New to You (1): Kelsey Reviews Parallel by Lauren Miller {+ a giveaway}

As you may have heard (or read) I love a good reread. I read some of my favorite books pretty often. But what I don’t do it write a new review for them. I review them after I read it for the first time and then that is it for my review. Sometimes I think I want to write a new one, but there is nothing more powerful then the words you use after your first time finishing a book.

I was thinking about this when I finished my 3rd read of Lauren Miller’s Parallel. I wanted a new review but I didn’t want to write a new one since I loved my old one. Then it hit me, have a friend that hasn’t read it read and review it. Brilliant!

Welcome to New to You.

New to You is a new feature where I will have people, that are interested, read my favorite books they haven’t yet read. So you haven’t read Anna and the French Kiss or Twenty Boy Summer or What Happens Next? Well now is your chance to do so and review it on my blog. If you are interested in taking part of this feature feel free to contact me on Twitter, email, Instagram DM, Facebook…you get the gist. If you know how to find me, find me. And if you don’t I may just come after you and ask if you would be interested. 🙂

First up on New to You we have Kelsey. She’ll be reviewing Parallel by Lauren Miller and I’m really excited for you guys to see what she thought. (Scroll to the end for a giveaway).

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New to You (1): Kelsey Reviews Parallel by Lauren Miller {+ a giveaway}Parallel by Lauren Miller
Published by HarperTeen
on April 8th 2014
Amazon, Goodreads

Abby Barnes had a plan. The Plan. She'd go to Northwestern, major in journalism, and land a job at a national newspaper, all before she turned twenty-two. But one tiny choice—taking a drama class her senior year of high school—changed all that. Now, on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Abby is stuck on a Hollywood movie set, miles from where she wants to be, wishing she could rewind her life. The next morning, she's in a dorm room at Yale, with no memory of how she got there. Overnight, it's as if her past has been rewritten.

With the help of Caitlin, her science-savvy BFF, Abby discovers that this new reality is the result of a cosmic collision of parallel universes that has Abby living an alternate version of her life. And not only that: Abby's life changes every time her parallel self makes a new choice. Meanwhile, her parallel is living out Abby's senior year of high school and falling for someone Abby's never even met.

As she struggles to navigate her ever-shifting existence, forced to live out the consequences of a path she didn't choose, Abby must let go of the Plan and learn to focus on the present, without losing sight of who she is, the boy who might just be her soul mate, and the destiny that's finally within reach.

Andi has always been one of my friends I turn to when I need a good book recommendation. I don’t think I’ve come across one that she told me to read that I didn’t love. It has got to the point where I made an entire Goodreads shelf dedicated to books Andi wants (i.e. needs/forces/yells) at me to read. One of these chosen books was Parallel by Lauren Miller. Now, I don’t usually read these kinds of time travel, multi-universe type books, so I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about it. But alas, I read this beauty in one day and, as always, Andi didn’t disappoint.

The book starts with the main character Abby filming a movie in LA and celebrating her 18th birthday, but you can tell she feels out of place, and that this life isn’t the dream that she had for herself. She wanted to go to Northwestern to be a journalist. That was it. She was set on it. Journalist or bust. But on her first day of senior year she had to make a last minute change to her schedule (that she spent forever getting just right so she would have THE PERFECT schedule and GPA to get into Northwestern – being a perfectionist myself I understand that frustration). She was to choose between an Astronomy Class and a Drama Class and went with the latter option. Flash forward and that decision has plunked her right in LA filming a movie.

The morning after her 18th birthday Abby wakes up and she doesn’t know where she is. Now, if that we’re me I would probably pass out after having a panic attack, but she figures out that she is at Yale, in her dorm room, that she shares with her college roommate. Wait, what? This is where I had to try to keep everything straight between Abby’s parallel worlds. She has to figure out what memories and choices led her here, at Yale – not LA, not Northwestern.

Luckily for Abby, her best friend, Caitlin, is also going to school at Yale. She explains what she thinks is happening between parallel worlds (let me tell you what thought would never cross my mind). The one thing I found a little crazy, was how calm, rational and completely understanding Caitlin was of this theory. I would probably want to have my friends head examined, but that’s just me. However, Caitlin becomes her lifeline in helping Abby piece together her past, her choices, and navigate through what is happening in this current life.

And the boys – Josh & Michael. Oh the boys.  There was definitely one I was rooting for throughout, but I enjoyed how they both played into her parallel worlds and how connected they really were. I usually always prefer books that have a romantic story line involved. While there was this love triangle of sorts, the relationships didn’t get super involved, and with all the thought I had to put into this book to keep it straight, I was more than okay with that. Just the right amount of romance.

This book was one I really couldn’t set down, because I just wanted to know how it all played out in the end. I definitely had to pay attention or else I would confuse myself, but I think that’s what made it so fun. It also really makes you think about the choices you make and how everything can be affected by them. (It also sent me into an internet black hole on parallel universe theories).

Thank you, Andi, as always for a great book rec!

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Thanks Kelsey for having Parallel be New to You!

US ONLY. Ends 7/23/17 12:00am.

 

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Blog Tour – Once and for All by Sarah Dessen: Book Inspired Wedding Invite + giveaway

I’ve been a Sarah Dessen fan for a while (even got to meet her a couple of years ago) and I’m excited to get to be a stop on her tour for her newest book, Once and for All, out June 6th. When reading this book, one of my top three Dessen books, I was inspired by a lot of different things. But my top inspiration was the wedding theme and the flowers and colors of the book cover. Scroll after the book and author info to see the wedding invitation I created by this inspiration.

Blog Tour – Once and for All by Sarah Dessen: Book Inspired Wedding Invite + giveawayOnce and for All by Sarah Dessen
Published by Viking Books for Young Readers
on June 6th 2017
Amazon, Goodreads

As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen's thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that's why she's cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm's length. But Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged, now that he's met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

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About Sarah Dessen

Sarah Dessen is one of the most popular writers for young adults. She is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of many novels, which have received numerous awards and rave reviews, and have sold more than seven million copies. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with her husband, Jay, and their daughter, Sasha Clementine.

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The main supplies I used.

The inks I used.

I cut down the kraft cardstock to 5 x 7 and then used my T shape ruler to make lines to make sure things were straight.

Taking my inks I used the Fresh Cut Roses layering stamps and stamped out the images I needed.

When the images were done I used my sharp, detail scissors and fussy cut them out leaving a small white border.

When I was done with the images I used the border dies (see the first pictures) and put them through my die cutting machine creating the borders. Then I adhered the flowers in the center of the top.

Finally I used my calligraphy stamp letters and some other stamps to create the body of the invite.

TOUR SCHEDULE:

 

Week One:
May 29 – Lost in Lit – Bookish Wedding Ideas
May 30 – The Young Folks – Top 10 Reasons to Read OAFA
May 31 – Icey Books – OAFA Spotlight
June 1 – Andi’s ABCs – OAFA Inspired Wedding Invites
June 2 – The YA Book Traveler – Bookish Wedding DIY

 

Week Two:
June 5 – Alexa Loves Books – OAFA Playlist
June 6 – The Perpetual Page-Turner – Author Q&A
June 7 – Ex Libris – Review
June 8 – Pop! Goes the Reader – OAFA Inspired Wallpaper
June 9 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – On Planning an Intimate (Fun!) Wedding

 

Week Three:
June 12 – The Fandom
June 13 – Booksthetics
June 14 – Once Upon a Twilight – Review
June 15 – Bibliophile Gathering – Review
June 16 – Dark Faerie Tales – OAFA Inspired Photoshoot

 

Week Four:
June 19 – A Page With A View – Quiz: Which Dessen Character Are You?
June 20 – Bookworm Everlasting – Review & Photograph
June 21 – Fiction Fare – Favorite Quotes from OAFA
June 22 – ButterMyBooks – Review
June 23 – YA Bibliophile – Character Easter Eggs in OAFA

 

PREORDER INFORMATION:
 
Pre-order ONCE AND FOR ALL and enter to win a trip for two to Emerald Isle, the beachside town that inspires the setting in Sarah’s books! All entrants will receive a ONCE AND FOR ALL inspired pocket planner. (If you preorder you must go to the site and upload a photo of your receipt to enter.)
Pre-order URL: http://bit.ly/2rRHAV9

 

SARAH’S TOUR INFORMATION:

GIVEAWAY LEGAL COPY:
Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of Once and for All by Sarah Dessen (ARV: $19.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on May 29, 2017 and 12:00 AM on June 26, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 30, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

 

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Blog Tour: The Fashion Committee – Etsy Fashion Illustrations {giveaway}

Today is my stop n the blog tour for The Fashion Committe by Susan Juby. So far you have seen some reviews and a fabulous Book Look and you have some great things coming your way. For my stop though I am going to share with you something I have become obsessed with on Etsy (and in my crafty space), fashion illustrations. But first a little about the book:

Blog Tour: The Fashion Committee – Etsy Fashion Illustrations {giveaway}The Fashion Committee by Susan Juby
Published by Viking Books for Young Readers
on May 23rd 2017
Amazon, Goodreads

Charlie Dean is a style-obsessed girl who eats, sleeps, and breathes fashion. John Thomas-Smith is a boy who forges metal sculptures in his garage and couldn't care less about clothes. Both are gunning for a scholarship to the private art high school that could make all their dreams come true. Whoever wins the fashion competition will win the scholarship--and only one can win.

Told in the alternating voices of Charlie's and John's journals, this hilarious and poignant YA novel perfectly captures what it's like to have an artistic drive so fierce that nothing--not your dad's girlfriend's drug-addicted ex-boyfriend, a soul-crushing job at Salad Stop, or being charged with a teensy bit of kidnapping--can stand in your way. With black and white art custom-created by fashion and beauty illustrator Soleil Ignacio, the book is a collector's item, perfect for anyone with a passion for fashion.

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About Susan Juby

Susan Juby has written six acclaimed novels for teenagers. The most well-known is Alice, I Think, the first of the Alice MacLeod trilogy, which was made into a successful television series. She is also the author of a memoir, Nice Recovery, and the adult comic novel The Woefield Poetry Collective; its sequel, Republic of Dirt, has just been published in Canada.  She is currently working on another movel set at the Green Pastures Academy of Art and Applied Design. 

 

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There is a huge selection of fashion illustrations on Etsy and I’m in love with like 97% of them and want them all. Since Charlie Dean and John Thomas-Smith spend a fair amount of their time having to draw and create looks I thought what better time to show you some of my fave prints from some super talented fashion illustrators:

The Shop by Melsys

Azul by HNIllustration

Fashion Illustration Print. Emma.b by SweetBWorld

Minimalist Fashion Print by akrDesignStudio

Fashion illustration print by IvanaIllustrations

Stripes + Floral by anumt

Lupita Nyong’o illustration by RongrongIllustration

Aren’t the all just gorgeous? If I had the money I would have a wall covered in them.

TOUR SCHEDULE:
Week One:
May 22 – Pink Polka Dot Books – Review & Book Look
May 23 – The Fandom
May 25 – Here’s to Happy Endings – Review
May 26 – Andi’s ABCs – Favorite Etsy Fashion Illustrations
Week Two:
May 29 – Swoony Boys Podcast – Dreamcast
May 30 – Paper Trail YA – Review + Setlist
June 1 – The Hardcover Lover – TBT: Fashion Crafting in High School
June 2 – YA Romantics – Review + Fashion Quiz

GIVEAWAY LEGAL COPY:
Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of The Fashion Committee by Susan Juby (ARV: $16.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on May 22, 2017 and 12:00 AM on June 5, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 7, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

 

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Blog Tour – The One Memory of Flora Banks: Book Inspired Card {giveaway}

Hi all! The end of the The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr tour is quickly approaching and I’m the second to last stop. For the past 3 weeks bloggers have been showing off their creativity and reviews for this unique book and now it is my turn. First a little about the book:

Blog Tour – The One Memory of Flora Banks: Book Inspired Card {giveaway}The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr
on Penguin Teen
Amazon, Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. She lives under the careful watch of her parents, in a town she is familiar with, among people who are equally familiar with her story. She has not been able to recall any part of her past since she was ten, when the tumor that was removed from her brain took with it her ability to make new memories. That is, until she kisses Drake, her best friend's boyfriend, the night before he leaves town. Miraculously, this singular memory breaks through Flora's fractured mind, and sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake and their shared kiss are responsible for restoring her memory and making her whole again. So when an encouraging email from Drake suggests she meet him on the other side of the world, Flora knows with certainty that this is the first step in reclaiming her life.

With little more than the tattoo "be brave" inked into her skin, and written reminders of who she is, how old, where she lives, and why her memory is so limited, Flora sets off on an impossible journey to the land of the midnight sun--Svalbard, Norway. There she is determined to find Drake, and to explore the romantic possibilities and hopeful future that their reunion promises her. But from the moment she arrives in the arctic, nothing is quite as it seems, and Flora must "be brave" if she is ever to learn the truth about herself, and to make it safely home.

Rich with psychological twists, powerful moments of hope, despair, and confusion, and a landscape very much a character unto itself, FLORA BANKS is an emotionally compelling and immersive read that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit, the depths of the human heart, and the power of the human mind.

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There are a couple of themes I noticed in Flora Banks right away. First Flora talks about being brave (even has it tattooed on her arm to remember) and second writing and notes are very important for her day to day life. Because of these two things I was immediately drawn to make a card that was inspired by Flora and her notes.

First I took my MFT Typewriter Text Background stamp, Gina K. Ocean Mist ink and cardstock, and put it in my Misti to create my panel for my card. I used the blue color because of the similarity to the book cover.

When that was finished I used my Avery Elle Wonky Stitch die with my Big Shot and created a frame. I adhered the frame with my ATG Gun and my card base was ready.

Setting the base aside I pulled out my book stamp from Unity Stamps and my Felicity Jane alphabet stamps. I decided to use silver embossing powder on the stamp of the book to go with the theme of the cover. Once that was done I used my letter stamps and Lawn Fawn Blue Jay ink to create the sentiment for the card.

With the panel finished I used some fun foam and adhered it to the back before inserting the panel on the base of my card in the spot left by the frame. When that was in place I took out some sequins and added a little sparkle.

And there you have my final product (which I will be giving away on Twitter later today).

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About Emily Barr

Emily Barr (www.emilybarr.com) began her career as a journalist at the Guardian before realizing that she was drawn more toward books. After taking a year to go backpacking for a column assignment, she returned home with the idea for her first book, the New York Times bestseller Backpack, and never looked back. She has since written 11 additional books for adults. The One Memory of Flora Banks is her young adult debut. Emily lives in Cornwall with her partner and their children. You can follow her on Twitter @emily_barr.

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Week One:
May 1 – Butter My Books – Guest Post
May 2 – Novel Novice – Svalbad Travel Guide
May 3 – No More Grumpy Bookseller – Review
May 4 – Pink Polka Dot Books – Review + Favorite Quotes
May 5 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Mood Board

Week Two:
May 8 – Midsummer Reads – Author Q&A
May 9 – Margie’s Must Reads – Review
May 10 – Adventures of a Book Junkie – Author Q&A
May 11 – Bibliophile Gathering – Review
May 12 – Brittany’s Book Rambles – Guest Post

Week Three:
May 15 – Fiktshun – Guest Post
May 16 – The Book’s Buzz – Guest Post
May 17 – Here’s to Happy Endings – Flora Banks Inspired Recipe
May 18 – Andi’s ABCs – Flora Banks Bookish DIY
May 19 – In Wonderland – Review

Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr (ARV: $17.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on May 1, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 22, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about May 24, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

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Champagne Wishes and Crafty Dreams 18: All the Cards (GIVEAWAY)

It’s coming. Soon I’ll be selling my cards on my blog. I’m taking the month of April to really build a stock, and to complete a special request for a friend, but I would say come May you will be able to buy one of my cards if you would like. It is taking me longer than I would like, but creativity is hard sometimes and there are days it just isn’t there. But I promise it will be soon (if anyone is even interested. HA).

In the mean time I thought I would share (once again) some of the cards I have been working on. And ICYMI, I had a cool thing happen to me. I had two of my cards featured on the blog for one of my favorite supply shops, The Ton Stamps. You can check that post out HERE. Now on to the cards:

What do you think? Do you have a favorite?

And since you have been so patient with my posting of all these cards I am going to send a card to one winner. It may be one of the above or it may be something new I create. Since it will just be a mailed card this is open internationally. Giveaway ends April 9th at 11:59PM EST. 

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