i'm darkness and light, bubbles and faerie wings. i am sparkles and glitter, shadows and clouds. i love purple, and faeries, and books, and music.

Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

Happy Birthday to the Magnificent Melissa Walker!

The always lovely, and extremely elegant author Melissa Walker is having a birthday today! You may know her as the author of the Violet books. Or, you may know her as the author of Lovestruck Summer. Either way, she’s a fantastic writer and just a wonderful person IN person.

When I went down to NYC for BEA I was able to finally get that in-person meeting. I know Melissa as the first author who ever commented on my blog. I remember being so excited about that and then realizing this meant that maybe I might have other readers out there other than myself and a handful of friends and family.

The only problem I have ever had with Melissa is the fact that at a year younger than I am, she’s way more accomplished. Makes me feel a little depressed about my life. Darn her! (HA!) I’ll also never achieve that elegant 1920s type look and style that seems to come so easily to her (have you ever seen her wedding photos? My gods! They are like a movie scene. So glamourous!)

Happy birthday to a wonderful new friend over the last 3 years, I am happy the internet allowed me to discover you, the person, after the bookstores allowed me to discover you the author and your books.

I know Finnegan is already a huge fan of yours. Maybe has a little crush as well. 😉

I urge everyone to head on over to Melissa’s blog and wish her a happiest of birthdays! She truly is a lovely person and deserves all the attention she can get today!

And I’ll let you know that 33 wasn’t so bad. I made it through unscathed, more or less. So far my 30s have made me a happier person. I’m embracing ever year and I hope you do too! *hugs*

* NOTE – So I prescheduled this to post June 4 at 11:11.. only some how I managed to goof on the year and had it scheduled for 2011 as well and not 2010. So it never showed up! Oops… so Friday, June 4 was Melissa’s birthday!

Lovestruck Summer

Lovestruck Summer
by Melissa Walker

Can this woman do no wrong? Melissa Walker writes the most amazing books. In my opinion she also writes the most likable characters I have ever read. But I will tell you a secret, one that I am ashamed to admit… though I am deeply in love with Melissa’s Violet series, I didn’t think I would pick this book up at all. The cover art makes it look like some froofy romance novel and I didn’t think the plot would interest me. I know! I am horrible! And I should just realize that she writes amazingly well.

And if I didn’t believe it before, I do now. I will pick up any book by this author any time (ok, unless it’s like erotica or historical fiction, because, EW! to both of those).

And, secret number B… I didn’t think I would like this book at all when I started it. Sort of like the main character, Quinn, I had this idea in my head of how the book would be and that I automatically wouldn’t like it – just like she had preconceived ideas of her sorority cousin Penny and fratboy Russ. And I started reading and thought.. well, maybe.

And then I kept reading and thought, wow! I have to keep reading!

The thing is, I didn’t particularly like Quinn. I thought she was a little self-important, judgemental and rather arrogant. But even with not liking the main character, I really enjoyed this book and LOVED all the other characters! I especially loved Penny. I thought all the other characters had, well, character! And I thought Quinn needed a good smack upside her head.

I am fairly sure this is where the author was going with this, because the whole point of the book is how Quinn grows as a person and learns some important life lessons about *cough* judging a book by its cover *cough*. (Which I might have totally done with this here book…*innocent look*).

I also didn’t want to read this book because I don’t normally like “real life” type YA books. I don’t like to get emotional when I read. Give me a good fantasy story or serial killer novel any day! And although I loved the stories about Violet and her super model life, there was something different with those. What? I don’t know, maybe because it just sounded fictional (and yet the books felt very real while reading them!). I can’t quite explain it. I don’t care about love stories. I am not that kind of romantic.

But I loved Lovestruck Summer. I was smiling from ear to ear when I finished this book, that isn’t a lie. I felt happy, good, content! When I finished this book it was like all the stress of the day had just vaporized from my body and I curled up in bed, smiling and fell fast asleep.

Heck, I even had Can’t Help Falling in Love in my head when I woke up the next morning and I swear to you all that I have been humming it for the last two days!

Go! Buy this book! Read this book! You’ll not be sorry.

Out of My Pocket #5 (aka: if your last name is Harrison – it’s all your fault!)

Due to my book buying addiction I started  feature on my blog where I post about the book(s) I bought that week. Not something I plan on having every week – though it seems to be turning out that way.  So here’s what I bought this week!

Previous OoMP posts can be found here!

I was bad and bought more books than I should have this week. Two on Sunday and another six on Friday. *cough* But I also bought a bag!

Sunday yielded the following:

Death’s Daughter
by Amber Benson
(Ace / February 2009)

Calliope Reaper-Jones so just wanted a normal life: buying designer shoes on sale, dating guys from Craigas List, web-surfing for organic dim-sum for her boss…
But when her fatherawho happens to be Death himselfais kidnapped, and the Devilas Protege embarks on a hostile takeover of the family business, Death, Inc., Callie returns home to assume the CEO mantlea only to discover she must complete three nearly impossible tasks in the realm of the afterlife first. (Chapters.Indigo.ca)

Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception
by Maggie Stiefvater
(Flux / October 2008)

Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan is a painfully shy but prodigiously gifted musician. She’s about to find out she’s also a cloverhand—one who can see faeries. Deirdre finds herself infatuated with a mysterious boy who enters her ordinary suburban life, seemingly out of thin air. Trouble is, the enigmatic and gorgeous Luke turns out to be a gallowglass—a soulless faerie assassin. An equally hunky—and equally dangerous—dark faerie soldier named Aodhan is also stalking Deirdre. Sworn enemies, Luke and Aodhan each have a deadly assignment from the Faerie Queen. Namely, kill Deirdre before her music captures the attention of the Fae and threatens the Queen’s sovereignty. Caught in the crossfire with Deirdre is James, her wisecracking but loyal best friend. Deirdre had been wishing her life weren’t so dull, but getting trapped in the middle of a centuries-old faerie war isn’t exactly what she had in mind . . . (Chapters.Indigo.ca)

And then Friday yielded:

Once Dead, Twice Shy
by Kim Harrison *swooooon*
(Harper Teen  / May 2009)

Madison’s prom was killer—literally. For some reason she’s been targeted by a dark reaper—yeah, that kind of reaper—intent on getting rid of her, body and soul. But before the reaper could finish the job, Madison was able to snag his strange, glowing amulet and get away.

Now she’s stuck on Earth—dead but not gone. Somehow the amulet gives her the illusion of a body, allowing her to toe the line between life and death. She still doesn’t know why the dark reaper is after her, but she’s not about to just sit around and let fate take its course.

With a little ingenuity, some light-bending, and the help of a light reaper (one of the good guys! Maybe . . . ), her cute crush, and oh yeah, her guardian angel, Madison’s ready to take control of her own destiny once and for all, before it takes control of her.

Well, if she believed in that stuff. (Chapters.Indigo.ca)

I blame Kim Harrison for being my favourite author and therefore I have to instantly purchase anything of hers – EVEN IF IT’S IN HARD COVER. It’s her fault for being awesome. Damn her.

The Merrybegot
by Julie Hearn
(Oxford University Press / 2005)

This is the story of Nell who lives with her grandmother, the local cunning woman and healer, in a west country village in the seventeenth century. When one of the minister’s daughters falls pregnant she and her sister attempt to conceal it by accusing Nell of putting a curse on them. The witchfinder general, Matthew Hopkins, is called in and in an atmosphere of fear, the local villagers turn nasty and Nell’s grandmother falls victim to their hatred. Nell is all alone, and in great danger . . . (amazon.ca)

I blame author Michelle Harrison for this one since she just suggested it in comments this week and it interested me and then I found out the bookstore near me had ONE copy in stock with this title (US version is The Minister’s Daughter) and since I am a sucker for original titles, etc. Had to buy it since it wasn’t going to be reordered.

Poison
by Chris Wooding
(Scholastic / 2006)

Poison has always been a willful, contrary girl, prone to being argumentative and stubborn. So when her sister is snatched by the mean-spirited faeries, she seeks out the Phaerie Lord to get her back. But finding him isn”t easy, and the quest leads Poison into a murderous world of intrigue, danger, and deadly storytelling. With only her wits and her friends to aid her, Poison must survive the attentions of the Phaerie Lord, rescue her sister, and thwart a plot that”s beyond anything she (or the reader) can imagine. . . . (chapters.indigo.ca)

I blame Michelle Harrison for this one as well, since it was also suggested by her AND when I looked it up – it was PURPLE! How could I turn down a purple book? I can’t. Especially if it’s about faeries (and cheap!). So again, not my fault. It was a Harrison’s fault.

Lovestruck Summer
by Melissa Walker
(Harpercollins / April 2009)

Austin music fest
Yay, summer in Austin!
Good food, good times. Fun for everyone!
Okay, living with my sorority-brainwashed cousin, who willingly goes by “Party Penny,” is not exactly what I had in mind.
All your favorite bands
But the cute musicians I’ve met totally make up for it . . . like Sebastian. Swoon.
All ages welcome
So why can’t I stop thinking about Penny’s friend All-American Russ and his Texas twang??
Saturday & Sunday, from noon to midnight
Don’t wait up! (chapters.indigo.ca)

I love Melissa Walker’s writing, so since I saw this while wandering the aisle looking for the Wooding book I HAD to pick it up! Again, Michelle Harrison’s fault, because I wouldn’t have gotten to the W’s if I wasn’t looking for Poison, right?

Curse the Dawn
by Karen Chance
(New American Library / April 2009)

Cassie Palmer may be the world’s chief clairvoyant, but that doesn’t mean people have stopped trying to kill her. And now, the self-styled god Apollo, the source of Cassie’s power, is on the warpath leaving her no choice but to face down her creator once and for all. (chapters.indigo.ca)

This one I blame on DarlaD, since I saw the review on her blog and totally forgot the book came out. It’ s been sitting in my wishlist since I read the first three books last summer and I learned that this one was coming in 2009.

The Christopher Killer
by Alane Ferguson
(Penguin Young Reader Group / 2008)

As the daughter of a Colorado County coroner, seventeen-yearold Cameryn Mahoney is no stranger to death. in fact, sheas always been fascinated by the science of it. so sheas thrilled to finally get some hands-on experience in forensics working as her fatheras assistant. but Cammie is in for more than she bargained for when the second case that she attends turns out to be someone she knowsathe latest victim of a serial killer known as the Christopher Killer. And if dealing with that isnat hard enough, Cammie soon realizes that if sheas not careful, she might wind up as the killeras next victim. . . . (chapters.indigo.ca)

You know, this one might be Darla’s fault, too! Though I am possibly wrong. I know I found this book sometime last summer(ish) when I was just discovering a ton of book blogs and since I read the review I have had this on my wishlist forever. I happened to see it by chance in the store today and it was only $5! So I got it. I have been curious about it for so long, I hope it lives up to my curiosity!

Whew! That’s a lot of books and I know I will feel it come the end of the month. But it’s worth it. All I need now is to win enough money in the lottery this weekend to cover my book buying costs. I’m not greedy. 😉

5 Questions: author Melissa Walker (Violet in Private)

Melissa Walker is the wonderfully cool author of the Violet series which includes, Violet on the Runway, Violet by Design and now her newest book – Violet in Private. When she isn’t writing this fantastic Young Adult series about a teen wallflower-turned-supermodel, Melissa is out there writing articles for magazines such as Seventeen, ELLEgirl and Teen Vogue! She also has a pretty awesome blog where she keeps you up-to-date on all things cool, YA and fun! She makes me want to become a freelance writer myself after reading about all her adventures. If only I didn’t have such a comma addiction and the tendency to ramble more than make sense!

Melissa was kind enough to take some time out of her super hectic Super Author schedule and play along with me and my 5 Questions! I hope you enjoy what she has to say – and go out and pick up your very own copies of these books when you’re done! What are you waiting for! Get going!

1. How important was it to you to have Violet be a realistic character (in thought, action and feeling) and not just some piece of fiction that only had a few relatable characteristics?

Very! I think every author tries to make characters have depth, and I was no different. Violet was my very first book heroine, so a lot of her likes and dislikes are my own. I actually staged an interview with her in my head before I started writing—“asking” her about her most-played songs, her perfect day, her favorite book, etc. And, well, a lot of her answers resembled mine! But that was okay.

I also knew that I was writing a book that was set in a superficial world, so it was important that there was a grounded, real girl at the center of it. Sure, she gets swept up in a lot of the glamour (who wouldn’t?) but Violet is her own person, and that had to be true for the book I wanted to write. Otherwise it would have been a bunch of designer labels and name-dropping, and not a very fulfilling read.

2. I thought Violet’s feelings towards the popular girls at school to be very spot on. I’m pretty sure many girls feel that way about the in-crowd – hating them, yet deep down wishing they could be a part of that inner circle no matter what. Were you ever tempted to have Violet chose popularity over common sense and true friendship while writing the story?

You know, she does choose popularity for a while. I think it would be unrealistic to have her turn away from it initially, because it’s something that—like the fashion world—just looks so glamorous and ideal from the outside. But I knew that the friendships she had—and her relationship with her family and her own inner self, would be strong enough to pull her out of that tide eventually.

3. What do you feel is the bigger issue – drug and alcohol abuse or body image (weight loss) in the industry (fashion – slash – celebrity since they seem to be synonymous these days)? Or might they be about the same?

Tough question! They go hand in hand in many occasions—drugs are a notorious way to avoid eating. (Ahem, “Heroin Chic”—the fact that that’s even a supposedly glamorous term is kind of terrifying.) But right now, I think the body image thing is more urgent somehow. France just passed a law saying French judges could fine offenders up to $47,000 if found guilty of “inciting others to deprive themselves of food,” so we’ll see what affects that has on the Paris shows this fall. When girls like Ali Michael aren’t being booked because they’re “too thick,” everyone has to question what’s going on with fashion.

4. Though it would be nice if the Violet books just kept on a-comin’, I am sure there is only so far we can travel with Violet on her journey. I am hoping that you will continue to grace the literature world with your words and imagination. Do you have any plans to write more novels after Violet?

I do! I’m working on a romance called LOVESTRUCK SUMMER that will be out in summer 2009. It’s a new character named Quinn, and she’s been really fun to write. I have to admit that sometimes I miss Violet though. I’d write those books forever if I could.

5. If you could only ever listen to three musical artists/bands, what would you choose?

This is tougher than the drugs-or-skinny question! Okay, maybe: The Beatles (because they were prolific and produced many, many styles of music), John Denver (because he will always remind me of my mom cooking at home when I was little) and Rihanna (because I refuse to believe she’s a flash-in-the-pan obsession for me).

Oh, my, I feel very eclectic.

So, thank you again, Melissa for taking the time to let us know a little more about you and your work and musical tastes! Can’t wait to read more from you!

Violet in Private – Happy Release Day!

Violet in Private
by Melissa Walker

RELEASED TODAY! AUGUST 5, 2008!

Violet Greenfield is done with modelling. She’s finished, it’s over. Good bye. At least that is what she has told herself, her friends and her family over and over. The only one she hasn’t quite shared this information with fully is her abrasive and often harsh agent Angela. The perfect way to avoid confronting the Tryst Model agent is to just not answer the phone and concentrate on just being a normal nineteen year old girl enjoying college life.

Violet in Private deals with Violet’s struggle with losing her new found popularity versus being “just a college girl”. Her two best friends Julie and Roger make appearances and we are introduced to another set of friends, Kurt, Fan, Jess and Oliver. Three of whom are Violet’s new college roommies and one of whom has definite hottie potential!

Through a series of events which unfold throughout the story, Violet is offered an editorial internship at Teen Fashionista magazine and is contacted by a teacher and asked to speak to her students about body image. Violet is finally finding her voice and more and more convinced that this is where she belongs, not on the runway.

College life is just what Violet needs, she can eat normally, be herself and finds she is very happy this way. Her agent, however, is not happy with Violet’s new life and can be downright hurtful in her comments about Violet’s weight (some of which even made ME cringe!). What does Violet choose? Does she continue being Supermodel Violet, who has to watch what she eats and who she’s with and where she is, or does she choose to stay College Violet and enjoy learning, new friends and being herself?

I love, love, LOVE this series and main character Violet Greenfield. She is written very real and likable. Even the new characters were fun to read about, except I did not like Kurt. Other reviews I have been reading seem to really like him, I found him irritating beyond believe and just wanted to smack him a couple of time and tell him to shut the heck up. Oops. In general I am not a fan of loud and overly-hyper type people and I think he was written so well that my reaction was just as it would have it been had he been a real person in the room with me. I did, however, love how he and Veronica Trask got along. I thought the two of them together were hilarious and adorable. I love that Melissa Walker made Veronica seem more normal and less “I’m a model” when she was with him.

Once again the issue of weight and body image is a major player in this story. I liked that Violet was very firm in her belief that she didn’t need to starve herself to fit in. So what if she’d gained 10 pounds, she says herself in the story that she actually feels better with that little bit of extra weight and so what if she’s not a size zero! At one point someone calls her out for walking the runway as a “plus-sized model!” and I had to think about that. If she WAS a size zero and gained about 10 pounds, wouldn’t that make her about a size 2 or something? Since when was SIZE TWO a PLUS SIZE?

Way to make ME feel like a hippo, Fashion Industry. Thanks. Bite me.

Violet is finding her voice and starting to stand up to people in the industry more and more, including her agent. Once she realized that when the excitement wore off, it really wasn’t a world she wanted to be a part of, things start to change. She develops more of a backbone than she ever has and the she doesn’t even realize how much of an influence she has over the industry and others. She brings change to a world that has been stuck in an eating disorder rut for a long time. There is a confrontation at the end of the book which really impressed me and made me go, “Huh! Well, go you!”

I am interested to see where things go from here if there are more Violet books. Melissa Walker does a great job of bringing up controversial topics in the fashion world and letting her readers know you don’t have to be skin and bones to be pretty or popular. The book is subtly affirming without being preachy.

Check out my 5 Questions interview with Melissa Walker for a glimpse into the mind of a spectacular author!

If you haven’t already, you should pick up the first two books about Violet!