Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Blogoversary Bash Day 2

July 29th marks seven years since the first post here at Goldilox and the Three Weres. July is also the fourth anniversary of Gretl and Rose Red joining the blog. So we're celebrating all this week with a Blogoversary Bash! Today we're celebrating with presents for you - woohoo!

We're calling today's giveaway the Books and Tea Bundle. Here's what it includes:

A How to Be Happy Mug designed by @Paperfury
A Paperback of The Diabolical Miss Hyde by Viola Carr
A Riddle's Tea Shoppe The Night Circus Tea Sampler
A Riddle's Tea Shoppe A Study in Friendship Tea Sampler
A Riddle's Tea Shoppe Sherwood Forest Tea Sampler
A Riddle's Tea Shoppe Apple Picking at Night Tea Sampler

Because of shipping costs, this one's US only. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 30, 2018

Things We've Learned While Blogging

The Goldilox blog is turning 7 this week so we're celebrating our Blogoversary with a week of giveaways and fun posts! This week is also special because we're celebrating the anniversary of Gretl and Rose Red joining Goldilox as co-bloggers! Can you believe they've been around for 4 years!?!

In celebration of our Blogoversary, Gretl and Rose Red are going to share some of the things they've learned while blogging.

Rose Red
1. ARCs Are Fun But You Don't Need Them To Blog. 
Getting ARCs for review doesn't make you a blogger. You're just as much a blogger if you review books you buy or check out from the library. I've gotten a good amount of eARCs over the years and they're both great and stressful. I've found that recently I'm requesting less ARCs than I used to due to the fact that I'm a huge mood reader and not getting ARCs reviewed by their release dates was stressing me out. I felt obligated to read and review each ARC I got/finished and it was making reading a chore. Blogging got fun again for me when I accepted that some ARCs aren't going to be read by my self-imposed deadlines and that's okay. My blogging stress levels went way down after that.

2. It's Okay Not To Like Something.
Everyone is different which means that sometimes you're not going to like a book that 99% of your Goodreads friends have loved. And that's okay. I have DNFed more popular YA books than I've found ones I've loved. I struggled with this the first few years of blogging. My life got so much better when I accepted that if I don't like something, I don't have to read it. Embrace your tastes and don't apologize for what you like. You do you.

3. Sometimes You Need A Reading Slump to Recharge.
This is something I still struggle with but sometimes you just need a break from reading. It's okay to go binge watch a show on Netflix or to take a break from blogging. Sometimes life is just busy and you can't fit reading in to your schedule. That's okay. I've needed all of my reading slumps so I can come back recharged and excited to blog again.

4. It's Totally Okay To Read That ARC That Doesn't Come Out For Months Before You Finish This Month's ARCs.
When we first started blogging, I was bound and determined to read each ARC in order of their release date. Yeah... that didn't work for me. Remember when I said I'm a mood reader? I've really embraced the idea of reading what I'm excited about reading when I'm still excited about reading it. I read for pleasure and blogging is not my job. So if I feel like reading my ARC of a book that comes out in six months or if I want to read a backlist title, that's what I'm going to pick up. Reading is supposed to be fun even if it means that you have to wait a year and a half to find out what happens after a cliffhanger ending.

5. Google Is Your Best Friend When Blog Things Break.
Blogger is a temperamental, hellbeast of a site to work with some days. I swear we had a few months a couple years ago where our widgets were breaking every other day and some of our draft posts were being eaten. I still haven't figured out why Blogger needs to randomly eat my blog posts every now and then but I have learned that Google is essential when fixing our widgets. You may have noticed that our sidebar has changed drastically over the years as widgets broke and we made changes as the blog has evolved. Google made our current configuration possible. I know some HTML coding which helps, but I don't know everything. Google has been my savior so many times while I've been fixing or replacing broken widgets with things that fit our needs as a blog like our current Recent Reads widget. I would have never have figured out how to do that on my own.

1. Balance is key
I'm happiest when I alternate review books with just for fun books or book binges with Netflix binges. But things like deadlines and reading slumps try to throw you off balance.

2. Be flexible/have options
I'm a planner and it drives me crazy not to meet deadlines. But most of my deadlines are self-imposed so I can give myself a break occasionally. (I can also cut myself too much slack and wind up way behind, but that's another lesson.) It's a lot less like work when you say, "I have to read one of these four books next," rather than "I have to finish and review this book that I'm not in the mood for in the next 48 hours."

3. Typos are a part of life
Not my typos of course, but I've learned to be much more tolerant of other people's. Reading ARCs is a big part of that. But I've also learned that some very smart people are very bad writers. (Though if you can't get your and you're or there and their right, you might be TSTL and I just can't.)

2. Co-bloggers are awesome
The reason we're still here after four years is that we like working together. And a lot of our non-review posts are group efforts. Like this one. It's also pretty unusual for both of us to slump at the same time, though it has happened, so there's someone to pick up the slack.

1. Co-bloggers who code are even more awesome
If you can't fix it by deleting and re-installing, I'm probably out of luck. Working with someone whose skill set is different from yours is a huge asset.

Rose Red: It really is awesome having a co-blogger with a different skill set than you have. Like having one who knows way more grammar rules than you. I can't tell you how many times Gretl has saved my posts from typos and weird grammar. 

Blogoversary Bash Day 1

July 29th marks seven years since the first post here at Goldilox and the Three Weres. July is also the fourth anniversary of Gretl and Rose Red joining the blog. So we're celebrating all this week with a Blogoversary Bash! Today we've got presents for you - woohoo!

Random Fandom Giveaway

The winner gets their choice from one of the following prizes:
Grishaverse Bundle
Includes items inspired by Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha and Six of Crows series
Sarah J. Maas Bundle
Includes items inspired by Throne of Glass and ACOTAR
Retellings Bundle
Includes items inspired by Heartless, Flame in the Mist, and other retellings
Adapted Acronyms Bundle
Includes items inspired by LoTR and GoT

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Each bundle contains at least 6 items. They could include candles, bags, bookmarks, art prints, posters, bath products or other fun stuff. I'll be posting teasers on our Instagram all week, but the exact contents of each bundle will be a surprise. (There are no books in any of these bundles.)

Due to shipping costs, this giveaway is U.S. only.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Weres Wanna Know: What Have You Discovered at the Library?

If you were on Twitter this week, you probably heard about the Forbes editorial that proposed replacing public libraries with Amazon book stores. And you probably saw people talking about the many services libraries provide other than books - they serve as cooling centers during heatwaves and offer all sorts of classes, like ESL, basic computer skills, and STEM for kids, for example. Though just going to visit the books is great too.

These services can vary from one library system, or even one branch, to another so I thought it would be fun to share some today. Here are some of the things I've found at my library. I hope you'll share some of yours in the comments.

Book Signings and Author Events
My local independent book store holds some of their author events at the library. I posted about KissCon a few months ago. I'm planning to attend a similar event in August.

Art Exhibits
All of the library branches I've been to have displayed work by local artists, from elementary school students to professionals. I wrote about this art installation for The Geeky Blogger's Library Card month last year.

Kids' Activities
I asked my daughter what her favorite activity at the library was and she said it was making these tongue depressor bookmarks. (Can you tell which one is mine?) Our library sometimes has a craft station near the circulation desk. Another time we made pipe cleaner butterflies.

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I actually meant to ask her which program we attended was her favorite, so I thought she was going to say meeting the horse. A local stable visits the different library branches during the summer and teaches kids about horses. After the presentation they get to get pet and brush the horse. We've been to this program twice in the last three years.

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and outdoor

We've also been to a petting zoo at the library.

I know there are lots of other programs we haven't seen yet. I actually feel like I need to do a better job of taking advantage of these free activities.

What have you discovered at your library other than books?

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Six Webcomics You Should Be Reading

We all have that one weird obsession that you really don't talk much about until you encounter another person with the same leanings. For me, that obsession is webcomics. I was introduced to webcomics by a post-doc back in grad school in 2012 and I've been reading them ever since. I love reading and discovering new webcomics! It's kind of like reading fanfiction. You can always find super creative storylines and lots of queer romance and non-traditional characters unlike in a lot of traditionally published comics. 

I was started out on some great ones like Nimona by Noelle Stevenson/Gingerhaze, Hotblood! by Toril Orlesky/starlock, and one I'll talk about below. I quickly branched out on my own and found some great ones and some that were not so great.

Today, I want to talk about five of my favorite webcomics I've discovered in the last year or so and one oldie but goodie that's still going strong. Most of them are very queer, very excellent, and range from contemporary to fantasy to sci-fi. Let's get started, shall we?

Quinn Dreaming is one of the cutest webcomics I've found this year! It's not very far along but it's been 100% golden so far! I feel so lucky to have stumbled upon it early on thanks to a tweet by Tara Sim. This webcomic is "about magic, awkward crushes, and a lack of sleep" according to the creator. The story follows Quinn, a dream witch, who is trying to navigate his senior year as well as his crush on his best friend, Sorrel. The queer romance, diverse cast, multiple YA book references, and awesome worldbuilding make this webcomic one not to miss! I love it! The characters are amazing and the diversity and uniqueness of the magic is everything! If you're not reading this one yet, you need to! Then you can come find me on Twitter and we can gush about it while we wait for the next update.

A good friend of mine recommended this one to me last year and I quickly became obsessed with it!  Check, Please! is webcomic about hockey and pies and discovering who you are during college. It has a diverse cast of characters and lots of hockey action! Plus, it's a queer romance and I ship it so hard. SO HARD! This webcomic is seriously adorable and hilarious and it makes me so happy! If you want to spend an enjoyable few evenings, I highly recommend checking it out! (Haha! I made a pun!) The shenanigans that Bitty and the Samwell hockey team get up to are freaking fantastic! I can't believe the fourth and last year just started! I'm not ready to say good-bye yet!

Also, if physical comics are your thing, the first two years/volumes of this comic are going to be published as a bind-up called Check, Please!: #Hockey by First Second Comics this fall!

I just discovered Constellation Grimm thanks to my Tapas app and it is glorious! I binge read it all in one day. It's a queer webcomic that follows the journey of an amnesiac girl nicknamed Sunshine as she struggles to get her lost memories back. The cast! The plot! The art! It's all SO good! I don't want to say much more than that because I think this webcomic is better enjoyed going in completely blind. It's on a short hiatus because of the creator's health and con schedule but it should start updating again in September.

This webcomic is on Tumblr but I would recommend reading it on Tapas.


Frankenstein's Support Group is published on the Quirk Books blog and is a fun, modern look at some of our favorite literary monsters and some new ones too. It's been a few hundred years and lots of things have changed. Frankenstein's Monster has adopted his maker's surname and went on to study psychiatry. He has now started a support group to help guide other misunderstood monsters like him live in the modern age. It is seriously great! Dracula is stuck in a rut and Baba Yaga is the modern day feminist witch that we all should inspire to be like. Plus, we get to see some new faces like Ginger who is still figuring out the whole monster thing.

I read it through the author's website because some of the links on Quirk's blog are missing.

Galanthus is like the webcomic version of A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and it is everything! I just started reading it last week and I'm not caught up but it's amazing so far! It's about Farah, a human factory worker, who accidentally stows away on a spaceship and then gets invited to join the crew! It's filled with fascinating aliens, a queer spaceship family, a captain who's determined to make the universe a better place through kindness, and smuggling. I can't recommend it enough! Plus, the art style is pretty cool and minimalistic.

Oh Human Star has been a webcomic I've been reading for a LONG time. Like 5 years. It started back in 2012 and is still ongoing. It's a queer family drama with robots! And it is seriously one of the best webcomics I've ever read and easily makes it onto my Top 3 Favorite Webcomics of All-Time. The story is about one Alastair Sterling, who was the inventor who sparked the robot revolution. But his sudden death meant that he didn’t see any of it of happen. That is, until he wakes up sixteen years later in a robot body that is an exact replica of his old one. Al now has to find his old business partner and learn how to navigate the future that is now his present. I seriously can't recommend this one enough!

Do you read webcomics? If so, do you have any recommendations for me?

Friday, July 20, 2018

#ARCAugust 2018 Reading Challenge Sign-Up and TBR

As book bloggers, we have a lot of ARCs to get to so Rose Red and Gretl just signed up for this year's #ARCAugust Reading Challenge! Basically, the whole point of the challenge is to read as many ARCs as you can during the month of August. That's it. Pretty simple, right?

The lovely ladies of Read. Sleep. Repeat., the challenge's hosts, have some fun things planned for this year! There's going to be a Bookish Bingo card and two 48 hour read-a-thons in lieu of the Twitter sprints they've had in years past. This year's challenge sounds like it's going to be a whole lot of fun to participate in! You can find the original sign-up post here.

And now for some of the ARCs we’d like to knock out next month. You can click on each cover to head to each book's Goodreads page for more information!

Rose Red
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34138282-chainbreaker?ac=1&from_search=true https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36502081-a-study-in-honor?ac=1&from_search=true https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36457735-wild-hunger?ac=1&from_search=true
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37007781-foundryside# https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35612392-the-stars-now-unclaimed?ac=1&from_search=true# https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38118138-the-black-god-s-drums?ac=1&from_search=true#
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37534577-check-please?ac=1&from_search=true https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36672988-shadow-of-the-fox?ac=1&from_search=true# https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32203755-lipstick-voodoo?ac=1&from_search=true#

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24104482-shadow-s-bane?ac=1&from_search=true https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26877686-darkest-heart?from_search=true# https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17333180-magic-triumphs?ac=1&from_search=true#
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35909593-you-only-love-twice?ac=1&from_search=true# https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33382313-hullmetal-girls?ac=1&from_search=true# https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31570825-competence?ac=1&from_search=true#
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30238163-ace-of-shades?ac=1&from_search=true# https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32600743-call-of-fire?ac=1&from_search=true# https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32173635-kiss-of-the-royal?ac=1&from_search=true

Are you planning to participate in #ARCAugust? If so, what are you reading?


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Review: Kill the Farm Boy by Kevin Hearne and Delilah S. Dawson

Kill the Farm Boy
(Tales of Pell #1)
Kevin Hearne and Delilah S. Dawson
Release: July 17, 2018
Goodreads Amazon
Once upon a time, in a faraway kingdom, a hero, the Chosen One, was born . . . and so begins every fairy tale ever told.

This is not that fairy tale.

There is a Chosen One, but he is unlike any One who has ever been Chosened.

And there is a faraway kingdom, but you have never been to a magical world quite like the land of Pell.

There, a plucky farm boy will find more than he's bargained for on his quest to awaken the sleeping princess in her cursed tower. First there's the Dark Lord who wishes for the boy's untimely death . . . and also very fine cheese. Then there's a bard without a song in her heart but with a very adorable and fuzzy tail, an assassin who fears not the night but is terrified of chickens, and a mighty fighter more frightened of her sword than of her chain-mail bikini. This journey will lead to sinister umlauts, a trash-talking goat, the Dread Necromancer Steve, and a strange and wondrous journey to the most peculiar "happily ever after" that ever once-upon-a-timed.

You know that feeling when you finish a book and you know that if you had read it while in a different mood that you would have liked it more than you did? That was me with Kill the Farm Boy. I think if I had waited a read this when I was in the mood for Monty Python-esque humor I would have liked it a whole lot more. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy it but I found it only okay in my current mood. Although, I really love the cover! The art department seriously deserves a round of applause for how stunning it is.

Let's talk about what I liked. It's fun. It takes a lot of the fantasy tropes and stereotypes for certain characters and turns them on their head. I loved that part of the book! It starts off with a drunken pixie anointing a Chosen One, Worstley, and making his goat talk (Gustave reads very much as a goat version of Donkey from Shrek). The characters were great! I especially loved the Dark Lord Toby, who is really fond of cheese, and Poltro, the assassin who is afraid of chickens. There's a lot to like about a book full of murder, love, and unexpected transformations.

On the flip side, I didn't find it as funny as it was marketed to be. I want to say that the authors were trying too hard to be funny but since humor is subjective we'll just say that this book just wasn't my kind of humor. It was overly filled with puns and tended to rely on crude humor and lots of poop jokes which have only ever been funny to me in considerably smaller amounts. That being said, I can see that lots of people will love it for the very reasons I didn't. It's very much like how I don't find the Deadpool movies funny but loads of people do.

I had a lot of high expectations going in because I love Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid Chronicles and Delilah S. Dawson's Blud series. And I found traces of what I loved about both of those series in this book. In my opinion, if you're thinking of picking this one up, you should flip through the first few pages to see if this will be your kind of thing or not.

I might pick up the next book just to see what happens but as of right now I'm not too excited about it.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

  3 / 5 Stars

Recommended for fans of: Monty Python, Mel Brooks, and The Princess Bride.

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