Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

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

WoW: The Raven Boys (Book 1 of the Raven Cycle) by Maggie Stiefvater

Scheduled to be released: September 18, 2012

Why I'm waiting: 
I think it is clear from previous blog posts, how much I enjoy Maggie Stiefvater's writing. Plus her books seem to get better and better. Short and simple explanation this week. (insert smile) Oh yes and raven on the cover . . . ravens are so 'Edgar Allan Poeish' and therefore must be devoured as such. A cycle! We get a cycle! How many books is that again?

Book Synopsis: 
 You can read the synopsis I'm about to post from Goodreads or . . . you can watch the book trailer!

Synopisis from Goodreads:
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Be sure to add The Raven Boys to your Goodreads!

An added bonus!
Sara King's next eBook is scheduled to be released this Friday! Don't miss Outer Bounds: Fortune's Rising

Only 3 Days Left to Win Books from my first giveaway!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tattoo Tuesdays: Her white blank page...and a swelling rage

I was listening to my Mumford & Sons Pandora radio station today and across the airwaves came, perhaps my favorite song by these talented fellows, White Blank Page*. This song comes on and I want to stop what I'm doing. I want to absorb the lyrics, poetic infused that they are and just listen. It is one of the songs I sit and think, "Please Lord (I'm being sincere right now) give me the opportunity to pour words out to someone like this someday." I think we can all agree "Lead me to the truth and I will follow you with my whole life," is a feeling we can admit to having, even on a spiritual level, if not a romantic one.

I wanted a tattoo that would put this song to good use and do it justice. So I went "a'Googling" and didn't come up with much. The search brought up mostly word tattoos, which is fine, just isn't striking the mood for today. Option 2 was to do some tumbling on Tumblr . . . and this is what I found.

Jason Perkins Photography**

I can picture what my mum and some of my more conservative acquaintances would say right off about this picture. I'm almost inclined to go down that path myself. Then I think, she looks happy, she looks at home in her skin. Is it not a feeling we all want? She has decorated her skin with art and she holds in her arms the next chapter of her life...her white blank page. I wish I could be there when this little girl is growing up. Watching as the curiosity gets the better of her and to hear the stories her mum is going to tell her about the gorgeous neck tattoo she is wearing and the reason for each inking.

In other Tattoo News:

You can now follow someone on Twitter who features bookish tattoos, check it out @literarytattoos!

featuring via a friend on G+

Tattooed Hands . . . (sigh) a weakness.

*In this video, I love how the bookstore shelves "Wales, Arthurian" and "Creatures, Fairy". Can I go there?

**After Googling his photography, I'm a little worried I should clear my web browsing history.*** In my defense I was only trying
to link to the original photo to give him the credit. So let this be your warning . . . don't leave me nasty comments on here or anywhere I post the link saying "Oh Maddie what were you thinking looking at such things," because it was completely with innocent intentions. I'm not robbing you of your opinion, simply asking please don't judge me and don't judge him . . . it is his art.

*** I realize, some of you, after reading this sidenote are going to do this very thing. Go and Google Jason Perkins . . . oh you silly people. (insert smile)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Mundane Mondays: Memos and Dilemmas

Perhaps you didn't get the message, but I own a bookstore. One fact I'm not certain the salesman, who visited the shop Saturday, cared to pay attention to. A nice guy, easy to talk to and once we got to talking I wondered if the conversation was ever going to lull into him leaving . . . so I could get back to my paperwork (not that I was in any hurry for that dosage of fun).

What was he selling? DVDs. He is/was proposing that the bookstore sell DVDs to our customers. Heh . . .

Maybe you had the same reaction I did, but I couldn't help picturing angry Walmart customers. At my day job, the one I work to support my 'habit', I deal with customers and DVD sales. There is no end to the number of odd requests, complaints, and scenarios that most retail workers would scoff at if you asked the same of them. I can't deal with that in my little shop and really I don't want to.

He gave a convincing argument and I even told him that compared to other salesman I've dealt with* he was kind and not pushy. I may have misled him, a little, giving him hopes that we could partner in the future. Meanwhile, he is going to put together a package of the type of DVDs I told him would sell best in a bookstore.

The age old question now arises, "Which is better, the book or the movie?" This led me down another questioning path. When you think about books made into movies, automatically a mental list pops up in your head, the big ones. The books that have “defined a generation” or stirred in people a desire to read who “never thought to pick up a book before.” In pondering this question, I wondered "What were the top selling children's books 50 years ago?" If you can find a good source for this information, let me know. I was not so lucky with my quick Google search or maybe I don't have the patience today to dig.

Instead I found this Wikipedia's List of Best-Selling Books and I started thinking more (me and thinking today, I'm bound to get into some trouble soon). The list features numerous titles and the many millions of copies they have sold since publication. Take a quick glance and see how many of these books have made it to the big screen; leaving me with one last thought and question for today's post.

I see many types of people come into the shop, different readers and enthusiasts and the same goes for people I talk 'book' with outside of bookstore life. Of these people, I hear a lot of "I was never a reader before such and such came out as a movie" or "I only read the book if the movie was good." I notice this more and more as people rely more on the herd concept. They no longer want to try things or risk doing something if their friends haven't or if some celebrity hasn't told them to. It becomes "the thing" to read the book because it is a movie or because someone else says it is a MUST READ. This begs the questions, would we have readers, would publishers sell books . . . if it wasn't for movies?

*My sister and mum both tell these lovely creatures that I'm the owner, rather than a co-owner, thus I have the good fortune to deal with ALL salesman that come to the shop.

Don't forget about my Celebrate Good Times Giveaway!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Celebrate Good Times Giveaway!

Remember the giveaway I told you about yesterday? I wasn't fibbing!

This is just the first round of prizes. If I reach 375 followers on Twitter, I will add 4 more titles to the pot (a secret for now). Help me reach 400 and I will add 2 more books in addition to the 4, plus music! Tell your friends. I've added the Rules and Details again to this post, if you don't want to read yesterday's post.

The Rules and Details
1. You must follow me on Twitter. I will also accept followers on Google+, if for some reason you can't on Twitter. Even if you only follow my blog, that's fine too. (Are we noticing how badly I want to give something away?)
2. It would be nice if you followed my blog, but it is not necessary to be a winner.
3. Winners must live within the continental US. (Sorry)
4. I will do the final check of followers on June 30, 2012, at midnight EST. (Yes I will be awake.)
5. Whether or not I reach 375 or even 400, I will still be having a giveaway. I need to, to sate the need to GIVE. (insert smile)
6. Tell all your friends!
7. Winners will be contacted by email, be sure to follow the process below using Rafflecopter. (Thanks IceyBooks for the recommendation and help.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Prizes and You're Invited!

I have wanted to do a giveaway (muffled cough: successful giveaway) for a long time. Now is that time!

What's the catch? Nothing really, I just want to give things away. I have a pile of books that are destined for fallen glory at a local thrift store, if I can't find people to give them to. They are not 'bad' books or books unworthy of reading. They are just books I've read and don't want to keep or in the case of one I have the box set and don't need a separate copy of book one.

There's more. The giveaway is to celebrate and to encourage. As I type this, I now have nearly 340 followers on twitter! On Google+, with the help of some awesome people, I'm slowly climbing in numbers there too (currently at 181). Facebook doesn't count because well . . . it just . . . yeah. The celebration is for those who are already following me. However, I will add to the pot, so to speak, substantially if you can help me reach 375 or even 400 by the end of the month on Twitter. I know it is asking a lot, but I'm so excited about where the social networking scene can take things, that I might be inclined to 'bite off more than I can chew'. It would be nice to rise in popularity on Google+ too, but let's focus on one at a time. (insert smile)

If I can picture the pile of books right now, I think we are looking at 6 titles.

Reach 375
I will add 4 more titles to the list for winners to pick from!

Reach 400
I will add 2 more titles (in addition to the 4 mentioned previously) and music! Music is a little tougher to entice people with, so it will most likely be in the form of iTunes gift cards.

The Rules and Details
1. You must follow me on Twitter. I will also accept followers on Google+, if for some reason you can't on Twitter. Even if you only follow my blog, that's fine too. (Are we noticing how badly I want to give something away?)
2. It would be nice if you followed my blog, but it is not necessary to be a winner.
3. Winners must live within the continental US. (Sorry)
4. This post is just the enticement, more details about the actual giveaway and winners will come later.
5. I will do the final check of followers on June 30, 2012, at midnight EST. (Yes I will be awake.)
6. Whether or not I reach 375 or even 400, I will still be having a giveaway. I need to, to sate the need to GIVE. (insert smile)
7. Tell all your friends!
8. In a follow-up post tomorrow I will list the current titles up for grabs. At the moment I'm not at home to see what books I have to give.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tattoo Tuesdays: It's a Jamboree!

I suppose the only real celebration to be had is that...I'm back! Tattoo Tuesdays is one of my favorite posts and you know something else, it is my mum's favorite too. I mention that because it is funny to me. She is strongly against tattoos, especially with my considerations for getting one, but loves to hear what I have to say about the various tattoos I come across. Maybe we should have an interview with mum sometime, to get to the bottom of this phenomenon.

Here's a time where I wish I could give my shyness a nice beating. This past week I was in Chicago for a business trip. I of course visited a local Barnes & Noble (in the Schaumburg area). The gal that rang up my purchases had a tattoo, but not just any tattoo. A bookish tattoo! An awesome bookish tattoo!!!  Curses! Why couldn't I find the courage to ask her for a picture? 'Barnes & Noble cool tattoo cashier' if you read this, please send me a picture (insert pleading smile).

Are any of you familiar with Macaulay Culkin's smash hit (in my opinion) The Pagemaster? For shame, if you answered no or looked at me with that deer in the headlights look, as one of my friends did.

Richard (Culkin) is a cowardly boy, in what starts out as a live action film. He quickly finds himself turned animated illustration in a world of BOOKS! His fellow cartoon friends happen to be books each representing a different classic genre. There is Adventure, resembling a pirate and voiced by Patrick Stewart. Then there is Fantasy dressed to impress fairy style and voiced by Whoopi Goldberg. The more cowardly and sad, Horror, than as his name would suggest, is voiced by Frank Welker.

I used to watch this film over and over again as a kid. I think it is time to find it and watch it again!

The tattoo featured each of the books and spanned the entire length of her left arm. Half of the tattoo was in color, while the other half was only in the outline stage. She was headed back to the shop the next day for another 8 to 9 hours in the chair! At least I had the courage to talk to her about the tattoo. She told me her other arm would be next with an Alice in Wonderland, Tim Burton style, tattoo. Again if you find this post...please send pictures. :)

Also, because this post wouldn't be complete without some actual are some recent favorites worth seeing.

Click the picture for a cool backgroud story about this tattoo.

Advertising is the ability to sense, interpret... to put the very heart
throbs of a business into type, paper and ink.

~Leo Burnett

Friday, June 1, 2012

Uncovering the Judge: An Offer for 'Offing'

A mere 'few ages' ago I started a blog series, Uncovering the Judge. My intention was to give you a window into my mind, scary I know, of how and why I choose the books I do. Nearly 99% of the time I pick my books based on their covers. I decided to start this series back up and begin the insightful trip into my mind.

Born and raised in the ‘city’, I have long yearned for the simpler life of the country. I have often thought the idea of moving to the mountains, off the grid, would be like no other earthly peace out there. Funny how I’m so involved in the technology of this world, that I would even consider leaving it all behind.

The books containing this freedom of self-sufficiency are like gold bricks in my hand. Tell me how to build a log cabin, pluck a chicken, birth a cow, make soap, make sausage – with rabbit – yeah not so much, and you can hog tie me and marry me. I act like a kid in a candy shop when these books are in range, a kid who hoards their candy and SHARES WITH NO ONE.
I’m featuring four books that have recently joined ranks with the off grid bookshelf in my home. Do you think they have a section on how to fake your own death, even furthering your off the grid experience?

Keeping Chickens
by Ashley English – I’m moving to where she lives. Do you think she will adopt me? This book is not only eye candy from a distance, but once you feel it’s ‘hand tooled leather’ like cover you will want to keep it close by at all times.  The cover boasting ‘All You Need to Know to Care for a Happy, Healthy Flock,’ well heck if I was a chicken I’d love all the ideas this book has about taking care of me.
The Encyclopedia of Country Living byAbigail R. Gehring – Any book with the word Encyclopedia in it's title is enough for a book ‘touchdown’. Plus there is a baby goat on the cover (if you read that in a preppy girl voice, kudos to you)! From beekeeping to soap making, I hear that off the grid radar slowing beeping into silent ‘dead’ mode. Photographs and illustrations throughout detailing everything you need to know and maybe some things you didn’t want to know.

The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals by Gail Damerow – I was ordering the previous 2 books for someone else, whom I caused lust like symptoms in when I showed (ahem), okay bragged about them, and this book popped up as a suggestion. The simple farm animals on the cover reminded me of my childhood and collecting Usborne books (similar art style). I didn’t read one thing about the book, except for the title’s pronouncement of BACKYARD Homestead. What can be better than having your self-sufficiency right there?!? It came in the mail yesterday and it is better than I could have expected. The book tells me how to choose a milk cow, every kind of chicken or poultry breed you can think of, and explains everything to me in step by step pictures and descriptions.

Twelve by Twelve: A One- Room Cabin Off the Grid and Beyond the American Dream by William Powers – Do you really need an explanation for this book? Cabin? Off the Grid? Beyond? Dream? Hello!?! It is all there at my fingertips. Now can I replicate his techniques or maybe just live vicariously through him?

Be sure to visit Ashley English’s blog and checkout her other books; books that will soon be joining the ranks of other off the grid titles.

Do you have any off the grid suggestions? Let me know, I always love suggestions.

Add All the Books from this post to your Goodreads!

New banner art courtesy of my little brother, Reece. He plans on editing it, but I wanted to use the rough draft today.
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