Category Archives: Personal

Our Blog in the New Year

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As you might, or might not have, noticed, our blog has slowly not been posting as much, and when we do it’s been anything but book reviews. The simple answer to why that has been is, uh, we haven’t been reading. Isis is in a major reading slump, and I guess I have been too. I also got an internship for a publishing company, so that has been changing my reading habits since I am reading, but I can’t talk about those books. But that’s gonna change! Hopefully. So reviews will naturally be going up when that happens, but it’s the other posts I want to brush upon here briefly. 

Over the last year, besides reviews, we mainly put up TBRs and tags. TBRs are basically going to go away completely. I’ve found that as soon as I post them I don’t want to read those books anymore. Tags can be fun, but not all the time. They’ve been getting a little boring, especially since we don’t have more books and characters to talk about.

To replace these posts and not have long stretches on nothing, we are bringing back some old series that we used to do. The first is writing playlists. I pick a topic, and choose at least ten songs that go along with it. I also want to start making playlists with a specific book in mind. Writing prompts and character spotlights should also make a reappearance. I also hope to do more lists and recommendations. Our prediction posts that we’ve done in the past should happen more often as they are quite fun to do. 

So, yeah, you might not care, but I felt the need to post this to say, “Hey, don’t give up on us.” We are still here, and we plan to continue blogging. Life just gets in the way sometimes.

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Christmas Movies We Hope to Watch

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It is now officially December. And Nicole and I have made it our task to watch some famous, or new, Christmas movies to later review right here on our blog. I am a huge fan of cheesy Christmas movies. My favorite, by far, is Holiday in Handcuffs (from the screenshot above). I’ve sort of made it a tradition to force everyone to watch it every year with me. But I think it’s good to branch out a little bit too. So, although I will definitely rewatch Holiday in Handcuffs again this year, Nicole and I will watch these Christmas movies as well.

Nicole’s Picks:

  • Jingle All the Way (1996)

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With Arnold Schwarzenegger as a workaholic father hellbent on finding the perfect toy for his son, I bet he’ll learn in a funny, silly journey that Christmas isn’t all about presents. And I will probably like it.

  • Marry Me For Christmas (2013)

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A businesswoman’s family simply wants her to find a husband. For the holidays she decides to bring along her assistant who pretends to be her fiancee. I predict they will fall in love or something, and all the lies will work out. And I will probably reluctantly find it really cute.

  • Elf (2003)

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No I’ve never seen this, and yes once I finally do I guess I will like it like everyone else does.

 

Isis’s Picks:

  • A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

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I love Snoopy, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of the Charlie Brown movies. I’m pretty sure as a kid I loved the Peanuts comics. I think it’s about time I watched this one. I have no doubt it will fill my heart with warm, fuzzy feelings.

  • A Very Merry Toy Store (2017)

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My dynamic duo: Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez, return to the world of cheesy Christmas movies with A Very Merry Toy Store. It’s the story of two toy store owners who unite forces when a big toy corporation moves into town. I am so excited about this one. I hope to love it as much as Holiday in Handcuffs. If not, then at least it will make me “aww” a lot because look at those two.

  • A Miser Brothers’ Christmas (2008)

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I’m not sure what to expect from this one. I know one of them is Jack Frost. Nicole told me to watch it. But she and I have very different taste. I hope to be entertained by it, but we shall see. Honestly, those two look sort of creepy.

The Television Tag

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I saw ProblemsofaBookNerd do this tag and it looked fun, so Nicole and I decided to do it!

1. Favorite shows?

Nicole: Stranger Things, Charmed, Gilmore Girls, 12 Monkeys, 3%, The Challenge, Chopped, Cupcake Wars, Cutthroat Kitchen, Project Runway, Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta

Isis: Are you ready? This list will be LONG because I adore TV shows: The Office, Parks & Recreation, Friends, New Girl, Lucifer, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Preacher, Stranger Things, Gilmore Girls, The Great British Baking Show, Crazyhead, About a Boy, Breaking Bad, That 70’s Show, Scrubs, Shameless, Master of None, Santa Clarita Diet, Bates Motel, The Good Doctor, This Is Us, In the Flesh, Atypical, The Twilight Zone, Jane the Virgin, The Good Place, Superstore, The Mindy Project, The Nanny, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and The X-Files.

2. Favorite genre?

Nicole: I like a lot of reality television obviously. I don’t know if there is a genre for all the scripted shows I watch, but they all have a magical element or something to it. Not necessarily magical but it’s never like just regular life like a sitcom. Also crime shows. I always get caught up in those.

Isis: Sitcoms have a large piece of my heart. The majority of the shows I watch are sitcoms, often with a twist. I do enjoy supernatural shows, especially if they involve angels and/or demons. I don’t really like dramas, unless they have some sort of supernatural or comedy aspect.

3. Least favorite show?

Nicole: The OA, Glow, Being Human, Lost, Spongebob, Clarence

Isis: Family Guy, The Big Bang Theory, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. If I don’t like a show, I just don’t watch it. These are just some that annoy me without having really watched them.

4. Most rewatched show/favorite show to binge watch?

Nicole: I’ve watched the Roseanne, Gilmore Girls, 16 and Pregnant, and the Teen Moms ones so many times. Law and Order the original and SVU too. Cold Case and a few others like it I can’t remember the names to right now. I love binging The Challenge, The Real World, shows like that.

Isis: I’ve lost track of the times I’ve rewatched The Office, but my guess is at least 10 times, seasons 1 thru 7. I don’t care about the last two seasons. I’ve rewatched Friends a bunch of times too, but not as many. And Gilmore Girls and Parks & Recreation a few times. And I’d recommend binge watching Breaking Bad cause that show is a masterpiece from start to finish. I have that show up on a pedestal.

5. Do you prefer watching things week-by-week or binge-watching?

Nicole: Binge watching mostly because I don’t have cable so I can’t watch things week by week. But I’m bad at TV shows in general. Even if I like them I don’t usually continue them.

Isis: Definitely binge watching, though there’s something very exciting about waiting for new episodes to come out.

6. Favorite television characters?

Nicole: Garth and Gabriel from Supernatural. Rose, the ninth and tenth doctors from Doctor Who. The main cast from Stranger Things. Prue and Chris Halliwell from Charmed. Rafael from 3%. Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler from SVU. I’m sure there is more, but I also can’t put people from reality TV cause that’s weird.

Isis: Castiel from Supernatural, Lorelai Gilmore from Gilmore Girls, Lucifer from Lucifer, Jesse Custer from Preacher, Leslie Knope from Parks & Recreation, Ann Perkins from Parks & Recreation, Literally everyone from Stranger Things, Dana Scully from The X-Files, Lip Gallagher from Shameless, Michael Scott from The Office, Jane from Jane the Virgin, and Monica from Friends.

7. Favorite television ships?

Nicole: Um Rose and the Doctor. I really liked Piper and that ghost from that one episode in Charmed haha. Mike and Eleven from Stranger Things. I can’t think of anything else, but I don’t ship people that often anyway.

Isis: I’m aware they aren’t technically canon, but Dean and Castiel from Supernatural are THE ship, and no other ship will ever top them for me. Jim and Pam from The Office, Leslie and Ben from Parks & Recreation, Lito and Hernando from Sense8, Amy and Jake from Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Lucifer and Chloe from Lucifer, Monica and Chandler from Friends, Michael and Holly from The Office, Scully and Mulder from The X-Files, Jack and Rebecca from This Is Us, and Fran and Maxwell from The Nanny. That is way too many m/f couples.

8. Show you could never get into?

Nicole: All of my least favorite shows obviously. I never got into Sense8 but since it’s cancelled already I’m glad. Same for In the Flesh. I could say this for most shows honestly. I watch the first episode, and never feel the need to continue. Like with Preacher. I also couldn’t get into Shadowhunters.

Isis: 12 Monkeys, Supergirl, Merlin, Doctor Who, Chewing Gum, Better Call Saul, Sherlock, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Don’t kill me), 13 Reasons Why, and Lost.

9. Show you fell out of love with?

Nicole: Face Off, Orange is the New Black, Doctor Who, Supernatural, Sherlock, The Walking Dead, Supergirl, Survivor, Are You the One?

Isis: Supernatural – it hurts to talk about how bad this show got in the later seasons, especially cause it was such a huge part of my life. The Walking Dead, Last Man on Earth, Shadowhunters, Sense8, How to Get Away With Murder, Glee, Constantine, Twin Peaks, Melissa & Joey, Orange is the New Black (but I’m gonna keep watching).

10. Cancelled too soon?

Nicole: I usually think something is dragging on too long than cancelled too soon.

Isis: In the Flesh!!!!!! WHY. Just why. Also, About a Boy was the purest show on TV and I am so so upset it got cancelled. It deserved so many seasons.

11. Guilty pleasure show?

Nicole: I guess all the reality TV I watch but also I don’t feel guilty about it.

Isis: Orange is the New Black is a guilty pleasure. I never feel good about myself watching it, but it’s addictive.

12. What are you currently watching?

Nicole: The Challenge. There’s always a season of that on it feels like. I finished Stranger Things a little bit ago. I’m interested in looking up The Worst Witch I think it is on Netflix. I’ve recently seen things about a show called The Exorcist that I might try watching too. That’s about it.

Isis: I’m watching and loving Lucifer, The Good Doctor, Superstore, The Good Place, This Is Us, Catfish, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, just recently finished The Mindy Project (and it was amazing), and The Great British Baking Show which never fails to make me smile.

Work in Progress Tag

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I saw the lovely Natalie from Pickle Hearts Books do this tag, so I thought I would answer the questions about the book Nicole and I are currently working on, which will hopefully be part of a trilogy.

What is the working title of your book?

Summer Storms (Can you guess it’s set in the summer? Great)

Where did the idea for your book come from?

Well, one of the four main characters came to me first. Diego was created very naturally one day, and I knew I wanted his story to have some fantasy aspects, though I didn’t want a full fantasy world. I told Nicole about Diego, and she helped bounce ideas with me. Then she suggested I add faeries to the story. I thought, hmm, why not? But the more I thought about the book, the more I just wanted Nicole’s ideas. So I asked if she wanted to co-write it with me, she said yes, and we went from there.

What genre is your work in progress?

Summer Storms is an urban fantasy novel. It can also be categorized as LGBT+ because we have a gay main character, a bisexual main character, a ftm trans character, and a bunch of other characters in the spectrum. It has magic, humor, action, adventure, romance, drama (gotta love the drama), and a lot of heart. There’s definitely a focus on friendships and family.

Choose the actors for your movie rendition.

This is really tough. I’m gonna do some serious googling here.

Ailsa:

Gina Rodriguez

The Build Series Presents Gina Rodriguez Discussing The New Movie "Deepwater Horizon"

I love Gina, and I want to see her in everything, so maybe I’m a little biased, but work with me here. Gina would be the perfect Ailsa. Although Ailsa has a darker skin tone, and is a little thicker, Gina would be amazing as Ailsa. They’re both very empowering, fierce women.

Monica:

Ana Brenda Contreras

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I’ve always admired this beautiful telenovela actress. She’s incredibly talented, and she knows her drama. Monica is all about the drama, so it’s a perfect fit. She has the same skin tone, and hair style. Make this happen.

Leon:

Valentino Lanus

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I think Valentino is good for Leon because they’re both very handsome, charming, and yet they have that mysterious sort of broody undertone. I think they’re similar physically as well, although Leon probably has softer facial features, if that makes sense.

Diego:

Michael Peña

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Although Diego does not wear glasses, I think Michael is pretty much exactly like Diego. He has that sad puppy dog look on his face, curly hair, and a cute belly. I’m actually very happy with this pick. If Summer Storms every becomes a movie, I hope he’s not too old to play Diego. (Although Diego is 38 in the first book, so already an old man).

One sentence synopsis of your book.

Four friends come together to fight off a twisted faery who continuously torments them.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

We really hope to get traditionally published. It’s a long, complicated process, but we’re willing to go through it.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

We wrote the first draft in about a year. We’re already on the second draft, but that one took over a year.

What other books would you compare the story to?

There aren’t many books I’ve read that are similar. I’m not sure why there aren’t more popular faery books. It seems like Holly Black has a monopoly on those. It could be compared to Iron Cast because of the close character relationships. Maybe also to Fairy Bad Day, but only if you compare the fairies, not the plot.

Who or what inspired you to write the book?

I would say, Nicole and I inspired each other, and continue to inspire each other. Writing a book with someone else makes the process so much easier — and fun!

What else about your book might peak the reader’s interest?

We have a lovely slow burn romance that will keep you hooked as much as we’re hooked on it. There are intense scenes that will keep you on the edge of your seat. A lot of action, some twists and turns, but with a mix of humor to keep a balance. The friendships that form between our four main characters is strong and sweet. It’s a story that was so easy and yet so difficult to write. It means a lot to me, and I know it means a lot to Nicole, too. I’m excited to share it with the world someday.

Spook-a-thon TBR

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October is here, and I have yet to read any of the spooky books I wanted to read. In order to try to fix this, I’m joining the Spook-a-thon from October 16th (today) to the 22nd. It’s hosted by BooksandLaLa Bookerly and Paige’s Pages.

Challenge 1: Read a thriller

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A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena. I have no idea what it is about, but it’s the group book for this read-a-thon. I put it on hold at my library, and it still hasn’t come in yet. Hopefully I will have it in time to finish it, because I really wanted to follow the group book for once. This is supposed to have 305 pages.

Challenge 2: Read a book with a spooky word in the title

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Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan. My spooky word here is killing. Apparently a group of students accidentally kill their English teacher. It sounds like a good time. This is 222 pages.

Challenge 3: Read a book based on a childhood fear

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Summer of Fear by Lois Duncan. A girl’s family takes in a cousin, and she’s sure her cousin is a witch. This might seem odd since I now love books about witches and magic, but I was terrified of witches when I was younger. I would constantly have nightmares about a witch getting her cauldron ready to eat me. Whenever I woke up from these dreams, I would be convinced she was in the corner of my room. So I would always lay very still, and never open my eyes. I guess hoping she wouldn’t notice me? I’m not sure, but I think that I was scared if I got out of bed to tell my parents that meant she would get me. This book is 226 pages.

Challenge 4: Read a book with orange on the cover

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Little Deaths by Emma Flint. This is a historical thriller that I think will be interesting. It’s about a woman who’s two kids are murdered, and that’s all I know really. This is the closest thing I could find that fit kind of. It’s more of a red in person, but we could call it blood orange for the sake of the challenge.

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But it’s fine honestly. This is 304 pages.

Challenge 5: Read a book that has a spooky setting

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Bird Box by Josh Malerman. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book. This is a book set in a world where if you look at this monster you go mad. I think. Which is a pretty scary place to be. This is 262 pages.

In total that adds up to 1,319 pages. I hope since this is five books instead of the usual seven I will get to them all. 

The Harry Potter Book Tag

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We were tagged by Lorryn from Reading Parental. Thanks so much for tagging us!

Am I a pureblood, half-blood, or muggle born?

Nicole: I never get answers like this. How am I supposed to know? Do I choose one randomly? Because then I would be a half-blood since they get the best of both worlds. Is it decided in terms of privilege? Then I would be a pureblood, but not the Sacred 28. More like the Weasleys.
Isis: I’m a half-blood for sure.

Which wand chose me?

Nicole: I just took the quiz on pottermore for this and it says elm wood with a phoenix feather core. 10” and unyielding flexibility. Apparently that means I’m capable of highly advanced magic with great range, and I guess it’ll be stubborn about working for other people.
Isis: I took the pottermore quiz as well. I got the vine wood with a unicorn hair core. 13 1/2″ and quite bendy flexibility. Mine is a rare wand, and their owners are those who seek greater purpose. So that’s new.

Did I take an owl, cat, rat, or toad with me?

Nicole: A cat obviously.
Isis: Owl!

Where did  the sorting hat put me?

Nicole: I’ve taken the quiz a lot, and it’s put me in every house. The most recent one was Hufflepuff. But I’m a Ravenclaw.
Isis: Hufflepuff every time!

What house did I want to be in?

Nicole: Ravenclaw
Isis: Hufflepuff!!! Represent.

What lessons are my favorite and least favorite?

Nicole: I always wanted to know more about the Ancient Runes class. History of Magic would be my least favorite.
Isis: I would love the potions class because Snape would be my teacher. I don’t think I would like the defense against the dark arts one because I’m not much of a fighter.

The form my patronus takes?

Nicole: Pottermore said an Osprey. Some type of eagle, I don’t know.
Isis: Deerhound. But honestly, I would have been okay with a snake.

What does a boggart look like to me?

Nicole: I have so many fears how would it just choose one? But uh maybe everyone hating me.
Isis: A giant worm that feeds on humans.

Do I partake in any magical hobbies or school sports?

Nicole: No I hate socializing.
Isis: I would attend every Quidditch game to support my house, of course.

Where would I find myself hanging in my free time?

Nicole: Probably by the lake, the library, or in the dorm when everyone else is in the common room.
Isis: The library, or anywhere where there’s food. Or candy.

What would I most likely get detention for?

Nicole: Being late to class.
Isis: Not getting all my work done.

What career do I want after leaving Hogwarts?

Nicole: Inventor of spells. But also a writer. There’s never any fiction books mentioned, and maybe it’ll make everyone relax if they could read for fun.
Isis: Can I be in film or television? I don’t think that was ever discussed in the books, but I want a career like that in the wizarding world.

Which of the deathly hallows would you choose?

Nicole: The Elder Wand
Isis: The Invisibility Cloak
 

Favourite book?

Nicole: The Goblet of Fire
Isis: I love The Prisoner of Azkaban, although it also breaks my heart.

Least favourite book?

Nicole: Half-Blood Prince
Isis: I’ve never liked the Chamber of Secrets so much.

Favourite film?

Nicole: Prisoner of Azkaban
Isis: The Order of the Phoenix. I loveee Dumbledore’s Army.

Least favourite film?

Nicole: Order of the Phoenix
Isis: The Prisoner of Azkaban. Love the book, but the movie never felt as good or exciting.

Favourite character?

Nicole: Harry Potter until the very end
Isis: I love Sirius Black very much.
 

Least favourite/most hated character?

Nicole: Snape always
Isis: Umbridge.

Favourite teacher at Hogwarts?

Nicole: Hagrid even if he sucked as a teacher
Isis: Snape! He’s my boy.

Least favorite teacher at Hogwarts?

Nicole: Umbridge
Isis: Umbridge, too. But does she count as a teacher?

Do you have any unpopular opinions about the series?

Nicole: Honestly I’m not even sure what’s unpopular or not so here’s a couple of my opinions. Snape wasn’t bullied, and is a horrible person. Draco and Harry are not perfect parallels to Snape and James. Draco deserves more of the redemption arc/hero attention than Snape ever did. Dumbledore sucks and should have been put in Azkaban. Harry is biracial and bisexual. Ginny isn’t Lily reincarnate. Harry isn’t unobservant and stupid. Remus wasn’t a father figure to Harry.
Isis: I love Snape with all my heart. Leave him alone.  Also, maybe not relevant to the 7 “real” books, but MAKE SCORPIUS AND ALBUS GAY, YOU COWARDS!

If you could save one character from the finale battle who would you save?

Nicole: This is so hard but Fred. His death still hurts so much.
Isis: Fred. Honestly, why???? WHY did we have to break up that amazing duo? It’s just not fair. Not fair at all.

My Theories and Hopes for The Ship of the Dead

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The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan is the third and final book in the Magnus Chase series. It comes out in six days, and I can’t stop thinking about it. Isis still hasn’t read the first one like I’ve been begging her to do for months, so I decided to make a post similar to her Ari and Dante post talking about hopes and theories for what will be in this next book. 

Disclaimer: I’ve only read the first three books in the original Percy Jackson series, and the first two of the Magnus Chase series. I have no idea what happens in the rest of the series, so if something ties into that I don’t know about it.

Also, there is obviously going to be spoilers below.

  • Alex and Magnus romance. In a perfect world, this would be extended to a five book series so that this romance could continue to be a slow burn. However, I think I saw Riordan say on twitter it is definitely three books, and I need Magnus and Alex to acknowledge the feelings they have in some meaningful way.
  • Blitzen and Hearthstone confirmation. I’m not usually so set on the romance side of books, but they are obviously together. I need them to confirm it very obviously in the text to be happy. Maybe with hand holding? An I love you? I don’t ask for much.
  • A conversation between Riptide and Jack. I want Annabeth and Percy to be shocked. It can last for two lines, honestly, it just needs to happen.
  • I know everyone is freaking out over Percy being in this book. I saw Riordan put on Twitter that it won’t be a big part. Honestly, I think he’ll be in it for one chapter, maybe three at the most. I see them talking, and Percy sending Magnus to talk to someone else as a way to help. Or giving him something, like the ship of the dead, that will help, and that’s it.
  • Speaking of the ship of the dead, does that mean that Hotel Valhalla is gonna be on this ship? Is T.J., Halfborn, and Mallory going to play a bigger part in this book? I hope so because I love the time they are present.
  • But if they are all going to be out that means that Ragnarok will happen? It seems likely, yet I hope not. I don’t see how it can happen and be all wrapped up in one book. Not in a satisfying way at least.
  • Sigyn, Loki’s wife. I think she will end up playing a big role in taking down Loki. I’m not sure if she’ll team up with Magnus or do something completely on her own, but I think she will be important.
  • I don’t think Andirson or Greta, Hearthstone’s brother and mother are dead. Or, at least, their deaths are more than what we’ve been told. I’m not sure what part this will play in the overall plot, or if it’ll be a part of the cursed ring keeping them from their journey.
  • Frey, Magnus’s dad. I think we will see him in person in this book. 
  • Sam will be in great danger with Loki, but she will overpower him.

There’s probably a very big plot point that I’m forgetting to even mention, but oh well. I realize these aren’t very creative, or even thought out in a big way but honestly I’m bad at that. I  just know I’m excited for this book, and wanted to list out a couple of things I think are important for this last book.