Saturday, September 15, 2018

How My Reading Has Changed This Year

As most readers, I have a Goodreads account and I participate in the Reading Challenge. Last year, I wanted to read 10 books and I did but I wanted to motivate myself to read more than that. This year, I decided to change my reading challenge to 20 books. 
I found myself thinking I wouldn't be able to reach this goal since I'm not a very fast reader, I like to dive in and take my time to process the stories I am reading. 
However, I decided to seek advice from fellow readers. I've been a member of a few book clubs but I have failed to participate in discussions as well as groups reads. I asked them for ideas and tips to be able to read more often and read faster. Through their answers, I realized that participating in the groups reads, starting or joining buddy reads and listening to audiobooks were really great options.
I began to participate in group reads and create a few buddy reads that have motivated me to read more and discuss with fellow readers about our adventure through the story.
I also began to get audiobooks from the library through their app (pictured) Overdrive which has helped me read through my books a lot quicker especially those books that intimidated me. So far, I have read 12 books and I have nearly finished with another one while I also have an audiobook for another book. 
I have used social media as well, I have joined readathons and I have had the opportunity to document my progress while interacting with other members of the book community. 
Overall, being a part of book clubs, buddy reads and readathons have improved my reading while giving me opportunities to expand friendships and be a part of the book community that I enjoy and love so much. When it comes to reading, seek advice within the community, it has made a difference with me.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Cover Reveal of author Nicole French

The Discreet Duet
Author: Nicole French
Publisher: Raglan Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: Raglan Publishing
Photo: Eric McKinney, 6:12 Photography
Models: Roddy Hanson & Jenna Dallender

#1 Discreet – Release Date: October 4, 2018
Fitz Baker was the world’s biggest sex symbol. Until he disappeared.
Fed up with the trappings of fame, he traded his world of Hollywood for a quiet life on Newman
Lake. He was perfectly happy living as an island. Until he met her. 
Returning home with nothing but a failed music career, all Maggie Sharp wants is to rebuild her life.
A life that doesn’t involve the surly, arrogant stranger now living across the lake.
Still, there’s something about Will…Something familiar. Something Maggie can’t quite put her finger
She only wanted the spotlight.
He gave up his life to escape it.
The real question is if they can remain discreet.


#2 Indiscreet – Release Date: October 25, 2018
Sexiest man alive.
Playboy movie star.
Reckless actor.
Will Baker, better known as “Fitz,” is back, and the world has questions.
Where did he go?
Why is he back?
Who is Maggie Sharp, the girl who found him?

As Will and Maggie flee her family’s troubles, they return to a world most only dream of, where
privacy belongs to the highest bidders, and loving Will might cost Maggie everything she has.

Secrets mean betrayal, and Will’s are bigger than most.
As he returns to a life of wealth and excess, will he fall back into his old vices too? Or is loving
Maggie Sharp the one thing that will save him?


Nicole French is an East Coast/West Coast hybrid creature, Springsteen fanatic, hopeless romantic,
and total bookworm. When not writing fiction or teaching writing classes, she is hanging out with
her family, playing soccer with the rest of the thirty-plus crowd in Seattle, or going on dates with her
husband. In her spare time, she likes to go running with her dog, Greta, or practice the piano, but
never seems to do either one of these things as much as she should.

Facebook Group:

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Author Spolight - Ava Dellaira - Ontario Teen Book Fest

Author Spotlight - Ava Dellaira - Ontario Teen Book Fest

I had the opportunity to send a few interview to Ava Dellaira, author of the book Love Letters to the Dead, I can't wait for the release of her new book In Search of Us which will be released in March.
 You can also find more details about Ava on he website: 

Here are a few details about the Ontario Teen Book Fest

a) When: Saturday March3rd , 9 am to 5 pm
b. Where: Colony High School 3850 E. Riverside Drive, Ontario,
CA 91761
c. The Ontario Teen Book Fest Website:
d. It is a free and unticketed event. There is also a FREE lunch provided by
Panera Bread!
e. Use the hashtag #ontariotbf to join in on the fun!

The event is sponsored by Once Upon A Time. They will have
books available for purchase at the event. There will also be t-shirts
and posters available for purchase as well.
Their website:

There are also a few stops on this blog tour, the rest of them are featured here:


FEB 19th
Spotlight on Jennifer Brody - What A Nerd Girl Says
Spotlight on Abdi Nazemian - Read Now Sleep Later

FEB 20th
Spotlight on Anthony Breznican - Starkiller Reads
Spotlight on Lilliam Rivera - Movies Shows and Books

FEB 21th
Spotlight on Jessica Cluess - The Readers Antidote
Spotlight on Cindy Pon - My Fangirl Chronicles

FEB 22th
Spotlight on Keynote Speaker Ellen Hopkins - Germ Magazine

FEB 23th
Spotlight on Aditi Khorana - Nite Lite Book Reviews
Spotlight on Mary Pearson - Adventures of a Book Junkie

FEB 24th
Spotlight on Emily Ziff Griffin - Nite Lite Book Reviews
Spotlight on Brandy Colbert - Read Now Sleep Later

FEB 25th
Spotlight on Keynote Speaker Josephine Angelini - The Readers Antidote

FEB 26th
Spotlight on Isabel Quintero -  What A Nerd Girl Says
Spotlight on Amy Spalding - My Fangirl Chronicles

FEB 27th
Spotlight on Jonathan Maberry - Seeking Bazinga
Spotlight on Keynote Speaker Jeff Garvin - Movies Shows n Books

FEB 28th:
Spotlight on Ava Dellaira - Book Lovers Book Reviews
Spotlight on Kim Turrisi - Starkiller Reads

MAR 1st:
Spotlight on Jessica Brody - Adventures of a Book Junkie

MAR 2nd:
Spotlight on Robin Benway - What A Nerd Girl Says
Spotlight on Lindsey Summers - Seeking Bazinga

1) What was your inspiration to write "Love Letters to the Dead?”

I had many different inspirations, but the most significant was the loss of my mother, who had died suddenly a few years before I began Love Letters. Just as Laurel’s letters helped her through her grieving process, writing the book did the same for me.

2) Did anyone in particular inspire the characters?

Many of the characters in Love Letters were inspired by my friends and family. For example, Aunt Amy was very close to my own aunt (who passed away when I was in 7th grade), and my best friend from high school (who is still my best friend!) is named Hannah… The book is fiction, of course, and the characters became their own people with significant differences from those that inspired them, but some of the people who are closest to me could certainly pick out bit and pieces of real life stories and memories!

3) If I could change one detail about the story, which would it be and why?

Though I'm sure I would make all kinds of changes and edits to the book now if I could, I know it was the best that I could do at that moment in time. I actually never read it again after I finished the very last draft, so that I couldn’t make myself crazy!

4) Which authors/writers have influenced your writing?

I’ve had so many influences, from a really wide range of writers. I feel like every time I read a book I really love, it influences who I am as a writer, too. To name a few who were important to me while I was writing Love Letters to the Dead or my new book, In Search Of Us—Stephen Chbosky, Laurie Halse-Anderson, Jennifer Egan, Junot Diaz, Jesmyn Ward, James Baldwin, Joan Didion.

5) What would you like to write about in the future?

I am just starting out on new book, but I’m still in the very early stages. I almost never feel ready to talk about a project until I feel like I’ve been with it long enough to discover what it wants to become.

6) What has been the best fan encounter you've had?
It’s impossible to pick just one! Getting to know readers both in the US and around the world has been one of the greatest gifts of becoming a writer. I have been humbled by the bravery, the heart, the grit and the grace of many readers I’ve had the opportunity to come into contact with, whether in person, or through, letters, messages or emails. There is nothing more rewarding or meaningful than to hear a reader tell you that your story has helped them in some way.

7) Any author/write you would like to collaborate with in the future?

Though there are of course many writers whom I admire deeply and would be beyond honored to work with, so far I’ve found that novel writing is such an interior and personal experience, I would have to learn new ways of working in order to collaborate on one.

8) What experience(s) from your life have influenced you writing or the book?

I think that all of my life experiences have influenced my writing! In terms of my new book, In Search of Us, it was influenced both by my relationship with my mom, as well as by my relationship with my now-husband, moving in together and starting to imagine having a child.

9) What did you enjoy the most about writing "In Search of Us?”

In Search of Us was a difficult book to write, but I learned a lot from it. The story goes back and forth in time between a mom and a daughter when they are each seventeen—Marilyn’s takes place in LA in the late 90s, and Angie’s now. I wrote the two narratives separately, and then cut them together at the end. I didn’t quite know if it would work, but I was almost surprised by how naturally they fit. I loved seeing the ways in which the past and present echoed each other in the story. This was important, because one of the themes of the book has do do with the (sometimes invisible) influences that the past has on the present, and the importance of bringing those to light.
Another one of the pleasures of writing the book was the music, which plays an important role in both stories. I had a lot of fun walking around Los Angeles with my headphones on, getting lost in the world of the novel. In the book, Marilyn’s boyfriend (and Angie’s father), James, makes Marilyn a mixed tape, which Angie later discovers. Listening to the 90s R&B music to create that tape was delightfully nostalgic.

10) What can your fans expect from the book?

There are a lot of different aspects of the book, so I think different readers will take away different things from it. It’s both a love story between two seventeen years olds, and a and a mother-daughter love story. It’s a book about identity, about legacy, about family, about falling in love, about trying to discover and understand one’s place in the world.

I am very grateful for the opportunity to be able to send Ava these questions but also join in the bloggers on this tour as well as the rest of the authors involved. There is also a rafflecopter giveaway, the prize is an Ontario TBF poster signed by all the authors which can be found here:

Thank you!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Author Spotlight - Sarah Glenn Marsh

1.      What was your inspiration to write "Reign of the Fallen?"

The idea for Reign of the Fallen was inspired by my grandmother’s stay in the hospital; thankfully, she’s fine now, but the situation got me thinking: how far would someone be willing to go to bring a loved one back from the dead? What sort of sacrifices would someone make in order to bring an important person back into their lives, and what consequences might that decision have? Those questions led me to the Greek mythical hero Orpheus, who attempts to rescue his wife from the underworld and is told by Hades that he can take her back to the living world as long as he doesn’t look at her until they’re both out of his realm.
Spoiler alert: he takes a peek and loses her forever. Drawing from that mythology and others, as well as researching various rituals surrounding death from all over the world, helped me to start building the world of Reign of the Fallen, where the Dead must wear shrouds in the living world or else become monsters; where change of even the smallest sort is outlawed because the Dead fear it; where entering the spirit world demands a painful sacrifice of any living person who dares to go there.
2. What was your influence for the characters in the book?
I tried not to let any real people influence the characters in Reign! However, I did draw from some of my own life experience and others’ to fill in certain details: one example of this is that at one point, Odessa recalls some injuries that her boyfriend Evander got from being a daredevil, like running down a hill with a sign that read “Danger: Do  Not Run.” That was inspired by my husband doing exactly that- running down a steep sand dune with a “don’t run” sign and breaking his arm.
3. What should readers expect from you and the book?
From me? Well, if they follow me on social media, they should expect kindness, emojis, and lots of animal photos (I have many pets!). I don’t tolerate meanness.
From the book, they should expect that the shiny pink cover does *not* match the dark contents within; Reign is a dark story of grief and addiction and loss. It doesn’t shy away from any topic. It has many uncomfortable moments, because it’s a book that deals with gray areas; within people, and within situations. You’ll find yourself perhaps agreeing with the villain’s motives at some point, even. But, while it isn’t a happy story, Reign’s message is ultimately one of hope. Readers can also expect some fun things within its pages, like found family, silliness, parties, and a kickass grizzly bear!
4. What influenced you to be a writer?
My husband. I’d been writing for fun (especially on Elendor, a Lord of the Rings written roleplaying game in real time) since I was a kid, but it was my husband who gave me the push to pursue publication, who really believed in me, and who wouldn’t let me give up (and there were plenty of times when that sounded appealing, trust me!). I’m lucky to have someone by my side who sees my dreams and who firmly believes I can make them a reality.
5. How do you feel knowing a lot of readers will be reading your book shortly?
Nervous, but also grateful. I’m excited that the story’s concept or cover will appeal to readers, and nervous to hear the inevitable mix of reactions—however, it’s all worth it in the end to reach even a few people with this story, and (as you’ll see in question #9!), I’ve been so fortunate in having already heard from some readers who connected with Odessa and her friends in Reign.
6. Can we expect a sequel to the book? Also, what are you hoping to include in it?
There is a sequel, and it has a title, although I can’t share that quite yet! It’s so hard to say much without spoilers, but here’s a little bit about it: You’ll see more of the world beyond Karthia; old faces along with new; struggles created from some of the choices and actions in book one; Kasmira using her power; more character growth from Odessa.
7. What authors or writers have influence you, your writing and your book? I tried not to let anyone else’s work influence Reign of the Fallen, but one of my favorite authors is Garth Nix, who writes some really amazing books about necromancy; therefore, I took extra care to make sure my system and mythology for raising the dead were very different from his.
I also grew up reading a lot of Patricia McKillip’s work, so I’ve no doubt she’s had an influence on my writing style; if you haven’t read her yet, I recommend starting with The Forgotten Beasts of Eld or Winter Rose to get a feel for the magic that is her writing.
8. If you had the opportunity to collaborate with another author, who would it be and why?
I’d say Kerri Maniscalco, author of Stalking Jack the Ripper, because she also writes things that tend toward the dark and dangerous. Plus, she’s a friend. I think we’d have a blast writing something spooky together.
9. What has been the best experience you've had as an author so far?
Hearing from readers who have connected with my books, definitely! Especially Reign of the Fallen, which is so close to my heart. I knew when I wrote it that there would be strong reactions- a love or hate type of situation- and I’m really pleased that some people have enjoyed the story + reached out to let me know that!
10. What is your usual writing process?
I tend to carry an idea around in my head for several months before developing it- just letting it stew, thinking about it from different angles, and that sort of thing. Then I write a query to make sure I have a basic, solid plot structure in place, and after that, I start my world building and outlining- the length of that process can vary, but I won’t actually start drafting until I know the beginning and ending of a story, plus a few major plot points from the middle.

Reign of the Fallen will be released on Jan 23, be sure to grab a copy!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

"Here I Stay" by Dominique Laura

"As many times as that one sentence floated around, I knew I needed to change it. I needed to escape it. And so, I made sure that a new phrase took its place. It was the same phrase with one less word and a whole lot of meaning - one stronger than the one before it. And there's another reason why you should stay."

I found myself connected to the main character Daysie as I understand why she is guarded towards bringing new people in her life. Due to her abusive father, absentee mother and her school bully, she has kept a closer relationship with her childhood friends but is hesitant to include and open herself to Bren when he decides to express himself to her.

She wants to take a chance but she is afraid of how having her in her life will affect her since she has already been negatively affected by her father's actions. Her friends have encouraged her to take the opportunity and experience something new and exciting and also a new relationship.

Bren's approach scares Daysie at first but she learns that he just wants the opportunity to know her. Bren and her friends also help her escape her abusive father and realize she deserves more than what she is getting in life. Bren loves her and also wants to help her deal with her life situation. After Daysie has been able to leave her parents behind, she leaves town wanting to experience life instead of what she has been through so far. In the new town, she finds a job at a local book store and learns about life from the owner as well as expressing herself through writing. The bookstore's owner assists Bren to reconnect with Daysie, making her realize her love for her and how he wants to be a part of life even when Daysie feels broken inside due to her past. Daysie realizes she does not need to escape any longer as Bren and her friends have helped her find joy and positive even through her past and experience.

"It was moments like these that made me happy that I stayed. It sucked sometimes, this life of mine, but it was worth everything I had gone through. I was stronger because of it, and I had people in my life who would always be there. That was a gift. Life was a gift, and I had a whole lot more of it to live. I had wasted enough time worrying about stuff that wouldn't matter days, weeks, months, or years from now, and I was learning to take each day as a it came - one day a time."

I could relate to Daysie as I went through situations that made me question life but just like that I decided to stay thinking of a better future and better, new experiences that I find memorable and have had a great effect on my life. Dominique's writing was so smooth, the characters were so raw and real. I recommend it to anyone reflecting on past experiences and wanting a better future for themselves so they can realize how having a great support system such as Daysie's friends and Bren as well.

Monday, September 4, 2017

BookNet Fest

BookNet Fest

On Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend the first annual BookNet Fest which was a bookish event created by Samantha from Thoughts on Tomes and Marines from Mynameismarines and I want to thank these ladies again for the wonderful job they did organizing it. 

They had a few panels with a variety of topics from Book Recommendations to Diversity (which was my favorite!) They had included a few guests such as booktubers like Jesse from JesseTheReader, Katy from Katytastic, Christine from Polandbananasbooks and a few more. 

The panels were very interesting, I was drawn to the topics they had that I had a hard time selecting which one to attend. One of the ones I attended was the 101 Workshop with Jenna in which she gave us advice on photography and videos. My favorite panel was the diversity which was the last one as I was able to realize how much our community wants a change to include more diverse character in the books we read. I was very impressed by Camila (@justabookeater_) when she discussed being born and raised in Puerto Rico as was I and not finding a character she can identify herself with completely in a book at the moment. I really liked her discussion about how Puerto Ricans are portrayed wrongly in films when not everyone from Puerto Rico is that way.

They also had giveaways and a mixer during which we had the opportunity to chat with other people from the community. I had the opportunity to take a picture and chat with a few of my favorite booktubers, I missed a few but hopefully I'll see them next time. 

Here I have a few pictures from the ones I got to meet, I really hope Samantha and Marines are able to do this event next year as I have always wanted them in Orlando since we do not get event like this too often. 

 With Jenna (jennaclarek) and Jesse (JesseTheReader)
 Katy (katytastic)
 Caitlin (Caitlinvanasse) She and I had chatted on Twitter before but it was nice to officially meet her.
 Samantha (thoughtsontomes) co-creator and panelist of the event
 Marines (mynameismarines) co-creator and panelist
 Maureen (maureenkeavy)
 Zoe (readbyzoe)
Christine (polandbananasbooks)

Sunday, August 27, 2017

"Crazy is my superpower: How I triumphed by breaking bones, breaking hearts and breaking the rules" by AJ Mendez Brooks

I've known AJ due to her popularity during her time in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). I enjoyed her performances and I related to her character and her personality since she made sure it was a reflection of herself: a total nerd.

Reading her story, I related to her on another level. First, being that we have a Puerto Rican background, also our love for wrestling more specifically her passion for women's wrestling.

I enjoyed reading the story of a young woman finding a future for herself despite the circumstances she lived through and experienced. I liked being able to get a different point of view when it came to her wrestling career and how hard she worked to earn her spot in WWE. I came to the realization of how much women in WWE had to work for the matches and storylines they currently have, a lot of progress has been made. "Suddenly, sexiness was not an option, it was a prerequisite." She describes a lot of her experience as woman to work in a sport dominated by men. "We already have so many obstacles to overcome just trying to be seen and treated as equal to men that it seems laughable that women would further try to tear one another down, instead of of unite to make the uphill club a little bit easier."

"All a woman needs to succeed is the guts to kick the door of opportunity open. All she needs is to be brave enough to be herself." AJ was not afraid to be herself on TV and work towards opening doors for other women in the wrestling industry. She credits Beth Phoenix, Layla, Michelle McCool, Eve Torres and Kaitlyn as women that made her feel welcome within WWE and were willing to work to create a new and different path for women while making a new for themselves as well. " It wasn't long ago classmates called me a 'nerd' in an attempt to hurt my feelings, and now that term is audaciously emblazoned on the front of t-shirts at Hot Topic. It is now a popular culture and it's suddenly cool to be a fan of all things 'geek'."

I was able to learn about her career, her marriage and her friendships that helped her along the way. She truly was able to work in the wrestling world and give fans a different and unique wrestler to cheer for. AJ came during a time when female fans were able to find someone they could relate to and find genuine. Herself and Paige (Saraya) were women that gave fans a different aspect of the word diva.

Overall, I found the book to be enjoyable and one I can relate to. I was able to understand the experiences women had to experience to be in the position they are currently in within the company. AJ and the women that have been in WWE have worked very hard for women to be highlighted within the sport and to show that women's wrestling should be recognized more often. Very glad I was able to pick up this book. Thank you for sharing your story, AJ!

Here is one of my favorite AJ matches - AJ Lee vs. Paige - Divas Championship