My blog has moved!

Hey everyone! I just wanted to let you know that my blog has moved to thesunflowerpages.com. If you are following my blog through WordPress.com, you should still be able to see any new posts on the new blog in the reader. If you want to be notified for sure of any new posts I add then simply subscribe to my new blog via email, or through Bloglovin. I am super excited for this move becuase I will have a lot more flexibility in what I can do. I will also be hosting a giveaway that should be up by the end of this week, so stay tuned. I look forward to seeing you over on the new blog!

Meet Rosalie!

So, I haven’t had a post in a while and I’d like to update you guys on why. Things have gotten a little crazy in my house because….

We got a puppy! puppy

We drove 3 hours to get her at a shelter in Orlando. She had three sisters and three brothers who all looked completely different. We wish we had money for two puppies so we could’ve gotten one of her sisters too because we hate breaking up families. She’s happy though and loves her trips to the beach, and park. She’s only 9 weeks old, so we have to take her out about every two hours to potty train her. Because of this we haven’t gotten much sleep!

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Luckily she’s starting to settle in, which means I can get more done. She is extremely smart and amazingly sweet. She has stolen our heart, but she’s still working on our cat. lol Dani grew up with my parents dogs, both older. She’s not used to dogs running at her  trying to play like Rosalie does. Dani has warmed up quite a bit though, so hopefully they’ll be playing together soon.

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I don’t know how big she’s going to get. Her mom was at the shelter and she was medium sized. They said her mom is a dachshund/retriever/x mix and her dad is an Irish Setter. She doesn’t look Irish Setter at all and honestly she doesn’t look like her mom. I’ve been reading about dogs genetics and it’s really interesting. It seems that since dogs have been breed with every kind of dog there is, all dogs carry DNA from other breeds. Therefore, when two dogs mate the offspring will have 50% genes from the mom and 50% from the dad. That however doesn’t mean they’ll get the same genes, they could end up with any type of dogs genes the parents carry in their DNA. So she could have anything in her. We’ll just have to wait and see how big she gets.

I have a couple posts and videos scheduled for next week, so be on the look out!

Do you have any puppy advice for us? Do you have a puppy or dog? What kind are they? What funny/mischievous things have they done?

Throwback Thursday Book Review: Their Eyes Were Watching God

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I started a new feature on my channel called Throwback Thursday Book Review. I’ll talk about books I’ve fallen in love with in the past that I want to share with everyone.

I review Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston in this video.

Have you read this book? What did you like it? Would you like to read this book?

My First Author Signing

 

I had the pleasure of attending Marissa Meyer’s author singing in Orlando, Florida on February 18th. This was my first author signing and it couldn’t have gone better. Marissa is super sweet and I had a blast!

Marissa

 

I had intended on filming her talking and answering questions, but that didn’t work out. Since I left for the signing straight from work, I got there right when it was supposed to start (it’s a 2.5 hr drive for me). Everyone was already crowded in front of her, so I was in the very back. I’m short and I couldn’t see her very well, hence not having any footage. Therefore, I’m going to do my best to tell you a few of the things she talked about from memory.

First off, she’s a huge nerd! Her whole family used to go to Star Trek movies dressed up as Trekkies. How cool is that?! She showed us a picture of her when she was young at a Star Trek movie dressed up as a Klingon. This is how she transitioned into telling us how The Lunar Chronicles came to be. You see she’s a huge Star Trek fan. It was time for NaNoWriMo to begin and there was a contest specifically for those who lived in Seattle. Now, if you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, you basically have a month to write a novel, fifty thousand words. The contest was that whoever wrote double that amount would win a walk on role in an upcoming Star Trek episode.

Marissa had a dream a few months before NaNoWriMo about Cinderella fleeing from the ball. Instead of a glass slipper falling off, her whole foot fell off! This is what sparked the idea for Cinderella as a cyborg. Marissa wrote just over 150,000 words, but ended up coming in third. Although she didn’t win she had the first drafts for Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress written. The Lunar ChroniclesIt took her another two years to re-write Cinder. Once she sent out the manuscript, she heard back from a publisher within a few days and was signed. Not only did she get her books published, Marissa found out that the promised Star Trek episode was never made.

Other things I learned:

When she was a teenager, Marissa fell in love with Sailor Moon. This fueled her to write Sailor Moon fan fiction throughout high school and college. This encouraged her to enter a Sailor Moon fan fiction writing contest, which she won second place in. Afterwards, she found out there were only two entries, hers and someone else’s. However, this is what sparked her to begin writing futuristic stories.

I also learned that Cinder could possibly be made into a movie. I would love to see The Lunar Chronicles on the big screen!

Marissa Meyer

This author signing was such a great experience for me. My biggest dream since I was a little girl has always been to become an author when I “grow-up.” I’m working really hard towards this goal. There have been a lot of obstacles in my way, but hearing Marissa speak encouraged me to keep doing what I’m doing. You have to fight for your dreams, even if that means waking up extremely early every morning to get your writing in for the day.

Have you ever been to an author signing? Who’s was it? Would you like to go to one? Are you a fan of The Lunar Chronicles? 

 

Love-A-Thon: Mash Up

Book_Blogger_Love-A-Thon_2014Is everyone ready for Day 2 of the LoveAThon? I know I am! So here we are again, faced with challenge number four: Mash-Up your bookish life with a non-bookish hobby/passion/talent you have in real life.

I have to say this one made me think really hard because it made my mind go crazy with all of the possibilities! I decided on using my love of singing. Here are five of my favorite songs that I think would go perfectly with certain books and the characters in that book.

I am in love with “Give Me Love” by Ed Sheeran. When I was thinking about which book and characters this song fit with, I thought only of The Mortal Instruments Series. It made me think of Clary and Jace’s relationship. (Possible spoiler alert) How they’ve fallen for each other, but then find out they might be siblings. The book in particular I’m thinking of is City of Glass. There are just so many scenes where they are both longing for each other that this song would go perfectly with any of them.

I freaking love “Let It Go” from Frozen. I can listen to this song on repeat while I sing to it on the top of my lungs. It is such an emotional song that I could see it being a song Melinda from Speak would sing at the very end of the book. I’m not going to give anything away, but something she’s been holding in all year is revealed and she’s finally able to “let it go.” Not to mention what happened to her is emotional, which is another reason I think it fits perfectly with her story.

A song I fell in love with and I even have as my ring tone is “Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heap. Listening to this song gave me a vision of Tarver and Lillic from These Broken Stars. I saw them trekking through the unknown planet they’ve landed on while they dance around their feelings for each other.

I’m throwing an old band I used to listen to into the mix, Mayday Parade. I seriously see Ron and Hermione at the Yule Ball in the Goblet of Fire when listening to “Miserable At Best.” I can see Hermione dancing with Victor Krum while Ron sits back watching them jealously as this song plays in the background. By the way, I will forever and always ship them!

Ok, so my final song I dedicate to Scarlet and Wolf in The Lunar Chronicles; “You’re The One That I Want” from Grease. Scarlet needs Wolf to not give into his animalistic desires and to be someone she can rely on. I just felt like this song fit their relationship perfectly. I think it especially fits in with the ending in Scarlet. No spoilers, but they have an intense moment before Cinder and Thorne show up.

Well there you have it. Some of my favorite songs I think could go with those books and characters. What do you guys think?

If you want to see everyone else’s Mash-Up go look at the list here.

Love-A-Thon: Mad Lib

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Get ready for the Love-A-Thon mini challenge number three: Mad Lib. To make it like a true mad lib, I had my “real” boyfriend ask me for the corresponding word for each blank space. That way I didn’t know what the story was about and it would make it a lot funnier. When he read it back to me, we were both laughing in hysterics. I seriously had so much fun with this challenge! So without further ado, here it is:

One day, I was Flying with Marcus Flutie. Out of the blue, a Turtle came out of nowhere! It was so WeirdHandsome and Lonely. At first, we were afraid, we were petrified, but we Drank. We hopped on the hover car to make our getaway.

As we escaped, we turned up the radio because dark horse came on and it made me jump. Everything was extremely smooth sailing until a giraffe appeared in the middle of the road. We swerved to avoid it, but while Marcus Flutie stayed on the hover car, I got thrown onto my side in the woods.

I couldn’t get up, and felt smoky as I lay there staring up at the trees. What was I going to do? I heard a rumble among the leaves, and felt happy. Surely, this was going to be my end. As my eyes fluttered shut, the last thing I saw was a head of green hair and blue eyes.

When I woke up again, I was on a table. My body hurt a whole lot less, and I could sit up. There was a tea bag and flowers in the room, along with pickles and vodka. The door suddenly opened to reveal Wolf, a concerned look on his face. I blushed and averted my gaze, but he played and said, “Don’t be shy. It’s okay.”

He came over to sit by me, and we started talking after I told him my name. We chatted about knitting, writing and snowboarding and realized we had a ton in common! I thought he was lazy and couldn’t help feeling a little swoony.

Just as he reached out for my hand, the door crashed open and in came Logan Eccles. “Don’t let him charm you away, my love!” He yelled, running at Wolf. They each had blenders in their hands and began to fight. “Stop!”, I yelled, feeling so frisky. They didn’t listen to me. Before I could intervene, Wolf fell to the floor and disappeared in a cloud of smoke.

“What was that?” I asked, staring at the empty space. Logan Eccles dropped his weapon, and came over to me. “Magic, but you are safe now, love muffin.” He hugged me close, and I suddenly knew that this was the real deal and not just a dream.

Just as Just the two of us started playing in my head, I woke up. I cursed my gangly luck. Why had it only been just a dream?

I hope you enjoyed reading the silliness! If you want to see everyone else’s love letters go look at the list here.

Love-A-Thon: Book Valentine Love Letter

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It’s time for the second Love-A-Thon mini challenge: Write a Valentine’s Day love letter to your book boyfriend(s)/girlfriend(s).

If you read my interview with Alyssa from Books Take You Places, you would have learned that I love Marcus Flutie from the Sloppy Firsts series by Megan McCafferty. So it’s no surprise that my Valentine love letter is to him. I wrote it as if we are already together.

To the boy who stole my heart,

Time stands still when we’re together. Every touch from you melts me into a helpless puddle, and your voice makes my heart beat like hummingbirds wings. Your eyes take me in, in a way I never knew could be so intimate. I would never change anything about you. You are perfection. Being with you didn’t change me, instead you completed me. From your rusty red hair to your hidden creative talents, never forget that all I need is

                                        You. Yes. You.

                                            Love,

                     The girl who holds the key to your heart.

Ok it’s probably a little cheesy, but there it is. If you want to see everyone else’s love letters go look at the list here.

Love-A-Thon: Book Spine Poetry

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The Love-A-thon first mini challenge has arrived: Make up a poem using only the spines of books!

The books I used:

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch, Beyond the River by Robert Elmer, One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus, Wicked by Gregory Maguire, Flawless by Sara Shepard, Hold My Hand & Run by Margaret McAllister, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, Tweak by Nic Sheff, Sideways by Red Pickett, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, Shut the door by Amanda Marquit, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne.

My poem:

Wicked Women

If you find me beyond the river,

One thousand white women,

Wicked.

Flawless.

Hold my hand and run.

The things they carried tweak sideways

extremely loud and incredibly close.

Shut the door,

20,000 leagues under the sea.

If you want to see everyone else’s poems go look at the list here.

Love-A-Thon: Interview Swap

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Hello all you Love-A-Thon participants! I’m so glad I get to participate in this lovely event and we are kicking things off with an interview swap. I had the pleasure of interviewing Alyssa from Books Take You Places! Alyssa is a librarian who graduated with a degree in English. I think we hit it off pretty well because not only does she love books, but she also loves cats and tea! Ok, let’s get into the interview to learn more about Alyssa. Make sure you leave a little love for Alyssa in the comments, and you can check out my answers to her questions here!

I am extremely happy that we both love cats and tea! It’s always fun sharing stories about the things we love. Do you have any funny stories involving your cats?

Well, both of my cats are named after Shakespearean characters, Celia and Cordelia, and they are both rather uppity as are Shakespeare’s leading ladies so they have very strong personalities and attitudes. Celia is more likely to give an attitude, especially when I am not around, she pretty much just tolerates my boyfriend. One of the funniest thing about my cats is that they love human food, despite the fact that we do not give it willingly. Celia has been known to eat my cereal if I walk away from the bowl and Cordelia has literally put her head into a bowl of strawberry ice cream. A few weeks ago my boyfriend was eating potato bread and Cordelia literally snuck up and took a bite as he was bringing it to his mouth. They’re stealthy and sometimes “stalk” us through the house if we have something they want, thankfully they were raised with love so have never taken a claw or tooth to “their humans!”

I live about two hours from Disney World, so naturally I grew up loving all things Disney. Tell me, do you have a favorite Disney Princess? If so, who and why is she your favorite?

Ahh! I have never been to Disney! We are planning a trip for later this year and I can’t wait! I would say that my favorite Disney princess is Belle in terms of her reading habits and strength of character – she stands up for what is right and isn’t easily scared away. If I was to compare myself to any Disney princess I would say that I am a mashup between Belle and Merida from Brave as she takes her destiny into her own hands and goes all Katniss on everyone trying to win her hand via archery contest. She wins herself. You go girl.

Ok, let’s get to the bookish questions!

With the advancement of technology, e-books are becoming increasingly popular. Are you on the e-book bandwagon, or do you prefer traditional books?

I’m a librarian so I value all ways in which one is able to read. Because of my degree, I was never one to shy away from technology and think anything (or any form) of reading is excellent. I have an iPad and really love the luxury of throwing it in my purse to read while in line at the Post Office. That being said, I will never EVER stop loving books in print. Seeing them on my shelf gives me a special kind of joy, and I go to the bookstore – especially used bookstores – at any chance I get. Nothing like the feel and smell (which is usually mold) like a real book!

I think reading is such a magical experience, especially when you finish your first book. Do you remember the first book you ever read? If so what was it?

I do not remember the first book I ever read. I do, however, remember the first time I ever read my favorite books, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, and Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier. These novels are still my favorites, to this day, and I read them nearly 15 years ago. It is a magical experience feeling a connection to a character, finding someone (though fictional) who somehow relates to you as no one else can. Falling into a world when you are desperately needing to fall out of your own reality is something really amazing. I will never forget that feeling.

Imagine you’re stranded on an Island and you have only two books with you. It’s getting cold and you have to use one of the books to start a fire, but the other you can keep to read. Which book wouldn’t you mind sacrificing for a fire? Which book can you not part with?

I think I could sacrifice one of my copies of Shakespeare’s complete works, though not a copy that has all of my notes inside and here’s why: first, it’s huge and would keep me warm longer than any of my other books. Second, I taught it and therefore have nearly every play memorized. Third, I have more copies of his complete works than I can count and I am determined that I will get off of that island and be reunited with them all. I don’t think I could part with my copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows OR Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier, they are both special to me and I could read them over and over without ever getting bored.

Authors like to tear our hearts out when they kill off a character that we have fallen in love with. What character would you bring back from the dead?

Harry Potter spoiler alert! First person I thought of when I glanced at this question was Sirius Black. I was devastated, beyond devastated, when he died, he and Harry were just about to be a family *sobs* but I would also have liked to see Snape live. Who knows, perhaps he would have been able to move forward and enjoy Harry’s family as his own, the world will never know. There was also a crazy cliffhanger in A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin that I won’t get too far into because I don’t want to spoil…but…if that person has died…I can’t even deal..

If you had the power to choose the next book that would be turned into a movie, which book would you choose? Why?

Ohhh good question! If the movie would be amazing, like…Harry Potter amazing, then I think I would like to see The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss made into a movie or TV show a la Game of Thrones. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostava also holds a special place in my heart because it is the first book that my boyfriend and I read together, the rights were actually sold years ago and I have heard nothing since! *Waits impatiently*

Now since you asked me, I have to ask you…

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

I am somewhat boring…the craziest thing that I have ever done is when I dropped out of the education program in college, and after graduation, applied to graduate school to be a Librarian. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be an English teacher, it was always my dream, and in my senior year I decided that it wasn’t my dream anymore. Very scary but I am happy now. Ironically, I am pretty sure that I am going to go back for my PhD in English Literature to be a professor, not for quite a few years, but the dream is there.

If you could witness any event past, present, or future, what would it be?

I think I would want to be present to see one of Shakespeare’s plays performed. Perhaps, in the court of Queen Elizabeth so ya know…I wasn’t a peasant. I am very interested in the speculation surrounding Shakespeare and that many question his authorship. As a scholar, I wholly believe that William Shakespeare is as most believe him to be, a brilliant writer. However, it would be fantastic to see him in the flesh to just KNOW, and seeing his plays performed as he wished them to be would be just amazing.

If you could have dinner with any three people (real or fictitious, dead or alive), which three people would you choose, and why?

Albus Dumbledore, Geoffrey Chaucer, and Neil Gaiman, for a few reasons. First, they are all hilarious and all have very dark humor so I think that they would get along swimmingly. Secondly, I am a HUGEEEE fangirl of all three (especially Neil Gaiman) so my reasons are also a little selfish because to meet these people, that would be a dream. Third, I find them all to be brilliant in different ways and they are all wordsmiths so I think that it would be enlightening, and hilarious, to share a meal with any or all of them.

I really love that you named your cats after Shakespearean characters! Especially since it seems that the names fit them so well. I also completely agree with you about technology versus real books. I value both forms of reading, but I’ll never lose my love for books in print! 

Readers: Keep checking back for more Love-A-Thon related posts. If you’re tweeting, don’t forget to use the #loveathon to chat with us!

Who’s my Book Valentine? Find out M.A.S.H. style!

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I thought it would be fun to see which of my book crushes (plus one non-crush) I might end up with using the game M.A.S.H. It was a ton of fun changing up the categories to fit my theme!

Who do you want to be your book Valentine?