Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Leigh Bardugo's Mayhem and Magic Tour: My St. Louis Event Recap

As some of you may know, and as the rest of you are going to find out, I went to Leigh Bardugo’s St. Louis signing last week. I had only found out about it about two weeks before time, so I wasn’t that prepared. I had to pre-order Six of Crows and see if my parents could take me halfway because St. Louis is a three-hour one-way trip from where I live and my car is a piece of crap. Thankfully, my dad was able to drive me part of the way. Thanks, Pops! ;)

I first have to say that I meant to write all of my thoughts and a recap about the signing right after it happened, but life got away with me, so I’m sorry that this will probably not get into a lot of detail.

When I walked into the library’s signing area, the first thing I noticed were the birds. And not just any birds. There were crows. I took (blurry) pictures.

This one is I believe the American crow.

This one is the white-necked raven from Africa.

And finally, this crow has a name sort of like pine-something (far-left). I was trying to text the names of all of them and I missed the last one. Oops.

They were pretty hilarious during Leigh’s reading and Q&A. Every time they cawed, she’d respond to them. One time when one of them cawed, she even joked that it was giving her a one star on Goodreads!

The wait for the Q&A was pretty nice. They had cookies and even some crafts. I tried to do the origami crow thing they had steps and materials for, but the directions were awful, so I gave up. It was a cool idea, though.

Now, I should get onto the good stuff. When Leigh actually came out of wherever it was they were stashing her, she immediately rushed to take pictures of the crows. If I was an author, I think this would be a very cool perk of the job. You get to have live birds at your author signing, how cool!

After the birds, Leigh came over and read an excerpt of Six of Crows to us, obviously. And she did it with accents! It was awesome! She said that she had caught a cold somewhere on tour, but I don’t think it affected her voice that much. She just had a few sniffles. Oh! And she also read a poem she wrote when she was 11. It was called “Transition #2” and was about chaos and innocence. Leigh didn’t know what drama she had going on in her life at the time to be able to write so seriously about innocence at the age of 11. 

Leigh then discussed her influences for Six of Crows, which were 1) that she wanted to step away from “the Chosen One” storyline, 2) her biological dad—the radical Jerusalem criminal, 3) her brawler grandpa (she also discussed a hilarious story about how her grandpa taught her to punch her bus bully), and 4) her stepdad who wanted her to write the American novel, but probably wouldn’t have understand YA literature. She said she probably wouldn’t have written The Grisha Trilogy if he was still alive, just because he wouldn’t have approved.

During the Q&A portion of the night, a question was asked about which Hogwarts House her characters would be in. Here’s a quick rundown:

Kaz = Slytherin
Matthias & Nina = Gryffindor
Jesper = Gryffindor or Ravenclaw
And I totally missed one character but she said s/he would be in Hufflepuff. (I’m assuming this one is Wylan?)

She was also asked a question about relating to her fandom that she replied to as politely as possible. She basically said it’s hard and sometimes there are mean things directed at you, but authors were on Twitter/Facebook/whatever before they actually became authors.

Another question was about theme songs for the characters. She said that that would be too hard to name a song for them all, but she said Kaz’s would be “Sinister Kid.”

Oh, and small tidbit, she said she cried when she met George R.R. Martin for the first time. Yes, somehow she’s been lucky enough to meet him more than once.

After the Q&A, we lined up to sign. Of course I didn’t realize there was a line forming, so I ended up being close to the end. *sigh*

But I met some cool people, one of which (I believe her name is Becca) told me that "crowbar" was the keyword to get more swag. It totally worked! Thanks, Becca!

Then I took a picture with Leigh. She was holding up the books for the pics and I totally didn’t bring the dustjackets for mine because I was going on a long trip and I didn’t want them to get injured, so she took a picture with a naked book. Oh, and I also managed to drop one of the free buttons she was giving out and I was too embarrassed to go back and get it. Plus I really had to go to the restroom. ;)

OH! And Leigh asked me who my favorite character was and I said Mal, so she wrote a Mal quote in Ruin and Rising. Apparently, people in Texas really like Mal, too. But in Brazil, it's all about the Darkling. 


All in all, it was a fun signing and I think I definitely stood outside my comfort zone a little with this one. At the Sarah J. Maas signing I was an awkward wreck and at the HarperTeen signing I was just nervous as all get-out. Maybe by the time I meet Rainbow Rowell I’ll actually be able to string more than two sentences together?

Have you met any authors before? If so, you should let me know who so I can be a jealous fangirl. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

I Am a Book-Buying Addict and This is My Solution.

Okay, guys. It’s that time of year. I just need to slow it down. Slow it waaaay down. I just can’t help myself lately, but it has to stop. This addiction has to stop. For the moment.

I just need to say it loud and say it proud. I AM A BOOK-BUYING ADDICT AND I HAVE A PROBLEM.

Okay, so it’s not necessarily a “problem.” It’s more of a minor inconvenience that could turn into a problem at this point. Why? Because lately I’ve been spending a lot of money on books (I say a lot of money, but I’m still doing better than average—minus being a college kid who’s in thousands of dollars’ worth of debt). And I don’t really have a lot of space for these books. And I don’t want to get rid of any books right now. So I’m doing the thing every book lover hates to do.

I am going on a BOOK-BUYING BAN. *GASP!*

You heard me (read me?). I just need to slow my roll. During the summer I wasn’t reading a lot because of Netflix, but now I’m not watching Netflix and I’m reading. This results in a lot of money spent on books I see floating around the Booktube or book blog community. It needs to stop. I need to read the books I buy, before I buy any new ones.

So my book-buying ban goal is as follows: I will only buy one book AFTER I have read five of the books I already own. However, there are three exceptions. Exception #1) If there is a book I really want on Book Outlet and there are less than 10 copies left, I can buy that book. Exception #2) If a book that I really want comes out and I haven’t pre-ordered it (i.e. Winter), I can buy it only on Amazon. (Amazon is cheap. Sorry, but I’m a college kid. Plus I have Prime.) Exception #3) My local library sale is coming up. I have determine I can spend less than $50 there. Hopefully, I won't even need that amount.

That right there is my book-buying ban goal. What kind of book-buying bans have you guys put yourselves on? Or have you never felt the need to do so? Let me know in the comments.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Stacking the Shelves: The Too Many Books and Too Much Money Edition

"Stacking the Shelves" is a weekly haul meme that is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It allows book buyers to share their accumulation of books with the online book-loving community.

Too many books. I need to stop and save my money. Eat or buy more books? Ugh, life choices.

Antigoddess by Kendare Blake
Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan
Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini
The 5thWave by Rick Yancey

Beauty Awakened by Gena Showalter (not pictured)
Fangirl (Collector’s Edition) and Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

I bought another Book Outlet order because I plan on going to Rainbow Rowell’s St. Louis signing in October and David Levithan is going to be there signing his new book, too. Since the only book I own by him is already signed, I thought I should get something else to take to the event. Thankfully, Book Outlet had some of his books, so I was able to get Invisibility and some others that I really wanted (*cough* Trial by Fire *cough*), all for the price of one hardback book.

And, because I’m going to the signing, I wanted to pick up Attachments and the special edition of Fangirl. The special edition is so pretty, guys. There are no words.

Oh, and I also traded some books in at my local used bookstore for Beauty Awakened.

Ugh. There’s just way too much money that went into all of these and I have more books that are on their way. (Or already here, since they’re supposed to be here by the 30th of September. This post is going up pretty early.) I’ve got to slow waaaaaay down.

What books have you bought/received lately?

Friday, October 2, 2015

Dean Winchester Friday

Dean Winchester (or sometimes Jensen Ackles) Fridays make me a very happy fangirl. You'll see why when you look at the pic.

How does he still look attractive when he’s doing that?

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

The Kiss of Deception
(The Remnant Chronicles #1)
Publication Date: July 8, 2014
Hardcover, 489 pages, Henry Holt & Co.
Genres: YA, Fantasy

A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor's secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can't abide. Like having to marry someone she's never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.

My Review

Another princess. Another love triangle. Another war. Another fantastic book!!!

This book starts off with a familiar phenomenon in fantasy. It has the princess who runs away because she doesn’t want to be in the arranged marriage that will unite her country with a neighboring one. At first I was a little hesitant with just how familiar this plotline was, but I quickly learned that Princess Lia is not someone I should underestimate. Nothing is familiar when it comes to her.

However, Lia wasn’t immediately the spunky, kind-hearted heroine I enjoyed reading about. Her plotline was so unoriginal that, while I thought it was a good fantasy, it wasn’t anything special until about three-fourths of the way in. That burial scene just slaughtered my heart and made me love Lia so much. The whole scene resonated with me and it sent a strong message about war: that war is pointless and it’s destructive.

Other than Lia, there are three other primary characters, two of which are the love interests, Rafe and Kaden. What can I say about them? They’re both completely surprising and I don’t know which one I’m leaning towards more. That plot twist threw me, even though I knew to be on the lookout for one. Anywho, I think I’m leaning towards Rafe, but Kaden isn’t too terribly far behind.

The other character is Lia’s handmaiden/friend Pauline. Her character was a tad predictable and her storyline is the same one that often appears within most YA fantasy best friend plotlines. It irked me, but it was interesting to read about, so I’m not too terribly torn up about it.

All in all, this book is a fantasy book you’ll need to read. Not only is it a good romance story with an entertaining plotline, but it also has important messages about the other side of war, something I believe every person needs to think about.

*Note: I purchased this book for myself. This in no way affected my opinion/review.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Devil and the Deep Release Day Party, Including Free Books and a Giveaway


It’s the release day for Megan Tayte’s Devil and the Deep, the fourth book in her Ceruleans series! And now it’s time to celebrate!

Below you will find info about the book, info about how to get free books, info about how to enter a GIVEAWAY, and more!

Devil and the Deep
(Ceruleans #4)
Publication Date: September 30, 2015
Ebook, 314 pages, Heaven A fire
Genres: YA, Paranormal


Scarlett is living her happy-ever-after, back in the real world. Only the ‘happy’ part is proving problematic.

For starters, there’s the isolation. Being a Cerulean among humans is fraught with risk, so her time with people can only be fleeting. Which means being with Luke but not being with Luke.
Then there’s her Cerulean light, her power over life and death. Less awesome talent, as it turns out, and more overwhelming responsibility. And it comes with rules – rules that are increasingly difficult to obey.

But what’s really pushing Scarlett to the precipice is something much bigger than herself, than her life in the cove. A force to be reckoned with:


When long-buried truths are exposed, will Scarlett keep her head above water – or will she drown in the blood-dimmed tide that is unleashed?

My Thoughts

Sounds wicked, right? Well, there’s more.

Just keep reading…

An Excerpt

It began with screaming. Shrill, ear-piercing, horrified screaming.

A girl shrieked, ‘Blood! Look, look – it’s everywhere!’ and pressed her hand to her mouth.

A man shouted, ‘Good grief!’ and another, ‘Great Scott!’

An old lady swooned gracefully and would have tipped over the balustrade of the riverboat had a lanky lad not caught her.

The cause of the excitement – a woman lying slumped on the long table on deck, cheek on her bread
plate, headdress in the butter dish – twitched a little.

‘She’s alive!’ cried a lad beside her delightedly. ‘She moved!’

‘Did not,’ argued another.

‘Did too!’

‘Gentlemen,’ interjected a short, portly man with a twirly black moustache, ‘if you will forgive my intrusion, it must be noted that this woman has a bullet hole in her head and is logically, therefore, quite definitely deceased.’

Another old dear folded to the deck with a prolonged ‘Ohhhhhh’ and her husband grabbed a feathered fan and began wafting cool evening air in her face while calling, ‘Smelling salts – does anyone have any?’
I tried to keep a straight face. Really I did. I bit my bottom lip until I tasted my cherry-red lipstick. I pinched my leg through the cream satin of my gown. I dug my long cigarette holder into the sensitive flesh of my arm.

But it was no good.

The ‘What ho, chaps’ posh accents.

The buxom woman sagging in the arms of an elephant hunter wearing Converse All Stars.

The production of smelling salts in a bottle whose label read Pepto-Bismol.

The corners of the little round man’s moustache coming looser with his every word.

The fast-pooling puddle of pinkish blood on the bread plate, buffeted by the steady in-and-out breaths of the corpse.

Take it from a girl who’s really died – death on the River Dart, Devon, is hilarious.

‘Dear me, Ms Robson here appears to be quite overcome with shock,’ said the guy at my side suddenly, and he slipped an arm around me and turned me away. ‘Come, madam. Let us get some air.’

I smiled at him. Then grinned. Then choked back a guffaw. Thankfully, by the time full-scale hilarity hit me I’d been led to the rear of the boat, away from the rest of our party, and could bury my face in the bloke’s chest and shake mutely with laughter.

The gallant gentleman rubbed my back soothingly as I let it all out and said loudly, for the benefit of any onlookers, ‘There there, pignsey, there there.’

‘Pigsney?’ It was the final straw. My high-heeled sandals gave way and I melted into a puddle of mirth on the deck.

‘I’ll have you know, Scarlett Blake,’ hissed Luke, my boyfriend a.k.a. gallant gent, hoiking up his too-tight corduroy trousers so he could squat down beside me, ‘I Googled “old-fashioned terms of endearment” and pigsney’s a classic.’

I wiped tears from my eyes, dislodging a false eyelash in the process, and tried to catch my hiccupping breath as Luke went on.

‘Means pig’s eye. No idea why that’s appealing, but apparently in the seventeenth century, calling a lady pigsney was the very height of courting.’

Through his fake specs Luke’s blue eyes fixed me with a stare so earnest I almost managed to stop laughing.

‘But this is a Death on the Nile-Stroke-Dart murder mystery night, Luke,’ I managed to get out. ‘Set in the nineteen thirties, not the seventeen thirties.’

‘Ah,’ he said, ‘but my character tonight, Mr Fijawaddle, is a historical fiction writer, isn’t he? So as well as dressing like a brainy recluse – and I’m warning you now, I won’t hear another slur against this tweed jacket – he’d know all kinds of obscure terms. Like ginglyform and jargogle and nudiustertian and bromopnea and farctate and quagswag and philosophunculist.’

His showing off sobered me just enough to control the giggles. ‘You made those words up,’ I accused, poking a crimson talon into his mustard-yellow shirtfront.

He blinked at me innocently. ‘Did not. I told you before we left the house, I did my homework.’

I narrowed my eyes. ‘All right then, Mr Fijawaddle, what does that last word you said mean?’


‘Yes, that.’

‘Er…’ Luke gave me a sheepish grin.

‘Spill it,’ I said menacingly. As menacingly as a girl dressed up as a vintage Hollywood starlet with cute little pin curls and rouge aplenty can be, that is.

‘Philosophunculist,’ recited Luke. ‘Noun. A person who pretends to know more than they do in order to impress others.’

I threw my head back and laughed. ‘Busted!’

Luke slipped an arm around me and pulled me close. Really close.

‘Bet you like it when I use long words,’ he said huskily, eyes fixed on my too-red lips.

‘Bet you like it when I wear a clingy nightgown as a dress,’ I replied, eyes fixed on his too-kissable lips.

‘Brazen hussy,’ he growled at me.

‘Randy boffin,’ I murmured back.

Then neither of us said another word for quite some time.

Free Books

That’s right, you read it right. Megan Tayte is letting her dear, sweet book babies go for free into your waiting hands. This deal includes books 1-3. You can go here to check it out.

I don’t know about you, but free books are the bomb diggity to me! But you'd better hurry. It's only for a limited time.

The Giveaway

The Author

Once upon a time a little girl told her grandmother that when she grew up she wanted to be a writer. Or a lollipop lady. Or a fairy princess fireman. ‘Write, Megan,’ her grandmother advised. So that’s what she did.

Thirty-odd years later, Megan is a professional writer and published author by day, and an indie novelist by night. Her fiction – young adult romance with soul – recently earned her the SPR’s Independent Woman Author of the Year award.

Megan grew up in the Royal County, a hop, skip and a (very long) jump from Windsor Castle, but these days she makes her home in Robin Hood's county, Nottinghamshire. She lives with her husband, a proud Scot who occasionally kicks back in a kilt; her son, a budding artist with the soul of a palaeontologist; and her baby daughter, a keen pan-and-spoon drummer who sings in her sleep. When she's not writing, you'll find her walking someplace green, reading by the fire, or creating carnage in the kitchen as she pursues her impossible dream: of baking something edible.

Find Megan on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, or Google+, or visit her at her website.

Waiting on Wednesday: Steel Scars by Victoria Aveyard

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, what's really got my pages in a twist is...

Steel Scars
(Red Queen #1.5)
Publication Date: January 6, 2016
ebook, 100 pages, HarperTeen
Genres: YA, Dystopian/Fantasy

Farley was raised to be strong, but being tasked with planting the seeds of rebellion in Norta is a tougher job than expected. As she travels the land recruiting black market traders, smugglers, and extremists for her first attempt at an attack on the capital, she stumbles upon a connection that may prove to be the key to the entire operation—Mare Barrow.

My Thoughts

Normally I don’t read novellas in a series. However, for the Red Queen series, I am making an exception. I will be devouring anything I can get my hands on so I can satisfy my cravings for Glass Sword an itty-bitty bit.

What book are you waiting for this Wednesday?