New Year’s Resolutions: 2017 Edition

Now that I’ve told you all about the good things that happened in 2016 and the resolutions a year ago that I actually kept, the time comes to look forward to 2017! In truth, my goals are very similar, but they’re still things I’d like to accomplish again.

Release 3 books 

In 2016, I managed to release The Secrets of the Vanmars (Argetallam Saga, #2), The Chalice of Malvron (Argetallam Saga, #3), and Fanged Kindred (Fanged, #3). This year, I mean to equal that by releasing The Temple of Tarkoth (Argetallam Saga, #4)Fanged Rebel (Fanged, #4), and Human, a prequel novella for the Fanged series. It’s pretty ambitious all things considered, but I think I can do it!

Read 35 books

Last year, I succeeded in reading 35 books in a year. This year, I mean to do the same! It’s not even a drop in the bucket as far as what I would like to read, but it’s certainly better than nothing.

Practice drawing 3.5 hours a week

That may be a very specific number, but it comes out to a half hour for everyday. I really want to learn to draw and the only way to do it is to practice!

Be a more active/social blogger

There are so many lovely book bloggers out there and I want to visit you all more often! Also, I just love getting to know people through their blogs. It’s the perfect way to connect with book lovers all around the world and I can’t wait to do more of it.

What are some of your resolutions for 2017? Any you feel particularly good about? Tell me about it in the comments!

Top Five Fantasy Winter Worlds

As most of the world gathers to celebrate Christmas, the most winter-y holiday of the year, my mind turns toward winter-y things. Last year, I put together a list of best fantasy places to spend Christmas. This year, I want to expand that to my favorite permanently snowy fantasy worlds.

Winterfell (A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin)

Well, this one is almost permanently under snow. (Close enough.) So what that you’ll probably be gruesomely murdered by violent fellow tourists? (Pictured above.) The views will be epic and the architectural badassery is undeniable.

Mylena (Mylena Chronicles by Chloe Jacobs)

Yeah, so this is the result of a curse, but it counts. Here, we run into the problem of humans being illegal. Um…I should have thought that through. But just imagine: Snowball fights with the extra thrill of rabid goblins!

Limeros (Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes)

Also the results of a curse, this country is literally snow and rocks. It is good for nothing but sledding and snuggling around a fire and freezing until you hate winter so much even Christmas is ruined. The current government is pretty heavy handed, just so you know, but safety is for wimps.

Thalmas (Souls of the Stones series by Kelly Walker)

Another country that is pretty much snow and rocks. It’s most notable feature is rulers who aren’t evil. Bonus points!

Scandia (Shadowlight Saga by Mande Matthews)

Even if you die, it will be epic. In a land of wolves, trickster gods, and fierce marauders, you’re in for an adventure! But if any incorporeal voice claims to be your long-dead mother, make sure your mother is actually dead before you believe it.

And there we have it! My ideal winter vacation spots. I seem to favor high-danger locales for Christmas. Hmm. Anything is better than some of my relatives, I guess.

What are some of your favorite fantasy winter worlds? Did any of yours make my list? Leave a comment and let me know!

Most Bookish Things I’ve Done at Thanksgiving

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In a few days, us Americans will be gathering in kin groups for our annual bird mutilation rituals. These obligatory family gatherings are great, but when you get all those people together, there are bound to be some quirks brought to the surface. In my case, my bookish side has declared itself loud and proud, particularly at Thanksgiving. I have displayed this in several ways.

Had my aunt summarize the entire Twilight Saga in 30 minutes

It was during the reign of the Twihards and I wanted to know what the hell it was about. At the same time, I wasn’t allowed to read the series. (My then 12 year old brother said it would “bring shame to our family.”)

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Ergo, I asked my 40-something aunt to give me the Cliff’s Notes version. No offense to the Twihards, but not sure I ever want to read it now. Just…um…yeah.

Hid under the table to read my Kindle

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My Nana has this massive table in her dining room. This table is on a very soft, very comfortable carpet. I have exploited it as a post-dessert reading nook on many occasions.

Talked publishing with relatives

My relatives were, for the most part, pretty supportive when I first started writing/publishing. I used to chat them up all the time back when I knew nothing. It was fun until I learned the truth about agents and royalties and market fragmentation and arbitrary publicity and exploitative contracts and…yeah, don’t go there with me now unless you want a lecture/rant.

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Hid in the stairwell to read my Kindle

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Another good reading spot in my Nana’s house is the stairs. The stairs overlook the living room and the kitchen. I have found that this is the perfect place to sit with my current read—where I can see everyone, but no one tends to notice me. Perfect.

Given unwanted book recommendations

I actually can’t remember what time of year this was, but I was dishing out paranormal romance recs to my grandmother once. That was during my PNR phase, but Nana decided she preferred Fifty Shades of Grey and I now have to live with that knowledge.

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This Thanksgiving, I will be picking up shifts over at the kennel where I used to work, so not much else planned besides overeating and tackling the remainder of my NaNo WriMo word count. Still looking forward to it! I’ve gotten to spend the week back home from the dorms and not sure I want to leave.

(But even with the madness, I am slowly working through Burning Shadows by Jennifer Anne Davis.) 

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What are some of the most bookish things you’ve done at family gatherings? A favorite bookish memory from Thanksgiving? Let me know in the comments!

Elisabeth’s Halloween Playlist 2016

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! A time when the creepy and the macabre aren’t weird and it is finally socially acceptable to share some of my favorite songs in the spirit of the holiday. Looking at this, it’s a real wonder my stories haven’t turned to 100% vampires and ghouls and witches, but there’s no telling if that might happen in the future. 😉

Have some girl werewolves to start us off!

There is a house. There are vampires. There is musical badassery.

A witch is falsely accused of a crime and does not take it well.

I know, I know. This movie technically didn’t have anything to do with Halloween, but the song fits, right?

Think Curse of the Black Pearl, Gothic Version.

This one…well, you can’t have a macabre playlist without it, can you?

One of my favorite bands! Deep and haunting, like most of their stuff. I love it.

What would you add to this list? Which of these songs is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

Salute to the Ships

<3 <3 <3 In honor of St. Valentines’ Day, I would like to take a moment to pause and salute the results of my matchmaking amongst fictional characters. I can be a most passionate shipper, having been known to hyperventilate, swear, and shriek in reaction to whatever latest development has befallen my ship. You have probably heard me mention these before, but prepare to be hit with a wave of fangirling once more. <3 <3 <3

 

Chaolaena (Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas)

Oh, look, it's my beautiful OTP, Chaolaena!

I will ship this until the day I freaking die and I don’t bloody care what anyone says and if this ship sinks I will have WORDS.

 

Cleo & Magnus (Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes)

As of page 316 of Rebel Spring, I ship this. I’m convinced they’re perfect for each other, if they’d ever stop with the sarcasm and the hostility long enough to figure it out.

 

Crora (The Cat’s Eye Chronicles by T.L. Shreffler)

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From my current Favorite Series, I ship this so much it hurts. I love Crash, I love Sora, I love everything about them and I have shipped them from the moment they met. I need this to work out!

 

Braith & Arianna (The Captive series by Erica Stevens)

Just…yes. My inaugural foray into vampire literature, I adore these books and them as a couple and this series was one of the first romance titles to end up on my Shelf of Awesome.

 

Vansen & Briony (Shadowmarch series by Tad Williams)

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You have not known the true pain of fangirling until you have shipped something for four gigantic books and the characters only speak twice while one of them makes plans to marry some prince. But I stuck with the series and it was soooooo worth it. The moral of the story? Stand by your ships.

 

<3 <3 <3 Happy St. Valentines’ Day to you, your ships, and, to those of you who have them, your significant other. <3 <3 <3

Top 5 fantasy locales for your Christmas vacation

With Christmas upon us in a matter of days, you’re probably hard pressed to find some epic vacation destination for the family. Yes? Well, never fear. Here are the top five yuletide (or any time) tourist attractions for children ages one to ninety-two.

Narnia

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Here we have somewhere Father Christmas visits in person. None of this outsourcing to parents and family members. You can dance the Christmas Eve away with the fauns before dashing through the snow with talking reindeer on Christmas Day—what’s not to love?

The Shire

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Three words—hobbit snowball fights. And can you imagine what kind of feasts there are? That rivals Thanksgiving, let me tell you! (Maybe we can even get Gandalf to wear a red suit for the occasion.)

Westeros

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Just kidding, I wanted to see that look on your face.

Hogwarts

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The very best time of year to visit! And very safe since the demise of You-Know-Who. With the students out for vacation along with most the staff, a stay in the dorms, chat with the painting people, and enjoy spectacular service provided by the otherwise bored house elves.

City of Crowns

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Though technically a celebration of midwinter, if you’re not worried about being family-friendly, you can go to what is essentially a two-week Mardi Gras in this bustling metropolis. (But if anyone, and I mean anyone with a mask turns up, you better turn around and run.)

Wherever you spend your Christmas, I wish you a happy one filled with pumpkin pie, evergreen boughs, and so much laughter your sides hurt until next year.