fun, Lila

Obsession Confession | My Love of Hellcat’s Black Panther

Hey, y’all! It’s Lila! Sorry for the unexpected two week long semi-hiatus. I was so worn out and I really needed a quick break. BUT I’M BACK NOW!!!! And I’ve got lots of stuff in store for y’all! First up is Obsession Confession, my weekly segment in which is dedicated to telling y’all about my recent obsessions! So let’s get it started!

Books

I checked out and raced through Marvel’s Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! volumes one and two and ohmygod, guys, I’m absolutely in love! Fun, funny, and adorable, Hellcat rocks! I loved every bit of it and I highly recommend it!

Music

So I was watching Whitney’s (at WhittyNovels) SnapChat, and I heard a sample of “Collarbones” by Thomston and was immediately like “I need dat!” So, naturally, I listened to the rest of the song–and I loved it! It’s not exactly a jam, more like a slow, tenor version of a Halsey song–but no matter, it’s good!
I’ve also been obsessing over “My Love” by Wale ft. Major Lazer, WizKid, and Dua Lipa. It’s a really fun, sweet song that you can get into and dance to and sing along with! Plus, gotta love Wale reppin’ my home city!

 

Movies/TV Shows

It was an exciting day the other day because…the Black Panther teaser trailer dropped! Oh, boy, guys! Does this movie look amazing or what?! I’m so ridiculously pumped for this film, it’s not even funny! I have yet to  read the Black Panther comics, but from what I hear, they’re absolutely fabulous, and this movie looks like it won’t disappoint either. I know I’ll definitely be in the audience for this one this fall!

I finally saw Rogue One! And it was great! Not gonna lie, I did tear up during the movie, but still, it was really good! Rogue One tells the story of a ragtag group of resistance fighters in the Star Wars universe. I don’t want to say more than that for fear of spoiling things, but just know that the movie is incredible and will give you all of the feels!

News

So if you’ve been hanging around, you probably know that Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones, which was released earlier this year, is one of my new all-time favorites. Given that fact, I was super excited to see that Bustle released the cover and an excerpt of Shadowsong, the sequel to Wintersong! The cover and excerpt have me even more hyped for the sequel, if that’s even possible. Definitely check it out!

Around The Blogosphere/Vlogosphere

Once again, my dear friend Fadwa over at Word Wonders is absolutely on point with her discussion post. Fadwa’s latest discussion post asks if bloggers have a responsibility to their readers. Fadwa’s post got me thinking about my own relationship with my readers and what I believe my resposibilities to y’all are. Definitely check her post out ASAP!

That’s all for today, folks! Tell me all about your latest obsessions in the comments! TTYL!

fun, Maggie

Who the h*ll is Maggie?! | The Who Are You Tag

Hey, y’all! Maggie here, trying to make a storming comeback from an intense blogging slump! I decided to copycat Lila and fill out the Who Are You tag myself – I’m excited for our readers to get to know me a little better, especially since I’ve been incredibly absent around here lately.

I was so desperate to write one day that I wrote about nothing, basically like a Seinfeld episode regarding my writer’s block – if you’d like, you can read that post here!

Well, let’s get on with it! 😀

What is the meaning of your name?

I was named for my dad’s maternal grandmother, Magdalena. My parents toyed with naming me Magdalena as well, but decided to shorten my name to simply Maggie. My mom has always said she didn’t want to give me the longer name so I wouldn’t be saddled with having to spell my name for people at all times!

P.S. – for some reason, Maggie still gets misspelled sometimes, which is strange; there are other spellings like Maggy or Maggi, and I’m sure there are even more, but you’d think the more common, in my perception, spelling, would be pretty obvious.

Just a tidbit: I attended Catholic school and we had a nun who was our principal. I swear, every school year, she would ask me if my ‘real’ name was Margaret – I’d be like – it’s just Maggie; I’m named for a MAGDALENA. I recall being in the fourth grade and we were tasked with choosing our patron saints based on our names. Naturally, I chose Mary Magdalene, duh. The nun argued with me even then, saying my patron saint should be Saint Margaret. That woman got on my nerves SO bad!

Anyway, my middle name, Neil, was the last name of my mom’s grandmother on her mother’s side of the family. I always know I’m probably in trouble when I’m called Maggie Neil by my mom or dad, as I’m sure all kids are when addressed by their full names!

What is your Myers-Briggs personality type?

*I did a post – INFP is Me – regarding this question on my personal blog, The Caramel Files, so I’m going to direct y’all to that post if you’re curious!*

What is your Zodiac sign?

I’m a die hard Sagittarius and very proud of it! LOL! Here’s an interesting fact: Lila, Claire, and I are all Sagittarius! What are the odds?!

I found a website listing the 21 most common traits of those born under the Zodiac sign:

  • Sagittarius is an optimist who dreams BIG – I’m a total optimist and tend to look at the bright side of things and realize that stuff can always be worse.
  • Sagittarius is candid and honest – Don’t ask for my opinion if you really don’t want to hear the truth.
  • Sagittarius is witty and has a wicked sense of humor – Aw, shucks! I can always find SOMETHING to laugh at, even myself.
  • Sagittarius is independent and hates being told how to live – VERY TRUE; if I’m bossed too much, I’ll do the opposite of what I’m told.
  • Sagittarius can be restless and impatient – This is something I need to work on – when I have an idea or an urge to do something, I want it to be done by myself or someone else IMMEDIATELY and I hate waiting, unless I have a good book to entertain me!
  • Sagittarius can read you like a book – I feel that I have a great sense of intuition and I can FEEL people’s energy radiating from them.
  • Sagittarius is allergic to bullshit – This is also very true of my nature – I can’t handle people who are in constant turmoil over something ridiculous, I hate pointless and time-wasting meetings, and I certainly don’t tolerate fake people.
  • Sagittarius can’t stand selfish people or sore losers – I have no concept of being totally selfish and those who can’t take being beaten in stride irritate me very much. I’d rather be alone than put up with people who are all about themselves or pitch fits over losing, regardless of the circumstances.
  • Sagittarius is hard to fool and is always thinking ten steps ahead – The website says we’re very clever and I agree. I can almost always find a solution to a problem and I dare someone to pool the wool over my eyes.
  • Sagittarius seeks out freedom and is extremely hard to pin down – Yes! I’m fiercely independent and hangers on really freak me out. Don’t be surprised if I hide out sometimes.
  • Sagittarius can become ruthless when they feel they have been wronged – I’ll let this fact speak for itself!
  • Sagittarius isn’t afraid to take risks in life – I ain’t scared!
  • Sagittarius are creative and extremely curious – I ALWAYS have questions and I take great pride in my creative side.
  • Sagittarius is spontaneous and fun to be around – I’ve always flown by the seat of my pants and I’m generally up for anything. I enjoy my own company, so why wouldn’t others? 😀
  • Sagittarius loves to prove people wrong – I’m bad to argue my point and/or facts I know to death. A lot of the time I end up being wrong, but I take it in stride. I probably should’ve been a lawyer.
  • Sagittarius tries to avoid petty drama and instead focuses on what’s important to them – Let’s just say I don’t put up with shit I deem to be completely unimportant. If you thrive on drama, I’m likely not part of your life.
  • Sagittarius is careful about who they give their heart to and takes time to commit – This statement is incredibly true to me. I never was one of those girls who dated just to date; I always wanted someone to put in effort and show me they care. I didn’t find anyone willing to wait for me until I met my now husband.
  • When Sagittarius is hurting, they can distance themselves from others and conceal their emotions – I often drop off the face of the earth when upset and hate to burden others with my problems. That’s why I have a therapist!
  • Sagittarius doesn’t hold on to grudges and leaves the past in the past – What’s the point of being hung up on what can’t be undone?
  • Sagittarius is always there for their loved ones when they need them most – I’m a good listener and I have a really good shoulder to cry on.
  • Sagittarius is adventurous and loves to experience new things – TOTALLY TRUE

What is your Hogwarts house?

I’m a true crimson and gold Gryffindor! Every single test I’ve taken, especially on Pottermore, has sorted me into this house and I take great pride in that. I used to hope I’d get the Slytherin result, as I adore Draco Malfoy, but I’d like to defeat him at the same time.

Bonus answer: my Patronus is a basset hound.

What are your learning styles?

I’m a kinesthetic learner by a landslide, according to the website Lila referenced in her post. I learn best by using my senses, doing practical exercises, observing examples, and through trial and error. I need hands-on activities and I love to learn independently.

Are you right or left brain dominant?

I am right brain dominant, which means I’m fueled by intuition, creativity, fantasy, and curiosity.

According to the test, I’m 62% right brained and 38% left brained, which relies on logic, language, strategy, rules, rationality, and details.

What is your blood type?

I agree with Lila, this question is kind of strange, but what the hell; I’m AB+, which is apparently pretty rare.

What career are you meant to have?

I have a master’s degree in social work and, lo and behold, one of my results was child/family/school social worker! All of these fields I have worked in and I feel they have been good fits for me.

What Divergent faction are you?

I’ve never read Divergent, but I’ll take the quiz anyway!

I scored highest in the Erudite (intelligent) and Candor (truthful) factions, which I think fits my personality nicely.

What does your birth order say about you?

I’m the baby of the family, with an older brother. Stereotypically, I’m a free-spirited, charming, risk-taker – I think this is pretty accurate!

That’s enough about me! How about you?

fun, Lila

Whoooooo Are You? (Who?! Who?! Who?! Who?!) | The Who Are You Tag

Hey y’all! It’s Lila! How are y’all doing? I hope you’re well! It’s been a while since I’ve done a tag, so I went searching for a good one! I wasn’t tagged, but I found the “Who Are You?” tag on Sam’s blog, River-Moose-Reads and I fell in love with it! I’m really happy to say that The Bookkeepers’ Secrets has been steadily gaining followers and I figured that this tag would be a fun and different way for new followers to get to know me! So away we go!

Before we begin, I feel like it’s my duty as a scientist-in-training to inform you that MTBI, job tests, astrology, and brain dominance have been totally and completely debunked and disproved, despite the fact that many people still use them. People are complex, unique, individual, and constantly in flux and cannot be reduced to a simple “type.” No test can ever gauge the depth of who you truly are. Neverthless, such tests are a fun thing to do and, if done correctly, may be able to give you a fun snapshot of yourself at the moment. Now let’s get to it!

1. What Is The Meaning Of Your Name?

I don’t feel comfortable revealing my full name, but its meaning roughly translates to “transform in grace.” I have two middle names, one of which is a Hawaiian name which roughly translates to “angel who fell from the night sky” and the other one roughly translates into “phoenix”. Fun story about my name and how it was chosen: My mom believes that names are wishes for your children and was struggling to find a name (believe it or not, I was almost Grace, Olivia, or Isabelle). One day (before I was born) she had a dream that I was born looking exactly as I did when I was born and in which I told her my name. She decided that since I, myself, had told her what my name was, she couldn’t name me anything else. My Hawaiian middle name came from my godmother and my second middle name is a mixture of the names of two of my mom’s best friends’ names, both of which have African origins. So that’s the story of my name!

2. What Is Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type?

I am an ENFP-T, aka “The Campaigner”

“The Campaigner personality is a true free spirit. They are often the life of the party, but unlike types in the Explorer Role group, Campaigners are less interested in the sheer excitement and pleasure of the moment than they are in enjoying the social and emotional connections they make with others. Charming, independent, energetic and compassionate, the 7% of the population that they comprise can certainly be felt in any crowd.” (Source: 16personalities.com)

Popular Characters Who Are ENFP-T: Elizabeth Swann (Pirates of the Caribbean), Ron Weasley (Harry Potter), Bert (Mary Poppins), Kirk (Star Trek), Troy Barnes (Community), Karen Page (Netflix’s Daredevil), Eleventh Doctor (Doctor Who), Second Doctor (Doctor Who), Barry Allen (The CW’s The Flash), Jaime Lannister (Game of Thrones), Lorelai Gilmore (Gilmore Girls), Hurley (Lost), Julia Wicker (SyFy’s The Magicians), Michael Scott (The Office), Anna (Once Upon A Time), Henry Mills (Once Upon A Time), Klaus Mikaelson (The Originals), Wil (MTV’s The Shannara Chronicles), Joyce Byers (Stranger Things), Mike Wheeler (Stranger Things), Genie (Aladdin), The Mad Hatter (Alice in Wonderland), Nemo (Finding Nemo), Anna (Frozen), Helen (The Incredibles), Mowgli (The Jungle Book), Kiki (Kiki’s Delivery Service), Ariel (The Little Mermaid), Moana (Moana), Peter Pan (Peter Pan), Spongebob (Spongebob Squarepants), Rapunzel (Tangled), Jane (Tarzan), Jessie (Toy Story), Russell (Up), Judy Hopps (Zootopia), and Dick Grayson (Nightwing) (SOURCE)

Read more about ENFP-Ts here

3. What Is our Zodiac Sign?

770b4e1e9212d5cd6f7835f20bcb14d2I am a Sagittarius! According to astrology-zodiac-signs.com, “Like the other fire signs, Sagittarius needs to be constantly in touch with the world to experience as much as possible. The ruling planet of Sagittarius is Jupiter, the largest planet of the zodiac. Their enthusiasm has no bounds, and therefore people born under the Sagittarius sign possess a great sense of humor and an intense curiosity.

Freedom is their greatest treasure, because only then they can freely travel and explore different cultures and philosophies. Because of their honesty, Sagittarius-born are often impatient and tactless when they need to say or do something, so it’s important to learn to express themselves in a tolerant and socially acceptable way.”

 

 

4. What Is Your Hogwarts House?

a4486bd214fe57b0d830d242f40482baSo I’ve taken the Pottermore sorting quiz three times and each time, I’ve received a different result. The first time I was Slytherin, the second time I was Gryffindor, and the third time I was Ravenclaw. Outside of Pottermore, every sorting quiz I’ve taken has given me the result of Ravenclaw or Gryffindor. I strongly identify as a hybrid of those two houses, and Buzzfeed’s hybrid house quiz did indeed named me as a Gryffinclaw. My Ilvermorny house is Thunderbird, though, and I really identify with that result!

 

 

5. What Are Your Learning Styles?

According to the VARK test (linked above), I am an aural learner. According to vark-learn.com, “[t]his preference is for information that is spoken or heard and the use of questioning is an important part of a learning strategy for those with this preference.” (Source) Learn more about aural learners and learning strategies for them here and at the source I linked previously.

6. Are You Right Or Left Brain Dominant?

According to the test linked above, I am 50% right brained and 50% left brained! I’m not sure how common this is, but this result honestly doesn’t surprise me, as I’m both a musician and a scientist. Growing up, my mom made sure that I was surrounded by both the arts and the sciences and she also focused a lot on how the two are connected. Further, in every aspect of my life, I’ve always strove toward balancing reason and emotion, logic and intuition. So this result doesn’t surprise me one bit.

Screenshot (942)

7. What Is Your Blood Type?

Um, why do you want to know???…*narrows eyes*…Creeps…

8. What Career Are You Meant To Have?

I’ve gotten all sorts of results on those “what career would you be good at?” tests (which, by the way, those tests have been totally debunked by psychologists, yet still many schools try to use them–bottom line: don’t believe them, do what you want to do, not what some silly piece of paper wants you to do) from lawyer to teacher to business woman to photographer. Regardless, I’ve wanted to be a scientist and/or a singer since I was three years old. And whatdya know, now I’m working towards being a scientist with a side career of singer! I’ve always been insatiably curious and wanted to know the reasons behind why things work, down to the very last nuts and bolts. My mom always said I’d end up a doctor or an opera singer. Mother knows best, I guess, cause I’m currently getting my degree in biology with the goal of being a geneticist and on the side, I train in opera!

9. What Divergent Faction Are You?

Screenshot (971)

I’m Divergent, with an equal amount of Candor and Dauntless. Since this is the case, I would choose to be in Dauntless. I think I’m best suited to Dauntless because bravery is one of the most important qualities to me, as I believe that knowing what is right means nothing if you are not brave enough to act on those beliefs. If none of us were brave enough to stand up in the face of hatred and injustice, the human race would not survive.

10. What Does Your Birth Order Say About You?

…Well this is awkward…I’m an only child but the link above doesn’t say anything about only children. But I think I’m kind of a special case because in order to offset the fact that I’m an only child, my mom ran a day care wen I was a kid and, throughout my life, the neighborhood kids have come over to my almost every day. So I learned to share really well. I’m also an uber extrovert, so I don’t know if that makes a difference? Hmmm, I don’t know…

So that’s all for the “Who Are You” tag! I hope you enjoyed getting to know a bit more about me! Tell me some fun facts about yourself in the comments!

fun, Lila

Obsession Confession | Come Back To Me Star Trek!

Hey y’all! What’s up?! It’s Lila! I know it’s been a while, but I needed to take a week or two of rest because I was just exhausted, physically and mentally. I’m still pretty tired, in all honesty, but I wanted to get back to blogging. Anyhoo. In the time during my break, I found plenty of new things to obsess over! So let’s check ’em out!

Books

I’ve been reading A Court of Wings And Ruin by Sarah J. Maas really, really slowly because I want to savor it, so, sadly, that means that I have no featured book this week. Sorry, y’all! 😭

Music

https://open.spotify.com/embed?uri=spotify:track:3NpsflsHTAoand4Jl3ruP7
I’ve really been digging “Back To Me” by Marian Hill and Lauren Juaregui of late. The simple beat and trilling melody had me shimmying my hips and singing a long the whole time. I love how viscous the song is, without it being slow. Y’all should for sure give this song a listen soon!

Movies/TV/Trailers

The trailer for Star Trek: Discovery was released and I’ve never been a Trekkie, but this? This looks so good! I especially love that the leads are women of color (and they’re a friendship pair made up of two different races)! It’s just so refreshing to see, especially for a show which is supposed to be set in the future, where things have (hopefully) progressed a bit! But representation aside, this show looks stellar (pun intended)! I’m all for sci fi action adventures, so I’ll definitely be watching this!

Other Stuff

My bestie taught me how to tie a turban and oh my god, it’ll be a real struggle not to wear one for the rest of my life! I’ve always admired turbans, but could never figure out how to tie one–but my bestie taught me the simple twist and tuck method. I love that turbans are an elegant, yet bohemian, simple way to hide your hair if it’s messy or if you don’t feel like dealing with it! I’ll be taking this style with me to the grave!

News

I couldn’t find any major bookish news this week, so instead of me telling you the news, I want y’all to tell me in the comments what recent bookish news you’r excited about!

Laughter

So this is happenning:

Remember that amazing movie Twitter came up with based on that picture of Rihanna and Lupita Nyong’o? The one in which Rihanna was a scammer and Lupita was her smart, scheming sidekick? Well now it’s actually gonna be real! Apparently the story is gonna be a Netflix movie starring Rihanna and Lupita, directed by Ava DuVernay, and written by Issa Rae!!! So there ya have it! Never underestimate the creative power of community on social media!

fun, Lila

Obsession Confession | A Court of Geniuses Living Ultralife!

Whew! I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a busy two weeks! Between deadlines and outings and events and classes/lessons, I’ve been running around. Hence, why I missed a week of Obsession Confession (but…let’s just not mention that…). Anyhoo, somehow, between all of the insanity, I managed to discover new obsessions to share with you! So, let’s not delay any longer!

Books

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Was there any doubt in your mind that I’d choose A Court of Wings And Ruin by Sarah J. Maas this week? If there was then let me officially put those doubts to rest! I have been waiting for this book since I finished ACOMAF and oh my god I am loving it!!!! I haven’t finished it yet because I want to savor it, but everything about it so far is everything I could’ve ever wanted and more! I adore this series and I’m so happy to finally have ACOWAR in my hands!!!

Music

https://open.spotify.com/embed?uri=spotify:track:5DLJPVuaVXp9vlKfQIjPWh

I’ve been listening to and loving “Ultralife” by Oh Wonder lately. The song is just so happy and catchy and it makes me feel like speeding through the countryside with my friends on a sunny day! I also love the vocals on the track, which manage to be ethereal, yet still have this sense of gravity.

Movies/TV/Trailers

I started watching National Georgaphic’s new biographical Albert Einstein mini-series, Genius, and I am loving it! Fun fact about me: Albert Einstein is my favorite scientist! Not because I’m a physics/biology major and I’m being basic and cliché, but because I relate to Einstein so much that it’s actually scary. So when I heard about Genius, I just knew I had to watch it! And, what’d’ya know?! I adore the series! (Surprise!)

The second season of Sense8 was released this past Thursday and I am super excited for it! I can’t believe that the moment I’ve been waiting for for two years (oh, the agony! the pain!) is finally here! I haven’t had time to watch it yet, but rest assured, that will be rectified ASAP!

It was quite the busy week in TV-land because in addition to releasing the new season of Sense8, Netflix also dropped the official trailer for The Defenders! This show looks amazing and I can’t wait for our four heroes to finally come together!

Other Stuff

It probably sounds silly, but I bought new clothes for the summer and I’m in love with them! They’re so lovely and soft! I know I’m being quite stereotypically “girly” (although, who cares because eff gender norms!), but I adore fashion. As a low income person, I’ve experienced the difference that good, clean, pretty clothes can make, both in how people see you and in how you feel about yourself. Besides that, I’ve always loved expressing my personality via my clothes! And these clothes make me feel really good!

News

Big news came for Patrick Ness fans this week and that is that the first Chaos Walking trilogy film (which stars Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland) begins filming this summer! I’ve never read the Chaos Walking trilogy, but I know that it’s very beloved in the YA literary community and I’m sure many of y’all are excited by this news. I am interested in the movie, though, so hopefully I’ll give the book a try before the film is released.

Around The Blogosphere/Vlogosphere

Over the past two week, Cait at Paper Fury has graced us with not one, but two delightfully hilarious posts! The first was Cait’s list of 10 types of fantasy books she wants to read but which don’t exist and the second was her list of the 10 types of reading moods all bookworms experience plus a quiz! As always, Cait’s posts left me laughing out loud and nodding in agreement. So go check ’em out!

fun, Lila

Spilling The Secrets | April 2017

Hey, y’all! Lila reporting for duty! I’ back at it again with the wrap ups! This timme, I’m calling my wrap up segment “Spilling The Secrets” because within this segment, I’ll be spilling the beans on all of my favorite things from the past month!

This first segment of Spilling The Secrets is kind of a special one, as in the “Life Events” section, I’m going to be sharing with you my life events which have occurred since the beginning of 2017! Other than that, every other section covers only April! So let’s jump right in!

blogging business

I’m sure you’ve noticed I’ve been doing a different format of review lately called “Five Reasons To Read…[Book Title]”. Have no fear, hough, the old style of reviewing will still be here! The “Five Reasons To Read” format is actually how I’ve decided to format my “mini reviews.” I say “mini reviews” in quotations because I know mine tend to be longer than most reviewers’, but, what can I say–I never said I wasn’t opinionated and long-winded!

reading wrap up

Sadly, I only finished one book in April and that was…

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

I really liked this book despite the fact that, because of my reading slump, it took me about five months to finish it! The Diabolic is fast paced and action packed and full of romance and political intrigue. The one thing I wish it had done better was the diversity. There were no people of color and only one LGBT+ character, whose sexuality was used as a plot device and who was killed off in the end. Aside from that, it was an entertaining read and I cant wait for the next book. You can check out my “mini review” here.

book haul

BOUGHT/WON

haul

eARCs RECEIVED

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music favorites

My musical favorites this month is an eclectic collection of pop. From slower melodies to fast paced ditties, traditional American tunes to songs inspired by music from around the world, and modern pop to older beats and sounds, this playlist has it all!

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music-tv favorites

I’ve been watching Netflix’s Iron Fist and I must say that I’m really enjoying it! It can be a bit cheesy and cliche–but in my opinion, most superhero stories are! It drags in a few places, but once you get going, the pace starts to pick up. I like thee layers of mysteries, the appearances of other characters from the Defenders universe, and, of course, the action! I’m not too happy about the whitewashing, though, and I can understand why people would choose to pass on Iron Fist because of it. I’m not gonna go saying it’s my all-time favorite show that takes place in the Marvel/Defenders universe, but it’s pretty good nonetheless.

other favorites

wax tarts

I really fell in love with the wax tarts sold by Wick And Fable in April! They smell absolutely delightful! For Easter, my mom bought three sets of them for me: Liesl (inspired by Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones), Der Erlkonig (also inspired by Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones), and To Whatever End (inspired by the Throne of Glass series by Sarah. J. Maas) and I highly recommend those three because they make my room smell incredible!!!

life events

I Participated in An International Women’s Day March And in A Day Without A Woman

unnamed (2)Since I live literally 10 minutes fro Washington, D.C., it’s pretty much impossible not to be involved in liberal, Democratic politics. It’s also pretty impossible to not participate in at least one of the recent anti Trump protests.

Despite my proximity to the capitol, I’ve never actually participated in a protest. Until International Women’s Day, that is! On that day, which also was the day of the A Day Without A Woman strike, I decided to not only wear red in solidarity with the cause, but also to take to the streets to protest the infantile Cheeto currently occupying my home city. I had a great time and there were some really great speakers who spoke on intersectional women’s rights and why they are so important.

I Visited A Korean Spa with My Bestie

Fun fact about me: before this year, I’d never been to a spa. But I corrected that earlier this year! My best friend got two free tickets to a Korean spa and decided to treat me and herself. I only visited the saunas and the cold room (which I fondly dubbed “the freezer”), but it was so nice! It was very relaxing and I can now say that I highly recommend going to a spa!

I Planted A Garden…And Haven’t Killed It Yet!

unnamedPlanting a garden and not killing it is quite the accomplishment for me as I usually am quite the plant killer! My mom wanted a garden for when she returns home, so my best friend, my godmother, and I went out, bought some plants, and got to planting! Ad,, what do ya know?! Three weeks later, plants are springing up everywhere!

I Started Volunteering At Koru Magazine And Stay Bookish eZine

This is an important life event/semi-announcement that’s happened and that is that I’m now a graphic designer and copy editor at Koru Magazine and a writer at Stay Bookish eZine! I’m immensely proud to have scored these positions and I’ve been having so much fun working for both!

I Marched for Science

unnamed (3)The March for Science recently occurred, so I headed into the city and took to the streets once again, this time with my best friend and another once of our friends! It was such a fun day (despite the rainy weather in D.C. on that day) and the march was HUGE! It was so great to see so many people come out in support of science! Before the march, my friends and I went to the National Gallery of Art and then in the evening, we went to a seminar on science and art which took place in a renovated underground trolley station! I had an AMAZING time!

looking ahead

The only major thing that is coming up on the blog, on my end, is that I’m taking part in  blog tour! The book is a diverse, #ownvoices one that seems to be highly anticipated by the community, so I think y’all will enjoy my tour stop! Otherwise, things will be running normally around here on my end!

So that’s all! How was your month? Anything fun or exciting happen? Tell me all in the comments!

fun, Guest Posts & Interviews, Tours & Blitzes

How To Make A Wish by Ashley Herring Blake Blog Tour | Author Interview + GIVEAWAY!

Hey, y’all! It’s Lila! Today I’m so happy to welcome Ashley Herring Blake to the blog to have a conversation with me on diversity and her sophomore novel, How To Make A Wish! Ms. Blake is also the author of Suffer Love, which was released in 2016! Stick around to read our conversation and you’ll also find a giveaway at the end! So let’s dive in…

Ashley Herring Blake Interview

Hello, Ms. Blake! I’m so happy to welcome you here today on The Bookkeepers’ Secrets and to have a chance to speak with you! Your much anticipated second novel, How To Make A Wish, is released on May 2, 2017 and I’ve seen so much praise for it already! I, myself, along with many of my readers are really anticipating the book! So let’s dive right in!

1. To start off, can you give us the simple elevator pitch for How To Make A Wish?

Oh, I am so awful at these, but I’ll try! A girl must decide if she can break free from her toxic relationship with her mother while navigating friendship and falling in love with another girl. Eh? I don’t know, I told you I was awful at these. ☺

2. Diversity is a big issue in the community at the moment and How To Make A Wish is an incredibly diverse story, as well an #ownvoices book. Why do you write diverse books and why do you think they’re important?

Well, I’m not even sure I’d say I write diverse books—I just try to write books that reflect our world. Diversity is our reality. It’s not a trend or a marketing ploy—it is our world. I want to write inclusively because I want to provide readers with opportunities to find themselves. That being said, some stories are not mine to tell. I very much believe in #ownvoices stories and, as a bi woman, those stories will always be the ones I gravitate toward to tell for my main characters. I often write in first person, and I don’t think that being in the head of a person with whose experience I could not even beging to communicate well is my story to tell. However, I do believe in writing characters that reflect our world, which why, I try very hard to include characters who are not only cishet-white-abeled-neurotypical. And, in doing so, I see that as a vast responsibilty to do no harm and to do the work to create a relatable, multi-layered character.

3. One of the things that has me, a multiracial reader, excited for the book is some snippets I’ve seen concerning a biracial character that I really identified with. I’ve also seen other bi/multiracial readers who received ARCs say that the rep was incredible. In writing a biracial character, you were writing “out of your lane” (writing characters whose identity and/or heritage you don’t share) yet you’ve managed to write the rep so well and in such a way that many of us (bi/multiracial people, that is) can agree and identify with the character. Given this, what is what do you think it is that allowed you to write something that rings true for so many of us that are bi/multiracial, even though that was/is not your experience?

Ha, well, I answered a bit of this in the question above, but honesty, in writing Eva, I had a LOT of help. I had several biracial readers check her, I listened when biracial people talked on social media, and I strived to give her a backstory and a current struggle that felt real and multi-layered. I’m so glad that she resonates for biracial readers—I can’t even express how glad—but I absolutely have to send myriad shout-outs to my first readers, as well as those who are generous enough to share their experiences on social media and blogs.

4. There’s obviously a diversity of experiences within a marginalized group of people. How do you make the story you’re telling such that if people can’t relate to every aspect of it, they can at least empathize with and respect the story you’re telling?

Well, it’s true that one story cannot be all things to all people. However, I think that, as human beings, if I’ve done my job correctly, people should be able to find something, some nugget of truth or detail, to which they can relate, as you said. Specifically writing a bisexual character, I know that Grace’s experiences is not going to be all experiences. Her experience wasn’t even my experience. She knew she was bi at 14! Oh, the envy! It took me almost twenty more years to figure that out for myself. However, the ways in which I did figure it out are very similar to how Grace did. And, again, a lot of that comes from listening to other bisexuals talk about their experience. As you said, no identity is a monolith, and there are problematic views and opinions even among marginalized communities. I had to be on the lookout, personally for internalized biphobia! I had five bisexual readers on this book to double check Grace. But, when it comes down to it, I think writing a character to whom people can relate comes down to two main things: 1) Listen to other people of that identity, even if it’s your own identity. Just shhhhh, and listen. 2) Write a damn good character. By that, I mean, I have to do my job as a writer which means creating multi-faceted characters who feel real. If I do that, I think reader will be able to find something to relate to.

5. Let’s take a break from heavy questions and have a bit of fun! If your characters were transformed into animals reflective of their personalities, what would they be and why?

Great question! Grace would definitely be a cat. She’s a bit prickly at times, but also cuddly when she wants to be. Luca would absolutely be a puppy. Eva, I picture as a cheetah—graceful and lithe.

6. What do you hope readers take away from How To Make A Wish?

That sometimes, being selfish is the only way to survive. By that I mean, sometimes you have to choose yourself before you choose anyone else and, by doing so, tha is loving someone.

About How To Make A Wish

book cover.jpegAuthor: Ashley Herring Blake

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Release Date: May 2, 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, GLTBQIA

Synopsis: All seventeen year-old Grace Glasser wants is her own life. A normal life in which she sleeps in the same bed for longer than three months and doesn’t have to scrounge for spare change to make sure the electric bill is paid. Emotionally trapped by her unreliable mother, Maggie, and the tiny cape on which she lives, she focuses on her best friend, her upcoming audition for a top music school in New York, and surviving Maggie’s latest boyfriend—who happens to be Grace’s own ex-boyfriend’s father.

Her attempts to lay low until she graduates are disrupted when she meets Eva, a girl with her own share of ghosts she’s trying to outrun. Grief-stricken and lonely, Eva pulls Grace into midnight adventures and feelings Grace never planned on. When Eva tells Grace she likes girls, both of their worlds open up. But, united by loss, Eva also shares a connection with Maggie. As Grace’s mother spirals downward, both girls must figure out how to love and how to move on.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About Ashley Herring Blake

AshleyAshley Herring Blake is a reader, writer, and mom to two boisterous boys. She holds a Master’s degree in teaching and loves coffee, arranging her books by color, and watching Buffy over and over again on Netflix with her friends. She’s the author of the young adult novels SUFFER LOVE and HOW TO MAKE A WISH.

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GIVEAWAY! (US ONLY)

  • Win 1 Finished Copy of How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake
  • US Only
  • Follow the tour for more chances to win
  • Runs through May 5th
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Follow The Tour

April 26

April 27

Becca @ Lost in Lit– Review + Favorite Quotes

April 28

Boricuan Bookworms– Guest Post

April 29

April 30

Afire Pages– Guest Post

May 1

Vicarious Bookworm– Review + Favorite Quotes

May 2

Daffodilsreads– Review + Favorite Quotes
The Book Return– Review