For the first Thoughtful Thursday, my book travels keep me in our contemporary world, though a much different version of it than I’d normal...

For the first Thoughtful Thursday, my book travels keep me in our contemporary world, though a much different version of it than I’d normally see. If not for my book club, I probably never would’ve visited. So, seriously, thanks to whoever suggested it.

Summary: John is sure that no one knows him. Not his mother, who spends her days working at a factory. Not his mother’s boyfriend, though they’ve all lived together for some time. Not Mr. Steenwilly, John’s Music teacher, however much the older man might pretend to. And certainly not “Mrs. Moonface,” who lives only to torture John and his classmates with meaningless algebraic equations.

The story follows John as he wrestles with the difficulties of being unknown  of feeling unloved  and as he strives to wade through the war zone that is his life. As he tries to impress his love, Glory Hallelujah, attempts to avoid his mother’s boyfriend, “the man who is not his father,” and endeavors to get his tuba that is not a tuba to play a sound somewhat resembling music.

You Don’t Know Me tells the story of a quirky, uncertain boy whose only desire is to be known.

Review: 5 stars out of 5. I’m gonna start this review by saying: I loved John. He was hysterical. This kid had the most fantastic voice I’d read since the Percy Jackson series or The Princess Diaries. While his style of speaking to the reader was very different from either of the above, it held the same ring of uniqueness I felt when reading those. Though, to be honest, John’s voice wasn’t quite like anything I’ve ever read before.

Also, his character development was phenomenal. Don’t wanna give any spoilers, but after seeing him at the beginning and who he’s willing to become at the end, I was in awe. The journey is downright beautiful, and so perfect for his character.

Another thing I liked was how Mr. Klass, the author, introduced the characters. I loved that you got a crystal-clear view of how John saw them; then slowly, Mr. Klass unfolded who they really were, some the same as John thought, some completely different. And all the characters, however they ended up, were amazing. I hated the villain (which is a good thing), and all the “good guys,” the ones who helped John, felt like real, true, awesome people.

To top it all off, Mr. Klass tied up the story perfectly with a climax that set my heart racing and an ending that left me amazed.

Seriously, I loved this book. And, though I would caution sensitive souls (there’s some cursing and quite a bit of abuse), I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it.

What’re some great books you’ve read lately? Especially ones with unique voices or dealing with tough issues?

I was listening to this song yesterday and thinking about my character, Jesse, trying to figure out his internal goal. As I got to the en...

I was listening to this song yesterday and thinking about my character, Jesse, trying to figure out his internal goal. As I got to the end of the second chorus, I asked myself, “Who does Jesse see? Who has something Jesse wishes he had even if Jesse himself doesn’t know it?”

Before the end of the song, I had my answer. The short version: Jesse sees Kawaki, a secondary character in the story. Kawaki has the courage, the fire, the ambition that Jesse wishes he possessed, but he’s too scared to claim.

“I Wish” is also a good unrequited love song, if you’re looking for something along those lines.

What’s a favorite writing song of yours? And what’s your character’s internal goal?

Hello readers! As you can see, I’ve remodeled! And it’s just the beginning of my changes to the new and improved Summer Snowflakes. As ...

Hello readers! As you can see, I’ve remodeled! And it’s just the beginning of my changes to the new and improved Summer Snowflakes.

As mentioned last week, I changed the URL and (as I didn’t mention last week) my pen name. As much as I liked “Skrywer,” even I found it difficult to spell and pronounce, so out the window it went. My new penname is Alexa S. Winters, and my new URL (in case you didn’t notice) is:, the “SS” standing for “Summer Snowflakes.

In honor of the new nautical net name, I’m going to start a weekly post called Shipping Saturdays, in which I will fangirl about my favorite fictional couples (almost) every Saturday and invite you to join me in the comments. Don’t worry, though, it won’t only be about the couples. I’ll probably talk more about the fandoms, actually, describing what the book/movie/tv show is about and explaining why I like it so much.

But my favorite “ships” will definitely make an appearance.

Tomorrow, I’ll begin Melodic Mondays. Every Monday, I’ll post a favorite writing song, talk about how I found it (if I can remember and the story is interesting), and why it’s inspiring to me.

Last, but certainly not least, I’ll have Thoughtful Thursdays. On Thursdays, I’ll do the same types of post I’ve been doing the past seven months. The whatever-comes-to-mind posts detailing my thoughts on... anything really. Books, movies, writing, life, love, the pursuit of happiness. Whatever I decide to post about that week.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you (or you’ll see my post) on Monday!

Hello! Just popping in real quick to say that I plan to change some things about my blog. Up until now, I haven ’t really organized anythin...

Hello! Just popping in real quick to say that I plan to change some things about my blog. Up until now, I haven’t really organized anything; it’s just been kind of “Ooh, that looks interesting! Here’s my blog post for the week!” While that’s cool, I want to make things a little more structured. I’ll still be crazy old me having fun, but I’m going to add some themed posts to my weekly schedule in addition to the ones I’m doing now.

Also, on July 26th (next Saturday) I’m going to change the URL of my blog. The blog will be called theSSAlexa (I’ll explain more about that when I do the official opening for the renovated blog).

That’s all for now, but more changes will come. So stay tuned!

And I’m back from Rick Riordan’s world of myths and monsters, The Heroes of Olympus series. Well, technically, I was back about two week...

And I’m back from Rick Riordan’s world of myths and monsters, The Heroes of Olympus series. Well, technically, I was back about two weeks ago, so yeah, this review is a bit late. The holdup, however, is no indication of reluctance to review. Trust me.

Summary: After months of waiting, Annabeth and friends finally arrive at Camp Jupiter, where she reunites with her boyfriend, Percy Jackson. Seaweed Brain at her side, Annabeth hopes to gain the Romans’ support in her quest – and for a while, it seems she may. But because everything has to go wrong, an unfortunate mishap causes a more unfortunate catastrophe, which presents the need for a hasty escape.

It’s a great start on their journey to the ancient lands – the most dangerous place for a demigod – and the various threats hang over her head like the knife on a guillotine. Will the raging Romans get them next? A group of monsters sent by Gaea? Or will they arrive in Rome, one of the ancient lands, only to die by the abnormally large hands of twin giants, Otis and Ephialtes?

As if the gods thought the quest should be a tad more difficult, the other demigods will eventually leave to rescue Nico, son of Hades, the only one who knows the location of the Doors of Death. But Annabeth alone must follow the burning Mark of Athena, even if it leads to her worst nightmare. 

Review: 20 billion stars out of 5.

To quote a picture I saw online: “I can’t even... I literally cannot even... I have lost my ability to even... I am so unable to even.

And that pretty much describes my feelings for this book. Go read it. The end.

But seriously, I cannot begin to describe how awesome The Mark of Athena was. The other books were amazing, no doubt. But this one took “amazing to an all-new level, a level I didn’t even know existed. The minute I finished, I was dying to read the next. So I’m just glad it’s already out and I don’t have to wait as long as the poor people who attacked The Mark of Athena the second it was in bookstores.

To go into depth though, let’s talk about the plot, which was phenomenal. You’d think an author dealing with five different POVs might slip up once in a while. But not Rick Riordan. The pacing was perfect and the POV changes seamless. I loved how there was life in each and every character; all of them were important and beautifully unique. They each had their own stories to tell and each of them got to in a beyond amazing way.

The character development was one of the areas in which I am still “unable to even.” Thinking back on the Percy Jackson books (which were great, don’t get me wrong), and then seeing how far Annabeth and Percy have come since then... My heart.

It’s just been great to watch as they’ve grown and matured, and you can really see the evidence in this book.

One of my other favorite things was how each character got to “save the day” at least once. And, with the constant action, there were quite a few days to be saved, so I’m glad it was spread around rather than having one character always be perfect and do everything.

The best of all, though, was Annabeth. After six books (seven if you count The Son of Neptune), writing in her POV could’ve turned out disastrous. But it didn’t. I loved finally finding out what was going on in her head, getting that inside glimpse at her insecurities, and all her flaws just made me love her more. Annabeth totally stole the show in this book; the way she comes through at the end is worth reading all by itself. Course, that might be a bit difficult since you wouldn’t understand what was going on...

But anyways.

I could go on and on about the other things I loved: the non-white main characters (I’m not racist but I am black, and ethnic MCs are few and far between, especially in fantasy); the interracial couples (even fewer and farther between); and how much I adore Nico Di Angelo (he’s only actually there for a bit, but man, that poor kid. I just want to wrap him in a heated blanket and give him cookies. I think he’ll be the first in my and my friends’ support group).*

But before I get too carried away, I’ll wrap up the review by saying this: Complete with amazing characters, phenomenal plot twists, and a stunning ending, The Mark of Athena is a must-read for lovers of fantasy (but read the other books first). It’s the best yet from Rick Riordan, and one of the best books I’ve read in a while. I love the way it’s developed, where it’s going, and I seriously cannot wait to get the next one.

If you haven’t read this series, go read it now. Do whatever you have to JUST GET YOUR HANDS ON RICK RIORDAN’S GENIUS!!!

OK, I’mma stop fangirling now. Have you read this series? If not, tell me about the books you’ve read recently.

During the last week of June, I was nominated twice for the Liebster Award, for which I am super shocked and super honored. Thanks to...

During the last week of June, I was nominated twice for the Liebster Award, for which I am super shocked and super honored. Thanks to both Ciera at the Write Things and The Teenage Nerd at Nerdy Writing for your nominations. It means the world that you both read and enjoy Summer Snowflakes and want more people to know about my blog.

So then, let’s head right into this.

The Rules (dun, dun dun!): actually, they’re not that daunting. Simply put, bloggers choose other bloggers who have under two hundred followers to be nominated for the Liebster Awards. The nominees thank and link back to their nominators, write eleven things about themselves, answer eleven questions from the nominators, post the whole mess on their blogs, and nominate more people (up to nine) by commenting on their blogs, messaging them, whatever it takes to let them know you love them.

If that was confusing (because it probably was), here’s a pic with a much simpler rundown of the Rules:

Without further ado then, here are Eleven Facts About Me:

#1 I’m not an actual spy and I wouldn’t want to be. But pretending is fun.

#2 I named my first laptop Chase Taylor Michaels  but not till after he caught a virus and died. Not to worry, though, he was resurrected a few months later.

#3 I’ve completed seven novel manuscripts, few of which are any good right now. But the one that is all right, I’m trying to get published.

#4 I love chocolate anything. Unless you put fruit in it (raspberries or oranges, in particular). Seriously, it’s just wrong. It’s chocolate, for Pete’s sake. What would possess you to try and make it healthy?

#5 Chocolate-covered strawberries are the only exception to the above rule. Possibly chocolate-covered apples, too. I don’t know, that last one sounds kinda good.

#6 I love ice cream so much I’d eat it if it was below zero outside. In fact, I’m pretty sure I have eaten it in at least below freezing weather.

#7 Star Wars is my favorite fandom in the whole wide world, though Tiger’s Curse, Heroes of Olympus, Sherlock, Doctor Who, Supernatural, and just about anything from Marvel all come in at very close seconds.

#8 I used to think the saying “the whole wide world” was “the whole white world.” As in snow covering the whole world. You can imagine my confusion.

#9 I’m very, very bad at geography. So don’t ask me where anywhere is because I can’t tell you.

#10 I have imaginary friends whom I talk to on a daily basis. They’re called characters.

#11 Me and my real-life friends want to start a support group for all the characters we believe just need a hug, a blanket, and a plate of warm cookies.1

1Not oatmeal raisin. That will only create more trust issues.

Do you feel like you know me now? Yes? Pity. Hopefully, you’re not too scared to read the next segment, Questions from the Teenage Nerd: 

When did you first start writing? 
I wrote my very first story when I was about 6 years old, but I didn’t start writing seriously till I was 14.

Why did you start your blog? 
Marketing purposes, to be honest. But I’ve found that I really enjoy blogging, and now I do it because I like to write about what I think and I like having other people know what I think.

How often do you write? 
Daily. Two to three hours on a good day.

What’s your favourite colour? 
Pink. Yes, I’m a very girly girl.

Do you prefer British or American spellings? 
I’ve honestly never thought about it. I’ll say British because Independence Day was two days ago and being contrary brings me great joy.

What’s your favourite animal? 
Oooh, that’s a hard one. Can I have two? I’m going to assume you said yes, so dogs and rabbits.

What’s your favourite word? 
Irrelevant  I love the way it rolls off your tongue, and it sounds smart, too.

What’s your favourite book?
... Is this a serious question? How am I supposed to...? *fanning myself* OK... deep breaths... I’m going to say Tiger’s Destiny by Colleen Houck.

Who’s your favourite author? 
Again with the hard questions. Colleen Houck or Jude Watson.

When did you first decide to write a novel? 
When I was 14. We’d just moved, I had no friends, and my mom somehow heard about NaNoWriMo and suggested I do it. I thought “What the heck?” and got to writing. Two weeks later, I’d completed my first novel  which was only slightly longer than a short story, but whatever.

Are you tired of answering all of these questions? 
Haha, no. I like questions. Provided I can plead the fifth if I so choose.

And it’d be a pity if I was tired of answering questions because I’ve still got another set. This one from Ciera:
1. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Oh that’s hard! Um... Scotland, I think. I love the accents and it seems like a beautiful place.

2. Would you rather have the starring role in a movie only ten people see, or be an extra in a huge blockbuster hit?
Extra in a huge blockbuster hit. Because then I could at least meet some big-time actors while filming.

3. If you could relive any day from the past year, what would it be and why?
It would probably be the last full day of Mission Camp, June 19th, 2014. Me and my friends had a blast, and I’d love to see those kids again.

4. What famous movie or book character do you identify with?
Hermione Granger  I’m a nerdy girl who, like her, is occasionally a bit annoying with my “smartical particles” (as London from the Suite Life would say).

5. How would you describe your personality as a fashion accessory?
I thought long and hard about this and have concluded that I am a hand fan. When a hand fan opens, there are all sorts of loud, beautiful colors  which is the way I am around friends: loud, fun (I hope), and outgoing. But sometimes, the fan (or me) is closed, like when I’m feeling shy or I’ve decided I’ve had quite enough of people and shut myself off from the world

6. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Force fields, like Violet in The Incredibles. You could fight anything off with those.

7. If you had only one day left to live, what would you do?
Take a road trip to see all the people I love. And eat lots of chocolate and ice cream.

8. What's a secret talent you have that most people don't know about?
The only one I can think of is rapping. By that I mean, I can memorize lyrics and repeat them, not that I can actually freestyle.

9. Are you a morning or night person?
That’s actually a complicated question. I used to be a morning person, and sometimes, if I get enough sleep, I still am. But I often get my second wind at night. So you could say I have the capacity to be both, but I lean more towards being a night person.

10. Why did you start blogging?
Like I said above, originally marketing purposes. But now I do it because it’s fun.

What’s something you hope to accomplish within the next year?
I’d love to be published, but that’s not something I necessarily control. So an actual achievable goal? I want to finish the major editing of two manuscripts, The Supernatural Projects and Unattainable, and start on editing for a third, Aidan’s Story (because I don’t have a better title for that).

Aaaand... we are finished with me! So my nominees are:

Congratz! And here are your questions:

#1 If you could go back in time to any time, what time would it be?

#2 When did you start writing?

#3 Why did you start blogging?

#4 Other hobbies besides writing?

#5 What’s your favorite character you’ve ever written?

#6 What’s your favorite character you’ve ever read?

#7 Favorite food?

#8 Favorite song?

#9 Favorite outfit?

#10 Favorite month of the year?

And the grand finale, the question that will determine everything for the rest of your life, #11: If you were a superhero, would you wear your underwear on the outside?

Well, that was fun! Hope you enjoyed and see you next time!
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