September 18, 2014

Harry Potter Moment of the Week

This is a meme hosted by Leah at Uncorked Thoughts. The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/films/J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related!

Best 'Dumbledore Moment'

Ha! Dumbledore is such a great character, and such an oddball, too! I cannot narrow it down too much between obscene words for welcome at the start of term, his constant and never ending dubious sayings, his absolutely swagish departure when going on the run, the cool-as-you-like hand cutting and dragon blood tasting... Do I have to go on? Despite him being delightfully weird, sarcastically funny and pretty badass in general, there is a moment where he showed his true power, and that was

Ministry Fight with Voldemort


That was really something! Even in the movie it was very well done, and I always get shivers watching that scene. For a guy 5 times my age, he looks better than I do!

September 16, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Authors I've Only Read One Book From But NEED to Read More

I usually binge read after I discover an awesome new author and am a bit behind with their novels. If I possibly can, I read as many as I could get my hands on, so there aren't many to pick for today's TTT post.  I still managed to find ten, and that's ten too many!

1. Anne Rice
I read Interview with the Vampire forever ago and really enjoyed it, so finding out there is a series out there on Lestat is great news. I really have to start reading the rest of the novels as soon as possible. 

2. J R R Tolkien
I have only read The Hobbit so far but it was good. Besides, it's about time I tackle LotR as I must be the only person ever that still hasn't read them. I went to elementary with a boy that read those massive tomes in like 3rd grade, so even worse for me to still not get on with that!

3. Patrick Ness
I still haven't picked up any other Ness book after finishing The Knife of Never Letting Go months and months ago. I have to fix that soon, especially with the Monster movie coming out. Also because I really enjoyed Knife... minus the dog part. *shakes fists*

4. Garth Nix
This is one of my biggest shames. I read Sabriel four times I think, and I love it each time, but then never get on with the series. It's extra bad now that Clariel is coming out and social media keeps guilt-tripping me for it. I will finish, I promise!

5. S J Kincaid
Another shameful moment: I read and loved Insignia to pieces, but that's all. I won the last book in the series as an ARC no less so I must get it on and read them asap because I have no doubt in my mind these are all totally awesome. 

6. Catherynne M. Valente
I really enjoyed her first story The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making so I should really finish the series. Everyone is praising those books to the skies and beyond so I have to get my hands on the rest soon.

7. Nancy Farmer
I loved The House of the Scorpion and always wanted a sequel. Now that we have it I still haven't read it. I want to badly but just didn't get the time. Plus I should really reread the first novel, it's been forever since I read it.

8. John Dixon
Phoenix Island was an awesome read and I cannot wait for more books to come out! I know this one doesn't count as a slack read as more books are still being published, but I am excited to read on in the series!

9. Douglas Adams
I read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in elementary school when it was an obligatory read, and I was totally loving it. I have to read the rest of his books because I feel left out not knowing what else happened!

10. Madeline Miller
Song of Achilles was magical, and therefore I have to read her other book, Galatea. I am sure it will be an amazing read as well!

This weekly meme is from The Broke and the Bookish.

September 15, 2014

Author Spotlight: Ryan Mark

EXCERPT - TREMOR

Prologue

A Last Resort

She knows they haven’t got long. She looks across the frozen ocean, shuddering as the ground beneath rumbles. She turns and faces the island, chosen because of its location, the harshest place on Earth and the furthest from civilisation, where they couldn’t be influenced or found. Their mission had always been temporary, yet this place feels like home now.
Home. She hasn’t seen it for years.
Her heavy boots crunch through lichens that cling to icy surfaces, the cold biting hard. The lab bunker appears soon enough, built into the side of the volcano that dominates the island. Light from the narrow windows shimmers through the segmented rocks, illuminating her path.
‘Ready?’ her partner says, as she enters the sterilised entrance corridor. His dark brown eyes send a flash of encouragement in her direction, and a reassuring smile emerges through his beard.
As she smiles back she notices for the first time that his beard and indeed his hair are flecked with grey. We really have been here too long, she thinks, hanging up her windproof coat.
‘Ready,’ she says, her cheery voice presenting a fa├žade of confidence as she turns back to face him.
‘I have to do this, no matter what,’ her thoughts silently converse with her fear. Damn, it’s been a long journey. Plucked straight from college, she’d been chosen because of her skills as a scientist. Were those exemplary grades a curse or a blessing? Both, she decides.
Oil has always been valuable, a source of control. Her father told her on several occasions that it had caused most of the recent major conflicts, and he held a firm belief that once the last oil reserve was depleted a devastating war would consume the planet. Uncharacteristically, she clenches her fists. That moment is almost upon them, that devastation about to be unleashed, and they were the ones responsible for finding more oil to prevent catastrophe, searching in the wilderness of Antarctica.
Humanity drained the Earth, and now, in desperation, the authorities have turned to a place that is supposedly protected by treaties. But treaties don’t matter anymore; just words on paper. They are insignificant in light of the alternative.
Her hands feel as though they’re burning, itching from the power within them. She’s lost ten years doing this, and as she rubs her cold fingers, she hopes it’ll all be worth it, that it’ll prevent war.
‘We’ve got two hours before the volcano erupts and the helicopter lifts off,’ he says. ‘The rest of the team have left, so it’s all down to us.’ He passes her a protective overall.
Stepping into it before retying her hair into its customary ponytail, she says, ‘I still can’t believe how much there is down there.’
‘This oil is the lifeline we needed. It’ll give us time to create a reliable replacement. Imagine where we’d be if it didn’t exist?’ Moving to the rear of the small room, he types a code into a secure door.
‘I don’t want to,’ she says.
Although she trusts and respects him as a scientist, something inside her doubts whether the huge quantity of oil gurgling beneath them will last until a reliable replacement is created. The world can no longer be reliant on fossil fuels. This is the last oil source, the very last. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Something has to change, and perhaps today will be the start of that.
‘Coming?’ Her partner has gone on ahead and she quickly steps into the secure room after him.
‘I’ll go and key in the transfer code. Should take about twenty minutes for the oil to flow,’ he says, heading over to a control panel. ‘I still can’t believe we pulled this off. Fifty pipes drilled into the last reserve in the coldest place on the planet. Unbelievable.
‘It really is a miracle.’ She gently touches her stomach. Not the only miracle. ‘Right, let’s get on.’ She focuses. ‘I’ll set up the rig and begin the transfer. I can’t believe this is nearly over. We can finally go home...’
He nods, his relief marked with a tender smile.
Suddenly, the bunker shakes, the fluorescent lights blink. The sound of a thousand rocks crashing into steel vibrates throughout the room. She falls back, but he catches her. An alarm begins to wail.
‘Check the transfer!’ she screams, stabilising herself. 
He rushes back to his position. Silence. She looks at him. His face and body are motionless at the controls. ‘What’s happened?’ she breathes.
‘The pipes have been severed,’ he says. ‘The oil’s escaping...’

‘No, they can’t be. All of them? What about the safety net?’
He doesn’t reply. 

‘Can we cap it?’ she asks.

‘How? We’d need the boat, and that’s away with the team... ’

‘Then we have to recall the team. We’ve worked too hard to let this fail.’

‘We can’t, it’s too late.’ He presses a red button and the control panel shuts off. ‘We’ve got to get out of here. I think the volcano’s erupting... Our readings must have been completely wrong.’
‘I don’t understand how, after all our planning, all that work. God, I feel sick!’ She runs across the room, lands on her knees and empties the contents of her stomach into a bin.
‘Come on, we’ll work something out. If we stay here a moment longer we’re dead.’
He reaches for her and she wipes her mouth, grabs his hand and smiles. ‘I love you...’ she whispers, gripping hard.
Before they can take another step, the island explodes in a ferocious roar of fire, rock and thick black smoke.

The entire land mass disappears, melting into the bubbling cauldron of the ocean, and all that remains of what once was is an oil slick stretching far across the water.
---
Beep, Beep, Beep. The sound pierces deep and it’s the only clear thing she can focus on. Her eyes flicker.
‘How the hell did she survive?’ a voice crackles near her ears.
‘The secure room she was in, must’ve been built for that kind of disaster.’
‘Will she live?’
‘Not sure. If it weren’t for the scientist who was with her, she would have died. He shielded her, poor guy.’
‘And the baby?’

A pause. ‘No...’ 

She feels the pain burn through every limb, not from the wounds, but from the love she has for him and their unborn child.
The pain wraps its emotionless, agonising tentacles around her.
The people who’d ordered her to that place would pay. They would pay with blood. Her eyes flicker again.
Blood.
About the book

The life William knew has gone. His world has been left devastated by the Fossil War. All major governments have been wiped out and the land is now under the control of the company Terrafall. Although Terrafall's intentions seem honest, William wonders if the company will live up to its promises and stop the tremors, which have been plaguing the Earth since the end of the war. And can Terrafall really find out who is behind the recent wave of abductions?

When someone close to William disappears, he decides it's time to take matters into his own hands. But in a land that is on the verge of tearing itself apart, is it a life worth fighting for? If your world was falling apart, how far would YOU go to save it?



About the author
Ryan lives and writes in the rural county of Cumbria, on the outskirts of the Lake District in the United Kingdom. Tremor is his first full length novel, and is part of the Tremor Cycle, a series of Dystopian stories set in a shattered world. He is currently working on book 2 in the series, titled Tremor: The Fracture, which he hopes to release within the next year. Ryan is passionate about: writing, equality and helping children learn to read. He has always loved to write and create different worlds, drawing his inspirations from his family and the place where he lives.

Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

NOW HEAD OVER TO TWITTER FOR A GIVEAWAY! 

September 13, 2014

Guest post: Outlander - The Next Obsession

Source
Starz' new series, Outlander, is not so new in terms of its original storyline. The tale was first conceived of 26 years ago, within the mind of bestselling author Diana Gabaldon. Although it has taken more than two decades to convince Gabaldon to allow her works to be turned into a film production or television series, she has since agreed to a script that finally pleased her, allowing Outlander to be born within the Starz network.

Outlander centers around a woman who works as a combat nurse in 1945, Claire Randall (played by Caitriona Balfe). After she is mysteriously transported back in time to 1743, during a second honeymoon with her husband, an entire new world begins to unravel in front of her. Once she realizes she is actually in the year 1743 and not 1945, Claire must then learn to adapt to her new surroundings if she is going to fare well and survive on her own. She soon finds herself forced into a marriage with Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan), a brave and romantic soldier from Scotland. Although at first she is reluctant, Claire soon finds her heart torn into two as she has conflicted thoughts and feelings about two men who are seemingly living worlds apart from one another.

Although multiple writers and screenplay editors have attempted to bring the science fiction/romance epic to the small screen, many simply fell short of Gabaldon's expectations. That is, until the creator of Battlestar Galactica made his own attempt. When Ronald D. Moore approached Gabaldon, she finally felt that a director and writer had created something that did her work and writing justice. Although her reluctance of bringing the novel into theater or on television was at first, looked at negatively, Gabaldon's stance on the issue has seemingly paid off with a series that intends to deliver a detailed, multiple seasons long adaptation.

There are currently eight Outlander novels published, with a ninth in the works (which Gabaldon believes will finally be the last). With the high number of volumes Outlander has produced, content is vast for potential future seasons and episodes. It also means that each episode is packed with extensive dialogue and character building, which has led some critics and viewers to express dissatisfaction in regards to the duration of the shows and the overall slower pace of moving forward with plots and storylines. Hardcore fans of the series and those who have read all of the books from Gabaldon within the Outlander series are more likely to appreciate the detail orientated nature of the show and ability to build depth.

Ronald D. Moore has also worked to ensure the show is as authentic as possible to the books, which is essential to Gabaldon and presumably, many of her avid fans and followers. Though there are minor changes, such as the expanding of certain characters (including Jack Randall and Geillis Duncan) and cutting of minor characters to better streamline the story. The show also made the decision to include voiceovers by Claire to keep readers up to date on current state of mind. While some viewers have complained the voiceovers are distracting, at the moment they’re unavoidable - at least until Claire’s character feels comfortable confiding in someone.

Source
Besides the story and plot itself, which involves plenty of romance, bodice-ripping scenes, drama, and more, the show is also admirable for its beautiful scenery and commitment to all Scottish history has to offer. The characters often speak in Gaelic (without subtitles, so we, like Claire, feel purposefully excluded), the costuming is detailed and authentic, and the rolling hills and vast nature Scotland can boast is featured in every scene. The show’s producers insist that Scotland is a character itself which, after watching a few episodes, is impossible to disagree with!

Between the skilled acting, stunning sets, and attention to Scottish tradition, it’s no wonder the who has already secured a second season through Starz, which will again be viewable through a Starz subscription (see here for info on that if you need it). Outlander has attracted a wide audience with more than 5 million views per episode, making it a leading Starz show today with a dedicated following. If you have any interest in historical tales, romance, feisty heroines, or simply a good, epic show, then perhaps Outlander is your next obsession!


About the Author
Spencer Blohm was a freelance entertainment and pop culture blogger for Direct4TV.com. He received his degree in potions from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He currently lives in Chicago with his owl, Roberta.

September 12, 2014

Found: Literary Places Come to Life

Two artists have brought to life of some of the most beloved locales in the magical worlds of fantasy fiction. The exquisite pieces—created in Photoshop by artists Peter and Radu behind the Etsy shop The Green Dragon Inn—offer escapes to King’s Landing, Diagon Alley, Rivendell, and other imaginary places from the Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings series. Because what book and art lover wouldn’t want to deck out their walls with gorgeous renderings of their favorite fictional jaunts?


Aren't these absolutely stunning? I want all of these! So gorgeous!

September 11, 2014

Harry Potter Moment of the Week

This is a meme hosted by Leah at Uncorked Thoughts. The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/films/J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related!

Least favourite book

Oh, I can't say! This might be an unpopular opinion but I am not as enchanted with Prisoner of Azkaban as majority of other fans. I liked it a lot and still fits nicely into the set, but I just didn't feel as excited as with others. Maybe because it doesn't have Voldemort in it, but I loved Lupin and Black. So I'm torn here. Order of the Phoenix was a bit too long as well, and Umbridge was driving me up the wall so badly. I think Voldemort would be a better teacher! Then Half-Blood Prince was a little anticlimactic at times... I still love the series and the characters and the plot and everything, they're my favorite books of all times, but... I'm gonna say

Prisoner of Azkaban


I guess I noticed the absence of Voldemort a lot, and the whole Grim thing was a bit weird, as well. I loved DADA because it was a proper class, and I was glad to discover Harry had some family still. But it just doesn't do the same for me as other books.


September 10, 2014

Falling for Autumn Read-a-Thon


Leonor (Ner) from A Cup of Coffee and a Book is hosting her first Read-a-Thon and she asked me to take part. I have been in so few of these I decided to join.

We will have a whole bunch of things happening this September, and I am excited for my part in this. I have a very special guest post for you and I hope you will like it. It's about a project I have sponsored before and something that I absolutely support. It's very interesting, super exciting, and I hope you see it that way as well. I won't reveal too much now so I don't spoil it, but I can tell you it will be written by Mary Fan, author of Jane Colt and Flynn Nightsider series.

There will be other hosts and other guest posts, and I know Leonor has some awesome people lined up for this event. It will be a very exciting week! There will also be giveaways and challenges so make sure you pop by and see what's happening!

As for the read-a-long, there are no official rules. Read what you want, what you like, what you fancy! I might try with some Autumn-themed books or Autumn-colored books in terms of covers. There are some challenges for people participating:

× Read a total of four (4) books;
× Read at least 150 pages per day;
× Read a book with an autumnal color on the cover (red, orange, brown, gold);
× Read a book with a male protagonist;
× Read the first or last book in a series (it can be novellas!)

I think I will try the pages and male protag myself because I doubt I can handle 4 books in a week while I write my dissertation. It's a busy month as it is for me! I may focus on Halloween books even though that will be more of an October thing. Books that got my attention for the challenge are: Rebecca by

Schedule
Day 1 – September 22nd
A Cup of Coffee and a Book Guest Author: Meagan Spooner

Day 2 – September 23rd
A Cup of Coffee and a Book Guest Author: Livia Blackburne
Ula @ Blog of Erised – Guest Post

Day 3 – September 24th
Celine @ Irresistible Cactus – The Bookish Confession

Day 4 – September 25th
A Cup of Coffee and a Book Author Guest: Lisa Maxwell
Emily @ Falling for YA – Cover Hunt

Day 5 – September 26th
Ashley @ Falling Down the Book Hole – Discussion topic

Day 6 – September 27th
A Cup of Coffee and a Book Author Guest: Lisa Jensen
Kayla @ The Thousand Lives – Cover Hunt Challenge

Day 7 – September 28th
A Cup of Coffee and a Book Author Guest Post: Erica Crouch
Emily @ Books and Cleverness – Challenge

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...