Happy Samhain

31 October 2010

Have a happy and save Halloween! Play a few good pranks, eat candy and get spooked.

People have forgotten the true meaning of Halloween

"To Be Scared"
Haha, but not too scared, like mentally scarring and emotional traumatic nightmarish, just the good-laugh and hearty fun scared. Hehe.

I WILL POST PICTURES OF COSTUME!!!!!! At around 5:00. It I can, maybe tomorrow. Sorrrry! I'm short of a photographer!

Halloween Weekend: A history, a weekend question, and quotes!

30 October 2010

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Several ancient peoples believed that the end of October was sacred: credit
These Druids believed that on the night before November 1 (October 31) Samhain called together wicked souls or spirits which had been condemned to live in the bodies of animals during the year which had just transpired. Since they were afraid of these spirits, they chose October 31 as a day to sacrifice to their gods, hoping they would protect them. They really believed that on this day they were surrounded by strange spirits, ghosts, witches, fairies, and elves, who came out to hurt them. In addition to this, they also believed that cats were holy animals, as they considered them to represent people who lived formerly, and as punishment for evil deeds were reincarnated as a cat. All this explains why witches, ghosts, and cats are a part of Halloween today.

The Romans worshiped various gods and on October 31, a special feast was held in honor of Pomona, goddess of the fruit trees. Later, the Druids, an ancient order of Celtic priests in Britain, made this feast an even more extensive celebration by also honoring Samhain, lord of the dead. This was normally done on November 1 and it was therefore decided to conveniently honor both Pomona and Samhain on October 31 and November 1.

The custom of trick-or-treating and the use of "jack-o'-lanterns" comes from Ireland. Hundreds of years ago, Irish farmers went from house to house, begging for food, in the name of their ancient gods, to be used at the village Halloween celebration. They would promise good luck to those who gave them good, and made threats to those who refused to give. They simply told the people, "You treat me, or else I will trick you!" The apparently harmless lightened pumpkin face or "jack-o'-lantern" actually is an old Irish symbol of damned soul. A man named Jack was supposed to be able unable to enter heaven due to his miserliness, and unable to enter hell because he had played practice jokes on the devil. As a result, he was condemned to wander over the earth with his lantern until judgment day (i.e., the end of the world). The Irish were so afraid that they would receive an identical plight, that they began to hollow out pumpkins and place lighted candles inside to scare away evil spirits from their home.

Now, for some Notable Quoteables hosted by Bewitched Bookworms:I'm currently reading my brother's Barnes and Noble Classic: The Count of Monte Cristo:
"He was one of those calculating men who are born with a pen behind their ears and an inkpot in place of a heart"

-page 64

"But sadness is not banished so easily. Like the wounded hero of Virgil* he carried the arrow in his wound" *Aeneas, hero of Virgil's epic: the Aeneid

-page 63

Now, for a Weekend Question hosted by my affiliate, Liz from Cleverly Inked:

Do you judge a book by it's cover? If so which is your favorite?

Like Liz, I hate to admit that I do judge a book by it's cover. Only books though, not people! Covers, in most cases, reflect what a book is about. If it's attractive, I think that the story will be attractive as well. Don't worry, I read the book synopsis too, but the book cover is the deciding factor.


And: Oh my goodness! Halloween is tomorrow! I promised a few bloggers that I'd post my pictures of my costume last week, but my camera man (Dad) was too busy. I'll take pictures tomorrow! ^_^ It's a home-made costume, so it won't look like what I'm supposed to be (a character from the Matrix)

Have fun!


New Review System. Help?

26 October 2010

photo credit

Wow, does it feel good to write a couple of reviews! But I've been thinking, I need a new review system. How does this look:
title:
author:
stars:
summary:
(goodreads)
review:
kirthi
pages: ___

recommended for:

(summary)


my thoughts: [overall thoughts]

Pros:

Cons:
_______________________________

What I'm thinking of doing, is some math. Add up the total of my pros and cons, and divide my pros by the total. Like if there were 10 Pros and Cons total, and there were 4 Pros out of the ten. It'd be 0.4 or 4/10. Hmm?

Or would you like me to use icons?
5 icons or 'stars'- very very good. a 'best book' (A)
4 icons or 'stars'- very good, but several problems (B)
3 icons or 'stars'- on the brink of good and bad (C)
2 icons or 'stars'- not very enjoyable, (D)
1 icon or 'star'- a 'worst' book

OR, do you have a totally new idea that you think I should try? Maybe mention the publisher and the publication date? Or the price on certain sites like Amazon or Book Depository. Or the genres and categories the book could fit into?

I'm just hoping I won't have to do a load of work by cramming in all of these into a review.
And thanks so much for being patient and dealing with all this. The last 2 reviews set me back on track and clear of any more required reviews. I'll start posting reviews on pleasurable reads, of which I have a lot to post about. This is again, a "book review blog"


Review: Empty


title: Empty
author: Suzanne Weyn
stars: 4 (0.6)
summary: goodreads
review: kirthi
pages:192 pages
recommended: all ages

It's the near future - the very near future - and the fossil fuels are running out. No gas. No oil. Which means no driving. No heat. Supermarkets are empty. Malls have shut down. Life has just become more local than we ever knew it could be.

Nobody expected the end to come this fast. And in the small town of Spring Valley, decisions that once seemed easy are quickly becoming matters of life and death. There is hope - there has to be hope - just there are also sacrifices that need to be made, and a whole society that needs to be rethought.

Teens like Nicki, Tom, and Leila may find what they need to survive. But their lives are never going to be the same again

my thoughts:

This is a real and raw book that brings the vital subject of our possible future, that I think is 75% likely to happen. It's time that we start using green energy; the time for oil must come to an end. Suzanne Weyn brings out every detail of what would happen.


[pros]
  • good subject
  • real details
  • possible articles that bring the real world more closely together to science fiction
  • facts that prove the "fiction"
  • strong vocab and writing
  • well plotted-out plot
[cons]
  • characters weren't that developed (not enough pages to add on to, I guess)
  • unlikely ending
  • not enough pages to cover all the necessary parts of a good book
  • too many characters
As you can see, my Pros outnumber my Cons, proving that the book was good. I can say that I'm partial towards this subject because I believe in climate change, and that oil is a serious problem that needs to be stopped. Ergo, Suzanne Weyn is kind of a hero, being one of the few dystopian YA authors who has had the courage to write on this viewpoint.

Review: Hush


title: Hush
author: Eishes Chayil
stars: 1
summary: goodreads
review: kirthi
pages: 368

Inside the closed community of Borough Park, where most Chassidim live, the rules of life are very clear, determined by an ancient script written thousands of years before down to the last detail—and abuse has never been a part of it. But when thirteen-year-old Gittel learns of the abuse her best friend has suffered at the hands of her own family member, the adults in her community try to persuade Gittel, and themselves, that nothing happened. Forced to remain silent, Gittel begins to question everything she was raised to believe.


my thoughts:
The summary does sound good, right? That's what I thought. The book, however, had very little to do with it. All I read were a bunch of Hebrew words strewn together in a poorly stabilized plot line. Since I'm not Jewish, a lot of this made little send.
But, it was very good in certain scenes with vivid, raw and emotional writing. Chayil's writing has style.
A Con? The name "Devory" is repeated a lot...and it got on my nerves, just slightly.
A Pro? This story shines a light on a neglected topic that needs some attention.


Weekly Wrap Up (10)

24 October 2010

This week has been very exciting, and sad. I got a new design, but I've been losing a lot of followers. And I think I know why.
Very few reviews. I'm thinking of a new rating system, and I'm editing all my written reviews to post later. I keep falling behind, and I'll catch up soon!
On my blog:Gay Pride Day!Interview with Julie berry
Review of Secondhand Charm
Water Shaper Voting- last round
New Design!
On my affiliates blog:

Precious participated in the Hunger Blog Tour by interviewing author Jackie Kessler and hosting a giveaway. Check it out here She's been reading a bunch of great books, and I'm so jealous! You here that, Precious?

Liz from Cleverly Inked is undergoing a serious loss. A family member of hers passed away and I give her my condolences.

Cate from Sparrow Review is wishing for Steel, by Carrie Vaughn. I'm wishing for it too ^_^ She's also busy, being a high school senior, and is undergoing a crucial stage in her school life.

One of my awesome friends, Brent, is hosting a re-create a cover contest for Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins. It's a greatly anticipated sequel to Hex Hall, and apparently Brent enjoyed it a lot! Enter here. Plus I just realized Naughty Book Kitties got re-designed, it's beautiful.
Now, some photography!


Photo Credit


New Design: Awel Prince

23 October 2010

Have you noticed the changes?

Like the layout?
The music?


blogger



My Designer Girl. She's a sweet and lovely designers who I've enjoyed working with for this design. I'm a very picky person, but Awel was patient and worked so hard and created so many choices for me to pick from.
Her designs are unique and are "creative and beautiful" It's like taking a thousand handmade threads and weaving it together to create a masterpiece. Paying attention to every detail, Awel kind of read my mind and plastered all my little whims on canvas. The whole process was quick and smooth and easy. The price is incredibly affordable, and much more cheaper than other design shoppes, and the only difference is that Awel's quality doesn't change a bit, it's always the best it can be.

She has this style, this flair that's different for every designer, except that her designs shine out and mine....I love the texture and the colours...they flow together in perfectly, like water in a stream!

And the music is from Avatar, one of my most favourite movies! Seriously, it's amazing. Do you think the music should play automatically or would you want to manually turn it on?

What do you think?

Oh yeah, and please grab my new button on my sidebar! I'd really appreciate it!


Water Shaper Voting Round 3 (last round)

22 October 2010

I totally forgot. I keep forgetting. I can't do another re-create a cover contest!


Water Shaper Voting Round 3

View Results
Create a Blog Poll







Review and Interview!



title: Second-Hand Sharm
author: Julie Berry
stars: 3
summary: goodreads
review: kirthi
pages: 352


In a secluded village, magic sparkles on the edges of the forest. There, a young girl named Evie possesses unusually strong powers as a healer. A gypsy's charms—no more than trinkets when worn by others—are remarkably potent when Evie ties them around her neck. Her talents, and charms, have not escaped the notice of the shy stonemason's apprentice. But Evie wants more than a quiet village and the boy next-door. When the young king's carriage arrives one day, and his footman has fallen ill, Evie might just get her chance after all . . .


My thoughts: (I'm temporarily breaking out of my review template)
Why is Second-Hand Charm not one of my favourite books? One, it was way too fast, each scene moved so quickly! Second, the focus wasn't really on the snake, it was on almost everything else. Third, the fiction was way too much. Maybe because I've grown out of pure, girly fantasy fiction. It'd be a wonderful read for younger ages.

The events had little to do with each other. And t
he ending was confusing and fast. I was hoping for a better ending (from the beginning)

Overall: Great for young audiences (12 and under) but not recommended for teens!

Conclusion: Thick with fantasy, Secondhand Charm is sure to be loved by young children everywhere ^_^

Interview with the amazing Julie Berry!

1. Tell us a bit about yourself!

By day I’m a wife, a mom of four young boys and a director of sales and marketing for a software company. Also a friend, neighbor, Sunday School teacher and choir director. And a delinquent member of my local gym. I think they’ve forgotten what I look like. By night, and by early morning, and by weekends, I write. Things I can do a little: play piano. Sing. Bake pie. Grow herbs and flowers. Sew quilts. Tidy the house, if the spirit moves me. Knit. But let me emphasize here, with all these things, I can do them a little. Only a little.

2. Where is your favourite place to think?

I do a lot of thinking while I’m moving, either by taking a walk around my neighborhood, or driving to work in the car. If I’m sitting down to write, I write wherever I am, with my laptop. But if I really need to think, ie, to work out a problem or question I have with my manuscript, I use a single subject notebook and pencil or pen to thrash it out.

3. What type of book smell are you fond of, if you are at all. Musty and dusty, new..?

I admit I’m partial to shiny new books with their fresh ink smell. But a book I’ve loved many times over is always good to hold, even if it has gotten a bit musty.

4. Why fantasy fiction?
Is there any other choice? J I have written realistic manuscripts, but I find it so much more liberating and exciting to dwell in worlds where the impossible can happen.
5. Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what songs?

No, I don’t listen to music when I write. That’s probably because I love music so much that it would completely distract me. I suppose some soft classical, especially baroque, might not bother me, but really I prefer silence.

6. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Read lots, write lots, and enjoy the process of writing and dreaming and creating. If you don’t enjoy writing a LOT, the path to publication with all its setbacks may be more than you want to face.

Thanks for the interview!

Thank you!




Gay Pride Day and Award and Scold Me Now!

20 October 2010

(photo credit)

Today, at school, it was Gay Pride Day! We all wore purple and were walking around, smiling, and giving each other knuckle punches and high-fives and saying "Go Gay people!" all around. It was fun and amazing and I loved it all! Even though I was just wearing a purple necklace.

I understand if you think Gay is wrong, because of the Bible and everything, and I'm not challenging you or anything. I sit next to a Christian on the bus and he looked at my necklace and said, "Take that off. Gay is wrong". I was kind of hurt because even though others think it's wrong, doesn't mean I should too. He went on to an elaborate explanation on why and I was hurt.
I'm Hindu, so I never read the Bible, but I KNOW that people are entitled to their own opinions and I would never try to change them. But still, when someone tries to make me change my opinion, it makes me mad.
I have several online gay friends, and they are so nice and lovely and I wish everyone could be as nice. Honestly, I think gay people make the best friends. But I love my friends, don't worry.
Just know that I understand, but I still support gay people. They're people too
Know that you are loved, no matter who or what you are ^_^

And Rachel Morgan gave me the Cherry On Top Award! I usually just automatically add my awards to my Awards page, but I think I'll start changing that.
Thanks so much Rachel, you made my day!. Question: If I had the chance to go back and change one thing in my life, would I, and what would it be?

I wouldn't change a thing, I'd add a thing. I'd go back and learn Latin and Spanish at a young age, start speaking my own language at home, and start doing more acts of kindness than I do now.


I pass these along to all the blogs that follow me, because I love everyone of them, and find it hard to choose! Really, I do. I just deleted my super long list. Go on, take the award you deserve.

I'm such a bad person! I have so many reviews I need to type up and post and I always make excuses. I'm very sorry, please, and I'll GET ONE UP TOMORROW! (I have the one-post-a-day thing) If I don't, you have permission to virtually slap sense into me ^_^ I don't mind!

My Blogaversary!

16 October 2010

I totally forgot that yesterday was my Blogoversary! I'm such a forgetful person! Ahhh!

I'm so happy! It's been 2 years since I first started blogging! I can remember my first few days, writing up a couple of sentences as a "Review" and feeling so proud. It was chilly, so I remember short days holed up with books and chocolate and warm blankets. Such a wonderful time, the best time of the year.
I think you guys already know that I started with 8 constant followers since the very beginning, and every new one made me so happy! When I got to a 100, I felt like the most popular blogger in the world! By then, however, I had already met so many other blogs that I hadn't known even existed!
I've been thankful to have such a supportive audience, and really, Followers are what's worth blogging!

You know what this calls for? Candy!!!!!!!Pick any one, go ahead. ^_^
I'll have a giveaway as soon as I decide what to give, but I warn you, it might be small because of costly shipping. (grr, I hate not having that much money)

So thank you! WHOOHOOO! I'll write more later on my awesome 2 years!

Interview and Giveaway with Lisa Klein!

14 October 2010

Cate of the Lost Colony and Ophelia and Lady Macbeth's Daughter. Sound familiar? It's LISA KLEIN!


Today, I have the awesome Lisa Klein, author of her new book, Cate of the Lost Colony! grata, welcome!1. Tell us a bit about yourself!
I love writing more than any job I’ve ever had. I love chocolate, but I love my family even more. I hate ignorance and bigotry and war. I have brown eyes and wear a size 8 ½ shoe and live in a medium-sized house surrounded by trees.

2. Where is your favourite place to think?
I think best when I’m out walking the dog, trying to clear out my head. Often I will get over writer’s block that way, or a scene or piece of dialog will come to me.


3. What type of book smell are you fond of, if you are at all. Musty and dusty, new..?
Musty—ugh! Makes me sneeze. I hate books that smell like cigarette smoke! I love the smell of a new book. I love the smell of a library. They all smell alike.


4. You’ve grown up around so much literature, when did you decide you wanted to be an author?
About ten years ago I decided to try and write fiction. I had already published two nonfiction books. So I was an author before, although a mostly unread one. Now I say I’m an author without apologizing for it. And though you didn’t ask this, I will say that the books I read (past and present) have helped make me the writer I am. So if you want to be a writer, read, read, and read some more.


5. What’s your favourite book out of the books you’ve written so far? Hehe.
Do you ask your mother who her favorite child is? Do you expect her to tell you? You know the answer: “I love all my books/children equally.” I would add that I have two sons; my books are my daughters.


6. Your books are focused on young adult books, how do you feel about children’s books?
I love all children’s books, but I’ve never tried to write anything other than YA. The complexity of YA fiction interests me, and I enjoy walking the knife edge between YA and truly adult fiction. I think teens are very sophisticated and want to be challenged by their reading choices.


7. Is there anything you like to do when writing?
Chewing erasers, listening music etc..? I can’t listen to music when I’m writing. I need quiet and no distractions. That really limits where and when I can write!


8. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Read everything you can, especially books of the kind you want to write. Also read the kind of books you don’t usually read. Read fiction and nonfiction. I know you expect me to say something like “Write every day!” but I won’t. (I didn’t write every day, and I still don’t.) Reading is more important when you are young. It’s the food for your imagination. Write when you can, and whatever you want! Then read some more.


Thanks so much for visiting!

Lisa Klein was (and still is) my hero for writing Ophelia, a wonderfully woven story that totally captivated me and made me over-emotional, which is always a good feeling (means I have a heart....awkward comment) ^_^

Oh yes, and thanks to Bloomsbury (Publicity Assistant: Kate) I have a copy of Cate of the Lost Colony to giveaway!

Rules:
Ends October 24th
U.S. Only
Must be a follower (gracias!)
Must fill out this form or the one below

Extra Entries:
Link anywhere
Comment on my review (or interview)




My Cover (4)

08 October 2010



This is my Nightshade cover for The Book Vixen's Re-Create a Cover Contest!

I'm sorry for deleting my previous cover post as I've just realized that the two cover pictures I used were from Devianart. Apparently I can't just link for photo credit, so I'm not allowed to use the pics. So I re-made the cover re-makes!
Squeaky Books MATCHED re-create a cover contest:
Photo Credit

Biksoners Re-create A Cover Contest for Minder by Kate KaynakPhoto Credit

My Overstuffed Bookshelf is having a re-create a contest for Ghost Town by Rachel Caine. Here's my cover!


So sorry!

Water Shaper Voting Round 2

06 October 2010

I know that this is WAY over-due, but I just totally forgot until now! My apologies! Seriously, I'm soooo sorry!

It's time for voting!
2 will go onto the next round! Open Until next Monday morning
-Make sure you choose the right box when voting!

Choose your favorite, not which one the person asked you to vote on please

-If you put up a post you can show people your cover but you can not hold a contest if they vote for you!
-Please do not ask them to vote for you just because you want to win, please ask them to vote for their favorite!
-Be careful when voting, make sure you are choosing the right box under/below the image for the cover you like best.

Water Shaper Voting Round 2

View Results
Create a Blog Poll






Review: Secondhand Charm

04 October 2010


Title: Secondhand Charm
Author: Julie Berry
Stars: 3
Summary from Goodreads
Review by Kirthi
Pages: 304
From: ARC from Bloomsbury (thanks Kate!)

In a secluded village, magic sparkles on the edges of the forest. There, a young girl named Evie possesses unusually strong powers as a healer. A gypsy's charms—no more than trinkets when worn by others—are remarkably potent when Evie ties them around her neck. Her talents, and charms, have not escaped the notice of the shy stonemason's apprentice. But Evie wants more than a quiet village and the boy next-door. When the young king's carriage arrives one day, and his footman has fallen ill, Evie might just get her chance after all . . .


My thoughts:
Secondhand Charm was not my most favourite book. One, to was way too fast. Each scene moved so quickly! Second, the focus wasn't really on the snake, it was on almost everything else. Third, the fiction was way too much. Maybe it's because I've grown out of pure fantasy fiction.

Beginning: Started out with school, hmm. And the dialouge. Not really a catchy lead for young audiences.

Middle: The events had a little to do with each other. Picture a gorgeous, vividly coloured tapestry. Now picture all the threads snapping loose, save for a couple. The remains of that tapestry is what Secondhand Charm is. I mean, the characters were good and the plot was promising, but the writing didn't meet my expectations.

End: Confusing and fast. Now this is just my opinion. I didn't think the beginning was too good and I was hoping for a better ending, which I didn't get.

Overall: Great for younger audiences (12 and under) but not recommended for teens.

Conclusion: Thick with fantasy, Secondhand Charm is sure to be loved by young children!

Mini-Challenge, Affiliate News, and Contests!

03 October 2010

Hi everyone!

My affiliate, Liz at Cleverly Inked, has started a weekend meme called "Weekend Question" where she asked,

"What got you into blogging?"
What got be started was that I wanted my own website one day. I used Blog.com for a while, but the templates and all of the stuff on it was mediocre, so I found Blogger. My friend Nathan and I started our own "GO GREEN" blog in which we posted about all the climatic problems in our world. Of course, we went on and off on them and created a load of new blogs. Then I realized that I was more of a loner, and I didn't really need help. So I branched off and made The 1 Book Blog, which I later re-named "Pages" I had thought that I was the only book blog, so I named it that, then I discovered a whole new community. I can't change the URL of Pages, so please don't think wrong of me! I had a strong hunger for books, all sorts, and blogging became an outlet to channel all my interests. The End.
My other affiliate, Precious, reviewed this beautiful book by Lisa Schroeder called Far From You.
Cate from Sparrow Review got this gorgeous design last week that's simple and sweet ant totally beautiful. She wished for Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst, which also has a beautiful book cover.
On MY blog, I went crazy of the J.K. Rowling and Oprah interview. I only posted the first 3 parts, there are a bunch more on Youtube. I came up with one of my new favourite quote. I think it's roughly quoted...
"It's true for all writers: I know what I believe because of what I've written" -J.K. Rowling





Now for the Mini-Challenges at Princess Bookie.

Mini Challenge 3- Contest Craze
-
- Write A Blog Post Containing A Book Synopsis Of A Book You Wish Would Be Written.
-Example: If you really loved Before I Fall, you would write a synopsis for Before I Fall #2 .
- Not allowed to write a synopsis for a book that has a sequel already planned so do
your research!
The captivating new sequel to Red Glass is here! Sophie has left Pablo with his grandparents in Mexico and now Angel and Mr. Lorenzo are leaving, taking Dika with them. It's a sad goodbye, and almost two years pass by, Sophie hasn't seen Angel, Mr. Lorenzo or Dika at all. School is different, she isn't the amoeba anymore and feels more comfortable with herself, thanks to Angel. But all the while, she can't help but to wonder what was happening over there. Did Angel find a new girlfriend, are Mr. Lorenzo or Dika having a baby, what was going on?
Then Sophie's mom announces that they are going to visit, but Sophie can't help but to be afraid. Suddenly, she feels like an amoeba again.

What do you think? I made the cover too ^_^

Also, one of the new blogs I met on the Blogfest at Elana's blog was seeing, dreaming, writing... with Quinn. He's a great writer and I love his posts and guess what? He's got a 100 followers! And to celebrate, he's having an amazing contest. Enter here


I also got the One Lovely Blog Award from Caroyln at Serendipity. I'm so happy ^_^ Do you see you me smiling? Hmm?

Anyways! How 'bout some of my favourite pictures this week to inspire you?
It's taking me a load of time to bring all the pictures down here (through the entire post) so I'll make a separate post later ^_^

Thanks for a great week!

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