Sunday, November 30, 2014

{ Happy Birthday, Hillary! } Interview with Hillary + Bookshelf Tour

Today is HILLARY'S Birthday!!!

Join me in wishing Hillary Happy Birthday! She loves comments. 

So by now most of you know my part-time reviewer/blogger Hillary. She joined Bittersweet Enchantment a little over a year ago and ever since she has not only written some pretty amazing reviews but became so much more than a co-worker; a good friend to me. Hillary is such a sweetheart. She's always making me laugh, is there for me when I need to talk, and is such an wonderful person. Hillary, it's been an honor and a pleasure to work with you and become your friend!  

Last Sunday, Hillary posted an ALL ABOUT ME post also along with her "Reading Story". She is hosting a number of awesome giveaway for the readers of Bittersweet Enchantment. You can find this post here. Today is the final day to enter

I very recently interviewed Hillary all about her love of books and so much more. Read it below! :)


1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Hobbies, special talents, anything!

My name is Hillary. I think all of you know that already lol. I’ve lived in Southern California all of my life. I’ve yet to travel out of the state. When I’m not reading, you’ll find me singing while checking emails or just listening to music in general. But I end up singing anyways ;P I’ve been teaching myself to sing in Korean. I listen to Kpop the majority of the time. I hardly tell anyone this because I feel like I’m boasting, but I have an artistic side to me as well. People used to say I should be an artist when I was younger. I took a theatre class my second year of being an undergrad and hated/loved it. I thought I could be an actress, but I’ll be honest—it was an epic fail (I passed the class with an ‘A’ though). Before that I wanted to be in an indie rock band, but when reality hit me in the face, I didn’t think I’d make it that far. My third goal ended up being an author. I am determined to get there.


2. How long have you had a passion to read? What book or series really got you into reading, YA fiction?

I kind of already talked about this in this super long post here, but it started with my friend convincing me to read Twilight and then I found other books such as Vampire Academy and the House of Night series’ and my list expanded from there. Before YA, I did have a passion for reading MG books.


3. What are a few of your favorite books or series? Also, what genres do you enjoy reading most?

A few of my favorite series’ would be Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (sorry guys, but this book got me into YA), Vampire Academy and Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (she’s my favorite author ya’ll!), Shadow Falls by C.C. Hunter (I totally want to read her spin-off series soon!), House of Night by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast, Divergent by Veronica Roth, Delirium by Lauren Oliver, Fallen by Lauren Kate, Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, Unearthly by Cynthia Hand, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and etc. There’s so many more I’ve started but haven’t finished or have but haven’t even started! But these got me stuck in YA books and made me keep finding new books to read and love.

The genres I enjoy most are Contemporary, Dystopia, Science fiction, Mystery/Thriller, Paranormal, and Romance. I’m still trying to experiment with Fantasy, Historical, and Steampunk fiction. I’ve read a few Historical and maybe Fantasy, but no Steampunk, so I’m not sure how much I enjoy those genres.


4. What is one of your favorite reviews you've written since working at Bittersweet Enchantment?

Some of my favorite reviews I’ve written since joining Bittersweet Enchantment have probably been Find Me by Romily Bernard, Erasing Time & Echo In Time by C.J. Hill, 3:59 by Gretchen McNeil, Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson, and On the Fence by Kasie West. Although each and every review I’ve written have had hard work put into them, so I take pride in all of them. 


5. If you could go out to lunch with 5 of your favorite authors who would they be and why?

If I could go out to lunch with five of my favorite authors, I think I would choose Richelle Mead, Sara Raasch, Tahereh Mafi, Lauren Oliver, and Lindsay Cummings. I still have to read books from Sara and Tahereh, but I feel like these authors would have a lot to offer on writing advice and would make great mentors too! And meeting Richelle Mead is a dream of mine so yeah, I’m going to include her! ;)


6. Show us your bookshelves!

This is my bookshelves tour! I’ve never done this before, so Beckie and I thought it would be great to finally share how my bookcase looks like. I promise you, this is how it looks like clean. It’s actually full of other non-bookish stuff most of the time, but I won’t be sharing that ;). There’s also a fifth shelf, but I didn’t share how it looks like because it doesn’t have any books you would like to see; just college textbooks and old folders from high school. Not interesting! :D
- The whole bookshelf -
Shelf 1/Row A -
Shelf 1/Row B -
Shelf 2 -
- Shelf 3/Row A -
- Shelf 3/Row B -
- Shelf 4/Row A -
- Shelf 4/Mini Row B -

So what do you think? Have any questions of any of the books you can’t see or do see?


7. Let's say someone gives you 100 dollars. What 5-8 books would you go out and buy? (Pre-orders are okay)

If I were given one-hundred dollars, I would spend it on these books:

8. Use each letter of your first name to describe yourself. Must be one word per letter.

Humble
Imaginative
Left-handed
Level-headed
Artistic
Reliable
Youthful

9. Who needs a real life boyfriend when there are so many yummy fictional ones, right? Tell me a few characters from any book that you would you love to date.

Right... ;D A few guy characters I would love to date would be Frank from Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson, Adrian from Bloodlines by Richelle Mead, Stark from the House of Night series by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast, and Micah from The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes. There’s probably a few more, but these guys stuck around in my mind for a while and they have those special qualities that make me admire them each time I reread those books. ^_^


10. Last but not least, tell us one thing that not many people know about you.

One thing that not many people know about me...this is seriously hard to answer. Hmm, probably that it’s hard to make friends because I’m extremely awkward when it comes to forming conversations with people I’ve barely met. The friends that I do have now are friends I’ve known since high school or even elementary school. Those friends will always have a special place in my heart. Oh, I also joined choir the last two years of high school and loved it! I was given the opportunity to step out of my shell a lot and became more confident. And I hate cooking! Haha :P


This or That:

1. Johnny Depp or Brad Pitt?
Johnny Depp

2. Water or Soda?
Water

3. Pink or Black?
Black

4. Movies or TV?
TV

5. Zombies or Vamps?
Zombies

6. Cookies or cupcakes?
Cupcakes

7. Pen or Pencil?
Pen

8. Bookmark or dog-eared?
Bookmark

9. Winter or Summer?
Winter

10. Night or Day?
Night

11. Sci-Fi or fantasy?
Fantasy

12. Dining out or home cooked meal?
Home cooked meal

13. Paperback or Hardcover?
Both- I have a lot of both!

14. Email or texting?
Email

15. Truth or Dare?
Truth

16. Dogs or Cats?
Both- I used to love dogs more, but cats grew on me. My grandma’s cat is also super adorable!

17. Ocean or Pool?
Pool

18. Bad boys or Good boys?
Both- Sometimes bad boys have hearts of a good boy and good boys have hearts of a bad boy...? I’m not sure, but both types can have swoon worthy moments! :D

19. Being able to fly or telekinesis?
Being able to fly

20. Happy endings or Sad endings?
Both- I LOVE me a great happy ending that gives me all of the #Feels, but sad endings are tearjerkers and I love me some of that too! :P




Friday, November 28, 2014

How to market your book?


Last week I was bored to death after I finished up reading a great book. I have been pondering to write one on my own. Lost in thoughts, I contemplated to play bingo with no deposit just to kill time. So as I was playing in the bingo room, enjoying the lively banter I happened to meet someone really fascinating. We hit it off perfectly and I told him how I was thinking to write a book and get it published. I have a story line in head, but don’t know how to go about marketing the book. What he told me was quite intriguing and I couldn’t help but share with you all.


Let’s face it! Being a good writer isn’t good enough. If you want to be a writer, you need to be an  entrepreneur as well. Marketing is an art that requires a great deal of effort. Publishing a book is a financial risk. There are two things that can happen to you at the end of the day: either your book sells like crazy or it just lies in the bookstore shelf with nobody to buy it. Sure you wouldn’t want the latter.


First of all, when you are writing a book, understand who you are writing it for? Be clear of the community. Don’t think everybody in the world is keen on reading your book. Get over it and start writing for a niche audience. For instance, writing about African Diaspora to the U.S. may not fascinate someone say from England. At the end of the day, the rock bottom is to figure out who you are actually writing for.


Connect to communities who fancies the kind of things you are writing about and start getting the word out. Be active on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon and so forth. Get into an argument (not a heated one of course) and put your ideas across on various platforms: blogs, forums et cetera. You can also create a page on Facebook and ask your peeps to hit the ‘like’ button and spread the word around.


You can also do some form of sale. For instance with every Kindle purchased on Amazon, giveaway your book for free. With people reading your book, more and more people will get to know about it which will create a momentum and drive sale. The key is to keep the buzz going. Mostly after release of a book, interest of most readers wanes after a month or so. You need to come up with ideas to keep the book alive and fresh in people’s mind.

These were just few things my dear friend shared with me. I’m certain you’ll have plenty of other ideas. Don’t forget to leave your comments. Remember marketing is a slow process and not a sprint. Don’t keep your eyes peeled to reach the finish line. I hope if you too are planning on writing a book someday, you keep these pointers in mind. Your book will gradually find the audience it’s worthy of. Good luck!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Review by Hillary: Rush by Eve Silver


Title: Rush 
Author: Eve Silver
Series: The Game #1
Paperback > 361 pages
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Released: June 11th 2013
Genre: YA > Science Fiction > Fantasy > Romance


So what’s the game now? This, or the life I used to know?

When Miki Jones is pulled from her life, pulled through time and space into some kind of game — her carefully controlled life spirals into chaos. 

In the game, she and a team of other teens are sent on missions to eliminate the Drau, terrifying and beautiful alien creatures. There are no practice runs, no training, and no way out. Miki has only the guidance of secretive but maddeningly attractive team leader Jackson Tate, who says the game isn’t really a game, that what Miki and her new teammates do now determines their survival, and the survival of every other person on this planet. She laughs. He doesn’t. And then the game takes a deadly and terrifying turn. 



Rush was a mind-blowing, original science fiction story to read, possibly replacing my favorite sci-fi read. Half of Miki’s life has been about hiding behind a fa├žade. Miki hides her emotions about her mother’s passing, hides how she feels about her father’s personal issues, and hides how recent events are turning her life upside down; making her keep secrets from those she cares about most. But however much she tries to keep a front about what she’s really feeling behind the scenes, Miki’s closest friend—Carly—manages to be able to sense how much Miki is keeping closed lip. Miki tries to balance out both parts of her life, the real world life and the game life, but ends up jeopardizing her friendship with Carly. In the process of trying to stay out of too much danger, Miki manages to fall hard for someone who puts up a front as well and makes new friends in the most unlikely of places.
“You asked me what I like. I’m answering your question,” he clarifies, and the smile he offers is truly savage, dark and edgy and full of promise. “You, Miki. I like you.” (288)
Miki never expected her life to go topsy-turvy one afternoon while hanging out with her group of friends. It’s apparent something will occur because of how she starts hearing a male voice—Jackson—in her head calling her name. Miki instantly goes on alert mode and watches her surroundings, only seeing her friends on the ground near her talking amongst themselves and a guy who used to be her childhood friend named Luka running laps around the track field. When Miki looks around again, she notices a little girl in the middle of the street bent over something. In that moment the voice convinces her she needs to save the girl before she’s hit by a car and that’s when Miki’s normal life changes to a dangerous and crazy one. I’m positive when I say that I instantly took a liking to Miki and Luka from the start. However, when Jackson was introduced not too long after, I didn’t warm up to him that quickly. It took a really long time for me to really care about his character and by the time I did I felt like I knew why he was so closed-off. In reality, Jackson wasn’t that different from Miki and I think that’s what drew them together.
I want to go to him. I want to run from him, from this place, from the tangled mess my life has become. I don’t know what to think, how to feel. I’m angry and hurt. Betrayed. Appalled. Part of me hates him for what he’s consigned me to. Part of me only knows that his pain hurts me, too. (331)
When I started reading Rush, the details of how Miki materializes in a game reality really boggled my mind, but as the story kept going I managed to accept the ‘rules’ of this journey Miki was embarking on. I thought it was amazing how Eve Silver managed to balance out the world building of this story. As a reader, it was super helpful to learn about the game and the rules that went along with that world. It was also insightful to see what happened when Miki wasn’t in the game, but was in her real teenage life that included obstacles she had to endure as well. Then there were the interactions between the characters that made them seem a lot more real and a lot more relatable. After reading about a quarter of the book, the pacing started speeding along and all I could do was enjoy the ride and be fully absorbed in the events that surrounded Miki. One thing that put a damper in the story was Carly’s attitude. I just couldn’t handle the way she instantly got upset over Miki being secretive over stuff she wouldn’t tell her about. Carly pretty much stayed the same way throughout the last half of the story, but I’m hoping she’ll be more forgiving in book two. Then there is Miki’s dad. That man, he definitely needs to listen to his daughter a lot more. If only he realized how much reason Miki has for her age.
My whole world is falling into tiny little broken pieces and I don’t know how to put it back together, how to fix it. How to control this out-of-control spin. (252)
Overall, Rush by Eve Silver was an extraordinary story to read set in a one-of-a-kind science fiction world. It did start out semi-confusing, but as I kept on reading it became easier to comprehend what exactly was going on and what everything meant. As the game continued, the danger built to the point where I was afraid something terrible would happen to Miki or her comrades. Miki had to learn the hard way to deal with so much, but in the end she turned out to be much braver and stronger as a character. The turn of events at the end of the story practically left me speechless and holding my breath and I wanted to yell out in frustration. The secrets and questions created in the story end up being revealed to Miki, becoming quite shocking revelations that I didn’t expect as reasons for why Miki was part of the game in the first place. It made me reconsider what I thought about one character in particular. Then there’s the fact that even more questions and secrets were brought up by the end of Rush. I need to know what happens in Push, you guys!

4.5 - Totally Awesome! I loved it, would read again.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Stacking The Shelves #35 + Meeting Kami Garcia & Giveaway!

Stacking The Shelves ( hosted by Tynga's Reviews ) is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Books I have received for Review:
Deadly Design by Debra Dockter
Diamonds in the Rough by Michelle Madow
Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little
Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley 

Books/Swag I have won or was gifted:
Fakers by Meg Collett - won
Sanctum by Sarah Fine - won
Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi - birthday gift from Hillary
Unforgotten by Jessica Brody birthday gift from Hillary

Books I have bought:

 
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl - signed @author signing. 
Unmarked by Kami Garcia - signed @author signing. 

Here are some pictures from the signing.  I have a ton more but didn't want to overload this post. Kami was super nice! She was signing with author Carrie Ryan


Here's Kami signing my books. 

Kami was giving away some awesome swag items and she gave me a few extra for a giveaway on my blog! 
One winner will receive two bookmarks and two buttons. 


To enter the swag seen above please use the rafflecopter form. 
US ONLY!

Follow on Bloglovin
 my readers! 

Thank you all for stopping by! What does everyone think of the books I received? Are there any you're looking forward to reading? I would love to hear what you guys think. Leave me a comment or/and leave your book haul blog link below. I promise to stop by and check them out. 

Have a nice weekend!  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

GIVEAWAY: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley!

Hey everyone! Today the lovely people at Harlequin TEEN and Media Masters Publicity have offered a giveaway for the newly released novel, Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley. They have given me a finished print copy to give away on my blog to one lucky Bittersweet Enchantment reader

I know many of you have already seen or heard about the book but for those who have not below you can read all about it. I am definitely looking forward to reading my copy. I love diverse books, we should all read more of them. :)

Good luck to you all!




Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
Available in Hardcover, Paperback, ebook - 384 pages
Published September 30th 2014 by Harlequin Teen
Genre: Historical Fiction > Contemporary > Glbt

In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever.

Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily.

Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town's most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept "separate but equal."

Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another.

Boldly realistic and emotionally compelling, Lies We Tell Ourselves is a brave and stunning novel about finding truth amid the lies, and finding your voice even when others are determined to silence it.
Purchase @



About The Author: Robin Talley

Find Robin @

Robin Talley, author of Lies We Tell Ourselves (September 2014) and Unbreakable (Fall 2015), grew up in Roanoke, Virginia, writing terrible teen poetry and riding a desegregation bus to the school across town. A Lambda Literary Fellow, Robin lives in Washington, D.C., with her wife, plus an antisocial cat and a goofy hound dog. When Robin’s not writing, she’s often planning communication strategies at organizations fighting for equal rights and social justice.


 
Want to win a finished copy of the book?

To enter please use the rafflecopter form below. 
Giveaway closes in 2 weeks and is open to US only!
You MUST do the mandatory entries to enter. 
All other entries are optional but greatly increase your changes. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Waiting on Wednesday #27: The Wicked Will Rise & Endangered

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.



This week, I'm waiting on...


The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige
Series: Dorothy Must Die #2
Number of Pages: 432
Expected publication: March 31st 2015 by HarperCollins
Genre: YA - Fantasy > Retellings



In this dark, high-octane sequel to the New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die, Amy Gumm must do everything in her power to kill Dorothy and free Oz.

To make Oz a free land again, Amy Gumm was given a mission: remove the Tin Woodman’s heart, steal the Scarecrow’s brain, take the Lion’s courage, and then Dorothy must die....

But Dorothy still lives. Now the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked has vanished, and mysterious Princess Ozma might be Amy’s only ally. As Amy learns the truth about her mission, she realizes that she’s only just scratched the surface of Oz’s past—and that Kansas, the home she couldn't wait to leave behind, may also be in danger. In a place where the line between good and evil shifts with just a strong gust of wind, who can Amy trust—and who is really Wicked?



Hillary's is waiting on....


Endangered by Lamar Giles
Number of Pages: 288
Expected publication: April 21st 2015 by Harper Teen
Genre: YA - Thriller


Her name is Lauren, but everyone calls her Panda. What they don’t know is that behind their backs, she also goes by Gray. As in Gray Scales, the photo blog that her classmates are addicted to because of the secrets Gray exposes: a jock buying drugs, a teacher in a compromising position, the richest girl in school shoplifting. But no one knows Panda’s the vigilante photographer behind it all. At least, she thinks no one knows—until she gets a note from the Admirer, who’s not only caught her red-handed acting as Gray, but also threatens to reveal everything unless Panda joins her Admirer in a little game of Dare or … Dare. Panda plays along. Anything to keep the secrets she’s protected for years. But when the game turns deadly, Panda doesn’t know what to do. And she might need to step out of the shadows to save herself … and everyone else on the Admirer’s hit list, including some of the classmates she’s loathed and exposed for years.


What book(s) are YOU waiting on this Wednesday?
Leave us a comment. We would love to know. :)





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