Monday, January 31, 2011

Fantasy Cast: The Pendragon Series-- Part One

One of my favorite series of the past ten years is The Pendragon Saga by DJ MacHale. If you haven't read the series, then check it out now! Seriously, it's really good. Something I've always loved about the series is that it's truly a book series that reads like a movie. There are tons of characters in the saga, so I'm splitting this fantasy cast into different segments.

Here's the first installment which includes the first four travelers introduced in the the book series!

Skandar Keynes (The Chronicles of Narnia) as Bobby Pendragon:
First Introduced in 'Merchant of Death'--Bobby Pendragons' face was on every cover of the original bindings of the book series. Ideally, I'd like to get someone who looks like the 'kid' on the cover, but Skanar could work quite well in the role, too!

Malese Jow (The Vampire Diaries) as Loor:
First Introduced in 'Merchant of Death'--  Malese rocked on 'The Vampire Diaries' last season. She is relativly unknown and can play both tough and emotional... Perfect for warrior girl Loor!

Corbin Bleu (High School Musical) as Spader:
First introduced in 'The Lost City of Faar'--  Let it be known, I have a bit of a soft spot for Corbin.  Not exactly as described in the book, he is my perfect Spader. Spader has to be played by someone likable and carefree and Corbin fits the bill!!!

Morgan Freeman (Evan Almighty) as Gunny:
First appeared in 'The Never War'--  Would an A-lister take a roll in a sci-fi adventure like the Pendragon Saga? I sure hope so, because every time I pictured Gunny, he looked very similar to Morgan Freeman! Hands down, he is Gunny head to toe!!!

Check back next week (or so) for the next four travelers and maybe even a few acolytes!

So, fellow Pendragon fans, what do you think of this casting? Disagree? Who would you cast?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Book Blogger Hop/FF/Update

Another weekend, another hop post! Nothing huge happened this week, but I did find out that I have a tentative pitch meeting scheduled for early March! (For those who don't know via my various award posts, I'm working on trying to pitch a reality show with a fellow producer and up until now pitch meetings have always been something that will come *eventually*...) Fingers crossed everything comes together in my favor this next few months!!!

Anyway, as for what's been going on here this week...

Fantasy Cast: The Grey King
S.O.S Book of the Week
Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

And next week, don't forget to stop by and 'meet' author Richard Denning. I'll be posting a review, interview, and fantasy cast for his novel!

Onward to the hops!

The Question of the Week is:
What is/was your favorite subject in school?

My Answer: My favorite subjects in school were writing, reading, art, and extra curriculars (if those count!). If I had to choose just one, I guess I'd have to go with art in grammer school. I loved making new things every week!

And in high school? My extra curricular school activity-- Auroris Dance Company. Seriously, those four years of being part of Auroris got me through high school! (I pretty much disliked the whole high school experience, apart from dances and special events! Overall, it just seemed like four years of putting job training on hold to learn science and math-- ick) If we're being strict about classes, then I guess band or acting classes would win out.  But, I preferred Auroris over both of those options on a typical day!

College brought with it a load of classes I loved.  My favorite being 'Writing for Television'.  It was during that class that I discovered how much I enjoyed the process (and I wasn't actually all that bad at it, either)!
Book Blogger Hop
The Question of the Week is:
What book are you most looking forward to seeing published in 2011? Why are you anticipating that book?

My Answer: There are so many books I'm looking forward to this year!!!  I'm very much looking forward to Demon Glass (sequel to Hex Hall), Prized (sequel to Birthmarked), and Wolfsbane (sequel to Nightshade)!  Oh, and Passion (sequel to Fallen and Torment)!

Thanks for stopping by my blog this week! See you again soon!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fantasy Cast: The Grey King

By now, I think I've mentioned my favorite book on this blog hundreds of times. It's 'The Grey King' by Susan Cooper and is part of the 'Dark Is Rising Sequence'.

A while back a horrible movie was based off the first book in the series-- that movie was called 'The Seeker'.  Since 'The Seeker' made no money and was so changed around that that it was impossible to make the sequels, I figured it was about time to cast the fourth book in the series-- 'The Grey King'. Who knows, maybe one day when I'm a big producer, I'll be able to make the series myself...

And on we go-- the fantasy cast of 'The Grey King'.

Will Poulter (Voyage of the Dawn Treader) as Will Stanton:
Will is the title character of the series. A few things to keep in mind when casting him-- he needs to still be a bit young or at least have a baby face. Also, I've always pictured him fair skinned. And most importantly, the actor chosen needs to be able to play a character who is young phsyically, but play like he has an 'old soul'. Will Poulter seems to be the Will Stanton of today. Plus, I quite enjoyed him in 'Voyage of the Dawn Treader'. That kid has talent.

Colin Morgan (Merlin, Doctor Who) as Bran:
Arg, Colin isn't my first choice, but he's the closest to what I picture for Bran.  It mostly has to do with his eyes. They just seem so Bran like to me. (It helps that he's such a cutie!) Were I casting this movie, Bran would probably be an unknown actor or a new, little known actor.  However, for the purposes of this post, it goes to Colin.

Johnny Depp (Chocolat, PotC) as John Rowlands:
Oh, Johnny Depp... This isn't just an excuse to get Johnny Depp's picture on my blog. Nope. The character John Rowlands has to be mysterious, friendly, and exude trust. While not Welsh like the character, I think Johnny Depp could blow this character out of the water and be very believable in the role.

John Simms (Doctor Who) as Caradog:
While I'd hate to see John Simms play such a bad guy, I think he has the look of Caradog, the big bad in the 'The Grey King'. I have only seen him in Doctor Who, but he comes off as a great actor.

Sam Neill OR Ian McKellen as Merriman:

My case for Sam Neill? I quite enjoy him as an actor in the lighter projects he's done. Plus, while he's not an older actor, he seems to have the personality and aire of the central Merlin character in the sequence. Make up to make him look a bit older and a new hair do could make him a great choice for this role.

Now, to be 100% honest, my first and favorite choice is Ian McKellen just as he is in 'Lord of the Rings'. That is always how I pictured Merriman to look. However, I'm not sure how open McKellen would be to pretty much playing the same character he played in 5 (counting 'The Hobbit') movies...

So there you go, my cast of 'The Grey King'.  What do you think?  Who would you cast?

Monday, January 24, 2011

S.O.S Book of the Week

The S.O.S Book of the Week is where I let you in on what new releases I'm looking forward to! S.O.S comes from the term 'Strict on Sale'. It's bookseller speak for a title that you can't sell before a specific date-- think Harry Potter. While the books I have here may not be S.O.S titles specifically, they are all new!

The S.O.S Book of the Week is:

Taken from Goodreads, "When schoolboy Tom Oakley discovers he can transport himself through time, he draws the attention of evil men who seek to bend history to their will. Tom's family are obliterated and he soon faces an impossible choice: To save the world he must sacrifice his family."

Author Richard Denning is coming to the blog early February to promote 'Tomorrow's Guardian'. This book, a time travel adventure reminiscent of DJ MacHale's 'Pendragon' series, is a fun read for 'inbetweeners'-- those kids who are just growing out of traditional Juvi books, but aren't ready for hardcore YA title. (I've started it already... Though I'm not done yet, so it still fits in with the S.O.S requirements!)

I've read time travel books before and typically get hooked by them. The perfect example being the before mentioned 'Pendragon' series. 'Tomorrow's Guardian' seems like it will be an exciting romp through time!  For more on this title, come back 2/8/11 for a review and a quick Q/A with the author!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Title: Across the Universe
Author: Beth Revis
Genre: YA, Sci-fi, slight Romance
Perfect for: Sci-fi fans who don't mind a touch of romance
Star Rating: 3.5/5

Taken from Goodreads, "A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.
Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming."

Writing a space age sci-fi novel in a time when all the rage is supernaturals is a brave thing. It could be hit or miss. Thankfully, in the case of 'Across the Universe', it's a hit. Or nearly a hit, earning 3.5 stars from this little blogger.

I found things in the book I liked and other things I didn't. Though, to be honest, most of my grievances with 'Across the Universe' may come down more to taste than actual problems with the text. 'Across the Universe' is compelling. Helped along by short chapters and changing perspectives, I found it quite easy to immerse myself in this book. I devoured half the book in one sitting and finished it the next day.

What I liked about the novel changed a bit from opening the first page and closing on the last. I liked the idea Revis was going for because it's not commonly done in YA lit. The way the chapters weaved together was great, as well. Each little chapter from main character Amy's perspective gave us a nice idea of how 'new' the ship was and each little chapter from male lead Elder helped us understand the society. It made the idea behind the ship and the society itself a little easier to understand. (As a note, if you find yourself confused with what the ship looks like, turn your cover inside out-- there's a diagram. I wish I had known about it sooner because I was a bit confused about where things were located on the ship until I pulled out that darn map!)

Characters Amy and Elder were unique and engaging characters to read. My favorite character, however, was Harley, Elder's friend and Amy's companion during her days in the Ward. If ever she does write another book in this universe, Revis may want to consider a companion piece in Harley's point of view.  I wish I could say that I was surprised when it came to who the bad guys were, but I had it figured out half way through.  Even so, the main characters kept me interested.

If I had to compare this book to another popular series, it would be the 'Hunger Games' trilogy. This isn't exactly a 'happy' book. It's very low key in terms of joy and humor-filled banter. It's not something you'll finish with a sappy grin on your face. Towards the end, some really hardcore secrets are revealed that leave you (or at least me) thinking 'what?!'. That, honestly, is my only problem with the book. I wish we were given a happier ending. I'm actually a bit concerned about the characters futures... And I don't like being concerned about characters well being, especially when it seems like the book is a stand-alone.

'Across the Universe' is on store shelves now! While I don't think it is a book that will please those who don't usually enjoy Sci-fi, it is a good read. In my opinion, it gets 3.5 stars.

Now, I want to know your take on this book. Did you like the ending? Do you think it's a stand-alone novel? Do you think it will please non sci-fi readers? Comment!

EDIT: Forgot to mention the romance.  As pointed out by readers of the blog, the series has been put down when it comes to the romantic entanglements.  I read this book with the idea of it being more sci-fi than romance, so it didn't even occur to me to mention it in my review, but be warned that this is more based in sci-fi than teenage romance, angst, etc.  Again, it's very similar to 'Hunger Games' in that respect.  Actually, the romantic storyline is one of the reasons why I am concerned about the characters post the final chapter!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Hello friends! Welcome back to the blog!  I hope you have a fantastic weekend.  Fun news-- the movie I was an extra in is now in theaters!  It's entitled The Dilemma and stars some pretty popular actors.   I've been told by my grandfather that you can't see me, but if you do watch it, I was there while they shot the scene in the hotdog joint!  (Funny, though, the movie itself is sooo not my taste!)

Now, here's the usual updates and hops!

The Contest: For all interested, Marg was the winner of my Gift Card Giveaway! I had a total of 179 entries and gained a good 140 some followers. Geez! Thanks to all who entered! (I won nothing this week... Oh well... Next hop!)

New on the Blog This Week:
Forever Favorites Review: Stravaganza series
Meet Stephenie Meyer Contest
The SOS Book of the Week- which was slightly delayed due to our internet being out all day Wednesday....

Follow Friday:

The question of the week is:

Who do you cheer for?

My Answer: The only sport I really enjoy is hockey. I got behind the Blackhawks this past Stanley Cup season. It was exciting to see them win the Cup. Yay Blackhawks! I prefer seeing games in person. Watching them on tv takes all the drama out of it. It's much more fun to be in the stands and see the guys skating around, making goals, checking each other here and there, and staging fights. My goal is to have season tickets to a team eventually!

See you all next week!

S.O.S Book of the Week

The S.O.S Book of the Week is where I let you in on what new releases I'm looking forward to! S.O.S comes from the term 'Strict on Sale'. It's bookseller speak for a title that you can't sell before a specific date-- think Harry Potter. While the books I have here may not be S.O.S titles specifically, they are all new!

The S.O.S Book of the Week is:

Taken from Goodreads, "Betrayal, loss, pain, fear. How many trials can love endure and still survive?"

Set for a July 2011 release, 'Wolfsbane' is the sequel to Andrea Cremer's hit debut novel 'Nightshade'. I don't think I'm in the minority in saying that 'Nightshade' was a fantastic read. I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens next! Maybe it will help me decide once and for all if I'm Team Ren or Team Shay! I hear they handed out ARC's at ALA Midwinter. None of my librarian friends ended up with any of them... *sigh* Guess I'll just have to wait a little longer!

Are you looking forward to 'Wolfsbane'?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I Want To Meet Stephenie Meyer....

Readers might know that I had the chance to really talk with Stephenie Meyer during her first tour back when Twilight was pretty unknown. Well, I blew it. I have this problem sometimes... I never know what to say to famous authors, actors, singers... I usually just smile and say thanks. Had I known then what Twilight would turn into, you bet I would have talked Ms. Meyer's ear off!!!

Well, I'm having a bit of a Twi-hard moment here because... Well... I just saw this contest posting on The Twilight Saga website... A chance to meet Stephenie Meyer in an undisclosed place and ask her whatever you want!!! Man, I want to win this. I want to win this so bad! Not only does it involve meeting Stephenie Meyer, but it involves traveling, which is always a nice perk!

This contest got me to wondering what I would ask if I did get a chance to meet her again... And honestly, I'm not sure... I have a lot of Twilight questions, but probably more questions about The Host. *SPOILER* (Like, why was Wanderer put in such a weak body at the end?!) *END OF SPOILER*  This whole contest feels very reminiscent of Willy Wonka and the golden tickets.  Well, I want a golden ticket, please!

Check out contest details HERE. And good luck! (Although, I still want to win!)

Forever Favorites Review: Mary Hoffmans 'Stravaganza' series

Title/Series: Stravaganza series (titles of books in post)
Author: Mary Hoffman
Genre: YA, fantasy, romance (more innocent than most ya books)
Perfect for: everyone?  I love this series too much to not recommend it to readers of ya fantasy who love to travel to new places in their books and are looking for a series that touches on some great points about friendship, confidence, and other good things like that.  :-)
Star Rating: 5/5 stars

Taken from Goodreads, here is a description of the first novel in this series. "Lucien is seriously ill but his life is transformed when an old Italian notebook gives him the power to become a stravagante, a time traveller with access to 16th century Italy."

I studied in Florence, Italy for a month. It was a great month. During that month, I got to call Florence my home, the grand duomo's and tiny side streets my backyard. I saw sculptures from famous sculpters every day without even meaning to. I won't be able to afford to go back there any time soon, but thanks to Mary Hoffman, all I have to do to re-live the beautiful country is to open one of her books.

Mary Hoffman's Stravaganza series is one of those series that should have more of a following that it does. It should have a legion of fans like popular series Harry Potter and Chronicles of Narnia. And you know what? I think it will one day. It's hard for me to review this series book by book, especially in the case of 'City of Masks'. So much has happened since then and I've loved the stories so much that writing about one chapter of their lives is hard! (It's like watching Star Wars: A New Hope and trying to not think it's weird when Leia kisses Luke "for luck". I can't help but think about the big brother/sister reveal in 'Return of the Jedi'!)  Anyways, back on topic...

The basic premise of the series is simple-- each book features a teenager that needs help, even if they don't know it. In Lucien's case, he's suffering from cancer. Pretty much bed ridden, he falls asleep holding a Italian made journal and wakes up in 'Talia', an alternate version of Renaissance Italy. From then on, his life is never the same again. Each book takes place in an alternate version of another Italian city. From experience, I can say that Hoffman does a great job at capturing the essence of Italy and each town covered in these novels.

One of my favorite bits about this series is that while each book has a new main character, the characters from past books are quite present. Also, Hoffman's stories have a good mix of character development, action sequences, and even some cute romances.

All I can say is read this series! It is filled witty characters that you'll grow to love, an Italian setting that is written brilliantly, and stories that are not only about saving the day or finding a soul mate, but also learning more about yourself and understanding that the smallest, most insignificant talent can help in the long run.

This series is available in hardcover (limited) and paperback. The first trilogy is comprised of: 'City of Masks', 'City of Stars', and 'City of Flowers'. The second trilogy is comprised of 'City of Secrets', 'City of Ships', and the 2012 release (too far away!!!!) 'City of Swords'.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Giveaway: Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop! Win A Gift Card!

Giveaway time!  As a thank you to those who signed on to follow Brooke's Box of Book's during 2010, here is a giveaway to welcome in 2011!  Better yet, it's part of a giveaway hop hosted by 'I Am a Reader, Not a Writer' and Martha's Bookshelf!

What's up for grabs, you ask?  Check below for the details!!!

Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop 2011

One winner will receive a $10 giftcard to!

1- Open to US residents only
2- You must be a follower of the blog to enter
3- Entries must be received between January 14th-17th

To enter, fill out the form below.  Entries will only be counted from the form.  Comments are welcome on this post, but that does not qualify as an entry.  Fill out the form!!! :-)

Contest Closed! Thanks for entering!!!

Good luck and check back on the 19th for a winner!!!

(More Contest Links Under Cut!)

Book Blogger Hop/Updates

Welcome to the blog, folks! I can't believe it's time for another Book Blogger Hop!!!  (I'm still catching up with comments from last week!)

First, a bit of housekeeping! Want to win an Amazon giftcard?! Enter my contest! The rule are simple and listed on the post. This contest runs through the 17th!

This Weeks Updates:

Contest Info!!!
Review: The Iron Queen
SOS Book of the Week
Award: The Stylish Blogger

Now onto the Book Blogger Hop!

Book Blogger Hop

The Question Is:

Why do you read the genre that you do? What draws you to it?

My Answer:
I've always been drawn to fantasy, supernatural and sci-fi titles. I'm not sure why. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that my mother used to read them out-loud quite a bit when I was young or that delving into a new exciting fantasy world has always been more interesting to me than normal life? I'm an imaginative person who is usually pretty happy most of the time. I tend to not let negatives come in the way of things and try to never stop believing in something just because others say it can't happen or doesn't exist. Fantasy, supernatural, and sci-fi tales tend to have some elements similar to how I look at life. Then again, I'm not sure why exactly I like these titles. They've just always spoken to me. :-)

And a extra for you this week-- Follow Friday:

The Question Is: 
What makes up your non-human family?

My Answer: 
My non human family consists of two dogs.  They're both at least half black lab and adorable.  The fantastic thing about them is that they get along well, even though they are so different (in how they act, not their color or look!).  Each was saved-- one from a shelter and the other from someone who couldn't handle themselves, let alone a dog.  Before them, we had a Golden Retriever (the best dog ever, btw) and a few birds.

See you all next week and don't forget to check out my contest post!!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Review: The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Iron Queen
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance, Action, Adventure
Perfect for: Readers who read the original two novels! Not something you want to jump into!
Release Date: February 2011
Star Rating: 3/5 Stars

Taken from Goodreads, "My name is Meghan Chase.  I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it. This time, there will be no turning back."

I'm going to keep this review short and sweet due to the fact that this series is so very popular and I don't want to accidentally spoil anything before the official release of 'The Iron Queen'. Now, on to the review...

I've made it known from previous reviews on this series that I'm not as crazy about it as the masses. I've enjoyed the previous books in the Iron Fey series, but neither one has grabbed me in the same sense it seems to have grabbed everyone else. Unfortunately, 'The Iron Queen' let me down more so than the other two... It holds some great moments-- some of the best in the series, but I felt as though I was pushing myself through 90% of the novel... What went wrong with this novel? I put blame on two things, mainly the predictable nature of the series in general and the romance suffering from what TV folks call 'Moonlighting syndrome'.

Starting with the latter, I feel like the romance progressed far too quickly in the second installment and in 'The Iron Queen', honestly, any tension the love triangle had is gone. The intrigue of who she really likes or if she'll ever really like Puck might be hinted at, but is never believable. (On a side note, 'Moonlighting Syndrome' comes from an old 80's tv show called Moonlighting that was driven by the characters love/hate relationship. Once the characters fell in love for good, the show's unique quality and sense of intrigue was gone and it was quickly cancelled.) I don't want to go into this more just yet due to the fact that the book isn't released yet, but those looking for the love triangle to get a bit more even, don't expect it to happen.

The other downfall? The fact that I could have predicted most of the plot elements in 'The Iron Queen'. Nothing is wrong with a little predictability, but it was just too much for me when it came to this novel. As readers, a key ingredient to getting sucked into a novel is the sense of adventure that the characters bring to the story and already knowing what they'll do didn't help me get dragged into the story at all. I felt like I was really pushing through it. It was unlike my reading experiences with the first two books.

Earlier in my review, I mentioned that we see the best and the worst of the series in this novel... Well, onto the best, I really loved the last 30 pages. They were everything I wanted in the novel. The intrigue was there, as well as some fantastic character development. If only the entire novel had read like that! After days of thinking, why am I reading this and should I really continue this, the last 30 pages sold me on adding Kagawa's next book in this series to my 'to read' list. Again, I won't go into spoiler territory, so I'm going to keep specifics close at the moment, but this ending blew me a way.

I'm sure I'll be in the minority on this novel. Most will probably love it to no end, which I totally understand. (I love 'Fallen', but understand how others may not see it as I do!) It shall be interesting to see the reception this novel gets when it comes out... I'll be keeping my eye out! 'The Iron Queen' gets 3 out of 5 stars from me and will hit store shelves February 2011!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

S.O.S Book of the Week

The S.O.S Book of the Week is where I let you in on what new releases I'm looking forward to! S.O.S comes from the term 'Strict on Sale'. It's bookseller speak for a title that you can't sell before a specific date-- think Harry Potter. While the books I have here may not be S.O.S titles specifically, they are all new!

The S.O.S. Book of the Week is:
According to Goodreads, "Before Luce and Daniel met at Sword & Cross and fought immortals at Shoreline, they lived many lives. . . ."

Yep, that's it. That's all Goodreads could give me. One sentence with an ellipses! Thank goodness this book comes out in June 2011!!!! I loved 'Fallen', had a pretty hardcore love/hate relationship with 'Torment', and am totally hoping that 'Passion' by Lauren Kate is fantastic. I want to see more of Shelby and Miles, less of Daniel being all pushy and secretive, and most importantly, want to know more answers about why Luce is being chased down and what importance she really holds. These things, among other things, that is!

Before I go, I'd just like to mention one more thing-- the cover.  So pretty!  (surprise, surprise!)  I'm liking the choice to put a touch of color into the background. This cover falls in line really well with the previous books.  I hope it has that textured feeling on the cover when it comes out like the previous books, as well!!!

Are you looking forward to 'Passion'?  What do you want to see happen?  What are your thoughts on the cover?

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Stylish Blogger Award

Guess what?  I received an award the other day!  I'd like to thank NerdyBookLover from Bookphobia for this award.  Since I've never received this award before, I thought I'd go ahead and go through the motions for this one.

Here’s the rules for this award:
1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!

Seven things about myself:

One: When they were taping 'The Lake House' in Chicago, I made it a point to walk around to the various sets and watch the taping.  Eventually I even found my way to Keanu Reeves trailer. A crowd had formed and when he exited, he gave us all a wave and a 'hi'.  I kind of swooned.  :-)  Oh Keanu...

Two: I have this weird addiction to Asian drama's.  My favorites are My Girl, various Boys over Flowers adaptations,  Prince Turn Frog, and Magicians of Love.  On the same topic, I really want to adapt Boys over Flowers for the American market.  I'd LOVE to work on it.

Three: I like the smell of chlorine, but it makes me sneeze.  I prefer pools to ocean or lake swimming.

Four: I spent a month in Florence and it was fantastic.  I miss it!!!

Five: My ideal wedding would be in Siena or a small medieval Italian village, attended by a close group of family.  My dress would be one of a kind and (like the city) inspired by medieval/camalot times.  The wedding party would receive jewelry from my favorite Florentine shop, Falsi Gioielli.  After the honeymoon (traveling Europe), we'd head back and have a big party for all our friends in the states who couldn't attend the wedding!  (We'd probably try to Skype it, too!)

Six: If I could find the Rock-A-Fire Explosion band and set it up so it would work, I totally would.  :-)  Here's video if you don't know what I mean....

Seven: While I don't book or bake well, I tend to enjoy watching others do it. I enjoy watching Gordan Ramsay and Anthony Bourdain related shows.

I'm supposed to pass this on to fellow bloggers, but don't know who to give it to!  I think for this award, I'm going to to have to revisit this portion...

Thank you again for this award!!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Book Blogger Hop/Updates

Hi Guys! Welcome to 2011!!! 

This week for me has brought me into a little debt-- brought upon by my mom saying, "It's a Byer's skirt! You have to try it on!" Well, I did try on the skirt and a number of other things that (remarkably) fit me well! Since I'm a tough size, I decided I should add the clothes to my collection and, well, I have lots of nice sweaters and skirts now. :) Just not so much money. 

Plus, there's that Asian Ball Jointed Doll I want to buy sometime this month...

What's Been Happening Here:
S.O.S Book of the Week
Review: The Iron Daughter
NookColor Contest Alert

Book Blogger Hop

The Question Is:
What book influenced or changed your life? How did it influence/change you?

Influenced or changed my life... This is a tough one. Let me go with 'influence', more so than 'change'. I'd have to choose 'Twilight'. It was the first book where I really interacted with other readers. In the past, I had never really had many books that I could talk about to a huge group of people and have them know what I was talking about! It was quite a change when 'Twilight' came along because so many people from so many different age ranges read it. That whole reading experience was pretty interactive.  'Twilight' and that wave of interaction led to me reviewing for Amazon and eventually starting this little blog.

Come back soon and look forward to a giveaway starting on the 14th as part of a giveaway hop!!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Contest Alert! Check it out!

Pam over at is giving away a ColorNook and tons of other fun prize packs in honor of two years of blogging!!!

Go here for more details: Good Luck!!!

Review: The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Iron Daughter
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance, Action, Adventure
Perfect for: Those who have read the first novel in the series

Star Rating: 3/5 Stars

Taken from Goodreads, "Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey—ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her. Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart."

Recently, I reviewed 'The Iron King', the first book in the Iron Fey trilogy. 'The Iron Daughter' is the sophomore effort in the series. It starts off shortly after 'The Iron King' ended and is pretty heavy with Meghan/Ash scenes. Puck has his moments in the story, but I felt he was shunned a bit in this one.

Starting out with the negatives, I felt that Meghan really should have picked up on certain things quicker than she did. For example, she knows Ash will have to play a certain roll in front of his family, friends, and followers, yet Meghan totally falls hook line and sinker for his act. Also, you'd think Meghan would understand a bit more about life in the Unseelie Court after living in it for a while, but even after she's been there for a while, she still seems to get caught in dangerous situations. It's called street smarts, Meghan!!!

The biggest thing that irked me with this novel? While I adore Ash and think he and Meghan are a cute couple, it almost seems like their relationship is happening too quickly. What does Meghan really know about Ash and vice versa? I love the idea about them being together, but would have loved to see their relationship develop over a book or two, as opposed to the whirlwind romance we get in this book and its predecessor.

Positives? The light feel is back again and welcome (even with Meghan worrying all the time about things that she really doesn't need to). Quirky dialog runs through-out the novel, which is always a nice touch! I loved the Exile Court storyline, as well as the real world adventure the troupe faces.

The best things about 'The Iron Daughter'? Iron Horse and Grim. (Puck, too!) They make this novel. At first Iron Horse's incessant ALL CAPS text bugged the heck out of me, but after a short while, as I saw his character grow, I grew to really enjoy his scenes. Along the same lines, Grim was as charming as ever this novel. He's a huge part of why I like this Iron Fey series. And Puck? Well, he's his witty self in this novel. Thank goodness. He helps to lighten the mood when lovebirds Meghan and Ash are lamenting about their various positions.

For those who liked the first book, I think you'll want to read 'The Iron Daughter'. It's a solid read, even with the annoying bits. 'The Iron Daughter' gets 3 stars.  Pick it up at your local bookstore today!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

S.O.S Book of the Week

The S.O.S Book of the Week is where I let you in on what new releases I'm looking forward to! S.O.S comes from the term 'Strict on Sale'. It's bookseller speak for a title that you can't sell before a specific date-- think Harry Potter. While the books I have here may not be S.O.S titles specifically, they are all new!

The S.O.S. Book of the Week is:

Taken from Goodreads, "Chris Astor is a man in his early forties who is going through the toughest stretch of his life. Becky is Chris's fourteen-year-old daughter, a girl who overcame enormous challenges to become a vibrant, vital young woman - and now faces her greatest obstacle yet. Miea is the young queen of a fantasy land that Becky and Chris created when Becky was little, a fantasy land that has developed a life of its own and now finds itself in terrible, maybe fatal trouble.

Together, Chris, Becky, and Miea need to uncover a secret. The secret to why their worlds have joined at this moment. The secret to their purpose. The secret to the future. It is a secret that, when discovered, will redefine imagination for all of them. Blue is a novel of trial and hope, invention and rediscovery. It might very well take you someplace you never knew existed."

'Blue' by Lou Aronica has a release date of January 8th, 2011. Arconica will be visiting this humble blog February 18th (interview) and 19th (review), so visit back to learn more about this book!

I accepted this book tour title because the concept of 'Blue' seemed a bit like it could have a 'Neverending Story' feel to it. I've always liked the idea of the fantasy characters interacting with human/real world characters. Because of the multiple main characters, it might even appeal to my YA/Juvi reading habits.

What do you think? Are you looking forward to 'Blue'?