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Sunday, June 19, 2016

A Humble Apology (and a plan!)

Hey everyone,

It's been a while since I have posted anything substantial on this site. And I'd like to apologize for that, and though I know I don't owe any of you an explanation, I'd like to give one anyway. Even if it's just for my own peace of mind :)

So, I did write a post here (link) that explained my mental health issues. I'll recap it here in a TLDR version- I had a really bad "bout" of depression and anxiety. It got to the point where I was failing classes, where I couldn't get out of bed to even shower or eat, and I was afraid to leave my dorm room.

Thankfully, it got better.

It got so much better, in fact, that I was able to turn all my grades around! After busting my ass for the last semester with a whopping total of 21 credit hours, I got on the Dean's List for the first time ever in my academic career.

And, even better than that, I graduated from uni! I also moved back home from college, which is a whole different can of worms.

AND On top of that still (my time away is like a trifle- full of complex but delicious layers), I got my first "big girl" job! And no, it has nothing to do with my major :P I interviewed a few different days during finals week and was offered a position on graduation day. I can't ask for much better timing than that!

Plus, I volunteer on another website as a moderator, which has taken up quite a chunk of time too.

And.... I went on a mini vacation x.x

As I write this memo, I'm still in the training process for this job. Which, is another layer on the trifle of a busy life.

In short: life got in the way of reading (and blogging!)

I'd like to apologize to any blog tour organizers, authors, bloggers, and publishers if this has caused any issues.

So where do we go from here?
-I'm going to start catching up on posts I had meant to do in my absence
-I'm going to start posting reviews for books I have read awhile ago already and never got a chance to blog about
-I will also crosspost these to Amazon and Goodreads
-I will update my Goodreads information so that I am not so far off base/behind
-I will start participating again in memes such as STS
-I will start lovingly stalking the blogs I once adored via bloglovin'
-I will deal with the hot mess that is currently my Netgalley page
-I will reply to emails in a timely fashion
-I will plan out a giveaway or two to make up for it
-I will start being more active on sites such as tumblr and twitter and instagram and Pinterest
-I will organize my bookshelves, both online and physical
-I will start posting some unboxings, since I've become a mail whore.

I'm sure this is not a complete list, but for now, that is what I need to do.

Thank you to all of you who have kept following me despite the silence. Every one of you means something to me, and without the support of all of you, I would not have the motivation, the fun, or the desire to get back to doing this.

Please comment below and tell me what I've missed! What good books should I be reading? Who has graduated? Who is pregnant? Deets, people! ;D

Bookishly yours,

Jillyn

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Dragonfly by Alyssa Thiessen!



Title: Dragonfly

Author: Alyssa Thiessen

Release date: February 6, 2016

Publisher: Peasantry Press



Summary from Goodreads:


Eighteen-year-old Joshua Miller is great at being invisible, despite the four, large, insect-like wings protruding from his back and his knack for high-rise robberies. He can remember almost nothing of his life before Nik found him and taught him his trade. Now he’s alone, and he likes it that way.

When Joshua unexpectedly meets Lexi on a job, his simple, uncomplicated existence shifts. Although he intends to remain uninvolved, something about her captivates him and he begins to let her in. As he navigates the strange nuances of a relationship with a girl as desperate to be different as he is to be ordinary, he becomes increasingly aware that he is not who he wants to be for her. Confronted by the past he’d forgotten and a family he didn’t know existed, Joshua must decide for himself where he belongs and who holds the key to his future.



Excerpt:


The fire smoldered outside, and I stood in front of the large, square mirror in the bathroom. As I looked into my own face, smooth and familiar, I felt shame wash over me. “I’m sorry,” I whispered aloud. Before me was the man who had spent his life stealing from people, who had watched suffering and pain and had felt nothing, done nothing. This was the man who consistently left the only people who loved him.
Dragonfly, I heard her voice in my mind, feeling her certainty and faith again. She didn’t care who I’d been.




Get it Here:


Amazon


About the Author:


When she's not donning her secret identity and saving the world, Thiessen keeps busy writing her next novel, reading something beautiful, teaching high school English, drinking coffee, cycling, and hanging out with her family - husband, kiddies, and miniature schnauzer.

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Blog



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Giveaway:


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Blog Tour Organized by:

Monday, April 4, 2016

Blog Tour Excerpt & Giveaway: Provenance of Bondage by Kyrian Lyndon!




Title: Provenance of Bondage

Series: Deadly Veils #1

Author: Kyrian Lyndon

Release date: 01/06/16



Summary from Goodreads:


Sixteen-year-old Danielle DeCorso watches in fear for two men in a dusty black sedan who keep circling the house and harassing her with phone calls.

The old house in Glastonbury was an eerie place to grow up. Danielle would liein her bed at night, listening to the sounds of darkness. But those predators in the black sedan—they had drugged her, along with her cousin, Angie, and held them captive in their home for hours.

Angie will not share her truth of that horrendous day, and Danielle's credibility isin question. Danielle remains guarded, obsessed, and withdrawn in her now tumultuous world. She finds herself in a position of needing to sort out her confusion while dealing with her troubled family. She craves normalcy in an ongoing fight for her sanity. Grief and guilt spiral her to an even darker place until startling revelations awaken her newfound spirit, inspiring a once naive girl to grow into a woman of defiance and courage.


Excerpt:


What had those vile creatures unleashed in me? What beast had they awakened? I think I vowed to kill the beast and bury it so deep in the abyss it would never again rear its ugly head. Part of me did make this promise. The other part embraced an unfolding of life’ s inextinguishable flames and the mind’ s unspoken bondage. As far as reinforcing the strength of my mind’ s resolve, I supposed my body was a useless entity. Rather, it was this fancy thing I lived in—a mausoleum that beckoned the living, promising gratification, refuge, solace, peace, even immortality. It wasn’ t me. It wasn’ t mine. I realized then, it had never belonged to me. I could control what happened to it only if people were merciful. Watching Valentin was not merciful. It was a torturous joy.





Get it Here:


Amazon


About the Author:


Kyrian Lyndon is the author ofProvenance of Bondage, the first book in her Deadly Veils series. She has also published two poetry collections, A Dark Rose Blooms, andRemnants of Severed Chains. Kyrian began writing short stories and fairy tales when she was just eight years old. Inher adolescence, she moved onto poetry. At sixteen, while working asan editor for her high school newspaper, she wrote her first novel, and then completed two more novels at the ages ofnineteen and twenty-five.Born and raised in Woodside, Queens, New York, Kyrian was the middle of three daughters born to immigrants —her father from Campochiaro, Italy; her mother from Havana, Cuba. She has worked primarily in executive-level administrative positions with major New York publishing companies. She resides on Long Island in New York.

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest



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Giveaway:


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Blog Tour Organized by:
YA Bound Book Tours

Friday, April 1, 2016

Blog Tour Excerpt & Giveaway: Adorkable by Cookie O'Gorman!



Title: Adorkable

Author: Cookie O'Gorman

Release date: 03/31/16



Summary from Goodreads:


Adorkable (ah-dor-kuh-bul): Descriptive term meaning to be equal parts dorky and adorable. For reference, see Sally Spitz.

Seventeen-year-old Sally Spitz is done with dating. Or at least, she's done with the horrible blind dates/hookups/sneak attacks her matchmaking bestie, Hooker, sets her up on. There's only somuch one geek girl and Gryffindor supporter can take.

Her solution: she needs a fake boyfriend. And fast.

Enter Becks, soccer phenom, all-around-hottie, and Sally's best friend practically since birth. When Sally asks Becks to be her F.B.F. (fake boyfriend), Becks is only too happy to be used. He'd do anything for Sal--evenif that means giving her PDA lessons in his bedroom, saying she's "more than pretty," and expertly kissing her at parties.

The problem: Sally's been in love with Becks all her life--and he's completely clueless.

This book features two best friends, one special edition Yoda snuggie, countless beneath-the-ear kisses and begs the question:

Who wants a real boyfriend when faking it is so much more fun?


Excerpt:


Meeting his gaze, I forced out the words, "Ready to make it official?" Becks grinned, and the sight of that familiar expression, the look in those eyes I'd loved forever, was enough to strengthen my resolve. Reaching up, I gave myself no time to reconsider. My lips were on his the next instant, meeting, feeling, rejoicing in this moment I'd never thought but always hoped would happen. I knew Becks was surprised, could feel it in the stiffness in his shoulders, the tight set to his mouth. But it didn't matter. I was kissing Becks, my best friend, my Han Solo, my one. This was the best moment of my life. I was certain it couldn't get any better. But then Becks started kissing me back. His arms wrapped around my waist, his lips guiding mine, as he went from passive passenger along for the ride to full-on conductor. I gasped as he bent me back over his arm, and felt him grin through the kiss. My toes just skimming the floor, supported almost entirely by Becks's strength, I was happy to let him lead. Becks wasn't just a great kisser. He was a master. Far as first kisses go, it was a showstopper.





Get it Here:


Amazon


About the Author:


Cookie O'Gorman writes YA romance to give readers a taste of happily-ever-after. Small towns, quirky characters, and the awkward yet beautiful moments in life make up her books. Cookie also has a soft spot for nerds and ninjas. Her debut novel ADORKABLE will be released in 2016.

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook



Follow the rest of the tour here!

Giveaway:


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Blog Tour Organized by:
YA Bound Book Tours

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: The Goat Children by Jordan Elizabeth!


GOAT CHILDREN

A YA Novel with a touch of Fantasy

When Keziah’s grandmother, Oma, is diagnosed with dementia, Keziah faces two choices: leave her family and move to New Winchester to care for Oma, or stay in New York City and allow her grandmother to live in a nursing home miles away.

The dementia causes Oma to be rude and paranoid, nothing like the woman Keziah remembers. Each day becomes a greater weight and love a harsher burden. Keziah must keep Oma from wandering off or falling, and try to convince her grandmother to see a doctor as her eyesight and hearing fail, but Oma refuses to believe anything is wrong. Resentful of her hardships in New Winchester, Keziah finds herself drawn to Oma’s ramblings about the Goat Children, a mythical warrior class. These fighters ride winged horses, locating people in need, while attempting to destroy evil in the world. Oma sees the Goat Children everywhere, and as Keziah reads the stories Oma wrote about them, she begins to question if they really exist.

GOAT CHILDREN will be released March 25, 2016 from CHBB.
This story means a lot to me. Many of the events are taken from my own life when I helped out my grandmother. She was one of my best friends and in many ways, my world. It still hurts to think about how the dementia made her suffer.
As she would have said: without further ado, I present the cover for GOAT CHILDREN. The talented Rue Volley created this cover.


I can’t wait to share this book with all of you! You can mark it as TBR today on GoodReads.


About the author: Jordan Elizabeth, formally Jordan Elizabeth Mierek, writes her nightmares in order to live her dreams. With an eclectic job history behind her, she is now diving into the world of writing. It happens to be her most favorite one yet. When she’s not creating art or researching her family tree, she’s updating her blog. Jordan is the vice president of the Utica Writers Club. She roams Central New York, but loves to travel.

Win a paperback copy of my first novel, ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW.
All winners will be notified after verification of entry at the end of this promotion. Prizes have been supplied by and the responsibility of delivery are solely that of the author and/or their representatives. Blogs are not liable for non-delivery on the part of the author. No purchase necessary.
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Monday, February 22, 2016

Mini Review: Bob's Burgers: Medium Rare by Loren Bouchard



Title: Bob's Burgers: Medium Rare
Series: Bob's Burger's
Author: Loren Bouchard
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: November 19th 2015
Source: Dynamite Entertainment


Book Description:



While Bob and Linda Belcher have their hands full running the family business, their kids Tina, Gene, and Louise have adventures that you won't believe! The producers, writers, and animators of the hit animated show Bob's Burgers proudly present all-original comic book stories, including hilarious installments of "Louise's Unsolved Mysteries & Curious Curiosities," "Tina's Erotic Friend Fiction," and "Gene's Rhymey Rhymes That Could One Day Be Songs." Whether it's Tina's daydreams of cloning back-up dancers or jungle misadventures, Louise's explorations of underground tunnels and time-stopping Wonder Wharf rides, Gene's lyrics that reimagine boring Aunt Gayle visits as epic journeys to fantasy worlds, the Belcher family hijinx are guaranteed to make you laugh!





Review:


★★★

This is an okay collection, but I'm a little disappointed. This book includes 5 issues.

Each character gets their own little segment per issue, which is kind of cool. Unfortunately, Bob and Linda's pieces were really small and kind of uninteresting. It's a shame because while Louise is my favorite character, part of what makes the show so hilarious is Bob and Linda's couple dynamic. I mean, it is called Bob's Burgers, not Bob's Kids' Burgers. I wish the focus was taken away from the kids a little bit and was more encompassing.

Tina's stories were hit and miss. Tina's awkward, obviously, that's part of what makes her hilarious. But it was a little too awkward. I got a few laughs, but overall I was left feeling "meh". Louise's were right in the middle. Hers were more action-themed and interesting, and because I like her more as a character, I was a little more forgiving. The best segments were surprisingly Gene's, which were written in rhyme and were absolutely fantastic.

The art was hit and miss as well. Some stories looked really nice, others looked disjointed and off.

Overall, it's worth a look through if you're a fan of the show, but I'd rather watch it. It loses some of the humor when you can't hear it in their voices and mannerisms.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Mini Review: A Touch of Christmas Magic by Scarlet Wilson



Title: A Touch of Christmas Magic
Series: Midwives On-Call at Christmas #1
Author: Scarlet Wilson
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: November 1st 2015
Source: Harlequin


Book Description:



A family to heal him?

After a rocky beginning, midwife Bonnie Reid is surprised when the head obstetrician Jacob Layton offers her and her little daughter, Freya, a place to stay. Bonnie's looking for a fresh start, but she didn't expect it to be with brooding—and totally gorgeous—Jacob…

Family life has never been an option for Jacob—especially after his recent cancer diagnosis. Yet the Christmas magic Bonnie and Freya bring into his home makes Jacob feel more alive than ever! It's supposed to be temporary, but can Jacob really let Bonnie go?






Review:


★★★

I'm a sucker for Harlequin publications in general, but my love for them intensifies during the holiday season, when they release all of their Christmas romances. A Touch of Christmas Magic was exactly what I wanted to read during the holidays.

I really liked the English setting. The book did well to sweep you up into the, well, magic.

This book is what you've come to expect from Harlequin at Christmas. It's a really sweet read. It's full of romance and love. There's an adorable little girl. You become attached to all of the characters, and you want them to resolve all their problems and just live happily ever after already. It's just the right amount of drama and the sweet, feel-good fluff of the Christmas season.

The book is pretty well written. The characters are a bit cliche at times, but they show some dimension which is good. The writing and plot are well-paced, so you don't get bored at any one section.

If you love medical romances, Christmas romances, or romances involving adorable families, then this book is just what the doctor ordered. (Ha). I'd definitely check out the next book in this series, based on my enjoyment of this book.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.