Month: April 2017

April Book Haul – My Latest Purchases & Acquired ARCs

Hi everyone in the galaxy! April is ending and I thought it’d be a fun idea to show you guys which books I got this month. At first, I was unsure about whether to make this post or not, but I figured it doubles pretty well as a book recommendations post (cheap books am I right) so why not. Lots of these books have been anticipated reads for me so I’m really excited to finally own them in one way or another. If I got any books you’ve already read, let me know what you thought of them. Let’s look at the books I got in April.

Ebooks & eARCs I Got in April

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I bought the following four ebooks during the beginning of April. They were all on sale, and you know how much I love a sale, I grabbed them as fast as I could. I always have my eyes out on Amazon and their sales since they often come out of nowhere.

  • As You Breathe Again by Molli Moran. You can add the book to your TBR on Goodreads and buy it on Amazon. The genres of the book are romance, new adult, interracial romance, and contemporary.
  • Beginner’s Guide by Six de los Reyes. You can add the book to your TBR on Goodreads and buy it on Amazon. The genres of the book are romance, contemporary, and new adult.
  • Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall. You can add the book to your TBR on Goodreads and buy it on Amazon. The genres of the book are contemporary, young adult, mental illness, and romance.
  • When Sparks Fly by Ines Bautista-Yao. You can add the book to your TBR on Goodreads and buy it on Amazon. The genres of the book are romance, chick lit, and new adult.

Under Rose-Tainted Skies is still on sale for 1.59$ so I’d definitely get that one if you’re interested. The rest are 5$ or under.

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I also purchased the following four ebooks during April and they were basically a steal for me. I’m excited for every single one of these ones.

  • Lilacs and Vanilla by CS Patra. You can add the book to your TBR on Goodreads and buy it on Amazon. The genres of the book are women’s fiction and lesbian fiction.
  • At Any Price by Brenna Aubrey. You can add the book to your TBR on Goodreads and buy it on Amazon. The genres of the book are romance, new adult, and contemporary.
  • What About Today by Dawn Lanuza. You can add the book to your TBR on Goodreads and buy it on Amazon. The genres of the book are romance, young adult, and contemporary.
  • I Am More Than a Daydream by Jennae Cecelia. You can add the book to your TBR on Goodreads and buy it on Amazon. The genres of the book are poetry and inspirational & religious.

Lilacs and Vanilla is only 0.99$ at the moment and At Any Price is currently free. The rest are 3$ each.

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The following four are the last ebooks I got this month. The first two are already published and the last two are eARCs.

  • The Beast That Never Was by Caren J. Werlinger. You can add the book to your TBR on Goodreads and buy it on Amazon. The genres of the book are fantasy, LGBT, romance, fantasy, and retellings.
  • Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire. You can add the book to your TBR on Goodreads and buy it on Amazon. The genres of the book are fantasy, young adult, mystery, and LGBT.
  • Summer Feels: A #romanceclass Anthology (received an ARC through the blog tour). You can add the book to your TBR on Goodreads and pre-order it on Amazon. The genres of the book are romance and anthologies.
  • Piglettes by Clémentine Beauvais (received an ARC through Edelweiss). You can add the book to your TBR on Goodreads and pre-order it on Amazon. The genres of the book are young adult and cultural.

The Beast That Never Was is currently free on Amazon so I would definitely grab that one. The pre-order price for Summer Feels is 2$ so I would definitely check that one out. I’m currently reading it and it’s really cute.

Physical Books & ARCs I Got in April

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I only got two physical books this month. The first one I pre-ordered ages ago and the other was an ARC, my first ever physical ARC actually, which is really exciting.

  • The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli. You can add the book to your TBR on Goodreads and buy it on Amazon or Book Depository. The genres of the book are contemporary, young adult, and romance.
  • I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo (received an ARC through the publisher). You can add the book to your TBR on Goodreads and pre-order it on Amazon or Book Depository. The genres of the book are contemporary, young adult, romance, and school.

What books have you gotten this month? Have you gotten any of the ones I did? If you know a great book that’s on sale right now I would love to hear about it. 

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday #1

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Hi readers, I have decided to start the meme Diversity Spotlight Thursday that was created by Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks. I’ve seen it around a lot but never knew what it was, that has however now changed. The point of the meme is to every Thursday feature three books that follow these points,

  1. A diverse book you have read and enjoyed
  2. A diverse book that has already been released but you have not read
  3. A diverse book that has not yet been released

If you are interested in joining the meme, you can read the rules and see more of how the meme works here. It’s honestly just the best, and I’m excited to join.

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A diverse book I’ve read and enjoyed

A diverse book I’ve read and enjoyed is Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember. It’s a story about Mnemba, who works for her cousin’s safari business, and Kara who visits from a far away land with her father to study unicorns. These two girls grow closer through a wild journey filled with unicorns, mermaids and evil poachers trying to destroy what they hold dear. I love this book so much, it has badass and vulnerable girls who will do anything to protect each other and the unicorns. Find it on Goodreads and Amazon.

A diverse book released and on my TBR

A diverse book already released that I can’t wait to read is The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book, and it’s currently on the New York Times bestseller list and has been for weeks. The synopsis has completely lured me in and I can’t wait to read about Natasha’s and Daniel’s story and see where their lives take them. Have any of you guys read it? I just know I have a mighty need. Find the book on Goodreads and Amazon.

A diverse book not yet released

A diverse book that hasn’t been released yet that I have a mighty need for is I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo. Not only does the book have the most gorgeous and amazing cover, and a synopsis that has you begging for more. I mean a senior who tries to learn how to flirt and get a boyfriend with the help of k dramas is honestly just amazing. Also, the line “boat rescues, love triangles, and fake car crashes ensue” from the synopsis makes me even more curious and eager to read it. Find it on Goodreads and Amazon.

What diverse books have you read or am excited to read? Have you also made a Diversity Thursday post? If yes, link it to me!

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ARC Review of How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

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downloadHow to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

Publication Date: May 2, 2017

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers

Genres: Young Adult, LGBT, and Contemporary

Rating: sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5

Selling points: Bisexual representation, explores different kinds of grief and has an interracial relationship.

Purchase here: Amazon | The Book Depository

Synopsis: All seventeen year-old Grace Glasser wants is her own life. A normal life in which she sleeps in the same bed for longer than three months and doesn’t have to scrounge for spare change to make sure the electric bill is paid. Emotionally trapped by her unreliable mother, Maggie, and the tiny cape on which she lives, she focuses on her best friend, her upcoming audition for a top music school in New York, and surviving Maggie’s latest boyfriend—who happens to be Grace’s own ex-boyfriend’s father.

Her attempts to lay low until she graduates are disrupted when she meets Eva, a girl with her own share of ghosts she’s trying to outrun. Grief-stricken and lonely, Eva pulls Grace into midnight adventures and feelings Grace never planned on. When Eva tells Grace she likes girls, both of their worlds open up. But, united by loss, Eva also shares a connection with Maggie. As Grace’s mother spirals downward, both girls must figure out how to love and how to move on.

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Thank you, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, for my e-ARC of How to Make a Wish I received through Netgalley. I appreciate the opportunity to read and review this book early!

Trigger warning for parental neglect and emotional abuse, as well as implied sexual assault (one of the characters implies they were inappropriately touched at a bar, but the scene is not on the page).

How to Make a Wish surprised me, and had a lot of the aspects I want and crave in an excellent book. All of my friends who read this book early swore it was amazing and How to Make a Wish really delivered, and then some. This book has complex and fully fleshed characters that you will instantly fall in love with. I laughed, I cried (more like bawled like a baby) and was filled with utter joy because of this book, because of Grace’s bravery and Eva’s strength, and their shared love for each other. This book really is something special and I would recommend it to everyone who loves a young adult book that doesn’t shield away from the sad and messy parts of life, the beauty that exists between all of it and the complexity of loving someone and still knowing they’re not treating you right.

What really makes you fall in love with How to Make a Wish is the characters. We have the protagonist of the story, bisexual Grace Glasser, and her relationship with her mother, a mother who is reckless and acts like a child, making Grace the adult in the relationship. It was truly heartbreaking to see Grace deal with her mother, constantly being crushed by her expectations for things being better this time. Grace dreams of becoming a pianist, but even that dream seems impossible when her mother is completely dependent on Grace. However, there is also Luca, Grace’s best friend, and his mother and their support and love for Grace is endless and beautiful. Grace is basically a part of Luca’s family. Luca knows Grace likes no one else and he loves her so much, despite their ups and downs. Their friendship was one of my favorite parts of the book.

“But it was so easy. Up there, I didn’t belong to a messed-up mother. She wasn’t the grieving daughter. We were just Grace and Eva.”

Then we have Eva, biracial, gay and the love interest of the story, who moved to live with Luca’s family after her mother died unexpectedly. Eva had a hard time dealing with life without her mother, in a new place where nothing is the same, not even her love for ballet. I fell in love with Eva immediately, she is sarcastic and strong, and a character I think many will feel for. When Grace and Eva meet, there was an instant connection. Two lonely, motherless girls found comfort in spending summer nights together at the top of a lighthouse and before they knew it, it became something so much more than just two girls finding contentment in each other. I love Grace and Eva’s relationship because it’s so soft and tender, which is something I really miss in f/f relationships. There is something so incredibly heartwarming about the connection Eva and Grace has and I love how this book shows us the insecurities and complexities that exist with it.

“Then her whole hand slides across my whole hand, and our fingers are all mixed up, pale and dark, lavender on dark purple, wrapped over and around. The tree creaks ominously, but I don’t care. I forget about everything that came before this – every [pissed off] and jealous emotion I had from earlier tonight, gone.”

You can’t discuss How to Make a Wish without mentioning the writing. Blake truly draws you in with her use of words and imagery, and the voice of Grace is one that makes it impossible to put the book down. There are funny and sarcastic moments, sad and heartbreaking scenes, and everything in between, and Blake delivers in her execution. How to Make a Wish has amazing bisexual representation and a masturbation scene that needs to be celebrated since they are so rarely featured in YA books.

All in all, How to Make a Wish is a book you need to put on your radar this spring and summer. This book is so beautiful it hurts. You will fall in love with Grace, Eva, and Luca and see their struggles, their happy moments, and most importantly of all, their happy endings despite life not being easy or fair. This story is about grief, freedom and the complexity of love. How to Make a Wish is a magical mess of beauty, sadness, love, dreams and wishes and a book that deserves all of the praise in the world.

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Zodiac Recommendations #12 Capricorn Books

Hi everyone, and welcome to my twelfth and last week of Zodiac Book Recommendations. Every week I’ve recommended books for one of the zodiac signs, starting with Aquarius and ending with Capricorn, after chronological order. This week I have three book recommendations for Capricorn.

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The earth beneath you is the element of Capricorn, and it’s the one you should embrace this week with my book recommendations. Like every other zodiac sign, the Capricorn have their strengths and weaknesses, and with these qualities in mind I have tried to find suitable book recommendations. I hope that whoever you are, whether you are a Capricorn yourself or someone who knows a Capricorn, you’ll enjoy these book recommendations.

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For the Zodiac sign Capricorn I’m recommending the following books,

The books I’ve chosen are ones that I think celebrate Capricorn qualities in one way or another. I hope you’ll love these books, and maybe even find a new favorite. Thank you for staying with me throughout this recommendation series, if you missed a zodiac sign or want to see them again, then you can see all of the previous recommendations here.

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Cover Reveal for Summer Feels: A #romanceclass Anthology

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Welcome people in the galaxy to another cover reveal at Olivia Chanel’s Galaxy of Books. Today I’m here to proudly present to you the cover for Summer Feels: A #romanceclass Anthology that just can’t wait to read. The cover is also so gorgeous when I saw it for the first time I gasped. I won’t keep you waiting any longer, without further ado, here is the cover for Summer Feels,

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Summer Feels: A #romanceclass Anthology

Genre: Romance

Release Date: April 30, 2017

The blurb for Summer Feels: A #romanceclass Anthology is the following:

Summer loving happens so fast, as you’ll find with Summer Feels, an anthology of 23 stories of love under the summer sun by #romanceclass authors. Savor the candied thrill of firsts—first loves, first kisses, first solo vacations—and the bittersweet triumph of second chances. Tour the Philippines as the stories take you to mountain retreats and island paradises. Let the magic of the hot sun, clear blue skies, and lots of love take you on a roller coaster ride of feels. With stories ranging from sweet to sexy, there’s sure to be something for any fan of romance.

Featuring stories by:

Elea Andrea Almazora • Erleen Alvarez • Ella Banta • Rachelle Belaro • H. Bentham • Halina Cabrera • Charlie Dio • Mina V. Esguerra • Elizabeth Galit • Georgette S. Gonzales • Ami Granada • Irene Jurado • Catherine Lo • Arlene Manocot • Bianca Mori • Eris Peñaluna • Farrah F. Polestico • Kit Salazar • Miel Salva • Fay Sebastian • Kate Sebastian • Yeyet Soriano • Marian Tee

Edited and compiled by Kate Sebastian and Cover and Interior design by Miles Tan. 

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About the Designer

Miles Tan likes inhabiting imaginary worlds, from fantasy books to sci-fi shows to cheeky mysteries to role-playing games. She works with websites, plays with graphics, and is now currently painting with words.

Finding X is her first published novella. Her short story “Something Real” is included in the YA Luna East anthology, Kids These Days.

To learn more about her books, visit milestanbooks.com. To see more of the cover art she’s designed, check out milestanbooks.com/works.

Find the Book Here

Add the Summer Feel on Goodreads here, buy it on Amazon here and pre-order the print copy (the Philippines only) here.

Stories included in this anthology:

  • “All about That Bass” by Fay Sebastian
  • “Alter Christus” by Catherine Lo
  • “Fall for Me” by Miel Salva
  • “The Game of Twenty Questions” by Elizabeth Galit
  • “The Summer You Said Hello” by Ami Granada
  • “At the Bermuda Triangle” by Elea Andrea Almazora
  • “Beachin’ Summer” by Arlene Manocot
  • “Buddy System” by Yeyet Soriano
  • “Busy out of the Friendzone” by Charlie Dio
  • “Flying with You” by Rachelle Belaro
  • “Guide for a Day” by H. Bentham
  • “Ready to Run” by Kit Salazar
  • “Secondhand Wanderlust” by Erleen Alvarez
  • “The Search for the Kissing Monster” by Ella Banta
  • “Anything Can Happen” by Marian Tee
  • “Four Basic Principles” by Bianca Mori
  • “Love after Summer” by Irene Jurado
  • “Lucky in Paradise” by Farrah F. Polestico
  • “The Swimming Instructor” by Eris Peñaluna
  • “Wedding Night Stand” by Mina V. Esguerra
  • “An Overdue Adventure” by Kate Sebastian
  • “Buttered Sunset” by Halina Cabrera
  • “Then Derrick Was Back” by Georgette S. Gonzales

Are you guys as excited for this summer-themed anthology as I am? What do you guys think of the cover?

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ARC Review of Promdi Heart (Hometown Love Stories)

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promdiheart1.jpgPromdi Heart (Hometown Love Stories) by Georgette S. Gonzales, Agay Llanera, Chris Mariano, C. P. Santi, Jay E. Tria and Ines Bautista-Yao

Publication Date: March 29, 2017

Genres: Romance

Rating: sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5

Purchase here: Amazon

Synopsis: Take a quick tour of the Philippines with six hometown love stories.

Visit Jimenez, Misamis Occidental where a priest might just set you up with a man whose dimples are to die for. Visit Silay, Negros Occidental and get on a horse alongside hunky, hazel-eyed Negrense royalty. Visit Kalibo, Aklan and find yourself in the arms of a cute drummer boy who just happens to be your kuya’s BFF. Visit Hagonoy, Bulacan and spend All Saint’s Day next to a distracting boy who promises to write you a song. Visit Vigan, Ilocos Sur and meet the hot man you used to bully when he was a shy, chubby boy. Visit Pundaquit, Zambales and find love in a bronzed fisherman whose eyes hold depths you’ll want to explore.

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Thank you to the authors for my e-arc of Promdi Heart. I really appreciate the opportunity to read and review this book early!

Promdi Heart is a cute anthology with short stories from six different authors. There were lots of romantic moments I enjoyed. However, there were a few issues I had with a few of the stories, which is why I have a hard time deciding where between 3 and 4 stars my rating lands. I think the most accurate rating is 3.5 stars but I do think my favorite stories of the anthology were worth a very strong 4 stars. I would definitely recommend this anthology, especially if you love #romanceclass, but I would warn you that the word crazy and lunatic are used in an ableist way in two of the stories and that in one of the stories a bully falls in love with her victim, and though it’s resolved it’s still something potential readers should be aware of. I love how food and culture were woven into all of the stories, and it even made me a little hungry at times, so I think people will really appreciate that.

Only the Beginning by C. P. Santi

Only the Beginning is a cute and romantic short story. I thought it was lovely to see Andi and Martin get to know each other. We see their friendship and relationship grow through their regular meetings and through texts, which was a nice way to show time passing. The story is a typical enemies-to-friends-to-lovers story that I know many will appreciate. I enjoyed that we got to see so much about the city of Jimenez, its culture, and rich food. There were a lot of Filipino expressions and names I did not know, but that made me that much more eager to want to look it up and find out. Also, all the talk about donuts gave me a craving. I thought the whole part with “choose your own happiness” part could have been done differently since not everyone can choose their happiness due to mental illness and whatnot. I understand what the author wanted to say but it could have been expressed differently.

Letters About a Boy by Ines Bautista-Yao

I liked how Letters About a Boy was a story told in a sequence of letters throughout many years. Slowly through the letters, we get to know Tin-Tin and Nicolas and how their relationship evolves. At times, the letters felt a bit too one-sided for real life, but it worked well in this story. In this story, there was some electric moments between Tin-Tin and Nicolas, as well as some cliché scenes that I know romance lovers will squeal over. However, I thought the ending felt too rushed and that one or two extra letters between the second to last two would have made it feel more natural in the grand scheme of things. I wanted Nicolas to woo Tin-Tin a bit more before they got their happily ever after because she really deserved it. Other than that, the ending was adorable and funny and fit the story perfectly.

Drummer Boy by Chris Mariano

Drummer Boy together with One Certain Day were my favorite stories in the anthology. Drummer Boy was filled with culture and music that will make any reader fall in love. The story is sexy, cute and I loved how the characters already had a backstory, which is a lot better when you’re thrown into a short story since you don’t need to spend unnecessary time on the “getting to know each other” part of the story. The relationship had real buildup and the trope younger sister falls in love with big brother’s best friend is strong in this one. This trope is one of my favorite ones. There are a lot of moments where you will swoon over the couple and love how romantic their entire story is. I love how the characters in this ship are really there for each other through everything, which is damn lovely.

One Certain Day by Jay E. Tria

One Certain Day is a story that is centered on one holiday, All Saint’s Day, every year and the interaction that happens between Jose and Alice. In the story, there is banter and a growing friendship between the two. It becomes very clear that despite them not meeting each other often, they speak regularly and have a real connection. I love how All Saint’s Day and the sense of family was such a big part of the story. I love books with a focus on family and this short story really delivers in a genuine way. The attraction between the characters is subtle and adorable, to be honest. I love how the ending was not a typical “and they lived happily ever after” but more bittersweet and realistic, making you wish for more.

Once Upon a Bully by Georgette S. Gonzales

Once Upon a Bully is the story about Bridgette and Miguel. Bridgette used to bully Miguel in elementary school before his parents died and he moved out of town. Later in life after many years they are both back in town and neighbors at that as well. I’ll admit, the idea of a romance between a bully and the one who was bullied honestly set me off right away. It’s not something that should be taken lightly and I hate it felt that way at times in this story. Miguel brushed the entire thing off because he was bullied by a girl and they were just kids, which didn’t sit right with me. However, Bridgette did apologize to Miguel and they were very sweet together, with a chemistry between them that is very apparent, which is why I still found the story enjoyable. The word crazy was used in an ableist way twice in the short story so be aware of that.

Back to the Stars by Agay Llanera

Back to the Stars is an enchanting short story and had the most amazing vibes. I loved that the story mostly took place by the ocean and that open starry nights played a large role in this couple’s story. This story has everything I love about romance. Wency was Leah’s closest childhood friend, they always spent summers together growing up, and he has been in love with her for years when she finally comes back to Pundaquit. This story has a lot of lovely themes that I enjoyed. It’s about growing up, what it means to change and still hold on to the things that matter. This couple is really swoon-worthy, I love Wency and think he’s probably my favorite love interest from the entire anthology. He was that amazing. The one alarming part of the short story was when Leah called her boss Luna, as in lunatic, which is ableist.

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Zodiac Recommendations #11 Sagittarius Books

Hi everyone, and welcome to my eleventh week of Zodiac Book Recommendations. Every week I’m recommending books for one of the zodiac signs, starting with Aquarius and ending with Capricorn, after chronological order. This week I have three book recommendations for Sagittarius.

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This week we are embracing fire, the element of the Sagittarius, the one that they carry inside of them. Like every other zodiac sign, the Sagittarius have their strengths and weaknesses, and with these qualities in mind, I have tried to find suitable book recommendations. I hope that whoever you are, whether you are a Sagittarius yourself or someone who knows a Sagittarius, you’ll enjoy these book recommendations.

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For Sagittarius, I’m recommending the books below,

The books I’ve chosen are ones that I think celebrate Sagittarius qualities in one way or another. I hope you’ll love these books, and maybe even find a new favorite. Check out my book recommendations for the other zodiac signs too. Next week I’m doing Capricorn, see previous recommendations here.

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The Book Blogger A to X Guide For Beginners and Veteran Bloggers

Hey everyone in the galaxy! Today I have a post for you all that I haven’t really had before, a guide. A while back I had my first blog anniversary and with a deadline the same week, no special celebration really happened. However, it got me thinking about what I can bring back to you guys after having been a book blogger for over a year now and so this book blogger guide was born. It is just as much for beginners as it is for veteran bloggers. To summarize, it’s basically just some tips, tricks and reminders for all of you book bloggers out there among the stars. I hope you’ll find it helpful.

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A as in Advanced Review Copies, ARCs.

It’s sort of fitting that ARCs is the first thing we’ll discuss in this guide. Most book bloggers want advanced review copies to read and review early on their blog. There are multiple ways to go about this, some easier than others, but I’ll try to give you my best. If you are a beginner my advice is to start on a website called NetGalley. This website is easy to navigate and easy to get started with. You simply sign up, write a bio and start requesting advanced review copies. When you just start out it can be hard to get approved for books since publishers tend to look at statistics of how well you send in reviews for books you’ve been given (but you’re new and don’t really have that). However, a good idea is to keep on requesting books anyway and also checking out the “Read Now” titles since anyone can read those. Eventually, you’ll get approved and be able to get a higher percentage on your profile. Out of all of the ways to get ARCs, I think this one is the easiest, especially if you’re just starting out.

There are of course other ways to get advanced review copies as well: directly through the publisher, through authors contacting you or through Edelweiss+. I have not used Edelweiss a lot to request books, and truthfully they’ve not yet accepted any books for me there, however, I keep on trying anyway. Edelweiss also recently updated their website, and if you’ve used the website before (unlike me), then I can imagine it’s an adjustment. However, I really like the new layout and think it’s pretty easy to navigate after playing around for a while. Their customer service is great and you have nothing to lose by trying to request ARCs there as well. A secret I’ve read about which can up your chances of getting accepted on there is to crosspost your reviews on Edelweiss. Unlike on Netgalley, you can upload reviews on Edelweiss for books you haven’t received an ARC for. Just search for the title on the home page (most titles both old and new are on there) and upload your review once you find the book you’re looking for. That way publishers can easily see your work on the website and it might make them more inclined to accept you in the future.

As I mentioned earlier, you can also get ARCs through emails in two different ways. The first way is that authors or publishers find your blog, like your reviews, and email you with a review request. You can’t do a lot to help with this except blog continuously and make sure it’s easy for people to find where they can contact you. Usually, the bigger your blog gets, the more review requests you get. However, you can also contact publishers yourself. There are lots of bloggers who have written about how to go about this, a simple Google search will help you. However, I have a few quick tips for you. If you know of a book you want to read and review early you first of all need to find out which publisher the book has. After that, go to their website and find the appropriate imprint and person to contact. Usually, they make it very clear who to contact, but a safe bet is the marketing department or similar. Then you just send them an email with information about yourself, the book you want to request and which format of you book you are willing to review. That’s about all I know when it comes to Advanced Review Copies.

B as in Blog Hopping.

If you want to make friends, get more traffic, and read what other book bloggers write about then one thing I really recommend you do is blog hopping. If you’re a beginner that phrase might be new to you but what it means is that you go from blog to blog (you hop between blogs) and read, and comment on, other bloggers’ posts. If you have WordPress a simple “like” on a post can be enough to show appreciation of it but to truly get to know more bloggers then commenting is the way to go. Something I personally want to get better at is just setting a specific time of the week just for blog hopping since I tend to easily forget to do it. Either way, it’s really fun to interact with others who do the same thing as you do and see what creative posts they’ve come up with. To make book blogging more fun and interactive blog hopping is the way to go.

C as in Consistency.

If you run a book blog I think consistency is something that’s good to remember. Consistency means different things depending on the posts you publish but basically, it’s all about trying your best to keep your promises to your readers. If they expect you to post on Mondays then try to do that to the best of your ability (however, you’re only human so it’s not something to get stressed about, just think about).

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D as in Diverse Books.

If you are in the book community then you need to know about the organization We Need Diverse Books.  The organization’s mission is, according to their website, “Putting more books featuring diverse characters into the hands of all children.” You can read more about their vision, mission and their definition of diversity here. I believe in the importance of marginalized readers being represented in books. For too long, books have had nothing but white, straight and otherwise privileged characters in books with either no diverse characters at all or just token characters that exist not to give representation but to fill a quota or to further the white characters’ growth through their misery, death or otherwise problematic subplot. Diverse books enrich our world, the book community, and marginalized readers’ lives. If you are a book blogger, my advice to you is to read as diversely as you can. You can do that in so many different ways, but my tip is to look at people that have recommendation lists for books that represent different minorities. Make sure to broaden your reading list to include a large variety of identities and intersections. You can find a broad list of diverse recommendations on We Need Diverse Books’ website here. I also have a few Goodreads shelves with recommendations. Here is my shelf for books with authors of color, books with LGBTQIA+ characters, and Jewish characters. However, these lists are in no way complete or the only books to read if you want to read diversely. If you want help to read more diversely you can also participate in #DiversityBingo2017 which was started by a group of people on Twitter. All of the information about this book challenge and the people who started it can be seen in their graphic. To see book recommendations for the challenge you can search for the hashtag on Twitter. Multiple bloggers have made recommendation lists for the bingo challenge. There is always a way to read more diversely and you should aspire to read books that represent the world the way it actually looks like and represents people who are everywhere around you in the world.

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Happy Release Day To The Paths We Choose (feat. Author’s Dream Cast)!

Happy Release Day to The Paths We Choose by Maria Hollis!

We have reached the end of this release week and this amazing and enchanting book about Lily and Mayte is finally out. To celebrate this amazing day with you guys I have Maria Hollis’ dream cast of the characters in her book. They are just amazing, and you have to check them out below. You can add The Paths We Choose on Goodreads here and buy it on Amazon here.

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First of all, we have the protagonist of The Paths We Choose, Lidiane “Lily” Monteiro Ferrari who is portrayed by Bárbara Ferreira. She is determined, organized and somewhat rude but loves her friends, her chosen family, more than anything. In The Paths We Choose you will see what happens after Lily and Mayte have a one-night stand at a party at Mayte and Chris’ shared apartment.

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Next up we have the love interest of the story, Mayte Eliza González who is Chris’ roommate (Chris is one of Lily’s close friends) and the fancast for her is Kristina Elise. Mayte is kind and cares deeply for others. She has an architect degree and loves to create art. She is moving to Florida to do her masters, which is why Lily and Mayte keep things very casual between them after their one-night stand.

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{The Paths We Choose Release Week} Interview with Author Maria Hollis

The Paths We Choose Release Week: Day Four – Interview with Maria Hollis

Hi everyone, there’s only one day left now until The Paths We Choose is out and free in the world. To celebrate this I have an interview with the author Maria Hollis as a part of the blog tour for her book. Check out the other blog posts for the tour here. I seriously love her answers to my questions and hope you will too. Exciting things are coming so I hope you’re ready. Now don’t forget to pre-order the book on Amazon here and to add it on Goodreads. To see my earlier posts for my The Paths We Choose Release Week feature, go here.

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1. What was your favorite part about writing The Paths We Choose?

So many things! This is definitely a story that felt so close to my heart. Writing about a Brazilian girl like me was such a nice experience. I could include little bits of things here and there that only Brazilian people would understand. There are so many books written by U.S. authors that just don’t get what being Latinx means so being able to bring all these different characters to talk about themselves was something I loved to do. And I hope to keep doing that in the next books.

The friendship between all the girls was also a really important thing. My friends have been my strength for such a long time and having a story like that is such a gift. We need more books with female friendships as the driving force of a story.

2. What do you feel is the biggest difference between The Melody of You and Me and The Paths We Choose? 

Writing The Paths We Choose made me a lot more self-conscious and nervous about other people’s reaction. I didn’t plan myself a lot for how The Melody of You and Me would look like for other people because I truly believed only a few of my friends would read it. My thought was “well, if I get 10 dollars out of this novella it’s a win already!”. Now I’m trying to change a bit to fit what a bigger range of readers want to read. The main plot will stay the same, that’s not changing. But receiving feedback from so many people is definitely helping me go a step further to make the characters and the story always better.

As to the story, I think TPWC brings a romance that is a bit less typical for the genre. There are a lot of stories where the couple falls deeply in love and they know this is the right thing to do and they’ll do everything for each other. I love that Lily and Mayte work so well as a couple but they aren’t sure of anything. And that sometimes the journey and experience of being with someone is already worth it.

3. Your books take place in a town called Lillac Town and I was wondering if we could get some more information about this town?

I created Lillac Town because I’ve never been in the U.S. so I couldn’t be completely accurate if I choose an actual city that exists. But also, because I never really like describing cities in my stories, not even when I’m writing about my own. It’s just a personal thing, I guess. It’s supposedly set in an imaginary area of Pennsylvania. In the text, I describe just a few things here and there because I feel that this isn’t that relevant for the stories I’m telling right now. How most people move there because of the University and the Callaway School of Music and Ballet. It has this small town feeling but its population is mainly students with a few family neighborhoods and commercial areas. I have a little map I created to know where each character lives. Maybe I’ll ask for a friend to make a better version of it and show it to the readers until the end of the series.

4. Lily and her friends every Wednesday evening have Girl’s Night, what are some of the things they have done in the name of Wednesday’s Girl’s Night?

Usually, they set up board games or watch movies together. I feel like there would be many discussions on what movie to choose since they have very different tastes. We have Anika who likes the typical romantic comedy, Hope’s a sci-fi enthusiastic and Lily’s bored by most movies. In the end, Karen probably chooses an indie LGBT+ movie that will make everyone happy. Cooking together, sharing things about their lives and cleaning the house are a few other things they do. Sometimes, if they’re feeling in the mood, they even go out to karaoke night. The idea is that they always do things together without the interruption of outsiders or partners. The next book will also have more things about the girls so I don’t want to give everything away in case I want to use it in the future.

5. What does the future look like for the Lillac Town series?

Well, by now most people know that Karen is the next POV. And if you read TPWC, you obviously know who’s her love interest. It’ll be an interesting book to write. What I can say right now is that there’s a very personal reason as to why Karen moved to the U.S. and we’re gonna go deep on that. She has a lot of sadness that she tries to hide with her charming personality.

Since the beginning, I decided that if TMOYAM did well enough I’d publish 4 novellas in the Lillac Town Series about women falling in love with other women in many different ways and I’m standing on this decision. I hope to get all of them out until 2018. It’ll be hard to say goodbye now that I feel so attached to all these characters but I think we’re all ready to start new adventures too! But for now, we still have more two love stories that I know people will love to read.

What did you think of the interview? Are you as excited as I am for the book to come out tomorrow?

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