Melanie's Musings
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
February 22, 2016

Unfettered and Free in My Hometown Librar-ee

It’s been too long since I’ve been on a free reading spree. These days, great friends give 101 recommendations, there’s an ever-increasing list of books I “should” read and such seemingly limited time.

So, when I took my vacation home, I dug up my old card and went to my hometown library- no holds barred.

Here are my spoils:

Untitled

From left to right:

  1. A Rapunzel retelling set in medieval Germany
  2. By Sarah Ockler, the author of Fixing Delilah, Bittersweet‘s MC is a cupcake baking queen- her local newspaper said so
  3. The sequel to The Young Elites
  4. A poetry collection entitled Revolutionary Petunias (best title ever)

Two weeks with nothing but free time can put a dent into such an ensemble.

Book
The only book I had a hankering for I didn’t see was Attachments by Rainbow Rowell; I found out Cath and Levi from Fangirl make a cameo! How did I not know this?! The library where I currently live has a copy, it is now on hold, and all shall soon be well.

ETA: I just finished Attachments, saw no signs of Cath and Levi, rechecked my sources, and realized they appear in Landline instead. Back to the library I go!

 

What have you lately added to your TBR?

Friday Finds is hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

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Posted by Melanie at 9:19 am - Comments (1)
Categories: Uncategorized