COVER REVEAL: The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters by Jaimie Admans

I am so, so delighted to be sharing the gorgeous cover for Jaimie Adman’s new novel, “The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters” with you today. I’ve read and reviewed a few of Jaimie’s YA novels in the past North Pole Reform School, Not Pretty Enough and Afterlife Academy and I absolutely loved them so I’m so excited to see the next stage of Jaimie’s writing career! Also.. we have exactly the same tattoo! So scroll down for some info on the book and a peek at the brand new cover…

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Happy 2nd Blogoversary Jenny in Neverland! 🎉

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Can you quite believe it’s been 2 years since little Jenny in Neverland was born? I sure can’t. These two years have gone so quickly and it seems like only yesterday I was sitting here writing my post for my 1st blogoversary! Continue reading

500 Blog Followers & 30,000 Page Views: Thank You and Giveaways!

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Just before 2014 was out, my little blog reached 500 followers. Shortly after that, it hit 30,000 page views. So to celebrate these milestones, I wanted to write a little post to express my gratitude for all your support and host a couple of awesome giveaways as a thank you! Continue reading

Book Review: Afterlife Academy by Jaimie Admans

18754847What it’s about:

Even being dead isn’t enough to get you out of maths class.

Dying wasn’t on sixteen-year-old Riley Richardson’s to-do list. And now, not only is she dead, but she’s stuck in a perpetual high school nightmare. Worse still, she’s stuck there with the geekiest, most annoying boy in the history of the world, ever.

In a school where the geeks are popular and just about everything is wrong, Riley has become an outcast. She begins a desperate quest to get back home, but her once-perfect life starts to unravel into something not nearly as great as she thought it was. And maybe death isn’t really that bad after all…

Welcome to Afterlife Academy, where horns are the norm, the microwave is more intelligent than the teachers, and the pumpkins have a taste for blood.

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My Top 10 Books of 2013

This seems to be a popular post going around at the moment about people’s top 10 books of this year so I decided to put together a list of mine. 2013 was the year I started blogging and it definitely opened my eyes to lots of books that I probably wouldn’t have read otherwise! So here’s my top 10 of 2013 in no particular order! Click on the title of the book to see my review – if I have one. (Please note that most of these probably weren’t released in 2013, it’s just the year I finally got around to reading them).

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1. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

What it’s about: Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

The Fault In Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heart-breaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling and tragic business of being alive and in love.

Why it made my top 10: This will always be the book that turned me into a blubbering mess and refused to let me think about anything else for about a week and a half afterwards. This book was so emotionally draining and I have never cried at a book so much in my entire life but It was all totally worth it. Every once in a while a book comes along that makes you think about life, death and everything in between completely differently and for me – this was that book.

2. The List by Joanna Bolouri

What it’s about: Phoebe Henderson may be single but she sure doesn’t feel fabulous. It’s been a year since she found her boyfriend Alex in bed with another woman, and multiple cases of wine and extensive relationship analysis with best friend Lucy have done nothing to help. Faced with a new year but no new love, Phoebe concocts a different kind of resolution.

The List: ten things she’s always wanted to do in bed but has never had the chance (or the courage!) to try. A bucket list for between the sheets. One year of pleasure, no strings attached. Simple, right? Factor in meddlesome colleagues, friends with benefits, getting frisky al fresco and maybe, possibly, true love and Phoebe’s got her work cut out for her.

Why it made my top 10: I only read this book recently after winning it in a giveaway and had never previously heard of the book or the author so I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading and found myself not being able to stop! This one definitely wins the funniest book I read this year award and it really is a little hidden gem. Would definitely recommend this one to someone who doesn’t take life too seriously and needs a light-hearted, funny read.

3. Fractured by Dani Atkins

What it’s about: The night of the accident changed everything… Now, five years on, Rachel’s life is crumbling. She lives alone in a tiny flat, working in a dead-end job, desperate with guilt over her best friend’s death. She would give anything to turn back the clock. But life doesn’t work like that… Does it?

The night of the accident was a lucky escape… Now, five years on, Rachel’s life is perfect. She has a wonderful fiancé, loving family and friends around her, and the career she always wanted. But why can’t Rachel shake the memory of a very different life?

Why it made my top 10: I know a few people who will agree with me on this one. I’d never previously heard of this book then all of a sudden it was everywhere! Everyone was talking about how amazing it was and when I decided to give it a go I understood what all the fuss was about. This is a must read. It will make you smile, it will make you cry and it will definitely make you wonder, what if?

4. Death of the Mad Hatter – Sarah J. Pepper

What it’s about: The Jack prophesied: If the king loses his head, then the Queen with a Bleeding Heart would rule the Red Court until Time ceased to move forward. When a second carried on for infinity, every creature in Wonderland would tip their Hat to the misfit girl with a Boy’s name (or was it a boy with a Girl’s name?) who’d end the Reign of Terror. However, it all hinged on the One-Eyed Hare being able to convince an uninspirable Heir that the impossible was indeed possible—like stopping time—and that Love was worth a Beheading.

Heads would Roll… Hearts would Break… In the end, would it matter who Reigned?

Why it made my top 10: As most of you know, I’m a sucker for all things Disney related and this was probably my most anticipated book of 2013 because as soon as the author contacted me about it I knew I wanted to read it so I patiently waited 2 or 3 months for her to finish it. It was well worth the wait! This book was a weird, wonderful and dark take on the classic tale of Alice in Wonderland and I absolutely loved it.

5. The Age of Miracles – Karen Thompson-Walker

What it’s about: What if our 24-hour day grew longer, first in minutes, then in hours, until day became night and night became day? What effect would this slowing have on the world? On the birds in the sky, the whales in the sea, the astronauts in space, and on a family and a young girl, who is already coping with the normal disasters of everyday life? One seemingly ordinary Saturday morning in a California suburb, Julia and her parents wake to discover that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. No one knows why, no one knows how to deal with it. The enormity of this change is almost beyond comprehension.

Told through Julia’s eyes, this beautiful and original novel shows how easily life can fragment, within a family, within a community, and on a far wider plane, when the rhythm of life as we know it is knocked so unexpectedly out of kilter.

Why it made my top 10: I may be cheating slightly with this one because I’ve read it twice and from what I can remember, the first time wasn’t in 2013. I read it for the second time in Summer of 2013 for the Richard and Judy Book Club. This is the only book I’ve ever read more than once so that’s saying something! This is such a strange book with a completely incomprehensible story line and I think that’s why I like it so much. It really shows the spirit of humankind.

6. Not Pretty Enough – Jaimie Admans

What it’s about: New Year’s Resolutions: 1. Lloyd Layton will know I exist. He once said three whole words to me, so this is obviously progress. If I don’t get a proper conversation out of him soon, then I’ll take my top off and streak through the cafeteria, because nobody could fail to notice these boobs. 2. I will not get expelled for streaking through the cafeteria.”

Those are the words that begin her mission. Chessie is fourteen, not pretty enough, and very much in love. Lloyd Layton is hot, popular, and unaware of Chessie’s existence. Her goal is clear: to get Lloyd to love her as much as she loves him, and she has exactly one year to do it. As Chessie’s obsession with Lloyd reaches boiling point and she starts to spin a web of lies that spiral out of control, Lloyd turns out to be not quite the prince she thought he was. Can Chessie avoid the gathering storm before things go too far?

Why it made my top 10: Jaimie is one of those authors that I probably would never have come across if it wasn’t for blogging. Not in a horrible way but she self-publishes all of her books and I wouldn’t have known where to look otherwise. Not Pretty Enough was a relatively short book that I reviewed for a blog tour and I am so pleased I signed up and was introduced to Jaimie’s work. Her stories are so fun and quirky and Jaimie herself is one of the nicest authors I’ve ever met! Plus she has the same tattoo as me so even if her books were rubbish she’d be on this list for that reason alone 😉

7. The Naughty Girls Book Club by Sophie Hart

What it’s about: A quaint suburb. A quiet little book club. A very naughty reading list.

When Estelle sets up a book group in order to increase custom to her struggling cafe, what follows is more mind-blowing than she could have ever imagined… As the first book club meeting flounders, Estelle suggests a spot of erotica to spice things up. Inspired by their naughty novels, this group of shy suburban readers shake off their inhibitions and soon discover that their own lives can be just as scandalous…

Why it made my top 10: If you’re looking for something sweet and saucy this is the book for you. The Naughty Girls Book Club is no Fifty Shades of Grey but it really shows the characters stepping out of their comfort zones to experience something new and exciting. I loved all the characters, I loved the story line and I actually cried with happiness at the end because everything worked out so well. I’ve never before read a book where I wanted a happy ending for the characters so much!

8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

What it’s about: Charlie is a freshman and while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs and the Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie can’t stay on the side line forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming of age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant, roller-coaster days known as growing up.

Why it made my top 10: This isn’t just one of my favourite books I’ve read in 2013, it’s one of my favourite books I’ve read of all time! This is such an emotional and heart-warming book with a lot of messages in you can relate to.. I read this book at exactly the right time in my life and that’s why it’s always stuck with me. The film adaptation is perfect too!

9. The Fallen Stars (The Star Child trilogy) by Stephanie Keyes

What it’s about: Kellen St. James was just your average seventeen-year-old prodigy, until he eighty-sixed the Lord of Faerie and proposed to the Celtic Goddess, Calienta. But then everything in Kellen’s life gets turned upside-down when he and Cali end up on the run from a seriously irritated group of faeries. The worst part? They have zero idea why they’re being hunted.

Suddenly, Kellen is stuck in the middle of another prophecy that foresees him turning away from Calienta and embracing the dark. He’ll be forced to take sides in a struggle to claim his birth right, while discovering secrets about his father’s past. Meanwhile, his passion for Cali grows stronger, even as the prophecy threatens to tear them apart. In the end, will Kellen and Cali survive the fates? When the ultimate power is within reach, which side will he choose?

Why it made my top 10: This is the second book in The Star Child trilogy and I was introduced to these books when I started reviewing for Loveahappyending Magazine. This is one of the most in-depth and surreal trilogies I’ve ever read – the definition of a Fantasy novel pretty much! I absolutely love this weird and mystical world and am eagerly awaiting the third book in the trilogy!

10. The Time of My Life by Cecelia Ahern

What it’s about: Lucy Silchester has an appointment with her life – and she’s going to have to keep it. Lying on Lucy Silchester’s carpet one day when she returns from work is a gold envelope. Inside is an invitation – to a meeting with Life. Her life. It turns out she’s been ignoring itand it needs to meet with her face to face.

It sounds peculiar, but Lucy’s read about this in a magazine. Anyway, she can’t make the date: she’s much too busy despising her job, skipping out on her friends and avoiding her family. But Lucy’s life isn’t what it seems. Some of the choices she’s made – and stories she’s told – aren’t what they seem either. From the moment she meets the man who introduces himself as her life, her stubborn half-truths are going to be revealed in all their glory – unless Lucy learns to tell the truth about what really matters to her.

Why it made my top 10: I love Cecelia Ahern’s books, she is without a doubt one of my favourite authors and all her novels are so heart-warming and thought-provoking and will leave you with tears in your eyes and a warm fuzzy feeling but I think out of all her books I’ve read, this one has been my favourite so far. It was such a unique and original storyline and not only was it quite funny but almost made you contemplate your own life by the end of it.

There have been tons of amazing books I’ve read this year but those are the ones that have stuck out and stayed with me. What have been YOUR favourite books of this year?

Sig

 

Book Review: North Pole Reform School by Jaimie Admans & author interview

nprscover-500What it’s about:

Mistletoe Bell hates Christmas. So would you if you had a name like hers. Her Christmas-mad parents make the festive season last all year, and with another Christmas looming, Mis doesn’t think she can take any more. After her carelessness causes an accident at school, it seems like things can’t get any worse.

Then she wakes up to find The Ghost of Christmases Ruined in her bedroom.

She is taken to the North Pole, to a reform school run by elves determined to make her love Christmas. Stuck in a misfit group of fellow Christmas-haters with a motley crew of the weird and even weirder, watched over by elves day and night, she doesn’t expect to meet cute and funny Luke, who is hiding a vulnerable side beneath his sarcastic exterior. She doesn’t expect to fall in love with him.

But all is not as it should be at the North Pole. A certain Mr Claus is making the elves’ lives a misery, and pretty soon Mistletoe and Luke are doing more than just learning to like Christmas.

CharlooDividerReview:

How pretty is the cover of this book?! First of all, Jaimie is one of the coolest and most down to earth authors I’ve met through blogging and I reviewed Jaimie’s ‘Not Pretty Enough’ and loved it so much I jumped at the chance to review her new YA short story North Pole Reform School. I hope everyone who is involved in the blog tour of this book likes it as much as I did and I hope it’s a big success! North Pole Reform School is about a girl called Mistletoe who wakes up to find herself in a strange, cold, snowy place with no idea how or why she is there. Along with 4 others they learn that they have been brought to the North Pole Reform School due to the fact that in the past they have spoilt Christmas for other people. They meet elves, reindeers and Santa and are given various jobs to do around the North Pole in the hope that they will learn to like Christmas again, get to go home and realise what they done in the past was wrong. Follow Mistletoe in her weird and wonderful journey through the north pole where she teaches a reindeer how to fly, finds unexpected love and learns to true importance of Christmas.

I think someone should send me to the North Pole Reform School because I have to admit, I’m a bit like Mistletoe! However, this book definitely gets you in the mood for the festive season. I absolutely love Jaimie’s writing style. I realised this after reading Not Pretty Enough, it’s so easy to read and follow and I finished North Pole Reform School very quickly. It was a relatively short book but I find that gives you a nice break every once in a while. I’ve definitely grown on short stories because of how fast paced they are. They stick to the storyline, don’t go off track to irrelevant information and they flow easily – which describes North Pole Reform School perfectly. I’m not sure if this was designed to be a love story, but I really like the underlying romance between Mistletoe and Luke. You can kind of see it from the beginning and they’re both young and battling with some personal problems so it’s very sweet and I definitely found myself rooting for them, which is unusual because I normally squirm at romance!

This book definitely must have required a lot of imagination to come up with such a well thought-out, layered and completely made-up world and every single Christmas related thing you can possibly think of was probably mentioned in this book at some point! I love that Jaimie literately thought of everything children would wonder about Christmas, for example, how the toys get made, how the reindeers fly and what Santa is really like. The only small problem I had was that the elves live inside a giant dome in the north pole and they tell the students that there are zombies outside who like to listen to the Christmas songs they play. Although it’s a funny idea and did make me chuckle, the zombies didn’t sit too well with me and I thought they were just that bit too much! However, they’re not mentioned a great deal in the book. Whilst Mistletoe is doing one of her jobs, the elves explain to her how lucky she is to have a family that cares about her and presents to open on Christmas day and that there’s children out there who don’t have anyone or anything and I know it’s only fiction, but those elves make a great point. Even in the real world, there are children out there who have no family and don’t get any presents and children with illnesses who may not see another Christmas and although I don’t think the message was intentional, somewhere deep down it did make me realise that Christmas is important and that I am indeed, very lucky. So if this book leaves you with a feeling of gratitude like it did for me, I definitely think it’s a success!

I am going to give Jaimie a excellent and well deserved 4 cupcakes, enjoy!

4 cupcakes

CharlooDividerInterview:

1. Hi Jaimie! Thanks for answering some questions today. Can you start off by telling us what North Pole Reform School is about?

It’s about a girl called Mistletoe who hates Christmas. She finds herself transported to the North Pole, to a reform school run by elves who are determined to change her feelings towards the season. She’s stuck in a group with a bunch of weirdos, and Luke – one not-so-weirdo who she ends up rather liking! While a gang of elves try their hardest to make the group enjoy Christmas, Mistletoe and Luke end up getting far more involved than they expected!

2. Do you enjoy Christmas or are you more of a Mr Scrooge?

I love it. Seriously, LOVE it! I actually found it quite hard to write Mistletoe because there’s nothing about Christmas that I don’t like!

3. Where did your ideas for North Pole Reform School come from?

Funnily enough, a headline in a newspaper! It was about a window cleaner dressed as an elf, cleaning windows without a harness on. The headline was ‘Elf and Safety’, which ended up being a class that Mistletoe has to take in the book! The smallest things can spark off an idea, and that line put a picture in my head of elves in a classroom, learning the elf equivalent of health and safety, and somehow that got to an idea of elves in a classroom teaching humans, and the whole thing snowballed from there!

4. What is on your wish list for Christmas this year?

A winning lottery ticket? I don’t know, actually! I don’t think there’s anything I really want! Maybe some more books, and the ability to fit them onto my bookshelves! Big fluffy socks are always a winner for me too!

5. Is this book self-published or through a company? What made you decide to take that direction of publishing?

It’s self-published, all of my recent releases have been, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it so decided to do the same with this one earlier in the year. I love the control I have over my own work and don’t think I want things any other way at the moment!

6. What is the best Christmas present you’ve ever received?

My first ereader, easily! It was a rubbish, cheap one and promptly died a year later to be replaced by a Kindle, but it changed my reading habits so much! I read loads of books that I’d been unable to read up until then, suddenly I could read US releases that would have cost an arm and a leg to have shipped over in paperback form. It was great, and best of all was that thousands of books didn’t take up any extra space! I loved it, and wouldn’t know what to do without my Kindle now!

7. I mention in my review that I feel there was an underlying message for people to be thankful for how lucky they are when there are children out there who don’t have much. Was this message intentional?

It wasn’t at first, but as I was writing it, I did start thinking about how lucky we all are. The elves needed a way to show Mistletoe and the others how much they have to be thankful for, even if they’re too caught up in hating Christmas to appreciate it. I did loads of research into what children write to Santa about, and the more I went into it, the more I wanted the characters to realise how lucky they are to have families who love them, even if their gran does knit embarrassing jumpers!

8. Who are some of your personal favourite authors that you’d recommend?

I love Sophie Kinsella, Meg Cabot, Melissa Senate, Judy Blume. I can read anything by them countless times!

9. Do you think there will ever be a sequel to Mistletoe and Luke’s story?

I don’t know, but I don’t think so. It was never intended to be a series, only ever a standalone. I don’t have any ideas for a sequel, but I also never say never, because you never know when inspiration is going to strike!

10. When is the official release date of North Pole Reform School and where can we follow the tour?

It’s officially out on November 6th, but will probably be sneakily uploaded to Amazon before that (shhhh!) There is supposed to be a tour in December, the 9th until the 18th, but sign-ups aren’t open yet so I can’t give you the official schedule, although I will be doing a daily tour wrap-up on my blog each night, so it can be followed on there too!

CharlooDivider

jaimieadmans2About Jaimie Admans

Jaimie is a 28-year-old English-sounding Welsh girl with an awkward-to-spell name. She lives in South Wales and enjoys writing, gardening, drinking tea and watching horror movies. She hates spiders and cheese & onion crisps. She has been writing for years but has never before plucked up the courage to tell people. Afterlife Academy is her third novel and she hopes you enjoy it. There are plenty more on the way!

Website: http://www.jaimieadmans.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/be_the_spark

Facebook: http://facebook.com/jaimieadmansbooks

Book Review: Not Pretty Enough by Jaimie Admans

 

npe-cover-doneWhat it’s about:

Title: Not Pretty Enough
Author: Jaimie Admans
Date of Publication: August 1, 2013
Genre: contemporary YA comedy

New Year’s Resolutions:
1. Lloyd Layton will know I exist. He once said three whole words to me, so this is obviously progress. If I don’t get a proper conversation out of him soon, then I’ll take my top off and streak through the cafeteria, because nobody could fail to notice these boobs.
2. I will not get expelled for streaking through the cafeteria.”

Those are the words that begin her mission. Chessie is fourteen, not pretty enough, and very much in love. Lloyd Layton is hot, popular, and unaware of Chessie’s existence. Her goal is clear: to get Lloyd to love her as much as she loves him, and she has exactly one year to do it. As Chessie’s obsession with Lloyd reaches boiling point and she starts to spin a web of lies that spiral out of control, Lloyd turns out to be not quite the prince she thought he was. Can Chessie avoid the gathering storm before things go too far?

Not Pretty Enough is a contemporary young adult comedy suitable for ages thirteen and over.

Book two in the series will be released early 2014.

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18142578-not-pretty-enough

Purchase the book from Amazon

CharlooDivider

Review:

From the very first page, I knew I was going to enjoy this book and it made a pleasant change from everything long and complicated I’ve been reading lately. I signed up for the blog tour of this book, run by Dianne ( http://oopsireadabookagain.blogspot.co.uk ) and Jaimie Admans herself and got sent a free copy to read and review. I’m so glad I did because not only is this my first blog tour, it is the first of Jaimie’s book’s I’ve read it’s definitely encouraged me to read more! This is a relatively short and straight-forward story about a teenage girl called Chessie who is in love with a boy in her school called Lloyd. However, Lloyd doesn’t seem to know she exists. The story takes you through the journey of Chessie’s school year and her unique attempts to get Lloyd to notice her but with Chessie’s bad luck, none of them seem to go as planned.

This book reminded me a lot of Angus, Thongs and Full-frontal snogging as it was the same sort of idea and it was so easy to read, I finished it in a day and a half! I loved that it was in first person from Chessie’s point of view because it helped me imagine her and her world very easily and you begin to feel like a part of it. So much so that at times when something embarrassing was about to happen to her, I felt my heart racing because I knew what was coming! I’m sure just as Chessie would have felt in the book. Jaimie puts into words what every teenage girl thinks and feels at some point during their adolescent years. Not only Chessie, I think all the characters are very relatable and recognisable and the way everyone talks to each other is very believable. When you’re 14 and at school, you’re bound to know people similar to the different characters in the book, for example, the class bully and a group of boys mad about cars and football. But I think the thing that made this such an enjoyable read for me is that it was so funny and definitely my kind of humour. It’s all very well having a book about a girl who likes a boy but when all the girl does is mope around it’s no fun! Chessie actually goes well out of her way to make this boy notice her and ends up in some hilarious situations, some of which genuinely made me cringe out loud!

If you’re not into anything long, hard-going and complicated and fancy a few laughs this is definitely the book for you! It’s hilarious, cringe-worthy, ridiculous and emotional with a very un-expected ending. I think Jaimie teaches you some important life lessons along the way too like lying will never get you what you want, some people aren’t what they seem and never forget the importance of friendship. It will definitely take you back to all those awkward moments when you were 14 and trying to impress a boy however, if you were as unlucky as Chessie was, I feel sorry for you! The sequel is coming out in 2014 and I for one cannot wait! 5 out of 5 stars!

CharlooDivider

jaimieadmans2About Jaimie Admans

Jaimie is a 28-year-old English-sounding Welsh girl with an awkward-to-spell name. She lives in South Wales and enjoys writing, gardening, drinking tea and watching horror movies. She hates spiders and cheese & onion crisps. She has been writing for years but has never before plucked up the courage to tell people. Afterlife Academy is her third novel and she hopes you enjoy it. There are plenty more on the way!

Website: http://www.jaimieadmans.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/be_the_spark

Facebook: http://facebook.com/jaimieadmansbooks

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/oDXZj

CharlooDividerClick HERE to join the giveaway for your chance to win a $40 Amazon gift card and some other goodies!