Category: Uncategorized

Book Blogger Love-A-Thon: Mini Challenge 3 – Mad-Lib

Posted February 15, 2014 by Jana in Uncategorized / 5 Comments

loveathon

The book blogger love-a-thon is a fun little weekend event hosted by Alexa Loves Books and Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands. The point is to spread the love around the book blogosphere and get to know some amazing people!

This challenge is to complete a mad-lib about our book boyfriends! The bolded words are the ones I added in. This was SO much fun! Haha.

One day, I was singing with Sam (Incarnate). Out of the blue, a dragon came out of nowhere! It was so big, fierce and sinister. At first, we were afraid, we were petrified, but we ate. We hopped on a speed boat to make our getaway.

As we escaped, we turned up the radio because S.O.S by Rhianna came on and made me flail. Everything was extremely smooth sailing until an octopus appeared in the middle of the ocean. We swerved to avoid it, but while Sam stayed on the speed boat, I got thrown out into the water.

I couldn’t get up, and felt depressed as I lay there staring up at the stars. What was I going to do? I heard a gurgle among the waves, and felt sad. Surely, this was going to be my end. As my eyes fluttered shut, the last thing I saw was a head of black hair and grey eyes.

When I woke up again, I was on a futon. My body hurt a whole lot less, and I could sit up. There was a TV and a fireplace in the room, along with macaroni and cheese and chamomile tea. The door suddenly opened to reveal Galen (Of Poseidon), a concerned look on his face. I blushed and averted my gaze, but he smiled and said, “Don’t be shy. It’s okay.”

He came over to sit by me, and we started talking after I told him my name. We chatted about swimming, shopping, and singing and realized we had a ton in common! I thought he was super handsome and couldn’t help feeling a little swoony.

Just as he reached out for my hand, the door crashed open and in came Etienne St. Clair. “Don’t let him charm you away, my love!” He yelled, running at Galen. They each had blenders in their hands and began to fight. “Stop!”, I yelled, feeling so upset. They didn’t listen to me. Before I could intervene, Galen fell to the floor and disappeared in a cloud of smoke.

“What was that?” I asked, staring at the empty space. St. Clair dropped his weapon, and came over to me. “Magic, but you are safe now, my little chocolate eclair.” He hugged me close, and I suddenly knew that this was the real deal and not just a dream.

Just as You Are Loved by Josh Groban started playing in my head, I woke up. I cursed my stinkin’ luck. Why had it only been just a dream?

Hehe! That was too much fun! If only my book boyfriends really did fight over me like this!


Book Blogger Love-A-Thon: Interview with Hazel

Posted February 15, 2014 by Jana in Uncategorized / 19 Comments

loveathon

The book blogger love-a-thon is a fun little weekend event hosted by Alexa Loves Books and Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands. The point is to spread the love around the book blogosphere and get to know some amazing people!

I’m so excited to have Hazel on the blog today, to kick off the book blogger love-a-thon! She is amazingly nice, and I had so much fun getting to know her!

1. Tell me about where you live! I love hearing about places outside of the USA.

Malaysia is a beautiful tropical country just north of the equator. Our closest neighbors are Thailand and Singapore, but we’re a little less well-known. The best books I can recommend to get to know more about Malaysia and the culture in its glory days are The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo and The Harmony Silk Factory by Tash Aw, both are historical fiction set in the early 1900’s. The Ghost Bride is also a fantasy novel that reminds me very much of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. It’s one of my favorite books, I highly recommend reading it regardless of whether you’re interested in learning more about Malaysia.

2. What made you decide to start a book blog?

Well, I read a lot of books, for one. =) I used to have a blog specifically for books and book reviews, but I was also reading a lot less then. We don’t have good public libraries in Malaysia and I had limited money for books, so I had time to write about my thoughts on the books I read, and to re-read the books I loved. When I moved to Canada in 2010, the Calgary Public Library was so awesome and I had access to so many great books, that I was reading about twice more than I did before. I was like a starving person at a buffet table and it was fun for a while, but as I kept reading (and not blogging about the books), I started forgetting some of the books I’d read and what I thought about them. I devoured the books without really tasting them, and starting this blog now to review and write about the books I read, is a way for me to remind myself to slow down and enjoy the books.

3. What are some of your favorite genres or books?

My favorite genre will always be fantasy, but not all my favorite books are fantasy. I have many favorites. George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series will always be ranked up there among them, The Light Bearer by Donna Gillespie is the most underrated historical fiction I know, Anne of Green Gables has influenced such a big part of who I am, The Count of Monte Cristo is better than any modern thriller and revenge story, The Hunger Games is a relatively new favorite, but no less loved.

4. What book has changed your life in some way? Why?

Wow, tough question. So many books have influenced my life in so many ways, it’s hard to think of just one significant book. Let me try to narrow it down…

When I was 9 or 10 years old, I read my first Christopher Pike book, and his books completely changed my perception of being a writer. I’d always written stories but I’d always made things up as I wrote, it was only after reading his books that I realized that you could plan and plot and make things happen the way you wanted them to.

When I was about 18, I was delving deeper into questions about spirituality, and happened to come across Neale Donald Walsch’s Conversations with God series. These books changed my whole idea about who we are, what our life purpose is, why we are here, and it definitely changed how I saw things.

When I was about 25, I read The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, about nutrition and natural health and how what we eat influenced our body’s health. I was diagnosed with cancer when I was 19, and while that made me more health-conscious and read more books about health, it never occurred to me to study it formally until I read The China Study. I started looking for natural health colleges as soon as I finished reading the book, and I’m now a certified Master Herbalist.

5. Tell us about your ideal reading situation. (i.e., where are you? who is with you? any food?)

I love reading while my husband practices the guitar. He provides great background music and I love that we’re doing our own individual things together. It doesn’t really matter where, but anywhere nice and cozy. =)

6. What is your proudest blogging moment?

It’s not a huge deal compared to so many more accomplished bloggers out there, but I was really proud when Paulo Coelho featured my review of The Alchemist on his blog. =)

7. You blog about a lot more than books. What are some of your other interests?

Well, I love music, my husband and I used to perform professionally for weddings and company events, both together and separately. I also crochet and knit and I’m just learning to sew. I’m interested in learning and reading more about natural health, sustainable living, plants and gardening, spirituality, and so much more! There are so many things to learn and be interested in! I’ve traveled a lot around Asia and the Australasia area, but I’d love to travel more around Europe and America in the future.

8. What do you feel is your most unique characteristic?

My most unique characteristic, hmmm… my brutal honesty? To myself I mean, I’m not brutally honest to anyone else, and I’m not actually brutal. =D I don’t actually know if it’s a unique characteristic, but I think it’s one of my better qualities. As readers, most of us are able to put ourselves in other people’s shoes and be compassionate to their challenges and situations, but there still seems to be some blind spot when it comes to ourselves. I feel that I am able to be honest to myself about my shortcomings and weaknesses without being harsh, but at the same time be able to see them as things I want to improve on and still celebrate my strengths and successes.

9. Describe your ideal day.

Yoga in the early morning, a leisurely breakfast with hubby, then maybe a road trip to some place we can explore, and a cozy picnic lunch when we get hungry. Then we’d read and play music and doze a little bit until it starts to get dark. Maybe we’ll go somewhere nice for dinner, or maybe we’ll just stay home and have a simple dinner, but after that, we’re snuggling under the covers and watching a movie marathon until we fall asleep. =) It sounds positively wonderful to me.

10. What goals do you have for your future blogging endeavor?

I’d like to streamline all my social media profiles with my blog, for a start. I’m only just getting back to blogging and feeling overwhelmed with all the new social platforms out there. I’d also like to eventually start a twitter chat for an online book club/readalongs. I used to host Betty’s Book Chats which I really enjoyed, but didn’t really take off after the initial book chat for Water for Elephants. Most importantly for me, is establishing a sense of community and belonging as a blogger and a writer. I want to blog about things that matter and that will help or resonate with others. I want to grow as a blogger and as a person, learning from other bloggers, and sharing with them as well.


Stacking the Shelves (#1)

Posted April 7, 2013 by Jana in Uncategorized / 8 Comments

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews, where we get to show off all the exciting books we’ve added to our shelves! It’s a fun way to express our excitement over books we might not be able to review for a while. :)

So, this is my very first time participating in Stacking the Shelves! It’s been a while since I’ve shared my acquired books. With the awesome deals online right now, I’m excited to show you all what I got!

For Review:


Of Triton by Anna Banks
The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Monument 14: Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne
Famous Last Words by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini (watch for my review and giveaway tomorrow!)
Unremembered by Jessica Brody (this was actually a gift from Macmillan for participating in the blog tour!)
Love in the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block

Not pictured (because they are ebooks): 

True by Erin McCarthy
Tempest Revealed by Tracy Deebs
The Secret Ingredient by Stewart Lewis
Dare You To by Katie McGarry
Burning by Elana K. Arnold
The Deepest Night by Shana Abe
The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe
The Fairest of them All by Carolyn Turgeon
Two Lies and a Spy by Kat Carlton
Towering by Alex Flinn
Reboot by Amy Tintera
Golden by Jessi Kirby
Girl Vs. Earl by Phillippa Ashley

Purchased: 


Requiem by Lauren Oliver
Delirium Stories by Lauren Oliver
Queen of Babble Gets Hitched by Meg Cabot
Forever Summer (Included Laguna Cove and Cruel Summer) by Alyson Noel

Not pictured (because they are ebooks): 

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Being Friends with Boys by Terra Elan McVoy
Confessions of a Call Center Gal by Lisa Lim

Won:


The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
The Fox Inheritance by Mary E. Pearson
Fox Forever by Mary E. Pearson

Thanks to Brittany at The Book Addict’s Guide for hosting the giveaway!

So, what have you gotten recently? Link me, and I’ll come visit!


That Artsy Reader Girl’s Bookish Little Christmas Event Kick-Off

Posted December 2, 2012 by Jana in Uncategorized / 1 Comment

Happy December! I love December, and I love everything to do with Christmas. I love the snow, the food, the decorations, and the music. One of my favorite things to do during this time of year is sit by the fire and read Christmas books. I spend all year searching for good ones. The next 24 days at That Artsy Reader Girl are going to be filled with Christmas posts, Christmas/winter book reviews, festive features, music, recipes, and a LOT about me. Definitely feel free to link me to any Christmasy posts that you’ve got on your blog, and I’ll announce them here as well! And feel free to steal my button and participate right along with me. Just make sure to link back to my blog. :)

Here is the schedule of this month’s posts. Be sure to check back often as I update the list of happenings around my blog, as well as other fun Christmas events.

December 1st: Christmas Books Giveaway Hop
December 2nd: Event Kick-Off and schedule
December 3rd: The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman (Book Review)
December 4th: Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings
December 5th: Christmas Reading on a Budget
December 6th: Santa Maybe by Aubrey Mace (Mini Book Review)
December 7th: Author Guest Post and Book Excerpt – Stacy Joy Netzel
December 8th: Bookish Finds: Christmas Edition
December 9th: Merry Christmas from JKS Communications! (2 Giveaways)
December 11th: Christmas Goodies to Munch While You Read!
December 12th: Snowed Over by Angie Stanton (Mini Book Review)
December 13th: Inner Child: Christmas Books I Grew Up With
December 14th: ‘Twas the Night by Sandra Hill, Kate Holmes, and Trish Jensen (Book Review)
December 15th: A Man’s Opinion on Let it Snow by Green, Johnson, & Myracle
December 16th: My Favorite Christmas Book Covers
December 17th: Christmas Around the Book World (Guest Post from Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books)
December 18th: Christmas with Reece and Jenna from Danielle Sibarium’s Heart Waves
December 19th: Bah, Humbug! by Heather Horrocks (Mini Book Review)
December 20th: Singletons: Unite in Seasonal Solidarity (Author Guest Post – Libby Mercer)
December 21st: The Magic of A Christmas Carol (Guest Post by Kimberly)
December 22nd: My Christmas Playlist (The Songs I Grew Up On)
December 24th: Decked with Holly by Marni Bates (Book Review) 
December 25th: Merry Christmas! (+ My Top 10 Favorite things About Christmas)


Debut Author Challenge 2013 – I’m so doing this!!

Posted November 12, 2012 by Jana in Uncategorized / 2 Comments

I’m so excited to be participating in the Debut Author Challenge, hosted by Tara at Hobbitsies, 2013! And I was also incredibly honored when Tara wrote and asked me to design the buttons for this year! 2013 is already looking like it’s going to be full of amazingly wonderful debut authors, and I know I’ll be shoving as many of them into my reading list as possible. I love supporting new authors! Anyway, here’s my list of DAC hopefuls, although I’m sure I’ll be editing this (and adding to it) as time goes on.

 

Taken by Erin Bowman (coming April 16, 2013)
MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza (coming March 12, 2013)
Dualed by Elise Chapman (coming February 26, 2013)

Linked by Imogen Howson (coming June 11, 2013)
Reboot by Amy Tintera (coming May 7, 2013)
Triangles by Kimberly Ann Miller (coming June 18, 2013)

The Reece Malcom List by Amy Spalding (coming February 5, 2013)
The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar (coming March 21, 2013)
That Time I Joined the Circus by J.J. Howard (coming April 2013)


How My Summer Went Up In Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski (coming May 7, 2013)
The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan (coming May 14, 2013)
Truth or Dare by Jacqueline Green (coming May 14, 2013)

So, which debuts have you giddy with excitement?

Showcase Sunday (#4)

Posted November 11, 2012 by Jana in Uncategorized / 10 Comments

Showcase Sunday is hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits, and Tea. We get to showcase our newest books or book related swag and see what everyone else received, borrowed, bought, and downloaded!

Wow! I have not participated in SS in months now! Might as well jump in and show you all the goodies I’ve gotten as of late!

Received for Review:

Dualed by Elsie Chapman
The Chocolate Kiss by Laura Florand
Renegade by J.A. Souders
Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black
The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen by Syrie James
Fathomless by Jackson Pearce

 

 

 

 

Bought:
Snowed Over by Angie Stanton
Stork by Wendy Delsol
Dante’s Girl by Courtney Cole
Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio
Smart Girls Get What they Want by Sarah Strohmeyer
So Close to You by Rachel Carter

 

 

 

 

 

Won:

Shelter by Harlan Coben
Seconds Away by Harlan Coben
+ a Mickey Bolitar tote and swag, thanks to Britt at The reading Nook and Penguin Books!

 

 

So, what new lovelies have been added to your shelf lately? Have you read any of the ones I got?


Showcase Sunday (#3)

Posted July 29, 2012 by Jana in Uncategorized / 9 Comments

 

Showcase Sunday is hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits, and Tea. We get to showcase our newest books or book related swag and see what everyone else received, borrowed, bought, and downloaded!

It was another great week for me, here at That Artsy Reader Girl! I won a few titles, received three from friends, and even bought one! Sorry, but there’s no vlog today! The Olympics sent me to bed at midnight thirty this morning, so a picture will have to do.


Titles I won:

Glamorous Illusions (Paperback) by Lisa T. Bergen (Armchair BEA)
The Vicious Deep (Hardback) by Zoraida Cordova (From JoAnne at The Fairytale Nerd)
Tangled Tides (Personalized paperback and postcard) by Karen Amanda Hooper (Armchair BEA)
Under the Never Sky (Paperback) by Veronica Rossi (From Zahida at Musings of a YA Reader)

Titles I was given:

Such a Rush (ARC) by Jennifer Echols (From Alexa at Alexa Loves Books)
On the Island (Personalized paperback and bookmark) by Tracey Garvis Graves (From Tracey herself!)

Title I am borrowing: 

From What I Remember (Kindle copy) by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas (Kim at Book Blogger Mom is loaning her Kindle copy to me through Amazon loaning.)

Title I bought:

The Night Before Christmas (Used paperback) by Scarlett Bailey (for my upcoming Christmas event on the blog!)

 

What did you get this week?


Check out my review and giveaway of Frost by Kate Avery Ellison, an awesome and chilly dystopia that had me flipping through the pages faster than I could read!
I re-designed Alexa’s (Alexa Loves Books) blog & coordinating buttons and images! Go see it!
Come discuss book blogging safety with me!
See what I thought of Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry, & listen to the song I think goes with it!


Showcase Sunday (#2)

Posted July 15, 2012 by Jana in Uncategorized / 7 Comments

 

Showcase Sunday is hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits, and Tea. We get to showcase our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received, borrowed, bought, and downloaded!

 

Books Received:
Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
(From Julia’s 2-year blogoversary giveaway)

Insignia by S.J. Kincaid
(Because Kimberly accidentally got an extra for the SLC Dark Days signing, and was sweet to give it to me!)

Every Day by David Levithan
(From Netgalley)


Why I Didn’t Finish It… #1

Posted July 12, 2012 by Jana in Uncategorized / 3 Comments

 

Hi! So… this is my least favorite feature here at That Artsy Reader Girl. It’s where I discuss why certain books just weren’t for me. I don’t feel right reviewing a book if I have not read every single page of it. At the same time, though, I want to be able to justify why I chose to leave it behind. I do my very best to never do this, but sometimes I end up deciding that it would be more fair to myself, as well as the author, if I just quit trying! So here are my two cents!

Q: A Novel by Evan Mandery
I love a quirky novel, but this one was just too quirky. I mean, about 3 whole pages were spent describing a game of miniature golf. It just didn’t grab me, and I really didn’t care what happened. I loved the idea of the book. The publisher’s blurb made it sound much more up my alley. When I received it and read the summary, it sounded like a completely different book. If I had read this summary, I would not have accepted it because I would have known immediately that it was not my cup of tea. I gave it an honest try anyway, but in the end I just couldn’t stay with it.

Candle in the Window by Christina Dodd
Very shortly into this book I realized I had accidentally come across a book that could be classified as erotica. The summary on the back of the book sounded like a nice historical romance, but there was nothing to the story except for sexytimes. Nothing. It was just all about some big, tough macho man raping this blind woman everyday and then she fell in love with him and they got married. I got that out of the first two chapters. I guess I learned a valuable lesson with this one: never buy a book on a cruise ship!

Pure by Julianna Baggott
I know… So many people love this one! I felt extremely guilty about not finishing this one. I was going through some rough things in my life when I started this one, and it depressed me. It’s probably the most disturbing dystopian I’ve read. The world has been demolished by atomic bombs, and when those bombs went off the items people were holding became a part of their body. So the main girl has a doll face for a hand. Now, everyone is required to either join the militia or sign up to be a live target if they are too damaged from the bombs. It was upsetting!

How to Eat a Cupcake by Meg Donahue
I loved the idea of this book… two estranged friends get together to open a cupcakery. It sounded adorable! I just couldn’t climb on board. The book hardly had any dialogue and was full of entire page-length paragraphs of details.

Lockdown: Escape from Furnace by Alexander Gordon Smith
So… I don’t have problems with dark reads, but this one was TOO dark. I guess I’m just really sensitive, or extremely squeamish. The idea sounded amazing, and I know that many many people love Alexander’s series. I just could not finish it! I did give it to my dad, who enjoyed it, but further confirmed that I made the right decision. Haha!

Ok, so those are my DNFs as of yet. Have you read any of these? Do you agree? Should I try again? Let me know your thoughts! What does it take for you to DNF a book? How much time do you give it before you throw in the towel?


Showcase Sunday (#1) – ALA, Birthday, & Review Books Edition

Posted July 8, 2012 by Jana in Uncategorized / 12 Comments

Showcase Sunday is hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits, and Tea. We get to showcase our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received, borrowed, bought, and downloaded!

Hello! June was a HUGE book month for me, and I had absolutely no time to film a vlog until now! So, this SS encompasses all the books I received or bought at ALA, books I got from my friends and family for my birthday, and other books I was sent for review over the last month-month and a half. It’s kind of a lot… And I’m sorry, but I tried to film a vlog 3-4 times and decided today is just not my day! So, here is a picture. Below, I categorized what came from where. :)

Review books (ALA & in the mail):

What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Hidden by Sophie Jordan (Firelight #3)
Ten by Gretchen McNeil
Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff that Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams
Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama
Miss Fortune Cookie by Lauren Bjorkman
The Raft by S.A. Bodeen
Prodigy by Marie Lu (Legend #2)
The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life by Tara Altebrando
What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton
Lucid by Adrienne Stoltz and Ron Bass
Over You by Emma McLaughlin
Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna
Auracle by Gina Rosati
Speechless by Hannah Harrington
Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman
Breathe by Sarah Crossan
Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield
Starling by Lesley Livingston
A Vacation on the Island of Ex-Boyfriends by Stacy Bierlein
Through to You by Emily Hainsworth
The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer
Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr
The Pregnancy Project by Gaby Rodriguez
Witch World by Christopher Pike
The Diviners by Libba Bray
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Degrees of Wrong by Anna Scarlet
Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter (Goddess Test #2)
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Switched by Amanda Hocking
Legacy by Cayla Kluver

Signed books from ALA:

Origin by Jessica Khoury
Beta by Rachel Cohn (Beta #1)
Adaptation by Malinda Lo
Falling for You by Lisa Schroeder
Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
Crewel by Gennifer Albin
Eve and Adam by Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant
Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
The Summer of No Regrets by Katherine Grace Bond
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles #2)
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me #2)
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
False Memory by Dan Krokos
Silver by Talia Vance
After Hello by Lisa Mangum
The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson (Fire and Thorns #2)
Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler

Purchased books:

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (Signed at Fierce Reads Tour)
Cinder by Marissa Meyer (Signed at Fierce Reads Tour)
Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne (Signed at Fierce Reads Tour)
Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson (Signed at ALA)
In Honor by Jessi Kirby (Signed at ALA)
The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour
Quarantine: The Loners by Lex Thomas (Signed at ALA)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lani Taylor (Signed at ALA)
Honey, Baby, Sweetheart by Deb Caletti (Signed at ALA)

Books I won:

Ditched: A Love Story by Robin Mellom – From Some Like it Paranormal
Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler (Signed) – From a Book and a Latte

Books I received as gifts:

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (Fire and Thorns #1) – From Daisy
The Chronicles of Narnia books 1-7 by C.S. Lewis (B&N Leatherbound) – From Kimberly

So, what did you get? Link me, and I’ll come visit!