Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Favorite Fictional Character --- Rugby The Christmas Toy

Can I just say how fricking excited that it's finally December!  I mean come on, how can you not get excited when Christmas is only a few weeks away?  If you can't, I feel bad for you.  Christmas is that time of year when no matter what else is going on in your life, the joy and happiness that the day brings helps lift it off your shoulders, even if for only a little while.

For the rest of the month, I'm going to be sharing some of my favorite characters from some great Christmas movies.  Some of them you will know, others you may not, but all of them are worth the introduction.

One of my favorite TV specials of all time was Jim Henson's The Christmas Toy.  I can only remember seeing it one time as a kid and that was the year it first aired, 1986.  I remember sitting on the floor, in front of the TV lost in a world where toys come to life when the humans leave.  After all, toys are made for playing and that doesn't stop when the people leave.

The hero of the movie, you could even call him an antihero of sorts, is Rugby.  Now you may be asking yourself, who the heck is Rugby?  Well I'm glad you asked!  Rugby the tiger was the adorable stuffed animal that one of the kids received for Christmas the year before and now that it's Christmas Eve once again, Rugby is convinced he has to get downstairs and get in the box all over again.  He is the star of Christmas after all, who could replace him?

Rugby, bless his cottony heart, doesn't understand that every Christmas brings new toys into the playroom and that even though he won't be the new toy anymore, he will still be loved.  Well Ruby sets out on his own, despite the warnings from the others that he could get caught.  By the way, that would be a horrible thing.  Because, you see, if a toy gets caught by a human in motion or somewhere they should not be, they are frozen forever.  In other words, they are dead.

The only toy willing to help him is Mew, the cat toy the others make fun of all the time for smelling like catnip.  They set out on their perilous journey and encounter many dangers on the way downstairs to the tree.  Eventually the others start to get worried about them and Apple, the rosy cheeked doll that Rugby replaced as the Christmas toy, sets out to find them and bring them back to the playroom.

I'm not going to go into any more details of the action, because I want you to watch this for yourself, but I will say tragedies and triumphs follow and Rugby can make me mad, sad, and happy all in the same movie.  He is a terrifically dynamic character that grows so much within that single evening.  I can never get enough of him or his friends and I know he'll always be my Christmas toy.

Wishin' and Hopin' by Wally Lamb

Synopsis From Back Cover:

LBJ and Lady Bird are in the White House, Meet the Beatles is on everyone's turntable, and ten-year-old Felix Funicello (distant cousin of the iconic Annette!) is doing his best to navigate fifth grade-easier said than done when scary movies still give you nightmares and you bear a striking resemblance to a certain adorable cartoon boy.  But there are several things young Felix can depend on: the birds and the bees are puzzling, television is magical, and this is one Christmas he's never going to forget.

With the Christmas season approaching quicker than Superman on his best day, I was more than happy to get started on my holiday reading.  I had heard great things about this book so I was pleased when I was given the opportunity to review it for a TLC Book Tour.  I got the book what seemed ages ago but I wasn't able to get to it until the last week.  Needless to say I was not disappointed and found myself laughing out loud more than once. 

Now I don't want you to think I loved everything about it, because I didn't.  There were times that I felt the author was trying just a bit too hard for the laughs, they were sometimes forced just a little too much.  Thankfully it didn't detract from the story and overall I found Felix to be a wonderful storyteller, whom the author uses to his full advantage.  He got the voice of a 5th grader almost pitch perfect, right down to those strange misunderstandings we all had when things were said we didn't quite get but were too afraid to admit it.  There were times I was able to imagine Felix, in person, sitting there as he's recounting all the funny things that have happened at school.

I'm not going to go into all that many details of his misadventures through Christmas programs and TV appearances, but I will say that if you don't get the chance to meet Felix for yourself, you are missing out on one great kid.

I want to thank Trish of TLC Book Tours for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.  You can visit the tour page for a list of tour stops and information about the author.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mailbox Monday for 11/29/10

Mailbox Monday is a weekly meme created by Marcia of The Printed Page and being hosted this month by Julie of Knitting and Sundries.

I got an ARC of The Metropolis Case by Mattew Gallaway for an upcoming TLC Book Tour.  This one sounds so good I may end up reading it early.

I bought The New Christmas Classics DVD from Wal-Mart for $5.  How could I pass that up?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I just wanted to tell all of you to have a wonderful Thanksgiving and I hope you are surrounded by friends and family on this wonderful day.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Favorite Fictional Character --- Vanyel Ashkevron (Repost Due To Feeling Yucky!)

I would like to apologize to everyone for not having a post done earlier or for not being all that active on my blog or commenting on other blogs the last few days.  I have been rather sick with a rather bad stomach bug, whose symptoms will remain unspoken, though I've had to work anyway.  Needless to say I haven't been in the mood to do much of anything once I've gotten back home, at least not anything that requires me to think.  I'm trying to get some rest so I can deal with tomorrow so I'm not planning on being on here much tonight either.

With that being said I wanted to re post my very first Favorite Fictional Character profile for two reasons.  The first and most important, is that he is my favorite character of all of them and probably the one that means the most to me.  Secondly, since this was my first post, there is a rather brief explanation for why I started this feature to begin with.

So with no further ado I would like to present to you, Vanyel Ashkevron, again.

I get asked at different times by friends, family, and other readers who my favorite fictional characters are. As most of you will know this tends to be a rather hard question to answer. We all like certain characters for many different reasons. We like how they overcome a challenge, the way they treat their friends or families, their wit and intelligence, maybe even it's just their name. Whatever the reason, we tend to fall in love with them because they connect with us on an emotional level. Something about them hits that proverbial nerve within us and they are a part of us for the rest of our lives.

So I thought I would, once a week, post one of my favorite characters and share some of the reasons behind it. I hope by doing this it helps you (the blog reader) discover new characters or gives you the voice to share why you like the characters you like.

The characters I post about will come from books, movies, TV shows, and even an occasional poem.

Now with no further ado, I will present my first character. I first met Vanyel Ashkevron a few years after college. I had read a little bit of fantasy when I was younger but got away from it during high school and college. The idiot I was sort of dating at the time (not that I'm bitter or anything) was reading Magic's Pawn by Mercedes Lackey and seemed to really enjoy the book. Long story short, I got rather sick for a few days and the book was the only thing around to take my mind off of how bad I felt.

It was love at first read. I had, up to that point, never found a character I could connect with in such a way that I would cry when he cried, laugh when he laughed. Here was a character that was going through a lot of the same issues I faced when I was younger and in a way still do.

A sense of isolation from those who he should of felt the closest too, his family. Not feeling comfortable in your own skin and not fully understanding why. The joy and almost instant pleasure at finding yourself and discovering that you are not only loved but worthy of that love. Finding your "home" and the "family" you choose. Then the pain and loss that is unimaginable at such a young age (he is 16 when this book starts). Finally the reawakening of yourself and your purpose in life.

He was the first fantasy character, the first character really for me, that made me feel that what I went through as a teenager was OK. That the pain and confusion I felt dealing with who I am and how that made me different form others was normal. He also helped me to understand that the way I feel today, and when I read the book for the first time, was my reward for going through the pain and isolation I felt growing up. That I had earned the right to be happy, be who I am, and enjoy my life and my "family" to the fullest.

I don't want to get into too much detail of the books because I really encourage you to read them. I will say there are three of them. Magic's Promise and Magic's Price are the final two books of the series, The Last Herald Mage trilogy by Mercedes Lackey. The links I provided will give you the basic premise of the books. However they can never explain the amazing person that Vanyel Ashkevron is.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mailbox Monday for 11/22/10

Mailbox Monday is a weekly meme created by Marcia of The Printed Page and being hosted this month by Julie of Knitting and Sundries.

I won a paperback copy of Emma and the Vampires by Jane Austen & Wayne Josephson from Carolyn of Book Chick City.

I received a hardcover copy of Sweet Magic by Michel Richard from PTA for review.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Synopsis From Cover:

A night filled with beautiful people, music and dancing at the West Hollywood Halloween Carnival turns deadly for four gay friends.  When two men are found dead, the friends find that they are the killer's next target.  No one knows who will survive the night.

Apparently I was still in the mood for scary movies in November because I popped this one in the DVD player the other night and I rediscovered a movie that despite it's low budget, I absolutely love.

The movie was created by filmmakers involved with both "Halloween" and "Nightmare On Elm Street" so it gets a boost in the experience department.  When you have very little money, it helps to have people involved that know how to get the most bang for the buck. 

What I appreciate about this movie is that they didn't go for the cheesy, gimmicky feel that would have been an obvious choice.  When you make the first gay slasher movie, it's probably a little too easy to go over the top.  What they chose to do instead was film it as a great slasher movie that just happened to have gay characters.  The sexuality wasn't the focus, rather the homicidal maniac beheading a group of friends was the basic concept of the story.  Now I'm not saying that sex and romance don't figure in, because they do.  How can you have a slasher movie without those two things?  What I am saying is that those aspects where there to enhance the story, not distract from it.

What I love the most though, out of every other aspect of the movie, was the killer.  First of all he's hot, look at him.  He's wearing black pants, no shirt covering that great body and pretty sexy devil mask that allows us to see the full lips and goatee.  If I'm going to be stalked and beheaded, let it be by someone who looks like that.

The best thing about him though is that we never learn his name nor why he's suddenly decided to start beheading gay men.  We don't know if he is some religious fundamentalist that hates gay men, if he's an escaped lunatic from an insane asylum, or if he just got dumped by his boyfriend and decided to seek revenge on everyone else.  I can't stand slasher/horror movies that feel a need to create an elaborate back story to explain the killer's behavior.  Sometimes it's nice to have a homicidal maniac be a homicidal maniac, not some psychological damaged antihero we are supposed to feel sorry for.

Now I'm not saying this movie is perfect, because it's not.  Like most low budget movies the acting isn't Oscar worthy, though it's no worse than most horror movies.  The crowd footage looks more like stock footage used on a network news broadcast, which it probably was.   No matter what though, the minor flaws inherent in a movie of this type doesn't detract from the overall product.  It's an entertaining movies that is well worth the 84 minutes it takes to watch.

This will qualify for this month's mini challenge for the GLBT Challenge 2010.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Favorite Fictional Character --- Celeste Talbert

Well if by now you couldn't tell that I have a very eclectic taste in characters, then my choice for this week should get you to that conclusion.  I have been a humongous fan of soap operas since I was a kid and my mom would make me watch them when I was sick.  The only two that I watch now are "All My Children" and "One Life to Life" and while I love both shows, my choice is not coming from either of them.  Instead my pick is coming from the funniest movie ever made to parody a soap opera.

"Soapdish" came out in 1991 and starred the brilliant Sally Field as Celeste Talbert, a blatantly insecure, aging star of the hit soap "The Sun Also Sets".  On the night she wins her 8th daytime actress award, her married boyfriend leaves her to move back to Pittsburgh, which causes this poor neurotic woman to take bleach to all the plants he left behind. 

The rest of the movie consists of her scheming cast mates and executive producer trying to get her off the show.  When forcing her character to kill a deaf, homeless mute backfires they bring back her ex costar who also happens to be her ex lover to make her life a living hell.  Needless to say secrets come out, especially their love child that Celeste has been lying about ever since and things are forced to come to thrilling conclusion that will leave you laughing the entire time.

What I love about Celeste and what I can relate to the most is how insecure she can feel while the outside world sees her as someone on top of her profession.  She will go to suburban malls just to make sure she is recognized.  She needs to feel the love that her fans give her. She is a woman who has only wanted to be loved and love in return but for some reason she keeps throwing roadblocks in her way.  She has been running from a past that she can't quite accept but throughout the movie she is forced to confront things that forces her to grow up and find the life she has always wanted.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happy Haul-idays From Chronicle Books!

I must say that of all the giveaway opportunities I come across, I think this is the coolest one, period.  I first saw it posted at Michelle's blog, The True Book Addict, and as soon as I saw it I knew I had to jump on board.

The idea is pretty simple, Chronicle Books is giving away $500 worth of books too two lucky winners.  I will let them explain it to you:

Win a haul of your favorite books from Chronicle Books. For bloggers--post a list of Chronicle Books valued at up to $500 that you’d like to haul in, and you’ll be automatically entered into a drawing to WIN your list of books! And, one of your readers who comments on the post will win the list too! Non-bloggers--visit participating blogs for your chance to win a haul of Chronicle Books! Each of these blogs has posted a list of books valued up to $500! One blogger and one commenter on the winning post will each WIN the list!

So now can you see why I'm super excited for this.  Just imagine getting a big box with all those books delivered to your door.  The last day to enter is December 10th and the winner will be announced on December 13th.  If you want to enter just click this link and you will be directed to the entry page.

Now that I got that out of the way, do you want to see what books I put on the list?  To make it easier I will break it down into categories and will try to link the title of the book back to Chronicle's page.  So let's win some books!


A Time To Run by Barbara Boxer and Mary-Rose Hayes

Android Karenina by Leo Tolstoy and Ben H. Winters

The Crimes of Dr. Watson: An Interactive Sherlock Holmes Mystery by John H. Watson, M.D. and Duane Swiercyzniski

The Lonesome Puppy by Yoshitomo Nara

The Magic Flute by Anne Gatti and Peter Malone

The Story of Little Red Riding Hood by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm and Christopher Bing


This Is NPR: The First Forty Years by Various Contributors


Bird by Andrew Zuckerman

Creature by Andrew Zuckerman


Seriously Simple Holidays: Recipes and Ideas to Celebrate the Season by Diane Rossen Worthington and Noel Barnhurst

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mailbox Monday for 11/15/10

Mailbox Monday is a weekly meme created by Marcia of The Printed Page and being hosted this month by Julie of Knitting and Sundries.

I received a hardcover of Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick and a hardcover of Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Supreme Court Justices by Noah Feldman from PTA for review.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Insane Train by Sheldon Russell (Plus Giveaway Opportunity)

Part Of The Synopsis From Back Cover:

The Baldwin Insane Asylum in Barstow, California, has recently burned to the ground in an inferno that cost many inmates their lives and injured scores.  Now, Hook Runyon has been put in charge of security for a train that is to transport the survivors, alongside the head of the asylum, Dr. Baldwin, the attending doctor, taciturn Dr. Helms, and a self-sacrificing nurse named Andrea, to a new location in Oklahoma.

I'm going to be honest right up front, the only reason I agreed to read this was because it took place on a train.  I'm a sucker for anything mysterious happening on trains.  I blame it all on Agatha Christie.  After reading Murder On The Orient Express, The Mystery of the Blue Train, and 4:50 From Padington, I was hooked.   Throw in the movie, "Strangers on a Train", from Alfred Hitchcock and nothing could turn me off of a good mystery set on a train.

So needless to say I awaited the arrival of this book with quite a bit of anticipation.  Bad news, I got sidetracked by others things so I didn't get to read the book until recently.  Good news, once I finally got a chance to get started on it, I loved it.  I can't put it into the same league as the Agatha Christie books, but that's not a bad thing.  I'm not sure there are many authors out there that I would put in her league, if any.  What I will say about this particular book though is that it's author knows how to tell a good story.

I haven't read a lot of mystery books set in the United States during the 1940s.  For the most part, the books I read in that time period tend to take place in the United Kingdom or other such European local.  What this means, is that I got to discover a setting and a culture I really never knew existed, but if I ever stopped to think about it, I would have realized that it had to exist.  It should have been obvious that certain occupations  have their own vernacular, customs, and overall attitudes towards life.  I know that such distinctness exists, I just never really stop and think about it.  This culture, I guess that's what you would call it, is personified in it's main character.

Hook Runyon is what they call a yard dog.  In simple terms he is a security guard for the railroad.  His main job it to catch hobos and other criminals from jumping trains or performing illegal activities (prostitution for example) on company property.  What I found fascinating about him as a character was the obvious research the author did (at least I assume he did) to make the character sound and act as if he truly belonged in that era.  He is a handicapped man, though he wasn't injured in the war, who is trying the best he can to make it in a world that maybe doesn't give him enough credit.  This man is smarter than I think people really thought of him as.  He is a voracious reader who collects books the way I think most of us would be impressed by.  But most of all he is a quiet caring man who wants to do right by others and is always willing to look for the best possible trait in someone or a stray dog, Mixer.  He is all this but he's rough as well.  He can be abrasive and isn't afraid of getting physical.  He isn't a man to back down from a fight, even with a cop.  I'm going to shut up about him now so I can move onto the story itself, but I can honestly say without this character, I'm not sure I would have liked the books as much as I did.

When that dormitory at the asylum burnt down it killed scores of young men that were being housed in it.  When the director of the asylum decides to move the surviving patients and the staff that is willing to move from Barstow, CA to an abandoned fort in Oklahoma, the railroad sends Hook to assess the situation and escort them to their new home.  Needless to say, Hook is quickly sucked into the drama surrounding the fire, which may not have been accidental.  When other incidents start happening Hook becomes more convinced that something else is going on.  With the help and some loving from Andrea Delven, the nurse in charge of the women's dormitory, Hook begins to investigate to find out what truly happens. Along the way other bodies start appearing, doctors are drugged, cases of food poisoning break out, and some colorful characters hop aboard for the ride as well.

Now this is the second book in a series but you don't need to read the first book to understand what's going on in this one.  This one at least, though there are a few references to past events, reads as a stand alone novel and I dont' think I missed anything by not reading the first one.  Overall this was an engaging mystery that deals with the way the past can come back and haunt you in ways you would never be able to anticipate. 

I would like to thank Omnimystery for the opportunity to participate in this tour and I would encourage everyone to visit the tour page to discover the other stops on this tour.  The other stop today will be on Sharon's Garden of Book Reviews, which will be featuring a guest post by the author.

Now comes the important part, The Giveaway!
The author is giving away a signed copy of this book to one lucky tour visitor. Go to his book tour page enter your name, e-mail address, and this PIN, 5061, for your chance to win. Entries from my blog will be accepted until 12:00 Noon (PT) 11/13.  The winner (first name only) will be announced on his book tour page next week.


I just found out that the winner of the giveaway came from here!  The winner was Carol of Allen, TX.  Congrats Carol and I hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Favorite Fictional Character --- Number Five

As most of you know by now I'm a humongous fan of 80s movies and I tend to hold a place in my heart for a lot of those characters.  One of my favorite non human characters came out of a 1986 blend of romantic comedy and science fiction, Short Circuit.

Our hero, Number Five, starts off as one of a series of robots made for the Pentagon to use for military purposes.  His creators though tend to imagine more peaceful uses for them but they turn their creations over for the purpose they were made for.  During a demonstration, Number Five is hit by a power surge caused by a lightning storm which causes him to come to "life" in ways his creators never dreamed of.  As a result of other actions, he finds himself wandering around on his own not knowing where he is or how to communicate.

He finds himself in the company of  Stephanie Speck (Ally Sheedy) who at first thought he was an alien but quickly figures out he is a robot of some intelligence.  Through trial and error Stephanie figures out how to communicate and "download" info into Number Five so he is able to come further alive and sentient.  The rest of the movie involves the military trying to hunt him down and Stephanie and Number Five fooling them.  For those who have never seen the movie, I would highly recommend it.

What I love about Number Five, Johnny 5 later on, is what I love about so many of the characters I've connected with, it's that sense of not belonging.  I have a deep love for the misfit and if you read this feature on a regular basis, you will find many of them given their love.  There is something naive and innocent about Number Five despite what he was created to do.  He's trying to figure out where he belongs in this world and how his uniqueness can be turned into a positive.  He is an adorable character and one that regardless of the odds, figures out how to be himself in a world that wants to define him in their terms, not his.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Holiday Reading Challenges Times 2

Ok, first of all I'm a sucker for Christmas.  I can never get enough of it and I tend to listen to Christmas music off and on all year long.  I can't wait for the weather to get a little cooler and for the snow to start falling.  Pretty soon it will be time to get the tree up and break out all the lovely Christmas decorations that I wish I could have out all year long.

Along with the music and other festivities I'm a a Christmas book and movie addict.  I love nothing better in the middle of Winter than to curl up on the couch with some hot cocoa and a good movie or book.  Since   I've been buying quite a few Christmas books this year, it's fitting that I join two different holiday reading challenges.

First up is the 2010 Holiday Reading Challenge sponsored by Nely of All About {n}.  I participated in this one last year and had a blast, so I figured how could I go wrong doing it again.

Here are the rules as explained by Nely:

1- Challenge will start Monday, November 15 and will end Friday, December 31.

2- You can read anywhere from 1 to 5 books for the challenge and, of course, if you're like me, you are more than welcome to surpass that number.

3- And now, here's the clincher... they must be holiday related books. That's right, the holiday doesn't really matter, but it would be more "jolly" if your choices were Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc.

4- The size of the book does not matter, nor does the genre. It is also okay for the book to overlap with other challenges. The only thing I ask is that they are not children's books. YA is okay. And so are re-reads. I for one tend to read the same books every Christmas - they are tradition.

5- To sign up - leave a link back to your challenge post. There will also be a post for review links as well as one for challenge wrap-ups.

6- And.... there will be goodies. That's right, we'll call them presents. At the end of every week that the challenge is running I will choose one winner from the review links. Meaning the more books you read, review and link up, the more chances you have at winning a "present".

The second challenge I'm doing this year is The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge which is hosted by my good friend Michelle of The Christmas Spirit and The True Book Addict.  This is the second year I'm doing this one too, and I'm super excited for it too.  Any reason I have to delve into Christmas reading is an opportunity for fun.  By the way, I'm going for the Christmas Tree level.

Here are the rules for this one, as explained by Michelle:

•challenge will run from Friday, November 26, 2010 (Black Friday) through January 6, 2010 (Twelfth Night or Epiphany).

•cross overs with other challenges is totally permitted AND encouraged!

•These must be Christmas novels, books about Christmas lore or a book of Christmas short stories (sorry, no children's books, but YA novels are okay).

•visit this POST for a list of new Christmas books for 2010. Also, Richard Paul Evans has a new book out this year, Promise Me. His Christmas books are among my favorites during the Christmas season.


--Candy Cane: read 1 book

--Mistletoe: read 2-4 books

--Christmas Tree: read 5 or 6 books (this is the fanatic level...LOL!)

R.I.P. Challenge Recap

Well I suck at doing challenge recaps, but here I am 7 days later finally getting the R.I.P V Challenge recap done.  I signed up for Peril the First in which the goal was to read 4 books, I ended up reading 6, so I'm really proud of myself.

The Sentinel by Jeffrey Konvitz
The Dead Boys by Royce Buckingham
Jane and the Damned by Janet Mullany
Labyrinth by Kate Mosse
The Tuesday Club Murders by Agatha Christie
The Terror by Dan Simmons

I also signed up for the movie portion of the challenge and I watched 23 movies though I only did a review for on of them, Night of the Living Dead.  I did a generic post where I listed all the other movies I watched.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Sunrise Lands by S.M. Stirling

Part Of The Synopsis From The Dust Jacket:

Rudi Mackenzie-the son of the High Priestess of Clan Mackenzie and the Bear Lord of the Bearkillers, the two groups responsible for establishing peace in western Oregon-will one day assume leadership over his people.  But a prophecy made at his birth spoke of an even greater destiny for the young man-a destiny that is about to be fulfilled.

It's been 22 year since The Change that set civilization back hundreds of years and life has fallen into a steady rhythm the Willamette Valley in what was once Oregon  That is about to change when a stranger from the East arrives and tells them of what's been going on in the rest of the former United States. 

There are strange events taking place on Nantucket Island, long though to be the source of everything that's happened.  Added to the mix is a brewing war between The United States of Boise and the Church Universal and Triumphant.  The Church, which claims most of what used to be Montana, has as one of it's founder the Uni bomber, so needless to say it's not exactly one of the good churches.  They have been warring for a while with New Dessert, think the remnants of the Mormon Church in Utah, and have almost wiped them out.  They are now turning their sights West and will quickly be making there way to the Willamette.

All of this is set as a backdrop for the quest that Rudi and his friends must undertake to find out what it is The Lady wants of him on Nantucket.  It's a perilous journey that gets underway in this book, one that is fraught with danger and betrayal.  Rudi and his friends find themselves in unfamiliar territory and are forced to relay on their wits and new allies they meet on the way. 

This is a promising start to the next chapter in the series and one that I'm looking forward continuing.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Favorite Fictional Character --- Elspeth

As you should be able to tell by know I'm a huge fan of Mercedes Lackey and some of my favorite characters of all time have sprung from her imagination.  She is brilliant at creating strong, central characters that not only capture your imagination but your heart as well.

Elspeth, daughter of Queen Selenay, Princess of Valdemar has grown into a strong young woman who is just now coming into her own as a Herald and as a woman.  Dire times are coming and threatening the peace that Valdemar has fought for so long to maintain.  The past is coming back to destroy the future and only Elspeth seems to be looking in the right direction to save them all.  Over the course of many books, especially The Mage Winds trilogy, Elspeth puts herself into strange lands and dangerous situations to find the help and resources that Valdemar needs to survive the coming cataclysm.

Elspeth discovers that she is destined to be the first Herald-Mage in generations.  The talent seemed to disappear with the death of Vanyel Ashkevron centuries before and now that talent seems to be the only way Valdemar can be saved.  By coming into her own, Elspeth not only discovers her very powerful mage gift but she finds her soul mate in Darkwind, a Hawkbrother Adept who will teach her how to tap into her own Adept potential.  Elspeth along with Darkwind and the other allies she brings back to Valdemar are the driving force behind stopping the events of the past from destroying the present. 

She is a brilliantly imagined and well thought out character that will enchant you with her strength.  If you are not familiar with Mercedes Lackey's writing, please giver her a chance and discover all the wonderful characters she brings to life.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day: Please Vote

I just wanted to take a quick second and encourage everyone to go to the polls today and make your voices heard.  Voting is a right that all of us should cherish and exercise every chance we get.  Even if your choices are the complete opposite of mine, I would rather have you cast that vote than stay at home and do nothing. 

Not voting is still making a choice.  You are choosing to not have your voice heard.  You are choosing to lend your support to the candidate you wouldn't have voted for.  By keeping yourself out of the process you are giving the go ahead to policies you may not agree with and may end up harming you in the future.

So the choice is this, do you make a purposeful decision or a wasted opportunity.

Now I could sit here and tell you who to vote for and why.  I'm not going to do that though.  I think most of you can figure out where on the political spectrum I reside.  What I will say is that this years midterm election matters more than most.  Today's votes will result in serious consequences that will have ramifications in most or our lives.  Policy and directional choices do matter, whether you voted or not. 

Make yourself heard and vote today.