My May 2017 Haul & Wrapup

Hey guys,
I am back with my May book haul and wrap up. This has been a great month where I read more books than I bought (yay for tackling my TBR). 

Let’s start with the haul. I got three books and some bookish goodies. Here is a list of what I got:

  • King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard
  • The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas 
  • Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han
  • Bookish bookmarks by Bookmark’d Tattoos including: The dark mark, Gryffindor house tattoo, two currently reading tattoo sets, Am I not Merciful and bookstagram watercolor tattoos.

Next is my May wrap up. I read a total of 6 books in May (which I am very proud of). Two of these books are in Arabic. These books are:

  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – 5/5 stars
  • The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas – 5/5 stars
  • It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover – 5/5 stars
  • The Hating Game by Sally Thorne – 5/5 stars
  • ليدبروا – مشاري البغلي -stars 4/5 
  • سيدة القصور – علي الجارم -stars 3/5 

I am so happy to see that I have read this many amazing books. Two of these are New Adult. I loved Sally Thorne’s writing as it is very intruiging and hilarious. I kept laughing out loud every time I have the book in my hands.

I was also very happy to have been introduced to Laini Taylor’s writing. I have a newfound appreciation for whimsical writing.

April 2017 / Birthday Haul

Hello my awesome friends! 
It is time for my April / birthday haul. April has been extremely good to me. I went to Qatar on my birthday and had lots of fun there (and bought books of course). This haul consists of books, candles, Fairyloot subscription box, stickers, and bookmarks. I will tag all shops/pages where I purchased my stuff from (sharing is caring y’all).

I will post all the stuff I got for my birthday below:

The Books:

The books

First of all, we will start with the books I got. I got 17 books this month. One of these books was a gift for my birthday, and I received one in my Fairyloot.

The books I bought / received for my birthday:

These books are from book depository. I have saved up to get all of the below books which I will be listing below:

The last book was a present for my birthday. It’s called Success from setbacks by Gael Lindenfield.

Fairy loot book:

I received this beauty in my March Fairyloot box. I loved the fact that it is SIGNED by Laini Taylor. I am currently a few pages in and loving her writing.

Books I bought in Qatar:

I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go into WH Smiths in Qatar International Airport. Which is why I got the exit two books.

  • The Ballroom by Anna Hope
  • I’m Travelling Alone by Samuel Bjork

Books I bought in Bahrain:

I got these on the last day of April because I couldn’t find what I was looking for in the mall and wanted to cheer myself up. (Hahaha this just reminded me of Jesse the reader’s 50 book buying excuses video ^_^ * p.s. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should). So I chose both The Assassin’s Blade and Heir of Fire by S. J. Maas because I just frinished the first book in the series and wanted to continue it.

The Candles:

The second part I saved up for was the Candles I got from Happy Piranha. I got the mix three candles deal (which is cheaper!) and decided I wanted these candles:

  • Amortentia Love Potion candle: it smells like rose musk and raspberry but the raspberry smell is the stronger scent .. yummy!
  • Lunar lights candle: This smells like a mixture of strawberries and chocolate. I love the deep red color of this candle which is perfect for bookstagram.
  • The Skylope candle: This is a Zelda inspired candle that smells of freshly cut grass and jasmine. This is my favorite out of all three. It smells divinely fresh. ❤

The Bookmarks:

I got these beautiful bookmarks from ribonita chocolat Etsy shop. She has beautiful and unique designs which I wanted to get since I found her on bookstagram. The designs I got are (from left to right):

The next bookmarks are custom made by my cousin for my birthday “no she doesn’t have a shop :(“.. I separated them in three sections:

1. Birthday bookmarks

  • Happy birthday Marwa (roses)
  • Marwa is the most beautiful girl in the world (love love love this!! Great reminder when I feel bad)
  • Marwa is the best (H*** Yeah!)
  • Happy birthday Marwa (cakes)

2. Quotes about cousins:

  • Cousins are the perfect best friends
  • This bookmark belongs to my favorite cousin
  • Cousins? Nah we’re best friends

3. Bookish quotes:

  • “Books are a uniquely portable magic” ~ Stephen King
  • “The world belongs to those who read” ~ Rick Holland
  • “A book is a dream you hold in your hand” ~ Neil Gaiman
  • “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies” ~ George R.R. Martin

The Bujo Stickers:

These are the BEST stickers!! No joke! I got a few for me and my colleagues from Paperkumaco. The ones I got for myself are below:

And I got the paperkumaco logo and bonus sticker set ❤

And as a bonus for reading my blog post until here, here is a look at the cakes I received for my birthday: 

My colleagues tried to surprise me with this yellow cake before my birthday. I knew it was happening but loved the gesture.

My mom got me this chocolate stand (the white part is my name in Arabic) how sweet?? I love her ❤

Yummy chocolate ice cream cake from my cousin
My sister and cousins got me this unique birthday cake made up from doughnuts and cronuts

Author Interview: Dan Klefstad

Hey everyone,
Today I am glad to bring you all an interview with the author of “Shepherd and the Professor” DAN KLEFSTAD!

He was very kind to answer a few questions regarding his books for my blog and for sending me a copy of his first published book.

First of all, can you let us know more about yourself? 

    I’m the morning newscaster for NPR station WNIJ. I’m also the “book beat” editor so I interview authors from the WNIJ area (northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin). Here’s my archive.
    Each interview was a master class in storytelling, and the creative process, so I’m trying to write stories that are as good as I read.


    At what age did you start reading? And what are your favorite genres?

    I think I was nine when I went through a “horse phase” so I read all the Black Stallion novels. As a teenager I started playing Dungeons & Dragons so I read The Hobbit and the Lord of The Rings novels, plus other fantasy. Then it was spy thrillers. If I were a parent or a teacher trying to get kids to read, I’d say pay attention to what interests them in real life. Then give them books that match their interest.


    I’m really interested to know what made you start writing novels?

    Oddly, it was Television. I was 16 when I saw the British series “Reilly: Ace of Spies,” starring Sam Neill, and I was completely absorbed by this British agent operating in Russia just before the Bolshevik Revolution. So I wrote a novel with similar characters, set in the same period, and it was awful. But my mother encouraged me to keep writing, and I remain grateful for her encouragement.


    I would like to thank you for sending me your book “Shepherd and the Professor”. I thought that Susan Shepherd had a unique and strong personality in the book. Can you let us know who inspired her character?


    I borrow two things from my wife who’s also named Susan. She was a cop in the Village of Roscoe, Illinois, in the 1980s. Also, she’s fiery and passionate and sometimes words fly past her lips without her thinking about them. I like that she doesn’t have so many filters, which to me shows how nakedly honest she is. I hoped that lending this trait to Susan Shepherd would encourage the reader to trust her, even in those intense moments when she goes off the rails.

    Now this story deals with a lot of issues including physical & sexual assault, gender inequality , violence in educational institutes, unemployment, drug use, and racism. Why did you want to write about all of these issues instead of focusing on one?


    Well, life seems packed with all these experiences so I thought “Why shouldn’t a piece of fiction do the same?” I also wanted to show how Midwestern people face a range of issues and challenges – that there’s so much to grapple with in Rustbelt Country. Many people who aren’t from here assume we’re mild-mannered, polite, church-going, welcoming people. I guess I wanted to show how quickly that veneer melts away when you apply more and more pressure on each person.


    I thought it was interesting that you had Muslim characters in your book. Why did you choose to write about Islam?


    I’m interested in how people who are used to being in the majority face a rising minority. And in the Midwest, like other parts of the country, Islam is still rather exotic. So you have the potential for friction, for conflict, which is an easy place to begin any story. Then I decided to have a white Jewish character convert to Islam, which added a layer of rarity, of complexity, which takes the story to another level. This was my signal that a Muslim character has a prominent role in this story, but you probably don’t know how his faith will influence it.


    What can you tell us about your upcoming book?


    First let me state clearly that it’s not about the vampire (There are so many stories about vampires that people often immediately shut the door). Is the door still open? Okay, I have a short story coming out in the journal Crack the Spine on Feb. 1. It’s called “The Caretaker,” and the protagonist is a man who’s about to retire after decades of working for a vampire. The story is a fictional memoir that doubles as a letter to one person – in this case, the man who will succeed the protagonist. The story is a metaphor for having a career, and the sacrifices we make early in our lives in hopes that we’ll spend our “evening years” in peace and luxury. I’m trying to turn this into a novel.


    Do you have any advice for writers who are trying to get published?


    First, focus on writing your story, one that speaks to you, without worrying what other people might think about it. Then get a good edit from someone you trust. This is the stage where you start thinking about the reader and how they’ll consume your words. Finally, prepare yourself for lots of rejection – from agents and publishers, from reviewers and everyday readers. Don’t ignore all the rejections; some may offer constructive criticism. But keep writing no matter what other people say about your stories. They exist for a reason. One day, you’ll look around and see people are finally taking you seriously, not only because your stories have merit but because you’re still standing after everyone took their shot at you. So that Edison quote about genius being 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration is missing something: fortitude. (Sorry I couldn’t make it rhyme).


    Where can the readers buy your books?


    Shepherd & the Professor is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online retailers. Paperback, .mobi, .PDF. It’s in very few brick stores right now but they can order you a copy.

    My NerdyGrlDesigns Bookmarks 

    Hey everyone! 
    So who better to get your bookmarks from other than the incredibly talented @NerdyGrlDesigns ?
    I have been lucky to find Melissa through bookstagram. And I made a huge first order from her and wasn’t disappointed even one bit. Her bookmarks are cute and tiny. I love the designs of each one of her bookmarks. These are all magnetic bookmarks and she just introduced some awesome regular bookmarks too which I am planning to get.

    For those of you who want to know how a magnetic bookmark is used, the bookmark is printed ontwo sides where each side has a magnetic piece allowing it to clasp on the page. These are perfect so you can ensure that you don’t lost the bookmark while you are using it.

    Magnetic bookmarks in use
    My Collection ❤

    The designs are (from left to right):

    • Jasmine
    • Snow White
    • Ariel
    • Cinderella
    • Red Riding Hood
    • Sleeping Beauty
    • Megara
    • Thumbelina
    • Merida
    • Rapunzelle
    • Belle
    • Daenerys
    • Celaena
    • Draenei
    • Night Elf
    • Hermoine
    • Amren
    • Morrigan
    • Feyre
    • Hagrid
    • Voldemort (I call him Voldy)
    • Dumbledore
    • Harry
    • Ron (can’t separate them)
    • Cassian, Azriel and Rhysand (can’t distinguish who is who because I haven’t read the books yet – i got the whole set)
    • Sally
    • Darth Vader
    • Foxes from the Red Ridinghood set

    Melissa was even so sweet to send me two extra bookmarks as a gift when I ordered around Halloween time. The extra bookmarks she sent are the cute bat and candy bookmarks in the next photo! ❤ ❤ ❤

    My last purchase with the additional bookmarks

    Do you see why I love her bookmarks so much? 

    For those of you who would like to get their hands on one of her design, you can find her bookmarks on her Etsy store here

    November and December 2016 Book Haul

    Hey you guys!!!!
    It is now the end of the month which also means ………… BOOK HAULS!

    I do apologize for not posting my November book haul as I thought it didn’t deserve a whole blog post. Now that I gathered all the books I got within these two months, I believe that that wasn’t such a great idea after all. *cringe*

    This is a huge haul so I will not be posting the synopsis of each book. However, I will post the links to each book’s Goodreads pages just in case you would like to know more about the book (and maybe add it to your TBR as well).


    I actually won Three Dark Crowns in a giveaway hosted by the sweet Ania from @anarchy_in_the_library on Instagram. I am still very happy about it because I really wanted to read this book.


    Most of these books were purchased on Black Friday but they just arrived. I am still waiting for three books to arrive so hopefully I will be hauling them in January.

    So I had 18 new books within these two months and I am very grateful to have them all. How many new books did you get this December? And have you read any of them?