Friday, March 8, 2013

Guest Posts Galore about Alera, Shaselle, Steldor, and Narian!

For those who don't know, Harlequin has this amazing Spring Reading into Romance Tour going to let everyone know about their YA romance offerings. The Legacy Series is featured today on 3 blogs with guest posts from me! I'm super excited about these posts and I think you will be too. :)

(Scroll to the bottom of the post to see what you can win!)

At YA Bibliophile, we have Alera's Happily Ever After - and Steldor's Too, where I give a glimpse into the future of these characters. Ever wonder if Steldor finds true love? Does Alera have children? How do they get along with Steldor's children? Wonder no more!

At Rex Robot Reviews, I write about the influence horses have on Alera's, Shaselle's, and my own love life. To me, horses are the perfect metaphor for love. They are raw might, tempered by openness and need. Read more of my thoughts and enter to win prizes by checking out For Love of Horses.

Starting the Next ChapterAt Starting the Next Chapter, it's all about the power of first kisses. How did Steldor's first kiss with Alera change his thoughts about her? Was it the reason he fell in love? And how about Narian and Alera's first kiss - it made them both realize something pretty important about each other. More about the characters, and more chances to win prizes here.

Comment away on-site at the guest blogs and here - I can't wait to hear your thoughts! At each stop you can enter multiple times to win a copy of Legacy, Allegiance, or Sacrifice (your choice) and the Grand Prize of your next date outfit - this beautiful heart locket necklace and matching pashmina:

Makes me wish I could enter! Love to you all!


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Fictional Deaths I Will Never Get Over

#FictionalDeathsIWillNeverGetOver is trending on Twitter. I accidentally made a 6-tweet long list and decided I need therapy. I also decided to share it here, complete with heartbreaking pictures, just to ruin everyone's day. Make sure you tell me in the comments who you're still mourning - I don't want to have forgotten anyone.

The Dead

1. Mufasa. "Somebody... anybody!" I don't care how old I get, this will NEVER stop being devastating. I love and hate Disney for it.

2. Finnick Odair. I read Mockingjay, and I went, "WAS THAT REALLY NECESSARY, COLLINS???" And now I have to watch this beautiful man get killed on the big screen.

3. Sirius Black. He's innocent, he's finally vindicated to his friends and his god-son, Harry finally has someone he can call real family, someone he can hold on to, someone who will never leave him. And then he freaking leaves.

4. Simon Birch. Everyone thinks this weird little child is crazy because he believes he's supposed to be an instrument of God. Then he saves everyone and dies as a result, all the while smiling because he fulfilled his destiny.

5. Spock, even though he comes back. The pane of glass between them. The tears in Shatner's eyes. "I have always been, and shall be, your friend." Live long and prosper... no more.

6. Boromir. His death was his redemption, but I will always weep. It has to be one of the most beautiful death scenes in cinematic history. And then the hobbits get taken away... aaahh, it's so heart-wrenching!!

7. Theoden. Why. Just why. Eowyn's all, "I'm going to save you," cradling and comforting this man who is like her father. And he says, "My body is broken, Eowyn." For all her strength and willpower and the fact that she just killed the practically invincible Witch King, she's unable to stop death. TEARS.

8. Beth March. It doesn't help that Claire Danes killed (no pun intended) the death scene in the movie. It also is one of the most beautiful, heartrending death scenes in cinematic history. And she GETS BETTER first. You think she's okay, then she dies. "I never saw myself as anything much," she says, and, "I am not afraid."

9. Phinneas in A Separate Peace. I don't know how I didn't see his death coming, but it totally shocked me in the book. I couldn't stop crying. Part of it was that Gene wasn't even there with him. Finny was just... gone.

10. Angel, even though he comes back. He remembers that he loves Buffy, right before she has to kill him... and he trusts her enough to let her do it.

11. Marian on BBC's Robin Hood. First, she was the best character on the show, the heart and soul of the story. Second, the show went rapidly downhill without her. Third, she died protecting the people and the cause she believed in, and went out bravely.

12. Gurgi. "Taran has many friends. Gurgi has no friends." And with that, this strange, annoying, under-appreciated little creature throws himself into the black cauldron to save the only people who barely like him. I broke inside.

13. Dobby. "Here lies Dobby, a free Elf." It kills me when ugly, abused creatures like Dobby and Gurgi die for a cause and show that their souls are so much more beautiful than their bodies ever were. WHY.

14. Fred Weasley. "Don't worry, George. I'm going to heaven. Guess how I know? Because we're the Holy Spirit! Get it? Because you're holey and I'm... dead. Please don't cry." Why did Fred and George have to be separated? They're two halves of a whole and they loved it that way. WHY ROWLING WHY.

15. Haytham Kenway. Let's be honest, he was the best character in ACIII, despite having some, ahem, flaws. I adored him. He had all the attitude and bad-assity that Connor lacked, and besides, his death was illogical. He wouldn't have forgotten that assassins carry hidden blades. Come on.

16. Haley Hotchner. Criminal Minds makes me cry a lot, but this one was a real kick in the gut. I didn't even like Haley, but I felt so bad for Hotch, and her speech about teaching Jack about love... good Lord.

17. Gavroche. He was a baby, and a revolutionary with the best of them. Brave enough to go in search of ammunition right in front of enemy lines. "You better run for cover when the pup... grows...."

18. Fantine. Sticking with the Les Mis theme for a bit here. The last dream she dreamed was to see her daughter before she died, the daughter for whom she'd sold her teeth, hair, body, and soul. She passed away hallucinating that Cosette was there, but never actually reunited with her.

19. Enjolras and the Friends of the ABC. In reality, they're not fictional characters. They were schoolboys who died for a hopeless revolution. Their deaths were really what opened the people's eyes to the injustice around them - there was no way these boys could have lived to see the world as they hoped it would be.

20. Mordin Solus. I know, I know, technically you can save him if you make certain choices. But that first time through, when you don't know it's coming, and he sacrifices himself.... He really was the very model of a scientist Salarian.

21. Ned Stark & Lady. Getting Game of Thrones season 1 out of the way in one go. Ned was killed in front of his children for being a decent human being. WHY. And Lady was a beautiful, innocent wolf who was put to death. Joffrey is responsible for both. PUT HIM TO DEATH. (I haven't seen season 2 yet, FYI.)

22. Old Dan and Little Ann. The puppies from Where the Red Fern Grows. Old Dan dies protecting Billy from a mountain lion, and Little Ann lies down by Old Dan's grave (which is where the red fern grows) and dies of a broken heart. It almost made me die of a broken heart.

23. Hedwig. It's doubly awful because she doesn't get a burial or a literary eulogy or anything. She just dies, her body is never recovered, and that's it.

24. Gandalf, even though he comes back. "Fly, you fools." "GANDAAAALF!!!!" Then the slow-mo and Boromir having to carry Frodo out of Moria and the hobbits crying on the mountainside....

25. Sherlock (BBC), even though he comes back. It's Watson's speech at his grave that really does it. I even knew beforehand that Sherlock wasn't really dead, and stupid Watson still got me crying.

26. Maes Hughes. I was so mad at Fullmetal Alchemist when Hughes died. He was the happiest person (maybe the only happy person...) on the show/in the manga. And then his daughter is all like, "Mom, why are they burying Daddy?!" and Roy Mustang is crying and oh look, so am I.

27. The finale of Angel. This is going down as one big character death. I won't give spoilers explicitly, but if you've seen it, you know what I mean.

28. Dally Winston. The saddest part of his death is that it was really suicide, even though the police shot him. He just didn't want to keep on living.

29. Rue. This one didn't even really hit me until I saw the movie. Then I couldn't deny anymore that it happened.

30. Artax. Atreyu tries so hard to save his horse's life, and he can't do it. Artax gives up.

31. Jack Dawson. Nobody made it through this with dry eyes. You either cried or you're lying. And again, it's not really a fictional death. So many people died on the Titanic.

32. Agent Phil Coulson. Stupid Loki. I know Coulson's death got the Avengers to come together, but still. He was so pure and good, and he didn't deserve to die. AND he died protecting Thor. Like, what the hell??? Thanks a lot, GOD of Asgard.

33. Uther Pendragon (Merlin). First he lost his dignity and his will to live and Arthur had to take the throne while he was still alive. Then, depressed and ill, he wrenched himself from bed and fought to the death to save Arthur's life.

34. Tony (West Side Story). "Someday, somehow...." NO. Never. Tony and Maria will never be together. And Maria has to just find a way to go on, always wondering how her life might have been. It's always bothered me that nobody blames Anita for this, as a side note.

35. Lewis Young. Lew steps on a land mine. He feels the trigger depress. His best friend Spike was supposed to be the one handling the bomb. Spike won't give up trying to save him, but if he doesn't, they'll both blow up. So when Spike goes for more equipment, Lew calls his family on his cell, says goodbye, then takes his foot off the trigger. Final words? "Spike? It's gonna be okay." Flashpoint will always break me.

36. Wash. "I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar." He landed that ship. He should have lived. You think he's made it, and then... Joss Whedon strikes. Wash was married to the strongest woman in the 'verse, and his death devastated her. Seeing Zoe break was the worst.

37. Doyle (Angel). He was tortured about being half-demon, he was interesting, he was adorable, and he sacrificed himself to save Angel and Cordelia. I was really upset when he went off the show. I'm sure there was a behind-the-scenes reason to get rid of him because there certainly wasn't an on-screen one.

So who's death are you still recovering from?


Saturday, March 2, 2013

E.B. White on Writing with Style

I’m going to have to read this whole book (The Elements of Style) - the excerpts here are really interesting. I don’t like “how to write” books, but I love reading other authors’ perspectives on the process. Some of the drudgery White describes is very familiar to me lol. I’m a very up-and-down, round-and-about writer. Check out the post at Writers Write: