Back from the underground

Hello there you guys,

it’s been a while and a lot has happened since I’ve written a blog post. I hope you’re all healthy, are wearing your masks in public spaces and protecting each other.

Here’s to a better 2021, let’s get that vaccination in and hug friends again once this damn pandemic is over. Don’t lose hope. Escape into books, do things with your hands. I’ve actually started knitting and crocheting, if you want to see my journey on that, check out my Instagram account.

Until next year.

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My most anticipated releases in 2020 – Book Edition

Good evening from Germany! So, it’s been quite some time since my last post and I did promise you guys to make the follow up post for the book edition of my most anticipated releases. It’s a bit late, but at least I’m writing it now.

(Disclaimer: all descriptions and cover pictures are taken from goodreads.)

Anyway, I’ll keep this short, these are the books that I’m most interested in this year:

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert (January 30th, 2020)

hazel

Description:

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu (March 3rd, 2020)

kingdom

Description: 

Two siblings. Two brilliant talents. But only one Mozart.

Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish–to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she’ll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in 18th century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform only until she reaches a marriageable age–her tyrannical father has made that much clear.

And as Nannerl’s hope grows dimmer with each passing year, the talents of her beloved younger brother, Wolfgang, only seem to shine brighter. His brilliance begins to eclipse her own, until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true–but his help may cost her everything.

In her first work of historical fiction, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu spins a lush, lyrically-told story of music, magic, and the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister.

Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore (January 14th, 2020)

red

Description:

Summer, 1518. A strange sickness sweeps through Strasbourg: women dance in the streets, some until they fall down dead. As rumors of witchcraft spread, suspicion turns toward Lavinia and her family, and Lavinia may have to do the unimaginable to save herself and everyone she loves.

Five centuries later, a pair of red shoes seal to Rosella Oliva’s feet, making her dance uncontrollably. They draw her toward a boy who knows the dancing fever’s history better than anyone: Emil, whose family was blamed for the fever five hundred years ago. But there’s more to what happened in 1518 than even Emil knows, and discovering the truth may decide whether Rosella survives the red shoes.

With McLemore’s signature lush prose, Dark and Deepest Red pairs the forbidding magic of a fairy tale with a modern story of passion and betrayal.

Loveless by Alice Oseman (July 9th, 2020)

loveless

Desciption:

The fourth novel from the phenomenally talented Alice Oseman – one of the most authentic and talked-about voices in contemporary YA.

Georgia feels loveless – in the romantic sense, anyway. She’s eighteen, never been in a relationship, or even had a crush on a single person in her whole life. She thinks she’s an anomaly, people call her weird, and she feels a little broken. But she still adores romance – weddings, fan fiction, and happily ever afters. She knows she’ll find her person one day … right?

After a disastrous summer, Georgia is now at university, hundreds of miles from home. She is more determined than ever to find love – and her annoying roommate, Rooney, is a bit of a love expert, so perhaps she can help.

But maybe Georgia just doesn’t feel that way about guys. Or girls. Or anyone at all. Maybe that’s okay. Maybe she can find happiness without falling in love. And maybe Rooney is a little more loveless than she first appears.

LOVELESS is a journey of identity, self-acceptance, and finding out how many different types of love there really are. And that no one is really loveless after all.


As you can see, two of the four books have already been released (and I haven’t bought them yet. Shame on me.) Are you interested in these books, or even already read one?

Sims-a-thon #2 Wrap-Up

Helloooo!

Halloween is over, November started and we’re slowly inching towards winter. This means that the Sims-a-thon Number 2 has ended and I’m here to quickly share the books I read!

As you can see I read 4 Mangas! Which is the first time my eyes ever locked onto the pages of a Manga without losing interest within seconds. Without the readathon, I probably wouldn’t have started reading Mangas anytime soon, even though I’ve been wanting to pick up Citrus ever since my boyfriend told me the story was really good and I saw that I actually liked the artwork. Anyway. Here’s my stats and which book helped me complete which challange!

Create a sim: 5 points. Citrus #1

Build a house: 2 of 3 points, since I had already read 1/3 before the readathon. MacBest

Perfect the layout: 2 points. Citrus #2

Interior design: 2 points. Citrus #3

Fall in love: 3 points. After Hours #1


Total Books: 4.75

Total Pages: 947

Total Points: 14!

That’s it from me for today, I just finished my homework and will get back to reading! See you all in the next post. Be happy and healthy, everyone. Bye!

Sims-a-thon #2 (but my first)

Hey there everyone!

It’s been a while since you’ve heard from me but my life has been crashing in at a lot of edges and I was busy holding it together, while fixing what had to be fixed. I’m actually still debating whether or not I should make a blogpost about the last year (yeah, that’s how long it took, just to make plans for getting my sh*t together). Tell me your thoughts about if I should or not, if you’d like! If you want more private info before “voting”, just let me know as well. You can simply comment or message me on Twitter/Instagram (both @jasmine_lexa). Ps: I deleted my previous private Twitter and changed it over to my second one; if anyone was wondering about the name change.

simsathon banner

Anyway, let’s get into the actual post. As none of you would know, I’m not really a gamer, but I’ve always loved playing Sims as a kid, so when I saw that there was a readathon being created just around exactly that game – I freaked out. It got me back into wanting to blog, actually. Besides having more brain capacity for everything that wasn’t fixing my messy life. The readathon has been created by a bunch of lovely bookish people, but I stumbled upon this over at Lauren’s blog. Continue reading “Sims-a-thon #2 (but my first)”

2 year anniversary giveaway! [Closed]

Hey everyone! January 9th 2018 will be my Blog’s two year anniversary and I’m finally doing a giveaway! I know you’re squealing in excitement so read on for your chance to win books worth up to 20€. You have to follow this Blog to enter (new followers welcome).

Rules:

  1. You’re only allowed to enter the giveaway if you’re of legal age (18 or 21 depending on where you live) or have the permission of your parents to enter this giveaway.
  2. Furthermore, make sure that the Book Depository ships to you. You can check this here.
  3. I will need to ask for your address to send you the book/s so please only enter if you’re okay with telling me your address. I won’t use it for anything else than sending you the book/s and will delete the info after you have received the book/s; it would be great if you could let me know once the book/s has/have arrived safely 😉
  4. You can have any amount of books you can fit into the budget of 20€. One or four, it doesn’t matter. Just let me know which ones you’d like to receive after I contact you about your win!
  5. The winner is picked randomly by Rafflecopter. Recourse to courts of law is prohibited.
  6. “Please note you are responsible for any local taxes and shipping. Any applicable local sales tax, VAT and similar taxes will depend on the tax that applies to your delivery location and any changes will be displayed in the checkout. ” -Book Depository

Enter the giveaway below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Into The Mystic Review

into mysticGoodreads blurb:

Ten lesbian/bisexual paranormal short stories…

Green Love – Have you heard about the aspen clone in the heart of Blackwood forest? Some say it’s enchanted, while others…

Dead Letter – Signed, sealed, delivered…or was it?

Seaside Escape – Just because it’s been done for generations doesn’t mean it should be.

Dressed in Wolf Skin – She was never particularly fond of werewolves, but she hated skinwalkers.

Unraveled – Summer can hack their magic, but she can’t hack her own heart.

The Holy Company – On an ancient holy path, they will come face to face with one of the local legends.

Vampire Hours – One’s a vampire. The other is human. One wants forever. The other wants everything to end.

To the Sea – Sometimes you just have to hold your breath and dive in.

Holy Water – She might be the most dangerous being in the world, but Clara is still in love with her.

Lighthouse Five – Is it possible for a mermaid and a human to build a relationship?

Note: This ARC has been provided by Laura Bailo, in exchange for an honest review.

A couple weeks ago I saw Laura Bailo’s tweet announcing e-ARCs for this anthology and after finding out that it was a collection of lesbian/bisexual paranormal short stories… I could not say no. And oh boy let me tell you guys this collection of stories is steamy! I was not prepared whatsoever.

I’m not going to give much away because I don’t want to spoil anything, so here are my thoughts on my favorites and my one DNF:

There was only one story that I absolutely couldn’t get into and ended up skipping – Vampire Hours by Jacqueline Rohrbach. This was mainly due to the repetitions of “bleep”s, “hiss” “groan” and “har har”s. I can’t deal with those words or noises for the life of me. The characters seemed flat and childish as well so I had no way of turning a blind eye on the language.

On to my favorites of this anthology!

My highlight was Dressed in Wolf Skin by Sita Bethel. A witch and a werewolf and they start off fighting each other? Both strong characters? I loved their dynamic. (4.5/5 stars)

Dead Letter by Valentine Wheeler: this story. I just ugh. It’s incredibly sweet. If you love literature (you obviously do, or you wouldn’t be reading books, let alone my review) and if you feel close to the idea of falling in love through words and presence, this is for you! (4/5 stars)

The Holy Company by Laura Bailo: this is a perfect Story for a lovely Halloween you guys! I read it at night and got spooooked. Especially the spanish aspect was amazing to me as I don’t get to read a lot of books set there. (4/5 stars)

Have you read this anthology or heard of it? Are you interested in reading it? Let me know!

Rating: 4/5 stars

One Year Anniversary and Announcement / January 9th 2017

1anni

Hi! Yes, you read that right, it’s been one year since I’ve started this Blog. Exciting and also weird, because it sure didn’t feel like a full 12 months. At all.

Here’s how it all started, this was my first post on this Blog. Click on the link if you’re interested in looking back at it.


Here’s some statistics of 2016:

The most popular post of 2016 was the single review of Knock Me Off My Feet by Dan Talevski. Read it here, if you haven’t already.

Moving on to the announcement! I currently can’t afford the giveaway I want to do, which consists of a combination of things… so I thought it would be a good idea to share what has been in the works for some weeks now (months, actually) – you can request a customized playlist! You’ll get between 8 to 15 tracks per playlist. Read more about how to request one here. (The page is still in the works, but will be finished by Wednesday, so don’t forget to check back!)

A few ideas for specific playlists you can request:

  • workout
  • wedding
  • inspirational
  • based on emotion (sad, angry, happy, in love, … you get the idea)
  • car drives
  • discover new genres
  • anything you come up with

If you need the playlist until a certain date, tell me in the subject so I can get back to you and let you know if I can fit your request in my schedule. Always consider that I’ll need at least a week to put one playlist together. If I only have one week, there won’t be as many songs, so it’s best to request two weeks in advance. (I might change the amount of time I need to create a playlist along the way, depending on my schedule apart from the blog, so always check this link, since I’ll update the page, not this post) If you want more than one playlist, you’ll logically have to wait longer. I’m asking you to not request more than one (absolute max. is two) playlists at once and only once every month, so that I can provide as many of you with a list as I can. Requesting playlists is, of course, free! I’m not doing this as a professional, therefore please bear with me.

Send your requests to this email: followingmuses@yahoo.com

Disclaimer: You’re only getting the playlist, not the songs, so I recommend you use a streaming service, YouTube or SoundCloud. Personally, I’ve been using Deezer (the free plan, it’s with ads, read here why I – currently – don’t pay for a streaming service. I’ll probably write a new post as to why I’m considering to start using the paid Deezer Plan – which I used for 3 months as they offered it for 99 Cents. Let me know if you’re interested in reading that.)

Last year I focused on 70% (?) books and 30% (? I didn’t calculate this, just guessing here) music, this year I want to spread my content more evenly on books, music, tv series/movies and articles and discussions. Hopefully you’ll enjoy most of what’s coming!

There will also be a new meme that I’m working on, hopefully I’ll introduce you all to it in spring, once I got the hang of my schedule with the playlist making, blogging in general and life.


I hope all of you had a great day! Here’s to another year of Following Muses.

Note: it was one minute before January 10th when this went up, in Germany anyway.

Book series I don’t plan on finishing

All readers will likely have at least one book series they don’t intend to ever finish. Today, I want to highlight those books; the ones that couldn’t win me over. The books with characters not written real enough or who I didn’t connect with at all. Not to forget all the books that had a promising plot, but the story didn’t develop enough, was poorly executed, etc. Even the books I simply grew out of and am not interested in like I was years ago.

But I’m rambling now, so let’s talk books! Titles link to goodreads.

  • Faith (read first two volumes) This comic was not for me. I didn’t get invested in the story at all and didn’t care about the characters either. 1 Star.
  • Fallen (read up to book 3) I really thought I would be able to force myself through the rest of these books. For some reason I enjoyed the first two books and gave them 5 stars. The third book ‘Passion’ still got 3 stars from me. If I had to rate them again, they would either get 1 or 2 stars. The MC was annoying, the storyline sounded promising, but ended up being very repetitive and told with barely any passion.
  • Magische Sechzehn / German book, English title would be ‘Magical sixteen’ (read first novel, won it in a giveaway) Enjoyable and light, but I’m not the targeted age group. My recommendation would be to read it, if you’re less than 17 years old or if you want to be reminded in how it was to be/turn 16. And obviously if you speak German, as this hasn’t been translated into another language yet.
  • The Poison Diaries (read first novel) The Poison Diaries disappointed me on so many levels. It’s one of those books you think is okay, but then after giving a rating (2 stars in my case) you really want to take another star off.
  • Twilight (read up to book 3) Don’t judge me, but I’m one of those who read the books after seeing the movies. They were alright at the time, but right now I don’t have any interest in reading the last book Breaking Dawn. It’s almost 800 pages, if it weren’t such a chunky book, I probably would have picked it up to be done with the series, but saving the time to read other books seems more logical here.

Have you read any of these books? Or are any of them on your tbr? Did you enjoy them more than me? Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear!

How to Support your Favourite Bloggers

Hello everyone! I thought about this a lot recently, especially when reading posts from my favourite Blogs – how exactly do I give back to these lovely people? What would be a good way of showing that I really enjoy what they have to say/share?

Maybe a few of you have thought the same, so I came up with this list of things you can do to support your favourite bloggers!

  • Like the posts – This is the fastest way of showing that you have read and enjoyed their post. Sometimes you might think it’s not a big support for us, but a like is definitely appreciated, because it’ll let us know you read and enjoyed the post.
  • Comment – Just leave a few words here and there. Start a discussion or simply say that you enjoyed reading their post. Commenting is great because you took the time to leave a little (or even long) message. Trust me, the Blogging community is very friendly and supportive, so you don’t have to feel nervous or be shy about commenting.
  • Leave critical Feedback – Chances are every blogger wants to improve. If you have an idea on how they could improve their writing or something they could add to their posts, say it! I guarantee you, input is much appreciated. Even if you’re just pointing out a typo or inform us that the font isn’t big enough and not very comfortable to read – thank you for helping us improve!
  • Share – if you loved, loved, loved the post, share it. This doesn’t happen every day and if you share our posts – take my word on this one – you’ll make a bloggers’ day!

There even is a financial way of supporting your favourite Bloggers – without spending any extra money.

  • Look out for Affiliate Links – If you’re on a Book Bloggers page, look for affiliate links to pages like The Book Depository*, Audible or Amazon. If you wanted to purchase a book on one of those pages anyway, do it by using their link. The Blogger will get a small commission from the items you purchased and this doesn’t even effect the price for you at all. Sometimes you even get a discount (or find out that the page your favourite Blogger orders at offers lower prices)!
*this is my affiliate link to The Book Depository

It could look like this (affiliate links/banners are marked with a red frame):

Visit Little Book Owl’s Blog (links to the page shown in the picture)

Watch Between Chapters’ Video (links to the video I took the screenshot of)


That’s all for today.  If you have any points to add, please tell me in the comments! I will be including them as an edit and, of course, give credits. I will also include a link to your Blog/Website.

Book Fangirling Award

Hello everyone! I’m sorry for being behind on posting and reading all your posts, but I’m about to catch up on at least a few  of them now. Luna over at LuniReads nominated me for the Book Fangirling Award, thank you so much!  Definitely go and check her post and blog put, she’s amazing!

It took me about two months to finally get around to writing this post (and there’s still so many Awards and Tags in my drafts).


Book Fangirling

 The rules:

  1. Create a post to accept your reward.
  2. Answer the questions at the end.
  3. Nominate 5-10 bloggers who you think also deserve this award.
  4. Come up with your own 5 questions for your nominees.

Luna’s questions (bolded):

What new release are you most excited to read in May  July?

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West all the way! Since reading The Distance Between Us I’ve been meaning to pick up her other books and this one is definitely on my tbr as well.

Do you prefer hardbacks, paperbacks or eBooks?

When I used to read mainly in German I preferred was hardbacks (but man, they’re expensive)! And after switching over to reading mainly in English I sort of went over to Paperbacks simultaneously. So right now paperbacks are my favourite.

Do you own any signed books?

I do! Two, to be exact. The tenth book in the House of Night series, Hidden, by P.C. and Kristin Cast and Bronwyn Parry’s As Darkness Falls. Both of them are German Editions. Pictures are right below. Continue reading “Book Fangirling Award”