Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Follower Appreciation Giveaway

Since today is Thanksgiving (and I've been pretty absent from the blog this month because of NaNoWriMo) I have decided to throw a giveaway for all of my lovely followers!  So I thought to myself, "what should I give away?"  Now, the obvious answer was "books" but because I'm not at my house today (I'm at my grandparent's) and all of my giveaway books are boxed away (well, most of them) I thought, "what do I have HERE that I could give away?"  The answer is SWAG!  Now some of you are probably thinking "really?  That's how you're going to thank us?  Swag?"  and my answer is, "YES!  Super epic swag that EVERYONE will want."  What IS that swag you ask? Take a look at all of the pictures I took!  There are separate giveaways for each set (because maybe you don't want a bajillion bookmarks but you want buttons and bracelets).  There are also two super cool POSTER giveaways, and one luck winner will get a signed book (dude, does it really get cooler than that?)  So, you want to see what you can win?  OF COURSE YOU DO!  So now, PICTURES and CONTESTS!!!

P.S. The biggest giveaway is the last one, so be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the post!

1) bookmarks/postcards/stickers/tattoos

This is by far the biggest pack and has several parts to it.  Those parts are;

Signed bookmarks

Unsigned bookmarks and a mix of signed/unsigned postcards

Stickers and (temporary) tattoos

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2) Buttons, Bookplates, and Bracelets

Bracelets pictured are for Through to You, Auracle, Starters, Beautiful Chaos, and The Last Echo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

3) Posters + Bag

 (these are two pictures of the same item, they are both double sided)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

4) Vampire Academy Prize Pack


Explore the world of Richelle Mead Poster (contains spoilers for both series)

Vampire Academy official movie poster

Zvezda keychain

Rubber VA bracelet

Temporary tattoos

One signed copy of any paperback book in either the Vampire Academy or Bloodlines series (not pictured)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fine Print;

All giveaways will end on December 11, 2013 at midnight (the day I finish my first semester of college).  I am in no way getting paid for any of these giveaways and all prizes being purchased are being done so using my own money.  I cannot promise that these items will get to you by Christmas (or any other holiday) but I will do my best so that they are.  I will not be responsible for any damages that may occur during postal transportation.  Must be 13 years old to enter (or have a parent's permission).  First prize pack may not exactly match what is pictured.  If I find you are cheating in any way all entries will be removed.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Gift of Cinder Guest Review

Yesterday I posted who I shared CINDER with for The Gift of Cinder and today since she's having problems with her new blog I've decided to post her review here for now.  I want to send Victoria from a big thank you for taking time out of her busy life to read and review CINDER for me, and I'm super glad that she enjoyed it!

CINDER, by Marissa Meyer is a stunning twist on the classic Cinderella fairy tale. Unlike the version we all know so well, this Cinder is a cyborg in New Beijing. While a deadly plague takes its toll on Earth, a mysterious group of Lunar People watch from space – No one knows Cinder holds the world’s destiny in her control.
The plot is definitely science fiction and like most sci-fi novels, somewhat slow starting. However, Meyer does a fantastic job of world-building, character creation, and plot development; all the while, incorporating the basic storyline from the classic tale.
Soon you are swept into this alternate future and go on the adventure of a lifetime as Cinder fights for the world.
Even if you shy away from sci-fi novels, CINDER is one hundred percent worth giving a chance because Meyer does a phenomenal job with this very creative fairy tale re-telling.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Gift of Cinder

I got an email asking me if I wanted an ARC of the wonderful Marissa Meyer's third novel, CRESS, and of course my answer was "YES!"  All I had to do was give the gift of Cinder, so I looked at my list of blogger friends and found one that I knew would love it.

She's a new addition to that blog but I've known her for quite some time and 98% of the time we have the same opinion on books, so I knew she would love it.  I really needed to share this book with someone because it was so amazing and original.  I'm so thrilled that she gets to read this awesome book (that also happens to be by a local author), and that she gets to post her review on her new blog!

If you guys haven't read this book I highly recommend it, and you have five more days to win a signed copy to celebrate Marissa writing the first draft on the novel during NaNoWriMo! 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Interview and Review-Racing Savannah

In 2011 I read a debut novel and I just loved it.  Every few months since December that author, Miranda Kenneally, has released a new book in the series.  They're not sequels but companion novels, and they're so much fun I'm thrilled to say that I have Miranda here on the blog today!  Below is my review of her NEWEST novel, Racing Savannah, the fourth book in the Hundred Oaks series.  Please help me welcome Miranda to the blog, and I might even do a giveaway, so make sure to leave her lots of comments!  Miranda's answers are bold and my responses to said answers are italicized.


1.  You write contemporary companion novels, do you ever get the urge to write a sequel?

Honestly, not really. I like Happily Ever Afters or "HEAs," and the last thing I want to do after giving my characters happiness at the end of the book is to take it away from them in a sequel. Book plots require drama and I only want to put my characters through so much. 

Excellent point.  I don't want them to go through any more drama!

2.       This is the first book that you’ve written that doesn’t have some kind of time label to go with the chapters.  Why is that?

When I was first drafting the book, I did have a time label - I wanted to show Savannah working up to a big race. But then I realized that she wasn't even a jockey at the beginning of the book - it was something she would work up to. In that regard, I knew it wouldn't make sense to include a time stamp if she didn't even start training for a race until the middle of the book.

Makes sense to me!

3.       Which of your characters is your favorite to write?

That is a tough question! No one has ever asked me this before. I'd say it's a tie between Sam Henry and Will Whitfield. Both of those ridiculous boys have so much to say.

4.       Have you ever thought about writing a short story/scene from one of the boy’s POV?

I have! I've written from the perspective of two of my book boys while trying to figure out their motivations. I wrote from Matt's POV in Things I Can't Forget. It took a while to get to know him, and it wasn't until I put him in a "fake past" scene in which he attended high school with Kate that I discovered they knew each other at camp when they were kids. I've found that if you can't figure out a plot, take your characters and put them in a new situation to discover new details. And I wrote several chapters from Jack's perspective when writing Racing Savannah. I discovered a lot about what I DID NOT want Jack to be. When I first started writing from his POV, he was very snobby and lazy. I knew I had to change that asap.

Now the question is can we ever SEE those scenes. ;)

5.       Each of your books has a…I don’t want to call it a theme, because that’s not it (although I do feel that they all have themes), there’s an activity that runs throughout them all, a sport (or in the case of Things I Can’t Forget it’s summer camp), why did you choose to do that and what can we expect for book five?

I love sports and I love strong girl characters who are working towards "something." For book 5, which is called BREATHE, ANNIE, BREATHE and comes out in July 2014, the main character is training to run a marathon on behalf of her boyfriend who died before he could run the race.

Wow, that sounds really awesome.  And don't we all love a strong girl character? 

6.       After the Hundred Oaks series is over what can we expect to see from you?

No idea! I haven't even figured out what Hundred Oaks 6 is about. I am thinking Hot Lifeguards, but I don't know. I would like to write adult contemporary romance, but I'm not sure I have the right voice for it. 

What do you guys think I should write?

Well I think that Hot Lifeguards would make an AWESOME book.  So...that.  Or at least something with a hot boy in it!  Ohh, maybe even a book told from a boy's POV!

7.       What book/series do you wish you wrote?

GRACELING, FIRE and BITTERBLUE by Kristin Cashore. 

I've only read the first one, but I did enjoy GRACELING very much.  

8.       If you could have dinner (or lunch or breakfast or tea) with any three authors throughout all of history which three would you pick?

Lisa Kleypas, JK Rowling, and Melina Marchetta. A girl-power lunch over Mexican food!

Is there really anyone who WOULDN'T like to meet JK Rowling?  

9.       And last but not least what are some books you would recommend (they can come out any time, future or past)?

2013 books I've enjoyed include STIR ME UP by Sabrina Elkins, A LITTLE TOO FAR by Lisa Desrochers, SEX AND VIOLENCE by Carrie Mesrobian, JUST ONE YEAR by Gayle Forman, and a 2014 book I blurbed and loved is BOYS LIKE YOU by Juliana Stone. 

I've read STIR ME UP and A LITTLE TOO FAR.  I have to check out SEX AND VIOLENCE and JUST ONE YEAR.  And I have to look up BOYS LIKE YOU!  Thanks so much for answering all of my questions Miranda!

Thanks so much for having me!


Most of the time sequels to contemporary books don't work all that well, because then the author has to put the character(s) through more hell so that there's still a plot, but when the novel has a companion (or two or five) I'm almost always down.  Very few people write amazing companion novels, and aside from Stephanie Perkins and Katie McGarry no one does it better than Miranda Kenneally.  Each of her books is a completely independent novel but the characters from her previous ones that pop up always add that much more to the book and I just love it.  Each of her book also has a sort of...central activity, which I enjoy reading about.  This one is, obviously, horse racing.  In 3 out of 4 of her novels she's written about something pretty foreign to me, and after I finish reading one I feel like I could go talk to someone who knows what they're talking about and actually hold mine own (although in reality that probably wouldn't end well).  And each of her novels also have a...I guess you could call it a theme or an underlying message.  They all center around the main female character and they're important messages that people need to learn or be reminded of.  Sure, the novels are relatively light and fluffy, but there's depth to them in a way that not all light books have to them, which is important.  There's also the fact that Miranda writes some pretty damn swoon-worthy boys and some pretty kick-ass/take no crap girls.  Basically I love her books, and since they're not actually sequels you can read them in any order.  That and they come out in paperback first thing so they're more affordable!!!  If you've never given Miranda's books a chance I recommend you go out and find one, or buy this one when it comes out (Miranda is also pretty cool too).  The story and characters are great and the little cameos are THE BEST.  I can't wait to see what happens in the next book and I hope to see some of my favorite characters for a page or two along with the new characters I'm sure I'll love.

Out December 3, 2013

4.5/5 dust spirits

*Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for providing me with an eARC of this book in return for an honest review.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Review-The Liar Society

When this book first came out I bought it for two reasons.  One, Kimberly Derting blurbed it, and if she liked it I'll read it.  Two, the dead best friend sending emails had the same name as me, so I had to see what was going on there.  I'm not sure what I expected when I picked up this book, but for some reason I thought it would be more...suspenseful.  Don't get me wrong, it is, I just didn't seem to connect with the suspense like I sometimes do.  My heart didn't pound, my breathing didn't increase, and so on and so forth.  Other than that I really liked it.  I have to admit it took me some time to finish this book because of classes and NaNoWriMo, so my memory on some specific details is a little foggy, which is why when I try to remember what grade Kate was in I come up short.  She did seem a little immature at some points, but given that she just lost  her best friend I'll give her a break.  The who-done-it part of the mystery didn't really surprise me as much as I would have hoped, but even knowing that the book was a more private-school type scene, I was surprised at some of the things that happened.  In truth the ending was a little disappointing, just in how it all turned out and in the fact that it maybe dragged on just a smidge too long, but seeing as it was setting up for a second book I can let that slide.  The whole email thing also has me a little confused because it comes up in the later books, so I'm curious as to how that will work out in the end as well.  Hopefully I'll be able to dig into the second and third book soon, although with the crazy number of books on my shelf that might not happen.  Fans of prep-school murder mysteries will enjoy this slightly lighter story of a spunky, bright haired heroine trying to uncover the truth about the death of her best friend, and although it deals with murder I think it would be appropriate for a higher-level younger reader as well, which is always a plus.  It and it's sequel are out, and book three comes out on the 3rd of December, all out in paperback, so this would make a lovely gift for an avid reader.

4/5 dust spirits

Saturday, November 2, 2013


I've been having trouble getting into books lately so I asked the internet what I should read and the overall consensus was that I needed to read Rainbow Rowell's newest novel.  I snagged the e-book when it was on sale so I decided that I would see what all the fuss was about.  The idea of this novel was rather surprising to me because it's about fanfic, which, although I don't read personally several of my good friends do, so that was really fascinating for me that it was part of a novel.  All over the internet I've heard pretty much nothing but good things about Rowell's YA novels, and so far I've only met one bookseller who wasn't a fan of Eleanor & Park so she has yet to read Fangirl, which is pretty amazing is you ask me.  Personally I'm not a fan of fanfiction, I mean, it exists and I know that it does, and I have no problem with it, I just don't bother to read it, although the fact that Rowell made it such a big part of the novel was a brave choice.  Maybe because of that reason I didn't find the novel as amazing as everyone else had been saying it was.  Not that it wasn't good, it was.  It was cute and funny and made me smile but it wasn't anything amazing when it came to writing or characters in my opinion.  Yes, I applaud Rowell for doing something different and for writing a character who is insecure but not overly so, and that has an interesting life and real-life problems, but it just didn't hit a major chord with me like it seemed to with everyone else.  Quite honestly the part I loved most about the book was the character development throughout the story, because that's what I think the major point was, Cath becoming more independent and grown up.  I do hope that I will be able to get this book for a friend of my when Christmas rolls around because I think she might appreciate it a little more than me.  Basically the boy is cute, the fanfic is interesting, and the characters are fun, but I wasn't blown out of the water.  I will be reading Rowell's first YA novel some time soon-ish (I hope) because I have high hopes for that one as well.  Fanfic fans will probably love this book, along with those of you who like realistic novels that are very much rooted in what I would have to say is modern culture.  Bravo Rowell, you did something amazing with this book and I hope that you continue to push boundaries and play with words because you have a real talent.

4/5 dust spirits

Friday, November 1, 2013

NaNoWriMo Giveaway

As you all know I'm going to attempt NaNoWriMo this year (writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days) and I decided that I would promote the event by doing a giveaway.  All three of the novels that I'm giving away were  NaNo novels (that doesn't mean that what got published in the end was anywhere close to the finished NaNo product, but the plot/characters stemmed from the story) and all of them have great ratings.  You don't have to follow the blog/facebook page but it does help me run these contests.  You also don't have to tweet/facebook about it but I would love it if you did because that gets the word out.

The first giveaway is for two books that are already out and have been out for quite some time (two people will win, one book each), and it's open to anyone who wants to enter.  You do get an extra entry if you're participating in NaNo this year but it's not necessary to enter.  The Night Circus is a lightly used hardback copy and Cinder is a new, signed paperback.

The second giveaway is ONLY open to those of you who are participating in NaNo this year and the prize is really fancy.  You'll have a chance to win an ARC (advanced copy) of Side Effects May Vary, which isn't out until March of next year.  All you have to do is leave a link to your NaNo profile via the rafflecopter (the accounts are free and are a great way to connect with other people in your area and all over the world participating in the event).  If you guys want to friend me my profile is here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Each book will come with swag provided by other authors who also wrote novels during NaNoWriMo and then had them published.  Authors include Jill Hathaway, Julie Murphy, Marissa Meyer, Teri Brown, Megan Bostic, and Suzanne Lazear.