Sunday, February 1, 2015

January Wrap-Up! (+ co-blogger search)

Hi all *waves*
Hope you are all doing well! I can't believe January is already at its end! Jan is one of my favorite months, and the start of 2015 is here officially and before we know it will be Spring. I did a lot in my life this month. I've been sharing quite a lot about that it seems, but there have been so many changes it almost feels surreal (in a good way!). I haven't had many reviews this month but you know I'm doing all I can. I'm having fun with the blog still (despite all the crazy-ness) and including new features (including graphic novel recommendations and Dee's Creations: where I include some of my art and crafts) :O

New in Dee's Life

So in addition to throwing together a mini wrap-up post, I wanted to tell you guys about how my life changed (yet again) in a drastic but great (and a little scary) way.

I got a new job! 

I now have 3 jobs I'm wrangling >.< In a completely unexpected and extraordinary change of events I got a job offer (out of nowhere) that is tied to one of the families I tutor for. It's for an Electrical Company who is looking to expand and needs me because of my organizational prowess, knowledge of technology, and ability to multi-manage (ahahaha, jk: they did need help though!)
Also, the location is the same as one of my jobs that I'm already at 6 days/week. I was a bit nervous last week, because it meant giving up my only day off to work 7 days a week. :c
It also meant putting in several 14 hour workdays and the rest are 10 hours. I don't have to tell you why I was nervous (sleep? when? eat? when?)--but at the same time I'm excited because I really need to save money to move to a new place in around six months, get a new car, and pay off my credit card debt. I have 8 months until school starts and I want to accomplish all of this in that time. SO yes, I have an end date in mind, and I have goals that I want to meet.


I'm gonna kick-ass like Lana Kane.

This week was the first week on the new schedule, and I clocked in a total of 70 hours since Monday. It was intense, and I am delirious as I write this post. But you know what? I had fun. I love learning new things (such as adding electrical fixtures to blueprints) and refreshing my memory on old things (like AutoCAD and Quickbooks). It's challenging, but they are extremely flexible. I can clock in any time and get some work done between shifts.


Part of the reason I'm so tired is that I'm not back on the right sleep schedule (I can't fall asleep until after 2am. Once I get to the right sleep schedule (like midnight) and put in 8 hours of sleep a night, I'll be golden. Until then, things are going to be rough. So hang onto your hats, people! It's going to be interesting to see how if I can manage it all and the blog / my social life.

Blog News


I had to make a decision about the blog responsibilities for the next two weeks until I get used to the new schedule and my sleep readjusts. I'm just being realistic. I don't want to get sick or burn out and then not accomplish anything. Nor do I want to go on a complete hiatus. I am not ready to give up my hobbies (reading + art) or my beautiful blog! SO I'm going to refrain from reading for a week. :o Before you gasp too loudly…lemme explain: If I want to read, I will. I didn't realize I was stressing about it, but I was. So far, not feeling forced to read or guilty about not reading has already done wonders to my heart. There's no fun feel anxiety about the fact that I haven't had time or desire to read. It's kind of rational, I mean, who wouldn't?
I already feel better though, and have a feeling I'll do some reading this week in the way it should be. i.e., oh i feel like reading, *picks up book* *reads contentedly* Lol. I have some posts scheduled, like the review for Blood of Olympus and a discussion post and new feature (hint: you've already seen it a few times just not as a feature).

Also, I'm still looking for a co-blogger / contributor! My post on it was included in the recent Blogoversary post, so check that out for details. If you're interested please email me! I'm extremely flexible and don't have a limit AT ALL about the number of posts per week or anything like that. Even if you have a blog you can come here and contribute :L


January Book Haul
eARCs 


  

  

 ARC for consideration

*thank you Penguin Teen*

Physical Books: Gifted/Won
 

 
*Thank you to Jess @ My Reading Dress, Jess @ Step into Fiction (for Dead of Winter), my brother and Scott.*


 Physical Books: Bought
 





Here are the posts from this past month 


Rafflecopter for Blogoversary Giveaways (INT): 2 winners
Future Excitement
I am planning to do the very fun 3rd annual Take Control of your TBR Challenge in March! It's a blast and I'm just saying this early for those of you (like me) who need to be reminded and decide early enough to plan and look forward to. The goal is to read books that aren't review books and clear off the books you own/won/borrowed that have been sitting on your shelves forever. I lamented about this very thing this month — this is my answer. :D haha. SO head over to Kimba @ Caffeinated Reviewer for more info and to sign up! 

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So how was your month? Do you have any suggestions for me? Do any of you guys wrangle 3 jobs? If so, how do you make it work? 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Book Blast & Giveaway: A Cold Legacy by Megan Shepherd


I am so excited that A COLD LEGACY by Megan Shepherd releases today and that I get a chance to help share the news, an excerpt from the book AND a cray-zayyy awesome tour-wide giveaway (that goes until Feb. 6th)! :e


If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Megan Shepherd (part of the amazing  series that I am actually following religiously…) be sure to check out all the details :i
This blast also includes a giveaway for a signed copy of the book and swag courtesy of Megan

and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Post-Birthday: Book/Gift Haul + mushy sentiment


So my birthday festivities are over. Tomorrow I will celebrate my friends bday who was days before mine by seeing Into the Woods. I'll let you know how I like it, I think it looks good ^_^

I can't believe I'm 28. I'm not one of those people who thinks that it's "old" or anything like that. It's just crazy because it's so close to 30. When I was younger I thought that when I was 30 I'd be like "cool shit" and have all my shit together too. Hmmm that's only half true. Although I think I'm cool as shit in a lot of ways, I feel like my "shit" is just on it's way to getting together….


This year I wanted to keep it simple. Normally I do elaborate birthdays; sneaking off to Mazátlán, Mexico or jetting to Paris, France. This year, however, I was content to do sushi and hookah bar with my friends (see photo above). I got 1 major gift for myself this year, which is: a MacBook Pro with Retina Display. I now am fully prepared for school in Fall. I've wanted a Mac computer for years. It feels so good to actually have one. I love posting and blogging on here too. I CAN TYPE SO FAST! It's so much easier than blogging on my iPad, which is how I've been blogging... :i

…for all of you who sent me happy birthday tweets, fb msgs, sent me book mail, commented here, etc. I cherish them and I have never felt so loved as I have this year. From family there is always the love, but this was the first year where I actually got so many nice gifts from unexpected sources that I just felt all warm and fuzzy inside :h So I need to say..

THANK YOU ^_^


My Birthday Haul




         MacBook Pro w/Retina Display
             13" - from myself :party




The Venture Bros. S3  + Between the Spark and Burn - from Scott (@ZOMBIEHIGHX23)






Dangerous Girls - from Jess @ My Reading Dress
so excited to read this. It was totally off my radar, and I do want to read more thrillers so yay :tup


Dead of Winter - from Jess @ Step Into Fiction (won it, but it came around my bday and it was on my wishlist so that makes it a gift in my book.) :tup


The Maze Runner - from my not-so-little brother :L
after being on the fence with this one, I saw the trailer for the movie and thought, oh this looks good. So it's one of the very few dystopia books I have added to my tbr that i'm excited for :D

Cupcakes made by my lovely mom…(aren't they gorgeous?! I prefer cupcakes over cake) :k
+Money, hairpins, necklaces, owl mug, hookah tobacco and coals, wine, and handmade frames from Family and Friends. I'm so spoiled.

BUT I'M SPOILING YOU GUYS TOO. If you haven't already:

CHECK OUT MY CURRENT 3 GIVEAWAYS FOR MY BIRTHDAY + BLOGOVERSARY! 

[INTERNATIONAL (choice of book) + 5$ AMAZON GC/EBOOK AND US GIVEAWAY = BOX OF BOOKS.]

—Thanks again everyone! Have you read any of these books?! Any fans of the Venture Brothers out there? Has anyone seen Into The Woods with Meryl Streep, Chris Pine, Johnny Depp, Anna Kendrick, etc? 


Monday, January 19, 2015

My 2 Year Blogoversary + Birthday Post!! (3 Giveaways! INT & US)

Since my blogoversary is only a little less than a month apart from my birthday I decided to do a joint post/giveaway/happy fun time! :e


2 YEAR BLOGOVERSARY! :party


WOW. I can't believe it's been 2 years since I began blogging!! I am so grateful that my blog has grown and changed (so much!) since its inception. It's been a lot of hard work and dedication, but
I've made so many friends, gone to some awesome book events that I wouldn't have if I wasn't blogging, and even improved my writing skills. :$ I think even more impressive is my followers. :L

That's YOU guys. YOU, right now reading...whether you're a new or old follower I appreciate you so much. :k The fact that you follow my content, what I have to say, my erratic posting, occasional rants and participate in discussions is pretty fucking great. Not to mention, all those breaks I had to take or less posts during busy times YOU STAYED BY MY SIDE. :h

Into the Future....

I'm quite excited about the future of my blog. I have quite a few new types of posts I'm planning to share (and some have already started: like the recommendations of graphic novels posts) and I plan to continue to do more discussion posts as well this year, since I found adding more last year to be so enjoyable. Guest Posts, Guest Reviewers, and even posts about my Art and Creativity/Crafty side will be filtering in (hopefully) more and more.

While I am excited about all these things, I'm a little scared about something too. As you may know, things in my personal life have gotten hectic and insane (in a good way!) these past several months. At first I thought it was due to Grad School Applications, starting a new full-time job, etc. I've now open my eyes up to the fact that my life is only going to get busier and more hectic. I just CAN'T say goodbye to blogging and don't want to! I've thought long and hard and I have made a decision:

I need help. 

I am calling for a co-blogger (or) contributor to help me run this blog. 


It's going to be a process, but I'm willing to go the distance. I'm willing to change what needs to be changed to get this blog back to popping out 4-5 posts a week/ 3 reviews a week. I know many of you already have blogs of your own, or maybe some of you just don't have the time to commit to co-blog. The reason I'm opening it up to both is not because I need both, but rather I so desperately need something that I feel I can make things work with a contributor if a co-blogger isn't found. In fact, I can see either situation working out tremendously great! ^_^

Here are some of the differences for those of you who aren't sure what the difference is:
Co-Blogger: Equal partner in the blog. It's someone who will be writing reviews, hosting discussions, giveaways, coming up with fresh content (if they want), and editing code/design (if desired) / suggesting changes to design and name (which I can make) to fit their personality and presence onto the blog. It will be our blog, not mine (name change will have to occur)
 If you're someone who has been wanting to start a blog for a long time, but don't have the know-how/time/energy/whatever to create one, you should totally be a co-blogger and leave the html to me :O! Listen, I put 2 years of love, sweat, and tears into this blog and I am willing to share (I like sharing) and I think there is a lot of great potential and benefit out there for the taking, too.

Contributor: Someone who "contributes" regularly on the blog. From reviews, discussions, author interviews, blog tours (IF they want them, I personally have stopped doing them), even starting their own feature, this person would regularly contribute to the blog and interact with followers. Doesn't need to worry about any technical stuff, and can have a limited post contribution set to fit their schedule (say, 1-2 posts a week for ex, or 2 reviews a week?) TOTALLY flexible!
*Can be great for someone who has a blog/booklikes/goodreads/tumblr but wants to contribute to this one for a different type of genre/bigger or broader audience/for fun. Busy schedules can easily work with this option, and I'm extremely flexible no matter what! Whether for co-blogger or contributor I'm very flexible and easy-going. My main concern is finding the right person and right combination of tastes and personality.

If you are interested, PLEASE shoot me an email ASAP. If you know someone who might be perfect for this--please let them know (share the link to this post, give them my email/twitter) and if you end up being the person who connects me with them I will love you forever. :L

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...Onto the GIVEAWAYS! :tup

In order to show my appreciation and love for all my followers these past two years and to celebrate Dee's Reads turning 2:  I'm doing 3 giveaways! I'm making 2 International and 1 US. :tup

EVERY FOLLOWER CAN ENTER TO WIN SOMETHING :mj



In lieu of my birthday January 20th :party 
I'm doing 1 open choice Amazon giveaway (see below) for any ebook from Amazon around 5$ AND US only: 1 winner will win a surprise book/ARC from my collection. I will throw a box together (small, but may turn out to be bigger depending on if I find some more goodies while cleaning out my room).

*By entering you're agreeing to my Giveaway Rules*
*If entering INT giveaway, you must be*  
a) eligible to receive books from The Book Depository. List of countries HERE.
b) able to be gifted ebooks from Amazon

INT: (2 winners)

1st winner: Your choice of 1 book from any of my Goodreads Shelves via TBD 15$ USD 
-I have almost 2,000 books shelved, see them all HERE-

2nd winner: ANY ebook of choice via Amazon for 5$ USD (give or take)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

US: (1 winner)

Surprise book(s)/ARCs from my collection (small box)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


If you have any problems with the rafflecopters here are the links

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So besides all the fun giveaway and celebratory offerings, I do want to open up the floor to some comments and hear from YOU guys :i

What do you like about my blog? Have you observed the changes these past two years? What do you think? Do you have any constructive criticism? 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Graphic Novel Review: Super Secret Crisis War! Vol. 1 by Lousie Simonson

Super Secret Crisis War! Volume 1 by Louise Simonson and Derek Charm
My Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars :star :star :star 1/2
Format: eARC via IDW |  Netgalley
Date Published: January 27th, 2015


The devious demon Aku has called together a League of Extraordinary Villains - composed of malevolent miscreants from different cartoon universes. When their evil robots show up in the world's of The Powerpuff Girls, Ben 10, Samurai Jack, Dexter's Laboratory, and (even) Ed, Edd and Eddy, it's up to all these fearless heroes to band together and put an end to the League's nefarious plot of interdimensional conquest!



My Review

What do you get when you take your favorite 90s Nickelodean cartoon characters and bring them all together for one epic show-down? 

No, it's not a Netflix sponsored movie (although, that would be damn great!)--it's the first volume in a graphic novel released by IDW collab w/Cartoon Network, of course. 

I immediately saw the cover and thought, I need to read this NOW." No hesitation, no questions asked. I'm a 90s Nick kid, and if you live in the US and watch Cartoon Network every night after 9pm, you know what I mean too. Our favorite shows that nursed and comforted us in the mornings and after school every day have revisited the screens across the country as part of CN's new '90s are back" thing. I didn't think it'd last as long as it did, but boy am I glad because I am ALL ABOARD THIS SHIP (and have been, for quite awhile). :O 


Characters

Heroes:

Samurai Jack
Powerpuff Girls
Ben Tennyson "Ben 10"
Dexter (Dexter's laboratory)
Ed, Ed, and Eddy (not 'heroes' per se..)

Villains: 

Aku  (Samurai Jack) 
Mandark (Dexter's laoratory)
Mojo Jojo (Powerpuff Girls) 
Ben Tennyson (Ben 10)
Evil Robots 

Basically, the story is a wild concoction cooked up to satisfy people like me who love these characters and don't care how much "sense" it makes to have them all together. The "villians" are all together and have some sort of plan to hold the "heroes" hostage and take their powers. Ed, Ed, and Eddy are just in there because of a fluke. Obviously, they get free pretty easily but their robot counterparts are created to learn from them as they fight and things escalate from there.

It's a short graphic novel. While at first I thought it was mostly written for a younger audience, I don't feel that way after reading it. It seemed more like twenty somethings would appreciate it more having seen the shows and followed the storylines. The characters are all explained, but not to the extent that you feel like it's made for people who have no idea who the Powerpuff Girls are, or Dexter from Dexter's Lab.

I felt like this graphic novel was such a good refresher! ^_^ It was a fun, light, and really funny to read. I laughed out loud a few times, and enjoyed the bright and colorful graphics that stayed true to each show.
I recommend it for people who like any of the shows listed above, are fans of Cartoon Network, or just love amalgam stories that don't necessarily follow logic.


-Diamond

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Confession Post: Books I "mean" to read but never seem to get to

SO I read the recent Broke & the Bookish meme about the Top 10 books You Meant to Read but Didn't Get To. I thought to myself....I have (easily) 10 books from 2014 I didn't get to. Problem is I have WAY more. I have books that I want to include from earlier years. I feel like it's important to cop to the fact that I don't know what most of you loves fangirl over since I haven't read shit. (ok, I know I'm being melodramatic, but just look at some of these first.

It's lately been kind of embarrassing and shameful when I visit the lovely blogs I follow. Why? because I feel like I haven't read ANY of the great books everyone else has read and series that everyone follows (except me) :c Am I being overdramatic? Yes. Do I really need to make a point to read more of the old books that are sitting on my shelf? Definitely.

KEEP IN MIND THAT I OWN ALL OF THESE BOOKS. MOST OF THEM ARE PHYSICALLY SITTING ON MY SHELF. :c

Adult Books 




These three are part of series I desperately want to finish, and will

Young Adult 

Here's some of the ones I really wanted to read these last year 2014 



These are just SOME of the many books I've been wanting to read for so long 
it's embarrassing..I feel like they're probably so good *cries* will i ever read them? xP




THRONE OF GLASS 

*can't find my picture* 

DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHY THIS IS A CONFESSION POST YET?
*RUNS AND HIDES*

What's weird is that I read over 100 books a year. How do I read that many but still don't really read many books I buy? That's pretty bad. I want to change that this year, as much as possible. I will obviously read current books too, so I guess I'm kind of winging it this year. I don't really have a solid plan because my current plan includes these books it's just a matter of me not rushing or feeling pressure to put review books over all others...which is why I'm requesting and downloading way less. wish me luck though because that is hard as hell xP

Discussion: Does this happen to you? Or are you pretty good about reading the books you buy / sit on your shelf?

If you had the power to COMMAND me to read ONE book of these listed: which would you pick?


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