Tuesday, February 28, 2012

{Guest Post} When I’m Not Reading {Liz Reinhardt}

Picture

 

I am a writer. In a dream world, that would mean that I had an office filled with books I love and an ergonomic chair to relax in and snacks that are in endless supply and don’t put me into a sugar coma. The reality is that I have a laptop that moves with me wherever I go and lots of super fun distractions that sometimes make it a challenge to get my chapters done!
Before I was a writer, I was an English teacher. Before that I worked at Home Depot in the d├ęcor department. I was also a waitress at a 50’s style drive-in restaurant and a busgirl in a diner. And a museum guard. And a writing tutor. I’ve been working since my dad got me my first under-the-table job when I was fourteen, and writing is definitely my favorite job!
I love my kid, and she’s super distracting. She’s been on a Star Wars kick. My husband and I both really like Star Wars, but not so much that we expected to have a Star Wars geek on our hands. She watches the movies every chance she gets. The other day she wore a ‘long, flowy white princess dress’ (her flower girl dress from my brother’s wedding) and wanted ‘swirly buns like Princess Leia.’ I put her hair in two little buns and her eyes filled with tears. “No, Ma! Not like this! Swirly ones, like circles!” So I looked up how to do Leia buns on Youtube. You use socks…it’s very cool, and the buns came out fairly great considering my novice skills!

I’m also a wife, and my husband is super cool. When we were dating he worked weeks and weeks of overtime so he could surprise me with my first laptop on Christmas (which was a huge deal, because laptops were so expensive, and we were so poor!). He’s been a huge cheerleader for me while I debated what steps to take next as a writer. The funny thing is, he isn’t a big reader at all.
Every few years he reads Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck, and he reads to our girl, but he’d rather be working on his truck or doing some insane home improvement project. I think that makes it extra cool that he’s so supportive of my writing, since it’s not something he has any personal interest in at all.
I also have the world’s sweetest dog, a Boxer named Duke. He was my sister’s husband’s dog, but when he deployed overseas, we took Duke in and fell in love. And we’re never giving him back! 
When I get half a second of free time, I read! I read like crazy, all the time! I love documentaries, ‘cause I’m weird. I really don’t like cooking, but I love eating, and I’ not picky at all. I want to try everything! I love to plan big, crazy vacations for when I’m filthy rich. Rome, I’ve got my eye on you! And I’m a music nut. I love to find new bands and make long, complicated playlists that perfectly express my characters’ feelings. If you’ve read my books and have song ideas for the characters, please, please let me know! I LOVE hearing what other people would put on a playlist for Brenna, Saxon, and Jake!

{Interview} Kendare Blake : Girl of Nightmares

Let's welcome Kendare Blake along with Anna and Cas. Hey and welcome y'all {sorry to sound so South Georgian}.

Girl of Nightmares (Anna, #2)

In this follow-up to Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas begins seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he’s asleep, and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong. These aren’t just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.




Cas doesn’t know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn’t deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it’s time for him to return the favor.


Me: :Let's start with you Kendare. First of all could you start out by telling us how you would describe Girl of Nightmares?


K: Girl of Nightmares is the conclusion of Cas and Anna's story. Cas can't let go of Anna; he has to know what happened to her, after she dragged the Obeahman down. But when he finds out, it sets him on a path that might change everything he knows about himself, and his athame.


Me: Wow. That sounds extremely interestuing. Which of your characters do you feel like you relate to the most and why?


K: Probably Cas, but just because I'm in his head the most. So I know him the best. He's very single-minded when it comes to his purpose, and I guess I relate to that. And we both have best friends who drive cars that sound like angry kids playing motorboat in the bathtub.


Me: Poor Cas. He just never gets time to himself. Always has to have someone in his mind. I am a huge reader and I love to read almost anything. I even like putting the tv on mute and reading the words. You just get so much more out of reading than hearing. So I want to know, were you a reader in your teen years, and if so who was your favorite author?


K: I was a definite reader! From childhood on. By the time I hit my teens, it was pretty much a dead heat between Anne Rice and Stephen King. These days, I'm more into King's son, Joe Hill, but I am going to read Rice's new one, THE WOLF GIFT. And let's face it, I'll probably read King's time travel Kennedy assassination book eventually.


Me: Whoa! I have tried many times to read Rice and King's books, but each time I come out unsuccesful. I think they are still too "grown up" for me. I may be 21, but I still like reading books that don't make me think. I want something that I can escape to and just get lost in between the words of the page. Now I really want to know what 2012 release are you most looking forward to?


K: The most is a tough question. There are a lot of them I'm excited to read. There's actually a children's picture book called "I REALLY WANT TO EAT A CHILD" about a young crocodile who, well, just really wants to eat a child. Looking forward to that. Looking forward to the next installment of The Mortal Instruments. I'm completely drawing a blank right now. 


Me: I agree, that is a hard question. I am with you on waiting for the next installment of The Mortal Instruments. Here is the last, but most definitely not least important, question that I have for you, and that is...Will there be more added to this series of Anna and Cas?


K: This is the end of the Anna Dressed in Blood series. It was always a duology. For a while, we thought maybe a trilogy, but no. When GIRL OF NIGHTMARES ended, it ended. That's not to say I'll never write more stories from the same world. A short here, a short there. Never say never, you know?


Me: Never say never - Oh my! Did Bieber just enter the conversation? LOL. My younger sister tells me this all the time :] She is a huge Bieber fanatic! It is a little sad that this may be the end for Cas and Anna, but I am sure that whatever story you come up with next will be amazing!


-----------------------------------------------

Now let's welcome Cas and Anna! I have compiled a few this or that items for Cas and Anna to pick from. Let's see their responses.

Vanilla or Chocolate: 

Anna: Chocolate 
Cas: Vanilla


Dogs or Cats: 

Anna likes both 
Cas says dogs, but he really means cats

Rain or Sunshine:

Both: Rain. 

Vamps or Weres: 

Anna: she preferred reading Mary Shelley's Frankenstein to Bram Stoker's Dracula. 
Cas: To kill, or to pull a sled?

Penguins or Ninjas:

Anna: Penguins
Cas: Ninja Penguins

-----------------------------------------------

Well there you have it, short and straight to the point! Thanks y'all for stopping by. Your welcome here anytime!





{Review} MaliMoo Baby

Malimoo Baby - Malimoo Maternity

Malimoo Baby is a unique website that I discovered via the web. They specialize in all things mommy and baby. They have materity clothes and cute little baby clothes. I was graciously sent the following sleep sack to show you all.


{I chose to use the pictures of the site due to the fact that my camera refuses to take a decent photo, plus I think their photos are great and show the true quality of the product}

I would like for you all to meet Mr. Owl. He is trully a wonderful addition to any baby's wardrobe :] For those of you who haven't heard anything about SIDS and how to prevent it, then this next little piece is for you. To sum it up, SIDS is a "disorder" in which the baby stops breathing and usually dies. One of the things that you can do to prevent that unimaginable thing from happening is to use the sleep sack as a blanket on your little one at night, instead of using a blanket, in which they could get tangled up in and end up suffocating from.


This sleep sack is so easy to use that it will become an easy adaption to any schedule. Simply unzip it and place it over their heads or unbutton the sleeves and slide them in. It is extemely flexible so that it can hold a newborn up to a 6 month old, or older {if your baby is short :]}

Here is what the expets say...

 
What a wise choice! Whooo can resist "My Little Night Owl," Baby Aspen's dreamy snuggle sack? It's almost too cute for words, but we'll find some! How about unique? Adorable? Huggable? The bright spot at the baby shower? And, of course, the most original baby gift a new mom and dad can receive! Why not send the best to their nest? Features and facts:
  • Enchanting, owl-inspired snuggle sack and cap with plush, ribbed fabric outside and comfy-cozy 100% cotton inside
  • Snuggle sack is ribbed, camel-colored polyester with rich-brown jumper-like fit at the top, an applique that says My Little Night Owl,a round, gold tummy with white, diamond-shaped accents and a plush, green wing on each side
  • Easy open-and-close snaps at the shoulders and zipper on the bottom for quick access
  • Matching cap has owl-like ears, two wide eyes, an orange beak and crest and braided-fabric ties with fuzzy balls on the ends
  • Snuggle sack and cap arrive on a tree branch-shaped cardboard hanger
  • Machine-wash cool and line dry
  • Size 0-6 months

 


Above is an additional gift set that you could purchase separetaly to go along with the sleep sack!


What I love about my Owl Sleep Sack...

- It is warm and soft against baby's skin.
- It keeps her warm throughout the whole night without me worrying that her tootsies will get cold or her pulling the cover over her head.
- It washes extremely well. Just toss it in with her other clothes and no need to worry about extra fuzz or lint.
- I love the design and the overall appearance and quality of the product.
- I love the fact that the clothes hanger it arrives with looks like a branch and that it is sturdy enough to use over and over again.

What I dislike about my Owl Sleep Sack...

- I dislike the fact that it only fits up to a size 6 months. I wish they were a little bigger.

----------------------------

Malimoo Baby


-----------------------------

Thanks for stopping by and reading my thoughts on my new sleep sack. Thanks to Malimoo for the amazing product! Stay tuned for more upcoming reviews!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Don’t Worry…Be Happy!

Don’t worry my little loveys. I promise you that I didn’t fall off the gravy train. I have been studying like crazy this past week for my midterm and test this coming up Tuesday in Microbiology. I am truly stressing. I hope to be back next week posting some more reviews and giveaways for you all! As of right now don’t forget to check over on the sidebar for the giveaways ending soon! I love you all and have a great weekend – Ashley Suzanne

Thursday, February 23, 2012

YA Paranormal Activity {GIVEAWAY} Hop!



Thanks to I am a Reader, Not a Writer and Read for Your Future for hosting such an awesome giveaway hop!

One lucky winner will win ebook copies of the following series below!


Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1)Crescendo (Hush, Hush, #2)Silence (Hush, Hush, #3)

Just fill out the rafflecopter below in order to win!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

{Cobbogoth TOUR} Author Interview

Thanks to the Teen Book Scene for putting together this wonderful tour for Cobbogoth. Today I would like to share with you all an interview from Hannah Clark herself! This is not just any interview, it is an interview with tweet answers!

------------------------

Cobbogoth: Book 1








To seventeen-year-old Norah Lukens, the Cobbogothians were just a myth. But after her archeologist uncle's brutal murder, and being asked to translate one of his old research journals for evidence, she begins a journey to discover the truth for herself. Chasing the myth her uncle was obsessed with, Norah learns that his murder was a cover up for something far more sinister. If she hopes to save others from suffering the same fate he did--including the peculiarly magnetic James Riley--she must head to Iceland in order to find out the truth once and for all. If she succeeds, she'll gain the one thing she's always longed for. But if she fails, not even the gods can help her.
------------------------

How would you describe COBBOGOTH? 

It is a fast-paced fantasy-adventure with danger and intrigue; an
exciting, unique power system; and a story and mythology all its own.

Which of your characters do you feel you relate to the most and why? 

Norah, definitely. It was easy to write in 1st person. I get the 'needing to belong' and her issues with fear are a reflection of my own.

Were you a reader in your teen years and if so, who was your favorite author? 

Yes, though my dyslexia made it hard. Favorite authors: C. Bronte, L. M. Alcott, J. Austen, J.K. Rowling, C. Dickens, Sir. A. Conan Doyle.

What one 2012 release are you most looking forward to reading this year? 

Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Who doesn't want to read a sci-fi/steam-punk retelling of Cinderella? It's on my iPad for when I have time.

Are you currently in the process of writing a sequel or newer book? 

Yes! I finished the outline of book 2 in Dec. and started writing in Jan. We hope for a Dec. 2013 release-depends on how fast I write. 

------------------------------

Where there you have straight out the horse's mouth itself {not saying that you are a horse Hannah, just a figure of speech (:} I am so excited by the fact that there will indeed be a sequel! Thanks again Hannah for stopping by!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Books for Sale/Trade {Updated 2/22}

As you can see from the pictures below I have a ton of books that are needing new homes. I am willing to trade these in exchange for Amazon gift cards or ebooks. On a side note : Some of these that are ARCs will not be sold, and must be traded only!!

2/27 {UPDATED}


Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater HB
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater HB
Forever by Maggie Stiefvater HB
Lockdown by Alexander Smith
Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller HB
Hades by Alexandria Adornetto HB
Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston PB
Eternal by Cynthia Smith PB
The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong HB
Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantskey HB
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting HB
Unleashed by Nancy Holder HB
Witch and Wizard by James Patterson HB
Elixir by Hilary Duff HB
Lips Touch Three Times by Laini Taylor HB

2/22 {UPDATED}


9 new books added...

Delirium by Lauren Oliver HB
Everlasting by Alyson Noel HB
Dark Flame by Alyson Noel HB
Wake by Lisa McMann PB
My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent PB
My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent PB
Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr PB
Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr HB
Evernight by Claudia Gray PB


Now to break it down by stacks...


Bottom to Top

Wordpress for Dummies
Unearthly {ARC}
Vesper
The Starboard Sea
The Galahead Legacy 
Tantalize {Magna}
Planesrunner
One False Note {39 Clues #2}
The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove
Once a Witch
Thirteen Reasons Why
Gothic!
Slide {ARC}
Ex-Mas
The Faerie Ring
The Emerald Talisman
The Demon Trapper's Daughter
Manifest
The Shattering {ARC}
Aenir {Seventh Tower #3}
Darkfever
Grave Sight
Soulless
Secret Santa
Kindle Cover


Vampire Academy
The Duff {ARC}
Oh My Goth
Ghost Town
Blink
Omnitopia Dawn
Fat Cat
Love Story
Jinx
High School Bites
As You Wish
Stormbreaker
Love is Hell
Brooklyn Burning
Blue is for Nightmares
The Trouble with Half a Moon
Johnny Doesn't Drink Champagne
Mercury Rises
Mercury Falls
Lightbringer
Whisper of Light
All These Things I've Done
Angel
Seers of Light
A Marked Past


Two-Way Street
The Historian
The Maze Runner
Divine by Mistake
Divine by Choice
Divine by Blood
Glass
Impulse
Crank
Fade Out
Carpe Corpus
Lord of Misrule
Feast of Fools
Midnight Alley
The Dead Girls Dance
Touch of Evil
Uglies
Tempest Rising
The Princess Bride
Six Months to Live
First Test


Impossible
Vampire Kisses
Perfect
Flawless
Pretty Little Liars
The Awakening and The Struggle
The Return: Shadow Souls Vol.2
The Captive Part 2 and The Power
The Initiation and The Captive Part 1
The Return: Nightfall
The Fury and Dark Reunion
Stefan's Diaries: Origins
Bloody Bones
Obsidian Butterfly
Blue Moon
The Killing Dance
The Laughing Corpse
Circus of the Damned
Guilty Pleasures X 2
Burnt Offerings


Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
Your Life, But Better
Your Life, But Sweeter
Your Life, But Cooler
Arena
Destined
Murder at Granite Falls

-------------------------

If you are interested in any of the above books then please email me at ashleysbookshelf at gmail dot com with the books that you would like and what you have to offer. 

Thanks for your time and make sure to get your "order" in before Friday 2/24/12!

{Cover Reveal} Hidden


A dangerous journey.
Shattered bonds.
Undying passion.
 
Jacinda was supposed to bond with Cassian, the "prince" of their pride. But she resisted long before she fell in love with Will—a human and, worse, a hunter. 
When she ran away with Will, it ended in disaster, with Cassian's sister, Miram, captured. Weighed down by guilt, Jacinda knows she must rescue her to set things right. 
Yet to do so she will have to venture deep into the heart of enemy territory.
 
The only way Jacinda can reach Miram is by posing as a prisoner herself, though once she assumes that disguise, things quickly spiral out of her control. 
As she learns more about her captors, she realizes that even if Will and Cassian can carry out their part of the plan, there's no guarantee they'll all make it out alive. 
But what Jacinda never could have foreseen is that escaping would be only the beginning....
 
Loyalties are tested and sacrifices made in the explosive conclusion to Sophie Jordan's Firelight trilogy.

------------------------------------------------

I absolutely ADORE this cover! It is a beauty :] What do you think of the latest cover in the final installment of the series? 

Monday, February 13, 2012

{Review} Boba

logo_main

Boba designs thoughtfully crafted products for active parents who want the time and freedom to create a real and caring bond with their child, while living life to the fullest.
I have to admit that I was a little skeptical about using a baby carrier. I just never really pictured them to be safe or a necessity, but after failed attempts of trying to get things done with a baby who just wants to cuddle, I had to give in and give it a try.
What I love about my Boba:
  • I love the color scheme.
  • I love how easy it is to put on and take off with one hand.
  • I love the easiness of carrying a baby.
  • I love the ability to be able to have two free hands instead of one.
  • I love the fact that I can accomplish more things.
  • I love that there is no more stroller!
Boba is easy enough and comfortable enough to wear for hours while accomplishing anything from grocery shopping to washing clothes. You can simply wear baby in the front of in the back. The only thing that I was a little –iffy about was bending down. I was afraid that she may slip out, but once I tightened the shoulder straps it was no longer a worry.

DSCN1746

I also loved that it has a little hood that attaches to the straps and it covers her head for use in the cold or sun. Another plus is the fact that this carrier can hold 7-45 lbs! That is a lot of usage! It is also neat in the fact that it can fit those of us who are a voluptuous :] Once I put her inside and got her nice and snuggled she almost immediately drifted off to sleep. She liked the closeness that the carrier provided.

DSCN1751

I will most definitely continue to use my carrier for future uses :] Thanks Boba for providing us all with a product that is sure to be around for generations to come!


Enter for your chance to win a Boba Baby Carrier, a Boba Baby Wrap or a Boba Travel Pack! All products can be seen at www.bobafamily.com. With Boba products it is easier than ever to enjoy Freedom Together as a family and Boba wants YOU to get a chance to use their products. To enter to win, “Like” them on Facebook and for an additional two entries, follow them on Twitter.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

{Review} Kowalli

Kowalli

I was the winner for the monthly review and giveaway for January. Kowalli graciously sent me the following baby carrier cover for a review and has offered you all the chance to win a pair of snuggle boots. Find out more about the giveaway after the jump.

DSCN1806

I am using this cover over my Boba baby carrier {review to come soon}, and I cannot even begin to describe how much this carrier and cover came in handy this past week. Little Natalie was sick with a cold and had a low grade fever. She would just bust out squalling for no apparent reason, and the only way I could get her to calm down was to put her in the carrier, and then pull on the cover and she would fall asleep just like that! The cover is so soft and it keeps baby warm throughout. It has a little extra fabric at the top that you can use to place over baby’s head, to keep the cold or light out. I can honestly say that she really enjoyed the safeness that the cover provided and it created a warm place for her.

DSCN1808

The first time I put on this cover it was a little difficult getting it over my head, and she didn’t really like the cover being pulled on over her. It was also a little difficult to get it my arm in the hole. The next couple of times I experimented. I think the easiest way for me to get it on was to step in it and the pull it on up over my bottom. She seemed to like this better than going over head, but I am smaller down bottom then up top. It was actually pretty easy to take off one handed. I just slide my hand in the arm hole and grabbed the bottom and then pulled it over my head.

Image explaining product

What I LOVE about my Kowalli cover…
- I love the fact that it is easy to put on and take off.
- I love that it keeps me and baby warm while providing a safe haven for her.
- I love the fact it is soft and durable.
- I love the fact that it is stylish and covers up my rolls that the carrier provides :]

What I dislike about my Kowalli cover…
-  I dislike the fact that there are not many color choices. It would be neat if you could design your own.

Their Story…
When our son was born, we realized that there was no product on the market that made it easy to keep your baby warm and protected – and in close contact with you – while on the go. As active parents, we didn’t like the idea of being stuck indoors whenever the weather turned sour. We wanted to bring our baby with us wherever we went, whether walking in the city, hiking in the mountains, or even skiing! So we designed the Kowalli Baby Carrier Cover to keep our baby warm, close, and protected from the elements.
As parents ourselves, we know how important it is to have confidence in the products that surround our baby. So we used 100% American materials – including highest quality Polartec™ fleece – and hired a New England manufacturer to sew the Kowalli line. The end result – an innovative solution that helps you and baby see the world – from the outside!

What others are saying…
“I love love love my Kowalli — it’s been great in this cold snap to feel like I can still use my Ergo, which I really prefer when I’m going somewhere crowded or with stairs or if I just want more exercise. And every single time I’ve worn it around other parents, they get all excited about it and want to know where it came from. It definitely works well as its own great advertisement!”—Sara H., Philadelphia, PA (Dec. 2010)
“I’ll say it again – genius. The packaging on the Kowalli states, “You won’t know how you lived without it. ” Yep. Now that I’ve wrapped the Kowalli around myself and my baby in an Ergo (you can use on any carrier, Bjorn, Moby, Ultimate, whatever floats your baby boat) I really don’t know how I lived without it with my first child. The soft fleece creates a cozy environment against the chill – a far superior winterizer than the baby stuffed in snow suit while your coat is wide open option.”—April Peveteaux, Babble.com
“I want to have another baby, just so I can wear a Kowalli all fall and winter!!!”—Emilia S., San Francisco, CA
 
GIVEAWAY
 
2
Kowalli has offered {1} reader {1} pair of snuggle boots that are sure to keep your little ones tootsies toasty :] {ARV $22}
 
All you have to do is leave a comment telling me which pair of boots that you would pick along with a way for me to contact you if you win. Must be a GFC follower!
+1 “Like” my Facebook page {located on the sidebar}
 
US/CA ONLY!
 
Giveaway ends February 26th. Winner will then be chosen and will have {2} days to respond to the email sent before another winner is chosen.