March/April 2014 Reading Retellings Wrap-Up

2014 Reading Retellings Challenge

It’s May! I’m sorry for the delay on this one, and also for missing the March wrap-up. I do help you’ll forgive my negligence, but I’ve been forced to take a rather long (oh, who am I kidding, it’s been four freaking months) hiatus from TNN. I do, however, have some very good news: I’ve actually got some retellings under my belt at long last. In the past week or so, I’ve read the first three books of The Lunar Chronicles (did anyone else cry actual, legitimate tears upon reaching the end of Cress and realizing that Winter won’t be out for another year?), and asfjklsjdf;akjsdf I freaking love this series. I’ll be reviewing Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress individually when I get the chance, but in the meantime, tell me what retellings you’ve been reading in the comments below! Good luck for May!

Love, Sam

February 2014 Reading Retellings Challenge Wrap-Up

2014 Reading Retellings Challenge

Good morning! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful February; I can’t believe it’s already over! Time seems like it’s been flying lately, and I’ve (once again) failed to read any retellings. Instead, I’ve been lost in a 600-page biography of Tsar Nicholas II and his family (Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie if you’re interested). I also have not had time to do anything blog-related other than the book tours I signed up for earlier in the year, so hopefully in March I can come back from my much-too-long hiatus and rejoin the fun.

In other news, we got EIGHT INCHES OF SNOW AND NO THAT WAS NOT A TYPO. It was so beautiful and I was so sorry to see it go. I’m honestly not looking forward to spring, especially not where I live as it’s terribly humid and muggy during the warmer months.

Anyway, I hope you’ve been more successful in your reading endeavors than I have. Link up your retelling reviews in the comments, and good luck for March!

The Sunday Post #1

The Sunday Post
The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received, and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

 “Cat, this is Finn. He’s going to be your tutor.”

Finn looks and acts human, though he has no desire to be. He was programmed to assist his owners, and performs his duties to perfection. A billion-dollar construct, his primary task is now to tutor Cat. As she grows into a beautiful young woman, Finn is her guardian, her constant companion…and more. But when the government grants rights to the ever-increasing robot population, however, Finn struggles to find his place in the world, and in Cat’s heart.

Read my full review of The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke here.

Top Ten Tuesday #2: Come see my Top Ten Books to Read for Halloween!
In this post, I offered up three questions that I personally think are really important to think about when you’re working on a novel no matter where you are in the process. These questions can also be applied to short stories, poems, screenplays, etc.
You can find that post here.
I’m participating in Netgalley November! This month I’m going to do my best to get my Netgalley feedback to 80% and get those ARCs read and reviewed. Find the announcement here.
Stacking the Shelves #3: A post sharing the books I bought, borrowed, and received last week.
Review: Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff that Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams
Can a spot on a teen reality show really lead to a scholarship at an elite cooking school AND a summer romance?
Sixteen-year-old Sophie Nicolaides was practically raised in the kitchen of her family’s Italian-Greek restaurant, Taverna Ristorante. When her best friend, Alex, tries to convince her to audition for a new reality show, Teen Test Kitchen, Sophie is reluctant. But the prize includes a full scholarship to one of America’s finest culinary schools and a summer in Napa, California, not to mention fame. 
Once on-set, Sophie immediately finds herself in the thick of the drama—including a secret burn book, cutthroat celebrity judges, and a very cute French chef. Sophie must figure out a way to survive all the heat and still stay true to herself. A terrific YA offering–fresh, fun, and sprinkled with romance.
Check out my review of Kathryn Williams’s YA novel Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff that Made Me Famous, coming this Tuesday!
ARC Review: Damselfly by Jennie Bates Bozic
In 2065, the Lilliput Project created Lina – the first six-inch-tall winged girl – as the solution to a worldwide energy and food crisis. Isolated in a compound amidst the forests of Denmark, Lina has grown up aware of only one purpose: learn how to survive in a world filled with hawks, bumblebees, and loneliness. However, on the eve of her sixteenth birthday, she discovers that she’s not the only teenager her size. Six ‘Toms’ were created shortly after Lina, and now her creators need to prove to the world that tiny people are the next logical step in human evolution. In other words, they need to prove that reproduction is possible.
Um. No thanks. Lina’s already fallen in love with a boy she met online named Jack. Only he has no idea that thumbelina1847 could literally fit inside his heart…more
Check out my review of Jennie Bates Bozic’s YA novel Damselfly, coming this Thursday!
Stacking the Shelves #4: A post sharing the books I buy, borrow, and receive this week.
What I’m Reading
The wall between our world and that of vengeful spirits has protected humanity for more than 400 years. It’s about to come crashing down.
Ellie Lancaster has lived her whole life by the site of the mysterious Lost Colony of Roanoke, the Virginia settlement that vanished without a trace around 1590. Only the descendants of the two men who banished the spirits of an enemy tribe from the material realm know what really happened to the colony. Ellie is one of those descendants—a Curse Keeper. Her father took pains to teach her what he knew of the curse and the responsibilities of its guardians. He taught her that if the two Curse Keepers ever meet, the curse will be lifted, the gate will open, and the raging Native American spirits will be unleashed to seek their revenge…more
My review should be up on Monday, November 18!
Dear Anthony:
I appreciate your recent interest, but I’m not accepting applications at this time. Your letter will be kept in our files and someone will get back to you if there is an opening. Thank you for thinking of me.
Respectfully,
Alejandra Perez
P.S. It’s not Allie. It’s Alé.


Meet T.C., who is valiantly attempting to get Alejandra to fall in love with him; Aléjandra, who is playing hard to get and is busy trying to sashay out from under the responsibilities of being a diplomat’s daughter; and T.C.’s brother Augie, who is gay and in love and everyone knows it but him.

Review coming soon!
My Bookcase’s Heroic Journey:
So originally I kept my bookcase in the guest room because there wasn’t enough room in my bedroom for it, but over the weekend my mom and I moved some furniture and did some math and now I have a 6-foot bookcase in all its glory within my cave. I also did a bit of a reaping session and gathered about 60 books that I didn’t want and 50 or so more that I wanted to store at a family member’s house, which left me with…well, not much wiggle room, but a teensy bit. I’m really excited because having shelves and shelves of books mere feet away from my bed leaves me no excuse not to read.
Have I mentioned my obsession with Reign? Because seriously, I AM OBSESSED. It’s like all my actor babies joined the same Club Awesome and said “Let’s make Sam fangirl” and boom, a TV show was born.
My favorite season is here!!!
I’ll be going to Philadelphia next week, which I’m super excited about because a) I’ve never been, b) Philadelphia is one of America’s most historic cities and I’m going to be having all kinds of nerdgasms, and c) I’ll get like 6 hours of flight time, aka reading time.

That’s all for now! I hope you had a great week, and I’d love to know what you’re up to this week, so let me know in the comments! See you on Tuesday!

Guess Who’s A Quarter Finalist!!!

So about a month ago I entered this contest thingy on MyFamilyTravels.com for a scholarship in which I basically wrote a short piece on my long weekend in Cambridge this past May. The focus of the contest was on writing about a place where you feel at home, a place that you love and connect with, which Cambridge certainly fit into. So Saturday night it struck me that they might have made some progress in judging the entries (and there were literally THOUSANDS of entries), so I took a peek into my Spam folder just in case it happened to get shuffled away without my knowing, and sure enough, there was an email. I am officially a Quarter Finalist (top 14%) in the contest!

What does that mean, you ask?

I’ve actually got no bloody clue.

think I’m still in the running to win the actual scholarship, as they apparently haven’t picked the winners just yet, but I’m not sure.

Anyway, I thought, as a sort-of blog post, I might offer up a link to my entry. Cambridge was absolutely lovely and I’m glad I actually got the chance to write about it AND potentially be given cash for doing so. (Always a bonus.)

Happy Tuesday!

At the Moment…

I started school today. God, it was a bloody mess. My schedule is mixed up, I got terrible teachers, my counselor was NOT very pleasant, and everything was rather confusing. Not the best way to start out senior year if you ask me. But there are bright bits. I get to sing in the advanced choir, which I really missed. I have an awesome AP Literature class with cool people and a wonderful teacher. It works out so I see most of my friends at least once a day. And there was frozen yogurt and a summer social for our county’s Democratic Party, which I quite enjoyed. And I have a meeting tomorrow with my counselor from last year, which I’m really looking forward to.

But mostly I’m getting excited about applying to colleges. The actual admissions process itself is sure to be grueling I know, but I can’t wait to actually be there, deciding my future and figuring out where I’m going to be for the next four years of my life. It’s fun to think about, especially since I get to make lots and lots of lists, and I love lists. I’ve already written a mostly-completed packing list for college that’s 7 pages long.

Anyway, that’s what’s going on at the moment. Life is messy and unorganized and I’m loving it.

Slammed

Yes, I have been slammed via homework. Midterms are NEXT WEEK OMFG WHAT DO I DO and I’ve been forced to give up the remnants of my social life in favor of studying. Which, not okay, teachers.

Anyway, I’m basically writing this to let you know that a) I’m alive, b) I actually am writing, just not what I’m supposed to be, and c) I do have plans for a lovely little post about writing-related people-watching which I’ve wanted to talk about for a while, so look forward to that.

I’m still fairly active on Twitter when I get the chance, and I’ve found time to revisit one of my fave British shows, “The Vicar of Dibley” (if you haven’t already, go watch it like NOW). Hopefully I’ll be writing that post sometime this week, but I can’t make a promise, since it’s shaping up to be pretty hellish for the next few days. Wish me luck and happy writing!

 

I’m Not Dead, I Promise…

I’ve just been a little bit busy the past few weeks. I hope you’ve all been reading and writing wonderful things; I know I have. I’m currently lost in City of Bones, the first book in The Mortal Instruments series, which I’ll most likely review once I’m done with it (yes, I know I’m terribly late to the TMI party, shhh). I’m also working on doing a bit of plot-tweaking and solving a few somewhat big issues on my own project, so wish me good luck!

In more blog-related news, I’m considering writing a post about POVs. I’m having a mid-novel crisis about them at the moment, and I hope writing a post about will serve to help me sort it out and/or clear things up for you in some way. Let me know if this is something you’d be interested in (input is love after all).

Anyhow, I just thought I’d write a quick note to reaffirm my status as “alive and not dead/missing”. I hope you all are having a great February, and happy belated Love Day!

 

Writerly Things

Writing is going swimmingly. I can’t begin to describe my relief. I’ve written almost four pages in three days, which is probably nothing to a seasoned writer, but for me it’s  the most I’ve written in a long while. That’s not to say it’s flowing smoothly. I still get stuck a lot, but instead of giving up and telling myself “later”, I keep pushing and, if I really need to, I skip that scene and go on to something else. It’s working wonderfully (insert squealing and bouncing here).

In other news, I’m thinking of getting a Twitter for writerly things. I have one for RL (which I don’t use), and one for online friends (which I do use), but none specifically for writing. Actually I’m not really sure what one does to make relationships and conversation in the online world of writers, but it seems that Twitter is one such way of “connecting”. I love having people to talk to who are in the same boat as I am (writers, readers, dreamers, butchers, bakers, candlestick makers) and while blogging is WONDERFUL, I sort of want more ways of sharing and interacting with people, just because it makes me happy.

Of course, if I make a Twitter I’m not really sure what I’d do with it, since I only follow a smattering of blogs, and I don’t really like following people unless I really genuinely want to know them better and talk to them or I even just like what they’re saying, because otherwise what’s the point? (God, that came out a bit snobbier than intended oops.)

So that’s my little ramble of the day. I hope you’re all enjoying these last few days of December (it’s a damn icebox even here in the Southeast). I know I for one am looking forward to the new year and all the change it will bring.

Be happy!