Friday, August 31, 2012

Liebster Blog Award ~ Again! Kind of...haha just read the post...

A while ago I was tagged for the Liebster Blog Award. I tagged 10 people, including a good friend of mine, Fatuma. She has a few blogs but the one I tagged is: 

And, since we're all rebels, she tagged me back! So this time I'm just going to answer the questions she asked. There are some fun ones in there! I like these questions!

1.What is your favorite fruit? 
Hmm, good question. Strawberries are great. But I really like pears and kiwi. Especially kiwi.
 2.Why do you blog? 

I blog for a couple of  reasons. I want to be a full time author and I heard that having an internet presence is really important for that. So that's the main reason. I also just really love it. It's fun.
 3. Do you like Asian dramas (esp. Korean)? *crosses fingers* lol 

I don't know if I like them, since I've never seen any. Any recommendations? lol
 4. What do you feel passionate about? 

A lot of stuff. Life. Writing, reading, art, photography, cooking, family, friends, nature, rare disease awareness, domestic abuse awareness, raising money for Cystinosis research and cancer research and  diabetes research and several other things, Psychology, environmental rights, animal rights. The list probably goes on...
 5. What are your career goals? Current or future. 

I want to be an author. And possibly write for a magazine, or work on a literary magazine. I do know I want to be a full time author though.
 6. If you had a dollar, what would you buy?
I don't know, what can you buy for a dollar these days? A lottery ticket maybe? Oh, or a chocolate bar, I like chocolate.

7. If you could write a book, what would it be about? 
Actually, I have a book out lol. It's a collection of poetry and photography.There's a link to it on the sidebar thing. But I am working on a novel right now. A young adult romance set in the 1960s that spans six years of the main character's life. From when she (Sam) is 16 to when Sam is 22.
 8. What's your favorite color? Why? 

My favorite is blue. All different shades of blue. However I do also really like teal ad turquoise. I like these blues because blue can show such a range of emotions. Blues can be happy, sad, mysterious. They are all beautiful and I love the color blue.
 9. What's your favorite movie or types of movies? 

I really like The Outsiders, and the Harry Potter movies, and the Godfather and Swing Kids and The Hunger Games. Mostly I like dramas.
 10. What's your favorite fictional character?

That's a very difficult question. Are we talking just from books? Or TV shows and movies too? Since I don't know, I'm going to answer with a book character. I think it would have to come down to Johnny Cade and Dallas Winston from The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton. Yes, I know that's two but I couldn't choose. If you want to know about TV and movie characters just let me know, cause I could go on about that

<3 Amanda Leigh

Book Review ~ territories of folding by T. C. Tolbert


Title: territories of folding
Author: T. C. Tolbert
Released: March 2011
Published by: Kore Press
Page Amount: 33 pages, double-bind chapbook

Goodreads Blurb:
TC Tolbert's debut book of poetry uncovers the landscape of life ever in motion. In language flickering with love, loss, and liminality, and with adamantine accuracy, this work bridges many seemingly distant land masses: female and male, girl and boy, music and silence, body and space. Territories embodies the poet's transition “from woman to something less visibly female” and reveals the cyclic journeys of construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction of the person contextualized by an outward societal framework. “Having lived through the funnel both ways,” TC Tolbert acknowledges and bravely challenges traditional schemes of hegemony with a conscious commitment to the unique multiplicity of the self, who is at once (and always) transitory and timeless.

T.C. Tolbert came to Pace to read from territories of folding for a Vox event. You all remember me talking about Vox, right? Besides publishing a literary and arts magazine twice a year, we also host several events. Some of these events are always readings, and thanks to our faculty advisor Dr.Poe, we were lucky enough to have T.C. come to Pace to read from territories of folding. There were copies for sale at the reading. As soon as the reading was over I knew I had to buy one. T.C. signed it to me too!


I took this picture with my webcam so I'm not sure how good the resolution is. It says: "Dear Amanda, Thank you for coming & for being such a kick ass poetry advocate! Take good care of you, :) TC"

The poetry in this chapbook is really wonderful. T.C. has such a special ability with words. Words are put together in such a way that a word you'd once never thought twice about, suddenly seems magical. And when these words are put together the poetry and sentiment that comes out is equally as amazing.

Something unique about this chapbook is that it is a double-bind chapbook. First it opens to the left and then halfway through it opens to the right. It gives the chapbook a special feel. White space is also utilized throughout the chapbook very well.

I really enjoyed this chapbook and look forward to more work from T.C. Tolbert. I gave this one 5 stars and if you are a fan of poetry I highly advise you add it to your collection.

<3 Amanda Leigh

Book Review ~ Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder


Title: Chasing Brooklyn
Author: Lisa Schroeder 
Released: January 5th 2010
Published by: Simon Pulse
Page Amount: 412 pages, hardcover

Goodreads Blurb:

Restless souls and empty hearts.

Brooklyn can't sleep. Her boyfriend, Lucca, died only a year ago, and now her friend Gabe has just died of an overdose. Every time she closes her eyes, Gabe's ghost is there waiting for her. She has no idea what he wants or why it isn't Lucca visiting her dreams.

Nico can't stop. He's always running, trying to escape the pain of losing his brother, Lucca. But when Lucca's ghost begins leaving messages, telling Nico to help Brooklyn, emotions come crashing to the surface.

As the nightmares escalate and the messages become relentless, Nico reaches out to Brooklyn. But neither of them can admit that they're being haunted. Until they learn to let each other in, not one soul will be able to rest.

I am definitely becoming a Lisa Schroeder fan. I read I Heart You, You Haunt Me during my freshmen year of college and loved it. Both of these books are written in verse. Being a big fan of poetry, I really love this form. I would love to take a crack at writing a book in verse one day.
Brooklyn writes letters to Lucca and they are included throughout this book. The letters are also numbered. I like that the actual letters were included in the book. Nico and Broklyn begin training for a triathalon together and this helps to take Brooklyn's mind off of things. But the nightmares still come and Gabe still visits. Nico and Brooklyn grow closer when they are spending time training for the triatholon.
 I really like both Brooklyn and Nico and the relationship that develops between them. It seems like something that could really happen. That their relationship could really develop like this. It wasn't far fetched. The writing was very good and very emotional. Even though this is heavy subject matter, the ending left me with a feeling of hope. I really enjoyed this book and am planning to get the rest of Lisa Schroeder's books very soon. I give this 4 stars.
<3 Amanda Leigh

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Book Review ~ Zenda 3: The Crystal Planet by John Amodeo, Ken Petti and Cassandra Westwood


Title: Zenda 3: The Crystal Planet
Author: John Amodeo, Ken Petti, and Cassandra Westwood
Released: May 11th 2004
Published by: Grosset & Dunlap
Page Amount: 144 pages, paperback

Goodreads Blurb:
When Zenda visits her cousins on the planet Crystallin, she is dazzled by this sparkling world of jewels. It's amazing to spend time on a world so unlike her own. The brilliant jems and dazzling people around her almost make Zenda forget about her own special gift for working with plants. But Zenda's talents are called upon when a shocking event helps her remember that all that glitters is not gold.

This is part of a middle grade series of novels. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be set in the future or not but it is definitely fantasy. It's a very cute read. Involving a lot of magic. There is also a lot of emphasis on plants, which I like, because I really like nature. 

This is definitely a book where there is meant to be a lesson learned by the end of it. Really, I can see several lessons in here. I like Zenda. She makes mistakes like anybody does, and even though this is set in a fantasy world they are mistakes a pre-teen in this same world would make. There are also some of Zenda's journal entries throughout here and I like that those are included. 

If I read this in middle school I know I would have really liked it. Now, as an adult, it is a cute, quick read and I enjoyed it. I gave it 3 stars. 

<3 Amanda Leigh

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Book Review ~ Jane Austen on Love and Romance by Jane Austen, edited by Constance Moore


Title: Jane Austen on Love and Romance
Author: Jane Austen, edited by Constance Moore
Released: February 1st 2012
Published by: Skyhorse Publishing
Page Amount: 128 pages, hardcover

Barnes and Noble Blurb:
Jane Austen left an indelible mark on the world of literature. Her novels set a benchmark for her era and have entranced readers ever since. In Jane Austen on Love and Romance, Constance Moore proves how well Austen understood the human heart and why her work, filled with genuine emotion and wit, has continued to touch romantics. So, if you want to live happily ever after with a dashing man who owns half of Derbyshire, then arm yourself with this Austen-tatious guide to flirting, courtship, and true love.

I have to admit, I've only read one Jane Austen book, Lady Susan. I really enjoyed it and have been wanting to read more of her novels for a while. When I saw this in Barnes and Noble I picked it up right away. It has quotes from all of Jane Austen's novels and even from some of the letters she wrote to people. There were some of the iconic quotes in there: "To be fond of dancing was a certain step toward falling in love." (Pride and Prejudice)  and “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” (Pride and Prejudice)

I enjoyed this book a lot and it made me really want to read Jane Austen's work, even more than I did before. I'm particularly eager to read Sense and Sensibility. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

"I think you are in a very grave danger of making him as much in love with you as ever." Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice

"There could have been no two hearts so open, no tastes so similar, no feelings so in unison." Persuasion

"My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you/" Fitzwilliam Darcy, Pride and Prejudice

"You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. . .I have loved none but you." Captain Frederick Wentworth, Persuasion

"She began now to comprehend that he was exactly the man, who, in disposition and talents, would most suit her." Pride and Prejudice

"A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment." Fitzwilliam Darcy, Pride and Prejudice

"[She] was one of those, who, having, once begun, would always be in love." Emma

"The more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!" Marianne Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility

I give this one 4 stars.

<3 Amanda Leigh

Book Review ~ Charmed Season 9 Volume 1 (Graphic Novel) by Constance M. Burge and Paul Ruditis

Title: Charmed Season 9 Volume 1
Author: Constance M. Burge and Paul Ruditis
Released: February 15th 2011
Published by: Zenescope
Page Amount: 144 pages, paperback

Goodreads Blurb:
Charmed Season 9 picks up where the TV show left off With the source of all evil defeated, The Charmed Ones, three witches destined to be the most powerful force for good our world has ever known, have embraced a new life. One of new family, friends, and a future without the constant battle between good and evil... or so they think.

I started watching Charmed when I was 10. It was going into it's fourth season at the time. I was over my best friend's house and she was watching the season 3 finale. I started watching all the old episodes and watched from season four on. So when I saw this I was curious and had to pick it up. 

It was a decent read. By this time Phoebe and Paige have children too and it was fun to see the next generation playing with magic and their powers. The characters personalities are kept in tact as well. They have the same personalities as they did on the show for the most part. I like that they didn't change that.

 My favorite part of this was probably that Piper is opening a restaurant. Because that was always her dream. I also enjoyed the bonus short story at the end of the book that tells more about the Warren line and the prophecy of the Charmed Ones. 

Of course, there is another demon in this one. It isn't just the sisters going on with their normal lives as they would have liked. But it has been a little while since a major demon came into their lives. Billie's been taking care of the smaller threats. 

I suppose there will always be another threat for them. Good and evil will always be around for them. And since they're the Charmed Ones, evil will always try to destroy them. There really can be no "normal" life for them. 

The art in the book was pretty good as well. In the back of the book it has the covers of all the books. Some of the cover art is very beautiful. 

Overall a decent read. I give this one 3 stars.

<3 Amanda Leigh

Monday, August 20, 2012

Book Review ~ Witches 101: A Witches of East End Primer by Melissa De La Cruz

Title: Witches 101: A Witches of East End Primer
Author: Melissa De La Cruz
Released: June 8th 2011
Published by: Hyperion Books
Page Amount: 31 pages, ebook edition

Goodreads Blurb:
Almost three million copies of The Blue Bloods series in print, Melissa de la Cruz has now written her first paranormal romance for adults, on sale June 21st.  The first in the Beauchamp Series, the book features a brand-new cast of characters, a fascinating and fresh world to discover, and a few surprise appearances from some of the Blue Blood fan favorites.  It' s a page-turning, heart-stopping, magical summer read, fraught with love affairs, witchcraft, and an unforgettable battle between good and evil.

But before you read the book, meet the Witches!  In this primer, you' ll meet the three Beauchamp women - Joanna, Ingrid, and Freya - learn a little bit about their special powers, and even get some tips so you can cast a few spells of your own.

This is an introduction to Melissa De La Cruz's adult series The Beauchamp Family. This is a series about a family of witches, the Beauchamp women. Joanna, Ingrid and Freya. Freya was in one of the stories in Melissa De La Cruz's book Bloody Valentine (A Blue Bloods Book). 

In this primer there are the first three chapters of the first book in the series. As well as information about each of the Beauchamp women. Including their special powers and some of their favorite spells. 

The writing was interesting and enjoyable just as in her Blue Bloods series. I know this an adult series but it was only the first three chapters so it was hard to tell how mature the content got. There was one part that would be a little mature for younger teenagers I think, but nothing over the top.

What I enjoyed the most were the profiles of each of the Beauchamp women. I enjoyed learning about their powers, personality, and favorite spells. 

Enjoyable and I will have to check out the series one day. But for now, I have other things on my reading list that take priority. 

I think I give this one 4 stars.

<3 Amanda Leigh

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Book Review: Poem by Emily Bronte

Goodreads Blurb:
Poetry by Emily Bronte. A collection of poems by Emily Bronte.

Unfortunately there is no cover image available for this book. At least none that I found. Sorry. :( I found this book when I was browsing books on my nook. I am a HUGE fan of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. It is one of my absolute favorite books of all time. So I typed in "Emily Bronte" in the search bar and this ebook of some of her poems came up. Until then, I didn't even know she wrote poetry. Being such a fan of Wuthering Heights I had to buy it. It's sort of like a sampling of her poems. The e-book is 16 pages. Her poems were first published in 1846 in a volume of poetry called Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. It was published under the Bronte sisters pseudonyms. Currer is Charlotte. Ellis is Emily. Acton is Alice. This volume came out the year before their novels Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey were published. In 1923 a book called The Complete Poems of Emily Jane Bronte was released. It included all of her poems published in Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell and 200 works taken from manuscript resources after Emily Bronte died in 1848.

The poems that I got in this e-book were very impressive. They all had a very serious tone to them. They were definitely intense. You could feel the emotion in them. The imagery used was also very good and I could picture what was happening. Sometimes I would go back and reread a line or stanza, not because it was written in a way that made it hard to read, but because I wanted to read over it again. The poems were like Wuthering Heights in their intensity. I don't remember the names of them, but there was one that particularly stood out to me, and that one was about death. If I recall correctly, there were at least a couple of poems about death. This reminded me of Emily Dickinson, who also has several poems about death. Charlotte Bronte said of her sister's poetry: "I accidentally lighted on a MS. volume of verse in my sister Emily's handwriting....I looked it over, and something more than surprise seized me -- a deep conviction that these were not common effusions, nor at all like the poetry women generally write. I thought them condensed and terse, vigorous and genuine. To my ear they had also a peculiar music -- wild, melancholy, and elevating." Overall I really enjoyed these poems. I gave this book 4 stars. And it is definitely recommended if you are a fan of poetry. 

*Information from *

 <3 Amanda Leigh

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Book Review: Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick


Title: Wonderstruck
Author: Brian Selznick
Released: September 13th 2011
Published by: Scholastic Inc.
Page Amount: 640 pages, US Hardcover 

Goodreads Blurb:
From Brian Selznick, the creator of the Caldecott Medal winner THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET, comes another breathtaking tour de force.

Playing with the form he created in his trailblazing debut novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick once again sails into uncharted territory and takes readers on an awe-inspiring journey.

Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother's room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing.

Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories--Ben's told in words, Rose's in pictures--weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder. Rich, complex, affecting, and beautiful--with over 460 pages of original artwork--Wonderstruck is a stunning achievement from a uniquely gifted artist and visionary.

I really enjoyed this book. I love the combination of the two stories. One that is told in words and one through illustrations. I love that Brian Selznick tells a story through illustration and you can still completely follow that side of the story. The illustrations are beautiful as well. At first the two stories seem totally unrelated but by the end they both come together in a beautiful and very gratifying way. I definitely recommend this. I gave it 5 stars. 

<3 Amanda Leigh

Friday, August 3, 2012

Dante Walker Website Reveal!!

The book may not come out until March 2013, but starting today you can go over to Dante Walker's website (using the password: Charlie) to find out more about him and even chat with him! That's right! You can talk to Dante! And if you want to join the fight for Dante over at Twitter, join in with the hashtag #DanteIsMine


He makes good girls...bad. 

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence has made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple, weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal opportunity collector and doesn’t want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within 10 days.

Dante doesn’t know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky, Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect—he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector, and uncover emotions deeply buried.

Feel free to stalk Dante over at his website. Don't forget the password. And #DanteIsMine. Join the fight on Twitter. ;)

And while you're at it, go on over to Victoria Scott's website as well. 

Have fun!! ;) 

<3 Amanda Leigh