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Epic Recs: March 2014

Posted March 6, 2014 by Jana in Uncategorized / 2 Comments

epicrecslogo1Hosted by Paper Riot

 

Last month Racquel recommended I read Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell because she said this book is great for fans of Lola and the Boy Next Door. I could not agree more! Chloe is a quirky fashionista just like Lola, and I think they would be great friends. I also loved the emphasis on friendship in Welcome, Caller. Chloe is a former popular girl who makes her friends mad and becomes the school’s biggest outcast. She ends up latching on to a group of really unique people who run the school’s radio station. She also kind of falls for a certain boy in this group. But the story is about so much more than the romance. It’s about change, growing, struggling to find yourself, and friendship. I loved that the book was sweet and funny, but at the same time it tackled some heavier issues. I’ll be posting my review soon!

So! February was a success, and I’m excited for what Racquel and I are going to be reading this month!

 

EpicRecsMarch2014Racquel has decided that I’m in need of expanding my love of historical romances, which I am super excited about! I love historical romances, but there are MILLIONS of them, and I have no idea where to even start! Luckily, historical romance is one of Racquel’s favorite genres, so she has a list of great ones for me. She said that What I Did for a Duke is “really character driven and the dialogue is AWESOME.” I’m so excited!

I suggested Racquel try Degrees of Wrong by Anna Scarlet because she enjoys adult romance and also enjoys sci-fi/dystopia. This book combines both! The book takes place on an undersea warship, and the heroine is a doctor who has to find a cure for a deadly virus. There’s suspense, romance, and a lot of snark. I adore this book, and am so excited to be introducing Racquel to a book she’s never heard of before! This should be fun for both of us. :)

Ok, so that’s our month! Have you read either of these books? Will we like them?


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.


Epic Recs: February 2014

Posted February 13, 2014 by Jana in Uncategorized / 4 Comments

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I am so excited to be a part of Epic Recs, hosted and dreamed up by Judith at Paper Riot. I’ve been paired up with Racquel at The Book Barbies. It’s a pretty simple and fun concept. After learning about our reading habits, likes, and dislikes, Racquel and I each picked a book for the other person to read. If you’re interested in participating, head over to Paper Riot and sign up to get a partner!

 

EpicRecsFeb14

 

Racquel chose Welcome, Caller, this is Chole by Shelley Coriell for me because of my love of Stephanie Perkins. She said that Chloe is a lot like Lola, especially regarding her love for fashion. This book is also a fun balance of fun and serious, which I love. I’m so excited to read it!

When I found out that Racquel loves YA contemporary, I immediately went to see if she had read Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard. This book is the one I push on everyone I know. It got me into YA contemporary! It blends traveling, self discovery, coming of age, and a sweet romance. I hope she loves it as much as I did!

I will report back with my review, and also re-cap thoughts when I post about next months Epic Recs. I think this is going to be so much fun!

So, what do you think? Will I enjoy Welcome, Caller, this is Chloe?
Do you think Racquel will love Wanderlove like I did?


You’re Invited to an Under the Never Sky Series Farewell Party!

Posted January 13, 2014 by Jana in Uncategorized / 1 Comment

On January 28th, our beloved characters from the Under the Never Sky series set off on their journey to the Still Blue. Let’s send them off with a bang!

invite

 

Join us as we say goodbye!

Jan 20 – Cuddlebuggery Book Blog – Live Chat with Veronica Rossi<
Jan 21 – I Read, Ergo I Write – UTNS Characters Are Here to Party!
Jan 22 – The Cover Contessa – Discussion Post
Jan 23 – That Artsy Reader Girl – Top 15 Reasons Why I Love the UTNS Series
Jan 24 – The Story Siren – A Goodbye Letter
Jan 25Hello, Chelly – Discussion Post
Jan 27 – Blkosiner’s Book Blog – Into the Still Blue Book Review
Jan 28 – Into the Still Blue book available from all ebook and book sellers.

We’re all excited to see you there!


Merry Christmas!

Posted December 25, 2013 by Jana in Uncategorized / 3 Comments

Best-Merry-Christmas-63

Merry Christmas, my wonderful friends! I hope you have an amazing day with your loved ones! I hope today is filled with yummy food, music, giving, receiving, relaxing, laughing, and love. I hope you got everything you wished for! I will be spending my day with my family, opening presents and making memories.

Thank you so much for celebrating this amazing season with me on the blog this month! Thank you to the publishers who provided Christmas books and giveaways. Thank you to my guest posters who talked all about Christmas in their countries! Thanks for all your comments, recommendations, and discussions. It has been so much fun! I hope you have a very merry bookish little Christmas. :) Things will be a bit sparse on the blog as I recover from this crazy month, but I’ll still be around!

How was your day? What did you get? What did you do? Tell me, tell me!


Books for Christmas!?!

Posted December 21, 2013 by Jana in Uncategorized / 17 Comments

I watched this probably three times, because it is hilarious! I was not always a book lover, so I understand how this kid feels. Books, after all, are not toys.

Unlike him, I hope I get LOTS of books for Christmas! Which ones are you hoping for?


Merry Christmas Books to All! | A Christmas Book Guide for All Ages

Posted December 11, 2013 by Jana in Uncategorized / 5 Comments

I think it has become rather apparent that I LOVE Christmas books! In my opinion, nobody should go through the Christmas season without reading a Christmas book. It just should not ever happen! So, I have put together a list of some book recommendations for people of all ages. There’s something here for everyone!

littles

kidsbooks

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
Christmas from Heaven: The True Story of the Berlin Candy Bomber by Tom Brokaw
Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale by Martin Waddell
The Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat by Brigid Clark and Chris Noel

middles

midgrades
Kat McGee and the School of Christmas Spirit
by Rebecca Munsterer
Christmas in Camelot (Magic Tree House No. 29) by Mary Pope Osborne
The Legend of Holly Claus by Brittney Ryan
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

yas

yabooks
Let It Snow
by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle
Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Decked with Holly by Marni Bates
The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman by Louise Plummer

nas

nabooks
Snowed Over
by Angie Stanton
Cross Country Christmas by Tiffany King
Christmas Catch by Chelsea M. Cameron

adults

adultsbookd
Starry Night
by Debbie Macomber
Marian’s Christmas Wish by Carla Kelly
Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan

So, there you have it! I have reviews up on the blog for most of these books, so if you want more information feel free to browse my review indexes. Do you have any other recommendations? Good Christmas books can be hard to come by, but I can never read too many!


Deck the Blog for A Bookish Little Christmas with That Artsy Reader Girl!

Posted December 2, 2013 by Jana in Uncategorized / 3 Comments

BookishLittleChristmas

December is here, and That Artsy Reader Girl has donned her Santa hat for a month of celebration!

Welcome to the 2nd Annual Bookish Little Christmas with That Artsy Reader Girl! By now, I’m sure many of you know how much I love Christmas. I love decorating, I love baking, I love the buzz at the stores, the carols, and the lights. I love this season of giving and love. I love the cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies, and the Christmas romance novels. Give it all to me!

Throughout the entire month of December, I will be sharing Christmas book reviews, giveaways, features, and guest posts from my very wonderful friends! Grab yourself some hot cocoa, and get ready for a fun and festive month here on the blog!

Would you like to participate? I’ve always got room for more friends! Just let me know, and I will fit you into the schedule. :) And be sure to send me links of any Christmas posts you come across (or write yourself). I’d be happy to help spread the word, or just come and bring some Christmas cheer. And I hope YOU will stop by lots this month, mainly because I love your face, but also because it’s going to be so much fun and I’d hate for you to miss out!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted November 28, 2013 by Jana in Uncategorized / 4 Comments

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If you live in the USA, have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I hope you enjoy eating and celebrating with your loved ones. I’m so thankful for all of you, for where I am in my life, and for this amazing holiday!

How are you celebrating?

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