Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday Update - March 30, 2014

Every other Sunday I post a general news post. These might preview things I'm planning for the two weeks following (such as a new feature - On My Mind), they might reflect on books I'm looking forward to, or that I've recently heard of and want to discuss.  

I'm hooking into: 

This is a meme hosted by the Caffeinated Book Reviewer wherein everyone gets to share their news for the week. It's a great opportunity to see what's happening out there in the blogosphere, so go check out some other Sunday Posters!

Today's post is going to have a few sections:

1. What Happened?

2. COYER - March E-reader Clean-Out

3. DNF Reviews

4. Currently...

5. Year-Long Challenge Update

6. March Site Stats

7. Blogging A-Z?

1. What Happened?

For whatever reason, the month of March really escaped me. I got hung up on reviewing a book which I've decided to DNF (did not finish) instead of trying to force myself to finish it, and that seemed to set the tone for the rest of the month. I really lost an entire week mid-March - not only on the blog but also at home. My apologies for any and all inconsistencies in my posting schedule. I'm going to pare it back for April to make sure I can get ahead on some blog review and then we'll see about bringing back some of the 'extras.'


This month was supposed to be dedicated to cleaning out my e-reader. As you may have already guessed, that simply did not happen. I only read one book this month that wasn't for review and it was a paperback. Needless to say, I didn't succeed on this front.

3. DNF Reviews

One of the reasons why my month was so askew is that I was trying so hard at first to finish a book that i was just not clicking with. My big problem with it was that I didn't dislike the book, but I couldn't connect with it and that made it difficult to read. 

Now, I was initially a little resistant to the idea of DNF (did not finish)-ing books that I've requested for review. I mean, I put the request out there for the book, and I feel an obligation to follow through. However, if I find it completely onerous, for whatever reason, to read the book, I'm not sure I can write a fair review. So I think ultimately it's better for me to DNF the book, with an explanation of why.

I've decided to DNF a few books that have been hanging over my head. I want to start April feeling like I have a fresh start. I don't want to feel like I'm playing catch-up before the month's even started. 

Please do not take DNF as an indicator that I think these books are terrible. That's not necessarily the case!

My DNF books:

Flight of the Silvers by Daniel Price
This was the big block book. I don't know how much was the book itself, the length (600 pages compared to the average 200-250 that I typically read), and how much was picking it up at the wrong time to read it. This is a book that features time travel and other superpowers. The time travel trick threw me off a little because at least one character was able to make comments about how such-and-such event didn't matter because in six weeks, X would happen. Or that in the end, so-and-so would never realize  frustrating. I also had a hard time really connecting with the characters, and that's almost always my 'in' into a book. Still, I really wanted to read (and like) this book, and I may come back to it on my own in the future. It certainly has some impressive reviews on .
This is a collection of erotic/romantic stories that I believe was self-published by a group of authors. I picked it up because I thought a collection of erotic (shortish) stories might be fun, quick, and fill a hole in my blogging calendar. Unfortunately, the very first short story threw me for a loop because it was very repetitive and lacked chemistry. When I say very repetitive, I mean that we're reminded about the main character's emotional conflict on nearly every single page. Just when you think she's resolved herself to a course of action... nope, she's right back to mulling over the implications of her decision. I found it really frustrating, and while I wanted to give the other stories in the collection a chance, I find myself ignoring this collection in favour of reading anything else. So, DNF it is.

Blood Stained Tranquility by N. Isabelle Blanco
This was a book I picked up because it's flagged as erotica, and I liked the fantasy/pantheon of gods elements that were present in the description. Unfortunately, the book - at least the copy I have - uses different fonts to indicate different... things? I don't know, I haven't even started reading, really - only the prologue - and the idea of getting through those font changes is driving me nuts. So, in the desire to start April without any blogging weight on my shoulders - I'm going to DNF this one.

4. Currently...

I should really turn this into its own post, but bear with me. One of my current 'go-to' blogs is the Coffee Bean Bookshop, which occasionally posts a meme entitled "Currently" which is questionnaire style update about what's going on at the moment. I thought I'd answer it today:

Reading: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. Yeah, that's right, I'm finally diving in. So my big question right now is when does any kind of tension between Clary and Jace start? Because right now, I'm not feeling it at all.
Watching: I just started the first season of Grimm this week, and I'm also starting in on the last season (current season?) of Face/Off
Playing: Always Payday 2 - another friend picked it up, so we're still tooling around in it most nights. Also grabbed Mercenary Kings which released last week. It's got an arcade-style feel to it. I am *terrible* but so far this doesn't seem to bother anyone (or likely come as a surprise).
Feeling: Excited about Camp Nanowrimo in April. I'm going to be working on a novel that I'm very enthusiastic about, even if no one else ever sees it!
Loving: Exercise - I stated doing the Nike Kinect fitness program-game, and while it's pretty hard on my ankles, I'm really enjoying the brief boost of activity in my day.
Hating: Still: That there aren't thirty hours in the day.
Planning: Some outings for me and the kids once the weather is nicer.
Wanting: Next weekend to be here already - hosting an International Tabletop Day board game party at my house for about 10 people, one of whom I've never met in person before. Very excited!!
Thinking: Thinking quite seriously about my schedule this month and what I want to accomplish in April.

5. The Year-Long Challenges!

Up first, the 2014 Monthly Key Word Challenge. 

Hosted by Bookmark to Blog

March's words were "Forever, Inside, Storm, Sky, Flower, Stay." I completely failed at reading something for this challenge this month. I'll have to double my efforts for April!

April's words are "Star, Light, Never, Princess, Break, Clear." I'm all over this one!

Second, The 2014 Rewind Challenge!
This is hosted by Coffee Bean Bookshelf.
I read...

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
So I'm at 3/40 and 1/40 for my efforts. 

Anyone else think that my efforts for the year are a little suspect?

6. Site Stats for March

In March, I reviewed 14 books for the site. 

My average review score was 4.3, which is pretty high. The problem is really that anything I didn't enjoy dragged and I got stuck on a few books.

With so many strong entries, I won't even bother selecting out the 4s and 5s. 

In terms of site visitors, Google Analytics tells me that the blog had 207 visits from 157 different visitors and roughly 650 pageviews. I'm not surprised by this as I posted fewer reviews overall compared to previous months.

Remember that you follow the blog via email using the sign-up in the sidebar or you can follow via BlogLuvin:  Follow on Bloglovin

Or follow the blog twitter account for updates: TETOReviews on Twitter

7. Blogging A-Z?

April is Blogging A-Z month. This is hosted by a collection of blogs but centered at Blogging from A to Z . The basic idea is to post nearly every day, taking each letter of the alphabet in turn as the starting point of a blog post. So... April 1st is A and I might blog about Authors or Artichokes or something else that starts with the letter A. April 2nd is B, which could be Bad Boys in Fiction or Babies in romance novels or Blogging Life in general. 

It's a huge commitment to do this, so I'm taking bets as to which letter I drop off on.  ;)  Seriously though, I'd love to do this, this year, and I've got ideas to get me through the first third of the alphabet already so fingers crossed!

Have a bit of news to share? What challenges have you been doing this month? Do you have a favourite post out there in the blogosphere you want to highlight?


  1. Sometimes it is better to set a book aside than to stumble through, miserable all the way. And maybe you can pick it up again later...or not.

    I've had a few of those...and felt guilty at first. Not any more.

    Thanks for sharing...and here's MY WEEKLY SUNDAY/MONDAY UPDATES

    1. I definitely agree - and where I know that whatever the block is that's preventing me from reading the book isn't necessarily the book's fault? I feel much more comfortable DNFing it.

  2. You had a very productive week. Happy reading for the coming week!

    Here is my post.

  3. I'd rather DNF a book than struggle with it if I'm not enthusiastic about it. And yeah sometimes you come back and it works... sometimes not. Good luck w/ Camp NaNoWriMo!

    1. Thank you!
      I finally realized that I have limited time to spend on books and if I let one drag on and on because I'm avoiding it but I feel I *must* finish it, then I'm really in trouble schedule-wise!

  4. Greetings from Tennessee! I'm participating in the A to Z Challenge this year as well...good luck!

    Donna L Martin

    1. Thanks for dropping by Donna! I'm excited to give the A to Z Challenge a shot!

  5. Uh ho, I got the Love charms... Well, it was cheap anyway :) Have a great week !

    1. You may have better luck with it. Or skip past the stories that don't interest you. Which is what I normally would do!

  6. Glad to see you're doing camp. I couldn't fit it into my spring. I agree with the general consensus on the DNF. Its sort of inevitable it would happen at some point, and so it good to face the 'don't want to' now, and not let it kill your momentum.

  7. Isn't it funny how a single DNF can throw us…. Thanks for mentioning the A-Z challenge, I didn't know this side and will def. put this on my daily blog list now.