Saturday, March 31, 2012

Weekend Craziness

I would have posted sooner today but the internet hasn't worked for just about the entire day but I did have an interesting day anyway.

Here's the weirdest photos of the week:


This is the rather confused woodpecker that was pecking at the light pole instead of the many trees around... This went on for a long time too.

Now for the other crazy part to my weekend:

Today Tiny Reverse Vampire and I spent a large part of the day fenagling a quick fix for my tail light.

We had to do this because on Wednesday I got pulled over by the cops (the first time this has happened).  I of course thought I was speeding or something but no he'd noticed the broken tail light. 

I'm very happy that it was just a warning and not a ticket especially since I didn't have the current proof of insurance in the car, just old ones.  As soon as I got home I found the current one and stuck it in the car.  :)

I'll get it professionally fixed eventually but there was no way that I was paying Kia's price of over $250 just to fix the cover over my tail light.


This is what we did on the first try.  Tiny Reverse Vampire cut up a red tupperware lid and made it fit/taped it in.  This didn't work so well because it was still showing a lot of white light.  Being the mad scientist type that she is though she had more ideas we just had to go to Hobby Lobby first.

 Here's Tiny Reverse Vampire in action using a cut up piece of a plastic tablecloth and some packing tape.

Here's the finished product, it looks good and should pass muster for now.  :)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Winner of the Hunger Games Haiku Contest

The winner of a collector's edition of The Hunger Games is:


Arianne, who wrote -

Katniss wins the Games
Goes again in Catching Fire
Mockingjays Unite!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fiery Fever

Fever by Lauren DeStefano


4 gnomes and a gnome hat out of 5 gnomes

This series is a tad bit addictive because if you're anything like me you'll be dying to know what happens next to Rhine and well if there's a chance that she'll actually survive.

The world of this book will really grow on you as you try to figure what the heck is going on.  It's still not exactly a happy world because the new generation only lives to the age of twenty if female and twenty-five if male.  This means that all the first generation born before this mysterious disease have had to sit back and watch their children die.  This means if you thought generational barriers were bad before they're nothing compared to what these characters go through.  This leaves two generations with not a lot to live for and really breaks down how their society works.

After the end of the last book Rhine and Gabriel are on the run but things aren't as rosy as she remembers and it looks like her plan to find her brother might be over before it really begins.  Rhine is very adept at getting into bad situations and catching the attention of psychos.  Madame is just about as scary a villain as Vaughn is because she's so unpredictable.  

Vaughn is one evil guy.  He is the epitome of a mad scientist and does not seem to have a conscience.  I believe that the only person he even comes close to caring about is his son, Linden.  It's shown even more in this book just how far he'll go to find a cure and that ethics aren't something that he thinks about.

Gabriel is an interesting love interest but I'm not sure that I foresee him and Rhine staying together.  Rhine does at one point compare him to a goldfish so I'm guessing that what they're feeling might not be exactly long term.  Weird as the situation is, I think she and Linden might make a better couple overall.

Everything starts to feel like a fever dream at certain points because a lot of characters are either sick or drugged.  Rhine also comes to realize that she's romanticized a lot of her life that happened before she was gathered.  Take her brother for example I don't know about you but I thought he sounded like a real, to put it nicely, a jerk.  She doesn't seem to see much worth in herself as compared to her brother and that kind of bothered me.

With this ending it shows how close Rhine is getting to what she's looking for.  I really hope that this story ends happily but I have a feeling that it might not.  There's just so much happening that I hope the last book can answer all the questions that these two books have provided.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sentence Sneak Peek - Fever

Fever by Lauren DeStefano

The first sentence from each chapter of Fever, it's a mini summary of what you can expect to read.

* Spoilers are highlighted like so :)


"WE RUN, with water in our shoes and the smell of the ocean clinging to our frozen skin."

"THE SICK SOUND OF bone hitting skin."

"GABRIEL IS SLEEPING on the ground in the tent, curled up so closely to the wall of the tent that its green tinges his skin."

"THIS TENT IS RED, like the strings of beads that droop down from the ceiling, so low our heads almost touch it as we stand before the mirror."

"THE LOVEBIRDS, she calls us."

"EXHAUSTED, I slide under the blankets in our green tent."

"I HEARD SOMEONE running toward me."

"THE GRASSY FIELD goes on forever, it seems."

"THE SCREAM is the siren that sets the carnival into a panic again."

"THERE ARE NO WINDOWS, and when Gabriel wakes me, I have no way of knowing how long I was out."

"WHEN IT'S MY TURN to sleep again, I dream of fire."

"WE HIDE behind boxes of Kettle chips and pretzels."

"THE TRUCK STOPS."

"AFTER the restaurant has closed, sometime after ten p.m., I rouse Gabriel from where he's been slumped over the table for hours, spluttering in a lake of drool."

"SOMETIME AFTER DAWN we board a bus that will take us to Pennsylvania."

"IT'S DARK when our bus stops at the station, which is grimier than the ones before it."

"MY BROTHER left some things in the trunks we'd buried."

"CLAIRE'S HOUSE reminds me of my own."

"BY MID-FEBRUARY the air starts feeling warmer."

"IN MY DELIRIUM one night I dream of our escape boat, feel it rocking me into a deeper sleep, to a place with long stretches of hot pavement."

"THE NEXT DAY I make an effort."

"IN THE AFTERNOON I conjure the strength to perform menial tasks."

"I AM A CORPSE on a rolling cart."

"THE DREAMS break like water against rocks."

"IN MY DREAM the windmill in the golf course is spinning, its bolts loosening in the hurricane winds."

"IT'S BEST not to wonder at what cost."

"THE SOUND of rain, traffic, and thunder."

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

*Guest Post from Bryan Cohen for The Happiness Blog Tour and Giveaway


Bryan Cohen here, guest poster and author, promoting my new book The Post-College Guide to Happiness for The Happiness Blog Tour. I'm giving away free digital review copies of the book and doing a giveaway for paperback copies, audio copies and even a Kindle Fire! Read on and check out the info below the post.


"If you were all alone in the universe with no one to talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of the stars, to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life? It is other life, it is love, which gives your life meaning. This is harmony. We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth." - Mitsugi Saotome

People and Happiness
 
As someone who spent three years working as a barista at a popular coffee conglomerate, I've certainly had my moments of loving and hating people. You really can see the best and worst of people when you see hundreds of people a day as early as early can be. Add in the chemical dependency of caffeine and you can see people at all points of the emotional spectrum. Through that job, I had people yell at me, laugh with me, curse at me and tip me. Thankfully, more folks were on the positive side of the equation here, but I certainly had my moments in which I wanted to quit society for good.

I see several social media posts a month that show the same sentiment. The posts say that they hate people, that society sucks and that certain folks deserve to die. These are harsh words shared only with friends but you and I both know people who would say that sort of thing when pushed to the brink.

And yet. How can one have happiness without overcoming this distaste for certain types of people? In my final few months working at the shop, when I knew that I was heading out to greener pastures for a career in writing full-time, I fully began to appreciate people with a passion. I had always been a generally happy and genuine barista and I liked most of our customers. It was at that point though that I began to appreciate the folks I didn't like so much. There are always going to be people who challenge you. As Saotome says in the quote, happiness resides in finding a joy to that challenge. When people are difficult toward you or around you, it's like a test to see if you can get through the experience without letting it get you down. This examination to prove your mettle is meant to determine if you can treat this person with respect and care even if you aren't getting it back in return.

This is not an easy feat. I failed this test many times working behind that counter, but over time I learned how to strengthen my resolve against the toughest of customers. As I grew more effective at dealing with people, I noticed that my abilities translated to other parts of my life. This skill improved my relationships with my girlfriend, parents and friends. I felt more of a connection to people working other jobs that dealt with customers. The best result of this improvement, however, was that I found increased happiness in all kinds of people, even the jerks.

Improve how you handle people and you will improve yourself and your attitude. As much as you may think you want to sometimes, you can't live in a bubble and you'd hate it even more if you could. People are awesome. People are happiness.
 --

Bryan Cohen is giving away 61 paperback and audio copies of The Post-College Guide to Happiness and a Kindle Fire between now and May 7th, 2012 on The Happiness Blog Tour. All entrants receive a free digital review copy of The Post-College Guide to Happiness. Bryan hopes to give away at least 1,000 copies during the blog tour. To enter, post a comment with your e-mail address or send an e-mail to postcollegehappiness (at) gmail.com. Bryan will draw the names at the end of the tour. Entries will be counted through Sunday, May 6th.

Bryan Cohen is a writer, actor and comedian from Dresher, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005 with degrees in English and Dramatic Art and a minor in Creative Writing. He has written nine books including 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts: Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories and More, 500 Writing Prompts for Kids: First Grade through Fifth Grade, Writer on the Side: How to Write Your Book Around Your 9 to 5 Job and his new book, 1,000 Character Writing Prompts: Villains, Heroes and Hams for Scripts, Stories and More. His website Build Creative Writing Ideas helps over 25,000 visitors a month to push past writer's block and stay motivated.

Feel free to follow along with the tour at The Happiness Blog Tour Hub Page or on the book's Facebook Page.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Story Time

The story will begin on the first of each month and end on the last day of the month.

I like this story so much that I think I'll keep it going and see where it goes from here:

Rules
1.) Only write 1 to 2 sentences
2.) Keep it clean
3.) Have fun and spread the word so the story grows


Here's the story that has formed so far:

Awesome people who have authored the story by adding lines so far: Sullivan McPig, Julie@My5monkeys, Susan Jane Bigelow, barmybex

Title: An Extraordinary Girl

Once upon a time in a time not that long ago there was a disturbance.

The cause of the disturbance was something that was well...truly disturbing.  In fact it was so disturbing that at first it was quite unclear what this disturbance was, because anyone who saw it was too disturbed to talk about it.


There came a noisy unruly girl who demanded that all must obey her.  She was the girl of the mayor and weird things did happen around her.  Pigeons tap danced when she blinked her eyes and cockroaches would mimic her words when she spoke.  Lights would go off and babies would cry when she passed.


This girl stood in the center of town, pigeons dancing, roaches waiting, lights flickering and babies crying all around.  She struck her umbrella on the cobblestones.  A hush fell over the town as purple sparks shot out of the tip of the umbrella and even the pigeons stopped their dancing and seemed to hold their breath.


As the astounded masses watched a massive hole slowly appeared in the middle of the street. As the dust settled it was revealed...a giant staircase leading down to complete darkness and then a faint music started to radiate from its depths.


There was such a ruckus in the town and trying to make sure that all the citizens were fine. The music coming out of the hole had a mesmerizing sound that attracted all the citizens.  It was almost like children's music.


The girl grinned mischievously and whistled along with the music while she slowly descended down the hole.


The further down she went the louder the music echoed. A strange shift filled the air and a cold wind howled past causing her hair to flutter round her face, but it didn't distract her. As she confidently walked on some of the pigeons and cockroaches followed her, cautiously and trembling with fear and a sense of foreboding.


"Wait," a high, piping voice said, "there are dangers below!" One of the pigeons had spoken. This was not a terrific surprise to the girl, who did not pause in her descent.
"Stay above ground if you don't have the courage to follow me," she stated calmly. "But I must go on. The faith of the town depends on this."

As she kept traveling downward the tone of the music seemed to change and become more insistent.  Then in the distance a faint shimmering light appeared.It glowed a dull purple at first, but then changed to a harsh, angry blue that pulsated like a frantic heartbeat that got more aggressive the closer the girl got to it.

The light was actually calling to her, and only her. She was different from everyone else in the town. It was her duty.


She edged closer with her arm out in front of her. The blue light grew in intensity until she had to close her eyes against the glare, a warmth surrounded her arm from the light and she pulled in a satisfied breath and grinned.


As more of the light enveloped her, she felt the heat spread and her body began to hum with a sense of power.


Then in her mind she began to hear a whispering chant almost as if the power knew who she was and what she had to do.


The words and the music started to sync together and then she began to speak the chant, as she spoke the discordant words the light solidified into a wooden door which slowly began to open.


The light around the door frame was still so bright it cast shadows into the room, making it impossible to see what was in there.


She slowly peeked into the room and felt so cold that there must be something not of this world in there. She slowly found the bed and sat down on it.


Then out of nowhere a dapper looking man appeared.  He looked like a perfect gentleman, he even had a strange purple tophat on.  Though when you looked in his eyes there was no warmth to be found and his presence seemed to suck the warmth from the room.

The man seemed to be staring straight at her but there was no recognition in his eyes, just blackness. Then he opened his mouth to speak and she felt shivers shoot up and down her spine.

His voice seemed to freeze the very air and stop all sound when he said, "I know what you're here for."

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Top 5 Sundays - Favorite Cover Designs of 2012 {so far}!

This feature was thought up by the awesome Larissa's Bookish Life
Rules:

1 - Write a post listing your TOP 5 choices within the theme I chose (or was chosen on a poll) for the week.
2 - Mention this Blog on the post and link back to it.
3 - Fell free to use the Feature's image (there is a smaller size version of it bellow)
4 - After you've finished your post, add you link (of the post, not your blog's main page) to the Mr.Linky at the end of that week's post.
5 – If you don’t have a blog to post, just leave your list in the comments =)  

Favorite Cover Designs of 2012 {so far}!
I love this cover even more after reading Fever because it hints at so much of what actually happens in the story.

I love this cover and can't wait to read what exactly goes on in the book that leads to this scene.

I like the simplicity of this cover because this is one complicated/great story.


I pretty much love anything having to do with space and this series.  This cover just draws you in and does kind of foreshadow an important event in the book.


The cover of this book is so cool, I bought a print of the original picture from the artist Sean Dietrich.  I think the cover really sets a great tone for what's to come in the story.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Giveaway - Win THE IMMORTAL RULES

Win a copy of The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

* Winner will receive a hardcover of The Immortal Rules directly from the publisher after the book's release day.



Friday, March 23, 2012

True Transformation

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

* ARC provided by the publisher for review
* book will be released April 24, 2012 

5 out of 5 gnomes

A refreshing look at the world of vampires where *gasps and gazes is wonder* vampires are actually creatures to be feared and not get cozy with.  Okay, if you couldn’t tell, I really like Julie Kagawa’s take on vampires. The whole story feels like one of those old-school sweeping epic kind of books.  


The journey of Allison Sekemoto as she grows and changes makes for quite an interesting character study.  Having the different sections that separate the story really add to the tension and will have you eagerly awaiting what happens next. The story also has one of the best closing lines that I’ve read in awhile (it may literally have you cheering aka wanting the next book ASAP.  

Each section seems to grow stronger and as it goes along and then there’s the ending which just propels the action forward even more.
Human
- In this section you see through Allison’s eyes how this world works.  She is unregistered which means that she is the among the poorest of the poor and always looking for food. She is part of a gang that scavenges just to survive and food and safety aren't exactly guaranteed. There's always the fear of knowing that you're never truly safe. Vampire - Being a vampire is not easy but it does have some benefits. These benefits of course include things like the potential to live forever and more agility and strength. The older you are though, the less human you will possibly become because it's hard to hold on to your humanity when humans are your food source. There are no vegetarian vampires here so there's only one option when feeding. Her teacher too is one very interesting vampire and I really want to know what his full story is.

Monster
- Traveling with a group really puts Allison to the test. She doesn't want to be a monster but may be forced to act like one. When you're a vampire, you can only put off the hunger for so long before it pretty much drives you crazy. Then there's the fact that nobody trusts vampires so it's not easy to get a chance to bite someone. This problem comes to the forefront and leaves her much more alone then she was before.
Wanderer - This section was my favorite because it shows just how much Allison is capable of. She's determined and fights for what she believes in.
She really has to learn to accept herself for who she now is.  It's not an easy road by any means but this journey is well worth following. There is a lot of excitement and action in this section and you find out some very interesting things about the group she traveled with. There is some great mythology set up in this world and this section just brings everything together very nicely.

Expect the unexpected as you read this book. If you’re like me you may have thought that there would be a love triangle but boy is that solved rather quickly and gorily.  


Overall I would definitely recommend this book especially if you like your vampires scary and your heroines awesome.
  I know I'm definitely rabid for more.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Super Slide

* Reviewed this ARC via a tour put on by the author
* Book will be released March 27, 2012


4 gnomes out of 5 gnomes for having a character who’s quirky yet believable and a killer mystery.  

I love the premise of the story.   It feels plausible too because if the person you trust most looks at you like you’re crazy then it would be hard to know who to trust.  Trust is important in this story and you’ll probably be wishing that the main character Vee trusted the right people sooner.    

Vee has narcolepsy but not exactly the normal kind.  Narcolepsy is one of those diseases that kind of sounds made up but would be horrible to have the more you think about it.  It’s a great/inventive way to explain her ability though.  She for reasons unknown to her is able to slide into people and experience everything they do.  Once she’s slid into someone she can’t help but see what they are doing and feeling.  Because of this she knows much more then she ever wanted to about many of the important people in her life.  


She’s undergone quite the transformation since she slid into her ex-best friend and watched her do nothing as something horrible happened.  Vee has a lot of pain to work through after her mother died and her problems just keep piling up.  Her narcolepsy/sliding problem seems to be getting worse.

She finds herself sliding into a murderer and through their eyes sees one of her sister’s best friends killed.  As if that’s not traumatizing enough, everyone thinks that the girl committed suicide.  Vee has no one to turn to because she hasn’t told anybody about what she can do since her dad didn’t believe her when she told him.

There’s not all doom and gloom in this book though, the relationships are all well portrayed and complicated.

This is the kind of story where there are two obvious love interests but the heroine only notices one of them at first.  This means that there’s not really a love triangle because Vee takes so long to notice that the other guy actually likes her.  

The mystery in this book will leave you guessing.  I sure didn’t know who the bad guy would turn out to be.  Even after the big reveal there are still a lot of questions about what Vee’s future will be and how her family will cope.  

This is a great story with a big mystery and a lot of twists and turns.  Vee’s quite the character and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Guest Post: Q&A with Julie Kagawa

* Here's a cool Q&A that was provided by the publisher:

"A Q&A with
New York Times Best Selling Author Julie Kagawa


After writing the Iron Fey series for so many years, how difficult was it to immerse yourself in a futuristic world filled with vampires, rabids and an enslaved human race?

It was...very different. I think the hardest thing for me was the fact that this story does take place in the real world -- a futuristic, vampire-infested world, but the real world nonetheless. Things had to make sense, for example: how far can a large group walk in a single day if there were no roads, they were going through thick woods, and there were children in the group? I had to have logical reasons for everything; I couldn't just make something work "because of faery magic," lol.


Just like Meghan Chase in the Iron Fey series, the main character in The Immortal Rules, Allison Sekemoto, is a “take charge and kick butt” kind of girl. Is this intentional? What woman – real or fictional, alive or deceased – do you look up to or admire?

Yes, Allison comes from a very different world than Meghan Chase. Meghan's upbringing was pretty normal; Allison grew up among vampires and monsters, where every day was a fight to live, so she couldn't afford to be weak. While Meghan had to learn to "take charge and kick butt," Allison's first impulse is stab first, talk later.


As for female role models, the first that comes to mind--when it comes to kicking vampire butt, anyway -- is Buffy Summers. Thank you, Joss Whedon, for making me love feisty, snarky, heroines who can dust all sorts of nasties but who also look good in a cheerleading outfit. ;)

You mention in your acknowledgements in The Immortal Rules that at the beginning of your writing career you promised yourself you wouldn’t write a vampire book. What changed your mind?

Well, there were already so many really good books about our favorite bloodsuckers, so many stories and ideas, I thought I didn't have anything new to add to the masses. I was actually toying with a post-apocalyptic YA novel when my agent mentioned I might want to try writing a vampire series. I wasn't intrigued with the idea at first, but then I thought about combining vampires with the post- apocalyptic novel and then rest sort of fell into place.

Allison claims she hates vampires and believes they are monsters yet when faced with a choice of die or become one, she becomes a vampire. Would you have made that same decision?

Me personally? No. I'm like Zeke in the belief that there is something better waiting for me beyond this life, and I just have to do my best until it’s time for me to go. Besides, I love pizza and Mountain Dew too much to give it up.

Who do you think the most complex character is in The Immortal Rules?

Probably Kanin, Allie's sire. He's a vampire who has made his peace about being a monster, yet chooses to live by his own set of moral rules. He warns Allison about getting too close to humans, yet he does not kill unless he absolutely has to. He is tormented about something in his past that he refuses to share with anyone. He is certainly the most mysterious of all the characters, if not the most complex.

How many books will be in the Blood of Eden series? When will the next book be coming out?

At the moment, there are three books planned, with the second coming out sometime next spring, after the release of the new Iron Fey series this fall.

Before you starting writing full time you were a professional dog trainer. Do the professions share any similarities?

Lol, well you have to think on your feet a lot. And some of the small dogs could be compared to tiny snapping goblins, but writing requires less dodging skills, though perhaps the same amount of creativity and problem solving.

When starting a new series, like Blood of Eden, do you have the entire series mapped out in detail or do you let the story develop book by book?

I have a high point that I write toward in each story; I know this and this has to happen, but getting from point A to point B usually develops as I go along.

And for the speed round:
What book have you read and re-read, and read yet again?

Any of the Harry Potter books.

Favorite song to play when writing a fight scene?

My "favorites" change daily. Right now its "Awake and Alive" by Skillet.


Worst job?

Working a kiosk in the mall during Christmas. It sold glass figurines, and the maneuvering space around the hundreds of very breakable merchandise was quite small. I was like a bull in a china shop.


Best vacation spot?

Walt Disney World

Sweets or salty?

Sweet.

One thing most people don’t know about you – and would never guess!

I used to play the flute when I was a kid. I was really good at it too, but my instructor stopped teaching to have a family, and I never went back to it.
"

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sentence Sneak Peek - The Immortal Rules

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

The first sentence from each chapter of
The Immortal Rules, it's a mini summary of what you can expect to read.

* Spoilers are highlighted like so
:)

* ARC provided by the publisher for review

"They hung the Unregistereds in the old warehouse district; it was a public execution, so everyone went to see."

"People will tell you that it's impossible to leave New Cov-ington, that the Outer Wall is impenetrable, that no one can get in or out of the city even if they want to."

"A pounding in my skull brought me back to reality."

"Allison," Mom said, putting the cushion beside her, "come up here."

"Fragments of nightmare plagued my darkness."

"When I awoke next, I was alone, lying on a dusty cot in one of the old hospital rooms."

"In the weeks that followed, my nights settled into a routine."

"One night I woke up, alone as usual, and wandered down the hall to Kanin's office, only to find him gone."

"I jerked awake, hissing and baring my fangs, the nightmare ebbing away into reality."

"That first night, I walked through trees and brush and tan-gled undergrowth, shaking my head at the vastness of it all, wondering if it would ever end."

"The bodies were still there, stiff and waxy, when I rose the next evening."

"The next evening, I woke up groggy and a bit disoriented."

"There's something strange about her," Ruth murmured."

"The plains couldn't go on forever."

"When I awoke the next evening, I felt...different."

"No!"

"We stared at each other, frozen in time."

"They were waiting at the edge of the woods, blank eyes shin-ing through the rain, watching me with the unblinking stare of death."

"I jerked awake in the darkness and immediately knew some-thing was wrong."

"Well, it's a good thing you were wearing a helmet, isn't it?"

"ZEKE!"

"I didn't encounter any resistance as I made my way to Jackal's tower, probably because everyone was preoccupied with the burning building."

"Well, well," Jackal purred, smiling as he came into the room, shutting the door behind him."

"The Floating Pit was in full blazing glory when Zeke and I left Jackal's tower, a huge fireball burning against the night."

"Blissfully, my sleep was free of nightmares this time."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays - Fever

"Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!"




"Oh, Goldenrod, you are a gem."

"The music is louder the closer we come to the ground, and the girls sadder."

Both sentences are from page 22 of Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hunger Games Haiku Contest


I'm so excited for the movie and have my tickets ready to go for the midnight showing.  I love the book and can't wait to see if the movie's as good.  In honor of the book, I decided to have a haiku contest and the winner will receive a Collector's edition of The Hunger Games from The Book Depository (International contest, just make sure that the book depository ships to wherever you live.)



Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Randomness and Catching Up

Book I plan to read next = Fever by Lauren DeStefano

I loved Wither and can't wait to see where the story goes.


Post that I need you to read:  Looking for Reliable Reviewers

Please read this if you think you'd have any interest in reviewing books for Bibliognome.


Random Picture of the Week: Me and a baby kangaroo.

Here's me holding a baby kangaroo at the Boat/RV show that was here a couple of weeks ago.  That was one adorable baby.  :)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Story Time


The story will begin on the first of each month and end on the last day of the month.

I like this story so much that I think I'll keep it going and see where it goes from here:

Rules
1.) Only write 1 to 2 sentences
2.) Keep it clean
3.) Have fun and spread the word so the story grows


Here's the story that has formed so far:

Awesome people who have authored the story by adding lines so far: Sullivan McPig, Julie@My5monkeys, Susan Jane Bigelow, barmybex

Title: An Extraordinary Girl
Once upon a time in a time not that long ago there was a disturbance.

The cause of the disturbance was something that was well...truly disturbing.  In fact it was so disturbing that at first it was quite unclear what this disturbance was, because anyone who saw it was too disturbed to talk about it.

There came a noisy unruly girl who demanded that all must obey her.  She was the girl of the mayor and weird things did happen around her.  Pigeons tap danced when she blinked her eyes and cockroaches would mimic her words when she spoke.  Lights would go off and babies would cry when she passed.

This girl stood in the center of town, pigeons dancing, roaches waiting, lights flickering and babies crying all around.  She struck her umbrella on the cobblestones.  A hush fell over the town as purple sparks shot out of the tip of the umbrella and even the pigeons stopped their dancing and seemed to hold their breath.

As the astounded masses watched a massive hole slowly appeared in the middle of the street. As the dust settled it was revealed...a giant staircase leading down to complete darkness and then a faint music started to radiate from its depths.

There was such a ruckus in the town and trying to make sure that all the citizens were fine. The music coming out of the hole had a mesmerizing sound that attracted all the citizens.  It was almost like children's music.

The girl grinned mischievously and whistled along with the music while she slowly descended down the hole.

The further down she went the louder the music echoed. A strange shift filled the air and a cold wind howled past causing her hair to flutter round her face, but it didn't distract her. As she confidently walked on some of the pigeons and cockroaches followed her, cautiously and trembling with fear and a sense of foreboding.

"Wait," a high, piping voice said, "there are dangers below!" One of the pigeons had spoken. This was not a terrific surprise to the girl, who did not pause in her descent. "Stay above ground if you don't have the courage to follow me," she stated calmly. "But I must go on. The faith of the town depends on this."

As she kept traveling downward the tone of the music seemed to change and become more insistent.  Then in the distance a faint shimmering light appeared.It glowed a dull purple at first, but then changed to a harsh, angry blue that pulsated like a frantic heartbeat that got more aggressive the closer the girl got to it.
The light was actually calling to her, and only her. She was different from everyone else in the town. It was her duty.

She edged closer with her arm out in front of her. The blue light grew in intensity until she had to close her eyes against the glare, a warmth surrounded her arm from the light and she pulled in a satisfied breath and grinned.

As more of the light enveloped her, she felt the heat spread and her body began to hum with a sense of power.

Then in her mind she began to hear a whispering chant almost as if the power knew who she was and what she had to do.

The words and the music started to sync together and then she began to speak the chant, as she spoke the discordant words the light solidified into a wooden door which slowly began to open.

The light around the door frame was still so bright it cast shadows into the room, making it impossible to see what was in there.

She slowly peeked into the room and felt so cold that there must be something not of this world in there. She slowly found the bed and sat down on it.

Then out of nowhere a dapper looking man appeared.  He looked like a perfect gentleman, he even had a strange purple tophat on.  Though when you looked in his eyes there was no warmth to be found and his presence seemed to suck the warmth from the room.

The man seemed to be staring straight at her but there was no recognition in his eyes, just blackness. Then he opened his mouth to speak and she felt shivers shoot up and down her spine.

Friday, March 16, 2012

RTS IRL (Real Time Strategy In Real Life)

Echo's Revenge by Sean Austin

* ARC provided by the author for review



5 out of 5 tiara wearing bats


Echo's Revenge is a great read, it keeps you guessing.  You never are a hundred percent sure what's going on. 

The game descriptions in the book had me picturing online Echo's Revenge the game as a mix of Team Fortress Two and Half-Life.  Being an MMO player myself, I like that they show the interactions between the people playing and actually have personalities come through.  It just gets better when they meet in real life. 

It's every gamers nightmare/dream to see things like this happen.  I spent most of the book questioning if it was all a game and even at the end I'm not sure.  The setting feels realistic and really none of it is completely unfeasable. Lets just say, crazy hackers and an android slowly behaving like it wants to take over the world = a bad situation.

Everything will keep you guessing.  It's well worth the time spent reading and is an easy fun read.  My favorite character is a draw between Scratch/Claw and Snake.  Scratch because you have to love the girl gamer among the guys who can hold her own and Snake because his personality is just easy to connect to.  I want the next book NOW!!!


* Check out http://www.echohunt.com/ for more information and cool features.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sentence Sneak Peek - Echo's Revenge

Echo's Revenge by Sean Austin

The first sentence from each chapter of
Echo's Revenge, it's a mini summary of what you can expect to read.

* Spoilers are highlighted like so
:)

* ARC provided by the author for review

Prologue: “Fog! It’s so foggy, I cant see a thing,”Reggie whispers as he peers around the cold granite corner of the County Courthouse.”

“Whoah. Smokin’!” said Jeremy, who was watching the computer screen from over Reggie’s shoulder.”

“When school ended the next day, Reggie and Jeremy walked home across an ice covered field.”

“Reggie got up at 6 a.m.”

“On the way out of AAA Reality Games, something weird happened to Reggie.”

“Six am came a lot quicker than Reggie thought it would.”

“A sparkling cloud drifted purposefully through the early morning woods.”

“The three Petes sat inn the cab of Big Pete’s truck, driving through southern Oregon.”

“Now,” said a dark silhouette of a guy with a buzz cut.”

“Think we’re lost enough now?” asked Jeremy when Reggie had lead them off the road and into some woods at the outskirts of Crescent City, California.”

“The screeching sea gulls awakened Jeremy and Reggie.”

“Reggie and Jeremy got milk and chow each morning at a 7-Eleven convenience stores wherever they found themselves because 7-Eleven convenience stores were always friendly, clean, and most importantly, predictable places where they knew to look for new pictures on milk cartons.”

“Reggie and Jeremy surveyed the truck stop just outside of Crescent City, trying to figure out with whom they could hitch another ride.”

“What she said about Asa kinda makes sense,” and Jeremy as they entered the Truck Stop Restaurant.”  

“Reggie and Jeremy were lucky.”

“Where can we hide, where can we hide?”

“Reggie still didn't know what to think since Luca still hadn’t responded to any of his emails or calls and a very real ECHO had almost nailed them.”

“We’re here! said Reggie, comparing the view to the crumpled photo in his hand.”

“Reggie woke up first, to a splitting headache.”

“After a while, Reggie and Jeremy noticed a small trap door in the floor of the truck that kept opening every half hour or so.”

“Crystal clear water shot out from the rocks high above the Falls, allowing anyone to take a refreshing drink or a freezing shower.”

“The next work period someone one stood at the top of the Pit watching all the guys come to work.”

“The next day, a large plastic shrink-wrapped package was dumped next to a game arcade in Los Angeles.”

“Back to work, welding in the Pit.”

“Rations were running low, so Snake asked for volunteers to get more.”

“On the way to the Cots the next night, Reggie thought about making new escape plans.”

“The blackout had caused confusion and anxiety in the Cauldron.”

“Reggie and Jeremy stood in the Pit, frozen.”

“As exhausted as they were,most of the guys jumped at the chance to get out.”

“Big Pete drove all night.”

Epilogue -   “Before he knew it,Reggie saw palm trees on the side of the freeway.”