Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Month in Review: October 2013

Hey everyone! It's been a while since I've posted something of substance hasn't it? I'm super sorry, but I'm still on hiatus! Once I get back though, I plan on scheduling a bunch of stuff (I currently have 5 drafts, plus a few upcoming blog tours, and then reviews of anything I've read or watched since the beginning of the hiatus), so stick with me a bit longer! But either way, here's a look at what happened this month!

5 Blog Related Things
1) I was nominated for the Liebster Award (which I have yet to post about).
2) I hosted my first giveaway!
3) I figured out a potential new blog name.
4) 3 month blogoversary!!
5) I decided to go on hiatus.

5 Things Relating to Books
1) I've received SO many new books. I'm already running out of room (and time)!
2) I spent wayy too much money on new books.
3) My parents decided to let me go to the Fierce Reads signing in Nov.
4) I breezed through Unremembered.
5) I STILL haven't finished my tour books. O.o

5 Things Relating to TV/Music
1) I admitted to myself, once and for all, that NCIS:LA is now better than NCIS.
2) I finally watched the Rings of Akhaten. One more episode closer to being caught up!
3) I decided that I was going to start watching Breaking Bad...someday.
4) Continued to fall in love with Snow Patrol.
5) Am still eagerly awaiting The Wanted's new album!

5 Personal Things
1) Decided to attempt NaNo this year
2) Still freaking out about my MUN conference.
3) A few really cool, awesome authors started to follow me on Twitter!!!
4) Began to plan a cool blog event with Cal.

Here are some great posts you may have missed this month!
NCIS:LA Review Bundle
TAIT: Online Friends and Why They Rock
Hiatus Announcement!
This Song Will Save Your Life Review
My Song, Determination (Is a Good Thing)
50 Random Facts About Me Tag
3 Month Blogoversary!

How was your month? What would you like to see on this blog once I resume blogging again?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tour: Twisted by KayCee R.

twisted tour

twisted
Twisted Cayden Rivers wants nothing more than to be normal, but we don’t always get what we want. For years he has been hiding a secret, afraid of being labeled a “freak”. Every day he goes to school, plays football, spends time with his girlfriend, and helps carry his drunken adopted father to bed. Nobody knows the truth about his unnatural speed and strength, including his life-long friend Camilla. Suddenly, four strangers enter Cayden’s life, and not only do they know his secret, they also have one of their own. With their help, Cayden discovers there is more to his power, something much more dangerous. Something other people will kill to possess. Camilla wishes her parents were around more. She gets lonely sleeping in her big empty house night after night. Sure, she has all the money she could ever need, but the only person who is there for her is Cayden. He has his own family and a girlfriend who takes up most of his time, so Camilla knows he won’t be there for her forever, and recently he’s been acting really strange. Will Cayden be able to keep his secret and his friendship with Camilla, or will his new found power destroy everything, including his own life? Switching between Cayden and Camilla's point of view, Twisted will leave you aching for more.   

EXCERPT: 
"I don’t know how to explain how I am, what I am. Ever since I hit puberty, I’ve been different. I was thirteen when the changes started happening. I started getting incredibly fast and strong. It wasn’t normal. I wasn’t normal. I was turning into a freak. I could crumple a brick in my hand like it was a piece of paper. When I ran, I was passing cars on the freeway and that wasn’t even me running at full speed. When I was running at full speed I wasn’t much more than a blur to anyone else. I never understood how this happened, or why it happened to me."

kayceeKayCee R KayCee is a 24 year old self-published author from Cleveland, Ohio. KayCee has always loved reading. After a re-occurring dream she decided to try writing about it. She wrote the first installment of Twisted when she was 20. “I kept having this dream about these twins, and then I just decided to run with it. I wrote the beginning, the end, and then filled in the middle.” KayCee finished the book in 8 months and then decided to share the book online. After seeing people get interested in the book and the characters, she decided to write another book and turn Twisted into a series. KayCee has finished four novels in the Twisted series and is currently working on the fifth book.


Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 11/4/13
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Summary Saturday 10/19/13

I hope you all had a great week! This may or may not be my last Summary Saturday for a few weeks because I'm still on hiatus and probably won't be posting many reviews, just quick features or stuff like that (but don't even count on those; a lot of them are just already scheduled, so).

Anyway, here's a look at this past week!

Sunday
Showcase Sunday/STS
Cerberus Tour
Announcement and Giveaway!
Summary Saturday (b/c it was a day late)

Monday:
Twisted Book Blast
Music Monday

Tuesday:
Sisters in Love Book Blast
Lila Shortcuts Tour

Wednesday:
Sworn to Conflict Cover Reveal

Thursday:
Elemental Enmity Cover Reveal

Friday:
Jamie Baywood Guest Post

Saturday:
Comments Heads-Up
NCIS:LA Review Bundle!!!

I hope you all have a great week ahead of you! Love you all!

Review: NCIS:LA Bundle



(Note: Please excuse the really light blue hearts. I'm going to fix them ASAP, but I've been busy.)

Ascension (Aired 9/24)

This isn't related to the episode, but confession: I'm TERRIBLE at remembering TV show plots. I'll know that I've watched an episode, but I won't remember the ending (most of the time), and after a few days, I would not have a clear recollection of the episode. But anyway, I shall review it to the best of my ability.

Moving on, the episode was on the one hand predictable, but on the other hand, the execution was done so well that you're thinking about more than that. It was an extremely emotional episode, but I think the cast and writers did a great job of really portraying not only the characters and their reactions to the events but also of portraying PTSD. So many shows try to show trauma, but they don't execute it well, unlike this episode.

I'm also really glad that they got in a solid Sam and Deeks scene without making them out of character. Sam's apparent ability to bounce back fits his character, as he's an ex-Navy SEAL. And Deeks' reaction fits him and his personality as well.

And not to get to in depth with my own biases, I'm glad that they brought up, in some ways, Deeks and Kensi's current relationship. You can visibly see them treading on thin water, but you can still see the affection there. Clearly, the events have to affect Deeks and thus his relationship with Kensi. And I suppose it was their way of addressing the kiss. I'm glad the showrunners aren't rushing to get them together, but I do hope that the showrunners are smart enough to learn from NCIS and not drag it out too long. At the moment, I think they'll find that happy medium.

They really used this episode to tie up some loose ends from the last season. But the one thing that was extremely predictable and a bit frustrating was that they kept Janvier alive. It was clear that NCIS:LA wasn't going to get rid of him, but honestly, I think they need a new arc. They got away with it for so long because it made sense because of both Callen and Janvier's personalities. But it's gotten to the point where I'm just like, "Come on! I know what the finale will probably relate to..."


Impact (Aired 10/1)

This episode definitely makes the list as one of my favorites. If Ascension handled PTSD well, Impact did so with flying colors. I am so happy that they didn't dismiss the effects of torture on Sam because even the toughest of guys will break down. I loved seeing Nate back because I just love Nate, but it's clear that he still has a close relationship with the team. I'm glad that he was the one brought in to talk to Sam and Deeks, even if neither of them wanted it. Not only did Nate bring up a hidden side to Sam, but he was really able to get to the heart of Deeks' relationship with Kensi.

This episode was definitely a lot more character driven than anything, but I'm glad they're taking the time to develop and delve into the effects of the traumatic events from last season. They could have easily brushed it off, but they're using it to their advantage. And for that I am grateful.

And lastly, of course, I HAVE to bring up the Deeks/Kensi scene at the end. I liked seeing them just hanging out as friends. You can tell how much Kensi really cares about Deeks, even if she's scared to admit it. It's a sweet, touching scene. It hints at possibilities, but it leaves enough open that anything could happen. And I love that.

Omni (Aired 10/8)

I was so disappointed in this episode after the last two episodes, but maybe it was just me.

Firstly, I felt that the case was pretty easy to figure out, and I pretty much knew who had done it as soon as we first met the guy. It was probably enough to convince and trick some people, but I'm sure that for many people, it was predictable. And this episode was a lot less character-centric as the previous two.

Now, that doesn't mean there wasn't anything. There was still a lot about Deeks recovering, but it fell a bit flat in both that area, as well as others. Yes, of course the whole deal with Deeks and shooting is going to be a hot topic, but I still felt like something was missing. The way that Kensi joked about Deeks' ordeal seemed so insensitive in a time wen she should have been on high alert.

I did enjoy the Nell/Eric scenes, but even that seemed to be a filler. Sure, it was hilarious, and it was so great to see Eric stumbling over his own words, but there wasn't really any need for the whole pants and girl's night out ordeal. It seemed like the producers were trying to hard to show things building up between Eric and Nell, but it wasn't executed as well as they probably thought it was.

I'm still a bit iffy on how I feel about this episode, but for now, my rating:


Comments Heads-Up

Hey, guys! Just a quick heads-up. Some of my posts aren't allowing me to comment, so if I haven't responded to you, that's why! If you're not able to comment on any of my posts, please let me know! Thanks!

Jess

Friday, October 18, 2013

Guest Post: Jamie Baywood


Today, I'm welcoming Jamie Baywood on the blog! She was kind enough to offer to write a guest post, so here we go!
~~~
It was always my dream to live abroad when I was growing up in California. I had bad dating experiences in California and read in a New Zealand tour book that the country’s population at 100,000 fewer men than women. I wanted to have some me time and an adventure. New Zealand seemed like a good place to do so. Although I intended to have a solo adventure I ended up meeting my husband in New Zealand.

I consider myself an accidental author. I didn’t go to New Zealand with the intentions of writing a book about my experiences there. I had funny experiences that I had trouble believing were true. I wrote the stories down to stay sane. I wrote situations down that were happening around me and shared them with friends. The stories made people laugh so I decided to organize the stories into a book and publish in the hopes to make others laugh too.

One of the first people I met was Colin Mathura-Jeffree from New Zealand’s Next Top Model. I had no idea who he was or that he was on TV when I met him. He is friends with my former flatmate. We had a steep staircase that I kept falling down. Colin taught me to walk like a model so I wouldn’t fall down the stairs.

In New Zealand, I had a lot of culture shock. One of the most memorable moments was learning the meaning of the Kiwi slang word “rooted.” One night I was brushing my teeth with my flatmate and I said, ‘I’m really excited to live in this house because I have been travelling a lot and I just need to settle down, stop traveling and get rooted’. He was choking on his toothbrush and asked me if I knew what that meant because it had a completely different meaning in New Zealand than it does in the States.

I had the opportunity to write and perform for Thomas Sainsbury the most prolific playwright in New Zealand. I performed a monologue about my jobs in the Basement Theatre in Auckland. The funny thing about that experience was Tom kept me separated from the other performers until it was time to perform. I was under the impression that all the performers were foreigners giving their experiences in New Zealand. All of the other performers were professional actors telling stories that weren’t their own. At first I was mortified, but the audience seemed to enjoy my “performance,” laughing their way through my monologue. After the shows we would go out and mingle with the audience. People would ask me how long I had been acting. I would tell them, “I wasn’t acting; I have to go to work tomorrow and sit next to the girl wearing her dead dog’s collar around her neck.”

I love making people laugh more than anything else. I feel very grateful when readers understand my sense of humor. I plan to divide my books by the countries I’ve lived in. My next book will be about attempting to settle in Scotland.
~~~
Wow! Thanks so much, Jamie! It definitely sounds like you've had some interesting experiences!

About the Book:
Getting Rooted in New Zealand by Jamie Baywood
Publisher: Self/Createspace
Release Date: April 21st, 2013
Craving change and lacking logic, at 26, Jamie, a cute and quirky Californian, impulsively moves to New Zealand to avoid dating after reading that the country's population has 100,000 fewer men. In her journal, she captures a hysterically honest look at herself, her past and her new wonderfully weird world filled with curious characters and slapstick situations in unbelievably bizarre jobs. It takes a zany jaunt to the end of the Earth and a serendipitous meeting with a fellow traveler before Jamie learns what it really means to get rooted. 




About the Author:
Jamie Baywood grew up in Petaluma, California. In 2010, she made the most impulsive decision of her life by moving to New Zealand. Getting Rooted in New Zealand is her first book about her experiences living there. Jamie is now married and living happily ever after in the United Kingdom. She is working on her second book.

You can find Getting Rooted in New Zealand on Amazon.
You can find Jamie on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Amazon.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cover Reveal: Elemental Enmity Series

I'm excited to bring you the cover re-reveal for author Christie Rich and her Young Adult series, Elemental Enmity!  These books are all released and available for sale, so be sure to pick up a copy today, especially since Five, the first book, is available for FREE!

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Smashwords | Excerpt

About the Elemental Enmity Series:


Rayla Tate is an ordinary girl who wants a bit of freedom from her controlling aunt. When she leaves her hometown, the one place that could have protected her from the fae, to pursue her dreams in the art world, she discovers a new life full of adventure, just not what she expected.

When the world of the fae comes chasing after her, Rayla must learn what her role is in the age old battle for dominance between human and fae. The two worlds collide, bringing her step by step closer to her true destiny and the foe of a lifetime.


True evil rests in the shadows and will do anything to steal Rayla’s power. She must fight for her freedom and those she loves, both fae and human. Will Rayla overcome the odds and free a people enslaved by darkness, or will she find her world plunged into an unimaginable abyss of destruction?


Elemental Enmity is a story about free will, power, love, lust, overcoming inner and outer demons, and the ultimate battle of good versus evil that exists inside each of us. True power comes from within, a lesson, like all of us, Rayla must learn.


Join Rayla on a journey of a lifetime and discover what it means to be truly in love. Five, Elemental Enmity, Book One is FREE on all major e-retailers. I hope you’ll pick up a copy and enjoy a read on me!


About the author:I grew up daydreaming about fairytales, and my love for discovering new worlds has never died. I am not one of those writers who always knew I would write. I thought that was what other people did until one day, a few years ago, I took a challenge from a friend and typed my first words. My journey has been wonderful, and I cannot imagine a day where I would ever give up writing. My love for reading is what fueled my imagination in the first place and still does. When I am not writing or reading, I enjoy family time with my husband and two children. My family and I live in a quiet community in Northern Utah, and I am so thankful for the rich life I have been blessed with.


Find the author: 

Giveaway:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Cover Reveal: Sworn to Conflict by Terah Edun (+Int Giveaway)



Sworn to Conflict by Terah Edun (Book 3)
Publisher: Self
Release Date: December 6th, 2013
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Coming of Age
Ciardis Weathervane fought for the living dead and won. But worse than taking on a mass murderer, was her discovery that she had been deceived by her friends. Now she needs to not only fight a war in the North and survive, but also decide where she stands in the midst of competing sides.

A threat to all she holds dear lies in the North and her heart is not the only thing she might lose. A massive army awaits in the mountain pass, surging closer to the gates of the southern lands. Nothing the Algardis army has done so far has dissuaded their march forward and Ciardis finds out that her powers to enhance are needed now more than ever.

As she faces her greatest fears on the battlefields and her heart is torn between her love of Sebastian and loyalty to her family, Ciardis must choose her fate carefully. For in her path, lies the destiny of the empire.

This third novel continues the story of Ciardis Weathervane from Sworn To Transfer. 
On Sale on Amazon, iTunes & Barnes & Noble on Dec 6, 2013

Connect With Terah: Author WebsiteTwitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Other Books in the Series


Series Order Links:

Sworn To Raise (Book One)

Sworn To Transfer (Book Two)

International Giveaway!

Terah is giving away 1 signed copy of Sworn To Transfer, 1 eARC of Sworn To Conflict, and 1 ebook of Sworn To Raise or Sworn To Transfer. There are 3 total winners! CLICK HERE to enter! Good Luck!

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tour: Lila Shortcuts by Sarah Alderson


Lila Shortcuts by Sarah Alderson
Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK
Release Date: October 1st, 2013
Five compelling new short stories based in the world of HUNTING LILA. Told from the perspectives of Alex, Jack, Demos, Amber and Suki - fans of this thrilling series now have a chance to delve into the minds of other characters, and see what they really think! 


For my stop, I'll be interviewing the character, Jack, who is one of the five people featured in this book!

Me: Hi, Jack!

Jack: Hi.

Me: How are things with Amber?

Jack: I have no idea what you're suggesting... She's doing OK. And I'm just trying to be there for her. We're good friends and I think a lot of her. Whether that turns into something else, we'll see. You'd have to ask her. I know what I'd like to happen but we've both been through a lot these past months so I think taking it slow is a good idea.

Me: Have you warmed up to Lila & Alex any?

Jack: No comment.

Me: Have you kicked Alex's ass for anything to do with Lila?

Jack: Not yet. There's always time though.

Me: Now you're not part of the Unit, what are you planning on doing?

Jack: I made some money out of the Stirling shares I ditched before the explosion so I'm sitting tight at the moment. Just bought a new apartment in the bay area and renovating that. I'm looking at my options, trying to figure them out. I might even go back to school. I'm thinking maybe I'd make a good doctor.

Me: You went through quite a transformation - how was that for you?

Jack: Mind-blowing. But not as disturbing as seeing my sister dressed in nurse's uniform. That had to be the worst rescue plan in history. To be honest with you, waking up from a coma and finding out I was a psy had nothing on discovering what the unit was really about nor on discovering what my best friend had been up to with my sister.
~~~
Giveaway! You can enter to win a copy of The Sound, Hunting Lila, OR a copy of Losing Lila HERE

You can find Sarah on her official website or on Twitter.

Book Blast: Sisters in Bloom by Melissa Foster


Sisters in Bloom by Melissa Foster
Publisher: World Literary Press
Release Date: September 9th, 2013
You loved Danica and Kaylie in SISTERS IN LOVE, find out what happens next with SISTERS IN BLOOM

Kaylie Snow has always been the fun, flirty, pretty sister. Now, her burgeoning baby bump, hormone infused emotions, and faltering singing career are sending her into an unexpected identity crisis. Watching her older sister Danica glide through a major career change and a new relationship with the grace of a ballerina, Kaylie’s insecurities rise to the forefront—and her relationship, with fiancé Chaz Crew, is caught in the crossfire.

Chaz Crew has everything he’s ever wanted: a lovely fiancé, a baby on the way, and soon, the film festival he owns will host its biggest event ever. When he’s called away to woo the festival’s largest sponsor—and the lover he’s never admitted to having—secrets from his past turn his new life upside down.

With her baby shower around the corner, and her fiancé’s big event looming, the pressure is on for Kaylie to pull herself together—and for Chaz to right his wrongs. In a few short weeks, the couple who had it all figured out will learn things about life and love that may change their minds—and their hearts.

SISTERS IN BLOOM is a testament to the bond of sisters, the strength of women, and the pains and delights that accompany motherhood. A book for every mother, sister, and daughter, SISTERS IN BLOOM will resonate with readers who love to explore family dramas 
Melissa Foster is the award-winning author of four International bestselling novels. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, the World Literary Café. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa is also a community builder for the Alliance for Independent Authors. She has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine.

Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.

Visit Melissa on The Women’s Nest, Fostering Success, or World Lit Cafe. Join Melissa and the YaYa Writer Girls at their annual in-person event. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.


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You can find Sisters in Bloom on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Music Monday 10/14/13

I had nothing in mind until I put my iTunes on shuffle to make a playlist for my friend. Let me tell you, I have well over 2k songs. However, I haven't actually listened to quite a large number of those songs. But I came across this song, and I can't believe I didn't listen to it before.


I'm not going to lie. I've loved David Cook ever since American Idol. I always wanted him to win, if I remember correctly. Or at the very least, when it got down to him and David Archuleta, I wanted Cook to win. I think he's a fabulous singer, and it's so for me to see that though he certainly has come far, people forgot about him after a while. I'll admit that after some time, I did too, but now I'm back, and I'd love for him to release a new album soon. He definitely has talent, and I hope that he continues to release new music for those of us that have stayed fans long after others left.

Book Blast: Twisted by KayCee R


twisted
Twisted Cayden Rivers wants nothing more than to be normal, but we don’t always get what we want. For years he has been hiding a secret, afraid of being labeled a “freak”. Every day he goes to school, plays football, spends time with his girlfriend, and helps carry his drunken adopted father to bed. Nobody knows the truth about his unnatural speed and strength, including his life-long friend Camilla. Suddenly, four strangers enter Cayden’s life, and not only do they know his secret, they also have one of their own. With their help, Cayden discovers there is more to his power, something much more dangerous. Something other people will kill to possess. Camilla wishes her parents were around more. She gets lonely sleeping in her big empty house night after night. Sure, she has all the money she could ever need, but the only person who is there for her is Cayden. He has his own family and a girlfriend who takes up most of his time, so Camilla knows he won’t be there for her forever, and recently he’s been acting really strange. Will Cayden be able to keep his secret and his friendship with Camilla, or will his new found power destroy everything, including his own life? Switching between Cayden and Camilla's point of view, Twisted will leave you aching for more. 



kaycee
KayCee R KayCee is a 24 year old self-published author from Cleveland, Ohio. KayCee has always loved reading. After a re-occurring dream she decided to try writing about it. She wrote the first installment of Twisted when she was 20. “I kept having this dream about these twins, and then I just decided to run with it. I wrote the beginning, the end, and then filled in the middle.” KayCee finished the book in 8 months and then decided to share the book online. After seeing people get interested in the book and the characters, she decided to write another book and turn Twisted into a series. KayCee has finished four novels in the Twisted series and is currently working on the fifth book.


  BookBlast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 10/31/13 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Showcase Sunday/STS 10/13/13

FINALLY getting this up! Sorry it's SO late.

(You'll probably have to turn up the volume halfway through. Also, I start to mumble a bit. SORRY! And sorry about the weird dimensions of the video.)

Books and ebooks Mentioned (In Order of Appearance)
The Timeless Classic on Novel Writing by E.M. Forster

CDs Mentioned

Links:

Summary Saturday (a day late)

*I am still on hiatus*

Hey, guys! Sorry this is a day late, but it kind of slipped from my mind until right now. Whoops!

Sunday
50 Random Facts About Me
Showcase Sunday/STS
My Songs: Determination (Is a Good Thing) *Inspired by Crewel*

Monday
Music Monday
Review: This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

Tuesday
TV Tuesday: How I Manage My TV Shows During the School Year

Wednesday
Waiting on Wednesday

Thursday
N/A

Friday
Cover Reveal: Born of Deception
Reader's Choice #4: In Which I'm Overwhelmed With Options

Saturday
N/A


Announcement (+Giveaway!)

Hello! *waves*

As you can tell, I haven't been posting much lately. Part of it is that I've been procrastinating a lot on Twitter. But the other part of it is school work and all that "fun" stuff. That being said, I do have some reviews coming up, some even hopefully today.

HOWEVER, I will be taking a slight break from blogging. This is partially due to just being really busy (I have dance 3x a week, I recently got a tutoring job (probably 2x a week), I volunteer, and I still have homework and tests to deal with), but partially because my grades have slipped a bit from last year, and I need to keep them up/pull them back up. I also have an MUN conference in early November, so I'm trying to focus on that.

I am also participating in NaNoWriMo (although I'm still not sure exactly what I'm doing), so I really actually want to win this year because I don't know how feasible that is at the moment. It will also cut into my TV watching and sadly, book reading. I do have tours scheduled for November, so I do still have to read, but I have a large TBR immediately pile right now, and I want to get as much of it read as I can (probably won't succeed with that).

THEREFORE, I will be taking a break from now until the end of November. I will most likely still be around on Twitter because I can't give that up, but I'll try to be on less. I will try to schedule some posts, but I'm not sure how much I can get done. I will still have my tour posts. And I will still review when I can (probably not during November). I just don't want to feel as if I have to get something posted. I'm going to try to host another giveaway when I get back to thank everyone for sticking around and to get people to remember my blog again. ;)

BUT before I go, I want to announce my very first giveaway! I actually haven't talked to my parents about this, but I'm sure that as long as I pay, they'll let me do it. SO! I've had an extra copy of The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson for some time now, but I've never known what to do with it. Given that it's so close to Halloween, I figured it'd be a great book to give away! It is a sequel, but I promise that the series is great so far. It's not creepy, per say, but it's still a viable Halloween read. I hope there's some demand for it, despite having been out for a while now. Enjoy, y'all!



Giveaway Rules:
~13+ or with parent's permission
~US ONLY (Sorry INT followers!)
~Winner has 48 hours to reply. If winner does not respond, another winner will be chosen.

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Love you all!


Tour: Cerberus by P.K. Gallagher

cerberus tour

cerberus
Cerberus: Book 1 of Parish by P.K. Gallagher Paranormal YA Fantasy
For Kaeden Parish, life in Solace has always followed certain rules—everything makes sense, everything can be planned for, and everything is as it seems. Unfortunately, the secret harbored by his gorgeous, albeit guarded girlfriend is about to shatter all of that. After a successful attack on his life opens his eyes to a world of war, shadows, and supernatural creatures—a world he didn’t plan for—Kaeden finds himself resembling the sort of monster he has always feared. As he desperately struggles to resist a new temptation, danger draws ever nearer, threatening the ones he loves most. A prophecy tells of a final battle and great destruction, and Kaeden must decide which side he is on, a choice that could mean the end of the world. In Book 1 of the Solace Series, P.K. Gallagher pulls readers into a realm where good and evil are at war, and the outcome of it all rests on one young man’s decision to either go and live...or stay and die. This is where the story of Parish begins. 
Excerpt:

And suddenly the man was right in front of him.

“What the—!” Kaeden jumped back, shocked. 

“Oh, but you are,” Rhiam said. “I can make the hunger go away altogether, you know. Make it so that everything is how it once was. My reasons for wanting this information and what you think of them are really of very little consequence. If you’ll get it to me without question, I’ll give you what you want in equal fashion. I will give you this.” He made a motion with his hand and above it appeared a small dagger.

Startled, Kaeden swore and stumbled back only to trip and fall backwards against a sofa. Rhiam squatted beside him, a patronizing smile on his face, the dagger hovering just above his palm. It was maybe eight inches long with a handle that looked uncannily like bleached bone and a blade the color of blood.

And it materialized out of freaking nowhere, Kaeden thought in awe. He should have been throwing a fit; in fact, normally, he was certain he would have been. However, he was oddly calm right then as he looked at the dagger. The blade gave off an eerie, incandescent glow that eased his disquiet and hunger.

“You’re not joking about all this, are you?” he asked weakly.

Rhiam’s smile widened. “Do you think it’s funny?” Kaeden did not, and he knew it must show. “The blade is made of a stone we’ve named Cerberus,” he said. “It drains a…vampire’s immortality and the thirst for blood needed to sustain it.” 

Kaeden flinched at the word, and it occurred to him that this was an all or nothing deal. Either he believed Rhiam’s entire story or none of it, meaning that if he believed that Rhiam could help him with his Cerberus stone, he’d have to believe that he truly had become a vampire. He couldn’t accept that, could he? He was human. He was Kaeden. Things like vampires just didn’t exist. And people can’t make things appear out of thin air or blow things up with a wave of their hand, but you’ve seen it done. He put a hand to his heart but felt nothing. He swallowed.

“How does it work?” How did this happen?

“It’s very straightforward, really. You simply drive the blade into your heart, and it will take care of the rest.” Kaeden looked at the dagger. It may have been small, more for decoration than combat, but it was wicked sharp and would no doubt kill someone very quickly if thrust through that person’s vital organs.

“You have got to be kidding me.” This has to be some kind of joke. 

“Come now,” Rhiam said. “Don’t be so negative. You do want me to go away, don’t you? For everything to go away? For everything to fit into your nice little mold of sane and insane again? If you don’t now, you will soon. As soon as a dryyd comes after you again—”

“Stop it.” Where’s Hagan? 

“—As soon as you have to drink blood—”

“I said stop.” Where’s my heartbeat. 

“—As soon as you kill someone—”

“Shut up!” Kaeden shouted, scrambling to his feet and putting distance between himself and Rhiam. He scratched roughly at the back of his head. He just didn’t know. He didn’t know what he believed, he didn’t know what he was going to do, he felt like he didn’t know anything at all. He’d outlined his life so perfectly, planned everything so perfectly, complete with Plan Bs and even contingency plans for those. This, however, was something he’d never planned for, had never in a million years expected, and he had no idea how to deal with it, or even how to modify his perfectly laid out schemas to accept it. For the first time in years, he simply didn’t know what to do.

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Author P.K. Gallagher  Despite writing stories that take place almost exclusively in New England, speculative young adult fiction author P. K. Gallagher has lived in the suburbs of the south her entire life. It is to this that she attributes her love of the fantastic and the supernatural—writing such things was her only escape from the monotony of Suburbia. Gallagher graduated from Florida A&M University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a fervent desire to never set foot inside a newsroom again. She currently lives in Atlanta and divides her time between working a day job, finishing her works in progress, and perfecting her plans for world domination.

Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 10/25/13 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 11, 2013

Reader's Choice #4: In Which I'm Overwhelmed With Options

I've borrowed and won and received so many new books recently that I have no idea what order to read them in. Below I shall list out the books/music/tv shows that I have on my Must Be Done/Watched/Read list, as well as some context on my situation with that book/album or artist/show. And you can let me know in the comments what you'd personally like to see first on this blog, but feel free to write out a whole list. Every opinion helps!

Cover Reveal: Born of Deception by Teri Brown


Born of Deception by Teri Brown (Born of Illusion #2)
Publisher: Balzar & Bray (HarperTeen)
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Budding illusionist Anna Van Housen is on top of the world: after scoring a spot on a prestigious European vaudeville tour, she has moved to London to chase her dream and to join an underground society for people like her with psychic abilities. Along with her handsome beau, Cole Archer, Anna is prepared to take the city by storm.

But when Anna arrives in London, she finds the group in turmoil. Sensitives are disappearing and, without a suspect, the group’s members are turning on one another. Could the kidnapper be someone within the society itself—or has the nefarious Dr. Boyle followed them to London?

As Cole and Anna begin to unravel the case and secrets about the society are revealed, they find themselves at odds, their plans for romance in London having vanished. Her life in danger and her relationship fizzling, can Anna find a way to track down the killer before he makes her his next victim—or will she have to pay the ultimate price for her powers?

Set in Jazz-Age London, this alluring sequel to Born of Illusion comes alive with sparkling romance, deadly intrigue, and daring magic.
~Goodreads~Amazon~
Book #1: Born of Illusion

About the Author: Teri Brown 

I’m not sure who to tell you about here because I’m actually two people rolled into one. As a responsible mother of teens, I show one persona to the world. That person is driven, conservative and level headed. But the other part of me just never grew up. She is rebellious, impulsive and curious.

It’s hard being both these people. They’re often at odds.

The mother part of me knows I should put a cap on how many animals we take in. The teen part of me wants to save them all. We have five cats and two dogs. Who do you think is winning?

Even now. The mother part wants to make a meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and a tossed salad. The teen part wants to order a pizza, work on my website and check my Facebook.
Luckily, though my two halves don’t always agree, both of us live happily in Portland, Oregon, with a husband and too many animals. And we both love to write and write and write..



Giveaway Rules:
~US Only
~Must be 13 or older to enter

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday 10/9/13

This feature is hosted by Breaking the Spine!
For more info on this feature, see my features page.

Books:

Bonus: Unbreathable Teasers/Sneak Peeks!



TV Shows:


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

TV Tuesday: Discussion: How I Manage My TV Shows During the School Year

Let me tell you right off the bat. It's HARD. I'm behind on probably at least half of the shows I watch, so I'm definitely not an expert on this. Granted, there are different reasons for my lack of motivation to catch up, as well as time constraints. But will all the fall shows coming back, I wanted to discuss this topic. How can you manage to watch so many shows if you're busy with school and can't take the time to watch it when it airs?

The first part is keeping track of the shows you watch, the days they're on, and the episodes you've missed. For example, I know that I'm currently caught up on NCIS, NCIS:LA, and Elementary. I also know that I haven't watched anything past and including the Rings of Akhaten (Doctor Who), that I have about 6 episodes of Psych to catch up on, and that I have roughly 5 episodes of Graceland to catch up on. I also know that I'm a few episodes behind on Covert Affairs, that I'm behind by one and a half seasons of Suits, a season behind on White Collar, and about 7 seasons behind on Supernatural. And that's just the start of my list. Now, I generally try to update my Tumblr TV shows page, so I use that to keep a general idea of where I am in a TV show.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Review: This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales


This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (BYR)
Release Date: Sept. 17th, 2013
Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

Music Monday 10/7/13

More Broadway/musical related songs! (Also, fueling my love of Stark Sands.)



What more is there to say? :P

Sorry that I still haven't gotten around to another music review. Soon!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

My Songs: Determination (Is a Good Thing)

Determination (Is a Good Thing)

They try to
Dictate what I say.
They try to tell
Me what to do,
Try to stop me from
Being myself.

They tried to pull
Me down, but I
Won’t let them.
I will stand tall,
Be strong,
Be proud.
In this crewel,
Crewel world, I will
Stay free.

Showcase Sunday/STS 10/6/13


Hosted by Books, Biscuits, and Tea, Showcase Sunday is when the blogger showcases the newest books or swag they've received, including books they've received for review, books they've borrowed from libraries, and books they've bought in bookstores or on eReaders. 
(For my own blog, I will also include anything related to TV shows, movies, music, etc if I have anything to share!)

The OTHER VERSION of this is Stacking the Shelves, which I didn't realize until now. It's basically the same thing, but a lot more people participate in that one (or of the ones I know). So if you'd like to see more, check out Tynga's Reviews.


Mentioned:
Find Me by Romily Bernard
You Knew Me When by Emily Liebert

Books (in order):
The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski
Eternal by Kristi Cook
The Black Isle by Sandi Tan
Unremembered by Jessica Brody
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Tag: 50 Random Facts About Me

I was tagged by the lovely Allison, whose blog is actually titled The Lovely Grace. :P
And without further ado, here we go!

Summary Saturday 10/5/13

In all my excited-ness, I forgot about this post.

Sunday:
Set Up Sunday
Showcase Sunday/STS

Monday:
A Month in Review
Music Monday (Part 1)
Music Monday (Part 2)

Tuesday:
TV Tuesday

Wednesday:
Waiting on Wednesday
NCIS and Elementary Season Premieres

Thursday:
Leap of Faith Book Blitz
A Darkness Strange and Lovely Review

Friday:
N/A

Saturday:
Picture Me Gone Review

~~~Also: I will not be doing Set Up Sunday anymore, as I usually don't stick to it anyway. I have a calendar that I try to follow and all, but school always messes up my schedule, so I don't think I need to post something like Set Up Sunday posts.~~~

3 Month Blogoversary!!!

I was going to have pictures or something to make this post look nice and whatnot, but I'm worn out and tired and have nothing exciting to show or giveaway, SO.

But anyway, today is my 3 month blogoversary! I've come far since I've started, but I'm still not as well established as some of my other fellow 3 months or so bloggers. BUT THAT'S OKAY. I like being a small blog at the moment. Although it's a bit hectic, I can get away with not posting much some weeks because of school. I know I'll still have people that will read my blog posts and that understand.

As I said, I've come a long way since July. I've really tried to improve the quality of my posts and reviews, although I still need to work on balancing book reviews with music, TV show, and movie reviews. Back to the positive though, I've "met" some amazing people and though I may not know much about them personally, I call them my friends, and I truly love and appreciate every one of them. I have more than 10 GFC followers, which is quite a feat for me. I also have 576 Twitter followers (!). I have been reading more than I have in probably the past 3 years combined. I've learned about so many books I never would have known about. I've talked, via Twitter, to a couple of authors. I've received emails from authors asking me to review their book. I've received ARCs, books, and swag from authors (usually via bloggers). I've been approved on NetGalley. I was invited to be on a street team. I've bought more books in 2 months than I have in the past 2 years. I've stayed up past 1:00 on a school night mainly for reasons that don't include because I was procrastinating by watching TV shows (now it's because I'm blogging, reading, or talking to bloggers). I've gotten rid of my Tumblr obsession, although it's more because I've been so busy blogging that I've neglected my Tumblr. I've participated in author chats on Twitter. I've kept this up for longer than I ever thought I would. And I've been having a great time!

And before I finish, I want to say a few things.
1) THANK YOU to anyone that has ever taken the time to talk to me, help me out, give me advice, cheer me on, comment on a post, read a post, featured me in a #FF on Twitter, followed me on my blog/Twitter/bloglovin', watched one of my videos, or even came on this page and stayed on for longer than a minute.
2) The authors that have been so kind, especially those that have sent me stuff or talked to me on Twitter. (I still freak out every time, and I probably have a screenshot of at least one of your tweets to me on my iPod.)
3) Websites and blogs that have really helpful suggestions and tips and tutorials.
4) The friends I've neglected on my personal Twitter, Tumblr, or otherwise because of this blog.
5) And last, but no least, a few bloggers/friends/people that stand out above the rest for just everything. You guys have helped me so much, and I'm really glad to be able to consider you all my friends. I would not be here after 3 months if it weren't for you. You know who you are, even if I weren't about to list you all out. (Also, if I leave you out and you think you should probably be on this list, it's probably not because you don't deserve to be on the list. I might have forgotten to add you because I'm beyond tired.)
  • Nova--You and I are so alike in so many ways, and you've always cheered me on and supported me. You've helped me so much, and I just love talking to you. You're one of the few people that get it, and you're an awesome person. I am honored to be your blogging older sister. :D (ALSO! Sorry, but I still haven't gotten Winner's Curse, and no, sorry, you still can't have it, no matter how much I love you.)
  • Meredith--New Yorkers unite! I've only known you for a a bit, but you've been so kind to me. You've cheered me on since we started talking, and I just really enjoy talking to you.
  • Stacie--Like Meredith, I've only known you for a bit, but you've always given me advice, talked to me, and cheered me on (I really need another phrase to use). Also, you seriously said that you might be sending me a bday present, which is huge, and you don't get how much it means to me.
  • Crystal--Like the lovely bloggers already mentioned, you've supported me ever since we started talking. You're always there to cheer me up, and you're just fun to talk to!
  • Kayla--WHY ARE YOU GUYS ALL SO NICE?! Basically the same as everyone else above. You always cheer me up, and you're really encouraging! I love talking about NCIS, and our conversations are always fun, and they make me smile.
  • Momina--You're so sweet, and I always love talking to you!
  • TAYLOR--You've literally supported me since the beginning. I don't know if you look at all my posts, but I'm always glad when you comment on one of my posts. You're the one person I knew before blogging, and I probably would have quit a long time ago if you hadn't encouraged me. <3 you!
And some honorable mentions (aka I haven't really talked to you much or gotten to know you, but I appreciate everything, and I'd love to get to know you better):
  • Melissa
  • Jessica B
  • Katie
  • Allison
  • Laura--I have to add a little something for you because I'm really glad to have found a fellow blogger that doesn't just blog about books (though it sometimes seems like I'm just a book blogger). Also, I love responding and reading your comments! Thanks so much!
  • Candace
  • Vanessa (aka my sister)
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU


Event Recap: Books of Wonder Signing (9/22/13)

This is long overdue, but here's a quick recap of the Books of Wonder signing that I went to in September. It was my 2nd book signing ever and my first as a blogger. Needless to say, I was beyond excited.

So the author's present were Alex London, Robin Wasserman, Patrick Ness, and Gene Luen Yang.


Robin was running a bit late so it started about 15 minutes after it was supposed to. Robin explained how she had just flown back to NYC and how she had been up since 5:00 in the morning. The others, especially Patrick, teased her about it. They started by introducing themselves and explaining how they each got the idea for their books. Robin explained how she was freaking out over the fact that Patrick was there but also about how she had grown up reading a lot of horror. Alex talked about how the MC in Proxy just came out and how he never really intended to write a gay character. Gene talked about his Asian American roots, which I definitely relate to. Patrick talked about how he had always wanted to write something like More Than This but that it had never been the right time.

Then they answered some questions. I didn't write anything down and didn't have enough space on my iPod to record them, so I don't have that. (I am very sorry about this. I remember quite a bit of it, but I don't remember exact words or questions.) But they did talk about their writing habits and about writing advice. Robin talked about the word "influence," and how one of her professors had prohibited them from using the word. Patrick joked around a LOT. He's extremely entertaining and funny, and if you ever get the chance to see him, GO! Alex and Robin joked around about how Robin usually NEEDS a brownie at 2:00, but she wasn't able to get one because of her flight and then the signing, and Alex was eating a cookie. Gene was pretty quiet, but he's really nice (well, all of them are). All in all, there were just a lot of jokes, including some about Twilight and about how even though a lot of people don't see it that way, Stephanie Meyer wrote the book that she wanted to write (they were talking about advice and how you should write what you want to write about, not what others want you to write about). 



Really, it was just really fun, and they're all funny, kind, enjoyable authors. And of course, there was the signing itself. Patrick's line was HUGE, but I really excited to meet Robin. I also felt really bad because I didn't buy Proxy. :(

Anyway, here's some pictures from that.


(I was kind of hyperventilating b/c Robin is made of awesome. Also, I worked up the courage to tell her that I loved her picture with Zelda (on Maureen Johnson's twitter), but I was so nervous and excited to talk to her that I couldn't form a sentence very well. Also, I was really excited and nervous to meet her because I just learned that she had really bad scoliosis when she was younger, and as someone who has scoliosis, it's always nice to find someone that understands. (Which reminds me of a funny story Patrick told, but if you want to know about it, you'll have to ask me either in the comments or on Twitter.))
(Gene Luen Yang--He's an amazing drawer, and I got a signed poster too! Also, we talked a bit about being Asian American, which was cool.)
(Patrick Ness)
(Alex London (and Robin)--I still feel bad for not getting Proxy.)

I was originally going to take pictures of the signed books, but I haven't gotten around to it.

But here's a list of the books that I got:
The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
More Than This by Patrick Ness
Boxers&Saints by Gene Luen Yang
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
Invisibility by David Levithan and Andrea Cremer (both of whom were supposed to be there but weren't able to make it; the book was signed though)
The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller (free)

Sadly, I do not have a giveaway. Apologies!
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