February 23, 2015

Songs of Love

Since the love month is about to end, I think it's apt that I share some songs of love on my playlist. I played around with colors and fonts and this is what I came up with. I'm trying my hand at typography and these songs inspired me to do these.

{Book Blitz: Excerpt} More Than Comics by Elizabeth Briggs

More Than Comics (Chasing The Dream #2)

They're friends online - but can they be more in real life? 

Writer Tara McFadden has been friends with artist and drummer Hector Fernandez for years, long before his band became famous on reality TV – yet they’ve never met in person. They finally have a chance to connect offline when they’re both sent to Comic-Con to promote the graphic novel they collaborated on. 

Hector's secretly been in love with Tara for as long as he can remember, and once they meet, she sees him in a new light. All the years of longing lead to an incredible night of passion after one of his concerts, but neither is sure if their online relationship can translate into a real life romance – or if this will ruin their friendship forever. 

Over four crazy days at Comic-Con, Hector and Tara must decide if they want a future together. But when their story seems to be over, it’s up to Hector’s entire band to make sure he and Tara get their happy ending. 

Excerpt 2 (Hector):

I stopped to examine my work. For the first time I felt like I was able to capture her, the real her, now that I’d finally met her in person.

“Are you done?” Tara asked, trying to sneak a peek.

“Mostly.” I could tweak the thing forever, but it was good enough to show her. Still, I hesitated, taking a moment to add a little more shading to her hair. She’d seen hundreds of my sketches before, along with that other drawing of her, but this one felt more important than anything else I’d done.

“Can I see?” She inched closer to me, her hip nudging against my side.

I relented, unable to deny her anything when she was this close. She gasped as soon as she saw the drawing. “Hector, this…this is beautiful.”

“You like it?”

“I love it. I want to hug it to my chest, that’s how much I love it, but I’m worried I’ll smear it.” She smiled down at my drawing before setting it beside her on the couch. “I’ll just hug you instead.”

Then she was in my arms again, soft, warm, and curvy, and I wrapped myself tight around her. This time neither of us pulled away. Instead, she smoothed her hands along my chest and looked up at me, her rose-colored lips parting. As I stared at her mouth I was tempted to do the thing I’d dreamed about for so long.

I’d never seen a more beautiful girl than her. Never wanted a girl more. Other women had been easy to resist.

But not her.

She was my weakness.

When she didn’t move back, even after the reasonable time had passed for a friendly hug, courage flared in me. I bowed my head and brushed my lips across hers, the softest, lightest touch in case she didn’t want this kiss. I expected her to pull away, to ask, “What are you doing?”

But she didn’t.

She let out a quiet sigh, barely audible against my mouth, and closed her eyes like she was waiting for more. I took that as my cue and gave her another kiss, a real kiss this time. I was still hesitant, half-convinced she would stop me at any moment. This was crossing the line beyond friendship. I wasn’t sure I should be doing it, but I couldn’t help myself either. I’d dreamed of kissing Tara for years and now it was finally happening.

And impossibly, amazingly, she kissed me back.

I’d kissed girls before, but it had never been like this. Kissing Tara was like being kissed for the first time. Her lips were so sweet I wanted to taste her all night. I eased her mouth open softly, sliding my tongue inside, still waiting for her to stop me. I did everything slowly, giving her the opportunity to end it. But she didn’t.

I kissed her deeper. Harder. Demanding more from her.

And she let me.

Then she kissed me, shifting so she was on her knees on the couch and leaning against my chest, almost in my lap. She clutched my face and I drew her in closer, gripping her waist, her breasts rubbing against me through our clothes. My hands dipped down to cup her ass, to slide along her curves for the first time.

I’d suffered through years of lusting after her and now I finally had her in my arms. I couldn’t stop myself. I wanted, needed to touch her everywhere. I had to explore her and see if she lived up to the fantasy in my head. Except after that kiss I knew she would be even better than anything I’d imagined.

When we finally broke apart she whispered my name and it had never sounded so good. “Are you sure those drawings mean nothing?” she asked.

I tensed up, completely caught off guard. “What?”

“I…forget it.” She shook her head, pulling back. “God, what are we even doing?”
I drew in a ragged breath. “Do you want to stop?”

“Maybe…maybe we should.”

It was hard to stop touching her, so fucking hard, but I lifted my hands off her. “Whatever you want.”

She slowly climbed off the couch and yanked down her shirt, which had ridden up to show off her smooth, pale stomach. She looked dazed, like she wasn’t sure what to do. “I…I should go. Before this goes any further.”

I stood, but didn’t say anything. I wasn’t sure how to convince her to stay. Wasn’t even sure I wanted her to stay.

No, that was a lie, as evidenced by my raging hard-on. I was dying for her to stay.

She walked to the door, but once there she paused and turned around. I took a step closer, unable to resist her magnetic pull. She stared at me and I was hypnotized by the way her breasts rose and fell with each of her quickened breaths. I moved even closer, until I was only an inch in front of her. Still, she didn’t leave. It was almost like she wanted me to stop her.

Did she?

“The drawings do mean something,” I confessed.

Her eyes widened. “What do they mean?”

I reached up to cup her face with my hands. My fingers were too big and unwieldy, too rough for her perfect, soft skin, yet I wanted to touch her everywhere.

“That I’ve been dying to kiss you for years.”

I captured her mouth with mine again, showing her exactly how much the drawings meant.

And she kissed me back even harder.

Elizabeth Briggs is a full-time geek who writes books for teens and adults. She plays the guitar, mentors at-risk teens, and volunteers with a dog rescue group. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a pack of small, fluffy dogs.

Oh hey, while we're at it, More than Comics (Chasing the Dream #1) is on sale for ONLY 0.99c!

Stay tuned for more on More Than Comics on the blog! I have lots of stuff in store! :)

February 14, 2015

I Wrote A Story and Happy Valentine's Day!

So, it's a special day today. Or so I've heard. I'm not bitter. Nope, not at all. What gives you the idea? I mean, it's Valentine's Day for crying out loud. It's the one day where male species spend on chocolates, flowers and stuffed toys and give it to their significant other. Happens every year. No big deal really.

But here's a bigger deal.

I wrote a story. I haven't written one in ages! It's called 120KPH and I wrote this last month while I was at school and I was crushing on someone. You'll know who in the story. Disclaimer: This is fictional.

(Image made by yours truly!)

February 12, 2015

Wicked Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire-Saenz

Published: February 21, 2012
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Acquired: Borrowed Paperback

A lyrical novel about family and friendship from critically acclaimed author Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

How do I even formulate words? Just how?! As of now, I'm typing and pressing the backspace button at the same time because I can't find the words to actually describe the greatness that is this book.

At one point in our lives, whether you're a boy or a girl, you felt so angry while you were growing up. Angry at your parents. Angry at your teachers. Angry at your older siblings. Angry at the waiter who got your order wrong. Just plain angry. You don't know what to do about these pent-up emotions. We were like Aristotle.

I want to have my own Dante. Someone who will show me the secrets of the universe. Someone who'll annoy the heck out of me because he or she is always right. Someone who won't take my crap when I hand it to the world. Someone who will be stupid enough to love me as a real person.

Each character were written so perfectly. They stood out and yet they blended really well with each other. The awards this book was given was well deserved. Sometimes, I'd get intimidated by books with such big awards. I feel like as if those books are only for extremely intellectual people. But it's very simple. It's real. It's epic.

I highly recommend it to you. I swear, you will love it, You will live for this book. You need this book like you need air, water, food and everything.

Benjamin Alire Sáenz (born 16 August 1954) is an award-winning American poet, novelist and writer of children's books. His first novel, Carry Me Like Water was a saga that brought together the Victorian novel and the Latin American tradition of magic realism and received much critical attention. In The Book of What Remains (Copper Canyon Press, 2010), his fifth book of poems, he writes to the core truth of life's ever-shifting memories. Set along the Mexican border, the contrast between the desert's austere beauty and the brutality of border politics mirrors humanity's capacity for both generosity and cruelty. In 2005, he curated a show of photographs by Julian Cardona. He continues to teach in the Creative Writing Department at the University of Texas at El Paso. 

February 8, 2015

Stacking the Shelves: BBG (Bargains, Borrowed Books, and Gifts!)

Stacking The Shelves is a feature hosted by Tynga’s Reviews where bloggers share what books (both physical and digital) they received, won, bought, and borrowed.

So here's the deal. I haven't done a STS post in a long time. Here it is though! All of these books were gifts, borrowed and bargain finds.

A Clash of Kings by George R.R Martin
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Past Imperfect by Julian Fellowes

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Where Rainbows End by Cecilia Ahern
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
Complete Nothing by Kieran Scott

Each book has a story to tell, on how it landed on my hands. But I'll keep it very simple. I would like to just thank my aunts, and my grandparents for giving me Christmas money for books. To my awesome older sister for sharing the love of books with me as well as to my two good friends, Neil and Anna, for entrusting your books to me.

So, how are you? Bought any good books today?

February 1, 2015

Wicked Review: Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

Published: January 14, 2014
Publisher: Quirk Books
Series: Miss Peregrine #2
Acquired: Borrowed Paperback

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children was the surprise best seller of 2011—an unprecedented mix of YA fantasy and vintage photography that enthralled readers and critics alike.

This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine's island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

Complete with dozens of newly discovered (and thoroughly mesmerizing) vintage photographs, this new adventure will delight readers of all ages.

The whole thing is an epic journey of epic proportions! The peculiars are lost. They have nothing and their home is gone and Miss Peregrine is now a bird. World War II is underway. Wights are wreaking havoc in all peculiardom.

Jacob's abilities in sensing hollows seemed to have developed slowly. His body is now a hollowgast compass. I always thoughts Jacob as a mere 12 year old like how I pictured the peculiars. But he isn't. He's a teenager and he's in love with Emma. The romance aspect is like a breath of fresh air amidst the war and dark days ahead. I learned so much about the lore of the peculiars, like how it all started, the different loops and the secrets.

Not only did Jacob grow up emotionally, physically and mentally, do did the others. Now that they are no longer in their comfort zones, they seemed to be adapting in the scary world outside their loop. Emma, Enoch, Bronwyn, Horace, Hugh, Olive, Fiona, and Claire each have their own scary pasts and I am in awe of what they have experienced and their wisdom is something to be reckoned with.

But what book is complete without a major plot twist. Plot twist to battle to all the plot twists in all of peculiardom.

And the cliffhanger ending. I need book 3, Ransom Riggs!

Ransom Riggs is an American writer and filmmaker best known for the book Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.
Riggs was born in Maryland on a 200 year old farm, and grew up in Florida where he attended the Pine View School for the Gifted. He studied English literature at Kenyon College, and studied film at the University of Southern California. His work on short films for the Internet and blogging for Mental Floss got him a job writing The Sherlock Holmes Handbook which was released as a tie-in to the 2009 Sherlock Holmes film.
Riggs had collected curious vernacular photographs and approached his publisher, Quirk Books, about using some of them in a picture book. On the suggestion of an editor, Riggs used the photographs as a guide from which to put together a narrative. The resulting book was Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children which made The New York Times Best Seller list.
Another book inspired by old photographs, Talking Pictures was published by Harper Collins in October 2012. The sequel Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine's Children was released January 14, 2014.