Category Archives: Blog Event

On the Same Page: Secret Sister Project | Round 9 Sign-Ups!

secret sister project

I cannot believe that it is already time for round NINE of #OTSPSECRETSISTER!!

Let’s first get some housekeeping things out of the way…

The two most important things to do when signing up to be a part of this project are:

  1. Head over to the google form which coincides with your monetary tier and fill it out in full. NOTE: If you forget to do this then we cannot pair you, it is what we use to do all of our pairings.
  2. BEFORE scrolling down to the questions, and BEFORE signing up to be a part of this project please thoroughly read our FAQ and Rules post. Memorize the rules and refer back to it throughout the project to make things easier for everyone.

Just to cover all of our bases let me reiterate a few things, but please keep in mind that this is just a basic glossing over of these rules, we go more in detail and clarify everything in the main post that we are asking you to read.

First, please remember that this is a commitment. By signing up to be a secret sister you are promising to send at least one small card AND gift to your secret sister a month depending on the “monetary group” for which you sign up. Those in the pen pal tier are not expected to send gifts, that is strictly letters/cards AND you will NOT keep your identity secret if you are ONLY in the pen pal tier. Those in monetary tiers: you are also asked to send letters and or/postcards to foster positive communication IN ADDITION to packages. Please remember: this is not a subscription box. It is not about the gifts. It’s is about the connections you are making!

Last thing, sign-ups run from July 13 to midnight on July 27!

NOTE FOR INTERNATIONAL PARTICIPANTS: Due to time zone differences and issues in the past with late questionnaires, etc. we are only able to give you until July 22 to sign up for round 9 of The Secret Sister Project. More details on how to sign up as an international participant below.

The Rules:

  • You must “know” one of the hosts in order to join!
  • You must be 18 or older to participate in The Secret Sister Project
  • You must actively use the hashtag #OTSPSecretSister during your time participating in The Secret Sister Project.
  • If we have to reach out to you more than once to ask if you why your sister hasn’t yet received anything then you will be asked to cease in participating.
  • If we contact you and ask if you sent something to your sister and you say yes but are unable to provide tracking for the package then you will be asked to cease in participating.
  • If you have not received anything by the end of the month then YOU must contact US.
  • If for any reason you find that you have to drop out of this project, please email us immediately.
  • You will be asked to provide the name and contact info (email addresses, please) of a “buddy” who will be willing to answer questions put forth by your sister. We are asking that you keep this to someone who is in the community and therefore will be easy to contact. Husbands/moms/sisters are not easy to contact.*Don’t stress out about this. This person will be available to ask you questions from your sister, or let you know to check your mail. It is not necessary for this person to know you inside and out, just that they have the ability to be contacted, and to contact you when your sister has a question. Additionally, do not bog this person down with incessant questions, use your best judgement when possible and get creative!
  • Below, you will be asked to provide a Goodreads or Amazon wish list with 20 or more books including newer and older titles that is specific to The Secret Sister Project. *Do not share this list with anyone else!
  • You must answer ALL of the questions put forth in the sign-up email as well as be detailed and thorough.
  • Keep in mind that there is strong emphasis on the pen pal aspect. Meaning that if you have signed up for one of the higher price ranges, you should still send a letters to your sister.
  • Do not tweet or use the hashtag to ask for specific and/or luxurious items.
  • Do not tweet negativity while using the hashtag
  • Do not send swag
  • Pay attention to your sister’s likes/dislikes and wishilists
  • ARCs and shipping do not count toward your monetary limit
  • Do not send packages directly from Amazon without speaking to your point person first

Please read and re-read our FAQ and Rules post and remember that we are here for you. Do not hesitate to reach out to use if needed, we want to help you and can’t unless we know what is happening! This all probably seems like a lot – but please keep in mind that we have over 200 participants at any given time and we ask you to follow these guidelines to make things easier on us as we all share in this community.

Okay, now we can move on to the fun stuff!

So how do I sign up?

It’s easy! Just answer every question in the questionnaire below and email it over to onthesamepagesecretsister@gmail.com by midnight on July 27! ALSO In addition to the questionnaire, you will also be asked to answer a few questions for a Google form. PLEASE NOTE: If you do not fill out BOTH of these things in full, then you will NOT be paired. This is what we will be using to pair you, so do not forget!

For those of you wishing to join the Pen Pal Tier ONLY: please still fill out the questionnaire in full with the exception of your wish lists. The questions will be a good way for us to pair you up with someone, and for your pen pal to get to know you. REMEMBER: Your identity is not to be kept secret from your pen pal.

International participants: Please use this Google form to sign up instead of one coinciding with the tiers. There will be a place for you to fill out your preference of which tier you would like to belong but we can not guarantee this. Due to international participation being low, we may have to put you all into the same tier, or may not be able to include international participants this round. Please remember that you have until midnight on July 20 to sign up as an international participant.

Here we go!

Name:

Mailing Address:

Is the above address a residence/PO Box/Condo/place of employment: (*As in, will your mail get to you when the tracking says delivered, or will you need to wait to get to the mailbox/mailroom?)

Email Address:

Blog:

Twitter Name:

Did you participate in one of the prior rounds of the Secret Sister Project? If yes, which round?

If yes, please provide us with the names of your former sisters (those you gave to, and received from – it is okay if you don’t yet know who is sending to you this round):

How much are you willing to contribute to the project monthly? Choose one (NOTE: this is just a range, you can of course go over the limit but please keep the pen pal aspect in mind, and please remember that is about cheer and not just gifts.) REMINDER: International participants are to fill out THIS google form only, do not fill out one provided below.

  • Pen pals: That’s right, this is strictly letters and cards. No trinkets, no extras, nothing besides letters. If you want to send ANYTHING more than a letter or a card every month then we ask that you sign up for one of the higher monetary tiers. NOTE: YES you may sign up for a pen pal tier and a monetary tier. Ensure that you fill out a google form for BOTH. *IF YOU ARE CHOOSING THE PEN PAL TIER THEN CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT YOUR GOOGLE FORM
  • $5-$10: (Send a heartfelt letter to catch your sister up on how things are going that month and then send an e-book, baked goods, homemade bookmark or other DIY project, or how about a movie night box with a DVD (thanks to the $5 bin at Walmart) and some candy for a movie night!) *IF YOU ARE CHOOSING THE $5-$10 TIER THEN CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT YOUR GOOGLE FORM.
  • $15-$20 (Any of the possibilities listed above and perhaps a newer hardcover from your sister’s wish-list, some fun socks, fandom tshirt, themed box, get creative!!) *IF YOU ARE CHOOSING THE $15-$20 TIER THEN CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT YOUR GOOGLE FORM
  • $25+ (The sky’s the limit here, we just ask that you remember to reign it in a bit and remember the goal of this project is for cheer, and joy and forging positive relationships, not excessive gifts. Send those heartfelt letters!!) *IF YOU ARE CHOOSING THE $25+ TIER THEN CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT YOUR GOOGLE FORM

Your OTSPSecretSister “buddy’s” Twitter or email: (*We are asking that you keep this to someone who is in the community and therefore will be easy to contact. Husbands/moms/sisters are not easy to contact.)

Goodreads Profile (*so that they can access your wishlists! Make sure to turn off the privacy setting & try and keep it updated!):

Goodreads/Amazon bookish wishlist: (*must have at least 20 titles of older and newer titles, please try not to purchase any books off of this wishlist and if you do please let your sister know via your buddy or one of us. Do not give anyone else access to this list. Not parents, husbands, friends, co-workers, secret santas…etc. If you do not want to share a wishlist by making it public, you may list the books here instead.)

“Other” wishlist: (*Keep these within reason for prices, etc! Please do not include pricey things, this is more for places like Etsy or for cheap DVDs on Amazon, and so on!)

Important Dates to Remember (*This can be anything and everything! Your birthday, the day you are expecting your baby, the day you are leaving for your next vacation, your anniversary with your partner, a big test you have coming up, the first day at your new job, the anniversary of the day you quit smoking, even a sad anniversary on which you would need some cheer!):

Your favorite items under $5: (things like stationary, nail polish, fav candy etc.)

Food Allergies:

Fandoms:

Your Likes (*Give us an array of things here! Types of snacks, TV shows, movies, bands/types of music, art):

Your Dislikes (*Example: chocolate covered cherries, anything cinnamon flavored, the color brown):

Do you have a favorite store?:

Are you okay receiving a gift card? If so, to where?

Would you be comfortable receiving baked goods of some kind?

What Do You Splurge On?:

Favorite Flowers:

Favorite Color?:

Favorite (or least favorite) smells: (*for things such as candles, soaps, bath bombs/bubbles, perfumes)

Do You Collect Anything?:

Do You Drink Coffee, Tea, Hot Chocolate?:

Do You Have an E-reader?:

Would you be okay being gifted an ebook? If so, please provide the email associated with your e-reader:

List some of your favorite genres or authors:

Are there any authors or genres that you won’t read?

T-shirt size:

Hogwarts House:

Favorite Disney movie and/or princess:

Any magazine that you wish you had a subscription to?

Anything else we should know about you? (*Be thorough here! There is no such thing as “saying too much,” the more your “secret sister” knows, the easier it is to spoil you!)

Third and final reminder that you MUST also fill out a google spreadsheet which coincides with your monetary tier. Links can be found above.

As always, please remember that you can always reach out to us with any inquiries or issues, that is what we are here for! Especially reach out to us if you have not received anything by the first of the month. We want to keep everyone active and honest! Use the #OTSPSecretSister hashtag to talk with us and your fellow sisters, the best part about this project is the community. Thank you for helping us continue to spread positive vibes and cheer throughout our community!

On the Same Page: Secret Sister Project | Round 9 Pre-Sign Up FAQs + Info

secret sister project

Hey there, friends! I am here to do some tiny edits to the FAQ post since we have been doing this for so long and we want to make sure that everything is crystal clear! For those veterans, this is all the same thing you’ve been doing, so don’t fret!

First, I want to say thank you! Thank you to those who have stuck with us and to those who have just recently joined. To those who have been so wonderful and supportive of not only your sisters but to all those in the community. It is such an uplifting thing for me to know that you are all out there doing good through your connections with each other. I really appreciate you.

Some of you may have seen some blah tweets from us regarding the project and saying that it isn’t what it used to be. That’s just the way of the game! We worry that some people may have lost sight of the reason behind the project. To sum up (From Alyssa): I was at a loooooow point and wanted to combat some negativity in my life by providing some happiness to someone else, and I needed a friend. So I created this project to build a community of strong, resilient and kind people who can lift up one another. It is not about the gifts. It is about the connections. I cannot say this enough.

All of that being said, the project is wonderful but a lot of work. So that’s why we created this FAQ post! We ask that you read this post thoroughly, and refer back to it PRIOR to reaching out to us with questions during the project. In addition, keep in mind that the hashtag #otspsecretsister is ALWAYS a fantastic resource for information, people are always happy to help.

The Basics:

The What:

The Secret Sister project is essentially a cheer club. Think Secret Santa but all year round (in 6 month intervals) with less emphasis on presents, and more thoughtful notes, cards, small somethings sent just to let your secret sister know that you are thinking about her!

The When:

  • Sign-ups vary throughout the year, we always always tweet about it

The Who:

You guys! But there are some conditions that must be met prior to signing up, we are going to outline those below under “The Rules.”

The How:

On the date specified in our tweets, we will be posting questionnaires on our blogs for you to fill out. In addition to the questionnaire, you will also be asked to answer a few questions for a Google form. PLEASE NOTE: If you do not fill out BOTH of these things in full, then you will NOT be paired. We use the Google form to pair you, so if we don’t have your name on there, you will not get paired.

FAQs:

What will I have to do if I sign up to be a secret sister?

Please know that this is a commitment. There are people out there expecting to have a connection with you. By signing up to be a secret sister you are promising to send at least one small card AND/OR gift to your secret sister a month depending on the “monetary group” for which you sign up. It is very important that you don’t sign up for this unless you are willing to follow through. If you cannot give 100% to this project please don’t sign up. When people don’t follow through or make the effort at connecting with their sister it sends negative vibes no one needs.

Do I have to send presents?

Yes, unless you are signing up for the pen pal group you are expected to send a little something on top of a card or letter. Keep in mind that this really is meant to be more of a cheering up sort of club, so though you must abide by the price guidelines you should also be sending letters and cards to keep communication open. But please note: This is not a subscription box filled with gifts. You need to make friendships, talk with your sister, thank your sister from whom you are receiving packages, etc.

Look at how extravagant that package is! I don’t have that kind of money…

Neither do I! This is why we have different price ranges, one of which is strictly pen pals – that means NO trinkets, etc! You should never, ever feel as if your package is inadequate as long as you are meeting your price range “standards.” Anyone who is getting caught up on the size of the gifts is missing the entire point of the project and will be dealt with accordingly.

Do we have to remain secret?

No, though that is part of the fun! Just leave your name off of the card or box you are sending if you want to remain secret, and reveal yourself whenever you wish! Some have used the same sending and return address, which is sneaky and perfect. It is entirely up to you! (If you are looking for some tips on how to remain secret -like if you want to send an e-book, for example, we can help ya out!)

Do I have to be a blogger to join?

Technically, no. You should be bookish, however. We are book people over here!

Is this project international?

It has been in the past We are going to have to again gauge how many international participants wish to join, and see if we have enough interest. The international interest has been waning because the group was so small, so we have gauge interest for every round.

Umm…I’m a guy so…

That is wonderful! Welcome! I know it is a little off putting to see the word “sister” up there but honestly we just did that because it sounded better than “The Secret Person Project.” I personally would love a secret bro, pal, dude, or friend regardless of gender and we had a few males join us the past few rounds!

What are the price ranges, and can we have some examples of what a package would look like for each range?

  • Pen pals: That’s right, this is strictly letters and cards. No trinkets, no extras, nothing. If you want to send ANYTHING more than a letter or a card every month then we ask that you sign up for one of the higher monetary tiers.
  • $5-$10: Send a heartfelt letter to catch your sister up on how things are going that month and then send an e-book, baked goods, homemade bookmark or other DIY project, or how about a movie night box with a DVD (thanks to the $5 bin at Walmart) and some candy for a movie night!
  • $15-$20 Any of the possibilities listed above and perhaps a paperback from your sister’s wish-list, some fun socks, fandom tshirt, themed box, get creative!!
  • $25+ The sky is the limit here, we just ask that you remember to reign it in a bit and remember the goal of this project is for cheer, and joy and forging positive relationships, not excessive gifts. Send those heartfelt letters!!

The Rules:

We ask that you pay attention here because we are going to hold you to these standards with no exceptions. I am sure that you all realize how time consuming it is to run project of this size. If you think our “rules” are too strict and “not fair” then we are sorry you feel that way, but we made some exceptions before and spent a lot of time chasing after people and yes, even kicking people out for neglecting to do their part.

    • You must “know” the hosts in order to join! The hosts are Alyssa, (@withthebanned), Amy (@trippingbooks), or Brittany (me! @bookaddictguide). What does “knowing” us entail? First and foremost, you should be following all three of us on Twitter, you should know our names, and if one of us reaches out to you, you should know who we are. We are all pretty active on Twitter and really like chatting. Tweeting at us a few times saying “Hi! I want to join The Secret Sister Project!” does not count. We want to get to know you, there are three of us and our tastes range – this shouldn’t be too hard. We even wrote up a “get to know us” post to make it easier for all of you to chat us up! We promise we are friendly and just want to see that you are serious about the project and don’t just want gifts.
    • You must be 18 or older to participate in The Secret Sister Project
    • You must actively use the hashtag #OTSPSecretSister to thank your sister during your time participating in The Secret Sister Project. We get TONS of emails asking things like “It says my sister’s package was delivered last week but I never heard anything? In addition to this “rule,” you should use the hashtag to interact with one another, ask questions, and answer questions put forth. We promise, this makes the whole project more fun!
    • If we have to reach out to you more than once to ask why your sister hasn’t yet received anything then you will be asked to cease in participating. If you are going to be late, tell us. You will not be in “trouble” if life gets in the way and you let us know. We all have things going on, we get it!
    • If we contact you and ask if you sent something to your sister and you say yes but are unable to provide tracking for the package then you will be asked to cease in participating. Just be honest.
    • If you have not received anything by the end of the month then YOU must contact US. We have had some who have reached out to us at the end of a round to say they hadn’t been receiving. Please don’t do this. We need this information to help you and ensure that no one suffers in the same way in future rounds. Please do NOT ever feel uncomfortable reaching out to us to say that you didn’t receive something. We WANT to help you with this, you DESERVE to get cheer as you are sending cheer!!
    • If for any reason you find that you have to drop out of this project, please email us immediately. We will not judge. We will not ask why. We will simply thank you for informing us and then pair your sister off to someone else so she isn’t missing out.
    • You will be asked to provide the name and contact info (email addresses, please) of a “buddy” who will be willing to answer questions put forth by your sister. We are asking that you keep this to someone who is in the community and therefore will be easy to contact. Husbands/moms/sisters are not easy to contact.
      • Your sister will contact this person to ask things such as “Can you ask Sally if she likes citrus or flowery smelling candles better?” This person can also say things to your sister such as “Hello Joan, Sally ended up buying a copy of “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type” off of her wishlist so please do not purchase it.
      • Your buddy will also be there to receive messages from your sister if she is going to be late, etc.
  • You will be asked to provide a Goodreads or Amazon wish list that is specific to The Secret Sister Project, start working on this now!
      • The wishlist must have 20 or more books on it and must contain new and older titles – SOME ARCs are fine but keep in mind your sister may not have access to these.
      • This list MUST contain books that you are not going to purchase for yourself. IF you simply cannot resist a title here or there then please let your “buddy” (see above) know PRIOR TO BUYING so that they can tell your sister – but please try to refrain from doing this.
      • Do not give anyone else access to this list. We had a lot of people buying things their sister already owned due to someone else buying off of this list, and it was a waste of money for your sis.
      • If your Goodreads profile is private, your sister cannot view your wishlist.
      • If you do not wish to make your Goodreads profile public then you may use another format for your wishlist such as, Amazon, or by providing one in the sign-up email.
  • You must answer ALL of the questions put forth in the sign-up email as well as be detailed and thorough.
  • We are asking that you put a little more emphasis on the “pen pal” aspect.
      • This means if you have signed up for one of the higher price ranges, you should still send a letters to your sister. This is one of the things people have been asking for, so please don’t forget.
  • Do not tweet or use the hashtag to ask for specific and/or luxurious items.
      • OK to say: “I love owls!” “OMG I am obsessed with sugar skulls at the moment!” “I just got engaged!!”
      • NOT OK to say: “Please send this to me…” while providing links to something expensive or “#OTSPSecretSister this toaster would look excellent in my new apartment!”
  • Do not tweet negativity while using the hashtag.
    • Things such as “Wow, I wish I knew if my sister got her package” or “I wish my sister would use the hashtag more” are statements that promote negative communication. If you have issues like this, reach out to the person your sister designated as her “buddy” or to your point person and we will do our best to solve any issues.
  • Do not send your sister ARCs unless you are also sending additional things to compensate as we know no one pays for ARCs and you are to meet the monetary limit.
  • Do not send packages straight from Amazon. We had some people who completely forgot about their sister and then sent things directly from Amazon to try and make up for it and it resulted in some hurt feelings. The emphasis should be on the cheer and the thought that you are putting into your sister and her happiness.
  • Please refrain from sending “swag.” Unless you KNOW that this is something your sister would love.
  • Please pay attention to your sister’s likes, wish lists etc. This is hard to say, because it seems as if we are emphasizing the gift aspect, but it is a waste of money for you to send something that your sister will not enjoy. If your sister says she loves coffee mugs, try and cater that to her fandoms, etc. There are exceptions to this of course but we don’t want you to waste your money on things!
  • If allowed to participate, you will be given the contact information for one of us. You are to contact that person, and that person only regarding any and all Secret Sister Project questions, or concerns. This will help us keep things more seamless, and will let us have divvy up the “work” a little better.

Anything else I should know?

Use the hashtag and interact with one another! The whole point is to bring positive feelings into the our community. Be as thorough as you can when answering the questions. There is no “writing too much” when answering these questions! The best advice I can give you is to be creative and keep in mind the entire reason for the project is NOT about gifts, but fostering a positive environment. If you are looking for ideas, chat us up, we would love to help! Or ask your fellow sisters! I saw some fantastic monthly themed packages last round! We tweet from our own handles pretty frequently, but don’t forget to follow us all over at Gals on the Same Page)!

READ THIS:

We can’t say this enough…please PLEASE only sign up if you are willing to send something monthly and give 100% to this project. Please recognize that this is a commitment and that there is someone out there relying on you to follow through.

So how do I sign up?

The sign-up post with all questions that need to be answered will be posted on our blogs and promoted via Twitter. Please do not forget to sign up via the Google form in addition to sending your sign up email. Sign ups will run for two weeks.

I hope that this post has been helpful to you, friends! If you still have any questions then please reach out on Twitter. If you are new to the project then I encourage you to use the hashtag to talk to your fellow sisters as they may have the answers you are looking for! Thanks for sticking with us and being so generous and kind!

On the Same Page: Secret Sister Project | Round 8 Sign-Ups!

secret sister project

​I cannot believe that it is already time for round EIGHT of #OTSPSECRETSISTER!!

Let’s first get some housekeeping things out of the way…

The two most important things to do when signing up to be a part of this project are:

  1. Head over to the google form which coincides with your monetary tier and fill it out in full. NOTE: IF YOU FORGET TO DO THIS THEN YOU WILL NOT BE PAIRED. THIS IS LITERALLY WHAT WE ARE USING TO PAIR YOU UP, IF YOU AREN’T ON THE FORM, WE CAN NOT PAIR YOU.
  2. BEFORE scrolling down to the questions, and BEFORE signing up to be a part of this project please THOROUGHLY read our FAQ and Rules post. Memorize the rules and refers back to it throughout the project. We have had to put more strict standards in place due to prior issues and therefore there is little leeway for tolerance of people not abiding the “rules.”

Just to cover all of our bases let me reiterate a few things, but please keep in mind that this is just a basic glossing over of these rules, we go more in detail and clarify everything in the main post that we are asking you to reference.

First, please remember that this is a commitment. By signing up to be a secret sister you are promising to send at least one small card AND gift to your secret sister a month depending on the “monetary group” for which you sign up. Those in the pen pal tier are not expected to send gifts, that is strictly letters/cards AND you will NOT keep your identity secret if you are ONLY in the pen pal tier. Those in monetary tiers: you are also asked to send letters and or/postcards to foster positive communication IN ADDITION to packages. Many people asked for their to be an emphasis on the pen pal aspects of this project and we have been working hard to remind everyone that it’s not about the gifts, and this seems like the perfect way to do so. It is very important that you don’t sign up for this unless you are willing to follow through. Please think of how sad (and unfair) it would be for someone to be working hard to make their secret sister feel special and not receive anything themselves!

Last thing, sign-ups run from January 12th, 2018 to midnight on January 26th!

NOTE FOR INTERNATIONAL PARTICIPANTS: Due to time zone differences and issues in the past with late questionnaires, etc. we are only able to give you until January 20 to sign up for round 8 of The Secret Sister Project. More details on how to sign up as an international participant below.

The Rules:

  • You must “know” one of the hosts in order to join!
  • You must be 18 or older to participate in The Secret Sister Project
  • You must actively use the hashtag #OTSPSecretSister during your time participating in The Secret Sister Project.
  • If we have to reach out to you more than once to ask if you why your sister hasn’t yet received anything then you will be asked to cease in participating.
  • If we contact you and ask if you sent something to your sister and you say yes but are unable to provide tracking for the package then you will be asked to cease in participating.
  • If you have not received anything by the end of the month then YOU must contact US.
  • If for any reason you find that you have to drop out of this project, please email us immediately.
  • You will be asked to provide the name and contact info (email addresses, please) of a “buddy” who will be willing to answer questions put forth by your sister. We are asking that you keep this to someone who is in the community and therefore will be easy to contact. Husbands/moms/sisters are not easy or comfortable to contact.*Don’t stress out about this. This person will be available to ask you questions from your sister, or let you know to check your mail. It is not necessary for this person to know you inside and out, just that they have the ability to be contacted, and to contact you when your sister has a question. Additionally, do not bog this person down with incessant questions, use your best judgement when possible and get creative!
  • Below, you will be asked to provide a Goodreads or Amazon wish list with 20 or more books including newer and older titles that is specific to The Secret Sister Project. *Do not share this list with anyone else!
  • You must answer ALL of the questions put forth in the sign-up email as well as be detailed and thorough. We will absolutely be sending emails back to you that we deem “incomplete.”
  • Keep in mind that there is strong emphasis on the pen pal aspect. Meaning that if you have signed up for one of the higher price ranges, you should still send a letters to your sister.
  • Do not tweet or use the hashtag to ask for specific and/or luxurious items.
  • Do not tweet negativity while using the hashtag
  • Do not send swag
  • Pay attention to your sister’s likes/dislikes and wishilists
  • ARCs and shipping do not count toward your monetary limit
  • Do not send packages directly from Amazon without speaking to your point person first

I cannot say this enough times, read and re-read our FAQ and Rules post and remember that we are here for you. Do not hesitate to reach out to use if needed, we want to help you and can’t unless we know what is happening! This all probably seems like a lot – but please keep in mind that we have over 200 participants at any given time and we ask you to follow these guidelines to make things easier on us as we all share in this community.

Okay, now we can move on to the fun stuff!

So how do I sign up?

It’s easy! Just answer every question in the questionnaire below and email it over to onthesamepagesecretsister@gmail.com by midnight on January 26! ALSO In addition to the questionnaire, you will also be asked to answer a few questions for a Google form. PLEASE NOTE: If you do not fill out BOTH of these things in full, then you will NOT be paired. This is what we will be using to pair you, so DO NOT FORGET. Please remember to thoroughly answer each and every question, and keep in mind that there is no such thing as saying “too much!” If you need some help filling this out, head back over to a previous round’s FAQ and Rules post and check out the example we provided!

For those of you wishing to join the Pen Pal Tier ONLY: please still fill out the questionnaire in full with the exception of your wish lists. The questions will be a good way for us to pair you up with someone, and for your pen pal to get to know you. REMEMBER: Your identity is not to be kept secret from your pen pal.

International participants: Please use this Google form to sign up instead of one coinciding with the tiers. There will be a place for you to fill out your preference of which tier you would like to belong but we can not guarantee this. Due to international participation being low, we may have to put you all into the same tier, which will most likely be chosen by the majority vote, in order to ensure that you all get a match! Please remember that you have until midnight on July 16 to sign up as an international participant.

Here we go!

Name:

Mailing Address:

Is the above address a residence/PO Box/Condo/place of employment: (*As in, will your mail get to you when the tracking says delivered, or will you need to wait to get to the mailbox/mailroom?)

Email Address:

Blog:

Twitter Name:

Did you participate in one of the prior rounds of the Secret Sister Project? If yes, which round?

If yes, please provide us with the names of your former sisters (those you gave to, and received from – it is okay if you don’t yet know who is sending to you this round):

How much are you willing to contribute to the project monthly? Choose one (NOTE: this is just a range, you can of course go over the limit but please keep the pen pal aspect in mind, and please remember that is about cheer and not just gifts.) REMINDER: International participants are to fill out THIS google form only, do not fill out one provided below.

  • Pen pals: That’s right, this is strictly letters and cards. No trinkets, no extras, nothing besides letters. If you want to send ANYTHING more than a letter or a card every month then we ask that you sign up for one of the higher monetary tiers. NOTE: YES you may sign up for a pen pal tier and a monetary tier. Ensure that you fill out a google form for BOTH. *IF YOU ARE CHOOSING THE PEN PAL TIER THEN CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT YOUR GOOGLE FORM
  • $5-$10: (Send a heartfelt letter to catch your sister up on how things are going that month and then send an e-book, baked goods, homemade bookmark or other DIY project, or how about a movie night box with a DVD (thanks to the $5 bin at Walmart) and some candy for a movie night!) *IF YOU ARE CHOOSING THE $5-$10 TIER THEN CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT YOUR GOOGLE FORM.
  • $15-$20 (Any of the possibilities listed above and perhaps a newer hardcover from your sister’s wish-list, some fun socks, fandom tshirt, themed box, get creative!!) *IF YOU ARE CHOOSING THE $15-$20 TIER THEN CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT YOUR GOOGLE FORM
  • $25+ (The sky’s the limit here, we just ask that you remember to reign it in a bit and remember the goal of this project is for cheer, and joy and forging positive relationships, not excessive gifts. Send those heartfelt letters!!) *IF YOU ARE CHOOSING THE $25+ TIER THEN CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT YOUR GOOGLE FORM

Your OTSPSecretSister “buddy’s” Twitter or email: (*We are asking that you keep this to someone who is in the community and therefore will be easy to contact. Husbands/moms/sisters are not easy or comfortable to contact. This person will be available to ask you questions put forth by your sister, or let you know to check your mail. It is not necessary for this person to know you inside and out, just that they have the ability to be contacted, and to contact you when your sister has a question. Do NOT bog this person down with incessant questions, use your best judgement when possible and get creative!)

Goodreads Profile (*so that they can access your wishlists! Make sure to turn off the privacy setting & try and keep it updated!):

Goodreads/Amazon bookish wishlist: (*must have at least 20 titles of older and newer titles, please try not to purchase any books off of this wishlist and if you do please let your sister know via your buddy or one of us. Do not give anyone else access to this list. Not parents, husbands, friends, co-workers, secret santas…etc. If you do not want to share a wishlist by making it public, you may list the books here instead.)

“Other” wishlist: (*Keep these within reason for prices, etc! Please do not include pricey things, this is more for places like Etsy or for cheap DVDs on Amazon, and so on!)

Important Dates to Remember (*This can be anything and everything! Your birthday, the day you are expecting your baby, the day you are leaving for your next vacation, your anniversary with your partner, a big test you have coming up, the first day at your new job, the anniversary of the day you quit smoking, even a sad anniversary on which you would need some cheer!):

Your favorite items under $5: (things like stationary, nail polish, fav candy etc.)

Food Allergies:

Fandoms:

Your Likes (*Give us an array of things here! Types of snacks, TV shows, movies, bands/types of music, art):

Your Dislikes (*Example: chocolate covered cherries, anything cinnamon flavored, the color brown):

Do you have a favorite store?:

Are you okay receiving a gift card? If so, to where?

Would you be comfortable receiving baked goods of some kind?

What Do You Splurge On?:

Favorite Flowers:

Favorite Color?:

Favorite (or least favorite) smells: (*for things such as candles, soaps, bath bombs/bubbles, perfumes)

Do You Collect Anything?:

Do You Drink Coffee, Tea, Hot Chocolate?:

Do You Have an E-reader?:

Would you be okay being gifted an ebook? If so, please provide the email associated with your e-reader:

List some of your favorite genres or authors:

Are there any authors or genres that you won’t read?

T-shirt size:

Hogwarts House:

Favorite Disney movie and/or princess:

Any magazine that you wish you had a subscription to?

Anything else we should know about you? (*Be thorough here! There is no such thing as “saying too much,” the more your “secret sister” knows, the easier it is to spoil you!)

Third and final reminder that you MUST also fill out a google spreadsheet which coincides with your monetary tier. Links can be found above.

As always, please remember that you can always reach out to us with any inquiries or issues, that is what we are here for! Especially reach out to us if you have not received anything by the first of the month. We want to keep everyone active and honest! Use the #OTSPSecretSister hashtag to talk with us and your fellow sisters, the best part about this project is the community. Thank you for helping us continue to spread positive vibes and cheer throughout our community!​

Statistics Survey: The Book Addict’s Guide in 2017

Four years ago, Andi (Andi’s ABCs) and I got to talking about how much we love the end-of-the-year surveys (and really all of the other surveys) that go around, obviously Jamie’s Annual End of the Year Survey (The Perpetual Page Turner) being one of our favorites! After a discussion of our love of stats and looking back on our year in reading through statistics, we decided to devise a survey to help us with our quest and the STATISTICS SURVEY was born! The Statistics Survey is back for another year so feel free to fill out any time you’re ready with your reading year in stats!

Obsessed with your bookish stats like we are? Join us for the 4th annual Statistics Survey!

This survey is more about checking out the facts and details behind what you read and not necessarily favorites and reflecting. Fill out and post whenever you like (my answers will be going up in late December or early January to get the full year in)! These statistics should all be for books that you read in 2017 (not books necessarily published in 2017). We have a linky at the bottom to link up your survey once it’s done! Hope you have fun!

2017 READING YEAR IN REVIEW


NumberOf

  • Number of books read…
    • Under 250 pages (not including novellas): 4
    • Between 400-449 pages: 14
    • Between 450-499 pages: 3
    • Over 500 pages: 6
    • Over 1000 pages: 3
  • Number of…
    • Audiobooks: 76
    • Re-reads: 9
    • DNFs (did not finish): 3
  • Number of books rated…
    • Five Stars: 5 (not including re-reads)
    • One/Two Stars: 4
  • Number of authors met in 2017: Two? I think the only events I went to were Leigh Bardugo and Laini Taylor!
  • Number of book events attended in 2017: Just author signings. I didn’t make it to any conferences this year.
  • Number of books you read in one day: 9
  • Number of books that made you cry: I don’t remember. Probably only one or two?
  • Number of 2018 books you have on pre-order: 3

BytheBooks

  • Book read furthest away from home (vacation reads?): I didn’t go far from home this year — just to Indiana. I read a few books while I was there.
  • Book that took you the longest to read: Probably THE DIRE KING. It took me over a month to finish it, through lunch breaks at work, but I had a hard time keeping the momentum going. 
  • Book that you personally connected with the most: You know it’s funny, but I’d say THE HEIST by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg. It wasn’t my favorite read of the year but HEISTS and CONS and SWOONS.
  • Book that made you love the villain: THIS DARKNESS MINE by Mindy McGinnis. It was so weird and so interesting!
  • Book you said you’d come back to but still haven’t picked up again: THE TRAITOR’S KISS, HEART OF IRON, and AN UNKINDNESS OF MAGICIANS
  • Book you read waaaay before it’s publication date: HUNTING PRINCE DRACULA (read in May, published in Sept)
  • Book you read on your birthday: ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, as usual, and audiobooking CLOSER TO HOME
  • Book with a character who shares your name: I don’t know if there was one?
  • Book you weren’t entirely truthful about when rating (Fluff up any ratings? Rated even though you didn’t finish?): HELLO, SUNSHINE by Leila Howland. I just did not connect with it. I gave it two stars even though I kind of skimmed the end.
  • Book you read in 2017 but already want to re-read: The Raven Cycle, again HAHA
  • Book you borrowed from a friend a long time ago and still have: I STILL HAVE ANDI’S COPY OF TWIST FROM YEARS AGO, ALL RING THE SHAME BELL
  • Book you wish you could go back and read for the first time again: RENEGADES by Marissa Meyer. I read it in such broken pieces for only a few minutes at a time. I wish I could read it again with uninterrupted reading time.
  • Most books read by one author this year: 7 Janet Evanovich books, 7 Brandon Sanderson books (one was a novella), 7 Maggie Stiefvater books (5 re-reads, one new read, one re-read of a novella)

ThisThat

  • Happiest & saddest: Happiest: THE HATING GAME | Saddest: LOOKING FOR ALASKA, I guess? I tried really hard not to read sad books this year. It didn’t really make me sad but it had the most sad feelings.
  • Longest & shortest…
    • By page number: Not including novellas, LOOKING FOR ALASKA by John Green (shortest), OATHBRINGER by Brandon Sanderson (longest)
    • By title: TALON (shortest), A SEMI-DEFINITIVE LIST OF WORST NIGHTMARES (longest)
    • From buying to reading: I had a few that I bought and read immediately but we’ll say A CONJURING OF LIGHT was my first one of those of the year. The longest would probably be WICKED APPETITE which I’ve had for yeeeears as a mass market and finally read on audio this year!
  • Best & worst…
    • Average rating on Goodreads: WORDS OF RADIANCE by Brandon Sanderson (best at 4.77 stars with 100k+ ratings), A GOOD IDEA by Cristina Moracho (worst at 3.26 stars with 760 ratings, which I actually enjoyed!)
    • Books you read/your rating: STRANGE THE DREAMER (best), I had a few 2-star ratings but I guess the worst was INTERWORLD. It was just… weird and not enjoyable.
    • Series enders: The worst series-ender was THE LAST STAR by Rick Yancey. Wow, that book made me mad. The best..? Of things that I read this year, probably A MILLION WORLDS WITH YOU by Claudia Grey.
  • First & last…
    • Reads of 2017: First: JACKABY | Last: THE SHELL GAME (Fox & O’Hare novella)
    • Books on your bookcase (1st book on the top left and last book on the bottom right): I’m not sure of the first because the most recent photo of my shelves is cut off. The last is READY PLAYER ONE!
  • Most disappointing & biggest pleasant surprise: Most disappointing is definitely HELLO, SUNSHINE. I didn’t click at all and I LOVED (like loved loved loved) Leila Howland’s other books and I was also really disappointed with TRAITOR TO THE THRONE!! Biggest pleasant surprise was probably A SEMI-DEFINITIVE LIST OF WORST NIGHTMARES! That wasn’t what I expected and I totally loved it!
  • Fandom you joined & one you abandoned: I joined the Stranger Things fandom WHICH I KNOW ISN’T BOOKISH but that’s my biggest fandom of the year. I abandoned SJM and all of her books hardcore, like poof gone forever. I was jumping off last year but it’s super solid this year.
  • Series you picked up & series you quit: I picked up quite a few series this year and binge read a bunch! Too many to list, really. I gave up on the REBEL OF THE SANDS trilogy, I think. I was super disappointed with TRAITOR TO THE THRONE and it killed my interest in the third book.
  • Most lenient & harshest ratings: Lenient: Ehhh we’ll say WIRES AND NERVE. I put it in the five-star range because Lunar Chronicles but it wasn’t super duper a 5-star book. Harshest: Hmmm I think the books I rated low are accurate, so I guess I’d say I don’t really have a harsh rating.
  • Most hyped & furthest under the radar that you read: Most hyped was probably A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN, AN ENCHANTMENT OF RAVENS, and A DARKEST SHADE OF MAGIC. Under the radar, HELLO SUNSHINE, CLOSER TO HOME, A GOOD IDEA

GrabBag

  • Book you read that is red: WICKED APPETITE by Janet Evanovich
  • Starts with X, Y, or Z: Lots of W but no X/Y/Z!
  • Book you hugged when you finished it: THE HATING GAME
  • Book you wanted to throw across a room: THE LAST STAR
  • Food you craved while/after reading a certain book: November cakes during THE SCORPIO RACES, always
  • Book that became an instant go-to recommendation: STRANGE THE DREAMER
  • Furthest out of your comfort zone: LOOKING FOR ALASKA and MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS
  • Read on a recommendation (that you may not have picked up yourself): JACKABY
  • Forced yourself to finish: TRAITOR TO THE THRONE
  • Series or author’s works you binged (whether all at once or throughout the year): The Raven Cycle, Shades of Magic, The Stormlight Archive (to currently published), The Firebird Trilogy, Monsters of Verity, Jackaby, Lizzy & Diesel

BloggingLife


Thanks so much for joining our 2017 Statistics Survey! We hope you had a lot of fun! Want to share with others? Post the link to your answers in the linky in the original intro post!

Statistics Survey 2017

Four years ago, Andi (Andi’s ABCs) and I got to talking about how much we love the end-of-the-year surveys (and really all of the other surveys) that go around, obviously Jamie’s Annual End of the Year Survey (The Perpetual Page Turner) being one of our favorites! After a discussion of our love of stats and looking back on our year in reading through statistics, we decided to devise a survey to help us with our quest and the STATISTICS SURVEY was born! The Statistics Survey is back for another year so feel free to fill out any time you’re ready with your reading year in stats!

Obsessed with your bookish stats like we are? Join us for the 4th annual Statistics Survey!

This survey is more about checking out the facts and details behind what you read and not necessarily favorites and reflecting. Fill out and post whenever you like (my answers will be going up in late December or early January to get the full year in)! These statistics should all be for books that you read in 2017 (not books necessarily published in 2017). We have a linky at the bottom to link up your survey once it’s done! Hope you have fun!

NumberOf

  • Number of books read…
    • Under 250 pages (not including novellas):
    • Between 400-449 pages:
    • Between 450-499 pages:
    • Over 500 pages:
    • Over 1000 pages:
  • Number of…
    • Audiobooks:
    • Re-reads:
    • DNFs (did not finish):
  • Number of books rated…
    • Five Stars:
    • One/Two Stars:
  • Number of authors met in 2017:
  • Number of book events attended in 2017:
  • Number of books you read in one day:
  • Number of books that made you cry:
  • Number of 2017 books you have on pre-order:

BytheBooks

  • Book read furthest away from home (vacation reads?):
  • Book that took you the longest to read:
  • Book that you personally connected with the most:
  • Book that made you love the villain:
  • Book you said you’d come back to but still haven’t picked up again:
  • Book you read waaaay before it’s publication date:
  • Book you read on your birthday:
  • Book with a character who shares your name:
  • Book you weren’t entirely truthful about when rating (Fluff up any ratings? Rated even though you didn’t finish?):
  • Book you read in 2017 but already want to re-read:
  • Book you borrowed from a friend a long time ago and still have:
  • Book you which you could go back and read for the first time again:
  • Most books read by one author this year:

ThisThat

  • Happiest & saddest:
  • Longest & shortest…
    • By page number:
    • By title:
    • From buying to reading:
  • Best & worst…
    • Average rating on Goodreads:
    • Books you read/your rating:
    • Series enders:
  • First & last…
    • Reads of 2017:
    • Books on your bookcase (1st book on the top left and last book on the bottom right):
  • Most disappointing & biggest pleasant surprise:
  • Fandom you joined & one you abandoned:
  • Series you picked up & series you quit:
  • Most lenient & harshest ratings:
  • Most hyped & furthest under the radar that you read:

GrabBag

  • Book you read that is red:
  • Starts with X, Y, or Z:
  • Book you hugged when you finished it:
  • Book you wanted to throw across a room:
  • Food you craved while/after reading a certain book:
  • Book that became an instant go-to recommendation:
  • Furthest out of your comfort zone:
  • Read on a recommendation (that you may not have picked up yourself):
  • Forced yourself to finish:
  • Series or author’s works you binged (whether all at once or throughout the year):

BloggingLife

  • First…
    • Post of 2017:
    • Review of 2017:
  • Last…
    • Post of 2017:
    • Review of 2017:
  • Number of posts in 2017:
  • Number of reviews posted this year:
  • Least coherent review:
  • Post with the most views (posted in 2017):
  • Post you wish you could re-write:

If you use the banners, please make sure you give us credit and link back to our blogs! And don’t forget to mention us on Twitter – we’ll be sure to retweet your survey! 

Release Day Blitz: Rosemarked by Livia Blackburn

Happy book birthday to Rosemarked by Livia Blackburn!

I’m really excited to share a post today about ROSEMARKED by Livia Blackburn in honor of the book’s release! I got to work with Disney Books for this post AND I really wanted to share this on release day because I was so fortunate to work with author Livia Blackburn herself on a candle inspired by this book that was included in the recent mailings you may have been seeing all over Instagram!

Check out more on ROSEMARKED and a special note from the author below, and don’t miss the purchase links for this book, now on sale!


Hi Everyone!

This is Livia Blackburne, and I’m thrilled to share ROSEMARKED with you at long last. There are a lot of elements to this book, including a love story, a spy story, reflections on trauma and mortality, medical ethics, and political intrigue.  Perhaps because of this, my research for the book was equally eclectic, from archery and stick fighting lessons, to chats with memory researchers and soldiers, and lots and lots of reading, including books about leper colonies, hospice care, and PTSD. Hopefully, I wove it all into an entertaining and thought-provoking story!

This story centers on Zivah, a talented healer with an incurable illness, and Dineas, a traumatized soldier. The two couldn’t be more different, and I had a lot of fun writing their unlikely love story.  In order to work together, they both have to let go of their own prejudices and preconceptions. It’s a painful process, with fights and misunderstandings, anger, laughter and tears, but in the end, they both come out as stronger people.

To celebrate the ROSEMARKED release, I’m offering 3 lucky winners a ROSEMARKED swag pack, which includes a copy of ROSEMARKED and a signed bookplate! Due to sweepstakes laws, entrants must be 18 years or older to participate. Best of luck, and happy reading!

***

The first in a duology, ROSEMARKED (Hyperion | On Sale November 7, 2017) by New York Times bestselling author Livia Blackburne follows a healer and a solider on a high-stakes mission to spy on the Empire to uncover a deadly secret. With sizzling chemistry and a heartrending ethical dilemma, this thrilling fantasy with nuanced characters will capture fans of An Ember in the Ashes and The Lumatere Chronicles.

New York Times best-selling author LIVIA BLACKBURNE has a PhD in neuroscience from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she conducted research on the neural correlates of reading. She still blogs on the intersection of writing and brain science, and she now lives in Los Angeles with her family. Livia is also the author of Midnight Thief, an Indies Introduce New Voices selection, and its sequel, Daughter of Dusk.

ROSEMARKED by Livia Blackburne
Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Wattpad | Add it on Goodreads
Hardcover: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | Book Depository
Ebook: Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Kobo

 

Also by this author…

MIDNIGHT THIEF
New York Times Bestseller 2014
Indies Introduce New Voices Pick
2015 YALSA Teens’ Top Ten Nominee
Hardcover: Indiebound | Amazon Barnes and Noble | Book Depository
Ebook:  Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play

DAUGHTER OF DUSK
Hardcover: Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository
Ebook: Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Google Kobo

GIVEAWAY

Enter the giveaway for your chance to win an amazing Rosemarked-themed grand prize with so many extra goodies! Please see rules above and Rafflecopter notes below for details and eligibility! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: Renegades by Marissa Meyer | Favorite Types of Villains

Welcome to the blog tour for
RENEGADES by Marissa Meyer

As I’m sure you well know, I’m a HUGE Marissa Meyer fan, with my fandom love dating back to The Lunar Chronicles and has continued ever since. I was so excited to hear about RENEGADES and of course, immediately jumped at the chance to participate in the blog tour when offered a spot by Fierce Reads/Macmillan Children’s!

One of my favorite part of any good book is a great villain. I love how complicated villains can be with intricate backstories, their villainous reasoning, the morally grey areas, and that dash of darkness that reels you in. Being an avid reader for so long as introduced me to so many different types of villains so I wanted to talk about a few of my favorites today, being that RENEGADES is actually largely from an Anarchist’s point-of-view with main character Nova being on the side of the bad guys!

Before we jump into the tour, let’s take a second to check out some details about the book:

Blog Tour: Renegades by Marissa Meyer | Favorite Types of VillainsTitle: Renegades (Renegades #1) by Marissa Meyer
Publishing Info: November 7, 2017 by Macmillan
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Superheroes
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: October 12, 2017
Related Posts: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1), Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2), , Glitches (The Lunar Chronicles #0.5), The Queen's Army (The Lunar Chronicles #1.5), Carswell's Guide to Being Lucky (Lunar Chronicles #3.1), Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1), Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2), Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3), Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4), Stars Above (A Lunar Chronicles Collection), Heartless, Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 (Wires and Nerve #1), Renegades (Renegades #1)

Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone...except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova's allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.


ABOUT MARISSA MEYER

MARISSA MEYER is the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Lunar Chronicles series, as well as the graphic novel Wires and Nerve: Vol. 1, and The Lunar Chronicles Coloring Book. Her first stand alone novel, Heartless, was also a #1 New York Times bestseller. She lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her husband and their two daughters.

TYPES OF VILLAINS

I took on the side of the Anarchists today, always loving a good villain! According to Huffpost (and originally posted on Screencraft), there are 15 different types of movie villains, but I would imagine that goes the same for books! That’s a lot for one blog post today so I’m just sharing a few of my favorites and some of my favorite villains that fit the profiles with some of my favorite reads!

THE ANTI-VILLIAN (also known as Anti-Hero) 

This is one of my absolute favorite types of villains and a lot of what we see in RENEGADES! RENEGADES has a split POV between Nova, one of the Anarchists, and Adrian, one of the Renegades. There’s a lot more to Nova than meets the eye so I might not call her an anti-hero/anti-villain, but the book sure does make you root for the Anarchists and see things from their perspectives! It’s one of my favorites because I love seeing how complex villains can be and how an author can appeal to a reader’s compassion by creating a villain you can sympathize with. | Example: The Anarchists in RENEGADES, Dexter from the Dexter series, Joe from YOU by Caroline Kepnes

THE AUTHORITY FIGURE

There’s something about an evil authority figure that just gets my skin crawling! Unlike the sympathetic anti-hero/anti-villain, the authority figure is just one I love to hate. They make a main character’s life horrible and there’s nothing they can even try to do about it, often pinning a main character under their thumb because disobeience leads to horrible consquences. | Examples: Benjamin Malvern in THE SCORPIO RACES, Professor Umbridge in Harry Potter

THE DISTURBED

There’s just something about a genuinely appalling villain that brings a story to the next level sometimes. In contrast to an anti-hero, the Disturbed villain may suffer from some psychological disorders that lead them down the path of villainy but the audience doesn’t root for this villain at all. They’re just plain crazy or messed up! | Examples: Levana in The Lunar Chronicles, Amy in GONE GIRL

THE MACHINE

This is one that doesn’t pop up on my list often, but when you read a series like The Illuminae Files, this type of villain is literally everything. How fascinating is a machine as a villain? They have a program and yet are still unpredictable and they’re nearly unstoppable. | Example: AIDEN from The Illuminae Files

THE PERSONIFICATION OF EVIL

And it doesn’t get more evil than evil itself represented in a character! You’ve gotta love a character/person/concept that you can clearly hate and push towards total annihilation. These characters are often horribly frightening, representing everything you could possibly hate and work against. | Examples: Osaron from the Shades of Magic trilogy, The King of Hybern from A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy


Thanks so much for checking out my stop on the blog tour today! I hope you enjoyed my favorite types of villains and I would love to hear yours as well! And don’t forget to pre-order RENEGADES, on sale 11/7/17! I just loved it and it was such a great read!

Fortnight of Fright 2017 | A Trip to Salem (Lauren from Bookmark Lit)

FoF2014

Welcome to our fifth annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2017

Thanks for checking out the SIXTH (is it really!?) annual edition of FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT where Alyssa (Books Take You Places), Amy (Tripping Over Books), and I bring you two full weeks of Halloween-related posts! We’ve invited bloggers, authors, and book lovers alike to share their favorite things about Halloween and we feature a new person and post each day. 

Today, Lauren from Bookmark Lit is sharing about her recent trip to Salem, MA! I went to Salem last year and LOVED it so I’m especially excited to share her post today!


LAUREN FROM BOOKMARK LIT | SALEM, MA

I’m so excited to be here for another year of Fortnight of Fright! My posts usually consist of recommendations for scaredy cats around Halloween, since I don’t do as well with things too gory or spooky (here and here!). Don’t get me wrong… I’ve seen a fair share of horror movies in my younger days. My boyfriend, on the other hand, avoids scary things at all costs. I think it’s made me less brave when it comes to those things!

In any case, I’m here to chat about my recent trip to Salem, MA and all of the barely-scary or not-at-all-scary things we did there. It was for my birthday so Chris wasn’t allowed to complain, but I don’t think we did anything that really creeped him out. I’ve always wanted to go to Salem, so this was a really fun trip for me.

We started out by getting some lunch outside at a fairly forgettable tavern, so I won’t even bother looking that place up. There are some cool tours and museums, like the Salem Wax Museum and Witch Village. When we went in early September, there was a third attraction associated with them that we weren’t able to go to. We went through the small wax museum, which was moderately interesting, and then the “witch village,” which talked about witches throughout history. It was really cool to take in all of that history because it’s not something I remembered a lot of throughout high school. Right up that little street there’s also the Burying Point and Witch Trials Memorial, which were cool to see both during the day and at night.

There are so many cute little streets for shopping too! We found Harry Potter-themed stores called Wynott’s Wands and some other store that I seriously can’t find the name for. They’re right next to each other so I’m sure you’ll find it 😉 The first store obviously has WANDS and the second one has a lot of wizarding/witchy products across different fandoms (I saw mostly Harry Potter but there were some Game of Thrones things too!).

Even though we already learned plenty about Salem’s history, we kept going with the Salem Witch Museum. I felt like there was probably no better place to check out to learn even more. To be honest, it got a LITTLE repetitive because we had already seen two similar tours. I liked the format of this one though, because they had little animatronic scenes to talk about the full history of the witch trials. Then, there was a walk-through section that talked about types of witches throughout history and modern day “witch trials.”

I knew I wanted to check out the water and have a nice birthday dinner in that section of town, so we took the short walk from the Witch Museum to Finz. They had a smaller menu but it was full of delicious seafood options, which is exactly what I wanted. The waterfront section of Salem is really pretty; there was even a wedding taking place right there. I made sure to take advantage of some seasonal beers even though I wish I tried local brews instead (I can still get plenty of them since I live less than two hours from Salem, though!).

We finished the night with arguably the best part of our trip. There are plenty of nighttime Salem tours to take you around the city on foot. We found a great one in the Salem Night Tour because our host was unbelievable. She was funny and interesting; you could tell she really had a passion for everything she was talking about. We walked around the city for an hour or two while she pointed out historical landmarks, haunted spots, and places where Hocus Pocus filmed. It wasn’t really scary, which was nice, but it was really fun and atmospheric to walk around like that at night! Definitely a great way to end the trip.


Thanks so much, Lauren! We did a lot of those things too and I loved the Salem Night Tour! I nearly killed Alyssa and Amy when the tour guide announced it as a ghost tour but you’re right — it really wasn’t scary! Thanks so much for sharing today!

You can also see my own post about my Salem trip as previously posted on my blog!

Fortnight of Fright 2017 | Fall Traditions (Jessie from Goldilox and the Three Weres)

FoF2014

Welcome to our fifth annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2017

Thanks for checking out the SIXTH (is it really!?) annual edition of FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT where Alyssa (Books Take You Places), Amy (Tripping Over Books), and I bring you two full weeks of Halloween-related posts! We’ve invited bloggers, authors, and book lovers alike to share their favorite things about Halloween and we feature a new person and post each day. 

Today, Jessie from Goldilox and the Three Weres is sharing her Fall Traditions! Check out her fall routines and say hello!


Jessie H.
Twitter: @BookishJessi
Blog: Goldilox and the Three Weres

Fortnight of Fright Fall Traditions Post

Hello! My name is Jessie! And I have a confession to make. As soon as October 1st hits, I become a total creature of habit. I have traditions and by golly I will celebrate them every year!

I pull out my battered and well-loved combat boots whether it’s cold enough to wear them or not. I rewatch the same favorite Halloween movies. I drink gallons of spiced hot cider. I reread the same books. And I celebrate All Hallow Reads. Today, I’m going to be talking about a few of the fall traditions I just can’t not follow each year.

The Movies

My family has this awesome tradition of celebrating Halloween with a week of movie nights. No matter if we live close to each other or not, we all watch the same movie each day and we share our thoughts and feelings with each other the next time we see each other or talk on the phone.

While we try to add at least one new-to-us Halloween movie to the line-up each year, we have our favorites. We usually watch the classics like Hocus Pocus, Ghostbusters, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Coraline, and Casper. For me, I have one movie I have to watch for it to feel like Halloween and that’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. I’ve been enchanted with this delightfully weird movie since I’ve been a small child and I never tire of it. I’ve been known to start humming “This is Halloween” randomly through out October as I try to beat my record of how many times I can rewatch it between October 1st and December 25th.

The Books

I love reading books that have an eerie atmosphere or a spooky setting in the month of October but I have two books that I HAVE to read every year.

The first is Roger Zelazny’s A Night in the Lonesome October. I have been rereading this book every October for years thanks to the recommendation of Neil Gaiman. It has thirty-one chapters so you can read one each night like a Halloween advent calendar. It’s the story of an eldritch scavenger hunt between some of the most famous horror names in literature. It’s told from the perspective of Snuff, the familiar of the man named Jack. It’s fun trying to figure out which familiar belongs to which famous character. I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s just so quintessentially Halloween.

The second book is Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. This book is a delightfully magical and special story about a boy who grows up in graveyard among the ghosts and other creatures. Since it’s about a boy who grows up in a graveyard you’d expect it to be creepy, but it’s actually really heartwarming. Not that it isn’t creepy and a bit macabre in parts, but you just don’t expect a story that takes place in a graveyard to be touching. But it really is, despite some somewhat gruesome elements. It’s also exciting! And funny! It also has two excellent audiobooks (one narrated by the author and a full-cast production) and a two volume graphic novel adaption if you want to switch things up.

All Hallow’s Read

I’ve been participating in All Hallows Read since 2013 and it’s been delightful! Basically, it’s a holiday made up by Neil Gaiman that gives us all an excuse to giveaway books the whole week around Halloween. My group of friends and I have adopted this holiday as a reason to get together and exchange spooky books with each other and eat a metric ton of Halloween candy. I also try to find a couple of classrooms, children’s hospitals, or women’s shelters I can donate to. Last year, I gave out copies of The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater and Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco. This year, it’s a tie between The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken and Beanstalker by Kiersten White. Books are always a gift that keeps on giving. 🙂

 


Thanks so much, Jessie! I adore your fall traditions and have some of the same! I love watching Hocus Pocus every year along with some other TV shows and movies! 

Fortnight of Fright 2017 | 5 Creepy Books to Read for Halloween (Angela’s Library)

FoF2014

Welcome to our fifth annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2017

Thanks for checking out the SIXTH (is it really!?) annual edition of FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT where Alyssa (Books Take You Places), Amy (Tripping Over Books), and I bring you two full weeks of Halloween-related posts! We’ve invited bloggers, authors, and book lovers alike to share their favorite things about Halloween and we feature a new person and post each day. 

Today, Angela from Angela’s Library is sharing her Halloween reading recommendations! Check out her recs below!


5 Creepy Books to Read for Halloween
By Angela Cabezas from Angela’s Library

Hi, everyone! I’m so pleased to be participating in Fortnight of Fright for the third year running. I’m generally a big wuss when it comes to scary movies, but I love me some creepy books. Below is a list of my top five recommendations for Halloween reads.

This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers: Zombie books usually gross me out, but Summers’ take on zombies is fascinatingly original. What truly makes this story terrifying isn’t the zombie apocalypse that’s taking place, but the mindset of the protagonist, a girl named Sloane who wants nothing more than to end her own life; Sloane’s broken mind is far more horrific than the events going on around her, although those are chilling as well. Another factor that makes this book so interesting is the Breakfast Club-from-hell vibe. Sloane and five other teens, all very different, are barricaded inside a high school together, and the desperation and tensions threaten to destroy them before the zombies do. (Read my review here.)

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black: My love for this novel knows no bounds, to the point where it’s hard for me to write coherently about it. Instead, I tend to simply gush and ramble about how it’s dark and sensuous and horrifying and thrilling all at once. The book starts with 17-year-old Tana waking up after a party to find she’s one of the sole survivors of a vampire massacre. Traumatized, Tana escapes with her newly infected ex-boyfriend and an ancient, possibly mad vampire whom she’s rescued from his bloodthirsty peers. Knowing the three of them aren’t safe to be around normal society, Tana checks them all into Coldtown, a vampire quarantine where people often go in…but rarely come out. Their adventures and dangers ensue from there.

The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender: Alender’s novel has all the trappings of a great spooky read: an abandoned insane asylum, eerie ghosts, and a malicious force that hungers for the spirits of girls. When young Delia inherits the Piven Institute, a defunct mental hospital, from her great-aunt, little does she know she’ll be doomed to stay there the rest of her life…and afterlife. (Read my review here.)

The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy: Sirowy’s mystery/thriller tells the story of two little girls who go missing. One of the girls, Stella, eventually returns with no memory of what happened to her. The other girl is never seen again. The case grows cold until, years later, a body is found that bears an eerie resemblance to the missing girl. The incident inspires Stella to finally try to get to the bottom of what happened all those years ago…and the answer will shock and horrify you. In fact, it’s what makes the book so impressive; I nearly gave up on this novel several times, but the ending was so epic that it turned around my entire reading experience. (Read my review here.)

Project CAIN by Geoffrey Girard: Do you ever wonder what it would be like to discover you’re a clone? And not just any clone, but the clone of notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer? This is the premise of Project CAIN, a marvelous but chilling read. The whole time I was reading, I kept waiting for Jeff to snap and give in to his dark biological tendencies. It’s a peculiar thing to be afraid of a narrator, but it worked perfectly in this case. (Read my review here.)


Thanks so much, Angela! I’ve only read a couple of these but have a few more on my TBR! Thanks so much for your post today!