Friday, May 28, 2010

Fired Up Friday

Last week I made the trek back to Mississippi to surprise my sister, who was having a baby shower. It was wonderful to see her and the rest of my family. She's 8 months pregnant, so I'll be meeting my nephew in about a month! I can't wait!

While in Mississippi, I wanted to try to take pictures of things that I felt really captured my city and state. Unfortunately, the weather had different ideas and I wasn't able to take nearly as many pictures as I had wanted, so I only have a few to share for Fired Up Friday this week. However, I do have a nice ghost-ish story to go along with one of my pictures.

First up is a picture of a Magnolia bloom I took. The Magnolia is the state tree of Mississippi and most Mississippians are very proud of it. I never really noticed how many Magnolia trees there were until I started looking.

And now, for my spooky story. For years throughout high school and college I had a recurring dream. In the dream I was in a big, abandoned looking house and was running from something. I never knew what I was running from, just that something was chasing me and OMG I NEED TO GET AWAY NOW. So while I'm running from the OMG thing, I always find myself face to face with a door and nowhere else to go. I open the door and find a staircase that is so steep it seems to be vertical instead of at an angle. I decide that it's a fantastic idea to climb the stairs (What's up with people in horror movies going UP stairs instead of OUTSIDE?). What's at the top of the stairs, you ask? I have no idea. I always, ALWAYS woke up mid-climb.

In college I was a bridal consultant. I was the happy, smiley lady in heels that helped you try on dozens of dresses only for you to decide you don't like any of them. I'm not bitter or anything. We often had to do promos for the store such as photoshoots, commercials, etc. This particular day we were filming a commercial in what's known as The Green House, an old house in the historical district of town that's used for weddings and things.

Upon arrival at The Green House, I didn't feel well. A sick, nagging feeling at the pit of my stomach. I couldn't explain how I felt, just that I felt "off." Long story short, the house itself bothered me. I knew it was going to be a long day.

We went upstairs and each got dressed in our wedding attire. My dress was very simple to put on, so I decided to do some exploring while the other girls were busy primping.

As I'm walking, I see a door and have the strongest urge to open it and snoop. I keep telling myself not to, but I look down to find my hand slowly reaching for the old fashioned crystal door nob. The nob twists with an audible "squeek" and the door swings open of its own accord only to reveal MY STAIRCASE.

The staircase that has haunted my dreams for nearly five years. I step into the small foyer area and the door closes behind me. GULP. Nowhere to go but up. It takes me a while because I have on a freaking wedding gown. I make it about halfway up the stairs when I hear people frantically calling my name. Stupidly, I turn around and descend the stairs. I make it through the commercial, but my mind is a-flutter the entire time.

After the shoot, we go back upstairs to change out of our dresses and back into work clothes. I'm the first one finished again and snoop around the parlor room we're changing in. In it I find three death portraits. Death portraits are paintings (or sometimes photos) of the dead used to memorialize them. You've all seen one at some point, I'm sure. One is of a perfectly lovely looking young lady, not so different from myself. The other is of a terribly ugly (and I mean UGLY) older lady with dark hair and a dress collar starched to the heavens (she reminded me of the evil stepmother from Cinderella), and the last is of a little person (is that the politically correct term these days?). Yes, I'm serious. He looked to be in his 30s or so. I'm guessing Evil Stepmother was the mother and the other two were her two children? I'm not sure. They sparked such an interest in me that I took pictures of all three.

I'm sure you're expecting to see those pictures now, but you won't. Not because I don't want to show them to you (because good gosh I do!), but because I don't have them anymore. Sometime last year I remembered them and went to find them on my laptop... and they weren't there. I posted this story on a forum I went to at the time, and I even dug through the archives of that forum to find my post... and they weren't there either. Yikes!!! Looks like Step Mother didn't want me sharing photos of her and her children!!

And what's at the top of the stairs, you ask? I have no idea. Just like in my dream, I never made it to the top. I should have ignored the frantic calls from my co-workers and climbed to the top anyway. I've chastised myself over it for years, but recently come to terms with the fact that it's almost fitting. I never found out in my dream, so why should I find out in real life?

And now, what you've been waiting for, is a picture of the house (made black and white to enhance the spooky):

I have a feeling one day I'll sit down and write a novel-length story about what's really at the top of the stairs. I do want to know, and one day I will find out, even if it's fictional. What do YOU think is at the top of the stairs? And what has inspired you this week?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Linger ARC giveaway!

Hello, my lovely blog readers! :) I finished Maggie Stiefvater's Linger this week, and it was, of course, AMAZING. And because I love you so, I'm giving my ARC of Linger to one of you lucky readers!

Contest is now closed! Thanks for entering!
Contest Rules:
* To enter, simply comment on this blog post!

* While I'd love for you to follow my blog or Twitter, I want you to follow me because you like what I have to say, not because I make following a requirement, so no following is required to participate!

* This contest is US ONLY. My last few contests have been international, and it's hard for me to ship internationally due to my thinning pocket book.

* PLEASE leave your email address in your comment so I can get in touch with you. No email address = no entry! :(

* Contest will end at Midnight CST on Saturday June 5th and a winner will be announced on Sunday June 6th.

* To pick a winner, I will put everyone's name in a hat (or bowl or something) and draw a name from there.

* If your name is chosen, I will email you the good news. You will have 48 hours to respond with your address before I have to choose another winner.

Good luck, everyone!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Meeting Rick Riordan!

Last week I met friends Katie and Jennifer and we decided to brave the crowd to meet author Rick Riordan! For those that don't know, Rick wrote the Percy Jackson series and has a new series coming out called The Red Pyramid.

The party started at 4:00 at BookPeople. It was supposed to be a parking lot party (signing and activities and such outside), but we had horrible weather all day long. I was so afraid it was going to be a madhouse. I was in signing group M, and there were 50 people per letter of the alphabet. O.o I was so surprised how well everything was organized and how not-chaotic it seemed. I mean, there were a lot of people there, but I didn't really feel overwhelmed or anything.

Sadly there were no posed pictures with Rick, but I managed to take a few candid shots! Enjoy!!

The Last Unicorn winner!!!

All the names went into a bowl this morning and I'm excited to announce the winner of my signed copy of The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle is...

Dawn Metcalf!

Dawn I sent you an email and you now have 48 hours to reply with your mailing address! Congratulations! And thank you to everyone who entered. It means a lot to me! And if you didn't win, no worries... I'll be giving more book things away soon!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Linger Trailer

The very talented Maggie Stiefvater posted the trailer for her newest book, Linger, this week. I think you should all watch, it's amazing! She's also having a contest on her blog, so check that out as well!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Meeting Peter S. Beagle (+ CONTEST of course)

I had the privilege of meeting author Peter S. Beagle last week. He's best known for The Last Unicorn, but he's also written many, many other fantastic things. I was beyond excited for the chance to meet him. I love The Last Unicorn, and his writing style is amazing.

The signing was at Alamo Draft House (which is an awesome movie theater) where they were also doing a screening of The Last Unicorn. We met up with my dear friend Liz and her husband and had a grand old time. :)

There was a Q&A after the movie, and of course somebody asked him for writing/publishing advice (because somebody always does at author events it seems), and I loved his advice: "Show up to work on time, every day." If you want to take writing seriously, he said, it needs to be treated like a job. Really helps you to gain prospective.

And by now you're all probably wondering what it is that I am giving away. Well, since you must know, it is a SIGNED COPY of The Last Unicorn!

Contest Rules:
* Simply comment on this blog post!

* While I'd love for you to follow my blog or Twitter, I want you to follow me because you think I'm cool, not because I give away prizes and make following a requirement. So no following is required to participate!

* This contest is international.

* PLEASE leave your email address in your comment so I can get in touch with you. No email address = no entry! :(

* Contest will end at Midnight CST on Tuesday, May 18th and a winner will be announced on Wednesday May 19th

* To pick a winner, I will put everyone's name in a hat (or bowl or something) and draw a name from there.

* If your name is chosen, I will email you the good news. You will have 48 hours to respond with your address before I have to choose another winner.

Good luck to all!!

Contest is now over! Thank you so much to all who entered!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday

I haven't done a WoW in a few weeks, and I had a few minutes of free time so I thought I'd write up quick blog post.

This week's Waiting on Wednesday book is Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead
Publisher: Penguin/Razorbill
528 pages
Releases May 18, 2010

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Dimitri gave Rose the ultimate choice. But she chose wrong…

After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s—and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives beyond the Academy’s iron gates to begin. But Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri, and he's out there, somewhere.

She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and she knows in her heart that he is hunting her. And if Rose won't join him, he won't rest until he's silenced her...forever.

This is the 5th book in the Vampire Academy series. May 18th could not come any slower for me. The 4th book, Blood Promise, left on such a cliffhanger and I'm surprised I've made it this long without going insane. (Not like I have a choice though, right?)

And for those wondering, I'm Team Adrian. ALL.THE.WAY.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Reading Recap April

Here is my Reading Recap for April 2009:


Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan, 176 pages


Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green, 310 pages


Sea by Heidi R. Kling, 336 pages


Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce, 336 pages


The Iron King by Julie Kagawa, 363 pages

Totals for April:
5 Books
5 Authors
1,521 pages

Year to Date:
21 Books
18 Authors
6,390 pages

All in all not a bad month, I'd say.