Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Blogger Trick or Treat: Halloween Traditions

I am participating in a Halloween related thing that the ladies of Great Imaginations created. We were asked to come up with a Halloween related post. I absolutely love Halloween, and it in fact begins the greatest three months of the year (for me at least) Yet, coming up with a post was difficult for me. Nor because I couldn't think of anything, but because I had TOO many ideas. 

I am really big on traditions, so I decided to focus this post on both the traditions my mom & uncle had as kids and then the traditions I had as a kid as well as traditions I have now as an adult.

When my mom and uncle were young, their house was the "Halloween Party House" and my grandmother would serve hot chocolate and apple cider and all kinds of other yummy things. Yet, instead of having the party early in the evening, it was always after the kids had gone trick or treating. They would all be in my grandmother's house, candy spilled out all over the floor, and when these kids went home, they were on a massive sugar high. 

When I was a kid, my mom and I lived with my grandmother, but we didn't do the party thing. I was a sick kid and no one wanted to expose me to a boat-load of germs at this time of the year. Instead I went trick or treating with friends, some were from the neighborhood and some were from school. Across the street and over one house we had a very elderly neighbor who was always very generous with me and the other kids. She handed out king sized candy bars every year. When she died, my selfish 9 year old self's only thought was "No more king sized candy bars" Damn, just reading that makes me feel crappy for thinking it.

 Even when my mom and I moved out of my grandmother's house, I still trick or treated at her house with my best friend and my grandmother always had two brown sacks full of candy set aside for us. 

As an adult, my new tradition is to buy big bags of candy from Costco and keep one for myself and then use a second bag of candy for trick or treaters. I usually save the Kit Kats for last as they are my favorite candy. 

So, what were some of your Halloween traditions as a child?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #59

This feature is hosted by Tynga's Reviews

Hi guys! This week my brand new computer arrived. I am still learning how to use it as I had never used Windows 8 before so I'm struggling with mastering it. I hope I master it quickly so I'm no longer all thumbs with it.

I got 2 books from Edelweiss, 2 books from NetGalley and I was gifted a book from a friend as well. Thank you so much Bekka! I received a book for an ARC Tour. I also bought a book using a gift card I got. On Saturday, I was surprised with a package from Bloomsbury.

Here's what I added to my shelves.

Bought
The Summer I Wasn't Me by Jessica Verdi

Received for Review

-NetGalley
Chaos Theory by M. Evonne Dobson
Alex As Well by Alyssa Brugman

-Edelweiss-
All Broke Down (Rusk University #2) by Cora Cormack
On the Edge by Allison van Diepen

ARC Tour
Damsel Distressed by Kelsey Mackie

-From Publisher-
Positively Beautiful by Wendy Mills

Gifted
The Vault of Dreamers (Untitled #1) by Caragh M. O'Brien

Bloggers Mentioned
Bekka

So be sure to tell me if you've read any of these or if you are planning on it. I am hopeful this reading slump will end soon as I am frustrated with my lack of blogging lately. Don't forget to leave me links to your book haul posts!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Release Day Blast: Loop by Karen Akins



About the Book

Loop
Loop #1
Author: Karen Akins
Release Date: October 21, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

At a school where Quantum Paradox 101 is a required course and history field trips are literal, sixteen year-old time traveler Bree Bennis excels…at screwing up.

After Bree botches a solo midterm to the 21st century by accidentally taking a boy hostage (a teensy snafu), she stands to lose her scholarship. But when Bree sneaks back to talk the kid into keeping his yap shut, she doesn’t go back far enough. The boy, Finn, now three years older and hot as a solar flare, is convinced he’s in love with Bree, or rather, a future version of her that doesn’t think he’s a complete pain in the arse. To make matters worse, she inadvertently transports him back to the 23rd century with her. 

Once home, Bree discovers that a recent rash of accidents at her school are anything but accidental. Someone is attacking time travelers. As Bree and her temporal tagalong uncover seemingly unconnected clues—a broken bracelet, a missing data file, the art heist of the millennium—that lead to the person responsible, she alone has the knowledge to piece the puzzle together. Knowledge only one other person has. Her future self.

But when those closest to her become the next victims, Bree realizes the attacker is willing to do anything to stop her. In the past, present, or future.

Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & Noble

Praise:

"A creative take on romance in a high-stakes, high-concept mystery that trusts its readers' intelligence." - Kirkus

"LOOP is a page-turning adventure with some brilliant and original twists to the time travel genre. I devoured the entire book in one sitting!" - Julie Cross, Author of the TEMPEST series

"Hilarious and suspenseful with a delicious dash of romance, LOOP is a mind-bending good time!" - Melissa Landers, Author of the ALIENATED series

About the Author

Karen Akins lives in the MidSouth where she writes humorous, light YA sci-fi. When not writing or reading, she loves lightsaber dueling with her two sons and forcing her husband to watch BBC shows with her. 

Karen has been many things in her life: an archery instructor, drummer for the shortest-lived garage band in history, and a shockingly bad tic-tac-toe player.

Connect with the Author

Giveaway
Must be 13+ To Enter | Ships in US Only

One Winner will get a signed final copy of LOOP + a swag pack


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Monday, October 20, 2014

Something Terrifying Happened

Normally, I try to stay away from the drama on the Interwebs, but what has happened over the past couple days, has terrified me and has honestly made me question my own safety, and the safety of my book blogging friends. By now, I'm sure everyone has read the article. It details exactly how an author received a negative review of her book and proceeded to stalk the blogger that wrote the review, by calling at the blogger's work & showing up at the blogger's home.

I'm not going to link to it, because it's not the article I want to talk about. It's the stalking & the safety issue.

Stalking is wrong. You get that? Good.

Now I've written negative reviews many times and I honestly haven't given it a second thought. I never even considered the possibility that someone would be that incensed by my negative review, that they'd possibly hunt me down. That is the scariest thought in the world. I did have a review of this author's first book and, on Saturday afternoon, I took it off my blog because I don't want to have anything to do with this woman and that includes having her book on my blog.

About a year ago, I started a Twitter just for blogging in the attempt to separate my personal life from my blogging life. Now I've got so many people, I'd consider friends that I'm rarely on my personal Twitter anymore, and I focus just on the book blogging one.

Feeling safe was something I never even gave a second thought about when I started this blog in April 2013. I never felt actually scared by anyone. After this broke out on Saturday, I felt honestly afraid and I seriously considered taking an extended hiatus and I HATE that someone has made me, and even others feel unsafe. I never want people to be afraid to join our book community. Just the thought of people being afraid, hurts my heart.

Safety considerations never even occurred to me, and I'm so upset by that. I'm not a teenager, I'm nearing the 30's, so safety precautions should have been the first thought in my mind. What really upsets me is that I should have done a false name. My name is not very common, so the idea that someone could find me, scares the living daylights outta me. It never even occurred to me to omit a return address when mailing packages, because I was always worried that it would get lost.

I grew up in the time where the Internet was becoming a big thing. People were always warning the kids to use a fake name, don't identify yourself, your school or any identifying details about yourself. Yet, I trusted the book blogging community. You guys know stuff about me. You know I have health issues, you know I use a wheelchair and you guys even know the name of my ex fiance. I trusted you guys even though it usually takes me a long time to trust people.

There are so many things I wish I had known 18 months ago, when I first started this blog. I'll just mention the top 3.

  • Use a pseudonym.
  • Open a PO Box to receive packages.
  • Don't say any identifying details about yourself (exact location, parents' names, kids names, schools etc)
I don't think I've ever had a giveaway on this blog, but if I did, as soon as the giveaway was over and a winner selected, I'd destroy all of the other addresses. I would never give them to anyone else for any reason.

So many of the authors are outraged by this particular author's behavior and they are the reason that hopefully bloggers & reviewers won't get scared away. I am so lucky to be in this community. We're so lucky to know some amazing authors that appreciate everything we do.

Please be safe everyone.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #58

This feature is hosted by Tynga's Reviews

I didn't have anything to show you guys last week, which worked out because my computer unexpectedly died on me last week as well. This week, I got some good books and I'm super excited to show them off to you guys. I got two books from NetGalley, picked up 3 books from the library & I had won a book from the ladies of Epic Reads.

Received for Review

-NetGalley-
For Real by Alison Cherry
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Library
Astray (Gated #2) by Amy Christine Parker
The Young Elites (The Young Elites #1) by Marie Lu

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (The Girl of Fire and Thorns #1) by Rae Carson

Won
The Perfectionists by Sara Shepard

Guys, let me know if you've read any of these or if it's on your TBR. If you did a book haul post this week, leave the link in the comments so I can stop by. Have a great week, everyone!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Review: Every Ugly Word by Aimee L. Salter

Book Title: Every Ugly Word
Author: Aimee L. Salter
Published Date: July 29th, 2014
Publisher: Alloy Entertainment
Genre: YA Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Link: Amazon

Synopsis from Goodreads:
 When seventeen-year-old Ashley Watson walks through the halls of her high school bullies taunt and shove her. She can’t go a day without fighting with her mother. And no matter how hard she tries, she can’t make her best friend, Matt, fall in love with her. But Ashley also has something no one else does: a literal glimpse into the future. When Ashley looks into the mirror, she can see her twenty-three-year-old self.

Her older self has been through it all already—she endured the bullying, survived the heartbreak, and heard every ugly word her classmates threw at her. But her older self is also keeping a dark secret: Something terrible is about to happen to Ashley. Something that will change her life forever. Something even her older self is powerless to stop.

Disclaimer: I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
I'm not even sure how I feel about this book. Was I enjoying it and was I excited to pick it back up whenever I could? Yes. Did it confuse me and frustrate me to the point of wanting to yell at the book? Again, that's a yes. 

This book massively confused me. The timeline would jump from present to past and then back to the present again. I was never sure if Older Me was something Ashley really saw or was she exhibiting symptoms of psychosis that no one caught. I was never really sure if the way her mother treated her was really what happened or if it was just Ashley's perception. 

I was never really sure about Matt either. He was inconsistent, not swoon-worthy and I never felt romantic sparks between him and Ashley. I actually felt them more with Dex, even though Dex turned out to be a ginormous creep. I didn't like how Matt continually tried to force Ashley to hang out with his friends, the very friends who tormented Ashley every single day. He didn't seem to care much about her feelings. He was being selfish and aggravating.

The ending was also confusing. I didn't know what was happening. I still didn't know if Older Me was real or a figment of Ashley's imagination. I didn't doubt that she went through the incident as she did have the scars to show for it. I really did wish the epilogue was longer as I don't feel like I got any of my questions answered at all. I'm going to go against my initial instinct and give the book 3 stars. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. As I reflect on this book, I realize that I was really confused by this entire book.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Review: Ashes to Ashes (Burn for Burn #3) by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian

Book Title: Ashes to Ashes
Authors: Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
Published Date: September 16th, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Genre: YA Contemporary
Series: Book three in Burn for Burn trilogy
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonThe Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads:
New Year's Eve ended with a bang and Mary, Kat and Lillia may not be prepared for what is to come.

After Rennie's death, Kat and Lillia try to put the pieces together of what happened to her. They both blame themselves. If Lillia hadn't left with Reeve... If Kat had only stayed with Rennie... Things could have been different. Now they will never be the same.

Only Mary knows the truth about that night. About what she is. She also knows the truth about Lillia and Reeve falling in love, about Reeve being happy when all he deserves is misery, just like the misery he caused her. Now their childish attempts at revenge are a thing of the past and Mary is out for blood. Will she leave anything in her wake or will all that remain be ashes?

Disclaimer: Library book.

Review:
Prepare for endless rambling about this book. I have lots of things to say about it but it's gonna come out all jumbly and crap.

I had no idea what was going on with this book. I didn't know what was real and what was false. I didn't know what roles Mary, Lillia and Kat would play. I didn't know what roles Alex & Reeve would play with this book. 

This book had a whole lot more of Kat & Lillia than it had of Mary and there was a reason for that. I'm not going to go into those reasons because it's a spoiler and I really don't want to discuss spoilers. 

I never really loved Lillia and Reeve together. I was really hoping that Lillia would fall for Alex, because I know Alex was madly in love with Lillia and it hurt me that Lillia was too emmeshed in Reeve and how she felt about Reeve. I really didn't like them together and I think a lot of that was because Rennie had just recently died and Reeve and Rennie had been a thing right before the death of Rennie. It really didn't make me like Lillia all that much. If they wanted to be together, they should of waited several months before they got together.

Kat was going through her own issues. She wants desperately off of the Jar Island. She wants to go to college at Oberlin. She wants to do something for herself. She finds herself in a friendship with Alex Lind. She's helping him with his own dream, although he is so desperately in love with Lillia that Kat wonders if he'll ever be able to focus on what he wants independent of how he feels about Lillia.

Both Kat and Lillia have no idea what's happened to Mary. She's disappeared and they have no idea what's going on. Even on an island like Jar Island, there's still secrets. Secrets that Mary herself knows about and she still wants to make Reeve pay for the pain he put her through. Revenge is what she wants and she's not going to find peace until she makes him go through hell.

This entire trilogy was amazing. Han & Vivian are a dynamic duo and I really hope they do more collaborations together because this one, was utterly phenomenal. I am giving this book 5 stars. There is nothing I'd change about this book or this series. I cannot wait to get a complete set of this trilogy.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Review: Fire with Fire (Burn for Burn #2) by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian

Book Title: Fire with Fire
Authors: Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
Published Date: August 13th, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Genre: YA Contemporary
Series: Book 2 in Burn for Burn trilogy
Book Link: Goodreads

Synopsis from Goodreads:
When sweet revenge turns sour… Book two of a trilogy fromNew York Times bestselling author Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian.

Lillia, Kat, and Mary had the perfect plan. Work together in secret to take down the people who wronged them. But things didn’t exactly go the way they’d hoped at the Homecoming Dance.

Not even close.

For now, it looks like they got away with it. All they have to do is move on and pick up the pieces, forget there ever was a pact. But it’s not easy, not when Reeve is still a total jerk and Rennie’s meaner than she ever was before.

And then there’s sweet little Mary…she knows there’s something seriously wrong with her. If she can’t control her anger, she’s sure that someone will get hurt even worse than Reeve was. Mary understands now that it’s not just that Reeve bullied her—it’s that he made her love him.

Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, burn for a burn. A broken heart for a broken heart. The girls are up to the task. They’ll make Reeve fall in love with Lillia and then they will crush him. It’s the only way he’ll learn.

It seems once a fire is lit, the only thing you can do is let it burn...

Disclaimer: Library book.

Review:
Holy mother of God.

Usually in a series, the 2nd book is not as good as the first book. It's normally referred to as a "sophomore slump" and I was worried that Fire with Fire would find itself in that sophomore slump, especially given how awesome Burn for Burn was. Thankfully, I didn't need to worry too much about it. Fire with Fire was even better than Burn for Burn.

This time around, it was less about the sweet revenge and more about trying to figure out where each of these girls belonged in their own lives, on Jar Island. Mary is still living with her aunt, but things are getting weirder in the home. Her parents are seemingly refusing to come visit her. It doesn't make sense to me for Mary's parents to not visit her. Especially knowing that her family was pretty close to each other before she moved back to Jar Island to live with her aunt.

Kat's going through her own problems. She wants to get away and go to the college that her mom never got a chance to go to. Despite having a rough childhood, she's a smart young lady. She doesn't want to use her mother's death as the "pity me" statement for college applications. She doesn't want to be known as "the student whose mom died" She wants to reinvent herself. She doesn't want anything to do with her former best friend, Rennie.

Lillia still values her family, but she's realizing that maybe she needs to think for herself. Maybe she doesn't want to go to Wellesley like her parents seem to want her to do. She wants to show her parents that she has a plan for her life and she doesn't want her parents to interfere as much as they currently do.

This book had a lot of stuff with Mary in it. A lot of other reviewers have said that this book was mostly about Mary, but it wasn't. It also involved Lillia falling for Reeve, which I didn't get it at first. But things changed as the book continues on. Reeve slowly endears himself to me. I ended up actually liking him, despite him being a total douche at first. It also included Kat putting a lot of pressure on herself. She wants more than anything to get that early decision acceptance to college and to get the hell out of Jar Island.

The ending was absolutely freaking amazing. I never in a million years would have guessed the twist. It was so amazing and unexpected. The hints were there but I never guessed how it would turn it out. The last 25-50 pages were absolutely unexpected and I absolutely loved it. This book was so, so, SO much better than the first book and I never thought that would happen.

This book gets an easy 5 stars from me. I am so excited to see what happens in the final book. I'm excited to pick up the third book in the trilogy at the library this week. Siobhan Vivian & Jenny Han are a dynamic duo and I love their collaboration.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #57

This feature comes from Tynga's Reviews.

Hi everyone! This week was a rough week for personal reasons. It started off crappy, with me finding out that my fiance had been cheating on me. Needless to say the wedding is now off and I am going to allow myself to heal from this. It won't get me down and I'll absolutely still be around. 

Finding this out really showed me that people do care about me. As soon as I broke the news on Twitter, I had so many friends reaching out to me. Thank you, again for supporting me in this hard time. At the end of the week I got sick. I'm guessing it's stress related as I have barely left the house all week.

Back in book-land, I got 2 books from Edelweiss & two books from NetGalley. I also picked up 5 library books. I am very excited to read all 9 of these books. Actually I've already read & LOVED one of my library books.

Let's see what landed on my shelves & in my Kindle this week.

Received for Review

-Edelweiss-
Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

-NetGalley-
I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Not in the Script (If Only #3) by Amy Finnegan

Library
The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
Ashes to Ashes (Burn for Burn #3) by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
The Vault of Dreamers (Untitled #1) by Caragh M. O'Brien
Made for You by Melissa Marr

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

As always, let me know if you've read any of these or if you are planning to at some point. Leave me the links to your Stacking the Shelves posts & vlogs. Happy reading, everyone!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Book Blitz & Fancast: Lailah by Nikki Kelly



Title: Lailah
Series: The Styclar Saga #1
Author: Nikki Kelly
Release Date: October 7th
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends


Summary from Goodreads:
The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.

On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely ally – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.

In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?

Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.



"An extraordinarily imaginative look into the realms of good, evil, and all that comes in between. Lailah will have you gripped until the very end." -Brittany, Please Feed the Bookworm

“Lailah: Original. Swoonworthy. Captivating. Lailah will make you have all the FEELS, and you’ll find yourself flailing for Book #2, Gabriel!” -Andrew, Endlessly Reading

“Lailah is a fast-paced read that will keep you hooked from cover to cover." -Jess, The Book Bratz

“Lailah is paranormal romance like you have never read before. With its hauntingly beautiful writing it will have you craving for more!” -Dana, Dana Square

“AHHHHHHHH! (in a good way)” - Ri, Hiver & CafĂ©

“Dark. Sexy. Intriguing. Filled with twists and turns and set on a beautiful backdrop, Lailah is sure to enchant and haunt you from the start.” -Rachel, A Perfection Called Books

Lailah Fancast
Gabriella Wilde as Lailah
Shiloh Fernandez as Jonah
Alex Pettyfer as Gabriel
Alicia Vikander as Hanora
Sophie Turner as Brooke
Liam Neeson as Ruadhan
Chris Hemsworth as Azrael


Styclar Street Team!

The Styclar Street Team is essentially bloggers and readers who are fans of the story, and wish to declare and spread their love for Styclar!

MEMBERS
Want to become a member of the Styclar Street Team? We'd love to have you!

If you've read Lailah, enjoyed the story, and want to get involved, simply take a selfie with your copy of the book, and tweet it with the following hashtag: #StyclarStreetTeam

Be sure to also email the photo direct to Nikki — nikki@thestyclarsaga.com and your awesome selfie will be uploaded to the Street Team page of The Styclar Saga website! (www.thestyclarsaga.com)

Check out the page to grab buttons for your site, find out about how you can participate in the latest spreading the Styclar word activities' and enter special giveaways!

Nikki's going on the Fierce Reads Tour in October! Want to meet her? Check out the stops here: http://fiercereads.com/

















About the Author

NIKKI KELLY was born and raised only minutes away from the chocolately scent of Cadbury World in Birmingham, England. Lailah was first launched to wattpad, an online readers and writers community. Within six months, the novel had over one million reads. Lailah is Nikki’s debut novel, and the first book in The Styclar Saga. She lives in London with her husband and their dogs, Alfie (a pug) and Goose (a Chihuahua).

| Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Wattpad | Tumblr |

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Friday, October 3, 2014

TTT: Top Ten Books on my Fall 2014 TBR List

This feature is hosted by the ladies of The Broke and the Bookish.

Since I had something else scheduled for last Tuesday, I decided to do this one today since I had an open spot on the blog. Unlike the last few TBR lists I've made, this one will be comprised of only review books. I have a lot of them to read and I really need to catch up on them.

There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake
This Side of Home by Renee Watson
Soulprint by Megan Miranda
Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Stone of Destiny (The Danaan Trilogy #2) by Laura Howard
Lailah (The Styclar Saga #1) by Nikki Kelly
The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1) by Mary E. Pearson
Dissonance (Dissonance #1) by Erica O'Rourke
Winterspell (Winterspell #1) by Claire Legrand
Loop (Loop #1) by Karen Akins

So let me know if you did a TTT this week and if we have any of the same books on our Fall TBRs. I am hoping I have better luck with the list this time around.