Monday, August 29, 2011

Suburban Revival Interview + Wear Your Music Giveaway



The following interview is with lead singer and guitarist Kara Pollitt of Suburban Revival. Be sure to enter the giveaway afterwards!

For those that don't remember, I used to post a lot more things regarding music as we actually started out as a purely music "magazine" or blog. This is just a small step in getting back to a more eclectic mix of posts, so leave your thoughts and spread the word.

1. What makes up the majority of your set...original or cover songs?

Originals. We like to play covers every once in a while, but we’ve always focused on writing and performing our own songs.

2. You just released your EP, The Book. That's the name of one of your songs, but why did you decide to name the whole album after it?

“The Book” sets the mood for the whole EP. When I write lyrics, I tend to write about feelings from past relationships. Almost every song I’ve written is about a boy.. Haha.. “The Book” is an accumulation of memories, feelings and hope in a relationship. Plus, it has an awesome build up in the intro.

3. What's your writing process like...either music, lyrics, or both?

 It seems to change from song to song. Sometimes I’ll write a complete song and we’ll jam on it as a band. Usually we all contribute to writing the music. I usually write lyrics and come up with the melodies; however, Steven and Hunter have a lot of input too. Most of the melodies and lyrics actually come to me in the shower…awkward but true. Something about it just clears my head and gives me time to process the day. I mean, who doesn’t like to sing in the shower??

 4. You currently aren't with a label, but is that a goal of yours for the future? What would be your ideal label?

 Sony! Ha, j/k. Really I feel that with how things are in the music industry, being signed to a label doesn’t mean much. Obviously that’s where the real money is, but I don’t think that any of us are planning on music being our main job. I just want to keep writing our own music, playing with great bands, and having a good time with my friends… If one day the opportunity of signing to a label arises and we still get to do all those things then I’d totally sign, but as of now were doing just fine.

 5. Do you think Suburban Revival will be a long-time band or do you play purely for fun?

 I don’t see us ending this any time soon. School and work can make it hard to schedule a ton of shows, but we always play when we can. We take the music we write seriously but it’s definitely fun! If it weren’t fun we’d stop.

 6. I have to ask...how did you come up with the band name, and does it actually mean something specific?

I have no idea. Haha. Apparently we are reviving the suburbs?

 7. You've played with The Ataris a few times, even playing some of their own songs with lead singer Kris Roe. How did that all come about? Any fun stories from those shows?

First off, the Ataris are one of my favorite bands ever. Kris is a really nice guy and we’ve greatly enjoyed every time we’ve played shows with them. We first played with the Ataris in our previous band a few years ago. We talked with them at the show and stayed in contact afterward. Luckily we’ve been able to play with them pretty much every time they’ve come through the Cincinnati area since then.

 When Kris came through on his last acoustic tour, he was awesome enough to come up on stage sing a few songs with us. We played a Get Up Kids cover and a few Ataris songs. It was a blast! As for funny stories…I remember the first time we played with the Ataris at the Madison Theater a few years ago… Before the show we were hanging out in the back alley behind the venue and saw this Dodge Neon pull up to park and it hit the Ataris’s van. We were like “woah!” It pretty much just bumped straight into it. The car backed up and pulled much more carefully into the parking spot. The driver opened the door and guess who gets out…Kris. Haha. The best part is he looked at the van like “oops” and then just kinda played it off like nothing happened.. Haha.

8. And finally...if you had to write a whole album based on a book, what would it be and why?

Cat’s Cradle. It’s my favorite book ever. It’s so full of material, I could write an entire album about it. Maybe two! Of course, the Bokonon Calypsos would be included and I’d write at least one song about ice nine. “Don't be a fool! Close this book at once! It is nothing but foma!”


Giveaway-

Prize: A silver bracelet from Wear Your Music. Each bracelet is made from guitar strings, and you can get other colors like red. You can also pay more to get a bracelet made from strings used and donated by various artists like Aaron Fink from Breaking Benjamin or Mike Ness from Social Distortion!

To Enter: If you could make a whole album based on one book, what would it be and why? (answer in the comments)

Open To: International!

Ends: Saturday, September 17th!

Extra Entries-

+2 (leave two new comments) Listen to one of the band's songs and leave your thoughts

+2 (leave two new comments) Somehow tell others about this interview, band, and/or giveaway. You can tweet, facebook, or blog. If you blog...leave THREE comments instead of two.

My Dream Vacation...



Summer vacations are always a blast. In Season 4, ep. 1 Belles de Jour, Serena and Blair enjoy their summer vacation in Paris trying to take their minds off of home. When Serena and Blair take this lavish trip to Paris, they experience the food, culture, fashion, and even romance! Blair meets a French royal that wants to sweep her off her feet, gets into a major spat with Serena, and even bumps into her ex, Chuck. Trips are always full of excitement and letdowns; in this blog post please discuss your dream vacation.

My dream vacation? I'd really like to go to Europe. England, for one thing. I've always been a bit fascinated by the country so it would be great to experience that. My sister has been to France twice, and I think going there would be equally as interesting. The language would be much more different, as well as the food and the culture...but that would be intriguing. Visiting Paris like Blair did would be wonderful. I'm not sure I want an actual prince, but one that treats me like a princess? Sign me up! It's the city of lights, the city of love...it would be wonderful to experience that fully.




Too busy for a summer vacation? Join Serena and Blair in Paris with Season 4 of Gossip Girl (http://bit.ly/r4GTe8)!


I have been hired by Warner Bros. WBWord division to promote Gossip Girl Season Four on DVD.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Playlist Talk with Mary E. Pearson (The Fox Inheritance)


Do you have playlists for writing your books? What did you listen to as you wrote The Fox Inheritance? Are there songs for The Fox Inheritance that you think fit it particularly well?

Hello Lauren! Thanks so much for having me as a guest at your blog. Yes! I always have playlists for my books—usually several in fact. For The Fox Inheritance, I had three different playlists. One with all the songs I listened to, another that was a shortened version, and still another that was very short with only very dark, quiet songs. Below, via Grooveshark, I’ve listed the ones I used most often so you can listen to them and see who the artists are.

The songs fall into three categories:

1) Songs that are unique to The Fox Inheritance

Today (more about this one below)

Because the Night

Elysium

The Emperor is Dead

Reunion

Sorrow (depressingly sad, but good for writing)

How Can I Tell You

Sad Lisa (another very sad on--just in the tone alone!)

When We Are One

Lighted Up (Finally a slightly more upbeat song. Only a few words of the song actually fit the book, but the tone was what I needed. And the voice. I could imagine Locke.)

Songs that I use over and over again in my writing because they get me in the “zone.”

In the Air Tonight (love the way this builds)

Brothers in Arms

Book of Days

Canon in D

Watermark

The Storm Begins

(these songs really are an eclectic group, aren’t they? From dark to upbeat)


3) Songs from the Jenna Fox book that fit this one too

Hold On (this was my fave for Jenna Fox. Yeah, this is going to hurt like hell.)

Fumbling Toward Ecstasy

I Will Remember You (and this song speaks so well to both Jenna and Locke’s predicament)

I think the song that got me in the “zone” the most and was unique to The Fox Inheritance was Today by Jefferson Airplane. It was dark, and melancholy, and hopeful all at the same time. And it also had this uneasy underlying feeling of an unhealthy lopsided relationship. In the story, Locke and Kara have the ability to speak together through their minds only. Sometimes you can’t tell who is speaking, where one voice begins and another ends. That’s how I imagined this song, the voice going back and forth between the two of them.

If anyone has any other great songs for writing to, or songs they think might fit the book, I’d love to hear them!

To listen to the playlist, please visit Grooveshark!

Tomorrow The Fox Inheritance blog tour will take Mary to the Books By Their Cover book blog http://booksbytheircover.blogspot.com/ where Mary will talk about some of the technology in our lives that we can’t live without (but sometimes wish we could!)

For previous blog stops and the full tour schedule, go to Mac Teen Books http://www.macteenbooks.com/uncategorized/the-fox-inheritance-countdown/

~~~~
My own review of The Fox Inheritance should be up this week...so keep an eye out - Lauren
Amazon Associate:  buy book from link, we get small percent. Thanks for the support.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ooshirts: I'm Tired. Can't We Just Be Death Eaters?



ooshirts is a website where you can personally design your own t-shirts, hoodies, and more. I was given a $50 gift code to use the site and create my own design...which would then be printed out on my choice of top and sent to me. I ended up only using a little over $30 for a black hoodie. I used white lettering and a fun print to make a statement across the chest.

It says: I'm tired. Can't we just be death eaters?

Harry Potter fans will recognize the "death eaters" but you have to watch A Very Potter musical online to understand the full line. Basically, it's something the Draco Malfoy character says...and is a favorite line of mine from the show. I find myself quoting it a lot, along with the friend who finally made me sit down and watch this show. Harry Potter fans (especially those who love the books) are sure to enjoy it.

This site is great as they give you complimentary shipping and they have some good group discounts if you want to design shirts for a team/family or even your friends. Twilight fans? Make shirts with your team in a nicer fashion than glitter glue! Or create your own school shirt to sport at the upcoming games. Who knows? You have many options!

If anyone makes their own Harry Potter shirts, I'd love to see the designs or quotes. You can use the site's help or upload your own idea of a design. Pick your color shirt, pick the size. It's all up to you. Mine is a fairly plain item but it's me, it's super comfy, and I can't wait for the fall so I can start wearing it around!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Gossip Girl Fashion with Jenny



When fans discuss Gossip Girl, they talk about the fashion almost as much as they dish on the scandal! Whether Serena and Blair are dressed in designer ready-to-wear or couture off the runway, their ensembles are always high-end and on trend. Each girl’s style reflects her individual personality--Blair’s style is classic Upper East Side chic while Serena’s style is sexy and effortless. In this blog post, please discuss your favorite looks/styles/fashion trends during the 4th season and what items you would most want to buy after seeing them on Gossip Girl.

Honestly, I think I'd skip Blair and Serena...and go with more of Jenny's style. I'm not super girly, and I always kind of like the funky looks. Jenny definitely pulls that off. I'm actually going to include a photo I found online of a cool outfit Jenny wears in the fourth season.



I'm a big fan of layers so this is great. Normally, I go with tights...but Jenny's panty-hose aren't too bad as they are black. They are kind of a thinner version of tights. The cute dress with an overcoat is also fun. It screams the fall to me...which is soon upon us. I would love to buy a dress like Jenny's...and the shoes too if I could wear heels!!

Overall, I like the idea of adding a little goth to your girl.

Step on the runway of style with the fabulous 4th season of Gossip Girl on DVD: http://bit.ly/r4GTe8



 I have been hired by Warner Bros. WBWord division to promote Gossip Girl Season Four on DVD.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Don't Stop Now by Julie Halpern

Don't Stop Now by Julie Halpern


Review by: Lauren


Copy from: http://www.teensreadtoo.com

amazon associate: buy book, we get a small percentage


Summary: Lillian tried to help Penny, but she didn't think she'd actually fake her own kidnapping. When she does, Lil has to deal with all sorts of people trying to find information...Penny's parents, the police, even the FBI.

Now Lil is on a road trip with her best friend, Josh, to try and find Penny. She believes she's in Oregon...but they have to get there first.

Review: Don't Stop Now had an interesting premise. How bad can a person have it to fake their own kidnapping? I liked that you got a look inside Penny's head at the end of some of the chapters. These are thougths from previous moments though. You don't know what's happening in her present life until Lil and Josh find her. And then what happens? I like the idea of road trip books. I learned about some different landmarks in the various states the duo traveled in.

One of the things that felt a bit overdone was the relationship between Lil and Josh. Lil loves Josh, but he just wants to be BFFs. However, I liked that Halpern made Josh real. He wasn't all suave and perfect. He had bad habits, immature ideas, and he wasn't always the "catch" you would think Lil would want. But he was her friend and he was there for her.

I wasn't a huge fan of this novel, but overall, it wasn't too bad.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Relationship Drama a la Gossip Girl


Relationships play a huge role in Gossip Girl. Chuck and Blair, the show’s most popular couple, have been on-and-off throughout the Gossip Girl series. They are consistently at ends with each other, but their love seems to have no bounds. However, as the season progresses, Blair begins to have feelings for her best friend Serena’s ex, Dan. In Season 4, Ep 18, The Kids Stay in the Picture, Chuck comes to the realization that he wants to win Blair back after she and Dan share a kiss. In this blog post, please express whether or not you are a “Dair” or “Chair” fan! Do you want to see Blair with Chuck or Dan, or are you rooting for her fairytale romance with Prince Louis?

I think there's something in a relationship that lasts a long time like Chuck and Blair. The fact that it's off and on again means they obviously have some issues to work through and/or growing up to do (those often go hand in hand though). A new relationship for a bit might not be bad...but your best friend's ex? That's kind of a no-no, so I'm thinking if shse chooses Dan...that's just going to lead to even more drama, angst, and heartbreak. So you know, it'll probably happen!



So much relationship drama unfolds in the fourth season, available for pre-order here: http://bit.ly/r4GTe8 !!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

In Which Blogs have Huge Giveaways...to Say Thanks!

Do Not Own

The lovely Laura from Cinderella11pm has written a little note for my blog readers. She does huge, wonderful giveaways almost every week. I wish I could do this, as I love giving to others...so it's great to see people doing it when they can for all the right reasons. Now, here's Laura:

I do $300 dollar weekly Generous Giveaways to amazon.com or Cheesecake Factory.com because let's face it, there's a million interesting books to buy on amazon.com - or other goodies in general. And we all love a great meal with a slice of cheesecake for dessert now and then:)

During the holiday season, I will be doing Giveaways for 2 nights to wonderful 4 star bed&breakfast inns, or luxury boutique hotels - so it gives you an opportunity if you win to be able to go to and celebrate with your special someone.

I pay for them myself out of my own heart, brain and wallet. No advertising yet, it just comes from me - I believe that giving is an endless circle of goodness, and I like to share what I can when I can in a situation like this.

The cyber world is a really interesting one, and when I was at the lowest point in my life - making blog friends gave me a lifeline to support and encouragement. This is my way of paying it forward:)

So go and check out Laura's blog. Follow along, spread the word, and enter this week's giveaway for a $300 gift card to P.F. Changs. If I were more selfish, I'd tell you NOT to enter so I have better odds of winning...but hey, I gotta share this immense love, if only for Laura and what she's doing.

Monday, August 8, 2011

If You Could Change Yourself...



In order for the creators of the show to develop a new animated world, some characters had to go through a makeover to fit the feel of the new environments. If you could makeover yourself in order to explore new situations, who would you make yourself into and where would you explore?

I'm not entirely sure who I would make myself into. That makes it sound as if I need to pick an actual person. As a huge Harry Potter fan, it would be cool to be someone that worked on the movies...live that life for a bit and see what it was like. However, if I had to just change the way I looked...I'm not sure. I think I'd like to explore the life of someone in a different country, so a person like me, just not from the United States. That would certainly be interesting.

What about you? How would you change and what would you explore?


Order your copy of Supernatural: The Anime Series on DVD or Blu-Ray here today: http://bit.ly/p0WOMq !


I have been hired by Warner Bros. WBWord division to promote Supernatural: The Anime Series on DVD/Blu-Ray."

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Author Jessica Verday Stands up for LGBT Rights!!

I know a lot of you will remember the controversy behind the Wicked Pretty Things anthology, and how author Jessica Verday wasn't allowed to include a story featuring an m/m romance. Jessica wrote a bit about her reasoning and how she wished to do something else with her story...so fans could still read it.

But now you can purchase her story, Flesh Which is Not Flesh, via amazon. Not only does it sound amazing but I'm really honored how Jessica is using some of the proceeds. If you aren't yet aware...if you purchase this story anytime through the month of August, half of those sales will go toward my Living Beyond Tolerance scholarship. I wrote Jessica awhile ago about possibly helping out or simply spreading the word...and when she emailed me back with this idea, I was floored. It's one of the sweetest things anyone has done, and I really appreciate it.

I hope you will support this scholarship and more importantly Jessica by buying the short story and telling others about it too.

If you wish to apply for the scholarship, please read the "rules" (if you will) here!

Thank you to Jessica, everyone who buys this story, everyone who donated so far to my upcoming auctions, and to everyone who applies or spreads the word about the scholarship.

Let's all Live Beyond Tolerance!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Janice Hardy's Playlist for Nya



A Top Ten Playlist for a Girl Who Really Needs Music in Her Life

 I see a lot of writers talk about the playlists they used (or listened to) when they wrote a particular book. I’ve never done this since I need quiet to write, and my books are all set in fantasy worlds where music really doesn’t fit. But the idea of what music my protagonist might listen to or relate to if she suddenly found herself in my world was intriguing.

 So here’s Nya’s Top Ten List:



10. We Are Family

A failed war for independence killed everyone in Nya’s family but her little sister, so this song would really resonate with her. Memories of her parents and Grannyma sustain her during her darker moments. Over the trilogy, she has to rebuild her family, and she does learn that family is more than just blood.

Her favorite line: Have faith in you and the things you do.



9. War

War has defined Nya’s life since she was ten years old, when enemy soldiers threw her and her little sister out on the street to fend for themselves. She’s known war and the trouble it brings to both sides.

Her favorite line: War can't give life, it can only take it away.



8. Healing Hands

Nya has the power to heal or hurt with her hands, but her pain shifting ability means to help one she must hurt another. Her ability is both a blessing and a curse, and she struggles with how to use it. Especially when it’s the only weapon she has when she needs to save her missing sister.

Her favorite line: There's a light, where the darkness ends, touch me now and let me see again.



7. You Gotta Be

When life is constantly trying to beat you down, you need a little inspiration to pick you back up. Des’ree is perfect to inspire Nya to get back up and fight the good fight even when she wants to hide away from it all.

Her favorite line:  Challenge what the future holds.



6. Talkin’ About a Revolution

Since the day her people lost their war for independence, Nya has prayed for freedom (and truth be told, a little payback). It was never her plan to trigger a revolution, but she does and becomes the symbol that might just save her people.

Her favorite line:  Finally the tables are starting to turn.



5. It’s My Life

When people discover what Nya can do, they come after her, wanting to use her for their own sinister purposes. Even those on her side want to use her as a weapon, but she just wants to be her. And for most of her life, she’s had no one to depend on but herself.

Her favorite line:  Tomorrow's getting harder, make no mistake. Luck ain't even lucky, gotta make your own breaks.



4. Missing

Nya’s lost so many and so much, and those who took it all away from her don’t know or even care. She wishes it could all go back the way it was, but it never will. What’s gone is gone. 

Her favorite line:  You won’t cry for my absence, I know - You forgot me long ago.



3. Fallen

Nya does some questionable things to save her sister, but she does them with good intentions in her heart. She struggles over the ethics of her actions, wondering if she’s gone too far to save those she loves.

Her favorite line:  The past can be undone.


2. I Will Survive

Despite the fact that her pain shifting ability makes Nya extremely hard to kill, she’s a fighter who never gives up. She’s a survivor through and through.

Her favorite line: You think I'd crumble, you think I'd lay down and die, Oh no, not I.



1. Courage

So many times Nya should have turned tail and ran, but she’s not the type of girl who backs down from trouble – or from what’s right. She steps up when needed, even if it’s the worst thing for her personally.

Her favorite line:  Courage, it couldn't come at a worse time.



The Healing Wars Trilogy

Discover a war-torn world where healing is dangerous, and those with the best intentions often do the most harm.


Nya is a Shifter, someone who can heal by shifting pain from person to person. She’s hunted by those eager to exploit her unique ability for their own purposes, determined to make her a weapon, a killer, even a symbol for the war that’s brewing. All Nya wants is to protect her family and regain her people’s freedom, but the more she’s drawn into the plans of others, the more she realizes how key to everyone’s victory she really is.

And how much she’ll have to sacrifice just to survive.




Janice Hardy always wondered about the darker side of healing. For her fantasy trilogy THE HEALING WARS, she tapped into her own dark side to create a world where healing was dangerous, and those with the best intentions often made the worst choices. Her books include THE SHIFTER, and BLUE FIRE. DARKFALL, the final book of the trilogy, is due out October 4, 2011. She lives in Georgia with her husband, three cats and one very nervous freshwater eel. You can visit her online at www.janicehardy.com, chat with her about writing on her blog, The Other Side of the Story (http://blog.janicehardy.com/), or find her on Twitter @Janice_Hardy.

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