Bookish Thoughts #008: Do Bookish Lovers Miss Out IRL?

bookish thoughts

 

Welcome to Book-ish thoughts! A feature here on Her Book Thoughts where we ask for a little of your time to share a thought about useless and nonsense things. YAY! Don’t worry, it will ALWAYS have something to do with a book or anything bookish!

See past posts HERE

 


This post was inspired by Between Us and The Moon by Rebecca Maizel. To read my review of the book go here.

I’m a bookish person. And I fucking hate the outdoors.

There. I said it. I can go days without seeing the sun and I’m lazy, so I prefer the indoor. Of course I don’t want to be a couch potato (of the bookish kind, not TV) and my parents are freaky about being healthy (ugh!) and so, to keep the parental unit happy, I’ve been doing yoga for some time now. And, I like it. I like having my yoga class friends and my yoga instructor whom I love but who is also a pain in my ass (and my thighs, and my arms and my legs and whatever I’m working on that day).

But here’s what’s been troubling me.

Apart from my daily yoga, regular outings with friends and attending Mass on Sundays, I’m a homebody. Like most of us book lovers, I prefer the company of a good book and a hot drink. Coffee, in my case, but you get the idea. And I’m okay with this, I really am. But I often find myself wondering if I’m missing out on what’s happening outside—in the real world.

I’m not a party person and I’m not a person who likes to drink or smoke or dance and I avoid romantic contact like the bubonic plague. I’m not a loner by any means, but I do enjoy the solitude in my room. It’s the type of person I am.

Again, am I missing out on stuff that happens outside of my current read? Am I missing out on key teenage experiences, ones that I’ll never get back if I stay cooped up at home with a book?

We book people have a tendency to enter a zone wile we’re reading. We don’t want to move, we don’t want to be interrupted, but most importantly, we don’t want to stop. But is all our time inside—that we know is amazing because the book in our hands is fantastic—robbing us of experiencing the world?

How on earth can I judge whether characters make right or wrong decisions in certain situations, if I’ve never seen that situation? Why? I’m home, reading. How will I ever put into practice everything I’ve ever learnt from books if I never get out of my library and make my own mistakes?

At the end of the day, I think what matters most is what helps you sleep easy at the end of the day. Think you’ve spent too long a day inside? Get out. Get a new hobby. Don’t stop reading—NEVER do that—but take up swimming, or dancing, or underwater basket weaving.

Think you’ve weaved too many baskets with the sharks? Read something relaxing.

What makes you happy at the end of the day is the most important thing.

 

What are your thoughts? Are you an outdoorsy person? Are you an homebody, like me, and worry about missing out on real world experiences too? Speak and you shall be heard!

 

 

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams + Giveaway!!

11
Ruthless
Carolyn Lee Adams
Expected publication: June 16th 2015 by Simon Pulse
YA > Thriller
256pages (kindle edition)
arc via publisher

 

 

Purchase links:
Amazon | BN | TBDKobo

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 

Iteen struggles to retain hope—and her sanity—while on the run from a cunning and determined killer.
Ruth Carver has always competed like her life depends on it. Ambitious. Tough. Maybe even mean. It’s no wonder people call her Ruthless.
When she wakes up with a concussion in the bed of a moving pickup trick, she realizes she has been entered into a contest she can’t afford to lose.
At a remote, rotting cabin deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ruth’s blindfold comes off and she comes face-to-face with her captor. A man who believes his mission is to punish bad girls like Ruth. A man who has done this six times before.
The other girls were never heard from again, but Ruth won’t go down easy. She escapes into the wilderness, but her hunter is close at her heels. That’s when the real battle begins. That’s when Ruth must decides just how far she’ll go in order to survive.
Back home, they called her Ruthless. They had no idea just how right they were.

 

BYB_BLOGTOUR
[tour schedule]

 

INTERVIEW:

 

  1. Hi Carolyn! Thanks for stopping by on the blog!! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 🙂 — Thank you so much for having me here, Paula! Outside the obvious I am a stand-up comedian and like to call myself the Queen of the Hobos. I travel a lot for comedy and love driving across this beautiful country of ours, whilst getting into various shenanigans. I am a big fan of shenanigans, also tom foolery.
  2. Ruthless is your debut novel, is this the genre you really want to write? Why? — I was literally born to write horror and thrillers. I was born on Halloween. My mother read Edgar Allan Poe to me when I was little, as well as a collection of other dark poems (e.g. “Richard Cory” by Edwin Arlington Robinson). To top it off, I grew up near the dumping grounds of Gary Ridgway, aka the Green River Killer, the most prolific serial killer in US history. By the time I was in the 6th grade I was reading Stephen King and my future was set.
  3. Describe your main character, Ruth, in 5-7 words for us. — Ruthless. Repressed. Brave. Sadistic. Admirable. Selfless. Selfish.
  4. Your book cover is really spine chilling, but will you change it if you could? — Ha! I did change it! The initial version of Ruthless featured a far less fierce Ruth and the title was in gray. I prided myself on being chill throughout this process—I had three editors and didn’t bat an eye—but when I saw that cover I freaked out. The cover was, without a doubt, classy and beautiful. But in my opinion it was too classy and beautiful. I thought it looked like a Noxzema ad. More importantly, how would people see that monochrome cover in a bookstore? I asked for the title to be put in yellow and for Ruth to be made ruthless. I wanted it to look like a gritty warning sign. Once those changes were made I fell in love with the cover. The headlights at night, the forest, the bloody scratches — all of these things came together in a wonderfully evocative way.
  5. Who is your favorite character to write? and the not-so-favorite one? Can you share us why? — Truly, this is a two-person play. Ruth and the Wolfman. In my first draft, Wolfman was nothing but a shell of a character. I received notes from an editor friend of mine telling me what I already knew – that the first draft didn’t tell you anything about Wolfman. I went back and wrote his backstory. His backstory only constitutes 5,000 words but they were the most difficult 5,000 words I’ve ever written. Every day I paced around my living room, sick to my stomach. I’d write a paragraph or two, then pace some more. I did this for a month. I wrote solidly for a month’s time, nauseous every day, pacing in circles. Although the Wolfman is the villain, I feel for him deeply. His character arc is the aspect of Ruthless I am most proud of. So in that way, he is my favorite. Ruth, by contrast, evokes far less sympathy in me, in part because we are very similar creatures. I don’t have so much sympathy for myself, and therefore not so much for Ruth. My challenge in writing Ruth was to find a soft spot in my heart for her, to have mercy on her, to forgive her for her failings and in so doing forgive myself for my own.
  6. Is there something weird, funny or even a scary thing that happened while writing Ruthless? — When it comes to weird, some might find it weird that Ruthless started out as a dream. I dreamt the first three chapters, woke up, wrote them, and then just kept going. As far as scary goes, my husband of ten years left me when I was halfway done with the first draft. We’d been together since I was eighteen. I’d never lived alone. I’d never been a real adult. He had taken care of paperwork and bills and such. And that is absolutely terrifying – to find yourself alone, jobless, and on your own with zero prospects for a traditional career. My response to this was to become a stand-up comedian and finish a novel while working as a receptionist at my parents’ accounting firm. Ruth makes some very high-risk decisions in her struggle to survive, and as I said, we are very similar creatures. At the end of the day, I believe following your bliss will be rewarded. Writing and performing is my bliss. I followed it. And I was extremely fortunate it all worked out.
  7. What will readers expect from the romance aspect in this book? — Hmmm…they can expect to find Ruth at her most unlikable? Unfortunately, when it comes to romance Ruth has her toughest lessons to learn.
  8. Are you working on something new already? Do you have a WIP that you can tell us about? 🙂 — Oh goodness, I wish it were new. The novel I completed before Ruthless is called THE BOOK OF EZRA. Whereas Ruthless is a lean, fast little novel, Ezra was once longer than The Goblet of Fire. (I’ve since cut it down significantly.) I’m still working on Ezra and I believe it’s the best thing I’ve ever written. Set in 1894 in an Upstate New York Poor House and Insane Asylum, Ezra is the story of a teenaged boy abandoned by his wealthy parents because they are ashamed of his incurable condition. Upon arrival, a handful of insane inmates turn up dead, supposedly due to neglect. Ezra, however, has his suspicions that something else, something not quite human, is behind the horrors of the asylum. It is a horror/thriller and speaks straight to the heart of everything I believe most deeply.
  9. Lastly, is did you watch or read anything to inspire you while writing ruthless? — I learned a lot from watching I Survived on the Bio Channel. That show remains my favorite reality show of all time. The beautiful simplicity of it, the survivors telling their stories, the lone cello over a flat landscape – it is haunting in the best way possible. Prior to watching that show I did not realize how often bystanders fail to assist those in desperate need. I was horrified by this recurring theme in the show and it made a deep mark on my psyche. I can’t imagine not taking action in such a situation.

 

 

AUTHOR:

 

author pic 1

Website | Twitter | Facebook 

Carolyn Lee Adams is originally from the Seattle area, breeding ground of serial killers and those who write about them. She attended USC Film School and graduated with a BFA in screenwriting. RUTHLESS (Simon Pulse, Summer 2015) is her first novel. When she isn’t exploring the dark side of human nature in her writing, you’ll find her on stage as a stand-up comedian. Because those things go together.

 

 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 

 

GIVEAWAY:

 

giveaway

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

HOSTED BY:

 

FFBC Book Tours

BOOK SPOTLIGHT&SNEAK-A-PEEK: The Six by Mark Alpert + Giveaway!!

111

The Six
Mark Alpert
Expected publication: July 7th 2015 by Sourcebooks Fire
368 pages (Hardcover)
YA > SciFi
 
 
 
Purchase links:
Amazon | Apple| B&N | BAM | !ndigoIndieBound | KindleNook
 
 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 
To save humanity, they must give up their own.
Adam’s muscular dystrophy has stolen his mobility, his friends, and in a few short years, it will take his life. Virtual reality games are Adam’s only escape from his wheelchair. In his alternate world, he can defeat anyone. Running, jumping, scoring touchdowns: Adam is always the hero.
Then an artificial intelligence program, Sigma, hacks into Adam’s game. Created by Adam’s computer-genius father, Sigma has gone rogue, threatening Adam’s life-and world domination. Their one chance to stop Sigma is using technology Adam’s dad developed to digitally preserve the mind of his dying son.
Along with a select group of other terminally ill teens, Adam becomes one of the Six who have forfeited their bodies to inhabit weaponized robots. But with time running short, the Six must learn to manipulate their new mechanical forms and work together to train for epic combat…before Sigma destroys humanity.
 
 

 

 


I have a treat for you all today. Check out this sneak peek from Mark Alpert’s latest novel, THE SIX! Tell me what you think! And don’t forget that Sourcebooks Fire is giving away a finished copy of the book below and some awesome stuff!


 

 

EXCERPT

 

Shannon rears back in her seat as if she’s been slapped. “And where are you going to store the copies of our brains?” Her voice is furious. “In a supercomputer? A big electronic prison?”
Dad doesn’t take offense. He answers her calmly. “The scanning process converts human intelligence to a digital form, allowing it to run on any neuromorphic computer that has enough memory and processing power. But in the initial stage right after the transfer, we believe it’s important to connect the intelligence to a machine that can move around and sense the outside world. A human intelligence is accustomed to controlling a body, so if we want to preserve its sanity, we’d better give it something to control. Here, let me show you.”
He puts the vial of nanoprobes back in his pocket and pulls out something else, a small remote–control device. He points it at the doorway beside the stage, and a moment later I hear a loud clanking. The noise startles the soldiers standing by the doorway. They step backward, flattening themselves against the wall. Then a seven–foot–tall robot emerges from the doorway and brushes past them.
The robot strides across the stage. It has two arms and two legs, but otherwise it isn’t very humanlike. It has no head or neck. Its torso is shaped like a giant bullet, with the rounded end on top. Its legs angle downward from the base of its torso and rest on oval steel–plate footpads that clang against the floor.
The machine marches briskly past the podium and stops in front of my dad, who presses a button on his remote control. This command extends the robot’s arms, which telescope to a full length of six feet. They look like multi–jointed tentacles. The machine’s hands, though, resemble human hands, with dexterous mechanical fingers and thumbs.
Dad presses another button, and the robot’s rounded top starts to turn like a turret. “The cameras and acoustic sensors are up here,” Dad says, pointing at the top end. “But the neuromorphic electronics are deep inside the torso, encased in armor plating. These robots were originally designed for the war in Afghanistan, so they’re pretty sturdy.” He raps his knuckles against the torso. “All in all, it’s an excellent platform for a newly transferred intelligence, but really it’s just the beginning. The whole point of the Pioneer Project is to bridge the gap between man and machine, and that means the human intelligences must explore their new environment. The Pioneers will have to learn how to use their new capabilities, and that includes transferring their intelligences from one machine to another.”
His voice grows louder again, full of enthusiasm. “Once the Pioneers have mastered these tasks, our hope is that they’ll be able to establish a connection with Sigma. If all goes well, they’ll start communicating with the AI before it launches any of the Russian missiles. And then the toughest challenge will begin. At the same time that the humans are learning how to be machines, they’ll have to teach Sigma how to be human.”

 

 

 AUTHOR:

 

Mark Alpert
Mark Alpert
Website | Twitter | Facebook

 

Mark Alpert is a former editor at Scientific American, and the author of several adult thrillers. He’s been praised by Douglas Preston as the “heir to Michael Crichton.” Visit Mark online at markalpert.com.

 

 

 

 

GIVEAWAY:

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

HOSTED BY:

Sourcebooks Fire

ARC REVIEW: Vanished by E. E. Cooper

 Vanished
E. E. Cooper 
SERIES: Vanished #1
 Published May 12th 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins
YA >  Thriller
320 pages 
 eARC from Publisher
 

4★★★★

 
 
Purchase links:
Amazon | Nook
 
 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

Gone Girl meets Pretty Little Liars in this fast-paced psychological thriller full of delicious twists and turns.
Friendship. Obsession. Deception. Love. 
Kalah knows better than to fall for Beth Taylor . . . but that doesn’t stop her from falling hard and falling fast, heart first into a sea of complications.
Then Beth vanishes. She skips town on her eighteenth birthday, leaving behind a flurry of rumors and a string of broken hearts. Not even Beth’s best friend, Britney, knows where she went. Beth didn’t even tell Kalah good-bye.
One of the rumors links Beth to Britney’s boyfriend, and Kalah doesn’t want to believe the betrayal. But Brit clearly believes it—and before Kalah can sort out the truth, Britney is dead.
When Beth finally reaches out to Kalah in the wake of Brit’s suicide, Kalah wants to trust what Beth tells her. But she’s swiftly realizing that nothing here is as it seems. Kalah’s caught in the middle of a deadly psychological game, and only she can untangle the deceptions and lies to reveal the unthinkable truth.

REVIEW:

Vanished is a really, really hard book for me to think about without wanting to breakdown and beg for a sequel like, NOW.

When I first started Vanished, I was surprised with the huge amount of information that the blurb already gave out about the book. I felt like most of the story was already laid out for the reader to judge, and I still stand by that. But what I realised as I started to really invest myself into the story was the sheer nothingness that is the synopsis, because it does not even begin to scratch the surface of the depth of this story. And what’s more fantastic is that the synopsis is faithful to the story to a T; it’s only that the story has so, so much more.

Kalah is the voice of the story, describing in complete detail her friendship with Britney and Beth. You know when you feel like you’ve crossed some rite of passage because you become friends with certain people in a society? That’s how it is for Kalah. High school is the stage and with Britney and Beth centre stage, and their friendship with her, Kalah feels undefeatable. She’s not cruel to people, or a bully, nothing like that. It’s only that she feels important having best friends at the top of the food chain.

But of course what Kalah forgets is that even best friends are allowed to keep secrets from each other and sometimes envy can take a life.

I think the part I loved best about Vanished is the depiction of Kalah being comfortable with her bisexuality. It is revealed early on that Kalah adores her boyfriend, but she also experiences a certain degree of rightness with Beth…and it was lovely to see. She appeared to be quite comfortable within her skin, not bothering much for opinion outside of her own. Of course she had moments of guilt when she felt like she was betraying both the people she seemed to love, but I think that was more of a moral problem than anything else.

As for Britney and Beth and their relationship with both each other and Kalah, the less you know, readers mine, the better it is. It’s not easily defined, this type of friendship, and believe me when I say that it’s best unravelled when you read it yourself.

On a more special note, this book is full of diversity, no matter what type you seek! Kalah is an Indian, she is also bisexual. And she is okay with it. So is everyone around her. Isn’t that great?

What I’d really like to talk about is E. E. Cooper and her seemingly perfect understanding of the teenage psyche.

Being a debut author is one thing, but being a debut author with a voice that is as distinct as it is powerful is completely another. Miss Cooper has managed to bring Kalah, Beth and Britney, along with a whole slew of characters in the Vanished universe to life spectacularly. And I’m not saying it in a way that is hollow or without true meaning…I’m saying it with every fibre of my being. If you want to read a YA book, truly worthy of a comparison to Gone Girl, let it be Vanished. And since we’re being honest here, let me come clean too: I didn’t know if I was even going to finish this book. My entire problem lied around Kalah, and whether or not she would allow herself to be stepped on by her “friends.”

But here’s what I realised: To stand up for yourself, taller and prouder than you ever have, you have to be trampled upon. You have to know the pain and humiliation of being used by friends, to understand that such people are really not your friends at all. And I’m going to leave it at that for you readers to interpret. Kalah’s story is a story you NEED in your life. And if by the end of the book you aren’t asking for a sequel as desperately as I am, then man, I don’t even know if we can be friends anymore.

 

Rhea[1]

GUEST POST: Life Unaware by Cole Gibsen + Giveaway!!

11

Life Unaware
Cole Gibsen
Published April 28th 2015 by Entangled: Teen
YA > Contemporary | Romance
 
 
Purchase links:
Amazon | TBD | BN
 
 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 
Regan Flay has been talking about you.
Regan Flay is on the cusp of achieving her control-freak mother’s “plan” for high school success―cheerleading, student council, the Honor Society—until her life gets turned horribly, horribly upside down. Every bitchy text. Every bitchy email. Every lie, manipulation, and insult she’s ever said have been printed out and taped to all the lockers in school.
Now Regan has gone from popular princess to total pariah.
The only person who even speaks to her is her former best friend’s hot but socially miscreant brother, Nolan Letner. Nolan thinks he knows what Regan’s going through, but what nobody knows is that Regan isn’t really Little Miss Perfect. In fact, she’s barely holding it together under her mom’s pressure. But the consequences of Regan’s fall from grace are only just beginning. Once the chain reaction starts, no one will remain untouched…
Especially Regan Flay
 
 
12
[tour schedule]
 
 

 Welcome to my stop for the Life Unaware tour! Today, Cole Gibsen shared 5 unknown facts about her latest novel. Scroll down to find out what those things are and don’t forget to join the giveaway! 

 

GUEST POST:

 

5 Unknown Facts About Life Unaware

1. In the book, Regan’s—the main character’s—mother is a United States Senator. In real life my uncle is a United States Congressman. I grew up attending political functions, press releases, and campaign events. While my Uncle is nothing like Regan’s mom, I was able to use my own personal experience with politics to develop her character.

2. Regan suffers from anxiety and debilitating panic attacks. So do I. Each panic attack Regan suffers is a detailed description of my own, which is why writing those scenes was so difficult for me.

3. My biological dad took off when I was a toddler. My stepdad was verbally and emotionally abusive. Because of this I had a hard time writing “good” dads because I had no idea how they behaved. It wasn’t until I got married and had a child of my own that I was able to see my husband interact with our daughter, showing me for the first time in my life what a “good” dad looks like. Life Unaware was my first attempt at writing a “good” dad.

4. In the book Regan has an ex-racehorse. That horse is a tribute to my own ex-racehorse Dancer O’ Day that I owned for several years until my stepdad got rid of him while I was at work. I came home just in time to see the horse trailer pulling away. One of my life goals is to find out where he went and if his last years were happy.

5. I drew on my own experiences with bullying when I wrote Life Unaware. When I was a freshman, my family moved and I had to start a new school mid semester. Some cheerleader got mad because she thought her boyfriend was flirting with me. I can’t remember, but I think he’d only asked me for a pencil. Still, that was all it took to start nearly two years of torture.

 

 

AUTHOR:

 

author pic 1

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

 

Cole Gibsen first realized she different when, in high school, she was still reading comic books while the other girls were reading fashion magazines.

It was her love of superheroes that first inspired her to pick up a pen. Her favorite things to write about are ordinary girls who find themselves in extraordinary situations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GIVEAWAY:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

TOUR HOST:

YA BOUND BOOK TOURS