Unearthly

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Unearthly, Hallowed, and Boundless

The Unearthly series follows Clara, a teenager who learns that she is part angel. Her rare genetics have assigned her a specific purpose to fulfill on Earth; too bad she doesn’t know what that purpose is. Short visions are the only clues she has to guide her, but their ambiguous meanings leave her second guessing everything.

While seeking answers about the role she’s meant to play in life, Clara finds friends, enemies, and love.

As she battles her personal (and very real) demons, Clara works to answer one question: Does fate really exist, or will she be able to decide her own future?

This series originally started out as research reading for my own YA novel about angels and demons. It turned into a very enjoyable read and exceeded my expectations. The other angel/demon books I’ve read feature a brooding fallen angel that the “heroine” falls in love with. Unearthly took a different route by having the strongest character be the heroine. Clara does the rescuing and in truth is the only person able to rescue herself. No one can interpret her visions for her, and she has to learn how to rely on her own strengths to overcome obstacles.

Along with a strong female protagonist, this series features three equally strong plots that tie into each other well. Each book is able to carry itself. There is no weak link title in this series.

If you are looking for an exciting read where more is at stake than a broken heart, I recommend the Unearthly series!

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Title: Unearthly
Author: Cynthia Hand
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: November 1, 2011
This book is about good vs. evil, light vs. dark…hence the black. It also takes place in the wilds of Wyoming…hence the flannel.

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7 Reasons To Love Your Library Card

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When I move to a new city, one of the first places I visit is the local library to get my library card. There are so many reasons to love the library, but here are the top 7 reasons why my library card is my 2nd favorite card in my wallet (my credit card comes first).

1. Free Books (in ALL their formats)

This might sound like a no-brainer, but you can borrow library books for FREE! Who can resist free books? Before spending your money on a book you may love or you may hate, check it out from the library and make sure that it’s a title you want on your bookshelf. The library also carries e-books, audiobooks, and movie adaptations of your favorite book, so you can enjoy great stories in every format.

2. Book Sales

Most public libraries have a corner nook by the main checkout station filled with books for sale. You can look for an old favorite or a new find without having to worry about the price (most books are under $2). All proceeds from these book sales go straight back into the library so they can buy more books for you to check out. Friends of the Library also hosts an annual book sale that you don’t want to miss. The library goes through their excess or old materials including paperbacks, hardcovers, DVDs, and CDs, and sells them all for a deal.

3. Free-Shipping

Have you ever gone to a bookstore only to find they don’t carry the book you want? The cashier will tell you it’s available online…but you’ll have to pay shipping. Libraries often have an interlibrary loan program where they can request books they don’t have in their system from neighboring public libraries. They’ll notify you via email when your requested book is available and they’ll even put it on hold for you to check out.

4. Programs, Workshops, and Special Events (oh my!)

Libraries are located in the heart of the city, so they’re a great central location for meet-ups. That’s why libraries hosts weekly and monthly scheduled programs. They have everything from story time to book clubs to movie nights to computer classes. Along with their online event calendar, the library will also notify you via email of special events like guest speakers or author signings.

5. Book Launches

Speaking of author signings, public libraries love hosting authors. They’ll hold special events where they have a reading, Q & A, meet and greet, and book signing. Debut and famous authors alike love to support public libraries, so they’ll agree to doing special events there. One day when you publish your own book, keep your local library in mind when deciding on book events.

6. Peace & Quiet Time

You don’t have to have a library card to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the library, but how can you be surrounded by all those books and not want to take a few home? If you like spending your free time at the library, you can turn it into a volunteer opportunity. Every public library has a volunteer program that allows you to get up close and personal with the books while giving back to the community. You can volunteer on a daily, weekly, or special occasion basis – like when they host their Friends of the Library Book Sale.

7. Finding New Titles

The library is a treasure chest and sometimes you walk in not knowing what you want to read. I like to wander the aisles and look for books that catch my interest. There are so many books at the library that there are bound to be a few gems you never even knew existed. You might find that an author you enjoy published a sequel book or your favorite genre has a hot new release. If the title on the spine grabs you, pull it off the shelf. If the cover grabs you, read the jacket summary. If the summary grabs you, read the first page. If you got this far, check the book out!

 

The library is a magical place. It’s one of the few places where adventure, horror, romance, and comedy are yours for the choosing. All you need to access it is a library card!

5 Baby Names Inspired by Pride and Prejudice

 

There are few books that have inspired generations of baby names like Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. It’s a love story that still leaves girls swooning after Mr. Darcy, and it’s chalk full of great names.
Before I wrote this post, I looked up other Pride and Prejudice baby name lists. Most of them focused on famous FIRST names in the book: Eliza, Lydia, and even Fitzwilliam. While Regency Era names like Jane and Charlotte are both beautiful and timeless, these aren’t the names that I fell in love with when I first read Pride and Prejudice.
My top 5 baby names from Pride and Prejudice are actually all LAST names from the book!

 

5. COLLINS (Rev. William Collins)
While Mr. Collins has a bad wrap in the book for being a bit of an overbearing creeper, he has the good fortune of having a great name. One of the things I like most about the name Collins is that it’s gender neutral, and thanks to The Blind Side I wouldn’t mind having a daughter named Collins.
4. LUCAS (Miss Charlotte Lucas)
I have to admit that I fell in love with the name Lucas while I was serving a church mission in Brazil. Lucas is Portuguese for Luke (go figure, right?) and is such a solid yet uncommon name. It’s gaining popularity right now, so this might have to be my firstborn’s name!
3. DENNY (Mr. Denny)
Mr. Denny is a minor character in Pride and Prejudice. His role in the militia may have been overshadowed by Mr. Wickham, but his name definitely was not. This is a nice change from the more common Daniel or Danny. I really like how changing one letter (the “a” for the “e”) creates a fresh new name. Denny is a great name a boy could grow up with as it suits toddlers, teens, and adults.

 

2. BENNETT (Miss Elizabeth Bennet)
You probably noticed the spelling change from the Pride and Prejudice‘s famous Bennet family. It’s just a personal preference adding an extra “t” on at the end. I’ve always loved the nickname Ben but was never in love with Benjamin. Bennett adds a foreign feel to the full name while still letting me keep my more traditional Ben.
1. DARCIE (Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy)
This name is hands down my favorite, and the proof is in the fact that I couldn’t wait for a daughter and ended up naming my dog Darcie. I opted to change out the “y” for a more feminine “ie.” This name is both strong and delicate, which makes it the perfect girl name! Now…will my daughter be named after my dog or Pride and Prejudice?

DIY Book Flowers

April showers bring paper flowers…at least in my house they do! 
Now before anyone gets upset that I cut up a book to make this craft, know that all my “free game” books come from the thrift store. It saves me money and I’m able to make something new from something someone else gave away. 
So, here are the steps that I took to make this bouquet of paper flowers.
Before you start, you’ll need the following materials:
– Book Pages (duh)
– Scissors
– Floral Wire
– Wire Cutters
– Hot Glue Gun
STEP  ONE
Trim the rough edges from the paper.
STEP  TWO
 Cut your pages into spirals. 
At the very interior of each spiral cut a semi circle to form a base for your flower. 
I played around with the spiral on the left to give that flower a little more textured. 
STEP  THREE
Starting on the outer edge, curl the spiral. 
If you want your flower to have a smaller bloom, twist the spiral tightly. If you want a bigger bloom relax your grip. 

STEP  FIVE
Hot glue the base of your flower to the bottom of the spiral. (The semi circle was important!)
Here’s a sample of a few of the blooms I made. 
You can see how different they look depending on how tight they were twisted.

STEP  SIX
Decide how tall you want your flowers to be (this will depend on the vase height). 
Cut the wire to that length and twist the top once around the handle.
STEP  SEVEN
Bend the wire to 90° and hot glue it to the bottom of your flower. 

STEP  EIGHT
Arrange your flowers and put them some place sunny…and filled with books!

My Reading Resolution–2016 Edition

Here is one resolution I know I can keep…a reading resolution. 
A lot of readers like to set a goal of how many books they will read during the year: 50, 85, 101. I’m past the stage where I can stay up until two in the morning reading, so time constraints would make my reading goals seem weak sauce to you night owls. 
Instead, 2016 will be a year of branching out. YA fiction is my go-to, but there are so many other books out there that are worth exploring, I just need to give myself a push. This “To Read 2016” resolution list is to help keep me well-read. 
Feel free to join in, or make a list for yourself!

The Book Lover’s Tree

A few days ago while browsing Pinterest (one of my go-to mindless activities), I came across an amazing ad by Ikea.
Three of my most favorite things: Christmas, books, and build-it-yourself furniture! 
I know that non-traditional Christmas trees are a thing right now–everything from driftwood to drawing a chalk outline on the wall. While they’re creative, I’m a personal fan of the traditional tree. And by traditional, I mean farm-fresh, smell great, vacuum-up-pine needles-every-day, traditional. 
But…I couldn’t help but fall a little bit in love with these book Christmas trees. 
Click on the image for a closer look at how these book Christmas trees were made. 

Vintage Stacked Book Tree

3-Minute Book Tree

Shelved Book Tree

Spine-Up Book Tree

Evergreen Book Tree

Mother of All Book Trees

This tree was built in Poland, and they included a video showing its construction. You can read about the process and watch a short video here

Little Red & Co.

Halloween is one of those holidays that I mentally plan for all year long and then scramble at the last minute to finish my costume…mostly because I have a unique partner in crime.

While most people are busy getting couple’s costumes for themselves and their boyfriend or themed costumes for themselves and their kids, all my costumes are partnered with my baby girl Darcie.

This year we dressed as Little Red & Co. (aka the wolf in grandma’s clothes). You can never go wrong with a storybook couple’s costume.

Just a tip: Most of this came straight out of the closet. I highly recommend looking through your closet before going out to buy an entire costume. You can often piece together things that you already have and save your money for the essential parts, like fabric for a red cape. Also, for accessories, try to first shop your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, CCA, or DI.

Little Red Riding Hood

Little Red Riding Hood Costume:

  • Black T-shirt- LOFT
  • Plaid Skirt- LOFT
  • Black Striped Tights- LOFT
  • Black Heeled Oxfords- DSW
  • Red Cape- I sewed the simplest cape I could find by McCall’s
  • Basket- Goodwill 

The package said it could be made in 2 hours. It took me over a month.

The cutest bad wolf

Wolf in Grandma’s clothes: 

  • Glasses- Party City
  • Hat- I made from scratch (without a pattern!)
  • Shawl- scarf from LOFT

I thought you might enjoy some photographic evidence of how much Darcie hates Halloween, and how much I get a kick out of it 🙂

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Little Red loves this wolf!
Why Grandma, what big eyes you have!

I Quit My Job to Blog

For almost two years I have been working two jobs…part time at LOFT…part time at Familius.

Well, in the past 6 months, Familius has asked me to come on full-time, and of course I said yes!

Being the stickler that I am, I couldn’t bring myself to give up my 50% employee discount at LOFT. I convinced myself that I needed the extra $80/a week to pay for things like groceries and electricity. Let’s be honest. I used that $80/a week to actually pay for things like shoes.

Life has turned into one big cycle of going from one job to another, and I don’t have time for much else. So, about a week ago I had a mini self-intervention to see if I was doing things that really were worth my time.

Yes, I can work two jobs and have more spending money…
OR, I can work one job and learn how to budget better.

Yes, I can work two jobs and have every day be planned for…
OR, I can work one job and have free time.

Yes, I can work two jobs and have work be my excuse to get out of things…
OR, I can work one job and meet new people and try new things.

Well, the one job won out, and I officially quit LOFT! Now I will have time to have things like hobbies again. It’s time to clean up the camera lenses and start taking pictures. It’s time to pull out that list of to-be-read books and start crossing them off. It’s time to start writing consistently!

Peace Out Loft
You’ve been the best long-term temporary job!

7 DIY Bookends with Flair

   One of the perks of working for a publishing house is the free books! To help organize my current titles, I like to keep them separate from the backlist books. There’s a little space on my desk just for them, but lately I feel like I need to tidy up the stack…cue bookends!

   I want something nicer than the basic metal bookends you find at an office supply store. Turns out anything nicer costs over $40. I just want something to hold my books up and add a little artistic life to my desk….cue Pinterest!

   Pinterest has a ton of great DIY ideas, and I’ve included my top 7 favorite DIY bookends below. The one idea that’s missing from the list is jars. I love jar bookends because you can fill them with so many different things, but that’s a-whole-nother post for a-whole-nother day.  
   If you see an idea that you like, click on the photo and it will send you to an instruction guide or tutorial…cue list!

Toy Animal Bookends

Terrarium Bookends

Rope Knot Bookend

Garden Lion Bookends

Wall Bracket Bookends

Vintage C-Clamp Bookends

Book Bookends

A 2014 Resolution

Starting a blog was one of my New Year Resolutions for 2014. It only took me until December to get this blog up and running…but it’s still 2014, so I get points for making the deadline.

Just as an intro to The Book Faire, this is a book blog with a twist. Along with reviews, I will also be posting book inspired photography and an occasional book craft or recipe. I guess it’s more of a book themed blog.  
I’m going to bring some of my favorite books to life with modern takes and interpretations. This blog is a personal project combining things I love and turning it into fashionable reading. Welcome to The Book Faire!

THE END.