Monday, March 31, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Red-Letter Books/Authors on my Reading Journey

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 "Gateway" Books/Authors in my Reading Journey(All book covers courtesy of Goodreads.com unless otherwise linked.)

Great Writers Speak Out!

**If you haven't yet, be sure to enter my Epic Giveaway! The grand prize is a Kindle Paperwhite! Click HERE to enter!**

Featuring some great writers on this Monday morning!















Mr. Bradbury and Mr. Franklin were very wise men.

May your writing week be both productive and inspiring! Happy Monday, Everyone! 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Path of Daggers Read-Along, Week



Welcome to the final week of our Path of Daggers Read-Along. This week we read chapters 27-the end. 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!

(Sorry no artwork this week. I had a crazy weekend and am lucky to get this post out on time at all!!)


1. The Sea Folk have made a Bargain with Rand. Do you agree with him that it is not as restricting as it might seem? Were you impressed with his scheming way of immediately seeing a way to their demands to reduce their impact?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Follow Friday: A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words!

**If you haven't yet, be sure to enter my Epic Giveaway! The grand prize is a Kindle Paperwhite! Click HERE to enter!**


Follow Friday

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!


Snap it time! A picture is worth a thousand words. Anything and anything. Just give us a pic.

These are pictures of my adorable 3-year-old niece, Cheveya, reading Corduroy by Don Freeman, one of my childhood favorites. I often read it to her before bed, and now she's started to read it to me. :D It makes me pathetically happy!



What picture did you feature today? (Remember to enter my Giveaway!)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Divergent: Movie Review

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I got to go see the Divergent film over the weekend! Yea! First film I've seen in weeks and weeks, and it was totally worth it!

Plot: If you want to know the plot of the film, read the plot of the book. They're exactly the same. There's always some worry when a great book gets made into a film that Hollywood will totally slaughter it. Of course it's exciting to see your favorite characters and worlds on the big screen, but what if the film is terrible? And then all those who see it but have never read the book believe the book was also terrible? Ugh. Don't they know what they do to us? 

Luckily, that was not the case here. Not only did the film stick pretty closely to the plot of the book, but they did a spectacular job of bringing it all together and making it jump off the screen!

Characters: I was always okay with Shailene Woodley as Tris, even if her coloring isn't quite right. I really wasn't sure about Theo James as Four. He's not at all how I pictured Four to be, and the only thing I knew the actor from was a small (1 episode) stint on Downton Abbey, where he played a foreign man-whore who died in our leading lady's bed after seducing her in a most un-romantic fashion. Didn't exactly endear him to me for the romantic hero, you know? Luckily, he did a terrific job. I really liked him in the role and am totally won over as to this guy's star power.

Others, including Ashley Judd, Kate Winslet, Jai Courtney and Tony Goldwin, all played their parts well and I thought the film was well-cast overall.

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What's different: There were only two major differences that jumped out at me. (And keep in mind I read the book over a year ago, so I've likely forgotten a lot of the details.) 

1) Tris's relationship with her father was better. She had an okay relationship with him in the book, but not a close one. He was kind of cold and distant, and was downright livid after what happened at the choosing ceremony. In the film, you have more sympathy for him because he came across as a loving father who was truly heartbroken after Tris and Caleb's choices. 

2) The Al story wasn't nearly as prominent. It was one aspect of the book I truly didn't like because it was just so dang depressing! It was much more minor in the film, which made it much less tragic.

What's the same: Pretty much everything else. The Choosing ceremony, Dauntless jumping from trains, Tris and her first trampoline experience, the Ferris Wheel scene, her romance with Four, and the height of the action where Jeanine makes her move. All of it was fantastic. High action, high adrenaline. Makes you really want to rebel against an oppressive regime after watching it. (Which is why I love dystopians! :D)

Overall: Totally loved it! They did an excellent job. Anyone who loved the books will likely love the movie. I'm so stoked that it did well at the box office. That means we can look forward to hearing about the commencement of the Insurgent film sometime soon.

Did anyone else get to see Divergent? What did you think of it?

Monday, March 24, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Bucket Lists

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 Entries on my Bookish Bucket List

So the entries on my bookish bucket list fall into one of three categories: Author, Blogger, and Reader.


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As a blogger:
10. To reach 5000 unique visitors per month on my blog.

As a writer:
9. To write a best-selling historical fiction series.
8. To write a best-selling dystopian series.
7. To write a best-selling high fantasy series.
6. To write a best-selling crime fiction series.

(See a correlation between these goals and the genres I write? ;D)


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5. To make the New York Times Best-Seller List. Just 'cause.
4. Sell a million books.
3. Live "by my pen" as Jane Austin put it. (For me, it's really more like "by my computer.)
2. Touch a lot of people through my writing.

As a reader:
1. To read all 730 books on my TBR list!

***Don't forget to check out my epic, celebratory #Giveaway HERE for a chance to win a Kindle Paperwhite!***

What are the top ten entries on your bookish bucket list?

Epic Celebratory Giveaway!

Happy Monday, Everyone!

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. Great news here at Musings on Fantasia: There are all KINDS of exciting things going on. I have tons of reasons to celebrate!

1) Friday's post was my 500th! That's right. 500 posts. I can't believe enough time has passed for me to post so many times. It's crazy! My first post on this blog was on April 19, 2012. It's been almost 2 years since I started blogging. Since that time, I've done 3-5 posts every week without fail (uh, you know, except for around the holidays when I always take 10-14 days off :D).

Which leads me into my second reason for celebration:

2) April 19th--roughly three weeks from now--is my 2nd Blogoversary. Yea! I didn't do much for the first one, so I think this one calls for a Par-Tae!

3) My first historical fiction book, Citadels of Fire, will be out May 27th. It's coming at me fast.

4) Book 2 of my crime fiction saga, Desolate Mantle, is almost ready for release. It probably won't be out for another couple of months (date pending) but I'm getting ready to do a cover reveal.

5) The Botanist, another stand-alone crime fiction, won't be out until next spring, but my publisher wants to do a big cover reveal when I get enough to-reads on Goodreads.com, and I'm still working toward that goal.

So, to celebrate all these things, check out my epic giveaway below. Each prize will go to a different entrant, so the more entries the better. The grand prize is a Kindle Paperwhite!

But first...let's celebrate with the creepy author's dance:


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Okay, I'm better now. Here's the Giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Path of Daggers Read-Along, Week 5


Welcome to week 5 of our Path of Daggers read-along! This week we reach chapters 22-26. Remember that everything in this section as well as everything that came before is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk!


Seanchan Animal (Source)
1. Most of this section comprised Rand's battle against the Seanchan. What are your thoughts about this section? You can address the nobles, how Rand handled it, how the battle went, how it was written, and/or what the ramifications will be. Basically anything you want.

While this section had it's interesting moments, I'll admit to getting a bit bored with it. I totally understand the reason for writing it the way Jordan did. There was no reason, at this juncture, for Rand to be in the thick of the battle. Being the Dragon Reborn, why would he be? But that meant he was observing from far back and outside the action, which made it less interesting than other, previous battles. By far the most interesting part was when he pulled out Callandor and tried to use it. But we'll cover that in #4. 

I thought it was really interesting that both sides considered this a major loss. That could be an advantage for Rand in the future, except that he doesn't realize it. Hmmm...



Thursday, March 20, 2014

Follow Friday: Reading Habits

***I realized today that this post is my 500th post on this blog! Wow! I can't believe I've been blogging long enough for that! Look for a celebratory giveaway next week!***


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!


How have your reading habits changed in the past few years? Did you get interested in a new genre? Do you read more? Less? Why do you think your habits changed, if they did?

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The major way my reading has changed in the past few years has to do with my work and writing habits. I've always been a voracious reader, but during college, I got out of the habit of pleasure reading because I always had so many textbooks to slog through. 

Not until my first book got picked up for publishing and I started blogging did I start reading regularly again. Of course, even then it was only as I could manage. Then, for most of last year, I wasn't working a day job. It was glorious! I got SO much reading done.

Now, just due to life, I'm working again, so my reading time has gone down once again. I'm still reading more than I was before, but less than I was before I started working. 

And now that I'm helping to raise my 3-year-old niece, I often read to her in the evening, which I totally LOVE doing!

I'll always be big on reading, I imagine. How much of my life I can read away just depends on how much the rest of life gets in the way. :D

How have your reading habits changed lately?

Thoughts for Thursday: St. Patrick's Day

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!

I know I'm a few days late, but this week's theme is quotes about St. Patrick's Day!



Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Review Day: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

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I finally got around to read Allegiant, by Veronica Roth. So far, I've loved this series and I'm glad to finally read this final installment. It's been on my Kindle since Christmas. 

Warning: I'll do my best not to give spoilers, and I promise not to give away the ending, but there may be some very mild spoilers for previous books!

Plot: The third installment picks up where book 2 left off, after seeing a certain video made by a woman with a familiar name. This volume felt very different to me, in a way, because Tris and the gang actually leave the city--where books 1 and 2 were set--to see what is beyond. It just has a whole different feeling to it than the first two books did. Not that things are so different outside Chicago. They still run into different groups of people trying to control things and butting heads with all kinds of intrigue and conflict. Good times.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring TBR Lists!

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 on my Spring TBR List

It Feels Like a Dragon Monday

Confession: I'm doing several picture-oriented posts this week. I don't know if that's because I couldn't think of anything else, or if I'm just being picture-happy. (Click HERE for a historical quiz on my other blog involving kid/baby pictures of famous people.)

For today, I just wanted to post some dragon pics!

I keep saying I'm going to start doing some heavy duty editing on my Dragon Magic book, and I do keep meaning to, but other things get in the way. I've been trying to get the second book in my crime fiction series (Street Games) squared away, and it still isn't finished yet. 

But...I still got through the first chapter of Dragon Magic over the weekend and...it just put me in a very dragon-ish mood. So, I thought I'd post some of my favorite/most inspirational pictures/quotes about dragons. Any time I see any of these, I just want to dive right back into my dragon world! :D


What do you think of them? Which is your favorite? What does it make you think of?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Path of Daggers Read-Along, Week 4


Welcome to week 4 of our Path of Daggers read-along! This week we read chapters 16-21. 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!

Egwene al'Vere (Source)
1) Egwene has shown the Salidar Aes Sedai some of her strength. Do you think they will fall into line now or continue to push for power of their own? If you could step into Egwene's shoes for a few minutes, how would you handle some of the more 'uppity' Aes Sedai? 

I know how things turn out after this, so I won't say. I was impressed with her show of power, though. At the very least, they'll be less likely to underestimate her in the future. 

Hmm. If I could step into Egwene's shoes, I know how I'd want to handle the uppidy Aes Sedai, but tripping them with the One Power so they learn a little humility/humanity probably wouldn't serve Egwene much. I think she ought to take a page out of the Cadsuane/Sorilea meeting. Because one of them shared something big, the other reciprocated. That's human nature. I think Egwene should take more of these women into her confidence in some way, even if it's not entirely legit. If she made them each believe that they knew something important no one else did, they'd be more likely to be loyal and share things with her. It wouldn't stop their scheming, but she'd be able to keep a better eye on them.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Follow Friday: Outdoor Reading Nooks

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!


Spring is in the air! Show off your favorite outdoor reading spot. If you don't go outside...well where else do you read that isn't inside your house? We want pics!

I think I may have shown this before, but I don't have a specific outdoor reading spot. 

This is my front porch:




And this is the grassy area out in front of my apartment. My niece plays outside almost every afternoon with her little half-pint friends (note the scooter laying on its side) so I often go out there, pick a place to sit and read, and watch them while they play. Good times! :D




What's your favorite outdoor reading spot?

Thoughts for Thursday: Books

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!

This week's them is books and reading. (Why haven't I done this theme before?)


"A room without books is like a body without a soul."--Cicero

"Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them."--Lemony Snicket, Horseradish

"Books are uniquely portable magic."--Stephen King

"We read to know that we are not alone."--William Nicholson, Shadowlands

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, sad Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one."--George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons
Which quote is is your favorite? Do you have one to add?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Review Day: My Soul to Steal (Soul Screamers #4)

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As most of you know, I've been making my way through the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent and I finished book 4, My Soul to Steal, last week.

Plot: So we begin again with Kaylee and Nash still trying to work out their relationship. Kaylee is still angry about all the lies Nash told her in previous books, and hasn't gotten to the point where she can forgive him yet. But of course, things simply must get more complicated, right? Nash's ex-girlfriend, Sabine, transfers to their school. Not only is this an old flame for Nash, but she's also a mara. Basically that means she's the personification of a nightmare, and can get into people's heads and make them dream terrible things. Sabine wants Nash back, and will do anything--including rummaging around in Kaylee's head and exploiting her fears--to get him back. Meanwhile, teachers at their school start dropping dead--in their sleep, no less--and Kaylee's convinced Sabine has something to do with it. Who said high school was easy?

Characters: One thing I love about Rachel Vincent is how well she writes high schoolers. She gets that guys and gals think completely differently and does a good job incorporating that into her stories. Sabine was also a very believable, well-rounded new character.

Ending: I thought the end was a good one. It shored up what happened in this installment reasonably well, but left a few things open for the (obviously) next installments.

As with previous books I'm really enjoying the series and have no complaints. If you love a great YA read, and this is your genre, you'd love these! There is a lot of teenaged angst and relationship-type problems in them, so if that annoys you, they may not be for you. Keep in mind that I'm VERY picky about both YA and paranormal, and I'm really liking them. So, even if it's not your genre but you'd like to try it out, this series would be a great place to start!

Has anyone else read this series?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Genre Favorites

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 All Time Favorite Series in the Paranormal Genre

I've done plenty of lists for high fantasy and dystopian, so I thought I'd go with something I read a bit less. I could only think of 9. (Grrrh!) In no particular order:


9. Anna Dressed in Blood/ Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake -- Amazing books. Couldn't put them down. Highly recommended! 

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8. Masque of the Red Death/ Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin -- Loved both of these, not least because they played on Edgar Allan Poe stories. Now she's got one on the horizon based on The Fall of the House of Usher (The Fall). Totally reading that when it drops!

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7. Soul Screamers by Rachel Vincent -- Only a little more than half way through this series, but loving it.

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6. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia -- Confession: I've only read book 1, and I've heard that this series dries out a bit as it goes along. But I really loved book 1 and can't wait to get to the others, which are all chillin' on my kindle. :D

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5. The Shades of London by Maureen Johnson -- I've only read the first one of these, too, but I totally loved it. The writing was wicked delightful--couldn't stop laughing--and the plot twists were both creepy and clever. What's not to like?

All mine!
4. Dimensions in Death series by The Brothers Washburn -- Mojave Green isn't out yet, but Pitch Green was one of the best YA horrors I've ever read (even if it's not a genre I read tons of) and I did a little dance when I saw that Cal and Camm had a second book on the horizon.

All mine, too! :D
3. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer -- I know I know, you're considering throwing tomatoes, but I genuinely enjoyed the Twilight series when I first read through it. Any series I have a hard time putting down is a success in my mind. 

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2. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare -- Just read these recently, loved book 5, and can't wait for book 6 to hit the airwaves. I also really want to pick up the Clockwork books, though I'm not sure when exactly that'll happen. :/

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1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor -- Probably my favorite paranormal series right now. Can't WAIT for book 3. 

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What are your favorite paranormal series?

Have YOU Considered These Aspects of Time Travel?

What theory of time travel do you subscribe to?

The first panel I participated in at the LTUE conference was about Time Travel. It got me thinking about why we tell so many stories set out of our own time periods. (See my full post on this topic HERE.)


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Near the end of the panel, the above question was asked. The man who asked it explained that some people are all about the Chaos Theory and the Butterfly Effect. Change one thing in the past and change everything in the future. Others, don't believe the future can be changed. They're all about fate and the way things are "meant" to be. 

Each of the writers on the panel explained how they handle this element of time travel and why.

My answer is this: 

If you really could travel back in time, I think it's ridiculous to to deny that things could be changed. People have free will, and if we're going with time travel, it would be narrow-minded to say there were no consequences.

However...

I do think some things will always remain the same. 

Here's the thing: individuals as well as societies are always changing, learning, and hopefully growing. If not that, then they're retrogressing. And the fact is, some people will simply never learn certain things until they experience them. Experience, as C.S. Lewis said, is a brutal teacher, but you definitely learn. 

So, I think when people or a society has something that needs to be learned through experience, their actions will always lead them toward that. It's not a pre-destined fate, but the inevitable outcome of their own choices. 

In other words, my theory about this is the following: 

All roads lead to the same destination. 

They always will, until that individual or society learns what they need to learn in order to pull themselves away from that same negative fate. An individual might be able to save another individual or society from a particular negative event, but they can't save them from themselves. 

I think we human beings understand this on some level, which is why there are so many stories about changing one negative thing and having other, unforeseen consequences because of it. Steering away from one event is a bandaid, not a cure.

What do you think of this theory concerning time travel? Which of the three choices do you subscribe to, or is there a forth that wasn't discussed?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Path of Daggers Read-Along, Week 3



Welcome to week 3 of our Path of Daggers read-along. This week we read chapters 10-15. Remember that everything in this section as well as everything that came before is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk!


Perrin Source
1. Winter is finally here, and Perrin gets a whole country from Santa, even if it's a small and war-torn one. What a jolly mix of unwilling rulers, weak rulers, strong rulers, sexy rulers and ex-rulers… never mind the Prophet! What will this look like when Perrin gets back to Rand, whenever that could be?


Under normal circumstances, I'd say it would be a mob at best, an all-out war at worst. But...Perrin is ta'veren, which means he'll probably find some way to get everything all in hand before he has to report to Rand for duty. Of course, there's bound to plenty of twists, turns, and drama before everyone ends up in the same place again. Just sayin'. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Follow Friday: Back-List Favorites

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!


Recommend some of your favorite back-list books--ones that are at least a few years old (5-10 years).


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I think I'm gonna have to go with the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent. I'm currently making my way through this series (on book 5 out of 7) and I'm really liking it. 

I'll warn you that it's full of teen angst and typical paranormal drama, so if you don't like that kind of thing, it's probably not for you. But in truth, I generally don't go for that kind of stuff too much, but I'm really enjoying this series. It's surprisingly easy to get into, and to return to when I've been away for a while. 

It's taking me some time to get through it since my reading time has taken a nose dive lately, but every time I pick it up I'm like, "Ah, back to Kaylee and Nash. Yea!"

Check it out if you haven't. Definitely a worthwhile read. :D

Has anyone else read Soul Screamers?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Way of Kings Read-Along, Week 10 (Final Week!)


Welcome to the final week of our Way of Kings Read-Along! We've reached the end, and it was epic! This week we read the final hundred pages which comprised chapters 66 through the end. 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!


1. Syl's true nature as an honorspren has been revealed! She once again asks the interesting question: are spren attracted to their element or do they create that element? What do you think? Do you think there are more honorspren or is Syl unique?

Hmm. I don't think it's one or the other, or perhaps it's just a combination of the two. I don't think spren create their element, but I'm not sure 'drawn' to it is exactly right either. Maybe they're something that shows evidence of that element, but neither effect or are effected by it. I think there may be other honorspren, but that they're very rare. The fact that more people don't have Syl-type experiences is surely proof of that, but I can't imagine she's entirely unique in the universe either. Interesting question.
2. The Parshendi had a whole host of reactions to Kaladin's power, mostly including fear and awe, though they also seemed to recognize him or his power. Why do you think that is? How do you think the Parshendi hiring Szeth plays into it?

I think the Parshendi, in their own way, are more in the know about magic and the truth of the universe at large than the Alethi are. They probably have some kind of legend or belief that made them recognize and respect Kaladin's power. Kaladin expected his men to be disturbed, but the Parshendi were almost reverenced by it.
3. Dalinar makes some pretty intense decisions towards the end of this book, including trading his Shardblade to free the bridgemen and completely changing how he wants to deal with the highprinces. Do you think these were good decisions?

I definitely think they were good. I'm positive they'll cause him trouble down the line as well, but he went into it with open eyes. What was nice was to see his confidence and determination to move forward. The entire book he's known what he wants to do, but not how to do it. Now he has a definite plan of action. Maybe it will work, maybe not, but if he wants any shot at all of uniting the highprinces, I think he's moving in the right direction.
4. A lot of mysteries surrounding Jasnah are finally revealed! Do you think that she is right and that most Soulcasters do work? Why do you think Shallan and Jasnah both happen to have this soulcasting power? What is Shadesmar really?

I kind of want her to be right about the soulcasters--that would make her and Shallan's abilities more unique--but I also think it unlikely. If fabrials used for soulcasting is the common belief, then even most soulcasters may believe it, which means there may be others, who knows how many, with Jasnah's abilities.

As to why they both have the ability, I don't know. We talked about Shallan and Kaladin as Radiants, but how Jasnah plays a part is hard to guess at this point. Perhaps Shallan always had the ability, but needed the proximity or influence of someone else using it to unlock it?

I don't know what Shadesmar really is. I tend to think it's like the World of Dreams in the WoT series--a parallel world, perhaps a skewed reflection of reality, that is very dangerous to traverse without knowing what you're doing. I think it's powered by magic and that it will be key to both Jasnah and Shallan's abilities. The true nature of it was only hinted at here.
5. Szeth is once again on a mission, but this time we really don't want him to succeed! What do you think is going to happen with him and Dalinar in the next book? Do you think Szeth and Kaladin will recognize each other's power?

Well, Kaladin and his men are going to become bodyguards for Dalinar and his family, so a confrontation between these three is a very real possibility. I think it'll either happen at the very beginning or very end of book 2. I kind of doubt that Szeth will actually succeed in assassinating Dalinar, but it seems to me this will be like Luke and Vader crossing lightsabers--a fight of epic proportion and consequence. Can't wait! :D

It was also interesting to learn the true origin of the quotations at the chapter beginnings. I had assumed they were taken from Jasnah's research. The fact that they were being taken down by Szeth's "true master" who is killing people just to record their last words opens a whole new can of worms, doesn't it?

One of the most intriguing exchanges:

"You're a monster."
"Yes," Taravangian said. "But I am the monster who will save this world."

*Goosebumps*
6. We finally have a better idea where the Parshmen and Parshendi came from! What do you think the real history is there? How did people possibly enslave the Voidbringers and why are the Parshendi now changing?

They must have found something that compelled the Parshmen, something that was able to bend them to their will. It also makes me wonder why exactly the Knights Radiant freaked out and left. Was it before or after the enslavement? Was it because of the enslavement, or was it a catalyst for it? So hard to say, but I think we still have a lot to learn before we can see the big picture.
7. The last chapter with the Almighty was pretty crazy. What do you think about this vision? What do you think this means for Dalinar's future and the world's (universe's??) future? What is Odium really?

Okay, I read the info at that link someone posted several weeks ago. Odium, Honor, and Cultivation are three of the sixteen shards, which are named after ideals, but according to the wikia page, must also be controlled by people. So, I tend to think Odium is a real person, but that's probably not his real name. Just the ideal he embodies, and it doesn't sound like he's a particularly pleasant person. Remember, too, that when Kaladin asked Syl if she'd heard the name before, she hissed and flew away, obviously distressed. I would suggest everyone read the info at this link, now that we've finished. It gives a better idea of what's going on at large, but still leaves plenty of questions to be answered.

I really loved the idea that the man in the vision was leaving his interactive journal for someone to read. He knew somehow that someone would find it and make use of it, but not who or how. I really loved that idea. So haunting.
Since this was the last section, there was obviously A LOT else going on! I didn't want to include too many questions, but I'd love to hear your thoughts on everything else as well. Also, how did you end up enjoying this read-along??

It's also interesting that Shallan's father may have been part of the group trying to assassinate Jasnah. We finally got some answers about the people threatening her family. In a way, I think it must all be connected. She didn't zero in on Jasnah as the answer to her problems by chance. She was probably led to it, even if she didn't realize it, by things her father did before he died.

Also interesting that she confessed to being her father's murderer. I'm assuming we'll hear more of that in later books.

I loved Wit's final chapter. Sitting around, strumming his instrument and philosophizing about the human condition. Just classic. And that last part where the guy was pounding on the city gates was downright chilling. Great ending. I'm just glad we don't have to wait four years for book 2!

Overall, I really loved this book and this read-along. Anyone planning on reading book 2?
What other blogger's thought: