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Tale as old as time/song as old as rhyme/Beauty and the Beast

My absolute favorite Walt Disney movie of all time is Beauty and the Beast.

It fascinated my 8-year-old self – I was transfixed by the love story, the Beast’s horrific curse and the brown-haired, brown-eyed heroine who had a love of books and freedom. (What? I have brown hair and brown eyes. It blew my mind in a world of Cinderellas, Snow Whites and Little Mermaids.)

And like the reveal scene at the end of Casper when Devon Sawa walks down the stairs at the dance (the height of romance at 10), the Beast was romantically revealed, when Belle thought all was lost, to be a hot blonde prince – and the love of her life.

Swoon.

For that reason, today’s post is dedicated to the Beast, an unnamed Prince with gruff manners and a soft heart, who apparently is 21. Still YA material, in my opinion.

Top five reasons to love the Beast:

  1. He’s been a beast for three or four years and has forgotten how to use silverware? Adorable.
  2. The man has a gigantic library. As a biblioholic myself, I can relate to Belle’s delight.
  3. To quote Jane Austen not very accurately, “It came on so slowly I hardly know… but I believe I must date it from the time I first saw his wonderful grounds at Pemberley” ….or his gigantic gothic then Greek splendid castle
  4. The Beast can DANCE.
  5.  In fiction, I’m usually all about gruff guys with a heart of gold. That preference started early.
So tell me, who’s your favorite Disney hero?

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OH MY GOODNESS! City of Fallen Angels is out today!!!!!

OK. I’ve calmed down. My dear friend Hiba, who has co-hosted the City of Fallen Angels Contest with me on her blog, Woven Strands, is guest posting here with a Cassandra Clare twitterview! How cool! Read on for the scoop on the latest book in The Mortal Instruments series.

The day has finally come; April 5th will be marked in history as the most anticipated day of 2011 –at least for us YA readers. The last two weeks have been crazy, and everyone is celebrating.

WovenStrands and Thoughts on YA books for the Not So Young Adult are hosting a CoFA Costume Contest: winner wins a customized signed copy of the book.

Mundie Moms is hosting two discussion forums, the first forum for people who finished reading CoFA – which will be full of spoilers – and the second forum is spoiler free – for everyone who hasn’t read the book yet.

As for Cassandra Clare, this past week she reached 25,000+ followers on twitter, and she – in celebration – published on her blog “Because it is Bitter”, the City of Ashes Seelie Court scene from Jace’s point of view.

Cassie has also been answering fan questions about her books on twitter. Since I am nowhere near being able to conduct a personal interview – hopefully in the future I will – I have decided to ask her on twitter, and to my surprise she answered *joyful me*. Reading what everyone else asked and her answers to them, I gathered them all into one article to share with everyone.

Regan Coomer has been so generous helping me conduct the CoFA Costume Contest and in return I wanted to write an article for her blog as a thank you.

I hope you enjoy the following WovenStrands Twitterview with Cassie Clare:

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The following are Fan Twitterviews I found interesting, and thought you will too:

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Finally, as an aspiring YA writer this question always crosses my mind, so I was delighted when Cassie Clare answered:

I hope everyone continues celebrating the release of City of Fallen Angel with us. For a closer, in depth, and insider TMI news go to TMIExaminer.

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Check it out: flyers advertising the City of Fallen Angels Costume Contest are taking over!

Contest flyers reallllly get around. Over the last week or so, flyers advertising my and Woven StrandsCity of Fallen Angels Costume Contest have graced the walls of local coffee shops, book stores, and today, Starbucks and Panera Bread. What? I was hungry. :)

As of today, Cassandra Clare fans have two weeks to gather up a costume, find props and take photos for a chance to win a signed copy of the fourth installment of The Mortal Instruments series, City of Fallen Angels.

Now the book will be on shelves April 5, but just how many of you would otherwise have the chance to own a book signed by Dame Clare herself, I ask you? Not too many. No sir.

All you have to do is a post your photo in a comment on Woven Strands‘ blog, and so far we’ve only had THREE, count them, THREE, entries. TMI fans, do you know what that means? You won’t need to ask a professional gambler for this one: The odds of winning are VERY GOOD.

Click here for the contest details: deadline is APRIL 12.

Back to the flyers.

Stopping by Starbucks:

Today Starbucks celebrated its 40th anniversary and the COFA Costume Contest. Word.

Alex Pettyfer, currently a Borders resident, says enter this contest, darn it! He told me to tell you not to make him go beastly on you. Just saying. Fair warning:

You heard him. Alex Pettyfer says ENTER the COFA Costume Contest. Do it. It's not hard to be Simon: jeans and a band tee. And glasses. And a shadowhunter and wolf on each arm. :) Easy peasy.

I may have hidden a few of these babies around the store. Just maybe.

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British actor Kit Harington will bring Eddard Stark's bastard son to life in HBO's Game of Thrones, premiering April 17.

Winter is coming.

And with the harshness of winter in Westeros comes the utter hotness of the actor cast to play Jon Snow (Kit Harington) in  “Game of Thrones,”set to hit the small screen April 17 on HBO.

Based on George R. R. Martin‘s sweeping and compelling fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire, “Game of Thrones” is set to delight with Harington as Snow, Lord Eddard Stark’s bastard son, and Sean Bean (Boromir in LOTR) set to play Stark himself.

My first thought on Harington: Totally hot and totally right for Snow. What do you think?

I’m just starting on the series itself, (a challenge to read at 750 pages plus per book) which is not necessarily YA, but does have some YA characters, such as Snow and his kick-butt little sister, Arya.

Check out British actor Harington’s take on his role as Jon Snow in the video below:

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City of Fallen Angels, the fourth book in The Mortal Instruments series, will hit bookstores near you April 5. There will be six books total in the series.

My dear friend Woven Strands and I are hosting a City of Fallen Angels Costume Contest in honor of the upcoming release of the fourth book in Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments Series.

Here’s a taste of our “Show Off Your Gear: City of Fallen Angels Costume Contest” post, which can be found in full, along with costume ideas, here. (I picked out the Izzy dress and the Magnus clothes, and I’m super psyched about them, haha.)

WovenStrands and Thoughts on YA Books for the Not So Young Adult are celebrating the upcoming release of City of Fallen Angels with

The Mortal Instruments Costume Contest

Whether at work or at play, Cassandra Clare’s characters have a definite style. To honor the upcoming release of City Of Fallen Angels, we’re asking readers to show their love for the Shadowhunter universe with their best interpretations of any TMI character, whether it’s Jace’s black-on-black casual cool or Magnus’ flamboyant, sparkling style.

Readers who submit the best photo of themselves in Shadowhunter Gear or the clothes you’d think Jace, Izzy or Simon wear on their off days will win a copy of CoFA, The fourth book in The Mortal Instruments series.

The most creative costume will win. Any character and his or her ensemble is fair game. Have fun!

To enter:

  • Subscribe to WovenStrands and Thoughts on YA books for the Not so Young Adult to stay updated on the progress of the competition.
  • Take a photo of yourself or a group in full City Of Fallen Angel regalia.
  • Post it in comments.
  • FINALLY AND MOST IMPORTANTLY: Once you’ve submitted the photo of your costume to us, PLEASE send your photo in a tweet to Cassandra Clare, @CassieClare (and us at @WovenStrands and @ReganCoomer if you like) saying: Check out my entry in the #CoFACostumeContest @WovenStrands. We’re trying our best to get Cassie’s attention to POSSIBLY get the winner’s copy SIGNED.” To do that, we’re really going to need your help letting Cassie know about the contest.

Please: Share this post with all your Mortal Instrument Friends on Facebook, Twitter, E-mail, and if your a Blogger then Press Us.

Lastly: Please read the COFA Rules and Regulation page for further information.

Contest Deadline: April.12.2011 at 11:59 pm

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I've created the Officially Awesome Damon Salvatore Playlist. Check out the full list at http://wovenstrands.wordpress.com.

Right now April 7 seems like a loooong way away.

To quench your Vampire Diaries (blood) thirst,  I’ve created the Officially Awesome Damon Salvatore Playlist – available in my first guest blog post on fellow WordPress blogger Woven Strands‘ site.

I’ve included an excerpt of the playlist below, but check out the rest of the Damony-delicious playlist here.

1. “Happiness is Overrated” by The Airborne Toxic Event

Recently featured in The Vampire Diaries, this song is completely Damon. “And speaking of/Little Miss Catherine/I feel swell, oh well/ Because losing you/Was something I always/Did so well.”

 

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Canadian actress Nina Dobrev portrays Katherine Pierce on The Vampire Diaries.

It’s hard not to be a little disgusted with The Vampire Diaries’ Elena Gilbert and Katherine Pierce – they’ve both possessed the hearts of BOTH Salvatores in their day! Lucky bees.

To honor their accomplishment and general bad-ass-ness, I thought it was time to dedicate an Eye Candy Wednesday to a couple of lucky ladies: Elena, Queen of our hearts, and Katherine, the vamp who embodies rhymes-with-witch.

For my part, I’ve got no problem giving credit where credit is due, and Canadian actress Nina Dobrev (who portrays both Katherine and Elena) argues for brunettes the world over that in fact, brunettes DO, and CAN, have more fun.

What do you think? Does Dobrev make a good Katherine and/or Elena? Which character do you like better? Personally, while Miss K makes me mad frequently, I have to acknowledge that she is one smart, self-preserving chick. With that said, in the last few episodes (ahem stabbing a were) Elena has been giving her forebear a run for her kick-butt money.

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Shiloh Fernandez, who was almost cast as Edward Cullen in the Twilight Saga, shows head-to-toe black is the preferred wood cutter's attire.

I got a chance to see “Red Riding Hood” (out in theaters March 11) at an advanced screening last night and while the jury is out on the quality of the movie, one thing is for certain: Leading man Shiloh Fernandez is surprisingly hot as Red’s childhood friend and lover, Peter the Wood Cutter.

I haven’t posted an Eye Candy Wednesday in some time, and since Fernandez made me shiver during one particular scene, he seemed like a great candidate for the first Eye Candy Wednesday in 2011.

If you’re a Twilight Saga fan and a lover of dark, sweeping landscapes and even darker villages and townsfolk, (a la Tim Burton’s “Sleepy Hollow”), “Red Riding Hood,” directed by “Twilight” director Catherine Hardwicke, shouldn’t be missed.

Another highlight other than Fernandez? The way the movie includes the traditional query “What big teeth you have?” is a must-see.

Check out the movie trailer below:

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The cover of the final book in Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's The Caster Chronicles, Beautiful Chaos, will hit local bookstores Oct. 18. Countdown starts now!

In the Caster world, chaos is beautiful. And GOLD.

Today MTV.com revealed the, you guessed it, beautiful cover of the final book in The Caster Chronicles, Beautiful Chaos.

While I’m a fan of shiny, sparkly YA covers, I’ve always loved the Caster Chronicles art – it’s deceptively simple, but the more you look the more you see – a gnarled tree, crumbling steps and in this case, an intricate gateway to…who knows? The swirly drippy font doesn’t hurt either. Beautiful.

MTV.com quotes co-author Kami Garcia on the “tone” of the third book:

“When you read the book, I think [the title] will be really obvious,” she said. “Without a spoiler, for those who read ‘Beautiful Darkness,’ they know that there were a lot of actions at the end of the book, a lot of decisions that were made that yield serious consequences and some of those consequences are the essence of chaos to us.”

Hmmmm. Suggestive!

In Beautiful Creatures, readers found that the title was taken from the philosophical musings of Macon Ravenwood:

“Mortals. I envy you. You think you can change things. Stop the universe. Undo what was done long before you came along. You are such beautiful creatures.” – Macon Ravenwood

In Beautiful Darkness, we found that even darkness can be beautiful – whether it’s inside a person, the nature of a new world or the state of lack of color itself.

In Beautiful Chaos, I’m predicting Garcia and Stohl will reveal the true nature of Gatlin and the Caster world.

In the first two books, Garcia and Stohl have slowly picked away at the stolid, calm facade of Gatlin, but I’m thinking things are about to change: in the final installment of the Caster Chronicles, I  think readers will see what’s actually hidden (literally and figuratively) underneath the seemingly sleepy town.

Only time, and October, will tell.

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You can buy this lovely hat inspired by Kelley Armstrong's Darkest Power series (Derek Souza Werewolf hat) at my sister's deviantART page, http://randy-giles.deviantart.com/

Something my dear readers may not know about me: I have a lot of cat hats. A LOT. Said hats are made of fleece, have cat ears, and are inspired by certain things.

For instance: Damon Salvatore, Princess Peach and…err…cupcakes.

They are adorable and VERY warm when it’s cold outside.

Anyway. My very talented sister (who made the above hats) has recently caught the Kelley Armstrong and Darkest Powers bug.

(Yes! For the first time ever, after YEARS of making hats, Miranda has made her first hat inspired by YA literature. YA taking over the world, one person at a time.)

Miranda has created a black wolf-ears hat inspired by Derek Souza, a teen hottie who turns into a black werewolf. His vivid green eyes remain while in wolf form (and are depicted on the hat).

You can check out Miranda’s Derek Souza hat along with her other creations at http://randy-giles.deviantart.com/.

BTW, the story of Darkest Powers continues in Armstrong’s new YA paranormal series, Darkness Rising. The first book in the series, The Gathering, will be out April 12. (YESSSS!)

I begged and begged for this sweet Princess Peach hat made by Miranda. It's amazing and features the jewel on Peach's dress. AAAND that's my cubicle at work. : )

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