Every Day a Hope by Marci M. Matthews + Giveaway

Every Day a Hope by Marci M. MatthewsEvery Day a Hope is an interesting little book. I really love what the book tries to get the reader to do. Here’s what Goodreads says it’s about:

Through tiny stories and illustrations, Every Day a Hope encourages and empowers readers to examine emotionally difficult issues, while instilling confidence, introspection, and creativity. In each page, Marci M. Matthews addresses familiar concepts in a unique manner, designed to evoke thoughts, feelings, changes in perspective, and the ability to embrace the positive. The concepts in Every Day a Hope are taken from Matthews’ work with survivors, but the book is accessible to anyone who wants to find new ways to approach life with a positive outlook. Accompanying pages encourage readers to embark on their own explorations by asking questions and providing space to draw, write, keep lists, and create in whatever ways inspire them the most.

In my own words, I’d describe Every Day a Hope as an interactive, coloring-book style, inspirational journal. Every other page or so, the reader/writer is given a prompt to write about – your hopes and fears, the things that make you happy or upset, things you want to change, etc. It’s written in a way to help you along your path to recovery or finding a new way to look at life.

Overall, I thought the book was really cool, but there were a few things that were weird. As a lover of language, I really don’t like when there is no capitalization in books. Not a single word in Every Day a Hope was capitalized and I wanted to cry. Thankfully, there’s punctuation. Some of the stories and illustrations felt a little cheesy, but I was mostly using the book for the prompts anyway.

These are two of my favorite pages because you guys know how much I love travel and I believe in learning at all times.

Every Day a Hope by Marci M. Matthews    Every Day a Hope by Marci M. Matthews

I was inspired by the book’s title to write a list of hopes for the coming year. I turn 25 this week, which just feels like a big year; I’m not sure why. Here are a few things I hope to accomplish before I turn 26:

– Move out. I don’t care if that means moving out of the state (which is what I really hope for) or just out of the house. I need to do it for me.
– Visit 5 places I’ve never been before.
– Learn a new skill. Last year I learned slash am still learning archery. The year before that was sewing. What can I learn this year?
– Volunteer somewhere. I used to do this a lot more than I do now. Find time to do it.
– Be kind. To everyone. No matter what.


I’m giving away a copy of Every Day a Hope. I’m making it SUPER easy to enter. All I am asking you to do is comment on this post with a hope YOU have for the next year. Do you want to take a road trip? Read 50 books? Go to a book event? Learn something new? Finish school? Whatever it is you hope to accomplish in the next year – I want to know! You can gain an extra entry by tweeting about the giveaway – just leave a link to your tweet in the same comment as your entry, and I’ll enter your name twice when I do the random drawing!

US only (I’m really sorry, international friends!). Ends July 31, 2015 at 5 p.m. CST.

NOTE: I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Mindbuck Media for sending this book my way!

#IceCreamBooks Fun (& a Swag Giveaway!)

ice creamHappy Saturday, lovelies! I’m driving down to New Orleans today to meet the incredible Sarah J. Maas, but I wanted to put together a fun little post for you guys. Yesterday, Brittany (from The Book Addict’s Guide) tweeted that she wanted to play a game – she hashtagged it #icecreambooks, and we were to take a book title and incorporate ice cream into it. I’ve seen other things like this on Twitter before but never participated, but maybe because it was SO HOT in my library or I was craving ice cream, I had a TON of ideas. So what follows are the tweets and titles I came up with. What I want YOU to do is come up with one or more of your own in the comments. I’ll be gone all day today and busy tomorrow, so on MONDAY, May 11, I will pick my favorite(s) and send you some fun, bookish swag! And yes, this is international! How’s that sound?

My examples:

I’ll Give You the Sundae
Yes Please, Give Me Some More
My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Scoops
To All the Scoops I’ve Loved Before
The Darkest Part of the Black Forest Ice Cream Cake
The Curious Incident of the Empty Carton in the Night-Time
Harry Potter and the Half-Empty Carton
The Absolutely True Diary of a Full-Time Ice Cream Addict
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Spoonfuls
The Girl with All the Sundaes
V for Vanilla
Grasshopper Ice Cream Jungle
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, I Ate Your Last Scoop
Tonight the Scoops Are Ours
Any Way You Scoop It
Hello, Goodbye, and All the Scoops in Between
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Baskin Robbins
The 100…Bowls of Ice Cream

Can you tell I had WAY TOO MUCH fun with this?? You can see more examples on the #icecreambooks hashtag on Twitter.

So let those ideas churn around in your mind (I’m so sorry) and post them in the comments! I’ll give you guys until I get home at 5:30 CST on Monday, May 11 before I pick!

Eternal Sacrifice by Stacey O’Neale | Cover Reveal + Giveaway!

Today, I am super excited to be part of the Eternal Sacrifice cover reveal! If you’re new to the series, this is the BEST TIME to check it out! You might’ve seen my reviews of The Shadow Prince and Mortal Enchantment, both of which I really enjoyed. Eternal Sacrifice is the fourth book in the series by Stacey O’Neale.

From April 24 – 28, THE SHADOW PRINCE & MORTAL ENCHANTMENT will be available for FREE on Amazon. This is the ONE AND ONLY TIME Stacey is going to do this, so pick up your copies NOW! I mean, it’s FREE! Why wouldn’t you grab these?!

Click HERE to be taken to Stacey’s Amazon page aka FREE books

And now, here is the cover of the last book in the series, ETERNAL SACRIFICE!

Drum roll, please…

Eternal Sacrifice by Stacey O'Neale

 Add this book to your Goodreads TBR!

Stacey is absolutely amazing and is offering a $100 Gift Card from Amazon or Barnes & Noble (Winner’s choice)! WOW! You could buy SO MANY BOOKS for $100. Click the picture below to enter!

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Play On by Michelle Smith | Blog Tour & Giveaway

Play On by Michelle SmithTitle: Play On

Author: Michelle Smith

Release Date: April 21, 2015

Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary

Synopsis: In the small town of Lewis Creek, baseball is everything. Especially for all-star pitcher Austin Braxton, who has a one-way ticket out of town with his scholarship to a top university. All that stands between him and a new start is one final season. But when Austin starts flunking Chemistry, his picture-perfect future is in jeopardy. A failing grade means zero playing time, and zero playing time means no scholarship.

Enter Marisa Marlowe, the new girl in town who gets a job at his momma’s flower shop. Not only is Marisa some home-schooled super-genius, she’s also a baseball fanatic and more than willing to help Austin study. As the two grow closer, there’s something about Marisa that makes Austin want more than just baseball and out of Lewis Creek–he wants a future with her. But Marisa has a past that still haunts her, one that she ran all the way to South Carolina to escape.

As Austin starts to peel back the layers of Marisa s pain, it forces him to look beyond the facade of himself and everyone he thought he knew in his town. What he sees instead is that in a small town like Lewis Creek, maybe baseball isn t everything–maybe it is just the thing that ties them all together.”

Pre-order the book: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository | IndieBound

Add it on Goodreads.

In this scene, Marisa’s reporting for her first training session at the Braxton family’s flower shop, and Austin is in charge of the grand tour.


I clap my hands together and start for the first display cooler. Marisa’s shoes squeak against the floor as she follows me. “All right, then,” I say on an exhale, turning to her. She stares up at me, all bouncy ponytail and bright eyes. “We’re supposed to be training. So, first things first. Flowers: how much do you know about them?”

She giggles, and dang it, she needs to stop. Please make it stop. All these little things she does that make my stomach do weird flip-flops are going to turn into big things, and big things are a lot harder to ignore.

“It’s safe to say I know a bit about flowers,” Marisa says. “Your mom gave me one heck of a quiz during my interview to make sure I knew my stuff. She even asked what my favorite flower was and how often I’m supposed to change vase water. I mean, really?”

I twirl my finger, signaling for her to continue. “And your answers were…?”

She tilts her head to the side. “Purple roses. Every two-to-three days. Do you think I’m an amateur?”

Even if I did, it wouldn’t matter. I’d train her all day, every day as long as she kept smiling at me like she is now. But that smile falters as her gaze falls to the floor. She clears her throat and says, “Before we moved here, my mom was obsessed with gardening. She taught me everything I know.”

Her voice dips. Before I can ask if she’s all right, she shakes her head and looks back to me, her eyes not nearly as bright, but still as piercing as they were before.

I shrug and force a smile of my own. “Looks like we have something in common. My momma’s a gardening freak, too.” As if owning a flower shop didn’t already give that away. Strike two, Braxton.

She steps to my side, her arm brushing against mine as she gestures to the cooler. “Anyway, continue, Floral Prince. Teach me your ways. I’m sure you know much more than I do.”

I narrow my eyes. “You’re makin’ fun of me, aren’t you? Is it the apron? Because I’ll have you know, I’m rockin’ this apron.”

She grins. “I would never make fun of a prince,” she says seriously and curtsies. The girl freakin’ curtsies.

I cross my arms. “All right, feisty pants. I see what you did there.”

Her jaw drops. “You did not just call me feisty pants. What are you, sixty? Who even says that?”

“I do, obviously. And what I was going to say is, you can’t put whatever flowers you want in the cooler. This is where we keep the special order arrangements and loose flowers. Single roses and stuff like that.”

Instead of replying, her lips curve up again. My heart hammers against my chest. No matter how tough he acts, every guy dreams of someone looking at him this way. Like every word out of his mouth is coated in gold, even if it’s the cheesiest thing that person’s ever heard.

No one’s ever looked at me this way before, not even Jamie. It’s killer. And it’s kind of freaking me the hell out because I’d never even seen this girl until a week ago, and she’s got me acting like an idiot.

“What—” I cough to cover the crack in my voice. “What’s that look for?”

She shrugs and moves past me toward the cooler. In its reflection, I see her staring at the arrangements, her fingertips pressed lightly against the glass. “I like your voice,” she says. “It’s laid-back. Easy-going. Like you have all the time in the world.” She faces me again. “And your accent’s kind of to die for. But you can pretend I didn’t say that.”


Michelle Smith Author PhotoMichelle Smith was born and raised in North Carolina, where she developed a healthy appreciation for college football, sweet tea, front porches, and a well-placed “y’all.” She’s a lover of all things happy, laughs way too much, and fully believes that a little bit of kindness goes a long way.

Michelle lives near the Carolina coast with her family.

Find Michelle online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr

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Caught Read Handed’s first blogiversary! (+ Giveaway!)

I’m so excited to announce that Caught Read Handed has turned 1! I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I started this blog, but I haven’t looked back once. I started Caught Read Handed during a need to stay occupied, but it was more than that. I have always reveled in talking about books (duh) and connecting with people over the books we’ve read and loved, and I can’t put into words how much I appreciate the community and people I’ve found through blogging. I’ve made some amazing friends, whether or not I’ve met them in person. You guys are my heart and getting to know you has been incredible. Here’s to another year of reading amazing books, discussing those books, meeting wonderful people, and all the other crazy, stressful, brilliant things that come out of book blogging.

Big Bang Theory celebration

I know that a lot of people usually share some stats in this section of their blogiversary post, but honestly, those stats always make me compare myself to others and I don’t want to do that to  myself or to you. Each blog is different and no one (no matter if you started at the same time) will have the same stats. So, instead, I’ll tell you that I’ve published roughly 102 book reviews, including novels (adult, young adult, and middle grade), audiobooks, comic books, and children’s books. I’ve participated in 48 Top Ten Tuesday posts and (I think) 40 Waiting on Wednesday posts. I’ve started the Bloggers’ Book Club, the #ReadingMyLibrary Challenge, and (along with Rachel and Brandie) the Babes and Books Reviews feature. I have an incredible support system in all of you, and I cherish every single one of your comments, likes, shares, and follows.

I started this blog for me, but I couldn’t imagine doing it without you. So I want to show you how much I love all of you by doing a giveaway! Two winners will each win a book of their choice from The Book Depository up to the value of $15 (USD), which means that this is an international giveaway as long as TBD delivers to you (you can check that HERE)! The giveaway will end on Sunday, April 26 at Midnight CST, so you have a whole month to enter!

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My True Love Gave to Me – GIVEAWAY

I am a big fan of giving. I like buying presents for people all year round, but obviously, this time of year brings out the giving in everyone. So I want to give something to you guys, who have given me such wonderful and really, really appreciated support on my blog. I love you all.

I’ve decided to do a giveaway for a copy of My True Love Gave to Me, which I reviewed on my blog through a series of mini reviews of all twelve stories. Here’s the links to all of my mini reviews from the book. Make sure you stick around for the giveaway at the bottom!

My True Love Gave to Me

Rainbow Rowell’s “Midnights” – Such a wonderful way to start off the book. One of my favorites.

“The Lady and the Fox” by Kelly Link – Somewhat annoying writing style but pretty cool story

Matt de la Peña’s “Angels in the Snow” – This one kind of felt like a Lifetime made-for-TV movie. Just kind of cheesy and lots of drama and all that jazz.

Jenny Han’s “Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me” – A cute story with a sweet, hopeful ending but a whiny and spoiled main character

Stephanie Perkins’ “It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown” – SWOON. That is all.

David Levithan’s “Your Temporary Santa” – This story kind of made me feel melancholy even though it’s about Santa and Christmas.

Holly Black’s “Krampuslauf” – I liked the characters, the story, the magic, the uniqueness, the writing style, everything. One of my favorites.

Gayle Forman’s “What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth?” and Myra McEntire’s “Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus” (in one review) – Surprisingly, I liked Gayle Forman’s story. Myra McEntire’s wasn’t one of my favorites but was still enjoyable.

Ally Carter’s “Star of Bethlehem” and Laini Taylor’s “The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer” (in one review) – “Star of Bethlehem” was forgettable and kind of stupid. “The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer” was one of the stories I loved the most for the epic fantasy aspect, but it did have its problems.

Alright, here’s the giveaway! Click on the picture below to be taken to Rafflecopter to enter. The giveaway is INTERNATIONAL as long as The Book Depository delivers to you. Yay! You can check whether TBD delivers to you HERE. The giveaway will END on January 7, 2015 at Midnight CST. Also, because I know some of you have already read/own My True Love Gave to Me, you can still enter. If you win, you can choose a book from TBD/Amazon for $15 or less! ❤ you guys.

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Fragile Reign Release Day Launch – Giveaway + Excerpts!

Fragile Reign Release Day

You guys might remember how much I enjoyed Stacey O’Neale’s The Shadow Prince and Mortal Enchantment, so of course I jumped at the chance to participate in the Release Day Launch for Fragile Reign, which comes out today! There’s a giveaway AND two excerpts. Wuuut? So cool. Enjoy! ❤

FRAGILE REIGN (Mortal Enchantment #2)

Fragile Reign_coverIt’s been a week since all hell broke loose…

Rumors of King Taron’s weakened powers have left the air court vulnerable. Kalin is desperate to awaken her akasha powers, except she doesn’t know how. Tension within the court is at an all-time high. Pressure is mounting for her to ascend to the throne, but a halfling has never ruled over any court. To solidify her position, the council has advised her to marry Sebastian—a high ranking air elemental she’s never met and her betrothed.

Will Kalin sacrifice her relationship with Rowan to strengthen her court?

Rowan and Marcus return to a fire court in turmoil. Liana’s death has fueled the fire elementals’ distrust against the air and woodland courts. The unbalanced elements have set off natural disasters all over the mortal world. Rowan takes the throne to restore balance, promising to unite the fire court. But not all elementals are happy with his leadership. Many are secretly loyal to Valac, which means Rowan needs to find allies for his cause.

Can Rowan unify the court of fire before the elements destroy the world?

Fragile Reign: Goodreads  | Amazon


Stacey_ONealeStacey O’Neale lives in Annapolis, Maryland. When she’s not writing, she spends her time fangirling over books, blogging, watching fantasy television shows, cheering for the Baltimore Ravens, and hanging out with her husband and daughter.

Her career in publishing started as a blogger-turned-publicist for two successful small publishers. Stacey writes young adult paranormal romance and adult science fiction romance. Her books always include swoon-worthy heroes, snarky heroines, and lots of kissing.

Stacey loves hearing from readers. Follow her on Twitter @StaceyONeale, look for her on Facebook, Pinterest, and GoodReads. You can also visit her blog at http://staceyoneale.com/.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads




I chose two excerpts for the post, one from Rowan’s point of view and one from Kalin’s. Enjoy!


I need to clear my head.

Away from my court.

Away from everyone.

I took a portal to the beach—the last place I had spent time with Kalin. Nothing about the last several hours made any kind of sense to me. I walked aimlessly down the sandy beach as I tried to unravel the confusion in my head. Dark skies made it difficult to see much of anything in front of me. The only illumination came from the full moon. In this dimmed light, I could make out the outline of the veil protecting Avalon. It sparkled like the stars in the sky.

My thoughts quickly shifted back to the engagement party. Kalin just stood there at his side and didn’t say a word. She didn’t even bother to answer my question. Did she feel nothing when she saw me? Did she even care how I felt? This wasn’t the Kalin I had come to know. The brave girl I had trained. The girl who saved her father against all odds. The girl who fought viciously for her court. It was a nightmare. Unfortunately, my nightmare was also my reality.


Being betrothed totally sucked. Having powers I couldn’t control sucked. Not being able to help my ailing father sucked. Pretty much everything about my life right now sucked on an epic level of suckage. I forced a smile as I stood beneath the stone archway next to the council members, pretending to be excited to meet Sebastian. The same way I pretended not to notice my decisions were being made for me. Like everything in my life wasn’t out of control and falling to pieces right in front of me.

The mountain wind caught hold of the bottom trim of my yellow full-length gown. I pushed it back down with my gloved hands. The council insisted that our first meeting was to be a formal affair, so I had to dress like I was going to a prom. Ariel, of course, tried to make the best of it. She thought a princess makeover might improve my mood. Unfortunately, all of her efforts— combined with the way-too-tight bodice on this gown—just added to my overall disdain.

After speaking with Dad, we decided it was best for him to keep Mom away from all of this. At the moment, I had to go along with the engagement. I was hoping I could gain my akasha powers and never have to tell her about this whole disaster. Although I understood Dad’s motives, I was still pissed that he never told me about the betrothal. There should have been a discussion between us. Lots and lots of them until he saw my side and then changed his mind. An overwhelming sense of despair lingered in the pit of my stomach. If I couldn’t ignite my akasha powers, would I really have to follow through with this and marry a stranger?

If you haven’t read Stacey’s Mortal Enchantment series, you can get the first book for FREE on Amazon and Barnes & Noble! The Shadow Prince won GOLD at the 2014 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards in the Short Story/Novella category!


The lovely Cristina over at Girl in the Pages started Sunday Funday as a way to recap the bookish (and not-so-bookish) things that have happened that week.

September 8 – 14, 2014

So in case you missed it, I’m hosting my first ever giveaway! Do you want to win a SIGNED copy of Stephanie Perkin’s Anna and the French Kiss and some Anna-themed swag? You know you do. Head over to my giveaway page and enter! It ends a week from tomorrow!

Anna Giveaway Pic

Coming up on the blog this week: I’ll be reviewing six (yes, SIX) Oliver Jeffers’ books; Top Ten Tuesday and Waiting on Wednesday as always; I’ll also probably review The Shadow Prince and possibly another book (depending on how my reading goes).

Do you like Benedict Cumberbatch? Do you like books? Do you like cute things? You should probably watch this video of him reading Little Read Hen.

Books read: I finished reading Lauren Oliver’s first adult book, Rooms, this week, and the review should be up on WatchPlayRead tomorrow. I also read and reviewed Of Monsters and Madness. I read three children’s books this week, One Cool Friend, Along a Long Road, and The Hueys in the New Sweater (which will be reviewed on the blog this week). Additionally, I started Stacey O’Neale’s The Shadow Prince. It was a good week for reading.

TBR: I’m going to be participating in the Mortal Enchantment blog tour next month, and this week I received an ARC of the book! From the library, I checked out The Selection by Kiera Cass, the first two BZRK books by Michael Grant, and Horns by Joe Hill. Surprisingly, I didn’t buy any books or comics this week, but my boss did loan me the entire X-Men Legacy series, so I added a BUNCH of stuff to my TBR this week.

What was on the blog this week (and WatchPlayRead):

Monday – Bookish Talk: DNF-ing Books – Do you do it? This one got a LOT of attention, which I wasn’t expecting, but I was really excited about. I had some interesting discussions in the comments. 🙂

Tuesday – Top Ten Tuesday: Underrated authors and books
My interview with Adi Alsaid, author of Let’s Get Lost 

Wednesday – Waiting on Wednesday: Blue Lily, Lily Blue
My freak out about the new Mockingjay Part 1 Poster

Thursday – Liebster Award: Take 3!
Book Review: This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith 

Saturday – ARC Review: Of Monsters and Madness by Jessica Verday
Recap/review of Teen Wolf’s season 4 finale, “Smoke and Mirrors”
Comic Book Review: Bodies #2

Sunday – Audiobook Review: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Some non-bookish things to check out or that I’m excited about:

– This cover of The Neighbourhood’s song Sweater Weather. WOW.
– I bought my ticket to see The 1975 in November with my friend Georgie!
– You might’ve seen this, but this frat did a lip sync video of Taylor Swift’s song Shake It Off (I’m not a fan of Taylor Swift, but I actually enjoyed this)

MY FIRST GIVEAWAY: A signed copy of Anna and the French Kiss

I am so excited to be doing my first ever giveaway on the blog! Recently, I went to the Decatur Book Festival, where I met Stephanie Perkins! She was lovely, and she signed a copy of Anna and the French Kiss for me to give away (Don’t worry. I checked that it was okay!) If you haven’t noticed, I loved all three books in this series: Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, and Isla and the Happily Ever After – and by love, I mean completely fangirled over each book. The opportunity to possibly have someone else fall in love with them through this giveaway makes me so happy.

The giveaway will run until 5 p.m. CST on Monday, September 22, 2014 – three weeks from now. See below for how to enter! Continue reading