Blog Schedule Announcement!

As of today, I will only be blogging three days a week on this blog. I will continue with Why I Love Wednesdays, Short Story Saturday, and Six Sentence Sunday. My Escape posts will still go up on my Team Promethiad blog. You can find the link under the “My Team on Escape” tab at the top of this page.

Although I do love blogging, I need to spend more time focusing on my novels. I am, however, going to be opening up this blog for occasional guest posts by other authors. If you’re interested in guest posting, please contact me via email by using the email icon on the top right side of the page.

Why I Love Wednesdays . . . Why I Love Adrian Ivashkov

Today’s Why I Love Wednesdays post is about a misunderstood character. Now, I know I’ve been posting a lot about various epic fantasy books/characters lately, so I thought I’d deviate from that and talk about a YA character that I love.
My first thought was to post about Logan or Andrei from my Shadow Imperium series, but seeing as that series isn’t out yet, I thought I’d go with a character a little more familiar to some people: Adrian Ivashkov from the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead.
Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Dimitri, but I’m totally Team Adrian. If you’ve read my blog much, you know exactly how I feel about those boys who are full of themselves, but really have hearts of gold.
If you haven’t read the Vampire Academy series yet and plan to, or if you haven’t finished the series, you might not want to read the rest of this post. I might get a little spoiler-y.
Adrian first appeared in the second book of the series, Frostbite. While his clove-smoking, alcoholic ways aren’t exactly endearing, his confidence certainly is. I don’t know what it is with me and these “bad boy” characters—my husband is definitely not like that. Never has been.
I love the way Adrian pursues Rose, even though it’s frowned upon in their society—a Moroi (living vampire) dating a Dhampir (half vampire, half human) is just not done. He doesn’t care what society thinks, especially his parents or his aunt (who is the queen). He also doesn’t care that Rose is in love with someone else. He wants her anyway.
The series ended with me feeling extremely sorry for Adrian. He fought so hard for Rose and lost. I can’t wait to read the spin-off series, Bloodlines. I’ve heard rumors that Adrian’s in it and I hope he finds someone even better. After all, who wouldn’t love a sarcastic guy who can sneak into your dreams and loves so much that he’s willing to go against everything he knows?
© Brea Essex 2011 ~ No part of this site (written or artwork) may be reproduced in anyway whatsoever without express written consent by Brea Essex.
*Disclaimer: I do not own the photo used in this post.

Why I Love Wednesdays . . . Childhood Book Friend

This week’s “Why I Love Wednesdays . . .” topic is “Childhood Book Friend”. Now, I couldn’t exactly remember what my favorite book was as a child, so I asked my mom. Her response? “I don’t remember. We read a lot of Dr. Seuss.”
Since I barely remember any of Dr. Seuss’ books, I decided to write about Nancy Drew. I know that’s technically more than one book, but series count, right? She was certainly one of my favorite book characters. I’ve always liked strong female characters, ever since I first saw She-Ra (I think I was about 3 when that was on).
I liked Nancy Drew so much that, in fifth grade, I decided to kill her off. I know you’re probably laughing, wondering why on Earth I would kill off my favorite character. Who knows what my 11-year-old brain was thinking? It was my one and only foray into writing mysteries. If I remember correctly, I killed her off by having someone knock a marble pillar on her. I think someone died like that in one of my mom’s novels that I read. My cover was horrid. I took a lot of art classes as a child but alas, I never lived up to the caliber of my dad or grandmother’s artwork. My characters on the cover were probably glorified stick figures. For some reason, though, despite the terrible drawing and somewhat violent nature of my little book, my teacher put it in our class “library”. The class library was full of books that we had made. We would “publish” them by folding plain white paper in half, writing our story on it and then stapling it together with a construction paper cover. I swear the book wasn’t gruesome or anything like that. I’m actually surprised that my teacher didn’t write home to my dad and tell him that I was disturbed and needed counseling. I don’t know why I wrote it. Anyway, I never wrote another mystery (although “The Killing of Nancy Drew” was surprisingly popular among my fifth grade classmates).
But back to Nancy. Even when she worked with the Hardy Boys, she still kicked butt. I didn’t really understand how she solved her mysteries, but she always did. I wasn’t even sure how she kept getting into all these crazy situations. She always managed to get out of them, though.
I eventually stopped reading the Nancy Drew books when my dad decided I was “too old for kids’ books” and literally locked away all my books. It ended up working out though, because that’s when I discovered epic fantasy. It also probably led to my writing YA books today. If I couldn’t read them when I was a teenager, then why not read/write them as an adult?
© Brea Essex 2011 ~ No part of this site (written or artwork) may be reproduced in anyway whatsoever without express written consent by Brea Essex.
*Disclaimer: I do not own the photo used in this post.

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.