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Blog Hopping Meme (Must be a bunny...hoppity-hop)

I have been tagged in a blog hopping meme by the lovely E.M. LaBonte of The Realms of a Fantastical Mind.  This meme hops, and since I like bunnies (as long as they're not the zombie kind), I decided to give it a go.


      1. What is your dream vacation?
       
      This:



Photo by virtualphotographystudio


2. Are you spontaneous or do you like to plan ahead?
A bit of both, actually. I don't plan the details. As long as I have a general idea of what's suppose to happen, or where we're going, or what we're going to do, then I'm good. I like spontaneity and being "in the moment".


3. Tell us one thing you want to do but don’t dare to do.

Gah! I don't know. I used to be a lot more adventurous when I was younger. Think scuba diving with great white sharks, flying in a helicopter, possibly even bungee jumping though heights make me weak in the knees...ya know, the stuff we dream of doing as daredevil teens because we believe we are mighty and invincible. But ever since I became a mother, I'd see Danger! signs everywhere--from the sharp corner of a coffee table to a staircase with a broken guard rail fence (that expensive staircase fence you buy at Babies R Us to keep your little one from tumbling down the stairs and breaking their sweet noggins).
4. What's your biggest phobia?

You know, phobia's a funny word because it somehow indicates a condition, an irrational fear. Like, I used to say I was an arachnophobe because spiders give me the heebie-jeebies. But then, I realized, I don't go bonkers whenever I see a spider, so it's not totally irrational fear. So I had to scratch that one out from my resume. :) If we were to rephrase the question and ask what's my biggest fear instead, then whew! I'll have an answer for you.
Once, I had this weird daydream (I was fully conscious. Sometimes I have very morbid, strange thoughts.) while I was out in the school playgrounds, waiting for the school bell to ring and for the kids to come out. And I imagined a "what if?" scenario where something horribly, horribly wrong is happening inside the school building. Say maybe, some of the school children had turned into zombies. First, I would hear a shriek or two, and then more. Followed by the onslaught of bodies running, screaming, bursting out of the doors...total chaos. I would grab my little boy from the swings, all the while craning my neck for a glimpse of my daughter. But the crowd is growing, swelling, and I wouldn't be able to see her at first. And then.
She would be sprawled on the ground, crying, having tripped while scrambling to get out of the way of stampeding kids. I would run to her, though my movements would be slow, hindered by my pregnant belly and the little boy hanging onto my shoulder. An undead creature finds her scent, and makes its way toward her. Screams tearing at my throat. Heart pounding. I would reach her, I would reach her...
It's not so much as what type of villain or threat (whether real or imagined) there is, my biggest fear is that I won't be able to save my kids. Protect them from the evils of the world. As a parent, there's only so much that we can do. Of course, you realize by now that my daydream is purely metaphorical (I am a writer, after all.), though the fear is real.  
5. If you were stranded on a desert island – what 3 things would you want with you (not including laptop, or family).


       Why would I be stranded on an island in the first place? I never travel by boat, and would never go on a cruise. But if you're going to go all Cast Away on me, I guess I would want to have a satelllite phone. A knife would be good, too. And a really, really, REALLY good book.


 
6. Name three blessings in your life.
My husband, my kids, and my family.


7. What was your nickname in High School?
I wish I had something cool to give you. But I went to geek school (yep, no kidding.), and I don't remember earning any kind of nickname at all. I did, however, got christened  "Princess Neyti" by my high school friend's little sister (she was maybe 4 or 5, at the time). I stayed overnight at their house because my friend and I had a school project we were working on. Her sister took a liking to me...actually, she liked the snacks I brought with me, and after much giggling and munching, lil sis placed a toy tiara on my head and declared that I was to be, for the remainder of the weekend, Princess Neyti of Pringles Land. Yup, I'm royalty, people. 


      8. If you could meet the President of the United States, what would you say to him?

    Probably a lot of questions, but the most pressing one would be: Why, oh why, do I always get the jury summons, and not my husband?? I've only been a citizen for a few years and yet, that dreaded mail always has my name on it.


9. If you could be any literary character for a day, who would you be?

      Oooh, a tough one! Nothing comes to mind immediately (probably 'cause I'm hungry at the moment and daydreaming of a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting...mmm...Oh, sorry!) I do have a character I like very much, and though she only exists in 2K words of my own making, I'd like very much to make her come alive sometime. She's a young witch named Amelia, who's less green than a proper witch should be, and whose spells always backfire on her. She lives with her three stepsisters--all full-fledged witches--and they think Amelia's an abomination because she's more human than witch (she hasn't grown warts, for instance, and her button nose refuses to grow three inches long). After a disastrous spell puts Amelia in more trouble than she'd ever been, she runs away from the witchy village to find her place in the world.


10. What is your favorite quote?

I don't hoard quotes, so I have nothing in my arsenal to show you. I only try to live by the golden rule of life: Don't do unto others what you don't want others to do unto you. That's a tongue twister. So, basically, be nice and show kindness to everyone. Don't judge. We're all trying to live life the best way we can (and the best way we know how--even if our knowlede is imperfect and lacking. But as long as we try, isn't that good enough?)


I'm supposed to tag 7 people so this meme can continue to hop along. So, here are my victims, er, picks:

1. Angela V. Cook, who's newly agented, and may have more interesting answers to this meme than I do.

2. The Rookstar, a.k.a., Bethany, because she's hilarious and is naturally a rebel when it comes to memes and rules.

3. Mary Frame, who's just as equally rebellious as Rookstar, and when she's got too many margaritas to drink, is a real riot. ;)

4. Kittie Howard, 'cause I'm a curious bunny and I'd like to see what she'll come up with.

5. Jenny of the Phreshness, or the Party Pony, 'cause she knows how to par-tay, and to maddeningly twist memes around until they're irreverently funny. In other words, she's the first person to make me snort my drink (and caused me much embarrassment in the process.) <3

6. Suzanne F. Payne, 'cause she's in a blogging funk and I'm hoping this meme would lift her out of the funkiness. ;)

7. Erin Summerill, who's funny and cute and all-around lovely.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Book Spotlight: The Last Apprentice Series by Joseph Delaney

This is an ongoing YA Horror series by Joseph Delaney. At the moment, book 8 is already out, and no, it is not the last one (hooray!). I stumbled upon these books at the library and became immediately hooked, so much so that I would borrow three at a time and finish them in a week. Good thing all seven were already pubbed, or I would have spent time tearing my hair and crying out, "What happens next?" Luckily, by the time I finished #7, I discovered The Monstrumologist series (Rick Yancey) and was able to feed my love for horror while Mr. Delaney worked on book #8. Hee!

About the Author: (from Goodreads)

Joseph Delaney is a retired English teacher living in Lancashire. He has three children and seven grandchildren and is a wonderful public speaker available for conference, library and bookshop events. His home is in the middle of Boggart territory and his village has a boggart called the Hall Knocker, which was laid to rest under the step of a house near the church.

Most of the places in the Spook's books are based on real places in Lancashire. And the inspiration behind the stories often comes from local ghost stories and legends.

The Spook's Apprentice, The Spook's Curse and The Spook's Secret have all been shortlisted for the Lancashire children's Book for the Year Award. The Spook's Apprentice is the winner of both the Sefton Book Award and the Hampshire Book Award.
(In UK, the books are called The Spook's Apprentice, while in the US, they are known as The Last Apprentice series.)

The Books:

Tom Ward, being the seventh son of a seventh son, becomes an apprentice to the County's Spook, Old Gregory, in order to learn to combat the denizens of "The Dark" and protect the County and those he loves.

  1. Revenge of the Witch
  2. Curse of the Bane
  3. Night of the Soul Stealer
  4. Attack of the Fiend
  5. Wrath of the Blood-eye
  6. Clash of the Demons
  7. Rise of the Huntress
  8. Rage of the Fallen



Curse of the Bane (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #2)Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #1)    Night of the Soul Stealer (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #3) Attack of the Fiend (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #4)


Wrath of the Bloodeye (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, Book 5) The Last Apprentice: Clash of the Demons   The Last Apprentice: Rise of the Huntress  Rage of the Fallen (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #8)


It is a story of the battle between good and evil, and the blurred lines of in-between. This series is not nearly as gruesome as The Monstrumologist books, though if you were thinking of passing these onto your tween, or teen, you might want to check them out first. Everyone has a different "scare" threshold.

The ninth book in the series, I Am Grimalkin, is also already out though it is written in the witch assassin's POV, and not Tom's. I have yet to find this book.

I Am Grimalkin (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #9)

A Makeover

Hello, hello!

I hope you all had a fun holiday weekend. While the kids and I battled a cold virus during the break, we still managed to have fun so it was all good. I'd been avoiding the computer and the Internet due to my aforementioned headache problem (which still continues to assail me, btw. I'm beginning to worry there's something else going on in my old noggin--or maybe, I'm just being a pessimistic, worrywart. Crossing fingers it's only the pregnancy hormones causing havoc in my brain.) But then I come across some lovely blog templates online and I couldn't help myself. I just had to do a blog makeover.

So...TA-DA!

You like?

Haha! Cute, no?
Source: Amazingmania.com


I think there's something refreshing about makeovers. It's like when my hubster decides to redecorate the house every few years and then, voila! The same-old abode feels like new again...without tearing down walls and tearing up hair strands over paint colors. I love it. :)

So here's to hoping I would be well again to continue blogging. I've really enjoyed getting to know you through the blogosphere. It has been a wonderful experience.

Speaking of makeovers, the only thing I don't like about Blogger's new comment system is its two-word captcha. As if we don't need enough reasons to trigger my headaches.

Really, Blogger? Really? I think you need more black globs in there to render the words totally indecipherable.
So if I haven't been by to comment on your awesome posts, it's probably because the captchas kept me.

Have a great week, everyone!

Show Some Love

It's V-Day! So I decided to come out of hiding, despite my headache-plagued noggin, to show some love. Which means...blog awards that I've gotten not-quite-so-recently and are now in dire need of being passed onto deserving individuals so that love may continue to abound in the blogosphere. :)

Photo By EPMLE
First off, from the ever lovely Tanya Reimer of Life's Like That, she awarded me not one, but TWO blog awards! Thanks, Tanya! Je t'adore!  

          

Wowza!! Nice, eh? There are rules, of course, but since I've already done the give-us-seven-random-things-about-you thingy, and since my life is not superbly exciting as, say, a sky-diving/bungee-jumping nuthead person, I will skip this rule. (The only excitement I get lately is feeling tiny flutters in my belly, which one could argue was possibly the baby moving, or a severe case of indigestion.)

So, onto the awardees!

1. Kristin Baker Przybyla of Fairies and Pirates, etc. (If I bungled up your last name, K, I'm very soorrry!!)

2. The Golden Eagle. Yeah, 'cause she's golden. ;)

3. My teen pal Riley who's so ever clever and witty. She blogs at In the Jungle,. (Seriously, I can't remember if I've already given you the same awards, Riley girl. Just bonk me in the head if I did.)

4. Kate of Kate's Free Write. She's a painter! And a writer! And a mother like me!

5. Rachel Searles of Awkward Girl (though there's nothing awkward about her.) ;)

That's it for now since the monstrosity that is my headache is rearing its ugly head at me. To all my followers who have faithfully continued to show me support even though I have become one of the dreaded "sporadic" bloggers (it's only temporary, people!), I give you this award:

Yes, please don't hesitate to grab this. You deserve this. All of you.

This was given to me by my beautiful preggy friend, J.A. Bennett, who, despite her morning sickness and fatigue, still manages to blog every week (I swear I don't know how she does it.) Thanks, Jen! Love ya!

I'm A Writer, and I'm An Introvert

I'm not generalizing here...I'm only referring to myself.

Yes, me. The quiet, inconspicuous person you don't see behind the online persona. In real life, when people talk, I'm the one who listens. I'm not the loud, obnoxious Uncle in the family reunion party, regaling everyone with his incredible tale of escaping the deadly bite of the garter snake he found in his garden (I'd be the one chuckling to myself because garter snakes are not deadly, nor particularly poisonous to humans).

In other words, I don't live for the spotlight. Instead, I make sure everything goes smoothly backstage.

That is who I am. And as I learn more and more about the publishing biz, frankly, I'm afraid.

Too often we hear how we as writers are expected to MARKET OURSELVES.

Build a platform Plan BOOK Tours BLOG book signings Join Google Plus TwEeT
Where's your FACEBOOK page? HyPeS Must do TumBlr CONFERENCES Blog Hops speaking engagements Interviews  Contests!! SWAGS!! goodreads Amazon Pinterest is the NEW thing Promote, promote, promote...YOURSELF


We're expected to be loud. We need to be heard. We need to be seen. We have to be in your face because unfortunately, you and everyone else have the attention span of a 2-year-old... (if you're on Twitter, you've probably seen this countless of times. *coughspamcough*)


No.


That's not who I am. It's scary, isn't it? For an unpubbed writer, the pressure is ever increasing. For a pubbed or soon-to-be-pubbed writer, the pressure is doubly increasing. Whether you're on my side of the equation or on the other, the truth is, we have to sell ourselves eventually.

So if you're an introvert like me, this kind of stuff is what makes our nightmares. Can we just go back to the days of yore, when there wasn't a photograph of Jane Austen on the back jacket flap of Pride and Prejudice? Alas, no.

Tell me: Does the thought of being in the public spotlight terrify you or make you giddy? If you're an introvert, do you wory about these things, too, or am I the only weird one here? :) 


Book Spotlight: The Monstrumologist Series by Rick Yancey

I LOVE these books. They are gruesome and macabre, yes. But behind the horrific images that'll make your gut churn with disgust, there are infallible truths about the nature of Man.

About the Author:

Rick Yancey is a prolific author having published a memoir, Confessions of a Tax Collector, and several adult and young adult books (Teddy Ruzak mysteries, Alfred Kropp series, and the Monstrumologist series). You can find his website here.

(Book cover images and blurbs from Goodreads.)

Book #1:



These are the secrets I have kept. This is the trust I never betrayed. But he is dead now and has been for nearly ninety years, the one who gave me his trust, the one for whom I kept these secrets. The one who saved me . . . and the one who cursed me.

So starts the diary of Will Henry, orphan and assistant to a doctor with a most unusual specialty: monster hunting. In the short time he has lived with the doctor, Will has grown accustomed to his late night callers and dangerous business. But when one visitor comes with the body of a young girl and the monster that was feeding on her, Will's world is about to change forever. The doctor has discovered a baby Anthropophagi--a headless monster that feeds through the mouthfuls of teeth in its chest--and it signals a growing number of Anthropophagi. Now, Will and the doctor must face the horror threatenning to overtake and consume our world before it is too late.

Book #2:



While Dr. Warthrop is attempting to disprove that Homo vampiris, the vampire, could exist, his former fianc√Če asks him to rescue her husband, who has been captured by a Wendigo—a creature that starves even as it gorges itself on human flesh. Although Dr. Warthrop considers the Wendigo to be fictitious, he relents and performs the rescue—and then sees the man transform into a Wendigo. Can the doctor and Will Henry hunt down the ultimate predator, who, like the legendary vampire, is neither living nor dead, and whose hunger for human flesh is never satisfied? This second book in The Monstrumologist series explores the line between myth and reality, love and hate, genius and madness.

Book #3:



When Dr. Warthrop goes hunting the "Holy Grail of Monstrumology" with his eager new assistant, Arkwright, he leaves Will Henry in New York. Finally, Will can enjoy something that always seemed out of reach: a normal life with a real family. But part of Will can't let go of Dr. Warthrop, and when Arkwright returns claiming that the doctor is dead, Will is devastated--and not convinced.

Determined to discover the truth, Will travels to London, knowing that if he succeeds, he will be plunging into depths of horror worse than anything he has experienced so far. His journey will take him to Socotra, the Isle of Blood, where human beings are used to make nests and blood rains from the sky--and will put Will Henry's loyalty to the ultimate test.

*****

I heard there's a fourth book in the series (yay!). If you're a fan of horror and human psychology, you don't want to miss this. ;)

Precy Larkins's books on Goodreads
Winter's Regret: What Might Have Been Winter's Regret: What Might Have Been
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Precy's bookshelf: read

Whispering Minds
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Night of Cake & Puppets
The Fault in Our Stars
The Return of the King
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The Last Olympian
The Hundred: Fall of the Wents
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
The Hunger Games
Wonder
The Founders' Code
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
The Two Towers
The Book Thief
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
The Lost Hero
Divergent
The Battle of the Labyrinth


Precy Larkins's favorite books »