Sunday, November 30, 2014

Towers of Midnight Read-Along, Week 2



Welcome to week 2 of our Towers of Midnight Read-Along! This week we read the Chapters 5-13. 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. Susan Voss is hosting this week over at Dab of Darkness. Hop on over and check out her answers as well!

Random warder. (Could
be Sleet, right?) Source
1) Gawyn and the Warder Sleet are playing detective over the murdered Aes Sedai. Care to compare them to other literary detectives? Do you think Egwene is correct in thinking a Forsaken is behind the murders? 

I never would have thought to compare them to other literary detectives, and I'm not sure they could come up with great comparisons. They do seem to make a good team, observing in different ways and using one another as sounding boards to hash out what they're picking up on. But neither of them is completely brilliant at playing detective. At best, I think they be the the bumbling (and much hotter) cousins of Sherlock and Watson. Uh, without the English accents as well. :D 

The fact that no one senses channeling before a murder seems to point to the Forsaken, as they are (as far as anyone other than Rand knows) are the only ones who can use the True Power. It's been mentioned that Mesaana is in favor with the DO so she might be using the TP to kill, which keeps anyone from knowing it's happening until the bodies are recovered. So yes, I think Egwene's conclusions are logical.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving (with some Laughs)!

Hey Everyone, 

I'm taking the rest of this week off to focus on Thanksgiving. Wish I could post more, but I just started a new job and I've got a lot of cooking to fit into my schedule. I hope everyone has a wonderful, happy, and safe holiday! Here are some fun holiday images for you. Hope they make you smile. I'll be back next week. (All pics courtesy of Pinterest.com unless otherwise linked.)







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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Harry Potter Read-Along: Book 1 The Sorcerer's Stone

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Hello All! Here is my first post for the Harry Potter Read-Along I've joined. It's being hosted by Sheila over at Book Journey, and it's not too late to join in if you're interested in reading with us. Details here. As most people are all kinds of familiar with our boy-wizard's world, this won't be your average book review. I'll just talk about points that struck my fancy while re-reading. 

I actually finished book 1 last week (and am well into book 2 now) but it's been crazy and I'm just now getting the post up. :) 

So, book 1! I haven't read it for about ten years. Not long after I started college, I decided I wanted to read the Harry Potter series. I'd heard a lot of the hype and I knew a movie was in the works, so I picked up book 1. 

At the time, only the first four books were published. I was rooming with my sister and I remember her making fun of me for reading "a kid's book." (Never mind that she's now more of a Potter Head than I am! Hehe.) Anyway, I remember really liking book 1. I wasn't immediately a fanatic, but I liked it enough to pick up book 2, and the rest was history. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Walking Dead Recap, Episode 5.7: Crossed



Episode 7: Crossed


So, we start out seeing Sasha splitting wood. With a vengeance. She's using an ax to cut up the wooden pews in the church, and attacking them as though they're wild animals. Tyrese and Daryl watch her from a distance. Daryl asks if she's okay, to which Ty replies that she's not. (We actually don't see Noah come out of the woods after Daryl, or the two of them swap stories with Rick and co. Understandable, given how little time they have in each episode, but it still would have been nice to see.) They're using the wood and the pipe organs to fortify the church. Rick, Daryl, Noah, Sasha, and Ty will go to Atlanta while Michonne will stay behind with Carl, Judith, and Father Gabriel. (Grhh! I wanted Michonne to go!)


Fortifying Church Source
Michonne actually volunteers to go, letting Rick stay with his kids, but Rick says he wants to go. He feels like he owes Carol more than the rest of the group does. After they leave, Michonne and Carl bar the door, and Father Gabriel starts scratching at the blood on the floor. First with his fingernails (ew) and then with rags and such, as though trying to scrub it out. 


Gabriel scrubs blood on floor. Source
As they travel back to the city, Ty tries to talk to Sasha, telling her that he of all people knows what she's going through, and Bob wouldn't want her to be unhappy. His words fall on deaf ears, as Sasha clearly isn't ready to hear them yet.

In the hospital, Beth checks on Carol.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Towers of Midnight Read-Along, Week 1



Welcome to week 1 of our Towers of Midnight Read-Along! This week we read the Prologue-Chapter 4. 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. Eivind Fonn is hosting this week and will probably post his answers over at Dab of Darkness. Hop on over and check out his answers as well!


The Forsaken (Source)
1.  Everyone who thought Graendal might not be dead can pat themselves on the back.  With Aran'gar's death that leaves six.  Are there any others, thought dead, that you fear we might see again?

Well, we know the DO can bring them back, so Rand is actually right about the balefire thing, scary though it may be. Balefire seems to be the only thing that the DO cannot bring someone back from. So, anyone who wasn't balefired could feasibly return. Ugh. Seems never-ending, doesn't it?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Follow Friday:Ad for Co-Blogger

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!



I'm one of the features this week! Whoo-hoo! :D

Create an ad listing all the qualities and qualifications of your perfect co-blogger. - Suggested by Girl of 1000 Wonders

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Wanted: A co-blogger to help with a blog. Must be hard-working, adhere to deadlines, and resourceful. Must know how to properly site sources so neither of us gets arrested. Must have the ability to read several hundred pages a week, post regularly, cross-post to every social network in existence, and generally pick up the slack when I...can't. Please no fake writing tones, devil worshipers, zombies, witches or vampires. (Although liking to read about them is a plus!) If interested, please email resume to unreasonableblogger@gblogger.com.  Serious applicants only, please.

Too demanding? :D







What would you put in a co-blogger ad?

Thoughts for Thursday: Belief

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 theme is Beliefs. Check out my other blog for more quotes.


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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Walking Dead Recap, Episode 5.6: Consumed



Episode 6: Consumed


This was an awesome episode! I loved it!

We start off with a flashback of Carol last season when Rick banished her. She drives around, cries, yells at zombies, finds a place to hole up, spends lots of quality time with herself, and eventually comes back to the prison in time to see the tail-end of its fall.

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Meanwhile, in present-day, she and Daryl are following the car identical to the one that abducted Beth. Daryl tells Carol about what happened with Beth. (I was thinking he'd have to. Because she wasn't in the train car at Terminus when he told the others, she doesn't even know that he and Beth were alone on the road together, or that she was taken or anything. I really loved that he was praising Beth here, saying how tough she was. My reaction: awww!)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Sequels I Can't Wait For

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 Sequels I Can't Wait To Get (All covers courtesy of Goodreads.com unless otherwise linked)

I feel like we've done variations of this question several times, so lots of these I've done before, but oh well. Still want 'em. :D




10. Dreams of Gods and Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3) by Laini Taylor -- I know this one is out but I haven't gotten a hold of it yet (maybe for Christmas). I've heard both good and bad things about it, but I can't wait to read it either way.


9. City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #5) by Cassandra Clare -- This one's been out for a while too, but I haven't gotten around to it. I burned through the first four books in like 2 months, so I can't wait for the latest installment.


8. The Fall by Bethany Griffin -- Okay, this isn't really a sequel. It's more like the next retelling she's doing, but I really loved The Dance/Masque of the Red Death she did. This one is based on The Fall of the House of Usher, which is another favorite Poe story of mine. Can't wait to read it! 


7. Winds of Winter by George R.R. Martin -- I'm not sure when this is coming out, but it says sometime in 2015. I'm going to try and re-read book 5 before it comes out, but I can't wait for the next installment of this awesome series.



6. Skybreaker (The Stormlight Archive #3) by Brandon Sanderson -- Loved books 1 and 2. Can't wait for book 3. Gotta love Sanderson!


5. Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3) by Veronica Rossi -- This is another series I may need to re-read, but I've totally loved it, so I need to finish the trilogy. I'm sure it will be fabulous. :D


4. Beast Charming by Jenniffer Wardell -- Like The Fall, this may not exactly be a sequel. But Jenniffer Wardell's debut, Fairy Godmother's Inc., was all kinds of charming. I totally loved it, so I'm totally psyched to read her second book!


3. Dr. Sleep (The Shining #2) by Stephen King -- Though I haven't read The Shining, I did see the film. I heard what the premise for this sequel was and I'm totally curious to see what he does with it. I need to read The Shining first, but then I'll definitely be reading Dr. Sleep.


2. Ruins by Dan Wells -- Cannot wait to read this one! It's probably my favorite dystopian series on the market, and so under-read and under-rated! Can't wait to get book 3!


1. Just for Fins (Fins #3) by Tera Lynn Childs -- I read the first two books and loved them. This is one of those things where I don't particularly care for teenage/YA/high school type stories, and that's exactly what this is, with the mermaid element thrown in. But I loved them! All kinds of charming and kept me laughing. Hysterically. Gotta read the final book. :D



What Top Ten Sequels can you not wait for?

Tips for Writing in Multiple Genres

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This post is based on a presentation I gave at the St. George Book Expo at the end of October. I adapted it from a power point presentation I put together for that conference.

The famous line from Norman Maclean's classic novel, A River Runs Through It, says "Eventually all things merge into one, and a river runs through it."

Maclean's point was that often in society we kill each other over details when really we aren't all that different from one another. 


I'm gonna take that argument and apply it to genres. 

For past generations of authors, they usually had to pick a genre and make their career in that genre. Because it took so much--face to face sales, book tours, radio/TV spots--to sell books, they had to stay in the same niche in order to be successful. 

And of course every author is biased toward their own genre. Understandable, perhaps, but the fact is that every good story has similar components. All stories have to have great plots that follow the same basic structure, great characters, great writing, etc. They aren't actually very different from one another. Genre is just a detail. 

There are only so many stories, so many conflicts. (Man vs. man, man vs. himself, man vs. nature, man vs. society, etc.) which means that, as authors, our originality=0. It's our creativity that makes us great story tellers.

All stories basically merge into one.

Let's look at dystopian as an example. All dystopias (Hunger Games, Divergent, The Road, The Walking Dead) have the same basic structure. Actually, I've made the argument multiple times that all stories are inherently dystopian. If there wasn't something undesirable about the world of your story, you wouldn't have a story to tell. 

But all dystopians have the same elements--both as one another and as other stories. It's the details that set them apart. Details set different novels in same genres apart. Genres set apart all stories.

Why People Say You Shouldn't Write in Multiple Genres:

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Gathering Storm Read-Along, Week 7


Welcome to week 7 of our The Gathering Storm Read-Along! This week we read Chapters 43-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. Eivind Fonn is hosting this week and will probably post his answers over at Dab of Darkness. Hop on over and check out his answers as well!
Egwene al'Vere (Source)

1.  Egwene appears very reluctant to forgive Siuan and Gawyn for having rescued her from Tar Valon.  Do you think she went overboard?  Has Siuan lost her status for ever?  What sort of thing might it take for Egwene and Gawyn to finally get together as they should?

This is one of those things that just needs a bit of time. First of all, Egwene thought that their rescue of her would lose her all the ground she'd gained in the Tower. As we see at the end of her story for this book, that was not the case. The fact that it works out so well alone will probably go a long way toward her forgiving them. Even if it hadn't worked out, though, Egwene is under a lot of stress and, despite her strength, has been beaten several times every day for quite some time. Having all that go to waste would piss anyone off. With a little bit of time and distance, I think she would have come to forgive her friends one way or another.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Follow Friday: Create a Playlist (or Single Song) for a Book

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!


Create a playlist for a book - or a single song if you don't want to do an entire playlist - Suggested by This Girl Reads A Lot and Bubbly and Bookish

I would love to do an entire playlist for the Wheel of Time series, but unfortunately I don't have time to put one together this week. I totally envision a different song for every character and battle, but I'm not sure what they'd be.

I always liked the following song for the entire series. It's kind of a sappy love song, but in a way, the series is as much character driven as it is plot driven, so in a way the song is very fitting for every relationship, both romantic and platonic. Plus, the end of the song has these scales that just SOUND epic. I totally envision a trailer for the book to this song, laying out the major conflicts for each character (there would be a lot) and then going into battles and epic fantasy stuff. It would be awesome!


Do you think this would make for good trailer music for an epic fantasy? What book did YOU create a playlist for?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Walking Dead Recap, Episode 5.5: Self-Help

Sorry this is so late this week. Crazy week. 

Episode 5: Self-Help


So this episode left out Rick's group back at the church and the Daryl/Carol/Beth story line. (Argh!) It focused on the group that left on the short bus last week. Abraham, Rosita, Eugene, Maggie, Glen and Tara.

We start out with them on the road, and everyone is in pretty good spirits. Rosita quips with Abraham about cutting his hair, and he is obviously glad to be on the move again. Glen and Maggie hope that Daryl and Carol have returned, and the rest of the group is behind them on the road, and will catch up soon. This part was cute. It's like, they know it might be a foolish hope, but they're just trying to be positive, as Maggie and Glen always are. Eugene is the only one who doesn't seem happy. Tara asks him what's wrong--if he's dwelling on what happened at the church the previous night. He says it's that, but also the future.

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Glen starts asking questions about the cure, and Eugene goes back into "that's classified" mode. Glen calls him down for it, but Eugene insists that if the world goes back to how it was, some secrets might need to be kept. Glen also asks why Eugene keeps the mullet. Eugene says simply that he likes it and no one is cutting it. Period.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters Who Should Have Their Own Book

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 Characters I Wish Would Get Their Own Book

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9. Reepicheep of The Chronicles of Narnia -- He was one of the funnest characters in the series. An intelligent, courageous swash-buckling mouse definitely deserves his own book. I envision a Stuart Little/Pirates of the Caribbean hybrid. It'd be so entertaining!





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8. Arya of A Song of Ice and Fire -- My favorite character! She's so adventurous and I kind of wish she had her own book because she's my fave to read about and in book 5 she only had two chapters. Two chapter! Mr. Martin, you'd better give me more with book 6.




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7. Tam al'Thor of Wheel of Time -- Before his death, it was rumored that Robert Jordan was going to write more prequels. (New Spring was immensely successful.) One of the things he wanted to write about was Tam finding Rand during the Aiel War. I SO wish he could have written that book. I want it!

6. Nynaeve and Lan of Wheel of Time -- You'd have to have one with the other, so I included them both. If I had any objections at all to the way the series ended, it's that we didn't get much afterward. I want to see Nynaeve and Lan after...the ending. (Trying not to spoil.) There's just so much potential there. (Jordan should have written appendices, like Tolkien did.)





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5. Ron and Hermione of Harry Potter -- Again, I'd love to see some adventures with them as married adults. I'd be fun if they teamed up to go after minor evil wizards or something. Have Harry walk through a few scenes. It'd be like Rozencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Tell the story through them with the more central characters from the series as the background.

4. Zuzana of Daughter of Smoke and Bone -- The MC's best friend is hysterical! I love her. Totally give her her own book. 

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3. Matrim Cauthon of Wheel of Time -- Hilarious with all kinds of sexist anecdotes about women. Mat gets into all kinds of trouble, but manages to be a bada** all the same. He definitely needs his own book. (And like #6, I'd love an afterward with him. See him in his new surroundings, you know?)



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2. Tyrion Lannister of A Song of Ice and Fire -- I don't think I need to explain this one. He's the most intelligent, witty, harsh-tongued character in the series. My family sits around watching the HBO show and talking about how no one would be a better king of Westeros than Tyrion. 



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1. Loial of Wheel of Time -- I'd LOVE a book about Loial! Yeah I know, he'd probably sit around writing his book a lot, but throw in a battle or two so the Ogier can fight with their axes, and maybe some sweet romance stuff with Erith and it would just be charming. I want a Loial book!



That's all I could come up with. How about you?



Which characters do you think deserve their own books?

5 Tips for Writing Middle-Grade Characters

At the LUW conference in September, I attended a class called "Writing Middle-Grade Characters." Now, I don't write middle grade (MG). I don't even particularly like to read middle grade, with a few notable exceptions. But, I'm still working on my Dragon Magic series (won't be out until next year) and I have one character that is of middle grade age. His name is Rolly.

In my writer's group, he was one of the favorites. And for good reason: he's really fun and his story is adventurous. But for me, he's also the most intimidating to write because I don't generally write MG. I don't know how. And I struggle to make him sound like a kid that is smart, but not pretentious. 

Even though even this story is for adults, I thought if I learned how to write MG and incorporated that into Rolly's POV, it would make my character feel more like a real kid. So, a lesson in writing MG was in order. Here are some tips I picked up:

5 Elements that kids (as readers) crave in their books:


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1) Humor - This lessons tension and creates a bond between the child and the story. Can come in the form of:

  • malapropisms (i.e. misusing words)
  • non sequiturs (i.e. illogical conclusions)
  • things that are out of place
  • Rule of 3 works well (i.e. underwear, socks, and a penguin)
  • words with K or G sound (this is a research/psychology thing; really not gonna try and explain it)
  • things that are taboo
  • use humor in description and how characters see themselves
  • do NOT use sarcasm; children of this age don't usually get sarcasm, especially in writing
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2) Being Scared -- Use:
  • creepy setting
  • cliffhangers
  • suspense
  • running from a foe
  • make reader worry about what might happen
  • STAY AWAY from gore for this age group
3) Mystery -- How to Create it:
  • build curiosity (i.e. Is this a friend or foe?)
  • hint at things (i.e. monster, treasure, etc.)
  • if there's a threat to the MC's happiness = stronger mystery
  • solve the mystery after not too long; MG = short attention span
  • make sure and leave breadcrumbs along the way
  • DO NOT use confusion
  • the POV character CANNOT know secrets; they have to be the one finding them out
4) Action/Adventure
  • unlike films, books must use thoughts and emotions for actions scenes; these must be applicable to the MG age group
  • have clever dilemmas/creative situations
  • show character being clever
  • make reader care about characters
  • don't go too long without action; can be small action, but get your characters moving
  • try to do description before action scene, rather than during
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5) Sense of Wonder
  • Fantasy/speculative fiction naturally induces this
  • science experiments
  • setting
  • characters
  • animals
  • look at everyday stuff differently
  • with every bit of wonder, there needs to be a bit of familiar ground
  • characters should fail spectacularly, but not stupidly, or you lose the respect of your reader
  • make conflict personal to the characters (i.e. parents as zombies, things kids would care about)
  • characters must always have a chance of winning
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More Random MG Tips:
  • Sacrifice everything for clarity; these readers are young. YOU. MUST. BE. CLEAR!
  • Do your dialogue attributions ASAP. Again, children will be confused more easily than adults. Do the attribution before the dialogue, rather than at the end, if at all possible.
  • In late, out early. Keep your scenes short.
  • Awesome names are a huge plus! 
Basically all of these things can be applied to any genre and age group, but they're especially important in MG, where things need to be clear to the point of obviousness and simple to the point of being trite. Of course, when done well, MG is neither obvious nor trite. It's magical and fabulous!

So, hopefully these tips are helpful to you. Even if you don't write MG, if like me you have a young character, incorporating these tips into your writing of them (especially if it's their POV) will help them feel more authentic. Give it a shot. I know I'm going to.

So, any MG writing tips I missed? Which ones stand out to you?