Month in Review | January 2016

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Good afternoon, blogger friends! How was your first month of 2016? I hope the New Year started off well for you all and perhaps even had some new discoveries – of the pleasant sort, as you rang in the sixteenth year of this millennium. Mine included finally finishing Downton Abbey (THOUGHTS are coming guys, oh will there be thoughts!) among other more meaningful family get-togethers and the like.

Another month’s close means another “month in review” here on DUTSM. 

All Things Valentine (2016) - Advice vs Adversaries Collide in this Romance

Chick flicks of the romantic variety are catnip at my house. My mother and I seem to (maybe a little too often – or is there such a thing?) indulge in them frequently though none are more enjoyed than those we discover on the Hallmark Channel. 

Shadowhunters, Season One: Episodes 1 - 2 (2016)

Friday, January 29, 2016

Book-to-screen adaptations are a popular trend in today’s pop culture. Just because they might have been tried once (going down in epic failure), doesn’t mean following the adage “try, try again” is off the table. The just-launched Freeform (formerly ABC Family) series, Shadowhunters is out to prove its better than its predecessor big-screen counterpart and perhaps find a place on our TV for a handful of seasons.  

Meet the Blogger | Kate's 10 Favorite Literary Heroines

Thursday, January 28, 2016

For a good long while now, I've wanted to introduce you to some of my favorite bloggers in a series of "meet the blogger" type posts. I've become friends with some bloggers through various emails or conversations on our blogs, but I never had a good idea to "pitch" to said bloggers (all the really good ones were taken). In spring (2015) I finally forged ahead and got in touch with some bloggers, asking if they wanted to put together something they might be comfortable writing - i.e., a topic they wanted to talk about, a random fun and popular book tag. Because of that, this isn't a traditional "meet and greet" blogger introduction. Rather, it's blogging friends putting together something they enjoy, and hopefully because of that it reads like you'd be getting together and having coffee with them. That's what - in my opinion, makes this such fun. Fortunately even without an organized "this-is-what-I-want" plan, they agreed to the invitation.

Today, we are here to meet one such blogger.
Today, after many quiet months of zero “meet the blogger” posts, I am thrilled to again (and finally) feature a fellow book blogger. Let's return to this series that I love so much. (No promises it's back for good, mind you.)
Kate (of Parchment Girl) is not only a book blogger, her scribbling's can also be found as a contributor to Book Riot not to mention, she's a talented writer. Her blog spotlights everything from classic literature to honest reviews of the entertainment she watches., and a series of advice posts for new (and seasoned!) bloggers. As seems to be the case with far too many of my amazing blogging friends, I don’t remember how I “met” Kate, but however it happened, know this; she’s a fabulous person to chat with.
If you’ve not yet met her, swing by and say hello. (After you’ve continued reading her contribution here, of course.) When I asked Kate if she’d like to join my random blogging series (I really should find a better word for this since it’s more of an occasional thing), I felt bad that my lack of coordinating a really good series idea required she come up her own topic and idea. But I shouldn’t have been as Kate emailed me back with a brilliantly well written post. Her topic of choice? Favorite literary heroines!

Unleashing Mr. Darcy (2016) – Contemporary, Witty Take on Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice'

Sunday, January 24, 2016

You all know how much I adore the Hallmark Channel. It’s a scary TV obsession sometimes. Through the last two years, I’m afraid to say, with blogging fueling me as a legitimate excuse (I simply have to watch this one… for reviewing purposes), my addiction has grown worse.  

Legends of Tomorrow, Season One - "Pilot" (2016)

Saturday, January 23, 2016


As a comic book nut, it was a given I’d tune in to see what the fuss for DC Comics’ small screen adaptation of Legends of Tomorrow was all about.  

INSPY Awards 2016 Longlists

Good afternoon, readers and friends. Last Saturday the INSPY Awards closed the 2016 nomination form after nearly a month of receiving nominations from readers and bloggers alike. We so enjoyed seeing all of your nominations pouring in, but once we clicked that form over to "off," some serious work needed to begin.

The Shannara Chronicles, Season One: Episodes 1-3 (2016)

Friday, January 22, 2016

The likes of fantasy television seem to be in high demand. MTV has joined the game with this high-fantasy world of daemons, elves and princesses with The Shannara Chronicles. Inspired by a series of novels, this is one of those shows that might have been better than it chose to give itself credit for.  

Mercy Street, Season One: Episode One (2016)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Since writing for Silver Petticoat affords me a chance to write (almost exclusively) about period drama, anytime I have an opportunity to gush over the beauty of a new show or find, I jump at the chance. This is why, when I do write about new finds of the costume drama sort, I'm giddy to share them with you all over here too. (You know, just in case you miss them.)

You're the One That I Want by Susan May Warren

About the Book:
Publisher: Tyndale House
Source: Publisher ARC
Publication Date: 2016
Find the Review elsewhere:
Find the Book Elsewhere:
Series: Christiansen Family, 6
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Romance
Rating: 5 out of 5

Following the cascade of certain events (vague for the sake of spoilers!) taking place in When I Fall in Love, I was sure that when the time came for Owen’s story I wasn’t going to have any loyalty or much of an inclination to read this novel. This was further reinforced after reading Always on My Mind, which was brother Casper’s story. I felt like because of some of the choices Owen had made and the eventual pairing of Casper and Raina, the woman who shared something with Owen, there would be no way to coax a redeemable story out of this character. Before I share thoughts on this, the sixth and final novel in this family saga, here’s what Owen’s story is about.  

Top Ten Tuesday | Books Recently Added to the Queue

Monday, January 18, 2016

Ah, books. They are forever calling my name, sporting their beautiful, shiny and tempting cover designs not to mention the intrigue of a good story, add in the allure of a familiar author’s name splashed in bold across the book, and I’m their prisoner. This is simply fact.  

Colony, Season One: Pilot (2016) - Dystopian Romance (and Adventure!) For Adults

USA Network has long been one of my must watch networks for TV shows. I've seen several from them, loved 99% and detested one in particular. This year, one of their new shows revolved around a dystopian principle, only this time it's geared towards the adults rather than the YA genre that spins dystopia as being "cool."

Classic Romantic Moment | Jane Eyre and Edward

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Writing about favorite romantic moments is one of my favorite things. There is something "magical" about revisiting such moments, particular those of the old fashioned variety.

On Silver Petticoat, this is where one of our focuses finds a happy place.

Love on the Sidelines (2016) - A Witty Romantic Comedy About Opposites

Immediately following their successful “Countdown to Christmas” campaign, Hallmark Channel launched a “Winterfest” that was set to feature four new original films. This is the third in that line up, and just as it was meant to it coincides perfectly with the time of year we’re at.

Giveaway | Downton Abbey, the Final Series

Monday, January 11, 2016

Afternoon, peeps! I hope you're enjoying some great reads, and if you're anything like us, staying warm in this rare (we've been spoiled this winter), deep freeze. On this Monday afternoon, there are pesky snow showers coupled with the cold. Today, I'm finally sitting down to write and publish what will be my final giveaway... in one particular way. On Sunday January 3rd, U.S. period drama fans saw the beginning of the end to their 6-year addiction known as Downton Abbey premiere. With that, I realized that my annual giveaway hadn't been posted. Ordinarily, I get that running prior to Christmas, but since the U.S. DVD arrives in stores at the end of January, I figured, there was time yet.

Mission: Impossible, Rogue Nation (2015)

Friday, January 8, 2016


It’s well documented around here that I’m something of a big actioner blockbuster junkie. Between films like the “Jason Bourne” trilogy or Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean, I do enjoy the “summer blockbusters.” One such film from this past summer was touted as being “better than Bourne or Bond.” I’m not entirely sure of the accuracy of that statement, however the latest Mission: Impossible film is darn entertaining if nothing else.

Curio by Evangeline Denmark

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Today, I reviewed a unique novel by a (sort of) debut author. That author is Evangeline Denmark. Published through the new-to-the-scene publishing house, Blink (an imprint under HarperCollins), Curio is a pretty darn amazing novel. I mean I was intrigued when first reading about it, but the story itself proves to be equally epic.

My review for this hot-off-the-press YA novel (January 5th) appeared on Silver Petticoat earlier today. Find all of the important book details below along with the review. And then, comment away with your thoughts on this steampunk infused YA debut.

Cover Candy | 2016 Edition the First

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A new year means new books. With new books also arrives shiny new cover art.

As is the case with each of these posts, some of these have been out for a long time. You may ask then, why are they featured below? Well this is likely because I've either forgotten to feature them in my last Cover Candy collection or they released since my last post. Either way, I wanted to feature those that have been out a while because they sound great. Also true of every post like this, I'm featuring these for their cover art either because they're popular releases, or because of that amazing art they wear. Though lots (read: MOST) of these sound amazing, I'll confess, some I'm adding because, um, gorgeous cover art! Don't mind me, I'm just a self proclaimed cover snob.

With that said, let's have a look down below.

The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander

Since her twin brother, Eddie, drowned five years ago, sixteen-year-old Elsie Main has tried to remember what really happened that fateful day on the beach. One minute Eddie was there, and the next he was gone. Seventeen-year-old Tay McKenzie is a cute and mysterious boy that Elsie meets in her favorite boathouse hangout. When Tay introduces Elsie to the world of freediving, she vows to find the answers she seeks at the bottom of the sea. - Goodreas, April 2016
Amazon | Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday | 2016 Resolutions

Monday, January 4, 2016

Every year, the thing to do is make resolutions. I suppose the idea is starting a new year better than how the last was lived. Now in the interest of full disclosure I’ve never been one to make resolutions nor am I particularly “into” the idea of them. That being said, there is a lot good to be said for them and that doesn’t stop me from making goals in every New Year. The trouble comes in in not following them. This is most often my downfall.  
Broke and Bookish December 5th  
Top Ten Resolutions We Have For 2016
(can be bookish, personal resolutions, "I resolve to finally read these 10 books, series I resolve to finish in 2015, etc.)
Today, I’ve decided to use this prompt for blogging and bookish resolutions and/or goals. I have plenty of both and perhaps by writing them down I’ll be creating some accountability and  maybe, just maybe, I’ll follow through on some. Let’s get this list started.


This is actually one item on the list I will follow through on. Once I get started I don’t mind organizing my bookshelves in the least. Sure it’s “work” (removing all those books is a bit of a chore), but it’s mostly fun “work” which is never a bad task. In fact, I may get to this project this week, depending, and certainly should see it done before January closes if nothing else.  

While I’m reorganizing, I’ll also need to weed out any novels that I just don’t see myself reading again or ever. I’ve got a crazy amount of boxes already however I go through again each time I organize and can come away with another box or two at the end.
Once upon a time I was actually an organized blogger instead of coming down to the wire, which involves putting posts together forty five minutes prior to publication (as I'm doing now). I'd relish getting back into the habit of having 3, 4, 5, 6 posts drafted and ready to go for a week and a half out. For a blogger, that's a great feeling.

2015 involved big changes in my review books. I cut way back on the number of novels I requested from tour companies which kind of hurt yet at the same time was good for me. This year I’m looking for (perhaps) a bit more in the way of cutting back, but primarily, I want to find some balance in the tours and/or books I do request or sign up for. Meaning, I’d like to participate in more of a variety of publicity tours rather than just one source or the like. For example, I always enjoy reviewing for inspirational publicity firm Litfuse, but I haven’t joined their tours for a long time. Or I’d also like to get involved in more YA markets because, slowly but steadily, I’m discovering more of what I like within that blanket genre.  

Since some new things (responsibilities, happenings) were added to my life in 2015, I'd like to strike a balance between my writing, business and blogging life. Finding what works and what doesn't will help tremendously, so discovering the sweet spot is certainly a must goal.  
Visiting the top ten Tuesday participants blogs (most of which are new bloggers) reminded me how much I enjoy "meeting" new bloggers. I enjoy conversing with fellow book nerds because, seriously, this book community is pretty neat. ♥

Since my review TBR (a term I use referencing books sent to me by authors, publishers or publicists at my request/acceptance) keeps me so busy, I don’t read many of the bookshelf TBR. Of late, I have been trying to sneak in at least one book a month from my shelf, which is then the book review contribution to Silver Petticoat. Either way, I’d like to think cutting down on my unread bookshelf books in 2016 is possible.  

This has been years in the making. This needs to happen.

The hype is real, peeps. This also *needs* to happen.

I'd like to read a few more books per month than I actually do. It's no fun being a turtle reader who is left in the dust. (Note to self: get reading.)

This one sort of ties into my blog organization, but seriously, I really do need to make more of an effort to update my archive review pages. Sometimes I do months without doing so. That's a problem.

What are some of your 2016 resolutions? Or do you make any?

Comment down below with your hopes - bookish or otherwise, for 2016!
Happy New Year and happy Tuesday, friends.
My thanks - as always, for your visit.

Month in Review | December 2015

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year 2016, friends. It’s arrived. The final month of 2015 and not only that, today is the first day of a new year, I just didn’t get this posted sooner as was originally the plan. Yesterday, we not only said goodbye to a month we’re said good bye to 2015. A year, which, much to my vexation has flown by at an alarming rate that really, if I’m being honest, doesn’t sit well with me. *smile* People tell me the reason the years seem to run on one speed is because I’m getting older. Thanks, but I’ll find another reason methinks... *smile*
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