Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My First Guest Blog

Summerland Books
I'm still laptop-less, but I'm braving my friend's computer in order to tell you about something awesome! Summerland has been extended to October 7th. That means you have an entire week to get a chance to win some great prizes.

I had the opportunity to guest blog today, so you can check that out here. Be sure to leave your thoughts and get into the promotion of books that sound great!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Red Light

Apparently, I have an extended warranty on my laptop. The person my father talked to said that I should send it off, get it fixed, and have it back in around two weeks. Unfortunately, the computer I am working on is a friend's that keeps me from doing a lot. It's a bit of a hassle to do anything, so I won't be blogging for the next couple of weeks. However, I'm planning to be on Twitter! So, I'll be back in a bit. See you then!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Contest Winner

Thanks to everyone who my most recent contest to win Love You Hate You Miss You, Same Difference, and Nothing but Ghosts! Thanks especially to everyone who followed. This blog now has more than 100 followers. Yay! I used a Random Number Generator and the winner turned out to be... Olivia!

Olivia, I've sent you an email, and you have until next Friday to get back to me or else I'll have to pick a new winner.

Once again, thanks to everyone who entered! It was a lot of fun and soon, I'll be putting together a few posts spotlighting the books you want to read.

Friday, September 18, 2009

My Goal

My goodness, can you believe that the last day of BBAW is here? It certainly moved by rather quickly!

What do I like best about my blog?

I think I enjoy writing book reviews the most. A lot of the times I have issues with the reviews I write, but every once in a while, I feel good about it. Gosh, that's a great feeling.

What do I hope to see in a year?

In a year, I hope to see the quality of my writing improve.

That is my biggest goal and likely to be the one that is hardest to achieve. Thanks to all who have stopped by due to BBAW, and I hope to see you around again soon.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Reading Meme

Since brevity is the goal of today for BBAW's daily blogging topics, I decided to take on just two of the questions.

Do you snack while you read? If so, what snack?
I try to keep with apples and celery. I enjoy both of those, they're relatively healthy, and they don't put any marks on the pages. Unfortunately, I also like eating cheetos, and I've put more than one orange print on a page because of that bad habit.

Hard copy or audiobooks?
I picked up an audiobook at the library one time. I had a horrible time with it because I was continuously tuning the speaker out. Once I started listening again, I had no idea what was going on. I'm not very good at multitasking, but without something occupying my hands I felt like I had to do something else. Maybe I'll try it again one day.

So, there you go! How do my preferences compare with yours?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Debbie from Debbie's World of Books

For the BBAW interviews, I had the opportunity to interview Debbie, from Debbie's World of Books. Thanks, Debbie!

How did you discover the book blogging community?
Can you believe Google? I was blogging for about 4 months and then started to hear here and there about other book blogs. So I actually Googled book blogs and next thing you know I found one blog, started going through their blog roll which lead to another blog and the rest is history. I now follow almost 200 blogs and follow several book bloggers on Twitter.

Do you have any advice for new/aspiring bloggers?
Just focus on writing about what interests you. I get emails on how to get more followers or more review copies but it's just something that comes with time as long as you are being yourself in your posts.

In a year from now, where do you see your blog?
Gosh, I can't even imagine. There has been so many changes in just the year I've been blogging so far. I really want to try and improve my reviews. Other than that I will just be taking things a step at a time.

Is there a negative side to blogging for you?
Not negative about the blogging itself but more of the change I've seen in myself. I love blogging and reading blogs but with the good comes some negative in that I sometimes am more self-critical and I start to feel some of the self-consciousness I feel in real life invading my blogging life. I started coming across talk about page hits, followers, etc. I just decided that I consciously need to avoid dwelling on those things and just focus on writing what I feel and think and don't worry about the rest.

Looking around your blog, I can see you review a wide variety of books. Do you have a favorite genre?
It's hard for me to pick one genre. I tend to go through phases where I will only read books in that genre for weeks or months. Right now I am in my young adult book phase. There are so many great ones out there that I think I will be calling it my favorite genre for awhile.

What are some of your favorite blogs?
Where to start? There are just too many out there to list. Some of my favorites include GalleySmith, Green Bean Teen Queen and Fantastic Book Review, but really there are a ton of other great ones I read too.

How would you describe your blog?
My blog covers the things I enjoy which mostly consists of books, book news and at times my favorite tv series recaps.

I see you’re a fan of Jane Austen. I am too! What’s your favorite book and why?
To be honest I have only read one Austen book and that is Pride and Prejudice. It is my all time favorite book! I love Lizzie and Mr. Darcy. I think I have a thing for guys who can sometimes come across as a jerk but really have a heart of gold on the inside. Thanks to the Everything Austen challenge I've also seen the movie adaptation of Sense and Sensibility and want to read that next. I don't think it will beat out Pride & Prejudice as my favorite though.

Were you surprised by anything after you started blogging?
I was surprised that other people were actually interested in reading what I write. That may sound silly but I really never imagined that I would even get a handful of steady followers.

What’s the best book you’ve read recently?
I've been lucky and have read a bunch of great books recently. My favorite series is the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead and the latest book, Blood Promise, just came out. Awesome book! I also read Italian for Beginners by Kristin Harmel which was also excellent.

How do you juggle blogging with all the responsibilities that you have?
It is really tough. I wish I had discovered the blogging world before I had my daughter. Right now I squeeze blogging and blog hopping in after she goes to bed and my reading is usually during my 2 hours of commute to and from work. I'm still hoping to find that dream job that would pay me to read and blog ;-) If anyone hears of one...

Be sure to check out Debbie's World of Books!

Monday, September 14, 2009

My Personal Shortlist

Today is the first day of BBAW, and I've compiled a list of a few of my favorite blogs. You can consider this my own personal shortlist. If you would like to join in on the daily blogging topics, just go to BBAW and scroll down to the August 31st entry. It has everything you need to know.

Pirate Penguin Reads: Along with having the cutest blog header I've ever seen, Sandy was one of the first bloggers who stopped by my blog back in May. She writes great reviews on books in several genres, and if you ever want to know what exactly there is to like about John Thornton, she's your girl. :)

Sarah's Random Musings: I only recently discovered this blog, and I'm already loving it. The layout is gorgeous, and the entire blog is very easy on the eyes. Sarah has a lot of awesome author interviews that I really enjoy reading, and her vlogs are pretty cool as well.

Jane Austen Today: I've been reading this blog for quite some time. It keeps me up to date on everything related to Jane Austen's works. They also have amazing occasional giveaways. Currently, they are giving away five copies of Pride and Prejudice which has one very cool cover.

I could go on and on. Take a few minutes to check them out. I think you'll fall in love with them just as I did.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Ugly, The Bad, The Good, & The Best

The Ugly
On Saturday, I was excited to upload my first vlog. I left it for about an hour, and then I came back in to check on it. My computer had malfunctioned. Some thing's wrong with the CPU fan. That put me into major freak-out mode.

The Bad
I was still pretty determined to upload the vlog, so I went up to a friend's house to get it done. His computer wouldn't do it. I have no idea why. This also means I probably won't be around until it gets fixed.

The Good
My laptop's currently in the shop, and the tech guy says that there's a ninety percent chance he can fix it. Before it malfunctioned, I scheduled some posts to go with BBAW's daily blogging schedule, so the blog will still be up and running. When I get my 'puter back, I'm planning to just do a whole new vlog, for the past two weeks. That should be interesting. :)

The Best
I got a giant pillow. It's huge! Okay, maybe not huge, but it is pretty large. I love it! It's black. My computer malfunctioning may have been my mini-crisis, but it won't be gettin' me down!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Thoughts On Wuthering Heights New Cover

Around the book blogging sphere, I've recently read several posts lamenting the new cover of Wuthering Heights.

These posts aren't attacking the cover itself, which I think is kind of pretty, but rather the words on that red sticker.
Yes, you read that right. It reads, "Bella and Edward's Favourite Book." At first, this seemed absolutely ridiculous to me, and I still have moments when I see the cover and shake my head. However, after thinking about it, I'm beginning to readjust my thoughts. This may not be so bad after all. Let me explain.

Obviously, a lot of people have read this saga and fallen in love with it. A lot of fans are almost literally obsessed. I personally enjoyed the series. I read it to entertain me, and it did. I know several people who don't like to read. Yet, they absolutely loved the series. Others have rediscovered their love of reading after reading the books. They've fallen in love with the characters, particularly Bella and Edward.

The point of this printing is to get these books into the hands of people who love Twilight, and I don't think that's such a bad idea, now. If you read this article on you'll see just how well this idea is working. Even though most people will pick up this book only because of its "endorsement" I think many will fall in love with Heathcliff and Catherine's story. Others will not be impressed, as shown in that same article. Regardless, a few more people will be just a bit more well read, all because of a sparkly vampire. And I think that's a good idea.

I'd really appreciate hearing your thoughts on this, for or against.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (1)

Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly comes out on May 25th 2010.

Doctors have pinned 16-year-old Drea Horvath with everything from ADHD to Asperger’s Syndrome. She has an obsession with sound design, a tendency to blurt out whatever she’s thinking, and a problem making friends, but likes to think of this as following her own rhythm in a confusing world.

Drea is hesitant to befriend purple-haired Naomi Quinn, her teenage neighbor with a kamikaze personality. But Naomi is the first person to treat her like she isn’t a world class dork. Then there’s Justin Rocca, the persistent boy in her film class. If she’s learned anything from her mom, it’s that boys are trouble.

Still, Drea bonds with both of them when she discovers Naomi’s love for drums and Justin’s piano prodigy status, and the three form a trip-hop band. Fearing that her new friends will find out about her disabilities, Drea makes up stories about boyfriends she never had–all in an effort to seem ‘normal’. But Naomi and Justin have issues of their own. And Drea starts to question what ‘normal’ really means.

I've always thought it would be fun to start my own band. I never will, though. The tendency to freeze up when in front of large groups of people is one that I have yet to conquer. I tend to enjoy books that question what "normal" means.I actually did what Drea did one time. I was on vacation, and I told a few people I had a boyfriend in order to be as seemingly mature as they were. I am so glad I'm starting to get over that phase. I still don't have a boyfriend, but I'm totally okay with that now. I absolutely love the cover! String instuments are my favorite.

This meme is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My Bookish Habits

Here's another survey type thing I've seen around, most recently at Books By Their Cover. Feel free to complete it yourself. I'd love to see what you have to say!

Hardback, trade paperback or mass market paperback?
Definitely hardback; They last longer, and I'm more inclined to let them stick around.

Barnes & Noble or Borders?
I've never been inside a Borders. There aren't any that I know of in my area. I like my local Barnes & Noble well enough, but it's always so busy. It's hard to relax. If I have a choice, I always head to Books A Million.

Bookmark or dog-ear?
I used to just close the book and flip around to find the page later. I quit doing that after I found a couple of major spoilers. I definitely use bookmarks now.

Amazon or brick-and-mortar?
I like buying off of Amazon because it's usually a bit cheaper, but I love browsing in bookstores. If we had an indie in the area, I'd buy from it, but we don't, so I use Amazon the most when I buy new books.

Alphabetize by author, or alphabetize by title, or random?
I try to categorize by subject matter after I read the book. Before, it's lying on top of the bookcase in the TBR pile which is currently making the case bend in the middle.

Keep, throw away, or sell?
I like to trade or keep, mostly keep. I give away a few to friends. It usually starts out as a borrow, but I rarely get them back. :P

Keep dust jacket or toss it?
Keep! I don't see why you'd toss it. That's the pretty part.

Read with dust jacket or remove it?
I always have to remove it in hopes of keeping it safe. I don't like books where the dust jacket is torn, so I just stick them in a drawer until I finish the book. Plus, the jacket always tends to slide along the book when I read, and that can get a bit annoying.

Short story or novel?
Novels, for the most part. I like short stories, but when I read a good one, I always want it to be longer!

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?
I've never read Harry Potter. It just doesn't sound like my type of book. I really liked Lemony Snicket. I was in the 5th grade when I started reading them. I think I read the first three before my dreams started getting so bad I had to quit. I'm hoping to pick them up again, though.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
I like to stop at chapter breaks. It just makes me feel better.

“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?
How about, "Once upon a time on a dark and stormy night."

Buy or borrow?
Buying new books is a luxury, for me. I buy lots of used books at used book stores (That would make sense, huh) and thrift stores. I really like the selection my library has, so I get a lot of books there, as well.

Buying choice: book reviews, recommendations, or browse?
All of the above. As I continue blogging, I'm finding that book reviews are having a larger impact on my buying choices.

Tidy ending or cliffhanger?
I'm not fond of a completely tidy ending, but tidy is my preference for the most part. I don't like to be left wondering over too much.

Morning reading, afternoon reading, or nighttime reading?
I read the most at night, after the day is done, and I can relax.

Stand-alone or series?
There are so many series being started! It's great, but I think I prefer stand-alones.

Favorite series?
There are a bunch of good ones! The Saddle Club, Heartland, Thoroughbred, and Anne of Green Gables are probably my favorites.

Favorite children’s book?
Definitely But No Elephants!. My parents say I used to cry when I listened to them read that book to me.

Favorite YA book?
I love how most of these questions aren't actually questions. :) There are way too many. Recently, Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. I'm still thinking about it, even though I read the book a month ago. :D

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?
Tales of the Madman Underground was a good book. I haven't seen much of it.

Favorite books read last year?
Gone with the Wind. That's actually where the inspiration for my name came from, although I've been told I resemble Scarlett a bit more.

Favorite books of all time?
I don't know. I think I'm still looking for them.

What are you reading right now?
I'm reading both Nick of Time and Freaks and Revelations. They are both out of my normal choices, but I'm enjoying them!

What are you reading next?
Slept Away by Julie Kraut; I've been wanting to read that all summer, but I just never got around to it. I love summer camp. I don't think my experiences with it were quite so dramatic, though.

Favorite book to recommend to an 11-year-old?
That's kind of broad. What kind of 11-year-old?

Favorite book to re-read?
It's really rare for me to re-read books. I occasionally glance through to go back over my favorite scenes. I have read Pride and Prejudice three times. The first time I read it, I think I was eleven, but it was a really abridged version. I was mad about that, so I reread an unabridged version. Then I read it in eigth grade again, just for fun.

Do you ever smell books?
Sometimes. I think the new ones smell better, though.

Do you ever read primary source documents like letters or diaries?
Other than my own? No.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

In My Mailbox (15)

I could have labelled this The Week USPS Torments Me. I think they're doing it on purpose. It must be a conspiracy. I know for a fact that I have a few books on their way. Oh well. Hopefully they'll come this upcoming week. Patience is not yet one of my virtues. Here's my newest aquisition:

Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange

From Amazon: Amanda Grange's style and wit bring readers back to Jane Austen's timeless storytelling, but always from a very unique and unusual perspective, and now Grange is back with an exciting and completely new take on Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet.

Mr. Darcy, Vampyre starts where Pride and Prejudice ends and introduces a dark family curse so perfectly that the result is a delightfully thrilling, spine-chilling, breathtaking read. A dark, poignant and visionary continuation of Austen's beloved story, this tale is full of danger, darkness and immortal love.

This one definitely sounds interesting. I think I'm going to have to get used to the idea. I've read a few other books by Grange, and both were pretty good. I hope this one rocks!

IMM is hosted by The Story Siren.

ABC's of Me

I've seen this meme around, most recently at Sarbear's blog and thought it looked like fun.

Available or single? Single- I've got enough things to worry about without the added pressure of a guy.

Best Friend? One friend specifically comes to mind. I don't easily make friends, but once I do, I like to keep 'em!

Cake or Pie? Definitely cake. My favorites are German Chocolate and Cheesecake. Although Cheesecake usually looks like a pie...

Drink of choice? Sweet tea that's cold but no ice. I don't like ice in my drinks.

Essential item for every day use? I do my schoolwork and blogging all on my trusty laptop. I don't know what I'd do without it.

Favorite color? It's a toss-up between blood red and hunter green.

Google? I google stuff a lot. Sometimes I use Yahoo's search engine and occasionally Dogpile, but Google's my default.

Hometown? I'm still living in it. It's totally country, somewhat redneck. Jeff Foxworthy's jokes definitely hit home. Right now, I can literally hear a bunch of crickets outside my window.

Indulgences? Books and chocolate. Preferrably lots of both.

January or February? January- By the time February rolls around, I'm thinking about Spring too much instead of enjoying winter weather. February's usually colder, though.

Kids and their names? No kids currently. If that ever even happens, that's a LONG ways away.

Life is incomplete without…? Having people you can trust implicitly.

Marriage date? Marriage is a scary thought. I've seen so many fail. I love the fall, though, so probably then.

Number of siblings? I have absolutely none. I'm happily an only child.

Oranges or apples? Definitely apples because I hate the sticky stuff eating oranges leaves all over your hands.

Phobias and fears? I still have this odd fear of the dark. I think something really scared me as a small child, and I've never completely gotten over it. I don't mind it when someone's with me, but I hate being alone.

Quote for the day? Here's my favorite from Napoleon: "Great ambition is the passion of a great character. He who is endowed with it may perform either very great actions, or very bad ones; all depends upon the principles which direct him."

Reason to smile? I'm hopefully going to the beach sometime this weekend!

Season? Fall is my absolute favourite.

Unknown fact about me? I don't think many of my online friends know that I absolutely love riding horses. I have a horse, and Ranger's probably one of my best friends. :)

Vegetable you hate? Brussell Sprouts

Worst habit? I can be very easily annoyed, and I have a bad temper, at times.

X-rays you’ve had? My teeth?

Your fave food? I really like mangos. Oh, and mac & cheese!

Zodiac sign? Apparently it's Cancer? I don't know about that, though.

And now you know a little bit more about me. Feel free to post this yourself! I'd love to know more about you. : )

Friday, September 4, 2009

Create a Cover

I'll be truthful. I had to cheat. My first title was "reciprocate," but when I typed it into Flickr, nothing came up! So, I had to go with the second verb. It reminds me of Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. Anyway, I like it!

Esther D. Fletcher reciprocate : knot


1 – Go to “Fake Name Generator” or click

The name that appears is your author name.

2 – Go to “Random Word Generator” or click

The word listed under “Random Verb” is your title.

3 – Go to “FlickrCC” or click

Type your title into the search box. The first photo that contains a person is your cover.

4 – Use Photoshop, Picnik, or similar to put it all together. Be sure to crop and/or zoom in.

5 – Post it to your site along with this text.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy by Sharon Lathan

Darcy and Elizabeth have gone through a lot because of each other. Misunderstandings have caused much pain. Now, they are finally married and set off on a journey that will last a lifetime.

Although I was very excited to read this book, I was also a bit apprehensive. It's clear that this is a happily ever after tale, and sometimes I can be a bit of a cynic. Could Darcy and Elizabeth really be happy? This book won me over completely. When I read this book I was in the perfect mood and found myself quite happily whisked away on this adventure.

The first part of the novel is simply the two newlyweds getting to know each other. This was my favorite part of the book. During this time, the plot moved along at a slow, leisurely pace. Then, things started to pick up a bit. An antagonist is introduced. You get a feeling something big is going to happen, and it does.

Simply put, this book made me smile. It was fun to see Darcy and Elizabeth get to know each other. They are two bright, intelligent people, equals. It's more of a sequel to the 2005 version of the movie than the book. Lathan goes as far to moving the proposal scene to a meadow, and there is another scene reminiscent of the final scene in the movie. The characters, however, remain true. Darcy is very much Darcy, and Elizabeth is still Lizzy. Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcyis a great start to the author's Darcy Saga, and I look forward to reading the books that follow.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Prophecy of the Sisters Contest Winners

Thanks to everyone who entered! First off, here's a note from Michelle:

This was so much fun! My teenage daughter and I spent a LONG time reviewing the entries, and it was incredibly difficult to choose just one! I easily have six or seven favorites in here... In the end, I chose Spellbound by Lacuna Coil AND Dark Waltz by Haley Westenra. I just couldn't choose one! So I'm giving two prizes! Both songs fit Prophecy perfectly in very different ways, and I thought they were both very original entries. Both songs will be added as Bonus Tracks to the Prophecy playlist. I was torn for a long time between these two and Criminal by Fiona Apple (SUCH a fun song) and My Immortal by Evanescence. Both are great fits for Prophecy, but honestly, knowing what I know about books two and three in the series, I think they'll be a perfect fit for one of THOSE books. *is not a tease*

Anyway, thanks to everyone who participated! I'll be sending Prophecy Prize Packs to BOTH winners as soon as I get names and addresses!


So, guys and gals, that makes the winners Kristen, from Bookworming in the 21st Century, and Briana from The Book Pixie! You two should be receiving emails from me pretty soon. Please respond ASAP with your info as well as whether you'd like a DVD of Music and Lyrics or Almost Famous, and I'll forward the information on to Michelle. Congrats!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Super Comments Award

Thanks to Heather from Gofita's Pages for this award. It totally made my day. I love getting comments! I think that's probably the best part of blogging, for me. I'm going to pass this on to:

Sandy from Pirate Penguin Reads
Sarbear from My Life is an Effing Fairytale!

You leave comments made of awesomesauce! :D

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