Thursday, April 17, 2014

Guest Review: The Catastrophic History of You and Me - Jess Rothenberg

Author: Jess Rothenberg
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Published: February 2012

Dying of a broken heart is just the beginning.... Welcome to forever. 

BRIE'S LIFE ENDS AT SIXTEEN: Her boyfriend tells her he doesn't love her, and the news breaks her heart—literally. 

But now that she's D&G (dead and gone), Brie is about to discover that love is way more complicated than she ever imagined. Back in Half Moon Bay, her family has begun to unravel. Her best friend has been keeping a secret about Jacob, the boy she loved and lost—and the truth behind his shattering betrayal. And then there's Patrick, Brie's mysterious new guide and resident Lost Soul . . . who just might hold the key to her forever after. 

With Patrick's help, Brie will have to pass through the five stages of grief before she's ready to move on. But how do you begin again, when your heart is still in pieces?

Jules's Thoughts
One of the books that made me think. Made me cry. Made me remember how awesome it is that I'm living my life right now (As cheezy as that sounds). 

I've heard of this book before, from a friend I have in Goodreads. Reading his review, I found that this book was amazing and definitely something unique. Though not a lot of my GR friends had read this book. From the cover, I could imagine that it was light, sweet and maybe a little bit of a thought provoker. But I was a bit wrong, I left something behind. It was also a heartbreaker and a touching novel.

In this book, we follow Brie's journey after her death, which was caused by heartbreak (Kinda cliche, I know). She goes through the five stages of death.
1. Denial
2. Anger
3. Bargaining
4. Sadness
5. Acceptance
And as she explores these stages, she also sees how her life is a different picture with how she looked at it before.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Letters From Real - A Postcard Project

Letters from Real is short fiction tumblr blog where author, Abria Mattina shares about the postcards that she mails out to anonymous readers. When I stumbled across this project I was immediately curious so I've invited Abria to share the behind the scenes scoop on this brilliant project!
What inspired you to start Letters from Real, the postcard exchange project? 

It’s not an exchange project precisely. I just send postcards, but I’m not set up to receive them. Maybe in the future I’ll open a P.O. box for that purpose, but for the time being it’s just me sending out postcards to random people, written in the voice of fictional characters. I do it because I think it’s a fun and interesting way to engage with new people. I’m also a dork who thinks that snail mail is fun to send and receive.

The project itself, though, was inspired by my mother. When I was in my second year of university she started sending my postcards from a character named Henrietta Von Espy, world-traveller and Victorian countess. She kept the same character across a long series of postcards, but I like to switch it up every time. When she got sick in 2012, I sent her a postcard every day for months. 

Please share your favorite postcard to date, and tell us what makes it special. 

Most of the postcards I received from my mom are pasted into my journals, but here are three of the loose ones. They all come from a postcard/calendar flipbook with pictures of doors from the Scanlan Portfolio. Every story featured the person or family Henrietta Von Espy met behind that door. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Roadtrip Madness, Free Fonts, A Mixtape and Other Wonderful Things

Right-click on the image to open the image in a new tab and click 'save as' to download this wallpaper

Free Fonts Used:        Matchbook       SerialSue

“I think you travel to search and you come back home to find yourself there.” 

 Have you ever thought of throwing your plans out of the window, packing up, hoping into a car and hitting the road?
Open roads, unexpected detours, alluring new places, new experiences and new faces. Tell me, I'm not the only one who loves the idea of a spontaneous road trip! :D 

This is probably why I love road trip books. So here are some of MY favorite road trip books:

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

25 Things You Probably Didn't Know About M G Buehrlen + A Giveaway!

I am absolutely delighted to welcome author of The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare, M G Buehrlen to the blog today to share a 25 quirky facts about herself!

Her debut, The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare has had a lot of great response. Readers have praised Buehrlen  for her unique novel that combines time travel, fantasy and romance!

So without further ado let me turn the blog over to Buehrlen An author, a coding demigod, a musician and a survivor of an Asian Carp attack! ;)

25 Things You Probably Didn't Know About 
M G Buehrlen 

1) If I hadn’t become an author, my secondary dream was to become an exotic animal trainer for TV and film.

2) I went urban exploring in Detroit for book research, and it was the most intense experience of my life. 
3) My exciting job history includes: service dog trainer for people with disabilities, Pizza Hut waitress (so hot!), exotic fish salesperson, shipping/warehouse factory worker, WalMart cashier (even hotter!), and a tour guide at a tourist farm (where I got to shovel poo and sing to goats!). 

4) I soldered my first circuit board at age 9. I built my first computer at age 13. 

5) I’ve been coding and designing websites since 1997. (Speak HTML to me.)

6) I like to eat salsa with Doritos. Plain tortilla chips lack the proper pizzazz. 

7) I drink chocolate milk with a spoon. A straw just doesn’t allow for adequate savoring. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Guest Post: Marianne de Pierres - My Reading and Writing Influences

I am absolutely delighted to welcome Angry Robot Author,Marianne de Pierres to the blog today to share a Guest Post on her reading and writing influences

Marianne's Adult science fiction novel, Peacemaker will be hitting the shelves on the 29th of April 2014 by Angry Robot!

So without further ado let me turn the blog over to Marianne....
My Reading and Writing Influences

I was so blessed as a child. My parents had a cosy library, complete with armchairs and an open fire. I spent hours in that room as I was growing up, getting to know a whole bunch of writers and their beloved characters. There was The Secret Garden and Charlotte’s Web and like everyone else, I cried when Charlotte died! As I grew older, I met Zane Grey and all his romantic, frontier-loving cowboys, and a lot of other boys adventure stories like the Tom Swift series. I never once thought that I couldn’t be one of those canyon-climbing, lion-taming boys. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Discussion: The Art of Blog Commenting

Blogging is a community based activity and without blog comments it wouldn't be the same. But blogging is not the same as it was 2 years ago, those who have been blogging for longer would have definitely noticed a shift in things. 

For every blogger, being a part of a community is the most important thing. 

And naturally being a part of a community means that you exchange ideas, respond to others’ thoughts and voicing your opinion. And what better way to do this than by leaving comments?

Pageviews may show you that people are ‘seeing’ your content but how many of them are actually ‘reading’ it? 

So do comments hold value in the current blogging world? Hell Yes. Comments are tangible validation that your readers aren’t simply skimming your posts, comments are tangible validation that your readers are eager to share their thoughts and interact with you.

Reader engagement has changed so much and pointing out what makes readers speak out is a tricky thing. Each reader interacts differently, some:
  • Readers are pressed for time or have a lower attention span so they choose to read, absorb the knowledge and move on. 
  • Some readers choose to engage more quickly by tweeting, sharing or liking posts. 
  • And then there are others who consider blogging a conversation-They believe that blogging is a two way street, they believe that true connections are formed in the comments section and that conversations begin and end here.

Mastering the dying art of commenting

The most important thing to remember when you leave a comment on a blog post is that you are representing both your blog and yourself. 
  • Try your best to add value to the conversation -Yes, I understand that sometimes this is easier said than done! How many of us have read blog posts and thought ‘I’m totally with you’ or ‘Great Review’? Sometimes it is hard to say anything more because you feel like whatever needs to be said has already been said. That’s fine. 
  • Most people find generic comments off putting so the best route to take if you wish to let the blogger know that you enjoyed their post, it to reach out to them via social media. What I usually do is share the blog post on Twitter tagging the author of the post. Bingo! You’ve achieved TWO things: You’ve shared your favourite post with your fellow readers and you have also let the blogger know that you appreciate their post. 
  • Don’t be THAT douchebag! - Generic ‘Great Post’ comment followed by a ‘Come visit my blog at’ is NOT a cool move, dude. When you leave a thoughtful comment automatically, the blogger and even other readers will be encouraged to check out your blog.
  • That awkward moment … doesn’t have to be awkward at all!