Blogger Spotlight: Interview with Liesje @ A Thousand Lives!

Hey, guys! Welcome to Blogger Spotlight. This feature is going to contain interviews, guest post, and other fun stuff! So stay tuned for more fun in the future.

For this month’s edition, I bring you an awesome Q&A by Liesje @ A Thousand Lives! Don’t forget to check out her blog!

1. Tell us a little about your blog and how you first got into blogging?

My blog is called A Thousand Lives. I blog about books and my travel experiences. Before I started blogging, I loved talking about my reading adventures. But I noticed few people around me were as passionate about the books. Let’s say we weren’t really on the same page.

Bad pun. Sorry.

Then my sister gave me the idea of starting a blog. I have always been intrigued by the idea of having a blog, but I was very hesitant and not confident enough to take the step.
One day I had enough of my worries and told myself that I should simply see what happens. And here I am, still in love with blogging since the moment I started!

2. Have you ever been in a blogging slump? If yes, how do you overcome it?

I have been in a blogging slump. It’s not fun, not at all. I had a feeling that I had nothing to say and what I was writing wasn’t interesting. I decided to take it slow and not post as much as I normally did. I really didn’t enjoy putting off blogging, but in the end, it helped me. After a while, I missed blogging like before and decided to put more time in it again. And that’s how I overcame it!

3. Name three of your most awaited reads this year.

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas, Literally by Lucy Keating, When dimple met rishi by Sandhya Menon.

4. Tell us the one bookish destination you love absolutely love to visit.

I’m very curious to see Caraval in real life. Although the book didn’t impress me very much, I still thought that the world of Caraval was very interesting and I would love to explore it.

5. What are your interests outside blogging?

Traveling, music, going out with friends, writing & reading, photography, pilates, interior design, shopping.

6. Can you name a few of your book boyfriends?

Will Herondale (a classic) and Warner are my two ultimate book boyfriends.

7. What is your most favourite and least favourite thing as a blogger?

My most favorite thing about being a blogger is the chance to meet new, amazing people every day. I never could’ve imagined how positive and inspiring this community could be.

My least favorite thing is the insecurity I have about myself as a blogger. I recently made a post about that (hint hint ;)).

8. Where would you like to be in blogging five years from now?

I hope that I’ll still be busy with blogging. It’s my wildest dream to turn my blog into my job. But in the meantime, I am very happy with what I have now.

Now, time for some quick questions. You ready? Let’s go!

Coffee or tea?

Tea, I don’t drink coffee.

Fantasy or Contemporary?

Fantasy. But I appreciate contemporary also, but less than fantasy.

Pizza or burgers?

Burgers.

Cats or dogs?

Cats. They are my spirit animal, haha.

Hogwarts or Narnia?

Hogwarts!


Blogger Bio:

Liesje of A Thousand Lives is an almost-adult blogging about books and her travels. In her spare time, she devours books, listens to music non-stop and attempts to draw or paint. And of course, she blogs.

Follow her on:

Blog || Facebook || Twitter || Instagram || Pinterest


Soo I hope you guys enjoy the interview!

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Review: Maybe Never by Sadie Allen || Plus Interview!

Title: Maybe Never
Author: Sadie Allen
Standalone
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Page Count and Format: 231 pages, Ebook
Published: February 20th, 2017 by Sadie Allen
Source: I received an eARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating:

Blurb (from Goodreads):

One golden boy…

Judd Jackson had it all—star football player with a college scholarship, perfect family, tons of friends, and a beautiful girlfriend. He was the most popular guy in town … until a family secret burned it all to the ground. Now, he’s the object of scorn and ridicule, and the only thing he has left is his scholarship and counting down the days until he can leave town.

One goal-oriented girl…

Sunny Blackfox was alone in the world, but she had big plans and big dreams to keep her occupied. She didn’t have time for anyone in her life. That was, until she came to the rescue of the boy she always had a thing for.

They have everything going against them, but maybe, if they are lucky, they will make it out of town after graduation together … or maybe never.


This book was so much more than I expected and it definitely didn’t disappoint. I fell in love with this story and I enjoyed the ride till the very end.

Judd Jackson had it all, from college scholarship to best friends and a hot girlfriend. But everything goes down in drain when one his family secrets is revealed and he becomes their new target of bullying until Sunny comes into the picture. She always had a thing for Judd and when they are made class partner, an unlikely friendship form between the two which escalates into something more they both can’t deny.

I really enjoyed the plot. The story was pretty engaging right from the start and I couldn’t put this book down! After a family secret gets revealed, Judd becomes an outcast and the subject of bullying from his very own friends and girlfriend. I really hated how he was treated for something that was not even his fault which revealed how superficial his friends were.

“You only really knew who your true friends were when you were at your lowest with nothing to offer. After the smoke cleared, that was when you finally saw who was left standing beside you.”

I liked Judd, he was a great guy but I wished he stood up more for himself. His anger with his father’s situation was just but I wished we got to learn a bit more about it but I felt satisfied with the ending. Anyway, I loved Sunny! She was upfront and didn’t take any shit from people. When she chose Judd’s side, it did bring her a lot of trouble but I was glad she didn’t back up from them.

The chemistry between Judd and Sunny was pretty great, their relationship developed slowly and I fell in love with their romance! Those two were definitely not devoid of flaws but together, they were perfect. I really enjoyed Molly’s character, she was a great best friend and I definitely can’t rule out Sally, she was a great parent figure for her. But the one character that I truly hated was Sunny’s dad, I’m so glad he got the deserved punishment for what he did.

Overall, Maybe Never was a great read! The plot was executed neatly and I fell in love with the characters. I really enjoyed the romance between Judd and Sally and I couldn’t stop myself from wanting more. The writing was smooth and beautiful and the pace was even throughout the book. I am absolutely keeping my eyes out for the next book by this author!

Recommend it?

Yes!

Don’t forget to scroll down to read the amazing interview of Sadie Allen!


Interview!

Hey there! I’m so glad to have you on my little blog today!

S: Hi! It’s good to be here! 🙂

1. How did the idea of Maybe Never come to your mind?

The idea actually came to me during an episode of Dr. Phil. The show had on a man with two daughters, one was middle school age and the other was in her late teens or early twenties. He had decided to transition to female and basically cut his daughters from his life. The oldest shook with fury as she confronted him about his decision to become female and for not being a part of her younger sister’s life. She didn’t understand his decision because to her he was the epitome of masculinity. He was a police officer, outdoorsman, gun enthusiast, and loved sports. How could a man like that want to become a woman? She just couldn’t wrap her mind around it. The younger daughter, I think her problem was him not contacting her. She wanted him in her life, but he didn’t think either daughter could accept him for who he was… The whole situation struck me as very sad. America was also going through a social upheaval at the time and that influenced me quite a bit. It all just got me thinking “what if…” and thus Judd Jackson was born. I wanted to create a world where young people were dealing with these social issues and overcoming them. That where there is love, there is a way.

2. Tell us a bit about your writing process.

I start out with a bunch of vague notes about a story, mainly bullet points in a notebook, and it could be a physical description of a character, a place, snippets of dialogue, or a central issue I want to discuss. Then, I open my laptop and start fleshing out the ideas that are in my notebook and see where they take me. I’m a mom to three kids, the youngest being almost 7 months old, so I write whenever I have an opportunity. Sometimes I can catch a moment during the day, but a lot of my writing takes place after my family is in bed. I do make a lot of notes during the day and troll Pinterest for pictures to go along with my ideas. I have a Pinterest Board for most of the novels I’ve written or plan to write. That’s basically my process. I try to write a thousand words a day, but that can be hit or miss.

3. What were the challenges that you faced while writing this book?

I was really nervous about writing/publishing this book because it deals with so many hot button issues- bullying, race/class conflict, domestic violence, addiction, gender identity, and death. Self-doubt plagued me the whole time I was writing. I hit a wall halfway through and didn’t know if I would be able to overcome it. That’s why I didn’t win NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year. I just didn’t know what would come next, which was a problem I had been having for about ten years. I have several half-finished manuscripts on my computer because I just couldn’t power through the middle. What got me through this time was something on Stephenie Meyer’s FAQ section on her website. She wrote most of her novels out of order. She wrote whatever scene she felt like writing that day and that’s what kept me going. I took a page out of her book and started writing the end of my novel because I knew what I wanted to happen. I just bridged the gap from there. I also participated in a writing boot camp hosted by Jessi Gibson and she held me accountable to get that middle written.

4. Is the contemporary genre your favorite to write? Would we be seeing any books from another genre in the near future?

I think it’s a toss up between contemporary and paranormal romance. I have two paranormal romance novels half-written (one YA and the other NA) and a notebook for another one that I plan to write in the future. I also have an incomplete manuscript for an adult contemporary romance that I was writing/editing when I came up with the idea for Maybe Never and notebooks for two different adult contemporary series. So, there will be a lot of writing in my future.

Right now, I’m working on a standalone YA contemporary romance and the follow-up novel to Maybe Never called Maybe Molly. I plan on publishing them late summer and early fall.

5. What is your dream cast for Maybe Never?

Judd- Lucas Till (Monster Trucks)
Sunny- Amber Midthunder (Longmire)
Sally- Shirley MacLaine
Molly- Jennifer Lawrence

6. Name three of your favourite books.

That’s a hard one…
1) Pride and Prejudice
2) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
3) Anything written by Kristen Ashley (mature audiences only)

7. Can you tell us a bit about your next book?

Saving Me is a book that’s really close to my heart. I’m putting a lot of myself into this one and it’s been hard to write. Not because the words aren’t there, but I’m having to relive some of the emotions that I experienced when I was a teenager. I was an overworked, overstressed, and unhappy teen. Everyone at school thought I had the perfect life when the reality was that I often thought of running away or committing suicide. The main character, Ally Everly, is wanting to do the latter. I wasn’t actively suicidal, but Ally is in this book. She’s a bit immature and a little dramatic, but she finds her strength and inner peace with the help of an unlikely group of people.

Maybe Molly, well… Molly McEntire has been keeping secrets and those secrets are about to blow up in her face. We’ll be seeing Sunny, Judd, and Sally in this novel along with some others that didn’t get much page time.

8. What is your advice for aspiring writers?

Do not quit. There is no secret formula or easy way. You just have to sit down and write. It’s that simple and that hard. You’re going to want to quit, but don’t do it! Just keep plugging along until your novel is complete. The first draft doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be written.

It was great having you on my blog today! Thank you so much and I wish you much success in the future.

S: Thank you for having me! I enjoyed answering your questions and hope to be back on your blog in the future!


So guys, what do you think about this book? Do you want to give this one a try? Or is it already in your tbr?

Review: Descendants by Rae Else || Plus Interview!

Title: Descendants
Author: Rae Else
Series: The Arete series, book 1
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Cool
Page Count and Format: 226 pages, Ebook
Expected Publication: April 12th 2017 by Rae Else
Source: I received an eARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating:

Blurb (from Goodreads):

There are lots of stories about the children of gods. But what about those cursed by the gods, and their descendants…

El, a seventeen-year-old has inherited an ancient and deadly power. She loses control of it, causing a horrific accident, and becomes the prey of a secret organisation, known as the Order.

Forced from her family and home, she hides in plain sight amidst the crowds of London, and is thrust into a world she never knew existed; one full of arete: beings with extraordinary powers like hers.

Arete are beings that can trace their lineage and powers from ancient Greece. They do not claim their inheritance comes from the gods, rather legend says they are descended from cursed beings, such as Medusa.

At the heart of their world is the kerykeion, the symbol that protects them from the humans and the humans from them. El is trapped between two factions, one that has built an empire around the kerykeion and another that is determined to bring it down.

As she is drawn deeper into the conflict, the only way to find the truth is to take matters into her own hands, and the line between friend and foe becomes dangerously blurred.


This book was interesting, there were definitely ups and downs but overall, I enjoyed it.

El can always manipulate people when she focuses too much on anybody. That’s why her grandmother didn’t let her out much but when one incident goes horribly wrong, her long lost mother resurfaces to take her with her. She is bewildered to learn the truth about herself and how she has to hide from the people known as the order but when someone from the other side says the opposite thing, she doesn’t know which one to believe. When things get out of control, it’s up to El to decide is she wants to fight back or run.

The plot was pretty unique and interesting. El has the power to control people with her one look but she tries her best not to use her power at all but one incident changes everything. I liked El from the very start, she reacted just as any person would when she learns about the truth of her heritage and I have to say, the backstory was one of the most interesting things I’ve ever read, descendants of Medusa? I was hooked. It has so much potential, I so hope we get to know more about it in the next book.

I enjoyed how the plot was executed but the first half of the book was way more engaging than the second half and I wanted more, more info about everything which made the world-building a bit lacking. El was genuinely confused whether to believe her mother who suddenly appeared in her life for the first time ever or the guy she befriended, Luke who said he knew the Order were the good guys as his father was one of them and he aspired to belong to that too. And then there was Dan, I liked both the guys but I am still not sure which ship I want to board yet and I sense a love-triangle building up. I was so right about the Order and I wish everything was explained a bit more but I do hope we get see a bit more of everything in book 2.

Overall, Descendants was a good read. The plot was executed neatly and I liked the characters but I had difficulty in connecting with them. I enjoyed the writing, it was smooth and easy to read and it was fast-paced.

Recommend it?

Yes.

I also had the opportunity to interview the author, I hope you guys enjoy it!


Interview:

Hey there! I’m so glad to have you on my little blog today!

Thanks so much for having me. Sooo – here it goes!

1. Describe your book in 140 characters.

It’s a Young Adult, Urban Fantasy about the descendants of beings cursed by ancient gods. Set in the modern world and narrated by El, our 17-year-old heroine.

2. What is the thing that you love the most about El, the lead protagonist of this book?

I love that she’s naive – she wears her heart on her sleeve and is a very vulnerable character throughout the story. She’s been kept from the outside world, away from most other people and she has very little awareness of other people’s motives.

3. How do you develop your plot and characters?

I’d say I get a vivid picture of character and setting. I then might ask what if questions. What if that happened? I let the idea character, setting percolate) and then start sketching out plot. At the early stages of sketching out a plan I’ve found it useful to interview/talk to characters. Write down how they would say something, what language they would use (or wouldn’t), creating character bios full of info that won’t go into the novel but is useful as the author to get to know them – their strengths, weaknesses, fears and hopes. After that comes the sketching out of the plot as I know the kind of things they would and wouldn’t do to remain authentic to themselves.

4. Give us an interesting fact about this book.

The panels that El is talking about in the opening scene and getting weirded out about were inspired by the Hawstead Panels at Christchurch Mansion which is in Ipswich. I spent a lovely evening there with my sister going on a historical/ghost story visit and this little inspiration of the panels that have strange little pictures and mottos (in Latin) about sight and concealment are real. And they found their way into El’s story.

5. What was the hardest thing to write in Descendants?

I’d say the plot twists – keeping information from El and the reader but saying enough so that the story flows well. (As this is my debut novel I’m still working on improving this area and have had some excellent, constructive feedback from a few advance readers and reviewers. I know that it will really help me make the final version that comes out this month the best it can be.)

6. If you could spend your time with any one of the characters from Descendants, who would you choose and why?

No offence to El and Dan, who I love dearly (lol) but I would have to choose Janos, the graeae. Because of his powers to look into the past and future. I’d love to have long chats with him late into the night over wine (not that I don’t anyway!) But I’d talk to him about all the things he’s seen over the course of his long lifetime, (300 years).

7. How do you overcome writer’s block?

Sometimes it’s a question of powering through – writing something down and being routine about the time you sit down and write or forcing yourself to write a set number of words or get to the end of a chapter, etc. Other times I might need a bit of change of scene so go work in a cafe or if I need some inspiration – take some time to go write in the London British Museum (my favourite museum) or perhaps the National Portrait Gallery or Natural History Museum. Sometimes writing outside in the park is really refreshing and the fresh air unlocks something.

8. What is your advice for aspiring writers?

Firstly to write. Then to redraft and then write…and redraft…and continue that cycle. To persevere in other words. I think that the path for each writer is different but that it’s important that whichever one they believe is right – to stick to it. Whether it’s self-publishing, publishing with indie presses or seeking an agent and publishing traditionally – it’s important they choose what’s right for them. And mostly to never lose sight of why they’re writing in the first place – for the characters, for the story they feel they must tell. If you keep that in mind and at the heart of your writing, you’ll keep writing. (And, of course, it’s a lovely bonus when wonderful readers and reviewers connect and see the thing that you love in your characters and story) 🙂

It was great having you on my blog today! Thank you so much and I wish you much success in the future.

Thanks so much, Poulami – was so lovely to chat to you and look forward to connecting with you in the blogosphere soon.


So guys, what are your thoughts on this book? Are you interested in reading it?

Blogger Spotlight: Interview with Lauren @ SERIESous Book Reviews

Abstract background with a watercolor texture

Hey, guys! Welcome to Blogger Spotlight. This feature is going to contain interviews, guest post, and other fun stuff! So stay tuned for more fun in the future.

For this month’s edition, I bring you an awesome Q&A by Lauren @ SERIESous Book Reviews! Don’t forget to check out her blog!

1. Tell us a little about your blog and how you first got into blogging?

I credit two things with my starting a book blog: Goodreads & the Delirium Series by Lauren Oliver.

I say Goodreads because it reminded me that there was a medium out there for book reviews. I figured, hey, I read a lot of books; friends ask me what to read all the time; I enjoy writing, I should get on that! So I decided I would write Goodreads reviews for books I read and post them on the site.

Then, I read the last book of the Requiem, the last book in the Delirium Trilogy and hated it! I felt so let down that I had invested 3 years of my life waiting for these books to come out only to be completely let down by the finale! I wondered if there was any what I could have avoided that and tried to Google blogs that review book series as a whole. I couldn’t find any that did it exclusively and so I decided to do one myself!

Thus, I started up SERIESous Book Reviews (I love puns!) to review series on a “to-read” or “not-to-read” basis (I also love Hamlet). Of course, I review new book series that only have the first novel out as well as standalones. I also love movies, so I write reviews on book-to-movie adaptions too!

2. What is your most and least favourite thing as a book blogger?

I actually really enjoy the HTML aspect of being a blogger. When I was younger I really got into HTML and graphic aspects of Neopets and I realized the blogging (years later) filled that void for me. One of the reasons I really wanted to self-host my blog once it was established was to get more control over my blog’s formatting and play around with the graphics.It’s fun trying to format book lists in an interesting way!

Believe it or not, I have a hard time writing 5 star reviews sometimes! Because I don’t write in spoilers, it’s hard to provide evidence for why a book is amazing when you can’t fully explain it. And I also don’t want to just be a raving fan-girl throughout the review either; I want my reviews to have a little substance between the fan-girling.

3. What genre is your favorite and why?

The New Adult (NA) genre as a whole is definitely my favourite genre right now. Specially, contemporary romances. It’s funny because I really don’t enjoy YA contemporaries at all. I think because I am closer to the characters in age and experience, I can relate to the stories in NA so much more.

YA high fantasy though is a close second 😉

4. How many books do you read in a month – roughly?

I average 15-20 books in a month. But now that I’m no longer a student and am starting my career this month, I’m really not sure how many I’ll be able to manage now.

5. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest recently and why?

Jamie Howard is one of my new favourite authors and I wish more people would talk about her! She writes some stellar NA stories. Honestly, I think I’ve given all her books 5/5. They are phenomenal.
Piper Lawson (a fellow Canadian) also writes fantastic NA contemporary romances as well. Her novels get better every time I pick them up!

6. Is there a particular movie or TV series that you prefer or preferred over the book version?

I think the Princess Bride movie is the best example of a great movie adaption. Sure, it helps that the author wrote the screenplay so it is just fantastic. The same goes for The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

The Maze Runner and Stardust are movies that I enjoyed so much more than the books.

7. Have you read a book that you would like to rewrite the ending of?

I’m going to go with The Crown by Kiera Cass and it’s not just because Eadlyn ends up with the guy I didn’t want to be picked (though that is a big part). The whole novel was just so, so rushed to me and I found the ending to be so disappointing. You could have done a lot with this entire world (one of my peeves with the original series as well) and I feel like Cass dropped the ball with this last installment.

Oh, and Requiem by Lauren Oliver. I would really appreciate some closure with that world.

8. Do you have a favorite book cover? Chose up to 3 if you like.

How’s a girl to choose!
1) A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray (honestly the whole series)
2) Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley
3) The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye

Now, time for some quick questions. You ready? Let’s go!

Coffee or tea?
TEA!

Dystopia or Fantasy?
Fantasy (though this could really go either way!)

Pizza or burgers?
Pizza

Cats or dogs?
Dogs

Hogwarts or Narnia?
Narnia!


Blogger Bio:

My name is Lauren and I’m the blogger behind SERIESous Book Reviews! I’ve been blogging for nearly 4 years, focusing mostly on book series and reviewing them as a whole, instead of one book at a time. I’m a proud Canadian (yes: that means I eat ice cream in -20°C weather, apologize a lot and drop the occasional “eh” into conversation)and live in a place that’s best summed up as “a small town south of Toronto”. I adore anything with Shakespeare in it; I love to travel the world (Australia is next!) and I’m only slightly addicted to Netflix. Oh, and I guess you could say I read a lot of books!

Follow her on:

Twitter || Bloglovin’ || Goodreads || Blog


Soo I hope you guys enjoy the interview!

Review: The Keeper of Portals by V.S. Nelson || Plus Interview!

The Keeper of PortalsTitle: The Keeper of Portals
Author: V.S. Nelson
Standalone
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, [Middle-Grade]
Heat Rating: Cool
Page Count and Format: 320 pages, Ebook
Published: January 28th, 2017 by Matador
Source: I received an eARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating:

3 stars

Blurb (from Goodreads):

‘All I have to do is think, walk through a door and I come out another. There is nowhere I cannot get to, nor any lock that can deny my passage.’
The Keeper of Portals lifted a hand and stroked the ancient black wood of the door.
‘I can do all that and yet, after 400 years, I still cannot open this door.’

Everything in the universe is maintained by its own keeper, from the most insignificant insect to time itself. When 15 year-old Martin moves into a stately home that’s dangerously overhanging a cliff, he meets the Keeper of Portals and learns of the mysterious door at the end of his bedroom.

One morning, Martin wakes to discover the Keeper of Portals is missing and the door at the end of his bedroom is open. Martin steps through the door to find himself in the 17th century where he meets Isabel, the house’s maid. Upon discovering two imprisoned keepers, Martin and Isabel gain the ability to control time and travel through portals.

After being attacked by hordes of brainwashed villagers, Martin and Isabel learn that the master of the house has a devious plan, one the keepers are powerless to stop. Martin and Isabel must jump between the present day and the 17th century in order to hide from the twisted master, avoiding past versions of themselves, as powerful keepers thwart them at every turn. But as items from the future begin to bleed into the past and the present day is plagued by malfunctioning portals, Martin and Isabel’s only option is to confront the master – the Keeper of Questions.


My Thoughts

This book was really fun to read, though it had its ups and downs but I loved the overall journey and I’m glad I got to read this book.

Martin has just shifted to his ancestral home with his mother where he meets a strange creature who calls himself the Keeper of Portals. He has the ability to open all the doors in the universe, except the one in Martin’s room. When that door finally opens and Martin steps in, his whole world turns upside down. Will Martin be able to return to his home ever again or will he get stuck in the past forever?

The plot was really interesting but a little confusing at times. I liked how the author didn’t waste much time and plunged directly into the action. This book narrates the story of Martin, a 15-year-old boy who has just moved into the massive new house which belonged to his ancestors. As he begins exploring the house he discovers a strange voice who reveals himself to be the Keeper of Portals. I liked the concept of the Keepers. There were so many Keepers for every little thing.

I enjoyed Martin’s adventure. I felt like I was there with him. He was such a caring and sweet character. Isabel on the other hand, I was not much of a fan of her when the story started but she slowly warmed into my heart. I hated The Keeper of Questions who was Isabel’s master as well, he was really twisted. The world-building was the one fact that disappointing me a little, I wished it was more concise and clear because it was really getting confusing to understand what was going one when Martin and Isabel were jumping from one portal to another.

Martin and Isabel formed a great team. I enjoyed how they tacked everything together. There was barely any romance in this book but I didn’t mind the attraction that shimmered between the two characters. The ending was bittersweet and I really wished it was different but that made this story more realistic and rooted to the ground.

Overall, The Keeper of Portals was an enjoyable read. I enjoyed the plot, though it was complex at times and the characters were really well written. I liked the adventure and the action! The writing was easy to read and the pace was even throughout the book.

Recommend it?

Yes.


I also got the opportunity to interview the author which was a lot of fun! So without further ado, here’s the…

Interview

1. Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m married with two children and live in the English city of Winchester.

2. Describe your story to the readers in not more than 140 characters.

Two teenagers learn to step through portals and control time while battling the Keeper of Question in the 17th century and modern day.

3. Which authors were your inspiration?

I have a lot of favourite authors, but I’m unsure any have really inspired me. Story-wise, there are similarities between Neil Gaiman and Philip Pullman, but I wouldn’t say they inspired me to write the story, I just decided to do it.

4. What do you love the most about our protagonist, Martin?

Martin is a snarky, reluctant hero whose people skills need a little work. What I love the most about him, though, is that he’s not particularly good at being the hero in the story. For the majority of it, Isabel is the one solving the problems and leaving Martin in her wake. Martin may be the protagonist, but really, it’s all about Isabel.

5. How do you develop your plots and characters?

Bit by bit. My plots and characters are like towers made from Lego bricks. I’ll work on them a bit, put them away from a while, then come back to them and build them up a bit more. Even when I think I’ve finished, I’m still adding bits while at the same time taking away other bits. Things never BANG! and appear for me, it’s always a slow creation process.

6. Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?

Not at all! How dull… I write at my desk in the sweet time in the evening after my children have gone to bed and before I need to do the same. Like all authors, I have written on planes, trains, in hotels rooms and airport lounges, but most of the time I’m reclined in my chair, feet on my desk with the keyboard on my lap.

7. What is your advice for aspiring writers?

Don’t be shy about your work. Get as many people as possible to read it and listen to their feedback. A book is rarely the product of a single individual. Also, writing is not going to make you rich; so if you’re young and thinking of becoming a fiction writer, make sure you have a separate career to focus on as well!


Lets Chat

So guys, hope you enjoyed the interview! What do you think about this book? Do you want to read it?

Blogger Spotlight: Interview with Raven @ Dreamy Addictions

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Hey guys! Today is the first post of my new feature- Blogger Spotlight. This feature is going to contain interviews, guest post, and other fun stuff! So stay tuned for more fun in the future.

This feature is inaugurated by Raven @ Dreamy Addictions. Don’t forget to check out her awesome blog!

1. Tell us a little about your blog and how you first got into blogging?

I think most of the bloggers can relate to my story. I’ve been an avid reader of books since young but none of my friends or family share quite the passion that I do, so blogging is my only outlet to share my thoughts and opinions about books. Hence the birth of my little blog, Dreamy Addictions. At first, I wanted to create a blog about books, music and manga but I didn’t know managing a blog is so much harder than I thought it would be. So, for now, I post only bookish stuff like book reviews, blog tours, weekly memes and book tags.

2. What is your most and least favourite thing as a book blogger?

My most favourite thing about being a book blogger would be connecting with the other bloggers and book lovers from all around the world and also making friends. Seriously, it’s a great feeling being in a bookish community and fangirling with another bookworm who’s also crazy about books as much as I am. If you’re lucky maybe you could connect with your favourite author too.

My least favourite thing as a book blogger is giving negative reviews and also the added pressure when I’m very much behind on posting reviews. I love book blogging but sometimes it can be pain in the ass.

3. What are your interests outside blogging?

  • Reading…duh!!!

  • Listening Music.

  • Watching action movies and K-Dramas.

  • I like to sing but I’m not great singer either.

  • Sleeping! Yep, I love sleeping 🙂

4. Suppose you could invite five fictional characters to your New Year party, who would it be?

Hmm…I would invite Celaena from Throne of Glass series, Kenji from Shatter Me Trilogy, Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy Series, Penryn from Angelfall and finally Shazi from the wrath and the dawn series. These are all my favourite characters who are kickass, cool, friendly and so much fun to hang out with and it would definitely make an awesome party for me.

5. Where would you like to be in blogging five years from now?

Honestly, I have no idea but I would like to be a successful happy blogger and nothing more.

6. How do you get out of a reading slump?

I rarely have a reading slump but If I had one then I would take a break for a few days and later pick up an action packed and Thrilling fantasy book that would get me out of my slump.

7. What have been your 3 favorite books to review since you started?

There are actually lots of books to choose from but If I had to pick only three books then I would choose
ACOTAR By Sarah J. Mass, V GIRL By Mya Roberts, The Storm And The Silence By Robert Thier.

8. If you were shipwrecked on a desert island what 3 books would you want with you?

Only 3 Books??? That’s really hard! Maybe I should just pick “How to survive on a deserted Island guide” ha ha… I’m just kidding! 😀 Okay then, I would pick The Bible, The Pride and Prejudice By Jane Austen, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

9. Is there a particular movie or TV series that you preferred over the book version?

I think books are always the better version and I haven’t found any movie that surpassed a book yet.

10. Name 3 of your most favourite authors.

  • Jennifer Armentrout, Author of Lux series,

  • Sarah J. Mass, Author of Throne of Glass Series, and

  • Richelle Mead, Author of Vampire Academy Series.

Now, time for some quick questions. You ready? Let’s go!

Coffee or tea?
 Coffee!

Dystopia or Fantasy?
Fantasy! I also love Dystopia but Fantasy would always be my first preference.

Young Adult or New Adult?
Young Adult, always!

Pizza or burgers?
Pizza! It’s always the best food of all time. 😀

Vanilla or chocolate?
I love Chocolate!!!

Hogwarts or Narnia?
Definitely, Narnia because I love Aslan and I also like Adventure more than Wizard stuff.


Bio:

img_20161225_02Hi, My Name is Raven! I’m a computer science student and also a book blogger from India who loves to geek out on books. My favourite genres are YA, NA, fantasy, dystopia and paranormal romance. Besides being a book lover, I’m also a huge animal lover who loves spending her time with her dogs. I’m a very spontaneous, funny and friendly person and I love making new friends so don’t feel shy to add me.

Follow her on:

Blog || Goodreads || Twitter || Facebook


Lets Chat

So guys, did you enjoy the interview? What do you think about this new feature?

Interview with Merrie Destefano: Author of Lost Girls || Blog Tour

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Welcome to my tour stop of Lost Girls by Merrie Destefano hosted by Chapter by Chapter. You can view the full tour schedule here.


So today I present you the interview of Merrie Destefano, the author of Lost Girls. I read this book in December and quite enjoyed it. You can read my review of the book, here. So, without further ado…

Interview

1. Describe your book in 140 characters.

BLACK SWAN meets FIGHT CLUB.

2. What was your inspiration for the plot of Lost Girls?

I started with an idea that changed quite a bit as I worked on the story. In the beginning, Lost Girls was a book where part of the story was about kidnapped teens that had strange new abilities when they came back home—a bit like superheroes. It was always a mystery, though, where the main character, Rachel Evans, was trying to figure what had happened to her and who had kidnapped her.

3. What genre do you enjoy writing the most?

I really love writing science fiction and fantasy. When I started Lost Girls it would have fallen into one of those categories, but with the changes, the book went through, it became a YA contemporary. I actually think it’s a much stronger book without the fantastical elements.

4. What was the thing that you felt was the hardest to write in Lost Girls?

I’ve been answering this question as the fight scenes, so I’m going to go for a different angle this time. The scenes that were the hardest for me to write because of the emotional content were the scenes that dealt with Nicole. The information Rachel learns as she investigates who Nicole was is pivotal to the story and, to me, it’s heartbreaking. Maybe because Nicole reminds me of a girl who was my best friend for many years.

5. Is the lead protagonist of this book, Rachel inspired by anyone in real life?

That’s a great question! Actually, most of the other characters were inspired by people I’ve really known, but not Rachel. She was born for this story. She’s much stronger than I am, emotionally and physically, so she’s not based on me! Maybe a very tiny bit of her is like Nancy Drew, one of my favorite heroines when I was a young girl, because Rachel finds herself in the midst of a mystery and she’s the only one who can solve it.

6. Have you learned anything in the process of writing that you wished you’d known when you first started?

Yes! There are many things about who I am as a writer that I wished I had known. In the beginning, I didn’t know that I’m an intuitive writer and it’s really best if I get to discover the story as I go. If I do too much outlining or planning it will take away my excitement for the project. So now I usually work with a loose plot point outline, where I know the basic turning points and, most especially, the doorways that lead from Act 1 to Act 2 and from Act 2 to Act 3.

7. What is your advice for aspiring writers?

Don’t give up. It’s a long road. That does not mean the journey isn’t exciting or rewarding. I’ve learned that I’m happiest if I focus on the joy of writing. For me, the process itself is more meaningful and creative and nurturing than getting published. Since I realized that, I’ve been able to have joy even during those seasons when I don’t have a contract with a publisher or an agent. The other thing that I think is very important is the act of nurturing relationships with other writers. It’s awesome to be able to support another writer when they have a new book coming out or when they get a contract. It’s not a competition. The writing community is very supportive. I recommend starting friendships with other writers who are at the same level you are. They are the ones who will be there with you throughout your career.

It was great having you on my blog today! Thank you so much and I wish you much success in the future.

And thank you for inviting me! I had a great time!


Book Info:

Title: Lost Girls
Author: Merrie Destefano
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Romance, [Young-Adult]
Published: January 3rd, 2017 by Entangled: Teen

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Yesterday, Rachel went to sleep listening to Taylor Swift, curled up in her grammy’s quilt, worrying about geometry. Today, she woke up in a ditch, bloodied, bruised, and missing a year of her life.

She doesn’t recognize the person she’s become: she’s popular. She wears nothing but black.

Black to cover the blood.

And she can fight.

Tell no one.

She’s not the only girl to go missing within the last year…but she’s the only girl to come back. She desperately wants to unravel what happened to her, to try and recover the rest of the Lost Girls.

But the more she discovers, the more her memories return. And as much as her new life scares her, it calls to her. Seductively. The good girl gone bad, sex, drugs, and raves, and something darker…something she still craves—the rush of the fight, the thrill of the win—something she can’t resist, that might still get her killed…

The only rule is: There are no rules.

Purchase Links:

Amazon || B&N || iBooks || Kobo || Amazon AU || Amazon UK || Amazon CA


Author Bio:

merrie-destefanoCURRENTLY A FULL-TIME NOVELIST and magazine editor, Merrie Destefano’s next novel, LOST GIRLS, releases on January 3, 2017. Her other novels include AFTERLIFE and FEAST, both published by HarperCollins, and FATHOM, which was self-published. The editor of Victorian Homes magazine, she has also been the editor of American Farmhouse Style, Vintage Gardens, and Zombies magazine, and was the founding editor of Cottages & Bungalows magazine.

With 20 years experience in publishing, she worked for a variety of publishing/broadcasting companies that include Focus on the Family, The Word For Today, and PJS Publications (now Primedia). Besides editing and writing, her background includes print buying, writing/producing radio promos, directing photo shoots, developing new products, writing jacket copy for books, creating sales media packets and organizing direct mail campaigns.

Born in the Midwest, she currently lives in Southern California with her husband, two German shepherds, a Siamese cat and the occasional wandering possum. Her favorite hobbies are reading speculative fiction and watching old Star Trek episodes, and her incurable addiction is writing. She loves to camp in the mountains, walk on the beach, watch old movies, listen to alternative music—although rarely all at the same time.

Author Links:

Website || Twitter || Facebook || Tumblr || Instagram || Pinterest || Blog


Giveaway!

(All prizes listed below will be given to one prize winner. Prizes listed are for a US winner only; if an International winner is chosen, the prize will be a $50 Amazon gift card.)

• 1 – Kindle Fire Tablet, black: 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB, 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, with the Alexa cloud-based voice service—just press and ask.
• 1 – digital Kindle copy of LOST GIRLS
• 1 – Pack of 14 vintage-style Swan Lake postcards
• 1 – pr. Black Swan earrings, handmade by author
• 1 – “Always” temporary tattoo

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Lets Chat

So guys did you enjoy the interview? Are you interested in reading this book? Or have you already? Share your thoughts with me!