BookwormCastle Rising from the Dead

My blog, long ago having taken a hiatus, after years traveling the world (and returning home and finding new adventures in between, including teaching, working at a national park, volunteering abroad and ghost-writing) I am now resurrecting BookwormCastle from the dead.

castle

Though the blog is being resurrected, my passion for all things books and writing has never died. I have been and still am as passionate about this as when I first started the blog.

In honor of being faithful to my new, (Welcome to BookwormCastle-it is a beautiful place to explore with many rooms) and returning readers-welcome so glad you are back!)  I would like to announce I am starting a new writing challenge.

APTOPIX GERMANY WEATHER

This time, instead of going around the world due to my love of travel and learning new things, I am going to take on the A Round of Words in 80 Days Challenge! Come join me as I explore worlds through my words of stories!

row80logocopy

This will include me setting my own goal of writing, to be updated weekly. It is tailor made for anyone to join and set their own personal writing goal for 80 days.

My goal: working on a personal writing project everyday

Let’s see what gets created and will be shared on here!

A great way to begin anew, resurrect my blog and spark new ideas of writing in the days to come.

Here’s to the A Round of Words in 80 Days Challenge! I hope you will follow me on this journey and/or even join along with me!

Let’s explore!

where-to

My Life in Books 2011

 Last year Elyse at PCN (Pop Culture Nerd) hosted a great meme, sort of a Mad Libs with book titles. I had such a great time with last year’s post, so when I saw her post, I decided it was perfect timing! You simply fill in the blanks with book titles.

Thank you to The Picky Girl’s blog where I heard about this!

One time at band/summer camp, all I can say is it involved The Angel Experiment (James Patterson) and a Kiss (Ted Dekker & Erin Healy)

Weekends at my house are over in the Blink of an Eye (Dekker)

My neighbor is Teaching in the Land of Kimchi (Melissa Christine Karpinski)

As am I! And yes, I do like kimchi!

My boss is full of… Wisdom (Amanda Hocking)

This is not sarcasm. Really. Okay, this may have been true of one of my bosses, but I love my boss now!

My ex was the Boyfriend from Hell (E. Van Lowe)

This is actually true. This one is not a joke or sarcastic comment. Now if only I can find my Earth Angel (E. Van Lowe’s sequel to above title)

My superhero secret identity is made of Wizard and Glass (Stephen King)

And is the best getup ever. Very sturdy and still haven’t figured out all the tricks it can do yet.

You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry because Bloody Little Secrets… (Karly Kirkpatrick)

…will be all that’s left of you…mwaHaha!

I’d win a gold medal in Keeping the Moon (Sarah Dessen)

Or should I say the sun too? Sleep is for the weak.

I’d pay good money for The Truth about Forever (Dessen again)

Wouldn’t we all? I do know the truth, actually. Just ask me. It has to do with Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott.

If I were president, I would Never Let You Go (Erin Healey)

(referring to holding the office…and my dear citizens of course) 28 year term? Monarchy? What?

When I don’t have good books, I ask where the Needful Things are (King)

I need them to live.

Loud talkers at the movies should be Hush, Hush (ed) (Becca Fitzpatrick)

(and this will be done with a Showdown (Dekker) on The Road (Cormac McCarthy) and then you will be Gone (Michael Grant) Sorry if that scares you, I love you, dear reader, too much Stephen King on the brain? No, I take full credit.  *sweet smile*)

Would love to hear your version of the tale! Post your answers in the comments- or please comment with your link if you post on your blog!

Hollowland: A new type of thrill: no roller coasters, only zombies

Hollowland: A new type of thrill: no roller coasters,
only zombies

Review:
Hollowland by Amanda Hocking

“This the way the world ends – not with a bang or a
whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door.”

This opening line promises an exceptional out-of- this-world story. And on that, it more than delivers. There is something that is so great about an opening line that really pulls you into the story, making you tense up for the next punch.  That is the way it should be and that is what Hocking gives us.

The pace and nonstop action of the story demands that you keep walking (and running) along to see what happens as you join Remy and her companions on this journey through what is left of the world after zombies take over. There are corpses in the streets (if the zombies didn’t eat them yet) and zombies are not the only things you have to worry about. Oh, and of course you cannot step outside without the risk of becoming a corpse yourself. And what happens when it seems that the zombies can be capable of some type of rational thought and planning? It makes for a very unpredictable new type of horror, I can tell you that.

From the outset, it is clear that Remy is fiercely independent and outrageously brave even though this newZombieland without the amusement parks scares the hell out of her. It is inspiring and makes for a thrilling, edge of your seat story to see a young woman who fights without stopping for what matters most to her.

No admittance: Ride out of order (or: Ride at your
own risk)

Remy was in quarantine when the story starts, along with a bunch of other young girls placed there for their safety once the zombie apocalypse started. They are living in what is supposed to be a safe place for them, but it soon becomes a death chamber as the zombies break in, killing off the last of the soldiers that were there to protect them and, it seems, on the verge of killing everyone else there as well.

Remy was not about to lock herself in, even though all the other girls did, as they were taught to protect themselves in this way (and only this way) from zombies. She leaves “the safe place” (which at that point was quite safe…for about 5 minutes) to venture out to find her little brother. He had been at the same place as her and he was evacuated because he was sick, which raises some questions about wh they didn’t evacuate all the healthy people as well. She vows to find him and protect him, and two other girls go with her.

After fighting zombies, acquiring an unlikely pet, and meeting a rock star, she is well on the way to finding her brother; at least this is her hope. This is her mission and she will let nothing get in her way.

Zombies with brains?

It is very interesting how the zombies are portrayed in this story, as mentioned before. They seem to be smarter than your averag zombie and can actually communicate with each other in some way- all for the purpose of eating you quicker, my dear. This is definitely not your normal fairy tale zombie story and that, along with the great characterization, tense action and the magnetic pull of what the fight is really for, is what keeps you running to catch up with Remy. Definitely makes me want to learn more about the zombies that Hocking has created.

Dark side of town

The darker side of humanity is also explored in the book. People kill other people without reason and just for the thrill of it and dangerous run ins with cults make for some very scary what if questions. It is interesting to think about how easily some people could lose their so called “humanity”. Then, of course, there are those who have already lost it that Remy must face. She also deals with questioning herself on if she is doing the right thing for everyone around her in her attempt to save her little brother and try to protect her friends.

It is important to realize that no one has all the time in the world and when Remy realizes this, this is what makes her fight her hardest for what is most important and to not waste any of her time.

Title talk: Not so Hollow after all?

Remy can be said to be seen as hollow, emotion wise, at least in how she connects to others. Not that she doesn’t care about them, but her issue is that she does, and wants to protect them. She fears she won’t be able to and so she shuts them out.

She doesn’t want anything to get in the way of her reaching her brother. Nor does she want to get too attached to anyone in this world of death, where it is very likely that you have to leave your best friend or kill them before they kill you if they are bitten or infected by a zombie.

Love in Hollowland?

Nothing to fear for the weak at heart when it comes to love stories, as Remy, as discussed before, does not allow love get in the way of what she is trying to do. There is nothing that is love at first sight, it is a believable relationship that is allowed to develop naturally (as naturally as it can in a world of zombies) and it definitely is not the focus of the story.

In regards to her love interest, she does shut him out as she doesn’t see this as an option with the world the way it is as well as her goal to find and help her brother.

At the end of the novel, she makes a very difficult choice. No one who loves her will be happy with this decision, but it is what she feel she must do. Readers may cry out in protest, as they find themselves loving Remy as well.

This decision also allows her to open her heart to love again, as she confesses how she feels to her love interest. But this may not make much of a difference, after all.

 End of the ride? (Or: those who
survived, exit to the left, those who didn’t, stay on)

The end will leave you hungering for the coming sequel, Hollowmen, (coming out this Fall) in which everything might change again for Remy, but there is no way to tell if these will be welcome changes or not. Be sure to look for my review on the sequel!

Have you heard? Transmedia Story-telling here to stay (will not be Gone)

The New Form(s) of Story-telling

 

Gone is now here and everywhere

For fans of Michael Grant’s Gone series (which you must read! Here’s why) there is an exciting announcement- the story gets bigger and better as it is becoming “transmedia”- meaning it is going across different forms of media- (internet, blog, book, ARG (alternate reality game) and even a new app!) so it will be told in different ways and you will be able to experience the story hands on, in a way. It is something that takes place, as Grant says, “in a world that you’re not going to expect. It’s a world where if you make a false move, you’re going to lose your mind.”

Muppet Babies and Ninja Turtles? Say what?

Still not sure what this means? You may have heard it before (as it is all the rage) but for those who need a refresher course, here it is. Transmedia storytelling is described by Henry Jenkins, who reintroduced the term, (after it was first used by Marsha Kinder to describe many different media franchises, including the Muppet Babies and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles): “as storytelling across multiple forms of media with each element making distinctive contributions to a fan’s understanding of the story world. By using different media formats, transmedia create “entry points” through which consumers can become immersed in a story world.”

Transmedia is a way to experience the story not just in many different ways, but on your own terms. Just like those choose your own adventure books (although on a much grander scale) you can make the story your own each time and you can determine how far you want to go and how much you want to know about the story.

The World of Gone: better than ever

The Gone series so far has been one of those stories that completely takes you into the world of the characters with the books alone, so I cannot even imagine what this will mean for the series and for all of us as we embark on this new multifaceted adventure that is sure to be the new way to enhance and experience a story to the fullest.

Caution Ahead: Dangerous, Risky Unpaved Life-Threatening Roads

Grant speculates that this may well be the new way that publishing is going. Let’s see where this thrilling new experience takes us and as Grant’s site, gobzrk.com warns: Be careful (or in terms reminiscent of the choose your own adventure books) Proceed at your own risk!

Received information from Grant’s new website (this is where you can join in the fun and expolore this new world!):

Take part in this new world! Join the Fayz

Q&A w/ Michael Grant

Hello world!

Welcome to my new blog– BookwormCastle

dedicated to my love of books and reading! In this castle, you will discover
many rooms and many different bookshelves in the various genres of libraries.

You could find yourself
battling dragons or vampires in one or travelling back in time in another.

You will find out what the latest books are, what are good “classics” and what is a good read!

Feel free to add in the
comments what book reviews you would like to see next as well as any
ideas/suggestions for features for the site.

More to come- many
bookshelves and libraries to build and then fill!