Thursday, January 31, 2019

My Favorite Movies, TV Shows, and Music of 2018!


I know I'm getting this post up late. But hey, it's still January! It's not too late to post this. (At least in my opinion.) I'm listing my favorite movies, TV shows, and music of 2018 in this post! Now, here's the lists! :)

Five Favorite Movies

Here are my top five favorite movies that I watched in 2018! I didn't include the Hallmark movies I watched, just because that would make the list way too long. But just so you know, there were a lot of good Hallmark movies in 2018! And not all of these movies released in 2018, a few were older than that. But I watched them in 2018, which is why I'm including them here.

The Incredibles 2
Love! I've always loved the first movie, and getting to see this sequel was really cool! And having Elastigirl be the main character in this one was neat! Also, the animation in this was amazing.

Hotel Transylvania 3
These movies are always just really fun! They make me laugh, no matter how many times I've seen them.

Peter Rabbit
This was really fun! I didn't expect to like this movie as much as I did. I thought I would like it, but I kind of ended up loving it! It was a lot more funny than I expected, and I really liked the whole cast in it.

Spider-Man: Homecoming
Another movie that I didn't expect to like as much as I did! A really fun movie, and I'm looking forward to the sequel to it.

Crazy Rich Asians
This was a really good movie! I really liked it, and I'm looking forward to the sequel to it a lot!


Ten Favorite TV Shows

For this category, I'm keeping to shows that aired new episodes in 2018. I watched a lot of shows on Netflix that are older (that I loved), but to keep this list at ten, won't include them here. I might write a post about them later.

The Young and the Restless

The Bold and the Beautiful

The Amazing Race

Happy Together

DuckTales

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

The Dragon Prince

Spirit Riding Free

The Good Witch

Chesapeake Shores

Ten Favorite Songs + One Album

This was hard to narrow down to ten! (Plus an album!) But I'm pretty happy with the songs I picked. To keep this list at ten, I'm just including songs that released in 2018 (With one exception.).

Shawn Mendes, Shawn Mendes
I had to list this as an album, because there were just too many songs I love for me to just list one. I love this whole album, but my favorites from it are In My Blood (As someone who has severe anxiety, I relate to this song a lot.), Nervous, Lost in Japan (I like the remix with Zedd, too.), Like to Be You feat. Julia Michaels, Particular Taste, Queen, and When You're Ready.

Now, on to the top ten songs list!

This Feeling by Kelsea Ballerini and The Chainsmokers

Joy by for KING and COUNTRY

I Like Me Better by Lauv

Everything by Tobymac

Meant to Be by Bebe Rexa feat. Florida Georgia Line
(I also really like I'm a Mess by Bebe Rexa, and Simple by Florida Georgia Line.)

Babe by Sugarland feat. Taylor Swift

The Way I Am by Charlie Puth

Witness by Jordan Feliz

The Middle by Zedd and Maren Morris

Havana by Camilla Cabbello feat. Young Thug


What were your favorite movies, TV shows, and music form 2018? :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

2019 Debut Author Interviews Wrap Up Post


Hi, everyone! Today is the wrap up for the 2019 Debut Author Interviews! I had fun putting this event together, and I hope that you all had fun reading the interviews! Thank you so much to everyone who read the posts, tweeted about them, commented, and in any way supported this event! And thank you so much to all the authors who let me interview them! Now, onto the wrap up!

The first day was an interview with Laura Taylor Namey, author of The Library of Lost Things.

Then an interview with Mara Rutherford, author of Crown of Coral and Pearl.

The next day featured an interview with Josephine Cameron, author of Maybe a Mermaid.

The following day was an interview with Jennieke Cohen, author of Dangerous Alliance.

Then an interview with Erin Hahn, author of You'd Be Mine.

The next day was an interview with Rajani LaRocca, author of Midsummer's Mayhem.

The following day was an interview with Natalie Williamson, author of Rules We're Meant to Break.

The last day featured an interview with Melinda Grace, author of Meet Me in Outer Space.

I'm looking forward to reading all of these authors books, and I hope all of you are now looking forward to them, too! Thank you again so much to all the authors who participated in this event, and to everyone who read the interviews!

Here's to next year! :)

Monday, January 28, 2019

Interview With Melinda Grace!



Today I'm pleased to present an interview with Melinda Grace! Ms. Grace is the author of the YA book, Meet Me in Outer Space, which releases March 19th.

The bold font are the questions I asked, the regular font are her answers, and the bold italic font are my comments about her answers.

1. Would you please describe your debut book, MEET ME IN OUTER SPACE, in seven words?
When finding yourself means realizing your strength.

2. What was the inspiration for your debut book?
A lot of different things went into the inspiration for MEET ME IN OUTER SPACE, my own personal experience being the primary influence. The secondary was music and the third was a realization that what I was writing was bigger than me. It seemed to be a situation in which all the pieces to a puzzle that had been floating around in my head came together at the same time.

The first piece was the idea to create a character with a Central Auditory Processing Disorder, which came while writing a scene for a different book. I started to consider whether that character could have CAPD, but ultimately decided that character already had enough going on. So, even though I chose to nix it for that character, I couldn’t let the idea go…which means I spent a lot of time thinking about where/how I could take this idea and make it into its own book.

The second piece came during my 45-minute commute home from work one day, when Stellar by Incubus came up on my playlist. This has always been a favorite song of mine and as I listened to it I thought “in what situation might someone tell another person to ‘meet me in outer space’,” which then opened the door to all the things I mishear because of my CAPD. So, I thought, “this is probably something I would mishear someone say.” I went home that day and wrote the scene in which Edie believes Hudson asks her to meet him in outer space.

The last piece was a happy accident of sorts, as Edie’s story started to evolve I realized how little my target audience may or may not know about CAPD or, in a much broader sense, what it’s like to have a disability in college. When it comes to the adjustment from educational law at the primary-secondary level (elementary/high school) to the Disabilities Act in the real world, things aren’t exactly equivalent. I wanted to convey something real in a way that people completely unaware could still connect with.

3. Random Question! What's your favorite Disney movie?
This is impossible to answer, so I’ll go with my first favorite Disney movie and the Disney movie that inspired a tattoo... Alice In Wonderland and Spirited Away, which some may argue isn’t fully a Disney movie, but it is. Don’t @ me. LOL =) =)

4. What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Perseverance is key. There’s nothing easy about publishing and you have to stick with it.

Definitely good advice! :)

5. What are some books you're looking forward to reading in 2019? And if you've already read some '19 books, do you want to mention them?
I’m really looking forward to THE MERMAID’S VOICE RETURNS IN THIS ONE by Amanda Lovelace. I adore her writing.

I’ve been lucky enough to sneak a few peaks at my fellow Swoon Read authors’ books, so I’ll plug BEWARE THE NIGHt by Jessika Feck, ALL IF FAIR by Dee Garretson, MATCH ME IF YOU CAN by Tiana Smith, THE BIRDS, THE BEES, AND YOU AND ME by Olivia Hinebaugh, and A SOLDIER AND A LIAR by Caitlin Lochner.

My 2019 TBR list just keeps getting longer! :)

Thank you to Ms. Grace for letting me interview her, and for participating in this event! :)


Author bio: Melinda Grace wrote her first piece of fiction in middle school, but didn’t write a complete story until an introduction to creative writing course at SUNY Oswego, where she earned a BA in human development. She went on to earn a MS Ed in counseling and currently works as a school counselor. When she’s not guiding the youth of America, she’s planning her next vacation to Disney World, laminating anything she can get her hands on, and binge watching on Netflix. Meet Me in Outer Space is her debut novel.

Here are a few links:


Sunday, January 27, 2019

Interview With Natalie Williamson!



Today I'm happy to present an interview with Natalie Williamson! Ms. Williamson is the the author of the YA book, Rules We're Meant to Break, which releases June 11th.

The bold font are the questions I asked, the regular font are her answers, and the bold italic font are my comments about her answers.

1. Would you please describe your debut book, Rules We're Meant to Break, in seven words?
Blended families, forever friends, and swoony kisses

2. Have you always wanted to write YA books?
Yes! I read mostly YA (and romance) so when I started writing there was no question about where I wanted to end up. 
 
3. Random Question! What's your favorite holiday?
Christmas! It's so magical, and I love getting to spend extra time with family. And also getting extra time at home to curl up with a good book.

I love Christmas, too! :)

4. What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Read! Read in the age category and genre you want to write, and read outside it, too. Whenever I hit a writing slump, it helps me so much to read a new book I've been looking forward to, or an old favorite that I love. 

Good advice! :)

5. What are some books you're looking forward to reading in 2019? And if you've already read some '19 books, do you want to mention them?
I loooooved The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me by Olivia Hinebaugh. And I'm looking forward to:
Match Me if You Can by Tiana Smith
How the Light Gets In by Katy Upperman
Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett
Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon
You'd Be Mine by Erin Hahn
When the Truth Unravels by RuthAnne Snow
Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford
I could keep going, but it'd be a long list!

I'm really looking forward to reading a lot of the books you mentioned here! :)

Thank you to Ms. Williamson for participating in this event and for letting me interview her! :)


Author bio: Natalie Williamson is an HR person by day and a YA writer by night and nap time. She referenced Harry Potter in her first ever full time job interview, which tells you almost all the things you need to know about her. Other important things to know include: she loves her husband, daughter, dogs, and cat; she has a serious dessert problem; and she frequently Wikipedias movies and TV shows to find out if they have happy endings. RULES WE’RE MEANT TO BREAK is her debut novel.

Here are a few links:


Saturday, January 26, 2019

Interview With Rajani LaRocca!



Today I'm happy to present an interview with Rajani LaRocca! Ms. LaRocca is the author of the Middle Grade book, Midsummer's Mayhem, which releases June 4th.

Here's the interview!

The bold font are the questions I asked, the regular font are her answers, and the bold italic font are my comments about her answers.

1. Would you please describe your debut book, Midsummer's Mayhem, in seven words?
A Midsummer Night's Dream meets competitive baking.

2. Have you always wanted to be a Middle Grade author?
I've always loved books and read them everywhere, all the time, from a young age. But my first dream was to become a doctor. I did a lot of creative writing from grade school through college, but when I got to medical school and residency, I stopped due to lack of time and head space. A few years ago, once I was established in my medical career and my children were in school and busy with their own activities, I returned to writing. And once I started, I couldn't stop! I feel that writing books for kids and practicing medicine complement each other, and I wrote a blog post about this topic that you can find here: https://mgbookvillage.org/2018/02/19/writing-like-a-doctor-doctoring-like-a-writer/ And now, all these years after falling in love with books as a child, I hope some kids fall in love with mine.

3. Random Question! What's your favorite movie?

I have to choose Bend It Like Beckham. I love the main character, her well-meaning family, and the story of pursuing your dreams no matter what obstacles you encounter.

4. What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Remember that the only thing you can control is yourself. Publishing is full of "no," but if you keep investing in yourself and your writing, it will pay off. Make connections to other writers, and learn from each other. And rejection-proof yourself by believing that you will eventually get to YES.

That's great advice! :)

5. What are some books you're looking forward to reading in 2019? And if you've already read some '19 books, do you want to mention them?
I've read some stunning MG 2019 debuts, including: CATERPILLAR SUMMER by Gillian McDunn, PIE IN THE SKY by Remy Lai, THE SIMPLE ART OF FLYING by Cory Leonardo, and PLANET EARTH IS BLUE by Nicole Panteleakos. I also can't wait to read SEVENTH GRADE VS. THE GALAXY by Josh Levy, SUPER JAKE AND THE KING OF CHAOS by Naomi Milliner, ALL OF ME by Chris Baron, THE STORY THAT CANNOT BE TOLD by Jessica Kramer, and A GOOD KIND OF TROUBLE by Lisa Moore Ramee. There are so many others I'm eager to read—too many to name here—but you can learn about them all on the the Novel Nineteens website: http://novelnineteens.com/ and on our Twitter chats at 8 PM on the 19th of each month!

I haven't heard of all of these books before now, I need to look them up! :)

Thank you to Ms. LaRocca for participating in this event, and for letting me interview her! :)




Author bio: Rajani LaRocca was born in India, raised in Kentucky, and now lives in the Boston area with her wonderful family and impossibly cute dog. She is a writer of stories for children, doctor of adults, and baker of too many sweet treats. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @rajanilarocca or visit her website at www.rajanilarocca.com.

Here are a few links: