Monday, February 28, 2011

"Technical Difficulties" Is My Middle Name

Please ignore my last two posts on your Google reader. They are drafts that I meant to delete but accidentally posted, so A) they don't go anywhere anymore, and B) the bits you can read are irrelevant and incomplete. Whoops.

Breathless Reads Tour: Signed Swag Giveaway

Hey, y'all! I had a blast at the Breathless Reads Tour where I met Kirsten Miller, Ally Condie, Beth Revis, Brenna Yovanoff, and Andrea Cremer. I'll post more details about it later, for now I just wanted to let y'all know that Ren and I are giving away some swag to one lucky reader! Ren contributed some signed book marks and I'm giving one of you my signed BRT poster (pictured left) which features some of the prettiest cover art of the year! Just fill out the form below and we'll draw a winner on Saturday. Good luck!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Five

That's Freitag funf, in German.
  1. Today is the big day! The Breathless Reads tour is in town and I. Am. Going! If you're going, I will see you there! I'll have ribbon on my wrist, as will a number of other bloggers who will be attending. As for the signing, I have no idea what I'm going to get. I had been planning on getting Across the Universe, but after reading an excellent and detailed content rating at Reading Teen's sister site, Parental Book Reviews, I have decided that, due to content, this book is, sadly, not for me. T_T Now I think I'll be getting The Replacements. Maybe. Not sure. Argh! I'll let you know.
  2. My CSN contest ends on March 10, so hurry up and enter if you haven't already! Ren of All By MySHELF is also hosting a CSN giveaway which opened today and ends March 15. We're giving away $35 each, so enter both and if luck is on your side, you could get $70! Put that toward the bigger bookcase you know you need.
  3. Currently listening to: Percussion Gun by White Rabbit, New Low by Middle Class Rut, and Arise by Flyleaf. But mostly I'm watching Tobuscus dance.
  4. I tried vlogging an IMM last week, and it was awesome, but I can't get it to upload. It was a lot of fun, especially since my sister was sitting across the table laughing at me the whole time, so I will definitely have to figure out how to upload videos for future vlogs.
  5. On a sadder note, I'm sure y'all've heard the news of Lisa Wolfsan's, aka L.K. Madigan, passing yesterday. I'd just finished, and I mean just finished, reading The Mermaid's Mirror when I heard the news. It really put the whole book in a new perspective--all books, really. The written word is the legacy that some people leave behind. Not the only one, and certainly not the most important, but perhaps the most tangible. And it makes me wonder: if people kept that in mind, would they write the same thing? Would they still tell the same stories?

just wondering.
i am
zombie girrrl

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Take On: The Mermaid's Mirror by L. K. Madigan

As her sixteenth birthday approaches, Lena has just one wish: To learn to surf. She's been drawn so strongly to the waves off the coast of California her entire life, but her father, a former surfer himself, will not allow her to take lessons. When Lena begins sleepwalking to the beach—seemingly drawn by an unrecognizable force—she is compelled to learn to surf even if it means putting herself in grave danger and going against her father's wishes. That force is the presence of a woman. A woman who finally reveals herself—and her silvery tail—to Lena. She has a message. She has a key. The key opens a brown leather sea chest Lena's father has kept hidden for many years, and when Lena discovers what's inside, her life, and what she thought she knew about it, will never be the same.
I finished reading this shortly before hearing the news that Lisa had passed. It put the whole book in a new light for me.
What first seemed to be a tale of a girl who longed to experience the ocean more fully by riding the waves she was so drawn to, turned out to be a tale of love, loss, and how life must, and indeed does, go on.

Lena's life, which seemed so simple as the story opened, became immensely more complex as the story unraveled; and even though there was a significant dose of fantasy to the plot, it was always somehow believable. Life is messy and complex and unexpected, and Lena's life was no exception. The only difference was that her issues were far more fantastic than the average person. Every time I felt that I had a handle on her situation, it would change. I never fully felt that I had the ending pegged down in my mind, and I was very surprised with the conclusion to this story. I don't think some people would appreciate the way that Madigan chose to end it, but, to me, it was perfect in it's realistic unperfection. A bit bittersweet, more bitter for some than others, but I enjoyed it in that it gave the story a chance to live on in my mind. Lena's life wasn't tied up in a perfect little bow, and I liked that because it was real. A real-life fantasy.
The underwater world of the mer-folk was original, enveloping, and just fun to read about. I've never read a book that was based, in any part, underwater, and I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing this setting through Madigan's mind's eye. Not once did I think of The Little Mermaid while I was reading this1. In fact, this book, which could have fallen into any number of the traps set by the cunning Cliche, managed to, not only dodge them all, but outwit them so completely that once I began reading I never even thought of them. It could've turned out to be a rather cheesy homage to the surf culture or a sparkly Lisa Frank mermaid story, but it wasn't, and I am so glad, because if had been, I don't think I would've been able to bear reading it.
Back to the story. Lena struggles more and more throughout the story to find where she belongs, never feeling that she fully belongs in one place or the other, but the thing that gives her a sense of belonging is love. She loves her dad, mom, and little brother2, but she also finds a profound love in and of the world of the mer-folk. In the end, she must make the unthinkable decision. No matter what, someone will wind up heartbroken, including herself, but she has to choose. Sea or land? And which side of her heart should she follow? As I said, bittersweet. And not everyone will be pleased with the ending, but it really does give the story a chance to develop further in your mind. There's a million what if's, and I can't help but return to them again and again and wonder where the story would've gone, and where it still can go in the endless sea of my imagination.
I could say more, but...
The Mermaid's Mirror gets...
...five bouquets.
I could pick a million things as my favorite part of this book--the beautiful scenery, the realistic and relatable characters, the fact that this was a completely clean read, the flawless mix of fantasy and reality--but my favorite part of this story was by far the letter to Lena. It was very moving, given the circumstances. I flipped back to it a few times after having finished and just read it slowly, taking in the fact that Lisa must have called on her own life experiences to write it. My heart and prayers go out to the Madigan family. Words fall short.

I am




footnotes________________________________________
1. Except, of course, for when it was actually mentioned by name.
2. Who was, by the way, the cutest! I loved how sweet he was and the relationship that Lena had with him, they were very close. My favorite part was when Cole, who's 6YO, would order a group hug and everyone, no matter what, would come together and embrace. It might seem corny, but it wasn't in context.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I Was Going Through My Books and I Found...











 












girls with no eyes!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Book to Movie Adaptations

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme/feature hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. As you can see from the title, this week's theme is book to movie adaptations, something that always has us buzzing like a nest of angry hornets. Here's my top picks...
  1. The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Yes, I can pick an entire franchise as one. The books are some of the best fantasy ever written, in my opinion, so I was pretty stoked when the movies came out. I view the films as visual aid to the books.
  2. Harry Potter and the Most Amazing Seven-Part Story Ever Told in Eight Parts. I wasn't that thrilled with films 5 an 6, but 7 more than made up for it.
  3. A Little Princess. The movie version had one major plot change, but I can forgive that because I actually like that outcome better. This just swept me away when I was little. I can't say anything more that.
  4. Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I know I've been counting entire franchises up to this point, but this one was my favorite of all the movies thusfar because none of the symbolism was compromised (there was actually another layer added) and the casting was so fantastic. I just hope they manage to squeeze ed into the Silver Chair because he's my favorite.
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird. Flawless adaptation and perfect casting. 'Nough said.
Now to shake things up a bit. Here's the top five yet-to-be-released book to movie adaptations that I am most looking forward to...
  1. Jane Eyre starring Mia Wasikowska from Alice In Wonderland. I read this book when I was about thirteen and it bored me to tears, but after seeing this preview I've decided to give it another go. Yeah, it looks that good. And to think, I always rolled my eyes whe my mom said this was her favorite book. Comes out this March.
  2. The Hobbit. I'm so exicted for this one, and I'm super happy that's it been split into two parts--more chances to nerd out! This is set to drop sometime in 2012.
  3. The Hunger Games. This was such an amazing book that the thought of it being put into the hands of, well, anyone had me nervous, but I've heard that the director, Gary Ross (Seabiscuit, the one where Spider Man rides a horse), is a huge fan of the series; so here's hoping that he can, not only handle it, but keep it true to the book without having an R rating for violence. This should release sometime in 2013.
  4. World War Z. I love, love love this book, and it's not just for the zombies. This was an epic alternate reality tale with some truly gritty and realistic characters. Milo Ventimiglia is perfect for the lead. Set to release in 2012.
  5. This last one is just for Ren: Airborn, based on the book by Kenneth Oppel. I know how awesome you said it was, Ren, and, lucky for you, it should be coming out this year! Cross your fingers.

And that concludes my Top 10 Tuesday. Tune in next week for: Top Ten Books I Just HAD to Buy...But Are Still Sitting on My Bookshelf. It's time to come clean about some of my book purchases.
I am
Zombie GiRRRl

Saturday, February 19, 2011

M.A.D. Challenge #4: "Zombie Strong" As Sung By Gwyneth the Ravenous-Skullcracker Paltrow

A little bit country, a little bit rot and mold. I give you...

Zombie Strong
By Gwyneth Paltrow

I know you see me, like some dead eyed rotter
That just rolled out of a dusty Midwest grave
Yeah on the outside, putrid corpse
But on the inside something you can’t crush

‘Cause I’m zombie strong, hard to break
Like the ground, I crawled out of
You may trip me, and I’ll fall
But I won’t stay down long
‘cause I’m zombie stro-o-ong

I have weathered, colder winters
And longer summers, without a drop of blood
Push me in a corner and I’ll come out fightin’
I won't lose 'cause I have a steady pace

‘Cause I’m zombie strong, hard to break
Like the ground, I crawled out of
You may trip me, and I’ll fall
But I won’t stay down long,
‘cause I’m zombie stro-o-ong

‘Cause I’m zombie strong, hard to break
Like the ground, I crawled out of
You may trip me, and I’ll fall
But I won’t stay down long,
‘cause I’m zombie stro-o-ong

Happy Saturday,
Zombie GiRRRl

Friday, February 18, 2011

CSN Stores Giveaway

For y'alls sake, I'm gonna just skip the fluff and cut to the chase1.
One winner will receive a $35 promotional code to do some shopping at CSN Stores, the online mega-store where you can find anything and everything, even the kitchen sink!
Ooh, shiny!
 Importante Informacion: Must be 13 years or older to participate and have a US or Canadian mailing address. Contest runs from February 18 to midnight EST March 10. Winner will be chosen by Random.org and notified via email.

Bonus entries are as follows with +1 for each activity completed:
  • Tweet about the contest
  • Write a post with link(s)
  • Link it on your sidebar
  • Comment telling me what you might get from CSN if you win2.

Contest Closed


Good luck!




Footnotes_________________________________________________
1.  I'm direct like that.
2.  As for myself, I would buy these adorable Rachel Ray ramekins. They look perfect for my home-made mac & cheese. Too bad I can't enter my own giveaway. *hasasad*

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I Was Going Through My Books and I Found...

Epic crying!

Pssst, You Wanna Win Somethin'?

Then stay tuned for my CSN giveaway! CSN Stores has over 200 online stores, where you can find anything from office desks and cat condos to rainboots and wall art, and now one lucky winner will have the chance to do a little shopping!

Now this was just the teaser, and what a tease it is! The official contest post and entry form will be up soon.

Good luck, my lovely horde,

Saturday, February 12, 2011

M.A.D. Challenge #... Whatever Number This Is

This week's M.A.D. Challenge was inspired by a bit of a scandal that has been circulating the blogosphere concerning a self-published author, a poor review of her work, and a lengthy post which called non-provessional reviewers "trashy" and "ignorant", among other, less savory things.
You'll notice that there are no links on this post and there is a very good reason for that: her bitterness makes me sad and I don't want to fuel the fire that she started and possibly turn people off her books because of the way she views her readers. I couldn't, however, pass up such a primo song!

Without further ado, I invite you now to press Play and read along as we imagine none other than crooner, Nat "King" Cole, serenading us with that old standard...
Irretrievable
by Nat "King" Cole

Irretrievable, that's what posts are
Irretrievable, spread near and far
Like the bitterness which clings to thee
Tactless posts hurt sales, you soon shall see
Never before has something been more

Irretrievable in every way
And forever more, online it'll stay
Copied, pasted, blogged, and Tweeted
Your rant cannot be deleted
It really wasn't that bad of a review
...

Irretrievable in every way
And forever more, online it'll stay
That's why, darling, it's incredible
That a post so very regrettable
Was inspired by a legitimate review
I hope you enjoyed that little classic and that you'll join me again next week.
This is
Zombie Girrrl

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday 5

I had fun doing this last week, so I figured I'd give it another go!
  1. I'm working on a new song for a M.A.D. Challenge which pertains to a current blogosphere scandal which I shall not be naming or linking to as I don't wish to actively destroy a career or sully an industry that I like so much. See if you can figure out what it is when it drops on Saturday!
  2. Also preparing for a retreat on Sunday. The Confirmation class I help teach is going to be at it from 12 to 8, myself without a single drop of coffee (can't handle that much caffeine). Wish me luck as this is the first retreat I'll ever have gone to and I don't really know what to expect. What I do know is that it's being graciously hosted by someone with a lot more experienced than me. Thank you, God! They told us that all we have to do is show up and that I should bring a book because it'll be a long day. Now I just need to decide what to read...
  3. I'm currently reading the first book in my 6 Degrees Challenge, Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve. So far it's a fairly fabulous trip into a realistic-ish future that pays homage to the present we live in. Reeve has fit in a lot of skewed references to things we experience and take for granted, and it's hilarious! For instance, there's a character who hunts down mutants and called the Scriven, and when he's on a trail, they call it "a'goolin'", as in, "I was a'googlin' for a good deal on a used car." The story isn't as funny as the glimpses of what will be, though; it's more of a fantasy-steampunk-mystery type thing, and I'm lovingevery minute of it. So original!
  4. I'm going to a big library sale tomorrow with my sisters Orchid and Ren. We went once last year and we are hooked! The deal is thus: one paper grocery-bag of books for $5!!! I got 13 titles last year including Jay Asher's 13 Reasons Why, which is being made into a movie that I won' see. Two reasons for that: A) I don't really want to watch this story, it just seems like a better thing for me to read than watch; B) Selena Gomez as Hanah Baker? Really? Yeah, I don't see it. I'd love to listen to the audio book, though, because it almost seems more fitting to listen to this story than to read it, even.
  5. I am finally on Face Book! Yes, I, ZG (though not as ZG), have conceded to the modernity that is social networking. I've made an account, I've "liked" all my favorite books, I've "friended" my family members, now all I have to do is add a profile pic and, oh yeah, figure out what I'm supposed to do on there! I logged on this morning and just stared at the screen, wondering why exactly this seemed so vital 48 hours ago. I'll let you know if the answer comes to me.
And that concludes my Friday Five.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I Was Going Through My Books and I Found...

a guy that laughs like me!

Win Second Kiss by Natalie Palmer

You ust saw my Wish list, now here's your chance to win the book!
Natalie Palmer, the debut author of Second Kiss, has generously put together an excellent prize pack which includes a signed copy of her book, among other things. All you have to do is spread the word her book and you'll be rewarded with lots of entry points for her Buzz of Luv Contest!
But hurry, because today, Feb 9, is the last day to enter!
 "Even my most humiliating moments seemed funny somehow when I told them to Jess."

Gemma Mitchell is a normal girl who somehow gets herself into abnormally embarrassing circumstances. And while she thinks she's the biggest loser in school because of them, there are a few people in her life who would disagree. One of those people is her best friend, Jess Tyler, who is opposite to her in every way. He's popular, good looking, athletic, and intelligent, and he can't get enough of Gemma. But while Gemma is dealing with problems like wrong locker combinations and Valentine's Day dances, Jess is living in a world of serious issues that are foreign to Gemma, until she realizes that he's holding on to her for dear life.

Humorous and true to life, Second Kiss is an entertaining saga about a boy and girl who find that their lives have a lot more meaning once they have shared them with each other."
What are you waiting for! Go enter, and good luck.

Wish List Wednesday, the First

Yes, this is my first Wish List Wednesday. And on this, my inaugural post for what might become regular participation in this meme, I offer you a first look at...
Second Kiss
A Novel
by Natalie Palmer
 "Even my most humiliating moments seemed funny somehow when I told them to Jess."

Gemma Mitchell is a normal girl who somehow gets herself into abnormally embarrassing circumstances. And while she thinks she's the biggest loser in school because of them, there are a few people in her life who would disagree. One of those people is her best friend, Jess Tyler, who is opposite to her in every way. He's popular, good looking, athletic, and intelligent, and he can't get enough of Gemma. But while Gemma is dealing with problems like wrong locker combinations and Valentine's Day dances, Jess is living in a world of serious issues that are foreign to Gemma, until she realizes that he's holding on to her for dear life.

Humorous and true to life, Second Kiss is an entertaining saga about a boy and girl who find that their lives have a lot more meaning once they have shared them with each other."
Why? It sounds like it has a lot of depth and humor, and I'm loving the relationship between Gemma and Jess, or at least what I think it is from the bit I gathered from the synopsis. The story just sounds really good. Also, I'm a big fan of the name Gemma. ;)
This debut sounds like it has a lot of potential to be be one of my top reads of the year; I just have a good feeling about it, you know?
And that's why it's on my wish list!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Breathless Reads Tour: Raleigh, NC

Short Version:

Starting February 9, Beth Revis, Brenna Yovanoff, Kirsten Miller, Ally Conde, and Andrea Cremer will be touring together for the Breathless Reads Tour.
On February 25, they will be in Raleigh, NC.
I'll be there.
Will you?
Long Version:
Ren, Orchid, and I are all going to be attending the February 25 Breathless Reads event at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, and we thought it would be fun to organize some kind of Book Blogger Identification Thing (BBIT) so that other bloggers could easily identify each other and we could say, "Hey! I blog too! Nice to meet you." But before we decide anything (or show up at the signing with Heidi braids (my idea) or all wearing the same color shirt), we wanted to see if any other bloggers would be there and if they were interested in participating in the BBIT. These authors are only going to make five appearance nation wide, so I'm sure you'll be there if you can, the question remains: are you in or out?

So, will you be there, and are you interested in meeting other bloggers in person? And do you like the idea/have any suggestions for the Book Blogger Identification Thing? You can reply in the comments or (preferably) fill out THIS FORM. If enough people RSVP, we'll post a poll to decide on the BBIT, probably in about a week. Spread the word!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Queen of Hearts Tour Game

I'm playing the Sweet Treats for the Queen of Hearts tour game, part of Random Magic Tour: Vive L'Amour (Feb. 1-14), feel free to compete with me: How to play.

In the game of love, hearts play for keeps.
In the Queen of Hearts tour game, I play for this book:
The Language Of Flowers:
A Treasury of Verse and Prose Scented
by Penhaligon's Sheila Pickles

This lovely little tome is scented and has artistic illustartions of flowers. It explores the language of flowers, something that the Victorian era turned into art, and somethung that has always caught my fancy.

Here are my five hearts!

♥ #1 comes courtesy of Velvet
+ I commented and entered this lovely contest.
+Tweeted

♥ #2 courtesy of Book ♥ Soulmates
+ I left a comment sharing my favorite flower and what it says to me.
+Tweeted

♥ #3 is courtesy of The Book Worms
+I commented and picked this as my favorite quote:
“We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.”
Isn't that lovely and true?
+Tweeted

♥ #4 comes from My Love Affair with Books
+I left a comment with my favorite romantic story.
+Tweeted

♥ #5 was found at Books, Sweet, and Other Treats
+I commented saying what I'd make for my hypothetical valentine (or myself).

Check back for more Bonus Hearts!

♥ #6 was found at Tina's Book Reviews
+I commented on her list of romantic tales.
♥ #7 came from Reading Lassie
+I commented with my potential dream getaway.

+I commented on her lovely post

♥ #9 is from Fiction Folio

♥ #10 comes from A Reader's Adventures

♥ #11 comes from Fluidity of Time
+I commented here

♥ #12 is from A Reader's Adventures

♥ #13 came from My Love Affair with Books
+I commented and shared my favorite romantic movie.

+I commented with my favorite odd couple.

♥ #15 is from This Miss Loves to Read
+I commented here and picked my favorite historical couple

♥ #16 comes from none other than Velvet
+I commented about which love poem I liked best

♥ #17 is from Velvet
+I commented with my favorite love song, which I rewrote on Saturday

♥ #18 is from The Book Worms

&heasrt; #19 came from Tina's Book Review

♥ #20 comes from This Miss Loves to Read

♥ #21 came from The True Book Addict

♥ #22 is from Fiction Folio

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday Five

I saw this on Sarah's Random Musings, and I thought it looked like fun, so here I go!
  1. Battling a mild cold right now. I say "battling" because I have to be over it by... this evening. And by "over it", I mean I have to have regained my voice by 6pm. Yes, typing and a high-pitched whistley sound are the only ways I can communicate at the moment. It would funny if it weren't so ill timed.
  2. Gearing up for the Breathless Books Tour on Febuary 25 which will be stopping in Raleigh, a mere hop, skip, jump, and bit of a drive from where I live. And I fully intend to hop, skip, and jump my way over there because it sounds awesome. Question: Will any other bloggers be there? I'm almost more excited about the prospect of meeting a few of the bloggers I've come to know in person than I am about seeing Beth Revis, Kirsten Miller, Ally Condie, Brenna Yovanoff, and Andrea Cremer. Almost. I'm pretty excited about getting a signed copy of Across the Universe, though. It's at the top of my wish list.
  3. I'm hammering out the details for a reading challenge that I will be hosting during Lent (March 9 through April 20). Details coming soon!
  4. Currently reading Mere Christianity by CS Lewis. It's really good. It's based on a series of lectures he gave over the radio during WWII, and what he does is he comes around to Christianity through logic and from the perspective of someone who knows basically nothing about the faith. First he points out that there is in fact Good in the world by showing that everyone everywhere agrees that there are certain things which we unanimously hold to be innately bad. If we can all agree that something is bad, then there must some Good to which we are all measuring the bad against. Or something like that. Really, you should read it because I can't explain it justly; it's one of the most interesting things I've ever read.
Hmmm... I'm having trouble thinking up a fifth thing. I could tell you how much I rolled my eyes at that guy's "stunning revelation" that the Mona Lisa is a dude (So dumb. What did he do, ask DaVinci? Oh, that's right! He's dead.), or I could share the story about how my cat has taken it upon herself to nurse me back to health (we call her Nurse Puddy because she doesn't leave your side if you're sick), or that I had nutella on toast for beakfast, or how happy I was that the grounhog didn't see his shadow... Oh! I got it! I'll share a recipe that for what I was craving the most this week.

    5.  Creamy Potato Soup with Seared Steak and Tomato Relish (makes 7 1/2 cups)
         For Tomato Relish:
         Stir together and chill...
         1 1/2 C. tomato, diced and seeded
         1/2 blue or feta cheese
         1/2 C. fresh chives
         For the soup:
         4 russet potatoes, pierced, rubbed w/ olive oil, and baked at 450* for 45-60 min,
            or until tender. Skin and mash potatoes, be careful, they are hot; set aside.
         4 T. unsalted butter, melted in a big pot over med-high heat. Add...
         1/2 C. onion, diced; allow to cook for 5 min, or until soft, then whisk in...
         1/4 C. flour and cook for 2-3 minutes. To the flour/onion pot, add...
         3 C.warmed  milk (recipe calls for whole milk, but I say use whatever % you're used 
                to) and...
         2 C. chicken broth, whisking constantly till thickened, 4-5 min.Stir in potatoes and...
         salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 5 min. Heat a skillet over med-high heat
         for 5 min...
         For steak:
         1 lb. top serloin steak, 1" thick and seasoned w/ salt and pepper. Sear in hot skillet,
            4-5 minutes per side. Allow to rest for five min befoire slicing into thin strips,
            going against the grain.
         While steak is resting, puree soup in a blender till smooth.
         Serve this hardy soup with steak strips and tomato relish on top and Ceasar salad on
         the side. Also good with diced bacon and shredded sharp-cheddar.

And that concludes my Friday Five!

Blank Spaces Have Great Potential...