Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Mashup: Ladybug Storytime

Welcome to the Monday Mashup, a no frills but all thrills meme with no commitment issues!  Just fun getting to know fellow bloggers. This blog is hosted by Amy of DJ Librarian Dishes and Poison Rose of Picked by Poison.  All we want to do is introduce you to your fellow bloggers whom you may or may not know and share the blog love!

If you'd like to be featured or know someone you'd like us to feature, contact either Amy or Poison. Welcome to the Meme and enjoy getting to know another blogger.

Today's featured blogger is: Kristina of Ladybug Storytime!

1.     Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you?
My name is Kristina. I am a book blogger and 9th grade social studies teacher.

2.     How long have you been blogging?
I've been blogging since January 2011.

3.     Why did you get into blogging?
I wanted to meet other people like me who love books as much as I do.

4.     What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book that you have read so far in 2012?
I just started Dangerous Boy by Mandy Hubbard. My favorite book of 2012 so far has been Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry.

5.      What is your favorite feature on your blog (i.e. author interviews, memes, something specific to your blog)?
I really love when I have interviews and guest posts from authors.

6.      Where do you see your blog in five years?
I see my reviews getting better. I also see myself making more bookish friends.

7.      Which is your favorite post that you have written that you want everyone to read?
I love my interview with Ada Adams, author of ReVamped and ReAwakened. She is so sweet and funny. Here is the link if you want to check it out:

8.      If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?
I want to talk to Noah Hutchins (Pushing the Limits) because I love him! I would also want to meet Zsadist (Lover Awakened) because he has been through a lot and seems like a very interesting guy.

9.      What literary location would you most like to visit?  Why?
I don't really know if it would be considered a literacy location, but I would love to go to Paris, France and England, and see all of the old historic sites.

10.  What is your favorite part about the book blogging community?  Is there anything that you would like to see change in the coming years?
I absolutely love all of the friends that I made through blogging! When I moved to Texas, every single one of them made me feel welcomed. I would like people to stop the stupid drama.

11.  Have your reading tastes changed since you started blogging?  How?
It hasn't really changed, but I do find myself trying new books and genres more.

And now about you:
12.  Tell us three non-book-related things that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.

1. I have to wear socks when I go to bed.
2. I am happiest in the Fall, with dark nail polish on, my uggs and scarf, and with a hot chocolate.
3. I like to shower in the dark.

13.  What do you like to do in your downtime (besides read of course)?
Since I started my job, I have no free time!  The little time I do have, I use to read.

14.  If you were given a break to do one thing on your “bucket list” what would you do?
I would go to Paris, walk the old streets, and eat in a Paris cafe. 

15.  If you went to your dream vacation spot where would we find you?
Paris, France

16.  What are some of your hobbies and interests you enjoy?
I am a boring person. I don't really have time for hobbies and interests. I wish I did have time though!

Flash Round:
17. Cake or pie? Apple Pie
18.  Coffee or tea? Coffee. I need it to survive!
19.  Beach or mountains? Mountains
20. Night owl or morning dove? I am not a morning person at all, but I am most productive in the morning. I am really productive when I am half-asleep! 

Thank you so much for coming by today, Kristina!  And you're not boring, silly, you're just a busy, career-focused woman. ^_^  Keep on reading and I hope to see you soon!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

YA Mythology Hop

I Am A Reader Not A Writer

Mythology has always been a fascinating area of literature for me, especially Greek mythology.  For the YA Mythology Giveaway, I have a hardcover copy of Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini for ONE lucky reader.  

To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck everyone!

Thought for Thursday: Halloween Treats!

It's that time of year again.  When everyone starts seeing ghoulish decorations and shopping for that "perfect persona."  Yes, my friends, this is Halloween.  I love Halloween even to this day.  It's the chance for people of all ages to dress up and have some fun while also either distributing candy or obtaining said candy.  Now, while I don't go out Trick-or-Treating anymore, I still enjoy looking through the costumes, the books and tv specials, and of course the candy.

(Image from 5 Minutes for Mom)
(Also, is that a bag of Cheetos in a candy pile???)

Who doesn't have a favorite treat they enjoyed each Halloween?  For me, there were far too many to count, but I enjoyed pouring out all of the candy from my Jack-o-Lantern onto the table (so my dad could inspect it) and dividing the loot into the various piles in the order I would consume them.  Yes, I was one of THOSE kids, but to my credit, the candy lasted well into November thanks to that method. ^_~  I think my favorites were usually candies with caramel, though I was very fond of KitKats and other Fun-size candy bars like Twix and Crunch.

(Image from Cocoa Heaven)
(Except for the Almond Joy... coconut, yeck!)

Now there were also those candies that I found... unappealing.  Some might say it's because of my young palate being unable to appreciate those candies, but no.  I still don't like them and was glad I didn't eat them. If my parents didn't take them, and it was still early in the night, we'd add those candies to the bowl for our Trick-or-Treaters.  (Recycling is good, better than being wasteful.)  However, if it was too late to expect more costumers, my parents would ask me to trade or give them out to my classmates the next school day.

(Image from Candy Addict)

I think the most confounding one was the wax candy lips.  Why would anyone want to eat candy that tasted or had the texture of wax?  My mom would often play with these, but she never ate them and I can totally see why.  They just look utterly creepy.  In that same vein (no pun intended), what was up with Nik-L-Nips candy?  I pretty much stick with this equation as a candy connoiseur:
Candy + wax = Not candy

Lucky for me, there are better and now more gourmet treats to both partake and make at Halloween.  Such as chocolate-covered apples!

(Image from BeGifty)

Always be willing to think outside the box.  Now, I wish all of you a

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Ashes on the Waves

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's "Waiting On" Wednesday selection is:

 Ashes on the Waves
By Mary Lindsey
Publish Date: June 27th, 2013 by Philomel/Penguin

From Goodreads~
Liam MacGregor is cursed. Haunted by the wails of fantastical Bean Sidhes and labeled a demon by the villagers of Dòchas, Liam has accepted that things will never get better for him—until a wealthy heiress named Annabel Leighton arrives on the island and Liam's fate is changed forever.

With Anna, Liam finally finds the happiness he has always been denied; but, the violent, mythical Otherworlders, who inhabit the island and the sea around it, have other plans. They make a wager on the couple's love, testing its strength through a series of cruel obstacles. But the tragedies draw Liam and Anna even closer. Frustrated, the creatures put the couple through one last trial—and this time it's not only their love that's in danger of being destroyed.

Based on Edgar Allan Poe's chilling poem Annabel Lee, Mary Lindsey creates a frighteningly beautiful gothic novel that glorifies the power of true love.

Oh. My. God.  I cannot wait for Mary's newest book to release.  After enjoying Shattered Souls, her latest novel sounds so amazing.  I'm very eager to see what story she has composed for her readers based off Poe's "Annabel Lee."  

What are you waiting on this Wednesday? ^_^ 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (52): Favorite Fantasy Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new Top Ten list will be posted by one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish. Everyone is welcome to join, just make sure to link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so everyone can check out other blogger lists. Have fun!

Top Ten Favorite Fantasy Authors

1)  Maria V. Snyder - This woman knows how to create and establish a fantasy world, and whenever she publishes a new title, I must have it.

2)  Tamora Pierce - I will never get tired of singing her praises, especially when she was ahead of the YA curve long before it was called "young adult."

3)  Robert Aspirin - His MYTH series was one of the series that kept me sane while attending college.

4)  Rae Carson - This is one of my more recent finds, but she showed a truly visual world and an amazing heroine.  I cannot wait to see where she goes from The Fire and Thorns trilogy.

5)  Peter S. Beagle - Another author that I will never tire of talking about, especially since I have multiple copies and versions of his most well-known story, The Last Unicorn.

6)  Patricia C. Wrede - If you need hilarious fantasy, this is the woman whose books you need to read.

7)  J.R.R. Tolkien - Need I say more?

8)  Diana Wynne Jones - A talent that readers are sorely missing.

9)  Christie Golden - While most might not have heard of her, those who follow certain fantasy game-based novels will recognize her name.  Her version of the backstory of a well-known MMORPG character made her one of my favorite authors.

10)  Hayao Miyazaki - Yes, I know he's a director and artist, but he's also a writer!  And if you've seen any number of his films, you can't say you wouldn't do the same. ^_^

Ninja-Librarian Posting

Hello dear readers!  I do apologize for this message coming in so late on my blog, but things have been rather busy around DJL's neck of the woods.  I wanted the chance to explain why my postings have been so sporadic and more ninja-like.  You know, *poof* here's a post *poof* there's a post *poof* but not as regularly as I had been posting.  There are several reasons behind this fact.

One reason is that as a librarian II, namely a supervising librarian, it's my job to train any new library assistants we hire on for my library branch in the Adult Reference Department.  And with our previous three choosing to resign nearly back to back, we had to scramble to 1) cover shifts where extra people were needed and 2) locate good candidates to fill the roles.  So for most of September, I was interviewing and preparing for when our new library assistants would start in October.  Sadly, all three could not start at the same time, but we were able to get two of them at the branch at the beginning of the month.  

When you're a supervisor, much of your time and energy goes into those you are training, especially in the first month of their arrival.  And that, dear readers, is where most of my time and energy has gone.  After getting home, I just want to relax, workout, maybe watch some television (I really need to catch up on Supernatural), and read just for fun without the concern of a review.  It's not that I don't love my blog, I miss blogging on a regular basis.  But right now, it's just not high on the priority list.  

I really appreciate all of you who do come to visit my blog even when posts are so sporadic, and I hope to have a nice giveaway during my birthday month in November.  Since I've reached and gone beyond 500 followers, I figure that's a nice thing to do for everyone to celebrate two things.  I will try to have 2 to 3 posts per week, but sometimes life just happens.  We all know what that's like, so in the meantime, I wish everyone...

Happy Reading!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

ARC Review: Valkyrie Rising

Title:  Valkyrie Rising
Author:  Ingrid Paulson
Pages:  352
Genre:  Young Adult Mythology
Publisher:  HarperTeen
Obtained:  Southern Book Bloggers ARC Tour
Purchase:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Summary:  Nothing ever happens in Norway. But at least Ellie knows what to expect when she visits her grandmother: a tranquil fishing village and long, slow summer days. And maybe she'll finally get out from under the shadow of her way-too-perfect big brother, Graham, while she's there.

What Ellie doesn't anticipate is Graham's infuriating best friend, Tuck, tagging along for the trip. Nor did she imagine boys going missing amid rumors of impossible kidnappings. Least of all does she expect something powerful and ancient to awaken in her and that strange whispers would urge Ellie to claim her place among mythological warriors. Instead of peace and quiet, there's suddenly a lot for a girl from L.A. to handle on a summer sojourn in Norway! And when Graham vanishes, it's up to Ellie--and the ever-sarcastic, if undeniably alluring Tuck--to uncover the truth about all the disappearances and thwart the nefarious plan behind them.

Deadly legends, hidden identities, and tentative romance swirl together in one girl's unexpectedly-epic coming of age.

The Dish:  I was thrilled when I found out I was getting the chance to read Ingrid Paulson's debut, Valkyrie Rising, and Ms. Paulson did not fail to reel me into the story.  With Norse mythology not being used as much in contemporary literature, it was refreshing and exciting to see just what was in store.  While the figures of Odin and Loki do play a role in the book, it is the strength and bond of the warrior women known as Valkyries that is the main focus, especially regarding Ellie's journey.

Ellie took a bit of warming up to in the beginning of the story, mostly because I did feel sorry for her having to stand in the massive shadow of Graham, her older brother.  I don't have siblings, so I can't really relate to that idea, but it was good to see that Ellie was indeed wanting to get out of that overbearing shadow.  When she gets the chance to go out with an older boy while visiting her grandmother, Hilda, in Norway, I wasn't surprised when she just went for it.  Then again, that might have also been the rebellious part of her rearing itself that she is strong enough to take care of herself without the need of Graham.

Following the incidents of young men being taken by the Valkyries, Ellie showed remarkable growth and strength, especially after Hilda revealed the truth behind her background.  While Ellie also showed the rashness of youth, she also was able to overcome that with the help of both trust in her grandmother and from her brother's best friend, Tuck.  I have to admit, Tucker was a bit of an enigma for me, and I could totally understand why Ellie would be confused by his erratic behavior.  When one is teased and on the bring of being bullied and then shown gentle attention, it's easy to get mixed signals.  Luckily, Ellie could handle herself in any given situation.

I really enjoyed reading Valkyrie Rising though the pace was a bit on the slow side within the first few chapters.  It did pick up once Ellie was in Norway and definitely following the kidnappings.  I think readers who enjoy mythology or just kick-butt heroines would enjoy Ms. Paulson's take on the Valkyrie myth.  This is one I'll definitely want to get for my library.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (51): Bookish Secrets

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new Top Ten list will be posted by one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish. Everyone is welcome to join, just make sure to link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so everyone can check out other blogger lists. Have fun!

Top Ten Bookish Secrets

1)  While this isn't really a secret, I always take bloggers' opinions into account when ordering books for my library. (Thank you all for doing such a great job in reviewing and sharing books. ^_^)

2)  If all the books in a series have been released, I typically want to read them all in one fell swoop. This becomes harder to do when all of the books haven't been released.

3)  I will give up on a book series if it's too lengthy. There are so many books on my shelves and in my library, I want to make time for all of those I want to read.

4)  If a book has been made into a film, I will view the film before reading the book. Usually when I read the book first, I'm disappointed in the film's rendition.

5)  What's in a name? A character's name can make or break my decision to read/purchase a book. ("Missy" is the name of a 9-year-old girl named Melissa or a faithful family pet... not a paranormal heroine.)

6)  I'm always looking for characters that I can make into a costume. (So far I've only been able to do Grace from Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, and that's only because I have a stuffed wolf. lol)

7)  Sometimes, I'll read the graphic novel edition of a book to "test the waters" for the actual novel. (There are times you just want more of a visual story.)

8)  When in the library, I have to "fix" dog-earred pages in the books I'm shelving. It's just this need to correct the books for the next patron. 

9)  As a book-shopper, I will go through each and every copy of a book to find the "best possible one." You might think they're all the same, but there's always minor differences between copies.

10)  If an author has a playlist for their book, I try to listen to that playlist while reading the book. It's always fascinating to see how the author was influenced by the music when writing or how the music relates to the story.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: Valkyrie Rising

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading.  Anyone can play along!  Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • Share the title & author, too, so that others can add the book to their TBR lists!

This week's teaser comes from Ingrid Paulson's debut, Valkyrie Rising.

"The ringleader looked at me, and the anger drained from his face.  His pupils had that filmy, distant quality I was beginning to know far too well.  He took a step back, and his friends and Margit followed suit." ~pg. 153

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