Friday, December 30, 2011

My Best Of List

Lots of people like commemorate the end of one year and beginning of another by putting out lists of their favorite things.  Yes, some would say these lists are totally overdone, but I enjoy reading them!  It's always fun to relive the year through someone else's pov :-) 

So here's my attempt at one list, maybe just maybe I'll get another one or two posted before the year officially ends.


Belly has always lived for the summertime because it means all her favorite things: swimming, the beach and the Fischer boys, Conrad and Jeremiah. She has spent every summer with them at Cousins Beach for as long as she can remember. She has always been in love with Conrad and finally, one summer, it seems like he might have feelings for her too. But it turns out, so does Jeremiah. As the summers go on, Belly has to choose between two brothers who love her as she comes to the realization that she will have to break one of their hearts. 

I started this series in 2011 right after the 3rd book (We'll Always Have Summer) came out.  I sort of love it when something like that happens... being turned on to a series when all the books are already available.... because I was able to read all 3 books in a row.  A good book series always has so much more of an impact when read together like that. In this situation when i finished the 3rd book I picked up the first one and read them all through a second time lol.

FORBIDDEN by Tabitha Suzuma 
Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives--and the way they understand each other so completely--has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending. 

 One day while reading SHELF LIFE I saw a banner ad for FORBIDDEN, a few minutes later I saw someone posting about it on Twitter.  I took this as a sign and ordered a copy.  To say this book was different from my normal reads is an understatement.  Although it's YA, it is not something I normally would be drawn to.  This book took me out of my comfort zone and broke my heart into a thousand pieces.  (The subject matter is mature and I wouldn't recommend this read to anyone under the age of at least 14.)  But it was so incredibly written I found myself rooting for them to find a way to make their forbidden relationship work!  Definitely not what I would call a feel good book, but one that stayed on my mind for days, even weeks after I finished reading it.  A powerful book.

SILENCE by Becca Fitzpatrick 
The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for—and their love—forever. 

What can I say about SILENCE?  If you follow me here or on FB, Twitter, Tumblr (etc) you know that I am extremely involved in all things HUSH, HUSH Saga. I love these books and Becca Fitzpatrick like crazy!!  And SILENCE which came out in October was no exception.  Patch + Black Silk Sheets = LOVE lol  See below for your chance to win a cool SILENCE locker poster!

WHERE SHE WENT by Gayle Forman 
It's been three years since the devastating accident... three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever. Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other. Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance. 

WHERE SHE WENT is the sequel to IF I STAY but told from Adam's point of view instead of Mia's.  I liked IF I STAY enough, but I totally LOVED this book!  I loved being inside Adam's head, although it definitely wasn't always a very comfortable place to be.  I've read this book a few times this year and I sit squarely on Team Adam.. he's awesome!!  Speaking of Team Adam... have you seen these awesome buttons?! ---->>>

 Thanks to the fabulous Gayle Forman I have a few to give away!  So if you are Team Adam, or even if you're not yet (you will be once you read WHERE SHE WENT) See below for your chance to win one!

Want to win a TEAM ADAM button or a cool SILENCE locker size poster?  Leave a comment telling me what your favorite read(s) of 2011 is/are.  Be sure to include an email address if I can't get an email to you by clicking on your google profile. Contest ends January 8 at midnight.  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Honor and Remember

I know I don't need to tell anyone what Sunday was.  I'm sure you all remember where you were that morning, just as i do.  I was touched this weekend by so many beautiful tributes.

I'm not going to rehash them, I don't want to cry any more.  BUT I do want to share 2 of the ones I'm pretty sure you didn't see... 

1.  After a really difficult week here in our area (major flooding and devastation to many people) our County Fair managed to open for a few days.  At their 9/11 Tribute a State Representative presented this flag..
I find it and the meaning behind it very touching.  (not quite touching enough for me to pay $50 for one though lol)  I understand there is some controversy about states bringing this flag, I honestly have not read it, probably don't want to ;-)  You can find out more about it here.

2.  No secret I have a deep love for all things Blue October ;-)  watch this (best when listened to with headphones) from their Sept 11 show.  It sort of blew me away!

Hoping you were able to slow down a bit on Sunday to appreciate all of the blessings in your life!  And to give thanks to all of those who make them possible.

Monday, August 8, 2011

GiveAway: SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi

Back in May I spent a day at BEA and was lucky to be able to pick up an extra ARC of a very popular upcoming release, SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi.

Description from GoodReads:
Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old-girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color. 

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now. 

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior. 

In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting asThe Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices,Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.

Juliette hasn't touched anyone in 264 days... What would you miss most if you could never touch or have physical contact with anyone?? 

Complete the form and submit by Midnight (EST) on Friday, August 12.  Winner will be contacted over the weekend, by Monday August 15. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I am totally in love with the first HUNGER GAMES Movie Poster released today (the widget based on the poster is below)!   Love the flash/animation and that they're not afraid to use it - wish the poster could appear this way in theaters!!!   
The movie site also launched and it looks and sounds just as cool, check it out here.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

We're Having a Harry Potter Party! Do You Want To Come?

Local HARRY POTTER fans...  We are having a VIP Midnight Release Party!! 
If you'd like to join us, let me know as soon as possible.  Space is extremely limited.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Blue Acoustic aka Best Damn Show Ever ... or at least until i see them again

It's no secret to anyone who knows me that I am more than a little in love with the band BLUE OCTOBER.

My sister Rebecca and I have seen Blue October in Philly each Spring for the past few years now.  Every year we are blown away and realize we love Blue even more on the way home than on the way down. This year we went into it without too many expectations, we knew we'd love it, but we just didn't know what to expect.  The tour is tagged as "acoustic" to promote their new acoustic album which was released on May 10.   Aside from that there were lots of new factors thrown in...a different guitar player, some seats/some standing areas, no lining up early, blah, blah, blah ;-)  Since we knew we had no chance at getting close to the stage (there were 300 chairs in front of the rail) we decided not to kill oursleves getting there early and trying to fight for a spot in line.   We headed for the heavens and checked out the balcony/bar area.  It was entirely different experiencing the show from that perspective, no crowd pushing and shoving, lots of room to breathe and move, a bar and bathroom nearby :-) but also no feeling of personal connection with the band like you get when you are a row or two back.  We ended up lucky and we are both really happy with the spots we had. (I will go on record as saying though that I would still always prefer to be on the floor n row, maybe even two back lol)

Ok now that all that is out of the way ... The concert was phenomenal!  The opening act SOLDIER THREAD was really great!  The crowd really seemed to enjoy them more than most of the opening acts from years past.  They kept is fairly short, but packed their set list with some really impressive songs.  The lead singer, Patricia Lynn, has the most wonderful voice.  Hearing her live was really impressive.  I see great things in her/their future. 

And then of course, BLUE OCTOBER.  Their show wasn't quite as 'acoustic' as maybe it could have been but it was scaled down perfectly.  From the stage, to the lights, to their instruments everything was a little more personal and a little 'less' than a typical show.  Justin was much more relaxed and conversational with the crowd and everyone in the band really genuinely seemed to be enjoying themselves (or maybe they are just really good actors lol)  Either way the concert was perfect.

A few of the highlights of the show (really hard to pick a few, it was all so good)...
  • Calling You (slow) - Justin intro'd this by telling how back in the day he wrote it as a gift to a girlfriend, because he was just a poor musician who had no money to buy a gift lol.   I seriously think that just about every single person in that venue sang along to this song!  It was really cool and I enjoyed hearing this slower version of the song.
  • Feel Again - They played this new song (from their upcoming album) as part of the encore.  It was beautiful! Justin talked about how personal all of the songs from this new album are and how they came from his struggle with divorce and his wanting to be with his daughter.  You could definitely feel his emotions in this song.  So raw, really powerful.  Also, I love the little guitar tune (I have no idea what to call that) that appears a few times in there.
  • The Follow Through - Another new song.  As if this song wasn't kick ass enough, Patricia Lynn from Soldier Thread joined him for part of this.  Their vocals work so well together!  The audio recordings don't do it justice.  I can't get this song outt of my head, keep finding myself humming or singing parts of it.
  • Julian Mandrake - I would be remiss if I didn't mention something about this :-)  I was just as upset as the next fan when I heard that CB was leaving Blue. No one was really sure what would happen.  News started trickling out back around SXSW that Julian has joined them again (he filled in and played with them in the past) as guitarist. (I have no idea if he is just filling in or if he will be their new guitar player.)  He has a sort of different presence about him at first, but he is very talented and in fact by the end of the show I was majorly impressed by him!  He had some great guitar solos and did a phenomenal job.  I hope he sticks around for a bit.
The only thing i would have changed if I could was the seating/standing set up.  I think it probably should have been all of one or the other, it was odd to have 500 people standing behind the 300 seated people. But for us it all worked out OK so I really can't complain.    

Note:  This was my first concert with my iPhone, since we were far away I wasn't expecting much from my videos.  BUT they actually came out really good!  I've been fighting to upload them at a high quality to youtube for days now.  I finally decided to upload them at a lower quality, since the audio is still good. Here's one of my favs, The Follow Through!  Enjoy! (lol they look so little in it)

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Little Bit of Mother's Day Today and Every Day

Yesterday we celebrated Mother's Day (is this holiday observed around the globe or just in the US?). 

I get a kick out of those commercials, you know the ones... the Mom spends her entire day relaxing, reading in a hammock, taking long bubble baths while her family cooks, cleans, does the laundry...  I don't know many, heck I don't think I know ANY Moms who really get to do this. More likely most Moms are spending at least part of their day washing school clothes or sports uniforms for the week ahead, watching the kids play baseball, softball, soccer (or whatever else is currently in season), fighting their toddler who doesn't want to use the potty, and/or visiting their own Moms and other mother-like figures in their lives.  I am not complaining about these things!  They are, after all, the things that make us all MOMS.  

But, today with the kids off to school and husband gone to work, I have scheduled a few hours to myself before the grocery shopping, banking and laundry needs to be done.  I am spending this time in my jammies on the couch, eating my favorite GERTRUDE HAWK chocolate/caramel covered apple (a Mother's Day gift from my Mom) in peace and quiet.  Catching up on the entertainment news, reading a little, chatting with some friends.  This is my little bit of 'mother's day' which will give me just enough recharching to handle the week ahead.  And it's a busy one! 

Happy belated Mother's Day to all the Moms out there.  I hope you find and enjoy your little bit of Mother's Day any way you can today and every day!