Exclusive Interview with Cinda Williams Chima, author of The Heir Chronicles and Seven Realms series

So today, find instead of having the usual Blogger Spotlight, page I decided to switch it up a little, and treat you to a very special blog post today!

Yesterday, I introduced you all to a favorite author of mine, Cinda Williams Chima.

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If you weren’t able to check out the article, you should definitely check it out now, here.

She’s the award-winning, fantastic author of both The Heir Chronicles, a contemporary fantasy series, and the Seven Realms series, which is pure fantasy, in the young adult genre.

Now, the Seven Realms series consists of The Demon King, The Exiled Queen, The Gray Wolf Throne and the final book, which came out this previous fall, The Crimson CrownAs of right now, this series is concluded, and there isn’t any definite plans for more.

The Heir Chronicles, however, are continuing! So far they are The Warrior Heir, The Wizard Heir and The Dragon Heir, which can be bought in a box set here. Hitting book stores this fall will be the fourth entry into the series, The Enchanter Heir

Here is the description of the book, taken straight from Cinda’s website :)

Also, an awesome note, you DO not have to read the first third of these books to enjoy The Enchanter Heir!

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Now, Cinda Williams Chima is one of my absolute favorite authors, and I’ve been lucky enough that she has taken notice in my blog, and has helped to support it. (I SO hope to get an ARC of Enchanter Heir!) She took it one step further and agreed to do an interview for me so here you go guys! An interview with the rockin’ Ms Chima! Enjoy!

Sara: What can you tell us about Enchanter Heir? Is it a continuation of the story that left off in Dragon Heir or is it a new story set in the same universe? 

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Cinda: The Enchanter Heir is both a continuation of the Heir Chronicles and a twist on the magical system readers have become familiar with. As usual, I’m introducing new viewpoint characters. Chronologically, it follows The Dragon Heir but new readers should be able to read The Enchanter Heir without reading the other three.

Sara: What inspires you to write? Where do you get your ideas and why do you generally stick to the fantasy genre? 

Cinda: The biggest inspiration for me as a writer is all of the wonderful books I’ve read.  As a professional writer, I can’t wait to be inspired, though. As Thomas Edison said, “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” 

I stick to fantasy because I love to read it, and because its been well-received by readers. I may one day write in another genre, though.

Sara: What advice do you give aspiring writers? 

Cinda: Focus on craft first. Too many writers take their work to market before it’s really ready, getting distracted by a focus on query letters, agents and publishers. Marketing a bad book is like trying to push a boulder up hill.

Sara: Will we ever see any other books that take place in the Seven Realms universe or is the story over?

The Seven Realms Series 

Cinda: Possibly. There are lots of stories in the Seven Realms and I’ve told you one of them. For more info, read this on my blog: The Seven Realms Thank You!

(Sara: SO MUCH COOL INFO! I really hope one day we get to see these characters again, they are amazing and incredible characters!)

Sara: What are some of your favorite books to read? What books or authors inspire you when you’re writing? 

Cinda: I read a lot of young adult lit, and often it’s fantasy fiction. When I read really great fiction, it inspires me to do better.

Sara: what is the hardest part about writing? What is the best part about being an author? 

Cinda: For me, first drafts are the toughest, because it’s very much like leaping into the abyss, with no idea where you’ll end up. Once I have the bones down, I can fix what needs fixing.

One of the best parts of being an author is getting to hang out with people who love books: writers, readers, librarians, teachers, editors, agents, booksellers, and so on. I always feel in context.

Sara: Did you ever want to be a writer, or did you have other career aspirations? 

Cinda: I began writing in third grade, but I never seriously thought I could make a living at it. When readers ask me what I’d be if I weren’t a writer, I tell them I’ve already been those things. I have a degree in philosophy and two degrees in nutrition. I’ve worked in advertising for a newspaper, typing and editing copy, which is great training for a writer. And I worked as a dietitian in various positions. In my last day job, I was a college professor, teaching nutrition.

Sara: How do you come up with names for your characters?

Cinda: For my Heir Chronicles contemporary stories, many of the names come from my family tree. Swift, Downey, Childers-they are all family names. For the Seven Realms, it’s a little more difficult. Sometimes, when I’m making up names. I realize that they all begin with the same letter! I love it when characters name reinforces a character-for example. Dolores Umbridge is the perfect name for that character in Harry Potter.

Sara: What other projects do we have to look forward in the future? 

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Cinda: I’ll be writing two more Heir Chronicles novels, The Enchanter Heir and The Sorcerer Heir. Then–I don’t know. Possible more Seven Realms or something completely different.

Sara: What do you like to do in your spare time, besides writing or reading? 

Cinda: I love to garden, and I love genealogy, though I don’t have much time to do it these days.

Sara: Last question, who would you say is your fictional crush? (Han is definitely one of my favorites!)

Cinda: Ha! I tend to create the kind of fictional heroes that I find to be hot. I mean, why wouldn’t I?

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THANK YOU SO MUCH Cinda for doing this interview for me. I seriously enjoy your books to no end, and I pretty much shove The Demon King, in everyone’s faces. And I will continue to do so haha.

If you guys want to learn more about Cinda and her two fantastic fantasy series, you can visit her on her website HERE, or you may read my post ALLLLLL about her, right HERE!

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!

Tuesday Top Ten-Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book Series

Well, medicine that was quite a mouthful of a title. I did try to slim it down a bit but I’m afraid it just wasn’t going to happen. So I am afraid we are stuck with this extremely long title. Sigh. Oh well. Sometimes, pharm you know, buy information pills things just happen.

So I’m actually writing this on Monday night, so its ready to post for tomorrow, because tomorrow is a BIG, BIG day, in the words of one Effie Trinket. Tomorrow, me and my iFandoms Collide girls are heading down to the Star Trek Into Darkness premiere tomorrow and I’m going to be a busy girl all day.

So I had to be responsible and do all my homework first. And now I’m being doubly responsible and finishing this so I don’t get behind!

Because there’s so many awesome posts coming! I’ll probably do a post on my first movie premiere experience tomorrow, and I have my interview with Eoin Colfer to post and there’s an interview with Jessica Brody coming VERY soon, and the Book of the Week and I have a super cool blog that was a story writing project with me and a few other bloggers and…yeah, a lot of SUPER awesome stuff coming to WhatANerdGirlSays.

In the meantime though, enjoy this week’s Tuesday Top Ten!

Favorite Science Fiction/Paranormal/Fantasy/Dystopian Series

11. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

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The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King

Some people will not understand why this is so low on the list. They also are probably wondering why this is number eleven. Well to answer the second question, well its my blog and I can do whatever I want and I love this genre and so I couldn’t narrow it down. And for the second, I’ll explain. I love LoTR, I adore those books. They are fantastic books and I enjoy reading them. J.R.R. Tolkien created an incredible world, using old mythologies and biblical references and all kinds of really cool stuff. He created some memorable characters, and an epic story. I do think that he should have created stronger female characters but that wasn’t exactly the time and Eowyn is still a super badass character. But these aren’t books that I gravitate to and read over and over again. Mostly because they are really hard to get through; there’s a lot that goes on, where you’re sitting there going, what does this have to do with anything?! I also think there’s an abnormal amount of singing and dancing and eating and partying going on in all of those books and I’m sitting here, going, “Uh impending doom? Why are we feasting?” But maybe thats just me. But that being said, JRR Tolkien is a fantasy god, and created a series that opened the doors for so many other series. I don’t think the fantasy genre would become what it is without this epic trilogy.

10. Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

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The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay

It took me FOREVER to read these books. I don’t know why, but I just had no desire to read them. I don’t know if it was the covers or what, but I just didn’t want to read them. I had no idea what they were about but I just didn’t turn to them for new reading material. However, my sister kept pushing me to and eventually I gave in…and sped through the first two books in a matter of maybe 36 hours. Luckily enough for me, Mockingjay was to be released about a week later so I didn’t even have to wait a long time to find out what happened next. And even though Mockingjay is my least favorite of all the books, I seriously enjoy this series and I am so glad I finally sat down to read these. I know that a lot of people give Suzanne Collins crap because of Battle Royale but I’ve said this once, twice, three times and I’ll continue to say it: we tell the same stories over and over again, but when we tell them in different voices, we create completely different stories. And I believe Suzanne did that. I love Katniss, and I love her strength and her humanity. We are put in a world where children are forced to kill each other, and where immense violence occurs. Then we are shown this world from our beloved Katniss’s point of view, and even though she is surviving and killing just like every one else in the games, she has a real humanity about her and you can’t help but love her and root her on.

9. Divergent series by Veronica Roth

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Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant 

Oh Divergent. Thank you to my dear friend Caitlin who introduced me to this book. Another book that I got into after it had been released for a bit. I read Divergent the DAY that Insurgent released. In fact, I finished Insurgent at about 2 or 3 am and immediately purchased Insurgent on my Kindle because I just had to find out what happened next. I had to. And I love the world Veronica Roth created because it is both extremely familiar but very different at the same time. I also feel a very strong attachment to Tris Prior. Tris is not like other heroines. So many of the heroines that we read are yes, strong, and powerful and all that but they’re always pretty! And come on, not all of us are pretty! We’re not all supermodels! And it works great in this book because it shows Four‘s gradual attraction to her, he falls for her because of her strength, her selflessness, her intelligence, all of that. And it gives her a better opportunities to prove her strength. Because we are less focused on her physical appearance, except maybe for the fact that she is very small (which, as a short person, I love!), we are able to focus on her physical and mental journey to become the real person that she can be. I love the psychology of the books too. A friend of mine is a psychology professor (I think, she’s got a degree in psychology, she’s really smart when it comes to psychology…) and we were able to have some deep discussions on the serums and fear landscapes and all that stuff and its so super interesting!

8. Legend trilogy by Marie Lu

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Legend, Prodigy and Champion 

This is another series that was recommended to me by someone and was one that I actually jumped on pretty quickly. My friend Erin gives me really good recommendations and I tend to take her advice haha. I read Legend two days before Prodigy came out (how does this keep happening to me…) and I was addicted. I was hesitant to read this book because it was another dystopian. And don’t get me wrong, I LOVE dystopian. It kind of takes all the worst qualities about the societies we live in today and amplifies them. I almost feel like these books are made to scare us a bit, like, could the world really become this way? But I was getting tired of it and it was getting comparisons to Hunger Games and I was like, meh. But I am so glad I decided to dive in. Marie Lu is a fantastically talented writer and she creates such a real world. This could be the world we eventually live in. Its Los Angeles in the Republic of America where you have to take an aptitude test to determine whether you’ll be trained as a soldier, which is elite, or you have to do grunt work. Day is a criminal, after getting the lowest score possible, trying to save his family and June is a prodigy, with the highest score, a perfect score, going after Day after he is accused of her brother’s murder. Alternating viewpoints gives us a look into both of their heads and both of their stories and Marie spins a twisting story where you just don’t know who to look at it or who to root for. Fantastic books. I canNOT wait until Champion, the final book, is released this fall.

7. Infernal Devices Trilogy by Cassandra Clare

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Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, Clockwork Princess

I think this one is almost self-explanatory because I talk about Cassandra Clare so often but I have to talk about it so much. The Mortal Instruments is near and dear to my heart because they are the first ones I read of Cassie and they have Jace Lightwood, who I’m pretty much in love with and all that. And yeah, TMI gets a lot of “crap” because of stolen ideas and all that stuff. But what I like about the Infernal Devices is that Cassie became an even better writer when she tackled these books. She knew New York, and she was comfortable there but diving into these Victorian London novels took time, effort and a ton of research, while also creating a believable, exciting and relatable story and she accomplished all of the above. Tessa, Will, Jem and the rest of the characters are so easy to love and so easy to follow and the story keeps us absolutely breathless to the very end. These books are funny and exciting and absolutely heartbreaking. I challenge you to read Clockwork Princess without bursting into tears. I dare you. You can’t do it. You can see the differences in the times between Clary‘s Shadowhunter story of TMI and Tessa‘s in this series but you can also see the similarities between them too. And even though you aren’t wearing a corset and wondering what is proper and what is not, you can feel such a kinship and immediate connection to Tessa Gray. And you anxiously wait the entire series to find out who she is and what strengths she has and you learn that out of all the characters in the series, she’s the strongest. Such a beautiful series. And look at those covers, gorgeous!

6. Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima

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The Demon King, The Exiled Queen, The Gray Wolf Throne, The Crimson Crown

I will talk about this series until I am blue in the face because I feel like no one I know has read this series and it is an absolute travesty. I was talking to my friend about it today and Leigh Bardugo (author of the Grisha trilogy) saw it and chimed in, saying she agreed with me on this series. Its good to know that I am not the only one who not only appreciates what an amazing series this is, but also loves it as well. Cinda reminds me a lot of Tamora Pierce who was the first author that really brought me into YA fantasy. If Meg Cabot and Sarah Dessen were my gateways into YA contemporary, Tamora was the gateway to my fantasy love. And I have read some amazing series since then, I really have, all the series that are on this list basically. But none of them have brought me back full circle like this one. Its such brilliant, pure fantasy, that is creating this wonderful, different world but is written so it is familiar to us all and makes it a relatable read. I love Cinda’s Heir series but this one, Seven Realms…its just brilliant. I can’t even articulate how fantastic this book is. You get two alternating points of view, in third person, between Princess Raisa and the former crime lord, Han Alister (who you may have seen on my fave fictional crushes). Both are trying to find their niche in the world until mysterious things start happening to them, and to the world around them and then suddenly their worlds are intertwined. Spread out over four books, you stay glued to each page, anxiously waiting to see what happens next. I read all four in about five days. I inhaled them. More people need to be talking about and reading these books.

5. Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan

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The Lost Hero, The Son of Neptune, The Mark of Athena (and two more coming in 2013 and 2014!)

I love Percy Jackson and the Olympians. They are absolutely great books. I saw my sister and brother reading them, saw that they were kids books and kind of left it at that. But then I saw the movie, and the movie…wasn’t that good and it made me curious about the books and I read that series pretty quickly. Then I latched onto this one, of course. And Heroes of Olympus takes the world that you love in Percy Jackson and amplifies it by a million. Even though these books are sold in the children’s section and are aimed at children, they have a very YA feel and remind of Harry Potter, how they can reach out to any age. The writing becomes more sophisticated, the stories more complex and the relationships are becoming more fun. And the stories and conflicts that the characters go through are getting harder than they were in Percy Jackson. We get to see the characters we love evolve into older teens, we’re seeing them growing older and falling in love and trying to save the world from things even worse than before. Then we also get to meet new characters, who, even though we haven’t known them as long, we fall in love with just as hard. The idea of intermixing the Roman and Greek mythologies and two camps and all of that is just brilliant and I really think this series is Rick Riordan‘s masterpiece. He took this brilliant, awesome world he created off of all these myths that we’re all pretty familiar with and just made it that much better. I’ll admit it too: I love this series because of all the Percabeth. I love me some Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase. They are too cute.

4. Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray

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A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, A Sweet Far Thing 

So I messed up this series a little bit. I saw the cover of Rebel Angels when I was at Borders one day and thought it was absolutely gorgeous and it really intrigued me. I think it had just recently been released because it was on display. I read the description, thought it sounded great, bought it and read it. And then realized it was the sequel to A Great and Terrible Beauty. Oops. My bad. So I went back and read the first one, knowing who died at the end already. But honestly, even though I did that…it didn’t kill that for me. Instead I just enjoyed watching Gemma come into her own. I love books that take place in Victorian England (though, of course, I read this way before the Infernal Devices) especially when the main characters are female. It was such a difficult time for girls. They had no rights, their entire lives were focused on finding a husband and they couldn’t even enjoy sex. “Just lie back and think of England.” (Which I found funny when Jace said it in City of Ashes haha). And then you throw in the fact that Gemma, the main character, has these magical powers, very strong ones, in a world where she has no power. The temptation, the hardships of learning how to deal with these powers and to use them responsibly…that has to be hard. Watching Gemma discover who she is, both as a member of the Order and as a person living her life, is one of the best stories I’ve ever read. These stories hold such a strong place in my heart because I appreciate the strength that Libba Bray gives to all her characters: Gemma, Felicity, Ann and Pippa in a time where women weren’t supposed to have strength. I also give her major major props for including a lesbian character in the book, because there are still so many people who think being gay is “bad”, but think of what it would have meant to be a lesbian in Victorian England, but she does it so beautiful and I am so in love with that character.

3. Tricksters series by Tamora Pierce

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Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen 

Oh Tamora Pierce. What would I have ever done without you in my life? She was my gateway to fantasy and science fiction and dystopian and paranormal. I had read Harry Potter, I adored Harry Potter (read below) but I always thought that fantasy wasn’t for me, that I couldn’t understand it and I couldn’t relate to the characters. It wasn’t until I picked up Trickster’s Choice that I realized how insanely wrong I was. I was 15 when I picked this book up and I honestly picked it up because it mentioned pirates very briefly in the inside flap and I had a really unhealthy obsession with pirates at the time (Thanks Johnny Depp). Turns out the pirates were mentioned for maybe 2 and 1/2 pages and it didn’t matter because it was an absolutely brilliant book. Its pure, amazing fantasy and Tamora creates these beautiful fantasy worlds that are both completely new and yet completely real to us and familiar. In this particular series, it is a class war between the dark skinned raka and the light skinned luarin nobility and the parallels between racism and class wars and slavery in our own histories is fantastic. Tammy is one smart cookie and she is able to weave these fun and beautiful adventures with amazingly strong female characters with these issues that are still so very relevant today is absolutely brilliant. I have read these books so many times that I can almost quote them by part. My copy of Trickster’s Choice is falling apart with how much I love it. And I met one of my absolute best friends, Chloe, my pen pal from Australia that I’ve been writing to for 9 years because of her books. She has changed my life. I’m still trying to figure out a symbol that I can get of these books on my body in a tattoo because it so deserves a spot on my body.

2. Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare 

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City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls and City of Heavenly Fire (releasing Spring 2014)

I’m pretty sure any person who has even glanced at my blog knows that I have much love and much obsession for this series. What this series has done for me, in so many different ways, is never ending and what it continues to do for me. It saved me when I thought I was just going to curl up in bed and forget the world, after two really sad things happened to me. It helped me to realize that it was okay to believe, or in my case, not believe in things and that was okay. It taught me that it was okay to be who I am. Alec and Aline and Magnus are all characters I look up to so much as gay, lesbian and bisexual characters. As someone who is bisexual, it was amazing to have these characters in such a fantastic, dark, sexy, fun world and to see them overcome their fears of being who they are, giving me the courage to overcome my own fears. They gave me Jace Lightwood, my fictional boyfriend. They gave me confidence in myself to become a writer. They taught me so much. And they make me laugh, cry, anxiously turn the pages and want to become a Shadowhunter. I have met Cassandra Clare four times, I have every book that is currently published signed by her, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to interview her and I have a Fearless rune tattoo on my shoulder. These books hold a very very special place in my heart and I continue to read them over and over again to laugh and have a good time and be excited and watch as Clary and Jace and Alec and Magnus and Isabelle and Simon fight demons and Valentine and have adventures. I am eagerly awaiting the final book, City of Heavenly Fire, in 2014 and I’m INSANELY excited about the City of Bones movie this summer.

1. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling 

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the Chamber of Secrets, the Prisoner of Azkaban, the Goblet of Fire, the Order of the Phoenix, the Half-Blood Prince, and the Deathly Hallows. 

What would I be without these books in my life? I get teary-eyed just thinking about these books and what they have done for me, as a person, as a reader, as a writer. I first read Sorcerer’s Stone when I was ten years old, the year it was released here in the United States. I am 25 and I can’t imagine ever not loving these books. I read each and every one with a fervor that I have never had for any other book series. I fell in love with characters more than any other, laughed when they laughed, celebrated with they celebrated, worked hard with them and cried when they died. These books took me from an avid reader to a passionate reader, to a reader whose very escape from everything in life that ever goes bad is a book, and especially these books. From the time I was 10 until a few years ago, nothing was going right. Of course it wasn’t, I was a teenager. But between my parents’ separation, switching schools, being responsible for things that no normal pre-teen is, falling in love, getting pregnant, and so many things…these books were there through it all. I was always a big reader but these books turned me into the passionate reader, the book addict that I am today. They taught me more than I have ever learned in any bible or textbook. I have gotten so many morals and beliefs and lessons from these books. They have taught me about love and friendship and family and death and sacrifice and forgiveness and tolerance and acceptance and on and on and on. There will never be a book series that means as much to me as this one does. There will never be a series like this. These books are so beautifully written and they have given me every emotion I could possibly feel. There is a reason that I have permanently marked myself with four Harry Potter tattoos.

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I hope you all enjoyed this week’s Tuesday Top Ten! Remember, click the author’s name to check out their website and click the book titles to purchase them on Amazon! I really hope that you guys are able to check out some new series today, every single one of these are very near and dear to my heart.

Stay tuned for some PRETTY awesome stuff coming to the blog this week!

And for past Tuesday Top Ten lists, click here!

Tuesday Top Ten-Fictional Male Crushes

So this was one of my first blog posts way back in May of 2012, viagra 100mg when I first started my blog.

The reason that I’m doing it again is this: when I first started my blog, unhealthy I had about 15 followers, for sale that were mostly my friends and family, and most of my friends and family were just like, “Okay, Sara, we’ll follow your blog but we don’t really get it…” Now, I have a lot more followers, and I’ve met more girl bloggers and I’ve really expanded myself out there. More people are coming to WhatANerdGirlSays than before.

I’ve also had a HUGE increase in followers in the last few weeks because of the contest I just held and because I’ve been passing out my blog business cards. Which means a lot of people haven’t seen the other lists that I’ve made. And I know that my blog mostly attracts girls, nerd girls, fan girls, you know? This is a girl blog, though I do write for both genders, and one of my favorite parts of reading books and watching my shows and movies, is having that character crushes, both male and female.

This time, I’m going to be doing an updated, though not super changed, top ten of my favorite male crushes in fictional worlds. I’ll probably do an updated top ten of my favorite female crushes soon too. But I’ve decided to kind of update some of the older ones for you new followers to enjoy :)

I’m laughing a little while I write this because one of my biggest followers is my dad, and he loves reading the Tuesday Top Ten because its my more gender equal posts, and he’s always bugging me about that post, like he did today. I think he’ll be a bit disappointed in this.

But for the rest of you awesome people, enjoy!

Top Ten Fictional Male Crushes

10. Han Alister 

I couldn’t find a photo for Han Alister, mostly because he’s a book character, and a book character that has not been made into a movie, so its near impossible. I also couldn’t find any fan art like I really liked. So Han doesn’t get a picture. Oh well. Han Alister is one of the main characters, besides Princess Raisa, in the Seven Realms trilogy by Cinda Williams Chima. Princess Raisa is the heir to her country, and determined to become a good queen, to be good to her people and help them, and to find a person who she can marry that will benefit the kingdom. Han is a former streetlord, suddenly discovering his magic powers and learning to harness them and fighting hard to make something of himself. Their stories intertwine as unrest both outside and inside the borders of the country threatens them both. What I like about Han is the sort of…confidence he has and the way he holds himself. He still has that confidence and easiness of a streetlord, that casual arrogance but he also has determination and ambition to BE someone, especially when he realizes how he feels for Raisa, and knows that his station doesn’t permit him to have her. I like ambition in a man :)

“So here’s the truth – I love you. I love everything about you – the way you stick up for people even when it costs you. The way you keep trying to do the right thing even when you’re not exactly sure what the right thing is. I love how you put words together. You’re as skilled with words as any knife fighter with a blade. You can put an enemy down on his back, or you can raise people up so they find what’s best in themselves. You’ve changed my life. You’ve given me the words I need to become whatever I want.”

9. Tony Stark/Ironman 

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So awhile back, I was watching TV and one of those entertainment shows, E.T. or whatever, did a piece on Robert Downey Jr, and all the drama he once went through and how everyone thought he was done and would never recover and whatnot. They showed a People magazine that was something like, Robert Downey Jr will never bounce back, or recover, or be important again, or something. Then they showed a People magazine that came out probably after Ironman, and they were like “Oops! We were Wrong!” And its so TRUE. Robert Downey Jr came back with a vengeance and the Ironman movies are my favorite to come out of this comic book character storm. One, they’re just great movies, and two, Tony Stark is an awesome character. He’s cocky and arrogant but wicked smart and honestly, I do believe he wants to save the day. I like him because he doesn’t have super powers, much like Bruce Wayne/Batman but instead of having just the heaps of money, he really does have the brains as well. He is seriously intelligent. And hot. So hot.

 “All right. Yay. All right. Good job, guys. Let’s just not come in tomorrow. Let’s just take a day. Have you ever tried shawarma? There’s a shawarma joint about two blocks from here. I don’t know what it is, but I wanna try it.”

8. Sherlock Holmes 

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I’m starting to see a trend in my crushes, and I’m only on #7. For those of you who don’t know, or are basically living under a rock, this is Benedict Cumberbatch (also appearing as the necromancer and Smaug in The Hobbit) as Sherlock Holmes in the BBC show, Sherlock. This is the show that inspired the American adapation, Elementary (because god forbid we come up with new ideas here haha). Anyway, it seriously must be his dashing good looks and charming British accent because Sherlock Holmes the character is kind of a jerk, and definitely arrogant. Not even a little bit, he most definitely is arrogant, and in the beginning, is almost lacking of humanity. He gets excited when there’s a serial killer because its interesting and gives him something to do with that big ‘ol brain of his. But I like that, as the show goes on, he gains more of his humanity, which I think comes a lot from his partner in crime, John Watson. He makes jokes and laughs, and cares. I mean, sure, he’s still Sherlock and he’s still a JERK but he gets better and I adore him.

Sitting on a couch in Buckingham Palace
John Watson: Are you wearing any pants?
Sherlock Holmes: …No.
John Watson: Okay.

7. Will Herondale

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Yeah, there’s a trend. There is so definitely a trend. William Herondale is one of the main characters in Cassandra Clare’s second Shadowhunter series, which takes place in the Victorian age and features people who may or may not be related to those in the Mortal Instruments, her original series. Will starts off as an asshole. Excuse the language, but he really is. He isn’t just mean, he’s cruel at times. He casually uses the drug that is KILLING his best friend, he treats Tessa like nothing more than a prostitute. He has harsh jokes and sometimes you are just like…how could this be happening? And he’s the first male character that you, and Tessa, meet and he’s abnormally handsome, with the dark hair and blue eyes and you’re hoping that this is the one for her and he’s just so mean. It gets better though in Clockwork Prince when you realize that he is under a curse, that everyone he loves will die and so he is cruel to them, to save them. Once he realizes that he was lied to, and has never been cursed, the real Will comes out and you realize what a loving, and caring and selfless person he is, especially in Clockwork Princess. And you feel sympathy for him…how hard would it be to convince people NOT to love you?

“Jem told me what Ragnor Fell said about my father,” Will said. “That for my father, there was only ever one woman he loved, and it was her for him, or nothing. You are that for me. I love you, and I will only ever love you until I die…”

6. Rhett Butler 

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Rhett. Butler. Totally doesn’t fit this list in the slightest but is one of my absolute favorite male characters of all time. I can’t even remember how young I was the first time I watched this movie, and I read the book for the first time when I was 13, and have read it several times since then. Its one of my absolute favorite books of ALL time. I like Rhett Butler because, straight up, the guy has more guts than anyone in the entire book. Ashley Wilkes is all about honor and serving his country even if he doesn’t actually believe in what he’s fighting for. Charles Hamilton is just a big softie and was just not the match for Scarlett in the slightest. Frank Kennedy was smart but bland. There wasn’t much to him. The most amazing man in the book was Rhett. He had the intelligent and charisma and cleverness and slyness and all of it. He made his money, on his own after his family disowns him, and even if its not the “proper” way, he still does it. He does things for himself and I like that. He has ambition and guts. He doesn’t have his hand up in the clouds, he’s going to do what he has to do!

“Well, my dear, take heart. Some day, I will kiss you and you will like it. But not now, so I beg you not to be too impatient.” 

5. Sirius Black 

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Even though I think Gary Oldman is sexy man, he’s not what I pictured as Sirius Black. I always pictured Sirius as a youngish, slightly arrogant and just funny as hell. (Damn, there goes my trend again…). Sirius is arrogant and he is immature. He never quite grows up from his popular days at Hogwarts and he never really gets over his childhood hate of Snape. But I still think that he is a really good person. So many people complain about his inconsistencies but people in general are inconsistent. And I think he was trying his very best to be a good godfather to Harry. He spent 12 years in Azkaban and he went in at a young age, only 21 or 22 years old and he came out as a middle aged adult but he never really got the time to truly grow up. He was beginning to grow up, in his time outside of prison. And he truly loved Lily, James and Lupin, and Harry. He was trying to do his best by them and it was admirable. And he was supposed to be good looking as hell and he had that cockiness and easy goingness, and he was a loyal, loyal friend.

“Then you should have died! Died rather than betray your friends, as we would have done for you!” 

4. Michael Moscovitz

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Michael Moscovitz, I think, was one of my first fictional crushes. Definitely one of my first book crushes. I discovered The Princess Diaries and Meg Cabot when I was 12 years old. I loved Michael. He was the super good looking senior who fell in love with super awkward and geeky freshman, Mia, and it was like a dream to me. I was super awkward and gangly and shy in middle school and high school. Hell, I still am, minus the shy part. But I’ve always been geeky, with my head in my journal or a book and wrapped up in my fictional worlds and I always wished some good looking older guy would come out of nowhere and love me despite my awkwardness haha. But Michael is great. He’s hot, he’s smart as hell. He gets into Colombia, early admission, and invents a robot arm that assists in heart surgeries. He’s musical and in a band. He’s really really really good at math and helps Mia pass math, because she can write a good story but she couldn’t solve the quadratic formula if her life depended on it. He’s geeky and quotes Star Wars and Star Trek and loves Buffy and he’s awesome. He’s just awesome. And now that I’m 25 and its been over a decade since I first read these books…I get a kick out of the similarities between me and Mia and the similarities between Michael and my boyfriend Jon.

“Mia, I’m not sorry. And I’ll wait.
Love, Michael.” 

3. The Doctor

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I don’t see how a girl who loves Doctor Who could NOT have a crush on The Doctor. He can give you the entire universe. He offers you the most appealing deal in the history of all deals. He has a spaceship that can go anywhere in time and space. You can go to any time, any planet, any where. Wherever you want to go. And sure, every time you go somewhere, things inevitably go wrong, but his life is interesting and fast paced and different. Its so different from this “boring, monotonous” life. He’s hundresds of years old and he’s been everywhere and seen everything. He’s smart and funny and selfish and selfless at the same time. He’s always determined to save the day, but he always has fun while he’s at. And he cares SO much. The depth of his emotions and his caring is what makes him so real. He’s an alien, not even human and he’s older than any human can even begin to understand but its his emotions, and passion that give him his humanity. If The Doctor showed up on my doorstep, you bet I’d want to see the galaxy.

“Amy Pond, there’s something you better understand about me ’cause it’s important and one day your life may depend on it…I am definitely a mad man with a box.”

2. Han Solo 

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My first fictional crush, easily. I was about seven years old when my little brother Joey broke his leg at 2 years old, so severely that he was in a full body cast. The kid was a toddler and couldn’t even move. It was just the saddest thing and as the eldest child, I’ve always kind of felt…a responsibility to take care of my five younger siblings. And the only thing my little brother ever wanted to do was watch Star Wars, the original trilogy…over and over and over again. As soon as one of the movies would be over, I’d press the rewind button on the VCR (wow, I feel old) and we’d watch it again. It became something we did together, and we’re both big Star Wars nerds now. And while so many other girls I’ve known have fallen for Luke (though, Mark Hamill did NOT age well), I was a Han Solo girl, through and through. He was the funnier one, the more handsome one and he was more confident than Luke was. Even though he was still trying to figure out things himself, he was confident and he found his way through it. And he was just plain funny. He always had some of the funnier lines in the movies…and he had the cocky attitude as well, its so irresistible.

Princess Leia: I love you
Han Solo: I know

1. Jace Wayland Morgenstern Herondale Lightwood

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Its funny, a week ago, I would have put the picture of Jace on the cover of City of Lost Souls as the picture. I was happy with Jamie Campbell Bower, but not 100% convinced. After meeting him at WonderCon this past weekend, and seeing him in person, I’m convinced. Sure, he’ll never be my perfect Jace that I pictured in my head but he’s great and he’s going to be a perfect Jace. I found the Mortal Instruments in the summer of 2010 when my boyfriend and I broke up for a period of time and I was miserable and needed some serious distraction. I picked up these books, literally devoured them in a matter of a few days and fell in love with Jace Wayland (and many other names depending on the book). He was that guy that you didn’t want to like but couldn’t help but liking. He was cocky and super arrogant and had that sarcastic humor that you don’t want to find funny but its totally funny. And he’s so hot, so so hot. And exactly what I needed at the time, which is why he’s probably stuck with me. Its like Maia says in City of Ashes, “Some guys look at you like they want sex. Jace looks at you like you’ve already had sex, it was great, and now you’re just friends-even though you want more. Drives girls crazy.” So. True. And he says some of the sweetest things, once he lets his guard down, and lets people in. Once he loosens up a bit on the bad boy-ness and the cockiness, he is such a loyal friend to the Lightwoods, and so protective of Clary, and just brave as hell. Sigh.

There is no pretending,” Jace said with absolute clarity. “I love you, and I will love you until I die, and if there is life after that, I’ll love you then.” -City of Glass

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All right, well apparently I have a type: hot, sarcastic, cocky, arrogant, ambitious, bad boys or something haha. I like the boys who have that sexy arrogance and don’t give a crap attitude, but when you look, are totally sweethearts. Man, am I obvious haha.

What are some of YOUR favorite fictional crushes? As always, share in the comments!

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Come back soon to see my Top Ten Favorite Baseball Movies and my Top Ten Favorite Sidekicks!

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

Tuesday Top Ten-People I Wish To Meet

Hello everyone! How’s everyone’s week going so far? I’m hoping its good and that everyone is healthy and all that. I only say that because I’m cooped up in bed with a major head cold. Like, click I’m pretty sure my face has swollen up to be the size of South America, online or so it feels like.

And my boyfriend and I celebrated our five year anniversary and in the next couple weeks I have Valentine’s Day, viagra 60mg Gallifrey One (the Doctor Who convention), my birthday and all that this entails, and LADA is putting on an event at the Pasadena Library and so much is going on. And I’m sick. So. Lame.

It so figures.

But the good thing is, being sick leaves me with a lot of free time to watch old episodes of Glee and Vampire Diaries and to write blog posts for you guys!

So enjoy this week’s Top Ten: the top ten people I wish I could meet right now.

10. Suzanne Collins

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Honestly, meeting her would just be really cool because she’s a really good author and I truly enjoyed the Hunger Games trilogy. I’d kind of like to meet every single author that I love because I want to ask them questions: what inspires them, how do they deal with writers block, etc etc. Suzanne Collins created three immensely successful books that are becoming equally successful movies and that’s inspiring. More and more over the years, women writers are becoming more successful and more prominent. Its fantastic that these insanely good and successful books that everybody is reading and enjoying are coming from women. Suzanne Collins is a great writer, creating an addicting world and people of all ages, races, genders, etc. are reading her books. That’s awesome.  

9. Cinda Williams Chima 

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This is a much under-appreciated woman, at least the way I see it. I picked up her books randomly at a bookstore one day and fell in love with her books and her writing. She’s a jewel in the heaps and heaps of books that are hitting shelves in the young adult literature section. Because young adult literature is at its prime, and everyone seems to be jumping on board, a lot of the good stuff gets lost in the shuffle and I think Cinda Williams Chima is one of the authors. Her work is amazing, but I haven’t met a lot of people who have read her. Which is sad because most of my friends are bibliophiles like me. I would love to meet this woman because she’s an absolutely fantastic writer, and she creates a unique fantasy world. A lot of fantasies nowadays seem to parallel or mimic Lord of the Rings, or Tamora Pierce, or Star Wars or Harry Potter, to the point of annoyance. Not Chima. Her worlds are so real, she’s put so much work and thought into them. Her characters are fun and you can’t help but love them, the way only a lover of books could. I would like to go up to her and say, hey, maybe the world isn’t falling at its knees at your feet and maybe you don’t have a movie to blow it up but this fan right here loves your work and can’t stop telling people how fantastic it is.

8. Gary Oldman 

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Okay, I mostly have superficial reasons for wanting to meet Gary Oldman. Plain and simple, I think he’s a great actor and he’s a very handsome, sexy man. I mean, look at this picture; he’s obviously a lot older than me, you can see the salt and pepper in his hair, but he is soooo insanely attractive to me. And I think a lot of that comes from the iconic roles he has played: Sirius Black (my favorite HP male character) in Harry Potter, Commissioner Gordon in the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy, Sid in Sid and Nancy, and he plays like a hundred different bad guys. He makes a seriously sexy bad guy. He’s a great actor, and many young actors have been quoted, saying that they are inspired from Oldman, that he an aspiration for them. He’s one of those understated actors. He’s not in your face, you’re not seeing him on Entertainment Tonight or all over the papers, but he comes in, does his job and does it well and thats it. Classic.

7. Rick Riordan 

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I feel like Rick Riordan would be a seriously fun guy to meet, mostly because his books are seriously fun to read. I’d also like to meet him so I can go up to him and shake him really hard, yelling “WHY THE HELL DID YOU LET PERCY AND ANNABETH DROP INTO TARTARUS AND END THE BOOK THAT WAY? WHY WHY WHY?!?!?! I’d probably get escorted away very very quickly. But his books are very humorous. Sure, the world is usually in a disaster in his books and Percy or Jason or Annabeth or Piper or Leo or Hazel or whoever has to save it, but there’s always time for that humor and its just so hilarious. I feel like he would be a super fun person to hang out with, and I’d imagine he’d be a really awesome dad, and I think awesome dads are…awesome. Probably because I have one. But I think he’d be a fun person to bounce ideas off of, and I’d like to do that because he’s a good writer, but he isn’t complicated. Its the kind of writing I like to do. I like my stories to be fun, because I just don’t think that I am life changing. Rick Riordan is who I go to for fun and I’d like to learn how to write fun books like that.

6. Libba Bray

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I think I’d really like to meet Libba Bray so I can just tell her how absolutely amazing I think that her writing is. I know that A Great and Terrible Beauty once had been optioned for a movie and I am actually pretty okay with the fact that it just never came to be. Her books are just too precious to touch and I feel like the women empowerment that is in her novels would be lost to the big screen. I love that her novels have that feminist touch, in that the females have the power, but they’re aren’t so much so that Bray is beating down on men. Obviously she’s not; she’s married, has a son, and I’d imagine she’s in love. But she presents these stories in worlds where women don’t have power, especially in Victorian England, with her most popular series. I love that Gemma, Pippa, Felicity and Ann are in this world where they have no choices, that their lives are set up for them: debuts and husbands they don’t love for some of them and a life as governess for horrible children for others. But she gives them powers, gives them the link to the realms and gives the powers to make their own futures. Not only are they fun to read, and they have that fantasy element to them, but they’re empowering, they’re inspiring, they’re life changing.

5. Karen Gillan 

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This one is going to be kind of short. She’s hot. She is way super hot. I loved all the Doctor Who companions but she was the first one where I was like WHOA. I have a huge crush on this one. And yes, its more than just that. Amy is an awesome companion in that she is the Doctor’s equal at times, she keeps him in line and doesn’t listen to a word that he says. Her relationship with Rory is adorable and they make it look so real, while being alternately cheesy and not too cheesy. And she’s seriously gorgeous. I have a redhead thing going on when it comes to the girls (see: Christina Hendricks). So I would really like ot meet her so I could drool a bit in presence.

4. David Tennant 

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Best. Doctor. Ever. The first season of Doctor Who pulled me in, gave me enough curiosity to keep on watching but it was the second season, it was David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor that really grabbed me and made me an addict for this show. David Tennant was able to capture exactly what the Doctor is and should be. He has the youthfulness but also the intellect of someone who is old. He is excited at the little discoveries of his life but he has this worldly knowledge of how he believes things should be. He does his best to save everyone that he can and he does it so well. I love as you watch him go from unknowing to discovery, his process as he figures it out. I love when he gets angry because he shows his anger so well and you believe it, and you know why so many people fear him. When it was time for him to leave, for the Tenth doctor to regenerate, it was heartbreaking because he was SUCH a good Doctor.

3. Mike Trout 

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This guy totally stands out on this now doesn’t he? But seriously I would love love love to meet him. I would say about 50% of that is because the guy is seriously hot, like…wow, I haven’t seen a baseball player this hot in a very long time, and who cares that he’s three and a half years younger than me? But I also do want to meet him because he’s on my absolute favorite baseball team and I worship baseball and Mike Trout is a fantastic ball player. He came onto the scene last season and just blew up baseball. There isn’t a baseball fan out there that doesn’t know Mike Trout. Unanimous decision as Rookie of the Year, and while he had no chance at actually winning, he gave Cabrera some pause as a candidate. More young kids are watching baseball because of him, and he’s brought attention to his small New Jersey town, Millville, which has been struggling heavily in this downturn economy. If you watched the Little League series at all, you saw that most of the US kids said Mike Trout was their favorite player. He’s awesome, he’s hot and I want to be able to say that I met him.

2. Tamora Pierce

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I’ve written an entire blog post on how much I adore Tamora Pierce. I could go on and on and on and on and on….literally forever on reasons why I would like to meet this lady. Part of it is because I haven’t had the chance to meet her yet, and I’ve been greedily reading her books since I was 15 years old. Ten years, and she’s never made a trip to California that is either near me or that I am able to go to. I would just like to go up to her and tell her thank you, thank you for writing such wonderful books that continue to reach out to readers for over thirty years. Thank you for providing such perfect heroines. Thank you for being an author that I could look up to. Thank you for being something so different in this overflow of books. Thank you for bringing me my pen pal, one of my longest friends. Thank you for just being such a badass writer. That’s why I’d like to meet her.

1. J.K. Rowling 

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I think this is the one person in the world where I would fall apart at the seams if I met her. I would cry, and laugh, maybe even pee my pants a little if she was ever in front of me. Remember the way girls were when they used to see the Beatles? How they would cry and scream and faint and just look like they were going absolutely mad? Yeah, that would be me, in front of dear ol Jo Rowling. She has written my seven favorite books in the entire world. She has given me a world to escape to, values and morals to love, characters to love, a person to aspire to be. Harry Potter has done for me what nothing else has ever been able to do. I’m getting teary eyed just thinking about it. This woman and her stories literally changed my life. There is a reason, many reasons, that I have four Harry Potter symbols, words permanently tattooed on my skin. That is what she has given me. I would love to meet her so I could just tell her how much she has done for me, how much that she has changed me and my life. I would  like to thank her for her stories because without them, I don’t know who I would have been.

I’m pretty sure that this list will continue to change, day by day.

A couple people will point out that I didn’t include Andrew McMahon (from Something Corporate, my allll time favorite band), Cassandra Clare or Meg Cabot. Well I’ve met Andrew twice, I’ve met Cassie once and will be meeting her again in March and I’ve met Meg Cabot four or five times, I’ve lost cost.

Who would you like to meet?