So, I have to be completely honest. When I first decided to start blogging, I didn’t have any direction or goal. Now, I try to focus on books that test the boundaries. I love the grit of dark fiction and the imagination of fantasy. I like the moral dilemmas of dystopians and the unspeakable acts in horror.
My first reviews came as a result of winning Goodreads giveaways. Its been nearly 6 months since I last won one, but I had pretty good luck in those early days. Sometimes, I’d win 2 or 3 in a night. I can’t remember why I started posted reviews on a blog, but once I started I couldn’t stop. And once I was posting regularly, I decided that I had to include more than reviews. I joined up with blog tours, memes, and giveaway hops.
I really never imagined that I’d make it to a year, particularly in those early days. Even now, it’s sometimes hard to log in to Wordpress and type out a post. But then, I read an amazing book and I can’t wait to tell everyone I know how awesome it is. I keep this blog open because I do love books. I think that good authors should get exposure and bad authors should be exposed.
I had a lot of different ideas for what to do with my blogiversary, but in the end, I decided to keep it simple. I had the pleasure of meeting Maggie Steifvater at a signing a couple weeks ago and picked up a copy of her latest book for you guys. To thank you for checking out this post and others, I have a signed copy of the Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (with an amazing personalized doodle). Check out the bottom of this post for more information about this giveaway.
Because I wanted to highlight the ‘extras’ of Lizzy’s Dark Fiction, this giveaway/post spotlights memes. I really liked the idea of memes, but I’m not much for following the crowd with some of the more popular memes. I did do a couple Sunday Showcases and Feature & Follows, but otherwise I stuck with my own memes:
Short Story Saturday – highlights short stories and novellas that I’ve enjoyed
5 Star Reviews – discussion posts that compares what 5 star books exceed at to what 1 star books fail with
This is Your Song – book playlists
Mental Coloration – brief meme that involved me using crayons
My Favorite Meme
But my absolute favorite meme that I’ve created is 10 Things You’re Too Scared To Ask, which is my version of author interviews.
To highlight all the great interviews that I’ve had over the last couple months, I’ve picked my favorite answer from each interview. Also, I went through all the comments and picked the question that my followers loved the best too. Click on the author’s name to read the full interview.
1) If you could revive one person in history and make them your zombie slave, who would it be? - Micheal Cargill
Julius Caesar. The French military is getting a bit bossy in Africa these days and if anyone knows how to put the Gauls back in their box, it’s him. If it turns out that his military genius doesn’t survive the zombie resurrection process, I’ll just pop a centurion helmet on his head and pretend he’s a punk rocker.
2) What is the hardest scene you have ever written. – Derrolyn Anderson
Sex scenes are tough. I don’t write erotica (not yet, at any rate) and I’m all about the “fade to black” sex scene. Not because I don’t imagine my characters getting down to it, but because the language and imagery often used is so loaded. The ick factor can get really high, and one person’s sexy might make another person throw up in their mouth a little bit. For example, I cringe to read about anything moist, glistening, swollen, throbbing or spurting. Sounds like an infection. Her “nub”, his “manhood”, all that mewling, laving, spurting, seed spilling, thrusting and pumping… It’s tricky, because the more clinical terms are almost always way too sterile. Hats off to anyone who can write sexy sex without making me laugh out loud.
3) You have to fight zombies. What is in your arsenal? – Dave Ferraro
My legs. They will carry me far, far away. Actually, I think that a fireplace poker would be a good weapon. It’s pretty long, so you can get a jab in from far enough away that you don’t have to worry about a bite, and it can deliver a good blow to the head to make them stay down. Unless we’re talking fast-moving zombies, because then I’m screwed unless they’re frightened off by the sound of screaming.
4) One of your favorite authors agrees to go on a date. Who is it and how do you woe him/her? - Coral Russell
I want to go out with Emma Holly only I’m not a lesbian and neither is she but she writes really really steamy romance for all genders and was the first author blog that I’ve came across that posted helpful links and resources for aspiring writers. So I would woe her by hiring people to act out a scene from one of her books. It would be optional if she wanted to participate or just watch.
5) Write the most ‘rediculous’ death scene possible. - Benjamin Epstein
It was late one night. I was working on the sequel to my book. It is a hard task. I am not having a lot of success. I am banging my head against the wall, hoping that there was a way to get my ideas sparked.
And then I had a vision. A terrible phantasm manifested of my old High School English teacher, Mr. Bindner.
“What kind of weak writing do you contaminate the written page with?” he roared through the mists of memory. “I told you many times before not to use passive verbs!”
“Passive verbs?” I whimper. ”What on earth is a passive verb?”
“Is is!” he snarled. ”All the roots of the phrase ‘to be!’ Is, Was, Am, Are, Be, all of those passive verbs are unacceptable…. will not be accepted… you cannot use them! They suck away all life and vitality from your work, and you shall not pass my class if you continue to employ them!”
“Well, forget it buddy!” I yelled back at the emanation. ”I am a published author now! My book is sold for real money on Amazon! I was in your class, but I can no longer be bullied by you! And now you have no power over me. Ha! Let’s change that: You are powerless!”
Laughing maniacally, I resumed my work, shouting each forbidden word in defiance of the wraith of dynamic writing. “It WAS late one night! I AM banging my head against the wall!”
But little did I know the folly of mocking the wizards of lively writing and proper grammer. I should have known when this very question misspelled the word “ridiculous.” The ghost of old Bindner reached through the thin veil separating the physical world from the realm of spirits. My heart froze to ice, and I expired before I could strike the next keystroke. Alas, poor me. I knew me well.
(This is a question so loved that I can’t help but use it over and over again!)
Name one culturally “taboo” thing you wish would be accepted.
I’m just as brainwashed as the next person, but wouldn’t it be great if female body hair was considered attractive? No more plucking, waxing and shaving! Imagine the poolside liberation.
Wearing women’s underwear. The ladies have bras that cater to each part of their body that hangs down, so why can’t the men? We’re lumbered with all-encompassing boxer short things where everything just gets thrown together in one untidy heap. It’s why our dingly-danglies always look like they need to be ironed.
I think that people should be allowed to die if they’re in pain and there’s no hope for them. We euthanize animals, but not humans who are in intolerable amounts of pain? It seems strange to me that this isn’t allowed.
In the US we have ‘personal space’ issues and I would like to see the taboo loosened. It should be perfectly fine to aim a flying hug at a perfect stranger anytime you want.
Not watching television. You know how many times someone describes in intimate detail their favorite scene from “Seinfeld” or some modestly famous competitor from American Idol? And when I say I don’t watch TV, they look at me like I’m an alien from another planet?
And the same goes for sports! Why should I be made to feel like an ignoramus if I don’t know who’s playing in the Superbowl, or I wonder when the New York Giants moved away from San Francisco?
Not to mention popular movies! Do I have to feel small if I was the last person to see the Blair Witch Project, or Titanic, or Kill Bill? I had things to do that weekend!
Or music! So what if I just got around to listening to 99 red balloons last week?
Sometimes it feels like the only people who don’t make fun of my cultural ignorance is the Amish. Until they told me that my horse and buggy was just so last century.
There is only one entry to this giveaway. Comment with your answer to the question. Be creative. My favorite answer will win a signed copy of the Raven Boys (US only).
Another person, this one randomly selected, will win a $10 Amazon.com giftcard (INT). Please put in your comment if you’re US/Canada or INT. Also, please include some way for me to contact you. Giveaway ends 5/12/13.
1) Answer the question: Name one culturally “taboo” thing you wish would be accepted.
2) Put your nationality (US or INT)
3) Some way to contact. Email preferred.
(I’m not responsible for items lost in the mail. Winners will have 72 hours to respond. Winner of the signed copy of Raven Boys must have a US shipping address or another person will be selected.)Read More
Feature and Follow #4
For this meme, you can follow me however you’d like. Whatever makes you come back a second time! Leave a comment and I’ll be sure to follow you back.
What is a book you didn’t like that all your friends raved about or what book did you love that wasn’t popular?
There are SO many books that I just didn’t get. I didn’t like Fifty Shades of Gray. I didn’t like ANY of the Twilight series, even though I read all four. I didn’t like City of Bones, and yet my friend STILL somehow convinced me to buy the sequel. I should stop listening to their recommendations, since I’m not a fan of romances or asshole/possessive male characters.
I think it’s actually much easier to tell you what books that did live up to the hype – Harry Potter and Divergent.
The book that I really enjoyed that most people hated was Shimmer of Angels. People thought that the situation was unbelievable and the men of the love triangle not consistent. I thought that it was a fun, compelling read about a girl who sees angels but can’t admit to it. I had a fear when I was younger of being locked inside of a mental institution so maybe I just relate to her in a way most readers don’t.
What recommended book did you not like?Read More
Question: Confess your blogger sins! Is there anything as a newbie blogger that you’ve done, that as you gained more experience you were like — oops?
I overloaded myself with tours, sometimes mistakenly booking two in the same day. I learned the hard way that just because a day is BLANK on the calendar doesn’t mean that I can necessarily review a book. Oh, another thing is that I agree to read a book and then find out later that it is part of a series. Gah, then I have to somehow find time to read the whole series.
Question: We always talk about books that WE want. Let’s turn it on its head. What books have you given other people lately?
Blog Giveaways: On my last blog giveaway, Crystal won and chose Firelight by Kristen Callihan. I snuck in a copy of Moonlight for her too. <3 I hope she enjoys them both!
Personal Giveaways: Well, my best friend and I often swap books. She was mad at me today because I “forgot” that I had a copy of Fallen by Lauren Kate and she bought it. I recently gave her The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by Anne Rice and The Native Star by M. K. Hobson. I wish she’d give me back my signed copies of A Need So Beautiful and A Want So Wicked by Suzanne Young.
Any MG book I review on the blog and I like, I get a copy for my nephew. I actually want to get him copies of Wings of Avian and Wings of Tavea by Devri Walls, but I’m waiting for the sequel to be released on paperback first, since he doesn’t have a kindle.
The last book I sent my mom was Slammed by Colleen Hoover and she cried when she read it. She said she loved it so much and it reminded her of her mom, who she lost about ten years ago. I plan on buying her the sequel soon, but don’t tell her!
Library: Any book that I don’t like and I own on paperback gets donated to my local library. I figure that someone might like it, so why not?
Join the hop!Read More
Welcome to This is YOUR song
a brand new book meme hosted by Lizzy’s Dark Fiction.
Meme name is inspired by the Elton John song. Here, I find that perfect song to fit some of the most popular books. I’ll pick 5 books from different genres or age groups and match them with the song that I think describes the book the best.
1) Representing contemporary books, Slammed by Colleen Hoover.
Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she’s losing hope.
Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.
Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart.
Song Match: Head Over Feet by Alanis Morissette
Lyrics: Don’t be surprised if I love you for all that you are / I couldn’t help it / It’s all your fault
Reason: Poetry in music. Layken thinks that Will set her up for loving him. This song would fit in perfectly at one of their slammed sessions.
2) Representing erotic books, 50 Shades of Grey by E. L. James.
When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.
Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.
Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.
This book is intended for mature audiences.
Song Match: S & M by Rihanna
Lyrics: Sex in the air / I don’t care / I love the smell of it / Sticks and stones may break my bones / But chains and whips excite me
Reason: Not like it has a plot or great characters. It’s all about the latex and bondage.
3) Representing paranormal romance books, Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter.
She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.
Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.
Her father was right. The monsters are real….
To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….
I wish I could go back and do a thousand things differently.
I’d tell my sister no.
I’d never beg my mother to talk to my dad.
I’d zip my lips and swallow those hateful words.
Or, barring all of that, I’d hug my sister, my mom and my dad one last time.
I’d tell them I love them.
I wish… Yeah, I wish
Song Match: Alice (Underground) by Avril Lavigne
Lyrics: I found myself in Wonderland / get back on my feet again / Is this real? Is this pretend? / I’ll take a stand until the end
Reason: This song matches what the actual book is about (not what the title and blurb allude towards). This song is about a girl overcoming an event that turned her life upside down. The literal Alice connection is just an added bonus. That part connects with the “are zombies real” or “are zombies in my head” part of the book.
4) Representing controversial books, I have Revealing Eden by Victoria Foyt (Can you BELIEVE there’s a sequel!)
Eden Newman must mate before her 18th birthday in six months or she’ll be left outside to die in a burning world. But who will pick up her mate-option when she’s cursed with white skin and a tragically low mate-rate of 15%? In a post-apocalyptic, totalitarian, underground world where class and beauty are defined by resistance to an overheated environment, Eden’s coloring brands her as a member of the lowest class, a weak and ugly Pearl. If only she can mate with a dark-skinned Coal from the ruling class, she’ll be safe. Just maybe one Coal sees the Real Eden and will be her salvation her co-worker Jamal has begun secretly dating her. But when Eden unwittingly compromises her father’s secret biological experiment, she finds herself in the eye of a storm and thrown into the last area of rainforest, a strange and dangerous land. Eden must fight to save her father, who may be humanity’s last hope, while standing up to a powerful beast-man she believes is her enemy, despite her overwhelming attraction. Eden must change to survive but only if she can redefine her ideas of beauty and of love, along with a little help from her “adopted aunt” Emily Dickinson.
Song Match: Chocolate Rain by Tay Zonday
Lyric: Chocolate Rain / Say it publicly, and you’re insane / Chocolate Rain / No one wants to hear about it now / Chocolate Rain / Wish real hard it goes away somehow
Reason: The song is about how society insists that racism no longer exists in the US, despite the in-proportionate amount of minorities in prison. The book is racist, despite the author insisting it is about finding the beauty within one’s self.
5) Representing Science Fiction, I have Cinder by Marissa Meyer.
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.
Song Match: Reflection by Christina Aguilera
Lyrics: Must I pretend that I’m someone else for all time? / When will my reflection show / Who I am inside?
Reason: Cinder hides the fact that she’s a cyborg to the prince. She’s afraid that if she reveals her true nature that he won’t like her anymore.
What do you think about my choices? Would you have matched different songs to these books?Read More