Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Stress Management

I've developed a fun new section of the blog. Here's the gist: I generate a random topic and I want your take on it. What you do, what you think, experiences, etc. anything that pertains to the random topic at hand. Here's the first:

What do you do to take the edge off? How do you relax? How do you de-stress?

Here's my answer:

I read a book while taking a long excruciatingly scalding hot bath (until my skin reddens) then wrap myself in a fuzzy robe and continue reading.

Congratulations to the monthly new follower giveaway!

Congratulations to Julie Rainey for being out monthly new follower giveaway winner!!!!!

She has won a $10 Visa Gift Card.

Stay connected for upcoming GIVEAWAYS!!!!

For New Followers: $10 Visa Gift Card. Drawing ends August 31, 2012. Tell your friends!


For CONTINUED FOLLOWERS.....There will be a monthly giveaway! The only thing you need to do is comment on a post in order to be entered to win. Prize will be released this week. Keep your eyes peeled!

Each time you comment, you are entered again. So get cracking!

Happy Reading,


Monday, July 30, 2012

Review: "Delirium" by Lauren Oliver

Delirium by Lauren Oliver was sooooo good. I super duper enjoyed it. Here's the gist:

Years in the future, America has deemed love a disease, something that you could be infected with and there is a mandatory cure for all citizens on their eighteenth birthday.

Lena couldn't wait to turn eighteen and become safe from the disease until....she falls in love....just mere days before her operation to be cured.

See what happens when Lena and Alex try to beat the odds and keep their love while everyone is trying to take it.

Lauren Oliver has really written a perfect piece of literature. Some parts were mundane, but that is necessary for you to understand the type of world in which Lena lives.

It was easy flowing and interesting. Then at about the last chapter, things heat up immensely to a climax. It was nuts. I'm talking aloud to the book. My husband thought I was crazy (delirious?) saying, "Oh my gosh!" or "Oh man!" or "I can't believe this. What's going to happen?". Well I figured out what happened and it turned out to be a perfect ending. I won't blow it for you and I won't tell you if it was happy or sad. You'll have to find out for yourself.

The story was inspirational and suspenseful and at the very root...a love story. Trust me, you'll love it!

Don't forget to tell you friends about becoming a follower! $10 Visa gift card giveaway ends tomorrow for new followers! Winner will be drawn July 31, 2012. Don't miss out!

Check out my author profile website for my debut YA urban fantasy series: "Culture Shock" at http://jeanettepekala.com/

or visit my other blog for travel to the High Springs area: http://visithighsprings.blogspot.com/

Follow me on Twitter: @jeanettepekala

or Facebook: It's Always Sunny in High Springs

Friday, July 27, 2012

Dog-eared or Bookmarked?

With the influx of e-books in today's world, people are forgetting the art of the physical hardcover or paperback. Personally, I prefer an actual book over its electronic counterpart.

 I must confess, I do have a Nook app on my phone, so I am  guilty as charged, but I only use it when the paper-version of the book is unavailable. That is the whole reason of why e-books are increasingly gaining popularity. It's because of the convenience. All I have to do is search, click, confirm, download (the process seriously takes a minute.), as compared to driving to the store (gas prices...yikes!), scanning the shelves, hoping the first store has it, if not, you're searching all over town, or borrowing from the library, whatever you do. It's time-consuming and this is the information age. The quicker you can get the information the better. Everything is at our fingertips (literally).

BUT....I still love my paper books. There's something so authentic about them. I like to take long hot baths and you can't take your e-reader with you. Plus, you can take a paper book anywhere! You don't have to worry about battery life, dropping it, etc...

So after my rambling, here's the question I have for all of you out there that love paper books as much as I do....

Dog-eared or Bookmarked?

Do you dog-ear your pages to save your place or do you use a bookmark?

Here's my answer:

I have two little monsters that I claim to be my children, who like to pull a bookmark out of my book and look at it, draw on it, tear it up, whatever they fancy on that day of the week, so that is why I dog-ear. It's harder for them to pick it out within the pages (even though they still do, but the crease remains...haha). I know it's bad for the books, blah, blah, blah. I don't care. I have kids and I'd like to save the place in my current reading material.

So how 'bout you? Dog-eared or Bookmarked?

Don't forget to check out my website (an excerpt from my book, Culture Shock, will be posted this week): http://jeanettepekala.com/

Follow me on Twitter:

Happy Reading!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Character Profiles

For writers and aspiring authors, characters are what makes a story come to life. If your book is full of flat, unrelatable characters, your book will be just that...flat and unrelatable. No one wants to read a book where the characters don't seem real or like someone you know or would like to know. That's why it is important, I think even before you begin writing, to create a character profile for at least the main and supporting characters.
I've heard some authors like to write a page summary on each character. Some also use worksheets. I've done both. According to my readers and myself (though I'm biased), my characters are dynamic. Which ever way you choose is ultimately up to you, but here is an example worksheet to get you started.
Character Profile Worksheet

Basic Statistics

Socioeconomic Level as a child:
Socioeconomic Level as an adult:
Current Residence:
Birth order:
Siblings (describe relationship):
Spouse (describe relationship):
Children (describe relationship):
Grandparents (describe relationship):
Grandchildren (describe relationship):
Significant Others (describe relationship):
Relationship skills:

Physical Characteristics:

Eye Color:
Hair Color:
Glasses or contact lenses?
Skin color:
Shape of Face:
Distinguishing features:
How does he/she dress?
Habits: (smoking, drinking etc.)
Favorite Sayings:
Speech patterns:
Style (Elegant, shabby etc.):
Greatest flaw:
Best quality:

Intellectual/Mental/Personality Attributes and Attitudes

Educational Background:
Intelligence Level:
Any Mental Illnesses?
Learning Experiences:
Character's short-term goals in life:
Character's long-term goals in life:
How does Character see himself/herself?
How does Character believe he/she is perceived by others?
How self-confident is the character?
Does the character seem ruled by emotion or logic or some combination thereof?
What would most embarrass this character?

Emotional Characteristics

Introvert or Extrovert?
How does the character deal with anger?
With sadness?
With conflict?
With change?
With loss?
What does the character want out of life?
What would the character like to change in his/her life?
What motivates this character?
What frightens this character?
What makes this character happy?
Is the character judgmental of others?
Is the character generous or stingy?
Is the character generally polite or rude?

Spiritual Characteristics

Does the character believe in God?
What are the character's spiritual beliefs?
Is religion or spirituality a part of this character's life?
If so, what role does it play?

How the Character is Involved in the Story

Character's role in the novel (main character? hero? heroine? Romantic interest? etc.):
Scene where character first appears:
Relationships with other characters:

1. Character's Name: -- (Describe relationship with this character and changes to relationship over the course of the novel).
2. Character's Name: -- (Describe relationship with this character and changes to relationship over the course of the novel).
3. Character's Name: -- (Describe relationship with this character and changes to relationship over the course of the novel).
4. Character's Name: -- (Describe relationship with this character and changes to relationship over the course of the novel).

How character is different at the end of the novel from when the novel began:

Additional Notes on This Character:

Monday, July 16, 2012

$10 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

Hey Followers,

On July 31st, the winner will be randomly chosen for the $10 Visa Gift Card for following my blog. For those of you that haven't become a follower yet, you better get on the band wagon. There's only two weeks left!!!! I will announce the winner on July 31, 2012.

Thanks again for following Adventures of Life and Literature.



"Unearthly" by Cynthia Hand: Review

I fell in love with "Unearthly" by Cynthia Hand. I'm currently reading the second book, "Hallowed". Since I can't get enough of YA urban fantasy and I've heard such glorious reviews for "Unearthly", I figured I would give it a shot. Plus, Richelle Mead (one of my fav authors) has given it her stamp of approval, so I defintely had to check it out.

I love the setting of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The natural scene is so majestic and beautiful, especially the way that Hand describes it. I'm also in love with Tucker and Angela is a great character too. Great story. I can't wait to find out what happens next...

Stay tuned for my review on "Hallowed"

Check out my author profile website: http://jeanettepekala.com/

Please see my other blog: http://adventuresoflifeandliterature.blogspot.com/

Follow me on Twitter: @jeanettepekala

or on Facebook: "It's Always Sunny in High Springs"

Happy Reading!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Review of EASY by Tammara Webber

EASY by Tammara Webber

A girl who believes trust can be misplaced, promises are made to be broken, and loyalty is an illusion.

A boy who believes truth is relative, lies can mask unbearable pain, and guilt is eternal.

Will what they find in each other validate their conclusions, or disprove them all?

I just finished reading EASY. It was awesome. It made it so EASY for me to ignore my responsibilities. I didn't want to put it down. I finished it in one day.

You gotta love a dark and dangerous guy with a past. I loved Lucas' character and Jacqueline I could relate to. It was a gripping love story. A little spicy and a little sweet.

It's a story of strength and empowerment at the same time that it's about love and coming-of-age. Anyways, I loved it totally. I love the way Webber writes and the general flow of the book.

Don't forget to check out my author profile website: http://jeanettepekala.com/

And my other traveler blog: http://visithighsprings.blogspot.com/

Follow me at Twitter: @jeanettepekala

As always...Happy Reading.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My Favorite Music to Write to...

Music is one of the most inspirational things out there.

Music can help you get in the mood for just about anything. Depending on the scene I'm writing, I love to incorporate music in the background to set the mood and get me totally entranced with the scene I'm writing.

Rock music or heavy metal is the ultimate best when writing a fight scene or action scene.

Pop music when I'm being silly.

Slow songs for when I'm trying to concoct a love scene, which I find is probably the most challenging to do. Don't know why. I have plenty of love in my life. LOL.

Or when I'm writing dialogue for a particular character, I turn on a song that represents them best and it sets the tone for me to be able to write from within that character. To be that character.


The absolute best writer's soundtrack, especially in the genre I write (urban fantasy) is the background soundtrack to Skyram (the video game). Seriously, it's the greatest. I find I write my best no matter what kind of scene I'm currently writing.

When my husband would turn on the PlayStation and play Skyram, I would instantly open my laptop and wait for the music to begin. It's instant brain stimulation. You need to try it! 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

"The Golden Lily" (Bloodlines #2) by Richelle Mead

Richelle, I love you don't you forget that, but I have to say I was a tad bit disappointed. I was hoping Adrian and Sydney would heat things up a little more. I seriously had to wait to the end for some action. I was hoping this second book was sizzling.

Okay, I got that off my chest. I'm still hurting because now I have to wait another year before I can sink my teeth into some more Bloodlines, but it's turning out to be a great series. As always, Mead plants little seeds early on in hinting conflicts that might arise in later books.

My rating on this one is an 8. Normally, it would be higher for Richelle, plus it kept me glued all weekend long, but I was hoping for a little more in the romance department.

Don't forget to visit my website: http://www.jeanettepekala.com

Also, see my other travel blog: http://visithighsprings.blogspot.com/

Ta-ta for now. Happy Reading!