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A Written Rhapsody: March 2012

Friday, March 30, 2012


It's time to get my organization on! I keep putting things to do on my list, but then end up not doing any of it. I'm hoping this will help me get some blog stuff cleaned, added and running smoothly! So here we go:

A.W.R.'s Bloggiesta Work List....OLE!
(wrap-up included!)

  • Complete Reviews Page (It's so pretty!)
  • Cross Post on Goodreads and Amazon (All post's completed on GR, but not Amazon. Half check)
  • Stream music on blog(Put up player) (Woot)
  • Update Spotify music list (Updated with all albums and song mentions.)
  • Update sidebars(move, edit/make new buttons) (Photoshop wouldn't agree so I need to continue.)
  • Update header alignment (Now centered but may need a bit more adjustment.)
  • Organize Goodreads shelves (All done and put into categories.)
  • Update calender with specific review dates to stick to (Completed!)
  • Clean up email...Seriously (Cleaned and organized!)
  • Get some Mexican food at some point this weekend(Okay this isn't really blog related per se, but it's theme related so I'm going to say it counts) (Had a burrito!) 
All in all pretty successful! There's a few things I saw that I want to complete so I'm not completely done. I'm excited to see what everyone else accomplished!


Follower Fridays #13

Q: Do you read one book at a time or do you switch back and forth between two or more?

A: I really try to read two or more books at a time, but then I realize I get less done oddly. I think it's because I end up favoring a read and then want to finish that one instead. I wish I could do more books at a time. If I liked audio books it would help. Sadly, I can't get the hang of them though. What about you guys? How many do you all like to read and in what formats?


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Guest Post & Giveaway: Forgiving Trinity by Liz Reinhardt

Holy freakin' begeezus! Liz Reinhardt is guest posting on A.W.R. Seriously, I don't think you guys understand how excited I am. Her stories are awesome, she's awesome--I can probably continue to say "awesome," but I'll stop.  Anyways, without ranting any further and taking up room that could be used for Liz to wow you, here's Liz's post! (Don't forget to check out the giveaways below!)

How My Idea About Career Success Started With Scrooge McDuck and Ended With Trinity

When I was younger, my idea about being successful in my career centered around having a vault like Scrooge McDuck. It would be full of gold coins and have a diving board, and when I dove into it, I’d surface with a big crown on my head and strings of pearls around my neck and gem-stone rings on my fingers. That’s right.

Woohoo! I don’t even know how to ski…but I’m willing to learn if I have some money to ski down!

I assumed whatever job I had would make this money (artist, archeologist, teacher, waitress, professional book reader, poet). And then I got my first job working at the Five Star Diner.

It was dirty, hard work. My bosses had this old-school ‘indentured servant’ approach to my time there. There was no buspan too big or under-the-booth spill too small for me to haul or scrub on my hands and knees…for $43 a shift!

At 14 (I was an under-the-table laborer), $43 was a fortune. Maybe my vault wouldn’t be full of that many dollars (though, if I exchanged for pennies, I’d be able to dip my toes in!), but I could buy so many things. One movie ticket, one CD, one diner meal, AND one book. I’m trying to think of more examples of things I’d want, but, at 14, I had very few desires.

This picture sums up the way I felt about spending money at 14…but I also just ate a Reuben, saw Romeo + Juliet, and am listening to the new Bjork while I peruse my books. LIFE IS GOOD!

By 16 my parents had built a horrible 50’s style restaurant, and I waitressed there. Sometimes people hear that I was the owners’ daughter and assume I had it easy.

Um, not even close. 

My parents expected longer hours, better service, and zero complaints from me. I spent many an unhappy second shift covering for some girl who called in at the last minute because she’d been invited to another prom unexpectedly or won free tickets to see Bon Jovi. The work was degrading and awful, but the money was good.

I didn’t drive, so there were no vehicle expenses. I basically just shoved my money in my sock drawer, then, when I couldn’t take out a pair of socks without a dollar bill shower, I took it to the bank. After a few months, I had enough to blow on a seven-week backpacking adventure through Ireland and England with my little sister.

We were young, we were wild, there were Blarney Stones to kiss, pints of Guinness to taste, museums to avoid, and MTV Euro to watch at hostels all over Ireland. It was money very well spent.

How do you make years of endless shifts waitressing under your parents’ unrelenting thumbs hurt less? Well, this is a start!

College jobs included waitressing (I’m serious…it never ended!), tutoring, and being a guard at an art museum. I carried a huge course load, studied until my eyes bled, and lost any pigment in my skin from never seeing the light of day. My money went to things like textbooks, tuition payments, and food. Which was usually a box of Bisquick and a large container of Ramen, so I could alternate sweet pancakes and salty soup. It was a dark time where I scraped by on a fairly meager existence.

My sole comfort in life. Thank you, pancake.

But I graduated! And with a newly minted degree in my hands, I was definitely going to do better, make more, and live the good life! I got a job teaching at an all girls Catholic High School. I still remember the starting salary: $22,900. I’m positive my eyes went wide and shiny as a kitten’s. The principal said, “Sorry. It’s the best we can do if you have no experience.” My reply? “WHEEEE!!! I’ll never have to work again!!”

Okay, sidenote: I totally love Hillary! But she and I were getting really, really excited about dreams that…um…just didn’t come true. Sigh.

$22,900 seems like SO MUCH MONEY if you are a young college grad who’s never paid real bills. And, by ‘real bills,’ I do NOT mean putting money in the IHOP pancake jar (mmm, how did they manage to make them so much better than mine?). I soon found that little things cost a lot. Like a roof over your head that your parents are not providing. Or heat. Or eating every day. Or water. Yep. You have to pay for your own water!

But I was bound and determined. I kept going to school to get my official teaching license, all the while working at Home Depot and living with my parents. And I finally got a real teaching job that made my first job look like small potatoes!

Happiness! Success! 


Okay, maybe it wasn’t the Scroooge McDuck vault, but I had things like dental insurance and a 401K. I should have been SO HAPPY!

And there were many happy aspects to teaching. BUT…part of me felt like Katniss when Prim’s name got selected for the Hunger Games. Every day.

It was a lot of survival. Which is fine. New teachers have to do that. They have to survive. But being Katniss for four years wound up making me feel tired. And I didn’t have Peeta on my side.

District 12 is totally fun to read about…but I like things like pancakes and sleeping in and romance too much to actually live there!

I was writing. Sneaky writing. Sneaking my laptop into the livingroom late at night so I wouldn’t bother my husband with my ‘hammer fingers.’ And I knew, I knew right to the bottom of my soul that I wanted to be a writer. It was the first time I wanted a job without having any idea what kind of money I’d make.

My husband and I talked and talked…and talked about it. We came up with a budget and a bottom line number. If I could make that number writing for a certain amount of time, I could probably BE a writer.

Like, writing would be my job.

Full time.

So I put my books out there and held my breath. Readers, bloggers, the writing community was amazing. I hit my number. I even crept a little past it. It wasn’t a Scrooge McDuck number! I’m not sure if there will be any vaults full of gold in my future.

But I get to be a writer.

And even if I can’t afford IHOP pancakes, my husband makes the lightest, fluffiest ones in the world. And his pancakes make me want to write more, better, longer, more amazing!! I want to BE A WRITER!! So thank you if you bought one of my books! Thank you if you liked it and told a friend! Thank you for taking a chance on one kid’s dream. 

Which started with a vault of money, and ended with this:



Don't forget about the goodies! In addition to A.W.R. having a giveaway for a copy of Forgiving Trinity, this tour is also having it's own giveaway. That's SEVEN chances to win! All you have to do is fill out the form below. One entry per person! Both giveaways end April 20th (In the event Rafflecopter hates me, you can leave your email for the A.W.R giveaway below).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

"When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. 

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind."

I have seriously mixed feelings about this book. I didn't hate it, but didn't love it either.

Was this book entertaining? Yes, James Dashner really knows how to create a suspenseful plot. The entire idea of having a group of people stuck in a Maze while knowing nothing about who they are or where they are is pretty crazy. The book also kept a pretty great pace overall and never had a dull moment, so why didn't I enjoy it more?

First off, let's start off with characterization. For the exception of one or two characters, I was never able to develop a relationship to any of the characters. I understand that all the characters had their memories swiped, but a lot of the characters always seemed exactly the same. Most of the boys were only distinguishable through certain characteristics like long hair or big biceps. Thomas, our main character, was the only one who seemed to have a developed personality. The developed language was also really distracting at first. I understand a civilization will develop their own way of communicating, but their terms were pretty annoying to me. I was able to get past it after a while, but it never actually flowed for me.

Secondly, though I understood the maze was a pretty dangerous place because of the Grievers, I was never able to picture what an actual Griever looked like. All I got was a slug type of creatures with arms made of metal that also have retracting needles in their body. Oh and they also roll and climb somehow. Yeah alright, that's a little creepy but it's nothing that'll keep me up at night.

I can see why this book has received so much hype, but I think it could definitely use a bit more work. By the end I felt like I spent 300+ pages waiting for some type of answer but instead was just given a lot more questions. However, I will totally be picking up the following book because I'm completely intrigued by the story and seriously need a sense of closure. If that was Dashner's plan, kudos sir, kudos.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tune in Teasers

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. 


"One box caught my attention. It was long and narrow, like the other boxes, but instead of words, it had strange symbols printed down the side. Curious, I wrenched off the lid and reached in, shifting through layers of plastic and foam, until my fingers closed around something long and smooth." ~ The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa pg. 128

Tune in Tuesdays is weekly meme brought to this lovely blog by Ginger at GReads! Love books and music? Check it out!

Jason Walker- Echo

I may be in the minority here, but I did not watch The Vampire Diaries. I started when it first aired because I love Boone aka Ian Somerhalder, but due to me always wanting to punch Elena I never got past episode five. In comes Netflix and down goes whatever productivity I had during my days. All I've been doing after dinner for the past two weeks is watching a few(okay, sometimes more than a few) episodes of TVD every night. Not only have I become addicted to this show, it's also heavily increased my usage of the Shazam application on my phone. This song is from a fairly recent episode(Season 3), but I knew I had to have it instantly. I even went as far as rewinding a few times to properly get it tagged. Two questions...One, what are you guys listening/reading this week? Two, can someone please bring me a Jeremy or Tyler? Thanks.

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman

"Countless writers and artists have spoken for a generation, but no one has done it quite like Chuck Klosterman. With an exhaustive knowledge of popular culture and an almost effortless ability to spin brilliant prose out of unlikely subject matter, Klosterman attacks the entire spectrum of postmodern America: reality TV, Internet porn, Pamela Anderson, literary Jesus freaks, and the real difference between apples and oranges (of which there is none). And don't even get him started on his love life and the whole Harry-Met-Sally situation. 

Whether deconstructing Saved by the Bell episodes or the artistic legacy of Billy Joel, the symbolic importance of The Empire Strikes Back or the Celtics/Lakers rivalry, Chuck will make you think, he'll make you laugh, and he'll drive you insane -- usually all at once. Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs is ostensibly about art, entertainment, infotainment, sports, politics, and kittens, but -- really -- it's about us. All of us. As Klosterman realizes late at night, in the moment before he falls asleep, "In and of itself, nothing really matters. What matters is that nothing is ever 'in and of itself.' "

I started this a LONG time ago, but never finished it for whatever reason. As I was organizing this weekend, I came across it again and decided to finish it since I hate having unfinished books on my shelf. I love pop-culture,and I personally really enjoyed this book because it discussed it seriously. The book is organized in a short essay fashion that goes from talking about soccer to how John Cusack ruined the authors love life.. What I liked a lot was that Klosterman always had a witty take on his viewpoints. Though now outdated, the topics offer a bit of insight to people during a particular point in time. As pop culture rapidly changes, it's interesting to see how viewpoints have changed from as little as five or six years ago.

If you're looking for some deep intellectual dissection on different topics, this book isn't it. You'll either love or hate it. Klosterman's writing does come off as him trying to seem "cool" at times, but it's in a style that is easily relatable. It's definitely one of those books I would've enjoyed more during college. However, if you're someone who can read viewpoints and still appreciate them for a laugh or just to make you think, then it's an enjoyable read. 


Sunday, March 25, 2012

In My Mailbox #8

Hosted By:The Story Siren


Pretty Amy(Thanks to Entangled Teen for sending me a copy!)

Masquerade (Heven & Hell)(*shaking fist* at Amanda @ LIO for buying me this for the read-along even though I told her not to!)


Friday, March 23, 2012

Follower Fridays #12

Q: What is the longest book you’ve read? What are your favorite 600+ page reads?

A: Hmm...I don't really keep track of my page count too often. The first fairly lengthy book that comes to mind is The Host by Mrs. Meyers(page count about 600 according to Amazon). I know I've read some long ones in school too,but I honestly can't think of any English novels. I don't know if it'd count here, but I've studied the Ramayana, an Indian holy book, and that is said to be around 1,500+ pages. What are all of your favorites?


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Slip Point by Karalynn Lee

"From childhood, Shay had one dream--to join the Space Corps with her best friend and sweetheart, Jayce. When the Space Corps reveals that the father she thought was dead is actually an infamous pirate and rejects her application, the dream dies and she leaves the planet without saying a word to Jayce.
Ten years later, Shay is a pirate herself. She captains her own ship and has earned a reputation as one of the slipperiest pilots around. That's why she's recruited for a dangerous secret government mission. But the cargo she's assigned to smuggle turns out to be a woman with a government bodyguard--Jayce.
Jayce never thought he'd see Shay again, and when the mission forces them together on her ship, he isn't sure he can forgive her for deserting him; but their desire for each other is stronger than ever. Jayce knows he wants to be with Shay, but how can he trust a woman who's both a pirate and the girl who broke his heart?"
Um, hello? How can I not want to read about Space Pirates? I mean the image alone is pretty entertaining in my head. Alright, I know this isn't Johnny Depp in a space suit or anything, but I love me some space entertainment so I thought I'd give this book a shot. 
What I loved initially about this book was that we get a glimpse into different age points of our main characters. I think it helped create a better understanding with personalities and build the conflict because they'd known each other for so long. For a heroine, I really appreciated Shay for being a strong female who could rely on herself to get things done. While I do think she did a few stupid things at a younger age, I still respected her character throughout the story. 
One massive plus point in Karalynn's story is that she actually developed the struggle,heartache and tension between Shay and Jayce. There are so many stories that have characters meet up once again and have them be perfectly fine like nothing ever happened. It's a small thing but I think it makes such a huge difference in a story for me. I really enjoyed their tension and chemistry because I felt for the characters. Jayce seemed heartbroken after all those years, and it was realistic not to just forgive and forget so easily. 
My only issue with this story was that I wanted more detail with the world Lee created. The area was so incredible and had the story had a lot of side plots going on that I wanted more information about. This book could've easily been longer and still needed more time, but for now it's definitely too short. If Lee were to release more on this story I'd definitely give it a read!

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tune in Teasers

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. 


"I strap a headlight around my head. I‘m about to crawl on all fours through a small, unexplored tunnel, breaking all the rules of the site. Wow, the lengths I‘ll go to in order to avoid intimacy." ~ The Dig by Audrey Hart

Tune in Tuesdays is weekly meme brought to this lovely blog by Ginger at GReads! Love books and music? Check it out!

I happened to come across this song this week and it was insta-love. Sometimes you need those songs that make little sense. What's weird is that in a way, it kind of does make sense in certain circumstances. I absolutely adore Blair's voice because it sounds unique, yet also eerily familiar. What do you guys think?

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Monday, March 19, 2012

After the Morning After by Todd Carey

As soon as I heard Todd Carey's voice, I knew I had to get a copy of this album. Though he's in a genre where he's automatically compared to other solo male artists, Carey is definitely able to hold his own. With the combination of his simple relatable lyrics and heart-warming voice, he's able to create something that is as comforting as a fresh baked chocolate-chip cookie. If that's not enough, add in a twist of guitar funk and it's pretty impossible not to like this guy.

In the span of five songs, Carey takes you from an optimistic, uplifted mood in "The First Day" to a catchy title track, a tune that demands to get stuck in your head for a day or two. Closing things with songs like "Where Are You Tonight" proves Carey has the power to compete. My only disappointment was this album ended before I wanted it to. If you're craving pop with a deeper edge, Carey's CD is worth a listen.

Todd Carey's Official Website
Todd Carey on Facebook
Todd Carey's MySpace Page
Todd Carey on Twitter


Sunday, March 18, 2012

In My Mailbox #7

Hosted By:The Story Siren

For Review: 

For Fun/Given:

This was received through a new book club I joined in my city. Excited to start this seriously massive book! Anyone read the rest of this series? I heard that it's both a standalone and I should read the others first. Help?! Do I or don't I? 


Friday, March 16, 2012

Busted in Bollywood by Nicola Marsh

"Shari Jones needs to get a life. Preferably someone else's.Single, homeless and jobless, Indo-American Shari agrees to her best friend's whacky scheme: travel to Mumbai, pose as Amrita, and ditch the fianc her traditional Indian parents have chosen. Simple. Until she's mistaken for a famous Bollywood actress, stalked by a Lone Ranger wannabe, courted by an English lord, and busted by the blackmailing fianc .Life is less complicated in New York.Or so she thinks, until the entourage of crazies follows her to the Big Apple and that's when the fun really begins. Shari deals with a blossoming romance, an addiction to Indian food and her first movie role, while secretly craving another trip to the mystical land responsible for sparking her new lease on life. Returning to her Indian birthplace, she has an epiphany. Maybe the happily-ever-after of her dreams isn't so far away?"

I bought myself a copy of this book because I wasn't able to get through it while it was on NetGalley. Come on, it's Bollywood! Being an Indian female who enjoys her Bollywood movies made me feel like it was mandatory that I read it. There's no way I can't love characters being bombarded with marriage proposals while being trapped in a slew of mixups.

First off, warning...You will want to eat a lot of food from this book. Keep a snack handy. Visit a friendly Indian neighbor, head on over to your local Indian market or just get some popcorn. Really, have some food. You'll love me for it later.

Okay, now that we have that squared away...

What I loved most about this book was that it read exactly like a Bollywood/Hollywood fusion movie in my head. Marsh's writing has you picture scenes along with her as you laugh at Amrita's familial antics and swoon at the characters she creates. This book does have a more adult theme to it, so if you're not into a little sexy time I'd stay clear.

Though Marsh does a great job of keeping things interesting, her characters did lack the depth that made the story reach to a deeper level. Most of the relationships are shown to be fairly superficial, and I think more could've been added to build the tension a little more.

The overall pacing of the story was decent. I will say that it did take some time for the story to really begin and the ending was a bit tiresome at times. It wasn't because it was slow, I just personally wanted to tell Shari to snap out of it and make decisions so I could get a glass of water.

Busted in Bollywood was an enjoyable read overall. If you enjoy a Bollywood theme with a little sweetness, a dash of funny and a big helping of spice, then this book is definitely worth checking out.

This book playlist is wedding themed. Either having to do with weddings or will likely play at any Indian wedding you attend. Enjoy! 

Rab Rakha- Love Breakup Zindagi
Chammak Challo- Ra.One
Ainvayi Ainvayi- Band Baaja Baaraat
Bounce Billo-Imran Khan 

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tune in Teasers

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. 


“She smiled for the first time, and he almost had to look away, as if something that nice didn’t belong in such a glum and gray place, as if he had no right to look at her expression.” ~ The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Tune in Tuesdays is weekly meme brought to this lovely blog by Ginger at GReads! Love books and music? Check it out!

Pulling this out because it's what I've had on repeat all week. I've had a huge girl crush on Joss Stone for years now. She is one of those artists that plays after a super long time, and totally reminds me why I love them so much. She's all kinds of adorable and her voice is just SO soulful. I originally wanted to share her White Stripes cover, but I couldn't find a video that'd let me embed. Either way, listen and love  her as much as I do!

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Blog Tour: Until Next Time (The Angel Chronicles #1) by Amy Lignor


"How does a girl choose between the one who steals her heart and the one who owns her soul?

Matt and Emily were created for a specific job. Raised and trained as the ultimate angel/warrior team, they are sent down to save, defend, judge and forgive, depending on the 'life' they've been assigned. What they don't realize is that the power of human emotions, such as love, anger, passion and fear can take over even the best of souls, causing them to make mistakes and follow paths that lead to confusion and heartache.

When the reason for their training is finally revealed, the angel/warrior team find themselves thrust into a world they know nothing about. Matt takes over the life of Daniel, a young man with a great deal of baggage. Emily becomes Liz, a girl living in a remote village who relies on nothing more than her own strength to survive. A violent storm erupts one night, and framed in the window of Liz's establishment is a frightening face. Let in by the soul of a Good Samaritan, the two visitors bring with them a past full of secrets that could literally change an angel's path and a warrior's plans.

From murder to redemption, this angel/warrior team must find a way to keep the faith they have in each other in a world that's ripping them apart."

I want to start off by saying that I'm not the biggest fan of stories involving angels, but this book was a great refreshing take on the topic. Right off the bat we're thrown into an action scene that makes you want to know more about the characters because you automatically feel for them.

I'd usually find this type of plot confusing as it has a double plot of sorts, but it somehow worked really well with this story. One story follows Liz and Daniel while on earth, as the other follows their other life of Matt and Emily in heaven. There were a few times that were a bit confusing, but it was never an issue that would have me stop reading. All characters have their own personality and world so it was usually easy to figure out when I was thrown off.

While love triangles are a bit overdone, it was still enjoyable. I will say that I wasn't really a fan of either of the couples because I never truly felt anything for them, but I still enjoyed their characters as separate beings.

Overall, Until Next Time was a definite change from what I expected, but I loved how unique of a story it was. Lignor's writing was clear and flowed easily off the pages. Though there were a few unanswered questions, I look forward to reading the following installments. Those interested in a story that will continuously have you asking questions should definitely check out this first book!

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

In My Mailbox #6

Hosted By:The Story Siren


Won: Thanks to The Autumn Review


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Geeks Who Read Book Club


Looking for a place to chat YA with other bookish folks? Come check out Geeks Who Read, hosted by Letters Inside Out and myself. We're looking for a total of 15 applicants to join us on a monthly basis to discuss various YA titles. Want some more information? Click the the button on either side of this post.

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