Thursday, January 30, 2014

Follow Friday: Book Spine Poetry!

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!


Time for book spine poetry again! Take a picture of your book spines spelling out something epic!

Thoughts for Thursday: The Power of Ancestry

(Thoughts for Thursday below. Scroll down!)


Day two of the Dark Remnants promo!

The first book in my Street Games series, Dark Remnants, is FREE today on Amazon! Hop on over and download a free digital copy if you don't have one yet. This is the last day, so do it before the price jumps back to normal!

Might as well while it's free, right? 

And I'd appreciate any help spreading the word. The more downloads I get, the higher I climb on the charts. So thanks in advance for all your support, and I hope you all enjoy the book!

HERE'S THE LINK TO THE FREE BOOK!

Here are some tweets if you feel so inclined!




Thoughts for Thursday

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!

Today's theme is The Power of Ancestry. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Way of Kings Read-Along, Week 5

Way of Kings questions below. But first...

Guess what, guess what? 

The first book in my Street Games series, Dark Remnants, is FREE today on Amazon! Hop on over and download a free digital copy if you don't have one yet. 

Might as well while it's free, right? 

And I'd appreciate any help spreading the word. The more downloads I get, the higher I climb on the charts. So thanks in advance for all your support, and I hope you all enjoy the book!

HERE'S THE LINK TO THE FREE BOOK!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Count Me Out of These Worlds!

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 Worlds I'd Never Want to Live in (pictures courtesy of goodreads.com unless otherwise linked)

This was an interesting subject to do. I found many of my favorite books on the list. As in, I love to read about them but they would be seriously miserable places to actually live in. Did anyone else have the same experience with their lists?

Review Day: Soul Screamers, Volume 1

So I finally started the Soul Screamers book that's been on my shelf since last February--almost an entire year. I've decided to try and read the entire series straight through. I'm reading the "Volume" books, and volume one had the Prequel: My Soul to Lose, Book 1: My Soul to Take, and Book 2: My Soul to Save. Here are the reviews for each of those.


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My Soul to Lose (Soul Screamers 0.5) by Rachel Vincent

In book 1, My Soul to Take, the characters make frequent mention of a time when Kaylee couldn't control her scream and her aunt and uncle committed her for a short time. That's what this prequel is about.

Strengths: It's well-written, in Vincent's signature style, with Kaylee snarky as ever and very teenaged. The plot is engrossing. I was never bored and wanted to keep reading to find out what happened next.

Weaknesses: The only thing I would say is that we aren't given any answers at all and it doesn't feel particularly well summed up. Now, for the most part, that's okay. It's a prequel and you can dive right into book 1, in which Kaylee will learn who/what she is and what the uncontrollable, blood-curdling screams are about. Besides, as an author who also has a prequel that definitely doesn't "end," I'd be a hypocrite to disparage My Soul to Lose based on this. But, I'm just saying, don't expect a self-contained story.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Crown of Swords Read-Along, Week 5



Welcome to week 5 of our Crown of Swords Read-Along. This week we reach chapters 19-24. Remember that everything in this section as well as everything that's come before is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk!


Cadsuane Sedai (Source)
1) We got more of Cadsuane when she interviewed (grilled) the other Sisters around Rand. What did you think of how she handled them? What do you think her endgame is?

I kind of have to admire anyone who can intimidate other Aes Sedai. She has a self-possession and confidence that's obviously difficult to dent. Despite the fact that she'd be a formidable enemy (let's hope she's not that to Rand) I admire how she doesn't let anyone push her around or even influence her enough to reveal anything she doesn't want to. I also love that she's an adventurer. Despite her white hair, she talks about riding from one side of Randland to the other, seeking knowledge and information. This is my kind of woman. The last Aes Sedai we saw that was anything like her was Moiraine. Just sayin'.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Thoughts for Thursday: Reaching Goals

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!

Today's theme is Reaching Goals. It's still only January. Don't give up yet!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Three Best Things You Can Do for Your Productivity This Year!!!

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So back in December, as the new year approached, I sat down and wrote out a business plan. It included a plan for everything I wanted to get done this year--whole nine yards of resolutions--as well as marketing, writing, and plans for other aspects of my life.

Problem is, I'll be doing more working-at-the-day-job kind of stuff this year, which means I'll have less time, not more, than I used to, and yet I have more things to get done. (Isn't that always the case?) So, how can I keep up my writing momentum and get done everything I want to without being a 24/7 hermit?

The Way of Kings Read-Along, Week 4



1.  We seem to be getting more and more proof that there is some ''luck'' or magic at play when it comes to Kaladin's safety,  survival and his skills - especially during those battle scenes.  Even when performing that Kata in the Chasm, there was something  incredible about his movements according to the rest of the crew. Initially the blade seemed to be the source of his skills (to me at least) , what do you think might be fueling his powers?  Do you think they're getting stronger?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Wishlist for Reading

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 Things on my Reading Wishlist (If you could make authors write about these things you would; could be a specific type of character, issue, time period, plot, etc.) 

10. Psychological Thrillers/Mysteries --Not enough awesome examples of these around, though I'll admit there are still several of these on my TBR list I haven't gotten to yet.

9. Christian/Religious Characters -- I don't mean Christian fiction, and I'm not even particularly picky about the religion (though being a Christian, I am partial to it :D) but everyone is so worried about being politically correct these days that most characters I see in fiction have no religion in their lives whatsoever. I would like to see characters that have a professed set of beliefs, even if it's very traditional or completely defines who they are, and live their lives by them.

8. Awesome Anti-Heroes --  A great anti-hero is deeply flawed, but in many ways, the readers are more loyal to them than to regular heroes, because they understand the things that have created these flaws and want to see these characters become better. I don't see enough examples of great anti-heroes in my reading.

7. Historical Fiction from other Cultures/Countries -- I love learning things, especially when it comes to eras of oppression and characters in them struggle with basic rights, in other countries, cultures, and corners of the world. I wish more of this kind of literature was available to us. It's not that it isn't written, but most often it is written in other languages, not translated, terribly translated, or simply not very available in other parts of the world than that which it was written in. I'm working on lots of projects right now, but eventually, when I finish a few of them, I may remedy this myself.

6. Awesome Space Opera -- If anyone has recommendations on this, I'll definitely take them. I loved Asimov and Heinlein, but a lot of space opera I've read since then tends to be clunky, uncluttered (not a bad thing in and of itself, but I often find myself wanting deeper, more complex plots) or just poorly written. I really love great space opera, but I can't always find it.

5. Original High Fantasy -- We all know high fantasy relies heavily on tropes. In my mind, the tropes are one of the charms. But, not every high fantasy needs to be about dwarves looking for lost kin in mines, elves who just happen to live in mystical woods, etc. I'd like more truly original high fantasy or stuff that takes those tropes and really turns them on their heads.

4. Russian Historical Fiction -- Obviously I'm in the process of putting some of this out (see my upcoming book here) but this is an area of interest to me and I'd like to see more of it.

3. Medieval Historical Fiction -- The medieval period is my favorite historical period to read/write/learn about. I have more projects in mind for the future that will take place in this period, but I always like to read this stuff. 

2. A Song of Fire and Ice -- Yes, this is a specific series. With the trailer for season 4 of the HBO series now out (see it here), I'm finding myself missing these characters. George R.R. Martin really needs to get the books out sooner. I need me some John Snow, Arya Stark, and Daenarys Targaryen!

1. Dragons -- Yeah, I always need me more dragons. Unfortunately, the last couple of dragon books I've read, I've been rather disappointed in. I do have probably a dozen on my TBR list I haven't gotten to yet, so I'm sure there are more great ones out there to discover. Still, I'm always up for more! (I have a short dragon story. You can get it HERE or get it free by signing up for my mailing list using the form in the sidebar.)

So, what's on your reading wishlist?

3 Tips for a Great KDP Promo

So last Wednesday and Thursday, I did my first KDP free promo for Quantum Entanglement. It was free on Amazon for those two days. 

And guess what?

I got 1328 downloads over two days! Whoo-hoo! (Check out the screenshot below.)

As of Sunday night, I'd only sold eight additional copies at regular price, but that's actually more than I sold during all of November, so I'm happy with the outcome. Hopefully I'll get more over the next two weeks as well. Plus, being that this is book 2, I'm hoping it'll give me a bump in sales for book 1.

Overall, even though the numbers may be much smaller than what other authors do, I'm calling this a success. Yippee! :D




I'll probably do a more detailed post about it later (I have a second promo for a different book later in the month, and I'd like to gather more info before posting about it) but the basics of what I did are as follows.

1) Scheduled the promo through kdp.amazon.com. You have to enroll your book in KDP, which means it has to be exclusive to Amazon for 90 days. After everything's all squared away, you can schedule your free days.

2) Submit to as many free book listing sites as possible. I did about twenty-five. Most of these don't guarantee a listing. They get so many submissions that it's all dependent on how much time and space they have. To be guaranteed a listing, you have to pay a small fee. The fee, for most of the sites, is extremely reasonable (between $5 and $15) but I'm still recovering from Christmas myself, and I wanted to see how far the completely free ones would take me. 

For a great list of free sites, check out THIS POST. It also has a list of Facebook pages you can list your book on during it's promo days. A handful of those didn't work for me, but I just did the ones I could and didn't worry about it.

3) Promote, promote, promote on your free days. I enlisted the help of friends, facebook acquaintances, and fellow authors, who were all very supportive. Many people re-posted for me. Of course there's also Twitter, Google Plus, and all other platforms. But be careful not to spam. 

And the result: 1300 + downloads, which is more than I've done in a single week before for any book before. I'll continue to experiment and see what works.

Anyone have any other tips for success during a KDP Promo?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Crown of Swords Read-Along, Week 4



Welcome to week 4 of our Crown of Swords Read-Along. This week we read chapters 13-18. Remember that everything in this section, as well as everything that's come before, is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk!


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1) Bravery comes up more than once in Chapter 13. Aviendha on the water, Elayne offering to discuss Rand....What do you think about how the ladies measure bravery?

Interesting, how people measure it differently. I was glad to get a section from Aviendha's POV. I don't think we had one before (?) but she has her own unique voice. Nice to know that even the fearless Aiel have fears (like water) but Aviendha is always brave, and that makes me love her. 

2) Within this section, we see Nynaeve and Elayne beginning negotiations with the Sea Folk for info on the Bowl of Winds, and yet Rand is still ignoring the Sea Folk. When the ladies find out Rand ignored the Sea Folk for so long, what do you think they will do? Why are the Sea Folk so interested in Rand? And if they find out the connection between Rand and the ladies, what do you think the Sea Folk will do? 

Atha'an Miere Windfinder
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I actually think using the Sea Folk to help find the Bowl was a smart move for the ladies. They've had no luck finding it themselves, so they went to the resident "experts" when it comes to the weather. This is really smart. Of course, it's bound to be more complicated than just that. We've heard that Rand is the Sea Folk's Coramoor, but they aren't very forward moving when it comes to following him, declaring for him, or otherwise seeking him out. I suppose some interaction was inevitable, and maybe it's good that it's come in the form of an agreement involving our ladies, whom Rand can trust, even if he's not sure of that anymore. I think these agreements, though they're bound to be fraught with politics and drama, can only be helpful to Rand.

Jaichim Carridin--Just looks like a
douchebag, doesn't he? Source
3) Mat recognized Darkfriend Shiaine and followed her to White Cloak Inquisitor Carridin. In turn, Carridin recognizes Mat, and then tells Sammael. Do you think this will change Sammael's plans at all? 
It sounded to me like he was taking it under consideration, but not prepared to actually change his plans much. Not sure whether this was smart or foolish on Sammael's part. On the one hand, you'd think he'd want to get a hold of Mat, because he's so close to Rand. But, on the other hand, if he'd abandoned a long-held plan to lash out at Mat (and it probably wouldn't have worked given Mat's ta'veren-ness) that would have been foolish, too. But, he knows where Mat is, now, and those dice are rolling in Mat's head, so we may not have seen the end of this particular interaction yet.

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4) Mat and women and the example they set for Olver. What did you think of Mat's reaction to Queen Tylin's straight-forward interest? Were you amused by Olver imitating Mat in his interactions with women? Foresee Mat changing his ways?

Yeah this is hysterical. It's always nice to see the tables turned on someone as arrogant as Mat. Very amusing. And Mat always thinks someone other than him is influencing Olver in bad ways. Much as I love Mat, the dude seriously needs to take a look in the mirror sometimes. :D
5) Why do you think Mat was attacked at the inn and who do you think sent the men? 

Well, there is the Sammael discussion from the earlier question. Maybe it was him deciding to take a crack at Mat, despite what he led Carridan to believe. But really, it could have been anyone. Mat has plenty of enemies, and then there's the fact that he's about as connected to Rand as it's possible to be, so without more information, it's anyone's guess. I will say that this won't be the last time someone (or something) comes after Mat in Ebou Dar.
Don't mess with Nynaeve! Source
6) Moghedien seems to be back in the game, at least directing folks from the sidelines. Falion doesn't believe there to be a cache of angreal, but Ispan is ready to search for it. However, Fallion has another plan. How do you think that will fare? 

Going after Nynaeve actually does show Falion's intellect. She can read Moghedien, and she's got little enough fear to see the Forsaken as real people, rather than gods. The fact that she picked up on how much Moghedien hates Nynaeve is very perceptive and, normally, might be a good way to ingratiate herself to her angry mistress. But... it's Nynaeve. She's probably the most powerful and perpetually pissed off female channeler alive. And then there's the fact that she's with Elayne and Aviendha, and Lan is on his way to her. Yeah, Falion will squashed. Just like grape.
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7) Rand has women problems, and not because he is bedding too many (at least not yet). Between Berelain demanding she stay, Rand's 'tame' Aes Sedai, and now Cadsuane Sedai, he may need a holiday. Why do you think Cadsuane has appeared and has chosen to show the Dragon Reborn such cheek? 

When I first read the series, I didn't think much of Cadsuane. Didn't hate her or anything, but she was just another Aes Sedai pushing herself into Rand's life. I kind of just dismissed her. But, she actually grows on you. I came to respect her and what her overall agenda is. Plus, let's just say she will end up being very important later on, and she's not going anywhere. I won't say more than that. 


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Extras:

Gotta love the Ebou Dari fashions!

Had to laugh when poor Mat got caught in the middle of an Aes Sedai tug-of-war. Must've been terrifying for him. But very amusing for us. :D


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Follow Friday: 2014 Reads

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!


What books are you looking forward to reading in 2014?

In the first quarter of the year, I'm going to concentrate on:

 1) finishing several series that I started last year including Allegiant, Into the Still Blue, The Mortal Instruments, and Beautiful Creatures. And 

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2) reading a few series that I didn't get to last year like Soul Screamers and the Razorland series.

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How about you? What books will you be reading this coming year?

Review Day: The Mortal Instruments

I finally got around to reading books 4 and 5 of The Mortal Instruments, City of Fallen Angels and City of Lost Souls. As I said in my review of City of Glass, I really thought book three could have been the end of the series. The way it wrapped up all neat and tidy felt like an end of sorts. You always have to be careful when that happens because there's potential for the series to start to feel dragged out. Luckily, that doesn't seem to be an issue with Cassandra Clare.


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City of Fallen Angels

Plot: I don't want to say much and give spoilers for earlier installments, but suffice it to say this picks up where the last book left off. Everything seems to be hunky dory ('seems' being the operative word there) but the ramifications that things that happened at the end of book 3 become clear. And they're, well, kinda disastrous. (Hooray for great fiction!) Needless to say, Clary, Jace, Simon, Isabelle, Alec, and Magnus find themselves in quite a pickle, and have to band together--whether intentionally or not--to try and get themselves out of it.

Ending: No spoilers, I promise. I just wanted to say that this is one of those books with a supremely frustrating ending. It's like, really? And then you have to go get book 5. Luckily, book 5 is out and available for sale. 


City of Lost Souls
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Plot: Book 5 picks up a few weeks after the end of book 4, which a search for...uh, someone who went missing at the end of Fallen Angels (told you I wouldn't spoil, didn't I?) but of course there's no trace at all, and because of the Clave, political issues muddy the water as well. 

I actually found that I liked the plot of this book much more than that of book 4. Don't get me wrong: book 4 was really great and I couldn't stop reading it, but book 5 was better. There was just more going on and each character and plotline felt more focused. In a lot of ways, book 4 felt more like a setup for what is coming. Again, I'm not complaining. It wasn't bad, just different. And again, book 5 was better.

Overall, I really loved it and can't wait to get my hands on book 6, which will be out later this year. (It does have a cover or two now, btw, so look it up if you haven't seen it yet.)

I'm so glad that I've finally managed to read this series, though it hasn't ended yet, and I'm seriously thinking of looking to her Clockwork series, though probably not right away. :D

So, who else had read this series? What are you most excited to read about in book 6?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

FREE BOOKS! FREE BOOKS! FREE BOOKS! + Way of Kings Read-Along, Week 3

Hey Everyone!

Happy Wednesday! Quantum Entanglement is FREE on Amazon today. My first KDP promo. Yea! If you don't have an e-copy of it yet, head over now and download away! The more downloads I get, the further up the lists I climb!

Also, if anyone would be willing to post, tweet, share, or otherwise help spread the word, I'd really appreciate it! I can use all the help I can get. Thanks so much for all your support, and Happy Hump Day!

Free download here: http://www.amazon.com/Quantum-Entanglement-Interchron-Liesel-Hill-ebook/dp/B00F6643SI/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1389500685&sr=1-4&keywords=quantum+entanglement

Five months after traveling to a post-apocalyptic future where collectives reign supreme and individuals have been hunted to the verge of extinction, Maggie Harper was returned to her own time until the threat to her life could be neutralized. She thought Marcus and the others would return for her within a few weeks, and now she’s beginning to worry. 

When travelers from the future finally show up to collect her, it’s not who she expected. With the return of her memories, she wants more than ever to see Marcus again, but a snake-like woman whose abilities are a perfect match for Maggie’s, an injured Traveler, and decades of civil unrest to wade through all stand in the way of their reunion.

Meanwhile, Marcus and Karl traipse through the countryside, trying to neutralize Colin, who’s promised to brutalize and murder Maggie if he can get his hands on her. When a collective woman is left for dead, Marcus heals her, hoping she’ll be the key to killing Colin and bringing Maggie back. But she may prove as much a hindrance as a help.

The team struggles to get their bearings, but things happen faster than they know. The collectives are coalescing, power is shifting, and the one called B is putting sinister plans into action. If the team can’t reunite and get a handle on the situation, their freedom and individuality—perhaps their very identity—will be ripped away before they can catch their breath.



Way of Kings Read-Along, Week 3

1.    After the Chasmfiend attack there were a number of altercations.  Two of these that particularly drew my interest were: the little scene where Wit ridiculed Sadeas - which seems to be a dangerous thing to do given that this could result in a dual or assassination - any ideas about why Wit seems to enjoy provoking Sadeas so much and: during the discussion with the King, Dalinar and Adolin - it seemed that the King became fleetingly suspicious - and later in the story the same look of suspicion crossed his features again during conversation with Dalinar.  What do you think is going on in the King’s head in relation to Dalinar?

Not sure why Wit likes to ridicule Sadeas. It could be many different reasons. One might be simply that Sadeas is the kind of guy that's got a lot of pride and is fairly prickly about it. For someone like Wit, who thrives on reaction to his ridicule, Sadeas has made himself the perfect target. Of course, it could be more complicated than that too. We know that Dalinar and Sadeas have different ways of protecting the king, and that Adolin hates Sadeas. Maybe this is a case of Wit being loyal to one of them and his ridicule of Sadeas is his way of showing who he's siding with. Or, maybe he knows something about Sadeas no one else does, but for whatever reason can't expose him, and so settles for trying to humiliate him. It will be interesting to see where it goes.

As for the king, a little later we see him talking with Dalinar. His suspicion, based on what he says later, is probably either because he believes 1) that Dalinar truly is going mad or 2) that he's growing soft, and away from the generally held beliefs of their culture. He talked about how erratic his father, Gavilar, became just before his assassination (question 5). Obviously, the king didn't like that behavior in his father, and now he suspects Dalinar is following in his brother's footsteps.

 2.    We seemed to get a little more insight about why the bridgemen are not given shields of protection - what did you think of the reasoning behind this and what do you make of Sadeas - is he trustworthy or not?

It's one of those things that seems like it makes sense, but when you really think it through, it doesn't. If they would show loyalty to their men, and that they value their sacrifices, not only would the bridgemen live longer, but they would do their jobs better, and make for a more effective army and battle.

I can't decide about Sadeas. He seems fairly honorable, and his reasons for why he believes and does what he does--as we've seen them so far--seem valid, but there may be more to him that we aren't seeing yet. Perhaps it's because he's the major opposition to both Dalinar and Andolin, and we're already totally rooting for both of them, but there does seem to be something negative about him that makes us not want to trust him. Guess we'll find out. 

 3.    Elhokar has suspicions about attempts on his life - is he paranoid or not and, if not, who do you suspect might be responsible?

This is a really fascinating aspect of the story to me. Normally, it would be easy to dismiss it as mere paranoia, especially considering what happened to his father. I think Dr. Phil would have something to say about that. Yet, what if he's not paranoid. What if there is something to his fear, and we just can't see what it is, yet? I always perk up when they start talking about this because I'm so interested to see where it goes.

 4.    Kaladin is a very intriguing character, what did you make of the latest bridge scene where he put himself at the front of the bridge and then his actions following that?  Did you think it revealed anything more about him?

Kaladin = Awesome. Sauce. Seriously. That was so great. Kaladin understands what true leadership is. That one act of leadership and, you know, proactiveness, will probably take him farther and give him more power over his own life than everything he's done since becoming a slave combined. He's obviously destined for greatness, and we have already seen how he's earned, at least to some extent, the respect and perhaps even loyalty of those around him. What he did inspired them to act, to help him, save the fallen. Definitely an inspirational scene.

5.    During Elhokar and Dalinar’s later discussion the king said that Dalinar was becoming more like Gavilar near to his end ‘When he began to act … erratically”  It seems like Dalinar is becoming more like his brother.  Do you think this is significant?

Yes. It seems to me that perhaps it has something to do with the bloodline. Perhaps Gavilar was having the same visions and receiving the same messages because for some reason their family is meant to unite the kingdoms. When Gavilar was assassinated, the mantle fell to his brother. Maybe it even had to do with those last words, written to his brother in blood that magically transferred the responsibility somehow. That's my theory, anyway.

 6.    We finally witness one of Dalinar’s visions.  Do you think there is any significance about the visions always taking place during a storm and what were your feelings about this particular vision?

I thought it was fascinating. For myself, I really love to learn about the past in fantasy worlds, be it cultural history or just past memories of characters. I think the fact that it happens during the storms must be significant. He always hears the same voice, trying to tell him things, and the visions only come during the high storms, which seems to indicate, then, that perhaps the owner of the voice lives in the high storm, perhaps?

This obviously took place during a pre-historic time. Things like the Shardbearer history, when there were many of them in an order and such, have obviously been lost, so it was fascinating to see a time when Shardplate wasn't as rare. I really liked the black smoke beasts. Those were pretty cool. I couldn't quite tell what Dalinar was supposed to get from the vision, though. Obviously it all points toward uniting the people, but even that is hazy. Will he unite the ten kingdoms against the Parshendi? Or unite them with the Parshendi? Hard to say. Can't wait to see more visions, though--hopefully--and try to glean a clearer picture.

Overall, I really enjoyed these chapters. Here's what other bloggers thought:


How did everyone else like this section?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: My Soul to Take

**Quick Announcement: On Wednesday and Thursday of this week Quantum Entanglement, book 2 of Interchron, will be FREE on Amazon. I'll announce it again on Wed, but just wanted everyone a heads-up.**


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!


Yea! I'm finally reading Soul Screamers! Volume 1, which contains My Soul to Lose, My Soul to Take, and My Soul to Save in it, has literally been sitting on my shelf since last February. I'm going to try and read the entire series straight through in a few weeks, which means you might get another Soul Screamers teaser next week. Wish me luck!


Source
"His name's Nash. 
Aunt Val took a butter knife from the silverware drawer. "What year is he?" 
I groaned inwardly. "Senior." Here we go...Her smile was a little too enthusiastic. "Well, that's wonderful!"  
Of course, what she really meant was "Rise from the shadows, social leper, and walk in the bright light of acceptance!" Or some crap like that. Because my aunt and overprivileged cousin only recognize two states of being: glitter and grunge. And if you weren't glitter, well, that only left one other option...

What are you reading this week?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Book Review: The Golden Cord by Paul Genesse

**Quick Announcement: On Wednesday and Thursday of this week Quantum Entanglement, book 2 of Interchron, will be FREE on Amazon. I'll announce it again on Wed, but just wanted everyone a heads-up.**


Source
The Golden Cord is one of those books that has been on my kindle forever--uh, well, since last spring, anyway--and I finally got around to reading it. I was super excited to read this because it's about dragons and I'm currently writing about dragons. I'm always a bit spooked about reading other authors who are writing in similar veins as I do, because I don't want to be too influenced by them while I'm writing my story. But... the first draft of Dragon Magic is written--I'm just beginning the editing phase--so I'm interested to branch out and see how other authors are handling the dragon subject matter.

Plot: The Golden Cord follows Drake Bloodstone, a man from a small village who, as a teenager witnessed the tragic death of his best friend. In a world where humans and dwarfs are ancient enemies, and killer dragons roam the skies, Drake becomes an object of hatred and ridicule when two dwarf-kind show up at his village, and he offers them his protection. They are on some kind of journey to seek their lost kin in a mine not far from Drake's village, but they're also obviously hiding things about what their journey is truly about, and Drake soon gets himself in over his head.

Writing: I didn't have any major issues with the writing. There weren't many typos or grammatical issues. Still, for some reason, the writing seemed a bit sprawling to me. For some reason, I had a really hard time getting into the story. I don't know why. The characters and plot were both good. I think perhaps it was a bit over-written. If it would have been more condensed, it would have been easier to follow. Of course, that was just me. Once they actually all set out on their quest--this was definitely a quest-type story--things began moving along at a better cadence. And I'll admit that, once I got to the end, I did want to pick up book 2 to see where the story went from there.

Mythology: As stated in the plot blurb, this has both dwarves and dragons in it. There were no mentions of elves in the first book, but even so, it was very reminiscent of Tolkien. I didn't have a major problem with this, as the dwarf/Mines of Moria story line is one of my favorite aspects of LOTR. Genesse does different things plot-wise with it than Tolkien did, of course, but even so it didn't strike me as terribly original. If this is something that would bug you, you probably wouldn't enjoy The Golden Cord. If you're a big fan of this kind of thing, then would probably highly enjoy it.

The other thing I was a bit disappointed about was how little there actually was of the dragon. Other than in an abstract way, there was absolutely no mention of dragons until at least 2/3 of the way through the book. There were other creatures--griffins and the like--but no dragons. Part of the reason for that is that the Dwarfs had to keep their true motives secret, but even so, I felt like I was wading through many pages, waiting for mention of the dragon that graces the cover.

I actually got to speak with this author very briefly at an LUW conference (the reason I bought his book) and I asked him if he did any scenes from the dragon's POV, which he said he did. Now, don't get me wrong, the scenes from the dragon's POV were really interesting and well-written. I just wish there had been more of them.

Overall: I had a hard time getting into the book and thought portions of it were quite slow. But, I probably will pick up book 2 and continue the story. It's just not something I'm jumping to do right away.




Has anyone else read The Golden Cord?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Crown of Swords Read-Along, Week 3


Welcome to week 3 of our Crown of Swords Read-Along! This week, we read chapters 9-12. Remember that everything in this section as well as everything that's come before (6 books worth) are fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk!