Saturday, December 17, 2011

Current Reads


It's been a while, this semester turned out crazier than I anticipated. I've found a little time to read for leisure during these past few weeks, and here's what I'm currently reading:

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

I've been waiting for this book since I first read Clockwork Angel this summer, and it took for B&N to send it to me. It was also terrible timing, since that's when a lot of final projects were starting, and the theater production that I was participating in had their performances the week before it's release. Regardless, I've been trying to make time to spend with Mr. Herondale, Mr. Carstairs, Miss Tessa, and all the other characters that I missed so dearly. I'm not too far into it, but once finals are completed this week, this book is about to be devoured.

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

I received my Christmas present from my husband earlier this month - a Kindle Fire! I've been so against the entire e-reader movement since it's hurting local book stores, plus I love the feeling of a book in my hands.... and I'm stubborn, so I just fought the change until I could fight it no more. This is one of the first books I purchased on it since I'd heard a lot about it and wanted to see what all the hype of this series is all about. I'm almost halfway through this one since I've been reading it while exercising on the Kindle (which is the best thing ever, since you don't have to worry about losing your place or the pages not lying flat. Thank you, baby Jesus, for letting me see the light finally) and have really enjoyed it. Midsummer Night's Dream is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays and was the first one I ever performed in, so I am in love with Julie already. I'll let you know what I think.

So those are the two must-finish-before-the-end-of-the-year books I have right now. I've probably downloaded 100 free books on my Kindle, many of them classics, that I'd love to get to, as well as a bookshelf full of "to read" books as well. Looks like I have my work cut out for me.

If you're not already a member of, you really should be. It's like a social network for book nerds where you can share what you're reading, see what your friends are reading, read reviews, find suggestions for books you may like, and so much more. I follow quite a few authors on there that are favorites, and it's so cool being so in touch with people you admire. It's a free site to join and very addicting, so go for it!

I hope you're all having a wonderful holiday season sofar. God Bless and keep reading!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Unabridged Audra and the Spooktacular Blog Hop Giveaway!

There are many MANY different blogs participating in this particular blog hop, so you should go to Unabridged Audra's blog and check out what they're giving away - this is one of the easiest ways to get books, and doesn't even cost you anything. She's giving away a box of 15 books... yes, you read that right A BOX OF 15 DIFFERENT TITLES FOR FREE. Go enter now, seriously.

Among those blogs that are participating in the Spooktacular Blog Hop is Stuck In Books Blog, giving away one of three titles: Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon, The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa, or Half-Blood by Jennifer Armentrout. I already have the first book on my "to-read" shelf at home, and look forward to getting the other two titles (one way or another) since they're both so highly recommended. Iron Knight just came out this week, so it's a pretty hot commodity. Go enter to win it for free!

Another blog that I happened across that's giving away the award-winning Margaret Stohl's Beautiful Chaos, the third book of the Beautiful Creatures series, is Chick Loves Lit. It's super easy to enter, and as always it's no cost to you. Go enter and win some free stuff!

Most of these I hear about on twitter from this woman: Patricia Leppla. If you're not on there, it's worth creating an account just to follow her about book giveaways. She posts tons of them all the time, and it's super fun to find new book review blogs with suggestions for new reads! Her blog is also here, so go check it out for yourself!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bookaholic's Book Club Giveaway

There's an international book giveaway of so many great titles going on at the Bookaholics Book Club Blog! You should definitely check it out, it's super easy to sign up and just as easy to win!

PS I should really start writing again... *sigh* I'll just stick to reading for now until I can come up with something write-worthy.

In the meantime, I'll try to post some more good giveaways that I find soon.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Recent Giveaways

Okay, so there are a lot of book giveaways out there right now, it almost seems overwhelming at first, but it's the easiest way to get free (sometimes not-yet-published) books. I'm pretty excited about some of these, perhaps you can also partake in these:

The Book Worms blog is giving away Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan here. All you have to do is leave a comment and you're entered! (highly recommended site for avid readers for great reviews, suggestions, and it's almost like a social network for book worms - so cool!) is giving away some ARC's, like:

Fever (The Chemical Garden #2) by Lauren DeStefano here,

Clockwork Prince by the amazing Cassandra Clare here.

Here's an entire novel you can download for free by Michael Hicks. That's right, you can download his entire novel In Her Name: Empire for free. Just follow the instructions and it's yours. I already got mine, let me know what you think!

Author K.C. Neals is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card as well as an ARC of his book Pyxis here.

Fangs, Wands, & Fairy Dust is having a super fun giveaway for either a fairy Halloween costume or some other fun prizes here. Oh, the variety!

Win a signed copy of Melissa de la Cruz's Lost in Time at this (appropriately named blog) I Just Wanna Sit Here And Read.

And lastly, some giveaways for kids books (aka NOT Young Adult lit:)

Patricia Particularly's Halloween Bash Giveaway with a fun pack full of goodies from R.L. Stine... how nostalgic can you get?! Also Skeleton Creek by Patrick Carmen series is up for grabs on her site.

I'll keep posting more giveaways as I find them. They're all over Twitter and Blogger, so if you need any suggestions just let me know!


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Lisa Desrochers Last Rite Contest

Hello again!

There's another ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) out there for everyone, so long as they're willing to enter for it! There's a fun blog scavenger hunt going on as well for some awesome other prizes like the entire series set AND an Ipod shuffle with a songlist already on it. I haven't read these books, but from some accredited reviews, they do look interesting. Go to this blog It should take you right to her page about the contest and scavenger hunt information. It's lots of fun, doesn't take much time, and introduces you to some really great sites for YA (Young Adult) critic sites for suggestions of other awesome books to read. Trust me, with these people around, your "To Read" list will never be longer!


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Best Boooks Giveaway

There are always tons of book giveaways out there lately, and here's the latest one from Best Books for the new title...

Shifting by Bethany Wiggins

Please visit the blog to see a brief description of the book and enter this giveaway for yourself! You can't win if you don't enter, right!? Contest concludes Monday, October 3rd!

I'll try posting more about other book giveaways that I hear about on twitter and other sites. There are so many ways to get good, new releases for inexpensive that this is just one of the fun ways to do it! Be on the lookout, this is a small recompense for my absence.

<3 Eileen

Monday, August 29, 2011

Golden reflections

**This was written yesterday**

My mother always hyped up the “golden birthday” my entire childhood. (For those who may not understand the expression, it means that you’re turning the age of the date. So today is the 28th of August, that means I’m turning 28 on my golden birthday.) I had dreams and aspirations that it would be some grand party, akin to a wedding or another huge life event kind of day.

As I grew older, birthdays seemed to lose more and more importance. (I think there’s a surplus of birthdays, just ask aging women.) The summer before I turned 21 I was working at a local radio station (where I also met my now husband.) Many friends said they were going to take me out to do different things and I was very excited. The week before, I was eagerly anticipating all these different fun things that were supposed to occur, and was waiting to hear from friends who had offered to take me out to party my socks (and sobriety) off…like literally bouncing in my seat with anticipation excitedly waiting…

… and waiting… and waiting…

The day of, and I still had no plans. No body answered my phone calls. No body made any real plans. I was heartbroken. This was supposed to be one of those birthdays that everyone talks about for years afterwards about how great it was and it’ll never be like that again… and I had nothing planned.

I called up my best friend, and he was having a house party and said I should come down to see him. I drove there, and what happened? What usually happens at a house party in Wisconsin when I’m there and the most responsible one… I bought a drink at a bar for myself and someone else, where usually it’s other people buying *you* drinks, and I ended up driving all the underage stupid drunk kids home because I was the only sober one.

Yeah… it was epic…

After that, birthdays had much less expectations and ended up being very nice. I would have dinner with family and friends, maybe go out a little bit, and go home. As I got older, it was less of a “go out and celebrate by getting wasted” and more of a “let’s go hang out together and have a nice time” and I’m okay with that.

I must admit, there was still a bit of expectation when it came to my “golden” birthday, and I didn’t want to be disappointed by expecting other people to plan something for me instead of taking control of my life and deciding what I wanted to do instead.

I talked with my husband a few weeks ago and decided to be out of town this weekend. That way, he would get some work done on the land he and his family hunt on, we could traipse about in the woods for a while, relax, and I wouldn’t be disappointed by anything/anyone.

Last week, I got some phone calls from family and friends asking what I was doing for my birthday. I told them I had plans. They were disappointed.

Really? REALLY?? I mean, you wait this long to ask if I even had plans, then you’re disappointed when I *do* with my husband? I think that’s just naive and silly. I know my mother wasn’t too happy about it, but we’re still doing something later today anyhow, so hopefully that at least assuages her for the time being.

So now we’re home from our mini-adventure. I have some things to do: laundry, leisure reading while I still can, perhaps a walk on the beach, and fun roaming the internet to see what I missed over the last few days. I’m glad I decided to make my own plans instead of waiting for others to decide for me. If that makes them upset, that’s fine. I can handle that.

The moral of the story is: set your expectations aside and take hold of your own destiny. Only you can control your happiness - the only question is will you?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Just a quick note....

I'm still here! My summer classes conclude this week, so I've been very busy reading and writing for class, so not much fun reading has commenced as of late. I started listing the books I've read this summer, and even with a rather full schedule of classes and working as much as I have, I've managed to finish many of them. Here they are by author:

City of Bones
City of Ashes
City of Glass
City of Fallen Angels
Clockwork Angel

The Host
Midnight Sun (not a published "book", but almost 300 pages online)

Passion (O.M.G.!!)

Hush, Hush

The Hobbit

Most of these are re-reads, but otherwise they're either ones I've neglected for a while or new buys. I have plenty more on my shelf to get to during my month break between summer and fall semesters.... let's see how many I can knock down. I'll try to post some reviews on the ones I've read soon. Back to work....

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mundane Memories

Sometimes, I have moments in my life where I wished I had a video camera taping some of my memories. People always say that about candid days, like their wedding day or when a child was born, but there are certain moments that I truly wish that I could just press pause and live in that singular moment for a bit longer, or revisit it whenever I felt like I needed a lift.

One seemingly mundane moment would be on my honeymoon last year in South Dakota. It was July, steamy heat in the dusty plains as we drove my little Honda across the state on different adventures. I remember having the windows down just enough to let a good breeze in. My hair was down and swirling around my head in the car, which was bothersome enough that I decided to just let it go and stop trying to stop it from blowing everywhere. The sky was the clearest, most vibrant blue with puffy scattered pieces of clouds here and there. It contrasted the pale green of the rolling hills as we were on the highway between one destination and another.

There's a few long stretches of South Dakota where there's really nothing but virgin plains between one destination and another. It makes you recall when the last engine tune-up was, or wish you had stopped to pee and get bottled water at that last gas station when the next one is another 60 miles ahead. I recall this not-so-dynamic moment and wished that I could've stopped time for a little while to enjoy the simplicity of being in a car with someone I loved on the most simple of beautiful days in a simply beautiful moment. It may sound silly, but I remember the tranquility and peace that I felt in those few moments and smile...

Another "sky" moment was a few summers ago at a music festival. It was a Sunday afternoon, the last day of the festival, so most of the patrons were either too sunburnt to come out again, still hung over from the previous days of debauchery, or just not interested in the last artists that took to the stage. Jamey Johnson (who reminds me of a country music version of Jerry Garcia ) was playing a thought-evoking song, read the lyrics & listen to the song here. My then fiance and I were sitting on a blanket in a field, listening to the music and staring up at the perfectly blue-white-patchwork sky. It was a moment, I felt, that movie makers try to recreate for those perfect moments. It was something I still remember with great fondness, and look, a picture to prove it!

He had a thing going with the fumanchu mustache that summer... he's doing it again this summer, and I'm not complaining, I find it a little endearing.

It's simple moments like these that I wish I could savor for more than that single moment. I wish I could crawl inside and relive those moments sometimes, even though I know they were fleeting and gone. It makes me really appreciate the new moments like these when I have them. It's something really special when at that exact moment, you get the feeling you're going to remember it as something spectacular, even if it didn't seem like it right then...

Friday, July 15, 2011

A New Beginning...

So yesterday felt like a turning point, and not for any particular reason except for an urge... I wanted to write.

It's obviously been a while, and a lot has happened since my last half-assed attempt to connect with people via the internet on this site, but I've been reading a lot lately both for leisure and for classes, and it got me thinking....

People ask what your dream job would be. I'm working to pursue my degree for Elementary Education, and that's certainly something that I'm excited about. My current dream job: read whatever I want instead of what I have to, and get paid to write about it. I'd love to be a writer and a critic, even though I don't recall this urge being present ever before. I think I know who to blame, though....

I was reading the books of a writer who is not yet a favorite, but definitely a writer "love interest;" Cassandra Clare, who wrote the Mortal Instruments series that I've been just a little obsessed over since I discovered it only a few weeks ago. I've devoured the first three books, ordered the fourth, and just saw on the website that there are TWO MORE FREAKING BOOKS in the series coming... I seriously can't wait...

Oh, and there's a whole other series of prequel books that she's already started... honestly, woman, you're insane... and becoming a fast favorite...

Anyways, I've been reading another blog written by a short-story writer named Cassandra Clarke (who I mistook for Cassandra Clare, sorry about that!)

*SIDENOTE* There's only a 1-letter difference in their names, I think my mistake can be forgiven... maybe?

But I got inspired to begin writing again. This doesn't mean that I'm going to quit my college major and start all over again, because I'm pretty convinced my husband would kill me if I did that and I don't want to be in school ANOTHER 4+ years for a career that's even more difficult to get into than teaching. I would integrate writing into my classes with students to get them thinking critically about the world around them and why they think the way they do (how teacher-y does THAT sound). I've always benefited from doing just that for other classes, however begrudged I was to perform the task, but immensely enjoyed myself during the process. Simply put: I'd like to pass that on...

Someone once described my writing as "prophetic," which both shocked and amused me since I never really thought about it that way. I suppose as long as there's some thought provocation in my audience that resulted from what I write, it was the best possible outcome I could've asked for. If someone even enjoyed what I wrote the way I enjoy reading other people's works, that would be the greatest thing on the planet... next to ice cream. And snuggles.

So I've decided to try this writing thing again. Not for a class assignment, not for pushing any kind of agenda but simply for the pleasure of writing. Does this mean I'm going to read books and critique them on here? I'm not sure yet, we'll see where this leads me. I'm not sure anyone reads this anymore, so regardless of who finds these words, I'll keep writing them for my own personal satisfaction.

Plus it's easier than a paper journal, which I started one like 4 years ago and still haven't finished.... another work in progress *sigh*

And if this leads me to start attempting at writing short stories, I apologize ahead of time. I was never very talented at writing dialogue and hated the tediousness of it all. I might try poetry again, but usually to write poetry you have to be in a tumultuous relationship or just a tormented part of your life. I'm very happy with where I am in my life right now and haven't written poetry for years, so maybe even just putting happy little snippets of old work would be an option.

So here goes nothing... or my reputation, whatever that's worth. I'm excited to try this out again, and hopefully it's something I continue with for a while, because it could get very interesting...