Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Book Review: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

My Rating: ★★★★☆ (really more like 3.5 but I really liked the ending)

Genre(s): New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Plot: Tate and Miles have nothing in common-- except that they are very obviously attracted to each other. Tate is a nurse and a student and works crazy hours when she isn't in school. Miles is an airline pilot and gone for days at a time. Neither of them has time for a relationship-- but they do have time for casual sex. With two rules-- never ask about the past, never expect a future-- Tate and Miles stick to the arrangement... until they both begin falling. Tate begins to try to break down the walls Miles has built around his heart, before her heart shatters, while Miles tries desperately to keep the situation casual in order to keep his past in the past.

  • The chapters in the past paralleled the chapters in the present, even if sometimes it was only subtle.
  • This book raises the question, "Is casual sex ever just casual?" and I think that's really important.
  • Once Miles' past is revealed, it totally makes sense.
  • Corbin is a good big brother.
  • Cap is a sweetie pie.
  • Miles confronted his past and that's huge.
  • The sunset in the sky thing.
  • A little too much sex for my taste.
  • It really bugged me that Tate agreed to the terms knowing that she had no intention of actually sticking to them.
  • It also really bugged me that she kept. going. back.
  • And that she kept trying to change him.
Favorite Quotes: 
  • “God gives us the ugliness so we don’t take the beautiful things in life for granted.”
  • “Sometimes not speaking says more than all the words in the world.” 
  • “Some people they grow wiser as they grow older. Unfortunately, most people just grow older.” 
  • “The smaller the house, the more a family is forced to love one another.”
  • “There's nothing in the world that compares to the feel and smell of brand-new rain.” 
My Thoughts: It was... ugh. I have such conflicting feelings about this book. As a whole, it was good. Everything was resolved in the end, and it made me happy and feel-y and I think I might have cried at the very end? But all that good stuff aside, it's totally unforgivable how Tate behaved, even if it did end up in her favor in the long run. Their relationship started off as a flat out lie and with her trying to change him, and that's not cool at all. Especially when, throughout the book, she's constantly saying, "I know I should just stop." WELL THEN FRICKING STOP. smh woman you're ridiculous.

Book Depository
Colleen Hoover

Book Review: Maybe Not (A Novella) by Colleen Hoover

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

Genre(s): New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Plot: Warren and Bridgette get off to a rocky start when she moves in to the apartment he shares with Ridge. However, it's obvious that there's a shared attraction between them. As strong as her hatred toward him seems to be, Warren is determined to find out if her love could be just as strong.

  • It's what's happening in the background of Maybe Someday and that's really cool.
  • Both of these characters have tough interiors, but gooey insides, and that really shows in this book.
  • It was feels-y.
  • It told a whole story in a short number of pages, which is really hard to do.
  • A little too much sex for my taste.
  • I was kind of hoping this book would be more about Syd and Ridge, because I didn't read the description.
Favorite Quotes: 
  • “The only difference between falling in love and being in love is that your heart already knows how you feel, but your mind is too stubborn to admit it.” 
  • “I can’t believe I’m falling in love with such a stupid, stupid asshole.”
  • [There are others but my crappy kindle doesn't highlight and I can't find them]
My Thoughts: It was good. It wasn't nearly as good as Maybe Someday, but it was good.

Colleen Hoover

Book Review: Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover [SPOILERS]

My Rating: ★★★★★

Genre(s): New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Plot: When Sydney learns that her boyfriend is cheating on her with her best friend/roommate, her seemingly great life is shattered. Homeless with no where else to go, Sydney is offered the spare bedroom in the apartment across the way from hers, where she is forced into close quarters with Ridge, her musically talented, attractive neighbor. Connected by something neither of them can ignore, their musical collaboration turns into something much more complicated, leaving them both confused and wanting more than just music to happen between them.

  • Ridge is Deaf and I totally did not see that coming.
  • This book game me all the feels. All of them.
  • The sex scenes weren't graphic.
  • I've said it before and I'll say it again-- I'm a sucker or multiple points of view.
  • Relationships are complicated. The relationships in this book are complicated. It's just so real.
  • She learns ASL for him awwww.
  • He spoke for her!
  • She doesn't go back to her dickwad boyfriend.
  • This book comes with its own soundtrack. How fricking cool is that?
  • Poor Maggie. But at the same time, not poor Maggie.
  • I didn't want it to end, and it ended.
Favorite Quotes: 
  • “You should take note that simply because a girl makes your dick hard, that doesn't mean you have to go shove it inside her.” 
  • “Sometimes in life, we need a few bad days in order to keep the good ones in perspective.”
  • “A life of mediocrity is a waste of a life.”
  • “Nothing in my life has ever felt so good yet hurt so achingly bad.” 
  • “Kisses like his should come with a warning label. They can't be good for the heart.”
  • “Truths are written, never said... Lines are drawn, but then they fade.” 
My Thoughts: I loved this book. So much. I think I read it in about 12 hours (that's really fast for me), and the second I finished reading it, I picked up the sequel and read that too! It was so great and the characters were so perfect. I couldn't decide who I was rooting for, and in the end I was so glad that Maggie found out and was able to let Ridge go-- and that Ridge was able to let himself go. I liked that their connection was deeper than music, and I  loved that the book came with its own soundtrack. Seriously. The best book I've read in a really long time. There is so much that I can say about this book, but UGH it's just so amazing.

Book Depository
Colleen Hoover

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christmas book wish list

My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins (and others)
  • I love collections of short stories like this, and the cover is really super cute.
  • HAVE YOU SEEN THIS COVER? Also it has really good ratings and I’ve been dying to read it since it came out.
One of these Harry Potter boxed sets. I’m not picky, but something in English would be nice :p
  • This is a given. Harry Potter and box sets are my favorites.
  • Someone recommended this book to my and my library doesn’t have it. Also it sounds quirky and cute and I think I would love it.
Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
  • I love this concept. Love it.
Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
  • Ok so I read this book and I will probably read it again, but I’d rather have an actual copy since I already have the ebook.
The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry
  • My second-favorite series, and a boxed set. Yes please.
The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling
  • Ok so one of my favorite authors started writing books in one of my favorite genres. The first one was great. I want to read this one next.
The Secret Place by Tana French
  • I have the first two, and I need this one.
Little Big Lies by Liane Moriarty
  • Another recommendation, and it seems really interesting!
The City by Dean Koontz
  • Favorite author. Need this book.
The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu
  • Another recommendation.
The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
  • Some people whose literary opinions I greatly value said I HAD to read this book.
Panic by Lauren Oliver
  • I love Lauren Oliver so, so, so much. I started reading this book, but there was a hold line behind me so I couldn’t renew it.
California by Edan Lepucki
  • This book sounds creepy and exactly like something that I would live.

Friday, December 5, 2014


Still alive. I promise. I'm about 32k into my second book, but I haven't worked on it since 11/25 because I got burnt out trying to win NaNo. I kinda started the sequel to How Real also, because I just need to write SOMETHING.
I've got three book reviews to write, which I will do soon. I've been working more and I just really don't feel like doing anything. At all. Ever.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Book Review: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Genre: Adult Fiction, Thriller, Mystery

Plot: Libby day was seven years old when she stood before a court and said that her family was murdered by her brother Ben. Now in her thirties, Libby is contacted by a group of conspiracy theorists who believe that her brother is innocent. Libby begins questioning her memory and, with the help of the socially-awkward Lyle, starts to research and retrace the steps of everyone involved that night.

  • The plot twist at the end.
  • Libby is tiny-short. Go short people!
  • I liked that it switched between past and present.
  • Gillian Flynn's storytelling abilities are phenomenal. 
  • Libby's snark is seriously the best.
  • It took a long time for the story to get going.
  • I wasn't sure about Diondra and Trey.
  • I really want to know what happens to Ben in the end.
Favorite Quotes: 
  • “The truly frightening flaw in humanity is our capacity for cruelty - we all have it.”
  • “It was surprising that you could spend hours in the middle of the night pretending things were okay, and know in thirty seconds of daylight that simply wasn't so”
  • “I am not angry or sad or happy to see you. I could not give a shit. You don't even ripple.” 
  • “I don’t know anyone’s name. If one of those women died, I couldn’t even say, 'Poor old Mrs. Zalinsky died.' I’d have to say, 'That mean old bitch across the street bit it.'
My Thoughts: It took me a really long time to read this book. The plot is slow until the last 1/4 of the book story, which is really hard to get through when you've got a million other books to read. But the twist at the end really made it worth waiting. I love the way Gillian writes. Like Gone Girl, this book kept me guessing until the very last page.

Book Depository
Gillian Flynn

Monday, November 10, 2014

Writing update!

So, I started querying last week! I was feeling down about things and needed to take my mind off life, so I sat down and wrote about ten drafts of my query letter before it was just right, then found five agents and sent my letters out.

I received my first rejection today, but I'm not really that upset about it because my book would just BARELY fit within the type of books that they normally represent, so it was a really long shot. I'm going to polish my letter a bit and send a couple more letters out this week.

After I finished my letters, I made an author page on facebook. It might be too soon, but I want to keep everything in the same place, and since no one reads this blog or checks their email, that's the best way to do it.

I also started working on the outline for Project #2!! Right now I'm just doing the outlines and character bios (in a notebook, by hand, as I do), but I'm hoping to start the first draft this week! I've already written bits and pieces of this book. It's been my back-burner project since 2010, but I've been working the idea in my head for so long that I feel like it's time to get it all out. I won't be posting any details about it any time soon, except maybe the occasional teaser quote.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Book Review: How They Met, and Other Stories by David Levithan

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Genre: Young Adult Literature, Contemporary Literature, Short Stories

Plot: This book is composed of eighteen love stories. Not just romantic love, but all sorts of love. Each story is unique and brings a new string of emotions, and a crazy attachment to the characters in such a short number of pages.

  • Short stories mean more variety
  • These were all so stinking cute/emotional
  • I was hooked after the first story
  • There are so many different kinds of love, and this book covered so many of them
  • I didn't want the stories to end!
Favorite Quotes: 
  • “I think one of the highest compliments you can give a person is that when you are talking to him, you are not thinking about the fact that you are talking to him. That is, your thoughts and words all exist on a single, engaged level. You are being yourself because you aren't bothering to think about who you should be. It is like when you talk in a dream.” 
  • “We always loved to say 'If I'd had a Monday-morning class, I never would have met you'. Or 'If you'd been reading something else, none of this would have happened'. We didn't believe in fate, but we believed in serendipity. We felt very lucky.” 
  • “Must interests be interesting? That is, must they be interesting to someone other than yourself?” 
  • “She wasn't pretty, but there were moments when I found her beautiful.”
My Thoughts: So, so, so cute. I love short stories, but I kept wanting these stories to keep going. After the first story, I turned the page expecting a new chapter, and actually said, "NO!" out loud in front of people at work. The different types and expressions of love made this book complete, and it made me happy, weepy, etc., just the way it was meant to. I haven't been able to get into any of Levithan's other books, but this one is so great.

Book Depository
David Levithan

Book Review: Ask the Passengers by AS King

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

Genre: Young Adult Literature, Contemporary Literature

Plot: With no one else to turn to, Astrid Jones sends her secrets and her love to the passengers in airplanes she sees overhead. As her secret relationship progresses, secrets come out and rumors in her small town fly. All the while, Astrid continues to send her love, not realizing that her love is actually reaching the passengers and helping them in the best ways.

  • Switching between Astrid sending her love and the passenger who receives it is really cute
  • Gay main characters.
  • Takes place in a small town. Nae loves small towns.
  • Frank.
  • I like that she's super into philosophy.
  • The bird houses with her dad is a really cute bonding thing.
  • Dee calls her by her last name.
  • Astrid's sister is a twat.
  • Basically everyone in Astrid's small town is a twat.
  • The thing at the sorority party.
Favorite Quotes: 
  •  “I am equal to a baby and to a hundred year old lady. I am equal to an airline pilot and a car mechanic. I am equal to you. You are equal to me. It's that universal. Except that it's not.” 
  • “How can we say nobody's perfect if there is no perfect to compare to? Perfection implies that there really is a right and wrong way to be. And what type of perfection is the best type? Moral perfection? Aesthetic? Physiological? Mental?” 
  • “I don’t have enough gross words in my gross vocabulary to describe how gross that gross thought is. Gross.” 
  • “I’m not questioning my sexuality as much as I’m questioning the strict definitions and boxes of all sexualities and why we care so much about other people’s intimate business.” 
My Thoughts: It was good. I had so many people tell me this book would change my life, and it really didn't. But that doesn't mean it wasn't still a great book. I feel like every time I read a different YA book, there's something that sets it apart from the rest, and for this book it would be Astrid sending her love to the airplanes. I just really love that.

Book Depository
AS King

Book Review: Rooms by Lauren Oliver

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Genre: Adult Literature, Contemporary Literature

Plot: Richard Walker has just died, and his estranged family returns to his home to clean out the years of hoarding he's left behind. However, the family does not realize that they're not alone-- the house is very much alive and aware of their presence. Alice and Sandra, who live within the walls and the floorboards and every other inch of the house, watch as the family copes with Richard's death each in their own way, and unveil secrets within the family and between themselves, as their worlds collide.

  • A "ghost story" told from the point of view of the house, rather than stereotypical ghosts, is just really cool and clever.
  • Everyone copes with loss in a different way, and every single character in this book is an example of just that.
  • The character arcs are amazing.
  • I like that the stories went between past and present and all tied up in the end.
  • It was kind of slow to start.
Favorite Quotes: 
  • "Parents teach you a lot of things, but the most important thing they teach you is this: how people will fuck you up in the future. If they're any good, they teach you to get used to it.” 
  • “She’s like a person looking through the wrong end of a telescope, complaining that everything looks small.” 
  • “People, Caroline thought, were like houses. They could open their doors. Your could walk through their rooms and touch the objects hidden in their corners. But something--the structure, the wiring, the invisible mechanism that kept the whole thing standing--remained invisible, suggested only by the fact of its existing at all.” 
  • “For the shortest time, shorter than the shortest second's breath, you get to stand up to infinity. But eventually, and always, infinity wins.” 
My Thoughts: This is such a unique book. I really enjoyed it after the first few, slower chapters. The perspective was great, and it really got me thinking about life in general, and time as we know it versus time as it actually is. It wasn't as scary as I thought it would be, but it's definitely up there on the creepy scale. Such a great book. I hope Lauren Oliver writes more adult fiction in the future.

Book Depository
Lauren Oliver

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling

My Rating: ★★★★★

Genre: Fantasy

Plot: As if the Quidditch World Cup being invaded by Death Eaters wasn't enough, Hogwarts hosts a dangerous, magical tournament, and fourth-year Harry's name is chosen. Thrust into this dangerous tradition, bound by a magical contract, Harry is isolated. His peers resent him and his best friend abandons him. But something even more dangerous is happening-- Lord Voldemort is regaining his strength. Follow Harry through his fourth year as his magical skills, friendships, and bravery are all tested.

(There really are too many to list but I will try)

  • This is really the book where the characters grew with the audience, and the story went from lightheartedly scary to legitimately life-threatening, and it really showed that JKR wasn't afraid to up her game and get a little dark
  • Two words: Cedric Diggory
  • Romione
  • Stamps.
  • It had everything. Like there was so much content in this book: the World Cup, the Triwizard Tournament, the graveyard scene. But even though there was so much to the story, it wasn't excessive. It flows well and it keeps the reader turning pages.
  • The fact that Hermione is bullied really shows in this book, between Malfoy and Snape, and that's just so important to her character.
  • The Quidditch World Cup. 
  • Basically all of the book. 
  • So many other things but I can't even list them all

  • Cedric died.

Favorite Quotes: 

  • “If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” 
  • “Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.” 
  • “Percy wouldn't notice a joke if it danced naked in front of him wearing one of Dobby's hats.” 
  • “Can I have a look at Uranus too, Lavender?” 
  • "Did you put your name into the Goblet of Fire, Harry?" he asked calmly.
  • It won't let me copy and paste the entire book here...

My Thoughts:  This is something like the tenth time I've read this book. At least that many. I've always really loved this one, and it's tied with Half-Blood Prince for my favorite in the series. It's just so great. As I said above, there's so much content in this book, and it's an adventure from start to finish. I always get that magical, happy feeling of Christmas break and my childhood and happiness when I read a Potter book, and this is no exception, even with the heavier, darker things that happen in the story. I love all things Potter, and I'm so glad that these books are a part of my life.

Book Depository
Our Queen

Book Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz [SPOILERS AT THE END]

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Literature

Plot: Aristotle, an angry teenage boy who's kind of an outcast, meets Dante, a smart boy who hates shoes and looks at the universe with different eyes. As the boys spend more and more time together of the summer and then suddenly spend time apart, Ari and Dante learn that their friendship is bigger than they had originally imagined, and that together, they can start to discover the secrets of the universe-- and themselves.


  • This book was adorable. Like seriously so many feels.
  • It's kind of nice to read YA from a boy's point of view instead of a girl's.
  • Ari and Dante were so different, and that's what made them such great friends.
  • As time went on, their characters grew in such a great way.
  • So many great quotes!


  • I wish that Ari and Dante could have had more contact when they were apart. But I get that.

Favorite Quotes: 

  • “Words were different when they lived inside of you.” 
  • “I bet you could sometimes find all the mysteries of the universe in someone's hand.” 
  • “I had a rule that it was better to be bored by yourself than to be bored with someone else. I pretty much lived by that rule. Maybe that's why I didn't have any friends.” 
  • “Words could be like food - they felt like something in your mouth. They tasted like something.” 

My Thoughts: [SPOILERS] So I already said that this book was adorable, but I'll say it again-- this book was adorable. I really loved Ari and Dante's characters, and the whole time [spoilers] I was rooting for them to get together, and I was so glad that it happened. I really like the cultural differences in the book, and the cute little quirks that each character had. Seriously, such a great book. If you haven't read it, READ IT NOW.

Book Depository
Benjamin Alire Saenz

Saturday, October 25, 2014

General Update

*insert Robin & Ted gif here*

So, I've had some amazing feedback on my book. Which is great because I was starting to feel a little down about it but my friends are amazing, and I'm really getting great feedback, negative and positive, and my book is almost ready to be sent out into the world.

You bet your hat that's a scary thought that keeps me up at night.

So, I've been busy still. Not a lot of reading or writing done. But I have two reviews to add asap: Aristotle and Dante [etc] and Ask the Passengers. I am hoping to write these tonight. I'm currently reading This is Where I Leave You because the movie looks hilarious but I wanted to read the book first (I have to, I can't help it).

Also, I ordered a new copy (of the same edition) of The Book Thief and I finally got it! I also ordered Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Between Shades of Gray, and Outlander. I'm kind of chilling on the library books for a while because I never read them fast enough and I have so many books that I want to read in my personal library.

Books, books, books!

Oh, last thing, I transferred my library excel list to a Google spreadsheet so I can keep track and have it on my Google drive, and then I can share it with people when they want to know what books I have while they're shopping for me and stuff. I may add my "to buy" list in a separate doc eventually, but this works for now.

Ok, gonna go read!

Saturday, October 18, 2014


I finished the third draft of my novel. Sent it off to one reader for now, a few others this weekend.
I'm in a slump and I have only finished one book since 9/12.
I just want to read and write but I don't have it in me.
Sorry for the absence. I'll post the review for Aristotle and Dante later.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Boles Fire

I'm writing this post with a certain heaviness bearing down on me, a feeling that is worse than anything I've ever felt, and I hope that the words come out the way I mean them to. 
Note: If anything is out of place or incorrect, please contact me immediately so I can fix it.

Boles Fire Tears Through a Small Town

Much of my hometown of Weed, California, was reduced to ashes on Monday in a fire that CalFire is calling "The Boles Fire". It started near the Bole's Creek apartments in town, and within minutes the 40mph wind was carrying embers the size of tennis balls through the town. Fires quickly ignited and joined together, wiping out nearly everything in its path.

More than 100 homes were lost, including my childhood home and everything in it. Luckily, my dad was able to get out of the neighborhood with my sisters just in time, but they weren't able to take anything with them. Not even our pets.

In addition to the homes that were lost, the town also lost a wing of the elementary school, two churches, multiple businesses the helped families in need, the public library, and part of the lumber mill-- the town's main source of jobs and income.

The devastation is unreal, and unlike anything I've ever experienced.

Weed is a small town about fifty miles south of the Oregon/California state line. It's home to a water bottling plant, a mill, and 3000 amazing small-town people. It's a small town, but it's got a big heart. People are pouring in from all over to make donations, to help distribute to those in need, or to help reunite pets and their owners.

But these efforts, as amazing as they are, aren't enough.

How Can I Help?

There are a few places I can direct you!

As of right now, monetary donations are the most important thing. The amount of material donations has been incredible and amazing, but also overwhelming.

This is a fund started to help get me (and my SIL) up to Weed from Los Angeles so I can see my family and give the donations centers the things we’ve collected here-- clothes, shoes, household items, pet supplies, and school supplies. Any money not spent on transportation will go directly into another relief fund.

This is a petition to get some federal aid. Sign and share, easy as that!

This is a community disaster relief fund.

This is another.

This is an article that talks about ways to help and where to donate, but I will also list some of that below.

This is the page for the organized Relief Distribution info. Go here for any and all info on donations and distributions!

Help contribute to the Boles Fire Adopt-a-Family Fund.

I’ve also reached out to a few talk shows that do national headlines at the beginning of their shows (and the Today Show did a spot) as well as Thousand Oaks Acorn, but if you’re interested in sharing with your local news, this is probably the best information to give them. It’s updated as soon as they know something. Also, using #bolesfire on facebook or twitter is a great way to stay informed, as people are posting pictures and updates constantly; same for the area news. Latest townhall recap is here. This facebook page is constantly being updated with needs and opportunities as well.

What Do They Need?

If you are in the area, or if you can get to the area or know someone passing through who can pick things up, here are a few things that are needed as soon as possible:

  • Bottled water-- Check with your drop-off location as some places have plenty of water to hand out.
  • Hygiene items-- This includes (but is not limited to) soaps, shampoos, face washes, feminine hygiene products, contact solution, vitamins, razors, grooming supplies, towels, etc. If you are interested in putting together care packages, please use this builder. Many people will also need brushes, flat irons, etc, but those aren't absolute essentials.
  • Winter wear-- Winter is just around the corner, and Siskiyou county is a cold place with a lot of snowfall and chilling winds. Jackets, snow clothes, boots, hats, gloves, and scarves and a high priority need, as soon as possible.
  • Work wear-- This includes sturdy work books and gloves, protective gear, industrial work pants, kneepads, etc. Many people who work at the mill lost their things, and when cleanup efforts begin, volunteers will need safety clothing when they are allowed to help. Scrubs and business wear are also a huge need!
  • Baby needs-- Anything and everything baby basics. Formula, diapers, jar/can baby food, blankets, clothes of all sizes, pack and plays, small toys, teethers, thermometers, cribs. Anything. Many families with young babies (and many expecting families) lost everything and have to start from square one. They also need car seats! Note: Car seats need to be within expiration date with no accident history and original straps and car seat cover fabric. Normally used car seats are a HUGE no, but in a time like this, it's ok.
  • Clothes-- Mount Shasta and Weed donations centers may not be accepting any more clothing! See my not below! Underwear of all sizes (including bras, socks and nylons). Must be brand new with tags and/or packaging. Pajamas.
  • Pet supplies-- Anything and everything for pets is needed. The shelters are overflowing and they need enough to go around!
  • Home needs-- Blankets! So many blankets! And of course there is a need for pillows, bedding, beds, towels, paper products, appliances, and furniture. This will be needed once the victims find housing, but if you have something you'd like to donate and hold, let me know! Many people are also being given discounted storage units.
  • Storage containers-- Tupperware tubs, crates, boxes, suitcases. Anything for the victims to hold their belongings!
  • Textbooks/technology/school supplies-- The elementary school lost a lot of things in the fire. I will have a contact number at the bottom of this post where the school can be reached if you have a bulk donation you can give. Also, many college students lost their textbooks and laptops, and will be needing those as soon as possible, as college classes at College of the Siskiyous could resume as early as tomorrow.
  • Books-- The library is now nothing more than metal shelves and framework. The county library system is connected and they might be able to help, but new/EUC books will be needed soon! Address/info below!
  • Non-perishable food items-- This includes canned goods, dry foods, etc. 
  • Your time!-- If you are in the area or you know someone who is and can volunteer, please do so. The amount of donations from the community (and surrounding communities) is both amazing and overwhelming. They need sorters, distributors, and people to just lend a hand in general.

If you can help by donating your time and/or money, please do. If you can't, please help to spread the word.

Where can I donate?

If you live in the Conejo Valley, I am located in Thousand Oaks and accepting donations to take up to Weed soon. Please, no furniture at this time.

If you are not in the Conejo Valley or would like to contribute other ways (mail, check, etc.), here are some options:

If you have a need, know someone who has a need, or want to give, click here!

For a huge list of donation sites and ways to help, click here!

UMCOR is a great group working in Weed right now!

US Bank is accepting donations. Go in and ask how you can donate to the victims of the Boles Fire.

Donations by mail (clothes/supplies/etc):
Northern Valley Catholic Social Service

NVCSS Siskiyou County
326 W Miner St.

Yreka, CA 96097


Note: For all drop-off locations, please speak to someone in charge to double-check with immediate needs. Some locations need some things more than others, and needs change constantly depending on how many people pick things up.

Pet Supplies:
Humane Society--
1208 N Mt Shasta Blvd
Mount Shasta, California

Shasta Sanctuary--
Monetary donations to PayPal. Account email

A Special Note to Pet Owners: Many pets are being brought to Cal Fire and the Humane society! Check the Humane Society's facebook page for udpdates!

Hope Community Church
974 Lassen Ln
Mt Shasta, CA 96067
Needs here are:
Deodorant, Toilet Paper, Paper Plates, Plastic Cutlery, Laundry Soap, Non-Perishable Snack Items, Can Openers, Plastic Totes (10 Gallon), 1st Aid Supplies, Dish Soap, and Gift Cards to places for food and supplies. Please no clothes at this time.

Cleanrite Buildrite
1200 W. East Ave
Chico, CA 95926
(530) 891-0333

Life Foursquare Church
900 North St. Yreka, Calif
Call ahead of time if you want to bring clothes, just in case.

Fred's Towing
 2638 Old US 99
Yreka, CA 96097
- diapers
- infant, toddler, and children's clothing
- toothpaste & toothbrushes
- tampons
- pajamas (adult & children)
- new underwear (adult & children)

550 Park Street
Weed, Ca
(Located behind the Merc next to the post office)
Needs: No clothes, please. Needs shelving and tables for the site!

Lake Shastina PD
16309 Everhart Drive
Weed, Ca

First Southern Baptist Church
921 S Oregon St,
Accepting clothes and large-load donations

School Supplies: The school is still assessing the damage, but if you would like to make a donation, please contact the office at (530) 938-2715 and someone will get back to you as soon as they can.

Books: Donated books will play a huge role in rebuilding the library, but monetary donations are most important at this time! Checks can be made payable to "Weed Friends of the Library" and can be sent to:

Weed Library Rebuild c/o Vestal Foundation
PO Box 117
Yreka, Ca 96097

If you are interested in donating new/excellent used condition books, contact Yreka library at 5308414178 or

And as always, prayers are greatly appreciated!

Special note to Boles Fire victims, families, and friends: A grief/loss gathering is scheduled this weekend. Click here for more info.

New warning: I was informed that there are looters going in to houses and cars that are still intact. Disgusting. If you see or hear about this, please do not try to take matters into your own hands (as much as I personally would love to, there are professionals for this). Report it to authorities right away! Weed PD: (530) 938-5000, Lake Shastina PD: (530) 938-4113

Fire resource list:


My parents' home on Arbaugh St. Taken a few years ago by Deb Harton

What is left of my parents' home, and their vehicles. Taken the day of the fire.
All that remains of Holy Family Catholic Church
Credit: Ann Wagner [click link for more pictures]
The skeletons of homes after the Boles Fire tore through neighborhoods.
Credit: Ann Wagner [click link for more pictures]
A woodchip pile burns at Roseburg Forest Products in Weed, Ca.
Credit: Ann Wagner [click link for more pictures]

Aerial view of Angel Valley, taken Tuesday September 16.
My parents' house was in that black circle.
Credit: Cal Fire

Fire tears through Roseburg Forest Products in Weed, Ca.
Credit: Ann Wagner [click link for more pictures]

A rainbow hugs Weed, Ca, after some much-needed rainfall in the wake of the Boles Fire.
Credit: Ann Wagner [click link for more pictures]

Again: If any of this information is false or written incorrectly, or if you have any more information to add, I can be reached here [note: comments on this post are not coming through the way they should, so that is not an effective means of contact at this time]:

8053684405 -- call or text 

Edited 9/17/14 at 5pm-- I first said that the fire started next to the school, but I was informed that it started elsewhere, so I've changed it.

Edited 9/17/14 at 5:10pm-- Updated the needs of Hope Community Church, added phone number for Life Foursquare Church

Edited 9/17/14 at 5:40pm-- Added a warning about looters. Added a section about reuniting with pets.

Edited 9/17/14 at 7:35pm-- Added a new drop-off location. Fixed typos.

Edited 9/17/14 at 9:45pm-- Added new donation links.

Edited 9/18/14 at 2:05pm-- Changed drop-off locations. Added grief gathering info and new pictures.

Edited 9/18/14 at 10:15pm-- Changed drop-off info, needs list, and added a few sites for people to check where to donate and how.

Edited 9/19/14 at 9:45am-- Updated town hall recap link. Note: If you plan on returning to your residence today, please read this recap and stay safe!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Daily Bookish Challenges | Day Two: Monday, September 15

Introduce us to your favorite author and their books!

I have two favorite authors, and to try to choose between the two of them would just be cruel, so I'm going to talk about the one I discovered first.

Dean Koontz--
I started reading Dean Koontz in middle school. My sixth grade teacher, Shelley Cain, read Watchers to us, after reading herself first and highlighting the parts that weren't appropriate for a group of fifth and sixth graders. I'd found my favorite genre: thrillers. Some of Koontz's books are supernatural, and some are just plain weird, but they're all suspenseful and I love that in a book! If you're new to Koontz's writing and/or the genre, I would read either The Taking or Watchers first, because those two really highlight his writing style and they're so good! The Husband is great also, and it's not supernatural-y, so that's a good place to start if you want something more realistic. I actually have signed copies of The Taking and The Husband. I wrote him a letter (as I do every author I read), and he replied with a nice letter and signed copies of two of the books I mentioned in his letter. I was so excited, I almost cried.

He has far too many books to list (over 70 books, not including those he co-wrote or wrote under a pen name), so I'm just going to list my favorites!

  • The Taking
  • Watchers
  • The Husband
  • The Face
  • Sole Survivor
  • Whispers
  • Odd Thomas [I never finished this because it was on my kindle, but I'm going to buy it soon]
If you like thrillers, definitely check out his books. He's been compared to Stephen King (some people say that Koontz rips off King's writing style all the time), but I think his books are easier to read than Stephen King's books are, so I enjoy them a little more.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Treesofreverie September Read-a-Thon Daily Wrap-Up | Day One: Sunday, September 14

Note: So I started the read-a-thon yesterday since it started yesterday in other timezones, but I'm including yesterday and today as day one in order to stay on track with challenges and wrap-ups and such.

Book(s) Read Today: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Pages Read Today: 164
Pages Read Total: 164
Number of Books Completed Today: 0
Number of Books Completed Total: 0
Challenges Completed:

  • Join the Treesofreverie September Read-A-Thon event on Facebook and share your TBR list and reading updates
  • Complete the daily Bookish Challenges
  • Read outside
  • Read a popular or well-known book
  • Read a book you’ve heard a lot of good things about
  • Read a book from your Goodreads to-read shelf

I didn't get the chance to participate in any sprints or discussions today, but I'm hoping I will be able to do one or both tomorrow!

I made my reading goals/TBR post earlier, and I also participated in the Day 1 Bookish Challenge.

I read quite a bit once I got home from, but not nearly as much as I would have read if I hadn't decided to watch Grease and sing all of the lyrics at the top of my lungs. Maybe tomorrow I will read more. I hope to finish Dark Places and move on to Aristotle and Dante or PS I Love You.

I hope everyone had a great first day of the read-a-thon!

Happy reading!

Treesofreverie September Read-a-Thon Reading Goals

For this read-a-thon, I plan to read a total of five books and/or a total of 1000 pages.
I don't have an official TBR set for this read-a-thon, because my reading mood is incredibly varied depending on how I feel about the book I've just finished. However, I do have a large pile of books checked out right now, and I plan to read from this pile for the read-a-thon. In this pile, I have:

  • Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. I actually own this book, but I started it before the read-a-thon and want to finish it. I started reading this book because Gone Girl was amazing.
  • P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern. I've been meaning to read this for ages. I loved the movie, and my friend said that, even though the book and the movie are pretty different, the book is phenomenal.
  • Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. I saw this book on BookBub a few weeks ago, and recommended it to a friend because she loves Peter Pan. After she read the book, she told me I should read it. So I checked it out. [Note: I also have this book on my kindle, which is sometimes working, sometimes not. If I don't read this book by the time it is due, I'll figure out  a way to read it on my Kindle instead]
  • House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. I love all things creepy: books, movies, video games, and even the occasional comic. I saw a post floating around on tumblr about this book and after a quick Goodreads search, I added it to my hold list at the library. I can only hope it's a creepy as people say it is.
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. This book was a recommendation I got during a recent giveaway on tumblr.
  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I need to know what all the fuss is about.
  • Panic by Lauren Oliver. I read Before I Fall and Delirium, and Lauren Oliver has officially gained a fan.
  • Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver. I need to know what happens to Lena. I started reading this before I decided I don't want to get into a series slump right now, and the first thirty pages or so made me want to keep reading. Good sign!
  • This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith. Another recommendation from a giveaway.
  • The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith. Ditto.
  • Wonder by R.J. Palacio. I actually picked this book up because of the cover.
  • Charlotte's Web by E. B. White. I want to read this one out loud to my son.
  • About a Boy by Nick Hornby. Loved the movie. I hope I love the book!
  • The Gunslinger by Stephen King. For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to start a 4,250 page series. I have no plans to rush through it. Just take it book by book.
In addition to reading some, or all, of these books, I also plan to review each book as soon as I finish it, instead of in a big group of reviews when I have the time. This will ensure that my opinion on the book is still fresh in my mind, and I don't forget anything that I want to write.
I also want to start writing down quotes, notes, and predictions as I read. I have a journal that I'll write in, and I might occasionally post them.
Finally, and this isn't totally book-related in the actual reading sense, but I want to finish my third draft of my book and send it off to my contact as soon as possible, as well as work on the layout and pages of this blog/website.
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