Saturday, March 9, 2013


Update on my DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE fangirling antics. The Filipino publisher apparently thinks I did a pretty good job. I'm Karou in the Filipino DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE book trailer!

I'm ridiculously excited about it. Pretty awesome that my accidental book trailer debut is for one of my favorite books.

Now I just need the casting team for the upcoming DOSAB film to agree....

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

My favorite book of 2011 was Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor . Beautiful, lyrical prose. Fascinating plot. Interesting and inspiring characters that I really cared about. A kick-butt heroine who is fierce and fragile at the same time.  Perfect amount of magic. Incredible settings. Surprises and secrets. Imagery that made me feel like I was really there. Believable relationships. Strong female friendship (something I always look for in YA books). A heartbreaking romance. Character chemistry that gave me butterflies and made me go all tingly. The perfect blend of fantasy and real life. I could go on, and on, and on. I LOVE this book. I don't want to give anything away, the way Laini reveals bits here and there is part of the magic, so here is the official description.
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. 
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low. 
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war. 
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.
When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
This awesome description doesn't even begin to do the book justice. It is all of that plus SO MUCH MORE. I love this book so much that on a recent business trip to Prague (one of the settings of the book) I dressed up as the main character Karou and took pictures pretending to be her. By myself. With a tripod and a camera remote. At 7:00am. I woke up early so I could do it before my conference and to avoid the crowds. I got pretty into it (action shots anyone?) and had a blast. I'm missing a beaded necklace and a few tattoos, but I did my best to "be" Karou. Here are some of the shots from that morning along with some of my favorite quotes from the book. If you've read the book maybe you can guess which scenes I had in mind- I don't want to give too many clues or spoilers for those who haven't had the pleasure of reading it yet. And yes- this is full fledged book obsession/geeking out. Proud of it. 

“She had been innocent once, a little girl playing with feathers on the floor of a devil's lair.” 
“Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there's no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.” 

“Karou was mysterious. She had no apparent family, she never talked about herself, and she was expert at evading questions--for all that her friends knew of her background, she might have sprung whole from the head of Zeus. And she was endlessly surprising. Her pockets were always spilling out curious things: ancient bronze coins, teeth, tiny jade tigers no bigger than her thumbnail. She might reveal, while haggling for sunglasses with an African street vendor, that she spoke fluent Yoruba."
“She knocked and waited, because when the door was opened from within, it had the potential to lead someplace quite different.” 
“It's not like there's a law against flying."
"Yes there is. The law of gravity.” 
"If you want to see my palms, just ask"
*Thanks Jeni for getting me the beautiful hand hamsas from Turkey!

Karou wished she could be the kind of girl who was complete unto herself, comfortable in solitude, serene. But she wasn't. She was lonely, and she feared the missingness within her as if it might expand and...cancel her."
“The streets of Prague were a fantasia scarcely touched by the twenty-first century—or the twentieth or nineteenth, for that matter. It was a city of alchemists and dreamers, its medieval cobbles once trod by golems, mystics, invading armies. Tall houses glowed goldenrod and carmine and eggshell blue, embellished with Rococo plasterwork and capped in roofs of uniform red. Baroque cupolas were the soft green of antique copper, and Gothic steeples stood ready to impale fallen angels. 

Thank you, Laini Taylor, for creating such an amazing world and characters that I love so much!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Cliché for a reason

 KGT surprised me with beautiful gardenias and See's chocolate. A winning combination. Little things go a long way.