Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Book Covers I Love - Installment #1

I've been thinking a lot about book covers, because, you know, mine will soon be created.  So I figured I'd share with you some book covers that I think are awesome.  You'll only get five today.  I'll do five more next week.  After that, who knows?  Maybe I'll go crazy and share six.


#1:  The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan

This cover is mysterious.  The girl is intriguing and sexy, but screams for help at the same time.  And the muted colors are awesome.

#2:  The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

This cover puts me in place and time immediately.  I automatically feel for the heroine, and understand that it will be a "smart" book, full of mystery and intrigue.  (DISCLAIMER:  This may not be true, but that's what I get from the cover).

#3:  Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

I read this book, and really enjoyed it.  But back to the cover.  I'm scared and intrigued just looking at it.  It grabs me immediately, especially because I is so different from what else is out there.

#4:  Perilous by Tamara Hart Heiner

I REALLY love this cover. It is clean, attractive, and compelling.  The colors work, and the wind-swept hair suggests intrigue and mystery.  Also, I'm left wanting more, which is exactly what a cover should achieve.

#5:  Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout

This cover is just beautifully appealing.  Clean colors.  Entrancing brightness.  I love it, and want to read it now.

Beth's Cover - ??
These Five - 1

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Six Word Saturday - Week 1

Just for fun, I'm going to jump on the Six-Word Saturday bandwagon, started by Show My Face.    At least this way I'll be posting once a week!

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Six-Word Memoir, the goal is to encompass your life in only six words.  In my Saturday posts, however, I'll just sum up my week. 

So, without further ado, here is the first of many Six-Word Saturday posts:
Sixty Degrees Outside - More Snow Coming
All eleventh grade English teachers in Virginia feel my pain.  For now, I'm going on a bike ride.  But I won't retire the snow boots just yet.  I might retire my sanity, however.  That may happen for sure.
If this happens next week, I might lose my mind.

Beth - 0
Weather on Crack - 1

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Siren Word Cloud

Check it out!  I created a word cloud for my novel.
I still don't know the title, but will share it as SOON as I know it!

Beth - 1
Beth's Word Cloud Creating Abilities - 1

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Things I'd Rather Do Than Grade Papers

I have papers to grade and am procrastinating. In order to further procrastinate, I decided to make a list of activities I'd find preferable to grading at this time.

Activities That Are Better Than Grading Eleventh Grade English Papers

1.    Watching Spanish soap-operas.  You should know that I don't speak Spanish. 
2.    Standing in line behind two teenagers in love at the airport terminal security checkpoint.

3.    Looking at pictures that capture the progressive changes of Justin Bieber's hair-style.

4.    Logging in my Weight Watcher Points.

5.    Watching my children play Minecraft or listening to Stampy Long
       Nose Videos. (If you are unfamiliar with these videos, I urge you to
       YouTube them to see just how desperate I am)

6.    Sitting in a Wendy's while people chow down on chicken nuggets, but
       not ordering anything.

7.    Participating in a conversation I know nothing about. Probably about
       basketball or hockey.

8.    Listening to a Aaron Neville song on repeat for more than an hour.

9.    Doing 100 crunches in front of a personal trainer with a perfect body.

10.  Giving my husband exclusive rights to the remote control.

I've just wasted 30 minutes.  Success.

Beth - 1
Papers - 0
Quality of Procrastination - 1

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Making Mistakes

On a side note, I really hate it when I hit "publish" and THEN realize that I forgot to spell check the post. 

That just happened, in case you were wondering.  So if my followers see the error in their email, and are deeply offended, I am sorry.  I fixed it.  Just visit my page and see!

Grrrrrr. . . . .

Beth - 0
Mistakes - 1

Why I'm Not Reading "Real" Books

To no one's surprise, I get a lot of book recommendations, and as much as I would like to honor all of those suggestions by hunkering down and reading for a month straight, I just don't have that luxury.

So, as you can imagine, I must be selective about which books I will honor by reading.  And I'm sorry to say that right now, I'm not going to read anything too "real".

And by real, I mean any of the following motifs/subjects:

Cancer and Terminal Illness: 
Books like this rarely end the way I want them to, where everyone is happy and running barefoot through a field while they feast on Tutti Frutti frozen yogurt because the illness went away. 

Heartbreak That is Never Healed: 
I don't want to look or feel like this
after reading a book. 
This is still too much to handle.  Temporary separation is acceptable, but in the end, they should be doing what the people in #1 are doing, only together and holding hands.

Cruelty to Children: 
This is a hard and fast rule for any genre, but if it involves teenagers, my rule is less firm.  Hunger Games is an exception to this rule.  As is the treatment of Harry Potter and his friends.

Death in Real-Life Situations:
I've seen enough of it, and if it is really well written, I'll be upset and crying for days.  (Stop calling me emotional)  Minor characters are an exception to this rule.

Anything About Animals:
Because they always die.

But you are probably thinking, "Hey, Beth.  These things happen in ALL books!"

And you'd be right.  But when the book takes place in a post apocalyptic world filled with zombies, or on Krypton, or in Middle Earth, all of the examples above cease to bother me. 

I can't explain why.  I love the characters just as much, and they are no less real to me, but because I know their particular situation could NEVER HAPPEN, I can handle these subjects.  Plus, if I couldn't, I would never be able to read anything, and that is equally unthinkable. 

So, what is on my list right now?

1.  Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin
2.  Maze Runner by James Dashner
3.  Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
4.  The Fourth Wall by Elizabeth Naranjo (my friend's book coming out later this year)
5.  Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
6.  Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, which I already read, but want to read again.  SO good.

I apologize to my friends who have recommend books that I'm sure are amazing.  Please don't take my rejection of your favorite book personally. 

And no, I will never read The Fault in our Stars.

Beth - 1
Sad books that make me cry - 0