Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thoughts for Thursday: Halloween

Happy Halloween Everyone! I know not everyone will see this due to today being the holiday, but how could I pass up the chance for some great Halloween quotes, especially since it fell on the actual day? So, here goes:


Thoughts for Thursday is a new feature hosted by Musings on Fantasia and LKHill.  In this meme, we share thoughts or quotes that we know or have recently come across. Each week there is a specific subject or theme. These can be quotes from books, quotes by famous people, (quotes by YOU, perhaps ;D). Anything from anywhere is game, though we do ask that you keep your quote to a few sentences at most. Don't quote, for example, entire passages of a book or essay. These can be funny quips, cool sayings, hair-raising antidotes, movie lines, any kind of quote you can think of!

Just have fun, collect awesome sayings by awesome people, and try to be inspired!

In honor of the coming holiday, this week's theme is Halloween(For more quotes, check out my other blog.)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Review Day: Dracula by Bram Stoker + Dracula Film Versions

Two quick notes before I get to today's review:

1) I'm trying to promote my two most recent books, Dark Remnants and Quantum Entanglement. There are lots of sites where you can list them for promotions, but most of the Amazon ones require that you have a certain number of reviews on Amazon. Unfortunately, because my books are still so new, I'm falling a bit below the bar. So, if you've read either and feel so inclined, could you cross-post your reviews to Amazon? It would really help me out. Also, if you'd be willing to read either in exchange for a review, I'd be happy to send you a free electronic copy. You can contact me at my email, lkhillbooks@gmail.com for questions or inquiries.

2) I finally got the cover for book 1 of my historical fiction trilogy, entitled Citadels of Fire. This is the saga set in Russia in the middle ages. Guys, it's AMAZING! I'm so pleased with it. I'm going to do a cover reveal the first week in November. I'm thinking the 6th or 7th. If anyone would like to help me do a cover reveal blitz, let me know. I'll be sending the stuff out in the next few days. Just email me, again, at lkhillbooks@gmail.com.


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Okay. Onto Dracula by Bram Stoker. I've read this one before, but I decided to read it again for Halloween this year. I totally love this book! It's one of my favorites.

Plot: I probably don't need to say much about the plot, as most people have a pretty good idea. I remember being surprised the first time I read it how great it was. I expected it to be stiff and outdated, the way much classic stuff that's WAY overdone in our pop culture is. Not so with Dracula. It's still powerful and creepy, even a hundred and thirty years later! I will say that I've never seen a film version that does the book total justice. Stoker was a genius in his own right that immortalized himself with this work. If only we could all be so lucky. It's worth noting that, in the original book, there is no romance between Mina and Dracula. None. Whatsoever. I get a bit annoyed that EVERY other version does that. I mean, I suppose I get why it might enhance the story, but I'm a bit of a Stoker purist and in the book, Dracula only goes after Mina to spite the men who are trying to kill him. To have versions where he's in love with Mina--or worse!--she's in love with him, seems a perversion of Stoker's original intentions.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Ender's Game

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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So this week's teasers are from Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. I'm pretty sure I read this as a kid, but I remember next to nothing about it, so I wanted to re-read it before the film hit theaters. So far, I'm really enjoying it! :D

"Ender almost said, I want to. But he held his tongue. This would keep him out of school, but that was stupid, that was just a problem for a few days. It would keep him away from Peter--that was more important, that might be a matter of life itself. But to leave Mother and Father, and above all, to leave Valentine. And become a soldier. Ender didn't like fighting. He didn't like Peter's kind, the strong against the weak, and he didn't like his own kind either, the smart against the stupid."
What are YOU reading this week?


Monday, October 28, 2013

More on Fantasy Back Story

So last week I did a post about some of the back story I'm using for my epic dragon fantasy story. It dealt with the birth of dragons. I got excellent feedback for it, so thank you to all who shared their thoughts. I really appreciated them. If you want to read that previous post, Dragon Magic: Designing Back Story, click the link. 

So, I'm going to do some more back story today. 


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Several hundred years ago, the world was a chaotic place with dragons and men constantly at war with both each other and themselves. Both species nearly destroyed themselves before the Fire Covenant was made. The Fire Covenant binds the two species as allies within the land of the Six Realms. They safeguard one another and form a symbiotic relationship.


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In the years that followed, a family called Darmingian took power. They ruled the human world for decades and were good, just kings. Under them, the four Boundaries of the Six Realms were reinforced with magic and sealed against the dangers without. The dragons, coupled with human riders, stood sentry to keep the Six Realms safe.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lord of Chaos Read-Along, Week 2



Welcome to week 2 of our Lord of Chaos Read-Along. This week we read chapters 3-6. Remember that this section, as well as everything that came before is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Follow Friday: Books in Funny Places

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!


Bookagram: Photograph your favorite read in a funny place. 

Most of you know by now that the Wheel of Time series is among my favorite reads and since my read-along just started book 6, that's what I decided to go with.



Yup, that's right. In the fridge. Please know this isn't a Joey-from-Friends sort of thing. It's not in there because I'm afraid of it. Rather, I often read while cooking dinner for my niece, and consequently find my book is bizarre places. I've lost it many times only to find it on the counter, in the sink, in the fridge, in the freezer, in the cupboard, and once on the floor near the dishwasher. This is why one shouldn't multi-task. Not that it'll stop me from doing it again in the future. :D

How about you? Where did you photograph your read this week?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Five Complications I Wish Were Part of My Writing Life

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Hello Everyone! And happy Hump Day!

I hope it's going swimmingly! So today I'm doing a (somewhat snarky) post over at Alex J. Cavanaugh's website entitled, "Complications I Wish Were Part of My Writing Life."

If everyone could hop over there to leave your comments, I'd be most appreciative! Have a great Wednesday! :D

Monday, October 21, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Character Names

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Top 10 Character Names That I Love or That are Unusual

Being a bit reader of fantasy, this really isn't hard. I could probably come up with dozens. So, these are the just the first to come to mind, and in no particular order:
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10. Loial from The Wheel of Time series. He's an Ogier who is sweet and smart and--yup!--very bookish. But he really lives up to his name with loyalty. Love him!



9. Chillingworth from The Scarlet Letter. He's the villain and I always loved how Hawthorne crafted a name that suggested the character of the villain.
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8. al'Lan Mandragoran from The Wheel of Time series. Okay, this is at least partly because he's just the most awesome, amazing, honorable guy ever! but anything with a hint of "dragon" in it, I'm all for.



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7. Arya/Aria from Game of Thrones/Under the Never Sky. The same name, but spelled differently. Sounds like a song, which is particularly appropriate for Under the Never Sky. It's more ironic in Game of Thrones because this character is a tomboy. But still, it's a pretty, feminine name that isn't common in our world. And yes, she's totally my favorite character in GoT.
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6. Luna Lovegood of the Harry Potter series. Her name is so appropriate for her character. Colorful, somewhat hippi-ish, though with so much innocence that she never has an agenda, but completely in her own world, and yet also endearing.


5. Zedicus Z'ul Zorander of The Sword of Truth series. He's first wizard, but in character comes across as a lovable, goofy old guy who's set in his ways. His name is perfect for who he is, and he always made me smile. Love him.


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4. Reep-i-Cheep of The Chronicles of Narnia. Okay, he's a mouse, so his name is fitting, but it's just so cutesy! I think I smiled every time I read the name. Of course, it helps that he's a fearless, warrior mouse who takes on opponents ten times his size!

3. Echo Emerson of Pushing the Limits. Some people see this as a name that's a little too weird. Just the author trying to be different. I do see the point there, and sort of agree, or would, if I didn't think the name was a perfect mirror for the character. In this case, she only sees 'echoes' of something bad that happened and is trying to figure it out throughout the book, so I think it works well.

2. Karou and Akiva of Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Not really any good reason. They're just very fitting for who the characters end up being, which you don't entirely find out until the very end of book 1. Just like them!

1. Magnus Bane of The Mortal Instruments. Really not my favorite character, but I think he's got a cool name for a warlock. 

So what are your Top Ten favorite character names?

Dragon Magic: Designing Back Story

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Many of you know that I'm currently writing--among other things--the first book of an epic fantasy series which I'm tentatively calling Dragon Magic. That will likely be the name of the series, not the first volume. I'm still working on a title for book 1.

So, I thought I'd start introducing back story to my readers, just to see what you think of it.

In my series, dragons and human actually have a very good relationship. Many centuries ago, our two races entered into a magical pact called the Fire Covenant, which establishes a symbiotic relationship between them. Now young boys with certain magical powers are discovered at a young age and are trained to become Dragon Riders. These pairs of warriors and their dragon Companions are the guardians of the Six Realms. They keep the kingdom safe and patrol the borders.

But, everyone needs an origin story, right? So, where did dragons come from? In my fantasy world of the Six Realms, where men and dragons work and live peacefully side by side, this is their origin story about the birth of dragons:

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Thousands of years ago, when the world was a dark and dangerous place, the human race was terrorized by ferocious creatures like Fire Demons and Harpies.


In order to mate, Harpies often take the form of beautiful human women to seduce human men. One they mate, they turn back into their true, nightmarish forms, kill and often eat the man they just mated with, and then go lay their eggs.

One day, Prince Dragonus, the strongest and wisest king among men, was captured and held captive by a beautiful woman who called herself Telenna. More than suspecting what she truly was, he refused to be seduced by her. The ability to seduce even the noblest of men is as point of pride for harpies, so Telenna kept trying, acting more and more human to win the prince's affections. As the months went on, Telenna's actions became less and less an act. The prince genuinely fell in love with her. Eventually, they consummated their relationship.

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Afterward, Telenna knew she ought to kill Dragonus, but she couldn't bring herself to do it. She felt strange things for him. Things that confused her. Things she'd never felt before. She layed her eggs, but kept the prince alive and hidden in her lair.

When her harpy sisters found out, they thought her a traitor to their species by keeping a human pet. They waited for a time when they knew she'd leave her lair, then attacked it, intent on killing the prince and destroying Telenna's eggs. 

The prince, though distraught that his young were in egg form, still felt protective toward them. Despite Telenna's being a harpy, he loved her, and couldn't believe that children born of a loving union could produce monsters.

When the other harpies attacked the eggs, Dragonus did his best to defend them, but he had no shield against half a dozen shrieking, gnashing harpies. He took mortal wounds, leaking his life's blood over the eggs. Telenna returned in the midst of the attack and tried to defend Dragonus. She, too, took mortal wounds from her harpy sisters and the two lovers died lying over their young,  turning the white egg shells red with their blood. As she lay dying, Telenna cast a powerful spell to protect her young. Prince Dragonus took her hand, adding what will he could to the spell. Then, they both expired.


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When Telenna's harpy sisters tried to destroy the eggs, they found that the shells had become hard, like diamond, and unbreakable. Weeks went by, and no one could figure out how to destroy the eggs. As the hatching time neared, the harpies called on the services of a dark sorcerer, asking him to curse the eggs before they hatched. He did so, for a price.

From the eggs, the first dragons were born. Born of Telanna's fierce, feral, animal side and Dragonus's strength and loyalty, the dragons, both long-lived and wise were released into the world of men. And so was the birth of the first dragons.

What do you think of this as a legend and origins story in a fantasy world?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Lord of Chaos Read-Along, Week 1


Welcome to week 1 of the Lord of Chaos Read-Along. We're all congregating over at Coffee, Cookies and Chili Peppers this week, and there will be a post at Dab of Darkness as well. We just read the first section this week--the Prologue and first two chapters--but everything in this section as well as everything that's come before is fair game for spoilers so read at your own risk!

So this week I started a Wheel of Time board on Pinterest. Once I started searching for WoT images, I found tons, including some I'd never seen before! Dah! So I've included a few, of course. :D

Forsaken pledging to Shai'tan
1. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that we have now met all of the Forsaken in the flesh. What are your impressions of the last three to be revealed: Demandred, Mesaana and Semirhage? Any guesses which of the Forsaken have been reborn as Osan’gar and Aran’gar?

I think the ones Jordan waited to reveal until last are perhaps the cruelest and least stupid. They'll make fewer mistakes, be harder to beat, and do more damage before Rand can stop them. Unlike those Rand has already fought, they'll be more sly about showing their hands and be more careful about where they are and who they show themselves to.

I won't say much about Osan'gar and Aran'gar, except this. I don't know if everyone caught it--I certainly didn't the first time through--but Aran'gar is apparently very angry about her body, even though Osan'gar describes it as very attractive. So why would she be angry about "this body"? What does it say about the gender of the former Forsaken who is now in the female body? Just sayin'.

Concept Art for the Pit of Doom
2. We also get our first look at Shayol Ghul and enter the presence of the Dark One himself. Was this what you expected and how horrific did you find the experience related by Demandred? Also, Shaidar Haran: is he the scariest thing that we have come across yet or not?

Yeah Shadiar Haran is pretty twisted. The thing about Fades is that, while they're deadly, they don't seem particularly smart. So, to have a fade that seems very individualistic and more twisted than any shadowspawn we've seen before is all kinds of scary. I also think the whole metal-spikes-that-brush-your-hair is pretty creepy. *shivers* As for the Dark One, it's hard to make a thing seem perpetually terrifying once you've defined it. As time goes on, the DO will start to seem more and more like a really loud, booming voice. At this point, he's pretty scary, but he doesn't change much as time goes on.

He-he. Totally
3. What do you think of the girls’ solution for containing Moghedien? Do you think they can hope to keep this secret, plus all the others they have?

Probably not. Not forever. Too many secrets will come spilling out sooner or later, but I think it's as good a solution as any, given what they're dealing with. They might as well try to get what knowledge they can out of her. I was irritated by the fact that she said the boys with her were traumatized when she found them and they believe her. Maybe it's true, maybe not, but given that she's flat out refusing to tell them anything on her own--unlike Asmodean who became almost cooperative with Rand after a while--I'm kind of annoyed that they just take her at her word. She very well could have killed their parents. But, at least they're being well looked after now by Brigitte.

Perrin and Faile
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4. Yay! Faile and Perrin are back in the narrative, and Loial is mentioned if not actually shown (grump). Were you surprised by the changes that we see in the Two Rivers? How likely do you think it is that Perrin will be able to leave Faile behind when he travels off to meet up with Rand?

I think I was surprised the first time through. It's one of those things that have both good and bad aspects. Part of the charm of the Two Rivers and especially Emmond's Field was its small-town-ness. It's kind of sad that that's gone, now. On the other hand, we're bringing Emmond's Fielders into the New Age, and it was probably bound to happen the instant Moiraine set foot in the vague direction of their town. At least there's someone to boss the Coplins and Congars around now. I think it's hysterical that they simper for Perrin but treat Faile like a headstrong apprentice. 

House Trakand
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5. It seems that the members of House Trakand, with the possible exception of Elayne, are making some pretty dreadful choices at the moment. How long do you think Gawyn will stay with the White Tower Aes Sedai before he decides to call it quits and go to look for Egwene? Morgase seems to have lost most of her former composure: could she use a ‘good seeing to’ from young Tallanvor and his shapely calves????

Unfortunately, Gawyn doesn't get with it as quickly as we'd all like, but I can't help liking him anyway. Kinda want to kick him in the pants sometimes, but I think Jordan does a good job of giving reasons why he stays, even if they seem kind of flimsy to most of us. He feels like he should be loyal to the Tower because he thinks it's what Elayne and Egwene would want. And then when the dude shows up, spreading rumors that Rand killed Elayne, that just makes him more determined than ever. Sigh. It's kind of sad, really. I kind of want Rand and Gawyn to be friends.

I kind of pity Morgase at this point. Don't get me wrong, I would never have gone to Altara for help, but now she's feeling the world closing in around her and there's very little she can do. That, and she's probably having a PMS episode with no chocolate around, which is why she flipped her wig. I think a relationship with Tallanvor could only do her good. Having a good--and cute--guy devoted to you can only boost your confidence, which will help her deal with the pickle, or fifteen, that she's gotten herself into. Besides, it says a lot about a guy that he'll hang around when you treat him the way we've seen Morgase treat Tallanvor so far. I do think it's pretty funny that everyone--like Lini and Lamgwin's woman (can't remember her name) are totally rooting for her to sleep with Tallanvor. Makes me laugh.

6. The Shaido have allied themselves with the White Tower. Do you foresee a problem with the cultural differences between these two ‘allies’ or will they work together smoothly? Do you think, as I do, that both these groups are underestimating Rand and his abilities?

Um, yes and yes. Not that I ever had high hopes for Sevanna, but she's really not thinking with her upstairs brain at this point. I think she's allowing her cleavage to do all her thinking. The funny thing is, like Elaida, I think she's just enough of a self-centered dingbat, that she really thinks she's doing the best thing and that it will put her on top of the world. That kind of stupidity in itself doesn't bode well for her fate. And of course they're all underestimating our boy. Enemies always do. This is the kind of arrogance we've come to expect from the White Tower, and have seen among the Shaido as well.

Just for fun!
7. Poor Rand, surrounded by people that he does not really trust, apart from the Maidens. Last week I was totally convinced of Davrim Bashere’s honesty, do you think that his behavior this week proves me right or wrong? Then there is the False Dragon, Mazrim Tain: should Rand trust him or not?

I'm a big believer in gut feelings. Rand says something about Taim rubs his wrong, so I'm inclined to not trust him. Whether Rand is mistrustful for the right reasons or not becomes moot, in my book. The feeling is there. Trust it. 

I actually really liked Bashere in this part. It's what solidified my belief in his being a "good guy" and one of Rand's strongest allies. Rand asked why Bashere didn't fear him, and his answer is awesome! It's because Rand is obviously the true Dragon Reborn, and the world will live or die based on his performance in the Last Battle. That's such a great answer because it's not simpering, or trying to flatter Rand or be buddy-buddy with him. Bashere won't be swayed by money or power or manipulation. The Great Game of Houses can't touch that argument, the Forsaken can't touch it. Dingbat Amyrlins formerly of the Red Ajah can't. Nothing. Bashere will follow Rand simply because he is the Dragon Reborn. Nothing more. Nothing less. Love him!

Extras:

Lews Therin Telamon
I really love the prophecy at the beginning of this book. It's one of only two, I think, that rhyme. Jordan doesn't do the couplets thing often, but when he does, I get chills.

I loved seeing Rand fighting five guys and being mostly successful against them. He's become a Blademaster in his own right--far from when we first encountered him as a sheepherder in the Two Rivers, and I think that's kind of awesome. :D

We're also seeing a lot more of Lews Therin Telamon's thoughts coming into Rand's mind and even influencing his behavior, which is a little scary. Kudos to Bashere for keeping his cool in that situation.

I also love that Elayne and Nynaeve are being credited with "discoveries" they're gleaning from Moghedien. It just feels like poetic justice, and they're becoming legendary, even before being raised to the shawl. Loving that!

So far, I think we're off to a great start. Can't wait to get into the meat of this book!

How did everyone else like this section?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Book Review: The Fires of Heaven

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As most of you know, I've been participating in a Wheel of Time Read-Along all year. We're reading the series slowly--about 100 pages a week--and we'll get through book 6 out of 14 before the end of the year, and hopefully continue into next year. I've read the series before, but the first time, I only got through book 9 before I was caught up to the publishing, and had to wait at least two years between each volume after that. Now, with all fourteen books out, I've had a blast re-reading them. This series has meant a lot me and I totally love it.

Don't worry, I'll stay away from spoilers.

That said, because this is an epic saga, it's hard to tell you much without giving away things that have happened in previous books. The Fires of Heaven simply continues where it left off. Rand is in the Aiel Waste, trying to figure out his next move; Mat is with him, trying to stay out of trouble as usual, but never quite succeeding. Egwene is still training with the Aiel Wise Ones, though she's keeping secrets from them. Moiraine is also with Rand, though the dynamic of their relationship changes significantly in this book. Nynaeve and Elayne are traveling away from the city they were in when we last saw them, ducking their enemies. They meet up with a travelling menageries, which results in some entertaining times. And Perrin is left out of this volume completely. I'm looking forward to starting book 6 so we can catch up with him again.

The biggest thing about this book is the ending. It's huge! Epic, in fact! There are battles (involving the Forsaken, no less) gore, tragedy, and more epicness! It's amazing. And it propels you forward, wanting the next book VERY badly. Jordan was often criticized while writing the series for not having enough tragedy. We haven't seen real tragedy since the end of Book 2. Let's just say he remedies that here.

In terms of the characters, they continue to change and grow and have lots of new, earth-shattering experiences. I could go on and on but it would make the review too long, so I'll just talk about Rand. We really start to see him change in this book, and not necessarily in a good way. He's trying to harden himself in order to make himself into a better leader, and we can already see that he's probably going about it the wrong way. Having read it before, I of course remember where this leads him, but it's fascinating to see the change at the beginning and recognize it for what it is. Really fascinating.

Overall, I really loved this installment. I don't know that I have one favorite book--I just love the series too much--but it's among my favorites. So much great stuff happens.

If you're interested in joining our read-along check out this link for our Lord of Chaos reading schedule. Feel free to email Susan (who runs the Dab of Darkness blog) to join. The more the merrier! :D

Has anyone else read the Wheel of Time? What's your favorite volume?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thoughts for Thursday: Fear

Thoughts for Thursday is a new feature hosted by Musings on Fantasia and LKHill.  In this meme, we share thoughts or quotes that we know or have recently come across. Each week there is a specific subject or theme. These can be quotes from books, quotes by famous people, (quotes by YOU, perhaps ;D). Anything from anywhere is game, though we do ask that you keep your quote to a few sentences at most. Don't quote, for example, entire passages of a book or essay. These can be funny quips, cool sayings, hair-raising antidotes, movie lines, any kind of quote you can think of!

Just have fun, collect awesome sayings by awesome people, and try to be inspired!

In honor of the coming holiday, this week's theme is Fear(For more quotes, check out my other blog.)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Book Review: Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

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When I first started blogging in May of 2012, one of the first books I read and reviewed was Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin. I really loved the book and was so excited when I saw that the sequel would be out this year. When I decided to participate in Readers Imbibing Peril VIII in honor of the Halloween season, I knew finally getting around to read Dance of the Red Death would be just the thing.

Plot: The book picks up almost exactly after the end of Masque of the Red Death. It goes through the rebellion, and Araby trying to figure out her feelings for the two guys in her life, all while worrying about her mother, who is a captive in Prince Prospero's castle, and her father, who is missing. I thought the plot moved along nicely and I was never bored. 

Characters: I'll admit to being a little annoyed with Araby in this book. More so than I was in the first one. She's a character who starts out weak and ends up strong by the end of this book, which I can totally get behind, but she wasn't always very upstanding about things. I don't want to give spoilers, but let's just say there is a time when she realizes who she ought to be with, and which guy she definitely doesn't want to be with, and then ends up making out with him for ten minutes after coming to that conclusion. Really? Come on Araby. That's just a douchy thing to do.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Forced Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Top 10 Books I was Forced to Read. Most of these are classics I was forced to read (usually for school) and either loved or hated. 

Bad:

Powers of the Mind and Post-Apocalyptic Worlds: Welcome to Interchron

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As most of you know, I'm writing a dystopian saga called Interchron. I'm sure you can see the purchase links in the sidebars.

For those who haven't read them, I thought I'd go over the back story of the world they're set in. The world of Interchron is a futuristic, post-apocalyptic one, where society has devoured itself alive with wide-open eyes. Some years in our future, a scientist known only as Smith succeeds in mapping the human brain in it's entirety. What he discovers is that every decision we make as humans, every attribute we take on, everything we observe in any way that influences us, that changes us or otherwise defines us, shows up in our brain chemistry. 


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Smith believes this to be a miraculous discovery. Diseases of the brain and mind--everything from phobias to mental illness to personality disorders--can be rooted out and treated. Because the brain is linked to the body, physical maladies show up there too, and can be similarly treated at the root cause rather than just the symptom. 

As people begin to explore and manipulate their brains using these new discoveries, they find ways to develop super-brain powers. Most are mental powers that manipulate neurochemical energy and boost the quality of life. They include things like Healing, Protection through mental shields, and in some rare cases, Time Travel...

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Fires of Heaven Read-Along, Week 10 (Final Week)


Welcome to the final week of the Fires of Heaven Read-Along. We've come to the end of book 5. Next week we will begin book 6, Lord of Chaos. If you'd like to join, check out this post for schedule. Today we read the final four chapters of book 5. Remember that everything in this section and leading up to it is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk!

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1. As soon as they get to Caemlyn, Rahvin lashes out, killing Mat, Aviendha, and Asmodean. Later, after Rand balefires him, the recoil in the Pattern brings them back to life. How did you feel about this roller coaster twist? Did you see it coming?

I remember being really shocked the first time I read it in high school. In fact, I don't think I totally got it. I read about Aviendha being still and Mat's boots smoking, but I just thought they were hurt. It wasn't until several paragraphs later when Rand specifically thinks about them being dead that I actually realized what had happened. I had to go back and read it again. But, at that point, I sort of figured something would happen to bring them back. They're both two important to kill off mid-series. I read as fast as I could to figure out what that thing was, but still. :D

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Book Review: Girl of Nightmares

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Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake is the second book in what I understand is only a duology about Anna Dressed in Blood. Incidentally, book 1, entitled Anna Dressed in Blood, was one of the first books I read when I began blogging and one of the first blogged book reviews I did. Aside from that, I loved it! (Review here.) So you can imagine my excitement to see that book 2 had come out. I decided to read it as part of Readers Imbibing Peril for this year. 

This picks up not long after book 1 left off. Cas is trying to be a normal teen, going to school and hanging with his friends, Thomas and Carmel. But he can't get his mind off Anna and what she did for him.  He starts seeing her in random places and, before long, he's not sure if they're just dreams or hallucinations anymore. He sets off on a journey to try and figure out what happened to Anna but, of course, gets much more than he bargained for.

I really enjoyed this book. We got a lot of answers that were missing in book 1. Cas, as always, was charming, hilarious, oh-so-teenaged-boy narrator. He kept me laughing, even in the most dire of circumstances.

I thought the story was great and imaginative. I know lots of people wanted another book, while others thought it was a great ending. I can see it either way. I think there's definitely room for another book should the author choose to do so in the future. (For right now, she's saying no.) But it has a well wrapped-up ending that felt finished if there aren't any more.

Overall, I really loved this series. It does contain so gore and strong language, but I would still recommend it for anyone who's interested in YA, male narrators, ghost stories, horror, or just plain entertaining reads. :D

Has anyone else read this? What did you think?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Movie Review: Oblivion

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Wow! It has been a LONG time since I did a movie review! I haven't seen much of anything lately. Either I'm too busy and miss the good ones, or just too poor when they hit theaters. Well, despite mixed reviews of Oblivion, I still really wanted to see it. Obviously I'm really late to this party, but I finally Redboxed it. 

Opening comments: It was weird. While watching it, I wasn't a huge fan. It was one of those shows where they don't explain anything very well so throughout the whole film, you're going, "Huh? Should I rewind? Did I miss something?" But if you stick it out to the end, it all comes clear and I really ended up enjoying it.

Plot: So Jack (Tom Cruise)--of course, typical action hero name--lives in a station on the atmosphere above earth following a war that made the planet uninhabitable. His job is to do maintenance on drone machines for a certain period of time. Then a ship crash lands, spilling out human survivors. The short of it is that it calls into question everything he believes and turns his world upside down. Things begin happening so fast, and without any explanation, that it becomes hard to follow half-way through.

Dystopian World: I thought the dystopian world, the scenery, and the dynamics of it were amazing. It had that perfect, bleak, colorless, dystopian feel. I really liked this aspect of it.

Characters: I liked the characters okay. They were endearing, believable, but perhaps a bit trusting. From almost the first line, which talks about a mandatory mind-wipe, my sister and I were asking why that was necessary, and why the characters didn't question it more. But that was my only gripe.

Twists: The twists were good, but again, it was hard to figure out exactly what they were. There were times when obviously something big was going down, but you couldn't figure out exactly what it was. There was just no explanation. Once you DO figure it out, though, the twists are pretty epic. I will say that, in a way, the big-twist-reveal at the end makes the world feel slightly less dystopian. It really ISN'T less dystopian, but it's different than how you thought it was for the entire movie. What it actually is is very...I don't, unconventional? Not that any dystopian is actually conventional.

Ending: As I said, all things are revealed at the end, and I found that I actually really liked the ending, the final solution. It had a very Independence Day feel to it, and I was a big fan of that movie. :D It was quite a gamble to confuse everyone for 2+ hours and only THEN explain. I think that's why there were such mixed reviews about it. But I found that, having made it through to the end, it was worth it. I liked it overall and I think they were going for a dawning-shock-in-hindsight sort of thing. It worked pretty well. Assuming you actually get to the end, anyway.

Overall, I really liked it. If you're into dystopian, scifi, Tom Cruise flicks, or just weird stories. (If you liked Minority Report, for example) then you'll probably enjoy Oblivion. I'm glad I finally got the chance to be confused by it. For a little while.

Has anyone else seen Oblivion? What did you think of it?