Sunday, June 30, 2013

Monthly Wrap-Up: June 2013

So I've decided to start doing monthly wrap-ups and monthly kick-offs to keep you guys updated and also so I can keep myself organized with what I did/what I have to do during the month.

So let's give this a go.

Favorite Read:



It was so hard to pick just one book that was the best of the month because I read SO many amazing reads in June so I think this book stands for the whole series of The Hunger Games because the series was the bet I've ever read.

On the Blog:


Reviews

Stung by Bethany Wiggins ( 5 pink flowers)
The Symptoms of My Insanity by Mindy Raf (4 pink flowers)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (5 pink flowers)
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (5 pink flowers)
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (5 pink flowers)
PODs by Michelle Pickett (2 pink flowers)
The Elite by Kiera Cass (4 pink flowers)


Memes

Top Ten Books Featuring Travel In Some Way
Top Ten Beach Reads
Top Ten Books On The Top Of My Summer TBR
Waiting on Wednesday #66
Top Ten Books I've Read So Far In 2013


Blog Tours

PODs Blog Tour Stop: Excerpt
Catherine Blog Tour Stop: Interview and Giveaway


Discussion Posts

I Just Didn't Like That Book







Reading Challenge Updates:



54 out of 100 read










15 out of 20 read








11 out of 30 read









Challenge Completed!  18 out of 17 read











5 out of 7 read











22 out of 31-40 read











14 out of 15 read











16 out of 20 read











12 out of 15 read











Challenge completed!  22 out of 7 read














Read-a-Thon Wrap-Up:



My Goal: 4 books
Books Read: 2
Challenge Failed


    1. Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3) by Suzanne Collins - My Review
    2. The Diviners (The Diviners #1) by Libba Bray



    Updates on the Blog:



    • I don't think I'm going to be posting any more Waiting on Wednesday memes for a while.  
    • I also will be holding off on IMM because I'm trying not to get any more books.  It won't work lol.
    • I WILL be posting Top Ten Tuesday memes because it is SO MUCH FUN!
    • I joined The Reviewers' Roundtable this month!  That means I will have weekly discussion posts every Monday!
    • As you guys probably know by now, GFC is gone.  Or will be tomorrow, July 1st.  So please, please, PLEASE make sure you follow my blog another way so you can keep up to date on my posts.  Also you can follow via email in the sidebar!




    THANKS!!!

    Saturday, June 29, 2013

    {Review} The Elite by Kiera Cass

    First off, I would just like to mention that I've decided to change my review style a bit.  I think that now (when I feel like it) I will actually be discussing the book instead of just giving a vague review.  So there will be spoilers.  But I think that by discussing the book I can actually give you guys a better review, and for those of you who have read the books that I review you can talk about it with me too.  And don't worry you guys that haven't read the books I'll be reviewing.  I will clearly mark off where there are spoilers, set the spoiler text to white so there is NO chance you will read anything by accident, and if you want to read the spoiler you just have to highlight where the text is so you can see it!
    I'm trying to make my blog more open to my followers so you guys will feel like you maybe know me a bit better and won't hesitate to leave your thoughts about a book (whether you agree with my opinion or not) so we can discuss it. :)

    Ok now on with the review!! :)




    The Elite
    by Kiera Cass
    Series: The Selection #2
    Pages: 323
    Release Date: April 23, 2013
    by HarperTeen

    Goodreads / Purchase
    The hotly-anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestseller The Selece Selection.
    Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea. America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.
    Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.


    This book is, by no means, a great work of literature that will forever be remembered.  But it IS a perfect summer read because it’s light, fluffy, but interesting at the same time.  I really enjoyed this story.  The writing was kind of meh in the beginning but then I started to really like it.  Sometimes the descriptions or events weren’t written very well, but I’ll cut Kiera Cass a bit of slack.  There was a ton of conflict and drama in this book and I couldn’t help but be completely riveted by it, even though I am STRONGLY Team Maxon (I despise Aspen).  I liked the twists and turns, and the staging, for the most part, even though there was one really bad event that was staged.  But, ignoring that, I thought the story line was really good.  [SPOILER: Also some of America’s decisions were really stupid (like the big one at the end where she proposes to eliminate the casts, which, honestly, I thought was a good idea) and then acts surprised when exactly what she wnted to happen happens.  Also I found it kind of annoying that every time America opened that diary and read it just HAPPENED to be something that helped the story line and the staging.To add to that, some of the things in this book weren’t exactly consistent.  Let me get this straight: America lives in a futuristic, dystopian world that has a king, queen, prince/princess, and you have to wear ball gowns and be eloquent…yet you have DJs.  I found that absolutely hilarious, but very interesting and cool at the same time because you don’t see that combination very often.  Or ever.  I absolutely LOVED the ending and how everything was cleared up love-triangle wise, and I have very high expectations for the final book.

    [MINOR SPOILERS IN THIS SECTION: One thing that I noticed and felt like I had to mention was the similarity of this book to The Hunger Games.  You guys are probably thinking, “What the hell are you talking about?!  The Hunger Games is about 24 kids fighting to the death, and this book is about 35 girls trying to win a prince’s heart.”  But let me explain.
    First off, both books are dystopians, and there is a love triangle.  There is a competition where people are eliminated (yes, in this book they’re just sent home, not killed).  But then you get more in depth.  In both books there is an uprising, and also there are Casts, otherwise known as Districts in The Hunger Games.  Then you have the Selected, otherwise known as Tributes (even though the methods for picking are different if I remember correctly).  Then you have the love triangle.  In The Selection, you have Maxon and Aspen.  In The Hunger Games, you have Peeta and Gale.  Maxon is basically Peeta, and Aspen is basically Gale.
    Maxon and Peeta are both pampered, aren’t used to hard work, and have a better standing in society.  I also found both very weak and sometimes annoying (Peeta for all the Hunge Games books, but Maxon only for The Selection.  Also, Katniss didn’t really notice Peeta until the Hunger Games, just like America didn’t really notice Maxon until the Selection.
    Aspen and Gale are both hard working, tough, and lower-standing people who Katniss/America knew before she/she went into the Hunger Games/Selection.
    And then, for the grand finale (and I literally laughed at this one) there is a part of the world in The Elite that is called Panama, not at all to be confused with The Hunger Games setting, Panem.  Spelled differently, but pronounced basically the same way (minus the “aa” sound at the end).  I thought that was hilarious. ]

    Now we get to the characters.  First off, let me just set the record straight.  I am 100000000% Team Maxon for life!  I hate Aspen with a passion (seriously, the dude’s a jerk) and I honestly don’t know why there is even any question which one America should pick.  But anyway.  [SPOILER: I don’t think there’s really going to be a love triangle with America, Maxon, and Aspen in the third book because the ending of this book kind of hinted that America was going to fight for Maxon.  So I’m guessing there’s going to be a love triangle between Maxon, America, Kriss, and possibly Celeste.  Interesting. ]  Just like in The Selection, I really liked America.  Usually that doesn’t really happen for me in love triangles, but I really liked her strength, spunk, and attitude.  [SPOILER: Plus, anytime I can feel myself kind of starting to dislike her I just think back to how she kneed Maxon in the groin in the first book and I love her again lol.  I like Maxon, I just think it was hilarious that she did that and Maxon still loves her. ]  I also like Maxon.  What should their ship name be?  Hmmm…maybe Amaxon.  Yes, I like that very much lol.  Anyway, Maxon really grew on me in this book.  I remember thinking he was weak and all in the first book, but after the ending of this book I really respected him and thought he was a strong character.  [SPOILER: Even though it really annoyed me that he was running around making out with all the other girls when he loved America.  And I know he had an excuse, but it was a really shitty one. ]  Should I even waste my time talking about Aspen?  After what he did to America in the first book I’ve despised him, and I have no intention of changing my mind.  I SHIP AMAXON FOREVER AND EVER!


    Seriously, the endings of these books are killing me.  Both have been huge cliffhangers, but I think The Selection’s ending was more killer that this one.  This one made me really happy because I like the direction I would imagine it’s going.  GO AMAXON!


    4 pink flowers



    What did you guys think of this book?  Leave your thoughts in a comment and we'll have a discussion! :)

    Tuesday, June 25, 2013

    Top Ten Books I've Read So Far in 2013


    Top 10 Tuesday is a meme by Broke and Bookish, hosted each Tuesday, where bloggers list their top 10 in the chosen topic of the week.

    Today's Topic:

    Top Ten Books I've Read So Far in 2013



    Defiance by C.J. Redwine
    This was a really awesome, kick-but sci-fi/dystopian novel.  It had a really unique romance that I really loved reading about, and beautiful writing.  Also, let's just take a minute to appreciate the kick-ass-ness of this cover.  Seriously, I want her leggings and boots!

    My Review











    Unleashed by Nancy Holder & Debbie Vigue
    I didn't expect to like this one as much as I did.  But it was so interesting and creepy and good that I couldn't help but love it.  Also the love interest, Trick, reminded me of my favorite actor that I really like am in love with that played a cowboy once and was so sexy. So the whole time I was imagining Trick as this actor and omg it was awesome haha.

    My Review









    Shadows in the Silence by Courtney Allison Moulton
    I was so sad to see this series go and having Will and Ellie leave but at the same time it wrapped up the series so well and aaggh this book and series is just so good!


    My Review












    Escape Theory by Margaux Froley
    I wasn't expecting to like this one as much as I did either.  It took me completely by surprise, but I loved the humor, writing, mystery, story line, and characters.  I don't even usually read mystery books, but this one really reminded me of my all-time favorite mystery book, Deadly Cool. :)


    My Review










    In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters
    This is quiet possibly the best debut book I've ever read, definitely the best debut of 2013, and possibly my favorite book of 2013 besides a few other.  The world of this book is just mesmerizing, and the writing is so beautiful.  There is really no way to describe this book.  It is completely unique and absolutely amazing.  READ IT!


    My Review










    Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
    OH MY GOD! This book.  I don't know how to describe it.  It can't be described.  The feels from this book!  I don't even know what the shipping name for Pat and Tiffany are (Piffany?) but OMG THEY ARE MY OTP YOU GUYS!  And the movie!!  *faints* the movie was so freaking good!  This book is just so heartfelt and sad but at the same time hopeful.  If you guys haven't read it yet seriously what are you doing with your life?!

    My Review








    Stung by Bethany Wiggins
    This book really reminded me of Defiance (which is listed above).  So, of course, it was amazing.  And very sad.  I cried a few times in this book.  But I really loved it.  The action and story line were awesome.  If you guys have read any PJO books you would know how Rick Riordan always puts Percy and the gang into really difficult posititons and then gets them out in a completely believeable and imaginative and thrilling way.  Well, Bethany Wiggins did this perfectly, and not many people can do that.  Of the authors I've read, only her, Maria V. Snyder, and Rick Riordan have been able to accomplish that.  So yeah, READ THIS BOOK!


    My Review




    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
    I actually re-read this this year and you guys it's even better the second time around.  When I first read it the movie hadn't even come out yet and there weren't a ton of fandom accounts on Intagram and stuff, and I've recently gotten into that kind of thing, and now that I've read the whole series (they're listed below) I'm a hard-core Hunger Games fangirl!  Seriously, I have a huge freakin poster that takes up half my wall in my room.  If that's not dedication then I don't know what is.  And I also have the beautiful box set.  And I'm going to buy the movie. YOU GUYS I HAVE A PROBLEM - BUT I LOVE IT!


    My Review







    Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
    Out of this whole series I liked The Hunger Games the most but you guys have to understand, this whole series is in a class of its own.  All three books are so amazing.  I will admit, though, that I totally guessed how Peeta and Katniss survived (NO SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS) but it was still so thrilling to read how they did it and also to read it and find out that I was right lol


    My Review








    Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
    Oh Mockingjay, you live ruiner you!  The feels from this book were just unbearable.  I CRIED MY EYES OUT!  OMG!  This was an amazing ending to this amazing series, even though it was a little less thrilling, and showcased the love triangle more, which I didn't enjoy.  By the way, I'M TOTALLY TEAM GALE!
    Anyway, this book was a lot darker and depressing than the other two, and the only way I can describe it is wrong, but in a good way because it's just so dark.  I'm not making any sense.  Those of you who have read it will know what I mean lol!

    My Review








    The Diviners by Libba Bray
    After reading this book I am totally sold on Libba Bray.  I read her Gemma Doyle books a while ago and LOVED them, and I also read Beauty Queens which I wasn't really a fan of but whatever.  Gemma Doyle was an amazing series, but it was kind of quick and not amazingly written.  But after reading this book, Libba Bray has proven herself as a first-class writer.  The way she developed the story and the characters can only be described as beautiful, and the way she crafted the story line and the villain and the ending.  You guys, this book is creepy AF!  DO NOT READ IT AT NIGHT!  Seriously whenever I think of this book I think of Naughty John and then I think of his song, and then I start to sing "Naughty John, Naughty John, does his work with his apron on" and I get so freaked out!  But this is just such an amazing book!



    What's your Top Ten this week?
    Link me up!



    WAIT!!!!!!
    One more thing!!

    So, as you guys may or may not know Google Friend Connect and RSS follower will be shutting down on July 1st...so, if you guys really do actually like my blog and would like to continue getting updates, please, PLEASE, PLEASE follow my blog via BlogLovin!



    Follow on Bloglovin


    To those of you who followed, thank you, I love you so much!!!!  For those of you who didn't follow...well I got nothin for ya.

    :)

    Monday, June 24, 2013

    Updates and Announcement

    So recently I've been kind of at war with myself.  I've been trying to decide if I should continue with this blog.  I've been blogging for a year and a half and I feel like I haven't really gotten anywhere.  PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT I'M NOT COMPLAINING OR ANYTHING!  I'm just letting you guys know what's going on.

    I feel like it's kind of pointless to keep on reading and putting an effort into posting good content when not many people even read my posts.  At least, that's how it feels to me.  And you guys have to understand, I'm not getting on you or anything.  It just feels like all I've accomplished in a year and a half is getting sick of reading books because I've pushed myself too much.

    So I've decided that I'm going to cut back on my blogging schedule.  I'm going to read the books I want to read when I want to read them, and if I happen to write a review and post it then that works.

    I'm going to try this for a bit but if it feels like I'm just posting to amuse myself and no one is paying attention then I think I'm just going to stop.

    I'm not going to be doing blog tours or giveaways or guest posts or interviews.  I'm going to be talking about books.  That's it.

    Also, I've been thinking about adding books to movies onto my blog.  So I'll talk about the movies and books as they come out/are filmed.  Also maybe just movie reviews of the movies that I think should get a review.

    Also I'm going to be doing a lot more discussion posts.  I feel like that's a really great way to interact with you guys and make it more fun to follow my blog haha.  Maybe that will make you guys feel like you know me more and feel like talking books and commenting and having fun.

    And I'll be doing Top Ten Tuesday every week, but not Waiting on Wednesday anymore.

    So I want to know what you guys think.  I would like to know what YOU guys want me to post?

    ALSO, PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT I'M NOT TRYING TO BE A BITCH!  I'M NOT TRYING TO GET ATTENTION OR BE MEAN.  BLOGGING HAS BEEN MY LIFE FOR A YEAR AND A HALF AND I PUT A LOT OF WORK IN AND FEEL LIKE I DON'T GET A WHOLE LOT OF THINGS IN RETURN.  SO I'M JUST GOING TO DO A TRIAL RUN AND SEE HOW IT GOES, AND IF I FEEL LIKE IT'S NOT GONNA WORK OUT I'M JUST GONNA STOP.

    Thanks everyone who read this.  Please understand that I'm not trying to be dramatic or look for attention these are my honest thoughts on the matter and it's a big part of my life.

    Love ya guys!

    The Reviewers' Roundtable - I Just Didn't Like That Book



    I am a new member of the awesome reviewers at The Reviewers' Roundtable! *happy dance*

    The Reviewers' Roundtable is our version of a weekly feature where we discuss a book related/blogging topic.


    Meet the Reviewers:
    Michelle from Pink Polka Dot Blog (Thursdays)
    Emily from Read Your Bookcase (Fridays)
    And me (Emily) from Emily's Crammed Bookshelf (Mondays)



    You know when there's this book, this really hyped up book that everyone is obsessing over and fangirling over and oohh it's just so amazing?  Yeah, I'm sure we've all heard of them.  Well, what happens when you don't actually LIKE the hyped up books?  What happens when you are the only living person on earth who didn't like a book?  Well, you're all alone with your failure.


    Really popular books that everyone loved...but I didn't:



    House of Night series by P.C. & Kristin Cast
    I read the first book, Marked, and could barely get through it.  And, when I looked on the Goodreads page there were 5 stars pretty much across the board.  I have absolutely no interest in continuing this series.  It had no substance, no building, annoying characters, and horrible writing.  I truly hated this book/series.











    Graceling by Kristin Cashore
    I by no means hated this book.  I actually gave it 4 stars.  I actually kind of loved it...except for the beginning.  The beginning was all kinds of wrong.  The main character, Katsa, was a complete brute, there was a crazy case of insta love and then insta-love-with-sex.  What I couldn't believe was that there are so many reviews of this book, yet none of them seemed to mention any of those flaws.  But the second half of this book was SOO amazing it more than made up for the horrible beginning.  Let's just say the first part of this book belongs on this list...but the second belongs on my favorites list.









    Divergent by Veronica Roth
    This book I didn't really like...like at all.  This book is on the same popular level as Hunger Games and Harry Potter...and for the life of me I couldn't figure out why.  The idea was amazing, but to me the writing was below-par, the story line was boring and predictable, the romance was completely bland, and the characters were blocks of wood.  I'd heard how strong Tris was but to me she came across as really stuck up, mean, emotionless, and very above everyone.  I'd also heard that Tobias was so so SO sexy...but he wasn't.  He had absolutely no personality.  At least Peter had personality!  I actually kind of liked him more than Tobias.
    Ok sorry.  Rant over.  I did hear, though, that the second book is a LOT better, so I'm still going to be checking it out.  And I'm also really excited for the movie because I don't think they'll depict Tris as how she was in the book, and I've seen pictures of Tobias and he actually looks really hot.




    Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
    I can't even remember what happened in this book. I think I read it like a year ago and I remember thinking "Wow, this is kind of bland and boring".  It just wasn't the amazing, fast-paced book I had heard it was going to be.  But I think I'll re-read it soon so I can at least remember what happened and support my argument lol.













    The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer
    I didn't hate this series either.  I just can't remember it (again).  I can remember the beginning of the first book, the ending of the first book (but only because I just saw the movie) and the beginning of the last book.  Everything in between is blank.  I DO remember hating Bella and Edward.  I was totally Team Jacob.  Also the writing wasn't very good.  I can't talk about the story line because I can't remember WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED. Haha.








    Really popular books that everyone has read...but I haven't:



    The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
    EVERYONE HAS READ THIS SERIES!  FREAKING EVERYONE!  Except me. *hides in shame* *cowers in corner*  I'm listing this one first because I MUST read this series soon.  I have the first 3 books sitting on my shelf just begging me to read them...and I will very very soon because the movie is coming out in August.  Yeah.











    The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
    Oh hey waddya know...another Cassandra Clare series that everyone has read and that's being made into a movie and I still haven't read I don't even own and need to go buy like now bye *orders off Amazon*














    The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
    Yep.  Haven't read this one either.  Don't hate me or make fun of me or be mean to me!  I know what a bad girl I am!  But I will need to read this soon because there is going to be a movie and I need to read before I can watch.  That is the rule that I've made for myself.












    Really popular books that everyone has read and loved...and I have too:

    These books are the most epic of the epic.  They're so amazing I can't even describe how amazing they are, I can't even put into words how much I loved them.  So yeah.




    The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
    THIS SERIES IS FREAKING AMAZING!  I actually own this box set and omg it's so beautiful!  The writing, I will admit, isn't amazing, but that is more than made up for with the amazing characters, action, story line, and twists.  My favorite book was the first one, I completely guessed the ending of the second one, and the last one was a lot more boring and dark, but I still LOVED them all!  So much!!!

    Also, I really loved the movie!  OMG it was so amazing!  You guys have no idea how freaking excited I am for Catching Fire to come out.  I CAN'T FREAKING WAIT!!

    OH OH AND ONE MORE THING!  I just wanted to tell you guys this because I think it's SO COOL!  My birthday is May 8...AND KATNISS' BIRTHDAY IS MAY 8 TOO!!  AAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!






    Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
    The epicness of this series cannot be matched!  It is easily the best mythology and adventure series I've ever read.  The characters and the twists and the story and the writing and the humor all combine to make one big ball of awesomeness...in the shape of a book.  Yeah.

    Yes, the Lightning Thief movie was the worst movie ever, but they have a second chance with the Sea of Monsters movie...which I'm not expecting much out of. But the books are just so good that the fact that the movies are shit can't even ruin them.  That's how you know if a book is good.





    Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
    Honestly I'm not even going to talk about this one much.  It's freaking Harry Potter!  Need I say more?
    This series is the best series ever.  I've actually read it so many times I am sick of it.  But it's still the best story I've ever read.

    The movies...I wasn't a fan.  But, like with PJO, the books were so good that even the movie couldn't ruin it.










    Okay there ya go!  My first post for The Reviewers' Roundtable.  THAT WAS SO FUN!


    LET ME KNOW WHAT YOUR THOUGHTS ARE ON OUR TOPIC!!!

    Friday, June 21, 2013

    Catherine Blog Tour Stop



    Catherine
    by April Lindner
    Pages: 320
    Release Date: January 2, 2013
    by Poppy (an imprint of Little Brown)

    Goodreads / Purchase
    A forbidden romance. A modern mystery. Wuthering mHeights as you’ve never seen it before. Catherine is tired of struggling musicians befriending her just so they can get a gig at her Dad’s famous Manhattan club, The Underground. Then she meets mysterious Hence, an unbelievably passionate and talented musician on the brink of success. As their relationship grows, both are swept away in a fiery romance. But when their love is tested by a cruel whim of fate, will pride keep them apart? Chelsea has always believed that her mom died of a sudden illness, until she finds a letter her dad has kept from her for years—a letter from her mom, Catherine, who didn’t die: She disappeared. Driven by unanswered questions, Chelsea sets out to look for her—starting with the return address on the letter: The Underground.
    Told in two voices, twenty years apart, Catherine interweaves a timeless forbidden romance with a compelling modern mystery. 




    Author Interview:


    1. Why did you decide to become a writer?
    I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I was little.  There were other things I wanted to be as well—a rock star, a painter, a tight-rope walker—but writing was the one that stuck.

    2. Who were your biggest influences?
    Over the years, I’ve been in a lot of creative writing classes, and have had many amazing teachers.  In college I took a poetry workshop with the wonderful poet Mekeel McBride, and her playful way of looking at world really won me over; I primarily wrote poetry for a long time after that and studied with a series of poets—Andrew Hudgins, Charles Simic, Thomas Lux—more than I could list here.  But I’ve always read novels and wanted to write one of my own, so I’ve taken fiction classes too, with the late Thomas Williams and Charles Wachtel.  When I sit down to write I still sometimes hear the voices of my teachers in my head, telling me what’s working and what isn’t, urging me to do better.

    3. Where do you like to write?
    There’s a coffee shop a few blocks away from my house and I write there at least half the time.  Writing can be a lonely endeavor; it helps to be surrounded by people, even if you’re not interacting with them.  And the baristas all know me by name, which is nice.

    4. Do you have a special routine you like to do before you write?
    No…and that’s deliberate.  I used to have a whole ritual for writing.  I’d decorate my desk at home with sea glass and bouquets of herbs from my garden, and I would light a candle—everything had to be just so!  Then I had a really bad period of writer’s block, and I haven’t been able to bring myself to sit at that desk since then.  I now associate that spot and those rituals with feeling tense and blocked.  Ever since, I’ve tried to keep things casual and shake it up a bit.  When I get tired of writing at the coffee shop, I write on my front porch or even in bed.  Now there are only two things I need when I write—quiet and coffee.  And even the quiet part is optional.

    5. When and how did you get the idea for Catherine?
    After I wrote my first novel, Jane, a modernization of Jane Eyre, I knew I wanted to write another retelling of a classic novel.  Wuthering Heights was the most obvious choice, since it’s my other all-time favorite novel.  But I had trouble settling on how to make the story contemporary.  I knew I wanted the setting to be as important as any of the book’s characters, as in the original source material, and I started out by setting a few chapters in the White Mountains of northern New Hampshire, a place that can feel almost as stark and remote as the Yorkshire moors—but that’s not my world.  I’m a city girl, and I just wasn’t feeling it.  Then one night I was seeing a rock show at the legendary Stone Pony—a nightclub in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and I felt more energized, more electric, than I had in a long time.  That’s when I came up with the idea of setting my story in a punk rock club on New York’s Lower East Side—a place that has a lot of character and edge of its own.  I’ve never lived there, but I’ve always wanted to.

    6. Is there another book in the works? If so, what can we expect?
    I’ve been working on a third contemporary retelling, this time of E. M. Forster’s A Room With a View.  I came to this novel by way of the delightful Merchant-Ivory film adaptation, starring a very young Helena Bonham Carter.  I loved it so much that I went right out and read the novel, and fell equally in love with it.  It’s the story of a conventional young British girl who goes on a tour of Italy and falls in love with a freethinking young man, an experience that throws the rest of her whole life into question.  In my retelling, a young American girl takes a backpacking trip through Europe.  In Italy she falls in with a street musician from New Jersey, and all the careful plans she’s made for her future start coming unglued.


    THIS OR THAT

    1. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?
    Dark

    2. Cats or dogs?
    Dogs!

    3. Hardcover, paperback or ebook?
    Trade paperbacks


    WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE?

    1. Movie?
    It’s still A Room With a View

    2. Ice cream flavor?
    Peppermint Stick—especially if I can have hot fudge on top

    3. Animal?
    How to choose?  I love them all—but I have a particular soft spot for deer.  They’re so graceful, delicate and shy.  And I’m a sucker for those big brown eyes!

    4. Book?
    Jane Eyre will always be my first love.

    5. Actor and actress?
    Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn.  (You can probably guess that Roman Holiday is another of my favorite movies.)

    6. Fictional character?

    I wish my answer wasn’t so predictable…but I cannot tell a lie.  Jane Eyre!




    Get to know April Lindner:


    Bio:

    April Lindner is the author of two novels, Catherine, a modernization of Wuthering Heights, and Jane, an update of Jane Eyre.  She also has published two poetry collections, Skin and This Bed Our Bodies Shaped. She plays acoustic guitar badly, sees more rock concerts than she’d care to admit, travels whenever she can, cooks Italian food, and lavishes attention on her pets—two Labrador retriever mixes and two excitable guinea pigs.
    A professor of English at Saint Joseph’s University, April lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons.


    Connect:





    Giveaway:


    A hardcover copy of CATHERINE by April Lindner to THREE (3) winners.
    It is a tour-wide giveaway shared across all the stops via a common Rafflecopter.
    Giveaway is US only.
    Must be 13 or older to enter.
    Giveaway ends July 4 at 11:59 p.m.
    Winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter and contacted by email.
    Mandatory requirement is to leave a comment. Optional entries are to Like the CATHERINE Facebook page, follow the author on Twitter and Tweet (daily) about the tour/giveaway.

    All giveaway options are weighted evenly.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway




    Follow the Tour:


    Week One
    June 17th – Bewitched Bookworms – Review + Interview
    June 18th – Jessabella Reads – Guest Post
    June 19th – Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews – Interview
    June 20th – Romancing the Dark Side – Guest Post
    June 20th – Between the Pages – Review
    June 21st – Emily’s Crammed Bookshelf – Interview
    June 21st – A Little Shelf of Heaven – Review

    Week Two
    June 24th – Parajunkee – Guest Post
    June 25th – The Book Belles – Interview
    June 25th – The Bookmark Blog – Review
    June 26th – Curling Up With A Good Book – Review
    June 26th – Ink Skies – Interview
    June 27th – BookHounds – Guest Post
    June 27th – To Read or Not To Read – Review
    June 28th – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Guest Post

    Wednesday, June 19, 2013

    Waiting on Wednesday #66

    This is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlites upcoming new releases that we're highly anticipating.



    This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:


    The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman


    Publisher:  Knopf Books for Young Readers
    Release Date: September 10, 2013



    They called it the killing day. Twelve people dead, all in the space of a few hours. Five murderers: neighbors, relatives, friends. All of them so normal. All of them seemingly harmless. All of them now dead by their own hand . . . except one. And that one has no answers to offer the shattered town. She doesn't even know why she killed—or whether she'll do it again.

    Something is waking in the sleepy town of Oleander's, Kansas—something dark and hungry that lives in the flat earth and the open sky, in the vengeful hearts of upstanding citizens. As the town begins its descent into blood and madness, five survivors of the killing day are the only ones who can stop Oleander from destroying itself. Jule, the outsider at war with the world; West, the golden boy at war with himself; Daniel, desperate for a different life; Cass, who's not sure she deserves a life at all; and Ellie, who believes in sacrifice, fate, and in evil. Ellie, who always goes too far. They have nothing in common. They have nothing left to lose. And they have no way out. Which means they have no choice but to stand and fight, to face the darkness in their town—and in themselves.


    What are you guys waiting on this week?
    Link me up!!!



    WAIT!!!!!!
    One more thing!!

    So, as you guys may or may not know Google Friend Connect and RSS follower will be shutting down on July 1st...so, if you guys really do actually like my blog and would like to continue getting updates, please, PLEASE, PLEASE follow my blog via BlogLovin!



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