Posts Categorized: About Me

Happy Thanksgiving 2017!

November 23, 2017 About Me, Personal 0

 

Thanksgiving is one of my very favorite holidays (aside from Christmas which, if you know me at all, you know it’s my favorite time of the year). I love getting the family together and eating tons of yummy food. My family is very small, and it has gotten smaller over the last few years. My two grandpas, my uncle, my parents, and my little sister and I will gather around the table in a few hours to eat turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole (my favorite), corn soufflé, cranberry salad, rolls, and sparkling apple grape juice. I’ll be decorating the table in with a gold table cloth, black hurricane lanterns, fall foliage, glittery pumpkins, and a million tea light and pillar candles. One of my grandpas will probably fall asleep at the table, and the other will tell us stories of his time in WWII. We will be silly and laugh and the cat might try to take a flying leap onto the table and destroy it all, but she’ll chicken out and fall asleep on the heating vent instead. We’re all pretty private and don’t like to get emotional, so we will spend the day reflecting internally on the things we’re thankful for. This is what Thanksgiving is to me. I hope your day is filled with love, food, memories, and family.

What is Thanksgiving to you? What’s your favorite thing on the menu tonight? What are you thankful for?


Top Ten Books I’m Thankful For

November 20, 2017 About Me, Top Ten Tuesday 10

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

It’s Thanksgiving week in the USA, and this week’s TTT topic encourages us to think of the books we’re thankful we read. I connect a lot with books, and many times I come away thinking that it was written just for me. Other times the book ended up being just what I needed in that moment, whether it was a gateway to a new world, an escape, a character I connected with, or something I needed to learn. I’m excited to share these titles with you today!

 

1. Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
This book seriously changed my life. It’s the kind of book that encourages you to take the bull by the horns and go with it. I just felt so refreshed by the end, like I had been the one to go on a whirlwind trip that changed my life. It prompted me to make amazing goals: to travel more, to practice my art more, to be spontaneous, to let my hair down and not worry what other people think, to look to the future, to develop other talents, to conquer fears, and to enjoy my life more. I ended up going on a whirlwind trip just like Bria did, and I cam home a completely changed person.

 

2. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
This is the book that made me fall in love with reading. I read it when I was in college, and it was my first dip into the YA genre. I had not been grabbed by a book in years, and I have not quit reading since.

 

3. Night by Elie Wiesel
I read this for my Ethics and Values class in college, and it was the first Holocaust book I had read since The Diary of Anne Frank when I was a child. I don’t know if it was the writing, the story, or the fact that I was older, but it really resonated with me and taught me so much about life and mankind.

 

4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
This book was completely magical and made me wish I was a child again. I can’t wait to continue on with the series, as this is the only one I’ve read. I know it will probably change my life even more as I continue!

 

5. Love, Lucy by April Lindner 
Everyone knows that traveling makes you fall in love with the person that you are, and Love, Lucy had everything I could have ever wanted in a travel book. It’s an inspiring story that makes you want to make your traveling dreams come true, not to mention it makes you feel like you can do it.

 

6. Just One Day by Gayle Forman
I feel very much about this book like I do about Wanderlove. This is another book that encourages you to leave your life behind and find yourself.

 

7. Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker
I wish I had had this book as a teen to help me get through heartbreak. The emotions are so pure. I’m grateful that I have this to recommend to young people who need a story like this.

 

8. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
This book was my gateway to fantasy, and now it’s one of my very favorite genres! It’s funny because I bought this because I was going to my very first author signing, and I wanted all the authors to sign all their books. But I owned none of them. So I ordered one of each and figured I’d never read this one. I’m so glad I did, though! It is a wonderful story, and is the book that made me fall in love with fantasy.

 

9. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Another gateway book! I was so against reading this book because it sounded so inhumane, but everyone was raving about it and I decided I’d give it a try. It was my very first dystopia, and made me so eager to read more of them.

 

10. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
The last gateway book: YA contemporary romance. I know! Crazy, right?! Up to this point I pretty much only read dystopia and paranormal (all the vampires and werewolves). Anna opened me up to a totally new genre, and I have fallen in love with so many books because of it, including four of the books in this list today.

Which books are you thankful for?
Do we have any in common?


Ten Halloween Things I’ve Never Done

October 30, 2017 About Me, Top Ten Tuesday 19

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

Happy Halloween! I’ll admit, I’m weird when it comes to Halloween. I love the fall vibes and the spooky atmosphere, but I don’t love Halloween. I don’t like orange and black together. I don’t like paranormal or supernatural things. I don’t like blood or spiders or the undead. I do like some things about Halloween, though! I love watching old thrillers, reading gothic novels, eating candy, and seeing the cute kids in costumes when they come trick-or-treating to my house. So for today’s Halloween freebie I thought I’d share with you some totally Halloween things I’ve never done or experienced before.

1. I’ve never seen a Tim Burton movie.
Seriously. No Nightmare Before Christmas. No Corpse Bride. They’re just not my thing!

2. I’ve never gone to a haunted house (or haunted anything).
I’d probably die if a went to a haunted house, haunted corn maze, haunted hay ride, etc. I almost died on the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland, so it’s just never going to happen.

3. I’ve never carved a jack-o’-lantern by myself.
Yeah, this is weird even to me. I’ve just never carved my own pumpkin! I remember carving one with a date a few years ago, but I’ve never been to a pumpkin patch as an adult and when I do end up with pumpkins from the grocery store I just put them by my door uncarved.

4. I’ve never baked Halloween treats.
It’s true. I’ve never made Halloween frosted sugar cookies or hot dogs that look like severed fingers.

5. I’ve never had a pumpkin spice flavored beverage.
So, I don’t drink coffee so it’s not like I’m against the PSL because it’s pumpkin spice. I actually love pumpkin spice, just only in baked goods.

6. I’ve never done themed costumes with friends.
I had friends in college who all dressed as a Spice Girl or a different Power Ranger or a Disney princess. Me? Not interested.

7. I’ve never read a horror novel.
I mean, I’ve read scary books, but my threshold for scary reads is so below average that pretty much nobody I know would think I’ve read a scary book.

8. I’ve never told ghost stories by flashlight.
It will just never happen. Ghost stories keep me up at night no matter how outlandish they might sound.

9. I’ve never participated in a séance or used a Ouija Board.
It’s too scary! I won’t even look in the mirror in the dark because I’m scared Bloody Mary will show up unannounced.

10. I’ve never gone on a ghost hunt or ghost tour.
Pretty sure this comes as no surprise and requires no further explanation.

So basically, I’m a major chicken. I’m scared of my own shadow or if the toast pops up out of the toaster before I’m ready. I’m scared of little noises. I’m scared of no noises. I’m really just here to find out when I can start decorating for Christmas.

Is anyone else as much of a scaredy cat as I am?


2016 End of Year Book Survey

December 28, 2016 About Me 6

I love taking part if Jamie’s End of Year Book Survey each year! It’s so much fun to look back on everything I’ve read, not to mention plan ahead a little. Is anyone else in shock that 2017 is in just a few short days??

Note: Links will take you to my review unless I haven’t reviewed it yet. Otherwise, it’s off to Goodreads!

Number of books read: 45 + most of a 46th!
Number of re-reads: 1
Most read genre: Fantasy!! Past Jana would be super surprised by this. Present Jana is super delighted!

1. Best book you read in 2016?
So last year there was a trend to my answers… and this year will be no different. Truth be told, I doubt things will be different until SarahJ. Maas quits writing (don’t let this happen!!). Hands down, my favorite book this year was A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas.

2. Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love?
I was sooooooooo looking forward to The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson, and it just did not work for me. I’m so sad, but it’s true. I still love the first two books and I can’t wait for Mary’s next book, though!

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
I’ve never really been a fan of Kasie West (I KNOW), but I LOVED P.S. I Like You so much! It’s a new favorite, and I’m so excited to read more

4. Book you “pushed” the most people to read (and they did)?
I have no idea who read what this year, much less whether or not it was because of me! lol. Besides Sarah J. Maas (duh), I think I’ve recommended Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton more than any other book. I LOVED it!

5. Best series you started in 2016? Best sequel of 2016? Best series-ender of 2016?
Series started: The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye
Sequel: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Series-ender: Winter by Marissa Meyer

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?
I’m not including any debut authors because they are all new and I can’t pick! So… Lucy Christopher! I read Stolen, and really enjoyed it!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
I don’t typically read non-fiction, but I read 438 Days: An Extraordinary True Story of Survival by Jonathan Franklin and thought it was so well done. I passed it on to my parents, and they both loved it as well.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
Winter by Marissa Meyer ended with a BANG! I could not put it down, and just loved it to pieces! I am SO SAD that the Lunar Chronicles are over, but at least we’ve got Wires and Nerve (the graphic novels) to look forward to!

9. Book you read in 2016 that you are most likely to re-read next year?
I broke my “I never re-read” rule to prepare for A Court of Mist and Fury this year by re-reading A Court of Thorns and Roses… so chances are pretty good I’ll re-read ACOMAF next year. lol.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton has a GLORIOUS cover! I’m so annoyed they have re-designed the cover and future covers for the series… I’m so tired of faces on covers. This was unique, and now it’s going to look like every other YA book out there.

11. Most memorable character of 2016?
Logan from The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller is an adorkable dream.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Holy crap, this book broke me with its beauty.

13. Most thought-provoking book of 2016?
438 Days: An Extraordinary True Story of Survival by Jonathan Franklin was an amazing reminder that our experiences have the power to change us in monumental ways.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read?
Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher! It’s been on my TBR for YEARS, and I finally made time for it. It was amazing!

15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2016?
“To the people who look at the stars and wish, Rhys.”
Rhys clinked his glass against mine. “To the stars who listen— and the dreams that are answered.”
― Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Mist and Fury

“People observe the colors of a day only at its beginnings and ends, but to me it’s quite clear that a day merges through a multitude of shades and intonations with each passing moment. A single hour can consist of thousands of different colors. Waxy yellows, cloud-spot blues. Murky darkness. In my line of work, I make it a point to notice them.”
― Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

16. Shortest & longest book you read in 2016?
Shortest: Under the Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis – 80 pages
Longest: Winter by Marissa Meyer – 833 pages

17. Book that shocked you the most? 
Stolen by Lucy Christopher shocked me so many times, but how I felt at the end of it shocked me more than anything else.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR? (you will go down with this ship!)
Rhys and Feyre from A Court of Mist and Fury. (Funny thing, last year my OTP was Tamlin and Feyre and I NEVER would have imagined being ok with her leaving him for Rhys! But I love these two even more!)

19. Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year?
Caitrin and the people of Whistling Tor from Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier. Caitrin formed such strong bonds with the people who lived there (Eichri and Rioghan, not to mention the loveable dog Fianchu) as well as the spirits that dwelled in darkness outside.

20. Favorite book you read in 2016 from an author you’ve read previously?
Winter A Court of Mist and FuryI didn’t read many books from authors I’ve read before… This is a close tie between by Marissa Meyer and by Sarah J. Maas.

21. Best book you read in 2016 that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else/peer pressure?
738 Days by Stacey Kade. I hadn’t even heard of this one until people started raving about it after BEA this year. While it sounded intriguing enough, I know I would not have read it had it not been for my friends!

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?
Hmm. The mystery guy from P.S. I Like you by Kasie West. Naming him would be super spoilery, so there you have it!

23. Best 2016 debut you read?
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton was SO GOOD!

24. Best worldbuilding/most vivid setting you read this year?
I’m trying to name different books!!! The world in Heir to the Sky by Amanda Sun was pretty awesome. But… I’m sorry, the Night Court and The Court of Dreams in A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas win this award. I can’t stop thinking about these places!

25. Book that put a smile on your face/was the most FUN to read?
P.S. I Like you by Kasie West! It’s so cute!!

26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2016?
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak!!! But alsoHeart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier.

27. Hidden gem of the year?
The Christmas Cabin by J.L. Jarvis is definitely a hidden gem. I think it was my favorite Christmas read this year, and I only randomly stumbled upon it while browsing Amazon. Hardly anyone has read it, but it was super cute and romantic!

28. Book that crushed your soul?
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak wins all the awards for tears and soul crushes.

29. Most unique book you read in 2016?
Ivory & Bone by Julie Eshbaugh is the only book with a prehistoric setting that I’ve ever come across!

30. Book that made you the most mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
I wanted to love Heartless by Marissa Meyer SO BAD because MARISSA MEYER! But I trudged through it and was so mad that I didn’t. Really, though, I was mad that I’ve never ever liked Alice In Wonderland. lol.

1. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
I loved posting about my favorite cat videos for the Cat King of Havana blog tour! I also had so much fun putting together a list of my teen heartthrobs for the 738 Days blog tour. The most interesting and popular discussion I had on the blog was when I asked readers what’s the longest book they’ve ever read.

2. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
The only event I went to this year was the Burning Glass signing with Kathryn Purdie. I had an awful migraine that night, so I didn’t totally enjoy myself unfortunately.

3. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2016?
Back in March I was contacted by the people at BEA’s Book Con and invited to lead a roundtable discussion. I had to say no because I was out of the country during BEA, and I was SO SAD I had to decline!! What an honor! I love blogging, and I always do it for myself. It’s nice to know people actually CARE about what I have to say, enough to think of me for an opportunity like this.

4. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
I seem to have lost my blogging mojo a little. I’m finding myself really struggling to get motivated to write reviews, and I have procrastinated SO MANY of them. I need to work on this.

5. Post you wished got a little more love?
Really, I’ve seen the same steady decline of comments that all the book bloggers have been seeing. I miss the good old days when awesome discussions happened in the comments of all my posts!

6. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
I’d ben hearing about Book Outlet, but never found anything I wanted. Then I had bookish friends list things on their wishlists that were available there, and I’ve been able to afford sending some gifts this year!

7. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I completed my Goodreads reading challenge, the Contemporary Romance Challenge reading challenge, the Prequel and Sequel reading challenge, and the TBR reading challenge. The only ones I did not complete were the Netgalley challenge because Edelweiss books don’t count and the Debut Author Challenge because I suck at following my own rules!

1. One book you didn’t get to in 2016 but will be your #1 priority in 2017?
Nemesis by Anna Banks.

2. Book you are most anticipating for 2017 (non-debut)?
Big surprise… A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas.

3. 2017 debut you are most anticipating?
Caraval by Stephanie Garber.

4. Series ending/a sequel you are most anticipating in 2017?
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas!! The Crown’s Fate by Evelyn Skye is another one. And Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton!

5. One thing you hope to accomplish/do in your reading/blogging life in 2017?
Revitalize! My blog and my reading life both suffered a lot while I was in grad school, but I graduated a couple weeks ago and hopefully my life will level out soon and allow more time for hobbies again!


My Obsession with Christmas Lights

December 24, 2016 About Me 5

Merry Christmas Eve, dear friends! We’ve had a pretty amazing month of Christmassy guest posts from authors and book bloggers, and I’ve just loved it! I’ve also had a lot of fun reading bunches of Christmas romances and sharing my opinions with you on them all. This really is the most wonderful time of the year, and I’m so grateful that my good bookish friends were willing to celebrate it with me!


Every Christmas Eve my family and I drive around town and look at all the Christmas lights on the houses, so for my last Bookish Little Christmas post I thought it would be fun to show you all the Christmas lights I’ve seen this month! I’m kind of obsessed with lights and I love going around and seeing as many as I can. My mom, sister, and I went to two drive-through light displays this month, and we’ve gone to some other fun local light displays as well. Here are some pictures of all my favorites.

Do you enjoy looking at Christmas lights, too? I’d love for you to link me to your favorite displays if you have any!


That Artsy Librarian | I’m Graduating!!

December 8, 2016 About Me, Personal, That Artsy Librarian 8

ThatArtsyLibrarian

That Artsy Librarian is a feature all about my journey through graduate school as I work towards my Master’s degree in Library and Information Science.

Guys. I had to interrupt my Bookish Little Christmas event to express my excitement because tomorrow is graduation! FINALLY. I presented my capstone paper (basically a thesis) last night after working on it and researching like crazy for an entire semester.

In response to the Young Adult Library Services Association’s 2013 national forum on the future of library services for teens and its resulting action report, I performed a study that aimed to discover what qualifications and skills teen librarians should possess in order to be successful in their careers. I analyzed the content of 200 job advertisements for teen librarian job positions in public libraries in the United States. My goal was to discover what the ideal teen librarian is like and whether or not libraries, scholars, and the American Library Association agree by comparing the study’s findings to contemporary literature on this topic. I collected job advertisements going back to January 2015 from three online job boards over the course of four months. I then organized the results into tables of various types of qualifications and skills and discussed the implications of the results and compared them to the literature. I also make recommendations for further research.

My professor/director of the department says I should submit it for publication because it’s so well done and informative! I’m seriously considering it because it was a ton of work. This is all SUPER exciting for me. I can’t believe that after 3.5 years of being a full time student (again), I’m finally done forever. I never have to do this again (I said this when I graduated with my Bachelor’s so…)! I have written hundreds of pages of literature reviews, case studies, analyses, discussions, marketing plans, research papers, proposed literature collections, and more. I’ve done projects in conjunction with local libraries. I’ve done multiple presentations and led discussions on several of them. I’ve done a bunch of group projects (ugh). I did an internship. And it’s FINALLY OVER! I don’t know that this will actually sink in until next semester starts and I find myself not getting ready for it.

I’m graduating with a 4.0 GPA, guys! This is the best Christmas present I could have given myself (see? I still swung this in a Christmas direction!)!


12 Heartthrobs Who Had Teen Me Swooning | 738 Days Blog Tour

June 29, 2016 About Me, Blog Tour, Giveaway 4

12 Heartthrobs Who Had Teen Me Swooning | 738 Days Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop along the 738 Days blog tour, hosted by The Irish Banana Review! 738 Days by Stacey Kade is about a girl named Amanda who was kidnapped at age 15, and escaped 738 days later. What helped her survive? A damaged poster of teen heartthrob, Chase Henry. In honor of this extremely unique storyline, I’m sharing with you twelve guys who had me swooning during my teen years. By the way, the book is pretty great! I just finished it last week, so stay tuned for my review!


GUYS. I’m so excited to show you who I was in love with during my teenaged years! I was not the typical teen who always fell for whoever was cool at the moment, which is why you will not find Tom Welling or Zac Efron on my list. It’s been 10 years since I was a teen, but most of these guys wiggled their way into my heart in the 90’s and stayed there forever (I’m a very devoted fangirl). Laugh if you want, but these ten guys made me weak in the knees and I bet I’d still giggle like a school girl if I met any of them today.

 

heartthrobs

 

1. Justin Timberlake of NSYNC – I remember spending hours waiting and waiting with my eyes glued to the TV, brand new VHS tape in the VCR, hoping to see the music video for Bye Bye Bye come on so that I could record it. Note, this was before the days of YouTube. Having the Internet in the house was this brand new thing, and it was slower than molasses on a hill. I don’t remember using it for anything but downloading songs off Napster (downloading just one song frequently took an hour or two). Anyway, the video came on, I jumped up and down and pressed the record button on my VCR, and then I played it over and over again swooning over Justin AND memorizing every dance move. I don’t know what I was thinking with this one. lol.

2. Mark Paul Gosselaar (Zack Morris from Saved By the Bell) – Saved By the Bell was one of my favorite shows as a kid, and I remember arguing with one of my friends that I was Kelly Kapowski, and that I was Zack’s girlfriend. I crushed on him so hard… If he had a hard day at school, I felt every emotion he did. lol.

3. Kirk Cameron (Mike Seaver from Growing Pains) – I also loved watching Growing Pains on TV, and I had such a crush on Mike. I even liked his hair. lol.

4. John Stamos (Uncle Jesse from Full House) – Full House was another favorite show of mine, and BOY did I love Uncle Jesse. His cool hair and his “have mercy” and his leather, bad boy look… *swoon* When he sang that Beach Boys song to Becky at their wedding, I just melted even though I was not happy that he was getting married. Yes, I found the video of him singing to her online, extracted the audio, and have it on my iPod. I’m not even kidding. I still love John Stamos, and am so sad that Grandfathered was cancelled.

5. Scott Weinger (Steve Hale from Full House) – I also had a thing for DJ’s boyfriend, Steve. That smile…

6. Brian Littrell of Backstreet Boys – I always thought Brian looked so cute while he was singing, plus he’s got a great voice. He’s also got some pretty great cheekbones.

7. Nick Lachey of 98 Degrees – I think Nick was the beginning of my love of guys with broad shoulders and chiseled jawlines. lol. Again, I loved his voice and his bedroom eyes.

8. Henry Winkler (The Fonz from Happy Days) – Ok, so this choice… and the next two, really, are why I felt it necessary to mention my atypical teen-ness. lol. I grew up on Nick at Nite and I LOVED Happy Days. It was one of my favorite shows, and I loved The Fonz so much. I thought he was so cool and hardened, yet he had morals and values… and he turned to mush when Mrs. Cunningham or Joanie kissed his cheek or said something sweet to him. He’s a bad boy on the outside and a teddy bear on the inside!

9. John Travolta (Danny Zuko from Grease) – Danny Zuko set my heart afire for reasons similar to The Fonz. Apparently I like leather-wearing, motorcycle-driving, hair gel-styling bad boys! But Danny can sing… and dance… and he stole my heart the first time I watched Grease. I used to pretend I was Sandy and sing-along to all of her parts.

10. Patrick Swayze (Johnny Castle from Dirty Dancing) – I remember the first time I watched Dirty Dancing. It was on TV one night and I stumbled across it. I was captivated immediately and felt pretty guilty for watching such dirty dancing! Haha! I was worried my mom would come in and catch me! Johnny was everything: sexy, talented, sweet, loyal… I wanted to be Baby so bad so I could fly over Johnny’s head in the final dance of the movie. Patrick Swayze’s death hit me pretty hard, and I have not been able to watch Dirty Dancing or Ghost since! Patrick embodied everything I saw in Johnny, and so much more. He left such a wonderful mark on dance and cinema, and I’m not sure another celebrity will ever take his place in my heart!

11. Christopher Plummer (Captain Von Trapp from The Sound of Music) – The Sound of Music has always been my favorite movie, and Captain Von Trapp was my very first love. His eyes and his hardened exterior and his little smirk. LOVE him! Let me tell you, I was devastated when I found out Christopher Plummer was dubbed when he sang in this movie. Every time I watch, I make myself forget that fact.

12. Timothy Goeble (2002 Olympic bronze medalist in figure skating) – My entire family thought I was crazy, but I watched the Olympics for this guy. I LOVED him! He had the cutest smile and always looked so happy when he skated. Plus, he was the first person to land a quadruple salchow in competition and the first person to land three quadruple jumps in one program. Amazing!

So! Now that I have proclaimed my love for these 12 swoony guys, tell me which celebrities or well-known figures you loved as a teenager! Do we have any in common?


738 Days by Stacey Kade
Published by Forge Books on June 7, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
Add to Goodreads
Buy: Amazon • B&N • IndieBound • iBooks • Book Depository

At fifteen, Amanda Grace was abducted on her way home from school. 738 days later, she escaped. Her 20/20 interview is what everyone remembers—Amanda describing the room where she was kept, the torn poster of TV heartthrob Chase Henry on the wall. It reminded her of home and gave her the strength to keep fighting.

Now, years later, Amanda is struggling to live normally. Her friends have gone on to college, while she battles PTSD. She’s not getting any better, and she fears that if something doesn’t change soon she never will.

Six years ago, Chase Henry defied astronomical odds, won a coveted role on a new TV show, and was elevated to super-stardom. With it, came drugs, alcohol, arrests, and crazy spending sprees. Now he’s sober and a Hollywood pariah, washed up at twenty-four.

To revamp his image, Chase’s publicist comes up with a plan: surprise Amanda Grace with the chance to meet her hero, followed by a visit to the set of Chase’s new movie. The meeting is a disaster, but out of mutual desperation, Amanda and Chase strike a deal. What starts as a simple arrangement, though, rapidly becomes more complicated when they realize they need each other in more ways than one. But when the past resurfaces in a new threat, will they stand together or fall apart?


About Stacey:

As an award-winning corporate copywriter, Stacey Kade has written about everything from backhoe loaders to breast pumps. But she prefers to make things up instead.

She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, Greg, and two retired racing greyhounds, SheWearsThePants (Pansy) and Shutter. When she’s not reading or writing, you’ll likely find her parked in front of the television catching up on her favorite shows (Scandal, The Vampire Diaries, Almost Human, The Walking Dead, and Sherlock, among others.)

Stacey is the author of the The Ghost and the Goth trilogy (THE GHOST AND THE GOTH, QUEEN OF THE DEAD, and BODY & SOUL) and The Project Paper Doll Series (THE RULES and THE HUNT).

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Tour Schedule:

6/20: Lost In Lit – Review
6/21: No BS Book Reviews – Q&A
6/22: Addicted 2 Novels – Review
6/23: What Sarah Read – Guest Post
6/24: Polished Page Turners – Review
6/27: Andi’s ABCs – Q&A
6/28: The Irish Banana Review – Review
6/29: That Artsy Reader Girl – Teen Heartthrobs
6/30: Jenuine Cupcakes – Review
7/1: Bookiemoji – Top 10


29 Bright Candles | 50 Things About Jana

June 23, 2016 About Me, Discussion 3

Birthday cupcake
 

Yesterday was my 29th birthday!! I can’t believe it! So often it’s all about books or blog tours or the Debut Author Challenge here on the blog, so I thought it would be fun to post a little about myself today so you can get to know me better! So I interviewed myself with questions I found around the Internet.


1. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
I’d love to live in a little villa in Italy somewhere, probably in the middle of the countryside but close enough so that I can visit all the beautiful places there. I’d also want to be close to a town markets and bakeries so I can buy all the yummy foods.

2. What is your biggest fear?
Losing my mom too soon.

3. What is your favorite family vacation?
A few years ago, my family and I went on a transatlantic cruise that ended in Rome, Italy. We made so many amazing stops along the way, and then spent a few days in Rome. Then my dad and little sister flew home and my mom and I spent three more weeks traveling through Italy, Switzerland, France, Belgium, and The Netherlands. It was amazing!

4. What would you change about yourself if you could?
My health. Definitely.

5. What really makes you angry?
Injustice! lol. I get so mad if something happens to me or anyone I’m even aware of really, that was just wrong. Or if someone gets away with something they shouldn’t have. I also get angry when someone is rude just for the sake of being rude. This happens a lot on the Internet and it bothers me so much.

6. What motivates you to work hard?
I’m a perfectionist, so my inner drive to do everything right is more motivation than I need.

7. What is your proudest accomplishment?
Wow, this is hard. I’m proud of myself for a lot of different things. I’ll be graduating grad school this December with a 4.0 GPA, I’ve got a blurb in a book and am mentioned in several acknowledgments pages, and I’ve made some choices regarding my church that were really big.

8. What is your favorite book to read?
This is hard, but it’s got to be A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. It was my first and only re-read to date!

9. What makes you laugh the most?
Lots of things make me laugh, so it’s hard to narrow it down. Funny/cute cat videos do it for me the most, probably.

10. What was the last movie you went to? What did you think?
I saw Finding Dory on Tuesday, and thought it was really cute! Baby Dory was cute, but that short called Piper at the beginning was amazing.

11. What did you want to be when you were small?
A teacher, because I wanted to write on a chalkboard all day.

12. If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?
Hmmm… Well, this might be cheating a little… but I’d love to have a day where booking travel arrangements was free. Like, all plane tickets, cruise fares, hotels, etc. are free. I’d book everything for the rest of my life!

13. What is your favorite game or sport to watch and play?
I don’t really enjoy playing sports or watching sports on TV, but I do like going to the occasional football game.

14. Which would you rather do: wash dishes, mow the lawn, clean the bathroom, or vacuum the house?
Vacuum the house.

15. If you could hire someone to help you, would it be with cleaning, cooking, or yard work?
Cleaning, for sure.

16. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Pasta with chicken in it. I need my protein, but pasts is love.

17. Who is your favorite author?
This is a rude question. Marissa Meyer.

18. Have you ever had a nickname? What is it?
I’ve had a TON from friends and family. Probably my favorite is “Squirtie Bird”, which is what my grandpa calls me.

19. Do you like or dislike surprises? 
I LOVE them!

20. In the evening, would you rather play a game, visit a relative, watch a movie, or read?
Read!

21. Would you rather vacation in Hawaii or Alaska, and why?
Hmm… Depends on the time of year. I love Alaska (been twice) and I’m going to Hawaii next year. I don’t love hot weather, so Hawaii in the winter would be very fun.

22. Would you rather win the lottery or work at the perfect job? And why?
I’d rather win the lottery so I can stop worrying about money and do things I love.

23. Who would you want to be stranded with on a deserted island?
My mom!

24. If money was no object, what would you do all day?
Travel. I’d love to spend my life traveling.

25. If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to?
Hmm… I’d like to go back to Rome in 1508 and watch Michelangelo paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

26. How would your friends describe you?
I’ve asked this over the years, and people have described me as being doe-eyed, sweet, caring, a good listener, trustworthy, and funny.

27. What are your hobbies?
Reading, organizing, making jewelry, graphic design, shopping, traveling, watching movies, going to museums, playing games, book blogging, and so many more.

28. What is the best gift you have been given?
This is hard! I’ve gotten lots of great things, but those are not as important to me as the experiences I’ve had in my life and the people who are in it.

29. What is the worst gift you have received?
Oh wow. When I was a kid I got this weird pottery kit from a friend who came to my birthday kit that had a mold that you pour plaster into and then paint with pastel acrylics. It was the ugliest thing. lol.

30. Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?
Honestly, my phone. And that’s pitiful.

31. List two pet peeves.
Poor grammar/spelling and people who wander through stores oblivious to the fact that they are not the only ones there.

32. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Working as a librarian, possibly married?

33. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
I should know this since I just organized them all, but probably 40-50.

34. If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have?
Teleportation, the ability to read minds, and the power to eat whatever I want and stay perfectly thin.

35. What form of public transportation do you prefer? 
Cruise ship.

36. What’s your favorite zoo animal?
Polar bears and penguins.

37. If you could go back in time to change one thing, what would it be?
I never would have stayed at that one job that sent my health into a downward spiral.

38. How many pillows do you sleep with?
Four.

39. What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep (and why)?
I think it was roughly 24 hours when I flew home from Amsterdam. I don’t even know.

40. What’s the tallest building you’ve been to the top of?
Empire State Building

41. Would you rather trade intelligence for looks or looks for intelligence?
Looks for intelligence. Dumb people bug me.

42. How often do you buy clothes?
One or two times a month.

43. Have you ever had a secret admirer?
I have! I had a couple in high school and one in college.

44. What’s your favorite holiday?
Christmas.

45. What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
I’ve taken a lot of pictures

46. What was the last thing you recorded on TV?
The Bachelorette.

47. What was the last book you read?
I’m currently reading 738 Days by Stacey Kade. The last book I finished was Frayed by Kara Terzis.

48. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
I shower at night, so it takes me about 30-40 minutes to do my makeup and hair in the morning.

49. What’s your favorite movie?
Father of the Bride (the one with Steve Martin)

50. What language do you wish you spoke?
Italian

Thanks for stopping by to get to know a little about me! Pick a question (or a bunch) and answer it in the comments! I’d love to get to know you better as well. 


My Favorite Works of Art | Roses & Rot Blog Tour

June 8, 2016 About Me, Blog Tour, Book Spotlight, Giveaway 3

My Favorite Works of Art | Roses & Rot Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop along the Roses & Rot tour, hosted by The Irish Banana Review! In Roses & Rot, sisters Imogen and Marin are accepted to a very elite post-grad arts program, and this school ends up being way different than they expected. The book itself is very atmospheric and the writing is beautiful. Plus, Neil Gaiman blurbed it… so there you go!


I get to do something a little different today for my blog tour stop, and I’m pretty excited about it. I got my undergraduate degree in graphic design and art history, so art is basically my life. I’m all too familiar with the question the book’s synopsis asks us: “How much does an artist need to give up to create great art?” I’ve studied a lot of art and traveled around the world to see some my favorites (but not all!), so today I’m going to show you my favorite pieces of art, many of which were created by artists who sacrificed it all. I had so much fun going through hundreds of pages of my class notes from all my art history courses as I decided which works to showcase.

FavoriteWorksofArt

1. Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh (saw this at the MoMA)
2. Water Lilies by Claude Monet
3. Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap by Pieter Bruegel
4. Rise of the Carthaginian Empire by Joseph Mallord William Turner
5. Winter Landscape with Ice Skaters by Hendrick Avercamp
6. The Entrance to the Grand Canal, Venice by Canaletto
7. Salcombe Estuary, South Devon by Henry Thomas Dawson
8. School of Athens by Rafael (saw this at the Vatican)
9. View of the Pic du Midi d’Ossau in the Pyrenees, with Brigands by Clarkson Stanfield
10. The entire ceiling of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo (sat in this chapel at the Vatican)

Are you an art history lover like I am? What are some of your favorite artworks?


Roses and Rot by Kat Howard
Published by Saga Press on May 13, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Retelling, Fairy Tale
Add to Goodreads
Buy: Amazon • B&N • IndieBound • iBooks • Book Depository

Imogen and her sister Marin have escaped their cruel mother to attend a prestigious artists’ retreat, but soon learn that living in a fairy tale requires sacrifices, be it art or love.

What would you sacrifice in the name of success? How much does an artist need to give up to create great art?

Imogen has grown up reading fairy tales about mothers who die and make way for cruel stepmothers. As a child, she used to lie in bed wishing that her life would become one of these tragic fairy tales because she couldn’t imagine how a stepmother could be worse than her mother now. As adults, Imogen and her sister Marin are accepted to an elite post-grad arts program—Imogen as a writer and Marin as a dancer. Soon enough, though, they realize that there’s more to the school than meets the eye. Imogen might be living in the fairy tale she’s dreamed about as a child, but it’s one that will pit her against Marin if she decides to escape her past to find her heart’s desire.


About Kat:

Kat Howard lives in New Hampshire. Her short fiction has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award, anthologized in year’s best and best of collections, and performed on NPR. Roses and Rot is her debut novel. You can find her on twitter at @KatWithSword.

Also, Shane Leonard took her photo, and she’s super grateful.

Website | TwitterTumblr


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

6/6: Such A Novel Idea – Playlist
6/7: Cosying Up With Books – Review
6/8: That Artsy Reader Girl – Art History Post
6/9: The Quiet Concert – Review
6/10: Fiction Fare – Q&A
6/13: No BS Book Reviews – Q&A
6/14: Curling Up With A Good Book – Guest Post
6/15: Lilybloombooks – Review
6/16: Reads All the Books – Review
6/17: Fangs & Fur Fantasy Books – Review


That Artsy Librarian | Just Finished My Second to Last Semester!

May 27, 2016 About Me, That Artsy Librarian 7

ThatArtsyLibrarian

That Artsy Librarian is a feature all about my journey through graduate school as I work towards my Master’s degree in Library and Information Science.

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about my grad school experience, so I thought I’d do that today! I feel like I’ve been in school forever… And I have. I’ve been in grad school for three years. I honestly can’t believe it. I never thought I’d ever go to grad school, much less do a program that takes almost as long as my undergraduate degree.

I just finished up my second to last semester, and I took library marketing and collection development classes. In marketing I spent the semester writing marketing plans for a local library. The first plan was for the ENTIRE library: all of the services and programs available there. It was so complicated and long… 20 single-spaced pages. The second plan was just for the library’s teen services department and it was 16 single-spaced pages. It was fun, but super stressful because I was never really clear on what my teacher wanted. lol. I also made an 8-minute powerpoint audio/visual presentation for my first plan. The course also required I write reviews of scholarly publications and participate in weekly discussions on our required readings. It was a very intense course.

My collection development course was interesting… I was paired up with a classmate and we had to put together a 15-minute audio/visual presentation on weeding library collections. I also did a group assignment on the principles of collection development, which I did not find incredibly useful. The bulk of my final grade came from a 20-item collection I developed for the same library I used in my marketing class. I decided to do it on art and its influence on popular culture. Seeing as how I got my undergrad degree in art history, I thought this was a really fun topic and I enjoyed my 20+ hours of research. Not only did each collection item have to fit the theme, it also had to have positive professional reviews from publications such as Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. I spent a lot of time researching those and quoting them in my justifications for each item. I also had to fight for why the collection was necessary, how I would maintain the collection and add to it in the future, and I had to include an itemized list of prices and vendors. I also had to design a marketing tool to advertise the collection to the general public. We all know graphic design is my thing, and I made a large format poster that looks awesome.

I’ve always enjoyed collection development, and this was the third collection I developed for my program. I’ve also done a children’s picture book collection on multicultural friendships and a teen collection on post-apocalyptic topics (fiction, graphic novels, non-fiction, reference, DVDs, CDs, etc.). I find collection development to be a bit of a treasure hunt and I have a lot of fun searching for items. This has been something I’ve learned about myself since I joined the program, and I’m actually surprised! It’s a good kind of surprise, though.

This was probably the most work intensive semester I’ve had, hence the lack of activity going on here on the blog. I’ve done my best to keep up, but I know things slowed down a lot. I did get A’s in both classes, though! 100% in marketing and 99% in collection development, so my devotion pid off. Now I have a few months off to read and relax and enjoy the summer before jumping in to my final semester. I’m taking my last class this fall, and it’s my capstone course. Essentially, I will be designing and conducting a research study. My final paper of the program will be discussing the results of that study and their applications and relevancy to the field of information science. I already chose my topic, but more on that in a later post!

Yay summer!!!