Category Archives: Summer Wrap Up Read-a-Thon

Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon Wrap-Up and Photo Album Challenge! 08.12.2012

Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon Wrap-Up and Photo Album Challenge!

08.12.2012

By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez / @ZaraAlexis

This week went by so fast! How did you fare with your reading? My goal for this week had four books in the pile. Here’s what I was able to accomplish:

Books I Finished Reading:

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Here’s my review on The Neruda Case by Roberto Ampuero.

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Here’s my review of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce.

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Books that I’m still reading:

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If I can, I’d like to make it to at least half-way through this book tonight! And unfortunately, the second instalment of the trilogy: 666 Park Avenue, The Dark Glamour, is going to have to hit the shelf until September. I’ve got a whole new pile of books to read for my next read-a-thon!!

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And I successfully completed most, if not all, SWUR challenges! Wowsers! Thank goodness for our very patient and generous hosts for providing us with daily challenges to beat the monotony of constant reading. I’m crossing my fingers for a win…but the true prize is knocking books off our TBR lists, right?

Thanks to our hosts of the Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon! Looking forward to next year’s run.

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To wrap it up, here’s my personal Wrap-Up Photo Album of the places I personally love to read:

My Living Room Couch

Favourite reading place #1: My brown leather couch, good for putting my feet up on my coffee table and enjoying the view.

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My Bed

Favourite reading place #2: My bed. I bought a reading lamp especially for nights I curl up and read a good book under the covers.

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In front of my wall of art

Favourite reading place #3: In front of my wall of art! What better way to relax than enjoy some visual masterpieces to accompany great works of literature?

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My Porch

My favourite reading place #4: My porch! It’s great to be able to enjoy a good book outside under a tree…

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A Picnic at Jack Darling Park

Favourite reading place #5: A picnic! I love sitting and relaxing to read a good book when I go out for a picnic with my family. A favourite hot spot of mine is the Jack Darling Park in Port Credit.

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Cherry Blossom Trees at Kariya Park

My favourite reading place #6: Under the cherry blossom trees of Kariya Park.

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For more posts on the Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon, you can visit here.

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Where do you love reading?

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Zara Alexis

Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon Challenge: Volleyball By the Beach. 08.12.2012

Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon Challenge: Volleyball By the Beach!

08.12.2012

By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez / @ZaraAlexis

Thanks to Bekka at Pretty Deadly Reviews for hosting this volleyball challenge!

I was actually on the Girls Volleyball Team in grade school and high school, so I’m pretty familiar with the bump, volley, and the spike! Mind you, I’d sometimes miss…and I guess that’s perfect for this challenge because Bekka has given participants the premise that we’re all taking a break from our CRAZY READING and yes, we’re playing volleyball!

Go, team, go!

But wait…what happens…I was TOO BUSY thinking about the ramifications of the plot in The Red House by Mark Haddon (the book I’m reading now)…and OOPS!

That volleyball didn’t go over the net. Instead it flew overhead and hit a fictional character!!! OMG. The Read-a-Thon team is in trouble.

Who did I hit in all my reading distraction?

Looks like I got Shiloh from The Dovekeepers right in the head. Dear “GAWD!”

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Shiloh is one of my all-time favourite characters. She is a former priestess, educated in literature, philosophy, and the dark arts. Though she is fiercely independent, somewhat a rebel in her audacity to go against the status quo, she is also fiercely loyal, passionate, sensual, with a high-capacity to love and help women who suffer in silence, secrecy, and fear.

And do you know what she did when I almost hit her with the volleyball?—

She stepped ever so slightly out-of-the-way because of her agility and her sharp instincts. Then she looked up to the sky, mumbled an incantation, and transformed the incoming object into a crow…that landed on her shoulder. She turned, beckoned me over, and once I arrived, she said,

“If you’re going to aim, don’t miss.”

In Korean mythology, the three-legged crow, SAMJOKGO is regarded as a symbol of power.

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She smiled, opened my palm, and handed me a charm and a prayer scroll written in an ancient language…one that I instantly recognized and surprisingly could decipher…

And then the Witch of Moab walked away.

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For more posts on the Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon, you can visit here.

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Which fictional character would you choose?

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Zara Alexis

Summer Wrap-Up Paranormal Challenge! 08.12.2012

Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon Paranormal Challenge!

08.12.2012

By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez / @ZaraAlexis

Thanks to Steph at A Dream within a Dream for hosting this Paranormal Challenge! She’s asked that participants choose a paranormal creature that they would like to be for one summer night and share what they would like to do! Sounds simple, huh? Except I’M FASCINATED with PARANORMAL CREATURES!

Mmm…let’s see…I’d have to narrow it down to a couple of things that I’m most interested in…

Perhaps I could be an….

ANGEL

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or a…

WATER NYMPH

“Ophelia” by J.W. Waterhouse.

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…or a…

MERMAID

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…or a…

FAERIE

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…or a…

SHAPE SHIFTER

 

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I’d shape-shift into each creature and visit each world in which my form resides and learn the language of each species.

I would bow before the face of God as an angel, fly between heaven and earth, and perhaps act as a guardian angel to a loved one with the ability to read his or mind—in this case, my husband’s!

Then, on account that I have diverted all danger from my husband’s life for a day, I’d lounge the lakes as a water nymph, beautifying my body and my hair with earth’s nature, seducing men’s imagination with a glance.

After a little poetry and sunbathing, I’d return to the depths of the ocean and travel around the world once as a mermaid and take with me an ancient water song and silk pearls.

After I tire from that, I’d transform into fae, enjoying the lush and magic of the forest, practicing my flight on lit wings, using my power to speak with animals.

As soon as dawn breaks, I’d transform into light…and then wake up again into my original form.

How’s that for some summer fun, paranormal style?

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For more posts on the Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon, you can visit here.

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What paranormal creature would you choose to be for a day?

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Zara Alexis

Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon Dystopian Challenge! 08.11.2012

Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon Dystopian Challenge

08.11.2012

By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez / @ZaraAlexis

Thanks to Cristina at A Reader of Fictions, this challenge is to take a classic novel and explain how you would like to see it turned into a dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel! What a great idea!

For this challenge, I’d like to choose two classic novels:

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and

Tristan and Iseault

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I would combine the two novels to include a story about the four characters and their forbidden love—except I would change the characters from:

Romeo and Juliet to….

Robertinux and Julian

and Tristan and Iseult to…

Tracendeye and Isabel

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They would be part of a parallel world consisting of the New Fae and the Dawn Magistrates, competing species for rule of a broken world.

The New Fae are androgynous beings with enormous wings that stay lit in the dark and are born to couple with same-sex partners within a community called Colonies.

The male Fae are separated from the female Fae in the belief that each gender is unclean and an abomination to one another—until they come across the mystical Dawn Magistrates.

The Dawn Magistrates come from The Old World, The Hidden Place, believed to be descendants of the First Fae Family before The Time of Light. With the indoctrination of the belief that different gendered Fae should be coupled, their Wings of Majesty, which used to shine and glow in the dark has but been quenched and their bodies weakened with less power.

The Dawn Magistrates wish to extinguish the New Fae and their androgynous coupling in order to steal the light that from their wings and once again rule with what they consider to be  their True Wings.

The characters of the New Fae Colonies, Robertinux and Julian, and Tracendeye and Isabel, must fight the history of old to ensure the Time of the Light doesn’t fade away…

Forest Fae by Amethystana. From: http://hollowtreetales.wordpress.com/2009/09/10/thursday-myths-and-legends-101-faeries-fae/

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For more posts on the Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon, you can visit here.

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Which classic would you choose to recreate a dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel?

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Zara Alexis

Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon Flower Challenge. 08.11.2012

Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon Flower Challenge!

08.11.2012

By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez / @ZaraAlexis

This challenge hosted by Unforgettable Books is to use a name of a flower as a stem to create an acrostic poem that describes why I like reading, blogging, or any other hobby of my choice.

For this challenge, I’m going to use one of my favourite flowers:

The Sampaguita flower (also known as the Philippine Jasmine) is my favourite. It’s not only the Philippines’ national flower, its scent is exquisite.

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Shyness and solitude led me to quiet corners, a tree—the printed word.

book in its binding held secrets I could decipher and imagine though

My eyeglass frames were too large for my face.

Pixie dust and punctuation were things I played with

As a child far long into my age.

Goethe’s Werther wasn’t the only one who wept.

Ulysses, Umberto Eco, and unicorns…

asked of nothing more than the poet’s cadence—

The author’s reclusive pen.

And words delicate as the sampaguita, potent enough to come undone.

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For more posts on the Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon, you can visit here.

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What’s your favourite flower?

What are your favourite hobbies?

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Zara Alexis

Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon Summer Couple Challenge! 08.08.2012

Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon Summer Couple Challenge!

08.08.2012

By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez / @ZaraAlexis

Thanks to Daphne at Winged Reviews who created one of today’s Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon challenges, which is to name and match two fictional characters from two different books and/or series as a couple and think about where they might go out for a summer date!

So, today, I get to play Matchmaker, which is something I’m terrible at and don’t actually do. I believe in people finding their own natural paths towards each other. Why fool with something as important as romance?

But, for today’s challenge, I’m happy to put together two very similar fictional characters, who if they had met in the same novel, would probably have had met better fates and lived happy and romantic, healthy lives.

I would love to see these two lovely people come together:

Moira from the book, Away by Jane Urquhart

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and Xavier from the book, Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden.

 

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Moira and Xavier are both deeply sensitive and insecure individuals who are scarred by poverty, war, ostracization, and hardship that they both burden themselves with blame.

What they share most in common is a genuine goodness and almost mystical relationship and love for nature.

A suitable summer date for the both of them might be a lovely, rustic picnic in the lush of a garden forest with water close by. It would include a day of animal sight-seeing and learning the names and attributes of a variety of wildflowers.

If anything, I would hope to see them bring each other a form of comfort, relaxation, and peace, both highly intuitive to the other’s deep, emotional wounds and intrinsic needs.

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For more posts about the Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon, you can visit here.

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Which fictional characters would you like to see come together as a couple?

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Zara Alexis

Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon Cover Love Challenge! 08.06.2012

Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon Cover Love Challenge!

08.06.2012

By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez / @ZaraAlexis

The saying goes for most people: “Don’t judge a book by its cover,”—but avid readers and book-crazed collectors usually don’t agree. Judging a book by its cover is almost inherent in our decision to either read, borrow, or purchase a book for our personal library. Ask any book enthusiast. If they blatantly say no, well…they’re also probably blatantly lying!

For this Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon Challenge, the host, Falling for YA, has asked that participants share their “cover love” of books that are newly released for the summer.

Here’s my selection of cover love for books published between May – August 2012:

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

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It’s obvious that I’m drawn to a particular style of cover design, no?

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For more posts on the Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon, you can visit here.

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What kind of book cover designs are you drawn to?

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Zara Alexis

Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon: Wicked Summer Cover Challenge! 08.05.2012

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Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon:

Wicked Summer Cover Challenge!

08.05.2012

By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez / @ZaraAlexis
The challenge is to find book covers with the following items! Here’s what I’ve found:
Sun
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A Teeny Bikni
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Beach Umbrella
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Sandcastle
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Oceanscape or Beach Scene
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Sunflower
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An American flag (4th of July)
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Lemonade/Iced Tea
(Okay, so let’s just say this is a very adult iced tea…)
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Sunset
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Sailboat
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Camping equipment (tent, sleeping bag, etc.)
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Sunglasses
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Swimming Pool
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Sunbather
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Picnic 
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Thanks to Wickedly Bookish for hosting this challenge!
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For more posts on the Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon, you can visit here.
Zara Alexis

Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon! Hotter than Summer Challenge. 08.05.2012

Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon!

Hotter than Summer Challenge

08.05.2012

By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez / @ZaraAlexis

What’s hotter than the searing sun on a 40+ degree summer day? Not much except a freshly grilled sirloin… and perhaps these faint-worthy, fictional male characters in some of the books I’ve read this year so far.

The great thing about reading fiction is that you are free to imagine what characters look like (if they aren’t already on the front cover) and to decide for yourself what is considered “hot!”

But, I’m not one to judge primarily on looks alone and tend to gravitate more towards men with great character.

Because of the challenge’s requirement that books be read within 2012, my choice of men may surprise you!

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Benny from The Rest Is Silence by Scott Fotheringham

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What Benny looks like to me:

Model, Daniel A. (c) http://www.models.com

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My review.

My “heat” rating:

Benny is not only a passionate and sensitive lover, but a man of a deep and turbulent past that he was able to overcome through his equally passionate concern for the environment. Not only is he a true nature lover and one to build himself a cottage in the middle of nowhere with his own hands, he is a character born of gifted intelligence and a courageous resilience to master his fear and the elements.

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Man from the North in The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

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What the Man from the North looks like to me:

Blonde model stock photo. (c) 123rf.com

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My “heat” rating:

The Man of the North is imprisoned as a slave in the novel based on his cultural background, but that doesn’t stop him from being a great man of physical and emotional strength as he restrains himself from anger and decides to choose forgiveness over hatred and hope over despair.

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Grant Hastings of The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

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What Grant Hastings looks like to me:

Model, Shane S. (c) http://www.models.com

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My “heat” rating:

What’s hotter than a young man who is mature beyond his years, has the ability to love without condition, knows how to cook a succulent meal, and knows the symbolism and meaning of flowers?

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Marco in The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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What Marco looks like to me:

Model, Jeremiah L. (c) http://www.models.com

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My review.

My “heat” rating:

Marco is both known for his attractive looks, elusive nature, and for his rare gift to create illusions in the minds of  other people. He is passionate about his talent, but even more passionate about his nemesis, Celia Bowen, of which they share an “out-of-this-world” romance.

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My “heat” rating is conservative because no one rates as high as my passionate, faithful, and loving husband who gets 5 stars for being real and for being mine!

E., my husband. Hands off ladies, this “hottie” is mine!

My “heat” rating:

So, that’s it (for now, anyway…the year is still young!) Best of luck to the other read-a-thoners…it’s tough to concentrate in all this heat! 

Thanks to A Book Lover’s Review for hosting this challenge.

For more posts on the Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon, you can visit here.

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Who’s on your “Hotter than Summer” list?

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Zara Alexis

Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-thon: Show Off Your Pile Challenge! 08.04.2012

Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon: Show Off Your Pile Challenge!

08.04.2012

By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez / @ZaraAlexis

should be reading (which I will do as soon as I finish this post!), but how can I peacefully dive into my books if I haven’t yet shared my reading pile with my faithful readers and fellow Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon participants?

Here’s a look at what’s on my table to tackle this week:

 

 

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I’d like to tackle more, but I doubt I’ll be able to finish all four to begin with! Better start now! And good luck to the rest of the read-a-thoners! May we all reach the finish line with a few titles knocked off our TBR lists!

For more posts on the Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon, you can visit here.

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What’s on your Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon list?

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Zara Alexis