All posts for the month December, 2011

Favorite Books of 2011

Published December 28, 2011 by caitlinnicoll

I’ve read a lot of books this year. And I mean a lot. And I read a lot of really good books. Needless to say, this list was really hard to compile.

Note: there is a lot of YA on this list, not because I think YA is better than adult fiction, or that I prefer one over the other, it just happens that most of the books I read this year were YA.

10. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Riggs came up with the idea for this book from a collection of strange and creepy black and white photos (some of them will make your skin crawl), which are in the book. I love how he combined to different medias to come up with a haunting and creepy story.

9. Across the Universe by Beth Revis

It’s a murder-mystery. In space. In the future. I love this book. I love the cover (look at the COVER! LOOK AT IT). I love Beth.


8. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

I think I like this book even more than ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS. And Cricket, oh Cricket. Why can’t you be real? As much as I love bad boys, there will always be a place in my heart for sexy nerd boys.

7. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This would have been higher on my list if she didn’t introduce the stupid love triangle at the end. Teenage love triangles drive me insane. Insane, I tell you.

6. White Cat by Holly Black

Mafia and magic. Need I say more?


5. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

I love how this story unfolds through a series of flashbacks, with each one revealing a little tidbit about the characters and the plot. Plus, I love Atwood’s writing. It’s a dystopian written as literary fiction. Or is it literary fiction written as a dystopian? Either way, I don’t know why more genre fiction isn’t written like this.

4. Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

As a history buff, I think what I like the most about GAME OF THRONES the realism of the courts. Royal life can be bloody brutal; what with all the back-stabbing and scheming and murder. Random thought: Is homicidal a genetic trait? Must be all the inbreeding.

3. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling

I had a hard time choosing which Harry Potter book was my favorite, because they are all amazeballs, however, if I had to choose one, it would be HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE simply for Snape’s redeemability. I love how you spend the first 5 books loathing Snape like some loathing thing, and then you get to the HALF BLOOD PRINCE, and suddenly you get heart punched by a big dose of compassion. You FEEL for Snape, which is a hard thing to accomplish considering is repulsiveness throughout the series. Perception, people. It is a powerful thing.

2. Eon by Alison Goodman

EON is one of the best fantasies I’ve read in a while. The world-building is fantastic, and it doesn’t take place in the “Middle Ages Default”, but is a combination of Chinese and Japanese cultures. Anyone who knows me, knows I love my Asian culture.

1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

Holy crabsticks was this book good. I can’t even begin to describe how beautiful the writing, the story, the everything was. It contains one of my favorite lines in book history: “Words are so heavy.”


What were your favorite books this year?


And the Winner Is…

Published December 26, 2011 by caitlinnicoll

Sarah McCabe!

You can e-mail me your address at cnicoll85 (at) hotmail (dot) com. I’m just waiting on a few things to come in, but once they do, I’ll send it right out. And, oh man, the things. THE THINGS!

Project For Awesome

Published December 18, 2011 by caitlinnicoll

This is just a quick little post to let you know that Project for Awesome is going on right now over on Youtube until midnight tonight.

You can visit to see what it’s all about.  While you’re there, why don’t you donate?  If you can’t donate, you can still do your part by voting for your favorite charities to get a portion of the overall donations. there are some really great charities up there including, Amnesty International,, World Vision, Heifer International, Freedom From Hunger, and many more.

Also, with each order over at my shop today, I will donate 20% to Project For Awesome.

Here is Hank Green explaining all the details.

Out of all the videos, this just may be my favorite.

There is still a week left to enter the secret santa give-away, which is chock full of awesomely nerdy things.

Why Do YOU write?

Published December 14, 2011 by caitlinnicoll

This post is a conglomeration of two conversations I’ve had recently.

The first was on a forum I visit, wherein the thread was about the end of “celebrity authors” in the internet age. I’m not going to post my views about that, because this is not what this post is about (mostly).

The second conversation was with my brother about the zombie apocalypse (I swear, we talk about nothing else). Which basically came down to me saying that if I survived (I have a pretty sweet plan, btw), and even if I was the only survivor in the world, I would continue to write.


What’s the point? You may ask.

Well, for one, it would give me something to do when I wasn’t desperately trying to survive, or showing off my sweet zombie slaying skills*. In a world full of danger, you need downtime, something relaxing. Like reading, or a hobby.

I write because I have to. Because the characters in my head won’t shut up, and because I can’t stop exploring new worlds. And even if there was no more paper or pens left in the world, I would continue to make up stories and worlds and characters in my head. It would be the stories themselves that would keep me going, keep me alive and sane when all looks hopeless and pointless.

I don’t write for fame and fortune (although they would be nice). Nor do I write for validation. I write for the same reason I draw, because it’s something I enjoy doing. And as long as I enjoy it, I will keep on doing it.

*Note to self: I should probably write a zombie book.

Why do you write?


Also, don’t forget to enter my Secret Santa give-away. There are some pretty cool things in there. May the odds forever be in your favor.

Secret Santa Contest

Published December 9, 2011 by caitlinnicoll

I am in a giving mood this season. You see, I have a box. Full of things. Fantastically nerdy, secret things. And I want to give this box to someone.

SO! I am holding a giveaway/contest thingy!

Yay for presents!

All you have to do to enter is:

A) Follow me.

B) Leave a comment telling me the nerdiest thing you have ever done.

That is all. No more. No less.

The contest is open until Dec. 24th 11:59 EST. The winner will be chosen at random and announced on Dec. 25th.

This box is bigger on the inside

You have no idea the level of nerdiness that this box contains. I am kinda jealous, actually. There’s the thing! And the other thing! And the thing with the thing!

I might be giving away clues to it’s contents either here or on Twitter. You have been properly warned.

Also, anyone who enters gets 20% off on my Etsy store from now until Jan. 01.

Coupon code: NERD2011

I will be adding more stuff to the store in the upcoming week, so look out for that.

Good luck, and may the Random Gods be with you!

Challenge Names!

Published December 7, 2011 by caitlinnicoll

First, and most importantly, I have found a time-turner. It is beautiful. And it is mine. My precious. *pets*

So, tricia came up with the most brilliant idea. Ever. Well, maybe not ever, but pretty close. NICKNAMES for my reading challenges, using a combination of the levels you have chosen to participate. You may now refer to me as the Grimm Blade, and her as Buffy Six.

Dude, we are totally the Jets.

Does anyone else want to join us? (Links are in the side-bar if you do).  And if you already have, what would your nickname be?

the other reading challenges I am participating in this year are:

the Story Siren’s Debut author Challenge. Which is to read at least 12 YA or MG  debut authors.

Book Chick City’s Horror and Urban Fantasy Challenge. I have chosen to read 24 books.

Bookish Ardour’s Dystopian Challenge. I have chosen the Contagion level.

Bookish Ardour’s Off the Shelf Challenge. I have chosen the Making a Dint Level

Pagan Culture’s Witchy Books Reading Challenge. I have chosen the Bookish Darling level


the first 4 I did last year, and really had fun with them. this will be my first year doing the Witchy challenge.


Beth Revis has quickly catapulted to being my favorite author of all time. Not only is Across the Universe and awesome book, but her give-aways are mind-blowing. For December, it is truly EPIC. She is GIVING AWAY 200 prizes PLUS donating $1 for every entry to World Vision. You NEED to check it out.

Also, I have a sekrit nerdy thing I’m plotting. All shall be revealed in a few days.


And lastly, since I can’t get this song out of my head, here is a creepy/ Nightmare Before Christmas-esque version of Santa Baby. the video is even creepier. You’re welcome.

Over and Onwards!

Published December 5, 2011 by caitlinnicoll

NaNoWriMo is officially over. Well, it was over last Wednesday, but you know what I mean.

*falls over*

It was crazy this year. I don’t think I’ve ever typed so fast in my life. My wip really surprised me this year. There were a lot of explosions, and it’s way more romancy than I intended. I’m not sure how I feel about this. Of course, it’s nowhere near done, so we’ll see how it evens out in the end.

Also, I won. Yay! But I never would have done it without Claudie, Sommer, Tricia, Adrianne, and Karen, and our writing sprints. So thank you! Just for you girls, and anyone else who won this year (and for those who didn’t, but made a valiant effort anyways), this girl and her 5 legged, 2 tailed, blue mohawked camel are cheering. For you. Because you are awesome.

What? It was free mohawk day.

I’m not quite sure what is on her head, so don’t ask.

Also, if you are interested (I am only mildly pressuring you), I’ve started a fantasy and a sci-fi reading challenge for next year, if anyone wants to join me. Links are in the sidebar. No pressure though.