2015's Fantastic Fives Celebration!

This is the year of the Fantastic Fives. Several sites like this one, celebrated at some point this year a huge milestone. Our sites turned 5 years old this year. Can you believe that? 5 years! I honestly never imagined Once Upon a Twilight being around that long, but here we are and strong as ever. We turned 5 back in March and this is how we celebrated it. The celebration is hosted by our friends Jamie from Two Chicks on Books and Amber from Me, My Shelf, and I.

So to celebrate such a fantastic feat, visit all the sites listed below to see how all of us are celebrating our Fantastic Fives!

Fantastic Fives Schedule
November 8 - Books Etc.
November 9 - Fiktshun
November 10 - Two Chicks On Books
November 11 - Me, My Shelf and I
November 12 - Bewitched Bookworms
November 13 - Novel Novice
November 14 - Book Angel Booktopia
November 15 - Maer Wilson
November 17 - YA Book Shelf
November 18 - Musings of a YA Reader
November 19 - Bookish Lifestyle
November 20 - Once Upon A Twilight (that's us)
November 21 - Stories & Sweeties
November 22 - Bookaholics Anonymous

We all did a Q&A to share a bit about the sites. Since OUaT has become a family of reviewers throughout these 5 years, several of us answered these fun questions for your entertainment.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. 
My name is Yara which I think after 5 years, many of you know that already. Nothing much has changed in the past 5 years really. I am still a work-a-home mom. I run the trucking company that my husband and I own from my home office (I like to call it more my personal library, but don't tell my husband). I have 2 very active boys that could care less about reading (I know, its pains me) that play several sports. Something new about me that actually happen this year is that I began Roller Derby. And it has been one of the best life decisions ever. So I keep busy with work, my family, roller derby and Once Upon a Twilight!

2. How did you get started blogging?
I'll give you the short version. Basically I was doing lots of "Twilight" trips and my Twilightmoms friends mentioned that I should share my adventures and pictures on a blog online. So not knowing anything about blogging I began the site. And then I was asked to share my opinions (which I still wonder why anyone would listen to me) on books I had finished reading, so between my trips, I would include a review here and there. And 5 years later (after a couple upgrades) you can tell the site has evolved (6000 + post) many many times. I've edited some of those first postings I did back in 2010, but many still have the "newbie" look, where you can tell I had no clue what the heck I was doing. Here are some of those examples: Vampire Baseball 3/16/10 | Shades of Midnight Review 3/29/10 | 1st Book Giveaway 4/15/10 (yes, I know these posts are so bad, but now I think after 5 years I know what I'm doing a little bit better).

3. How did you pick the name for your blog? 
You are going to laugh but the exact reason, I don't remember exactly. I know it has to do with the fact that this site exist because of Twilight and all the great things it brought to my life. And that it sounds like the start of a fairytale story, Once Upon a Time but I changed it out for Twilight. Which also is that time between day and night when everything begins to wake up as far as nighttime creatures. And the tag line explains it also: "A book began the bond of a lifetime". Without me having had read Twilight, none of this would exist.

4. If you could go back in time and tell your newbie blogger self 1 thing what would it be? 
Hmmm, that a very hard question to answer. I think I would tell myself to learn coding. It such an important asset to know and I have yet to understand even a quarter of coding.

5. What have you learned in your 5 years of blogging? 
That you can bring lots of happy, joyful moments to people with such a simple gesture such as sharing your thoughts about a book or a movie. When you receive comments from people all around the globe thanking you for whatever gesture they loved, it makes all the hard work worth it a million times. I've also learn so much behind the scenes of what it takes to get a book on a shelf and a film on the big screen. Seriously its been an amazing 5 years and I hope I keep learning new exciting things for another 5.

6. What was the first ARC or book you ever received from a publisher? 
First book I received which was also the first book I did a giveaway for was Shadow of the Sun written by Laura Kreitzer. I was so thankful that Laura trusted in me to read, review and share my thoughts and then to provide this newbie blogger a copy of her book signed for a follower to win for themselves. Ill never forget how she help me get my feet settled and learn at this thing called book blogging. I'm happy to report that after that Laura and I met and have maintain friends and most important we share the same love for Sharpei's (we both own these adorable wrinkly dogs).   

Here are books written by Laura that I would recommend:

You can visit Laura Kreitzer at http://laurakreitzer.com.

7. When you’re not reading or blogging, what can we find you doing?
This one is easy. As I mention before that I now am a Roller Derby player. I began a beginner's session back in May. And 6 weeks later, I was doing things I never imagined I could on skates. And now 6 months later, I am on the East County Chaos Roller Derby team and I also practice with team members from Houston Roller Derby teams. So if my boys don't have something you can find me on skates. Besides books now, this is my new found calling. I can't explain how much I love doing roller derby and how much it has changed me. Its like I was always meant to play this sport. You should try it (even if you don't know how to skate, they teach you all that like they did me).

(Pictured here is the East County Chaos Roller Derby Team)

(I'm in the pink helmet)

The Fives: (and yes, you can ONLY have 5! *muwhahahah*)
Five Favorite Books
Yara: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer | After by Anna Todd | Taking Chances by Molly McAdams  | Divergent by Veronica Roth | Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi | Lover at Last by J. R. Ward (hardest list to create, I'm sure if you ask me again tomorrow the books might vary)
Leydy: A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks | Making Faces by Amy Harmon | Twilight by Stephenie Meyer | Hopeless by Colleen Hoover | Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Shannon: Twilight - Stephenie Meyer | Hopeless - Colleen Hoover | Making Faces - Amy Harmon | The Infernal Devices - Cassandra Clare | The Fiery Heart - Richelle Mead
Bianca S.The Giver by Lois Lowry | Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins | Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout | Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick | The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Bri: The Great Gatsby | Looking For Alaska | Nameless | Hush, Hush series | After series

Five Favorite Book Boyfriends
Yara: Zsadist (Lover Awakened) | Chase (Taking Chances) | Remington "Riptide" Tate (Real) | Christian Grey (Fifty Shades of Grey) | Hardin Scott (After)
Leydy: Edward Cullen | Adrian Ivashkov | Deamon Black | Dean Holder | Matthias (Six of Crows)
Shannon: Adrian Ivashkov | Edward Cullen | Daemon Black | Dean Holder | William Herondale
Bianca S.: Peeta Mellark (The Hunger Games series) | Daemon Black (The Lux series) | Patch (Hush, Hush series) | Thomas (The Maze Runner series because Dylan O'Bae) | Cassian (The Firelight series by Sophie Jordan)
Bri: Patch (Hush, Hush Series) | Daemon Black (Lux Series) | Hardin Scott (After Series) | Gryphon (Nameless) | Rafe (The Remnant Chronicles)

Five Favorite Book Quotes

     1. “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”  Dr. Seuss
     2. “I was dead until you found me, though I breathed. I was sightless, though I could see. And then you came...and I was awakened.”   J.R. WardLover Awakened
     3. “I don't want to be yours. I want to be your f**king REAL. -REMY” ― Katy EvansReal
     4. “I am a moth to his flame, and he never hesitates to burn me.” ― Anna ToddAfter
     5. “And so the lion fell in love with the lamb…" he murmured. I looked away, hiding my eyes as I thrilled to the word.
        "What a stupid lamb," I sighed.
        "What a sick, masochistic lion.”  Stephenie Meyer, Twilight

(this quote is on my bedroom wall)


     1. “Love is like the wind, you can't see it but you can feel it.” - Nicholas Sparks, A Walk to Remember
     2. “I'm sorry she never got her miracle. She did get her miracle, Landon, her miracle was you.” - Nicholas Sparks, A Walk to Remember
     3. “If God made all our faces, did he laugh when he made me?
Does he make the legs that cannot walk and eyes that cannot see?
Does he curl the hair upon my head 'til it rebels in wild defiance?
Does he close the ears of a deaf man to make him more reliant?
Is the way I look a coincidence or just a twist of fate?
If he made me this way, is it okay, to blame him for the things I hate?
For the flaws that seem to worsen every time I see a mirror,For the ugliness I see in me, for the loathing and the fear.
Does he sculpt us for his pleasure, for a reason I can't see?
If God makes all our faces, did he laugh when he made me?” - Amy Harmon, Making Faces
     4. “I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough..” - Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
     5. “Before you, Bella, my life was like a moonless night. Very dark, but there were stars, points of light and reason. ...And then you shot across my sky like a meteor. Suddenly everything was on fire; there was brilliancy, there was beauty. When you were gone, when the meteor had fallen over the horizon, everything went black. Nothing had changed, but my eyes were blinded by the light. I couldn’t see the stars anymore. And there was no more reason, for anything.” - Stephenie Meyer, New Moon

  1. “One must always be careful of books and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.” - Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare 
  2. “Words, I think, are such unpredictable creatures. No gun, no sword, no army or king will ever be more powerful than a sentence. Swords may cut and kill, but words will stab and stay, burying themselves in our bones to become corpses we carry into the future, all the time digging and failing to rip their skeletons from our flesh.” - Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi 
  3. “Only the very weak-minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry.” - Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare 
  4. "I love you. Today. Tonight. Tomorrow. Forever. If I were to live a thousand years, I would belong to you for all of them. If I were to live a thousand lives, I would want to make you mine in each one.” - The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin 
  5. “A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.” - Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
Bianca S:
  1. "I don't have the strength to stay away from you anymore." -Edward Cullen, Twilight, Stephenie Meyer
  2. "I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you.” -Augustus Waters, The Fault In Our Stars, John Green
  3. "'You love me. Real or not real?' I tell him, 'Real.'"- Peeta and Katniss, Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins
  4. "Some infinities are bigger than other infinities." -Hazel Grace Lancaster, The Fault In Our Stars, John Green
  5. “You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world...but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.” - Augustus Waters, The Fault In Our Stars, John Green
  1. "What good is a body if I can't have you?" - Patch (Hush, Hush Series)
  2. "Always?" "Always." - Snape (Harry Potter Series)
  3. "I saw the empty, sad girl smile for the sad boy who loves her with all of his broken soul." - Hardin (After Series)
  4. "Okay?" "Okay." - Gus & Hazel (The Fault In Our Stars)
  5. "I really want to kiss you, and you seem like the kind of girl that needs to be asked." - Nathan (Love And Other Theories) 

Five Blogging Tips For New Bloggers
Yara: Patience, hard work will pay off | Don't do it just for "free" books | Proofread everything | You don't have to say "YES" to everything | Use a calendar to stay organize
Shannon: Be honest. | Take notes or use sticky notes (I still need to use this tip) | Don't over request books. (Edelweiss and Netgalley can suck you in) | Have fun. | Always proofread reviews and posts.
Bianca S.: Blog what you love! your hobby, passion, inspiration etc. | Keep it genuine. People can relate to genuine and you'll grow a fantastic following! | Be consistent. | Stay organized. | HAVE FUN. Blogging is all about connecting with people who share your same interests. Don't stress too much about it, just have fun with it!
Bri: I've been doing this for a year, I'd still consider myself kind of new - but here's the top 5 things:
1. Don't be afraid! I know it's daunting but seriously, this is my favorite thing that I'm doing.
2. Have fun! If you're not having fun it'll be obvious in your reading and therefore it will be boring for your readers!
3. Be grateful! I am soooo thankful and blessed to have the team I have, they have all been amazing to me in ways I never expected. They are my extended family, and they have helped me with blogging, with getting the books I want to read, with helping me become a better blogger.
4. Don't be afraid to express your feelings. Let us know if you don't like something. I don't want to see someone giving 5 star ratings every time they pick up a book/movie. I know there are flops out there, warn me before I go to read them!
5. Whether you have 1 follower or 1 million, your blog is worth it. Don't give up, you may only ever get 20 followers but if it's something you love doing, do it!

Five Blogs (Sites) You Want The World To Know About
Yara: ReadingTeen.net | A Leisure Moment | Ursula Uriarte | Me, My Shelf And I | Fangirlish
Leydy: ReadingTeen.net | mundiemoms.blogspot.com | Geekgirlbrunch.com | Fangirlish.com | Professionalfangirls.com
Shannon: Mundie Moms | Reading Teen | Me, My Shelf and I | Buzzed | Once Upon a Twilight ;)
Bri: Cinephile Weekly (cinephileweekly.tumblr.com) | One direction (onedirectionmusic.com) | Buzzfeed (buzzfeed.com)
Bianca S.:
-For my moms out there: http://www.modedemommy.com! She's a mom of 6 who keeps it REAL! (Lifestyle blog) also for non-moms who like makeup. She rocks at makeup.
-Shameless self-promo: www.xobiancaramsey.com! You guessed it, it's mine. Apart from being engrossed in the book/movie/fangirl world I'm a portrait (fashion) photographer. Check out my blog for some art and fashion and such…
-Does Buzzfeed count? I'm obsessed. LOL
-For ALL the gifs: http://whatshouldwecallme.tumblr.com! I can stay on here for hours…
-For foodies: http://www.thugkitchen.com

Hope you liked everything we shared. Don't forget to visit all the other sites to and check out how they are celebrating their 5 years. And before you go, we have just one more thing to share (I know, this post is extremely long already but this will be worth it). It's GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

We are thrilled to be able to give this away to one of our readers that we know have been a long time fan of this site. An OUaT correspondents attended NYCC and picked up some pretty neat items at a certain panel. I think many of you are aware of the new TV series coming soon, its based off a popular series of books you may know.


This giveaway is only for residents of the US/CA due to the size of the package (sorry to our international readers). You get everything you see pictured above: huge poster, bag, lanyard, plastic case, pin, book sample. Just enter below and as always we follow our giveaway policy guidelines


  1. Hi it's Sanjida Huq, totally love the Shadowhunters giveaway!!! Thanks for the chance!

  2. I love posts like this one. Gives insight into you guys ;).

    1. They are so fun to answer to also! I love these posts as well :)

    2. Agreed! I loved answering these questions even though sometimes it was difficult for me. But these posts are awesome!

  3. Thanks so much for taking part in the Fantastic Fives event Yara you are awesome!


  4. Congrats on the 5 years! I love following the blog of people who, like me, are so unapologetically fans of the Twilight series. And I loved all the quotes you used above! I'm also very excited for this tv show. While I didn't HATE the movie, I'm so excited for a tv series that might be able to get it right and have time to keep the most important parts. Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. Whoa congratulations oh 5 years! That's amazing! 😊 Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. Happy 5 years and here's to many more! Thanks for the giveaway I love The Mortal Instruments!

  7. Oh thank you for having this! I so hope to win. Fingers crossed!

  8. hoge congrats !! thank you so much for this chance, i live in canada,quebec can i still enter? im super excited for this omg *.*

  9. Thanks for having such an awesome giveaway!...& keeping me reading!!!

  10. What an amazing giveaway! Thanks so much!

  11. Happy Belated 5th!!
    Loved this post, it was fun to read!
    Thanks for the amazing giveaway!

  12. Thanks so much for this giveaway!!

  13. This is such an awesome giveaway!! thank you!

  14. Great giveaway. Don't fall in with them. The bloggers that have several sites, run contest, and expect you to do over 100 rafflecopter task to get a book.

  15. Thanks for the Giveaway!! I am dying for this show to start!!


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