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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Meet Marcy Baker

I'm going to do a "meet a character from Watersong" post, along with a giveaway of some of the character's favorite things. It's just a quick questionnaire that introduces the characters, as well as a pictures of actors that resemble how I imagined them.

Ellen Page is how I pictured Marcy, but more montone

  1. Full Name: Marcy Dayton Baker
  2. Birthday: November 13
  3. Age: 25
  4. Zodiac:Scorpio
  5. Boy or Girl: Girl
  6. High School:Capri High School
  7. College: Some
  8. Job: I work at the Capri Public Library
  9. Hair Color:Black
  10. Eye Color: Brown
  11. Height: 5'5"
  12. Piercing/Tattoos: One on my hip.
  13. Boyfriend/Girlfriend:Yeah, right.
  14. Best Friend:Harper, I guess.
  15. Last person you talked to:Harper
  16. Last person you texted:Harper
  17. Last song you listened to: B-52s - "Rock Lobster"
  18. Favorite Movie: Plan-9 From Outerspace
  19. Favorite Bands: Carly Simon or Bats for Lashes
  20. Favorite Books: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak or Raptor Red by Robert T. Bakker
  21. Favorite Food:Beef jerky
  22. Favorite Beverage: Red Bull
  23. Favorite Possession: My photographic evidence of the Loch Ness Monster from my uncle
  24. Favorite Place: Anywhere people aren't

Monday, August 27, 2012

Home Again

I'm home again! Both my online book tour, and the real life book tour across the country are over now. It was great meeting everyone, and thank you to everyone that came out and made Wake's release so great.

I plan on doing a longer post later about the tour with more detail, but right now, I'm just going to end with a picture of what I came home to:

Elroy and Sophie

Friday, August 17, 2012

Meet Daniel Morgan

I'm going to do a "meet a character from Watersong" post. It's just a quick questionnaire that introduces the characters, as well as a pictures of actors that resemble how I imagined them.

This week, it's Daniel Morgan, one of the leads and love interests in Wake.

Daniel Johns as "Daniel." The former-lead-singer of Silverchair may not be an actor, but he is named Daniel, so its serendipity. Also, he's foxy. And Australian.

Daniel is on my favorite cover (along with Penn)
  1. Full Name: Daniel Grant Morgan
  2. Birthday: September 1st
  3. Age: 20
  4. Zodiac:Virgo
  5. Boy or Girl: Boy
  6. High School:Capri High School
  7. College: None
  8. Job: Handyman
  9. Hair Color:Dirty blonde
  10. Eye Color: Hazel
  11. Height: 6'1"
  12. Piercing/Tattoos: I had my left ear pierced in high school, but the hole grew closed. I have a large tattoo on my back.
  13. Boyfriend/Girlfriend: I've been single for awhile now.
  14. Best Friend: I'm between best friends, I guess
  15. Last person you talked to:Pearl, my occasional boss
  16. Last person you texted: My mom
  17. Last song you listened to: Elliott Smith - "Miss Misery"
  18. Favorite Movie: Jaws
  19. Favorite Bands: Led Zepplin
  20. Favorite Books: On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  21. Favorite Food: Pearl's Clam Chowder
  22. Favorite Beverage: Grape soda
  23. Favorite Possession: My boat, The Dirty Gull 
  24. Favorite Place: Out in the ocean on my boat

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Show & Tell Giveaway - Book Trailers

While planning for Under the Seapalooza, I was trying to come up with some fun ideas for things to and asked for input. Nikki Jefford (author of Entangled and the awesome guest post & giveaway, which you should check out: here) came up with the idea for weekly "Show & Tell" memes.

Here's how it works:

Unlike ongoing meme’s, this one is temporary - every Thursday throughout the month of Under the Seapalooza. Each week, I'll show off my favorite something (this week it's bookmarks), then you show off your favorite thing and enter to win a prize.

This is the schedule for Show & Tell Thursdays:
July 25th - Bookmarks
August 2nd - eReader Skins
August 9th - Journals
August 16th - Book Trailers
  
I'll be honest - I love trailers for anything. Movies, books, TV shows, you name it, and I like it. I've seen many book trailers popping over the last couple years, and I've decided to show you a couple of my favorite.

The first one is for Jenny Pox by J. L. Bryan. It's not only a book I really enjoy, but the trailer is also super creepy and very well done.

The second one is for me Shatter Me by Taherehah Mafi, which I think is one of the raddest book trailers I've ever seen.

And finally, it's the book trailer for Watersong. I know, it's my own book, so I can't be objective, but it's definitely one of my favoites.


What about you? Do have a favorite book trailer? Or are you an author with a trailer for you own books? Maybe you don't have a favorite book trailer, but you do have a favorite movie trailer. Let me know.

The Show & Tell Giveaway this week is for a $50 Visa Gift Card, so after you watch all kinds of awesome book and movie trailers, you can go out and buy yourself some of those awesome books and movies.



Enter in the Rafflecopter below. All Show & Tell Giveaways will run until August 25th. It's open to the US & Canada only, sorry.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks again to Nikki Jefford for coming up with such a fun idea!    

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Lullaby Sneak Peak + Giveaway

Wake has been out for a week, and I can't thank you guys enough for all your support. You guys are all amazing.

Lullaby is the sequel to Wake, and it's coming out November 27, 2012 - so just over 3 months from now. The ARCs are already out, which means I have something fun for the giveaway, and I've decided to do a Teaser Tuesday with Lullaby, revealing a few select lines from it.

If you're not familiar, here's the trailer for the whole Watersong series:

Here's the cover and description for Lullaby:


    Harper only wanted a safe, normal life. But when her younger sister Gemma runs off with a dangerous clique of beautiful girls, everything changes. Vowing to get her sister back no matter what the cost, Harper must face dangers unlike any she's ever experienced. Fortunately, she has Daniel by her side, a gorgeous guy who's devoted to helping her find her sister—and who's immune to the girls' dark powers.
    While Harper searches for her sister, Gemma struggles to adjust to her new life. Gemma's powers are growing by the day, and the longer she lives with her new "sisters," the harder it is to resist entering their magical world. It's a realm both dark and beautiful, and where she's plagued by strange hungers and unspeakable needs. Just as she's drifting far away from her old life, Harper and Daniel find her...but no one can deny how much she's changed. All she wants is to return to her family and the mortal world, but how can she do that when she's become something else entirely—and will they still love her once they learn the truth?

Music plays a really important role both within the Watersong story and when I'm writing. This is the soundtrack for Lullaby:
  1. Florence + the Machine – “Spectrum”
  2. Agnes Obel – “Riverside”
  3. Black Lab – “Remember (acoustic)"
  4. Crystal Castles – “Not in Love”
  5. Death Cab for Cutie – “Transatlanticism”
  6. Fefe Dobson – “Can’t Breathe”
  7. Foo Fighters – “Everlong (acoustic)”
  8. Frou Frou – “Let Go”
  9. Helene – “Where Do You Go to When You Disappear”
  10. Lana Del Rey – “Video Games”
  11. Nico Vega – “Iron Man”
  12. Regina Spektor – “Samson”
  13. Ryan Adams – “Do I Wait”
  14. Sia – “Breathe Me”
  15. Stars – “Your Ex-Lover is Dead”
  16. The xx – “Islands”
  17. Kathleen Edwards – "A Soft Place to Land" 
  18. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – "Runaway"

And finally, here is the teaser from Lullaby:
    As she was washing her hair, something tangled in her fingers. She pulled her hand out to inspect it in the ever brightening morning light. It was a whole clump of her own hair, and Gemma yelped in shock.

    She reached up and touched her head. Without even really trying, another chunk of hair fell out.

I'm giving away TWO autographed copies of Lullaby. Enter in the Rafflecopter below. The giveaway runs until August 25th. And it's international! So enter away.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 10, 2012

Meet Harper Fisher

Every Friday throughout Under the Seapalooza, I'm going do a "meet a character from Wake" post, along with a giveaway of some of the character's favorite things. It's just a quick questionnaire that introduces the characters, as well as a pictures of actors that resemble how I imagined them.

This week, it's Harper Fisher, one of the main characters and Gemma's older sister in Wake.

Emmy Rossum as "Harper." I saw her on Shameless, without makeup, all harried taking care of kids and the house, and I was like, "Yep. That's Harper."
Harper is also on the cover of Lullaby

  1. Full Name: Harper Lynn Fisher
  2. Birthday: January 9th
  3. Age: 18
  4. Zodiac: Capricorn
  5. Boy or Girl: Girl
  6. High School: I graduated from Capri High School
  7. College: I start at Sundham University at the end of August
  8. Job: I work part-time at the library
  9. Hair Color: Dark brown
  10. Eye Color: Gray
  11. Height: 5' 7"
  12. Piercing/Tattoos:My ears are pierced, but no tattoos.
  13. Boyfriend/Girlfriend: I don't have time for a love life right now.
  14. Best Friend: Alex or Marcy
  15. Last person you talked to: Marcy
  16. Last person you texted: Alex
  17. Last person you watched a movie with: It's been awhile. The last time I went to movie was probably on my failed date with Luke, but I can't even remember what it was.
  18. Last song you listened to: Ryan Adams - "Do I Wait"
  19. Favorite Movie:The Devil Wears Prada
  20. Favorite Bands: Death Cab for Cutie & Adele
  21. Favorite Books: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott or Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  22. Favorite Food: Spaghetti with meatballs
  23. Favorite Beverage: Cherry Coke
  24. Favorite Possession: My laptop
  25. Favorite Place: Bernie's Island - this cute little island out in the bay where our family friend Bernie lives.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Show & Tell Giveaway - Journals

While planning for Under the Seapalooza, I was trying to come up with some fun ideas for things to and asked for input. Nikki Jefford (author of Entangled and the awesome guest post & giveaway, which you should check out: here) came up with the idea for weekly "Show & Tell" memes.

Here's how it works:

Unlike ongoing meme’s, this one is temporary - every Thursday throughout the month of Under the Seapalooza. Each week, I'll show off my favorite something (this week it's bookmarks), then you show off your favorite thing and enter to win a prize.

This is the schedule for Show & Tell Thursdays:
July 25th - Bookmarks
August 2nd - eReader Skins
August 9th - Journals
August 16th - Book Trailers


This week, it's journals. With blogging and other online journals, hand written journals probably aren't as popular as they once were. But there's something about putting pen to paper that I can't resist. It's more active, more personal, and far more private than anything on the internet.

All my books start out on paper, with my writing down ideas in notebooks or journals. In the beginning, it's usually just a setting or a character name, along with many doodles, but eventually it grows into a full blown outline.

I journaled every day from middle through high school, but now I only journal sporadically. Still, it's something that I enjoy doing, and it's helpful when I want to vent or work something out in my head.

Right now, I use a lot of Five Star Notebooks. I know, it's not exciting at all, but I've kinda obsessed with Five Star for years, and now I'm stuck on them. They're the only notebook I've used since I was like 13, and I feel like if I change now, it might ruin everything.

Here's my current journal:
It's kinda boring, so I made Sophie be in the picture to spice it up.

So what about you? Do you use an old notebook? A fancy covered journal? Or do you use Microsoft Word?

Whether you love journalling or not, here's your chance at winning one of two awesome journals that will hopefully inspire all your creative juices.

The first one is this fantastic "under the sea" inspired journal from Nikki Jefford. (Thanks again, Nikki!)



The second one is a cool journal that I chose because it reminded me of Daniel from Wake.


Enter in the Rafflecopter below to win one of the journals. All Show & Tell Giveaways will run until August 25th. It's open to the US & Canada only, sorry.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks again to Nikki Jefford for coming up with such a fun idea!  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Guest Post from Julie Cross

Today I have a guest post from Julie Cross, the author of Tempest. On Friday, she and I will both be signing at Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville, Illinois at 7:00 PM. She's also going to be at LeakyCon during the day in Chicago (as will I) on Friday, so you should definitely stop out and see us.  For more info about the event, click: here.

And now to Julie's post:



 The year is 2009. Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler. Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.

Coming January, 2013, VORTEX (Tempest #2)


About Julie Cross:
Julie Cross is the internationally bestselling author of Tempest, the first novel in a thrilling time travel trilogy. Tempest received starred reviews, is nominated for the 2012 YALSA Teens Top Ten list, is available in seventeen territories, and has been optioned by Summit Entertainment. The forthcoming sequel, Vortex releases in January, 2013. Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She never began writing until May of 2009 and hasn’t gone a day without it since.

What inspired TEMPEST?
For me, it started with the love story…two people from very different backgrounds who have this amazing summer fling and get to the end thinking it was just for fun and then have to decide what it really means and accept the fact that you are always susceptible to falling in love whether you want to or not.

Most of this happens before TEMPEST begins and it’s trickled in little bits throughout the book. But the love story alone wasn’t big enough. I needed something epic and more original to add to this plot. That’s where time travel came in. And then, just for fun, I tossed in the mysterious division of the CIA and some pretty crazy spies.

For those not in the know, give us the 411 on 'Tempest' and the series it kicks off.
I like to describe Tempest as The Time Traveler’s Wife meets Bourne Identity…but with teenagers. Oh…and everyone seems to get excited that my main character is a guy. So, that’s probably worth mentioning, too.

How long did it take to write Tempest? How many drafts did you have by the time it was ready for publication?
It took about three and a half weeks to write the first draft of Tempest, but it took about a year to get a final version. Probably over a dozen drafts…I lost count after five or six.

The time travel aspect of Tempest is quite complex at times. What was your process in formulating this aspect of the book? Was it difficult to keep track of everything and to make sure that you never broke your own time travel rules?
I’ve honestly surprised myself with how much I can remember. But the complexity came in layers through many, many drafts. What happens after all those hours spent in a character’s head is you suddenly feel as if you’ve lived their life and we all remember our own lives just fine, but try and explain what you’ve been up to for the last fifteen years to a stranger…it will sound crazy and bizarre to them and totally normal to you. That’s kind of how it is for me. I have broken some of the rules in earlier drafts but once they were established, most of the issues came from me having to explain to a new reader or someone doing line edits why I’m right and how to easily get that across to the reader.

Tempest is told from the POV of 19 year old Jackson Meyer. What was it like writing from the male POV and how did it differ from telling a story through the eyes of a female protagonist?
At first, I used to spend lots of time writing diaries for my main female character, Holly Flynn because all the time writing Jackson was exhausting and I needed some time in the girl’s head as a nice mental break. Now I’m just writing Jackson…yes he’s a guy, but he’s Jackson and I know him well enough to know what he’ll do or say in about any situation. Now it’s easy.


--
 Julie Cross Tempest (St. Martin's Press)

"Julie Cross's thrilling debut is brimming with excitement, romance, and intrigue. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough!" —Beth Revis, New York Times-bestselling author of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE

"Equal parts adventure, romance, science fiction ... readers will turn the last page and find themselves wishing they could "jump" to the future and read the sequel." —KIRKUS REVIEWS, starred review

"Debut author Cross launches a trilogy with an exciting and complex page-turner ... a story packed with moments both tender and electric—Cross's zippy writing and fresh plot are an exhilarating combination." —Publishers Weekly

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Wake's Book Birthday Giveaway + Video

Today Wake is finally out - in hardcover, ebook, and audio book - and I am crazy excited. To celebrate Wake's birth, I have not one but TWO giveaways and an fun video that Eric and I did, in which we talk about Wake and the upcoming book tour (which also kicks off today).

For all the information on where to get Wake online, click: here. If you physically go to a store, most book stores and major retailers should have it, and if they don't, ask them to stock it.


(P.S. Did you see my awesome shark shirt? It's Shark Week on Discovery Channel starting August 12th. It's their 25th Anniversary this year. Set your DVRs accordingly.)

I talk about the tour in the video, but this is a link to all the tour info: here. If you're in the are of: the Twin Cities, Chicago, Philadelphia, NYC, Dallas, San Diego, San Francisco, Portland OR, or Seattle, you should definitely check out the tour, because I will be in those places!

Now for the giveaways. The first giveaway is for an autographed hardcover of Wake.

The second giveaway is for an autographed audio version of Wake on CD. It's neat because Watersong is has music in it, so it's cool to hear.

Enter in the Rafflecopters below. US and Canada only, sorry. The giveaway runs from today until August 14th.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks again to everybody for being so supportive and making Wake's birthday so awesome! I hope to see you all out on the tour.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Top Ten Lady Villains + Giveaway

Hi guys! I'm here to take part in Amanda's adventure filled blog tour, and give you all a little break from the excitement with a post from me, Eric Goldman, Amanda's personal assistant/creative adviser/life coach/viceroy/roommate/friend/punishment in life.

One of my favorite things are villains. Not real-life villains like Hitler or the writer(s) of "Call me Maybe," but villains in films and literature, particularly villainesses, or as I like to call them "Lady Villains."

One time Amanda and I were talking, as we tend to do, and we were trying to figure out why I like lady villains so much. I obviously knew part of the reason was because they tend to be much more over the top and campy than boy villains, and I'm sure that's the biggest reason...I love me some campyness. But, we also decided that lady villains usually have a more emotional reason for doing the things that they do. Rarely do you find a lady villain pointlessly murdering people, or plotting against them for no reason. More often than not, they're doing things out of insecurity, or revenge, and I know all about being insecure and seeking revenge on enemies from my past...I'm still coming for you, guy who stole my donut at work last year.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun (for me at least) to create a Top Ten List of my favorite lady villains from films, so let's get to that, because pictures are enjoyable.

But first, a WARNING-
If you hate spoilers, and a lady villain's photo looks unfamiliar to you, I recommend not reading the accompanying description. I have incredible taste, and I would hate for such an amazing film to be ruined for you...Especially if Amanda's Mom reads this, because she still has to watch something I lent her. Otherwise...



Here we go:


10. Margaret White

Carrie's mom (from "Carrie") is definitely over the top, but not so much in a good way. Margaret White is starting off this list, because while she does portray the qualities I seek in an enjoyable female villain, she is also batshit crazy, and scares me quite a bit.

9. Debbie Salt
For #9, we have another insane woman. (I'm guessing insanity is going to play a role in this list.) Debbie Salt, the mother seeking revenge for her son's murder in "Scream 2." Debbie's intentions are admirable, but...maybe she should have looked at things from other people's point of view, and tried to understand why her son might have been killed. Just throwing that out there, Deb. (I still like you though.)

8. The Wicked Witch of the West

I'm sure you already guessed that she would make the cut. She is amazing, and the lengths she goes to for a pair of shoes are remarkable. My favorite things: She's green, she's a witch, and this line: "Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness? Oooooh, look out! I'm going! Oooooh! Ooooooh!" Someone should make a remix of that. Dubstep.

7. Annie Wilkes


Annie Wilkes is pissed off that her favorite author isn't doing things the way she would have liked. Watch out, Amanda...if I'm not pleased with the ending of "Elegy" I might have to try a few of Annie's tricks, until I get the ending I want. (I know where you keep the sledgehammer.)

6. "Baby Jane" Hudson
Stuck in the past, and jealous of her sister's more recent brush with fame, "Baby Jane" Hudson spends her free time getting drunk, hanging out with a hired friend, and feeding Joan Crawford dead pets that make her spin around in her wheelchair 8 times. That's my idea of a fun retirement.

5. Rodmilla
*Sigh* Anjelica Huston is so great at playing a bitch. I really enjoy her. I was torn between Rodmilla, and whats-her-face from "The Witches," but this character in "Ever After" has to be my favorite. Her jealousy of Cinderella's neatness makes for some enjoyable viewing. If/When the Trylle Trilogy films are made, she has my vote to play Elora...but, unfortunately, I don't have any power over anything in this world.

4. Poison Ivy

"Batman & Robin" is a really horrible film, and that's why I like it so much. Unfortunately, most of the people in the movie don't seem to realize that it's awful, except for Uma Thurman, and that makes me love her. She saunters from soundstage to soundstage delivering over the top soliloquies like it's nothing. She's a pro. (2nd place vote for this film goes to the reporter, who thinks she's best friends with Bruce Wayne. If she were a villain, she would probably be #1 on this list...maybe she'll make the Batman reboot. But, she at least deserves a picture...so, here you go, Gotham City Gossip Columnist:



3. Cruella DeVille
This lady decides that spots are going to be the next big thing in fashion, and decides the only way she can get that look is by killing "101 Dalmatians." I'm no fan of puppy murder, but the lengths Cruella is willing to go for a coat are astounding. Also, she has a cigarette stick that I'm jealous of. Also, she's played by Glenn Close. All neat things.


2. Winifred "Winnie" Sanderson

Everyone knows that I love Bette Midler. Or, at least they do now. Anyway, seeing Bette Midler playing a witch that hates her sisters and pretty much everything around her is a very enjoyable time. The ending always makes me sad, because the three witches are so much more enjoyable than anyone else...even the cat, voiced by James Marsden's brother.


And finally.....






1. Ursula (Duh.)
I love Disney movies, I love Disney villains, Ursula is my favorite Disney villain, so here she sits. My number one choice. I love her voice, I love her song, and I love that while she's singing, she just shouts her entire plan loud enough for Ariel to hear, but Ariel doesn't care...she just wants legs. She kinda had it coming, don't you think?

There you go...those are my Top 10 Villainesses. Agree? Disagree? Did I forget anyone? Oh, by the way, if you like lady villains as much as I do, (or if you hate them, and like everything else that's good) you should totally pick up "Wake" by my friend Amanda. If I had included books, they would have definitely made it on this list, because they're pretty creepy, and pretty neat, and pretty pretty. Oh! And I'll give you things too. Enter the giveaway below, and you might win a relationship with me, Eric Goldman! Or, you can win your choice of 3 of the films mentioned above...your pick. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 3, 2012

Meet Alex Lane

I'm going to do a "meet a character from Watersong" post. It's just a quick questionnaire that hopefully work as little introduction to the characters, as well as a pictures of actors that I think closely resemble how I imagined them.
This week it's Alex Lane, the boy who lives next door to Gemma and Harper in Wake.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as "Alex" would be awesome, but only if we had a time machine, because he's like 30 now, and Alex is 18. But I can't help it. I pictured a younger JGL, because he's pretty and has that really respectable boy-next-door-quality about him, and I can't un-picture him now just because he's too old.

  1. Real Name: Alexander Lane
  2. Birthday: December 5th
  3. Age: 18
  4. Zodiac: Sagittarius
  5. Boy or Girl: Boy
  6. High School: Capri High School, but I just graduated
  7. College: Sundham University in the fall
  8. Job: None right now, but I was a dishwasher at a restaurant for two years
  9. Hair Color: Brown
  10. Eye Color:Brown
  11. Height:5'10
  12. Piercing/Tattoos: None
  13. Boyfriend/Girlfriend: None at the moment
  14. Best Friend: Harper or Luke
  15. Last person you talked to: My mom
  16. Last person you texted: Harper
  17. Last person you watched a movie with: My friend Luke. We saw The Avengers.
  18. Last song you listened to: "It's Tricky" by Run-DMC
  19. Favorite Movie: The Dark Knight
  20. Favorite Bands: M83 and Miniature Tigers
  21. Favorite Books: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  22. Favorite Food: Nachos
  23. Favorite Beverage: Mountain Dew
  24. Favorite Possession:Probably my X-Box
  25. Favorite Place: I don't really have one. Just wherever the people I care about are, I guess.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Show & Tell Giveaway - eReader Skins

While planning for Under the Seapalooza, I was trying to come up with some fun ideas for things to and asked for input. Nikki Jefford (author of Entangled and the awesome guest post & giveaway, which you should check out: here) came up with the idea for weekly "Show & Tell" memes.

Here's how it works:

Unlike ongoing meme’s, this one is temporary - every Thursday throughout the month of Under the Seapalooza. Each week, I'll show off my favorite something (this week it's bookmarks), then you show off your favorite thing and enter to win a prize.

This is the schedule for Show & Tell Thursdays:
July 25th - Bookmarks
August 2nd - eReader Skins
August 9th - Journals
August 16th - Book Trailers

When I first got my Kindle two years ago, I discovered GelaSkins, and I've been obsessed with them ever since. I've gotten skins for my eReaders, my cell phone, and even my laptop. I've changed them a few times, but here are my current skins:
My nook skin is called "Coffee Angel" by Caia Koopman.

My Kindle Fire skin is called "Meow" by Lora Zombie.

So what about you? Do you have a skin for your eReader? If you don't have an eReader, do you have covers for you cell phone or laptop?

If you're like me and love decorating your electronics, then you're in luck. Because I'm giving away a $50 Gift Certificate to Gelaskins. What's awesome about them is they have skins for phones, laptops, eReaders, iPads, gaming, etc. You can design your own skin, or even order prints from their artists. So even if you don't have an eReader right now, you should definitely enter the giveaway.

All Show & Tell Giveaways will run until August 25th. It's open to the US & Canada only, sorry.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks again to Nikki Jefford for coming up with such a fun idea!  

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Enchanted Music from J. L. Bryan

“Enchanted Music” from the Real World
Guest post from J.L. Bryan
Music has always held tremendous power over human beings, offering solace, inspiration, and a little something to help you fall in love.  Music is both an escape from life and an enrichment of our lives.  We can hardly have a holiday, festival, or even a war without music to accompany it and bring everyone to a shared emotional tone.
With the powerful effect music can have on us, it’s no surprise that stories of magical music have been with us for thousands of years.  Amanda’s new Watersong series draws on myths of sirens, beautiful women whose fatally attractive songs endangered ancient Greek heroes like Jason (of Argonauts fame) and Odysseus.  My Songs of Magic series was inspired by a tradition of fae folklore that describes people being enchanted by irresistible fairy music, sometimes wandering off with the fairies forever.
Instead of looking at mythology, though, I thought it might be fun to look at some examples of music from the real world that people have believed to hold magical properties.
Aeolian Harp

An Aeolian harp is an instrument originally devised in Classical antiquity, played by the wind rather than any human hand.  Poets of the Romantic era celebrated the harp as a metaphor for the physical world, played upon by the spiritual like an instrument. (In America, Ralph Waldo Emerson described this single consciousness behind all material forms as “the Oversoul.”)  Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote in The Aeolian Harp:
And what if all of animated nature
Be but organic Harps diversely framed,
That tremble into thought, as o'er them sweeps
Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze,
At once the Soul of each, and God of all?
Romantic and Transcendentalist thinkers of the 19th century believed this harp was a symbol of the deeper nature of reality.  Here are some sounds of harps played by the wind:
“Rumble”
The 1958 song “Rumble” by Link Wray was banned from many radio stations because it was believed to lead to juvenile delinquency.  While this may have been a common belief about the strange new rock and roll music in the 1950’s, “Rumble” is particularly interesting because it is purely instrumental.  The guitar sound alone, introducing the world to power chords, was believed to have a corrupting effect.
Here is the banned rock song...but neither myself nor Amanda Hocking can be held responsible for any wild criminal acts you may commit after hearing it:
 
The Devil’s Interval (diabolus in musica)
The tritone, or “Devil’s interval,” was banned from ecclesiastical music for its dissonant sound and evil connotations.  Franz Liszt used the infernal sound in Dante Sonata, and Black Sabbath used it in their song “Black Sabbath.” (In his autobiography, Ozzy Osbourne reports that the first time they played this song live, much of the audience ran out screaming.)
So now you’re delinquent and possessed by the Devil, but also in better touch with the universal pantheistic consciousness behind all forms.  You win some, you lose some.

If you’re interested in enchanting music, here’s a chance to win the first three books in my Songs of Magic series: Fairy Metal Thunder, Fairy Blues, and Fairystruck, in your preferred format.  This giveaway is international!  Just enter using the Rafflecopter below.  The giveaway closes at 11:59 PM Eastern time on Tuesday, August 7.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway 
Thanks to Mandy Hocking for having me visit today!  Don’t forget to see Amanda’s post today on my pal Jenni’s blog, Alluring Reads.
J.L. Bryan is the author of The Paranormals series (Jenny Pox, Tommy Nightmare, Alexander Death, and a fourth book to be released in fall 2012, Jenny Plague-Bringer).  He is also the author of the Songs of Magic series (the fifth book, Fairyvision, should also be available sometime in the fall of 2012).