Category Archive

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NEW BLOG + a giveaway

Guess what? I’ve moved! Packed up my bags, switched my address, and settled into my new place. That’s right! From now on, I will be blogging from www.rachelcoker.com.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t move all my archives (two and a half years of blogging adds up, you guys!) but this site will stay up for you to peruse when you’re feeling bored. But I’m not going to be blogging from here anymore, so make sure you sign up for updates at www.rachelcoker.com to stay up-to-date!

In fact, to launch the new site, I’m hosting a giveaway at the new blog! So be sure to hop on over for your chance to win two autographed books!

It’s been fun blogging here, but I’m looking forward to starting something new (with the same old witty commentary, of course) in a brand-new place!


The Top Five Imaginary Guys I’d Probably End Up Marrying

… You know, if they weren’t imaginary. And all that awfulness.

5. Gilbert Blythe.


Why? Because he’s hot. Haha, well, maybe not. He’s handsome. In a late-19th century kind of way. And because he’s the smartest guy in his class and grows up to be a doctor which probably pays, well, a ton, not to mention is totally cute and smart. And he says amazing things like (when responding to Anne’s rejection of his proposal): “Your friendship can’t satisfy me, Anne. I want your love.” Which, let’s face it, would make me turn him down like ten times before accepting him. If he could just keep thinking of different ways to be so good to me. I’m sure he could. He’s pretty brilliant like that.

4. Robin Hood

Robin hood

If you can get past the whole stealing-from-the-rich thing (and the tights; you’d have to get past the tights), Robin Hood is a total catch. He can sing, (at least the fox version can–which is the version we’re all in love with anyway) climb trees, and preserve justice like no one’s business. Plus he has a British accent which gives him BIG STINKIN’ POINTS in any female’s eyes.

3. Rhett Butler


Okay, let’s face it–he was a total cad. He drank, gambled, flirted with other women, and got rich working with the Yankees after the war. BUT, he was a total dreamboat! You totally hate him half the book, and then you’re just madly in love with him for the other half. I have no idea how he worked that out. More guys need to learn that secret. No wait–they don’t. Because no one else can do arrogant/attractive the way that Rhett can, and therefore no one should try. If Scarlett O’Hara is the girl we all love to hate, Rhett is the man we all hate to love. Everything in me is screaming against him, but my heart of hearts tells me he’s totally dreamy. The end.

2. Prince Charmont

Prince char

Because if you can have a prince on your list of guy’s you’d probably end up marrying, why not? I’d be a great princess. Not. But I’d like to be one anyway, to eat free food and wear pretty dresses, if for no other reason. Plus Prince Char will always be the literary crush of my childhood. Making him number two on my list. Although neither of us are good at accents or languages, so we’d probably be a bad match anyway. We’d suck as diplomats.

1. Eddie Redmayne

Eddie redmayne

Okay, so he’s real as real can be–a fact I realize all too well. But I can’t put “Marius” on the list because–hello–Marius is like the creepiest character ever and we all only really like him because Eddie is so darn attractive. Somehow his sheer attractiveness completely overrules Marius’ creepy, stalkerish behavior. But I digress. What I really wanted to say was that Eddie Redmayne is perfection and the only male capable and making my sister and I literally squeal. It’s disgustingly childish, but I have no embarrassment. I’m a female and he has freckles and therefore it’s perfectly rational.


Clearly, being sick for six days messed with my brain and turned me into a twelve-year-old girl. Please comment and fangirl away while I go and think of something semi-serious to blog about later this week.


An Easter Picnic

So I decided to skip the weekly Sunday Stories installment yesterday and spend Easter with my family instead! We got up at the crack of dawn, went to our church’s sunrise and morning services, and then came home and laid around and ate a ton of food. Naturally.

But Saturday I had the opportunity to be *much* more girly and frivolous, thanks to the combined creative talents of myself and my good friend Ashlyn! Ashlyn runs an amazing food blog–www.pedanticfoodie.com–and we thought it might be fun to collaborate for an Easter-themed photoshoot. So Ashlyn made a spectrum of amazing delectables and I got together all my camera supplies and we set up a little picnic in the woods.

I thought you all might enjoy seeing pictures! If you want any of the recipes, Ashlyn will be posting them this week on her blog, www.pedanticfoodie.com. Scones, mushroom risotto, ombre cake… What’s not to love???











Ohmygosh, I’m in Seattle!!!!


Just thought I’d let you guys know that I’m in Seattle this weekend to sign copies of “Chasing Jupiter” for the ALA (American Library Association) Conference!!! For those of you who are interested in following us along on our trip, I’ll be posting lots of photos and updates on my Facebook page and Twitter (@RachelCoker3). And then, of course, I’ll post lots of pics when I get back!!! 🙂


Things I’m Just Too Girly To Understand

My friends tease me a lot for often being a walking contradiction. I’ve been told time after time again that everyone, upon meeting me, thinks that I’m an extremely girly goody-two-shoes. This is probably because I wear dresses ninety percent of the time and always tend to look like I’ve been transported from 1948 or something. And then, once people get to know me, they’re always shocked at how non-girly I can be at times. I shoot, sit unfazed  while watching horror films, and make fun of anything even remotely close to a romantic comedy. And yet, despite often brushing off overly feminine tendencies, I find that there are still a number of things that I am way too girly to understand. Guys, I’m talking to you. I have no idea why you…

  • Think that it’s fun to sit in a deer stand all day

It’s not. It’s boring. My best friend and I went up there with her brother once and he tried to explain to us what it was like. Apparently we’re supposed to sit up there for hours without talking, moving, or squealing and just wait for some poor innocent animal to calmly walk past us. Then we’re supposed to blow its brains out and drag it home? I just don’t get that. Not that I mind other people doing it, but I think I might actually prefer going to the dentist to hunting deer. Maybe.

  • Talk about cars like they’re people

Just about every guy I know does this and it constantly confuses me. “Look at that beauty. See her pretty black racing stripe? Man, that’s the car for me!” Or “My truck’s never let me down. She gets me through dirt, mud, and snow. I call her ‘Old Faithful’. Isn’t she a beauty?” No, your truck is not beautiful. It’s two tons of dull red metal with tires five times the size of my head. I don’t see the beauty in that.

  • Watch five John Wayne movies in a row and insist they’re all special

I love me a good John Wayne film. But five in a row? Let me clue you in: They all have the same exact plot. Grisly good guy with unbelievable aim. Fiery woman who at first resists him and then swoons all over him and falls at his feet. Posse of bad guys who couldn’t shoot a sleeping elephant on a sunny day. The good guy avoids getting shot, kills off the bad guys, and convinces the woman she’s dying to kiss him. There. Now you don’t have to waste another ten hours watching the Western marathons on AMC! You’re welcome.

  • Think that “The Avengers” was actually interesting

It wasn’t. It was a bunch of violent, strangely-dressed guys (and one girl) randomly fighting and blowing up things while talking about their confusing pasts that I know absolutely nothing about. Maybe if I had any clue who Captain America or Hawkeye was, I might actually appreciate that movie, but who has the time to read fifty million vintage comic books and find out?


Sorry if I come across kind of rant-ish this morning. Obviously I’ve been spending too much time with my guy friends and need to go shopping or something. 😉 Plus, I always like to rant on Saturdays for some reason. It makes me happy!


Video Blog: The Story Behind “Chasing Jupiter”

A lot of you have been asking me about this, so here it is: The complete story of how I came across the idea for my second book, “Chasing Jupiter”, due to be released this December.

Hint: Great book ideas can be discovered if you volunteer to help out with Sunday School at your church. That’s just the honest truth. 😉


P.S. Please, please watch the video so that you can see I don’t actually look like a half-alive seal. Can’t figure out how to change thumbnails under the “new and improved” Youtube settings. -_-

Books I Didn’t Think I’d Want to Read, Then Ended Up Reading, And Actually Loved

Have you ever seen a book at the library, or a used bookstore, or a friend’s house that totally did not look like something you would enjoy reading, and then someone convinced you to give it a try, and you ended up loving it? Yeah, me too. It’s awful, too, because they’re usually the kind of books that have titles or covers cheesy enough to make you wince. And when a friend spies you holding it, you have to rush out in one big breath, “Okay, I know this book looks totally lame but it’s actually pretty good, once you get past the first three chapters and it actually has a really cool ending and it might have made me cry, but it was also kind of funny, and just ignore the silly title and borrow it, okay?” I’ve done that before. Just so you all know.

Okay, so I think I’ll go ahead and further humiliate myself by sharing a few books that totally did not look like titles I’d actually want to read, but ended up reading anyway, and actually loved. Usually it was a friend who would convince me to read them, or a really great review by someone I trust. Whatever the case, here they are. You read, and I’ll stand over here cringing in embarrassment.

Just One Wish, by Janette Rallison

 Seventeen-year-old Annika Truman will do anything to fulfill her little brother’s only wish before his frightening cancer surgery. The trouble is, he wants a certain superstar actor to pay him a visit. Annika has only a few days to drive to California and convince the celebrity to come home with her. On a seemingly impossible adventure that includes paparazzi, bows and arrows, and one enormous snake, Annika learns a few lessons about family, love, and having her own wishes granted.
Sounds lame, right? That is exactly what I thought! (We think so similarly, random readers) But one of my good friends was just raving about how good this book was, so I ended up checking it out from the library. It ended up being so good. Okay, so the whole superstar love interest thing was really lame, and I kind of skimmed those sections. But the relationship between Annika and her little brother was so sweet. Usually sibling-dying-of-cancer stories all sort of feel the same and they really depress me, but this one was different. Special. You should just read it and see if you agree.
The Witch of Blackbird Pond, by Elizabeth George Speare
Kit Tyler is marked by suspicion and disapproval from the moment she arrives on the unfamiliar shores of colonial Connecticut in 1867. Alone and desperate, she has been forced to leave her beloved home on the island of Barbados and join a family she has never met. Torn between her quest for belonging and her desire to be true to herself, Kit struggles to survive in a hostile place. Just when it seems she must give up, she finds a kindred spirit. But Kit’s friendship with Hannah Tupper, believed by the colonists to be a witch, proves more taboo than she could have imagined and ultimately forces Kit to choose between her heart and her duty.
Okay, so I was really scared to read this book, because I usually shy away from things involving witchcraft. (I may be one of the 1% of people alive who still has never seen/read Harry Potter) But believe it or not, reading this book was actually a school assignment way back in sixth or seventh grade (best homework ever!), so I really had no choice. Long story short, I loved it. It was my favorite book ever for several years (until another school assignment introduced me to the masterpiece that is Gone with the Wind), and I still love, love, love it. You’ve probably read it, but in case (like me), you never realized this gem existed, let me assure you that you will fall in love with this story. It’s not about witchcraft at all, but rather a story of friendship, compassion, and staying true to yourself.
Princess Academy, by Shannon Hale
Miri lives on a mountain where, for generations, her ancestors have quarried stone and lived a simple life. Then word comes that the king’s priests have divined her small village the home of the future princess. In a year’s time, the prince himself will come and choose his bride from among the girls of the village. The king’s ministers set up an academy on the mountain, and every teenage girl must attend and learn how to become a princess.Miri soon finds herself confronted with a harsh academy mistress, bitter competition among the girls, and her own conflicting desires to be chosen and win the heart of her childhood best friend. But when bandits seek out the academy to kidnap the future princess, Miri must rally the girls together and use a power unique to the mountain dwellers to save herself and her classmates.

I first read this book in 2007, the year it came out. I was eleven or twelve, and I was in this weird phase where I went and read all of the Newberry Medal and Honor books. I totally cringed at the idea of this one. Princess Academy? I was so over princess and Barbie dolls, thank you very much! But it was on the list, and I was completely dedicated, so I read it. It quickly became one of my new favorite books. I’ve read it three or four times since then, and I still love it every time. The story’s really simple and sweet, which is good because I love simple storylines. I’m  not big into action, drama, and conflict. Shannon Hale is just a brilliant writer, though. She made me love this story, when other authors may have made me gag.
The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin
When an eccentric millionaire dies mysteriously, sixteen very unlikely people are gathered together for the reading of the will…and what a will it is!
Whoever decided that we should never judge a book by its cover was obviously not a teenage girl. Because I feel like I always judge books by their covers. Don’t care if that’s right or not, but it’s true. And I hate the cover to this book. Always have. Why? Because it’s boring, and doesn’t really seem to have much to do with the book. But, whatever. I’m going on a rant. Anyway, this book was another title on my Newberry Medal and Honor list. Wasn’t excited about reading it at all. But you know what? I really, really liked this book. I don’t know if I’d use the word “love”, and I don’t know if I’d want to read it more than once or twice a decade, but it’s still pretty good. I think the appeal of this book is that it’s not mushy, sappy, romantic, or girly. It’s just a solid interesting, quirky mystery. The non-gushy side of my personality loves that. I feel the same about And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie. Anyone else read that book?
Heartbeat, by Sharon Creech
Run run run.

That’s what twelve-year-old Annie loves to do. When she’s barefoot and running, she can hear her heart beating . . . thump-THUMP, thump-THUMP. It’s a rhythm that makes sense in a year when everything’s shifting: Her mother is pregnant, her grandfather is forgetful, and her best friend, Max, is always moody. Everything changes over time, just like the apple Annie’s been assigned to draw. But as she watches and listens, Annie begins to understand the many rhythms of life, and how she fits within them.

This is a poem book. As in, the whole thing is written as one long poem, not prose. Which may be up some people’s alley, but it was never up mine. No, siree. But a librarian suggested I read this when I was ten or eleven, and I ended up really connecting to it. It was one of the first books that opened my eyes to the idea that I don’t necessarily have to write about a plot. With a hero and a bad guy and a quest or goal or aim. Sometimes the best books are just about people, and what they think or feel. That idea has been invaluable in the way I write and form my stories, and I think this book was one of the first times I realized someone could write a book like that. And, by the end, I didn’t mind the poetry.


So that’s my round-up. I’m sure there’s several more titles that I could include, and I’ll probably think of them all as soon as I post this, but I think that’s it for now.

So what about you? Have you ever been skeptical or embarrassed to read a book, and then ended up loving it?


My Thoughts on “Um” + Giveaway

So I was speaking at a library the other day, and suddenly, the most puzzling question I have ever thought of flashed across my mind. So mind-blowing that it really took me aback, and I spent the rest of the afternoon carefully pondering it. And it is this: Where did the word “um” come from? I mean, think about it. It’s not really short for anything, and it doesn’t really stand for anything, and it has no really meaning. So why do we say it? What is the point? What kind of brainless robotic people are we? Let us ban the word “um” from our vocabulary. I think we should replace it with something else, like “pip” or “squat”. Can you imagine carrying on a conversation and saying, “I need you to go the grocery store and get…pip….some milk and eggs.” It just sounds so much cuter and funny!

Anyway, weird ramblings aside, you’re probably only reading this to find out who won the giveaway. *sniff* It’s okay, I’ll get over it. I know it’s not my brilliant wit and charm that attracts you to my blog, it’s my sister’s amazing talent. But that’s okay, because hopefully one very lucky girl will get to enjoy her talent in the form of an adorable bow-tie skirt! And, according to the random number generator, that girl is… Brooke S! Brooke, Hannah will email you later today with more details.

It’s okay, everyone who did not win. I feel your pain. I myself am yet to get a free bow skirt out of this whole deal. 😉 But, if you really want one for yourself (and who wouldn’t?), then please hop on over to Hannah’s Etsy shop and order one, or send her an email directly at hannaheverly(at)hotmail(dot).com. We should fill the world with girls wearing adorable bow skirts and mumbling “pip” after every few words. The world would be such a happy place to live….


P.S. Thank you so much to everyone who tweeted, Facebooked, Pinned, and talked about Hannah’s skirts. It means so much to both of us to “know” so many sweet, encouraging people! 🙂


Start of a New Adventure

So, you may have figured it out by now, but guess what? I’m now on Facebook! That’s right: the Rachel Coker fan page is now totally official. As of this moment, I have exactly zero “likes”, which obviously makes me feel real good about myself, but maybe you can help me out and follow me there. 🙂 I’ll be posting every time I have a new blog entry, so it should be easier for some of you to stay in-the-loop.


Real Quick…

Okay, so I do have a real post ready for this afternoon (another writing q&a!), but I wanted to post something quick this morning because something has come to my attention. On my dad’s computer, the last post keeps coming up with miscellaneous YouTube videos posted at the bottom. Each time he refreshes the page, the video changes, and some of them are somewhat innapropriate. The videos don’t show up on mine or my mom’s computer. I have no idea how they could have gotten on there, and whether someone spammed my blog or his laptop. So please let me know if your computer shows any weird videos, so I can try to figure out how to solve the problem. Thank you!