____________________________________ On Hiatus ___________________________________

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Damned Contests!

Yea me!!!!!!!!!  Recently I won the Bumping Jane Austen Around contest on Supernatural Underground...which I totally recommend people be checking out, right now!!!!

My *SIGNED* ARC of Jane and the Damned by Janet Mullany just arrived two seconds ago!!!!!

Along with a signed bookmark and magnet!!  Seriously, this magnet is the coolest thing ever!!!!

How excited am I????  THRILLED!!!!!!!

This is my first paranormal/classic cross-over, so I'm really excited to see what happens!!!!

So a super big THANK YOU to Janet Mullaney and shout out to Supernatural Underground!!!!

(\__/)

New Contest at The Bookshelf Sophisticate!

[CONTEST CLOSED][WINNERS]
Check out The Bookshelf Sophisticate for her 200 Followers Contest!!!!

Prizes include:






Plus...It looks like she's very close to adding another bonus book for getting an additional 50 followers!!!!





You can enter by clicking on the link and filling out the form.
Extra entries for linking to the contest through
twitter, facebook, sidebar,
or blogging about it (like me)!!!

Contest is INTERNATIONAL and will end on
August 1, 2010!!!

Good luck and may the best reader win!!!!


(\__/)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Homecoming

Ok, so I know I have a Nook now, and I shouldn't need anymore books, BUT....

I was at a used bookstore over the weekend and found one of my absolute favorites from when I was a kid, Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt.  I still remember picking it up in the middle school library—Off the back shelf, between the first two isles.  The library was still brand new, with a huge ceiling and blue carpeting, and those taupe/beige colored metal shelves.  My copy had a different cover, lighter, kind of an eggshell color, with the library sticker taped to the spine.

The copy I picked up was like the one to the right, with yellow-edged pages.  It's got that paperback feel that it gets when you've held it and read it a million times and it fits perfectly in your hand.  Slightly worn, on the cover, but not bad.  The weird part is, when you open it up, both the front and back inside covers are this golden-brown color that is darker on the edges and gets lighter toward the middle, just like a piece of toast.  It makes me wonder if it was supposed to be that way—Because it does look pretty cool.  Or maybe someone kept it someplace warm.  Really warm.  Like a microwave, or an oven.  Except that the slightly burnt look is only on the inside of the covers....
And then there's this cover...Which at first I thought was pretty cool—I totally love the purple.  Plus it sets a good mood for the story, with the child's expression of determination, combined with a somewhat bleak background, which reflects the circumstances of the Tillerman family.  But the kid on the cover looks too young to be the main character, who's supposed to be 13, or even her 10 year old brother who also has dark hair; the two younger siblings are both sunny blond children, so that doesn't really work either.

I've found that more people are familiar with Homecoming's sequel Dicey's Song.

Homecoming tells the story of the Tillerman children, Dicey, James, Maybeth, and Sammy.  The family was on their way to their Aunt Cilla's house, when they are abandoned by their mother in the middle of a mall parking lot.  They wait for her until the next morning, and then have to decide what to do after it becomes obvious that their mother isn't coming back for them.  While they do consider calling the police for help, the children are more afraid of being split up.  They decide to continue on to their Aunt Cilla's house on their own, and a trip they thought would take days, ends up taking them weeks.

This book is full of heart-wrenching twists and turns from the very beginning.  This is one story where I couldn't stop myself from asking, "what if?" a million times.  What if their mother had left the keys in the car?—Could they have driven?  What if they hadn't eaten dinner the night before, and would have had enough money to take the bus to their aunt's house?  What if they had trusted anyone to help them?

And what if they did?  Would the siblings still have fought so hard to stay together, or had such determination and the will to do it?  Would they have grown together like they did?  It's a story of adventure and hardship, and the great strength of family bonds.  And a story that has stuck with me, that so many years later still makes me feel pangs for their loss, and makes me remember the things that are really important.


(\__/)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Day My Nook Went Dark...

...And why I recommend archiving.

So, when someone who sounds authoritative and appears to know what they're doing tells you they think you should "unregister" your Nook, and re-register it.  That just basically means that they want to wipe out your entire Nook library from the memory of your Nook, and then have it try to re-download everything all over again.  All at once.  Don't worry, you won't lose any data—It's still stored on your account with Barnes&Noble.  But if you have 600 ebooks and your Nook was freaking out before to try and keep them current, um, it's not going to be happy if you ask it to try and download them ALL. AT. THE. SAME. TIME.  Trust me.

What happened?

Well, on my first day of owning my Nook, I discovered FREE ebooks.  Google has a project where they're trying to take books that have come into public domain and put them in digital format.  From what I gather, public domain constitutes books where the copyright and licensing has run out.  Basically anything written up into the early 1900s.  And within the first two weeks of owning my Nook, I had downloaded 600 ebooks.

Nook is supposed to be able to hold around 1,500—and I wasn't even half-way, right?  Well, I'm not sure they actually, physically double-checked their numbers, because when I went into my local BN and they called support, I had the largest e-library the guy had EVER seen.  That may have changed by now, I don't know.

Just after 600, my Nook worked...but it didn't.  I could access everything in my library, but all my new downloads stopped appearing.  I tried everything—resetting it, taking out the battery, downloading from different rooms, houses, towns, until I finally got a chance to go back to the store to have them look at my two-week-old baby Nook.  I had even put in a memory card for extra storage space, because I had always planned on having a large library.

I explained everything, they took a look, then called support.  And the first guy they talked to recommended "unregistering."

I went from being able to at least see my library, select books from it, and read them to nothing.  Empty.  Gone.  The second guy they talked to when they called back to talk to support, said what had probably happened, is that with so many books, the Nook is constantly trying to keep them available to me, constantly trying to update EVERYTHING at the same time.  Leaving me with an empty Nook.

That's when I asked about ARCHIVING.  If my Nook couldn't handle all my books at once, would archiving work?  They thought that would help.

So I went home and spent hours archiving most of my ebooks.  Basically the concept of archiving seems like taking all the books that I'm not going to read right now and putting them in storage.  My Nook still knows where they are, and if I want them, I just tell it to "download" and it will go get them.  It's actually pretty quick and easy.

But it didn't actually fix my problem.  Even after archiving everything, I still couldn't get my Nook to download ANYTHING.  For two weeks I was pretty distraught, I didn't know what I was going to do—Would I have the same problems with another  Nook if they replaced it?

But two weeks after my issue, all of a sudden I an email that their was an update—So, I updated my Nook, and the problem was gone.  Fixed.  Like it never happened.

However, I still archive most of my books in the hopes of keeping my Nook running fast and to avoid it working too hard; I don't want to take any chances.

And now?  Well, it's been a couple of months, and we're still in love.


(\__/)

Why I LOVE My Nook...

...And am NOT bitter and angry that it is on sale.

While yes, I do wish I could have gotten the 3G version for $50 cheaper, plus a $50 gift card for buying it around Father's Day...ok, yeah, I'm a little bitter...But I was moving at the time, plus I'd been saving, so I bought my Nook at the right time for ME.  And even though I've only had my Nook a few months, I can honestly say it's more than doubly paid for itself already.

How?

The free books, the endless shelf-space, lighter backpacks, purses, and carry-ons...but mostly the *FREE* books.

While Barnes&Noble has it's own offerings of free-ness, I was MOST impressed by Google.  Google has a project where they take books that have come into the public domain and are putting them into digital format so that EVERYONE has access to them for FREE.  From what I know, books come into the public domain whenever their copyrights or licensing expires.  What this means to you—almost any book you can think of...That was written before the early 1900s.

What this meant to me?  Well, I'm a book-lover with a B.A. in writing, emphasis in English.  I went crazy downloading books (before Napster was illegal and then became legal again, anyone???)—I started searching  for every book I'd ever read, had been assigned in high school, or in college, or any book that I'd ever wanted to read, or had been recommended to me.  I downloaded my first hundred or so on a four hour car ride...before my battery died and needed to be recharged.  Within two weeks, I had over 600 books in my collection.  From Beowulf, to Tolstoy, to the Bobbsey Twins, and more.—I recommend ARCHIVING to anyone interested in having such a vast collection.  Trust me.

My Nook has really become the library that I've always wanted.  Plus it's portable.

And fast.  It's like having books psychically teleported to my Nook as soon as I think about them.  I do a quick search, press, ok--It's either charged to the card on my account, or it's free.  And voila, book.

The instant book feature benefit is three-fold for me.  The first is that I just moved to a town that's an hour away from the closest bookstore.  So when I want a book, I don't have to drive an hour there and back before I can even read something.  And if the bookstore doesn't carry what I want, I can order it on my Nook without having to wait for shipping and having to drive back to the store to pick up my book.  And my favorite part--for books with strict release dates, I can start downloading at midnight—instead of waiting 8 or 9 hours until the store opens (an hour away), and read it immediately.


—SEARCH TIP—
When I first started doing my massive ebook search, I input “free.”  This got me a lot of free books, but also, a lot of books with “free” in the title.  Then I ended up doing more sporadic searches for pretty much ever book I could think of.  I would als go to the Barnes&Noble website and look under their “free” section.

These methods were unorganized ways of searching, and while I ended up find lots of things that were interesting and I that I wouldn’t have otherwise found, there was a lot of useless stuff mixed in there, too.  I just recently got a tip to search from the Nook store using “0.00” as the search phrase.  This will also give you an onslaught of free books, so use the “advanced” search methods to narrow down your results.


Other benefits?  Ebooks are better for the environment.  No paper.

Also, less eye-strain.  I haven't seen my glasses since we moved, but with Nook, I can adjust to a larger font until my glasses are located.

Bonuse, thanks to the new update, I can now play sudoku and chess on Nook, as well as surf the internet.  Haven't actually tried the internet part, yet, but it's nice to know it's there.  Also, the new update coincided perfectly with my just having learned how to play sudoku (thank you Dora the Explorer sticker sudoku, now it makes sense!).

And the single best moment in reading history ever???

I had just gotten one of my midnight downloads.  I was hungry, but I enforce a strict no eating in bed policy.  Plus, anyone who's ever eaten whilst reading, knows the difficulties of holding the book with one hand and feeding yourself with the other.  To top it off, I was craving cheese and crackers.  Then I had an idea.  I took my cheese, crackers, and knife to my desk, along with my Nook.  I propped my Nook against my laptop, and my Nook just stood there while I spread cheese on my crackers.  And every so often I paused to press the page-turn button, no awkward fumbling, no accidentally getting cheese on my book, no losing my page.  It was pretty cool.  I'm just saying...


(\__/)

What Nobody Told Me About My Nook

There.  I admit it.  It's not perfect.  I mean, it's mostly perfect.  But it's still got some drawbacks.

So what don't I like about my Nook?

It doesn't glow in the dark.

I kind of thought it would...I just kind of imagined it would be back-lit, or something, so that I could read in bed at night.

What else?

The price.  And all the other prices.

I got my Nook just a few months ago, and was assured that there weren't any upcoming sales or coupons I could use...But I was prepared for that, no biggie.  *sigh*

But even with all my research, I guess I didn't think about all the extras, like the warranty.  If you don't want to buy the extra, 2-year warranty for another $70, you have two weeks to decide to return your Nook.  The end.

However, with the warranty, I was told that pretty much anything can happen to your Nook and they'll fix it or replace it.  Even if I decide that I hate Pride and Prejudice and in a fit of rage, through my Nook on the floor and it is smashed into a million pieces.--That was the actual example given to me by a store associate.  Bye $70.

Next a book cover.  While Nook has a very readable screen, similar to reading words on a page, Nook actually doesn't look like a book.  And it doesn't have a front cover to protect it.  So, if I didn't want to worry about Nook's screen vs. my keys in a competition in my backpack, and at the same time wanted to get the complete book-simulated experience I had to get a book cover.  Now, I am a very crafty person, and actually thought about making my own cover, but decided against it after estimating the cost of the materials I would need, and the time it would take.  Maybe someday, but for now, goodbye $25.

Anyone who has a smart phone or anything with a touch screen, knows about fingerprints and scratches.  Hello matte screen/touch-screen cover and protector; au revoir $13.50.

And the reading in the dark thing?  Add another $13.50.

I ended up spending *mumble mumble* close to $400 (including tax), almost double what I had planned on spending...And after that, you can't forget the cost of the books, themselves.  Although there are TONS of FREE books available, most books DO cost money, or at least the new ones...

Nook does come with three FREE books, but they're already pre-loaded, so you don't have a choice--I was cool with Dracula, an old favorite.  Not so cool with Pride and Prejudice, which brings back bad memories form high school.  And as for the third book, um, I don't remember what it was...so that's probably not the best endorsement.  It would have been nice to be able to choose my own three--Even if it was from a pre-selected list, that would have been cool.

And coupons.  As a long-time Barnes&Noble customer and rewards card carrier, I was used to finding at least one coupon in my email every month, usually more.  When I looked at the fine print, I noticed that while you can use them online, none of my regular coupons are usable on  Nook products and accessories or  ebooks.  You can only use coupons specifically designated for ebooks.

What about all the FREE ebooks they keep talking about?  Not a myth, but not without restrictions, either.  Barnes&Noble does offer a lot of free ebooks; the catch is that the new ones are usually short stories, rather than novels.  And they are usually part of a series, often in the middle--And if you've already read the series, that's great...If you haven't, and you get sucked in...It kind of reminds me of those after-school specials where a kid would get offered a free drug sample, become addicted, and have to become a drug-dealer to pay off his own dealer.  They get you hooked so you want more, and I can't really blame them.

The other FREE books...some sci-fi, lots of romance, and, um, erotica.  Honestly, sometimes I like a good romance novel--But I'm wary, because these romances are a mix of regular novels and short stories, and sometimes it's hard to tell the difference when you pick them up.  Not that I'm against either, but I prefer the regular-length novel in general, and find myself disappointed to start reading something, only to be finished with it 10 minutes later...

And the, um, erotica...I've got nothing against it.  But I just feel kind of creepy when I go on to do a general search for books and am confronted with an onslaught of, um, well, erotica.  But it's really an onslaught of everything, you have to use the advanced search settings to narrow everything down (not a bad thing).  I guess my argument is more about the transition from looking at books in a store vs. online.  In a store, you can wonder around, browse, and pick up things that interest you. Online, there is SO MUCH...And if you narrow your search, is it too narrow?  What will you miss?

And the OTHER other FREE books...Google has a program, and this is actually one of my favorite features...I love it, as long as you don't mind reading any book written before the early 1900s, you can pick it up for free!

How about the 1,500 book limit?  I hit the 600 mark right after the two week return period.  And that's when my Nook froze.  I went crazy downloading free ebooks, and after 600, they stopped showing up on my Nook.  Let's just say I'm now a fan of ARCHIVING.

So, yeah, there have been a couple things here and there, but overall, my Nook has by far paid for itself, and double.

Although, I can't wait until the Nook comes out in paperback!


(\__/)

Book-lover Gets Some Nookie

I don't know if it's just me, or if it's everyone.  But it always seems like just when I finally get something good, something better comes along, and then I have to pretend that I am not sad that all my friends waited to get the new, much cooler thing.

When I was a kid, I had this awesome blue bike that I totally loved, but was starting too outgrow.  My sister gets this awesome purple 10-speed, which I start riding everywhere when she's not using it.  And casually hinting at my getting taller and needing a new bike, and my upcoming birthday.  I was SO happy when I got this beautiful awesome 10-speed of my own.  Granted, it was red, not purple, but it was still gorgeous and sleek.  The next week, everybody else in the world got mountain bikes.  Mountain bikes were the spitting image of my old blue bike that I loved and had been riding for years...Not to mention they had the wider seats so it felt like you were riding the bike, as oppose to the 10-speeds, where it felt like they were riding you...And it wasn't purple...I was so conflicted, because I loved my brand-new-awesome bike, but always felt like I never got a chance to really enjoy it with everyone else rubbing their mountain bikes in my face.

Ever since then, I'm very careful to do my research and keep an eye out for the newest model before picking up the current model...I do a lot of comparison shopping, to try and decide what features I like best or that I will use the most, so that I don't end up second guessing myself or my new buy when something better or cheaper comes along.

I was watching the day Oprah announced she had a Kindle, and went on to tell everyone all about it's awesome capabilities and great features.  And I was reading articles the day after, and months after, about it's price, it's features, and all the competition it was going to have.

I'm a long-time book-lover, of course, but I had to ask myself the same question I'm sure everyone else is asking; how can something "electronic" (read: soulless and impassionate) compete with a book?

Books are magical.  And wondrous.  They are treasures.  And I am a book hoarder.  I walk into a new bookstore and I smell the new books (um, and coffee).  I walk into a used bookstore or a library, or a garage sale and I smell the books.  Seriously, I had to pause there a second to close my eyes and inhale an imaginary smell.  I swear I have never in my life eaten a book (though there was the one time my sister made us eat a strip of paper for acid/base testing), but I can practically taste the books when I think of that smell.  All of my senses come alive; it's like the stories whisper to me, and I can see pictures in my head, like a movie or a scrapbook.  I especially love the feel of a well worn paperback in my hands, running my thumb across the pages as I open the book.  Finding old books, is like finding something special that someone's forgotten, but now I can read it, and laugh and smile, and keep it safe.  Discovering a new book is like knowing a secret before anybody else knows.

So, does anyone doubt that I love books?

What would ever make me want something cold and electronic?

Because I am a book hoarder.  When I love a book, I want to read it over and over again...And NEVER let it go.  Which, when I do read something repeatedly, that would make it stupid to get rid of and buy it again somewhere down the line.  Or, what if it's something I use for reference?  As my shelf-space grew smaller, I got better at culling the one-time reads...but that just slowed down the never-ending growth.  I will ALWAYS want more books, but until I have my own place with my own library and movie theater...I have to deal with the same space limitations as everybody else.

Or do I?  The Nook holds around 1,500 books.

Growing up, I was always the girl with the book in her hand, on her desk, with more in her locker.  Whenever we went on road trips, I always packed a half-dozen books, because I never knew what I'd want to read when I was finished with the current book, what kind of mood I'd be in.  And sometimes I would just fly through one book, while the next took a few days.  It was my way of planning for the unexpected detours, or for when the cousins left early, or for when my dad wouldn't stop talking to someone and the rest of us were waiting in the car.  And then, of course there was the ride home, too.  I was always lugging around a backpack of books, always had them sitting at my feet, or under my arm.--When backseat space is so limited and coveted, it kind of sucked.

But the problem didn't go away when I went to college and had to pick what I wanted to bring with me.  Or when I worked at a camp over the summer and had to decide how I wanted to stock my shelves for three months in a remote area near Yosemite.  Not to mention, you can't exactly ask them to stop the airplane, because you packed a book in your checked luggage (not that people check luggage anymore).

And then I found myself moving, once again.  This time with only three overflowing bookshelves.  By this time, the Nook had come out and it was the favorite on my ereader wishlist.  I loved the way it was supposed to read like paper (it does).  It promoted a COLOR touch-screen on the bottom, which sounded fancy.  It was from Barnes&Noble, which is my go to bookstore.  And it could hold approximately 1,500 books.

That's pretty much what sold me--It had the largest storage space that I could find, with the ability to add a memory card for even more space.  So, ereader, I bought the Nook....


(\__/)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

BEST BOOK BFF EVER

Oh.  My.  Gosh.  Seriously.

I totally have to thank Renata from Rosesnwine for being the Most. Awesome. Friend. EVER!
(for those of you who don't read Portuguese, I recommend clicking on the translate button!)

She totally pimped my blog!!!

Over the past few weeks, I've gone from "header?" to "ahhhh, header," and, now, to "OH MY FRACKING HEADER!!!!!!"

So how did I meet such a wonderful person, who would care enough to make me this pretty header????

In a book chat, of course.

We bonded over Forgive My Fins in a chat with Tera Lynn Childs...and then we started talking about all the other books we've ever loved...

So, I thought it was the BEST. PRESENT. EVER. when I opened my email this morning and found this AWESOME header!!!!!!!!  Just for me!!!!!!  :)

Yea!!!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Not Until I Have 25 Followers Contest

[CONTEST CLOSED][WINNERS]


Hello, hello!

Contest you say?

Why yes, I am talking to myself!—But hopefully not for long!!!!

Once I have 25 followers, you will have the chance to win one of these amazing prizes!!!!


—Grand Prize
One copy of Lifted, *SIGNED* by Wendy Toliver
One bottle of Official Lifted Hand-Sanitizer
("to relieve sticky fingers")
One *autographed* Lifted bookmark

—SWAG Prize
Five people will win one *autographed* Lifted bookmark

So…How do you enter?
Since this giveaway is thanks to Wendy Toliver and Lifted...and Lifted is all about the rush and addiction of shoplifting...Comment on what gives
YOU a rush.
*Make sure to include your email address in your comment so that I can contact you if you win.*

Bonus Entries
+1—Follow this blog.
+1—Follow me on Twitter @moviebunny
+1—Link to this post on Twitter (and leave a direct link to your tweet).*
+1—Link to this post on Facebook.
+3—Link to this post from your blog or sidebar (leave a link to your blog).
+1—Do the math.  Add up all your points and let me know the total.


Contest Guidelines
—This contest is open INTERNATIONALLY.
—This contest will remain open until June 30, or until this blog has 25 followers.
—You must be 13 years or older to enter (or have your parents' permission).
—Winners will be picked through some sort of randomness
(names in a hat/randomness generator).
—Winners will be posted on this blog once the contest closes and notified via email.
—I reserve the right to fix or amend anything if I need to.

*I just learned this, so for anyone else who is new to Twitter, this is how you find the direct link for your tweet:
Go to Twitter.
Under your tweet, you will see something that says when the tweet was posted.
You can click on it if you scroll over it (Click on it).
You will see your tweet, and in the browser bar you will see something that looks like this:  https://twitter.com/moviebunny/status/16979050629
Except instead of moviebunny, it will have YOUR name.
Copy the link and paste it in your comment.
Voila, easy!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Yea!!!! SWAG Fairy!!!!!!

This time I need to thank Courtney from Courtney Reads for some pretty cool swag a Body Finder bookmark signed by Kimberly Derting!


And pretty cool sticker, to boot!!!!

I've heard good things about this book...it's definitely on my TBR list...  but I'd love to hear from anyone who's read it!!!!

Thanks Courtney!!!!!


(\__/)

Thank You Book Fairy!!!!

Well, I should actually thank Wendy Toliver who sent me this amazing package!!!!!!

A *SIGNED* copy of her newest book, Lifted, along with a couple of extra special goodies....

If you look closely, you'll notice that there are actually TWO (2) copies of Lifted in that box...and it wasn't a mistake!!!!--Wendy sent an extra (SIGNED) copy for me to share with one of my fabulous readers!!!!  Which means that I'm going to have a contest (yet tbd).

So, what else was in there????

Well...since you asked...In the top picture, you can see a bottle of Official Lifted Hand-Sanitizer!!!!--The brilliant idea of Wendy's friend/assistant Anna!!!!!!  Which you can use to "Temporarily relieve sticky fingers."

...hmmm...my fingers are starting to feel sticky again, I should reapply....

Also, Wendy sent me a few a few *SIGNED* bookmarks!!!!!!  Some of which I will share with you....some of which I have decided to hide in random libraries and bookstores, because I know how excited I would be if I found something like that!!!  ;)  ...and for anyone in the Santa Barbara area, a few have already been hidden...

Yea free stuff!!!!!!-- Thank you SO MUCH Wendy!!!!!!


(\__/)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Why LEVERAGE is the new A-TEAM...

Leverage VS. The A-Team

Tonight was the third season premier of Leverage (on TNT, they know drama.)

So, in case you live in a vacuum, the series resolves around a gang of mercenaries, accused of crimes they didn't commit, forced to stay underground until they can clear their names.  In the meantime, they take Robin Hood-esque jobs, helping people that don't have anywhere else to turn.

--Sorry--My bad...That was the description of The A-Team.

On Leverage, the team is a gang of mercenaries who DID commit the crimes they were accused of, so they have to lay low so they aren't caught, meanwhile helping people that have nowhere else to turn, performing Robin Hood-esque jobs.

Still don't believe me?  Leverage even has a high-tech version of The A-Team van, minus the red pin-striping.

Nathan Ford, Sophie Devereaux*, HardisonParker, Eliot Spencer.

Hannibal, Face, Murdock, B.A.

Nathan Ford?--He makes all the plans.  His vice is drinking, but he's occasionally known to smoke cigars.  And he can often be seen dressed in costumes, wigs, make-up, etc...a la Hannibal.

Sophie is Face, the attractive persona that can con anyone with charm, some sexy, and a stolen ID badge.

...And Hardison is Face, procurer of information, via high-tech infiltration--computers, bugs, wires...Not that The A-Team didn't have similar equipment, but there's was a tad...um...bulkier.

Now, I'm going to go with Parker as Murdock.  While, she does have certain Face-like qualities, in that she's a thief, she also errs a little on the side of crazy.  She doesn't fly planes or helicopters, but she'd jump from one without a second thought (and possibly without a parachute).

And Eliot?  He's Mr. T--You wouldn't want to mess with either of them.  You may be saying, "but Eliot doesn't have a mohawk."  No, he doesn't.  But that doesn't mean he doesn't have the best hair on the team.  Seriously, watch the show; whether it's pulled back in a pony-tail, or he's wearing his shoulder-length tresses down, Eliot's hair always maintains an enviable a glossy sheen.  Eliot takes a more martial-arts type approach to his fighting, but, like B.A., he's still known to knock some heads together in a rough-and-tumble way when the situation calls for it.

Both teams take a non-violent approach to getting the job done...To which you may be saying, "Um, The A-Team used machine guns and hand grenades, and missile launchers, and cannons, and tanks..."  And while The A-Team often shot at people, it is remarkable how often they missed and only ended up shooting around people and scaring them away.  In fact, if they were in close enough proximity, the team was much more likely to start a brawl than to bring out the guns.  And despite all their crafty maneuvers and cons, the Leverage team is just as likely as their A-Team counterparts to end up on the wrong (or right) side of a gun, or in an impromptu brawl.

When it comes down to it, both teams actually resort to shock-and-awe type theatricalities of trickery than overt violence.  Bad guys get their comeuppance, whether they land in jail, or just end up all the poorer for their misguided endeavors.

And did I mention the vans???



(\__/)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Addicted to Winning...

[CONTEST CLOSED][WINNERS]


Reading Cause I'm Addicted is celebrating summer and being out of school--And two lucky winners can celebrate with her!!!!

Just click on the link above and fill out the form--Extra entries for being a follower, tweeting, linking to a sidebar, and posting on your blog (just like me!)!!!

Contest ends July 1, 2010, so you've still got a little time.

Winners get to choose between four (very) good looking books!

Good luck to everyone!!!

(\__/)



p.s. for anyone who's already read The Iron King, I just found out that Julie Kagawa's Winter Passage, "an e-book exclusive in the Iron Fey series" is currently available for FREE download--I got mine from B&N--not sure if anybody else has it, but I do know that the BN ereader is free to download from bn.com, and you can use it on pretty much all your devices (that I know of).  Also uses the same account as my Nook, so I can read wherever I want to.  I like it, plus it's free, and I like free stuff.  So there.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Mail Out of Darkness...

Yea!!!!!!  I am super-good at winning things lately!!!!!!

Courtesy of the Supernatural Underground, I won *signed* copies of Jaime Rush's A Perfect Darkness and Out of the Darkness.

The books look REALLY GOOD; I'll be sure to let you know when I find out!!!

And SUPER-BONUS--I also got some awesome swag bookmarks for Terri Garey and Melissa Marr, along with some HOT swag postcards for Pamela Palmer!!!!

Yea!!!!!!  and extra-special thanks to Terri Garey and the Supernatural Underground!!!!

(\__/)

Golf Carts Are the Worst Escape Vehicles Ever...

...And other things that I have learned from watching The A-Team.

This is an '80s recap.

For those of you who haven't watched The A-Team, you missed the best decade of television ever.  So just get in your time machine and go back to the '80s, and don't come back until you've watched The A-Team, Dukes of Hazzard, Knight RiderPunky Brewster, MacGyver, Benson,  Alf...and a collage of the best Saturday morning and after-school cartoons ever, including The Smurfs, Gummi Bears, ThunderCats, Voltron, The Wuzzles, Transformers, My Little Pony, She-Ra, He-Man, JemThe Snorks, Pound Puppies, and Shirt Tales.

The A-Team was comprised of Col. John "Hannibal" Smith, Lt. Templeton "Face" Peck, Captain H.M. (Howling Mad) Murdock, and Mr. T...I mean Sergeant B.A. Baracus.

Back before smoking was bad for you, Hannibal was the man with the plan, who always had a cigar handy.  In between missions, Hannibal was a consummate actor, constantly working on his craft, most famous for his role as the Aquamaniac.  The Faceman was the procurer for the group.  From uncovering secret documents, to securing corvettes and planes, from lawnmower engines to lumber; Face could smooth-talk or con anyone, be it girl or unwitting parts supplier.  B.A. could do anything except flyB.A. drove the getaway/surveillance vehicle, could fix or rig any machinery, and was also in charge of weapons and ammo.  Murdock was the pilot; while he was mainly known for his maneuvers in planes and helicopters, as the occasion called for it, he could also fly jet-packs and gliders.  Murdock was unique, in that, while the other A-Team members had to keep low profiles, Murdock lived in a military hospital/loony-bin.  Murdock was constantly talking to himself, developing accents, and personas that made you wonder how much was real and how much was put on.  The team would break Murdock out of the facility as needed, or he would escape by himself if necessary.  Face and Murdock often carried out cons together, playing of Face's charm and Murdock's crazy.

So, you need to hire the A-Team?

Well, they aren't going to make it easy for you.  The A-Team was accused of war-crimes, concerning a mission they completed in Vietnam.  Unfortunately, the only man that could verify the A-Team was acting under orders, didn't live to tell anyone.  Thus leading the A-Team to go underground, in order to avoid capture by the military.  They are forced to remain constantly vigilant in order to avoid falling into military traps.

To contact them, it helps if you know a friend who knows them, especially someone who served with them in the military, or who is a relative.  You can also place an add in the paper and wait for them to contact you.  But be prepared to come across some random people, like an old Chinese man at a laundry, or a bum in and alley.  Especially if they seem nosy, or unnaturally wise and cryptic, this will be a test to make sure you are a genuine client and that you have not been followed.

Things I have learned from watching the A-Team:
—It is easier to hire and find the A-Team if you are a celebrity.  In fact, if you are a celebrity, you probably hang out with them on a semi-regular basis, anyway.
Most criminal affiliates are unable to pull off a fraud or crime without the help of an unwilling counterpart who figures neatly into their plan.
If you are an unwilling counterpart to such an activity, DO NOT HELP the criminalsThey will eventually realize that you are unnecessary, or too much of a hassle/threat and will start plotting to get rid of you as soon as they can.
If someone close to you starts acting suspicious, they are probably being coerced into helping perpetrate some sort of fraud or crime.
There is an amazing amount of real-estate fraud perpetrated throughout this country, but it is hard to prove, so you should hire the A-Team instead of going to the police.
It is okay to drug your friends or co-workers if you need their help, but they do not want to help you.
—If you don't have money or time, the best way to get people to give you information or supplies is to lie to them and pretend that you are an inspector or official of some sort, and then you don't have to feel bad, because they gave you stuff willingly and you didn't have to steal it.
—If you lie to people and they still won't give you stuff, you should probably steal it, because most likely they are bad guys and are using the stuff for their own nefarious purposes.

—You should always endeavor to give criminals the opportunity to give up peacefully, and go home without causing a vast amount of property damage.

—If people don't listen to you when you try to reason with them, the best way to get their attention is by using machine guns and grenades.
—It is likely that you might be captured by the enemy at some point.  Don't worry, because your captors are most likely inept to the degree that once they have captured you, they will lock you up for awhile before they get around to killing you.  If this happens, take the time to assess your surroundings and assemble a variety of explosive devices that will aid in your escape and distract your captors.

—Do not be a fool, because Mr. T pities the fool.
In the '80s you could use a big black van with cool red striping to conduct surveillance without losing your cover or drawing suspicion.
Car chases are inevitable, but you can almost always get away.
Bad guys and military personal are not safe drivers; while in the midst of a chase, they often come across avoidable obstacles, but instead of making an effort to stop their vehicle, they feel compelled to continue the chase, and are all too often run off of the road, resulting in their car becoming airborne, flipping around mid-air, and crashing upside down while the A-Team makes a getaway.

—Golf carts are the most unbelievable escape vehicles.  EVER.  I don't care if you are at a country club, on a golf course—When you are having an intense chase scene, and people are WALKING next to you at the same speed, it just seems highly unlikely that a golf cart is going to have enough speed and momentum to flip mid-air after hitting a tree stump.  Not to mention, when was the last time that you saw a tree stump on a golf course?

And that is what I have learned from watching the A-Team.

(\__/)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Amazingly Long Story of Acquiring and Loving The Unwritten Rule

Is there a saying that one good author leads to another?  Because there should be.  And if there isn’t, well, I’m saying it now.

Not that long ago, I moved…And this move has changed my life more than geographically.  But for the purposes of this post, I’m going tell you how I fell into the Candyland, Wonderland of blogs.

Did I mention that I had just moved?  Well, it was on a day, much like today (all days are more or less the same in California, except some are weekends), the internet had just been hooked up, and I was doing my utmost to do anything except for unpack, organize, or look for a job.  And after emailing every single friend I’ve had and lost touch with since college, and clicking the refresh button a thousand times, I decided to google one of my favorite authors and see if there were any updates.

Search box:  Tera Lynn Childs

*Internet explosion*

It turns out that TLC is the most hooked up author on the planet.

And not only did she have a fintastic new book on the way, but she had a blog, and facebook and twitter, and she even had a second blog with some other pretty awesome writers.

So I tentatively friended TLC on facebook, and started reading her blogs religiously.  Tera’s blog kept me up-to-date on the forthcoming (recently released) Forgive My Fins.  And her other blog, The Books, Boys, Buzz blog, introduced me to authors that (for some reason I can’t fathom) I hadn’t heard of before.  Here, I finally felt like I had found my place, amidst people who wrote, and read, and wrote about reading and writing.  That’s where I first heard about Wendy Toliver and her upcoming (recently released) book, Lifted.  Wendy had two other books out, but I was immediately drawn to the premise of Lifted; the story of a girl who moves to Texas and gets sucked into a shoplifting ring (I’m oversimplifying, but you can check out my review for more info).

That’s when I friended Wendy, and started following her.  Wendy led me to her other blog, The Teen Fiction Café….which is where I found Elizabeth Scott.

There happened to be a contest that day, for a copy of Elizabeth Scott’s The Unwritten Rule.  And I won.  Do you know how exciting it is to win things????  Especially when you’re trying to conserve your money, because you’re trying to avoid looking for a job?  Yeah, well, picture me jumping-up-and-down-annoying-the-crap-out-of-my-sister excited!!!!  I have since developed a minor case of “jazz hands” every time I win something.

Cue the jazz hands a few days later when I opened the mail and there was my very own signed copy of The Unwritten Rule.

When I finished, I immediately friended Elizabeth on facebook, and wrote her a fan letter, to thank her for sharing such an amazing book.

So let me tell you how much I loved it!

I LOVE LOVE LOVED it!

From the moment I picked it up, I couldn't put it down—I read it through in one sitting!  It was sooooo good!—Completely heart-wrenching—Sarah and Brianna have typical teenage relationships, concerns, and insecurities; but instead of becoming teenage stereotypes, Elizabeth Scott  created characters that felt so real they could just as well have been me or my own friends and family.

I think everyone can relate to having a crush on someone who's unavailable, the premise of the story.  I love that this is the "best friend's" story—because as a character, she doesn't usually get a chance to tell her story, which is funny considering that most people would probably relate better to the insecure Sarah, than to a beautiful, confident, popular Brianna.  Interestingly enough, Brianna's character is just as real as Sarah's, and her story is just as relatable; their common insecurities become the catalyst for both the beginning and the end of their friendship. I was on the edge of my seat, hoping throughout that Sarah would finally get the guy, but not being able to turn away from the impending train-crash of her friendship with Brianna.

I've felt the tug-of-war in Sarah and Brianna's friendship, many times in my own friendships—Neither of the girls is perfect; instead, they are human, and their friendship is real, made up of the little slips and accidental insults, and taking each other for granted, combined with force of habit, and those special moments that form our most valuable friendships—It's amazing how much we can overlook for the bond of an important friendship—but not boys; that's where girls draw the line, and where they have to make their choices. It's easy to wonder how many girls might have missed out on the chance of true love, when it's at the cost of a friendship—How many of us are that brave?

I also found relationships with the parents really touching.  I, myself, was lucky like Sarah, in having very loving, caring parents.  But I also saw enough of my friends who weren't so lucky; both those that were divorced, and some still married.  Parents who DID love their children, and raised them, but after eighteen years, that was it, as if they were done.  Parents who seemed to turn into acquaintances, who wished my friends the best of luck and that was that. I saw their relationships from Sarah's side, and felt sorry for them.  It was such a vivid dynamic, seeing how Brianna's parents put their own problems and insecurities on her, how scared and confused it made her feel, and then to see her both fight against her fear of becoming and ending up like her parents, and subconsciously mimic their behaviors as defense mechanisms.

I was blown away by the depth of the story, and at the end, the only question I could think of was, “Why hadn’t I heard of this author before???”

The only answer I have is that I've obviously been living in a cave.  But now I live in a cave with internet and a blog.

I have to give a shout-out and a humongous thank you to everyone at The Teen Fiction Café.  I am such a huge fan, and aside from the occasional free stuff, really enjoy this blog.  And I'll always be thankful for being introduced to such awesome people, and such an amazing community!  Thank you!


(\__/)

Sea. Contest. Win.

[CONTEST CLOSED] [p.s. I WON!!!!!!]  A HUGE THANK YOU to Courtney Reads!!!  And I will be sure to let you all know what I think as soon as I get a chance to read it!!!!!!!!!!!  YEA!!!!!!!!]

I have been hearing the most amazing things about Sea by Heidi R. Kling...and can't wait to get my hands on it...Until then, I'm entering every contest I can find.  (after that, I'll probably just enter other contests)

Contests you say?  Yep, to enter, check out Courtney Reads and fill out the form.  For extra entries, you know the drill--Follow Courtney on twitter and facebook, tweet, post on facebook and your blog (just like me).  This one is international, but the deadline is today, June 17, 2010, so there isn't much time to get in on this!

I'd be happy to hear from anyone who's read Sea, and what your take on it is!

Best of luck to everyone!


(\__/)

Mailbox to blog

Yea!!!!!!!!!!!!  During her release week, I won a copy of the ultra-fabulous Forgive My Fins  by Tera Lynn Childs and it just arrived today!

I have to say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to Tera and The Books, Boys, Buzz blog for this amazing AUTOGRAPHED copy of FORGIVE MY FINS!!!!!!!!  And the super-cute bookmarks for Forgive My Fins and Oh.My.Gods/Goddess Boot Camp!!!!!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!!!!!!---I have already read this fintastic book in digital form, via my Nook--But this is the first time that I've gotten to see it in person!  I expected it to be pretty, because I've been admiring the cover for a while now--But it is GORGEOUS.  STUNNING.  ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL.  BREATHTAKING.  MAGICAL.  And a thousand other things!  I am sooooo in awe!

While I am fully addicted to my ereader, I have to bite my lip when I see a book like this, because I just know digital doesn't compare.  The Nook is purely practical, I bought it for quantity, ease of use, and handy access to my large, ever-growing personal library.  But it just isn't going to win a beauty contest.

Also, I'm still trying to figure out how I can get my ebooks autographed.

Thank you again to Tera and the Buzz Girls,

--You're my favorites!!!!!


(\__/)

Have you read the book after Breaking Dawn?

--No, I mean the one BEFORE The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner.


The release of Stephanie Meyer's newest installment in the Twilight series makes me think of Midnight Sun, a book with its own story.


Midnight Sun is the retelling of Twilight from Edward's point of view.  It's been out for a few years now, but I still run into enough Twilight fans that have never heard of Midnight Sun.

So at a time when the range of Twilight goes from books and movies to anime and action figures, to Team Edward and Team Jacob (sorry Jacob, it just wasn't going to happen), how can there still be so many fans out there so sadly unaware of Midnight Sun?

Because, if you haven't heard, Midnight Sun's sparkle has long been obscured by shadows, not unlike the mythical vampires within it.  It turns out that real people can have just as malevolent an influence as their fictional contemporaries.  And, while I would never call someone a monster, neither would I have ever suspected that anyone outside of the Volturi would be capable of wiping out the Cullen family quite so effectively.

So what did happen to Midnight Sun?

Someone leaked it.  Someone in a very trusted position (evidenced by them having a copy of an early draft of the story) gave in to temptation and leaked a copy of the book in its early stages.  As there were a few different drafts handed out, Ms. Meyer was able to determine the source.  And although (through her website) Ms. Meyer maintains that she doesn't feel the leak was perpetrated with any ruinous intentions, the effects have been nonetheless severe.--For both Ms. Meyer, herself, and for us as readers.

The initial leak led to a copy being posted on the internet, which spread as uncontrollably as everything else Twilight-related.  Yeah, turns out it is illegal to distribute someone's work without their knowledge or consent.

I remember my first reaction at hearing about a copy of Ms. Meyer's new book was excitement.  But I imagine that her reaction was one of hurt and sadness.  Illegalities aside, this was a violation of both her work and her trust.  Nothing is more personal than our opinions and ideas.  Is anything more hurtful than when someone breaks our confidence?--Intentional or not?

And because of someone's weakness, there have been grave consequences and great loss.  Ms. Meyer was rightly upset at the leaking of her book.  Writing is a very personal experience.  This was an unfinished piece of work--one that Ms. Meyer will never be able to get back, and one that may never be finished do to the unfortunate circumstances of its release.

Ms. Meyer seems to have chosen to make the most good come from bad circumstances.  In light of not being able to reclaim her draft from the vastness of the internet, Ms. Meyer decided to release it herself, on her website, for free.  The reasoning seems to be that as long as it's out there, people will look for it.  And unfinished or not, we as readers won't have to question this source; we can trust that we are reading the author's words and not a corrupted internet version.

However, we should all be sad, because the book Midnight Sun was not just stolen from Stephanie Meyer, but from all of us.  We may never see it in its completed form.  And if Ms. Meyer does decided at any point decide to finish this story, will it always be marred by this event?  Will it ever be what it would have been?  The sadness is that we will never know what we have lost.

I want to thank Ms. Meyer for sharing her story with us, because unfinished or not, I enjoyed Midnight Sun. I liked seeing Bella from behind Edward's eyes.  It is a great compliment to Twilight, with the feel of sharing both old memories and new secrets.

I know I can be as anxious and impatient as the next fan, but as cliché as it is, there are things that are worth waiting for, and are all the better for it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

a SPLASH of TLC!!!!

I have a secret!!!!!!--Actually a couple---But don't even ask, because I'm not going to tell!!!!!!!!

I can't tell you how excited you are going to be when you find out!!!!!!!

It's really just the amazingness of amazing, the fantasm of fintasticness--Yeah, I just made words up, because the laws of awesomeness require it.

Trust me, you are SO JEALOUS right now.

Tonight was the first official get together for the team of super-hero loyal fans dedicated to to spreading the word about Tera Lynn Child's newest release--FORGIVE MY FINS.  And if any of you Splashers are reading, I'm honored to be in such good company!

So, what can I tell you????

Um, I think I can tell you that
1. Three days after the FMF release, Barnes & Noble doubled their order! 
and
2. Ten days after the FMF release, it went back for a second printing!!!

So, if you love TLC and are as enchanted by Forgive My Fins as much as we Splashers are, you'll be excited to know that TLC has just posted a blurb for the seaquel, FINS ARE FOREVER, which you can check out at her site.

Trust me--you wish you knew the cool things I know!!!!  But I take my pledges of secrecy VERY seriously...so you are just going to have to wait.

However, if you're looking for a way to get in Tera's good graces, you can help her out by thinking of a title for her as yet UNTITLED Medusa Trilogy.  You can check out more info and contact her at her site.

And as for me....I think I know who might be my next amazing author interview!!!!!--So stay tuned for more news and reviews!!!!


(\__/)

The Fantasticness of the Supernatural Underground...with Joss Ware

[CONTEST CLOSED][WINNER]

Joss Ware is on the Supernatural Underground today...and her new series sounds GOOD.  For a chance to win, make sure you head over there today and comment on the post!  Tweet and post on facebook or your blog for extra entries! (just like me)

And today's question?--What would you contribute to a post-apocalyptic world???

I am SOOO LOVING the Supernatural Underground--Thanks to yesterday's post on Ghosts, I remembered a book that I read waaaaay back as a kid...Ghosts in the Attic (Haunting with Louisa series), by Emily Cates--Yea ten-year-old memories!!!!

This being the launch-month for Supernatural Underground, they have contests going on like EVERY DAY!!!---I won 2 (TWO) books by Jamie Rush!  They just went out in the mail, so I'll let you know when they get here!!!!

And exciting posts by, like, 30 different authors!?!?!!?  I am SERIOUSLY a fan of this site!!!!

So, check it out if you want to win stuff...otherwise more for me!  ;)

Good luck, and may the best reader win!

(\__/)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Lifted INTERVIEW with Wendy Toliver

Ok everybody, I am JUMPING UP AND DOWN EXCITED right now, because I have an INTERVIEW with WENDY TOLIVER to share with all of you!!!!!!

Wendy has just released her third book LIFTED, and I LOVED it! 

For those of you who don’t want to scroll down to my review, I’ll recap.  (Seriously, you can just scroll down.)

Lifted is a story of Poppy Browne.  When Poppy’s mother gets a new job, Poppy is transplanted into a Texas Baptist High School, where she is drawn into the dark temptation of shoplifting.

And so, from the very beginning Wendy Toliver pulls the reader into a world of the unexpected.  Life is often unexpected and full of surprises, and so is Lifted.  While Poppy may have some preconceived notions about her new home and the people she meets, Wendy doesn’t rely on stereotypes to build her story.  Poppy’s mother struggles in their relationship just as much as Poppy does.  Poppy’s perfect friends with their enviable lives aren’t perfect, and neither are their lives.  Some boys are jerks; some will surprise you, and some are just boys.  And even the most innocent person isn’t always so innocent. 

Poppy’s shoplifting becomes an intricate story of relationships and trust.  Trust me; you need to read this book.


Good books and authors can be hard to find, so I can’t tell you all how thrilled and honored I was to get a chance to ask Wendy some questions about Lifted and about her experiences as a writer!

Here goes…

nymfaux:  Have you ever been tempted to shoplift? How tempted would you be to shoplift, if you knew you could get away with it?
Wendy Toliver:  I've definitely wanted something that I couldn't afford but I don't know if I ever wanted to actually steal it. I'm not sure I'd be able to enjoy whatever it is if I knew I'd stolen it. Then again, like Poppy, I do enjoy a good adrenaline rush, but I honestly think I'd rather get it doing something else.
nymfaux:  If you were in a “no-consequences” bubble, and could lift anything from your heart’s desire—what would you choose?
Wendy Toliver:  Oh fun! Probably jewelry. Or maybe this pair of Schwartzki crystal wine glasses I saw in Jackson Hole.

nymfaux:  Shoplifting is as addicting as a drug to Poppy; is there anything that you’ve ever felt you could become addicted to, or that has had that kind of effect on your life?
Wendy Toliver:  This might sound kind of cheesy, but I think I could be addicted to people. I really hate being totally alone for any length of time. 

nymfaux:  You are a mother—We hear all the time that parents need to talk to their children about sex and drugs, but shoplifting had just as powerful effect on Poppy’s life—Do you think that this is something you would bring up with your own children—Or do you think that this comes under the header of teaching kids “right from wrong”—Sorry this is a long question, but in the same vein—Poppy KNEW it was wrong, as did the other girls, so does that make it a “peer pressure” discussion, or does it become more about keeping family communication lines open, hoping each person doesn’t get too wrapped up in themselves to see what else is going on?
Wendy Toliver:  This is a very good, thought-provoking question. Poppy starts shoplifting because of peer pressure but then it escalates into something entirely different. It’s a lot like how some people cut themselves, do drugs, have sex with numerous partners, or do other things knowing it’s “wrong,” illegal or even dangerous; yet it yields satisfying (whether it dulls senses or heightens them) results, even if for just a few minutes. My kids are still very young and innocent, but I do have friends with teens or friends who are teens, and I think that having open communication lines between parents/guardians and teens is beneficial in helping teens keep true to themselves. The key, of course, is keeping those communication lines open on both ends, and truly listening. Of course, this is something to aim for, but it can’t always happen, and we will always have to do what we can with what we have. Hopefully parents and leaders will lead by example, and our young people will eventually learn from their mistakes and continue their life journeys as the types of people they want to be.

nymfaux:  Also, as a mother, do you think you’d have a similar reaction as the mother in the book? What kind of reaction do you think you might have if Poppy were one of your children? What kind of approach do you think you’d take to resolve the issue? 
Wendy Toliver:  Like many parents, Poppy’s mom wants the best for her daughter, and she might very well be going about this all wrong, or at least too heavy-handedly. So many times, in an attempt to keep their children close and protected, parents end up pushing their children away. She knows things aren’t perfect between her and her daughter, and she wants to fix the relationship, but she’s not sure how. If Poppy were my daughter, I’d hopefully figure out that I was pushing her too hard, and help her see that I love her for everything she is, even the imperfect parts, and hopefully that would pave the way for a more solid relationship and we’d deal with the repercussions of Poppy’s addiction together. 

nymfaux:  While you were doing your research and writing Lifted, was there anything you found that really surprised you?
Wendy Toliver:  I was shocked how many people go online and chat so openly and unremorsefully about their personal shoplifting escapades. Many shoplifters actually believe they “deserve” the merchandise they lift, like retailers are the enemy. 

nymfaux:  This is your third book, and a little bit of a break from the first two—Has it gotten easier?
Wendy Toliver:  Easier to write a book? Yes ,and no. Getting the words down has become easier. If I know what I want to say, I can write it pretty quickly. The subject matter of Lifted was a lot harder to write about than the first two, though. It took me about 4 times as long to write it!

nymfaux:  Is there anything you’ve learned since you’ve become an author that you wish you’d have known when you started writing?
Wendy Toliver:  Yes, many things! I wish I would have joined writing organizations from the get-go. They are invaluable, especially to a beginning writer. I wish I would’ve paid more attention to the “how to write a novel” books and classes out there. I definitely believe it’s best to know the rules before you decide if you want to break them. One thing I did right was find a great literary agent. Again, invaluable.

nymfaux:  How much do you write before you share your idea with anyone else—husband, critique partner, agent, editor?
Wendy Toliver:  I write an outline/synopsis and about 3 chapters before sharing with those you’ve listed except for my editor. My agent will send this (proposal) to my editor and then if it sells, I will typically write the remainder of the book before showing it to my editor.

nymfaux:  As a previously published author, do you pitch an idea to your agent before you start writing, or does your agent support you in whatever direction you want to go?
Wendy Toliver:  I do share my ideas with my agent, sometimes 4 or 5 ideas at a time. Then she tells me which idea(s) she thinks is strongest and I file away the other ideas and go forward with the one(s) she likes best.

nymfaux:  How excited and thrilled are you, by your success?  What are you doing to celebrate?
Wendy Toliver:  Ha! I love to celebrate and I sometimes go a little overboard. I like to go to dinner with my family to celebrate book sales or any other good news. When my first book sold in 2007, we took our boys to Disney to celebrate. My husband threw me a lovely book launch party in a lovely old house, with caterers, a pianist, and everything. When my second book came out, we had a party at the house (and I hope to have a BBQ at home to celebrate Lifted sometime this summer). And when Lifted sold, we happened to be in the market for a wakeboarding boat, so we tell the boys the boat is because they were good and let me write. 

nymfaux:  Now that you are a fabulously successful author, would you ever want to do anything else?
Wendy Toliver:  I don’t know about being fabulously successful, but I am very happy to be whatever I am!

nymfaux:  What's your next project!??!!? Have you been working on something? Do you have a release date ;)
Wendy Toliver:  I have been working on something but I haven't turned it in to my agent yet so it's still early days as to whether it will sell. Fingers crossed! (If you're curious, it's a paranormal series!)

I would really like to thank Wendy so much for her time, and congratulate her on her success!  I am definitely crossing my fingers for the next book!

Also, Wendy has recently informed me that she’ll be sending a signed copy of Lifted my way, so that I can share with one of you!  Stay tuned for more info!


(\__/)