Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts #8

Bookish Thoughts Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts is a weekly meme hosted by Christine at Bookishly Boisterous Books.

Kia Ora!

This month SharleneSays turned 1.
***Happy Blogiversary*** and thanks for sticking with me. I know posts haven’t been very forthcoming. There was a death in the family so I was out of town for a few weeks. I tried to take part in Dewey’s #readathon while I was away from home. Library books were waaaay overdue. To top it all off, I’ve been in a long reading slump. Check out my reading list here.

In Bookish news,
1. For our 1st blogiversary, I ran a giveaway, hoping to find more ideas for my #dayzero project, 101 Bookish Things in 1001 Days. Congratulations to…


a Rafflecopter giveaway

People had some really great ideas. I’ve added most. I know I’m going to struggle, especially with the Rory Gilmore Challenge. I don’t know why I added that? But what’s a Project without a little Challenge!

2. I discovered @CrushYourTBR, a monthly 3 day readathon. I haven’t participated yet as the last one was reduced to 24 hours but I’m looking forward to testing my reading skills. Goodbye reading slumps! Hello reading sprints.

In Not So Bookish news,
3. I’m part of a working group for a music, cultural, christian festival. Things are still a little hush but keep an eye out for #gospelroots. Announcements are just around the corner.

That’s all from me this week. I’ll be back next with with a book review.

final love sharlene

My new DayZero Project

To celebrate SharleneSays’ first blogiversary, I’ve created a new DayZero project:

101 Bookish Things in 1001 Days

There are only 40 things listed so far. I thought it would be easy to list 101 things, but it really isn’t. My project officially starts Jul 01, 2015 and will end Mar 28, 2018.

I’m trying not to list specific books, but have bookish activities, so I can try new things. Of course I’ve added a few impossible ones, like attending international book festivals. But dreamers have got to dream, and I’m gonna dream BIG.

Here is my list so far:

  1. Complete a kids coloring book
  2. Join a book club
  3. Go to a book signing
  4. Buy a Wreck This Journal and finish it
  5. Spend a weekend “unplugged” with only music, art and books
  6. Leave an inspirational note inside a book for someone to find
  7. Meet an author of a book I’ve read
  8. Ask 20 friends to suggest one book, and read them all
  9. Read all the books currently on my shelf
  10. Volunteer at a local library
  11. See a book to film adaptation
  12. Make a custom recipe book
  13. Read a book in a day
  14. Host a read-a-long
  15. Participate in a Booktubeathon
  16. Post a book review every month
  17. Read all the books released by one author
  18. Attend YALL Fest (
  19. Attend Waiheke Book Festival (
  20. Attend BEA (Book Expo America)
  21. Attend BookCon
  22. Attend New York Comic-Con
  23. Participate in Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge
  24. Reread Harry Potter series
  25. Spend an afternoon reading at the park
  26. Own all seven Harry Potter books
  27. Read a book with more than 500 pages
  28. Read a book published this year
  29. Read a book with a one-word title
  30. Read a book I was supposed to read in school but didn’t
  31. Participate in BookCrossing
  32. Complete an Adult coloring book
  33. Read a book at the beach
  34. Donate a book
  35. Gift a book
  36. Gift a book shop gift card
  37. Buy a book from a local bookstore
  38. Shelve all my books
  39. Cheer for a Dewey’s Readathon
  40. Participate in Bout of Books Readathon

Because I’ve only got 40 things on my list, I really need your help. I’m not even halfway!

If you can recommend a new “bookish thing” that I can add to my list, complete the Rafflecopter below and you’ll go in the draw to win a Book of your choice, up to the value of NZ$15.00 from Book Depository. The only catch, Book Depository has to ship to your country free (check here).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GIVEAWAY & EXCERPT: Untamed by Brenda K. Davies

UntamedUntamed by Brenda K. Davies

Series: Vampire Awakenings #3
Genre: Paranormal, Romance
Release Date: 27 December 2014
Length: 314 pages (kindle)

» Book blurb
His entire life Ethan has been keeping his more violent urges a secret from his family. They all think he is just antisocial, what they don’t know is that every day he struggles not to give into his growing desire to kill. Looking to escape for just a little bit and hoping that a change of scenery will help him, he agrees to join Isabelle and Stefan in Bermuda.

What he doesn’t expect is for Emma to walk into his life and change it in ways that he had never anticipated. Just when he finally begins to find some peace in his life, a dangerous threat from Emma’s past arrives. Ethan is willing to do anything to keep Emma safe, even if it means giving into the brutality that he’s spent his entire life fighting against. Giving in a little though, may mean giving in for forever, if he is unable to bring himself back from the darkness that has always enticed him.

**Due to mature content and language this book is recommended for readers 18+**

The first book in this series, Awakened, is free. Each book in this series is a stand alone novel.

» Other Books in this series

» Book Buy Links
Book Depository | Amazon | B&N | KOBO | iBookstore

» A Quick Excerpt
“And I’m his obsession.”

“You are,” he confirmed.

“And what am I to you?”

Words tumbled through his mind so fast that he didn’t know what to say. There was so much that he had to explain to her, so much that he had to tell her, but he wasn’t sure where to begin or how to start to make her understand what she was to him. In the end, he settled for the simple truth. “You’re my everything.”

» About the Author & Stalker Links
Brenda loves to write adult paranormal and historical romantic fiction. When not with family, or out with friends, she’s happy at home in Mass. with her husband, and energetic puppy Loki. She is currently working on the third Vampire Awakenings book and has a historical romance coming out later this summer.

Website • Blog • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads

» GIVEAWAY is over. Link has been removed.

Blogwarming Winner Announcement!

It’s been a busy few weeks since launching sharlenesays & I’m doing my best to line up posts & be as prepared as I can. I got a little distracted this week with Booktube & it’s readathon, Booktubeathon. But I am back on track.

I wanted to end the first month with a bang so I hosted a giveaway. Entrants had to either follow me on twitter, tweet aboutethe giveaway or leave a comment on the giveaway post and I am happy to announce…

~ Alysia Allen ~

who has won an audiobook of her choice from
Alysia, I have sent you an email. Please let me know what book you would like.

I know July hasn’t ended so expect another post this week. Make sure to follow the blog so you don’t miss out on the flash giveaways!

I am so excited. My own blog brings new opportunities, so expect more soon.

final love sharlene

Review: Ink by Amanda Sun & GIVEAWAY

Ink (Paper Gods, #1)Title: Ink by Amanda Sun
Series: Paper Gods #1
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Japanese Fiction
Harlequin Teen
Release Date:
Length: 369 pages (paperback)

» Book blurb
On the heels of a family tragedy, Katie Greene must move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building. When Katie meets aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team, she is intrigued by him… and a little scared. His tough attitude seems meant to keep her at a distance, and when they’re near eachother, strange things happen. Pens explode. Ink drips from nowhere. And unless Katie is seeing things, drawings come to life. Somehow Tomo is connected to the Kami – powerful ancient beings who once ruled Japan – and as feelings develop between Katie and Tomo, things begin to spiral out of control. The wrong people are starting to ask questions… and if they discover the truth, no one will be safe.

» First sentence
I made it halfway across the courtyard before I realized I was still wearing my school slippers.

I had to comment on this. It sounds so random but we are introduced to Katie’s new life in one sentence. She brings in learning a new culture from this get go.

» Summary
The story is narrated by Katie, the main character, in the first person. The book is set in Shizuoka, Japan. There seems to be quite a lot of detail in the setting, from the school, gardens, shops, local transport. Of course, these might be fiction (I’ve never been to Japan) but it’s written really well.

Japanese culture was a main feature in the book as Katie learns new customs and the language, we learn with her. I took Japanese for a couple of years at high-school so I recognised the phrases and it made me appreciate how the author has included some simple words, like:

Go and come back safely.”

The use of Japanese mythology in young adult fiction isn’t something I have read before. It’s really interesting to learn a new culture and it’s stories. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how the story progresses in the next instalment, Rain.

I don’t know much about the author. I believe this is her only series. I would compare this to the likes of Percy Jackson, just because it’s YA mythology. That’s probably where comparisons end. I haven’t read anything like this before.

I really loved this book. She makes a couple of friends at her new school & once a boy comes on the scene, she puts all her attention into it. People might tell you that isn’t the case, but really it is. She lies to her Aunt that it’s a different boy, one that she might approve of. The story seems realistic.

I would guess that the locale is pretty correct too. Lots of people, Sakura not lasting long, the transport, even the not so good side of town. Every city has one of those suburbs don’t they?

There is an emotional side of the book too. Katie feels a connection through the loss of parents and she gets the best advice from the least expected place, when she really needs it. This was one of my favourite moments.

“They tell you you’ll forget how it used to be. You’ll get used to it, that it’s better to move on. They don’t realize you can’t. You’re not the same person anymore.”

Secondary characters really play a big part in giving you information. Like her BFF’s brother who works at a monastery, and Jun, the Kendo champ. All the characters have a role to play. No-one is unnecessary, right down to the pregnant girl drawn on the page.

I’m really looking forward to reading the next book. Ink was really easy to read, even with the use of Japanese, it’s simple to understand and the culture shines through. I have a secret Japan crush. I wanna go there one day.

I would encourage people who want to try a different mythology to read this book. Also people who have lived in their own country who have a secret passion for travel, read this. I do think this is best suited for young adults, or early teens. Older readers might not enjoy or appreciate the high-school crush story as much.

» My rating

5 Leaf
» Author Stalker Links

Twitter: @Amanda_Sun #ink

View all my reviews

P.s I’m happy with my new site so far. It’s slowly coming together so for a blogwarming gift to you, I’m running a…


a Rafflecopter giveaway