Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Characters I’d Name a Pet After!

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is fun – Ten Characters I’d Name a Pet after! [You can also do child, car, etc.]

addy

Addy (American Girls) – When I was a kid I loved the American Girl dolls. I had the Samantha doll and read the books for each girl that was out at the time. I named one of my cats Addy, after Addy Walker.

john_watson

Watson (Sherlock Holmes) – I feel like this would be a good name for a cat. Preferably one those cute ones with a smushed face.

finn

Finn (Huckleberry Finn) – Not much to say here, I just like the name.

catch-22

Milo (Catch-22) – A perfect name for a dog, if you ask me.

frankenstein

Frankie (Frankenstein) – I had a cat named Frankie. The original owners named him Frankenstein because he had a white lighting bolt-looking patch of hair down the center of his face. He was adorable.

darcy

Darcy (Pride & Prejudice) – I think this could work for a male or female pet.

daisy

Daisy (The Great Gatsby) – I have a little shih-poo (half miniature poodle, half shih-tzu) named Daisy. I’ve always liked the name, I think it’s sweet.

little women

Jo (Little Women) – When I got my cat Addy, I also got her sister, Josie. I was inspired by Josephine March in Little Women when I picked the name.

blanche

Blanche (A Streetcar Named Desire) – Plus it would remind you of the Golden Girls, and that’s fun.Stella also works (probably a little better.)

passenger

Blue (The Passenger) – I’m picturing a dog with this name but it could work for anything, really.

I can’t wait to read your lists! Feel free to posts links in the comments below 🙂

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Top Ten Tuesday – Books Read Because of a Recommendation!

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic: Books You Read Because of a Recommendation! The following books were recommended to me by friends and family – some I enjoyed, others…not so much.

weight

The Weight of Blood: This is a murder mystery/psychological thriller that takes place in the Ozarks. This was recommended by a friend who has similar taste in books and movies. I really enjoyed this book. It’s not a pleasant story but it’s well written and held my interest from start to finish.

50-shades-of-grey

50 Shades of Grey: I had multiple friends and family reading this (and enjoying it) so I finally gave in and got the book. This was probably some of the worst writing in a published book I’ve ever read. I do not get why people love this. Well, I mean I get it but…no.

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The Hunger Games: This was recommended by a classmate. I saw her reading it before class one day and thought the title was interesting. I asked her about it (having never actually spoken to her before), and she raved about it. I bought it the next day and thought it was great!

the martian

The Martian: This was recommended (and loaned to me) by a coworker/friend. We also went to see the movie together when it came out! Great book and a great movie.

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A Walk to Remember: I have a family member that is obsessed with Nicholas Sparks. When I casually mentioned I hadn’t read any of his books, she suggested I start with this one, her favorite. I didn’t become a Sparks super fan but it was better than I expected it to be.

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Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx: This was recommended to me by a high school teacher (he gave me his personal copy, now that I think of it.) It’s a true story and I could not put it down.

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My Sister’s Keeper: This was recommended by a cousin, who happens to be a big Jodi Piccult fan. I have mixed feelings about this book. I didn’t particularly care for the ending (at all) but it did tackle a difficult subject and raised some interesting questions. I don’t think I would recommend it to others though, just because I was so annoyed at the end.

marley-and-me-book

Marley & Me: This was recommended by my mom. I’ll start by saying I don’t like books or movies about animals because I usually end up crying. That being said, I really enjoyed this and it made me laugh out loud numerous times. And yes, I still wound up crying.

Shiver

Shiver: This was recommended by a friend and fellow fan of YA. She pitched it to me as “like Twilight but better.” I didn’t really care for it but I’ve read some really good reviews of other books by this author so I will give her books another try.

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Shutter Island: This was a recommendation by the same friend as mentioned above. I read it just before the movie came out. Since then I’ve read seven other Dennis Lehane books and plan on reading Mystic River in 2017.

Do you read books recommended by friends or do you prefer to pick them on your own?

Ten Questions with: Nicole Sewell!

Today I’m super excited to post my first author interview!

My friend Nicole Sewell is publishing her second book – Emerson Hills – on October 6th. It’s a ghost story (just in time for Halloween!) and is available for pre-order now – links below!

Nicole Sewell
YA Author Nicole Sewell

Heather: Hi Nicole! Thanks so much for agreeing to be interviewed! Can you tell the readers a little about yourself?

Nicole: I’m a full-time wife, mother, and recruiter at a staffing company. I love toast made from white bread, and HATE bananas.

Heather: Emerson Hills releases October 6th – what is it about?

Nicole: Trailer parks, ghosts, and the power of friendship. Ha! Kidding. Sort of. It’s about a girl who is being haunted by the ghost of her worst enemy. And smoking pot. And concussions. And friendship bracelets…I’m bad at this. Here’s the jacket summary:

Seventeen-year-old Jordyn Bentley lives in a trailer park in Georgia with her overworked mother and slacker older brother. Like any trailer park, Emerson Hills is full of drama usually reserved for daytime talk shows. But things get serious when local pageant princess and trailer park resident Emmy Roper goes missing after shoving Jordyn in front of a truck.

All eyes are on Jordyn, who has been Emmy’s worst enemy for years and has every reason to want revenge. To make matters worse, Jordyn is being haunted by Emmy’s annoyingly cryptic spirit.
With accusations flying and an irritating ghost on the loose, Jordyn sets out to prove her innocence and put Emmy to rest with the help of her best friend Rachel, and Brandon, her brother’s hot friend who lives across the road. The cops are breathing down her neck, the clock is ticking, and it just might take help from beyond the grave to clear her name.

Heather: This book is considered Young Adult. What draws you to this genre?

Nicole: I prefer Young Adult just because I’m not a fan of gratuitous sex. There’s plenty of sex in YA, but no heaving bossom’s and throbbing members. I also have decent memories of my late teen years, so it’s fun to relive those to some extent.

Emerson Hills

Heather: Emerson Hills is a ghost story. Do you believe in ghosts?

Nicole: I do. And here’s why: I believe in spiritual entities, beings that exist on a higher non-corporeal plane, and everything in between. If you believe in God, angels, demons, souls, aliens, etc., you kind of have to include ghosts in that mix. Now, do I believe ghosts are scary things that float around and terrorize people out of spite? No. I think “ghosts” are released souls or energy that are making their way to the next plane. Occasionally one gets caught here.

Heather: Did you have to do any research for this book? There is a séance scene that was pretty creepy; have you been to a séance before?

Nicole: I’ve never been to a séance, but I did pick the brain of a few people that I know dabble with that kind of stuff. I guess you can call that research. I also watched some YouTube videos. They were all pretty lame, honestly. The most informative people I spoke with were the Pagan and the Satanist. Two different perspectives that are radically different from my own Christian perspective. I did a little research on head injuries and the rate of decomposition of bodies too. Not exactly the most pleasant, but it was interesting.

Heather: Along with being a ghost story, Emerson Hills is also a murder mystery. I was surprised by who the killer was – was that your intention?

Nicole: Fo’ sho! Actually, I went back and forth with who I wanted the killer to be. Literally right up to the very end, I had one person in mind. And then I was like, “No, THIS!!!” I’m always REALLY happy when someone tells me they were surprised.

Heather: Can you give us a small excerpt of the book?

Nicole: Sure…

“Wanna go in?” she asks.

I stand up from the porch swing and stretch with my arms above my head. “Yeah, why not?”

Movement three trailers up catches my eye. It’s Jason and his lifelong best friend, Kyle, with that bitch Emmy.

I roll my eyes. “God. What’s she doing here?”

Rachel twists around in her seat. “Let’s go inside before they get here.”

Jason catches my eye and walks a little faster, leaving Kyle and Emmy behind.

“Hey,” he says, taking the four front steps in two strides.

“Carlos is looking for you,” I say, watching him closely for signs of nervousness. His face tells me nothing, other than that he needs to shave. And cut his hair. It’s starting to curl around his ears and at the back of his neck. His shirt is so wrinkled it’s like crepe paper. “You look like shit,” I add.

He narrows his eyes, giving me a bland smile before he turns to Rachel. “What’s up?”

“We were about to go inside for a minute,” she says, standing up.

Jason’s eyes drift to Kyle and Emmy as they cut across the neighbor’s yard to join us on the front porch.

Emmy stomps up the steps in her stupid ballet flats. She’s only been on the porch for three seconds and I already want to punch her in the throat.

We didn’t always hate each other. Emmy Roper has always been Camp Springs, Georgia’s pageant princess. We used to compete side by side until fifth grade, when I won the crown and she got first alternate. Emmy considered it an act of war, and even though I quit competing, she’s hated me ever since.

I take in her freshly bleached roots and immaculate hot pink nail polish. Why anyone would want to be a living Barbie doll is beyond me.

“Mom probably won’t want a bunch of people in the house,” I say, glancing pointedly between Jason and Emmy.

“She’s working late. It’ll be fine,” he says, putting his arm around Emmy. Emmy giggles and flips her hair over her shoulder, eyeing me, daring me to say something.

“Well, I don’t want her in the house,” I say.

“Tough shit.” He tightens his grip on her and leads her into the house.

The screen door screeches and bangs behind me, the last one in. If it was just Rachel and me, we’d go to my room. Since Jason brought his fan club, we make ourselves at home in the living room because the last thing I want is Emmy Roper in my bedroom, touching my stuff.

Heather: Even though Outside was a serious topic, there were times when I laughed out loud. Does Emerson Hills also have humor in it or is it just totally scary?

Nicole:  I meant for Emerson Hills to be a comedic horror. I’m a fan of movies like Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead and Jennifer’s Body. I don’t like super-intense horror. If there aren’t moments of hope and a laugh or two, I usually can’t handle it.

Heather: What was the hardest part of writing Emerson Hills?

Nicole: Developing the romance at a reasonable pace and keeping it relevant. I always struggle with that, though. I’m a fan of the slow-burning romance, but have a hard time writing it myself.

Heather: Okay, last question: What can we expect from you in the future?

Nicole: I’m working on two projects simultaneously. Literally one sentence at a time… One is a contemporary romantic thriller that takes place in the same universe as Outside. The other is a supernatural angels/demons type thing that I plan to make into a series. Finding time to write is a serious challenge though. I’m probably going to have to take some vacation days or call in sick if I ever hope to finish anything!

Heather: Thanks so much, Nicole! I hope Emerson Hills is a huge success!

You can pre-order Emerson Hills on Amazon now! And be sure it add it to your to-read list on Goodreads! You can also purchase her first book, Outside, for only $2.99!

Outside

Thanks again, Nicole!

 

Top Ten Tuesday – TV Shows!

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic: In honor of fall TV, do a TV-themed topic! I was originally going to somehow tie in a book theme with this (being that this is a book blog and all) but instead I’m going with TV Shows I Discovered This Year.

Some of these are NOT new – I just happened to start watching them a lot later than everyone else!

Ferguson

New Girl – I actually watched the first season of this when it debuted and really liked it. My husband had never seen it and we couldn’t find anything good on TV so we decided to watch an episode. A month later and we’d watched all 5 seasons! (Thanks, snow days!)

Making a Murderer

Making a Murderer – I’ve recently started watching Netflix and they have so many interesting shows! My coworker insisted I watch this and I was hooked by episode 2. With the recent news that Brendan Dassey’s conviction was overturned I’m sure there will be another season of this.

Stranger Things 2
Stranger Things

Stranger Things – Okay, I LOVED this. This was another Netflix binge watch (sensing a theme yet?) and it was so good. The best way I can describe this is: mix together Goonies and E.T. and then make it really creepy.

FARGO -- Pictured: Billy Bob Thornton as Lorne Malvo -- CR: FX/Matthias Clamer
FARGO

Fargo – If you haven’t seen this (and don’t mind violence) you need to watch this ASAP. Both seasons are fantastic. They manage to pull in some really great actors, too.

Kimmy Schmidt

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – First of all, the theme song is the best. This is a really quirky show and it cracks me up. Tina Fey is one of the producers – she also appears now and then – and if you watched 30 Rock you’ll like this, I think.

Jinx

The Jinx – I watched this while I had a free HBO trial and oh my God, this guy is bizarre. Watch this, then check out All Good Things with Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst. And then be weirded out forever.

Bob's Burgers

Bob’s Burgers – I am not usually a cartoon person. I don’t watch Simpsons, Family Guy, or any of those shows. But Bob’s Burgers? YES. This is such a funny show. Tina is my personal favorite but the entire family is bonkers and it’s fantastic.

Breaking-Bad

Breaking Bad – Another Netflix show. We just finished the first season – so far so good!

playing house

Playing House – This is super funny. The seasons are pretty short so you could definitely binge watch this without it taking up your entire life.

GHK010115_088
Andy Samberg and Melissa Fumero

Brooklyn Nine-Nine – This has been on for a few years but I just started watching it. I didn’t care for it the first time I watched it but now I’m hooked.

So there you have it – I watch way too much TV. As far as what I’m looking forward to, I cannot wait for Gilmore Girls to come back! Can. Not. Wait.  Oh, and Sherlock. I feel like I’ve been waiting forever for new Sherlock episodes.

What are your favorite TV show discoveries?

Blogger Recognition & Versatile Blogger Awards!

Let me start with a THANK YOU to Av8tor1988 from Inside My Minds for nominating me for a Blogger Recognition Award and Michael J. Miller from My Comic Relief for the Versatile Blogger Award nomination! I’m going to post about both below!

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Starting with the Blogger Recognition Award, Av8tor1988 nominated me back in June so (a) apologies for the late post on this and (b) yay! Inside my Minds is super fun to read – we both participate in Top 5 Wednesday and Top Ten Tuesday AND this blog has lots of Harry Potter love going on, which I great – you should definitely check it out!

Here are the Blogger Recognition rules:

  • Write a post showing the award
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to (more on this at the very bottom of the post!)

As far as how this blog started, I really just wanted a way and place to talk about books! It seemed like a lot of fun – and I was right! I haven’t been doing this for very long so I’m not sure how useful my advice will be but…

  1. Don’t worry too much about what people will think of your posts. Write about what interests you. If you follow me, you know I do a lot of book memes (Top 5 Wednesday, Top Ten Tuesday, etc.) Some bloggers hate these (both reading and writing them). I happen to have a lot of fun doing them. Blogging should be fun so do what makes you happy!
  2. Interact with other bloggers! I’ve had so many fun discussions and gotten a ton of book recommendations this way. This whole blogging thing is so much more fun when you have blogger friends to interact with!

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Okay, now on to the Versatile Blogger Award! Thank you Michael for the nomination! As you can probably guess from the blog’s name, My Comic Relief focuses on comic books! Michael puts a ton of work and thought into his posts and I really love reading them. He also loves Ghostbusters, which is awesome!

Versatile Blogger Award Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you
  • List seven fun facts about yourself
  • Nominate up to fifteen other blogs you’d like to share this award with

Fun facts…

  1. I have two dogs. One is a large 10-year-old Australian Shepard and the other is a tiny 2-year-old Shih-poo (half shih-tzu, half miniature poodle). I’ve actually always been a cat person but I love these two rascals.
  2. I’m originally from Michigan. I live in Colorado now but run into people from MI at least once or twice a month. There is some sort of migration going on, apparently! I miss the water but not the humidity or mosquitoes.
  3. I’m obsessed with TV shows/movies about dancing. Even if it’s a horrible movie (and let’s be honest, a lot of dance movies are), I have probably seen it at least twice.
  4. My lucky number is 56. I have no reason for this.
  5. I love to travel. If I ever win the lottery I’ll probably spend most of it on travelling. I keep trying to get my husband to try out for Wheel of Fortune because he’s really good at it and I want him to win me a trip J
  6. I love theater! It costs a fortune but I really love going to the theater. I try to go at least once or twice a year. There is a rumor that Hamilton is coming to my area next year so I’m hoping to make that happen!
  7. I love classic books and movies! When I was younger I had a list of the top 100 books and the top 100 movies and tried to work my way through them. I haven’t read/seen them all yet but I’ve got a pretty good chunk of them done!

As far as nominating others, I’m going to take a page from Cover2CoverMom’s book, er, blog, and open this tag up to anyone who thinks it sounds interesting/fun! [Semi-related note, Cover2CoverMom is a really fun blog to read so check it out!]

That’s all for now!

Tuesday Talks – Unhauling books?

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It’s time for Tuesday Talks! If you would like to participate, you can join the Goodreads Group to see all of the monthly topics!

This week’s topic: Do you unhaul books and if so, how often?

I typically do an annual unhauling of books in the spring – which is also when I clean out my closets!

Reasons I unhual each year:

  • To make room for more books!
  • To get rid of books I wasn’t crazy about (I like to keep physical copies of books I really love)
  • Multiple copies of books thanks to friends/family gifts

Some years I have a ton of books to give away and other years I hardly have any; it really just depends. I usually donate the books to my library (many libraries have a “friends” bookstore that will sell your unwanted titles.)

How often do you “spring clean” your bookshelves?

Top Ten Tuesday – Freebie Week!

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This weeks’ Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie week!

I’ve decided to pick a previous TTT topic – Top Book to Movie Adaptations!

mockingbird

1. To Kill a Mockingbird – This is one of my all-time favorite books AND one of my favorite movies. I think they did such a great job with the casting of this film; I can watch this movie over and over.

pride

2. Pride & Prejudice – Confession: I am a total sucker for all things P&P! I enjoy most adaptations of this novel. I just really enjoy the story and characters!

little women

3. Little Women – I absolutely adore the film version with Winona Rider and Christian Bale (any other Christian Bale lovers out there?) I like to watch this at least every other winter!

hp film

4. Harry Potter – Okay, of course I’m putting this on the list. I mean, come on!

stand_by_me

5. Stephen King Adaptations – I’m cheating here but there are SO MANY great film adaptations of King novels. I’m thinking particularly of Stand By Me, Carrie, and The Shining, just to name a few!

Honorable mention to Gone Baby Gone/Mystic River/Shutter Island – film adaptations of Dennis LeHane books tend to be pretty darn good, in my opinion!

You’re turn! What are your favorite adaptations?