Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ten Books I Recently Added to my TBR List.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish.

Ten....Twelve....close enough. Here's 12 books I've recently added to my to-be-read list.

1. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
2. Tiger Moon by Antonia Michaelis
3. Resistance by Jaye L. Knight

4. Torn Asunder by Alana Terry
5. Red Butterfly by A.L. Sonnichsen
6. The Auschwitz Escape by Joel C. Rosenberg

7. These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer
8. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
9. Saving Marilee by Anna K. Larsen

10. Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
11. Rahab's Story by Ann Burton
12. Paralyzed  Dreams by C.B. Cook
Some pretty good variety, I think. What have you added to your TBR recently?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Daddy-Long-Legs: An Epistolary Review

Genres: Classic; Young Adult; Coming of Age
Pages: 185
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Daddy-Long-Legs (Daddy-Long-Legs, #1)
Dear Mrs. Webster,
Thank you. Thank you for writing a short, enjoyable epistolary novel entitled Daddy-Long-Legs. It's quite the accomplishment, writing an entire novel in letter format. And your efforts paid off.
Sympathy was stirred within me for your protagonist, Miss Jerusha Abbott, from the start. A young girl, not quite 18, living in a dull and dreary orphan asylum with no hope for her future? Oh dear. How lucky, how blessed she was to come to the attention of one of the trustees, and a millionaire at that! I grinned when this mysterious man offered to pay her way through college, his only requirement for her being that she must write him. I laughed when she penned her letters, trying just to update him of her progress, and instead giving him every detail of her college life and affectionately dubbing him 'Daddy-Long-Legs.' How sweet. I loved these letters.
But where is the dialogue? Where did you get the impression that you must write letters with no dialogue, no recounting of Judy's own conversations? It has been done before, I assure you, and would have served to make the story much richer.
But I apologize, Ms. Author, for  telling you how to write your book. Of course you have more experience than I, and this is mostly a matter of personal taste. In truth, your book was a delight to read. I adore Jerusha. With every one of her letters I was even more charmed with her. Her spunk, her wit, her innocence--these made her utterly likeable. She and I(along with Anne Shirley--have you met her?) would get along famously, I think.
I'd say you managed to pen a pretty decent piece of fiction. More detail would have been appreciated, but in all honesty, Judy's unique voice and telling of events made up for that. A predictable, but fun story.
Yours Truly,
PS. Flushing out the romance a little more would have been nice, Mrs. Webster. In my humble opinion.
Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,
If it's not too much trouble, I'd love a free ride to college. I trust your generosity extends to those who are not orphans?
Ever yours,
PS. You don't still hate girls?
Quotable moments:
"But how can one be very respectful to a person who wishes to be called
John Smith?  Why couldn't you have picked out a name with a little
personality?  I might as well write letters to Dear Hitching-Post or
Dear Clothes-Prop."
“I think that the most necessary quality for any person to have is imagination. It makes people able to put themselves in other people's places. It makes them kind and sympathetic and understanding.”  
Content: Absolutely clean.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Fanmonth: Posts of the Week

Today is the last day of my personal Fanmonth.
Yeah. Sad day. BUT. As promised, I have more blog posts to share! Here are my posts of the week! And...er...one from over a week ago that I...um...forgot to share.
Anyway. Go! Click on the links!
Heh. Now you have to.
1. Sometimes I'm a Story: GUEST POST: A Fan's Five Stages of Grief with Elizabeth. Elizabeth describes the emotional roller coaster ride we readers have to endure. The struggle is real.

2. Go Teen Writers: Writing in a Community and Writing Alone. Author Stephanie Morrill explains why sometimes, writers need their alone time.

3. South Kakalaki Girl: 7 Things We Can Learn From Wile E. Coyote. Because he's just the best role model!

4. Tif Talks Books: Literary Link Love. More links! Yay! Including children's book quotes, the worst things that can happen to a book lover, blogging advice, and answers from J.K. Rowling!

5. Faith * Love * Books: Torn Asunder by Alana Terry. A review of Torn Asunder. This is one I'd LOVE to read!

6. Raychel Rose: Why I do not Support "The We Need Diverse Books Campaign." Very thought-provoking post.

7. Paper Fury: How to Get More Comments on Your Blog. Cait imparts some great advice on getting more comments! She's really good at following her own advice, too.

8. A Writer's Faith: Flash Fiction Challenge - The Thief's Blade. I really loved this piece of writing. You should go check it out and give Katie your feedback!

I'm also linking to one of my posts(did I just break ANOTHER rule?). Yesterday I posted Share the Love Challenge, where I spotlighted one of my favorite bloggers! Wandering who it is? Have a look see!

Well. That's it. *sigh* My two weeks of Fan Month are officially over. And I had so much fun! It was especially sweet seeing some of the other participants drop by my blog. Those comments and shares had me like:

Thanks, you guys.

And just because Fan Month is almost over, doesn't mean we have to stop being fans! If anything, after this month is over I 'm going to be an even better fan than I was before. I'm firmly convinced I wasn't sharing enough. That's going to have to change.

THANK YOU to Heather, who hosted this. Thank you to everyone who was a fan of The Scribbling Sprite. And thanks to everyone who put up with my fangirliness this month.

Ta Ta For Now,

Friday, March 27, 2015

Share the Love Challenge

I'll keep the intro short for once.  I was tagged for the Share the Love Challenge hosted by Audrey @ The Measure of a Book.

Wait, I have to follow instructions? Hahahaha. Oh-kay. I'll do my best.
  • Display the tag on your post along with the instructions.
  • Display the link to the blog whose author tagged you.
  • Insert their ‘about me’, biography, or profile text (unless they don’t have one). And if you wanna go all-out, add their picture too (if they have one)!
  • List or talk about some things you LOVE about their blog.
  • Mention your favorite post by that blogger.
  • Tag as many bloggers as you can! Share the love! (And remember, the more you tag, the more people will hear about you and your blog.)
  • And don’t forget to let the bloggers know you’ve tagged them.

  • The blogger who tagged me: Ana @ Butterflies of the Imagination
    About the blogger: Hi, I'm Ana. I'm a teen book blogger and I love posting book reviews and discussions. When I'm not blogging or studying like crazy I love to run long distances and get muddy in the process. You can also find me devouring the pages of a book, furiously scribbling down stories, sewing my own clothes and coding up a storm. I believe that one can never consume enough peppermint and chocolate. New followers and comments make my day. Hint. Hint.
    Things I love about this blog!: Everything! But I shall be more specific. I love Ana's blog for her informative reviews and her fun discussion posts. And I really love her writing style! She can put things so eloquently :) She's also a Christian, a writer, and she loves a lot the same books as me! I always look forward to her posts, and seeing her face pop up on my blog. She always leaves thoughtful, relevent comments.
    My favorite post(s) by this blogger: A Message to Book Bloggers: You Should Try Creative Writing! // Fangirls: We Come in All Shapes and Sizes // Book Review: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
    I tag: Alexa @ Summer Snowflakes; Amanda and Rachel @ South Kakalaki Girl; Sarah @ Sarah, Plain and Average; Serena @ Poetree; Neal @ Daily Diaries; Brittany @ Brittany the Book Nerd; Alea @ Elvish Pens, Fantastical Writings

    I guess I'll be crossing my fingers.
    I hope these people love me. I hope these people love me. I hope these people love me.

    If I tagged you and you do love me, *cough* I mean, my blog--do the challenge! Tag other bloggers! Share the love!

    Wednesday, March 25, 2015

    Review - Esther: Royal Beauty

    Esther: Royal Beauty (Dangerous Beauty, #1)Esther: Royal Beauty by Angela Elwell Hunt
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars(4.5 stars.)
    Genres: Biblical Fiction; Christian Historical Fiction
    Pages: 352

    An ambitious tyrant threatens genocide against the Jews in ancient Persia, so an inexperienced beautiful young queen must take a stand for her people.

    When Xerxes, king of Persia, issues a call for beautiful young women, Hadassah, a Jewish orphan living in Susa, is forcibly taken to the palace of the pagan ruler. After months of preparation, the girl known to the Persians as Esther wins the king's heart and a queen's crown. But because her situation is uncertain, she keeps her ethnic identity a secret until she learns that an evil and ambitious man has won the king's permission to exterminate all Jews--young and old, powerful and helpless. Purposely violating an ancient Persian law, she risks her life in order to save her people...and bind her husband's heart.

    Esther marks bestselling author Angela Hunt's return to biblical fiction. In each novel she explores an example of a Hebrew Old Testament tob woman: a woman whose physical beauty influences those around her--and can change the course of history.
    My review:
    I don't think I've read a single biblical retelling--other than this one--besides Tosca Lee's Havah. That was years ago, and I loved it. So why didn't I try another one?
    Maybe I was unsure of the genre. I mean, it's really a hit or miss. The Bible is full of accounts that tell of real historic events. What if the author falsely twists these events to better suit her own story? I didn't quite like that idea. But in this case I don't think I had anything to be afraid of.
    What I didn't realize was the strong feelings such a retelling could induce in me. I already knew the characters--I've read the book of Esther--but through Ms. Hunt's fictional account I grew attached. Possibilities opened themselves up to me that I had never considered before. The thing is, many of us tend to romanticize stories like Esther. I have to remind myself that the life of a queen, especially in Esther's case, is no fairy-tale. I had never considered that perhaps she never wanted to become queen. (What young girl wouldn't?) Or that she might have had to fight for her king's affections. (He likely had hundreds of concubines). Or even that....her faith wavered.
    I always pictured Esther as...well...kind of perfect. Beautiful, strong, sure of herself and steadfast in her faith. But in Royal Beauty I at first found her portrayed as a doubter. A dreamer. Not someone fit to be queen. It made me a bit uneasy. Ms. Hunt wasn't just going to let the king come in and sweep her off her feet, was she?
    Fortunately, no. What she did was leave room for character development. And I watched Hadassah, the girl, transform into Esther: the queen who would be used to save her people. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
    The point is that neither the story or characters were romanticized. They were portrayed in a way that felt realistic--especially the king. Oh, the king. Where do I start with him?
    I'll admit, I didn't like him too much. He did some things I would never be quick to forgive. But I did feel some compassion for his sorry character. Mainly because I learned of his actions through the eyes of someone who loved him. Not Esther, but Harbonah. His faithful eunuch.
    Harbonah is our second point of view. It switches between him and Hadassah, and while I was usually more anxious for Hadassah's POV, I also enjoyed the viewpoint of the eunuch(who is mentioned by name in the book of Esther). There is one thing that bothered me, though, when I got to his chapters. He often summed up important events within a paragraph or two, when I would have liked to have been shown what was happening.
    That aside, I loved the historical detail and writing style the author employed. Though I had a few problems with the story, I enjoyed it too much and flew through it too fast to give it less than 4.5 stars. I guess I just like having a fresh perspective on the book of Esther. I have more compassion and respect for her, now that I know what COULD have happened in more detail. There are some things I just never thought about her having to endure. All that, and I kept running to my bible to check on the accuracy of the story(two thumbs up as far as I'm concerned). It was just a fun experience. That's the thing about biblical retellings. They make you want to dig deeper into the actual book, and explore characters you maybe never thought much of before. I think I've found a genre I love!
    Recommended to lovers of Biblical Fiction, Christian Historical Fiction, or just a well crafted story.
    Content: Mentions of concubines. Sleeping with the king was a requirement if you wanted him to choose you as queen. Everything happens behind closed doors.
    View all my reviews

    Author site / Amazon link

    Monday, March 23, 2015

    Mailbox Monday 3-23-15

    Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at To Be Continued and is now hosted at its own blog.

    I just love used book stores. You can find such great deals, and I always come away from them with at least one book. This week, I bought two books, Inkdeath and Airborn.

    Covers from Goodreads.

    I won't post the description, because there are spoilers for the previous books in this series(keep that in mind if you click the link above).

    I can't wait to delve back into this series. I've read it three times, and each time I've felt differently about it. I guess I'll have to see how my perspective has changed.

    In the Inkworld books, words are power. They come alive, sucking you into stories and bringing characters into your world from their own stories. Different story worlds intertwine, and Meggie and her father find themselves caught up in a book that has seemed to haunt them for years--Inkheart.

    Is that not the best premise ever?

    Matt Cruse is a cabin boy on the Aurora, a huge airship that sails hundreds of feet above the ocean, ferrying wealthy passengers from city to city. It is the life Matt's always wanted; convinced he's lighter than air, he imagines himself as buoyant as the hydrium gas that powers his ship. One night he meets a dying balloonist who speaks of beautiful creatures drifting through the skies. It is only after Matt meets the balloonist's granddaughter that he realizes that the man's ravings may, in fact, have been true, and that the creatures are completely real and utterly mysterious.

    In a swashbuckling adventure reminiscent of Jules Verne and Robert Louis Stevenson, Kenneth Oppel, author of the best-selling Silverwing trilogy, creates an imagined world in which the air is populated by transcontinental voyagers, pirates, and beings never before dreamed of by the humans who sail the skies.

    Anything catch your eye? And what's in your mailbox?

    Fanmonth: Recap and Extension

    In case you haven't been tuned in, and have no clue what's going on, here's Heather's post explaining Fan Month, and my post highlighting my goals for my own fan week.

    Now, before I give an excuse as to why I did so terrible this month(and I didn't even set any concrete rules) I'm going to make like a good little fan, and share a few posts I enjoyed this past week. That means I want you to click on the links.

    Go on. Do it. Press the buttons.

    Which reminds me of post #1:

    1. What Pressing Buttons and #PitMad Taught Me About Stakes in which Alyssa talks about raising the stakes in your novel. (Also, there's this thing called #PitMad where you can pitch your novel on Twitter with a hashtag. I did not know this. It's amazing.)

    2. Fan Month: Sweet and Sour Sorrow in which Heather explains that it can be OK to unfollow.

    3. Water Walker by Ted Dekker in which Alexa reviews a book by one of my favorite authors, and makes me want to read this book even MORE than I already do.

    4. A Message to Book Bloggers: You Should Try Creative Writing! in which Ana so eloquently makes a plea for book bloggers to pick up their pens and write--not just reviews and stuff--but STORIES. This wasn't even posted this month, but who cares? It's an amazing post.

    5. The Best Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Recipe Ever in which Alea TAUNTS me. With the most beautiful cake I have ever seen.

    6. FWBM of March: Patricia's Post in which Patricia shares a bit about her writing journey. I really enjoyed this guest post on Ravens and Writing Desks. And check out Patricia's blog, The Writer's Corner. 

    7. 8 Tips For Creating a Pantheon For Your Novel in which Mrs. Williamson shares tips on...well, I think you get it.

    8. [Guest Post] Why Fictional Friends Are Just The Best in which Aimee explains why we should ditch our real friends for fictional ones. Hahaha. I'm kidding. No, I'm not. Aimee was guest posting for Katie Grace, but don't forget to check out her own blog, To The Barricade!

    9. On Approachability: Being a Public Figure Online in which Sarah is super encouraging. I'll just leave it at that.

    10. "For Who Could Ever Learn to Love a Beast?" in which Christine shares what fairy tales taught her, and her upcoming writing ventures.

    Wow, exactly ten. That worked out well.

    And, if those posts weren't enough, some more blogs to check out!

    Wishful Endings --Clean books, hurrah!
    The Daily Prophecy --Someone who shares my fairy tale AND Harry Potter obsession!
    Brittany the Book Nerd --Fairy Tales AND Clean Books, double hurrah!
    Bookish Serendipity --All Things YA.
    Christian Bookshelf Reviews --I think this is the first book blog I ever read.
    Poetree --Poetry and books.
    The Artist Librarian --Reading and art are her passions.

    What a linky post! I know it's a lot of blogs, but I'm a fan of every one of them. Only I wasn't a very good fan this week.

    Don't get me wrong, I started out strong. I was commenting, sharing, and having a blast. But then vacation happened. I was distracted by acrobats and illusionists and horses and things(it was a pretty cool weekend). Also, I didn't have my computer during that time and phones are stupid. So, from Wednesday to Saturday I couldn't express my fanship the way I really wanted to.

    Which brings me to the extention. That's right. I'll be extending my fan week into this week. I'll do my best to keep commenting, sharing, etc. but while still posting to my own blog. I've got some posts I've really been itching to write!

    Well, that's basically the gist of it.

    Did you reach the goals you set for fan month, if you participated? If not, you can still show some love. Tell me--what are some of your favorite blogs? If you leave the link, I may just drop by.

    Saturday, March 14, 2015

    Review - Habitan: The Parallel Place

    The Parallel Place (Habitan, #1)
    The Parallel Place by Cheryl Skory Suma
    Genres: Middle Grade; Fantasy; Adventure
    Pages: 308
    Middle Grade Fiction can really be a breath of fresh air. It's generally cleaner, lighter, and more innocent than what you get from the Young Adult or Adult genres. I don't read enough of it.

    That's what The Parallel Place was for me--a breath of fresh air. It was very different from what I'm used to reading, and I enjoyed that.

    The story begins with Melissa, Michael, and Annabelle caught up in another world--a mystical land known as Habitan, and a place that felt like more of a home than their dreary orphanage ever did. Here they discover things they never could have dreamed of--talking animals, magical powers....and family.

    But not all is as perfect as it first seems to be. For their aunt, a powerful sorceress and self-proclaimed queen of Habitan, will not stand by and let them take her throne. She, Oskana, will stop at nothing to get rid of this new threat--three young children with powers of their own.

    I thought Melissa; Michael; and Annabelle, all 10-13 years old, were spunky protagonists. In fact, I loved much of the characters and especially that they were so diverse. They all had their own quirks and personality traits. However, I do think that the children sometimes came across as older than their true ages and that the author could have gone more in depth with their personalities.
    I think the reason that sometimes the characters seemed more flat and less well-rounded was the lack of showing. All writers have heard the admonition: Show, don't tell. We were informed of the personalities of the characters and we were told why things happened, rather than having these things revealed to us. Although The Parallel Place was a fun story, I was never completely captivated by it for this reason.
    Another thing that kind of put me off was the lack of suspense. Notice that I used the word suspense, not action. There was plenty of action, and at the start of each new problem, I was excited to see how it would turn out. But each problem seemed to be resolved in the blink of an eye. There was no sweating, no worrying about how things will turn out, because everything was solved so easily before a new problem presented itself.
    I'll admit, I can be a nitpicky reader. I still think this book could be enjoyed by younger readers. It wasn't at all bad. The idea was wonderful, and many parts had me smiling. If you like MG fiction with elements of magic(I thought the talking animals were a plus, by the way) you might enjoy this book.
    On a closing note, I really admire the author for the reasons she wrote this book. Because they loved her stories, her kids asked her to write them a longer one. So she did. She even named two of the main characters after them and included her 12-year-old daughter's illustrations(which are lovely!). I think that's the sweetest thing. And how fun for her children!
    Content: Clean
    **I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

    View all my reviews

    Amazon Link

    Thursday, March 12, 2015

    Life of a Blogger: Favorite Quotes

    Hosted by Novel Heartbeat
    My first time participating in Life of a Blogger and the theme is favorite quotes. Could I have picked a better week to join in? I think not. Now, I got all of these off Goodreads, so most of them are from books. No surprise there.

    • “A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.” ~ C.S. Lewis

    • “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what." ~ Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

    •  “Isn't it odd how much fatter a book gets when you've read it several times?" Mo had said..."As if something were left between the pages every time you read it. Feelings, thoughts, sounds, smells...and then, when you look at the book again many years later, you find yourself there, too, a slightly younger self, slightly different, as if the book had preserved you like a pressed flower...both strange and familiar.”  ~ Cornelia Funke, Inkheart

    • “What day is it?" "It's today," squeaked Piglet. "My favorite day," said Pooh.” ~ A.A. Milne

    • “A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” ~ Roald Dahl

    • “When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this - you haven't.” ~ Thomas Edison

    • “How mighty, how great the One must be, I thought, to send the heavens careening, and yet hear the cry of a single heart.” ~ Tosca Lee, Havah: The Story of Eve

    • “Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” ~ Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

    • “And they lived happily (aside from a few normal disagreements, misunderstandings, pouts, silent treatments, and unexpected calamities) ever after.” ~ Jean Ferris, Twice Upon a Marigold

    • “I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.” ~ L.M. Montgomery

    • “The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from a mental illness. Look at your 3 best friends. If they're ok, then it's you.” ~ Rita Mae Brown

    • “The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them -- words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.” ~ Stephen King

    • “If there are words and wrongs like knives, whose deep inflicted lacerations never heal - cutting injuries and insults of serrated and poison-dripping edge - so, too, there are consolations of tone too fine for the ear not fondly and for ever to retain their echo: caressing kindnesses - loved, lingered over through a whole life, recalled with unfaded tenderness, and answering the call with undimmed shine, out of that raven cloud foreshadowing Death himself.” ~ Charlotte Bronte

    • “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

    • “Forks are absurd," he scoffed. "They insult your food. They make it think you're killing it twice.” ~ Clare B. Dunkle

    Some funny, some motivational, and some just super eloquent. By no means an exhaustive list.

    Monday, March 9, 2015

    Rated, Not Reviewed (1)

    So, I was thinking(And no, it didn't hurt). But I was thinking and.... *gasp*....might have come up with a good idea.

    In case you haven't already figured this out, I read a lot of books. So many books, in fact, that I don't really have time to review everything I read. Which is very unfortunate, because I love reviews and I especially love when someone else decides to read a book because of my recommendation.

    So....getting on with it. Because I still want to share my thoughts on the books I've read, I've decided to start a new feature: Rated, Not Reviewed. In which (you guessed it) I rate books instead of reviewing them. With a sentence or two of my thoughts about the book sprinkled in.

    All righty then. After that lengthy intro....here ya go!

    For Such a TimeFor Such a Time by Kate Breslin
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    A wonderful retelling of the biblical story of Esther, set during the second World War. Highly recommended to lovers of Christian Historical Fiction.

    Death of a SalesmanDeath of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
    My rating: 1 of 5 stars

    A fairly uneventful play. I couldn't really sympathize with any of the characters because I didn't like them.

    Rebels (Safe Lands, #3)Rebels by Jill Williamson
    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    My favorite Young Adult Christian Science Fiction Dystopian. Say that three times fast.

    Oh, and it's epic. Love. This. Series.

    All Fall Down (Embassy Row, #1)All Fall Down by Ally Carter
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    I love everything by Ally Carter. This was no exception. Very fast paced and thrilling. And I adore the characters.

    View all my reviews

    (The links will bring you to Goodreads)

    That's it--short and sweet. I know I rate everything I read on Goodreads already, but I know not everyone who reads this blog has one. So I came up with this "easy way out." Anything catch your eye?

    Friday, March 6, 2015

    Haters Gonna Hate, Readers Gonna Read

    Hello, readers. Today, I'm going to go on a little rant. So bear with me, and sit back and relax as you enjoy this gif filled post.

    *Stands on a pedestal and hits glass with spoon* Ahem! Thank you. Now....

    This post is to everyone who carries books around with them wherever they go.

    It's for those who have found in books, their BFFs--best fictional friends(because who can understand you better?).

    To anyone who's been made fun of for having his nose stuck in a 500+ page novel.

    It's to those who've been told that reading as much as they do makes them boring.

    (PUH-lease. We've traveled over land and sea, through time and space, to lands that don't even EXIST--all through the pages of a book. And that makes us BORING?)

    Finally, this post is to all who have had experiences somewhat similar to this:

    I tell people reading is one of my biggest hobbies and their reaction?

    And when I tell them how much I read in a year their eyes go
    Found here

    And then they tell me I need to get a life, and I'm like

    Maaayybe, I'm exaggerating a little, but guys, things like this DO happen!

    Fellow book drunkards, bookworms, bibliophiles...gather round. What I'm about to tell you may come as a shock. Prepare to be disturbed, horrified even. You see, there's this fact that not all of us like to acknowledge. Wait for it....

    Not everyone likes to read.

    Yeah. I know. How uncultured of them! But alas, tis the devastating truth. But what's worse is, they may even make fun of you for reading.

    But you know what I say to those people? I don't care. 'Cause you know what? Books make me happy.
    Found here

    Reading is good for you. So get your backside off your couch, away from the tv screen, and go to the library or something....

    That is all. In true Willy Wonka fashion, I bid you all a good day.

    What books are you currently reading? Tell me in the comments!

    Wednesday, March 4, 2015

    Dearest Book Tour Grand Finale

    A themed tour with Prism Book Tours.

    We're launching the BOOK TOUR for
    By Alethea Kontis

    Did you miss any of the magical posts and reviews for this tour?
    Go check them out now! You can also grab the 20th Chapter of Dearest, 
    not previously released, on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

    Lilac Reviews - Tips for Writing a Series
    The Arilland Easter Egg Page: I’ve always been a big fan of DVD extras, so I created a page on my website where I list handy links to essays, videos, stories, articles and the like that are some how connected to the series. You can find it here: http://aletheakontis.com/about/arilland
    Wishful Endings - The Wild Swans Rant
    "The Wild Swans", along with "The Little Mermaid" and "The Little Match Girl" has always been one of my favorite stories by Hans Christian Andersen. (It's also, notably, one of the only HCA stories in which the main characters DON'T DIE.)

    Special post @ Waterworld Mermaids - Learn some fun facts about Alethea!

    The Book Lovers' Lounge - Review
    I would still recommend this book to anyone who loves their fairy tales and romance books.

    Wings trip [Alethea's] fiction trigger @ USA Today's Happy Ever After

    Buried Under Books - Review
    I love Friday—I think she’s my favorite of the sisters so far mainly because she’s so sweet and kind—and Tristan is also very likeable but it’s the seven brothers as a group who make this tale so much fun.

    Mommabears Book Blog - Holy "L" Trinity
    But when it came to fantasy films, we had what we lovingly referred to as "The Holy L Trinity": Legend, Labyrinth, and Ladyhawke. It was rare that we watched one without immediately watching the other two. It didn't matter which order, just as long as they all got seen.

    Rabid Reads - Review
    Highly recommended. If you love fairy tales, you will love this series. Even if you are among the majority who only know Disney’s version of events, you will love this series. Don’t be scared off by the mutual affection Kontis and I have for Grimm, b/c while, YES, the details stay true to their European roots, the Woodcutter sisters always live happily ever after. 

    Gidget Girls Reading - Spotlight
    Wonderful addition to the Woodcutter Sisters series! Dearest is sure to capture the reader and keep them wanting more.

    7 Minutes with... Alethea Kontis @ J.T. Ellison

    Zerina Blossom - Review
    Dearest was a sweet romance and a fantastic mix of some of my favorite fairytales. “The Seven Swans” and “The Goose Girl” were but two of them. I loved the way the stories were once again intermingled in new and intriguing ways. Friday’s love story was one worth reading again.

    Geo Librarian - Review
    When it comes to fairy tale retellings it can be challenging to present the story in a new enough way to win over readers since the basic story is known beforehand.  But Kontis does a nice job here of adding enough new elements to make the story feel fresh and new.  And while the plot is thoroughly entertaining, it is the characters that really make the story worth reading.

    Welcome to Book City - Interview

    What is your favorite fairy tale?

    My favorite fairy tale has always been “The Goose Girl.” It's the reason Conrad is one of the main characters in Dearest! Conrad was the clever boy who reported to the king that there was something fishy about the girl he tended the geese with...like the fact that she knew how to call the wind. . . . My second-favorite fairy tales are “Snow White and Rose Red” and “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.”

    Angela's Library - Q&A
    Dearest is based in part on “The Wild Swans” by Hans Christian Andersen and “The Goose Girl” by the Brothers Grimm. How are both of these tales referenced in Dearest?
    I reread “The Wild Swans” again before I started writing Dearest — it’s amazing how much detail that story goes into. Elisa has 11 brothers who are cursed into swans by a wicked sorceress stepmother who quickly turns the king’s heart against his children. She also tries to curse Elisa, but her heart is so pure that the sorceress is forced to make Elisa physically ugly to serve her purpose...

    Kelly P's Blog - A Weave of Words Fairy Tale Rant Intro
    The book, out of print now (but still fairly easy to acquire), is about a lazy prince and a weaver's daughter. In order to win her heart, the prince learns to read and write and weave. In return, the weaver's daughter learns to ride a horse and fight with a sword.

    Mel's Shelves - Review
    This book has plenty for everyone--humor, romance, secrets, danger, adventure and magic. I think I would enjoy it even more the second time through since there are references I most likely missed. There's more to come in this series so I'm sure I'll read through all of them again in the future. If you enjoy adventurous fairytale mash-ups, you'll want to start reading this series now!

    Jan Edwards - Q&A
    What are you up to next?
    This year I will be publishing Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome(another illustrated collaboration with Janet K. Lee), Trixter (a Woodcutter novella), and a trilogy of short contemporary romance novels set in a small beach town in central Florida. I’m very excited about all of them!

    Katie's Clean Book Collection - Review
    I loved the way different fairy tales were twisted and mashed up. . . . It really was a lot of fun to see where the story would go. I need to go back and read the first two!

    A Backwards Story - I Dedicate This Post To You (Review HERE)
    One of my favorite parts of a book is the dedication. Before the interwebs, a dedication—because there wasn't always an acknowledgements section or author's note, especially in fiction—was the closest a reader came to knowing the author as a person.

    Wishful Endings - Review
    I loved all the nods to various folklore and fairy tales. The author is definitely a master at blending different tales while making them completely original and her own. . . . I would highly recommend Dearest as well as this entire series.

    Library of a Book Witch - Review
    I loved that this focused on the Fairy Tale of the seven swans and not only that but also another story that I am familiar with. . . . The story is so fast moving I flew through the book (like a swan, get it, ha!) but it was just so engaging. So many wonderful things come together to keep the plot moving. So many wonderful characters.

    The Quotable - Fairy Tales Incorporated
    I’m often asked which fairy tales I’m putting into the next installment of the Woodcutter Sisters series, or how many I’ve already included, or which ones are my favorites, or which ones inspire me the most. Rarely do I get the question of HOW I incorporate all these fairy tales into the bouillabaisse that is the Once Upon a Time of Arilland — which is probably a good thing, because it’s not a short answer...

    Biggest Literary Crushes post on Teen Reads

    The Written Adventure - Interview
    2) What gave you the idea for this book?
    I always start each one of the Woodcutter Sisters books with a “base note” fairy tale (like a base note in perfume). The base note for Dearest was “The Wild Swans” (aka “The Six Swans”). But I can't think of fine-feathered fairy tales without thinking of my personal favorite, “The Goose Girl”...so I had to add that too. From there, the rest just sort of fell into place.

    My Life Loves and Passion - Review
    To start with I LOVED this cover. It was just so beautiful. . . . I just loved how this story started. It was so magical. I really loved just everything about this book!

    Colorimetry - Swan Lake Fairy Tale Rant & Review
    When I began writing Dearest, I knew I wanted to incorporate "The Goose Girl" and "The Wild Swans" and "The Six Swans" and every other fairy tale that involves a gaggle of men who are cursed into birds. . . . This was my favorite book in the series so far and not just because I rec'd an early review copy that Alethea signed and doodled, although... I 5-star love that, too.  Mostly 5 stars because this story makes me want to know and remember ALL the stories, which is crazy and not even possible because they haven't all been written, yet!

    I Am A Reader - The Casting of the Swans
    As many writers—and children in Deep-Doodoo Trouble—know, the best stories are often an amalgamation of more than one thing. One idea comes to mind that sparks a myriad of other ideas…some you might have had a very long time ago, and some you might have imagined only yesterday. . . . The seven Swan Brothers of Dearest were a story born of three such singular ideas.

    The Library of the Seen - Interview
    What are some of your favorite fairy tale retellings?
    Beauty and Deerskin, both by Robin McKinley (she's the fairy tale retelling queen!) Also, A Curse Dark As Gold, a Rumplestiltskin retelling by Elizabeth C. Bunce. And the movie Ever After...which in many ways inspired Enchanted (because I loved the film so much and still wanted to do my own Cinderella.)

    18 - Special post on Dear Teen Me - Letter to her teen BFF

    Printcess & Living a Goddess Life - Review
    You recall my earlier review of the first two in the series, Enchanted and Hero. Well, I actually liked this one the best. Kontis appears to be improving in style and scope with each book, which makes for a nice change!

    Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf - Interview
    2 Do you read/comment on reviews of your books?
    I do! I don’t have a lot of time to do so anymore–and I often hear that reviewers are sometime freaked out when the author pops by unannounced–but I do have Google Alerts and Twitter searches saved with my name. (It’s nice to be the only Alethea Kontis on the planet!) I appreciate every reader who takes the time to write a review. I used to be a book reviewer, both in print and online–I know how much extra energy it takes to put those thoughts into useful words.

    100 Pages A Day - Review
    Tristan is the serious brother that Friday falls for- and is mostly instant love since they only see each other at night, but the romance was painted as genuine and this is a fairy tale. For any lover of fairy tales and re-tellings this would be a good series to pick up.

    mrsjennyreads - Review
    An enchanting delight of a story, this is true fantasy fun. Kontis, I believe, may be wielding magic of her own.

    Books and Ashes - Review
    I really enjoyed this story though because it was everything I wanted to know and more about what was happening in Arilland while Saturday was adventuring as a pirate (which was my favorite part about Hero) and this book gave me that and more by the time I finished it. I can’t wait to see which sister is next in the series!

    Addicted Readers - Seamstress Extraordinaire
    In the Woodcutter series, I had to coin the phrase "Seamstress Extraordinaire," because the publisher did not like that I called Yarlitza Mitella a Master Seamstress. They asked if I could change it to Mistress...but a Master at a craft is not a Mistress, no matter what their sex. There are female Jedi Masters, for heaven's sake. All the D&D Guild Masters--men or women--were Masters.

    Miss Little Book Addict YA House of Books - Review
    "World building and humor in DEAREST was nicely done. Alethea also gets major points for taking such well know fairy tales and making them her own..."

    Katy's Krazy Books - Review
    So I thought that the plot was really good.  Friday is an awesome chick that I just wish I could be.  I mean who doesn’t want to be able to save a couple of hot twins from turning into swans each day.  Not to mention, the girl gets to do the saving in this story, NOT the guy.

    The Daily Prophecy - Fairy Tale Rant on Tristan & Isolde
    I have found that, during the process of writing a novel, I am drawn to certain entertainments in my off time. While writing Enchanted, I watched a lot of Jane Austen movies. While writing Hero, I was very drawn to the Summer Olympics...especially the women's swimming competitions. While writing Dearest, I re-watched most of Stargate: Atlantis...and all of Merlin.

    Deal Sharing Aunt - Interview
    Where do you get your information or ideas?
    I get information from everywhere--people, when I can find them, books, when I have them close at hand, and the internet, when I need something simple to move the story forward, like the anatomy and habits of a swan.

    Min Reads and Reviews - Review
    I absolutely loved this book.  The story is told beautifully and quite magically, as well.  I have not read the previous books in the series, but I am putting them high on my TBR list.  I loved absolutely Friday, and I enjoyed getting to know some of her sisters.

    Pieces of Whimsy - The Goose Girl
    I first read "The Goose Girl" when I was eight years old, from the giant book of fairy tales my Memere bought me (no doubt in the hopes that it might keep me busy for a while). No matter how old I've become and what adventures I've undertaken, "The Goose Girl" has been my favorite fairy tale since that day.

    Wonderous Reviews - Review
    The journey that Dearest takes readers on is more than I can put into words without spoiling at least one discovery. I will say that this book is perfect for those that enjoy a story that will inspire and enchant! There is beautiful love, heart pounding action, fantasy and flying, magic and sorcery, destiny and fate, kindness and curses, and a little something for everyone!

    The Scribbling Sprite - Interview
    6. Any plans for future books you can share with us?
    In the next six months, I will be publishing Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome (another illustrated collaboration with Janet K. Lee), Trixter (a Woodcutter novella), and a trilogy of short contemporary romance novels set in a small beach town in central Florida. I'm very excited about all of them!

    A Backwards Story - The Missing Last Chapter of Dearest
    Alethea talks about Dearest being short one chapter and that you can now read the final chapter.

    Dearest (Woodcutter Sisters, #3)Dearest
    (Woodcutter Sisters, #3)
    by Alethea Kontis
    YA Fantasy
    Hardcover & ebook, 320 Pages
    February 3rd 2015 by HMH Books for Young Readers

    “A fabulous fairy-tale mashup that deserves hordes of avid readers. Absolutely delectable.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review of award-winning series debut Enchanted

    Readers met the Woodcutter sisters (named after the days of the week) in Enchanted and Hero. In this delightful third book, Alethea Kontis weaves together some fine-feathered fairy tales to focus on Friday Woodcutter, the kind and loving seamstress. When Friday stumbles upon seven sleeping brothers in her sister Sunday’s palace, she takes one look at Tristan and knows he’s her future. But the brothers are cursed to be swans by day. Can Friday’s unique magic somehow break the spell?

    The Other Woodcutter Sisters Books
     Hero (Woodcutter Sisters #2)
    Links for Enchanted
    Links for Hero

    Alethea Kontis courtesy of Lumos Studio 2012
    New York Times bestselling author Alethea Kontis is a princess, a fairy godmother, and a geek. She’s known for screwing up the alphabet, scolding vampire hunters, and ranting about fairy tales on YouTube.

    Her published works include: The Wonderland Alphabet (with Janet K. Lee), Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome (with Janet K. Lee), the AlphaOops series (with Bob Kolar), the Woodcutter Sisters fairy tale series, and The Dark-Hunter Companion (with Sherrilyn Kenyon). Her short fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in a myriad of anthologies and magazines.

    Her YA fairy tale novel, Enchanted, won the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award in 2012 and the Garden State Teen Book Award i 2015. Enchanted was nominated for the Audie Award in 2013, and was selected for World Book Night in 2014. Both Enchanted and its sequel, Hero, were nominated for the Andre Norton Award.

    Born in Burlington, Vermont, Alethea currently lives and writes in Florida, on the Space Coast. She makes the best baklava you’ve ever tasted and sleeps with a teddy bear named Charlie.

    Tour-Wide Giveaway

    3 Woodcutter Sisters Prize Packs (signed copies of Enchanted, Hero, & Dearest - US Only)
    Ends March 8th

    Prism Book Tours