____________________________________ On Hiatus ___________________________________

Monday, August 30, 2010

My Dear Scarlett, I DO Give a Damn!!!

Done.  *sigh* You know that rush you feel when you turn the last page?  When you read the last sentence?  Especially after you’ve stayed up way later than you should have?  But it was just SO worth it—It was just SO GOOD!  And I would do it all over again.  *sigh*

If you’re lucky, you can fall asleep contented.  If you’re really lucky, you can still get more than a couple hours sleep.  And sometimes, if you’re extra extra lucky, you can pick up that same book and relive all the anticipation and excitement that were there the first time you read the story.

My eyes started getting blurry after a few hours, and I rubbed at them, which only made it worse, but my eye-drops were out of arms-reach and I was stuck—I couldn’t tear myself away from the story—both knowing what was going to happen and at the same time not being able to stop reading until I found out how it happened…Even though I’d read the book over a decade ago, I was just as caught up in it as the first time I read it!

At the time I first read Gone with the Wind, I was a freshman in high school and my favorite book was already The Thorn Birds, which was my standard for thick books.  Gone with the Wind more than doubled that.

Honestly, I was surprised at how much I really enjoyed Gone with the Wind, and so after I finished it I picked up the sequel, Scarlett.  I’m always a little skeptical when the sequel isn’t written by the same author as the original.  I had no idea if Alexandra Ripley could do justice to Margaret Mitchell.

But I loved it!!!!  I was absolutely swept away by the romance and adventure, the love of the South, and of IrelandScarlett is an epic in its own right, and I think very much does justice to its predecessor.

On first read, my only criticism was that I wasn’t sure that Scarlett’s Scarlett was really the same character as Gone with the Wind’s Scarlett.  While both were fiercely strong-willed, independent, staunch Southern women, there was just something about the sequel’s Scarlett that didn’t feel like the originals.  It’s something that’s been hard for me to put into words, because I absolutely adored both characters…But the separation was significant enough for me, at the time, that it was easier to treat the books as separate stories with their own characters, rather than reading it as a sequel.  But I loved them both, nonetheless.

At the time I read them, Gone with the Wind and Scarlett felt like such epic books; once in a lifetime books.  I kept them, and treasured them, but never reread them.  Only recently, for whatever reason, I started having a craving…missing it, wanting to read them again.  A lot of my books are still at home, with my parents, so I probably would have just ended up at the library, but I happened to be at a second-hand store where a (cheap!!!!) used copy of Scarlett caught my eye.  Perfect timing!!!!

And then I let it sit on my desk for a week and a half, ‘cause it’s a frackin’ ginormous book, and I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to put in the commitment just yet.  But I kept staring at it.  And staring at it.  The next thing I know, I've decided that I just want to read a little bit before bed…but I wanted something familiar.  So I grabbed a couple of books I’d set aside to read, along with Scarlett, the one I REALLY wanted to read.  I wanted a couple books to choose from, in case I didn’t get into the story right away.

Yeah…so um, I LOVE to read before bed…but when I get into a good book, I have no self-control—I can’t stop myself.  And of course I picked up the biggest book I have, and within the first sentence I was absolutely captivated.  I read 34 chapters that night.  To 61 the next night, and finished it the third night.

And every night, when I closed my eyes, I saw (hot) flashes of the post-war South, of Georgia, and Charleston, and Savanah contrasting the sweeping landscapes of Ireland.  It was one of the richest, most epic, divine stories—The colors, the land, the characters, the clothes—There is nothing small about this book.

Rereading Scarlett and looking back, I still concede to my original view, that Scarlett, as glorious as she is, may not be completely herself.  But considering the sequel was written by a completely different author, I would say she’s an absolutely tremendous replica.  I would also say, for anyone who hasn’t read either, that the books could be read well both separately and together.  I think Scarlett is a great compliment for everyone who loved Gone with the Wind and wants to know what’s next.  But I think Scarlett is a fantastic story in its own right, and explains itself well enough to be read on its own.

I think the first time I read the story I was simply reading it for the story, for the thrill and the adventure.  I feel like I’ve gained so much more by rereading it—The excitement and feelings of being swept up into something magnificent were still there.  But I think Alexandra Ripley also does an amazing job of analyzing the original Scarlett through the telling of the sequel.  Ripley shows us Scarlett’s innermost motivations, motivations which don’t always correspond with the customs of the society Scarlett lives in.  And we get a chance to see Scarlett grow.  After being married three times, widowed twice, and becoming a mother, all during a war, it’s easy to forget how young Scarlett was in Gone with the Wind, and how fast she was forced to grow up.  In the sequel, it’s almost as if Scarlett becomes a child again; she sees a chance to start over and she looks for redemption.  But without the wild pace and pressure of the war looming over Scarlett, she finally has a chance to take stock of her surroundings, to see herself and others for who they really are, to see the pretense of old customs, and the legacy of traditions.

*sigh*  I’ve still got a reader’s high from finishing Scarlett.  *sigh*  Absolutely epic.  It gives me that sated feeling, if I didn’t fear for my future sleep-loss I think I’ve started rereading it all over again.  As it is, it makes me want to pick up some more of my old favorites.  *sigh*



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Sunday, August 29, 2010

I'm Not Afraid of No Ghosts!!!

Another AMAZING find from the Books, Boys, Buzz... girls!!!!!!!!  The Buzz girls will be having an extended release party all week to celebrate Marley Gibson's newest book:  Ghost Huntress:  The Counseling (book 4 of the Ghost Huntress series)!!!!!!  So make sure to stop by there for fabulous prizes!!!!







AND...be sure to check out Marley's site for her own super-extra-special-amazing giveaway!!!!
--Which includes:
  • A *SIGNED* copy of THE COUNSELING
  • A *HANDMADE* Ghost Hunting blanket, perfect for spooky nights at home alone ;)
  • (How cool is this!??!?!?!?) A rose quartz pendulum, like Kendal uses for ghost hunting!!!
  • A copy of Marley's book, The Other Side: A Teen's Guide to Ghosthunting and the Paranormal, co-written by Patrick Burns and Dave Schrader

All you have to do to enter any of these contests is to visit the sites and comment in their comment sections, but you can get extra points for Marley's contest by helping her spread the word--as she says, the more people reading the series, the longer the series can continue!!!!!  Marley's contest ends September 15!!!

I haven't read these yet, but they look super-good!!!!  I especially want to read the newest one, The Counseling, because the main character, Kendall, gets to go to a camp in the Sierras, and I used to work at a camp outside of Yosemite and I've been feeling homesick for it!  I can't bear to read the books out of order, so I'll have to find a way to get the whole series ASAP!!!! ;)

Are any of you Ghost Huntress reader???  I'd LOVE to hear more about the books and what you think of the series!!!!!!

Has anyone ghost-hunted???  I've been to the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose a couple of times, the closest I've ever been to a real haunted house--VERY spooky!!!!


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IMM Gonna Wash That Man Right Oughta My Hair (IMM6)

This was a fun week for me!!!  After my surprise find of Mamma’s Boarding House by John D. Fitzgerald a couple weeks ago, I did a little more research and found another book of his that I’d never heard of—Brave Buffalo Fighter!!!!  And the best part was I found it through half.com, so it was super cheap!!!!  It just arrived yesterday and completely made my week!!!!





And Barnes&Noble is completely spoiling my Nook with all their free books, but Nook and I aren’t complaining…we’re just trying to figure out what to read first!!!!

by Plato


So…That’s my haul for the week!!!  I can only hope the rest of you did as well!!!!  I hope you’re all having a fantastic weekend!!!!



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*In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren*  So head over there if you want to check out what everyone else got, or if you want to find out how to participate!!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

TGIF!!!!

Happy Friday Everyone!!!!!!!

Ok...so I feel like I've disappeared a little lately...and this could have a couple of reasons...first I was working this week--YEA!!!!!!  I've just moved recently, and until being a full-time blogger becomes a real job, I'm currently taking temp jobs--This one was super-fun, because I got to work in a college bookstore...and I LOVE being around all the new books for the English classes, and film classes, and language classes. *sigh*

And secondly, even though I have a ton (a reasonable) amount of new books sitting on my desk, looking at me longingly, wishing I would read them right away...I've been craving some of my old books...And was it the quick little 90 page read?  Ok, well, yes, I want to reread that one, too...But I just had to pick up Scarlett (the sequel to Gone with the Wind?).  And once I did, it was as good as I remembered....And still as long, but I'm closing in on the end!!!!

Well, I'll tell you more later...because I have to be off to work in a minute, but I just wanted to say I hope everyone has a great weekend!!!!


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Monday, August 23, 2010

What the Buzz!??!!?

So...I've been thinking (ouch! that hurts!!!)(ha ha)....so anyway...I was looking at some of the reviews I'm working on, and realized I never would have found these books, or their fabulous authors, if I hadn't come across a certain blog...And as a faithful spreader of all good reading, I just felt it my duty to share this awesome book blog with you...

Ok, if you guys don’t know already, you need to be checking out the Books, Boys, Buzz... blog…It’s one of my absolute favorites that I check everyday…mostly for the content, but I don’t think anyone would ever say the Buzz girls are stingy about contests!!! ;)  I found them one day…while stalking Tera Lynn Childs, who is not only one of my favorite authors, but also amazingly well-connected in the internet world.  And I became a devoted follower when I saw what all the buzz was about…YA books…and especially once I saw who was buzzing…Tera Lynn Childs, Wendy Toliver, Heather Davis, Tina Ferraro, Marley Gibson, Dona Sarkar-Mishra, and Stephanie Hale.

I had been going through a little YA withdrawal at the time, and suddenly I hit the jackpot!—Seven Buzz Girls, seven authors, and books galore!!!!  I haven’t gotten a chance to read all of their books yet, but every book I pick up just seems to get better and better!!!!

What I’ve read so far…
Everything by Tera Lynn Childs—Forgive My Fins, Oh.My.Gods., and Goddess Bootcamp
Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis
The Alpha Bet by Stephanie Hale

And everybody else is on my TBR list!  So, if you haven't checked out the Buzz girls yet, it's time to go see what you've been missing!!!!



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Sunday, August 22, 2010

IMM a Little Tea Pot (IMM5)

Hello!  Hello!!!!!!  I hope everybody is having a great weekend!!!!  My sinuses/allergies have been crazy all week…and I don’t know how you guys are, but when I get sinus pressure and sinus headaches, it usually means I’m not able to get a lot of reading in, no matter how hard I try.  Let me just say thank you to my Neti Pot, which is a miracle worker!!!! (ok, it's not exactly an IMM thing, more of an In My Shower thing)(IMS??)(but still, it totally deserves a shout out for enabling me to breathe this week!!!!)


Allergies aside, I got a couple of books that I am SUPER-EXCITED about!!!!!!!!


First, an *AUTOGRAPHED* copy of Thornspell by Helen Lowe!!!!!!!!  I’ve been stalking Helen on the Supernatural Underground (seriously, you guys have to check out this blog!!!!!)—And then I followed Helen to her own blog, where I entered and won her It’s All About the Characters contest!!!!!  Thornspell is a retelling of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale from the prince’s point of view—and it’s a good thing this a hardcover, because I’ve totally been drooling all over it!!!! ;)


And secondly….I won a *SIGNED* ARC of J.K. Beck’s When Blood Calls!!!!!!  It’s the first book of her new Shadow Keepers trilogy being released this year and it looks SUPER STEAMY!!!!!!!  I have to read this one quick before my sister steals it!!!!!  —Actually, I really need to thank my sister, because she’s the one who told me about the contest…So I keep wondering if I should feel guilty for winning her book, but hey, what are sister’s for??? ;)


I want to say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  to both Helen Lowe and to J.K. Beck for their contests and AWESOME AMAZING SUPER FANTASTIC books!!!!!!!!!!!!!  THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!






So….How did the rest of you do???  Happy reading everyone!!!!!!  Hope you all had a great week and hope next week is even better!!!!!!



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*In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren*  So head over there if you want to check out what everyone else got, or if you want to find out how to participate!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

ARCxtravaganza!!!!

[CONTEST CLOSED]
Yea!!!!!!  I LOVE contests!!!!!!!  Especially ones with ARCs!!!!!!!!

And Sara from Babbling Flow is having a MAJOR ARC GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!  And by MAJOR, I mean 7 (SEVEN!!!!!!)!!!!!!

I'm most excited about the *SIGNED* set of Beautiful Creatures and Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl!!!!!!

Not that I would turn down any of these goodies:

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Rot & Ruin by Jonathon Maberry
The Unidentified by Rae Mariz
Halt's Peril (the 9th book in the Ranger's Apprentice series) by John Flanagan
The Goblin Gate (sequel to The Goblin Wood) by Hilari Bell
Jane by April Lindner
The Winds of Heaven by Judith Clarke

The contest is open INTERNATIONALLY, but you MUST BE A FOLLOWER to enter.  The contest closes September 8, 2010.

For bonus entries, you can follow Sara on facebook, twitter, and goodreads; tweet and blog about the contest (like me!!!)...And according to Sara, you may also want to check out her blog this Monday, August 23 for MORE ways to win...Well, I'm definitely curious!!!!

Ok, you have the details, go check it out!!!!

Good luck to everyone who enters!!!! :)


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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Sea Can't Wait

So….You know what book I am totally loving right now?  Sea, by Heidi R. Kling.

It was so not what I expected…and so much more!!!!

I kind of didn’t know what to expect.  I’d never heard of it before, and then all of a sudden I was hearing about it EVERYWHERE!!!!  And that’s the kind of thing that always makes me intrigued…

I was a little hesitant about Sea, because the first time I heard it was, like, 10 seconds after I’d read Tera Lynn Childs’ Forgive My Fins.  And when I heard the title, Sea, I thought to myself, another mermaid book?  Until this summer, mermaids were pretty few and far between.  As a long time fan of Tera’s, I already had my favorite picked out in my head, which was only confirmed after I read Forgive My Fins.

But suddenly Sea was all over twitter and every blog I was reading, and I was starting to think that it wasn’t about mermaids after all.  I still wasn’t exactly sure what it was about, but I was totally curious by now, and then I happened to win a contest…So thanks to Courtney, from Courtney Reads, I became the proud new owner of Sea…which Courtney assured me was absolutely fabulous.

And she was more than right!!!!  Sea is Heidi R. Kling’s debut novel, and she totally blew me out of the water!!!!!!  (sorry, it was too true not to say it!)

Sienna’s life was kind of perfect, until a tropical storm took out her mom’s plane.  When she lost her mom, Sienna lost herself.  Three years later, Sienna doesn’t know what to trust anymore, and she doesn’t know how to put the pieces of her life back together.  Sienna’s father thinks returning to his overseas work, and bringing Sienna with him, will help them deal with their grief, and help their family start to heal.  Sienna is afraid that going back to the place her mother died, will only reopen a wound that will never close.  But Sienna doesn’t really have a choice.

When they arrive in Indonesia, Sienna soon discovers, she’s not the only one hurting and suffering.  She’s not the only one that Mother Nature has wronged.  And by putting aside her own helplessness, and trying to help other victims of the storm, other survivors—Sienna’s own wounds slowly start to heal.

Sienna’s journey is amazing and epic.  The characters are so vivid, and the landscape feels so real, I could hardly believe I wasn’t reading someone’s diary, or looking through a scrapbook.  Honestly, I had to double-check that there weren’t any actual pictures in the book, and I still feel as if I spent a night looking at snapshots from someone’s vacation.

Sea was a surprise and a delight, and definitely did not disappoint!!!!  I can’t wait to see what Ms. Kling comes out with next!!!!




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Sunday, August 15, 2010

IMM Back!!! (IMM4) +Awards!!!!

Happy Sunday everyone!!!!

So first off, I got 2 (TWO)(TO)(TOO)(II)(TOUT) VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARDS!!!!!!!!
I'm pretty psyched, and I am TOTALLY feeling the love!!!!!
(in case you haven't been counting, that's a total of FOUR for me)
I would like to say 
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU INFINITE
to Courtney from Courtney Reads
and
to the Crazy Cat Lady at the Crazy Cat Lady's Library
both of which are some AWESOME blogs, so make sure to check them out!!!!

The Sacred Rules of the Coveted
VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD
are as follows:

  1. (no brainer) Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
  2. Share 7 things about yourself.
  3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic.
  4. Contact the bloggers you’ve picked and let them know about the award!
So, 7 things about me?



  1. I was a HUGE Punky Brewster fan, and even had some pinkish/purple Punky hi-tops I wore EVERYWHERE.
  2. I'm a Libra.
  3. I have five ear-piercings, but have worn up to ten earrings at a time.
  4. I had to get eight stitches once, because it didn't cross my mind to thaw the chicken in the microwave and my knife slipped.
  5. I have seen the various Harry Potter movies in theaters in at least four states, and on video in five.
  6. I used to wake up early to watch Saturday morning cartoons.
  7. I have seen the sunrise from my sleeping bag on an island beach.


As to the rest of my mailbox....

I actually ran into a new author at the gym this week!!!  How crazy is that!?!??!?!  She happened to have a copy of her book with her, so I picked it up...It's a self-published *SIGNED* autobiography called Up the Wooden Hill by Jill Schaefer, about her experiences and her husband's experiences surrounding WWII.

And my other major score...
One of my friends was in town this week and gave me a *SIGNED* copy of his self-published book, Moments and Memories; As Seen Through The Lenses of William McCave.
It's a gorgeous book filled with some of his fantastic photographs, along with some thoughts to ponder.

No ebooks this week, however I did drag my sister back to the second-hand store for another look, and I came home with:

Two oldies, but goodies--I've read these before, but have been having the itch to reread them, so I picked them up as soon as I saw them:
Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley, the sequel to Gone With the Wind
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
And one that was new to me:
The 8th Confession by James Patterson (A Women's Murder Club Mystery)


So...How did the rest of you do????




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*In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren*  So head over there if you want to check out what everyone else got, or if you want to find out how to participate!!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Fatal Attraction

Are you busy?  Can we talk about Twilight for a second?

So first off, I’m a lover, not a hater.

But before we talk about Bella, which is what I really want to talk about…Let’s talk about how I almost never read this book.  Almost never even heard about it.

What?  Was I living under a rock?—Well, close enough.  I was living in a tent…well, actually, as summer came to an end, I was upgraded to a cabin with walls.  You have no idea how excited I was to have a door!!!  Not that I didn’t LOVE living in a tent, because I TOTALLY did…Besides, when I say I was excited about having walls and a door, that was pretty much the extent of my extravagance; you may not believe it, but my cabin was actually smaller than my tent.

And, on top of all my plush accommodations, I was living 20 miles outside of nowhere—in every direction.  Not only did my cell-phone not work, but the phone company actually removed our pay phone.

I’m not complaining—this was BY FAR, the most AWESOME AMAZING job I’ve ever had; I’m just trying to convey to you that I’m not kidding or exaggerating when I tell you I was living in a void of civilization.

But somehow, one of my friends had a copy of Twilight.  In the middle of nowhere.  I was kind of iffy at the time…not sure if I should read it or not.  I had cut myself off from YA when I went off to college, but up until then, I would read anything I could get my hands on.  I mean, I had already caved and become a complete Harry Potter addict, but if I read this book, would it mean a complete devolution of my reading habits?

Yes, as it turns out.  I have completely regressed, and now choose to blatantly read anything I feel like, whether it looks mature or not, simply because I enjoy it.

And I loved Twilight—It totally reminded me of the L.J. Smith books, and the Cate Tiernan books I used to crave before I swore off YA.  And the only reason I stopped reading them, is because they stopped writing!!!  (And I’m SO glad they’ve started writing again!!!!)

But there still seems to be a stigma on YA, or Twilight, or Harry Potter, or just whatever happens to be popular at the moment.  People seem to be threatened by these books—I mean, what’s the big deal?  If you don’t like it, don’t read it.  That’s all I’m saying.

Now.  On to Bella.  I keep hearing people say she’s wimpy.  She has to be saved all the time.  And while I understand this perfectly, because, yes, most of us would be able to fight off super-powerful vampires on our own…Here’s my theory:

From the first time I read Twilight, I believed, unlike Edward (and pretty much every other character), that Bella was SUPPOSED to die.

All her life, Bella is known for her klutziness.  She’s not good at being human.  Bella is several fatal accidents waiting to happen.

And what’s your first clue?  Yeah, she moves to a town with vampires.  Which actually isn’t a problem for ANYONE else in town—Because they’re vegetarian vampires, who don’t attack humans…except in Bella’s case.  Until Bella came along, no one was getting hunted or eaten, the Cullens were happy being sullen, alone, and aloof.  She walks into town, and suddenly Edward’s diet is about to disintegrate into binge mode.

Then there’s the car spinning out of control in the icy parking lot, and the fact that her other best friend is a werewolf.  Getting a paper-cut and bleeding right in front of bloodthirsty vampires?  Death defying motor-cycle rides and cliff jumps.  Walking into a DEN of the most powerful vampires on earth?  Being hunted by an army of newborn vampires, and a crazy-stalker vampire?  Trying to not have your vampire boyfriend kill you while the two of you are making out?  These are all things that would kill most people.

And frankly, I think they should have…because as we find out in Breaking Dawn, Bella is A LOT happier dead.  And she totally rocks the dead thing—Who’s a better newborn vampire than her???  Um.  No one???  She’s a natural.  All this time, she totally sucked at living and was literally asking to die, and it turns out that everyone’s efforts to save her have been in vain.

So that’s my response to everybody who is criticizing Bella for being too much of damsel in distress—She never needed saving; she needed killing.  But that’s just my opinion.



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