Sunday, 16 September 2012

Back To School Blog Hop and Giveaway!

Welcome to the Back to School Blog Hop, featuring Jenn Cooksey's amazing book, Shark Bait!

You may remember Jenn from our interview, or maybe from my review of Shark Bait!

For this stop in the hop, Jenn and I wanted to do something a bit different. We discovered while I was reading Shark Bait that we're both HUGE Buffy fans, so Jenn had the great idea of a Buffy post!

So, here she is--The incomparable Jenn Cooksey, with an amazing guest post about Buffy!

Take it away, Jenn!

So first I want to thank Christina for having me yet again on her wonderful blog! For those who don’t know, Christina was the chick who popped my “interview cherry” back in July of this year. I’d just published my debut novel, Shark Bait—the 1st in the 6-book Grab Your Pole series, and not only did she read it (YAY!!), but she also reviewed it and interviewed me. I hadn’t ever been interviewed before and I was all anxious and nervous about my first time, just like your typical virgin. She was kind and gentle, though, and when it was over she and I shared a virtual bottle of celebratory champagne.  

Flash forward two-ish months to deciding it’s time for me to get my feet wet in the blog hop pool...

Despite having been reviewed by several other bloggers and readers, being interviewed a good handful of times and even doing a guest post, I found myself feeling like a virgin again. I was trying to think of bloggers who would be interested in participating in a blog hop organized by a newbie featuring a book that was written by one as well. So of course I contacted Christina, because you know, a girl never forgets her first time or the person she shared the experience with. She was totally on board, but since she’d already reviewed Shark Bait and interviewed me, we decided to sort of switch things up a little, thus this Buffy-infused guest post.

Yep, you read that right. BUFFY. 

Although I do heart me a good Star Trek episode and I feel that the original Star Wars trilogy could’ve been left as is, I wouldn’t necessarily classify myself as a girl geek like Christina does. However, there’s one thing that bonds us together like no one’s business and that’s a deep and abiding love for the T.V. show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Christina had mentioned maybe I could talk about how Buffy influenced my writing (because I reference it quite a bit in this first book), but I just honestly can’t put that into words. Plus, I’m not terribly certain that Buffy actually influenced my writing per se, but the genius of Joss Whedon certainly had an impact on me and I’m sure probably went a long way in developing realistic characters for the Grab Your Pole series. Like the T.V. show, I try to portray my characters as strong, intelligent, and often times, snarky individuals who are just as flawed as a real-life person, because the fact of the matter is, no one is perfect—not even in make-believe-land.

Okay, so that’s all great...I write fictional reality about what teenagers do and say when they think no one’s watching, and I write believable characters, conversations and situations, yada yada yada. Let’s get to the good stuff...the Buffy stuff.

Even after writing Shark Bait, editing it, and reading it more times than I can count, I still find myself giggling at this one line that’s sandwiched within the following excerpt—I’ve underlined it here so that you all know what part I’m talking about...

“... You know, this whole thing really bites,” Jillian said, showing what I find to be the proper amount of attitude towards our really crappy lifestyle change.
“I know, especially today. It’s gonna be a huge Buffy meets Twilight,“ I agreed.
For unto every generation a vampire phenomenon is born, one that girls and even some women will obsess over endlessly. For my mom it was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I get the Cullens. Don’t misunderstand me, I enjoyed the books and everything, but just because they both have vampires, it does not make them the same. Buffy is just classic. It had everything...cute boys, mass drama, love stories, but best of all, it was freaking hysterical.

And it’s true!! Buffy had it ALL and it had it in spades. Unlike having to choose a favorite movie or song (God forbid), I never have any qualms about ranking Buffy the Vampire Slayer as my most favorite T.V. show ever. And, although the whole freaking series was phenomenal, I have a couple favorite episodes as well. But before we get to that, I’m going to actually try to rank the main characters (yeah, wish me luck...).

1) Buffy – Duh.
2) Angel – Probably because he’s the embodiment of what every one wants in a hero, and, I was madly in love with their love story.
3) Spike – Talk about comic relief buried under a thick skin of the ultimate bad boy...yikes!
4) Giles – Bad boy in his youth turned parental-type role model. What can I say, I can totally relate.
5) Oz – Seth Green. ‘Nough said. (And we’ll not be discussing my feelings on what went down in season 4...I mean Grr Argh indeed.)
6) Xander – He just played the sarcastic doofus so, so well...
7) Anya – She was such a freaking riot...all unemotional yet drowning in the teenage angst she found repulsive. And I thought it was hilarious that she’s petrified of bunnies.
8) Faith – She’s just so in your face about everything and takes a dark pleasure in dusting vamps...if Hollywood were to make a reality video called Slayers Gone Wild, she’d be the basis for it.
9) Cordelia – The bitch everyone loves to hate, but somehow is able to become totally loveable at the same time.
10) Willow – Yeah, I know she’s really far down on the list and while I like her, I just never really had that “connection” with her like I did with the other characters. She’s funny and smart, and she’s the perfect foil for Buffy, but for me there was always something missing.
11) Tara – Again, not a huge fan but she was sweet and loyal, and I appreciate those characteristics immensely.
12) Riley – He was always just meh for me...and honestly, in my eyes no one was ever going to be right for Buffy after season three.
13) Dawn & Kennedy – They’re tied for my least fave characters in the series. And because there’s so much about both that I dislike, I’m not gonna get into it here. ;-)

So there you have it! My ranking of the main characters in the best T.V. show the history of mankind has ever been blessed with! Now! On to a couple of my favorite episodes...

By far, my favorite episode is S3.E4—Beauty & the Beasts. This had everything I absolutely adored about the show, encapsulating the wit, drama, relationships, action, and romance all in one, wonderfully written, 45-minute episode. Here’s a look:

Next, we have S3.E10—Amends. Oh my God...this episode was just SO very emotional and did a phenomenal job underscoring the definition of hope. And yeah, I still bawl like a baby when I watch it...

(The clip is user-made, so please don’t blame me for the funky music and off-time’s just the best I could find for this episode.)

Alright, folks, that about wraps it up for me!! Again, thanks for playing along and if you have anything to add or ask, please post a comment!! And of course, one more HUGE thanks and cyber-champagne toast to Christina for going through another first with me! 

Oh, wait!! Before you go, don’t forget to enter Just a Girl Geek’s giveaway for your shot at an e-copy of Shark Bait, but for a chance at the grand prize, the Ultimate Shark Bait Swag Bag (see picture below), make sure you travel to every blog on the hop and jot down the highlighted letters and what blog you found them at in order to answer the scavenger hunt question which will be featured at the final stop of the hop over on my blog on September 21st!!! Grand prize details as well as the hop schedule can be found on my blog.

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