Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

The CW’s Beauty and the Beast (2012) | TV Show Obsession

March 19, 2017 Uncategorized 2

 

Welcome to the last day of A Week of Beauty and Beast, a special blog event hosted by Bonnie at A Backwards Story and me! We thought this would be the perfect time to host an event devoted to one of our favorite fairy tales, seeing as how Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast came out in theaters on Friday! Woohoo! We’ve really loved sharing our love of this tale as old as time with you, and hope you enjoyed it as much as we did! Make sure you enter to win a Beauty and the Beast themed book of your choice. And if you want to join in on the fun, link up your B&B themed posts so we can come see!


Today I’m moving away from books to talk to you about a TV show I started watching last weekend in honor of A Week of Beauty and the Beast! THIS is the reason I reviewed more children’s books than YA or adult fiction this week. I have seriously not been able to do anything but binge this show. Reading? What is reading?

 

Basically, this show is amazing. I’m almost done with season 2 and that means I’m almost halfway done with the show and I CAN’T DO THIS. I don’t want it to be over! Ok, so here’s the scoop:

Beauty and the Beast is very loosely inspired by CBS’s 1987 show of the same name (which I watched and loved and then hated because of the ending). Catherine is a detective with the NYPD, and Vincent is an ex-soldier who died in Afghanistan. Or did he? NOPE. He was part of a covert government experiment that was supposed to make him a super soldier through injections and cross-species DNA. The experiment went horribly wrong and the side effects (beasting out) caused the scientists to murder Vincent’s entire unit. Vincent survived, and has been in hiding ever since until the pilot episode, when he saves Catherine from being murdered. Nine years later his DNA shows up at a crime scene even though he’s supposed to be dead. Catherine gets put on the case, finds out who Vincent is, and the rest is history. This is an epic love story mixed with conspiracies, assassins, more bad guys, crime solving, and so much more. I’ve been calling it a mash-up of Person of Interest and Angel.

Here’s Vincent:

Vincent is pretty swoony. He’s the good kind of bad guy that is capable of ripping you to pieces but instead, captures your heart. LOVE him!

Here’s Catherine:

I like her! She’s got a past (Vincent might have saved her from being murdered, but he got there seconds too late to save her mom, who died right in front of her.), and she goes through a lot of changes as she learns about that past. She’s also pretty kick butt.

Then you’ve got J.T., Vincent’s best friend from childhood and scientific genius who does what he can to help, and Tess, Catherine’s awesome partner on the force and best friend. I love these two. The other supporting characters are great as well, and I love the humor they bring to the show.

 

SO much happens, and there’s a little something for everyone! Just when you think you know what’s going to happen, it doesn’t. I love this show, and highly recommend it to everyone I can! AND it’s on Netflix so you really have no excuse!


Frost Christmas Prequel by Kate Avery Ellison

December 16, 2016 Uncategorized 0

Guys, this is such an exciting day for me!!! Kate Avery Ellison, one of my favorite authors (she wrote the The Frost Chronicles and The Secrets of Itlantis) is here with an exclusive Christmas story prequel to Frost! Look at how beautiful her writing is and how awesome this world is.

I hope this story makes you flock to purchase all her books because I just LOVE them! And… another super exciting bit of news… she told me she enjoyed writing this story so much that she might write an anthology of holiday shorts for this Christmas. Just take my money already!


The Darkest Day in the Frost
by Kate Avery Ellison

Cold wind swirled around me as I ran down the path that led through the Frost’s deep and silent woods with a week’s worth of quota yarn in the bundle slung over my back. My breath came in quick, burning gasps, and the stitch in my side ached. My feet found the path even though it was covered in new snow, leaving a lonely tread of footprints in the snow behind me, a trail of crumbs to follow home. But though I knew the way, my heart drummed hard beneath the clasp of my cloak.

It had stormed the night before, and Frost was wrapped in a cloudy mist of snow and ice. The whole world seemed to be holding its breath in the wet, muffled silence made by the fresh snow. The misty white seemed to make everything larger and more ominous. I could see no more than three feet before me, even with the milky sunlight that lit the world from above.

Around me, branches laden with ice appeared as if blinking into existence from the mist that enveloped them. Spots of blue glowed here and there where the Frost’s peculiar snow blossoms, flowers that grew and flowered despite the freezing cold, bloomed just beneath their fresh covering of snow. The trees stood sentinel, piles of ice coating their bases, making them look like hooded figures to my anxious eyes. Somewhere in the deepest reaches of the forest, the monstrous creatures we called Watchers were waiting. I imagined them rising from the fog at every turn, and my skin prickled with every crack of a branch and shower of snow from overladen trees.

Every day in the Frost was a struggle to survive, but today I felt particularly hopeless. My siblings and I were three orphans trying to run our farm and maintain our weekly required quota of yarn that we delivered to the village in exchange for food and supplies to keep us alive. Our little family—what was left of it—barely scraped by as it was. We had barely enough flour left in the kitchen for another day, because my young sister was growing like a sapling in spring and there was never enough to feed her. But I dared not let the village elders know, or they might take Ivy away to stay with another family. Now, the storm last night had knocked a tree onto the fence at the back of the barn.

We were lucky it hadn’t hit the barn itself, I supposed. Or the house. Still, I didn’t know how I was going to fix it.

Finally, I reached the hill above the village. The mist had burned away here, and I felt like a swimmer breaking the surface of an icy lake. I leaned against a tree to gather a lungful of air before I continued on. Hopeless or not, I would keep going. What else was there to do?

Crusty snow crunched beneath my feet as I entered Iceliss. Frost patterns clouded the windows of the shops, and snow piled high at the edges of the streets and along the ridges of the roofs. Voices and footsteps echoed weirdly. A strange energy hung in the air.

I scanned the crowds for any sign of my best friend, Ann, and her bright red hood that made her stand out from the rest of the pale-cloaked villagers like a robin amid swirling snowflakes.

What I saw instead made me stop in the street so suddenly that a miller with his load of flour collided with me. He muttered an apology, followed by a scant “Much light to ya, Weaver,” which I barely heard.

Garlands of snow blossoms were strung across every doorway and window. Quilted squares decorated with the flower were draped across the curtains along with streamers of blue, silver, and white ribbons. Bouquets of candles huddled in every window, ready to be lit as soon as the light faded. The streets were strung with lanterns, also ready to be lit as soon as the command was given. Every lantern was painted with pictures of snow blossoms and decorated with ribbons that dangled down into the streets. The villagers crossed beneath them, backs bowed beneath their loads, most impervious to the beauty that hung above them. A few children stopped and stared upward, their eyelashes and open mouths catching snowflakes that drifted from the cloudy sky.

Today was the Darkest Day, the shortest day of the entire year and the end of our calendar. Tonight, we would bundle ourselves in our houses with extra snow blossoms and as many candles and lanterns as we could light to ward off the dark, because with the dark came the monsters. The snow blossoms were strung and sprinkled everywhere, because for reasons unknown to us, they repelled the creatures that prowled our frozen forests at night. We would crowd around our fires with food and drink, tell stories into the wee hours of the morning, and exchange gifts at midnight. Hope was like a candle, and we would burn it in anticipation that the new year would be brighter than the last.

How could I have forgotten?

Truly, the date had fled my mind. My parents’ deaths six months ago had meant that all the work of the farm—all the responsibilities—fell upon me with the weight of too much snow upon a straggling pine.

I had no special foods to bring home, no gifts for my siblings. My sister especially loved the Darkest Day celebrations, and with our parents gone, she would be even more desperate to make the night as bright as possible.

I tried to think as I waited in the quota line with my yarn. I had a few extra skeins in my pocket that I’d brought to trade for turnips to feed the livestock. Could I spare them to buy a few sweets instead?

After I’d turned in my quota, I headed for the market. It was crowded with jostling villagers. Extra stalls were selling candles and lanterns. I pushed my way through the confusion to the baker’s stall, where Lori Baker was selling pies and small jars of fresh maple syrup to pour over snow. My heart twisted to see the jars, because my father had always bought each of us one as a treat. The memory flooded over me, threatening tears, but I didn’t cry. I couldn’t afford the luxury of tears, not anymore.

I locked gazes with Lori, who looked warm and well-fed. Beside her, I must look like a cold and feral cat. The winter had not been kind to what was left of my family.

She eyed me as if expecting me to grab one of the pies and run.

“Lia Weaver,” she acknowledged with a nod. “Much light to you.”

“Much light to you,” I said, and pulled the skeins from my pocket. “I need two jars of syrup.”

Lori shook her head. Her mouth curved with disdain. “Not for that.”

“This is two skeins of quality yarn!”

“My father told me to charge good prices,” she said. “Syrup is worth more than that paltry bit of thread.”

I forced back the angry retort that rose to my lips. “What can I buy with them, then?”

“We have no need of yarn,” she said. “My father wants meat and fish and beer, he told me. Furs, maybe, if it’s fox or rabbit. No yarn.”

Rabbit fur. I could check the traps I set in the Frost. Hope struggled in my chest. I pocketed the yarn and turned away without a word as the next person stepped forward to haggle.

I almost collided with Adam Brewer.
He caught me before I slammed into him, and his hands were warm against my arms. I wrenched away, my eyes wrenching away from his burning dark gaze. I was ashamed that he had witnessed my rejection at the hands of Lori Baker. Him, Adam Brewer, whom I did not trust.

“Much light to you,” I heard him say, but I was already hurrying away.
I needed to get back to the Frost while the light was still strong. If I found something in the traps, and skinned it…

“Lia!”

I turned, snapping out of my thoughts to see my best friend Ann rushing toward me. Her curly blonde hair blew into her eyes, and she brushed it away, smiling in a way she rarely did anymore. She caught my hand when she reached me, and she hugged me hard. She’d been holding on more tightly these days, as if she feared that each time we parted, it would be the last.

“I didn’t see you at the quota yard,” she said breathlessly. “I was looking everywhere.”

“I was at the market,” I said. “Looking for syrup for Ivy and Jonn.”

I didn’t tell her I’d forgotten the date, or that I hadn’t prepared. I didn’t tell her about Lori’s rudeness. Ann had enough of her own sorrows. I was just happy to see her smiling.

“Here,” she said, pressing the handle of a basket into my hand. “A present for Dark Day. No—don’t open it now.”

“Ann, I have nothing for you.” Again, I was dismayed at my failure.

“You have arms to embrace me,” she said, and so I hugged her fiercely. And somehow, that was enough.

~

I braved the fog of the forest, my pulse pounding and my ears straining for sounds of danger as I crept furtively through the milky white, feeling blind. Once, something crashed away from me noisily, and I froze in terror, but when all was quiet, I continued on and found deer tracks.

Not Watchers.

Nothing waited for me in the traps I’d set. One was broken, with small clawed feet leading away into the snow.

I turned a full circle in the snow, feeling empty as the traps had been. I could go back to the village and try to barter for something to give my siblings. Perhaps a few ribbons for Ivy, or a book for Jonn. But the sunlight was beginning to lessen. It was the shortest day of the year, after all. Not enough time to get to the village and back to the farm safely, not if I wanted to also feed the animals and do the rest of the chores.

With a sinking heart, I turned for home, forging through the misty white of the forest, brushing through the thorny branches of a bush.

I paused, and then knelt to brush away snow from the branches. The snow make a soft sound as it slid away from the bush, revealing a shock of bright red frostberries.

Ivy loved the bittersweet taste of them, I remembered, and I rarely had time to go looking for them. So I filled my pockets with as many as I could pick before my fingers began to go numb through my mittens, and then I turned for home, sweeping the forest with my gaze as I walked. This time, I wasn’t looking for signs of monsters, but for the treasures of the forest hidden beneath the snow.

I picked handfuls of snow blossoms and filled my empty quota bag with green branches from the forest pines. When I reached the farm, I could barely hold the weight of the bag and Ann’s basket. I dragged the things to the barn with me, fed the animals, and then approached the house. Darkness had already begun to tinge the sky blue. The air had taken on a bite that chilled me to my marrow. I paused at the door, below our wreath of dried snow blossoms, and knocked the snow from my boots before stepping inside.

“Jonn—”
I didn’t even have time to speak before my sister ambushed me. “You’re home,” she squealed. “Happy Dark Day, Lia!”

I set down the bag and Ann’s basket, aware of how misleading the pine branches must be. She probably thought I’d come loaded with presents. “Ivy,” I said. “I’m so sorry, but I didn’t remember—”

“Shhh.” She grabbed my hand. “Come to the fire. Your skin is like ice.”
She dragged me toward the chairs we kept close to the hearth and pushed me into the largest one. “Sit.”

“Where’s Jonn?” I asked, looking around the room. “Is he having an episode?”

Fear twisted me up at the thought. My twin brother had seizures in addition to lacking the ability to walk without assistance. He often had to lie down during the day with a cold washcloth over his eyes.

“Jonn,” Ivy called out, and then she jumped up and disappeared into my parents’ bedroom. When they reappeared, Jonn leaning heavily on Ivy’s shoulder, they were both smiling.

“Surprise!” Ivy shouted.
Jonn carried a bundle of cloth under one arm, and around his neck he’d draped strands of snow blossoms strung together with bits of yarn and ribbon. He sat down heavily in the chair beside mine and tossed the garlands into my lap.

“We made decorations,” Ivy announced, hovering at my side. “Just like Ma always did. Look, look. They’re a little sad-looking, because we didn’t have enough snow blossoms. But I think they are nice.”

My siblings’ garlands were sparse and clumsy compared to the ones my mother made, but they were absolutely beautiful to me. I touched a snow blossom petal with my fingertips as a mixture of emotions flooded me—sadness, followed by a sweet nostalgia.

“And this is for you,” Jonn added. He handed me the bundle. “We worked on it in secret this past month.”

“Open it!” Ivy said eagerly. Then, impatient, she leaned over me to do it herself. “It’s a new dress.”

“How in the world did you make this in a month?” I unfurled the dress, astonished and overwhelmed.

“Well, Ma was making it before…” Jonn didn’t finish that thought. “I found it in her things. Ivy and I finished it secretly.”

My eyes prickled, and my nose stung. I looked at them both, then the dress. I didn’t know what to say. Jonn, so strong despite his impairments. Ivy, the one I was always hounding to do her work.

“I love you both,” I whispered. “I’m so sorry I have brought nothing.”

Ivy leaped up and ran to where I’d left my things. She seemed infused with energy today. “You brought a basket. And a bag full of snow blossoms and pine branches. Look how big and beautiful these blossoms are! Were you in the deep Frost today?”

“I was checking the traps,” I admitted. “Hoping to find something to trade.”
Ivy picked up the basket from Ann. “What’s this?” she asked, and lifted the cover.

I stood and handed my new clothes and the garlands to Jonn. “Ann gave it to me.”

It was probably an embroidered pillow. Ann embroidered as her particular skill; everyone in Iceliss had a skill.

“It’s a feast,” Ivy said.

“What?”

I hurried to her side and looked over her shoulder into the basket. Nestled inside was a loaf of bread, two yams, a tiny pie, and a slab of cooked ham wrapped in parchment paper. A feast indeed. Ann must have smuggled this out of her father’s house. My heart swelled with gratitude for my dear friend.

“And I forgot—I brought frostberries,” I said. “I found them in the forest.”
Ivy hugged me tight.

“Let’s eat,” Jonn said. “And then we can decorate and tell riddles by the fire until the new year begins.”

~

Neither Ivy nor Jonn made it to midnight before falling asleep beside the fire, their stomachs full of Ann’s delicious food. We’d laughed and talked and told each other favorite memories of previous Dark Days, when Ma and Da were still with us. Ivy had cried a little too, which was not out of character for her. Jonn told us riddles. We’d eaten the berries with our fingers and licked the juice from the tips.

Now I sat alone, stoking the fire back to brilliance, listening for the sound of Watchers outside as I always did out of habit. The garlands hung over the windows, the fragrant pine branches adorned the mantel, and Ivy had sprinkled the rest of the snow blossoms around the front door in a heap of glistening blue. The air smelled like flowers and pine. The fire crackled, throwing bright light over the sleeping faces of my siblings.

All was quiet.

Then, something scraped against the side of the house.

I stiffened, straining to listen as my eyes flew to the window and the shutters that were bolted over the glass against the cold and the dark. The fire snapped and popped behind me, and the wind hummed a mournful note, and all else was silent. But I didn’t relax, I didn’t sit back. I waited, and held my breath, and terror drummed its cold fingers across my skin.

Was it a Watcher?

We were on the very edge of civilization. Our farm had its back to the cold, fathomless Frost. Sometimes we saw the massive tracks left by the monsters in the night, or heard their eerie screams.

I listened hard for anything—a growl, a hiss, a snarl—but the night outside was devoid of any sounds.

Finally, I slept.

~

Morning light woke me, streaming through the cracks in the shutters with blinding intensity. We’d slept late after our night of laughter and reminiscence. We’d all slept by the hearth on blankets, and I stretched my sore muscles as I sat up and brushed hair from my eyes. The garlands of snow blossoms were withered and strange in the light of day. The fire had died down to glowing coals.

It was a new year. The Darkest Day was behind us, and the monsters had not come.

I rose, washed myself with the icy water in my bedroom’s basin, and put on my new dress and old cloak. Chores still needed to be tended to, new year or not. I opened the door to step into the yard.

And stopped.

There, on the stoop amid the piles of snow blossoms, sat a pale blue lantern decorated with painted flowers and a festoon of ribbons. Next to it, nestled in the snow, were three jars.

I bent down and picked one up. I peered inside, and my heart stuttered a little at the sight of the frozen maple syrup inside.

There was no note, no name, but I had a suspicion of who had left the gifts. I didn’t know what to think of such a gesture, and so instead I turned and called to my brother and sister, waking them.

The chores could wait another half hour. The worries, the scraping to get by, the wondering about what the future held for us—all of it could wait for just a little while yet, because Jonn, Ivy, and I were going to make the traditional new year’s candy that we’d made every year with our Da—warm maple syrup poured over the fresh powdered snow.

When I stepped into the yard to find a snowbank suitable for the syrup candy, I spotted the fence that had been destroyed in the storm.

It was fixed.

We were not without friends, even though we didn’t always know who they might be. We could do this. We could struggle through together. Jonn, Ivy, and me.

And as I looked down at the jar of syrup in my hand, I felt hopeful.


Frost by Kate Avery Ellison
Self-published on March 28, 2012
Add to Goodreads | Amazon

In the icy, monster-plagued world of the Frost, compassion might get a person killed, and Lia Weaver knows this better than anyone. After the monsters kill her parents, she must keep the family farm running or risk losing her siblings to reassignment by the village Elders. With dangers on all sides, she can’t afford to let her emotions lead her astray. But when her sister finds a fugitive bleeding to death in the forest, a young man from beyond the Frost named Gabe, Lia does the unthinkable. She saves his life. Giving shelter to the fugitive could get her in trouble. The Elders have always described the advanced society of people beyond the Frost, the “Farthers,” as ruthless and cruel. Lia is startled to find that Gabe is empathetic and intelligent-and handsome. And she might even be falling for him. But time is running out. The monsters in the forest are growing bold and restless. The village leader is starting to ask questions. Farther soldiers are searching for Gabe. Is compassion-and love-worth the risk? Finally, when a startling discovery challenges everything she thought was true about her life, Lia realizes exactly what she must do.


About Kate Avery Ellison

I’ve been making up stories since I was five years old, and now I’m thrilled to be able to do it as a full-time job. I have an obsession with dark fantasy, dystopian futures, and Pride and Prejudice-style love stories full of witty banter and sizzling, unspoken feelings. When I’m not writing, I’m creating digital art, reading funny blogs, or watching my favorite shows (which include TVD and BSG). I live with my geeky husband and our two bad cats in Atlanta, GA.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Amazon

 


The 5th Annual A Bookish Little Christmas with That Artsy Reader Girl

December 1, 2016 Uncategorized 0

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year, aka my favorite time of year! As I’m sure you’ve come to expect from me, today begins my 5th annual A Bookish Little Christmas event! I’ve got my Santa hat on, ready to present a festive and joyous event as we count down the days until Christmas.

The next few weeks will be filled with holiday book reviews, recipes, music, and personal posts from yours truly, plus I’ve rallied together a bunch of bookish friends who will be guest posting about a number of different holiday topics. You can look forward to posts on different winter holidays, holiday customs outside the USA, gift recommendations, and more. I’ve also invited some of your favorite authors to share all-new, holiday bonus scenes/content that compliment their books. They wrote this material just for my blog event, and I’m so thankful for that! Some authors chose to write about other holiday topics, both bookish and not.

Basically, this is going to be an amazing month! So grab a cup of cocoa, your favorite cozy blanket, and snuggle up for a warm winter’s night!

The more the merrier! If you would like to join in the festivities and guest post during the month of December, email me using the button on my sidebar and I’ll add you to the line-up! Celebrating Christmas is not required. You can write about any winter holiday, and on pretty much any holiday topic!

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LitKit Subscription Box Review

April 29, 2016 Uncategorized 1

Today I’m reviewing a new (or at least new to me!) subscription box for bibliophiles! If you’re a writer or just a lover of books, you might enjoy LitKit. Learn a little about LitKit below, check out my unboxing experience, and see what I got in the March LitKit! I held off on posting earlier because I didn’t want to spoil the surprise for anyone who ordered last month’s box.

Born of the wet streets and dusty bookstores of San Francisco, LitKit is a monthly subscription box lovingly crafted to delight devotees of experimental literature, creative writing, and pen-and-ink publishing. Each month, we pair up with an independent author, poet, or small press publisher to showcase their most innovative and thought-provoking work. We bundle these carefully chosen publications with an assortment of unique literary devices, including high-quality writing implements and supplies, beautiful journals, thought-provoking prompts, and other interesting items intended to get your creative inks flowing freely.

Other things you should know:

– Price: $37 per month/$96 per 3-months/$334 per year
– Gift subscriptions available?: Yes.
– What does the box include?: “Small-press experimental literature, archaic and anachronistic writing supplies and technologies, tools and materials to make and repair your own books, beautiful journals and prompts to push your boundaries as a writer, mail art supplies and interactive projects, and various book-related goodies.”
– Who curates these boxes?: Read about them here.

So what did I get?

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The LitKit box is shipped Priority Mail 3-Day, and got here looking great! This logo is stamped on the two ends of the box so you know what’s coming as soon as you see it.

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Upon opening the box you get a little letter from the creators of LitKit, explaining what’s in the box. If you don’t want your items spoiled, hide this until the end! The back of this paper contains a monthly writing prompt calendar that provides one prompt a week, such as “What does the sun smell like?” and “”Who scares you?”. I love the crinkle pieces, and thought it was a fun way to pack the box.

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After taking the crinkle stuff out, voila! Stuffs!

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So, what is all this? Well, I got:

  • Stolen Sharpie Revolution: A DIY Resource for Zines and Zine Culture by Alex Wrekk of Portland Button Works. The note says that this book is “an indispensable resource for literary creators”.
  • A Read More Books button from Portland Button Works.
  • An I <3 Books magnet from Portland Button Works.
  • A retractable fine-tip sharpie.
  • Two zines from Ellen Bae: Fixed and Fleeting meant to inspire me to create my own zines after reading the Stolen Sharpie Revolution.
  • A kit to make three of my own little books, all supplies included except the glue stick.

How do I feel?

I think the idea behind the LitKit is very fun. When Meg, LitKit co-founder, pitched me this box she said it’s a great box to inspire writers and lit lovers. I can see that this might be true, however I was surprised that this month’s box surrounded zines. I’ll be honest, zines are not the first thing I think of when I hear “writing inspiration”. I actually had to look up what a zine is. lol. Wikipedia says a zine is “(an abbreviation of fanzine or magazine) most commonly a small circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images usually reproduced via photocopier”. This is cool to me! The zines I received are very simple, yet fun to look at. I can definitely see these inspiring people to try and create their own.

The book making kit is very cute, and I think it will be fun to make the books. The instructions appear to be easy to follow, and I will probably use the kit to make some journals for my purse. I’m a huge fan of bookish buttons and magnets, so I am happy to have these to add to my collection. And who doesn’t need a sharpie? Pretty sure my mom stole mine already. The packaging is very nice and I like that a note was included to explain what each item is.

Would I subscribe?

No, I don’t think I would. For what I got, I feel like the price is a bit high for a bookworm on a budget. I looked up each item online, and I could have put this box together myself for less money. I understand we’re paying for the labor of the curators, though, and I totally support that. I guess my biggest thing is that I personally will not get enough use out of the items I received to justify the cost involved. I feel like this theme was a bit obscure for the general writer/bookish person. There are other subscription boxes out there that fit my needs as a book lover more than this one does.

Should you subscribe?

When you buy any subscription box, you are buying a service as much as your are buying items. You are also going into things without knowing the outcome. Meg and Michael do a great job, and I can tell they care about their subscribers. Looking at past issues of the box, there are some interesting items included. If you’re an aspiring or independent writer looking for some tips and inspiration, perhaps this is the box for you!

Thanks so much, Meg and Michael, for sending me a box in exchange for my review! As always, my review was not swayed because I got something for free and my opinions are my own.


I’m back!!

January 13, 2016 Uncategorized 2

Sunday morning, my web host’s servers were attacked. That Artsy Reader Girl has been offline pretty much the entire time as things were being fixed, and I got a few concerned messages on Twitter and through email from authors and readers who were unable to access the site. I’m sorry for the frustration and inconvenience! I’m back now, though, and my host seems to think the issue has been resolved. Fingers crossed!

I have extended Emily Albright’s giveaway of two ARCs of The Heir and the Spare, so go enter in celebration of my functioning website!


The 4th Annual Bookish Little Christmas with That Artsy Reader Girl

December 1, 2015 Uncategorized 3

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year, which also means it’s my favorite time of year! As I’m sure you’ve come to expect from me, today begins my annual A Bookish Little Christmas event! That Artsy Reader Girl has donned her Santa hat, and is ready to present a festive and joyous event as we count down the days to Christmas. The next few weeks will be filled with holiday book reviews, recipes, music, and personal posts from yours truly. I’ve also rallied some bookish friends and authors together to bring you their movie and TV special recommendations, outfit recommendations for all your holiday events, traditions, and more! So grab a cup of cocoa, your favorite cozy blanket, and snuggle up for a warm winter’s night!

The more the merrier! If you would like to join in the festivities, email me using the button on my sidebar and I’ll add you to the line-up! Celebrating Christmas is not required. You can write about any winter holiday, and on pretty much any topic!


Happy Halloween 2015!

October 31, 2015 Uncategorized 3

 

Happy Halloween to you! I hope you have tons of fun dressing up, eating candy, and spending time with friends and family! I’m going to be watching a scary movie tonight (although, scary for me is not the usual scary… I might be able to handle Gaslight or Midnight Lace with Doris Day. Maybe a Munsters marathon?)

What’s your favorite Halloween candy? Do you have any plans for tonight?


Creatures of the Night Book Tag

October 26, 2015 Uncategorized 3

Happy Halloween week!!! Katytastic came up with a pretty fun book tag last year that I thought I would resurrect on this cold and blustery day. The jist is simple. Come up with a book that matches the creature! If you decide to do this tag, post a link in the comments and I’ll come visit!

1. Vampire
Edward Cullen from The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer. Sorry, but Edward will always be my favorite vampire… Although Michael Tyler from Nocturne by Syrie James is basically tied for first. BOY is her a manly vampire.

2. Werewolf
Sam Roth from The Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater. He’s pretty swoony and oh, so sweet.

3. Zombie
I actually have never read a zombie book before. Well wait. I take that back. I tried to read The Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell, but couldn’t finish it because it was DISGUSTING. I’m intrigued by The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Bryan, though, so this goes here. Any zombie book recommendations?

4. Ghost
I’m stretching a little on this one. Clio from Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney lives in a painting, and falls in love with an art-loving boy named Julien.

5. Witch/Warlock/Spellcaster
Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling! Really.

6. Fairy/Fae
Tamlin from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. Hands down. He’s a perfect blend of loyalty, protectiveness, chivalry, bravery, nobility, angst, and fierceness. Oh, and the mask he wears that has been permanently affixed to his face by magic makes him super mysterious. I can just picture his piercing eyes. He gets me all fluttery in my chest.

7. Demon
I love the small little gargoyle demon named Xemerius from the Ruby Red trilogy by Kerstin Gier. He is very excited that someone can finally see and hear him after so many years of being invisible. He is quite funny, and adds a lot to the story. I looked forward to having him show up.

8. Angel
Akiva from Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. He’s strong and mysterious and beautiful.

9. Alien
Evan Walker from The 5th Wave. He is mysterious and kind and caring. He’s a very dynamic character, and he’s constantly being torn in two directions.

10. Superpowered human
Alina from The Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. I mean really. She can summon the power of the sun. Is it possible to ever have a more kick-a character than Alina? Probably not. She’s positively magical.


To My Secret Sister #2

June 26, 2015 Uncategorized 5

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I just thought I’d take a moment or two to thank my secret sister and address some questions she had for me in her letter(s)!

Hi Sis!

It’s been a little while since I wrote to you, and I wanted to thank you again for being such a sweet, thoughtful sister! I have loved the monthly cheer you send me. I had no idea participating in this secret sister project would make my life so much happier, but it has! I really hope we’ll stay the best of friends when July comes to an end. :) Up to this point I’m pretty sure I’ve answered all your questions, but please ask me again if I missed one! You can comment anonymously on this post, you can have a Twitter person ask me, or you can email me through your secret email address! I don’t want to accidentally ignore you!

I know I wrote you an email and a bunch of tweets since my first blog post to you, but I just HAD to line up all the pictures of what you’ve given me since and thank you properly now that I’ve got the time.

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Wooooow! And these pics don’t include the Kindle books you’ve sent me either. Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for me. :) The Oreos and chocolate disappeared very quickly. Jolly Ranchers are awesome road trip candy, so I’m bringing these on my girls trip to Las Vegas next week! All Fall Down is a book I have wanted SO BADLY since I found out about it! Same with The Royal We. Marry Poppins sits on my bookshelf, and she is so cute! And I kid you not, I have been listening to The Wanted almost every day while I do my hair for about a month now. That journal is so cute, and I’ll be filling it up using my colorful pens in not time!Thanks for sending me Tessa Dare’s book for my birthday! I’ve really gotten into her books all of a sudden, and I was just talking to a friend about this series when you sent it to me! Perfect timing. :)

To answer your most recent letter, yes! May was CRAZY! I was gone for the entire month, and I left town before the semester was over! So I was going crazy trying to get my assignments done early, packing for a month, scheduling blog posts, and getting loose ends tied up here for the Debut Author Challenge before I left. You sound like you were crazy busy too! I did notice the change in address, so I assumed you had gone home for the summer. Congrats on the new job! You found one quickly! I can’t wait for your big reveal! I’ve tried and tried to figure out who you are, but to no avail. lol. Have we talked any? Do I KNOW you!? Haha. I’m going nuts, but it’s so much fun!

Well! Thanks again! I hope you’re enjoying your summer and your new job (what are you doing?). When does school start back up for you? August 17th for me, and it’s coming way too fast. :( I’m fine with getting rid of the hot weather (it’s been in the 100’s for over a week now), but I don’t want to give up my freedom!

Talk to you soon!

Love,
Jana


To My Secret Sister #1

March 17, 2015 Uncategorized 2

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I just thought I’d take a moment or two to thank my secret sister and address some questions she had for me in her letter(s)!

#OTSPSecretSister is a 6-month cheer club hosted by The Book Addict’s Guide, Books Take You Places, and Tripping Over Books. I’ve got a secret sister, and I am a secret sister for someone else! The goal is to spread happiness. :)

Hi Sis! (Pretend I’m waving at you!)

First of all, I’m having so much fun with you even though I don’t know who you are yet! I can tell you know me very well, though, and it means so much to know you’re out there somewhere looking out for me and boosting me up when I’m not feeling great, or when I’m stressed out with school! Thanks so much for your generosity and your thoughtful notes. I can’t stress enough how much happiness you’ve brought my way so far!

In your first card to me at the very end of January, you said some of the sweetest things ever! I actually go back and read your card when I’m feeling down. I’m excited that we have so much in common, and that some of my wish list items are books you love! We military brats are pretty awesome people, and the fact that you love old movies too makes me wishing I could invite you over for an oldies marathon! And seriously… your handwriting is just fine! :)

Thanks so much for the Valentine, and for the copy of Nearly a Lady! I’ve heard amazing things about this book, and I cannot wait to read it! I hugged my kitties lots that day and watched a fun old movie: Hello Down There. Have you seen it? It’s one of the silliest, cheesiest movies I’ve seen in a long time, but it was so much fun!

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I loved the February package you sent me! It was actually snowing the weekend this arrived, so I slipped those slippers on my feet and fell in love immediately! They are SO cozy! Seriously, you should get some if you don’t have any. They are amazing. We’ve had a super mild winter here overall. Usually there is snow on the ground from October to April (and sometimes it snows in May), but it only snowed on Christmas morning and then again at the end of February. I’m so disappointed! I love snow and winter, so 60 degrees in March is just not fair. Haha. You asked me my favorite season… this is tricky. I love all the seasons, but get tired of them from time to time. My favorites are fall and winter, though, unless I’m in school. Then I crave summer break. Hehe.

I am SO excited to read Graceling! All of a sudden I’m hearing a ton of wonderful things about it, so thank you! And thanks for The Shadow of the Wind! You were worried that it disappeared off my wish list, but don’t worry! I’ve been waffling on it, a little worried I would not love it, but your personal endorsement has me sold and I can’t wait to read it! I absolutely adore the scarf, and got so many compliments when I wore it to church the next day. Many have asked where you got it. :) Finally, the bookmark was adorable. I did go to Korea as a baby, so I did not get any souvenirs. This is perfect, and I love it! :) You mentioned you’re not very good at picking out gifts, but I could not have been more happy with what you’ve sent me!

And thank you for The Girl on the Train! Life was super hard for me last week, and it made me smile to receive such a thoughtful gift in my email. I love mysteries and thrillers, and have heard this one is amazing!

I feel super spoiled and super cared about, so thank you! I’ve been trying to figure out who you are, but I haven’t even got a clue! And that’s fine. :) Keep the mystery as long as you want, because it is so much fun! Hope your semester is going well. :) <3

Love,
Jana