Dividing Eden ★★★★☆

diving-eden.jpgBEHOLD! FOR I HAVE FINALLY FINISHED THIS BOOK! And it was amazing.

Twins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure.

But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option—to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom.

As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family.

With their country and their hearts divided, Carys and Andreus will discover exactly what each will do to win the crown. How long before suspicion takes hold and the thirst for power leads to the ultimate betrayal?

Continue reading “Dividing Eden ★★★★☆”

Advertisements

House of Furies ★★★★★

houseoffuries.jpgRoux uses language like Austen and plots like Brontë. House of Furies is simply amazing and if you think it isn’t up your alley-you’re wrong. Do not smile. Do not frown. Do not, under any circumstances, put this book down.

After escaping a harsh school where punishment was the lesson of the day, seventeen-year-old Louisa Ditton is thrilled to find employment as a maid at a boarding house. But soon after her arrival at Coldthistle House, Louisa begins to realize that the house’s mysterious owner, Mr. Morningside, is providing much more than lodging for his guests. Far from a place of rest, the house is a place of judgment, and Mr. Morningside and his unusual staff are meant to execute their own justice on those who are past being saved.

Louisa begins to fear for a young man named Lee who is not like the other guests. He is charismatic and kind, and Louisa knows that it may be up to her to save him from an untimely judgment. But in this house of distortions and lies, how can Louisa be sure whom to trust?

Continue reading “House of Furies ★★★★★”

Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora ★★★★☆

25226215.jpgDefinitely one of my favorite pieces featuring a second language since Zoraida Cordova’s Labyrinth Lost.

Save the restaurant. Save the town. Get the girl. Make Abuela proud. Can thirteen-year-old Arturo Zamora do it all or is he in for a BIG, EPIC FAIL?

For Arturo, summetime in Miami means playing basketball until dark, sipping mango smoothies, and keeping cool under banyan trees. And maybe a few shifts as junior lunchtime dishwasher at Abuela’s restaurant. Maybe. But this summer also includes Carmen, a cute poetry enthusiast who moves into Arturo’s apartment complex and turns his stomach into a deep fryer. He almost doesn’t notice the smarmy land developer who rolls into town and threatens to change it. Arturo refuses to let his family and community go down without a fight, and as he schemes with Carmen, Arturo discovers the power of poetry and protest through untold family stories and the work of Jose Marti.

Continue reading “Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora ★★★★☆”

Formatting Your Posts: Part 1

Thus far you’ve put together some posts on your own, made some fancy images for them, and scheduled them for some date in the future. Now let’s clean it all up.

This… will be my most catty post about blogging. I have many visual preferences and coming from a new media background certainly does not help my snobbery, so I’d like to apologize to all the people I’m about to offend.

Images

Let’s get this out of the way: DO. NOT. JUST. PLOP. YOUR. IMAGES. IN . YOUR. POSTS. WITHOUT. ALIGNING. THEM. PLEASE. AND. THANK YOU.

There is nothing more aggravating to me than people who just plop photos down in their posts without a care of how it all looks after it’s published.

Case in point.

It's not always abouttrying to fix somethingthat's broken.Whelp! There it is. Just sitting on the side of the post, breaking up the text.

And it bugs me to no end.

So let’s talk about moving these images around so that you can have a cleaner looking product. Continue reading “Formatting Your Posts: Part 1”

Requesting ARCs

Everyone loves reading books before they come out! I know I do! But how do we book bloggers get our hands on advanced reader copies? Let me count the ways.

#1 NetGalley/Edelweiss and Other Services

NetGalley, Edelweiss, First to Read, Bookish First and many other programs offer a way for you to get an e-galley of the book before publication. It will be delivered to your kindle or nook for your reading pleasure. Because you are getting a galley, chances are there will be mistakes in the copy, so try not to hold them against the book when you review it.

#2 Conventions

I attend BookCon every year and run around to the many booths to get my grubby little hands on advanced copies. When you get a physical ARC, they have information for who to contact with a review and when to post it on the back cover. Which brings us to the next way to get an ARC.

#3 Contact the Publisher/Agent

As you review more you will make contacts with publishers, agents, and authors. You can reach out to them to request specific copies of books. I personally request from Sourcebooks, HarperCollins, and the New Leaf Literary Agency. I have made these contacts at conventions. Continue reading “Requesting ARCs”

Feature Images

Let’s talk images! Every post should have one! You heard me. One. Yes, there are exceptions and personal preferences so let’s just dive right in.

Feature Images

Feature Images are great! They are the first image people see for your post. You can see mine for this series right at the top of this post! You also probably saw it in your reader, twitter feed, or facebook feed. You said, “Oh! Jessica has a new informative post up! I should click that!”

Would you have clicked if there was just a grey box? Or just the logo on my site?

Probably not.

There are many tools online to make images for your blog. I highly recommend Canva.com. They have many templates, sizes, images, fonts, and plenty of tools for you to create eye catching material for your blog.

Every template has a different size for its features. It might be a perfect square, it might be 800×500 pixels. You can check this in most media/customization settings on most platforms.  Continue reading “Feature Images”

Setting Up Your Blog

It’s time to get started! You’re not writing a review, you’re not posting your “Hello, World!”, you’re not creating content. You’re choosing from a plethora of themes, colors, and widgets. But even before that, let’s talk names.

Naming Your Blog

For most free accounts for blogs your username will become part of the URL to your site. For example. If your username on WordPress is SomeRandoBlogAboutBooks, your URL will be SomeRandoBlogAboutBooks.wordpress.com.

Imagine putting that on a business card to promote yourself.

That’s insane.

And consider what your blog is going to be about. My blog started as a place to post work for school. It had to have my name. Now I use it to promote myself as a writer, it should still have my name.

Here are some tips for naming your blog and coming up with your URL.

  • Are you a writer yourself and do you need build a platform?
  • Keep it short and sweet and easy to write down and remember.
  • Read it out loud to avoid awkward words

Continue reading “Setting Up Your Blog”