Random Musings by Frodosco

Posts tagged “Sarah-Jane Lehoux

Top Ten Character Names I Love

TotallyRandomTuesday

Totally Random Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday it is all about character names you LOVE!

1. Sevy from The Sevy Series by Sarah-Jane Lehoux – One of my favorite characters, Sevy’s name fits perfectly because just like her it is short, sweet, and it kicks ass. I can’t imagine her having any other name, and in fantasy the short kick-butt names are hard to come by.

2. Fade from The Razorland Series by Ann Aguirre – Even though Fade isn’t the MC in the series I felt that his name really matched his character’s style. The guy really does fade into the background at times but then BOOM comes to the forefront and kicks major Freak butt! Great character, perfect name.

Ritchie Sudden

3. Ritchie Sudden from Wise Young Fool by Sean Beaudoin – Ritchie Sudden, to me at least, seems like a punky, rocker-dude type name, and that’s pretty much what he is in Wise Young Fool. His last name, Sudden, goes well with his character’s meteoric rise, and fall, in the rocker scene. I’d like to chill with Sudden any day, but he’s too cool for that.

4. Colin Singleton from An Abundance of Katherines by John Green – How could this pairing be any better? It’s perfect! Colin, an unassuming, uninspiring first name (no offence to the Colins out there, my name is Eric so I feel your pain), for a guy that is constantly underachieving considering his genius-level brain. Plus, Singleton as a last name for a guy who keeps getting dumped? Nicely done Mr. Green, nicely done.

5. Bobby Pendragon from The Pendragon Series by D.J. MacHale –  I can never remember a title from this series to save my life when I want to discuss it, but I’ll never forget the name of the series as a whole, or its protagonist. With a last name like Pendragon how can you not be destined for awesome adventures? Exactly.

6. Morpheus from Splintered by A.G. Howard – I’m guessing my love for this name stems from a certain Matrix character, but Morpheus in Splintered deserves full credit for living up to every bit of the coolness that I associate with his name. He is awesome, if a bit psychotic (but what great characters aren’t a little nuts), and being on his team over Jeb is as easy as breathing. Wonderful.

7. Artemis Fowl from The Artemis Fowl Series by Eoin Colfer – Maybe this one is more about the character than the name, but considering the guy has the name of a god(dess) perhaps not. Artemis Fowl is the guy I think I always wanted to be, at least after he learned compassion to an extent, and I would trade names with him faster than he can create a time paradox (that’s pretty quick by the way). Amazing character, fantastic series, kick-ass name.

8. Frodo from The Lord of the Rings Series by J.R.R. Tolkien – Oh come on, did you really think I was going to skip my namesake? I have been called “Frodo” or some variant of it for over a decade now and it’s more “me” than my real name by any measure. frodo smile

9. Bartimaeus from The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud – I have no real explanation for this one except that I love the name just as much as the djinni that it belongs to. It’s original, it’s fun, and it sticks in the brain, can’t go wrong with that!

10. Margo Roth Spiegelman from Paper Towns by John Green – It flows off the tongue so easily and is just as unquantifiable as the character that bears her name. She is an event, a magical adventure, and the name might be a bit of a mouthful at times, but I think it’s perfect. Yes I’m repeating authors, and descriptive words, but these characters and their names are soooo good!

So those are the top ten character names I love! What is your top ten list for this week? Are yours more peculiar or do they match perfectly with the characters? Are they long or short, hilarious or straightforward? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^


Top Ten Best Sequels Ever

TotallyRandomTuesday

Totally Random Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday it is all about the best sequels eveeeeeeeeer! ^.^

1. Eldest (Inheritance Cycle #2) by Christopher Paolini – This book is still one of my favorites and I really need to re-read it soon. It literally changed my life in ways I can’t accurately describe. Also ELVES. Eldest

2. The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings #2) by J.R.R. Tolkien – Like I wasn’t going to include book two of my favorite series ever, come on. Seriously though The Two Towers has epic battles, ENTS, and whatever the Aragorn and Eowyn ship is called, that, yes please.

3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6) by J.K. Rowling – I did it! I managed just to pick one, huzzah! Really I could have put the whole series as it kept getting better, but I picked six which is still my favorite, possibly, just maybe because of a certain kiss. ^.^

4. The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #2) by Rick Riordan – The main reason I chose book two for this series, besides it being really, really good, is that I am a terrible horrible person and haven’t even read book three yet. >.< I’ll get to them I swear! *hides*

5. Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2) by Kendare Blake – I basically lost my mind after I finished this book…to the point where I went on Twitter, asked the author (who was kind enough to respond) if there was a book three coming, and when I found out there wasn’t proceeded to absolutely lose my shit. Luckily this was just done in my house, a few I NEED MOOOOAAAAAAR type tweets, and nothing I really regret. Seriously though. Please? Book three? I’m begging here. GoN

6. Necromancing the Stone (Necromancer #2) by Lish McBride – Well…this series does technically continue into books three and four…but they don’t come until like ~2015 and from what I’ve heard it doesn’t seem like they even follow quite the same arc, just maybe in the same universe or something. Regardless, I really loved Necromancing the Stone, the hard edge that it got after the humorous/light-hearted book one, and how McBride ended what, I thought at the time at least, was a duology.

7. Shades of War (Sevy #2) by Sarah-Jane Lehoux – Another book that had me filled with ALL the emotions. I love Sevy, I think this is my favorite book in the series because of where she is at in her journey and the setting as well (pretty jungle!), and there is a really fun monkey in it. Nope, I’m not explaining that further, go read the book (and the series) if you haven’t already. Thank me later. ^.^

8. The Reality Bug (Pendragon #4) by D.J. MacHale – Love, love, love this series and it kills me that I haven’t finished it. The Reality Bug is my favorite, though The Never War is close, because it addresses one of the big fears some people have today, that we are losing ourselves to the virtual world. It goes to an extreme to make this point, but in a good way, and I happen to really like Aja, the traveler in this world. She’s just fantastic.

9. Ptolemy’s Gate (Bartimaeus #3) by Jonathan Stroud – I’ve re-read this series more than any other besides Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, oh ya, it’s THAT good. Ptolemy’s Gate is the epic conclusion, driving daggers into your heart, filled with awesome battles, and I am all about the Nathaniel/Kitty ship. Yes please. Love this book and the series so much. Ptolemy's Gate

10. The Eternity Code (Artemis Fowl #3) by Eoin Colfer – Another series I stopped reading for no apparent (or at least good) reason that I need to get back to and finish. The Eternity Code is where I felt the series really took off after book two left me a bit cold (pardon the pun), and I really do love me some supercomputers. Oh, and more fairies? Always.

So those are my top ten best sequels ever! I now want to go re-read all of those series. *sobs for lack of time* Some day! What is your top ten list for this week? Do you want to re-read ALL THE SERIES now? Are most of the ones you chose recent series or ones you read when you were younger? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^


Auto-buy Authors: Randomness by Frodo

Auto-buy Authors

Grabby Hands Gif

I saw the always entertaining Gaby at Queen Ella Bee Reads do a Top Ten for authors on her auto-buy list and decided to talk about my own, why I consider them “auto-buys” and a bit about auto-buying authors in general, thanks Gaby!

First a bit about auto-buying books from authors. In a follow up post Gaby took a step back and after really looking at her list realized she didn’t have (at least as many) authors she really auto-bought. Whether this was because of genre changes or jumps from one target age range to another (MG/YA/Adult/etc.) it altered that immediate “Must Buy NOW!” mentality. That’s where I differ. I really do have a bunch of authors where it doesn’t make a difference what they are writing about, what age they target or really any qualifier out there, if they write it I will come.

A lot of that has to do with my reading tendencies. I don’t stick to genres or often even to YA, Adult or what have you, I bounce from one type of book to the next at random and that works for me because it keeps the reading experiences fresh and makes each book stand out more. So the following authors are ones that I either own their entire collection (in print or eBook format) or that when I have the monies to I will and that will continue as long as they write. Here we go!

  • John Green – Most of you know who this is, best seller, Vlogbrother, leader of Nerdfighters, Crash Course teacher, master of the emotional sucker punch as well as all around funny guy, John Green is all of these things and much more. I’ve seen all his videos (and Hank’s too of course) so it is only fitting that I love his books. I’ve never given a book by Green less than 5 Smiling Frodos and that isn’t because of any bias, they are just that good. An Abundance of Katherines remains one of my favorite books that I’ve ever read. The only piece by him I don’t own is his collaboration with Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle, Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances (yes I even own one of the prizes he gave as a perk Double On Call and Other Stories) and that is one I’ll likely get when I get paid on Friday. Not sure why I put that off. So ya, I’d recommend his work to anyone.
  • Sarah-Jane Lehoux – Sarah-Jane is pretty much the opposite of John in every way. He’s contemporary she’s fantasy with an edge to it. She’s an indie author. You (sadly) may not have heard of her unless you have been following my blog/Twitter for ages where as Green is like crazy huge in so many communities. Green writes brainy characters and complex relationships, Sarah-Jane creates incredibly detailed and amazing worlds and kick-ass heroines. You get the picture. Something else you may not realize about Sarah-Jane? She’s just as amazing a writer as Green is. I want EVERYONE to know that and to check out her work, but for now her collection will at least reside on my (virtual and real) shelves. I can’t wait for more of her work in the future!
  • Ann Aguirre – Back to an author that needs no introduction. It all started with Enclave which I won in a giveaway and devoured and loved immediately upon arrival. Fast forward to about a month or two ago where Twitter is buzzing over a post Ann wrote, This week in SF, which received both incredible support and infuriating backlash. I made a few comments on Twitter and decided I would do one of the two things I believe are the best ways to support authors in any fashion, I bought her entire collective works. At once. I wish I could say I read them all already, but alas there are seemingly infinite books out there and only so much reading time for this hobbit. (In case you are wondering the other way I feel is best to support authors is to review.) She now has a section all to herself on my Wall O’ Books and I can’t wait to dive into each book as well as any she writes in the future. She happens to be one heck of a writer (I gave Enclave 5 Smiling Frodos and called it the benchmark for Dystopians). ^.^
  • Leigh Wilder – Every now and then I like to get a bit naughty and that includes my reading. I discovered Wilder completely at random on Twitter and decided to check out her work. I now own every sexy piece she’s written that I could get my hands on, virtually at least since hers are all eBooks. She usually writes either short pieces or novellas and each leaves me craving more. I’d recommend her to any fan of Erotica. I’ve rated three of her works so far and they’ve always been a 4 or 5. That says a lot. Check her out!
  • Rick Riordan – Here is another author you’ve all heard of. I don’t technically own all of his work (yet), but I do own box sets for Percy Jackson and Kane Chronicles as well as books 1-3 of The Heroes of Olympus with book 4 on pre-order. Pretty good right? I’ve actually only read The Lightning Thief and The Sea of Monsters by him, but as with Aguirre he has his own section of my Wall O’ Books and I can’t wait to read more of them when I can. Not much more to say, he’s just really, really talented.
  • Zoe E. Whitten – An author of some of the most controversial books I’ve ever read, Whitten is an author you may never have heard of but definitely should check out. She writes about taboo subjects and refuses to hold back, something I give her major credit for, and if you can handle that I urge you to give her a shot, she deserves it. Her writing level is incredible, some of the best prose I’ve ever seen and the emotions she elicits (at least from me) are the strongest I’ve ever felt while reading a book. Her characters are dynamic, their personalities unique yet relatable and I love them all for different reasons. I won’t gush further but seriously, just go read her stuff and thank me later. Oh, and I own every one of her ~35 pieces, ya she’s that good.
  • Malcolm Gladwell – While the authors I have mentioned so far span a variety of genres this is the first where I am tearing you right out of fiction and thrusting some non fiction goodness onto you. Gladwell is brilliant and makes me use all of my brainpower which, to be honest, I don’t do often enough. Sure some books make me think about a variety of issues, but Gladwell’s books force me to view the entire world in ways I never would have considered. The inner workings of society, how people achieve success, chance and the people that benefit from it and why, so many aspects of life I never would question otherwise I have because of him. Give your brain a workout and check out one of his books. I own them all and have his newest, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants on pre-order. ^.^
  • Angela Kulig – If you follow my blog you’ve seen me review her work, talk about her awesomeness and squee over how excited I am to read her upcoming work. Angela is incredibly talented, jumping from the creepy to the hilarious and back again, sometimes in the same piece, with an ease that few can match. I own and have read all her work and look forward to sharing more of it with all of you in the future. Much of her work has a darker side to it and I love that. It isn’t morbid by any means, but it isn’t happy-go-lucky either, and sometimes I think we need that dose of reality. Check her out!
  • Jeremy C. Shipp – I feel like the Adam’s Family song should play here…oh well. Shipp’s books are definitely creepy and spooky, kooky, and yes sometimes downright ooky, and I love them all. His Attic Clowns pieces are the best Horror/Bizarro Fiction I’ve ever read and always leave me laughing and wishing there was more. I don’t own all of the anthologies he has been a part of (because of the sheer volume) but if it’s just him I’ve got it in one format or another. One of my favorite authors and Twitter follows, Shipp is just a great writer plain and simple. Can’t recommend his work enough.
  • Sean Beaudoin – Similar to Shipp but with a lighter side, Beaudoin examines the human condition in every one of his pieces at a different angle. The Infects shows our inner animal, for some prey and for others predator, and brings them to light. Going Nowhere Faster is the vast majority of teenagers personified by Stan, the MC, and his attempt to get out of neutral and at least into first gear with hilarious results (and far less car puns). Fade to Blue is insane in every way and I loved it, examining the world around us and the potential worlds we can create (in our heads and in reality). Beaudoin is talented, creative and always packs his books with more laughs than I thought possible. I own all his books and have his newest, Wise Young Fool, on pre-order. Go take a look!

So those are my auto-buy authors. Somehow I ended up at a nice round ten auto-buys though I assure you the list wasn’t padded or cut down in any way, these are my favorites and I happen to have ten of them. ^.^ There are a bunch more that are borderline for me. I either own almost all of their work and just haven’t gotten to a few, love their work but some of their pieces don’t interest me or I’m just not quite as obsessed with them (yet). Some of those are: John Grisham, Stephen King, D.J. MacHale, Larry Kollar, Jill Archer, Christopher Paolini, Brigid Kemmerer, Maureen Johnson, David Levithan, Samantha Durante & Tina Folsom. There are plenty more but I don’t have all day and neither do you I’m sure. Thanks as always for reading and it would mean the world to me if you would at least click on those 10 author links and just check out their work when you have time. They are worth it and then some. ^.^


15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 13

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 13

15-Day-Challenge

The awesome people over at Good Books and Good Wine came up with the fabulous 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge!

Today’s Challenge is: Describe one underappreciated book EVERYONE should read.

There are SO many books to choose from for this challenge (as I’m sure all the bloggers participating in this one are saying) so it is very difficult to just pick one, but I’ll go with the first one that came to mind. The book is Thief by Sarah-Jane Lehoux which you can pick up from Amazon for only 99 cents!

Thief is primarily a fantasy book. You see elves featured a decent amount, though the dark elves are arguably cooler than their light counterparts if you ask me. There are also goddesses and pixies as well as a variety of other lesser used creatures which you’ll have to find out more about by reading the book.

Thief is headlined by Sevy, a kick-ass heroine who is easily one of my favorite characters in any book I’ve ever read. She’s that classic bad-ass on the outside and softie/sweetheart on the inside, but don’t let her know I told you that. She started from nothing, literally growing up on the streets and was stealing to get by until she runs into the other main character, Jarro. Picture your typical nice guy in your head, that’s Jarro, only he’s a gang leader. How does a guy like that end up in a gang? You’ll have to read the book to find out! I’m such a tease. ^.^

The book is action packed with displays of the fantastic, battles, rescues and grand adventures, the book has it all. There are also elements of romance that fuel a lot of the book’s plot but it melds perfectly with the rest of the story. Pain and loss are acutely felt by the reader, or at least by me, and the desire to see Sevy reach a “happily ever after” becomes just as big of a drive for us as it is for Sevy and the other characters in Thief.

I can’t say much more without spoiling major bits of the book so I’ll just say that I loved it and you should definitely read it. Fantasy fans this is a must read for you. Action junkies you too. Oh and sweet romance lovers make sure to check it out as well. Really just anyone who loves a good book needs to read Thief. What underappreciated book should I check out that you love? Why is it so amazing? Thanks as always for reading! ^.^


15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 11

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 11

15-Day-Challenge

The awesome people over at Good Books and Good Wine came up with the fabulous 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge!

Today’s Challenge is: Show off 5 of your best blog posts!

From reading some of the other blogs that are participating in this challenge it seems like this is one of the harder ones, and I can understand why. It involves tooting our own horn, something a few of us either aren’t especially good at or don’t really like doing. Share an awesome new book? Heck ya! Talk about a cool new author about to debut? Love to! However, get us to say how awesome we are and some of us clam up so tight you need the jaws of life to pry us open. In my case I just wasn’t sure which posts I thought were my “best” and sifting through my reviews (really the only ones worthy of consideration, I’m not going to pick a meme post after all) was the only way I could think of doing it. So, these may not be the best, but I liked how they turned out for one reason or another.

  • Day 70: Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger: Let the horn tooting begin! (Not a phrase you hear every day…) When I did this review I was still coming off that natural high you get after reading a book you know has become one of your all time favorites. Giving it less than five smiling Frodos wasn’t even an option in my head. So maybe it was the book’s awesomeness seeping into my review, but I felt like this was one of my better ones, especially out of the positive ones (which for whatever reason I have more trouble with than the negative). I’m happy with how my writing was at the time, the flow of the review and if someone were to read it I would imagine this could push them right over the fence they were on and make them read the book. I give Etiquette & Espionage, and Gail Carriger of course, full credit for the quality of the review, without her amazing piece I couldn’t have so many great things to say. ^.^
  • Interview with Sarah-Jane Lehoux: What’s this? A non-review post? Of course! You thought this would be all about me? I loved doing the interview with Sarah-Jane. Coming up with those questions and trying to be original wasn’t easy for me since this was my first attempt at an interview on the blog and I didn’t have any stock questions to fire off. Somehow they seemed to be a lot of fun for her to answer and the answers she gave? Interesting, informative, hilarious and a bit snarky, which pretty much sums Sarah-Jane up too. Seriously though, this was just a blast and I’m so glad we set this up (especially because I almost backed out of it due to nerves) and would happily do it again.
  • Day 59: The Forever Girl by Rebecca Hamilton: While I don’t enjoy torching a book  because I know how much work goes into it, sometimes I have to. This was one of those times. The reason why this makes my “best” blog posts is because, while it wasn’t necessarily my most fun to write, I felt the review I did was actually pretty good. Humor was incorporated seamlessly, the analysis was strong and I didn’t trip over my own words (which I have a tendency to do at times). Also, the review gives a potential reader of my blog a good idea of elements in books I really don’t like and if they don’t mind them or even, in fact, like them then they know our feelings toward books probably won’t mesh well. Conversely, if you hate what I hate, you likely will love the elements I love in books too. The review just worked despite having to be harsh at times. I tried to be constructive, attempted to bring up what few positive elements I could drag out of this piece, but overall it was mostly just a Hulk smash of negativity.

  • Day 46: END: An Apocalyptic Anthology: This wasn’t my best review in terms of writing quality, it was short and not overly detailed because of the novella length stories and the breakdowns were simple, though not bad. So why does this make the cut? Impact. If you’ve followed my blog (especially long enough to see this many posts which I LOVE you for) you’d know I work with Angela Kulig on a semi-regular basis. Essentially whenever she has something new come out you’ll see a review here. Which makes it even crazier when she told me that this post was a major factor in her continuing to write. At all. I was floored because, especially at this point in the blogging experience, I didn’t think I had much impact at all. Small time blog and fine with it my reach wasn’t great so at most I’d impact a reader here or there and be fine with it. For this to happen…I’m still stunned.
  • Dewey’s 24hr Read-A-Thon: Why is a readathon post one of my “best” ones? I just had so much FUN! Dewey’s 24hr readathon was the first I ever took part in and kindled my love for them which at this point is borderline obsessive. I loved every aspect of the 24hr experience. Participating in sooo many challenges, reading three books and a novella all of which I enjoyed and tweeting with all of the other participants, again something completely new to me at the time, is an experience I’ll never forget. It is one of the longest posts I’ve ever done and yet reading through it again was an amazing treat for me. *hugs Dewey’s*

So there you have it, my five “best” posts! Honorable mention goes to “Review: Full Blooded by Amanda Carlson” because it was my first real review and my the first giveaway win I ever had on the blog. I feel that reading those five posts is a pretty good summary of what kind of blogger I am. Really the only thing missing is a Frodo’s Hobbit-Sized Review, but you can’t include everything. There is the high points, the very low, the impactful and the joyous. I hope that my content in the future can leave me even a fraction as happy as I am after looking back over these posts. Thank you so much for reading and feel free to share your thoughts on any of the posts or your own top five! ^.^


15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 9

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 9

15-Day-Challenge

The awesome people over at Good Books and Good Wine came up with the fabulous 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge!

Today’s Challenge is: Why do you blog about books?

This is something I touched on in challenge #7 when I spoke about my blogging quirks. Most of my posts are reviews, for a variety of reasons but mostly because I feel (and have been told) that they are the most helpful for authors. Will I do them in conjunction with a blog tour? Absolutely. Regardless of whether the review is part of something or just because I want to share my thoughts about the book the goal is to bring the book to a wider audience. This is true for both positive and negative reviews. If I loved a book I want more people to read it that may not be aware of the book or might be on the fence on if they want to read it. Conversely, if I am not a fan of the book I’d like to explain why so that other people can potentially avoid that one and spend their valuable time reading something else.

This is especially the case with indie authors. They work so hard to garner even a tiny fraction of what the “big boys” get and if I can help share their book to just a few people that wouldn’t have heard of it otherwise then it’s more than worth the time and effort spent. Plus, blogging has allowed me to connect with these authors when I likely wouldn’t have otherwise so I’m reading pieces I wouldn’t otherwise as well. Examples of some fabulous authors I wouldn’t have encountered otherwise and that I reviewed a piece (or a few) for: Zoe E. Whitten, Leigh Wilder, Angela Kulig, Larry Kollar, Starla Huchton, Sarah-Jane Lehoux as well a bunch more.

The community. The book blogging community is just incredible. They’re intelligent, helpful, caring and willing to deal with each other’s obsessiveness, insanity and frequent squees. The joy I see in book bloggers when they are talking about a book they just read that they loved, a book they are super excited to get or really anything book related is like no other group. It’s infectious and uplifting how the community supports its fellow members through seemingly everything. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

It’s freaking FUN! I get to talk about books all the time and people actually talk back to me about the ones they loved or their thoughts on whatever, how great is that?! I use it to participate in readathons which are always a blast (marathon reading + twitter chats + giveaways + challenges, heck ya!). Plus I get to record my progress and see how much I’ve read whenever I’d like, and with pretty cover pictures included! Plus it is (hopefully) helping my writing and helping me to understand what I like/dislike in books so that if when I write my own I’ll know what to look out for or what to utilize.

So that’s why I blog about books! Why do you do it? What parts are your favorites? Let me know and thanks for reading! ^.^


Dewey’s Read-a-Thon!

Dewey’s Read-a-Thon!

Dewey

How can you not love Dewey’s Read-a-Thon? It is easily one of my favorites of the year and the amount of awesomeness they pack into it is always amazing. Challenges, twitter conversations, prizes and wonderful hosts throughout the 24 hours makes for a crazy but super fun day of (kinda) reading. Unlike my last go round with Dewey’s I am somewhat less prepared, I blame getting off a 50hr work week having much to do with that. Anyhow, on to my books (sorry no pictures, no time!). This is by no means a full list, but it has a bunch I’d really like to get to and I have SOOO many to choose from. ^.^ Oh and my challenge posts will be under the list so look for that!

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

Storm by Brigid Kemmerer

Outpost by Ann Aguirre

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett

The Culling by Steven Dos Santos

The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

Devilish by Maureen Johnson

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Stats

Currently Reading:

Books Finished: The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

Pages Read: 279

Amount of Time Spent Reading: 3hrs 15minutes

Snacks Eaten:

Challenges Participated In:

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Challenges

Introductory Questionnaire

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? – Cologne, MN, USA (My bedroom)

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? – Tossup b/n The Madness Underneath and The Sea of Monsters

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? – I always get Domino’s for readathons, can’t wait! (Supreme if you are curious)

4) Tell us a little something about yourself! – o_o I love books? Cliche… I used to paint LotR figures? Outdated… Umm…I’m on the back of Sarah-Jane Lehoux’s latest book!

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? – I did participate in the last one and I had a blast combining reading with challenges and a bunch of social interaction, I think I’ll likely do the same thing again though I might go a little heavier on reading and lighter on challenges. We shall see!


Interview with Sarah-Jane Lehoux plus giveaway!

Interview with Sarah-Jane Lehoux

Masquerade Blog Tour

I was lucky enough to get a second post in Sarah-Jane Lehoux’s Masquerade blog tour, this one an interview with her! Fair warning, I wrote the questions and they are kind of random, but I think you’ll enjoy them! Plus, as an extra bonus make sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom as we are giving away 3 Sevy Series eBook sets as prizes!

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1. Tell us about the Sevy Series as a whole, what gave you the idea for it and did you ever think it would reach a third book?

Well, I first got the inspiration for Thief from a dream, in which a woman was running to a hut where her lover had just been murdered. I can’t remember much of that dream anymore, but I know there was a lot of fire and the floor of the hut was covered in furs. It was very real to me, and those images stuck in my mind.

Shortly after, I decided to join an RPG thread on a forum that I was a member of. I created a couple of different characters for that thread, including Sevy, whom I based upon that dream. As the thread went on, I fell more and more in love with her.

That RPG thread died out due to lack of interest from other participants, as such threads are wont to do. But I couldn’t let Sevy end there. I decided to write her story. I didn’t intend for it to become a series, let alone a novel, but once I started writing I couldn’t stop.

As soon as I was finished writing Thief, I knew that Sevy’s story was not done. So I began working on Shades of War, and halfway through that, I had decided that I needed five books to take her story to its conclusion.

To me, the Sevy Series is more than the magic and monsters it contains. It’s about a broken woman trying to become whole again. It’s about her trying, against all odds, to let go of past trauma, learn from her mistakes, and grow into a better person. Granted, I don’t make it very easy for her. J It’s also about learning to love yourself so that you can love someone else. And not just romantic love either. The friendships and the familial bonds that develop throughout the course of the series is just as important as the smexy times.

2. What about Masquerade sets it apart from the previous two books in the series? Is there a favorite element you incorporated into it?

FAIRIES!!!!! I’ve waited for a chance to delve deeper into the magic of Sevy’s world, and Masquerade gave me the perfect opportunities. I adore fairies; have since I was a child. I love their absurdities, I love their horror. These aren’t Disney fairies, and I love being able to showcase these creatures as they were originally viewed by our ancestors: not cutesy, doe-eyed innocents, but crafty, vengeful creatures with a completely different set of morals and logic.

3. Each book in the Sevy Series has a different setting. How do you manage to create such beautiful new places, how do they come from dream to reality in such detail?

I honestly don’t know, as I’ve sadly not traveled much in real life. I think it comes from my educational background in anthropology. I learned a lot about different cultures and how they have evolved over the millennia in response to their environment. Once I have a type of environment in mind, I research (gods bless the internet!) similar real world places to get a sense of what sensory words I can plunk in to give it the right feel.

The bulk of the action in Masquerade takes place on a tropical island. But I didn’t want your standard Caribbean paradise, so I mixed Central American islands with a touch of ancient Egypt. The Fingarten villa, for example, was inspired by watching Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra.

4. I love a kick-ass heroine as much as the next person, but do you identify most with Sevy or is there another character that you feel a kinship with and why?

There are parts of each of my characters that are similar to my own personality, but I definitely don’t think that Sevy and I would get on well in real life. In fact, the character I most identify with is Lon Destan (and if you’ve read the series, you can see that he and Sevy do not often see eye to eye). He is a good, kind person that sadly has low self-esteem due to abandonment and bullying as a child. This inferiority complex makes him a target for more dominant personalities (such as General Kye in Shades of War) to take advantage of him. I see a lot of myself and my own struggles in him.

5. A type of mind control or influence was used heavily in Masquerade, what was the inspiration for that?

Masquerade was intended to go in a much different direction than it ended up going. A character that turned out to be the antagonist was originally designed to be a good guy, but as I got further and further into the book, I had to stop and rethink things. I found that what I had written seemed stilted and forced, and I realized that it was because I was trying to force the characters into my intended plot.

This actually caused a major writing block for this story, and I ended up putting it on the backburner for a couple of years. When I came back to it, I rewrote the bulk of what I had previously written and just let the characters go.

But I still had SOME control, and in order for the series to progress, I needed a particular event to happen. But how to make it happen when I knew it was out of character for Sevy and co.? This got me stuck again, until one day, I was sitting on the bus, and it hit me! I realized that the magic I was setting up was a perfect conduit for the plot to flow through.

It was one of those perfect, serendipitous moments where all the wild threads of thoughts knit together and form a cohesive pattern. It’s moments like this that make writing worthwhile, imo.

6. From what you have told me there are at least two more upcoming books in the Sevy Series that feature her prominently, what are some things in the upcoming books that we can look forward to and will you ever stop torturing the poor girl?

Oh, I’ll never stop torturing her! She’s too much fun!

Hmmmm, some things to look forward to, huh? Well, let’s just say that someone will fall in love again, someone will find what they once lost, someone will make another cameo, and someone will become more powerful than anyone could imagine. Also, more magic, monsters, and murder. Book Four will have fans screaming for my head on a pike, but I may curry their favour back with Book Five.

Random Quick Hits:

Cats or Dogs? Cats, definitely. Although dogs are cutie-pies, I love the snarky, don’t-give-a-shit attitude of cats. Such big personalities in such tiny bodies. Plus, I’m a lazy person, so cats fit better in my day to day life than a dog would. I mean, a cat’s favourite thing to do is snuggle up somewhere comfy and nap the day away. How much more like me can you get?

Rain or Sunshine? There is nothing quite like the sound of spring rain on the roof. I love it! I love fleeting sprinkles and I love huge, booming thunderstorms. The only downside is that I tend to get head-achy on wet days, but what’s a little pain compared to the romance of rain?

Scary Movie or Funny Movie? Scary. A million times over. I eat up every bit of horror I can get. Growing up in a small Northern Ontario town, there wasn’t much to do but rent movies (unless you liked hockey and fishing!). My best friend and I would rent a couple horror movies every weekend and scare ourselves silly. I think I desensitized myself, because nowadays it takes a true spooky masterpiece to give me the chills, but I still love laughing over fake gore and cheap jump scares. And honestly, funny movies are more likely to make me cringe in embarrassment than laugh.

Favorite Snack? Any sort of chocolate treat. I’m a complete cliché. Chocolate is the wind beneath my wings.

Music while reading/writing or silence? I need music for a couple of reasons. One is that it helps me set the tone of what I’m writing. The second is that I live in a small-ish apartment with a husband who enjoys yelling at his video games. Music is a must to help keep me focused on what I’m working on.

Favorite underused word? Perfidious. It’s a fancy word, and sounds like it should mean something high-faluting. Actually, I changed my mind. High-faluting is my favourite underused word. I’m fickle with words. Ooh, fickle is another good one.

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I hope you enjoyed the interview, make sure to check out her book Masquerade here and enter the giveaway!

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Day 63: Masquerade by Sarah-Jane Lehoux plus a giveaway!

Day 63

Summary From GoodreadsMasquerade

Never Trust a Liar, especially when they’re telling the truth.

Starting over isn’t easy, especially when the world isn’t ready for you to change. Sevy, thief turned assassin turned mercenary, isn’t having any fun adjusting to a normal, law-abiding life. Luckily for her, an old partner in crime arrives with an irresistible proposition: a getaway to a tropical island, an adventure of a lifetime, and an amazing friendship ready to blossom into an even more amazing romance.

Things are looking up for Sevy. That is, until a pack of maniacal fairies with a taste for human flesh arrive on the scene.

Now she must unravel a web of magical intrigue hidden behind the outwardly idyllic atmosphere of the islands of Belakarta. Nothing is as it seems, and no one can be trusted. Trapped under the spell of a handsome and mysterious stranger, Sevy must fight fairies and tricksters to regain her freedom.

Or spend an eternity as a sorcerer’s plaything.

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Masquerade Blog Tour

That’s right, I’m part of a blog tour, huzzah! Even better is that it is for one of my best bookish/twitter friends Sarah-Jane Lehoux. ^.^ I received an eBook copy of Masquerade in exchange for my honest thoughts on the book, as always this in no way affected the following  review.

I’m pretty sure that it is Sarah-Jane’s mission in life to torture her characters, most especially Sevy. However, that doesn’t prevent Masquerade from being an excellent addition to the series. Sevy has to battle a whole host of new enemies, most of all the seemingly all-powerful Kirydan who quickly manages to get her wrapped around his finger.

The characters in Masquerade are, as is par for the course with the Sevy Series, the greatest strength of the book. Revik, the dark elf, takes on a greater role as he attempts to help Sevy escape from Kirydan. We find out more of Revik’s devotion toward his family and delve deeper into who he is as a person, as well as some hard sacrifices he is willing to make for a friend. While Sevy is still the focal point of Masquerade, she’d have it no other way, she isn’t like herself for the vast majority of the book. Under Kirydan’s spell she acts more and more like his pet/love slave, which is truly hard to watch, or in this case read.

The void of a heroine is taken up by Revik’s daughter, Yy’voura. A new character in the series, Yy’voura is a fun loving young dark elf who seems to want nothing more than to play yet another game with her friends, unfortunately those friends include Kirydan who has messed with her mind in a powerful way. As the book progresses we learn more about who Yy’voura truly is and what lengths she will go to in order to help her family.

Kirydan is an excellent villain. He’s got magical powers (always helps), good looks (doesn’t hurt) and even seems to have control over certain magical creatures as well. While he is definitely contemptible there is a vulnerability and a tortured past that gives the reader, as well as the other characters in Masquerade, just enough pause which is just what he wants. He’s corrupted, twisted and pitiable, and while that might seem slightly cliche it works in this case.

The plot is very heavily focused on the back and forth between attempted freeing of Sevy and company and further conquest by Kirydan. It is a balanced battle and will keep the reader anxious to find out which side will come out victorious, and what price they will have to pay in order to do so. For those of you who like a little naughtiness mixed in with your fantasy, Masquerade delivers just the right amount. With romance, daring attempts at rescue, a freakishly powerful yet seductive villain and plenty of magic Masquerade delivers the perfect combination.

As you can clearly tell, I thoroughly enjoyed Masquerade, just as I have with Thief and Shades of War. While they have all been excellent books in my opinion, the elements in Masquerade work even more perfectly than the previous ones and it has quickly become my favorite. Even though Masquerade was just released I already can’t wait for the next book in the series! Thanks as always for reading and come back tomorrow for Day 64 as well as a special interview with Sarah-Jane Lehoux!

Make sure to enter the giveaway for 3 Sevy Series eBook sets here! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #63/365

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Waiting On Wednesday #2

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by the fantastic people over at Breaking The Spine that highlights upcoming releases that we are excited about.

For this week my pre-publication selection that I can’t wait for is:

Masquerade by Sarah-Jane Lehoux

Set For Release On: Late October/November 2012 

Summary From Sarah-Jane Lehoux’s Website:

Starting over isn’t easy, especially when the world isn’t ready for you to change. Sevy, thief turned assassin turned mercenary, isn’t having any fun adjusting to a normal, law-abiding life. Luckily for her, an old partner in crime arrives with an irresistible proposition: a getaway to a tropical island, an adventure of a lifetime, and an amazing friendship ready to blossom into an even more amazing romance.

Things are looking up for Sevy. That is, until a pack of maniacal fairies with a taste for human flesh arrive on the scene.

Now she must unravel a web of magical intrigue hidden behind the outwardly idyllic atmosphere of the islands of Belakarta. Nothing is as it seems, and no one can be trusted. Trapped under the spell of a handsome and mysterious stranger, Sevy must fight fairies and tricksters to regain her freedom.

Or spend an eternity as a sorcerer’s plaything.

If you’ve been following my blog you’d know I’m a huge fan of the Sevy series and this one coming out soon has me really excited to see what will happen in the next adventure! Knowing Sarah-Jane it’s highly likely Sevy will be put through the ringer again, but I’m sure she’ll encounter some pretty amazing things along her way! You can check out my review for Thief here or for Shades of War here if you want to find out more about the previous two books. I would recommend buying and reading them both before Masquerade comes out, if you’d like to purchase them you can do so here.

Thank you so much for stopping by and feel free to leave a comment about what you think of Masquerade or your own Waiting On Wednesday post, I do read every one! You can also follow me if you’d like or check out my other posts, I do appreciate it. ^.^


Review: Shades of War by Sarah-Jane Lehoux

Shades of War by Sarah-Jane Lehoux

I was fortunate enough to be given a PDF copy of Shades of War by Sarah-Jane Lehoux in exchange for an honest review. So without further ado, my thoughts on Shades of War!

Shades of War brings us back into Sevy’s world of dark elves, pixies and one very odd monkey. Sevy accepts a seemingly easy mission of going to the Northern Jungles and bringing back a soldier home to his parents. However, because nothing is ever easy for Sevy she finds herself in the middle of a war between humans and the dark elves that reside in the Northern Jungles. Old memories are stirred when she comes across someone she had long since forgot and when she gets to know this soldier she’s supposed to persuade. When she discovers an old friend being held prisoner her plans change and she must rescue them from captivity, and escape herself. Can Sevy save her friends and herself while still completing her mission? Will she be able to help stop this oncoming battle between dark elves and humans and can she figure out who the mysterious murderer of 16 humans is before it is to late?

As some of you may know I previously reviewed the first book in this series, Thief, and gave it a glowing five star (or five smiling frodo) review. I am happy to report that Shades of War was just as excellent as its predecessor! Before I continue I want to share a couple tweets I sent out earlier today pertaining to this review:

So as you can see I have a hard time getting my emotions for these books into words that fully display what I was feeling as I read, but I’ll do my best. I loved this book, it was effortless reading it, the writing was excellent yet again and the characters were just as gripping as they had been in Thief. Sevy was still a fiery and cocky character but we got to see more of her softer side in Shades of War which was refreshing as it gave more of a well-rounded feel to her. We also got our first look into the minds of a couple other major characters from the previous book which I won’t go into detail describing so as to not spoil it for potential readers. Suffice it to say the other characters had new-found depth and the story was all the more rich because of it.

The plot was just as gripping in Shades of War as it had been in Thief despite some more tender scenes and I never felt like I could put the book down! Without going into any spoilers the author puts Sevy through the ringer in this one, if you thought it was rough for her in Thief you’ll be amazed at what she has to go through in Shades of War. The suffering isn’t limited to her though as everyone in Sevy’s world seems to be plagued by one unfortunate event after another, though it is not carried out in a way as to be depressing. You’ll find battles, love scenes and did I mention an odd monkey? I love that monkey.

There is no lack of humor despite the atrocities committed around the characters throughout their journey which keeps the reader engaged, and trust me you’ll do a real life “lol” more than once. ^.^ Oh and the twists, she’ll get you with a few of those let me tell you! I couldn’t get enough of Shades of War and I wish it didn’t have to come to an end. I can’t wait until Masquerade, the third book in the series, comes out which I believe is scheduled for late October or early November. You’ll likely see it on an addition of Waiting On Wednesday in the coming weeks. If you want to buy it just click on the picture of the cover above. 🙂

Complaints: Go a bit easier on Sevy in Masquerade for the love of all that is good Sarah-Jane! :p

Recommendation: To any lover of great writing I would recommend buying this TODAY! Get both of them, do it, go, go, go!

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Stacking The Shelves #3

Stacking The Shelves

A quick reminder that Stacking The Shelves is a wonderful way that we can share books we’ve won, bought, or been gifted in either printed or eBook form. It is a weekly meme created by Tynga’s Reviews that is generally posted on Saturdays.

For Stacking The Shelves this week I have a ton of different books to mention, mostly the eBook variety, but in a bunch of different genres!

The Freebies (eBooks)

A Maid of Kirin by Simon Halliday

Blood Singers by Tamara Rose Blodgett

Conner by Miranda Stork

Don’t Let Me Go by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Emanare by Taryn Browning

Flame Moon by K.J. Jackson

Kindred by Erica Stevens

Paradox – Progeny of Innocence by Patti Roberts

Prom Night In Purgatory by Amy Harmon

Rae of Hope by W.J. May

The Fall of the Misanthrope  by Louise Wise

The Toadhouse Trilogy: Book One by Jess Lourey

Wheels by Lorijo Metz

Window by Simon Halliday

Bought (eBook)

Brightest Kind of Darkness by P.T. Michelle

Won In Giveaways (eBooks)

Fatal Distraction by Diane Capri

CIA Fall Guy by Phyllis Zimbler Miller

A Dead Red Oleander by R.P. Dahlke

Demons by Heather Frost

In Exchange For Review (eBooks)

Thief by Sarah-Jane Lehoux

Shades of War by Sarah-Jane Lehoux

In Exchange For Review (Print)

Space Battles by Flying Pen Press Publishing, Edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt

As you can see it has been a crazy week for my little blog and book collection! I speak with Sarah-Jane Lehoux fairly regularly on twitter and when I tweeted out that I would do an honest review of a book in exchange for a free copy she generously offered not one but TWO of her amazing books, Thief and Shades of War. If you’ve read my other posts you’d know I already reviewed Thief and thought it was wonderful and Shades of War will, I’m sure, be just as fantastic. I received Space Battles through the same tweeting process from the kind folks at Flying Pen Press who gave me a whole list that I could choose from in exchange for an honest review and this is the first one I chose! I’m currently working on one of the freebies I listed above, Conner by Miranda Stork, but after that I’ll be working on my review of Space Battles.

I participate in a ridiculous amount of giveaways and thanks to some good fortune on my part I won a few this week! I already received 3/4 of the eBooks I won from Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews blog which was participating in the Stuck in a Good Book Giveaway Hop. Those were Fatal Distraction, CIA Fall Guy and A Red Dead Oleander which I’ll read and possibly review though I haven’t decided that yet. I also won Demons by Heather Frost thanks to a giveaway by Book Haven Extraordinaire which I may or may not review as well.

If you want to check out any of the books the links are available above. You can also check out the fabulous blogs where I was lucky enough to win books to see their other posts and any current giveaways they have going on. Make sure to check out the other blogs participating in Stacking The Shelves at Tynga’s Reviews and, if you’d like, join in on the fun! Feel free to comment about what you think of any of these books or link to your own STS post, I do read them all. 🙂 Happy Saturday!


Review: Thief by Sarah-Jane Lehoux

Thief by Sarah-Jane Lehoux

I was fortunate enough to be given a PDF copy of Thief by Sarah-Jane Lehoux in exchange for a review. So without further ado, my thoughts on Thief!

Thief follows Sevy, a young homeless girl trying to survive by, you guessed it, stealing. Sevy lives in Eloria, a stinking pit of a city inhabited by homeless kids such as herself, prostitutes and gangs. Sevy encounters one of the gang leaders, a young man named Jarro, and after some protesting on his part she is allowed to join his group. Sevy quickly falls in love with Jarro, but just when it seems that he might feel the same way he is mysteriously murdered. Furious, Sevy will stop at nothing to find out who murdered him and make them pay, but when she finds that his murderer is her only hope at possibly having her beloved Jarro back will she be able to go through with her plan, or will she risk everything including her best friend for a chance at happiness that she’s never known?

Thief has everything you can possibly want in a fantasy book, from elves and dark elves, to pixies and goddesses your hunger for the supernatural and divine will be more than satiated. Thief is also high on action, with the story rarely slowing down you will be hard-pressed to stop reading even for a minute as you wait for the next breathtaking scene to follow. For those of you who like some romance thrown in with your fantasy fear not, Thief is centered on the growing love between Sevy and Jarro that is intricate and truly beautiful. There is also plenty of violence if that’s more your cup of tea, so as you can see there is something in Thief for everyone!

I loved Thief! It’s been a while since I have been able to breeze through a book so quickly while simultaneously wanting to linger on the best parts as the story grips me and forces me into Sevy’s world. I was easily able to identify with the characters, especially that of Sevy, and I could feel her pain and her loss when Jarro was murdered, so much so that I was actually angry at the author for doing that to her! You know that you’ve really melded with the story when you are compelled to go berate the author because of an act within the book, and I was certainly so compelled multiple times while reading Thief, not because I wasn’t enjoying the book, but because the pain Sevy and the other characters in Thief felt was so very real to me. The characters were beautifully detailed and their emotions wonderfully displayed by the exquisite writing throughout the book.

Another thing that was done very well in Thief was the clean transitions between the points of view of the characters. There were obvious divides and it never felt like I was losing perspective as I entered into another character’s consciousness. As each character’s emotions were made more clear by seeing things from their point of view it enriched the story and enhanced it, strengthening the connection between the reader and this world.

Though the direction the plot went had me screaming in frustration along with Sevy, and feeling her deep sadness as well, it was very well done. I thoroughly enjoyed Thief and am very excited to dive into Shades of War. The ending of Thief was unexpected and I was just as shocked as the characters within as to how it unfolded. This for me is a must read, I recommend it to fantasy lovers in particular, but also to any reader who enjoys a wonderful story.

Complaints: Why did Jarro have to die darn you Sarah-Jane! I’m kidding, if anything I only wished it was longer so I could have enjoyed even more of Sevy’s world. 🙂

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