New Years Resolutions for 2015

For the upcoming year I've managed to cull my Resolutions and Goals list back a little bit to the more important things that I really want to work on.

Take Them By Storm (Angel Island #3) by Marie Landry

The Angel Island companion series is one of my favorite NA series out there. I definitely recommend Take Them By Storm, Sadie's story if you're looking for more diversity.

Once Upon A Series

I have way too many series that I've started, but haven't finished for whatever reason and this is a list of those I plan to finish this year.

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

Lies We Tell Ourselves is an eye-opening, heartbreaking, and beautifully written novel that will leave an everlasting impression on you.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Feature + Follow: Where Else Do You Post Your Reviews?

Feature & Follow
Rachel @ Parajunkee's View
Allison @ Allison Can Read
Follow & Feature is an awesome way to gain new followers, make new bloggy friends, and just have a lot of fun! It's run by two fabulous hosts, Rachel @ Parajunkee's View and Allison @ Allison Can Read. Every Friday, they'll feature two blogger's you should get to know and have a discussion question where you can link up and get to know other's.

This week's featured blog is...

So, go check out this awesomely fierce gal's blog and follow her!

Question of the Week: Do you post your reviews anywhere besides your blog? Where else do you post reviews?
*Suggested by: Jessica @ A Great Read

I definitely like to make sure that I'm posting my book reviews in other places, besides my blog because it helps to cross-promote the book that I've just read or reviewed and it also helps to draw new followers and readers into my blog as well. Generally I start with always making sure that I post my reviews for any of the eGalley's that I receive via the publisher through Edelweiss or Netgalley there, and then from that I branch out to Amazon, Barnes&Noble onto Goodreads, Booklikes, and I also like to link them to a board of books that I've read and reviewed for that specific year on Pinterest as well. 

There have been a couple of occasion's where I've guest reviewed a book and have been able to post my review for it on the blog where I'm guesting for that day. I also try and make sure that I am using my Twitter, Facebook, and Tsu social media accounts to get my reviews out there for other bloggers and readers to see, as well as using it in a way to keep in contact with various author's and publisher's too. It's just an important part of the process and even though I may not always be the world's best at keeping up with it on a daily basis, I do try and go through once every month and a half and update things here and there as the year goes on. 

So, tell me, where do you post your book reviews other than your blog? Leave a comment below (with the links so I can follow you) and link up to your Feature & Follow Friday post!

Follow The Hop

Book Blitz + Interview: The Queen's Gift by T.R. Allardice

I'm excited to be a part of this book blitz for The Queen's Gift by T.R. Allardice, because it's a dark fantasy novel that's centered around genies. I've only read one other fantasy where that was the subject and it was Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios. It was one of my favorite books that I read last year, so I thought this book looked really interesting and I have high hopes that it's going to be as good. T.R. Allardice is a new-to-me author and I'm hoping that I'm going to end up really enjoying this book, which I plan on reading in the next few months. 

There's so much that happens in this novel from reading the synopsis alone, that I'm chomping at the bit to starting reading it soon. Buried secrets, choices to be made, incredible powers, and an unwanted Monarchy that could possibly return makes The Queen's Gift look absolutely amazing in theory. I'm happy to have T.R. Allardice here on the blog today, to share a little more insight into Jean's world and how she came up with the idea behind her world building in this interesting YA dark fantasy. So, I think I'll let her take over from here.

Interview with T.R. Allardice
Author of The Queen's Gift

Out of all the characters in The Queen’s Gift who is your favorite?
I’d have to say Karen Kim. She’s so conflicted and desperate to fit in, when there’s no chance of that happening.

Why place the book in Tokyo?
Because it’s one of the coolest cities I’ve ever been to by far. The scale of the city is mindboggling. It’s the only place I’ve ever traveled that you cannot see the end of the city no matter what direction you look. I also really like the Japanese people, though that may not come through in the first book.

Will the other books be set in Tokyo, too?
It’s funny, but I’m actually trying to decide that now. When I originally planned The Queen’s Gift, I intended to change the location for each year she’s in school. There would be specific mythology based on each location. I even have the other cities picked out, photographs and all. When I entered a writing contest—The Queen’s Gift won First Place YAY—one of the things the judges brought up was keeping the book in Tokyo. It came up enough that it made me wonder if I was doing the right thing with changing locations. Ultimately, I think it will be up to the characters.

How did you come up with the lead character, Jean?
Jean started with one question: What would happen if you were a Genie and couldn’t grant wishes? To make it worse, I made her mother one of the most skilled Genie’s in the world. 

How did you come up with the idea for Jean’s world?
I wanted to write a story that poked fun of a lot of books that I’d read over the years. I looked at all the characters that have populated books and noticed most were portrayed in a positive light. What I mean by that is that most were super cool, amazing looking, great at everything, love triangles, etc.

No characters seemed to be suffering from typical school issues like zits and other maladies. None of the characters really had to face not getting the guy or girl of their dreams. Every time I read one of these books, I thought about my high school experiences. I realize I was reading fiction, but it made me go in another direction.

For example, Karen Kim is a ghoul with greenish colored skin who dreams about being a super model. She’s the size of a linebacker. She will always be the size of a linebacker. Stefan is a fainting vampire. He’s always forgetting to get his iron shots from the school nurse. Chloe has to worry about bursting into flames every time she sneezes or farts. Like I said, I wanted to write something a little different, so I did. 

You said that you wanted to make fun of the tropes you’ve read about, yet there is a love triangle in your book. Why?
I do have a sort of love triangle happening in The Queen’s Gift. The big difference is that it’s resolved by the end of the book…maybe. ;)

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
I have so many places I want to travel to right now. My top six are: Thailand, Vietnam, New Zealand, China, Egypt, and Jordan. Given the unrest in the entire Middle East, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to make it to Jordan and Egypt, but I’d really love to see Petra and the pyramids before I leave this place.

Do you have any travel plans?
I spend quite a bit of time in the United Kingdom. I’ll be hitting it again in the summer.

What are you working on now?
I am currently working on the first book in a new young adult series. I’ve had the idea for quite a while and I need to get the first book done so the characters stop bothering me.
inal question. 

What do you do for fun?
I read. I go to the movies a lot. And I travel.  Thank you for having me.

About the Book

The Queen's Gift
by T.R. Allardice
Publisher: Self Published
Published: December 15, 2014
Age Demographic: YA Fantasy
Pages: 294
Buy Links: Amazon + Barnes&Noble

Fifteen-year-old, late-bloomer Jean Elliott dreams of becoming a Genie like her mom. When her family relocates to Tokyo, Jean is forced to use sleight-of-hand tricks to fool everyone at school into believing that she’s a normal Preternatural or risk expulsion. When her power finally appears, it comes in the form of the Queen's Gift--an unspeakable magic that strips power from all Preternaturals and heralds the arrival of the new queen.

After an absence of two hundred years, not everyone wants the monarchy to return and they're willing to go to great lengths to keep the status quo. When buried secrets rip Jean's family apart, she has a choice to make: Walk away and hope for the best or embrace the power that's known to lead to madness in order to save her family.

Jean's greatest dream has turned into her biggest nightmare and no matter how hard she tries, there'll be no wishing the Queen's Gift away.

Places to Visit T.R. Allardice

T.R. Allardice writes young adult, new adult, and humorous horror stories. Most of what she writes incorporates several genres. The content won't always be 'safe'. What's the fun in that? She is a member of the Horror Writer's Association, Novelist Inc. and the Author's Guild. She has thirty-one books published under another pen name. To find out more about her upcoming work, please visit her website.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wishful Wednesday: I Was Here by Gayle Forman

Wishful Wednesday was inspired by Waiting on Wednesday and Desperately Wanting Wednesday by Breaking the Spine and Parajunkee.

Wishful Wednesday is my own little version of "Waiting On Wednesday". Every week, I'll pick an upcoming book that I'm anticipating the release for and showcase it here on the blog. This week, that book is going to be I Was Here by the beautifully talented Gayle Forman

Okay, I cannot even with this book, because it's Gayle Forman and nobody does contemporary like she does. And, because this looks like it's definitely going to have a hand in giving me ALL THE FEELS.

Expected Publication: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Age Demographic: YA Contemporary
Pages: 288
Cody and Meg were inseparable. Two peas in a pod. Until . . . they weren’t anymore.

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss.
To PreOrder a copy of I Was Here by Gayle Forman visit Amazon & Barnes&Noble!

Gayle Forman is an award-winning author and journalist whose articles have appeared in such publications as Jane, Seventeen, Glamour, Elle, and The New York Times Magazine, to name just a few. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.

She has written If I Stay, Where She Went, Just One Day, Just One Year, Just One Night, and will be soon be releasing I Was Here

You can also find her on Tumblr and on Goodreads.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Blogging Problems 101: Getting Organized and Staying That Way

credit for gif goes to

You ever find yourself in a blogging slump, because everything has become a little more chaotic and unorganized than you intended for it to be or you've fallen behind on the upkeep of your blog? I hate it when this happens, because it usually puts me in a mood where I just don't feel like blogging, the minute that I realize I'm behind and I haven't really gotten myself together and as organized as I usually like to be. It's mostly the little things that I don't always like doing, such as updating my Review Archive, getting my Pinterest in order, or making sure I go back and clean up older blog posts. These are things that need to be done on a regular basis, I know this but it just isn't something that I enjoy doing. Sometimes even sitting and trying to brainstorm new ideas for new blog posts that aren't the same thing over and over like a meme or an intro post for a challenge, seems a bit frustrating for me especially when my brain isn't wanting to come up with anything. 

This, is pretty much when I know it's about the time that I start to take the proper steps to actually get myself organized and I have a handful of "go to" places and blogs that I like to visit in order to help me prepare to take this challenge on (because, yes!) it is a challenge for me. There's just so many helpful hints and tips out there, some really awesome tutorials and that's kind of why I wanted to put this post together for you. I wanted to share some of the things that I do and some of the things that I utilize whenever I'm trying to get myself organized on the blog in general and not just for the start of the New Year because let's face it, blog maintenance and organization is a year round thing. This is basically all through out the year for me.

Google Docs is an amazing tool to utilize when blogging!

  • There are some pretty awesome templates that you can use to help you write out your book reviews, if you're looking for idea's on how to set one up for yourself where all you have to do is plug-in your information, the book synopsis, some buy links, and your thoughts on the book. It's just really all about how you want your reviews to look and what information you want to include in them, really. This just gives me you a few idea's on where to start and a basic template that you can kind of tweak to make it your own.
  • You can browse the Spreadsheets section and find all kinds of templates for keeping track of what you're reading, blog schedule template, various reading logs, bookshelf templates, etc. I really like tweaking one of the various reading logs to help me in keeping track of my TBR pile, my ARC/eGalley's that I need to read and review, and also the books that I've read so far. It's just an easy way for me to stay organized, plus for those who don't have Excel or who might not know how to use it, this is a great alternative. Debby @ Snuggly Oranges shared a few of her useful spreadsheets in this post, which I think is an incredible source of inspiration for getting organized. 
  • The Google Calendar is another fantastic tool to implement when blogging and Debby @ Snuggly Oranges talks about it a little more in depth in this post. (To see more of her how-to's just visit her blog here.)

Other resources that will help you get organized.

Brianna @ The Book Vixen also has some wonderful tutorials and helpful resources that will lend itself well to helping you stay organized and on task with your blog. One of my favorite helpful posts that she has, is in the form of teaching you how to use Pocket to save time. Rachel @ Parajunkee's View has a wealth of awesome useful tips and tutorials as well featured in her 31 Day Book Blogger Challenge and her Book Blogging 101, along with a few others. And if you hop on over to visit Ashley @ Nosegraze, she has a lot of blogging tips to share too. If you're the type of person who likes to challenge yourself, then maybe you would be interested in The Book Blogger's Challenge hosted by Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide

These are just a few of the things that help me, when I'm trying to get myself organized. If you have any helpful tips, tricks, or resources that you want to share please leave them in the comments!
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