What I’ve Been Listening To & Watching

Sadly, I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump of late, which is absolutely terrible. However, it means that I’ve been consuming a bunch of TV and music, which I guess could be worse. I thought I’d talk about some of the things I’ve been listening to and watching. What about you guys? What have you been listening to or watching? Rec me some stuff in the comments!

LISTEN

hamilton

HAMILTON

Basically on repeat all day every day. I was already obsessed, but my obsession has continued to grow while I’ve been not reading. I even bought the Hamiltome finally in an attempt to 1. Feed my obsession (it worked, obviously) and 2. Get back into reading (it also worked; I read 95 pages of this last night). I cannot get enough of the soundtrack though. It’s incredible. As I’m sure most of you are well aware. And if you aren’t, what are you waiting for?

GROUPLOVE

One of my absolute favorite bands right now. I saw them live in August and haven’t been able to stop listening since. Not that I want to. They are fun and upbeat and I love dancing along to their music in the car or at home.

Some of my favorites are: Welcome To Your Life, Ways to Go, Tongue Tied, and Lovely Cup.

WATCH

community

COMMUNITY

I believe I’ve talked about my love for this show on the blog before, but if I haven’t, this is one of my favorite shows. After everything that happened at the beginning of the month (*cough*we elected the devil*cough*), I needed something funny and silly that could take my mind off of it. Community did the trick. I watched the first four seasons (the only ones I own on DVD sadly) in about two weeks. My love for this show has just grown.

ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT

Ditto what I said above. I only own the first four seasons of Community and the first season of Arrested Development, so I’m about out, which sucks. But I’ve enjoyed visiting these characters again and getting in a laugh or two. Or a hundred.

MOANA

I just saw Moana this morning and I’m still in awe. I feel like I will be for a while. If you haven’t seen this yet, GO SEE IT. It’s beautiful – the story, the visuals, the characters, the songs. I felt like a little kid watching the movie because my eyes were like saucers the whole time. I absolutely loved it.

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM

If you’re like me and you grew up with the Harry Potter books, watching the movie will reignite the love you had for that world. It was like walking into a warm hug. It felt like home. I also happen to really love Eddie Redmayne and Ezra Miller, who were both soooo good. I wish Ezra Miller could’ve had a whole movie for his character. And I can’t wait for more from Newt Scamander.

What about you? What have you been watching and listening to?

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Thankful For

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Thanksgiving freebie — tell us what you are thankful for! Books you are thankful for!

As someone who’s been a reader my whole life, I’ve read a lot of books. Obviously. But there’s only a handful of those books that have actually changed me, moved my insides around and gave me a new outlook on life. I will forever be thankful for those books for making me who I am today, and I couldn’t be more excited to list them here for you.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I’m sure this one is obvious, but I will never be able to properly express the way I feel about this series. I’ve always been someone who reads, but Harry Potter made me a reader. Harry Potter made me a voracious reader. Growing up with Harry and the crew put magic into my life and I’ll never forget that.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. A friend recommended this book to me my freshman year of college, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Meeting Charlie was exactly what I needed to come out of my shell and find myself in college. I’ve read this book more times than I can count and every single time I do, it means something else to me.

The Falls

The Falls by Ian Rankin. The first time I read The Falls, I was just a few months away from spending a month in Scotland for the very first time. I fell in love with the idea of Scotland in the book and I couldn’t wait to see it. The first time I walked across the North Bridge, which is part of a big scene in the book, I was filled with a sense of belonging and happiness and contentedness that I’d never felt. I went on to read every single book that Ian Rankin had written and wrote my senior honors thesis on his books and Edinburgh within them.

The Humans by Matt Haig     Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

The Humans by Matt Haig. At some point in every person’s life, they feel like an outsider, like an alien from another planet that no one understands. This book came at a time in my life when I felt like that, and it’s there for me every time I feel like that. It reminds me that I’m alive and I’m human and everything will be okay.

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig. Why, yes, I do have two books by Matt Haig on this list. Both of these books came at a time in my life when I really needed it. I read Reasons to Stay Alive at exactly the right time. Reading about Matt’s struggles with anxiety and depression helped me to understand my own more. It helped me to find hope and to find ways to hold on through the hurricane I was in.

The Incredible Book Eating Boy Cover

The Incredible Book-Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers. I think by now you all know I’m a little bit obsessed with Oliver Jeffers books. I first read this a few weeks after starting at my first library. It reignited my love of picture books, reminding me that they are happy things, easily digested for when things are tough and you just. need. to. finish. a. book.

What books changed your life?

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them | EXCITEMENT

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them comes out today, and I am seriously excited! I think the trailer looks absolutely incredible – the magic, the creatures, Eddie Redmayne. Everything looks wonderful. Except maybe Ezra Miller’s hair, but I love him so much that I don’t even care. I’m a big fan of Eddie Redmayne and his acting, so I’m really looking forward to him bringing Newt Scamander to life. And, of course, to see the wizarding world of America. I’m definitely going to see it this weekend, so watch my Twitter to see what I think (though I doubt I won’t like it). I’m going to share the trailer below in case you’ve somehow missed it. Let’s talk in the comments! Are you looking forward to seeing this?

Blog Tour: Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst | Guest Post & Giveaway

Good news, everyone! I’m excited to host Audrey Coulthurst, author of OF FIRE AND STARS, today as part of the blog tour! I’ve got a great guest post from Audrey, and if you stick around until the end of the post, you can enter to win one of three copies of the book.

ABOUT OF FIRE AND STARS

offireandstarsBetrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.

Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), sister of her betrothed.

When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. Soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.

But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AUDREY COULTHURST

  1. Wake up. This is a bit of a misnomer because it’s unlikely that I was sleeping. The sun comes up early on the west coast and so does whatever my darling Siamese cat ate the night before. Nothing says rise and shine like a fresh mound of cat vomit.
  2. Activate corporate drag sequence. Shower. Don a dress. Iron hair. Apply makeup and mascara. Hey, het, hey! PSYCH!
  3. March to work. My walk, or “dyke stomp” as one of my college friends dubbed it, has all the delicacy and daintiness of a freight train. If people are not scared out of my way by the thunder of my boots over the pavement, a well-timed hiss helps part the crowds (I’m almost always nonverbal before 10am and caffeine).
  4. Initialize robot (day job) mode. Cleverly disguised as a corporate cyborg, I sip tea while performing a variety of useful functions for the company that furnishes my paycheck and health insurance.
  5. It’s food o’clock! My favorite! I sometimes walk home but have a weakness for some of the lunch options available near my office, like spicy pizza, spicy Thai curry, or spicy sushi (you may notice a theme). In times of overwork or desperation I will eat funky licorice out of the secret stash in my desk (thanks to my critique partner Paula Garner). It has the texture of tire rubber, the meatiness of roadkill, and an aroma somewhat reminiscent of cat litter. DELICIOUS!
  6. Complete roboting sequence. During the afternoon I plot (fictional) murder while continuing to earn a living. On the best days I receive hilarious emails from Paula that cause me to cackle so loudly my coworkers scatter like startled pigeons.
  7. Hurry home. There is usually a little more spring in the stomp home. Sometimes I smile as I ponder the magic my evening will hold. In tandem with the speed walking, this tends to confuse and alarm other pedestrians.
  8. Deactivate corporate drag sequence. Discard all accessories and clothing items that suggest I belong to civilized society. My love of pajama pants is boundless. I would wear them 24/7 if I could.
  9. Write. This is usually when the words happen—after cocktail hour, before dog walking and in between other necessary adulting like laundry, dishes, cooking, and the occasional fit of gloom over the need for more hours in the day. Siamese cat snuggles help offset the hard parts!
  1. Read, sleep, repeat! I try to get in a little reading just before bed, then it’s off to dreamland and back up in the morning. Balancing a day job and a writing career can be very challenging, but it’s wonderful to have the financial stability to pursue my dreams. Plus, if anyone at work makes me angry, I can threaten to write them into a book. ☺

Thanks so much for telling us about your day, Audrey! What’s a day in YOUR life look like?

ABOUT AUDREY

audreycoulthurstAudrey Coulthurst writes YA books that tend to involve magic, horses, and kissing the wrong people. Her debut novel, Of Fire and Stars, will be published on November 22, 2016 by Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins. When she’s not dreaming up new stories, she can usually be found painting, singing, or on the back of a horse.

Audrey has a Master’s in Writing from Portland State University, is a member of SCBWI, and studied with Malinda Lo as a 2013 Lambda Literary Foundation Fellow. She lives in Santa Monica, California.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

GIVEAWAY

3 Finished Copies of OF FIRE AND STARS (US Only)

ENTER HERE

Top Ten Tuesday: Movies I Forgot I Owned Until I Unpacked

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Movie Freebie — top ten all time favorite movies, top ten foreign films, top ten rom-coms, top ten 90’s movies, top ten action flicks, top ten tear-jerkers, top ten movies your favorite actor/actress is in, top ten movies with PoC leads, etc. etc.)

Ten Movies I Forgot I Owned Until I Unpacked

I’m literally not at all embarrassed by any of these. In fact, I watched Cadet Kelly as I unpacked. And now that I’m putting this post together, I really want to watch The Lizzie McGuire Movie. Okay, maybe a little embarrassed by Crossroads. 

 

Having fun on #bookstagram

Lately, I’ve been having a lot of fun taking pictures of books. Yep, I’ve been bookstagraming. I know this is something that a lot of you do, so I want you to leave me your Instagram usernames in the comments so I can follow you. I thought I’d share some of the pictures I’ve taken recently, but I would love if you followed me @stefanisloma!

Do you bookstagram?

Blog Tour: This Is Our Story by Ashley Elston | Review & Giveaway

tios-banner

Hi, everyone! Today I’m really, really excited to be part of the THIS IS OUR STORY blog tour! I’ve been looking forward to this forever it seems like. My excitement doubled when the absolutely gorgeous cover was revealed, and then I read it. You’ll hear more about that below. But first, let me tell you a little about the book and the author. Plus, stick around to the end for a giveaway!

ABOUT THE BOOK

this-is-our-storyNo one knows what happened that morning at River Point. Five boys went hunting. Four came back. The boys won’t say who fired the shot that killed their friend; the evidence shows it could have been any one of them.

Kate Marino’s senior year internship at the District Attorney’s Office isn’t exactly glamorous—more like an excuse to leave school early that looks good on college applications. Then the DA hands her boss, Mr. Stone, the biggest case her small town of Belle Terre has ever seen. The River Point Boys are all anyone can talk about. Despite their damning toxicology reports the morning of the accident, the DA wants the boys’ case swept under the rug. He owes his political office to their powerful families.

Kate won’t let that happen. Digging up secrets without revealing her own is a dangerous line to walk; Kate has her own reasons for seeking justice for Grant. As she and Stone investigate—the ageing prosecutor relying on Kate to see and hear what he cannot—she realizes that nothing about the case—or the boys—is what it seems. Grant wasn’t who she thought he was, and neither is Stone’s prime suspect. As Kate gets dangerously close to the truth, it becomes clear that the early morning accident might not have been an accident at all—and if Kate doesn’t uncover the true killer, more than one life could be on the line…including her own.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

MY REVIEW

I really, really liked this book, you guys. This was the first time in a while that I read a book in two days. I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time for that, but this book would not let me put it down to do anything else. It grabbed me from the very beginning. The plot is so twisty and every time I thought I had figured it out, something else happened that kept me guessing.

I loved how we got short chapters from an anonymous POV (one of the boys). It was strange and creepy and definitely made my skin crawl a time or ten. And I really liked being in Kate’s head the rest of the time. She’s so smart and hardworking and she just wants to bring the truth – whatever it may be – to light. She wants justice done.

Add on top of all of this some swoony boys, awesome bffs, super interesting secondary characters, and one of the coolest title treatments I’ve ever seen (look closely at the colors of the letters) and you’ve got an incredible book.

Perfect for fans of mystery, prep school boys, kickbutt MCs, and fall (this one was a great one to read this time of year).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ashley-elstonAshley Elston lives is North Louisiana with her husband and three sons. She worked as a wedding and portrait photographer for ten years until she decided to pursue writing full time. Ashley is also a certified landscape horticulturist and loves digging in the dirt. Her debut novel, THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING, was published by Disney Hyperion in 2013 and the sequel, THE RULES FOR BREAKING, in 2014. Her latest novel, THIS IS OUR STORY, will be published on November 15, 2016.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

GIVEAWAY

3 Finished Copies of THIS IS OUR STORY (US Only)

ENTER HERE 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Added to My TBR Recently

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Ten Books I’ve Added To My To-Be-Read List Lately (inspired by my New to the Queue posts)

I’m constantly adding books to my TBR. To make it easier, I’m only adding books that have been released. I’ll be doing one of these for 2017 releases in a few weeks, so that seemed like a better idea to me than having lots of duplicates.

As I Descended by Robin Talley // When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore // The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson // The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst // Feed by M.T. Anderson

You Were Here by Cori McCarthy // Metaltown by Kristen Simmons // Tattoo Atlas by Tim Floreen // Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel // This Song is (Not) For You by Laura Nowlin

What books have you added to your TBR lately? I always need more recs!

I’m back. For real this time

HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII. You guys. I’m the worst. It has been over a month since I blogged. I’m so sorry. But in that past month, I’ve moved into my apartment, settled in at work (where I’ve been given a number of wonderful responsibilities – I love my job; more on that later), done a bunch for my internship at the literary agency, written some posts for the Quirk Books blog, and, you know, read and slept.

But the whole time I was still missing something. It was blogging, of course, but I just didn’t have time to do anything about it. I hated not talking to you guys all the time and writing reviews and doing Top Ten Tuesdays. I missed it. A lot. I believe I’m ready to dive back in, and I’ve even created a schedule of posts for myself all the way through the end of the year. But here’s the thing – I don’t want to force myself to blog. So if I’m absent for a few days, I’m allowing myself to take that time off. I’m not going to let myself feel guilty for not blogging, because for the first few weeks I didn’t blog, I felt terrible about it. It turned into this huge anxiety-inducing commitment that I didn’t have time for but made me feel terrible. And I think that’s a big part of the reason I haven’t blogged in so long. I don’t know if any of this makes sense, BUT I’m really excited to start blogging again and that’s what counts. I’ve already written a review for a blog tour I’m part of this week (check back Friday for my review of This Is Our Story by Ashley Elston). I’m also going to try to play catch up with all of the reviews I missed through two-sentence reviews starting next week. Should be fun.

ANYWAY, I thought my first post back should be a little bit of an update on my life these days. If you remember, I moved to Illinois in August and I’ve been working as an Assistant Publicist for Sourcebooks. I LOVE my job so so much, you guys. I’m getting to create publicity campaigns for some really wonderful books. Plus, I’m working with the Fire (YA imprint) team, which you know I love, and the Casablanca (romance imprint) team a bunch. I’m also getting to do a good deal of stuff on social media (follow us on Snapchat @sourcebooksfire and Litsy @sourcebooks. Sorry not sorry for the plug). I’m making friends and learning constantly, and I’m just…happy. I think I’ll do another post soon about just how much this means to me, but for now, that’s good enough. I’m happy here.

I also wanted to show you guys my apartment because I love it. it took a while to get everything in order, but I’m finally putting art up and my shelves look pretty good, so here are a few pictures!

Entry Hall Art

20161106_155555 20161106_145030

Bookish Art Wall

20161106_163745-01

Bookshelves

20161106_145043     20161106_155409

Obviously, there’s more, but I don’t think you need to see my bedroom or bathroom. Haha. Plus, the bookshelves and art are the most important parts anyway.

How are all of you? I’ve talked to some of you on Twitter, but update me on your lives? What’s happened to you in the past few months? What are you looking forward to?❤

Throwback Thursday 3

Throwback Thursday

I thought it’d be kind of fun to use Throwback Thursday to highlight some things from the past that I was obsessed with (and still love). So on Thursdays I’m going to throw it back by talking about a book, a movie or TV show, and a song or band from the past.

TBT Book

I couldn’t keep doing these posts if I didn’t feature my absolute favorite book from my childhood – a book that continues to be one of my favorite stories to this day. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie inspired me as a child. And now, as an adult, it still inspires me. I have a Peter Pan inspired tattoo, which reminds me to never take life too seriously; try to see the world with childlike curiosity and love and joy. I know that’s not quite what the book means, but that’s what it means to me. I literally own at least ten different editions of this book, from a copy of Peter Pan and Wendy to the pretty editions that Barnes & Noble sells.

TBT Movie

To go along with the Peter Pan theme, I want to talk about the Disney version of the movie. It changes the story and the scariness of certain parts of Neverland and Peter, but I love it. I’ve watched it a countless number of times. I’ve met people who have never seen it and that is absolutely crazy to me. Go watch it if you haven’t seen it!

TBT Song

Looks like this whole thing is going to be Peter Pan themed. This song is only about three years old, but it fits perfectly with the theme. I remember hearing this for the first time and just grinning the whole time. 1. Because I really just like the song, but also 2. Because I love everything Peter Pan themed.