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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Armchair BEA: Ask a Not-So-Expert

I think it's hard to write tips because it really depends on the person and what works for them. Stating this, these are the few things that work for me.

I'm not huge on sticking to a strict schedule. I think it takes a lot of the fun away from reading for me when I'm forced to read something. What I've found works best for me is to have a little wiggle room when reviewing. Giving a deadline date for a review for authors instead of an exact date gives me a chance to usually fit in books I'm wanting to read on my own time. Obviously, this doesn't always happen when setting up posts, but I try. 

Putting things on a calendar really helps me. At first, I totally thought it would suck and didn't do it for a few months. However, when NetGalley started getting busier I realized I needed to do something to keep track of important dates so I started making lists by month. Now I keep a color coded calendar through Google because I like that it syncs with my phone to reference at a glance. I also break my emails up as I get them to different folders if they're for future posts or copies of books. 

If you're at all like me, I use my phone a lot! This is the one thing that keeps me the most organized. I use multiple apps, shortcuts, task managers to keep on top of things. This also means a lot of passwords! Last Pass is a cool little app that keeps track of all those different forms of passwords we have. Reeder is a simple Google Reader app to keep up with reading posts from friends.(I'm sure there's likely a free one, but I'm going off of apps I've used in the past.) Shortcuts! I don't know, maybe it's me but I hate having to retype information on my phone. For instance, I get Twitter mentions through text. When replying to people I tweet with a lot, it's kind of a pain to type "@username" every time so I made an iPhone shortcut for things I say a lot. [Go to Settings > General > Keyboards > Shortcuts] It's something small, but saves time when doing multiple things at one time.

Lastly, give yourself a break! It definitely helps from burning out. I personally take a day in the week off from doing things blog related if I can. Who needs another thing "To Do"? Blogging should be something you want, so keep it enjoyable! 


FF Giveaway: Vinyl Record Bookends OR Book of Choice

What better way to celebrate summer and my awesome followers than to have a cool little giveaway!? I wanted to find a way to thank you guys for being all kinds of amaze-balls because it still freakin' boggles my mind that more than one person bothers to listen to me go fangirl over books and music willingly! Anyways, if you're old or new, THANK YOU GUYS! If I could hug every last one of you, I would! However, then we'd probably have some weird awkward moment where you'd be like, "Why is this weird girl hugging me and sobbing uncontrollably?" So let's just forget about that for now.

I was trying to figure out who to feature for my giveaway for a while and was kind of lost. Then my brain started working one day and I didn't know why I didn't think of it sooner! Jessica here comments on AWR a lot since she stopped by here through FF, and I'm always really thankful for it. Follow her, she's awesome!

If you didn't realize it, I'm slightly music obsessed. Since AWR is a book/music review blog, I found these vinyl record bookends from Etsy ridiculously awesome! This giveaway is for either a pair of these bookends OR a book of your choice from The Book Depository. The bookends have no shipping limitations while BD has a few locations where they don't ship to. 

Must follow AWR &  a GREAT read to win!

Please note: AWR will be moving to Wordpress very soon, so GFC will no longer be in use! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Review: The Lure of Shapinsay by Krista Holle

Ever since Kait Swanney could remember, the old crones of the village have been warning her to stay away from the selkies. They claim that like sirens of old, the seal men creep from the inky waters, shed their skins, and entice women to their deaths beneath the North Sea. But avoiding an encounter becomes impossible when Kait is spotted at the water’s edge, moments after the murder of a half-selkie infant. 

Unexpectedly, Kait is awoken by a beautiful, selkie man seeking revenge. After she declares her innocence, the intruder darts into the night, but not before inadvertently bewitching her with an overpowering lure. 

Kait obsesses over a reunion deep beneath the bay and risks her own life to be reunited with her selkie. But when she lands the dangerous lover, the chaos that follows leaves Kait little time to wonder—is it love setting her on fire or has she simply been lured?
I was kind of unsure about this read because I'd never heard of Selkie creatures. However, I was too intrigued to pass up the opportunity to learn more about the lore. Krista Holle creates a completely different world than we're used to seeing with an old town Scotland setting.

Eamon is a Selkie, a seal type of creature that can turn into a human when on land, who falls in love with a human girl named Kait. I enjoyed both of the character because they both seemed to have fairly strong personalities that fought to understand one another. Kait is lovable in that stubborn girl for her time kind of way, while Eamon has a very mysterious lure ye want to know more about! Side characters were also well written, but I tended to prefer reading about the main relationship. Though cute, their relationship does have a slight insta-love quality that wasn't the most believable. I think their relationship geared more towards going for something that was forbidden than it was love. However, their relationship was still an enjoyable read to root for. There are a few mature scenes regarding the relationship, but they're all handled with light detail so it's something that could still be YA appropriate.

Though thoroughly interesting, I hoped to have more of a background on Selkie creatures because I knew nothing about them. Even after finishing, I'm a bit hazy on truly understanding how they work. I think elaborating a bit on this aspect would've rounded the story out a bit more for me.

Overall, The Lure of Shapinsay was a really creative story that seemed to be very well researched. This is one of those stories I could definitely see more books on because there's so much uncovered territory to the story and this book just scratches the surface. Take your chances on this book if ye looking for a unique and different read. (I'm unsure if I used that right, but I'm trying here.)

I was thinking a lot of LOTR type of Middle Earth music while I read this, so here we go:

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Armchair BEA: How to Reach Outside the Blog

No, I don't have moves like Jagger.
Happy 4th day of BEA all! I won't be ranting much about any money making ideas since I don't do much of that on AWR. Maybe down the road, but right now I just have fun sharing my thoughts. Writing has always been a big part of my life, and this is why I ended up going into Public Relations.  Another big passion of mine is music. I honestly don't remember how or why I started, but through the wonders of the internet, I began promoting music through street teams around the age of sixteen. I realized that I really enjoyed it because it was the one thing that had me get out of my shell. It forced me talk to people I wouldn't otherwise talk to and had the added perks of getting to listen to brand new artists. Through this, I made a lot of random friends around the country that I'm still close with today. When I got to college, I thought it'd be amazing to combine the two and that's how I went into PR. This blog and random internet projects have led to a lot of fun internship opportunities for me because I express myself when chatting with people. All in all, I think the two biggest pieces of advice I could give is to first off, not be afraid of starting a conversation. If you feel like getting to know someone, shoot an email or instant message. I personally find random conversations to be super entertaining! Secondly, stay true to who you are. Your voice is what makes you the person you are. Forget about impressing people and just enjoy whatever it is you do. The passion for things you enjoy will always show in your work, so enjoy it.

Want to start a conversation? Shoot me an email or add me on Skype at username dreamzofx23!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Review: ALIBI Series From Twist Literary

Abigail Shelton is dead. 

Spring Valley's golden girl is found floating face-down in her boyfriend’s pool, hands bound behind her back, head bleeding, drugs and alcohol in her system. Her friends are the only suspects – and they all have reasons to want her dead. Everyone has an alibi, but no one is innocent.

ALIBI is a 4-part young adult e-book series. Each one-hundred page installment reveals the perspective of a different character: the secret love, the nemesis, the boyfriend, the best friend. As their tales unfold, we learn that Abby is not as perfect as everyone believes, but she’s not the only one with secrets to hide. This page-turning tale of suspense, betrayal, murder, and lust will keep fans of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars up and reading well past curfew.
I won't lie, I was kind of stalking Twist Literary (only online people, I wasn't like in their bushes or anything) once I heard about them a few months back. The whole concept of a series written by different authors for different characters is seriously intriguing. I kind of thought I'd be able to tell when someone else was writing, but the authors do it so seamlessly that there's really no difference. What definitely helped is the amazing characterization throughout the story. Every character has their own distinct personality that pulls you in right away. 

Charles. You sir, are weirdly lovable even though I feel like I should stay away because you will break my heart with that beautiful Aussie accent of yours and leave me drowning my sorrows in chocolate. Every time Charles would talk, I would feel this necessity to say his lines in an Australian accent. Let me tell you, I realized my Aussie accent sucks! However, don't let my awful accent deter you from reading all about him and wanting his bod. Annie Miles writes Charles in a way that makes you want to discover the layers under his teen bravado and charm. 

I think I have a slight girl crush on Palmer because she has that confidence that just makes you want to know her. Even if I kind of hated her at times, I still rooted for her in the story. I totally understand why she intrigued so many people. Isabel Eckersley gives Palmer this charismatic air about her that makes a reader even notice there's something about her without seeing her. Her plot twists are also the most interesting for me; I truly didn't see them coming. 

Mason and Rowan are the two characters that I'm still unsure about my feelings for. Every story like this needs an edgy boy or girl, and these two seem to be it. Byrne and Provolo make their stories like those MTV shows you don't want to admit you watch, but honestly love every minute of because they're such a huge train wreck. Yeah. I mean...I don't watch those shows.*Looks anywhere but at you*

With little bits of story leaking out through each of the characters, Alibi will tease and keep you reading to the very end. I was sad to have it end because I got so invested and wanted more. If you're looking for a mystery that is sure to stay with you even after you're done turning the pages, Alibi is a definite not-so-guilty pleasure.

Bonus: If you check out and review any of the ALIBI books now, you can have a chance to win your very own iPad! The contest ends July 31, 2012! Check out the details here!

Series Soundtrack:

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Armchair BEA: Best of 2012

There have been so many great books already this year! I know we're only halfway through, but there are also so many new ones coming out that I'm extremely excited to read. I'll state now that it takes a lot for me to put a book in my favorites pile, so just because there's only a few in my already released pile, doesn't mean they're the only ones I liked. What are a few titles you guys are either looking forward to or would recommend?

Released Faves:


Upcoming TBR Faves:


Monday, June 4, 2012

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: Flight (Crescent Chronicles #1) by Alyssa Rose Ivy

"Sometimes you just have to take flight.

A summer in New Orleans is exactly what Allie needs before starting college. Accepting her dad’s invitation to work at his hotel offers an escape from her ex-boyfriend and the chance to spend the summer with her best friend. Meeting a guy is the last thing on her mind—until she sees Levi.

Unable to resist the infuriating yet alluring Levi, Allie finds herself at the center of a supernatural society and forced to decide between following the path she has always trusted or saving a city that might just save her."
Why hello there gorgeous boy*ahem* I mean people. This cover is just dark and hot. There's also a total creep factor to the cover. I keep thinking of ghosts for some reason. I love how the people on the cover kind of blend with the background too. I won't lie, I'm totally excited to check out Levi. What do you all think?

Enter to win a Flight bookmark below! Contest ends June 9th at 11:59 p.m.! Also, be sure to check out the bigger giveaway at A Tale of Many Reviews for a signed Flight bookmark, rack card, magnet and an eArc of Flight when it's finally released!


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Armchair BEA: Blogger Introduction

BEA is here! Yes, I know you're excited. Please breathe before you hyperventilate. Thanks. Anyways, to get started, here is a little introduction if you don't know me:
  1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging? -Heyas all! If you weren't aware, my name is Preet. I have a background in Public Relations and on top of my love of books, I have a slight addiction to music,lyrics and pop culture. I've been blogging for a little over a year now. I got into blogging because one of my besties, Amanda, said I should. Since I enjoy writing and love learning more about books, I figured why not?
  2. Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you. -One time I accidentally ran over Danny Glover's foot. True story. 
  3. What is your favorite feature on your blog (i.e. author interviews, memes, something specific to your blog)? -Probably when authors give me playlists to use. I think music shows a lot about a personality. Plus, I love finding new bands I've never heard of and getting ridiculously obsessed with their music for weeks. 
  4. Which is your favorite post that you have written that you want everyone to read?-I don't think I have one in particular. However, my favorites are the ones with random references imbeded because I always wonder if anyone else laughs at corny jokes since I usually find them hilarious when writing things. Yes, I probably would laugh at my own joke. 
  5. If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?-I'm picking more than one. Character would be Noah Shaw(or really any boy/girl I have a book crush on) just so I can stare and fangirl. Authors would be(in no particular order): Tahereh Mafi, Michelle Hodkin and Cara Lynn Shultz. I pick them because from following them through various online sources, their personalities seem really fun and entertaining. 


Friday, June 1, 2012

Follower Friday #20

Q: You are a matchmaker- your goal, hook up two characters from two of your favorite books. Who would it be? How do you think it would go?

Okay my mind doesn't want to break people up from favorite books, soooo I'm choosing Wade from my current read of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and Princess Alera from the Legacy series by Cayla Kluver. I'd just like to see someone from past and present together. I think it'd be interesting to see how it'd work! Who would you all choose?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Review: Scars by Cheryl Rainfield

"Kendra, fifteen, hasn't felt safe since she began to recall devastating memories of childhood sexual abuse, especially because she still can't remember the most important detail-- her abuser's identity. Frightened, Kendra believes someone is always watching and following her, leaving menacing messages only she understands. If she lets her guard down even for a minute, it could cost Kendra her life. To relieve the pressure, Kendra cuts; aside from her brilliantly expressive artwork, it's her only way of coping. Since her own mother is too self-absorbed to hear her cries for help, Kendra finds support in others instead: from her therapist and her art teacher, from Sandy, the close family friend who encourages her artwork, and from Meghan, the classmate who's becoming a friend and maybe more. But the truth about Kendra's abuse is just waiting to explode, with startling unforeseen consequences. Scars is the unforgettable story of one girl's frightening path to the truth."

Holy wow. This is one of the rawest books I've ever read. I can't say how realistic this book was really since I've never dealt with harming myself like Kendra, but her emotions were so realistically written that her pain was my pain. I literally felt painful when reading about things she'd do to herself. I've personally never felt that in a book I've read to the extent that this book took it to. 

This book has a suspense element to it that definitely kept ome reading to the very end. However, I probably would've read to the end regardless because that's how much emotion Cheryl Rainfield puts into every page. I loved how little bits of memory came out slowly because it's as if I was just as paranoid as Kendra trying to figure out who it was.

Kendra had a lot to deal with at such a young age.  Her family is trying their best to understand her while still trying to save face. I hated how much her mother cared about what society thought. I understood her challenges, but I wanted to cry every time Kendra's mom turned things to herself instead.  I realized as I read, I started  feeling really protective of Kendra while reading. I know that sounds kind of ridiculous since I obviously can't control anything, but as I read I just had this urge to scream things like, "HURT HER AND DIE JERKFACE!"

I liked that this book had a few different messages in it. It didn't just deal with harming oneself, but also had themes of dealing with sexuality and other forms of abuse. I will say that the relationship in this book wasn't as developed as I would've liked, but it really wasn't the message of the book, so it didn't really hurt it.

I definitely think this is one of those books everyone should read at least once just to experience it. Be warned, it may highly likely put you in a down mood for a bit! However, it's one those books that's really just...Real. I don't know if it's life-changing, but this book definitely put a lot of things in perspective for me. I can't see anyone regretting getting and reading this story. Get it. Shout out to NetGalley and WestSide Books for providing me a copy for review.

Sidenote: I know I usually imbed things like random references into posts at times, but I came across this coincidentally on Tumblr while reading Scars. Anyways, it was just one of those perfect images at the time that I just kind of wanted to bawl my eyes out and really wanted to share it here. I'd  post it below, but it's slightly image heavy. So check it out here. 


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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Review: Colors Like Memories by Meradeth Houston

"Julia has a secret: she killed the guy she loved. It was an accident—sort of.
Julia is a Sary, the soul of a child who died before taking her first breath. Without this 'breath of life' she and others like her must help those on the verge of suicide. It's a job Julia used to enjoy, until the accident that claimed her boyfriend’s life—an accident she knows was her fault. If living with the guilt weren't enough, she's now assigned to help a girl dealing with the loss of her mother, something Julia's not exactly the best role model for. If she can't figure out a way to help her, Julia's going to lose her position in the Sary, something she swore to her boyfriend would never happen."
This is one of those books that's sort of hard to review without giving things away. The story bounces between present life and the past as we learn more and more about the characters. While I enjoyed Julia's present life, it was her past that had me the most engaged in the book. By no means was her present life not interesting, but the relationship between Derek, Julia's first life companion, was so flawlessly written that any other relationships with Julia just didn't compete with it. What's interesting about this is that Derek's part of the story wasn't even a big chunk of the book, but it's truly what made the most impact. His relationship with Julia is what carries the book without him really being present. 

I appreciated that all the characters were working towards a common goal without the other truly knowing what they were going through. I really felt for Marcy and her struggle. Meradeth Houston wrote her character in a way that made me want her to get through her issues because she deserved better. My only true qualm about the story was her connection to Edison. Though they were sweet together and understood one another on a different level, I just didn't really care for them together. I'm not saying their relationship was bad by any means, but being introduced to Derek first kind of made me want his love more. It's as if Houston gave me this huge delicious piece of cake(Derek), took it away and then gave me a piece of chocolate(Edison). The chocolate is satisfying, but it just isn't as amazing as cake. 

Julia's story through all of her struggle was really sweet and hopeful. My only wish was that I could've had a bit more information on the Sary. The world Houston created for them was really interesting and I kept wanting to know more about them. If more stories do release with the Sary, I'd definitely be interested in seeing where this story goes. 



Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays #26 - Scars

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. 


 I've been kind of debating this read for this week because of the dark subject matter, but I'm so eager to read it now just through skimming it. 

"I make a light mark against the paper, then another, giving in to the longing. A girl's face appears, her mouth sewn shut with zigzags of black thread. In one hand is the needle, and in the other is a stitch ripper, its point jagged and sharp." ~ Scars by Cheryl Rainfield


Monday, May 28, 2012

Review: Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen

"I don't do dangerous.  Smart, über-careful, ordinary Samantha-that's me. But I just couldn't pass up a surprise kiss from my number-one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me...something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It's like part of me is missing-and I don't know if I can get it back. Then there's Bishop. At first I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he's keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he's what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me.... NIGHTWATCHERS When angels and demons must work together, something beyond evil is rising..."
Oh, hello there hot cover model! How do you do? You want me to read you? Well okay, if I must stare at you longer, I will somehow find a way to get through this. Yes, the cover is what initially caught my attention. It's not even the pretty guy though. It was actually the wings that caught my attention because they're kind of frayed. Plus the whole cover is kind of mysterious.

I'm not the biggest fan of angel books because I haven't had great experiences with the few that I've read thus far. However, this book definitely changed my opinion on them. I was pulled into the story immediately and loved the world Michelle Rowen created. I enjoyed how the realm of angels and demons was given a twist. Though angels are said to be good and demons bad, I found the characters in this book to be kind of questionable on where they stood. I felt like they could have a mix of both characteristics, and luck is what really came down to what hand they were dealt.

Samantha is a likable enough character, but I felt her inner angst took up a bit too much of the book. The things she said would feel a bit repetitive at times. However, I did like that she was more of a take charge character even if it wasn't the best idea sometimes.

The demons and angels in the book were all enjoyable because they all had their own personalities. Bishop and Kraven had a great introducing storyline that I really want to read more about.  My only wish was to find out a bit more about the side characters. I'm hoping they'll have more of a role in later books because there wasn't enough said about them. However, Rowen's writing makes for a very easy read even if I would've liked more information at times.

The one thing I continuously thought with this book was that I could totally see this book as a television show. There's something about it that reads very much like a show. There are plenty of side stories and characters I'd love to watch as the story unfolds. Dark Kiss is a great start for a new take on an angels and demons story. I'm definitely looking forward to reading the following books in this series. Thanks to Harlequin Teen and NetGalley for providing me a copy.

Book Soundtrack: 


Friday, May 25, 2012

Follower Friday #19

Q: Activity! Dream cast your current read.

It's hard to say who I'd want exactly for this book right now because I haven't been given a lot of detail on the look of each characters, but these are actors I picture currently. 

Steven Strait as Derek- Mostly because of his eyes and hair. He'd make a cool Sary.

Ellen Page as Julia: Her look fits the character for me. She's somewhat protective and caring, but gives off a rebel and standoff-ish vibe.

Chloe Mortez as Marcy: She seems more innocent and is going through some issues currently. Plus, I just love Chloe Mortez.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Music Review: Not My Kind of People by Garbage

Track List:
1.Automatic Systematic Habit
2.Big Bright World
3.Blood for Poppies
5.Not Your Kind of People
7.I Hate Love
9.Battle In Me
10.Man on a Wire
11.Beloved Freak

Garbage finally releases another album after seven whole years! I'll admit that I wasn't a big rock(if you can even put them in this genre) fan back in the day, but this album has a definite 90's feel while mixing a bit of genres that are heard now.

All the songs on this album were written and produced by members of the band, giving this album a more personal feel. Picking up music trends of the past, Not Your Kind of People does what Garbage does best; gives you a bit of everything.

Opening with "Automatic System Habit" Garbage gives something that can easily be a song played in clubs today for a party atmosphere when mixing electro-charged beats with Shirley Manson's synthesized voice. Later tracks like "Control" and "Sugar", settles into a more familiar Garbage sound. With its dark lyrics, it seems as though no time has really passed for the band between albums.

Though Not Your Kind of People is reminiscent of older albums, Garbage's influence on bands today feels pretty evident. However, this album shows that no matter what has or will come out in the past, present and future, Garbage has a way of mixing different genres that no one else can do.

This album is great for any fan looking for that old Garbage sound, or new fans looking for something a bit different than music of today. With fast and melancholy songs back-to-back, this is an album people should have for those off days when you're looking for a change.