News

News: I moved the keyboard to my room and now I feel strongly inclined to tell the world that I adore Phantom of the Opera. Everything is perfectly normal and no, I don't have access to any secret underground labyrinth...yet.

--12 August 2017 --

Quote: Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest of hearts. --Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

The Fellowship

February 14, 2016

Lovely Books // couples

I'm back with another of Tracey Dyck's installments of Lovely Books, this time it's a couples edition. I'm a big fan of in-tale romances working out the way you expect them to, perhaps with a little angst and turmoil mixed into the whole mess. In my link-up to Tracey's post, I'm going to give you 5 exemplary couples (ie. they are a true in-book pair, not an off-page ship). This is definitely not a be-all-end-all list so don't forget to check out the other link-ups as well as Tracey's original post! Enjoy :)





5 Exemplary Couples


Percy Jackson & Annabeth Chase (from Percy Jackson & the Olympians by Rick Riordan)
Let's begin with the most PERFECT couple ever. Their romance started very slowly (just the way I like romances) over a huge series of books and I never once found it to be unbelievable or sappy (despite the fact that they were surrounded by a fantastical mythological world of creatures). I particularly love how Annabeth is a strong female character, but what's even more impressive than that is she's written by a male author. I can't count how many times I've read books by male authors where the female characters are one-dimensional weaklings, so Riordan's writing was a welcome reprieve in that aspect. Also, Percy and Annabeth are just simply adorable together; I actually think I have a crush on the guy - he's pretty impressive. 



Chris Buckley & Jocelyn Evans (from Solitary Tales by Travis Thrasher)
I honestly don't know what to classify this style of writing (paranormal thriller? deep theological existential fiction??); whatever it is, it is stunningly fantastic. In fact, all of Thrasher's teen-based series (Solitary Tales and Tales of Marvella) are absolutely mind-blowingly amazing. The romance between Chris & Jocelyn is one that will leave your heart shredded to elegant ribbons. It is beautiful, wild, and dangerous. They're one of my favourite couples *fangirls* and I must ever so strongly recommend you read the Solitary Tales. I first picked it up when I was 18 and I think I'll remain a huge fan of Thrasher's works for many years to come. Be forewarned though :) that's all I'll say on the matter.


Amy Fleming & Ty Borden (from Heartland by Lauren Brooke) 

Amy and Ty are a fantastic couple from the series Heartland. I was a little obsessed over these books at the age of 8; I still remember tugging my mom into the back of our local bookstore to see if any new additions had come out (scrutinizing the book spines for that magic sequential number). Perhaps the romance is a little trite (after all, it is a kids/pre-teen series) but I think I'm still enchanted by Ty; probably because he's a hard working farm boy (and if you know me, I admire all things country :P ).

Bracken & Rebecca (from Duncton Wood by William Horwood)
Animal romances <3 Bracken and Rebecca are both moles and they're a perfect match. The book is pretty much about life in English countryside as a mole; there are many dangers, but amidst tyranny and numerous plots to tear them apart, they still manage to end up back together. I don't know what's with me and heart-wrenching relationships; perhaps the more trials a character goes through the more believable their situation seems (after all, life isn't all cookies and warm cats, although we might wish it were). 


Elizabeth Bennet & Fitzwilliam Darcy (from Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen)
Everyone loves a good Victorian romance (especially me! I'm a huge Victorian era-anything fan after all), and Austen gives us the cream of the crop with Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. I've read Pride & Prejudice who knows how many times and seen all of the movie versions. Mr. Darcy is my absolute favourite male lead for Victorian lit. He's mysterious and yet still manages to be passionate in the end. If you haven't read the original Pride & Prejudice (no zombies here folks) then you're really missing out on a whole realm of literary experience.








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That's all I have folks! Don't forget to link up over at Tracey's blog, Adventure Awaits :)

Signed with cloud fluff, 

Squeaks.

February 9, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Illustrious Quotes from Books


It's Top Ten Tuesday and this time the topic is Valentine's Day Freebies, hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. While there are a wide arrangement of themes to choose from, I'm going to stick with "Top Ten Illustrious Quotes from Books" - recall, if you may, I'm a sucker for a good romance but I left the romance genre behind with my teenage years [Along with my dreams of a perfect real-world romance; let's get with the times ladies and gents, there's no such thing as a perfect romance. The one exception, obviously, being Christ and His Church]. That being said, my definition of illustrious could also be read as "heart-warming" or "touching" or "sentimental" and it more so corresponds with ethereal prose or statements that speak to my heart; I'll leave the gushy, romantic material for another time. Hear! hear! to a celebration of quotes that touch my soul (in one way or another).


TOP TEN ILLUSTRIOUS QUOTES FROM BOOKS
  1. "You'll never solve your mysteries, Scharr. Not as long as we live in this. This world's a whore, all soaked in perfumes, and you're so easily seduced." He tapped his skull. "Break the eggshell. Time to fly."  -- The Ale Boy's Feast by Jeffery Overstreet
  2. Men were such strange creatures. Perhaps getting shot at and defending a woman against wild animals and evil archers was his idea of enjoyment. -- The Fairest Beauty by Melanie Dickerson
  3. “Tell me, cat-man, why can I understand her?"
    "First," said Eanrin with a glower, "you will not call me 'cat-man' again. I am a knight, a poet, and a gentleman, and you will address me as sir or not address me at all.”  -- Dragonwitch by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
  4. Odd's fish, m'dear! The man can't even tie his own cravat!  -- The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy
  5. “Tr...ooooo...luv...'
    Fezzik grabbed onto Inigo in panic and they both pivoted, staring at the man in black, who was silent again. '"True love," he said,' Inigo cried. 'You heard him - true love is what he wants to come back for. That's certainly worthwhile.'
    'Sonny, don't you tell me what's worthwhile - true love is the best thing in the world, except for cough drops. Everybody knows that.”  -- The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  6. Everyone, at some point in their lives, wakes up in the middle of the night with the feeling that they are all alone in the world, and that nobody loves them now and that nobody will ever love them, and that they will never have a decent night's sleep again and will spend their lives wandering blearily around a loveless landscape, hoping desperately that their circumstances will improve, but suspecting, in their heart of hearts, that they will remain unloved forever. The best thing to do in these circumstances is to wake somebody else up, so that they can feel this way, too.  -- Horseradish by Lemony Snicket
  7. The snow lay deep and undisturbed beneath the silver light of a dawning sky. Overhead, a raven surveyed a silent landscape as its black wings feathered the cold, thin air. The birdès rasping call was the only sound to be heard for miles, breaking the frozen solitude in irregular staccato. All around, the land lay asleep in the depths of winter.  -- In the Hall of the Dragon King by Stephen Lawhead
  8. There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well. The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of merit or sense.  -- Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
  9. I do not think, sir, you have any right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience.  -- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  10. But I have been too deeply hurt, Sam. I tried to save the Shire, and it has been saved, but not for me. It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: some one has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them.  -- The Return of the King by JRR Tolkien


Now for a brief explication of what these quotes mean to me. Quote 1 is by far my favourite bookish quote in the universe of quotable things. I don't quite know what it is, but it speaks to me on a deep level. Quote 2 is simply cute. Quote 3 showcases my favourite Stengl character during one of his many sassy moments *sighs*. I truly adore Eanrin. Quote 4 ... how can you even resist the charms of the Pimpernel? I must admit, however, the youtube version (I can't recall the year of its release, given that there are several out there) is much better than the book itself. 

Everyone loves (or at least most everyone should love) The Princess Bride, so hence...Quote 5. Quote 6 is one of many fabulous Lemony Snicket snippets - I have always loved his writing style. Quote 7 is the very first couple sentences from In the Hall of the Dragon King, and these are the words that first inspired me to try my hand at writing an honest-to-goodness novel (which I shlumped at and I think it's probably buried somewhere in my trove of forgotten treasures). Quote 8 is P&P as you can tell; I don't even need to explain this one. Austen is a given swoon for me. Of course, this is followed on the tail by Quote 9 - sassy Jane Eyre. I must have a thing for sassy characters. I adore them. 

Finally, my favourite book of all wraps it up with a melancholic Frodo. Some days I feel like Frodo; I think we must be kindred souls [Except for the fact that he's a Hobbit-man from Middle-Earth who does hobbity things and carries the weight of the world on his shoulders, while I'm a woman from regular-Earth who studies in the sciences and leads an otherwise unnotable life. Heavens, I must be the embodiment of Bilbo Baggins before he left the Shire!].

Thanks for joining me this fine Tuesday! Don't forget to link-up at The Broke & the Bookish!

Signed with sapphires, 

Squeaks.

February 8, 2016

Lovely Books // covers & titles

My foray back into the world of blogging comes at an opportune time, given the excess of link-ups and such that one can join. I decided (after very little thinking) to jump in immediately with a brand new series called Lovely Books, hosted by Tracey Dyck over at her blog Adventure Awaits. The first installment of this series focuses on book titles and cover art which, according to the opinion of this writer, constitute all loveliness and beauty. That being said, I had a difficult time of choosing (for there are so many wonderful books in the great beyond) and, for sake of brevity, decided to select only three works for each section. Do keep in mind, dear reader, that these choices are not the end of the line, nor the beginning for that matter, and represent only a small drop in the greater ocean of fantastic literature our world has to offer.

Lovely Covers

The Paper Magician is a relatively new addition to my electronic library [Let me interject a moment here; I am not an advocate for ebooks, however the rate at which I consume novels outdoes the manner of my being able to afford hard copies. Therefore, I am ever thankful for the ease with which one can acquire new literature as given by companies such as Amazon]. This is a very quaint tale set toward the end of the Victorian era (for those of you who know, and now those who didn't before, that is my favourite period to read). There is a beauty about the simple type of magic Charlie introduces the reader to - and the cover art reflects that simplicity in a lovely, refreshing manner. This is the first book in the trilogy and I can attest to the fact that the remaining two are also wonderful reads and equally appealing to the eye.

Plenilune by Jennifer Freitag is bold, mysterious, and undeniably one of my favourites; its ethereal beauty is only surpassed by that of the language upon its pages. If this isn't already on your to-read or have-read list then I strongly encourage you to look into it right away. Jenny scripts prose with the delicacy of lioness - there is an underlying current of strength and boldness that threatens to break through at any moment. Yet, each sentence is delivered with an eloquent composure befitting a queen. I don't just condone her writing style, in fact I would recommend her blog as well, where she shares snippets of her latest WIPs (linked above).

I would gyp my readers if I did not also include JRR Tolkien's The Return of the King (which is my absolute favourite Tolkien book in the history of all Tolkienish things). The cover art in this 1986 edition is what I first laid eyes on before I continued my adventures with Frodo, Sam, Gandalf, and the rest of the Middle-Earth characters I'd come to dearly love. The barrenness depicted foretells the anguish every reader must endure in the Tower of Cirith Ungol and across the wastelands to Mount Doom - the horrors of Osgiliath and the torment of Faramir nearly succumbing to the scythe of death. In the conclusion to his trilogy, Tolkien shines ever so brightly as a master storyteller. I would think it a very sad thing indeed if you, dear reader, have not yet delved into the world of Tolkien - if this is your plight, make all haste and get yourself a copy! (and while you're at it, check out all the old 60-80s cover art versions for Tolkien's books - they're simply fantastic)



Lovely Titles

A Swiftly Tilting Planet was one of several L'Éngle books I picked up as a preteen. The cover art is fascinating (it could probably fit into the previous section, but I did say I'd limit myself to three each) and the title is captivating. It has a lilting cadence that seems to mimic the very sway of the universe - and what a universe indeed, for within these pages a fast-paced adventure awaits alongside main character Charles Wallace Murray, who must avert global disaster by stepping back in time to change what Might-Have-Been.







The Ale Boy's Feast by Jeffrey Overstreet is his series finale and, in my humble opinion, was better than its three predecessors. The title captivated me from the start (literally, before I even started the series - I saw this title and found my curiosity piqued) and the prose held me for the rest of the journey. There's something about the way Overstreet phrases his lines that draws me in - or perhaps its the characters themselves and their earthy personalities that are, at the same time, extraordinary and believable.


Andrew Peterson has proven himself a fantastic storyteller - I've collected his entire Wingfeather Saga and the adventures I've enjoyed all began with On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness. How perfect is that title? In fact, all of his titles are amazing. There's North! or Be Eaten, The Monster in the Hollows, and The Warden and the Wolf King. How fantastical are those? and if you think the titles of the first two books are a little outrageous, wait till you meet the character cast - be prepared for adventure with this series (I highly recommend it to one and all).










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That concludes my contribution to the Lovely Books link-up this week. If you are a blogger and want to participate, don't hesitate to visit Tracey's blog and add your two-cents (although really it's more like five-cents now because Canada got rid of the penny *sad-face*). Just click the link above! Thank-you all for joining me today :)

Signed with mint leaves,

Squeaks.

February 4, 2016

In Which Exhaustion Prompts a Briefing

Dear readers,
pinterest
I've had what appears to be the longest two days of the new year - I'm trying to read some review article on motoneurone recruitement and Henneman's "size principle" but my eyes keep glazing over. At this point, even coffee isn't helping. I can practically feel my muscles shaking with fatigue; perhaps I should have stayed home, but unfortunately I have to help run some labs this afternoon.

I've been keeping ridiculously busy, what with trying to publish a research article, finish writing my thesis, and prepare for a poster presentation at a conference. In addition I've also been trying to get involved with the new church we're attending. There's so much stuff going on and the children/youth ministry is bursting at the seams.

I think I've been running off pure adrenaline this week, which is starting to wear a little thin (I can tell because I've already corrected four easily-avoided spelling mistakes in the last two paragraphs). In any case, this is a perfunctory update and I assure you all I am very much alive still.

Before I depart (and I really shall try to avoid another long-winded disappearing act) I do have good news - I can't recall if I've already mentioned it though. I'm officially an author (albeit the seventh author on the list); who knew my first publication contribution would be scientific? I always did think I'd manage to hammer out a book or two before my research consumed the majority of my neural synapses. Now it looks like I'll have my first official publication (written chiefly by myself and my supervisor - and edited profusely for more than 6 months) within the next half-year.

In any case, I don't think I can manage another competent sentence right now, so I'll stop whilst my good standing can be maintained. Please don't hesitate to point out if I've missed a spelling error :)

Signed with coffee stains,

Squeaks.
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