Monday, May 4, 2015

Happy birthday to me [Fun facts and a giveaway]


Today is Star Wars Day... and it's also the day I turn 26 years old. I used to think 26 was sooooo old. It's interesting how that thinking changes as we get older. I certainly don't consider myself old yet, and I've got a long way to go before I do. 

I wanted to do something fun to mark the occasion and I just love numbers. So I decided to write 26 things to know about me. Since the date is 5/4, I'm also including 5 authors to follow and 4 bloggers to check out. Lastly, I was born in 1989 so my goal is to get 89 bloggers to link up to this post and follow some new people. 

26 Things to Know About Me - In no particular order

These 26 things are a random assortment of thoughts about my life, both funny and serious topics. 

1. When I was a kid, I was obsessed with the Star Wars movies. I used to walk down to the library at least once a week to rent one of the movies on VHS. For all you youths out there, VHS is a big tape you used to put into a machine to play your movies. 

2. My dad taught me to read before I went to school, because having books read to me was not satisfactory to my 4-year-old self. I always wanted to do things on my own. My dad actually doesn't really remember doing it, but I clearly remember him sitting with me on the living room floor with my pieces of paper that had the dotted lines, showing me how to make each letter. 

3. I got my first library card around the age of 6 because the librarians noticed how often I came in to check out books. It was one of the proudest moments in my childhood.  

4.  My brother and I caught a garter snake as a pet once. We named it Luke, after Luke Skywalker. Our mother did NOT approve. 

5. I've also been obsessed with Greek mythology since the sixth grade. I still remember the projects we had to do for class. We had to create a temple based on the god/goddess we were assigned. I drew Aphrodite. I loved doing it, even though Aphrodite is one of my least favorites in mythology. 

6. My favorite color has never changed. It will forever be red

7. I hate onions and cinnamon so much that I tell people I'm allergic. 

8. My freshman English teacher, Mr. Martin, was the first person in my life to tell me I had a talent for writing. He told me to never be shy or ashamed of my ability to think differently than my classmates. I will always be thankful of him believing in me 

9. In high school I was a busy little bee. I played four varsity sports, had a weekend job, was an honor student, in the school play and the president of my school's NHS. Looking back, I have no idea how I did it all, but I wouldn't ever change a thing.

10. Growing up I was a painfully shy person. So when I went to college my requirements were that I had to go to a school that was at least three hours from home. It also had to have a good journalism program and it had to be somewhere none of my high school friends were going. I wanted to get outside my comfort zone, even if I hated it. Looking back, it was one of the best decisions I ever made

11. I did an internship for a backpacking magazine in Sydney, Australia, the summer after my sophomore year of college. The best part about writing for them was getting to skydive, repel down a mountain and climb the Sydney Bridge.

12. I hated coffee until after my college days when I discovered how much a reporter really needs it in order to pump out story after story. Nothing made me feel more like a journalist than the first time I enjoyed black coffee. 

13. Confession: When Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone came out, I stopped reading after the first chapter because I couldn't get into it. (Forgive me, I was about 10 at the time). I'm glad I gave it another try a while later. 

14. My favorite music is hardcore and post hardcore. Bands that are loud, fast and appear at Warped Tour. People are always surprised, but I appreciate that the lyrics are more real and meaningful. 

15. I'm currently working on my first novel. I hope to dedicate more time to it this summer and might post some preview chapters later this month. *Fingers crossed*

16. It took me three weeks to put this list together. It's hard to think of 26 interesting things about yourself. 

17. I live in a house with two roommates, two cats and a brand new 16-week old puppy (pictured). Their names are Atemis, Athena and Stella. We're a busy bunch. 

18. I met Steve Carrell once when I was a reporter. He's cool as shit too. I was interviewing his parents for their 60th wedding anniversary and his dad surprised him with the media. I still have the thank you letter his parent's sent me for writing such a nice article about their lives. 

19. Currently, I'm a designer and copy editor with the local newspaper. I gave up being a reporter because I was burned out and wanted something different. I've found that I love designing much more. 

20. Since I'm not writing as a reporter anymore, I needed a way to keep writing. That's how Book Nerd Paradise came about. 

21. Other than reading, writing and playing in a few sports leagues, I also enjoy learning about finance. I'm currently teaching myself about the stock market. 

22. I'm a napkin hoarder. I have them in my car, on my nightstand and in my silverware drawer. You never know when you'll need a napkin. 

23. I love watching TV shows like The Originals, Once Upon a Time, Sleepy Hallow, Big Bang Theory, The Flash and Agents of Shield. Marvel movies are also my addiction. 

24. My favorite thing about blogging is doing things like blog hops, or read-a-thons, where I get to meet new people and have discussions with people who share the same passions as me 

25. One of the most important things I've learned in life is that you'll never be happy until you learn to be yourself. Society tries to put everyone in a box. Some people are ovals who will never fit into a square. Don't ever be afraid to be who you are. 

26. Another life lesson that I've learn is that you can't be afraid of rejection. You will most likely not be successful the first time around. There's always going to be someone out there who is better than you. But instead of giving up, take that as an opportunity to learn from them. Never stop learning and never stop improving. 

5 Authors to Follow

1. T.L. Shreffler. The author of the Cat's Eye Series is the person who got me interested in reading more indie authors. (You can read my reviews of Sora's Quest, Viper's Creed, Volcrian's Hunt and Ferran's Map.) Not only is she a great writer, but she also posts helpful tips on writing and the editing process for self-published authors on her website

2. Chanda Hahn. I have read the first book in The Iron Butterfly series at least four times now. The three-book fantasy series is one of the best I've read in a while. I can't wait to see what else she comes out with. 

3. Annette Marie. This author is a recent find for me. She has the first three books out in her Steel & Stone series and it's not finished yet. The series is a little bit darker than usual in the YA fantasy genre. That's why I love it. I read all three books straight through so far. 

4. Becky Wallace. The Storyspinner, published this March, was Ms. Wallace's debut novel, and she happens in book 2. 

5. Emily Wibberley. I won her book, Sacrificed, during the YA Spring Fling Giveaway a few weeks ago. I won 10 books that day and started with hers. It was a lucky, random pick because it turned out to be an excellent read. Be sure to check out the review later this month. 

4 Bloggers to Check Out

1. Olivia's Catastrophe. Ms. Olivia has always been an active blogger on my site and in the blog community in general. She always has interesting content and is just a fun person to interact with. I loved taking part in her Fantasy Favorites Read-A-Thon earlier this year and I hope it continues next year. *Sorry I couldn't participate more this year, Olivia!*

2. Candace's Book Blog. I follow Candace mostly on Facebook and she's got some great weekly link ups for bloggers to promote themselves. The Saturday Situation is a weekly link up for bloggers to share their latest reviews and giveaways. She's also one of the blogs that host the Boost It Tuesday, where blogger link their Facebook pages to the post and then go around to other blogs to comment, like and add pages. 

3. Parajunkee. These ladies are pretty well known around the book blogosphere. While I wanted to promote lesser know bloggers, I couldn't over look these guys. They've got great articles and tips on blogging that's helpful for both newbies and veterans. 

4. The Indigo Quill. I just like the content Lis Ann has on her site. She's always got something interesting to say and she picks books to review that are more along my reading tastes. 

89+ (I hope) Bloggers to Meet &  The Giveaway

Grand prize: You choice of any e-book you want valued at $10 or less
Runner up prize (2): Winners get their choice of printable bookmarks from my Etsy store

So here's how this part works. I'm a big, BIG fan of meeting other bloggers and getting to know them. I'm always looking for new blogs to follow and read. 

This giveaway is pretty simple, you can visit and follow as many blogs as you want. You get one entry for linking up, just put your blog name in the entry space. You can also have up to three entries where all you have to do is tell me what other blogs you followed and how. You can follow through Facebook, Twitter, GFC, Bloglovin or any other way that can be verified. The goal is to get to know other blogs while getting your own name out there. You do have to link up first before you follow your fellow bloggers. 

If you are one of the first people to link up, then enter first section and check back later so you can follow three other bloggers. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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