Monday, December 15, 2014

Gearing up for the New Year: 2015 Reading Challenges

This is my first year participating in reading challenges! As part of my New Year resolutions, I have decided to focus on making my blog more active in the book blogging community. 2014 was a transitional year for me. Everything was in-flux and because of that I had little time for anything blog related other than posting reviews. But, 2015 is on the horizon and a new year means a fresh start for so many things! 

2015 Witches &a Witchcraft Reading Challenge

The first challenge is one that I signed up for in 2014 as well. The Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge, hosted by Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf
I have always loved books about magic and witchy things and this challenge gives me an incentive to squeeze them in, even when I'm swamped with other requests.
For this challenge I will start by pledging to read 1-5 witchy books as an Initiate. 
If you want to join in, just click on the image or link above and read the rules!



The other challenge I have picked is The Debut Author Challenge, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. I think this one is really great for expanding what you read and finding some new authors, that might just become favorites! DAC pushes readers to read 12 or more books in the MG, YA or NA genres. These books must be a debut novel published in 2015. Want to join in the fun? Click the link above for full challenge rules and sign-up info.



  There is also a really fun event going on to wrap up 2014 and get ready for the New Year!
Two Chicks On Books is hosting Top 10 of 2014
I am really excited to be participating in this event. It should be tons of fun, although I am not sure how I will be able to pick just ten books. Each day bloggers are asked to list their top picks for a different category. Its not too late to sign-up, so click the image or link above to get started!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Kicking Off the Holidays with YA author Paula Stokes! (The Art of Lainey Giveaway)

What an awesome way to start the holiday season!
I'm sure many of you have already gobbled up--or are at least making grabby hands still--for The Art of Lainey. 

Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back.
And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, they're sure they can use the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. So Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few "dates", it looks like her plan is going to work! But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game.
What's a girl to do when what she wants is totally different from what she needs? How do you figure out the person you're meant to be with, if you're still figuring out the person you're meant to be? 

Well, the awesome author lady, Paula Stokes is here and she brought some friends. Sticking with the festive flow of things, the characters from The Art of Lainey share their favorite holiday flicks with us. Paula also has a chance for you to win your very own copy of this delicious YA rom com! So, keep scrolling all the way down to jump in the Rafflecopter giveaway.

Paula: Jill invited me to her blog to promote THE ART OF LAINEY, my YA contemp romantic comedy that released earlier this year. Instead of blathering on about why you should read it (because it has a delicious punk rock baker boy! Er, I mean it’s funny, swoony, and uplifting :D) I thought I’d get all festive and ask my characters to recommend their favorite holiday movies. Because if you’re like me, what you need right about now is more things to watch on TV ;) Feel free to add your own recommendations in the comments.

Lainey—My favorite Christmas movie is Elf. It’s about a human boy, Buddy, who is raised as an elf. One day he sets off to find his “real family” in NYC. But the harder he tries to impress his real dad, the worse things get for him. Eventually Buddy realizes that sometimes your weaknesses can become your greatest strengths. My brother and I still watch this together every Christmas Eve. The ending always makes me cry.

Bianca—My favorite holiday movie is Love Actually. It’s a British film about several people experiencing several different types of love—sibling, friend, romantic, etc.—and how their worlds overlap unexpectedly during one holiday season. Just like in real life, the love doesn’t always work out perfectly. I think that’s the best part of the movie—instead of going for the happily ever after for the whole cast, some people fare better than others, and some futures are left unresolved.

Micah—I think all the Christmas movies I’ve seen have been forced upon me by my family. Dad used to like watching Die Hard every Christmas, which I have to admit is pretty cool for a movie that takes place on Christmas Eve. I also like A Christmas Story, because eating Chinese food and getting a BB gun for Christmas should be a tradition every kid gets to experience at least once.

Kendall—This is kind of old, but I really liked the original Home Alone movie. I grew up in a big house like that and when I was in middle school my mom would leave me and my brother alone and go out of town. I was always worried about burglars, but I never thought to build my own security system out of toys and stuff around the house. That would’ve been way more fun than calling Mom on her cell every day when I felt scared or lonely.

Jason—If you ask me, Christmas movies kind of suck. They’re usually all sappy with people getting these huge presents or guys making these ridiculous romantic gestures. Or else they’re supposed to be funny but end up seeming kind of lame. But occasionally Hollywood gets it right. Like Fred Claus. Vince Vaughan is hilarious and since I’m always feeling like the black sheep of the family compared to my twin sister, Kendall, I definitely understood how it made him feel to be Santa’s less-than-perfect older brother. Bonus factor: hot chicks.

Trinity—I have two favorite Christmas movies. Well, one is a cartoon. First, I love Jack Frost. Maybe it’s a little bit cheesy to think of your dead dad being reincarnated in the form of a snowman, but the dad character in the movie was a musician, just like my dad. So yep, every time I see a snowman I stop and hope for a few seconds that it might come to life and talk to me. I also love the cartoon How the Grinch Stole Christmas, because the little dog is funny and the Whos down in Whoville have excellent hair. 

About the very sweet author, Paula Stokes!

Paula Stokes is the author of THE ART OF LAINEY, INFINITE REPEAT, LIARS INC., and several other forthcoming YA novels. She grew up in St. Louis, Missouri where she graduated from Washington University and the Goldfarb School of Nursing. When she's not writing, she's kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. Paula loves interacting with readers. Find her online at www.authorpaulastokes.com or on twitter as @pstokesbooks.



Make sure you follow her on her social media accounts, to keep up to date with all of her writing endeavors. Coming in March 2015, Paula has a slightly gritty YA novel releasing titled Liars, Inc. I am really excited for this one and you should be too! So, go add it to your TBR ** wink wink, nudge nudge **

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GIVEAWAY TIME

Please refer to the terms and conditions for full giveaway rules. 
What's up for grabs?? Your very own copy of The Art of Lainey, of course!