Posts tagged isabelle santiago

This is my blogging face.

I think I’m going to take up the habit of early-morning blogging.  You must understand, I am far from an early-morning kind of person.  I’m more of a write-until-the-middle-of-the-night-when-you-have-no-choice-but-to-pass-out person, and that was all well and good when I was single, but I’m starting to understand that that gets in the way of Married Life.  (Or vice-versa, but bygones).

Meanwhile, one of the things Married Life entails is making sure Husband gets up in the morning, and making a lunch for him, because prior knowledge proves that he’ll simply go without eating otherwise, and considering he works unfortunately long hours some days, that’s not something I’m willing to let happen.

This means I’m starting to make the slow transition from Night Owl to Morning Person.  Or at least, Able-To-Wake-Up-In-The-Morning-And-Accomplish-Things Person.  This is not a first for me.  I took an LDS Seminary class that started at 6:00 when I was in high school, which I was fairly (excuse the pun) religious about attending, so I am at least familiar with the concept that the sun actually rises, and doesn’t just appear in the sky and slowly set every day.

Still, as various parental figures in my life would tell you, morning has never really been my strong suit.  In fact, most of my early-morning romps of late have ended up with me falling asleep around nine or eleven anyhow, which is slightly pathetic, but at least for the moment still true.  What? I’m an eight-hours-of-sleep kinda girl, and that’s hard to do when you go to bed at midnight and wake up at five.

I’m planning on using quiet early morning time for other things that I’ve been neglecting of late, too… like reading, for instance. And the actual Writing writing that I’m supposed to be doing.  Isabelle Santiago and I are going to really challenge ourselves and each other to get some things done by March (March?).  In my case, I plan on having a first draft finished—finally finally finished—of my YA Paranormal.

Now excuse me, I have jobs in Japan to apply to.

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Surfacing by Isabelle Santiago

“I pad toward the bookshelf against the wall. There are countless science books: Biology, Chemistry, Micro-Biology, Physics, Environmental Science, Astronomy and a random copy of Road and Track, one of the car magazines Ryan is so crazy about. I frown at the overcrowded bookcase. Don’t I own any personal reading books? Romance novels? Mysteries?”

I cannot tell you how much I love that this is one of the first indications in Paige Jacob’s life that makes her realize that her life has gone out of balance.  Surfacing by Isabelle Santiago is about a woman who has everything—perfect house, gorgeous cop fiancé, great job in a gorgeous location…

But sometimes everything… isn’t everything.  Even the perfect life can’t always measure up to the fantasy.  Especially when you’ve lived the fantasy.  When Paige was seventeen, she lived in a tiny hole-in-the-wall town in New Mexico, and her life was anything but glamorous, but then she met a silver-eyed boy who was, quite simply, out of this world.  They have a whirlwind romance over a matter of months, before he disappeared from her life, leaving her with nothing but an unfulfilled promise to return.

Fast forward ten years, Paige is living in Los Angeles and her life has moved on, and yet she can’t put this ghost of her past to rest.  In an attempt to finally exorcise her past love, she’s writing a “fictional” novel about the experience—much to the dismay of her sister Aimee, the only one who knows her true story.

But is writing this story too much for her?  Can she even believe her memories herself?  Where exactly is the line between memory and fantasy?  And how can she think she’s not losing her mind when she runs into a man in a coffee shop who has silver eyes—but no memory of her?

I can’t explain how much I love this story.  Paige Jacob’s journey is inspiring.  This is more than your average romance novel, it’s very much a story of self-discovery, or re-discovery, rather.  This isn’t a choice between good and bad, but between good and better, which is so much harder to make.    This is a story of a woman who wakes up in her sedate, adult life and realizes she doesn’t even recognize the woman she’s become.  And then, in the ultimate of brave acts, goes in search of what’s been missing in her life.  She breaks some hearts along the way, but at the end, the reader can’t help but be satisfied with the way things turn out.  And along the way we have a fascinating character, not to mention some truly great side-characters.

Currently only available online at Freya’s Bower.  It’s a quick, fantastic read, which is about all I can handle during this busy move.  Highly, highly recommended.

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I know you’ve seen this on facebook.

Apparently the BBC reckons most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here.
Instructions:
1) Look at the list and put an ‘x’ after those you have read.
2) Add a ‘+’ to the ones you LOVE.
3) Star (*) those you plan on reading.
4) Tally your total read at the bottom.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen X+
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien *
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontex X+
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling X+++ (what?)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee *
6 The Bible * (I haven’t read all the way through the Old Testament, so I really can’t count that, I guess)
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte X
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens X
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott X+
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy X
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare * (oh yes I will.)
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier * (if only to understand the Danver Clones in Thursday Next)
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien X+
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger * (EVERYONE says this is amazing).
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot X+ (I love the main character so much)
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell X+
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald X (ugh)
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens *
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy *
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams *
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky X+ (I heart Dostoevsky. I really do.)
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck X
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll X+
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame *
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy *
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens *
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis X+ (well, at least I really love the first few. It’s all about the Pevensies.)
34 Emma – Jane Austen X+
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen X+++
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis X+ (this is double-counted, children.)
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne X+
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez * (maybe?)
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving * (maybe?)
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery X+
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy X+++
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood * (maybe?)
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding X
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan * (maybe?)
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel (I thought so, but everyone keeps saying it’s dull as death)
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen X++
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens X+++ (“A life you love.” Gah.)
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley X
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck * (maybe?)
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas *
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy *
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville * (but really only in a vague ‘I want to read all the classics someday’ kind of way)
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens * (ditto)
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett X+
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce *
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola * (maybe?)
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray * (maybe?)
80 Possession – AS Byatt * (If it’s anything like the movie? Heck yes.)
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens X (at least I’m 99% sure we read the whole thing)
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White X
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle *
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad X (UGH.)
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery X (Also ugh)
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas *
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare X+
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl *
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo *

31!  Not bad.  Not mind-blowing, but definitely more than six.  Half of those I’ve read more than once, too. *cough*Harry Potter*cough*   I really would like to read all of Shakespeare someday.  And all of Hardy, Dostoevsky, Dickens… what can I say?  I don’t think I’ll ever be done reading.  My most impressive add ons that aren’t on here: Paradise Lost by John Milton and Troilus & Criseyde by Geoffrey Chaucer.  Looks like I still have a lot to add on to my list, though!

And I can’t end this post without giving a shout-out to my friend Isabelle Santiago, who besides having a fantastic new ebook called Surfacing out right now, also just welcomed her very first bundle of joy into the world on Thursday, a healthy little baby boy.  Congrats Isabelle!

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