Month: May 2015

Promote This Star: Delilah

delilahHi everyone,

I have something a little tear-jerky to share. My cousin Amanda who is like a sister to me has a dog that is currently having some health problems involving her blood count and some expensive (but necessary) transfusions. Unfortunately, Amanda doesn’t have the money to pay for the bills anymore. The little dachshund is only 6 years old and is my cousin’s best friend and therapy pet. I remember the day she got this little puppy and she cares so much about her, has been through thick and thin together. I really don’t want to see them parted if I can do anything to prevent it.

Amanda started a campaign to help pay for the treatment and is only trying to raise $3,000 via GoFundMe. I just donated to help her towards the goal line.

If you have even a couple of dollars to contribute, every little bit helps. I know you’ve never met me, or her, but just reading this spreads the message a little further. We would really appreciate anything you can do to help us in this endeavor.

The campaign can be found here: Help Save Delilah 

And thank you in advance.

-Kat

Top Ten Tuesday

I know, I know! Stop yelling at me already. Here is this week’s Top Ten Tuesday.

Top Ten TuesdayMay 12: Ten Authors I REALLY Want To Meet (And I’m including dead or alive).

1) Edgar Allen Poe – Because who doesn’t want to meet this lunatic and find out if he was actually crazy or just somewhat distburbed.

2) Sherrilyn Kenyon – Mostly because I’ve read almost everything she has published and I adore her work and characters so much that I just want her to tell more of their dirty little secrets through all of the intersecting plot lines!

3) Patricia Briggs – Because she is also amazing and I just can’t get enough of her characters and fast-paced plots. Unconditional love…a conversation about that would definitely need to happen.

4) Anne Bishop – Because I really need to know if there is a real man she based Daemon on and if there is a way for me to marry him. Strong and beautiful characters and relationships. I want to live in her world.

5) Jane Austen – Because her ideas were ahead of their time and she was feminist writing strong female heroines (not just protagonists) long before it was acceptable to do so.

6) Rick Riordan – Because I never want his stories to end and I need to know what happens next…for the rest of Percy Jackson’s, hopefully long and happy, life.

7) C.S. Lewis – Because even though his books have religious undertones, I would still love to know what people of the time thought of them and what it was like to sit in a bar with Tolkien.

8) Robert Frost – Because his soul speaks to my own and I would love to curl up in front of a fire on a snowy day and have him read his poems to me aloud.

9) J.K. Rowling – Because who doesn’t want to meet her? It would be great to hear if she has come up with anything more for the future lives of Harry and the gang. How she pictures them now…perhaps as grandparents?

10) Cinda Williams Chima – Because she is colorful and creative and has bold worlds where lives and fates are intertwined and I would love to hear more about all of it.

Bonus: Gail Carriger – Because she is my new favorite and I would love to sip tea and eat biscuits with her while discussing the lives and fates of her characters…preferably in London.

Book Review: Stitching Snow

Once again, I’m playing catching up as the end of the semester gets to me. Last Thursday (when I was supposed to post this), I was on a plane to go home for my little sister’s graduation. Kind of important. But so are all of you! So you get two posts today and hopefully another book review by the end of the week 🙂

stitching snow

If you love fairy tales with a twist, like I do, then this could be another one to add to the list. I first became obsessed with this idea when I read Cinder and every one I have read since just reinforces the idea of awesomeness.

Stitching Snow tells the story of a young, troubled girl on a distant, frozen planet who wants nothing more from life than solitude and tinkering with her machine. Slowly but surely, that must change as she is quickly thrust back into the life that she has been trying so hard to avoid.

The book, as you may have surmised, is a retelling of Snow White, complete with a king, a queen out to kill the princess, and seven “dwarves” of sorts. There is a charming prince, a war to be fought, and lies to break through.

Essie doesn’t exactly know who to trust, maybe not even her own judgement. And the deeper she gets into the life she was running away from, the harder it is to leave, and the more difficult it becomes to do the right thing.

The former princess has a unique skill set which enables her to see things differently than those around her and be comforted more by machines than man. She is talented in many ways but maybe not in those that count towards winning a kingdom and keeping it safe.

Meanwhile, she is swirling with complex feels towards Dane, the young man who threw her back into the quagmire, and questioning her own sense of self. There is little to do except throw misconceptions out the window as the world unravels to reveal that few people are who they appear to be and there are many lives at stake because of that.

This book is science fiction woven into a fairy tale, but unlike Cinder, it is set out in the galaxy somewhere. On planets not too dissimilar to our own but enough not to be replicas. I really enjoy the style of writing and the dialogue. The plot was not as predictable as I feared it would be and the ending left me breathless. I was hoping there would be more but alas, it is a stand alone.

I wish there had been a little bit more of a love story early on but how it was done makes sense in the plot so I wasn’t overly upset about that. There were some other shocks along the way, however, that I was not prepared for. Brace yourself and dive into this creative universe.

Goodreads rating: 5 stars

My personal rating: 95

  • Writing style – 10
  • Plot – 9
  • Dialogue – 10
  • Personality of Main Character(s) – 9
  • Love story – 8
  • Invokes emotion – 9
  • Synopsis accuracy – 10
  • Consistent level of interest – 10
  • Stays on topic – 10
  • Accuracy of genre/genre blending – 10

Top Ten Tuesday

So I’m bringing back last week’s top ten topic because I was too busy to do it and I’m not as interested in this week’s. Topic: Top Ten Books Which Feature Characters Who _____ (are musically inclined, have lost someone, have depression, who grow up poor, etc.) As always, provided by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Books Which Feature Characters Who Are Snarky and/or Sarcastic

Top Ten Tuesday

infinityNick Gautier from The Chronicles of Nick by Sherrilyn Kenyon – I have rarely read such a robust character with so much snark and attitude. This kid gets kicked in the teeth a lot and his perspective on life is unique and endlessly entertaining.

Acheron from Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon – Yea, this is an extra, but Kenyon knows how to write these characters. Acheron has been alive for a really long, long time giving him extra dry sarcastic and endless patience…especially when dealing with Nick (see above).

Han from Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima – Street smart and devilishly wily, this character dishes out snark like he’s getting paid to do it and almost costs him his tongue on more than one occasion.

Lizzie Bennet from Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen – Who doesn’t love a witty heroine? No one. Lizzie Bennet is an interesting girl whose tongue can be caustic and sarcastic at times but usually has the best interests of her family in mind. (Also, the reboot of this series is amazing. See post here.)

Cinder & Scarlet from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer – A double punch of witty sarcasm and grit, both of thesecinder girls pack a punch in these areas. They are smart and full of quips, snarky and intelligent.

Mercy Thompson from Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs – A shapeshifter raised by werewolves has to learn to take care of herself, and occasionally talk herself out of trouble. Mercy is sarcastic and entertaining, her inner musings never fail to delight.

Sophronia from Finishing School by Gail Carriger – A girl who isn’t a lady and doesn’t quite feel the need to become one, Sophronia definitely has her own take on living life and isn’t afraid to snark back at those who would tear her down.

Alexia Tarabotti from Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger – Basically a grown-up and spinster version of the aforementioned Sophronia, Alexia is quite the character. She has biting sarcasm and you always know where you stand with her.

blood of olympusPercy Jackson from Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan – I never thought being inside the mind of a boy could be so delightful but Percy has sarcasm in every other word and isn’t afraid to show it…except maybe to his mom or the gods.

Sage from The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen – A street rat orphan with nothing left to lose, Sage uses his sarcasm as a weapon and a tool to keep himself safe and to keep others from getting too close, a good thing when you have secrets.

Bonus: Iggy from Horns by Joe Hill – His sarcasm is a little dark but his view is absolutely phenomenal and entertaining. Kudos.

Lizzie Bennet Diaries

I need to take a minute to shout from the rooftops about this addiction. I discovered The Lizzie Bennet Diaries less than a year ago and after binge-watching basically the entire thing in about a week, I fell in love. It was an amazing modern interpretation of a classic story that is one of my favorites: Pride & Prejudice. The characters are colorful and witty and very well done. The little snippets of Lizzie’s life that we get to witness and her interactions with the various people are incredible. The depictions are very well done and the twist to make it fit into today’s more modern world is two big thumbs up! If you want to watch, all the episodes (including bonuses with other characters) can be found here.

Unfortunately, I quickly forgot about this sensation as I dove headfirst into grad school last fall.

About 2 weeks ago, one of my school friends brought up “Emma Approved” during a group chat. I inquired about it and discovered that it was created by the same people who brought us LBD…except this story was based on the Austen novel, Emma! I was completely floored when she said this and excitedly went home to begin watching the episodes. I finished all of them in about a week, in between classes and avoiding homework and final papers. The classic tale was once again transformed in a modern re-telling and formatted to fit the small screen. Episodes (and more bonuses) can be found here.

LBD videos range from 3-5 minutes on average, Emma a little longer at about 5-7 minutes a piece. Pemberly Digital took on Austen’s complex worlds and made them into something great, something wonderful, something that I want to watch on repeat….maybe one day on DVD!

So if you want to “waste” some time on entertainment but don’t feel like watching something modern, check out one of these great features for hours of enjoyment 🙂

The end is a beginning

beginning end ts eliotI saw this photo while scrolling through my WordPress reader and the concept keeps getting stuck in my mind. I have been thinking a lot about beginnings and endings lately, what they mean, how to identify them, how to avoid them, how to deal with them. There are about to be a lot of changes in my life, most from the choices I am making and I am having difficulty determining if there is one more big one that I should make. But I suppose if I think of the ending as a beginning to something new, potentially something better, then it’s not so scary or overwhelming. But if I think of it that way, what does that mean about all the time I spent doing what I am about to end?

I often find myself stuck in these cyclical phases, these thoughts that go round and round. I can’t always tell if it is just how my brain is wired to process information or if it’s a symptom of my OCD or if it’s something else entirely. But regardless, a thought will occur and it just keeps going, running on a track, tumbling in the dryer of my mind. Sometimes, I can push it aside and other times, I cannot. Sometimes, I can break free or call a friend to distract me, and other times, I sit and wallow and think and think and think.

Right now, I am on the brink of something major. I can see the path clearly in front of me. I know what I should do and I want to be strong enough to do it, and yet the tiny niggle of fear, of doubt is holding me back. Making me wonder what if. I don’t want to wonder that, I don’t want to care so much, I simply want to be happy and move forward. I want to make my choice, and stick to my choice, and accept my next beginning, the next step in my life. Knowing what you should do, knowing when to make an end a beginning is a part of being an adult, a part of growing and growing up; knowing your own mind and not being easily persuaded to change. Even by your own mind.

If an end is a beginning, then that should be nothing to fear.

If that’s the case, then why am I so afraid to do what needs to be done?

(Thanks to Matthew E. Nordin for making me stop and think.)