I am Craving a Good Series


I am craving a good series.

I say that but I already know of a few. I’ve started a few. In fact, let me list just a few of those that I have read the first book or so of and have all the best intentions in the world to finish:

  • A Song of Ice and Fire: I have read the first two in this series, but unfortunately, I fear that I would need to reread them to make much progress towards reading the rest. (Christina just reviewed A Storm of Swords!)
  • Outlander: OMG do I want to read this series right now. Watching the Starz television series of the first book, the only book I’ve read, really makes me want to revisit Claire and Jamie, despite spoiling all the books for myself!
  • The Iron Druid Chronicles: I read Hounded last year and loved it! It’s both funny and suspenseful with a good helping of magical realism.
  • Gentlemen Bastards: The Lies of Locke Lamora was by far one of the best books I’ve read this year. Sure the series isn’t finished (are there any series that are finished these days?) but it’s such a fun fantasy world!
  • Temeraire: I’ve only read His Majesty’s Dragon, and definitely want to continue following the adventures of this cool dragon and his rider in a fun alternate historical fiction!
  • Wine Country Mysteries: Because why not, when you’re in a Virginia Wine and Book Club finish the series that the club kicked off with?
  • Delirium: Okay, I’ve read the first two, and just have never gotten around to the last in the triology, Requiem.
  • The Sweet Trilogy: Loved the first, liked the covers of the rest, never got to them.
  • Pure: One of the most twisted young adult dystopians I’ve read and it left me curious for the rest.
  • Sookie Stackhouse: This is perhaps a maybe…I feel like I should finish the series but I’m not 100% sold on it.

That list doesn’t even include those series that I read the first book and perhaps did not feel so inclined to continue but wouldn’t be completely unopposed to seeing it through.

That’s a lot of series. A lot of pages. A lot of time.

As a book blogger, I think that there is a certain pressure to keep up with the next big book. Do you have enough review copies? Have you read them? Reviewed them? Okay, on to the next review copy!

It doesn’t leave a lot of time to read one series. Additionally, if the only content appearing on the blog is just for a certain book series, there is a belief that readers would become bored. Who wants to read yet another post about this series you’ve posted about all month?!

But on just the other side of that coin, there is a certain frustration that comes when you have no time to read a series. It’s hard to balance both reading a variety of things to keep up with the current trends of books and to complete a series.

I recently played around with my Goodreads’ to-read shelf. I discovered that those that were on there because I bought the book with the intention of reading, reviewing, and giving away and those I had received specifically for a review numbered at 25 currently. I’d say that is pretty darn good in comparison with others. Keep in mind though, that I am a slower reader than others. 25 books is half my year’s reading goal. If I were to take in no extra books for 6 months, I could reasonably figure to finish all those books and be completely free to read whatever I wanted, to include finishing any of those series above.

But do I want to set out on such a mission?

I’m outlining three steps that I want to take to work my way to more reading freedom and open myself up to reading more series:

  1. Go through that list of 25 books and figure out which ones I would be okay simply giving away without reading. This is a difficult thing to do. It’s almost painful for me to part with books that I have, particularly those that I have bought, and find them new homes without first offering my opinion on them. But 25 books is a lot and some of those books have been languishing for quite a while. Surely, I could borrow a copy from somewhere or someone later if I so feel the need to read it.
  2. Limit my requesting of review copies. I’ve been doing this for a while anyways. My Netgalley score is abysmal so I am trying to request a few copies here and there to slowly chip away at it and there’s something thrilling about receiving physical review copy in the mail from giveaways on Goodreads or other sources. But it’s less thrilling when it takes away time from reading a book you might be more in the mood for. I need to continue to work to limit my requesting to keep the list of ‘other-than-series’ books on the lower side.
  3. Alternate between a series’ book and a non-series book. Instead of waiting until all 25 books are off my list, perhaps if I alternated which books I read, I could achieve a better balance between the continuity of a series and reading something new.

I’m surely not the only one feeling this way! How do you decide which books to read? Are you reading any series lately? Which ones?

2014 Debut Authors Bash Featuring Laura Wettersten


debut author

Featuring Laura Wettersten and her book, My Faire Lady

So, I love Renaissance Faires. In fact, I just went to my local one yesterday. I may or may not have a costume as well, or have little trinkets bought from faires at my work desk. I just might be saving up for some of the more elaborate crafts that I really would like…like a crazy wooden throne with geos and other details that make it look like a fairy throne. All that said, a story about a girl working in the Renaissance Faire is definitely fun! Laura Wettersten’s book, My Faire Lady, is just that! She visits us today with a guest post.

Make sure to check out My Faire Lady!

myfaireladyMy Faire Lady by Laura Wettersten

Published June 3rd 2014 by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Hardcover or ebook, 352 pages
ISBN13: 9781442489332

Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Rowena Duncan is a thoroughly modern girl with big plans for her summer—until she catches her boyfriend making out with another girl. Heartbroken, she applies to an out-of-town job posting and finds herself somewhere she never expected: the Renaissance Faire.

As a face-painter doubling as a serving wench, Ro is thrown headfirst into a vibrant community of artists and performers. She feels like a fish out of water until Will, a quick-witted whip cracker, takes her under his wing. Then there’s Christian, a blue-eyed stunt jouster who makes Ro weak in the knees. Soon, it’s not just her gown that’s tripping her up.

Trading in the internet and electricity for stars and campfires was supposed to make life simpler, but Ro is finding that love is the ultimate complication. Can she let the past make way for her future?

And now I pass it over to Laura!

People sometimes ask me, “Who is your favorite character in MY FAIRE LADY?” and my answer always surprises them. “King Geoffrey’s Faire,” I say. They raise their eyebrows, or feel the need to explain to the poor, clueless author what a character is, and I just smile. Settings can be characters too, or at least, a setting can behave like a character.

The Renaissance fair in my book is such a setting. It pushes the plot along, provides conflict, and is just as quirky, fun, and witty as a John Green character. It’s because of the fair that Ro finds love and finds herself.

To pull that off, I had to immerse myself in a Renaissance fair, so I visited the Ohio Renaissance Festival before I started to write the book. I took an extraverted friend with me to counteract my shyness, and we spent all day at the fair, watching events, shopping, eating (so much eating), and most importantly, talking to the workers.

We met a surly artisan who would provide a good basis for Ramon, Ro’s grumpy boss. We shopped at a clothing store, where I not only found inspiring clothes for Ro, Christian, and Will, but also met a sweet and wise seamstress who could easily have been Lindy. We sampled (ok, 4 cups can’t really be called “sampling”) mead, turkey legs, sweet pastries and a lot of fried things that probably shouldn’t have been fried. We saw acrobats, a joust, bowed to Queen Elizabeth, explored a tower of torture meant to look like the Tower of London, and even found a graveyard where we jumped into open caskets and took pictures of ourselves acting like zombies. The most enlightening part of the day, however, was when we sat in the facepainting booth and watched a woman named Robbie (who would become the teacup painter in my book) work her magic on kids of all ages. We learned all about her life, including what she does in the “off season”, how she became a “lifer” in this particular fair, and how she studied art for years. What was most fascinating to me was how fast she was. A child would walk in and ask for something so intricate that I was sure it would take an hour, like a butterfly princess. But in five minutes, the child would leave smiling and totally transformed, her entire face full of color, glitter, and jewels. Robbie knew exactly how to work with each child’s features to make the designs beautiful, and how to layer and blend colors to create shadowing and contour. That was what I wanted to get across most with Ro’s facepainting; that with each special creation, each child felt special, too.

Here are a few pictures from that day:

Zombie! Guard your brain!

pic1

A hand-carved troll:

pic3

A cape perfect for Christian:

pic2

The facepainting booth setup (with bonus Robbie arm):

pic4

The food staples – Turkey leg and mead:

pic5

About Laura:

Laura Wettersten lives in Ohio with her wonderful husband, their adorable baby son, and their two neurotic dogs. She has degrees in both music education and library science, and when she’s not writing or teaching she enjoys directing middle school musicals, dancing awkwardly around her kitchen, and watching WIPEOUT and 30 ROCK reruns. Her debut novel, MY FAIRE LADY, releases from Simon & Schuster BFYR in 2014.

What great fun! I highly recommend that you both check out her book as well as your local Renaissance Faire!

Click on the banner for the 2014 Debut Authors tour schedule. The event runs the whole month of September! There’s going to be awesome posts and giveaways!

debut author

Michelle’s Review: Island of a Thousand Mirrors by Nayomi Munaweera


I received this book for free from Goodreads in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Michelle’s Review: Island of a Thousand Mirrors by Nayomi MunaweeraIsland of a Thousand Mirrors by Nayomi Munaweera
Published by Macmillan on 2014-09-02
Genres: Coming of Age, Cultural Heritage, Fiction
Pages: 256
Format: ARC
Source: Goodreads
Goodreads
three-stars
Before violence tore apart the tapestry of Sri Lanka and turned its pristine beaches red, there were two families. Yasodhara tells the story of her own Sinhala family, rich in love, with everything they could ask for. As a child in idyllic Colombo, Yasodhara’s and her siblings’ lives are shaped by social hierarchies, their parents’ ambitions, teenage love and, subtly, the differences between Tamil and Sinhala people; but the peace is shattered by the tragedies of war. Yasodhara’s family escapes to Los Angeles. But Yasodhara’s life has already become intertwined with a young Tamil girl’s…Saraswathie is living in the active war zone of Sri Lanka, and hopes to become a teacher. But her dreams for the future are abruptly stamped out when she is arrested by a group of Sinhala soldiers and pulled into the very heart of the conflict that she has tried so hard to avoid – a conflict that, eventually, will connect her and Yasodhara in unexpected ways.Nayomi Munaweera's Island of a Thousand Mirrors is an emotionally resonant saga of cultural heritage, heartbreaking conflict and deep family bonds. Narrated in two unforgettably authentic voices and spanning the entirety of the decades-long civil war, it offers an unparalleled portrait of a beautiful land during its most difficult moment by a spellbinding new literary talent who promises tremendous things to come.

I can’t quite remember what caused me to request to win a book about the Sri Lankan Civil War. I’m interested in history and I’ve found in the past that historical fiction is a great gateway into a certain time and place in history. Before this book, I was only briefly aware of the country of Sri Lanka and its civil war. After this book, I know a little more and I’m left in shock about the atrocities committed. And my review will be nowhere near as academic or informed as some of the other reviews on it.

The story follows two women from the different ethnic groups in Sri Lanka, Tamil and Sinhala. The book covers a lot of time with skill, allowing the reader to become familiar with the country as tensions rise and eventually erupt. As other reviewers have said, the book was great in that it didn’t take sides. It showed the atrocities committed by both sides, the level of depravation that comes to the surface in a tumultuous time.

I keep going back to the word ‘atrocities’. It has been a month since I finished this book. My reviews generally suffer from the longer I wait to write a review from the time I finished it. With this book, the plot comes rushing back and makes me wonder why I rated it as an ‘I liked it’ versus an ‘I loved it’. I think part of the reason is that it was not a happy book. That’s not to say that only happy books are good books, but I think I grew weary of the story after a while. The story does not shy away from the evils of war, whether it’s suicide bombings, rape, or executions. Or perhaps the word genocide would be more appropriate. There are scenes that were so disturbing that I would put the book down for a bit before I could continue on. But if I was to give it a new rating now that I’ve reflected on it, I’d bump it up a star. It is an important story to tell, and it shouldn’t shy away from the gruesome details. It needs to be told and needs to be read.

It’s an informed read that makes history personal. It’s not a light summer read, but it is a read that makes the word ‘wow’ rest on your lips.

pj - michelle

Michelle’s Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart


Michelle’s Review: We Were Liars by E. LockhartWe Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Published by Random House Children's Books on 2014-05-13
Genres: Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Family, General, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 240
Format: Audiobook
Goodreads
five-stars
A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

I spoiled this book for myself before I had ever decided to read it.

In June everyone was raving about this book. It seemed like everyone was reading it, book bloggers, vloggers, and critics alike! I had heard about it through some online article about books to read this summer and had nominated it for my book club to read. I hadn’t actually expected to ever get around to reading it. I’m not exactly the fastest or the trendiest reader. So when it was selected as our book club’s August book, I was both happy and a little disappointed.

Because I had watched all the spoiler sections of people’s vlogs about this book. I had spoiled that big twist that everyone alluded to.

But here’s the thing: it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the book at all. Perhaps I liked the book for different reasons than those who were in the dark; it was like rereading a thriller and being able to connect the dots that were previously invisible to you. But it was still so much fun. It was definitely one of my favorite reads so far this year.

  • Why was it so good?
  • It was artistic. There was poetry in its prose that was not overdone but instead helped to create a certain mood.
  • It was a thriller without being too heavy. It was the kind of book you would bring to the beach and end up forgetting to go into the water and still feel relaxed.
  • The setting was so real. It made me long to go to that island and have my own summer adventures (minus family drama, please!).
  • The narrator of the audiobook was absolutely amazing and a perfect fit for the book. I had listened to other books she has narrated before and liked her then too but she definitely did this book justice to the point where I feel like my experience of the book was greatened by listening to it instead of reading it.

This was the book that inspires so much discussion and analysis, with no one being truly right or wrong about it. And I think I’ll enjoy discussing it for some time to come.

pj - michelle

Friday 56: Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby


friday 56

This meme is run by Freda at Freda’s Voice.

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grab you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. It’s that simple.

wonder showSo I’m racing through Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby this week. It’s very enjoyable! I don’t think it’ll take much longer for me to finish it!

“I can see what she’s doing,” Mister said, sneering. “And that isn’t all I see.” He bent down and reached under the bed. His hand came back holding a brown glass bottle. The label had a red bar at the top with a skull and crossbones.

Cue the ‘oooo’s! So cool, right?

pj - michelle

Michelle’s Review: Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr


Michelle’s Review: Ink Exchange by Melissa MarrInk Exchange by Melissa Marr
Published by Harper Collins on 2008-04-29
Genres: Drugs, Alcohol, Substance Abuse, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy & Magic, General, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
two-stars
Unbeknownst to mortals, a power struggle is unfolding in a world of shadows and danger. After centuries of stability, the balance among the Faery Courts has altered, and Irial, ruler of the Dark Court, is battling to hold his rebellious and newly vulnerable fey together. If he fails, bloodshed and brutality will follow. Seventeen-year-old Leslie knows nothing of faeries or their intrigues. When she is attracted to an eerily beautiful tattoo of eyes and wings, all she knows is that she has to have it, convinced it is a tangible symbol of changes she desperately craves for her own life. The tattoo does bring changes—not the kind Leslie has dreamed of, but sinister, compelling changes that are more than symbolic. Those changes will bind Leslie and Irial together, drawing Leslie deeper and deeper into the faery world, unable to resist its allures, and helpless to withstand its perils. . . .

I read Wicked Lovely years ago. It was another book that I liked enough. But when I was discovering a new used book store, perusing the young adult section, the spine of this book and its title caught my eye. I didn’t really know that Wicked Lovely was a series, and didn’t know that Ink Exchange was part of it. I knew the author was the same but didn’t quite put it all together. But I was surprised to see that the book was signed by Melissa Marr. That was cool! So I bought it, despite previously having no intention of continuing with the series.

It was the book that had been sitting on my TBR the longest this summer so I finally got around to it. Unfortunately, because of how long it had been since I had read about Aislinn and the Summer Court, I could barely remember what had happened before the events in Ink Exchange. And this book definitely just jumped right into it.

To say I was confused through most of the book is putting it lightly. I understood Leslie well enough and her motivations, but I was confused about the larger plot. I mean, I think I get it, but I’m not sure. It was not easy to follow and I don’t know how much of it is because of things that were included in the first book or was simply not explained right in this book. I do wonder about the success of a book if someone picking it up cannot follow it without having read the book before it. Isn’t that how most series are discovered (or at least used to be discovered as we would wander the shelves of the library or bookstore)?

There were some standout characters (okay, well Niall) but it wasn’t enough to save the book for me. It was okay, but it wasn’t a fun read for me. Too much confusion and teen angst.

pj - michelle

Michelle’s Review: Half a King by Joe Abercrombie


I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Michelle’s Review: Half a King by Joe AbercrombieHalf a King by Joe Abercrombie
Published by Random House Publishing Group on 2014-07-15
Genres: Action & Adventure, Epic, Fantasy, Fiction, Sagas
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads
three-stars
“I swore an oath to avenge the death of my father. I may be half a man, but I swore a whole oath.”

Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains, and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea. And he must do it all with only one good hand.

The deceived will become the deceiver.

Born a weakling in the eyes of his father, Yarvi is alone in a world where a strong arm and a cold heart rule. He cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he must sharpen his mind to a deadly edge.

The betrayed will become the betrayer.

Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast and the lost, he finds they can do more to help him become the man he needs to be than any court of nobles could.

Will the usurped become the usurper?

But even with loyal friends at his side, Yarvi finds his path may end as it began—in twists, and traps, and tragedy.

The book’s beginning does not set up Half a King’s true story. Because right away, things get turned on their head and the main character, Yarvi, is sent on quite the journey, literally and figuratively.

I have never read Joe Abercrombie before, but his reputation for the dark and gritty had reached my ears. Half a King is a young adult book though and despite some darker elements, it never strayed too far from material suitable for its intended audience.

My biggest complaint was the ending. I know that this is something that is perhaps stylistically typical of Abercrombie, but the end made me feel hopeless. It was not the type of happily ever ending that I would hope for after a long book.

Half a King is a grand journey fantasy novel, where Yarvi and his companions travel a great distance and undergo great hardships to reach their goals. Sometimes with journey novels I get bored, sick of the journey myself, but this did not happen with this book. I was excited to read it and read it at a very fast pace.

pj - michelle

Christina’s Review: A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin


Christina’s Review: A Storm of Swords by George R.R. MartinA Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
Published by Random House Publishing Group on 2003-03-04
Genres: Action & Adventure, Epic, Fantasy, Fiction, Science Fiction
Pages: 992
Format: Paperback
Goodreads
five-stars
THE BOOK BEHIND THE THIRD SEASON OF GAME OF THRONES, AN ORIGINAL SERIES NOW ON HBO.Here is the third volume in George R. R. Martin’s magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, George R. R. Martin’s stunning series is destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.A STORM OF SWORDSOf the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as violently as ever, as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey, of House Lannister, sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the land of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, the victim of the jealous sorceress who holds him in her evil thrall. But young Robb, of House Stark, still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Robb plots against his despised Lannister enemies, even as they hold his sister hostage at King’s Landing, the seat of the Iron Throne. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world. . . .But as opposing forces maneuver for the final titanic showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost line of civilization. In their vanguard is a horde of mythical Others--a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords. . . .From the Paperback edition.

Continuing on through the third book of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, George R. R. Martin still does not disappoint. There are mouth-dropping, page-turning, “WHY?!” yelling’s, and tears throughout the book. As I continue through the series, I am learning to like characters I was not a fan of before, and I have found other characters I once liked to be weak and not my favorite reads as the series progresses. As with the previous two books in the series, Martin’s style of writing and story-telling is right down my ally and has continued to make this series one I recommend for those who enjoy the writings of Ken Follett, J.R.R. Tolkien, and similar epic-adventure series.

Some notes about A Storm of Swords: the action in this book was jam-packed, with major events stacked on top of each other, giving me a “book hangover” at times, as Michelle has called it. The book is a long and heavy read… definitely not one to casually pick up unless you are ready to commit (just as the others in the series). I have found I no longer have to look up characters relationships and houses in the back of the book anymore… Martin has done a great job carrying on characters’ identities and allowing the reader to relate and remain on-track with who is who. This is slightly surprising since there is a lot more on-the-go travels in this book as the reader follows characters through their journeys from castle to castle, along the roads, in the woods, and beyond the wall.

A few notes on character development: Catelyn became one of my least favorite characters when it came to reading her chapters. Martin made her appear to be a hopeless, woe-is-me character. She almost felt pathetic and lost some of that strength from the previous two books that I had admired. Jon became one of my favorite characters to follow during this third book. Before, I felt his chapters had adventure, but were not near the action I was entrapped with that other characters had experienced. In the third book, Martin followed Jon beyond the wall more and surrounded him with adventure, romance, and mystery. Arya is still one of my favorite characters, and her chapters left me on edge as I cheered for her to overcome the odds. Daenerys’ chapters became more adventurous and seductive in the third book, and I was happy to see the attention being drawn back to her more, including connections made in her chapters back to Westeros and previous events. The second book, you may recall in my review on this, I felt her chapters were weak and few between. Martin has done a great job keeping emotions going with highs and lows throughout the book for the characters. As many people who have watched the series and seen the “Red Wedding” may know… do not get too hooked on your favorites. I still stand by my assumption that everyone dies in this series…

On a side note, I have finally started watching the HBO series for the first time on DVD. I’m only half way through the second season, and intend to remain behind my readings with my viewing to keep the surprises to the book. Unfortunately, I will not be able to start the fourth book until I finish with my M.A. in December and have the time and attention to commit. However, as soon as I am able, I intend to jump into the fourth, fifth and sixth books in the series and read through. Can’t wait!

pj - christina

2014 Debut Authors Bash Featuring Jocelyn Adams!


debut author

I am so excited to have Jocelyn Adams here today to discuss her exciting book, Darkside Sun, the first in the Mortal Machine series! I asked her to perform a tough task, but I am very excited to share it with you!

If you haven’t checked out Darkside Sun, you definitely should!

darkside

Darkside Sun by Jocelyn Adams

Published March 10th 2014 by Entangled Publishing (Embrace)
ebook, 291 pages
ISBN13: 9781622663392

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The dead have been waiting for her…

Addison Beckett tries hard to pretend she’s normal, but she’s far from it. Since she was six years old, she’s seen the world around her unraveling, as if someone is pulling a thread from a sweater and it’s all slowly coming undone. When she ignores it, it goes away, so that’s what she does.

Enter her arrogant-but-hot professor Asher Green. He knows all about her special brand of crazy. In fact, he might be just as nuts as she is. Asher insists that the dead from a parallel dimension are trying to possess the living in this one. And since Addison seems to be the only one who can see these “wraiths,” she just might be the key to saving the world.

Addison wants nothing to do with Asher or his secret society, The Mortal Machine. But as their animosity grows, she finds it harder and harder to ignore the chemistry between them. And when she discovers that Machine laws forbid her from touching him, she realizes that’s all she wants to do.

Stop the wraiths. Break the rules. Save the world. All in a day’s work.

Normal was overrated, anyway.

So I asked Ms. Adams to cast the characters in Darkside Sun and also come up with what their theme song would be! So now I hand it over to Ms. Adams!

Thanks for hosting me today, Michelle. Wow, you really stretched my brain on this one. My characters are alive in my head, but I never imagined who might play them in a movie version of Darkside Sun before now. It was great fun. Here’s what I’ve come up with.

Asher:

Actor: Ian Somerhalder. This was a hard one for me to choose, as most of the images I found for inspiration weren’t actors, and I couldn’t find their names. There are certain “looks” Ian pulls off that totally remind me of Asher Green, like the one below. Add his brilliant sentinel eyes, and… *sigh* Yeah, Ian could make a believable broody Asher.

asher

Theme Song: Strange and beautiful, Aqua Lung
Excerpt from the lyrics that totally makes this right for Asher:
I’ve been watching your world from afar,
I’ve been trying to be where you are,
And I’ve been secretly falling apart,
I’ll see.
To me, you’re strange and you’re beautiful,
You’d be so perfect with me but you just can’t see,
You turn every head but you don’t see me.

Addison:

Actress: Mila Kunis. This one was also hard, because the actress would have to be able to pull off Addison’s quirky voice, look the part, and also had to be strong when things heat up. Mila kept coming to mind because of her That Seventies Show days, and also her seriousness in The Book of Eli.

addison

Theme Song: Amy Winehouse — Some Unholy War. I’ve shared some lyrics that hit Addison at her heart and soul, and not just for Asher, but for everyone she loves:
If my man was fighting
Some unholy war
I would be behind him
Straight shook up beside him
With strength he didn’t know
It’s you I’m fighting for
He can’t lose with me in tow
I refuse to let him go
At his side and drunk on pride
We wait for the blow

Sophia:

Actress: Hilary Duff. This actress needs to be able to pull off meek and fierce, depending on her surroundings. She’s sweet through and through, and Hilary could totally pull off Sophia’s wild hair.

sophia

Theme Song: Firework, Katy Perry (There’s a spark in you / You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine) This is more relevant to Sophia in Midnight Dawn than Darkside Sun, but I won’t spoil it for those who will read it. ;)

Remy:

Actor: Jason Mamoa. I searched high and low for a good Remy, and his are hard shoes to fill. I watched videos and did research on Hawaiian warriors, which led me to Jason Mamoa and his many different looks. Shave his head, give half of his body tribal tattoos,and oh yeah. We had a winner.

remy

Theme Song: Go With The Flow, Queens Of The Stone Age. The title sums up Remy perfectly. He’s a gentle giant who moves at whatever speed life is travelling without complaint.

jocelynAbout Jocelyn:

Jocelyn is an office grunt by day and creator of romance and adventure by night. Born a farmer’s daughter with a vivid imagination, she spent her childhood dreaming up stories that remained untold until 2010.

With no formal training, she relied on the honest feedback of her writing group to take her from that first short story all the way to THE END of her first novel. She now has eight published novels and has recently signed a 3-book deal with Entangled Publishing.

When she isn’t slinging words, you can find her shooting her bow or enjoying the serenity of family life in her little house in the woods.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Blog | Facebook

What a good looking cast! Thank you so much Jocelyn for taking on that task–what a great look at what you might find in Darkside Sun!

Click on the banner for the 2014 Debut Authors tour schedule. The event runs the whole month of September! There’s going to be awesome posts and giveaways!

debut author

One Month’s End is Another Month’s Beginning: August/September 2014


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Hey everyone! So it’s the end of another month and the beginning of the next–already! What happened to August?

So I had all these grand plans on what was going to go up on the blog this month, but unfortunately life got in the way. August was a strange month for me. I went on two trips, back to back. One was for business and the other was a vacation. I started graduate school and all the stresses that that brings along. (In fact, I’m trying to write this post when I should be doing my homework! Ugh!)

We posted the following reviews in August:

And we posted the following non-reviews:

I felt like it wasn’t a successful reading month for me, but when I look at what my month’s reading goals were, I didn’t completely fail.

  • I finished Landline by Rainbow Rowell. Audiobooks definitely helped me achieve my goals this month.
  • I finished We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, again another audiobook. It was amazing!
  • I finished Captain Alatriste…just very slowly. It wasn’t really the story I was expecting.
  • And finally, I also finished Anna and the French Kiss. I liked it, but I don’t think I loved it as much as others do…oops!

That’s a total of 4 books for August. Considering I had set a goal of 8 books for the month, it’s not as impressive as it might have been otherwise. I still like setting my month’s reading goals though; you got to believe that I am always checking these posts throughout the month to figure out what I have next to read.

You might have noticed that while I have said I have finished those books above this month, that there are no reviews of them. For the first time in years, I have a backlog. I for some reason stopped reviewing books as soon as I finished them, so now I have such a backlog of books that I need to review that I don’t even know really where to begin. It’s quite daunting and I hate it because my reviews suffer the longer I have taken to write them.

So for September:

  • I have just started reading Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night, so that will have to be an August goal book that gets carried over into the September goals. I won it to review from…Librarything I think.
  • I still need to make sure I read and finish (and review) Lucky Us, a Netgalley book that I requested because it sounded interesting and I need to slowly chip away at my horrible approval ratio.
  • And someday, sometime, I will finally finish We’re All Infected: Essays on AMC’s The Walking Dead and the Fate of the Human. At this point, I don’t think it would really make a huge difference if I didn’t finish it…blah. I won it to review from Librarything.
  • The September book club book is Panopticon, but I don’t think I’m going to get around to reading it…but I’m still going to list it because that’s what a responsible book club member does.
  • Disunion sounds like it would be more of a book in Christina’s line of interest as it’s essays on the civil war, but it’s one of those books from BEA 2013 that I feel guilty for grabbing and not reading so I’m going to give it a try.
  • After attending a Cirque du Soleil show themed around a slightly twisted and whimsical circus and listening to vloggers discuss the Night Circus, I’ve decided that my random pick for the month will be Wonder Show.
  • And finally, another Netgalley book that I want to read and review to help my approval ratio: Salt & Storm.

While normally, I’d list a book that has been on my TBR the longest, the three at the top of that list are both in a series and require more commitment than I can offer right now. I also think that I have enough on my reading plate for the month without making myself feel too bad. Maybe once I’ve knocked out all my review books, I’ll select one of those series and do a nice readathon for them?

So I’ve listed 7 books for September…we’ll see how much grad school affects my reading!

What are you planning on reading this month? Do you have anything exciting happening?

pj - michelle