Tag Archives: Guest Post

Fortnight of Fright 2015 | Halloween Movies for Scaredy Cats (Katrina from Bookish Things and More)

FoF2014

Welcome to our third annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2015

Thanks for checking out the THIRD annual edition of FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT where Alyssa (Books Take You Places), Amy (Tripping Over Books), and I bring you two full weeks of Halloween-related posts! We’ve invited bloggers, authors, and book lovers alike to share their favorite things about Halloween and we feature a new person and post each day. 

Today, Katrina from Bookish Things and More is sharing her favorite Halloween movies for people who don’t like/can’t handle horror (like me)!


I love Halloween.  It’s one of my favorite holidays, which is shocking because I don’t like to be scared.  I haven’t been to a haunted house since I was about 7 or 8 because of a bad experience that stuck with me.  But I do love dressing up.  I love helping my kids get ghoulish, or sparkly, depending on which child.  We also love watching Halloween movies.  Luckily they are like me and prefer the fun, cute ones. So without more rambling, here are my top picks for mild Halloween movies.

hocus pocus

Hocus Pocus

This is probably one of my favorite movies ever.  It’s also the first movie I saw in theaters.  We’ve watched this movie so much we’ve had to buy multiple copies of the DVD.

Halloweentown

Halloweentown Quartet

These movies are so much fun.  They bring out the ghouls and goblins in a way that isn’t terrifying.

Ernest Scared Stupid

Ernest Scared Stupid

I am most definitely a sucker for the Ernest movies.  This one may have terrified me when I was little, but I couldn’t stop watching it, and want to watch it with the kiddos.

Tim Burton

Tim Burton Movies

I would get specific, but you can watch pretty much any of these during October.  I watch them all the time, even when it’s not a spooky month.  

Some of my favorite actually scary movies

Actually Scary Movies

There are a few scary movies that I will watch even though they can be terrifying for some: Halloween, Friday the 13th, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre.


Thanks, Katrina! These are some of my favorite Halloween movies too! You can never go wrong with Hocus Pocus and I loved Halloweentown though I don’t think I’ve seen the last two! 

Find Katrina at her: Blog | Twitter

What are some of your favorite Halloween movies? Do you go more for horror or funny?

Blog Tour: First & Then by Emma Mills | “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby”

Welcome to the blog tour for FIRST & THEN by Emma Mills! I can’t tell you how excited I am to be on the blog tour for FIRST & THEN! Macmillan and Fierce Reads have put together a really fun and creative blog tour and I’m totally thrilled to be partaking! Each blogger on the tour has been assigned a different senior superlative as the theme for their post and along with recommending some books to go with the theme, Emma Mills will be appearing on some of the blogs as well with her own post! My senior superlative theme is “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby” — people/characters who have changed and grown the most. I have all of that and more for you today so thanks for joining me for the FIRST & THEN blog tour and I hope you have a lot of fun!

Before we jump into the tour, let’s take a second to talk a little about the book! I had a really fun time reading this one. I’m *whispers: actually not a Jane Austen fan* but I did see that there was a very strong influence in FIRST & THEN! I also loved how it really reminded my of my own high school experiences and that of many others: not sure what to do about college, feeling a bit lost about a major, and of course friendship and relationship complications. I ended up really connecting with the book and I think it’s one that many will enjoy!

Blog Tour: First & Then by Emma Mills | “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby”Title: First & Then by Emma Mills
Publishing Info: October 13, 2015 by Macmillan
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: August 21, 2015
Related Posts: First & Then

Devon Tennyson wouldn't change a thing. She's happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon's cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running back, Ezra, right where she doesn't want them first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.
Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights in this contemporary novel about falling in love with the unexpected boy, with a new brother, and with yourself.

GUEST POST FROM EMMA MILLS

For the tour today, Emma Mills wrote a little post for us all about how much she has personally changed since high school to fit with the designated theme of this blog tour stop! 

  1. I am much less terrified of public speaking! Back in the day, even talking on the phone made me nervous. But I’ve grown much more comfortable with communicating! 
  2. Admittedly, I’m a much better driver. I didn’t learn to drive on the highway until I was twenty, because the idea of it just stressed me out! One time in high school I accidentally got on the freeway, and it was like that scene in Clueless.  
  3. My palate has definitely broadened—back in the day, I was not terribly adventurous, food-wise!

I can totally relate to #2 and #3! Highway driving was scary in high school (but I finally convinced my parents that I could handle it) and I have a much more diverse palate now than I did when I was younger! Thanks to Emma for sharing some fun details for us to get to know her a bit better! 

BOOK RECS!

I also get to done one of my most favorite things ever in this post and that’s hand-select some books to go with the “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby” theme! Today I’m sharing my favorite books/series for character growth. I was really excited to get this topic because character growth is something that’s really important to me and something that I appreciate. I feel like I’ve come a long way since high school —  no wait, since college — no wait, since even after college — and I feel like such a different person. Anyway, here are my favorites if you’re looking for some great character development and growth!

character growth contemporary

CONTEMPORARY

dystopian fantasy character growth

DYSTOPIAN & FANTASY

I feel like every single one of these authors excels at character development and growth. If you’re looking for a book where a character really comes to terms with who they are and changes themself for the better, you can’t miss with one of these books. Of course, each of these is really well done overall but the characters in them are just amazing and some of the characters I’ve connected most with throughout my entire lifetime as a reader. I’ve really come to cherish them and care for them along the way!

OTHER BLOGS ON THE TOUR

And don’t forget to check out the rest of the blogs on the tour! You won’t want to miss this one. Each blog has their own superlative theme and I know I’m personally going to check out each and everyone one of them because I’m so excited for this unique blog tour!

FirstAndThenBlogTourImage_9.9 (1)

GIVEAWAY

Of course we can’t let you go without a giveaway! Macmillan is offering one finished, hardcover copy for one lucky winner! All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter form below! US residents only, please! Must be 13 years of age or older to win. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Pub Date [12] – Guest Post | Asheley from Into the Hall of Books


Pub Date

Hi, all! Welcome to back to our new feature called PUB DATE where Estelle from Rather Be Reading, Andi from Andi’s ABCs, and Maggie from Just a Couple More Pages and I all team up to pair books + beers in harmony! Each week, one of us will features a beer and a book of our choice, each with a different theme for that month!

This month’s theme: Hearing from other beer-lovers!

It’s been a year since we started posting our book and beer posts with Pub Date and we’ve been having SO much fun! We were brainstorming about what other themes we could come up with for future posts and we decided to bring in some other people to share in the fun! This month, each of us asked another beer-lover to take part in Pub Date with whatever books & beer they chose to feature! I asked Asheley from Into the Hall of books because she was one of the first bloggers I started to talk to about beer once we both realized how much we loved it and I was so excited to find another book blogger who had that passion as well! She’s also just a lovely person and a very sweet friend (plus, she got me this post super quickly after I told her the wrong date, so thanks again Ash)!


BOOKS AND BEER FROM NORTH CAROLINA
from Asheley (Into the Hall of Books)

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to be here at The Book Addict’s Guide today talking about books and beer, two of my favorite things! Brittany said that I can talk about what I choose today, so I’m choosing my own theme: the connection I have with my state’s books + beer. It sounds dorky, but I promise, I’M SO LUCKY because North Carolina has exceedingly great taste in brew and in books.

I moved across the state last summer and one of my favorite things about my new place is the two local breweries that we have here! I’m so excited about this because before, at my old place, it took a huge day-trip or maybe a weekend mini-vacation to visit breweries — now I can drive just 10-15 minutes and BOOM! I have fresh beer in my hands right away.

It’s amazing.

Actually, being closer to the middle of North Carolina has placed me much closer to a ton of breweries now, which is great for my visiting and growler-collecting habit.

Today, I’ve chosen to highlight my favorite of the two local-to-me breweries: Huske Hardware House. I love all of their brews, but I just happen to have a growler of the Saison de Huske here at the house and it is so great — such a delicious, fresh, summery-tasting brew. I love this beer — it has this really great citrus-y taste with a little bite on the back end, and it really isn’t that hoppy at all. I think it pairs well with almost anything, which is why I love having it on hand. It tastes so great cold, straight from the growler — small sips, eyes closed.

ash pub date

I’ve paired the Saison de Huske with my small collection of Sarah Dessen books! Did you guys know that Sarah Dessen is from North Carolina and that she writes great North Carolina settings? OF COURSE you probably do! Her books are are summer-y and lovely, and I love the towns of Colby and Lakeview. I haven’t read all of the titles from my photo, but I’m working on it!

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Outside of my summer-y choice of Sarah Dessen and Saison de Huske, I’ve been stuck on brown ales. In keeping with my NC theme, I’m highlighting two of my favorites: Lonerider Sweet Josie Brown Ale and Natty Greene Old Town Brown Ale. Both have a subtle, smooth almost-but-not-quite chocolate taste that I think goes perfectly with reading. I’ve paired both of these drinks with a few random books from my shelves — authors that live in North Carolina or have North Carolina ties.

Sidenote: I have a thing about matching my pint glasses with my beers. The way Lonerider has recently changed their marketing reminds me of when book covers get redesigned mid-series, and then we sometimes want to buy the new ones so they’ll all match. The can is the new design and my glass is the older design. And I don’t have a glass to go with Natty Greene’s beers yet, which is a shame because their Brown Ale and their Buckshot Amber Ale is almost always in my refrigerator these days. Beer lovers are just as quirky about beer sometimes as bookish people.

I’m not a NC-snob, I promise. The thing is that I’m very proud of my state, of craft brewing in North Carolina, and of the amazing talent we have here in the way of authors and story settings. I will absolutely drink beer from anywhere, but when I look at my Untappd app, it is clear that I love beer from my state. The same thing goes with books — I love books in general, but I have a different kind of love for the authors from my own state and for any author that chooses to use North Carolina as a setting.

What about you, friends? Do you drink beer when you read? Or do you prefer coffee or Diet Coke?
If you’re a beer drinker, do you have a favorite? 


Thank you again, Asheley! I LOVE that you paired up books and beers from your state! I feel like I’m fairly proud of our local brews too! I would love to try some local NC brews sometime! I feel like I haven’t had very many from your state!

If you want to say hello to Asheley, feel free to leave her a comment below (please do!) or find her on Untappd, her blog, or Twitter!


Thanks for joining us for another edition of Pub Date! Missed any posts? You can catch up at any time on my blog page for the Pub Date Feature!

My Latest Bookish Addiction [14] – Blogger Spotlight Features

MLBA

In keeping with the theme of my blog, I decided to start bringing you updates of the newest and greatest bookish addictions in my life so I can share with you some awesomely bookish things or discuss if maybe we share the same bookish loves. It seemed like a great way to get a little discussion going in a very relaxed way.

This Edition’s Bookish Addiction? Blogger Spotlight Features!

Somehow, someway I ended up hopping onto a lot of blogger guest posts and/or Q&A features in March (The Bloggers We Read @ The Things We Read, The ABCs @Andi’s ABCsInside & Out @ Bookmark LitBook People Talk Movies @ Bring My Books) so I figured what better time and what better way to repay the favor by spreading the word?

I really enjoy blogger spotlight features! Naturally, we’re always wanting to get to know books and authors, but I also really enjoy getting to know more about the bloggers behind the posts. I’ve made SO many great friends by being a part of this community and I’m always thankful for the people who helped spread the word about my blog, especially when I was starting out. I really wanted to compile a list of all of the features I could possibly find that showcase other bloggers and their work!

We bloggers love spreading the word about books but I think it really creates even more sense of community when we help spread the word about each other! I think it’s a great way to reach a new audience, show support for fellow bloggers, and also get to know someone new yourself. I’ve had a few bloggers sign up for my Book and a Beverage feature that I got to know because of the feature and I’m so grateful that we started to chat!

So without further ado, here’s a list of all of the blogger Q&A/guest post features I’ve been able to find so far! If I missed one that you know of, please hop on over to the Google Doc so I can add it to the list!

** Thanks to Asti from Oh, The Books! for the heads up that she also has a list of Blogger Spotlight Features! Some of these were found thanks to her blog! **

BLOGGER INTERVIEW FEATURES
(includes question and answer format)

BLOGGER GUEST POST FEATURES

Which blogger spotlight features are your favorites? Are there any other blogger Q&A features or guest post features that I’m missing? I’d love to add them to the list!

And to see where else The Book Addict’s Guide has been featured, check out a complete list on my About Me page!

Guest Post from Anna (Lost Brain Cell): Quotetastic! Love Edition

Hi, friends! I just got MARRIED and am now on my honeymoon in Aruba!!! I won’t be able to attend to my blog this week since Shane and I are having fun in the sun and relaxing, but not to worry — I’ve left my blog in good hands. All this week, I have a series of guest post-ers (and they all have some pretty great posts!

Today’s guest post is from Anna who runs the blog Lost Brain Cell. She does a feature on her blog called “Quotetastic” that share graphics of some of her favorite quotes. She’s gathered a few today to share all about looooove — some that were already created and some she made herself! (All pictures will be noted with credit) Hope you enjoy!

QUOTETASTIC! Love Edition

Hello Book Addict’s Guide readers! I am Anna and I am a book lover too! A feature I do on my book blog is Quotetastic. It’s a feature where I highlight favorite quotes and images from a specific book. I am doing a special version of Quotetastic for my Book Addict’s Guide Guest Post. In honor of Brittany getting married, I am doing a Quotetastic all about LOVE! So here are some of my favorite quotes and images about love! Enjoy!

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Photo Credit: Anna from Lost Brain Cell

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Source: http://www.hannaharendtcenter.org/?p=5493

3

Source: http://lovequote99.blogspot.com/2013/04/disney-love-quotes.html

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Photo Credit: Anna from Lost Brain Cell

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Photo Credit: Anna from Lost Brain Cell

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Photo Credit: Anna from Lost Brain Cell

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Photo Credit: Anna from Lost Brain Cell

2

Source: http://followpics.co/beautiful-creatures-love-quote/

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Source: http://photoletters.blogspot.com/2013/06/shakespeare-love-quotes-for-him-free.html

Now I want to know, what is your favorite quote about love? Share them in the comments! Happy reading and here’s to the love of great books and great blogs with fabulous readers like you!


Thank you so much for guest posting on my blog today, Anna! I love bookish love quotes and that Anna and the French Kiss one is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITES!

So happy to have Anna on the blog today! If you want connect with her, check out her blog, Lost Brain Cell or say hello on Twitter!

Guest Post from Lauren Smith: “How to Make a Rake Fall in Love With You”

Hi, friends! I just got MARRIED and am now on my honeymoon in Aruba!!! I won’t be able to attend to my blog this week since Shane and I are having fun in the sun and relaxing, but not to worry — I’ve left my blog in good hands. All this week, I have a series of guest post-ers (and they all have some pretty great posts!

Today’s guest post is from author Lauren Smith whose new novel, His Wicked Seduction, was just released on Tuesday, November 11th! She has a great guest post for us today so check it out below!

10 Ways to Make a Rake Fall in Love with You

A little bird recently told me that Brittany is getting MARRIED! How exciting and wonderful! I couldn’t think of a better love story than hers, a bookworm and a man into cars falling in love and tying the knot. That sounds just like the next great romance novel! (Hint hint.) Naturally I wanted to add my congratulations and Horatia Sheridan, the heroine from my latest novel, His Wicked Seduction, wanted to offer some good advice for all those other ladies out there still searching for the own happily ever afters.

  1. Always tuck your nose in a book. He can’t resist a smart woman who has better things to do than try to find a husband.
  2. When he comes over to visit your brother (his best friend), play it cool. He’ll like the challenge of a good seduction.
  3. During your first kiss, be sure to kiss him back at first, and then shove him away. He’ll see your passion and your good sense and want you all the more.
  4. When an old enemy from his past threatens your life, accept the rake’s invitation to go to his home for Christmas. It’s only fair to let him protect you since he wants to be a hero.
  5. Make sure to notice all the mistletoe and kissing boughs his younger brother hung all over the house. Rakes love a good surprise kiss.
  6. If he has brothers, make sure to dance with all of them. He’ll not want to share you with anyone.
  7. When engaged in a snowball fight with his family and friends, make sure you beat him. Rakes have egos but they love spirited, cunning ladies.
  8. Turn to him when you’re hurting because a good rake loves to ease a woman’s sufferings and will want to hold you while you cry.
  9. Don’t let your brother find out you love his friend. They might end up dueling on Christmas Day.
  10. If he runs into a burning cottage to save your injured brother, go in after him. He’ll see how much you love him, and he’ll be brave enough to love you back.

Congratulations Brittany! I hope you’ll post some fabulous wedding pictures for everyone to see!!


His Wicked Seduction by Lauren SmithLauren Smith is an attorney by day, author by night, who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She’s a native Oklahoman who lives with her three pets, a feisty chinchilla, sophisticated cat and dapper little schnauzer. She’s won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including: Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and Semi-Finalist Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award.

Her latest book, His Wicked Seduction, released on November 11, 2014 (Samhain Publishing). Warning: This book contains an intelligent lady who is determined to seduce her brother’s friend, a brooding rake whose toy of choice in bed is a little bit of bondage with a piece of red silk, a loyal band of merry rogues and a Christmas love so scorching you’ll need fresh snow to extinguish it.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Website | Twitter


Thank you so much for guest posting on my blog today, Lauren!! I think that is VERY sound advice 😉 Such a fun post and I’m so happy to have had you on the blog today!

What do you think, guys? A surefire way to romance? 😀 And be sure to check out Lauren’s latest book from the links above!

Guest Post from Johannah (The Broken Shelf): Homemade Personal Library

Hi, friends! I just got MARRIED and am now on my honeymoon in Aruba!!! I won’t be able to attend to my blog this week since Shane and I are having fun in the sun and relaxing, but not to worry — I’ve left my blog in good hands. All this week, I have a series of guest post-ers (and they all have some pretty great posts!

Today’s guest post is from Johannah who runs the blog over at The Broken Shelf. She came up with the idea for instructions on how to make your own homemade library which I think is pretty cute and fun! See her post below!

Homemade Library

Hi! Brittany had asked me to do a guest post while she is off getting married and enjoying her honey moon! I’m so excited for her! I can’t wait till I get married next year! I hope she posts pictures!

Anywho, I’m Johannah over at The Broken Shelf. I had a hard time coming up with a post idea – I really did. Then I was at the book store with a few of my girlfriends. My one friend was going to buy a book. I said, “Don’t you dare! I have that book and you may borrow it and it is a lot cheaper!” HA HA!

See, a week or so ago I became a new home owner. I bought my first house with my fiancé! I’m SO excited to make it mine! I decided it will be called The House of Books & Brews. Because most of my friends borrow my books and drink tea – or the occasional wine. Ha ha! It’s just fitting. I mean if you had seen how many bookshelves I had filled with books. You’d think I run a library. And If you need Tea – I generally have A LOT.  Once all my renovating is done and I put all my bookshelves up and together it will look like a library. Ha ha!

78954561     Library

Who wouldn’t want their own personal library?! I love the idea! I can spread my love of reading through my living room! So today I wanted to share with you a few sites I’ve found to helpful in my adventure in creating my own library.

First, you need a Library Card – which I’ve included as a JPG for you all to download. You can also just use this blogs creative awesomeness. I can’t draw a straight line to save my life and my handwriting is very close to chicken scratch. So I just plan on doing mine all in Illustrator.

Homemade Library Card

Second, you need those cool ‘old school’ date cards – I found a relatively inexpensive site to order them from and they can come in different colors. And since I’m way too lazy and busy right now to make my own – plus at that price I’d be nuts not to go that route. You can also download this handy printable library check out date cards as well.

Third, you will need a way to contact them. To send them reminds when their book is due or a way for them to extend it. The way I planned on doing this was – basically all the people that are borrowing books are my friends. So, I already have their phone numbers. I just need a current email address.

Also, keep a list of books that are checked out and to who – you can do this in excel spread sheet or just a regular note book.

Last but not least you will need to stock pile up on tea or coffee. Best place to get it? Well that depends on where you live. I go to my favorite Shop in Hanover called Merlin’s. They have their own special teas & coffee’s. I also get K-cup kinds from Bigelow tea brands. I’m a diehard fan. Ha ha!!!

classical workplace


Thanks, Johannah! What a fun idea. Do you guys loan books to your friends? Or WOULD you if there was a better system in place? Do you have any special items for your own personal library?

A huge thanks to Johannah from The Broken Shelf for today’s guest post! Don’t forget to visit her blog as well!

Guest Post from author Nikki McCormack: Five Weird and Wacky Wedding Traditions

Hi, friends! I just got MARRIED and am now on my honeymoon in Aruba!!! I won’t be able to attend to my blog this week since Shane and I are having fun in the sun and relaxing, but not to worry — I’ve left my blog in good hands. All this week, I have a series of guest post-ers (and they all have some pretty great posts!

Today’s guest post is from Nikki McCormack, author of The Girl and the Clockwork Cat, and she has a guest post for us today to fit with the wedding theme! Check out the five weird and wacky wedding traditions that she gathered up for everyone today!

Five Weird and Wacky Wedding Traditions

Getting married can be an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. Promising yourself to another person for life is a substantial commitment. Promising yourself to another person for life with an audience of friends and family looking on, like some kind of Broadway performance, just makes it that much more intimidating. It could be worse though. Count yourself lucky if you don’t have to go through one of these five peculiar wedding traditions while tying the knot.

  1. Blackening – A lovely custom still held in parts of Scotland where the bride or groom (sometimes both) have buckets full of a gross mixture thrown over them (usually the day before the wedding) and are then tied to a tree. After going through this, they can certainly handle the trials of marriage.
  2. Happy Tears – For the Tujia people in China, as an expression of joy, the bride is supposed to cry for one hour every day starting a month before the wedding. Ten days into the month, the mother joins her, and ten days after that her grandmother starts. By the end of the month, every female in the bride’s family is crying with her.
  3. Shoe Fight – In parts of India, the groom is required to take off his shoes while walking to the altar. The groom’s family has to protect the shoe while the bride’s family tries to steal it. Let’s hope the two families get along or this could get ugly.
  4. Blessed by Spit – At a Massai wedding in Kenya the bride’s father may bless his daughter by spitting on her head and breasts before she leaves the village with her new husband.
  5. Picking a date – A bride and groom of the Daur in Chinese Inner Mongolia determine the wedding date by killing a baby chick while holding the knife together. They gut the chick to inspect its liver and the date is decided by the appearance of the liver. If the liver looks bad, they repeat the process until they find a satisfactory liver. Not one for the squeamish.

While blackening sounds like it could be fun, as long as you’re not the one getting married, most of these traditions aren’t that appealing, at least to me. Fortunately for me, all I suffered for my marriage was a money dance after the ceremony. Given other options, I’m calling that a win.

Congratulations, Brittany!


NikkiMcCormackNikki McCormack is the author of The Girl and the Clockwork Cat, the first book in a steampunk YA series from Entangled Teen (September 2014). She started writing her first novel at the age of 12, which she still has tucked in a briefcase in her home office, waiting for the right moment. Despite a successful short story publication with Cricket Magazine in 2007, she continued to treat her writing addiction as a hobby until a drop in the economy presented her with an abundance of free time that she used to focus on making it her career.

Nikki lives in the magnificent Pacific Northwest tending to her husband and three cats suffering varying stages of neurosis. She feeds her imagination by sitting on the ocean in her kayak gazing out across the never-ending water or hanging from a rope in a cave, embraced by darkness and the sound of dripping water. She finds peace through practicing iaido or shooting her longbow.

TheGirlWiththeClockworkCat-NikkiMcCormack_1600

The Girl and the Clockwork Cat: Amazon, B&N, Goodreads
Nikki McCormack: Website, Twitter, Facebook


Thanks, Nikki! I have never heard of any of those before so that was so interesting to learn! I think I would agree with you… I’m glad none of those are traditions we have for our weddings! (Although shoe fight? That one could be fun…) They were all incredibly interesting to hear about and I wonder where some of them originated from…

A huge thanks to Nikki McCormack for guest posting on the blog today! What do you think of the five weird and wacky traditions? Have you heard of any of them before? Do any of them sound appealing to you? (Shoe fight, anyone?)
And don’t forget to check out Nikki’s book, The Girl and the Clockwork Cat, on Goodreads!

Guest Post from Jenna Does Books: Crossover Book Recommendations for Brittany & Other YA Readers

Hi, friends! I just got MARRIED and am now on my honeymoon in Aruba!!! I won’t be able to attend to my blog this week since Shane and I are having fun in the sun and relaxing, but not to worry — I’ve left my blog in good hands. All this week, I have a series of guest post-ers (and they all have some pretty great posts!

Today’s guest post is from Jenna at Jenna Does Books. She came up with some wonderful book recommendations (and you know I love some good book recs!)

Crossover Book Recommendations for Brittany and Other YA Readers

By Jenna DeTrapani from Jenna Does Books

cover-pb-ready-player-oneFor the inner-geek…
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place. Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them. For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig. And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle. Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is towin. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life—and love—in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape. A world at stake. A quest for the ultimate prize. Are you ready?

Why the Recommendation?
Outstanding – Outstanding – OUTSTANDING. A geek’s or 80’s pop culture fanatic’s dream. Now if only they would make progress on the film. If you read this, make sure you “read” it via the audio book courtesy of Wil Wheaton. It’s extra awesome/hilarious because Wil is briefly mentioned in a book for which he narrates. And there are NUMEROUS parallels between himself and the main character. Such a wonderful homage to geek-dom.


cover-girl-all-the-giftsOr your inner-freak…
The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey – Not every gift is a blessing… Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh. The Girl with All the Gifts is a groundbreaking thriller, emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end.

Why the Recommendation?
Oh my goodness, The Girl with All the Gifts is disturbingly awesome. It terrified me, but I’m alright with that! I have a feeling that if this book is ever made into a movie, I’ll be too much of a wimp to go see it. Sad truth. But reading the book was one amazing experience! Read it. Now. Prepare to be… honestly, I have no idea what. But you’ll understand once you’ve read it yourself.


cover-confessions-shopaholicFor the fashionably chic…
Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella – Becky Bloomwood has what most twenty-five-year-olds only dream of: a flat in London’s trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season’s must-haves. The only trouble is, she can’t actually afford it — not any of it. Her job writing at Successful Saving magazine not only bores her to tears, it doesn’t pay much at all. Still, how can she resist that perfect pair of shoes? Or the divine silk blouse in the window of that ultra-trendy boutique? But lately Becky’s been chased by dismal letters from Visa and the Endwich Bank — letters with large red sums she can’t bear to read — and they’re getting ever harder to ignore. She tries cutting back; she even tries making more money. But none of her efforts succeeds. Her only consolation is to buy herself something … just a little something… Finally, a story arises that Becky actually cares about, and her front-page article catalyzes a chain of events that will transform her life — and the lives of those around her — forever.

Why the Recommendation?
The Shopaholic series is one of the few adult contemporary series that I’ve read. Admittedly, the quality of the story has declined with each new release, but my love for this first, ingenious, flirty-girl comedy installment will likely lead me to frequently reread the book for many years to come. (Also, what obsessive book nerd cannot connect to the main character’s dilemma in one way or another?)


cover-the-princess-brideOr if “twoo wuv” is what you seek…
The Princess Bride by William Goldman – What happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince of all time and he turns out to be…well…a lot less than the man of her dreams? As a boy, William Goldman claims, he loved to hear his father read the S. Morgenstern classic, The Princess Bride. But as a grown-up he discovered that the boring parts were left out of good old Dad’s recitation, and only the “good parts” reached his ears. Now Goldman does Dad one better. He’s reconstructed the “Good Parts Version” to delight wise kids and wide-eyed grownups everywhere. What’s it about? Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles, and a Little Sex. In short, it’s about everything.

cover-as-you-wishWhy the Recommendation?
Who can possibly resist this tale that has become a timeless classic for book and movie buffs all over the world? A whole lot of everything plus the kitchen sink, The Princess Bride is proof that any genre can be for anyone, young and old. Goodness, I love it. Additionally, check out As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes – best experienced as an audio book!


cover-the-beesOh, if only these animals could speak…
The Bees by Laline PaullThe Handmaid’s Tale meets The Hunger Games in this brilliantly imagined debut set in an ancient culture where only the queen may breed and deformity means death. Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive where work and sacrifice are the highest virtues and worship of the beloved Queen the only religion. But Flora is not like other bees. With circumstances threatening the hive’s survival, her curiosity is regarded as a dangerous flaw but her courage and strength are an asset. She is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect pollen. She also finds her way into the Queen’s inner sanctum, where she discovers mysteries about the hive that are both profound and ominous. But when Flora breaks the most sacred law of all—daring to challenge the Queen’s fertility—enemies abound, from the fearsome fertility police who enforce the strict social hierarchy to the high priestesses jealously wedded to power. Her deepest instincts to serve and sacrifice are now overshadowed by an even deeper desire, a fierce maternal love that will bring her into conflict with her conscience, her heart, her society—and lead her to unthinkable deeds. Thrilling, suspenseful and spectacularly imaginative, The Bees gives us a dazzling young heroine and will change forever the way you look at the world outside your window

Why the Recommendation?
Undoubtedly the most unusual book I have read in at least a decade (or more). The story does for bees and religion, “group think” and society roles what Animal Farm did for barnyard animals and government. It has transformed this reader. I have a deeper curiosity and respect for an animal that I once looked at with nothing more than revulsion and fear. I’m not saying I’ll be going out and making friends with my neighborhood bees anytime soon, but at least now I can understand their position.


Thank you so much for guest posting on my blog today, Jenna! I LOVE the book recs! READY PLAYER ONE and THE PRINCESS BRIDE are two I hold near and dear to my heart and I really can’t wait to get to AS YOU WISH! 😀

Don’t forget to stop by Jenna’s blog after seeing all of her recs today! She runs the fabulous blog, Jenna Does Books so be sure to stop by and show her some love there too!

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You can also see my own selections for some crossover recs (for both adults who want to try YA and YA readers who want to try adult fiction) on my Book Addict’s GUIDE to Crossover Books!

 

Guest Post: Moth and Spark author Anne Leonard + Giveaway!

GUEST POST FROM ANNE LEONARD: PATIENCE

I’m really excited to host a guest post today by MOTH AND SPARK author Anne Leonard! When I first read through it, I was a bit afraid. You see, Anne addresses a concern among readers when first picking up a book — the feeling that it starts off slowly. I actually had a post about my issues with slow starts a few weeks back so I was a bit nervous that the post wouldn’t fit me very well but once I had finished, I felt like my eyes had really been opened to something that I was shutting out. Yes, I do like my books to grab me the instant I begin, but there’s also something wonderful about easing into a fantastic world and marveling as the author gently guides us on a new adventure. One specific example that comes to mind is my experience picking up A Song of Ice and Fire. I fell in love with that series but there are also plenty of times the readers need to be patient with all of the things that the author is setting up.

Anyway, I think the best person to talk to you about this today is Anne Leonard so without further ado, I hope you enjoy her guest post and maybe take something away from it like I had — something you didn’t even know you were missing.

PATIENCE

For this guest blog post, I thought I would do something a little different and talk about a readerly and writerly virtue: patience. In daily life, patience is something that I need to practice more and which seems increasingly hard to do in the face of the flood of information around me. Wait until Wednesday for my UPS package? OK, sure, but I’m going to watch the tracking updates in case it comes early.  Irritated with the point someone is making? I’ll just look at something else on my phone. We’re in a culture which continues to increase in speed, and the more one expects something to come soon, the harder it is to be patient.

One of the comments I’ve seen from early readers of Moth and Spark is that it’s a bit slow at first. My first reaction was “What? There are a dozen dead bodies by the end of the first chapter!” But I do write with a slower, more deliberate pace than many writers. Much of this pacing probably comes from reading nineteenth century novels and from an academic background which values consideration and devalues hastiness.

But since I started thinking about this, I’ve realized that this is also a preference of mine. I’ve read several books recently that rushed by with the protagonist in one danger after another. It seems like the first chapter can’t end without a death, a chase, a knife fight, or so on, and the second chapter has to pick up immediately. Then, after that first frantic breath, it slows down a little.

As a reader, I’m finding myself increasingly dissatisfied with this. Books that start out fast and continue fast and just zip along in the reading leave me feeling unsatisfied at the end. I finish the book, and it’s like coming down from a blood sugar rush. It’s as though I’ve gobbled a package of chocolate chips instead of eating a truffle one small bite at a time, letting the chocolate melt, savoring the tastes. (As an aside, characters who rush headline from one adventure to another can start looking pretty stupid for not thinking through things. And for me, once the protagonist is stupid, the game is over.)

For me, part of the pleasure of reading is the immersion. I don’t want to rush back into my own world. I want to spend some time somewhere else, to linger in this new place where I don’t know what will happen next. I want to explore. Of course I want events and changes in my story as much as anyone else, but I’d rather ease into them than merge onto the freeway at 80 miles an hour on page 5. When I drive fast, I don’t see anything except what’s immediately around me.

It’s really easy for readers to get impatient. Whether it’s anticipating the behaviors of the characters and wanting them to get on with it, flipping to the next chapter to see if the story stops being stalled, or harassing George RR Martin for the next installment of Game of Thrones, readers often lose patience pretty quickly. I do this too. I’m especially aware of that tendency in myself when I pick up a big fat slow book that takes a while to unfold. But as a reader, I am trying to practice patience and take the book on its own terms.

As a writer, I also need to practice patience. Mostly this is patience with my writing process: patience to wait when the well runs dry, patience to think through something before writing a lot of words that will later be cut, patience to finish a scene fully instead of rushing on to the next one. But it’s also patience with my own story. I need to have the patience to let the story take me where it wants to go.

I’m not talking here about plot ideas. I’m fully capable of letting lots of plot ideas take over and ending up with a knot that I can’t untangle. I need to have less patience with some of those. I’m talking about the “aboutness” of the story. It has its currents, and when I try to alter the flow, bad things happen. To continue with the watery metaphors, I get beached or capsized, there’s a flood, or I cause a beautiful waterfall further downstream to dry up. Then I arrive where the waterfall should be, wonder what the hell happened to it, and have to go back to knock down the dam.

I get to choose how to tell the story. But I don’t always get to choose the story that’s being told. Just as I need to allow the story to be told on its own terms when I’m reading, I need to allow it its own terms when I’m writing.

A big thanks to Anne for sharing that with us! I really appreciated the little lesson in patience which is really something that I need more of in my life from time to time! Blogging and reading can lead to a fast-paced attitude with the need to constantly stay on top of reading, blog posts, reviews, and social media, so I really loved this post from Anne Leonard to remind us that patience while reading can really allow us to absorb things that we might not even realize we’re passing by!

MOTH AND SPARK is out now! Check out all the info below for more about the book and author Anne Leonard!

MOTH AND SPARK by Anne Leonard
Genre: Fantasy
Publication Info: February 20th 2014 by Viking Adult
Links: Goodreads || Amazon || B&N
Goodreads Synopsis:A prince with a quest. A commoner with mysterious powers. And dragons that demand to be freed—at any cost.
    Prince Corin has been chosen to free the dragons from their bondage to the Empire, but dragons aren’t big on directions. They have given him some of their power, but none of their knowledge. No one, not the dragons nor their riders, is even sure what keeps the dragons in the Empire’s control.
    Tam, sensible daughter of a well-respected doctor, had no idea before she arrived in the capital that she is a Seer, gifted with visions. When the two run into each other (quite literally) in the library, sparks fly and Corin impulsively asks Tam to dinner. But it’s not all happily ever after. Never mind that the prince isn’t allowed to marry a commoner: war is coming to Caithen.
    Torn between Corin’s quest to free the dragons and his duty to his country, the lovers must both figure out how to master their powers in order to save Caithen. With a little help from a village of secret wizards and a rogue dragonrider, they just might pull it off.

http://anneleonardbooks.com/ • Twitter: @anneleonardauth • https://www.facebook.com/anneleonardbooks

GIVEAWAY!

Want to win a copy of MOTH AND SPARK? Just enter the giveaway below! The winner will receive one finished copy of the book. US entries only, please