Thursday, December 29, 2011

Class of 2011 Superlative Blogfest: Elements of Fiction

I'm starting the busiest work crunch of the year, so I've only got two for you today:

Elements of Fiction

Best First Line: "On the day he died, Eric Leaventhall had a date that couldn't be broken, so he went."
from Dead Man Dating by Lori Handeland, in the anthology Dates From Hell

I originally bought this quartet of novellas for Kelley Armstrong's bonus Karl Marsten story, but Lori's first line (and next few) was so eye-catching I read that story too and LOVED IT.

Most Jaw-Dropping FinaleShadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, Book 3) by Richelle Mead

This is when I knew Mead was a complete and utter plot genius.  She holds NOTHING back in this series - where most authors would drag out the storyline over a course of books, Mead gives you the ending you can't believe, leaving you wondering how the heck the story can go on.  And it does.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

December Book Crush of the Month and Top 10 Book Boyfriends of 2011

Hosted by: Confessions of a BookaholicA Life Bound By BooksFiktshun, and Two Chicks on Books

Today's theme also re-caps my meme: Book Crush of the Month.  Unfortunately, I used music/dance crushes mostly, so there are only, um, 2 in the retrospective.  December revealed at the end...

Top 10 Wolf Book Boyfriends of 2011 

1) February Book Crush of the Month: sorcerer-lawyer Lucas Cortez from Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series
kickass wallpaper by mistymerrymistletoe
Because I love strong short guys!  

3) James Hallowell from Vampire Crush by A.M. Robinson

4) Chen Yong from Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon
photo from Cindy's website
5) Jack, from Exit Strategy (Nadia Stafford Series, Book 1) by Kelley Armstrong
Because who can resist an older contract killer?  (Gabriel Byrne in Point of No Return, anyone?)

In The American, Clooney rips off this book plays an older contract killer named Jack, which made me like the film way more than I should have.

6) Jeremy Danvers from No Humans Involved (Women of the Otherworld, Book 7) by Kelley Armstrong
The Alpha wolf of the upstate NY clan who might have some Chinese blood in him.  

7) Karl Marsten from Personal Demon (Women of the Otherworld, Book 8) by, who else? Kelley Armstrong - she writes the HOTTEST love scenes (children look away)

8) Beast from Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley
But only before he turned into some pansy-looking prince.  What can I say, I like anybody wolfish.

9) November Book Crush of the Month: Taycob from Twilight

and finally: 10)
  December Book Crush of the Month:
Alexander of Macedon as portrayed in The Persian Boy by Mary Renault
photo credit
This guy had a Napoleon complex a couple thousand years before Napoleon was even born.  He was short, strong, handsome and healed from wounds with freakish vampire nature.

Alexander, is that you?
He had beautiful male lovers and traveled a distance most Americans can't even fathom, over mountains, down rivers and across deserts.  In 300 B.C., yo.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Top 10 Book Covers of 2011 and Superlative Blogfest

Hosted by: Confessions of a BookaholicA Life Bound By BooksFiktshun, and Two Chicks on Books

Top 10 Book Covers (I Read) in 2011:

I realized too late that this might be an impossible blogfest because I've read a total of 18 books published in 2011 - and 4 of those are MG, adult fantasy, graphic novel, and Go the F**k to Sleep, which I don't think counts as YA.  Or picture book for that matter.  But it is the funniest 2011 book I've read.

Today's topic: Head of the Class

Favorite Dystopian: Crossed by Ally Condie

Favorite Science Fiction: Outside In by my idol Maria V. Snyder

Favorite Fantasy: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Favorite Paranormal Romance: The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

Favorite Action/Adventure 
Favorite Genre-bender: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs - my review

Monday, December 26, 2011

Top 10 Books I've Read in 2011

Hosted by: Confessions of a Bookaholic, A Life Bound By BooksFiktshun, and Two Chicks on Books

Top 10 Books I've Read in 2011
(in reverse chrono order that I read them)

1) Crossed by Ally Condie (won ARC from Elana Johnson)

2) White Cat by Holly Black, narrated by Jesse Eisenberg (library audiobook)

3) Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (library, then bought)

4) Beauty by Robin McKinley (library)

5) The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender (library) - Review at Afterglow

6) Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (bought by accident - my review)

7) Exit Strategy by Kelley Armstrong (library)

8) Howl's Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones (library)

9) Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead (library)

10) Vampire Crush by A. M. Robinson (Kindle)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Vampire Academy's Rose in Round 2

I see my Tiger Mom threats worked - Rose Hathaway, my Hero made it to Round 2 in:

Tournament of Heroines

Today she's in the Superior 16 - so go vote again HERE before we suck your blood.  

In case you missed why she's badass: Vote Rose Hathaway, My YA Hero

(Damphirs can't actually suck blood, but whatever.  She can stake us.)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Deja Vu Blogfest: I Can Hold You Til You Cry

The Deja Vu Blogfest is hosted by DL Hammons, Katie Mills, Lydia Kang, and Nicole Ducleroir.  Today we recycle a blog post that deserves to see the light of the internetz once again.

I chose one of the first posts on this new blog back in January 2011.  It's one of the few that received zero comments.  (The other posts that received no comments were my Japanese quake relief ones - so sad - and reading challenges.)

I Can Hold You Til You Cry
originally posted 1/17/11

One thing people don't know about me is that I was in a really woo-woo graduate program for counseling psychology.  We regularly cried in class and did therapy on each other.

At the same time, I worked evenings at a well-known investment bank, assisting people who were younger than me and hundreds of thousands of dollars richer.  That firm was one of the first to crash during the recession and I was laid off just in time for my first NaNoWriMo.

Therapy by day, i-banking by night.  Yup.

The last class I took in my counseling program was Expressive Arts Therapy.  For my final project, I made a blog presentation: Temenos: An Expressive Arts Journal.  You've been warned, I was deep in the woo.

(Prize if you know where my post title is from)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Touch of Poison and Win a Kindle Fire

I returned from an exhausting trip to my native East Coast and spent my first night back in LA with violent food poisoning.  Good thing for boyfriends who had drunk buddies in college.

*Update 12/14*  After further research, looks like it might be altitude sickness. We had to transfer so it was all day on a plane and at airports.

Now that I've grossed you out, here's a giveaway at Paperback Dolls for charity:

And who knows what my title references?  Juliana, you better know...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Vote Rose Hathaway, My YA Hero

Update 12/13: Rose won! (of course)

YA Sisterhood

The YA Heroine Tournament is here and if you don't vote for Vampire Academy's Rose Hathaway you are not my son!

(That threat usually works in Chinese families, especially on daughters.)

 Two Chicks on Books is our Team Rose headquarters.  Vote at The YA Sisterhood tomorrow - Monday Dec 12, for 24 hours.

Actually Rose is a very particular hero.  If you had a sunny childhood where your parents told you they loved you every day before cheerleading practice and you grew up with absolutely no issues whatsoever 1) I'm not sure why you're writing YA instead of, like, being a Stepford wife 2) you won't relate to Rose.

But if sarcasm is a fine art form for you, then read on!

Why Rose is a Badass Mothertrucker
  • She's a dhamphir: strong as a vampire, hearty as a human
  • She embraces her sexuality in a very realistic teen way.  You go with your non-prude self!
  • She's curvy and half-Turkish, not a blonde, blue-eyed model waif like a certain boring Moroi. (I kind of hate that certain Moroi.)
  • She defies authority and risks public excoriation to stand up for what's right.  Revolucion!
  • She has mommy issues.  Don't we all?
  • She's the opposite of a passive Mary Sue.  This girl's got Anger and she's never afraid to speak her mind.  Down with whiny, helpless female characters!
  • Rose is the first YA character I can relate my actual high school experience to.  That's right, I was a half-vampire guardian who was gravely misunderstood.
  • No seriously, Rose's story made me cry harder and harder with each book in the series.  It's like the grown-up version of Walk Two Moons for me.
  • She is for all the misfits, goth girls, freaks & geeks who were made fun of; people who didn't belong.  (I may have played a sorority girl onscreen but in high school I was so far from popular I was anti-popular.)  
  • Rose lets us know others feel like we do.  And that it gets better.


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