Sunday, March 30, 2014


I'm just letting you know a little bit about what's going on in my life right now. I have recently been encouraged to submit my query letter for People of a Different Tongue to several YA agents, which I am currently in the process of doing. Wish me luck in this risky endeavor.
On another note, I'm going to be adding a new aspect to the blog. To get my name and my writing style out into the world, I will start posting short stories, personal narratives (short), and chapters of books in progress (not People of a Different Tongue, you eager beavers!). If you have anything that you would specifically like to see on the blog, please feel free to contact me through my Facebook page, and I will message you back as quickly as possible! I appreciate your input!
*Remember, to be allowed to comment on the blog, you must subscribe, which you'll find on the right-hand side of your screen! Thanks so much for all your support, and look for the exciting new material!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

I will be concluding The Spring Break Reading List of 2014. And today, I'd like to share with you Maggie Stiefvater's beautiful story of Shiver. 

Grace really really likes wolves. They are fascinating to her, and it's pure luck that is just so happens a pack of wolves occasionally ventures into her backyard. But there is one wolf in particular. One that protects her, and she feels like she almost communicates with. But that's not possible. He's just a wolf. Or is he? Ever heard of a mythical creature called werewolves? Well, they're real. But not in the creepy, howling at the moon, half-man, half-wolf horrendous creature. No, these wolves are just men with a disease. Men and one woman. In the summer, they are humans with jobs to keep their family alive. When the temperature starts to drop, they feel the change coming on them, and soon, they are back to their wolf form.
This wolf that Grace feels she has a special bond to has a name--Sam. And he works at her favorite bookstore when he's not running around the woods as a wild animal. And these two, they're meant to be. Now, talk about a long distance relationship. Several long, cold months of no communication, only knowing that Sam is alive, with his pack, and waiting for summer to come again so that they can be together.

This is the first of the Shiver trilogy, followed by Linger and Forever. I must admit, I'm in love with these books. Sam and Grace's story is absolutely beautiful, wonderfully told by Maggie Stiefvater. I grew up with this trilogy, and in my head, these are my friends. When the third book came out, I was unaware that it was to be the last book. So when the ending came, and it was the true ending, I literally cried and threw the book on the ground I was so mad. But I couldn't stay mad at Sam for long--he's just too lovable. Looking for a heart-gripping, magical romance to fill your reading hours with? Then Shiver is the book for you. You'll regret not reading this book!

Happy Reading!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg

Welcome to guest blogger Olivia George. We hope you enjoy her review of Fannie Flagg's Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café.
Many of you have probably heard/seen the movie Fried Green Tomatoes. Well, you haven't read the book, and the movie just isn't good enough.

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café follows the interconnected lives of several folks living in Birmingham and Whistle Stop, Alabama. In 1987, Evelyn Couch is lost in life. She is overweight and can't stop eating. She is putting up with her husband's affairs. And she just can't find anywhere to fit in. That is, until she meets Ninny Threadgoode. A kindly old woman who lives at her mother-in-laws nursing home, Mrs. Threadgoode is the epitome of chatty-cathy. She doesn't even know Evelyn when she begins to tell her about her life in Whistle Stop and all the colorful characters she knew there. There's the Threadgoode family, who she married into. A big, wonderful family, they took Virginia (Ninny) in as a little girl and raised her as one of their own. So from then on, every visitor's day, Evelyn would politely say hello to her mother-in-law and then scurry into the lounge to listen to Mrs. Threadgoode's fascinating stories.
Traveling back in time, Ninny tells Evelyn about Buddy Threadgoode, a charmer to be sure, who was killed by a train. Then there's Idgie, the baby of the family, the tomboy. There's also Cleo, Leona, Essie Rue, and a few others. But let's just focus on Idgie.
Idgie is a loner, and she likes her freedom. Okay, loves her freedom. She's never loved anybody as much as she loved her brother Buddy, and it nearly killed her when he died. That is, until Ruth Jamison came to town. The best friend she's ever had, Idgie swears to protect her and love her. And she stays true to her word. Idgie saves Ruth from an abusive husband. She opens The Whistle Stop Café to support her. She helps raise her boy Buddy Jr. And when Ruth becomes sick with cancer, she cares for her night and day. She takes care of Buddy after she dies and forever honors her memory.
Evelyn becomes caught up in the world of Whistle Stop and often imagines herself living there, talking to Idgie and Ruth. Seeing Buddy's death. And there are so many other characters to become acquainted with: Dot Weems, Smokey Lonesome, Grady Kilgore, Big George, Sipsey, Onzell, Naughty Bird, Artis, Jasper, Willie Boy.

Believe me, you'll fall in love with all these characters. You too, like Evelyn Couch, will lose yourself in Whistle Stop. You'll become friends with Smokey and Grady. You'll imagine Onzell's buttery biscuits and Big George's mouthwatering barbeque. I unfortunately saw the movie before I read the book, and now that I have read the book, I might never go back. I hate movie that change the endings of books. That's all I have to say on it.
I love this book. I live in the South, and I understand the culture. But it's a beautiful story for anyone about loyalty and love and confidence and finding yourself. This is a good read for anytime, but especially when you need a boost. Be sure to check this book out, or you'll regret it!    

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

Welcome to our new guest blogger Elizabeth Morton! We hope you enjoy her review of Sarah Dessen's newest novel, The Moon and More.

Emaline is a senior in high school who lives in the beach-side town of Colby. After seeing all of the teenage visitors during the summer meeting new people and having the time of their lives, Emaline wonders if she can have one of those experiences this summer before heading to college. She already has the perfect boyfriend, Luke. However, when the sophisticated and exciting Theo comes to town to work on a documentary, her entire world begins to change.
Not only must she decide between guys, but she must also decide which college to attend. Her mostly nonexistent father has helped her get into an Ivy League school and feels that she should have a better and brighter life outside of Colby. However, Emaline also craves the comfort and stability of her hometown.

Emaline desires the moon and more, but what will she choose?

Sarah Dessen's The Moon and More is the perfect spring break read for any teenage girl. Its fast-pace and constant action is sure to please! 

Check out some more of Sarah Dessen's Novels: This Lullaby, Just Listen, The Truth About Forever, and many, many more.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Just a quick quick announcement: I know this is not exactly new news, but Lauren Morrill's new book Being Sloane Jacobs is on the market, and I hear it is fabulous. It is sitting on my book shelf, begging to be opened, but I have not been able to sit down with it yet! I'll let you know what happens. If you have beat me to the finish, let me know what you thought! 

Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

Want to take a break from the streamline fantasy romance and read something real...something that could actually happen to you? Then you most definitely want to pick up this laugh-out-loud, slap-your-knee book about a young average girl trying to have a normal life in England. Being a teenager is hard right? Well, Georgia Nicholson understands. First day of school, what does she do? Manage to shaver her entire eye brow off! Talented, I know.
When two gorgie boys move to town Georgia and her best friend make it their mission to win these sex-gods' hearts. Easier said than done--especially when everything you say should be filtered first. Georgia and Jazz's story of love is jumbled up with twisted plots, icky boyfriend stealers, and maybe a kissing lesson or two. But will all the hard work be worth this Sex God when he doesn't even know what he wants? Maybe boys just aren't worth it.

So, what I love about these books--most of the accidents that happen to Georgia actually happened to Louise Rennison when she was growing up. And the accidents and misfortunes that she goes through aren't absolutely unthinkable--in fact, you've probably thought about them a lot since they've happened to you. But I promise, it's funnier to read than it is to experience first hand. I read this book a few years ago at the beach and could not put it down. I received funny looks when I would laugh out loud on the beach, but you know, who cares, right? There is a movie rendition of the book, but I don't think it's nearly as funny as the book. It's worth a rent, but maybe not a buy. Anyways, I hope you get lost in the Uh-oh world of Georgia Nicholson and her zany friends and family while relaxing on the beach or wherever you are and momentarily forgetting your own Uh-oh world!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Saint Patty's Day Party

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! Tomorrow, I will be throwing a party to celebrate this day with the three little girls I babysit/nanny. Last Halloween, I started the tradition of doing holiday parties, and now, a holiday is just not complete without one of Miss Hannah's Holiday Parties  (I know this is mainly because they get treats, but I don't mind). So here's tomorrow's game plan:

1. Help the Leprechaun find his treasure!
        I just found some green coins in Target's dollar section, and I'll hide them around the house while the girls are distracted with the TV.

2. Making Mommy a Clover:
        Hobby Lobby has 2 small canvases for $6. I found some green paint, and tomorrow we'll paint one of each of our hands. Between the four of us, we'll make a clover with our handprints.

3. This isn't really Saint Patty's, but we're going to be planting some sunflowers and an undecided pink flower in their yard. Just to bring a bit of spring cheer to the house!

4. My awesome Saint Patty's Cupcakes. Ready? Here we go:
        Ingredients for cupcake:
            White Cake Mix
            Neon Food Coloring
            Green cupcake liners
        Ingredients for Icing:
            2 cups powdered sugar
            2 tbls milk
            2 tbls butter
            1/2 tsp vanilla
        Extra ingredients:
            Green sprinkles
            Airheads Xtremes

            1. Follow instructions on the cake mix box. Once the batter is mixed, divide evenly into five different bowls.
            2. The Neon food coloring provides blue, green, pink, and purple. To make an extra color, I wanted orange. I mixed 8 drops of green and 3 drops of pink. Make sure everything is mixed really well, no more white.
 3. I started with the green batter, spooning a thin layer into the liners. Then spoon blue, purple, orange, and pink. I only got 12 cupcakes out of this, but that's okay. There's only four of us.
           4. Bake for 18 minutes, let cool before icing.
           5. To make icing: combine all ingredients. You might need to add a bit more milk if the consistency isn't right. Dye green to appear like grass.
           6. You can ice however you want, but I spooned my frosting into a plastic bag and bit off the tip. Starting in the middle of the cupcake, I drew
squiggly lines to the edge and filled in whatever areas didn't get covered. Sprinkle green crystal sprinkles if you so choose.
           7. Set two Rolos in the middle of the cupcake. Tear an airhead in half and set it over the rolos like a rainbow. Mine tilted. If you can come up with a cure for that, let me know!
           8. Voila! Now dig in and enjoy!

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Welcome to this week's first guest blogger, Courtney Gale! We hope you enjoy her review of Divergent, and if you haven't already read it, you will be inspired to do so!

If you are up to date on the most popular books currently being sold, the name Divergent has most likely reached your ears. Yes, Divergent is one of those dystopian novels, yet the plot is fascinating and will make you want to read it all in one sitting.
     Divergent follows the journey of Beatrice, a member of the faction Abnegation. Each of the five factions of Beatrice’s society revolves around a single trait. The Abnegation embody selflessness, the Dauntless represent fearlessness, the Candor value honesty, the Erudite have intelligence, and the Amity symbolize peacefulness. As a sixteen-year-old in her society, Beatrice is faced with a choice to leave the Abnegation, her home, and family to join the faction of her choosing. Although allowed to pick factions, it is universally understood that as a transfer, you will likely be an outcast from the faction you used to call home. Beatrice’s decision to join the Dauntless will not be the only tough decision that she has to face throughout the novel.
As she transforms from Beatrice of Abnegation to Tris of Dauntless, she learns of uprising and errors in the seemingly flawless society, and her newfound skills are put to the test. She must risk everything she has gained to save the people she loves.
I don’t think I’m the only teenager out there who has grown weary of dystopian novels. They were intriguing for a while, but I’d personally like to read about something other than a future government takeover. That being said, I did thoroughly enjoy Divergent, and it was a quick read taking just about three days. I’m one of those people who always has to read a book before seeing the movie, so if you are planning on going to see the movie coming out on March 21st, go read the book. You still have time, and it will be worth it.
Released March 21st in theaters!
3 Main Positive Points
·      Features a fierce, headstrong heroine who isn’t afraid to take her life into her own hands
·      Intriguing view of dystopian Chicago with the factions and technological simulations
·      Action packed and exhilarating

3 Main Negative Points
·      Value of friendship is overlooked in portions of the novel
·      Lack of clarity in the history of the factions
·      Little character development

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spring Break Guest Blogger Week!

Hello, readers! Get ready this week to hear from guest bloggers on their favorite books to enjoy during your spring break! Stay tuned!!

google images

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Frozen Birthday Cake

Want a cake that tastes like summer but looks like Winter? Than this is the perfect cake for you. My friend absolutely adores Frozen, and who can really blame her. So I decided that for her birthday, I wanted to make a cake since we were already planning on having a sleepover. Why shouldn’t we get to make her a wicked awesome cake right? Only what to do?? Well, Frozen of course. So my other friend and I joined forces to make the best-Frozen-cake-made-by-best-friends-for-an-informal-party-EVER!! Want to recreate our masterpiece? I don’t blame you, so here’s your instructions…

What You’ll Need:
2 cans Vanilla whipped frosting
Strawberry cake box mix
Blue Gel writing icing
4 Dowels

1 pkg (16 ounces) frozen sliced strawberries , packed in sugar and thawed
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Ice (Glass Candy):
Corn Syrup
Neon Blue food coloring
Lemon extract

Olaf (marshmallow fondant):
A bag of mini marshmallows
2 lbs of confectioner’s sugar
1 dowel

Step 1 (Which we didn’t and should’ve done)
Make the marshmallow fondant the day before and let it refrigerate over night so that it’s nice and stiff to work with the next day. 
Step 2  (Strawberry filling)
Drain strawberries; reserving liquid. Add enough water to liquid to equal 1 1/4 cups. In large saucepan, combine strawberry liquid, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice; mix well. Heat and stir until mixture boils and thickens. Cool completely. Stir strawberries into the cooled mixture. Refrigerate until ready to use. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Step 3 (Obviously)
Make the cakes following the box instructions. You’re making a two-tier cake, so you’ll need four layers. Ours came out a little round on the top, so we just shaved off the excess just so that it would lay flatter. 
Step 4
Lay out Cake 1, spread filling over top, then set Cake 2 on top. If need be, go around the edges with a spoon (or your finger depending on who’ll be eating the cake later on) to collect any drippage.
Step 4
Ice this layer. I didn’t use any special tool for the main cake icing, just a knife. Make sure the icing is spread out evenly. Good. Then just to add extra decoration, we used a neat tool, but you can easily decorate with a plastic bag. 
Step 5
Place Cake 3 on the bottom tier. Make sure it’s centered before setting it down. Spread filling on top then set Cake 4 to finish it off. Again, go around to collect any excess and make sure the red filling doesn’t drip on the white icing. Evenly stick in four of the dowels for support.
Step 6
Ice top tier. Again, make sure it’s even. It’s okay if you mess up a little bit of the bottom tier. Just go back with your icing and fix it. 
Step 7 (the fun part)
So you have this long, thin brick of glass candy right? Well, now it’s time to make it ice. Typically, when you let it drop out of the cookie sheet, it’s cracks a little bit on its own, but now it’s time to make ice shards. These will be going around the bottom tier. Make them varied—fat, skinny, short, tall, dull, pointed. The works. But don’t use it all. You’re going to want three, tall, bigger shards to serve as “walls” or “backing” for the top tier. Once all your ice is cracked, (good job Cristoffe), place it around the bottom tier. Make sure they’re all touching, but just decorate it to your liking. 
Step 8
The age of the recipient of the cake will determine what you write, but this girl, who is the spitting image of Elsa, loves “Let it Go.” So we wrote “Let it Go at 17!” around the top tier of the cake with the blue gel writing icing. 
Step 9 (now life gets hard…sorry)

Time to bring Olaf to life, ladies and gentleman. You’re gonna need a warm hug after this one. But I’m not going to attempt to write out all the instructions and confuse you. So I’m just gonna let you follow the pictures: