Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sunday Post (13): Back Again!!!


Sunday Post is hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer 

Hello everyone, Lauren here! I don't think I've had a Sunday Post since the beginning of the month, and now we've reached the end. Man, time flies! I had a library event the other week where we made DIY cards, but I'm afraid I didn't get photos. I might try and post about that next week. I have another library event tomorrow though (Leap Day!!) so I'll definitely try and share those photos. It's fun making something and I usually go with my mom and sister, so that's nice! It's a fun little outing every other week or so!

However, I do have some photos to share today. I'm part of the OTSPSecret Sister group over on Twitter. For six months (Feb-July) I will send gifts to a member of the group and at the same time, another person is sending gifts to ME. I obviously know who I'm sending too, but I have no idea who is sending to me. It's a lot of fun and I'm a huge fan of buying gifts for other people. I wanted to share what I got for the month of February. 



Here are a couple pictures of the wrapping. Each item had that About sticker and a little "clue" as to what to find. It's so cute, isn't it? I love it! What a clever idea. One of my items was the book Vicious by V.E. Schwab and the note mentions "crafty" characters, as the overall theme of my package was craftiness!


This is a look at all my items together! As you can see, most of the gifts are "craft" based and I'm so excited to finally start using them. I've been meaning to scrapbook more. I love the colored pencils. My sister saw on Twitter that I'd wanted some nice colored pencils so I can use my adult coloring book and voila, here they are!


I am so excited about the book. It's been on my wish list for a long time. I also got some stamps and many colored ink pads (yay) as well as some small scrapbook paper that will surely come in handy!


My sister also made me a mixed C.D. I'm so excited! I love them and it's a great way to discover new music. I also got some great chocolate like Reese's  and cadbury eggs (some of my absolute favorites!) 

All in all, I'm very excited for the continuing months. I have a lot of items already for my own secret sister and I hope she likes them as the months continue.

Last Couple Weeks of Let's Get Beyond Tolerance

Monday, Feb 8: Buzz by E. Davies book review

Wednesday, Feb 10: The Danish Girl film review


Tuesday, Feb 16: Pre-Order Giveaway for South of Sunshine by Dana Elmendorf

Wednesday, Feb 24: Barnes n Noble's Top 15 Most Anticipated LGBTQ YA Fiction


This Coming Week on Shooting Stars Mag

*Double graphic novel review
*A couple posts from Alicia
*more to come!! 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Put Me in the Story's Easter Books + Giveaway


Hop Into Easter! Personalized Books for Every Basket


I love the personalized books from Put Me In the Story and I'm here today to spotlight three that you can get the little ones in your life for Easter. It's fast approaching, so don't delay! I was given the chance to choose one of these books to personalize and review and I went with Don't Push the Button by Bill Cotter. I will have my review up in a few days! For now, check out the books and be sure to enter the giveaway sponsored by Put Me in the Story!

-Lauren


$29.99 personalized book

There’s only one rule in Larry’s book–don’t push the button. (Seriously, don’t even think about it!)
Even if it does look kinda nice, you must never press the button. Who knows what would happen?

Okay, quick. No one is looking... press the button.

Uh, oh.

Larry is a lovable monster, if a bit too curious for his own good. And now, you can join in on his fun adventure!
In the personalized version of this interactive story, your child will discover all the surprises around that big red button. Read, play, and laugh along while your little one investigates just how BIG one little push can be!

$29.99 personalized book

This Easter, take your little one on an “eggs-traordinary” egg-hiding adventure around the world!

As fun and festive as an egg hunt, An Easter Surprise gives your child the chance to plan his or her very own Easter mission! Soaring as high as the moon in a hot air balloon, delivering eggs all over town, and stashing tasty treats all down the streets, your little one will be thrilled at the surprise twist in this Easter adventure!

Make Easter morning extra magical! Personalize this exciting Easter storybook with your child’s name and hometown, along with a special message and photo on the dedication page. A sweet Easter surprise your little one will cherish long after the holiday is over!

$29.99 personalized book

The perfect Easter treat to add to your little “honey bunny’s” basket! I Love You Honey Bunny by Sandra Magsamen is a fun and heartfelt story to remind your little one just how much you love and cherish them. Cuddle up close and enjoy something sweet together!

Celebrate your child by letting them know how they fill the world with love! Personalize this book with your honey bunny’s name, photo, and sweet message on the dedication page. You will also have the option to customize the pronoun in this book to become “I” or “We” Love You, Honey Bunny. A darling tale with a loving message that will stay with your little one forever!

Find more personalized gifts for Easter here: http://www.putmeinthestory.com/personalized-gift-occasions/easter

For Easter Delivery from Put Me In The Story…

·         Order USPS/Media Mail by March 9, 2016
·         Order UPS ground by March 14, 2016
·         Order 2nd Day Air by March 17, 2016
·         Order Overnight Shipping by March 21, 2016

Enter the giveaway!

Enter Put Me In The Story’s giveaway for a chance to win a personalized Easter Book Bundle!
Giveaway ends 3/10/2016 at 11:59pm CST


http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/54ca7af7284/" rel="nofollow" data-raflid="54ca7af7284" data-theme="classic" data-template="" id="rcwidget_3rre98ll">a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

ApollyCon Bound!

Alicia here, with exciting news: I'm going to ApollyCon!!!

Anyone else going?? 

This is just a small post to let you all know that I will be there, and working the event, so if you're going let me know!

Don't know what it is? Here's the website and all of the authors going!

SPECIAL GUESTS

Model Drew Leighty as Seth from the Titans Series.
Model Pepe Toth as Daemon Black from the Lux Series


FEATURING AUTHORS...


*Subject to change


I'm soooo excited. I can't wait to meet Kristen Ashley, I'm beyond obsessed with her books. And I can't wait to see Suzanne Young, Alex Bracken, and Sarah J. Maas for the millionth time!

And if you're interested and in the area, there are still tickets available

And here's a few pictures of me, so you know what I look like.




And if you'd like to follow me on my adventures, here are my instagram: leasha91, twitter: @leasha_91, and tumblr: leasha91. (instagram pics will be cross-posted to twitter and tumblr, but twitter may have other updates.)

And there's a 100% chance you will find me with Nancy, the Ravenous Reader, as she is my best book buddy, and we're going together. Here's her twitter: @RavenousReadr and instagram: ravenousreader. And if you're not already following her, you should be! Trust me. 

So, anyone coming? Any authors you wish you could see? Any books you want signed?? I miiight be willing to pick up 1 or 2 and get them signed....

Anyways, have a great day everyone! I need to get packed. My flight leaves tonight!

- Alicia

So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson


So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

Source: copy from the library; all opinions are my own

Official SummaryFor the past three years, Jon Ronson has travelled the world meeting recipients of high-profile public shamings. The shamed are people like us - people who, say, made a joke on social media that came out badly, or made a mistake at work. Once their transgression is revealed, collective outrage circles with the force of a hurricane and the next thing they know they're being torn apart by an angry mob, jeered at, demonized, sometimes even fired from their job.
 
A great renaissance of public shaming is sweeping our land. Justice has been democratized. The silent majority are getting a voice. But what are we doing with our voice? We are mercilessly finding people's faults. We are defining the boundaries of normality by ruining the lives of those outside it. We are using shame as a form of social control.


Review: I've seen this book at the bookstore and I really wanted to read it, so I was excited when I realized that one of my local libraries had a copy that I could borrow. This book is mostly about every day people (the book starts with a story about an author though) who have said or done something upsetting and posted it on social media (usually, there are some other stories about plagiarism, etc.). These people are usually just trying to make a joke or doing something "amusing" for their friends. Unfortunately, not just their friends see these things (especially on Twitter) and it gets passed along until it's a huge deal and the original poster is now being publicly shamed.

Ronson focuses on Twitter a lot as a server of justice, because it's often anonymous for most people and it's easy to sit behind a screen and rip someone apart for a badly worded tweet or unfortunate picture. This is just one tiny part of a person's history and yet it soon becomes all the world knows about them. Google their name and you learn what they wish would just disappear. People on the internet, especially Twitter, call them names, call for them to be fired from their jobs (and some are!), and even worse. It's especially bad, it seems for women. People use sexual threats against them, saying they should be raped and killed, and this is terrifying. Why are people so hateful toward each other?

It was interesting to see the various stories that Ronson focused on, because even if I - as a reader- did not agree with what the person did, I would never publicly call them out. Some of these stories I remember hearing about, but a lot of them I had never heard any details. One story is about a woman who made a badly worded joke about going to Africa and not getting AIDS because she's white. She found it funny because who would ever think that someone would actually believe white people couldn't get AIDS. Unfortunately, her tweet got passed to someone with a lot of followers and soon she was trending on Twitter and people were outraged at her attitude toward AIDS victims and calling her racist. This young lady was fired from a job she loved and she was thrown into a deep depression. It was horrible to read about and yet fascinating to see how hurtful people can be on social media where there are really no repercussions.

This is just one story, but there are many more, and I highly recommend checking out this book to learn the details. It's non-fiction, but it keeps you reading and I never found it boring!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Soulless by T.M. Frazier Release Day Blitz

 Alicia here, happy release day to Soulless! FYI: this a very dark and mature read.
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Bear & Thia’s epic is FINALLY HERE!

SOULLESS IS LIVE!




Haven’t read this series yet?
Lawless
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1HQU3im
Paperback Amazon: http://amzn.to/1YsctJZ


About the Author:



T.M. Frazier is a USA TODAY bestselling author. She resides in sunny Southwest Florida with her husband and young daughter. When she's not writing she loves talking to her readers, country music, reading, and traveling. Her debut novel, The Dark Light of Day was published in September of 2013 and when she started writing it she intended for it to be a light beachy romance. Well...it has a beach in it!


Stalk Her: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Goodreads.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Torque by Charley Descoteaux


Torque by Charley Descoteaux

Review by Lauren

Source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official SummaryMick Randall is on the run, from the biker culture he grew up in and his impossible vision of love. Alaska should be far enough to escape his old life—until he rolls into a wrecking yard and gets lost in a pair of pale, bottle-green eyes.

Scotty Bell has spent years learning to channel his fiery temper into the heat of a welding torch. His sexual heat has always been slower to ignite, but one look at Mick rouses confusion alongside desire. In all his life, he’s only been attracted to one other person—his best friend, Mercy Taylor.

Mick lands a temporary job at the yard, and finds an uneasy crash pad at Scotty’s place…where the ragged ends of his emotions get tangled up in Scotty and Mercy’s relationship.

But when Mick hears a Harley engine from his past bearing down on him, his first instinct is to go back to the half-life he’d been living. Lest his secrets destroy the only two people who’ve ever made him feel whole.


Review: Since I'm doing the Goodreads challenge, I try and keep track of what I've read as soon as I'm finished so I don't forget. I don't give every book a star rating, since I don't do star ratings on here, but for this one I think it's worth mentioning that I gave this one two stars. No, it's not the worst book in the world and yes, I did finish it. It's not one I really liked though that much, so not a three star either.

Anyway, this book is about Mick Randall running away from his old life and a motorcycle gang he believes is following after him. He stops to work in a car garage though and doesn't want to go further when he starts to fall for Scotty Bell, whose grandfather runs the garage. Maybe it's just me, but I didn't realize based on the summary that this was going to turn into a three-way romance. I don't really mind that, but I didn't realize that was this story. Also, and I don't think this is a huge spoiler, but Mercy is transgender. Mick believes she's a "typical" girl at first and he has feelings for her (Mercy) and Scotty, who already have their own different sort of relationship going on.

So yes, Scotty and Mercy randomly have sex here and there.
Mick comes to town and falls for both of them.
He eventually realizes that Mercy acts, dresses, and seems like a girl- but she still hasn't had surgery to actually turn herself completely into a girl.
The three of them begin a relationship with each other.

Going in, I thought the romance was Mick and Scotty, but with the addition of Mercy, it just seemed off and I wasn't really a fan. Again, I don't mind three people in a romance but I like knowing that up front and deciding to read the book based on what I think of the summary.

Also, I felt that Mick's past catching up to him was a bit anti-climatic. Not as much happened as you expect going in. It made the book more focused on the romance, even though Scotty has a side story with his father. I don't mind romance-focused books, but again, I couldn't really buy into this one with Mick, Scotty, and Mercy, and therefore, that didn't even work for me.

I appreciate the chance to read the book though and I love many other stories published by Samhain!

Torque comes out tomorrow.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Graphic Novel Series Review: Saga


Saga Graphic Novel Series (Vol. 1-5) 

Review by Lauren

Source: all copies were read via the library; all opinions are my own

Official Summary of Overall SeriesSaga is an epic space opera/fantasy comic book series created by writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Fiona Staples, published monthly by Image Comics. The series is heavily influenced by Star Wars, and based on ideas Vaughan conceived both as a child and as a parent. It depicts two lovers from long-warring extraterrestrial races, Alana and Marko, fleeing authorities from both sides of a galactic war as they struggle to care for their newborn daughter, Hazel, who occasionally narrates the series. 

Review: I read the first two volumes of Saga last year but I never reviewed them. Just recently, I read volumes 3-5 and as those are the final volumes for now, I thought it was about time that I shared my thoughts. This review won't really go into details about the series because 1. it's a bit hard to explain some things and 2. I really don't want to ruin or spoil the series for you!

Now, I can say that this is an adult series. There is sex, there is blood, there is bad language. Because it's a graphic novel, you also get illustrations to go along with it. This doesn't bother me, but if you're worried, try skimming some pages at the library/bookstore. As for the actual story, it's pretty simple. Alana and Marko are like Romeo and Juliet - except they are running away from both of their planet/moon's authorities as to not be killed or imprisoned. They should be enemies, not lovers. But alas, they fell in love and had baby Hazel.

source
There are other characters who journey with our duo, as well as plenty of other characters who are involved or after the couple for one reason or another. Yeah, kind of confusing right? I promise, me explaining more would not make it better. However, that doesn't mean the books are confusing. If you're intrigued, you should definitely check them out!

I love how attached you become to these characters and how you want them to survive! There are plenty of characters who have both good and bad in them, or are on the side of the villains, yet are not that evil. People are mixed, even Alana and Marko. Nobody is perfect and despite all the crazy events and the worlds they visit, these characters make it all seem realistic.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Cover Reveal/Giveaway: Trees of Life: A Colouring Experience

Today is the cover reveal for Trees of Life: A Colouring Experience by Jenna Lyn Field. This cover reveal is organized by Lola's Blog Tours.

Trees of LifeTrees of Life: A Colouring Experience

By Jenna Lyn Field

Genre: colouring book/ non-fiction

Age category: for all ages


Blurb:
Trees of Life is a wonderful colouring experience that will relax your mind and bring peace to your soul. Inspired by life itself and what it means to others, each and every image is an original artwork just begging to be filled with colour.


You can find Trees of Life: A Colouring Experience on Goodreads


TreesofLifefullspreadcoverUK


Interior Pictures from the book:

TreesofLifeColouringpicture1



TreesofLifeColouringpicture2



TreesofLifeColouringpicture3



Other titles by Jenna Lyn Field include:

From the Colour Me Funky range:

- Alphabet Graffiti
- Alphabet: Quake
- Christmas
- Advanced Colouring
- Anti-Stress Colouring
- Swirls & Curls

From her picture book range:

- The Rabbit With Terrible Habits
- Noah's New Room
- Pink Hair, Blue Hair

Jenna Lyn FieldAbout the Author:

Author of children's picture books, Jenna Lyn Field is the pen name of adult author J.A. Belfield. She lives in Solihull, England, with the best husband in the world, aka Mr B, a couple of back-chatting but pretty cool kids, a pooch she treats likes the baby of the house, and a scrawny cat that drives her insane.

Jenna also writes adult fiction under the name J.A. Belfield.

You can find and contact Jenna Lyn Field here:

- Website  
- Facebook
- Twitter  
- Goodreads  
- Amazon

There is a cover reveal wide giveaway for the cover reveal of Trees of Life: A Colouring Experience.

These are the prizes you can win:

- a paperback copy of Trees of Life: A Colouring Experience by Jenna Lyn Field (UK and US only)

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway




banner Lola's Blog Tours

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Set the Pace by Kim Karr Excerpt Reveal

Alicia here, with an excerpt reveal for Set the Pace. I really enjoyed Kim Karr's Connections series, so I'm looking forward to reading this new book. Enjoy!

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STP Excerpt Reveal Banner  


  Set the pace FOR WEB  


Set the Pace (The Detroit Love Duet #1) by Kim Karr
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release: February 21, 2016


Every city needs a hero, but Detroit’s white knight just might be a villain.

A rough childhood branded Jasper Storm trouble. A bad boy. Not worth a damn. His love of cars was the only thing that could battle his delinquency. With the need for speed in his blood, he overcame his wayward ways. Mostly. Now the broken city of Detroit hails him their shining star. And the man behind a new cutting-edge automobile is ready to turn this bankrupt town around.

Charlotte Lane was the tomboy who lived next door. She was his best friend. He was her protector. Then tragedy struck and she disappeared, forever—or so he thought.

Everything Jasper does in life is fast. He talks fast, f*cks fast, and drives fast. But when one reckless turn brings him face-to-face with the childhood he has tried very hard to forget, he finds himself on the edge of wondering if he shouldn’t slow down.

Time hasn’t erased who they are though. Jasper has many reasons to hate Charlotte and keep his distance, which is easier said than done. Soon she’s infiltrating his every thought and he can’t stay away. Back in town with an agenda of her own, she should push him aside. Make him turn around. Walk away herself. Yet she can’t.

With the past lurking between them, they proceed with caution. That is until one sex-filled night leads to murder, and things are forced to change. Now that Detroit’s biggest ally has suddenly become suspect number one, will Charlotte—the girl Jasper once kept safe—be the one to save him?


goodreads link







Except  
Set the Pace
Excerpt
© 2016 by Kim Karr
Jasper Storm
Control is an absolute necessity when driving fast on the road, and there is no other car that applies force to the pavement as directly as the Storm. Whether turning the wheel, accelerating the gas, or stepping on the brake, I am always in contact with the road, and therefore I always have control.
Too bad I can’t say the same for my life, which right now seems to be spinning out of control.
Driving through the streets of the old Cass Corridor, I manage to suppress the bad memories of my childhood from surfacing. Sure, the area’s history is a sad cocktail of drugs, prostitution, and crippling poverty. And even though this section of midtown is a shadow of its former self, I can still see the neglect in the thoughtless demolition. However, as I come to a stop in front of Charlotte’s building, I can also spot change and hope for the future.
Then again, her building isn’t the grimy brick front with a dark lobby lit only by streaks of light through cracked windowpanes that I grew up in. Her stairs aren’t rotting, her hallway isn’t a putrid shade of green, the carpet isn’t worn, nor does it smell like piss, and there isn’t the yelling going on that makes me want to cover my ears.
This isn’t the same place where I grew up.
Slowly, I glance around. She’s right—her building isn’t that bad. As I take the stairs and look out the window, I think I might have been a bit harder on her than I needed to be.
Walking down the hallway, I can’t suppress the smile on my face when I see that her bike is just outside the door. This means she’s planning on coming with me. After my confession last night, I wasn’t exactly sure she would.
Way too soon, I’m standing in front of her apartment.
Not quite ready for this, I give myself the pep talk. This is not a date.
Not.
A.
Date.
Answers.
You’re looking for answers.
That’s all.
You don’t need to be thinking of her in any other way than as someone you used to know. You look only at her face. You definitely don’t watch the way she moves. You don’t need to feel guilty because you f*cked her co-worker. You don’t even remember much about it anyway. And for fuck’s sake, you don’t need to be thinking about how good this girl would feel wrapped around you.
With that out of the way, I’m feeling clear-headed and focused. Before that changes, I hurry up and knock.
No one answers.
I knock again.
Maybe she changed her mind and she isn’t going to come with me after all.
Feeling impatient, I knock one more time.
“Just a minute,” I hear from inside.
The sound of her voice makes me feel desperate to see her. That’s not a good thing. I should leave. I really should. I seriously consider it for about a hot minute. Nothing but bad can come out of this. But my feet seem cemented in place and when I hear the click-clack of a lock and it begins to turn, it’s too late.
Slowly the door opens and she comes into view. As soon as she does, the wind is knocked right out of my lungs. She looks a little disheveled but all the more beautiful because of it. Feeling like I’ve been zapped, I’m overwhelmed by the energy between us and it holds me in place. Everything about her is like it used to be—just the sexier, hotter, grown-up version. Her hair is pulled back, but even so, it still looks wild and untamed. She always said her hair was a bother and she just wanted it out of the way. Because I used to really like her hair, it always made me laugh.
I still like her hair, and the fact that she pulled it back because it might be a bother makes me want to laugh now. That, along with the toothpaste on her lip, is just too much. I try to hold back my laughter but fail miserably.
“What?” she asks with mild curiosity.
“Nothing,” I say with a shake of my head. “It’s just I wasn’t sure you’d come with me today.”
She looks at me as if considering her words, and I use this time to study her further. She’s not wearing any makeup and everything about her face screams how gorgeous she is. For no reason at all, my chest tightens.
It doesn’t mean anything.
So what if it took less than 1.4 seconds for that hurricane within me to start batting around.
It means nothing.
But then that fucking myriad of conflicting emotions starts to mess with my mind and yeah, I realize, it means something. Just like that, it’s as if my pep talk never took place. Still, I can handle this. Find out what she knows. Drop her off. And say goodbye—forever.
How hard can it be?




Preorder Links:


Amazon: not available yet. 




 
About Kim Karr

Reader * Writer * Coffeelover * Romantic

Kim Karr is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She is a daydreamer. So much so that if daydreaming could be a hobby it would be her favorite. It’s how her stories are born and how they take root. An imagination that runs wild is something to be thankful for, and she is very thankful. :)

She grew up in New York and now lives in Florida with her husband and four kids. She’s always had a love for reading books and writing. Being an English major in college, she wanted to teach at the college level but that was not to be. She went on to receive an MBA and became a project manager until quitting to raise her family. Kim currently works part-time with her husband and with the rest of her time embraces one of her biggest passions–writing.

Kim wears a lot of hats! Writer, book-lover, wife, soccer-mom, taxi driver, and the all around go-to person of her family. However, she always finds time to read.

She likes to believe in soulmates, kindred spirits, true friends, and Happily-Ever-Afters. She loves to drink champagne, listen to music, and hopes to always stay young at heart.