Mundie Moms

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Blogger's Stance On The Blogger Black Out

(Image found via Google)

Normally I'm not one to post about stuff that is going, nor do I try to engage in all that happens within the blogger world. I know that sounds bad, but life is crazy busy, and there are times I feel like it's all I can do to sit down and right a review. Not to mention that stack of books I've already read that are still waiting for reviews, and giveaways that are still waiting for winners to be announced, and all the emails that I currently need to answer. Earlier this morning there was something that was brought to my attention about the Blogger BlackOut.

I'll be honest, I didn't even know what this was until a friend told me what it was recently on Twitter. I've had so much going on in my real life, not that blogging isn't real, but you know what I mean, that I missed all the info about the Blogger Black Out. I didn't realize it was this week until this morning. When my friend first told me about it, it was something I told my friend I would support my fellow bloggers on, but something I wouldn't take part of. Why? Because I have prior commitments to authors, and publishers this week, and I am going to keep those commitments. Does that mean I'm not a supportive blogger to my fellow bloggers? Not at all.

I fully support my blogger friends who are on both sides of the black out. What saddens me are those who are coming out against those who are taking part in the black out and those who are coming out against those who won't take part in the black out. Why can't we all be more supportive of each other during times like this, and realize that everyone has a reason for either taking part in it or not. Not taking part doesn't mean we don't support those who do.

Blogger and author support is something that is so crucial to what we reviewers do. I love the authors who have spoken out and have been supportive of the bloggers who are choosing to take a stand this week, and not post. Really, I am a bit envious of my friends who are taking a blogging break this week. I wish I could just step back and not worry about deadlines, emails, and reviews this week. Bloggers do not get paid for what they do. Well most of us don't. I don't. I can only imagine how nice that would be to get paid to write a review, or support the host of books I've featured on my blog. I do what I do, because I love it. I love reading, and connecting readers with books. I love my blogger friends who have connected me to books I wouldn't have other wise picked up. I love the authors who have connected me with their books, and fueled my love of reading even more.

 It would be nice to take a step back and not deal with all the emails I get from authors who are seeking my review of their book, and the ones who are rude and nasty when I tell them I can't as my review schedule is full. Yeah, there are some pretty horrid authors out there who seriously don't get it, and make it hard to want to continue doing what I do. It's sad it's always the mean ones who almost ruin it for all the great ones. Then there are the awesome authors who totally get it. They get what we reviews/bloggers do. They, along with the host of MM supporters, are ones who make what I do worth it. These authors get the long hours bloggers/reviewers put into their bloggers that help support their books. They get that many of us work, and are parents, and have a million things we have going on. They get that our time is valuable that when we feature their book on our blog, there are ton of others ones that we could be featuring instead. They get why some bloggers are doing the blogger black out.

There are so many different sides to the blogger/author relationship. I as a blogger understand the blogger black out. I get it. The reason why I'm choosing not to take part in it has nothing to do with my lack of not supporting my fellow bloggers. I support them! For me personally, I have reviews and promotional posts that I promised would get posted this week, and I don't want to break my word on that. I am taking a stand and won't be featuring certain authors, who will not be named, because of certain things they've done/said, that I won't mention on here, because I don't care to support their crazy antics by mentioning it on my blog. This week my blog won't be without posts. There are some awesome authors, publishers, and bloggers whom I gave my word to, and I will be posting, and promoting the things I said I would. I hope that as the week continues, bloggers and authors will continue to support each other, whether someone is choosing not to post this week or not. Everyone deserves a break, no matter what the reasoning behind it is.

To the authors who are coming out against bloggers for not posting this week, you're welcome for the free service you get on these blogs. Your book is only one in a sea of thousands of books that bloggers can be promoting, free of charge, and yet because we love what we do, we promote it. We don't have to. We do what we do because we want to. We love it. For the same reasons we don't except you to write 365 days a year without taking a break, you shouldn't except bloggers to not take a break. More importantly, in light of recent events, you shouldn't except anything less than bloggers rallying around each other in support of something that unnerved many of us, and made us further question what we do. Yes I know there is two sides to every story, but that's not what this post is about. It's about supporting each other. Thank you to those who do support us, whether we're enjoying a week away from our blogs or sitting here chugging along with our posts.

TALON by Julie Kagawa, Book Review

By: Julie Kagawa
Published by: Harlequin Teen
Released on: October 28th, 2014 - TODAY
Rating: 5 Stars - I LOVED IT
Source: arc to review from publisher in exchange for my honest review
Add it to: Goodreads 

Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.
Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.
Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.

A fantastic modern fantasy! Talon has all the makings of another Julie Kagawa sensation read. With romance, danger, betrayal, and that fabulous ability Kagawa has with blurring fantasy elements with real world elements make Talon my favorite Julie Kagawa to date. Not surprisingly, Kagawa had me falling for all of her characters. Whether they were deemed good, bad or traitors to their organizations, I felt like I understood each of the characters, and started to fall for them the same way Ember was. 

Talon has found a spot among my bookcase that houses my favorite fantasy books. What Julie Kagawa has done with her dragons is awesome. When it comes to fantasy books, I love it when the world I'm reading about comes to life so easily, and makes the story feel like it's a possibility within the real world. That to me is the signs of a gifted story teller. I think it would be awesome to live in a world where Dragons blended in with humans, and in a secretive way their worlds collided with our own. I'm just saying. After you read Talon you might be thinking the same thing. Now if only I could get to a beach and search the skies for Riley.... *coughs* Sorry, back to my review. 

Through Ember, Riley and Garrett's points of views, Kagawa gave me everything I needed to know about them, their worlds, and what each of their missions were. They each come for a different organization that make up the world of Talon. I felt like I really got to understand all three of these characters, and understand what drove them to make the decisions they did. In true Kagawa fashion, she gave me a story that broke down the barriers within it's world and crossed the boundaries of forbidden love and the impossible with three stubborn, incredibly strong characters whom once they learned the truths of their worlds, wanted to make a change, and fight for not only what they felt was right, but want to follow their own hearts without enforced rules. I loved how Kagawa was able to elegantly weave together three different points of views to tell a story. Few authors have the ability to master the multiple points of views, and still bring their story to life so effortlessly like Julie Kagawa has done with Talon. 

Ember is a character that I first deemed as a rebel, but she quickly proved there is much more to her than that. I loved getting to know her. Regardless to what she's being taught, and told she can and can't do, there's this side of her that knows she has to decipher what's right, and follow her instinct and heart. I admire her courage in doing that, even though the odds are against her, and she has a bother to think about. Her actions will have deadly consequences. I liked Garrett. He's someone whom I wouldn't want to get on his wrong side, but like Ember, he battles with what he's been taught/trained to do and with what he's feeling, and learns is the truth. Then there's Riley. Yep... loved him from the moment he rode his motorcycle into the scene and gave Ember a heated knowing look. The more I got to know him, the more I wanted from him. There's so much more to Riley than what we get to know in Talon. Trust me, what you learn about him will definitely hook you, and make you wish you had the sequel, ROGUE, in your hands already.

TALON was everything I had hoped it would be and so much more. I think Julie Kagawa found her niche with this book. I've loved all her other series, but her dragon series is by far my favorite. Talon has fantastic world building, unforgettable characters, and a story that hooked me, and gave me everything I wanted, and leaves me wanting so much more. GO PICK THIS BOOK UP! 

Top Ten Tuesday #9: 10 Books To Read / 10 Movies To Watch To Get In The Halloween Spirit

This weekly meme is hosted by The Broke & the Bookish

Welcome to this week's Top Teen Tuesday post. This week's topic is 10 Books To Read / 10 Movies To Watch To Get In The Halloween Spirit. For some reason this week it was far easier for me to come up with 10 movies than it was 10 books. 

10 YA Books I'd recommend reading this Halloween that all contain things that can go bump in the night.... 
  1. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
  2. This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel
  3. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
  4. The Forest of Hands & Teeth by Carrie Ryan
  5. The Grave Yard Book / Caroline by Neil Gaiman
  6. The Coldest Girl in Cold Town / Doll Bones by Holly Black
  7. Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  8. The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd
  9. Unbreakable / Unmarked by Kami Garcia
  10. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Of course if you want a series with Shadowhunters, demons, werewolves, vampires and the like, I totally recommend The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare ;) 


10 Family Friendly movies that I would totally have an all night movie marathon and watch with my kiddos on Halloween:
  1. It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
  2. Ghost Busters
  3. The Nightmare Before Christmas
  4. Beetlejuice
  5. Harry Potter
  6. Hocus Pocus
  7. The Adam's Family
  8. Casper
  9. Goonies
  10. Pirates of the Caribbean 
If I wanted to freak myself after my kids are in bed, I'd stay up and watch all the episodes of SuperNatural that I've missed. I swear the last time I watched an episode, which has been awhile, I was a little jumpy walking through my house with all the lights off. haha 

What's one your Halloween reading / movie watching list?