Thursday, December 31, 2015

Book Review | The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection (The Selection, #1)The Selection by Kiera Cass

I've heard about this series for a while, so when I received a copy of The One in a prize pack, I decided to check it out. I'm so glad I did!

The Selection was amazing! I don't usually like dystopian, which I would categorize this book, but this one is so different. There's enough of a drama and romance story mixed in to appeal to me, and the post-apocalyptic elements are not anywhere near where they are in other dystopians I've read. I also love the way the backstory is covered to explain how the world in the story arrived at it's current state.

The characters were wonderful, and I was easily swept up in their stories and lives. I like America! She's a wonderful mix of strong and emotional. The relationship between her and Aspen and her and Maxon are both equally inspiring, and though I have my fave, I know I'll be upset for the one left behind, should the series go in this direction. At this point in the game, it's anyone's guess.

I haven't enjoyed a premiere book this much since Twilight! I'm so glad it took me this long to find this series, because now I can read them all in a row, and not have to wait a year or so for the next one. Although, depending on how fast I get through books 2-4, I may be biting my nails in anticipation of May's release of The Crown.

I'm looking forward to continuing on America's journey with her through the Selection.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

End of Year Blues?

So, I saw this quote in a post on FB:

It got me thinking how true this year. This week is usually filled with post-holiday blues, getting ready for New  Year's, checking out your cool new presents, and dreading returning to school the following week. You sleep late, you stay up late, you eat lots of leftovers, you make plans with friends for New Year's Eve. The days just fall away, one after another, until, all of a sudden, it's January 2. Wow! How'd that happen?!

Instead of letting these days pass completely unproductive, I've been working on getting organized, thinking about what I want to accomplish in 2016, and yes, playing with my presents :)

The trick is, you can do both: You can enjoy these last few lazy days of the year, and Christmas vacation, as well as accomplish a few things. Just figure out what you want to accomplish most before 2015 slips away forever.

I'd love to hear what you come up with. Share in the comments.

Monday, December 28, 2015

January 2016 Premieres

With the new year approaching, I've been checking out the TV schedule to find out when the new shows premiere. You all know I'm a huge couch potato, so this shouldn't be a huge surprise. Here are the shows I'm looking forward to starting in January. All times are in CT.

January 3, 7pm, ABC, Galavant
January 5, 9pm, MTV, The Shannara Chronicles
January 12, 8pm, Freeform (formerly ABCFamily), Shadowhunters
January 13, 9pm, TV Land, Younger
January 19, 8pm, ABC, Agent Carter
January 20, 7pm, CW, DC's Legends of Tomorrow
January 21, (stay tuned for time), CW, The 100
January 24, 9pm, Fox, The X-Files
January 25, 8pm, Fox, Lucifer
January 25, 8pm, SyFy, The Magicians

Be sure to set your DVRs! What shows are you looking forward to in the New Year?

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Out with the Old...

Happy day after Christmas! As I find places for my new gifts, and figure out what to do with some of them (I got a lot of fun office supplies!), I started cleaning out my desk to make room. My desk has been so cluttered, and filling up with old junk I didn't know what to do with. There are many people who laugh when I say this; compared to others', my desk is very neat. But I hate clutter! And I had a lot. So, it was out with the old to make room for the new :)

As I went through everything, I found some pictures, and decided I wanted to get back into scrap-booking in 2016. I used some of my cool new office supplies to create a scrapbook supply storage space. It's all Frozen themed! One of my fave Disney movies. 

Aren't they cute?!

I also decided to make my vision board. I try to do one every year, so I'm ready to start the New Year off right.

Do you make one? What kinds of things are on yours this year?

As we head into the final week of the year, I'll be taking stock of the past year, and thinking about what I want for next year.

What are you hoping to accomplish in 2016?

Friday, December 25, 2015

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Book Blitz | His Dream Role by Shannyn Schroeder

His Dream Role (Hot & Nerdy #5)
Release Date: December 22nd 2015
Lyrical Press


Free Mitchell loves the theater. In his dreams he’s the one taking the spotlight. But so far he’s played against character by following in his father’s footsteps as an investment banker. When he’s masquerading as Dr. Who or Sherlock Holmes to help his brother, he feels he can escape his shy, dorky persona. But nothing’s prepared him to play boyfriend to a gorgeous girl like Samantha Wolf.

Samantha isn’t quite sure what to think of Free. He’s cute, sweet, and quirky, but his outlandish costumes make him seem crazy. However, it turns out Sam has a soft spot for theater nerds. And the more time they spend together, the more their steamy romance begins to take center stage. Only problem is, there doesn’t seem to be a script. And it’s anyone’s guess how this one will end.


Truth be told, Cary no longer needed his help. Last summer, after the doctor told Cary he absolutely had to get off his fat ass and lose weight, Free offered to work out with him. Cary admitted that it wasn’t the working out that bothered him as much as the people staring at him.
So three days a week for the past six months or so, Free dressed in outlandish costumes to draw attention away from his overweight brother.
Cary sat down at the first machine to work his legs and Free leaned against the adjacent machine. For a change, the room wasn’t crowded and no one took notice of them.
            “What are you going to do about Hunter?”
Cary talking to him during the workout was a relatively new development. For months, they walked in together, but Free would stroll through the gym drawing attention to himself in subtle ways. Over the last month or so, they’d spent more time hanging out during Cary’s workout. Soon, Cary wouldn’t need him to show up at all.
            “I’m going to prove him wrong. I’ll find a date for the party.”
            Cary extended his legs and brought them back. “See if she has a sister, okay?”
            The workout routine continued on in the same manner, Cary working various muscle groups and chatting. They talked about work and the holidays and Free soon became bored.
            When Cary got on the treadmill, Free wandered around, trying to find something of interest. Two muscle-bound guys came out of the locker room and sneered at him.
            One said, “Who do you think you are?”
            Channeling the arrogance of his father, as he did every time he needed to portray Holmes, he answered, “I’m a high-functioning sociopath. Sherlock Holmes.”
            He cocked an eyebrow and waited for them to respond.  The first guy elbowed the other and they called a few friends over.
            A ball of nerves plummeted through Free. He’d never been much of a fighter and he knew he couldn’t hold his own with the first two, much less all their friends. He looked at the group and said in his best British accent, “I dislike being outnumbered. It makes for too much stupid in the room.
            To his surprise, all the guys started to laugh. Sure, he was insulting them, and he was pretty sure they understood that, but they still laughed. Free pulled out his magnifying glass, nodded to them, and walked back toward the treadmills.
            Cary slowed his pace. “Problem?” he asked, tilting his chin toward where Free had come from.
            “Nope. Just my winning personality creating more fans.” He leaned against the rail of the treadmill while Cary jogged and watched the TV in front of them. Cary had it tuned to the financial reports. Free didn’t need to hear the anchor or have closed-captioning on. He simply watched the numbers scrolling at the bottom of the screen. The red and green digits soothed him like a lullaby would a baby.
            When Cary stepped off the treadmill, Free followed him to the locker room. “I’m going so I’m not late for rehearsal, okay?”
            “Sure. See you later.”

Buy Links:
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Books in the series (click on image for Goodreads link):

About the Author

Shannyn Schroeder is the author of the O’Leary series, contemporary romances centered around a large Irish-American family in Chicago and the Hot & Nerdy series about 3 nerdy friends finding love. When she’s not wrangling her three kids or writing, she watches a ton of TV and loves to bake cookies.

Author Links:
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Monday, December 21, 2015

Book Blitz | Mayan Blood by Theresa DaLayne

Mayan Blood (Stone Legacy #1)
Release Date: December 29th 2015
Limitless Publishing

Summary from Goodreads:

Their empires have fallen, but their mythology lives on…

Zanya Coreandero is a seventeen-year-old orphan with only a single friend and no hope for a normal life. Diagnosed with anxiety and night terrors, no one believes her cuts and bruises are a result of an evil entity, and not a brutal case of self-harm.

With the only home she’s ever known being the isolated institution—where breakfast is a handful of medications, the psychiatry sessions are mandatory, and her every move is watched—the only relief is her red-haired roommate named Tara, who’s more like a little sister than her best friend.

Free will is strong, but destiny is stronger.

When Zanya is kidnapped, she meets a group of gifted Mayan descendants, each with a unique ability. Gone from a nameless castaway to the only hope of mankind, Zanya is forced to make a grueling decision: bond with an enchanted stone and save humanity from rising underworld forces, or watch helplessly as Earth falls victim to a familiar dark deity from her dreams. This time, he’s playing for keeps.

A wicked secret hides behind a handsome face…

When Arwan, a dark-eyed timebender, takes interest in Zanya's mission, it's unclear if his intention is to help, or if he's on a hell-bent mission for revenge. Wary of falling for another guy with major secrets and a tainted past, Zanya fights to keep her distance. If only her heart gave her a choice.

Pre-order Link:

Character interview with Thresa DaLayne

Character Name: Arwan

Character Bio:
Orphan and gifted Riyata, Arwan grew up at Renato’s estate in Belize after his mother was murdered by an underworld enemy. For years he has denied his Mayan ancestry and shunned his bloodline. Now that Zanya—the Stone Guardian—is back and bonded with her stone, he must face the darkest part of his soul in order to find the revenge he continues to seek.
I don’t have a photo of Arwan, nor do I want to assign one. He is a unique looking twenty-something year old with tan skin, dark eyes, sharp cheekbones, long-ish dark hair, and a keen talent for martial arts. He also has a very rare ability called timebending, which he does not often use in fear of changing the course of history and affecting the future in negative ways that he cannot undo.

Me: Describe yourself what is your worst and best quality?
Focus. Normally that would be a good quality, but I tend to be overly focused on a goal and do not stop perusing it until I’ve accomplished it.  Maybe that’s how I earned Zanya’s affections. Once I knew I wanted her, I couldn’t stop until I made my best effort to earn her trust.

Me: Have you?
Arwan: It’s a work in process
Me: Do you think you deserve her trust?
Arwan: No. Not in the least.

Me: Why?
Arwan: Can we move to the next question please?

Me: Why?
Arwan: Because I’m not entirely comfortable telling you something I haven’t told her first.

Me: Fair enough. What about your best quality?
Arwan: I would say patience. I need patience while training—especially with Peter due to is lack of practice. He spends far too much time with Tara and not enough time in the dojo.

Me: It sounds like you’re angry with him.
Arwan: Angry? No, I’m not angry. Just…concerned. I don’t want him to fall behind. But knowing Zanya now, I can’t blame him for being hesitant to leave Tara. It’s hard to be away from the person you care about.

Me: What are you most afraid of?
Arwan: Failure. I’ve worked my entire life to prepare for the moment I can finally avenge my mother’s death. Plus, now I have more than just myself to protect. There’s no one else to lead the rest of the group, and I have to be there. It’s my job, and I can’t fail.

Me: What do you want more than anything?
Arwan. Peace.

Me: What kind? There are a lot of kinds of peace.
Arwan: All kinds. For too many years I’ve struggled to achieve inner peace, but that’s not possible because of who…what, I am. Maybe someday I can find a balance. That’s about the best I can hope for.

Me: What is your relationship status?
Arwan: It’s…complicated.

Me: You’re not going to improvise, are you?
Arwan: No, I’m not.

Me: Okay then. How much of a rebel are you?
Arwan: I think that’s more of a question for Jayden. Me? I prefer structure. Though I suppose Renato wouldn’t completely agree with the current events.

Me: What do you considered to be your greatest achievement?
Arwan: Taking control of my darker side. Commanding it. That is by far my greatest achievement to date.

Me: What is your current state of mind?
ArwanI’m nervous.

Me: Why?
Arwan: Because I’m not used to people probing into my personal life. Into my head. Marzena, the young dreamwalker, gives me space. She doesn’t intrude into my thoughts. This interview feels a lot like when she reaches into my head.

Me: What is your most treasured possession?
Arwan: Does it have to be an object?

Me: Yes.
Arwan: My glaive.

Me: What’s that?
Arwan: It’s a weapon I use in both training and fighting—a spear with a long, curved blade at the end.

Me: You don’t have anything more personal you cherish?
Arwan: I don’t have many personal items. I’ve never needed them. I live with Renato, have the dojo at my disposal, and the jungle as my refuge.

Me: Which living person do you, most despise?
Arwan: I suppose it would be wrong to say Jayden. *grins *

Me: I don’t think Zanya would be thrilled to hear you say that.
Arwan: No, she wouldn’t. And in reality it’s not the truth.

Me: So who is it?
Arwan: Sarian—and my father. Both of them equally and as fiercely. The end.

Me: What is your greatest regret?
Arwan: Existing.

Me: Why?
Arwan: I’d rather not elaborate. Are we almost finished?

Me: Yes, we are. Lets change things up. What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Arwan: Stubbornness and self-confidence.

Me: Most men dislike a stubborn woman.
 Arwan: Not me. It tells me she knows what she wants. I like that.

Me: Which living person do you most admire?
Arwan: My mentor, Renato. He is like my father, and I have great respect for him.

Me: What is your motto?
Arwan: You always have a choice.

Me: We’re all finished up. Once again, Arwan, thank you for the interview.
Arwan: Great. Thank you.

About the Author

Theresa DaLayne is a north-south-east-western kind of girl with a quirky personality to match her nomad life. Born in California, she migrated to three different cities in Washington State, a tiny island in Alaska, North Carolina, and finally to the suburbs of Ohio where she currently lives with her husband, three kids, vegetarian cat, and her ungrateful fish.

Always on the lookout for a new story, Theresa is a shameless eavesdropper and will take anyone who provides inspiration and mold them into a character without a second thought. She enjoys writing both paranormal and contemporary stories, considering her mind wanders between worlds of fantasy while she’s forced to live in the real world, very much against her will.

Author Links:
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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Book Blitz | A Bucket Full of Awesome by Zainab T. Khan

A Bucket Full of Awesome
Release Date: February 14th 2015

Summary from Goodreads:

"You know, Blake, even though we all know that cancer is a heartless dragon who wants to take everything and everyone into its fiery pit, we still fight with it. We still hope. And we clash again and again with its fire, and even though we get burned, we don't accept defeat. Humans are the most fragile yet the strongest beings on earth." 
"And they are the most stubborn." 
I laughed, "Right. They are stubborn." 

Summer Wallace is a wild, crazy girl who simply couldn't care less about her appearance. She strongly believe in the saying, "You Only Live Once", in teenage subculture also known as YOLO. She plays basketball like her life depends on it. Well, it sort of does, she loses one game and there's a dent in her ego, not a small one either. 

Meet Blake Walker, her best friend and her partner-in-crime. Although he is just like his childhood best friend in acting-like-a-kid department, he can be a bit saner than her. Though, at times, he can be crazier than her. But a day changes both of their lives which leads Summer to make a bucket list and complete it before her whole life takes a 180 degree. Whereas, Blake is determined to keep her as long as he can. And he is perfect for the job. After all, he knows her more than anyone else. And they have no room for regrets. As Summer Wallace says, "There shouldn’t be any space for regrets in our beautiful lives.” 

"You're not going home?" I asked, squinting in the darkness.
"I'm hurt, Wallace. Did you seriously expect me to leave you in your hellhole, all alone? I'm staying here, so rest assured. And go to sleep."
"Go home. You won't be able to sleep here. You're used to your bed. Come on, leave. I'll be fine." I said.
"It's fine." He muttered gruffly. I didn't reply to him then. Instead I listened to the whoosh of the couch every time he tossed and turned. And I knew then, that no matter what I say, he won't leave. So I offered him the alternative.
"Blake. Come in here. We'll sleep together. It is a large bed." I scooted over and patted the place next to me.
"Blake." I warned. Finally I felt his presence.
"Happy, Your Highness?" He said as he turned to look at me.
"What's with the 19th century speech?" I said.
"I don't know." He shrugged.
After a long pause I said, "Do you know what's awesomeness?"
"Summer Wallace?" He guessed helpfully.
"Excellent guess, but you're wrong. Awesome is just a mere adjective to describe her."
"Oh right? Then you tell me, what's awesomeness?"
"Ice cream. A tub of ice cream equals to awesomeness. So if I have different tubs of ice cream in my Bucket list, then my bucket list is awesome. This makes it a bucket full of awesome. Wow. Now tell me, aren't you lucky that you get to be part of 'a bucket full of awesome'?"
"Oh I'm very lucky. Now go to sleep. Goodnight." And then we both were in our own little worlds. Even though our arms were touching, we were still somewhere else. Somewhere that can be our wishful thinking or our worst nightmare. Yet we were still absorbed in that. So deeply that we didn't even realise when our hands moved on their accord and intertwined themselves. Just like the day we had our first stroll in the park together, when we were just two happy souls who found each other and made themselves each other’s playmate. 
Buy Links:
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About the Author
 I'm Zainab, a 16-year old faux writer. You can say that I'm more of a reader than a writer. Meg Cabot would be my favorite young adult author. The forty rules of love by Elif Shafak and Making faces by Amy Harmon would be my all-time favorite  books.  Favorite  fictional boyfriends would be Jesse de Silva, Maxon Schreave, Adrian Ivashkov and Flynn Ryder.  
Update (14/07/15): David 'Tag' Taggert replaces all the four guys. Okay, not replaces but he is definitely my dream guy.

Now back to real life, I'm a student in high school and English and Culinary Arts are my favorite courses. It was due to Once Upon a Time the TV show that I stumbled upon the art and the magic of writing. Somehow, among all this, I ended up a publishing a book. I'm working on a new book currently, hoping to publish it by Fall 2015. 

I would like to mention here that English is not my first language, so I request all my readers to excuse me whatever mistakes and errors I make in my writing, though I try to give you the very best version.
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