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Reading

In Reading on
June 28, 2017

Go on a Fairytale Adventure with Allerleirauh by Chantal Gadoury

Fairytale retelling

If you are anything like me, you spend too much time on social media. For most of my adult life, social media was my job! To nip that endless scrolling weakness in the butt, I have spent time tailoring my social media accounts. Now my accounts only show me inspiration. On my list are only authors, aspiring authors, bullet journal enthusiasts (it’s a thing, I love it) and other bloggers. And the occasional family/friend member, of course.

If I’m following you, basically, I know you or you inspire me!

Through this quest, I found Chantal Gadoury, someone that I’ve really enjoyed getting to know. I look forward to seeing daily on the internet. And guess what? She is coming out with TWO novels this year. Here I’m sharing with you a bit on her Grimm Fairytale retelling release, Allerleirauh from The Parliment House.

What is Allerleirauh about?

Once Upon a Time…

In the kingdom of Tranen, a king makes a promise to his dying wife that he’ll only remarry a woman who possesses her golden hair. In time, the king’s eyes are turned by his daughter. Realizing her father’s intentions, Princess Aurelia tries to trick him by requesting impossible gifts: dresses created by the sun, moon and stars, and a coat made of a thousand furs. But when he is successful, Aurelia sacrifices her privileged life and flees her kingdom, disguised by the cloak and a new name, Allerleirauh.

She enters the safe haven of Saarland der Licht, where the handsome and gentle Prince Klaus takes her under his care. Hoping not to be discovered by her father’s courtiers, Allerleirauh tries to remain hidden under her new identity when she finds unexpected love with Prince Klaus, even though his arranged marriage to the princess of a neighboring kingdom approaches. Risking everything, Allerleirauh must face her troubled past and her fears of the future along her journey to self-acceptance in this triumphant retelling of the classic Grimm Fairy Tale.

Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? And I’ve got something even more exciting to share. Watch the book trailer for Allerleirauh below.

National Book Trailer Premiere:

Add this book on Goodreads and pre-order Allerleirauh by Chantal Gadoury for $0.99 on Amazon (limited time price!) if you want an exciting retelling to your book TBR pile.

And if you want daily sneak peeks into an author’s life, follow Chantal on Instagram.

PS Follow me on Instagram too ;)

In Tips on
December 22, 2015

5 Tips For: Reading More

How you can find more time to read

Hello, Kind Friends! For the next few weeks my Tuesday posts in the #5TipsFor series are going to cover different topics or goals related to common New Year’s Resolutions. Today’s post will go into how you can read more in the coming year. I hope you enjoy! Don’t forget to let me know in the comments your thoughts on this topic and what other ideas you’d like me to cover in this series.

 

Tip #1: Listen to audiobooks

 

It’s a given, having someone read books to you while you work on other projects will help you read more than you normally would have. I love listening to audiobooks while I clean, run errands, get ready for my day, drive… It’s calming and fun to have a story with me at all times. You can also get your first book free with my referral link audibletrial.com/rebecca, so it’s not a big deal if you end up not liking it. Check out my initial Audible review if you want more details, it shares how I was very skeptical of the idea of audiobooks but completely changed my mind within a few minutes of joining Audible.

 

Tip #2: Carry a book with you always

 

Whether or not you carry an audiobook or an eBook on your phone, or even a small physical book, having a book with you at all times gives you more opportunity to read. Instead of endlessly scrolling on Instagram while you are in a long line at the supermarket, read a book! That seems like a much more enlightening and fun activity than hearting cute photos of pets (though I am guilty of doing that before bed).

 

Tip #3: Use your library card

 

Renting audiobooks and eBooks through your library is easy, saves a lot of time with the use of their apps, and saves money. If reading were always free, wouldn’t you do it more? I’ve read dozens of books this year through the Overdrive app, which connects to my local library. Now that I’ve finally started using Overdrive this year, I can’t look back. It has made consuming literature so much more convenient.

 

Tip #4: Set a monthly or yearly reading goal with friends

 

Having a goal that follows a list, say 10 of the best young adult books, the Popsugar reading challenge, or even joining a book club like the Perusutopia book club will help motivate your book reading throughout the year. Reading with peers is important because it’s a lot more engaging, you pay more attention to the words so that you have something to share with others, and so much more. It’s wonderful to connect with people over a story.

 

Tip #5: Set a time every day for reading

 

Even if it’s only for 15 minutes reading a little bit everyday, at the same time every day, is a great way to get more reading done overall. Try to pick a time where you know you will always be available, say at 7 PM every weekday, to spend a little time in another world. I said this in my 5 Tips For: Staying Inspired post, but working on your goals a little bit every day will make long-standing progress.

What books have you been reading lately? Do you have any book-related goals for 2016?

Leave me a comment letting me know your thoughts on this topic, what books you are reading, or anything else you’d like to chat about. I’d love to talk back and forth with you.

In Tips on
December 15, 2015

5 Tips For: Getting Free Books

Get piles of books with these 5 tips

If you’ve known me for any measurable amount of time, you know that reading and writing are my favorite things to do. So as a follow up to my 5 Tips For: New Writers post, I also have created a tips article on how you can get more book to read for free. New tips are uploading to my blog every Tuesday, so make sure to keep up with posts through email if you want to stay on track of my regular content.

So, you love to read but can’t afford new books? Here are five ways to get free books so that you can keep feeding this hobby.

 

Tip #1: Join Book Bub

 

Book Bub is a website aimed at helping readers find cheap and free eBooks. There are already hundred of free books on the site to choose from, though they specifically have a plethora of books in the Harlequin theme, meaning a lot of romance, period pieces, wild west and pirate romances, and other similar themes. I love cheesy and dramatic romances, especially when I’m stressed. So if that floats your boat, definitely check out Book Bub. They have many other kinds of books, but I definitely see more of the romances being marked down to free versus others.

 

Tips #2: Follow your favorite authors on Wattpad

 

Many published authors are joining Wattpad as a way to share content with interested users for free so that they can get you hooked on their books. I follow Scott Westerfeld, which is how I got to read the first book in the Uglies series for free.

 

Tip #3: Take advantage of free trials

 

I have a referral link to Audible that you can use to get a free audiobook and many other websites have similar programs, like audiobooks.com. If you are good at making sure to cancel these services before you are charged, I definitely recommend you try them as a means to get some free reading content. I absolutely love audiobooks, despite being skeptical about them in the past. If you want to see my full thoughts on why I now completely recommend audiobooks, check out my skeptical review of Audible.

[Pin this video for later]

Tip #4: Sign up for Overdrive

 

Overdrive works in conjunction with your local libraries to give you free eBook and audiobook rentals. You can’t technically keep these books, but it’s an easy app to use so that you can get free reading material wherever you are, even if you don’t have time to go to the library. All you need is a library card to get started.

 

Tip #5: Try the Little Free Library

 

The Little Free Library is an adorable movement where people around the world set up small book exchange boxes where you take a book for free, the only thing they ask is you leave a book. So if you have a book you no longer want, trade it in for a gently used book. You can check if you have a little Free Library near you with their location finder.

How do you find amazing deals on books? What is the best book you have read lately? Let me know in the comments!

[Original photo source unknown, let me know if you are the creator of this content so I can credit you.]

In Review on
November 17, 2015

Happily Ever After by Kiera Cass – Book Review

 

Hello, Kind Friends! Today I’m sharing a review of Happily Ever After by Kiera Cass, a novella bind-up set in the universe of The Selection Series.

If you haven’t read this series yet, I highly recommend it. The pitch I usually tell people is that this series is The Bachelor meets royalty meets dystopia.

It’s a fun ride!

Happily Ever After features the following novellas:

  • The Prince, Maxon’s novella
  • The Guard, Aspen’s novella
  • The Queen, Amberly’s novella
  • The Favorite, Marlee’s novella
  • Three scenes from Celeste’s POV
  • The Maid, Lucy’s Novella
  • The bonus epilogue
  • Where are they now?

Happily Ever AfterI felt that The Guard and The Maid were the real standouts in this collection, and reading them really helped me understand Aspen and Lucy better.

Whereas The Prince and The Queen felt a bit flat to me, more like descriptions of what was happening rather than being really flushed out characters. I was hoping to feel more emotion in it.

The Favorite and Celeste’s scenes gave some intriguing insights into unseen character arcs, so I enjoyed reading them very much. The bonus epilogues and updates on other characters in The Elite was also enjoyable.

I gave this book a 3.5 on Goodreads, mostly because of The Queen and The Prince. Overall, I think that this book purchase would be great for all The Selection Series fans. However, I think that not all of the novellas are as exciting and well-written, so it can be disappointing for people that were interested in one or two characters rather than the whole of these novellas.

Haven’t read this book yet? Grab Happily Ever After and other books in The Selection Series, or listen to one of the books for free with an Audible free trial.

What book series are you currently reading?

[Image: Epic Reads]

In My Journal on
October 20, 2015

Currently Reading: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me

Hello there Kind Friends, today I decided to do a quick book post telling you about what I’m currently reading.

Here you will find my initial thoughts on the plot and narrative on Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, the first installment in a series that stars a girl whose touch is lethal.

Here is the book summary from Goodreads:

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

I’ve been under a bit of stress these past few weeks so I’ve been really diving into the world of books and writing. This week I checked out Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi from Overdrive and am so glad that I did.

It’s a really compelling story so far, where Juliette’s narrative sounds almost like the thoughts of a very intelligent angsty teen. I mean that in the best way possible. She explains her intense thoughts in a beautiful way, drawing comparisons and simile’s about her feelings versus the world around her. I can’t wait to read more.

Her powers so far remind me a bit of Rogue from X-Men, just with a twist. This odd skill of hers is brought upon to the reader slowly, which makes me want to read quicker.

Make sure to add me on Goodreads so that you can know my final thoughts after I finish this book. I have a feeling it’s going to be a five star book, even just from a few chapters in. The great thing is that this is a completed series so I’m going to be able to know the story from beginning to end without much interruption.

I’ll talk to you all soon. Let me know in the comments if you’ve read this series and/or what books you are currently gobbling up.

Oh gosh, gobble. It’s almost Thanksgiving! Time is running away from me.

You can buy Shatter Me on Audible, Amazon, Book Depository, and wherever else books are sold. Don’t underestimate your library as well, they may have a few copies.

[Image]

In My Journal on
October 5, 2015

Hello October – My Monthly Goals

Hello October - Goals for the Fall season

Hello October! It’s been a whole month since I wrote my Hello September post. Wow. I can’t believe we are so close to the end of this year.

My October Goals

 

This October I plan to…

  1. Write for one hour every day on a creative project
  2. Stretch five minutes a day
  3. Drink six glasses of water a day

I’m very excited about these goals. I’ve been working on different novels for a year now, trying to find my speed and style. I’m excited to have a designated time to write every day. 4 PM is my time to be creative and I can’t wait to see how my writing progresses this month.

I haven’t worked out in a very long time, it just hasn’t been as much of a priority to me. Because of this my body has felt more scrunched up so I want to stretch my body at least five minutes a day. I definitely need more than five minutes but this is meant to be an easy start to get me going, I definitely aim to build up on these five minutes.

As for my water intake – I’ve been so horrible at keeping hydrated. I think six glasses is attainable to me, especially now that I have these water tracker stickers from Etsy.

Last Month’s Goals

 

Last month I aimed to…

  1. Have dinner at the table every day
  2. Work on marketing my blog
  3. Daily breathing exercises

Goals 1 and 2 have really been helpful to me. Chris and I have really enjoyed spending more time talking to each other around the table. It isn’t always convenient but I never regret stepping away from my computer to eat with my family.

As for my blog marketing plan, I spent a lot of time engaging in a few Facebook blogging groups. It was a good experience and I found some great blogs to read this way. Thankfully it has also increased my traffic by 19% and has more than doubled my usual amount of comments even though I posted much less this month due to illness. I’m going to continue to participate in these groups this month as well, though hopefully with more blog content.

I did not do one breathing exercise, however. It just wasn’t a priority. I don’t think meditation or breathing exercises will ever be for me. I like the idea of them but it just always seems like I’d rather do other things.

So, it’s onward and upward. October is going to be a great month.

Related Videos

 

Click “View on YouTube” to access all of the information related to these videos.

My September favorites:

 

My book goals for October:

What are you planning for the month of October? Have you tried anything this past month?

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In Review on
September 5, 2015

I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder 😍👻 – Book Review (With and Without Spoilers)

Poetry novel book review - I Heart You, You Haunt Me

Hi there Kind Friends! Today I am happy to present to you a beautiful novel told in verse that you have to read. It’s called I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder and it covers the story of Ava, a girl who has just gone through the heartbreak of her boyfriend dying. But it doesn’t end there…he comes back to haunt her.

Spoiler free review:

 

This poetry novel follows Ava, a teen girl that just lost her boyfriend. The story opens with Ava going to his funeral and the writing is chock full of emotion. I actually became so invested into the poems and how horrible Ava was feeling that I actually forgot that a ghost was on the way.

It is not revealed initially how her boyfriend passed away, rather it is brought upon the reader gradually throughout the novel. You don’t find out all of the details until the end.

The first half of the book I felt really invested in Ava’s character and empathetic towards her feelings. The second half of the book felt less emotional to me because it was focusing more on furthering events rather than on how Ava was dealing internally with the situation.

The disconnect between the first and second half of this poetry novel came to me about the time that Ava decided that she could, of course, no longer live her life with a ghost. I believe this book would have benefited from another 10 or 20 pages to gradually bring apart her change of heart about staying with her dead boyfriend.

Overall, this was a really enjoyable book that I’m so glad I picked up. It would do really well in readathons as well since it was a fairly quick read. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.

You can purchase I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder on Amazon and wherever else books are sold.

Video review:

Spoiler filled details:

 

There was an additional element of romance between Ava and another boy at her school. This annoyed the heck out of me! Even though Ava does come to her senses and tells him that she needs more time to cope with her loss, everything that involved him up until that point kind of pissed me off as a reader. Her ghost boyfriend was still hanging around! Of course she shouldn’t think about entering into another relationship.

Also, I felt like from the little snippets of jealousy the ghost showed — he didn’t seem like that good of a boyfriend to me. I wish we were able to see more of how they got together so I could better understand their relationship.

A last little interesting tidbit of info, as this book was published in 2008 it holds a few song references to music I enjoyed in the start of high school like My Immortal by Evanescence. I felt like it dated the story a bit because I think current teens reading this verse novel may have to look up some of the material. It wasn’t a big deal but something I found intriguing.

I genuinely enjoyed this young adult novel by Lisa Schroeder and look forward to reading more of her books.

You can purchase I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder on Amazon and wherever else books are sold.

If you have read this book before, what did you think of the ghost? Did you also think he wasn’t a good boyfriend?

PS, I have a poetry novel in progress on Wattpad if you want to take a look! I’ll be uploading new chapters to I Hate You More and 364 Other Poems by Haley, the Imperfect Girl next week. I’d love to know your thoughts.