Birthday Celebration!

31 August 2010

My birthday is coming up soon (this week) but it's going to happen on one of these days. Could be today, could be tomorrow, or the day after ^_^ I have reasons for not sharing my birthday.
Being 13 has been rough, kind of. I mean, I became a teen and a "woman" AND everything's so different. I miss elementary school more than anything. I remember cutting and pasting and drawing and banging away at instruments. I remember playing in the sandbox with my friends, and starting a tiny business in the 3rd grade. I remember colouring pictures on Thanksgiving, or having the day to colour and play and have fun. I remember getting candy in our shoes on Three Kings Day, and I remember arts and crafts.
Middle school brings along its good memories too. Meeting all these new people with different personalities, learning to play the viola, and meeting dedicated teachers. I remember playing Spoons using Social Studies terms. We had cards that had European countries and cards with different types and forms of government, and instead of using those, we played with numbers behind my teacher's back. It was in a great classroom, with the 5 people who were my closest friends in 6th grade. I remember my science teacher's coffee addiction and her constant sarcasm and hilarious picking on kids. I was one of them, she'd always pick on me and we'd share laughs.
I remember all the fun I had in Science Olympiad (which is not going on this year) I remember going to Oglethorpe and Gainsville, hanging out in classrooms and racing to events all over campus. I remember spazzing out with my older friends and constantly stopping after every event to buy M&M's and candy from vending machines.

I have many memories that I'll treasure forever, and that I'm so lucky to have. Recently, the full impact that the future won't always be bright, that I might die attacked me. I've become more grim and the fear has only made me stronger.

Reading and blogging with you guys, is amazing. When I have no one to go to, I get a book out, and I blog. Your everlasting support and kind words make me feel better than anything, make me feel like I'm Queen of the World. You bloggers and commenters are mt body-gaurds, metaphorically speaking.

On my birthday, I plan to reflect upon my life and what I can do to improve it. My New Years resolution is written on my birthday, because it's a new year for ME.

I know, this is so grim and serious. Not used to it, huh? Yeah, don't worry! ^_^ I guess I'm getting all freaked and emotional. I hope you don't mind!

There will be a total of 6 small giveaways, because for some reason, 6 has always been my lucky number! The giveaway will end on different days...so yeah.

Buenos Noches, mi amigas (amigos)
Los amo a todos, ¡siga leyendo!


Review: Return to Paradise

Title: Return to Paradise

Author: Simone Elkeles

Stars: 4

Summary from Goodreads

Review by Kirthi

Pages: 291

Ages 13 and up

Maggie and Caleb just went through the worst year of their lives. Hit by a car and starting life over with a limp, Maggie never thought she would forgive Caleb. But she did-and fell in love. What they shared was real. But Caleb wanted to be free from the past-and a terrible secret: he wasn't the one who hit Maggie. So he left Paradise-and Maggie-forever.

When Maggie and Caleb run into each other in a different town, they can't deny their true feelings. Will Maggie let Caleb get away again? Or will Caleb face the truth and return to Paradise?

My thoughts:

Leaving Paradise, the first book, was emotionally heart-wrenching and unforgettable. I could only expect the best of Return to Paradise. But the cover is ugly, no offense. I expected Caleb to look different, and Maggie. They look like brother and sister on the cover, and it's so different from all of Simones' other books.

Beginning: Maggie and Caleb have this rough ground to stand on at the start, and the reactions towards each other are very realistic. Of course, Caleb gets in trouble ^_^

"Some people are damn lucky"

What a great way to start a book. (no sarcasm intended) It drew me into the book: a great hook.

Middle:

I look the guy straight in the eye. "I plead the fifth".

"You can't plead the fifth, Caleb", Damon says, "You're not in court"

Humorous and intense. The middle got kind of lengthy and a little too long, but it got the point across. And besides, the kissing scenes were very pleasant to read ^_^

End:

Very lovely and inspiring ending. It seemed a bit detached and lost, especially to the near end, but the events that happened were very very good.

Characters: Maggie is a stubborn and headstrong with sassy pants on tight. She isn't exactly my favourite character. I hear older men and guys say "Women are cold"

Maggie fits that common misconception.

Caleb is sarcastic, abrupt, loyal and very sweet deep inside. Damon is, like always, back-up, as are some of the new characters introduced. Like funny Lenny, of whom I concluded to be gay.

Overall: Good, fills in a lot of questions left over from the previous book. You don't have to read it, but it'd be a good idea if you do.

Conclusion: Raw and emotional and intense, Return to Paradise is an inspirational sequel to an equally amazing book, Leaving Paradise, that readers are sure to enjoy!


If you haven't read the first book, be sure to look out for a giveaway soon!


Losing Followers!

29 August 2010

I keep losing a follower every day, 1-2 followers. I'm a little sad, but I know it's my fault. I'm losing it!
I have so many reviews I've got written up, and I keep postponing them. I'm sorry, I'll get them up!
Also, it makes me wonder if the people who followed were only interested in the giveaways?

I do giveaways to thank people for following me, and yes, to get followers. But only to get people aware of my blog, I want people to follow only if they like my blog, otherwise, it'll be pointless. You know?

Yes, yes, it's my fault, but I'm back, (I think) for now!







Voting Time!

28 August 2010

There's voting for two awesome contests that I've entered in. Please vote!

Princess Bookie's "Losing Faith" Re-make A Cover Contest: Voting Round 3
Here's my coverIt's the third one down!
________________________________________________________
Also, from Brizmus Blogs Books "Nihon No Kinyoubi" button contest, here's my button!
So far, I think I'm in second place! Go vote for the button contest here



Interview with Simone Elkeles

25 August 2010

Today I have the awesome Simone Elkeles, author of Leaving Paradise, Perfect Chemistry, and Rules of Attraction!

1. How did you feel when you learned that you were going to be a published author?

Excited! It took me five years to get published. I started writing in 2000 and sold my first book in 2005 (it wasn’t released until 2006, but I signed the contract in 2005). It took me five years to get an agent, but she sold my book within two months. After all that waiting, I couldn't believe it was finally happening.

2. When and why did you begin writing?

I didn’t like to read as a teen. I didn’t like English class, either. I fell in love with reading as an adult, when it wasn’t “assigned reading” from a class or teacher. I fell in love with reading so much, ideas for books started running through my head so I decided to start writing a book. Seriously one day I sat down and just started writing.

3. Who designed the covers (Perfect Chemistry, Leaving Paradise, and Rules of Attraction)

My publishers choose the covers. Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction are published by Walker. Leaving Paradise (and Return to Paradise out 9/2010) are published by Llewellyn Flux.

4. Did you have any say in how you wanted them (the covers) to look like?

Authors do not get as much say in them as you would expect, but I do get to voice my opinion some. I am very pleased with my covers. I think the dark covers do a great job of conveying what you will find in my novels: an edgy, sexy, love story. I found out the hard way that if teens don't find your covers appealing, they won't buy the book. The original cover of Leaving Paradise was bright with pink on the cover. I think the new cover is much more fitting to the story.

5. Did you suffer from Writers Block? If you did, what was your cure?

I don't let myself get writers' block. Of course there are days when I have a really hard time writing, but I MAKE myself keep working. When you are under deadline, you don't have time to have writers' block!

6. Why did you choose to make your characters Mexican and American?

I knew the Latino population in America was growing and I heard that suburban gangs were on the rise. I wanted to explore how a gang member in the suburbs would deal with being interested in someone from “the other side of the tracks."

7. Is there a message in your novels that you want readers to grasp?

When I start writing a book, I just have a story to tell and not a message to convey. If a reader takes a message from my book, that's great, but I write to tell the characters' story.




More Mini-Challenges!

23 August 2010

For this second challenge, I want you guys to chose one animal that would best represent Katniss and explain why you chose that animal for her.

A lion cub. Fierce, yet weak in manners. Able to hunt, strong, and free. Hm...a hybrid of a lion of horse. The free, headstrong horse and a fierce lion. A liorse.

I want you to tell me which actor you would like to play Peeta in The Hunger Games movie and then you need to explain why you chose that actor.

Lucas!!!!!!!!! He has that baker-boy look, and that so sweet smile!


There are always book covers that are similar to another books, or remind you of another book. So for this challenge, I want you guys to choose a book that has a cover that is either very similar to or reminds you of one of these three books: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, or Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. You need to list the name of the book, the author, which book cover it looks like or reminds you of (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, or Mockingjay), and why it reminds you or looks like the books. But you can't use any of the other covers for The Hunger Games like the swedish cover, or the chinese cover-your entry will not count then.

Steel by Carrie Vaughn, because the girl looks like Katniss.



Team Peeta and Team Katniss!

Yeah, I know, I'm Team Haymitch and Cinna, but still. I love Peeta, and Katniss is the strong heroine I've always looked for. Always. She's like Katsa, who's the best. Okay, FINE! Katniss and Katsa tie.

Anyways. What will HAPPEN???? I say that Katniss will rescue Peeta, Gale dies in the process, Katniss, with the help of a bunch of rebels, will murder the Capitol to shreds. Haymitch will take their place, and appoint Cinna to be leader of District 13, which will be restored.

I would write a whole post on why I love Peeta and the Hunger Games, but why do that when Tiger from All Consuming books already did so for me! This is all from Tiger:
“In the YA genre, saturated by
hulking werewolves, brooding vampires and
posh schoolboys, here's an ordinary guy
who's calm, but knows just how to make a stand.
The world of Panem is dark, bleak, and low-tech,
and hopeful points are few and far between,
yet somehow through the sickening, bloody wreck-
age of the Hunger Games, Peeta becomes a teen
candidate for sainthood, practically.
He finds a way to live, but besides that,
he never loses his humanity
and more than anything, wants Katniss safe at
home. That's why I summon all the love I can
for Peeta, the son of the baker man.”

So I'm clearly very far gone into the Team Peeta camp! But for me, The Hunger Games trilogy isn't just another love triangle, and Peeta is more than just the character who I think should end up with Katniss. No matter the outcome of Mockingjay, I've enjoyed the emotional depth and nuance that Peeta has brought to the books, and I've found his presence encouraging. He's not the main character, but in my opinion he's every bit as integral to the world of THG as Katniss is. As Haymitch tells Katniss after the first round of interviews with Caesar, “That boy just gave you something you could never achieve on your own” (pg 135). Peeta brings love and stability to a story drowning in violence and uncertainty, and that's reason enough to appreciate him.
One complaint I often hear about the romances in YA is that the typical YA love stories set a bad example for teen girls, since the guys are either A.) Too gentlemanly and perfect, which creates unrealistic expectations B.) Too controlling, stalkery, bossy, and otherwise dominating toward their girlfriends. Peeta's not flawless ( he's nowhere near as capable as Katniss, and he's not so patient that he's above getting visibly fed up and frustrated), nor is he controlling. His love for Katniss isn't an instant obsession or a mystical soul connection, it's a fondness that developed in childhood and grew stronger over time. Peeta's the kind of guy most mothers wish their daughters could find.
Katniss is a strong, savvy girl with incredible skills, so she's not in need of an alpha male who will scowl, growl, and use his might to protect his woman against all attackers; instead she needs companionship, support, and someone who can humanize her when she goes over the edge, all of which Peeta does. Also, Katniss would probably never admit it, but I think she needs someone to love her. Of the people who already loved Katniss in THG, her mom failed her in a major way when she indirectly forced Katniss to become the parent of the family, Prim was just a child, and Gale kept his feelings to himself until after Katniss was marked for a near-certain death in the Games. (I won't go so far as to say that if he liked it then he should have put a ring on it, but I do wish he would have said something to her.)
I'm also impressed by the fact that, completely aside from any romantic possibilities, Peeta means a lot to Katniss. Even though they'd never spoken before they were chosen for the Games, Peeta was already a symbol of survival for Katniss and the first thing she thinks is “Oh no...not him” (25) when his name is called in the reaping. Back when they were eleven-year-olds, he gave her bread when her family was on the brink of starvation, and it gave her hope for the future.
Then, too, Peeta's such a complex character that I always find something new about him when I read the books. He's a town boy and hails from a much more comfortable, secure world than Katniss, but he also grew up with a cruel mother, so his life wasn't all sunshine and dandelions. He was strong enough to join the Career pack in book one, and a good enough actor to make them believe he fit in with them for awhile, but his true self couldn't be less predatory. He doesn't have a death wish, but he doesn't think of saving his own skin first. I'm intrigued by how he's so utterly genuine and guileless with Katniss, and such a frighteningly good liar to most everyone else—Peeta's not a slick, fast-talking charmer of a character in private, but put him in front of a camera and he'll have the audience eating out of his hand as he accurately predicts exactly what they want to hear.
In short, When you read 100+ books per year, it's easy for characters to blend into each other, but Peeta stood out to me from the first autumn day back in 2008 when I picked up The Hunger Games. He's an unassuming guy who can come off as a secondary character at first, but then he proves that he's an irrevocable necessity to the story. The Hunger Games trilogy needs Peeta, Katniss needs Peeta, I needed to read about Peeta, and I think YA itself needed Peeta—it's definitely a warmer, more meaningful genre with him around.

Amazing and well put, perfect.

I accidently told my friends it'd come out today, but apparently, I got too excited and to my disappointment, it comes out tomorrow. I'm so stupidddddd


BUT I MUST READ IT!!!!!! ACKKK!!!!!!







Mini- Challenges! The Hunger Games!

22 August 2010

Forst Mini-Challenge 5, I have to pick a song that most matches The Hunger Games. I pick Evacuee by Enya:
Each time on my leaving home
I run back to my mother's arms,
one last hold and then it's over.

Watching me, you know I cry,
you wave a kiss to say goodbye.
Feel the sky fall down upon me!
All I am,
a child with promises.
All I have
are miles full of promises of home.

If only I could stay with you,
my train moves on, you're gone from view,
now I must wait until it's over.
All I am,
a child with promises.
All I have
are miles full of promises of home.

Days will pass, your words to me,
it seems so long, eternity,
but I must wait until it's over.
It reminds me of Katniss leaving home in The Hunger Games. Pretty accurate, huh?

Which Hunger Games character was the best? Besides Katniss and Peeta, I'd say Cinna. Or maybe Haymitch....nah, I'd go for Cinna.
He's creative, he's a genius, he's sweet and just plain amazing. Crafty fingers, beautiful outcomes, he reminds me of myself (haha, I'm bragging, aren't I?) in those ways. I AM creative and a genius is particular areas, and I can be sweet sometimes, and plain amazing. Beautiful outcomes? Nah, I go through too many mistakes to always have beautiful outcomes. Crafty fingers? You could say that. My fingers are so totally bones, no meat. Veins jut out, as do my tendons. My nails are often violet and ivory, pale and bloodless. Freaky, right? No, it's CRAFTY!

So yes, that sums up ME in a relation to Cinna! Cinna, you're my fictional hero! The man of paper of whom I strive to be like in my creative mode. CINNA!!
Say no to that! So no to CINNA! (not really, because you CAN'T say no to him.) ^_^ If you kill him, Capitol people, I'll murder you in your sleep, or hopefully Katniss will. I hope she slaughters you guys anyways, but lay a finger on Cinna, and I'll go berserk. I'll rampage through the Capitol and destroy like all hell has broken loose.

Ha, maybe. ^_^


Mini-Challenge: Re-create a Cover! Hunger Games

Smitten With Books is hosting a Mockinjay release Mini-Challenge to recreate a cover for The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, or Mockingjay. I made two, and once again, I need your help deciding which one.

The Hunger Games cover:
Or the Mockingjay Cover: THIS ONE WINS!Which oneeee?

Once I decide (with your help) I'll delete the losing cover and link this to the Challenge site. You should enter here for great prizes and fun activities regarding the release of Mockingjay...TOMORROW!

Let the Games Begin!

21 August 2010


Ohmygosh, 2 more days!!!!!! 3 counting today...but omfg! I'm so uber-fantastically happy!!!!! I wonder if my pre-ordered copy will come on the release date. Hmm....
Well, I'm on Team Peeta and Team Katniss and Team Rebellion-against-Capitol! My friend, Catherine, and I have been having all these arguments over who should get Katniss, Peeta or Gale.
Here's what she had to say about TEAM GALE!
Because he's protective and cares about his and katniss family and because I think that he can keep her alive and safe better than peeta. He also came from the same background as katniss and knows what she went through. He saved her family when peeta couldn't even save himself. Peeta always gets hurt and gale is an amazing hunter.
TEAM GALE
Sincerely,
Ms. Awsome
Me? Well, sure, those are some great points, but still. I think Peeta's personality is the opposite of Katniss, and by my belief that Opposites Attract, his personality would bounce of Katniss. They're like two halves to a whole. Peeta can provide comfort and warmth, whereas Gale is just like Katniss, and probably can't do that.

Anyways, I'm a Team Katniss too. She's so strong, and feminist. She doesn't devote herself ofr freak out over her two love choices, she's all about fighting and and saving future America!

I wish I had stuff to giveaway to celebrate, but I'm broke. ~sigh~ ANYWAYS~ Omfg, MOCKINGJAY IS COMING SO SOOOON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Can you believe that while Catherine and I were having our heated discussion on Teams, that almost everyone had no idea what the Hunger Games was? I mean, isn't that so totally crazy?

Okay, it's official. I've got Mockingjay Madness (Fever?)

Peeta (Lucas)

Katniss (Halley)

Cinna (Steve Belford)
Gale (unknown)

How'd you like my little cast? Hmmmm? I think tomorrow will be a Mockingjay Playlist day, or something.

If you're doing any posts on The Hunger Games, link it and I'll be happy to visit

New Playlist + Make A Button!

16 August 2010

I've gotten great comments on my relaxing "Sound of Rain" soundtrack I had playing when bloggers visited. Some of the feedback was like, "It makes me wanna pee" and all, and I thought, "Maybe this is getting old..."
And so viola!
A new playlist!
I've been into Irish music, especially Clannad (Enya's family band) and Moya and Enya, yet sadly, Mixpod didn't have all the songs I wanted.


Check out my button I made for Brizmus Blogs Books and her meme, Nihon No Kinyoubi. Make a button and enter to win one of many Japanese themed books! Ends Agosto 22, enter here



Green Extravaganza Ends!

14 August 2010

Whopee! What a great, green week! It's finally started to rain here in Atlanta, quenching the thirst of the grass and air. The sweet, cool air is such a gift!

All Green Extravaganza contests end today! Hurry up and enter!

United States only:
DeRaps Reads
Cleverly Inked
Candace's Book Blog

International
Ex Libris

You can check out my current "Green giveaway" HERE (ends tomorrow)

So yeah, go enter and be green!

Greenpeace's Green Revolution Search the site and help the world!


Coffeehouse Angel Re-create! HELP ME!

10 August 2010

I've gotten such great feedback on all my previous re-created covers, and seriously, I actually think I'm good at this.
So here's another re-create a cover contest at Trisha's Book Blog for the book Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors.
Original:Mine:


Okay, based on popular vote, the second one won! There it is!



CSN REview + My Bookshelf + Cool Drawings

09 August 2010

Prismacolor. I got, instead of the 24 -pack I own, the 48 pack. The colour pencils are amazing. They're smooth, and clean, and blend in perfectly. Unlike Crayola, Prismacolor actually listens to my mind, not my hand.
The colour choices were wider and more varied in the 48 pack. If you want to get coloured pencils, I suggest the 48 pack. The 24 pack and less have too bright colours and not many choices.So smooth, grainy, and easy to colour and sketch with, Prismacolor is amazing. Look at the pictures I drew!

The first one is a character in my new story, her name is Mitsuki. I tried to make her look Asian, but I haven't perfected the Asian eyes. The next two are also characters of a different story. You can see how the colour blends in just perfectly. mixing together in perfect harmony. Awesome, right?
You can see that I also got the typical Zebra mechanical (mechno-canical!) pencil! Seriously, I'm in love. It's so smooth and metal-like and slick in my hands!

Also, while I'm taking pictures, I thought I'd show you my measly bookshelf. I only have enough to fill two shelves. I blame it on my excessive giveaways (to you guys) and donations to the library.
I took this picture a while ago. I have a few new books (This Lullaby and Storm Glass and a lot of others) I think I'm due for a very long In My Mailbox. Haha. And oh, school tomorrow, way past my bedtime! Bye!


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