Month: April 2019

Apr 30
April 2019 Wrap-Up & Best of the Bunch

April 2019 Wrap-Up & Best of the Bunch

Best of the Bunch, Monthly Recap 45

  My Goings On in April: We went to lots of track meets (my middle daughter is in track). I volunteered at Bernie’s Book Bank with my mom and packed books for kids. I planned a trip to LA in August. We’ll be going on a family vacation and then I’ll be sticking around a few extra days for an SCBWI conference. A perfect blend of business and pleasure! Things I watched:  I rented A Star Is Born and The Miseducation of Cameron Post. I liked them both but didn’t love them (which inspired me to write post that will go up in a couple of weeks). I continued watching Umbrella Academy with my mom. With all the buzz around Game of Thrones, I started watching it again. (I had stopped near the beginning of season three for some unknown reason). I love getting to watch the whole series almost straight through!… Read more »


Apr 29
Bite-Sized Reviews of Hurricane Season, Release, Grim Lovelies and Story Genius

Bite-Sized Reviews of Hurricane Season, Release, Grim Lovelies and Story Genius

Reviews 14

I’ve got four reviews for you today: a MG contemporary, a YA contemporary, a YA fantasy and a non-fiction writing craft book. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! Hurricane Season is a poignant story of the complexities of loving a parent who struggles with mental health issues. Fig is used to having to take care of her dad. She’s used to him embarrassing him in front of her friends. She’s used to needing help (sometimes even from the police). She’s used to the questions and the worry that this time social services might actually take her dad away from her. She’s used to all of these things, but that doesn’t make any of it any easier to handle. The story follows Fig as she struggles to understand her dad and battles her own fears. Her story is heartbreaking and incredibly realistic. For instance,… Read more »


Apr 28
Sunday Post: Book Pre-order Campaigns & Giveaways Galore – 4/28/19

Sunday Post: Book Pre-order Campaigns & Giveaways Galore – 4/28/19

Sunday Post 24

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on my blog and share news about what’s coming up in the week ahead. This past week on FYFA (and in my life): Yesterday it snowed again. Why are we not done with winter? I live in Chicago, not Alaska. On Monday, my mom and I spent a couple of hours volunteering at Bernie’s Book Bank, a fantastic organization that gives books to low-income kids. I was surprised that they have three two-hour volunteer sessions every day (6 days a week). They need a lot of help since they’ve given away 14.5 million books since 2009! Volunteering there was a great experience–we filled bags with books for kids in grades K-1 and then grades 2-3. They had bins in different categories and we had to… Read more »


Apr 27
April 2019 Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up Link-Up & Giveaway

April 2019 Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up Link-Up & Giveaway

Current Giveaways, Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up 12

It’s time for the April Wrap-Up Round-Up!  The March giveaway ends soon, so head over there for your last chance to enter! This is the link-up AND giveaway for our April wrap-up posts. If you don’t already know about the Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up, read the information below: Every month, at the end of the month, I’ll put up a monthly wrap-up link-up post where everyone can link up their month-end posts. There are no specific requirements for what needs to be in your post, as long as you have a book blog and your wrap-up summarizes your month in some way. The round-up will include a giveaway that encourages people to visit YOUR month end wrap-ups, giving entries for commenting and/or sharing. Anyone can participate in the giveaway—you won’t have to actually link up in order to participate. If you don’t already post a monthly wrap-up and want some ideas… Read more »


Apr 25
I Want to Post It NOW! (AKA One Reason I Almost Never Blog Ahead.) Let’s Discuss.

I Want to Post It NOW! (AKA One Reason I Almost Never Blog Ahead.) Let’s Discuss.

Let's Discuss 51

I am always in awe of people who manage to blog ahead. I mean, some of you guys have things scheduled out for months. It’s beyond my comprehension. I always say that I’m just not organized enough to manage blogging ahead, but I’ve realized that there’s another reason as well: I am terribly impatient and I can’t wait to get that post I’ve just written out there. Case in point: I just wrote a goofy little post about exclamation points. It’s nothing brilliant or mind-blowing, but the second I finished it, I really wanted to post it. Except I couldn’t. I had a tour post that went up that morning, and it needed to be top post of the day (plus, I’m aware that it would be silly to put up two posts in one day when I had only put up one other post that week). So, my next instinct was… Read more »


Apr 23
Reminiscing: The First Ten Books I Reviewed

Reminiscing: The First Ten Books I Reviewed

Top Ten Tuesday 36

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is an audiobook freebie, but I chose to keep it simple: The First Ten Books I Reviewed I thought it might be fun to do a little reminiscing with this post! I started blogging in February of 2013. As a baby blogger I was pretty much just groping around in the dark with no concept of how to run a blog (or how to write a review, really). If you’re adventurous, you can click on the links and see how bad those original reviews really were (including their ugly formatting). Hmmm… Lots of big faces on these covers. Was that a trend back then or did I just happen to review a bunch of books with that type of cover? Anyway, on to the list: So, my very first review posted here was Shadow Kiss by… Read more »


Apr 21
Sunday Post: Book Pre-order Campaigns & Giveaways Galore – 4/21/19

Sunday Post: Book Pre-order Campaigns & Giveaways Galore – 4/21/19

Sunday Post 40

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on my blog and share news about what’s coming up in the week ahead. This past week on FYFA (and in my life): Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates the holiday! We’re spending a low-key day at church (where most of the family is serving for all the services) and at home, my dad being our only guest. We prefer holidays that way, honestly. This week, I shared some of my new WIP with my writing critique group. I honestly was really scared to do it because I still feel like this manuscript is sort of a mess (I’m not writing it in order), so it was hard to figure out what to share. And rough draft verse feels very rough indeed in… Read more »


Apr 18
The Boy Who Steals Houses by CG Drews: Review & Giveaway

The Boy Who Steals Houses by CG Drews: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 12 ★★★★★

This book is pure perfection, crafted with Cait’s special brand of lyrical writing, witty banter and heartwrenching circumstances.  Sam’s reality is painful–he’s trying to care for an older brother since all of the adults in his life have failed him. All he wants in life is a home, a place to belong, but for him, that feels like a distant dream. Plus, he’s living with the repercussions of a cycle of abuse passed down from his father (not to mention the neglect and emotional abuse inflicted by his aunt), and he fears that he might not be able ever truly break that cycle. Sam is a kid who has to make very adult choices, and he often fails to hold the threads of his life together. I fell in love with the DeLaineys right along with Sam. They’re everything he yearns for: a strong, vibrant family, full of love and… Read more »


Apr 16
I’m Addicted to Exclamation Points!! Let’s Discuss.

I’m Addicted to Exclamation Points!! Let’s Discuss.

Let's Discuss 51

Of course, my main addiction is fiction (as my blog title so aptly points out), but I’ve realized that I’m addicted to something else as well: exclamation points! Yes, I am one of those terrible over-users of the exclamation point. If I have commented on your blog, I have probably exclaimed over you in egregious ways. Sometimes I’ve used three exclamation points in a two-sentence comment!! It seems like the shorter a comment is, the more it needs an extra oomph. Somehow adding that little exclamation point makes me feel like the comment is more cheerful, more interesting, more vibrant, more encouraging. Am I fooling myself? Probably. Will I change? Probably not. I know that some people find exclamation points really annoying. And sometimes I do go and remove one or two from my comments before I hit Send. After all, I don’t want to be obnoxious. But this is a… Read more »


Apr 14
Sunday Post: Book Pre-order Campaigns & Giveaways Galore – 4/14/19

Sunday Post: Book Pre-order Campaigns & Giveaways Galore – 4/14/19

Sunday Post 46

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on my blog and share news about what’s coming up in the week ahead. This past week on FYFA (and in my life): Well, this is the scene out my back door right now: I know April showers bring May flowers, but I’m a little unclear on what April snowstorms bring. Lots of annoyed people? It’s supposed to be 50 degrees tomorrow, so I guess it will all melt, but still… I’m about done with this crazy weather. Nothing else too new. My daughter Danielle had a couple of track meets and got a new PR for high jump (4’6″). She was excited about that, of course. And then Friday night Danielle, my mom and I went to see a play at… Read more »