The Bay Area Book BFFs: Blogger & Author Event | Recap Part TWO


Hello sunshines! I know, I know…It’s been A WHILE. I have been on the brink of graduating high school (more info. on this later) and in the midst of all this, I ACTUALLY had time to go to a bookish event! If you guys remember, last year around this time I attended the NYMBC Bloggers 💗 Authors Book Event! Thanks to Hannah, Christy, Nancy and those that hosted the event, I was invited once again to Books Inc. in Santa Clara, CA.


14192689_1090537074316653_2695579152047120126_n.pngNot Your Mother’s Book Club isn’t REALLY a club. It’s the name of Books Inc.’s Young Adult Author Salon. So really, we’re just an inclusive bunch of PASSIONATE readers who get to hang out with the coolest authors on the scene! We throw parties, eat snacks and read, read, read, read, read…

Not Your Mother’s Book Club events go into the Not Your Mother’s Book Club Fund, which Books Inc. turns around and uses to spread the love of reading throughout the Bay Area communities.

Just like last year, I was paired up with one of the Bay Area’s local authors and I had the wondrous opportunity to interview and get to know this author. Before we get into the interview, here is a list of the authors that attended this time around:

Claire Khan // Gordon Jack // Krystal Sutherland // SJ Kincaid // Lily Anderson // Adrienne Young // Stephanie Kuehn // Tim Floreen // Randy Ribay // Alexandra Sirowy // Kelly Loy Gilbert // Tamara Ireland Stone

This year I was teamed up with Krystal Sutherland.


 Credit: Lisa Fahey Photography Krystal Sutherland was born and raised in Townsville, Australia–an inhospitable land where crocodiles, snakes, and jellyfish are always on the prowl. She grew up living directly across the road from the local library and spent almost every day after school (and weekends, too) having adventures between the pages of books (mainly because it was too dangerous to go outside). She moved to Sydney for college (and safety), where she cut her writing teeth as the editor of the student magazine at the University of New South Wales. She kept gathering tales as an exchange student in Hong Kong and as a foreign correspondent in Amsterdam. Her first book, Our Chemical Hearts, was released in 2016, and was published in over twenty countries. Her three greatest fears are heights, dark caves . . . and (perhaps worst of all) frogs.

Image result for krystal sutherlandTo say the least, I was extremely excited to interview Krystal as she is AUSTRALIAN and I had just read her well-known novel, Our Chemical Hearts. Needless to say I was still a newbie when it came to interviewing her, but I have to commend myself for not embarrassing myself TOO much. This time I decided to video record the interview. You can find the video HERE and all of the funny, quirky questions and comments I had to offer.

During this event, I was able to mingle and chat with other authors and bloggers. I must say I’ve grown since the last event — since I was more familiar with the environment and some of the authors (from last year), it was easier to get to know others. Perhaps one of my favorite parts was when I was able to hear each author talk about themselves and their novels. It was very interesting (and an honor) to hear about their novels from their perspectives…I mean, and the fact that I was in the SAME ROOM as some of the world’s favorite authors.

Image result for krystal sutherland

It was definitely awesome to interview Krystal. She was such a delightful soul and she definitely made me feel welcomed. Her personality is one of the best and I am very happy that she’s enjoying herself in the States. Everyone at the event was so warm and friendly, and I definitely felt like a blogger, again. With events like these local bloggers and authors are appreciated, and that’s what I love so much about NYMBC & Books Inc..

Screenshot (42).pngIn short, I am beyond thankful to have been invited to this event. For the second year, I think Christy, Hannah, and those at Books Inc. really outdid themselves this time around. I had a fantastic time back at Books Inc. and revisiting one of the best indie bookstores in California. I got a ton of novels signed and I even got some cool socks! Hopefully next year I will find myself back there again with more experiences to come. See you next time, Bay Area Book BFFS: Bloggers ❤ Authors! 

Thanks for reading & I’ll see you next time…



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JBelkBooks’ Next Step | Chat with JBelkBooks


Random Quote of the Day: “There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating: people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing.” – Oscar Wilde

Hello sunshines! 🔆 HOW ARE YOU ALL? HAPPY 2018! Today I am addressing my NEXT STEP. What is there to do now? It’s a new year and I’ve decided to get back into blogging as I want to SELF-HOST.

Image result for bluehostI’m thinking of going with BLUE HOST. It’s one of the recommended services by WordPress and honestly I don’t know much about self-hosting. I do know it costs money and I do know that I have much more freedom with my blog. I’ve always wanted to expand with my site and make it officially MINE so I am super excited to get started. However, Blue Host requires that you pay your service upfront. This is only a problem for me because I had not been saving previously so I have to wait until the beginning of February to set up my account with Blue Host.

This is actually okay with me as it gives me time just to solely create posts ahead of time. It also gives me time to think of a new creative theme, along with new headers, images, schemes, etc.. This is probably my favorite part of blogging so I am super excited to start creating again.

Image result for time gifWith that being said you probably won’t be seeing much of me until February 2018. Do know am I am still alive and I am still blogging. I just need this month to plan ahead so I’m not trying to do EVERYTHING in February when I get my new site up.


If anyone has any advice or comments about Blue Host or self-hosting in general, definitely let me know! I am a newbie when it comes to self-hosting, so any information will be valuable to me!


See you all in February! ✨


Thanks for reading & I’ll see you next time…


Etsy | Twitter | Goodreads | Bloglovin’ | Instagram



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A Welcome Back? And Giveaway? | Chat with JBelkBooks


Random Quote of the Day: “I am back…I think…And I am ready to blog!” – JBelkBooks

Hello sunshines! 🔆 The last time I did an update was in October! That seems so far from today (and it kind of is)! I am finally on Christmas break from school and I now have some courage to sit down and actually type this post.

I guess I should start off with that I don’t know if I’m back for GOOD — I still have a few more months of my senior year and first semester definitely kicked my ass. With college applications, my jobs, numerous projects and tests…I have been a mess. But with the first semester finished I think I might want to get back into blogging. I’ve missed the interactions, being involved, and enjoying my time creating these posts. I’ve even thought of starting off the New Year with a new layout and possibly self-publishing?! I think that if I actually paid for self-publishing I’d be more willing to find time to put attention into blogging. I don’t know though,what do you guys think?? If you have any experiences/tricks and tips to self-publishing, definitely let me know! I was just going to purchase through WordPress, but if anyone has any other websites/services that are better/worth it, please feel free to share!

But anyways, I won’t go into a whole update into my life because it’s pretty much that same humble jumble — school, work, school, and more school. School has taken over my life as most of you guys know, but I did want to share that I AM, indeed, ALIVE and I have missed you all a ton.

I’ve missed you all SO MUCH that I am going to be hosting a New Years Giveaway! 🎉It’s one of the simple ones:

[1.] FOLLOW ME on Twitter [at] JBelkBooks

[2.] RETWEET this tweet and let the magic happen!

In honor of two years of blogging, TWO winners will be chosen. Each winner will be sent an Amazon E-Gift Card worth $10! This giveaway is open to US Residents and International. GIVEAWAY ENDS January 1st, 2018 PST! GOOD LUCK! 💗💗line

Thanks for reading & I’ll see you next time…


Etsy | Twitter | Goodreads | Bloglovin’ | Instagramsi86578


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Where Have I Been? | A Life Update


Random Quote of the Day: “Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.” – John Barrymore 

Hello sunshines! 🔆 It has definitely been…a while. I can’t even remember what was the last thing I posted, lol. Anyways, I’m just going to cut right into the information and give you guys the run down of the where, when, how, why of my life since September.

Since September I have not had the will power to get up, plan out posts, and actually type them out. As you may have suspected, school has been kicking my tiny butt. If I had free time (unlikely), I was sleeping or watching Netflix. Nothing in me wanted to get up and put effort into my days if I didn’t NEED to.


Nothing much happened in September — this month always goes by so fast and I think it may be due to the angst that I have since my birthday is the last day of that month. In fact, the only fun that came out of September was my birthday. Instead of posting a haul, I’m just gonna show you guys what I got.

I visited HALF PRICED BOOKS and DICK BLICK ART MATERIALS to celebrate my birthday. Here’s the quick haul of the books:



Just like September, October hasn’t been treating me TOO well either.

  • I bought John/Hank Green tickets for their Tour surrounding John Green’s newest novel release, Turtles All the Way Down. I’m going to the San Francisco show on October 31st if anyone else is attending!
  • I’m still working everyday after school from about 3:30 PM to 6:00 PM. I know it’s not A LOT of hours, but working with kids straight after school does take a toll on me.
  • As many of you may have heard, my city in Northern California has been under some natural disaster business. From the beginning of this week, there has been a ton of wildfires (AKA Atlas Fires) around my area. I went to school on Tuesday, but the sky was horrendous and the air quality was horrible. School was cancelled this entire week as the fires have not been contained. I haven’t seen many people talking about it on social media unless they live in the area which is odd. People are losing their lives, their homes, etc.. But anyways, my family and I are safe for now. If anyone would like to donate or help out, feel free to donate HERE, or use Google to look up different sources.

Besides these odd happenings, my life has been pretty dull. School has been taking over and it’s only going to get more busy. College Applications are coming up in November so that should be fun. If anyone has any tips to get through Apps, definitely let me know!

I haven’t been reading unless it’s for school. Right now, we just finished I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, and now we are studying Sylvia Plath and her poetry. Let’s just say I’m not a fan of poetry every day, lol.

I’m not going to make any promises and say that I’m going to try and post because honestly, I don’t have time. I definitely miss blogging and the community, but I haven’t been active on Twitter or Instagram, either.


So that’s about it! Again, I do miss you guys and I will try and check in here and there. I probably won’t be completely active again until after November since the stress will be semi-decreased.

💬 But what about YOU guys? How are you? Did you hear about the wildfires in California? What have you been reading?? Chat with me in the comments!

Thanks for reading & I’ll see you next time…




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Random Quote of the Day: “Don’t be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.” – David Lloyd George 

Hello sunshines! 🔆 It is my favorite month of the year simply because it’s my birthday month! Even though this month has been pretty busy I am looking forward to the end of the month! Do you have a birthday in September? ✨

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  • MY ETSY SHOP HAS LAUNCHED!! If you haven’t seen my spam on Twitter or Instagram lately, A SKETCH OF JESS is now LIVE and ready for you! I’ve gotten several forms of support from family and friends already and it is JUST the beginning! Check out my shop HERE and possibly give it a LIKE? 🎉
  • I’M SELLING CLOTHES, BOOKS, & PAINTINGS ON MERCARI! Mercari is a marketplace app to sell your items easily! If you wanna see what I’m selling for fairly cheap, check out my Shop with my username ‘Jesalin Belk’.
  • I STARTED MY NEW JOB! I’m currently working at my local elementary school at an after school program with 1st-5th graders! They are such sweethearts and I am very pleased so far with it!

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Which Cover Wednesday [#34]


Random Quote of the Day: “First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.” – Epictetus 

Hello sunshines! 🔆 It’s been a while since I’ve posted a WCW! Let’s just skip to the debate 😉


Image result for versus icon


Both are actually really stunning so this is definitely a hard decision. I love the creativity for the SECOND cover, so I think I’m picking that one! Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with the first cover!

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Top Ten Tuesday [#43]


Random Quote of the Day: “A mind too active is no mind at all.” – Theodore Roethke

Hello sunshines!🔆 It is no longer Monday which means that the week is 4 days from being OVER! For this week’s TTT post, were are chatting it up about TOP TEN NOVELS THAT HAD ALL THE HYPE!

Disclaimer: these are novels that I remember having hype since I’ve started blogging

THE RAVEN KING by Maggie Stiefvater

LADY MIDNIGHT by Cassandra Clare

CROOKED KINGDOM by Leigh Bardugo



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Graze | A FREE Box for YOU!


Random Quote of the Day: “We can only learn to love by loving.” – Iris Murdoch 

Hello sunshines! 🔆 I am back, back, back, again with ANOTHER food subscription box! However, this time I have TWO codes for any of you guys to use to get yourself a FREE box! Stay tuned until the end of this post to get the code (:

Today I am featuring GRAZE. GRAZE is snacking reinvented.

“Graze was started by seven friends sick of chips and candy, who wanted a better way to snack. We quit our jobs and camped out in a friend’s spare room for months and after a lot of hard work, was born – snacks that show off the tasty side of health and are delivered directly to you. From pure fruit, to wholesome treats and dips & dippers – our huge variety (100 snacks with millions of graze box combinations) means there’s always something different to try so you’ll never be left standing at the vending machine feeling glum again!”

I was able to get this GRAZE box for FREE! Lucky for you I have a code that you can use to get a free box! However, let’s take a look at what I got:

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First Book Haul of the Year?!


Random Quote of the Day: “Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.” – Anne Frank 

Hello sunshines! 🔆 Can you believe that this is my FIRST Book Haul of 2017?! I’ve accumulated a few books here and there but I finally have enough to post an ACTUAL Haul! I am so excited to share what books I’ve received/purchased thus far, so let’s get started!


  • GOODBYE DAYS by Jeff Zetner
  • MIRROR ME by Tara St. Pierre

SENT VIA UPPERCASE (and then some)


  • DEFY THE STARS by Claudia Gray
  • SONG OF THE CURRENT by Sarah Tolcser

* of course I got other Uppercase Box books but these are the more recent ones

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Nature Box | Food For Your Tummy!


Random Quote of the Day: “Of course there is no formula for success except perhaps an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings.” – Arthur Rubinstein 

Hello sunshines! 🔆 I am back with an awesome FOOD subscription box unboxing + review! If you don’t remember, I’ve actually unboxed NATURE BOX before earlier when my blog was just a fetus. Since then I’ve ventured back into NATURE BOX for their free box — you just pay for $4.65 shipping! Anyways, let’s get into all the deets:

Image result for naturebox logoNATURE BOX is a subscription plan that delivers a world of carefully sourced and nutritionist-approved foods right to your door. Each snack contains wholesome ingredients – with no artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors.

I’m going to be honest — their site is a little hard to follow when it comes to subscribing or becoming a member, but from what I understand you only pay $5 a month? Also, you can purchase individual items without being subscribed which is pretty cool.

As I’ve mentioned I got this box just by paying for shipping ($4.95)! The only down side to this is that I didn’t get to choose which snacks I wanted in my box. Let’s see what was inside:

  • Salt & Vinegar Veggie Chips
  • Kung Pao Pretzels
  • Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies
  • Crunchy BBQ Twists

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