Monday, February 27

Books, Books, Books!

This week we're all about books, at TFC! Well, when isn't that the case?

The last YA that I loved: DEAD TO YOU, by Lisa McMann: Ethan was abducted from his front yard when he was just seven years old. Now, at sixteen, he has returned to his family. It's a miracle... at first. Then the tensions start to build. His reintroduction to his old life isn't going smoothly, and his family is tearing apart all over again. If only Ethan could remember something, anything, about his life before, he'd be able to put the pieces back together.

The YA that I'm reading and loving now: EVERY YOU, EVERY ME, by David Levithan
: In this high school-set psychological tale, a tormented teen named Evan starts
to discover a series of unnerving photographs—some of which feature him. Someone
is stalking him . . . messing with him . . . threatening him. Worse, ever
since his best friend Ariel has been gone, he's been unable to sleep, spending
night after night torturing himself for his role in her absence. And as crazy as
it sounds, Evan's starting to believe it's Ariel that's behind all of this,
punishing him. But the more Evan starts to unravel the mystery, the more his
paranoia and insomnia amplify, and the more he starts to unravel himself.
Creatively told with black-and-white photos interspersed between the text so the
reader can see the photos that are so unnerving to Evan, Every You, Every
is a one-of-a-kind departure from a one-of-a-kind author.

The next YA I'll read and I know I'll love: EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS, by A.S. King Lucky didn't ask for his life. He didn't ask his grandfather not to come home
from the Vietnam War. He didn't ask for a father who never got over it. He
didn't ask for a mother who keeps pretending their dysfunctional family is fine.
And he didn't ask to be the target of Nader McMillan's relentless bullying,
which has finally gone too far. But Lucky has a secret - one that helps
him wade through the daily mundane torture of his life. In his dreams, Lucky
escapes to the war-ridden jungles of Laos - the prison his grandfather couldn't
escape - where Lucky can be a real man, an adventurer, and a hero. It's
dangerous and wild, and it's a place where his life might just be worth living.
But how long can Lucky keep hiding in his dreams before reality forces its way
inside? Michael L. Printz Honor recipient A.S. King's smart, funny, and
boldly original writing shines in this powerful novel about learning to cope
with the shrapnel life throws at you and taking a stand against

THE YA BOOK I'M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO: INSURGENT, Veronica Roth's followup to my favorite YA novel of 2011, DIVERGENT.

So how about you? What have you loved, are loving, are sure you'll love, are most looking forward to?

Be well. Don't forget to write.

Sunday, February 19

All I Want........

So this week it's all about what I'm craving. Being the shallow sort of person I am I decided to go for the obvious....... and why not!!!!!
Is there anything you'd like to add to my list????

Tuesday, February 7

Music Talk: Charlotte Sometimes

For a few years now, I've been loving Charlotte Sometimes. Watch this video teaser for her song "The Wait" to see why:

Now, she's on The Voice!

Listen to another of her songs, "Stay in My Heart," if you need more convincing. Get her latest EP here.

And, PS, if you're into book soundtracks... check out my playlist for my May release, Unbreak My Heart, and enter to win an iPod Shuffle with a few authors' playlists loaded on it, from Figment and I Heart Daily!

Have a musical Tuesday. x

Thursday, February 2

Happy Groundhog Day or Stephanie Rants About Snow

Okay so I don't really celebrate Groundhog Day, though I do love that Bill Murray movie! I honestly can never keep straight which thing (seeing the shadow or not seeing the shadow) means what (winter is over or we have six more weeks). If he sees his shadow, it means more winter according to Wikipedia, but that doesn't make sense to me. Isn't sun a good thing? I think I'm also cynical because in Chicago, we're definitely getting way more than six more weeks of cold weather either way. We sometimes get snowstorms in May and in fact last Groundhog Day was one of our biggest blizzards ever! Here's what it looked like along the famous Lake Shore Drive:

Ugh! Just looking at it makes me want to burrow under some blankets and never EVER come out. We got over two feet of snow, which is the most snow I've ever dealt with in my lifetime, and you guys, I HATE SNOW. Totally and completely hate it. After spending most of the past twenty-six years in either Chicago or Madison, Wisconsin, if I never saw snow again or experience temperatures lower than 40, I would be THRILLED. Seriously, especially after last year's blizzard, I see no redeeming qualities in snow WHATSOEVER. It looks pretty coming down, you say? Well it doesn't feel pretty and it's a nightmare to drive in. It's so white and fluffy, you say? Yeah, for like five minutes and then it's all black and dirty and in the Midwest unlike sunny places like Denver, it sticks around in this big, disgusting piles for EVER.

Okay there is one good thing about snow. Just one:

Adorable little (or big) animal tracks. I will give you that one. But other than that, screw snow!

Okay, I almost afraid to say this because I could totally jinx us, but Chicago has been lucky this year. We've had a mild winter. Only one snowstorm. Annoying but not huge. And it's gone now because it was like 60 on Tuesday. Yes, 60 in January! It may have been the happiest day of my life.

I'm hoping the groundhog doesn't see his shadow today and that it stays that mild and soon I'm seeing this in my front yard:

Those are my super goth tulips. I would actually see crocuses first, but I don't seem to have any pictures of those.

What about you? Are you eager for spring or do you actually like snow and winter?