Melanie's Musings
May 25, 2016

Thrilling Fantasy or Futuristic Jane Austen?

Imagine a gentle atmosphere, lounging with a book while friends chatter in the background. That’ll be me on vacation soon, and I need your help deciding what to read!

I am perennially guilty of planning to read a ton of books on break, then only reading one. I’m taking the opposite tactic this time, starting planning with only one. A dangerous strategy, I am aware.

My choices are:

Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder
Maria V. Snyder is a favorite author; I’ve never met a Snyder book I didn’t like, and I have several that I love. I’ve admittedly read mixed reviews of this second book in a fantasy series. It is likely action packed and plot based.

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diane Peterfreund
I haven’t had the pleasure of reading a book by Diane Peterfreund, though I once dismally made unicorn poop because of her. It’s almost guaranteed that I’ll like this futuristic retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. I’ve certainly read more than my fair share of the Jane Austen retelling subgenre.

What do you make of my deliberations? I like the idea of both, and they’ve been on my TBR for quite some time.

Share your opinion below, and be sure to check out other What’s Next posts at Icey Books!

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Posted by Melanie at 11:43 pm - Comments (4)
Categories: Uncategorized
May 9, 2016

Maggie Stiefvater is a curiosity. (Event recap + US giveaway)

Maggie Stiefvater is a curiosity. Ample social media presence gives fans (like me) a sense of accessibility. Like that rule of six degrees is reduced to one by virtue of following Stiefvater on twitter and tumblr. The author of your favorite fantasy novel is involved in a car race that ends in literal flames? Of course.

The Scorpio Races, aforementioned favorite, has a quote I draw near (too) often:

My heart feels full and empty with all of the beginnings and endings.

When tour dates for The Raven King launch came out, I decided to go and get a signed copy of The Scorpio Races, establishing it as a rare long-term resident of my bookshelf.

The Scorpio Races
I went in with no intention of reading The Raven Cycle. Let it be known, I picked up the final book at the library today.

MStiefvater

Stiefvater told stories and entertained as an author tour pro.

  • Her stories: Car fire! Goats! Portrait painting! Oh my.
  •  Her writing and life balance: No such thing as a normal day.
  • Her response to spoilers: Don’t even try it.

The presence of Rachel Hartman’s beloved Seraphina on Stiefvater’s recommendation table warms my heart.

MStiefvater2

Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven King tour is still going strong, and you can find future event dates on the Appearances page on MaggieStiefvater.com. If you’re inclined to be charmed and entertained in a packed bookstore, go for it!

Would you like a signed paperback copy of The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1)? Enter the giveaway using the rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is to US addresses only (apologies to int’l friends) and ends May 15th.

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Posted by Melanie at 9:22 am - Comments (3)
Categories: Uncategorized
February 29, 2016

When Life Hands You Lemons, Stuff ‘Em in Your Bra Cakes

In Bittersweet, Hudson Avery is a provocative cupcake namer.

She’s also a high school student trying and failing to balance the importance of family with the hopes of something beyond her small hometown. Talk about a relatable heroine.

But back to the simpler topic of baking- each chapter of Sarah Ockler’s novel starts with a cupcake.

The illustriously titled “When Life Hands You Lemons, Stuff ‘Em in Your Bra Cakes” (it’s too much fun to say) has the following description:

IMG_0189

Doesn’t that sound delicious?

Though I didn’t have extra-large cupcake tins (Is that really a thing?), I set out to make my own with the following recipes:

I think this was actually my first time ever making cupcakes. They are so much fun to decorate!

IMG_0228

Since cherries are out of season, I used a can of pie cherries and used the syrup to color the cream cheese frosting. Also, I skipped the lemon zest and simply added a little extra juice.

I can see how baking and decorating cupcakes could become Hudson’s escape. Halfway through, I was having a pretty sweet time, just me and the cupcakes.

Capture

If you’re hankering for a book with an inventive way of telling a familiar story, Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler won’t just entertain, it’ll inspire you to spend some quality item with your oven.

~

Check out reviews of more books from Sarah Ockler:
Twenty Boy Summer
Fixing Delilah

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads.

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Posted by Melanie at 9:05 am - Comments (3)
Categories: cooking