Cards by Andrea S. – Etsy Sale (ends 8/13/17)

As you may have heard, especially if you follow me on Twitter, I have an Etsy shop, Cards by Andrea S., where I sell some of my handmade cards. It isn’t something I set out to do when I started to make cards but I decided to take a chance and try it out. It’s been a fun learning experience and everyday I’m think of ways to make the shop grow.

Since August is my birthday month I am doing a sale for 15% off your order with the code birthday15. The code will end 8/13/17, my birthday, so make sure you shop soon!

What kind of cards will you see at Cards by Andrea S.? Here is a sample:

If there is a specific card you need you can always message me and we can work it out. 🙂

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Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge – August Link-Up

Happy 7 months of reading, you fabulous people!

How it is August already I have no idea. All I know is we have made it through 7 months of glorious reading and me hosting my first challenge. How am I doing so far?? If you haven’t officially signed up for the challenge,you can so so HERE. If you don’t sign-up, your entries will not count toward the giveaway and I have to disqualify you. Basically…SIGN-UP!

Monthly Link-Up and Giveaway Details:

  • Your thoughts on each book you read must be posted somewhere, like your blog, Goodreads, Amazon, YouTube, Tumblr, etc., in order for it to count towards this challenge. Ratings on Goodreads, LibraryThing, BookLikes, etc. will also work.
  • Monthly link-up posts will go live the around the first day of each month so you can add your links throughout the month as your posts go up. Each linky will remain open five days into each new month to allow you some time to get all your posts linked up!
  • In order for us to tell what you’re linking to on the monthly linky, the format for the links you enter need to be as follows:
    • UPDATE POST @ your name/blog name.
    • REVIEW: [BOOK TITLE] @ your name/blog name.
    • MONTHLY TOPIC @ your name/blog name.
  • Each month we’ll choose a lucky winner from that month’s linky to win a Contemporary Romance novel of their choice (up to US$10).
  • Each link you enter in that month’s linky will count as one entry into the giveaway.
  • Challenge and Giveaways are open internationally. (As long as The Book Depository ships to your country, you are eligible for a prize.)

Monthly Topics:

  • Each monthly link-up post will include a Contemporary Romance topic for you to participate in if you’d like.
  • Monthly Topic posts can go up anytime in the specified month. Link them up as follows: MONTHLY TOPIC @ your name/blog name.
  • These posts will also earn you an entry in the monthly giveaway as long as you link back to them.

This month’s topic:

Favorite Contemporary Romance Reads of 2017


  1. Letters to the Lost – Bridgid Kemmerer
  2. The Names They Gave Us – Emery Lord
  3. More Than We Can Tell – Brigid Kemmerer (out in 2018)
  4. Riot (Book #2) – Jamie Shaw
  5. What to Say Next – Julie Buxbaum
  6. One and For All – Sarah Dessen

If you have any questions, please email me (accessoriesbooksclothes@gmail.com) . Also, make sure you follow me on Twitter (@andiabcs) for challenge updates and reminders! Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ContRom2017 to follow everyone’s challenge updates on Twitter!

 

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Review: All Things New – Lauren Miller {giveaway}

Review: All Things New – Lauren Miller {giveaway}All Things New by Lauren Miller
Published by Three Saints Press
on August 1st 2017
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher, Author
Amazon, Goodreads

Jessa has always felt broken inside, but she’s gotten very good at hiding it. No one at school knows about the panic attacks, the therapy that didn't help, the meds that haven’t worked. But when a severe accident leaves her with a brain injury and visible scars, Jessa’s efforts to convince the world that she’s okay finally crumble—now she looks as shattered as she feels.

Fleeing from her old life in Los Angeles, Jessa moves to Colorado to live with her dad, where she meets Marshall, a boy whose kindness and generous heart slowly draw Jessa out of her walled-off shell and into the broken, beautiful, real world—a place where souls get hurt just as badly as bodies, and we all need each other to heal.

ALL THINGS NEW is a love story about perception and truth, physical and emotional pain, and the messy, complicated people we are behind the masks we put on for the world, perfect for fans of ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES and THE FAULT IN OUR STARS.

I received this book for free from Publisher, Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I have been waiting 3 years for this book. I mean not this book in particularly, but just another book by Lauren Miller. I’m a Lauren Miller fangirl. I know it, she knows it, people that follow my reading know it. Ever since I read Parallel for the first time 4 years ago I have been a champion of all books Lauren Miller. I will tell anyone and everyone to read her books. With that in mind imagine how happy I was when I learned about All Things New. I was warned that it was very different from Miller’s other two books and I may not love it as much. Well guess what? That warning was wrong. All Things New was AMAZING! It was a book I needed without knowing I needed it.

All Things New is about Jessa, a quiet 17 year-old that has been plagued by anxiety for many years. She has done everything in her power to hide the panic attacks and fears she has and she does so successfully everything changes. Jessa gets in a terrible accident and all of a sudden she sees scars and wounds on people. The thing about these scars and wounds? They don’t exist. They are projections in Jessa mind. When Jessa moves in with her dad and starts a new life, meeting adorable Marshall in the process, she must find answers to why she is seeing things and figure out how to heal herself in the process.

This book! I seriously loved this book. What I loved most about All Things New, Marshall aside (we will get to him and Jessa later), is the message I found in it through Jessa and the scars she was seeing. The thing is, we all hide scars. We all have things that hurt us or weigh on us that people just don’t know about in everyday life. Jessa was rare and she was able to see those struggles through the manifestation she developed. She may have been seeing wounds on the outside, but really she was seeing what was happening on the inside, the hurt people were feeling in everyday life. That right there is what made All Things New so amazing and important. Jessa was hurt and angry buy what happened and how her life was and this “power” showed her she was not alone.

But she really wasn’t alone. There was Marshall. Oh adorable, lovable, genuine Marshall. He is probably one of the best characters I have read in a long time. He was insanely perfect in his flawed way and he was exactly what Jessa needed. He brought a humor out that was timed perfectly and he was just a great guy. He didn’t make Jessa feel anything she wasn’t ready to feel. He was just there for her. He listened to her and they formed a bond. It was all 100% swoon-worthy.

All I can tell you about All Things New, well that I didn’t say above, is you need to read it. There is something magical about Miller’s storytelling and Jessa’s story. It isn’t your typical mental health story, but it’s important all the same. It’s about healing and how we make ourselves heal and that is something everyone should know is possible. Well done Lauren, well done. Now write me another book. 😉

One eBook version (Kindle or NOOK only) of All Things New by Lauren Miller. US ONLY. Ends 8/3/17 at 11:59PM EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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An App for That

What if there was an app that…

This is the concept for Lauren Miller‘s book, Free to Fall. Long after Google and Apple are gone a new tech company comes in and creates Lux, and app that makes decisions for you. Lux makes sure you are making the right decisions that will lead to the utmost happiness. The idea completely fascinated me in a way I didn’t expect. It is a very now idea as technology grows and grows but is it a good idea to have an app that made all you decisions?

I started thinking about what I would want an app to decide for me and came up with a number of ideas. Instead of sharing all of mine I asked a few friends that read and loved Lauren’s book to tell me what they would want decided:

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Amber – YA Book Indulgence

Let me say first off that my love for Free To Fall knows no bounds. I think it was the first real book that I was completely obsessed with. I loved it so much that for a while it was even my profile picture on Twitter. It may still be my profile picture for the YA Indulgences Facebook page.

Okay, now that I got that out of the way. I was so happy when Andi asked me if I could quickly participate in this post! Free To Fall did an amazing job with showing how easy it is to let an app decide things for you. This is especially great if you are an indecisive person, as I sometimes can be.

I could think of several things I would like technology to decide for me, what job to take, what clothes to buy, what kind of blog post to make or what book to choose to read.

I think if I could only pick one thing though, I would have technology decide if I should pursue relationships or friendships or not. It’s easy for relationships and friendships to become complicated with life circumstances and people changing. I don’t think I’m the only one that has struggled with whether or not a relationship is still worth fighting for. In Free To Fall, the main character, Rory follows the apps order on when danger is coming and where to go to prevent it. I think I would like that kind of decision for an app with relationships. I know it could be hard to relinquish control or at least take into an account, a technological decision, but if the app truly did know best, as is expressed in Free To Fall, I think I would take the risk.

Amy – A. C. Shaw

I must admit that I don’t really like the idea of technology making decisions for me; it’s nice to feel a sense of control in the choices I make. However, one thing I would appreciate technology helping me with is determining whether I need to go to the doctor or not. You know you’ve been there, sitting on WebMD, wondering if you’re experiencing a random pain or if you have a tumor. It would be great to have some sort of smart tech that could truly detect just how serious your symptoms are, whether you should go to the doctor, and what kind of doctor you should see. No more hypochondria and no more wasted co-pays!

Lauren – Love is Not a Triangle

I loved Free to Fall, and though is definitely a cautionary tale, I also think there’s a lot of appeal for smart technology that makes decisions for you. I recently started wearing a Fitbit, and I dearly wish that it could track the calories I eat, just by me wearing it, instead of me having to write everything down manually in a tracker. I just put food in my mouth and it can read the calorie content through my skin. Then, it could tell me how much I should be eating, and offer suggestions of what I should eat – and how much I should exercise that become more tailored to my diet, and how fast my metabolism processes, the longer I wear it. That would save me a lot of time and effort. I don’t think it’s a device I’d want forever, but it would certainly be helpful!

Andi: Andi’s ABCs

One of the many thoughts that came to my head when deciding what I would want an app to choose for me was lunch. Everyday I sit at my desk at work and know that lunch time is coming. I know that the dreaded part of my day is upon me and I will have to do something I hate…decide what I want to eat. I work right in downtown Boston so I have a ton of option. But I have also been working in the same area for almost 19 years. Everything is just the same and I never know what I want to have. I wish I could have an app that would decide what I want to eat based on my past likes and dislikes of food. That right there would make my life so much simpler.

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I don’t know about you guys but I can easily see how this decision making and parallel life ideas could really work together. Maybe we should get Lauren Miller to write a book combining them both. One half is the decisions the app makes and the other half is the decisions it doesn’t. Hmmm…

Huge thanks to Lauren, Amy and Amber for helping me out. I’m so happy you loved Free to Fall like I did.

What decision would you want an app to make for you? Have you read Free to Fall yet?

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Review Rewind: Free to Fall – Lauren Miller

Last week I re-shared my review of Parallel by Lauren Miller. This week we are revisited my review of her second book, Free to Fall.

This book is one that I haven’t had the chance to reread yet but I hope to soon. I remember reading it and being blown away and excited with how current and now it felt. I remember talking to Lauren about it (she was the one that sent me a copy when I was just starting out on my own with blogging) and I was so excited to tell her how much I loved it and how it was the perfect sophomore release.

In a week Lauren Miller’s 3rd book, All Things New will be out (go and preorder it!) and I will be reviewing that. But until then, here are my thoughts on Free to Fall:

Review Rewind: Free to Fall – Lauren MillerFree to Fall by Lauren Miller
Published by HarperTeen
on May 12th 2015
Amazon, Goodreads

From the author of Parallel comes a high-stakes romantic puzzler set in a near-future where everyone's life is seamlessly orchestrated by personal electronic devices. Imaginative and thrilling, this fast-paced story with two starred reviews is not to be missed.

Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes decision-making for the best personal results. Just like everyone else, sixteen-year-old Rory Vaughn knows the key to a happy, healthy life is to follow what Lux recommends. When she's accepted to the elite boarding school Theden Academy, her future happiness seems all the more assured. But once on campus, something feels wrong beneath the polished surface of her prestigious dream school. Then she meets North, a handsome townie who doesn't use Lux, and begins to fall for him and his outsider way of life. Soon, Rory is going against Lux's recommendations, listening instead to the inner voice that everyone has been taught to ignore—a choice that leads her to uncover a truth neither she nor the world ever saw coming.

Straight up, I am fangirl crushing on Lauren Miller. I can’t help it. I honestly have no free will over this. Her books have made me do it.

I first fell in love with Ms. Miller when I read her debut book Parallel (review). I’m a sucker for parallel life stories that emulate the amazing Gwyneth Paltrow movie Sliding Doors. I was basically hooked from the first page. Then I heard about her second book, Free to Fall, and I was intrigued. It was completely different from Parallel but also really relevant to our current times and how technology takes over our lives. So when I was offered a copy I basically did an obnoxious chair dance and I did an even more obnoxious one when I finished reading it. Free to Fall did something I never expected it to do…it took over my live for Parallel and is now my favorite Lauren Miller book. Seriously amazing doesn’t even begin to cover my thoughts on this story.

Free to Fall is essentially and epic story about free will and our right to make decisions and mistakes. Basically the story is about Rory, a 15 year old girl that is offered the opportunity she has dreamed of, to attend Theden Academy in Massachusetts. Rory lives in a world where Google and Apple are obsolete and have been replaced by a company that is called Gnosis and there decision making app Lux. Like 99% of the public Rory relies on Lux to make all her decisions and her life generally easier. But when Rory gets to Theden she meets North, an off the grid hacker that does things old school, and everything starts to change for her. Soon she is falling head over heels for him and how she once saw things doesn’t seem so black and white anymore. She starts to question everything in her life and at Theden. As Rory digs deeper she starts to uncover some things she never thought she’d find out that change everything. Now instead of possibly just finding her first love, Rory may uncover something that could put her and the people she loves in danger.

My love for this book really defies words. From the first pages I was essentially hooked. So much in fact that I read it slow as I didn’t really want it to end because then it would be over and then what. I think what really got me was the way the story unfolded. It’s been a long time since a book has surprised me with where it was going and Free to Fall did just that. As the mystery started to unravel and reveal itself I was completely unsure where it would go. Miller wrote a lot of twists and turns in this story and they kept me on my toes. What could have been a confusing mess of clues and direction changes made the plot unexpected and really unbelievably fantastic. From Rory’s back story to the secrets of the past to the seemingly random world puzzles it all worked in a really great, uniquely clever tale.

Also I loved the plot. As a society we are addicted to technology. I personally am on my computer, tablet or iPhone more than I should be. I feel like it is an extension of me I away that I shouldn’t so I was totally fascinated by the idea of what technology could do in the not so distant future if we let it take over our lives. And as farfetched as it sounds the more I read of Free to Fall the more I believed in the possibility. As a society we are always trying to find ways to make daily activities easier and more streamlined. We want to constantly one better the product before which is both great and scary. So the idea that an app, not much different than Apple’s Siri, is used to make all life decisions isn’t as farfetched as one would think. Technology is a slippery slope that can easily go bad and Miller did a fantastic job of showing that without being preachy about it.

And to go along with the plot there were the characters. I was enthralled by this cast of characters. Whether it was the sometimes selfish, always over the top Hersey, the technology truster Rory, or the old school hacker North. They each played integral parts in the book and I think grew as characters which is really important to me. I loved North the second I met him and that love didn’t change as I read on. Rory it took time to get to know but as I found out more about her and as she started to change I really loved her. And Hersey was Hersey. She was one of those characters that can get on your nerves but you also need in a good story. Between these three and the other supporting cast Free to Fall is a great character story.

Look, I could go on and on about this book. I could tell you everything I loved in great detail. I could tell you about how Miller won me over even more with the fact that she obviously did her research on Boston which endeared me to her more. But really all you need to know is that this book is fantastic, will keep you thinking and on your toes, and will leaving you wanting more even though it is over 450 pages long. It’s basically the complete package and has made me a fan of Lauren Miller and her writing greatness for life. This is one book that you certainly do not want to miss. A must read for 2014 and on my top ten list for the year.

*Although this book was sent by the author, this is 100% my opinion.

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