Readers Imbibing Peril VIII

Readers Imbibing Peril VIII

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I’m finally going to join in this amazing reading challenge!  The R.I.P. (or R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril) VIII challenge is hosted by Stainless Steel Droppings. I’m kind of a wimp and I don’t like reading scary books so I’m only joining this year because I think I found a book that fits the spirit of this that (hopefully) won’t scare me.  The goal for this challenge is to read or watch anything that could be: “Mystery. Suspense. Thriller. Dark Fantasy. Gothic. Horror. Supernatural. Or anything sufficiently moody that shares a kinship with the above. That is what embodies the stories, written and visual, that we celebrate with the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril event.”

My favorite thing about this challenge is that there are levels of participation called “perils.”  And I’m going to join Peril the Third.

rip8peril3rd

Peril the Third or, the One Book Only option:

We all want you to participate. This Peril involves imbibing just one R.I.P.ping read.

And the book I’m going to read is:

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Are you joining this challenge? What is your favorite book to read this time of year?

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril VIII: 1/1

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  1. Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Blog Tour: The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova + Giveaway!

Blog Tour: The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova + Giveaway!

Book Cover for The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova

Welcome to my stop on the Bloggers of the Deep blog tour for The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova!

Synopsis: For Tristan Hart, everything changes with one crashing wave.

He was gone for three days. Sucked out to sea in a tidal wave and spit back ashore at Coney Island with no memory of what happened. Now his dreams are haunted by a terrifying silver mermaid with razor-sharp teeth.

His best friend Layla is convinced something is wrong. But how can he explain he can sense emotion like never before? How can he explain he’s heir to a kingdom he never knew existed? That he’s suddenly a pawn in a battle as ancient as the gods.

Something happened to him in those three days. He was claimed by the sea…and now it wants him back.

Character Interview

I was lucky enough to ask Tristan Hart a few questions to get to know him a little better. :)

Me: Tristan, Describe yourself in three words.

Tristan: Just three? Let me see. I’d go with: Athletic, but that’s obvious. I’m generous. Sometimes there’s too much love to give you, you know? I’m also caring. I’d do anything for my family and friends.

Me: I think one of the best ways to get to know someone is through their tastes in music. What’s your favorite band or song?

Tristan: My favorite song right now is Move Your Body by My Darkest Days. Really gets me pumped before a meet.

Me: So….tell us about your girlfriend. :) What do you like the most about her?

Tristan: Uhh, I don’t have a girlfriend right now. There’s this girl. Layla. She’s been my best friend since forever. She’s the bravest, prettiest, chillest girl I know.

Me: What’s your favorite food?

Tristan: Bacon cheese burger with all the trimmings. Also mahi-mahi tacos.

Me: If you could have any actor play you in a movie, who would it be and why?

Tristan: I’ve never thought about that. It’s a little weird thinking of someone else being me. Chris Pine is pretty cool. And by that I mean, Layla finds him “hot” or whatever. So why not?

Image Source: IMDB

Me: What’s your favorite thing about being a lifeguard? Why did you decide to become a lifeguard?

Tristan: My coach put me up for the job. He told me it’d keep my eye sharp, concentrating on doing something good. I’m at the beach all summer and I’d rather be at the Coney Island post than at the Y. At first I was afraid of the responsibility. I can swim fast as hell, but saving lives? That’s heavy.

Me: What’s your favorite thing to do at Coney Island?

Tristan: Bake, swim, corndogs, repeat.

Me: What kind of movies do you like? (If you have any specifics that would be awesome!)

Tristan: I like comedy and movies with big explosions and guns. Ironman, The Dark Knight, anything with Bruce Willis. The two movies I never get tired of are American Pie and Men in Black. Don’t you laugh at me. I’m being serious!

Me: Thanks so much for stopping by Tristan!  I agree than Men in Black is one of the few movies that you can watch on repeat :)  And can I just say that you sound like an awesome guy and I can’t wait to read more about you (not that there’s a book out about you or anything….:)

Check out the other blogs on the tour! 

amazon | goodreads | book depository

Giveaway

I have some fun swag for a lucky winner and it’s international too! You can win some stickers and a pin.

Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova Swag

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Zoraida Cordova

Zoraida Cordova

Zoraida Córdova was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where she learned to speak English by watching Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker on repeat. Her favorite things are sparkly like merdudes, Christmas, and New York City at night.

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Blog Tour: Return to Exile by E.J. Patten + GIVEAWAY

Blog Tour: Return to Exile by E.J. Patten + GIVEAWAY

Blog Tour for Return to Exile by E.J. Patten

Welcome to my stop on the Return to Exile Blog Tour! I’ve got a fun interview with the author, E.J. Patten, for you and a giveaway!  There are over 30 blogs on this tour so be sure to check out the schedule to see the other great extras and giveaways!

Author Interview

Book Cover of Return to Exile by E.J. Patten and Author PhotoMe: Tweet your book. Tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.

E.J.: Sky, a boy with a dark past, teams up with other misfits to find his uncle, hunt epic monsters, and stay alive using gear made of garbage.

Me: Ha ha! That made me laugh. Well done getting all that in 140 characters!  So, what books inspired or influenced your writing of Return to Exile?

E.J.: Harry Potter and Percy Jackson have both been major sources of inspiration for me—Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows in particular. It wasn’t my favorite Harry Potter book (Prisoner of Azkaban was my favorite), but it affected my writing the most. I love the way Rowlings forced Harry, Ron, and Hermione to wander, confused and lost, depending only on each other, with no clear way through until they chose it. She gave them lots of options, muddied the waters, and wove a tale that more closely resembles the complex world we all face. It’s a much harder and far less common way to tell a story, especially in speculative fiction where characters are often given a quest with a difficult yet obvious path to the end.

I also channeled a bit a Tolkien—mainly in the complexity of the world and the back-story—and H.P. Lovecraft, with his original monsters and mythos. Return to Exile is set in the modern world, but it taps into a secret history, a silent war waged between the Hunters of Legend and the creatures they hunt—creatures that are entirely of my own invention. Things like the giant tree-like Echo whose roots go deep, deep beneath the earth where they join together in a haunting sort of collective dreaming, and the shape-shifting child-eating Wargarous with their tusked, mammoth-sized bodies of shadow and whips of flame that writhe like worms.

Me: I love it when authors invent new creatures! They are so fun to read about.  How did you get the idea for Return to Exile?

I stared into the void and, shrieking, stumbled back. Also, I have no idea. Magic, maybe?

Originally, the story started out as something completely different. It was a light-hearted adventure about a group of friends that get the powers of their Halloween costumes and save Halloween. Return to Exile is NOTHING like that. It went from a light-hearted adventure to an epic story with complex characters, tragic monsters, and a deep history of an unknown world within our own. The only thing that remains from that early version—which I actually wrote as a screenplay, not a book—is the name Sky Weathers.

Between the first draft of the book, which helped me get an agent, and second draft of the book, which we sold to Simon & Schuster, I rewrote Return to Exile in its entirety. I kept the first paragraph and a few character names. I figured out a better way to write, a character-driven approach to plot development.

To help me build out the characters, I drew from a number of fairytales so that I could work in specific themes. Sky’s story was based on Hansel and Gretel, on the trail of breadcrumbs. Crystal was Pinocchio, a broken girl full of lies. Andrew was based on Cinderella. In fact, his step-sisters (step-cousins, really) are named after Cinderella’s step-sisters, Jasmine and Ermine, and they speak like characters from a Jane Austen novel. Hands’s story came from Little Red Riding Hood. He has issues with his parents who sent his grandfather to a nursing home, a place “run by wolves.” Finally, T-Bone, the last of the monster hunters, is based on the nursery rhyme There Was An Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe. He comes from a huge family (both in number and size) and seldom gets any attention.

As I developed the characters, and the story, these fairytale beginnings disappeared into the background. They’re hardly there at all anymore, though a few vestiges remain if you look closely. The fairytales helped me get a sense of the characters, and once I had that sense, I made them into something more.

Return to Exile is a modern-day epic fantasy adventure like nothing you’ve ever read before. The story is designed like a trap. I wrote it in such a way that you won’t realize how much you missed until you’re snared at the end, and then you’ll say “now wait a minute…” and you’ll want to go back and read it again—and you should. I wrote it that way on purpose. The first time through, you’ll go on a wild ride. The second time through, you’ll understand the journey. Because there isn’t a single idea behind Return to Exile; there are hundreds of ideas.

I loved that you took fairy tale characters and made them your own!  I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I’m really excited to get to know these characters and get hooked by the ending. Aren’t you? And be sure to check out the awesome book trailer.

amazon  |  the king’s english (signed/personalized)

goodreads  |  barnes and noble

And did you know that the cover artwork and illustrations in the book are from Caldacott honoree artist John Rocco, who is also the illustrator for the Percy Jackson series? :D

Giveaway

I’m giving away a Mother-Daughter Hunter’s Bracelet.

Hunter's Bracelet from Return to Exile by E.J. Patten

Bracelets when separate

Hunter's Bracelet from Return to Exile by E.J. Patten

Bracelets when linked

This isn’t just any bracelet. In Return to Exile, Crystal—the leader of the monster hunters—wears a bracelet that resembles a strand of DNA. The bracelet is a twin to one worn by her mother, who disappeared years earlier. While striving to stay alive within the terrible creature known as the Jack, Crystal recovers her mother’s bracelet and links the two strands together into a single band—a memento of the mother she lost.

Isn’t that cool? Read this blog post to learn more about this bracelet.

If you are reading this post through RSS or email, head over to my blog to enter the giveaway.


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About E.J. Patten

E. J. Patten

In April 1974, a beautiful baby boy was born at a small hospital in Mesa, Arizona. E. J. Patten (“Eric James”) was in the next crib over. The first story he ever wrote involved a strange ad, a Laundromat, and a bowl of chili; thankfully, it was never published. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Arts, and a Masters in Business Administration from Brigham Young University. He currently resides with his wife and three children in Utah.

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Hunger Games Party + Movie Review

Hunger Games Party + Movie Review

The Party!!

Penelope at The Reading Fever put on an awesome party for some Utah book bloggers to go see The Hunger Games! We went to Chili’s for a late dinner, there was a raffle and I won the totally awesome The Hunger Games: Official Illustrated Movie Companion!  And my friend Miriam won a refillable cup.  Plus, Penelope got all of us Team Katniss bracelets that have the date on them. Thank you sooo much Penelope!! You rock!

The whole gang!

Jessica (me) and Miriam.

And then, since we had assigned seats, we showed up to the movie 10 minutes before it started and I paid $7.50 for water and Reese’s Pieces. I wore all black with my Mockingjay pin.

The movie crowd was a little nuts.  There was lots of screaming during the trailers – especially The Host and Breaking Dawn Part 2.  Thankfully, they calmed down and were almost completely silent through the movie, well except for some screaming at ONE part :)  And some sniffling.  I sniffled a little too.  I think Enna came with lots of kleenex.

Movie Review

(Slightly spoilery.  But not much.  I mean, you’ve read the books, right?  I’m not gonna reveal more than the books.)

Wow. Intense and gruesome are how I described the movie to my husband this morning.  There’s a lot of blood and it’s almost worse just seeing the blood and the after-math of the violence than seeing it play out on screen because I’m sure my imagination is worse.  The costumes were amazing.  There was the extreme fashions of the capital and the poverty of District 12.  The costumes of District 12 reminded me a lot of World War II.  I was really excited to listen to the soundtrack of the movie and I was surprised at how little music there was throughout the movie.  A lot of scenes were just the actors talking – there didn’t need to be all this music to make you feel something.  The acting, especially from the teenagers, was amazing.  Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) did an especially superb job portraying real and intense pain.  And the way they filmed it with the camera movements and editing made it feel like a documentary.  This movie is going to win awards.  Lots of them.

What blew me away the most about this movie was how similar the supposedly futuristic society is to ours.  The idea of celebrity, violence as entertainment, our obsession with luxury and fashion are all things we do now.  I know that the books have all these themes, but there’s something about watching it that really got to me.  When I sat and thought about it, it’s disturbing how close our society is to doing something like this.  At one point in the movie, all the tributes are brought out on horse drawn chariots and it drove home the point that as a society we HAVE done something like this before.  History can repeat itself.  When I left the theater, I deeply felt how disturbing it is to watch violence and call it entertainment.  A lot of movies have tried to accomplish that before, but this is the only movie where I felt like it came across to the point that I wanted to change.  There’s a scene in the movie where Haymitch is watching these kids play with a toy sword and the brother chases his sister around with it while the parents laugh.  Talk about an eye opener.  There are so many little things in this movie that make you feel like all of this is so wrong.  Gayle points out to Katniss at the beginning that if no one watched it, there wouldn’t be a Hunger Games.  And Katniss says, “But they won’t stop.”  But I’m going to.  I just don’t feel like watching violent movies anymore.

I loved this movie.  It made me think deep thoughts, it was so moving and amazingly well done.  What did you think?

The Dusty Bookshelf March Swag Swap Event!

It’s March and I’ve got more fun stuff for those in my reading challenge! (You can still sign up by writing a blog post and linking it here or joining my Goodreads group).

Welcome to the first ever Swag Swap Event!  I thought it would be fun for you guys to get some new bookmarks for those books you have been staring at for years.  Your bookmarks can be new and exciting even if your dusty books aren’t :)  I have bookmarks to giveaway, but I thought it would be even more fun to have you guys swap swag and such amongst yourselves!

So here’s how it works.

  • Click the link at the bottom of this post and fill out the form before March 12.
  • You will be assigned a swapping buddy by March 16. (This isn’t anonymous – if you don’t send anything, they will know who you are!  The person you send something to is the person you will be receiving something from.)
  • You can send your swapping buddy some of your extra bookmarks and other book related swag, a postcard, or a homemade bookmark (YA FRIENDLY PLEASE).
  • You have until March 31st to get your swag in the mail.
  • You may be assigned someone who lives internationally from you.  I am not asking you to send big, expensive packages.  Postage for an international letter from the U.S. is about $1 – it’s even less for a postcard.
  • You must be a part of my reading challenge to sign up for this swag swap.
  • You must be at least 13 years old to sign up.

I understand this is not something all of you can do, so I am also doing a giveaway! I will randomly select people who fill out the form and send them some swag pictured below until it is all gone.  I hope I have at least one thing to send to everyone who enters, but we’ll see :)

I have bracelets, magnets, tattoos, signed bookmarks, leather bookmarks, and postcards that you could win!

Fill out this form to sign up!