Top 10 Tuesdays

Today, instead of following the Broke and the Bookish’s lead and posting the top ten books/authors I’m grateful for, I’m posting the top ten things I’m thankful for. I never got started on the Facebook thing because this month was so crazy, and this is my way of making up for that. So here goes:

1) My daughter. I’m so lucky that she’s happy and healthy. It could be taken away in an instant. Earlier this month, a toddler in my city was outside playing with his friends at daycare and was struck by a falling tree branch. He’s been in the hospital fighting for his life ever since. He’s doing much better now, but there still evaluating his brain damage and trying to figure out what the rest of his life will be like. He was lucky, and I’m grateful for that, but it just shows how fast everything can change. My daughter was playing outside at her preschool that day in the same city. It could happen just like that. So I’m going to treasure every single moment of my daughters life. Even if nothing crazy happens, she’s only three once.

2) My family. My daughter is a treasure, my husband has been incredibly supportive during this hectic month, my mom has done SO much for us, and every other member of my family has really come through for me. Thank you all. I wish I could see you all for thanksgiving.

3) Our health. Yeah, okay so I’ve had what feels like a never ending cold for months now (I do get better, then I catch it again) but it could be so much worse than the sniffles. We’re so lucky compared to most.

4) Our relative wealth. It’s really hard to keep perspective sometimes, because we’re not doing that great this month. My husband just started a new job so we’re in that gap between paychecks, I’m still in school, and random things keep happening (broken microwave, need car maintenance, you know how it is, when it rains, it pours) but hey, I own a microwave and a car. I can eat every day, and I’ve got a roof over my head. It could be worse.

5) My friends. I have amazing friends.

6) My writers group. Yes, technically friends, but they deserve a second mention. I have an amazing writers group. My books would be nowhere near as good without their feedback, and where else could I find a group willing to slog through three drafts of multiple books in a series and be consistent in their criticism. Seriously, they’re awesome.

7) The Morgans. Triple mention for these friends in my writers group. Stephen and Meagan Morgan have been with me through the entire application process to UGA’s PhD program, kicking my but in gear to study for the GRE Subject test in English Language and Literature, reading and critiquing multiple drafts of my statement of intent, critical writing sample and resume. We’re going to get in guys, and it’s going to be awesome.

8) The staff at Musa publishing. My book has been selling and my second book comes out next month. My editor has been tireless and extremely patient with my hundreds of emails. I couldn’t ask for a better team.

9) My mentor teachers at the school I’m student teaching at. I couldn’t have gotten through the last month without them.

10) Good books. It’s free therapy when you do silly things, like finish up finals and do a unit plan in the same month your edits are due, while applying to a PhD program, writing a third book, holding down another job, adjusting to my husbands new work schedule and parenting a three year old at the same time.

There’s more. Much much much more than could ever fit in this blog

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d want on a deserted Island

As always, top ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This weeks top ten books are the top ten books I’d want on a deserted island.

I can’t play along with this one. See there are only two scenarios I can see myself being on a deserted island.
Scenario A: It’s by choice, which wouldn’t happen unless I had electricity and a signal for my cellphone. I’d never need to choose only ten books because I have every ereader app there is for my phone and ipad, and I own WAY more than ten books.

Scenario B: It’s not by choice. My plane crashed and I’m struggling to survive. In that case I imagine books would have to be boring and practical, like, how to identify edible plant life and build things type practical. Yuk.

Top Ten Tuesday: Least favorite characters

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish:

This week, my least favorite characters.

1) Bella Swan. I like the Twilight books, I do. But I HATE Bella Swan with a passion. It’s no reflection on the author. She’s a very realistic character. So realistic that I knew someone just like her. She’s SO passive and needy. I wrote an article on truu about how Twilight would be a great way to talk to teens about co-dependent relationships.

2) Sturm Brightblade from Dragonlance. He’s such a kill joy.

3) The adults in the Percy Jackson books. I know the humor in the stories is what makes it relatable to the middle grade audience, but I feel like every time the book is getting really interesting some adult character says or does something so off the wall and weird that it pulls me right out of the story. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE that book series, and it an amazing example of great writing. I think it’s just a consequence of not being the intended audience.

4) Shay from Uglies. Ugh, I can’t even get into it. Uglies is one of my favorite series, I just hate Shay.

5) Faye from Secret Circle. I reread these books recently and could not believe how much this character annoyed me. I mean seriously, Cassie’s house is actively burning down with her mother trapped inside and Faye decides that’s a great time to shout out that Cassie kissed Diana’s boyfriend? How self involved do you have to be? Furthermore, really? The rest of the group bothered to listen to anything she was saying at that moment?

Everyone should read that book series though, it’s fantastic.

6) The main character from The Forest of Hands and Teeth, I don’t remember her name, but I remember actively hating her. She pretty much gets everyone in the book killed so she can swim in the ocean.

7) The dog from Parker Blue’s “Bite me” series. I might have actually liked the dog had it’s telepathic mind link dialogue format not be SET TO ALL CAPS. It’s a talkative character and I was so distracted by it SCREAMING at me throughout the second book that I couldn’t finish it. Love the first book in the series though.

8) The principal from Matilda. There are certain books and movies I’ll never again be able to watch because I’m a mother. Matilda is one of them.

9) Mr. Darling from Peter Pan.

10) Caroline from Vampire Diaries, the book version, not the show.

Top Ten Tuesday: Kick but Heroines

1) Persephone. Yeah, okay, cheating to use my own, but come on, she stabbed a guy with a pen.
2) Tally Youngblood from Uglies. I really really want to see that book as a movie
3) Katniss Everdene from Hunger Games
4) Elena Michaels from Kelley Armstrong’s Bitten
5) Rachel Morgan from Kim Harrison’s The Hollows series
6) Cassie Blake from L.J Smith’s Secret Circle, NOT the show, the book
7) Laurana from Dragonlance
8) Clary Fray from Cassandra Claire’s Mortal Instruments
9) Rose Hathaway from Richelle Mead’s Vampire Diaries
10) Zoe Redbird from PC Cast’s House of Night series

Top 10 Tuesday: Scary Stories

Wow, it’s been awhile since I’ve read a scary book. I just realized that. I used to love scary stories, what happened?

Consequently, my scary stories are a bit dated

1) Scary Stories to tell in the Dark by Allen Scwartz

Anyone remember these? They were awesome! They had a billion of them. (more scary stories, even MORE scary stories, ect). My friends and I would buy them and read them out loud to each other at sleep overs

2) The Witch’s Sister Series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Still one of the scariest book series’ I’ve ever read.

3) The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright- really creepy story about a doll house thats inhabitants move around at night reenacting a murder/

4) Sweet Miss Honeywell’s Revenge- Another creepy doll house story

5) Anything from R.L Stine’s Fear Street

6) The Sweet Valley Thrillers series by Francine Pascal

7) The House with the Clock in its Walls by John Bellair- OMG, I forgot about this one but it was SOOOO good. Creepy, but good

8) The Oath, by Frank Pereti. Christian horror about a dragon that kills you if you sin. Laugh if you must but we had the audio book, and I still remember when we were driving through the moutains on a long road trip down a dark winding road, listening as this dragon hunted down its prey… on a dark winding road in the mountains. Traumatizing. Absolutely traumatizing. Actually, anything by Frank Peretti

9) Anything by Christopher Pike

10) The Forbidden Doors series by Bill Myers.

Top Ten Tuesday: YA Athors

Can I pick myself? Hmmm…. lol, probably not. Here goes

1) Kelley Armstrong- I talk about her all the time, but seriously, I love her young adult series, The Darkest Powers, it’s amazing. My favorite thing about it is that her protagonists are smart. They react in intelligent, realistic ways to crazy situations. I aim for that with Persephone.
2) Scott Westerfeld- I love the Uglies Series. Midnighters was good as well. Ah, all his books are good. They’re so exciting and fast paced.
3) L.J Smith (her older stuff)- I read her all the time growing up. She’s possibly the biggest influence on me as a writer.
4) Peter Beagle- He wrote the Last Unicorn, Tamsin, and a million other books. I actually met him once, and he’s super nice. His work taught me that YA could be literary as well as interesting.
5) Suzanne Collins- Who doesn’t love The Hunger Games?
6) Rick Riordin- Ijust want to say for the record, that while I was aware of The Percy Jackson Series, I did not read it until Persephone was written, and the other two books were drafted to avoid any accidental influence.
7) Karen Hesse- She writes these amazing free verse poetry books like “Out of the Dust.”
8) Richelle Mead- She wrote The Vampire Academy, and that series put me through the wringer emotionally.
9) Cassandra Claire- I love the Immortal Instruments series
10) Susan Beth Pfeiffer- She wrote Life as We Knew It. Everyone should read that book, it’s chilling.

Top Ten Tuesday

From Broke and Bookish:

This week is fictional crushes: Warning, I’m very very weird

1) Darien from Sailor Moon: Not technically a book but I loved this man for many many years. Like really loved him. I cried every time he died, and wanted to be Sailor Moon more than anything else in the whole wide world for an embarrassingly long time.

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2) Julien from Forbidden Games: He sounded hot and was sad and stuff

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3) Triskal from This Present Darkness: Yes, I had a crush on an angel, but to be fair I read this book very very young and I feel bad for people who get beat up

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4) Legolas from Lord of the Rings: The movie may have had something do do with this

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5) Raistlin from Dragonlance: I’d probably hate him in real life, but whatever

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6) Damon from the Vampire Diaries: I like bad boys, what can I saw. By the way, this was WAY before the series, but this actor does him justice

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7) Hades from Persephone: What, I’m not allowed to fall for my own character?

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8) Jacob from Twilight: There! I said it. It’s more the actor than… You know what’s really sad, he was playing shark boy my senior year of high school. I just have to keep reminding myself of that. I’m not used to being to old for someone!

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9) Angel from Buffy

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10) Miguel from Eldorado. I don’t know… I don’t know…

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Top 10 Tuesday: Older Books

Older books I don’t want anyone to forget about:

YA books were around before Harry Potter. Granted, these are mostly children’s books because I was eleven when Harry Potter came out. But my point is, I loved to read YA before it took off, and these authors and books are the reason why.

1) Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Product DetailsThis is, without a doubt, the best children’s book ever written. I love it. The movie was awful, but everyone should read this book before they die.

2) The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C Wrede

Product DetailsI’m counting the days until my daughter is old enough for me to read this book series out loud to her. It’s a hysterical twist on a princess and dragon story. I read the fourth book of this series first, and in many ways I’m glad because I think the fourth book was much less depressing for me than it should have been.

3) The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

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This was another series read out of sequence, and I’m glad. I don’t think the first two books are very strong compared to what came next. Fantastic series though

4) Aliens ate my Homework by Brice Coville

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Actually my favorite of this series is My teacher flunked the planet. I remember thinking how deep this story was because it talked about real issues like world hunger.

5) Forbidden Games by L.J Smith

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A very different take on the Persephone/Hades myth that influenced me at a very young age. Actually, everything by L.J Smith influenced me a ton as a writer. Her stuff was amazing. It may not look all that impressive now, but you have to understand how much YA as a genre has changed since the early 90’s. The entire genre evolved and this author is part of the reason why.

6) Scary StoriesProduct Details

I remember having sleepovers with friends dedicated to reading these books. Some of the stories were pretty lame, but some still give me nightmares.

7) Fear Street by R.L Stine

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Classic series, you can’t forget about Fear Street

 

8) So you Want to be a Wizard by Diane Duane

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This series is still amazing. Everyone should read it. Again, huge influence on my writing.

9) The Immortals by Christopher Pike

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This had a HUGE impact on my vision of the Greek Gods as a child. I should also throw in his Last Vampire Series as an honorable mention.

10) The Witch’s Sister by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

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Scariest series I ever read as a child

11) Sweet Valley Twins/babysitter’s club/ full house book series

I’m going over my 10 because these books, formulaic as they were, set the groundwork for YA today. I loved the scary versions

13) Enders Game

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sci-fi classic. Everyone should read it

14) Judy Bloom Books/ Caroline B Cooney

These books were always right next to each other in the library, so they don’t separate well in my head. But again, laying the groundwork for YA today, and good books.

15) Bunnicula

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my first scary story

Top Ten Tuesdays: Top 10 Series I didn’t finish

1) House of Night by PC Cast

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I really enjoyed the first couple of books from this series. But after a while, I just got tired of Zoe stringing along every.single.guy.in.the.series. Plus the timeline doesn’t make sense. School just started like a week ago by book what, 50?

2) In Death Series by JD Robb

Celebrity In Death

This is my go to series when I run out of books, but I have a hard time keeping up with books I’ve read versus books I haven’t. Pretty formulaic, but the biggest reason I haven’t finished this series because new books come out all time time

3) Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine

Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires, Book 1)

I actually really enjoyed this series, but the books are so expensive and it’s such a short read, that when a plot line ended and a new one picked up (around book 11 I believe) I took that opportunity to stop reading the series.

4) Dragonlance by Margaret Weiss and Tracey Hickman

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Lets face it, awesome series but there is no way anyone will ever have enough time to finish every single book in it. I made a point to read any new ones by the big two writers of it (see above) but they took a super long break between trilogies (multiple years) and I haven’t picked it back up yet

5) The Hollows by Kim Harrison

A Perfect Blood (The Hollows)

I like this series, I just haven’t gotten back to it since Pale Demon. I’m so far behind on all my reading

6) Anita Blake by Laurel K Hamilton

Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter)

 

I read the first of this, and it was… I’m just not an erotica reader. That’s all.

7) Parker Blue’s bite me series

Make Me

I really liked the first book. I would have liked the second book, except that they did this thing with internal dialogue WHERE WHEN A TELEPATHIC CHARACTER SPOKE IT WAS ALWAYS IN ALL CAPS. EVERY SINGLE LINE OF SPEACH FROM THIS ONE CHARACTER WAS WRITTEN LIKE THIS. IT WAS VERY JARRING.

I couldn’t finish the book, so I can’t finish the series. Which is such a shame because it was SO good

8) Evermore by Alyson Noel

Evermore: The Immortals

I really couldn’t get into this series. It made no sense to me. I don’t know what kind of mental barrier I hit, it sounded interesting, but it just… I couldn’t understand the characters or their motivation.

9) True Blood by Charlaine Harris

True Blood Volume 1: All Together Now

I really like Mrs. Harris, her Shakespeare town series is awesome. I just couldn’t get past the first book for this one. I know, I’m a traitor to all poplar fiction.

10) So you want to be a wizard by Diane Duane

So You Want to Be a Wizard

One of my favorite childhood series came out with a few books many many many many years after Wizards at War. I just haven’t picked it back up yet.

Top 10 Tuesday: Top 10 authors I want to meet

1) Kelley Armstrong- love her books!
2) Peter Beagle- I met him at dracon con once but was so tongue tied my husband ended up introducing us and filling the awkward silence I provided
3) Frank Peretti- he was one of my favorite authors when I was little
4) Scott Westerfeld- loved uglies so much, I want to meet the mind that made that happen
5) Gail Carson Levine- Ella Enchanted is one of the best children’s books ever written.
6) Karen Hesse- I’m so close to actually meeting her but so far. She’s my friends mothers friend. She wrote Out of the Dust.
7) Laurie Halse Anderson- Again, I just love her book
8) Phillip Reynolds Naylor- I loved her witch series, it’s still one of the scariest books ever
9) L.J Smith- my earliest influence
10) Christopher Moore- I think he’s hysterical. If you haven’t read Fool, run, don’t walk, to the nearest bookstore and get a copy