Month: April 2019

Top Ten Inspirational & Thought-Provoking Quotes from Books

Posted April 29, 2019 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 11 Comments

I love a good quote, and I am always using the highlighting feature on my Kindle so I can remember those gems that make me think or inspire me. This week I’m sharing a few of those quotes with you! Can wait to see what you share!

1. “Somehow difficulties are easier to endure when you know your dream is waiting for you at the end.” 
― Lisa Mangum, The Golden Spiral

2. “When the sun shines, you let it shine on you” 
― Gayle Forman, Just One Day

3. “The world is vicious.’

Thomas brushed a lock of hair back from my face, his gaze thoughtful. ‘The world is neither kind nor is it cruel. It simply exists. We have the ability to view it however we choose.” 
― Kerri Maniscalco, Hunting Prince Dracula

4. “The most powerful weapon is hope.”
― Juliet Marillier, Heart’s Blood

5. “One often meets her destiny on the road she takes to avoid it.” 
― Jessi Kirby, Golden

6. “Maybe there were a hundred different ways to fall in love.”
― Mary E. Pearson, The Kiss of Deception

7. “Every form of art is another way of seeing the world. Another perspective, another window. And science –that’s the most spectacular window of all. You can see the entire universe from there.” 
― Claudia Gray, A Thousand Pieces of You

8. “People are going to judge you for all kinds of reasons for the rest of your life. Because you vote one way or the other, because you go to one school or the other, because you look a certain way. It’s a fact of life: you can’t make everyone happy. But you can make you happy” 
― Leah Rae Miller, The Summer I Became a Nerd

9. “Imagine, and it shall be. There are no limits.⁠⁠⁠⁠” 
― Evelyn Skye, The Crown’s Game

10. “With courage and hope, we can conquer our fears and do what we once believed impossible.” 
― Juliet Marillier, Heart’s Blood


Interview With Heather Hepler | We Were Beautiful Blog Tour (+ Giveaway)

Posted April 28, 2019 by Jana in Author Interview, Blog Tour, Giveaway / 2 Comments

Interview With Heather Hepler | We Were Beautiful Blog Tour (+ Giveaway)

Welcome to The FFBC’s blog tour for We Were Beautiful by Heather Hepler! As the organizer for this tour, I got the opportunity to interview Heather!


Interview With Heather Hepler

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

1. As an author, what would you say has been the best compliment you’ve received?
“You’ve changed my life.” Whether it is from the middle schooler struggling to bear up under bullying or the high schooler dealing with her parents’ divorce, that one always gets my attention. But it’s really the compliment that is implied that keeps me writing – letters and emails from readers who simply thank me because my stories made them feel seen and less alone.

2. Who is in more control of your writing: you or your characters? Why?
The first draft is definitely written by the characters. Initially I just follow them along and take notes, but after that I start shaping the story. I add details that never made it from my head to the page and take out random thoughts or wrong turns that muddy the story that I want to tell.

3. What have been some of your favorite recent reads (YA or not)?
I love fantasy and science fiction. My most recent obsessions have been older science fiction like Philip K. Dick and Ursula LeGuin. I also love Robin Hobb’s books. Her ability to bring life to the mundane constantly stuns me.

4. What are you up to when you’re not reading or writing?
I teach for two different universities, which keeps me busy. But I also love baking, traveling, and running. If I could, I’d have ten cats and probably as many dogs, but right now I have one of each and some Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. (Only two, but the female is pregnant, so any day we might have another 50.)

5. What’s your next project?
I’m actually working on two books right now. One is a science fiction book and the other is a co-written project about the life in inner-city Houston. I’m also just starting to work on a screen-play which is completely new for me, but very exciting.

ABOUT THE BOOK

1. Describe your book in 5 words or less.
Romantic, thoughtful, quirky, honest, yummy

2. Friendship is a very large theme in We Were Beautiful. Tell us about these friends (especially Fig because she is so interesting)!
I have met friends over the years that have become like family to me. Fig is just this incredible girl that is able to see beyond herself and her own pain to the needs of others. I think all of us need someone like that if our lives – someone who is nurturing and pushy in equal measures. I need someone who is willing to cry with me and watch romantic movies with me, but also willing to tell me ‘okay, let’s get up and get going again.’ I like how each of Mia’s friends is like that in different ways. Each of them listens, loves, and then inspires.

3. If you had written yourself into this book, which character (or what kind of character) would you be?
I’m probably Sarah – although I can’t sing. I’m quiet and introspective, but when I’m ready to talk, I have a lot to say. I am also be fiercely loyal and will do anything for my friends and family.

4. What message do you hope your readers take away from We Were Beautiful?
I hope readers will realize that healing takes time. You can’t run from the uncertainty of it or the pain of it. You just have to keep moving through it, one day at a time, knowing that even when it seems dark, the light is coming.

5. What’s your favorite quote from the book?
“If I lean a little farther out, I can see the Brooklyn Bridge and a tiny slice of water. For some reason, seeing that makes me happy, like there’s something bigger beyond this apartment and this building and this block. Something bigger beyond me.”


We Were Beautiful by Heather Hepler
Published by BLINK on April 2, 2019
Genres: Young Adult Fiction — Contemporary
Add to GoodreadsAmazonB&NBook Depository

It’s been a year since fifteen-year-old Mia Hopkins was in the car crash that killed her older sister and left her terribly scarred. The doctors tell her she was lucky to survive. Her therapist says it will take time to heal. The police reports claim there were trace amounts of alcohol in her bloodstream. But no matter how much she tries to reconstruct the events of that fateful night, Mia’s memory is spotty at best. She’s left with accusations, rumors, and guilt so powerful it could consume her.

As the rest of Mia’s family struggles with their own grief, Mia is sent to New York City to spend the summer with a grandmother she’s never met. All Mia wants to do is hide from the world, but instead she’s stuck with a summer job in the bustling kitchens of the cafe down the street. There she meets Fig–blue-haired, friendly, and vivacious–who takes Mia under her wing. As Mia gets to know Fig and her friends–including Cooper, the artistic boy who is always on Mia’s mind–she realizes that she’s not the only one with a painful past.

Over the summer, Mia begins to learn that redemption isn’t as impossible as she once thought, but her scars inside run deep and aren’t nearly so simple to heal … especially when Mia finally pieces together her memories of the night Rachel died.


About Heather Hepler

I was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, which I think is one of the cooler places to be born, because initially people think I’m being funny—like I’m saying I was born on the moon, but then they see I’m actually being serious. It feels like since then I’ve lived nearly everywhere (well, only in the US—which is a bummer because I want to travel so much). In high school, I was in band and honors society and science club and worked on the school newspaper. All this in Texas where football was king and cheerleaders were the school royalty. When people ask me what I remember about middle school and high school, I stand there for several seconds not saying anything. This isn’t because I can’t remember anything, but because I remember too many things and I can’t figure out what to say out loud.

I spent the first part of college in Alaska, which was amazing. The first time I saw Northern Lights, I thought I was imagining it. I just couldn’t get my head around the idea that something so beautiful existed in the real world. That’s when I first started writing. This was my bad poetry phase. I think it was the combination of living there with long very cold winters and being in love with a guy that barely knew I existed that made me do it. People ask me all the time if I write poetry. I wish I could and maybe I will someday, but for now I am firmly a fiction writer.

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The First Ten Books I Ever Reviewed

Posted April 22, 2019 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 20 Comments

Thanks to Rissi at Finding Wonderland for this week’s topic! I started blogging at The Broke & the Bookish in June of 2010 and started recording my thoughts on Goodreads even earlier, so holy moly I’ve been reviewing books for a LONG time. This week I’m sharing the first ten books I ever reviewed (the date my review was posted, along with the outlet it was posted on appears after the title).

I’m excited to see the first ten books you reviewed! Now, these reviews don’t necessarily have to be long, formal reviews. They could just be a sentence or two on Goodreads or a book retail site. Whatever your heart desires. Does anyone else read their old reviews and cringe a little bit? I do!! It’s also kind of crazy to see how my tastes have changed over the years.

1. The Host by Stephanie Meyer (March 10, 2008 @ Goodreads)
I joined Goodreads in March of 2008, and I’m pretty sure this was my first review there.

2. Traitor by Sandra Grey (May 25, 2008 @ Goodreads)

3. Sailing to Capri by Elizabeth Chandler (June 11, 2008 @ Goodreads)

4. Her Good Name by Josi S. Kilpack (May 1, 2009 @ Goodreads)

5. Where Are You Now? by Mary Higgins Clark (July 26, 2009 @ Goodreads)

6. Austenland by Shannon Hale (July 1, 2010 @ The Broke & the Bookish)
My first review ever! Oh, how I agonized over this review. It took me hours and I was so scared to post it!

7. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (July 25, 2010 @ The Broke & the Bookish)

8. Finding The Right Man For You: Dating Advice for Women by Lawrence J. Danks (August 15, 2010 @ Amazon)
This book should be fed to the goats. It was SO awful. lol. It made me SO mad (just go read my review). We were getting very few review requests, so I agreed to read this because “Yay! I’m a grown-up blogger who people are noticing!” I’m much more selective with the titles I accept now. I refused to even post this review on our blog, so it became the first review I ever wrote for Amazon.

9. Jane Morris: The Pre-Raphaelite Model of Beauty by Debra N. Mancoff (August 13, 2010 @ The Broke & the Bookish)
This is so not a pick that is characteristic of me and my blog here, but we were trying to review a very wide array of book genres so I threw in this book from an art history paper I was writing in college at the time that I loved so much I went and bought a copy for my own collection.

10. 501 Must-Visit Destinations by David Brown, Jackum Brown, Kieran Fogarty, and Rebecca Walder (September 9, 2010 @ The Broke & the Bookish)
I love travel, and I was still trying to not just read and review YA for TB&TB so I chose to highlight this one!


Top Ten Rainy Day Reads

Posted April 15, 2019 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 9 Comments

It’s been raining a LOT here in my neck of the woods lately, so this topic is pretty perfect for me. Thanks to Shayna at Clockwork Bibliotheca for submitting such a fun topic through my request form! What do you consider to be a “rainy day read”? When I think of these kinds of books, I think of cozy stories that I can jump into for an entire day rather than just an hour or two here and there. I’ve been going through some hard life stuff for the last week and a half and now I’m passing a kidney stone, so I’ll hopefully be back later to update my picks! For now, here’s the link-up.

What makes a book a rainy day read?
Which books did you pick this week?


Five Uncharacteristic Things I’ve Done Because I Love Books

Posted April 8, 2019 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 13 Comments

This week’s topic (Outrageous Things I’ve Done for the Love of Books) was submitted by Aggie’s Amygdala, and is a pretty daunting topic if I’m being honest! I’ve said it before, though, I’m not just going to select topics based on ones I can easily complete myself! There’s a lot of participants! If the word “outrageous” doesn’t fit your list, then change it! Shocking? Bold? Crazy? The point is to show off our nerdy, bookish badges of honor. Anything goes this week. Now, I’m not one to jump outside of my comfort zone often, so I chose the word “uncharacteristic” to describe my list picks. These are things I normally wouldn’t do.

Started My Own Book Blog
I was never a blogger! I tried personal blogging and whatever, but fell out of love with it. This is honestly the longest hobby I’ve ever had, and that baffles me!

New Moon Midnight Release Party On a School Night
The Twilight series was the first series I really went crazy over. I was not much of a recreational reader since school ruined books for me. Up to that point I never understood the appeal of midnight release parties, but I was SO EXCITED to get New Moon in my hands that I went anyway and was totally exhausted the next day.

Went to ALA Las Vegas with Really Bad Pneumonia
I LOVE attending ALA, so much that pneumonia wasn’t going to keep me away. I sat on everything I could, and I had this pale, cold, clammy sheen to my face the entire time. I was dragging my dead corpse around the convention hall, basically.

Went to Kathryn Purdie’s Burning Glass Launch Party with a Migraine with Aura
Similar to the above, I do bookish things instead of taking care of myself.

I Got Rid of Clothes to Make Room for More Bookshelves
I seriously never thought I’d do something like this, but I got rid of a dresser to get more bookshelves!

What nerdiness is on your list this week?


Top Ten Things That Make Me Immediately Want to Read a Book

Posted April 1, 2019 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 28 Comments

This week we’re talking about why we read the books we read! I’m pretty sure all of us have a list of things we look for when we read a book’s synopsis or read book reviews. Some of us might even be sold on a book’s cover alone! These are the things we’re talking about today. Hopefully you’ll have some suggestions for me based on my list!

1. Travel Destinations

This first one is a bit of an umbrella pick for me, but I had to do it this way or else all ten of my picks for this topic would be different countries! I love traveling to my favorite places and places I’d like to visit through books, so if I see that a book is set in Italy or France or Greece, etc. my interest is immediately piqued.

2. Characters On Vacation

In the same vein as above, I’m all about going on vacation with book characters. If characters are traveling abroad, going on class trips, going to boarding school, or road tripping I get excited!

3. Fauxmances/Relationships of Convenience

This is a HUGE one for me! I love the fake romance/fake marriage turned full-blown love story.

4. Non-Paranomal, Non-Erotic Romantic Suspense

I LOVE romantic suspense, but so much of what’s out there has a paranormal aspect to it or is too explicit for me. I don’t want a romance to be suspenseful because he’s a werewolf. I want a murder or a missing person or a serial killer or SOMETHING with a strong accompanying romance. Those are so exciting and swoony to me, and are my absolute favorite kinds of books.

5. Workplace Romance

I love the tension of a really great, forbidden workplace romance!

6. Nerdy Characters

I love the sexy nerds as romantic interests. I also love nerdy or bookish heroines that I can relate to.

7. On the Water

I love books set on cruise ships, pirate ships, sailboats, yachts, ferries, lifeboats, etc. I gobble them up like you wouldn’t believe.

8. Heists

I love heists! Jewelry, art, antiques, rare books, I’m here for all of it.

9. Wilderness/Survival Settings

I love it when characters are off the beaten path, whether by choice or not. Camping, hiking, getting lost or stranded on a beach or in the wilderness… Perhaps a boat goes down or a plane crashes and the characters have to learn to survive. Throw in a little suspense or danger into one of these settings, and it’s even more of a must-have for me.

10. Underwater Settings

I love books that take place in fantasy underwater cities or compounds. Mermaids are an added bonus!

Do you have any books you’d recommend to me based on my list?
What makes you want to read a book?

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