Category Archives: Discussion

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

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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.

ABOUT NYMBC

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.

ABOUT 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.

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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

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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!

HOPE YOU ARE ALL HAVING A GREAT 2018!! I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST WITH AWESOME HEALTH AND MANY BLESSINGS! 💛

See you all in February! ✨

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

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Where Have I Been? | A Life Update

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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.

➡ SEPTEMBER

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:

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➡ OCTOBER

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.

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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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Guide to Juggling School & Your Blog | Chat with JBelkBooks

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Random Quote of the Day: “1. Never tell everything at once.” – Ken Venturi

Hello sunshines! 🔆 With my last year of high school right around the corner I thought this would be a great time for me to post this discussion! I’ve actually been slowing planning out this post so it’s cool that I’m able to finally share it with you all!

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That time in the beginning, middle, or even the end of the school/uni year where you ran out of ALL steam possible to blog. No inspiration, no time, no will-power to get up and type that post. You tell yourself that you’ll do it over the weekend but then you end up laying in your bed watching Netflix — I know, relatable.

There is no shame in this act, however, because WE’VE ALL BEEN THERE. But we are not here to dwell on the past. In fact, I’m here to help you get a kickstart to the school year and share…

✨ A GUIDE TO JUGGLING SCHOOL & YOUR BLOG ✨

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Happy Blogiversary To Me! + GIVEAWAY | Two Years and Counting

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Random Quote of the Day: “CELEBRATE WITH ME!” – JBelkBooks

Image result for balloon flying gifHello sunshines! 🔆 Two years ago JBelkBooks was featured on the internet so all could see and I am so excited to say that it has been an amazing experience. It simply does not feel that I’ve been blogging and interacting with all of you for over 365 days — time has flown by so fast!

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Last year, I told myself I was planning to self-host, visit Book-Expo America, and expand my knowledge. As you can tell, I did not self-host yet simply because I haven’t gotten around to actually planning out a new layout. This task probably won’t be complete until next year or the new year if I’m being honest. As for BEA, that one was a stretch since it’s not located near me and it would be pretty expensive. I don’t know when I’ll get the chance to go to BEA, but I’m hoping for the near future. The only task that I did somewhat complete is expanding my knowledge. I’ve become more active in promoting Diverse reads and doing my research before I purchased/read novels. It has been a journey for myself as I am beginning to read more #OwnVoices novels and really investing my time and money into indie authors, bookstores, and authors of color. Of course, I am still learning but I know that it’ll be an interesting and worthwhile educational opportunity.

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While I do have other favorite posts for the year, these are the two that I have poured my heart and soul into. I hope you had the chance to visit and comment on these posts when they were Live, but if not, let that be my Blogiversary gift! Feel free to visit these posts and let me know that you’ve done so!

💬A SMALL GUIDE TO DIVERSITY

Screenshot (5).pngThis has to be one of my favorite discussion posts as it’s the first time I’ve actually expressed my thoughts surrounding Diversity in our novels. Posts like these are always risky in our society and community as not everyone will agree with your thoughts, but with the interactions I gained with the post, I can say that it was successful. Everyone in our community is continuously educating each other positively and it is an honor to be surrounded by such people. YOU have helped my blog and I grow and I am forever thankful.

💬HOW/WHY TO COMMENT LIKE YOU CARE

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This is another post near and dear to my heart. This is one of my first discussion posts that had phenomenal feedback and comments. I truthfully typed from the heart with that post and it made me extremely happy to know that you guys actually read the post. I definitely recommend that you visit that post and read what I had to say because I’m sure some of you will agree with my thoughts!
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Now to what most of you are here for — yeah, I know, lol. But it’s okay because I love you guys! Today (August 1st, 2017) until September 1st, 2017 12:00 AM PST I will be giving away a $10 USD Amazon gift card! Giveaway is INT’L. You must be comfortable sending me your email address. Winner will be contacted following the end date — an additional winner will be chosen if initial winner is unresponsive for 48 hours.

✨ ALSO. If I reach 600 WP Blog Followers AND 950 Twitter Followers, I will be picking ANOTHER winner!! However, the second winner will be receiving a 5 USD Amazon gift card.✨ The more you share the giveaway, the better your chances!! ✨

A RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

I recommend that you use the giftcard for a Diverse novel, but it is not required. The book of choice can be #OwnVoices, feature mental illness, represent a culture or ethnicity, etc. If you need help in findings Diverse reads, here are a few of my favorites/anticipated:

lineThank you ALL for sticking by my blog and I! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for JBelkBooks! ❤

If you missed LAST YEAR’S Blogiversary Post, feel free to check it out HERE.

JBelkBooks is a blog for the lonely, the lovers, the readers, & anyone else willing to read what I have to say.

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

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2017 Challenges Recap #2

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Random Quote of the Day: “Follow the grain in your own wood.” – Howard Thurman

Hello sunshines! 🔆 This post actually brings me a variety of amount of emotions and I have no idea why. Is it because it’s more than halfway through the year? Or is it because I know I have SO much reading to catch up on? Who knows! Anyways, here is my second 2017 Blog & Reading Challenges Recap post! If you missed my first Recap, you can check it out HERE!

🗯 Comment more! This is always a goal of mine, and because of this I will be taking part in the seasonal 2017 Commenting Challenge hosted by . I was too late in signing up for the January Challenge, but I will be signing up for February. Details here.

marchSo, I did end up completing this challenge for the Winter session. I had two partners and I was challenged to comment 10+ times on a random blogger’s blog. This was actually way more manageable than the 365 Commenting Challenge I attempted to complete last year just because it was less pressure. I definitely recommend that you guys check out Alicia’s Challenge if you are interested in finding new bloggers while receiving comments!

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My Etsy Shop is Live!!

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Random Quote of the Day: “That is the saving grace of humor, if you fail no one is laughing at you.” – A. Whitney Brown

Hello sunshines! 🔆 I have an exciting announcement for you all!! It’s only taken me a few months and a TON of research, but my ETSY SHOP IS NOW LIVE!!

If you don’t know what ETSY is, it is an online marketplace for individuals to express their creativity by putting their products on sale for others to see.

“An Etsy Economy empowers artists, designers and curators to start and grow businesses on their own terms. It’s an ecosystem that connects buyers around the world to the communities where Etsy shop owners live, work and create.”

Etsy LogoA SKETCH OF JESS is a place for anyone of any age to shop for some awesome paintings! Products include paintings of all sizes and styles, and I am extremely happy to be sharing them within my community AND internationally!

Right now, shipping costs are all their all time LOW starting at $4.67 USD. These rates will increase/decrease for those that are international, but Etsy allows you calculate the cost when you click on the item you want. Of course, I am always here to offer ANY information or concerns you may have for all I want is customer satisfaction!

If you can’t purchase anything for yourself, that is always okay! It would mean the world to me if you would still visit my shop and give it a “Like” for it still shows that you like what you see!

Thank you SO much for your endless support, and again, CHECK OUT MY SHOP!! ❤

P.S. I’m running this poll right now on Twitter and I’d love YOUR input as well. If you don’t have Twitter, feel free to comment your response below. Here’s the question I proposed:

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

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