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The Moontide Series

David Hair is the author of The Moontide Series, a story that I absolutely ravished mages blood david hair(three are out now, the fourth and final is coming out in October 2015). Consider these books the meat, and I the lioness.

Mage’s Blood, Scarlet Tides and, Unholy War is a story with many themes; politics and those hungry for power, war (and those hungry for power), magic (and those…you get the point). For fans of George R. Martin and Guy Gavriel Kay, this series should satisfy the palette.

SUMMARY

A Leviathan Bridge connects two worlds, rising every so many years. This bridge was created by a Magi who hoped for peace and prosperity between West and East. But the West is corrupted by power and wages war on the East. The East, however, is taking a stand. Throughout these two worlds are those with magic – the Magi who use the Gnosis to cast their magic (a necklace of sorts that allows Magi to focus their power).  Some are hungry for power and are poisoned by arrogance, others fight for peace and see all as equals.

scarlet tidesYeah, a pretty generic summary – that sounds like almost every fantasy book written. But what stood out for me is how well thought out the grab for power and political shuffling is throughout the story. It is a series that is dotted with excellent characters of all shades, diversity and values. It took me about 4 chapters to get sucked in.  The beginning spends quite a bit of time introducing you to the main characters, but the wait was worth it.  Once I knew the characters and saw the threads in the story that connected them all, I turned each page breathlessly.  You would have to be blind to not see the parallels to our present day society and this constant bid for war.  What this series has that we in the real world do not, is magic.  And thank God.  Great evil is done with magic throughout these books, I shudder to think what we would do to each other if that was true for us.

This series has something for everyone; memorable female AND male characters, love, humour, sexiness, epic scenes of battle, horrific atrocities and vivid fights with magic.

Two downsides: The sex scenes throughout are too similar to each other, the male and female playing fairly stereotypical roles.  The author also shies away from using words like vagina – so instead you get words like ‘mound’.  Oh so sexy.

The other downside? It ended.  Now I have to wait until October for the fourth and unholy war david hairfinal one.

CHARACTER OF NOTE

Elena Anborn – An assassin for one side turned protector for the other. Elena’s thoughts, values and conscience change as she journeys through the story.  She is a strong, athletic woman in her early 40’s who is a warrior half-blood Mage. She is kind, mean, hot-tempered, suspicious, intelligent, brave, selfish and nurturing.  She is all things and not stamped by one label. I appreciate the author writing such a multi-hued heroine who is often stronger, smarter and more adept than most of the men in the story.

My Feels:

DevastatedOMG! I LOVE THIS BOOK!I've got a crush

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Hot dudes reading – try to keep those knees strong

It’s worth coming out of hibernation to bring you this – Hot Dudes Reading is an Instagram account that is gaining in popularity.  And why not?!  What is better than hot guys reading?  Let the swooning begin.

Hot Dudes Reading

The account just started but look how many people are following already.  So, if you’ve got a picture of a handsome gent reading – send away to them!

Woman – An Anthology – A collection of stories supporting women with breast cancer

Woman, An Anthology has been a project 3 years in the making and look at the list of amazing authors it boasts.  In this anthology you will find stories these authors have written highlighting and celebrating women.

  • Stephen King
  • Alice Munro
  • Peter S. Beagle
  • Lynn Coady
  • Peter O’Donnell
  • Robert E. Howard
  • Van Kunder
  • Emma LaRocque
  • Charles de Lint
  • M C Joudrey
  • Anaïs Nin

We who love to read and who likely have all had women in our lives touched by cancer (if not ourselves) can help make this book happen because once it does, proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Society of Canada (“Once produced, the book will be made for sale in retail bookstores with proceeds from the sales of the book to be donated entirely to breast cancer research”).

Let’s make it happen!

Women – An Anthology Kickstarter Page

My life is complete – I can now read in a torrential downpour

I can read anywhere, any way.  In a moving car, soaking in the bath, while walking, while carrying on a conversation, in a noisy cafe, in a theatre waiting for the show to start – you name it.  But the places I can’t read?  The pouring rain, in a shower or swimming in the ocean.  As a book lover and avid reader, I want to be able to read wherever I want whenever I want but who wants soggy pages?  I don’t want to ruin my book like that.

But now I am free!  Truly free!  Introducing the You-Bumi!  A plastic bubble for a book!

you-bumi-reading-book-cover-bath-bag-2

What innovation!  And how adorbs – two little holes to stick your thumbs in while you enjoy reading that amazing book in the shower.

you-bumi-reading-book-cover-bath-bag-3

There are no more obstacles to my book reading life!  The only thing that could stop me is if those two little thumb holes are too small for my Brachydactyly Type D thumbs.

Complaints from sucky neighbours force nine-year-old to shut down his free library

Spencer Collins had to take down his free library in his front yard because of two complaints the city received from neighbours (who obviously don’t believe in sharing, educating and promoting open-mindedness).  Spencer had set up a neat little library where people could “take a book, leave a book”.  You will note the tiny, cute, little library housing those books.  Would you believe that he had to take it down because it wasn’t a structure that was attached to the house – and therefore is a code violation?

Are your eyes rolling like mine?  Are you suddenly crying out loud saying “but that thing?  It is so tiny – it’s not even a structure!”   Yes, look at its size and revel in the idiocy of this situation.  Roll it around in your mind and ponder the stupidity and absurdity.  If fact, let’s go through that entire neighbourhood and see what else we can complain about.  Oh, that bird house is too big!  Oh, wait, is that a fort your kids built?  Hey, did you get a permit to put that little toy playhouse there?

Spencer Collins and his cute little library

Spencer Collins and his cute little library

You know what really gets to me?  What really pisses me right off?  It’s that someone complained in the first place.  It leaves me incredulous that a person was so put out by this (even though it was causing them no harm) that they made the decision to complain about a 9 year old boy’s willingness to share and build community.  I’m about to start swearing my face off because a reading warrior, book loving kid only wants to share his love of books through his own, free library with others and some stupid, sucky people complained to the city and now he has to take it down.  The swears are coming….I can’t hold them back….

To the people who complained: I give you a “what the fuck?” mixed with a “go fuck yourself” ending with a dramatic middle finger salute.

All is not lost though, Spencer continues to have his library but has moved it to the garage.  Away from the eyes of the nothing-makes-them-happy-so-they-have-to-find-some-way-to-ruin-someone-else’s-joy fellow “neighbours”.

Am I being hard on these people who complained to the city?  Hell no!  I am a book girl, a book warrior, a reading raven!  It is my duty to champion my fellow book lovers against the minds of those still stuck in the dark ages.  And champion I will!  Threaten books and the lioness will show her claws.

Spencer Collins – I salute you!

And Spencer, if you read this…I’m sorry for swearing.

Infographic Saturday (Or, some infographics on books ’cause I got nothing else to post today)

Happy Saturday!  It’s time to share some visual goodness.

Conflict in Literature by Grant Snider

conflictgrantsnider

Amazing Facts on Writing and How it Affects Our Brain (via BestInfographics.com)

amazing-facts-about-writing-and-the-brain

The Aroma of Books (via Daily Mail)

the aroma of books info graphic

Project Bookmark Canada

This post has nothing to do with the A to Z Challenge that I had signed up for and failed at keeping up with.  The challenge is at letter V, holy crap, where did that time go?

I have no problem saying I failed in this challenge – I’m fine with it.  Failing is necessary and I realized something about myself when it comes to this blog – I will write and publish a post when the spirit moves me.  I also learned that just because I failed at this one, doesn’t mean I’m not going to try, try again.  So to all of those who stuck with it, you are awesome-sauce on a plate of goodness with an extra helping of tasty creativity.  Yum.

Now for what I really wanted to talk about today.

Project Bookmark Canadaproject bookmark canada

Project Bookmark Canada is a charitable organization that is running a campaign called The Page Turner.  This campaign is placing physical bookmarks in real Canadian locations where a story took place.  It celebrates imagined scenes in real places.  The real meets the imagined – I love this!  The goal is to get people reading of course – so hey, let’s read, literally, across Canada.

The criteria for the physical bookmark is as follows:

The Bookmarked excerpt must be set in an actual and identified location. The reader must be able to stand in the place where the characters or narrators stand in the story. The site can be named in the Bookmarked passage or at some other point in the overall work. (For example, if we know that the couple meets at Toronto’s Allen Gardens greenhouse in one scene, the next time they visit that location in the story, that scene too would be eligible.) 

A Bookmarked passage may be up to 500 words and should be effective as excerpt—but it should also make you wonder what came before and what comes next, encouraging readers of the Bookmark to become readers of the book.

And Winnipeg has a bookmark!

One of Winnipeg’s most beloved authors is Carol Shields (so beloved that we have an arts festival named for her) and in her story The Republic of Love, she mentions a bus shelter at a well-known Winnipeg intersection.  Well, this is exactly where the bookmark is with the passage from the book that mentions the intersection.  And you know what else is mentioned in this passage?  My name!  Double cool (although I will admit Annette Avenue was not named after me)!

(Also shout out to Leif Norman who’s photo is credited on the site – he is a well-known Winnipeg photographer.  Too bad this wasn’t W day for the A to Z Challenge, I would then make this all about Winnipeg.)

So to all of us Canadian book lovers – donate today why don’t you eh?

project bookmark canada - leif norman

Winnipeg’s unveiling of the bookmark marking the location in Carol Shields’ The Republic of Love. The corner of River and Osborne in Winnipeg.

4 things that I have learned from books

I was away on a business trip these last few days and missed a few posts for the A to Z Challenge that I am taking part in so I have decided to catch up in today’s post and use the letters I have missed to list out the 4 main things I have learned from books.

4 THINGS BOOKS HAVE TAUGHT ME:

1. Kindness.  

Reading creates empathy, sympathy and feelings.  When acts of kindness happen in stories our brains can’t differentiate between what is real and what isn’t – so reading about kindness creates an awareness of kindness – of feelings that are good.   We need more stories that stir up our good feelings.

2. Books are living things.  

Books are alive.  I’ve written a post about this in the past.  You can’t deny an energy of a book – that energy makes it a living, pulsing, breathing thing.

3. Magic is real.  

This is connected to number 2.  Books open up the imagination, create feelings, spark ideas, revolutions, change – books are magic in solid form.  Reading is one of the few bits of magic we learn as children that stay with us as adults (along with dancing and singing).

4. Needed.  

This might be the weakest connection to the letter N (and the A to Z Challenge) but the strongest point I have to make.  Stories, books, reading – they are needed.  To learn how to read is to be empowered as I’ve said previously.  We need knowledge, to learn but more than anything, we need imagination.  We are creators ourselves and reading helps to unleash the creator within.

 

__Books_can_be_dangerous____by_hemingwaycafe

 

This post brought to you by the letters K, L, M and N and the A to Z Challenge.

Infographic – Reading Saves Lives People!

I love infographics.  A fun way to get information in one, quick, easy spot.

I especially love this one.

Reading decreases stress – we readers have known that without really knowing that.  Which is why we love it so much.  It is a way to relax, come down, let go.

Reading literally saves a life:

Created in partnership by the National Reading Campaign (Canada) and CBC

 

(click on the infographic for a larger image)

Created in partnership by the National Reading Campaign (Canada) and CBC.

 

This post brought to you by the letter I and the A to Z Challenge.

Girl Rising – the Gift of the Word

Girl Rising is a powerful documentary/film highlighting the importance for girls to have access to education.  The film talks about the impacts (all positive) on the economy and the environment when girls are allowed to break free from their chains.  I often take education for granted here in Canada because education has always been so.  But to watch this film and see the desire, the want, the need of education from these girls left a huge impact on me.  girl-rising-640

One thing that stood out in this film?  Reading.

Education comes in many forms, but for this blog post and what Girl Rising showed me was the importance of being able to read.  Education begins with reading.  Empowerment begins with reading.  To read, to view a word and know its meaning is a power unlike any other.

I understand why someone who can’t read might feel the pain of shame or despair – I imagine it is like being blind.  I know this feeling only from looking at the writing of a language I don’t know.  I stare at it, trying to determine a pattern from it but I am left in a state of un-knowing and confusion.  I am in that moment, blind.  This is the only thing I have to compare illiteracy to.

To discover that you can read is to hold within oneself the power of enlightenment – the power of thought – the power of critical thinking.

You can see why then, it is best to keep many girls (and many people) uneducated.  Too much critical thought in this world, and we might just begin to question the world around us.  Question the status quo.  We might just see some amazing changes happening – changes that would not benefit the corporate commercialism that has such a tight grip on our society.

But girls.  If girls could read they might get creative.  Ideas might form.  They might become passionate about something, an injustice perhaps.  They might then do something about it.

We have yet to allow the full power of girls and women to be unleashed in this world.  There always seems to be something in the way – violence, witch hunts, forced marriages, overall oppression by state, church and system.  But see, educate a girl and she might be willing to stand up for herself, she might just be willing to say no – not anymore.  Not like this.

And it is happening – the best examples is Malala Yousafzai.  Malala was shot because she decided no – not anymore.  Not like this.

The best examples are the girls featured in Girl Rising.  The best examples are all around us, we just need to open our eyes.

But one that caught my heart in Girl Rising – Senna.

Senna from the film Girl Rising.

Senna from the film Girl Rising.

Senna – the 14-year-old who lives in a cold, mountain mining town whose heart was inflamed by poetry.  When you meet her in the film she has already discovered poetry.  She doesn’t just speak poetry – she feels it.  You can see the flames within her eyes, her heart as she recites poetry.  She talks about the moment of discovery – how she came alive.  How her poetry is inspired by her father.

Senna’s soul came alive with poetry – and now she writes her own.  On World Poetry Day last year, one of her poem’s was featured on the World Vision blog – “Padre” (“Father”).  It is about her father, someone who insisted on her education, who wanted to give her what he did not have.

But the real treat, the real goosebump moments are to see her recite her poetry.  She is a living poem – the words flow through her like electricity.  How can you not be impacted by her?  Watch her performing her poem on the Girl Rising blog.

This is the power of art, of the written word.  To ignite our souls – to wake us up.  The power to read leads to our unleashing of creativity – creativity leads to ideas, innovation, revolution – change.

All children should have the right to education – but more girls than boys are denied this.  You can read the sad and startling statistics here.

So the greatest give you can give in this world?  Aside from love and kindness?

The gift of reading.

Remember, “one girl with courage is a revolution”.

This post brought to you by the letter G and the A to Z Challenge.

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