Friday, August 26, 2011

Books on CD

Today I wanted to talk a little bit about books on CD.

I never thought I would be one to really enjoy them. I thought there was no way I could enjoy the written word as well hearing someone else interpret it through voice. I am someone who likes to savor the words and the way they are put together. I've always been this way. It makes me a slower reader because I don't like skimming or skipping.

So, you could say I was prejudiced against listening to books rather than reading them. Was there a place and a market for them? Of course. Those who can't see the words on the page, or who are in their car a lot and want to multi-task. But that just wasn't me...

Or was it?

I'm a busy person. I'm a mom of a very active 3 year old, a new one on the way. Keeping my house clean is a daily chore that I can never seem to keep up with. Then there is my desire to not be stuck at home all the time. Don't get me wrong, home is where I find my most joy in life, but getting out with my girlfriends is vital to my sanity. And I have book club, and a church calling, and this gets busy!

Perhaps multi-tasking is just what I needed.

So I decided to grab a book on CD from my local library when I knew I would be driving a long distance a few days a week, and then I could listen to it on my headphones when I was folding laundry etc.

And you know what? I loved it! It was a great reader, I was able to multitask AND enjoy a great book.

I have been lucky that the books I have listened to all have great readers. I have heard there are books that are not so fortunate to get a good actor reading the book. And that would just be unfortunate.

So give books on CD a try! I haven't listened to a lot of them, but those I have have been great. Here is a list of the ones I have listened to and really loved.

The Harry Potter Series -- the reader is just perfect!
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
The Wicked Lovely Series by Melissa Marr -- several different narrators from book to book, I am listening to book 4 right now and loving it!
These is My Words by Nancy E Turner

Do you listen to books on CD? Do you have some suggestions of good ones?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Review: SUPERNATURALLY by Kiersten White

by Kiersten White
Hardcover, US, 336 pages
Published July 26th 2011 by HarperTeen

Placement in the Pile: Reaching New Heights


Evie finally has the normal life she’s always longed for. But she’s shocked to discover that being ordinary can be . . . kind of boring. Just when Evie starts to long for her days at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, she’s given a chance to work for them again. Desperate for a break from all the normalcy, she agrees.

But as one disastrous mission leads to another, Evie starts to wonder if she made the right choice. And when Evie’s faerie ex-boyfriend Reth appears with devastating revelations about her past, she discovers that there’s a battle brewing between the faerie courts that could throw the whole supernatural world into chaos. The prize in question? Evie herself.

So much for normal.

I absolutely adored PARANORMALCY, book one to this great series. It's best feature was Evie's voice. She was so unique and so real. SUPERNATURALLY doesn't lose any of that. Evie is a joy to read. Her train of thought style narration is true to a teenager's thought process and so fun to read.

I enjoyed the new characters, Evie's new set of problems. She finally has the "normal" life she's always craved, and she realizes it's not all it's cracked up to be. And then paranormal things keep happening to her and she is worried that the fey are messing with her life, again.

We find some answers about Evie's past, and some decisions about her future. Even have some moments with Vivian. All things that were great to read about. The story has an end of itself, but there is plenty left open to explore in the third book.

SUPERNATURALLY was an enjoyable, easy read. Not quite as good as the first, but I still found myself falling in love with Evie and her eclectic cohort of characters all over again. Definitely worth reading!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Book Signing Report: Kiersten White!

We were so so lucky to have Kiersten White make a stop in Utah on her tour for Supernaturally. Really we have such a HUGE YA book following here in Utah that I don't know why EVERYONE doesn't come here. Cause we love you!

Anyway, for those of you unfamiliar with Kiersten, she is the fabulous author of PARANORMALCY and the sequel SUPERNATURALLY that just came out.

Here's my re-cap of what she had to say (remember I try to stick as closely to what they said as my hand can write, but this is paraphrasing not full quotes)!

  • SUPERNATURALLY is the second book in the trilogy. Writing it was harder. In our lives as adults I feel like I am in the second book in my trilogy. You have gotten what you wanted in your first book and you are finding out that sometimes you get more than you bargained for.
  • Fortunately for you I do NOT do cliffhanger endings, so even though this is the second book, it has an end.
  • I really love mythology. A current idea I am working on deals with Ancient Egyptian mythology and the daughter of and ancient egyptian god.
  • Mythology is what we have used as humans to interpret our world around us, and today in the modern world we study these constructs to explain what it is to be human and to connect to each other.
  • ENDLESSLY is the title of the 3rd and final book in the series
  • "Thank you for being readers. Writers don't make best sellers, readers make best sellers."
Then she had a short Q&A (cause it was outside and we were all melting) here are some of my faves.

Q: Critique partners are really important -- how did you find yours?
A: I found mine through online communities, reading other writer's blogs etc. then developing friendships through e-mail. The most important thing about my partners is that we have different strengths so we can help each other in different areas of writing.

Q: What's your favorite letter in the alphabet?
A: I don't like "C". It's really kind of useless. It makes the "K" sound and the "S" sound, and we already have those. But I've always like "Q" and of course "K" for Kiersten.

Q: What is your revision process like?
A: I don't let myself edit as I go because I feel that editing brain and writing brain are very different brains. I enjoy creating and enjoying that. And then later I pick apart my baby. One big thing I do is read my manuscript aloud. You miss a lot when you are reading silently. Your eyes actually skip words and phrases. But reading aloud you catch a lot.

But my process is not your process. And I don't do it the same for every book.

Q: You wrote the first draft of PARANORMALCY in two weeks! Was the process harder for SUPERNATURALLY?
A: PARANORMALCY was just fun. SUPERNATURALLY was already bought before it was even written. And that was stress. I had already been paid for it, I had bought a car. I didn't want them to take my car away. It took me 6 years to get my own car! I thought there was no way I could write this book.

Writing under contract is much harder than just writing at your own pace, for fun. Whenever I had time I worked on it. The first draft was only about 50K words long, and after edits it was around 72K, so I had to add a lot.

I am very proud of this book though, because it was a struggle.

Regardless of what authors may say, we write ourselves into our books. Evie's story in SUPERNATURALLY mirrored my own life experience. I had finally achieved something I really wanted, but now I was questioning if it's all that it's cracked up to be. It was harder and came with trials I didn't expect.

Writing books is always impossible until you finish. And then editing is impossible.

Kiersten was such a blast to see. I am currently reading SUPERNATURALLY so I will review that as soon as I'm done! I can say so far I am enjoying it very much.

Monday, August 1, 2011


I love books, don't you? I don't think you'd be reading this blog if you didn't.

I am going book shopping today, and although I don't have a LOT of money to spend, I still plan on getting a couple of books for me and maybe one or two picture books for my DD.

So my questions for you today is...if you could go buy any two books in the bookstore today what would they be? What about one picture book you'd like to add to your collection?