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
November 29th: Get holiday cards. (Done!)
November 30th: Wear mistletoe headband.
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
December 5th: Start writing out holiday cards.
December 6th: Get a holiday inspired manicure. Make sure one nail is sparkly!
December 7th: Watch A Nightmare Before Christmas.
December 8th: Watch Krampus
December 9th: Mail holiday cards
December 10th: Watch He-Man & She-Ra A Christmas Special/Attend the Disney holiday themed party with the Geek Girl Brunch NYC
December 11th: Get a holiday inspired candle from Bath and Body Works.
December 12th: Make Star Wars themed glitter snowflakes.
December 13th: Go watch some ice skaters in Bryant Park.
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.
December 16th: Watch Krampus on DVD.
December 17th: Go see the movie Star Wars: Rogue One/Attend Game Changer Wrestling "Deck the Halls with Ultraviolence"
December 18th: Make sure all of my gifts are wrapped.
December 19th: Wear ugly Christmas sweater to work.
December 20th: Get some chocolate coins and give them to people who make me smile.
December 21st: Go Christmas caroling in Washington Square Park.
December 22nd: Visit my nerdy bff Veronica and my nephews.
December 23rd: 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 24th: Watch one of my favorite movies Untamed Heart and have a good cry.
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 moon....lol....maybe 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 said....here 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?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Stephen King.....yes....THAT STEPHEN KING....Appeared in my hometown of JERSEY CITY!

Jersey City -- my fair city, my hometown, my blood, get ready: Stephen King came. He saw. He CONQUERED.


King, who we all know is one of my favorite authors, has written over 50 books, including "It," "Carrie" and "The Shining," appeared in Jersey City on June 7 at an event sponsored by the Newark Avenue independent book store Word Bookstores.

The event took place at the historic Loews Jersey theatre which has been under renovation as well as talks about conversion into a condominium but once it got its historic landmark status, the fair citizens of Jersey City cried out in glee. When this was announced back in March -- teasers were on Word's website that said workers there were "beyond excited" about King coming to Jersey City to promote his new book, "End of Watch." They were not the only ones. This lifelong resident of Jersey City who has had to go into New York City to meet her favorite authors; which I do not mind as I consider NYC my lover like Carrie Bradshaw does, was beyond excited as well. I fought tooth and nail to get into this event. Plus, judging by King's website, which cautions fans that he will not be signing books on his tour (he will pre-sign copies that will be for sale), this will be his only appearance in the tri-state area to tout the book. Think about that my readers -- JERSEY CITY IS HIS ONLY APPEARANCE IN THE TRI-STATE AREA. Take that NYC!


"End of Watch" is the conclusion of King's Hodges trilogy, which includes "Mr. Mercedes" and "Finders Keepers." In 2015, "Mr. Mercedes" won a Best Novel Edgar Allan Poe Award, presented by the Mystery Writers of America. Here is the book description for those who would love to get it. It was released on June 7, 2016: The spectacular finale to the New York Times bestselling trilogy that began with Mr. Mercedes (winner of the Edgar Award) and Finders Keepers—In End of Watch, the diabolical “Mercedes Killer” drives his enemies to suicide, and if Bill Hodges and Holly Gibney don’t figure out a way to stop him, they’ll be victims themselves. In Room 217 of the Lakes Region Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, something has awakened. Something evil. Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of the Mercedes Massacre, where eight people were killed and many more were badly injured, has been in the clinic for five years, in a vegetative state. According to his doctors, anything approaching a complete recovery is unlikely. But behind the drool and stare, Brady is awake, and in possession of deadly new powers that allow him to wreak unimaginable havoc without ever leaving his hospital room. Retired police detective Bill Hodges, the unlikely hero of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers, now runs an investigation agency with his partner, Holly Gibney—the woman who delivered the blow to Hartsfield’s head that put him on the brain injury ward. When Bill and Holly are called to a suicide scene with ties to the Mercedes Massacre, they find themselves pulled into their most dangerous case yet, one that will put their lives at risk, as well as those of Bill’s heroic young friend Jerome Robinson and his teenage sister, Barbara. Brady Hartsfield is back, and planning revenge not just on Hodges and his friends, but on an entire city. In End of Watch, Stephen King brings the Hodges trilogy to a sublimely terrifying conclusion, combining the detective fiction of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers with the heart-pounding, supernatural suspense that has been his bestselling trademark. The result is an unnerving look at human vulnerability and chilling suspense. No one does it better than King.

Stephen King regaled us with stories concerning Bruce Springsteen, the Boston Red Sox, his writing process, and by being America's boogeyman. It was a wonderful event ran by a wonderful independent bookstore. The fact that the old school organ was brought out says a lot about the power of this great author!

One of the stories that made me jump out of my skin and immediately send a message to my love was the fact that he brought up the book "Cell" which has not received as much publicity as it should. Luckily the movie adaptation, which he wrote the screenplay for, will be released on July 8th but I digress -- He was telling a story about cell phones and safety and how we dont go anywhere without our cellphones but might have forgotten to lock our doors and he goes "if only someone would write a story about that....oh wait.....I did.....Its called Cell." Cell has to be one of my favorite books of his so I am glad he mentioned it.

Unfortunately due to a raffle system -- I did not get an autographed copy of "End of Watch." Someone who went to the event who got one let me take a picture of the autograph you see here. But I do have this though --- the opportunity to say that I have been in the same room with one of the greatest authors of all the time.

For your book needs -- please visit Word Bookstore located at 123 Newark Avenue in Jersey City, NJ. Their store hours are 8am-9pm every day. In case you can not visit them check out their website at this link Word Bookstores

Now -- all that I ask of you, the next time you go to your bathroom, ask yourself -- DID YOU CLOSE YOUR SHOWER CURTAIN?

Friday, May 6, 2016

What Am I Reading 2016: May Releases

Ahhhh May. Season of new beginnings, of new growth, of new awakenings. Now as we move through May -- my ruling planet of Mars and Mercury are both in retrograde so I have ben feeling the reading slump and communication is slump and well just slump. But I plan on taking May by the proverbial bootstraps and change my reading outlook! I need to get back into my reading game. So many books to read...so many books coming out this month that I am excited for...speaking of which....lets get this show on the road!

New Book Releases for the month of May
1: A Court of Mist and Fury (Book 2 in the Court trilogy) by Sarah J. Mass
As far as I am concerned -- I am the real life Belle. I have an expansive library that is constantly growing plus I have a sexy Beast at my side. So when Sarah J. Maas decided to do a modern retelling of the classic fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast, I immediately jumped on board. I added this sequel to my wish list in January -- that is how excited I am for this series. This sequel was released on May 3, 2016. Here is the book description: The stunning sequel to Sarah J. Maas' New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses. Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court--but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.
Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms--and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future--and the future of a world cleaved in two.
With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

2: The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman
My favorite author is AT IT AGAIN but this time with a nonfiction book that studies a myriad of topics! My fangirl of his work can not contain myself! This book is set to be released on May 31, 2016. Here is the book description: An enthralling collection of nonfiction essays on a myriad of topics—from art and artists to dreams, myths, and memories—observed in #1 New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman’s probing, amusing, and distinctive style.An inquisitive observer, thoughtful commentator, and assiduous craftsman, Neil Gaiman has long been celebrated for the sharp intellect and startling imagination that informs his bestselling fiction. Now, The View from the Cheap Seats brings together for the first time ever more than sixty pieces of his outstanding nonfiction. Analytical yet playful, erudite yet accessible, this cornucopia explores a broad range of interests and topics, including (but not limited to): authors past and present; music; storytelling; comics; bookshops; travel; fairy tales; America; inspiration; libraries; ghosts; and the title piece, at turns touching and self-deprecating, which recounts the author’s experiences at the 2010 Academy Awards in Hollywood. Insightful, incisive, witty, and wise, The View from the Cheap Seats explores the issues and subjects that matter most to Neil Gaiman—offering a glimpse into the head and heart of one of the most acclaimed, beloved, and influential artists of our time.

3: The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight
Who would have thought a book trailer who hook me as much as this book did??? This book was released on May 3, 2016. Here is the book description: From the New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia comes a fast-paced teen series where one girl learns that in a world of intrigue, betrayal, and deeply buried secrets, it is vital to trust your instincts. It all starts with a text: Please, Wylie, I need your help. Wylie hasn’t heard from Cassie in over a week, not since their last fight. But that doesn’t matter. Cassie’s in trouble, so Wylie decides to do what she has done so many times before: save her best friend from herself. This time it’s different, though. Instead of telling Wylie where she is, Cassie sends cryptic clues. And instead of having Wylie come by herself, Jasper shows up saying Cassie sent him to help. Trusting the guy who sent Cassie off the rails doesn’t feel right, but Wylie has no choice but to ignore her gut instinct and go with him.
But figuring out where Cassie is goes from difficult to dangerous, fast. As Wylie and Jasper head farther and farther north into the dense woods of Maine, Wylie struggles to control her growing sense that something is really wrong. What isn’t Cassie telling them? And could finding her be only the beginning? In this breakneck tale, New York Times bestselling author Kimberly McCreight brilliantly chronicles a fateful journey that begins with a single decision—and ends up changing everything.

4: She Poured Out Her Heart by Jean Thompson
This book is very relatable in the sense of my relationship with my bff Veronica. So because of that - I knew I instantly wanted it and am excited for its release! This book will be released on May 31, 2016. Here is the book description: Tracing the complicated friendship of two very different women who meet in college, She Poured Out Her Heart is a novel of remarkable psychological suspense, crafted by National Book Award finalist Jean Thompson. The night that Jane and Bonnie meet on a college campus sets them on paths forever entwined. Bonnie, the wild and experimental one, always up for anything, has spent the past two decades bouncing between ill-fated relationships, while Jane’s seemingly perfect life, perfect husband, and perfect children have all but materialized out of a fantasy. But these appearances contradict the quiet, inescapable doubt Jane feels about her life. One night, in the middle of her own Christmas party, she steps outside into the snow, removes her clothing and shoes, and lies down in the backyard. When she is discovered, nothing is the same for anyone. As Jane begins to have visions and retreat into a private inner world, Bonnie finds herself drawn inevitably into an affair with Jane’s husband. Thompson’s mastery of complex emotion begets a novel of desire and the nature of love—who we love, how we’re loved, and, most important, that we reach urgently and always for a higher love, regardless of our circumstances. She Poured Out Her Heart is a finely wrought, haunting story of female friendship and deception, and the distance in between.

5: Please Don't Tell by Laura Tims
Who doesn't love a good murder mystery thriller? THIS WOMAN SURE DOES! This book will be released on May 24, 2016. Here is the book description: Debut author Laura Tims writes an intense and utterly gripping contemporary YA tale perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars. Joy has done everything to protect her twin sister...including murder. Joy killed Adam Gordon for what he did to her sister, Grace. At least, that’s what she thinks happened. Now Adam can’t hurt anyone ever again, and her sister can be free from the boy who harmed her.
But someone else knows what Joy did, and they’re going to out her as a cold-blooded killer if she doesn’t expose the scandalous secrets bubbling just below the surface of her mundane town. As the demands escalate, and she finds herself falling for Adam’s half brother, Joy must figure out the blackmailer’s identity before everything spirals out of control.

6: Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danier
I love books that I can relate to as well as learn from. This book has both. This book will also be released on May 24, 2016. Here is the book description: You will develop a palate. A palate is a spot on your tongue where you remember. Where you assign words to the textures of taste. Eating becomes a discipline, language-obsessed. You will never simply eat food again.These are the words that introduce us to Tess, the twenty-two-year-old narrator of Sweetbitter—and you will never again read a debut coming-of-age novel as stunning as this one. Shot from a mundane, provincial past, Tess comes to New York in the stifling summer of 2006. Alone, knowing no one, living in a rented room in Williamsburg, she manages to land a job as a “backwaiter” at a celebrated downtown Manhattan restaurant. This begins the year we spend with Tess as she starts to navigate the chaotic, enchanting, punishing, and privileged life she has chosen, as well as the remorseless and luminous city around her. What follows is her education: in oysters, Champagne, the appellations of Burgundy, friendship, cocaine, lust, love, and dive bars. As her appetites awaken—for food and wine, but also for knowledge, experience, and belonging—we see her helplessly drawn into a darkly alluring love triangle. With an orphan’s ardor she latches onto Simone, a senior server at the restaurant who has lived in ways Tess only dreams of, and against the warnings of coworkers she falls under the spell of Jake, the elusive, tatted up, achingly beautiful bartender. These two and their enigmatic connection to each other will prove to be Tess’s most exhilarating and painful lesson of all. Stephanie Danler intimately defines the crucial transition from girl to woman, from living in a place that feels like nowhere to living in a place that feels like the center of the universe. She deftly conjures the nonstop and purely adrenalized world of the restaurant—conversations interrupted, phrases overheard, relationships only partially revealed. And she evokes the infinite possibilities, the unbearable beauty, the fragility and brutality of being young in New York with heart-stopping accuracy. A lush novel of the senses—of taste and hunger, seeing and understanding, love and desire—Sweetbitter is ultimately about the power of what remains after disillusionment, and the transformation and wisdom that come from our experiences, sweet and bitter.

7: Summer Day and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins
Now I will admit my preferred reading genre is young adult with a mix of paranormal murder mystery, but sometimes I need a good love story to get me by. This book is simply that. This book will be released on May 17, 2016. Here is the book description: Maybe it's the long, lazy days, or maybe it's the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom.Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

8: The Fireman by Joe Hill
The son of Stephen King. Need I say more about my excitement? This book will also be released on May 17, 2016. Here is the book description: From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of NOS4A2 and Heart-Shaped Box comes a chilling novel about a worldwide pandemic of spontaneous combustion that threatens to reduce civilization to ashes and a band of improbable heroes who battle to save it, led by one powerful and enigmatic man known as the Fireman. The fireman is coming. Stay cool. No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it’s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies—before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe. Harper Grayson, a compassionate, dedicated nurse as pragmatic as Mary Poppins, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now she’s discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. When the outbreak first began, she and her husband, Jakob, had made a pact: they would take matters into their own hands if they became infected. To Jakob’s dismay, Harper wants to live—at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. At the hospital, she witnessed infected mothers give birth to healthy babies and believes hers will be fine too. . . if she can live long enough to deliver the child. Convinced that his do-gooding wife has made him sick, Jakob becomes unhinged, and eventually abandons her as their placid New England community collapses in terror. The chaos gives rise to ruthless Cremation Squads—armed, self-appointed posses roaming the streets and woods to exterminate those who they believe carry the spore. But Harper isn’t as alone as she fears: a mysterious and compelling stranger she briefly met at the hospital, a man in a dirty yellow fire fighter’s jacket, carrying a hooked iron bar, straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted . . . and as a weapon to avenge the wronged. In the desperate season to come, as the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Fireman’s secrets before her life—and that of her unborn child—goes up in smoke.

Well there you have it! Now let me go conquer my Mountain ToBeRead so I can add these lovely titles to it!

Friday, April 1, 2016

What Am I Reading 2016: April Releases

Okay first of all...I owe my readers a apology. I am deeply sorry for not having a March Releases + To Be Read blog in March as some real life stuff happened as well...there weren't really a lot of books I was excited about in the new releases of March. So for that, I apologize. But I am back!

Here are the April releases I am excited about as well. I am still catching up on my books from March in terms of what I am reading.

New Book Releases for the month of April
1: The Star Touched Queen by Rouhani Chokshi
I have been digging a lot of the fantasy books lately that center around royalty and this book is no exception. Plus it has an element of astrology and I am a daily horoscope reader so this works perfectly. This book is set to come out on April 26, 2016 and here is the book description: Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you're only seventeen?
Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran's queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar's wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire...
But Akaran has its own secrets -- thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.
A lush and vivid story that is steeped in Indian folklore and mythology. The Star-touched Queen is a novel that no reader will soon forget.

2: Always the Bridesmaid by Lindsey Kelk
Now I will admit...I have never officially been in a wedding but I have been invited to a lot of them and this book description is so relatable to me. While I am in a great, loving relationship with the man I do consider the love of my life and the one for me -- I do not think marriage is in the cards of life for me but you may never know. Can not predict the future. This book is set to be released on April 5, 2016. Here is the book description: The hilarious new summer bestseller from Lindsey Kelk, bestselling author of the I Heart series.Everyone loves a bridesmaid - except Maddie, who’s perpetually asked to be one. Everyone loves a wedding - except Maddie’s best friend, who’s getting divorced. And everyone loves the way Maddie’s so happy behind the scenes - except Maddie herself. One best friend is in wedding countdown while the other heads for marriage meltdown. And as Maddie juggles her best chance at promotion in years with bridezilla texts and late-night counselling sessions, she starts to wonder – is it time to stop being the bridesmaid?

3: Don't Get Caught by Kurt Dinan
Admit it...we all love a good prank war. Also as soon as I saw that this was comparable to The Breakfast Club -- I was all in. Plus this is another book that is very relatable to me. This book comes out on April 1, 2016. Here is the book description: 10:00 tonight at the water tower. Tell no one. -Chaos Club. When Max receives a mysterious invite from the untraceable, epic prank-pulling Chaos Club, he has to ask: why him? After all, he's Mr. 2.5 GPA, Mr. No Social Life. He's Just Max. And his favorite heist movies have taught him this situation calls for Rule #4: Be suspicious. But it's also his one shot to leave Just Max in the dust...Yeah, not so much. Max and four fellow students-who also received invites-are standing on the newly defaced water tower when campus security "catches" them. Definitely a setup. And this time, Max has had enough. It's time for Rule #7: Always get payback. Let the prank war begin. Oceans 11 meets The Breakfast Club in this entertaining, fast-paced debut filled with pranks and cons that will keep readers on their toes, never sure who's pulling the strings or what's coming next.

4: Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
It seems that the trend of taking classics and giving them a modern retelling is not going away any time soon. Honestly -- that is alright with me. This book is set to come out on April 19, 2016. Here is the book description: From the “wickedly entertaining” (USA Today) Curtis Sittenfeld, New York Times bestselling author of Prep and American Wife, comes a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. A bold literary experiment, Eligible is a brilliant, playful, and delicious saga for the twenty-first century.
This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help—and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.
Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches.
Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . . And yet, first impressions can be deceiving. Wonderfully tender and hilariously funny, Eligible both honors and updates Austen’s beloved tale. Tackling gender, class, courtship, and family, Sittenfeld reaffirms herself as one of the most dazzling authors writing today.

5: Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw
I am a fangirl. Through and through. i am a DC more than a Marvel. I am a nerd, geek, whatever slang you want to use. So when I heard about this book and how I could relate -- of course I am excited. This book is set to be released on April 19, 2016. Here is the book description: Cross Veronica Mars with MTV's Daria, and you’ll get Scarlett Epstein, the snarky, judgmental, and often hilarious star of Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here, a witty and heartwarming novel that’s perfect for fans of David Arnold’s Mosquitoland and Kody Keplinger’s The Duff. Meet Scarlett Epstein, BNF (Big Name Fan) in her online community of fanfiction writers, world-class nobody at Melville High. Her best (read: only) IRL friends are Avery, a painfully shy and annoyingly attractive bookworm, and Ruth, her pot-smoking, possibly insane seventy-three-year-old neighbor. When Scarlett’s beloved TV show is canceled and her longtime crush, Gideon, is sucked out of her orbit and into the dark and distant world of Populars, Scarlett turns to the fanfic message boards for comfort. This time, though, her subjects aren’t the swoon-worthy stars of her fave series—they’re the real-life kids from her high school. Scarlett never considers what might happen if they were to find out what she truly thinks about them...until a dramatic series of events exposes a very different reality than Scarlett's stories, forever transforming her approach to relationships—both online and off.