____________________________________ On Hiatus ___________________________________

Friday, July 30, 2010

Rampant

Hello, hello!  Soooo....I've been reading A LOT lately, and I've been trying to figure out what to review next...It seems like I've started a bad habit of writing half a review and then picking up a new book, which is very bass-ackward of me, so I shall begin to rectify it immediately!

To begin with, when I hear the words "Lioness," "Rampant," and "Killer Unicorns," my first thought is of Tamora Pierce...Or at least it used to be.  Tamora Pierce is best known for her first series, The Lioness Rampant, which follows a young girl on her quest to become a knight.  The "Killer Unicorns" I'm thinking of are actually evil pegasuses with bat wings and fangs, called "hurrocks," and only illicit a minor mention in her following series, The Immortals.  But it still made me think of killer unicorns.  Before that, I'd never imagined a dark side to mythical beasts like the pegasus or the unicorn.

But if you're looking for a bad unicorn story, Rampant is definitely your book.  Um, wait, that didn't come out right.  What I meant to say was if you're looking for a kick-ass story about unicorns gone bad...You've come to the right place.

Diana Peterfreund has created a hidden world within in our own world.  Astrid is your normal, average girl, except with generations of unicorn-hunting blood coursing through her veins.  Of course, Astrid just rolls her eyes at this, because, like there are real unicorns out there???  But when a unicorn that looks more like a goat than anything from My Little Ponies, gores Astrid's boyfriend and almost kills him, Astrid begins to believe that there might actually be some truth to all the stories her mother told her as she was growing up.  Soon unicorn sightings are happening all over the place and Astrid is sent to an exclusive Unicorn-Hunting-Convent-Training Camp for girls...In Italy.

Astrid finds her world tipped-upside down, inducted into the Order of the Lioness, living in a convent and trying to balance her priorities; boys and unicorn hunting.  Only certain people, with certain bloodlines, and certain lack-of-experience with boys are eligible to be unicorn hunters.  Astrid is at the top of the gameBut does she even want to play this game???

This was definitely one my favorite new reads(I read it in one sitting)(sleep is moderately overrated), and I am eagerly awaiting its sequel, Ascendant.  Why are you so far away September?  Why????  Diana Peterfreund is definitely on my watch list!!!  My watch, stalk-obsessively, find out any information possible at all costs, list.


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Being Social (Follow Me Friday)


So...I've decided to get out in the world a little bit...meet new people...be more social...
And by that, I mean internet people, fellow bloggers and readers, so I've decided to sign up for 
Follow My Book Blog Friday, hosted by Parajunkee.
'Cause seriously, I need more friends.
Today's featured blog/blogger is The Authoress,
so you can also check out her blog and be her friend.
And if you want to follow anyone else, or make more friends (like me!)
Just click over to Parajunkee's View to sign up.

Happy Friday Everyone!!!!!!

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It Started With a Dare...

...And ensues with wild laughter.

So I stayed up all night reading Lindsay Faith Rech's upcoming release It Started with a Dare!


While I had intended to just read a couple chapters, go to sleep, and pick it up later, once I started reading, I just couldn’t stop myself—I kept telling myself, “just a little more,” that I was half-way through, that there were “only 60 more pages…”  And the only way I could justify continuing to read, is that I’d never have been able to sleep not knowing what happened—And not only was it that good, but I could not stop laughing.  Out.  Loud.  Literally.


Now there are plenty of times when I say lol, and plenty of times where something funny or humorous happens in whatever book I happen to be reading at the time—But RARELY do I ever actually LAUGH. OUT. LOUD.


It Started with a Dare is completely hilarious!!!!  It’s daring and amazing and absolutely jaw-dropping funny!!!


When C.G. Silverman moves to town, she’s just hoping that she won’t have to sit alone at lunch—But when Alona, Grace, and Sammi, the Triple Threat of Beaubridge High decide to sit with her, C.G. sees this as her chance to finally be popular.  This is C.G.’s chance to totally reinvent herself.  But will C.G. still recognize herself when she’s done?


It’s an absolute rollercoaster of ups and downs and no-she-didn’ts.  Ms. Rech puts us right in C.G.’s head and we get to see C.G. as a real person, vulnerable and rough-around the edges, and not always politically correct; but always smart and wry and funny—I couldn’t believe everything C.G. did, and I couldn’t wait to see what she’d do next.  It Started with a Dare is a voyage of self-discovery for C.G…and thanks to C.G., it leads to a lot of self-discovery for everyone around her.


Best line ever:  Not even God likes a poser.


Seriously.  Funny.  And has definite potential for rereadability.  Make sure this one’s on your wish list; I know it’s on mine!


Thanks to NetGalley for the review galley, picture courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.  It Started with a Dare is set to be released September 13, 2010.



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Who Loves You????

[ALL CONTESTS CLOSED][WINNERS FOR PRIZE PACKS #1-4][WINNERS FOR PRIZE PACKS #5-6][WINNERS FOR PRIZE PACKS #7-11]
UPDATE:  11TH PRIZE ADDED

Um, we hardly know each other...seriously, it's a little soon.

However, if you are looking for a little love, Confessions of a Bookaholic has got some major giveaways going on!!!!  I haven't done math in a while, but I'm pretty sure that I counted 12 (TWELVE) contests/giveaways on her site throughout the week!!!!

Win Promise by Kristie Cook, ends 8/2 [CONTEST CLOSED][WINNER]
Win Top 8 and What's Your St@tus by Katie Fin, ends 8/4 [CONTEST CLOSED][WINNER]
And 10 (TEN) Prize Packs for her giant Summer Lovin' Giveaway!!!!!
(Ends 8/19; winners announced 8/23)



Remember you have until August 19 to enter for all of the Summer Lovin' Prize Packs!!!!  Plus check for extra chances to enter by tweeting and blogging (just like me!!!)!!!!!!

Best of luck to everybody!!!!!


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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Blockbuster Movie Guide

The Blockbuster Entertainment Guide to Movies and Videos 1999 is THE BEST movie reference guide I've ever had.  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find an updated version in the last ten years, so it isn't as up-to-date as it used to be.

I have tried some other guides, but this is my favorite.  I like the comprehensive set up of this guide.  It's designed like an encyclopedia and has "over 23,000" entries, with small blurbs for each movie.  It also includes director and actor filmographies indexes in the back of the book, and a special section for children and family recommendations.

I've read it cover-to-cover twice, although I do debate some of the ratings, most of the reviews are fair and accurate.  Every once in a while I ran across reviews where it seemed like the reviewer had a particularly long day, along with at least one reviewer with a sense of humor, and a stockpile of bland and questionable adjectives such as:  simple, uninvolved, bucolic, subtle, uneven, predictable, charming, painless, insignificant, mindless, entertaining, sprawling, masterpiece, breezy, overdone, and descriptions of attractive and likable casts, and categories labeled character study, soap opera, and comic drama.

I plan to save some of these adjectives for my own future reviews. ;)


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I Heart Movies

Sooo...I think I've mentioned once or twice my love of books.  Or maybe you've just noticed all the book reviews and interviews I've been posting.  But I don't think I've mentioned my other passion, so it's probably past time I did.

I can remember being a movie addict as long as I've loved books.  And if I'm not reading, I'm just as likely watching movies.

Ok, so, I know there are a lot of people out there who say they like movies.  But movies are like my Rain Man thing—I can remember where I was and what I was feeling the first time that I saw almost any movie.  And most times they’re feelings of love and being swept away by the characters and the story—much like my feelings for books.  I am also very good at placing actors and actresses in movies, along with who they’ve worked with.  Sometimes I can even tell you songs that they were singing.  And even if I don’t get it right away, it usually comes to me.  It’s just kinda my thing.

So…what movies do I like?  All of them.  I’m not picky.  I get the same feelings of picking up a new or favorite book every time I sit down to watch a new or favorite movie—those feelings of falling in love with a story, and then falling in love all over again.  I love them all.

And I’m not just talking about the newest releases—Which I catch as often as I can—But also the classics.  I was practically raised on AMC—I’d still be a fan, if they hadn’t added ads.  That’s when I switched to TCM and Encore.  I used to have the biggest crush on Bing Crosby (*sigh*).  You have no idea how much Christmas music that man put out!  I loved Bing and Fred, Fred and Ginger, Cary Grant (*swoon*), Danny Kaye, James Garner, Audrey Heburn, Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder….and everything since.

Not to say I can’t be picky if I want to—I like happy endings and I like closure.  I don’t mind surprises, but I hate feeling cheated or tricked—Especially with misleading advertising.  There have been a couple movies where I thought I was going to see a comedy, and ended up seeing a cancer movie.  The thing is, I probably would have seen the movie anyway, but I need to be in the right frame of mind, the right mood to enjoy it.  And pretty much the only reason I read books and watch movies because I want to enjoy them.

Oh, but back to my obsessive love of movies.  Back during one of my high school math classes, I happened to be extremely bored.  And that’s when I started my list.  I took a fairly empty notebook, and I started writing down every movie I’d ever watched.  EVER.  And then, since math class didn’t get any more interesting that semester, I kept listing more movies.  My classmates, not being any more entertained by math than I was, even started trying to help me with suggestions—Did I have this one, or Had I seen that one???  After a couple of pages of movies, it became obvious that I needed a more organized process, so that’s when I started doing pages alphabetically.  That way, I could flip to whatever letter and just skim through to see if I’d listed it or not.  I ended up with a couple thousand movies in my notebook.

A couple years later, when I was on summer break from college I decided to type my list on my computer.  That was about five computers and four emails ago, when I probably saved it on a 3” floppy to be on the safe side.  I think there’s a certain irony that with all that technology, the only remnants of that list are still in the original notebook.  And though I’m sure that notebook is still around somewhere, it’s most likely back home in my room or closet, or at the bottom of some forgotten pile of important things.

Soooooo…That means I started from scratch.  Kind of.  That very summer when I typed up my very first list of movies, I also cross-checked them with the Blockbuster Entertainment Guide to Movies and Videos 1999.  It’s basically an encyclopedia of movies, with over 23,000 reviews.  As of now, I’ve read it cover to cover twice.  Although I do have a great memory for movies, it never hurts to have a good reference—Also helpful for those pesky movies that I have yet to watch!  Plus, with so many remakes, and a few movies with the same or similar titles, I found it was helpful to list the year of the movies I’d seen, in order to narrow down the specific version.—Just last in 2009 alone, 9, Nine, and District 9 were all released, not to mention James Cameron's Avatar and M. Night Shyamalan's Avatar:  The Last AirbenderNine was actually a musical remake of 8 ½ and Avatar:  The Last Airbender was adapted from an anime tv series!  So, like I said, I’ve found it best to be as specific as possible.

Now, I absolutely ABHOR writing in books, marking them, breaking the spine, dog-earing pages—Just not cool in my book.  Literally.

Or at least that’s how I used to be.  I still am, for the most part.  I still don’t break the spine of dog ear pages, but when I’m using something as a reference or a textbook, I will occasionally highlight and underline things.  Also, autographs=EXTREMELY COOL.

Which brings me back to my Blockbuster encyclopedia; when I was first typing up the list, I wanted a way to keep track of where I was, but at the time I was still very hesitant to make any permanent marks.  So I compromised.  I put a pencil tick in the margin next to every movie I watched as I entered them onto the computer.  While it did make things a lot easier this time around, I still had to go through each page, because there were quite a few that I hadn’t watched at the time, but have watched since (even within the last week!).  But this time around, I highlighted entries as I entered them.  Because I didn’t want giant bleeding gobs of yellow, I mainly highlighted the first line of each entry.  I only highlighted the entire entry for my absolute favorites (with Bing Crosby)(or Alfred Hitchcock) and special series, like James Bond, Dirty Harry, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Star Trek

And I have finally completed my master list.  Which will probably be out of date next week.  But I figure I can update it once a month, or so.  So…if you are at all curious, here they are:

I’ve also posted them as pages at the top of my blog.  I had to split them into three pages in order to avoid getting an error message.


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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Finatic

So....not too long ago, I was hanging around photobucket.  I don't remember what I was working on, but all of a sudden, I realized, hey--That kind of looks like a mermaid...Which made me think of my favorite mermaid book, the recently released Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs...and so I played around with it a little more...until it was super mermaidy.  And not long after that, I saw Tera show off some other people's fan art on her blog, so, I sent her my picture, to show her that I am just as good a fan as anybody else!  And you know what she did???  She posted MY pic on her blog!!!!!  Yea!!!!!!!!  You can check out my pic and Tera's blog here.


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Carol's Prints 7 ARC Contest!!!!!!

[CONTEST CLOSED]

Why are you still here!?!?!!?!?!???

I mean, thank you for coming, it's always nice to see you.

However, those of you who like *FREE* books may want to head over to Carol's Prints, where you can enter her Contest of AWESOMENESS  where she's giving away 7 ARCS!!!!!!

You could win a *Signed* ARC of Matched by Ally Condie, along with ARCs of Firelight by Sophie Jordan, Torment by Lauren Kate (sequel to Fallen), Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin, Personal Demons by Lisa Derochers, Halo by Alexandra Ardornetto, and The Duff by Kody Keplinger.

Seriously, pretty amazing, right??????

And...my favorite part??????  All the extra bonus entries for tweeting, commenting, blogging, etc....  (just like me!!!!!!)

Contest ends August 9! [UPDATE:  CONTEST ENDS AUGUST 15]  Best of luck!!!!!


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La Meme Chose (IMM1)

So...I've decided to try this meme thing I've been hearing about.  I've seen a lot of other bloggers doing IMM posts, or In My Mailbox, and I've been lucky enough to have been receiving a lot of mail lately, myself.  The idea of a "meme" seems to be a common theme that many people share, such as everybody showing off all their new books and swag.  And it's not limited to books that come in the mail, but whatever you get and however you acquire it, it's all fair game.  This particular meme, In My Mailbox, appears to have been started by Kristi over at The Story Siren, and if I understand correctly, everyone participating in her meme shares their link on her page for everyone to see and visit.  Sounds like fun to me!

By the way, the French translation of meme is same; la meme chose would be the same thing.

The site recommends posting on Sunday's, which makes sense, because with no mail delivery on Sundays, it's the perfect cutoff/beginning.

So this week In My Mailbox....

I won a copy of Sea by Heidi R. Kling from Courtney at Courtney Reads...and I was especially excited that it turned out to be an autographed copy!!!!!!!!  So super-special thanks to Courtney for her fabulous blog and her amazing contest!!!!!!!  THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

In other news, I recently joined Netgalley, a site where reviewers can request and download digital galleys to read and review.

This weeks downloads for review are:
It Started with a Dare by Lindsay Faith Rech, release date 9/13/10

Here are my super-special-amazing-I-can't-believe-I-found-these finds:
I'm a huge fan of old paperbacks; the worn way they fit comfortably in my hands; the way they smell as if nobody's loved them in years and they've been lost, and finally I've found them and rescued them...

Some of you may remember Bill Cosby doing a show called, "Kids Say the Darndest Things!"  But Art Linkletter was the man that started it all!  Linkletter died this past May, at the age of 97.

John D. Fitzgerald, author of The Great Brain series--Mamma's Boarding House is an animated autobiographical account of how life continues after the death of his father.

And for the movie-fan in me, I found Move Over, Darling by Marvin H. Albert.  There's a picture of James Garner (*swoon*) holding Doris Day on the front.  Any of you who haven't taken the time to appreciate James Garner, lately, SHOULD!  I actually think David Boreanaz looks like a young James Garner (*swoon*).  I originally thought the book was based on the 1963 movie, which was a remake of the aptly titled 1940 film My Favorite Wife staring Cary Grant and Irene Dunne.  However, the book cover proclaims "Now a delicious 20th Century-Fox comedy..."  Even though I know what happens, I can't wait to read it--It's the classic story of Man thinks he's a widower; he remarries; his 1st wife returns...right after his second wedding...


And lastly, Barnes&Noble also has a huge *free* ebook selection, which I've been doing my best to keep an eye on and take advantage of.  They had a lot of the classics available for *free* download this week, so here's what I picked up for my Nook:







Tarzan of the Apes (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
by Edgar BurroughsMaura Spiegel

Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
by Mark TwainH. Peck

Grimm's Fairy Tales (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
by Brothers GrimmJacob Grimm,Wilhelm GrimmElizabeth Dalton,Ludwig Grimm
Wind in the Willows (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
by Kenneth GrahameGardner McFall
Secret Garden (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
by Frances BurnettJill Muller
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
by L. BaumJ. Barbarese
Peter Pan (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
by J. BarrieAmy Billone
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
by Lewis CarrollTan Lin
Treasure Island (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
by Robert StevensonAngus Fletcher
Call of the Wild and White Fang (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
by Jack LondonTina Gianquitto
Beowulf (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
by AnonymousJohn McNamara
Cyrano de Bergerac (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
by Edmond RostandPeter Connor
Emma (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
by Jane AustenSteven Marcus
Great Expectations (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
by Charles DickensRadhika Jones
Ivanhoe (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
by Walter ScottGillen Wood
Pygmalion and Three Other Plays (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
by George ShawJohn Bertolini
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
by Victor HugoIsabel Roche
Phantom of the Opera (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
by Gaston LerouxIsabel Roche
Three Musketeers (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
by Alexandre DumasBarbara Cooper
War of the Worlds (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
by H. WellsAlfred Mac Adam
Sense and Sensibility (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
by Jane AustenLaura Engel




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Monday, July 19, 2010

Interview of Fintastic Proportions!

Um…So guess WHAT!?!??!!?!?

Yes.  That’s right.  This IS an interview with the fabulously FINTATSTIC Tera Lynn Childs!!!!!!!

HOW cool is this?!?!?!?!!???  Um…yeah, pretty amazing!!!!!!!

I’ve loved Tera ever since I read Oh.My.Gods.  And now she’s celebrating her THIRD novel and newest release  Forgive My Fins!

Forgive My Fins is the story of Lily, a mermaid out of water, trying to get up the courage to talk to her soul mate.  But before Lily gets the chance to talk to Brody, Lily suddenly finds herself entangled with the wrong guy and having everyone wonder what’s so wrong with that?  You can check out my review here.

And while I could go on and on about Tera’s awesomeness, I think I’ll just let you read for yourself…


nymfaux:  Congratulations on your release of Forgive My Fins, and your fantastic success!—What have you been doing to celebrate?
Tera Lynn Childs: I've been in Las Vegas for the summer (which is not a celebration, trust me). My parents teach a program in technical theatre and my dog and I came out to hang with them. On the night of my release we were still in Oklahoma and we went out to dinner with friends at a restaurant that used to be called Granny Had One (I don't know what it's called now). We accidentally stole a bouquet of flowers.

nymfaux:  I keep seeing people ask about why you chose mermaids, and I loved what you said on your Supernatural Underground post, “Why not mermaids?”  Frankly, I too had the childhood dream of being a mermaid, so as soon as I heard about Forgive My Fins, I was pretty jumping-up-and-down excited to see it!  And from the other posts and comments I’ve been reading, I’m not the only one.
—What kind of reaction did you get when you first pitched the story?  Have the reactions changed?  Have they surprised you?
TLC:  When I first pitched the idea to my agent four years ago (along with another unwritten project) she said, "I LOVE THEM! I want you to write both!" And then when my editor asked me to write something outside the Oh. My. Gods. series she was like, "I hear you have a mermaid book proposal..." So the response has always been positive, and I don't think that's changed. I am surprised by how many other mermaid-lovers are out there. And I thought I was all alone!

nymfaux:  Everyone seems to agree on the awesomeness of your book—Why do you think, “FINTASTIC” hasn’t caught on as a catch-phrase?
TLC:  Good question. Let's work on that. Between us and your blog readers I'm sure we can make fintastic the new awesome.

nymfaux:  I have to tell you how much I love hearing new, unique names; I was wondering how you pronounce “Prithi,” the cat’s name?  Does it have any special meaning?
TLC:  Well, I'm sure I pronounce it wrong, but when I say it Prithi rhymes with with-ee. I remember researching it, looking for some kind of mythological/goddess cat name to use, but I don't remember exactly where I found it. I think it's short for a longer name.

nymfaux:  Lily, Quince, and Dosinia (and Prithi) are all pretty unique names; do you have a go-to source for names?  Do you come upon them in your research and work them in?  Do they just pop up when you create the characters?—Or a combination?
TLC:  Lily came easily, because I wanted a water-related name that could also sound purely human (Waterlily/Lily). Quince, I think I almost used Quint, but that was too ordinary so kind of combined it with Vince. Dosinia and Peri(winkle) and Whelk and all the other merfolk names come from a field guide to sea life. They are all names for either plants or animals in the ocean. I usually try to make the name connect to the world of the story in that way.

nymfaux:  Are there any real-life Brodys or Quinces out there that have inspired you?
Sigh. I guess I've known a few who were close approximations, but mostly they were either friends or crushes. Definitely a lot more Brodys on the crush side and a few Quinces on the friends side. But mostly they're just my ideal hero boys. As soon as I meet one in real life I'll let you know.

nymfaux:  As a person who is usually drawn to the “tall/dark/handsome” type—which captures Brody—I was surprised and intrigued that you went blond for Quince, which (from what I usually read, anyway) is fairly uncommon—I know you’re a very visual person from your character collages; do you find the characters appear to you like a picture—Do you start building a character visually, or does the visual develop around the personality?
TLC:  The collaging is actually hard sometimes because I usually have a pretty clear picture in my head and have to find someone to match that. I usually have the dark-haired hero boys (because I usually fall for the dark-haired real boys) but Quince was different from the start. I knew he had that dark blond hair (not pretty boy blond) I think to contrast with his dark image--the black leather jacket, the biker boots, the bike. If he'd had dark hair it might have been too much. And we find out very quickly that he's not really the dark bad boy he pretends to be.

nymfaux:  While your own parents recently celebrated a milestone anniversary (Congratulations!!!  That’s super-incredibly-awesome!!!!), many of your characters have lost, separated, or absent parents (Lilly, Quince, Dosinia from Forgive My Fins/Phoebe, Griffin, Nicole, and Stella from Oh.My.Gods.)
—Is that a conscious reflection of today’s teens who come from a variety of different family backgrounds?  Or part of a building device to drive the story forward?  In the cases of Lily and Phoebe, the loss of one of their parents is a central point in both explaining where the girls are coming from and taking them to the beginning of their stories.
TLC:  I think it's usually to drive the story, because what incites more change in a teen's life than losing a parent? I submitted a proposal to my editor a while back where the main character had lost both parents. She called me up and said, "What's with all the dead parents? I've met your parents, they're very nice." But I wouldn't make that choice if I didn't have to. It's just as easy to write an absentee/workaholic parent if it's not a critical element of the story.

nymfaux:  I always feel like you have such an effortless way of telling your stories, are there any scenes that you had difficulty with?
TLC:  There are two kinds of scenes which are really hard for me to write. 1) The kind where my main character is getting kicked in the butt emotionally. Like an actor playing a role, I kind of have to experience their emotional pain to get it right on the page. The almost end of Forgive My Fins was really tough. 2) The kind that connect two other moments/events, where sometimes I feel like I'm forcing things to go how I want them to go, instead of letting the characters take the lead. The moonlit scene on the beach in Goddess Boot Camp, after Phoebe outran the tide, was like that. I still feel like I could go back and tweak it a little more.

nymfaux:  —I know you’ve called yourself a “pantser,” meaning that you write where the characters and the story takes you, but how complete is the overall idea while your writing it?  Do you always have the ending or the basic concept of the story in mind while you’re writing it?  Or are you totally at the mercy of your characters?
TLC:  Now that I have an editor who wants to make sure I'm going the write direction before I write 60,000 words, I actually write a synopsis before finishing the book. Sometimes things change (like the end of Fins Are Forever changed so dramatically in the moment that I was afraid for my editor to read it) and that's what keeps it honest. When I am pantsing, though, it's more like I know where I am in the current scene and I know where I vaguely going in the future. But in Oh. My. Gods. and Goddess Boot Camp there were scenes where Phoebe was running, either alone or with Griffin, and I'm like, "Something more than just running has to happen in this scene." That's when new plot twists usually pop up. Sometimes, I'm totally at the mercy of my characters. In Goddess Boot Camp I had NO IDEA who was sending the anonymous messages until Phoebe turns around in the courtyard and thinks, It's the last person I ever expected to see. And I'm like, "Who, Phoebe?!? Who is it?"

nymfaux:  This is your third novel; has it gotten easier?  Has the process changed much for you?  Is there anything you learned from writing Oh.My.Gods. that you take with you to your current/future projects—Or something that you’d learned when you had finished, that would have been helpful to know when you started?
TLC:  It's gotten harder. With every book I learn a little more, I become a better writer, which raises the bar on the next book. Now I know I can't repeat my mistakes from the first few books, which means I'm only making new ones. The lens keeps refocusing. I learn how to correct the big mistakes, so next time I make medium-sized ones. Now I can fix the medium mistakes, so I see a million small ones. It's like fractals, every time you zoom in you see the same thing on a smaller scale. I hold out hope that eventually I'll see them all, but I'm pretty sure that's an impossible dream.

nymfaux:  You’ve got several projects in the works (yea!); do you work on more than one at a time?  Is it hard to prioritize when you have a really good idea for one story and a deadline for another?
TLC:  always think I can work on more than one thing, but it never seems to work out that way. Usually I'll be working on a project and then have to set it aside for revisions/copyedits/page proofs on another one. It is hard to prioritize, but the deadline always comes first. (Partly become the deadline comes with a paycheck. Mostly because it's professional responsibility.) It also helps to filter the ideas. If an idea won't leave my head the whole time I'm finishing up my deadline book, then it's a pretty good indicator that it's an idea worth exploring.

nymfaux:  The release of Forgive My Fins coincided very closely with a major oil spill, obviously not something you planned.  You very awesomely pledged a donation to Oceana (an ocean charity).  Do you think this tragic incident will have an impact on any of your characters, or your writing?
TLC:  Yes, that was an horrifically bad coincidence. The environment has a huge impact on the merfolk in Thalassinia and other mer kingdoms. I wouldn't use the oil spill in particular, because that would date a book too specifically, just like the earthquake in Haiti or any other tragedy of international proportion. As a life-long environmentalist, though, I find myself working my ideals into my writing more and more. You will see in Fins Are Forever that life in the oceans is changing right along with the climate.

nymfaux:  Aside from the release of your FINTASTIC new book, Forgive My Fins, I am a HUGE fan of the Oh.My.Gods. series—And I see people in chats and interviews asking you about it all the time—Everyone I know is looking forward to another O.M.G. book, but your publisher seems to be holding back; do you still feel the same pull to write more for those characters as your fans do to read them?
TLC:  At the moment I feel a little distance from those characters, just because I haven't been in their heads for so long and because right now I'm focused on Lily and the gang. But, as I found out when I wrote the proposal my publisher is currently considering, your characters are your characters no matter how long you've been away. I still know them as well as I know myself, and they still have the ability to surprise and impress me. So, if I do get to write a third book in the series it will just feel like going home to hang out with old friends.

nymfaux:  With everyone hoping for more Oh.My.Gods., a sequel to Forgive My Fins (Fins Are Forever), your untilted Medusa Girls Trilogy, and a top-secret RH project in the works…What are you most excited about???
TLC:  My smart @$$ answer is always, "The next one." Whatever project is next on my list is always the most exciting, because it's still in that foggy realm where it promises to come out on paper perfectly realized to my every dream. As soon as I start writing, the flaws start to show, those tiny mistakes I never saw before start cracking the surface of the dream. But, all that aside, I am super-duper excited about the Medusa girls trilogy. Grace, Gretchen and Greer are three kick-butt sisters who are ready to take on an awesome adventure. I can't wait!

nymfaux:  Is there any other news about your upcoming projects that we can share???
TLC:  Nope, just more Secret Projects (there's IW and E and LB) that I can't (okay won't) say a word about yet.

nymfaux:  On a personal note, I’d like to congratulate you on your recent decision to go vegan, to be healthier—And as a person who’s had a life-long battle with vegetables, I was wondering if you had any tips?—Have you always liked veggies?  And how has the transition been?  Are you fully acclimatized?
TLC:  I hated veggies and I loved cheese with an unholy passion. But for all that the transition has been really easy. When I made the decision three months ago now, it felt like something I'd been waiting my whole life to do. (Just like when my dad decided to quit smoking after 40 years. He just ... quit.) All of a sudden I was eating more veggies, drinking water and tea and juice instead of soda, enjoying the process of cooking and creating recipes. It just all came together. I don't think I can offer any advice because you have to get to that place where the decision just makes sense. Oh, and eat lots of avocados. I'm kind of obsessed.


nymfaux:  Hmmm…avocados?  I will have to look into that…

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I really want to thank Tera for her time and wish her fast typing and the greatest of successes!!!!  Fins Are Forever is already on my wish list, and we can all use a little more TLC!!!! ;)


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Sunday, July 18, 2010

It's Getting HOT in Here!


Look out!  Because Cleveland is having a heat wave!

Ok, so I just have to tell everyone about Hot in Cleveland!  It's a NEW sitcom on TV Land...

I've loved TV Land for a long time, but mostly because they show reruns of the most amazing shows that were ever on television.  I'm always a little skeptical when I see TV Land, or movie channels branching out like that...Remember when MTV used to have music????  I'm just saying...I'm not super big on change (hence the fact I watch decades-old reruns and have a great obsession over classic movies), and I just don't want to loose the parts of TV Land that made me love it in the first place.  Not that I hold a grudge, but I haven't watched AMC since they started showing ads during the movies.  Not cool.  Up until that point, I would only reluctantly watch TCM or any other movie channel.  After that...Well, I became a TCM/Encore convert.  If AMC ever stops showing ads, I'd be back in a heartbeat.

But back to Hot in Cleveland—I cannot watch this show and drink liquid at the same time...And believe me I tried.  But every time I went to take a sip, I would have to tilt my head and pause, so that I could keep the liquid in my mouth until I had the chance to relax and swallow.  There were several instances where I was just about to swallow and had to hold back again.  And a couple close calls where I almost cleaned out my nasal passages.
THIS. SHOW. IS. FUNNY!


SERIOUSLY. FUNNY!


For those of you who haven't watched it, yet, Hot in Cleveland is a show about three women from L.A., who get stranded in Cleveland on their way to Paris, and realize there might be a lot more to Cleveland than they thought.  The girls are all fabulous and beautiful in their own right, but they're a little older, now, and with all the perfect people running around L.A., all of the girls feel overlooked...Until they land in Cleveland.  Upon arrival in the Buckeye state, they are treated and viewed as if they are bombshells.  The girls start to wonder if maybe there's more to Cleveland than they thought, and they decide to skip Paris and settle in Cleveland for a while.


It's awesomeness might also have something to do with the amazing cast and their brilliant comedic timingJane Leeves (from Frasier), Valerie Bertanelli (just google the '80s), and Wendie Malick (Just Shoot Me).  These women have perfect chemistry together, not to mention timing—They play together like they've been together for years!


And did I mention Betty White?  At first I thought she was just going to be a guest spot and maybe have, like, a line or two, just to capitalize on her current popularity.  But Betty White is just as amazing as ever, and it's a thrill to see her with a roll like this, with her in top form.

And I'm loving the guest stars...John Schneider, Huey Lewis, Carl Reiner, Wayne Knight, Amy Yasbeck, Hal Linden, and it looks like we may even be seeing Joe Jonas pretty soon!

This is definitely a show to keep your eye on.  Just keep the beverages at arms length.



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