Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween (And A Change of Plans)

Happy Halloween!
So far I've spent the day reading (which is always fun) and trying to finish B1.1's main character's history (she's very old) before NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow. Luckily, I managed to finish a few minutes ago, but sadly it was only one character out of 17. Ugh! I still have a bunch of other stuff I need to work on before I can start rewriting it again. T_T

Anyway, I said there would be a scary story today back when I announced my blogoversary, but unfortuntely, that won't be happening. I had a story planned, I even wrote part of it, but limited computer access and having entirely too many blogs and Shelfari groups to check kept me from finishing it (also, I finished part 1 and it didn't save, which made me sad, too sad to rewrite that part before it was supposed to publish). I'm incredibly sorry about that. I was really looking forward to that story, it sounded so promising! Maybe I'll try to finish it and just publish it a little later than I originally planned.

Just a reminder, if you plan to enter my pumpkin carving contest, don't forget to send your picture by midnight on November 3. ^_^

I think that's it for now, I'll try to post something more interesting (like a review) soon. :)

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wish List Wednesday 6

What?

Dead Is So Last Year


by Marlene Perez

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Interview with Marlene Perez

I recently interviewed the fabulous Marlene Perez, author of the super awesome Dead Is series. I'm super excited about this, it's my first author interview. ^_^


Dahlia: I know this is probably impossible to answer, but I’m going to ask anyway: What is your favorite book?

Marlene Perez: This IS impossible. It depends on the time of day, my mood, and if I've had my coffee. But I loved A WRINKLE IN TIME when I was a kid, as well as I CAPTURE THE CASTLE, LORD OF THE RINGS, THE HOBBIT, and any Judy Blume book.

D: Which of your characters is most like you?
MP: Maybe Megan in UNEXPECTED DEVELOPMENT or Daisy Giordano in the DEAD IS series.
D: What was the first thing you ever wrote?

MP: A journal when I was in second grade. I credit my second grade teacher with starting me on the path to being a writer.
D: What’s your writing process?

MP: I start with a glimmer of an idea (or honestly, maybe several ideas) and if it keeps calling to me, then I know that's the book to write. I'm definitely an organic writer. I think the things I've learned about structure and plot are there, but it's on a subconscious level and it comes from reading so much. I don't have as much time to read as I used to, but I think reading a book a day when I was a child really helped me. I'm the youngest of twelve children and the oldest kids controlled the tv remote, so I watched very little television growing up. Instead, I read.
D: I've hated almost everything I’ve ever written, so I’m wondering, have you ever wanted to throw one of your books out a window or into a fire?

MP: Of course! Self-doubt is just part of the process, especially when writers face so much rejection before they get to a yes. I think we forget about the pain when we get that yes.
D: What was your favorite book to write?

MP: So far, I really loved writing the DEAD IS series. I have to say that if you plan to write a series, make sure you REALLY like your main character. But this question is like asking someone to pick their favorite child. So all of my books are my favorite.
D: In case of a zombie apocalypse, you would…?

MP: Go all Woody Harrelson on them (in Zombieland.) That's what I say, but in reality, I'd probably cower under the bed. Unless a zombie was after one of my children. Then it would be ON.
D: If you could time travel, which way would you go and why?

MP: I used to love to read Regencies, so I'd probably like to travel back to that time period. Although it probably SOUNDS more romantic than it really was. And the realities of life for women back then isn't really something I'd like to experience.
D: What was your inspiration for the Dead Is… series?

MP: The DEAD IS series started with my love of the paranormal and the idea that I wanted to write a vampire novel. I wanted to write one for years, but the vampire canon is immense and I needed to find something different to say. And then the title DEAD IS THE NEW BLACK popped into my head, as well as the first line that is still in the book. Sometimes, a character just starts talking and sometimes I might be inspired by an image or a conversation
D: I love the covers for the Dead Is… books; did you have any say in the cover design?

MP: Thank you! I love them, too. I was fortunate that my publisher did ask for my input. I didn't have any SAY, as in final approval or anything, but I was very pleased that they did take my comments into consideration.
D: I heard there are going to be two more books in the Dead Is… series, could you tell us a little about them?

MP: I'm revising DEAD IS JUST A RUMOR right now. It takes place in the fall of Daisy's senior year and (I hope) will answer some of unanswered questions from DEAD IS SO LAST YEAR. And the final book in the series will be DEAD IS NOT AN OPTION, which will culminate with Daisy Giordano graduating from Nightshade High.
D: If you could put yourself in any book, what would it be?
MP: Hmm. I've always had a huge crush on Aragorn from LORD OF THE RINGS, so maybe the LOTR books. Only if he looked like Viggo Mortenson. And only if I get to pick which character I am. I don't want to end up as Gollum, muttering on about "my precious."
D: If you could only write one more book, what would it be about?

MP: Oh, I hate to talk about my ideas. Because then I feel like I've already done all the work. But I have a partially completed novel that I'm very excited about and I think I'll have time to work on that in 2010.
D: What are your thoughts on censorship?
MP: I'm a member of AS IF (AuthorsSupporting Intellectual Freedom) and in a nutshell, I believe that censorship is wrong. Librarians are rock stars, as far as I'm concerned. They fight to keep books in our libraries, despite numerous challenges and pressures. So read a banned book! Better yet, buy one!

Thanks so much for stopping by, Marlene! ^_^

Check out my reviews of the first two Dead Is books here and here. :)

Eclectically yours,

Dahlia

Blogoversary Contest!!!

Closed.

I'm very excited to announce that, in honor of my one year blogoversary (don't you just love that word?), I'll be giving away...

*drumroll*

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld!


All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post with your email. You must leave an email to enter. :)

Did I hear someone ask if there are extra entries? Of course there are extra entries!

+5 for new public followers
+10 for old public followers
+4 for new public followers on 13 & Co.
+8 for old public followers of 13 & Co.
+5 for blogging about this (I'm talking an actual post, not a sidebar). Please provide a link to your post.1
+3 for linking this on your sidebar (leave a link)
+8 for advertising my Zazzle shop2

This contest is open to everyone (because I love all my readers, even the international ones). ^_^
Contest is open until November 20. Spread the word!

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia


Footnotes
1) To make a live link, use this code: <a href="URL">your text</a>
2) Here are some advertising tools to help you out

Blog panel:
<script language="javascript" src="http://www.zazzle.com/api/zp/zpanel?zp=117836004662762222"></script>

HTML link:
<a href="http://www.zazzle.com/dahlia_sensei?rf=238075519860452219">The House of Dahlia-Sensei</a>

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

1 Year Blogoversary Celebration!!!

I can't believe it's already been a year. It seems like just last week that I was discussing blog names with my friends. This year has been so much fun! I'm so glad I started blogging. I've read some interesting things from fellow bloggers over the last 12 months, discovered some great new books, and met some very nice people.

I have a lot of stuff planned for the next month. It's going to be super fun! Expect awesomeness!
A few things on the menu are:
Reviews (I've sort of fallen behind on these)
An interview with a surprise guest (I am very excited about this!)
Contests (one of which has already been announced, I am really looking forward to the second one)
And a special (hopefully) scary story for Halloween!

There might also be a much overdo awards post, because there is no better way to celebrate a blogoversary than to spread some blog love. ^_^

That's all for today. Check back tomorrow for a big announcement. Here is a (really unsubtle) hint of what it's about. ;)

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mini Blog: Pumpkin Carving Contest Update

After a little thinking, I realized that I should probably extend the deadline for the pumpkin carving contest. So, I'm changing the deadline from midnight on the 1st, to midnight on the 3rd.

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

P.S.
I'm trying to make a link button that you guys can post on your blogs, so that's why there's a picture with my bllog name. :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

In My Mailbox 15

In My Mailbox was started by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.

Bought
Soulless: Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
Pub. date: Oct. 09
"Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire — and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.
With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?
SOULLESS is a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking."
This one looks really good, and I've heard good things about it. Can't wait to read it. ^_^


Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Pub. date: Oct. 09
"It is the cusp of World War I, and all the European powers are arming up. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ fabricated animals as their weaponry. Their Leviathan is a whale airship, and the most masterful beast in the British fleet.

Aleksandar Ferdinand, prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battle-torn Stormwalker and a loyal crew of men.
Deryn Sharp is a commoner, a girl disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.
With the Great War brewing, Alek's and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way...taking them both aboard the Leviathan on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure. One that will change both their lives forever."

I finally have it! I'm sooo excited about this book! I've beeen wanting to read it for months, and now it's finally mine! I'm going to read it as soon as I finish City of Bones (which should be pretty soon).

That's all I got this week.

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Technical Difficulties

My computer is dead. In other words, I won't be able to post as much because I have to go to the library (which has a one hour limit) to do anything online, which, by the way, is where I am now.
This really couldn't have happened at a worse time. My blogoversary is coming up really soon, and NaNoWriMo, during which I was going to start rewriting B1.1 again. Ugh, I really need a computer at home! Needless to say, I'm very sad right now.

I will do my best to keep up with my blog, but since I can only get on for an hour a day (and not on Sundays), posts will be less frequent. :(

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Death Note vol. 1 by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata

"Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects - and he's bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer. With L hot on his heels, will Light lose sight of his noble goal...or his life?



Light tests the boundaries of the Death Note's powers as L and the police begin to close in. Luckily Light's father is the head of the Japanese National Police Agency and leaves vital information about the case lying around the house. With access to his father's files, Light can keep one step ahead of the authorities. But who is the strange man following him, and how can Light guard against enemies whose names he doesn't know?"

I got hooked on Death Note after jumping in at the fifth episode a while ago. I had clearly missed something, and wasn't totally clear on what was going on, but that didn't matter. All I knew was, I needed more Death Note. So I ordered the first manga the first chance I got.
Light Yagami is totally crazy! Like, complete whackadoo. I love it! People with his level of insanity scare me, but they sure make good entertainment. By the third or fourth time he said "righteous judgement", all I was thinking was, Cuckoo-katchoo.
The shinigami Ryuk was interesting. Something about the way he interacted with Light was kinda funny. The shinigami realm was really cool looking, especially in the show (the first episode was On Demand, so I got to read and watch the beginning).
L is so cool! I don't know why, he just is. He's my favorite character in the series. I'm mostly judging him on the events of later episodes, because he wasn't in the first volume very much.
There isn't much action in Death Note, but it's still really exciting and interesting. I can't wait to read the rest of the series! I can't decide if I like the manga or the show more. They're both awesome (unlike this review. Reviewing a manga that's also a show is hard).

I give the first volume of Death Note five Fists of Rock.


Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wish List Wednesday 5

What?

Leviathan

by Scott Westerfeld
"It is the cusp of World War I, and all the European powers are arming up. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ fabricated animals as their weaponry. Their Leviathan is a whale airship, and the most masterful beast in the British fleet.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Blogoversary Pumpkin Carving Contest

I am very happy to announce the first part of my blogoversary celebration (yes, I know my blogoversary doesn't start until the 21st, but this needs to be posted early):
The first (possibly annual)
Pumpkin Carving Contest!


The rules are simple: the pumpkin must be carved. Not painted, not decoupaged, carved. Also, it must be book themed (this is, after all, a book blog).
Each pumpkin you carve equals one entry. Email a picture of your pumpkin to EclecticDahlia@aol.com with the subject line "Blogoversary Pumpkin Contest" by 11:59 pm, November 3.
The pumpkins will be judged by me, Orchid, Zombie Girrrl, and Holland Petalpockets.

I bet you're thinking right now, "Why should I carve a book themed pumpkin and send a picture to you? What's in it for me?"
A book, that's what!

What book, you ask? Well, that's up to you. The winner will get their choice of paperback from the list below.

Death Note vol. 1 by Tsugumi Ohba & Takeshi Obata
Vampire Knight vol. 1 by Matsuri Hino
Clubbing by Andi Watson & Josh Howard
Dead Is the New Black by Marlene Perez
Raven's Gate by Anthony Horowitz
Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer

Contest is open to US & Canada (if you have a friend in one of those places that I can send the prize to so they can send it to you, that works too). Happy carving!

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia

Sunday, October 4, 2009

In My Mailbox 14

In My Mailbox was started by the Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.

Borrowed
Among the Betrayed by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Pub. date: June 02
"What does it mean to save yourself?
 
Nina Idi — a third child in a society where families are allowed only two children — has been betrayed by the boy she loved, and arrested by the Population Police for exposing other alleged third children. Angry and confused, Nina knows only one thing for sure: She is innocent of the charges. But now she is faced with the most difficult choice of her life: Get three other prisoners to admit they are shadow children and be spared herself, or refuse to cooperate and be killed.
The options are clear. The choice, Nina discovers, is not...."
After accidentally spoiling the ending of City of Bones a few months ago by reading the synopsis for City of Glass, I decided never to read about a book before finishing its predecessor. So I was a bit surpised when I found out this book wasn't about Luke. It will be interesting to see the world of the Shadow Children series from someone else's point of view.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Pub. date: April 07
"When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder — much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing — not even a smear of blood — to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end."
I was so excited when I found out this was finally in at the library! I've had it on hold for what seems like months, when I was only third in line to get it. Now I finally have it! I can't wait to read this! ^_^

Eclectically yours,
Dahlia