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.”



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.

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:

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.

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. : )

The Haunted, released last year, is the second book in the Hollow Trilogy. The third book, The Hidden, will be released this September.

Lately, I’ve been short on time, so this post will be a quick one.

I’m FINALLY getting around to reading The Haunted, the sure-to-satisfy followup to The Hollow by Jessica Verday.

Yes! *Pumps fist in air*

I vastly enjoyed reading The Hollow and getting a taste of the REAL (who knew?) town of Sleepy Hollow – where Washington Irving is a literary rock star and gorgeous, mysterious and standoffish boys tend to show up out of nowhere …. good stuff.

The Hollow ended with a twist, so I’m excited to see where that will leave our heroine Abbey, and her love, Caspian.

Learn more about The Haunted below:

After months spent reclaiming her sanity and trying to forget the boy she fell in love with– the boy who must not exist, cannot exist, because she knows that he is dead– Abbey returns to Sleepy Hollow, ready to leave the ghosts of her past behind. But Abbey can never get over Caspian, and Caspian has no choice but to return to her side, for Caspian is a Shade, and Abbey is his destiny. They are tied not only to each other, but also to the town of Sleepy Hollow, and to the famous legend that binds their fates–a legend whose dark truths they are only beginning to guess…

Oooh and check out the just released cover of the third book in The Hollow trilogy: The Hidden. It’s beautiful.


I'm all about gorgeous YA paranormal romance covers, and The Hidden doesn't disappoint.



Simon and Schuster has released three Buffy the Vampire Slayer books thus far. Pictured here is BTVS II. The third volume was released in November 2010.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1:

Simon Pulse, June 2010 Trade Paperback, 704 pages

In every generation, there is a Chosen One. A slayer destined to protect the human race. She alone must fight the demons of hell. She alone must risk her life to stop the spread of evil.

Buffy is the Chosen One.

In Coyote Moon, a typical night at the carnival becomes deadly as shape shifters turn the amusement park into their own house of horrors.

Buffy starts having past-life nightmares in Night of the Living Rerun, and must face her historic counterpart before the events of the past repeat in the present.

In Portal through Time, Slayers over the centuries are in danger, and Buffy must protect them in order to save her own life and legacy.

My take:

If a little kick-butt part of your heart died when Sunnydale imploded, get a little taste of the good ol’ days with Simon & Schuster’s new Buffy the Vampire Slayer books, first published in 2010.

To illustrate my Buffy fandom, I recently defended Sarah Michelle Gellar to a newbie (who said she didn’t really like that actress) by calling her the “queen of my heart and the hero of my life.” Yes, I know. But c’mon. SMG as Buffy? Perfection.

Digress, much? Anyway…

Each pretty-heftily sized book features three novellas that take place during Buffyverse’s seven seasons – fan favorites such as Drusilla, Spike, Angel and even Andrew and Jonathan (hilarious) make an appearance.

This has nothing to do with the books - it's just awesome.

As a Buffy slayhard, I found these stories to be delightfully true to the spirit of Joss Whedon’s iconic show with the witty banter and one liners we have all come to love and/or expect from Buffy and the Scoobies.

As for the “big bads,” the villains/situations/settings were very Sunnydale – you can tell the authors of these books wrote for the show.

From fighting zombies in one of Sunnydale’s 3,000 graveyards to taking down movie characters come to life in a drive-in on the edge of town, these places ARE Sunnydale, so much so that you’d think they were planned episodes that just didn’t get made for some reason.

I found myself on more than one occasion reading passages aloud to my reluctant boyfriend, especially when said passage was Spike-related, or when a passage included a “nod” to the viewers who religiously watched the show for seven years (and beyond).

To wrap up this love letter to Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

If “Wild Horses” makes you shiver, if “five by five” and “BLANK, much?” are regulars in any given day’s conversation and if a game of pool makes you burst into song, you will find Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1, 2 and 3 a true joy to read.