Friday, May 29, 2015

Armchair BEA: Character Chatter

Today's topic for Armchair BEA is one of my favorites: Characters! (You'll notice on the tabs of my blog I even have my one special place for them!) But what is it love so much about characters? Why are they my favorite?

The adjectives that come to mind when I think of my favorite characters are: vulnerable, mysterious, brooding, intriguing, flawed, real, loyal, interesting, charming, feisty, unique, funny, smart, quirky, dark, and plain old cool.

Who fits these descriptions? (If you clicked on that tab above you'll get your answer!) But how about another collage of characters that have been immortalized by film? Or drawn by someone? Or as imagined by me or someone else? Good plan?

Top: Anne from Anne of Green Gables, Robin Hood from various, Kvothe from The Name of the Wind, Froi from Froi of the Exiles, June and Day from Legend

Second: Han from The Demon King, Hermione from Harry Potter, Cricket Bell from Lola and the Boy Next Door, Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice, Sydney Carton from A Tale of Two Cities

Third: Gilbert from Anne of Green Gables, Tristan from various, Shallan from The Way of Kings, Mr. Thornton from North and South, Perrin from The Wheel of Time

Fourth: Gale from The Hunger Games, Jo from Little Women, Roar from Under the Never Sky, Leisel from The Book Thief, Kaladin from The Way of Kings

Bottom: Katniss from The Hunger Games, Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, Ed Kennedy from I Am the Messenger, Samwise from Lord of the Rings, Aria from Under the Never Sky

Yeah. There's some pretty awesome characters that fit many if not most of those descriptions I've listed. Do you know them? Have you read them? If no, what are you waiting for?

And now, if  I could only figure out how to WRITE my own characters that fit this criteria!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Armchair BEA 2015: Visual Expressions and Social Media

More fun with ArmchairBEA today! Check out the main headquarters here to find out all about it.


I love the art of storytelling. And I feel it comes in many forms. Books of course. And other visual forms like graphic novels and picture books and such. Poems yes. And actually storytelling too, you know, like when people get up and TELL a story. But I also think that almost all other forms of media tell stories. What are movies if not stories? And TV shows. If said it many times here that I think book lovers and avid readers are usually also pretty fond of TV and movies. Why? Because of the stories and the characters. It's the same, just experiencing it in a different way. Also, music. Do you think music tells a story? Either music with lyrics or music without? I think so. I think it totally does.  What about art? The Mona Lisa? How many stories have people told about her over the years? And photography? Oh my word. For sure!

I think I could go on and on with all the different visuals and mediums of media that tell a story. But the above are my favorite ones. And here's a visual to visualize the visual (and I guess I should say audio too!) mediums of stories!

Social Media

Now... switching topics! Social media! I love it. It's just way too much fun. I do tend give the new thing time and tend not to jump on board until something has been proven. It took me years to start blogging after I first thought about doing it. I watched the formation of Twitter and Facebook for a long time before jumping on board. Instagram I was a little more quick to join. Pinterest took me awhile too. Anyway, I use them all for different things:

Facebook is mostly for IRL people, friends in the neighborhood and family. Though several book bloggers have managed to be added to my friends list! I tend to keep my blogging and bookish life completely separate from Facebook. Anyway, Facebook makes me crazy most of the time these days and I find it more a place were people like and share random things and clutter up your feed with lots and lots of junk.

Twitter is mostly for following bookish and writing type people. And celebrities of course! I love Twitter, though it took me awhile to get the hang of it. Now, I'm not sure how we lived without it. Twitter is definitely my place to get news and see what's happening in the world.

Instagram seems to be a bit of a crossover. Some family, some friends and lots of bloggers and authors and a smattering of celebrities. I tend to enjoy sharing pictures here over Facebook, though I always cross post to Twitter. Sometimes I'll stick one on Facebook too, but not often. I love using Instagram and have been begging people to join lately.

Pinterest is a strange little thing. I have the weirdest random people following me there, How do they find me!? But this one seems to be more for an individual thing and not a connection thing. Rarely does someone comment or suggest or talk about something. We are just pinning away and maybe sometimes we'll repin each others stuff, but mostly not. Am I right? Pinterest is a place for ideas and looking at pretty pictures!

YouTube is fun too, but I don't connect with anyone there, even though I have a channel and post movies now and then. I don't feel the urge to joint the BookTube community, which looks like a fun place. But YouTube seems to be more a place to just watch stuff others do and have fun. It's like another TV channel now which is really quite amazing.

Goodreads is another fun place, and there's a little more connection going on there for me than some of the others. But still not a whole lot. Some likes now and then, some comments. I wish we commented more there. But oh, well. It's great for keeping track of books!

Google+ has been a little fun in recent months too, with communities and things. I like it there, but it does seem to be doing pretty much the same thing as Facebook and such. So I'm not sure what's happening there.

I've never understood Tumblr and haven't ever created one. I don't get SnapChat. Or Vine. But wonder about them sometimes.

What else is there?  Anyway, that's about all the things I know about! And that's about all I can handle dealing with for now!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Armchair BEA 2015: Intro Questions and a Little Library Love

It's time for Armchair BEA again! I can't believe a whole year has flown by! Today it's Introduction Day. So I've picked five questions (oops maybe more) to answer. But, it's also Highlight Your Library Day. I did this awhile back, but I'll post a thought or two again. See below.

But first, here's a bit about me:

What is your theme song?
Right now? How about My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark by Fall Out Boy. I have no idea what this song actually has to do with me except that I love it and think it's one the best rock song, head banging things out there right now. Which just makes me happy.

What is one book everyone should read?
Guys!!! How many times do I have to say this!?? THE BOOK THIEF! 

Sorry. I got a little excited there. :)

Share your favorite blog post on your blog. (aka written by you!)

I've always been partial to that one time that I talked about going to author signings.

What book are you most looking forward to reading this summer?

There's a book I downloaded on my Kindle called The Bronze Horseman that I heard is quite the epic love story. I'm so much in the mood for this, so I hope to get to it sometime this summer and see if I agree.

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what author would you want to bring with you? Why?

GUYS! Sigh. If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times. . .

And why? Because then I could have my own personal "how to be an amazing writer " lesson. And we could sit there on the beach and write and learn and write and learn. Doesn't that sound awesome? Oh, and also, this:

Take a picture of your bookshelf and share it with us! :) (#ABEAShelfie)

You do realize I have over twenty bookshelves in my house, right? Which one would you like? Well, here's the one by my bed with books that I hope to read soon.

Library Love!

As for my library, well, I don't even know where to start. I work there, you see, which I means I pretty much love it and think it's awesome and all the librarians are awesome and the whole collection is amazing and... yeah. It's a pretty cool library. I posted this video awhile back, but just in case you missed it, here it is again:

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Perfect Beach Reads

Beach reads. Never really sure what people mean by this because all books could be good on a beach. Maybe not Atlas Shrugs, or Ulysses, but pretty much anything else. Mostly what I think makes a good beach read is a nice romantic and/or adventurous quick and easy to read YA. So here are my suggestions from some recent favorites:

Top Ten Beach Read Suggestions

1. The Fill-in Boyfriend by Kasie West
2. Not in the Script by Amy Finnegan
3. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han ( and its sequels)
4. The Selection by Kiera Cass ( and its sequels)
5. Defy by Sara B. Larson (and its sequel)
6. The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain (and its sequel)
7. The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey (and its sequel)
8. To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han (and its sequel that comes out today!)
9. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (and its sequels)
10. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (and its sequels)

Seriously. If you take this list to the beach, you'll be loving your reading life!!!

What would you suggest I take, should I happen to find myself on a beach this summer?

See everyone's lists over at The Broke and the Bookish today!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Book Review Discussion: Paranoia by J.R. Johansson

Book: Paranoia by J.R. Johansson
Genre: YA SciFi
Rating:★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
For: Fun, Support Local Authors
From: I bought this one, but I can't remember where!

Short Synopsis: This is the second book in the Night Walker series about Parker who is a Watcher, which means he watches the dreams of whoever he makes eye contact with last before he goes to sleep. Much craziness happened with that in the first book. This second book is more about his struggle with an alter ego part of himself he calls Darkness. It's also about how he learns there are others out there that live inside people's dreams called Builders (the good ones) and Takers (the bad ones.) This one also deals with the disappearance of his dad that he alludes to in the first book.

My Response: I must say that the plot and the details of this dream world got a bit complicated for me in this book. To the point of not really caring. The Takers especially, I just didn't get what their deal was. Even though they are the crux of the conflict in this story. I was more in it for the romance, how the Builders can help Parker and finding out what's up with the dad. So, that being said, I liked some parts and was a little bored by other parts.

Bottom Line: A fun scifi story, bordering on horror even, that deals with the hard to understand dream world.

Let's Talk About: What would you think if someone sat around and watched your dreams? Isn't that the creepiest idea ever? I mean, Parker has to spend time often in his mom's dreams! Think of it!

Other Reviews:

 There's suspense everywhere, and quite a lot of danger and action, too. The pacing is great, and I just really, really enjoyed the book.  From City of Books

I loved getting to know the secondary characters better–Addie, Finn, Mia, and now Jack too. They added a lot to the story and to Parker’s motives. From Jenni Elyse

Every character in this story is so well developed that it's hard to pick a favorite. I do have to say that I was intrigued by the character Jack. I was THRILLED to see what the author is doing with this character. From Why Not? Because I Said So

The later chapters are filled with action, emotion and apprehension, and we reach the story’s end with a sense of finality, although I would really like to follow Jack’s story. From All in One Place

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Currently: It's a Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Listening: Smoke and Mirrors album by Imagine Dragons. Love.

Watching: I started Daredevil. Yeah. Good. You're all right. It's very good. Dark. But good. In a dark good kind of way. You know. And. Charlie Cox. :)

Reading: From now until the trip I'm going to read random things off my shelves. What a concept. First off, Twenty Boy Summer. Yeah. See, it's been awhile since that book was the buzz! And then while on the trip, I'm going to read random things off my Kindle. I can't wait to see what pops up there! And then in August, I'm going to read so many local author books it'll make your head spin.

Blogging: You know. I look at my blog and it just makes me tired. Maybe the little mini Bloggiesta coming up in THREE WEEKS will kick something back in gear. But then I'll just go on the trip anyway, so it won't matter. Maybe after the trip the blogging mojo will come back. Do you think? Oh, and this week is ArmchairBEA! I hope to participate a bit, but like I said. I don't know. I feel like I'm starting to run out of things to say. Sad sad sad!

Writing: I FINISHED MY BOOK! By that, I mean I finally wrote the 2000 words that it needed at the end to make the story complete. Or sort of complete. In a really cheesy sort of way. But. still. Done. And now, I continue working on draft three knowing that the book actually has an ending and when I get there. . . again. . . I can fix it.

Planning: TRIP TRIP TRIP! I've started the countdown big time. Three more weeks. I skyped my son today. He's in Paris at this very moment. Ah. That city. I can't even. But we'll be experiencing new and different cities and I hope they blow me away as much as Paris did. I really hope those of you that follow me on Instagram will be okay with lots of trip pics, because I plan to be less shy about that. I think there's a fine line there and I worry about that a lot. But. There will be pics. Which I hope is fun and not obnoxious.

Health Watch: I did the Zumba thing for four days this week. Then the weekend (including Friday) hit and it's been bad. But. Still, Even with the discouragement of the stupid scale, I keep on keeping on. I think because it's too much fun really. And besides. There's Beto.

Doesn't just watching that make you want to get up and dance with 'em?

But then I made.. banana chocolate cake, banana brownies, cinnamon monkey bread and now I'm eating ice cream. So there's that problem still.

Gardening: We planted some more stuff this weekend. Beans, peas, lettuce, beets. Already planted previously: tomatoes, peppers, squash (two kinds) and some herbs. I'm always amazed every year when anything at all grows. We'll see what happens this year!


  • lots and lots of concerts and violin things this past week. Most of that is over now.
  • book club for Dune this past week. Fun!
  • movie watch for Dune this Friday!
  • Memorial Day tomorrow. SLEEP IN!
  • Lots and lots of rain. It's like we don't even live in the desert or something. 
  • Prep for trek for Toto in a week from now. Can that really be here already?
  • And, that's all I can think of for now. Life. It's crazy you know?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Book Review Discussion: Erasing Time by C.J. Hill

Book: Erasing Time by C.J. Hill
Genre: YA SciFi
Rating:★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
For: Fun 
From: The library

Short Synopsis: Twins, Sheridan and Taylor, are sucked into a time vortex and are whisked hundreds of years into the future. There they meet science geek, and crazy word historian, Echo, who has his own issues. Basically, they ALL want to escape this wacked out city. Echo is the perfect person to help them because he can actually speak to them in their "old" English language and he's fascinated with their old fashioned "old 20s" traditions and culture. As they go about their adventure, the girls learn much about him and his sad story. There's also a secret they have that he ends up figuring out too.

My Response: Very fun look at what our future might be like. Also, really fun to imagine being that far into the future and looking back at the crazy weird stuff we do now. I totally enjoyed that aspect of this story. I feel like I could have connected to the characters a little more. But I truly can't put my finger on what little thing might have been missing. It was a pretty science-y science fiction, so if that's your thing, you'll probably really love this one.

Oh, P.S. I wanted to mention that C.J. Hill is actually Janette Rallison (who I spent time with last week). She is known for her fluffy fun high school drama YA contemporaries, so when she decided to write science fiction she wrote under this name C. J. Hill, which is actually her mom's nom de plume.

Bottom Line: Fun romp into the future with a look at a world that really isn't that great!

Let's Talk About: What things do you think we do now, that people from the future will look back on and think is totally bizarre? Any thoughts on that?

Other Reviews:

I loved the ending and I seriously cannot wait to find out what's going to happen next!! Fans of Under the Never Sky and other dystopian novels will definitely want to pick this one up! From Literary Exploration

If you are looking for a dystopian a little off the beaten past, this is for you. You are looking for a story to make you smile, this is it as well.  From Bows and Bullets

And, man, is this world building crazy. From the moment we’re introduced to Echo and his father with their crayon colored hair and artistic facial art, the world is defined as an extremely altered version of our own. From Working for the Mandroid

Okay, and so there’s this TWIST in Erasing Time that I just loved and was totally thrown by. I mean, I expect I should have seen it coming (did anyone else?) but I totally didn’t and I loved that. From Hobbitsies


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