Thursday, February 28, 2008

I feel so fancy!

You Are Tiramisu

Light and lovely, you pack a punch.

You never overwhelm... but you always leave a lasting impression.

Now what are you?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Living in Austenland

I am Elizabeth Bennet!

Take the Quiz here!

Thanks to Alyson for posting this quiz. I will second her plug for Shannon Hale's book Austenland. Such a fun read. I was surprisingly happy to be Elizabeth Bennet as Pride and Prejudice is one of my all time favorite movies. (Both the old and the new, but mostly the new.) What Austen Girl are you?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Book Review: The Princess and the Hound

The Princess and the Hound by Mette Ivie Harrison is the story of Beauty and the Beast turned upside down and backwards. I had the chance to meet the author last week and she described it as what would happen if the girl was the beast.
The story is told from the POV of Prince George who has grown up his entire life having to hide the fact that he can talk with animals, for admitting to such a crime would bring death. When he finds out that his soon to be bride as a hound that she keeps as a constant companion, he is worried, but goes through with the arrangements in hopes to bring peace to the two kingdoms.
The book is well written and very thought provoking. It is a little deeper than a middle reader and I found myself at points wishing that the author could expand on certain details, mostly because I was so intrigued with her story that I found myself wanting more. For this reason alone I would give it 4 and 1/2 stars instead of 5. As a book for tweens and teens it is purely delightful, with a beautiful romance. It is a great tale and a definite worth while read.

Book Review: Dragon Slippers

I had the opportunity to meet Dragon Slippers author Jessica Day George at the LTUE conference this past month. She was completely delightful and tons of fun, and her book was as great as she was. It is the story of a young girl named Creel who is given to a dragon when her family can no longer support her. I was enchanted from the first line on which reads: It was my aunt who decided to give me to the dragon.
From that moment on I knew I had a winning book in my hands. Creel is a great heroine and a terrific role modle for your kids. The story deals with being a friend, standing up for yourself, going for your dreams, and being willing to set things right when you know you have messed up. This is a great book for you to read with your kids or let them read without worry. The dragons are fun, and I could see young boys liking this new fairy tale as much as girls. I give it five stars!

Book Review: Odd Thomas

I just finished Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz for the second time. We read it for book club. I enjoyed it as much the second time. Disclaimer, Koontz is not for those of you who can't stand some pretty demented bad guys. But if you are like me, you can see that even though the bad guys are so psychotic it leaves you cold, the good guys are so good that you have to enjoy the book. The character of Odd Thomas is a 19 year old boy who "sees dead people". He lives in a small southern California town and spends his days as a fry cook. The rest of his time he spends helping those who have passed away to move on. His most famous client? Elvis! But despite that, this character cares about people, in a way that makes him completely enduring. There is only one scene in the book that I was not sure about, not scary, just weird and I was never really sure where Koontz was going with it (black room). But the book is a good read and Odd is such a fun character that he has journeyed into two more books. Forever Odd, a little more gruesome than the first book, and Brother Odd, which is completely delightful. I would give Odd five stars! PS This book is not for kids or the faint of heart!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

LTUE Conference

Okay so I said I would not post until March and I have actually done good. But this is a post included in my writing and so I figured I was okay to throw it in. Last weekend, before I got the flu, I got to go to the Life, the Universe and Everything Sci Fi and Fantasy Convention. What a treat! I got to meet several cool authors, including Gail Carson Levine (who wrote Ella Enchanted), Brandon Sanderson (Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians, which I am in the middle of and love and will be reviewing soon) Orson Scott Card (Ender's Game) Jessica Day George (Dragon Slippers) Mette Ivie Harrison (The Princess and the Hound) Kristen Randall (The Only Alien on the Planet) Eric James Stone (Writers of the Future Winner) Julie Wright (My not so fairy tale Life) and others. Talk about walking the halls with inspiration. And the best thing? It was Free!
The advise was amazing. The books I got signed are so much fun to read. Reviews will be coming shortly! And I got to meet one on one with the great and amazing Orson Scott Card as he looked over the first ten pages of my new book and gave me great feedback. I am so excited to work on it, but realized I have a lot of research to do to get it where it needs to be. But hey, they had a class on researching subjects, so now I feel up to the task. Plus when Orson Scott Card told my daughter that she had a talented writer for a mother, I was beaming.
I think I would want to be a published writer just so I can hang out with the other ones. They are such fun people. From Card who makes me nervous just because he is awe inspiring, (but his wife Kristine is so cool that it calms those nerves!) To Jessica Day George, who I didn't know before, but she was so funny, and encouraging. It was a great weekend.
As an update I have chosen two places to send my query to and am looking for at least three more. Then I just need to make sure it is a good query, but with the notes Card gave me at his bootcamp this summer, I think I can do something with it. (Yes, Queries are harder to write than the actual book). So I should be full on blogging soon, but not too much because now I have the next story calling me. And I had a dream last night that I had to write down, so who knows maybe someday!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

No more blogs!

I love to blog. I love to read other people's blogs, but I have to stop. Just until the end of Februaury. My book I wrote "And the Sky Full of Stars" has been sitting gathering dust since October and it is time to take the plunge and try to send it in to agents and publishers. Who knows it could be horrible and I may recieve a stack of rejections a mile long, but hey I wrote a book and I edited it! So I better at least try to get it published, right? Right! So I will be taking a break from blogging and sorry if I miss anything important in your blogs. I still will check my e-mails so you can let me know anything I need to in that. Until March farewell and cross your fingers that I can find some good agents to send this off to!

100 Things

After reading Mariah’s 100 things, I decided to join the club. So here it goes.
100 things about me.
1. My favorite color is and has always been blue.
2. I was the only one with blue eyes in my family.
3. I love to write.
4. My favorite TV shows are Monk and Psych, but I always fall asleep before they are on, so I have to watch the reruns on Saturday.
5. I love to read.
6. I used to be terrified of flying.
7. My husband is a pilot.
8. I am no longer terrified of flying.
9. I can sing, but only in sign language!
10. Teaching Sunbeams is my favorite church calling.
11. Growing up I wanted to be a Senator.
12. My favorite musical used to be Les Miserables.
13. My favorite musical is now a tie between Wicked and Aida.
14. My favorite book is Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier.
15. The best concert I’ve ever been to was Barry Manilow.
16. I have been to Germany 5 times.
17. I have no fashion sense. If it is comfortable I wear it.
18. I love Magelby’s chocolate cake.
19. I look forward to Book Club all month long.
20. If I couldn’t be a Senator, I wanted to be a Campaign Speech Writer.
21. My one time in Hawaii was at 3 am and I stayed on the plane and slept.
22. I check Stepenie Meyer’s website everyday to see if there is more information on Twilight the Movie.
23. My least favorite chore is unloading the dishwasher.
24. I make my 7 year old unload it.
25. My husband took me flying to purpose to me.
26. I was in a plane when the propeller flew off and we had no engine.
27. I was 7 months pregnant when we had to make an emergency landing (which we did thanks to the cute pilot!)
28. I once sponsored a dolphin. Go Eastern Spinners!
29. One of the best dates I ever went on was on 4th of July. We went flying and saw the fireworks up close.
30. I like to scrapbook.
31. I talk to my mom everyday on the phone.
32. Once I didn’t call my mom and she called me worried something had happened to me.
33. I wish I would have learned to play an instrument.
34. I love Audrey Hepburn movies.
35. I love Sci-Fi TV shows. Firefly, Farscape, Stargate, Babylon 5, you name it.
36. In high school I never went anywhere without a camera.
37. I’ve been bitten by a black widow spider.
38. I love to spend a day at the lake.
39. My favorite Jamba Juice is Pomegranate Heart Defender.
40. I read the label on all the foods I buy.
41. I still sometimes buy things after reading the label.
42. I think I was sent to the Philippines on my mission because I am always cold.
43. I even got cold in the Philippines, but just once.
44. Whenever I go to California I eat as many meals possible at In-N-Out Burger.
45. I like country music.
46. I could watch Sailor Moon all day long.
47. I’ve always wanted a house with a porch and a white picket fence.
48. I can’t follow an aerobic workout for the life of me.
49. I’ve learned to love Yoga! Slow and Steady.
50. I love Mary Engelbreit artwork.
51. I am allergic to cats.
52. I get sick at amusement parks.
53. I have a blanket named Rover the dead dog.
54. My car’s name is Daisy.
55. My favorite movie is Pride and Prejudice, the new one.
56. I was once detained in East Germany for several hours by Russian guards.
57. I like to make lists and schedules.
58. I rarely follow my list and schedules.
59. The older I get, the curlier my hair gets.
60. I love to cook.
61. When I get books signed by authors, I have them signed to my kids.
62. I once picked to go to Chuck-A-Rama for a Valentine’s date.
63. I like to pop my toes.
64. I can’t play video games because I get sick.
65. I love to play Miss Pac-Man even if I get sick.
66. I am clueless about computers.
67. I clean the house faster when I am talking on the phone.
68. I don’t like to wear jewelry very much.
69. I have horrible eyesight.
70. I love taking roadtrips.
71. I collect shot glasses.
72. I have a list of all the Dvd’s I own.
73. I can use chopsticks.
74. I believe in ghosts.
75. I don’t believe in Aliens.
76. I have a hard time buying things that are not on sale.
77. I can’t draw.
78. I love to read to my kids.
79. I love glazed donuts.
80. My name was supposed to be Shannon.
81. I listen to show tunes while I clean.
82. I’ve been bit by a cockroach.
83. I have the same birthday as my sister and we are not twins.
84. I once had a job cleaning the men’s shower room. (It was empty of course!)
85. I used to work at Burger King.
86. I like taking care of my family.
87. I have been bitten by a monkey.
88. I make my kids CD’s of songs for each of their birthday’s.
89. I love the Ocean.
90. Angel’s Landing is my favorite place on earth.
91. I wrote an 110,000 word novel.
92. I like to organize things.
93. Sometimes I spend so much time organizing that I forget to clean.
94. One of my favorite vacations was driving to Chicago with my mom and dad.
95. I stood on the Presidential Trail and still never saw Mount Rushmore ( Fog on 4th of July!!! Can you believe it?)
96. I want to go to Scotland and Ireland and the Lake District of England.
97. I would love to go back to school and major in History.
98. I saw the movie La Bamaba 11 times in the movie theater.
99. I love to rearrange the furniture in my house.
100. My favorite flowers are yellow daisies.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Book Review: Once Upon A Marigold

I had heard this book was cute and so I picked it up at my niece's house. While the book is cute, I think I came into it with higher expectations that it delivered. This is a great book to let your kids read, or to read with them. It is easy, quick and whitty, but the plot is very predictable.
Remember how they took A Knight's Tale or Ella Enchanted and made the movies "Fairy tale setting with modern dialog"? Well this is what the author did. It was funny, but sometimes I found that taking me out of the story.
It is about a boy named Christian who is lost in the forest and taken in by a kind troll. He falls in love with the princess across the river, but it is hopeless because a commoner can never marry a princess. Need I explain more?
There were some funny sub plots that if this was a book for adults I would have expected them to go into more. For example, the troll is petitioning members of the LEFT (Leprechauns, Elves, Fairies, and Trolls) Associaiton to end the tooth fairy's contol on the tooth market.
I would give this book three stars and tell you to read it with any child between the ages of five and twelve.
Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris

Friday, February 1, 2008

A Day with Hannah!

Yesterday I took my girls to see the Hannah Montana Best of Both Worlds 3D Concert Movie. They had a blast, and I thought it was really the best of both worlds (for my wallet as well as my sanity). My girls are far too young for me to spend mega bucks on concerts that will damage their hearing before they even start to hear what I have to say! This concert idea was a great thing. They got to see her perfrom 3D, keep their cool glasses (the nice plastic ones, not the cheap paper ones), sing along and dance in their seats just as if they were at a concert and I got to actually enjoy time with my girls. I even found myself dancing and singing with them, where as if I was at an actual concert with them I would have been paranoid the whole time that I might lose one of them.
We made a day of it by going to get really awful Mexican food, but it was fun because I let them pick where they wanted to go and they loved it. And at least it wasn't Chili's or I might have been struck by lightning before we could get to the movie!(See Alyson King's blog for more info on that!)
I would love if more tween groups would put out shows like this, of course no one might go to the concerts if they did, but this was my type of date!