Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 Goals and the Mantra of Spread the Love

Like I do every year, as well with my other blog post which I will thank Gala Darling for the inspiration, here are the questions I asked myself as a reflection of this year and writing of my 2017 goals.

1. What am I bored of?
2. What do I want more of?
3. What can I let go of?
4. What would give me peace of mind?
5. What am I devoted to?

Here are my personal answers.

1: I am bored of being taken for granted and not loved. I am bored of being neglected. Yes there were plenty of times throughout 2016 that my paranoia got the best of me as well as my insecurities which made me co-dependent but I was only reacting to the way I was being treated. I am also bored of not standing my ground and standing up for what I believe in as well as my owning my feelings. Also I am still bored of checking my Facebook to see if what I have posted or shared have been seen or commented on. I need to employ the fuck it attitude back into my life and enjoy myself more. I am also bored that I haven't taken care of me as much as I should, my insides and outsides, and committing to self-care as a practice that's necessary to me and people I care about. Oh, and I am bored with feeling guilty about it.

2: I want more love. Simple as that. More love, more positivity, more spontaneity, more appreciation, more deep joy, more nourishment. If it is toxic -- it has to go. If it brings me down, it has to go. I also will give myself permission to feel good. I don't need to earn the right to feel joy and there isn't a "joy authority" out there, with a checklist of what I must do before I can feel happier. I am enough, right now, just as I am.

3: I can let go of toxicity and negativity which I have and will continue to do so. Also I need to let go on trying so hard with people and that sometimes I need to learn to say no and that if I am having my own issues; that I can not be there 24/7 and it is perfectly okay for me to be selfish about my own self care. It also works both ways -- if I am having my own issues, which I do, I need to know that I can depend upon my friends and believe me I do know who is there for me.

4: Like 2015 and 2016 -- I think learning that just because my friends or family do not message or text or call me all the time does not mean that they do not love me. That will give me peace of mind. For some strange unbeknown reasons, I got it into my head that unless my phone is "blowing up", that I am not loved. Things/shit happen to people all the time. As long as I hear from them, I should be fine. The only thing I will say is that I am tired of the constant initiation I need to do or the lack of attention I receive. If I took the time out to send you a message say hello, get back to me somehow. Do not leave me hanging. That is a pet peeve of mine. Also, It's OK to walk away sometimes. Not everything is supposed to work out.

5: I am devoted to taking care of myself and to loving myself more. I need to treat myself how I treat my lovers. Kindness is a practice. I will get better the more I do it. Don't beat myself up if sometimes it doesn't come easily. Just keep practicing. I will sprinkle joy as often as I possibly can. Invest in and cherish the experiences that bring you joy.

With that being said, here are my 2017 goals. I do not say "resolutions" as I feel that word already will lead me into failure world.

Dani’s 2017(Two Thousand and Lovin’!) Goals

Starting: January 1, 2017
Ending: December 31, 2017

1. Read 60 books (0/60)
2. Watch 100 movies (0/100)
3. Invest in myself more.
4. Stop caring about what other people think.
5. Make more time for the right people.
6. Make less time for the wrong people.
7. Give myself more of a break.
8. Live more in the present. Don’t fuss over what might never happen.
9. Don’t try so hard with people.
10. Make the time and effort for those who truly matter.
11. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.
12 Keep a year of memories/positive jar. Write down every time something happens to me that makes me feel good — a friendly comment, a gift I get, unexpected luck, etc. At the end of the year I will have a journal of positivity and happy memories.

13. Complete a A-Z Author Challenge.
14. Attend 5 concerts (0/5)
15. Attend 15 professional wrestling shows -- either independent or WWE.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Lets End 2016 On A High Note

Lets face it my dear readers -- 2016 sucked. It was stocked with many moments of dread, horror, and outrage that affected all of us as a collective. Most of us are in a daze, feeling completely overwhelmed, and for certain feel that 2016 was a travesty. I am so looking forward to throwing away my old calendars as soon as the clock and ball drop at midnight but before I do -- I read this great article from my radical self love guru Gala Darling which encouraged me to take a step back and look at the year for what it truly was. Nothing is wholly bad or perfect and therefore many bright spots in my year. In her article, she asked 10 questions and below are my answers for them. But first a quote from another inspiration of mine -- Sophia Loren: “It is a good reason to talk to yourself, to ask yourself what you have been doing, what you are doing and what you will do. Girls who can’t go off and talk to themselves stay girls and never become women. Women who can’t take stock turn to drink, take pills or worse, but I can take stock. I can send for the bill of life and add it up too. If I ever feel depressed I consider what I have done and what I have accomplished — starting from nothing and arriving now with so much happiness.”

The truth is -- most of 2016 I was either living in a circle of drama, walking on eggshells with a lot of people, or going on autopilot. I think is why I am in crisis mode a lot of the time nowadays -- I haven’t been continually assessing, planning, and course-correcting. However, I am trying to change that by looking at honestly at what’s going on and make adjustments, then making sure where I will end up and where I want to go. So with the being said...lets get on to the question and answer portion of this latest blog.

1. Definitely one of my top five moment of the year was finally being promoted to a full fledged teaching position. I do not have my own class per say but I am finally get paid the right salary for all of the hard work I have done and will continue to do for the future of America.

2. Creating a tighter and more close knit bond with Veronica. She is simply amazing. There are so many things I could say about her but she knows how I feel. Also getting to meet my new nephew was a big moment.

3. Getting into the band Postmodern Jukebox and seeing them live in Radio City Music Hall. It brought out the creative muses in me.

4. Getting back into what I enjoy, especially independent wrestling. I stopped going to independent shows in 2013 simply because no one wanted to go with me or no one had an interest. That should have never stopped me. I learned and experienced Pro Wrestling Magic and brought myself back to Ring of Honor and Jersey All Pro Wrestling and I was in my element and glory. I must never forsake myself again.

5. The announcement of Nerd Herders Radio returning to the air on Filling the Void network. I missed giving book recommendations and talking about books. I can not wait to get back to saying The Book is Better!

--Even though it took a lot of waking up and a lot of getting my head out of my ass and realizing that I was, essentially, having battered woman syndrome without the visible bruises -- my relationship of 2 years with the man I thought was "the one". There were many red flags, many issues, many problems, and I tried my best to make it work but relationships are 50/50 and he wasn't putting his end of the bargain into it and I, in turn, became a paranoid codependent insecure person who again completely forgot herself. Now I am not going to say the demise of the relationship was all of his fault, I had my faults as well, but I was only reacting on how he was acting. I do wish that he is happy and that he has a good life.

--Well physically, I cut my hair. That is something I did after my relationship was ended, sort of a cleansing in a way. Got that man out of my hair to be so cliche. Emotionally, well that is a different story. Most of 2016 I was a beat puppy who didn't stand up for herself, didn't stand up for what she believed in, forgot about my interests and hobbies, and overall was not glowing and was not the "Dani" that everyone I know grew to love. Now I am making sure to stick to my guns on certain things, being more open and spontaneous, and smiling.

--I do not think so but will ask around to be sure.

--From talking with Veronica and other people I have changed my perspective on how to be with people. I must not try so hard. Also that relationships are 50/50 and I should have never lost the sense of who I am.

From nerdy bff's to people who bring the law when I need a heavy hit -- those are the people that really came through for me this year. Granted I bet that they all want to bash me upside my head for not thinking clearly and ignoring their advice or just plain ignoring all the red flags and signs. But for them, I am eternally grateful for bringing me back to ormal.

--Heavy drinking that leads to alcoholism. I really should have stuck to my guns on how I will not date someone who is a heavy drinker. My family has a history of alcoholism and I have seen the unfortunate repercussions of it. Having one drink at dinner is fine, but visibly intoxicated to the point of being verbally abused in public, yeah, will not stand for that anymore. Also I will not put in all of the effort into something and get nothing in return. Whats the point?

--What old bullshit did I let go of: That in order for me to be in love and in a relationship, I must change to fit them. NO. A relationship should be the joining together of two souls; not the mishmash of two people to form one collective. We should be compliments of one another, make each other stronger and better and spread the love. Not beat each other down unto submission.

--It will sound weird, but my relationship that ended. It supported how strong I can be, how supportive I can be, how caring I can be. It also provided me the strength that I needed to walk away from toxicity.

--That he isn't worth it and that I deserve so much better in my life. That this isn't love -- this is abuse and narcissism. Get out and focus on yourself for a while.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

What Book Releases in 2017 Am I Excited About?

With the beginning of the new year -- so begins my reading goal! Every year I have a reading goal of reading 52 books in a year which equates to one a book a week. Lets up the ante this year, lets go for 60! That's right -- I will read 60 books by the end of 2017. Plus with the return of Nerd Herders Radio on Filling the Void network, I must get back into my book recommendation game because as we all know -- THE BOOK IS BETTER.

With that being said, here are the book releases in 2017 that I am most excited about.

This is the third book in Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses series. Feyre returns to the Spring Court to plan the next step in seeking Tamlin’s maneuvers. But this means partaking in a deadly game of deceit that could end terribly, which means she must be careful in who she trusts. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas is set to be released on May 2, 2017 thus giving me enough time to catch up!

In this Phantom of the Opera retelling, Rune is cursed by her own voice and is sent by her mother to a Paris music conservatory that was once an opera house. But once she arrives, she discovers strange and unworldly happenings. This had me at Phantom of the Opera and Paris. Roseblood by A.G.Howard is set to be released on January 10, 2017

Another series that has grabbed me. I don’t know much about this release just yet, but it’s the third book in Kaufman and Kristoff’s Illuminae series taking place on the planet of Kerenza following Kady and Ezra after the result of an invasion and deadly plague outbreak. Illuminae Files #3 (Title Forthcoming) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff is set to be released sometime in 2017.

In what I thought was a stand alone novel...I was wrong. This sequel to This Savage Song continues the Kate and August story. Kate, a monster hunter, must defeat a monster with abilities to bring out its victims’ inner demons while on the brink of war between both humans and monsters. Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab is set to be released on June 13, 2017 thus giving me enough time again to read the first book!

Just when I think a book that I enjoyed this year was just going to be a stand alone....well here comes the sequel! The second book in this time-traveling adventure tale (Passenger is the first book) continues to follow Etta, who unwillingly traveled through time to find herself prisoner on a ship. But while Nicolas and Sophie search for Etta through time, she engages in a dangerous alliance with Julian Ironwood. Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken is set to be released on January 5, 2017.

The first book in this series, Three Dark Crowns, has been on the pulse of the Instagram and BookTube circuit for the past couple of months. It is rightfully so to be on the pulse. The second book in the Three Dark Crowns in which three siblings who possess great abilities must fight each other in a life-or-death game for the royal crown. One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake, which is the sequel, is set to be released on September 20, 2017 which, I have said before, gives me plenty of time to read the first book!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Countdown to Christmas/Advent Calendar 2016

Besides Halloween, I will admit I still get excited for Christmas time. Things just seem to be more magical in the month of December. Now this year has been extremely hard -- from the numerous deaths of legends that have impacted my life in some way to another heartbreak when I thought time and time again that I found the one only to realize I was blinded. I think this years calendar -- time to go big or go home! Lets bring some fun to the end of the year! For the fifth year in a row, I am doing an activities Advent Calendar to count down to Christmas after reading some great articles online about it. I am big on traditions so here is an outline. Most of the things will be done either by myself, with friends, or with my family. Also, just because there is a date attached does not mean it will happen on that date -- it is more of a checklist.

November 25th: Go see the movie Fantastic Beasts(Done!)/Binge watch Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life on Netflix(Done!)
November 26th Watch A Charlie Brown Christmas (Done!)
November 27th: Gather clothes and bring to The Bowery Mission. (Done!)
November 28th: Make Christmas mix CD for friends (Done!)
November 29th: Get holiday cards. (Done!)
November 30th: Wear mistletoe headband. (Done!)
December 1st: Watch the movie Scrooged. (Done!)
December 2nd: Attend Ring of Honor Wrestling "Final Battle" at the Hammerstein Ballroom (Done and I have not marked out so much ever.)
December 3rd: Wear Christmas ornament earrings, get some hot chocolate at Hu Kitchen & walk around Union Square holiday market. (Done! Crowded this year as there are a lot more food places but it is all good.)
December 4th: Watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (Done!)
December 5th: Start writing out holiday cards. (Done!)
December 6th: Get a holiday inspired manicure. Make sure one nail is sparkly! (Done!)
December 7th: Watch A Nightmare Before Christmas.
December 8th: Watch Die Hard (Done!)
December 9th: Mail holiday cards (Done!)
December 10th: Watch He-Man & She-Ra A Christmas Special/Attend the Disney holiday themed party with the Geek Girl Brunch NYC (Done and it was a magical time!)
December 11th: Get a holiday inspired candle from Bath and Body Works.
December 12th: Make Star Wars themed Christmas ornaments. (Done!)
December 13th: Go watch some ice skaters in Bryant Park. (Done!)
December 14th: Cozy up in some pajamas and watch the Pee Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special.
December 15th: Take a stroll along 5th Avenue and look at the holiday windows. (Done!)
December 16th: Attend my schools Christmas concert. (Done!)
December 17th: Go see the movie Star Wars: Rogue One (Done!)/Attend Game Changer Wrestling "Deck the Halls with Ultraviolence"(Done!)
December 18th: Make sure all of my gifts are wrapped. (Done!)
December 19th: Wear ugly Christmas sweater to work. (Done!)
December 20th: Get some chocolate coins and give them to people who make me smile.
December 21st: Watch the movies Gremlins and Die Hard
December 22nd: Watch The Original Christmas Classics (Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, The Little Drummer Boy) on DVD
December 23rd: Visit Veronica and the nephews. (Done!)
December 24th: Visit with a wolf in NYC. (Done!)
December 25th: CHRISTMAS!!! Open presents and watch The Muppets Christmas Carol.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

What I Want For Christmas This Year -- Nothing Physical But Love

This is the first time I have said this -- I truly do not want anything this year for Christmas. Yes I do have the Amazon wish lists and will tell people OH MY GOODNESS THIS NEEDS TO BE IN MY LIFE but to perfectly honest, the pressure of "having" to getting me something for Christmas or whatever holiday excuse they have for gift giving -- I’d simply prefer they not get me anything at all. When I mentioned this to my friend Veronica, she openly told me that if she sees something that I would like, she is getting it and I can not question it. With her, she gets a pass. But I do know that the reaction to this will often range from confusion (i.e., how can you not want gifts?) to exasperation that my insincere “no, no, you don’t have to get me anything…” ways just means they will have to be extra crafty in getting me a gift, since I’m not helping them by hinting at what I want; even if you look at my wish lists on a consistent basis.

So, honest and truly: If you’ve ever thought about getting me a Christmas/holiday gift, stop now. The best thing you can get me (with one small exception, to be detailed below) is nothing. And no, it’s not because I’m an agnostic and/or communist and/or have environmental concerns and/or had the “seasonal joy” sections of my brain removed as a child. The reasons are somewhat more mundane than that, and I’ll be happy to detail them to you now.

1. When I really want something, I buy it. Because why wouldn’t I? I want it, and can generally afford to buy it, and I’m not patient enough to hint to other people that I want it and hope they get it for me. It helps that most things I want aren’t hugely expensive; even so. Everyone knows how much of a bookworm I am -- if I see a book I want, I get it. What this means for everyone else, however, is that all the really obvious stuff to get me is taken off the table, because I’ve already gone out and gotten it. Done and done. What’s left then is a whole bunch of stuff I don’t really want, and I don’t see why people should feel obliged to buy me something I don’t really want, just because it’s the holidays.

Well, you say, surely there are some things you want that you don’t have. The answer: No, not really. The things I want that I don’t have fall into two categories: Things that money can’t buy (happiness, love, romance, world peace, a hotel room romp with Nikki Sixx, Jared Padalecki, and Frank Bello, in which, you know, actually show up and are in a romptastic frame of mind), and things that are a multiple of my average monthly income, a category at the moment which currently has only one object of desire in it: Land. I want my own acre of land. Pretty much everything else that I want, I already own plus my basic needs are met (food, clothing, hygiene, roof over my head)

Now, to be clear, if you want to buy me the acre of land that I desire, I won’t stop you, although I’d probably ask you if you don’t have better things to do with that money, like your retirement account or your kids’ college fund (if you can arrange the hotel romp with Sixx, Padalecki and Bello, you are a master of time-space manipulation, not unlike Dr. Who, and you really shouldn’t be wasting your time with trivialities like my own perversions). But let’s just say I would be surprised if anyone actually likes me that much. Short of the acre of land, though, you can basically assume that if you think I would want it, I probably own it.

Which brings us rather handily to the second reason I don’t want holiday gifts:

2. I have too much crap already. Because, you know, even most of the stuff I want I don’t really need, and once I’m done playing with it, it just takes up space. Right now my bedroom looks like a bookstore exploded in it, and then an toy store was dropped on it to smother the flames. This is a good thing, in my opinion (my family are somewhat less enthusiastic about it), but it reinforces the point that I don’t really need more stuff, especially when, as noted above, it’s likely to be stuff I’m indifferent about in any event.

3. I don’t like people feeling obliged to get me stuff. This is actually a big one for me. One, of course, I don’t pick friends on the basis of who is liable to produce gifts on holidays and special occasions. Second, it’s money more profitably spent on people who want something in particular, or (if you’re in this frame of mind) to a charity (which I will be giving a list of in another blog post), or just kept in their own pocket. Third, well, you know. The holidays are stressful enough without me adding to the stress. Why would I want to stress out my friends and family? I’d like them to think “Oh, Dani. Don’t have to get her anything. Wow, that was simple.” See, a ray of sunshine in their lives, I’ll be.

Actually, in the real world, it doesn’t always work out that way; my mother and brother were stressed about getting me something every year, but they were even more stressed when I said I didn’t want anything to them this year — because it’s not natural to give people nothing, especially if they’re family. People like to give other people stuff. It doesn’t help that we buy gifts for friends and family — my not wanting to get gifts is not rooted in cheapness — so people feel like they should reciprocate. But eventually it gets sorted out.

But this does bring up a secondary point, which is that I sometimes will send gifts to people throughout the year, not just during the holidays, just because I feel like it. If you get one, don’t feel you have to reciprocate. I’m not sitting there with a clipboard, checking off the people who have hurriedly run out to Barnes and Noble or a department store to get me a bauble because I sent them something during the year. Relax, folks; it’s not the way I work.

4. Because I know some people won’t listen to or believe me: Now, after all of this, let’s say you still really feel like you want to/have to get me something for the holidays. Go right ahead. I don’t think anyone should feel obliged to get me anything, but I’m certainly not going to have the poor grace not to accept a gift and to appreciate the spirit of giving behind it. Because that would just make me an asshole and I am not one.

That said, here’s a suggestion: I’d rather have, say, a mix CD of your favorite songs, or a picture that you took that you think is especially artful, or a goofy drawing, or whatever, than just about anything you could buy in a store. Because I have enough stuff I can buy, and can get stuff I can buy easily enough; there’s an almost infinite number of ways to buy crap in our society. What I can’t get in any store — pretty much by definition — is something that’s personal. So that’s what I’d much rather prefer to get. A mix cd or a picture or whatever doesn’t cost much of anything — just the time to make and the cost of wrapping paper — but it’s worth rather more to me, because it’s not something I can buy, and because I know it’s not something that could come from anyone else.

If you haven’t the time to craft something, and decide to get something from a store, then have it be something you’d want to share: Music you really love, a book that spoke to you, a movie you can’t live without. You know what I’m talking about. Send it with a note telling me why that particular book, CD, or DVD matters to you. I love all those things, anyway, and knowing it’s one of your favorites will make it something I’ll pay extra attention to (if it’s a book/cd/movie you were involved in the production of in some way, that’s even better).

If you can’t do that, just get me something goofy. Something that you know will make it smile and laugh in some way. Like a bag of unicorn farts or unicorn meat. Seriously, they are a thing.

No matter what, if you’re spending more than $50 on a gift for me, you’re doing it wrong. Start over. Cheaper. Unless, of course, you’re getting me the acre of land that I want. In which case, spend all you like.

But when all is said and done, what’s important to me is not the gift, but the impulse behind it, the thought and effort you put into it, which is the true gift. I’m glad you’re thinking of me. I’d be glad of it even without the bauble. That’s a hint.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Countdown to Halloween -- 2016 Edition

First of all -- let me apologize for not writing a blog since July. I had a lot of things go down in those months in my life thus resulting in me evaluating myself and starting a new journey -- which I will admit I was very reluctant to do. But if I want myself to move forward and be better for myself as well as within my relationship with the love of my life, there are some things I need to do for myself. This road is going to be a very long, very hard one, but it must be done. I do not like who I have become. I do not like how much pain I have caused others. So like the caterpillar, I must evolve into a beautiful butterfly. With that being said...lets get this annual feature of my blog started!

My favorite holiday, besides my birthday, is Halloween. I am drawn to all things Halloween/Autumn -- vampires, zombies, werewolves, cheesy 80s horror movies, dressing up, anything pumpkin flavored or scented, sweater weather... Just love it! With that said I thought it would be cool to do a COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN activities list. Most of this stuff will be done by myself. Yes I know there are dates attached but I am using it more as a check off list.

October 1st: Attend Jersey All Pro Wrestling (yes....not a Halloween themed event but it is home for me.) (Done!)
October 2nd: Watch the movie Paranorman.
October 3rd? Watch the movie Hotel Transylvania.
October 4th: Watch the movie The Nightmare Before Christmas.
October 5th: Try the pumpkin spice chai tea at Argo. (Done!)
October 6th: Attend New York Comic Con. (Done!)
October 7th: Attend Postmodern Jukebox concert with Robert Payes (Done!)
October 8th: Attend and volunteer at the 3rd Annual Fan Girls Night Out with the Geek Girl Brunch NYC squad. (Done!)
October 9th: Watch the movie Hellraiser
October 10th: Watch the movie House of 1000 Corpses.
October 11th: Watch the movie Psycho (original Alfred Hitchcock version).
October 12th: Watch the Universal classic horror movies Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein.
October 13th: Watch the movie Nightmare on Elm Street (original with Robert Englund)
October 14th: Get candles with a cinnamon or pumpkin smell from Bath and Body Works for my room.
October 15th: Go to the NYC Zombie Crawl. (Done!)
October 16th: Attend Drag Brunch: New York at the Hard Rock Cafe (Done!)
October 17th: Watch the cartoon Its the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (Done!)
October 18th: Watch the movie Hocus Pocus.
October 19th: Watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show. (Done!)
October 20th: Watch the movie The Evil Dead (original with Bruce Campbell)
October 21st: Watch the movie The Craft
October 22nd: Go to the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade. (Did not attend due to terrible weather.)
October 23rd: Howl at the not but instead maybe get a beauty treatment that is pumpkin scented or fall inspired.
October 24th: Watch the movie Carrie (the original version with Sissy Spasek)
October 25th: Watch the movie Friday the 13th Part One
October 26th: Wear cat ears to work.
October 27th: Visit a farm and pick a pumpkin.
October 28th: Watch the movie Teen Witch
October 29th: Get a fall inspired color manicure. (Done!)
October 30th: Wear skull hand hair clip.
October 31st: HALLOWEEN!!

What are you doing for October/Halloween?

Friday, July 1, 2016

What Am I Reading: July 2016 Releases

First of all, let me apologize for no June releases blog. I got caught up in the whirlwind that was end of the school year at my work plus I was still on the cloud of bliss of attending the Stephen King event that was held in my hometown. But with all of that being are the upcoming July releases that I am most excited about!

1: Red Queen (Chronicles of Alice) by Christina Henry:
The trend of modern retelling of classic stories is still going strong and this book is the sequel to Alice by the same author. This book is set to be released on July 12, 2016. Here is the book description: The author of Alice takes readers back down the rabbit hole to a dark, twisted, and fascinating world based on the works of Lewis Carroll...The land outside of the Old City was supposed to be green, lush, hopeful. A place where Alice could finally rest, no longer the plaything of the Rabbit, the pawn of Cheshire, or the prey of the Jabberwocky. But the verdant fields are nothing but ash—and hope is nowhere to be found. Still, Alice and Hatcher are on a mission to find his daughter, a quest they will not forsake even as it takes them deep into the clutches of the mad White Queen and her goblin or into the realm of the twisted and cruel Black King.The pieces are set and the game has already begun. Each move brings Alice closer to her destiny. But, to win, she will need to harness her newfound abilities and ally herself with someone even more powerful—the mysterious and vengeful Red Queen...

2: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
Now when I saw the title of this book I thought it was the book to go along with the SyFy television series that I fell in love with over a binge watch of season 1 with my love. Then I learned it is written by the same author of a trilogy that I also fell in love with while watching the television series with my love and that show is Wayward Pines, so I am trying my best to contain my excitement and all of the fangirl squees. This book is slated to come out on July 26, 2016. Here is the book description: A brilliantly plotted, relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller from the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy -“Are you happy with your life?” Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.” In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible. Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe. Dark Matter is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human—a relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we’ll go to claim the lives we dream of.

3: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling
Come on. For me to not include this -- my fellow fangirls would have my head on a platter! This book will be released on July 8, 2016. Here is the book description: Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne, is the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. It will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on 30th July 2016. It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.

4: The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
Oh look it is another mystery novel! Hehe. This book will be released on July 19, 2016. Here is the book description: From New York Times bestselling author of the “twisty-mystery” (Vulture) novel In a Dark, Dark Wood, comes The Woman in Cabin 10, an equally suspenseful and haunting novel from Ruth Ware—this time, set at sea. In this tightly wound, enthralling story reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s works, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong… With surprising twists, spine-tingling turns, and a setting that proves as uncomfortably claustrophobic as it is eerily beautiful, Ruth Ware offers up another taut and intense read in The Woman in Cabin 10—one that will leave even the most sure-footed reader restlessly uneasy long after the last page is turned.

5: Paper and Fire (The Great Library Series) by Rachel Caine
The long awaited sequel to Ink and Bone is finally here! This book is slated to be released on July 5, 2016. Here is the book description: In Ink and Bone, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine introduced a world where knowledge is power, and power corrupts absolutely. Now, she continues the story of those who dare to defy the Great Library—and rewrite history... With an iron fist, The Great Library controls the knowledge of the world, ruthlessly stamping out all rebellion, forbidding the personal ownership of books in the name of the greater good. Jess Brightwell has survived his introduction to the sinister, seductive world of the Library, but serving in its army is nothing like he envisioned. His life and the lives of those he cares for have been altered forever. His best friend is lost, and Morgan, the girl he loves, is locked away in the Iron Tower and doomed to a life apart. Embarking on a mission to save one of their own, Jess and his band of allies make one wrong move and suddenly find themselves hunted by the Library’s deadly automata and forced to flee Alexandria, all the way to London. But Jess’s home isn't safe anymore. The Welsh army is coming, London is burning, and soon, Jess must choose between his friends, his family, or the Library willing to sacrifice anything and anyone in the search for ultimate control...

What books are you excited for in the month of July?