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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Ask Me Anything a.k.a. Q&A with Evie [Part 1]

So, as you probably have noticed already, this book blog has been neglected lately because, you know, life. But I miss it. I miss blogging. I want to get back into blogging again and so I was looking for a way to kick start it back up. And I figured, maybe I'll do a Q&A!!? I asked my Instagram friends and followers to ask me anything, and here is the first batch of answers!

1. How many books do you own?

I don't have a photo of just the bookshelves, but here's one that should give you an idea.

Um.. not entirely sure, to be honest. I don't actually count them. Ever. The number changes on from day to day, but to give you a general idea, I'd say I own about 1000 books, not counting Tori's picture books. 

I have 6 5-level bookshelves, and each level holds about 19-20 books. So that's about 600 books. I also have 2 big boxes of books in the closet, about 50 each, so that's 700. While in Poland since September, I bought/received about 50-70 books (don't even say anything). I also know, that while I am away, I got 3 orders from book outlet, with about 30 books each. And a whole lot of packages, probably with books, that I won't actually get to count until I'm back. 

So it is safe to say, that I own about 900-1000 books at the moment. 

2. How many books have your read this year so far?

Usually, it would be so easy to answer this question, but this is the first year in a long time I actually didn't join a Goodreads reading challenge. I don't know what possessed me. I didn't reach my goal the year before (I think I aimed for a 100 books in 2015), and I didn't like how that made me feel (like a failure). So I didn't set any goals for 2016. And then this whole year has been so shitty and crazy and problematic, between sickness and moving, and personal problems and being so busy with designs, I actually didn't get to read much at all.

So, how many books? Probably 15, maybe 20. Not more than that for sure. 

3. All time favourite book classic?

Anything Jane Austen. Also - Dracula, Frankenstein, Animal Farm and 1984. I also really adore Polish classics by Henryk Sienkiewicz (historical fiction). I really loved One Hundred Years of Solitude by GG Marquez

But do I have an all time favorite one? I would have to say Alice in Wonderland

4. Did you write any books yourself?

Hahaha, good one. NOPE. But thanks for thinking I was actually capable of that T___T

5. How long have you been blogging?

It's going to be 6 years next May T_T I'm a dinosaur. I remember the very beginnings of book blogging. I am so old... 

6. What got you into reading?

Probably my mom. I've always loved reading, ever since I can remember. I would always get beautiful picture books for Christmas and my mom would read to me. Then as soon as I learned how to read myself, I was always with my nose in a book.

I really got into reading while in elementary school, when I discovered the Fear Street series. I would save up my pocket money and allowance, and then run to the small bookstore across the street to buy the recently published volume. I had the whole series T___T 

And what solidified my love for books? Stephen King's stories. My aunt introduced me to IT when I was.. hmm.. I think 14. Yes, I was traumatized, but also completely hooked. Then I started reading Philip K. Dick and Clarke and discovered I really loved Science Fiction, too. 

From then on it was a snowball down the hill, my friends. 

7. What's your favorite book you've read this year?

TOP 3 of my faves this year:

        - Beast by Brie Spangler

        - Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

        - Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi (finally read the whole thing and OMG, you guys, I am so in love with Warner, somebody help me.

8. What's your favorite book you've ever read?

Oh boy, that's a hard one. Like, EVER ever? From adult books, it would probably be something by Stephen King and I am leaning towards his Dark Tower series. From YA.. most likely Shatter Me series (because WARNER, baby!). But that's just from the top of my head, the answer is always changing, depends on when you ask me :)

9. Favorite genre? 

I read pretty much anything, as long as it catches my fancy. That being said, I do love horror, science fiction and contemporary fiction the most (the type with issues and heavy topics, not so much the light and fluffy one). 

10. I am currently starting my own bookstagram account and blog and was wondering if you have any tips for new bloggers?

I did write a blog post about that a while back. It's a bit old, but check it out, there are photography tips etc. - here it is.

What I can to all of it at this point in time is, be yourself and just have fun with it. Don't let people tell you how you should do you, only YOU know that. 
I have more questions to answer (about 40 more), but I don't want to make this post too heavy and wordy, so I'm splitting this into a series of post - the next one will be posted sometime next week! 

Meanwhile, thanks for following me on Instagram and asking me questions! If you are curious about anything else - ask away!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Blog Tour Josh & Anna & Gabe & Claire by Eliza Freed {Book Review & Giveaway}

Josh & Anna and Gabe & Claire
Eliza Freed
Publication date: November 15th 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
No marriage is perfect.
Josh and Anna Montgomery are trying to have a baby. Well, Anna is. Josh is making the minimum contribution necessary, and it’s ruining their relationship.
Gabe Hawkins is trying to survive the wild ride that is life with his wife, Claire. It’s passionate everywhere but in their bedroom.
For these four friends, the difficulties of their marriages are camouflaged by hazy happy hours, extravagant vacations, picturesque weddings, and sleeping in. The possibilities of their youth are wilting in the light of their waning twenties, and on one fateful night, four friends become two. Survivors become lovers. Truths are told, and nothing seems like forever anymore.

Two couple. A tragedy. A revelation. A mystery. This book grabs you right from the get go with its raw story, emotionally vulnerable characters and extremely well thought out plot points. 

They were the four musketeers, always going out together, seen at the bars and vacationing whenever possible. Claire coordinated all their plans and the group just went along with her because they always had a good time. Anna was Claire's best friend and confident. The girls shared so much but some things were just too private to discuss, even with each other. Josh wanted a baby. He convinced Anna to try and try and when things got difficult, he just decided he was finished with wanting one. Although this caused disappointment, Anna always supported and stood by her husband Josh. She never let on her hurt. Gabe would have done anything for Claire and he did. He did not deny her anything she wanted.

This is the type of book that is hard to give a concise review of because you don't want to give away any of the plot points. From the beginning there are many different stories happening that can be ruined if I as the reader tell you even a tad bit of the story line. 

What I can say is that these characters will weave their way into your heart in a matter of minutes and you won't know how to go on without finishing this book. I read it in one sitting. It is not a long book but it is definitely all consuming. 

This is my first book by this author but it most certainly won't be my last. I can't wait to see what else she has written. I'm sure from her writing talent, I can find more gems in her novel collection. 

Author Bio:
Eliza Freed graduated from Rutgers University and returned to her hometown in rural South Jersey. Her mother encouraged her to take some time and find herself. After three months of searching, she began to bounce checks and her neighbors began to talk; her mother told her to find a job.
She settled into Corporate America, learning systems and practices and the bureaucracy that slows them. Eliza quickly discovered her creativity and gift for story telling as a corporate trainer and spent years perfecting her presentation skills and studying diversity. It’s during this time she became an avid observer of the characters we meet and the heartaches we endure. Her years of study have taught her laughter is the key to survival, even when it’s completely inappropriate.
She currently lives in New Jersey with her family and a misbehaving beagle named Odin. An avid swimmer, if Eliza is not with her family and friends, she’d rather be underwater. While she enjoys many genres, she has always been a sucker for a love story…the more screwed up the better.


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

BT Love Literary Style by Karin Gillespie {Book Promo & Excerpt}

Book Tour – Love Literary Style by Karin Gillespie

Love Literary Style Book Tour
By author Karin Gillespie
Tour Date: November 1st-8th, 2016

It was too bad that, as a college professor, Aaron Mite was expected to be approachable.  Approachability was contrary to his nature. Thus, when a swingy-haired, tanned blonde female barreled toward his podium, he steeled himself against the encounter. Students rarely lingered after composition class to say, “What an enthralling lecture.” Particularly since the day’s presentation covered misplaced and dangling modifiers.
The blonde was one of hundreds who prowled the grounds of Metro Atlanta University, usually in perfumed packs of four or five. Her name was Megan or Chelsea or perhaps Payton. Aaron could tell by the determined set of her jaw that she wanted something from him, and it was probably a grade change. If so, she was wasting her time. Aaron’s grades were as permanent as the polar ice caps. Well, as permanent as polar ice caps were before the dawn of global warming.
“So,” she began.
This was a new habit of students, starting sentences with the word “so.” It wasn’t as distressing as misusing the word “literally,” as in “I’m literally starving to death.”  It did, however, grate on Aaron every time he heard it.
“What does this say?”  She rattled a paper in front of his nose and pointed her finger at a comment he’d written in red ink. Some of his colleagues had switched to less threatening ink colors—blue, purple and even hard-to-read orange—but Aaron still preferred the authoritative power of red.
He squinted at the scrawl. He often had trouble reading his own writing, but not in this case. Aaron recognized the phrase as one he frequently wrote in the margins of student composition papers: “This essay is not worth the papyrus it was penned on.”
He read the comment aloud and the girl—Leslie, Brittany or Taylor—wrinkled her nose. “I don’t get it.”
“It’s simply another way of saying, ‘this essay isn’t worth the paper it’s written on,’ but that would be cliché. As I’ve said several times in this class, clichés are the enemies of good writing.”
Her previously benign features turned cross. “You think I wasted paper writing my essay?”
“Yes. But, happily for you, paper is plentiful.”
She stared at him. Aaron stared back. For a moment they were engaged in a standoff, but the girl looked away first. “Whatever,” she said.
She wandered off, eyes fastened to her phone, poor grade seemingly forgotten. Not a surprise. Young people’s minds flitted about like gnats.
 Another student remained in the classroom, Sabrina, a woman in her early thirties, who’d recently gone back to school. She worked part-time as an administrative assistant in the English and Foreign Language department at Metro Atlanta University .
Sabrina’s appearance in Aaron’s class at the beginning of the semester worried him.  What if she was a terrible writer and he had to give her poor marks? Would she ever make photocopies for him again?
But she proved to be a competent writer and would likely receive an A for the semester. In fact, he was so impressed with her narrative essay, he urged her to take a creative writing class as an elective.
Sabrina was still gathering her things. Unlike the younger students, she didn’t start packing up her belongings ten minutes before dismissal time in anticipation of a hasty getaway.
She glanced up at him and said, “Professor Mite, I wanted to tell you how much I’m enjoying your class.”
Aaron was slightly taken aback. It was unusual for him to receive praise from students. In his teaching evaluations, he usually got comments like: “If Professor Mite ruled the world, a comma splice would be punishable by fifty lashes,” or “Dude hates the word ‘very.’ Use in essays at your own risk.”
Sometimes the comments were more personal: “Kind of cute, but needs a major wardrobe rehab. Wears the same jacket every day. Also, what’s with the limp?”
“Thank you very much, Sabrina. I’ve enjoyed having you as well.”
“I admire your fervent love for our language and excellent writing. You’ve inspired me to write a novel of my own.”
“That’s ambitious, and I wish you the best of luck. Do you have any idea what themes you want to explore?  I can recommend some novels as inspiration.”
She thought for a moment and said, “Death, I guess.”
Her answer surprised Aaron. Sabrina was a chipper soul, continually smiling, always greeting everyone who came into the English department office suite and offering them candy from a seemingly bottomless dish on her desk. (Aaron was partial to the butterscotch disks.) Her desk was also littered with photographs of twin toddlers smashing their chubby faces into birthday cakes or cavorting in a kiddie pool. Death was the last thing he’d guessed she’d want to write about.
“Bravo to you for tackling such a challenging theme. You may want to consider reading Death of Ivan Ilyich, Slaughterhouse Five or maybe even White Noise.
“Are those mysteries?”
“Excuse me?”
“I want to write a cozy.”
Cozy? A cozy, when used as a noun, referred to a padded covering for a teapot.
“I don’t follow.”
“You’ve never heard of cozies?” Suddenly Sabrina was very animated. Her curls bounced on her shoulders, and her cheeks flushed. “They’re a category of mystery novels set in a small village, and the amateur sleuth is usually a female. There’s always a murder, but it’s never gruesome, and the victim tends to be a mean person who deserves to die.”
Aaron was momentarily taken aback. “Are you saying you want to write genre fiction?”
“Yes. I love to read cozies.”
“I see.” Aaron noisily cleared his throat. “What was the last…cozy you read?”
“It was called Dread and Breakfast. The sleuth is Abigail Appleworth, the owner of a bed and breakfast called the Pleasant Dreams Inn. One of her guests—a developer who wants to cut down the hundred-year-old oak tree in the town square and put up a parking lot—is bludgeoned to death with an overcooked crumpet.”
Aaron took a moment to absorb the highly improbable particulars. Then he said, “I’d like to know how you felt after you read the book. Did it change you?”
“I’m not sure what you mean.”
“Were you affected by the themes? Did it prompt you to think critically? Did you spend time considering the underlying issues?”
“Well, no, but—”
“Or did it pass through you like cheap fast food?”
Buy the Book:
About the Author:Karin Gillespie
Karin Gillespie is the author of the national bestselling Bottom Dollar Girls series, 2016 Georgia Author of the Year, Co-author for Jill Connor Browne’s novel Sweet Potato Queen’s First Big Ass Novel. Her latest novel Love Literary Style was inspired by a New York Times article called “Masters in Chick Lit” that went viral and was shared by literary luminaries like Elizabeth Gilbert and Anne Rice. She’s written for the Washington Post and Writer Magazine and is book columnist and humor columnist for the Augusta Chronicle and Augusta Magazine respectively. She received a Georgia Author of the Year Award in 2016
Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon
Visit All the Stops:
November 1st
Romantic Reads and Such – Book Excerpt
Hello…Chick Lit – Book Promo/Excerpt
November 2nd
Bookish Lifestyle – Book Promo
Judging More Than Just The Cover – Author Q&A
Steamy Book Momma – Book Promo
November 3rd
Jena Books – Book Review/Promo
Emmathelittlebookworm – Book Promo
November 4th
Live Laugh & Love Books – Book Review
Key of Dee – Author Guest Post
November 5th
Bookaholic Babe – Book Promo
Book Lover in Florida – Book Excerpt/Promo
Anonymisses – Book Review
November 6th
The Belgian Reviewer – Author Guest Post
The Writing Garnet  – Book Review
He Said Books or Me – Author Guest Post
November 7th
Novelgossip– Book Review/Promo
Chick Lit Central – Book Promo
November 8th
Elysium Bibliotheque – Book Promo
ItaPixie’s Book Corner – Book Review/Excerpt

Tour Arranged by:
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