Keep an eye out here and on my Instagram & Twitter accounts for weekly additions to #MuseMondays. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite books, authors, music, movies, and more. Inspirations for both my writing and what I grab to read when I want to escape from the daily mundane.
Today, it’s Josephine Angelini’s “Starcrossed”, a young adult trilogy that I’ve read and re-read multiple times. Add it to your TBR list today; it’s a fun twist on traditional Greek mythology.
Reading on the weekend is more than just a way to relax, it’s an essential part of my existence. While some people may look forward to heading out to the movie theater on a Friday or Saturday, I begin anticipating and planning my weekend reading around Tuesday morning (usually after a particularly long session completing a freelance project.)
This weekend I’m getting a late start. Freelance commitments, family life, and writing new words in my own WIP, pushed back my weekend reads until now. In addition, I wavered on which book to begin. I seriously was leaning towards rereading Josephine Angelini’s Starcrossed trilogy. It’s one of my favorite YA trilogies and if you’ve not read it, I highly recommend it. You can check out my review of the first book here. Angelini’s trilogy focuses on Greek mythology and that seems to be what I’m in the mood for. However, I really wanted to read something that is new to me.
My son left the first three books of the series with me several months ago and they’ve sat there in my TBR pile since. I’m excited to begin reading this series, which means this post will not be much longer. The series begins with The Lost Hero, so keep an eye out here for my review of this first book. I’ve got high hopes for it and am ready to dive in.
What are you reading this weekend? Share the titles and/or links in the comments. I’m always looking to add to my TBR list.
Book-inspired parties! That’s what is on my mind today. This morning I was working on a project for a client—unfortunately not a plan for a book-inspired party, but it was New Year’s Eve related, so fairly festive. Along the trail of research I had the good fortune to stumble upon the InLiterature.net website. This site has fabulous ideas and information for planning a book-inspired party, everything from recipes to decorations plus crafts and activities for kids’ parties.
The books range from classic literature to favorite children’s stories and everything in between.
Just a few of the books included are:
A Christmas Carol
Julie & Julia
Pride and Prejudice
And of course you can find pages on the site for Harry Potter party ideas.
Do you want to learn how to make a paper mache mandrake? Here you go. InLiterature.net has step-by-step directions.
How about whipping up a batch of Fizzing Whizbees to enjoy at your Harry Potter party? They have a three-ingredient recipe for that too. It looks so easy!
Several years ago I worked at a library and hosted the weekly reading programs for kids. It was a blast! For the preschoolers each week, it was always a program theme relating to our book of the week. I would have loved to have had access to a site like this. Now I’m actually considering a theme party somewhere down the road. But which book to choose?
So how about it? Do you have any good ideas for book-inspired parties? Share your ideas or links to cool sites in the comments below.
When I was a kid, I looked forward to the Summer Reading Program at my local library. Each summer it had a theme and kids of all ages were challenged to read as many books as they could. As a voracious reader, making the preset “goal” was never an issue. Usually we were given a flyer that had space to write down titles read on the back and on the front were spots for the librarians to add a sticker for each book read—the sticker, of course, matched that summer’s theme. I can’t remember how many weeks it lasted, maybe four? But at the end, there were prizes. I even remember winning tickets to Cubs and Sox games (not in the same summer!). I LOVED these programs when I was kid.
As an adult, I worked at a library and had the privilege of helping with the Summer Reading Program. It was a blast! And I miss those days.
So while thinking about all this and feeling nostalgic, I decided I really was in the mood to revisit some of the books from my home library. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you may have already seen a few of my posts about what I’ve christened:
The Summer of Re-Reads.
While I’m not going to ignore new titles, I do plan on re-reading several books/series. These include but are not limited to:
I plan to re-read the first book in the series, The Diviners and book 2, Lair of Dreams this summer. I need to go back and re-immerse into this world because I bought book 3, Before the Devil Breaks You and I’ve not read it yet.
It’s a long series—19 books. Yes, I do own them all, just a portion of my Stars Wars book collection. Trust me, the books, way better than any of the new movies (new movies = any Star Wars movie made after the original trilogy). Will I get to read all 19? Hard to say. I’ve already finished Vector Prime by R.A. Salvatore, so keep an eye out on a review coming soon.
Go ahead, roll your eyes. Are you done? Cool. Okay, so here’s the deal. It’s been at least seven years since I read this book. Yes, I’ve read the trilogy back in the day and I love the movies. But honestly, it’s been so long since I read the book that started it all, I’m curious to see if I’ll enjoy it again. I liked it enough the first time that I did read the rest of the series. I was a bit late to the party, only picking up The Hunger Games after Catching Fire came out. I may even review it here. Who knows? It’s summer, anything’s possible.
This is a trilogy that debuted with Paranormalcy back in 2010. I own all three, have read them several times, but it’s been at least four years. I actually finished the first book, Paranormalcy the other day and have up my revised Goodreads review. I’m going to wait until after I read all three, and then I’ll put together a series review for here.
“That’s the lesson they taught us, Razor. What matters and what doesn’t. The one truth at the center of all the lies.”
(The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey, Chapter 82, page 292)
Starting off the New Year by finishing The Infinite Sea, the second book in Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave series. The opportunity to tuck in with a good book for some quality reading time during the hectic holiday season has been pure bliss. I received the boxed set of The 5th Wave series for Christmas and have been making my way through this action-packed, end-of-the-world trilogy that combines just the right amount of YA angst with gritty fight scenes, layers of lies, and relatable characters.
The Infinite Sea continues the story of Cassie and Sam Sullivan, Ben “Zombie” Parish, Evan Walker, and the Others who’ve decimated the human the race in five distinct waves. The 5th Wave (book one) ends after the destruction of Camp Haven. Book two picks up shortly after with Cassie, Zombie, Sam, Ringer, Poundcake, Dumbo, and Teacup regrouping, healing, and coming to terms with the revelations they’ve uncovered regarding the Others.
While The Infinite Sea continues along with the storylines for Cassie and Zombie, it also gives readers more Ringer—and believe me, that’s a very good thing. Ringer’s story in book two was my favorite. Loved the insight into her background and Yancey’s development of her character was interesting, riveting, and revealing. In addition to Ringer’s backstory, we also get a deeper look at Poundcake and since I won’t do spoilers I will only say, Poundcake now has to rate as one of my favorite characters of the story.
New characters also are introduced, including Razor. I’m still making up my mind if I like him or not. I think Ringer may still be trying to make up her mind as well. Or not. Hard to say.
What I will say is that there’s a lot to contemplate in this book. Who are the Others really? Why the five waves? Why not just drop a big-ass rock on the planet and be done with it?
Like any good second installment of a trilogy, The Infinite Sea not only moves the story along, but it also leaves it with unresolved conflict and a questions that must be answered in book three.
The Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge has just 21 days left (as of this writing).
Never heard of the Goodreads annual Reading Challenge? No worries. It’s pretty simple. It’s free and open to all Goodreads members. All you do is choose or “pledge” how many books you want to read for the year. It can be any amount.
According to the Goodreads Reading Challenge statistics, which I’ve posted above, the average number of books pledge is 45 or a little less than one book a week.
Seems doable, right? For many readers, absolutely!
For others, myself included. I opt for a lower number. And I feel no shame. Pledge whatever you want. Slow reader? Make your challenge 5 or 10 books for the year. If you make that easily, then increase the number in the next year.
My 2017 Goodreads Reading Challenge was 25 books. I completed my challenge on November 30. You can see my list of completed books and their reviews here.
In looking over the list, I’ve been trying to decide which one would be my favorite read of the year. There are so many books that I read in the last year that I really, really liked. I’d have to say my absolute favorite on this list is “Silver Stars” by Michael Grant. It’s book two in his Front Lines series.
I also read a middle-grade series written by A.L. Tait, The Mapmaker Chronicles—all three of those books appear in my Goodreads Reading Challenge list. Loved this series and highly recommend it for your young readers.
So what am I reading right now? Well, I’m still working my way through the Harry Potter series. I’m on book two but am first going to finish up reading the new Nora Roberts book “Year One”. As soon as I have “Year One” finished, I’ll post a review—but I’ll tell you right now, I’m LOVING it!
Did you do the Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge?
How many books did you pledge?
Did you make your goals or are you still in a race to finish before the clock chimes midnight on December 31?
“As long as someone has hope for you, there’s a chance things will turn out okay.”
(Quinn Freeman, The Mapmaker Chronicles: Prisoner of the Black Hawk by A.L. Tait)
Quinn, Ash, Zain, and the crew of the Libertas are back in The Mapmaker Chronicles: Prisoner of the Black Hawk by A.L. Tait. The Mapmaker Chronicles gives readers the exciting adventures of 14-year old Quinn Freeman as he sales far away from home on a quest to map the world, a race against time and two other ships and their mapmakers.
Book two, Prisoner of the Black Hawk, picks up with Quinn and the Libertas crew regrouped after a near-deadly encounter with the Gelynions. Captain Zain has taken young Kurt on board, a former prisoner of the Gelynions and someone that Quinn doesn’t fully trust. As the crew continues to keep a wary eye out for the violent Gelynions, land is sighted. A visit to port is the beginning for Quinn’s newest adventure, although he may have preferred something a bit less exciting than running into a giant serpent and being kidnapped and taken prisoner aboard the Black Hawk, a Gelynion ship.
Author A.L. Tait gives readers another fast-paced story set on the high-seas in a fantastical world filled with terrifying creatures, pirates, and loyal friends. If you’re looking for a story that you can lose yourself in, grab this book. Since I was a kid, I’ve loved adventure stories — from Pippi Longstocking books to the Indiana Jones movies. I have no problem throwing myself right into the adventure along with the main characters, and I really like both Quinn and Ash because I can see myself reacting the same way in some of the situations these two face.
The Mapmaker Chronicles: Prisoner of the Black Hawk is a delightful combination of action, whimsy, and moments that made me thoughtful. My favorite quote from the book is the one I placed at the top of this review. I believe these words are exceptionally true. My other favorite quote comes from Zain,
“But remember this: the only man who is truly trapped is the man who does nothing. If you do something — anything — then you force change.”
I highly recommend The Mapmaker Chronicles series from A.L. Tait. Start with book one because you don’t want to miss out on early Quinn — his growth has been fun to read.
Exactly one month ago today, I posted my review for the first book in The Mapmaker Chronicles series by A.L. Tait. You can read it here. And be sure to hop on over to A.L. Tait’s website and check out all her books and more.
“Life Debt” from Chuck Wendig is the second book in his Star Wars series “Aftermath”. The Aftermath series takes place a long time ago in a galaxy far away (okay so I felt the NEED to say that) and after the battle of Endor, the explosion of the second Deathstar, and the death of the Emperor. However, the timeline of “Life Debt” is several years before “The Force Awakens”.
Life in the galaxy after the fall of the Empire is less than awesome. The New Republic is working for order, while the remaining Imperial remnant is struggling to keep their grip after their devastating losses. Readers met Norra Wexley and the Halo crew in the first “Aftermath” book, and this motley group is back, this time pursuing Grand Admiral Rae Sloane. Norra and the crew are diverted from their pursuit of Sloane when they answer the call of Leia Organa Solo — seems her husband Han has gone missing while helping the Wookiee Chewbacca liberate his homeworld of Kashyyyk.
Norra Wexley, her son Temmin, and the rest of their crew face many challenges and hardships throughout “Life Debt”. Doing the right thing, isn’t always easy. Everyone is put to the test, even the scoundrel smuggler Han Solo. In the meantime, Leia finds herself having to make difficult decisions both as a politician, wife, and former Rebellion leader.
“Aftermath: Life Debt” has a great pace, memorable characters, and effortlessly continues the saga of Star Wars without breaking stride. It’s a nice balance of new and traditional Star Wars, and I can’t say enough how much I love Mister Bones. And Sinjir — he remains my favorite character in this series.
I’m looking forward to Book 3: “Empire’s End” and if you’re any level of Star Wars fan, I highly recommend this series by Chuck Wendig.
You can find a link to the book here. And you can find all things Chuck Wendig over on his blog terribleminds. If you’re a writer, I highly recommend Wendig’s books on the craft of writing — awesome stuff there. My personal favorite is “The Kick-Ass Writer”.
My dear friend and fellow Writing Wench, author Suzie Jay has released a new children’s book: “Princess Matilda’s Miracle”. It’s a very special book dealing with illness, but this fairy tale shines with hope, love, and light. You don’t want to miss it.
You can find “Princess Matilda’s Miracle” on Amazon here and at Goodreads here.
Go visit Suzie Jay at her author page and see what else she’s been up to recently. She’s got some fun books out and new ones on the way.