Friday, December 31, 2010

Darkest Mercy Contest Winner!

Congrats to...

Andy Mendoza!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Book Review: Luna

If you have yet to read LUNA by Julie Anne Peters, you need to grab this one asap. It is one of the best books I've read in 2010. And the sad thing... it sat on my shelf for a few years. I decided to pick it up when a friend of mine started reading it.

It's about a brother and sister, Liam and Regan. Only... Liam isn't a boy. Not really. Her name is Luna, and she was born in a boy's body. Transgender. And this is the story about her coming out and becoming her true self. Though it is told from the sister, Regan's POV, I still got a good sense of Liam/Luna's situation, feelings, wants, needs, etc...

This story was beautifully told with a good mix of comedy that kept me from crying the entire time. Underneath Luna's "coming out" is Regan, trying to live a normal life, despite her families dysfunctions. She falls for a boy, and their romance is enjoyable, heartwarming, and quite funny. That intersperses with Liam's difficulties at becoming Luna and flashbacks which clearly show Luna for who she is even at a young age.

I have a friend who is going through the same thing as Liam/Luna and another friend with a different situation but has similar difficulties. Reading this book has helped me see a bit better what they have to go through. And I can honestly say that it isn't fair. The fact that it is almost 2011 and there are still people who are not tolerable of those who are different. I really hope that this book will open eyes to those who can't accept others' differences because the person inside is more than just what you see.

I really can't tell you how much I like this book without fangirling, so go pick it up and see for yourself.


Regan's brother Liam can't stand the person he is during the day. Like the moon from whom Liam has chosen his female namesake, his true self, Luna, only reveals herself at night. In the secrecy of his basement bedroom Liam transforms himself into the beautiful girl he longs to be, with help from his sister's clothes and makeup. Now, everything is about to change-Luna is preparing to emerge from her cocoon. But are Liam's family and friends ready to welcome Luna into their lives? Compelling and provocative, this is an unforgettable novel about a transgender teen's struggle for self-identity and acceptance.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Book Giveaway: Darkest Mercy

Contest Closed! Thanks for entering.

My amazing contact at Harper Collins was able to score me an extra copy of DARKEST MERCY by Melissa Marr! I was surprised to see it in my mailbox. So I am giving it to you... Maybe... Depends on if you're my lucky winner.

To enter, fill out this form. If you leave your entry in a response, and don't fill out the form, you won't be entered.

Must be a follower of my blog.

US/Canada only. Sorry. Rules for ARCs.

Winner announced midnight EST when 2011 rolls in for me!

Monday, December 6, 2010

FaerieCon 2010! (and winners)

Every year I go to FaerieCon. It is my favorite event of the year. Between the costumes, the shopping, the music, and everything else, it is amazing. If you ever get the chance to go, take it. It's every November in Baltimore, MD.

One of the first things we saw, after we got our passes, was this guy. Mr. Troll. He was wearing about one foot stilts, so when he passed by everyone felt short. He played the part well. He was wonderful, though, stopping for pictures for anyone who asked. I even witnessed his action shot where he pretended to kidnap a helpless maiden.

This is the front hallway. There's probably 40 vendors down this way. But this is nothing, really... downstairs there is an entire hall filled with vendors, at least ten times what you see here.

So... after taking a picture of Mr. Troll, the first place I go to look is Wendy Froud's table. She's there every year with handmade dolls. For those who don't know Wendy Froud is the wife of faery artist Brian Froud. If you've seen The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, then you've seen their work. Brian does the concept art, while Wendy creates the puppets. In fact, their son Toby was baby Toby in Labyrinth. If you aren't familiar with those movies, 1. Go check them out ASAP and 2. You still probably know Wendy's work. She created Yoda for the original Star Wars movies.

I have two wonderful Wendy Froud dolls at home from FaerieCon 1 and 2. Sadly, she missed 3, so... no doll for me. But I did snag a new one this time around. I was really torn between the two smaller guys on the left and the set of green-haired faeries. If I'd had the money, the troll would've been mine. He almost the exact figure as a troll in one of my favorite Brian Froud paintings from the late 70's. In the end...

He's related to Sneezle. Don't know who Sneezle is? He's a character in a trilogy of books that Wendy co-wrote with Terri Windling. They're out of print, so if you get a chance to pick them up, do it. In the end, the green-haired faeries did not go together. I specifically asked. And when I said I was sad they didn't go together, Wendy said "Oh, don't say that. It'll make me even more sad." :(

On day one, FAE Magazine had one of their people dressed as a silver faery. Unfortunately, I was unable to pick up copies of this wonderful magazine. They're out of the UK and their stuff was held up in customs.

Some fun little hats is just one type of item that was sold at FaerieCon. The past two years there have been an overabundance of steampunk wares.

And as always, there were plenty of amazing masks. I picked up a mask a few years back, and while I love it, I just can't wear it for long periods of time. But it makes a fabulous wall-hanging.

These adorable little nose goblins come out every year in the hopes of being adopted by a loving home. One that could use a little extra mischief.

It just wouldn't be FaerieCon without the Greenmen. They march throughout the convention, chanting and blessing shops that they bring in the green and sell all of their wares.

Despite this being my fourth year (it was the fourth annual event) attending, this was my first year attending the Balls. The Gypsy Nomads normally kick off The Bad Faeries Ball, but this year they were bad at The Good Faeries Ball. "Dark Carnivale" is my favorite song of theirs. Unfortunately, the sound quality isn't so great.

Another band I love, Woodland, closed the show. Emilio and Kelly Miller-Lopez, the leads in this group are the people who head up this event and their even larger event, Faerieworlds, on the west coast. Emilio is on the left with the guitar and Kelly is beside the harp, playing the drums. They played Will O' The Wisp and Rose Red, my two favorites.

Another amazing performer, that has not been before is Adam Hurst. He was incredible.

This next picture is one of our greenmen. He is not the head of the group, but if you go you'll see him around the most. And pictured with him is The Master of Ceremonies...

On evening two, The Bad Faeries Ball was held. It was an even bigger event than the night before.

Cecile Corbel was a new artist to me as well. I looked up her when I heard she'd be attending. She is phenomenal. She didn't play any of my three favorite songs, but she was still fabulous. She kicked off The Bad Faeries Ball. It was kind of a last minute change, but she and The Gypsy Nomads switched nights.

And probably the best performance of the weekend was Faun. The floor was shaking as we danced. The clip is of "Satyros", my favorite Faun song, which they did not perform, but there were plenty of other wonderful tunes.

Faun and The Gypsy Nomads are good on CD, but amazing in person. Their stage presence if phenomenal.

Below is pictured an adorable faun. He was advertising Chela's Body paint and, like the troll, was happy to post for pictures.

And he wanted to make sure I got his backside to. Note: I did not request this picture. Apparently, he likes showing off his tail.

So, the lovely Marina (sweet 10-year-old daughter of a friend) whom I kidnapped fr Sunday's event got her arm painted. Chela painted this faery on her arm in less than two minutes. Amazing, right?

Closing the show was Kelly, Emilio, and Adam. All-in-all, it was an fantastic event. I'll definitely be going back next year. And I hope many of you can make it, too. You won't regret it.

Oh, and I suppose you want me to announce the winners of the FaerieCon giveaway!

Cynthia M won a copy of BALLAD and THE IRON KING.
Orchid F won a copy of TROLL BRIDGE and FRAGILE ETERNITY
Raelena P won a copy of FABLEHAVEN and BLACKBRINGER

In addition to the books, you'll find a small prize coming straight to you from FaerieCon. Congrats!