Tuesday, January 27, 2015

[Giveaway] Any ebook you want ($10 or under)

Where, oh where did I go?

Anyone who read my latest review of Ferran's Map by T.L. Shreffler may have noticed that I hadn't posted anything in well over a year. If you noticed, you might have wondered where I went. No, I didn't just disappear off the face of the earth. In short my life just plain got in the way. So here's an update on my last year, and what I hope is in the future for Book Nerd Paradise.

In October of 2012 I move to the Quad Cities, which is located along the Mississippi river, straddling the Iowa/Illinois border. I had moved back to the Midwest, where I was born and raised, from Florida to take a job as a copy editor/designer with a local newspaper. Surprisingly, I found that I missed the Midwest and being close to my family and friends. I went from being about 1,200 miles away from my younger brother to just under an hour's drive. It was never easy being that far away from my only sibling. 

A new year, a new do. 
So I moved on to my second job within two years of graduating college. It didn't take me long to realize that two cross-country moves right out of college(on top of student loans), on a journalist's salary was difficult. My budget was so tight I decided the best option was to do nothing other than go to work, sit at home watching my five channels of cable and contributing to my blog. It didn't leave a lot of room for my reading habit either. And as I'm sure almost every one of you will agree, giving up the habit is just not an option. 

I decided I didn't want to live like that anymore. I hadn't made any friends and I wasn't involved in any hobbies or clubs. I couldn't even afford to belong to a gym. For a someone with a restless personality like me, it's pretty soul crushing to not be busy all the time. 

The next step was me getting a second job as a server at a local high-end restaurant. I found that I really enjoyed it, even though it was really stressful. That was over a year ago and I made some lasting friends through the experience and managed to dig my way out of about $17,000 in debt. Yea, you read that right. There's money to be made as a server. Sadly, I still have quite a long way to go. But I'm happy and I've learned a lot of life lessons along the way. 

The unfortunate aspect of this second job was that I worked seven days a week between both jobs. My part time job wasn't really that part time. It was more of a 30 hours a week job, on top of the 40 hours at my day job. So, something had to give and it was my blog that took the hit. I decided to let everything go dark and resume when I was in a better place in my life. 

These two keep me company while I read
and write for Book Nerd Paradise
That brings us to today. I've switched to a different restaurant and cut down my hours way down. Hopefully, I'll be able to quit my second job soon and have more time to dedicate to my own writing projects.

But I still debated whether or not it was a good idea to start up the blog. 

The decision was made for me when T.L. Shreffler contacted me, asking if I would like to participate in her latest blog tour. As the sole author who made me truly appreciate indie authors, I absolutely could not say no. 

Now I'm back in the game, working on my blog and trying not to drown myself in coffee. But as I get back into the swing of things, I wanted to connect with blog readers more and find out what people truly want to see on this blog. Previously, I don't think I did that great of a job interacting with other people on my blog, Twitter and Facebook. 

And that's where this giveaway comes in. Think of it as a bribe for answering all my probing questions. I am giving away an ebook copy of any book ($10 or under) to one lucky winner. All you have to do is answer some questions and follow me on some social sites. I appreciate all of your comments and feedback. 

Happy reading my fellow nerds. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I'm glad to see you're back after a year!! Sounds like you didn't have much of a choice. Work is getting more and more intense and hard for me to manage too. I don't have time to read, barely any time to blog. I'm actually looking for a co-blogger or contributor for that reason..I hope I can find someone.
    Oh your kittens are SO cute!! What are their names? are they related? I just love kittens, I have a cat, she's still a bit of a baby (3 years old) but she's getting chubby now that I'm never home to play with her :( Good thing about working so much though is more $$ and since I wanna move it's necessary. I also grew up in the midwest and miss it there all the time since my younger brother lives out there too. :D Good thing I go to visit / he comes but my other family that still lives there makes me nostalgic all the time, although I don't see myself moving back since I do like living in California.
    What I'm reading right now…slowly, mind you lol. Is Rebecca (Just started) by Du Marieur (heard so many things about this classic and I finally am reading it) I'm also reading Renegade Magic which is a MG fantasy and a few graphic novels, Teen Titans Go! and maybe going to start Buffy S9 Vol.5 I think I"m on.
    Look forward to seeing your posts!

    -Diamond @ Dee's Reads

    1. Hi and thanks for reading!
      It's nice to see someone relate to the struggle of working full time and trying to keep up with reading and a blog. To answer your question, my cats' name are Artemis and Athena (after the Greek goddesses). Sadly that picture is a bit old, they're 3 years old now. But I don't have a good picture of the two of them together. When I try to take a good one, I'm pretty sure they roll their eyes at me like a teenager at prom with a camera happy mom.

      Thank you for participating in the giveaway and sharing your feedback with me. I'm hoping to bring more to the blog this year than just books reviews, blasts and promos. I've missed being able to write on a regular basis and I hope I can bring that back.

      You'll have to let me know how those books are once you're all finished with them.

      Thanks again for reading and commenting!
      - Ashley

  2. I'm not reading anything at the moment.. lol I just finished Hexed by Michelle Krys and it was really good. I love love love young adult books but I'm not picky. Anything that catches my eye I tend to read. I love giveaways on blogs and pictures. Book covers catch my eye.
    Hope you get back into the swing of things. I tried blogging for a bit. But I just don't have the time or will power it takes (and it takes ALOT) to keep one running and interactive.
    Jeanette G.

    1. Thanks for participating! I have always loved YA in the past, but now I'm getting to the point where I want to read book that have characters closer to my age. So I'm really transitioning into the NA area. But a good YA fantasy will always pull me in.

      It does take a lot to keep up a blog. I applaud those people who are able to have a busy life and stay on top of posting consistently. I hope I can be one of those people. So stay tuned!

  3. I'm currently in the middle of reading the eighth book in the experiment in terror series by karina halle. It's a great underrated new adult ghost hunters series with witty banter & creepy moments. My favorite genre is YA/NA contemporary. As for blog features I like top ten tuesday posts because I'm obsessed with making lists lol. I also like book surveys, discussion posts, and book reviews the most. Thanks for doing the giveaway! :-)

    1. Thanks for participating in the giveaway! I actually read the first book in that series a while ago. Sometime during my hiatus, that is. And while I liked the first one well enough, I had a hard time relating to Perry and why she did and said some of the things she did. She's kind of messed up. But I also like that aspect, because it makes her more real as a person. So I've been torn about continuing that series.

      I've never really done the lists things but I usually do read them. I'll add that to my list of things that I might bring to the table in the future.

    2. Yeah the series is not for everyone but I appreciate that it's actually creepy in parts considering it's hard for me to get into adult horror books for some reason and I'm a horror fan so it satisfies me in that aspect. There is some character development in the series though not a focal point. It's mainly about the fun creepy adventures they go on and the romance between the main pairing gradually over time. Normally I'd get annoyed with it going on so long since there is a fair share of relationship drama but the strong points are the places they go to and it remains entertaining to me considering how many books there are total in the series. I did like how I can't exactly relate to her because I read about a lot of relatable characters so it changes things up. Glad to be of input on the lists idea but I enjoy your blog regardless :-).

  4. Firstly, I love your hair! Secondly, best news that you are back! Book Nerds are the best!

    1. Thanks! I've always been pretty open minded about experimenting with my hair, but for some reason I was nervous about the blue. So glad I did it though.

      Go Book Nerd!

  5. Thanks for your feedback. I enjoy reading a lot of the same thing, pretty much anything fantasy, so I'll have to check that book out.

  6. Thanks so much for this awesome giveaway! I am only here right now because I found your blog on Goodreads, but I am following you on Bloglovin and there now, and hope for many more interesting posts in the future. I answered all of your questions best I could ;)

    Check out my post: http://olivia-savannah.blogspot.nl/2015/01/plot-in-your-story-guest-post.html

    1. Thank you so much for participating and following! I'll make sure to follow back. I know the questions may seem silly to some people, but I've already learned a lot from the small amount of people who have answered. I'm really going to try to get people involved and post things they actually want to read about.

  7. Hey Ashley!! I'm currently reading "The Dancing Master" and my favorite genre is Historical Christian Romance Fiction. My favorite things to see on a blog are reviews and character profiles. :) Awesome blog and thank you SO much for the chance to win!!

  8. Currently reading Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Favorite genre is fantasy and I love reading author interviews and character interviews.

    1. Thanks for participating! I love, love anything fantasy. Make sure to check back next Thursday, I've got my first ever character interview on indie author M.J. Austin's first novel, Bright Fire.