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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Armchair BEA 2014 Wrap-Up




Wow, so this week went by really fast for me! And, even though I had loads of fun, I wish that I had had more time. I hate my job for getting in the way of all the fun! I did, however, get to post most days, I just wish I had more time to stop by more people's blogs.

My post:
Introduction Post
More Than Just Words
Expanding Blogging Horizons
Beyond the Borders


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Armchair BEA (Day 4: Beyond the Borders)




It’s time to step outside your comfort zone, outside your borders, or outside of your own country or culture. Tell us about the books that transported you to a different world, taught you about a different culture, and/or helped you step into the shoes of someone different from you. What impacted you the most about this book? What books would you recommend to others who are ready or not ready to step over the line? In essence, let’s start the conversation about diversity and keep it going! 

So I know that this discussion was supposed to be about books outside of the comfort zone/other cultures, however, it somehow became about my finding books about characters I could relate to. Oh well.

Outside my comfort zone, honestly, I have to admit that I'm a bit hesitant to read contemporary books. Why? Because they aren't very diverse, and since I read a lot of YA I can only take so many cute blonde girls doing things. Seriously. When I was younger I used to get super excited when I would pick up a book and it would be about a character with some name like "Lashana" or "Maria" (and you know, other stereotypical and overused names. I don't even think I've even met a "Maria" in my life). Of course, I could only take so many contemporary (no matter how few and far between they were) about African American or Hispanic characters having to deal with racism. Especially when half the time I would originally think it was about double dutch or again something as stereotypical, blonde girls have all the fun in fiction too. Honestly, growing up I could probably count the times I've dealt with racism (and it was because the other person was a complete moron), I use to relate to those characters as much as I could relate to those blonde, blue eyed ones. However, every now and then, I would find diverse books that I loved. Sometimes they did deal with racism, which I learned I had to deal with. And, when I'm lucky I find some diversity in fantasy, which you wouldn't think would be that hard, but since it is...


First thing I'm sharing is the Young Wizard series by Diane Duane. I first started this series when I was thirteen and during that time while YA was becoming a big thing, there really weren't many Hispanic characters anywhere. Yet, here in this series (and a fantasy nonetheless!) we were given Kit and his sister Carmela, both characters were ones that I could relate to on some level. Which, was a nice change from dealing with a generic "Maria" whose life was a mess and had to deal with racism.
The next book I'm sharing is A Song For Bijou by Josh Farrar. I actually read this one not too long ago (about a year go). Part of the reason I love this one (other than the fact that it's as cute as the cover makes it out to be), is that the characters are as diverse as they should be. I hate reading things or watching things on TV, and the setting is NYC, but everyone is Caucasian... what?









What about you? How have you stepped out of your comfort zone? (Or found it?)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Armchair BEA (Day 3: Expanding Blogging Horizons)




What do you think about when you think about going beyond blogging or expanding your horizons? Is it a redesign of your blog? Have you branched out into freelance writing or even published a novel of your very own? Or, have you moved into a different venue like podcasts or vlogging? This is the day to tell us about how you have expanded on blogging in your own unique way.

Honestly, I'm always trying to think of things to do. Not anything like podcast or vlogging. And, I do write outside of my blog, I don't talk about it here. Which is kind of funny, since in my personal life most people don't really know about my blog and I don't talk about my other writing on my blog. I have at least three different writing projects.

Anyway, I'm always trying to come up with different things to do here, but I find I'm just really bad at it. I do change the design around every now and then because I get a little bored with it after a while. But every month I always tell myself I'm going to try to push myself a little harder. Again, usually it doesn't work, but I try.

Armchair BEA (Day 2: More than just words)




I know, I know, it's technically day 3. Well, I worked all day so it's still day 2 until I go to sleep!

There are so many mediums that feature more than just words and enhance a story in a multitude of ways. Examples may include graphic novels and comics, audiobooks, or even multimedia novels. On this day, we will be talking about those books and formats that move beyond just the words and use other ways to experience a story. Which books stand out to you in these different formats?
I'm not really sure how I want to say whatever I want to say. I know for some people, things like graphic novels or audiobooks "don't count". Personally, I had a bit of that mentality myself. I wouldn't add the number of graphic novels I had read to my yearly goals. Finally, I realized that was silly, and that if I said reading a graphic novel counted as reading, then it should count toward my yearly goals. I think comic books are the only kind of books my brother will go near, honestly I think as long as he's reading it counts.

I was first introduced to graphic novels/manga when I was about fourteen/fifteen, my first was Vampire Game. It remains to be a favorite of mine.



And there is an all time favorite of mine Ouran High School Host Club.



Monday, May 26, 2014

Armchair BEA 2014 Introduction



Yay! I'm so excited to say that this year I'm participating in the 2014 Armchair BEA! Of course, I'll be working for the next two days. But I'm still super excited! This is my first year participating. The past two years I was a bit hesitated to join, but I figured if I didn't just sign up and do it, I never will, so here I am!

My Introduction: 

Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?
    I'm Jessie, I've been blogging... I don't know, three and a half years. (More, possibly, but Jessie's Book Place has been running that long so I'll go with that.) I'm not really sure why I started to be honest, or how I even discovered book blogging. 

Where in the world are you blogging from? Describe your blog in just one sentence. Then, list your social details -- Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. -- so we can connect more online. 
    I'm from Southern New England. Ugh... I'm really bad a describing things, but you can find my Twitter here and my GoodReads here. My Facebook is for personal family use and I have a Pinterest and maybe an Instagram, but I don't understand how to use them or what they are for.

What genre do you read the most? I love to read because ___________________ .  
    Fantasy, for the obvious reasons.Yes, I know I'm no fun.

What was your favorite book read last year? What’s your favorite book so far this year? 

What is your favorite blogging resource? 
    When I remember Google Calender!

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 3 books would you bring? Why? What 3 non-book items would you bring? Why?
 

So who else is participating in Armchair BEA this year?

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Showcase Sunday (32)


Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky at Books Biscuits and Tea.

I know, I know... what happened to being good? However, these were mostly my birthday gift to myself. It's all good now. I plan on not buying myself any more books for awhile... if I can manage.  

Friday, May 23, 2014

Book Blast: Essence by Mackenzie Lucas

Essence by Mackenzie Lucas


Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Publication Date: January 1, 2014
Available Formats: e-Book & audio available; print available in late June

All Haven Jameson ever wanted was to own a little piece of paradise. Now, she does, having established a successful luxury spa in St. Augustine, Florida. But when the property next door is sold to a mega developer and his pro-golf celebrity brother, who design trendy, bustling playgrounds for the rich and famous, she fears her dream could slip away. Confronted by her late husband’s infidelity, Haven learns everything she believed about her marriage was a lie. She finally sets aside her grief and opens her heart to loving the widowed pro-golfer. Haven discovers that living a safe, loveless life is far worse than embracing passion and taking a chance on a man who’s vowed never to love again.

Amazon | Audiobooks


Excerpt


“I will not let some greedy land developer ruin everything I’ve worked so hard to build.” Haven Jameson slapped the palm of her hand flat onto her desk with a loud thwack. “Owww.”

She rubbed her stinging hand.

Failure wasn’t an option. Sure, it was always a present danger as she forged her way to the top, struggling to establish Essence here in St. Augustine. She’d had plenty of sleepless nights while trying to make a success of her upscale boutique spa chain.

A month ago, the St. Augustine location opened to a raging success and received accolades from the highest society clients who’d she’d given complimentary stays during opening week.

“Unfortunately, Haven, I don’t think you’ll have much say over who buys the land,” Sally, Haven’s business partner and best friend, said, sitting across the desk from her. “Imogen Carmichael will have the last word. She usually does. She sold you this plot of land. And for some reason, I sure as heck can’t figure out, she held on to the adjacent tract. She could have sold you the whole parcel at the same time, but she didn’t. I don’t know what goes on in that woman’s mind. She seems a little off-kilter to me.”

“Don’t be mean, Sally. She’s a little eccentric for a woman in her late fifties, but not crazy.”

“Me? Mean? Never. I’m not the one who waits for a successful, luxury, full-service spa to open next door before I announce I’m offering a prime piece of real estate adjoining it for sale. She could ruin us. We’ve sunk so much time and money into this location. What happens if she sells to a developer who wants to put in a boardwalk and a Ferris wheel? Or she decides the offer from Joe’s Wacky Used Car World is right?”


Facebook Party



Come join Mackenzie Lucas and guest authors for a 2 hour Facebook Party. There will be Trivia Games, Giveaways, a Q&A with Mackenzie and many more giveaways from the guest authors! It will be LOTS of fun so come and join us! EARLY BIRD PRIZES: RSVP Now to be entered to win random prizes up until the day before the party starts (5/23).



About the Author


Mackenzie Lucas is an avid reader of genre fiction. She writes contemporary and paranormal romance, and listens to an eclectic mix of music. She loves a good story, whether it’s an erotic short, a full-length romance novel, or the narrative slice-of-life found in country music. In any story, emotional integrity and authenticity are most important to her as well as a big dose of romping hot sexual tension. She enjoys smart-mouthed, sexy heroines, hunky alpha heroes who know how to take care of their women, and plot twists that surprise her, but most of all, she just wants to experience the satisfying emotional arc of a character falling in love and finding what he or she needs most in life.

Mac is a small-town country girl with a world-traveler’s heart. She grew up in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania and she’s lived in Dublin, Ireland, within throwing distance of New York City in Long Island, and now in the Washington, D.C. area. She obtained her undergraduate degree in English Literature from Dickinson College and received her M.F.A. in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She’s currently an author, a writing coach, a mother, and a wife.

With Mackenzie Lucas—whether you’re reading her light paranormal romance or her small-town-based contemporary romance—you’ll always find a heart-warming love story about connectedness, community, and emotional authenticity. And, no, it doesn’t hurt that all her heroes are panty-melting gorgeous alphas and all their sexy, sensually aware heroines know how to stand up to them, give no quarter, and love them just as they are.

Author Links: 


Tour Giveaway


Giveaway Info: Grand prize - $10.00 gift card to Amazon; Runner Up (x2) - eBook of ESSENCE

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Bout of Books 10 Wrap-Up

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 12th and runs through Sunday, May 18th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 10 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

It's late, I know. My week was busier than I had expected it to be. That being said, my goal, which was to finish two books... was only halfway met. I finished What's Your Number, and only made it a little ways in The Final Empire. Ugh... well better luck next time.

 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Cover Reveal: Sticks and Stones by Shawn McGuire

Sticks and Stones by Shawn McGuire


Series: The Wish Makers #1
Publication date: June 15th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis:
Everyone has a dark side. Mandy’s just moved in with her.

The last time sixteen-year-old Mandy Matteo broke a rule, her sister died. Since that day she has done only what is expected of her, but life as a goody-goody has made Mandy so boring her friends have all but abandoned her. And she’s given up on ever getting Ethan, the boy she’s liked forever, to notice her. Desperate, Mandy makes a wish to simply be happy.

Her wish is granted and happiness arrives in the form of Lexi, her childhood imaginary friend come to life. Magical wishes have conditions though: Once started, the wish cannot be altered or stopped. And once Mandy is truly content with her life again, Lexi must go back to where she came from. But Lexi loves being alive and she’ll do whatever it takes to stay that way.



About the Author


Shawn McGuire started writing after seeing the first Star Wars movie (that’s episode IV) as a kid; she couldn’t wait for the next one so wrote her own episodes. Sadly, those notebooks are long lost. STICKS AND STONES is her debut and is the first in the planned five-book YA fantasy series, THE WISH MAKERS. She grew up in the beautiful Mississippi River town of Winona, Minnesota and after graduating college moved to the Milwaukee area of Wisconsin where she lived for many years. She and her family now call Colorado home and when not writing or reading, Shawn enjoys cooking and baking, crafts, interior decorating, and spending time hiking and camping in the spectacular Rocky Mountains.

Author Links

Monday, May 12, 2014

Cover Reveal: Calling California by J.P. Grider

Calling California by J.P. Grider


Publication date: June 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:
Cali Parker is poor. She has a lot on her plate – her father is dying, she’s working to help pay the rent, and she’s two-years behind in college.

Griffin Brooks is rich. He has not a care in the world – he’s acing his engineering courses, his hobby is restoring his fifty-thousand dollar classic car, and he has a different girl on his arm every week.

When Cali sees Griffin on her first day of class, she’s immediately smitten and thinks she’s found the perfect guy. When Griffin sees Cali at the bank, he immediately forgets the blonde he was with that morning. Then they meet, and their worlds collide.

Cali doesn’t belong in Griffin’s world, and he doesn’t understand hers. But just when Griffin convinces Cali that their two different worlds can blend, a secret is revealed that tears them apart.

Is their love strong enough to bring them back together, or will their worlds drift further apart?



About the Author


J.P. Grider is a Young Adult and New Adult author. She is the author of six novels. Her young adult series The Honor Trilogy consists of A Touch of Honor, A Man of Honor, and A Heart of Honor, while her first two novels - Unplugged (A Portrait of a Rock Star) and Maybe This Life - are standalone adult contemporary novels. Her most recent release is the new adult romance Calling California, which is the first in her Hunter Hill University series. The next book in the series – Mending Mick – will be released in October, 2014. All the books in the Hunter Hill University series will be standalone books and can be read in any order.

Author Links


Xpresso Book Tours

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Bout of Books 10 Goals

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 12th and runs through Sunday, May 18th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 10 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Unfortunately because of some work scheduling problems, my goals for this read-a-thon is going to be a little different from what I usually do. I'm hoping to finish at least two books, and read at least an hour a day, on the days I work, and at least two on my days off. So here's some books I'll be picking me two from:

     

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Jessie's Non-book Obsessions (2)

Alright, so I have decided that this month, I would share some of my non-book obsessions.

Okay so this is going up a little (a lot) later than I had intended for it to go up. Though in my defense, I decided to change what I was going to share. I'll share what I originally wanted to share next week. So what's one of my non-book obsessions? That's not Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse?


That's right, The Americans. Now, unlike the Barbie web series. This is not kid friendly. In fact, this really surprised me the first time I had seen it. I knew it was an adult show, just I didn't know how mature it was. This show is rated TV MA LSV for a reason. If you don't know what the show is about, it's about a married Russian KGB couple pretending to be Americans during the 80's. There's just so much I'm not sure I can explain it, without giving too much away, or not giving enough of it away. As long as the sexual content doesn't bother you/you can get past it, I think it's worth a look.

I know that when I started the first season last spring it took me an episode or two to really get into it. I know people who were hooked right away. The second season started amazingly. I like to record everything on my DVR and wait a few weeks so I can see a few episodes at a time, so I'm still a bit behind, but I can't wait to see what happens next. And, I'm so glad to know that there will be a season three.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Showcase Sunday (31)


Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky at Books Biscuits and Tea.

I've been pretty good the past few months! And by good I might mean buying my books on clearance.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Jessie's Non-book Obsessions

Alright, so I have decided that this month, I would share some of my non-book obsessions.

The first I'm sharing, is a little hard for me to explain.... It's Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse web series. I was introduced to the series only about a month ago, but I've been crazy about it ever since. I can rewatch them and I never seem to get bored, I'm like a little kid.

Anyway, if you don't know anything about the series, I say look it up. Though intentionally you might think "Barbie, but Barbie dolls are for little girls." The series seems to be directed toward pre-teens and young teens who have just grown out of Barbie. So the humor can be a bit more... mature, I guess I would say sometimes. My mom was surprised to find that she too enjoyed the show, as it wasn't something she was expecting.

Really it's just a fun little show, and here's my favorite episode staring the amazing Ken (because we all need a Ken).



Thursday, May 1, 2014

May's Schedule

May is my birthday month! So for this month I'm going to be revisiting some favorite books and some unread books by favorite authors.

TBR:

Here's just a few books I could get to this month:

         


Other

Bout of books Read-a-Thon starts May 12 and ends the 18th. (I'm even all signed up!)
The Book Blogger Summer Reading Program hosted at Katie's Book Blog, which begins today!