Introducing the Lovely Erica!

Sunday, November 29, 2015
guestofthemonth club

Guest of the Month Club is hosted by Emily Reads Everything. Go check her out!

My awesome guest blogger for this chilly month is Erica from Escape Under the Cover. (She's pretty awesome.) So, without a further ado, meet Erica! (insert cheesy clapping sequence here.)

Hey everyone, I'm Erica and right now you are going to learn how I am one of the biggest Harry Potter nerds! So I hope you are all ready to discover my wonderful and amazing world. 

It's always interesting to learn what someone does outside of the context that you know them and sometimes it can take you completely by surprise. Like a jock who likes to bake, or an outsider who makes it famous. Now me, I'm a blogger who likes to write fanfiction! 

Now this might not seem like anything huge or all that exciting, but I actually devote a rather large chunk of my time to one fanfiction site in particular! What site might that be? Harry Potter Fanfiction, also known as HPFF. But to be honest, I actually don't spend too much ofmy time writing or reading. Don't get me wrong, I definitely do more than my fair share of those two things. However, I actually spend a majority of my time on the forums. Why? Because its amazing and I have made so many wonderful and amazing friends on this site. 

We are a wonderful community of Harry Potter Fanfiction lovers who enjoy the company of other HP fanfiction writers and readers. We have all sorts of fun on the forums with events like the House Cup during the summer, Dobbies (which are our awards for our best written stories), and a bunch of other activities. We are also a kid friendly site and pride ourselves on that. We have members of staff (of which I am one) who moderate our forums and the stories submitted to make sure that they follow the site rules so that other members don't have to worry about coming across mature content. 

If you think this sounds like a fun site, which I hope it does, I strongly encourage you to join our community! Be sorted into a house and join in on the house cup during the summer. Plus there are other events that go on within each common room as well! We have recently added Quidditch matches to our forums as well. Read amazing stories and meet some of the most amazing people on the internet. 

Hope to see you there! 

Find me at HPFF as: Slytherinchica08

And don't forget to check out my blog,

Welcome to 'The Family': Book Tour

Saturday, November 28, 2015
Displaying THE FAMILY.png

The Family
Marissa Kennerson
Publisher: Full Fathom Five Digital
Release Date: October 8th 2014


Just like any average seventeen year old, Twig loves her family. She has a caring mother and a controlling father. Her brothers are sisters are committed to her family’s prosperity…

All one hundred and eighty three of them.

Twig lives in the Family, a collective society located in the rainforest of Costa Rica. The Family members coexist with the values of complete openness and honesty, and a shared fear of contagious infection in the outside world.

So when Adam, their Father, prophet, and savior, announces that Twig will be his new bride, she is overjoyed and honored. But when an injury forces her to leave the grounds, Twig finds that the world outside is not necessarily as toxic as she was made to believe. When she meets Leo, an American boy with a killer smile, she begins to question everything about her life within the Family, and the cult to which she belongs.

But when it comes to your Family, you don’t always get a choice.

Amazon paperback



The ceremony would begin in less than an hour. Neither girl had a watch nor could see a clock, but they both had an innate sense of time, as did all members of the Family. There was only one clock on the compound. Its face sat impassive and oversized on a small tower in the center of the white, clapboard cottages that served as their living quarters. But they had other ways of knowing the time: the way the sun shone hot and bright at the height of morning or how the air became moist and the mosquitoes started to buzz shortly before dinner was called. The church bells from Turrialba, the city that hemmed the compound in at the foot of the mountain, chimed faintly on the hour until darkness took hold each night.

“Almost done.” Twig took a few steps back and looked over her work. She had laced Rose’s strawberry-blond hair with Lluvia de oro, buttercup yellow orchids that looked like candlelight flickering through Rose’s long, thick locks.Lluvia de oro. Rain of gold. The Family was segregated from the rest of society, but some bits of Costa Rican culture had managed to seep in. The twisting yellow orchid would glow in Rose’s hair in the moonlight. Perfect for a wedding night, Twig thought. Then she felt herself blush. What did she really know about what happened on a wedding night?
She knew a little from their lessons about procreation, but not much else. She imagined Thomas would be kind to Rose. Would her husband, whomever they picked for her, be kind?

“What are you thinking about?” Rose suddenly asked. “You seem far away.”

“I’m sorry. I was. I was thinking about marriage.” Twig was embarrassed that she had been thinking about sex and didn’t want to say so out loud.

Adam’s voice droned on through the intercom in the living room. Confess your sins daily to a sister or brother. Do not try to hide the evil that is inherent in every one of us. I will cleanse you of sin, but you must admit the truth of your nature before I can do that…

“Okay, turn toward me.” Twig gently steered Rose’s shoulders toward her. “Perfect,” she said.

Rose smiled weakly.

“You’re nervous,” Twig ventured.

Even though she and Rose had shared a single bedroom with their mothers for as long as she could remember, they had rarely spent time alone together. There was a slight awkwardness between them.

“I’m okay,” Rose replied, letting out a big breath. “Thomas is amazing. I got so lucky. They could have paired me with Doc!” Both of the girls erupted in nervous giggles, relieving some of the tension. 

Doc was a psychiatrist in his fifties, but he served as the Family’s medical doctor. As far back as Twig could remember, if she had a fever or a sore throat or a bee sting, Doc had taken care of it. When she was a child, she had suffered from constant headaches. She had vague memories of lying in Doc’s office with ice packs on her head. Those were lonely memories she didn’t care to recall. As she got older, her headaches had faded.

Doc was also Adam’s right-hand man. He was nice enough, but now that Rose mentioned it, Twig had never thought of Doc as someone’s husband. He was older than most members of the Family by quite a bit, and while he was nice enough, he always seemed a bit removed. If Twig had to give him a color, it would be gray. A cold blue-gray. Twig loved to give people colors. There was something visceral about them, something pre-speech. Sometimes a person’s color came to her when Twig first met them. Sometimes she had known a person for years and still couldn’t assign them a color.

She turned her attention back to Rose. “Come on. Let’s get you to the mirror, and then I think we’d better get going.”

Rose paused. “It is okay because it is a special occasion, right?”

“Yes,” Twig reassured her. “You aren’t straying. A bride is allowed to look in the mirror on her wedding day.”

Twig led Rose gently by the hand out of the bedroom and into the living area of their cottage. Adam’s voice became louder as they entered the room. The space was not large, but it was bright, and the big stone tiles that made up the floor helped to keep the cottage cool. The south wall had two bay windows that faced the compound and the rainforest that spread out behind it. A dining room table made of blond Cocobolo wood rested against the far wall next to an open kitchen. The rest of the room was sparsely decorated with two handmade wooden armchairs polished to a shine and a white, slipcovered love seat. The only mirror in the cottage was hung high on a wall next to a large framed photograph of Adam.
The glass on the frame and the mirror gleamed. Twig had dusted them herself that morning. 
You never knew when Adam might send someone to make sure the cottage and his photograph were dust-free. It was best to keep the place spotless at all times. An unclean cottage or a dusty photograph meant a verbal lashing in front of the Family.

Twig dragged a chair from the kitchen and helped Rose stand on it in order to see herself. 
The young bride wore the same white eyelet dress that every woman in the Family wore, but Twig had gotten permission to alter it into a modest strapless gown for the wedding. She had woven the ribbons usually used for their hair into a wide sash that she now tied around Rose’s small waist. Twig taught knitting and sewing classes to the younger brothers and sisters. When it came to anything clothing- or fabric-related, the Family deferred to Twig.

Rose wobbled in front of the mirror, turning this way and that. Twig was glad she couldn’t see her shoes. There was nothing to be done about the shoes. Everyone in the Family wore the same heavy, dark brown hiking boots. They were comfortable, practical, and ugly.

Twig smiled, watching Rose admire herself in the mirror. Despite her small pangs of envy, she was happy for Rose. She could also see why Adam discouraged vanity—it could get out of control. But it was lovely to see Rose smile like this. Rose’s color was definitely pink. Not a cloying pink, but a soft, creamy pink.

“You’re a genius, Twig.”


Marissa Kennerson received her B.A. in English Literature from the University of California at Berkeley. Before earning her master’s degree in psychology and art therapy, she worked for Wired and Glamour. She lives in California with her family. The Family is her first novel (Full Fathom Five Digital) and will be coming out October 2014.


Dear Mackenzie Bishop of 'The Archived' by Victoria Schwab

Friday, November 27, 2015

Dear Mackenzie Bishop of The Archived by Victoria Schwab, 
How do I start this? I'm not sure. Ugh. Scratch that. Let's start again.

Dear Mackenzie Bishop of The Archived by Victoria Schwab, 
You're lovely. No...that sounds creepy. 

Dear Mackenzie Bishop of The Archived by Victoria Schwab, 
I love you. WHOA there. Hold your horses.

Dear Mackenzie Bishop of The Archived by Victoria Schwab, 
You're my hero. Nope...that's not necessarily true.

Dear Mackenzie Bishop of The Archived by Victoria Schwab,
Thank you for helping me figure out my life.
Thank you for showing me that girls can be tough too.
Thank you for showing me that relationships aren't all instalove.
Thank you for showing me that family is important.
Thank you for showing me the key to the Archive. Oh...wait.  
But...I just want to say...thanks. For everything. 
Love, Sincerely, Honestly, Hugs and Kisses, All the Best, Best Wishes, Warmest Regards, Yours Truly, 
Simply Thanks, 

I'm Taking a Break, But Don't Cry!

Sunday, November 22, 2015
Hey, everyone. 
Great news! I'm taking a break. Kidding. You're all probably bawling by now. There there. Technically, it's a sorta-not-really break since I have a blog post coming on the 27th, but that's semantics.

This break will last from:

Nov 22-Nov 29. 

Wondering why I'm taking my FIRST EVER blogging break? It's because I'm totally REVAMPING this blog. Yeah, you heard (read?) me right. I'm doing a revamping. DURING NANO. You better be proud of me, blogosphere. You better be.
What to expect after my revamp: 
  • THREE AWESOME NEW FEATURES (With sneaky peaks during the hiatus, so, again, it's more like a half-hiatus. And, yes, all caps was needed.)
  • An awesome new blog look
  • An awesomer review format
  • A totally cool new bio
  • Awesome new profile pictures
  • GRAPHICS (Because I should try at least)
But I'll still be on Twitter, so if you need me swing on by! 

How My Novel Came to Be: A Love Story (Haha, Kidding)

Friday, November 20, 2015
My novel is insane. You should have seen how it started out, so I'm showing you now. It's pretty weird.
It originally started out as a story about a girl who wanted more to life. (Not as a bucket list to my surprise.)

Here's the original idea:

"I just want to feel like I did something, you know? Cured cancer. Traveled the world. Something! I don't want to be that freak whose horny grandkids can't even remember. I want my name to be in the record books. To make my life significant. I want to be somebody. Not just Trixie."

Trixie started out as Trixie. The same sass. The same sarcasm.
She started as a book lover, though. But I completely changed it completely at chapter two. Completely changed it. She was supposed to read instead of watching movies, but it changed. It didn't suit her personality.
The story also was originally a road trip not during the school year. And McLaughan met Trixie on the road. It was definitely different.

Has your novel changed? If yes, how? 

Things I Want The Book Blogging Community To Talk About

I adore the blogging community. I really do. But I do think that there can be more.
We do talk about things, but I feel like certain bookish or non-bookish topics need to be covered more. 

1) We're all flawed

Admit it. You're not the same person in real life than who you are when you are blogging. I know I'm now. I'm not afraid to admit it. In real life, I'm crazy and sometimes funny and weird and maybe smart. Online, I'm sassy and smirky and quick to a joke. I'm not that in real life. I want to show that we're all flawed. To new bloggers or bloggers without a lot of readers, it might seem like the 'bigger' blogs are these perfect people. When they're human like the rest of us. 

2) ARCs are attainable by everyone
ARCs are attainable by everyone. I found this out not so recently. But it seems odd to some. Especially new bloggers. They want the big views and big numbers to get the ARCs, to get the attention. Sure, that does make it better for people to see you, but don't forget that ARCs are marketing tools to get the hype up.
Jillian really sums this up on her post about why she stopped caring about ARCs. I love ARCs like the next blogger but still. The people behind the books are important too.  

3) Mental health, sexuality, gender orientation, etc 

This is actually a great little graphic for your sexuality/gender needs. Helped me figure out a lot of LGBT+ stuff. 

I feel like there are so many books about this. But bloggers don't really share their stories. Maybe their mom had PTSD. Maybe their sister is gay. I dunno. I want to hear stories like this to make me feel not alone. I'm the weird one, remember? Especially with people who like books and blogging and, maybe even, anime. I want to relate. 

4) We're all in the same boat

We all want the books. We all want to review. We all fangirl/fanboy/fanwarrior/fan-whatever. We're all bloggers. So why do we act like someone's better? We're all totally awesome people who are totally awesome at what we do. So don't hurt someone who you think is better than you. Learn from there. There is no shame in asking.
And if you need help, I'm always here. 

I'm Just a Little Crazy: 'A Madness So Discreet'

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Madness So Discreet
Author Name  

Grace Mae knows madness.
She keeps it locked away, along with her voice, trapped deep inside a brilliant mind that cannot forget horrific family secrets. Those secrets, along with the bulge in her belly, land her in a Boston insane asylum.
When her voice returns in a burst of violence, Grace is banished to the dark cellars, where her mind is discovered by a visiting doctor who dabbles in the new study of criminal psychology. With her keen eyes and sharp memory, Grace will make the perfect assistant at crime scenes. Escaping from Boston to the safety of an ethical Ohio asylum, Grace finds friendship and hope, hints of a life she should have had. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who stalks young women. Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness, must hunt a murderer while she confronts the demons in her own past.
In this beautifully twisted historical thriller, Mindy McGinnis, acclaimed author of Not a Drop to Drink and In a Handful of Dust, explores the fine line between sanity and insanity, good and evil—and the madness that exists in all of us.

As a person who wants to be in clinical psychology, stories about mental illness/disorders always are different for me. Especially if I know someone with that disorder. It changes things for me. I look at the book differently.
So I walked into this book hoping. Hoping for an exposé about asylums. Hoping to learn something. I walked out of this book disappointed.

With Grace's story, you could see her descent into madness. My thoughts? Awesome. She really changed. She had less reaction, less care. Her emotions dulled. She didn't flinch near dead bodies or when she wielded a knife. Compared to her before-the-book, frilly, and floofy lifestyle, her asylum life was starkly different. It was horrifying. I knew that asylums were terrible places, but I didn't know about the specific treatments the patients went through. It was a blast from the past, a smack of reality. People can be horrifying sometimes. Humanity can be horrifying sometimes.
Sadly, her personality fell flat, though. She was dull and emotionless. I know that she was trying to be that, but it annoyed me to no end. Even Nell and Elizabeth had personalities. They were bubbly and full of life. What Grace went through was different, but she was still a teenage girl. She still had youth. I wanted her to act that way. To have a shred of hope. Because hope is all you need in the worst of times.

Her friendships were amazing. She found friendships in unlikely places. In the dark. In the light. I thought that was pretty cool. Friendship trumps romance any day in my book.
And her friends supported her. They laughed with her. They made her smile. They were the only people who could. With Elizabeth and Nell, Grace had life. I thought that was great. Friendships can change you. I know my friendships define who I am. The guys. The group. My best friends. These people are who I am.

The plot was lacking. Was it a mystery? Or a story about change? Or all of the above? I wanted to know. I wanted something definite. If the plot was a mystery, I wanted more clues. I wanted something to follow. If the plot was about change, I wanted the frilly lifestyle of Before. If it was all of the above, I wanted more details. I wanted more story. More depth.



Hello, I'm Wren: Blogger Positivity Project

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Introduce yourself and your blog!
-taps mic- 

Testing testing one two three. You can hear me? -ear splitting squeak- Guess so. I'm Wren. I'm your amazing host at this blog. I'm probably insane with a hint of awesome. Wait. Who am I kidding? I'm totally awesome. I adore books. And Welcome to Night Vale. And anime. And jackets. And dessert. Told you I was insane.

Where do you blog from?

The comfort of my own home. Sigh...I wish. I do it everywhere with WiFi. I've been in HK, Japan, and NYC. I've blogged from cafes to libraries to the business center at my apartment complex. I'm versatile.

Who or what made you the reader you are today?

Hm...I can't really say. A tough question. I'll say book blogging for sure. It changed how I read and whatnots.

Who or what made you decide to create a book blog?

Will I sound narcissistic if I say ARCs? Okay. Here's the truth. I wanted ARCs. Like...bad. Real bad. That changed as I started to get to know people in the blogging wold. I now blog because I want to people book people and have fun.

What are your thoughts on the blogosphere today?

It's a little dismal, honestly. The author stalkings. The ARC envy. (Not that I don't have ARC envy. I do.) It's saddening sometimes. But that's our world, right?

5 random facts about you?

1) I like dessert
2) I am a green belt in TKD/karate.


3) I have a bit of a jacket fetish.
4) I'm in tech theater in school right now. Not at this moment, though. Haha. Funny.

5) I don't use my phone a lot. Or all.

5 favorite books you’ve read and loved?

These are NOT my favorites. Not all my all time favorites at least. I might as well give you a link to all my five-star reviews if we're doing all time favorites. These ARE some of my favorite books that I've read. And that I can remember. Haha.
The Archived by Victoria Schwab
The Way We Bared Our Souls by Willa Strayhorn
Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
Dumplin by Julie Murphy
Vicious by VE Schwab

5 favorite book bloggers! 

Just five? Can't I just put: all of the above and drop the mic? -weeps-
Fine. I have to do a list. FINE.

This lovely little duck. Okay, she's more like a fluffy, spiky ball of awesome.

One is Mishma from Chasing Faerytales. I feel a little biased here. Mish dear is my Schardas other half. (We are parents to some lovely fictional children.) She is BY FAR one of my favorite people in the world right now. And maybe for the future. She's kind and funny. And she fangirls awesomeness with me.

Aw... Aren't they cute???

Asti from Oh, the Books is really a teaching figure to me. Kinda. She's always nice to me and tries to help me out the best she can. I appreciate that. And she writes some awesome posts. And hosts the Bookish Games!

No. This is not Nori...

Nori from Read Write Love 28 is my Nori-chan. She is all awesome and cute and funny. And she hosts an awesome chat. Plus three points for loving anime.

Look at those evil eyes... Grrr.

Cait from Paper Fury is my opponent in the race to be World Dominator. She's great at writing and a fast reader. The two of us joke a lot. I feel really close to her.

Haha. Love the awkward, not-human profile pic. Twitter pic is a cat too... Oh.

Brianna and Angelina from OtakuTwins Reviews totally are two people. But I'm putting them as one for now because they co-blog together. (Not because I think twins are one person!) I love their writing. They are both so nice to me. And their dog is friggin adorable.

Look At This Stuff, Isn't It Neat? (Not): ShelfieHop

Monday, November 16, 2015

I am probably the only person who doesn't have an official place to hold my books. My books sit on top of a Costco box. Why? Well, A) I moved and didn't buy a new bookshelf (YET) and B) I don't own a lot of books (Because I moved. My books are coming. Soon. Soon.)

As you can see, I don't own many books. 

And you can see the Costco box. (And my Pillow Pet. and my robe. And a blanket. And my signing book. Okay, you can see a lot of my stuff.)

And it's not like it's an official shelf. But it's my current shelf. And I'm mildly ashamed of it. Heh heh.

Check out the other hoppers! 

Beautiful Books: Where I Share My Secrets to Writing

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Did you know that Cait is doing this awesome NaNo blogger thing? With Sky. So I decided to do this! Even though my story is an unofficial NaNo. (I can't do NaNo officially since I'll be using my iPad to write. Haha. Bus rides are good for writing. You get my meaning?)

Is the book turning out how you thought it would be, or is it defying your expectations?

Defying my expectations. My Novel is this wild child who makes lots of sexual references. I have been loving writing it. It's awesome because Trixie is just insane and weird. I get to write these awesome lines. Have you seen my snippets?

What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?
"Hey, McLaughan," she called, "dare me to skinny dip?"
This just shows you how awesome Trixie is.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you ever tried both methods and how did it turn out?
A bit of both. My entire second chapter, which I am working on, is all on the seat of my pants. I have tried planning, but it doesn't always work.

What do you reward yourself with after meeting a goal?
I'm not sure. I don't?

What do you look for in a name? Do you have themes and where do you find your names?
I make up names. I have characters name Ravenda and Dyvian. But I just try out names. Trixie was just the perfect name. And McLaughan sounded nice. 

What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end -- and why?
All the above? I'm kidding. I like the end. It's fun. Especially if I know the ending and you don't.

Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?
Trixie! She's so much fun. She's nice and hilarious. And awkward. And awesome.
What kind of things have you researched for this project, and how do you go about researching? (What’s the weirdest thing you’ve researched?!)
I don't research for contemporary novels? I mean, I might search up things about Las Vegas or the Loneliest Road, but that's all. Haha. (Written before I did some research)
An update! I actually did some stuff for the Loneliest Road, and it's pretty cool. I'd love to go down the road. And if you get some stamps from certain cities, or mini towns really, you can get a 'I survived' sort of thing. Anyone wanna go with me?

Do you write better alone or with others? Do you share your work or prefer to keep it to yourself?
Alone. I hate being with others in general. I'm antisocial. I like to share my work and get feedback but nothing else. Loners FTW!

What are your writing habits? Is there a specific snack you eat? Do you listen to music? What time of day do you write best? Feel free to show us a picture of your writing space! I don't have habits. I just write. Without an snack or whatever. Or I do eat. Who cares about food, right? I don't listen to music, though. It's distracting to me. And I can write in a loud coffee shop or in the comfort of my own home. I don't care. I'm easygoing like that.

NaNo: How to get to 50,000 words

Saturday, November 14, 2015
How to get to 50,000 words

You may or may not know that I'm doing NaNo. Here's another post of my thoughts and tips for NaNo. 
This time, I'm talking about getting to that daunting 50,000 words. 

Here are my steps to getting to the 50,000 words.

1) Don't freak out

Because freaking out is the worst thing to do. You're probably freaking out, though. 

2) Candy

Candy will be good. Eat candy. Binge eat it. Who cares about weight?

3) Procrastinate

You're doing this also too. 

4) Stop procrastinating, get to work

As if. Working is for peons. Give it to your peons.

5) Watch cat videos

This is very productive. You'll be inspired. 

6) Make a wish with the NaNo gods
They may not be listening. The sacrifice requires your favorite candy bar and the first draft of your novel. And then you need to burn the candy and do the ritual dance (Gangnam Style) in front of the fire. Toss in your draft page by page. Make sure you have another copy of the draft. Digital or not. 

7) Words magically appear 
Because magic. MAGIC. 

8) Thank the gods and applaud yourself for your hard work (with food mostly)
Foods. Treats. Yay, you made it without dying. Huzzah

What are your steps for getting to 50,000 words?