Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten TV Characters

I snagged this from Sarah at Breaking the Binding. I had intended to post it last Tuesday, but I had an Internet outage at home, and then coming up with a list of 10 was hard!

I didn’t used to be much of a telly watcher. When I was younger, we only had the three basic channels — cable didn’t come out far enough in the country. After going away to school, I started using it as background noise, and now that we have dish at home, I watch a lot more. It’s still background noise a lot of the time. I write listening to TV instead of music. Lots of History Channel, Discovery Channel, NatGeo — that sort of thing. And, I’ll admit, I do indulge in some horrible reality TV every so often, too.

Aside from all of that, though, I’ve got some favorites. As I said, I had quite the difficult time compiling this list. Most of my favorite characters really do come from books, and a few from movies.

01: Maura Isles, Rizzoli & Isles
Maura Isles has shown up on this blog before, and will show up again in the future. This is the one case I can think of where I prefer the TV version of something over the book version. I’ve read the Rizzoli and Isles books, and while Tess Gerritsen’s Maura is cool, TV!Maura is my absolute favorite. Why? Because Maura makes being smart and geeky and socially awkward cool.
02: Miss Parker, The Pretender
The Pretender is the very first show I can remember fangirling over. I recorded it while watching, and rewatched that week’s episode over and over again. It was the first fandom I was a part of. Miss Parker was a bad ass, sarcastic to the extreme, and carried a gun she wasn’t afraid to use. Her temper was just as bad. And despite the thorny exterior, she had a vulnerable side, and I may have written my first ever fanfics about her. >.<
03: Azkadellia, Tin Man
I like most of SyFy’s fairy tale retellings. Tin Man is my favorite. Azkadellia is the wicked witch, ruling the OZ from a really cool looking palace. Supposedly she was turned bad from being possessed by evil spirits. I would have loved to see a lot more of Tin Man focusing on her story, rather than on DG and the gang trying to overthrow her.
04: Lilah Morgan, Angel
It’s been a really long time since I’ve watched Angel — I should probably fix that — but I remember Lilah being one of my favorite characters on the show. I also remember liking her because she did whatever necessary to move up, and wasn’t afraid to be evil or a bitch.
05: Bo, Lost Girl
I haven’t finished watching the second season of Lost Girl, so no spoilers, please, if you share my love for Bo. Bo is every urban fantasy, paranormal romance heroine come to life. Yet another kick ass character for my list.
06: The Morrigan, Lost Girl
Again, I haven’t finished watching the second season of Lost Girl, but I don’t think my liking the Morrigan will change. Leanan sídhe are one of my favorite types of sidhe, and they’re something I would like to play with someday. The Morrigan represents humans in the artistic world, making them successful while thriving off their talents.
07: Number Six, Battlestar Galactica
Now we come to the BSG portion of the list. No surprise here that one of the bad girls of the series, Number Six, is one of my favorites. She’s the most interesting Cylon model, to me, with all the different incarnations and personalities.
08: Helena Cain, Battlestar Galactica
I wish we’d seen more of Helena Cain. A female Rear Admiral, super ruthless, and more than a bit crazy? Yep. Sounds like someone I like. I wish more had been shown of the relationship between her and Gina Inviere, because I couldn’t believe Helena would sentence her lover to such a horrible fate.

And I give up. I cannot think of two more, despite wracking my brain for a week. I’m probably overlooking someone super obvious. Clearly, I need to actually watch shows that are in my Netflix queue, rather than just adding more and more shows.

There’s a definite trend in my favorites — I tend to like the villains. I always like to figure out their backstory, even if I’m just imagining it, because they’re usually more interesting than the good guys. I’d love a book where the bad guy wins.

Some other interesting things I learned while making this list:
01: The writers/production team/directors of The Pretender wrote Tin Man! No wonder I liked it so much.
02: I forgot that I did a huge communications project on Battlestar Galactica. There’s another show that I need to do a rewatch of.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #15

Last Week’s Reads:

   
The Selection
by Kiera Cass
   

This Week’s Reads:

The Last Princess
by Galaxy Craze
Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child♦♦
by Bob Spitz
Stormdancer♦♦
by Jay Kristoff

July is turning out to be a low reading month, grr. I finally did read The Selection, and I’ve already posted my review for it. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great, either. I should have taken a clue when it took me so long to actually start it. I know I mentioned it in several Monday posts.

I am almost finished with The Last Princess. So far I’m not sure what to say about it. It’s a different sort of book.

I keep thinking of rereading The Last Survivors series by Susan Beth Pfeffer, so that may show up here next week.

♦♦ indicates books received for review

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Book Journey.

The YA linky list for It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Teach Mentor Texts.

Instagram Photos for May/June

In lieu of a real post, I’m putting up Instagram pics. Ever since it was finally released for Android, I’ve become an Instagram nut. I’m always looking for more people to follow on there. I’m leeannac.

I tend to take pictures of books I’m reading, and random other things. I think it’s a fun way to “meet” the blogger behind the blog.

Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

the selectionInfo:
Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Library
Series? The Selection #1
Genre: Romance, Dystopian, Young Adult
Page Count: 327

Summary:

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself- and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined. (summary from goodreads)

My Review:
I’m really on the fence with The Selection. It took me a few weeks to even crack it open, mainly because I’d heard it was a mix of The Bachelor and The Hunger Games. I love The Hunger Games, but I can’t stand The Bachelor.

The cover kept it in my TBR pile. I’m a sucker for a “girl in a pretty dress” cover. I know, I know. I just am. But at least in “The Selection,” the girl on the cover matched the main character — a redhead, sort of shy — and so did one of the dresses she wore.

So, like I said, I’m on the fence. I didn’t hate The Selection, but I definitely didn’t love it, or really like it, either.

My biggest complaint? Not a lot happens in the book. The Selected spend most of their time either learning history or etiquette, talking about Prince Maxon, or on a date with Prince Maxon. I really thought I’d find out who he picks by the end of the book — but no. Why on earth The Selection needs a sequel I do not know. There’s not a lot of story to begin with, but to stretch it out … I yelled an expletive out after reading the last page.

I was interested in the caste system, which I suppose is what slots the book into the dystopian category. There are mentions of restrictions — no premarital sex, no birth control for lower castes, government committees that do stuff, and no history books. But there’s no explanation of how the castes came to be, or even what jobs they all do.

The only thing that saved this book for me was America’s desire to help others like her, those who are lower in the caste system. I did like that she didn’t forget where she came from, even after getting used to life in the palace.

But I couldn’t stand the love triangle, her moping over Aspen, or the friendship with Maxon. I never could figure out why America loved Aspen so much, other than that they grew up together and he’s a nice guy. I had a hard time believing Maxon would agree to America’s “deal,” and make friends with her. Their friendship developed very quickly, somewhat too quickly for me. I didn’t find it believable; actually, I didn’t find most of the book believable.

I can see why some people would love this book. It is a lot like The Bachelor TV show. But it’s just not for me.

Rating: 2 owls

Socialize with the author:
Kiera Cass:
Website
Twitter @kieracass

Once Upon a Time Read-A-Thon Wrap Up #OUreadathon

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon

I didn’t do quite as good as I’d hoped for the Once Upon a Time Read-A-Thon. :( I only managed to read one book from my list, The Selection by Kiera Cass. Considering that I’ve had that book on my list forever, I am happy about that, although I do wish I’d had more time. I guess that’s my lesson that read-a-thons during the week don’t work that well for me!

I did have fun, though, and participated in a few of the mini challenges. I’m still on the lookout for more events like this!

Waiting on Wednesday: Neferet’s Curse by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

neferet's curseNeferet’s Curse by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Release Date: July 17, 2012

In the third House of Night novella, the secret history we’ve all been waiting for is finally revealed… Neferet, the Tulsa House of Night’s darkly seductive High Priestess, wasn’t always a powerful vampyre, but she has always been beautiful. Raised in turn-of-the-century Chicago in a motherless home, her beauty makes her the prey of unwanted attention and abuse, leaving her with scars that will never heal – and a Darkness that will eventually need to find its way out. But when she is Marked and gains strength, both physical and magickal, she turns her anger into power and looks for a way to regain what was stolen from her. From victim to High Priestess, beautiful young woman to powerful seductress, Neferet’s journey begins… (summary from goodreads)

I have to admit, the other House of Night novellas have disappointed me, but I’m hoping the third time is the charm. Neferet is my favorite character in the series, and I’ve been wanting to find out about her past for a long, long time.

Socialize with the author:
Website
Facebook

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #14

Last Week’s Reads:

 
Trafficked
by Kim Purcell
Incarnate
by Jodi Meadows
 

This Week’s Reads:

The Selection
by Kiera Cass
The Last Princess
by Galaxy Craze
Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child♦♦
by Bob Spitz

I knew I was being too ambitious last week. I’m not sure what I did with the week, to be honest, other than not reading. Well, that’s not entirely true. I’m rereading things again. Ugh. Must stop. I am wickedly behind on my July page count contest. I’m wickedly behind on a lot — imagine that — too bad I can’t count reading emails or news!

If I don’t read The Selection this week, I am giving up on it. I’m 12 pages in, and I’m doubtful. I also started Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child this morning. That may take more than a week to get through; it’s sort of dense.

Be sure to check back throughout the week — I’m participating in a Read-A-Thon, and I hope to get my reading going again. I’ll also be posting pics of what I’m reading and progress shots to my Instagram. I’ve been posting a lot of pics lately, and am finding Instagram fun. Come follow me, I’m leeannac.

♦♦ indicates books received for review

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Book Journey.

The YA linky list for It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Teach Mentor Texts.

Once Upon a Time Read-A-Thon

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon

I’m participating in another Read-A-Thon! This one is hosted by Reading Angel, Candace’s Book Blog, and Pure Imagination Blog, and runs from July 9 to July 11. My goal is to read four books, which may be tricky because I’m busy during the day, but I’m going to try anyways.

The list:
01. The Selection by Kiera Cass
02. Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz
03. Stormancer by Jay Kristoff
04. The Last Princess by Galaxy Craze (not pictured)

I may change this list, and I probably will. Dearie is quite dense, so probably not the best pick for a read-a-thon.

I’ll update this post with my progress, so check back!

Progress:
July 9: An epic fail of a day for reading. I read maybe 15 pages of The Selection and 15 pages of Dearie. I checked out a new load of ebooks this morning, so once I put some of those on my phone, I may pick up speed.
July 10: I’m about halfway through The Selection. I had a prime reading opportunity tonight — an Internet outage in my area, lasting ALL NIGHT — but I gave up and went to bed. This is turning out to be a read-less-a-thon for me :/

Zen and the Art of Fandom

source: weheartit.com

A few days ago, I read this, and it’s been on my mind since. I don’t really agree with it — I think it’s quite unrealistic — but it did get my brain going.

Yeah, a lot of my busyness is “self-imposed.” I do feel like I should be doing more, and that I want to do more. Having deadlines and things to do keeps me going. I like to hold myself accountable. But sometimes, I definitely put too much on myself. It is easy, because I always have that feeling of wanting to do more.

I set some goals for myself at the beginning of the year, and now that 2012 is more than halfway over, I’m discouraged that I haven’t accomplished more of them. I’m not going to list them all, but a big one was being further along in my original fiction writing. I’m making progress there, in fits and starts, but I wish it was coming faster.

I stress myself out about it, for sure. It’s so easy, especially when I see authors my age or younger who doing fantastically well, and I’m just talking about how I want to write, not doing an actual writing. Sometimes stressing myself out is my own version of kicking myself in the arse, but it can backfire, too.

A few nights ago, I found a new fandom. Or, something that I wanted there to be a fandom for. Here’s my reaction when I found out there was practically no fanfic:

So, with the way my head works, I immediately started coming up with ideas. Then I thought, should I write some fanfic for it? Is it worth my time?

I love fanfic. I really do. And someday I will write posts on why, and also on why I think fanfic is valuable and important.

I’ve been trying to move away from fanfic, and to put my energy into original writing. But … maybe I’m not so ready to make a clean break. One of the things I love most about writing and reading fanfic is the sense of community. Some fandoms have great communities. I know that if I put something out there, I will get feedback. I usually get my longer works beta read as well, so that has helped me learn where my pitfalls are in writing.

Plus, sometimes I need to let myself get obsessed with something and fangirl like crazy. I need a good balance of new material and old favorites to keep my muse happy.

I know I talk about writing — a lot. But for me, book blogging and writing will forever be connected, because book blogging got me BACK into writing. I never, ever want to forget again just how important writing is to me. I got sidetracked, for a few years, with other things, but man. Once I started making up stories again, it was like coming home, very similiar to how reading is for me.

I know book bloggers have a great community. I haven’t found my peeps yet, so to speak, but I know I’ll get there one day. That’s why I like participating in events like read-a-thons and doing memes. If I was on Twitter more, I’d probably have better connections. I also know that someday, I’ll have a group of writing buddies — or I hope, anyway — who will support me just as much as I support them.

The TL;DR version of the wall of text: I need to stop stressing myself about writing, and just have fun.

That’s so much easier said than done, though!

Cover Reveal: ReAwakened by Ada Adams

Today, I’m thrilled to be participating in the cover reveal for Ada Adams’s ReAwakened! I loved the cover for the first in the Angel Creek Chronicles, ReVamped. Here’s my review of ReVamped.

So! First, here’s the cover!

click for full size

Gorgeous, isn’t it?

And to remind you of ReVamped’s cover …

click for full size

Now, here’s a bunch of information for everyone reading. Ada is hosting a reader giveaway — everyone who comments on my entry will get an entry into that for an ARC of ReAwakened. There will also be a Tweet-chat with Ada, using the hashtag #ReVampedChat on July 5th, 2012 (today) at 5pm EST. If you can’t make it, feel free to leave questions using #ReVampedChat.

There is no release date yet, just Fall 2012. I’ll update when I hear a date, and I’ll be posting an exclusive excerpt in mid-July. I think Ada is a lovely person, and I really liked the world she created in ReVamped, so I’m happy to be supporting her.

ReVamped website | ReVamped Facebook | ReVamped Goodreads | Twitter @Ada_Adams | ReVamped on Amazon | ReVamped on B&N | Cover Designer Juliana Kolesova