Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday for May 20th

Teaser Tuesday New

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by MizB at “Should Be Reading.” And even though she is taking a well-deserved break, that doesn’t mean we can’t play in her sandbox for a bit. 🙂

Here are the rules if you want 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!

Let these angels live. That this could even be in question: Akiva’s life, and Liraz’s. They had come back here to warn them. The real Thiago wouldn’t have hesitated to gut them for their trouble. Akiva didn’t know this wasn’t the real Thiago, and he’d come back anyway. For her sake.

– Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor

I had taken a break from this book for a bit, but now I’m back at it. According to my podcast co-host, the ending is a doozy.

Please leave your teasers in comments!

Chapter-A-Long

HP Chapter-A-Long: Sorcerer’s Stone Chapter 5

HPSS

Chapter 5: Diagon Alley

I am going to keep doing this, I promise! Sure, it’s been a bit sporadic, but I’m trying to get better. My goal is to do this on Fridays now. We’ll see how that goes.

We last left young Harry after being completely shocked that a gigantic man came to hand deliver the letter that Harry’s uncle had refused to let him see. The next day when he wakes up:

“It was a dream,” he told himself firmly. “I dreamed a giant called Hagrid came to tell me I was going to a school for wizards. When I open my eyes I’ll be at home in my cupboard.”

Aw, sweetie. It’s not a dream. It’s only beginning.

Harry discovers quickly that it wasn’t a dream and he and Hagrid set off, but not before Hagrid drops the bomb that Harry actually has money that his parents left for him, and it’s at a wizarding bank run by goblins. It’s really a wonder that this poor kid didn’t drop dead from the shock of it all.

They travel to London, which of course leads them to the Leaky Cauldron, and soon to Diagon Alley. Harry is in for another shock when all the people in the Leaky Cauldron pub not only recognize him, but are thrilled and honored to finally meet him. For a kid who’s always been treated like dirt, suddenly being the center of adoration must have been completely foreign and slightly uncomfortable. Harry also meets a character who I like to call “J.K.-Rowling’s-First-Masterful-Misdirection.” Also known as Professor Quirrell, the current Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.

“D-Defense Against the D-D-Dark Arts,” muttered Professor Quirrell, as though he’d rather not think about it. “N-not that you n-need it, eh, P-P-Potter?” He laughed nervously. “You’ll be g-getting all your equipment, I suppose? I’ve g-got to p-pick up a new b-book on vampires, m-myself.” He looked terrified at the very thought.

Who, when the first read this book, pegged this guy as the villain? Anyone? I sure didn’t. Although, to be fair, my introduction with the Harry Potter world started with the Sorcerer’s Stone movie, which was immediately followed by the book, but even in the movie – I never suspected Quirrell of anything at first. It wasn’t until the end when he was revealed that she BLEW MY MIND.

But anyway.

Harry and Hagrid make their way to Diagon Alley, which I have to say, is one of the things I wish I had seen in the movie after reading the book instead of before. I can’t imagine how exciting it must have been to see this magical wonderful place brought to life. I had no expectations of it, so it was still really cool, but not something I had been waiting and waiting to see. I want to visit Diagon Alley so much, especially Flourish and Blotts (the bookstore, naturally).

While at Diagon Alley, we do meet another character who becomes slightly important later on, and unlike Quirrell, I had this one pegged as a pain in the butt from the start.

In the back of the shop, a boy with a pale, pointed face was standing on a footstool while a second witch pinned up his long black robes.

Enter Draco Malfoy, snobby rich kid and bigot extraordinaire. We don’t learn his name here, but it’s obvious that we aren’t done with him.

“Where are your parents?”

“They’re dead,” said Harry shortly. He didn’t feel much like going into the matter with this boy.

“Oh, sorry,” said the other, not sounding sorry at all. “But they were our kind, weren’t they?

“They were a witch and wizard, if that’s what you mean.”

“I really don’t think they should let the other sort in, do you? They’re just not the same, they’ve never been brought up to know our ways. Some of them have never even heard of Hogwarts until they get the letter, imagine. I think they should keep it in the old wizarding families. What’s your surname anyway?”

Yeah, he’s a real peach, isn’t he. And I have to wait two more books before Hermione slaps him upside his stupid face. Darn.

Harry and Hagrid continue their shopping, including a stop at Ollivander’s to buy Harry his wand. Mr. Ollivander is creepy as can be, but finds the perfect wand for Harry, a wand that has a very unique property. Each wand has a special substance in the core: unicorn hair, dragon heartstring, phoenix feather. The wand that chooses Harry has a phoenix feather inside it and, according to Ollivander, the phoenix that gave that feather gave one other feather – which happened to be the core of Voldemort’s wand. That’s not traumatic to drop on the kid, no not at all.

Have I mentioned again how amazed I am that Harry is such a well-adjusted child?

Once they are done with their shopping, Hagrid takes Harry back to the train station to send him back to the Dursleys for the rest of the summer. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall when Harry arrived back home again, after all the insanity that happened in the house on the rocks. Harry is feeling, understandably, overwhelmed

“Everyone thinks I’m special,” he said at last. “All those people in the Leaky Cauldron, Professor Quirrell, Mr. Ollivander . . . but I don’t know anything about magic at all. How can they expect great things? I’m famous and I can’t even remember what I’m famous for.”

I can’t imagine how hard it must be to go from being the house pariah to being hailed as the greatest wizard boy in the world. Harry’s head must be spinning. Hagrid is quick to reassure him that everyone starts from the beginning at Hogwarts and that Harry will be absolutely fine. He gives Harry is train ticket to get to school and, as Harry heads back to the Dursley’s, Hagrid disappears.

Whew! So many things happen to Harry so fast, but he’s nothing if not a survivor. Next chapter, we meet more important characters and get on the train to Hogwarts!

 

Books I've Read

Book Review: Shadowbound by Dianne Sylvan

Since I don’t plan on reviewing any of the Otherworld books individually until I finish the series, I actually don’t have a huge backlog of reviews to get out. Isn’t that nice? Although when an author completely and totally breaks your heart . . . it might take you a while to be able to talk about it. Here is my review of Shadowbound by Dianne Sylvan.

shadowbound

So much happens in this book, it’s really hard to try and synopsisize it (is that a word? it is now!). That’s one of the things I love about this series in general – Sylvan doesn’t pull any punches. She writes a complex, ever-changing story with great characters and just enough snarky, sarcastic humor that it makes things fun.  I have said it before and I’ll say it again – I really dig her take on vampires. There are so many different vampire books and series out there, some done well, some not so much. To me, this is one of the better ones, if not the best. If vampires really existed, this is totally how they would operate.

Side note, my husband calls these my “hot-girl-with-a-sword” books. It’s not an inappropriate title.

This is book five in the series. It just came out back at the end of March and I have been waiting (un)patiently for it to get here for about a year. The story continues with David and Miranda, the Prime and Queen of the Southern U.S., who are still trying to adjust to the events that happened at the end of book four. Namely, David returning from the dead and becoming one of the Thirdborn, the next . . . evolution I guess? . . . of vampire. They are also examining the connection that is forming between their Pair and the other Pairs that are forming the Circle, an elite group of vamps tasked with serving Persephone. And then there’s also Olivia, the recently chose Prime of the Northeast . . . who is the first ever female prime.

AND . . . there’s also an elf named Nico who is trying to help Deven heal his ancient broken soul.

AND AND . . . there’s a group of humans called the Order of the Morningstar who are trying to take the vampires down, who have found a way to become super strong which involves ritually sacrificing Primes.

Like I said, there’s a lot going on.

There are parts of this book that made me laugh out loud and one particular character death that made my cry like a baby. My favorite character is still probably Deven, the Prime of the Western U.S., and my heart just aches for him. This book told much more of his story than other books previously have done and I’m so glad we’re getting to know him a bit more. I just hope he can survive the events at the end of this book into the next one.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if you like vampires, you MUST read this series. Go directly to the bookstore, do not pass GO, do not collect $200.00. Okay, if someone is handing out $200.00, then take it, but THEN get to the bookstore and use that money to buy this series!

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday for May 14th

www_wednesdays4

You know what helps a blogger actually create posts? Internet access. You know what has been lacking off and on at my house for the past few days? Same answer. Hopefully it’s fixed now.

WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by MizB at “Should Be Reading.” Three questions, three answers. Go!

What are you currently reading?

I’ve gone back to reading the Yasmine Galenorn Otherworld books in an attempt to read them all this year. Currently, I’m on book #8, Harvest Hunting. I like these books, but I can only take them so much at a time, I’ve found. Since they focus around the three sisters and alternate between those three sisters points of view, I’ve been reading them three at a time – a book for Camille, a book for Delilah, and a book for Menolly. Then I go read something else for a while. It keeps me from getting burned out on a really really really long series.

What have you recently finished reading?

Recently finished reading Bone Magic, which is book #7 in the Otherworld series. I also read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, which I LOVED. We did a review of that book for the Bibliophiles Anonymous podcast, if anyone is interested. You can find it here. Other than that, I’ve been doing a lot of re-reading, which is relaxing for me since I don’t have to be on edge about what’s going to happen. I mentioned that I read 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson, but I also plucked up the courage to read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green in anticipation for the movie.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’ll probably read Blood Wyne, which is Otherworld book #9. That would complete my three Otherworld books to read before I move on to something else. After that, I’m not sure. I have a whole shelf full of books that I’ve purchased but haven’t read yet, so I should probably grab one of those. According to GoodReads, there are two books that have been on that shelf the longest: Daughter of the Forest by Juliette Marillier and Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce. So those are both possibles. Or I might grab something completely different. Who knows?

There are my answers! Please leave your WWW Wednesdays in comments!

Drabbles

Internet Hiatus is a Good Thing

So I’ve been basically offline for the past couple of weeks. Not because anything is wrong, but just because . . . sometimes you need a break.

It feels like I spend all day doing nothing but staring at a screen. My day job consists of working on a computer pretty much all day long. When I come home, I’m either writing blogs, reading blogs, getting on various social media sites, or going down the YouTube rabbit hole. It’s enough to make anyone go slightly insane. I started noticing that I was logging on to Facebook not because I wanted to post something exciting or catch up with a good friend, but because I really had no idea what else to do. That and OMG SOMETHING MIGHT HAVE HAPPENED THAT I DON’T KNOW ABOUT!!!!! You know the feeling. You’ve probably done the same thing.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate social media – I really do. Facebook has helped me keep in touch with friends from high school and college that have long since moved away from my town. I get to see their kids grow up and know that they are doing well. It’s also helped me reconnect with estranged family members who also live far away. Twitter has made me even geekier than I already was, which is admittedly a challenge. But after a while, it all feels less like seeing people I care about or who I’m interested in, and more like the world yelling, “LOOK AT ME!!!” And sometimes it gets exhausting.

I think this is part of why I’ve decided to revise my novel the (relatively) old fashioned way – by hand. The entire thing has been printed out and put in a binder so I can go through it page by page, no screens involved.

Ever wonder what 83,000 words looks like printed out and stuffed in a binder?
Ever wonder what 83,000 words looks like printed out and stuffed in a binder?

I’ve also just been in a bit of a funk lately. Not sure why. I haven’t felt like reading much, or at least not reading anything new if I don’t have to. I have a whole shelf of books I’m trying to get through this year, books that I bought years ago and still haven’t read, but it’s so much easier to just pick up 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson and curl up with it for an evening. I’ve read that book dozens of times. I don’t have to think. I don’t have to wonder what happens next. I think that’s why I re-read books so much – it can be so much more relaxing, and lately, relaxing has been what I needed.

But I’m back now, and going to at least attempt to continue blogging somewhat, even if I don’t always feel like doing so. I’ll snap out of this eventually. I always do. 🙂