Category Archives: Our Post

Important Blog Announcement!

announcement

Assassin Iris Hello everyone, Iris here with an announcement for you. Due to recent events in the lives of both Bri and me we’ve decided to make a decision that will hopefully be beneficial for the blog. We’re opening up one or maybe two positions for a new co-reviewer as well as three to four positions for some guest reviewers.

The different between a co-reviewer and a co-blogger is that (as it says) those of you who apply to become a co-reviewer will only have the responsibility of adding reviews to the site. Guest reviewers will be doing the same thing, except they will not have to post as often as a co-reviewer. If you’re familiar with our blog (or if you’re new, welcome to our site!) then you know we place our focus more on YA novels, but we also have MG, NA, and Adult books in our midst. So long as its not erotica (or very explicit) we welcome you to post a review of it. Don’t let what we post influence you, as we’re looking to expand what we have on our blog.

What We’re Looking For

  • Potential co-reviewers who are willing to post at least once at least every week. Guest reviewers must be willing to post at least once every month.
  • You must have timely replies to emails sent from either of the bloggers emails. We understand that things do come up, but we will want to know why you didn’t respond earlier if it has been more than 28 hours since we sent an email (or 18 for urgent emails)
  • Again, NO erotica type books. We understand that Adult books will have more sex than say a YA book but if the sex is very explicit we advise that you would ask either Bri or me before you post the review here. This is a primarily YA blog with a scattering of MG, NA, and Adult books with no erotica or heavily explicit type books and we would love to keep it that way.
  • Your reviews must be honest, no matter how you obtain the book (bought, gifted, solicited/unsolicited review copies, etc.).
  • We require that your reviews not be a lengthy essay, but they may not be too short either (you can reference our reviews from this year if you need to)
  • If you do want to join a blog tour for a book, you must check with us first to make sure we have free dates for that tour to happen and so that we can approve a book (don’t worry, in any case of a blog tour Bri and I have always cleared it with the other before joining so you will not be the only one doing this).
  • Twitter AND Goodreads accounts are not required but its great if you have them! As you will be members of Books and Ashes, you will have the opportunity to use our Twitter to promote your posts, and Bri will be in charge of putting your review up on our Goodreads if you do not have one (and/or do not want to make one as well).
  • Comment back to those you receive on YOUR post. One unanswered comment here and there is acceptable, but please do try to answer all the comments you get. And don’t forget to go to their blog and leave a comment on one of their posts as well! (Some exceptions do apply)

Advantages of Joining Us

  • You can use the stats for Books and Ashes for soliciting ARC’s or eARC’s. As an added bonus, you will also have access to our NG and Edelweiss accounts (more on that if you get accepted as a co-reviewer or guest reviewer).
  • We get a healthy amount of request from authors to review their books, and if neither of us want a copy (or if you and one of us does) you’ll be available to read and review the book as well.
  • If you’re in the USA, any ARC copies that we get can be happily sent along to you, just remember that you must be willing to do the same for us!

Please be aware that this will be a long-term commitment on your part, but that having a book blog, or even being familiar with the process is not required. Whether this will be your first time blogging, or you’re joining because you want to, we welcome any and all applications for being a co-reviewer. Just send the following information to books.and.ashes@gmail.com with the subject as “Co-reviewer application” and we’ll respond to those who we feel will be good applicants after the end of the signup date and move forward from there to a Q&A section to help us choose. Thank you all for reading this far, and we hope to see your application in our inbox!

Name

Age (optional)

Country you live in

Blog (if you have one)

Do you know either blogger?

A little about yourself so we can get a feel of who you are

Social media? (Tumblr, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.)

Why do you want to join Books and Ashes?

Questions or comments?

Sign ups will close July 1st, 2015


Assassin Iris ~The Assassin and The Dragon~ Bri

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Endless Possibilities read-a-thon: Day 2 & Day 3

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Wow that read-a-thon flew by so fast! I actually had plenty of fun, plus in between me reading the Wings of Fire books and Iris reading The Infernal Devices trilogy we worked on a little surprise for you guys (coming at the end of the month, so stay tuned!). Now, for the updates on those days! Continue reading

Endless Possibilities read-a-thon: End Day 1

endless jpg 2

Welcome to the end of the first day of the read-a-thon! Today was a great day for reading where we lived, a nice sunny day where we could relax and sit outside to read! (Thank goodness because rambunctious four week old kittens can be quite a handful when they want to play!). So, here’s what we managed to read today! Continue reading

The Monthly Newsletter: April&May 2015

The Monthly Newsletter

Welcome to The Monthly Newsletter brought to you by the bloggers of Books and Ashes! Last month was hectic for both of us here so we didn’t have the time to make this post so this one will be a mash of both! (And this one is last, sorry about that!)

General Blogging

After the hectic month April was for both bloggers, May was a little more toned down for us but a great many things still happened! Between moving and hospitals we had plenty to do outside of blogging this month. We’re also (slowly but surely) getting caught up with revising our pages that list the reviews (as well as in the process of making another page for them too), as well as other tiny things throughout the blog to get it situated just right in our eyes. Hopefully by the end of the summer well have that done!

We’re also looking to maybe expand out more into social media, so the option of a Facebook for us has been put forward. We’re trying to figure out how we’re going to use that since we’re already stretched thin as it is between everything we run right now!

What do you guys think, is Facebook helpful with your blog?

The Monthly Writer

Bri I’ve diligently been working on my novel this month. I’m getting to much farther than I have before! I’m mashing together the three different beginnings I have designed in the past, and I honestly think this will be the best one. I can’t wait to see how it turns out this time!

Assassin Iris I don’t think I’ve mentioned my RP (or if I have it was only once) but the last month has consisted with lots of writing of my character. I just got a second character, and already I’m keeping my eyes peeled for a potential third. Safe to say that when I’m not here, my RP is definitely where I’m at! (happyneverafterrp.tumblr.com, come check us out!)

The Monthly Reader

We read a lot of books in both April and May, although definitely more in April than May but hey! There were some good books in there! I’ll be honest though, Rosamund Hodge’s books are freaking brilliant and I’m really looking forward to her next Retelling! As a little tidbit, I also finished Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda yesterday and I LOVED it! Expect a review for it soon!

April’s favorites were:

Lioness of Kell None of the Above Every Last Promise

May’s favorites were:

Compendium Crimson Bound  Confessions of a Virgin Sex Columnist Talon

Last Month's Reviews

Covers link to the reviews of each book! Continue reading

Endless Possibilities Read-a-Thon

endless jpg 2

Hello everyone! A little special something for you guys today. As you can tell by the graphic above, there’s going to be a three day read-a-thon coming up early this June, and we’re going to do our best to take part! We’ll be making (tentative) TBR piles for those three days between us. Check them out! Continue reading

The Monthly Newsletter: March 2015

The Monthly Newsletter

Welcome to The Monthly Newsletter brought to you by the bloggers of Books and Ashes! Each month we’ll have a general update about the blog and what we’re expecting to happen in the next month. We hope you’ll enjoy this feature and tell us what you think! We’d appreciate the chance to get to know our followers 🙂

General BloggingBri I took a little break from blogging for a bit this month, only posting when I needed to put up a review. This month was really stressful personally and I thought it would do me some good to step back a bit and relax. Next month will be more normalish for me with posting!

Discussions of the Month

I didn’t get the chance to write up the entire discussion post this month unfortunately, if I have time next month it should be up.

The Monthly Writer

What my brain wants to write: 3

What I need to write: 1

Bri I did both muse writing and necessary writing this month, which is a good thing and I really enjoyed my muse writing.

Assassin Iris I’ve spent most of this month writing away my muse for an RP group on Tumblr I’m fond of, so I’ve had a lot of fun between that and reading.

The Monthly Reader

I spent the month slow reading or reading whatever I fancied for the most part so it was really nice. Together though we still reviewed 34 books which isn’t all that bad, considering we read 40 total!

Favorites of the month:

The Problem with Crazy Eleven Weeks The Problem with Heartache Pretty Crooked Pretty Sly  Pretty Wanted Liars, Inc. Stones and Finger Bones

All of those were really good reads this month, especially the Crazy in Love series!

Also that journal I started last month? I couldn’t keep up with it at all. So I’m back to just winging my reviews but my new method is to write them after I finish the book immediately. We’ll see how well I keep up with that this coming month!

Last Month's Reviews

Covers lead to the review! Continue reading

The Monthly Newsletter: February 2015

The Monthly Newsletter

Welcome to The Monthly Newsletter brought to you by the bloggers of Books and Ashes! Each month we’ll have a general update about the blog and what we’re expecting to happen in the next month. We hope you’ll enjoy this feature and tell us what you think! We’d appreciate the chance to get to know our followers 🙂

General Blogging

We got a new theme! And a new color! We decided we needed a more “organized” theme for the blog and we’ve been talking about toning down the color of the blog for a little while so we finally managed to do so. Personally, I love the new theme. It’s a lot better than what we had. Double sidebars, four footer areas, pagenation (of a sorts), a Feature area up top, and then a really nice header area. I love it!

We’re also getting a new header image (same designer because we really like her artwork) and perhaps another mystery surprise 😉

Oh, and maybe some extra icons and such designed by the same designer for like, buttons and such. We’ll see! Truthfully I hope we do because I would love to have some icons for social media and some other things, it would be nice!

Discussions of the Month

This month we had a single discussion from me where I talked about the lure of Edelweiss and why someone should stop me. I was hoping to get one other thing up, but couldn’t get everything together in time. Expect it sometime next month!

The Monthly Writer

What my brain wants to write: 1

What I need to write: 0

My creativity is still hindering me on projects that I need to be working on. I planned on writing my novel some more, buuttt I got sidetracked by this really awesome idea I liked that will never be read by anyone. Sometimes I just really like writing random things so this okay!

I started a little journal as well when I get ideas to write them in. I just write whatever flows in with the original idea, so it’s been a great creative outlet. I’m working on something I’ve tentatively titled Of Truth and Lies because those are major themes to the writing.

The Monthly Reader

Still a few reviews behind, but we did get pleasure reading in this month with the Manga Classics version of The Scarlet Letter and the first book in the trilogy for the Mikelson siblings books in The Rise (The Originals #1). I read a couple others but haven’t reviewed them yet, so when I get to writing the reviews they’ll pop up!

Favorites of the month:

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We read them together since Iris bought an ecopy of The Collectors’ Society and pre-ordered an ecopy of The Hidden Library at my nagging for her to do so after I read it. We loved them and I’m super excited to share my review for The Hidden Library with you tomorrow!

Seriously go buy yourself a copy, these books are amazing, I love them so much!!!!

Assassin IrisSeconded! I don’t love many books, but I love these. I’m seriously considering buying them in physical format and taking them home with me when I go back to Wales after this semester!

Bri
I’ve also started a journal to keep notes in while I read so I can have clearer thoughts when I review books, because I know some of them aren’t always the best when I review them after a few days of sleep and a couple more books. Details tend to get lost! So this should help me quite a lot with this problem 🙂

Last Month's Reviews

Covers lead to the review! Continue reading

The Assassin and the Dragon Discuss: My Guilty Pleasure

The Dragon and The Assassin Discuss

Our Guilty Pleasure

Bri

Specifically, my guilty pleasure.

Edelweiss. Continue reading

Quick Post About This Book!

Final_eCover_450x675 HLyons_THL_eBook02_450x675

For weeks ever since I learned that the second book in The Collectors’ Society was releasing this month I have gone on Amazon every day to look and see if it’s ready to be preorder.

Every. Day. Continue reading

The Monthly Newsletter: January 2015

The Monthly Newsletter

Welcome to The Monthly Newsletter brought to you by the bloggers of Books and Ashes! Each month we’ll have a general update about the blog and what we’re expecting to happen in the next month. We hope you’ll enjoy this feature and tell us what you think! We’d appreciate the chance to get to know our followers 🙂

General Blogging

We added a bunch of new stuff to the blog over the last month and have started categorizing our reviews a little better. While we’re still working on that some of our reviews can now be found by their genre and age category. We figured it would be an improvement to just sorting through them by date and in alphabetical order. We hope you enjoy the easier convenience to looking through our reviews thanks to this!

The blog will be a little heavy over the next couple of months but after March ends we plan on relaxing a little and while there will be fewer reviews, we hope to add in new kinds of post to fill up the empty space!

Discussions of the Month

We didn’t post any discussions last month but there has been plenty of turbulence from bloggers to authors and bloggers to other bloggers. We saw several post about the “greedy blogger” who just wants ARC’s. Our favorite that we found was less on that and more about the obligation bloggers who request ARC’s have.

Let’s face the fact, if you request a book you are basically saying “If you give me a copy of your book I promise to review it!” and the publishing houses are expecting that review from you. If you just received an ARC meaning that you didn’t request it specifically then you’re not under any obligation to review a book. Likewise, here at Books and Ashes we both agree that any book you get in a giveaway, reviewing the book is entirely optional. But I’m sure the author would appreciate it! 😀

The other big thing we saw was Stacey Jay and her kickstarter backlash (just a general Google search but you can see it was sort of a hot topic). I can’t directly access the post anymore, but Stacey Jay (author of Of Beast and Beauty and Princess of Thorns) posted two post about this ordeal and one was a big, huge apology about how she was sorry that she offended people for making a kickstarter just so she could take the time off to write the sequel to Princess of Thorns that readers were (apparently) clamoring for. I haven’t read the book, but I do own a copy and personally I think the summary sounds stellar so I’ll be reading it in April!

Basically the backlash about her kickstarter campaign was she was openly honest about where the money would be going. She was going to take time off of work, and write a book. Now, I’m not sure about you but I’m sure we all need money to live. Money for food, regular people bills (like rent/mortgage, water, electricity, etc.), gas, and hundreds of other small things and really, money doesn’t just appear out of thin air. You have to work for it. Basically the reason the kickstarter was even started was because Stacey was dropped by her publisher because she wasn’t making the sales (i.e. money to cover over the cost they spent to make her book) and with people asking for a sequel she wanted to actually write it for them.

Now, she’s been dropped from her publisher but she still has regular people bills she needs to pay, she has food she needs to buy, and an assortment of other things money pays for. So she has a job to pay for all that, but she was willing to take time off to write this as quickly as possible. The kickstarter amount she was asking for was going to go to not only author-orientated bills (cover artist, editor, etc.), but since she wasn’t going to work she wanted to have some of that go to what makes human life livable in this day in age. And people got angry about that.

I’m just going to say that I find it appalling that she was being honest about her human needs and people were angry about it. It cost money to make a book, and it takes time. You can’t expect to get a book without paying for it (that’s called pirating ebooks/stealing physical books and that’s illegal) unless you get it from a giveaway or someone just gives them to you because they don’t want them anymore. You have to pay. I find it very honest that she wasn’t shady about it and not letting me know where my donation was going to go beyond general things authors need to pay for. I gave money to see this book be done because I knew people were wanting to read it, and I was happy to know I was helping someone with regular life things as well. We both gave money because we thought it was the right thing to do. So those who were angry with her honesty, I’m angry that you thought you had the right to bully her and tell her that she shouldn’t ask for simple human things to be met so she could write that book.

Shame on you.

/End rant.

The Monthly Writer

Writing? What writing? I did no writing this month besides for all the blog post.

Okay wait, I take that back I wrote the ending to my novel (shh, don’t cheer) and now I have to figure everything out between chapter one and the final scene. I know the general direction and the general points I want to hit but….I have other things I have to write this semester so this book is going to wait a long time. Should have taken the time to participate in NaNoWriMo at least halfway *angrily shakes fist at college*. If I didn’t need it, I wouldn’t go back. I value sleep and my sanity too much for college.

The Monthly Reader

Wow, other than what reviews we posted we read nothing besides stuff for school. There were a few post that we haven’t posted yet (we’re a little behind on them) but hopefully we’ll get caught up with those easily!

The favorites of the month were…

going down in flames bridges burned

One word. Dragon-shifters. That is all you need to know. And that the first book is full of snark and I absolutely loved it.

Last Month's Reviews

Covers lead to the review! Continue reading