On taking a HIATUS

Lovely people!

Sooooo, I HAVE been gone for a looooong time. And normally, I would have an alibi for not being able to post for a while. But honestly, I do not have one. So instead, I just would like to share what happened to me for the past few months that led to this moment of writing a sort-of-explanation-sort-of-not about why I suddenly went quiet.

GOT A NEW JOB

Let’s go 9 months back. I was offered a teaching job at a nursing school here at my province. It is in the city which i a 45-hour bus ride from where I actually live but I figured I should really give it a shot. After all, it has been my dream to become a professor. So I started with 3 courses every week, which is not a lot by the way, but I enjoyed it a lot. I saw myself looking back and seeing how things all worked out to bring me to the four-walls of a classroom full of college students waiting for me to say something interesting they could use to prevent people from dying. By the way, if you lovely people do not know, I am a registered nurse, and now, a clinical instructor thank you very much!

WHERE TO GO NEXT

After that first semester, I knew I wasn’t guaranteed anything for the next one. I worked on a part-time basis and if the college did not need me, they just don’t hire my services. Simple, but painful too. I enjoyed teaching, and sharing what little I know of the world to bright young  minds. I enjoyed seeing them progress from a bunch of scared students to confident trainees ready to become professionals. I’ve always believed in the nobility and competence of the nursing profession. I love sharing that pride with them. But then as the weeks rolled by, I knew I needed a contingency so I sent out a bunch of my CVs and prayed for the best. Opportunities knocked, but then something just kept telling me to wait it out and see what is on the other side. So I did.

HOPES UP

I was re-hired as a part-time faculty, though I was still keeping back-up options just in case. I was already teaching, at peace with the current situation I am in, when I got a text message at 9 o’clock in the morning telling me I have an interview for a permanent teaching position in our university. I could not believe my eyes! I debated whether I should just take my chances, or wait it out like the last time. But I knew that if I didn’t go, I would forever regret it. Turns out, I was right. I did go, and things turned out better than what I had hoped they would.

GOT IT

I got the job! I would not have imagined being a permanent, tenured employee at this age, considering I am in the academe. I was so happy-for my family, and for myself as well. All I could think of was how my life is starting to make sense, and gain direction because of this. And of course, all the books I can buy! But then again, all the books I cannot read too!

THE DOWNSIDE

I did not have enough time, ever, to read. I was so occupied with preparing lectures, and exams, and evaluations, and researches, and adulting stuff that I did not realize how long it has been since I sat down and reviewed a book, or read one for that matter. I had to weigh things really well to understand that this, THIS LIFE, is what I need to focus on right now. I know I said before that this place is my safe place. It is my haven, and it still is. I missed this place, that is why now I am here, bearing my feelings once more.

But life has overtaken all of those days of vigorous reading and passionate writing. It has replaced those days of intellectual conversations with book lovers like I am. Now I clash minds with brilliant professionals as to how researches in the health care field may be improved. I hope you don’t misunderstand. It is not that I haven’t read anything at all. During the past few months I have been inactive on this blog, I have been reading, though considerably slower that my usual pace, because of the other things I have to do. I love reading, and I would never ever stop doing it. I just didn’t know it would take so much out of me that I can’t read or write as freely as I could back then.

In all honesty, I miss the community I got to meet because of my love for books. I miss talking with them, and sharing thoughts and feelings with these people who truly understand what it is to fall in love with a villain, or hate the guts of an angel. I miss interacting with you. But I guess in life, you have to make choices in order to grow, and realize that you are an adult.

I will not completely abandon this blog. I may just be lie-lowing for a bit. I know for sure that I cannot be as active as I was before but I sure will try to visit more often than I did the past few months. I have read a few books I want to get reviews up for. So maybe I can start with that again? Or maybe something original? I guess we’ll see!

Before I go, I just want to thank you dear reader for making it through the end of this potentially boring post. Thank you for following, and spending time reading the thoughts of a book lover. That one view that you contributed to my stats is very much appreciated, and I could not thank you enough for.

See you in my next post!

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The Deal with ARCs

deal

Before I dive into this blog post, I just want to say hello. It’s been a while, I know, I know. And I am really bummed about it too. Are we still friends? We still are right? We all go through slumps right? I will make a post soon about where have I been and what have I been doing (or not doing) lately. I promise. Now onto the topic at hand.

As I was almost hopelessly trying to catch up on all the post I have missed out on all my favorite blogs, I came across this issue and I can’t help but give my piece of the cake to it as well. I have read the discussions by  Jess @ Princessica of Books and Claire @ Blankslaters Reads and if you want more thoughts on this, you can visit their posts here and here

First off, I just want to put it out there, I think ARCs are wonderful and are great ways to promote books which are yet to be released. They are ways to get reader feedback early on, so minor changes can be made if need be. They help create awareness about a certain book or author, and sort of create a buzz about new stuff. Indirectly, I also think that they become ways for readers, publishers, and authors connect and have intelligent discussions about books – after of course the natural flailing and/or helpless weeping.So in general, ARCs are good.

During the months that I have been involved in the book community here on the internet (wonderful people by the way) I saw how ARCs became a) a status symbol and b) a currency. Across all the social media platforms, it seems like ARCs just exploded out of nowhere and have rained on, as some would say, a privileged few. This statement may be contested, but it is a matter of discussion I am willing to engage into (so comment down below *wink*).

I am not gonna lie, I have been sent ARCs before, and I am very grateful for that. To be honest, I was surprised to be even contacted by an author. For a neophyte, that is a huge deal! They were indie books, but hey, no discrimination of any sorts. And like I have said before, some indie books and authors deserve much more credit and hype than they are getting. Now, some (or most) would say that if your get ARCs most people do not get their hands on, or if you have tons of ARCs being sent to you, then you are a HUGE DEAL as a book blogger. In my opinion, this is essentially true. The purpose of ARCs is for promotion like I’ve said earlier, so of course, the first ones on their list as to who gets ARCs sent to them would be the bloggers with a relatively larger following and readership. If you look at it with this point of view, then yes, I guess ARCs can be status symbols. HOWEVER, I do not think they should breed discrimination. Take me for example! I got ARCs and I am not even near 500 followers!

Also, I want to point out that the ‘larger’ book blogs have been around for quite some time, so they have built loyal readership (that a word? whatever). They’ve got time in. One thing I have learned in this journey is patience and hard work pays off.

Now, during the last few weeks, I have been seeing reactions about people selling ARCs or trading their ARCs. For the latter, I am all for it, but with the selling, I disagree. With the posts linked to this one, they have discussed a certain ‘special case’ where they ‘could probably justify’ selling the ARCs that a person owns. And though I disagree with selling something you got FOR FREE, maybe humane considerations get the best of me. Maybe offering them at a distinctly lower price? That is the only thing I would say about it as I still haven’t made a firm stand on that one.

Trading ARCs, I think, is a good way of spreading the word about books. That is the point after all right? The more people to talk about it the better. However, demanding for arm and leg in exchange for ARCs you own is not on my okay book. Advance Readers Copies are not meant to be used as currencies to obtain a certain amount of books. Nope.

If you started blogging, or want to start blogging just to get free books and ARCs. Stop. You are on the wrong track my friend.

And while we are on the topic of free books, discussion threads have dealt on the issue of some bloggers allegedly getting “paid” to post certain (5-star) reviews for books and authors. Well. This is a tough one to address. First of all, I believe in absolute transparency when it comes to reviewing books. Having said that, I think that receiving free books in exchange for only honest reviews is the way to go. After all, I write book reviews and posts about books because I want to share my opinions with others in the community as well. It is in my hope that my honest thoughts may be of help to others. But, I cannot say that the same is true for other bloggers. I am not naming anyone, or do I know someone who does, or am I saying that this really happens. All I can say is that as it is, I cannot condemn this activity. I am aware that people need to survive and doing that maybe one way of earning a living. What others do with their blogs is completely up to them, but personally, “selling” reviews in favor of the book is not something I will support or do. Absolutely not. Unless maybe you get paid to post your honest review.

So.. that is my  take on the ARC shenanigan.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Let’s chat about it. I am planning to request ARCs soon. Do you have any advice or tips for me?

Songs I Wish Were Books

So… this post should be a TTT post, but I have been soooo pre-occupied that I totally forgot to post it. I know, I am sorry. I don’t take credit for this idea obviously, because this is one of the themes given for Top Ten Tuesdays set for February 16.

Anyway, people have been asking me if I happen to listen to music while I read. Honestly, most of the time I do. I love music, and I tend to listen to music very often especially during idle time, like riding the, or waiting in line, or having coffee by myself. When I was in college, I used to listen to music even while reviewing for exams or doing homework. It does not distract me at all, in fact, I think it makes me focus more, plus the fact that it shuts out my surroundings. So naturally, I would do it while I read as well. When I saw this theme I thought, what a genius idea. Of course, songs tell stories as well, and there are songs I would love to be turned into stories, fantasy or not. This is in no particular order.

Wildest Dreams by Taylor Swift.

I have to be honest, most of this has got to do with the music video. Not the love story between two actors bit, nooo, but the wild and the safari and the beautiful landscape. And the line from the song “Say you’ll remember me…” just sounds so sad but mysterious at the same time.

You and Me by Lifehouse

When I hear this song, I get all fuzzy and warm inside. I don’t know why. But when I thought about it a lot, well I think this would be a great song for a fantasy novel. Something to do with time travel or being able to be at multiple time frames at once. And this song is just feels…

My Sacrifice by Creed

This was a huge song back then. Well at least for me. For me, it tells the story of a person reconnecting with someone from the past whom he had to leave in exchange of his dreams. This person he had to sacrifice to find something better for himself. It’s a sad story of having to leave someone you feel absolutely free and carefree and happy when you are with to find yourself and chase your dreams. It’s a song of reminiscing happy memories, told from a heart which is longing, and sad, and probably regretful of having let go of something true.

Iris by Goo Goo Dolls

And I don’t want the world to see me, coz’ I don’t think that they’d understand.When everything’s made to be broken, I just want you to know who I am.

First of all, I know you just sang to yourself. Second, tell me this doesn’t sound like a bad ass song to an epic high-fantasy novel about a sinister hero and his dame who happens to be a warrior torn between how she was raised and who she is and what she is coming to believe about the world. This is one of my all-time favorite songs and I always burst out singing when I hear this song.

See You Again by Wiz Khalifa

Now this song makes me want to cry EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Admittedly, I am a die-hard Fast and the Furious fan. Like really. From the moment I saw the first one, I have been a fan. When Paul Walker died and Fast 7 was released, I was teary eyed when it ended. Rightfully, this song was an ode to a friend lost too early, and a promise of friendship beyond death. It’s an emotional song, telling how friendship is family, and how you can find it in random places. I type this and I remember the movie ending and… excuse me while I ball my eyes out. Just make this into a book NOW.

Secrets by One Republic

Yes, this is that song from the movie The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and rightly so too. I feel like the intro to this song has magic, really. It’s a song about baring it all, and doing it in front of a person you are willing to bet your life on. It doesn’t have to be romantic. When I hear this song I think of rain soaked, bloodied from war, former allies turned against each other by lies and conspiracy, facing each other with the choice of fighting ’til death or defying the odds and facing the wrath of gods. Too much? I know.

Ghost by Jake Miller

I’ve recently been addicted to this song. It sends such a powerful message to issues the youth are facing today. It’s a song about empowerment, and belonging, and knowing that there is always someone for you. This would be such a good contemporary.

One Call Away by Charlie Puth

To me this is such a light-hearted song. I promise to stick around for the long haul. Simple. When I listen to this I think of an ending scene, when characters go separate ways yet promise to always come whenever the other needs help.

Mirrors by Justin Timberlake

When you lose someone that you idolize and respect and look up to from all the people you have known, you tend to deny, and bargain for more. This song is just like that. It is harder, especially, when you know that you are losing them and can’t do anything about it. Should you fight to keep them with you and let them suffer or let them go, free them of misery, and deal with the unbelievable grief? Sounds like a good book to me.

In The End by Linkin’ Park

I don’t even know why. I listen to this song and I seem to think about Assassins Creed or something. I just feel like it should be a book about warriors and kick ass females.

That’s it! What song would you like to be turned into a book?

 

Earth’s End Book Blitz + Giveaway!

earth's end book blitz

Hello everyone! I have for you today a very exciting post! As you may know, I absolutely love Air Awakens and because of that I have signed up to be on Elise Kova’s Street Team. Because of this, I also saw that YA Bound Book Tours (thank you girl!) was doing a Book Blitz Sign Up for the release of this book and what do you know, I jumped on the chance! Visit her blog if you want to know more about book releases and more fun stuff! *whispers* click the button!YA Bounk Tour Button

Earth’s End just released and as part of this wonderful event, not only is this book blitz happening, a snippet of the book has been graciously provided, a music playlist (for when you feel like being a proper booknerd, haha!), but also a giveaway too so make sure to read until the end okay? If you haven’t started on this series yet, I suggest you do now, because Elise has also discounted Air Awakens just for this release! Check out any of your preferred retail shops! Anyway, I am not gonna bore you with my ramblings.Let us get on with it!

Earths-End-3

Earth’s End (Air Awakens #3)
by Elise Kova
Release Date: February 11th 2016

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Summary from Goodreads:

A woman awoken in air, a soldier forged by fire, a weapon risen from blood.

Vhalla Yarl has made it to the warfront in the North. Forged by blood and fire, she has steeled her heart for the final battle of the Solaris Empire’s conquest. The choices before Vhalla are no longer servitude or freedom, they are servitude or death. The stakes have never been higher as the Emperor maintains his iron grip on her fate, holding everything Vhalla still has left to lose in the balance.

Book Three of the Air Awakens Series

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Air Awakens on Goodreads

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Fire Falling (Air Awakens #2) on Goodreads

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Exclusive Excerpt From Earth’s End

Vhalla snapped the reins and dug her heels into Baston’s sides, forcing him into an all-out run. From above, she heard the shouts of her waking enemy.

Thick and melodic calls erupted in the night, a language completely foreign to Vhalla’s ears. She didn’t have to know the words to know they weren’t friendly, so Vhalla pushed harder, pressing herself to Baston. Vhalla took a breath as she heard arrows being knocked overhead.

The sound of bowstrings being drawn in mass made gooseflesh dot her arms. Another shout, a single word and arrows cut through the air, determined to rain death around her. Even if Vhalla was certain her chainmail would shield her, the horse was completely unarmored; if Baston died, she was as good as dead. Vhalla twisted in her saddle, sweeping a hand through the air. The curtain of wind sent the arrows scattering harmlessly.

They shouted in protest, angst-ridden that she continued on unscathed.

The second assault came faster and hastened Vhalla’s mounting frustration. She had to be out of their range soon. More lights began to blaze above and behind her, casting the ground below in a faint glow. The light illuminated the edge of the city, and Vhalla was forced to stake her life on the hope that once she was out they wouldn’t catch her.

The arrows soared through the air once more and Vhalla twisted, knocking them away in mass. She expected to hear a cry for a third assault, but instead what she heard was even more disheartening. Two words that someone said in a thick Southern Common.

“Wind Demon!”

She became their prey. The sound of thundering hooves came from the direction of where the city first began.

Vhalla crossed under the edge of the city, plunging into the welcoming darkness. Had it been a day ago, Vhalla would not have given those riders a moment’s worry. Baston would outrun any normal horse, plus with her wind he was faster than thunder across the sky. But Baston had been ridden hard with only a brief rest.

Vhalla shifted her vision and peered over her shoulder. In the distance she saw them, riding relentlessly after her.

Sweating, panting, clutching the reins with white knuckles, Vhalla pushed all her energy into the wind at Baston’s and her back. More—they both had to give more. In her blind determination she almost missed the whiz of an arrow through the air.

Vhalla thrust out her arm and stopped the arrow midflight. She closed her fist and threw her arm backwards. The arrow turned and sped back at its original owner. Vhalla watched it soar straight into the Northerner’s eye, the one she pointed a finger at. The man slumped, and then fell off his saddle. She swallowed hard, looking away as the others’ cries grew louder.

Eyes, she would always go for the eyes. Whether someone was or wasn’t a Groundbreaker with stone-like skin was a risk she couldn’t take; she wouldn’t have many shots. Another archer held his bow, waiting for a different opportunity to take his chance.

Baston was already breathing heavy, and Vhalla knew she had to get them off her tail. The four riders behind her rode on fresh mounts and had the advantage of their night’s worth of sleep. Vhalla turned and pointed a finger. Sweeping her hand upward, an arrow freed itself from the other archer’s quiver. With a twist of her wrist, and the keen focus of a killer, Vhalla sent it into the unsuspecting Northerner’s eye.

One of the remaining two riders fell away as they swerved through the trees, his companion pushing forward. As the man swung wide, Vhalla realized they were trying to flank her. Vhalla grabbed for the dagger strapped to her wrist, sending it straight for his eye.

In the process, the woman rider had caught up with Baston, raising a wickedly curved blade toward his haunches. Vhalla threw out her other arm, sending the rider toppling head over heels. It wasn’t chance that the assailant’s blade slit her wielder’s throat in the fall.

Vhalla held out an expectant palm, her own dagger returning to it after a moment.

Wiping the blood on her thigh, she quickly sheathed it against her wrist before grabbing the reins once more. Vhalla swallowed a cry for speed; shouting at the horse would not make it go faster. It would only further compromise her position.

Vhalla pressed her lips together, forcing herself to keep her composure. It was not the first person she had killed. She had killed on the Night of Fire and Wind, she had killed the man who had murdered Larel, and she had killed with her bare hands at the Pass.
What had sunk deep into her bones was the acceptance of what she must do. It was knowing she had become a killer. It was how easy it was for her to slay her foes without even thinking of each of them as a whole person that showed Vhalla she’d gone far down a path she’d never wanted. They were entities, enemies, barriers, but they weren’t human.

Distracted by her inner conflict, Vhalla was caught completely off-guard by the first assault coming from the trees. A Groundbreaker swung down from the air, bringing his sword against the back of her head. Vhalla attempted to dodge at the last second, but it was too late. The blade slipped off her chainmail but it left her vision blurred and her ears ringing.

She blinked, trying to sort her senses as she pushed Baston onward, putting the assailant behind them. Groundbreakers jumped from limb to limb in the trees above her—free and fearless. Vines came to life to meet their extended hands, allowing them to soar through the air. With a twist or a tug, their lifeline shrunk back, curling around branches to pull them upward.

She wanted to feel amazed; perhaps she would have, if these people weren’t out to kill her. Another swung low, and Vhalla dropped off to the side of the saddle to dodge. Righting herself, Vhalla redrew her dagger in one quick motion as a third swung forward to attack. She sent the blade soaring through the vine the Groundbreaker held.

The man fell through the sky; Vhalla’s mind betrayed her, showing a different body plummeting through the air.

With a growl, she turned her blade to the next Northerner she saw, relying on the same tactic. She would show them why one did not hang above the head of the Windwalker. The other body fell with a sickening thud, and Vhalla left them behind her. With a twitch of her wrist, her blade returned to her hand.

Baston’s pace had slowed, and Vhalla snapped his reins again. This was the first time the beast did not heed her command, and she felt uneasiness settle across her.

Five Northerners still jumped from tree to tree overhead as dawn began to fade into early morning. Vhalla wondered if they were biding their time for rider and mount to tire. If she were they, she’d do the same thing. Baston’s sides heaved with exhaustion.

Their presence began to wear on Vhalla, and she watched them with bated breath, waiting for the next assault. Another hour passed and Baston slowed to a trot; she expected this to be the moment they attacked. But the Northerners held fast, following from welcoming branch to welcoming branch, each bent to meet their feet and hands.

They were toying with her, like cats with a mouse.

Playlist

For anyone who knows me, I MUST have music when I’m writing. In fact, it was the song Clarity, by Zedd, that was the initial inspiration for the entire Air Awakens series! Music helps me get “in the zone” and then find my groove again when I have to stop. Needless to say, I have full-on playlists devoted to every book. To get people excited, and to be used while reading, here is the full playlist for Earth’s End, in order, conveniently made in YouTube!

About the Author

elise kova

Elise Kova has always had a passion for storytelling. She wrote her first novella, a high-fantasy, in sixth grade. Over the years she’s honed her love of literature with everything from fantasy to romance, science fiction to mystery, and whatever else catches her eye.

Elise lives in Saint Petersburg, Florida, where she’s currently working on the next installment in her debut YA fantasy series: Air Awakens. She enjoys video games, anime, table-top role playing games, and many other forms of “geekdom.” She loves talking with fans on Twitter (@EliseKova) and Facebook (/AuthorEliseKova). Visit her website, EliseKova.com/, for news and extras about her books!

Author Links:

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Giveaway Time!

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Liebster Award #2

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Hello everyone! A few days ago I found out that I have been nominated, again, for the Liebster Award… and oh how this made me sooo happy! As some of you might know, I have already made a post about this so if you want to check that out, together with the rules, click here. So before I start answering the questions, I just would like to say that I would not be nominating specific people in this post. I would, however, tag all of you who will be reading this and may answer the questions you wish to answer in the comments below! I think it will be super fun!

I also want to thank May from Sunsets and Bookfests for nominating me and appreciating my blog. Check out her cute blog and say hi for me! Here are the questions she has given:

What book are you reading right now?

I just finished Double Life by S. Usher Evans (which I LOVED) and am currently, and have for a while now, re-reading (slowly) Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez.

Hardback, Paperback or Ebook?

Ugh this is a tough one. First, Ebooks are out of the competition right off the bat. Hardbacks are really lovely (especially on your shelves) but they can be quite hard to read/position when you read and you obviously cannot just carry them around especially when you travel. So I would have to go with paperbacks. Most of my books are paperbacks and tend to choose them over hardback editions. I love to travel and I love bringing at least one physical book when I leave.

What is your favorite genre to read?

Just one? That I can’t do. I could do three though. Mystery/Thriller, Historical fiction, Fantasy.

Which author, dead or alive, would you like to go on a date with?

I wold love to sit and have coffee with Anne Rice and Dr. Maya Angelou.. I think the conversations with those ladies would be EPIC.

Do you prefer to read stand-alones or series?

In general, I prefer stand-alones. But, there are really great series out there that I love…

What book/series would you love to be adapted as a tv show?

The books by Philippa Gregory.. Kind of Reign meets The Burgois meets Game of Thrones.

If your life was a book what would be it’s title?

The Girl Who Wrote to Live

What draws you to a book, the cover or the description?

The description definitely. I can be critical towards book covers, but the synopsis ultimately does it for me.

Favorite book villain?

Oh, I absolutely hate the guts of Lord Voldemort but let’s admit it. Half the human population hating this guy means he is a great villain.

Favorite book you’ve read this year?

This year… Air Awakens by Elise Kova! Wait did I finish that last year? Whatever, it is so good it may break the rule, it’s just February of this year after all.

Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?

Not much really. Although the variety of books I read increased. I also have been introduced to indie authors who are, if I may say so, just as talented as the more ‘popular’ ones.

So! now here are my questions for you guys:

  1. Where do you usually write?
  2. What is your favorite dessert?
  3. If you only choose one book as your favorite, what would it be?
  4. What’s the most inspiring book you have ever read?
  5. Do you listen to music when you read? If so, what kind of music do you listen to?
  6. What do you look forward most about the Christmas season?
  7. Name the best place you have visited.
  8. Who is your favorite author?
  9. What time of the day do you usually read?
  10. What are your favorite and least favorite genres to read and why?
  11. My blog is about books, reading, and writing. How has reading shaped who you are as a person today?

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I (and my owl) would love to read your answers to these questions! How did you find out about my blog? What do you think about it?

Have a nice day!

-Meyan Rose-

The Secret Life of a Book Blogger Tag

bookbloggertag

It has been a while. But then I try to remember where all the days have gone and I have no idea whatsoever. Before anything else, how are you lovely people of the book community? I missed yah! Really! So when I was able to (finally) get hold of my laptop and check my notifications, I saw that I was tagged by @alwaysopinionatedgirl so thank you girl! Oh and go and click that link to check out her blog as well for her answers to these questions! And now on to the tag:

How long have you been a blogger?

Before this one, I have had a blog years ago which was pretty much neglected a lot. Then December of 2014 I decided to be more committed in blogging so technically, I have been “really blogging” for a little more than a year now.

At what point do you think you will stop?

Not anytime soon I can tell you that. So far, this book blogging journey has been sooo positive and SOOOOO much fun and I don’t see myself stopping for quite some time.

What is the best thing?

I wish I could say all the books I read, but then that is always a given. In reality, I honestly think that the best thing on this whole journey was all the people I have met, book bloggers, readers, and authors as well. I went into blogging and writing as an outlet for me to express things I would not have normally expressed in person. Also, I knew, and I have said it from the very beginning, that I wanted to meet new people, and make new friends because I decided that I should make an effort to reach out and explore the world.

What is the worst thing? What do you do to make it okay?

I had to think on this for a good while. Worst thing? There is nothing terribly bad about all this really, but, I guess the pressure that comes with the huge book blogging community. From hyped books to unpopular bookish opinions, I think there are certain pressure points that we have to go through as bloggers. Especially if you tend to feel insecure from “bigger” blogs you follow. But then, I always remind myself WHY I STARTED BLOGGING and it always makes me focus on blogging for me and just staying true to myself (cliches anyone?).

How long does it take you to create/find pictures to use?

Usually, before I start typing, I already have an idea of what the main image/title image my post will have, so looking for backgrounds and patterns for those isn’t really difficult. Also, and this is a tip I can share, I always download or save all the images, GIFs, etc. that I will use for that post because I find that it saves me a lot of time and provides for a smoother construction of a blog post. This is especially because I handwrite my reviews before I type them.

Who’s your book crush?

I have had A LOT. If we are to talk about all of them, we would be here for a long, long time. How is anyone supposed to have only one? Like really. But, if you ask me for the ones at this very moment, I have two I can think off the top of my head. Lestat (my love forever) from The Vampire Chronicles, Prince Aldrik from the Air Awakens Series (swooning big time) and Vel from the Razia Series (the feels from this boy..just…).

Which author would you like to have on your blog?

Of course, J.K. Rowling is an obvious choice, like duh?!?! Anne Rice (THE queen), Elise Kova, S. Usher Evans, Philippa Gregory. Oh! Did it just ask for one? These tags always ask for the impossible!

What do you wear when you write your blog?

For some reason I found this question really weird, not to mention awkward haha! For me, it would be house clothes. I usually write at home on my desk so I am usually on my chill clothes.

How long does it take you to prepare?

It depends on the post I am making. If it requires more research and links and images, then it would probably take me more than one sitting (a.k.a. day) but usually it does not take me long. However, I tend to be one who writes last minute which I SERIOUSLY want to change will I will make sure especially now that I am into planning a lot!

How do you feel about the book blogger community/culture?

Like I said, it has been such a positive experience. I find that this community is so open and welcoming to everyone even those who have differing opinions. I think this is a healthy community where people with a common passion discuss opinions and beliefs in a non-judgmental manner, respecting each other’s differences. The fellow readers, book bloggers, and even authors (who I previously thought were kind of snobs) have been nothing but kind to me and I love being a part of this community. Of course no system/ community is perfect and there are things we are sad about and we wish would change. But overall, it is one place I will not tire of being a part of.

What do you think one should do to have a successful blog?

I don’t think there is an exact recipe to blogging success. However, I believe that staying true to yourself is the best way. I love to read blogs where the bloggers seem like they are talking to you and telling you a story about something. For one, my blog is not big at all, but I am very happy, and very proud as to where I am right now. What I can only do is to work harder on it.

Who do you tag?

Go and check (follow) their blogs. They are amazing bloggers!

Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

Aimee @ Redheaded Book Lover

Ava @ Bookishness and Tea

Sarah@ The YA Book Traveler

Vane, Evelyn, and Tash @ Books With Chemistry

Paul @ The Galaxial Word

Nori @ ReadWriteLove28

 

P.S. I know that the image up top has nothing to do with book blogging but I’ve told you right? Owl-kick/ obsession. It’s a thing.

-Meyan Rose-

Cover Reveal! The Island by S. Usher Evans

Today I am soooo excited to show you guys something that I have been excited for myself for weeks now! If you may remember, I posted on my blog that I have been a member of a street team for the Madion War Trilogy’s first installment, The Island by S. Usher Evans. There is also a preview for the novel on the later part of my post so keep on reading okay?

So here it is! Introducing the brand-spankin’ new cover for The Island, made by Anita over at Race-Point.com.

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About the Book

Prince Galian is third in line to the throne, but prefers his place as a resident at the Royal Kylaen Hospital. When his father urges him to join the military to help reclaim their colony, Galian is forced to put aside his oath to Do No Harm and fight a war he does not believe in.

Across the great Madion Sea, Captain Theo Kallistrate dreams of a day when she is no longer bound by conscription to fight for her country’s independence. But when the Kylaens threaten, honor and duty call her to the front lines to fight off the oppressors.

When an air skirmish goes wrong, both Theo and Galian crash on a remote island hundreds of miles from either nation. Grievously injured, Theo must rely on Galian’s medical expertise, and Galian must rely on Theo’s survival skills, to live another day in a harsh and unforgiving terrain.

Can they put aside their differences long enough to survive? Or will the war that brought them to the island tear them apart?

The Island is the first in a new romance trilogy by S. Usher Evans, author of the Razia series and Empath.

Preorder Today for Kindle, Paperback, Hardcover and more!

The Island (Madion War Series, #1)

Preview

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Galian

I landed with a soft thump on the sandy beach a little ways from my plane, and immediately dropped to my knees, releasing a loud breath. My hands shook and my heart pounded, but I thanked my lucky stars that I was alive and had practiced parachuting out of my plane a few extra times during my training.

Once my pulse returned to normal, I stood and released myself from the parachute straps, leaving the long trail of lines and white parachute laid out on the beach. I approached the wreckage of my plane. Pieces of it lay in a long trail as it had skidded across the sand. I picked up a metal piece that had a bullet hole in it and then tossed it aside.

Besides the nose and engine being smashed to smithereens, the back of the plane was fine. I cracked open the back hatch and pawed through my emergency supplies. I found everythingÑincluding the medical bag Dr. Maitland gave meÑto be intact. Again, I thanked whatever was up there looking out for me. Of all the outcomes that could’ve happened from the battle, crash-landing on an island with my supplies was better than most.

A burning smell reached my nose, and I stepped back, searching my plane for any sign of fire. Then I noticed the black column of smoke rising up from the treetops.

Despite everything, worry knotted in my chest. What had happened to the other pilot? I hadn’t seen another parachute. Was he even still alive? He was my enemy, but still a fellow human being. I couldn’t help but hear Dr. Maitland in my ear.

I don’t have the luxury of differentiating between Kylaen and Raven patients.

Guilt gnawed at me. I looked down at the medical bag and sighed. Dr. Maitland was rightÑI was a doctor first and a warrior second. Shouldering my bag, I stumbled off the sandy beach onto the firmer forest ground.

The trees were tall and thick and everything around me was green. It was late summer, but there was definitely a chill in the air since I was so far north. I was thankful for my extra layer under my jumpsuit.

I walked into a clearing, covering my nose from the smell. One of the two wings had been shorn off in the crash and was the source of the black smoke. The rest of the plane was mashed and mangled some ways away. I saw the pilot in the cockpit through the shattered glass, and his helmeted head hung motionless. I was sure that he was dead. I couldn’t see how anyone could have survived such a crash.

And then he moved.

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Theo

I woke slowly, the sound of unfamiliar animals coming to me first, followed by a cold breeze. As I tried to move, pain shot up from every corner of my body. I looked up at the blue sky, barely visible through a thick canopy of trees. I smelled leaking fuel, and wondered if my ship would explode or if I’d bleed to death first.

I relaxed into my seat and prepared for the inevitable. Even if the Raven government sent a search party for me (which they wouldn’t), I doubted they’d come in time to save my life. Still, I took some solace in the fact that I killed another son of that mass murdering king.

A noise startled me and I turned my head slowly to find the source.

I couldn’t believe my eyes. The stupid princeling was alive and standing in front of my ship.

Fear and anger gripped at me. How was it possible that I was badly injured and he appeared to be walking just fine? I hated that the last thing I was going to see in this world was Prince Galian standing in a clearing, his pale skin flushed and his eyes sparkling with amusement?

I was dying and this guy was laughing at me.

“What’s so funny?” I snarled through my helmet.

“Serves you right.” He was smirking as if he had something to smirk about.

“For what?”

“Shooting me down. Looks like you’re in worse shape than I am, too.”

“Go to hell.”

He laughed again and hoisted himself up onto the broken nose of my plane. I was in too much pain to fight back, and my gun was nowhere to be found.

“Yep,” he observed, with a smirk on his face. Up close, he was every bit as handsome as I’d seen in pictures. “You definitely got what you deserved. Shouldn’t have shot at me.”

“You shouldn’t have invaded my country.”

His eyes widened for a moment and I thought I’d finally done something to wipe that smile off his face. To my supreme annoyance, he tilted his head back and let out a throaty laugh.

“Oh, you are witty,” he said, nodding. “And technically right. But it wasn’t my decision. I was, as they say, just following orders.”

“And I was just following orders when I blew your ass out of the sky.”

“Aren’t we at an impasse then?” He seemed to be enjoying this conversation. He looked down at the side of my ship and read the inscription. “Theo, huh? Well, you must be a pretty high ranking pilot then. I hear the Ravens only allow you to put your name on your ship after you’ve survived plenty of battles.”

I moved out of anger, but the pain in my legs came roaring up my body. “Please let me die in peace,” I asked, unable to look at him.

“Oh, you aren’t going to die today.”

3d_HRDcover_transparent_600Preorder today for Amazon Kindle, Paperback, and Hardcover.

Here is another link for you guys:

http://www.amazon.com/Island-Madion-War-Trilo…/…/0986298174/

About the Author

View More: http://ashleyvictoriaphotography.pass.us/whitneyevansS. Usher Evans is an author, blogger, and witty banter aficionado. Born in Pensacola, Florida, she left the sleepy town behind for the fast-paced world of Washington, D.C.. There, she somehow landed jobs with BBC, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic Television before finally settling into a “real job” as an IT consultant. After a quarter life crisis at age 27, she decided consulting was for the birds and rekindled a childhood passion for writing novels. She sold everything she owned and moved back to Pensacola, where she currently resides with her two dogs, Zoe and Mr. Biscuit.

Check her out on the below social medias:

 

Or subscribe to her newsletter here.
I am really glad to be able to help and indie author get word out about her book, and like I said, I will do so gladly anytime because I think indie authors are just as talented! Also, Ms. Evans has suggested running a buddy read for those who will receive ARCs and those who will receive the finished copies first. What do you guys think? Should I try hosting a buddy read? If anybody else wants to, you can contact her through the links above or let me know and I will pass it on to her. I believe you will receive an ARC of The Island if you choose to run a buddy read for it!

What do you think about the cover?

I personally liked the seal 🙂

-Meyan Rose-

What Makes Me DNF Books?

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Before I go on a full-rambling mode, I want to say that it takes a lot, A LOT, for me to finally put down a book and say goodbye to all chances of us reconciling. I tend to pack a smidgeon of extra patience every time I pick up a book so that you know, no regrets that I didn’t try enough. I’ve always felt like I needed to have a solid opinion on something, before it gets thrown into the darkness or brought to light you know what I mean?

If you have been one of the patient and lovely people who read my blog, you know that I always have conversations with myself and with characters when I read a book. I promise you I am a totally sane and in-touch-with-reality person. Really. Naturally, when I have to decide to not finish a book, it’s the same conversation type of situation.

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What I don’t like more than anything else are frustrating, hard-headed, stubborn, and senseless fools who magically happens to be lead characters on a book which could have had a better future if it weren’t for them. Seriously, the age of pathetic helpless characters are long gone. I mean come on! Something bad happens to you, you learn, not become more of an idiot than before! Everyone, EVERYONE, has strength and courage and talent. Can we accept that and move on? While I understand that not everything is about the lead character, the person we essentially follow, and the voice which tells us the story is vital to its success.

DNF2

You know when things go all over the place and halfway through you have absolutely no idea what you are reading about or why things were happening? Yah, those times. Sometimes it’s because it just drags on and on and on and on and on… At times it is also because of the writing style. Now to this I claim a bit of responsibility. You see this can be a preference thing if you really think about it. How the story is told, the word-play, the descriptions, clarity… Don’t you just love it when you could almost touch the sea and smell the grass just by reading? Plot twists, the storyline… the point of reading is understanding things, even if some things are confusing or a mystery. If you don’t, it’s not worth it.

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Sometimes, there is just too much. As a reader, I like a lot of information. I love learning tons about the world they have built, the way of life, the character differences, personalities, interests, weaknesses…. Even in mysteries where authors deliberately misguide your brain, a plethora of information is appealing to me. BUT, when it comes to a point when it all just gets lost, it’s over. There are books that somewhere along the way, I find myself saying “Wait what? But I thought… Oh this isn’t that?” Other times it was the way things are delivered to you. The voice and the overall surrounding circumstances. This is one of the reasons why I love straightforward people. What you see is what you get.

These are all the reasons I could think of right now. Maybe these will change as I read more. Now say hello to Mr. Owl and let’s chat!

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What makes you DNF books? Who are your favorite authors? If you could recommend just one, who would it be?

Welcome 2016!

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Hello everyone! I know this is a tiny bit late but Happy New Year to all of you! First off can we just look at how adorable that white owl is? Channeling Hedwig somewhere there… I have been in an owl kick lately (it’s a thing, trust me) and I can’t seem to get over owls for some reason hence the one welcoming you to 2016 for my blog.

If I am being completely honest, I absolutely have no idea what to expect this year. I am obviously hoping that good things will come and that this year will teach me more life lessons and of course, more bookish adventures to come! I am so thankful for the last part of 2015 for introducing me to the wonderful book community both in blogs and in other social media platforms. I am soooooo happy for having met so many people sharing the same love that I have for books and reading. The online book community is really home to some of the nicest people. And you know what they say right? Don’t trust a person who doesn’t read. That may be a bit too intense but you get what I mean. And the authors, oh man… they are the best…

Despite coming into this year with no real expectations, I still do have things that I look forward to. One of them would be career opportunities and growth. I don’t know if I have said it before here in my blog but I love being a nurse, and I will always be one. I’ve always felt blessed being given the chance to be such.

Another would be growing in the book community. I have always had this passion for reading. And like most of you who read my blog, I spend hours on end reading and arguing with characters. Uh-huh. I do that too. I look forward to more books and I mean MORE BOOKS! Give them to me!! I also just set my Goodreads Reading Challenge and some of you might think it is a very small number but because I am such a bad blogger in updating my account on the books I have read, I thought this number would be a good start. Plus if I read more than that would be better right? Check out my Reading Challenge and the books I have read so far here and let us be Goodreads buddies!!!

Alright! I am really psyched about reading and writing and blogging and meeting and talking to more people (and authors) in the book community this year! If you are new to my blog, Welcome! I hope you enjoy! If you have been one of the 88 WordPress followers or the 182 amazing people who follow via email, thank you very much and I pray for more wonderful years for us with books, tea, blogposts, coffee, and fairy dust.

Again, thank you everyone for welcoming me into this community with such warmth and support. I look forward to a year of fun and flailing.

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What are you looking forward to this year? How did you find my blog? What do you think about it?

 

– Meyan Rose –

Top 5 Bookish Christmas Wishlist (Sort of)

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Alright! I am SOOOO EXCITED for Christmas this year! Well who am I kidding I am excited for it every single year! I just love the Christmas season and I look forward to it every year. But, I’m just going to put it out there, I am not looking forward to gifts. Hold your shock or judgments or violent reactions… I love gifts, I do, I just feel like gifts or not, I love Christmas all the same. Just sayin’

So to go with this Christmas train, I have listed some of the things I would love to receive or have or things that I am thinking of getting or obsessing over or just stuff I love. Buuuut… I’ll just call this a wishlist okay? Let’s get into it!

Shelves!!!

Literally, this was how it was written on my notepad, yup, with all the exclamation marks! I SERIOUSLY need to look around and just get one! (or two) If only my books could talk or run away… I used to have one but it was so old it gave up on dear life and I just let it go.

Harry Potter Boxed Set

You may (or may not) know this but I haven’t read the HP series except for the first one and I figured what best way to get on it than to get the whole thing and put it where I could always see it so that I’ll have no choice but to read and be done with it! No but seriously, I think this is such a great gift idea to anyone really. My sister would love you for the rest of your life if you gave this to her. Like I said before, Harry Potter and Christmas: perfect match.

Cappuccino + Hazelnut Syrup = LOVE.

Oh my goodness guys. This… Give me this! I know this time of the year EVERYBODY loves the pumpkin spiced or panettone or any other Chrismas-y flavored drinks from your favorite coffee places but hot or iced, the cappuccino plus hazelnut from Starbucks has been my go-to. I don’t know what it is! Perfect. I’m telling you. Perfect. The hazelnut just adds the perfect sweetness and slight warmth to the cappuccino’s straight up coffee. Try it.

Kindle?

See that question mark? YUP, you guessed it, I’m still thinking about it and honestly, still not sure. But, for readers (aka people who devour books) like me, any kind of reading device is a thing to consider. NOW. Under no circumstances would ever say that I like e-books better than the actual print books. However, e-books have their advantages too especially for people on-the-go or those who wish to read at various times of the day away from home. People who review books (like myself) can also benefit from these. For those venturing into e-books or are fans of digital copies, I think a Kindle device is a good gift option.

Book Shopping Spree!

Who doesn’t need one?

Bonus:

Alright, I cheated. I have six but it’s Christmas and we are generous people right? Okay.

Fire Falling, Earth’s End, and any other book by Elise Kova. Seriously everyone, this lady is talented and such a sweetheart. Go find her books and read them and tell her I sent you okay? Go.

What are you currently loving this season? DO you have a wishlist as well? Let us talk about them!