About & FAQ

Warning:
 This is ridiculously long and divided into sections. 

When bored one day, I wrote my Reading History
Feel free to read if you are also bored.
Also check out the Paperback Stash's Design History 
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ARCs and books for review
Right now I am not accepting books for review.

Please use the contact me on the website.  When accepting ARCs,  I will accept ARCs and currently published books. I accept books or e-books available in .mobi and .pdf format.

If there is a time limit for the review (such as an ARC before publication date), please be sure to include that in the initial contact message so I can make allowances for the deadline before approving.

Graphics and Site Design

Several graphics have been purchased through image stock companies and the scrapbooking sets through scraporchard.

Vector Images and Art - Not a free source - Vectors purchased through vector and design websites. Do not copy or grab the graphics that have been purchased.  Genre tags that are in reviews have been purchased from Parajunkee.

Special Social Networking Icons - Electric twitter bird from the talented arrioch. Retro paper from SoftFacade Hover image manipulations and coding done for each social graphic was done by me. Social networking icons were available for free use for non-commercial use. Comment link icon from freepik. Several other free graphics from freepik, especially Claudia Balasoiu. Thank you! If this changes or if there is an issue, please contact me.

Quotes from books and book covers fall under the Fair Use Copyright Law.

Problems seeing the site, or something going wrong? Please contact me through the contact form with any issues or suggestions.


Reading Tastes and Genre Preferences


I'm not just a reader, I'm a complete bibliophile.  I love collecting books, bookstamps and bookplates, bookmarks (especially the magnetic variety from Giftrenz), the different covers, book related artwork and pictures, reading statues, you name it. I currently have a little bit of a book buying issue....My To-Be-Read Pile is always growing.

I try to read a variety of genres. I'm a paranormal fan and series junkie!


I'm on Goodreads so much I half live there.

I can't stand literary elitism, genre/book snobbism. Be open to ideas, accept differences in other readers, and don't limit yourself.  

My reading tastes are all over the place, from the serious and life-changing stories to the light, quirky ones. Interesting plots are important, but I'm more character-orientated. 

I prefer:

  • Introspective points of view
  • Happy endings
  • Twist endings
  • Dark Themes
  • Fascinating characters that are 'different'
  • 3-dimensional villains and heroes
  • Limited head hopping
  • Beautiful writing 
  • Psychological mind-plays
  • Antiheroes
  • Extended wrap-ups when conflict is over
 I dislike:

  • Spoilers
  • Genre Snobbery
  • Cheap Cliffhanger Endings
  • Instalove
  • Triangles
  • Angel story fiction
  • Bitchy Heroines
  • Melodramatic Dialogue
  • Themes relying on time travel
  • Themes relying on amnesia
  • Prison stories
  • Missing kids and kidnapping type stories
  • Black and white mains
Receiving packages of new books with shiny covers is one kind of bliss, finding hidden surprises hunting in the used book aisle another. As long as it's new to me, it works.

Huge re-reader, especially for series. Some of my favorites I've read multiple times. A high rating doesn't always mean a technically perfect book, but is indicative of how much I enjoyed it.

Urban Fantasy

My favorite genre, especially when it comes to series.

While I usually dislike paranormal romance, I love Urban Fantasy - I define by paranormal elements in an urban world. If romance exists, it exists along with a plot that's taking the focus of the story, in the background or as a tie-in.

My favorite is the Hollows series by Kim Harrison (Huge Al & Jenks fan.) I follow loads of other UF series too - include Cassandra Palmer series by Karen Chance, Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews, Morgan Kingsley by Jenna Black, Faefever series by Karen Marie Moning, Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs, Kara Gillian series by Diana Rowland, Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris (besides last book, yech), Downside Ghosts by Stacia Kane and several others. I'm picky with shapeshifter focused themes, prefer other paranormal creatures to be the main plot point.

Mysteries

Everything from straight whodunnits to suspense themes.

Cozy Mysteries - I love fun cozies but haven't found dedicated series yet. I do have a few I really enjoyed that I want to track more down of and see if they become favorite series, such as Shirley Damsgaard's Ophelia & Abby series. Cozies that are focused on the paranormal, supernatural, or something related to bookstores and books are my favorites of these. And of course food related ones that have recipes are fun bonuses.

Psychological - I love the Alex Delaware series by Jonathan Kellerman and psychological/blended mysteries, but besides this series haven't found many others to be faithful to. I discovered these books as a teenager.

Hard Case Crime - I'm newer to these as well but love the Hard Case Crime line revived and also finding old fashioned Noir novels. I discovered them when Dorchester was still around and decent and, after belonging to the horror line for years, signed up for their Hard Case Crime series when it was developed. I guess you could call them more 'crime' books than mysteries but they're comparable.

I'm a huge Agatha Christie Hercule Poirot fan. Always loved the Belgium detective while Miss Marple bored me. Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile is one of my favorite books and likely my top favorite mystery.

Horror 
I always loved horror novels; it was the main genre I read growing up.

I prefer the serious over the cheesy but will give almost any a try. I love the surreal, strange, and fantasy-rich horror. My favorites are usually apocalyptic style and supernatural. Zombies are big in media, while in book form they are enjoyable to me but definitely not favorites. I like the stereotypical haunted houses and ghost stories too, but these have to be done really well to hold my interest anymore.

Favorite horror novels include Dead Sea by Brian Keene, Stranger by Simon Clark, Firestarter and Cujo by Stephen King, Books of Blood anthologies by Clive Barker, and almost any horror novel by Graham Masterton, who remains my favorite of the horror writers.

Gothics
These deserve more attention but are mainly from the 60's/70's

I grew up reading and loving Barbara Michael's standalone gothic novels. I had no idea they were considered "gothics" but figured they were unique types of mystery novels. I found some Beverly Warren in my twenties and figured out this was a genre on it's own. A few years ago the local used bookstore revealed a hidden section of gothics - huge amount - and now I have plenty to read. When the mood strikes, they stand out as a nice reading change, but they're not something I could read all the time.

Romance 
There are so many sub-genres and types of romance, and I don't really enjoy them all

Harlequin Presents - these are the main romances I like reading. I love these small, drama-filled things. They usually have a dramatic story where I'm eager to see what happens next, while having little sex and actual substance. Sometimes they're silly, sometimes they're boring, but usually they're worth reading, and they take little time to go through. I prefer the older style over the newer, especially Lynne Graham's older style. They're predictable but can be enjoyable, especially with a lot of antagonism.

Paranormal - A lot of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal overcrosses. Pure Paranormal Romance is something I'm usually not into it. It's drenched with sex scenes and not enough storyline. Sometimes it's melodramatic and has cloying dialogue. Paranormal romance can be particularly annoying for becoming emo or angsty too. That said, there is some that's actually done decently. Some of the early books in Christine Feehan's Dark series are guilty pleasures.

Contemporary - I don't like contemporary, full length romance much. It's usually cutesy and chic-lit and just not my thing. Sometimes it works, though, just not as often. I prefer this type mixed with another genre to keep it interesting.

Historical - With full-length this is usually what I read. I go through phases where, for some odd reason, I crave Indian or pirate romances. Usually historical romances have humor I enjoy or the lead males are especially likeable. Also like high society, victorian-age era - especially with humor.


What I don't care for as much -
Western/cowboy romances (historical or contemporary), the romantic suspense and similar subgenre harlequin prints (they bug me, a lot), existing children in the themes, bargained preg. themes, pre-existing romances.


Dramas 
Modern and classics - I didn't get much into drama until my twenties, but I really dig what I've been reading in it.

I can't think of how to break this into sub-genres or anything. Dramas, whether depressing or not, are usually interesting and reflective. I started most classics as an adult instead of reading them as a child.

My favorite books from this genre are Gone with the Wind, The Godfather, Of Mice and Men, The Lovely Bones, Flowers for Algernon, Rebecca, and Boy's Life by Robert McCammon.

Other Genres 
Young Adult - I haven't read too many of these but know they're incredibly popular. I love Christopher Pike, he'll always be a favorite of mine from my teenage years, and today the writing is still perfect to me. He wrote one of the best, mind-bending, surreal books I've ever read, Whisper of Death. Judy Blume will always be awesome. With modern books I especially like Darren Shan's Cirque Du Freak books (One of my favorite series), Carrie Jone's Need series, and Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.

Graphic Novels - I'm a huge Superman fan especially (graphic novels but also novel versions), but also like the Marvel Zombies and Exiles. I have a ridiculous amount of catching up to do when it comes to these types and want to explore more of them. I also love superhero themed print novels.

Biographies - I've become more interested in these as an adult.

Fantasy - I avoided most fantasy growing up. As an adult, The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis is one of my favorite series. I have a lot of high and mid fantasy I'd like to try out when I get a chance. So far I prefer Dark Fantasy and coming-of-age fantasy. 



Besides to my addiction to reading, I love all that is music. Big fan of Universal Monsters, homemade soaps, play League of Legends, and attend a horror convention every year for the past six years running, meeting random celebrities that spooked me through film growing up. A big night owl who loves the moon and artwork associated with it.





How I Review

When reviewing books, all go under some of the basic guidelines -- coherent and interesting plot structure, not boring, not melodramatic, character richness and depth, focus and pacing.
 
Reviewing becomes individualized when spliced into genre - with horror it would be focusing on gore/violence/creepy level, for romance it would be on uniqueness/character interaction/sexual level more, graphic novels would include viewpoints on artwork and continuity, biographies on in-depth details, etc. 

This website does feature adult content since I review many adult books, where the reviews need mentioning on the sexual content for paranormal romance and romance...and for horror and suspense the gore/violence level. For Young Adult books I do mention and warn if there is anything risque in them or any sexual levels (drug abuse, etc.) since that is more applicable for that genre age.




Phenomenal, a permanent keeper on the shelf.
Really enjoyed it, good stuff.
Liked it, worth reading.
Didn't really care for it, too many issues.
Loathed it, wouldn't recommend it to anyone.



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Reviews Published 2015 Challenge Participant 2016 NetGalley Challenge


2017 Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder* has read 37 books toward her goal of 200 books.
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