June 15, 2015
We are so excited to have T.A. Maclagan on the blog today where she shares here Top Favs!
There’s also a movie poster contest happening! Check it out in the poster below (click to enlarge).
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
<p><p><em>When your life is a lie, how do you know what’s real?</em></p><br /> <p>Alexandra Gastone has a simple plan: graduate high school, get into Princeton, work for the CIA, and serve her great nation.</p><br /> <p>She was told the plan back when her name was Milena Rokva, back before the real Alexandra and her family were killed in a car crash.</p><br /> <p>Milena was trained to be a sleeper agent by Perun, a clandestine organization from her true homeland of Olissa. There, Milena learned everything she needed to infiltrate the life of CIA analyst Albert Gastone, Alexandra’s grandfather, and the ranks of America’s top intelligence agency.</p><br /> <p>For seven years, “Alexandra” has been on standby and life’s been good. Grandpa Albert loves her, and her strategically chosen boyfriend, Grant, is amazing.</p><br /> <p>But things are about to change. Perun no longer needs her at the CIA in five years’ time. They need her active now.</p><br /> <p>Between her cover as a high school girl—juggling a homecoming dance, history reports, and an increasingly suspicious boyfriend—and her mission in this high-stakes spy game, the boundaries of her two lives are beginning to blur.</p><br /> <p>Will she stay true to the country she barely remembers, or has her loyalty shattered along with her identity?</p></p>
Top Favs with T.A. Maclagan
Top 3 Favorite authors (dead or alive) and why
1. Diana Gabaldon-Jamie and Claire’s romance is an epic one. I discovered the series after four books had been written and I sped read all four in a couple of weeks. By the end, I felt as if Jamie and Claire were part of my family.
2. Steve Hamilton-The Lock Artist is one of my all time favorite books. The narrative voice was so unique, it blew me away. How Hamilton structured the book with the chapters jumping back and forth through time was masterful.
3. Suzanne Collins-I LOVED the Hunger Games trilogy. It was my first introduction to YA and it showed me how gritty and awesome YA could be. Had I not read the Hunger Games I don’t think I’d have written Alexandra Gastone.
Top 3 Favorite snacks while writing and why
1. Lindt Salted Dark Chocolate-Because salt really makes chocolate taste better! Yum.
2. Sour Patch Kids-I love the sour then the sweet.
3. Nashi Pears-I love how sweet and juicy they are and I can’t eat too much candy given how much of my time I spend sitting at my desk.
Top 3 favorite techniques to overcome writers block and why
1. Yoga-When I get writers block it’s not because I don’t have ideas but rather my mind isn’t clear enough to put them down in an orderly fashion. Yoga really helps clear my head and gets me ready for writing.
2. Going for a walk-Like yoga, this helps clear the head.
3. Start typing-Sometimes just hitting the first key can be the hardest thing. Once I’ve done that, things usually start to flow.
Top 3 favorite movies of all time and why
1. Last of the Mohicans-The music is perfect. The scenery is perfect. The chemistry between Daniel Day Lewis and Madeline Stow is perfect. This movie hit all the right notes for me.
2. Star Wars-I’ve loved Star Wars since I was a kid and whenever I watch it, I feel like I still see it through my little kid eyes. It always fills me with wonder.
3. Love Actually-I’ve seen this movie so many times but it never fails to charm me and bring a smile to my face. Plus, I have a huge crush on Andrew Lincoln.
Top 3 favorite movie moments and why
1. The moment when Uncas sacrifices himself for Alice and falls off the cliff in The Last of the Mohicans. The music during that scene is phenomenal as is the scenery. It all helps to create this tragic yet beautiful feeling while you’re watching it.
2. I’m a huge horse fan and I loved the movie Secretariat. There’s a scene of the Belmont Stakes at the end of the movie where Secretariat is rounding the corner and pulling away from the rest of the field and the music just stops and suddenly there is a voice over from Diane Lane who plays his owner Penny Chenery. It’s just her voice talking and Secretariat’s thundering hoofs. It gives me chills just thinking about it. He won that race by 30 lengths. It’s phenomenal to watch if you ever want to youtube it.
3. There’s this scene in Marley and Me where Marley is crawling out the car window as the car’s moving and his owner has him by the back legs and is trying to hold him inside. It was a scene that was in all the ads for the movie and, no joke, I laughed every single time the ad came on the tv, which was hundreds of times. There was just something about it that never failed to tickle my funny bone. If I’m feeling down, I’ll sometimes bring up the movie trailer and watch it just for that scene.
Top 3 favorite dream destinations and why
1. Angkor Wat in Cambodia-I love ancient things and Angkor Wat practically oozes a mysterious ancient vibe.
2. The Salt Flats in Bolivia-The Flats are this reflective expanse that seems to stretch to eternity. It’s a very surreal environment with the ground and sky melding together. Basically, it’s a photographers dream.
3. Uganda-I use to study primatology and seeing Gorillas in their native habitat would thrill me to no end.
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