Sunday, September 30, 2012

Banned Books Week 2012

Today kicks off Banned Books Week 2012!!! Yay! 

To celebrate and participate again this year I thought I would do a little extra blogging this week. I wrangled my daughter and two of her friends into doing interviews on some of the banned books they have read. And I'm doing another giveaway. Let's just say I keep uncovering books for giveaways.

Monday: A giveaway of The Hunger Games (#1) by Suzanne Collins! Double Yay!!
Tuesday: Interview with Dawn about The Hunger Games. 
Wednesday: Interview with Jackie about To Kill a Mockingbird.
Thursday: Interview with Emma about ttyl.
Friday: Winner announced! 

The Ten Most Challenged Books in 2011. (from: ALA Press Release 04/09/12)

1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series) by Lauren Myracle
2. The Color of Earth (series) by Kim Dong Hwa
3.* The Hunger Games (trilogy) by Suzanne Collins
4. My Mom's Having A Baby! A Kid's Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy by Dori Hillestad Butler
5.* The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
6. Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
7.* Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
8.* What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones
9. Gossip Girl (Series) by Cecily Von Ziegesar
10. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The books with a * at the beginning were also in the top ten last year.

Discussion time: 
Have you read any of these top ten books?
Do you agree or disagree that they should be challenged?
What are your thoughts on banning books?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

October 2012 Releases

I only have a few books that I'm excited for this coming month, but I'm seriously excited for them! 

Destroy Me (Shatter Me 1.5) by Tahereh Mafi

Why -> This is one of what I like to think of as teaser novellas. This one is told from Warner's perspective and I can't wait to read it. I'm dying to get my hands on Unravel Me. I also can't wait to see what makes Warner tick. I truly loved to hate him in Shatter Me, yet I'm afraid I may learn to understand him a little better in this novella. I still think I'll love to hate him, though. We'll see.

 Hidden (House of Night #10) by P.C.Cast & Kristin Cast (10/6/12)

Why -> Years ago I got really pulled into this series and read every book available. Then, as the new books came out I kept saying I'll read this soon, but things happened and now I am behind. I seriously love this series and the main character, Zoey. I can't wait to catch up. No, I haven't read the blurb about the book as I don't want to have the three books prior to Hidden spoiled. lol 

Finale (Hush, Hush #4) by Becca Fitzpatrick (10/23/12)
Why -> I read the first two books in this series, but realized that I didn't like the wait between then. So, I did what I like to do. I waited to read Silence. I've been dying for the release of Finale so I can finally read Silence. Yipee! I can't wait. No, again I didn't read the back cover, spoilers. (I'm quirky that way.) 

Beautiful Redemption (Caster Chronicles #4) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Why -> A couple years ago I had heard of this great book, Beautiful Creatures, and it's follow up book, Beautiful Darkness. It was around the same time as my parents went to The Texas Book Festival in Austin. I told them a few authors I was interested in having books by and they got both books for me, signed by both Kami and Margaret! I was stoked to say the least. I quickly devoured Beautiful Creatures. Then found there was no way I was going to be able to read the second book without having the third book. Then I found out there would be a fourth book. Last year my parents went back to the festival and got Beautiful Chaos signed for me. This year I'm hoping for Beautiful Redemption as well signed, only this time it will be at the Austin Teen Book Festival. I can't wait! As soon as this book is in my hands I will be devouring them back to back, including Dream Dark, the novella sitting patiently on my Kindle. :-) I. Can't. Wait! I'm also following the movie production on Facebook and Instagram closely. I'll be one of those crazed fans out watching the midnight premier. lol 

Your Turn -> What are you looking forward to being released this month?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Giveaway Time!

As you may have noticed I've been gone from blogging for a little over a month. Not only am I back, but I plan on being back and in full swing this fall. To kick off fall I thought I would host a giveaway.

I have an extra copy of Radiance by Alyson Noel, one of my favorite authors. I read this book when it first came out and then decided to wait until the last book, Whisper, was released to read the rest. I just finished the series, and WOW! I absolutely loved this series. I just had to do a giveaway to share Riley Bloom. She is definitely one determined and spunky twelve-year-old.

Riley has crossed the bridge into the afterlife—a place called Here, where time is always Now. She has picked up life where she left off when she was alive, living with her parents and dog in a nice house in a nice neighborhood. When she’s summoned before The Council, she learns that the afterlife isn’t just an eternity of leisure. She’s been assigned a job, Soul Catcher, and a teacher, Bodhi, a possibly cute, seemingly nerdy boy who’s definitely hiding something. They return to earth together for Riley’s first assignment, a Radiant Boy who’s been haunting a castle in England for centuries. Many Soul Catchers have tried to get him to cross the bridge and failed. But all of that was before he met Riley . . .
I'm trying something new here. I'm trying out Rafflecopter for the giveaway. Hopefully I did it right, fingers crossed. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Texas to New Jersey

I'm not sure if I mentioned it on a previous blog or not, but instead of flying back to New Jersey my dad, my toddler, and I drove back from Texas. I thought I'd do a post on that trip. It was great! :-) As someone who mostly flies, driving was definitely a nice change of pace and fun.

My dad was the one who found out about an app called HipGeo for chronicling trips. So, we both tried it out. It wasn't until we had been on the road for two days when I realized that I had to actually "publish" each of my posts, until then, they were simply drafts. No big deal. It was actually better that way. Why? I found that it actually gave the exact coordinates to my parents' house when we left & mine when we arrived. Naturally, I didn't publish those two posts as a result.

It was fun, though. I thought I had to do posts for everything, but it did posts automatically as well. When we crossed state lines it noticed and created it's own posts. It was cool! You can check out my travel blog here.

The highlight of our trip was The Blue Ridge Parkway. It took forever to get just a short distance, but it was well worth it. For those of you new to my blog, my dad is a photographer and this was a great chance for him to get new shots. You can view his Flickr page if you would like. I think he has only put a couple pictures up so far from that trip. He has so many shots to go through still.

And, yes I took a ton of pictures myself. I thought I would share a selection of them with you. :-)

Headed into the Smokey Mountains!
From Tanbark Ridge Overlook.
My dad in action.
From Classmine Falls Overlook.
Mt. Mitchell - The highest point east of the Mississippi.
From Deer Lick Gap Overlook.
Tablerock Mountain Overlook.
Price Lake.
Sims Pond.
Clouds. The sign was missing from this overlook, so I have no title for it.

I hope you enjoyed the photos. To see more you can visit my Flickr page.

Have a great weekend and I'll be back next week with a giveaway!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I'm Back!! Again!

I realize it's already the middle of September, but I really needed the extra time off to organize my house, as well as my thoughts. Every time I sat down and pondered what I wanted to write for a blog post, I found myself at a complete loss for words.

Luckily for me today's blog post is an easy one. While I was going through my emails yesterday I checked my spam box for the first time in almost two months. I don't check it regularly at all. When I did I was shocked. Somehow Gmail decided that some very important emails were spam! I couldn't believe it. Even emails from people in my address book were in there!

And tucked in the midst was a special email from the lovely Linda Cassidy Lewis! Now, had I not taken an almost entirely internet free break I would have known about this sooner, but since I have not only not been blogging, I haven't been reading blogs either. My GoogleReader is overflowing with posts waiting for me to read. 

Anyways, I was surprised to find that I was tagged in the Lucky 7 meme! I chose to share a piece from my WIP, Barely There.

     A couple of kids rushed past us to the edge of the water. They nearly stepped on Fin, but he rolled out of the way in time. 

     "Mom! Can we feed the ducks?" The little girl with pigtails hollered. 
     "I didn't bring the bread today, maybe next time." The mother said as she walked straight towards us. 

     "Better move out of the way." Fin motioned for me to move one way as he moved in the other direction. The mother walked between us to join her children. 

     "What happens when someone walks through us?" I asked.

According to the rules, go to page 7 of your WIP (or not yet published work), count down 7 lines and then select the next 7 lines to share.

I've tagged:

Katie Wood Ruffin
Jade Hart
Christine Attardo
Tasha Seegmiller
Julie DeGuia
Tonja Drecker