Friday, August 28, 2009

Shareworthy Friday, August 28, 2009 [Volume 1, Edition 18]

A rather weak Shareworthy list, but still some gems inside...

Bookish
Contests
  • Bookalicio.us is having her first contest! Win Dreaming Anastasia and Bran Hambric. {ends unknown}
  • Win a signed copy of Shiver by Maggie Steifvater at Reverie Book Reviews (@reveriebr) {ends 9/10}
  • Ashley's Bookshelf is having a contest for these four titles:
    • Meet Me at the Boardwalk by Erin Haft
    • It's All About Us by Shelley Adina
    • Shrinking Violet by Danielle Joseph
    • What Would Emma Do? by Eileen Cook
Did I miss your contest? If so, please add a link in Mr. Linky below! (be sure to add contest end date in parentheses.
Random

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Our Terms: p-e-r-o-r-a-t-e, perorate

perorate \PUR-uh-rayt\ , intransitive verb:
1. To conclude or sum up a long discourse.
2. To speak or expound at length; to declaim.

Quotes:

These people don't talk, they perorate, pontificate, bombast.
-- Jean Charbonneau, "Biographer's quest becomes self-searching journey", Denver Post, January 28, 2001

Our mother favored a staccato, stand-up style; if our father could perorate, she could condense.
-- Annie Dillard, "The Leg In The Christmas Stocking: What We Learned From Jokes", New York Times, December 7, 1986

You may perorate endlessly.
-- Richard Elman, "A Rap on Race", New York Times, June 27, 1971

Origin: Perorate comes from Latin perorare "to speak at length or to the end," from per-, "through, throughout," + orare, "to speak."


My mother can perorate. I think it's a special skill of hers.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Book Inspection: The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King

Plot Sketch: Emer is a curious little girl in seventeenth century Ireland. Oliver Cromwell is threatening to invade, so she keeps watch from her tower. When he finally does invade, on her birthday, she runs to hide in a tunnel where she and her brother were to meet. She knows her whole family is dead from the fighting, and so she hides until her uncle comes to get her. She stays with her uncle and decides not to speak. She meets a boy who does not speak either, a boy named Seanie. The story is told in the 17th century where Emer becomes a pirate, is cursed to live 100 lives as a dog, and then is reborn a human in the 1970s where the story picks back up in the 1990s. Sound confusing? It is.

Verdict: No Love. I found the way this book was written to be completely annoying. It felt like I had to keep track of three different storylines and ages and times, but depicting the same character. I found the number of times the "f word" was used appalling for a YA book, and did not enjoy the part where it says that humans overcomplicate sexuality with a footnote showing how many animal species are natural homosexuals*. Be prepared for a rape scene too if you choose to read it, a rape scene wherein the main character decides that even though she's already killed one person to save her virginity, it's not worth defending anymore. I felt annoyed through the whole book and only kept reading to find out what happened to Seanie. Honestly, at page 300, I was like, "Oh, I'll just put this down and finish it another time." Then I realized that I only had 20-ish pages left and went ahead and finished. Usually if I like a book I can't wait to finish reading it. This does not come highly recommended from me.

The Gauntlet:

At what location does most of the story take place?
The Caribbean

What is the main character's name?
Emer Morrissey or Saffron Adams, you pick - same girl, sort of.

Does I Heart Monster like the main character?
No. I actually think I loathe her.

How long did it take I Heart Monster to finish the book?
a few days. I was not motivated by the storyline.

Did I Heart Monster get stuck at any points in the book? If so, why?
Repeatedly got stuck over a lack of caring about the characters

Is this a good read for Monster?
I wouldn't recommend it to him.

What, if anything, would I Heart Monster change to make the book more interesting?
There are so many levels of wrong... 1) Take out all of the swearing. 2) Make the parts of the book more contiguous - it seemed like there was no reason for there to even be "parts." 3) make Saffron and Emer more parallel characters 4) take out the passages about the dogs. 5) Write Emer's story seperate from Saffron's

What was I Heart Monster's favorite line?
I don't remember saying at any particular point, "Ha, I like that line."

How many chapters were in the book?
36, 8 of which were Dog Fact sections, seperated into Part I, Part II, and Part III, but I cannot tell you why they were seperated into parts. No me gusta.

Stats:

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Flux
Publish Date: January 13, 2009
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0738714267

Acquire It:


Notes:

A.S. King has a pretty cool website.
Also check out TheDustof100Dogs.com


*I do not take issue with homosexuality, but I also do not think that humans overcomplicate their sexuality. I do not care what your sexual preference is. I won't judge you either way and view it as an irrelevant piece of demographic information - I will love you for you or hate you for you and your homo- or hetero- sexuality has nothing to do with it, promise! I only bring it up so that parents can be educated as to what is in this book, and point out that I do not agree with a point that is made in it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ambitious Edition: Pretty Dead by Francesca Lia Block

Title: Pretty Dead
Author(s): Francesca Lia Block
Release Date: 09.22.09
ISBN-10: 0061547859


The Usual Questions:

Is this the first in a series?
I think its a standalone

What is the basic concept?

from francescaliablock.com:

Charlotte Emerson seems to have the perfect existence. She is enviably beautiful and lives alone in a mansion full of reasures and beautiful clothes, perched atop the cliffs of the Pacific Palisades. But Charlotte has been lonely and dead for almost a century. Now she might get a second chance at life.

Is the cover art favorable?
Totally

What are some of the author's other works?
See a list of her other works on her Books page on her website (there are like a zillion!)

Storybuilders: Edition 6 (and Ramon Escalderon)

This week's first line:

Alana jumped out of the car and ran toward the ocean. As soon as she got to the beach, she kicked off her shoes and headed for...

The Rules:

1. Each person can only add two sentences.
2. You may not post two consecutive entries (otherwise it wouldn't be wiki-ish), but you may come back and add on after someone else has added their entry.
3. Let's try to keep it PG.
4. You can designate new paragraphs and time pauses if you want to.
5. HAVE FUN!


Ramon Escalderon

"Jorge, what do you think you're doing? That car is just..."

"Calmate, Luis, esta bien. With this car, I know what I'm getting. I know the history. And mi papa didn't make me shell out a fortune, either."

Just then, Luis and Jorge turned to see a sleek cadi drive slowy by, the car was so low the exaust would have dragged on the floor if they had not been turned up and come out of the rear wheel arches. For a moment the suns reflection on the crome blinded Luis and Jorge, but as their eyes cleared they realized the car was speaking?

"Hello, I am Ramon Escalderon, a Columbian car who would be so flattered if you would go for a ride in my automobile. Look how sleek, shiny and sexy I am, and I smell like the sea-VROOM, VROOM VROOM!"

Photo © 2005, Shesten Melder. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bookshelf Quest: My Lame First Attempt at a Vlog



So... this is the first attempt from me at a vlog, not the last, I assure you (and that may not be comforting after you watch it) but I am sharing with you my quest at the auction to obtain another bookshelf.

Chickie and I have plans for this bookshelf. We are going to paint it white and put it in the spare bedroom. I'll be sure to share some pics when it is done. Chickie makes a quick appearance in the vlog, and did some of the video shots too - make sure to leave her a note about how wonderful she is!

I learned a lot from this experience, and am hoping to go into the next vlog with some know-how that will make it a lot better than this one.

I mention The Hollow by Jessica Verday in this blog and am sporting an awesome R.U.H.2? t-shirt throughout... just so you know, The Hollow drops on September 1st, and from what I hear is definitely preorder worthy. Read the first chapter and find out for yourself... you can also check out my Ambitious Edition post for Jessica's debut.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Genre Irrelevant Entry #2: Roadtrip!

Name: Briana
Hometown: Gardnerville, NV, USA
Book: Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors
Picture Taken: Las Vegas, NV

There's still time for you to enter and for you to submit your photos!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Book Inspection: Oh. My'. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs

Plot Sketch: Phoebe is a runner. She's got it all planned out too. She's going to train her heart out, get that cross-country scholarship to USC that she's up for, and spend her college years with her two best friends in the whole entire world, Cesca and Nola. As the finish line for the last race at USC's running camp comes into view, she sees her best friends and her mom. Hey, wait, her mom isn't supposed to be home for another few days... and who is that with her? As soon as she's given her mom a hug, and talked to the x-country coach, she goes back over to see her mom and is introduced to her new fiance. FIANCE! And then she's told she's moving to some island in the middle of nowhere Greece, which throws a wrench into everything. This is the story about Phoebe, her quest to keep her USC scholarship through running at a new school that is controlled by the Greek gods (!) in Greece, and the dynamics of a not-so-normal family.

Verdict: I Heart It. I really flew through this one, and really loved the way Childs' style flowed. I like the way she structured the school cliques and the drama in Phoebe's life. Overall, I would definitely recommend this for a quick, fun, light read. The only criticism I had was with some of the athletic stuff... but in the end, that doesn't even matter.

The Gauntlet:

At what location does most of the story take place?
Serfopoula, Greece

What is the main character's name?
Phoebe

Does I Heart Monster like the main character?
Yeah, I do. I was a student athlete and related well to the book...

How long did it take I Heart Monster to finish the book?
a few hours

Did I Heart Monster get stuck at any points in the book? If so, why?
No

Is this a good read for Monster?
I've been debating... he might like it 'cause he ran cross-country and has an interest in Greek gods, but I'm not totally sure yet.

What, if anything, would I Heart Monster change to make the book more interesting?
I would have liked more description of the cross-country course that she was running.

What was I Heart Monster's favorite line?
"She told my mother that her son would find his matchin a daughter of victory." CUTE!

How many chapters were in the book?
11

Stats:

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Speak
Publish Date: May 14, 2009
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0142414204

Acquire It:


Notes:
  • Check out Tera Lynn's website, it's pretty fun.
  • While you're there, take the Goddess Quiz.
  • There are short stories to go in between Oh. My. Gods. and Goddess Bootcamp, the second Phoebe Castro novel.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Our Terms: t-e-m-e-r-a-r-i-o-u-s temerarious

temerarious \tem-uh-RAIR-ee-uhs\ , adjective:

1.Recklessly or presumptuously daring; rash.

Becket's slayers insist that the king had indeed authorized or directed murder, an interpretation fortified by Henry's known enmity toward the temerarious priest for protesting the subordination of ecclesiastical to secular authority.
-- Bruce Fein, "Free speech or call to violence?", Washington Times, April 10, 2001

I have confessed myself a temerarious theologian, and in that passage from boyhood to manhood I ranged widely in my search for some permanently satisfying Truth.
-- H. G. Wells, The New Machiavelli

Origin:
Temerarious comes from Latin temerarius, "rash," from temere, "rashly, heedlessly."

It was temerarious of us to launch water rockets in the street last night.

Ok, now you try it out in the comments section too!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Guest Post and Blog Tour: Belinda Acosta Damas, Dramas, And Ana Ruiz

Belinda Acosta works as a journalist in Austin, Texas, writing reviews and features on books, film, and the arts, in addition to a weekly column on television (TV Eye) for the Austin Chronicle. Her work has appeared in Poets & Writers, Latino USA, Latino Magazine, AlterNet and other publications. She was a Michener Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin where she received her MFA in Writing in 1997. Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz (Grand Central Publishing, August 2009) is her first novel.

All Ana Ruiz wanted was to have a traditional quinceañera
for her daughter, Carmen. She wanted a nice way to mark this milestone year in her daughter's life. But Carmen was not interested in celebrating. Hurt and bitter over her father Esteban's departure, she blamed Ana for destroying their happy family, as did everyone else. A good man is hard to
find, especially at your age Ana was told. Why not forgive his one indiscretion? Despite everything, Ana didn't want to tarnish Carmen's childlike devotion to her beloved father. But Ana knows that growing up sometimes means facing hard truths. In the end, Ana discovers that if she's going to teach Carmen anything about what it means to be a woman, it will take more than simply a fancy party to do it...

Why don't you start by telling us a little about yourself and how you
started writing?

I was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska. I get my Tejana creds from my mother, who was raised in deep South Texas. My father is Mexicano (San Luis Potosi—ajua! That’s Mexican for “Woo-Hoo!”). I’ve been living in Austin, Texas, since 1985 or so. I began writing like most writers, I suppose—because I loved to read. Also, I’m not good at anything else, except for acting, which I made a living from for about ten years before I returned to get my BA and subsequent MFA in writing from the Michener Center at the University of Texas at Austin.

What led you to create these particular characters and plot?

When I was contacted about writing a series on quinceañeras I had just reviewed Julia Alvarez’s nonfiction book, Once Upon a Quinceañera for The Austin Chronicle. So, the subject was in high on my radar. What intrigued me about the subject was similar to what intrigued Alvarez, I think: What does it mean to be a woman today? Is there something about the Latina experience that is unique? Why have a ritual to mark this “passage”? Where did the tradition stem from? And on and on and on. I find it amusing that I did not have a quinceañera, I had never been to one prior to writing this book, and I don’t have any children. I do know, from first hand experience, how complicated the relationship between mothers and daughters can be. Part of what makes Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz stand out is that it focuses on that relationship—the good and the bad, hopefully, with heart and candor.

Did you have to do research for your book? Do you think quinceañeras
is a celebration soon to be extinct?

I did some online research and read a couple of earlier books on the subject. One was Julia Alvarez’s marvelous nonfiction book, Once Upon a Quinceañera. The other was a collection of short stories, Fifteen Candles, edited by Adriana Lopez. I went to my first quinceañera mass early in the writing process, in addition to attending a quinceañera fair in San Antonio, and another one recently here in Austin. Plus, it’s amazing what you can learn by striking up a conversation with women at the nail salon. I remember sitting there, waiting for my nails to dry, when another woman joined me. For some reason, I thought she would have something to say (maybe because I’ve worked as a journalist for 12 years and I’m used to asking strangers all about their business). So, I followed my hunch and asked her straight up if she’d had a quinceañera. She didn’t but she launched into this tale about her niece’s ceremony, how her daughter was recently a dama, and the plans for her own daughter’s quinceañera. It was great! The ritual has some common themes, but people always—always—make them their own. I think that’s the part I’m waiting for—to hear what made it unique to their family.

Quinceañeras have been celebrated here and throughout Latin America for ages. I think what may wane are the more spectacular expressions of the ceremony in urban settings. The quinceañera, and especially the quinceañera mass, is still very important to some Latino Catholics. So, I don’t see the fundamental ritual dying anytime soon.

I understand you are a columnist for the Austin Chronicle. What is your column about?

I write weekly about TV and media in a column called TV Eye (www.austinchronicle.com). I also write features and reviews for the music, film, and books sections for the Chronicle as well as other freelance writing, when time permits. Novel writing has brought my freelance writing to a halt for the time being.

Are you working on another novel?

I turned in the second book in the Quinceañera Club Series, Sisters, Strangers, and Starting Over on Aug. 5.


Useful URLs:




Blog Tour Participants:
August 10
http://startingfresh-gaby317.blogspot.com/
http://www.foreigncircuslibrary.blogspot.com/
http://www.latinitasmagazine.org
http://authorslatino.com/wordpress

August 11
http://yougottareadguest.blogspot.com/
http://peekingbetweenthepages.blogspot.com
http://booksandneedlepoint.blogspot.com/
http://bookinwithbingo.blogspot.com
http://molcotw.blogspot.com/
http://bridget3420.blogspot.com

August 12
http://reviewfromhere.com/
http://fallingofftheshelf.blogspot.com
http://www.brimfulcuriosities.com/
http://www.iheartmonster.com/
http://halfdesertedstreets.com/

August 13
http://bookjourney.wordpress.com/
http://booksiesblog.blogspot.com/
http://www.cherylsbooknook.blogspot.com/
http://books-movies-chinesefood.blogspot.com/
http://my-book-views.blogspot.com/

August 14
http://www.frommipov.blogspot.com/
http://brainlair.blogspot.com/
http://dreyslibrary.blogspot.com/
http://ajourneyofbooks.blogspot.com/
http://locacrazywriter.blogspot.com/

August 15
http://jennsbookshelf.blogspot.com/
http://www.thisbookforfree.com
http://abookbloggersdiary.blogspot.com/
http://bethsbookreviewblog.blogspot.com/
http://aparkavenueprincess.blogspot.com/
http://bookmagic418.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

WIN A Signed Copy of Meridian by Amber Kizer!


Meridian is a great book, seriously. I purchased my hardback from Amazon and it shipped out yesterday. (hopefully I get it today!) Because Amber is such an awesome person, she has
allowed me to do a giveaway for one signed copy of MERIDIAN. How cool is she?

In Meridian, there is a character named Auntie, who is Meridian's great aunt. She makes quilts about people's lives and has made hundreds over the years. She makes them because it helps her deal with an aspect of being a Fenestra, and I'll let you figure out the rest when you read the book..

So, to enter, tell us what would be on a quilt that depicted an important theme, aspect, or event of your life? What have you focused most on in your life so far? What is most important to you? What
brings you the most joy? Tell us about the scene that would be on your quilt, if Auntie made one for you. This is required to enter.

For example, my quilt would most likely depict my love for the desert mountains near which I live, my passion for ecology and travel along with a basketball, the sport to which I dedicated so much of my youth.

If you want to sketch out that scene as it would be in your quilt (either electronically or by hand) and upload it in your comment or in reply to your comment or email it to me, I will give you an additional three entries. Be sure to sign in to the comment form and leave your email address!

Extra Entries (LEAVE ALL ENTRIES IN ONE COMMENT or in reply to your comment):

+1 If you commented yesterday on the Savvy Scribblers post.
+1 If you use the Retweet button on this post.
+1 Link to this contest on your site/blog. (leave a link in reply to your comment if you do it later)

This contest ends September 2nd at 11:59PM Arizona time. It is open worldwide.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Savvy Scribblers: Amber Kizer, author of MERIDIAN

Hey there awesome I Heart Monster readers! Today we have a spiffy treat, Savvy Scribblers style with Amber Kizer. Amber is the author of the Gert Garibaldi books and Meridian which relases tomorrow. Read more to find out more about Meridian and Amber and some super cool top-8 lists that Amber has made especially for us! Please join me in welcoming her!

About MERIDIAN

IHM: How did you come up with the name Meridian for the main character?

AK: Character names are very important to me and usually that's one of the first things I know about a story-who is in it and what are they called? I knew Meridian's name from the very beginning, but it wasn't until we got to know each other (sounds strange to non-writers I know!) that I realized her name has all sorts of levels to it. Meridian can mean a midpoint like midday. It can also be the center of an object. It's used when talking about the longitude of Earth. In Chinese medicine Meridians are the energy pathways used in acupuncture. So it can have many connotations-what the reader should take from that is that our Meridian is caught-she lives-in the middle of life and death.

Actually all the characters in this book have names that "mean" something to me as the writer and might resonate with readers who like to dissect deeper levels in a story.
Tens, the male lead, is a Protector and as such knows things about Meridian that he doesn't really know how he knows. His full name is Tenskawtawa and comes from a Shawnee religious and political leader from the 18th century. He was Tecumseh's brother and he was also known as "The Prophet". With our Tens's backstory, and gifts, I knew it was the perfect choice and it felt right.

Also to find Fenestra and Aternocti, I played with all sorts of different languages and took inspiration from Latin primarily. I wanted names that could be pronounced even without knowing the meaning but here's my definition of both:

Fenestra is a human with Angel DNA that is triggered if they are born at midnight on December 21st. Fenestras are "Windows to the Afterlife"-they literally become windows for dying souls to get to the good place (call it Heaven or Enlightenment or Nirvana).

Aternocti are "Dark Nights," also human with Angel DNA of a different nature. As they are corrupted they lose their humanness, but Aternocti thrive on disaster, fear, destruction, and cruelty. They shepherd souls to a bad place (call it Hell or ignorance or the Underworld).

IHM: Is there real life inspiration for the character of Tens? Readers, if you haven't yet read Meridian, you will totally swoon when you read about Tens, I mean, for realz.

AK: No, I just wanted a leading man who felt real! Sorry, there isn't is real Tens!

IHM: You masterfully manipulated the Bible to fit into Reverend Perimo's agenda. Did you find it an easy task to twist the words and did you have anything that you were able to use as an example for the bendiness of the morals and meanings of those 27 passages?

AK: The words themselves are direct quotes-I didn't twist the Bible, I merely took verses out of context-which you'll find is often a tactic used be zealots of any religion, with any text. You find justification for anything if you're willing to overlook historical context, the larger texts and the writer.

I did quite a bit of research on fanatics and cults, but Perimo and the Revelation Congregation aren't based on a "real" cult, though they have characteristics of many.

Note: ALL of the passages that Amber uses are annotated and there is a corresponding page in the back of the book where you can look up the passages in the Bible yourself. I didn't ask a clear question, and didn't mean that she changed anything at all, she used direct quotes.

IHM: Are we getting a sequel? Details, please.

AK: I am happy to say that a sequel is in the works-I think perhaps with a release date of 2011. Maybe...we're still figuring that out!

About Amber:

IHM: Do you have any animals in your life that are as loyal as Custos was to Tens and Meridian?

AK: I do have wonderfully loyal animals in my life. I have a cat named Sugar that is pretty much my shadow. She attaches herself to my neck whenever possible and follows me around all day and everyday.

I also had a dog named Boo who is really the inspiration behind Custos (though Boo didn't have any Supernatural connections that I know of!) and her place in the book.

IHM: You mention in the back of the book that you like to quilt. How many quilts have you made?

AK: I'm posting pics of quilts I've made on www.MeridianSozu.com by the 11th and the release of this book. I don't honestly know how many quilts I've made, but I love to work with the colors and the fabrics, it's part of my writing process. The quilts I'm proudest of are the ones I make and send to the Freedom Quilt Project which is a non-profit that matches families of fallen military up with a quilt. I hope in a little way they provide comfort and gratitude to our Gold Star Families. I'm grateful to our service members who make my job possible everyday!

IHM: What is your favorite thing to bake?

AK: Cakes probably. Chocolate desserts and cheesecakes too. I like complicated, multi-step recipes-those are my favorite!
Note: Visit the Bio section on Amber's website to see a collection of the awesome cakes she has baked!!

IHM: Who is your all-time favorite pop band?

AK: From my childhood which is where the favorite pop band roots go: Roxette, New Kids on the Block, Michael Jackson, Paula Abdul, Genesis, Bon Jovi...hmm...

I listen to just about everything though-I try not to limit my musical genres because there is beautiful music everywhere. It's fun to find a new song that has an emotional pull to it!

The top eight groups/musicians I listened to while writing the Gert Garibaldi books:
  1. Saving Jane
  2. Fountains of Wayne
  3. KT Tunstall
  4. OAR
  5. PINK
  6. Jesse McCartney
  7. Teddy Geiger
  8. Joanna Pacitti
The top eight groups I listened to while writing MERIDIAN:
  1. Great Big Sea
  2. Sting-Songs from the Labyrinth
  3. The Corrs
  4. Enya
  5. Lisa Kelly
  6. Celtic Women
  7. Irish Tenors
  8. The High Kings
At the moment Kanye West, The Ting Tings, Brendan James, SafetySuit, Beyonce, Nickleback, and Matt Nathanson are getting heavy rotation!!! And I'm starting a book with a heavy list of metal, which I know very little about but feels right for this story-so you metal fans-email me! Who do you like?

IHM: Who is your favorite paranormal/supernatural fictional character besides your own?

I didn't set out to write a paranormal. I haven't always had a fascination with powers. But I guess I have to say Laurell K. Hamilton's books are a favorite. Mary Doria Russell's THE SPARROW and CHILDREN OF GOD are amazing too. Donna Boyd's vampire books rock.

I've always loved the reality tweaking done by writers of central and south America-Gabriel Garcia Marquez is writer I'd faint if I was in the same room with! Total fan of his work. Any of the writers who deal with "magical reaslism" or who are rule benders with what we accept as "normal" or "expected" in our world and reality-not werewolves but maybe it's possible to drown in light (STRANGE PILGRIMS) or imbue food with emotion (LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE).

Thank you, Amber, for answering all of our questions in such a great, fun, and detailed way! We are super grateful to you for sharing some insight about MERIDIAN with us as well as some fun stuff about your own life. I learned a lot, and I'm sure our readers did too! Now, as a super special treat, Amber has given us three (3!) Top Eight Lists about her.

Amber's Top Eight Favorite Trashy Reality TV shows:
  1. Top Chef
  2. Cake Boss
  3. Survivor
  4. Amazing Race
  5. Big Brother
  6. The Bachelor/Bachelorette
  7. Real World
Amber's Top Eight Favorite Flowers:
  1. Sweet Peas
  2. Scented Asiatic Lillies
  3. Old Roses-David Austin varieties especially
  4. Peonies
  5. Hydrangeas
  6. Candy Tuft
  7. Roosevelt Rhododendron
  8. Lupine
Amber's Top Eight Favorite Breeds of Chicken:
  1. Cochin
  2. Polish
  3. Speckled Sussex
  4. Buff Orpington
  5. Silkies
  6. Silver Dorking
  7. Egyptian Fayoumis
  8. Cuckoo Maran
Got Metal Suggestions for Amber? Be sure to email her, or leave a note in the comments section with a band/song in the metal genre that you like (if you want, you can even upload the youtube video!) Also, I'd love to know what your favorite trashy reality tv show, flower, or breed of chicken is! (If I watched reality tv, I'd share mine, but I heart white daisies the bestest, and Araucanas are my favorite breed of chicken)

Make sure to come back tomorrow for a super special, super awesome contest where you can have a chance to win your very own signed copy of MERIDIAN courtesy of Amber Kizer herself!

Friday, August 7, 2009

*WINNERS* Show Your Pandemonium




Dearest Fairies...

Thank you for entering our Show Your Pandemonium contest.

Lisa has selected the winner of the creative side... *drumroll*

The Book Cellar!

And the winner of the fairy name, no creative entry line of entry is...

tashiluvsu

Congratulations!! Thank you to all who participated!!

TBC and tashi... you'll be receiving an email soon!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Shareworthy: Friday, August 6, 2009 [Volume 1, Edition 17]

Things so super fun from around the web, I deem them cool enough to share with YOU and therefore, Shareworthy:

Bookish
  • I saw over on Wondrous Reads the news that Atom UK, publisher of Twilight and House of Night novels has acquired the rights to Melissa de la Cruz's Blue Bloods (a series I heart).
  • Are you a TwiFan? Consider using Edward Google.
  • Barnes & Noble now offers FREE wi-fi in most locations.
  • Saw the SFF Book Blogger directory over at Only the Best SciFi/Fantasy.
  • How To Write When You Think You Can't on Dumb Little Man for all of you aspiring writers out there!
  • Vampire Diaries challenge over at My Friend Amy called Take Me Back To My Youth. I joined, it seems pretty easy. Why don't you?
  • Read magazines much? Have full scans delivered to your RSS reader for more convenience using MagMe.
  • Follow @thatwhichmatter on Twitter for grammatical advice on your tweets!
Contests
Around IHM
Random
I leave you this week with the trailer for Jessica Verday's upcoming The Hollow:


Head Bonkage and *WINNER* Prada & Prejudice

In order to be entered into this contest, you needed to leave a single year that you would want to go to if you bonked your head and were sent to another time. Here are the entries in chronological order. Highlighted names link out to the entrant's blog! A HUGE thank you to everyone who entered, I thoroughly enjoyed reading what you would want to happen during your head bonkage!

7991 BC Paradox: to find out if Atlantis actually existed because I am obsessed with Atlantis. According to the myths, Atlantis fell about 10,000 years ago. I'd like to know the truth, and even if it doesn't exist I would see things that have been lost to time!

1606 Llehn:
I am a big Shakespeare fan and that is the year he wrote some of his best plays ever! It would be great to be a part of such an exciting time!

1692 Kate Bourne: I picked this year because of the Salem Witch Trials. I think it would be interesting to see how all that went down. I would hope that I could go back and stop some of the madness.

1796 austenfan: I want to know how serious Jane Austen and Thomas Lefroy's flirtation was back then.

1800 Katie: If I got bonked on the head I would want to go back to 1800 because I love anything historical and I think it would be fun to live when Jane Austen did.

1832 emily l: France


1895 Erica:
I'd want to go back to 1895 in England because that's the era were you still have the balls and all that sort of stuff, back before so many things in life got so complicated. Also you're starting to get minimal electricity. Plus in that time, while there were expectations for girls, they were so different from today's.

1900 Melanie:
It must have been so exciting, seeing the turn of a new century. So many advances were being made!

1912 Sheila:
year of the Titanic

1920 readinrobin: I love the era of the 20's and 30's, the music, the clothes, and I'd love to live through the 30's and 40's when all the best movies were being made (Bringing Up Baby!). Even though I love Jane Austen, I don't now that I'd do well in her time. I need at least some modern conveniences!

Genevieve:
A year in the same place where I live? I'd have to say 1920. But if I can be anywhere, I'd have to say 1812 in England like in the book.

1930 Sara:
I would want to go back to 1930 because my grandmother would have been in her 20s then and I would love to have known her then. She died when I was young, but she loved books just like I did and I've heard some pretty interesting stories about her life and personality - I sometimes wonder about what she was like at my age.

1945 Celi.a:
Because I think I'd fit in well in the 1950s and WWII has just ended - imagine the euphoria!

1950 Park Avenue Princess: I love the fashion and even the shoes! It's just something I'd like to see!

1958 Dragonfly Book Reviews: So much glamour and dancing. Time of rock 'n' roll. And both World Wars would be over.

1960 I Heart Book Gossip: I would love going back to 1960, its when everything happened and it would have been great to witness it with my own eyes.

TigerLily: I've been daydreaming about what were life like in the 60s especially at the beginning of the era. I'm in love with 60s vintage and I wanna see Twiggy, I wanna wear the high hair style and I wanna shop at Biba in the swinging London ^o^

1969 Raelena Pavey: because the music was great back then and I would have gone to woodstock

1972 melancan: Not only do I think the 70's would have been a lot of fun (just check out the clothes!) but I would also love to get to know my parents back when I was born. What were they like? What did they do for fun? I'm sure I haven't heard the half of what they got up to.

1973 Kate:
I would choose 1973 so I could see my parents when they were younger and get to know my other grandad (who died before I was born).

1976 Beth: to celebrate the bicentennial! That would be fun!

1988 Sue:
I'd love to go back to 1988 and do college all over again. So many things I would do differently!!

1992 Korianne: I would like to be "bonked" back to 1992. This was when my life was peaceful, I was 3 and without sister! While I would probably still ask Mom to have a baby sister I would like to enjoy my life as an only child for a while. I love Kendall, but man she's a handful.

1995 Megan:
I am going with Korriane I want to go back to the time when I was a only child and tell my mom not to have a second child. So this would be 1995 when I was born. And tell my my mom before 1998 not to have my evil little brother.

1999 Deltay:
Because then it would be right before 2000, and I'd have a better understanding of the importance of a new MILLENIUM and do something more significant.

2002 Sab H.:
Because it was the year I graduated High School (Yep I'm old huh?) and basically the best year of my life, and I do remember but not quite every day like I would like to. {psst... you're not as old as I Heart Monster!! she graduated in 1999. Oh hey... who typed that?}

2003 Hailey: that year me and my friends went on mission trip! I had a blast and would not at ALL mind re-living that.

2004 Kayla D:
Two-thousand and four is the year I believe I started high school and is where I would like to go. I won't lie and say that it's the year hell broke loose, because that happened a long time ago. If I had followed all the advice I put in my image, I would have done better. Can do all of it now though. No regrets. No excuses.

2005 Ninja Fanpire:
So I could change things in high school.

2012 McCall:
I would like to be dropped into that year because that is my senior year and I want to see how well I've made it through high school.

2017 Diana Dang:
I'll be 25 at the time and I wonder what my life will be then

2020 Allie:
I'm always curious about the future, and I have the sneaking suspicion that middle adulthood is going to be really good for me. I'd like to get a peak.

2024 adriennelizbth08:
becaause I would be 30 and it would be interesting to know how my life is then.

2028 Rachel:
not to far off but enough were there could possibly be huge changes.

2030 Alex: I'd go to the future, to say, 2030. I'd like to see where civilization has gotten to in 21 years. Plus, I could see where I myself would be in 2030. D: Scary thought. I can't imagine myself so old. Nonetheless, it would be very interesting to travel to 2030, so that's where I'd like to go.

2045 bbx: I choose 2045 cos then I get to see what happened to me, how many kids I have, what their names are and what they're up to. Plus, seeing the latest gadgets would be super cool too!

5000 bridget3420: I would like to see how much has changed. This world is a lot different than it was even in the 1900's. I can't imagine what it will be like in almost 3000 years. It would be interesting to see.

Out of 191 total entries, the winner is Katie! Congrats Katie! I've emailed you, please get back to me within 48 hours!

My Name Is Will *Winners*

Catullus Hatshepsut Jane Austen Queen Elizabeth

What do all of these historical figures have in common?

Someone that reads I Heart Monster would like to have their life intersect with theirs... how fun?

I promised to reveal who I would like to have my life intersect with when I announced the winners, so here goes.

If my life could parallel and ultimately intersect with any one historical figure, I think I would want it to be that of Charles Darwin. I find his work fascinating and would love to someday be able to really grasp it first hand by traveling to the Galapagos and witnessing some of the things that he wrote about. His work was truly groundbreaking. Now, I am a religious girl, so don't find your pitchforks and throw them at me! I am also a Creationist, but I also subscribe to a lot of Darwin's theories... so maybe I'm an evolutionary mutt.

Thank you to everyone who entered!

The winners are:

Catherine Haines
Paradox
Fokxxy
Lisanne624
emily l

The winners have been emailed.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Audiobook Inspection: Austenland by Shannon Hale (#everythingausten)

Size: 87 MB (Audible)
Length: 6 hours, 20 minutes
Author: Shannon Hale
Narrator: Katherine Kellgren

Plot Sketch: Jane Hayes wants to get married, but she has a problem. She wants to marry Mr. Darcy. Not just any Mr. Darcy, but Mr. Darcy as played by Colin Firth in the BBC version made for TV, which she hides in her houseplant when people come over so that they won't judge her for having it out. A wealthy great aunt comes to visit her and discovers her secret passion for Darcy, and tells her that it is normal. Fast forward a little and the great aunt dies, and great news, Jane is in the will. When she meets with the lawyer, she finds out that her great aunt has left her a special Austen-themed vacation. This is the story of her time spent at Austenland, where she lived, breathed, and played everything Regency.

Plot Verdict: I Heart It! I really enjoyed this book. During the last forty-five minutes, I squeed a lot. I mean, a LOT. It's a darling story, a little predictable, but darling nonetheless. If you are an Austen fan, this is a must. (and if you're a woman and not an Austen fan, please email me, I'd like to a) know more and b) be able to say I know such a person) Shannon Hale has done a wonderful job of creating a story for all women, (yeah, no men that I know would like this one) young and old, married and unwed.

Narration Verdict: I Heart It. I loved the bit of dramitization that Kellgren does with her own voice, it made the six hours go by pretty fast and added a great bit of depth to the story that it would have lacked on audio otherwise. I think she did a great job and based on her performance in this audiobook, would seek out other audiobooks she reads because they'd definitely hold my interest. Would recommend her to you as well!

Notes:
  • This was listened to as part of the Everything Austen challenge, which I annonced that I was participating in on July 2nd.
  • Follow people's progress through the challenge on Twitter by searching the hashtag #everythingausten
  • Please forgive any character spelling errors as I do not have a written copy of this novel.
  • Read more about this story on Squeetus, the official site of Shannon Hale.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Create A Soundtrack: Wings by Aprilynne Pike


Leave a comment with a song that goes with Wings by Aprilynne Pike. I know there were a lot of mixed feelings about this book, and I didn't adore it, but I still think we could make a pretty cool mix for it. Leave songs that are flowery, speak about uniqueness, friendship, self-discovery, change, or hiding who you are. Remember that you can upload a youtube vid with your song in it directly into your comment! It may look blank and yellow after you upload it, but it usually shows up fine.

The song I'm starting the mix off with is Shine by Collective Soul, and here is a fun live version of it:



Monday, August 3, 2009

Soundtrack: Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Thank you to Kate, Jess, Shelly, Deborah, MJ, heidenkind, and Korianne for contributing!

Come by tomorrow and help us build a new one!

I'm SOOOO sorry! I took down the playlist when I realized that in some browsers it auto-plays. One of my biggest pet peeves is music playing in the background when I visit a blog. So, I'm really sorry. Instead, here is the playlist in text, and a link to the mixpod mix that you can listen to if you so choose:

Summer Girls by LFO (me!)
Happy Days Intro Music (Kate)
Little Things by Good Charlotte (Jess)
Address In The Stars by Caitlin and Will (Shelly)
Lovefool by The Cardigans (Deborah)
Summertime by George Gershwin (MJ)
Wound Up by Office (heidenkind)
Summertime by Will Smith (heidenkind)
Miami by Will Smith (heidenkind)
Kiss Me by New Found Glory (Korianne)

Again, apologies for the auto-play, and if you want to, you can listen to the playlist at Mixpod without signing up or anything.

Book Inspection: Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

Plot Sketch: Things at home pretty much suck for Leslie. She doesn't get much help from her junkie brother or her drunkard father, and even has to pick up the slack and pay the bills, a lot. She thinks that even her friends have abandoned her, what with Aislinn hanging out with those two pieces of man candy, Seth and Keenan, all of the time, and Rianne doing her own thing as usual. What she needs is a tattoo, it will set her free, and let her start anew. Only problem is, everything on the walls at Pins & Needles is just not for her. After weeks of having the parental consent form signed and still having nothing appeal to her, she begs Rabbit (the proprietor of Pins & Needles) to do something custom, which he has already told her he at least needs a hint for, he can't just pull it out of nowhere. Finally, Rabbit relents and goes to get his special book out of his office. As Leslie looks through it, she keeps coming back to a tattoo with dark eyes and wings and Celtic knots. She can't stop thinking about getting that tattoo. Rabbit, a little dismayed, asks her if she's absolutely sure. Of course she is. This is the perfect tattoo. As she goes through her week, you (the reader) get to experience her pain, her protector Niall's pain, and the pain of the King of the Dark Court, Irial. You get to see how Leslie's tattoo releases her pain and how maybe it's not so great to live without pain.

Verdict: I Heart It. This tale picks up in the same world as Wicked Lovely, with the same rules. It is an interesting way to build a series, because the main characters in Ink Exchange are different from those in Wicked Lovely, but the characters from WL are still present. The writing is excellent, but the plot development in this second installment lacked and languished in the middle. There were 100+ pages that seemed to swirl around and never accomplish anything but establish a sort pain. They seemed skimmed, not detailed enough to matter; they seemed to sort of swish around and give you tastes of the whole picture while never actually letting you fully understand. Also, this story is waaaaaay darker than Wicked Lovely. Be prepared for rape, sex, drugs, violence, and addiction to be prevalent themes throughout the reading. Don't let my criticism lead you to believe I didn't enjoy it though, I did enjoy, just not as much as Wicked Lovely.

The Gauntlet:

At what location does most of the story take place?
Huntsdale (a town)

What is the main character's name?
Leslie

Does I Heart Monster like the main character?
No. Actually, now that I reflect on it, maybe that's my biggest problem with this book? I don't like Leslie, so its hard for me to be empathetic with her.

How long did it take I Heart Monster to finish the book?
a few days

Did I Heart Monster get stuck at any points in the book? If so, why?
No

Is this a good read for Monster?
No. Not a good read for Monster, but it might be for other men.

What, if anything, would I Heart Monster change to make the book more interesting?
Develop the plot from chapters 20-30. It might make the book a little longer, but it would definitely help. Also, I have no idea what a lot of the things in the book were because they were fantasy creatures that I wasn't familiar with. WTF is a glaistig? For those of us not well-versed in traditional faery lore, it would have been nice to have something more than a glaistig has hooves to go on. Also, a pronunciation guide would be helpful.

What was I Heart Monster's favorite line?
I didn't have a favorite line. I had a least favorite one though, p. 296:

"The things you do when you're desperate aren't who you are."

I don't agree with this statement. I think that the things you do when you're desperate define your character and the very essence of who you are. What do you think? Tell me, please.

How many chapters were in the book?
36

Stats:

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: April 29, 2008
Language: English
ISBN-10: 006121468X

Acquire It:


Notes:




Sunday, August 2, 2009

Top Ten Visitors Lists

THANK YOU for visiting I Heart Monster. I love to see where my visitors come from and once in a while I do a post showing the Top Ten Countries and the Top Ten States and how many visits have come since I started IHM back in March. Monster & I love your feedback, your comments, and your visits! Don't see your country or state? Spread the word about I Heart Monster locally to see it move up in the ranks. If you want to compare these to the last time, check out the last set of stats. Green moved up, red down, black held firm. Thanks again! You are AWESOME!

Countries:
  1. United States (4,254)
  2. Canada (584)
  3. United Kingdom (352)
  4. Philippines (125) (+2)
  5. Singapore (114) (-1)
  6. Argentina (112) (+1)
  7. Belgium (105 ) (+1)
  8. Australia (102) (+1)
  9. New Zealand (91) (-4)
  10. Brazil (26)
States:
  1. Arizona (773)
  2. California (431)
  3. New York (416)
  4. Texas (303)
  5. Illinois (227) (+1)
  6. Washington (169) (-1)
  7. Florida (150) (+1)
  8. Connecticut & Pennsylvania (132) (+1 Connecticut, Penn new)
  9. Ohio (112) (-2)

You're The Expert: YA Sci-Fi Reccomendations

Hey there! So, I have a friend who has to read a sci-fi novel for school this summer. Instead of recommending classic science fiction, I recommended some YA titles that I have read, heard about, and want to read. So, I was wondering if you guys have any Y sci-fi titles that you guys would recommend? Here's what I sent to her:

Uglies by Scott Westerfield

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E Pearson

The H-Bomb Girl by Stephen Baxter

Maximum Ride by James Patterson

Daniel X by James Patterson







What great titles am I missing? Please add some in the comments section...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

You're The Expert: Character Names

Do me a favor, and lend us your expertise on this...

  • Do you ever find yourself reading along and arriving at a character name and find yourself unable to pronounce it?
  • Do you ever find that you and a friend who have read the same book pronounce the characters completely different?
  • Does an inability to verify name pronunciation ever leave you frustrated?
  • Do you enjoy unique character names?
  • Have you ever considered naming an animal or a child after a character in a book?

Book Inspection: The Stolen One by Suzanne Crowley

Plot Sketch: Kat, a red-headed, spirited girl was raised in the country with her sister, Anna by Grace Bab, a woman the locals in Winchcombe called a witch. To survive, the three crafted beautiful garments and sold them as luxury goods. Grace's best friend was Christian, the pear farmer boy up the road. Although they were raised as cousins, Grace has assured Godfrey, her brother, and Agnes, his wife that it would be okay for Christian to marry Kat because Kat is not of her blood. After a set of unfortunate circumstances find their way into the lives of Kat and Anna, they head off to London in search of answers as to who Kat's mother is. They are on a search for a Mrs. Eglionby, but get sidetracked by the Lady Ludmore and her good-looking son. Soon thereafter, Kat goes to Queen Elizabeth's court, where she is quickly adored by the Queen and makes a lot of people jealous. Kat does some soul searching while in the service of the queen and concludes her journey in a very happy manner.

Verdict: I Heart It!! This is the best historical fiction piece that I've read in a long time. I really liked it. For some reason it seems that most of the pieces of historical fiction that I pick up end up being about the Tudors, and this was no exception. I especially enjoyed the attention to historical detail that Crowley paid in her writing. She took the time to research and get right the healing herbs of the time, as well as the status and position of her not-so-make-believe characters. She took a historical mystery and crafted a beautiful story that kept me interested even over the course of 400 pages to provide a hypothetical in answer to that mystery. I did not stop and go, "Huh?" at all; I had no hang-ups with this novel. If you are a fan of historical fiction, definitely pick up this lovely tale of Kat and her pear-farmer friend Christian.

The Gauntlet:

At what location does most of the story take place?
London, England, late 1500s.

What is the main character's name?
Katherine Bab

Does I Heart Monster like the main character?
Absolutely. I loved her.

How long did it take I Heart Monster to finish the book?
a few days.

Did I Heart Monster get stuck at any points in the book? If so, why?
No, I did not get stuck, I was just a busy bee.

Is this a good read for Monster?
Nope.

What, if anything, would I Heart Monster change to make the book more interesting?
Nothing.

What was I Heart Monster's favorite line?
I hold what I have.

How many chapters were in the book?
30

Stats:

Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publish Date: June 30, 2009
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061232009

Acquire It:


Notes: