Friday, November 20, 2015

Design The Life You Love Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Facebook

"A joyful, inspirational guide to building the life you've always dreamed of, using the principles and creative process of an award-winning product designer.

Life, just like a design problem, is full of constraints-time, money, age, location, and circumstances. You can’t have everything, so you have to be creative to make what you want and what you need co-exist. Design the Life You Love is a joyful, inspirational guide to building the life you’ve always wanted, using the principles and creative process of an award-winning product designer. Through four steps that reveal hidden skills and wisdom, anyone can design a life they love!"

Review: I've never really review nor read any sort of guide or life planner, so whenever the opportunity to do so arose, I thought why not? This book ended up being a lot more fun and inspiring than I thought. From fun drawings to wonderful advice, I overall really enjoyed every minute of this one.

One thing I really loved (and it's such a silly thing to love) is the fact that it comes with a book marker. I know that seems random, but I loved that if I found something particularly inspiring, I could mark it with the bookmark and look reflect on it later. The whole concept of the book is to look at life differently, to be inspired and showing techniques on how to do so. I liked the fact that it discussed using a sketchbook and suggests you draw something everyday. Be creative and remember to be playful. Do you know how many semi-used sketchbooks I own? Too many, and I think it's time to bust them out, wake up my brain, be the me I was meant to be!!!

Okay, it got a little intense there, but you get the idea.

"Because an original life is a life well-lived."

Best. Quote. Ever.

All and all, I really enjoyed this one. In fact, I may purchase a couple of these as gifts for some of my favorite people. Will one be you? Do I even know you? Maybe we should change that! ANYWAY, I highly recommend this one for people looking to be inspired or add more light into their life.


4 Stars

Tour Schedule:

11/13: The Irish Banana Review - Excerpt
11/14: Kimberly Faye Reads - Review
11/15: Reading Teen - Excerpt
11/16: Don't Fold the Page - Review
11/17: Seeing Double in Neverland - Excerpt
11/18: Good Books & Good Wine - Review
11/19: Reads All the Books - Excerpt
11/20: Addicted 2 Novels - Review
11/21: No BS Book Reviews - Excerpt
11/22: Resch Reads & Reviews - Review
11/23: Lost In Lit - Excerpt
11/24: Avid Reader - Review
11/25: Rattle the Pages - Excerpt
11/26: Novel Ink - Review

Giveaway: 2 Finished Copies of DESIGN THE LIFE YOU LOVE (US Only)

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Lies About The Truth Blog Tour

Title: Lies About The Truth
Author: Courtney C. Stevens
Published: November 3rd 2015 by HarperTeen
Goodreads / Amazon / B&N / IndieBound / The Book Depository

"Sadie Kingston, is a girl living in the aftermath. A year after surviving a car accident that killed her friend Trent and left her body and face scarred, she can’t move forward. The only person who seems to understand her is Trent’s brother, Max.

As Sadie begins to fall for Max, she's unsure if she is truly healed enough to be with him — even if Max is able to look at her scars and not shy away. But when the truth about the accident and subsequent events comes to light, Sadie has to decide if she can embrace the future or if she'll always be trapped in the past. "

Thoughts: THE LIES ABOUT THE TRUTH completely caught me off-guard in the best possible ways. The emotions, so raw and pure, and the characters...I simply cannot find the right words to describe how truly remarkable this novel really is. I have goosebumps just thinking about it!

From the summary, you can see that this isn't a lighthearted novel. Sadie survived a car accident that took the life of her best friend. Though she survived the accident, she is left with scars on her face and body as well as ones on her soul and heart. It's not until her and Max (Trent's brother) start emailing each other and seeing each other again that she starts to really heal inside.

First off, I really adored Sadie. Though I've never had to deal with something so tragic and heartbreaking, I could experience what she was going to and relate. She has this strength inside of her that I really admired. I enjoyed reading about her journey and the mystery being the accident.

While I liked Max, I don't know if I really loved him. The romance between the two was sweet, and I really enjoyed it. I just didn't find Max swoon-worthy for some reason, and I honestly think it's me (not the book). Maybe I've been reading too many "adult" novels or something. He's more of a best friend type, but I do think he's perfect for Sadie.

Overall, I really enjoyed THE LIES ABOUT THE TRUTH and look forward to the author's next novels. She's definitely on my radar now, and I've got my eye on her. I loved this book so much, I ended up purchasing the ebook for FAKING NORMAL (How could I not?). If you're a fan of SAVING JUNE of FALLING INTO PLACE, you'll easily fall in love with THE LIES ABOUT THE TRUTH.


4.5 Stars

Courtney C. Stevens grew up in Kentucky and lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She is an adjunct professor and a former youth minister. Her other skills include playing hide-and-seek, climbing trees, and being an Olympic torch bearer. She is also the author of Faking Normal, which Kirkus Reviews called "a story that resonates" and Publishers Weekly called a "rich debut," as well as the e-novellaThe Blue-Haired Boy.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr

3 Finished Copies of THE LIES ABOUT TRUTH

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Be sure to check out the rest of the tour for exclusive interviews and more reviews!

Week 1:

Nov. 9: Such A Novel Idea - Review
Nov. 10: Jenuine Cupcakes - Q&A
Nov. 11: Addicted 2 Novels - Review (You're here! Yay! Come back soon!)
Nov. 12: Kimberly Faye Reads - Q&A
Nov. 13: Next Page Please - Review

Week 2:

Nov. 16: Katie's Blok Blog - Q&A
Nov. 17: A Perfection Called Books - Review
Nov. 18: Chapter By Chapter - Q&A
Nov. 19: The Reading Date - Review
Nov. 20: Andi's ABCs - Q&A

Sunday, November 8, 2015

How To Be Brave Blog Tour

How To Be Brave: A Novel
By: E. Katherine Kottaras
St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: November 3, 2015
Hardcover: 9781250072801 / $18.99 USD
eBook: 9781466884670 / $9.99 USD

"An emotional contemporary YA novel about love, loss, and having the courage to chase the life you truly want.

Reeling from her mother's death, Georgia has a choice: become lost in her own pain, or enjoy life right now, while she still can. She decides to start really living for the first time and makes a list of fifteen ways to be brave - all the things she's wanted to do but never had the courage to try. As she begins doing the things she's always been afraid to do - including pursuing her secret crush, she discovers that life doesn't always go according to plan. Sometimes friendships fall apart and love breaks your heart. But once in a while, the right person shows up just when you need them most - and you learn that you're stronger and braver than you ever imagined. "


This is what it was like:

I didn’t want you to come. I didn’t want you there.
The day before school, the very first year,
we waited in line for my schedule.

They stared. Those in line around us—
the other girls and their moms,
the ones who were my year,
who were never my friends—
They saw how you were big, planetary, next to them.
Next to me.

The girl in pigtails, someone’s sister,
asked: Is there a baby inside?
Her mother, red now, whispered in her ear.

But the girl didn’t mind:
Oh, so she’s fat.

The other girls, the ones who were my year
who were never my friends—they laughed at you, quietly.
At me.

Her mother said she was sorry, so sorry,
And you said: It’s fine. It’s fine.
But it wasn’t.

You squeezed my hand, and then to the girl in pigtails,
you said: I am big, yes. But I am beautiful, too.
And so are you.

Her mother pulled her child away.
She left the line and let us go first.
I didn’t say: You shouldn’t have come.
I didn’t say: I don’t want you here.

But I also didn’t say: I love you.
Or: Thank you for being brave.

Later that night, I cried:
I don’t want to go. I don’t want to face them.
And every year after.

You’d look at me like I was that girl,
and you’d say, as though it were true:
You are possibility and change and beauty.
One day, you will have a life, a beautiful life.
You will shine.

I didn’t see it. I couldn’t see it,
not in myself,
not in you.

Now, it’s not like that anymore.
This is what it’s like:
It’s quiet in our house. Too quiet. Especially tonight. The day before my first day of
senior year.

The A/C hums, the fridge hums, the traffic hums.
I’m standing at my closet door, those old knots churning inside my stomach again.
I don’t want to go tomorrow. I need to talk to her.
Instead, I’ve done what she always did for me the night before the first day of the school
year. I’ve picked out three complete outfits, hung them on my closet door.

It’s a good start, I guess.

Outfit #1: Dark indigo skinny jeans (are they still considered skinny if they’re a size 16?),
drapey black shirt, long gold chain necklace that Liss gave me, and cheap ballet flats that hurt
my feet because they’re way too flat and I hate wearing shoes with no socks.

Outfit #2: Black leggings, dark blue drapey knee- length dress (draping is my thing), gold
hoop earrings that belonged to my mom, and open-toed black sandals, but that would mean a
last-minute half-assed pedicure tonight. A spedicure, if you will.

Outfit #3: A dress my mom bought for me two years ago. The Orange Dress. Well, really
more like coral. With embroidered ribbons etched in angular lines that camouflage my flab.
Knee-length (not too short/not too long). Three-quarter-length sleeves (to hide the sagging). It’s
perfectly retro. And just so beautiful. Especially with this utterly uncomfortable pair of canary-
colored peep-toe pumps that belonged to my mom.

I begged her for the dress. I made her pay the $125 for it. I knew my parents didn’t have
the money, but I couldn’t help crying when I saw myself in the mirror. It fit (it’s a size 14), and I
think she saw how pretty I felt because I did feel pretty for the first time, so she charged it.

But I’ve never worn it.
The day after, she went into the ER, her heart acting up again. She needed another
emergency stent, which meant more dye through her kidneys, which meant dialysis a few weeks
later, which meant the beginning of the end of everything.

I never put it on after that.
It’s just so bright. So unlike everything else I wear.
I could wear it tomorrow.
I could. And if she were here, she would tell me to.
I really need to talk to her.
It’s just so quiet in this house.


E. Katherine Kottaras is originally from Chicago, but now she writes and teaches in the Los Angeles area. She holds an M.A. in English from the University of California, Irvine and teaches writing and literature at Pasadena City College. She is at her happiest when she is either 1) at the playground with her husband and daughter and their wonderful community of friends, 2) breathing deeply in a full handstand, or 3) writing. She now lives in Los Angeles where she's hard at work on her next book.

Giveaway: Thanks to the amazing people at St. Martin's Press, I am giving away a copy of HOW TO BE BRAVE. This giveaway is only open to US participants and ends 11/30. Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

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