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Thursday, May 4, 2017

To the little bloggers:

First off, May the Fourth be with you all.

Now that that is said and done, I want to speak to the little bloggers. The upstarts. The stagnant. The in-betweeners. The ones losing hope.

I am you all. Or I was. Or I turned into.

I have been in these shoes, is what I mean to say.

I began blogging back in 2011 when I was hitting my senior year of high school. I went in with the craving of these advanced readers copies. These gems. They, as bloggers knows, are the trophies that publishers grant us. And, as I wrote my reviews and part-took in a plethora of blogging memes, I wanted those trophies badly.

And that's when it slapped me in the face. I transported myself back to ballet class, to the dance recitals. To the trophies I wanted to receive, but needed 5 years of recitals to obtain. And I quit. After two years, I quit because I didn't want to put in the effort to receive that trophy. I could have grown, and grew extremely limber, and extremely toned, and fluid if I continued. A better dancer. If I understood the heart and soul behind art rather than the shiny trophy that would collect dust later on. I could have been great.

ARCs were my dance trophies back in high school. Now, it wasn't the be-all-end-all reason I started blogging. I took pride in the sites that I read. Kristy at The Story Siren got the ball rolling. Rolled me into a community of passionate and artistic and outgoing people of all ages and backgrounds. I read so much more than I ever did. I joined fandoms and went to book signings, met with fantastic and intelligent authors all across the country, and learned more and more about the publishing industry. 

It rolled a stone inside of me. One that pushed my desire for English. For poetry. Blogging became an outlet for my creative thought. For me to learn coding, to advance my knowledge of Photoshop and graphic design.

There is so much to the online community. To your own website. A place where people share your interests and likes, who strive for you to succeed and piggy-back on one another.

I plead with the bloggers big and small; write. Engage. Build. We are nothing without the words we instill unto others and into ourselves. Make them positive. Constructive. Find your voice. This is the place to do it, on your own website, your own blog. You can write about books, you can instagram, you can vlog. Be creative. Be wild. Be you.

So don't get discouraged with viewership, with followers, with the number of packages waiting in your mailbox. This is so much more than all those things. It is a time warp. Read what you wrote a six months ago, a year, five years ago--watch yourself grow. Is that not the most magical thing? Your blog is a time capsule. Whether you just began or are a veteran with a thousands following, your blog is your notebook with all the bits and pieces of you documenting how you have grown as a person, as a writer, as a reader. These are your doodles turning into portraits.

To me, that makes all the difference.

So keep the words pumping. Keep networking. Keep reading. Pay it forward with other blogs. Grow the community, grow yourself. Email publicists. Meet with authors. Outreach. Ask questions. DM your favorite writers, favorite bloggers. Engage on social media. Go to conferences. Write your words whether someone agrees with them or not. This is your space. Just don't give up, don't lose hope. You will be rewarded for the time and effort you put into every post. Just keep doing what you love. You don't need to be active every day. Make your own schedule. Don't sweat about it. 

This is your website. Just do you.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Blog Tour Spotlight: The Takedown by Corrie Wang

The Takedown by Corrie Wang
Publication Date: April 11, 2017
Publisher: Freeform
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 384
Genre: Science Fiction
Kyla Cheng doesn't expect you to like her. For the record, she doesn't need you to. On track to be valedictorian, she's president of her community club, a debate team champ, plus the yummy Mackenzie Rodriguez has firmly attached himself to her hip. She and her three high-powered best friends don't just own their senior year at their exclusive Park Slope, Brooklyn high school, they practically define the hated species Popular. Kyla's even managed to make it through high school completely unscathed.
Until someone takes issue with this arrangement.
A week before college applications are due, a video of Kyla "doing it" with her crush-worthy English teacher is uploaded to her school's website. It instantly goes viral, but here's the thing: it's not Kyla in the video. With time running out, Kyla delves into a world of hackers, haters and creepy stalkers in an attempt to do the impossible-take something off the internet-all while dealing with the fallout from her own karmic footprint. Set in near-future Brooklyn, where privacy is a bygone luxury and every perfect profile masks damning secrets, The Takedown is a stylish, propulsive, and provocative whodunit, asking who would you rely on if your tech turned against you?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, March 24, 2017

Blog Tour: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco (and a #giveaway)

Interview with Rin Chupeco

Storybook Slayers:     I absolutely adore your debut, The Girl from the Well, and it is a delight to have The Bone Witch in my hands to read. And that cover! So as far as first questions go, I am curious as to how you felt shifting away from your horror debut novel and turn into this magical, fantastical world?

      Rin Chupeco:   Isn't that cover amazing? Sourcebooks did such a fantastic job on it. And I think that's the great thing about writing YA – genre usually takes a backseat to story. It was easy to make the transition from YA horror to YA fantasy because a lot of the themes I wrote about in both The Girl from the Well and The Suffering still holds true in The Bone Witch; in my case, that meant writing about family bonds, sacrifice, antiheroines, and empowerment, which the three books have a lot of. I've always read widely in different genres from noir to horror to nonfiction, and I knew fairly early on that my writing was going to reflect that. There's a lot more planning involved in writing fantasy though, especially when it comes to the worldbuilding.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

#currentyreading - A Crown of Wishes

March is counting down it's days, and I am barely scraping by on my reading challenge. Still 2 books ahead of schedule, and I'm grinding through a third. If you haven't read Roshani Chokshi's The Star-Touched Queen, yikes, you are missing out. For those of you looking to scratch off a diverse read on your ya-bingo card, read The Star-Touched series, because it will really dazzle you.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Review: Bull by David Elliott

*An advanced reader's copy was provide by the publisher for an honest review*

I always enjoy when stories are told through poems rather than prose, and Bull brings to life the story of the Minotaur from the sassy sea-god Poseidon himself. I laughed at Poseidon's snarky and sassy nature, like a teenage girl ready to tear your hair out; Poseidon told the story fiercely and ruthlessly, with not much sympathy toward the cast of characters.

He was slighted, so he's a salty bitch.