Tag Archive: books


Black Arts by Faith Hunter

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The Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter is one of my favorite urban fantasy series of all time; right up there with Jim Butcher‘s Harry Dresden and Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thompson books. The latest book, Black Arts, is scheduled for release January 7, 2014. *squee!*

Below is the author’s sneak peek at Jane’s newest adventure.

Jane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker who always takes care of her own—no matter the cost….
When Evan Trueblood blows into town looking for his wife, Molly, he’s convinced that she came to see her best friend, Jane. But it seems like the witch made it to New Orleans and then disappeared without a trace.
Jane is ready to do whatever it takes to find her friend. Her desperate search leads her deep into a web of black magic and betrayal and into the dark history between vampires and witches. But the closer she draws to Molly, the closer she draws to a new enemy—one who is stranger and more powerful than any she has ever faced

 

Kindles Are Like Crack

Yes, I am still sucking air.  I totally blame my new Kindle and a mid-winter funk for my deplorable lack of posts lately.  Seriously, those damn Kindles are like crack.  Any book you want, right at your fingertips.  Amazon even kindly stores your credit card on file  for even quicker and easier access to their insanely large collection of books.  I think my family and friends are secretly planning an intervention.  Below, I’ve listed some of the books I’ve read since Christmas.  I seem to have been on an urban fantasy kick, though some different genres have piqued my interest, as well. They are rated from one to five stars, just for shits and giggles.  I’m too busy reading to give full book reviews, people.  Sorry. Or not.

Mistborn: The Final Empire   by Brandon Sanderson    ****

Paksenarrion 3:  Oath of Gold   by Elizabeth Moon     ***

Hunting Ground  by Patricia Briggs  (reread)   ***

The Five Love Languages  by Gary Chapman   **

Skinwalker  (Jane Yellowrock, Book 1)  by Faith Hunter   ****

The Alchemist  by Paulo Coehlo   ****

Buddha in Blue Jeans: An Extremely Short Zen Guide to Sitting Quietly  by Tai Sheridan  **

Roast Mortem: A Coffeehouse Mystery  by Cleo Coyle   ***

Pale Blue Dot  by Carl Sagan   ****

Neverwhere  by Neil Gaiman         (reread for the third time)  ****

Friday’s Master Drink Recipe Book  by unknown   *****

The Artist’s Way  by Julia Cameron   ****

Reading the last book on the list was rather ironic, as I was too absorbed in reading to try any of the wonderful ideas suggested by the author to bring out my “inner artist.”   I also downloaded Spanish and Italian courses and vocabulary lists, Chuck Wendig’s 500 Ways to Be a Better Writer, and several cookbooks, thinking that this would be the year that I really improve myself.  Nah- too busy reading.   It figures that the one title I gave five stars was the mixology book.  Might need an intervention there, too…

Right now, I am debating between starting Jim Butcher‘s Codex Alera series and Oscar Wilde’s  The Importance of Being Earnest.   My friend has also started dragging me to cardio kickboxing classes, which means about three fewer hours to read each week, if I go to both the Monday and Wednesday sessions.  Decisions, decisions.

On a totally unrelated note, I have submitted for your perusal the following link to a wonderfully geeky site discussing 70 upcoming sci-fi and fantasy movies coming out this year.  TTFN!

70 Science Fiction and Fantasy Movies to Watch Out for in 2012

The Hobbit

From My Cold, Dead Hands…

Well, the commercial chaos and rampant consumerism that is Christmas is finally over.  If I had had to listen to ONE MORE Christmas song at work, I would have snapped. I truly believe radio shows should be held accountable for the violent actions of people forced to listen to Jingle Bell Rock over and over and over again for more than a month.  As should those asshats that play the “Oh, my wife bought me a new car for Christmas”  commercials.  Are they seriously trying to make us feel guilty if we can’t go out and buy our spouse a new Lexus?  Anyways, I digress.

Now, I am perfectly willing to use the Kindle for some things, like for traveling, sitting in the waiting room, etc, but I WILL continue to buy real books, especially those of my favorite authors.  I have downloaded lots of free books, mostly classics, that I wouldn’t have shelled out the bucks to own in paper form.  I’ll admit, the Kindle is handy,  portable, and the battery lasts forever between charges, BUT I refuse to replace my books with an e-reader.  I consider it a supplement. So, if my dear hubby thinks he can take my books, I’ll tell him he can pry them from my cold, dead hands.  Hehe.  Happy New Year, everyone.  Be safe!

 

LOTR Cameos & Special Extras

I’m a big fan of StumbleUpon, which brought me to the site below.  It is part of a site called Fantasia Domain and has some really interesting  (I’m trying to find adjectives other than my usual “cool!”  and “awesome!”) special extras and cameo shots from the LOTR films.  Many of the people involved in production, special effects, musical scores, etc, were used in the film as extras.  In fact, the two blacksmith artisans who made the weapons and armor for the films are actually the two elven smiths shown remaking the blade, Anduril, in RoTK.  How incredible would that be, to be part of one of the most important film trilogies of all time?  Anyways, enough of my fangirl squeeing- check it out!  It’s rather amazing how they can turn your average, geeky-looking CGI tech into an intimidating warrior.  Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Cameos and Special Extras.

The Rules of Magic

Like everyone, I’m a bit busy with the holiday season, but I

thought I’d share this chart with you.  Developed by i09, one o

f my favorite websites,  it relates the rules of magic, according to

the greatest fantasy sagas of all time.  Interesting stuff!

Happy Holidays, my friends!  😀

The art of husband-and-wife team Angi Sullins and Silas Toball has been featured in several publications including Somerset Studio, Somerset Digital and Smashing Magazine.  Angi and Silas are veterans in the digital art movement and their website (www.duirwaigh.com) and blogs have won numerous awards including Smashing Magazine’s Top Fifty Blog Designs, Pixelatic’s Top Stunning Websites, Blogosphere’s Top 45 Most Creative Blog Designs and Inspiredology’s Top Flourish Designs.

Together, they are known as “The Dazzling Duo,” and for good reason.   They are the creative masterminds behind Duirwaigh Gallery in Taos, New Mexico and their incredible home on the web, Duirwaigh Studios .  They specialize in mythopoetic art, creating a dazzling array of  imaginative, soulful pieces, including films, music and books, that have inspired and created a sense of wonder in thousands of people.

Silas is described as a true Renaissance Man, creating incredible graphics, films, and musical compositions.  Angie is a writer, poet, artistic blogger,  performer and film-maker.  Two of her books are Doorways and Dreamfields: A True Fairy Tale  and Flaming Muse: Matchstick Tales That Ignite the Soul.   Their film, A Knock at the Door, has been viewed by over 4 million people.  I have included below several examples of their artwork.  I really hope that you will check out their website. It’s entirely possible you’ll be there for several hours, lost in the beautiful world that is Duirwaigh Studios .

P.S.  They also have a really cool mouse named Zeus .

Flaming Muse

Charon's Lullaby

A Knock At The Door

Guardian

Singing Up The Moon

Water Dome

Grow

Little Big Love

Gandalf and Fellowship Exposed!

I stumbled upon this funny little site this evening and, in my infinite geekiness, decided to share it with you.  The author, Cassandra Claire, wrote the imaginary diaries of the main characters in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.  They are just parodies, people.  If you take your Tolkien too seriously, you may want to have a shot or three before reading these…

 

The Very Secret Diaries
Welcome! Here you may find the brilliant “Very Secret Diary” series by the wonderful Cassandra Claire. These are also published in her LiveJournal, but she was kind enough to agree to let your humble servant here publish them here. Enjoy!And do be sure to check out her LiveJournal.To receive email when ealasaid.com (which includes this site) is updated, please sign up for Ealasaid’s mailing list. I’m afraid that if you were on the old list, it’s been demolished by my webhost, and you’ll need to sign up again. *sigh*~ Warning! ~
These are works of parody, and as such include content which may result in loud laughter, drinks sprayed across keyboards/monitors, et cetera. The creators of these works and this site assume no responsibility for any censure or damage which may occur. Use at your own risk.These are also archived here.
Fellowship of the Ring Aragorn, Son of Arathorn
Legolas, Son of Weenus
Boromir of Gondor
Frodo Baggins
Samwise Gamgee
Gandalf the Grey
Peregrin Took
Saruman the White
Gimli, Son of Gloin
Meriadoc Brandybuck
Ringwraith No. 5
Gollum
Arwen Undomiel
Elrond
Sauron
The Two Towers Aragorn, Son of Arathorn, Part 2
Theoden
Legolas, Part 2

Alas, Cassandra Claire has announced that she won’t be writing any more Very Secret Diaries. However, it’s worth noting that the livejournal post where she announced that she wouldn’t be writing more VSDs is now inaccessable. Maybe there’s hope…

Disclaimer:
This website is not affiliated with The Lord of the Rings films in any official way. The works found herein are strictly the works of their authors and should not be associated with J.R.R. Tolkien’s books or Peter Jackson’s films (may their names and works be praised!) in any official way. These are works of parody, done strictly for amusement, and we’re not making money, so please don’t sue us.
If anything here offends you, well, that’s what the “Back” button is for.

http://www.ealasaid.com/misc/vsd/

You have only to turn on the TV ( Game of Thrones, True Blood) or check out the movie box office standings (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Rise of the Planet of the Apes) to see that the sci-fi/fantasy genre is experiencing an explosion in popularity.

Several months ago, NPR asked it’s readers to nominate their favorite books for inclusion on it’s list of Top 100 Science-Fiction and Fantasy Books of All Time.  Over 5,000 readers submitted nominations and over 60,000 readers voted.  The result was a very interesting mix of classic and contemporary novels. The awesome crew at SF Signal went one better and developed a flowchart to help you “follow your tastes, provide context, and fulfill (indeed exceed!) any need for pithy commentary you might harbor.”  After using the flowchart several times, making different decisions each time, I was given Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, Brandon Sanderson‘s The Mistborn Trilogy, Patrick RothfussThe Kingkiller Chronicles, and Iain M. banksThe Culture Series.  I have already read several of these books, but I do plan on picking up The Mistborn Trilogy from the library this week.  This flowchart is a very impressive tool, both intuitive and funny. The amount of work involved in developing it was considerable; it was obviously a labor of love.  Kudos, SF Signal!   You now have another loyal reader.

Just click on the chart to enlarge.

Monday Randomness

I feel like crap.  I’ve had a sore throat for days and, for some god-awful reason, I have woken up every night for the past 5 days at around 3:30 am and been unable to get back to sleep.  Therefore, I am taking the easy way out and am just posting some links to some cool (I think) sites.  The first is to one of my favorite blogger’s most hysterical posts.  For some reason, I just really identify with this woman and she makes me laugh til I snort milk out my nose.  The others are totally random.  Enjoy!

http://thebloggess.com/2011/06/and-thats-why-you-should-learn-to-pick-your-battles/

MAKE | 10,000-Brick Lego Sandcrawler.

http://dalesdesigns.net/2010DA.htm

http://www.worldbooknight.org/your-books/the-wbn-interactive-top-100-books

http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2010/11/17/harry-potter-cast-american-talk-must-watch-video/

Bookworm Extraordinaire

“The best moments in reading are when you come across something—a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things—which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.”— Alan Bennett

I love books.  All kinds of books, but most especially the magical kind, the kind that create their own worlds and make you a part of them as you read.  The kind that make you feel like crying when you finish them, because now you must go back to the real world.   My mother taught me to read when I was four years old and it has been the greatest gift anyone has ever given me.  I discovered “The Lord of the Rings” when I was in fifth grade and wished with all of my heart that I could live in Middle Earth.  Elves, Dwarfs, mighty heroes, daring princesses and brave, young hobbits took up residence in my imagination and have been there ever since.  I went on to read Madeleine L’Engle, Isaac Asimov, C.S. Lewis, Andre Norton, Terry Brooks, and Patricia McKillip.  Each author had their own voice, their own beautiful way of bringing you into their worlds and making you a part of them. I have read so many books by so many authors, that I really can’t narrow my favorites down to less than ten, but that is a good thing.  I’m always looking for my next favorite new book, so if anyone out there has any recommendations, I would love to hear them!

“I have always been a reader; I have read at every stage of my life, and there has never been a time when reading was not my greatest joy. And yet I cannot pretend that the reading I have done in my adult years matches in its impact on my soul the reading I did as a child.”—Diane Setterfield
“A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.”—Madeleine Le’Engle