Guardian of Secrets Blog Tour Review

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I am really excited to take part of the Guardian of Secrets blog tour, hosted by Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours! Thank you to the hosts and thank you Entangled Teen for making me aware of this tour and for sending me a finished copy of this book.

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Goodreads¦ My Review (3 stars)

Gia Kearns would rather fight with boys than kiss them. That is, until Arik, a leather clad hottie in the Boston Athenaeum, suddenly disappears. While examining the book of world libraries he abandoned, Gia unwittingly speaks the key that sucks her and her friends into a photograph and transports them into a Paris library, where Arik and his Sentinels—magical knights charged with protecting humans from the creatures traveling across the gateway books—rescue them from a demonic hound.

Jumping into some of the world’s most beautiful libraries would be a dream come true for Gia, if she weren’t busy resisting her heart or dodging an exiled wizard seeking revenge on both the Mystik and human worlds. Add a French flirt obsessed with Arik and a fling with a young wizard, and Gia must choose between her heart and her head, between Arik’s world and her own, before both are destroyed.

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Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers #2)

by Brenda Drake

Publication Date: February 7, 2017 

Publisher:  Entangled Teen

Being a Sentinel isn’t all fairytales and secret gardens.

Sure, jumping through books into the world’s most beautiful libraries to protect humans from mystical creatures is awesome. No one knows that better than Gia Kearns, but she could do without the part where people are always trying to kill her. Oh, and the fact that Pop and her had to move away from her friends and life as she knew it.

And if that isn’t enough, her boyfriend, Arik, is acting strangely. Like, maybe she should be calling him “ex,” since he’s so into another girl. But she doesn’t have time to be mad or even jealous, because someone has to save the world from the upcoming apocalypse, and it looks like that’s going to be Gia.

Maybe. If she survives.

Goodreads GooglePlay BAM ChaptersIndiesAmazonB&NKoboTBDiBooks

Review:

Guardian of Secrets is the thrilling sequel to Brenda Drake’s Thief of Lies.

I have to admit that I din’t really know what to expect when I started this book. I was definitely afraid that the few issues I had with the first book will carry-on and that the plot would be predictable. I’m very happy to report that most of the issues did not reappear, or if they did they were minimal and towards the beginning, and that the plot took my by surprise over and over and over again!

Since I love lists (and because I don’t want to give away too much) here’s a list of thoughts about the book:

  • Complex, but easy to understand magic system
  • Detailed world building
  • Learned more about the characters
  • Heart-breaking love triangle
  • Intriguing plot
  • New settings
  • More creatures
  • PLOT TWISTS

My main issue with the first novel was that because of the fast pacing, I didn’t get to know the characters or enjoy the intense scenes much. Brenda Drake remedied that in this book and I am hooked. I absolutely adore all of the characters! I’m not a fan of the love-triangle trope, but it was so well written. I haven’t felt so conflicted about a love triangle since The Infernal Devices!

highly recommend this series to anyone who is looking for a unique read with magical elements. I cannot wait for the next book in this series!


brenda-drake

Brenda Drake is a New York Times bestselling author of Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers #1), Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers #2), Touching Fate (Fated Series #1), and Cursing Fate (Fated Series #2). She grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. She hosts workshops and contests for writers such as Pitch Wars and Pitch Madness on her blog, and holds Twitter pitch parties on the hashtag, #PitMad. When she’s not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

Website – http://www.brenda-drake.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/brendadrake

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brenda-Drake/171424269657164

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/brendadrakeauthor/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7012713.Brenda_Drake

 

That Time When I Accidentally Saw Lin Manuel Miranda

 

That Time When I… is a series in which I reminisce on events, meetings, and awesome memories that I did not blog about in the past.

December 30th 2015 – The beginning of a new obsession.

Like a vast majority of the book community- I am absolutely in love with the soundtrack to the Broadway musical Hamilton! I love it so much that over the summer, I dragged my grandmother to stand in line for three hours for the #Ham4Ham show and to enter the lottery to win tickets.

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When I ended up in New York a month earlier than planned, I knew that I had to try to see the Richard Rodgers theater- even though many of the original members had left. My grandmother made formal plans to go on my birthday (Aug 1st), but those plans changed when we went out one day to a street fair and realized how close we were.

I’d be lying if I said my heart didn’t skip a beat right before I turned the corner. I frantically FaceTimed my sister, who was back home in Florida, because I wanted us to see the theater for the first time together. We got to the street minutes before the 2pm showing, so the street was full of people waiting to get in. I tried to soak every detail in, but the sidewalk was so crazy I wasn’t able to stop and appreciate the sheer beauty of the theater. My grandmother and I decided to double back, but on the opposite side, so we could pause and soak in the moment. Which is when I snapped this picture.

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Okay, fast forward to when I returned for the Ham4Ham show! My grandma and I got to the theater around 9 AM (even though the show didn’t start until 12) and we were probably 10th in line. The group of people in front of us were super friendly and often broke into song, which definitely helped the time fly by.

Almost an hour after we arrived, I was chatting with a couple of people when I hear a large gasp. No one else seemed to pay attention at first, but I turned around to see a car stopped in front of us (due to a red light) and the window was rolling down.

It was him.

I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that at first I was unsure if I was seeing correctly. So I just stared. It wasn’t until everyone else started gasping and grabbing their phones a couple seconds later that my suspicions were confirmed. And I freaked out. Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator and original star of Hamilton, was right in front of me.

Please note that this is not my photo. A girl that I stood next to took it and shared it on twitter

Please note: this is not my photo. A girl that I stood next to took it and shared it on Twitter @alexryan.

I’m going to pause here to let you know that the entire time I was in New Jersey/New York, I constantly joked about how I was going to see Lin. You have no idea how surreal it was when I realized that I was actually seeing him! What were the chances? He was no longer performing in the play, so the chances of seeing him were so slim, but yet, it still happened!

He said hello and wished us all luck with the lottery before the light turned green and the driver drove away. I was over the moon and knew that even if I didn’t win tickets (spoiler: I didn’t), the experience was well worth it. He even tweeted about us:

After he left almost everyone around us immediately called their moms/best friends/fellow Hamilton nerds and shrieked about seeing Lin. It was glorious.

Skipping ahead a few hours and the lottery process began. We were given slips of paper to fill out and instructed on what we needed if we won the tickets. We quickly filled out the slips before rushing to get a good spot to watch the show. We watched the show where Shakespeare wrote Lin a diss-rap. Fun was had and I still have not gotten over the fact that I saw Lin-Manuel with my own two eyes!

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And if that wasn’t enough to excite me, Anthony Ramos (who played John Laurens and Philip) also made an appearance!

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Overall, August 3rd was probably the best day in 2016. I’ll never forget it ❤

TTT: Book Boyfriends I’d Spend Valentine’s Day With

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

This Week: Book Boyfriends I’d Spend Valentine’s Day With

I’d like to preface this post by saying that I love each of my book boyfriends equally and would spend this special day with each of them. I also want to share that I never realized how my love for these two characters are so strong that I cannot seem to find any others that can compare to them.

Rhysand

rhys

Credit to the artist, taratjah.

Rhys is a recent book boyfriend that I met almost a year ago. When I first met him (in A Court of Thorns and Roses) I was unsure on how to feel. I decided to take a chance on him, which was the best thing I did. I imagine that our Valentines Day would be spent flying around, dancing, and laughing before stargazing until dawn.

Daemon Black

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Credit to the artist, Sayara-S.

Oh Daemon, the first character that made me believe in book boyfriends. Daemon Black encompasses everything I hate to love about a person. He’s arrogant, but sweet. He aggravating, but loveable. If I ever find a real-life Daemon Black (which I won’t), I probably wouldn’t know what to do. Our Valentines Day would be spent baking cookies and marathoning The Walking Dead and he would probably get me more books to blog about and maybe even purchase a self-hosting plan! He’s my original book boyfriend and I’ll love him forever ❤

Book Blitz: Starfall

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Today we have a special message from author Melissa Landers about her latest release, STARFALL!

Hi, booklovers!

I’m author Melissa Landers, and I’m so excited to launch STARFALL, the second and final book in my Starflight duology! This story picks up shortly after the first book ends, but now Cassia and Kane are the main characters, with Doran, Solara, and the rest of the Banshee crew pitching in to help take down an intergalactic mafia. (You know, just an ordinary day in space.) And while saying goodbye to characters is never easy, I think I gave the crew a proper sendoff with plenty of humor, heart, and action. I hope you love STARFALL as much as I do!

Haven’t read the first book? You’re in luck, because for a limited time, Starflight is on sale for 99 cents in all e-formats. Now you can binge read the entire duology in one sitting!

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Praise for Starflight:

“Smart, action-packed and utterly addictive!” –New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman

Starflight has the cinematic appeal, warp-speed action and unlikely heroes of Star Wars.” –Justine Magazine

“A lively tale of romance, space pirates, conspiracy, and made (as opposed to genetic) families.” –Booklist

“A great choice for fans of raw sci-fi action, reminiscent of the lawlessness presented in the television series Firefly.” –School Library Journal

If you love sci-fi adventure with a dash of romance, I hope you’ll pick up the Starflight duology today. Starflight and Starfall are both available in stores and online.

STARFLIGHT (book 1)

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2jmEOqA

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2kjs57n

Book Depository (free international shipping): http://bit.ly/1OoN2WD

Indie Bound: http://bit.ly/1IIMPx7

STARFALL (book 2)

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2jmNsW2

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2ddKuih

Book Depository: http://bit.ly/2k98EvN

Indie Bound: http://bit.ly/2dhMLry

To celebrate my book birthday, I’m offering one lucky winner a Starflight duology swag pack, complete with bookmarks and two signed mini posters! The giveaway is open internationally. Due to sweepstakes laws, entrants must be 18 years or older to participate.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Best of luck, and happy reading!

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Melissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids. She lives outside Cincinnati in the small town of Loveland, “Sweetheart of Ohio.” For more information or just to say hello, visit http://www.melissa-landers.com.

 

Discussion: A Guide on Who Can and Cannot Make Political Comments

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Lately there’s been a lot of confusion on Twitter on who’s allowed to make political comments. I feel like this is a super important topic and decided to create a guide to help those who aren’t sure if they’re allowed to comment on politics- whether it’s about Trump, Flint, DAPL, etc. This guide is formatted in a Q&A style for simplicity reasons.

Q: I’m a blogger, can I share my political views?

A: YES

Q: I’m an author, can I share  my political views?

A: YES

Q: I’m a celebrity, can I share my political views?

A: YES

Q: I’m from a different country, can I share my political views?

A: YES

Q: I’m a millennial, can I share my political views?

A: YES

Q: I’m just now learning about politics, can I share my political views?

A: YES

Q: I’m not a straight, white male, can I share my political views?

A: YES

Q: I am a straight, white male, can I share my political views?

A: YES

Q: I’m pro-life, can I share my political views?

A: YES

Q: I’m pro-choice, can I share my political views?

A: YES

Q: I am (literally anything), can I share my political views?

A: YES

I hope this guide is extremely helpful for anyone who was confused! Remember- if someone doesn’t ‘fit’ into this guide you should definitely troll them on the internet and refer them to this guide. Happy tweeting!


Real talk: Everyone and anyone has the right to voice their opinion without having to face negative backlash. That’s the beauty of freedom of speech. We all have opinions and they all deserve to be heard and respected. Whoever you are and whatever you believe: You are important. Your voice is important. Don’t you ever let someone take that away from you!

As the wonderful Ellen DeGeneres always says, “Be kind to one another”.

TTT: Books I Wish Had More Pages

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

 This week: Books I Wish Had More Pages

A List of Cages

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Why? I’m so in love with these characters and wish I can be their best friend.

It Ends With Us

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Why? This story was so beautiful, I didn’t want it to end.

This Raging Light

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Why? Characters + story = ♥

Oblivion

Oblivion

Why? Daemon. Black.

Small Circles series

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Why? I can never get enough of Megan’s books

The Last Song

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Why? This is the first YA book I remember reading, it has a special place in my heart.

Harry Potter series

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Why? Do I need to explain?

Vengeance Road

Vengeance Road

Why? Extremely unique story that I absolutely loved.

George

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Why? I need to know how George is doing!

The Dead House

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Why? I’m still blown away with how this book messed with my mind.

What books do you wish had more pages?

Journey to Minimalism: What is Minimalism?

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Journey to Minimalism is a series on my blog in which I record my experiences as I declutter and attempt to live a life free of distractions. 

When you hear the word minimalism, what do you picture? For years I believed that minimalism meant ridding my space of all the items I owned, except for the bare essentials, and that terrified me. I used to picture all white rooms with a bed and some plants. Something like this:

While I absolutely adore how this room looks, I know that I can never minimize (or even maintain) my room to resemble this. The room is absolutely breath-taking, but there isn’t a bookshelf or a space to sit and read. I own over 200 books and cherish every single one of them, so I thought that minimalism could not work for me.

Whenever I would stumble across a minimalist’s page I would also see pictures of their wardrobe. A pattern that I often noticed is the lack of colors in most of these colors, which is saying something since most of what I own are either black or jeans. Take the following picture as an example:

This closet is extremely visually appealing, but doesn’t reflect my style. I love colors and I love being able to dress casually one day and dressy the next. With the clothes I currently own I cannot minimize my closet as much as most minimalists do without eliminating some style options. I’m also in a situation where I do not have the ability to purchase a completely new wardrobe that can fit all my needs in as little items of clothing as possible. So does that mean I cannot be a minimalist?

In fact, what is minimalism?

For so long I’ve been intimidated by the image that surrounds minimalism that I didn’t even bother to ask myself about the fundamentals of it! After doing plenty of research, I discovered that there are so many different definitions of minimalism, but they all share a common value. I believe Joshua Becker from the Becoming Minimalist blog puts it best:

Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it.

And if we were going to become minimalist, it would have to be a style of minimalism specific to us. It would require us to ask questions, give-and-take, identify what we most value, and be humble enough to change course when necessary.

Your particular practice of minimalism is going to look different from everyone else. It must! After all, you live a different life than everyone else.

Although the Pinterest and Instagram minimalists seem to be more ‘minimal’ than you, that doesn’t make your ‘style of minimalism’ any less authentic. As Becker says, minimalism is about ridding your life of distractions.

What do you want to do with your life, really think about it. Now look around. Are the items that surround you going to help you get there? Do they hold any value/significant meaning to you? Do they make you happy? I’m afraid that’s not the case for me.

Time to get to work.