Monday, September 1, 2014

August 2014 Reading Wrap Up and September Events

My favorite picture I took this month. 
I really thought I'd do better this month. But, once again, it's been a crazy month. In fact, I don't think I've even read this past whole weekend, and a few days before that. So no going out with a bang or anything. Sigh. Life. Sometimes it's fun, and sometimes it makes me crazy.

Anyway, this is what I read this month. Four Utah Books and one not.

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell: For his job, Lincoln has to monitor the company's emails. In so doing, he gets to know a couple of fellow employees and falls in love with one of them.

Longing for Home by Sarah M. Eden: Katie has come from Ireland to work in Wyoming. It turns out she find herself in the middle of a feud between the Irish people and the others.

 Cut Me Free by J.R. Johannson: Piper wants to escape her past, but it's not going as she planned and she ends up right back in the middle of conflict and craziness.

 Becoming Lady Lockwood by Jennifer Moore: Amelia is on a voyage from her home Jamaica back to England to see about a proxy marriage she was involved in. Meanwhile, the captain of the ship is looking more and more interesting.

The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain: Haden has to go from the Underworld to our world in order to bring back a girl to save his world. He doesn't count on finding someone he actually falls in love with and who has her own feisty agenda.

Favorites of the month: The Shadow Prince... and then probably Attachments. Fun books!

I really need to step up my reading game if I'm to accomplish my Goodreads goal and fit in all the books I'm dying to read!

Plans for September:
  • Finish Dreams of Gods and Monsters
  • Read Maus for book club.
  • I started two other books for Utah book month... not sure I'll finish them right now.
  • Read The Letters.
  • Read The Iron Trial for review.
  • I don't know what else! We'll see!!!
Some events happening in September:

** 30 Authors in 30 Days! This is an awesome event hosted by Allison of The Book Wheel. I'll be participating later this month by featuring an author on my blog. Be sure to check out all the details here. 

** Carl's RIP is starting up again... it's RIP IX! Oh my word, I can't believe it's been going on this long. Check out the details here and start thinking of scary haunting books you should be reading! I'll be posting my potential list soon.

** BLOGGIESTA!!! This will be September 18 through 21. I still need some mini challenge hosts! Email me if you are interested!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Utah Book Month Wrap Up Including First Line Winner and Party Pics!

Wow, it's been a month!

Last night we ended Utah Book Month with a fun Utah blogger/author party at the park. Thanks to those of you that came! We need to get more of you to be brave and join us next time! It's such a low key casual affair, I'd love for more of you to join us!

We had food, and talked a lot, and swapped some books. We came up with some fun bookish questions to ask each other in order to get to know each other's bookish business. So fun!

Let the book swap begin!

(from left to right)
Jenni Elyse from Jenni Elyse
Kami from Kami's Library Thoughts
Karena from Discovery Writer
Jessica from Books a True Story
Jessica from The Bluestocking Society

(from left to right)
John, Megan's husband (with baby)
Megan Hutchins 
Toto (my daughter)
Heather Ostler (with baby)
Shannen Camp
Kathy from Read This Instead
Fun times!


Next, I need to give a shout out to Kristen who won my First Line's Quiz mini challenge! She got every one right! Here are the answers:

1. They say a witch lives in the old house under the interstate bridge. From House of Ivy and Sorrow by Natalie Whipple

2. The crackle and hiss of the flames devouring our house couldn't block out the screaming and wailing of those who were still alive. From Defy by Sara B. Larson

3. The warehouse was coffin dark. From Dangerous by Shannon Hale

4. I did the unforgivable the day my mother died, and for that I've been punished every moment of my life. From The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain

5. The kidnapper looking down at Naomi held a book of poetry to his chest. From The Breakaway by Michelle Argyle

6. A woodlark sings of heartache. From Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson

7. Eighteen years had passed since Kate Macauley killed her sister. From Longing for Home by Sarah Eden

8. Mrs. Anderson was dead. From I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells

9. I was lying on the long grass, only distantly aware of my surroundings. From Seers by Heather Frost

10. I once believed that heroes existed only in old men's fables, that evil in the world had triumphed over good, and that love--- a true, unselfish and abiding love--- could only be found in a little girl's imagination. From The Rent Collector by Camron Wright

Congratulations Kristen! I'll be sending you an email!


And finally,  here's what I posted that had something to do with Utah Book Month during August,  just in case you missed it!

James Dashner Launch Party for Rule of Thoughts
Spotlighting the Orem Library
The Maze Runner Movie
Authors Pick Five: Michelle Argyle
Utah Books I Read This Past Year
Utah Books First Lines Quiz
The World's Strongest Librarian Comes to Book Club
Book Review: The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain
Book Review: Becoming Lady Lockwood by Jennifer Moore
Book Review: Cut Me Free by J.R. Johansson
Book Review: Longing for Home by Sarah M. Eden

Wow! What fun it's been! Now, on to the next project!

Friday, August 29, 2014

British Isles Friday: Favorite King Arthur Books

I haven't done a British Isles Friday post in quite some time, but today I thought I'd tell you about some of my favorite Arthur books. For, as you know, I love anything to do with this wonderful British tradition. The story of a boy who pulled a sword out of a stone and became a king, a leader and a legend. I don't know what it is about this story, but it has it all and I never get tired of it.

When you look at the list of Arthur books, I've barely made a dent. Some of the ones I've read and loved are:

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley: an epic saga of a story!

The Once and Future King by T.H. White: a classic tale, what I envision the Disney version based from

The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart: the beginning of a series where Merlin plays a strong role

Quenevere, Queen of the Summer Country by Rosalind Miles: the queen's story.

Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell: told in verse, from the point of view of the Lady of the Lake

The Forever King by Molly Cochran and Warren Murphy: a modern day time travelling twist

A couple ones on the classic end that I'd love to read some day are:

Le Morte d'Arthur by Thomas Mallory
King Arthur and His Knights by Howard Pyle

And then, if I could, I'd catch up on a ton more from the massive list. What are some of your favorites? Which ones must I add to my read immediately list?

As a side note, one of the coolest places we visited when we were in England ten years ago was Arthur's supposed burial place... Glastonbury. This place is said to have once been surrounded by water, and was in fact an island, and it was called Avalon. The legends and stories told about this place are fascinating (and not just about Arthur.) I wish we would have had time to go more south and west to see where Camelot may have been along the Cornish coast, and to explore other Arthurian sites. Maybe next time!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Utah Book Month: Launch Party with James Dashner

Many events have been happening with authors and signings all during this Utah Book month, but the one I ended up at was Tuesday night's launch party with James Dashner for his new book, Rule of Thoughts, the sequel to The Eye of Minds. (Sadly, not my most favorite book, but, BUT, the ending was awesome enough I need to read this next book!)

We got there kind of late which put us at the back of the line when the signing time came, but we got there in time to hear the people, mostly kids, ask him some fun questions.

What writing piece are you the most proud of? A book of 100 limericks written for a high school project.

Who's your favorite character in The Maze Runner? Minho

Who's your least favorite character in The Maze Runner? I love them all, but Galley maybe? I love them even if I don't like them!

What thing would you do first in a zombie apocalypse? Watch the new to find out what to do!

What writing advice would you give to aspirings? go to conferences, network, and find an agent.

What are your favorite books? (not your own.) Anything by Stephen King, especially The Stand

What big name authors have you met? Rick Riordan, Veronica Roth, Jeff Kinney... and I can't remember who else he listed, though I'm sure the list is actually pretty huge. He has not met Stephen King, though he has corresponded with his son.

Will Eye of Minds be a movie too? I don't know! I hope so!

Did you have all of the Maze Runner planned out before you started writing it? Sort of, mostly. A loose outline, yes, but stuff happened during the writing too.

When it was finally our turn to talk to him, I asked him about the movie, and what's up with the Imax thing, and told him how cool I thought Dylan was going to be as Thomas. He told me that it will be in Imax at least a week...not in 3D, in case you wondered. He told me that Dylan was sweet and shy in person, but then he changes when he acts and has all the confidence in the world. He said that a certain sad scene is going to be awesome... that Dylan NAILED it! He'd already told us about the soundtrack for the movie, how excited he is and how you can listen to some of it here already. I'm very excited to hear the whole thing soon.

Oh, and it's been a long time since I've stalked him at a signing, but yay, he remembered me! :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Authors Pick Five: Michelle Argyle

As part of Utah Book Month, today I'm featuring Utah author Michelle Argyle. She is the author of several books, including The Breakaway and Pieces. (Links to my reviews.) 

I asked Michelle to respond to this one question:

What five books are most important
or influential to you?

Here's what she had to say:

THE AWAKENING by Kate Chopin

I'm not sure why, but this book above all others taught me the importance of underlying meaning, metaphors, and themes in literature. The rich, layered ways that Chopin weaves together colors into the plot and overarching theme is incredible, and has forever changed the way I write. THE GREAT GATSBY also did this, but Chopin's story of a woman breaking down walls in the only way possible for the time period has forever affected my view of fiction and its power.


This book, while nonfiction, actually inspired me to write my first literary short story. That short story later on earned an award and made me change my major from technical writing to creative writing while I was in college. Dillard's use of details and infusing them with spirit, power, and depth, is incomparable. She is both poetic and extremely grounded. I wanted to do this in my own fiction, and used her writing as a great example to follow.

THE CLIENT by John Grisham

I've always had a soft spot for thrillers, and this is the first one that inspired me to start exploring thriller elements into my own stories. Grisham is truly a master storyteller. I first read THE CLIENT when I was in my tween years. I'll never forget how it got my blood pumping and my imagination reeling.


This is the book that really got me to pick up a pen and start writing in my younger years. I became obsessed with kidnapping stories, and decided to write my own. THE BREAKAWAY was that book. 


This book has forever changed the way I view other people and how I interact with them. I understand myself better, and discovered that my daughter is an extrovert through and through, but is also extremely sensitive like me. That makes for a challenge, and I'm sure Cain's book and research will help me with my parenting far more than anything else I've ever read. This is a book I wish everyone would read. 

Thanks so much Michelle for taking the time to answer this question! I love your choices!

Here is Michelle's official bio:

Michelle lives and writes in Utah, surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. She adores cheese, chocolate, sushi, and lots of ethnic food, and loves to read and write books in the time she grabs between her sword-wielding husband and energetic daughter. She believes a simple life is the best life. Michelle writes contemporary Young Adult and New Adult fiction (and other genres when she feels up to it).

You can learn more about her over on her blog, onTwitter, on Facebook, and Google+.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Book Review Discussion: The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain

Book: The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating:★ ★ ★ ★ ★
For: Utah Book Month
From: Bought it at a signing last month

Short Synopsis: Haden is a prince of the underworld and in order to prove his worth to his crazy father, he needs to be the Champion and go to the Overworld and bring back the girl has been deemed the Cypher, who is the Key to solve all their problems with the Skylords. So.. Haden goes. There he meets Daphne and they clash, but they also are strangely attracted to each other. Daphne has problems of her own, including a crazy dad like Haden, and a new friend who is obsessed with finding his sister who disappeared years ago. In fact, he's been investigating and lots of girls have been disappearing over the years. He thinks Haden has something to do with it. Oh boy, and then things escalate from there and get crazy wild!

My Response: I loved this book. The plot was awesome and fun and a wonderful take on the Hades/Persephone myth with lots of other myths also alluded too. It was great. The characters are fun especially Haden who has this strange upbringing and is introduced to a world where this upbringing is completely wacko. He changes so much! Anyway, I just thought it was really fun and page turning and one of those books that I couldn't stop thinking about when I wasn't reading.

Bottom Line: Loved it! Can't wait for more of this story.

Let's Talk About: Books based on mythology. Are you a fan? We've talked about books based on fairy tales and I think most people love these. But what about mythology? I, for one, love them. But strangely enough, the ever so popular Percy Jackson books aren't my favorite. Maybe because they are geared toward middle grade age and I find them not as compelling because of that? I don't know. But mostly, I love myth retellings and I found this one to be particularly fun.

Other Reviews:

Daphne and Haden play to each other’s’ strengths, making it one of the few young adult relationships that does not require one holding power – literal or figurative – over another. From That's What She Read

Greek Mythology lovers hold onto your hearts!! This is the Hades and Persephone myth redone in a fresh, very unique way that will have you questioning what team you are on and which side of the mythology to believe. From Buried in Books

DeSpain is really good at painting characters that are individual and realistic. From This is Not a Cliffhanger

I can see this series going places, interesting and exciting places. So I recommend it, and I will be picking up the second in the series because I am sure that it will be worth my time, not to mention money ;) From Bloody Bookaholic

Sunday, August 24, 2014

As Seen on the Salt Lake Comic Con Blog!

Here's some of the fun articles written by my fellow "official Salt Lake Comic Con bloggers" that have appeared on the Salt Lake Comic Con blog these past few weeks. One of mine finally went live this week too! And I totally missed it until this very moment! Click on over and immerse yourselves in the geekdom.

How to Make Your Own Nerdy Comic Con T-shirts by Marissa from Rae Gun Ramblings

Ten Things You Probably Didn't Know About the Marvel Universe by Tim Drake

Summer 2014 Reading Picks by Suey

Geeky Activities to do in Utah by Miss Nessa

Cosplay Etiquette 101 by Marissa from Rae Gun Ramblings


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