Friday, August 31, 2012

Wolf Hall Discussion-Week Four...delayed


I came down with a bug last night so didn't feel much up to finishing the reading.  I will have the discussion post up either later tonight or tomorrow morning.  So sorry for my lateness...again. =O(

Photobucket

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cat Thursday--Unusual Poses



Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)






Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Easy-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
For best results, use HTML mode to edit this section of the post.

Photobucket

Monday, August 27, 2012

TTBA Weekly News and Mailbox Monday

This feature was inspired by It's Monday! What are you reading? hosted by Sheila at Book Journey and also by The Sunday Salon.



Hello there! It has been extremely busy in my life lately.  While I'm super grateful that I finally have a job--and a work-at-home one at that--I'm still getting used to the way working and fitting everything else in works.  I just hosted a week long write-a-thon over at my writing blog during which I was supposed to get a big chunk of my novel written.  I didn't write.one.word.  *frown*  I'm not giving up hope though.  Just have to plug on and figure out what kind of schedule works best for me.

What's going on in my/the reading world....


The EPIC Dark Tower Read-a-Long starts Saturday.  Detailed reading schedule will be posted this week at the Stephen King Challenge blog.  We're reading the entire Dark Tower series from September this year through July 2013! You can check out the details and sign up at the dedicated blog HERE.


The sign-up for the FrightFall Read-a-Thon has been posted over at Seasons of Reading.  Check out this POST for all the details and to sign-up.  We're getting close to the scary time of year.  I can't wait!


Coming in October to Castle Macabre...Season of the Witch! Details will be posted over there soon.  If you are interested in participating by writing a guest post or, if you're an author, and you'd like to donate a book for a giveaway or share a guest post, let me know.  The focus is going to be witches (I'm going to be reading my fair share of witch-related fiction), but anything scary is game! Be watching for details at Castle Macabre.

How could I resist!?  Since I already started reading it earlier this year and had planned on finishing, why not?  It is a re-read for me, but it's one of my absolute favorites.  Details are HERE.  Hosted by Fanda Classiclit.  
What I'm reading/have been reading....
This week (read-a-thon plans):
Read-a-Longs:
The Cider House Rules by John Irving
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
It by Stephen King
Breed by Chase Novak

Review books:
The Cross and the Dragon by Kim Rendfeld
The Great Sphinx of Amun-Ra by Herb Smith

Finished recently:
The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle (AWESOME book...read my review)
White Lies by Jeremy Bates (review)
Tales from Frewyn: The Reporter from Marridon by Michelle Franklin (review)


Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia and is currently on tour. This month's host is 5 Minutes for Books.   (You can click the book covers in the BookBox to view the book(s) on Amazon)

BookBox: embed book widget, share book list

FOR READ-A-LONG:
Breed by Chase Novak....for September's Book Club at Devourer of Books

WON:
Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures by Emma Straub...from ReadingGroupGuides.com

BOOKMOOCH:
Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen
My Life in France by Julia Child

LIBRARY SALE:
First Impressions by Nora Roberts
Scream by Mike Dellosso
The Mysteries by Lisa Tuttle
Mortal Coils by Eric Nylund

Photobucket

Back to School Read-a-Thon!


My friend, Melissa, at Must Read Faster has decided to embark on a week long, Back to School Read-a-Thon, and she's letting anyone who wants to join her.  *Raises hand*  Me, me! I want to try to redeem myself in some way from my EPIC FAIL on my write-a-thon last week.  Real life (work, mom stuff, etc.) got in the way so not totally my fault, but I'm still counting it as a fail.

Official RAT times:  7am this morning through midnight on Sunday (CST).  Thanks, Melissa!

Now...plans:

I actually finished one book this morning that I started yesterday, The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle (AWESOME book...read my review)
Read-a-Longs:
The Cider House Rules by John Irving
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
It by Stephen King
Breed by Chase Novak

Review books:
The Cross and the Dragon by Kim Rendfeld
The Great Sphinx of Amun-Ra by Herb Smith

I might try to read more, but for now I'll start with the above.  My updates will be in a sticky at the top of the post section.

Photobucket

Friday, August 24, 2012

Partial to the Past--Historical Fiction {Give@way H O P}

WINNER:  Nirmala!

Bippity Boppity Book

Welcome to my stop on the hop! Sorry for the late posting.  Busy, busy work week.  Anyway, what I'm giving away today is a copy of my current read-a-long, Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.  It is an excellent book so far and I think it's author earned the Man Booker Prize well.


About the book:
In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII’s court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king’s favor and ascend to the heights of political power 
England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years, and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. The quest for the king’s freedom destroys his adviser, the brilliant Cardinal Wolsey, and leaves a power vacuum. 

Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell. Cromwell is a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people and a demon of energy: he is also a consummate politician, hardened by his personal losses, implacable in his ambition. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph? 

In inimitable style, Hilary Mantel presents a picture of a half-made society on the cusp of change, where individuals fight or embrace their fate with passion and courage. With a vast array of characters, overflowing with incident, the novel re-creates an era when the personal and political are separated by a hairbreadth, where success brings unlimited power but a single failure means death.

Details:
I'm shipping from Better World Books so it's open worldwide.  It will be a used copy.  Just leave me a comment with your email address to enter.  Would love a follow, but it's not required to enter.  Take a look around while you're here and maybe my blog will suit your fancy. ;O)  Giveaway ends on Thursday, August 30 at 11:59pm CST.  Good luck!


Photobucket

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cat Thursday--Writing



Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)

First of all, an apology to you all.  I did not get a chance to stop by your posts from last week.  I hope you will forgive me.  I'm working on a project for work (have been for about a week and a half) and the deadline is Friday so I had to work on it some tonight.  In the meantime, I'm hosting a write-a-thon over at my writing blog, The Story Inside Me, during which I was supposed to be catching up on my Camp NaNoWriMo word count on my novel.  Fat laugh! I'm just tonight squeezing in a bit by burning the late night oil.  Anyway, now you get the reason why the theme this week is writing.  Again, please don't be mad at me.  I'll make it up to you. =O)



Maybe this is the real reason I'm not getting any writing done this week.  Arya is always sitting on me when I'm trying to work and Alice likes to lay on anything we might be in the middle of writing.  She did it to Gabe last night when he was doing his homework.



I don't think I'm going to let the girls edit my work....



This is what I wish I could say to everyone this week...work, kids, husband.  Alas...


Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Easy-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
For best results, use HTML mode to edit this section of the post.

Photobucket

Monday, August 20, 2012

Read-a-Thon Updates

Bout of Books 5.0 and Pick Your Thon

End of Thons Wrap-Up
I didn't do as well as I wanted, but that was due to an extremely busy week with work, plus my daily four or so hours in the car driving my boys to and from school (1. 5 hours in the morning and 2 to 2.5 in the afternoons).  Ugh!

  • # pages read: 225 (White Lies)
  • # books finished: 1 (White Lies)
  • WTD pages: 396 
  • WTD books:  1 (White Lies)
Thanks to the lovely ladies from both blogs who hosted the thons.  You keep a read-a-thon addict happy. =O)


Day Four and Five Update
  • # pages read: 131 (40 pg of White Lies, 91 pages of Wolf Hall)
  • # books finished: 0
  • WTD pages: 210
  • WTD books:  0
Day Six Mini-challenges for Bout of Books
Music Mini-Challenge at Not So Real Life...premise is to choose one book that you’ve read this year, or one of your favorites, or even a book that you’ve read for the readathon. Then, choose a song that matches your book. Post a picture/link to your book, and a embed/link your song.
My pair:

Graceling by Kristin Cashore


Enya--"Boadicea"



Why?  Because I associated Katsa with the legendary Boadicea of Britain.  A strong and tough woman.

Virtual Travels or Reading Around the World! at Ex Libris...premise is choose a book and find a picture to match the setting you envision for the novel.


Perfect image for this book (at the beginning) because it's right around the time that Henry VIII meets Anne Boleyn and decides to pursue her to wife.  This painting is of that meeting.

The Meeting of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn at Hampton Court by Daniel Maclise (1806-1870)

Day Three Update
  • # pages read: 14 (Book in a Month)
  • # books finished: 0
  • WTD pages: 79
  • WTD books:  0
Day Four currently reading:  White Lies by Jeremy Bates
I'm doing rather poorly on this read-a-thon. =O(

Day Two Update
  • # pages read: 53 (The Cider House Rules)
  • # books finished: 0
  • WTD pages: 65
  • WTD books:  0

Mini-Challenge for Pick Your Thon
The Book Monsters wanted us to organize our upcoming reviews.  However, since I'm focusing primarily on reading, they said we could talk about how we organize our books.  I've decided to share with you my book catalog.  I have my entire library of fiction books (2000+), and some of my non-fiction, listed alphabetically by author (by title for non-fiction) in this Lord of the Rings journal.  Unfortunately, the poor thing is falling apart and I'm running out of room in it so I'm transferring everything over into the larger, green journal (which also has more pages).  It's taking me a long time.  I only recently finished the Cs.  =O/  One of the main reasons I keep this catalog is so I don't keep buying books I already own.  It accompanies me to everywhere I might purchase books (mainly library sales) and when I don't have it with me, look out! (click the images for a close-up look)


A glimpse inside
The Green journal
Another glimpse inside-longer pages-more room!

Day One
  • # pages read: 12 (Book in a Month)
  • # books finished: 0
  • WTD pages: 12
  • WTD books:  0
Day Two Mini-challenges for Bout of Books
Limerick Challenge at Curiosity Killed the Bookworm

Here's mine:
My blog often puts me in a bind
but I don't really mind
the books are great
other bloggers are first rate
a better hobby I could not find!

Relocate at The Grammarian's Reviews

I'm reading The Cider House Rules by John Irving.  It's located in New England.  I'm relocating it to Florida so instead of Homer working at an apple orchard, he will work at an orange grove.  Not too much of a change, but it's a lot hotter in Florida and he will at least come back to the orphanage with a tan. =O)

Photobucket

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Don't Forget! Sit Down and Write Write-a-Thon



Just a friendly reminder about the Sit Down and Write Write-a-Thon starting Monday at 12:01am CST. Remember, it's not just for writers of novels or stories...it's for bloggers too, so if you have some reviews or general blogging to catch up on, why not join us?  For details and sign-up, visit The Story Inside Me (my writing blog) HERE.

Photobucket

Wolf Hall Read-a-Long: Discussion--Week Two


First of all, I would like to apologize for posting this a day late.  I had a week crammed with work which chewed into my reading time so I didn't finish reading Part II until last night.  Ugh! I hate being behind, yet it seems I always am!

Let me just say...I am loving this book! Mantel is such an amazing writer.  I can see why she won the Man Booker Prize.  Wowza! I really am so endeared to Cromwell.  I can't help it.  I just keep wondering if he was really like the book portrays him.  He really was a marvel of a resourceful and smart man.

So, what are you thinking at this point in the book?  Here are some questions to help us organize our thoughts:

  1. Why was Cromwell so attached to Cardinal Wolsey? Was Wolsey more of a mentor or a father-figure for Cromwell? What do love and loyalty mean for Cromwell? 
  2. What is it that makes Cromwell so driven? Does his ambition stem from a desire to do good, or is it just a survival instinct based on his past? How is Cromwell both personally ambitious and yet generous and unselfish?
My thoughts:
  1. I really think that Cromwell saw Wolsey as both a mentor and a father-figure, but also with a mind to his advancement as well.  We must remember how very shrewd Cromwell is.  I'm just really loving how multifaceted he is and I believe that love and loyalty do mean a great deal to him.  I think his capacity for love and loyalty stems from his leaving the home of a cruel father and striking out into a world that embraced him more than his own father ever did.
  2. It's obvious to me by how inquisitive and resourceful he was as a child that he was driven at a very young age.  Perhaps being constantly around a ne'er do well father made him want more, but there are plenty of children who grow up in this manner and never have any ambition to do better.  I honestly think he was born that way ("Baby, you were born this way!").  As to the final part of question two, I think of his conversation with Mary Boleyn.  The entire time he was keeping in mind that what she was telling him (in regards to the King and Anne) could be of use to him and Wolsey.  Yet he expressed a genuine concern for Mary's plight and was quite willing to speak on her behalf to the Cardinal regarding a new husband.  With Cromwell, we're getting many layers.  I would have to say that he is what they call a well-rounded person.  Liking him so well is going to make reading his fate (which I already know, of course, being a Tudor history buff) that much more difficult.  And I thought watching it in "The Tudors" was hard enough (I thought James Frain played him quite well).
Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments or post a link to your blog post.

Next week's post will be at Kai's Fiction State of Mind.  I'm going to post handy links to past posts for people catching up at the top of the posts section.


Photobucket

Discussion questions were obtained from ReadingGroupGuides.com

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cat Thursday--Random Hilarity



Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)





And here's another charming video from faireset2


Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Easy-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
For best results, use HTML mode to edit this section of the post.
Photobucket

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Book Monsters Pick Your Thon--Goals


Why not add another read-a-thon this week since I'm already participating in Bout of Books! The more the merrier, I always say.  This is the Pick Your Thon hosted by Kristen and Kate at The Book Monsters and participants can choose to make it a read-a-thon, a review-a-thon, or both.  Here are the questions for the starting line (and yes, I'm a day late!):

1. Which thon are you choosing? Readathon, Reviewathon or both? And why?  I'm going to primarily focus on the read-a-thon side.  I will probably write a couple reviews, as I have a book tour stop on Friday.  I have a lot of reading to do still this month.

2. Where are you from? You can be vague or specific, up to you.  I'm reading from Nashville (Donelson), Tennessee

3. Say a little bit about yourself so we can get to know you if we don't already! I'm an avid reader with a huge home library (3000+ books), mom of two elementary aged boys, cat lover, writer (working on my first novel), and virtual assistant (I work from home).

4. What are you currently reading or about to pick up to read?  I'm reading Book in a Month by Victoria Lynn Schmidt, Ph.D. and trying to finish Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.  I'm also reading Wolf Hall and The Cider House Rules for two read-a-longs.  

5. What are your goals for this Pick Your Thon?

Book in a Month by Victoria Lynn Schmidt, Ph.D. (to finish--57 pages in)
The Great Sphinx of Amun-Ra by Herbert L. Smith
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith (to finish)
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (one section to read for read-a-long)
The Cider House Rules by John Irving (one section for TuesBookTalk read-a-long)
White Lies by Jeremy Bates (for review on Friday at Castle Macabre)

We'll see what else I can add this week.  Updates will be in a sticky at the top of the blog with my Review Copy Clean-Up and Bout of Books updates.

Photobucket

Monday, August 13, 2012

TTBA Weekly News and Mailbox Monday

This feature was inspired by It's Monday! What are you reading? hosted by Sheila at Book Journey and also by The Sunday Salon.



I can't believe that it has been two weeks since I've posted a news and MM post! I've been so busy and frankly, I just haven't felt like it.  I think sometimes we just have to take these little breaks to maintain our sanity.  It certainly has been busy in the book blogging world lately.  My read-a-thon finished and then more started (not that I'm complaining...I love read-a-thons!).  This week, there are two going on and then next Monday starts what I'm going to tell you about next...read on!

What's going on in my/the reading world....


Monday starts my Sit Down and Write Write-a-Thon! This write-a-thon is for any writing you need to get done, whether it be novel writing, writing reviews, short stories, journaling...whatever writing you want to accomplish, this is the week for you! Since we're going to be coming off a bunch of read-a-thons, I would imagine you'll have a lot of reviews to catch up on.  I'm going to be concentrating on catching up my word count on my novel, which I'm trying to finish during Camp NaNoWriMo.  But even if I don't finish, at least I'll get a lot accomplished.  I'm hosting this over at my writing blog, The Story Inside Me.  For details and sign-up, go HERE.


I just announced this over at the Stephen King Challenge.  We're reading the entire Dark Tower series from September this year through July 2013! You can check out the details and sign up at the dedicated blog HERE.


We're into the second week of the Wolf Hall Read-a-Long so there's still time to catch up! The reading and posting schedules can be found HERE.  It's a great book.  You should join us!


Coming in October to Castle Macabre...Season of the Witch! Details will be posted over there soon.  If you are interested in participating by writing a guest post or, if you're an author, and you'd like to donate a book for a giveaway, let me know.  The focus is going to be witches (I'm going to be reading my fair share of witch-related fiction), but anything scary is game! Be watching for details at Castle Macabre.

What I'm reading....

I'm currently participating in the Bout of Books 5.0 read-a-thon.  You can check out what I'm reading at this POST.  My updates are in a sticky at the top of the blog.

Lesley Harrison
Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia and is currently on tour. This month's host is 5 Minutes for Books.   (You can click the book covers in the BookBox to view the book(s) on Amazon)

BookBox: embed book widget, share book list BookBox: embed book widget, share book list

FOR REVIEW:
Sherlock Holmes: The Army of Dr. Moreau by Guy Adams...from Titan Books (for review at Castle Macabre)

Flesh by Khanh Ha...from Pump Up Your Book for a tour (Castle Macabre)

WON:
Movers, Dreamers and Risk-Takers: Unlocking the Power of ADHD by Kevin Roberts...from Laura at Book Snob

GIFT:
From my good friend, Kai, at Fiction State of Mind:
For my boys
Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers by Dav Pilkey
Captain Cold and the Blizzard Battle by Scott Sonneborn
Zeke Meeks vs. The Gruesome Girls by D. L. Green
Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow by Nathan Bransford
The Enchanted Attic by L. L. Samson
Clementine and the Family Meeting by Sara Pennypacker
Troubletwisters:  The Magic by Garth Nix and Sean Williams
The Space Race by Peter Benoit
For me
A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare
The Medusa Amulet by Robert Masello
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Zom-B by Darren Shan

and some cute bookmarks!

BOMC2:
The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond

BOOKMOOCH:
Harry Potter "Houses" journal

GOODWILL:
Armadale by Wilkie Collins
Man and Wife by Wilkie Collins
Untamed by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
A Mercy by Toni Morrison
A Spectacle of Corruption by David Liss

LIBRARY SALE:
Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss
The Secret Eleanor by Cecelia Holland
The Perfect Royal Mistress by Diane Haeger
The Queen's Sorrow by Suzannah Dunn
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
A Voyage Long and Strange by Tony Horwitz
Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Lady Vernon and Her Daughter by Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway
Stone's Fall by Iain Pears
Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende

Photobucket
- See more at: http://www.techtrickhome.com/2013/02/show-comment-box-above-comments-on.html#sthash.TjHz2Px9.dpuf