BookBlogWriMo Day 17, 18, 19, and 20

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The answer to this prompt is definitely one that keeps cropping up throughout this month’s posts: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. I was moved beyond anything as a fifth grader reading this book. I wanted nothing more than to become a writer at that point in my life, but I didn’t know if I could do it. My mother passed this book on to me, knowing I needed something beyond the lower reading level books I was getting in school at the time. I needed something to make me think, to inspire me. S.E. Hinton was not much older than I was when she wrote The Outsiders. Not only that, but the book put me into a book coma for a long time after, I’m still not sure I have woken up from it.

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To be honest, my book event goal is to finally get to a book event. I’ve been a book blogger for three years now, and I still haven’t been to a book event. Unless you count the Facebook ones, but I’ve even hosted those, so they’re nothing new.

Other than simply getting to one, I really want to go to Utopia. One of the books I edited for Michele was actually nominated for Best Editing at this particular book event (Into The Fire – a great read! I highly suggest it.)

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Some of my favorite adaptations from book to movie are:

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I tend to have some pretty significant emotional reactions to books. Some of the books that have made me cry are:

This year’s BookBlogWriMo is hosted by The Perks of Being a Book Girl. If you want to sign up at any point, jump right in!

Thirty Days of Thanks – Day 17, 18, 19, and 20

I am thankful for our toddler footy pajamas, chocolate cream pie, pictures, and love.

#BookBlogWriMo Day 10 – Ten Of My Many Favorite Books

Day 10

I have SO many favorite books, so this was a hard list for me to make. I tried to pick books that have significance to me.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
More information about this book will come in a post later on during Book Blog Writing Month.

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
We actually just got this amazing fully illustrated edition of Harry Potter to add to our collection. We pre-ordered from Amazon because the price was so amazing. By the look of it, it’s still great. JKR will be releasing each book in this format for the next six years. It will be a great way to introduce our son to the series when we start reading it to him in a few years. (This would make an AWESOME holiday gift, as well. Just some suggestions!)

The Sweep series by Cate Tiernan
This series is about witchcraft and completely brought me into this incredible world about magic. I’ve read the series multiple times now and still have an emotional reaction to it.

Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman
This book was gifted to me by a previous coworker and I’ve been reading it to my son every morning before I drop him off at day care. It has become out little tradition. A review of this book will be coming soon. It is AMAZING. I have officially become a Nancy Tillman fan.

A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks
This is a nostalgia book for me. I read it in high school and became very attached to it. It was my first journey into the world of Nicholas Sparks.

The Prophecy of Tyalbrook series by Michele G. Miller
This series was my first introduction to Michele’s literature. I steadily fell in love with Xander and there was no turning back once I hopped onto this adventure. When she asked me to edit for her, I definitely couldn’t say no!

The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
The perspective and message within these dark novels really struck a cord with me. If you haven’t read these yet, you should hop on board the Hunger Games train. And I don’t mean the one to the Capital. The movies are also incredible; while there are bits missing from the books, they are depicted very well!

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
One of the best children’s books to exist. My family had my best friend make me a baby shower cake of The Giving Tree. My guests also signed the inside cover. I will always have a special place for this one.

Unlit Star by Lindy Zart
Seriously one of my favorite books of Lindy’s. Also one of my favorite reviews that I’ve written. (Find it here.)

Wicked: Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
This is the book that the Broadway musical Wicked is based off of. Gregory Maguire is a very talented author with quite a bit to say. His tongue-in-cheek style mixed with his knack for twisting fairy tales and traditional stories makes each of his stories a new experience. You can see my review of Wicked here.

Thirty Days of Thanks – Day 10

I am thankful for my parents. As I write this, I realize there is no way words can do my thanks justice, however. They’ve been there through thick and thin, raised me “right” and given me the tools I need to succeed. They’ve supported me in all of my passions and my crazy endeavors, and they’ve helped guide me through my new adventure of parenthood. Through my many scraped knees, teary moments, silly laughs, onstage adventures, and everything else – I couldn’t be more grateful. ❤

#BookBlogWriMo Day 17 – My Favorite Book Tropes and Thanks

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#BookBlogWriMo Day 17 – My Favorite Book Tropes

Ah, so many clichés and so little time. I try to read things that aren’t predictable or stereotypical, but sometimes I’m just drawn to those stories that include those topics, character, or plot devices that make me squee with happiness or burrow my brow deep in thought. Here are some of my favorites:

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#BookBlogWriMo Day 9 – Blogging WorkFlow and Thanks

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#BookBlogWriMo Day 9 – My Blogging Workflow

To be very honest, I don’t really have much of a blogging workflow. I’m still getting into the swing of things. I tend to work with Xpresso Book Tours quite a bit, but otherwise don’t have much of a schedule. I’m a whimsical blogger in the sense that I don’t regiment. When I do have a review scheduled, I tend to try to follow a process. Currently, I try to read a book a few weeks out of a review, take my notes, highlight what stands out, and then put together my review and post. There’s not terribly much to it.

I’m still getting into the swing of this, especially as I keep up with two jobs and school. I anticipate that by January I will have more  of a routine down. I’m excited to see what the new year brings.

30 Days of Thanks – Day 9

I am thankful for music. Music is something that has always been a part of my life. I was in musical theatre, played the flute, took voice lessons, listened to copious amounts of many musical genres, did marching band in college, taught marching band after I graduated… the list goes on and on. I can’t imagine my life without such things. I always notice the soundtrack to a movie before anything else… A Beautiful Mind, The Hunger Games, Star Wars, Harry Potter (all of them), Beetlejuice.. the list just keeps growing.

There are mornings when I roll out of bed and know the day will be rough; then I find myself going into the train station and hearing the familiar sounds of my favorite subway musicians playing and my day brightens. (I’m not sure who they are, but they’re incredible. One plays the violin, the other the bass. They take popular songs and turn them into instrumental heaven.)

Music makes the world make sense. Mine anyway.

#BookBlogWriMo Day 6 – #TBT Favorite Childhood Books and Thanks

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#BookBlogWriMo Day 6 – #TBT – Favorite Childhood Books

I was that kid who always got reprimanded in class for hiding books under my desk and reading… during every class. I always had my nose stuck in a book. Once I saw this was a prompt, I knew it just wouldn’t be possible to list all of the books that I loved growing up, so I tried to mix in to run through growing up. I look at my book shelves happily, knowing that my college of loved books is growing all the time. I find myself going through the Used Book Superstore and spending hours in the Child and Young Adult sections. This post was actually a whole lot of fun for me to do because it brought me back. Now I want to go back and read some of these books again. I’m sure my mother will get a kick out of this, too. Well, here are some of my favorites:

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Love You Forever
By: Robert Munsch

This story was, by far, my favorite book growing up. I remember turning the pages and falling deeper into this story. My heart broke as time moved on in this story, even when I was a young child. This story affected me far deeper than it probably should have and still sticks with me today.

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Where the Sidewalk Ends
By: Shel Silverstein

I have loved poetry forever. I have notebooks filled with my poetry from since I was little until the end of college. I haven’t written much since, but WTSE (and anything else by him) was such a wonderful adventure for me. I love the quirkiness to this day. I look forward to owning the entire collection one day. Even beyond all of that, the illustrations in his books are absolutely wonderful. I wanted to be Shel Silverstein.

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Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.
By: Judy Blume

I read this book over and over and over again. Something about this story pulled me right in and I couldn’t get it. I felt it. I understood it. I was it. I was that little girl who would say, “Are you there God? It’s me, Samantha.” Then I’d just start talking. This story made me feel better. This one was a huge thanks to my Mom. She introduced me to Judy Blume and I was hooked. Her, and Sharon Creech.

 

 

The Sweep SeriesBook of shadows
By: Cate Tiernan

I have read this one over and over, as well. All of them. Every few years, I go back to this series and pick it up, then I relive the moments. This book was such a wonderful look into a fantasy world with a great basis on fact. I love that my family was so open minded and comfortable to let me read books about Wicca. I loved getting lost in this world of magick and nature and love. It also made me fall in love with the name Hunter. 🙂

 

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The Outsiders
By: S.E. Hinton

This is the most important book that my mother gave to me when I was younger. There is no other book that has stayed with me as much as this one has. My favorite poem comes from this book, my first book crush Johnnycake, and some of the most wonderful life lessons. S.E. Hinton started writing this book when she was just 15 and it was published when she was 18! She was an inspiration to my young mind. If she could do it, so could I. Come to think of it, I’m due to re-read this one again, too.

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The Harry Potter Series
By: J.K. Rowling

I don’t think this series needs much of an explanation, but I will give one anyway. I grew up with these books. As my mother would read to my younger sister chapter by chapter each night, I would take the book and read at my own pace, quickly finishing and anxiously awaiting the release of the next book. I fell in love with this wonderful world and, like most kids my age, wished my own letter to Hogwarts would arrive.

 

 

*sigh* What a wonderful childhood I had. So many great books.

30 Days of Thanks – Day 6

This is easy… I am thankful for all of the books above. They shaped me into the person I am today, as all of the books I have read and will read will continue to do so.

 

What books are some of your favorites from childhood?

 

#BookBlogWriMo Day 4 – Why I Blog and Thanks

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#BookBlogWriMo Day 4 – Why I Blog

I blog because it’s always been on my bucket list. And because it’s fun. I enjoy writing and I enjoy reading, so what better way to put the two together than to create a book review blog? I’ve had many outlets in life and writing is one of them. My creative juices just don’t flow as much these days because of work and school, but keeping this blog helps keep me fresh.

I was an English and Journalism double major in undergrad, so I have all of these skills that I paid good hard money for (and will be paying until I’m old and wrinkly).

Blogging has introduced me to some really great individuals I wouldn’t have otherwise met. Because of this blog I now edit for Michele G. Miller (a really great author… go check her out. Seriously. No bias, I promise.)

This blog is still in it’s early life and I’m still a blogging newb, but that’s ok. There are some wonderful communities out there and more established bloggers who provide great advice and mentorship.

And hey… free books and swag aren’t bad either. (I gladly accept such things, though I prefer the real book vs. e-books. So, if you ever find yourself wanting to pass on your books, I am starting a blogging book and swag shelf at home. Wanna be on it?! haha.)

Joking aside – I enjoy this. I appreciate the opportunities blogging has opened up for me. And hey, I’m doing what I love in all facets of my life. I look forward to seeing where this blog is a year from now.

30 Days of Thanks – Day 4 

I’m thankful for these two little loves:

kitty babiesDobby and Winky StairsDobby Sirius (black cat) and Winky Ginevra (grey cat) have been a part of our family since August 2013. They’re brother and sister adoptees from our local animal shelter. They’re every bit as adorable and perfect as they look and fit into our little family just right. Pets aren’t just animals who happen to live with you, they’re family. You’ll meet another one of my pets another day this month.

Until then… what are you thankful for? Do you have any pets? Share pictures. 🙂

 

Happy Halloween!!

Happy Halloween, from me to you! Or just Happy Friday? Whatever it is, don’t forget to take a moment in memory of Lily and James Potter, who sacrificed themselves selflessly.

Here’s a little Flashback Friday action for you – Ginny Weasley, Harry Potter Release July 2007. I actually had little kids come up to me and think I was really Ginny. Ah, memories.

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Blog Review Tour: “Captivate Me” and “IRIS” by S.J. Pierce

 

 

IrisCaptivate Me       AND       IRIS
By: S.J. Pierce
Copyright: 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult, Romance
Format of Book: E-Books

*I received free ARCs of Captivate Me and IRIS from Xpresso Booktours in exchange of an honest review.

 

Synopsis of Captivate Me

“My mom had always told me – when you meet “the one”, you’ll know; they’ll captivate your heart the moment you lay eyes on them. I had always wondered, though, if my mom’s words of wisdom were finite – if they applied to everyone. Maybe those who had found their one great love were the lucky few, and maybe the rest of us would have to settle for less than earth-shattering.”Seventeen-year-old Kat Walsh is a Gifted – a human with paranormal abilities. With her mom a former Angel and her dad a dream prophet, it’s always been in her genetic make-up to be extraordinary. But, unfortunately for her, the world can’t handle the strange or unusual. So when she slips up and uses her powers at her high school in Ireland, the entire student body treats her like a freak – even the ones she thought were her closest friends.

Broken, but hopeful for a fresh start, she allows her parents to enroll her in a boarding school buried deep within the forests of a small Colorado town. At Midland Pines, School for the Gifted, she feels as though she can finally be herself; she makes new friends and even has the attention of the most popular guy in school – Levi. Everything feels normal again… or does it?

Not long after her arrival, weird dreams of an alluring boy whom she’s never met surface during the night, and the eerie, shadowy trees encircling their school seem to call to her. As these disturbing, yet enticing developments intensify, other bizarre occurrences happen – students and staff turn up missing, and mystery visitors leave gifts while she sleeps. With all of these other things fighting for her attention, a desperate Levi has to fight even harder to keep her interest. But with the dreams of the attractive boy slowly captivating her heart, Kat has to make a choice – will she settle for ‘great’ Levi, or will she search for her elusive dream visitor, possibly stumbling across ‘amazing’?

From the author of the Alyx Rayer Chronicles, comes a refreshingly different Young Adult series with plenty of love, suspense, and a new take on the Paranormal.

Recommended for readers 16 and up due to mature content.

Synopsis of IRIS (#1.5)
by S.J. Pierce
Publication date: September 1st 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult

Synopsis:

***This book is meant to be read after Captivate Me***Set before the events in Book One of the Captivated Series, “Iris” explores the depths of family bonds, new bonds, and the lengths a person would go to save the life of a dying sibling. In this novella, get to know Iris and her two sisters more intimately, as well as Gabriel, the first angel-human hybrid who agrees to live under her protection.

Recommended for readers 16 and up due to mature content.

Welcome to my stop on the Captivate Me/IRIS Blog Tour! Below is my review of the first book with a teaser about the next AND a giveaway! Click on the image at the bottom of the screen for the rafflecopter!

The Final Countdown
Characterization
– 3.5/5 Stars
I really enjoyed reading the various characters in Captivate Me and then learning more about some of them in IRIS. Kat is a well-created character who has quite a bit of learning and growing up to do. This obviously sets the stage for some pretty interesting things to happen. Kat is just learning to be herself after hiding her Gift for so long. She’s quickly sought after by a very nice and popular guy named Levi. I also like Kat’s roommate Anna; she and Kat are a perfect pair. There is also a mess of other characters who I deeply enjoy, GabrielIris, and a few others.. but you’ll have to read to learn more. Pierce does a good job creating her characters and giving them enough backstory to move the story along, but leaving enough up in the air for the reader to want to learn more.

Dialogue  –  3/5 Stars
The dialogue in Captivate Me is realistic and fitting for the Young Adult reader. There is nothing overly stand-out, but it does help move the story along. I like the internal monologue, as well.

I found the dialogue in IRIS to be a lot more fun. Perhaps this is because of the characters and personalities of those involved in this particular novella.

Plot  –  3.5/5 Stars
This was a fresh take on the typical paranormal young adult books that are floating around. I haven’t seen this story before, which is part of the reason I found it so much more enjoyable. All of the characters have their own sub-story, which enables a novella like IRIS to work so well.

Visual Imagery  –  3/5 Stars
There are some really great visual moments, such as those in the woods, but I felt this story could have used more in the visuals. This would have helped drive the story farther. I wanted to “see” more colors and patterns. This is not a complaint, just a suggestion, however.

Ending  4/5 Stars
I definitely enjoyed the ending of this book. There was a lot to be said, but it was done in a wonderful way. Captivate Me ended wonderfully, opening the door to Book 2, and IRIS introduced what will be happening in 2, but should be read AFTER Captivate Me.

Total: 17/25 Stars

Why read this book?

I am a big fan of YA Paranormal books and this one was done very well. Definitely worth a shot.

Goodreads: Follow This Link
Purchase Captivate Me:
–Amazon: Follow This Link
Purchase IRIS:
–Amazon: Follow This Link
AUTHOR BIO
Susan James Pierce has a degree in Marketing Management, works for a Fortune 500 company in Atlanta, Georgia, and devotes her precious, spare  time to writing Fantasy, Paranormal and Sci-fi novels.Author Links:
http://sjpiercebooks.blogspot.ca/

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B: Book Beaus and Babes

Today’s post for the A to Z Challenge is brought to you by the letter B! What better way to give homage to the letter B than to name of of my Book Beaus/Boyfriends and Book Babes!?

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The Beaus

Hunter Niall – Sweep Series – by Cate Tiernan
Jacob Black – Twilight Series – by Stephanie Meyer
Eric Northman – Sookie Stackhouse Series – by Charlaine Harris
Alcide Herveaux – Sookie Stackhouse Series – by Charlaine Harris
Johnnycake Cade – The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton
Xander – The Prophecy of Tyalbrook Series – by Michele G. Miller
John Snow – A Song of Ice and Fire Series – George R.R. Martin
Peeta Mellark – The Hunger Games Series – Suzanne Collins
Remus Lupin – Harry Potter Series – J.K. Rowling
Sirius Black – Harry Potter Series – J.K. Rowling
Farid – Inkheart Series – Cornelia Funke
Grayson Lee – Incomplete Series – Lindy Zart
Ryder – Anything But Series – Lindy Zart
Caleb Jacobson – Significance Series – Shelly Crane
Ryan – Writing on the Wall Series – Tracey Ward
Aaron Jamison – Markings – S.B. Roozenboom

Book BF

The Babes

 Katniss Everdeen – The Hunger Games Series – Suzanne Collins
Daenerys Targaryen – A Song of Ice and Fire Series – George R.R. Martin*
Skye Martin – The Prophecy of Tyalbrook – Michele G. Miller
Honor – Anything But Series – Lindy Zart

Book BF 2

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A Little Bit About Me And My Love For Books

A Book Survey (written during my lunchbreak)

1. What book are you reading now?  I am currently reading Dead Until Dark from the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. For those who are fans of “True Blood” – this is the book series that the show is based off of. I’ve read all but the final book in the series, and I can tell you that the book series and tv series are very different from one another.

2. What are your favorite books/series? It’s so hard for me to answer this question because I have SO many books that I love. Some of my favorite books include: Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, A Walk To Remember by Nicholas Sparks, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, Sweep series by Cate Tiernan, Hannibal series by Thomas Harris, The Prophecy of Tyalbrook series by Michele G Miller and SOOOOO many more.

3. How did you learn to read? I actually learned to read when I was very little. Reading has always been important in my family. When I was little, I was one of those kids who would read every sign that I went by out loud. Come to think of it, I sometimes still do that. Old habits die hard.

4. What foreign languages do you read? I can read a little bit in French, but that’s a bit rusty. This will be vastly improving as I jump into my Rosetta Stone soon.

5. What’s the funniest book you ever read? The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is the first that comes to mind.

6. What books have changed the way you look at the world or the way you live your life? I grew up with the Harry Potter series. I guess I’ve always loved the fantasy world, but this series has stuck with me. It was beautiful and tragic and whimsical all at once. Another book that I remember distinctly is Misha: A Mémoire of the Holocaust Years by Misha Defonseca. Despite the fact that this turned out to be a hoax, I read this book when I was in 5th grade, perhaps a bit young for some of the heavier issues inside, but it was impactful, nonetheless. One last series that struck a large chord with me was the Hunger Games series; something about children fighting to their deaths due to politics and power just has that type of effect.

7. About how many books do you own? Oh, hundreds… I really should count. Once I get them all in one place. My collection grows all the time.

8. Do you read in bed? I read before going to bed every night. This can pose for some really interesting or terrifying dreams, pending what I’m reading at the time.

9. Do you ever read while walking or driving? Oh yes… I have been known to have my nose stuck in a book on my way from the train in the morning to work.

10. What was the most difficult book to read? My husband and mother-in-law will be really disappointed… but I have been reading IT by Stephen King for the last 3 years… I’m halfway through. I understand what I’m reading and the subject matter doesn’t bother me… it’s very difficult for me to stay focused on most Stephen King’s work. I love action, live for it… but IT contains a LOT of description, filler, back story, etc. One day I will finish..

11. What books do you intend to read but keep putting off? I plan to read the Divergent series by Veronica Roth

12. Do you buy new or used books, paperbacks or hardcovers, leather or collector’s? I buy them all. I also buy e-books, as I am finally allowing myself to use a Kindle, though I have strict guidelines for doing so. I’d MUCH rather read the real thing versus the e-version, though.

13. How do you feel about writing in books? Writing in books… I’m not a huge fan of doing this myself, though I have purchased books with writing in them.  To each their own.

14. What were your favorite books as a child? Love You Forever by Robert Munsch is one of my favorite books from when I was little. It breaks my heart every time I read it, but I absolutely love it.

15. Do you ever read the ending first? Absolutely not.

What about you? Tell me some of your answers to these questions. 🙂