Category Archives: Random

It’s My Third Blogoversary!

It's My Blogoversary!

Well, I have somehow been able to make it to the third year. I think this is the part where I’m supposed to feel like, accomplished and “together”. I don’t really feel like either, but I still felt like a little post was necessary and fun.

How do you sum of three years? 1096 days?, some better than others. You do it in list form, of course. Let’s look at some stats, yes?

  • I have read a (low-ish) total of 108 books.
  • I’ve posted 473 (now 474!) times.
  • I’ve had 75,770 non-unique views.
  • I’ve had 55,796 non-unique visitors.
  • I have roughly 270 followers on WordPress.
  • My most viewed book review is still To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han with the non-unique view count of 12,657.
  • I’ve posted 63 reviews.
  • I’ve shared 23 discussions for Amber’s Rambles
  • I have created nine features (Looking Forward To, Featured Fairytale Friday (now in purgatory, Musical Monday, Wondrous Covers Wednesday, Amber’s Rambles, One Day More, More Than This Provincial Life, Bookish Lists and First Watch).
  • I have done one cover reveal solo (Nowhere Near You!) and one cover reveal in part (Game On).
  • I’ve taken two hiatuses, one in 2015 and one in 2016.
  • I’ve received physical ARCs from St. Martin’s (the first publisher!), Bloomsbury (The second!) and finally Simon & Schuster!
  • I’ve received e-ARCs from Dundurn, HarperCollins,, Scholastic,, Simon & Schuster, Chronicle Books, and St. Martin’s!
  • I’ve participated in thirteen blog tours.
  • I have had fifteen authors on my blog included but not limited to: Kody Keplinger, Corey Ann Haydu, LEAH THOMAS, and Tamara Ireland Stone.
  • I have attended BEA of 2016 and ALA (Annual Conference) of 2017, both in Chicago.
  • I have met 32 authors.
    • Who I Met At BEA  – Erica Chapman, David Levithan, Jennifer Niven, Adam Silvera, Stacey Kade, Aaron Starmer, Billy Taylor, David Arnold and Sara Shepard!)
    • Who I Met At ALA – Sandhya Menon, Christa Desir, Hena Khan, Eric Smith, Courtney Stevens, Adi Alsaid, Kate Watson, Jason Reynolds, Nic Stone, Brandy Colbert, Angie Thomas, Emery Lord, Samira Ahmed, Gregory Scott Katsoulis, Jen Lancaster, Anna-Marie McLemore, Mitali Perkins, Maureen Goo, Stacey Lee, Jessica Pennington,Duncan Tonatiuh, Sheela Chari, and F.C. Yee!

It’s been a good three years and I made it through despite a lot of stuff going on both online and in real life. I’m happy I’m still here and that I’ve met a lot of bookish people. I love that I’ve had the blessing to go to two book conferences in a row and that I’ve met so many amazing authors. I hope to have many more blogoversaries despite the hard times and obstacles. Thank you to publishers, authors, friends and readers. 

 


Books I Would Love To Get At ALA

It is so weird to think at this time tomorrow, I will be in Chicago. I have less than seven hours to finish doing everything before I leave on the train at 5am.

I thought with ALA right around the corner, I would share the books I am heavily anticipating. The number is numerous but all these books are definite must-reads.

~August~

Little_and_Lion The_Art_of_Feeling Dress_Codes_For_Small_Towns

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

The Art of Feeling by Laura Tims

Dress Codes For Small Towns by Courtney C. Stevens

Out of these three, the one I’m most highly anticipating is Dress Codes For Small Towns. I read Stevens debut novel and loved it so much.

~September~

They_Both_Die_At_The_End Girls_Made_of_Snow_and_Glass Madness Moxie Theres_Someone_Inside_Your_House

They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Madness by Zac Brewer

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

I’ve loved both of Silvera’s books which were full of so much pain but also that super relatable element, most likely due to all the pain. Madness sounds amazing as well and also sad given the subject matter of wanting to commit suicide. I’ve only read The Truth About Alice by Mathieu but I love how her books always tackle serious subjects. I didn’t care for any of Perkins’ books but I can’t turn down this mystery filled book.

~October~

Wild_Beauty Top_Ten Far_From_The_Tree The_Nowhere_Girls The_57_Bus Long_Way_DownDear_Martin

Wild Beauty by Anna Marie-McLemore

Top Ten by Katie Cotugno

Far From The Tree by Robin Benway

The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

I’m towards the end of When The Moon Was Ours by McLemore and even from the first page I knew I would love it. Her magical realism is such a must-read that I know I need her newest title. Cotugno is a two times New York Times Bestseller and I love the sound of her books. I haven’t read any of them yet, but I do own them all.

I adored Emmy & Oliver from a few years ago so much that I’ve been dying for another Contemporary from Benway. I love that Far From The Tree is going to deal with adopted siblings because I love seeing that family dynamic.

I recently read Crazy by Amy Reed, a book I’d been meaning to read for actual years. Reed is another author that writes a lot about serious subject matter and I cannot wait to read The Nowhere Girls. Long Way Down and Dear Martin have been getting a ton of attention this year and can’t wait to read these much needed books.

~November~

Here_We_Are_Now

Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga

~December~

Three_Sides_Of_A_Heart Foolish_Hearts

Three Sides of A Heart by various authors (Anthology)

Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills

Mills, like Cotugno, is an author that I’ve heard a lot about and own books by, but haven’t actually read. Foolish Hearts may just be the first.

~2018~

Meet_Cute Love_Hate_and_Other_Filters Before_I_Let_Go The_Hazel_Wood

Meet Cute by various authors (anthology)

Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Meet Cute sounds like the cutest book ever. I love seeing how characters meet so I can’t wait for this anthology, especially since one of the authors is Lauren Gibaldi and I loved her debut The Night We Said Yes. Love, Hate and Other Filters is the last book that I am like, “I must get you or else it will be such a wasted opportunity”. Even better, Samira is signing at ALA so I will definitely be in line to meet her.

It is quite a bit of books, but I’m not expecting to get all of them, though I wouldn’t mind really having most of them, as you can see. I could do without Girls Made of Snow and Glass and The Hazel Wood just because they’re on the fantasy side and I usually stay away from that genre. I do love the fairytale side of the books.



What are the books you’re anticipating from ALA? If you’re not going, what are the books you’re looking forward to for the rest of the year?


A Hopeful Pre-ALA Reading Binge of Sorts

Hi everyone! I have been meaning to make this post for like, weeks now. I’m going to make it now and people are going to be like “But Amber, you’re like, a really slow reader, how are you supposed to read all those books by June 24th?”.

Well, dear reader, we can all have dreams. 

One thing that I like to do is make sure I’ve read at least one book by an author before taking an ARC, unless, of course, they’re a debut author. For example:

More Happy Than Not All The Bright Places Everything Everything

Those were also three of my favorite books.

Those three titles I read in 2015 and last year at BEA (which I’ll be doing a very weird recap post of later this week, I know, I know, I know), I happily grabbed all three of the ARCs.

“So how’d you like the follow-ups, Amber?”

Ha, we’re not going to be discussing that. I did start Silvera and Niven’s sophomore novels. Progress?

Okay, back on topic, enough rambling. Probably.

~All The Books I Hope To Read~

So, ideally I would read all these books, however, I don’t read fast and reading on my Kindle is the way to go. So my reading schedule is essentially this:

When The Moon Was Ours, History Is All You Left Me, Aftercare Instructions, all of which I’ve read partway through. Followed by Afterward, This Adventure Ends, When We Collided, I Believe In a Thing Called Love, When Dimple Met Rishi, The Lies About Truth, 99 Days or Fireworks and then Pointe if I have time.

I know, I am ‘so’ ambitious. 


How do you go about getting ARCs from conferences? Do you pick up non-debuts if you haven’t read an author’s book before? Do you pick up whatever sounds good or an author that’s getting a lot of talk? I want to know.

 


Where Have I Been?

It’s no lie that I spent much of last year being, well, absent from my blog. A lot of things just kept coming up, I got a job and I just couldn’t balance both of them. I meant to post a lot of times, but by the time I got around to needing my post to be up (around midnight), I’d be too tired to finish it. I meant to do monthly recaps and a yearly review, but knowing how much time I spend on those, I just couldn’t. It was too daunting to even try. I’ve wanted to post reviews, but with my already being a procrastinator, nothing in my life made it easy to do that.

It’s made me so sad to see my blog almost slowly die and with it, my actual contribution to the blogging community. I’m hoping this year will be better, but I don’t know. I’m still shaken by events that have happened last year along with the results of the election.

I’m going to try to post regularly, one of my goals for the year is to post at least three times a week. So far, I’ve been handling that okay. I hope it continues too.

I guess this is just a post to kind of share why I wasn’t around last year. I want this whole…blogging slump to end. Maybe if I put it in writing, it will actually happen.


Sixteen Stunning Covers of 2016

Hey everyone. I know, I’ve been gone literally forever. It has just been one bad year, really. I’m sure no one’s surprised anymore at this point.

Anyway, it’s been a long time since I’ve done Wondrous Covers Wednesdays and last year I decided to do a post on my favorite covers of 2015. This year, I’m going to do the same thing.

I’m picking sixteen of my favorite covers of the year.

Cover Lovin’ here we come:

~*~When The Moon Was Ours / The Love That Split The World~*~

When The Moon Was Ours The Love That Split The World

These are two stunning looking magical-realism books.

~*~Shiny Broken Pieces / Signs of You~*~

Shiny_Broken_Pieces Signs_of_You

I love the elegant yet sinister look of Shiny Broken Pieces. The fonts on both of them really stand out to me. I love the sunset.

~*~Ripple/Cuckoo/The Memory of Light~*~

Ripple The Memory of Light Cuckoo

I love how all three of the cover characters are portrayed. All of these books deal with serious issues so I just love how the characters look.

~*~The Serpent King~*~

The Serpent King

Silhouettes are my love here.

 

~*~The Sun Is Also A Star / This Adventure Ends~*~

Yoon_9780553496680_jkt_all_r1.indd This_Adventure_Ends

I love al. the shades of blue in This Adventure Ends. The textures for both books is very nice and I love how brought the colors are in TSIAAS.

~*~The Girl Who Drank The Moon / The Star-Touched Queen~*~the_girl_who_drank_the_moon The Star-Touched Queen

Both of these covers are so gorgeous and magical looking.

The Girl Who Drank The Moon is completely gorgeous. It kind of reminds me of Mulan really. The scene where she flies down the, er, lanterns? Yes.

~*~Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies/American Girls~*~

little_black_dresses_little_white_liesAmerican Girls

I really love the animation of both covers. Little Black Dresses, Little Black Lies gives me a light-hearted feel. It looks really glamorous and so New York City-ish. American Girls gives me a gritty sort of feel with the girls’ posture, the font and the t-shirt style. It takes place in LA so it does make sense. I love the chill vibe of this cover.

~*~You Were Here~*~

You Were Here Cori McCarthyI love the watercolor in the background of this.


My Love-a-Thon Introduction

Introduction

Hi! I’m so excited to participate in the Love-a-Thon this year! The Love-a-Thon is hosted by Alexa, Cee, Hazel and Mel and runs until February 22nd, 12AM EST.  Here’s my introduction post so you can learn a little more about me. 🙂

 

QUESTIONNAIRE

1. What’s your name?

Amber, Amver, Berber, or Burr, sir.

Have your pick.

2. Where in the world are you blogging from?

I am unfortunately blogging from Kansas.

3. How did you get into blogging in the first place?

Well, I’d had blogs in the past for a couple years before starting this one, so. . . As for my book blog, I discovered book giveaways, then I stalked book blogs, researched book blogs, and finally started my book blog!

4. How did you come up with your blog name?

I made a list and it came down to either “YA Indulgences” and something else that I can’t remember since I lost my list. 😦 YA Indulgences sounded best though so I stuck with it.

5. What genre do you read and review the most on your blog?

I read and review mostly Contemporary!

6. What other types of posts do you do on your blog, apart from reviews?

I have the rare discussion post feature, a mostly weekly feature called Wondrous Covers Wednesday, I do posts involving music and I have a feature where I talk about things I’m currently into that aren’t bookish.

7. Best blogging experience so far?

I’ve really loved just meeting people!

8. Favorite thing about the blogging community?

The originality and complete openess that some people have is so great.

9. Name the 5 books you’re most excited for this 2016!

The First Time She Drowned American Girls Scarlett Epstein Hates It HereWhisper_To_Me V23 new typeface tagline.indd

10. Name the 5 books you want to read this 2016 that you didn’t get to in previous years!

Besides every book in existence?

Not After Everything The Anatomical Shape Of A Heart For The RecordLying Out Loud Before We Were Strangers

11. What’s an underrated book or series that you think everyone should read?

Every Ugly Word

It does a great job at portraying bullying and pushing through that and there’s a really interesting wondering throughout the book 

12. Which book boy or girl would be your book BFF?

Well, I would like to be friends with Bianca, Whitley or Mercedes from these books respectively:

The DUFF A Midsummer's Nightmare FirstsThe Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight

They’re all kind of sarcastic characters and have a lot going on in their lives and I can relate to that so there we go.

13. Which book boy or girl would be your book boyfriend/girlfriend?

I like Josh from I’ll Meet You There.

14. Who would you recruit for your apocalypse squad (5 characters max)

Cinder from Cinder

Sky from I’ll Meet You There

That’s about it, I have no idea who I’d recruit for an apocalypse squad really.

15. Apart from reading, what are your other hobbies or interests?

I like listening to Hamilton, reading about Hamilton, quoting Hamilton, telling people about Hamilton, dreaming about Hamilton and crying about Hamilton…

16. Apart from book shopping, what else do you like shopping for?

Hamilton stuff.

And mugs, totes, Funko Pops, cds, dvds and gift cards.

17. At a party, the DJ suddenly changes the song – and it’s your song. What song  would be playing?

Alexander Hamilton.

Just kidding. My song, what is my song? Hmm.

Wait! Got it!

Edit: And this as well:

18. Pick out either a book you want turned into a film/TV show, or a film/TV  show you want turned into a book.

The musical adaptation of Hamilton made into a movie or the actual musical form turned into a book.

I’d like Gilmore Girls turned into a book.

I’d like The Walled City by Ryan Graudin turned into a movie.

19. What would your dream library look like?

It has a bay window where I can read, comfortable chairs, it’s very big, it has a lot of natural light and huge windows. It’s on the second floor of a home and it’s probably inside a castle. 😉

20. Author you want to meet and sit down to tea with?

Oh my gosh, I was talking about Paula Stokes earlier today, so she’d be really fun to meet! I’d also like to meet Heidi Heilig and Mia Siegert from seeing their tweets!

That was fun. And a bonus part, here are various things I like:

  • Sailor Moon (Dic anime is my favorite)
  • Veronica Mars (Though I haven’t watched the last four episodes)
  • Boy Meets World (And I like Girl Meets World)
  • Netflix (I need something to binge on)
  • Music (Carly Rae Jepsen and Hilary Duff are two of my faves. I’m very into pop and alternative and rock and then like, 50s-60s pop)
  • Coffee (With creamer)
  • Tea (Passion and Chai are my favorites)
  • Books (Of course)
  • Hamilton (big surprise. I also like other musicals)

If you too like any of these things, hit me up on Twitter or in the comments and we shall converse.


The Tsar’s Guard – Top Ten Reasons, Playlist, and Favorite Duels

Banner

Hi everyone! I’m so happy to be on the Tsar’s Guard parade. I hope you’ve enjoyed the other stops. Here is a link for those.

For my stop today, I have a mishmash of topics. First, I’ll be sharing a bit of an epic instrumental playlist I made, then I’ll tell you ten reasons why I am so excited for The Crown’s Game, and finally I’ll feature five of my favorite duels…from Yu-Gi-Oh. ;D I know, you were expecting Hamilton, but NOPE.

Duel

 I hope you enjoy!

Here’s a bit about the book first!

The_Crowns_GameTitle: THE CROWN’S GAME

Author: Evelyn Skye

Release Date: May 17th, 2016

Pages: 416

Publisher: Balzer+Bray

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Find it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

Goodreads Summary:

 Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear . . . the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.


~Instrumental Score For The Crown’s Game~

I adore instrumental music and the feelings it can bring out. Given The Crown’s Game features a historical-esque setting, magic and dueling, I decided to put together a playlist of some epic and romantic scores. All the links will take you to Youtube. 🙂

  1. New Beginning: Audiomachine
  2. On A Quest: Claudie Mackula
  3. Honor of Life: The Instrumental Core
  4. Before I Leave This World : Ivan Torrent
  5. Embrace Our World by Aran Zayne
  6. Hidden Hope by Asith Perera
  7. Have My Heart: Scorched Score Music
  8. Braveheart Theme by James Horner
  9. Where We’ll Go by Underground Music
  10. Solace – C21FX

~Top Ten Reasons I’m Excited~

-One-

Setting: Russia

St Petersberg

Russia seems to be rarely seen in fiction especially historical-ish Russia.  I also have a bit of a romanticized idea of Russia due to…Anastasia of course.

Anastasia_Of Course

-Two-
Enchanters

Magical Hands 2 Magical Hands

How magical! This part sounds really interesting, I’m curious about the background of these enchanters as well as enchanters in general.

-Three-

Vika

Journey to the past

She can cause snow to fall and make ash turn into gold! That’s even better than when the miller in Rumpelstiltskin lied about his daughter turning thread into gold. It’s better because it’s real.

-Four-

Nikolai

Great_Okhta_Bridge_Russia

He can create BRIDGES out of thin air? What in the world? That is so awesome. I can’t think of why he’d ever need to create a bridge, but you know, I’ll go with it. 😉

-Five-

Duel

Rasputin

Now would be the time for me to make a Hamilton reference if I were to make one but I’m running out of time so I will not be making one, haha. Okay, but seriously, dueling. A duel to the DEATH. There will be death! Or there will be a Hunger Games ending, I’m not sure which I’d prefer. Ha. I want to know more about these ancient duels though.

-Six-

The Best Friend – Pasha

Is that a love triangle I sense? I’m here for it either way. 

-Seven-

Long-Buried Secrets

What’s that you say? There are secrets revolving around this kingdom with the king he feels like having people duel to the death? Well I’d never! I’m a sucker for secrets.

-Eight-

Relationships

Relationships

I’m really excited to see how the relationship between Vika and Nikolai happens because how do you have any type of relationship with someone you’re supposed to kill? Like, I wouldn’t even want to meet the person before hand. “Like hey, so I know we’re supposed to duel, but I’d thought I’d introduce myself and fall in love first, it’s okay, this worked out okay for Katniss and Peeta after all”. ;D

-Nine-

Description!

Description

You can’t have a historical fantasy take place in RUSSIA of all places and not give us all the details on the clothes and the setting and the kingdom and everything else, right?

-Ten-

The Ending

This is surely going to end with an epic bang of sorts, so I’m dying to read this. It’s been a while since I was ever like “WOW!” about an ending, especially fantasy, given I don’t generally read this.


~Five Favorite Yu-Gi-Oh Duels~

Now it’s been a while since I’ve watched this show all the way through, but I liked all five of these duels a lot because they were just really emotional and I’m all for emotion and sad endings (Oh, was that spoiler?). Ha.

 

Yugi vs Joey (Duel Kingdom Arc)

Duelist Kingdom

 

Marik vs Mai

Marik_Mai

 

Joey vs Odion 

Joey_vs_Odion

Yugi vs. Joey (Battle City Arc)

Joey_Vs_Yugi

Kaiba-Yugi vs Noah (Virtual World Arc)

Noah_Vs_Kaiba.png

Guys, guess who my favorite character is! Guess! (It’s Joey<3)


 

This concludes my stop, I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Be sure to enter the giveaway! 

 

1 winner will receive an ARC of THE CROWN’S GAME.  International, you can enter the giveaway here.


Evelyn_Skye_Head_Shot

About Evelyn:

Evelyn Skye was once offered a job by the C.I.A., she not-so-secretly wishes she was on

“So You Think You Can Dance,” and if you challenge her to a pizza-eating contest, she

guarantees she will win. When she isn’t writing, Evelyn can be found chasing her daughter on the playground or sitting on the couch, immersed in a good book and eating way too many cookies. THE CROWN’S GAME is her first novel. Evelyn can be found online at www.evelynskye.com and on Twitter @EvelynSkyeYA:

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