As Poetry Month Ends

The written word can tell a story.  That story can be played out in a lengthy novel, a shorter novella, or a more rhythmic poem.  I was recently going through my late mother’s items I came across a poem that I believe she had written.  It was with all of her writings, some I hope to gather and share throughout the year.  She married very young and began her family but had always wanted to be a writer.  It was very exciting to come across all of these papers that she had worked on.  It was also somewhat sad to see her hidden dreams tucked inside of a folder packed away, inside a box.

I didn’t know that she had taken a class shortly after marrying my father.  Reading some of the instructor’s notes on her writings, he seemed to be impressed with a lot of her work.  I am happy to know that at some point she had been given some positive feedback and recognition for a talent that she never was able to see bloom to its beauty and fullness.

So, in honor of poetry month and in honor of my late mother, Janice Margaret Holsinger-Tomaszewski, an untitled poem from the folder of undiscovered treasures…at least they are to me.

I am safe, mama

I am fin

We are deep, mama

at the line

Sounds of war, mama

rifles crack

Cannon’s roar, mama

At my back

I have fear, mama

I’m afraid

Not of bombs, mama

Nor grenade

There’s a voice, mama

I can’t still

And it says, mama

Can you kill?

And it says, mama

Can you kill?

It is cold, mama

It is black

With the dawn, mama

We attack

There’s a hill, mama

We must take

Can you tell, mama

That I shake

I may die, mama

I may die

This may be, mama

My goodbye

It is time, mama

There’s the sun

Will I fight, mama?

Will I run

He is young, mama

He is smart

I was trapped, mama

At the start

Then he lunged, mama

And I spun

Face to face, mama

Gun to gun

Then he fell, mama

I could see

He was me, mama

He was me

Just a boy, mama

Not a man

Can I kill, mama

Yes, I can

Can I kill, mama

Yes, I can

I hope that through the month of April you all were able to take the time to explore and appreciate the story a poem can tell.  I know that there have been times in my life when a poem has been of comfort and strength, wisdom and advice.

Enjoy,

Cici ♥

material copyrighted by Colleen Cook all rights reserved

April 30th, 2011 Poems, Poets and Thoughts 0 Comment

TGIF {4}

Thanks to Ginger over at GReads for hosting TGIF.  It seems here lately that I am punching through the week and going holy cow, TGIF!  So my posting has been lame and I am grateful that I am at least getting in on this weekly meme or I would be seriously lame!

This week’s question is…….

Standalone vs. Series: what’s your stance?

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Well, I am on the fence on this one.  I guess it all depends on the book.  The first series I really got into was Twilight.  Thankfully I started late in the game because, quite frankly, I am impatient.  I don’t know that I could have waited for New Moon, and then  Eclipse, and eventually Breaking Dawn. I would have really been irritated that there was so much time in between them.  I read all four books in a week.  It was my most insane reading to date.   I also just finally read If I Stay by Gayle Forman and feel I got super lucky to have read it so long after I bought it because  Where She Went was released the week after I finished it.  Had I had to wait too long for Where She Went, I would have been batty wondering what happened with Adam and Mia.  Currently there are two books that I am waiting on reading that are second in a series… Forsaken Harbor by Laura Kreitzer and Original Sin by Lisa Desroachers.  I really enjoyed the characters and their stories and I am anticipating what will happen next and I am not being very patient about it and if I can get my hands on and ARC of both of them, I will be one happy girl!

There are some series that I would love to read, but they are just HUGE, like Harry Potter, The Vampire Diaries and The Clique.  They look so great, but I am afraid to start them because then that will all I will be reading. While I am sure they are all great books, I don’t know that I want to start them because I know I will want to finish them the week I start them!

I also am ok with a book as it is, standing all alone.  Some books are just great all by themselves and that is just fine by me.  Although if I really enjoy an author of a stand alone book, I generally try to follow-up with another by the same author.

Sooooo, to sum it up. I like series and stand alone books, I guess it all just depends on the book!

Have a great weekend!!

Cici ♥

April 27th, 2011 TGIF 0 Comment

TGIF {3}

Whew!  TGIF!  Who is ready for the weekend?  I know I am!  Happy Easter!  TGIF is a weekly meme hosted by Ginger over at GReads, so a big thanks to her for being a wonderful hostess!  TGIF is a little weekly spot where we can recap the week and answer a question from Ginger.

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This week’s question is:

Explicit Material:
How do you feel about explicit language
and/or sexual content in YA books?
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I know that this is often a topic of discussion especially in the YA genre.  I have some mixed feelings on it I guess.  I believe that getting too graphic is not appropriate for a book marketed to the YA audience, there is an erotica genre for that.  BUT, discussing or writing about sex, the feelings, the thoughts, the reactions, the desires, the chances, the consequences of it all is appropriate for YA.  I don’t think it should be as descriptive or blatant as in erotica novels, but, it shouldn’t be all candy canes and gum drops either.  It is real in the teen community and just because they read it in a book doesn’t mean they will be doing it come Friday night.  I know that Breaking Dawn and its sex scenes were often a point of controversy and quite frankly I was shocked.  I thought that Myer had done an incredible job to make all of the sexual encounters very tasteful.  She never really came out and said what they were doing, but there was no mistaking what they were doing.  AND they were still very hot, very sensual encounters.  I was impressed with how she portrayed their love life.
As far as language, I don’t want to read the F word constantly myself, but sometimes an F-bomb gets dropped and it has usually been at the right point for effect.  Sometimes the language is the character and I haven’t come across an author yet that has abused it.  I believe that sometimes the language is necessary to set the tone of a character or a book.  Do I want my kids running around dropping F-bombs, no, not at all, but I don’t think that reading an occasional dirty word is going to impact their behavior or speech either.
Quite frankly, if you are easily offended by sex or language sticking to middle grade books is probably your best bet.  As a parent, I believe that it is your responsibility to screen and monitor what your children are reading, get to know what books they are picking up, read them, use the books to open a dialogue with your child.  Odds are, the sex scene that is prompting a book burning is nothing more than an intimate, experimental moment between older teens, which is very much our teens reality.  Utilize it as a tool to teach and discuss the issue.  Finish the book, find the purpose for that scene(s) in the book and try hard to not be so easily offended.
Always remember, you can control what you read.  If a certain book, author or genre is offensive to you, don’t read it.  As an individual consumer you have that power.  If you are that passionate about it, start a blog, review the books, find and promote books that fit your criteria.  As for me, you will probably continue to see me post about the books with a bad boy, a wild side and a little steam!
Happy weekend!  Enjoy!
As always, your comments are always welcome!
Cici♥
April 22nd, 2011 TGIF 1 Comment

TGIF (I know, it’s Sunday)

TGIF is a weekly meme hosted by Ginger over at Greads and is a little spot where we can post a recap of the week and where she also gives us a question to ponder…be sure to go on over and check out all the other blogs that link up.  It is a great way to get to know others in the blogging community.  You never know when your new bff will post up through a linky :)

This week’s question is….

Fictional Places:

If you could visit any fictional setting in a story, where would you go?

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Holy cow…I know it is Sunday but if ever a week to go TGI freaking F it has been this week!  So, therefore I will still post my Friday post on this lovely Sunday night.  Why?  Well, just because…

If I could visit a fictional setting one of the first I would want to go to is to England in National Velvet.  Just to be in Sussex surrounded with the stables, green land and horses…It was the very first movie I ever saw in a theater after reading the book and I was in heaven.  I was so little and don’t remember everything, but after the Easter bunny visits I will be reading the book again with my daughter and I can’t wait to visit the Grand National Steeplechase again!

Another place I would love to visit is the setting of The Great Gatsby…mainly just the clothes and the cars and maybe a little of aristocricy.  The opulent parties, the prohibition, and wild jazz music just seems like quite a time!

My last choice would be Pemberly Brown from the Liar Society.  The setting seems so mysterious and full of adventure.  Well, of course then as I type this I am thinking, oh but wait, I’d love to be sent to Westhaven from Haven and who wouldn’t love to go away to boarding school in Paris like in Anna and The French Kiss.  I guess some of my favorite imaginary places to be are some of my favorite books!

Thanks Ginger for hosting…hopefully this next week my Friday will actually coincide with Friday!

Have a great week!

April 17th, 2011 Weekly Happenings! 0 Comment

Super Cover Sunday {1}

It is like destiny to come across a Twitter post from @SeeingNight (Seeing Night Reviews) about a new meme revealing a favorite cover.  You see, just last night I had gotten a copy of Laura Kreitzer’s just released cover for FORSAKEN HARBOR and it is absolutely gorgeous!  I love all of the colors used on the front and absolutely love the back design and how the light seems to embrace you and draw you in.  Honestly, I swear I can almost feel the heat radiating off of the back cover the image is so tangible.  Red is my absolute favorite color and quite frankly, I almost always pick up a red book. The gold complements the darker colors and is so very appealing to the eye.  I also love how the young lady is luminous without being overwhelming, she is certainly a focal point, but yet blends so beautifully in with the overall design.  I hope you enjoy the beauty of this cover as I do!  Great job Laura on such a beautiful cover!

The front cover of FORSAKEN HARBOR…

and the whole cover…

I am a total cover junkie, so I have been known to pick up a book without reading a lick about it simply because it had an intriguing cover.  FORSAKEN HARBOR is one of those books that I would most definitely grab without a second thought.

Feel free to leave a comment about your opinions of the freshly revealed cover!!  I would love to hear what you have to say!!

Thank you to Kristen for hosting the meme!  Be sure to look for more cover selections every Sunday!

April 17th, 2011 Weekly Happenings! 4 Comments

Cover Reveal of Forsaken Harbor

I am so excited!

The cover for FORSAKEN HARBOR has been revealed!

Are you ready?

The front cover…

AND with the back…..

Oh.  My.  Gosh.  Aren’t they just beautiful?  I LOVE this cover!  If you recall, I had read and reviewed PHANTOM UNIVERSE by Laura Kreitzer and had mentioned that she had a new book coming out in July.  Well, it is almost here!  And this cover is enough to make me want to read it RIGHT NOW!  I absolutely love the colors on this cover.  I love how the light  just seems to grab you in an embrace.  m a total book cover junkie and I truly do judge a book by its cover and.  If I saw Forsaken Harbor on the shelf, I know it would definitely grab my eye!  I can’t help but gravitate toward the cover.  I really do love it!

Want a little sneak peak as to what lies between these covers?

Well, her you go, straight from Laura’s page :

SUMMER CHRONICLES BOOK II:

The Secret Clock Society has infiltrated every aspect of the government. You can’t hide from them, you can’t out run them—the only choice is to surrender or die fighting. Well, Summer’s found her voice and her confidence. She’ll fight if necessary, but for now she’s on the run. And the only place that can offer her refuge is the one city that’s been devastated with disease and death. Full of savages, Forsaken Harbor holds her life on the edge of a knife. Is there still hope to be found here after all? Or will survival mean savagery?

I know, I know, not quite enough to carry you through until it is released in July, but that’s all I’ve got :)  If you haven’t read PHANTOM UNIVERSE, you still have time and I highly recommend that you do!

Congratulations to Laura on a beautiful cover on what is certain to be another wonderful book!

April 17th, 2011 Books 0 Comment

TGIF

TGIF is a weekly meme hosted by Ginger at GReads.  It is a great way to wrap up the week and get ready for the weekend.  Each week Ginger will throw out a question and we all get to interact with our answers…what a fun way to share a little bit about ourselves and get to know each other!  Thanks Ginger for letting me link in and share!

This week’s question is….

Book Tears:  Are you emotional when you read?

Which books had you in tears?

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I don’t like to consider myself very emotional at all, although I am really beginning to question that!  And my sanity somedays…especially this week!  This is no doubt a TGIF kind of week 😉

If you have poked around my blog at all, you will have seen my review of If I Stay by Gayle Forman.  I CRIED.  A LOT.  This book really grabbed me.  I felt so personally connected to If I Stay. It is so well written that I almost forgot that I was reading a book.  The book’s plot also was very familiar to me, as I went through a similar loss many years ago.  I knew all too well the emotions and setting that were portrayed in the book.  Gayle’s writing just drew me in and all my emotions out.  Even though I cried so much that at times I had to stop reading, I absolutely LOVED the book!

How about you?  Are you emotional when you read?  Is there a book (or two) that you have read that has had you in tears?

April 8th, 2011 TGIF 5 Comments

Where She Went

Hardcover, 264 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by Dutton Juvenile
ISBN 0525422943 (ISBN13: 9780525422945)
primary language English
original title Where She Went

Summary

It’s been three years since the devastating accident … three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard’s rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia’s home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future – and each other.

Told from Adam’s point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

*From goodreads*

My Thoughts

I own a Nook, but for some reason I had to actually have “the book” of WHERE SHE WENT.  I guess maybe because I actually have hopes of  having Gayle Forman actually signing my book…yep, I am a fan.  So, on the day of the release (yesterday), I dropped the kiddos off at school and came home and piddled until 9:40, then I hopped in the car and then trucked down to my local Borders (it doesn’t open until 10) and grabbed the book.  First off, let me say, they didn’t have it on the front table and it really bothered me.  How could they not know how much this book deserved to be on the front table.  Anyway…so I grabbed my book and have to say, I LOVED the cover.  The girl on the cover seems to convey so much with such a simple look, grief, pain, memories, moving on. I then continued to shop, and you will soon hear about all the other books I grabbed (even though I was ONLY going to go get Where She Went).  Then I booked home where I thought I would finish my ‘chores’ and then begin reading.

WELL…true to my Twitter bio, I skipped the chores and went right for the book.  I couldn’t put it down.  I started reading around noon and had to stop at 3:00 to fetch child #1 from school.   Chit chat, chit chat…ok, homework time for him and I grab a few more minutes of reading time.  Oh snap, time to fetch child #2 and child #3.  Grab them, same thing, chit chat, chit chat, homework and read…dinner time comes and I take the easiest dinner I can think of that isn’t pizza and throw it together and we sit to eat.  We do a little chit chat, I can tell I am rushing the conversation because I won’t be THAT rude and break my book out at the table. Ok…dinner’s done and I don’t leave the table because I am already reading….YEP…the book is that good!

So, I get the kiddos to bed and finish up my book.  I just can’t explain what I felt as I wrapped it up.  There were times while reading that I forgot it was a book of fiction.  My heart just absolutely broke for Adam.  I was so glad that it was written in Adam’s voice.  I thought he was so likable in If I Stay and I really liked him in Where She Went.  I just wanted to embrace him and make everything ok.  His pain and suffering were so visual.  I felt as though I wasn’t reading but rather viewing this story play out right in front of me.  I didn’t cry as much as I did with If I Stay, which is a good thing.  Quite frankly, I was getting a little worried about myself as I read If I Stay.  That being said, I still found Where She Went to grip me emotionally and provoked a whirlwind of thoughts.

Mia and Adam were so lovable.  I thought that Where She Went was a great sequel to If I Stay.  The story line didn’t stray from the mood and tone that were set in If I Stay and I so appreciated it.  I feel so connected to this story.  It has truly become my favorite story.  I am glad that I didn’t read If I Stay until last week.  Reading Where She Went while the emotion I felt from If I Stay was so fresh was very uplifting for me.  I highly recommend both If I Stay and Where She Went, I know that you will not be disappointed.

Where She Went is a wonderful story about grief and all its varying stages and degrees, forever friendships and first loves.

April 6th, 2011 Books 0 Comment

Sin and Holiness a poem…

I thought that I would share with you a poem that I found of my son’s.  My guess is that he wrote this when he was either 9 or 10.  I come across little things like this every now and then and I am always impressed with the things he comes up with.  I asked him if he would mind if I posted his work and he said, “as long as you give me credit, don’t need you plagiarizing my stuff”.  So…this is the wonderfully written work of Spencer W. Cook (a.k.a. my son)….I hope you enjoy!

Sin and Holiness

by:  Spencer Cook

Sin

evil, bad

killing, breaking, drinking

Devil, enemy, God, justice

reading, listening, deciding

amazing, cool

holiness.

Quite a ball of talent isn’t he?  I think so!  Hope you enjoyed, and feel free to share some of your favorites, originals or whatever!

Book Blogger Hop 1/1-1/4

I have decided to join the HOP hosted by Crazy-for-Books.  This week’s question is…

“Since today is April Fool’s Day in the USA, what is the best prank you have ever played on someone OR that someone has played on you?”

Hmmm…well…let me see…I am never very good at April Fool’s pranks.  I also don’t quite remember “the best” prank that has been played on me.  Although son #2 is usually pretty good at getting me.  He got me this year while we were doing work in the garage by saying, “Quick Mom, get the spider spray…there’s a black widow over here!”  I HATE spiders and since moving back to Oklahoma have feared black widows, so it was a pretty good one.

How about you?  Any good pranks on April Fool’s Day?  Oh please do share (I need some ideas)!

Cici ♥

Book Blogger Hop

April 3rd, 2011 Book Blogger Hop 2 Comments
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Colleen's bookshelf: to-read

Of Mice and MenAnimal FarmWhere the Sidewalk EndsThe Great GatsbyThe Catcher in the RyeTo Kill a Mockingbird

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Colleen Cook's to-read book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists