Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Posts I Think Give You The Best Glimpse of Me

This week’s Top Ten is Top Ten Posts I Think Give You The Best Glimpse of Me. A lot of these are going to be past Top Ten topics, because I don’t have a ton of personal posts up here yet. Which just reminds me I want to write more — some of my favorite posts on blogs are about the person behind the blog. Especially for book blogs, because I get a better sense of if our tastes gel.

01. Instagram for July and Instagram for May/June. This is probably cheating, but photos are definitely one of the best ways to get to know someone. For some reason, I like using Instagram, even though I don’t really like taking pictures. I tend to take photos of books I’m reading and random things. I’ve also been using my Instagram shots for my blog posts.

02. Top Ten Sites You Read That Aren’t About Books. TL;DR? I’m a geek.

03. TGIF: A Book Blogger is Born. My past, present, and future with book blogging. Did you know this is actually my second time book blogging?

04. Armchair BEA: The End, and an Introduction. A bit more about me than my About Me page gives.

05. Totally Random: Rizzoli and Isles Premiere. Dumb genius, that’s me. Rizzoli and Isles is also my favorite TV show.

06. Top Ten Favorite Books I Read in 2011. Self explanatory.

07. An “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” post, showing pictures of my TBR pile. That’s an accurate showing of what I usually have out of hte library. I can’t help but pick up a new book every day!

08. Top Ten All Time Favorite Characters in Books. My choices reveal more of my geeky side.

09. Zen and the Art of Fandom. I make no secret of the fact that I like fanfiction and am active in fandoms. Fanfiction is very important to me, as it was how I first started writing, and how I got back into writing.

10. Camp NaNoWriMo, August Session. I talk about writing a lot on my blog. A lot. I picked one post at random.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

– leeanna

Review: Poison Tree by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

poison treeInfo:
Title: Poison Tree
Author: Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Release Date: July 10, 2012
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Source: Library
Series? Part of author’s overall work
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Page Count: 219

Summary:

The rich stew of the author’s creations—SingleEarth, vampires, shapeshifters, Tristes, the Bruja Guilds—are at full boil here in the story of two 20-ish young women trying to out run their very different pasts, and figure out where they fit in and who they might become. Each has landed in a more “normal” place, and each wonders if, like a tattoo that can’t be covered up, they can ever really fit into “normal.” (summary from goodreads)

My Review:
I’ve read several of Amelia Atwater-Rhodes’s books over the years, and I have the same complaint every time.

Her books are too short. Poison Tree is only 219 pages, but there’s enough story for at least 300 or 350. With such a short length, the book is very rushed. I always feel like I’m thrust into a story where I’m missing half the information. I kept flipping back and forth, trying to figure out if I had missed something, when characters referred to their past.

The author has a vivid imagination, and I know she could easily fill a longer book, and flesh out more of her world and characters. The two main characters in this book, Alysia and Sarik, intrigued me, but I wasn’t able to connect with them as much as I would have liked. There are also two interesting supporting characters, but again, their stories are way too condensed.

I know I’m harping on the length, but I would have gotten so much more out of Poison Tree if it had been longer. I liked the story. I liked the characters. I just wanted more.

Rating: 2 owls

Socialize with the author:
Amelia Atwater-Rhodes:
Website

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #18

Last Week’s Reads:

Darkness Before Dawn
by J. A. London
The Wild Princess♦♦
by Mary Hart Perry
Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses
by Ron Koertge
 
Darth Vader and Son
by Jeffrey Brown
The Pledge
by Kimberly Derting
 

This Week’s Reads:

The Assassin’s Curse♦♦
Cassandra Rose Clarke
Between You & Me♦♦
by Marisa Calin
vN♦♦
by Madeline Ashby

I had another good week! I might be on a roll. *crosses fingers* I really liked Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses and Darth Vader and Son. I’ll have to write short reviews for the blog.

This week, I’m rereading Between You & Me, because I need to write a review of it. I enjoyed it the first time around, and I’m sure I will the second time, too. I’m hoping to have my review up by the middle of the week, as the book releases this week.

This week should also be just as busy as last week on the blog, so keep checking back, or subscribe to me. I’ll have some reviews, #OlympicReadathon updates, and more blabbering on my attempt at Camp NaNo’s August session.

Review books received from:
The Wild Princess: William Morrow & Company and Edelweiss
The Assassin’s Curse: Strange Chemistry & NetGalley
Between You & Me: Bloomsbury USA & NetGalley
vN: Angry Robot & NetGalley

Thank you! ♥

♦♦ indicates books received for review

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Book Journey.

The YA linky list for It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Teach Mentor Texts.

– leeanna

Camp NaNo August Session: Update 1

camp nano

As usual going into NaNo (this is my fourth attempt, I believe), I did virtually no prep work. You’d think I’d learn, huh?

Nope.

My sum accomplishment for the week is making a fancy spreadsheet to keep track of my word counts. Other than that, I’m having a slow start. I’m at about 1k. I’m hoping next week will be better — I had a migraine most of the weekend, so I wasn’t able to get any writing in.

How are the rest of you doing? I know there are plenty of us doing the August session!

– leeanna

Writing Inspiration via Strange Chemistry

One of my favorite things to do lately is look at the websites of publishers I like. I check out their upcoming titles, author bios, and submission guidelines.

I’ve known of Angry Robot for a while, ever since one of my favorite authors, Paul S. Kemp, mentioned that he had a book coming out with them. I found my way over to Strange Chemistry, their YA imprint. So here comes my geeky side: who wouldn’t want a publisher with a cool name like Angry Robot? Or Strange Chemistry?

I wasn’t a fan of normal chemistry, but I like Strange Chemistry. :D

So what about them inspires me? Other than the cool name? Some of the great books they have coming out!

My Waiting on Wednesday posts are scheduled pretty far in advance, so I’m spotlighting a few of the books I’m looking forward to.

blackwood Blackwood by Gwenda Bond

On Roanoke Island, the legend of the 114 people who mysteriously vanished from the Lost Colony hundreds of years ago is just an outdoor drama for the tourists, a story people tell. But when the island faces the sudden disappearance of 114 people now, an unlikely pair of 17-year-olds may be the only hope of bringing them back. [more]

broken

Broken by A.E. Rought

Imagine a modern spin on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein where a young couple’s undying love and the grief of a father pushed beyond sanity could spell the destruction of them all. [more]

poltergeeksPoltergeeks by Sean Cummings

15-year-old Julie Richardson is about to learn that being the daughter of a witch isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. When she and her best friend, Marcus, witness an elderly lady jettisoned out the front door of her home, it’s pretty obvious to Julie there’s a supernatural connection. [more]

 

 

A story about Roanoke, a modern twist on Frankenstein, and a pun on poltergeist? Yeah, that’s just some of the neat stuff. My geeky side is quivering like C3P0 in front of a group of Jawas.

You may ask how these titles are inspiring? Reading a good book always makes me want to write.

– leeanna

Review: The Wild Princess: A Novel of Queen Victoria’s Defiant Daughter by Mary Hart Perry

the wild princessInfo:
Title: The Wild Princess: A Novel of Queen Victoria’s Defiant Daughter
Author: Mary Hart Perry
Release Date: July 31, 2012
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Series? Yes
Genre: Historical Fiction
Page Count: 432

Summary:

Four of the five daughters of England’s Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were regal, genteel, and everything a princess should be. But one was rebellious, scandalous, and untamed.

This is her story. . . .

To the court and subjects of Queen Victoria, young Princess Louise—later the Duchess of Argyll—was the “Wild One.” Proud and impetuous, she fought the constraints placed on her and her brothers and sisters, dreamed of becoming an artist, and broke with a three-hundred-year-old tradition by marrying outside of the privileged circle of European royals. Some said she wed for love. Others whispered of a scandal covered up by the Crown. It will take a handsome American, recruited by the queen’s elite Secret Service, to discover the truth. But even as Stephen Byrne—code name the Raven—vows to risk his life to protect the royal family from violent Irish radicals, he tempts Louise with a forbidden love that could prove just as dangerous.

In the vein of Philippa Gregory, Mary Hart Perry tells the riveting story of an extraordinary woman—a princess who refused to give up on her dreams, including her right to true love. (summary from amazon)

My Review:
I didn’t really know what to expect when I started The Wild Princess. I was interested in reading it because I don’t know a lot about Queen Victoria or her family, and I want to expand my knowledge. When I’m learning about a new subject, I typically start by reading historical fiction and then move into nonfiction, because historical fiction piques my interest and gets me excited.

And wow, did Mary Hart Perry deliver in The Wild Princess. The book is the story of Louise, Queen Victoria’s so called “wild daughter.” In modern day, Louise would be a normal woman, but in Victorian times, her ideas of gender equality, sympathizing with commoners, and wanting passion in her marriage were way outside the norm.

The author immediately creates a sympathetic character in Louise, starting with the day of her marriage to the Marquess of Lorne. After the wedding, Louise gets the shock of her life when Lorne is unable to consummate their marriage … and she is sentenced to a loveless, childless marriage. The worst part? Her mother knew Lorne’s secret — and arranged the marriage anyway, because Louise has secrets of her own.

There’s quite a tangle of secrets in The Wild Princess, from Louise and Lorne’s to the Fenian plots against Queen Victoria. That’s where Stephen Byrne, an American assigned to the Queen’s Secret Service, comes in. At first, I couldn’t understand why an American would have any interest in the Queen of England and her family, but Stephen is a man who is driven to protect others, and he’s trying to make up for a mistake in his past, too.

I don’t always like romance, but I did this time. I was rooting for Louise and Stephen; I really wanted Louise to have her happily ever after, however she could. I thought the author did a great job blending truth and rumor, and I will definitely read her next book, on Beatrice, another of Queen Victoria’s daughters.

The Wild Princess is an entertaining book, full of details and intrigue and romance. Mary Hart Perry’s imagining of Louise and her life made me want to learn more about the princess, which is what I always hope for when reading historical fiction.

Rating:

Socialize with the author:
Mary Hart Perry:
Website
Facebook
Twitter @Mary_Hart_Perry

– leeanna

Olympic Readathon August 2 Update ( #OlympicReadathon )

olympic readathon 3

I’m currently reading The Pledge by Kimberly Derting.

I’ve finished:

Huntress by Malinda Lo
Page count: 384
The Wild Princess by Mary Hart Perry
Page count: 432
Darkness Before Dawn by J. A. London
Page count: 342

Running count: 1,158
Pages to goal: 854

I’d say I’m doing pretty well with this readathon!

– leeanna

Challenge: Review Copy Cleanup

review copy cleanup

I like challenges. They help me get things done. So, along with everything else I’m doing this month, I’ve signed up for the Review Copy Cleanup challenge. Twitter hashtag: #RCCleanup.

Books I want to read and review:
Dearie by Bob Spitz
The Queen’s Vow by C.W. Gortner
The Red Chamber by Pauline A. Chen
Crapshoot Investing by Jim McTague
The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen
My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris
Hollowed by Kelley York
vN by Madeline Ashby
The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

this list is subject to changes and updates

– leeanna

Instagram for July

Here’s my Instagram roundup for July. As I’ve said before, I’m an Instagram nut. I don’t usually like sharing pictures, but I’ve found it to be a fun way to get to “know” someone other than through words. Follow me, I’m leeannac!

– leeanna

Goodbye July, Hello August

IN JULY…

Where has the summer gone? Time flies when you aren’t a college student. I miss my summers off!

Let’s see. I posted 5 reviews in July, although I wrote a few more that haven’t made it onto the blog. I had something of a review block — I keep feeling like I’m saying the same things over and over again. It took me almost a week to write the review for Stormdancer! I still have to write one for my blog, too.

I’m still trying to find the balance I mentioned in June, but I think that is something I’ll always be trying to find, especially as I add more to my life. Work + blogging + reading + reviewing + writing + fandom activties = BUSY!

Reviews Written:
The Selection by Kiera Cass. Blog review.
Dark Companion by Marta Acosta. Blog review.
Incarnate by Jodi Meadows. Blog review.
Shift by Em Bailey. Blog review.
Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff. Amazon review.

It’s Monday, What Did I Read?
July 2, 2012. I read five books (some from June).
July 9, 2012. I read two books.
July 16, 2012. I read one book.
July 23, 2012. I read three books.
July 30, 2012. I read four books.

Tuesday Top Tens:
Top Ten TV Characters. Some of my picks include Maura Isles and Azkdaellia.

Waiting on Wednesday:
Adaptation by Malinda Lo.
Neferet’s Curse by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast.
The Bone Girl by Sarah Diemer.
Starting From Here by Lisa Jenn Bigelow.

Promotional Events:
Cover Reveal: Awakened by Ada Adams.
Cover Reveal: Hollowed by Kelley York.

Other Totally Random Stuff:
July Page Count Contest. Grand total: 3634 pages.
Zen and the Art of Fandom. Some thoughts on writing and fanfiction and not stressing.
Once Upon a Time Readathon. Kickoff post.
Once Upon a Time Readathon. Summary post.
Instagram photos for May and June.
Olympic Readathon:
Kick off post.
July 28 Update.
July 30 Update.

Stats:
I had 607 visitors in July.
I have an average of 17 feed subscribers.
I have 162 Twitter followers.
I read 10.5 books, or 3,634 pages.

Site Stuff:
I did create an Events page, like I wanted to last month.

 

AUGUST PLANS…

Site Stuff:
Find a related posts plugin.
Find a tabbed widget plugin.
Add total number of reviews posted.

Reading Goals:
For the Olympic Readathon, my goal is 2012 pages.
For the August page count contest, my goal is 4000 pages overall.

Writing Goals:
50,000 words! Yes, I am doing Camp NaNo’s August session.
Create a word count spreadsheet?
Start an article series for the blog? This is a maybe, and probably won’t happen until September, since my writing energy will be focused on Camp NaNo.

– leeanna