Linkity on a Sunday

This week let’s do something different for the Sunday Summary! I haven’t written anything fiction-wise since NaNoWriMo ended, because I’ve needed to use my creative energy for making holiday cards and knitting gifts. So instead of discussing what I’ve written (which is nothing) let’s take a trip around the blogosphere and see what other people have written!


Lattes and Llamas shared this Llama Christmas Cookie link, and I think I mush make them. NOW. So cute!

Ally had this great discussion about medication in YA books, and how it’s not portrayed in a healthy fashion.

Zuky announced her December BookBum Club theme, and posted links to the November BookBum Club reviews.

In her linkity on Friday, Chris shared this tumblr post about how knitting led to the moon landing. She also had a link to a list of Mexican references in “Coco” (the Pixar movie, which I ABSOLUTELY LOVED — GO SEE IT).

I recently found out about Hunter Hammersen‘s knitting patterns (courtesy of the love given by SpaceCadet yarn). And for the first 3 weeks of December she has an advent calendar of sorts in the form of discounts on her knitting patterns! (Each day a different item is discounted through December 24th.) Love it, and I’ve already bought a few patterns as a result.

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Ten On Tuesday ~ All by my onesey

Before we get started with today’s Ten on Tuesday, I want to announce something exciting: my friend Julie has a new book release!

Her novel SABASKA’S TALE has been released earlier than anticipated, and I really look forward to reading it. This novel is one that I’ve been following for years. Julie and I started our writing life as a part of the same critique group, and this is the novel that she was working on at the time. (My novel from the time needs some major re-work that I haven’t put into it yet. I’m thinking that will be a project for 2014.) This is very exciting for me to see where the novel has come since I know where it started. Yay Julie! It’s also bittersweet release timing, as the horse in the tale is named after Julie’s beloved Arabian mare who passed away not long ago. It’s good to see her immortalized in story, though.

Okay… and now that I’m done pimping the book (for now), it’s time to move on to the Ten On Tuesday prompt for the week, which is:

10 Favorite Things To Do When You’re Alone

1. Read. Not that I can’t do this around other people, but I like it best when alone.

2. Knit lace. Unlike some more social knitting, lace can be fiddley and is best done with few distractions.

3. Dye my hair. It’s a messy process, and I look silly while doing it.

4. Practice anything. I don’t like to be seen doing anything while I suck at it. So practice time is best when it’s alone time.

5. Exercise. This kinda goes along with the practice one, but even more so.

6. Write. Minimal distractions is best for my writing output. So even when I’m not alone, I like to put in earphones and pretend I’m alone.

7. Cry. It’s a personal thing for me. (And messy.)

8. Work on my scrapbooks. Mostly this is an alone activity because I get absorbed in it and ignore the people and things around me, so I feel guilty when I’m scrapbooking and NOT alone. I feel like I’m supposed to be paying attention to other people, and I’m not. I’m working on this feeling, and getting to the point where I can scrapbook with Mr. Wyrm around and not feel like I’m neglecting him. It’s a work in progress, though.

9. Sing at the top of my lungs. I have no problem singing at a normal volume around other people. It’s only when I’m at full voice that I want to be alone. It’s a self-conscious thing. I get shy.

10. Talk to myself. It’s too weird talking to yourself when there are other people present. They always think you are talking to them, and it gets awkward…

Ten On Tuesday ~ Mitt Lovin’

Today’s Ten on Tuesday prompt is “10 Mittens/Mitts I Want To Knit”. This one is easy for me, because I have been on a mitt kick all year.

I’m including Ravelry links in here, but if you’re interested I think you can click through to see the patterns because Rav is open for guests at this point (I think). These are in no particular order, really. I want to knit them ALL, and which one I want most varies by the day, so…

The one difference is I don’t like knitting mittens. It’s rarely cold enough here for me to want the whole hand covered, and I can’t type in mittens. So I prefer the fingerless mitts.

10 Mitts I Want To Knit

1. Owlings by Kerrie James. So cute!

2. Ironwork Mitts by Jennifer Hagan. I think these kind of colorwork mitts I can do.

3. Susie’s Reading Mitts by Dancing Ewe Yarns. This pattern has been in my queue FOREVER. But the yarn I want to knit with always ends up being the wrong weight for the pattern, and I don’t feel like modifying it.

4. Seeta Fingerless Gloves by Maria Sheherazade. Especially for variegated yarns.

5. Fractured by Michelle Cole. These just look fun.

6. Fingerless Gloves “Musica” by Anne Neumann. I’m from a musical family. This one’s a no-brainer.

7. Moth Kisses by Anne Hanson. Not exactly mitts, more wrist-warmers, but close enough.

8. Pianissimo Mitts by Becky Herrick. There’s something I love about mitts made with with lace yarn.

9. Rangers of Ithilien Gauntlets by Kristen Howard. Modeled on LOTR’s rangers. What fantasy geek wouldn’t want these?

10. Oddity by Mia Heikkinen. Love the pattern on this one.

eBook Review: The Bloodgate Warrior by Joely Sue Burkhart

So a short while ago I mentioned Joely’s “Save An Ent” giveaway to celebrate the release of her newest eBook, The Bloodgate Warrior.

Well, I bought the book on its release date, and I’m here to tell you that it’s really good.

I haven’t read either the full story that came before (The Bloodgate Guardian) or the short piece that she released in preparation for this book to come out (Bloodgate – that link is to Amazon, where it is cheap, and this link is to Smashwords where it is currently free.). I know. Shame on me. I haven’t read them for the simple reason that I fell off the blog reader radar for a while, and missed the release of the first novel. Then I figured I’d wait for this one before reading either of the two. And, having read The Bloodgate Warrior, I can tell you that I will be reading the other two stories.

This book, even though it’s a sequel, doesn’t seem to have much in the way of spoilers for the first book. The one thing that I did pick out as potential spoiler material is that the main characters from The Bloodgate Guardian survive and get together at the end. But you know what? It’s a romance. And it’s a Joely book. Happy Endings (even if they’re just Happy For Now endings) are a given.

One thing that this book (likely the series) makes me want to do is research Mayan history and legends. I read the blog Joely posted on Carina Press about the similarities between Mayan legend and the Arthurian legend. I love that kind of story, and so this one was a joy for me. I especially loved finding out after the fact that this was a real Mayan legend, and not just something Joely made up.

To balance the love I had for the similarities to the Arthurian legend, I’m going to point out the part I liked the least. Some of the sex scenes (which I’ve come to learn Joely writes really well) also involve blood. I’m not a fan of mixing blood and sex, personally. I understand that it’s part of the magic system Joely has created for this world. Do note that it’s not done in a way that makes me squeamish at all. It’s just not my cup of tea.

Long story short? This is a really good read. It’s got strong characters (including a heroine who comes into her own by the end) and a solid plot. The supporting characters are nicely developed as well, even if they don’t get nearly as much screen time as the main characters. This is definitely worth picking up and reading, especially since Amazon makes it so easy to purchase.

 

* Disclaimer, not that it’s really needed this time: I have read beta copies of Joely’s work in the past, but this particular series is not one of those instances. I bought this book, and this is a completely unsolicited review.

Joely’s “Save An Ent” Giveaway!

Author, blogger, and ‘net friend of mine Joely Sue Burkhart is giving away an eReader to celebrate her latest book release!

(Details are on her post, here.)

Now, I like her work, so I’m going to help promote her contest. I’ve also pre-ordered the book (due for release in a few days) and will review it once I’ve read it. This is one that I’ve purchased, though I have gotten review copies of other things from Joely in the past.

I also like eReaders. Another reason to promote the contest. I don’t like eReaders to the exclusion of paper books, but I think they both have their place. And MY HOME is that place. Both belong here, and I can’t see a time when that will change.

But the real reason I decided to promote this contest instead of just telling Chris about it and letting her work her magic with her much higher blog readership?

The post title mentions Ents.

I’m such a sucker for fantasy geek humor.

Book Review: Industrial Magic

Well, not only did I read book 4 of the Women of the Otherworld series earlier in the month, I remembered to write the review earlier in the month! Yay!

As with the other review of this series, this is for Moonlight Gleam’s Reading Challenge.

Industrial MagicThis is quite likely my favorite book in the series. First of all, it has my favorite main characters: Paige and Lucas. Second, it has bunches more characters I like as secondary characters. (I won’t go into who, since I’ve been told I need a chart of some kind to keep this from being confusing.) Third, it has a great plot.

Now, most of Kelley’s books have good plots. Some of the others are even as spectacular as this one. But for me, this is the first plot in the book series that far outshines the others. This is where Kelley first really shows her storytelling abilities, in my mind.

Without going so far into the book as to cause spoilers, there are so many levels to this story. So many tiers to the plot, so many twists it takes that are – somehow – not actually plot twists. And everything flows so smoothly. It all makes sense. Nothing feels like it comes out of left field.

I also particularly like the way Paige and Lucas’ relationship issues (which is the internal conflict for the book) work so effortlessly with the case they are working on (the external conflict). Granted, it’s not always as easy – or even possible – to make the two conflicts so seamless. But in this case, since working on cases together (rather, NOT working on cases together) is a symptom of the internal conflict, having the external conflict be a case that needs investigating is perfect.

In addition to the well-crafted story, there is plenty of humor. One of my favorite scenes (humor-wise) in the book comes near the very beginning. Paige ends up in an elevator with a half-demon who could easily overpower her. When asked if she’d seen that scene in a movie, she replies that yes: what happens next is that the heroine gets attacked, then overpowers her attacker, escapes, and unfortunately sends him hurtling to his doom. (It’s funnier the way Kelley wrote it. Believe me.)

At any rate, while I enjoy most of the series, this is my go-to re-read. If I want to read a story from the series, but don’t want to read them ALL, this is almost always the one I will pick up. If you also decide to pick it up, I hope you enjoy it!