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Exclusive Interview with Marissa Meyer on the Archenemies Tour!

ARCHENEMIES TOUR

Marissa Meyer at North Central College/Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, IL

I always go see Marissa Meyer when she’s in town and I was so excited to be able to see her again in Naperville, this time for the ARCHENEMIES book tour! The amazing folks at Macmilan/Fierce Reads asked me if I wanted to interview Marissa before the event and of course I said yes! I sat down with Marissa to ask her a few questions about the Renegades series, super powers, and of course, Harry Potter sorting.

(Portions edited for time and flow, only affecting ease of reading and not the actual interview or answers.)

Brittany: We’re celebrating the release of ARCHENEMIES, which is the second book in the Renegades trilogy. The series was initially planned to be a two-book series. Did you always feel like it should have been a trilogy, or did that develop as you were writing the series?
Marissa Meyer: Originally, it did sell as a trilogy so for many, many drafts of RENEGADES. I wrote it attempting to make it a trilogy, but I had thought that the central idea of this hero and villain character falling in love wasn’t itself enough to carry it through three whole books. My plan had been to focus on other characters for the first two books and then Adrian and Nova were going to be the central characters of the third and final book… and it just didn’t work and it wasn’t working and it wasn’t working and after years and years of kind of pulling my hair out, we decided, you know what? Let’s just focus on Nova’s and Adrian’s story and make it a standalone! So RENEGADES became a standalone. I started writing it and finally it started to come together. Finally, I was able to focus on this story between Nova and Adrian, which is what I really wanted to be writing the whole time! So I’m writing it and it kept getting longer and longer and longer, and at some point I realized, hey! I think this could actually be two books. I told my editor and she was thrilled. So we made it two books and I finished RENEGADES. That was done and I started working on ARCHENEMIES, and it kept getting longer and longer and longer… And, at some point it became clear that it was actually three books! And so now it’s a trilogy and working on book three, and I’m preeetty sure we’re done at three. I’m pretty sure.
Brittany: That’s interesting! I like that, though! It’s like you never know where it’s going to take you.
Marissa: Yeah, this book has had a lot of surprises!

Brittany: That was actually one of my other questions! Was there any character scene that really surprised you as you were writing these books and brought you to places you didn’t expect? So I guess we kind of already answer that in part!
Marissa: Yeah. There are tons of things that surprised me! Hmm, what are some specific examples…
Brittany: Were there any characters that ended up getting more page time that you didn’t think were going to be such a big part of the book?
Marissa: No, if anything, there are characters that ended up getting less face time than I expected that they would initially, but it kind of fluctuates. There are characters who you didn’t see a whole lot of in book one, but then they come up more in book two. There’s a character who was supposed to play a huge role in book two and then it ended up not working at all. So now we’re going to see them in book three and that kind of whole [concept] got moved to book three. Then there’s, you know, ideas for scenes that you think will work and end up not working, or you’re writing along and suddenly character says something that completely surprises you and you have to go with it. I mean, there’s always things in writing that come up and change.

Brittany: I really love a well-rounded villain, and I love how often we get to see the inner-workings behind the villains in your books! We got to see Levana’s sort of origin story in FAIREST, the Queen of Hearts and her beginning in HEARTLESS, and now we have so much insight to the Anarchists with Nova being a main character in the Renegades trilogy! Are these types of characters more difficult to write because of their many layers? Or does that actually help you with so much to build off of?
Marissa: It depends! I mean, some of my hero characters are more difficult to write than others, and some of the villain characters difficult are more difficult to write than others, so it doesn’t seem to necessarily be one or the other. But certainly in writing the villains, I’m always trying to make sure that I really understand where they’re coming from. Whether it’s something in their past that has driven them to be a certain way, or something that they’re trying to accomplish that’s motivating them, I want readers to may say, “You know, well, I don’t agree with what they’re doing — they’re really making bad choices — but I can kind of understand why, or I can empathize with them on some level.” So as the writer, of course, I’m always trying to find ways to empathize with them and connect with them in the hopes that we’ll come across to the the readers.
Brittany: I think that’s really interesting with all of the Anarchists who kind of have different levels — there are some people who are so far gone and then Nova, especially being a main character —  you get to see how she interacts with the heroes. And I just think that’s really neat how you get to see all of that, all in one book.
Marissa: Well, thank you! I love writing the villains.

Brittany: Were there any specific sources of inspiration for some of these unique superpowers? Like Ruby’s? Or Honey & Danna with their insect connection?
Marissa: For the most part, [I go with it] if i get an idea that I think seems really cool. Most of the superpowers, I got the idea for them and thought they would just be cool ideas to write about, or were a very visual superpower. I like to write my books to have a very kind of cinematographic quality to them and so something that[, the visual superpowers,] I just thought it would be really neat to play with in different battle sequences and whatnot, so I’m always drawn to powers like that. Alternatively, if there’s something that I think I would really like to have, like that’s a superpower that I would love, then those tend to take top billing too.
Brittany: Were there any of the book that you were ones that you really wanted to have?
Marissa: Nova’s… I would love to never have to sleep! I do also like Adrian’s, too. I do not have any really artistic skill and I’ve always envied people who could drive and paint. You know, it’s sort of symbolic that there are people who could draw something, and it feels like it comes to life on the page. Adrian can actually make things come to life and I just think that’s so cool!

Brittany: The Renegades trilogy is your first release that didn’t have fairy tale inspiration. Was the writing process a lot different without having to go back to a specific source like that? Or did it have any different inspirations?
Marissa: So different, it was so different! I mean, when you’re doing a fairy tale retelling or origin story, like with HEARTLESS, you have a built-in framework already. You know, if I’m doing Cinderella — we know there’s going to be a stepmother. We know there’s going to be a ball. We know there’s to be some sort of shoe that gets lost — like there are things that you know are going to happen, and then you can kind of build the story off of that. But with Renegades being completely original, I had influences — plenty of influences — but nevertheless, I had complete freedom to do anything that I wanted with the story. At first I thought that was going to be great and so easy and fun! And it turned out to be the opposite… I had so many ideas and so many different directions that I thought about taking the story. I tried so many things and really got very lost many, many times and saying, “What could I do with this story? There’s so many options!” and lost focus with it again and again until I finally was able to figure out okay, what is this story that i’m trying to tell?
Brittany: Do you think there would be any like spin-offs or little novellas for the things that did have to get pushed aside?
Marissa: I don’t know! There are a couple of characters that ended up getting cut that I thought had potential for their own works… probably not in the Renegades world — probably a completely different universe’s story world — but I just like some of the ideas that came along with them and I think I could definitely recycle them into something new at some point. As far as, spin-off stories… I have felt like there’s definitely potential to do something from the Age of Anarchy. There’s certainly lots of cool stories that could be pulled from that time period! I don’t know that I will, but it’s something that I have thought about, so we’ll see.

Brittany: There are so many excellent character connections in this series, from family to friendship to romance to teammate. Do you have a favorite character relationship in the Renegades trilogy?
Marissa: Well, I always love the romance story lives obviously! Adrian and Nova, but I also Adrian’s dads, Simon and Hugh — I love every scene where we see them! I think they’re so charming. So in all of my books, everything I’ve ever written before, none of my characters ever have good families! Like, they’re always neglected, and abused — these poor characters of mine! And Adrian was really the first protagonist that I have where he comes from a healthy, loving family, and that is so refreshing to be able to write! I always enjoy those scenes.

Brittany: If you could get yourself a tattoo like Adrian does, which power would you give to yourself first?
Marissa: That’s really good question! I haven’t been asked that before…  I’m trying to think if there’s a tattoo that would let me fly…
Brittany: Wings on your feet?
Marissa: I’m going to have to think about that one!
Brittany: It’s a tough question! I couldn’t think of one for myself…
Marissa: Yeah, because all of his are very centric on like fighting! Even like the jumping thing — having tattoos on the soles of your feet sounds painful… so I’m not sure!

Brittany: If characters from your other books had superhero names and powers, what do you think they would be?
Marissa: So, the first that comes to mind for Cinder would be The Mechanic! She somehow be able to magically fix things… which she sort of already has that superpower! I could totally see Scarlet having fire power and being… the Scarlet Witch,  but that that already exists — there’s Scarlet Witch in Marvel! Hmm, like the Scarlet Flame or something! Wolf would probably [something like a shapeshifter]… There’s another word I was going for, but that works, so he can turn into a wolf!

Brittany: If we were to sort the Renegades characters into Hogwarts Houses, would all of the Anarchist be Slytherins, or will there be a good mix or balance in there?
Marissa: Good question! I almost feel like Nova might be more Ravenclaw than Slytherin…  She might even pass for Gryffindor. Honey would definitely be Slytherin. The Puppeteer, he would be Slytherin. Leroy… He could be Ravenclaw too. But maybe Slytherin. Who am I forgetting ? Phobia! We forgot Phobia!
Brittany: That’s a good question! Are we going to get to know more about Phobia? I’m very excited for that! I just feel like we’re being led up to that.
Marissa: He’s an example of someone who I thought was going to play a much bigger role in the first two books and then ended up not really coming to fruition, but he just become more central in book three.
Brittany: I’m loving the lead up, though. Like, you know that you’re going to get more information and that’s really exciting!

Brittany: I know you love writing romances and I love how naturally they develop. It’s not quick into romance, like you can feel that tension and everything leading up with Nova and Adrian. Is it hard not to just jump right into the kissing scenes?
Marissa: So hard!! All I ever want is for my characters to start kissing! In my very first draft that I ever wrote of CINDER, her and Kai were kissing on like, page 30. Like, let’s do this!! But yeah, I mean, i’m always looking forward to that part. But also as a reader, if the romance develops too fast and they’re kissing too soon, then I lose interest. Like no, no, no, I want the struggle and the tension and suspense, and I really like it to last as long as possible!

I had SUCH a great time interviewing Marissa and another big thank you to her for giving us this scoop and insight on the Renegades trilogy!

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!

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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! 

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Vampire Academy 10th Anniversary | Series Appreciation

Hi, friends! Today I’m sharing a little series appreciation for the Vampire Academy books in conjunction with its 10th anniversary and special edition release! When I got an email from Penguin asking to share some favorite things about the series, I knew this would be a perfect post for me to write.

See, I got into Vampire Academy after the Twilight/vampire craze. My friend Lisa introduced me to the books and I was like, “Ehhh, I don’t know. Vampires? Aren’t we done with this?” I had no desire to read a vampire novel after my Twilight frenzy wore off but Lisa’s a pretty good judge of books and had just gotten me hooked on The Hunger Games (which I devoured) so I trusted her recommendation and became hooked!

Although the Vampire Academy series is about vampires, it has a whole lot more going on than just that. There are best friendships, steamy romances, wonderful bonds, society politics, and a whole lot of “omg” moments! The series is really special to me because it was one of the series that brought me onto the YA scene and into a whole new set of books that I didn’t even know existed because I wasn’t looking at “teen” books. While the series deals with many typical young adult moments like first loves, friendships, mean girls, and high school, it also has so many different levels of politics, plenty of action, a whole lot of adventure, and some pretty wild moments that always left my jaw on the floor! Richelle Mead put quite a few good shocking moments in this series, especially in the first few books, and I was constantly flipping pages to see what she’d surprise me with next!

I can say that it’s “so much more than a vampire series” for those who are hesitant about vampire books but it was also really awesome to see vampires in a little different light. There are different types of vampires within the realm of the supernatural in this series ranging from mortal but with supernatural powers to the “typical” undead vampire. I really loved how the range of the average vampire was expanded and really explored!

Then there’s the romance. There are SO many good romances throughout this series but the relationship between Rose and Dimitri is just so swoony! I don’t know why but it totally got me, despite the age difference which I’m usually not on board with. I just love the tension, how it’s sort of forbidden, and the push and pull that happens throughout the series.

If you haven’t yet, hopefully you’ll give the Vampire Academy series a shot! It was one of my favorites, especially when I first started reading YA, and I think it really appeals to a wide range of readers on a few different levels! Ready to jump into the series? Check out a little bit more on the special anniversary edition of the first book!

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Richelle Mead celebrates 10 years of Vampire Academy with an exclusive, never-before-seen collection of stories that sheds new light on the world and its players:

  • The Turn and the Flame takes a deeper look into the dark stain on the Ozera dynasty…
  • Hello My Name is Rose Hathaway tracks the shenanigans that ensue when Rose and Dimitri become unlikely teammates in a high-stakes scavenger hunt…
  • The Meeting gives us a glimpse of Rose Hathaway through Dimitri’s eyes…
  • From the Journal of Vasilisa Dragomir unearths the princess’s private thoughts from a transformative period of her life…

St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school–it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s–the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi–the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires–make Lissa one of them forever.

GIVEAWAY!

You can enter to win one of five copies of this beautiful anniversary edition that are up for grabs from Penguin Random House! Check out the Rafflecopter form below as well as legal and rules that follow. Good luck!!

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Rafflecopter Legal:

Enter for a chance to win one of five (5) paperback copies of Vampire Academy 10th Anniversary Edition by Richelle Mead (ARV = $11.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 9:00 AM Eastern Time on November 29, 2016 and 11:59 PM Eastern Time on December 5, 2016. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about December 12, 2016. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Blog Tour: Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan | Giveaway

Welcome to the blog tour for
JULIA VANISHES by Catherine Egan

Today I’m sharing my blog post for JULIA VANISHES by Catherine Egan as a part of the blog tour! Big thanks to Random House for having me be a part of the tour for this unique book! Today I’ve got a little bit of info about the book and a giveaway!!

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

Blog Tour: Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan | GiveawayTitle: Julia Vanishes (Witch's Child #1) by Catherine Egan
Publishing Info: June 7, 2016 by HarperCollins
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: April 12, 2016

Julia has the unusual ability to be…unseen. Not invisible, exactly. Just beyond most people’s senses.
It’s a dangerous trait in a city that has banned all forms of magic and drowns witches in public Cleansings. But it’s a useful trait for a thief and a spy. And Julia has learned—crime pays.
Her latest job is paying very well indeed. Julia is posing as a housemaid in the grand house of Mrs. Och, where an odd assortment of characters live and work: A disgraced professor who sends her to fetch parcels containing bullets, spiders, and poison. An aristocratic houseguest who is locked in the basement each night. And a mysterious young woman who is clearly in hiding—though from what or whom?
Worse, Julia suspects that there’s a connection between these people and the killer leaving a trail of bodies across the frozen city.
The more she learns, the more she wants to be done with this unnatural job. To go back to the safety of her friends and fellow thieves. But Julia is entangled in a struggle between forces more powerful than she’d ever imagined. Escape will come at a terrible price.

ABOUT CATHERINE EGAN

Catherine Egan author photo-2CATHERINE EGAN grew up in Vancouver, Canada. Since then, she has lived on a volcanic island in Japan (which erupted while she was there and sent her hurtling straight into the arms of her now-husband), in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Beijing, on an oil rig in the middle of Bohai Bay, then in New Jersey, and now in New Haven, Connecticut. She is currently occupied with writing books and fighting dragon armies with her warrior children. You can read more about her at catherineegan.com. Follow her on Twitter at @ByCatherineEgan.

Don’t miss the rest of the JULIA VANISHES blog tour stops!

GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive a copy of JULIA VANISHES by Catherine Egan! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below and good luck!! US entries only!

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The Book Addict’s Guide’s Four Year Blogoversary!

book addict's guide blogoversaryIt’s my four year blogoversary!

I can’t believe that FOUR years have already gone by since I decided to start a blog dedicated to books and book-related things! I still remember way back in the day when I decided to start a book blog. I don’t even remember why I decided to blog since I didn’t know anyone who did but I felt like I needed an outlet that was more than just Goodreads reviews. My main goal was to review books to help people find some really good reads out there and four years later, that’s still my number one priority! From reviews to recommendation posts to random bookish fun, I always love sharing thoughts and recommending my favorite reads (and a little bit of everything else bookish in between)!

I think the most interesting thing to reflect on is how much book blogging has truly impacted my life inside and outside of the book world. I’ve found some incredibly amazing books and series that have brought new perspectives on things, shocked me with their creativity, or were just plain fun to read. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to attend book events like BEA and ALA and to attend book events throughout Chicagoland and meet so many amazing authors. I’m forever thankful for publishers, authors, friends, and blog readers alike for their constant support and opportunities to allow me to grow through my blog and be a part of things I didn’t even know would be dreams of mine when I first started my own little corner of the internet.

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The biggest impact this blog has made on my life is in my real life friendships. I never thought I would meet friends over the internet (it’s what your parents always warn you about!) but these people who started out as strangers and liked the same books I did turned into life-long friends and incredibly important parts of my life. I’m sure you see the posts and events that I co-host with my friends but our friendship extends so much further beyond blog posts and Twitter chats and I’m forever grateful that I have found these people who enrich my life so much further beyond just books. They have been a shoulder to cry on, bridesmaids in my wedding, travel companions, people I cross the country for, and advice gurus. I had no idea I would find soul friends as well as so many other close friends through this community and that’s been the best surprise of all!

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No matter how well we know each other or whether our relationship is personal or professional, I want each reader of this post to know that I couldn’t have had such success with this blog without you! I truly value each and every reader, every comment, every Tweet and Instagram like, and everything in between. I’ve come to love this blog so fiercely. Even after four  years, I’m still absolutely head over heels with it and the reason for this passion is because of this amazing community that I’m so thankful to be a part of. Thank YOU for making this blog such an important part of my life. I’m always so grateful for the constant support. I know that blogging, reading, commenting, chatting, and keeping up with my little web page takes up valuable time and I’m so thankful that you consider me and my opinions to be worth it. I’m hoping for many more years to come and I’m looking forward to so much more with all of these friends, old and new!

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I also never expected books and blogging to lead me into a career path (well, I don’t know if it’ll ever turn into a career but you know… goals!) when I got the inspiration to start Novelly Yours (my candle shop). I wanted to make candles, just as something fun to do, and ended up relating them to books, opening and Etsy shop, and turning it into something I could share with friends and fellow book-lovers! It really wasn’t about making money or finding something to turn a profit — I was just having so much fun with what I was making and wanted to share it with other book people!! I’ve been so blown away by its success and I cannot thank everyone enough for the support throughout the opening and development of this shop! I’m still so in love with what I do and I cannot wait to keep coming up with new candle ideas!

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GIVEAWAY

I’ve been hanging on to a few 2016 ARCs for my blogoversary giveaway! The winner of this giveaway will receive ALL of the 2016 ARCs in the stack pictured below. This giveaway is for US residents only (or if you are int’l and have someone in the US I can ship it to). Winner must be 13 years of age or older to win. Enter the Rafflecopter form below to enter!

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The Book Addict’s Guide’s Birthday + Giveaway | 2016

bdaygiveaway

Hooray! It’s my birthday!

Last year I did this long and detailed write-up about all of my favorite things that had happened from one birthday to the next but I feel like I just did that for my year-end wrap up and you guys have more important things to do than relive all of my old posts so I scrapped that idea! Instead, we are going to talk about one of the most important things about birthdays and maybe one of the most important things in the world: CAKE. It’s a CAKE-THEMED post today, just for fun!

“CAKE” BOOKS

I did a quick search and only had a few books with “cake” in the title (and really, this search and this post only made me so hungry) but I figured I’d share them with you and you can get hungry over them too!

Night of Cake & Puppets (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2.5)    Strawberry Shortcake Murder (Hannah Swensen, #2)    100 Days of Cake

NIGHT OF CAKE AND PUPPETS from the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy and it’s one of my favorite novellas of ALL. TIME. It’s about Mik and Zuzana and how they got together which is a simply delightful story and Zuzana is one of my favorite best friend characters of all time. This series was wonderful but this novella just added so much more to it and I got to spend time with two of my favorite supporting characters. Plus, cake.

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE MURDER is the second book in the Hannah Swensen cozy mystery series. Each book comes with a recipe and I’ve actually made a few and they’re pretty delicious! I actually haven’t read any of these books in a long time because there’s a rather strange love triangle in them and the last I heard, she still hadn’t picked a guy. I didn’t mind the triangle aspect but I thought she was a bit too serious with both guys to really keep both of them on the hook and that actually bothered me enough to put this series on hold. I really had enjoyed them for a long time though and this was a series that really brought me back into reading again after my “dark days”.

100 DAYS OF CAKE is new to my TBR and it sounds very good! I haven’t started it yet but it comes out in May and it sounds like it’s going to be very down to earth and captivating while highlighting the importance of awareness for mental illness. I’m excited to read it because it sounds like it’s going to be realistic and still pack some humor in there. I’m hoping it becomes a new favorite. Plus, even though that cake on the cover is smashed, it still looks insanely delicious.

MY FAVORITE CAKES FROM BOOKS

  • Celaena’s Chocolate Cake from THRONE OF GLASS: Celaena loves chocolate and maybe more importantly, she loves chocolate CAKE. I love this book and series so much that I had to make a candle for it. Also, anything that smells like cake… I’m gonna need it.
  • Michelle & Scarlet Benoit’s Lemon Cake from The Lunar Chronicles: This lemon cake sounds just divine! I can honestly picture and I wish I could really taste it! It’s featured in a few different books throughout the series and the moments where the characters eat the cake leave me with a happy feeling as well!
  • Dauntless Cake from DIVERGENT: Dauntless cake sounds absolutely delicous. Every time I hear about it, it makes my mouth water!
  • November Cakes from THE SCORPIO RACES: We actually made Maggie Stiefvater’s recipe for November Cakes and they were soooo good. I had dreamed about them for years and they smell and taste like heaven!
  • Harry’s first birthday cake (11th birthday) in HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE: Awww how special is Harry’s birthday cake! I just adore the moment when Hagrid brings it to him. I’m not sure how good it would taste being that Hagrid made it… but the moment is touching all the same!

GIVEAWAY

Of course there are some birthday giveaways!! I’ve got a few special prizes that I’ve been holding onto for such an occasion so check out the different prizes offered and enter the Rafflecopter forms below! Each giveaway is US ONLY (sorry, international! It’s just too expensive for me right now) and you must enter the Rafflecopter form for each prize you want to be eligible to win. Check ’em out and get to entering!

Hardcover copy of TRUTHWITCH by Susan Dennard
+ Truthwitch candle from Novelly Yours

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PRIZE PACK OF 6 BOOKS

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Allegiant by Veronica Roth | Book and Movie Screening Contest/Giveaway!

The ALLEGIANT movie is coming!!

ALLEGIANT - Final Poster

Thanks to the wonderful folks at Lionsgate, I have a special post and offer today for all you Divergent series fans. Want to see the Allegiant movie before anyone else? I’ve got an opportunity for one grand prize winner (a resident of IL or WI) to win passes to an advanced screening!

I’m so excited and thrilled that this series has become so big! Aside from Twilight and The Hunger Games, DIVERGENT became one of the biggest YA series-to-movies yet and the Allegiant movie is going to be epic!

If you haven’t seen the movie trailer yet, you can check that out plus cast and movie info below! 

ALLEGIANT

Cast: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Jeff Daniels, Octavia Spencer, Ray Stevenson, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Mekhi Phifer, Daniel Dae Kim, Bill Skarsgård, Nadia Hilker, and Naomi Watts
Directed by: Robert Schwentke
Based on: The Novel ALLEGIANT by Veronica Roth

The third installment of the blockbuster Divergent series franchise, ALLEGIANT takes Tris [Shailene Woodley] and Four [Theo James] into a new world, far more dangerous than ever before.

After the earth-shattering revelations of INSURGENT, Tris must escape with Four and go beyond the wall enclosing Chicago. For the first time ever, they will leave the only city and family they have ever known. Once outside, old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless with the revelation of shocking new truths. Tris and Four must quickly decide who they can trust as a ruthless battle ignites beyond the walls of Chicago which threatens all of humanity. In order to survive, Tris will be forced to make impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice and love.

Facebook: The Divergent Series | Twitter: Divergent | #Allegiant

So what do you think?? Are you pumped to see Allegiant!? 

ALLEGIANT CONTEST!

The amazing folks at Lionsgate have offered a giveaway for five lucky winners!
** PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS GIVEAWAY IS ONLY ELIGIBLE FOR ILLINOIS AND WISCONSIN RESIDENTS ** I wish that we could include everyone but this is a regional giveaway!
Five winners will win an Allegiant-themed prize pack and one grand-prize winner will two advanced-screening passes to the movie in either Chicago, IL or Wauwatosa, WI!

RULES:

  • IL OR WI RESIDENTS ONLY. This is a regional giveaway based on the possibility of winning the grand prize to attend the screening in Chicago or Wauwatosa!
  • If you are the grand prize winner, you will be invited to the advanced screening at 7pm on Tuesday, March 15th in your respective city. Please make sure you are able to attend before entering the contest!
  • The contest will be open through March 10th and the winner will be selected randomly by Lionsgate on March 11th at noon!
  • Visit the link below to enter the contest! 

Go forth and enter! And good luck!! 

ENTER THE ALLEGIANT CONTEST AND GIVEAWAY! 

Rebel of the Sands Promo + Giveaway | The Blog Legendary For…

In conjunction with Penguin Teen, I’m sharing a fun post today and sharing a little more info about REBEL OF THE SANDS by Alwyn Hamilton! Main character Amani is quickly becoming legendary for her sharp-shooting skills and she sounds exactly like the kind of main character I quickly become best friends with! Penguin invited us to share our own blogger “reputation titles” and what we would be best known for! For me, it was an easy one and I couldn’t NOT use it after Rachel told me that my Gayle Forman collection was part of the reason she included the idea in the email! The Book Addict’s Guide is…

LEGENDARY FOR AMASSING BOOK COLLECTIONS 

I have always been a collector, even when I was a kid, and when I started latching onto my favorite series, I ended up wanting to own all of the copies in the series and literally ever possible different versions of the book that I can find! Collecting books/series is a really fun way for me to revel in them after the stories are over. It’s always exciting to add a new book to my collection and I’m sort of addicted to seeing how many I can acquire!! Once I’ve obtained all of the possible US versions, I usually end up moving on to foreign editions and some of my book collections have grown quite a lot over the past few years!

I think my Gayle Forman collecting kind of kicked it off. I can’t remember in what order I started acquiring collections but I specifically remember how this one started! I attended Anderson’s Young Adult Book Conference. I was used to events like BEA where books were provided/given away and I really should have asked about this before attending (obviously Anderson’s is a bookstore so why would they give books away for free…) so when I got to meet Gayle Forman and have her sign books and I didn’t have mine with me, it was seriously a travesty. I had paperbacks of IF I STAY and WHERE SHE WENT at home and had yet to own JUST ONE YEAR had just come out. (I don’t remember what  my JUST ONE DAY situation was but I guess I ended up buying it…) So I went to the conference bookstore and bought hardcovers of IF I STAY and WHERE SHE WENT since I already had the paperbacks. I was just going to give the paperbacks away once I got back home but I couldn’t bear to part with them! And so my Gayle Forman collection began. I started adding more, in search of the ARCs (I’m still trying to hunt down and IF I STAY ARC, as impossible as that may seem) and won a German paperback From Gayle herself! My collection keeps growing each time a new book comes out too!


 

I already had smaller collections of The Lunar Chronicles and The Grisha Trilogy started at this point with both hardcovers and paperbacks since my blog was mentioned in the paperback releases of those series. At that point, I figured I might as well round it out with all of the paperbacks since I loved the series so much and then those collections continued to grow with more and more versions including any foreign versions I could find/afford. My friends have even bought a few foreign versions for me for birthdays/holidays and sometimes just because they found one and know I am a collector! (Seriously, these friends are the BEST.) My collecting has slowed just a bit since I’ve caught up on most of the foreign editions I can find/afford but I just keep on amassing new books and I’m strangely proud of how many I own!! I’ve actually started to become the person that people turn to when they see a new edition or any Lunar Chronicles news because they know how obsessed I am! 🙂

 

BOOK INFO

Don’t miss REBEL OF THE SANDS, on sale March 8th, 2016! It sounds absolutely amazing and I think it will be a bit hit this spring! Check out all of the book info below and the links to pre-order!! 

Rebel of the Sands Promo + Giveaway | The Blog Legendary For…Title: Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands #1) by Alwyn Hamilton
Publishing Info: March 8, 2016 by Penguin
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: N/A
Related Posts: Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands #1), Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2)

She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.
Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there's nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can't wait to escape from.
Destined to wind up "wed or dead," Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she'd gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan's army, with a fugitive who's wanted for treason. And she'd never have predicted she'd fall in love with him...or that he'd help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.

PRE-ORDER: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Penguin Random House

GIVEAWAY

Penguin Teen is also providing a giveaway for a few lucky people to win a hardcover of REBEL OF THE SANDS plus a promo totes bag and hourglass! Enter the giveaway below!!

US entries only, please. The giveaway is open until March 4th, 2016. 

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Life Lessons From Gayle Forman | Favorite Quotes

Gayle Forman is one of my all-time favorite authors. IF I STAY was one of the first young adult contemporary books that I read (thank you, book bloggers, for the rec!) way back when I first started blogging. I instantly fell in love with her writing, her characters, and how much emotion she could pack into a story that was just over 200 pages. I didn’t hesitate to pick up every book of Gayle’s that followed and I’ve truly loved each and every one of them.

One of the things that I love the most about Gayle Forman’s books is the ability to feel the intensity of each character’s feelings and how well I can relate to them on any scale. There are some amazingly beautiful quotes that have really touched me personally and some wonderful characters that I felt completely connected to, like Allyson in JUST ONE DAY and Adam in WHERE SHE WENT.

I’ve become a little bit (okay, a lot) obsessed with Gayle Forman’s books… and the collector in me naturally couldn’t resist any format of her collection that I could get my hands on. I started with adding the hardcovers to my collection when I purchased them upon meeting her (!!!) and then slowly but surely filled out the entire collection! I only collect the books that really mean a lot to me so clearly this shows exactly how much they really are a part of my life!




Today, we’re celebrating the life lessons that Gayle Forman has taught us in conjunction with Penguin Teen’s celebration and launch of the I WAS HERE paperback release. I’ve selected some of my all-time favorite quotes to share with you today and my favorite life-lessons that I’ve learned from Gayle Forman books. I’ve said it in previous posts but it always bears repeating that I truly have learned so much about myself through her characters and the stories that she’s penned for her readers. I relived and worked through situations from my past through their experiences and learned to let go of things I didn’t even realize I was holding onto. Her books have truly been life lessons to me and I’m so grateful for each one of them and the things that I take from them!

FAVORITE QUOTES

if i stay quote     where she went quote Just one day quote     just one day quote just one day quote     i was here quote

Which Gayle Forman quote or book is your favorite? Which book speaks the most to you? I think for me, it was JUST ONE DAY!

And don’t miss Penguin Teen’s own life-lessons on their Tumblr account! Check out “Six Life Lessons You Learned from Gayle Forman“!

GIVEAWAY

Oh, yes! There’s also a giveaway! Penguin Teen is giving away Gayle Forman’s complete collection in paperback to five lucky winners! The  books included will be: I WAS HERE paperback, JUST ONE DAY box set (JUST ONE DAY, JUST ONE YEAR, JUST ONE NIGHT), and IF I STAY box set (IF I STAY, WHERE SHE WENT). US Residents only, please. Must be 13 years of age or older to win. Good luck! 

 

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The Choice by Nicholas Sparks | Book and Movie Screening Contest/Giveaway!

Are you ready for THE CHOICE?

THE CHOICE - Final Poster

Thanks to the wonderful folks at Lionsgate, I have a special post today all about Nicholas Sparks’ latest book-to-movie release, THE CHOICE!

I was immediately hooked on THE NOTEBOOK when I first saw the movie back in 2004 (WOW, that was over ten years ago already?!) and quickly went back to read the book. Shortly thereafter, I began picking up even more Nicholas Sparks books because I was so quickly captivated and wanted more!

If you haven’t seen the movie trailer yet, Nicholas Sparks’ latest book-to-movie THE CHOICE is hitting theaters on Tuesday, February 5th (and boy, does it look goooood). Every time I see one of these trailers, it always makes me instantly want to go back and pick up the book (if I haven’t read it yet)! Check out the trailer below along with movie and cast info!

Cast: Benjamin Walker, Teresa Palmer, Maggie Grace, Alexandra Daddario, Tom Welling, Brett Rice, and Tom Wilkinson
Based on: The novel by Nicholas Sparks

When feisty medical student Gabby Holland moves in next door to perennial ladies’ man Travis Shaw, they embark on a surprising romantic journey neither imagined possible. Travis has always believed a serious relationship would cramp his easygoing lifestyle, while Gabby is preparing to settle down with her long-term boyfriend—until an irresistible attraction between the unlikely couple upends both of their well-planned lives. Spanning a decade and tracing the evolution of a love affair that is ultimately tested by life’s most defining events, this story features a memorable ensemble of friends and family in Sparks’s beloved North Carolina setting, culminating with the question that every couple must ask themselves:  how far would you go to keep the hope of love alive?

TheChoice.Movie | www.facebook.com/TheChoiceFilm | www.twitter.com/TheChoiceFilm | www.instagram.com/TheChoiceFilm | #TheChoice | #ChooseLove

So what do you think of the trailer?  I swear, these just suck me in. 

THE CHOICE CONTEST!

The amazing folks at Lionsgate have offered a giveaway for five lucky winners!
** PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS GIVEAWAY IS ONLY ELIGIBLE FOR ILLINOIS AND WISCONSIN RESIDENTS ** I wish that we could include everyone but this is a regional giveaway!
Five winners will receive a physical copy of THE CHOICE by Nicholas Sparks and one grand-prize winner will two advanced-screening passes to the movie in either Chicago, IL or Wauwatosa, WI as well as a copy of the book!

RULES:

  • IL OR WI RESIDENTS ONLY. This is a regional giveaway based on the possibility of winning the grand prize to attend the screening in Chicago or Wauwatosa!
  • If you are the grand prize winner, you will be invited to the advanced screening at 7pm on Monday, February 1st in your respective city. Please make sure you are able to attend before entering the contest!
  • The contest will be open through January 29th and the winner will be selected randomly by Lionsgate on 1/29 at noon!
  • Visit the link below to enter the contest! 

Go forth and enter! And good luck!! 

ENTER THE CHOICE CONTEST AND GIVEAWAY!