Tuesday Top Ten-Characters Names that I’d Steal for My Children

Now, see this week’s Tuesday Top Ten is a little different than what I normally do.

People often times ask me where I get my names for my characters, erectile and honestly, sildenafil it mostly comes from the baby name book or a baby name website. I like kind of…different names, not weird just different.

But often, it comes from names that I wish I could name my future children.

And then that got me thinking about the different names that I like from books. I tend to try and name my pets after book characters and I would really like to do the same when I eventually have children (my boyfriend is SO rolling his eyes right now as he reads this…). I’m not talking weird names, for the most part. I like nice, normal names.

So this Tuesday Top Ten is kind of a fun, short, silly one. These basically come from two places: actual liking of the name, and liking of the character as well.

Names have always just been important to me. I was obsessed with mine for such a long time. My name is Sara, not exactly a unique and in my small group of friends in high school, three of us were named Sara (though they were the traditional spelling of Sarah). I wanted to change my name for years, or perhaps start going by Liz or Beth because my middle name is Elizabeth. Now, though, I’ve really come to appreciate my name. I really embody my name, and I think these characters below do as well.

So here we go!

10. Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird

Number 10

This one kind of makes me laugh if only for the fact that …well I named my dog Scout haha. So I guess I could never name my child Scout because of that….its just too weird. But I always liked the name Scout for a little girl. Its unique without being totally weird, you know? And yes, I do realize that Demi Moore and Bruce Willis named one of their daughters, Scout, but they also named their daughters Rumor and Tallelulah which are just ridiculous names. So yeah it might a totally weird name for a child, especially because of my dog, but I really do like the name and I would totally name my kid Scout.

9. Sirius from Harry Potter

Number 9

I love the name Sirius and I think that its a really cool name, but its not a weird one, you know? I don’t think I’d name my kid Sirius but I could see using it as a middle name. Its not just from Harry Potter, but from the dog Sirius, the constellation in the sky as well. Sirius is also my favorite HP character besides Luna Lovegood so that’s kind of cool too, a way to commemorate that.

8. Keladry from Protector of the Small

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I think Keladry is an absolutely beautiful name and I think that she would be a wonderful character to name a daughter after. All of Tamora Pierce’s characters are strong, admirable characters but I think Kel might be one of the most admirable ones because she is so focused on her goals and doing her job as a knight that she ends the series without a man (sorry, spoilers, I guess haha). She’s the only one so far in Tammy’s series that doesn’t end up with anyone and Tamora gets asked all the time, if she ever ends up with someone, and she says that this wasn’t the point of Keladry and there’s a reason that she doesn’t have a significant other. Its not that she’s alone, she’s just so focused and driven and she’s surrounded by people who love her, and make her life interesting. I think that this is pretty cool character to name your kid after.

7. Asher from The Giver

Number 7

Asher is such a small character in the actual novel. But his name always, always, always stood out to me. I thought I was really weird until I worked at a little kid’s portrait studio about five years ago, and a little boy named Asher came in. I asked the mother if she named him after the character in The Giver and she looked at me like I was a serious crazy person. So I guess it’s an actual name. But I think its a really unique name without being really weird. I hate really super weird names, like the poor baby that came in once whose entire first name was “Destiny Sky Rainbow”. Poor kid. I wonder how she’s dealing now. But Asher is a great name, and is one of the ones on this list that I would actually petition really hard for when it comes time (in the very FAR future) for Jon and I to have kids.

6. Felicity from A Great and Terrible Beauty

Number 6

I think this mostly comes from the actual character than just the name. Most of the names on the list are just names I like, really, but this one really comes from the character. Felicity is a seriously ambitious, mischievous, amazing female character in Victorian London who also ends up being a lesbian…in Victorian London! That’s crazy. And sure, she doesn’t broadcast it because that would be absolute crazy talk but she still remains an extremely strong character, and definitely my favorite of the entire series. Felicity is a beautiful name and it would be honorable and sweet to name a daughter with that name, when named after such a heroine.

5. Alianne from Trickster’s Choice 

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I really like this name because its simply and it can be shortened to Ally, which I think is really really pretty. Alianne is also another really strong female character that I’ve basically worshiped since I was 15 years old and I would love to name my daughter Alianne. Its just weird enough to be cute and unique but its not like, uh, your name is WHAT? Again, I’m not a fan of that. In the book, she shortens her name to Aly, but I like Ally better. But its a seriously beautiful name, and its one that has always stuck out to me. I also had a weird obsession with Elsren, who was a little boy that she cared for, for the LONGEST time, until I realized that its still a super cute name but its too weird. How do you even shorten that!

4. Raisa from the Seven Realms series

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I love Raisa’s full name, her princess name, Raisa ana Marianna. So many “a’s” but I just love it. Its a beautiful name. And sure, Raisa is also another super badass character that any girl would be lucky to be named after but its also just a beautiful name. I think what stands out to me about this name is that its simple, almost like Sara, but its a little prettier. (Please do not misunderstand me-MOM!-I do love my name. It took me kind of a long time to do so, but I do love it). I don’t think this is a name that would cause raise eyebrows but I do think people would compliment it on how pretty it is.

3. Auden from Along for the Ride

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I love that Auden is named after a literary figure and one that isn’t really that known, especially to the target audience of the book. It doesn’t come off pretentious in the slightest; I actually just really like it. Its unique. I kind of like McClean (Ma-Clane) from What Happened to Goodbye. Its almost like a family name. I have a liking for last names as first names. Its something that isn’t done very often but its really beautiful. I don’t know that I’d actually name my child this, which is funny considering its so high on the list, but I think its one of those names that I wish I could name my kid but probably wouldn’t have the guts to do so. My boyfriend would roll his eyes, and say no, my family and his family would raise their eyebrows, so it takes guts to name your kid Auden. But it doesn’t stop it from being a beautiful name.

2.Alexander from The Mortal Instruments/Delirium series

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Jon really has no ifs, ands or buts about this one. I want to name my child Alexander. And sure, a small part is due to Alexander Lightwood of the TMI series. But a majority is just that I love the name for a boy. Its such a strong, traditional name and I think its absolutely beautiful and perfect. I would shorten it to Alec, like in TMI, but to Alex, like in Delirium. I just really love it. Honestly, its my main character’s name in the novel that I am currently working on. I really love the name. With girls, I like names that are a little different but not weird, like Summer. But with boys, I love traditional names and Alex, Alexander, is such a great example. If I have a boy one day, I really want to name him Alexander. And Alexander Lightwood is a good person to be named after, especially since he is tied for first as my favorite character in the Mortal Instruments series. He’s one of the strongest characters in the novels, and I don’t think people recognize that as much.

1. Jace from The Mortal Instruments series

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I really would love to name my kid Jace but I know there is NO way in hell my boyfriend would ever let me do that. Like….there’s no way. Even though its kind of fitting. Even though we learn that its not the truth, Jace is Jonathan Christopher shortened. Of course, he’s not the ACTUAL Jonathan Christopher but that’s okay! My boyfriend’s name is Jonathan and his brother’s name is Christopher. I could name my son that, and call him Jace. It totally works out perfectly and I seriously love it; I think its a fun name but there’s no way it’ll ever happen. But it doesn’t stop me from having it as my number one pick for a character name that I’d steal for my child!

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Hope you guys enjoyed this edition of the Tuesday Top Ten!

I hope if you are at the City of Bones Mall Tour event in Glendale, that I’ll see you there!

Check out last week’s TTT, which were my Book Deal Breakers.

What are some character names that you love? Would you name your child after them? Have you named your child after them? As always, share in the comments!

Tuesday Top Ten-Favorite YA Female Characters

So I’ve totally already done this Tuesday Top Ten before, information pills but it was kind of my favorite one to do (besides maybe my favorite fictional boy crushes) because there’s SUCH an outpouring of strong, amazing, kickass, well developed awesome female characters out there and I want to be able to share the ones that I like so much with all of you.

I also did this list way back in November and I had probably, hmmm, like five followers back then, which included my dad and my boyfriend and maybe a few friends. Now I have nearly 1000 followers and so I want to write it again, so all my new followers can now see this :)

So here we go! My top ten (err…eleven) favorite female characters in young adult literature!

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11. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games 

The Hunger Games: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion

Katniss is a badass, and she’s one of the first characters that comes to mind when you have strong female characters of YA, especially with the immense success of the Hunger Games movie and Catching FIre hitting theaters this fall. I like Katniss a lot, but mostly from the first book, not so much the next two. My personal opinion is that she gets a little whiny toward the end. Again, thats my personal opinion. But I do think she’s a great character. She’s a girl that doesn’t give up, even though most 12 year olds probably would. Instead of crawling into a hole, and letting her family starve or letting her and Prim be taken away, she figures out a way to survive and hunts, and trades and does whatever she can to help her family survive. And these skills that she learns for survival are the KEY to her survival in the Hunger Games. She’s extremely clever and she’s very caring as well, for her family, and for the people that come into her life like Peeta and Haymitch and Cinna and even Effie. She’s a GREAT character and Jennifer Lawrence is a great actress to play her.

10. Tessa Gray from The Infernal Devices 

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I love Tessa Gray because of her bravery, her resilience, her cleverness and the fact that she loves books so much. I love that Tessa Gray only wants to do the best that she can and that she cares SO much. The thing about Tessa is that she is unique, in so many different ways. First off, she’s an American in London. Then she’s amongst a bunch of Shadowhunters, which she is not. Then she’s not even sure what she is: possible a warlock, but without a warlock’s mark and no explanation of what she is. The Infernal Devices trilogy is not only the story of the London Institute and the Shadowhunters attempting to defeat Mortmain and his revenge plan but its also about the journey that Tessa takes in discovering herself and who she is and what she is and what her purpose is. I love that she loves with all of her heart and she loves her brother, even though he isn’t what she thought he was, and she loves the people she meets through the London Institute. I love that she loves both Will and Jem, and not in a whiny Bella Swan kind of way but in such a real, genuine way, the way people love in real life.

9. Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter series

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J.K. Rowling once said about Luna Lovegood that she has an unbelievably rare quality of a person who just doesn’t give a damn about what people think about her and for that, she’s on my list. Because let’s face it, no matter what we say, no matter how much we profess it, we all care at least a little bit what people think of us. That or, we care what CERTAIN people think of us. Luna has the quality of being an absolute badass because she’s so sure of herself. She is teased and bullied, and people mess with her and think she’s weird but she doesn’t even notice. She’s so happy in her own world and I, for one, envy her for that. But she’s also a seriously loving and caring and brave person. When she finally makes friends, she is so good to them, and she is a pivotal character in my opinion. I don’t think the Harry Potter series would have been right without her in it, and there’s a reason why everyone calls me Luna <3

8. June Iparis from the Legend trilogy 

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Okay, June is an absolute badass, and honestly, I think she’s one of the strongest female characters I have read in a novel, especially in the overflow of young adult lit that is going on right now. I was amazed at June’s…tenacity and her fire and her strength. I was discussing June with someone online once and they said she was cold, she didn’t have a personality, that she wasn’t as easy to like as some of the other heroines that are out there, and that’s exactly why I like her. She’s different. She’s trained as a soldier and thinks like a soldier and has a hard time breaking that habit, even when things start stacking up against everything she ever knew. Its hard for her to be as trusting of people, especially someone like Day, who she is told over and over again is a criminal. I think she’s very human, and I love how her feelings for Day are always in question, always a work in progress. I like that there’s a love story in this novel, but not the kind that takes over the story. I love June because she has a head on her shoulders, and she uses it before she falls in love. I love how smart she is, and how reluctant she is to accept the truth…because she wants to know its the real truth before she believes it. She’s such a great character.

7. Tris Prior from the Divergent trilogy 

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I think one of the biggest reasons that I love Tris is because she’s so little, and people don’t really believe in her because of that, and she proves them all wrong. She’s the tiny, little, divergent (read: normal) girl, who takes a chance, leaves her parents behind for a different faction, a faction so vastly different than the one she was raised in and just…just rocks it. I mean, sure, not at first. She’s weak, scared, shy. But she does all the work she needs to do to not only become part of the Dauntless faction, but to be number one in the initiates. I love that. I love that she’s been taught so much about the act of being silent, being selfless, lacking of affectionate and all of that sort of thing, but when she comes to Dauntless, everything she does is so real, and so genuine. She makes friends because she is so genuine. And Four falls in love with her because of that, and that’s just too darn cute for life. I am jealous for Tris and her relationship with Four, because…well he’s Four, and do you see the picture above? Theo James is QUITE the looker. But in all seriousness, I admire Tris for her bravery, her cleverness, her selfishness and selflessness, and her never ending drive.

6. Clary Fray from The Mortal Instruments

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I know that most of you know how addicted I am to the  Mortal Instruments series, and I’m sure you’re wondering why on earth the main character would not even be in the top 5, and there are reasons for that, and I totally have a TMI character in the Top 5. So hush. I love Clary, I super adore her. I enjoy watching as she takes the journey from normal teenager girl, to a budding Shadowhunter. I love that she’s brave and fearless, and she wants to save everyone: her mom, Simon, Jace, everyone. I love that the Shadowhunter world is SO confusing to her, but she goes with it, and she adapts quickly and that, I don’t know, she sort of grows into what is her natural heritage. She was born to be a Shadowhunter, even though her mom held that away from her for so long. I think the biggest reason why I love Clary is because of her loyalty. She is SO incredibly loyal and loving to the people she cares about: her mom, Luke, Simon. And when she meets the Lightwoods and Jace and Maia and Magnus, she cares for all of them as well. She just can’t help but care, and her caring is what makes her so brave.

5. Alina Starkov from The Grisha Trilogy 

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Alina is one of the most interesting characters that I have read in awhile. One, because she’s incredibly powerful…more powerful than pretty much every single person that she knows. And at first, she strays away from that power and is reluctant to use, reluctant to get any stronger. But as the story goes on, she almost begins to crave that power. She begins to grow addicted to it, and she feeds off of it. I think so many times we see characters that are so inherently good all the time, so good even when they make mistakes or make wrong decisions but Alina kind of represents a different sort of heroine. I think that we see Alina struggle more than any other character, because power is a dangerous thing. I don’t think that Alina is evil or a bad person, but that all depends on what happens in the final book of the series. We leave off, with all these people believing she’s a saint, a savior, and with her on a crazy, impossible quest to track down ways to make herself more powerful. This is incredibly dangerous and makes Alina a very complex, and addicting character. I just keep wanting to read and find out what happens next.

4. Alianne Cooper from The Tricksters Series

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One of the strongest female characters that I’ve seen in the young adult genre, and just one of many that Tamora Pierce has created in her Tortall world: Alanna, Thayet, Buri, Daine, Maura, Keladry, and so so so many more. But when it comes down to it, Aly is easily my favorite and I think a lot of that comes down to that she was the first Tortall woman that I met, and she ushered me into a book series, and a book saga, that would seriously change my life. Aly is a sixteen year old girl with the kind of skills I could only dream of having at twenty-five years old. She’s incredibly clever, and has the knowledge and abilities to become a spymaster for a massive rebellion and be incredibly good at it. She knows about spying, and codes, and the sneakiness that comes with it. She knows about war and the way it goes, the way its run. She knows politics and crops and government and trade, social and culture, she’s just so incredibly smart. She can wield daggers and has wicked hand-to-hand combat skills. She’s quick on the spot, and can turn a lie in an instant. She’s charming and funny and relatable. She’s amazing, and one of the characters I always, ALWAYS bring up when talking about young adult literature.  

3. Isabelle Lightwood from The Mortal Instruments series 

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Can I say that if this was favorite female CRUSHES, it would be Isabelle at number one, easily? One, Jemima West is absolutely gorgeous and I can’t wait to see her as Isabelle in the movie this summer. But I like Isabelle because she’s the badass of the books. She is one of the best Shadowhunters there is, gender aside. She has her awesome gold whip, and she takes down demons and fights with Jace and Alec. I also love her humor, her personality. She always has a smile on her face; she’s always finding a way to joke through things, and laugh her way around, even when everyone else is so down. She’s a fierce, strong character and I think sometimes is overlooked but she’s one of my absolute favorites. Alec and Jace both say, that though the Shadowhunter world has changed, that it is still hard for girls to become true warriors, and yet Isabelle works her ass off for it. And she’s another fiercely loyal, and caring person as well. The amount of love that she feels for her family: for her parents and Alec and Max and Jace is unparalleled. She is willing to do anything for them. Plus I just want to be HER: sexy, strong, brave, fearless, charming, a fighter…a fierce, fierce fighter.

2. Raisa ana’Marianna from The Seven Realms series 

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Raisa is seriously….I can’t even…she’s just so awesome. I knew from page one that I was addicted to this character. She’s everything realistic about being a teenage girl plus SO much more. She is young, and pretty and wants to enjoy both of those. She wants to flirt with boys and have fun, and not worry about taking the throne just yet. But then drama goes down (as it is wont to do) and Raisa is forced to run away from her kingdom, hide herself from her own mother, and eventually come back to take her rightful throne. She is so much stronger than a lot of the characters we’ve seen in YA in that…even though she falls madly in love with someone she can’t be with, she doesn’t really cave to that. Her duty comes first and foremost through it all, and she follows the rules, to keep a hold of her unsteady claim on the throne. Spoiler: I honestly didn’t think she was going to end up with Han, for a VERY long time. We really don’t figure out that Raisa is willing to push buttons until she has fought for her throne and she feels the strength to do so. But she has fire and passion and a good head on her shoulders, even as she makes the same mistakes that any human would do. She is a character that I would LOVE to see her on the big screen.

1. Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series

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I don’t think its any surprise that she is the best YA female character, at least according to myself. She is the first female character that I really read that I connected to, and that I still continue to connect to. Before I discovered Harry Potter, I was reading formula books like Sweet Valley High, Baby-Sitter’s Club, Pony Pals and the Boxcar Children. In other words, books that weren’t challenging me in the slightest. I first read Harry Potter when I was 10 years old, just one year younger than the characters themselves and Hermione immediately jumped out to me. One, she really was the only female character that we got to know in that book, besides, like McGonagall and Mrs. Norris haha. But I loved how smart she was, especially since she wasn’t born into that world. I loved how, even though she was teased and bullied, and had no friends, she didn’t stop being smart just for that. I love that she was always proud of her brain and her intelligence and she never, ever dumbed herself down for a boy, ever. I loved that she was brave, and loyal and kind and selfless and quick thinking and all of that. She is AWESOME and Emma Watson did a wonderful job portraying her :)

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I hope you enjoyed this week’s edition of the Tuesday Top Ten.

Don’t forget to check out last week’s Top Ten, on my favorite fictional dads, and other lists here.

Who are some of YOUR favorite young adult fictional female characters? As always, share in the comments!

How Tamora Pierce Changed My Life

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Today, order I really started thinking of Tamora Pierce. She just won the Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Library Association. If there is anyone in this world that deserves that award, what is ed it is her. Her first novel, Alanna: The First Adventure, came out in the early 80s. She continues to publish novels, and they continue to dazzle her readers.

I first picked up one of her books when I was sixteen years old, nine years ago. I picked up Trickster’s Choice at Target, for two reasons. One, it was only about ten dollars, which was great. I was sixteen without a job so ten dollars was awesome to me. Two, there was mention of pirates in the book flap describing the book. I had an unhealthy obsession with pirates back then. Really, it was very, very unhealthy.

Anyway, the book ended up having absolutely nothing to do with pirates except for the fact that it is briefly mentioned in the beginning that the main character is kidnapped by pirates.

But besides that mistake, it ended up being such a fantastic book. I could go on and on about it but I did a Book of the Week post about it AGES ago and you can check it out here.

A few months later, the sequel to Trickster’s Choice came out, Trickster’s Queen, and I fell in love all over again with Tamora Pierce’s writing. Then an amazing thing happened: my love of this two part series gained me a pen pal, Chloe, who I have been writing (yes, snail mail!) for nearly 9 years now. She is a HUGE Tammy fan and introduced me to the fact that the Trickster series was the fourth Tortall series by Pierce.

So I went back and read the Daughter of the Lioness series, the Immortals series, and the Protector of the Small series. Then I reread the Trickster series again. Then I anticipated and enjoyed her new series, the Beka Cooper series, taking place in the past, before the events that we’ve come to know in the other series.

And the fact is, I can’t imagine what my life would be like without Tamora Pierce and her fantastic books in it.

One, there’s the fact that it brought one of my closest friends in the entire world to me. Sure, Chloe and I live on opposite sides of the world; me, in California, Chloe, in Australia. We have never actually met in person. But we’ve been writing to each other for nearly a decade. We’ve read the same books, enjoyed the same movies, and gone through so much together in the world of handwritten letters. I give her books and she gives me books. She is one of my best friends, hands down, and it came from a mutual love of Tamora Pierce.

Tammy also gives me such a confidence in myself and my writing and its because of how long she has been writing. The woman has been around for decades, writing fantastic books, and sure, she’s not turning her books into movies and hitting the red carpet, but she’s been an overwhelming and inspirational presence in the young adult literature and fantasy worlds. She’s always there, and with every single book, she only gets better. She is a force to reckon with and I believe that I can do, because she did it, and continues to do it.

Plus there’s the pure and undeniable fact that she is a FANTASTIC writer. She takes us into a fantasy world that’s both new and yet familiar. She makes you really believe that these places and people and things are all real. You can’t even convince yourself that it isn’t real. Some fantasies that I’ve read before are the same thing over and over again, or they’re just too complicated for me to wrap my head around. I mean, sometimes I just get tired of reading about forbidden romances and fallen angels. It gets old. But Tammy’s stories are unique and familiar and fun.

Her stories are a breath of fresh air when you are surrounded by the same things over and over again. I’m over the love triangles and the fallen angels and forbidden romance, and dark titles with the same black and grey covers over and over again. Honestly, it just gets tiring. I mean, sure, I like the idea of the stories but sometimes the romance just gets in the way and I start to get annoyed.

But Tammy. Oh, Tammy. She creates these fantastic characters. Alanna. Daine. Keladry. Aly. Beka. All of them are strong, admirable characters. Alanna disguises herself as a boy for eight years to become the first female knight in over a hundred years. Daine is a powerful mage, able to communicate and heal animals and shape shift into one as well. Keladry is the first female to come forward to become a knight, with her gender known. Aly becomes the spymaster for a secret rebellion to take back a country from tyrannical and cruel rulers. Beka is a fierce and intelligent force of the Law, helping to solve some of the realms biggest crimes and mysteries with her scent hound, Achoo. These are amazing, strong and fierce women. If there was ever a group of fictional women to worship, this would be it.

Because these women, they do everything in their power to live their dreams and protect their realm. The fact that Alanna disguises her sex for so long and fights and fights, and becomes such a powerful knigh is amazing. Daine uses her powers and her way with animals to fight a WAR, to become a HERO. Keladry goes through years of torment and years of disbelief to become a knight herself, a formidable one, separate from Alanna, her predecessor. Aly is clever, extremely intelligent and 100% committed to helping the raka people take back their country from their terrible conquering rulers. Beka comes from the poorest parts of the capitol city become one of the most successful of the Guard, solving some of the hardest and most mysterious of crimes.

And the best part is…they all fall in love. They all do. And most of them get married, and have that happily ever after. There are mushy moments and exchanges of “I love you”, and sweetness and romance, and even some moments of flushed cheeks by the readers. But these heroines never let the romances get in the way of their goals. When a marriage proposal gets in the way of Alanna’s desire to see the world, she says no, instead of compromising her wishes and dreams. Daine’s love is her partner, her equal and they feed on each other for support, love and strength. Keladry chooses her dream, her determination to become a knight over anything else, over anyone else. She wants love but she can’t let it distract from protecting those who need her. Aly loves someone very much but she doesn’t let her get distracted from her mission, a seemingly impossible task. She waits until she’s completed her mission before completely giving herself over. Beka has her relationships, her flirtations, even a deep love for someone, but she never lets it get in the way of doing her JOB.

Can you see why I’m madly in love with Tamora Pierce and her writing? Can you see why my life, my writing, my passion for books, my outlook, my morals, my values, my beliefs, my strength have been influenced so much from Tamora Pierce? The woman is amazing and creates worlds that you want to be a part of. She creates characters that you wish you could be…and then you realize that, no, you don’t want to be them, because they are unique and they inspire you to be unique, to go out there and be different, and to grab onto those things that you want and dream, everyone else be damned.

I’ve been rambling on for what seems like forever. I could go on for pages and pages, for days and days, because there is no way I’ll ever begin to tell you how important this author, and her books are to me. I only hope that you all have a chance to pick up a book by her and realize how fantastic they are, and how much they can change your life. Besides my dear Queen Rowling, there isn’t an author on this planet that I worship and strive to be as much as Tamora Pierce.

I’ve read a lot of books, and I’ve loved a lot of books. I consume books the way some people consume food, or clothes or shoes, baseball games, even alcohol and drugs. I have a passion for books. But when you get down to it, I have two favorite books.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

and

Tricksters Choice

That should say something right?

Go out there, pick up a book by Tamora Pierce. You seriously won’t regret it. Then come back, and we can talk all about it. I can’t wait for it.

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Tamora Pierce’s Novels

Song of the Lioness Series

Alanna: The First Adventure
In the Hands of the Goddess
The Woman Who Rides Like a Man
Lioness Rampant

The Immortals

Wild Magic
Wolf Speaker
Emperor Mage
The Realm of the Gods

The Protector of the Small

First Test
Page
Squire
Lady Knight

Tricksters Series

Trickster’s Choice
Trickster’s Queen

Beka Cooper series

Terrier
Bloodhound
Mastiff

and many more series outside of the Tortall universe!

Tuesday Top Ten-Weapons of Choice

Ahhhh it feels good to be back, prescription writing for the blog. I spent most of last week on an editing bender, trying to get A Little Less than Famous done. I procrastinated in the worst way and left it to the last possible moments. Luckily I had asked to help from others earlier on and well I work better under pressure anyway.
But it is done now and available for Kindle and Nook and their corresponding apps. You can find out how to buy it in this blog post.
Then immediately after finishing LLTF, my boyfriend and I took a weekend trip to San Francisco. Which was amazingly fun because I haven’t been there since I was a kid.
But anyway I’m back and we are back to a regular schedule. Today I will be doing the Tuesday Top Ten, and the Book of the Week will be back on Thursday and so on.
Now, this week’s top ten is all about those weapons of choice, the ones that our favorite fictional characters wield that we totally wish we could have. Here it is.
10. Trident 
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There’s something kind of badass about a trident. I’m not talking about the one Ariel’s father uses in Little Mermaid. I’m talking Poseidon from Percy Jackson and the delicious Finnick Odair from the Hunger Games. You put a trident in their hands and they become warriors. Finnick just looks like a pretty face and a hot body (which, I mean, he is) but he becomes pretty badass with a trident in his hand. I wouldn’t mind taking lessons on how to wield one from him. The best part is that you don’t NEED anything. You don’t need a bow AND an arrow or ammunition. You just need a trident in each hand and some badass skills.
9. Whip 
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There are two people who use a whip that make it one of the coolest weapons around: Indiana Jones and Isabelle Lightwood from the Mortal Instruments series. I mean, where would Indiana be without his trusty whip in his adventures? Nowhere, I tell you. And Isabelle? She uses her flashy gold and silver whip to chop up demons! There is something very sexy about that, which makes it even more awesome. I mean, Isabelle walks into a room, looking sexy as hell, dressed in all black, red lipstick, stilettos…and then pulls out that whip. And come on, the first thing that you’re thinking is WHOA! Then she uses it to chop demons into pieces…and she’s damn good at it. That’s awesome.
8. Stele 
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I don’t know that this is a weapon, but more a tool to assist a Shadowhunter. It’s wand like and pen like, and it’s used Mark Shadowhunters with runes. Runes are tattoos that help them right better: they give them stealth and swiftness, silence, strength, healing and fearlessness. I would love to draw these tattoos on me. One, I just love tattoos (I think I’m a little addicted). And two, they give you powers. They give you the ability to be stealthy or fearless or they help you to be invisible to mundanes (regular humans). Plus you just look damn cool.
7. Blaster 
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I know, they aren’t exactly the most civilized weapons in the galaxy and that Obi Wan Kenobi looks down on them with distaste but come on, the war couldn’t have been won without some good blaster power. Luke was the only with a lightsaber and he couldn’t take down the whole Evil Galatic Empire on his own now, could he? So we need a good blaster to help take down the enemy and we need the best man to handle it, Han Solo. Han Solo, the scoundrel with his loud and messy weapon, and his wild partner in crime, Chewie. I’m not talking guns here; I’m talking blasters. Because blasters are better, for their sound effects alone. Who doesn’t go around, saying “pew pew” after seeing Star Wars.
6. Sword
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There’s nothing like a good ‘ol sword to make you feel pretty powerful. Look at everyone in the Game of Thrones. Once Upon a Time. Alanna, Keladry and Aly of Tortall. Every fairy tale ever. The Heir Trilogy. The Seven Realms novels. Lord of the Rings. Percy Jackson and his sword, Riptide. And on and on and on. There is a beauty and powerfulness to the idea of have skills in swordsmanship. Even just the idea of having a sword hang on my belt makes me feel more powerful. I want to walk casually into a room, my hand resting on my sword hilt, letting everyone know that I am not someone to toy with. And think about it, I’m a tiny person. I’m not someone you see and think “OH NO, SHE’S INTIMIDATING!” No way. But one of my favorite fictional swordswomen is Alanna of Trebond from the Song of the Lioness series and she’s the tiniest and fiercest heroine with a sword in her hand. If she can do it, I definitely can do it.
5. Bow and arrow
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This is probably the most popular weapon right now. Between Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, Hawkeye in the Avengers, Oliver Queen a.k.a. Green Arrow in Arrow, and even Kili in The Hobbit. Legolas in the Lord of the Rings. Daryl in the Walking Dead. Merida in Brave. Even little Arya in Game of Thrones.  And on and on and on. Especially with Katniss Everdeen. Archery is the hip thing right now. And I’m right on board with that. The fact is, archery just looks SO COOL. Its kind of an old school weapon, you know? You don’t really see the Army or the Navy busting out bows and arrows and shooting them in Afghanistan and Iraq. But old school is awesome, and it just feels like…you have to have more talent to wield a bow and arrow. Sure, you need a good eye and some aim to shoot a gun but to use a bow properly is that much harder which is why its one that I wish I had.
Update: As I was writing this post, a commercial for the new Tomb Raider came on…and wouldn’t you know it, Ms Lara Croft herself seems to be using a bow and arrow nowadays…and that doesn’t surprise me a bit!)
4. Sonic screwdriver
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Okay, this isn’t exactly a weapon. Okay, it isn’t a weapon at all. But its soooooooo cool and where the hell would the Doctor be without it? Stuck behind locked doors, confused about things he had never seen before, completely incapable of overriding something on a computer or a terminal or a ship or whatever. The fact is, the Doctor isn’t the Doctor without the sonic screwdriver (and the TARDIS but that’s a WHOLE ‘nother blog post). The sonic is just kind of this little magical device that can do pretty much anything, except when it comes to wood, and its a PRACTICAL weapon. It may not actually win you any battles but its a clever little tool and I definitely want one. Plus every single time the Doctor uses the sonic on something, he has some sort of intelligent nonsense to say and everyone believes him because they don’t know any better and he’s the Doctor so he has to be right. I’d like to just walk up to something random, sonic it and then spout off some eloquent bullsh*t. I’m sure I could do it.
3. Seraph blade
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For those of you who don’t know what a seraph blade is, its from the Mortal Instruments series (and maybe other series that deal with Nephilim, I don’t know). TMI is about a group of people called Nephilim or Shadowhunters, who have a sole purpose of keeping the earth safe from demons. They used their stele in order to draw Marks on their bodies to give them various strengths and powers. But the actual weapon that they use is called a seraph blade, a blade that looks like its made of ice, until you name it. A Shadowhunter gives a seraph blade its name, a name of an Angel because, of course, they are half angel/half human, and the blade begins to glow, and its the perfect weapon to take down a nasty demon. It just sounds so AWESOME. Its not a sword, its not a dagger; its something inbetween and its created for the single purpose of taking down a demon. AND IT GLOWS. I want it, because, let’s face it, besides being a wizard or a Jedi, I want to be a Shadowhunter most in the world.
2. A wand
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I know, I know, its not number one. People are probably having a hissy fit right now but just pay attention for a moment okay? I want a wand because it basically can do ANYTHING. I mean, it can’t create food as we learned from Ron and Hermione in Deathly Hallows but it can duplicate it. You can hover things and you can summon things and banish them. You can change your appearance and enlarge things. You can turn off lights and open doors and you can make flowers bloom and so many things. You need seven years of schooling to master the purpose of using a wand and even then, I’m sure you don’t know it all. It is the ultimate weapon. You may ask, well, Sara, you’re a Potterhead, why isn’t it your number one? Well for two reasons: one, its not very big, which means I’m likely to lose it. I’m horrible at keeping track of things and I could totally see myself constantly losing my wand the way I lose my cell phone or my keys. And two, its SMALL. This wand is basically my lifeline as a wizard and its so small and insignificant. I’m so terrified it would be snapped in half and then where I be? Even so, its definitely a weapon I’d like to have.
1. Lightsaber 
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Ah, yes, the classiest weapon in all the galaxy. A weapon for a more civilized age. And seriously, what every little kid wishes they could have. Hell, what every ADULT wishes they could have. And if they don’t want one, well, my opinion is that they are straight up crazy. Its even BETTER than a traditional sword because it glows, in different colors of red, blue, green and purple and it can be deactivated so, you know, you don’t sit on it or something. (What? I can totally imagine stabbing myself in the butt with my sword when I go to sit down…). I don’t care who you are; lightsabers are super cool. The noise they make when they activate, the noise they make when you use them, the noise they make when they collide with each other. The gorgeous arc they make as you swing them at your opponent. How could you not want this? Its all the beauty and class of a sword but in a more badass format.
Hope you all enjoyed this edition of the Tuesday Top Ten (on a Wednesday but who’s paying attention) and I hope you all tune in tomorrow for the Book of the Week. I’ve read so many books the past few weeks (The ENTIRE Heir Trilogy, The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Matched, The Maze Runner, Beautiful Creatures, and so on) so I need to decide which one to actually review. I guess we’ll see tomorrow.
Until then, what are your favorite weapons (or fictional objects) of choice? Let me know in the comments!
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Top Twelve Fictional Places (Oh Why Can’t They Exist?!)

Some of the best things about all these fandoms I’m obsessed with are the awesome worlds that come along with them. I think that’s partly what makes some of these fandoms so damn awesome: the fact that they’re taking place in some mystical, fictional place where amazing things happen. There are so many fictional worlds out there that I wish really existed and there are definitely places that I wish existed. So, of course, I created a list. I had to. I love lists :D and what a better list than one describing all of my favorite fictional places!

WhataNerdGirlSays’ Top 12 Fictional Places 

12. Pokemon World (Kanto, Johto, Etc). 

Pokemon Blue, Yellow and Red are my favorite video games of all time. They were really the first video games that I got into. I adored the show, I collected the cards, I played the game. Of course I did. To this day, I still love watching the show and playing the game (not so much the cards, I just never could understand it haha). I love the world of Kanto. For one thing, you’re ten years old and you’re ready to leave home and go on an awesome adventure. I don’t think I was old enough to walk home from school when I was ten years old! Then there’s all the awesome people, the pokemon, the training, the cool places to go, the battles, and so on. I wish this place was real! I could totally train pokemon! That or I’d just catch them all and stare at them all day because they’re so damn cute.

11. The Kingdom in Howl’s Moving Castle

“In the land of Ingary where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist…”

This mostly comes from Hayao Miyazaki and the Studio Ghibli team. They do an amazing job in all of their movies; their animation is stunning and the artwork is beautiful. This is what makes me want to live in Howl and Sophie’s world, known as Ingary in the books. I don’t know that they ever call it by anything in the movies but its called Ingary in the books. Yeah, the kingdoms are a little screwed up in their pointless war, but once that’s all done, I feel like it’d be an awesome place to live. The city where the palace is located is bustling and busy and so fantastically metropolitan. Then there’s the beach front town where Howl’s other shop is located where there’s the vast ocean and street market. Plus there’s magic and fancy clothes and it’d be so fun to do all of that. Oh yeah, and I want a fire demon named Calcifer, voiced by Billy Crystal.

10. Hundred Acre Wood

“Wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.”

 I have a completely unhealthy obsession with Winnie the Pooh for a fangirl of twenty-four. I ADORE Winnie the Pooh. I love the old A.A. Milne stories and I can’t get enough of the Disney adaptations. I will sit on that ride over and over again at DisneyLand and you can catch me singing various songs from the movies at any point in time. Is it no wonder that I think it would absolutely and totally brilliant to live in the Hundred Acre Wood. When I think of the Hundred Acre Wood, I think of childhood. It represents childhood so much; think of the last original Disney movie where Christopher Robin leaves the forest to grow up and go to school. And who doesn’t want to revisit their childhood when it involves adventures with a silly ‘ol bear and a nervous little piglet and a gloomy donkey and a bouncy tigger? I know this girl does.

8. Rivendell/the Shire

“Do you remember the Shire, Mr. Frodo? It’ll be spring soon. And the orchards will be in blossom. And the birds will be nesting in the hazel thicket. And they’ll be sowing the summer barley in the lower fields… and eating the first of the strawberries with cream. Do you remember the taste of strawberries?”

I’d like to say that I would love to just live in Middle Earth, but besides Rivendell and the Shire, Middle Earth kind of scares me, even after its saved. It’s so vast and unknown and there are so many creatures of unknown out there and it seems so dangerous. I like to stick close to home. Hobbits don’t stray to far from home, and some people may not like that much, but I don’t think there’s much harm in that. Of course, I want adventures and fun, but in the end, I love coming home. And the Shire is a quaint little countryside home that is perfect for those Hobbits. Besides, I would fit in sooooo well with Hobbits. And there’s Rivendell, where the lure is just the beauty and mysteriousness of it. Elves are such a mystery, even after all the encounters you have with them. They’re gorgeous (hello, Orlando Bloom in a wig. Hubba hubba). There is something very magical about Rivendell.

8. The Burrow

 

“It’s not much, but its home.”

I am part of a big family. I so know what its like to be a Weasley. There are seven kids in the Weasley family and there are six in my family. I think this is partly why Ron is one of my favorite characters; I can totally relate on the whole big family thing. That being said, the Burrow just sounds like everything I could’ve ever wanted in a home. It has the family together in once place, being a family together. It doesn’t have a forced feeling. It’s a real home, with messes in the rooms and the gardens, and homemade blankets and sweaters all over the place and a homemade dinner every night. Even though the Weasleys are poor, they have the Burrow and the Burrow is their home. It feels like a home. Its where their family gathers to be TOGETHER. Its where Harry gets his real, first experience on what its like to have a home and a family. And that fact that it’s a hodgepodge of rooms and additions makes it that much better. Like everything else Weasley, it’s a little crooked, a little out of place, but perfect in every way.

7. Narnia

“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now…Come further up, come further in!”

Now I’ve probably said it about a million times already, but I mean MOVIE Narnia, not book Narnia. My quote is from the books, and don’t get me wrong, I do like the books but well that’s a whole ‘nother blog post. I like the idea of Narnia, as this secret place that the Pevensies escape to and its where they belong and where they are able to become themselves. If the Hundred Acre Wood was childhood, Narnia is that middle ground, where a child becomes an adult. All the sons of Adam and daughters of Eve that pass into Narnia give to Narnia…but Narnia gives them just as much back. I like the idea of being able to find a secret, magical land in the back of a wardrobe where I’m going to have adventures and learn more about myself and the world.

6. Tortall

 

“Does anyone in this land act like they’re supposed to?”

The quote itself explains it. Tortall is a land of its own, where things happen that seem so out of the ordinary. The King’s Champion is a woman, one of the most powerful mages in all the world is a woman, there’s woman fighting, there’s schools for the lower classes, there’s so much. Tortall has everything a fangirl could need with knights and mages and fantastic creatures and all of that, but it’s so revolutionary at the same time. It shows equality and tolerance. It promotes the idea of educating your population, all of it. It has a king and queen, who get to know their people, who act like normal people. Girls are amazing in Tortall; they’re clever and ambitious and powerful, just as they are in the real world. I would live in Tortall, easily. I could become a female knight or a mage (if I had the Gift) or a scholar or a Queen’s Riders or join the King’s Own. Tortall represents a sort of crazy wishful world, an example of what we should be. It’s not perfect but its near enough and King Jonathan and Queen Thayet work their butts off to make it so.

5. Time and Space in The Tardis

 

“Think you’ve seen it all? Think again. Outside those doors, we might see anything. We could find new worlds, terrifying monsters, impossible things. And if you come with me… nothing will ever be the same again!”

The Doctor has a way of pulling you, making you want to go with him, even though its dangerous. And it IS dangerous. The Doctor gets himself into crazy, insane, dangerous situations where your life, his life, a species life, the universe is at stake. And yet, you see amazing things as well. There’s a reason that his companions are so enamored with him; there’s a reason they’re so attached and they find it nearly impossible to leave. The Doctor gives you the entire universe, a life that is amazing and unique and different every single time. You literally have the entire universe in the palm of your hand. Anywhere in time and space.You can go anywhere you’d want to go. I couldn’t even begin to make a list of the places I wished to see. I wish that the Doctor’s world existed. I wish he existed and he’d take me along with him.

4. Camp Half-Blood

“Keeping Young Heroes Safe from Harm (Mostly) For Over Three Millennia”

I’ve been absolutely obsessed with Greek mythology for a good chunk of my life. It’s fun and it’s interesting. It was the religion of these people; these tales were what they used to explain everything, whether it was to do with the body, or the nature or anything. I remember wanting to name my cat “Artemis” once and everyone made fun of me. It took me awhile before reading the Percy Jackson series because I thought of it as a little kids’ series. Mistake one. Harry Potter is a kids series and I ADORE it. And I adore Percy as well. How cool to be a demigod, with a god or goddess as a parent (though in the book, they all seem pissed at their parents) and to have cool powers and save the world. Camp Half-Blood sounds so COOL. I wish I could live there. Its like all my obsession with Greek mythology come to life! Obviously I couldn’t be a daughter of Artemis, even though she was always my favorite, but I’d imagine being a daughter of Athena. Athena seems like a good Ravenclaw counterpart.

3. The Galaxy

“For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes”

I want to be a Jedi. I want to live in the Star Wars universe. I want a lightsaber and a blaster. I want to be Princess Leia. I want to rip Han Solo’s clothes off. I want to fly an X-wing or the Millenium Falcon. I want to race pod-racers. I want to save the galaxy. I want to live by the Force and battle the Dark side. I want to be part of the Rebel Alliance. George Lucas created a wonderful, vast, epic world and who wouldn’t want to be a part of it? The fact that the first movie came out in 1977, over thirty years ago, and still enjoys a crazy popularity just shows how captivating this world is. It has those classic elements of a typical fantasy, with the princess and the “knight in shining armor” with the swords (lightsabers) and the evil empire taking over. It has a magical component, it has the wide old man and the loyal retainers. And yet it is set in this badass science fiction world. Its the best of both.

2. Idris 

“To a Shadowhunter, Idris is always home.” 

Shadowhunters are humans who have angel blood and spend their lives fighting demons, and keeping the earth safe from demons. There are Shadowhunters stationed all across the world to keep it safe but their home is the country of Idris, and its capital city, the glass city, Alicante. It is described in the books as the sort of Jerusalem for Shadowhunters. I want to be part of this world and live in Alicante because I want to be a Shadowhunter and marry Jace Lightwood. I’m half-way kidding with that.There’s something intriguing about a glass city where the world’s most powerful warriors and protectors live.

1. Hogwarts

“Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”

“Hogwarts was the first and best home he had known. He and Voldemort and Snape, the abandoned boys, had all found home here. ” 

How much do I really have to explain about this? Hogwarts is my home just as much as it was to Harry and Snape and Tom Riddle. It was the first time I ever felt like I was a part of something. I learned the meaning of good and evil, right and wrong, the meaning of friendship, of love, of bravery, of tolerance, of courage, of happiness and sadness, of gain and loss. I get teared up just thinking about it, just reading those quotes by Queen Rowling. There is nothing in this world that has touched me or changed me like these books have. How could I not want to go to Hogwarts? Its enchanting, and mysterious, and fun and wonderful. It’s every good word that is out there. There is no fictional place in the world of movies and books that I wish was real like Hogwarts. Its real for us. It will always be real for us. Always.

So that’s my list of favorite fictional places. I’m sure there’s about a hundred more that you all are thinking of so share them in the comments! You know I always love hearing from you :D

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