Friday, July 31, 2009

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, Book 1)
by Richelle Mead

Published: 2007
Genre: Fantasy, Vampires
Paperback: 336 pages
Rating: 5

Inspiration: Richelle's coming to town next month and I've been meaning to try this out because of all the positive YA blog reviews

Description from author's site:
St. Vladimir's Academy isn't just any boarding school–it's a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They've been on the run, but now they're being dragged back to St. Vladimir's–the very place where they're most in danger. Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy's ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi–the world's fiercest and most dangerous vampires–make Lissa one of them forever.

My thoughts:
In-a-word: bond

I'm caught! Hook, line and sinker. This is my third YA vampire series to try and I love it just as well as the other two I've read so far (Twilight and Evernight).

What I really enjoy is the spunky character (always love spunky gals), Rose, with her snarky remarks and warrior spirit. She's the ultimate tough girl heroine-in-training. She's looking to be a force to be reckoned with in the future books. I look forward to watching her grow.

Now the other main character, Lissa, is one to watch out for. She is a mystery.

This storyline has its own special vampire lore that is fascinating to learn.

Moroi = living vampires - this is Lissa
Strigoi = undead vampires - ??? you'll have to find out
Dhampir = guardians of Moroi - this is Rose

Who would have thought... living vampires?

Oh yeah, some flickers of romance and magic are thrown in here as well.

A good vampire treat - take a bite!

The Vampire Academy Series:
Vampire Academy
Frostbite
Shadow Kiss
Blood Promise (Release date: August 25, 2009)
Spirit Bound (Release date: April 2010)
Title To Be Announced (Release date: late 2010)

Richelle is on tour doing signings and appearances.
See if she'll be in your neck of the woods.
As for me, I hope to see her here:

Fairies & Vampires & Zombies OH MY!
Thursday, 08/27/2009 - 7:00pm
Not Your Mother's Book Club (NYMBC)
presentsRICHELLE MEAD, LILI ST. CROW, and LAINI TAYLOR

Books Inc. in Palo Alto
855 El Camino Real #74
Palo Alto, CA 94304

Author faq:

Who's on the covers of the Vampire Academy books?

Covers are designed by a book company's art department and are something I have little say about. Since everyone has different ideas about how characters look, the art department's ideas may not quite match the books' descriptions or your ideas. Or, the art department may not have even read the book.

Vampire Academy - Rose

Frostbite - The girl is Rose, and the guy is a mystery even to me. Without the red eyes, he'd be Christian. He's too young to be Isaiah.

Shadow Kiss - Lissa and Dimitri are on the old version; Rose is supposed to be on the new one.

Blood Promise - Rose

Fun fan stuff in the blogosphere:

FANMADE Movie Poster creation by TheatreBabyy-x

I think the actors are well cast for this pic.

Rose: Sophia Bush
Dimitri: Ben Barnes
Lissa: Teresa Palmer

- to date there has been no announcement about a movie being made






Polyvore creation by PEACE AND LOVE~










Zombie sighting:
page 171: I went through the rest of my classes like a zombie, and then I headed off to practice with Dimitri as fast as I could.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lips Touch Dress

If books were dresses...(a weekly post where I create fashionable wear with book cover art)

Lips Touch
by Laini Taylor

Release date: October 1, 2009

-first saw this on Presenting Lenore back in April and fell in love with the book cover artwork

Laini is going to be in the bay area at:


Fairies & Vampires & Zombies OH MY!
Thursday, 08/27/2009 - 7:00pm
Not Your Mother's Book Club (NYMBC) presents
RICHELLE MEAD, LILI ST. CROW, and LAINI TAYLOR
more info

Location:
Books Inc. in Palo Alto
855 El Camino Real #74
Palo Alto, CA 94304


Description from amazon.com:
Three tales of supernatural love, each pivoting on a kiss that is no mere kiss, but an action with profound consequences for the kissers' souls:

Goblin Fruit: In Victorian times, goblin men had only to offer young girls sumptuous fruits to tempt them to sell their souls. But what does it take to tempt today's savvy girls?

Spicy Little Curses: A demon and the ambassador to Hell tussle over the soul of a beautiful English girl in India. Matters become complicated when she falls in love and decides to test her curse.

Hatchling: Six days before Esme's fourteenth birthday, her left eye turns from brown to blue. She little suspects what the change heralds, but her small safe life begins to unravel at once. What does the beautiful, fanged man want with her, and how is her fate connected to a mysterious race of demons?

I want this book.

*source for silhouette

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Zombie Challenge


I'm throwing the gauntlet down...

To tie in with September Zombies week (Aug 29 to Sep 5, 2009) and the release of Never Slow Dance With A Zombie by E. Van Lowe which was bumped to August 18 from September 1:

I challenge you to show some zombie love.

Entries
: open to all countries

Deadline
: Saturday, September 5, 2009, 8pm PST

Prize
: Zombie Bag o'Goodies
-includes Never Slow Dance With A Zombie by E. Van Lowe
-btw: if you already have this book, you can pick one of the highlighted YA zombie books for this bag

Details
:
To accept this challenge you must:

1. Grab the zombie challenge picture above and create an acceptance post of this challenge on your site with a link back to this challenge. FYI: your acceptance post counts as an entry.

2. Post 2 zombie related posts during zombie week (Aug 29 to Sep 5, 2009).

Some ideas for your zombie posts:
-book review
-movie review
-list of links to your previous zombie-related posts (dated before Aug 1, 2009)
-pictures of zombies
-your thoughts on zombies
-interview a friend on their thoughts on zombies
-etc.

3. Post your links in the comments below so we can visit your zombie posts. Along with your link, include a brief title so we know what we're in for.

Sorry folks, Mr. Linky wasn't working for me, so feel free to enter your url in the comments below. I will then post them here as well for everyone to visit.

Extras points:

+1 post the challenge picture and link on your blog sidebar
+1 for pre-zombie week posts (during period Aug 1 to 28, 2009)
+1 for each entry after your initial 2 posts during zombie week (Aug 29 to Sep 5, 2009)

The participants:
(and their cool zombie-licious links)

Challenge acceptance:

1. Amelia
2. Zombie Girrrl
3. Heather and ready for zombie lovin!!
4. Colette
5. Nicole - let the brain- eating begin!
6. Cecelia Bedelia
7. titania86
8. Kristen
9. Dannie
10. Misty
11. Harry
12. Terra
13. Book Splot
14. Jordan
15. Elnice
16. Dahlia


Zombie Week pre-posts:

1. Zombie Girrrl - Zombies many uses
2. Zombie Girrrl - original zombie picture and explanation of my zombie infatuation.
3. Heather - Pride and Prejudice and Zombies review
4. Heather - Zombie Origins
5. Zombie Girrrl - Zombie art - emo zombie hunters
6. Colette - Night of the Living Dead review
7. Heather - Zombie Origins II
8. Nicole - Zombie Quiz
9. Zombie Girrrl - World War Z review
10. Zombie Girrrl - Zombie art - the kiss
11. Nicole - I'll Take A Spin on the Zombieland Ferris Wheel (Zombieland)
12. titania86 - Pride and Prejudice and Zombies review
13. titania86 - Plants vs. Zombies (zombie games)
14. Zombie Girrrl - Generation Dead review
15. titania86 - Breathers: A Zombie's Lament review
16. Nicole - Ode to Brains: A Zombie Haiku
17. Celia - zombie haiku (yes, they really are everywhere!)
18. titania86 - Pontypool Changes Everything
19. titiania86 - Pontypool movie review
20. titania86 - Walking Dead comic book series review
21. Zombie Girrrl - Breathers review
22. Terra - Forest of Hands and Teeth review
24. Book Splot - Zombies!!!
25. Book Splot - You Are So Undead To Me review
26. Book Splot - Zombie Blondes review
27. Kristen - Forest of Hands and Teeth review
28. Misty - Spotlight on: Zombies (Helluva Halloween)

Zombie week posts:
(August 29 to September 5, 2009)

1. titiania86 - Zombie Invasion at Comic Con
--check out the picture of the zombie impaled by an arm ;-D

2. Colette - John Carpenter's The Fog movie review

3. Celia - zombie-licious survey

4. Zombie Girrrl - Zombie Tunage (part 1)

5. Nicole - The Night I Met Zombie Spongebob

6. titania86 - Patient Zero review

7. titania86 - Zombie songs

8. Zombie Girrrl - Zombie Tunage (part 2)

9. Misty - Zombie Mayhem and Madness

10. Harry - High School of the Dead manga review

11. Harry - Zombie Gallery

12. Harry - Link Extravaganza - includes various comic book reviews

13. Heather - White Zombie review

14. Nicole - My Favorite Zombie song

15. titania86 - Quarantine movie review

16. titania86 - Resident Evil 4 game review

17. titania86 - Zombie Songs Part 2

18. titania86 - Dance of the Dead movie review

19. Harry - Marvel Zombies, Volume 4 review

20. Jordan - Oh the zombie things to come...

21. Jordan - The start of the zombies!! - zombie kittehs

22. Jordan - More Zombies!! - zombie kittehs

23. Jordan - Dawn of the Dead (1978) review

24. Jordan - My opinion on zombies!

25. Jordan - Dawn of the Dead (2004) review

26. Jordan - Zombie.... Weddings???

27. Zombie Girrrl - Zombie Tunage (part 3)

28. titania86 - Dead Snow review

29. titania86 - Zombie Songs Part 3

30. titania86 - Deadgirl and Zombie Feminism

31. Zombie Girrrl - Zombie Tunage part 4

32. Harry - Walking Dead review

33. Terra - Playing Dead

34. Terra - Dancing Dead

35. Terra - Zombie Squad

36. Kristen - Waiting on Wednesday - Dead Tossed Waves

37. Kristen - Zombie Book trailers - My Rotten Life, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Pride and
Prejudice and Zombies

38. Kristen - Zombie interview with Emma from Booking Through 365

39. Elnice - Get your zombie on!

40. Elnice - Tshirt giveaway announcement for You Are So Undead To Me

41. Dahlia - Wish List Wednesday - Zombie Queen of Newbury High

42. Heather - Zombie Haiku

43. Nicole - Pride and Prejudice and Zombies teasers

44. titania86 - Grace film review (zombie baby !!!)

45. titania86 - Fido film review

46. titania86 - Never Slow Dance with a Zombie

47. Celia - Never Slow Dance with a Zombie

48. Elnice - On My Wist List - World War Z

49. Harry - Zombie Week: Me & Zombie, Sitting in a Tree [don't gasp, I decapitate in the end]

50. Nicole - A Bit of Zombie Fic

51. titania86 - Michael Myers Then and Now

52. Zombie Girrrl - Zombie Tunage part 5

53. Harry - Zombie Chat with Thea

54. Misty - Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

55. titania86 - Zombie music part 4

56. titania86 - Planet Terror review

57. titania86 - Diary of the Dead review

58. Terra - Geek Survival Guide podcast

59. Zombie Girrrl - Zombie Tunage part 6

60. Nicole - Zombie fic continued

61. Nicole - Zombie fic concluded

62. Zombie Girrrl - Zombie Tunes - The P.L.A.N.

63. titania86 - The Zen of Zombie review

64. Book Splot - Zombie Queen of Newbury High review

65. Celia - zombie bites

66. Celia - Generation Dead review

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
Contest has ended - winner is here
~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

**** updated 9.6.09 ****

Waiting on Wednesday - 9

I'm waiting for...

Scones and Sensibility
by Lindsay Eland

Release date:  December 22, 2009

-because I'm curious of how it ties in with the Sense and Sensibility theme and I'm going to add it to my Everything Austen Challenge hosted by Stephanie's Written Word


Polly Madassa is convinced she was born for a more romantic time. A time when Elizabeth Bennet and Anne of Green Gables walked along the moors and beaches of the beautiful land, a time where a distinguished gentleman called upon a lady of quality and true love was born in the locked eyes of two young lovers.

But alas, she was not.

This, however, does not stop our young heroine from finding romance wherever she can conjure it up. So while Polly is burdened with a summer job of delivering baked goods from her parents bakery (how quaint!) to the people in her small beach town, she finds a way to force…um…encourage romance to blossom. She is determined to bring lovers, young and old, together…whether they want to be or not.


* Waiting on Wednesday
was created by Jill at Breaking the Spine

Monday, July 27, 2009

Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) movie

Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)
Director: Sharon Maguire

Based on book: Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
-Pride and Prejudice theme
Rating: 5

Inspiration: Everything Austen Challenge hosted by Stephanie's Written Word

Description from imdb:
Can a single woman over 30, who smokes too much, drinks too much, and has a tendency to say whatever comes into her mind, find her place in the world... and a man? Bridget Jones is an assistant at a London book publisher, feeling time pass her by. When Daniel Cleaver, her boss, starts flirting with her in a vulgar way, she plunges straight in. An affair ensues and she's head over heels. She also keeps running into Mark Darcy, a reserved even stiff barrister who has known her since she was a child young enough to frolic naked in his wading pool, seems to look down his nose at her, and hates Cleaver (truth is, Daniel may be a bit of a bounder).



Tagline: Health Warning: Adopting Bridget's lifestyle could seriously damage your health.

Lots of fun trivia from imdb:
-Renée Zellweger actually worked at a British publishing company for a month in preparation for the role. She adopted an alias as well as her posh accent and was apparently not recognized.

-Aside from bearing a resemblance to Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice", the film also features a number of veterans of Austen film adaptations. Writer Andrew Davies wrote the screenplay for "Pride and Prejudice" (1995), which starred Colin Firth and Crispin Bonham-Carter. Hugh Grant and Gemma Jones both appeared in Sense and Sensibility (1995). Embeth Davidtz can be seen in Mansfield Park (1999).

-When Helen Fielding wrote the novel "Bridget Jones's Diary", she based the character of Mark Darcy on Colin Firth's depiction of Mr. Darcy in "Pride and Prejudice" (1995). In addition to the inside-joke casting of Colin Firth as Mark Darcy, there are several other allusions to Jane Austen's story: Mark disparages Bridget to his mother within earshot of Bridget. In "Pride and Prejudice", Mr. Darcy disparages Elizabeth to his friend Mr. Bingley within earshot of Elizabeth. Daniel Cleaver lies to Bridget about a dispute between him and Mark, claiming Mark stole his fiancée; in fact, it was the other way around. In "Pride and Prejudice", it's a dispute between Mr. Wickham and Mr. Darcy, and Wickham lies about who's at fault. The Darcy in both stories fails to disabuse the heroine's misinformed notion until it's almost too late. Bridget works at Pemberley Press; Mr. Darcy lives at Pemberley estate. Crispin Bonham-Carter was in both productions (his scenes were cut out of the film, although he can still be seen in the job-quitting scene and can also be seen at the Kafka book launch where Bridget asks Salman Rushdie where the toilets are - he is seen as the man on the left in the conversation).

-Director Sharon Maguire was the real-life inspiration for the character of Shazza in the novel. A friend of Helen Fielding's, her name also appears on the acknowledgements page of the book.

-While preparing for the role of Bridget, Renée Zellweger worked in a London office. On her desk in this office she kept a framed picture of then boyfriend Jim Carrey. Other office workers, who did not recognize her, found this to be odd, but never mentioned it to her for fear of embarrassing her.

Awards: Nominated for Oscar. Another 8 wins & 29 nominations.

Wet moment: Cleaver accidentally falls into the pond while trying to go from his canoe onto Bridget's. He come up wet with a soggy cigarette in his mouth.

My favorite memorable quote:
Mark Darcy: All right Cleaver, outside.
Daniel Cleaver: [half laughing] I'm sorry? Outside? Should I bring my dueling pistols or my sword?

My favorite Bridget moment:














My thoughts:
In-a-word(s): jolly good
Re-watch: 2nd time

It made me laugh - Firehouse interview segment.

It made me swoon - The kiss at the end (of course).

And, Darcy cooks - what more can a woman want?

A very fun film to watch - just as enjoyable as the book it was adapted from. There are P&P tie-ins here and there but still its own story altogether about a singleton in modern times looking for love.

Hubby's rating: 4
His thoughts: Very entertaining. Renee was just right with her performance as Bridget - a "real" woman.

Harry Potter connections:

Gemma Jones - Bridget's Mom - Madame Pomfrey

Jim Broadbent - Bridget's Dad - Horace Slughorn

Shirley Henderson - Jude, Bridget's friend - Moaning Myrtle
-funny to see her first scene crying in a bathroom

Ray Donn - Journalist - Ministry of Magic's Panel Member

Campbell Graham - Hamish - Ministry Wizard

James Faulkner - Uncle - voice of Severus Snape
-on HP and the Half-Blood Prince video game

Battlestar Galactica connection:
(one of my all-time fave tv shows)

James Callis - Tom, Bridget's friend - Gaius Baltar

Chef! connection:
(another fave tv show - hilarious)

Claire Skinner - Magda, Bridget's friend - Lucinda
-also in Sense & Sensibility 2008 as Fanny Dashwood


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Tru Blood for Mere Mortals

Sookie alert:

If you are familiar with Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series or with the HBO True Blood TV show, then you know that Tru Blood is the drink of choice for vampires.

Well now, non-vampires can partake of a Tru Blood wannabe. According to the July 26, 2009 post on OMG! - A blood orange beverage, Tru Blood, will launch this fall.

It is said to be a "uniquely carbonated, slightly tart, lightly sweet" drink.

I'm not much of a soda drinker, so I won't be indulging in this concoction. Will you?


I love this poster of Bill for the True Blood season 2 promos.

To see posters of Sookie, Eric, Tara, Jason and Sam go here. There is also one other poster of a dark-haired woman that I did not recognize, maybe Pam? (please comment below and let me know) These posters are just as good as Bill's with the blood trickles on different parts of each person.

I don't get HBO so I won't see these episodes until they're on DVD. Meanwhile, I'm working my way through the season 1 eps.

Evernight by Claudia Gray

Evernight
by Claudia Gray

Published: 2008
Genre: Vampires
Hardback: 327 pages
Rating: 4

Inspiration: I wanted to learn more about this Gothic boarding school world.

Description from author's site:
When the story begins in Evernight, Bianca has just left the small town where she's spent her whole life. She's a new student at Evernight Academy, a creepily Gothic boarding school where her classmates are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in.

Then she meets Lucas, another loner, who seems fiercely determined not to be the "Evernight type." There's a connection between Bianca and Lucas that can't be denied. She would risk anything to be with him—but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart... and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed to be true.

My thoughts:
In-a-word: Mine

I enjoyed this vampire story that takes place in a boarding school - not your ordinary boarding school. There's a twist in that we get the perspective of a female vampire who is just coming into her own. So, we readers learn about Bianca's vampire world along with her.

At first I wondered if the love interest, Lucas, was glamoured or truly attracted to Bianca. Because vampires do have a way with seduction. But now, I think the relationship is more akin to Romeo and Juliet. It's their destiny to be together, but there are lots of obstacles to overcome - a couple major ones being that Lucas is human and not your regular cutie pie of a boyfriend.

Yup, Bianca and Lucas have made it onto my Fave YA couples list.

Series:
Evernight
Stargazer
Hourglass (Release date: March 9, 2010)
Afterlife (Release date: 2011?)


The Kiss
by Gustav Klimt

This painting is mentioned a lot in the book and I just had to post it here as it is a lovely one.







Lots of fun stuff on Claudia's site:

in Claudia's FAQs:

Q: Why vampires?

A: Why not vampires?
I would say that I've always been interested in vampires, werewolves, ghosts and pretty much anything that should exist (if far from me) but doesn't. I used to check books of folklore out of the library and read for hours. Then there was Anne Rice, then there was Buffy, then there was Moonlight—basically, if it had vampires in it, particularly if it wasn't flat-out horror, I wanted to check it out. Then, a couple of years ago, the idea for the Evernight series came to me, and I thought I would give it a try.

Claudia's soundtrack picks for Evernight are here.



and you can get Evernight postage stamps here!






And for Jane Austen fans:

You'll be interested to know that Claudia says that the Evernight main character, Bianca, enjoys visiting The Republic of Pemberley website.

Also, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is mentioned (page 166) during a class lecture. They were analyzing the character and motives of Charlotte Lucas.


Club Dead Giveaway - Winner

Thanks to all contestants! (original giveaway offer)

The Sookie Stackhouse series is such fun! If you haven't already, come join in the Sookie Stackhouse Reading Challenge hosted by Beth Fish Reads.



and the winner of the Club Dead giveaway is...

( drrrrrrrrrrummmmrolllllllllllllll )

Fiona


whose favorite Elvis song is Blue Suede Shoes


I shall be emailing you for your snail mail. If you don't receive it, please feel free to send your info to me vvb32@yahoo.com -- enjoy the read!

Please note: The winner was selected by name out of the nose mug.

The book giveaway prize:



You can read my review here.












Giveaway results
:

Wikipedia has a list of over 800 songs that Elvis Presley has been known to have recorded and/or performed between 1953 to 1977 - whew!

Favorite Elvis songs mentioned per entries:

All Shook Up

Blue Suede Shoes

Suspicious Minds

and mine is: Heartbreak Hotel

and if you haven't already said, what is your favorite Elvis song?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cupcake Queen Dress

If books were dresses...

(a weekly post where I create fashionable wear with book cover art)

The Cupcake Queen
by Heather Hepler

Release date: September 17, 2009

- I was inspired to do this one after reading Carrie's YA Bookshelf WoW post this week. It also reminds me of Chocolat by Joanne Harris which I really enjoyed - the movie was just as good.


Description from amazon.com:
A confection of a novel, combining big city sophistication with small town charm.When her mother moves them from the city to a small town to open up a cupcake bakery, Penny’s life isn’t what she expected. Her father has stayed behind, and Mom isn’t talking about what the future holds for their family. And then there’s Charity, the girl who plays mean pranks almost daily. There are also bright spots in Hog’s Hollow—like Tally, an expert in Rock Paper Scissors, and Marcus, the boy who is always running on the beach. But just when it looks as though Penny is settling in, her parents ask her to make a choice that will turn everything upside down again. A sweet novel about love, creativity, and accepting life’s unexpected turns.

I want this book.

My favorite cupcakes are any with chocolate. yummm. How about you?

*source for silhouette

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday - 8

I'm waiting for...

I Kissed A Zombie, And I Liked It
by Adam Selzer

Release Date: January 26, 2010

- because I saw this at YA Book Releases last week. I was going to wait until September Zombies Week to mention this upcoming release but was too excited. Every time I see the title I can't help but sing the I Kissed A Girl song by Katy Perry - don't think cherry chapstick would help with zombie kisses though.

Description from publisher's site:
Algonquin “Ali” Rhodes, the high school newspaper’s music critic, meets an intriguing singer, Doug, while reviewing a gig. He’s a weird-looking guy—goth, but he seems sincere about it, like maybe he was into it back before it was cool. She introduces herself after the set, asking if he lives in Cornersville, and he replies, in his slow, quiet murmur, “Well, I don’t really live there, exactly. . . .”

When Ali and Doug start dating, Ali is falling so hard she doesn’t notice a few odd signs: he never changes clothes, his head is a funny shape, and he says practically nothing out loud. Finally Marie, the school paper’s fashion editor, points out the obvious: Doug isn’t just a really sincere goth. He’s a zombie. Horrified that her feelings could have allowed her to overlook such a flaw, Ali breaks up with Doug, but learns that zombies are awfully hard to get rid of—at the same time she learns that vampires, a group as tightly-knit as the mafia, don’t think much of music critics who make fun of vampires in reviews. . . .

Zombie alert:


Zombie walk: July 23, 2009

This year's attendees of the San Diego Comic Con are being treated to previews of the upcoming movie Zombieland which is going to be released in October. Attendees and anyone interested can join the walk. The really neat thing is that the attendees can go to the Sony Pictures booth at the comic con and get zombiefied by professional makeup artists for the event for free.

*sigh* wish I were at the con this year.




* Waiting on Wednesday

was created by Jill at Breaking the Spine

Monday, July 20, 2009

Club Dead by Charlaine Harris bk3

Club Dead
by Charlaine Harris

Published: 2003
Genre: Horror Mystery, Vampires
Warning: not a YA book
Paperback: 292 pages
Rating: 4

Inspiration: Sookie Stackhouse Reading Challenge hosted by Beth Fish Reads


Description from the book:
Sookie Stackhouse is having man trouble. Her vampire boyfriend, Bill, has been distant and inattentive lately. Then he announces that he is going on a business trip, which clearly is more than it seems. After a werewolf tries to abduct Sookie at work, Bill's boss, Eric, tells her that Bill fell under the sway of his--Bill's, that is--ex, a sexy vamp named Lorena, and has been kidnapped. Eric wants Sookie's help in getting Bill back, and despite her hurt over Bill's betrayal, Sookie agrees to go to Jackson, Mississippi, to find her wayward lover. Eric has persuaded Alcide, a dashing werewolf, to get Sookie access to Josephine's, aka Club Dead, the local hangout of Jackson's supernatural element. In between dodging kidnappers, the advances of amorous Eric, and her growing feelings for Alcide, Sookie has to find out who kidnapped Bill and figure out a way to rescue him.

My thoughts:
In-a-word: Danger

A big LOL for the ending of this book. I enjoyed this continuation of the series. Although there is more uncertainty with the relationship between Sookie and Bill. I guess they've got to go through the growing pains that all relationships go through. Eric and Alcide provide entertaining distractions for Sookie.

I liked learning more about werewolves and shapeshifters.

Unfortunately, Sookie's mortal-ness comes to the forefront. She realizes that to be a part of the vampire/paranormal world she puts herself in danger that could lead to her death. So, Sookie says no more. But, I think not because there are more books in this series!

Favorite Sookie-isms:
I was almost packed, and I'd put in a couple of romances and a mystery in case I got a little time to read. I am self-educated from genre books. (page 55)

Vampires seem, as a whole, to be extremely tolerant of any sexual preference; I guess there aren't that many taboos when you've been alive a few hundred years. (page 182)

Southern Vampire Mysteries Series:
Dead Until Dark
Living Dead in Dallas
Club Dead
Dead to the World
Dead as a Doornail
Definitely Dead
All Together Dead
From Dead to Worse
Dead and Gone

Other cover versions:


Ah yes, gotta have the True Blood tie-in.













This German cover is interesting.












For upcoming September re-release.







+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Do you need this book?
I have an extra copy for a lucky someone who comments below and answers me this:

What is your favorite Elvis song?

Entries: open to all countries

Deadline: Saturday, July 25, 2009, Midnight PST

Prize: Club Dead by Charlaine Harris

Winner announced: Sunday, July 26, 2009
The winner will also be contacted via email and the prize will be mailed within a week of receiving mailing address.
~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
Giveaway has ended - winner is here
~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Jane Austen Book Club (2007) movie

The Jane Austen Book Club (2007)
Director: Robin Swicord

Based on book:
The Jane Austen Book Club
by Karen Joy Fowler
Rating: 5

Inspiration: Everything Austen Challenge hosted by Stephanie's Written Word

Description from imdb:
Explores Austen's adage that general incivility is at love's essence. Sylvia's husband dumps her for another woman, so Bernadette and Jocelyn organize a book club to distract her. They recruit Sylvia's daughter Allegra; Prudie, a young teacher whose marriage may be on the rocks; and Grigg, a sci-fi fan who joins out of attraction to Jocelyn. The six read and discuss one Austen novel per month. Jocelyn tries to interest Grigg in Sylvia; Allegra falls in love with a woman she meets skydiving; Prudie contemplates an affair with a student; Sylvia's ex keeps popping up. In the discussions, characters reveal themselves in their comments.

Tagline: You don't have to know the books to be in the club.

Awards: 2 nominations from Casting Society of America, USA and Glaad Media Awards

Trivia: Order of books read in the film
February: Emma
March: Mansfield Park
April: Northanger Abbey
May: Pride & Prejudice
June: Sense & Sensibility
July: Persuasion

Wet moment: Allegra's girlfriend, Corinne, is in a bubble bath.

Memorable quote (for me):
Dean Drummond: Baby, high school's over.
Prudie Drummond: High school's never over.

My thoughts:
In-a-word(s): What would Jane Austen do? -from the blinking street light
I'm of the camp that really liked this movie. Heck, I'm going to watch it again. But first I would recommend that it would be more enjoyable for those who have read the Austen works or at least are familiar with the storylines. I knew most of the stories except for Mansfield Park so could relate the characters in the movie with the Austen books.

On the other hand, my hubby (who has not yet read an Austen) liked the movie as well.

The cast was great. Jimmy Smits plays a good Darcy prototype and Hugh Dancy does a good Mr. Knightley prototype.

At the start of each month's selection it was fun to see the different club members with different book editions and covers. Each of the characters are spotlighted with their individual struggles and growth. Except for Allegra. I didn't really see her change. So, if you watch this let me know what you think.

This movie has lit a spark into me to finally sit down and pick up an actual Austen book. I'm starting Mansfield Park!

And if I have time, I may sit down to read the book that this movie was based on.

Hubby's rating: 3.5
His thoughts: Enjoyable and in keeping with Austen endings.

Other DVD cover versions:


The heart in the book is cute and the pink one screams chick flick.











The pink in this cover is so girly. I like it.



Friday, July 17, 2009

Jane Bites Back

So, I went home last night and my mail included the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly. I immediately went to the Books segment - my fave and found a blurb about yet another, yes another, another Austen paranormal-related book!

Jane Bites Back
by Michael Thomas Ford

Release date: December 29, 2009

Although it is for sale at amazon.com there is no cover image and description available, yet.

Description from Publisher's Weekly:
The novel presents an undead Jane Austen, frustrated by nearly 200 years of writer's block and 116 rejections of an unpublished novel she finished just before turning into a vampire; she's becoming increasingly irritated that the rest of the world seems to be getting rich and famous off of her works and her life.

My thoughts:
What a hoooooooooooot!
So, our sweet Jane could be undead and un-living among us?!?
She could even be writing some the off-shoot Austen books we've been reading under a pseudonym!?!

I want this book.

OK, I'm game. I've got Austen fever. I'll do another giveaway.

If you'd like a copy of this book answer me this in the comments below:

To avoid sightings, Jane (as vampire) most likely moved from England to live in obscurity.

Where do you think Jane is living in the present day?

Entries: open to all countries

Deadline: Monday, December 28, 2009, 8pm PST December 31, 2009

Prize: Jane Bites Back
by Michael Thomas Ford

Winner announced: Tuesday, December 29, 2009
The winner will also be contacted via email and the prize will be mailed within a week of receiving mailing address.

This is definitely the year of Jane Austen. Thanks to the Everything Austen Challenge hosted by Stephanie's Written Word for sharing the Austen love.




~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Contest has ended - winner is here

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

Reading the latest newsletter from Jane Austen Centre UK, I came across this latest Austen inspired book.

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters
by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters

Release date: September 15, 2009

Description from the publisher:
Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters expands the original text of the beloved Jane Austen novel with all-new scenes of giant lobsters, rampaging octopi, two-headed sea serpents, and other biological monstrosities. As our story opens, the Dashwood sisters are evicted from their childhood home and sent to live on a mysterious island full of savage creatures and dark secrets. While sensible Elinor falls in love with Edward Ferrars, her romantic sister Marianne is courted by both the handsome Willoughby and the hideous man-monster Colonel Brandon. Can the Dashwood sisters triumph over meddlesome matriarchs and unscrupulous rogues to find true love? Or will they fall prey to the tentacles that are forever snapping at their heels? This masterful portrait of Regency England blends Jane Austen’s biting social commentary with ultraviolent depictions of sea monsters biting. It’s survival of the fittest-and only the swiftest swimmers will find true love!

Gotta love it!

I want this book. If you do too, answer me this in the comments below and a lucky winner will be selected at random to get an extra copy I purchase:

What is your favorite sea creature?

Entries: open to all countries

Deadline: Monday, September 14, 2009, 8pm PST

Prize: Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters
by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters

Winner announced: Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The winner will also be contacted via email and the prize will be mailed within a week of receiving mailing address.

And for a laugh, the book trailer (not for the faint of heart):




After watching this trailer I would love to see this story as a movie instead of read it. I love the campiness of it and the actors play a pretty good Marianne and Willoughby.
~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
Contest has ended - winner is here
~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
******* updated 9.15.09 *******

Hush Hush Dress

If books were dresses...
(a weekly post where I create fashionable wear with book cover art)

Hush, Hush
by Becca Fitzpatrick

Release date: October 13, 2009

Just couldn't find myself able to tweak this one too much because I like the image so much.





Description from amazon.com:
For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along.With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

I want this book.

*source for silhouette

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Death by Bikini by Linda Gerber

Death by Bikini
by Linda Gerber

Published:  2008
Genre:  Mystery
Paperback:  225 pages
Rating:  5

Inspiration:  hype for 3rd in series Death by Denim, released May 2009

Description from the book:
Aphra Behn Connolly has the type of life most teenage girls envy. She lives on a remote tropical island and spends most of her time eavesdropping on the rich and famous. The problem is that her family's resort allows few opportunities for her to make friends - much less to meet cute boys. So when a smoldering Seth Mulo arrives with his parents, she's immediately drawn to him. Sure, he's a little bit guarded, and sure his parents are rather cold, and okay he won't say a word about his past, but their chemistry is undeniable. Then a famous rock star's girlfriend turns up dead on the beach - strangled by her own bikini top - and alarm bells sound. Is it too great a coincidence that Seth's family turned up just one day before a murder? As the plot thickens, Aphra finds that danger lurks behind even the most unexpected of faces... 

From inside book cover (behind the cute bikini cutout):
Bikini
1.  Sexiest of all bathing suits
2.  Sure-fire method for attracting teenage boys
3.  Best way to show off toned abs
4.  Quickest way to end up dead on the beach...

My thoughts:
In-a-word(s):  Pepper Spray
Nothing like a story set on a tropical island setting to help get into the Summertime mood. Oh, how I would like to sit under a shady cabana on a beach with a cool drink and book in hand in front of a sparkling ocean. But, I digress. But, wait. This is exactly why I like this book. It takes you into vacation mode whether or not you're on vacation.

I enjoyed the first book of this series. In this book we watch the makings of a young female sleuth - an origin story of sorts. And, sparks of love, too.

When the main character, Aphra Behn, mentions that she is named after the first female writer I went over to Wikipedia to find out a little more about Aphra.

Aphra Behn (July 10, 1640–April 16, 1689) was a prolific dramatist of the Restoration and was one of the first English professional female writers. Her writing participated in the amatory fiction genre of British literature.

and

Behn worked for Charles II as a spy during the outset of the Second Dutch War, working to solicit a double agent. However, Charles either failed to pay her for her services or failed to pay her all that he owed her, and Behn, upon returning to England, needed money. She was widowed and destitute and even spent some time in debtor's prison before scoring a number of successes as an author.

Cool, eh?  Aphra was a spy. hmmmm.

Series:
Death by Latte
Death by Denim


Waiting on Wednesday - 7

I'm waiting for...

Mr Darcy, Vampyre
by Amanda Grange

Release date: August 1, 2009

-because the glamour of the Darcy calls...

Now, this necklace is my kind of bling!





I absolutely love this U.K. cover!

Even as a vampire, Darcy is appealing.

Vampire-licious treat here:
Amanda Grange who is also the author of Mr. Darcy's Diary, Captain Wentworth's Diary, Mr Knightley's Diary, Edmund Bertram's Diary, and Colonel Brandon's Diary is holding a giveaway of Mr. Darcy, Vampyre at her site! Offer ends: August 1, 2009.


Another treat here:
Debbie's giveaway - offer ends: July 24, 2009
(thanks to Adventures of Cecelia Bedelia for the tip)


* Waiting on Wednesday
was created by Jill at Breaking the Spine

*got it. my review.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Emma (1996) movie

Emma (1996)
Director: Douglas McGrath

Based on book: Emma by Jane Austen
Rating: 5

Inspiration: Everything Austen Challenge hosted by Stephanie's Written Word

Description from imdb:
Based on the Jane Austen novel, "Emma" tells the story of a young woman in England who plays her town's matchmaker. When attempting to match up her friend with the Reverend Elton, Emma starts to run into complications, which multiply amongst themselves with cases of mistaken intentions of love, a cast of supporting characters who each love someone else, but Emma doesn't know who loves who, and Emma finally realizing the one person she truly loves.

Tagline: Cupid is armed and dangerous!

Trivia:
Mrs. Bates and Miss Bates, mother and daughter in the film, are played by real-life mother and daughter Phyllida Law and Sophie Thompson (who are also real-life mother and sister to Academy-Award-winning actress and screenwriter Emma Thompson).

Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations - details here
The Oscar was for Best Music, Original Musical or Comedy Score to Rachel Portman. I gotta track down this CD!

Wet moment:
Sorta - Frank Churchill is on horseback crossing a river when he first meets Emma. Maybe his legs get a little splashed on.

Side note: Ewan McGregor is my all-time favorite actor! *sigh*


Read about Ewan's thoughts on this men's fragrance which was released February 2008.







And, Mr. Knightly gets wet, but we don't get to see it.
I rode through the rain! I'd - I'd ride through worse than that if I could just hear your voice telling me that I might, at least, have some chance to win you. - Mr. Knightley

My thoughts:
In-a-word: Matchmaker, sch-matchmaker
Re-watch: 2nd time

Definitely a more fun and light Jane Austen story. I love how the heroine is somewhat independent and set out to do "good works". Emma's growth and emergence from cluelessness is entertaining to watch.

Gwyneth is a great Emma. Very cute character for her. And the rest of the cast are fitting as well. Although, this is the only version I've seen. Don't know if I want to see any other - could be because my fave actor, Ewan McGregor, is in this version as Frank Churchill - and he sings in it!

Hubby's rating: 4
His thoughts: Entertaining

Monday, July 13, 2009

Darcy's Hunger by Regina Jeffers

Huh?   Yup, another Darcy vampire!

Austen fans, I just spotted this on amazon.com:

Darcy's Hunger: 
A Vampire Retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice 

Release date:  December 1, 2009


No details on amazon, but I did find a great preview on Austenprose!

Oh yeah, I'm adding it to my Everything Austen Challenge.

Cute Zombies


Zombies cute?????? 
Who woulda thunkkk?

Head over to Adventures of Cecelia Bedelia to win a copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith with a bookmark tucked into it that resembles this cute zombie.
Offer ends:  July 26, 2009



After you read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (by September 5, 2009), make sure to head over here to post your review which will enter you for a chance to win a Zombie Bag o' Goodies. mmmmm
Offer ends:  September 5, 2009


Ginny who is Cecelia's sister made this super cute zombie card and she can make any custom-made card you can dream up if you enter her Custom-Made Card contest here.
Offer ends:  July 17, 2009

The Dashwood Sisters' Secrets of Love by Rosie Rushton

The Dashwood Sisters' Secrets of Love
by Rosie Rushton

Published: 2005
Genre: Romance
Paperback: 325 pages
Rating: 3

Inspiration: Everything Austen Challenge hosted by Stephanie's Written Word

Description from amazon.com:
Ellie, Abby, and Georgie Dashwood dislike their father's new wife and the effect she is having on him. When he dies suddenly, the girls and their mother learn that Mr. Dashwood left enormous debts and no inheritance, and the sting is even greater because he changed his will to leave the family's ancestral home to the new Mrs. Dashwood. The girls must leave their private school near London and the only home they've known and move to a small cottage in the country. The sisters and their mother cope with their reduced circumstances in different ways. Ellie, the oldest, is the practical one who worries about everything but finds love. Abby, the drama-queen middle child, falls in love with the rich bad boy and ends up hurt, and Georgie, the youngest, is the tomboy who doesn't realize the effect she has on a local boy. The girls' mother just does a lot of hand-wringing. If the plot seems familiar, it should because the novel is presented as an "homage" to Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. The author does a decent job of modernizing the tale, but the writing lacks Austen's subtlety and reads more like a movie script. In addition, the story is predictable, and the characters are all fairly static. However, the novel is enjoyable in the way that "beach books" are, and it will appeal to teens looking for something light and entertaining.

My thoughts:
In-a-word: Razzle
I found this is a light read that follows the S&S theme nicely. I like how the youngest daughter has more of a role in this story (in the romantic sense) than in the original S&S. Also, her love for extreme sports introduced me to Zorb globe riding. What a concept! I hadn't heard of this previously. It's like the hamsters rolling around in their balls except the zorbs are for humans.

Lots of growth and love for all three gals.

Favorite secret:
Secret No. 4 - Very few things are worth taking a risk for --
love, family, and the prospect of a first kiss (page 51)

+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
Like S&S giveaway:

Ooh, sweet. I'm getting some nice comments and I haven't even posted this link on the Everything Austen Mr. Linky yet. Okaaaaaay. Since there's such interest in this book, I'm willing to part with my copy and give it away. 

People who have already commented are automatically entered for this giveaway.

If you're interested in winning this book, you must answer me this:

Which Dashwood sister would you want to befriend?

Ellie - geek spice
Abby - posh spice 
Georgie - sporty spice

Entries:  open to all countries

Deadline:   Friday, July 31, 2009, Midnight PST

Prize:  The Dashwood Sisters' Secrets of Love by Rosie Rushton

Winner announced:  Sunday, August 2, 2009
The winner will also be contacted via email and the prize will be mailed within a week of receiving mailing address.

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
Giveaway has ended - winner is here
~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

*** updated 8.1.09 ***


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Assiniboin Girl by Kathi Wallace

Assiniboin Girl
by Kathi Wallace

Published: 2009
Genre: Historical Mystery, Supernatural
e-book: 115 pages (if printed)
Rating: 3
Available at: Drollerie Press

Inspiration: first e-book requested review

Description from publisher's site:
Mary Two Dogs is lost. She grew up in New York the only child of musician parents, but when they die in a car accident coming back from a gig, she’s shipped off to live with her Aunt Janet in Georgia. The South is a strange new world to her, and she becomes the target of racist attacks from some of the other girls. Her Aunt Janet, an undercover FBI agent can’t move, but to keep Mary safe, she sends her to the Assiniboin reservation in Montana.

There Mary has to learn to deal with a whole new world, a completely different set of expectations. Pitied for her lack of understanding of her people, she must learn what it means to be Assiniboin and who she is. To do that, she must find her true name.

My thoughts:
In-a-word(s): True name
Although this is an e-book, I ended up printing out a copy to read. The title of the book didn't really grab me. But it sure did my Hubby who ended up reading this as well.

I liked the story alright but felt it was more MG than YA reading material. I found this a light read that touched upon serious issues like racism, murder and death. It was interesting to read about Mary's Sioux reservation experiences.

Amusing quote:
My mother always tells me to watch my mouth. It runs like a chicken after grubs. -Sue

Hubby's rating: 3.5
Hubby's thoughts: Entertaining. He liked the Native American aspect.

Book trailer:




I like the silhouettes in the the sunset.

******* updated: 7.6.09 *******

Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris bk2

Living Dead in Dallas
by Charlaine Harris

Published: 2002
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Vampires
Warning: not a YA book
Paperback: 291 pages

Inspiration: Sookie Stackhouse Reading Challenge hosted by Beth Fish Reads

Description from the book:
Cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse is on a streak of bad luck. First, her coworker is murdered and no one seems to care. Then she's face-to-face with a beastly creature that gives her a painful and poisonous lashing. Enter the vampires, who graciously suck the poison from her veins (like they didn't enjoy it).

Point is, they saved her life. So when one of the blood-suckers asks fro a favor, she complies. And soon, Sookie's in Dallas using her telepathic skills to search for a missing vampire. She's supposed to interview certain humans involved. There's just one condition: The vampires must promise to behave--and let the humans go unharmed. Easier said than done. All it takes is one delicious blonde and one small mistake for things to turn deadly...

My thoughts:
In-a-word: Maenad

This book was just as fun as the first. Sookie got to learn about new creatures and met more vampires. I'm glad she is starting to harness her "powers" for the good.

I wasn't too crazy on how the relationship between Sookie and Bill was moving. It will be interesting to see how their relationship develops in the coming books. I do hope they are soulmates.

Southern Vampire Mysteries Series:
Dead Until Dark
Living Dead in Dallas
Club Dead
Dead to the World
Dead as a Doornail
Definitely Dead
All Together Dead
From Dead to Worse
Dead and Gone

Other covers:


True Blood show tie-in













Has the True Blood feel to it.













Upcoming re-release