Why I Love Wednesdays . . . Favorite Genre

This week’s Why I Love Wednesdays topic is “Favorite Genre”. Now, I know I mostly write YA, but my favorite genre will forever be epic fantasy. My dad handed me my first epic fantasy book when I was in sixth grade. It was called “Shapechangers”, by author Jennifer Roberson. It’s the first book in an eight-book series called The Chronicles of the Cheysuli. If you like books about shapechangers/shifters, I highly recommend you check it out. They’re only available in omnibus editions now, unless you can hunt the originals down on Amazon.
There’s just something about epic fantasies that’s always called to me. There’s just something about the magic, the prophecies, the questing . . . I’ve always loved getting lost in a world not my own. While I love books set in the real world, it takes a whole other level of detail to create your own world. I love how you can create alternate realities in epic fantasy where anything goes—and then set your own rules. You can create your own history, cultures, costuming, modes of transportation, politics, religions, languages . . . the possibilities are absolutely endless. That’s why epic fantasy will always be my first love, literature-wise.
I should also add that my first big “literary crush” was Kellin from “A Tapestry of Lions”, the last book of The Chronicles of the Cheysuli. I mentioned him briefly in last week’s post, which can be found here. I promise I will post all about him later. Maybe he’ll make an appearance on this week’s Fun Fact Friday.
By the way, in case anyone’s wondering . . . yes, I am working on my own epic fantasy series. That will be a long time in the making but it’s really exciting to work on!

Why I Love Wednesdays . . . Why I Love Ce’Nedra and Keely

This Why I Love Wednesday is all about favorite characters. Now, I really couldn’t choose just one. Both of these ladies have been my heroines since seventh grade when I first discovered their stories.
I’ll start with Ce’Nedra from The Belgariad and The Mallorean series. I loved her from the first time she was introduced. She’s a fiery redhead (with a temper to match!) who can wrap her daddy around her little finger. She’s an Imperial Princess, the only child of the Emperor. She’s also part dryad. Her father tries to force her to go to another country to honor an ancient treaty—so she runs away. Unfortunately for her, she ends up with people who make her go honor the treaty anyway (which she is definitely not happy about). Now, I know this is making her sound horrible, but she’s really not. When the man she’s supposed to marry has to sneak off for a dangerous mission, she takes over the war council (after she throws a huge temper tantrum) and convinces the kings on the council to let her lead an army against the enemy countries. Ce’Nedra shows absolute genius as they gather people from various ally countries. She even bribes her own father’s troops to follow her. In the second part of the series (The Mallorean), her only child is kidnapped and she and her husband (along with several relatives and friends) tear the world apart looking for him. I honestly don’t know how she held up during all of this. If I were her, I would have done the same thing, but I don’t know if I would have handled it as well as she did.
Now onto Keely from The Chronicles of the Cheysuli. She’s the youngest of four children and she’s the only girl. Her mother’s a complete nutcase who tried to hand her children over to an evil sorcerer when they were babies—but only the boys. To say Keely has mommy issues doesn’t even begin to describe it. She’s also the only princess in her land, unless you count her half-sister (most people don’t). She’s been engaged to a man she’s never met since before she was born and she has no desire to ever meet him, let alone marry him. She’s definitely not a typical girly-girl princess. She wears hunting leathers, she can fight with a sword or a knife and she could probably drink any man under the table. She also has special abilities. She can communicate with animals and take on their shapes—something only the men of her people could do. When she’s kidnapped by the same evil sorcerer that her mother had previously tried to give her brothers to, she doesn’t cower and wait for someone to rescue her—she gets herself the heck out of there (granted, with a little help from another prisoner). I won’t share my favorite scene of the book because it gives too much away, but let’s just say she has a very interesting way of dealing with choosing between two men. I have to admit, her eventual grandson is probably my favorite male fictional character. I might talk about him more on a different day.
So there you go: two awesome, non-traditional princesses. I like them for their attitudes, their ability to deal with some of the worst things that could happen to a person (or character) and come out of it sane. It’s not just that they’re princesses, but deep down, doesn’t every little girl want to be a princess?

Why I Love Wednesdays . . . Why I Love Summer Reading

I’m back with Why I Love Wednesdays . . . This week’s topic is “Why I Love Summer Reading”. Now, I admit, I don’t usually get that much reading during the summer. I’m in school full-time (don’t ask me why I decided to go back to school—I must be out of my mind or something), so summer is usually the best time for me to get a lot of writing done. So, I’m going to share with you some summer releases that I’m looking forward to reading in the fall when I’m back in school:

Ø    Dragon’s Oath by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast (House of Night novella)
Ø    Forever by Maggie Stiefvater (Wolves of Mercy Falls #3)
Ø    Everlasting by Alyson Noël (Immortals #6)
Ø    Passion by Lauren Kate (Fallen #3)
Ø    The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore (Lorien Legacies #2)
Ø    Sirensong by Jenna Black (Faeriewalker #3)
Ø    Fins Are Forever by Tera Lynn Childs
Ø    Supernaturally by Kiersten White (Paranormalcy #2)
Ø    Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer (Nightshade #2)
Ø    Hades by Alexandra Adornetto (Halo #2)
Ø    Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (Bloodlines #1)
Some of these series I’m actually behind on (or haven’t started yet), so I’m definitely going to be busy reading! I have to admit, out of everything, I think I’m the most excited for Bloodlines. Richelle Mead is extremely talented and I’m dying to find out what happens with Adrian! 

Which summer reads are you the most excited for?

Why I Love Wednesdays . . . Favorite Sidekick

Today begins a new feature . . . Why I Love Wednesdays! Each Wednesday, I’ll be posting about various things I love, following the prompts from       
This week is Favorite Sidekick week. Mine is Silk from The Belgariad and The Mallorean by David Eddings.
Silk is really what you’d call a “scoundrel and a rogue”. He knows every shady place in every town, can pretty much lie himself out of any situation . . . and is a spy for his country. In fact, in his country spying is the national occupation. By an “accident of birth”, as he calls it, he is also royalty. His real name is Prince Kheldar and his uncle is the king of his country.
My heart really broke for Silk when it’s revealed that he’s in love with the queen, his uncle’s wife. He spends a lot of time secretly pining for her, although he claims he has an aversion to marriage.  Silk is eventually “brought down” by his boss’ niece Liselle, who is pretty much the female version of him (doesn’t that always seem to happen?).
I really can’t attempt to convey the hilarity that is Silk. He has a sarcastic response for everything. There are just too many layers to Silk to convey in a blog post.
I’ll leave you with a couple of quotes from Silk:
“I don’t know that I’d use the word ‘murdered’ exactly, my Lord.” Silk winced. “Oh, I’ll admit that there was a bit of unpleasantness, but that’s such an awkward way to sum up.”
“Believe me, Durnik, Liselle can take care of herself. The two of us are playing a game.”
“Do Drasnians always play games?”
“Of course. It helps to pass the time. Winters are very long and tedious in Drasnia. The games we play sharpen our wit and make us better at what we do when we aren’t playing.”
*Both passages are from King of the Murgos by David Eddings.

New Blogging Schedule!

Hi all! Beginning tomorrow, I’m going to be blogging every day. Here’s my new schedule:

Sundays:  Six Sentence Sunday:  I’ll be posting six sentence long teasers of my writing. Brought to you by http://www.sixsunday.com/

Mondays:  Character Archive:  I’ll be posting character interviews, “castings”, and also songs from my play lists.

Tuesdays:  Writing Prompts:  I’ll be using writing prompts from Writer’s Digest to write some shorts.

Wednesdays:  Why I Love Wednesdays:  Posting on various things I love, brought to you by http://www.reflectionsofabookaholic.com/ 
I’ll also be posting my challenge from Escape! at http://promethiad.blogspot.com/

Thursdays:  Moira’s Blog:  My character Moira from Team Promethiad will be taking over the blog to write about her experiences on Escape!, as well as her illicit relationship with Toby from J.F. Jenkins’ Team Introv3rsion

Fridays:  Fun Fact Fridays:  I’ll be sharing facts about me, my writing, my research, etc.

Saturdays:  Short Story Saturdays:  I’ll be sharing an exclusive serialized story featuring my Muse Lorelei. We’ll be following her as she goes through her training to become a Muse. (Ever since I gave her a name, she’s been clamoring for her own story. Since she’s been cooperating with me so well lately, I thought I should give in!)

Be sure to check back tomorrow for Six Sentence Sunday for another sneak peek of Foreshadow!