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Knowledge of our past is our inheritance. What we do with that knowledge will shape our destinies...

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mermaid Lit Summer Challenge Week 3 + Follow Friday

Here's to two weeks of mermaid lit! Below is my review for this week. If you have one of your own, feel free to link up with us and be sure to visit the others to see what they thought of their reads for this week!


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This week I read Above World by Jenn Reese. I'd heard great things about this book, but I confess the beginning was a bit slow for me. It took me a while to figure out why. First and foremost, I think it was just me. The book was well-written, the characters and setting are great, the stakes of the major conflict were high enough. The main characters are only about thirteen--a bit younger than I prefer--but even that didn't really bother me. In short, there was no reason for me not to like it. But I had just come off vacation. I was trying to catch up on everything plus trying to get back in the swing of things. On top of that, I'm still recovering from a head cold, which just makes me sleepy all the time. I think I just had a hard time getting into the book. But that would have been the case with anything I picked up this week.

The other thing that would have helped draw me in quicker, but given the structure of the story, really couldn't be helped, was the fact that, while the conflict was introduced at an appropriate time in the story, and, for the characters, it was really important, they didn't know the full extent of that conflict. This is a quest story, at it's core, and as they went along, they discovered that the problem went higher and higher and became bigger and bigger. While the stakes were definitely high enough for the characters at the beginning, I don't think they were high enough for me to care. By the end, they were huge and I really  cared. Believe me! But had there been more of hint at the beginning what the end game would be, I think I would have been drawn in much more.


Once I got going, though, and got more into the my regular momentum, I really enjoyed the book. By the end, I couldn't put it down. The action really picked up the last third of the book. Oh, and this book has one of the best villains I've come across in a long time! Totally loved him! If there's a second book (and I think there will be) I'll definitely be reading it!


Aluna and Hoki are very well-drawn characters, and many things--such as their relationships with their respective love interests) have been left open-ended, so this will be a fun series to follow. It's a quick, easy read, with lots of fun and adventure. The world-building is quite unique as well. The world itself is almost post-apocalyptic, but to overcome the apocalypse, the human race took charge of itself, giving itself either mermaid tales, wings, or an array of other animal parts so they could survive. It feels almost stone-aged, except that they have electronic gadgets--called "Tek" to survive. Sounds weird, I know, and it's the kind of thing that's hard to pull off, but Reese does it just...ahem, swimmingly.


 I'd recommend Above World to lovers of YA and middle-grade alike (though it really is a YA) and anyone who likes adventures, both on land and under sea, kids who are wiser than their elders, fierce heroins, sweet heroes, awesome villains, and fun hybrid species. This is definitely a fun summer read!


Click on the icons below to add to goodreads or check it out from Amazon or B&N! :D Happy Friday!



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Follow Friday Blog Hop




Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.


The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs! 


How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!


Q: What blogger would you most like to meet in real life? Tell us about him or her.


Hmm. Such a hard question! There are so many I'd love to meet in person. I think, though, I'd like to meet Julie Luek. She's one of my most loyal followers/interacters (I follow her too) and we chat all the time. She has a lovely blog over at A Thought Grows and is simply delightful! Hi Julie! ;D

How about you? Which blogger would you like to meet the most?

Thoughts for Thursday: Patriotism

Thoughts for Thursday is a new meme hosted by Musings on Fantasia and LKHill.  In this meme, we share thoughts or quotes that we know or have recently come across. Each week there is a specific subject or theme. These can be quotes from books, quotes by famous people, (quotes by YOU, perhaps ;D). Anything from anywhere is game, though we do ask that you keep your quote to a few sentences at most. Don't quote, for example, entire passages of a book or essay. These can be funny quips, cool sayings, hair-raising antidotes, movie lines, any kind of quote you can think of!

Just have fun, collect awesome sayings by awesome people, and try to be inspired!

So I'm a week late on the theme again. I tend to do that with holiday themes. I should have done this last week, but oh well! This week's theme is quotes about patriotism.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Writing Great Mysteries, Part 3

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This is the second in a series called Writing Great Mysteries. I'm going to go over the story structure of mysteries, revealing clues bit by bit, and a few other things. While this is about writing crime or mystery, it can actually apply to any genre. Often in other genres you have minor mysteries you want to reveal gradually, like who betrayed your main characters or what someone's surprise motivations are. In other words, these posts can be adapted to any mystery or slow-reveal in any genre you may happen to be writing. As such, I'll call my villains perps or killers, because that's what is usually the case in mystery/crime, but again you can adapt this to any antagonist.

So we've talked about what kind of reveal you want (Part 1) and how to reveal clues to your ending piece by piece (Part 2) so the only thing left to cover are the stakes. I'm big on high stakes stories, but it always depends on what your mystery is.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Teaser Tuesday--Fragments

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
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Today's teasers come from Fragments (Partials Sequence #3) by Dan Wells. This is from page 19 of the print edition.
"It was all so big, overwhelmingly big, and that was just the city--beyond it there were other cities, other states and nations, entire other continents she had never seen. She felt lost, worn down by the sheer impossibility of finding even one small secret in a world so huge. She watched a flock of birds fly by, oblivious to her and her problems; the world had ended, and they hadn't even noticed. If the last of the sentient species disappeared, the sun would still rise and the birds would still fly. What did her success or failure really mean?And then she raised her head, set her jaw, and spoke. "I'm not giving up," she said.
What are YOU reading this week?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Vacation Recap--Bear Lake, Utah!

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So for the past week I've been largely absent from the blogosphere because I've been vacationing with my family up at Bear Lake, Utah. Bear Lake is huge, beautiful, and ice cold. It's the kind of place that's almost too cold to swim in even in August. This early in the year, well let's say we all ran into the lake once and called it good. Stay in the water for more than twenty minutes at a time, and you find yourself in danger of hypothermia.

Still, we had tons of fun. My dad's company owns a condo up there that the employees can rent out for a week at a time. We do it every year, but it's really more of an R and R thing than an active vacation. We swim in the lake or (much less cold) pool, lounge in the hot tub (which is freaking hot! About 200 degrees Fahrenheit, we think) and just chill, visit, and have family time. We also play plenty of beach-y sports like volleyball and soccer, and watch plenty of movies.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Follow Friday + Mermaid Lit Challenge Review, Week 2


(Follow Friday down below) 

Here's to two weeks of mermaid lit! Below is my review for this week. If you have one of your own, feel free to link up with us and be sure to visit the others to see what they thought of their reads for this week!


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The book I read this week for the mermaid challenge (while I was vacationing at Bear Lake in Northern Utah, no less!) was Florence by Ciye Cho

I was very uncertain about this book. First off, the author is a man but the main character is a teenage girl. I wasn't sure those two things would mix. Plus, it's a very cheap book in the Kindle store, and I'm always a bit wary of that. But, it had great reviews. Lots of people gave it 5 stars on Goodreads.com, so I decided to try it.

And I'm so glad I did!

Florence is a wonderful mermaid story. Florence is an introverted, uncertain teenage girl who is used to being invisible. During a class field to the coast, she goes snorkeling by herself (no real friends) and is pulled under the waves by a merman, who takes her to his prince. The ways in which she can breathe and talk underwater are...well, I won't say realistic, but believable. And Florence begins an underwater adventure, not just to help iron out the troubles of the mer-world, but to find herself and her place in it.

I really admire the way Cho does the back story. At the beginning, we learn that Flo is introverted and has low self-esteem, with few friends, but we can tell all that just by interaction between her and her classmates. The author doesn't info-dump about her dry-land situation or her family. We learn that as it becomes relevant to the unraveling story.

There are also two princes underwater that Florence may or may not end up in a relationship with. It's not really a love triangle, for those who are bothered by that, but rather her trying to decide which one is being honest and which one is using her. Both are equally good-looking and confusing as to their motivations. Trying to figure out the two brothers made the story fun and engaging.

We meet plenty of interesting underwater creatures--totally in love with her little octopus buddy!--including some wicked-scary monsters that I greatly enjoyed. 

Complaints? A few, but negligible. There were a few stylistic things that probably on a writer would pick up on. And I would have liked a little more description about how things were done underwater as opposed to as they would have been done on land. There were some things that I couldn't quite picture. But, these were minor problems that didn't really take away from the story.

Overall, I really liked this book and will be reading book 2. I would recommend it to anyone who likes YA romance, adventure, mermaid-themed stories, or hot mermen! 

What mermaid-themed books have you read?




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Follow Friday

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.


The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs! 

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!


Q: The #FF is 150 weeks old! And we want to hear from you! What would you change about the hop? What do you like about it? Or just suggest a question to be used for next week!


Hmm. How about a question? Problem is, I've only been doing it for about 50 weeks, so I don't know all of the questions that have been asked. How about, "what book or books have changed your life and why/how?" or "have you ever recommended a book to someone else and seen a positive reaction when they read it? (And what was it?)" I think those would be fun questions. ;D

What would YOUR questions/suggestions be?



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Guide to Writing Great Mysteries, Part 2

**FYI: I'm out of town this week so while my posts are going up automatically, I won't be doing as much commenting/ communicating this week. I probably won't get around to many emails until after memorial day. Sorry for any inconvenience.**

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This is the second in a series called Writing Great Mysteries. I'm going to go over the story structure of mysteries, revealing clues bit by bit, and a few other things. While this is about writing crime or mystery, it can actually apply to any genre. Often in other genres you have minor mysteries you want to reveal gradually, like who betrayed your main characters or what someone's surprise motivations are. In other words, these posts can be adapted to any mystery or slow-reveal in any genre you may happen to be writing. As such, I'll call my villains perps or killers, because that's what is usually the case in mystery/crime, but again you can adapt this to any antagonist.

So, now that you know what kind of reveal you want, (recap the three kinds here) it's time to move on to how to accomplish this reveal a little bit at a time in order to keep your readers engrossed.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Teaser Tuesday--Florence by Ciye Cho

**FYI: I'm out of town this week so while my posts are going up automatically, I won't be doing as much commenting/ communicating this week. I probably won't get around to many emails until after memorial day. Sorry for any inconvenience.**


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Source
This week's Teasers are from Florence by Ciye Cho.

"Dozens of merpeople floated above me. None of them moved for a moment, hanging above me like angels in a mural. Then, they each let out a hiss and rushed toward me. "Wait!" I shouted, raising my hands in front of me. "Hold on!"

As they zoomed over, water was displaced and cast downward. My head slammed against the coral, and suddenly, everything went dark..."

What are you reading?

Historical Tidbit--Shakespeare

**FYI: I'm out of town this week so while my posts are going up automatically, I won't be doing as much commenting/ communicating this week. I probably won't get around to many emails until after memorial day. Sorry for any inconvenience.**

Did you know...?
en.wikipedia.org

That the custom of carrying the bride over the threshold didn't exist until the 16th century?

That the world "wormhole" was known clear back during the English Renaissance?

That eyes were not known as "eyeballs" until the time of Queen Elisabeth I?

What do all these things have in common? Two words: William Shakespeare!!!

There are literally dozens of words, phrases, and customs that were invented by (or at least not recorded until he did it) and are therefore attributed to him. These include words like "alligator," "puking," "skim milk," and "hot-blooded," among others.

No wonder Shakespeare is thought of as the greatest writer in the history of the English language. Not only have his plays survived the years and still connect with people today, but he influenced our culture in so many other ways as well. What would the world be like today without Shakespeare's influence?

What do YOU think Shakespeare's greatest influence on modern culture is?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Follow Friday + Week 1 of Mermaid Lit Challenge Reviews!

We've made it through week 1 of the Mermaid Lit Summer Reading Challenge! Okay, I know it didn't officially start until the 15th (even though a few people, like yours truly, started this past Monday) and so not everyone will have read an entire book yet. But, I have! Every Friday for the next twelve weeks (basically the entire summer) I'll be putting up a Mermaid Lit Review post with a Linky list. Anyone who's read a mermaid or ocean-themed book and wishes to link it to the list, feel free!

Also, if you aren't part of the Mermaid Lit Summer Reading Challenge, but want to be, you can join any time! Check out THIS POST for details.

Okay, so this week I read two mermaid-themed book. Well, really 1 1/2. The first is Hans Christian Anderson's The Little Mermaid. (Not exactly a full-length novel.) The other was Seven Tears into the Sea by Terri Farley.

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Hans Christian Anderson's The Little Mermaid is the classic that pretty much started the entire sub-culture of mer-people. It's classic and very fairytale-ish, if also very simplistic. I think I read the Anderson version as a kid, but it's been so long I've mostly forgotten it. I was surprised both by how much the Disney version managed to keep in, as well as by how tragic the ending wasn't.

*Warning: I would assume everyone's familiar with this tale, and being a classic fairy tale, it's kind of public domain. But if you're weird about that, know that I'm about to give SPOILERS. Totally gonna tell you the ending. I won't do this with the other books I review, just this fairy tale because it's the mythology that every mer-tale (not tail) unavoidably draws from. Just sayin'.

So in this version, the little mermaid (who isn't given a name, by the way) is the youngest of all her sisters, and has a wonderful singing voice. She's obsessed with the human world and saves the prince when his ship goes under at sea. (There are even fireworks!) The Sea Witch is much the same--if a bit ickier than Disney's version--complete with sea snakes and polyps making grabs at people. I actually think Disney did a great job keeping quite a few of the original elements.

Of course, it's much more tragic than the dumbed-down kiddie-friendly version. The little mermaid isn't given a time-frame to make the prince fall for her (like 3 days) but she has to get him to marry her eventually. If he marries another, she doesn't just turn back into a mermaid, but rather she dies, her body turning to sea foam. Another facet of this I didn't remember is the talk of immortal souls. The little mermaid asks her grandmother about humans and whether they die. The grandmother answers that they do, but they live much shorter lives than mer-people, who live about 300 years. Yet, human have immortal souls that ascend to heaven, while mer-people simply turn into sea foam, their bodies recycling into the sea. The mermaid want not only to marry the prince because she loves him, but she wants to win an immortal soul. Her grandmother says if she can get a human to love her, his immortality will extend around her and she'll win a soul. But of course that never happens because humans would think fins were gross and of course mer-people can never leave the ocean. So you see, she'll turn to sea foam anyway, but if doesn't get the prince to marry her, she won't get her immortal soul and she'll die now, forfeiting her 300 year life with her family. Also, when she's given legs, she is beautiful and graceful, but every step she takes feels like her feet are being stabbed by knives. It's part of the price she pays. And the Sea Witch does also take her beautiful voice.

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The little mermaid spends months in the prince's company as a human. He comes to have great affection for her, but it's of the sisterly variety. When she saved him and left him on the beach, another beautiful young woman found him and nursed him back to health. It is that woman that the prince falls for and marries. On the morning after they marry, the little mermaid prepares to die, but her sisters show up with a knife, and all their hair shaved off. They say they gave their hair to the Sea Witch in exchange for saving Ariel. If she kills the prince with the knife, the blood will spatter her legs and turn them back to fins, and she can live out her 300 years with her family. The little mermaid can't do it, though. She loves him to much, and instead casts herself into the sea.

Now, most non-Disney versions end right there. I know! All kinds of tragic, but actually my buddy Hans adds something hopeful at the end. Her body turns to sea foam, but she looks up to see beings called Daughters of the Air. These are basically spirits that float around on the wind, watching over people and  doing good deeds. They've seen her toil and take pity on her, bringing her into their ranks. They explain that if she hangs (no pun intended) with them and does lots of good deeds, she can still win herself an immortal soul. The little mermaid, unseen, kisses the prince and his bride, wishing them every happiness. 

Okay, I know, still way sad, but it had more hope than I expected. Other sad elements: the prince loved singing, so if she'd had her voice, she could have won him over, no problem. Also, her sisters visited her often when she was human. At one point she saw her father and grandmother, but they were far off shore. She waves to them, but they won't come close enough to speak to her. they just look sad then disappear into the waves. So, lots of sad times.

Still, I enjoyed reading the fairy tale overall and thought it was a good way to kick off the challenge. Okay, here it comes. You knew I was gonna do it. Just can't help myself.


Doesn't everyone just feel better with that ending? (The Little Mermaid was totally my princess movie when I was like...four? five? Something like that. So I totally had to geek out for a minute. :D)

Okay, next book.

Seven Tears into the Sea by Terri Farley was a very enjoyable read. It actually wasn't about mermaids so much as selkie, but both are under-da-sea creatures, so I think it still counts.

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As a ten year old child, Gwen lived on the sea with her parents. One night sleepwalking, she saw a young man walking into a turbulent ocean, and feared he would drown. She tried to help him, but nearly drowned herself. He saved her. Of course he was sort of...naked. And when neighbors saw a naked man standing over a young girl, they assumed the worst. Eventually Gwen's parents moved her away to escape the rumors.

Seven years later, Gwen returns for the summer to help her grandmother--who still lives there--run her inn after taking a nasty fall. And, you guessed it, our favorite naked beach guy returns. The problem is, he may not be entirely human, and the rhyme he whispered to her as a child about seven tears and seven years may have a meaning that is both tragic and inescapable.

As I said, a very enjoyable read. Gwen was funny and down-to-earth, yet just teenaged-girl enough to be believable. I really loved her spunky grandmother as well, and Thelma. In terms of complaints, I had a few but they were mild. There were some things that weren't fully explained. For example, a big deal is made about the fact that Thelma was the one who called the police that night when Gwen was a child, but Thelma lied about where she'd seen Gwen to the police. I didn't think the answer to that was explained well enough. Also, this is a very YA novel. Not in a bad way, but I would have liked higher stakes. I'm sure you've all heard me rant about how YA lit isn't my fave because I like more drama, more earth-shattering problems, etc. and I thought this could have used a bit more of that. Yet, despite my feelings on the subject, I actually really enjoyed this book. The end was a bit melancholy--not in a tragic, someone dies way or anything. I promise!--but in a way that okay too. While I would have liked a slightly happier ending, I think mermaid stories are always melancholy by nature, so this fit well.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants a light, fun, quick summer read with a hot guy and a little bit of ocean mysticism. If you have a review, put it in the Linky below. Then hop around to see what mermaid lit others are reading! Have fun! :D

Today's Quote: Ocean is more ancient than the mountains, and freighted with the memories and the dreams of Time.--H.P. Lovecraft


Follow Friday!

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.


The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs! 

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!


Q: School is out! What is your favorite Summer Reading book?


I don't know that I have a specific summer reading book, but as you can see above, I 'm doing a Mermaid Summer Reading Challenge right now which allows me to read mermaid/ocean/beach-themed books. If anyone wants to join, see above. I've only read a couple books so far, but they definitely do put me in the mood for summer! :D

**FYI: I'm out of town this week so while my posts are going up automatically, I won't be doing as much commenting/ communicating this week. I probably won't get around to many emails until after memorial day. Sorry for any inconvenience.**

Thoughts for Thursday--Mothers

Thoughts for Thursday is a new meme hosted by Musings on Fantasia and LKHill.  In this meme, we share thoughts or quotes that we know or have recently come across. Each week there is a specific subject or theme. These can be quotes from books, quotes by famous people, (quotes by YOU, perhaps ;D). Anything from anywhere is game, though we do ask that you keep your quote to a few sentences at most. Don't quote, for example, entire passages of a book or essay. These can be funny quips, cool sayings, hair-raising antidotes, movie lines, any kind of quote you can think of!

Just have fun, collect awesome sayings by awesome people, and try to be inspired!

So I'm a week late on the theme again. I tend to do that with holiday themes. I should have done this last week, but oh well! This week's theme is quotes about mother/motherhood.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Guide to Writing Great Mysteries, Part 1

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This is the first in a series called Writing Great Mysteries. I'm going to go over the story structure of mysteries, revealing clues bit by bit, and a few other things. While this is about writing crime or mystery, it can actually apply to any genre. Often in other genres you have minor mysteries you want to reveal gradually, like who betrayed your main characters or what someone's surprise motivations are. In other words, these posts can be adapted to any mystery or slow-reveal in any genre you may happen to be writing. As such, I'll call my villains perps or killers, because that's what is usually the case in mystery/crime, but again you can adapt this to any antagonist.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday--Difficult Subjects

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Top Ten Books Dealing with Tough Subjects (abuse, suicide, grief, etc. or something personally hard for you). All covers courtesy of goodreads.com unless otherwise posted.

I don't read too many books like this so I had to think hard and still only came up with seven.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mermaid Lit Challenge



Welcome to the Mermaid Lit Summer Reading Challenge! So I original scheduled the reading challenge to begin on 5/15, but I realized that's the middle of the week that it's a weird time to start a challenge. So, let's just say it starts this week!

To recap, this challenge is just about reading as many mermaid-themed books as you can over the next three months. Even other ocean-themed stories would work as long as they involve mermaids some oblique way (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, anyone?) The more you read, you attain more levels of achievement and are entered for more awesome prizes. See details HERE.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Follow Friday--Favorite Moms


Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.


The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs! 

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!


Q: Happy Mother's Day! Who is your favorite mom from fiction?


It's gotta be the Harry Potter moms! Mrs. Weasley who got to call Bellatrix a bitch before incinerating her, and Harry's mom who died saving him from Voldemort! You can't ask for better than that.

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Who's your favorite fictional mom?

Thoughts for Thursday--Spring

Thoughts for Thursday is a new meme hosted by Musings on Fantasia and LKHill.  In this meme, we share thoughts or quotes that we know or have recently come across. Each week there is a specific subject or theme. These can be quotes from books, quotes by famous people, (quotes by YOU, perhaps ;D). Anything from anywhere is game, though we do ask that you keep your quote to a few sentences at most. Don't quote, for example, entire passages of a book or essay. These can be funny quips, cool sayings, hair-raising antidotes, movie lines, any kind of quote you can think of!

Just have fun, collect awesome sayings by awesome people, and try to be inspired!

This week's theme is quotes about spring.


Life stands before me like an eternal spring with new and brilliant clothes.--Carl Friedrich Gauss
Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!"--Robin Williams
Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love.--Sitting Bull
You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.--Pablo Neruda
The true harbinger of spring is not crocuses or swallows returning to Capistrano, but the sound of the bat on the ball.--Bill Veeck
What is your favorite quote about springtime? Do you have one to contribute?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Review Day: Driven to Kill + The Four Hour Work Week

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Driven to Kill by Gary C. King is a true crime novel about the case of Westley Allen Dodd who was captured in 1989 after murdering three children.

I really like true crime and I'll admit to a mild-to-serious fascination with criminal psychology, especially serial killers. Reading about them can give me the willies, but it doesn't bother me much overall. I don't generally get freaked out by it. If I start to, I just read in daylight and I'm good.

This book was a little different. Not only is there the violence of the kills to deal with, but this book goes into explicit detail about the nasty, twisted sexual things that were done to them, and Dodd's horrible sexual fantasies. Gave me the willies in an entirely different and nastier way.

This is not the first Gary C. King book I've read. As always, his writing style is excellent. He tells the story in a straight-forward manner. One that's easy to follow and gives the reader a well-rounded view of what happened. Overall, it's an interesting story and gives a lot (maybe more than we wanted) of insight into the mind of a predator.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Historical Tidbit--William Wallace

Did you know...?
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That Braveheart is based on a true story?

Okay, most people know that. But the thing that's interesting about it is that most people didn't know that story until it was discovered.

The film's producer, Randall Wallace, was on a random vacation in Scotland, and saw a statue of a man he'd never heard of named William Wallace. Because they shared a last name, he remarked on it to the tour guide with something along the lines of, "Another Wallace. (An extremely common Scottish surname.) Who was this man?"

To which the guide replied with reverence, "He is our greatest hero." 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Write for the Heights Literary Fair II

Just a quick note for your Saturday morning! I'm presenting at a literary fair today! I'll be putting on a workshop at 10:30 am. I really should have started telling people about this a week ago, but what can I say? I'm terrible about telling people about my own events in advance.

So, if anyone's in the South Salt Lake area today, drop by! It's a free event at the Whitmore Library. My topic is, "The Big Opening." As in, the first scene of your story as well as keeping the reader turning pages until the end.

Wish me luck! And happy Saturday! :D


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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Follow Friday--Fun or Fail Scenes

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.


The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs! 

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!


Give us a sneak! What are you reading? Tell us about a fun or fail scene in your current read.

Thoughts for Thursday-Unicorns

Thoughts for Thursday is a new meme hosted by Musings on Fantasia and LKHill.  In this meme, we share thoughts or quotes that we know or have recently come across. Each week there is a specific subject or theme. These can be quotes from books, quotes by famous people, (quotes by YOU, perhaps ;D). Anything from anywhere is game, though we do ask that you keep your quote to a few sentences at most. Don't quote, for example, entire passages of a book or essay. These can be funny quips, cool sayings, hair-raising antidotes, movie lines, any kind of quote you can think of!

Just have fun, collect awesome sayings by awesome people, and try to be inspired!

This week's theme is quotes about unicorns in literature.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Review Day: Dissension by Adrienne Monson + Olympus Has Fallen

Dissension by Adrienne Monson

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I read this book because Adrienne is a fellow Jolly Fish Press Author and, as I've mentioned before, all us JFP-ers try to help read and promote one another's books. I received a digital ARC copy from JFP in exchange for an honest review.

Leisha is a thousand-year-old vampire with, as you can imagine, all kinds of past drama. A war is raging between the vampires and another race known only as the Immortals. While she's technically a vampire herself, the man she used to love and be married to thousands of years ago is an Immortal who hates her for becoming a vampire. To make things worse, the leader of her particular vampire household is a douche who wants Leisha for his lover. She despises him, of course, but he's powerful and she owes him her allegiance.

Enter Samantha, a head-strong teenager whose life has recently been turned upside down with the death of her mother. She goes to live with her dad, with whom she has absolutely no relationship and upon following him to his "work place" finds out that he's embroiled in underworld of paranormal creatures.