Lunar Ball (Winter Release Party)

Calling all Lunartics!

As many of you have read on past posts, I (Rachel) am working at the library now and helping out with some events. Since Washington state is such a long ways away, us Louisiana TLC fans cannot make it to the Lunar Ball Marissa Meyer is throwing. Our library is throwing our own Lunar Ball. All local fans are invited! Brush up on your Lunar Trivia, don your fancy Ball Gown, and come for a fun time!

invitation

Top Ten Books We’d Love To See As Movies/TV Shows

Top Ten YA Books We'd Like to See as a Movie or TV show
I think the most amazing thing about books is that I can read words and they form a picture in my head. Every book I read is like a movie that I get to direct, and every detail is exactly how I want it. So when I say that I want for these books to be movies and/or TV shows, that’s what I mean. If it were a perfect world where movies and shows kept close to the books, these are the books I’d want to see on the big screen. (Click titles to go to our reviews!)
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1) Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins | This book keeps appearing on top ten lists because it’s awesome. I want a real-life Harper and David!

2) Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell | I think this would make for an awesome TV show as long as they don’t try to add romance where there is no romance! (That’s my biggest fear if this book is made into a movie/show.)

3) The Gallagher Girls Series by Ally Carter | I mean, of course we want this to be a movie. Lots of movies. But the last time someone had the rights, they wanted to completely change everything. If I remember correctly, they wanted to make Joe Solomon the bad guy and make all the characters college-age. I’m so glad that didn’t happen! (See our Gallagher Girls dream cast here!)

4) Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg | This would be a super cute TV show, or even YouTube show? Important: getting the PERFECT actors to play Levi and Macallan. Major chemistry is a must!

5) The Naturals Series by Jennifer Lynn Barnes | I think I remember Jennifer mentioning something at NTTBF about a TV show in the works. I hope it happens!

6) The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer | Basically these books would make for some of the most epic movies ever. (See our Lunar Chronicles dream cast here!) (Read Rachel’s review and Brody’s review.)

7) The Selection Series by Kiera Cass | If you’re a big Selectioner, then you know about the… issues from the filmed pilot. Everything was changed. In a terrible way. No. No. No. No. No. Do this right, please!

8) The Ruby Red Trilogy by Kerstin Gier | I love this trilogy. I know that at least the first book was made into a German movie, but I haven’t gotten my hands on it yet. (I need it with subtitles, obviously.) (Okay, so I guess this one is more of an I-want-to-see-the-movie-if-I-can-somehow-get-ahold-of-it rather than a this-needs-to-be-a-movie.)

9) The Splintered Trilogy by A. G. Howard | It would be so cool to see this version of Wonderland come to life!

10) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern | I’m pretty sure this movie is in the works. If done right, it could be amazing and beautiful. (Read Rachel’s review and my review.)

dotsWhat books would you want to see turned into movies or TV shows in a perfect world?

JB from thegirlsinplaidskirts.com, plaid skirt, pink rainboots

Review: Cinder (a male perspective)

Once again, we’re welcoming Rachel’s boyfriend Brody to the blog! Thanks for your thoughts on Cinder, Brody!

Cinder English

Hello Readers!

Rachel invited me into the world of Cinder. We had the idea to read it together with Rachel reading from female characters’ perspectives (such as Cinder’s pov) and me reading from the male characters’ perspectives (such as Prince Kai’s or even the Doctor’s pov) whenever their appearances would permit us to do so! Which made it extra fun for me, not only because I wasn’t just reading it by myself, but also because I was reading it with an experienced Cinder Lunar Chronicles reader, and so she was able to point things out by saying things like “pay attention to that” or “this is important.” And then there were those loud and surprising “I never caught that before” moments that would catch me off guard where she would then refuse to spill the jar of spoiling beans on what she was talking about, because she’s a firm believer in not supporting the said action known as spoiling. Unfortunately, our schedules got too busy that we weren’t able to incorporate Cinder into our Skype dates (seeing as how we are at this present time “geographically challenged”), so I had to embark on the rest of the story by myself while still filling her in on the things that intrigued me, surprised me, made me laugh, or made me miss her when it got to the sappy stuff.

See, I wasn’t just being a loyal boyfriend. As avid book readers, you all understand how you’re not just reading about a world, but you’re in that world, immersed by the smells floating down the streets of New Beijing into the grease stained floors of the garage where Cinder’s eyes met Kai’s for the first time. You can feel the anxiousness in Cinder’s stomach regardless of her persistent denial. That’s what gets me, I get invited into this world, into Rachel’s world, so that I can better understand…

I’m not sure if it’s sad to say that I couldn’t recall ever really watching Cinderella as a 22-year-old young man. As a kid I was probably too busy watching Power Rangers, TMNT, or Bruce Lee movies. Woah. (I just noticed a weird pattern of Kung-Fu there, I think I learned something new about myself.) But any-who, by dating Rachel I’m pretty much dating Cinderella, so on our last visit, as a 22-year-old young man, she sat me down on a warm Christmas night with a few members of her family and we partook of Disney’s animated classic of Cinderella.

That’s probably how a lot of people see the story line unfold, as an elegant fairy tale. I guess partly because of my biological make-up and partly because I hadn’t seen Cinderella, I visualized the book from more of an anime perspective. Any of you who watched the real anime on Adult Swim know what I’m talking about. One in particular stands out, FMA (Full Metal Alchemist). But only as a visual of the character because of Ed’s auto-mail arm and leg, like Cinder’s hand and foot. Howbeit he may not be a cyborg, they both try to hide their true identities by covering these features.

ed

When I think of New Beijing, I get this very busy futuristic-Chinese setting. When I picture the city of New Beijing I see it looking something like this.

city1Cinder was a thrill to read and I’m definitely looking forward to reading the rest of The Lunar Chronicles!

Especially Cress… for obvious reasons.cress

– Brody

Happy Book Birthday to Fairest!

FairestA very happy book birthday to Marissa Meyer and her newest book in The Lunar Chronicles series, Fairest!

Summary from Goodreads:

In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

dotsDo you plan to pick up a copy? Are you a lunartic? We’re always happy to fangirl! 🙂

 

Top Ten Sequels I Want to Read

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today I’m talking about sequels I can’t wait to read. So let’s get started! (Click the title to go to the book on Goodreads.)The Heir by Kiera Cass  Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up by Ella Martin  Killer Instinct by jennifer Lynn Barnes1) The Heir (The Selection #4) by Kiera Cass | It’s safe to say we’re a bit obsessed with this series, so of course we were excited to hear there will be two more books! Although now this means we have to meet Kiera again to get our new books signed… (Read our reviews of The Selection and The One.)

2) I Love Him, I Love Him Not (Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up? #2) by Ella Martin | We LOVED the first book so much that we hosted a spirit week for its release! Can’t wait to get my hands on the next one because I need more Tim. (Also, this is the cover for book #1 since the cover for book #2 hasn’t been released yet.)

3) Killer Instinct (The Naturals #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes | This was released just a few weeks ago. Why haven’t I bought it already? I don’t know. The Naturals was suspenseful and had an awesome cast of characters. I’m sure the second book will be just as fabulous!

Double Digit by Annabell Monaghan, The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa, I'm So Sure by Jenny B. Jones4) Double Digit (Digit #2) by Annabel Monaghan | A Girl Named Digit was the first book I reviewed when we started this blog. Julianne recently had the pleasure of meeting Annabel, who gave her a signed copy of Double Digit! I’m currently borrowing it, and it’s next on my to-read list!

5) The Iron Traitor (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten #2) by Julie Kagawa | I read the first book in this Iron Fey spin-off series, but, according to lots of rant-y reviews on Goodreads, book two ends in a BIG cliff-hanger. I’m waiting until the entire series has been released so I can just binge them all at once like I did The Iron Fey.

6) I’m So Sure (The Charmed Life #2) by Jenny B. Jones | It’s been a while since I read the first book, So Not Happening, but it was adorable. I’m thinking a reread is in order soon so I can read I’m So Sure!

Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger, False Sight by Dan Krokos, The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan7) Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School #2) by Gail Carriger | The first book in this series Etiquette & Espionagewas an absolute delight. Julianne and I both enjoyed it!

8) False Sight (False Memory #2) by Dan Krokos | False Memory is full of plot twists and surprises, so I have high hopes for False Sight. Plus, there are things that I hope are revealed in this sequel! (Again, both Julianne and I reviewed this book.)

9) The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #2) by Rick Riordan | Yes, yes, I know. I must finish this series, especially since I enjoyed the first one so much. There are just so many books on my to-read list that I haven’t gotten back around to Percy Jackson yet!

Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles 3.5) by Marissa Meyer10) Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles 3.5) by Marissa Meyer | If you don’t know this already, let’s just get it on the table: The Girls in Plaid Skirts are OBSESSED with The Lunar Chronicles and all things Marissa Meyer in general. (No surprise, since we’ve met her and she loves us.) Although I’m disappointed that Winter‘s release was pushed back AN ENTIRE YEAR for Fairest, I’m super excited to learn more about Levana! (We’ve reviewed all three books in the series: Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress! If you want MORE TLC stuff—like our dream cast, TLC-inspired recipes, and fan art—check out our Cress Celebration.)

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What sequels do you want to get your hands on? Are there any series you recommend we check out?

Cupcake Recipe: The Marissa (Chocolate Peanut Butter)

chocolate peanut butter cupcake

I recently shared some delicious Lunar Chronicles-inspired sweets during our Cress Celebration. One of those was this yummy cupcake that we call “The Marissa.” Marissa Meyer told us that if she were a cupcake, she would be peanut butter chocolate. So we made her into a cupcake! If you want your very own tasty Marissa (er, um…), here’s the recipe!

Ingredients for cupcakes:
milk chocolate cake mix
ingredients called for on cake mix box
mini Reese’s

Ingredients for peanut butter icing:
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup softened butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
at least 3 tablespoons milk or heavy cream

ingredients for chocolate icing:
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
at least 2 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
2 Hershey bars (melted)
3 tablespoons cocoa powder

Tools needed for frosting cupcakes:
three piping bags
large piping tip

Directions for cupcakes:
Follow instructions on box to make chocolate cupcakes. Once cupcakes have been in the oven for five minutes, press an unwrapped mini Reese’s into each one. After they’re baked, let cool completely before icing.

Directions for peanut butter icing:
Put all ingredients in mixer and beat until fluffy. To make my icing extra fluffy, I like to use heavy cream. Continue adding cream (or milk) until you like the consistency. You don’t want it too thin, but you don’t want it too thick to where it’s difficult to pipe.

Directions for chocolate icing:
Combine shortening, butter, and vanilla in mixer until well mixed. Slowly add powdered sugar and mix well. Add 2 tablespoons of milk or cream and mix. Add in your melted Hershey bars and cocoa powder. Add more milk or cream until you reach desired consistency. (It should be about the same consistency as the peanut butter icing.)

Icing the cupcakes:
Icing cupcakes can be a little tricky (and very messy!), so I’m going to send you to this nifty tutorial that will show you how to swirl the two icings together. This is why you don’t want your icing to be too thick—thick icing is very difficult to pipe!

Enjoy your delicious cupcakes and don’t forget to tell Marissa Meyer how tasty she is! (Okay, maybe leave out the last part because it’s kind of awkward.)

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Interview: Marissa Meyer (Our Second One!)

Having questions that haven’t been asked a million times is important to a quality interview.  If you don’t want it to be a waste of both your time and theirs (and your readers), do your research.  If you found it in someone else’s interview, there is no need to ask it (unless you want to expand on the question/issue, in which case, do more research).  That being said, it was a challenge to come up with new questions for Marissa that we hadn’t asked her before, but I think we did pretty good.

Last time we interviewed Mrs. Meyer, we asked “If you were a cupcake, what kind would you be?”  And perhaps you saw my creation of The Marissa Cupcake during our Lunar Chronicles celebration.  Per request of Marissa, a parcel of such cupcakes accompanied our interview. Also accompanying us was Caroline, who has only just started Scarlet, and thus we couldn’t give away any Cress spoilers during the interview. You might also see some answers from Jesse, Marissa’s husband, who willingly played along when we asked him questions.

Also, how adorable is Marissa? We absolutely LOVE her dress. “I’m wearing almost plaid!” she told us.

Plaid Girls and Marissa Meyer

JB: Are there male escort droids?

Marissa Meyer: Yes.

JB: We wanted to verify that. For reasons. [That would be Cress spoilers.]

MM: Yes, there are, actually. Iko runs into one when she’s in the warehouse and there’s a moment that he kind of reminds her of Prince Kai, so she tries to flirt with him and he’s totally just… a robot.

JB: Ahh, yes! That’s in Cress. Now that you mention it, I remember that.

Rachel: We can’t spoil, but yeah.

MM: Yeah, this is going to be a really hard interview.

Rachel: Tarkan, the guy you based Wolf off of, do you actually listen to him?

MM: I’ve actually only heard one song. Somebody sent me a song of his maybe six months ago because in the song he does a weird little howl thing, and I was like, this is so weird. But I had never actually heard him before that. I’d just seen his picture, and that’s him. That’s what Wolf looks like.

Julianne: What is World War IV about?

MM: Over resources and land territories. I haven’t thought it out so I don’t know the specifics, but the general idea is that there were some countries that were very very resource rich, and by that point, so far in the future, other countries had depleted their resources and this war broke out because they thought they weren’t sharing the world equally, which then led to the conglomeration.

Rachel: What’s your method of naming? Your names are so detailed. Do you say, I want it to mean this; here’s all the words that mean this?

MM: Sort of. If it’s a fairy tale character, then I can be like, you know, Cinder… Cinderella, and those are easy. Like with Carswell Thorne, I would go to my favorite resource—babynamesworld.com—so I’ll go and I’ll search for all names that have this meaning. So I’d search for things like “thief” or “criminal” and of course nobody names their kids that. And so in a random, “Why don’t I just do a search for Cress?” then Carswell popped up and it literally translates to “grows at the watercress pond.” And I was like that’s so romantic! Because he grows when he’s with her! It just fit. So I use babynamesworld a lot if I’m struggling, and I keep searching for different meanings until I find something that works.

JB: Have you ever met a famous person?

MM: Does Veronica Roth count? I’ve met her and done panels with her. I’m trying to think if I’ve ever met any celebrities. Oh, you know what? When we were at Comic Con last year we were staying at the same hotel as all the Game of Thrones people, so in the lobby we saw Jon Snow  and we saw Tyrion. Oh! And then totally randomly, but two of the guys from How I Met Your Mother were there, but not the one that I love. I forget his name. What is his name? The dancer guy. Anyway. And then Jesse, my husband, has such an enormous crush on Ygritte from Game of Thrones, and we saw her when we were down in the bar getting a drink after Comic Con, and so he got to go take a picture with her, and it was like the wallpaper on his phone. It might still be the wallpaper on his phone. But it was really cute. In the picture he has such a boyish grin.

Julianne: Do you have a muse? Like something you go back to when you’re at a wall? When you have writers’ block, what do you do?

MM: I have a Lunar Chronicles playlist that I will listen to on repeat. But I don’t have an object or anything like that. Well, I have my Harry Potter wand that lives on my desk. I don’t know how inspirational it is. It’s just cool to have it there. But usually when I’m stuck, I have different writing techniques that I use when I’m really stuck. My favorite one is to give myself really really tiny goals, so that if I’m really stuck, I’m like, “I know I can write a sentence.” So then I write a sentence, and if that’s all I accomplish that day, then at least it’s something. But usually getting started is the hardest part, and then that sentence turns into a second sentence and it just starts to snowball. But really really small, stupid goals that I know I’m capable of doing tend to work for me.

Rachel: Do you have a favorite constellation?

MM: I do not have a favorite constellation. The only one I can recognize is the Big Dipper.

JB: We were wondering if the capital of Luna, Artemisia, was named after a constellation.

Rachel: It sounds constellation-y

MM: It does sound constellation-y. I don’t think it is. Artemisia is named after Artemis. But there might be an Artemis constellation. I don’t know. But Artemis was one of the Greek gods of the moon.

Julianne: What’s your ringtone?

MM: The Harry Potter theme song.

Julianne: Do you have any hidden talents? That you feel like sharing, anyway.

MM: (to her husband, Jesse) Do I have any hidden talents?

Jesse: You can stand on your head and chug beer. That’s pretty cool.

MM: No.

Jesse: That’s not you?

MM: No, that was your other girlfriend. But, um… not really.

Julianne: You’re just cool all over?

MM: I just I write. Writing has always been the talent that I focused on. I went through periods where like, I made a quilt. But I don’t still make quilts. And I tried crocheting, but never got the hang of it.

Rachel: I try lots of things and then give up.

MM: Yeah, me too.

Rachel: You’ve talked a lot about mythology. Norse. Would you consider that? Because Greek and Roman is done a lot.

JB: Basically we want you to write mythology.

MM: Let me take some notes! I don’t know much about Norse mythology. I know a little about the Valkyrie. But I don’t know a lot about it. But I definitely would. I would do anything it if came to me.

Julianne: Well, a question for the husband: what’s it like being married to a famous person?

Jesse: You’ll have to ask Marissa that. (All the girls giggle.) You know, it’s pretty neat. On this book tour, it’s kind of changed a little bit. There’s a lot more excitement from her fans. They’re shaking and they’re so happy and excited. It’s a lot of fun. So it’s cool. And I’m able to go with her on book tour and I don’t have to be at home doing hard construction labor stuff, so I enjoy it. I love it.

MM: He’s really nice to have around, too.

All of us: AWWWWWW!!!

MM: (laughing) Mushy! Gross!

Julianne: I have to ask one more. What is one of your favorites or really memorable fan moments?

MM: There’s been a lot. But I think my favorite was at the Texas Librarian Association last year. They did this author speed dating type thing, so all the librarians were at these tables of ten, and then the authors would spend ten minutes at each table and then move around to the next table. So the second table that I go to there are nine librarians and then one of them had brought her eleven year old daughter. So I sit down next to this girl, and she looks at me, and looks at my name tag, and looks at me again, and then just falls over and starts hugging me. And it was so cute! At first I’m like, what’s going on? Why are you hugging me? And then when she pulled away she was in tears. She was so excited. It was really really adorable. And at that point Scarlet had just come out. Or may be there were Cress ARCs? I don’t remember. So after the thing was over I took her over to my publisher’s booth and they had one copy of the book left, so I was able to get her a copy of the book. That was a good moment.

A huge thank you to Marissa (and Jesse, too!) for allowing us to interview! (Even though she possibly only said yes because we bribed her with cupcakes.) If you haven’t read our first interview with her, you can check it out here.

Road Trip: Montgomery County Book Festival

Roadtrip with The Girls in Plaid Skirts is synonymous with one word…

adventure

Rae and JB, along with a lovely accomplice, Caroline, rose bright and early, packed up the car (luggage, books, comms & portscreens, plaid skirts, cupcakes, blankets, pillows, snacks, the “Justin Case”, atlas, all check), the only thing missing was me. Like the trooper that I am, I had overslept. (It had been a very crazy week and my sleep schedule had gone haywire.) But soon we were on our way. We didn’t get very far before I realized that, in my haste, I had left my purse in my car. Meaning I had no money and no driver’s license. Cue facepalm. But being that I was among the dearest of friends, I was assured I would not go hungry. (Thanks girls, you’re the best! and I owe yall. Like for real lol…) So we journeyed on.

We continued to journey until, in the middle of reading aloud the special Thorne story in the back of Cress*, when Rachel realized that she forgot to mention that turn we were supposed to make about an hour back… So out came atlas and the phones, because our predicament was two-fold: first was “Where are we?” the next “How do we get there from here?”  Thank heavens for technology!  Soon we were once again on our way.  After a little time, a lot of laughter, lunch, and only one potty break  (I know right??) we arrived safely at the

book festival

Book Festival! And with just enough time to do a little book shopping before Marissa Meyer’s panel!  Naturally we were excited to see her again, but especially excited because after the panel we had an interview!!! On the same panel were notable authors, P.J. Hoover of Solsitce, and Lindsey Cummings of The Murder Complex.   

After the panel we were given a table in the Authors Only room for our interview, where we waited, with cupcakes and questions at the ready.  (I would like to take a moment to note that coming up with questions that aren’t old hat is hard sometimes… more on that and the cupcakes later.) At last she appeared!! And looking quite smashing, no?

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We had our slightly giddy cordialities before getting to the actual ‘interview’ part 🙂 Joining her on Cress Tour was her husband, who seems just wonderful. He enjoyed the cupcakes very much.  Because the lovely Mrs. Meyer was the keynote speaker, we wrapped up our interview so she would have some prep time.  She had delightfully fitting topic for her keynote: The Art of the Story, during which she graced us with the telling of three classic version fairy tales!  Notes on the Keynote are soon to follow!  

Marissa’s reaction to the cupcakes came a little later, via twitter:

Holy Peanut Butter Batman!

🙂

Although we had but a short time, it was a good time.  And it was followed by really really good food!  Local Mexican place, El Bosque… omgoodnessyall.  Everything was amazing and not expensive, my favorite combination!

Back at the hotel, we challenged ourselves with a little late night riddling via thisisnottom.  (the perplexing process to access a shrouded novella, compliments of John Green).  We made it to level 6.

The next day, after the oh so important breakfast, we headed off to the Johnson Space Center, aka

NASA’s

MISSION CONTROL

There we poked around the cockpit of a shuttle (our Cress was rather excited)…

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…played inside a booster funnel (miss Scarlet was having a little too much fun)… 20140218-130609.jpg

…touched space (via the transitive property of existance)…20140218-130747.jpg

… got a look through the most awesome moonroof ever…20140218-130757.jpg

…and took a saunter down the spaceship catwalk!catwalk

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In short (or long lol)  a grand time was had by all and when the night came, we slept, each in our own beds, with visions of Lunar adventures dancing in our heads.

till next time…

Julianne

* The Bonus story can be found in the Target editions

Criss Cross: Cress Fangirl (& Winner Announcement!)

CrissCrossHalfFull

Join us we fangirl over CRESS and sip sparkling apple cider! The winner of our prize pack is announced toward the end!!

(Winner has three days to email us your address or we will pick another winner.)

History of Rapunzel:http://thegirlsinplaidskirts.com/2014/02/03/celebratecress-history-of-rapunzel/

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