Wednesday, November 30, 2016

NaNoWriMo Update

So today is the last day of NaNoWriMo, have you guys finished yet? Working till the last minute to make it? 

I finished about a week ago and then a few days ago I actually completed my novel. So I'm excited to say that I'm a NaNoWriMo 2016 winner! I worked my ass off to make sure I got the word count. There was some days when I wanted to throw my computer out the window and other days I actually cried, worried I wouldn't make it, worried that if I did make it no one would ever like it. 

No one has read the novel I wrote, I'm still working on a title. I like Blood Wars but my partner says that's not cool and likes Bloodlines. So it really doesn't have a title yet. I would love to see it published but as it was pointed out to me, the vampire craze died and I'm the only one that still loves them. So it will now never see the light. 

I will probably never do NaNoWriMo again. Not because I can't do it, because I know I can, even if most don't believe me. I'm not going too because I write things that no one else likes and it's a waste of my time. I could be working more and doing something useful. 

I hope you all made your goals or just finished today. Congratulations to all the winners and don't worry if you didn't win, you still wrote and that is a wonderful thing. 

Hope you're all having a great week! Happy reading my friends! 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday - Harry Potter Gift Guide

This meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

So great gifts for the Harry Potter fan in your life. I found so many awesome Harry Potter things at Barnes and Noble and it easily inspired this list. So without further ado, let's dive into it.

You could also go with some clothes. 

Or go for something a little more collectible. 

If the one your buying for likes games... 

2) TRIVIAL PURSUIT: World of Harry Potter Edition

This gift is one that is at the top of my list personally. I'm hoping my sister gets it for me. Fingers crossed!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Music Monday - All Time Favorite K-Pop songs

This awesome meme is hosted over at Always Me.

So this week past week has been so busy. A holiday, work, NaNoWriMo. Yeah super busy but also nice. I've enjoyed this past week a lot. Now comes the start of a new week though and I hope it's just as good.

I also hope you butterflies are having a good week.

This Music Monday is going to show off two of my favorite K-Pop songs of all time. They are some new ones but I know I will love them forever and ever.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Raven Boys - Review

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Gansey is different. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been told by her psychic family that she will kill her true love. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Book Breakdown

Guys. Guys. GUYS! This book. OMG this book! So I tried reading this sometime last year and could not get through the first 100 pages. I will say that this book is very slow to start, it actually stays pretty slow for a long time but it's building the characters and the world is very well built during this time. It really enriches the story.

I love all the characters so much! I will say that Adam is sad as can be. I understand where he's coming from and it's great he wants to be a self created man but I don't understand why he doesn't except the help from his friends. They only want to help!

Ronan is... I don't even have words for him, at first I thought he was kind of an ass and then you really get to know him. You see why he is the way he is. He's such a strong and well developed character. One of the best I've ever seen honestly.

Then Blue, I love her! I love how she's so different from the average girl. I really love her family. They are too cool, I would love to live her family, There would never be a dull moment at all. Though I feel so bad for her, her true love will die if she kisses him.

That leaves Gansey. Oh my wonderful sweet and strange Gansey. He is such an old soul, so different from anyone his age. I love him so much. He's so caring and kind and also I feel so bad for him. Enough said.

I'd never heard of Ley Lines before this novel, so I went and actually looked up some of this stuff. I'm one of those people that like all this strange stuff. If you meet me in real life... I'm weird guys, I find this kind of thing really cool. Do I actually believe in any of it... not really. But it's cool to learn new things and these ley lines are pretty cool. So that was awesome to see.

I love the plot, it's well thought out and flushed so perfectly, that I honestly saw no mistakes and that's rare for me. Usually every book has a few mistakes or at least one. This one was awesome! I'm already reading the second one and it's just as good.

So if you've not read this book yet, then got onto it! You won't regret it!

Friday, November 25, 2016

50/50 Friday - Best/Worst World an Author has Created

50/50 Friday is a weekly meme hosted by myself and the wonderful Laura from Blue Eye Books.

What is 50/50 Friday? 
Everyone has a favorite and then we also have something we dislike. Like a coin, there are two sides to every question. Example: best sequel you've read/worst sequel you've read.

This Week's Topic
Best/Worst World an Author has Created

This is my pick for worst world, there is so many questions I still had that were never answered. I think this series could have been so freaking amazing! 

This is one of the best worlds that I've ever seen. I also love this series to pieces. It could not possibly get any better. The author really takes her time building this world and I love her for it.

Next Week's Topic
Character most/least likely to go cliff-diving

Be sure and link up! I can't wait to see your opinion and thoughts! Have a great weekend. If you live in the USA, I hope your Thanksgiving was great!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope all my American friends have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Eat lots of good food and enjoy the family time. To all my international friends, I just hope you guys have a great day! I will be working Thanksgiving so my partner's family is having it Friday. I will be away from my family is year, once again. For reasons that I now know and actually doesn't bother me anymore.

Love to you all. Happy reading and be nice to everyone, always. 

- Carrie 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

An Ember in the Ashes - Review (Diverse Reads)

Laia is a slave. 

Elias is a soldier. 

Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

Audio Book Breakdown

Holy Shit.

Laia is just a normal girl, well as normal as a Scholar could be in this world. Least she wasn't a slave. Still, it's a very dark world. Life is not fun here. The Scholar's were overtaken and enslaved by the Martials. A brutal, vile people.

She's left without her family one night after a raid. Her grandmama and grandpapa were killed and her older brother was taken in the raid. She goes to the Scholar Rebellion and demands that they break her brother out since she thought he was working with them.

The leader says he will help her on one condition, she becomes a spy in the worst place ever, for the worst person ever but through that she meets Elias...

Elias is a Martial, he was breed for death. To be a solider that does nothing but kill or rape. Just horrid things. All this for the glory of the Empire.

Our two little lovelies end up crossing paths and find themselves drawn to each other but also others... this is my one gripe with this books. There are two love triangles... yeah two. Not cool. I don't like that at all. I just wish there was Laia and Elias. That would be good enough and fill my need for romance perfectly.

This world is not a nice place, it's one of the darkest places I've ever read about. There is hardly any hope, anything happy in this world. That being said, I could not get enough. I loved this book so much.

The end is something I did see coming, it was pretty easy to guess. That didn't make it any less good, I often see plot twists and still enjoy a book greatly.

There is also diverse characters in this book which is awesome! This book was so hyped and everyone wanted to read it and it has diverse characters! Look people at what we are starting to do! I consider this a major victory.

The writing is flawless, for a debut it's amazing!

I'm trying not to give spoilers and this is all I can really say. If you like dark and brutal worlds, with the smallest amount of hope. If you like character driven books and slight romance, then this is for you.

I also love the voices they used for the characters. It really helped me envelop inside the story. I can't stand audio books that have horrid narration. So not only do I recommend this book but this audio book as well. It's great!

Friday, November 18, 2016

50/50 Friday + Feature & Follow Friday

50/50 Friday is a weekly meme hosted by myself and the wonderful Laura from Blue Eye Books.

What is 50/50 Friday? 
Everyone has a favorite and then we also have something we dislike. Like a coin, there are two sides to every question. Example: best sequel you've read/worst sequel you've read.

This Week's Topic
Best/Worst book an author has published.

This one is an easy one for me. I am going to use the same author for both books. I'm sure if you think that about for like a split second you'll know who I'm going to choose. 

Best Book
Divergent is an amazing books! I still love it to this day, I remember reading it when it first came out, it took my breath away. I went out and bought the collector's edition when it came out I love this book so much. I also like to pretend it's a standalone. So on that note this leads me to the worst book written by Veronica Roth...

I honestly have never disliked a book so much. If I don't like a book I can still find good things about it.. not this. I'm sorry but this book... was she drunk when she wrote it? Did she not care about this series anymore? I just don't understand. I'm sorry if you like this book, I'm not telling you to hate it, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. If you enjoyed this book, I'm happy for you. I wish I could have liked this book too. 

Next Week's Topic
Best/Worst world an author has created.

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me, everyone wins.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.

Favorite Scary Story 

My favorite scary story... Would have to choose the story of Dracula. That's a pretty scary story I'd say. Not like scary as in 'oh my God, I must sleep with the light on or better yet never sleep again' scary but it's still considered horror so I think this works.

So yeah Dracula, it was also the first 'scary' book I ever read, so that could be why I love it so much. I also love this edition. It's so freaking beautiful.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Interview with Michelle Johnson (Author of the Oleah Chronicles)

So I'm excited to bring to you this awesome interview. I'm so thankful to Michelle for agreeing to this and for taking the time out to answer my questions. So if you've never heard of Michelle Johnson before, (what have you been doing with your life?) she's the author of the epic Oleah Chronicles. 
Her two books so far have been so great! They are also diverse, so anyone who has switched to only diverse reads, this is for you as well! 
Book #1 
Book #2

So can I just say how stunning the cover model is? She is so beautiful and I think she fits Angel really well.I see her in my mind when I read this series. 

1) Do you have any strange writing rituals/routines?
I don't think I do. My routine usually involves me rereading everything I wrote the day before to get back in the mood, then start adding to the previous scene. Sometimes, the scenes play quite vividly in my mind and tend to replay over and over as I'm trying to figure out what the next step is, but I wouldn't call that strange. Many authors - including myself - are already weirdos as it is. :) 

2) Who is your favorite character in the series?
It's really a toss up between Angel and Zander. Angel is still finding out so much about herself, while Zander is so sure of who he is. Both have so many layers that readers still have yet to see, but if I had to choose I would say Zander. Creating his mind and thought process always tends to excite me. He's known so much dark in his life and a lot of that is etched in him regardless of how "light" he is now. I love poking and prodding around in his head.

3) If you could cast your characters in a movie, who would play them? 
Hmmmmm.....Most of these I've used so many times on my instagram when posting scene quotes.
Satine would be Zoe Saldana. 
Eli - David Gandy. 
Zander - Francisco Lachowski. 
Julie - Emilia Clarke. 
Kovu - I'm not really too sure about him to be honest. Someone that resembles Tyson Beckford but much younger. 
Coral - another one I'm not too sure about since she's technically a toddler in appearance.
Uncle Lou - Goncalo Teixera - not too sure if he can act, but he's got the whole dark and handsome thing going on.
Last but most definitely not least, Angel would be played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw - just the younger version of herself.

4) What was the hardest scene to write for Justice? 
The last scene was the hardest. I had to rewrite it many times because I had a hard time conveying Angels pain. I wanted readers to feel how raw but numb she was. It wasn't easy, that's for sure.

5) If you could only read one genre of books for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
Paranormal Romance till the day I die! Love, love, LOVE IT!

6) What inspired you to become an author?
It wasn't my intention to become an author, I just started writing the story one day with plans to only keep it to myself. The push came from friends that read it, otherwise I would have continued to be too scared to release it to the public.

7) How did you come up with the idea for the Oleah Chronicles?
I'm not too sure to be honest. I just sat down to write one day and the words just kept flowing like I'd pre planned it all along. It sounds cheesy but it's almost like the universe put the story in my mind and trapped it, waiting for just the right moment to get me on the computer and get it out. It's a big mishmash of all the things I love - vampires, lions, romance, mythology - all rolled into one.

8) What advice would you give to any aspiring authors out there?
Don't listen to that annoying little voice that keeps telling you that you're not good enough. You will never know your true potential or capability until you take a risk and put yourself out there. I was convinced that no one would enjoy my story, but was floored to discover that not only were people reading it, but they were enjoying it too. Best risk I've ever taken.

9) Lastly, can you give any spoilers for the next novel in the Oleah Chronicles? 
Spoilers, hmm.... Well, I can say that readers finally get to experience Uforika. Angel and her family do finally go back to their planet for good. Everything else will remain a mystery, but shit definitely gets real. The last installment is the darkest of all three.

Want to dive into this action packed story? Get yours at one these online retailers. 

Author Bio 

Throughout my childhood I was always told I had a very creative imagination. I was drawn to stories of mythical creatures and all things that would usually give my peers the heebie geebies. Shows like Tales from the Crypt Keeper and Buffy the Vampire Slayer were among some of my favourites.

I developed a strong passion for design and illustration, drawing the ideas that arose in my head and finding great excitement in bringing them to life. This led me to pursue a career in graphic design and marketing so that I could always use my creativity to the fullest.

I have always loved reading and the way a compelling story would allow my mind to absorb its detailed imagery. I began to use writing as a tool to bring my creative thoughts to fruition one day, which has brought me to this moment.

I'm a romantic at heart and a sucker for stories about true love which is reflected in my writing and helped bring the Oleah Chronicles to life. I hope you enjoy my first book and through it you experience the eccentric vision that began in my mind so long ago.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Music Monday and NaNoWriMo Update

So this is a very late to the party post but I wanted to come out and say that I am doing NaNoWriMo this year. I've already gotten over 25,000 words. I've been writing hard every single day. I've been writing so much that I've not read in days more than a chapter or two at a time. I've not posted as much on my blog either. Sorry for the later.

The book I'm writing this year is one that I would love to see published but it probably wouldn't be because it's about vampires. It's a NA adult paranormal romance. It's also got lots of action. I plan to actually finish this once. Last year I wrote 3/4 of a book and stopped. So while I am doing NaNoWriMo, I'm doing it a bit differently, I plan to finish my book by the end of this month, even if that means writing way more than 50,000 words.

Once I actually finish the book and edit it, I may post some chapters here for feedback. So if you'd like to read some of chapters let me know! That would be a big help. Also, I will be looking for Beta readers, so if that is something you'd be interested in, again, let me know.

Are any of you guys doing NaNoWriMo this year? How far along are you guys? What are your projects? 

Good luck no matter what you're doing! May we all reach our goals! 

This awesome meme is hosted over at Always Me.

So since I've been writing everyday for hours a day. I've found some awesome new music and artists, which makes me happy. I love finding new music. This song helped me write a scene where my MC finds out she's been lied to by almost everyone around her and the only one she can trust is herself.

I will have to share the link only to this one as YouTube keeps taking it down, even when I use the Nightcore version or covers. Sorry guys.

Tove Lo - Imaginary Friend

These lyrics fit the most. It's kind of freaking how well they fit the scene.

Crushing my heart, tear me apart
Hate on this world 'cause reality sucks
Feeling their doubt, shut them all out
Crushing my heart, tear me apart
Hate on this world 'cause reality sucks
Feeling their doubt, shut them all out
‘Cause I need you

Imaginary friend, stay with me 'til the end now
Keeping me dreaming
Imaginary friend, stay with me 'til the end now
Over, over again

This one helped me write the scene when my MC had to finally make the kill she was trying to avoid over half the book. It was hard and left me in tears. The scene not the song ha ha.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

2 Year Blog Anniversary + Giveaway!

That's right, this day back in 2014, I wrote my very first review. It's awful, I'm not even kidding. I couldn't even get through it. Not that my reviews are any better now... I'm so bad at proofreading that there is so many mistakes in my reviews it's not funny. So to all of you for reading  my reviews anyway. You guys are the most amazing people in the world and I love you all. If I could I would send you all free books for a year but I'm not that rich so I'm sorry. 

So on the blog this year there has been 165 posts which is 55 less than my first year. I did promoted from part time to full time and have had less time. I have read more books this year compared to the year before. 

I started a book meme this year with the help of Laura @Blue Eye Books. I'm so thankful for her help as without her the meme would never exist and I've had this idea for so long. So thank you Laura. 

This year we also finally moved into our own place, no longer living with anyone anymore so I'm so happy for that! 

Now, where I want to go in the next year... I've been thinking of this a lot. I want to read, I won't say I won't read more because I read a lot already and I'm very happy with my reading pace. I hope I don't get any reading slumps though! Those are the worst!

I will say that I want to finally get the courage to start selling my bookmarks on Etsy. I'm so scared to do that for fear of backlash and hate. 

Also as a thank you for staying by me for another year and to all the new friends that found me this year, this giveaway is for you! It is international. So may the odds be ever in your favor. 

Friday, November 11, 2016

50/50 Friday Best/Worst Villain

50/50 Friday is a weekly meme hosted by myself and the wonderful Laura from Blue Eye Books.

What is 50/50 Friday? 

Everyone has a favorite and then we also have something we dislike. Like a coin, there are two sides to every question. Example: best sequel you've read/worst sequel you've read.

This Week's theme is best/worst Villain. 
So I kind of messed up with one of my last posts and so I'm going to fix it here. I'm going to do best worst villain and author has ever created here. So the author I've chosen it J.K. Rowling and here are my choices. 

Yep! I'm going there. She's such a well written, well thought out character. I also hate her fucking guts. That is a great villain right there! Though I still hate her the most so she gets this spot.

I'm sure everyone saw this coming. He's one of the best written characters J.K. Rowling has ever written.  Voldemort was driving by his quest for power and his desperation to make wizards Pure Bloods.  Believing Harry to the child destined to destroy him, Voldemort tried to attack and kill the boy, which backfired horribly resulting in him being nearly destroyed.  He's a minor, growing threat in the first few books but once he gets a body at the end of Goblet of Fire, he becomes a true menace and forces Harry to confront his destiny.  He's definitely the Joker to Harry's Batman and his motivation feels very believable.  Which is why I think he's the best book villain. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Before Now and After Then - Review (Diverse Reads)

**2015 ELit Book Award Silver Winner for LGBT Fiction**

Danny Goldstein has always lived in the shadow of his identical, twin brother Sam. But when a hurricane of events forces him into the spotlight, he starts to realize that the only thing he’s truly afraid of is himself.

With the help of his costume changing friend Cher, a famous gay uncle with a mysterious past of his own, two aging punk rocker parents and Rusty, the boy who will become his something to live for, Danny begins to realize that the music of the heart is truly the soundtrack for living.

Book Breakdown 

OMG you guys! This book is everything I've been looking for to fulfill LGBT needs!  It's a cute, heartbreaking, and eye opening kind of novel. 

It's all about a guy trying to find out who he is after the death of his twin. It's about his family coming to terms with the death of their son and their other son being gay. It's about Danny finding this first love and first true friend. It's about his growing up in such a short period of time. It's about loss and love. It even had bullies. This novel kind of has everything except vampires... ha ha.

It's utterly wonderful! I loved watching the journey and Danny finding himself. I also thought it was also a great thing for Danny to be fine with his sexuality. Most LGBT books are about the person coming out and dealing with all that kind of stuff. This one isn't, Danny is gay, and he's already totally fine with it. 

This book actually has one of my favorite quotes ever, it also hits home all of my problems about some authors and how they write their LGBT characters. 

"You bring me books and movies so I can relate to these characters who I don't feel like I have anything in common with other than we're all gay. You want me to talk to Alex because you think he can teach me secret gay ways to the world.Why can't I just be some guy who happens to like other guys?" - Location 1513 (Kindle Version) 

That ladies and gentlemen is the perfect thing I've ever read. I dislike that a lot of authors make LGBT characters that if you take away that character's sexuality, they vanish. They are nothing more than their sexuality. Which is not a real thing. We are and always will be more than just our sexuality. So I was glad to see this. Because this is how it really works. 

I love that is you take away the fact that Danny is gay, he's still a real person. It's the same for me, if you took the fact that I'm bi sexual away, I'm still a person. My sexuality is not all of who I am, it's just a part of who I am. 

The writing is fast and fun. I read this book at work and it was easy to follow while getting interrupted so many times. Also I could just see Peter's personality coming out during this book. I think that made it ever better for me. 

This is such a needed book that I hope everyone reads it. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

October Wrap Up!

I read so many books this month! I've also been working my ass off and been through a lot. It's amazing to see how much I read now that we live in our own apartment instead of sharing a place with others.  I've read a total of 25 books! Yes, some of these are manga but still this is so great for me! 

So what did I read this month?

I read Hot Gimmick volumes 1-6

The Raven Boys

Origin (Lux #4) 

An Ember in the Ashes

A Torch Against the Night

Happy Marriage Volume 10 

Oleah Chronicles: Justice

Arrivals (Tremontaine #1.1)

Umta (ReMade 1.5)

Reality No-Show (ReMade 1.6)

Lessons in Gravity 

Nobody's Goddess

The Dream Protocol 

Scarlet Rain

Untitled Beauty 

The Lovely Reckless

Mourning Train (ReMade 1.7)

End of the Line (ReMade 1.8)

Whiteout (ReMade 1.9) 

P.S. I Love You