Disneyworld…the happiest place on earth

So while you are staring at this screen reading my message to you

I am…..

This morning around…….6am, I got on a plane.

At about 9am as we’re circling Orlando, FL…I looked like this…

In a day or so I’ll be where….

…are allowed.

So that being said, there is no book review today.

I feel like I just let class out early on Friday.  🙂

Myst~

Top Ten All Time Favorite Characters in Books

Top Ten Tuesday: “Top Ten All Time Favorite Characters in Books”

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun way to spice up Tuesdays (because everyone hates Mondays, Wednesdays are  the halfway point, Thursdays are “little Fridays”, and everyone knows about Fridays… :)) and it’s hosted by The Broke and Bookish.

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So if there’s a movie made from the book, I’ll try to include the character’s picture, if not…I’ll post a picture of the cover of the book!

Character 1.

Hunger games – Gale

*contains spoilers*  I love how even when Katniss goes to the games he takes care of Prim and her mom.  Katniss is gone for like a 3 week stint; 2 weeks to train and a week in the arena.  Even though she’s making out with Peeta, he still keeps his end of the bargain.  I am totally biased that she should have ended up with him…or ran off with him in the first place.

Character 2.

Inescapable – Reed

Reed, Reed, Reed…first of all he’s just such a brooding death angel.  (Which is totally hot.)  He knows that falling in love with Evie is going to get him in trouble, but the fact that she falls in love with him OVER her soulmate???….that’s seriously hot.

Character 3.

Twilight – Emmett

He is an amazing brother.  Sticks up for you, big bear, gives great hugs, always wants to play video games, or bet to see who’s stronger when you turn into a vampire.  I just see him as this amazing guy (that puts up with Rosalie’s crap) and is super sweet…  I almost wish Bella fell for him.

Character 4.

Beauty and the Beast – Belle

She can sing, she turns down the popular/good looking/rich guy in town, she loves to read, and she finds a prince in disguise!  She lives in France, talks to candelabras (that talk back), and has birds land in her hands…she is my favorite Disney princess.  (This is technically was a movie first and then turned into a book…but that’s ok!)

Character 5.

Eragon – Saphira

Dragons kick butt.  She thinks she is the last of her race and bravely goes into battle to defend Eragon no matter the risk and is always worried about how she looks at the same time.  A total girl but a beautiful devoted creature at the same time.

Character 6.

Partials – Kira

Kira has an amazing kick butt quality.  She knows what’s right and goes for it.  She doesn’t let a guy make her feel like she needs to be anything less than what she is and challenges herself to better herself and find the answers when no one else will.  I think she and I could be friends…and my husband would hate her…haha!

Character 7.

Divergent – Four

First of all…did you see that we “freed” Four?  🙂  If not go read the chapter (from Four’s perspective) that was released yesterday on Divergent’s Facebook page!  *happy dance!*  Four is so complex, but not at the same time…Daddy issues and hard crush on Tris gives his calm demeanor a cool but damaging appeal.  He is sweet but hard at the same time; he’s calm but has inner turmoil.  I just love damaged goods.  Haha!

Character 8.

Harry Potter – Neville Longbottom

*contains spoilers* A character that goes unnoticed the entire series kills Nagini (the snake) and helps Harry out like no one else could…I mean, who would have thought that Longbottom would be the one to help save the day?  That just goes to show that without the Luna Lovegoods and Neville Longbottoms…our world would be destined for zombies and global takeovers by crazy dictators.  That’s my opinion at least.

Character 9.

The Help – Minny

Who can put “crap” in a pie and make someone eat it?  Minny.  Who can then turn around and get a job working for a lady who pays her to basically teach her to cook?  Minny.  Who can deal with an abusive husband and keep a house with kids?  Minny.  Who has the most sass but can get away with it?  Minny.  There you have it.

Character 10.

Heist Society – “Kat” (Katarina)

Her family is so screwed up.  Everyone is a thief or kidnapper or someone who definitely is not cool with the law.  Even though her life isn’t normal she still wants to make sure her father isn’t the one pinned for stealing some paintings even though it seriously looks like he did.  She’s loyal, smart, quick, and beautiful.  A great character!

Tomorrow Land by Mari Mancusi

After being confused and giving into a few laughs at the beginning of the book, I found myself racing to figure out what happens next.  Note: In lieu of zombies in this book, I felt compelled to use a gif and pic from Zombieland to exaggerate my points!  🙂

Title: Tomorrow Land

Author: Mari Mancusi

Publisher: NLA Digital Liasison

Summary (by Goodreads):

Can true love survive the end of the world?

Imagine finding your first love, only to be ripped apart by the apocalypse. Peyton Anderson will never forget the day she was forced to make a choice–between her family–and Chris Parker, the boy she’d given her heart. Now, four years later, as she steps from the fallout shelter and into a dead and broken world, he’s the only thing on her mind.

All Chris “Chase” Parker wanted was to take Peyton away and keep her safe from harm. But he waited for hours in the rain on judgment day and she never showed–breaking his heart without ever telling him why.

Now the two of them have been thrown together once again, reluctant chaperones to a group of orphan children in a post-apocalyptic world where the dead still walk…and feed. As they begin their pilgramage to the last human outpost on Earth, can they find a way to let go of old hurts and find the love they lost–all while attempting to save what’s left of the human race?

First four sentences:

April 10, 2030

“I wouldn’t go out with Chis Parker if he were the last guy on Earth!”

Fifteen-year-old Peyton Anderson tossed her pink-streaked blond hair over her shoulder, then smoothed the pleats of her navy blue cheer-leading skirt as she watched the gawky sophomore attempt to dribble the basketball down the court.  He turned and caught her looking and threw her a goofy grin.  She rolled her eyes and looked away.

My take:

Disclaimers and such: This was a book from NetGalley.  It was given to me to read and review for free; I am not getting paid for this review.  This is my honest and true opinion.  That being said, thank you to NLA Digital for letting me read and review this book!!  Everyone else, look for it…it’s been released already!

There were a lot of jabs at the beginning of the book towards our generation, example “The Kardashians”, the dvd player, etc. And I’m sure I was supposed to laugh at them, but the sarcasm was a bit too early in the book for me.  I guess they were trying to point out the differences between the past and the present, but it just didn’t go over really well.  Sorry!  That’s the ONLY negative I have…yay!

The year is 2030, super soldiers have squashed rebellions overseas and due to the AIDS epidemic, when the cure became available, everyone in the United States now has to be vaccinated before they engage in any sexual activity.  Of course a number of people became concerned so underage teens need the consent of a parent.

Peyton is our girl in the story.  She’s dating the cool guy in school and when she catches him making out with another girl, she breaks his nose.  Next enter our guy Chris.  Chris is the non-stand out kid (not unpopular, but not popular) that has been crushing hard on Peyton.  Peyton has sworn up and down that even if he was the last guy on earth…she’d never date him.  So when the end of the world happens, who just so happens to be alive?  Peyton and Chris.  Everyone else, what happened to them?  Glad you asked!  They’ve either died from the massive virus outbreak or turned into zombies (except for some little kids)Zombies that you can identify that were people before…case and point: Bill Murray.

Each chapter flip-flopped back and forth between 2030 and 2034.  So when you get to a point in one chapter going, “What?  How did that happen?”  The author takes us back in time to explain so we each get our “lightbulb” moment!  When I saw reviews mentioning the date change chapters…I was skeptical…it surprised me with how seamless it was!

The author did focus on the love story more so than the end of the world and crazy happenings, but I rather enjoyed the grisly romance/adventure.  It was definitely as real as you can get with zombies running around.  I enjoyed the book…after I got through the first chapter…and raced through to find out what would happen next!

Oh, and don’t forget the rules for dealing with zombies…  🙂

Myst~

Someone Named Eva by Joan M Wolf

I decided to read and review this book since yesterday was Holocaust Remembrance Day.  Although some of the events are real, this book is pure fiction.  I love that it focused on Czechoslovakian people, as my ancestors were smuggled out on cow-boats to America to escape Hitler and his Nazis.  After reading this, it made me want to do some digging and figure out who they were!

Title: Someone Named Eva

Author: Joan M. Wolf

Summary (by Goodreads):

On the night Nazi soldiers come to her home in Czechoslovakia, Milada’s grandmother says, “Remember, Milada. Remember who you are. Always.” Milada promises, but she doesnt understand her grandmothers words. After all, she is Milada, who lives with her mama and papa, her brother and sister, and her beloved Babichka. Milada, eleven years old, the fastest runner in school. How could she ever forget? Then the Nazis take Milada away from her family and send her to a Lebensborn center in Poland. There, she is told she fits the Aryan ideal: her blond hair and blue eyes are the right color; her head and nose, the right size. She is given a new name, Eva, and trained to become the perfect German citizen, to be the hope of Germanys future-and to forget she was ever a Czech girl named Milada. Inspired by real events, this fascinating novel sheds light on a little-known aspect of the Nazi agenda and movingly portrays a young girls struggle to hold on to her identity and her hope in the face of a regime intent on destroying both.

My take:

First off I want to give you a link to a story that made me get emotional the other day.   It’s a story that was posted on the Huffington Post’s site titled “Remember the Innocents”.  The story is a little lengthy, but it is worth reading!!  So when you have a few moments, please please read!

Someone Named Eva starts with Milada’s 11th birthday.  Sugar rations were saved and pooled to make a cake for the occasion and her best friend along with a few other girls come over to celebrate.  Almost a month later, Milada wakes up to hear Nazis pounding on her door and on the doors of her neighbors.  Although they are not Jewish, they are rounded up with women and children in one group and men sent in another direction.

While grouped with the women and children, the Nazis take special attention of Milada and a few other children.  Noticeably, they all have blonde hair and blue eyes.  Doctors take out rulers and measure their foreheads, their noses, their faces, etc.  They have color charts of blonde hair and rulers with plastic blue eyes to compare to her and the other kids as well.  Milada is deemed “perfect” and is removed from her mother and sent with other girls to a “school” where they learn to speak German, the history of Germany, how superior the Aryan race is from other races, and above all that who they were before no longer matters.  Milada is given the new name Eva and told to never speak her native language again.

As Milada spends months and months of her life in the Lebensborn program, she soon forgets her Czech language along with her real name.  She has trouble remembering her life before and even the faces of her mother, father, and grandmother are seemingly gone.  After being deemed “acceptable”, she soon is adopted into a prominent German family in Berlin.  Her new father, Herr Werner, is an important member of the Nazi regime and so Milada/Eva’s life continues down the German path.

This book is written in under 200 pages and geared more for a child-like audience, so horrific details or dark moments are kept more upbeat.  The books stays simple and uncomplicated without torrents of emotions.  I wonder if there is an adult book on the subject as I would be interested in reading it.  If you know of one, please comment below and let me know!!

I had not run across a book about the Lebensborn project before, adult or young adult, and it made me want to “google” the topic.  I soon found that it was essentially Hitler’s way of trying to create a master race.  The  “Aryan” race was considered by him to be perfect with blonde hair and blue eyes.  The Lebensborn project also created a “welfare/medical insurance” of sorts for women and children who were deemed perfect or near perfect.  Meaning they were taken care of and fed the best to ensure a healthy and strong master race.  German soldiers were encouraged to multiply by breeding with these women to create more perfect children.  You get the idea…

There are conflicting ideas about the project.  Many claim there is not enough evidence to support that the Lebensborn project was even real.  Those who do believe the Lebensborn project is real, claim that some upwards of 10,000 children were kidnapped from their homes (like our Milada) and were brainwashed and adopted by German families.  Many were taken so young that they either did not remember where they were from or many simply could not be reunited with their true families because they had died during the war or in labor camps.  One article I found interested was one that regarded children of the program trying to find their German soldier fathers: “Nazi Program to Breed Master Race”.

Myst~

PS – I love that I give out blogging tips about creating a “heartbeat” and sticking to it and my post goes up 4 1/2 hours late….hahaha!  Sorry kids!

Top Ten Tips For New Bloggers

Top Ten Tuesday: “Top Ten Tips For New Bloggers”

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun way to spice up Tuesdays (because everyone hates Mondays, Wednesdays are  the halfway point, Thursdays are “little Fridays”, and everyone knows about Fridays… :)) and it’s hosted by The Broke and Bookish.

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I haven’t been blogging for even a year yet, but these are some helpful hints that I’ve found along the way and through the trial and error of my own findings of what worked and didn’t work.  I’m excited to see what other bloggers are giving for advice!! 🙂

Number 1.

Shop the blogging sites.

WordPress, Blogger, Live Journal, Type Pad, etc.  Find which site works best for you.  Look at the pros, cons, and reviews from websites or people like yourself.  Ask friends or family who blog what they use and if they like it.  Ask yourself questions like, do you want to be paid for your reviews? Do you mind advertisements?  How much media storage space do you need/want? etc.  I love my WordPress account and abandoned my Blogger account to move over….(just saying!) 🙂

Number 2.

Read, re-read, and re-read again.

You’re excited to post your post out to the world…we get it.  Make sure it makes sense (and not just to you).  When you’re done writing your post, the best practice is to let it sit for a few minutes (physically walk away) and then come back and read it out loud to yourself.  9 times out of 10, you’ll find an error or think of a better way to phrase something.

Number 3.

Create a “heartbeat”.

I read this from a successful blogger once.  Create a consistent schedule (like a heartbeat) so your readers know when you will be posting.  My own schedule is to post a review at noon on every Monday and Friday.  It also helps to keep you accountable to your readers when you know they will be expecting something from you.

Number 4.

Visit other blogs and leave comments.

You can’t make friends with people by being the shy guy in the corner!  Go out, find other bloggers that write on topics that interest you, write a small comment on one of their posts, and possibly follow them.  More often than not they’ll visit you back and possibly comment; if you have enough in common they might follow you as well.

Number 5.

Reply back to comments

Common courtesy people!  If someone takes time out to write you a little note or comment, write back!  They’ll probably come back in the future to see what you’ve been up to and are more likely to comment again if they know you care enough to say “thank you” or to respond! (…and we all know that getting comments is the best part of our day!)

Number 6.

Post to Social Media sites.

I didn’t publicize my blog updates to Facebook until I was at least a few months into my blogging.  When I finally had the bravery to do it, I had family encourage me and had a few friends (some that I would never have expected) comment on different books I had been reading and gave me ideas for other books to review!

Number 7.

Get involved with blog challenges/memes.

These are great for finding other people who are interested in the same topics as you!  I am involved with 2 weekly memes “Top Ten Tuesdays” (Broke and Bookish) and “Waiting on Wednesdays” (Breaking the Spine).  I am also involved in 2 challenges: “2012 Debut Authors” (The Story Siren) and “2012 Standalone” (I Like These Books).   A few sites that I have found for book bloggers are: Should Be Reading, GReads!, and Book Journey.  There are other blog memes for photography, cooking, news, etc.  Once you join a meme, the hosting website will often let you link your “meme related” post to their site.  Go around and simply visit links participating bloggers posted and leave comments, they in turn will probably visit you and leave comments.  🙂

Number 8.

Do NOT Give Up.

By now you’ve probably hit a brick wall.  Writers block, lack of views, no one commented on your latest post (and you thought it was Oscar nomination or Freshly Pressed worthy).  Under no circumstances does that give you the right to quit.  Say it, sticky-note it, tattoo it… Do. Not. Quit.  Last week I was bummed when had 4 views one day and then a whopping 2 the next.  Imagine my surprise when the very next day I had 240 views! (I think I bugged my husband a million times updating him on my stats.)  You NEVER know who’s going to find you next!

Number 9.

Do NOT plagiarize.

How would you like it if you had spent a few hours working on a story, a post, an idea, etc. and found someone copy-catting your work?  That’s the fastest way to make enemies.  Give credit where credit is due!  It shows a lack of creativity to just copy someone’s work and claim it as your own!  We’ve all heard: “Imitation is the best form of flattery.”   Have you ever seen what a girl does when she sees her same prom dress on another girl?….yeah…she’s “flattered”.

Number 10.

Take a break if it has become a chore.

If you’ve set up a rigorous schedule or have been blogging for a while, you might get burned out.  Take a quick hiatus.  Let your followers know and try to set up a time frame for your return.  I’ve heard stories of bloggers that come back to encouraging comments from followers that missed them and that helped boost their confidence to “get back in the saddle” and keep riding.  I’m from Texas and couldn’t help the saddle comment!

Did I miss a crucial tip? Let me know!

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*Please note that each photo used was found by doing a Google search; a click onto any picture will take you to the site where the original picture is posted!

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

I was surprised by how much I liked this book!  I’m not much of a contemporary novel reader, but it was so nice to take a break from the paranormal, deal with real people, and not have to worry about a sequel!  Don’t get me wrong…books in a series are great, it’s just nice to have closure every once and a while!

Title: Graffiti Moon

Author: Cath Crowley

Summary (by Goodreads):

Senior year is over, and Lucy has the perfect way to celebrate: tonight, she’s going to find Shadow, the mysterious graffiti artist whose work appears all over the city. He’s out there somewhere—spraying color, spraying birds and blue sky on the night—and Lucy knows a guy who paints like Shadow is someone she could fall for. Really fall for. Instead, Lucy’s stuck at a party with Ed, the guy she’s managed to avoid since the most awkward date of her life. But when Ed tells her he knows where to find Shadow, they’re suddenly on an all-night search around the city. And what Lucy can’t see is the one thing that’s right before her eyes.

First 5 Sentences:

I pedal fast.  Down Rose Drive, where houses swim in pools of orange streetlight.  Where people sit on verandas, hoping to catch a breeze.  Let me make it in time.  Please let me make it in time.

My take:

I enjoyed the story!  The book goes back and forth between our girl Lucy, a guy named Ed, and his friend Leo/”Poet”.  It’s not a fast paced novel, but it shares a story of a one night adventure that Lucy and Ed go on together.

Lucy has been obsessed over a guy named Shadow.  He does graffiti work all around town and although she has never met him, she “knows” he’s THE one.  So when a guy slips to Lucy that he knows Shadow and where he might be, Lucy and her friends go on an all-nighter to find Shadow and to finally meet him.  The only problem is that Ed is part of the “party” to find Shadow and Lucy has been determined to steer clear of him.

Here’s the deal…Lucy and Ed went out on a date a couple years back and she ended up breaking his nose.  Her side of the story goes that he grabbed her “arse” and since it was a first date…she broke it.  But she vomited once she got home because she couldn’t handle the blood and was sorely disappointed that the evening didn’t go as planned.

Ed’s side of the story is that it was purely an accident and he was sorry it happened…even before his nose started bleeding everywhere.  But neither of them share their full sides of the story to each other and since that night, they’ve been trying to stay as far away from each other as possible even though they still harbor feelings.

As the night progresses and people drop out of the search party to enjoy a real party, it leaves Ed and Lucy to find Shadow together.  While searching, Lucy and Ed start opening up to each other to talk about anything and everything.  During the middle of it all, Lucy professes her feelings for Shadow to Ed.  What she doesn’t know is that she has unknowingly told Shadow, himself.  This isn’t a spoiler, it’s covered in like the second chapter of the book…the summary just makes it sound like it’s a big unknown.

The writing was great.  The excerpts between Lucy and Ed is “Poet” and his chapters are always so cool to read.  Just fun little blips in the book that makes you want to re-read it to see what details you may have missed the first time.  It was like a little distraction, but relevant at the same time.  It’s hard to explain.

Will Ed tell Lucy the truth about him being the famous “Shadow”?  What happens when the sun comes up and the night is over?  I enjoyed the book and recommend it!

Myst~

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

I was SO excited to see my request accepted on NetGalley for this ARC/book!!  I downloaded it on my kindle app and as soon as I closed the back cover to Article 5…I started this one and couldn’t put it down!  I LOVE seeing those emails come in saying “Your request has been accepted.”  It’s like getting a free cupcake just for being you!

Title: The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1)

Author: Julie Kagawa

Summary (by Goodreads):

In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn’t easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.

First 4 Sentences:

They hung the Unregistereds in the old warehouse district; it was a public execution, so everyone could see.

I stood in the back, a nameless face in the crowd, too close to the gallows for comfort but unable to look away.  There were three of them this time, two boys and a girl.  The oldest was about my age, seventeen and skinny, with huge frightened eyes and greasy dark hair that hung to his shoulders.

My Take:

Disclaimers and such: This was a book from NetGalley.  It was given to me to read and review for free; I am not getting paid for this review.  This is my honest and true opinion.  That being said, thank you to Harlequin Teen for letting me read and review this book!!  Everyone else, look for it to be released in just a few weeks!!

First I just want to say….Poor vampires.  They have been used and abused so badly recently.  First they’re sparkly, then they have powerful rings by witches…these guys have been through the ringer.  If I were one, I would have started off laughing at the feeble attempts, but then would have ended up depressed by how humans have made them all nice and cuddly…”I’ve lost my scary edge.”

Just wait though…we’re really just pissing them off and they’re going to get their revenge at just the right moment…which brings me back to vampires ruling the world, JUST like The Immortal Rules!!

The book starts with Allie, a human, fending for herself and the gang she’s in by trying to find food within the city that’s run by a Master Vampire.  Each sector in the city is fenced off from one another and completely guarded from the outside world by a massive wall erected to keep the “rabids” out.  After being attacked and nearing death, a vampire finds Allie and offers the chance to live by turning her.  When faced with her own death, she chooses life even though it means spending an eternity as a monster.  Allie seemed “human” to me in her thinking, not a frivolous character with no real thought processes..I feel I can connect with her; she’s not airheaded or careless.

After yet another unfortunate turn of events, Allie is forced outside the walls of the city to wander on her own.  Learning to survive in the harsh environments, she soon runs into a straggling band of humans that are headed to a rumored city called “Eden”.  Allie tries to keep her hunger at bay and wants to be human so bad that she keeps her “vampirism” a secret.  The only problem is that Allie finds herself falling for the second in command, Zeke.  And of course, Zeke already has a fan-girl in the group that is NOT a fan of Allie…*cue cat fight.

I loved how the vampires are kept “normal”.  They can’t go out during the day, they all pretty much see humans as food, and they’re cocky.  I felt the story writing was GREAT!  The characters were believable, the adventure was awesome, it was gruesome…but not gory, and there’s a little romance that felt so good.  Makes you want them to beat the odds and figure it out.

I’ve heard great things about the author’s other series “Iron Fey” and after reading this book, it makes me want to read her other novels!  This book started so dark with a helpless feeling; it was like there was no hope for humans at all.  By the end of the book, our heroine is determined to see through the impossibilities thrown her way to help humans and save what little she can.  Of course, what’s a good book without a little cliff hanger?  Not a crazy one though…it’s safe to read!

Myst~