild Things Are

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Amber Garr] Read, dance, watch movies and just relax.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Amber Garr] Website:


Facebook: Amber Garr Author Page

Twitter: @AmberGarr1

Goodreads: Amber Garr

[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!


Be sure to enter for your chance to win Amber’s Syrenka series!

There is a tour wide giveaway for Amber’s Syrenka series! Up for grabs is one paperback package: All three books SIGNED plus SWAG (US only)

Amber is also giving away THREE ebook packages:  Win all three books in series via coupons (US and international)

Just fill out the widget below for your chance to win!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can purchase all of the books in Amber’s Syrenka series by clicking the widget below:

Waiting on Wednesday–Hysteria by Megan Miranda

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

I loved Fracture, so I am eagerly awaiting Megan Miranda’s next outing, Hysteria.  In stores February 2013


Mallory’s life is falling apart. Her boyfriend was stabbed. He bled to death in her kitchen. Mallory was the one who stabbed him. But she can’t remember what happened that night. She only remembers the fear . . .

When Mallory’s parents send her away to a boarding school, she thinks she can escape the gossip and the threats. But someone, or something, has followed her. There’s the hand that touches her shoulder when she’s drifting off to sleep. A voice whispering her name. And everyone knows what happened. So when a pupil is found dead, Mallory’s name is on their lips. Her past can be forgotten but it’s never gone. Can Mallory live with that?(

What are you waiting on?

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