Thursday, June 28, 2012

Against All Odds Blog Tour--Giveaway and Guest Post

Today on the blog I'm happy to say that I'm a stop on the Against All Odds Blog Tour! I was instantly interested when I heard about the book (maybe partly because the main character and me share the same name.) Stay tuned a giveaway and guest post!

About the Author And Book:

Aliaa El-Nashar is a 21 year old girl studying languages at university. Grew up in Kuwait and is currently residing in Cairo, Egypt. Loves to read, write and draw.

"The Story revolves around:

Against All Odds-A boy called Damien who seems to have it all. He's rich, good-looking and athletic. He's also arrogant, obnoxious and a major player. Damien is one of 5 children who seem to not get along, until one day Damien meets Alexis and his life is turned inside out.

-A girl called Alexis who has trust issues due to her parents. Her best friends mean the world to her, and she refuses to date anyone that doesn't fit completely in her 'Perfect Guy' list.

They're thrown together a lot and start to face inner demons they've hidden away for so long." 
Check out HERE for the Goodreads link. 

Guest Post:

"Hello guys! I get asked a lot what made me write ‘Against All Odds’ by friends. The story is quite complicated, to be honest I never intended it as an actual book. After spending the summer of tenth grade reading every Meg Cabot my friend owned, as well as complete the ‘Harry Potter’ series she had owned at the time – not all 7 were out obviously – I had developed a craving towards writing. I used to write before, a lot actually, to the extent I had 5 ongoing stories on Quizilla. But I never completed any of them due to the fact that I have the attention span of a goldfish. However, that didn’t mean my style wasn’t improving, and I reached a level where my friends were actually interested in reading what I come up with.
My English class teacher was the best. No really, he was. He’d give us around 8 or so assignments per term and sometimes I hand in one or two. I almost never did my homework for that class because I believed creativity can’t be forced. If I wrote it because I had to, it was so mundane and dull so I refrained till I was inspired. It helped that the English teacher didn’t mind, just as long as two or more essays were submitted per term, so I was good. He’d wanted a descriptive essay, and one day – almost a month after he’d given us the assignment – I was inspired. I had the perfect plot, this girl staring into a fog of sand thinking her friend was lost to her for good. I then described her feelings, the atmosphere, her physical appearance and wrote a minor description to what led her to that point where she’s staring at said friend who nearly fell off a cliff.

As I was reading the essay before going into class, a friend of mine decided to read it as well, and for some reason she really liked it. She begged me to write more and so I decided to work on it. I gave the characters names and background stories as I thought of the plot that led to the cliff incident and how things turned after that.
I started writing non-stop, but most of my new entries were on my hard drive ‘Buffalo’ and as I was nearing the end, Buffalo died a tragic death. Meaning, all my updates were lost. I felt so upset for a while that I stopped writing altogether. I think it was the end of eleventh grade where I found my old notebook and decided to give writing it another shot, but as I started to reread the first few chapters I didn’t like where it was going, so I started fresh, cancelled out some characters and added others. New background stories were made, though the plot was the same, I just changed how they got there. In the middle of math class – and many other classes really, I wasn’t that fond of school - I would sneak the notebook under that table and start writing, where another friend saw me and decided to read what I was writing. She got interested and nagged me incessantly for new chapters, before I knew it, a few months later and voilà! The book was done!


And that's it for the guest post. Now for the giveaway! As part of the blog tour, Aliaa is helping me by giving away two ebook copies of her book! This is an INTERNATIONAL giveaway for two copies of Against All Odds. Check out the Rafflecopter below to enter!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Blogger Spotlight (1): Princess of Pages

I decided I wanted to start doing posts where I spotlight a blog I love or a blog I have just discovered. So when this morning I found that a new up and coming blogger had highlighted me by nominating my blog for an award, I thought the best way to start doing these posts would be to spotlight her.

So the blog I want you guys to check out is.... Princess of Pages!! The author of this blog is Maria. She is just starting to really work on her blog, so I'm sure she would love some followers to help get it going. I haven't known her for long but she seems like a really sweet person who wants to share what she think about  books. So click the link and check it out for yourself. :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Stuck In Books #CleanUpTBRPile Read-a-Thon!

It's been known for awhile that I've been failing at finishing any books lately. I decided to end this. NOW. I best way (at least for me) to get reading again has been to take part in read-a-thons, so when I saw that Stuck In Books was hosting one, I decided to jump in! Check it out if you want to sign up, I don't think it's too late. Click HERE.

For this read-a-thon, my goal is to read these books:

Fated by Alyson Noel (For the love of God I need to read this already!!)
Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson (already a hundred pages in)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lani Taylor (Can't believe I haven't read this book)

And, time permitting, The Hunt by Andrew Fuduk (ARC that NEEDS to be read!)

Wish me luck! You can follow by tweets about the read-a-thon @Bookish95 or the hashtag #CleanUpTBRPile !

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Blogoversary Mystery Giveaway

So today marks one year of having a YA book review blog. To be honest I didn't know that I could make it this far without giving up. It was hard at times to post things when I really didn't feel like it, hard to finish a book I know I didn't like it very much but felt like I had to to give an honest review. But all those things are worth the rewarding feelings that come every time I post or review something on my blog. I want to thank everyone who has helped me over the past year by offering any kind words or advice. Also I want to thank anyone who has taken time out of their day to read and comment on my blog. You guys rock!

To thank everyone for all their support, I decided to to a giveaway for my blogoversary. Just enter below for a chance to win one of two mystery books! Since this is a giveaway for my blogoversary, you must be a follower to win. US RESIDENTS ONLY. (Poor Teenager. Sorry!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Secrets of the Vanmars-- A Guest Post

Hey guys! Today I'm lucky enough to host a stop on the blog tour for the new YA release of The Secrets of the Vanmars by Elisabeth Wheatley.

About the Author:

Elisabeth Wheatley started writing short stories when she was as young as seven years old. She began working on what would eventually become The Key of Amatahns when she was eleven. The story went through countless total rewrites until Elisabeth began working on what would be the final version when she was fourteen. When she completed the draft at fifteen, her parents (being supportive) sent her manuscript to a professional editor in West Texas. The editor, Suzanne O'Bryan, was so impressed with Elisabeth's work that she recommended it to a friend at a small publishing house, Chengalera Press. Chengalera Press was also very impressed and wanted to publish the manuscript. The Key of Amatahns was reviewed and edited by Professor Emeritus of the English Department at Southwestern University, Dr. T. Walt Herbert. The Kindle version of The Key of Amatahns was released on June 30, 2011, when Elisabeth was still fifteen. The paper version followed days later. Elisabeth is currently working on the second and third installments in the Argetallam Saga, while continuing to attend high school in the Texas Hill Country. Her hobbies include beekeeping, cheesemaking, mythology, and studying American Sign Language.

And now a post from the author herself about the writing process!

Elisabeth Wheatley--

How did you get the idea for The Secrets of the Vanamrs?

Excellent question. When I was working on the idea for my first book, The Key of Amatahns, I was already thinking ahead to the rest of the series.

At first, I created an imaginary world. I sort of had the intention of writing a story to go with it, but the story as well as the world experienced many, many total transformations before anything even remotely recognizable as the Argetallam Saga was created.

After I had been tinkering with the construction of my world for awhile, I decided that I would make my main character invulnerable to magic. Why? Because magic freaked me out.

Don’t get me wrong, I love books with sorcery and magic in them. But I am a big fan of the now cancelled TV series The Legend of the Seeker and the whole thing with the Confessors was scary. With one touch a Confessor could make you her devoted slave for life. Not cool.

Hence, my main character’s invulnerability to magic was envisioned. But having her be completely devoid of enchantment wasn’t fun either, so I gave Janir some of her own powers and magical abilities.

By the time I finished my first book, I had a very general, murky idea of what I wanted the future books in the series to be about. My original idea for the second book (it had no name at this point) involved a siege and large battles. While that might sound intriguing, when I went to write it, it came out all wrong and I decided to rethink the plotline.

I then wrote a completely different draft. It was nearly 300 pages long and it was total rubbish. The plotline wandered and there was no real point to the story. Fortunately, the worst scene in the book, (in my opinion, the worst scene I’ve ever written, in fact) didn’t make it past my brother, who came at me reading the scene out loud at the top of his lungs. A lot of my characters ended up looking silly in that second draft. (To my characters: sorry about that, guys!)

Over Christmas break, I barricaded myself in my room with tea and granola bars and set to work re-rewriting the book that I had now christened “The Secrets of the Vanmars.” My goal with my edits was to make the story more streamlined so that it wouldn’t drag, have a more focused and suspenseful plot, show character development, introduce a few characters I’d been dying to write in, and lastly, set up the scene for book 3.

Over three weeks I typed away in my room, until I emerged with a 261 page manuscript I prayed was better. Everyone who read my early drafts seems to think so and that’s a relief. But being a neurotic, insecure writer, I still have doubts.

About the Books:

Book 1: The Key of the Amathans 

Book 2: The Secrets of the Vanmars 

After her adventures with the Key of Amatahns, sixteen-year-old Janir Caersynn Argetallam returns home to find Brevia on the brink of war with a neighboring country, Stlaven. Her foster-father and even Saoven—a brave young elf warrior—think it will be safe at the castle where Janir grew up. However, while trying to unravel a looming mystery, Karile—self-taught wizard and Janir’s self-appointed best friend—becomes certain that there is danger in the mountains surrounding Janir’s childhood home and that it has something to do with Stlaven’s most powerful family, the Vanmars…

Thanks so much to Elizabeth for stopping by! If you want to know more about her or the books she writes, head to ! Feel free to comment on this post about if you've heard of this series, or what you think of teenage writing in general.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

June TBR

Books Mentioned:

The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda
Fated by Alyson Noel
City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

I thought I would trying adding videos to some posts. Feel free to let me know what you think of that in the comments. Would you like to see more videos? Or should by YouTube channel be a separate thing from my blog?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Countdown To Summer

Only a week and a half until summer! Now that I'm finally coming up on the home stretch for school, I hope to get lots posted this summer.

About Me

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Hi my name is Alexis and I'm so excited to be heading to Oregon State University in the fall. I will be majoring in English and hope to become an editor or technical writer in my future.

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With Beyond the Cover, I want to help people interested in YA with a resource to refer to. This blog will be composed of reviews as well as other book related subjects.

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Alexis has read 22 books toward her goal of 50 books.

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