October 2016 Wrap-Up

I’m a little disappointed in my reading during October. Especially considering that now we’re in November, which mean NaNoWriMo, which means less reading. But, I can’t be too hard on myself because at least I’m reading!

So what did I read in October?

Audiobooks:

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (re-read – still 5 stars)
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (5 stars)
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (4 stars)
The Call by Peadar O’Guilin (3 stars)

I re-read The Raven Boys because I promised a friend I would FINALLY finish this series, and I chose audio because… why not? I have pros and cons with the narrator of The Raven Cycle, so even though I listened to The Dream Thieves as well, I think I’ll finish up the series with the physical books. We’ll see. But they were definitely my faves, and The Call was super disappointing so it was my least favorite of the month.

Novels/Novellas:

Night Of Cups by Mina Hepsen (4 stars)
Losing Ground by Alice Rachel (5 stars)

Both of these books were awesome, and I really can’t choose between the two for fave and least fave. Yes, Losing Ground has one more star than Night Of Cups, but I’m comparing a novella to a novel here, and I just really enjoyed them both!

Like I said up top, NaNoWriMo is under way, I’m already a little over 3,000 words into my 50,000, so reading might be a little scarce. Plus holidays, traveling, work, and life! I’m glad I already got way over my Goodreads goal, because I don’t know how many more books I’m going to be able to squeeze in this year.

What did you read in October?

❤ Kylie

Apollycon 2017 Author Spotlight: Christina Lauren

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I am VERY excited to introduce today’s Apollycon spotlight on Christina Lauren! I have been a reader of CLo for a few years now and can honestly say they are an autobuy for me!! They write some of my favorite romances. They have a huge backlist but they are such quick reads that you will be done before you know it. Below are the first books in their series but they are companion stories so either series can be read in any order if desired!

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An ambitious intern. A perfectionist executive. And a whole lot of name calling.

Whip-smart, hardworking, and on her way to an MBA, Chloe Mills has only one problem: her boss, Bennett Ryan. He’s exacting, blunt, inconsiderate—and completely irresistible. A Beautiful Bastard.

Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family’s massive media business. He never expected that the assistant who’d been helping him from abroad was the gorgeous, innocently provocative—completely infuriating—creature he now has to see every day. Despite the rumors, he’s never been one for a workplace hookup. But Chloe’s so tempting he’s willing to bend the rules—or outright smash them—if it means he can have her. All over the office.

As their appetites for one another increase to a breaking point, Bennett and Chloe must decide exactly what they’re willing to lose in order to win each other.


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One-night stands are supposed to be with someone convenient, or wickedly persuasive, or regrettable. They aren’t supposed to be with someone like him.

But after a crazy Vegas weekend celebrating her college graduation—and terrified of the future path she knows is a cop-out—Mia Holland makes the wildest decision of her life: follow Ansel Guillaume—her sweet, filthy fling—to France for the summer and just…play.

When feelings begin to develop behind the provocative roles they take on, and their temporary masquerade adventures begin to feel real, Mia will have to decide if she belongs in the life she left because it was all wrong, or in the strange new one that seems worlds away.


UPCOMING…

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About the Authors!

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Yes, there are two of us! Lauren (on the left) and Christina (on the right).

Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates/brain-twins Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced thirteen New York Times bestselling novels. They are published in over 31 languages, have received starred reviews from Kirkus, been selected as one of NPR’s Top 100 Swoon-Worthy Romances, and won both the Seal of Excellence award and Book of the Year from RT Magazine.

Lauren Billings (but everyone calls her Lo) has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and before she made writing her full-time job, would spend her days doing nerdy research-type things wearing a lab coat and goggles. She is silly Mommy to two littles, wife to one mountain biking homebrewing scientist, bestie to a shoe-stealer, and an unabashed lover of YA and romance.

Christina Hobbs (but you’ll always hear Lo call her PQ) used to spend her days in a junior high counseling office surrounded by teenagers. These days you’ll probably find her on tumblr. She is married and absolutely not old enough to be the mom of a 15 year old (right??), thinks she’s the luckiest person in the world to write books with her best friend, and is an unapologetic lover of boy bands and glitter. She also likes to steal Lo’s shoes.

You can follow their shenanigans at:

@lolashoes (Lauren) & @seeCwrite (Christina) on Twitter.

On Tumblr! where we post kissing gifs and writerly stuff and Wattpad for short stories and sneak peeks!

For official information about their books, events, interviews, movie news and more, follow @christinalauren.


Giveaway!!!

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Night Of Cups by Mina Hepsen Blog Tour (Manicure + Review)

31134410Night Of Cups by Mina Hepsen
Publishing Date October 25th 2016 by The Studio
Source: arc

Sarah was the name they gave her when she was abandoned with no memories. Servantwas what she was called by people who took her in. Hunterwas the reputation she earned among the bloodthirsty Djinn. But when a devastatingly handsome stranger crashes into her with his silver jeep, she is forced to take on a completely new identity…

Star athlete and heir of a multimillion dollar company, Josh Beaumont was someone Sarah should never have crossed paths with. But after the accident, Josh insists that she move in with him until she recovers. Sarah is set on refusing the offer–until she learns that Josh is being stalked by a Djinn more vicious than any she has encountered. A Djinn she doesn’t know how to defeat.

And how can she hunt the creature when she has to deal with Josh’s girlfriend, who sets out to make her life a living hell? What is she to make of Ian, the sharp-tongued outsider who keeps showing up wherever danger lurks? And what if her feelings for Josh prove to be the biggest risk of all? Captivating and witty, Mina Hepsen’s NIGHT OF CUPS is perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare and Jennifer Estep.

Back in September this book fell onto my radar when we were asked to post the cover reveal (check it out) and now I’m pleased to be posting a review! Night Of Cups by Mina Hepsen is such a wild ride, and it balances fantasy and real life so well that the story seems like something that could definitely be happening somewhere in the world right now!

Sarah, or Celine as she’s called through 90% of the book, is a bad-ass Djinn hunter who has landed herself a spot in high school; which is infinitely scarier. So not only is she trying to protect Josh, her new host, but she has to deal with calculus… no no, this isn’t a horror story don’t worry😉

In all seriousness though, I really enjoyed this book! Like I said, there is a nice balance of fantasy ans real life. One minute Sarah is excorsisng a Djinn and then the next she’s be crowned the towns Maple Queen. An episode of Supernatural meets and ep of One Tree Hill.

There’s something in it for everyone, drama, suspense, twists and turns, magic, and steamy kisses. I Gave Night Of Cups 4 stars, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of fantasy, or contemporary fans who want to branch into fantasy.

Night Of Cups eBook is on sale tomorrow, so don’t miss it!

AMAZON | B&N | iBooks

Onto the manicure!

When the lovely folks at Paper Lantern Lit asked if I wanted to write a blog post on Night Of Cups I was thrilled when the idea of a manicure was brought up. Just looking at the cover I already had so many ideas, and I think all went according to plan for once!

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So to start, this was my first manicure where I bought nail stickers. I already new from my History Is All You Left Me mani that I couldn’t draw a crescent moon without it looking pathetic. So I hopped on Etsy and got these moon nail stickers from Beyond The Nail, which are awesome!

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In addition to the nail stickers I used Wild Card by Revlon Color Stay and Purple Icon by Maybelline Color Show. I also used a random no name bottle or star sparkles, which I grabbed the stars from and placed them individually on my nails instead of brushing all the sparkles on.

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I think this mani came out fantastic and I enjoyed creating it almost as much as I enjoyed this book!

Again, Night Of Cups by Mina Hepsen is out TOMORROW!! Don’t miss this one.

More about Mina:

mina-hepsen-2Mina Hepsen is the pseudonym of Turkish author Hande Zapsu-Watt. Growing up between Germany and Turkey, she studied political science and philosophy at Tufts University in Boston before receiving a Phd from the University of Edinburgh, where she went on to teach English literature and creative writing. She is the author of 6 novels and several children’s books, which have been translated into German, Spanish and Turkish. Currently she moves around the globe, while she continues to write, teach, and study languages.

 

 

Thanks to the amazing people at Paper Lantern Lit for providing me with an advanced copy of Night Of Cups in exchanged for an honest review.

❤ Kylie

Manicure Monday featuring Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

I was wearing fake nails this past week, and although they aren’t book specific, they do go nicely with on of my current reads: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff!

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I also thought this was a good time to show off my UK special edition of Nevernight, because I’ve had it for awhile now but I haven’t really shared any pics. So it’s a win-win!

At quick glance these nails look like fake nails from a salon, but they aren’t, and that’s why I love them. I used to go get a gel full set manicure all the time, but it gets expensive! And I also felt like it was damaging my nails underneath, so I stopped doing that. Since then I’ve only used polish, jamberry, or Impress nails by Broadway Nails; which is what I have on now.

I love these press on nails! They are so easy, they are strong and last long, and my favorite part is that there is no glue. Instead it’s more like a sticker that you peel off the nail and they tick on to your nail. I wish I would’ve take progress pics to show you how these go on, but I wasn’t thinking at the time. It’s really easy though, promise. The quickest a prettiest manicures you’ll ever have, and they only cost $6! There are a variety of sizes so that you can get the right nail for each finger, and some of them are so similar in size that I can usually get two manicures out of each pack, or I’ll mix and match between all the ones I have and get even more use.

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But enough about my nails, you can see them, and yes they are pretty. But next to this gorgeous book they are nothing!

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I splurged a little to get the UK edition of Nevernight from Goldsboro Books because I was having a ‘Treat Yo Self’ moment. Jay Kristoff is amazing and I love his writing, so I knew that this purchase wasn’t going to be a waste. I’m current;y reading it, and I’m a little over 100 pages in and loving it!

What makes this edition different? First, there are only 250 copies of this signed first edition. so it’s truly a collector’s item that I will always cherish. It also has a different cover, red edges, and it’s extremely sexy when naked😉

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Have you picked up a copy of Nevernight by Jay Kristoff yet? If you’ve finished the book let me know what you thought! No spoilers thought please. I am, after all, a slow reader, and this is a pretty intense book.

❤ Kylie

Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig

25036310Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig
Publishing Date October 4th 2016 by Feiwel & Friends
Source: arc

Flynn’s girlfriend has disappeared. How can he uncover her secrets without revealing his own?

Flynn’s girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking questions he can’t answer, and her friends are telling stories that don’t add up. All eyes are on Flynn—as January’s boyfriend, he must know something.

But Flynn has a secret of his own. And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January’s disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.

Flashback to BEA 2016 when I briefly met Caleb Roehrig (very briefly, I don’t even think names were actually exchanged) and I wish I had known I was standing in the presence of a word genius because I wouldn’t have been such a loser like I’m certain I was. BUT I will have a chance to redeem myself this year at Yallfest, so there’s that. Now onto an actual review.

Last Seen Leaving was unlike anything I’ve ever read. It had the suspense of a thriller and the feels of a contemporary. It’s like a YA Gone Girl meets History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera – which I know is a bad example since it’s not out yet, but it’s the perfect example. Throughout the book Flynn will think back to times he spent with January, and it just really took me back to Adam’s book. Both books are crazy unique and amazing in their own way. I just got the vibe and I really liked it.

I would describe LSL as two books in one, again because of it’s thriller and contemporary aspects. The search for January is a chilling one. The more Flynn would uncover the more I was on edge, and I loved it! There are twists and turns that kept me guessing what exactly was going on. The suspense was literally perfect. But then the moments when Flynn was struggling with who is himself and what all that means… I won’t spoil Flynn’s secret for you, so just read this book OKAY!

I loved this book more than I initially expected when I picked it up, and I don’t doubt that it’s going to surprise everyone who reads it. This is clearly a five star review, and I am URGING you to pick this one up! Last Seen Leaving is in stores now and I’m not sure why you aren’t rushing to your favorite bookstore right now! GO GO GO!

Congrats to Caleb for an amazing debut, and thank you to Feiwel & Friends for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review.

❤ Kylie

September 2016 Wrap-Up

Fall weather is finally here, and that means cuddling books in bed! Which I did a lot of this month. I got a decent amount of ARCs read, and surprisingly I didn’t listen to too many audiobooks. I still have unused credits on both Scribd and Audible… and that’s never happened to me. Probably because Empire Of Storms is a 25+ hour audiobook and I just finished before drafting this wrap-up. Also, this month I finally jumped onto the Hamilton train and I’m not jamming to that when I would usually be listening to an audiobook. The struggle.

So what did I read in September? Audiobooks:

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum (5 Stars)
Empire Of Storms by Sarah J. Maas (5 Stars)

Tell Me Three Things was adorable and I really enjoyed it, but Empire Of Storms wins as fave audio of the month. I’ve listened to all of the TOG series on audio so I’m pretty invested in listening to this series vs. reading it, though I do own the physical copies as well. I continue to be so lost through this series, like how I am when I watch Game Of Thrones, but I can’t help loving it. High fantasy really isn’t my thing, but when I find a series I enjoy I do my best to grasp what’s happening.

Comics:

Saga Vol. 5 Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (5 stars)

This was the only comic I read this month, my library doesn’t have Saga Vol. 6 yet😥 But I loved this volume, and I think it’s my favorite one so far!

Novels:

Kids Of Appetite by David Arnold (5 Stars)One Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards (3 Stars)Under Ground by Alice Rachel (5 Stars – re-read)The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia (4 Stars)Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig (5 Stars)The Upside Of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli (5 (million) Stars)

All of these books I read as ARCs, aside from Under Ground by my good friend Alice Rachel, which was a re-read. One Was Lost was the least entertaining, though it was still a delightfully creepy book, just not what I was hoping it was. If I didn’t read Becky Albertalli’s new amazing book this month, then it would’ve been hard to pick between Kids Of Appetite and Last Seen Leaving as my faves for the month. But Upside wins because it’s just one of those books that when you read it you can’t help but feel like this book was written just for you.

I read a lot of great things this month, but in November I’m really going to try to read more books off my shelf rather than ARCs. I’m so behind and my shelves are crying.

What did you read in September?

❤ Kylie

The Lovely Reckless Manicure + Review

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The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia
Publishing Date October 4th 2016 by Imprint
Source: arc

I’ve become an expert at avoiding things that could hurt me—which means I will figure out how to stay away from Marco Leone.

Seventeen-year-old Frankie Devereux would do anything to forget the past. Haunted by the memory of her boyfriend’s death, she lives her life by one dangerous rule: Nothing matters. At least, that’s what Frankie tells herself after a reckless mistake forces her to leave her privileged life in the Heights to move in with her dad—an undercover cop. She transfers to a public high school in the Downs, where fistfights don’t faze anyone and illegal street racing is more popular than football.

Marco Leone is the fastest street racer in the Downs. Tough, sexy, and hypnotic, he makes it impossible for Frankie to ignore him—and how he makes her feel. But the risks Marco takes for his family could have devastating consequences for them both. When Frankie discovers his secret, she has to make a choice. Will she let the pain of the past determine her future? Or will she risk what little she has left to follow her heart?

I’ve been a fan of Kami Garcia since picking up her Legion series (which I’m still desperately waiting for book 3!) and I’ve not only enjoyed her writing since, but I’ve been lucky enough to meet her a few times now and she is just as lovely as her words. When I found out she was writing a YA contemporary I was ecstatic, and also hesitant. I adore the Legion series, but it’s far from contemporary, and I’ve never read The Beautiful Creatures series, but I know it’s far from this. So I say I was hesitant just because I wasn’t sure if I would love Kami’s contemp… but I was so wrong to hesitate! Kami Garcia really can do it all.

The Lovely Reckless is a fast paced read filled with action, twists, memories, and juicy kisses! I really enjoyed being in Frankie’s head and watching her deal with the death of her boyfriend and the haunting realization that she was so traumatized she couldn’t even remember enough details to put Noah’s killer behind bars. On top of all that she has to start a new school, move in with her father, and deal with the fact that she’s falling for someone else so soon after losing Noah.

This book is Fast and Furious meets Crybaby – which are two awesome movies by the way. There are fast cars, two worlds, law breakers, and forbidden love. If you’re a contemporary fan this is definitely one you want to look out for. I gave The Lovely Reckless 4 stars, and I can’t wait to see what Kami has up next. Fingers crossed for more Legion series!

Mani time!!

So because I’m always looking for an excuse to use white polish, there’s just something about it I love, I took the oppurtunity to turn my nails into a graffitti splattered wall like the cover. It didn’t totally work like I imagined, but it never really does. However, the end result is something I’m thoroughly proud of! Here it is, check out my TLR mani:

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Like I said, not the perfect spray can look, but still cool none the less. To get this look I used Hard To Get, Total Flirt, and Blue Me Away! all by Sally Hansen. Then I used Black Matte by Maybelline Color show for some accent dots. Ever since I did the white accent dots on my Kids Of Appetite nails I’m pretty much obsessed! I also used a matte top coat to mix it up and take out the shine. If you’re looking for an inexpensive matte top coat, I highly recommend Sally Hansen’s Big Matte, it goes on nice and lasts for awhile.

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Clearly, I used the white as my base coat, and before sponging on the pink and blue I put one coat of matte top coat on. At first I was only going to have a matte background and leave the “paint splatter” shiny, but I decided to put the matte coat over one of my nails just to see, and I ended up liking it more.

Using a sponge to create a pattern has become one of my favorite ways to paint my nails. Using the dotting tool is fun too, but if I try to do anything fancier than just dots I always manage to mess up royally. With the sponge I’m already making a mess anyway, so it’s always easy to hide any flaws with blending.

I had a lot of fun reading this book, and just as much fun creating this manicure! Hope you enjoyed it, and be sure to look out for The Lovely Reckless in store October 4th!