Category Archives: Love

Get inspired, fall in love, embrace this beautiful chaos called life

Book Review: ASHES by Ilsa J. Bick

Rating: 5 stars

Over the weekend I read Ilsa J. Bick’s post apocalyptic/thriller/horror mash-up, ASHES. I’m normally not the HUGEST fan of third person narratives, finding it hard to really get into the main character’s head, but Bick did it right. Her writing is the perfect balance of giving the reader a clear picture of setting/emotion/ without slamming them over the head with weighty details. It’s easy to get sucked into the story. REALLY EASY. I enjoyed the action/suspense and overall creep factor A LOT, A LOT.

I loves me some creepy things. LOVES LOVES LOVES. Ahem. Sorry.

The middle of the book did take a turn. I’m NOT saying for the worse, I’m just saying shiz gets weird. But still, as a reader, you can’t stop reading – if only for the simple fact of NEEDING to know where Bick is taking you. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, BAM! You’re wrong. The ending is not at all what I expected, which isn’t a bad thing, but it definitely left me unsatisfied…at first.

When I closed the book I sort of sat there all huh, WTF. While I’m never a huge fan of ending a book on a cliffhanger, in this instance (after throwing things and drinking things and smashing things..okay, not REALLY but I thought about doing those things) it worked. ASHES is book one in a trilogy and the second installment (currently called SHADOWS) is due out in the fall of 2012.

Overall I have to say the more I think about it, the more I REALLY enjoyed this crazy ride of a read. Will I be in line for the second book? YOU BET. I can’t wait to see what Bick has in store for the kick-butt heroine or any of the other characters you’ll come to know and love. If you enjoy stories that keep you guessing, make you swear like a sailor, cower under your sheets, sleep with the lights on, and keep turning the page, then this book is SO for you.

Here’s the blurb to whet your appetite:

“IT COULD HAPPEN TOMORROW….

An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions.

Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushed her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom–a young soldier–and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP.

For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human.”

Go out and buy a copy IMMEDIATELY so we can gush together. Then we can break things and smash things and scream together about how far away fall of 2012 feels. BRING ON SHADOWS!!! Ahem. *puts patience cap on*

Read any good books lately? I’m open to some good suggestions. <3333

do what makes you happy

Just a little note for you to keep in mind. Hope your weekend is filled with love, laughter, and a million wonderful things.  <3

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Enter to win a copy of SHATTER ME, GLOW, CROSSED, & THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER!

**THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED**

Thanks to all who entered! The winners will be announced in the next few days on the blog. (I’ll also send out email notifications to the two people who win.) I’ll be hosting another contest REALLY soon, so if you don’t win this time FEAR NOT!

Happy Holidays!!!! <333

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The holiday season makes my wee little heart grow three MASSIVE sizes. It’s true. I get all misty-eyed and hug random people. Like the mail lady. That was a little weird…so maybe I’ll just stick to virtual hugs. They’re a lot less awkward for everyone.

Anywho I want to share a GINORMOUS holiday hug with all of you. And what better way to do that, than with gifts?! FREE GIFTS!! Yayayayayayayayayayayayayayay!

So what can you win? Some of the hottest new books that have recently* hit shelves!

BEHOLD THE SPARKLY PRIZES:

SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi

CROSSED by Ally Condie

THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER by Michelle Hodkin

 GLOW by Amy Kathleen Ryan

There are going to be not one, but TWO lucky winners. One winner for prize pack A, and one for prize pack B.

Prize pack A includes: SHATTER ME and GLOW

Prize pack B includes: CROSSED and THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER

The two lucky winners will be chosen using random.org. (The first person picked will receive prize pack A and the second will receive prize pack B.)

HOW TO ENTER:

Leave a comment in this post with a way for me to contact you. THAT’S IT!

Oh, oh, oh but it’s always fun to get EXTRA points, right?! So, here are some things you can do to add extra chances to win.

Tweet about the contest (and perhaps, follow me? I LOVE my tweet hearts.) ((I’m @ScribeQuotes))

Blog about it!

Follow my blog and I’ll SUPER love you. (It’s under “Wanna be friends?” on the right side of the tool bar.)

Post about the contest on Facebook, Tumblr, Google+ or anywhere else and leave the link with your comment.

Let’s just say if you follow my blog/twitter account, and let me know you did both we’re talking 10 BONUS POINTS!

That’s 10 extra chances to win. I sort of love those odds, don’t you? But seriously, you totes don’t have to do anything besides leave a comment if you prefer. I’ll still love you anyway.

The contest starts TODAY (11/14/11) and will end on 12:00am EST 11/25/11 The lucky winners will be announced on the blog within a week from the end of the contest. All entries received after the close of the contest will not be included in the drawing. It is open to the US & Canada ONLY. BUT I promise to hold an international contest VERY, VERY soon. <3
  • SHATTER ME will hit shelves DURING this contest – how excited are you?! I know I can’t wait to read it!

Happy Thanksgiving and good luck to all who enter!!! <3333333333

Random acts of photo

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Braaaaains: The Best Halloween Cupcakes EVER

To get into the spirit of Halloween (pun intended) I’m sharing a great recipe from the FoodNetwork.com. 

(ALL CREDIT BELONGS TO THE FOODNETWORK.)

Please be sure to check out their site for more spooky treats to trick your guests with. Did I mention they’re red velvet (brain) cupcakes? YUM YUM YUM YUM. Okay, so here are the BEST ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE CUPCAKES EVER: <333333

Ingredients

Cupcakes:

Frosting:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • Red and black food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake tin with 12 paper liners (preferably silver).

For the cupcakes: Crack the eggs into your mixer. Add the canola oil, buttermilk and vinegar. Drop in the food coloring and vanilla. Let it stir up until well mixed.

Put the sugar, flour, salt, cocoa powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Whisk together until well mixed. Then sift this right onto a big piece of waxed paper, it makes it easy to transport to the mixer. Make sure there are no clumps.

Turn your mixture on low and slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients as it’s mixing. Turn the mixer up just a bit and combine well. Stop and scrape down the bowl.

Use an ice cream scoop to evenly dish the batter out into the cupcake liners, about 3/4 full.

Pop the cupcakes in the oven until a cake tester comes out nice and clean, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and set aside to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting: Add the softened butter and confectioners’ sugar and cream together in a mixer. Add the milk. Stop and scrape down the bowl, getting all the confectioners’ sugar incorporated. Add a couple drops of black food coloring and then some red food coloring. Mix in the vanilla and a pinch of salt. Mix well.

Fill a pastry bag or snip the corner of a zip top bag. Fill with the frosting. (To fill the bag easily, wrap the bag around a cup and wrap the edges of the bag around the top to keep the bag open while filling with frosting.)

Frost the cupcakes, making a little squiggly line down the middle, and then filling in little swirls to look like the brain. Repeat on the other side and for the rest of the cupcakes.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer: Video

This was such a good read. SUCH A GOOD READ!!! I pre-ordered it and am so glad I did. If you haven’t read it yet, here’s a little visual stimuli. Happy reading, and happy Wednesday <33333’s.

Here’s the book blurb followed by the video: 

“Mara Dyer believes life can’t get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed.

There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.

She’s wrong.

VIDEO CREDIT: Simon & Schuster’s Youtube (SimonSchusterVideos)

Book Review: AWAKEN by Katie Kacvinsky

Recently I picked up a copy of Katie Kacvinsky’s debut, AWAKEN. And holy BEJESUS I loved it. She created a world that really isn’t that different from how we live today. It’s chilling, and amazing.

My sister and I were discussing how strange it is to actually pick up the phone and call someone. Which made us incredibly SAD. When did texting, and g-chat, and IM, and email replace our basic human communications?

How did we not see it unraveling?

Our own mother was shocked to discover most of our communication is done via some electronic device. AND WE LIVE UNDER HER ROOF.

The digital times, they are a-changin’ and if you want to have your mind blown, I suggest adding AWAKEN to your reading pile. It’s an eye-opener. Here’s the blurb for good measure:

“Maddie lives in a world where everything is done on the computer. Whether going to school or on a date, no one ever leaves home. There’s really no need. And, for the most part, Maddie’s okay with the solitary, digital life–until she meets Justin.

Justin likes being with people. He likes physical closeness and face-to-face conversations. People aren’t meant to be alone, he tells her.

Maddie is beginning to believe him. Maybe there is a different, better way to live, and perhaps Justin will be the one to help her start living it.”

Overall I give it 4 out of 5 stars. The only thing that *almost* was overdone was Justin’s one-track preachy nature. BUT that’s kind of an accurate portrayal, since he’s been brainwashed into his own preferred (read: “programmed”) existence. Kacvinsky demonstrated holes in his belief system perfectly. (Even if they make you want to shake him sometimes!:))

I thoroughly enjoyed it, and can’t WAIT to read the second one when it comes out next year. The author created a world so real, it doesn’t feel dystopian at all.

Stay gold, ponyboy…

Photo by Kerri Maniscalco

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Happy autumn! <33333333

Steve Jobs: Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. RIP

Steve Jobs 

1955-2011

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960’s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”

Steve Jobs has changed so much for us in such a short amount of time. Even as I type now, I’m using one of his products. He was an amazing man, visionary, and dreamer. Find your passion, and live it without fear. Steve Jobs would want that. Thank you Mr. Jobs for changing the world I live in.

The following video contains a quote that means so much, for so many reasons. RIP to those who’ve gone too soon.

 

Video Credit dogtownmac’s youtube channel 

XOXO