June Monthly Recap

~*~On The Blog~*~
June was a good month for me because I managed to only read 2 books in May due to finals and moving out and whatnot. I am so happy! I finished BEA rooming with 2 of the best friends a girl could ask for, I started my new internship, I started my new job, I made plans to move to NYC in July, and I launched a summer challenge with a dear friend. WHAT ELSE COULD I WANT?! Plus, don't forget to check out my PASSENGER by Alexandra Bracken giveaway on my instagram!

Books Reviewed:
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta - 4 stars
Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen - 4 stars
Scorched by Jennifer L. Armentrout - 3.75 stars

Books Read This Month:
I have challenged myself to read 100 books this year, let's see if I can! I'll be keeping track in this section.
18. Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta (Paperback: 401 pages)
19. Scorched by Jennifer L. Armentrout (ARC: 320 pages)
20. Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta (Paperback: 596 pages)
21. Quintana of the Charyn by Melina Marchetta (Paperback: 516 pages)
22. Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed (Hardcover: 304 pages)
23. Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen (Paperback: 288 pages)
24. The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace (ARC: 417 pages)
    DNF's of the month 
    1. None!
    Total Pages Read This Month: 2,842 pages
    Total Pages Read This Year: 8,279 pages
    Total Books Read This Year: 24
    Total Books DNF'd This Year: 1
    The Broadway Review:
    • No reviews this month, but I am hoping to have one in July!
    Giveaways:
    • I am giving away my ARC of PASSENGER by Alexandra Bracken and its matching notebook on my Instagram. Check it out! (Giveaway still going on)
    • To celebrate Huntley Fitzpatrick's latest book, we were invited to talk about which superlative our blog would win and share a giveaway! I present to you, the blogger most likely to never stop blogging! (Giveaway still going on)
    • Mary E. Pearson stopped by for an interview and giveaway as part of Summer of Series! She is giving away an ARC of Heart of Betrayal! (Giveaway still going on) 
    • Mike Mullin stopped by for an interview and giveaway as part of Summer of Series! He is giving away an ARC of Sunrise! (Giveaway still going on)
    • Molli Moran stopped by for an interview and giveaway as part of Summer of Series! She is giving away a $10 B&N or Amazon gift card! (Giveaway still going on)
    • I was part of the Nearly Found blog tour for Penguin, and hosted a great giveaway! Unfortunately, this giveaway has ended.
    Discussion Posts:
    • Danielle from Love at First Page and I launched Summer of Series! Join us for a summer of reading challenges, author interviews, and giveaways!
    • I did my Pre-BEA and BEA Day 1 recap in a single post and this was the launch of a beautiful, beautiful convention with some amazing people!
    • I also wrote up my BEA Day 2 recap! I was featured on a publisher's twitter and got some amazing books! My last recaps will come in July!
    • I threw up an Intern Diaries Post about my new internship for OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARIES! AHHHH! Oxford, you say? Why, yes, yes I do!
    • Bekka and I are back with Epic Recs! I would say this was a successful month.
    Summer of Series Guests Posts: 
    • You can find the June launch post here for Summer of Series in which we invite you to a summer full of reading series, author interviews, and giveaways.
    • Tiffany Schmidt stopped by for an interview and giveaway as part of Summer of Series!
    • Tammara Webber stopped by for an interview and giveaway as part of Summer of Series!
    • Rachel Harris stopped by for an interview and giveaway as part of Summer of Series!
    • Melinda Salisbury stopped by for an interview and giveaway as part of Summer of Series! And, let me tell you, you have to read her answer to that last question!
    • Dahlia Adler stopped by for an interview and giveaway as part of Summer of Series!
    • Mary E. Pearson stopped by for an interview and giveaway as part of Summer of Series!
    • Mike Mullin stopped by for an interview and giveaway as part of Summer of Series!
    • Molli Moran stopped by for an interview and giveaway as part of Summer of Series!
    ~*~What I've Been Watching~*~

    Broadway Shows:
    • Check back next month!
    TV:
    • Big Brother has officially started and I am so happy! I really like Audrey from first impressions, but she seems to be angering people by playing too hard. And Jace went from being interesting to annoying way too fast. I like the first group of houseguests more than the second group, though, and that I am certain of.
    • My Mom and I have gone back to our tradition of watching an episode of Judge Judy together before we go to sleep every night. It's nice!
    • My sister has gotten me addicted to Marriage Bootcamp: Celebrities (mostly because Jeff and Jordan from Big Brother are on it).
    Movies: 
    • I saw Jurassic World with Dana! I freaked out several times as she can attest to, but I really liked it!
    • Not even gonna lie, I watched Teen Beach Movie 2 when it premiered and I loved every minute of it. I really like how Tanner was used as a great form of comic relief.
    ~*~Reading Challenges~*~

    Fairytale Retelling Challenge:
    3/10 completed
    • Fairest by Marissa Meyer
    • Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen
    • Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George
    Flights of Fantasy Challenge:
    14/25 completed
    • The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
    • The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons
    • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
    • Fairest by Marissa Meyer
    • Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen
    • Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan 
    • Of Dreams and Rust by Sarah Fine 
    • Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George
    • Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
    • A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano
    • Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
    • Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta
    • Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta
    • The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace
    Contemporary Reading Challenge:
    8/11 completed
    • The Last Good Day of the Year by Jennifer Warman
    • Mistletoe and Mr. Right: Two Stories of Holiday Romance by Lyla Payne
    • Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta 
    • The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
    • P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
    • Scorched by Jennifer L. Armentrout
    • Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed
    • Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen
    TBR Pile Challenge:
    5/5 completed: Challenge Complete in June
    • Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
    • Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta 
    • Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
    • Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta
    • Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta
    Dive Into Diversity Challenge:
    4/6 completed
    • Of Dreams and Rust by Sarah Fine
    • 5 to 1 by Holly Bodger 
    • P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
    • Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed
    2015 Summer of Series:
    1/3 series completed: June, July, August
      • June: Finnikin of the Rock, Froi of the Exiles, Quintana of Charyn
      Do you have a monthly recap or thoughts on anything I'm reading/reviewing/watching? Share your thoughts below! Every comment is greatly appreciated! <3

      The Blog Most Likely To... & Giveaway


      Before I begin, I am going to tell you a little story of a girl named Lili who found out that one of her favorite contemporary authors of all time, Huntley Fitzpatrick, was writing a new book. It went a little something like this:


      But wait! There is more! For this is not just any book, this is a sequel to one of her legitimate ultimate forever-loved unputdownable and continuously-recommended-with-extreme-flails contemporary reads ever, MY LIFE NEXT DOOR!


      *Any post that allows me to use some of my favorite fandom GIFs is a post I'll forever love.

      So, you can imagine my excitement when I found out about Penguin's campaign to promote Huntley's newest book, THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO.

      In the month of June (though it is almost over), Penguin is having everyone reread the critically acclaimed book, MY LIFE NEXT DOOR. Seriously, guys, meet the Garretts so your life can forever be changed for the better. In July, we are rereading WHAT I THOUGHT WAS TRUE. And in August, WE GET OUR HANDS ON THE NEWEST PRETTY THAT I AM DYING FOR! YES!

      And now, I present to you, what I shall be voted in the blogger yearbook for years to come:

      The Blog[ger] Most Likely to Never Stop Blogging


      Allow me to explain... I started blogging back in 2006 on a website whose name I cannot recall, but I have an old journal where I made notes to myself about it and such, but in 2007 I moved to Tumblr. I spent a lot of time on Tumblr, and then realized it was sort of addicting so I quit...only to create another one a few months later at the beginning of my freshman year in high school as an assignment for my English class! Yes, you heard that right! My class had a group tumblr where we all tumbl'd together. In fact, we tumbl'd so hard that my school ended up blocking Tumblr from the servers half-way through the school year and my teacher never forgave us for that.

      I loved Tumblr so much that I created a second personal Tumblr so that I could realistically blog instead of using the url from my school that everyone knew.

      Fast forward to my junior year of high school and I had to create a blogger account to have a journalism blog for one of my classes where I wrote news articles, wrote about some articles that caught my eye every week, and wrote about what I wish was in the news. Doing this was a lot of fun and it exposed me to an entirely different blogging platform than Tumblr.

      Around this time my Tumblr had reached roughly 5,000 followers and I loved having a platform to share my thoughts and meet people on. But, unfortunately, I got big enough that a few people from my school stumbled across my personal corner of the Internet and invaded my privacy bubble, so I decided it was time to take a break and moved full-time to blogger, opening up the lovely gem you are reading today.

      Lili's Reflections is something that I've poured my heart and soul into for 3 years and plan on keeping up for a very long time. Eventually because I one day want to enter the book industry the content will no longer be book related (and when I study abroad I definitely want to use my blog as a chronicle for my time abroad), but I can never really stop blogging. Heck, I am even blogging for my summer internship on Oxford University Press's official blog! My first post goes live next week and I am so excited. When I'm not blogging, I am messing around with HTML and formatting for their secondary blog content, which is pretty cool, too.

      I've picked back up on Tumblr because it is such a different kind of blogging than blogger blogging, and I have been doing both simultaneously for a few months now. I like it. I like having such different platforms and being able to express opinions and thoughts on anything and everything to different crowds, which is why I'll never get rid of Lili's Reflections.

      So I am simultaneously blogging on Lili's Reflections (blogger), on Tumblr, and OUP's platforms all at once. You cannot take the blogger out of this girl!

      a Rafflecopter giveaway

      Summer of Series: Molli Moran Interview & Giveaway

      Molli is a dear friend of mine from when she was a blogger, too! I am so excited to have her on the blog today as an author!

      As You Turn Away
      first in the The Walker Boys series
      Published March 1, 2014
      Add to Goodreads
      Two hearts, one life-changing summer, and a long-awaited second chance...

      When Quinnlan Reynolds left home at 18, she escaped her small, Georgia town and her suffocating upbringing. She started a new life as a ballerina, and tasted freedom for the first time. But four years later, her first visit home turns tragic. Reeling, Quinn tries to piece her life back together again. But doing so is easier said than done when sexy Jonah Walker saunters back into her life.

      Quinn shattered Jonah’s heart once, so getting involved with her isn’t something he’s sure he’s ready to do again. He became someone he didn’t recognize when he left home. He’s spent the last years burying his pain by keeping everyone in his life at arm’s length. Now he needs to get to know his family again, and finally become who he wants to be.

      But neither Quinn or Jonah can stay away from each other, especially when old feelings resurface. Something is pulling them back together, and they can’t deny their chemistry for long. One Georgia summer could change both their lives forever, if they can work through their past to have a future together.
      Describe The Walker Boys in a tweet! 140 characters or less. No cheating or the Twitter Gods are going to get you.
      The Walker Boys series is about a trio of rowdy brothers, their growth and individual journeys, and the sassy girls who love them.

      What has been your favorite part of writing The Walker Boys?
      My favorite part so far of writing The Walker Boys series is getting to know myself better as a writer through these diverse characters. I've written a really sweet southern gentleman (Jonah), a former ballerina (Quinn), a single dad (Reece), and a fun-loving girl (Lanie). Each one of them is a neat challenge, inspiring me to reach for the next level of storytelling.

      Did you always plan for this story to be a series? How did it take shape in your mind? In other words, what was your inspiration for it?
      Originally, AS YOU TURN AWAY was a standalone book. Jonah and Quinn were at the center, and I never even imagined any other books. Then Jonah had these two brothers who pretty much created themselves as I was writing, and suddenly I was adding them to scenes, and realizing that family is the heart and soul of this series. Now there are three planned companion books to AS YOU TURN AWAY, with a possible fourth featuring a side character.

      Book two will be coming out this year! So can you share anything with us your favorite line in book two to get us hyped about book three? ;)
      My favorite line from AS YOU BREATHE AGAIN is from the scene where Reece sees Lanie for the first time since AS YOU TURN AWAY. This strong, fierce guy just turns into a marshmallow over her, as you'll see:
       She reached out a hand and wove her fingers between his, tugging him closer.
      And that was all it took. One touch, and he couldn’t have said if he was standing on solid ground or shifting sand. Each heartbeat was a kaleidoscope, twisting his emotions, turning his view, until it all stopped, centering on her.
      His gravity. 
       
      What is the most interesting thing you have Googled in the name of research?
      Some writers get really awesomely scandalous with their Google searches. My most interesting one was probably either about ballet or about cattle sales. All in the name of writing books set in the South, eh?

      What is one series you would recommend to readers?
      Oh man, just one? Can I cheat a little and break it down into New Adult and Young Adult? For NA, I'd recommend Cora Carmack's Rusk University series, becauses it's everything I love about New Adult (romance!) with everything I want *from* New Adult (Serious Life Questions, Being An Adult, Not Knowing What Being An Adult Is). For YA, I'd have to go with Stephanie Perkins ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS and the companions, because Stephanie perfectly captures the tension and romance and scariness of being a young adult.

      Thor, Iron Man, or Captain America? GO!
      CAP CAP CAP. There is no question there. :D
      __________________________________________________________________________________
      __________________________________________________________________________________

      Giveaway!

      Molli is awesome enough to be giving away a $10 B&N or Amazon gift card. This will be the winner's choice!

      All entrants must be 13 years or older and this giveaway is to the US only.

      a Rafflecopter giveaway
      __________________________________________________________________________________

      It is not too late to join the fun as we celebrate our favorite series and welcome new ones! Sign up for Summer of Series and knock down that TBR! 

      And, of course, be sure to stop by Danielle's blog! The amazing Amy Plum will be stopping by there!

      Summer of Sarah Dessen: Keeping the Moon

      Penguin is allowing us to spend our summer with Sarah Dessen, and I am so happy to be part of their summer-long blog tour celebrating her works!

      Publication Date: June 2012 (this edition)
      Publisher: Speak
      Reading Level: Young Adult
      Pages: 228 (paperback)
      Source: From Publisher For Review
      Never underestimate the power of friendship.

      When Colie goes to spend the summer at the beach, she doesn't expect much.

      But Colie didn't count on meeting Morgan and Isabel.

      Through them, she learns what true friendship is all about, and finally starts to realize her potential.

      And that just might open the door to her first chance at love...
      ~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

      This book may be short, but it packs a whole lot of heart. When you're looking for a beautiful story of self-discovery, you know Dessen will always do the trick. All I can say is that I'm so thankful she's written this book, one of her ultimate favorites because of how important Colie's journey is.

      Colie is spending the summer at the beach with her aunt Mira while her mother, famed fitness guru Kiki Sparks, tours Europe without her. Once they had nothing, now they have everything they could ever want and the skinny bodies that eluded them years before, but that doesn't mean Colie is happy. In fact, she's the most unhappy she's ever been despite her mother's success. This is her story of finding herself.

      I think the best thing about this book is how relatable Colie is. I mean, it's a little ridiculous how much I understand her. I may not go about discovering myself by dying my hair or getting a lip piercing (my parents would kill me!), but I understand her and her struggles. Knowing that you have done everything in your power to make yourself be happy and fix what you perceived as your flaws, but still allowing others to hurt you is something I (and many other young adults) understand. Furthermore, being sensitive and taking all insults to heart instead of allowing them to be easily brushed off is something that I can relate to as well. Words are powerful weapons, and they hurt even when you don't want them to. Colie understands that and easily depicts something I've struggled with overcoming for a very long time by allowing her low self-esteem rule her life, but watching her begin to have more confidence in herself thanks to a waitress job, of all things, was super uplifting. And, like her, I eventually found my way, too.

      This story is also lovely because of the friendships in it. I can't tell you how much this story depicts crazy awesome friends...the ones that'll do anything for each other and are undeniably loyal until the very end. Friends can fight and pick up the pieces and forget it ever happened, and they can also take turns blasting terrible music while they sit outside and talk for hours. They are there to cheer you up even if they have funny ways of showing it, and they support you simply because you are you and they love you. The friends that Colie makes in this book thanks to her summer job at the local diner down the road are perfect. They are unique and crazy, sometimes a little rude (part of their charm!), but honest and loving. And I really like that about them. It's made all the more awesome by the fact that Dessen apparently based this aspect of her story after working at a burrito shack herself and using it as a way to come out of her shell and discover amazing friendships.

      But, the biggest take away of this story is acceptance. Accepting yourself and being proud of who you are, accepting the weird quirks that those close to you have and indulging them with a huge smile on your face, accepting that some people simply will not change but that some people will. And, most importantly, accepting that you deserve to be happy, even if the people making you happy aren't what you imagined they would be in the past. Live in the present and roll with it with a huge smile on your face. If anything, that's what Colie's story has reminded me and will teach other younger readers as Dessen's novels continue to be a main staple in any YA reader's life.

      All I've gotta say is thank heavens for Sarah Dessen!
       
      4 stars

      ~*~Links~*~

      FTC Disclaimer: I received no compensation of any kind in exchange for my honest review.

      Summer of Series: Mike Mullin Interview & Giveaway

      I am so excited to welcome Mile Mullin to the blog today for Summer of Series!

      Sunrise
      third in the Ashfall series
      Published April 15, 2015 by Tanglewood Press
      Add to Goodreads
      The Yellowstone supervolcano nearly wiped out the human race. Now, almost a year after the eruption, the survivors seem determined to finish the job. Communities wage war on each other, gangs of cannibals roam the countryside, and what little government survived the eruption has collapsed completely. The ham radio has gone silent. Sickness, cold, and starvation are the survivors' constant companions.

      When it becomes apparent that their home is no longer safe and adults are not facing the stark realities, Alex and Darla must create a community that can survive the ongoing disaster, an almost impossible task requiring even more guts and more smarts than ever — and unthinkable sacrifice. If they fail . . . they, their loved ones, and the few remaining survivors will perish.

      This epic finale has the heart of Ashfall, the action of Ashen Winter, and a depth all its own, examining questions of responsibility and bravery, civilization and society, illuminated by the story of an unshakable love that transcends a post-apocalyptic world and even life itself.
      Describe the Ashfall trilogy in a tweet! 140 characters or less. No cheating or the Twitter Gods are going to get you.
      Alex struggles to survive and find his purpose in life after the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, plunging the world into an epic disaster.

      What has been your favorite part of writing your series?
      Favorite moment? Opening the box of printed hardbacks of ASHFALL and seeing my name on the covers. It’s an amazing feeling to see something I labored over for three years in a tangible form. Favorite ongoing moments? The letters I get from people who get turned on to reading thanks to the ASHFALL series. Wives sometimes write me that my books got their husbands reading. I’ve gotten emails from teenagers who haven’t read a book during their whole high school career but were sucked into ASHFALL. Perhaps the most touching letter was from a juvenile delinquent who credited my books and visit to his detention center with helping him get back on the right track. Reading opens whole new worlds to us, and I’m honored to have a small world in making those worlds available to more people.

      Favorite actual writing moments? When something weird I didn’t plan for comes out of my fingers when I sit down to type in the morning. I’m a plotter--I plan my books out ahead of time. But if I have a wild idea, I’ll go with it. Often the unplanned, spontaneous writing is my very best stuff. Chapters 37 and 38 of ASHFALL came into being that way as did page 253 of SUNRISE.

      Writing a three-book series, what has your planning process looked like? Did you plot extensively and in advance?
      After I’d drafted about two-thirds of ASHFALL, I realized I had enough story for a trilogy. I took about a week off from drafting and outlined the whole trilogy. Then I worked from that outline for six years. Obviously some stuff changed along the way, but the ending scene of SUNRISE was more or less written before I even finished the first draft of ASHFALL.

      Now that the series is completed, can you tell us anything about what you're currently working on?
      I’m waiting for another round of feedback from my critique group on SURFACE TENSION, a young adult thriller. As soon as that’s finished, I’ll resume work drafting ASHFALL #4. Yes, there’s going to be a fourth ASHFALL book! I wasn’t planning on writing more, but I had a great idea for a fourth book, and the first three are selling well, so why not?

      What is the most interesting thing you have Googled in the name of research?
      For SUNRISE I Googled something like, “Is it really possible to make a bomb out of poop?” I think I actually used the word “manure.” I got the idea from a game I used to play, Crusader Kings 2. And yes, it’s a real thing. The poop bomb that Ben designs in SUNRISE would probably work about the way I describe it in the book.

      What is one series you would recommend to readers?
      I only get one? I have to go with Harry Potter then. The books are wonderfully entertaining, but so deep and well-crafted that hundreds of years from now, we’ll be studying Rowling the same way people study Shakespeare today.

      Thor, Iron Man, or Captain America? GO!
      Thor. I like big hammers. And Chris Helmsworth is not exactly hard on the eyes.
      __________________________________________________________________________________

      Meet the author!

      Mike Mullin’s first job was scraping the gum off the undersides of desks at his high school. From there, things went steadily downhill. He almost got fired by the owner of a bookstore due to his poor taste in  earrings. He worked at a place that showed slides of poopy diapers during lunch (it did cut down on the cafeteria budget). The hazing process at the next company included eating live termites raised by the resident entomologist, so that didn’t last long either. For a while Mike juggled bottles at a wine shop, sometimes to disastrous effect. Oh, and then there was the job where swarms of wasps occasionally tried to chase him off ladders. So he’s really glad this writing thing seems to be working out.

      Mike holds a black belt in Songahm Taekwondo. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife and her three cats. Sunrise is his third novel.  Ashfall, the first novel of the trilogy, was named one of the top five young adult novels of 2011 by National Public Radio, a Best Teen Book of 2011 by Kirkus Reviews, and a New Voices selection by the American Booksellers Association.
      __________________________________________________________________________________

      Giveaway!

      Mike is so great! He is offering up an ARC of SUNRISE, book three, for a giveaway!

      All entrants must be 13 years or older and this giveaway is to the US only.

      a Rafflecopter giveaway
      __________________________________________________________________________________

      It is not too late to join the fun as we celebrate our favorite series and welcome new ones! Sign up for Summer of Series and knock down that TBR! 

      And, of course, be sure to stop by Danielle's blog! The wickedly talented Miranda Kenneally is on her blog today!

      The Intern Diaries: Oxford, you say?

      The Intern Diaries is a meme created here at Lili's Reflections to share my thoughts, opinions, experiences, and what I have learned as an industry intern with my readers and those also interested in interning one day. Do not hesitate to comment with any questions! They will often get answered in posts if I am allowed to do so. Some things do have to remain private, you know?

      ~*~*~*~

      Last Tuesday I started my new internship at Oxford, hereby referred to as OUP. It's kind of crazy awesome. I didn't realize just how competitive it was until we had our intern orientation with HR and they gave us some numbers that were simultaneously shocking and exhilarating and made me super proud of myself as an intern and someone wanting to enter the industry one day.

      Guys. I am working for Oxford English Dictionaries!!!!! 

      How do I wrap my head around that?! Answer: I probably never really will.

      My official title is the Editorial Intern for the Dictionaries Department, focusing on their digital databases. This means I am working more with the ODO (Oxford dictionaries online) instead of the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) because, well, you have to be a dictionary editor with a huge knowledge of linguistics and etymology to do that. And while I find etymology to be super interesting, I am nowhere near the proper level to ever even touch a new entry into the dictionary. Instead I can just go into the OED databases and watch while new words are added and new definitions are updated to be changed with the times, and the entire process of hunting down such information is super interesting in itself.

      This Summer is going to be very different from anything else I have ever experienced because I have made the transition to scholarly publishing for the next 10 weeks. Some of my long term projects include helping to set up a spelling bee, working on the Word of the Year campaign, creating content for the official ODO blog (which is so much fun! I will definitely be noting when my articles go live!), researching word lists for various reasons, and restructuring and fixing up the grammar guides on the ODO website.

      In other words, I am in one of OUP's few paid positions, and I am getting paid to blog and to explore words and tinker on their website while I get to discover fun words like "gerrymander" and the fact that "doorjamb" is not properly in the dictionary just yet. And though it is very different from anything else I've ever done, I am having a blast while I gain a new respect for words and new knowledge about a very different side of the industry.

      And, as always, I can't wait to share certain aspects of my experiences with all of you.

      Bonus: My bosses are the sweetest, and prove that this movie is insane.
      What aspects of this internship experience would you be curious about? Do you think this internship sounds interesting? What is your favorite word?

      Summer of Series: Mary E. Pearson Interview & Giveaway

      I love Mary E. Pearson's books and I am fangirling so hard because she's on the blog today!

      The Heart of Betrayal
      second in The Remnant Chronicles series
      To be published June 7, 2015 by Henry Holt & Co
      Add to Goodreads
      Intrigue abounds in this hotly anticipated sequel to The Kiss of Deception!

      Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save her life, Lia's erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar's interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

      Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: there's Rafe, who lied to Lia, but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be barbarians. Now that she lives amongst them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country... and her own destiny.

      Describe The Remnant Chronicles in a tweet! 140 characters or less. No cheating or the Twitter Gods are going to get you.
      Oh you cruel TweetMaster. Here it is--in exactly 140 characters:

      Princess refuses to marry unknown groom and bolts on wedding day. Prince and Assassin are in hot pursuit, but who is who? Deception abounds!

      What has been your favorite part of writing The Remnant Chronicles? I can honestly say my favorite part, as a reader, was being totally surprised to realize the identities of the prince and the assassin in book one.
      I loved writing the multiple viewpoints. It was fun to show how each character saw things from a slightly different viewpoint with their own limited information and the misunderstandings that could grow from that. I think that also gave the reader a chance to find empathy for each character--I hope!

      With the release of book two coming ever close, can you tell us anything about it?
      The Heart of Betrayal picks up right where The Kiss of Deception leaves off. Lia, Rafe, and Kaden cross the bridge into Venda and Lia discovers the kingdom of Venda is not quite what she expected. It is dangerous, complicated, and requires all of her energy and wit to stay alive--and keep Rafe alive too. Many want to see her dead, but there are a few who are fascinated with the enemy princess who is said to have the gift, and they might be the key to her survival. And then there's the Komizar who rules over it all . . . . He's not what she expected either.

      What are you currently working on?
      I am currently working on book 3, the final book of the series. Title yet to come!

      What is the most interesting thing you have Googled in the name of research?
      Well, some of my searches worry me a bit, because I have googled multiple ways to kill people including poison, and I have also googled different kinds of explosive materials. (I think all writers are on an FBI watch list ; ) But maybe the weirdest thing I have googled was the nutritional value of grubs. Yeah, those wiggly things on the forest floor. Ew. But hey, a girl's gotta eat, right?

      What is one series you would recommend to readers?
      One? Yes, this confirms it, you are a cruel taskmaster. I'll go with the last full series I finished which would be the His Fair Assassin series by Robin LaFevers. What is not to love about kick-ass nuns?

      Thor, Iron Man, or Captain America? GO!
      Thor is quite the hammer-wielding hunk, and Captain America sparkles when he smiles, but Iron Man has all kinds of sarcastic humor as he is saving the world. I'll take him.

      Thanks for the fun questions, Lili!
      Thank you so much for stopping by, Mary! I can't believe I got to interview you! <3

      __________________________________________________________________________________

      Meet the author!

      Mary E. Pearson is the award-winning author of The Jenna Fox Chronicles, The Miles Between, A Room on Lorelei, and Scribbler of Dreams.  She writes full-time from her home office in California where she lives with her husband and two golden retrievers.
      __________________________________________________________________________________

      Giveaway!

      Macmillan is awesome enough to host a crazy awesome giveaway! Unfortunately, I have a small bit of bad news. Remember that flood I tweeted about a few weeks ago? A tiny bit of the prize pack was severely damaged because apparently some things are not safe on the top of your bookshelf. But most has survived! So enter for a chance to win a Fierce Reads tote and an ARC of Heart of Betrayal! Neither are damaged, I promise! I removed the damaged item because it is now illegible :(

      All entrants must be 13 years or older and this giveaway is to the US only.

      a Rafflecopter giveaway
      __________________________________________________________________________________

      It is not too late to join the fun as we celebrate our favorite series and welcome new ones! Sign up for Summer of Series and knock down that TBR! 

      And, of course, be sure to stop by Danielle's blog! The amazing Anne Blankman is talking to her!

      Summer of Series: Dahlia Adler Interview & Giveaway

      Dahlia Adler is a great author friend of mine that I first met at a diner. I feasted on mac'n'cheese and she was all over the margaritas. I'm so excited to have her on the blog today!

      Under the Lights
      second in The Daylight Falls series
      To be published June 30, 2015 by Spencer Hill Contemporary
      Add to Goodreads
      Josh Chester loves being a Hollywood bad boy, coasting on his good looks, his parties, his parents' wealth, and the occasional modeling gig. But his laid-back lifestyle is about to change. To help out his best friend, Liam, he joins his hit teen TV show, Daylight Falls...opposite Vanessa Park, the one actor immune to his charms. (Not that he's trying to charm her, of course.) Meanwhile, his drama-queen mother blackmails him into a new family reality TV show, with Josh in the starring role. Now that he's in the spotlight—on everyone's terms but his own—Josh has to decide whether a life as a superstar is the one he really wants.

      Vanessa Park has always been certain about her path as an actor, despite her parents' disapproval. But with all her relationships currently in upheaval, she's painfully uncertain about everything else. When she meets her new career handler, Brianna, Van is relieved to have found someone she can rely on, now that her BFF, Ally, is at college across the country. But as feelings unexpectedly evolve beyond friendship, Van's life reaches a whole new level of confusing. And she'll have to choose between the one thing she's always loved...and the person she never imagined she could.

      Describe Daylight Falls in a tweet. 140 characters or less. No cheating or the Twitter gods are going to get you!
      Daylight Falls explores what it takes to forge something real and find yourself when you've grown up in an industry built on make-believe.
      (Please, like I'd ever risk the wrath of the Twitter gods)

      What has been your favorite part of writing Daylight Falls?
      Hands-down writing the romance between Vanessa and Brianna. I still can't get over how naturally it came together after struggling so much to write a romance for Van before I realized she was gay, and honestly, I love that in the end, she really took over the book, and Josh served her story rather than the other way around.

      Did you always plan for Daylight Falls to be a series? How did it take shape in your mind?
      Nope! I wrote Behind the Scenes as a standalone, but my very early readers loved Josh best out of everything in the book, and I made a joke to my editor about writing a Josh sequel. She asked me to write a real one, and that's how Under the Lights happened! So it's funny to me when people ask WTF Josh is doing there, because it was actually his book, and Van's the one who stole it. Originally it was a romance between Josh and this very "good," type A girl with a really dark past, but that so tremendously did not work. Van's POV was added because I didn't want Josh's to be alone - I thought his voice was way too strong in too specific a way to be an entire book - and my editor said that in-house, people were really interested in more Van. I was super nervous at that because I really didn't feel like I knew her, but it turns out, that's because she didn't know herself yet. She really came out both to me and to herself during the process, and once that happened, this book was alllll hers, and her friendship with Ally, the whole "first love" thing, and the ongoing conversation about race in Hollywood is what really ties the books together for me.

      Book two, Under the Lights, is coming out at the end of June. What can you tell us about it?
      I describe it as 50% YA Entourage, 50% f/f romance, and 100% about race, gender, and sexuality in Hollywood. It's a dual-POV with one half narrated by Josh Chester, a spoiled, straight white boy who literally has opportunities thrown into his lap from scene 1, does whatever the hell he wants, and always has the possibility of a plan B, and Vanessa Park, a Korean-American girl who's working her butt off as the lead on her TV show but is perpetually in fear that it's the last shot she'll ever get because it was pretty much a miracle she got it in the first place. Things get extra complicated for her when she falls for her publicist's intern, Brianna, because she has to decide whether finally having a genuine romance in her life is worth the added risk to her career and her relationship with her parents, both of which are decidedly tenuous. And for Josh, he's trying to figure out what place he really has in Hollywood when everyone else seems to be moving forward and finding a passion, and the only passion he's finding is...for a girl it turns out likes other girls.

      What is the most interesting thing you have Googled in the name of research?
      I fell into so many "research" rabbit holes when I was crafting Bri for Under the Lights, because I couldn't quite decide on her look for a while; I only knew she'd have cool hair and be into body modification. So I spent a lot of time looking at various tattoos and piercings and learning about so many options and styles I didn't even know existed. Like, you can get rows of piercings down your back and corset laces tattoos around them. I was just in awe. I ended up going fairly basic for her but in my mind, as soon as she makes a little more money, she's going all in for a bunch of this stuff.

      What is one series you would recommend to readers?
      The Ruby Oliver series by E. Lockhart. It's my favorite contemporary series, and I think it's just so smart - about girls, about relationships, about shaming, about therapy, about confidence... to me it's a contemporary must-read, and it's only four short books!

      Thor, Iron Man, or Captain America? GO!
      Ummm okay, confession, I have not read any of their comics or seen any of their movies. Thor is Chris Hemsworth though, right? So, Thor it is!
      Side note from Lili: This friendship is being seriously tested right now, Dahlia!
      __________________________________________________________________________________

      Meet the author!

      I'm an Associate Editor of mathematics by day, a Copy Editor by night, and I do a whole lot of writing at every spare moment in between. I've also been a Production Intern and Editorial Assistant at Simon & Schuster, a Publicity Intern at HarperCollins, and a Fashion Intern at Maxim. (I'm kind of into that whole publishing thing.)
      I'm the author of the Daylight Falls duology (consisting of Behind the Scenes and Under the Lights), the upcoming Just Visiting, and the NA novel Last Will and Testament. For information on those books and where you can buy them, check out My Books!
      I live in New York City with my husband and our overstuffed bookshelves, and you can find me on Twitter at @MissDahlELama and blogging at B&N Teens, The Daily Dahlia, and YA Misfits. Come say hi!
      __________________________________________________________________________________

      Giveaway!

      Dahlia is the sweetest! She is giving away a signed redesigned cover of Behind the Scenes.

      All entrants must be 13 years or older and this giveaway is to the US only.

      a Rafflecopter giveaway
      __________________________________________________________________________________

      It is not too late to join the fun as we celebrate our favorite series and welcome new ones! Sign up for Summer of Series and knock down that TBR! 

      And, of course, be sure to stop by Danielle's blog! You will find yourself captivated by Brighton Walsh!

      Review: Scorched by Jennifer L. Armentrout

      Series: Frigid #2
      Publication Date: June 16, 2015
      Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
      Reading Level: New Adult
      Pages: 320 (ARC)
      Source: BEA 2015
      Sometimes life leaves a mark…

      Most days, Andrea doesn’t know whether she wants to kiss Tanner or punch him in the gut. He is seriously hot, with legit bedroom eyes and that firefighter body of his, but he’s a major player, and they can’t get along for more than a handful of minutes. Until now.

      Tanner knows he and Andrea have had an epic love/hate relationship for as long as he can remember, but he wants more love than hate from her. He wants her. Now. Tomorrow. But the more he gets to know her, the more it becomes obvious that Andrea has a problem. She’s teetering on the edge and every time he tries to catch her, she slips through his fingers.

      Andrea’s life is spiraling out of control, and it doesn’t matter that Tanner wants to save her, because when everything falls apart and she’s speeding toward rock bottom, only she can save herself.

      Sometimes life makes you work for that happily ever after…
      ~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

      I was so excited to pick up this book at BEA! Its predecessor, Frigid, was one of my must-have books from my very first BEA. It's only right that I was equally if not more excited for its companion. And, I have to admit, between the two, I like this one more. This one has an air of realism to it that Frigid lacked in favor of setting of we-must-survive-together ambience thanks to a crazy person in the middle of the woods.

      Andrea is a firecracker and Tanner is a muscled up god with a heart. By now, I've learned that characters such as these are favored by JLA, and I can honestly admit that I am totally okay with this. Nobody can do wise-cracking girls that can stand up for themselves quite like JLA. And I am pretty sure she can make me fall in love with any of her leading men, even if they are huge assholes in the very beginning. Character arcs can be wondrous things, and JLA knows how to write a great (and sexy) character arc.

      As always, I have to talk about the romance because, I mean, it's JLA here. Let's be honest...this book was hot with a capital H. I blazed through it because, wow, those sexy scenes were sexy. But what I love about JLA is while she delivers a passionate romance, she also finds a way to develop plot instead of allowing the sex to disrupt the flow of the story. Not only does it make sense for our characters, but it makes sense at their point in the relationship and in the context of the book's timeline. Which, in the end, makes it even more enjoyable. 

      But there's something more important than the romance in this one, and that's the way that JLA chose to tackle binge-drinking and alcoholism. I think it's very important to recognize when an author uses their humongous platform to raise awareness about any kind of issue out there be it racism, religious issues, sexism, substance abuse, physical abuse, violence, sexual abuse, etc. I was not expecting this book to have a plot-line related to alcoholism, let alone for it to explore it so well. The creation of such an addiction, what being inside one's mind is like, how hard it is to overcome it and how vulnerable someone has to be to get to the point of admitting they have a problem...JLA did it so well and made it all the more better by the fact that there was a killer love interest to help the character through their struggles. There are people out there that are willing to stand by your side to hell and back, you just have to find them. Because of this, this novel turns into a story of redemption born from absolute despair and with a spark of hope, and it is so so worth reading.

      Sometimes life throws a lot of obstacles in the way of your happily ever after, but with an author like JLA you know the journey will be worth it. Also, it'll probably be sexy, too. Always a good thing.

      3.75 stars

      ~*~Links~*~

      Stacking the Shelves #100

      Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

      I cannot believe I have hit 100 of these! And, in retrospect, I can't believe it's taken me, like, three weeks to do one of these! This is everything I have received since the week before BEA that is not BEA related. Here it goes!

      Trades (Thank you, everyone!)
      Uprooted by Naomi Novik
      A Darker Shade of Magic (UK edition) by V.E. Schwab
      Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
      Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
      Mosquitoland by David Arnold
      Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

      From Publisher For Review
      Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen (Thank you, Penguin!)
      Armada by Ernest Kline (Thank you, Crown!) 

      Bought
      Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed
      Won
      The Dirty Boys of Summer Boxed eSet (Thank you The Book Cellar)
      This has 16 full-length new adult stories in it from Julie Cross, K.B. Ritchie, and so many more!

      I think the giveaway win is crazy awesome! 16 eBooks in one! What!!! Plus, look at that cover! Anyway, have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? Let me know your thoughts!

      Summer of Series: Melinda Salisbury Interview & Giveaway


      Melinda Salisbury's debut novel entitled The Sin Eater's Daughter absolutely rocked my socks off. I adored it, and I am so excited to have her here on the blog to talk about her works!

      The Sin Eater's Daughter
      first in The Sin Eater's Daughter series
      Published February 24, 2015 by Scholastic
      Add to Goodreads
      I am the perfect weapon.
      I kill with a single touch.

      Twylla is blessed. The Gods have chosen her to marry a prince, and rule the kingdom. But the favour of the Gods has it's price. A deadly poison infuses her skin. Those who anger the queen must die under Twylla's fatal touch.

      Only Lief, an outspoken new guard, can see past Twylla's chilling role to the girls she truly is.

      Yet in a court as dangerous and the queen's, some truths should not be told...
      Describe The Sin Eater's Daughter in a tweet! 140 characters or less. No cheating or the Twitter Gods are going to get you.
      Executioner of traitors. Betrothed of a Prince. Embodiment of a Goddess. Puppet of mad queen. Take away her duty and what does Twylla have?

      What has been your favorite part of writing The Sin Eater's Daughter?
      It changes every time I begin a new part! So, at first, it was the original writing: the world building, and getting to know the characters. I loved seeing it all develop, seeing the pencil sketches from my head become full-colour versions, and start to breathe and live on their own. Then I started editing, and I loved teasing out all of the little parts and playing with the scenarios and expanding on what was there. But now I love the marketing side of things, and getting to do events, and interviews, and meeting people who like the book. I’m quite fickle, every time I begin a new part I fall in love with it.

      Did you always plan for The Sin Eater's Daughter to be a series? How did it take shape in your mind? In other words, what was your inspiration?
      Yes, though originally I planned it over four books, not three. I realised as I started writing that it would work better as a trilogy, so I began to factor that into the writing. The whole story arc has a definitive beginning, middle and end, and that naturally lends itself more to a trilogy. Though I have written short stories, based in and around the world, and maybe one day readers might get to see them too.

      As for how it took shape, I knew I wanted to write the story with different kinds of characters to the ones we often see. I wanted characters who had real flaws – not the shiny, almost desirable flaws we see so often – I wanted characters who were cowards, and naïve, and selfish, and cruel, without being the “baddies”. I wanted characters who didn’t always have the perfect comeback, and were insecure and frightened and weak. Mostly, I wanted to show that there are different ways to be brave, and to be strong. Sometimes being brave means picking up a sword and fighting, but sometimes the bravest thing a person can do is keep their head down and just survive. Sometimes being brave means bending under a great weight and not snapping, just making it through another day. It’s not often represented, but it should be.

      There seems to be this horrible tendency to blame victims for not getting themselves out of terrible situations, and I decided to confront that, and to show what it’s like to live in an environment of terror and how much it takes, and costs, to try and confront that and escape it. It all started with Twylla, this young woman who has been emotionally abused, and manipulated her entire life, and it went from there, introducing a lot of darkness and cruelty, but also hope, along the way. Her situation and the life I envisioned for her naturally lent itself to the kinds of deeper social issues I wanted to explore.

      The entire world is currently anticipating the release of book 2. Can you tell us anything about it?!
      I can tell you that it’s set in Tregellan, and is based around a new character, and their life and the challenges they face in the aftermath of The Sin Eater’s Daughter. There is more danger, more treachery, and more death; we’ve said goodbye to some characters and we’ll say hello to some other new ones. It’s always been an uncertain world, and it continues to be so. What happened in The Sin Eater’s Daughter set off a chain of events that reaches far across the realm, and things are changing for everyone.

      What is the most interesting thing you have Googled in the name of research?
      Sin Eating itself. Before I knew I was going to use it in a book, I couldn’t stop looking it up. It’s so creepy and fascinating and archaic. It’s so strange to me, the whole concept of the absolution of soul, because another soul has taken on that sin. I don’t think I’ll ever stop being fascinated with it. 

      What is one series you would recommend to readers? 
      Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy. I love it so, so much. I’ve re-read all three books multiple times. I love the world, and the darkness, and the horror, and the hope. It’s like nothing I’ve ever read before, so deep and complex but without delving into the unrealistic – all of the characters are genuinely flawed, not just in the nice, acceptable way. People make bad decisions and really suffer for them, there are no easy answers, no convenient hidden destinies that explain everything. It’s so believable, and palpable. AND THE BOYS. Bring me the Darkling! Let me snuggle with Mal. GIVE ME NIKOLAI LANTSOV AND LET HIM LOVE ME FOREVER. They’re swoony and magical and always, always a pleasure to re-read. I’m so excited for Six of Crows I feel almost sick about it.

      Thor, Iron Man, or Captain America? GO!
      Thor. Because he’s an Asgardian dreamcake of a man. And he’s Loki’s brother.

      Bear with me…

      So I’ve been set up on a date with Thor, and we’re getting along like a house on fire, but none of the sparks are romantic. We’re both eating and drinking like Vikings after an incredibly successful raid; big booming belly laughs and a lot of joshing. We’re having a fun evening and we both know we’re going to be great friends (and eat a lot together) from this moment on. Halfway through the meal, he goes off to the bathroom, and when he comes back, he suggests we leave and go somewhere else. I agree, and we go.

      PLOT TWIST:

      Bored, Loki was spying on his brother and saw us having a good time, wrongly assuming it meant love was in the air. Deciding to play a (pretty mean) trick (Classic Loki) he shifted in Thor’s form and persuaded me to leave the restaurant with him, hoping to make it seem as though I’d ran off. Loki’s plan is to have some drinks, flirt with me, then tell me he (as Thor) isn’t interested and it was all a joke to him. But to his amazement, he starts to have a good time, because as well as being good at eating and belly laughs, I’m also sharp-witted, wry, and more-than-a-little-mischievous myself. We drink ridiculously coloured cocktails at a terribly pretentious bar, making up increasingly dramatic and weird stories about the patrons.

      When the death stares at our glee become too much, we leave and dare each other to go urban exploring, breaking into a conveniently nearby old abandoned hospital, and spend a couple of hours exploring and chatting and I realise I like this strange, mercurial man, who was so jolly in the brightly lit restaurant, but alluringly sly and wicked in the shadows of the dark hospital corridors. Things take a turn when we narrowly escape getting caught trespassing by the police, and have to hide. Crammed in an old utility closet, we’re pressed chest to chest, trying to slow our breathing, praying the police don’t catch us.

      When we stumble out of the closet, things are weirdly charged, changed, and we’re both silent. He walks me home, and leaves abruptly.

      Until I check my phone and see all of the messages from Thor, angry, then worried. I call him and we realise it was Loki. Then I’m angry, and confused, because I liked him, but what he did was mean, in a lot of ways. When the door knocks I expect it to be Thor, also angry, and probably hungry (hangry) and I grab my jacket, ready to go get some food and rant about his brother.

      It’s Loki, in his own form. And he’s sorry. I don’t want to talk, but he begs. From behind his back he pulls a paper bag, and I can smell the chicken wings inside it.

      The sneaky little…

      I step outside and he hands me the bag. I eat in silence as he apologises, over and over. Finally, when I’ve sucked the bones clean, I tell him he can never do anything like that to me again, even in fun, because it’s playing jokes is cool, but playing with feelings is bad form. He agrees, then asks if he can take me out properly the next night. I say yes.

      Five years later we’re married, and we’re ruling the entire galaxy because we are boss level. And he never did trick me again.

      That I know of.

      Side note from Lili: THIS ANSWER JUST BLOWS MY FREAKING MIND! YEEESSSS!!!!
      __________________________________________________________________________________

      Meet the author!


      Website | Twitter
      Melinda Salisbury lives by the sea, somewhere in the south of England. As a child she genuinely thought Roald Dahl’s Matilda was her biography, in part helped by her grandfather often mistakenly calling her Matilda, and the local library having a pretty cavalier attitude to the books she borrowed. Sadly she never manifested telekinetic powers. She likes to travel, and have adventures. She also likes medieval castles, non-medieval aquariums, Richard III, and all things Scandinavian. The Sin Eater’s Daughter is her first novel, and will be published by Scholastic in 2015. She is represented by the amazing Claire Wilson at Rogers, Coleridge and White.

      She tweets. A lot.

      __________________________________________________________________________________

      Giveaway!

      Melinda is so amazing! She is giving away a signed hardcover of The Sin Eater's Daughter US edition hardcover.

      All entrants must be 13 years or older and this giveaway is internationally.

      a Rafflecopter giveaway
      __________________________________________________________________________________

      It is not too late to join the fun as we celebrate our favorite series and welcome new ones! Sign up for Summer of Series and knock down that TBR! 

      And, of course, be sure to stop by Danielle's blog! The amazing goddess, I mean author, Jodi Meadows is over there talking about all things fantastastical with her awesome books.