Monday, February 29, 2016

Reading Challenge Recap: February 2016

It's the last day of February and like every year I'm surprised with how fast it went. And we even had an extra day in the month because of the Leap Year. We've made some progress on our 2016 reading challenges and we're still working really hard to stay motivated. In an effort to do so, we're going to do these reading challenge recaps to hold ourselves accountable. Why are reading goals so hard? Read on to find out how well or how not well we did this last month!

Gretl's Recap

#Rock My TBR

So I'm not exactly rocking this challenge so far. I read 1 1/2 books I owned in January. In February, I read a couple of shorts. I enjoyed them, but I resented them a little bit for being squeezed in there. I read Magic Stars by Ilona Andrews, which has been lingering on my Kindle since release day, and the Nocturne Falls Valentine's Day story A Vampire's Valentine Surprise by Kristen Painter from the Kiss and Spell anthology.
Kiss and Spell: 11 Valentine's Day Paranormal Short StoriesMagic Stars (Kate Daniels, #8.5, Grey Wolf, #1)

I have four more ARCs to read and then I will finally be caught up for a while. I hope to make a much more impressive dent in my TBR pile next month. I have some books I'm really excited about. I just have to make time to read them.

Rose Red's Recap


I'm so happy to report that I made my goal of reading at least two books off my TBR again in February! I read ten TBR books this month! See the picture below for the ones I read. I'm really happy with my progress on this challenge so far! So far this year, I've knocked a total of sixteen books off Mount ToBeRead so I'm on track to make a huge dent in my pile!

2016 TBR Jar Challenge for January

This month's TBR Jar Challenge was Read A Book Someone Else Picks! For this challenge, I gave my Best Friend free rein to choose my TBR Jar Book this month and he choose a book that he and lots of other people have been telling me to read since it published in 2012. It also happened to be the buddy read book for the #RockMyTBR challenge this month. The book that completed this challenge was The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater! Yes! I finally read this book! Everyone who told me to read it was right, I read it in one sitting and I adored it so, so, SO much! After finishing it, I proceeded to binge read the other two books out in the series and I loved them just as much or more than the first one! You all need to read these books! Seriously. Best three day book binge I've had in a while. I can't begin to describe how much I loved reading about Blue and her Raven Boys! I need The Raven King in my hands like right now! I'm planning on reviewing each book in this series between now and the release of book four so keep your eyes out for my thoughts on them in the next month or two.

Read What You Buy

Okay, I'm not doing well with this challenge so far. I fell victim to the Book Outlet President's Day sale which means I bought way more books than normal this month. Thankfully, I've already read some of the books I bought so they don't count for this challenge which is good because I didn't finish any of my pre-orders for this month. Between the Book Outlet binge and my pre-orders, I bought eleven books this month. Umm... That's a lot.

As for how many I read this month, I finished reading The Bands of Mourning that I bought last month. I did start my pre-order of A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab but didn't get it finished because of a major book hangover from binge reading The Raven Cycle books. I did read all of the Mercy Thompson comics I bought this month. So far I'm only at 32% (6/19) for this year but that percentage should increase drastically in March as I've already read all but two of my pre-orders for next month!

How did you do on your reading challenges this month?

Month in Review: February 2016

Welcome to our February Month in Review! 2016 is well underway so here's what we've been up to at Goldilox and the Three Weres.

What We Reviewed

We've had a great reading month here at Goldilox and the Three Weres! Here's everything we reviewed in February:

Wickedly Powerful by Deborah Blake
The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
Dead in the Water by Hailey Edwards
Dark Alpha's Claim by Donna Grant
Smoldering Hunger by Donna Grant
Dark Alpha's Embrace by Donna Grant
Through the Veil by Colleen Halverson
Bitter Bite by Jennifer Estep
The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

What We Recommended

Rose Red says Read This F-ing Book: The Adventures of Owl by Kristi Charish.

Gretl wrote our first ever Release Day Read This F-ing Book Post for The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie. It's Pacific Rim but with the kaiju fighting each other and not giant robots.

Rose Red is looking for Alternate History/Historical Paranormal Romance recs in this month's Show Me Yours and we want you to add your recs along with Gretl's.

Gretl talked about the awesomeness that is the Geeky Giving project that raises money for the Barrowman Neurological Institute. There's an awesome story e-book bundle you get for donating $5.

Rose Red got to go to a huge Tor Author Signing and shared with us her experience along with lots of epic fangirling on her part.

For Valentine's Day, Gretl and Rose Red posted about their Fourteen Favorite Couples from books.

We've started a new discussion feature here on Goldilox and the Three Weres called Weres Wanna Know. Rose Red heads our first discussion about rereading books.

What We're Waiting For

These are some of the March releases we're most excited about. Click the titles to add them to Goodreads.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Weres Wanna Know: Do You Reread Books?

Weres Wanna Know is a new discussion feature where we share a topic that's been on our minds and invite you to share your thoughts as well.

Gretl and I have talked about starting a discussion post series on the blog for a while now because as much as we love reviewing and recommending books we want to be able to discuss current happenings in the book community and other bookish related things on our minds. So we're starting the Weres Wanna Know feature! We'll be posting discussion posts randomly as inspiration hits us so stay tuned for more posts in the near future!

Today, I want discuss something that has been on my mind for a while because it's something I had never thought about until I joined the blogging community. What I want to discuss is:

Do You Reread Books?

I'm going to be honest right now. I’m kind of a special snowflake. Up until I started becoming active in the online book community, I didn't realize that rereading books was something that not everyone does. I'm one of those people who sit down at the start of every year and makes a list of books I want to make my highest priority to reread. Some years I get to all of them and some years I get caught up in all the new releases and only get to one or two on the list reread. But I'm always rereading something thanks to audiobooks. I’m actually one of those people who could just reread books all the time and be perfectly happy doing so. Some days I actually have a hard time picking up my unread books because I want to reread a book so badly. *cough* Like the Guild Hunter books! *cough*

I have a tendency to start rereading a book or series immediately after finishing. Case in point: I binge read The Raven Cycle books by Maggie Stiefvater at the end of last week and immediately started listening to the first book on audio because I'm not ready to be done with these characters and these books. Actually, now that I think about it, it's something I do quite a bit.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore reading new to me books! But I’m constantly fighting myself to keep my new reads to rereads ratio balanced. There were years when I was younger that I didn't read any new books because I was too busy rereading my favorites. I'm a bit more conscious of my tendency to just reread so some years I tend to skew in favor of reading new releases to correct myself. But even when I go in the opposite direction, I still manage to do quite a bit of rereading in those years.

A few months ago, I had a discussion with a friend who doesn't reread books at all and it blew my mind! Intellectually, I knew people like her existed but I had never known I was friends with one. It turned into a fascinating discussion because we're both the polar opposites on the extreme ends of the spectrum. For me, rereading books is how I battle my bouts of depression and stress and some days I just need the comfort of a familiar world that is not our reality. For my friend, she doesn't reread because she doesn't want to miss out on any new books by spending her time rereading old favorites. I'm interested to know your opinions and reasoning on this topic. So...

Do you reread books? Why or why not? Let's discuss!

If you have a topic you'd like to see discussed in a Weres Wanna Know post, let us know in the comments, send us a Facebook message, or email

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Review: The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

The Forbidden WishThe Forbidden Wish
Jessica Khoury
Release: February 23, 2016
Goodreads Amazon
She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world... 

When Aladdin discovers Zahra's jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn't seen in hundreds of years -- a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra's very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of Arabian Nights from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury. 
In the five years or so that fairy tale re-tellings have been The Thing, The Forbidden Wish is the first re-telling of Aladdin that I've seen. So in some ways I'm disappointed that it doesn't take the story into the modern era, or outer space, or someplace else radically different from the original. But what makes this story unique is that it's told from the jinni's point of view. That change allows Khoury to tell multiple stories, juxtaposing the tale of Zahra's last master, Queen Roshana, with Aladdin's. We see how those events five hundred years before shaped the world that Zahra finds herself in now.

Aladdin's part of the plot is not that different from the Disney movie which, to be honest, I'm more familiar with than the original Arabian Nights. His backstory is expanded in an interesting way though, which gives his feud with the prince a bigger impact. And of course, his romance with the jinni is a new addition, and probably my favorite thing about the book.

I also liked the secondary plot involving the missing jinn prince that Zahra must rescue to win to her freedom. I enjoyed learning about the different types of jinn and their history, and seeing that their rulers were not so different from the human ones. And I appreciate the fact that the book features several strong female characters. In addition to Zahra and Queen Roshana, there are Princess Caspida and her Watchmaidens who are all badasses.

But I found it odd that Zahra addresses her narration to the long-dead Queen Roshana. There are times when she's comparing the events of the present to the past and it makes the flashback feel more natural, but most of the time it just feels unnecessary. If the story were framed as letters or a journal, the device would make more sense to me. The end of the book also didn't really work for me. There's too much new magic introduced that I didn't completely follow. An in general, it felt like it took too long to wrap up all the loose threads.

Still, I liked the characters and was rooting for them. And I loved getting to read a story about the jinn, who I think are underutilized in paranormal romance. If you're a fan of fairy tale re-tellings, but tired of the same old Cinderella story you might want to give The Forbidden Wish a try.

Recommended for fans of: Fairy Tale Re-tellings

ARC provided by the publisher via Penguin's First to Read program


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (71)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. So here's this week's WOW pick:

You all knew this post coming, right? Because of course I would be waiting on the next book in one of my favorite series! After the events in both the last Mercy book and the last Alpha & Omega book, I'm curious to see what happens next in this world. Of course, the Fae are going to play a big role but what I'm dying to know about is how the pack's new member is doing. And I just need more Adam and Mercy in my life. I NEED THIS BOOK IN MY HANDS!!! Also, can we just appreciate how epic and awesome this cover is?

Fire Touched
(Mercy Thompson #9)
Patricia Briggs
Release: March 8, 2016
Goodreads Amazon
Mercy Thompson has been hailed as “a heroine who continues to grow and yet always remains true to herself.”* Now she’s back, and she’ll soon discover that when the fae stalk the human world, it’s the children who suffer...

Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.

Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?

*Library Journal
What book are you waiting on?

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Release Day Review: Bitter Bite by Jennifer Estep

Bitter Bite
(Elemental Assassin #14)
Jennifer Estep
Release: February 23, 2016
Goodreads Amazon
Which is stronger: blood ties or a battle-tested friendship?

It’s not easy being queen bee of an underworld abuzz with crooks and killers. Wielding my potent Ice and Stone elemental magic will only get me so far—my real secret is my tight-knit makeshift family, a motley crew of cops and criminals, dwarves and playboys. My foster brother Finnegan Lane is my right-hand man, but when his suddenly not-dead relative comes back into the picture, I’m the one on the outside looking in. 

It’s funny how life works: one minute your best friend is rock-steady, and the next he’s doe-eyed and buying into this whole loving-relative routine to the point of ignoring you. I’d like to be happy for Finn, I really would. But all of my instincts are telling me that beneath the syrupy sweet demeanor and old-fashioned charm, this sudden interloper is planning something. The whole shtick leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. This person might have avoided the grave once, but I’ll put anyone who hurts Finn in the ground—for good.
At the end of Spider's Trap, Gin Blanco found evidence that her foster brother Finn's mother, Deirdre, might not be dead after all. Bitter Bite finds her digging up Deirdre's grave a few weeks later, looking for proof before she breaks the news to Finn. What she finds is not only an empty grave, but a letter from Fletcher, her dead mentor and Finn's father, warning her that Deirdre is both powerful and manipulative. But before she can warn Finn, she discovers that Deirdre has already insinuated herself into his life in the guise of his new favorite client.

Bitter Bite is reminiscent of the early books in the series in some ways. Gin already knew that Mab Monroe was her enemy, but she never knew when and where Mab would strike. Deirdre is much the same way and it's much later in the book than I expected when she finally makes her move. The result is a suspenseful, but not very exciting first half of the story.

But it's always fun to watch Gin being Gin, cooking in the Pork Pit, hanging out with her friends and speaking in Gin-isms. I also enjoyed her memories of Fletcher, who was a character I always liked. But I wanted a little more action. And I would have liked to see more of the supporting cast outside of Finn, Owen and Bria.

Gin's relationship to her nemesis isn't the only element in the story that could have felt repetitive. Finn's story mirrors Owen's from a few books ago, when his former fiancee returned. And someone is, once again, planning to rob the art museum. But the choice to repeat those elements is a deliberate one which allows Gin's enemies to use her past actions against her. I thought that was an interesting way to spin the story.

I had some of the twists figured out before Gin did, though certainly not all of the details. And I'm excited about the direction those twists seem to be taking the storyline. So while Bitter Bite is not my favorite in the series, it's one that Gin's fans will enjoy.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley


Monday, February 22, 2016

Show Me Your... Historical Paranormal Romance Recs!

Show Me Yours is our new discussion post where we ask for your book recommendations on a different subject each month.

I have recently had the desire to pick up more of the historical paranormal romance and alternate history genre of books. I've been in love with alternate history/historical paranormal romance books since I picked up my first Regency romance book that had magic. Oh! A Matter of Magic and Sorcery and Cecelia let me count the ways I love thee!

I started to branch out into other time periods like with Jenn Bennett's amazing Roaring Twenties historical paranormal romance series. I didn't even realize that was a thing I wanted to read until I picked the first book up. Funny enough, some of my favorite alternate histories have come out of the Steampunk genre. I seriously love Gail Carrigers Parasol Protectorate series, Bec McMaster's London Steampunk books, and Kristen Callihan's Darkest London series. I want a lot more of these kinds of books in my life so today I'm asking you to:

Show Me Your Favorite Historical Paranormal Romance or Alternate History Books

We'll even show you ours to get it started.
Here are some recs from Gretl:
Rebel Mechanics (Rebel Mechanics, #1) Silver on the Road (The Devil's West, #1)

The Kraken King
by Meljean Brook
I highly recommend the entire Iron Seas series. (Read that post here.) But The Kraken King is truly exceptional. It's EPIC steampunk goodness, political intrigue, and a romance that rips your heart out. It's set in Asia and Australia so it has a little different feel from other books in the genre, or in the series. You could easily read it as a standalone since it's so different from the rest of the series, but some of the characters, including the heroine, are introduced in the earlier books.

Rebel Mechanics
by Shanna Swendson
Rebel Mechanics is set at the same time as a lot of steampunk stories. But instead of London, it's set in New York. In this world the American Revolution failed because the British had magic. Now an underground group of American inventors are building machines to even the odds. The seventeen year old heroine gets caught in between the two groups, and in between two men. Yes, it's YA and there's a love triangle, but this was one of my favorite books of 2015!

Silver on the Road
by Laura Anne Gilman
Another of my favorite books from last year, Silver on the Road is set in what would later become the American Midwest at the turn of the nineteenth century. On her sixteenth birthday, Isobel asks the Devil for a job. She doesn't expect him to send her out on the road to learn the Territory or to battle a mysterious evil force while she's there. The Devil also hires Gabriel to teach Isobel the ways of the road and while it's not a romance, I liked the relationship that developed between the two of them.

What are your favorite Historical Paranormal and Alternate History books? Why do you think I should give them a chance?

If you have a genre or topic you'd like to see in a Show Me Yours post, let us know in the comments,  send us a Facebook message, or email

Friday, February 19, 2016

Introducing Geeky Giving and an Awesome Giveaway!

We're excited to introduce you to a new project that makes our geeky little hearts happy. It's a way to get your hands on some great new SciFi/Fantasy stories and help a great cause at the same time.
Each month for the next four months, Geeky Giving will release an exclusive SFF story bundle available for just a $5 donation to the Barrow Neurological InstituteThese science fiction and fantasy books by your favorite authors will only be available through Geeky Giving, and 100 percent of the money we raise goes directly to Barrow Neurological Institute to research cures for Alzheimer’s, ALS, brain tumors, Parkinson’s Disease and more. 

In the February bundle you’ll find two novelettes and two short stories and a whole lot of awesome. From the consequences of targeting a virus carrier to ghostly connections to a fantasy quest to appease the moon to the possibility of going full Cylon and body hopping.

The bundle will be available from Feb. 22, 2016 to March 20 and includes:
  • “Some Other Day” by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • “The True Story of the Unsmiling Moon” by Karina Cooper writing as K.C. Alexander
  • “Backup” by Edward Ashton
  • “Ghosts of the Motor City” by Sierra Dean

Geeky Giving Bundle #1
Displaying geeky_giving_logo_4c_tag_24.png
A new bundle will be available every month for the next four months. With a donation of $5 or more, you'll receive the current month's bundle. A donation of $25 or more gets you all four bundles, including any previous ones you've missed.

Geeky Giving also has a huge giveaway to help promote the project. You get an entry when you donate, but you can also enter just by helping to spread the word. (See the Rafflecopter form for all the ways to enter.)

Here's what's in the first giveaway:
2 All-Con Passes to Phoenix Comicon 2016
Chloe Neill prize pack including signed editions of The Veil, Some Girls Bite, and The Dark Elite omnibus and some seriously sweet swag
Signed copy of Shattered by Kevin Hearne
Signed copy of Three Days in April by Edward Ashton
Signed copy of Conspiracy of Angels by Michelle Belanger
A box set of The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman
The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley 

Click here to enter the giveaway

Learn more about Geeky Giving at
Donate directly to the cause via
Follow Geeky Giving on Facebook or Twitter.

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