Book Blogger Hop – July 13th

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer from Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012. With Jennifer’s permission, Coffee Addicted Writer relaunched the meme on February 15, 2013.

There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.


13th – 19th – Does a cluttered blog have you not returning? By cluttered I mean too many columns, small type, too many photos, difficult to follow, etc.  (submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver’s Reviews)


Depends on the blog, on if I feel the content is worth it. It also depends on the type of clutter. Lots of columns, internal navigation etc. is a little annoying but doesn’t turn me off. Small type or colored text (like yellow on white, or white on black) throws me off entirely.

Lots of photos is a positive for me.

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Throwback Thursday: The Revenant Movie Reflection: Extra Credit

Throwback Thursday, where, essentially I post old writing samples, essays and short stories that I dig up from my pile of hoarded papers and school assignments or from the depths of my computer. So everyone can see how my writing has changed/improved over the years.


The Revenant Movie Reflection: Extra Credit

The Revenant is a survival story, which seems odd for a movie whose body count reaches the double digits before we’ve even made it past the first scene. But it fits, when death is a real possibility for the characters, it raises the stakes, leaving you tense as to whether or not the characters you are rooting for will actually survive. The title is especially fitting, as revenant means “one who has returned, as if from the dead”.

The Revenant doesn’t pull any punches. Between the high stakes of death, the emotion shown by family and friends when a loved one is injured or killed it feels real. Even more so when you realize that the gore from a fight doesn’t disappear in the next scene, wounds carry and do not becomes magically healed for convenience, as is often the case in movies. The Revenant also makes use of the setting’s native language to not only make the story seem genuine, it makes it impossible for the viewer to become disengaged or distracted from the story, because you have to pay such close attention to what they are saying by keeping your eyes on the screen, lest you miss an important detail. It seems to do justice to the true-life story of Hugh Glass on which it is based, and neither glorifies nor infantilizes his struggle.

The setting is used incredibly effectively; they are not simply in a forest. The animals, even when unimportant to the plot, make noises in the background. Frost clings

to eyelashes. People cough, sniffle and shiver even when the attention is not on them. Leonardo Dicaprio conveys much of his emotion and thoughts without speaking for a part of the film. It comes as no surprise that the movie was not only nominated for, but won, Oscars.

The Revenant is a phenomenal film, with heart-wrenching, wonderful acting and amazing, if a little hard to stomach, cinematography. It makes great use of suspense and the progression of the plot, making sure you feel every consequence, and every uncertainty the characters feel. Every action comes with high stakes, and you never feel like there is a certainty in how the movie will continue. I highly recommend The Revenant.

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I’ve Read In 2018 (So Far)

Top Ten Tuesdays are a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.
As always this list is in no particular order.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.


July 10: Best Books I’ve Read In 2018 (So Far) (This prompt was originally going to be a TTT throwback, but I know how much people love the bi-annual top ten books of the year and I forgot to add it to the list! Feel free to do a throwback instead if you want!)


 

Blog Tour: The Supervillain and Me

The Supervillain and Me
Danielle Banas
(Morriston Superheroes #1)
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: July 10th 2018
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Superheroes, Young Adult

As witty as it is heartpounding, this fresh take on the beloved superhero genre is all about finding your own way to shine even when it seems everyone else around you is, well… super.

Never trust a guy in spandex.

In Abby Hamilton’s world, superheroes do more than just stop crime and save cats stuck in trees―they also drink milk straight from the carton and hog the television remote. Abby’s older brother moonlights as the famous Red Comet, but without powers of her own, following in his footsteps has never crossed her mind.

That is, until the city’s newest vigilante comes bursting into her life.

After saving Abby from an attempted mugging, Morriston’s fledgling supervillain Iron Phantom convinces her that he’s not as evil as everyone says, and that their city is under a vicious new threat. As Abby follows him deeper into their city’s darkest secrets, she comes to learn that heroes can’t always be trusted, and sometimes it’s the good guys who wear black.

Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, The Supervillain and Me is a hilarious, sweet, and action-packed novel by debut author Danielle Banas that proves no one is perfect, not even superheroes.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

Author Bio:

Danielle Banas, a Pittsburgh native, earned a degree in communication from Robert Morris University. After years spent dreaming up characters instead of paying attention in class, Danielle joined the storytelling platform Wattpad, where her work has received millions of views online. When she isn’t writing, she can be found loudly singing show tunes, spouting off Walt Disney World trivia, and snuggling with her puppy. THE SUPERVILLAIN AND ME is her debut novel.

Follow her on Twitter or Instagram @daniellebanas

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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What inspired you to write The Supervillian and Me?

My deep, passionate, (sometimes embarrassing) love for Spider-Man definitely had a lot to do with it. The Spider-Man films are what got me hooked on superheroes, and then when I was in college I came up with my initial idea for the book. The first little piece that I thought of was just a conversation between a brother and a sister where she was making fun of his dorky spandex super suit while they were sitting at their kitchen table. I loved how goofy but also how normal it was, and I think I kept it in the back of my head for about a year before I finally did anything with it. My only goal at the time was just to write the story that I desperately wanted to read. After I fleshed out the characters and the plot, I wrote the first draft in a little under six months. That was about four years ago. Oh and fun fact: My original super suit kitchen table conversation actually ended up making it into the final draft of the book, so that makes me pretty excited.

 

How do you decide on character names?

When I was trying to figure out superhero names, I literally Googled “superhero name generator.” Most of the names it spits out are absolutely awful, but they’re a good jumping-off point. I have one character whose name is intentionally bad, but I’m confident that the others are much better and more normal – or at least as normal as superheroes can be. As for my characters’ “regular” names, I check out baby name websites and look for things that match each character’s personality. If I come across something that I like enough to use as name for a future child of mine, then I’ll put it on the short list for a character. My characters are basically my book children anyway.

 

What are you planning on writing next?

I’m actually in the midst of figuring that out at the moment. Whatever it is, I can guarantee it will have quirky characters and a healthy dose of sarcasm. My favorite part of writing is making people laugh, so I always try to pack as much humor into my stories as I can!

 

Any advice for aspiring authors?

Three things:

  1. Read a lot! Obviously you want to write a lot too, but reading is just as important. Whenever I’m in a bit of a writing slump, I turn to reading to help me feel inspired again.
  2. Don’t be afraid to suck. Seriously. If you’re stumbling through a first draft and you feel like you’re just going through the motions, that’s totally fine. Just get the words on paper. You can always make them better later.
  3. Don’t worry about writing things that are considered “trendy” or things that you think might be trendy in the future. Write what inspires you and write what you love. I promise there are people out there who will love it as much as you do.

 

What books/authors inspired you?

Two words: Harry. Potter. Those are the books that made me fall in love with reading, which eventually led to me falling in love with writing. When I was in elementary school, I would spend every summer vacation reading and rereading Harry Potter. I’ve read each one ten times because I was determined not to read one of them more than the others. I still remember my mom yelling at me because I wouldn’t go outside and play; I’d just sit on the couch with a Harry Potter book.

 

Did you always want to be an author?

No, I always wanted to be an actress. I still sometimes do, to be honest. I’m that person that will reenact entire scenes from movies repeatedly, even though I can tell people are getting sick of me. It wasn’t until my junior year of college that I decided I wanted to be an author. I took a creative writing class for an elective and then I just couldn’t stop.

 

What kind of music did you listen to while writing?

I’m weird because I can’t concentrate if I write with music on. I’ll just start singing along and absolutely no writing will get done, so I’ll go back afterward and make a playlist. The playlist for The Supervillain and Me has the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Adele, Ed Sheeran, Fall Out Boy, Queen, half of the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack, and a bunch of Disney songs. “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story is my personal favorite.

 

Current favorite TV show?

Probably Riverdale, followed by Property Brothers and The Flash. I’ll never say no to a Seinfeld rerun either.

 

What’s your Hogwarts house?

Oh gosh. Every quiz I take tells me something different – and yes, I’ve taken a lot of quizzes. If I could choose, I’d want to be in Gryffindor, but really I think I’m more of a Hufflepuff.

 

Other YA books you love? Give us some recs!

At the moment, I’m really gravitating toward rom-coms and geeky stories. I just read Love Scene, Take Two by Alex Evansley and I’m obsessed! I read the first draft of it over three years ago, and I loved it then and I love it even more now that it’s finally been published. I also finished Geekerella by Ashley Poston recently, and I loved that one as well. I mean, it has sci-fi, fandoms, and cons – like sign me the heck up!

 

Book Blogger Hop – July 6th

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer from Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012. With Jennifer’s permission, Coffee Addicted Writer relaunched the meme on February 15, 2013.

There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.


6th – 12th – If you were stranded on a deserted island, which ONE book could you not live without? (submitted by Megan @ Ginger Mom & the Kindle Quest)


My answer changes every time I’m asked this question.

I don’t want to say Harry Potter, because I can’t bring the entire series and I pretty much have it memorized.

I don’t want to say something like “The Collected Works of William Shakespeare” because I’d get SO BORED.

I might go with the bind of Lord of the Rings – the like 2000 pages one with all three books, The Hobbit, and extras, because I’m been meaning to read it and it would probably take me the longest of any one single book I could bring, without boring me.

Throwback Thursday: Fairchild Project (5th Grade?)

Throwback Thursday, where, essentially I post old writing samples, essays and short stories that I dig up from my pile of hoarded papers and school assignments or from the depths of my computer. So everyone can see how my writing has changed/improved over the years.



Vicaria Blanca

(Catharanthus roseus)

(Madagascar periwinkle)

Ever been in history class and found it weird that people didn’t have medicine all those years ago, and died from common diseases? You’d think that they form of medicine didn’t work, but actually, some of those methods are still used today, and some people think they work better the usual run of the mill medicine we all use! The elder I interviewed for this project on the use of plants, as medicine was my grandfather, Jose Rios. He was born and raised in Cuba, where he met my grandmother and had his three children, my uncle, my mother, and aunt. They moved to Miami, Florida when he was forty years old in 1980, and has been here ever since. He speaks primarily Spanish and can understand English, though when he speaks it, it’s heavily accented and usually has butchered grammar. He is now 72, and he cares for my younger sister and me after school everyday.

When I interviewed him, he told me he uses Vicaria Blanca (White Vicaria) to treat pink eye, and other problems. He’s been using it since he was a child, when his grandmother used it on him and taught him how to use it. He told me that to use it, you boil the flower bowling in water, into a type of tea looking liquid, greenish-yellow in color. You then use it as eye drops or wet a napkin with it and hold it on the eye. He’s been using it for over 50 years and says it’s worked for him every time. He says he prefers to use this then over the counter eye drops because it has the natural vitamins and has less chemicals, which makes it good to use on small children and adults.

Based on the research done by the University of Florida Herbarium, Vicaria Blanca is useful for treating eye infections. Based on a study in 1995, the drops made from boiling the flower in water does help your vision. And according to Wikipedia, Vicaria Blanca, a type of Madagascar Periwinkle commonly found in tropical and sub-tropical regions, has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat many things, including: diabetes, malaria, Hodgkin’s disease, and well as some extracted substances used to treat leukemia. On the other side however, if ingested orally, it can be fatal and if not, it causes hallucinations. So, if used on children, it should under supervision.

What I’ve learned from this, is that plants can be used as medicine just as they did thousands of years ago, and that, though I hadn’t known it, my grandfather has been using it on me since I was an infant. It seems odd that people would still use these things, but they do, I’ve also learned that they still use poisonous plants…at least people don’t poison themselves anymore!

Cited: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/scripts/dbs/herbs_project/herbsproject/herbs_pub_proc.asp?accno=215543&FamSys=A&output_style=Report_type&trys=2

Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Red, White, & Blue Covers

Top Ten Tuesdays are a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.
As always this list is in no particular order.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.


July 3: Books with Red, White, & Blue Covers (In honor of the 4th of July in the USA. Choose covers with your own country’s colors if you prefer!)


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Blog Tour: The Boyfriend Bracket

The Boyfriend Bracket
Kate Evangelista
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: June 19th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

The only way to get over a hopeless crush is to find someone new…Enter: The Boyfriend Bracket!

Putting a new spin on a classic trope, Kate Evangelista explores family bonds, changing relationships, and senior year as our heroine tries to get over her brother’s best friend.

Stella has had a hopeless crush on Will, her older brother’s best friend FOREVER, but now that Cam and Will have graduated and are going off to college, this year is her chance to really strike out on her own. Without her overprotective brother and his sidekick around to distract her, she can focus on having all the typical high school experiences that she’s always dreamed of―starting with finding a boyfriend! With the help of her best friend, Franklin, she comes up with the perfect plan to have a boyfriend by Christmas: The Boyfriend Bracket.

Or it seems like the perfect plan . . . right up until Will starts showing up again. How is she supposed to find the perfect boyfriend when none of her dates measure up to the one boy she can never have?

The Boyfriend Bracket puts a new spin on a classic genre in a fun, unforgettable way.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

Author Bio:

When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn’t going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is a graduate of De La Salle University – Manila with an Bachelor of Arts in Literature. She taught high school English for three years and was an essay consultant for two. Currently she writes full time and is based in the Philippines. To learn more about Kate, please visit her website at http://www.kateevangelista.com or follow her on Twitter @KateEvangelista

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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What inspired you to write The Boyfriend Bracket?

My editor and I were talking story ideas over the phone for my next book. When my editor suggested the brother’s best friend trope, it was like lightning hit me. The story formed in my head right away. That night I couldn’t wait to write the story that would eventually become The Boyfriend Bracket.

How do you decide on character names?

Early on in my writing career, character names needed to have meanings related to the character and the story. As I matured, I learned to wait until the character introduces himself or herself. Once I know their names, I usually start to know what their story is and how they fit into the world I’m building.

What are you planning on writing next?

I already have an idea for what the next book will be and am doing my research, but I’m keeping what it is to myself for now. I’ve also come to learn not to talk to much about what I’m working on next because the initial draft is never what the final story will be.

Any advice for aspiring authors?

Learn to love editing more than the writing. Editing is the lifeblood of a novel. Just think about the book you are currently reading and how many drafts it took for the final product to reach your hands. The editing process is usually the longest part of the process, which is why learning how to love it will help keep up your motivation when you no longer what anything to do with the story.

What books/authors inspired you?

Lisa Kleypas. Reading her work always inspires me to write. That’s why every book has an element of romance. My characters are falling in love no matter what. I can’t help myself. I love love and Kleypas delivers lots of it. She’s also awesome at creating interesting characters.

Did you always want to be an author?

No. I never thought about writing as a career. I was supposed to be a doctor. Then I because a teacher. Then an essay consultant. Only when I realized that writing was always there despite whatever job I was in. I was always happiest when writing. It took me a few years, but when I finally committed, I never looked back.

What kind of music did you listen to while writing?

Interesting fact, for this one, I didn’t listen to anything. I actually wrote The Boyfriend Bracket at night, when all was quiet. I turned down the lights and in the cocoon of darkness and silence the words flowed.

Current favorite tv show?

RuPaul’s Drag Race. I don’t know why it took me so long to watch this awesome show? I’m currently binging season 7. The queens get prettier and cattier with each new season. I totally recommend this show. I’ll even confess that I have a crush on RuPaul when he’s in drag. So gorgeous.

What’s your hogwarts house?

Gryffindor. Is it wrong that I want to be in another house? Ravenclaws are so interesting. Hufflepuffs are fun to hang out with. And Slytherins are darkly funny. Gryffindors are great too, but my heart is in another house.   

Other YA books you love? Give us some recs!

I’m currently reading Let’s Talk About Love by my Swoon sister Clair Kann. It’s definitely a recommend for me. I want to be friends with Alice and Takumi. Hanging out with them for an afternoon would be so fun. I suggest picking up this book when you grab a copy of The Boyfriend Bracket.