Thursday, August 13, 2015

Favorite Booktubers


I (obviously) love books. I also love YouTube. Luckily, there are fellow book-loving peeps making videos on the interwebz. These are my faves.

#1: Christine Riccio (polandbananasBOOKS)


Christine is hilarious. She makes fun book talks and cool sketchy videos.

#2: Kat O'Keeffe (Katytastic)


Kat is super sweet and has a bookshelf that is to die for.

#2. Natasha Polis (Tashapolis)


Natasha is a huge fangirl who understands my love of Jaime Fraser.

#3: Sasha Alsberg (abookutopia)


Sasha is adorable, has fun videos, and is in love with Scotland.

#4: Jesse George (jessethereader)


Jesse is a whole lot of fun in his videos.

#5: Regan Perusse (PeruseProject)


Regan is a college student and lover of historical fiction.

______________________________
I've been seriously considering joining Booktube for some time now, and I think I'm going to be making it happen soon. So, (if you want) you can subscribe to me HERE.

-Kristen ♥

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Blog Tour: Playing the Player by Lisa Brown Roberts (Author Interview + Giveaway)


Title: Playing the Player
Author: Lisa Brown Roberts
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: September 14, 2015

Synopsis: The Good Girl Vs. The Player 
Round one begins... 

Trina Clemons needed the money. Why else would she - the most organized, prepared student in school - spend the summer as a nanny and partner with the biggest slacker ever? Now she's ready to tackle nannyhood with her big binder of research and schedules. Just don't ask her about the secret job of "fixing" the bad habits of a certain high school player...

Slade Edmunds prefers easy hook-ups, and Trina is definitely not his type. She's all structure and rules, while Slade wants to just have fun. Fortunately, Trina has no idea about the bet Slade made with his best friend that he can totally get her to unwind by the end of summer...

Then the weirdest thing happens. There's chemistry. A lot of it. But nothing gets between a boy and a girl like a big, fat secret...

About the Author: Lisa Brown Roberts still hasn't recovered from the teenage trauma of nearly tweezing off her eyebrows and penciling them in for an entire school year. This and other painful memories inspire her to write books in which girls big on wit and heart earn happy endings with swoony guys...eventually. Her almost forever home is Colorado, though she occasionally pines for the days when she lived within walking distance of the Pacific Ocean. Her house is full of books, boys, four-­legged prima donnas, and lots of laughter.


Author Interview:

First off, I'd like to thank you for joining me on the blog today! 

Thank you for having me!

1. Describe Playing the Player as a tweet (140 characters or less)!

What happens when the class party boy and the class perfectionist are thrown together for a summer nanny job? Chaos, chemistry, and kissing!

2. What inspired you to start writing?

I escaped into books from a young age, and writing novels was always my dream. I really fell in love with Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, and wanted to be like Jo, the protagonist who is a writer.

3. Do you use any of your personal high school experiences in your stories? 

Not exactly, but I definitely draw on the emotions from that time. It’s easy for me to remember the intense infatuations, the mortification over the smallest embarrassment, the giddiness, the feelings of excitement and fear about the future. Also, I saved all my high school journals, which are hilarious and dramatic, and great inspiration.

4. How important are the names of your characters in Playing the Player

Names are definitely important. I’ve been “saving” the name Slade for a long time, knowing I wanted to use it for a certain kind of hero, so it was fun to finally use it. Sometimes the names just drop into my mind, and sometimes I spend a lot of time looking at naming websites, reading about meanings and etymology. Trina was one that just came to me. I like the sound of it, and to me it fits with her personality and petite physique.

5. Do you have a specific place where you write? 

Several places, actually. I have a favorite corner window table in a public library, which is where I’m typing this right now! I also have a couple of local coffee shops that I like. I write at home early in the mornings, but that’s trickier because I share an office with my husband. I can’t focus at all if he’s in there at the same time I am because he’s noisy.

6. What are you reading right now? 

Several books- I usually juggle two or three at once. Currently I’m reading Denton Little’s Deathdate by Lance Rubin, a fantastic YA with a lot of black humor and thriller undertones, and The Protector Project, a sci-fi YA by my friend Jenna Lincoln. Also I can’t wait to start Spellcasting in Silk by Juliet Blackwell, the latest book in one of my favorite cozy mystery series.

This or That... 

Ebook or Real book? 

Both!

Twitter or Facebook? 

Twitter

Chocolate or Vanilla? 

Chocolate

Past or Future? 

Future

And just for fun- What is the strangest thing on your desk right now? 

Well, it’s not strange, but I do have an autographed photo of Johnny Depp that serves as inspiration. :)


That is so cool!! Thanks again for answering some of my questions.  

Giveaway:
Nanny Survival Kit (nail polish, lip balm, journal, summer scrapbook stickers, love scrapbook stickers, love quote bookmark) for US winner or a $20 Amazon Gift Card if international


a Rafflecopter giveaway

-Kristen ♥

Cover Reveal: Em and Em by Linda Budzinski

Title: Em and Em
Author: Linda Budzinski
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Publication Date: October 27, 2015

Synopsis: The last thing sixteen-year-old Emily Slovkowski wants is to move away from her home at the Jersey shore, gorgeous surfer boyfriend Zach, and her entire identity. But that’s kind of how Witness Protection works, and Em must prepare herself for an epic do-over as she starts a new life in the Midwest.

Even as she pines for sandy beaches and the night life of the shore, the newly-named Ember O’Malley finds herself making new friends, taking photos for the high school newspaper, and thinking an awful lot about the paper’s editor, an oddly cute cowboy named Charles.

When Em stumbles upon a shady beneath-the-bleachers exchange between one of the school’s football coaches and a student, she refuses to get involved. The last thing she needs is to be witness to another crime or call attention to herself. Besides, she finally has some real friends – well, real except for the fact that they don’t know a single thing about her – and she prefers to keep it that way until the trial.

But as her day in court approaches, Em begins piecing together what she saw that day beneath the bleachers. And, as her own past secrets start to catch up with her, Em needs to figure out who she really is – Em or Em.

About the Author: I live in Northern Virginia with my husband, Joe, and our feisty chihuahua, Demitria (also known as Dee Dee, The Puppy, and Killer). I'm a sucker for romance and reality TV and have been known to turn off my phone's ringer when watching "The Bachelor." My favorite flower is the daisy, my favorite food is chocolate, and my favorite song is "Amazing Grace." I am represented by the wonderful Andrea Somberg at Harvey Klinger Inc., and my first novel, THE FUNERAL SINGER, was released in September 2013 by Swoon Romance.


AND NOW, for the reveal......


-Kristen ♥

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Book Spotlight: Sojourn: The Wildlands by B.D. Messick (Author Interview)

Title: Sojourn: The Wildlands
Author: B.D. Messick
Publisher: Fire and Ice
Publication Date: July 30, 2015

Synopsis: In a dark future, follow seventeen year old Rayn Mirago as she leaves everything she knows behind, and embarks on a journey that will either prove her worth, or take her life.

Rayn Mirago's seventeenth birthday is tomorrow, but there will be no party, no gifts, and no celebration. Like every other child in this world where humanity is on the brink of extinction and resources are at a premium, she must make her Sojourn across the former United States to prove her worth. The human race has nearly been wiped due to overpopulation, global warming, and our own ignorance and conceit. The coastal cities of the U.S. have been reclaimed by the ocean and the Midwest is now a vast desert wasteland known as the Deadlands. The remaining fifty thousand or so survivors in the old United States now live in one of five walled cities, called Enclaves where they eek out a meager existence.

Rayn's Sojourn begins when she steps through the gates of the Vegas Enclave and into the vast wilderness between the old city and Deadlands, an area known as the Wildlands. She will face many struggles and dangers that will challenge her, make her doubt herself, and force her to realize that she is stronger than she ever imagined.

But first, she must overcome the burden of leaving her old life, everything and everyone she has ever known and loved behind.

About the Author: Been writing for a few years, Sojourn - The Wildlands is the first book I've published and it has been picked up by Fire & Ice Publishing. The second volume: Sojourn - The Deadlands is set for release later in 2015. The third volume is being edited at the moment. I have a new book, EVE, in the final editing stages. If I'm not writing...which is almost never, I love hiking and movies. I am also a board game designer, and my new game, Dodge Dice, is now available from Gamewright Games.


Author Interview:

First off, I'd like to thank you for joining me on the blog today! 

Of course...thanks for inviting me.

1. Describe Sojourn: The Wildlands as a tweet (140 characters or less)! 

Hmmm... ”In a dark future, join 17 year old Rayn Mirago as she embarks on a journey that will prove her worth or end her life." I am so bad at this tweeting stuff...lol.

2. What inspired you to start writing?

It's really always been something I have enjoyed doing, although it's only been during the last few years that I decided to see if someone else might enjoy reading what I put down on paper. I will add that when I saw James Cameron's Avatar, I came home that evening and started working on a book that had been languishing for some time, but I find inspiration in music, other books, the news...pretty much everywhere.

3. What kind of research, if any, did you do for Sojourn: The Wildlands

I did quite a bit of reading about global warming and it's long term effects on the planet, as well as some basic survival techniques.

4. Do you think you could survive taking your own Sojourn in your book?

Um...I would probably have to say no. And I would hope that no one would take my book as some sort of guide to survive an apocalyptic event...it's just a story after all.

5. Do you have a specific place where you write? 

Usually in my office, but I also get quite a bit done at the local park. The peace and quiet can be quite useful in getting the creative juices flowing.

6. What are you reading right now? 

At the moment...nothing...although I have been meaning to finish reading Prodigy, Marie Lu's wonderful follow-up to Legend. I don't tend to read a lot when I am writing.

This or That... 

Ebook or Real book? 

Real

Twitter or Facebook?

Facebook (although I am terrible at both)

Chocolate or Vanilla? 

Chocolate

Past or Future? 

Both

And just for fun- What is the strangest thing on your desk right now? 

A figure of Aragorn.

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog! 

My pleasure and thanks for taking the time to chat.

-Kristen ♥
 

Friday, July 31, 2015

July Wrap-Up


July has been a really great month! I turned 20, my kitten, Mia, turned 1, and I read a crap-ton of books (aka 14)!  :)


The first book I finished this month was All I've Never Wanted by Ana Huang. I really enjoyed this book and you can can check out my review HERE

Rating: 4/5 stars


I read this entire book in one sitting- I could not put it down! I absolutely loved the story and the characters. Kris was sweet and brave and North was protective and swoony! Overall, I had a complete blast reading The Academy by Emmaline Andrews!

Rating: 5/5 stars


Hard to Be Good by Laura Kaye was a short novella that I definitely enjoyed reading.

Rating: 4/5 stars


The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak was really fun, sweet, and entertaining and you can read my full review HERE.

Rating: 4/5 stars


Where You Least Expect by Lydia Rowan was a quick and cute little romance story that I really liked, but didn't quite love.

Rating: 3/5 stars


I've been really excited for Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard and am so psyched I finally got to it. The cover is beautiful and the premise was really cool. I think this was a case of my expectations being too high from all the hype and the book falling a bit short. That being said, I really did enjoy this book and will definitely be reading the sequel.

Rating: 4/5 stars


The Girl & the Machine is a short story Beth Revis has up for free on Wattpad. This is a fast read with a twist you don't see coming.

Rating: 4/5 stars


Carry the Ocean by Heidi Cullinan is one of the most heartwarming and eye-opening books I have ever read. And it has a permanent spot on my favorites shelf. <3

Rating: 5/5 stars


Very Good Lives by J.K. Rowling is a quick and inspirational read.

P.S.- Happy Birthday to J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter! <3

Rating: 5/5 stars


I finally read the first two books in the Doon series by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon and it was really awesome and fun! I loved the characters and the setting and I cannot wait for the sequel!

Rating: 5/5 stars


Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon absolutely blew my away! For more of my thoughts check out my review HERE.

Rating: 5/5 stars


Every Last Breath by Jennifer L. Armentrout was the third and final book in The Dark Elements series. And I think it was the perfect conclusion to an amazing series! <3 #TeamRoth

Rating: 5/5 stars


I really enjoyed Lying Out Loud! I loved seeing all the cameos and I thought Sonny's sense of humor was great. But it really could have used just one more chapter. :)

Rating: 4.5/5 stars


-Kristen ♥

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Book Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Title: Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Publication Date: September 1, 2015

Synopsis: This innovative, heartfelt debut novel tells the story of a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she’s ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more. 

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, ha ve not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Review: This book was absolutely nothing like I'd imagined it would be. Instead, it turned out to be so much better. I just finished reading Everything, Everything and knew I needed to write down my thoughts immediately.

The first thing I want to address is the format of the book, it was such a refreshing change from the usual and really expanded my enjoyment of the story. Now onto the feels.

This book is one of those rare ones that can really change you as a person. It's the kind of book that makes you want to go out and live life to its fullest potential. It's the kind of story that reminds you that life is precious, but that being alive and living are two separate things.

Madeline was a wonderful main character. I loved seeing her grow and change and stand up for herself. I adored Olly. I loved how sweet he was and I loved that Olly was only a stepping stone for Maddy to change her life, not the sole reason.

The big twist in the story was so unexpected and made me so freakin' angry and I'm glad Maddy, as a character, was allowed to hold on to her justifiable anger.

In the end, I absolutely fell in love with this book. If I had one complaint, it's only that I wish the story could have kept going for one more chapter (or ten). Seriously though, you should read this book. Everyone should. It's kind of life-changing.

An ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Rating: 5/5 stars

-Kristen ♥

Thursday, July 23, 2015

#Bookstagram

I love books. And I love pictures. So it makes sense that I would love pictures of books! Today I want to showcase a few of my bookstagrams that I'm quite proud of.

A photo posted by Kristen (@kmichelle1) on

A photo posted by Kristen (@kmichelle1) on





A photo posted by Kristen (@kmichelle1) on

A photo posted by Kristen (@kmichelle1) on

-Kristen ♥

Monday, July 20, 2015

Book Spotlight: The Stellow Project by Shari Becker (Author Interview)

Title: The Stellow Project
Author: Shari Becker
Publisher: Skyscape
Publication Date: June 23, 2015

Synopsis: When a killer storm unexpectedly hits Manhattan, seventeen-year-old Lilah Stellow’s dad insists that she and her younger sister, Flori, take refuge at their cabin in the mountains. But instead of joining them with the experimental drug that keeps Lilah alive, he disappears just as news reports name him as a prime suspect in an act of ecoterrorism.

As days pass without her medicine, Lilah finds herself teetering on the edge, caring for her sister, and growing increasingly certain they’re being watched. In her search for answers, Lilah is thrown into the center of a mystery involving an off-the-grid research facility and finds herself drawn in by Daniel, an intriguing boy who is the son of the lead scientist. As she dares to seek answers, Lilah slowly realizes that even the best intentions can go horribly wrong.

©2014 Bird on a Wire Photography
About the Author: Shari Becker was born in Montreal, Quebec, and was raised speaking both English and French. As a child, she spent her summers in the Adirondack Mountains catching fireflies, minnows, and toads. She has an MA from New York University and has worked for Nickelodeon, for Disney-owned companies, and even for an Emmy Award–winning puppeteer. She is the author of two picture books, including Maxwell’s Mountain, a Junior Library Guild Selection and Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book. She now lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with her husband, their two daughters, and their dog. She loves lakes, but despises the bridges that run over them.


Author Interview:

First off, I'd like to thank you for joining me on the blog today! 

Thanks for having me!

1. Describe The Stellow Project as a tweet (140 characters or less)! 

Dependent teen finds inner grit when she becomes a pawn in a mystery involving her family, the government and a top-secret lab in the woods.

2. What inspired you to start writing? 

I was actually a pretty spacey kid. In elementary school I used to sit in the back of the classroom imagining that all the items in my pencil case were characters. The eraser was an evil dragon, the hole puncher was an innocent princess, the pen was the horse … you get the picture. My parents have all these notebooks filled with my drawings and stories. I even tried to sell a picture book to a publisher when I was in fifth grade-ish. They let me down gently, but I didn’t give up. I tried to submit a romance story to Seventeen Magazine when I was in 9th grade. They let me down gently, too. But clearly, I was a woman on a mission.

3. What kind of research, if any, did you do for The Stellow Project

At first, everything was just an idea in my head. But then I had to figure out if any of my crazy, sci-fi ideas would actually make sense. My friend is a pulmonary doc-tor, and he explained the basics of heart and lung surgery to me. My brother-in-law is a master tech guy who explained cell phone technology to me. My father-in-law used to be a liaison between the FDA and a pharmaceutical company, so I had him read over all my lab scenes.

I did a lot of the research about satellites, government organizations and weather, online. You’d be amazed at how many amazing tornado sky photos you can find using google. When I wasn’t sure if my ideas were credible, I would go online and just begin searching keywords.

4. Do you have a specific place where you write? 

Yes, I write in a sunroom / office off my family’s living room. There are lots of windows, but I have to keep the blinds closed or else I’ll get totally distracted by the people walking down the footpath that runs by my house.

An old friend of my mother’s gave me a beautiful antique roll down desk. The desk is small, which is a good thing, because I am not so organized, but there’s not enough room for a ton of mess. Sometimes, I’ll write on the couch in my living room at night. My dog will curl up beside me, which is sweet and cozy, but it is hard to be serious when a dog is licking your knee … or foot.

5. What are you reading right now?

I’m between books. I recently finished “All The Light We Cannot See,” “I’ll Give You The Sun” and “Blue Lily, Lily Blue”. I’ve been so busy launching “The Stellow Project” that I haven’t had time to pick out my next read. I’m open to suggestions! Do you have any?

I recently finished Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman and it was awesome!

This or That... 

Ebook or Real book?

Real, but audio is actually my favorite

Twitter or Facebook? 

Facebook

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Chocolate.

Past or Future? 

Future

And just for fun - What is the strangest thing on your desk right now? (Pictures are more than welcome.) 

At the moment my desk is a place for all things lost. I pick up random objects in the house, intending to put them away, but I somehow end up back at my computer, writing, and just forget about them. There is a kitchen timer, an old flip video cam-era, a bag of knitting wool, a lint roller and a nail clipper. I can’t send a photo … it’s too embarrassing.

Thank you so much for answering my questions- I can't wait to read The Stellow Project!

-Kristen ♥
 
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