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Sora’s Quest – Free Kindle Book

16 Mar

Sora's Quest (The Cat's Eye Chronicles, #1) I’m in love with this book Sora’s Quest.  It is currently available to download for free on kindle.  Not sure how long that promotion will last, but go get it while the gettin is good.

Impressions and why you should read it:

Not an entirely unexpected plot, but it has some new twists and a wonderfully developed world full of history and atmosphere.  It lives up to expectations and is a thoroughly engrossing ‘fantasy quest’ type story.

The characters were not what I expected them to be.  They constantly surprised me and gradually showed sides of themselves that made me forget that they were not real live people.

Original impressions of the main character were that of a spoiled rich girl, which she is.  At first this annoyed me, but as the story develops, she grows and changes into someone relatable and likable.

The description from amazon:

Sora Fallcrest always dreamed of adventure, but as a member of the nobility, she learned the ways of a Lady instead. Now seventeen, she is expected to choose a husband and marry. She plots to run away, but just as she is stepping out the door, she runs into a mysterious man–and is kidnapped.

Abducted from her manor, Sora is plunged into a world of magical races, arcane jewelry and forgotten lore. She finds herself at the mercy of a dangerous assassin, haunted by an even darker past. She yearns for freedom, but he won’t let her go–not when her Cat’s Eye necklace is the only thing that can save his life.

But the necklace itself presents a problem. It is an ancient device from the long forgotten War of the Races, and its magic has the ability to steal souls. Can Sora learn to wield its power–or will the power wield her? (Winner of the SKOW 2006 Best Fantasy Award)

From Book Snob to Book Whore

3 Mar

Happiness is a book that changes your life.

Although I’ve always been a book lover, I am embarrassed to say that I’ve hardly read much of anything in the last few years.  This is because I’m a Book Snob.  (Oh the humanity!  Oh the shame!)  BUT – I’ve learned my lesson!

Only reading those authors I know, love, and trust (Neil Gaiman, Laurel K. Hamilton, etc) I stopped exploring books and lost a lot of joy in reading.

Then my world got rocked.  Not the gentle roll of a 3.0 earthquake – this was an off the charts, collapsing buildings and destroying cities kind of earthquake that made my heart tremble.

It came from a most unexpected place.

Prince Revolution is a site that does fan translations of author Yu Wo’s novels.  She is from Taiwan, writes in Chinese (so you can’t buy any English versions currently) and writes the most lighthearted and whimsical stories ever.  Seriously, this lady has taken the title of my favorite author.

Here is the thing, because these chapters are translated by many different people with varying writing skills the story doesn’t read as smoothly as it could.  It is flawed, the flow and word choice change with writers/translators, but the stories – Oh goodness the stories are epic.  (As a side note: The translators from PrinceRevolution are amazing people.  They deserve lots of cookies and hugs for all the translations they do.  They bring me so much joy!!)

Lesson Learned: It is OK for the writing not to be top notch to love an author and the stories he or she weaves.  (This seems obvious… but somehow I missed it.)

Anyways, since discovering Yu Wo, I’ve been devouring all books like a starving lady.  I’m not sure how I survived this long without reading so many books.

My two favorite series by Yu Wo are:

½ Prince:  A new immersive RPG is released and a college student decides to play with a male avatar because of an argument she got into with her brother.  She doesn’t want to rely on anyone else and becomes a strong warrior in game.  Collecting a goofy group of friends to adventure with there is love, danger, fighting, and so much awesome I’m not even sure how to describe it.  These characters are larger than life and command attention as they try and find their way through real life and gaming.

Side note:  This story is also available as a translated manhua (Chinese comics/manga) and can be read here if you are interested.

1/2 Prince The Gang's All Here!

Legend of the Sun Knight:  Grisa is the Sun Knight which means he is expected to be kind, merciful, and forgiving.  To anyone outside the Church of the God of Light, he is exactly that, but on the inside Grisa is anything but what he seems.  He wants to curse out “F***” and really has no desire to forgive anyone’s sins.  When a Death Knight appears and Grisa is sent to deal with it, even though his swordsmanship is exceptionally poor, he realizes that there is actually more to this position than smiling and forgiving sins.  Grisa is quirky, meddlesome, and almost completely incapable – but that’s what I love about him.  He and the other 12 holy knights (who are equally quirky and not what they seem) somehow manage to do some mystery solving and death knight fighting.  This series only gets better as it goes on and you get to know all the characters as if they were really alive.

The Legend of the Sun Knight! <3 by Yu Wo

The Brick Wall of Doom – Need a break from writing?

21 Feb

Hit a brick wall on that short story or novel you are working on?  Try this:

Take a break and read a book instead of focusing so much on writing.  It is like brain candy and you can go back to the grind once you are riding the sugar-high.

  • BookBub is a free newsletter that sends free/discounted ebook deals to your email.  I’m pretty addicted to be honest.

Try some of these Daily Writing prompts by Justin McLachlan.  They come once a day to your email and stick mostly to scifi and fantasy.  A couple recent favorites:

  • Slowly, a man comes to the realization that his world and everything he knows is just…
  • On a long flight home, you sit next to a woman who says she can tell you your future but…

If all else fails, give up and make your cat write it for you.

DreampunkGeek (Anna Van Skike) Barrons the cat

DreampunkGeek (Anna Van Skike) Barrons the cat hard at work

Wonderful Webcomics

20 Feb

I would just like to note that webcomics can be surprisingly wonderful.

Strays Online: Is a story I’ve followed for about a year.  The art is stunning.  The story is compelling and keeps me on the edge.  The best part is the characters.  (<3 Holland)  They are dynamic, motivated, and quirky.  I can’t help but love and root for them.

Here is a very short summary of the comic from the about page: Meela is a young, orphaned lupian (a race of people with wolf-like features) who is struggling to survive on her own. A chance encounter on less than pleasant terms teams her up with Feral, another lupian who happens to be a mute as well as one of the best mercenaries in the land, and who is not quite so welcoming of her forced company as she would like to believe.

Strays Online Webcomic

A Redtail’s Dream: Is a new discovery that I’m currently in the process of reading.  Seriously loving the light hearted feel and dreamy atmosphere.

The story so far is about a magical fox who accidentally gets a man and his dog stuck inside the aurora borealis.  The fox sends the pair into the dream realm to rescue their friends and villagers who are stuck in a land of dreams.  (Ok, my description is lacking.  Check out the comic.  It is a lot cooler than I make it sound.  I promise!)

A Redtail's Dream webcomic

The Fabulous People of NaNoWriMo

15 Nov

Minstrel (Tir Athair) Marissa AmesLast Wednesday I met author Marissa Ames who happened to show up at my writing group for some NaNoWriMo fun.

We did our NaNoWriMo thing, and busted out some wordcount between relaxed chatting and laughing.

She is a seriously cool person (not only does she write but she also paints and has her own urban farm!)

If you are looking for a new author checkout her website and book.  I haven’t read it yet, but will be starting it soon.  I’ll tell you how I like it once I finish, although I have some pretty high expectations after reading the short stories posted on her site and actually meeting her.

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