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Big changes!

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Hello fellow book lovers!

As you can tell I’ve put my blog through some major changes today. First off I’ve transferred it to WordPress. I’ve been thinking about it for awhile and I finally just decided to bite the bullet and do it.

Second, I changed the name. What was once “Christa’s Hooked on Books” is now “More Than Just Magic”. I’m really very sorry for any confusion this may cause but here are my reasons for that name change. For starters I’ve wanted to start a writing blog for some time now. But from my previous experience of keeping two blogs (The Bibliophile’s Guide to the Galaxy) I know that one would just be forgotten about most of the time. So the decision was made to combine my book blog with my (non existent) writing blog. The second reason was that I’ve always felt really limited by the name “Hooked on Books.” If you’ve read my blog before you know I also post reviews of movies, Doctor Who posts, DIY projects. A whole smorgasbord of stuff that doesn’t necessarily include books. So I figured I’m switching platforms I may as well switch the name to something more inclusive while I’m at it!

So what can you expect from More Than Just Magic?

Well there will still be book reviews, YA Pride in June and the Doctor Who watch a thon will continue as normal, but they’re will be more posts about writing, movie reviews, some board game reviews and I may or may not be turning a Barbie into a Weeping Angel in the near future. One things for sure, I’m planning a lot more author interviews and I have a few already lined up that I’m very excited for.

So please bare with me well I make the change and if you followed me by Google Friend Connect before, please resubscribe by e-mail of RSS!

Happy reading

Christa

NaNoWriMo Write A Thon!

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Can you believe there are only 7 days left of NaNoWriMo? Where did all my time go?!

I’m currently sitting at just over 38,000 words. Which is respectable but it’s not enough. Thankfully, Jen (Almost Grown Up) and Lindsey (A Storm of Words) and I are doing a write-a-thon today! They’ve done this before and their standard goal seems to be 5k so that will be mine for the day as well. Bringing me to 43k!  And I’ll be live blogging the whole time.
Wish me luck!
10:40: Awake and computer on. Wasted some time checking e-mail and Twitter but have now started writing!

11:31: Whoo! Made it to my first 1,000 words. I’m writing this pretty crucial scene right now, but I keep getting distracted thinking about the previous scene. Which I guess could be good because my characters should also be distracted by the events of that previous scene? Only time and more words will tell! I’m taking a short break now to find some food but then I’ll be back! Total word count: 39,032 Words written today: 1,004

1:05: So my “short break” ended up being much longer than I anticipated. In addition to making lunch I kept finding other things that needed doing. Like the dishes and feeding my dog. But I’m back in front of the computer now and won’t stop until I’m at 40,000! Total word count: 39,127 Words written today: 1,099

2:18: I can’t believe it’s after 2 already! Today is flying by. I’m currently working on a pretty emotionally heavy scene which is difficult (I’ve had two giant mugs of coffee in thirty minutes) but I’m down to four (of eight) characters, so at least it’s a little easier to keep track of everyone. 39,802. Words written today: 1,778

2:44: Whooo 40,000 words!!  I am in the homestretch people! I mean I still have 20,000 to go overall since my total goal is 60k. But I have less than 10k to win NaNo! I’ve got to run to the store now but when I come back I think I’ll be knocking off another character. It’s going to be an emotion filled afternoon. 40,221 Words written today: 2,193

3:52: Back from the pet store. Honestly I’m amazed I get any writing done with all the in between errands that distract me. I’ve been listening to this Steampunk playlist on Songza for most of the day but I think I need to switch it up a little. Something more mellow. I’m about to kill a character off and I knew this scene was coming and that he would be the one to die but I haven’t worked exactly how that will come to pass. Anyway back to it!

5:24: This scene is hard and I am really struggling through it. But my darling boyfriend just ordered pizza so I’m going to walk away for now and let it marinate in my head for awhile. See you on the other side of a food coma. (Also Lindsey is finished! She won NaNo because she rocks!) 40,659. Words today: 2,631

6:51: And then there were 3. Characters that is. I knew I just needed some time away to clear my head. And pizza. Pizza definitely helped. I’m more than halfway to my goal now and I tend to do my best writing in the evenings so this next bit should go pretty well. Congrats to Jen and Lindsey for meeting their goals! I’ll be with you guys soon. 41,070. Word today: 3,042

7:52: Almost at my goal. Going to turn off the internet for the rest of the night, so I may not have a final update until tomorrow but unless the power goes out or I come down with a sudden flu I’m going to hit 5,000 words. Whoo! 42,072 Words today: 4,044

Doctor Who Watch A Thon Season 4×11 "Turn Left"

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As an effort to justify our somewhat obsessive T.V watching Meghan (Of Coffee and Wizards and @MegTao on Twitter) and myself have decided to undertake a Doctor Who Watch-a-long. We’ll be starting with the beginning of the 2005 relaunch and will be posting about one episode every Wednesday on our respective blogs. We hope you’ll join in – whether as a re-watch or to discover the Doctor for the first time! (Season 1 and Episodes 1-4 of Season 2 can be found here)

*just a heads up each post may contain spoilers for that episode and then ones before it*

Episode Summary
Donna and the Doctor are having fun at a carnival on a distant planet when she is lured to a tent with the promise of having her fortune told. She inexplicably finds herself in an alternate time line, one where she’s never met the Doctor and joined him on their many adventures. In fact, the Doctor has died in the Thames flooding as he was unable to regenerate himself. As a result, all of the events on Earth that they experienced together and the threats they averted now come to pass including the death of several well known people who were connected to the Doctor in one way or another. Rose, who has managed to travel from her parallel universe but doesn’t reveal her true identity, assists Donna in setting everything right.

Thoughts on the Episode
It hurts my heart to see Rose again. But it’s a good hurt. It’s a hopeful hurt. Even though the smart half of my brain tells me, I likely going to end up sobbing by the end of the season, the optimist in me wants to believe.

A brief summary of this episode (if you didn’t read the one above): Donna turns right instead of left and as a result kills the Doctor, kills Martha, kills Sarah Jane. Kills EVERY BODY! Always turn left my friends. It’s the safer choice.


So this episode, in addition to finally proving once and for all how awesome Donna is (she’s the most important woman in CREATION y’all) raises a lot of interesting questions and makes some pretty bold statements about the state of the world and what our societ(ies) would be like when push comes to shove. For example, when Donna and her family are being relocated we learn that France closes their borders to English refugees. And then later we learn that England …well England is just disappointing. My heart will forever be with the Colasanto family. The implication that England would actually introduce “labour” camps makes me feel a little sick. 

But I felt a little better watching Rose and Donna interact together. They’re both such fabulous strong ladies, and they have great chemistry. I love that Donna is still sassy and rude despite everything that’s happened to her. And Rose…well I just had all the feelings when it came to her. She’s a little bit different now, more independent, a little more serious. They’re natural changes and I was more than a little proud to see her take command like the BAMF girl she is.

I really enjoyed “Turn Left.” It was well thought out and interesting and I think it’s set us up for big things to come! Looking forward to the final two Season 4 episodes (except for the fact that it’s only two more Tennant episodes *sob*)

·              

Favourite Moment
“This is to combat  dehydration” 











But my real question – where is her towel?!


Doctor Who Watch A Thon Season 4×10 "Midnight"

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As an effort to justify our somewhat obsessive T.V watching Meghan (Of Coffee and Wizards and @MegTao on Twitter) and myself have decided to undertake a Doctor Who Watch-a-long. We’ll be starting with the beginning of the 2005 relaunch and will be posting about one episode every Wednesday on our respective blogs. We hope you’ll join in – whether as a re-watch or to discover the Doctor for the first time! (Season 1 and Episodes 1-4 of Season 2 can be found here)

*just a heads up each post may contain spoilers for that episode and then ones before it*

So sorry this post is late! Blame NaNoWriMo! I’ll be posting my thoughts on Episode 11 “Turn Left” within the next 24 hours and then every thing will be back to normal!

Episode Summary

The Doctor and Donna are taking a bit of a break from their adventures and spending a bit of time on the planet Midnight. While Donna opts to spend a bit of time in the spa, the Doctor goes off on an all-day bus tour to the Sapphire Waterfall. Part way through the four hour journey to get there, the vehicle stops for no apparent reason. When they hear noise coming from outside the vehicle, panic begins to set in. When one of the passengers is taken over by the being, the passengers paranoia and fear know no bounds and the focus of their solution is to eliminate the Doctor.

Thoughts on the Episode
Damn it Doctor Who writers. Do you want me to never sleep again? First Blink” and now “Midnight”

My boyfriend has been talking about this episode ever since we first started Season 4. He’s seen it on a bunch of “Best Of” lists, so the anticipation was running high when we turned it on. Thankfully, Russel T Davies delivered. This episode was so full of tension and paranoia, it had me on the edge of my seat. I think it was the mixture of not knowing exactly what the monster was and the constant repeating/stealing of the Doctor’s voice. Gives me the heebie jeebies. Plus huge points for writing such a compelling and well plotted episode that takes place in a very small area during a very short time period. It takes skill to pull that off.

I think the other reason this episode has such a hard hitting impact is because the Doctor doesn’t save the day. In fact he almost dies and if it wasn’t for the incredibly brave hostess that would have been the end of him. I always count on him to know what to do and come in and save the day, but that’s not what happened here and it was kind of like a splash of cold water to the face. Although if we’re being honest I took some comfort in the fact Merlin was there. He’s pretty good at saving the day himself.

The lack of companion or connection to the larger Doctor Who plot arcs (unless there was a connection I didn’t get?) made this episode have a very Twilight Zone feel to it. Creepy, thought provoking and will haunt my dream for days to come.

Favourite Moment
When Dee Dee recites:

We must not look at goblin men,
We must not buy their fruits:
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?”


Because I felt as though my heart might stop in that moment


Book Review: In a Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz

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Series: A Tale Dark & Grimm #2
Publisher: Dutton Children’s Books
Genre: Fairy Tale Re-tellings
Page count: 312
Source: Received copy at Book Expo America in exchange for an honest review

Release date: September 27 2012

More Grimm tales await in the harrowing, hilarious companion to a beloved new classic. Take caution ahead– Oversize plant life, eerie amphibious royalty, and fear-inducing creatures abound. Lest you enter with dread. Follow Jack and Jill as they enter startling new landscapes that may (or may not) be scary, bloody, terrifying, and altogether true. Step lively, dear reader . . . Happily ever after isn’t cutting it anymore. In this companion novel to Adam Gidwitz’s widely acclaimed, award-winning debut, A Tale Dark & Grimm, Jack and Jill explore a new set of tales from the Brothers Grimm and others, including Jack and the Beanstalk and The Frog Prince


My Review
Who doesn’t love fairy tale retellings? They have that air of familiarity with just a splash of extra creativity that at once makes us feel both homey and adventurous.

In a Glass Grimmly is no exception to the above description. Following the adventures of Jack and his cousin Jill, Adam Gidtwitz approaches a number of familiar tales, like Jack and the Beanstalk, The Emperor’s New Clothes and the Frog Prince and spins them in a way that is both humorous and kid friendly. When I started reading this collection I had assumed it was a grouping of separate stories but I was pleased to find that Gidwitz had combined the stories, making each one a stop on Jack and Jill’s over-arching quest. 

I think the big selling factor of this book is Adam Gidwitz’s fabulous sense of humour. It’s dark, and a little gruesome, but always hilarious. It reminded me of the humour in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. Jokes about turning back, about the next part being so gruesome, so horrible that you might want to skip over it (or go do something pleasant) – they made me want to keep reading. And I was always eager to see what remarks he would come up with next. 

My favourite character by far, however, was not Jack or Jill or even the humorous narrator. It was The Frog. You meet him first, in a very upsetting and tragic rendition of The Frog Prince and he sticks with you for the entire adventure. He gets mistreated and is often ignored, but he’s funny, intelligent and is often a much needed voice of reason. I thought he was a neat addition to the regular old Jack and Jill. 

In a Glass Grimmly, despite its dark tales and gruesome humour has a lovely ending. A nice mixture of different fairy tale morals and being yourself rather than trying to only impress others. It left me with a warm and fuzzy feeling afterwards and I couldn’t wait to share this book with the children in my life. 

Recommendation: Great for young, reluctant readers. It’s especially fun to read together!

About the Author
Adam Gidwitz is an elementary school teacher and storyteller. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. Find out more about him on his website.

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide Also Available For: Kobo / Kindle 

Gilded Wings Blog Tour and Read-a-long

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Series: The Angel Chronicles #2
Publisher: Tribute Books
Genre: Paranormal/Historical Fiction
Page count: 275

Release Date: November 1 2012


 

The Beloved Angel-Warrior Team from Until Next Time Returns! When Matt and Emily are sent on their second mission they have no idea how truly dark human nature can become… Emily never wanted to face humans again. With the heartache that went on down below, she’s still trying to figure out how to save souls that don’t deserve saving. The only one she wants to see again is Jason – the young man she fell in love with who became the soulmate she simply can’t forget… Matt was trained to protect and defend the souls down below. Longing to feel the heartfelt emotions that come from being human, Matt wants nothing more than to have just one life – one chance – to live and love the girl of his dreams…The powerful team find themselves in a brand new century, living in the Gilded Age of New York City. Emily takes over the body of Anya, a young Russian girl who arrives on Ellis Island after a hideous tragedy. There she meets up with a strangely familiar young man by the name of Drew Parrish, who helps Anya survive in an unknown world of luxury, snobbery and…obsession. What Anya’s inner angel doesn’t know is that the soul she loves is also back. This time around Jason goes by the name of Max Carrow. Once a quiet and kind boy, he’s now part of the ‘Four Hundred Club,’ and wants nothing more than to be among the most admired as he climbs the shaky ladder of society’s elite. As two worlds merge, Emily and Matt struggle under the weight of their “Gilded Wings.” Not only will they have to figure out who they should fight to save, but they must also face a romantic choice that could destroy them both. 


Check out my thoughts on Book 1 Until Next Time HERE

To celebrate the release of Gilded Wings, Amy Lignor has stopped by to talk about “Writers Supporting Writers.” A perfect topic considering we’re just past the middle of NaNoWriMo!

Writer’s Supporting Writers

When you think of ‘industries’ out there in the world, you think of competition. Hardcore competition where one business will basically stab a rival company in the back as fast as Taylor Swift does to men (now, all you Taylor fans, don’t get upset – it was just a point).

Being a writer, however, is the one career path that has shown me people can work together. With writers, competitors can support one another and try to help their friends move up the ladder of success. Recently, I was on Facebook when a few people decided to do a one-day or three-day event where writers could literally come and meet one another. I was able to speak with so many and see their web pages, and have them see mine and the work I do – that I was flabbergasted. From drama to romance authors; from a young man who I swear will become THE comic book marvel that is bigger than, well…Marvel; to an author of historical tales that make the heart beat and brain work faster – I was able to meet and greet with a very talented group of people. And…I absolutely loved it. 

There are so many blogs and sites out there (including this fantastic one) that are run by  other writers, reviewers, and extremely avid readers that want to get to know authors and help promote their book with their comments, reviews, tweets, and more. An author isn’t in the ‘waters’ alone, they are a part of a huge global team of people who ‘talk’ and recommend YOUR book. With all this – and places like Goodreads, which is amazing – writers have the opportunity to reach readers that they never would’ve been able to a few decades ago.

I love interviewing authors, reading their works, and knowing that my words and reviews may help just a little bit with their promotion. Books are something we can’t live without, which means writers are a treasure in my mind. I can’t even imagine what this world would have been like without the ‘literary masters that have gone before.’ And I really wanted to give a shout out to authors and readers and those bloggers who take the time to offer opinions, and support one another in this very difficult industry. 

I also want to give a huge high-five to book clubs. I have said this before and I will say it again, it is so incredibly humbling to receive a letter from a book club saying that yours was the book they read that week or month and they loved it. I know how fast daily life is and how much stress is heaped upon everyone – so it’s truly an honor when hard-working people take the time to sit back, relax and choose your tale to talk about.

So, as a writer, be very grateful that even though you’ve chosen a hard industry to get a foot in the door, so to speak, you have also chosen one of the very few industries that gives you a support team that can NOT be matched! 

Until Next Time, Everybody,
Amy

Thank you Amy for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us!

About Amy Lignor

Amy Lignor began her career at Grey House Publishing in northwest Connecticut where she was the Editor-in-Chief of numerous educational and business directories. Now she is a published author of several works of fiction. The Billy the Kid historical The Heart of a Legend; the thriller, Mind Made; and the adventure novel, Tallent & Lowery 13. She is also the owner of The Write Companion, a company that offers help and support to writers through a full range of editorial services from proofreading and copyediting to ghostwriting and research. As the daughter of a research librarian, she is also an active book reviewer. Currently, she lives with her daughter, mother and a rambunctious German Shepherd named Reuben, in the beautiful state of New Mexico. 
Find Amy online: Website / BlogFacebook / Twitter / Goodreads

But wait there’s more!

As part of this blog tour I have a tiny snippet of Gilded Wings for you to check out.  It’s only part of the story though so make sure you check out all the blogs on the linky below for the rest! And to top it all off there’s a giveaway!

Gabriel shook his head. 

“Not even Matthew?” 

Gabriel raised his tired eyes. “Right now she thinks he’s Gregori, and she’s comfortable with that.” 

“They have to know if they end up—” 

“I know,” Gabriel interrupted. “But at the moment a free country that won’t persecute her or her young sheriff is all Emily’s thinking about. They’re headed to a land where the streets are paved with gold.”

Michael sighed. “Maybe one day they will be, my friend. Changes are coming.” 

“Not all of them are good.” 

Turning to walk away, wondering if the children would seal their partnership and save the ones that needed to be saved, Michael stopped at the threshold. “Is Jason there?” 

“Yes. Waiting.”

“Is he…gilded?” 

Gabriel nodded. 

“Some don’t get caught up in it. He loves Emily. She has the power to save him. If she does, a whole path through history could be changed. And Charles and Faith have gone back down to surround them. With their work, lives could be saved.”

The only sound in the room was the powerful fire jumping out of the training pit. The flames crackled like lightning bolts announcing a monumental storm.

Michael cleared his throat. “And Matthew?”

Worry filled Gabriel’s soul, thinking about his young warrior who was about to grow up. “He’s just about to begin.”


Gilded Wings: The Angel Chronicles, Book 2 available for:

Kindle / Nook / iBookstore / Smashwords

a Rafflecopter giveaway