Birthday Giveaway: Hi hey hello, it me. Ya 23-year-old Southeast Asian girl.

Birthday Giveaway: Hi hey hello, it me. Ya 23-year-old Southeast Asian girl.

I have always felt mostly neutral about my birthday. I was never particularly excited about the idea of turning a year older or even the prospect of eating as much chocolate cake as I want. Maybe I felt differently when I was a kid, but I just can’t seem to remember.

But I digress. While I’ve always felt so-so bordering on meh whenever my birthday hits the calendar, I was honestly not looking forward to turning twenty-three (23) this year. In fact, I’d say that I was genuinely dreading the thought — or more specifically, the inevitability — that I was turning twenty-three today.

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YARC 2019: (Late) Midyear Giveaway & July-to-August book links

YARC 2019: (Late) Midyear Giveaway & July-to-August book links

Let me preface this with a huge, huge apology. The delay in releasing the monthly link-up post (i.e. there was no post for July) was intentional, but on behalf of the YARC team, I am sorry for taking so long to explain the reason behind this delay. Oof.

But I digress. My (amazing) co-hosts and I were trying to whip up a massive, international midyear giveaway as a humble token of appreciation for all the lovely participants of this year’s YARC. This ambitious endeavor turned out to be a little bit more complicated and time-consuming than we anticipated, especially because we were all absolutely committed in ensuring that our giveaway is open to international readers.

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FOLLOW ALONG: War of Mist blog tour (ft. schedule & giveaway)

FOLLOW ALONG: War of Mist blog tour (ft. schedule & giveaway)

Good morning from my side of the world! While I am incredibly passionate about all the books featured in Caffeine Book Tours, I am more excited than usual to officially kick off the blog tour for Helen Scheuerer’s War of Mist, which is the third and final installment of her debut YA fantasy series.

My extra excitement and enthusiasm stem from the fact that The Oremere Chronicles holds a very special place in my heart — and if you’ve been following me since my previous now-deleted blog, you might already know why.

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Spotlight: Kathy Kimbray on her YA fantasy debut, A Shifting of Stars (ft. giveaway!)

Spotlight: Kathy Kimbray on her YA fantasy debut, A Shifting of Stars (ft. giveaway!)

Hello, Kathy! I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to stop by and to (virtually) sit down with us here in Shut up, Shealea. I am very excited to have this opportunity to talk about your debut novel, A Shifting of Stars, and I’m sure plenty of readers are looking forward to learning more about the book as well.

To kick off this interview, I thought it’d be fun to prepare a couple of silly questions for you to answer.

If I wanted to snack on something or have a drink in my hand while I read A Shifting of Stars, what food and/or beverage should I pair it off with? And why do you think these would complement or go well with the book?

Wow, what a fun question! Well, since Meadow lives in a kingdom that hasn’t tasted good quality meat, fresh produce or dairy products in a while, I would suggest a nice charcuterie board in her honor!

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Spotlight: Elizabeth Lim on her Chinese-inspired fantasy, Spin the Dawn (ft. giveaways!)

Spotlight: Elizabeth Lim on her Chinese-inspired fantasy, Spin the Dawn (ft. giveaways!)

Hello, Elizabeth! Thank you very much for the opportunity to (virtually) sit down with you and to talk a little bit about your upcoming Chinese-inspired fantasy, Spin the Dawn. It’s such a huge honor to have you on my blog!

I’d like to kick this interview off with a couple of silly questions. Consider it a warm-up of some sort.

A few months ago, Eugene Lee Yang from the Try Guys (a group of four male YouTubers) tweeted that one way to start a fight is by asking Asians which Asian culture has the best soup. Inspired by that tweet, here’s my question: in your opinion, what is the best Asian soup?

Ahh I could literally think about this all day. Like, soup with noodles, dessert soups, herbal soups, broths…? I’m going to cheat by giving a couple answers. My favorite dessert soup, hands down, is red bean soup (Chinese). My favorite noodle soups would be beef pho (Vietnamese) and curry laksa (Malaysian). And my favorite soup of all time is a fish broth with vegetables my Cantonese grandma makes. It has no name but it’s delectable.

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Follow along: Spin the Dawn blog tour (ft. schedule & giveaway)

Follow along: Spin the Dawn blog tour (ft. schedule & giveaway)

Good morning from my side of the world! Way back in March, I dropped the ball and announced an international blog tour for Elizabeth Lim’s upcoming spellbinding Chinese-inspired fantasy, Spin the Dawn, which is set to be released some time next week. The number of sign-ups for this tour really exceeded my expectations, and selecting just a handful of enthusiastic, passionate voices among hundreds(!!!) was easily one of the most difficult things I’ve had to do as a book blogger.

Truly, a lot of thought, love, and effort were poured into the preparation for this blog tour — and I cannot be happier to officially kick things off!

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Unveiling the cover for Secondhand Origin Stories by Lee Blauersouth (ft. an INT’L giveaway!)

Unveiling the cover for Secondhand Origin Stories by Lee Blauersouth (ft. an INT’L giveaway!)

Today marks an extremely special day about a book that’s personally close to my heart. If y’all have been following my blog before it rebranded into the golden brown, sunflower-filled space it is today, then the title Secondhand Origin Stories might strike a familiar chord to you. I’ve gushed and lovingly screamed about this wonderfully diverse literary gem on more than one occasion. In fact, I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to organize a blog tour for this book, the #SHOSPH blog tour with a huge bunch of talented, passionate bloggers.

There are honestly so many aspects in Secondhand Origin Stories (written by the amazing Lee Blauersouth) that I absolutely love — its family-centered superhero plot, its remarkable bluntness in tackling social issues, its heartwarming portrayal of friendship and loyalty among a diverse group of superpowered teenagers, and the list stretches interminably. With that said, I am genuinely overjoyed to inform all of you that Lee Blauersouth’s self-published YA debut is celebrating its first year! Yep, today marks the first book birthday of Secondhand Origin Stories.

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