Sunday, November 24, 2013

Second to No One Blog Tour!

I've done quite a few blog tours these days, as you've probably noticed. That being said, most of the authors I've toured with aren't exactly the easiest to communicate with. That's not the case with Natalie Palmer. She was super nice all throughout, even when I requested a print copy :)

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Natalie is genuinely kind and skilled. (Hey Natalie!) I would've given her a nice review even if the book wasn't as phenomenal as it is. Luckily, Second to No One is easily a fabulous book!

 Here you have it:

Second to No One
By Natalie Palmer
Out now!
Summary from Goodreads:
“Things change. People change. Jess and I weren’t above it.”

Gemma’s first year of high school isn’t starting out the way she hoped. Jess is back from California and before she can memorize her class schedule their summer romance comes to a screeching halt. To add to her misery the gorgeous new girl in school also has eyes for Jess and despite Gemma’s unfailing attempts to win him back she keeps finding herself alone. 

But when a late night car crash lands her a three month grounding and twenty hours of community service she discovers that there’s more to life than just romance and boyfriends. 

Unpredictable and heart wrenching, Second to No One is the perfect continuation to the magical beginning of the Gemma and Jess romance.  

If you haven't read Second Kiss, go read it now! I'll review that one later, but honestly, my love for Second Kiss goes without saying. It's a masterpiece, a beautiful piece of YA literature.

Let's move on now.

Second to No One raises the bars. Gemma develops a lot as a character. She learns to overcome her flaws and face her fears. In the beginning, there were parts when I was really mad at Gemma. She was acting like a teenager! ( I know, I get ticked off easily.) Eventually, she overcame her teenage tendencies to grow into a better, more mature version of herself. Reading about Gemma's internal maturation is quite satisfying. I'm so glad that she's so much better.

Now what isn't there to say about Jess? He's gorgeous, kind, caring, perfect.... and taken.

He's the boy I wish I could have in my life. Gemma is so lucky to get to know him. In Second to No One, Jess has to get a little courage. Right now he and Gemma are both caught up with other people. Jess is seemingly unattainable. His untouchableness (I know that's not a word, but hey!) is his only flaw. I love how he overcomes his flaws and matures as well.

Natalie Palmer is unnatural. By that, I mean she's unnaturally skilled at writing. I love her writing style. It's the poetic, beautiful writing style I've been searching for ever since I've read If I Stay and The Sky is Everywhere. In other words, Natalie Palmer is great with infusing sadness and laughter and emotion into her flawless poetic prose. Natalie's writing is the writing to aspire for. It's young and mature and slightly hedonistic, which is perfect for this book.

Please do check out Second to No One! It would mean a lot to me if you support this book. 

If not, check out Natalie's website here and her Facebook here. Buy an autographed version of the book on her blog! It's so COOL. BTW, if you buy her book and email me your confirmation, I'll be your BFF. I can get you access to so much as a student of a prestigious high school. (I'm not saying which one.... yet.)
LOL just buy the book!

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Carolyn Meyer is giving Thanks for her readers! 


What is it like to be the daughter of the most beautiful woman in the world?

Hermione knows . . . her mother is Helen of Troy, the famed beauty of Greek myth. Helen is not only beautiful but also impulsive, and when she falls in love with charming Prince Paris, she runs off with him to Troy, abandoning her distraught daughter. Determined to reclaim their enchanting queen, the Greek army sails for Troy. Hermione stows away in one of the thousand ships in the fleet and witnesses the start of the legendary Trojan War.     In the rough Greek encampment outside the walls of Troy, Hermione’s life is far from that of a pampered princess. Meanwhile, her mother basks in luxury in the royal palace inside the city. Hermione desperately wishes for the gods and goddesses to intervene and end the brutal war—and to bring her love. Will she end up with the handsome archer Orestes, or the formidable Pyrrhus, leader of a tribe of fierce warriors? And will she ever forgive her mother for bringing such chaos to her life and the lives of so many others?

Author bio:

Carolyn Meyer is the author of more than fifty books for children and young adults, and has no intention of quitting any time soon. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Story of Hermione and Helen of Troy: 

After years of writing about the young lives of fascinating women of power, from Cleopatra to Victoria, in BEAUTY'S DAUGHTER I've drawn on the myths of ancient Greece to tell the story of what it must have been like to be the daughter of the most beautiful woman in the world.

When Helen leaves her husband and daughter and runs off to Troy with handsome Paris, a thousand Greek ships sail for Troy to bring her back..and her daughter, Hermione, goes with them as a stowaway. Hermione's adventures on the Trojan beaches, her struggle for survival,, and her search for true love of her life drive this story.

Social media:
Follow me on Twitter:
Facebook: Carolyn Meyer Books

Victoria Rebels

Queen Victoria’s personal journals inform this captivating first-person account of one of history’s most prominent female leaders.

Queen Victoria most certainly left a legacy—under her rule as the longest reigning female monarch in history, the British Empire was greatly expanded and significant industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military changes occurred within the United Kingdom. To be a young woman in a time when few other females held positions of power was to lead in a remarkable age—and because Queen Victoria kept personal journals, this historical novel from award-winning author Carolyn Meyer shares authentic emotional insight along with accurate information, weaving a true story of intrigue and romance.

Cleopatra Confesses

It is the first century B.C. Cleopatra, the third of the pharaoh's six children, is the one that her father has chosen to be the next queen of Egypt. But when King Ptolemy is forced into exile, Cleopatra is left alone to fend for herself in a palace rife with intrigue and murder. Smart, courageous, ambitious and sensuously beautiful, she possesses the charm to cause two of history's most famous leaders to fall in love with her. But as her cruel sisters plot to steal the throne, Cleopatra realizes there is only one person on whom she can rely--herself.

In Cleopatra Confesses, award winning author Carolyn Meyer writes the story of the teenage girl who would become Egypt's most unforgettable queen, from her early years to her her ultimate destiny.

The Wild Queen

Mary Stuart was just five years old when she was sent to France to be raised alongside her future husband. But when the frail young king dies, eighteen-year-old Mary is stripped of her title as Queen of France and set adrift in the harsh world, alone. Determined to reign over what is rightfully hers, Mary returns to Scotland. Hopingthat a husband will help her secure the coveted English throne, she marries again, but the love and security she longs for elude her. Instead, the fiery young queen finds herself embroiled in a murder scandal that could cost her the crown. And her attempts to bargain with her formidable “sister queen,” Elizabeth I of England, could cost her her very life.

Win the books above by entering below:

Thursday, November 21, 2013


I just bombed my physics final. (Okay, so everyone else bombed it too. That doesn't mean it's okay though.)


Today The Fu released their weekly video.

"to all the brokenhearted" <3

I love you, the Fu.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I'm sick

It's finals week and I've puked a ton.

Anyone know how to cure yourself from vomiting?
I'm living on saltines and dry toast.

I kind of want to go vegan after this.

Monday, November 18, 2013

How to BS Your Way through Essays

1.Get your laptop out.
This step is ESSENTIAL. You need to have your paper on a computer. Save, save, save!
 (Paperless technology has been invented for a reason. USE IT.)

2.Get your other junk out.
As in the books you're writing your essay about or the sites you've found through your research.
Whatever you think you need, get it out. This includes water and stress balls, not DISTRACTIONS
3. Write the thesis/ introduction/ junk.
This stuff is easy. Intro facts. Set the reader in time, location, and whatever other background info you need. (The thesis itself might take a bit of time, depending on your familiarity with BS.)

4.Write the conclusion if you can.
Use a quote, a current situation, finish up your intro in a sense. Do whatever. Just make it seem final. Remember, a good conclusion should be the intro to another essay.

5. Look throughout your sources or books for some non BS info.
Get RELEVANT info. I know, sometimes it's hard. It takes a lot of time on your wild goose chase to actually find evidence supporting good points. But hey, it's a lot easier than not BSing your essay!

6. Quote everything essential.
As in copy and paste. As in word for word. REMEMBER TO PUT IN QUOTATION MARKS AND CITE.

7. Explain said quotes.
Give explanations. How does your freaking evidence support your freaking thesis?

8.Take out some quotes and paraphrase.
You can't have too many quotes. Paraphrase, rewrite, DON'T FORGET TO CITE.

9. Make everything concise.
The more your teachers read, the more they want to lower your grade.

10. Add in good transitions.
"Hence, quality ads will bring in more customers." "However important Aden may be, it still cannot overcome the severity of the situation in Yemen." Boom. 

11. Print a bunch of copies.
In case you spill food on one, in case you accidentally rip one.

12. Edit said copies until perfection.
Be harsh with yourself. Be your worst critic.

13. Print again.
That is, after you revise.

14. Turn in.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Won't Last Long Blog Tour

won't last long

Hey peeps! I haven't posted too much lately... maybe cause I'm prepping for this review!
I'm so honored to be touring (ish) Won't Last Long by the AMAZING Heidi Joy Tretheway! Check out her website, check out her book, check out my blog (or not).

Won't Last Long
By Heidi Joy Tretheway
3.5 stars

Synopsis :
Can two people who are totally wrong for each other ever be right?
She's a feisty, sly marketing exec intent on hiding her small-town roots. He’s a laid-back engineer with a shaggy mutt and a pushy ex.

When Joshua asks Melina out, she asks what kind of car he drives. She’ll do drinks, not dinner. She’s always in control. But with Joshua’s easy confidence and sharp wit, Melina is soon breaking the dating rules she made for herself.

Opposites attract—but friends think Melina and Joshua can’t possibly last. When crisis throws their world off its axis, Melina must confront her childhood family, the people she’s come to care about, and the destruction of her pristine image. (Goodreads)

This book hit home for me. I have both Joshua and Melina's flaws, so reading about them made me realize that. Is Won't Last Long secretly a self-help book? If so, it's the best self-help book because it doesn't feel like one!

Melina's the resident ice queen and control freak. Her condition is so bad that it even affects dates: no dinner, keep them hanging so they'll want more. It's really interesting how in control she is until Joshua comes along. When he does come along, she starts to break a little.

Joshua has a mission. He wants Melina to be his. Of course, with his easy demeanor, Melina can't do anything but agree. I think he's a great character because he isn't like typical love interests in novels. He's his own character, unaffected by all those other guys in romance novels.

The writing is in third person. It switches between Joshua and Melina's viewpoints. The writing is fairly well-written. No sucky third-person for you!

There's a lot more than just the romance. Joshua and Melina have to deal with emotional baggage, lies, broken houses, false impressions, and protective friends. They have to learn to solve all of their problems to be good together.

 Overall, an excellent novel. 

Thanks Samantha from Chick Lit Plus and Heidi, the author, for letting me read this. I LOVE YOU BOTH.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


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The Perfect Love Interest: Guest Post

Yes, it's guest post day! Today we have the wonderful Meredith Schorr, author of the book Blogger Girl. I asked her how she creates the perfect love interest in books. Without any further ado, here we are:

Valerie asked me to write a post on how to create a perfect love interest in a book. My initial response was, “thanks, Valerie, for asking me such an easy question! *sarcasm*” but then I decided to look at the post as a challenge since it is not a question I have ever asked myself or even discussed with other writers.

In real life, one man isn’t perfect for all women. By that same token, one fictional hero isn’t perfect for every book heroine. I think it is really important to know your leading lady when creating her leading man. For instance, if your main character is extremely bold and sure of herself, a compelling hero might be one who offers a challenge by putting her in her place and mellowing her out. If your leading lady is introverted and reserved, it could be fun to spice things up by creating an “alpha” love interest that takes her out of her comfort zone and makes her see herself in a different light.

There are some genres, most notably “romance,” where the leading man is always as swoon-worthy on the outside as he is on the inside, i.e. physically unflawed – tall, muscular, six-pack abs, smoldering eyes, winning smile etc. but my brand is “Real Chick Lit for Real Chicks” so while my leading men are always attractive, I often throw in a physical flaw to make them more relatable/attainable. For instance, Nicholas in Blogger Girl is gorgeous but he’s also only 5’7’. In a sex scene, I describe his body as lean and well-built but not overly muscular or perfect. While the handsome yet imperfect hero works well for my books, since my heroines are also based in reality and flawed, the “realistic” hero might not be appropriate for other books.

Although as noted above, what constitutes the perfect hero depends on the heroine herself, there are some factors one should keep in mind when choosing the right man, certainly in the “real world.” I am going to share an excerpt from my first novel, Just Friends with Benefits, where Stephanie, my main character, gets some helpful advice from her mother on the topic:

Giving me her “mommy knows best” look, my mom said, “Well, if it’s right, you should feel safe with him.”
“Safe how?”
My mom looked straight ahead as if the right words were somewhere in the distance and then nodded. “Have you ever been infatuated with someone to the point that you practically walk on eggshells fearing he’ll stop liking you at any time?”
I thought back to almost every guy I had ever liked. “Uh, yeah!”
“Well, when it’s right, you shouldn’t feel that way. You should feel safe and secure in his feelings for you.” Pointing her finger at me, she said, “Unlike my relationship with your father.”
I was pretty confident Ryan wasn’t on the verge of losing interest in me. “Cool.”
“And when it’s the right man, you should also feel confident he’ll take care of you.”
I should’ve known this was coming and waved my hand in protest. “I’m not looking for a sugar daddy, Mom.”
My mom shooed my hand away. “That’s not what I meant.” Chuckling, she said, “Well, that’s not entirely what I meant. I don’t want you marrying a man who can’t support you and your children economically. Does Ryan do as well as Hille?”
“I was just asking. But what I meant by ‘taking care of you’ was that a man who loves you will do whatever is necessary to protect you from dangerous people and dangerous situations. Even with his bad knee, Allan insists on taking out the garbage if it’s after sunset so I don’t have to walk outside in the dark.”
Maybe that’s why Ryan always insisted on coming with me when I got drunk and wanted to leave a bar to grub a cigarette from a stranger. “Okay. What else?”
Looking thoughtful again, my mom said, “He should accept and adore you the way you are while at the same time encouraging you to be even better.”
Ryan still liked me no matter how often I knocked over my drinks. And he was trying to persuade me to train for a half marathon. This was looking good. I beamed at my mom. “You amaze me, Mom. You’re so wise.”

Wise words indeed!

Thank you to Valerie for asking the tough questions and for having me on her blog!

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Here are my confessions to the whole world. It's not like anyone knows exactly who I am. It's not like anyone even reads this blog. And if you do, prepare to laugh, cry, and dance your way out onto the street.

  1. I had/ still have this burning crush for this one guy
    1. He's 22.
    2. I know it's hopeless. I CAN'T HELP IT.
  2. I want to make it to this math summer program called MOSP.
    1. They take the top 60 people in the nation.
  3. I'm a chronic worrier.
    1. I physically stress.
  4. I just got a Facebook two nights ago.
  5. I have this thing for older men.
    1. 22, 18.... the list goes on. I can't help it.
  6. I started writing at the Young Folks.
  7. I'm such a failure sometimes.
    1. Boston Meetup was cool, even though I only got to do the meet-up part and barely. She's my all-time hero.

Friday, November 1, 2013

From Rum to Roots Blog Tour

BAM. Here you have it, a certified-by-Valerie playlist. Now in all seriousness, I'm so honored to be a stop on a virtual tour featuring From Rum to Roots. From Rum to Roots ROCKS. Or should I say RUMS? Sorry, I'm so bad with names and stuff. It's crazy.

From Rum to Roots
From Rum to Roots
By Lloyd G Francis
Summary from Goodreads: In 1937 near Portland Cottage, in southern Jamaica, on a huge sugar estate, Linton McMann, the illegitimate son of the owner of the plantation, works making rum. Meanwhile in Kingston, Daisy, helps her mother managing an ice business and dreams of joining her elder sister in New York.

Seeking opportunity, Linton leaves the deep Jamaican countryside for New York and the collapse of the ice business and family crises force Daisy to leave Kingston, seeking a new start in the United States. They encounter a vibrant Jamaican-American community in New York, where they meet at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem. Becoming American citizens, they marry, and start a family. Ambition drives them to start a business and Linton capitalizes on a skill he learned as a young man in Jamaica, making a drink known in Jamaica as “Roots.” It proves wildly popular and the company, Family Roots, prospers beyond Linton’s and Daisy’s wildest dreams.

By 1986, the drink is a sensation. Money flows in, but something is missing. Happiness is as scarce as freshwater in the middle of the sea. Wrestling with their past while living in a land of plenty, Linton and Daisy discover that truth is the only avenue to happiness.

1. America from West Side Story
I love West Side Story. That movie makes me cry. I imagine the feelings in this song are shared with Linton and Daisy.

2. Hate to See Your Heart Break by Paramore
There's so much love and suffereing throughout this novel. However, throughout it all, love triumphs through all. Hate to See Your Heart Break is the perfect song.

3. Call Me When You're Sober
Note the Rum in From Rum to Roots. Of course I need to stick in a song about rum. I CAN'T HELP IT. I'M SORRY. I'm just a teen! (Or at least about getting drunk and all). Here's to you, Evanescence.

4. Mean by Taylor Swift
People are mean. That's one important lesson in From Rum to Roots. Here's a song to all the people who've ever hurt anyone.

5. Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles
A lighter, happier song is definitely needed to offset the other ones. Here's a beautiful, happy one that suits the book as well.

6. Try by Pink
What can I say? Linston and Daisy definitely try. They overcome their demons and obstacles quite well.

7. Make You Feel My Love by Adele
She knows what she's taking about.

Interested in From Rum to Roots yet? Buy it on Amazon here! Check out the author's website here!

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