Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thank You + Giveaway


How do I start this post?

An explanation, I suppose. I've been gone so much lately that it's as if this blog is more of a phantom than an actual thing, but still I see you followers here--and just, your continuous support makes me want to weep. *hugs all* *wipes tears*

Alright, so you all deserve the truth. The reason why my posts are so sporadic is because of time. Or, rather, lack of it. I think most of you know that I'm a high school student, though there are only like, three people in the blogging community who know my real age. I'll reveal it someday. :) But anyways, so while I'm juggling school, I have three jobs (one full-time, two part-time), at least four hours in meetings a week, full weekends dedicated to debate tournaments, musical theatre shows, choir performances, running the fansite for Insignia, researching for academic competitions, and bagpipes lessons, just to name a few things, and while I'm thankful that I have the opportunity to all of these things, you can probably see that I have pretty much no time to read and/or blog.

But I've quit two of those jobs, and I'm finally learning how to really balance everything. It's not a perfect system, and I'm still not reading enough, but I hope that the posts I can now regularly get out will be good enough. I'm so sorry that I've been such a ghostly presences as of late, but that will change. It's time to truly thank you all with my words and action, not just fleeting apologies.

So there's my explanation. But that wouldn't exist without you guys, and so I want to take this moment to thank some of the most important people in my online life (in no particular order):

1) Monica from Cover Analysis, Jazmin from Wonderful Bookshelf of Jaz, and Rachel from Beauty and the Bookshelf . These people are some of the biggest reasons why the blogging community is so amazing. They give me so many amazing memories and so many times I've found myself asking them for advice, because I know they understand me and it's just such a satisfying, beautiful thing, you know? To have friends who know you for who you are and who would fan-girl along with you even though you've never met in person.

2) #TeamKilt. This. This is the reason why I started blogging. Oh, TeamKilt, there are NO WORDS for me to describe my love for you. For those of you who don't know, #TeamKilt is the  fan group for Jeri Smith-Ready's amazing Shade trilogy. (You can find my reviews of Shade, Shift, and Shine by clicking on the respective titles. Also, find more information on this amazing group of people at the fansite) Back in the summer of '11, when the lovely YA-Sisterhood held their first YA Crush Tourney, and I saw my beloved Zach on there, and- oh man. I'm going to cry now. I'm gonna do it. Darn it darn it darn it. Anyways, long story short: Zach's presence in that competition spurred me to create my own blog, and here we are, more than a year later, and my love for that series is still as strong as ever. (Also, wow, did I really not put up a post for the blog's anniversary? *grimaces* Okay, wow, totally shame on me.)

3) Goodreads buddies. I know, I know. This year was such a tumultuous year full of Goodreads author-blogger fiascos. But let's not focus on that. I want to bring attention to the fact that Goodreads connected me to a lot of amazing people, like Wendy, Steph, and Exp., who, though I don't very often chat with anymore, I quite admire. (If you want to find my Goodreads, here it is.)

4) Twitter peeps. Twitter. Oh, I know this thing is getting long, so here it is in one sentence: I used to be confuzzled by Twitter, but now I don't know what I'd do without it. #ObsessedButHappy (Shout out to Rory, even though you don't celebrate Thanksgiving, I don't think!)

5) YOU. Can I just-

Thank you. Thank you for reading my words, my thoughts, even though I am as unreliable as they come. I'm thankful for each and everyone of you, whether or not you subscribed or followed, because that doesn't matter--what matters is that you gave up part of your day for me, and no matter if it was a minute or fifty, I will forever be grateful.

Ah, darn it. WHY am I always so freaking sappy?!?!

So. Before we go, I have a giveaway for you guys. Because come on, it's Thanksgiving. (And haha, if you scrolled down here just for the giveaway, that's totally okay. I know, I do it, too. :) )

-You must be at least 13 years old, or have parental consent to enter the giveaway if you are under 13.
-There are two giveaways. One is international, the other is U.S. only. Please be careful to enter in the one that applies to you! (i.e. If you're from the U.S., you  can enter in both. If you're from somewhere other than the U.S., you can only enter in the international one. Sorry! I'm trying to save all my money for college. >.< The Christmas giveaway will have international giveaways for all, though!)
-There are multiple ways to enter. However, you only need to complete the free entry to be considered "in" the giveaway.
-You are not required to follow the blog to enter. Still, a follow would be appreciated, if you like the stuff I post! :)
-The giveaway will end on December 1st, 2012.


Prize: THREE winners will receive swag packs, full of bookish goodness! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway #2 (U.S. ONLY): 
Prize: ONE winner will win either a signed ARC of Every Day by David Levithan, a signed ARC of Beta by Rachel Cohn, OR a signed hardcover of Legend by Marie Lu.
-If you want this prize but live internationally, I suggest coordinating with your friends in the U.S. to see if you can work something out! Again, sorry!)

Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Happy Thanksgiving, y'all! <3
The Reviews News

Sunday, November 18, 2012

EPIC FORCE Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway!

How many books have you read that includes wrestling as a backdrop hobby? (If "backdrop hobby" even makes quasi-sense?)

Yeah, I've got zero here, too. But that's what's truly unique about Epic Force by Alexi Raymond: wrestling plays a major part, but it does not define the characters. There is romance that is sensual, so I'd be cautious about that if you're not into that sort of thing. Still, though: if the synopsis that I'm about to present doesn't entice you, maybe the author's guest post on how she manages her time will!

Epic ForceEpic Force
By: Alexi Raymond

Trinity has given up everything to reach her dreams as a professional wrestler in the national spotlight; even though it's breaking her heart to stay away from her trainer, Derek.

Derek knows the road Trinity is walking and wants to be there for her to see her succeed, but he wants so much more than that for them.

After having a wrestler break her heart once, Trinity isn't willing to jump back into another wrestling-relationship. That doesn't stop her heart from pounding at the sight of Derek or her hands from trembling with their touch.

Convinced she has to focus on her dreams, Trinity leaves the safety of home and wrestling federation,(Epic Force Wrestling), and heads out for the chance of a lifetime. The things she sees don't make her more sure of her goals, but they do make her sure of something else - she can't outrun her old wrestling school or the trainer that holds her heart in his hands.

Sometimes true love is an epic force all its own.

-Summary from Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon || Barnes & Noble || Smashwords 

For the guest post, I asked Alexi: 

How do you balance your personal life and writing? 

Ahh, the balancing act! Wait! I have a pic for that! *digs through photo album*
HERE! I found it! 

What I’ve found is that life is a balancing act, and just like in gymnastics, the more you train and prepare - the better you’ll be and the more you can handle. When I was 15 and getting excited for my first car my mom said if I didn’t have a job by the time I got my license, I couldn’t drive. I was so afraid that I wouldn’t have a job that I ended up with two after school part timers. And each one had its own benefits, so I couldn’t see quitting either! Sure I missed out on some high school stuff that would have been cool, but I still found a way to fit most of that in, too! Currently, I have a full time day job. I also work freelance for a local television station where I shoot sports videography, edit highlights, run tapes for the news and sometimes write stories for them! I’m also an Independent Beauty Consultant with Mary Kay. I like to stay busy. So here’s the routine.

Morning: Get up 30 min before designated shower time, get in some crunches, pushups and toe raises.

Work. All. Day. Long. 

Evening: Work my Mary Kay business, Write, Read, Spend time with Hubby before he falls asleep.

Go to sleep.

Usually I’ll pick a day and designate it to one of the fun jobs instead of trying to cram it all in, for instance, I have MK Meetings on Monday’s that I try my hardest not to miss (those gals are FUN!). Tuesdays are my early day at work so I can come home and get some serious writing done. 

Each week I look at my schedule and see what’s going to work best for that week! It’s tricky at times, but I have an amazing hubby who cooks for me and a wonderful kitten who sleeps on my lap as I read and write and really what more do you need in life?! I try to do both reading and writing every day, although my reading has been lacking a bit lately. Where I was getting through three books a week I’m down to 1 1/2. But that’s OK.

I think the goal to working towards all of your dreams in life comes down to three steps:

1 - Pick Your Biggest Dream - Don’t think small!! The bigger the better!

2 - Break it down into tiny baby steps - What’s the first step in making that dream a reality?

3 - Get back up on that beam until you have completely owned the first step in realizing your dream!

So, what do you think? Before we go to the giveaway, here's an excerpt from Epic Force to satisfy your curiosity!

From chapter 1 with Trinity and Derek:

"Don't go." His whispers were lost in her hair. He remained so silent, so nervous, and yet his arms snaked around her. Trinity’s heart soaked in the familiar security that came with his embrace. "Please, Trinity, please don't leave me." He squeezed, no longer hugging her. They clung to each other as tears rolled down her face, or maybe they were his, there was no way to tell. 

He had always been there for her; from the first time she walked through the doors of the warehouse into the poster filled walls of Epic Force Wrestling, to the first time one of the boys refused to hit her like a real wrestler and even now, as she stood there breaking his heart. She would never find another man like Derek; but the truth was that regardless of how she felt for him, she couldn’t let herself. Nate had broken her heart. She’d never let another wrestler get that close to her again.

"I'm going to be late." She sniffled and wiped her face with the back of her hand, still wrapped around Derek's neck.

"Be late. Be late forever, just stay."


With a kiss on the cheek, Derek relinquished his hold. The chocolate swirls in his eyes were moist, his lips pursed together. Trinity trailed her hands down his arms and squeezed his huge warm hands. Her palms fit inside of them, tucked neatly away from the harm of the world. She wanted to face the world, regardless of the risk, she felt she needed to. She squeezed one last time, took a longing look into where they both knew she belonged and left him standing alone under the singular light on the pier.


Intrigued? Here's some more info on Alexi:

Alexi RaymondAlexi lives in Indiana with her husband and kittens! You can find her throwing the boys around the ring, shooting sports highlights or curled up on the couch with Castle and her "writing kitten" working on a never ending supply of ideas for all of the books she wants to write!

Find Alexi here: Twitter || Goodreads

And finally...

Enter with the rafflecopter form after the jump to win an e-book of Epic Force and some awesome swag! :D

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