Interview with Brynn Taylor!

  1. What do you think is the biggest challenge of Poetry Authors in the Bookish Industry?

I think a big challenge for poets is to stand out amongst others. With social media outlets growing and writing pages becoming more popular, it is hard for a poet to get recognized. I try to follow as many poets as I can, not only to increase my own skills but also to get my name out there. Being an author of a book is one thing, but making sure your book even gets discovered is the hardest part of it all.

  1. What inspires you or pushes you to write a poetry book?

The main inspirations behind my poetry book were losing love and life experience. I’ve always had a passion for writing, but after my last relationship ended, poetry sort of came naturally to me. It felt very organic to turn something so life changing into an art form that I particularly resonated with.

  1. If you are going to date someone, fictional or not, dead or alive, who would it be and why? What are the things that you are going to do on your date?

I would absolutely date Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead. I am a huge fan of the show, and not only is he super attractive, but I love the way he protects the people closest to him, even under the most difficult circumstances. He always does what he thinks is right and tries to save humanity, even when people are killing and becoming inhumane. I’m not a huge gun person, but I definitely think we would go to a shooting range, so he could teach me how to kill zombies. It would be a great way to relieve stress, and he would also make me feel very protected.

  1. If you are going to describe your book, (You Broke Me) Open in ten words, what would it be?

Piercing, Cathartic, Cutting, Honest, Hard-hitting, Depressing (at times), Inspiring, Strong, Empowering, and Sincere.

  1. If you are going to give advice to your 10-year-old self, what would it be?

It might be too deep for a 10-year-old, but I would say don’t pay attention to other people’s opinions of you. Stay young as long as possible, in the sense that you are free to be imaginative and hopeful, without the imposition of societal standards.

  1. Who are Brynn Taylor 5 years from the past?

I go into more detail in my poetry book, but five years ago I was constantly seeking attention and affection that I was unable to provide for myself. I thought I had life all figured out, and that falling in love would be easy. I got so caught up in finding what I was looking for in a guy, that I forgot to think about myself. I was often quiet and made poor decisions, but today I’ve realized that you have to put yourself first and the right person will come along without having to force it.

  1. One thing you are grateful for, for belonging in the bookish community.

I am eternally grateful for the community I was able to build with my writing. My followers, on both my Instagram page and my blog, brynnspiration, are so supportive and kind and hearing how my words affect people never ceases to amaze me. Most of these people I have never met in person, and have no idea what they are going through, but I feel so connected to them. I’m also in a Facebook group with other writers from Thought Catalog, and we constantly come up with prompts and questions for each other to help expand our horizons. They are some of the nicest people I’ve ever “met” and I’ve never even seen them in real life.

  1. What makes poetry more unique than a novel?

Poetry is extremely different than writing a novel. A novel flows freely and tells a story from start to finish. Poetry leaves so much more up for interpretation. It is piecing together different parts of a puzzle, but it can also be understood individually. I think poetry gives the writer and reader a much better chance to play with words and to discover how each line, word, and metaphor can be construed. It’s always fun to see how poets are interpreting different parts of their lives, whether they are happy or sad, and turning them into something beautiful.

  1. You are also a reader before you became an author, right? What are the poetry books that influence you along the way?

I didn’t read that much poetry actually, but I was very inspired by other Thought Catalog poets. To name a few, Marisa Donnelly, Kristen Corely, Nikita Gill, Rania Naim, and Ari Eastman. I also have always been a fan of Tyler Knott Gregson on Instagram and have followed his work for years. However, my favorite poem will always be “I Carry Your Heart” by E. E. Cummings.

  1. If you are going to choose your favorite quote/poem on your book, what would it be and why?

The poem titled Cuckoo is a haiku and my favorite poem in the book. It’s a little play on words because, not only is it a haiku, but it talks about being “woken up” by losing someone close to you and having that take its toll on your emotions. At first, it seems like the pain will last forever, but then one day, you realize why the pain is so important. It sometimes happens like clockwork, one minute you are sad, the next minute you feel like you can conquer anything. You are woken up by some internal alarm, and that’s why I titled it Cuckoo, like the clock.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


k0a4835-1If you are looking for an expert to give you love and life tips then you have come to the wrong place. I am not an expert on anything, in fact, there are very few things in life of which I am absolutely certain. I will never claim to get things right the first time, or even the second or third. I am nothing more than an average girl who is hard-wired to want to contribute to the well being of others. I believe that the world is founded on compassion and we move in the direction of things that help us benefit others, and ultimately help us find purpose in ourselves. This blog is simply a result of my compassion and intrinsic motivation. Without the motivation to do the things we love, we accomplish very little, but with enduring passion and desire to help make the world a better place, we can inspire others. I hope that this blog will help serve as an inspiration for people who are experiencing struggle, and if nothing else, people will find it entertaining. Although I will be talking about my direct experiences, I encourage everyone to contribute and comment about their own life journey. If you are here to judge, there is a contact me section where you can send all your negativity, but for the sake of this blog, I am asking that all posts stay positive and happy and any negative comment will be deleted. But whether you hate it or love it, thanks for stopping by!

xoxo, B

Interview with Mitali Perkins!

Mitali Perkins is the author of the new diverse book, You Bring The Distant Near. She gave us so much hope with her contemporary book with a gripping, compelling and exciting novel to look forward to.


Check out my book review of You Bring The Distant Near

Living in different traditions, adapting in a different environment, adjusting to a new social circle. I really find it hard for the characters because even if I were in their position, I would definitely get tired at some point. I appreciate their driving force to live the life they wanted. What amazing about this novel is it stays original, authentic and natural.


INTERVIEW

  1. Was Ranee and Rajeev Das had an arranged marriage? Are you in favor of arranged marriage? What do you think the advantage and disadvantage of executing that culture?

Yes, they had an arranged marriage, just like my parents. For me, it’s not about how you GET married but about how you ARE married. No matter how well you know each other before marriage, people change and there are surprises. What matters is the level of trust, respect, and commitment in your marriage, whether or not it was arranged by your relatives (or by an app).

  1. There’s a phrase in your book that says, “It’s not a proper for a married couple to show affection in public.” I wonder, why?

Bengali culture is extremely modest, and especially so in the olden days. A married couple could have a sizzling time in the bedroom but heaven forbids they smooch in public. Friends of the same gender, however, can hold hands and demonstrate a lot of physical affection.

  1. Can you explain to us why Bengali husbands and wives don’t look directly at each other in the presence of others? Even if that ‘others’ are their own children?

Even a look may be smoldering, I guess. Privacy is a way of honoring each other and honoring the marriage. By NOT looking and NOT touching in public, you are demonstrating that any act of physical intimacy between husband and wife is private and sacred.

  1. Either by separation, or by the breakup, or death of someone. How do you think could it take a person to move on? I really like how you incorporate moving on or at least how it comes up in your book.

Grieving takes time. Love, even if lost, is honored in the slow process of healing. Tears are a gift but so is resilience. I just lost my own precious Daddy, so I am doing this now. Oh, how I miss him.

  1. Diversity has been one of the main focus in your book. Do you think people should be open about when it comes to diversity and should people accept it slowly and slowly destroy the stereotype wall within the society? Can you explain it in detail for us?

I try not to make diversity my main goal in storytelling but focus instead on my characters, who usually happen to be born outside of North America (unlike most of my potential readers/buyers.) If I let diversity, even though it is such a noble aspiration, overcome the story, the plot and characters feel stiff and contrived.

  1. Was it difficult writing a book with a lot of themes and it talks about biracial, women empowerment and immigrants?

Not really, because this book draws so much from my own life and memories.

  1. If you are given the chance to teach the world for one day, what would you teach and why do you choose that topic to teach?

The whole world? I would share the story of the waiting Father and the two sons that Jesus told in the Bible. The peacemaking and forgiveness revealed in that parable need to be offered to every generation.

  1. In You Bring The Distant Near, you somehow implied where Shanthi belonged and I love how you execute that part and it shows how someone is struggling because two sides want her to choose what she should be. How did you even think of writing that part? Do you think people would be more open-minded after reading your book?

I don’t like it when other people commandeer my one party of my hyphenated identity and tell me what they think I am, or should be. We all are a tapestry of identities, some hidden, some visible; discovering and expressing the weave of them is the miracle of being a human.

  1. If you are going to give advice to your 10-year old self, what advice would you give to your younger self?

Keep reading, honey, keep reading. It will return to you a thousand-fold.

  1. What is your favorite quote or phrase or even lesson from your book? Can you explain to us?

I like the title, YOU BRING THE DISTANT NEAR. The book was originally called BORDERLINES, but that was dull. My editor, in search of a better suggestion, began reading a lot of poetry by Rabindranath Tagore, the great Bengali poet who is oft-mentioned in the novel. She called to say she had found the title: “You Bring the Distant Near.” I was stunned and touched. That phrase comes right out of the poem my grandfather in India sent to my “foreign” husband as a welcome gift to our family. My sister recited it in Bengali and in English in our wedding.


4-up on 9-18-13 at 12.18 PM #5 (compiled)Mitali Perkins (mitaliperkins.com) has written ten novels for young readers, including Rickshaw Girl (chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the top 100 books for children in the past 100 years) and Bamboo People (an American Library Association’s Top Ten Novels for Young Adults) Her newest novel, Tiger Boy, won the Charlotte Huck Honor Award and the South Asia Book Award. She has been honored as a “Most Engaging Author” by independent booksellers across the country and selected as a “Literary Light for Children” by the Associates of the Boston Public Library. Mitali was born in Kolkata, India before immigrating to the Bay Area with her family. She has lived in Bangladesh, India, England, Thailand, Mexico, Cameroon, and Ghana, studied at Stanford and U.C. Berkeley, and currently resides in the East Bay where she is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Saint Mary’s College of California.

Book Review: Godblind by Anna Stephens

32072924Interesting. Unexpected. Shocking. Godblind has this tone of writing style that will let you hooked into the story once you figured out what was happening. I need to emphasize that Anna Stephens on writing such intricate and compelling story with a diverse and multiple points of views that exude different opinions because reading the book could be hard but if you have the grasped of it, it will flow smoothly while writing it in multiple perspectives. So, I commend you Anna Stephens for executing the story so well that I devoured the book slowly.

I already included this in my tweet that I had a hard time figuring out what was happening on the 1st page and when I figured it out. I have blown away. Like, what did just happened? This is the first chapter, right? Damn. This is scary, gore and brute. I was like, “I’m going to look forward to the story.” And I did. I just never expected that I’m going to dive deep down on this book and will love it all the way through. I finished reading the book at 3 o clock in the morning and if I don’t need to sleep, I’ll probably tweet the author right away because I need the second book already!

I already mention that this book is composed of multiple perspectives of the characters that almost literally everyone in the book has a spotlight. I really think that it was beautifully amazing – although hard to write, it was written well. I could see the character’s perspective and what was happening in their situation. There are times that I was so looking forward to the progress of the story that I didn’t realize that I’m almost done with the book. There is also a time that I’m looking forward to what fucked up situation could happen and surely, there are some things that this novel has to offer. One advice for those who are planning to read this book: Prepare your heart.

There are a lot of characters that are relevant to the story, it was them who drives the plot away and makes everything more interesting. There are sub stories that are yet to be discovered there are questions that are yet to be answered, and there are yet plots to be revealed. And I’m really looking forward because everyone, every character in here is so overwhelming. There are villains that you would hate and there are villains that you would love. Like Galtas that I’m hating but liking all the same because he’s kind of the mastermind but I don’t want him to die if he will or not because I’m looking forward how villain he is or how he would destroy other characters. There is King Corvus that who is savage when it comes talking to The Blessed One, Lanta, and yet, I’m already loving his personality because of his choice of words and how he displays such vibe of being an authoritarian misogyny king.

Talking about characters I never expected that the story will start off with Rillirin, a slave for nine years in Mireces, who killed the former King Laris [I promise that this is not a spoiler!] and still at the end, her significance is yet to determine. I was still curious about her. Then there’s Dom who is a calestar, he told prophecies or hint of what is happening or what could happen in the future. I’m not really sure about his character but I’m enjoying his company with Rillirin. There’s also Ash and Crys who shook me in the story. I was smiling when Ash is trying to tease Crys and when the story advances, things advance too! Which is so unexpected. Anna Stephens knows how to write her characters, she nailed their feelings, expressions, and emotions. Also, I’m so looking forward to those little details that she is giving us with.

Another thing that I’ve seen in the book is that there are a quite number of female characters with strong personality. I commend Tara here who still have my eyes on and looking forward to her character development. Durdil, who struck me as a humble servant and yet, reading the summary of the second book makes my eyes happy. He is relevant to the story and I’m going to anticipate his big role in the trilogy.

This book is brutal at times, mild at some point but one thing is for sure. Everyone has a principle, they have things that they want to do and to protect, there are things that they want to achieve —  and it is purely amazing because I’m not sure what to look forward in the second installment. I’m not ready but I want to read the continuation. It may be explicit but it won’t hinder the story because it was made like that. A gemstone wanting to be found by the readers.

Other good things about this book, the characters are being introduced slowly which the readers could cope up with. It makes easier for us as the story goes on. It was good and brilliant all the same. There is a hint of quite a few issues that I really think relevant to the story as it has the vibe of ancient civilization, like misogyny, discrimination, sexual violence and homosexuality that could be sensitive but nevertheless, those characteristics are essential to depicting one true form of a character.

Godblind speaks to me. It was one of the books that I’m really anticipating next. It made me want more of it. I’m shocked when I found out the meaning of Godblind. It was mention already in the book. It was obvious when you looked back. Damn. Anna Stephens has this kind of writing that you’ll just forget what was on your mind because of what was happening on the chapter you are reading. I’m telling you, guys. One hell of a ride. This book is a must read. It will make your jaw dropped and realized what did she just wrote. 

I can’t wait for Splitsoul [title may change] because the Red Gods are Rising.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


3868039Anna Stephens is a UK-based author of gritty epic fantasy. Her debut novel, Godblind, is published through Harper Voyager in June 2017, with the sequels coming in 2018 and 2019.

They say blood begets blood. In the country of Rilpor, if you spill enough of it, blood begets gods.

Anna has a BA (Hons) in Literature from the Open University and has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. She much prefers the worlds she makes up to the real thing, even if most of her characters meet sticky ends.

Anna lives with her husband, a huge book, music and movie collection, and no pets. She intends to remedy this lack of furry friends as soon as fame and fortune strike.

You can help her realise her twin dreams of being an author and a proud dog-walker by buying her book. Thanks.

Blogger Spotlight: Book Freak Revelations

Hi! My good friend, JM From Book Freak Revelations agreed on my bugging since last year to answer my blogger spotlight questions and it so happens that he already sent it way back in February and I forgot. Let me take this time to apologize to you, Michael! Thank you so much for huge understanding.


PERSONAL LIFE

What book introduced you to fiction novels? Can you name 5 of your favorite books or series?

The book I’ve read that helped me develop my love for reading was Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. I read it way back in 2011, and I’ve been reading ever since. Some of my favorite books are listed below, albeit in no specific order.

  1. The Sun Is Also A Star and Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
  2. All The Bright Places and Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven
  3. The Lunar Chronicles Series by Marissa Meyer
  4. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
  5. The Selection Series by Kiera Cass

How did you start to like reading as a habit? Do you have any other habits aside from reading novels?

I’ve been a reader for as long as I can remember, but it was only after I had a rough experience at college that I started reading regularly. It became my solid past time, an escape to forget about how depressing it was to lose friends during a time I needed them most. It was Jennifer Niven’s All The Bright Places that pulled me out of that dark phase. After that, I just kept on bringing books to school, reading them while I was on lunch breaks.

If you are going to date someone, fictional or not, dead or alive, who would it be and why? What are the things that you are going to do on your date?

I honestly want to go on a date with Theodore Finch, if given the chance. He’s one of the main characters from the YA book, All The Bright Places, and you’ll only get why I want to go on a date with him if you’ve read his story. I also just want to give him a hug, that’s all.

Name some of your favorite authors and give them a brief description of why are they your favorites.

Oh, good. A question in which I don’t have to choose. Ha! Let me give you 5 names:

  1. Nicola Yoon – If you’ve read her novels, you’d know how amazing she is at writing stories about diverse characters, Oh, and have you seen her family? They’re the perfect example of DIVERSITY.
  2. Jennifer Niven – If you haven’t noticed yet, Jen writes stories that are easy to love mainly because she writes them with feelings, taking some of her personal experiences and incorporating them into her books, ensuring it to be personal and a lot more heartfelt.
  3. Adam Silvera – Adam writes stories that are unbelievably heart wrenching, but also brutally honest. He’s one of the few authors who choose to tackle sensitive themes, and he always pulls it off.
  4. Becky Albertalli – If you’ve read Simon V.S. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, you’d know how light, fluffy, yet, utterly impressive Becky writes. She has this way of telling stories that will tug on your heartstrings, leaving you wanting more.
  5. Sarah J. Maas – Sarah has an amazing talent when it comes to narrating high fantasy stories, and I believe that spending an afternoon with her could make me forget about life’s problems.
  6. If you are going to give advice to your 10-year-old self, what would it be?

Oh boy. If only I knew then all the things I know now, that would’ve saved me from a lot of heartbreaks. *sobs* but maybe, the only advice I will give to my 10-year old self is

“Take a chance on everything. Take risks, and be open to trying new experiences. This will expand your life’s background. Be unique, but at the same time, be humble. This will save you a lot of pain and heartaches.” 🙂

BLOGGING LIFE

What made you start blogging about books?

Well, at first, I just wanted a platform wherein I can share my thoughts about my current reads. I didn’t want to really “blog” back then. I just felt like I needed some people to talk to about the books that I read. Facebook didn’t really feel like an appropriate site where I can share my detailed thoughts, so I decided to sign up for a free website over at WordPress, with inspiration from a few established bloggers.

After sharing quite a few reviews and meeting a couple of new people, I decided to be a little more active and post maybe three times a week. That was when I realized that blogging might just be the platform that I was looking for. Everything fell right into place after that.

What was the most difficult part of book blogging?

Well, to me, time management must be the most difficult part of book blogging. A universal example for this is being on an unwanted hiatus for a long time. Sometimes, life just happens. You get more responsibilities (i.e. School, a full-time job, etc.) and you get to a point where you just can’t balance your time enough to at least publish a post once a week. Right when you’re in the middle of a hiatus, you begin to realize that there’s a possibility that you’re missing out on a lot of things. You start to lose touch with your friends, and you have to admit, this is pretty much a tad bit depressing.

How did you get so many followers? And is there something you want to say to your followers?

I like to think that I don’t have as many followers as you’re implying, but as I’ve mentioned, when I first started blogging, I never thought about getting followers. A few people that I might share the same opinions with, yes, but not actual followers who turned into friends. And to be honest, I don’t know how people from all over the world stumbled upon my small space of the internet. But I hope they know how thankful I am for their love and support. For their unsolicited comments and for the effort that they put in making me feel welcome in the book blogging community. I am so very thankful for everything. Honestly.

What do you think is the disadvantage of book bloggers?

Naturally, bloggers have that feeling of being pressured. Book bloggers get review copies in exchange for actually reviewing them. Some are even invited to events in exchange for a recap, or something. I think that’s one of the few disadvantages of being a book blogger. Whether it be for a deadline, or for anything else that includes the blogger feeling pressured.

Mention some Book Blogging Friends that you would love to see in person!

Honestly, ever since I met International Book Bloggers online (Australia, Canada, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, etc.), I started dreaming of going to an event where I can meet all of these lovely people at once. Perhaps Book Expo America? (Who am I kidding, right?) But I would love to meet my friends Kevin at Bookevin, Joey of Another Afterthought, Jenna of Reading With Jenna, Aentee of Read at Midnight, CW of Read, Think, Ponder, Jenna Jesse of Books at Dawn, Bayram of Never Ending Books,  Sarah K. of The Book Traveler, Yvonne of A World Between Folded Pages,  Mish of Chasing Faerytales, Reg of Shelatitude, and a hell of a lot more!

BOOKISH LIFE

Name some of your favorite authors according to your genre preferences.

I think I pretty much covered this with the first question, but for YA romance contemporaries, my favorites are books by Nicola Yoon, Becky Albertalli, Adam Silvera, and Jennifer Niven. For the YA fantasy genre, on the other hand, books by Marissa Meyer, Sarah J. Maas, Marie Lu, and Stephanie Garber do me justice. That’s basically it, but right now, I’m exploring Philippine Literature (ahem, #romanceclass), and I’ll try to get back to everyone once I discover new favorites. 😉

How do you pick the books that you are going to read next?

I’m basically a mood reader, which means that I read whatever I want, whenever I want to. I usually have a hard time following a TBR in the past, so I decided to just be a reader who buys tons of books and reads them whenever I feel like reading them. Weird, I know. *laughs*

SHOW US YOUR BOOKSHELF! Describe it.

My bookshelf’s pretty much filled up right now. I have 3, one big shelf, and 2 small ones. They’re all crowded as of the moment, and they’re already double-stacked. I like to think I have a pretty diverse set of books on my shelf from contemporaries to fantasies, from Young Adult to New Adult books. What I don’t have much of are classics, and non-fiction novels.

IMG_1398

By the way, I’m looking at saving for a shelf that could hopefully hold all of my books: Hardcovers, Paperbacks, etc. Have any suggestions as to where to buy one?

What are the books and authors that influence you as a reader?

Well, Nicola Yoon’s a pretty diverse author who lives a pretty diverse life, and I like to think that she inspires me to read books about POC, and ever since I started reading her books, I made it a point to read and promote diverse books. Oh, and the same goes for Angie Thomas, author of the star-studded The Hate U Give, coming out on February 28!

What is your one ultimate favorite quote from a book and why?

To be honest, I have plenty of favorite quotes from various books about plenty of stuff: About life, love, friendship, family, and a whole lot more. But I think it would be best to end this interview with one that struck me the most, and it’s from one of my most favorite books of all time. “You are wanted. Big, small, tall, short, pretty, plain, friendly, shy. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Not even yourself.”

Thanks for having me, Raf!


About JM

IMG_8743JM is a 21-year old book blogger from Manila. He has a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Managment mainly because it was too late when he discovered that literature and publishing is his true calling. Whenever JM has the time to spare, he usually reads romantic contemporaries and his favorite tropes are about best friends turned lovers and/or second chance love stories. He also blogs about the books he read over at Book Freak Revelations. And most importantly, he is also an active advocate of the LGBT community.

Book Review: The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

the-last-magician-9781481432092_hrBrilliant. Compelling. Masterpiece. I don’t know what else to describe this book but there’s one thing that I’m sure of. This book will be engraved on my fantasy heart and hold me dearly because I just found a new favorite and a new author to support! I have this attitude that I – mostly – based my book purchases on the cover alone because why not, right? I mean we were not supposed to judge the book by its cover but I was attracted to beautiful covers, especially and specifically if the book is a fantasy. And yes, I’m guilty. Above all, that’s one of my guilty pleasures on finding amazing and attractive book covers. However, it was not simply ended there.

I read The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell and devoured those 498 pages given that the book is a tall book in two sitting. My goodness, Raf. What have you done with the book? I’m just so hooked on the story that I want to finish it so bad. Also, I’ve included this on my tweets but seriously, I couldn’t put the book down even if I want to! I was already past dawn and the sun is starting to rise when I finished the novel. It was so good that I keep on wanting more. I wish I had the power to read the book for the first time again – because this is one of those books you wish you did.

It was holding me at my seat, gripping every sense in my body, I was on my edge when I was reading the book. I consumed the book and before I know it. I was mesmerized – enlighten, captivated by the plot, by the story. I couldn’t fathom everything because everything I happen to find in a fantasy is in this book. Badass characters. Manipulative. Betrayals. Amazing plot. Wonderful Writing Style. All in one. It was like a package that you would want to have.

Esta, our main protagonist is a talented con and magician. If she isn’t. I don’t know what she is. And I’m pretty sure that you are going to love her. She was amazing and she put a lot of stunts and improvising. It will make you interested because she does things in her own way. And sometimes, that’s her weakness. She’s stubborn and playful, gumptious and brave. Prepare yourself because once you started reading The Last Magician, there’s no turning back.

At first, I assumed that the first boy was her love interest but I was wrong, people. I was wrong! This is not a cliché fantasy nor a cliché romance. It challenges everything and destroys stereotypes in society. It is diverse and I’m loving it. It is on the last few pages of the book when I realized that, holy shit, Lisa Maxwell did put a lot of thought into writing this book because I didn’t see those things coming. I did get one right prediction but everything? EVERYTHING? No. I didn’t see everything coming and my jaw just drops on everything I read. It was good and that’s why I was wondering why there’s a small change and click, that’s why. [I’m talking about one realization, I made when I was reading the book and I try to be vague as possible. I don’t want to spoil you because this is one of my amazing moments.]

The concept of magic is nothing new. There are stones and a book but you know what’s new? It feels like I’m watching a Marvel Universe by collecting the stones but in this book it was not being collected. They are finding the freedom because magic was captured. If it was not the best, it is one of the better. I love how magic works here and affinity. We don’t know much anything about affinities here and I’m so looking forward to the system that has been implied in the book. I know that there are so much more.

The gang. Dolph, Nibs, Viola, Jack, Harte – almost every character here has a purpose, everyone has a role to play and I love that Lisa Maxwell told it in third person point of view. We had a full grasp on what was happening on everyone and we could see the character developments in each and every one.

There’s this time that I asked myself and wonder what could be Esta’s root and this is one thing you need to write down on your head. I was so occupied with the story that I’m waiting what is the connection with the given clue towards her name and connect it with the story and I’m shocked to find out the revelations. I didn’t see it coming. Lisa Maxwell writes so well that I didn’t think that it was a possibility.

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell is a book that you must have. It is indeed remarkable on its own way and there’s a lot of elements to look forward to in the next book. I thought it was standalone and it will end once Esta did her mission but no. There’s a lot more than you think what it is. It will grip you hard, hold you on your seat and you’ll be happy that you started reading the book. It was one of my best reads of 2017 and I know that I won’t forget this book. It exceeded my expectations and satisfy me more than I thought it would. Thank you, Lisa, for writing an outstanding book. Thank you.

MY RATINGS: 5 STARS!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


7246482Lisa Maxwell is the New York Times Best-Selling author of THE LAST MAGICIAN. Also of UNHOOKED, SWEET UNREST, and GATHERING DEEP. When she’s not writing books, she teaches English at a local college. She lives near DC with her very patient husband and two not-so patient boys.

2nd Anniversary of The Royal Polar Bear Reads + Major Giveaways!!!

Hi.

Hello?

Are you there?

This is Rafael.

The person behind The Royal Polar Bear Reads. Probably you are wondering why am I writing this. Of course, not! It was already given to the title!

Yes, people!

It is The Royal Polar Bear Reads’ 2nd anniversary!!!

I would never think that I would last this long. I mean, I never thought I would! From the very start for knowing nothing about book blogging in general to how WordPress works and how the bookish community molds me. It was surreal, purely amazing and each day, it was brilliant. I would never reach this point without you guys! I would never! So, thank you. Thank you so much.

Two years of book blogging was never easy. There are times that I have so much priority in real life than the virtual world. Sometimes, book slump ate my motivations, sometimes I don’t feel like sharing my opinions because I’m too scared of other’s point of views, there was a time that I just don’t feel like doing anything and there are circumstances that I want to end things. But I’m still here. Being with you all and accepting my blog the way it is. Accepting me, accepting my opinion and perspective about books I’m reading, books that I love, books that I want to share to the world. It is just simply amazing and I couldn’t fathom how much I love book blogging.

It has been my outlet, mostly, when I’m down. It lights up my mood, it is my home. I couldn’t ask for anything. I just want to thank my former professor turned into an amazing and good friend, Ms. Gillian Velasco for pushing me to sign up and make a book blog. To Erika from The Nocturnal Fey for being the most talented and brilliant person I know, for being my mentor on book blogging. I wouldn’t be here without you being my source of foundation! I owe you this, big time! Also to JM from Book Freaks Revelations. He helped me on the initial stage of my book blog and being a part of his life is simply outstanding. He’s a good friend, a comrade, and of course, the person whom I will buy books with. Most of the time!

Without them, I would never do blogging for sure! Without them, I won’t be here celebrating this 2nd anniversary. I was mesmerized that there are a lot of people followed this blog and I wouldn’t ask for more because you keep on surprising me as time goes by. It grows and grows and grows a lot. To the point, I started receiving books from publishers and it was so surreal. That’s the point where I feel so verified as a book blogger. They have been amazing and I would never ever thought in my life time that I would work with them. It is my pleasure and I offer my greatest gratitude to them.

To my first publisher, Penguin Random House. Thank you so much, guys! The generosity you offer with your international book bloggers is beyond remarkable. I wouldn’t be here without you believing in me.

To MacMillan. I love working with you and I learned a lot from you. You always answer my questions even if it was random. You are always being so accommodating. Even, if it was for an author interview. I love you for that.

To HarperCollins. Guys! Thank you for giving me the chance on working with you. There is still a lot to work on but I’m looking forward to that!

To SkyHorse. We’ve been in contact for just a few months and I’m loving my experience with you. I’m wishing that it won’t end with my 2nd anniversary. As the years go, let’s make another fruitful year in the bookish community!

Also, The Royal Polar Bear Reads won’t be a book blog without the help of some of my author friends who took the time to answer my author interview questions on the initial stage of my blog and they’ve been so great and lovely to help me on my way up. I love you, my favorite authors! You have been a part of my book blogging life that you are the ones I always think first whenever I’m checking out a new book or giving out bookish recommendations! And also, you probably know that I put your books on my Hall of Books because of your books, you deserve that spot!

To Romina Russell. Who agreed without hesitations to answer my enthusiasm and being the first author that I interviewed with! Your love and generosity know no bound, we live for that! Thank you.

To C.L. Denault. The author I wouldn’t think I would be friends with! 1.) I judged her book Gambit’s cover and it turns out I fucking love the book and I just love it simply because of Enemies turn lovers bookish trope but mainly it was the writing style and there are so many elements. 2.) Because Cary is just as awesome as she was! Thank you, Cary! I miss you!

To Michele Amitrani. Who surprises me with his book, Omnilogos. I couldn’t believe that it would be so explosive and bold. I’ve never expected everything in his book. But you know what? Michele Amitrani is a humble, down to earth person. I really wish he visits The Philippines one day and has a little chat with him. He is a brilliant writer and a good friend. Thank you, Michele! I love reading your books! Keep them writing and I’ll be here supporting you.

To Pintip Dunn. The one person who shows so much love and so much support to her friends. This is why I keep on supporting her. Her book Forget Tomorrow makes me keep on finding a lot of Sci-Fi/Romance books and probably a touch of fantasy. She also has the best brother who cooks and circle of friends who ended up giving me so much advice.

The bottom line of my 2nd-anniversary blog post is to thank those people who’ve helped you from the start and don’t ever ever forget them because, without their support, you wouldn’t be here where you are now. That’s why I’m forever grateful to them and I will always be. And one piece of advice, don’t give up blogging. You may be hiatus for a long time but book blogging is always and will be the one thing you could go back to when everything falls because you know, deep down in your heart. You love books. We love books.


MAJOR GIVEAWAY!


Win one (1) personalized signed copy of any Kim Holden’s books!

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Check out My Book Review of All of It, HERE

ABOUT KIM HOLDEN

7445352Some of my favorite things: reading, writing, the two coolest guys on the planet (my husband and son), my bicycle (my husband built it for me), Facebook (I’m fairly certain it’s an addiction at this point), iced coffee (hazelnut), and music (LOVE Sunset Sons, the 1975, Dredg, the xx, Balance and Composure, Teenage Bottlerocket, and 30 Seconds to Mars). I also love dreaming, which brings me to my next point. I have one bit of advice for anyone reading this … follow your dreams. It’s never too late. Get started today … heck get started RIGHT NOW! I wanted to write a book 20 years ago. Instead I waited. And waited. I should’ve been writing. But I didn’t. I don’t do regrets, because the past is just that, the past. But let me tell you there’s nothing in the world like achieving something you’ve dreamt about for years and years. So, get started. Make your dreams reality.
I love to hear from other readers. Send me a message or find me on Facebook (https://facebook.com/kimholdenauthor) and tell what’s up in your reading world.


5 Winners of Forget Tomorrow + 1 Winner of The Darkest Lie by Pintip Dunn eBooks!

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Check out My Book Review of Forget Tomorrow, HERE

Check out My Book Review of Remember Yesterday, HERE

Check out My Author Interview with Pintip, HERE

ABOUT PINTIP DUNN

Pintip DunnPintip Dunn graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL. She also published an article in the YALE LAW JOURNAL, entitled, “How Judges Overrule: Speech Act Theory and the Doctrine of Stare Decisis,”

Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. She is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart® finalist and a 2014 double-finalist. She is a member of Romance Writers of AmericaWashington Romance WritersYARWA, and The Golden Network.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at www.pintipdunn.com


One Winner of Personalized Signed Copy of Omnilogos by Michele Amitrani

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Check out My Book Review of Omnilogos, HERE

Check out My Author Interview with Michele, HERE

ABOUT MICHELE AMITRANI

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Michele Amitrani

Michele Amitrani is a self-published author living in beautiful British Columbia. He has grown up writing of falling empires, space battles, mortal betrayals, monumental decisions and everything in between.

He now spends his days traveling through time and space and, more often than not, writing about impossible but necessary worlds.

Omnilogos is Michele’s debut novel and the prologue of an action packed Sci-Fi saga drenched with what some has called the sense of awe typical of Asimov’s Foundation series.

His previous Sci-Fi short story, ‘When Gold was Black’, has been praised as ‘powerful’, ‘intense and inspiring’, ‘really well-written’, and ‘original’.

When Michele is not busy chasing dragons or mastering the Force, you can find him at MicheleAmitrani.com or hanging out on Facebook at /MicheleAmitraniAuthor.


Two or Three Winners of Bending The Universe by Justin Wetch

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Check out My Book Review of Bending The Universe, HERE

Check out My Author Interview with Justin, HERE

ABOUT JUSTIN WETCH

unnamedJustin Wetch is an artist, poet, photographer, musician, pretentious egomaniac, and messy-haired fool from Palmer, Alaska. He published this book at the age of 19 while a freshman at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He enjoys artistic endeavors and connecting with people. Justin grew up in Palmer, Alaska where he discovered a love of the arts by appreciating the beauty of Alaska through photography. Justin ultimately hopes to create films.


One Winner of Christine Brae’s Book

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Check out My Book Review of In This Life, HERE

Check out My Author Interview with Christine, HERE

ABOUT CHRISTINE BRAE

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Christine Brae

Christine Brae is a full-time career woman who thought she could write a book about her life and then run away as far as possible from it. She never imagined that her words would touch the hearts of so many women with the same story to tell. In This Life is her fourth book, and is set to come out on January 22, 2015.

When not listening to the voices in her head or spending late nights at the office, Christine can be seen shopping for shoes and purses, running a half marathon or spending time with her husband and three children in Chicago.


One Winner of the Hardback copy of The Alchemist of Loom by Elise Kova + Swag Pack

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Check out My Book Review of Air Awakens, HERE

Check out My Book Review of Fire Falling, HERE

Check out My Book Review of Earth’s End, HERE

Check out My Book Review of Water’s Wrath, HERE

ABOUT ELISE KOVA

8306309Elise Kova has always had a profound love of fantastical worlds. Somehow, she managed to focus on the real world long enough to graduate with a Master’s in Business Administration before crawling back under her favorite writing blanket to conceptualize her next magic system. She currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when she is not writing can be found playing video games, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media.


Yep! It ends here, guys! Thank you so much for reading and I hope you join on all those giveaways! I’m sure you’ll be happy to win at least one of them! Also, huge thanks to Kim Holden, Pintip Dunn, Michele Amitrani, Christine Brae, Justin Wetch and Elise Kova for sponsoring those giveaways! I love you guys from the bottom of my heart. I wouldn’t make this without you. Thank you for being wonderful! Be brave. Stay awesome!

Cheers,

eMAIL_TRPB

Book Review: The Road Between by Courtney Peppernell

35489039.jpgRealistically painful. Raw in its truest form. Relatable. The Road Between is about losing yourself along the way and finding yourself throughout your journey. May it be about life, family, your inner demon and above all the center that conspires each and every one of us, love. From the very first poem in the book to the last, it doesn’t disappoint me in the tiniest. It was so pure and I love it. I could feel the intensity of Courtney’s words, I could sense her confusion in between, I can grasp her words and feel the feelings of her words while sharing her pain. It was deep and it feels like she was both nurtured and tortured, it feels both wanting and enduring at the same time. It felt like you want something that you can’t have because you were dictated of by the stereotype of the society. Then before you know it, you were lost.

Courtney Peppernell shows us the two opposite sides of the coin. She inflicted us pain and she also gave us happiness. Because you are not living if you don’t experience the two. Life is not meant to live with just pain, it is neither meant to live with just happiness. 

How could you live a life when you know only one of them? And that is what makes The Road Between unique. It is diverse. It will make you read more. You will see yourself in her words and you will notice that life ain’t that bad at all in the end.

The Road Between by Courtney Peppernell speaks so much of truth — there’s a personality, a character behind every poem, a person’s raw feelings that needing of someone. I love how it influences me every inch and this is definitely a poetry that I will always hold onto my heart. Thank you, Courtney! For writing this poem. For giving me the opportunity to learn from your words.

My Ratings: 5 STARS!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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Courtney Peppernell is a best-selling LGBTQ author from Sydney, Australia. Courtney has been writing her whole life and focuses on Young Adult novels and Poetry Collections. Keeping Long Island is her third title release, and the first under her new book brand, Pepper Books.