☄ Monday, May 2, 2016

Novel Newcomers: Interviews with Tanaz and MC

Hey everyone and happy May!

It's a little scary how time is going by so fast - Lupe and I are graduating high school in just a few weeks. Of course, we've lost motivation to do anything, but NN for me is important, so here I am. Plus, I'm not that mean enough to make Nori do all the work simply because I don't feel like it (because I did "drag" her into this after all).

Anyways, that aside, today we have MC from Blame It On the Books and Tanaz from Bookish Freaks! (Both of them are lovely people, even though I've recently just met them.)

Outside of blogging and reading, what other interests do you have?
MC: Umm...gazing longingly at books? In all honesty, reading and blogging are my biggest hobbies outside of work, which is tied into my other big hobby. I’m a professional ballroom dancer, so dance is obviously something that is really important to me, too! (But I get paid to do it!)

Tanaz: Writing, dancing in the rain, and stealing flowers from my neighbor's gardens. I am just a leeetle bit unusual as you can see. No worries. There's no such thing as normal, as I like to say. :)

What is your most unusual accomplishment?
MC: I definitely don’t consider this an accomplishment, but I am well known for my ability to get hurt while barely moving. I sprained my ankle once while standing completely still. I hurt myself all the time without actually doing anything….not something to be proud of, but it’s what I’m known for!

Tanaz: My most unusual accomplishment would be when one of my graphics--a quote illustration from the YA Fantasy Shattered Blue by Lauren Bird Horowitz--was picked by the author and turned into book swag! I was incredibly honored and most certainly did not see it coming.

What is your favorite food?
MC: Ice cream! Or chocolate! Or cookies! I like junk food……. And so does everyone else. Chocolate for the win, though. ;)

Tanaz: I really, really love eating so choosing my favorite food is like choosing my favorite book characters and we all know that feels like choosing your favorite kid. YOU JUST CAN’T DO IT! Though if I really had to pick one I’d say anything that is smothered in cheese.

In the short time you've been blogging, have you encountered any hilarious bloopers you've committed? (It's okay. It happens.)
MC: I still laugh about this one….I had met and chatted with a lovely author on Twitter for months before I embarrassed myself tremendously. See, somehow, I missed the fact that she was an author - just thought she was another blogger. So I recommended a book to her one day, saying “Oh, you’ll really love this one if you like sci-fi, I’m not sure what you like to read,” and she goes, “Um, I WRITE sci-fi.” Oops. We laughed and we have formed a lovely friendship since then, but I still get a little mortified when I think of that moment.

Tanaz: I kinda wish I did so that I can look back and laugh about it! But no, not really.

Let's spread some blogger love! Name three bloggers you don't know who are participating in Novel Newcomers and give them a compliment.
MC: Sarah and Gab at Girl Plus Book and Emily at Emily Reads Everything! When I first started blogging, these ladies seemed like veterans and role models to me, and I couldn’t believe that they had been blogging less than a year! Their blogging prowess blows me away! (I have to admit, I have become friends with Emily, so she doesn’t really count as someone I don’t know, but I love her to death!)

I also want to shout out Paloma at Pages and Pineapples. We have interacted a tiny bit on Twitter and she seems so lovely. It would be great to get to know her better!

Tanaz: Oh that’s tough! There’s the lovely and talented Regina from SheLatitude, the super genius CW from Read, Think, Ponder and of course Queen of Sass Lydia from 22 Is Still Young Adult.

What are some of your favorite retellings? Any retellings you would love to see in the future?
MC: Like so many others, I love the Lunar Chronicles. They are fantastic retellings and so much fun. I know there have been a bunch of Aladdin retellings coming out recently, but I haven’t read any of them yet. That’s something I would definitely like to check out.

Tanaz: As far as retellings go, The Lunar Chronicles is the best one I have read so far (admittedly there are many more retellings that I have yet to read). And yes I would love to see a retelling that is based on some of Hans Christen Anderson’s stories such as The Eleven Swans. That would make a beautiful story!

Okay, now I feel bad for not getting around to The Lunar Chronicles... even though I have the first book in my room right now.

Although the year is still a little young, what are some of your top reads this year?
MC: Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin and More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera. I also really enjoyed Incarnate by Jodi Meadows. I’m searching for my next five star read right now! Haven’t had one in a while! Neither have I, to be honest. I think my last one was back in February.

Tanaz: That’s quite easy actually. There’s Red Queen and its sequel Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard. I know I have read other amazing books too this year like These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly but Red Queen and Glass Sword is at #1 on my list right now. I agree! Red Queen is phenomenal. I've yet to read Glass Sword, though.

You can find MC on Blame It On the Books, Twitter (@blamethebooks), Instagram (@blamethebooks) and Goodreads.
You can find Tanaz over at Bookish Freaks, Twitter (@TanazMasaba), Instagram (@TanazMasaba) and Goodreads.

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☄ Friday, April 29, 2016

Blog Tour: Demigods and Monsters - Excerpt + Giveaway

Tour Schedule
Well hello there. No Fangirl Friday, right?

No...

Ultimately, senioritis is catching up to both Lupe and me and well... we kind of decided to go and wing our next few posts (and taking a brain break, which sort of carries over to blogging)... including Fangirl Friday.... unless we feel like it.

Title: Demigods and Monsters (Sphinx #2)
Author: Raye Wagner
Publication Date: April 25, 2016
Publisher: Self Published
Goodreads | Amazon

Summary:
Can Apollo’s curse be broken?

Seventeen-year-old Hope Nicholas is done running. Apollo’s curse has ruled her entire life, limiting her choices and robbing her of the things that matter most. But she refuses to live in fear any longer. In fact, she’s ready to do whatever it takes to break the god’s power over her existence. 


When the goddess Artemis instructs Hope to impersonate a demigod and infiltrate a conservatory to get access to the Olympian library, she doesn’t hesitate. As she sees it, there’s nothing left to lose. 


But once inside, Hope discovers the only way to get what she needs is to work with her sworn enemies. As the lines between demigod and monster are crossed again and again, Hope has to dig deep for the courage to accept her fate or fight for the freedom to save herself.


Demigods and Monsters is the second book in the Sphinx series.


Excerpt
The terrifying creature had the torso of a man with dozens of arms extending out like legs of a spider. A true giant, the monster was well over twenty feet tall. Instead of a single head, the beast had several thick necks and heads stacked in a conglomerate mass like the compound eyes of an insect.
Hope cringed.

His arms moved in a blur, pulling books down and putting them back up in a slightly different order. Next to him sat a mammoth-sized trolley, and several other hands were shelving books from it. The sheer number of his hands and heads allowed him to be moving at all angles at all times.

She’d heard of such creatures, other monsters created by the gods, but had never seen one. She shifted in an attempt to sneak away.

“Ho there, young demigod.” The creature bellowed his greeting in a chorus of voices halting her retreat.

She swallowed back her nervousness and faced him.

 “You must be new.” He stepped down from the ladder and shrunk a couple of feet.

“Uh, yeah.” She shifted from foot to foot then extended her hand, hoping it wasn’t too sweaty. “I’m Hope.”

“Aptly named, young immortal.” He smothered her hand with several of his own. “I am Briareus, the librarian. May I help you find something?

About the Author

Raye Wagner grew up in Seattle, the second of eight children, and learned to escape chaos through the pages of fiction. As a youth, she read the likes of David Eddings, Leon Uris, and Jane Austen. Inspired by a fictional character, Raye pursued a career in nursing, thinking to help the world one patient at a time. 

One Summer afternoon, when her young children were playing in the pool, a plot dropped into her head, and she started writing.

She enjoys baking, puzzles, Tae Kwon Do, and the sound of waves lapping at the sand. She lives with her husband and three children in Middle Tennessee. 

Origin of the Sphinx, a novella detailing the story leaving up to the creation of the mythological creature, is her first publication. It is the beginning of the Sphinx series. 

Curse of the Sphinx, the first book in the series, is complete, and set to be released in August 2015.


Author Links

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☄ Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wizard Talk: Ten Phases for Potterheads

A Guest Post by Next Century Publishing
The votes are in, and in a remarkable landslide, J.K. Rowling has been identified as the top author of Reader’s Legacy! To celebrate Ms. Rowling’s literary triumph, we looked into our Goblet of Fire and pulled these out 10 magical phrases; sure to guarantee any Potterhead the Hogwarts acceptance letter they’ve been waiting for!

1. “It’s no good crying over spilt potion.” – Meaning there is no use in worrying about events that have already taken place, and that cannot be undone.

2. “In the name of Merlin.” – An expression of bewilderment. EX: “What in the name of Merlin, are you doing?”

3. “Like bowtuckles on doxy eggs.” – Meaning to stick to someone or something, incredibly close. Used in a sentence, “She took to potions like bowtuckles on doxyeggs.”

4. “I’ll take Cadogan’s Pony.” – Meaning to make light of a dark situation.

5. “The fire’s lit but the cauldron’s empty.” – Meaning someone seemingly functions in a proper manner, but is actually socially inept.

6. “The tip of the dungheap.” – Synonymous to the muggle idiom, ‘Tip of the Iceberg’, it symbolizes a smaller piece of a larger picture.

7. “To have a hairy heart.” – Meaning, someone bitter. To have a cold and unforgiving way about you.

8. “Don’t count your owls before they are delivered.” – Meaning to not plan on anything expected to happen in the future, as said to Harry Potter by Dumbledore in ‘The Half-Blood Prince’.

9. “Hanged for a dragon as an egg.” – A larger punishment for a minor offence in order to bring the point across stronger to the offender.

10. “Time is Galleons.” – Meaning, time is money.

As an added perk of Reader’s Legacy’s Rowling celebration, we will be holding a special 20% off sale for each of her novels from April 25th to April 30th – ReadersLegacy.com/JKRowling.

The sale not only celebrates J.K. Rowling, but was also brings attention for a special grant program we have created in order to give away 1 million physical books in support of literacy programs! Spreading a love of books, and ending illiteracy aroud the world is 100% possible, and with the help of reader’s on the site, we believe will be one step closer to achieving that goal! Get in on this sale HERE.

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☄ Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Blog Tour: Skypunch - "Deadly" Teases and Giveaway

Tour Schedule
Title: Skypunch (Ascenders #2)
Author: C.L. Gaber
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Publication Date: April 29, 2016
Publisher: Big Picture Media

In the Midst—a place for those who die young—there are no rules except one.

And Walker Callaghan, dead at seventeen, just broke it. She briefly revisited her earthly life . . . and the punishment is eternal. Longing for her rebel love interest, Daniel Reid, Walker finds an ally in Cass, whose attraction to her is as alive as he is. “Life is short,” he tells her. “I’m banking on eternity. With you.”

In the second book of the Ascenders Saga, a realm-jumping journey takes Walker and Daniel back to life again when they search for something buried in history. They team with students from several other schools in the middle realm including a place for teens born with oddities. It’s home to the Claires . . . beautiful, ruthless, and quite dead seventeen-year-old quads who each have a different clairvoyant gift.

Can Walker survive another adventure of an afterlife-time—or will she find herself on the downside of eternity?


Author Bio

C.L. Gaber is the author of the ASCENDERS SAGA and co author of Jex Malone. A well known entertainment journalist, she lives in Nevada with her husband Ron, bonus daughter Sabrina and two unruly dogs. ASCENDERS 2 is due out in early 2016.

Author Links:

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☄ Monday, April 25, 2016

ARC Review: The Prophecy of Shadows by Michelle Madow (Something Witchy Is Brewing...)

Prophecy of Shadows Michelle Madow

Elementals #1
Author:

Publication Date: January 26, 2016
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing
Reviewer:

When Nicole Cassidy moves from sunny Georgia to gloomy New England, the last thing she expects is to learn that her homeroom is a cover for a secret coven of witches. Even more surprisingly ... she's apparently a witch herself. Despite doubts about her newfound abilities, Nicole is welcomed into this ancient circle of witches and is bedazzled by their powers--and, to her dismay, by Blake--the school's notorious bad-boy.

Girls who get close to Blake wind up hurt. His girlfriend Danielle will do anything to keep them away, even if she must resort to using dark magic. But the chemistry between Blake and Nicole is undeniable, and despite wanting to protect Nicole from Danielle's wrath, he finds it impossible to keep his distance.

When the Olympian Comet shoots through the sky for the first time in three thousand years, Nicole, Blake, Danielle, and two others in their homeroom are gifted with mysterious powers over the elements. But the comet has another effect--it opens the portal to the prison world that has contained the Titans for centuries. After an ancient monster escapes and attacks Nicole and Blake, it's up to them and the others to follow the clues from a cryptic prophecy so that they can save their town ... and possibly the world.
Advanced copy provided by Barclay Publicity via Netgalley – thanks!

Well, then. This is going to be one of the harder reviews to write, isn't it. (And it'll probably come out a little choppy, but um... bear with me.)

Okay, so how about I start with this: is great, but the only thing working against the book is the instalove between Nicole and Blake. But even the instalove isn't much of a bother – Nicole is attracted to Blake from the get go, but she's not as obsessed as Danielle, who would threaten anyone in Blake's proximity. Yet?

Anyways, the first book in the brings yet a new idea to the mythology genre, sort of following in Raye Wagner's footsteps. When Nicole first moves to a new school, she is quickly thrown into the world of witches, people who are descended from Greek gods but not exactly demigods. Witches in Madow's newest series are those not directly descended from a Greek god (basically, a generation or two later...?) and their powers are mostly based off of color theory (definitely not getting into the specifics of that one). Nicole is weirded out and dismisses the entire idea at first, but quickly has a change of heart.

The book is also a little slow on the pacing side, especially for those who like constant action. Madow spends approximately half the book setting up the plot and introducing the world of witches, and I personally think that in itself is good enough without being overwhelming. Even though the witches in the Elementals series are similar to witches in general, I enjoyed learning how each color corresponds to a particular emotion or talent. Any particular legendary creature fighting comes later on in the book.

It'll be interesting to see how Madow takes the series with the sequels, and I'll be looking forward to the sequels (which, by the way, have extremely interesting and adventurous titles).

4 Owls

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☄ Saturday, April 23, 2016

Nefarious Tales - Villainous Powers of the Awesome Spectrum: I HAVE POWERS. MUAHAHA.

More Mischief and Mayhem
*whistles* It's been a long while since I've written a post... on the weekend of all days. Senioritis has been kicking in a little. I have 3-4 AP English projects I should totally get around to in approximately two weeks....

But anyways. Villains. Villainous powers. The awesome ones, not the horrible ones. The ones I would love to have, if only I were villainous enough to acquire them. I'd like to say I'm quite crabby, but there are apparently a few people out there who say I'm nice. Oddities.

Teleportation
First off, teleportation. Regardless of my villain status (or lack thereof), teleportation is one power I would actually love to have despite its simplicity. The ability to go from one place to another quickly is one really helpful power to have.
It'll take awhile to get my bearings as a klutz.
I mean, think about it. I can wake up at 7:15am rather than 6:30am and still make it to school on time. If I somehow decide to to take over the world, I can escape quickly and easily (assuming there aren't any hiccups, but let's pretend for the sake of this post that everything goes along very smoothly). I can sneak up behind Lupe (or any friend) and scare her sporadically.

Basically... I don't have to worry about being late. Like, ever. I might even accomplish more with more free time...

Telekinesis
Not of this magnitude, of course.
Okay. I am a small person. Not very small, but I'm not considered tall either. Sometimes I like being short, but sometimes... I'd like to have a few more additional inches added...

Oh, and gods forbid I ever wear heels. I don't even want to think about the risk of me faceplanting.

But telekinesis. Ability to move things with the mind. For someone who is small and can't carry heavy items, this power is next on my list of must haves. It's not like I'll always have someone tall around, much less a tall boy to boot.

And if I need to move a person or two out of the way.... hydrokinesis, pyrokinesis, and all the other members of the kinesis family won't help me. Unless I'm trying to drown or burn them, but that can be done with telekinesis as well. No worries. I got this down pat.
Yes... definitely helpful to have at my disposal.
Also... have I mentioned I'm pretty independent? I try not to ask for help unless I really need the help - I just think it's better for me to learn if I do it myself rather than someone telling me. I suppose I'm a hands on person.

Invisibility
Now you see me...
Now you don't.
When teleportation fails, invisibility is key to escaping. And well... espionage, because teleportation doesn't help with camouflage.

Healing
Okay... this might be a little overboard if I decide to combine this with the top three I've already mentioned (and this is when the list becomes harder and I have to look up powers.... o_o)

But I am a klutz, after all. It only makes sense... right?

Illusionist
THIS. Is the primary reason why I would conspire with Adelina Amouteru from The Young Elites by Marie Lu. If teleportation and invisibility doesn't work...
I suppose making someone think that I don't exist might work (or maybe I could be part of the wall)?

Of course, there are plenty of powers out there - I've only named my top five (primarily due to procrastination on my part and if I named all the powers I wanted... this post would be way too long). Others I would love to have as a power consist of travelling through time, understanding all languages (omnilingual?), and changing sizes (as if my petite size isn't enough). So here's my question for you this weekend....

What powers would you want as a villain? Comment away! Maybe I'll team up with you and spare your life.

Presents! Giveaway!

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☄ Friday, April 22, 2016

Fangirl Friday: Movie/book Trailers + Prince + $20 Bill

Wow another week has gone by? Where is the time going? Who knows at this point because I have 3 more weeks left as a senior in High School! Woot Woot!

Now onto more important things but to discuss about the things that happened this week!

The Girl on the Train Official Movie Trailer

WOW and I do mean WOW. I love thriller movies just as long as I watch them with someone because I get scared too easily. Now, I don't know about you but this looks REALLY interesting and I'm glad the trailer gave enough to tease us with what the movie is about and not give any of the story away. If you don't understand what this movie is about, read the summary from IMDB. It's a great description of the movie in my opinion!

Title: The Girl on the Train
Release Date: October 7, 2016
Genre: Mystery and Thriller
Starring: Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Luke Evans
Plot Summary: "The Girl on the Train is the story of Rachel Watson's life post-divorce. Every day, she takes the train in to work in New York, and every day the train passes by her old house. The house she lived in with her husband, who still lives there, with his new wife and child. As she attempts to not focus on her pain, she starts watching a couple a few houses down -- Megan and Scott Hipwell. She creates a wonderful dream life for them in her head, about how they are a perfect happy family. And then one day, as the train passes, she sees something shocking, filling her with rage. The next day, she wakes up with a horrible hangover, various wounds and bruises, and no memory of the night before. She has only a feeling: something bad happened. Then come the TV reports: Megan Hipwell is missing. Rachel becomes invested in the case and trying to find out what happened to Megan, where she is, and what exactly she herself was up to that same night Megan went missing." (Credited to IMDB)

Guys watch this awesome book trailer from Rick Riordan's new book!

This is honestly one of the funniest and best book trailer I have seen! It was both epic and very exciting! Then I just laughed towards the end because who wouldn't laugh at this? I laugh at almost everything and this just KILLED ME. In a way of course! Can't wait for the release of this new gem!

Title: The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1)
Author: Rick Riordan
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Plot Summary: How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus's favour.

But Apollo has many enemies - gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go . . . an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.

  
Congrats to Harriet Tubman for being the new face on the new $20 bill! I'm glad she was chosen and I think it was a great choice! I can't wait to see it in person because this is such a big deal right now considering that she is the first African American woman on a bill! Well of course there was Martha Washington but that was long ago. I'm glad things are slowly changing for the better. I'm just excited to know who will be on the 5 and 10 dollar bill!


To end this long post, I just want to say that I'm sad to see so many great people dying this year and most of all, everyone is heartbroken from the news that Prince died on April 21 at age 57. It's such a sad time for all of his fans. I personally did not grew up listening to Prince since I grew up listening to Hispanic music most of the time that I didn't get to enjoy his music for most of my life. As I hear his songs now, I really wish I did grew up listening to them.  So sad to see him go but he will not be forgotten.
RIP






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