rhienelleth: (Michael Dust - peacefully)
Gakked from [livejournal.com profile] world_of_blade. And [livejournal.com profile] kistha, I totally expect you to do this next! 


Questions & Answers )

rhienelleth: (azula)
[livejournal.com profile] dragonsinger asked for the top five books I've read this year.

I read a lot. This was a tall order. Luckily, when scrolling through the reading list on my kindle, there were some definite stand outs for 2009 that made themselves clear. These are listed in the order in which I read them:

1. The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines ([livejournal.com profile] jimhines)

I love fairy tales, and I particularly love retold fairy tales that expand on them in unexpected, delightful ways. This was one of those books that made me feel all warm and fuzzy, and wanting more when I was done turning the last page. I liked it so well, I wrote my first ever amazon review of it. Here's a snippet: Unable to put it down for long, I finished it in one day, and at the end, I turned the last page hoping for more. Very real, well drawn characters draw you in to the story, and fantastic descriptions, world building, adventure, and emotion keep you glued to the pages. At times, I was reminded of movies like Labyrinth or the Dark Crystal (for setting). Shades of Ever After, as well, but I say these only as a passing feeling of nostalgic warm fuzzies (all movies I liked or loved to one degree or another). This book stands completely on its own. Touches like Snow's snowflake "throwing stars" or Danielle's glass sword are unique and perfect for the story Hines is telling. I kept turning pages, not only for the story, but to see what lovely little bits of scenery Hines would include next.

2. Bone Crossed, Mercy Thompson, book 4 by Patricia Briggs

This is one of the most stellar, consistently high quality urban fantasy series out there. Each book gets better than the last, and the characters grow and change naturally as they go through some pretty traumatic things. Briggs isn't afraid to put her characters through really bad stuff, and treat her characters very realistically in the process. Particularly in this fourth book, the main character, Mercy, could easily have turned down one of those roads I loathe - doing something stupid for the sake of the story, or for the sake of keeping two characters apart to create more tension. It's a pet peeve of mine that some authors do in long running series. I was sure, when I started reading Bone Crossed, that we were headed to a place just like that. But it didn't. The character surprised me, and acted like a rational, thinking, 3-dimensional human being! This fourth book could have been a turning point to mediocrity, and instead was my favorite so far in the series. :)

As for what it's about, Mercy Thompson is an auto mechanic who shape shifts into the form of a coyote. Her next door neighbor, Adam, is the local werewolf pack alpha, and might be the love of her life, when he's not irritating the crap out of her. Her childhood sweetheart, another alpha wolf by the name of Samuel, isn't about to just step aside and let Adam have her without a fight, and Mercy's relations with the local fae and vampire groups are complicated, to say the least. you obviously want to start with the first book in the series, Moon Called.

3. Promises in Death by J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts)

What can I say? This series is almost 30 books strong, and I still love it to pieces. The newest book is always my most anticipated read of the season, each and every time one hits shelves. Eve and Roarke are strong, compelling main characters, both separately and as a couple. I think where Roberts really excels, even after 28 books, is in her characters. They grow and change. Old conflicts get laid to rest, and new conflicts come about naturally in their wake. They don't feel contrived, or put there to create tension. They are created by the characters and their personalities and experiences. The side characters are just as compelling as the main characters, and they change and grow as the books progress just as much. In particular, Promises in Death does a lot with some of those side characters, as the murder this book investigates is one of their own, a character we have grown somewhat familiar with in the last few books, romantically linked with a character we've known since the beginning of the series. It gave this entry in the series a deeper impact. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend the first book, Naked in Death.

4. Turn Coat by Jim Butcher

Like the In Death series, the Dresden books do not suffer from ongoing series lag - in fact, Book 11 is my favorite to date, although I'd say I've loved the last five or six books nearly as much. The Dresden books are different from a lot of urban fantasy out there - first, the main character is a guy - Harry Dresden, wizard. Second, they hit the shelves at the very start of the urban fantasy trend. You could even say, they helped spark it. They start out fairly simple - a wizard PI helps the police with supernaturally affected cases. But as the books progress, Harry's life gets dramatically more complicated, and so does the series in general. Also like the In Death books, the side characters here are just as compelling as the MC. And you never quite know what's going to happen next, or to who. (I got teary eyed at the end of this one, but I won't tell you why.) I anticipate the next Dresden book with almost as much glee as the next Eve and Roarke. I hope Jim never gets tired of writing them. The first book is Storm Front.

5. Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews ([livejournal.com profile] ilona_andrews)

I reviewed an ARC of this one on my journal here. Here's a snippet:

I've thoroughly enjoyed both of the previous books in this series, but this was by far my favorite. Truthfully, I've been waiting on pins and needles for it since I finished Book 2. The characters are nicely established now, and the relationships Kate has with others in her sphere are deepening and getting more complicated, despite her need to keep secrets. (There are parts of Kate's origins that even the reader doesn't know yet, an ongoing plot thread that winds through the entire series.) The banter between Kate and Curran, in particular, was full of tension, humor, and unresolved feeling. I won't lie - following how their relationship progresses is my favorite part of the series, although all of Kate's interactions keep you reading. Her mentoring of Derek the werewolf, the odd contest of wills she continues with the dangerously powerful Samain. All of these things are woven nicely into the plot; in fact, it is her friendship with Derek that starts the plot rolling in this book.

Much like when I finished Book 2, finishing the third book in the Kate Daniels series left me wondering when we can expect book 4. The writing is strong, the characters fascinating, and the tension keeps ratcheting higher. The first book is Magic Bites.

So that's it, my favorite five books thus far in 2009! It was tough, cause I easily could have done a favorite ten. :D
rhienelleth: (Default)
Friday Five, with a twist:

Ask me my fannish Top Five [Whatevers]. Any top fives. Doesn't matter what, really! And I will answer them all in a new post.
rhienelleth: (Default)
Gakked via [livejournal.com profile] tinnny:

free counters
rhienelleth: (Default)
LOLcat your LJ!

Here's mine.

Just delete my username from the http line and insert your own to see yours. but you should really scroll through some of mine first. There are a couple of pretty funny ones!

Meme!

May. 28th, 2009 04:12 pm
rhienelleth: (maiko)
Gakked from half my f-list:

Name your 10 absolutely favorite couples (het/slash/canon/fanon) and ask people to see what trends they notice about your couples. Try to pick different fandoms.

I stuck with fandom stuff, which precludes most book stuff for me, otherwise this list would be peppered with tons of book couples (like Eve/Roarke, Kate/Curran, etc, etc.)

1. Sark/Sydney (Alias)
2. Gambit/Rogue (X-men)
3. Michael/Nikita (LFN)
4. Ronon/Teyla (or Elizabeth/John) (SGA)
5. Derek Reese/Sarah Connor (SCC)
6. Tony/Pepper (Iron Man)
7. Helo/Sharon (BSG)
8. Spock/Uhura (ST)
9. Zuko/Mai (Avatar)
10. Reaper/Mercy (TSP)

Oh, wait, probably can't pull from my own stuff that me and like ten other people have read. Okay.

10. Kate/Sawyer (Lost)

Hmm. Seeing some definite trending there.
rhienelleth: (Default)
I realize I don't write much fic these days, but:


THE ANONYMOUS WRITING FEEDBACK MEME

Icon meme

Jan. 8th, 2009 07:37 pm
rhienelleth: (Default)
ICONS!
Behind the cut )

DO THE MEME.
Coding can be found here

Meme

Aug. 21st, 2008 08:33 am
rhienelleth: (zoe/wash - shayrena)
[livejournal.com profile] medie is hosting another of her awesome love memes. I could use some love this week, and so could a bunch of other people on my f-list, I'm thinking.

I am here.

TAGGED!

Jul. 28th, 2008 02:06 pm
rhienelleth: (blue sword)
By [livejournal.com profile] mallory_blog:


RULES:
* 1. Post these rules.
* 2. Each tagged person must post 8 things about themselves on their journal.
* 3. At the end, you have to choose and tag 8 people
* 4. Go to their pages and send a message saying you tagged them.
* 5. No tag-backs

I sort of assume, though it isn't specifically stated, that these 8 Things are supposed to be 8 surprising things, or 8 things you-might-not-know-about me. Because y'all know I make jewelry. And my coffee obsession is no secret. And obviously I write. So.

Longtime readers of this journal will no doubt be aware of some of these things:

1. I was born an identical triplet. The doctor didn't know until Mom was five months pregnant. He kept telling her she was gaining too much weight, and had her on a strict diet by the time he figured it out. She went into labor at 24 weeks (6 months!). They tried to stop it, and ended up having to life-flight her up to Portland. She was in labor for three days, and I was the only surviving triplet. I weighed 1 pound, 11 ounces, and was so small a nurse could hold me in one hand securely, and spent the first three months of my life in an incubator at Dornbecher's Children's Hospital.

2. I grew up on a farm where we raised and butchered our own beef, and I showed horses and was an active 4-H member until I turned thirteen and fell in love with dragons. I hate country music to this day, though if it is played around me, I will find myself singing along with the songs. *facepalm*

3. I have a third degree black belt, though I'm not going to tell you in which martial art. I trained for twelve years before other things got in the way. Mainly, working full time and writing and jewelry making. I still feel vaguely guilty about giving it up, and think about getting back into it often.

4. I have a Concealed Weapon's Permit, and was taught shooting in a one-on-one lesson by the guy who trains the State Police here in Oregon. I feel very strongly that all women should actively learn how to protect themselves, preferably in multiple ways.

5. My husband and I went to high school together, but were NOT high school sweethearts. I never even knew who he was until our senior year, and then he was a COMPLETE JERK TO ME, OMG. Ok, so I might have had a little crush on him, but half the time I disliked him. And he once swore he wouldn't date me if I were the last woman on earth. His groomsmen took great pleasure in reminding him of this fact on our wedding day. :-D

6. I was a big time drama geek in high school, but hated acting. I was not good at it. I worked backstage until all my super-talented actor friends bullied me into trying out for a play, and coached me into being a passable actress. But you couldn't pay me enough to try it again today.

7. I am a HUGE tabletop RPG geek. (As is the husband.) Our extensive library holds things back to the blue box set for D&D and the monster manual that had the less than legally included Melnibonean mythos. Heh. :-D

8. I believe in the supernatural. You know, spirits and ghosts and dangerous things people shouldn't freaking mess with that they don't understand. I don't care if you say science can't prove it. I have personally seen and experienced things that frankly, scared the crap out of me. I couldn't think of a number eight, and that's the only reason this is even on here, because I don't talk about it, pretty much ever. But I believe there is more out there than we understand, and you should leave it the heck alone.

I don't usually tag people, but there are new-ish people on my f-list I'd like to know more about. Please feel free not to do this if you don't wish to, however.

TAGGING:

[livejournal.com profile] kayjayuu
[livejournal.com profile] ls_silence
[livejournal.com profile] sabaceanbabe
[livejournal.com profile] madame_parker
[livejournal.com profile] kazdreamer

Meme

Jun. 16th, 2008 02:29 pm
rhienelleth: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] medie is hosting one of those LJ meme things, except instead of a love meme or whatever, it's a pep talk meme. To quote her:

"This is, er, not a love meme. Not in the traditional livejournal sense of the word. Basically it's a Pep Talk Meme for writers/icon makers/vidders, whoever. You can put your username here or you can out someone else's username here and people drop little pep talks about your work in comments. For those of us who can do it, but just need a little pick-me-up now and then.

Please pimp. I have a feeling there's a few people out there who could use it.
"

So, yeah. I'm the middle of end-of-novel madness right now, and my brain keeps straying to less complicated things, like fic. Mostly, I'm pretty sure, because of the whole "less complicated" aspect. It's very wistful, that mental straying. I keep telling my muse "Stop it! I promise you can write that Pepper/Tony thing later, after the novel is done." It's sort of working.

Here is my name.

Geeky Girl

Jun. 11th, 2008 11:08 pm
rhienelleth: (abby blue hands - astral_angel)
Gah! Now this is going to drive me freaking nuts - which one did I get wrong??


Your Score: Geek Aspirant


You scored 59 out of 60




If you don't consider yourself a geek, perhaps you could start.

If you do, you're probably mad at me for picking ambiguous quotes. (I swear they're the best IMDB had to offer... you might want to re-watch some of your movies).




Link: The General Geek Knowledge Test written by mister_ibis on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test
View My Profile(mister_ibis)

Fic Meme

Jun. 6th, 2008 02:12 pm
rhienelleth: (sark dark - weareromantics)
Oh! This must be meme day:

Gakked from [livejournal.com profile] ladybug218:

Comment with a sentence from one of my fanfictions. Without looking, I have to try and guess which fic of mine the sentence is from. If I fail, the challenger wins a drabble request. Post this in your own journal and let me challenge you!

Holy crap, I think I'm setting myself up here. Some of my older fic, I haven't glanced at in years. You can find my Alias fic here, and everything else is in my memories under "Fic". Including drabbles and the like. *facepalm* I have a feeling this is going to be tougher than I originally anticipated. I am not the most prolific fic author, being too often distracted with my own writing, but it has accumulated over the years.

Zombies!

Jun. 6th, 2008 09:08 am
rhienelleth: (Supernatural Carry On)
It's Friday, so it must be time for a meme:

Gakked from pretty much everyone on my f-list:

You are in a mall when the zombies attack. You have:

1. one weapon.
2. one song blasting on the speakers.
3. one famous person to fight alongside you.

* Weapon can be real or fictional; you may assume endless ammo if applicable. Person can be real or fictional.

I choose

1. Flamethrower. Isn't that the choice du jour when one is fighting zombies? No, that's just me? Hmm. Okay, so maybe a shotgun instead, if I can have endless ammo, with incendiary rounds or whatever Zombies are most susceptible to.
2. "Prayer for the Dying" Cloverdale & Page - Really, I'd just put the entire disc on the loudspeakers, but if I have to choose just one song off it, this is the one. I should upload this, so everyone can appreciate the absolute appropriateness of the choice. Okay, so it's a little morbid, and it's actually about war, but it is a kickass song, and one could argue that fighting zombies is a war. I think the Winchester boys would agree - which, speaking of:
3. Dean Winchester - Dude, it's zombies! Who else am I going to pick, seriously? One, Dean not only knows how to fight zombies, he takes a special glee in doing so, and he's damn hot when he's all fighting evil sons-of-bitches. Okay, so he's damn hot pretty much all the time. (What do you want from me??) Also, he would appreciate my choice in music.

3a. If Dean is perhaps busy, because he seems to be a popular choice amongst my f-list, I'd like to say I'd choose Sam, and maybe I would....but I'm leaning pretty heavily toward Tony Stark in his Iron Man mode for runner up. Because dude, he would tear down that entire mall, zombies and all. And, you know, why would I turn down a chance to meet Tony?

meme

Apr. 21st, 2008 03:47 pm
rhienelleth: (Default)
I'll do this again when I'm home with real, published books around me, but after [livejournal.com profile] kistha's statement on her entry about piles of unpublished manuscripts, I decided what the hey, this could be fun to do with my unpublished manuscript, currently the nearest book to hand for me. So, from Nemesis (aka 'telepathic space pirates'):

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.

From page 123 of my manuscript:

“Me, teaching you.” He hesitated, then shrugged. “Also, many assume you’ll be choosing me as your first Consort.”

“Do they.” It wasn’t a question, so much as an ominous statement.

“I have no doubt you spending half of last night in my quarters added to the speculation.”

Icon meme

Apr. 1st, 2008 08:57 am
rhienelleth: (Evil)
There is this icon meme going around where people pick five of your icons and you explain what they mean to you, or why you have them or some such.

[personal profile] kistha  picked five of mine.

rhienelleth: (Default)
From [livejournal.com profile] kistha:
Five )
From [livejournal.com profile] dthon:
Five )
rhienelleth: (Default)
10 Signs a Story is by Rhien:

1. It will have at least one anti-hero, or dark hero, or whatever your favorite label is for the the guy who acts like a villain or an asshole (or both), but really deep down he does give a shit (*cough*Sark*cough*Parr*cough*) at least a little bit, and it turns out he's on the heroine's side. (Much to his own surprise and/or dismay.)  Also, they aren't 'dark' or 'anti-' arbitrarily - there is always a reason why he is the way he is.  See #4 below.

2. The heroine doesn't need to be rescued, thank-you-very-much. She's good at taking care of herself and kicking bad guy butt. Except sometimes she gets in a little bit over her head, and she's not above asking for help when that happens. Usually.

3. There will be lots of guns and/or swords, setting and time period dependent.

4. There will be darkness and angst and character torment. Of physical, psychological, and emotional types.

5. This will inevitably drive the anti-hero and heroine closer together as they (reluctantly) see things they recognize and/or empathize with in one another. There will also be banter and sarcasm and generally sparks flying between them. Ultimately, their shared experiences (and hot sex - see #6) will lead to falling irrevocably in love, much to at least one of the character's shock.

6. There will be hot sex. Usually up against the handiest wall or flat surface available.

Um...hmm...this is harder than I thought. Oh, I've got another!

7. There will be a positively shameful use of words like "almost" and "nearly" and other annoying adverbs of degree. I mostly (<--heh!) eliminate these in the editing phase, but they are a neverending plague.

Damn. I need three more. Help me out here, guys. Some of you have read enough of my stuff to point things out I'm missing. (Or perhaps am too blind to see?)

8.

9.

10.
rhienelleth: (sark dark - weareromantics)
The majority of you think that a) silver is the quinessential werewolf kryptonite, and b) The Change should be different for everyone, coming on at any age. Thanks!

And now, because I just couldn't help myself:

7 Things About 'Illusions' Sark Readers Never Knew )
rhienelleth: (mcclairen)
I know the whole Dumblerdore is gay thing has been talked to death on LJ, and in the grand scheme of things, I find it pretty darn amazing the amount of time people have devoted to debating this. First, there's the point that a lot more important things have been happening lately, news wise, that have generated a lot less attention. John Scalzi wrote a terrific entry of a real conversation he had with a friend on this very subject, that made me laugh out loud.

And then there's the idea that this is even a debate at all. The author stated her fictional character was gay, not ironically, not in jest, but as an offhand bit of trivia about her character. The author stated. And people (the NYT, no less) have the gall to debate whether or not she's right? Again, I draw on John Scalzi to illustrate the point, as he says it much more eloquently than I.

But it all boils down to: John is right. In creating characters and writing about them, there are a lot of little facts that we as authors know that will never make it into a book. That doesn't make them any less true.

This isn't supposed to be a rant. I was struck by both of John's entries on the subject, especially his latest, but had to give you the above background so you'd get where the latest was coming from. For my last link to Scalzi's blog, here's a list of 10 things about one of his protagonists that readers never knew, and reading it got me thinking what a great sort of character meme this would make. "10 Things about Sark You Never Knew", that kind of stuff. And it got me thinking about the things from my book that I know about, but the reader doesn't/won't...until or unless they come up in later books. Which is of interest to about three of you, maybe, but hey, I'm going to post it anyway. :) Maybe I'll write the Sark one at some point, too, who knows?

10 Things About My Characters Readers Never Knew )

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