Sara’s Favorite Reads of 2016, Plus Two Times the Giveaway Fun!

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Since it’s still the first week of 2017, it’s still a good time to look back on the year that was, right? 😉 On Tuesday I shared my annual reflection on writing, personal life, the blog, and goals for the new year. Today, it’s time to share my list of favorite reads of 2016!

Last year I split my year-end list into two posts: brand new books, and previously published books. But this year, I decided to “condense” and put it all in a single post. So, which books ended up as my favorite reads of 2016? You’ll find a few hints if you look closely at the banner image. Otherwise, let’s head on in and see the full list – and maybe a chance for you to win one of the honored books!

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Recent Reads: March 2016

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Recent Reads is a monthly reading wrap-up, with mini-reviews of all the books I finished in the past month. I’ll also share what I’m currently reading and any other books that are in the pipeline. Want to share your bookish happenings, too? Feel free to do so in the Comments section at the end!

At first glance, March might not look like it was a productive reading month. (That’s what happens when you read a 1,000-page book!) However, all three books I finished were nothing short of AMAZING, so I can’t wait to tell you about them. 🙂

That, of course, made picking my Read of the Month a real challenge. All three are deserving of the title for different reasons. But in the end, I chose…
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Stacking The Shelves, Vol. 25: March 2016 Haul, Part 2

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Stacking The Shelves is a weekly event hosted by Tynga’s Reviews that shares the books (both physical and virtual) that you recently purchased, borrowed from a fellow reader or the library, won from a giveaway, or received as gifts. Stacking The Shelves will post on Saturdays as new books are added to my shelves.

In last week’s Stacking The Shelves, I’d mentioned that I’d expected to do only one STS entry this month. Then, after the fairy novels and new releases had arrived in the mail, I spent a Saturday on Cape Cod to see the house my parents are renovating and do some birthday shopping for a friend. And during said shopping, I bought more books, even though I’d told myself not to. (*face turns strawberry red*)

So, here’s Batch #2, the books I bought at the Market Street Bookshop in Mashpee, MA, along with a couple extras. Make sure you stop at MSB if you visit Mashpee Commons. Their selection is fantastic (especially in science fiction and fantasy, both adult and YA), and the staff is extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and well-read. 🙂

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Stacking The Shelves, Vol. 24: March 2016 Haul, Part 1

Stacking The Shelves banner

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly event hosted by Tynga’s Reviews that shares the books (both physical and virtual) that you recently purchased, borrowed from a fellow reader or the library, won from a giveaway, or received as gifts. Stacking The Shelves will post on Saturdays as new books are added to my shelves.

This is getting embarrassing – to the point where, apart from new releases, I might have to institute a temporary “book-buying” ban. (*blushes*) Not to mention this was going to be one installment of Stacking The Shelves. Next week I’ll explain why I split it in two.

For now, here’s Batch #1, a mix of 2016 books with the latest additions to my ongoing “market research” project on fairy novels. Let’s have a look:

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Geeking Out About Fantasy (Er, I Mean, Guest Posting) at WriteOnSisters Today

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Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh I’m SO EXCITED about this!!! 😀

Today I’m over at WriteOnSisters, one of my favorite writing craft blogs, to talk about the literary genre I love most: FANTASY. (Bet that doesn’t surprise you, right?) This isn’t an episode of me fangirling, though. Instead, I explain the differences between high fantasy and epic fantasy, as well as the common ground they share in some stories.

Click here to read “When Wands and Swords Collide: Distinguishing High Fantasy from Epic Fantasy.”

Feel free to comment directly on the post at WriteOnSisters. I’ll be over there periodically to respond! 😉

Stacking The Shelves, Vol. 13: Of Elementals and Elves

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Stacking The Shelves is a weekly event hosted by Tynga’s Reviews that shares the books (both physical and virtual) that you recently purchased, borrowed from a fellow reader or the library, won from a giveaway, or received as gifts. Stacking The Shelves will post on Saturdays as new books are added to my shelves.

First of all, a huge and sincere apology to anyone who’s waiting on my response for blog tags and awards! I needed to focus on more deadline-driven articles first, and everything kind of came to a head all at once. 😦 I’m hoping to start catching up before my trip to Writer’s Digest Conference at the end of the month, and then continue when I’m back.

Now, books. Yes. Two new ones, and they are…

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Submit Your Questions for Eva’s Character Interview!

Recently I asked for suggestions about how to celebrate the site’s upcoming 6th blogoversary. Since then, I’ve come up with not one, but TWO ideas that I’m going ahead with. One will wait until after the Writer’s Digest Conference in July / August. But we can get started on the other today!

Why “we”? Well, the “day-of” blogoversary post will be a character interview with Eva, the protagonist for my YA fantasy novel The Keeper’s Curse. This means you get to ask the questions, and Eva will answer them! (Or, rather, I’ll answer for her. *lol*)

Instructions will follow after the jump. First, for your convenience, here’s a summary about Eva from her updated character profile: Continue reading

Recent Reads: “Alanna: The First Adventure” by Tamora Pierce

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Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness Quartet, Book #1)
Tamora Pierce
Fantasy / Young Adult
249 pages (paperback)

Synopsis:

“From now on I’m Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I’ll be a knight.”

In a time when girls are forbidden to be warriors, Alanna of Trebond wants nothing more than to be a knight of the realm of Tortall. So she finds a way to switch places with her twin brother, Thom. Disguised as a boy, Alanna begins her training as a page at the palace of King Roald. But the road to knighthood, as she discovers, is not an easy one. Alanna must master weapons, combat, and magic, as well as polite behavior, her temper, and even her own heart.

Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna’s first adventure begins—one that will lead to the fulfillment of her dreams and make her a legend in the land. Continue reading

Stacking The Shelves, Vol. 12: Long Ago and Far Away…

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Stacking The Shelves is a weekly event hosted by Tynga’s Reviews that shares the books (both physical and virtual) that you recently purchased, borrowed from a fellow reader or the library, won from a giveaway, or received as gifts. Stacking The Shelves will post on Saturdays as new books are added to my shelves.

All of the books in today’s stack have one thing in common: They take place in times or places very different from my own (and perhaps yours, too). It’s a mix of fantasy, science fiction, romance, and exotic cultures. Murder, mystery, magic, and family. Freedom, power, secrets, and friendship. Intrigued? Then what are you waiting for? 😉

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