Thursday, July 26, 2018

In case you all missed my last post... "DEAR JAMIE, LOVE RORY" IS HERE!!!!! To continue the bloggy celebration in honor of its release,  I'm sharing the playlist I listened to while writing "Dear Jamie, Love Rory."
Click here for the playlist!

Pretty much all of the music on this playlist was music that I listened to on my own trip to California. 

I can still remember singing along to "Take It All Back" on the way to a vineyard in Napa Valley, and playing some Mumford and Sons on repeat. I listened to this playlist on repeat while writing "Dear Jamie, Love Rory," and it still hasn't gotten old. And Nikki just so happens to be a fan of the Lumineers. ;) I hope that you all enjoy listening to the playlist! =) 

And now, it's giveaway time! 

I'm giving away a signed copy "Dear Jamie, Love Rory" and a beautiful California sticker from Kulana Stickers (check out their Etsy shop, you will want EVERYTHING). The sticker is a gorgeous picture of California covered in the state flower--poppies! It'll look great on a notebook, a water bottle, a phone case-whatever you can dream up for it!

Still working on my photography "skills." xD 

Aren't they pretty? AND I AM GOING TO POINT OUT THAT COVER AGAIN (I still can't believe my name is on there, or how pretty it is...). Enter below, but be sure to hurry! The giveaway ends on August 9! 

Click here to buy "Dear Jamie, Love Rory" and see some more fun extras! 
Click here to buy "Dear Jamie, Love Rory" on Kindle. 

Do you listen to music while writing? Will you be entering the giveaway? 


Thursday, July 19, 2018

It's here! "Dear Jamie, Love Rory" is here!!! =D Typing that out feels so surreal... And holding my story in my hands, staring at my name plastered on the pretty cover... THIS CALLS FOR MORE FIREWORKS.

I want to give a BIG thank you to everyone at One Teen Story (they're amazing!) who helped make this little dream of mine a reality. From editing my story with Patrick Ryan to seeing it in layout to then staring at a box full of my story, this has been an amazing experience just getting it closer to publication. And now to see it published... I'm blown away, to be honest.

My mom made funfetti cupcakes to celebrate! =D 

Thank you to my family, who didn't complain when I stayed up way past midnight writing this story and brought me cocoa and snacks (very important) during the writing process. They're my biggest cheerleaders, and I'm so blessed to have them. Jamie, Rory, and Nikki's story couldn't have happened without any of the people I've mentioned. Seriously, I can't believe how much God has blessed me, and I want to say THANK YOU to Him to, for giving me this wonderful gift of writing and blessing me so much.

I'd also like to thank my amazing readers for being super encouraging and sweet-I couldn't ask for better readers! To celebrate my story's release, I'm hosting a blog party! There will be a giveaway, a playlist, lots of pictures, and more! I hope to see you here! =) 

Click here to see an interview with me, read a snippet, and more! 

Update: It has come to my attention that there was a change in the launch date that I was unaware of, so next week is the official launch! Nonetheless, the party will go on and the links updated as soon as possible. Thanks for all of your wonderful comments! 

Do you like writing short stories? What about reading them? 


Thursday, July 12, 2018

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before was an absolutely adorable read. I was in love with Jenny Han’s writing style (in a Goodreads status update I likened it to cake), Lara Jean and her family, and of course, ALL THE FOOD. But sadly, this book also had elements that left a bad taste in my mouth. Since the movie adaption is coming out on Netflix in August, I thought it might be a good time to post my review. =) Here it goes...
My Rating: Two and a Half Love Letters Out of Five
About the Book...

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them… all at once?

Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.
What I Loved...
Jenny Han’s writing style. Oh my word, Jenny Han’s writing style was as addictive and sweet as salty chocolate caramels. I found myself gobbling up every sentence and finishing this book in about two days. 

The realistic sibling relationships. I loved reading about (and sometimes even relating to!) Lara Jean’s interactions with her sisters Margot and Kitty (especially Kitty). I feel like there aren’t enough positive, realistic sibling relationships in YA literature and was so happy to see them portrayed in this novel. I mean, who doesn’t fight with their siblings over stupid things, and what would life be like without younger siblings’ “helpful” advice? Also I’m not the only one who begs my little sister to do my hair, right?

All. The. Food. I love food. I like eating food. I like making food. I like taking pictures of food. THERE WAS A LOT OF FOOD IN THIS BOOK. From cake to cookies to sandwiches to ice cream to hot chocolate to… I need to stop now. I’m getting hungry. xD

All the cuteness. There were so many cute squeal-worthy moments in this book, from the cupcake making with Peter to the Christmas Cookie Bonanza. =)

The characters. Let’s just say that I absolutely loved Kitty. And Lara Jean. And Peter K. (he and Lara Jean were SO CUTE together). And Lara Jean’s dad. And the rest of the cast of characters was also pretty great BUT...
What I Didn't Love...
The characters drove me nuts sometimes. I mean, Lara Jean, can you FOR ONCE tell the truth?! And being in love with your sister’s ex IS NOT COOL AT ALL. And Josh. Josh was not my favorite human being. Neither was Margot. Margot seemed as prickly as a cactus. Margot and Josh were probably my least favorite characters, besides Genevieve (the whole mean girl thing is getting way overused, if you ask me). And Peter K.… Well, he drove me nuts by being Peter Kavinsky (read the book to understand, please).

Foul language. A book would be perfectly fine without it. And yet it has to be sprinkled there. 

Love triangles are getting old. Am I the only one who thinks this? I mean, we get it. Girl likes boy. Oh, but another boy likes girl. Girl now discovers that she may like other boy. Girl has such a hard time choosing. Girl breaks one boy’s heart and then is unsure about the other. This then continues for a whole series and we readers are screaming “PICK ALREADY IT IS NOT HARD.” The end. 

Sex was talked about way too casually and was a big part of the plot. Who was sleeping with who and whatnot was too big of a part of this book. As a Christian, I believe that sex should be saved for marriage, and the characters in this novel definitely didn't believe that! Please understand, I don't expect everyone to agree with my beliefs, but this is a young adult novel. I wouldn't feel comfortable handing this book over to my fourteen year old sister. 

Parties and drinking. On the topic of content, there were a couple more "mature" parties and some characters (including Peter, who is underage) drank alcohol during these parties. That's all I can think of right now. 
While To All the Boys I've Loved Before was at times as fluffy and sweet as a marshmallow, the content, clichés, and some aspects of the plot and characters led to a two and a half star rating from me. 
About the Author
Jenny Han 
Jenny Han is the New York Times bestselling author of ShugThe Summer I Turned Pretty series, co-author of the Burn for Burn series, and most recently, the To All the Boys I've Loved Before trilogy. She is a former children's bookseller and children's librarian. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

I hope to see you next week as I kick off my blog party to celebrate the release of "Dear Jamie, Love Rory" on July 19! 

Have you read To All the Boys I've Loved Before? What rating would you give it? Does content lead you to give a book a lower rating? 

I'm Tired of "Strong" Female Characters Part Four - The Wrap-Up

Friday, July 6, 2018

I almost can't believe that this is the last part of my series on strong women in fiction! I've had a blast sharing my thoughts and tips and chatting about this topic with you all in the comments. Before I continue, here are the links to the rest of this series in case any of you would like to catch up. =)
The Rest of the Series...

I'd like to close this series not by offering any more tips or pointing out amazing strong female characters in fiction, but by challenging my fellow writers to craft truly strong women in their stories. 

We writers have the amazing ability to influence people through the words we write. We don't just write our stories for enjoyment. We get to encourage people with our stories. We get to tell them truth. We get to inspire people. We get to show them what's right and wrong. We get to tell stories that change people, that change the world.

We get this privilege... Let's not abuse it. Let's use it! 

My hope and prayer for all of my fellow writers is that God will guide them to write stories that will glorify him. I hope that those same stories can also help girls realize what it means to be a truly strong women of the Lord who don't look to their abilities or positions of power for their strength, but to their Lord and Savior. 

Thank you so much for joining me during this series on strong women in fiction! Be sure to visit Notebooks and Novels again next week for a book review of Jenny Han's novel To All the Boys I've Loved Before

Which of these posts was your favorite? Which was most helpful? Will you take on the challenge to write about strong female characters? 

P.S. Be sure to check out my article on PURSUE on friendships with the guys in your life! Click here to read 4 Tips For Having Great Friendships With Guys. 
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