WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday for July 31st

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Today’s post is hosted once again by the lovely MizB at “Should Be Reading.” Three questions, three answers. Go!

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Mind Games by Kiersten White. I’m also re-reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan.

What did you recently finish reading?

I still have the Harry Potter books on the brain, even though I finished them a while ago. I also just finished 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Honestly, a lot of that is going to depend on what I have on my Kindle, since I’m getting ready to go on vacation, and don’t want to lug around a bunch of books. I’ve got several things on there that I could easily be persuaded to start.

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday for July 30th

No Top Ten Tuesday post today. Sorry folks. I read the topic several times and couldn’t come up with anything good to write about. I will, however, give you a teaser.

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by the lovely MizB at “Should Be Reading.” Here’s how to play:

• 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!

The result of this was that the cast of Starbucks: The Musical outnumbered the audience, and Jittery seemed very aware of the fact. That might have been the reason he decided to skip intermission and keep right on going, eliminating any chance of letting his audience escape.

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

Please leave your teasers or links to your blog posts in comments!

Heritage · Writing

Heritage – Part 3

This will be the last entry for two weeks, since I will be on vacation. Enjoy!

* * * * *

Noshli kept walking, ignoring the voice. She didn’t know why anyone would want to speak to her in the first place. If she was lucky, whoever it was would go away. It had started raining again, a light, misting rain that soaked through Noshli’s clothes within minutes. Stopping was the last thing she wanted to do.

“Hey!” the voice said again. “Elf . . . lady! Wait a moment!”

Noshli stopped in her tracks and closed her eyes in weariness. She didn’t want to deal with people right now. Maybe if she gave in, they could do whatever they wanted and then leave her in peace. She turned around and gasped.

Standing in the middle of the road was a very tall, very thin woman. Noshli would have almost taken her for an elf, except for the bright red hair that spiraled around her head. She had never seen an elf with hair like that, riotous curls going every which way. The girl, whoever she was, seemed surprised that Noshli had stopped. Her eyes were wide, a bright grass green, and she tucked a lock of hair behind her ear with a sheepish grin.

Normal human ears. Definitely not an elf.

“What do you want?” Noshli said. She couldn’t help being angry. That tavern was one of the first places she had been warm since setting out and now she had been driven from it as though she had done something dreadful instead of saving several of their lives. And now one of the neighborhood kids wanted to come have a look at the freak, did they? Her eyes narrowed as she looked at the girl, who seemed to be all arms and legs, a gangly thing.

“You are the elf girl, right?” the human girl said. “The one who helped the people at the Fox?”

“That’s not how they saw it,” Noshli said, her anger giving way to confusion. This girl believed that Noshli was helping? “They thought I caused the mess.”

“Of course they did,” the girl scoffed. “Closed minded, the lot of them. It’s part of why I wanted to leave in the first place.”

“Leave?”

“Sure!” the girl said. She seemed to have gotten over her nerves, her smile wide and friendly. “I grew up in this sorry town. My parents wanted me to settle down with some nice village boy, cook his meals, pump out a dozen babies or so. It . . .” her voice trailed off for a moment. “It’s not the right life for me.”

“I can understand that,” Noshli said. “What does that have to do with me though?”

“Well, you’re obviously not from town. And no one in their right mind comes here to stay. So that tells me that you’re a traveller. I’ve been looking for someone who I could travel with, just for a little while, so that leaving might be a bit easier. It’s one thing to want to leave, it’s another thing . . .”

“To actually do it,” Noshli said, nodding. She understood that feeling.

“Anyway,” the girl said. “I know how to set traps and to catch and clean fish. I won’t use up any of your resources, and might even bring in a few of my own. Just let me travel with you a ways. I won’t be any trouble, I promise!”

Noshli was overwhelmed. She had never had anyone, other than her mother, seek out her company with such purpose. There was something about this girl, her open honest face, that made Noshli trust her immediately. “What’s your name?” she asked.

The girl smiled even wider. “Althea,” she said, bouncing a little on the balls of her feet. “I have my things stowed in that pile of logs over there,” she said. “I’ll go grab them and then we can be on our way!” She took off at a jog towards the wood pile.

“You don’t even know where I’m going!” Noshli said. “I don’t even know that!”

“It’s all right,” Althea said, hefting a bulky burlap knapsack over her shoulder. “Anywhere is better than here.”

Drabbles

A Quick Update

No review today folks. I am packing my bags even as we speak to head to Chattanooga, Tennessee for the weekend, where I will visit an ENORMOUS used bookstore. But even better than that, I will finally get to meet someone who I’ve known online for over ten years – Jess, my podcast co-host on Bibliophiles Anonymous! We first became friends on the Mallorean Tavern, and then on Livejournal. I’m so excited to see her and go book shopping! It’s going to be the best time!

Just a quick reminder, this is the last day to vote for the next part of Heritage, so hop on over to this post and let me know what you want to happen next in the story.

See you guys next week!

Books I've Read

Book Review: Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey

I’ve been meaning to read some of Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar books for a very, very long time, but just hadn’t gotten around to it. Then this book was suggested for the book club at the Mallorean Tavern, which meant we also got to discuss the book on the Bibliophiles Anonymous podcast. The Valdemar books are made up of a bunch of smaller series. Arrows of the Queen is the first book in the Heralds of Valdemar trilogy, and is also probably the best place to start.

I will say, after seeing how many Valdemar books there are, I’m starting to regret the goal I made to finish all the series that I start this year. Maybe I’ll say that the rule only applies to this trilogy? I do intend to read them all at some point, but . . . sheesh! That’s a lot of books!

So on to the review.

arrows of the queen

Arrows of the Queen tells the story of Talia, a young girl growing up in a rural Hold where she doesn’t fit in at all. She likes to sneak off and be by herself, to read about the brave Heralds of Valdemar, who are selected to defend the queen. Unable to take the idea of an arranged marriage (to someone who will try to beat the rebelliousness out of her, or so she thinks), Talia runs away from home. She comes across one of the Herald’s Companions, which takes the form of a snow white horse with brilliant blue eyes. Unsure of what to do, afraid to be found by someone from her Hold, Talia decides to take the Companion back to the Heralds, hoping that they might take her in as a servant.

Of course, that doesn’t happen. The Companion, who Talia somehow knows is named Rolan, leads her back to the Herald’s stronghold, called Haven. There, Talia realizes that she didn’t find the Companion – Rolan found her. She has been Chosen to become a Herald trainee. It seems like a dream come true, but Talia’s insecurities abound. She is used to being vilified and a few kind words from her fellow Herald trainees don’t change that. She keeps to herself, even when she is mercilessly bullied (and nearly killed) by other groups of students at the Haven.

Slowly, Talia is able to come out of her shell and learn to trust people. She is given many new duties, one of which involving trying to civilize the princess (referred to as “The Brat”). Talia is special, and has abilities that the Heralds need, although she doesn’t fully understand them yet. There are plots to overthrow the queen and Talia and the rest of the Heralds are pulled in to try and stop them.

I liked this book, but I’m not convinced to be a big Valdemar fangirl just yet. There were a lot of things that were predictable about it. Not that that’s a bad thing, but I could have guessed the ending from the first few chapters of the book. Still, there are some great characters – I particularly loved Skiff, the thief-turned-Herald-trainee who not only befriends Talia, but the two become romantically involved for a time. And the world is pretty wonderful. I want to go to the Haven and join the Collegium! I want to live at the Haven!

So yes, I will probably look for the next two books in this trilogy at some point. I already own the second one, which is good. Now I just need to find the time!

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday for July 24th

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Where has this month gone? I can’t believe August starts next week! That’s crazy! But enough freaking out for now. It’s time for WWW Wednesday, hosted by MizB at “Should Be Reading.” Three questions, three answers. Let’s go!

What are you currently reading?

I’m trying to finish up Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by tomorrow for the podcast. I’ve also started reading Mind Games by Kiersten White on my Kindle. And according to Good Reads, I’m still reading 1984 by George Orwell. Hmmm . . . I thought I finished that.

What did you recently finish reading?

Recently finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I also re-read Paper Towns by John Green, just because I really wanted to. Besides that, it’s a quick read for me. And one of my favorite books.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Um . . . I’m not sure? I’ve been so focused on Harry Potter lately, it’s hard to think about anything else. I should probably try to track down Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore, just so I can check that off my list.

There are my answers for this week! Please leave your WWW answers or links to your WWW posts in comments. Also, don’t forget to vote for the next plot twist in Heritage, my weekly story feature! The post to vote is here.

Teaser Tuesday · Top Ten Tuesdays

Teasers and Top Tens – July 23rd

Happy Tuesday everyone! Welcome to my favorite blogging day of the week!

Teaser Tuesday

Kicking things off with Teaser Tuesday, hosted by the lovely MizB from “Should Be Reading.” Here’s how to play along:

• 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!

“You don’t understand, Harry, nobody could understand unless they have lived with goblins. To a goblin, the rightful and true master of any object is the maker, not the purchaser. All goblin-made objects are, in goblin eyes, rightfully theirs.”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Bonus points if you can tell who’s speaking there. 🙂 Also, this should be my last Harry Potter teaser, since I will finish the series this week. Sigh. It’s been fun!

toptentuesday

This week’s topic for Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by “The Broke and the Bookish,” is a little tricky for me. Today we are talking about the words or topics that will make you avoid a book. The thing is – I’ll read just about anything. I’m not that picky. I’ll give anything a try. So to be fair, I did some snooping on some other peoples lists to get ideas because, for the most part, I was drawing a blank.

Top Ten (or Seven) Words/Topics That Will Make You NOT pick up a book

1. Romance – Don’t get me wrong – I like love. I do. And I like seeing a good romantic subplot running through my stories. But if the book is about nothing but the ups and downs of someone’s relationship, it starts to get a little bit boring to me.

2. Religion – This one could be taken the wrong way. Again, I don’t mind if there is a character in a book who is religious. What I don’t like are books that get really preachy about it. And it doesn’t matter which religion it is. It could even be a made-up religion in a fantasy book. As soon as you start lecturing me, I start to loose interest.

3. Chick-Lit – I won’t even go into how offensive I find this term, but the light fluffy stuff that has little to no substance in it, that’s written strictly because some author thinks that clothes and makeup and men are all women are interested in . . . yeah, I think you understand why I’m not a fan.

4. “The Next . . .” – I do get tired of hearing people talk about a book like, “It’s the next Harry Potter!” Or “It’s the next Twilight!” (please, just, no) Quit trying to compare your book to someone else’s! Especially since you will probably A). get my expectations up and then disappoint me (like my first example), or B). turn me off completely from your work (like my second example).

5. Fathers – Particularly anything where something bad happens to a father or father figure. My dad died several years ago and I’m still pretty sensitive to this topic. Do you want me to be a crying bundle of feelings? No? Then let’s move on.

6. Terminal Illness – I’ve watched several friends and family members loose their battles with cancer and it’s painful enough. I don’t want to read about it. I made it through The Fault in Our Stars purely out of loyalty to John Green, but I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to re-read it. I wasn’t right for days.

7. Erotica – This one is slightly related to Romance, in that I need more than this. I’m not opposed to a well written sex scene, but that can’t be all the book is about. It just gets boring.

Please leave your links for teasers and top ten lists in comments! Also, don’t forget to vote for the next part of Heritage (see yesterday’s post if you don’t know what I’m talking about).