Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tattoo Tuesdays: Home

I found this tattoo today while looking at my tumblr feed (on my kindle). There is something about chest tattoos on guys that is so...attractive. The black inking on his tattoo is so fresh and vibrant, I want to reach out and touch it (blush).

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mundane Mondays: Short and Sweet

Work was crazy today and I spent my lunch typing that mammoth post from Saturday. That being said this post has to be short because I should be walking out the door as I type.

News # One
(This could be perceived as good or bad. Don't worry I'm confused too.)
I got an eReader. Kindle Fire to be exact.

News # Two
My application for being a Global eBook Awards Judge was accepted! This is the main reason I decided to join the dark side and get the eReader.

More details soon!!!

Most Likely to Become Famous

(I originally wrote this post Saturday, January 21, while I was working at the shop, but I never had time the rest of the weekend to post it. I plan to write a Mundane Monday post for today as well.)

I don’t know about everywhere else in the country, but the Midwest (specifically northern Indiana) has been hit with glorious SNOW! There is no hidden sarcasm in that exclamation. While it gets me no end of dirty looks, I don’t mind saying or rather shouting, that I love snow. I even admitted via my Facebook that I was responsible for our blizzard like conditions because the night before I did a Snow Dance. I think people are ready to throw me out into the snowy white mess to dance in my flip flops as punishment.

This week has been madness. I neglected writing the whole week, which has left me feeling detached and edgy. My witting catch up plan* for today is: 2 blog posts, 1 article for newsletter, an outline of the next issue of the newsletter, at least 4 pages (handwritten) for my book, and a book review. Eeek! This is what happens when you shove your passion aside for an entire week. Not to mention Twitter has seen much less tweeting from me and Tumblr even less. I can hear little muses in my head chanting “Write! Write! Write!” Don’t worry I hear you loud and clear.

This post has several working themes; it is a mere cornucopia of updating so to speak. I never got around to a Christmas Book Brag or New Year’s Resolution post, so this will be a one stop shot for them. Plus I plan to tease you with some book news all my own. In other words this post may be . . . long.

Christmas had to be a record breaking year for me with the number of books I received. My friends and family don’t know me at all, do they? The picture below is a bit fuzzy, but I had to show off my treasure trove.

-    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Box Set!) by Stieg Larsson
-    Characters from Tolkien by David Day
-    Cassandra’s Sister by Veronica Bennett
-    Hawk of May by Gillian Bradshaw
-    The Making of a Marchioness by Frances Hodgson Burnett
-    A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper
-    Jane Austen’s Guide to Good Manners by Josephine Ross
-    The Unknown Knowns by Jeffrey Rotter
-    Thirteenth Child by Patricia C. Wrede
-    The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
-    Child of Fire by Harry Connolly
-    Aspects of the Novel by E.M. Forster
-    How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One by Stanley Fish
-    Song of Ice and Fire (Box Set!) by George R.R. Martin
-    Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

In my family, we have what is called (me: clearing throat) a “Pee your pants gift”. There has actually never been any evidence that such action has occurred upon opening said gift, but the name is more for the novelty than anything. Oh yes and watching non-family member’s raised eyebrow as they confirm even further in their minds how weird we are. Following that lead I ranked/awarded some of the books into the categories below:

-    I wet my pants and now I’m speechless: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Box Set!) by Stieg Larsson – This is perhaps one of the most gorgeous set of books I own. They remind me of the 1950 publications of cloth covered hardback books. When my brother A. David gave them to me I couldn’t speak. It was so unexpected and wow!

-    You’ve been tasked! - Song of Ice and Fire (Box Set!) by George R.R. Martin – This set was from my friend Paul. As I’m excitedly oing and ahing over the gift, he drops this encouraging bit “The set is a little over 1.5 million words.” (Silence) Well I’ve wanted to read these for awhile, so I better get cracking.

-    Huh, what? - The Unknown Knowns by Jeffrey Rotter and Child of Fire by Harry Connolly – I had to award this category to 2 books. These were from 2 different secret Santa’s I had and as I opened them I was left scratching my head. I’m still wondering what made them pick these titles for me. I’m going to read them nonetheless!

-    Pleased to meet you -The Making of a Marchioness by Frances Hodgson Burnett – One of those moments where it is ok for your mum to tell you where she got a gift from. I have long had an obsession with specific publication of books and publishers. Persephone books is no exception and I’m also bad (good really) about only buying their books straight from England. However, my mum picked this one up at a thrift store!

-    Hello handsomeHawk of May by Gillian Bradshaw – Long ago, in a bookstore faraway, a girl snapped a picture of this scrumptious bit of ‘judging a book by its cover’ book with her cell phone and stored it away for the future. Surprise! I got it for Christmas.

2012, I have a request. If you are in fact** the end, let’s not go gentle into that good night. Can you make it a year for things to take off, to happen, to explode with goal happening history? Perhaps I’ll have to bring my friend Jack Dice*** along to ‘kindly’ convince you. No! I’m not threatening you, no never.

Okay, in attempts to be slightly more realistic my goals may reflect that.

-    Africa – While last year my goal was to go to Africa, this year I’m playing it safer (meaning not dashing my hopes and dreams by asking for so much). My goal is to continue saving for a future trip to Africa.

-    Camera – My 4 plus year old (not for sure how old it is) digital camera has seen better days. I would really like to be able to purchase a new and cooler camera. I want to take my picture snapping skills to the next level.

-    Books – Reading goal for last year fell very short. 50 books. I read only 24 books. Yes, I know very sad. So what do I do? I up the goal to more! This year I would like to read 75 or more. As of today I’ve finished 5 towards this goal.

-    Shrink – No I don’t suddenly have a desire to be a character from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. I am in fact referring to my ever growing ‘To be read’ pile. My personal library is nearly 1,450 books. I have not read more than half of those. I know, shame on me, I have a problem. A good problem, some may say. The goal, read more from my own shelves. After all I have an awesome library if I do say so myself.

-    Snow . . . boarding! – I don’t think people realize or believe how badly I want to learn to snowboard. Someone said I have a death wish. No sir. I want to fly through the air, pound some powder, and go home sorer than I’ve ever been in my life, snow. (Sigh) Make it happen!

-    Let the ink consume me – Finish my book. Talk my writing savvy friend into reading and tearing it apart. That sounds painful and I’m sure it will be. Write more for my blog, stick to my schedule (aka: Mundane Mondays, Tattoo Tuesdays, Waiting on Wednesdays, etc.). Basically put pen to paper and don’t stop!

-    Prepare – Bomb Shelter in backyard (Check), Rations of food (Check), Water (Check), Ammunition and Guns (Check) Okay so I’m not talking about end of the world preparations (I watch too many movies sometimes). Those who know me, know that above all else I want more than anything to be a wife and mother. My goal this year is to read more in the realm of preparing for this role, to cook more, to sew more, better known as become a kickass wife/mum in training. Leave book suggestions in the comments below. Encouragement is welcome as well. Negativity? Please leave that fester in your mind. In addition to this goal is also the endeavor to become a more God honoring, godly young woman. I know I’m sorely lacking in that department. Prayers are welcome. :)

(If any of you have read this far, well I didn’t think the post would be this long. Sorry.)

Those are my 2012 goals. I may have more, but these are the major game changer. The goals I pray are most likely to become famous.

Finishing things up, come Monday I’m hopeful to have some book news to share. It could very well be instrumental in furthering me in the blogsphere. You will have to wait for the juicy details. I will also have other book related news that could please some of you and mark me for tar and feathering for others.

Don’t forget about my book giveaway!

Feel free to share your goals with me and/or Christmas loot!

*Accomplished all, but the 4 pages for my book.
**Don't believe it is going to happen.
*** I know what they say about inside jokes, but Jack Dice he is no joke. You may read about him one day. Here's to hoping you only get to read about him and not meet him face to face.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: The Solitary House

"Waiting On" Wednesday spotlights upcoming releases that everyone's excited about (created by Jill at Breaking The Spine.)

The Solitary House by Lynn Shepherd

Scheduled to be released:
May 1, 2012

Why I'm waiting:
This week my WoW is a book I have my fingers crossed I will win an ARC of, The Solitary House. I didn't read the summary, but I did read the bit about the author's previous book being a reimagined murder take on Jane Austen's Mansfield Park. That was enough to entice me. Well and I read a little further than that (guilty) and found out this one is set Dickens' world. Mystery and Dickens? How much better can it get? A great cover of course!

Book Synopsis:
Lynn Shepherd’s first acclaimed novel of historical suspense, Murder at Mansfield Park, brilliantly reimagined the time of Jane Austen. Now, in this spellbinding new triumph, she introduces an unforgettable duo of detectives into the gaslit world of Dickens.

London, 1850. Charles Maddox had been an up-and-coming officer for the Metropolitan police until a charge of insubordination abruptly ended his career. Now he works alone, struggling to eke out a living by tracking down criminals. Whenever he needs it, he has the help of his great-uncle Maddox, a legendary “thief taker,” a detective as brilliant and intuitive as they come.

On Charles’s latest case, he’ll need all the assistance he can get.

To his shock, Charles has been approached by Edward Tulkinghorn, the shadowy and feared attorney, who offers him a handsome price to do some sleuthing for a client. Powerful financier Sir Julius Cremorne has been receiving threatening letters, and Tulkinghorn wants Charles to—discreetly—find and stop whoever is responsible.

But what starts as a simple, open-and-shut case swiftly escalates into something bigger and much darker. As he cascades toward a collision with an unspeakable truth, Charles can only be aided so far by Maddox. The old man shows signs of forgetfulness and anger, symptoms of an age-related ailment that has yet to be named.

Intricately plotted and intellectually ambitious, The Solitary House is an ingenious novel that does more than spin an enthralling tale: it plumbs the mysteries of the human mind. 

(Plot summary taken from LibraryThing)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Mundane Mondays: Book Giveaway!

Mundane Mondays is finally back. Hopefully I can get better about posting EVERY Monday. Aside from everything else Mondays typically imply, I like writing Mundane Mondays posts. I know I owe you all a Christmas (bragging essentially) update of books I got, plus a New Year's Resolution post. I may combined them, but I promise to get that posted later this week.

Straying from the norm, Mundane Monday is going to be a book giveaway. This is the first I have ever done and I'm really excited to share some books. I guess we can say it is in honor of the NEW YEAR!

Book Giveaway

Prize #1
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (paperback)

Prize #2
Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles Book 1)
by Jessica Spotswood (ARC; paperback)

Prize #3
A Game of Thrones (Song of Ice and Fire Book 1)
by George R. R. Martin (paperback)

The giveaway starts today, January 9th, and winners will be picked January 31st. Rules are:

1. You must live in the U.S. 
2. Leave a comment with your e-mail address, so you can be contacted by me if you win.
3. You don't have to follow my blog, but it would be great if you did.
4. List the prizes in order of which you want in your comment. Or if you only have an interest in one, leave it in your comment.
5. Three Prizes, so one book per winner-The Three Winners will be picked the old-fashioned way. I put your name in a hat and randomly pick. 
Please feel to spread the word. I will be getting the word out via Twitter, Facebook, and my Google+ (as well as here :)). The more the merrier! I want this to be a success, so I will have motivation to do more in the future. I will probably send out a reminder later this week, as well as every week until the 31st. 


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Book Review: FOREVER isn't nearly long enough

Following an author’s career is much like watching a child grow. You see their worth from the beginning, though those around you might not catch on right away. As with a child, things begin a bit shakily, but the waiting makes it that much more fun to hang on and get excited as things progress.

Reading Maggie Stiefvater’s books has been one such venture. I remember my sister bringing home her book, Lament from the library. We quickly indulged and read the book. Our excitement so contagious we rushed to the computer, both agreeing we have to know more about this author. What did we find? Quite possibly the coolest grownup we’ve ever met. I mean she plays the bagpipes, blogs, writes books, is creative, and has an awesome taste in music!

I have just finished reading the final book of her Mercy Falls Trilogy, Forever. It took me the better part of three days to finish the last 20 pages. Torn between knowing the ending and wanting the story to never be over. It was difficult to finally buckle down and finish.

I want to thrust the books in front of you and say read! Or tie you to a chair and insist, freedom comes if and when you finish reading. However, I know many readers want explanations, why must I read this? What’s so great about it?

A dash of Mandelstam, a sprinkling of Roethke, a whole mess of Rilke and every bit Maggie Stiefvater. Characters that scream their humanity from pages that beg to be read. A progressive maturity across the three books that is refreshing and increases the realness of it all. I realize that I’m making a YA series sound like a study of the human psyche, worthy of a Nobel prize, but I appreciate the books uniqueness. In that they are not like every other YA book on the market.

Werewolves? Yes. Romance? Yes. Tragic? Yes. But it is human, real, believable. Sam who speaks to the quiet intellect in us all. Grace, brave and yet fragile. Cole who perhaps you should hate more often than not, but can’t help feeling a kindred “lost” tie to. Isabel such a bitch, but so much more than that, you want to hold her hand and listen.

All I know is Maggie Stiefvater gave me: werewolves, introduced me to my new lover, Rilke, some musings in German, and characters I wish I was living amongst sorting through my own issues right along side of. If that’s not enough to entice you, well then, keep reading what you have been and realize you’re missing out.

Maggie Stiefvater, (awesome last name by the way) I hope we meet someday!

Oh and P.S. you became ten fold that much more awesome after I watched your TED talk. :)

I didn’t understand how someone could be both God and the devil. How the same person could destroy you and save you. When everything I was, good and bad, was knotted with threads of his making, how was I supposed to know whether to love or hate him?
Pg 189-190 (Sam talking)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: The Wicked and the Just

"Waiting On" Wednesday spotlights upcoming releases that everyone's excited about (created by Jill at Breaking The Spine.)

The clue that you are VERY behind on your book keeper tracker of-er list? When you have to search for an hour to find a book for WoW. My Amazon wishlist, which acts as a precursor to my Goodreads account, is usually the go to, to see what books I have waiting to be read, but are not out yet. I have been busy or lazy, you decide. Although maybe this is the universes method of intervention because I can never just add ONE book to my Amazon wishlist (darn recommendations). 


The Wicked and the Just by J. Anderson Coats

Scheduled to be released:
April 17, 2012

Why I'm waiting:

If you haven't read here before, you might not know that I'm horrible about judging a book by it's cover. It is a nasty tendency and the main reason why I picked The Wicked and the Just. I don't read inside covers or book summaries online, I like to be surprised. I do know this book is Historical Fiction, though, and that is one of my favorite genres to read.

This is Ms. Anderson Coats debut novel and I'm always intrigued by an author's first book. It is motivation to make me purchase a copy, rather than pilfer it from my library (I don't steal, I just like that word). I'd like to hope that little ole me purchasing a copy of an author's book goes a long way. Someday I hope someone would extend the same courtesy to my first book. Good luck Ms. Anderson Coats!

Book Synopsis:

Cecily longs to return to her beloved Edgeley Hall, where her father was lord of the manor. But now he has completely ruined her life. He is moving them to Caernarvon, in occupied Wales, where he can get a place for almost nothing, since the king needs good strong Englishmen to keep down the vicious Welshmen. At least Cecily will get to be the lady of the house at last—if all goes well.

Gwenhwyfar knows all about that house. Once she dreamed of being the lady there herself, until the English came and destroyed the lives of everyone she knows. Now Gwenhwyfar must wait hand and foot on this bratty English girl who has taken what should have been hers.

While Cecily struggles to find her place amongst the snobby English landowners, Gwenhwyfar struggles just to survive. And meanwhile the Welsh are not as conquered as they seem. Outside the city walls of Caernarvon, tensions are rising ever higher—until finally they must reach the breaking point.

(Plot summary taken from Goodreads 

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