Monday, September 1, 2014

September is here!

I am so happy even though it is still hot here and will remain hot for some time to come.

I very happily pulled out all my apple fragrances today and will be cheerfully using them throughout the season. YAY FALL.

Also, here on September first the Cardinals finally took sole possession of first place in their division and if you look at the stats it seems unlikely, but it is and so yay. Who knows if they will manage to hold on in this last month, but I have hope! Some of our key injured players are returning so there is reason to hope, if you know what I mean.

Also in September besides it being the last month of regular season baseball, the figure skating season kicks off with international senior B competitions and I'm excited for that! I've been paying some attention to junior competition but it's not the same so. The year after the Olympics, particularly this past Olympics is very exciting because there are lots of retirements and skaters will be fighting to establish themselves as the top contenders. Skating is really a four year narrative and so now is a GREAT time to suddenly get invested and join me in reblogging gifs or pretty people in silly costumes, okay?

AND, some fall TV starts though mostly not anything I'm particularly interested in. I will watch Syfy's new zombie show though when I watched the trailer, I was like...this looks like the show all the people who have never watched The Walking Dead think The Walking Dead is. Basically meaningless blood and guts. I mean TWD has a pretty big budget, but it's also a character drama with great acting and writing (I'm so tired of feeling like an apologist for this show or supressing the fact that you know what, I actually just love it unqualified). Most stuff seems to come on in October.

October is going to be even more awesome, I guess, but hey it's September now!

So I had to wander on over to Carl's blog to see if R.I.P. info was up and of course it was and it made me so happy. It's so nice to have small constants like that in this blogging world where everything changes all the time. I will try to follow along with what everyone's reading and maybe try this week to make a list of spooky books I would like to read.

Finally, I am so sorry that I was a terrible host for the zombie book club. I do hope to get caught up and post a massive discussion post.

Have a wonderful September everyone!

Amy

Friday, August 29, 2014

Spotlight and Giveaway: A Pinch of Ooh La La by Renee Swindle


Looking for a perfect read to end the summer with? How about this one!

About the Book: To get to happily ever after, sometimes you need to start from scratch....

Abbey Ross, who runs her own bakery in Oakland, California, is known for her visually stunning wedding cakes. But lately, Abbey’s own love life has become stale. According to her best friend, Bendrix, Abbey’s not the spontaneous young woman she was when they were teenagers listening to the Cure and creating attention-grabbing graffiti. Of course, her failed relationship with a womanizing art forger might have something to do with that. Nevertheless, it’s time for Abbey to step out of the kitchen—and her comfort zone—and Bendrix has even handpicked a man for her to date.

Samuel Howard is everything Abbey’s dreamed of: handsome, successful, and looking to raise a family. But a creamy icing might be needed to hide a problem or two. When Samuel complains about disrespect for the institution of marriage, Abbey’s reminded of her nontraditional family, with thirteen children from various mothers. And when Samuel rails about kids having kids, Abbey thinks of her twenty-year-old sister who’s recently revealed her pregnancy.

Soon Abbey is facing one disaster after another and struggling to make sense of it all. Her search for love has led her down a bitter path, but with the help of her unique family and unwavering friends, she just might find the ooh la la that makes life sweet.

I have one copy to give away to a resident of the US. Just fill out the form below by September 7, 2014!



Amy

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

CFBA Book Spotlight: Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas

About the Book: In a Drought, It's the Darkest Cloud

That Brings Hope

It's 1954 and Perla Long's arrival in the sleepy town of Wise, West Virginia, was supposed to go unnoticed. She just wants a quiet, safe place for her and her daughter, Sadie, where the mistakes of her past can stay hidden. But then drought comes to Wise, and Perla is pulled into the turmoil of a town desperately in need of a miracle.

Casewell Phillips has resigned himself to life as a bachelor. . .until he meets Perla. She's everything he's sought in a woman, but he can't get past the sense that she's hiding something. As the drought worsens, Perla's unique gift divides the town in two, bringing both gratitude and condemnation, and placing the pair in the middle of a storm of anger and forgiveness, fear and faith.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Maze Runner Giveaway!


Hey everyone!

The Maze Runner movie comes out September 19th and I have an awesome giveaway to help you get ready for it! I'm really excited to offer this because I think it could be a fun movie! It's also exciting to see all of these YA adaptations coming out.

First, check out the trailer:


You can also visit The Maze Runner website to learn more as well liking it on facebook, and following them on Twitter, google+, Instagram, and youtube .

About the film: When Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) wakes up trapped in a massive maze with a group of other boys, he has no memory of the outside world other than strange dreams about a mysterious organization known as W.C.K.D. Only by piecing together fragments of his past with clues he discovers in the maze can Thomas hope to uncover his true purpose and a way to escape. Based upon the best-selling novel by James Dashner.

GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive:


$25 Visa gift card to see the film in theaters
Copy of the book (movie tie-in cover)
Money Maze

To enter, just fill out the form below! Winner will be chosen September 2 and notified via email. Giveaway is courtesy of 20th Century Fox and open to residents of the United States.




Thursday, August 21, 2014

Chit Chat

*I saw this interesting post about diversity on tumblr the other day and thought it was worth a brief discussion. It's actually something I think about especially when the topic comes up that there's a lack of representation --like recently, and forgive me for not having the link, there was a discussion about how there are only white gay men on TV. First of all yes I think this is a very valid point and there are a lot of points to be made about the lack of experiences being depicted on television for gay men, the questions surrounding why there are a lot more LGBTQ female characters, etc. But whenever this discussion comes up, I do feel a little bitter because there was a show tackling a storyline like this with gay African American men on the CW and no one was watching. No one was even talking about it! And it was a good show, really entertaining, etc. So it's frustrating to hear the idea that these shows don't exist because sometimes they do, it's just that no one is watching. (DON'T misunderstand, I don't think one show is good enough I'm just pointing out that it's up to us to watch what IS there or at least talk about it)

On the other hand, I totally get where the original poster is coming from and I think we can all agree that in a perfect world we wouldn't have to ask for diversity it would just exist. But I like that this discussion takes what makes a bestseller into consideration! Anyway worth a read, I haven't checked anything that's been added to the conversation since I reblogged it (oh the woes of tumblr) but check it out!

*What do you guys think of the ALS Ice Bucket challenge? To be honest, I watched a few videos before I understood what was going on which I don't know if that means the first people I watched did a good job or not. But I think it's lovely to be honest, this summer has been filled with such hard news and difficult times and there's something very humanizing about famous people dumping buckets of freezing water over their heads. And it IS for a good cause, it's sparked conversation and money for ALS. I know it's been met with some backlash, as anything that deals with money is and I do think John Green hit the nail on the head when he talked about limited resources. We all know there's only so much charity to go around do we really want to funnel it to ALS? (I'm not sure I agree with him on everything--yes there are limited resources but I doubt very many people have actually reached that point yet) But I think it's the absolute perfect awareness raising venture for our social media, ADD times...and it ultimately is about thinking about others and developing empathy. Have people been attention seeking etc? Sure maybe but look that's life and that's humanity. Nothing is perfect let's just enjoy the little bit of kindness and other-thinking we find, okay? And if you are interested I giffed the big names in ice dance participating..Scott Moir's was my hands down favorite it was just so funny and cute and the first time I watched it unexpected!

*Speaking of giffing, ever since I told you I learned how, I've been doing a fair bit. I think that there's something very interesting about the way tumblr works, that is sort of troublesome? In a way, I like that I can make something and post it and tag it and then people who are interested will find it. (unlike blogging where I post about something I like but no one cares and crickets) But it's like the ultimate experience in not needing to have relationships and just having everything streamlined to your taste. I don't know, I need to think more about it, I guess. I'm just getting old, y'all.

*I won't link to everything I've made and bore you to tears, but I do want to link to this TWD set I made because I'm proud of it...it took a long time, I had to learn how to subtitle the gifs etc. but before I knew how I always wanted someone to gif this because it's my favorite thing Danai has ever said about Michonne. It's just so smart and interesting and sometimes I just wish there was more ~smart or academic talk about TWD? It has so much going on and a lot of it is really interesting. I don't know working on this made me think a lot about Michonne and her katana and her relationship with the governor etc. So!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Amy

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Thrillers and Chillers and Diversiverse

It's only August 17, but the world seems ready for autumn and I'm right there with them. I'm gearing up for the wonders of scary Halloween and already mentally stockpiling books to read for the season. I've heard the Pumpkin spice latte is about to make an appearance soon and Bath and Body Works has severely let me down by trying to promote Japanese Cherry Blossom as a fall fragrance instead of releasing some wonderful new apple line.

Penguin Paperbacks is hosting a Twitter chat with Sarah Hilary and Alex Marwood on Wednesday at 12 PM EST/9 AM PST. Alex Marwood has just recently landed on my radar as an author to read so this is all very exciting. Plus, Stephen King said his forthcoming novel is "scary as hell." I'm excited! Seems like it's all coming about in the right season.

Here are the details about the chat if you're interested:

*going to be hosted by @PenguinPbk

*Tweet @sarah_hilary and @AlexMarwood1

*Use the hashtag #killerfiction

*Sarah Hilary's book is called Someone Else's Skin (great title!) and Alex Marwood's book is called A Killer Next Door.

I'm going to try to make it, but 9 AM can sometimes be a little rough for me.

What are the best mysteries and thrillers you guys have read recently? Can you believe Gone Girl comes out in just a few months?


Aarti has announced Diversiverse sign-ups for the year and this year the book does not have to be SFF. So read and review a book by a person of color at the September...I mean really why wouldn't you?

Amy

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith


Back when I read The Cuckoo's Calling, you may recall that I enjoyed it but felt like it was almost too cozy for me. I have to admit I thought about this when I picked up The Silkworm...a book I may not have read as quickly as I did if not for reading it to discuss with friends. I ended up really liking The Silkworm a lot more than the first one which I think is both because the characters are already established and also because the murder was more interesting!

If you don't know, this is the second book in J.K. Rowling's detective series written under the pen name of Robert Galbraith. The main character is Cormoran Strike an army vet with his own fair share of baggage. His assistant, Robin, also gets some time in the book but it's far less.

Mysteries are always hard to write about but I will say that I felt like this mystery was surprising but that all the clues had been laid out for me, I just hadn't been paying them much attention! Rowling also seemed to take some fun digging at the publishing industry through all the shattered relationships and poor decisions they'd made!

When Cormoran is first called upon to investigate the disappearance of an author, who is supposedly horrible, it made me think of the writer that I learned about through Mark O'Connell's book, Epic Fail, Amanda McKittrick Ros who was apparently a terrible author who thought she was a genius. Everyone knew she was terrible except for her? And Fancourt raging on about how it's a proven fact women can't write reminded me VS Naipaul's comments last year. I think Rowling must find some humor in the many colorful personalities of the literary world!

I also thought it was funny how people were so unnerved by Strike's memory. I actually get this a lot in real life as well. I don't claim to remember everything anyone ever tells me, but I do remember a lot. It's also just one of those weird quirks of human nature...we long to be remembered and known and often assume that people are paying attention to us but at the same time there's a certain...comfort in the idea of anonymity! We both want to be known and not known at the same time, lol. Anyway, it sort of made me think I should have been a private investigator to be honest!!! I think I've been wasting my most obvious skill all these years...

Also, a lot of the women do this and don't do this stuff was kind of important in the end, so if you're reading and it grates a little just be warned!

Robin was still a lot of fun, but I wish she'd get rid of Matthew, he's such a loser! But I do understand it's a very long term relationship she'll probably be reluctant to lose!

The farting couch was hilarious :D

I did feel a little bit frustrated with Strike's ease of using people without wanting to commit to anything, like taking his brother out for a meal, knowing his brother would like more a relationship, but being unwilling to give it. I get that this is the character, but man if the world isn't full of people like that!

Anyway! I thought it was fun, funny, and surprising and I enjoyed it a lot! I bought my own copy! Oh and I just googled and found out this series has seven books planned...do you think Cormoran and Robin will get married??

Amy