Tuesday, June 30, 2015

So Yeah, I'm Entering A Contest...

This is my entry for Marissa Meyer's Design a Lunar Chronicles Bookmark Contest. This is for contest purposes only. Don't take the image without giving me credit and linking back to the original post.

A little bit more about it...

I was really inspired by three things: Winter (the character), the moon, and the lunar palace. The primary colors I used are gray, black, and blue with a dash of color to the face (the three scars and the eye). I wanted to keep it simple in terms of color. Basically, I wanted the focus to remain on Winter.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Movie Review: Max (2015)

Title: Max (2015)
Director: Boaz Yakin
Screenwriter: Boaz Yakin & Sheldon Lettich
Release Date: June 26, 2015
Rated PG
For More Information visit Max-Official Movie Site.

Max-Official Movie Trailer

Max is a heartfelt tearjerker that will keep you engrossed every second of the way. We don’t think there will be a dry eye in the theater. The execution of the movie and pacing were simply perfect. Each scene was so realistically portrayed that it took you right into the moment. And although we had seen the scenes that included the explosion on the battlefield and Kyle's funeral in the trailer, it still elicited tears and chills when they were played through. It broached the topic of the loyalty of a dog. We loved how the dedicated service dog developed a new bond and helped Kyle’s family heal after his death. Although we went into this movie thinking that it would be just average, we were pleasantly surprised that this was one of the best movies we’ve seen this year.—It’s definitely a must see this summer!
***Thanks to Warner Bros. Pictures we attended an advance screening of Max on June 18, 2015***

ARC Review: A Book of Spirits and Thieves by Morgan Rhodes

A Book of Spirits and Thieves (Spirits and Thieves, #1)Title:A Book of Spirits and Thieves
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Source/Format: Penguin First to Read, E-ARC
More Details: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher/Publication Date: Razorbill, June 23, 2015

Goodreads     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads...

Worlds collide in this suspenseful, page-turning Falling Kingdoms spin-off series, which explores a whole new side of Mytica—and an even darker version of its magic.

Crystal Hatcher, Modern-day Toronto: It’s a normal afternoon in her father’s antique bookshop when Crys witnesses the unthinkable: her little sister Becca collapses into a coma after becoming mesmerized by a mysterious book written in an unrecognizable language.

Maddox Corso, Ancient Mytica: Maddox Corso doesn’t think much of it when he spots an unfamiliar girl in his small village. Until, that is, he realizes that she is a spirit, and he is the only one who can see or hear her. Her name is Becca Hatcher, and she needs Maddox to help get her home.

Farrell Grayson, Modern-day Toronto: Rich and aimless Farrell Grayson is thrilled when the mysterious leader of the ultra-secret Hawkspeare Society invites him into the fold. But when he learns exactly what he has to do to prove himself, Farrell starts to question everything he thought he knew about family, loyalty, and himself.

Fate has brought these young people together, but ancient magic threatens to rip them apart...
A Book of Spirits and Thieves is basically my introduction to Morgan Rhodes' novels. I have heard of her other series—Falling Kingdoms—though I don’t ever really remember being too interested in it despite the numerous things I’ve heard about it, all good. But for me this book was ok, and I in no way felt like I needed to immediately rush out and buy all of Rhodes' other novels. The beginning was just alright, and I honestly kept setting this book aside until I finally sat down and decided to just get through it. There were elements within the first few chapters that offered enough intrigue to make me curious enough to see how the book would end.

The story was in no way slow. In fact, the trouble almost immediately begins, and the plot quickly moves along from there. One aspect that I really enjoyed was the very different settings—Present-day Toronto and Mytica. I found the parts that took place in Mytica especially interesting, and when the story finally reached those parts I felt more enthused about getting to the ending of the novel. The premise about a book actually doing some harm was interesting enough. Wait, sorry, no, not “some harm,” but a lot of it actually. And the mystery of what this book was is what kept me reading. It was one thing I definitely wanted to know more about. The writing was also something else I enjoyed. Yes, it was third person, but it was descriptive and it was nice to see the story from different perspectives. And not once did I ever feel like the characters were getting muddle together. It was easy to distinguish one from the other.

Crystal (Crys) Hatcher was an ok character. My primary issue with her in the beginning was how the book dealt with the relationship between the two sisters, with Crys being the eldest. I don’t know if this is a trend, but I don’t like it when the older sister is constantly comparing her shortcomings to the younger sister that is always considered the breadwinner of the family. Sometimes it could be for the pettiest of reasons like looks, grades, jobs, or whatever. And once I got past the beginning, Crys continued to be an ok character but my opinion of her improved as the story progressed. As for the other prominent characters in the book, I liked Maddox and Becca, and I did enjoy seeing them interact with one another—it was very entertaining. And then there was Farrell Grayson. I didn't like him at all mainly because of the things he did. But there was an assortment of characters ranging in personalities and motivations regarding their actions and it ultimately tied into the plot.

So, all in all, A Book of Spirits and Thieves was an average sort of book for me. There were things I liked and some that I did not. But the second half of the book is what saved it for me. I might consider picking up other books by Morgan Rhodes—maybe even the sequel to this one, it just depends.
This copy of the book was provided by Penguin First to Read for this review, thank you!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Movie Review: Inside Out (2015)

Picture Retrieved 6/23/2015 from
Inside Out Official Website
Picture Retrieved 6/23/2015 from
Inside Out Official Website
Title:  Inside Out (2015)
Directors: Pete Doctor & Renaldo Del Carmen
Writers: Pete Doctor & Renaldo Del Carmen
Screenwriters: Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley & Pete Doctor

Release Date: June 19, 2015
Rated: PG 

Click on the link to find out more about Inside Out
Inside Out was a cute, funny and sometimes sad movie that will take you on an emotional roller coaster ride like never before; that is considering that this is a movie about emotions.  As Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) tries to make sense of her family's move and adjust to her new home, her emotions go awry. The journey inside Riley’s mind provides an insider’s view of what happens when an individual struggles with change. As such, Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Anger (Lewis Black), and Disgust (Mindy Kaling) came into play. Things got slightly tumultuous as Joy was on a happy, happy, happy crusade and sadness seemed like extra weight to carry around. Fear brought some humor to the screen and Anger—well; there were just times when he was out of control. And Disgust—well just take a look at this trailer….

Yeah, she was a opinionated and added a touch of sass to the mix. Needless to say, Riley’s behavior was questionable at times. Much of the focus remained on the interworking of Riley’s mind, mainly Joy and Sadness. And although Joy initially had her head in the clouds (everything was happy) and seemed to think that the world revolved around her, I liked the important realization she made upon falling into a dark pit. As for the negative aspects of the film, there were some drawn-out scenes and watching it in 3D didn’t enhance the visual effects. Yet,  Inside Out remains an entertaining, family friendly movie.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Interview: Kimberly Karalius

Today I'm so excited to finally bring you my interview with Kimberly Karalius, the author of Love Fortunes and Other Disasters. (You can check out my review for the book HERE) But before I get to the interview check out the synopsis below to learn more about the book...

22718710Synopsis from Goodreads...

Love is real in the town of Grimbaud, and Fallon Dupree has dreamed of attending high school there for years. After all, generations of Duprees have successfully followed the (100% accurate!) love fortunes from Zita’s famous Love Charms Shop to happily marry their high school sweethearts. It’s a tradition. So she is both stunned and devastated when her fortune states that she will NEVER find love. Fortunately, Fallon isn’t the only student with a terrible love fortune, and a rebellion is brewing. Fallon is determined to take control of her own fate—even if it means working with a notorious heartbreaker like Sebastian. Will Fallon and Sebastian be able to overthrow Zita’s tyranny and fall in love?

How did you come up with the idea for Love Fortunes and Other Disasters?

Love Fortunes started from a few conversations I had with my fellow English majors in college. We used to study together in the dorm lobby, and our texts usually sparked some interesting tangents. Girls severely outnumbered boys on campus; with such a lack of dating opportunities, we used to imagine ourselves becoming glamourous spinsters after graduation, with mansions, butlers, and rooms full of cats (or dogs for me. I’ll always be a dog person). I wanted to turn that idea into a YA novel, but I knew it would be a challenge since teens have their whole lives ahead of them – why should they be worried about not finding love? Then Zita’s 100% accurate love fortunes and the town of Grimbaud came to be.

What made you decide to submit your novel to Swoon Reads? Was there a particular reason why the platform appealed to you?

I knew I wanted to submit my novel to Swoon Reads because of its crowd-sourcing model. I was already comfortable with the model after sharing my work for years on Figment.com, a teen writing site, which uses a similar idea to boost popular stories on the site for more readers to see. I loved giving and receiving feedback with fellow writers and readers on Figment, and the sense of community that came with it, so I couldn’t wait to jump into Swoon Reads and see what it was like there (with the hope of having my book published too!).

Do you have a particular spot where you like to write (especially in the summer)?

I don’t have much tolerance for hot weather, and Florida gets extremely steamy during the summer months. So when I write, I like sitting on a comfy couch with my laptop in my lap, in direct contact with air conditioning. In fact, I love writing in sweaters and sweats, which is something I can get away with if I don’t go outside *laughs* That’s an ideal situation, though. I graduated a while ago, so I work at my fulltime job over the summer (writing time only happens at night now, when the temperature drops, hurrah!).

What was your reaction to learning that your novel had been selected to be published by Swoon Reads?

I was so excited I was shaking, but I had to suppress any further reactions until when I got home from work. I found out while I was working – I had a nice cubicle in the department I worked in at the time, but it was still exposed. So when I got the email and talked with Jean Feiwel and my future editor, Holly West, I was trying so hard to appear calm and collected in front of my coworkers. After all, as awesome as it was to get the good news, I had to keep it a secret until Swoon Reads officially announced it to the world. So… much shaking, and a LOT of internal screaming and dancing.

What’s your biggest source of inspiration?

Anything strange and vintage. I gravitate towards antique and gift shops for that reason. It’s fun to wander through the aisles and wonder who would buy certain items and why (customers… and future characters, perhaps). Recently, I saw bookends shaped like keys. I have no use for bookends since I had too many books (my books are bookends), but I could picture a lonely baron owning the pair in his dusty library overlooking the grey ocean below.

What’s next for you?

I’m happy to announce that my second book with Swoon Reads is a sequel to Love Fortunes and Other Disasters. The main character is someone you’ve already met in the previous book. That’s all I can say for now, but keep a lookout on the Swoon Reads site for more news soon!

And that's it. Thank you to Kimberly Karalius for doing the interview, and don’t forget to check out her book Love Fortunes and Other Disasters. Happy reading!
Kimberly Karalius
 About the Author...

If you gave her a wish bone, Kimberly would wish fervently for snow in Florida. Her love for 90s cartoons (or any cartoons, really) knows no bounds. She might be the only person you know who can be completely engrossed in watching silent films. Being in Florida certainly has one big perk: going to Disney World. Which she does. Frequently. Kimberly holds an MFA in fiction from the University of South Florida. Her fiction has appeared in literary journals such as Luna Station Quarterly, The Medulla Review, and Hogglepot. Her chapbook, Pocket Forest, was published by Deathless Press in August 2013. Love Fortunes and Other Disasters (Swoon Reads/Macmillan May 2015) is her debut novel

Places to find Kimberly Karalius online . . .

Goodreads     Website     Twitter     Instagram     Pinterest

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