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Loren Chase

Blowing Lungs Like Bubbles


Harry Potter's Biggest Fan...
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Is not me.

This guy has me BEAT.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is in theaters in 3 minutes!

BOOK REVIEW: PEGASUS by Robin McKinley
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First thoughts: “But this is only the beginning!”

I got this book exactly two months ago and I’m still twisting myself in knots about it. If you’ve read Robin McKinley before, you’re probably familiar with her open-ended endings. They’re usually full of unanswered questions and unexplored possibilities; one reason why her writing pulls me in. And at the end of every book I’m usually hoping that the sky will open up and a sequel will fall into my lap… and it never happens. So at the end of PEGASUS I was left feeling even more forlorn than usual when I read the last line and realized that this was the end.


Because of a thousand-year-old alliance between humans and pegasi, Princess Sylviianel is ceremonially bound to Ebon, her own pegasus, on her twelfth birthday. The two species coexist peacefully, despite the language barriers separating them. Humans and pegasi both rely on specially-trained Speaker magicians as the only means of real communication.

But it’s different for Sylvi and Ebon. They can understand each other. They quickly grow close—so close that their bond becomes a threat to the status quo—and possibly to the future safety of their two nations. (Goodreads)

When I read the last line my first thoughts were: But this is only the beginning! A reaction I’m used to having but never actually validating. PEGASUS ends right when the action begins to start. The entire book felt like an introduction to an even larger story and adventure. It reminded me of the beginning of THE HERO AND THE CROWN but instead of coming full circle it ends on the climax.

When I read the first line I was zapped into this word of winged horse-like creatures and Rocs, and I was reminded again of why I love to write. It reminded me that details aren’t always the enemy in this quick-read world. Even though I felt like the entire book was an introduction to the world and the relationship between Ebon and Silvi, I couldn’t put the book down when I tried. I was enamored from Ebon’s first line to Silvi, “Aren’t you excited, or are you just a dull stupid human?” And from there I fell in love with their world and their families. I can’t help feeling like there’s more to this story; I know there is more to this story. I’m just wondering if I’m going to have to leave what happens all up to my imagination.

EDIT: I just read Robin McKinley's blog and a sequel has fallen into my lap! There will be a book II! So go read PEGASUS!


Happy Halloween!
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Book Giveaways…
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THE point system; 2 points for posting on twitter, 3 points for posting on your blog, 1 point for leaving a comment, 2 points for following… I hate math.

I have YA books that I would like to give away… and this point system (that I see everywhere) drives me nuts. Any advice on how to do giveaways? (I will not be using a point system)

(a.n.: I am not giving away THE GIVING TREE, although it is a wonderful book…)

 


The Vampire Diaries: Masquerade
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I don’t know if I was the only one praying that this episode of The Vampire Diaries wouldn’t turn into Gossip Girl. Specifically the episode with the masked ball where everyone inevitably kisses everyone in the first season and OMG, I didn’t realize I kissed your boyfriend… I couldn’t recognize him with a strip of fabric across his eyes…

In this episode Katherine moves in for the kill. Without giving anything away… Bonnie may have stolen this episode with a new (possible?) love interest that I was not expecting. And a few mishaps lead to a couple of unexpected… or expected deaths. I do think Alaric needs more screen time, and more of a subplot. The flirting with Jenna is cute… but he was much more involved the first season; he wasn’t just the supplier of cool weapons or Elena’s babysitter.

I do hate cliffhangers… but this next one looks good.

The next episode (Rose) airs on November 4th @ 8pmE on The CW.

 





Cat Got Your Tongue? Part 2
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Have you ever had writer’s block? Because I have… and eating an entire bag of jelly beans in an hours’ time does not kick start that engine.

When I was in middle school, there seemed to be a limitless supply of ideas to put to paper. There were girls who wanted to be knights in kingdoms, fairies at royal balls, a murderer photographer, and a few short stories that I’d rather never speak about again. When I wanted to put pen to paper, there was always an idea to pull from. I was filled with an enthusiasm that has considerably ebbed over the years.

When I was in high school, it was a bit harder; I reined my imagination in a bit. I had to be realistic, grades needed to be accounted for, my friends were getting their driving permits, everyone was talking about college, I was worried about fitting in, and weekends with friends weren’t spent playing dress up and pretending to be chased by dragons, they were filled with trips to the mall, or chats about guys. I used my imagination to escape into the worlds of my favorite books instead of creating those worlds.

In my first 2 years of college I stopped reading and writing altogether unless it was for school work. I was frustrated with professors, my 18-credit schedule had me stressed, and any free time was spent asleep. Responsibilities started to build and I decided I had no free time to “play” with writing, and reading for enjoyment was out of the question.

Wouldn’t it be great to tap into that treasure chest of childhood where the imagination is limitless? I always had ideas to pull from because I didn’t have expectations about THE ULTIMATE NOVEL. I wasn’t trying to be perfect then, I wasn’t trying to fit an ideal. I find that when I write now I make a mold before I begin writing and try and fill it with rocks. I’ll never fill it perfectly. Although I do know some writers who plan an extensive outline and follow it step by step; I also know some writers who free-write and watch an idea unfold. I do neither of these successfully.

I’d like to get back to the time when ideas were limitless because I wasn’t choosey; I wasn’t searching for a specific idea. I was writing down the worlds I wanted to escape to, ideas that were simply there because I wasn’t searching for them. How do you deal with writer’s block?

 


Cat Got Your Tongue?
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I’m thinking about adopting a cat… what do you think?

Also, check out Holly Black’s first book in the Curse Workers Series WHITE CAT Released on May 4, 2010:

Cassel, 17, is an anomaly as the only untalented one in a family of curse workers. While his mother, grandfather, and brothers make their living by illegally performing death curses, manipulating memories, and casting emotion charms, Cassel relies on his quick wit and con-artist skills to convince his private-school classmates that he's normal, despite bouts of sleepwalking and patchy memories of standing over a murdered friend named Lila. Nightmares about a white cat that resembles Lila, his family's ties to organized crime, and evidence of a mysterious plot against him threaten to pull Cassel into the world he's fought hard to resist. (Amazon)


RANT: McDonald’s Milkshakes
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All I have to say is… What happened?

I am by no means a McDonald’s connoisseur, but I feel as an upset customer I should say something. A couple of weeks ago my mom and I decided to treat ourselves with Milkshakes, (we would get them as a treat when I was younger) so she ordered a strawberry and I got the vanilla. I know, plain Jane. We were excited, despite the new clear plastic container with McCafé and a cherry printed on the outside… What does a cherry have to do with my milkshake?

So we get to the window (drive-thru) and the guy asks, “Do you want whip cream and a cherry on your milkshakes?” Whip cream and cherries? Why would I want whip cream and cherries on my already sweet milkshake? If I wanted a gourmet shake I wouldn’t go to McDonald’s. We frown, glance at each other and quickly shake our heads.

“They don’t want it either.”

My mom gives me a puzzled look and says to the window guy, “I guess the whip cream isn’t popular.”

“Nobody wants it.”

When we get our milkshakes we see the new clear containers and in the light my “vanilla” milkshake looks like a caramel yellow; my mom swears her milkshake is cherry but they don’t have cherry shakes… My milkshake tastes like super sweet butterscotch. We chalk it up to one bad experience. 

Until the next week… When we decide to stop at another McDonalds to get a burger. When we get to the window to get our order, “Would you like a free milkshake?” Uh, yeah.

BUTTERSCOTCH. It has no vanilla flavor to it at all. I don’t know if this is a Cleveland thing but my mom and I would like to say, McDonald’s, you’ve failed us. For the few times we do go, we’re excited, and now, we won’t be buying milkshakes from them anytime soon or in the future.


BOOK REVIEW: PARANORMALCY by Kiersten White
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First thoughts: “OMG, where can I get a pink Tasey?”

PARANORMALCY features a blonde, pink stiletto boot wearing heroine where “OMG” and “Oh, bleep!” consistently litter the pages. By the end of the book I was saying, “Oh bleep! How am I going to survive until the next book?”

PARANORMALCY is Buffy meets The Bourne Identity… Evie works for IPCA (International Paranormal Containment Agency) and she “bags-and-tags” those paranormals who aren’t registered with IPCA. She’s being romantically pursued (can stalking be called romantic…?) by a faerie ex-boyfriend, paranormals are mysteriously dying, and a new shape-shifter in containment is hiding more secrets than Evie can imagine.

When I drove to Borders to get PARANORMALCY the day it came out, I couldn’t find it. It was nowhere to be seen. It was hidden behind another book and there were only THREE copies. I was counting down the days, looking for giveaways, and trying not squeal when I finally held it in my hands. And after I read the first page, I knew it wouldn’t disappoint. Let’s not forget the gorgeous cover which actually does refer to an important scene in the book (even though a number of reviewers say it doesn’t…)

As high as my expectations were for this book, it was still able to exceed every one of them. Almost every chapter has a new revelation; it was a refreshing change from those YA books that like to drag out those nail-biting questions until you’re at the end of the book and you still haven’t learned anything new.

PARANORMALCY is one of the first books to make me LOL the entire time I read it. It is my favorite YA book out this year. You won’t be disappointed to have this one on your shelf.

One of my Favorite Lines:  “Wait—seriously? There are unicorns? You’re lying.”

A.N.: The next day at Borders there were no more copies… the next week the shelf was full of them!

Check out Kiersten White’s hilarious and info-filled blog (here)!


Book Review: NIGHTSHADE by Andrea Cremer
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I was excited for the release of NIGHTSHADE and ecstatic when I received a copy a month ago; I put it aside in my pile of to-be-read. I wanted it to be a reward for finishing my school work… I read the first couple of chapters and kept reading (I finished my school work after).

Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of… alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything - including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice? (Flipkart)

Many readers will definitely find similarities between BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE by Annette Curtis Klause and TWILIGHT. The forbidden boy she shouldn’t be attracted to (because he’s human) and the lothario Ren who seems to date anything that moves.

It definitely took the first few chapters until I was swept away into Calla’s world. But after those few chapters I couldn’t put the book down. I fell in love with her human interest Shay and was definitely groaning in frustration with the cliffhanger in the end.

This book is in stores and Amazon tomorrow!

A.N.: Be prepared for a long read, 452 pages.

Book Giveaways COMING SOON!


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