Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Two Is Just A Number

So YA Highway's Road Trip Wednesday question is:

What's the best book you've read in February?

And ohmyfreakingheck I've only read... two.

Something is wrong. Very very wrong.

Okay, enough with the dramatics. But still, it shocks me that I've only read two books this month. Then again I was busy finishing up an R&R so that's kinda a good excuse, right?

So here's what I read:

I'd have to give the best to Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, just for the simple fact that it was new to me. Beautiful Creatures was a reread and while I still love it, it didn't have that exciting, edge-of-my-seat, what's-going-to-happen-next factor because, well, I already knew. (And I still haven't seen the movie, BTW. What's up with that???) Shadow and Bone was immediately compelling. I fell into the world she created from the start. I understood and connected with the main characters desires and decisions. The Darkling was an especially compelling character. And she took the book somewhere I didn't think she would go.

What was the best book you read in February?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Feel The Love

I LOVE today's Road Trip Wednesday question...

It's (the day before) Valentine's Day! Let's jumpstart the lovefest by blogging about what you love most about writing (and/or reading)!

I love losing myself in another world, especially a world of my own creation.

I love creating characters that stick with me, that I hear in my head, that speak to me, that fight with me when I want them to do something but they just refuse to do it, that surprise me, and that I fall for or just hate so much that it can't help but reflect in my writing. (Now I totally sound like a crazy person.)

I love the excitement and the sense of accomplishment that comes when I've finished a chapter, a scene, a manuscript, a revision.

I love hearing feedback, both positive and negative, from beta readers who are infinitely smarter than I am.

I love laughing at something I wrote but completely forgot about.

I love looking back and seeing how far I've come. How crappy that 1st draft of that 1st manuscript was and how much I've learned since.

I love knowing that I'll just keep learning and getting better the more I keep at it.

Most of all, I love how writing makes me feel. How happy I am when I'm doing it.

To writing: you complete me. Haha, I couldn't help myself.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Beautiful Creatures

It's Teaser Tuesday time again, hosted by Miz B. at Should Be Reading.

I'm pulling my teaser from a reread this week. Yep, I'm rereading Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl in anticipation for the movie which comes out on Thursday!!! Sadly, I don't know when I'll get to see it because no one I know wants to. I need new friends.

Here's my teaser:

"You don't need to tell me about Macon Ravenwood, like you know anything I don't already know." The Look.
"As in, you don't have a lick a sense, Ethan Wate." (page 82)

FYI: I love these books (still haven't read the last one though). They are so rich with Southern culture. I can't wait until I get to see the movie! And if you've been living under a rock and haven't seen the preview, here it is:

Monday, February 11, 2013

Liebster Time

Megan Hand, author of the soon to be released mature YA novel Bitter Angel (it's a great book, I've already read it!!!) and who blogs over at Megan Hand Writes has nominated me for a Liebster award. It's been a few years since I was nominated for one of these so I'm excited to give it a go!

Here's what you do:

I list 11 random facts about myself.
I answer the 11 questions asked of me by the person who nominated me.
I then nominate my 11 picks for the award along with my 11 questions for them to answer when they post a response.

Here's 11 random facts about me:

1. I have an aversion to LOL. I can't put it in texts or on Twitter or anywhere because to me, I read it as a word, not as the letters spelled out and not as laugh out loud.

2. I'm a toilet paper snob. Most people I know buy the cheap Costco toilet paper and I just can't do it. For me, it's gotta be Charmin double rolls (not triple- those are too thick).

Excuse the Spanish subtitles
3. My kids will say something and I'll use their words and bust out in song. Actual songs though, not made up ones. For example, my nine year old said, "If I had the chance, I'd go to Disneyland." And then I launched into, "If I had the chance I'd ask the world to dance, and I'd be dancing with myself..."

4. I'm a puzzle nerd. My daughter got a box of 8 Disney puzzles and I swear I've done more of them than she has. In fact, we're in the middle of a Winnie the Pooh one right now.

5. I once got my hair stuck in the vacuum. The hair still attached to my head. Don't ask, I'm just that dumb sometimes.

6. My favorite mode of exercise is playing any version of Just Dance on the Wii. My fave song to dance to right now is Hot For Me by A.K.A. (Just Dance 4) because it brings out my inner cheerleader.

7. When I'm alone in the car I sing really loud (and really badly) to show tunes.

8. Starting in Grade one, I was in French Immersion, which means most of my classes were in French. It's very sad to me that now I can barely speak it. :(

9. At church, my calling (which is like my job but unpaid) is always playing the piano. Playing piano for the choir, for the primary kids, for the Relief Society women... it's sort of like I'm on rotation. But I'm not complaining! :p

10. For the longest time, Robert Jordan was my fave author. And yet I still haven't read the last few books in his Wheel of Time series. When the last one comes out in paperback (I think it's in hardcover now), I will reread the ENTIRE series.

11. I like to play games, and I like to WIN. I'm just a touch competitive. ;) On a related note, I suck at sports.  

And here's Megan's 11 questions for me:

1. What was your favorite book growing up? Anything Dragonlance. I lived and breathed Fantasy.
2. What is your favorite Indie/Traditionally published book lately? Please answer both. Traditionally: you know I can't pick. Okay, you twisted my arm: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. And Indie: If you mean self-pubbed, well I have to give another plug for Megan and say how much I loved Bitter Angel and can't wait until it comes out. This book was so fast paced and freaky I chewed my nails down to stubs! 
I will stare you down with my sexy intensity
3. Who would you cast in the leads of your favorite book of all time?  I don't have a fave book of all time (I seriously CANNOT pick favorites), but lately I was thinking how awesome Richard Armitage would be as either Mr. Rochester, or Nico Rathburn in the contemp version Jane by April Lindner. And I cannot get over how perfect Ed Speleers would be as one of my own characters.
Hey, Ed, please be my Purvis?
4. What is your favorite non-reading/writing thing to do? Being a lazy butt and watching TV or movies. I just finished Downton Abbey (season 3) and Glee (season 3), and now it's all about The Vampire Diaries, Beauty and the Beast, Once Upon A Time, Arrow, and Smash has just restarted!
5. Describe your ideal Sunday. (the day, not the ice cream): Church in the morning, afternoon nap, then games with the kids.
6. What is your favorite character name? My own character or someone else's? If I have to go with my own, I have a love of the name Lord Purvis because there were so many ways I could have fun with it. As for someone else's character, Eragon is just a great name!
7. If you could live in any time period, which would it be? Ooh, I love this question! I've gotta go with Regency. Or medieval. Either, as long as I'm rich. I've got a fascination for World War II, but I don't think I'd want to live then.
8. If you could travel to anywhere outside the U.S., where would you go? Paris or anywhere in Italy.
9. If you could wake up as anyone, who would it be? For just one day, it would be fun to see what life is like as Princess Kate. Or I'd choose to be any actress working alongside Jeremy Renner.
10. What is your favorite clothing accessory? I live in Canada, so it makes sense that I'm love with boots and coats. My kingdom for a pair of brown leather riding boots!
11. If the world could be anything (hint: Willie Wonka’s world of chocolate) what would yours look like? Harry Potter's world all the way. I'd be eleven again and getting my letter to Hogwarts.
And since this has taken me all morning and I've got some Just Dance and my manuscript both calling my name, I hereby nominate every person who reads this post as Liebster award recipients. Answer Megan's awesome questions or make up your own, it's up to you. Congratulations on your award. :)

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Crawley's Forever

It's been awhile since I've done a Friday Loves post, but I can't help but enthuse about how much I loved season three of Downton Abbey!!! It was sooo good.

One of the things I liked best about it was they toned down on the scheming a bit. I remember watching the first season and hating at least half of the characters. They were just so despicable! (And yet I kept watching.) This season had some scheming- what would the show be without it?- but we know the characters well enough now to see their redeeming qualities.

Of course this season came with some shockers. Too in particular which I won't mention for spoiler reasons, but holy crap!!! I ugly cried during almost an entire episode mid-season. And then there's the last episode of the season... what was up with that??? Gah, I wish I could talk about it but I won't give it away. :)

Anyway, this is a truly great show. If you gave up on it during the first season because everyone was so awful, give it a chance, you won't regret it!

And when does the next season come out? Please don't say I have to wait another whole year!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

January's Over?

I can't believe it's February already. Where did January go??? It was a crazy busy month and I have a feeling that February won't be any less.

Despite the craziness, I managed to read more than I thought I would. Today's Road Trip Wednesday question asks:
What was the best book you read in January?

Here's what I read this month:

I don't think I can choose a fave this month. I liked both classical redos (Jane and Persuaded) and Defiance was excellent although it left me unsatisfied and wanting more at the end. I enjoyed rereading the Hush, Hush saga in prep for the last book. The ending was great, no complaints there. But true to my nature, I like the first book (Hush, Hush) in the series best.

So I can't pick a fave- big shocker. What was the best book you read this month?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Shadow And Bone

I often read books that I've heard people talk about around the blogosphere or on Twitter. Sometimes, the premise of these books doesn't sound all that interesting to me but I give them a try anyway because I've heard how good they are.

That's exactly what happened with Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. I really had no clue what it was about. Reading the jacket flap, it didn't exactly get me raring to dive into the book. One chapter in and I didn't want to stop reading. I love that!

Anyway, here's my teaser from Shadow and Bone:

"So I'm the Darkling's prisoner?"
"You're under his protection."
"What's the difference?"
Ivan's expression was unreadable. "Pray you never find out." (page 55)

And now I want to ignore all my house cleaning and just go read.