Update on my LIIIIFFFFEEE

Okay, I feel like I keep doing these posts. These “I’ve been a bit absent, but I’m BAAACCCKKK” posts. But bear with me this time because I’ve got some super amazing, wonderful, incredible things happening in my life but they are taking up ALLLL of my time. I have a lot of caps so far in the post. Oops.

So, in case you don’t follow me on Twitter (which you should do because I’m practically always on Twitter), then you might not know, but

I GOT A NEW JOB AND I MOVED TO CHICAGO FOR IT AND LIFE IS GREAT AND I’M OUT OF THE SOUTH AND AND AND

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Life is weird sometimes, but it is also absolutely wonderful. Some of you know but I’d been having a bit of a rough go of it in Mississippi, and this position at Sourcebooks is exactly what I’ve always wanted to do in a city that I’ve always loved with a company that is proving each day to be even more amazing than I thought.

And even though I’m super happy with everything, I miss blogging. HOWEVER, it’s still going to be another week or so until I have time for it, because not only did I just pack up all of my belongings and move to Chicago, I’m also flying to Atlanta this weekend for the Decatur Book Festival, where I’m moderating not 1, not 2, but THREE awesome panels!! I’ll tell you more about those soon.

I miss all of you, and I hope you’re doing really well. I’m always happy to email or tweet or DM or any of that, but I’ll be away from the blog for just a little while longer. Bear with me.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books that should be required reading

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Back To School Freebie — anything “back to school” related like 10 favorite books I read in school, books I think should be required reading, Required Reading For All Fantasy Fans, required reading for every college freshman, Books to Pair With Classics or Books To Complement A History Lesson, books that would be on my classroom shelf if I were a teacher

I decided to list some of the books I think should be required or suggested reading for LIFE. You’ll find that a lot of the books on this list can help you understand the world around us and the people in it better. These books will expand your world view, the way you see other people, and, most importantly, the way you see yourself. These books helped me to realize that I have anxiety (which lead me to get help); these books gave me hope when I had none; these books helped me open my eyes to the people around me and to see the world through clearer eyes; and these books can serve as a warning of sorts for behavior in yourself or others that could warrant the need for help, all while telling you that getting help is okay. I tried to avoid typically required reading (The Book Thief, To Kill a Mockingbird, etc.) to include books that might not always be included in school. I went a bit over the ten books limit, so I’ve just included covers which are linked to the books’ corresponding Goodreads page.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky   The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner   It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini   Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu   My Heart & Other Black Holes final   Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig   Beloved

The Outsiders   If I Was Your Girl   When I Was the Greatest      George by Alex Gino

The Girl who Fell by Shannon M. Parker   The Humans by Matt Haig   The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time   A Monster Calls

The Color Purple   Mosquitoland by David Arnold   Things Fall Apart   The Walking Dead, Volume 1 cover

Which books do you think should be required reading? Have you read any of these books? Do you agree with me?

 

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My TBR from before I Started Blogging

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Ten Books That Have Been On Your Shelf (Or TBR) From Before You Started Blogging That You STILL Haven’t Read Yet

The Diviners by Libba Bray // Legend by Marie Lu
Every Day by David Levithan // Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath // Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin // The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor // Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Have you read any of these books? Which ones should I move up my TBR?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Fictional Settings

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Top Ten Books With X Setting (top ten books set near the beach, top ten book set in boarding school, top ten books set in England, etc)

Top Ten Books With a Fictional Setting

Harry Potter series | the Wizarding World / Hogwarts – Do I really need to explain this one? I actually teared up when I walked into Diagon Alley for the first time at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando.

Lumberjanes | Miss Qiunzilla Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s camp for hard-core lady-types – Because OBVIOUSLY I’m a hard-core lady-type

lumberjanes-for-hardcore-lady-typesSource

The Hobbit | The Shire – Hobbits, Elevenses, small houses, more food, and visits by Gandalf. What could be better?

Peter Pan | Neverland – Despite the fact that Captain Hook is a jerk, Neverland is full of fairies, mermaids (who might eat you but whatevs), pirates, and the possibility that you could FLYYYYY.

Shadow & Bone / Six of Crows | Grishaverse – I’m putting the entire Grishaverse because it’s hard to just choose one area. I’d love to visit Ravka or Ketterdam. I think I might even want to visit the Fold once, you know, just to say I did.

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A Darker Shade of Magic | Londons – I’d obviously prefer this one if I could move between the different Londons like Kell, but if I had to choose one, it’d obviously be Red London because all the magic.

The Jackaby books | New Fiddleham – Historical fiction with the addition of paranormal creatures and beings. Gimme.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory | the Chocolate Factory – Come ON. If you don’t agree with this one, I’m not sure if we can be friends. I’d obviously want to visit without all the mishaps but ALLLLL of the chocolate river.

Magonia | Magonia – A city iN THE SKY YOU GUYS OMG

The Chronicles of Narnia | Narnia – I feel like this is another one that doesn’t require a whole bunch of explanation. Give me that delicious looking Turkish Delight and snow and talking animals and the fact that it is IN A WARDROBE and I’m sold.

NarniaSource

Which fictional worlds would you want to visit?

Interview with Tara Sim, author of TIMEKEEPER

Hey guys! I’m super excited to be hosting the love Tara Sim, author of upcoming debut TIMEKEEPER, for an interview! Let me tell you a bit about the book first, and then we can get down to business.

TimekeeperTitle: Timekeeper // Author: Tara Sim
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Expected publication date: November 1, 2016

Two o’clock was missing.

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.

The stunning first novel in a new trilogy by debut author Tara Sim, Timekeeper is perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare and Victoria Schwab.

INTERVIEW

Hi Tara! Thanks so much for agreeing to do this interview! I know a lot of people are looking forward to reading TIMEKEEPER, so let’s learn a little more about the book and you.

Describe yourself in 6 words.

Tall, biracial, grumpy, bangs, tea, Gryffindor.

Describe TIMEKEEPER in 6 words.

Clocks, magic, boys, time, explosions, myth.

Tell us something interesting that we won’t find out in the book about your MCs.

Danny’s birthday is March 23. I like figuring out character birthdays via Zodiac signs, so being an Aries but close to the cusp with Pisces felt right for Danny.

And I don’t explicitly say so on the page because they didn’t have the terminology back then, but Colton is pansexual.

Book one is set in London and I saw in another interview you did that book two is set in India. If you could travel anywhere in the world to draw on for inspiration, where would you go and why?

Well, I would love to go back to India! It’s such a huge country, and I’d love to see even more of it. I would also like to go to Prague, for secret book 3 reasons. Other countries I’m dying to visit: Japan, New Zealand, Greece, France (again; I only had two days there), Austria, Italy—everywhere, really.

What’s been the best part of your journey to becoming an author so far?

Befriending the awesome people of the YA book community. I’ve made so many close friends here that now I can’t imagine my life without them. Also, the book bloggers, booksellers, librarians, etc. I’ve met online and in person are so kind and thoughtful and full of life. I love working with them!

I ask this of everyone – what’s your favorite book? I know this is a tough one, so you can talk about what you’re reading right now if that’s easier!

Gah, this is hard. If I had to pick my favorite book based on what shaped me/my life the most, it’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I grew up with fantasy (my other favorites: Harry Potter and everything by Tamora Pierce), but when I read LotR in the seventh grade it possessed me. It was seductive—it told me that I could make up huge worlds too, that I could control a group of characters and put them in danger and get them out of danger again. It was the thing that propelled me to be a writer.

Other than your own, who is your favorite fictional character?

Oh jeez, so many. Frodo, Aragorn, and Pippin from The Lord of the Rings; Sirius Black from Harry Potter; Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender; pretty much everyone in the Raven Cycle books; Nikolai Lantsov from the Grisha Trilogy; every single person in Star Wars: The Force Awakens; Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean; etc. etc. etc.

Anything else you’d like to tell us about you or your book?

My first attempt at writing this book was so ridiculously far from where it’s come. There have been endless revisions, rewrites, and rearranging to get the book to what it is now. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it. To the aspiring authors out there: if you feel passionate about a project, keep working hard and don’t give up!

ABOUT TARA

Tara SimTara Sim is a YA author found in the wilds of the Bay Area, California. When she’s not writing about magic, clocks, and boys, she drinks tea, wrangles cats, and sings opera.

Tara grew up in California, but braved the elements of Virginia to study English/Creative Writing at Hollins University.

Half-Indian and full geek, she eats too many samosas and awkwardly dances to Bhangra music.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Tumblr | Pinterest | Instagram

Blog Tour | Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh | Review, Interview, & Giveaway

FTDD Tour Banner

Hi, everyone! Today, I am super excited to be a part of the blog tour for Sarah Glenn Marsh’s beautiful book, FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP. Read on for my review of the book as well as a fun interview with Sarah. Plus, stick around for the end of the post, where we’ve got a great giveaway for you!

Fear the Drowning DeepHardcover, 310 pages

Expected Publication Date: October 4th, 2016

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Witch’s apprentice Bridey Corkill has hated the ocean ever since she watched her granddad dive in and drown with a smile on his face. So when a dead girl rolls in with the tide in the summer of 1913, sixteen-year-old Bridey suspects that whatever compelled her granddad to leap into the sea has made its return to the Isle of Man.

Soon, villagers are vanishing in the night, but no one shares Bridey’s suspicions about the sea. No one but the island’s witch, who isn’t as frightening as she first appears, and the handsome dark-haired lad Bridey rescues from a grim and watery fate. The cause of the deep gashes in Fynn’s stomach and his lost memories are, like the recent disappearances, a mystery well-guarded by the sea. In exchange for saving his life, Fynn teaches Bridey to master her fear of the water — stealing her heart in the process.

Now, Bridey must work with the Isle’s eccentric witch and the boy she isn’t sure she can trust — because if she can’t uncover the truth about the ancient evil in the water, everyone she loves will walk into the sea, never to return.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound

REVIEW

 I think if I had to describe FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP in one word, it’d have to be “gorgeous”. From the cover to the prose to the myths that overflow from its pages, FTDD is strange and beautiful and lovely.

I especially loved the mythology and the setting. The book is set on the Isle of Man, which is located in the Irish Sea right in the middle of England and Ireland. Mythology – from sea serpents to fairies to mermaids and so much more – is rife in the UK and Ireland, and I’ve always been fascinated by it, so it was wonderful to see all the ones that Sarah pulled into her book. Reading FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP reminded me of living in Scotland and traveling through the highlands, even though the landscape on an island is a bit different. It just reminded me of the feeling you get being surrounded by all of that history and folklore, talking to the people who live there and are as in love with it as you are.

There’s also a really intriguing mystery here that will draw you in. You’ll be intrigued by this newcomer, who everyone is suspicious of except for Bridey. The ocean is a deep and scary place, and I really felt that while reading the book.

INTERVIEW

Describe yourself in 6 words.

Obsessed with animals; Slytherin + Gryffindor; Browncoat.

Describe FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP in 6 words.

Salty. Weird. Mysterious. Romantic. Sisters. Monsters.

Tell us something interesting that we won’t find out in the book about Bridey, your MC.

Okay! Here’s something that’s not in the book: in the original draft, Bridey had a sea-nymph ancestor. Maybe she still does, but if so, it’s now a secret!

I know you’re a fan of mythology and FTDD features several. Tell us about your favorite myth or mythical creature.

Oh yes, I love mythology! It would be too hard for me to pick a favorite mythical beast though, so I’m going to tell you about one of my favorite Manx mythical creatures that’s not featured in FTDD: Jimmy Squarefoot.

Jimmy Squarefoot, according to myth, is a bipedal pig-headed creature that lives on the Isle of Man. He has giant feet and is supposedly a peaceful, wandering being. Some accounts of old Jimmy say that he was once ridden like a horse by a race of stone-throwing giants. How’s that for weird and wonderful? The Isle of Man has some fascinating mythology!

Check out this artist’s interpretation of Jimmy, just for fun (some things demand a visual):

Jimmy Squarefoot

What’s been the best part of your journey to becoming an author so far?

The people! Finding the book community on Twitter and interacting with/befriending everyone from aspiring authors to bloggers to favorite authors has been wonderful; I’ve found a place where I belong, and there’s no better feeling.

Oh, and I suppose holding my ARC of Fear the Drowning Deep for the first time was also pretty freaking thrilling!

But mainly, the people!

I ask this of everyone – what’s your favorite book? I know this is a tough one, so you can talk about what you’re reading right now if that’s easier!

I love this question! I’m going to talk about a book I recently finished, to which nothing else compares, and which has left me in a devastating book hangover as I anxiously await the companion novel: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers.

This book, you guys. It’s an adult sci-fi, and its strength and heart lie in its characters and unique, diverse world. The story follows the crew of a wormhole tunneling ship, and each has a fascinating story and perspectives. I dare you to read this and not get tangled up in the nuances of each crew member and their relationships. Whether you like sci-fi or not, since the focus is on character rather than plot, I’d recommend it to just about everyone!

Other than your own, who is your favorite fictional character?

I’d say Dutch from the SyFy show Killjoys. If you don’t know her, you should fix that. I love her because she does what she wants, kisses who she wants, and is just a witty badass with a heart of gold. She fights as well as her male counterparts on the show—if not better—and we need more characters like her!

Another favorite (now I’m cheating, naming two!) is Lexa from The 100; seeing her relationship with Clarke meant a lot to me, and she was an amazing, strong character.

Basically, I love ladies who kick ass in some form or fashion (looking at you, Daenerys Targaryen, Hermione Granger, Minerva McGonagall, Sabriel and Lirael, etc.!)

Anything else you’d like to tell us about you or your book?

Well, I hope you like it! 🙂

In all seriousness, I suppose I’d just want people to know that overall, FTDD is a book about relationships, and not just first love; there are sister relationships, parent relationships, family dynamics…complicated friendships, and even relationships within the town that shift and are tested throughout the story.

And that’s all; thank you so much for having me on your blog!

ABOUT SARAH

marsh_DSC_6365_2015.jpgSarah Glenn Marsh is the author of the YA fantasy Fear the Drowning Deep from Sky Pony Press, the forthcoming Reign of the Fallen fantasy duology from Razorbill (Penguin), as well as several forthcoming children’s picture books. An avid fantasy reader from the day her dad handed her a copy of The Hobbit and promised it would change her life, she’s been making up words and worlds ever since. She lives in Virginia with her husband and her tiny zoo of four rescued greyhounds, a bird, and many fish.

When she’s not writing, she’s often painting, or engaged in nerdy pursuits from video games to tabletop adventures. You can visit her online at www.sarahglennmarsh.com, and follow her on Twitter @SG_Marsh.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads

GIVEAWAY

Open INTL, the winner will be given an ARC of Fear the Drowning Deep, plus the tote bag designed by Evie Seo!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

CHECK OUT THE REST OF THE TOUR

Week 1: 

8/1 –   Bookish Lifestyle – Review + Tote Design
8/2 –   A Perfection Called Books – Review + Pinterest Board
8/3 –   Booknerd Addict – Review
8/4 –   Caught Read Handed – Review + Interview
8/5 –   Dana Square – Review

Week 2: 

8/8 –   Alexa Loves Books– Bookish Style Files
8/9 –   It Starts at Midnight– Review
/10 – The YA Book Traveler – Interview
8/11 – Brittany’s Book Rambles – Review + Playlist
8/12 – Stories & Sweeties – Bonnag Recipe + Excerpt

Throwback Thursdays with Caught Read Handed

Throwback ThursdayI’ve never really participated in Throwback Thursday (usually posted as #tbt on Twitter or Instagram), but I thought it’d be kind of fun to use Throwback Thursday to highlight some things from the past that I was obsessed with (and still love). So on Thursdays I’m going to throw it back by talking about a book, a movie or TV show, and a song or band from the past.TBT BookLet’s take it ALLLLL the way back to one of the first books I ever read by myself – THE FOOT BOOK by Dr. Seuss. If I had to choose one author’s books as instilling a love of reading in me, it would probably have to be Dr. Seuss. My parents used to read all of his books to me, and the rhyming, musical, silly, and fun nature of Dr. Seuss’s books really drew me in.

The Foot BookTBT tv showWith all of the news coming out about the upcoming Hey Arnold! movie, I had to choose that show for my first TBT. I mean, have you guys SEEN the new images of Arnold and the gang that the film’s creators released at Comic Con? From the amount of joy and anticipation I got from just looking at those pictures, it’s clear I still have a lot of love for Hey Arnold! Come on, Thanksgiving 2017!Hey Arnold!SourceTBT SongWhen I was a baby and wouldn’t go to sleep, my dad used to put on Eddie Money’s song “Gimme Some Water” and rock me to sleep. Nine times out of ten I would be out by the end of the song. This is crazy, but to this day, I still get kind of sleepy when I listen to this song.

Tell me about a book, TV show, and/or song from your past that you still love!

Blog Tour | Copper Veins by Jennifer Allis Provost | Guest Post & Giveaway

Hey guys! Today, I’m excited to be part of the blog tour for Jennifer Allis Provost’s COPPER VIENS, book three in the Copper Legacy books! I’ve got a fun guest post from Jennifer below, but first, let’s learn about the book, shall we?

Copper Veins coverTitle: Copper Veins (Copper Legacy #3)

Author: Jennifer Allis Provost

Release Date: July 27, 2016

Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

Check out the book on Goodreads.

Sara’s pretty sure her life is perfect.

Not only are she and Micah finally married, her father, who’d been missing since the Magic Wars, has been found. Actually, he just strode up to the manor’s front door, but whatever. Sara knows better than to look a gift horse in the mouth.

But Baudoin Corbeau isn’t content to return to family life. He’s decided that he will be the force of change in the Mundane world, and lead the Elemental resistance to victory with his children at his side. What’s worse, Baudoin doesn’t approve of Sara’s marriage, and makes every attempt to separate her from Micah.

After a visit to the Mundane realm leaves Sara, Max and Sadie imprisoned by the Peacekeepers, Sara’s doubts creep to the surface. Is her father right? Does she belong in the Mundane realm, not the Otherworld? Is Micah really the right man—make that elf—for her?

Was marrying him a mistake?

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

GUEST POST

Narrowing down the five most influential books on me—and my writing—was tough. As it states in my bio, I read ALL the books in my local library; okay, maybe not every single one. But I did plow through the children’s section, mythology and folklore, and was reading adult science fiction and fantasy by age twelve. Therefore, I have a list that might seem odd at first glance, but these are the books that made me a storyteller.

  1. Bullfinch’s Mythology by Thomas Bullfinch – If you want to learn about mythology, this is where you start. There are Greek and Roman myths, Celtic legends, and even some Scandinavian and Oriental myths. It is a comprehensive look at the stories we’ve been telling ‘round the campfire for hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of years.
  1. The Once and Future King by T.H. White – It’s no secret that I have a fascination with King Arthur. I’ve read every piece of fiction I could find about him, watches movies and television shows both good and bad, but this is the version that always stuck with me. White broke the story into five books, beginning with the Sword in the Stone and ending with the Book of Merlyn. Throughout it all, the tenet that might does not make right, and that the bravest people are those who don’t mind looking like cowards.
  1. Journey to Sorrows End by Wendy and Richard Pini – this is a novelization of the first five issues of the comic book ElfQuest. I’ve always found it odd that I came across ElfQuest as a novel first, since I spent way too much time (and money) on comics. Regardless, the story of Cutter’s tribe of Wolfriders being burned out of their forest home, and then crossing the desert into the great unknown, resonated with me. This arc sets up an amazing decades-spanning story that is still being told today.
  1. The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley – Aerin, princess of Damar, is as much of a misfit as one can be. She’s the king’s only child, doesn’t get along with most of her royal relatives, and the gossip is that Aerin’s deceased mother was a witch. Yet besides all of that, Aerin rises above the petty gossip and superstition, forges her own path, and saves her country. She truly is a self-rescuing princess.
  1. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien – this is cheating, since it’s a trilogy. I re-read this series every few years, and it’s always like coming home for me. LoTR was the first epic fantasy I’d ever read, and one of if not the best. It also introduced me to one of the first strong female characters I ever encountered – Eowyn, she who killed the Witch-king who could be killed by no man. Despite his strong characters and sweeping plotlines, what truly amazed me about Tolkien was that he created languages for his stories; he was a philologist by day, and held a position at the Oxford English Dictionary. I didn’t know that when I first read LoTR, and the fact that Tolkiien delved so deeply into his world that he created new languages made a significant impression on me.

Well, they you have it, five books that made me the writer I am today. What books have influenced you? Let me know in the comments. Happy reading!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jennifer Allis Provost author photoJennifer Allis Provost writes books about faeries, orcs and elves. Zombies too. She grew up in the wilds of Western Massachusetts and had read every book in the local library by age twelve. (It was a small library). An early love of mythology and folklore led to her epic fantasy series, The Chronicles of Parthalan, and her day job as a cubicle monkey helped shape her urban fantasy, Copper Girl. When she’s not writing about things that go bump in the night (and sometimes during the day) she’s working on her MFA in Creative Nonfiction.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

GIVEAWAY

Click this link to enter: Rafflecopter giveaway – One signed copy of Copper Girl (Copper Legacy, #1), US only