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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Flawed J.L. Spelbring *Release Day Blitz and Giveaway*

Cover love :3!!
Title: Flawed (Perfection #2) 
Author: J.L. Spelbring
Release Date: August 12, 2014
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

Happy Book Birthday, FLAWED!

I'm so excited to share this with you guys and to be part of the release day enthusiasm! Enjoy (:

In a world where Hitler won the The War, and perfection is constantly sought, Ellyssa has broken free from her austere life and has found another meaning for her existence. 

Family, friendship, and love. 

But her happiness is short lived. Ellyssa finds herself on the run, again. Her father's work didn't die with him, but lives on in her siblings, Aalexis and Xaver, and they are determined to complete his unfinished dream.

| Kobo | iBooks |

About the Author
J.L. Spelbring lives in Texas, where she wanders out in the middle of the night to look at the big and bright stars. Besides knocking imaginary bad guys in the head with a keyboard, she enjoys being swept away between the pages of a book, running amuck inside in her own head, pretending she is into running, and hanging out with her kids, who are way too cool for her.

Her novel, Perfection, released in July 2013 and the sequel, Flawed, releases August 2014.

| Website |

International Giveaway. Must be 13+ to enter.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Learning Japanese *Rinen's Corner #.5*

My Totoro pouch :3.  I'm working on editing...and I'm not good at it lol
My Neighbor Totoro (c) Studio Ghibli
It's finally here...! My (arguably) beautiful post on learning Japanese *^_^*

You're probably wondering why I called it 'Rinen's Corner'. Wonder no more :)! Here's why: When I moved back to Vermont as a Junior, I took Japanese at Essex High School under the bestest language teacher anyone could ever hope to have, Yukari Muramoto-sensei. 

Normally, I would call her Muramoto-sensei...but she put an American twist on her name by allowing her students to call her Yukari-sensei. Anyway, everyone who studied under her was given a Japanese-style name, so my name, Lynanne, became the closest-sounding equivalent that matched into the kana system: Rinen (リネン). 

Yukari-sensei would periodically instruct us regarding Japanese culture and linguistic peculiarities (aka important stuff we needed to know), and when she did, she'd make a worksheet and label it 'Yukari's Corner'.... 

And although I'm not even remotely as familiar with Japanese as Yukari-sensei :D, I wanted to honor her teaching and tradition. Hence, Rinen's Corner! Woot!

So...what am I going to be sharing in this corner?

Seriously, though--I had a LOT of ideas about where I wanted to start. I finally settled on the obvious: getting started. (Good call, right? My brilliance is blinding sometimes, so uh, you might need to get out your sunglasses...) 

But how do you just 'start learning' Japanese? The first thing that pops into my mind as I consider the 'learning environment' is resources.

So for this post, I'm going to be sharing *resources*, along with a tutorial on how to introduce yourself/discover your 'Japanese' name, and a proverb. 

In my next corner--coming September--I'll attempt to give a mini-lesson that targets reading, listening, writing, and speaking. I'd also like to have a proverb/poem (I'd love to feature some of the Hyaku-nin isshu...!) and a bit of culture :), as well as some prayer requests. 

Just keep in mind: I'm a writer, and keeping up with The Blog is challenging! These posts may not be 'the best ever+infinity+1', you know?

Anyway, I really wanted to highlight some places to get out there and start learning Japanese without breaking the bank--apps, websites, books--to start off because that's going to make your learning experience about 150% easier and more fruitful. (My l33t math skills are also blinding.) 

Ok, let's get acquainted with the alphabet(s) first.

There's kana, which encompasses 1) ひらがな hiragana (used for native words that aren't affiliated with kanji, like ありがとう arigatou, thank you) and 2) カタカナ katakana (used for foreign words like コラ cola, coke; or to draw attention for say a business sign). *Tae Kim is fantastic!

Hiragana tends to be more delicate and 'curvaceous' than katakana, which is largely linear. 

Then there's the one Japanese language students dread: 3) 漢字 kanji. Kanji are Chinese characters that have been integrated into Japanese...and man, are there a lot of them. At least 1,600 of them fall into the category of 'daily use' O_O! Kanji looks different than kana, but still uses same sounds. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Gates of Thread and Stone Lori M. Lee *Release Day Blast*

Today is the official release day of Lori M. Lee's GATES OF THREAD AND STONE! Woohoo!

This is a typical blast, so there's a giveaway :3.

Gates of Thread and Stone #1
Author: Lori M. Lee
Release Date: August 5th, 2014
Publisher: Skyscape

In the Labyrinth, we had a saying: keep silent, keep still, keep safe.

In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where she came from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her.

Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.


“Lori M. Lee excels in building a world of intrigue, oppression, and magic amidst a Labyrinth setting as twisted and winding as the secrets hidden inside her characters’ hearts. Fans of strong heroines who don’t need a boy to hold their hands, action-packed fighting scenes, and whispers of steampunk and mythology, will find themselves wishing they, too, could manipulate the threads of time, if only to stay inside the story a little longer.”
A.G. Howard, the SPLINTERED series

“Inventive, romantic, and gripping. I was hooked from the first page!”
Amy Tintera, REBOOT and REBEL

“A fast-paced, heart-wrenching whirl of a story full of magic, immortals, and a romance that will leave readers gasping for more. I adored the tough, scrappy narrator and fell in love with the boy chasing after her heart. Lori M. Lee introduces us to a fantasy world unlike any other and gives us the first taste of an epic love story in the making. I can’t wait for more!”
Mindee Arnett, THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR series and AVALON series

About the Author
Lori is the author of young adult fantasy Gates of Thread and Stone, coming August 5, 2014 from Skyscape. She has a borderline obsessive fascination with unicorns, is fond of talking in capslock, and loves to write about magic, manipulation, and family. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, kids, and a friendly pitbull.

| Website |

1 Winner will get (1) $25.00 Amazon Gift Card + a Swag Pack

Giveaway is open Internationally. Must be 13+ to enter.