Sunday, September 26, 2010

It's official..

I'm having a blog affair and it's currently called Life, Love, and Literature.

To be honest, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this blog, I might link a few new posts over to that blog if they're relevant. I'm not deleting this one because I don't want to.

So if you feel the urge to follow me over there, I will be eternally grateful (I'm even hosting a giveaway of SPEAK for Banned Books Week) and love you forever.

Come check it out! Also? Yes, the layout is the exact same but only because I love it and didn't want to change the background. Don't judge :-)

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Auburn Writers Conference

For those of you who know me whether it be online or in real life, you know that one thing I love is Auburn; not just because I lived there or went to school there for a few years. Why you ask? Not only do I love the town or when everything turns orange on gameday (Go Tigers!) but I love how Auburn is not just a community, it's a family.

I moved to Auburn in 2006 and lived there until this past February. Of all the places I've lived in my twenty-five years (16 places), Auburn is tied for the top spot and will always have a place in my heart for the things I learned (academically and about myself), things I did, and for being the place where my husband and I had our first home.

When I heard that Auburn University would be holding the first annual Auburn Writers Conference in October I was VERY excited. Earlier this year I started my foray into writing thanks to Rachel Hawkins and Irene Latham for daring me to suck and telling me that everyone has a story to tell (and BOTH of them will be teaching workshops at AWC!). Then I found out that two of my internet-turned-real-life besties (Anna and Heather) would be going I had even more of a reason to sign up, and sign up I did!

Now with the conference only mere weeks away, my excitement level has risen considerably because not only do I get to take a trip back to the Loveliest Village on the Plains, but I get to spend time with wonderful friends, learn how to better my writing, meet new people, and bring others together.

If you're able to, I really hope you consider going to AWC this year. I know it's going to be an amazing and unforgettable experience. If the conference isn't enough to sway you, let me tempt you with the famous Toomer's Lemonade and Momma G's. I'll be there, will you?

You can also check out Chantel Acevedo's blog and a podcast where she talks about AWC to Offbeat Auburn.

I leave you with a few of my favorite Auburn memories:

My first fall as an Auburn student with Aubie and my now husband

One of our engagement pictures on the steps of Samford Hall

I was a volunteer at the Auburn University Southeastern Raptor Center

The graduate husband in front of the beautiful Samford Hall

Finally, many fall Saturday's were spent in Jordan-Hare (and yes, this was taken about 10 minutes AFTER the 2007 Iron Bowl ended :-))


Sunday, September 12, 2010

In My Mailbox (21)

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi over at The Story Siren and all you have to do is post about what books you received that week by mail, library, or store.

It has been about a month since I've done an IMM entry, so all I'm going to do is list the books. The majority of these I got in anticipation of the Decatur Book Festival which was last weekend and all books are now signed.

Diana Gabaldon:
Drums of Autumn
The Fiery Cross
A Breath of Snow and Ashes

David Levithan:
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist - 1st Edition!
Wide Awake
Are We There Yet?
Boy Meets Boy
Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List
The Realm of Possibility

 Love the One You're With - Emily Giffin
The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June - Robin Benway
The Red Umbrella - Christina Diaz Gonzalez
The Forest of Hands and Teeth - Carrie Ryan
The Dead-Tossed Waves - Carrie Ryan
The Hollow - Jessica Verday
The Haunted - Jessica Verday

Not for DBF:
Flipped - Wendelin Van Draanen
Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
Mockingbird - Kathryn Erskine
Lament - Maggie Stiefvater
Paranormalcy - Kiersten White (Thanks to Jessica for getting me a signed copy!)

The DUFF - Kody Keplinger
Salvaged - Stefne Miller

So what do you think? Have you read any of these? What should I start with? I'm thinking Love is the Higher Law or Sisters Red.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Decatur Book Festival - Part 2

One thing we weren't expecting was a meet and great with Diana Gabaldon. When Anna, Natalie, and I were on our way to Emily Giffin's panel, we stopped by the AJC tent to get our picture taken.

There happened to be a small table set up and hanging from the bottom it said, "Diana Gabaldon 1-2." Of course we asked the guy standing there what that was all about and when he said the words "meet" and "greet" we were so going to be there for that. The only downside? It was at the same time as Terra Elan McVoy and David Levithan's panel  so we missed out on hearing them speak. Thanks to Julie, Heather, and Leah who went and were able to get my books signed for me, including my first edition of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist!

Anyway, after we left Emily Giffin's signing tent, we headed back to the AJC tent. Anna got in line while Natalie and I went to her car to get my 23 lbs (yes, 23) of Diana Gabaldon books. On the way back, Natalie tried blocking for me because if I went down, I'd look like this:

Once we got back to the tent, the line hadn't grown too much so we got at the end and OMG you guys, cue the uber-excitedness. I was literally shaking!

When it was finally my turn, I started rambling and I don't remember much. Oh wait, Yes I do! I told her about owning every single form of the series I could, having to get rid of the MMP copies so I could order the hardbacks, that I majored in Zoology and lived in Arizona. Somewhere in there she started telling me about the Outlander Musical and seemed very excited about it. What made her even more awesome was that Natalie told her that I was gushing about the books and it made her want to read Outlander. Diana gave her a promotional copy and signed it for her! Isn't that sweet?!

Here's me with Diana.

Later on at 3:00 she had her All Things Outlander panel, so of course the three of us were in that audience.

The panel took place in the Decatur Presbyterian Church sanctuary and it was filled to capacity. She talked about future books (in no particular order: The Outlander Companion 2, book 8, Lord John, Jamie's Parents, and Master Raymond), the musical (Allan Scott is now her Jamie), The Exile (even had a copy to look at!), the film option, and kilts. You can't talk Jamie without mention of a kilt. There was also a guy in the audience wearing a kilt and not only did Diana appreciate it, but he got a roaring applause.

Meeting Diana Gabaldon was my reason for going to DBF (which I also told her) and meeting her was all I hoped it would be and momre. She's sweet, funny, generous, and I loved hearing her speak. If you get a chance to hear her, don't pass it up.

I also have some video I'm going to try and post of everyone, I just need to figure out how to cut it.

If you're interested in checking out Diana Gabaldon you can visit her website, read her blog, follow her on Twitter, and buy her books

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Decatur Book Festival - Part 1

I know you've all heard me mention the Decatur Book Festival (DBF from here on out) numerous times, whether it be tweets, here, or facebook and I thought I'd do a recap for you.

Each day I'm going to post about a different panel I attended and provide pictures, video, and links to their website. I can't tell you how much fun I had and how awesome everyone was, but I'm going to try.

I went with a bunch of my internet/blogger friends (Julie, Heather, Anna, Leah, and Natalie) whom I have gotten to know so well since the beginning of the year and I considered them some of the best friends I have EVER had.

To start things off, Natalie and I stayed the night at Anna's on Friday since we were going to be getting up insanely early to drive to Atlanta. We got to DBF a little later than planned so we met up with Julie and Leah at Emily Giffin's panel and it had already started.

Now I've never read any of her books but I had won a copy of Something Borrowed from Goodreads over a year ago and I had purchased a copy of Love The One You're With on the bargain shelf at Books-A-Million so I wanted to get these books signed. Her type of book is not something I usually read and I wasn't really sure what to expect from her panel. You guys, this woman blew me away! She was smart, insightful, and funny. Her advice on writing? Move to a place you have no friends and it rains all the time and treat it like your eight hour job. Ha!

I was very excited to meet her after hearing her speak and while we were waiting in the signing line, Natalie wondered how she felt about all these people waiting in line for her autograph, so when it was finally out turn, she asked Emily. Her response to that was also something not expected. Instead of saying that she couldn't believe it or that she was flattered she said that she doesn't look at it that way, that she sees it as a great way to meet new women and girls.

You could really tell that relationships drive everything she does. From what she writes to the way she answered Natalie's question, to how she wanted to make sure our picture was as perfect as could be (she kept moving us around so the background wouldn't be too bright or so that the garbage cans wouldn't show up) a connection with other people is very important to her. There could not have been a better person to hear and meet to kickoff our DBF experience.

Not only was she incredibly sweet and personable but she is gorgeous and has an adorable little girl.

Here's our picture with Emily. From left to right: Anna, Emily, Me, and Natalie.

You can visit Emily's website here, follow her on twitter, and purchase her books here.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday - Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that you're eagerly anticipating.

 Released February 1, 2011

I loved Lauren Oliver's debut book Before I Fall and I'm excited to see another book from her hitting shelves in the near future. Could you imagine a life without love? I'm expecting great things from this book and if Oliver's debut is any indication, this one will not let me down.

From Goodreads:
Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -the deliria- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

What do you think of the synopsis?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The DUFF - Kody Keplinger

One of the books I have most been anticipating this year was The DUFF by debut author Kody Keplinger. I never read any reviews of it and kept my knowledge of what it was about to what the synopsis on Goodreads said. I didn't want this to turn into another one of those books where the hype was so great that I felt let down when I read it. I'm so glad I went that route because I really liked this book and I can't wait to read more from Kody.

Seventeen year old Bianca is having a rough time at home so when hot man-whore Wesley tells her she's a DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend), she throws her Cherry Coke on him. Later, when she can no longer handle everything, Bianca kisses Wesley and finds that it brings her a weird sense of relief. Then Bianca starts having sex with Wesley to feel free of her problems but then another one arises. She starts falling for him when she realizes that not only is he a good listener but he has his own issues that need to be worked out. Could she really love the one guy she hates the most?

Although I never really partook in the whole hooking up thing, I really related to Bianca. From bottling things up until you can't seem to take anymore to feeling like the duff, to a love of Cherry Coke, I've been there and felt that. I wish I would've had a book like this when I was seventeen.

I do feel like some of the other characters could have been a little more developed than they were, especially Bianca's best friends. I also felt like the whole Bianca/Wesley thing happened way too quickly. I saw Bianca as this strong, cynical girl with way too much dignity and then before you know it, she's jumping into bed with this guy she despises.

I did love how cynical and sarcastic Bianca was though. That was totally me in high school (ok, and still am) and I think that's part of what made this book so believable to me. Some people may think it was depressing or too overdone but not I. I think the reason Kody captured this so well was because she WAS that age when she wrote this book and according to her, she was feeling these things when writing it and that's part of why I loved it as much as I did.

Can we talk about the fact that she was in high school when she wrote this? She's only EIGHTEEN you guys! To be eighteen and have your first book published is a feat not many people are able to accomplish. I don't know about you, but this in itself makes me feel so unaccomplished and like that kid who sits in class eating paste and I'm only twenty-five!

I can't wait to read more from Kody and I know I will.

This was book #8 in the 2010 Debut Authors Challenge.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday - Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that you're eagerly anticipating.

 Released December 21, 2010

The cover for Courtney Summers' next book Fall for Anything was revealed earlier this week and I just LOVE it. What makes it even more appealing? Courtney tweeted that the pictures hanging in the background are actually in the book! I liked Cracked Up To Be and loved Some Girls Are so I'm really excited to read this book and see where she takes this. This is the second book where Summers tackles the issue of suicide and I'm very interested to compare and contrast the different scenarios.

From Goodreads:
When Eddie Reeves’s father commits suicide her life is consumed by the nagging question of why? Why when he was a legendary photographer and a brilliant teacher? Why when he had a daughter who loved him more than anyone else in the world? 

When she meets Culler Evans, a former student of her father’s and a photographer himself, an instant and dangerous attraction begins. He seems to know more about her father than she does and could possibly hold the key to the mystery surrounding his death. But Eddie’s vulnerability has weakened her and Culler Evans is getting too close.

Her need for the truth keeps her hanging on… but some questions should be left unanswered. 

Have you read Courtney Summers' books? What did you think of them? Will you read Fall for Anything?


Related Posts with Thumbnails