Happy Anniversary Percy Jackson! + Giveaway

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I am SO incredibly excited to announce that I will be part of an amazing celebration this year. Yes, pills this year we are celebrating the 10 year anniversary of Percy Jackson and the Olympians. This partly makes have such happy feelings and it also makes me feel very old because that means I was 17 years old when these books came out! CRAZY! But I love them and their counterparts and I am excited to be part of the celebration.

What makes this year even MORE fun is that there are TWO new Rick Riordan releases this year: Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes AND the brand new Magnus Chase book! I don’t know about you guys but I’m absolutely bursting with excitement.

The party is going to be taking place for the next six months or so and there’s going to be so much fun going on, sale and I think for some of my posts, I’m going to partake in some blue chocolate chip cookies and blue Coke because it only makes sense and my excitement is just THAT real.

What’s even BETTER is that the first book: The Lightning Thief is only 99 cents until today! AGH! Get on this deal now! It’s available across all ebook sellers AND includes a sneak peek at the Magnus Chase book coming out this fall.

For those of you unfamiliar with Rick Riordan and his books…well, here’s a little more info ;) 

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Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse–Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends–one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena–Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

CELEBRATE PERCY’S 10TH ANNIVERSARY with The Lightning Thief, the book that started the internationally best-selling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. 

THE LIGHTNING THIEF has sold millions of copies worldwide, appears on school reading lists nationwide, and inspired a major motion picture. Accolades include:

Included in Time Magazine’s 2014 List of 100 best Young-Adult Books of All Times

A New York Times Notable Book of 20015

A Child Magazine Best Book of the Year

A School Library Journal Best Book of 2005

More than 6 year on the New York Times Best Sellers List (and counting!)

WHOA GUYS WHOA! I absolutely love these books. I remember thinking, at 17, that I was WAY too old to read them but not true, not true at all. These books are incredible and you can discover them at any time!

Giveaway!

And here’s your best chance to do that! I’m giving away ONE box set of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Its SUPER easy to enter. Head to my instagram and find the photo below and repost it with the hashtag #nerdgirlPercyGiveaway and #ReadRiordan! Make sure you also tag THREE friends! You can post once a day and the giveaway will go on until July 4th!

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Giveaway items provided by Disney Hyperion. Open to US addresses only. 

There are SO many exciting things to share in the next few months and I hope you stick alongside me. There will be two MORE giveaways later on so definitely head back for those!

Don’t forget you also can: 

Read a sneak peek of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard:The Sword of Summer on ReadRiordan.com! And the cover has just been revealed too!

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There is also a special 10th anniversary edition of The Lightning Thief available for purchase through Barnes and Noble. It includes special content from the author and illustrator and specially designed book jacket. Its available for purchase here.

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Lastly, you can also download a super cool Percy Pack Activity kit for the 10th anniversary at ReadRiordan.com! There are so many cool ways to interact with these books and the rest of Rick’s novels, so definitely check it out!

And come back soon to check out more from my time with the Percy Pack! I’m so excited to be a part of it! Eek!

Happy Reading everyone!

Favorite Greek Gods (Inspired by Percy Jackson & the Olympians)

So, purchase if you haven’t been paying attention to my Twitter updates or my Goodreads statuses, page then you probably do not know — that I have deemed Percy Jackson and the Olympians the BEST children’s series that I have ever read! Up until last week, cialis 40mg I hadn’t read any of the books and I kept wondering why people were giving me weird looks. What was the big deal about this series? Was it really worth all of the hype? And who the heck was Rick Riordan?! Clearly, I hadn’t lived, people. Clearly, I hadn’t lived.

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Well, I am proud to say — I have read ALL 5 books in less than 2 weeks. And I am changed. I have seen the light and it is beautiful! I have no idea how I could have slept on these books for so long. But NO MORE!

Percy Jackson and the Olympians has changed how I view children’s literature forever. I wish that I had something like this when I was a child. The Harry Potter series didn’t debut for me until I was almost 13 years old, I was on my way out of children’s lit, so it’s not the same…

Greek mythology has always been one of my favorite subjects to study when I was in school. The Iliad and The Odyssey were normal pieces of literature that I constantly surrounded myself by. I fell in love with the world of myth and the lessons that they taught. I thought (and still do think) that they were brilliant!

So it’s safe to say that Percy Jackson has become my new obsession — and I want to share some of that obsession with you. What better way to do that, then to give you my all-time favorite Greek gods & goddesses!

** I’m going to use a mixture of photos from the Percy Jackson films and the Disney film Hercules because I appreciate humor, so enjoy!**

1. Apollo

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Apollo is the Greek god of light, music, arts, knowledge, healing, plague and darkness, prophecy, poetry, purity, athleticism, manly beauty, and enlightenment. His twin sister, Artemis, is goddess over the hunt, wilderness, animals, young girls, childbirth and plague. Apollo is automatically my favorite because he’s god of my favorite parts of life — the creative arts. He is portrayed by Dimitri Lekkos, the photo above, in the Percy Jackson films.

I’ve always been really closely connected to the arts, so to know that Apollo (one of the most hilarious characters in the PJ books) is god of it all, makes me very happy.

2. Poseidon

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Poseidon, played by Kevin McKidd (from Grey’s Anatomy), is the god of the sea. Of the rivers, floods, droughts, earthquakes, and the creator of horses. This is why Percy is able to control waters and communicate with horses. He is Poseidon’s son.

Now, the reason that Poseidon is my favorite god mainly has to do with how he was portrayed in the books. I really enjoyed his relationship with Percy. He was, in my opinion, one of the better fathers to the demigod children. Bonus that the hunky Scotsman, Kevin McKidd, plays him in the films!

3. Aphrodite

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Aphrodite is the goddess of love, beauty, desire, and pleasure. She is portrayed by Serinda Swan in the films, but I prefer the Disney portrayal. She’s quite the promiscuous goddess, I guess you can say that’s appropriate. But she is married to Hephaestus, which really means nothing because has affairs with other gods (i.e. Ares and Adonis).

But the reason I enjoy Aphrodite is because she is goddess over two of my favorite elements of life — love and beauty. I don’t necessarily enjoy how she uses those things to her benefit, but I do admire her tenacity and unapologetic nature. She wants what she wants and if you get in her way, she’ll make you suffer. So, lesson here — stay out of Aphrodite’s way. Unless you want to be killed. Or be one of her affairs. Your choice, I guess.

4. Athena

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Athena, portrayed by Melina Kanakaredes (who is Greek), is definitely a favorite for what she represents. She is the goddess of intelligence and skill, warfare, battle strategy, handicrafts, and wisdom. She is also the mother of Annabeth Chase, Percy Jackson’s best friend & love interest. She was a child of Zeus’ mind, meaning that she was not created through sexual means. Annabeth was born through the same process.

In the books, Athena can be a bit harsh in her appropriate to things, but only because she sees through the lens of common sense and wisdom – not necessarily compassion. But I enjoy that about her. For Annabeth, because she is part-mortal, she’s able to practice a bit more compassion than Athena. Which benefits her in the long run.

5. Hades

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Hades is my ALL-TIME favorite god. And no, not because he’s the god of the underworld and the dead. I just think that someone who is surrounded by morbidity every single day forever has to have the best sense of humor possible. And I am right. Especially, if you’ve seen Disney’s Hercules. Hades, pictured above with the blue hair, is constantly sarcastic and I love it. That’s the Hades that I pictured while reading the books.

In the films, Hades is played by Steve Coogan.

6. Hermes

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What to say about good ol’ Hermes, which portrayed by Nathan Fillion in Percy Jackson & the Sea of Monsters film. He is the god of  boundaries, travel, communication, trade, thievery, trickery, language, writing, diplomacy, athletics, and animal husbandry.

Why do I like him? Because he’s the god of travel, language, and writing — which I love to do! But also because of his characterization in the Percy Jackson books. He was humanized so well, that I was able to connect with him in a way I couldn’t really connect to the other gods. By the end of the book series, he became one of my favorite book characters. He was emotional, yet very godly. And it was done greatly. Sometimes I think it’s easy to underestimate Hermes, but Rick Riordan made sure that you didn’t.

7. Hera

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Finally, the lovely Hera. She is the goddess of marriage, women, childbirth, heirs, kings, and empires. She is also Zeus’ wife, which makes her Queen of the heavens. (She’s also Zeus’ sister, but we won’t go there…)

Hera is an elegant goddess. Hera is my favorite for personal reasons. Her story is quite Because she is the goddess of marriage, that is obviously something she holds very sacred, but Zeus (like many other gods) had many affairs, which causes her to become quite the vengeful and jealous goddess. In the books, Hera is not the friendliest to Thalia, Zeus’ demigod child.

In Greek mythology, she becomes so jealous and vengeful due to Zeus’ affairs, that she gives birth to Hephaestus without Zeus being present, which apparently wasn’t the cool thing to do. But Hera deems baby Hephaestus too unsightly and tosses him from Mount Olympus. Hephaestus later returns to seek revenge against his mother. What a horrible thing to do, Hera!

Hey, I said I like what she represents… not who she is! ;)

Well, those are my favorite Greek gods/goddesses! Percy Jackson has gotten me super pumped to re-read some of the great myths and teachings. They’re really fun and quite insightful!

Until next time (which will be for The Heroes of Olympus series),

Christina Marie

Fandom Friday-Percy Jackson

The Fandom Friday is a weekly feature, approved with each blog post written by a new contributor.

This is the weekly post where either myself, pharm or a guest blogger, talks about a new fandom. See, I’ve had the experience in my life where I’ve been made fun or put down about my particular fandoms. And that has made me feel pretty crappy. But I’ve also put down other fandoms as well.

So I’ve decided to change that. I’m opening my world up to new fandoms, and the best way to do that is to bring people in to write about various fandoms. I’m very excited about this segment.

If you guys are interested in becoming a guest blogger for the Fandom Friday, feel free to email me at whatanerdgirlsays at gmail.com or contact me HERE

I am SO excited about this week’s Fandom Friday guest blogger. Her name is Erin Albert, and she is an up-and-coming young adult author, whose debut novel, The Prophecy, is coming out in November of this year.

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Erin Albert is an author and fitness trainer.  Since she picked up Morris the Moose Goes to School at age four, she has been infatuated with the written word.  She went on to work as a grammar and writing tutor in college and is still teased by her family and friends for being a member of the “Grammar Police.”  In her free time, Erin enjoys acting, running, kickboxing, and, of course, reading and writing. 

Today, Erin is going to delight you all with her take on the very popular Rick Riordan series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus.

Check it out!

Rick Riordan and Percy Jackson

About the Series

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For those unfamiliar with the awesomeness that is Percy Jackson, let me tell you a bit about the series (good news—there are actually two series).  The first is entitled Percy Jackson and The Olympians, and it includes five books:  The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian.  Percy starts out as a twelve year old and progresses to the age of sixteen by the final book.  Thankfully, readers didn’t have to say goodbye to Percy because Rick Riordan, the author, wrote a second series called Heroes of Olympus.  It is still being written but currently includes:  The Lost Hero, Son of Neptune, Mark of Athena, and (coming in October) House of Hades.

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When The Lightning Thief begins, we meet Percy Jackson, a twelve year old dyslexic, ADHD troublemaker.  He soon finds out he’s a demigod, meaning he’s part human and part Greek god.  Shortly after receiving that hefty news, Percy learns he’s “Suspect #1” in a crime against the king of the gods, Zeus.  He collects a loveable group of friends throughout the story:

1) Annabeth, daughter of Athena with a chip on her shoulder

2) Grover, a hapless satyr tasked with Percy’s protection

3) Chiron, a centaur in charge of training the demigods.

He also manages to pick up his fair share of enemies as well:

1) Clarisse, the combative daughter of Ares.

2) Dionysus, a god sent to watch over the demigods as punishment.

3) Hades, god of the Underworld and castigated brother of Zeus

4) Ares, god of war with a short temper

3) The typical list of Greek oddities:  Furies, a Minotaur, Medusa, and an Echidna

In the other four books, Percy goes on numerous adventures—makes more friends, and plenty more enemies—all while trying to save the Greek gods from an attack by the Titans.  Just your everyday demigod stuff…   J

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Heroes of Olympus picks up with a whole new cast of characters, the Roman demigods.  Though the Greeks and Romans worshipped basically the same gods, they appreciated different aspects of the gods’ personalities.  Thus, the gods behave one way in Greece and another in Rome, and they keep their demigods separated as a result.  Someone creates a way for the Roman and Greek demigods, natural enemies, to meet with calamitous, often amusing, results.

How I Discovered It

My friends told me I simply “had” to read this fun, engaging series called Percy Jackson and The Olympians.  I asked them to describe the story.  When they mentioned the MC was only twelve, I tuned out.  I LOVE young adult fiction, but I don’t often get into middle grade fiction.  These friends insisted that I would enjoy the series and, despite Percy’s age, I had to read it.  One day at the library, I saw The Lightning Thief and picked it up on a whim.  I honestly did not think I would like it.  From the first page, I took off with Percy on his epic adventure.  I went from someone only half interested to someone completely absorbed in the world.  I couldn’t read the books fast enough.  When I finished The Last Olympian, I had a major book hangover.  The thought of not traveling on another adventure with Percy saddened me more than I thought possible.  Then, my friend Danielle delivered outstanding news…Percy and his band of demigods would make a comeback in a new series!  I snatched up each book as soon as it got released, and I’m willing October to come faster so I can rejoin the group again for another thrill ride.

Why I Love The Percy Jackson Series

 

First and foremost, Percy makes me laugh.  He’s got this super snarky attitude.  Some snarks can be downright rude, but others use sarcasm to their advantage.  Percy falls into the latter group.

Sidebar (forgive me, I can’t help myself):  In the YA writing/publishing/reading world, debates have arisen about the use of first person verses third person.  I personally don’t care which way the story is told, just tell me a good one.  LOL!  There are benefits to both styles, but I think Rick Riordan made the best possible decision when he wrote the original series in first person (the second series is in third person).  Living inside Percy’s head and hearing his thoughts are part of what make the series so outstanding.  Percy’s thoughts often made me laugh harder than the words he spoke out loud—although those were hilarious too.

While Percy is completely hysterical (and I do mean com-plete-ly…), he possesses a great number of other endearing characteristics.  One of his most swoon worthy qualities is his desire to do the right thing and fight for the underdog.  His own experiences shape this aspect of his personality.  All his life, those in positions of authority underestimate Percy and bring him down though he is actually quite smart and witty.  His acceptance of his role as demigod highlights his quick thinking and clever problem solving.

When asked, women often say the characteristics they most want in a man are humor and loyalty.  Percy has both.  His loyalty to his friends and family really defines his personality.  Yes, he’s snarky and temperamental, but he always has his friends’ backs.  So, yeah, when he becomes “legal,” he’s a total catch!  J

In addition to Percy, I really loved the supporting characters.  Each character had loveable, annoying, and quirky traits—just like real people.  Percy’s mother, for example, ate as much blue food as she could find after someone told her blue food didn’t exist.  Annabeth had complicated family issues, and Grover wanted to belong.  Riordan uses all of his characters to explore different feelings and situations that many readers can relate to in their own lives.  Sidebar:  Leo, a character in the Heroes of Olympus series, is the second coming of Percy Jackson.  I literally spit out my drink a few times laughing at him.  Love Leo!  J

Let’s go for the obvious one here—who doesn’t love Greek mythology??  I remember sitting in school, bored out of my mind, but if my teacher told a tale from Ancient Greece, my head popped up!  Greek mythology ignites the imagination.  It’s a world where so many things are possible.  I love how Rick Riordan merges that world with the modern day one.  All these mythical beings and grand gods and goddesses spring to life right on the page.  I feel like I “know” Zeus, Athena, Poseidon, Medusa, etc. in a way I never did as a child hearing their stories.  Books transport us to new place, and Rick Riordan (through the voice of Percy Jackson) makes an excellent tour guide.

Thank you again, Sara, for having me on your site!  I’m honored to serve as guest blogger and to gush about my love for all things Percy Jackson and Rick Riordan!!

If you want to know more about me and my upcoming book, The Prophecy, you can like me on FB (Erin Albert Books), follow me on Twitter (@ErinAlbertBooks), or subscribe to my blog (www.erinalbertbooks.com).

Until next time,

Erin

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Thank you SO much Erin for contributing to the Fandom Friday!

Please visit Erin at her website, which is linked above, and keep an eye out for The Prophecy in November!

Don’t forget to check out previous Fandom Fridays!

And stay tuned for more awesome to come!

Tuesday Top Ten-Fictional Places to Live

Hello everyone! How’s it going? I hope you are all fantastic and happy and all that.

I’m pretty happy. Things have been…just really good lately. I’ve been really working my butt off to do things that I want to do. I am almost done with this semester of school and I feel that I did well in both of my classes. I am working on this blog harder than ever, store working on getting it out there, ed getting my hands on ARCs and getting interviews with authors, doctor and making it as awesome as possible for you guys that read it. I’m also working hard on my third novel, the novel that I really want to be good and successful, because I want to look for an agent this summer and maybe get my book sold :)

Its also going to be my blog’s one year birthday on Thursday, which is SO exciting and I can’t wait to share the super AWESOME giveaway that will be coming your way in celebration of it all.

I also have a really cool interview with Unremembered author, Jessica Brody, coming VERY soon :)

So things are doing good.

But now on to the purpose of this blog post: The Tuesday Top Ten!

One thing that is really great about books is the worlds that they create. Authors have a way of creating worlds that are so real and so believable and you can’t help but just want to be a part of them. You wish these worlds were real because in your mind, they are real. You can pick up a book and escape into these fantastic worlds and these fantastic places and its just awesome.

So here are some of the fictional places that I wish were real!

10. Westeros-Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire

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Okay, I realize that so far, Westeros isn’t exactly the most fun place to live. You have all these people dying and political strife and this crazy weather thing where you have years of summer and years of winter. But I love the world the George R.R. Martin creates in his Song of Ice and Fire series. Because we get such a realistic world but with such fantastical things as well. We have political strife, and castles, and holdings and a kingdom and knights and all those sort of things but we also hive these gigantic wolves and the white walkers and dragons and its just a world that is so dark and sexy and desirable, despite all the bad shit that is going down in these books. Its that knights and castles and kings and queens world that you loved when you were a kid but better because it recognizes the adult world, and that there was famine and diseases and whore houses. I don’t know, I like it a lot because of both the fantasy and realistic nature of it. I’d be super down to live there…except the whole winter thing. I’m not a big fan of winter.

9. The Shire-The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings

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If anyone makes a comment on my height, I’ll punch them in the face. Especially since I wouldn’t doubt that most hobbits are actually taller than me. How tall are hobbits anyway? I’d probably fit in so well there. I think I want to live in the Shire of all places in Middle Earth because it has such a homey feel to it. I love Rivendell, and how absolutely gorgeous it is but its very…intimidating, I think is the word I’m looking for. Its too much for me to handle. But there’s something comfortable and homey and familiar about the Shire. And the houses are so cute. I would love to live in a little hobbit hole. In the Shire, its all about food and happiness and reading and relaxing and who wouldn’t be into that, especially since I do love reading and I do love food :) It just seems like a very pretty and pleasant place to live. And who knows, maybe I could become best friends with Bilbo or Frodo and go on epic adventures…though I think I’d rather go on adventures with Bilbo and not Frodo. Bilbo had the less scary adventure. And I really want to have a pet rabbit named Bilbo Bunny…okay, I’m getting off topic…

8. Narnia-The Chronicles of Narnia

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I really like Narnia because even when things are going down, its still a pretty and gorgeous world with talking mice and centaurs and beavers and badgers and all that. I’ve already kind of made it clear that I’m not the biggest fan of the books; I understand it was the times but C.S. Lewis had some serious issues with girl characters, especially Susan. And its a little too religious for my tastes. But I do really enjoy the movies and I think they picked some gorgeous locations to shoot the movie. I remember when I watched The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe for the first time and the Pevensie children leave Narnia when they’re older and I’m like “WHERE ARE YOU GOING?!?!” I was so mad. I think Narnia is appealing because its such a magical world. It gives me the same kind of feeling that Disneyland does, that feeling of magic and imagination and that feeling of being a kid again and feeling like anything is possible, like children leaders or talking animals and centaurs and good overcoming evil and that sort of thing. Its nice to disappear into such a wholesome and wonderful world for a little bit.

7. Camp Half-Blood-Percy Jackson and the Olympians

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I want to go to Camp Half-Blood so badly! I want to be a demigoddess so badly! I’ve always been fairly obsessed with Greek myths; there’s just something so fascinating about them. I wish I had been born in those times, those were the kind of gods and goddesses that I could really get behind. But I really enjoy the stories especially when you learn how they are the root of some of the words we use or the myths and superstitions that we know now and things like that. They’re really fun stories, especially since these gods and goddesses…they aren’t these perfect beings, they make mistakes too. But anyway, I’d be pretty stoked to have a god/goddess as a parent and have these super cool powers and go on adventures and live in this super cool camp with all these other children who have god parents too. I mean, sit around at home, watching TV and basically do nothing on summer vacation or go to this cool camp where you learn to fight and harness your powers and play a badass version of Capture the Flag and all that? I think you know which one I would pick. I would really like to be Artemis‘s daughter too. I know, not possible, since she swore to be a maiden, and to abstain from men and she would never have a child but…Artemis is such a badass. I remember wanting to name a pet “Artemis” once and my mom was just like “Seriously?” Yes, seriously. Greek myths are awesome and Camp Half-Blood would be a super cool place to live.

6. Enchanted Forest-Once Upon a Time

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I LOVE fairy tales and I would love to live in the Enchanted Forest, where all the fairy tale characters come together and basically live in one spot, especially since Once Upon a Time makes all the girl characters super awesome and kickass. I mean, Snow White? I love her and all but in the Disney movie, she’s SO annoying and she’s SO incredibly dumb in the original story. Ginnifer Goodwin‘s Snow White is super awesome and battle ready and just as strong as the Prince Charming she comes to love. Belle is whip smart, and ready to do what she needs to do to help her father and her kingdom. Red Riding Hood is a werewolf, who learns how to harness her transformation and use it as a tool of survival and battle. Ella (Cinderella) is a whole lot stronger in the show, and is ready to do anything to preserve her family. All of the characters are so different in this show than any other adaptation we see of them. And I’d love to live in this place where magic and fairy tales are real but in a way that I can enjoy them and in a way where I can learn from these seriously amazing and strong female characters. Even though Regina, the Evil Queen, is an evil character, you can still even empathize with her and you can still see her as a strong character. Again, its one of those magical worlds that you’d love to live in.

5. The Queendom of the Fells-Seven Realms Series
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I think a big reason why I would love to live in Cinda William Chima‘s Queendom of Fells is because…well its called the Queendom! The lineage passes through the women of the royal family, not the men, which I find to be VERY interesting and something that we don’t see often. I love that the reason behind is because they worship the first woman of the line, Hanalea, who was their savior. Throughout the year, they hold steadfast confidence in Hanalea and her line of successors and even when things start to get rocky, there are still so many people who are by Raisa‘s side and helping her and supporting her, even though she is only a sixteen year old royal. I also like the diversity that Cinda creates in her kingdoms especially between the people of the capital and then the wizards and the clans. We don’t get this straight across the board sort of country but a country that is full of diverse people. She creates kind of your typical white kingdom with royals and nobles and balls and that sort of thing but she throws the clans in there, and I love the clans because they have such different feels to them. I feel like they have some Native American to them, maybe some African, even some of the Asian cultures as well. I’d be really interested in exploring the very corners of this realm.

4. Tortall-Song of the Lioness, The Immortals, Protector of the Small, Trickster series, Beka Cooper series

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I would absolutely positively die to live in the Tortall realm. Tamora Pierce has written five series that take place in the realm of Tortall (although, admittedly, one mostly takes place in the Copper Isles but the main character is FROM Tortall), and she has created five extremely strong female main protagonists. You have Alanna who disguises herself as a boy for eight years in order to earn her shield and become a knight, the first female knight in a hundred years. You have Daine who has an incredible magical ability to communicate with animals, heal them and to shape shift into any animal of her choice and who is incredibly brave and intelligent and uses it to defend the country she loves. You have Keladry who is the first female to openly try out for her shield to become her knight and to earn her place rightfully. You have Aly, who earns her place as a rebellion spymaster to restore a country’s rightful owners back in place and overthrown the tyrant rulers. Then you have the prequel stories of Beka, who is a soldier of the Provost Dogs, who is fantastically intelligent and brave and able to solve crimes and bring the bad guys down in a time, long before Alanna and Daine, and the rest were even alive. Add in magic, fair and just king and queens, knights and dragons and griffins, fancy dresses, adventures, horses and all sorts of awesome stuff and who on earth wouldn’t want to live in a place like this?

3. Idris-The Mortal Instruments/The Infernal Devices

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Idris. Alicante. The City of Glass. The home country for Shadowhunters, their Jerusalem. A small country nestled in Europe, unnoticed by all us mundanes, its a place of beauty and of a world that holds on to the past in looks, while the bustling world goes on around them. In a world where we have square, boring builds, traffic and smog, there’s Idris, a small beautiful country where the Shadowhunters can be themselves and hold a little bit of Mother Earth’s beauty to themselves. And there’s something so appealing and magical about a place that is called the City of Glass. It is very old school. It reminds me of an old French town or Venice, Italy. I imagine canals and little houses and shops and this beautiful private community of extraordinary people. I want to be a Shadowhunter only less than I want to be a wizard or a Jedi and I think the fact that they have this small hidden away country is so awesome. I would love to grow up there, have a country home where I could have a horse to get around and I could learn what it took to be a Shadowhunter and go to dances in Alicante and feel safe and at home. It just seems like a wonderful place to live.

2. The Universe-Star Wars/Doctor Who/Star Trek/Etc. 

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I know, Sara, way to narrow it down there. I mean the universe, the galaxy, as in Doctor Who or Star Wars or even the new Star Trek. There is something really amazing about the fact that there is SO much out there, so many planets and stars and galaxies and there could be absolutely anything out there. There’s so much out there to explore. I wish I lived in a world like Doctor Who or Star Trek where they can explore these worlds and learn new things and see what else is out there besides just us. We are so centered on this planet, we think of ourselves as so important and big but we are so tiny in the grand scheme of things. There is so much out there that we don’t know about and I think it would be an amazing thing to have a TARDIS or a Millennium Falcon or an Enterprise to take us around to see these new worlds and to go on adventures and see the other beauties of the universe. I’m not going to lie, I think I’d be pretty scared at the idea of open space but also incredibly excited as well. The possibilities of the universe are absolutely endless. And when you’re with the Doctor or the Rebel Alliance, you really have the chance to make a difference, to save lives and have incredible adventures.

1. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry-Harry Potter series

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There is literally no other place in the world, both real and fiction, that I would rather be than this school. When you’re 9/10 years old and you’ve just moved from a roomy house to a house with your grandparents where you are sharing a room with your five brothers and sisters and your parents are fighting all the time, and you go to school and you’re teased all the time because, let’s face it, you’re not very girlie and aren’t really sure how to dress yourself properly and you have your nose in a book all the time and reading just isn’t cool, and life just seems to SUCK all the time…and you pick up this book and you find this incredible, amazing world…who wouldn’t fall in love? I would love to go to Hogwarts. I would love to learn magic and explore this ancient and fantastic castle and learn about hippogriffs and unicorns and make crazy potions and all of those things. These books have taught me more than anything else has and Hogwarts was the home that I would go to when reality just seemed to suck too bad, and its where I continue to go when life sucks and I’ve had a bad day. There’s a line in Deathly Hallows where Harry is looking up at Hogwarts castle and recognizing it as his home, as the home of Voldemort and Snape, the abandoned boys. That part gets to me every single time. Its a home for all of us, JKR created a home for us all. “Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home” is what she said at the Deathly Hallows Part 2 premiere and she is so right. There is no place I’d rather be than at Hogwarts :)

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I hope you all enjoyed this week’s Top Ten! What fictional places would you like to live or hang out at? Let me know in the comments!

Don’t forget to check out the previous Top Ten Lists I have made!

Check back in the next couple of days for exciting things, like an interview with Jessica Brody and a HUGE giveaway for my blog’s first birthday!

Top Ten Valentine’s Day Crushes

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

I have some things to say today, pharm on this day of love. One, order tell everyone you love that you love them. You should be doing this every day, not just on Valentine’s Day but you should do it today anyway. And two, if you’re single, honestly, hush up. Valentine’s Day isn’t just about relationship or romantic love. Its about friendship love and family love too. I always make sure to tell my friends that I love them to today and my family as well. My mom always makes me a little thing of cookies and candy and I always get a box of Sweethearts (the good ones, not the gross chalky ones) from my Dad, guaranteed.

I just hate when single people cry on this day. And maybe some people will get all uppity because I’m not single so I don’t know what I’m talking about. You’re talking to a girl who was dumped three times on Valentine’s Day; trust me, I can understand the Valentine’s Day hate. But you have to move on from that, and realize that there IS someone out there and you WILL find them, when the time is right. And, remember, just because maybe you’re not in a relationship, doesn’t mean you aren’t loved. Because you are; there’s always someone out there that loves you.

And besides, if you’re a nerd girl like me, you are bound to have some fictional crushes and whats better than a curling up with a book and falling in love with your favorite fictional character ALLLLLL over again :D

So I’m doing another top ten this week, forgoing the Book of the Week, in honor of Valentine’s Day.

Ever since I became a Mortal Instruments fan, I have to stop thinking of the evil guy, Valentine Morgenstern, every time I hear the word “Valentine”. Its so bad haha.

Moving on, my top ten Valentine’s Day crushes are:

Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice  

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This was one of the very few books I actually enjoyed in high school and probably because its a timeless story. Some people don’t get the love of this story and to them I say, DID YOU NOT READ THE SAME BOOK AS ME? I mean, sure, the story takes place in an era that barely exists anymore. I don’t need to make a debut and I don’t need to have my “season”. There aren’t appropriate matches for me and I don’t have to worry about not being rich enough for a man to marry me. But the messages that come across in this novel are still true: that we need to stop judging people right off the bat, that we need to let go of our pride and let go of our prejudices and see whats in front of us. Mr Darcy is one of  my biggest fictional crushes because of how you watch him fall in love with headstrong Elizabeth Bennett and how you watch him struggle with it…and when he finally comes to terms with it, and the lengths that he goes to make her happy, its just beautiful. Sigh. One of the most romantic books of all time.

9. Caroline Forbes from The Vampire Diaries

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Candice Accola is absolutely gorgeous. Its funny; when it comes to guys, I tend to go light hair, light eyes…I like me some white boys I guess haha. But with girls, I like dark hair, dark eyes so I was surprised to find myself with a HUGE crush on Miss Caroline Forbes from Vampire Diaries. She’s soooo gorgeous and she plays a vampire, and instead of sparkling or being so beautifully tormented, she’s NORMAL and SEXY. Its awesome. When she’s turned, she still stays so wonderfully normal and she genuinely cares about all her friends and when she loves, she loves fully. She’s brave and smart and committed to her family and friends and sometimes you even forget that she’s a vampire. She took what was handed to her, even though she didn’t want it, and she lives with it. She’s so much better than the brooding and tortured vampires of most vampire novels and shows and so she’s a breath of fresh air ot me…and a super hot one at that.

8. Percy Jackson from Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus

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Okay, I’m gonna make myself clear here: Percy is only hot at the end of the Olympians series and through the Heroes of Olympus series. Because he can’t be hot as an eleven year old because I would feel creepy as hell. And I know a lot of people were super disappointed in the first Percy Jackson movie. i do not think it was great but I don’t think it was THAT bad, either. And I think Logan Lerman makes a good Percy, a HOT one, even if he’s too old by the book standards. The picture above is awesome. And I want one of those shirts really badly. I think Percy becomes really brave and loyal as the books go along and if though its his fatal flaw, he’ll do anything for his friends, especially his girlfriend, Annabeth, and its so gosh darn cute, its hard to manage haha. That helps to guaranteed him a spot on this list.

7. Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind

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Another one of the most romantic books of all time. Not this stupid Fifty Shades of Grey crap. Gone with the Wind…probably the MOST romantic book of all time. And of course Rhett Butler is the hero of the book. Charles Hamilton and Frank Kennedy are barely a blip on the radar and Ashley Wilkes…my god, Ashley Wilkes makes me alternately want to throw up and punch him in the face. Rhett Butler is a man’s man, he doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks of him, not until he finds people to love enough to change. He loves Scarlett and he loves his daughter, Bonnie, enough to become a gentleman to take care of them. He loves Scarlett enough to put with her craziness, which not many men will do in this day and age, let alone during the Civil War/Reconstruction period. Plus he just exudes sexiness.

6. Han Alister from the Seven Realms series

Couldn’t find a picture for Han, nor a fan art that I liked enough to put up here on my blog. I adore Han Alister because of everything that he is and everything that he works so hard to be. He was a criminal for so long, the king of the criminals and he did some seriously terrible things. Then he gives up the crime life, and tries to get some honest work to feed and take care of his mother and little sister. And when they die and he learns of his wizarding heritage, he does everything he can to learn his skill and to please everyone: the tribes who feel like they own him, the wizards who want to control him, Raisa who he loves and can’t have, and on and on and on. He works so hard to do the right thing, and he works so hard to protect the people he cares about, especially Raisa. You have to admire his courage and his guts, his talents and his intelligence.

5. Isabelle Lightwood from the Mortal Instruments series

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I have a thing for the Lightwoods. One of them makes the number one spot on this list (I’m sure you totally know who it is). I also completely adore Alec Lightwood but you know, he’s gay so that doesn’t really work out in my favor haha. But Isabelle Lightwood has to make the list because she’s sexy as hell and she’s a badass. They say that even in the modern times of Shadowhunter that women HAVE to be trained to fight and if they aren’t, they’ll be relegated to jobs that keep them away from the action. Isabelle is trained to be a good Shadowhunter and she is a GREAT one, almost as good as Jace and probably better than her brother, Alec. She’s brave and she protects her family above anything. Her family loyalty to her parents, to her brothers (all three of them), is so admirable. I wish I had the bravery of Isabelle. Then there’s the fact that she fights all these demons in stilettos and sexy outfits doesn’t hurt in the slightest. I’m also really hoping that in City of Heavenly Fire, the last TMI installment, that her and Clary become parabatai. it would be SERIOUSLY awesome.

4. Sirius Black from the Harry Potter series

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I have no idea what it is about Sirius Black but he is one of my favorite characters in the entire Harry Potter universe besides Luna Lovegood and Ron Weasley. I love Luna for her uniqueness and I love Ron for his loyalty and his humor. But Sirius, I don’t know, that’s the man I have a crush on. I think its because he’s the bad boy, you know? But in a good way. Like, I’m not sitting here with a crush on Draco Malfoy (although, whew, Tom Felton is HOT). He was the hot bad boy when he was at school at Hogwarts and he’s sort of the same kind of guy when he grows up. He still has that casual arrogance, that cockiness that he used to have that is so sexy but he’s also extremely brave and intelligent and he’s a good father figure for Harry. I know that everyone agrees with that because he was cruel to Kreacher and he could be selfish at times but he was HUMAN. I think we like to put our favorite characters on pedestals but some of my favorite characters are the ones with the biggest flaws. Sirius Black…sexy man.

3. The Doctor from the Doctor Who series

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The Doctor is hot for one big reason: he can do something for women that no other man can do. He can take them anywhere in time and space, whenever, wherever. He can take them on the most amazing of adventures, he can take them to see the most amazing places. If the Doctor showed up on my doorstop, I’d be like, “Let me grab my books and let’s go!” Because, you know, I can’t live without my books! They keep the stories fresh and the characters fresh with new companions and new regenerations of the Doctor, each one of them uniquely awesome and uniquely sexy. I am also on a Doctor Who high because I’m going to Gallifrey One, the Who convention, this weekend and I am SO excited! The Doctor is awesome, smart, sarcastic, funny, god he’s even sexy when he gets angry. And he has a blue box that can go ANYWHERE. And he has a damn British accent! You just don’t get better than that.

Except the maybe the first two on this list…below…haha

2. Han Solo from Star Wars

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I have said it over and over again that this was my first nerd crush. I watched Star Wars when I was really young and I really started getting into it when I was about seven years old. My little brother had broken his leg when he was two (long crazy story haha) and he pretty much couldn’t do anything and the only thing he ever wanted to do is watch Star Wars. So we watched a ton of Star Wars, the original masterpieces that were on VHS. And this is where I met Han Solo. Mark Hamill as Luke was okay but I was already into that rugged, sarcastic man. Do i sense a pattern here? Yes, yes, I do. I like the sarcastic, humorous, bad buy who is really good kind of guy and that fits Han Solo perfectly. He has that bad boyness and the humor but he’s also sweet and he also cares and loves his friends. But he’s not mushy at the same time. And yet I still totally melt into a puddle every time he looks into Princess Leia’s eyes and says “I know”. SIgh. And now there are rumors of a stand alone Han Solo movie? Love it, as long as Harrison Ford doesn’t return. The man was SEXY as Han Solo and Indiana Jones but he’s a bit old to reprise that role…

1. Jace Wayland Morgenstern Herondale Lightwood from The Mortal Instruments series

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Surprise, surprise. This guy is going to be my number one for a very, very long time. You may notice that I picked a picture of Jace on the cover of the novel, City of Lost Souls. I love Jamie Campbell Bower and I think that he’ll do a great job as Jace. But because Jace Lightwood is my ultimate fictional crush, I have my own vision of him in my head and that’s exactly how I like him. Jamie will do a great job but he isn’t at all what I pictured. Moving on, Jace fits the pattern of sexy, sarcastic badass bad boys that make my list. I like the sarcastic ones and I like the ones that are fighters, but are mushy enough to be super romantic. Jace Lightwood is a badass Shadowhunter, the best one, in fact, and his fighting skills are unparalleled. But he’s also fiercely loyal to his adopted family, the Lightwoods (Maryse, Robert, Isabelle, Alec and Max) and he becomes so protective of Clary, and he loves her so much. And I can’t lie, he says some of the sweetest things. I can’t wait to read more of them when City of Heavenly Fire hits stands in 2014.

So there’s my list of Valentine’s Day crushes but my biggest Valentine’s Day crush is this guy right here:

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We just celebrated five years of being together on Monday and this will be our sixth Valentine’s Day together. Five years ago, Jon asked me to be his girlfriend on February 11th. He was my best friend and became so much more than that. He had told me he wanted to wait until Valentine’s Day so I could finally have a good V-Day (remember, dumped THREE times…) and that he couldn’t wait. so that’s why our anniversary is the 11th. We had our first Valentine’s Day three days later…where we spent all day together…sort of. Jon got really SUPER sick, like super high fever, upchucking kind of sick. And that’s why I spent our first Valentine’s Day taking care of him. But no matter who you throw my way, no matter how many times I have crushes on fictional characters, at the end of every single day, this is the only boy I need <3

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone :D I hope that it was good and that you remember, no matter what your relationship status, you are loved! You will always have people to love and if you’re reading this, there’s a damn good chance that I love you :) Spread the love. There should always be love in the world, family love, friendship love, romantic love.

And always remember, that these fictional characters we read, they’re awesome and lovable but they are just that: fictional. There are amazing people in this world to love, full of flaws and awesome. No one is perfect and no one is ever going to measure up to your favorite fictional man because he’s not real. They are never going to say the things that you read in the books but that’s okay. Because when you do find the right one, you’ll love them 100%, flaws and all.

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3