Top Ten Books I Read In 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at
 The Broke and the Bookish

This week's Top Ten Tuesday is:

Top Ten Books I Read in 2013

Since I basically already did this for my #ReadingCram post, I've decided that this time, I'm going to share my top seven indie books and top three novellas. Because the more readerly/writerly love that can be spread, the better, yes? So here you go, in no particular order:

Top 7 Indie Books

Seeds of Discovery (Dusk Gate Chronicles, #1)
The Summer I Became a Nerd
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Top Three Novellas
Destroy Me (Shatter Me, #1.5)
Warner Warner Warner Warner 
Warner Warner (Adam who?) Warner Warner Warner

What Once We Feared  (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #o.4)

Jonah Jonah JONAH this is horrible everything that's 
happened is so horrible and wait what NO THAT ENDING

Snark and Circumstance (Snark and Circumstance #1)
"As a vegan, I am committed to nonviolence, in 
all aspects of life. But I'd really like to kick 
Michael Endicott in the shins right now." ~Georgia

Blog Tour: POWERED by Cheyanne Young + #giveaway

You guys. This book rocks. I read it in one sitting, and laughed out loud SO many times. 

Cheyanne has done a great job of capturing a main character's angst without going so overboard, you want to knock her upside her head. Not to mention, this character is a female potential SUPERhero. How often do you see a YA book with that kind of plot? Hardly ever. Maci Might has the ability to be a hero, but her temperament keeps getting in the way. Which makes the story, though not all that enjoyable for Maci, highly entertaining for the reader. 

The other thing that I loved was that Maci was at first fighting with being different than everyone else, but learned, as the story progressed, to embrace this individuality and own it (even though it was socially unacceptable), which is something so many young adults (and even adults) struggle to do on a daily basis.

Quote #1: I say something lighthearted and dumb because my brain sucks. "Are you supposed to make out with someone for the first time while they're half paralyzed because you slammed them into a wall?"

Ha ha. Oh, Maci. 

The blurb:

Maci Might's sixteenth birthday is supposed to be the day she's awarded Hero status. But thanks to a tiny anger problem and a questionable family tree, King City's elders think it's best if she doesn't join the Hero ranks. Determined to change their minds, Maci will break whatever rule it takes to prove she's Hero material. As her hair darkens and her anger grows, everyone turns against her except Evan; a childhood friend turned scientist who may be able to unlock the secrets hidden in her DNA.

When a villain attacks King City and her dad is held prisoner, Maci discovers a truth she refuses to believe. She may not be a Hero after all—but this time the Heroes of King City need her more than she needs them. And she won't let them down. 

POWERED is the first in a trilogy. I loved Cheyanne's MOTOCROSS ME, but this one was even more up my alley than MM was. As I was skimming reviews on Goodreads, I noticed there aren't very many complaints for POWERED (and rightly so), but the few mentioned had to do with a slower pace about halfway through the story. To which I say, the slower pace was needed, because it allowed us to get to know the characters more as they got to know each other. What happens between Evan and Maci would not have been believable had that part have been taken away. And, those slow times where they hung out and whatnot were the times I laughed the most. So while I see what some readers were saying, I appreciated the change of pace. :)

One last quote: Oh, to be a bird and have no worries other than--Which way is south?--every time winter rolls around.

And I agree, Maci. Orange Gatorade is WAY better than lemon lime. :D

a Rafflecopter giveaway POWERED at Goodreads | Amazon | Nook | Smashwords

About the author: Cheyanne is a native Texan with a fear of cold weather and a coffee addiction that probably needs an intervention. She loves books, sarcasm, nail polish and paid holidays. She lives near the beach with her family, one spoiled rotten puppy and a cat who is most likely plotting to take over the world. Connect with her at

This week's writerly news, #ReadingCram winner + #IndieFever reading challenge

Absolutely AMAZING. I asked @punkprojects to design a tote for the IF I SPEAK TRUE blog tour next month—wanted to put one in the giveaway—and she made TWO!!! Now how do I decide which one to keep? Ahhhhh!!! THANKS SO MUCH, @katiebug92! :D LOVE THEM!!! #IfISpeakTrue #YA #DahliaandRowan #flowers #Flora

Hi guys! Hope everyone had a wonderfully blessed Christmas! I planned to have a few posts go up these past two weeks, but never got around to it. :/ It's been busy around here with the girls home and family get-togethers and whatnot, and I wanted this week to be relaxing, so I didn't push myself to come up with stuff.

A few things HAVE happened across the interwebs, however, so (even though my Friday post is going out VERY late) here I am, sharing the most recent news!

1) Lorna Suzuki (@LornaSuzuki) was generous enough to invite me to be featured on her blog! She asked lots of fun questions, and this is one of the few interviews where I got pretty personal with my answers, including the real story behind Jonas' blood disorder in Pity Isn't An Option, my favorite female YA authors, and my favorite drink (hee hee--such a hard one!). You can read the full interview HERE.

2) Over at Operation Awesome, I talked about connecting with characters, in Making a Connection: Sympathizing with the Characters. You can read about it and throw in your two cents, HERE.

3) Kate Tilton (@K8Tilton) has gotten pretty much everything taken care of for If I Speak True's release and blog tour, and I am SO EXCITED! I just wanted to send out a major thank you to everyone who offered to showcase If I Speak True during the tour. I really appreciate it, and cannot WAIT for it to start... there's going to be so many fun features! :p

4) I received an AMAZING thing in the mail today, and if you're wondering if I'm referring to the photo at the top of this post, I AM!!!! Katie (@punkprojects) is so insanely talented!!! (I mean, look at those DAHLIAS!) I asked her to read If I Speak True and make something I could include in the blog tour giveaway, and this is what she sent! I still cannot BELIEVE that she sent me not one, but two! Woohoo! Not sure if you can tell, but both designs are somewhat like the coat of arms in the book -- both have the laurel wreath, and the one on the left (that's Rowan and Dahlia close to the end of the book--if you've read it you'll know why I say that) also has a line from one of Dahlia's favorite songs! :D 

So yeah. I haven't been able to decide which one to keep, so I will probably let the winner decide which one they want. YAY! 

Which reminds me...

5) In case you missed it, the winner for my #ReadingCram giveaway (Pity Isn't An Option, eARC of If I Speak True, and an Amazon gift card) was Shannon A. Congratulations, Shannon! :)

6) I had a whole lot more to share, but I'm running out of coffee. Monday I'll be featuring my author pal Cheyanne Young's (@NormalChey) newest book, POWERED (reading it this weekend), so look for that. (It's a superhero YA. Woot!)


7) I received an invite via Goodreads from Debdatta (@b00kr3vi3ws) for this reading challenge, and thought it was pretty awesome! It's hard keeping a good balance between reading traditionally published books and indie books, so I thought this fun challenge was a cool way to try and find new YA indies in 2014! I'm only going to be able to commit to the "amateur" level, but hey--that's still more than I had committed to before, and you know that, with me being an indie and all, I HAVE to share the indie love! Click HERE to learn more info about the #IndieFever reading challenge (and sign up)!

Bye for now, friends! Happy writing and reading, and have a wonderful weekend! :D

Waiting on Wednesday -- The Killing Woods

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.  
  This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is The Killing Woods
The Killing Woods

The Killing Woods

by Lucy Christopher
Publication date: January 7th, 2014

From Goodreads:

Emily’s dad is accused of murdering a teenage girl. Emily is sure he is innocent, but what happened that night in the woods behind their house where she used to play as a child? Determined to find out, she seeks out Damon Hillary the enigmatic boyfriend of the murdered girl. He also knows these woods. Maybe they could help each other. But he’s got secrets of his own about games that are played in the dark.

A new psychological thriller from the award-winning and bestselling author of STOLEN and FLYAWAY.

Waiting on Wednesday -- The Bridge From Me to You

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.  
  This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is The Bridge From Me to You
The Bridge from Me to You

The Bridge From Me to You

by Lisa Schroeder
Publication date: July 29th, 2014

From Goodreads:

New girl. Small town. Broken heart.
Trying to find a place to call home.

Football hero. Under pressure. Holding on.
Dreaming of a bigger life than this.

Lauren & Colby
Something new. Something special. Two hearts. Healing together. Bridging the distance. Learning to fly.

In alternating chapters of poetry and prose, Lisa Schroeder builds a beautiful novel of love, family and what it means to truly believe -- in yourself and someone else.

This week's writerly news (including blog tour info and current giveaways)

Happy Friday, guys! :) It's been a busy week, and with it being the last few days before Christmas break and two of my girls having finals starting Tuesday, I'm sure next week will be even busier. Even so, this is definitely the most wonderful time of the year! :D I don't have a whole lot to share, as I haven't even been able to read much (plan to this weekend) and formatting has taken up all of my writerly time (hoping to get a little in before Christmas), but I did want to update everyone on what's going on around here, share a couple of giveaways going on (in case you'd missed them) and explain the plan for the next two months.

First, in case you somehow missed my crazy excited-ness earlier this week, the paperback proof of If I Speak True came in the mail, and I cannot tell you how insanely gorgeous the cover is. (The photos *so* didn't do it justice.) Hafsah is so stinking talented, and I am not kidding, I actually wanted to HUG the book all day, it's SO pretty! YAY!

Next, Kate is officially getting the blog tour for If I Speak True together (yay--love her), and we've decided to *start* the tour on its release date. Which means that starting January 27th (and for approximately 2 weeks), there will be lots of different posts and some cool ways to enter to win not only If I Speak True, but also some pretty cool swag, too. 

Now, before everyone gets too excited, I want to make sure I point out that some of this swag will only be available for the US giveaway. :( I hate to say it, but international shipping costs A LOT. So while I am doing two separate giveaways, the part I'm about to explain will only be available to enter to win if you're living in the US.

With that said, Katie is working her creative genius toward making something pretty neat. I have no idea what the finished product will be, other than it'll be a tote that has something to do with If I Speak True, but I have seen what she's been doing to get those creative juices flowing, and I know it's going to be awesome. :D

Also, come January, I'm going to go pretty silent on the If I Speak True front. I don't want you guys so sick of seeing it that come its release you want to stab it with a fork. (Why a fork? Uh... I have no idea.)  There will be ONE thing I do from January 1st to January 26th, and that is a feature I've been planning to showcase on my Tumblr. (I haven't decided if I should carry it on over here or not. What say you?) I'm pretty excited about it, and that'll also take up a bit of my time once Christmas break starts. So, if you don't follow me on Tumblr yet, you might want to! (Go HERE.) I don't want to spoil anything, but it's going to kind of be a visual of the book. That's all I can say. *locks lips* *throws key away*

As for writing and the #ReadingCram, I did want four books read by the end of the year, and I can easily reach that. (What were they though again? Okay, I went and checked.) I did read one on my list (I Capture the Castle--by far one of my new favorites), and have three to go, but I started reading Falling Kingdoms, so hopefully I can still read the other three, which brings me up to five total to finish by the end of 2013, but I like the number five, so that works for me! ;)

Well I think I've yapped enough for one Friday! Regarding the current giveaways, you can check them out, here:

Celebrating Debutantes at Michelle's blog: click HERE 

#ReadingCram #booklove giveaway (in which I share my top ten books for this year--or well, my first list of top ten books... I'll be doing this post again soon and will be slightly changing it up because I loved more than ten!): click HERE

(both end in 11 days... weird!)

Have a blessed weekend! :D

#ReadingCram: Top Ten Books I Read in 2013 + #giveaway

Hey all! I'm participating in Dana and Jenny's (from JuliababyJen's Reading Room) #ReadingCram, which means a post and a giveaway, celebrating the last reading cram of the year!!! My post is Top Ten Books I Read in 2013. This was a hard one, because I've read a lot of good ones. I decided to narrow it down a smidge by choosing books that stuck with me long after I'd read them (for whatever reason, as long as it was a positive one), and after a long debate, I still had twelve books (because I can NEVER make up my mind *cries*). That problem was solved, however, when I used this widget, because it knocked two out. So I left it that way, because it decided for me!!! :D
 photo 74213c5d-20bc-49ac-b730-e9a620f4f3ed.png
So that's... 
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelley
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith,
Hourglass by Myra McEntire
Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
False Memory by Dan Krokos
The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen
The Sea of Tranguility by Katja Millay
The Summer I Became a Nerd by 
Jellicoe Road (Or, On the Jellicoe Road, depending on where you are) by Melina Marchetta.

As for my reading challenge... I think I got a book in the mail and started reading that instead of one of the ones I mentioned I needed to read. :| (But I'm reading! And that's what counts!

And now... for the... GIVEAWAY!!!!

I'm giving away either an eARC of my upcoming book, If I Speak True, or a Pity Isn't An Option ebook, and a $10 Amazon gift card! (Hoorah!) Make sure you check out all of the other #ReadingCram posts and giveaways going on through December 22nd, HERE!

Enter the rafflecopter below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Waiting on Wednesday -- A Death-Struck Year

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.  
  This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is A Death-Struck Year
A Death-Struck Year

A Death-Struck Year

by Makiia Lucier
Publication date: March 4, 2014

From Goodreads:

In the grip of the deadly 1918 flu pandemic, not even the strong survive.

The Spanish influenza is devastating the East Coast—but Cleo Berry knows it is a world away from the safety of her home in Portland, Oregon. Then the flu moves into the Pacific Northwest. Schools, churches, and theaters are shut down. The entire city is thrust into survival mode—and into a panic.

Seventeen-year-old Cleo is told to stay put in her quarantined boarding school, but when the Red Cross pleads for volunteers, she cannot ignore the call for help. In the grueling days that follow her headstrong decision, she risks everything for near-strangers. Strangers like Edmund, a handsome medical student. Strangers who could be gone tomorrow. And as the bodies pile up, Cleo can't help but wonder: when will her own luck run out?

Riveting and well-researched, A Death-Struck Year is based on the real-life pandemic considered the most devastating in recorded world history, and leaves readers asking: what would I do for a neighbor? At what risk to myself?

Teaser Tuesday #6 -- Falling Kingdoms

This is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

To participate you:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
(Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! 
You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) 
* Share the title & author, too, so that other Teaser Tuesday 
participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


This week's teasers are from:
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms, #1)

Teaser #1:
And if you fall in love with someone else, you need to spend as much time with him as possible because you never know when he might be taken from you.

Teaser #2: 
Follow your heart wherever it leads. 

Waiting on Wednesday -- Control

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.  
  This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is Control
Control (Control, #1)


by Lydia Kang
Publication date: December 26th, 2013

From Goodreads:

An un-putdownable thriller for fans of Uglies

When a crash kills their father and leaves them orphaned, Zel knows she needs to protect her sister, Dyl. But before Zel has a plan, Dyl is taken by strangers using bizarre sensory weapons, and Zel finds herself in a safe house for teens who aren’t like any she’s ever seen before—teens who shouldn't even exist. Using broken-down technology, her new friends’ peculiar gifts, and her own grit, Zel must find a way to get her sister back from the kidnappers who think a powerful secret is encoded in Dyl’s DNA.

A spiraling, intense, romantic story set in 2150—in a world of automatic cars, nightclubs with auditory ecstasy drugs, and guys with four arms—this is about the human genetic “mistakes” that society wants to forget, and the way that outcasts can turn out to be heroes.

Teaser Tuesday #5 -- I Capture the Castle

This is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

To participate you:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
(Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! 
You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) 
* Share the title & author, too, so that other Teaser Tuesday 
participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


This week's teasers are from:
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

I Capture the Castle

Teaser #1:

I felt that what with the moonlight, the music, the scent of the stocks and having swum round a six-hundred-year-old moat, romance was getting a really splendid leg-up and it seemed an awful waste that we weren't in love with each other -- I wondered if I ought to have got Rose and Simon to swim the moat instead of us.

Teaser #2: 

But I finally decided that cold water is definitely anti-affection, because when Neil did eventually put his arm round me it wasn't half so exciting as when he held my hand under the warm car-rug after the picnic.

The Gift of Giving... In Awesome Recycled Book Form (Part 2)

Last year I did a feature called The Gift of Giving... in Awesome Recycled Book Form,  where I shared a few of my favorite do-it-yourself bookish gifts. (Feel free to check out the post here -- the photos no longer work, but the links are still active.) Since Christmas is just around the corner (and DIY crafts tend to be a little more time consuming than "shopping"), I figured it would be fun to do it again this year!

So here are the ones I really liked, in no particular order (some even have video tutorials):

Hollow Book/Safe

This is such a cool idea! And I love how she says to leave a few pages so it's not obvious that the book is hollow! 


Bookish Tree
DIY:  Book Page Christmas Tree Tutorial.

Choose a book that's not particularly near and dear to your heart, simply for the look of it, or do the exact opposite and choose one your recipient loves, so that every time they look at it they can see the book's beautiful words! A tutorial for the second photo is here.


Bookish Shoes
Textual shoes-perfect for lovers of written words. I MUST MAKE THIS.
I wasn't able to figure out who made these originally. (I came across the photo here.) Boy would these make some awesome shoes. Flats would look just as cute! *loves* (I've also seen this done on lampshades.)


Page Poem
 photo 0efbcb26-87a1-475d-974d-3427827e7e2e.jpg

I absolutely love this idea! There are so many possibilities! Choose the recipient's favorite book, use a page that means something to you... frame it, and voila! :) (You can see other page poems by her, here.)


Book Planter
Book pot

I came across this book planter on If you can get over the whole, damaging-the-book part, this is a pretty cool idea. :D Check out Gartenkulter's other designs, here.


Bookish Wreath
There are quite a few YouTube tutorials out there, but I chose this one because I like the holiday take on it (and the lovely music!). For a rolled roses paper wreath (where you use newspaper or phonebook pages, instead), click here.


Quote Mini Book

This is an awesome idea for book lovers and writers. I know I find sentences I love all the time but have to write somewhere else, as I don't want to mess my books up (I think my daughter had sticky notes on about twelve different pages with the last book she read). You could make one with the recipient's favorite bookish quotes, or even create one that they could use to add in their own! Kate shows her own (notice the owl on the cover? *loves*) and page layout ideas, here.


Bookish Ornaments 

Give me some glue and some glitter and I will be all over this.
Here's Valerie's post for the clear ornament. 
(The link to the second one no longer works, but I love the glitter added to it!)


Bookish Light Switch/Outlet Covers 

Another one from ... no tutorial, but I'm sure all it takes is a few pages and Mod Podge! 


And, last but not least, this is more writer-ish than bookish, but it's too darling not to share:

Teacup Journal DIY

You can also do a coffee cup version of this. Isn't it adorable? Check out Katie's step-by-step instructions, HERE.


So, did any of these DIYs inspire you? I'm definitely trying a few of these out soon!  (Oh, and psssst: Today's the last day to enter the giveaway -- here's the link to the post!) Happy Monday, guys!