____________________________________ On Hiatus ___________________________________

Sunday, January 30, 2011

IMM 18 (that's old enough to vote!)




Ok, for a while I’ve been a little s l o w on the IMMs, mostly because I haven’t had a lot to share…so now that I do…here we go…

…a half hour later…internet please go away, I’m trying to be productive.  Wait—internet come back!!!—I didn’t mean it!!!!


First off, I HAVE to tell you about the MOST. AMAZING. THING. EVER.

EVER.

Seriously, this one is so awesome it still blows my mind every time I think of it:

Do you LOVE this lovely SACRIFICE as much as I do!??!!??!!?  THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!!!  Dakota Banks I love you!!!!!!!

I happened to win (the super amazing) Dakota Banks’ (freaking cool) contest to PUT [MYSELF] IN THE NEXT MORTAL PATH BOOK!!!!!!!!!  I’m SO EXCITED, I’m BEYOND EXCITED!!!!!!


I am going to be an ACTUAL. CHARACTER. IN. A. BOOK.

Like I said, kind of AMAZING!!!!!!

And…if that wasn’t enough…Dakota sent me a ***AUTOGRAPHED**** copy of Sacrifice, the latest book in her Mortal Path series.  I’ve obviously been dying to get into the series… but every time I pick it up, I just kind of stare at it in AWE…same thing every time I set it beside me on my desk.  I just stare at it, hypnotized by all its awesomeness.  I blink and it’s still there.  I pinch myself.  (and then I stop, ‘cause it hurts).


Pretty cool, huh!?!??!!??!!?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And for anyone out there who thought I’d used up my awesomeness quota for the year…

I’ve still got a little awesome left.  And it is SWEET!

I know I’ve only mentioned Tera Lynn Childs and her Eye Candy about 12 or 30 times…but there’s a new chapter EVERY FRIDAY….and it is


SO.

DELICIOUS.

You have no idea how addicted I am!!!!  Some Fridays it's the first thing I read, but lately I've been hoarding it like a super-decadent desert, knowing that it'll be there as soon as I've finished everything else...And when I finally do get my desert, I savor every little morsel of goodness.  As much as I crave my weekly Eye Candy, as much as I want to devour it all at once, I'm getting pretty nervous about nearing the end—Because I


do.

not.

want.

it.

to.

end.

—I happened to mention that to Tera, the other day; she said I make her sound like my dealer.  My response is that is a fairly accurate statement.

Deal me in.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

New tangent.

And since my sister happened upon her very own thing of amazingness, a BRAND. NEW. NOOK. COLOR.  Let’s just say that my little old original black-and-white Nook, with the crack under the page-turn button, that pops up and exposes its innards every time we turn the page, is a little sad and jealous.  I still love my Nook, it’s just that I don’t know if I can ever look at it the same, especially with its little page-turn crack exposing itself at every, well, page-turn.

But I’m not trying to dwell on the defects of my poor little old Nook, so much as trying to tell you all how I convinced my sister that as long as she had HER new Nook COLOR, WE needed some new reading material.

—One of Nook’s best features, is that my sister and I can share an account, and thus share our reading material—the same way we would share our real, TANGEABLE, book books.

So, I’ve only been craving these for months…but I finally got my hands on them (ebook style):

 


The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney.
SERIOUSLY. FREAKING. AMAZING.





Ascendant by Diana Peterfreund
(the second book of her Killer Unicorns series).











And a few additions to my L. J. Smith collection:


and….The Forbidden Game: The Hunter, The Chase, The Kill three-book omnibus.  SWEET!!!!!


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yeah, and I’m not done yet.

Again, this is totally my sister’s fault, because I wasn’t planning to stop anywhere, until she mentioned it….but when she did, hey, what the heck?  So we stopped, and I have added a couple of 2nd-hand treasures to my bookshelves:



Collected Lyrics by Edna St. Vincent Millay
The Quotable Slayer, compiled by Micol Ostow and Steven Brezenoff, based on Joss Whedon’s TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Dicey’s Song by Cynthia Voight
Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde
The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, translated by Ralph Manheim


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And…I really want to thank my mom for… everything…but also for the books she sent us at Christmas:

Organize Now! by Jennifer Ford Berry (not sure what Mom's trying to tell me here) ;)
Killer Summer by Ridley Pearson
61 Hours by Lee Child
The Hostage by Susan Wiggs
Finding Perfect by Susan Mallery
Cold Dawn by Carla Neggars
Ice by Linda Howard
Just Take My Heart by Mary Higgins Clark



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well, I think I’ve definitely used up my awesomeness quota for the month, but, with only one day left, I’m not too worried.  ;)


And hopefully the rest of you had some of your own awesomeness to kick off 2011!!!!




(\__/)



*In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by (the AMAZINGSUPER-FANTASTIC) 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, January 26, 2011

W...W...W...ednesdays (2)

W…W…W… Wednesdays is a meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.
 To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
Then link your answers back in the comments section of her weekly post.


• What are you currently reading?
Villette by Charlotte Bronte, which counts towards the Off the Shelf!, E-Book, and Show Me the Free! Reading Challenges!!!(yes, I am still reading this, and I totally DO plan to finish…I just needed a little break—which isn’t a reflection on the book, just my reading mood called for something different)





• What did you recently finish reading?
The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney.  AMAZING.  FREAKING AMAZING.



• What do you think you’ll read next?
The Hunger Games is still on my tbr list, but I just got Diana Peterfreund’s Ascendant, which I have totally been dying for…









Happy reading and happy Wednesday!!!




(\__/)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Blogiesta! Olé!

Sooooo….  In either an amazing feat of coincidence or good timing…it turns out that there’s this crazy little thing called BLOGIESTA!  And it’s going on this weekend starting Friday, January 20 and going through Sunday, January 23!!!!


Blogiesta! is a 3-day blogger-spring-cleaning event hosted by Natasha at Maw Books Blog.  Well, it’s not exactly SPRING cleaning, since it’s only January…Let’s just say it’s more of a sprucing-up, beginning of the New Year, and all that…

And…Since it is the beginning of the year, and all that, I have been trying to do my own bloggie sprucing up…I guess great minds think alike.  ;)  And I wasn’t going to worry about Blogiesta!  But, the more I looked at Blogiesta! and all the funness and mini-challenges, and ideas…the more I realized that I was doing half of it anyway, so I might as well join up!!!!


Blogiesta! To Do and To Done List:

Clean Up Sidebars
-Organize Button/Badges and make awesome fun scrolling widget
-Update (\__/)Must See Movies
-Update Goodreads Book W*Sh L*sT
-Make REading Challenge Progress Bars

Make REading Challenge Page
Link update Reading Challenges with hosts
Make a Valentine’s Day Header/Banner
Make fan art for some of my favorite blogs that don’t have their own badges
Clean up labels/tags
Update profile/about me/review infaux
Update blog design colors for Valentine’s

Suggested Blogiesta! Mini-Challenges
-Make Favicon/Gravitar
-Add Copyright thing to Page Footer
-Back up Blog so I don’t lose it if I lose it
-Back up uploaded Blog pics, so all is not lost if they’re lost



Anyway, not too shabby.  I meant to just check out some of the Blogiesta! links and ideas last night, and, um, got a little sidetracked (as in I worked on it until, like, four am.) (oops!)—But, hey, I did get a lot done (despite the internet slowness which is will be the everlasting bane of my bloggie existence)!!!!!

I’ve been having a lot of fun, and really learning A LOT!!!!  I’m a little scared that when I see html code, I kind of understand it a little.

My first year of blogging has been so amazing yearI’ve made so many amazing new friends!!!  I’ve also made my own Blog button, with a take-away html code for anyone who likes me:


(\__/)




And I’ve made two fan badges for two of my favorite blogs that didn’t have their own:

Tera Lynn Childs and the Books, Boys, Buzz... girls—Both of whom have been so awesome and amazing and inspiring to me, both as a reader, a blogger, and a fan!!!











I made a scrolling widget to clean up and organize the buttons on my sidebar—Thanks to Small Bird Studio!!!







The Story Siren

Candace's Book Blog






The Book Vixen



I made progress challenge bars for my 2011 Reading Challenges!!!—Thanks to Parajunkee and the Book Vixen!!!!

And now thanks to Blogiesta!  I’ve done a whole bunch of other things that I didn’t even know I could or should do:

-Changed my favicon from the orange BLOGGER one, to my own little (\__/) (look at the top of the page and you’ll see it!!!!)


All in all, I’d say I’ve been VERY productive!!!!  Good luck to the rest of you out there who are blogging it up fiesta-style!

Blogiesta!  Olé!





(\__/)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

End of the Pretty Little Liars

Well, as of 1/1/11, I finally finished Wanted, book 8, the final book in Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars series.  Check one Off-The-Shelf!

As much as I was spending every waking moment wondering how it was going to end…And as absolutely satisfying as the ending was…It was definitely one of those series where I will miss the characters that I was just getting to know, miss all the rush, the excitement, and (of course) the secrets.

Every time I picked up a new book in the series, I was surprised, because it’s definitely one of the most unique stories that I’ve ever read—Not just a YA about angsty teenagers, their crushes, and their parents who don’t understand (not that those types don’t have their very own special place in my heart).  And sadly, there weren’t any vampires or werewolves (although there were plenty of your everyday high-school-brand witches).  But it was an honest-to-goodness, who-dunnit mystery.

Pretty Little Liars is a little bit of a throwback to another generation’s classics; I would put it up there right next to every Agatha Christie and Mary Higgins Clark that I’ve ever read (a lot and all, respectively).  And Shepard’s Rosewood could easily be a modern Peyton Place, each with their hotbeds of secrets and scandals living just beneath the sparkling small-town veneer of perfection. 

Pretty Little Liars was such a refreshing read compared to a lot of the books I grew up with, where everything was just as perfect as it looked—If a girl snuck out to go to a party and found drinking or drugs there, she didn’t partake, she learned a lesson.  If you were afraid your parents wouldn’t understand, they would, and you’d be so relieved when you told them the truth.  Some parents don’t understand, and some teenagers drink and do drugs.  Shepard isn’t condoning any of it, but she also doesn’t pretend it doesn’t happen, either.  There’s no preaching; Shepard is telling a totally different kind of story and the morality and the lessons are all up to the reader.

This wasn’t a catastrophic case of cheating on the SATs, or even cheating on someone’s bf…not that there wasn’t a little of that going on, too.  There was an ACTUAL. DEAD. BODY. (actually a few).  There was a dangerous creepy stalker (a couple), blackmail (a lot), and tons of twists and turns.  And from the beginning, I knew I wouldn’t know the truth until the last page of the last book.

Which isn’t to say I didn’t have my guesses and my suspects.  Which is to say, I suspected everyone.  I speculated on everything from long-lost twins to the blind girl not really being blind.  So at the end, yes, I did totally see that coming…but with a hundred different theories percolating in my head, one was bound to be right.  I LOVE mysteries, and I also suck at them.  Everything was a clue to me, everyone was a suspect.  And Sara Shepard is definitely a master at leaving clues and implicating the innocent, at telling you just enough to keep you on your toes.

And the most amazing part was the way that Shepard could simultaneously have me on the edge of my seat, give me enough closure to hang on until I opened the next book, which picked up seamlessly from its predecessor.  It was so juicy and satisfying…While I don’t mind a little fast food fiction, I have to say this series is a three course meal, plus dessert!






(\__/)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

W...W...W...ednesdays (1)

W…W…W… Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.  I’ve long been reading other people’s memes about what they’re waiting for… but I just found this one and thought it sounded like a little more fun, so I thought I’d give it a try!

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions… Then link your answers back in the comments section of her post.  Super easy!!!


• What are you currently reading?
Villette by Charlotte Bronte, which counts towards my Off the Shelf!, E-Book and Show Me the Free! Reading Challenges!!! Yea—Plus, Jane Eyre is one of my all time faves, so this one has been on my tbr list for a while…


• What did you recently finish reading?
Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch by Haywood Smith, this one is finally Off the Shelf!—It had been there so long, I forgot I had it—Oops!  But lots of fun, I really enjoyed it!!!

• What do you think you’ll read next?
I’m leaning toward The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins—I’m in the mood for something fun and exciting!!!—Plus I feel like I’m the only one who hasn’t read this series yet!!!  Definitely need to remedy that!!!




Ok, back to the books!  Happy Wednesday everyone!!!




(\__/)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

HARRY POTTER! HARRY POTTER!

Ok, so these are two reading challenges that I WISH WISH WISH I could participate in—but I can’t.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t think you should.—Because you TOTALLY should!



Marcie from To Read or Not To Read is reading the Harry Potter series for the first time (Go Marcie!!!) and is inviting everyone to join her on Harry Potter Challenge 2011.  As far as I know there aren’t any deadlines, but I would be soooo jealous if you did it!!!

Also Pure Imagination is hosting a month-long Potter-Thon Reading Challenge going on right now, through the end of January.  Like I said, I’d be sooooooo jealous if you did this.  I totally wish I was you!!!



So, why am I not participating?  When I am the ultra-uber-super-Harry-Potter-geek that I am?  When I fell in love with the first movie?  When I INHALED the entire series in a week?  When, even now, I am absolutely itching to grab those books, barricade my door, and fall in love all over again????

Because of a little quirk of mine.  I seem to be one of the minority of people out there who like to watch the movie before reading the book.

Apparently most people would rather read the book, get their own images of the characters, places, whatever, etc…Rather than watch the movie and then picture the characters from the movie as they’re reading their books.  I kinda get it.  But I kinda don’t.

Because I’m the opposite.  I’m a huge fan of both movies and books.  And movies based on books.  And even books based on movies.  If I like something, I want to enjoy it in every available medium.  But, I’ve noticed, generally (100%), I can’t let myself enjoy the movie after I’ve read the book.  Because an author isn’t tied down to two (or three)(or four) hours.  An author doesn’t have a time limit after which they need to stop so that people can go to the bathroom.  An author can take exactly as many pages as they need to tell their story.  An author’s power is limitless; they can show you one, or two, or every character’s perspectives, thoughts, and feelings.  They can bring you inside the character.  The author isn’t limited by today’s technology, CG, or 3D effects.  Or an audience’s limited bladder control.

But despite the ever-growing and evolving technology and tools available to the movie industry, they have limits.  Plus, even if you’ve got the book and the author sitting right in front of you, you’ve also got the director, the actors, the set designer, and everyone else INTERPRETING the book and the best way to bring it to an audience.  Some interpretations can come very close.  Some are so far apart you wonder why they even kept the same title.  But no matter how close they can come, it’s never going to be physically possible to be the same.  There will be some little (or big) details that might not make as much sense in the story, that there might not be as much time for.  There will be some details that there is absolutely no reason that they couldn’t have added them in, that devoted fans would instantly recognize and appreciate, but for whatever reason, is left out.  It happens.  And then we all grumble.  And we ask why.  And sometimes we get answers.  But mostly we don’t, and we grumble some more, because it was so important and it just doesn’t make sense why it was left out.

Anyway, the point is, that no matter how similar a book and movie are, there are always differences.  And when I’ve read the books first, I don’t enjoy the movies, because all I see are the differences, the things that aren’t there, and weren’t included.

I’m not saying it doesn’t occasionally happen.  Harry Potter, case in point.  I LOVE the books AND the movies.  I saw the first movie first, INHALED one through four, then went to see the second movie and actually kept a notebook with me, writing down all the differences I could spot.

Sure, that’s a kind of love in its way.  It’s a stalker, obsessive love.  But it isn’t the magical, wondrous, falling in love for the first time that I felt with the first book and movie.  So, yeah, I’m definitely having my own Potter-Thon—but mine will be after the last movie.  Where I can enjoy it for the first time, and then recapture it all over again with the books, diving in, experiences all the extra bonus magicness that is WOW that it couldn’t be contained outside the book.  I can read the book and pick out all the little details that are like little Easter Eggs, that the author hid, just for me (and you).

So that’s MY plan.  But like I said, that’s my little quirk.  So if you’re a normal person join the read-a-thons, and get the chance to share this experience in a whole new way.  Whether you’ve never read them (YOU SHOULD!!!!!) or you’ve read them a million times (each time is a different kind of magic)—I’m just saying, you should do it.  I totally would.

I’m so jealous right now!!!


Happy reading!!!!!




(\__/)

2011 E-Book Challenge and Show Me the Free Challenge

I was (and am) planning to do Bookish Ardour's Off the Shelf!  Reading Challenge because I have so many ebooks on my Nook that I’d love to work on.  Then I noticed how many books I had on my actual shelves.

Then I noticed that The Ladybug Reads is hosting the 2011 E-Book Challenge. (previously hosted by Alaine at Queen of Happy Endings).

Sweet!!!!

My grand total is somewhere around 800 ebooks (mostly free!!!)(mostly classics, or books that I’d heard about, or just whatever sounded interesting).  I’m not planning to read them all this year, but it would definitely be nice to make a dent in there.

And since most of them are old enough that they are in the public domain and were FREE…I can also count them toward the 2011 Show Me the Free Challenge hosted by The Unread Reader!!!!  Yea!!!!

Show Me the Free Challenge has three levels (minimum of 12 books)(if my math is right, that’s one a month)(but I think I can do better), but I think I’m going to be ambitious on this one and aim for the:
Super Saver level =30+ books

And for the E-Book Challenge I’m leaning somewhere in between Obsessed (20 books) and Possessed (50 books).  I think maybe I’ll start off Obsessed, and then upgrade later on if I’m doing well.

I plan to list all the books as I read them.

2011 E-Book Challenge
(Obsessed=20 books)
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.

2011 Show Me the Free
(Super Saver=30+ books)
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
24.
25.
26.
27.
28.
29.
30.




Well, wish me luck!!!!



(\__/)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

2011 Off The Shelf! Reading Challenge

Off The Shelf!

Oops!

Ok, so I found this super-awesome-amazing challenge that I thought sounded like fun, so I thought I’d give it a try—Bookish Ardour is hosting an Off The Shelf Reading Challenge.  It’s basically as simple (or difficult) as it sounds—Read the books you already have, but haven’t read yet, have been meaning to read, or (in my case) completely forgot about.

I kind of went crazy downloading free e-books when I first got my Nook, so I thought this would be the perfect thing to get me reading all those classics I’d never gotten to but had wanted to read.  And while I was at it, I thought I’d got through my (real) bookshelves and see what I still have on the tbr pile.  After I got my Nook, I downsized my (real) book collection to one bookcase.  And then, after I started winning some contests, I added a TBR bookshelf next to my desk.

So, only 15 books on my TBR shelf.  Not too bad.  As a challenge level, it only rates =Trying.

Back to my (real) bookshelf.  Um, approximately another 65.  Like I said, oops.

Out of around 300, that’s really not that bad.

Um, well, that’s why I’m signing up for the challenge!

My Bookshelf:

  1. Sacrifice (Mortal Path series, book 2), Dakota Banks
  2. Wanted (Pretty Little Liars series, book 8), Sara Shepard
  3. Thornspell, Helen Lowe
  4. The Body Finder, Kimberly Derting
  5. Sisters Red, Jackson Pearce
  6. Brave Buffalo Fighter, John D. Fitzgerald
  7. Lyddie, Katherine Patterson
  8. Out of Darkness, Jaime Rush
  9. A Perfect Darkness, Jaime Rush
  10. When Blook Calls, J.K. Beck
  11. Death Most Definite, Trent Jamieson
  12. Return to Paradise, Simone Elkeles
  13. The 8th Confession, James Patterson
  14. Jane and the Damned, Janet Mullaney
  15. Frosty:  A Raccoon to Remember, Harriet E. Weaver
  16. Up the Wooden Hill, Jill Schaefer
  17. Women’s Diaries of the Westward Journey, Lillian Schlissel
  18. You Can’t Win, Jack Black
  19. Indiana Jones and the Peril at Delphi, Rob MacGregor
  20. Indiana Jones and the Dance of the Giants, Rob MacGregor
  21. Shattered Love, Richard Chamberlain
  22. Notorious:  Life of Ingrid Bergman, Donald Spoto
  23. Holiday for Murder, Agatha Christie
  24. Wonder Woman Mythos (Justice League of America), Carol Lay
  25. Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself, Alan Alda
  26. The Flash:  Stop Motion (JLA), Mark Shultz
  27. Ho for California!, Sandra L. Meyers
  28. Alfred Hitchcock Presents:  Stories That Scared Even Me
  29. The Sweet Potato Queen’s Book of Love, Jill Conner Browne
  30. The Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch, Haywood Smith
  31. Funerals Are Fatal, Agatha Christie
  32. Batman:  The Stone King (JLA), Alan Grant
  33. Hitchcock on Hitchcock, Sidney Gottlieb
  34. How Paul Robeson Saved My Life and Other Happy Stories, Carl Reiner
  35. Green Lantern:  Hero’s Quest (JLA), Dennis O’Neil
  36. Easy to Kill, Agatha Christie
  37. Murder after Hours, Agatha Christie
  38. I Kid You Not, Jack Paar
  39. Death Comes at the End, Agatha Christie
  40. Justice League of America:  Exterminators (JLA), Christopher Gold
  41. Call Me Anna, The Autobiography of Patty Duke, Patty Duke and Kenneth Turran
  42. Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good, Paul Newman and A.E. Hotchner
  43. The Dark Half, Stephen King
  44. Nobody’s fool, Martin Gottfried
  45. The Bible
  46. Rascal, Sterling North
  47. Move Over Darling, Marvin H. Albert
  48. The Dark is Rising, Susan Cooper
  49. Ghostbusters:  The Supernatural Spectacular, Richard Muellar
  50. The Goonies, James Kahn
  51. Back to the Future, George Gipe
  52. Back to the Future:  Part II, Craig Shaw Gardner
  53. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Cambell Black
  54. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, James Kahn
  55. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Rob MacGregor
  56. First Knight, Elizabeth Chadwick
  57. Face/Off, Clark Carlton
  58. Die Hard with a Vengence, D. Chiel
  59. Dangerous Minds, LouAnne Johnson
  60. That Darn Cat, The Gordons
  61. Big, B.B. Hiller and Neil W. Hiller
  62. Ever After:  A Cinderella Story, Wendy Logia
  63. Lisa and Lottie, Erich Kastner
  64. Mister Roberts, Thomas Heggen
  65. So Dear to My Heart, Sterling North
  66. Anna and the King of Siam, Margaret Landon
  67. All Hands on Deck, Donald R. Morris
  68. 4 for Texas, Dan Cushman
  69. All the President’s Men, Woodward and Bernstein
  70. In the Line of Fire, Max Allan Collins
  71. The Glass Bottom Boat, Bradford Street
  72. Divorce American Style, Jackson Donahue
  73. Adventures in Babysitting, Foucher
  74. How to Murder Your Wife
  75. Catch Me If You Can, Frank Abignale, Jr. with Stan Redding
  76. On the Beach, Nevil Shute
  77. Lost and Found, Melvin Frank and Jack Rose


Ok.  Um, 77.  If I’m to read them all, that would put me at the Flying Off challenge level.

So, I definitely do want to get some of these books off my shelf, and I don’t want to be overly ambitious, so I think I’m going to start with a happy medium
Making a Dint=30 Books

I think I can handle that!  And I figure I can always upgrade later on. ;)

As for my ebooks…turns out they have their own challenge…






(\__/)