YALL Fest Interview: Cinda Williams Chima

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In a little less than two months, approved an amazing event is taking place in Charleston, South Carolina called YALL Fest. A ton of wonderful young adult authors are descending upon Charleston for this one day, FREE event, and I am envious of any and all people who are attending the event. There are going to be some seriously amazing authors going to be there like:

Leigh Bardugo, Libba Bray, Rae Carson, Cinda Chima, Rachel Cohn, Ally Condie, Melissa de la Cruz, Gayle Forman, Kami Garcia, Lev Grossman, Shannon Hale, Michelle Hodkin, Ellen Hopkins, David Levithan, Marie Lu, Tahereh Mafi, Lisa McMann, Alyson Noel, Lauren Oliver, Stephanie Perkins, Ransom Riggs, Veronica Rossi, Veronica Roth, and so many more.

This is sure to be an absolutely incredible event.

I am lucky enough to be part of the blog team to promote this as much as possible. Over the next few weeks, there will be a couple dozen of us posting interviews with some of these authors, and telling you more about this seriously awesome event.

Just a note: these interviews are all the same, and they will be on several websites. These are NOT exclusive interviews, and I did not copy this from other sites. We are all working together to promote this!

Now, I am excited about this first interview because the author is someone that I admire greatly, greatly, greatly…Cinda Williams Chima.

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She is a young adult fantasy writer, with two series under her belt. Her completed Seven Realms series is an epic fantasy, taking place in a beautifully built world and following the story of a headstrong princess Raisa and her efforts to keep her queendom together and the quick and clever Han, who discovers a secret about himself and has to conquer it. Her Heir Chronicles series contains, so far, three novels that are contemporary fantasy, following various characters like Jack and Ellen, Seph, Madison, and more on their adventures to discover their different powers and to take down the tyrannical leaders that rule over them all. Her fourth installment in the series, The Enchanter Heir, will hit bookstores on October 1st, 2013, and she’ll embark on a tour for this book (and she’s coming to California!). The Enchanter Heir can be read as the fourth book or it can be read as the first book.

You can find her at her website here.

Enjoy this short interview!

Q: What one thing do you need to have when you write?

Cinda: A computer

Q: Describe your book in 5 words

Cinda: Wizards misbehave, magic goes mutant.

Q: What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?

Cinda: Usually the lines in between.

 Q: Best writing tip you ever received?

Cinda: Give yourself permission to write badly.

 Q: Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.

Cinda: 1.       I am a twin.

2.       I am named after a character in a novel.

3.       I didn’t really start driving until I was 27.

4.       I am descended from Puritans and scoundrels.

5.       I used to be in a folk music band.

Q: Where’s your favorite place to write?

Cinda: On a balcony overlooking the ocean.

Q: What are you working on now?

Cinda: I’m writing The Sorcerer Heir, the fifth book in a trilogy.

Q: At what point in the development of an idea do you know that it will become a full-length novel?

Cinda: When I’m finished with a full-length novel.

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I hope you enjoyed that short and sweet interview and come back for more coming soon!

Don’t forget to check out my interview with Cinda Williams Chima, from back in June, and also don’t forget to enter my current giveaway, where you can win a SIGNED Advanced Readers Copy of The Enchanter Heir!

Happy Reading!

The Enchanter Heir Signed ARC Giveaway!

Enchanter-Heir

A few days ago, approved I did a review on the advanced copy I received of Cinda Williams Chima’s The Enchanter Heir, which hits bookstores on October 1st! I was lucky enough to receive a signed copy, personalized for me, which I shall treasure. Cinda is an author I admire VERY very much and I am happy and honored to be able to read this book early.

You can read the full review here.

Now, the even BETTER part of this is that Cinda sent me an EXTRA copy, signed for a giveaway for you guys!

This is awesome in two ways.

One, I love doing giveaways and I know that YOU guys love giveaways and I know you guys love when it includes autographed stuff!

And two! This is a way for me to further force you all to read Cinda’s books. She is one of my favorite authors easily, one that you should all be reading. She is a high talent in the world of fantasy and young adult literature. You know Hunger Games? Divergent? Mortal Instruments? Vampire Academy? Maze Runner? All brilliant series that I love, and none of them as good as the Seven Realms or the Heir Chronicles.

So that should tell you!

Here is the official synopsis for the book:

They called it the Thorn Hill Massacre—the brutal attack on a once-thriving Weir community. Though Jonah Kinlock lived through it, he did not emerge unscathed: like the other survivors, Jonah possesses unique magical gifts that set him apart from members of the mainline guilds. At seventeen, Jonah has become the deadliest assassin in Nightshade, a global network that hunts the undead. He is being groomed to succeed Gabriel Mandrake, the sorcerer, philanthropist, and ruthless music promoter who established the Thorn Hill Foundation, the public face of Nightshade. More and more, Jonah’s at odds with Gabriel’s tactics and choice of targets. Desperate to help his dying brother Kenzie, Jonah opens doors that Gabriel prefers to keep closed.

Emma Claire Greenwood grew up worlds away, raised by a grandfather who taught her music rather than magic. An unschooled wild child, she runs the streets until the night she finds her grandfather dying, gripping a note warning Emma that she might be in danger. The clue he leaves behind leads Emma into Jonah’s life—and a shared legacy of secrets and lingering questions.

Was Thorn Hill really a peaceful commune? Or was it, as the Wizard Guild claims, a hotbed of underguild terrorists? The Wizards’ suspicions grow when members of the mainline guilds start turning up dead. They blame Madison Moss and the Interguild Council, threatening the fragile peace brokered at Trinity.

Racing against time, Jonah and Emma work to uncover the truth about Thorn Hill, amid growing suspicion that whoever planned the Thorn Hill Massacre might strike again.

Though this is the 4th book of the Heir Chronicles, it is  a standalone from the first three, and you are able to read it without having read the first three! 

Here are the prizes!

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-One Advanced Readers Copy of The Enchanter Heir signed by the author, Cinda Williams Chima

-Two Shiv (blades used to kill the undead) tattoos and two Nightshade (something VERY important to the story) tattoos!

Here are a few rules and such:

The contest will run from September 7th until September 16th!

The winner will be contacted within 12 hours of contest end, and if the winner does NOT respond within 24 hours, a new winner will be chosen.

The contest IS International :)

Make sure to come back every day to tweet about the giveaway and earn extra entries!

Share with your friends!

This contest is in no way endorsed by Cinda Williams Chima, Disney Book Group, Hyperion Books, etc. WhatANerdGirlSays is not responsible for any lost or damaged prizes.

Enter here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck everyone!

Book of the Week-The Enchanter Heir ARC Review

I absolutely adore Cinda Williams Chima. In the year that I have been reading her books, thumb she has easily become one of my favorite authors. Her Seven Realms series literally blew me out of the water, and her Heir Chronicles proved that it had the contemporary fantasy genre in the palm of its hands. She is a brilliant writer, and she has great world building and fantasy stories and fantastic characters. She is an author that I have fell in love with, and I am addicted to the world that she created.

I am constantly trying to recommend her books to people. Because I run a book blog, because people know me as a person who loves to read, I am constantly asked for recommendations on books and in the past year, both the Seven Realms and the Heir Chronicles have been some of the first books to come out of my mouth. I’ve told Cinda herself a million times that I absolutely love her books, and the awesome, awesome lady send me an advanced copy of the book, signed personally to me.

What is even BETTER is that she sent me an extra signed copy for YOU guys :)

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Now before you run away because this is the fourth book of the Heir Chronicles, let me stress this! While this is the fourth book of the series, it is NOT necessary to read the first three to read this. So if you enjoy this review, please definitely check it out and keep an eye out for the giveaway coming VERY soon!

The Enchanter Heir ARC by Cinda Williams Chima 

Enchanter-Heir

GoodReads / Amazon Barnes and Noble

This book will hit bookstores on October 1st, 2013. 

Genre:

young adult, fantasy

Part of a Series?

Yes. This is the fourth installment of the Heir Chronicles.

HOWEVER, this book can be read without reading the previous three books. There are familiar faces from the first three, but this is an entirely new story.

You May Like if You Liked:

Books by OR Melling, Joseph Delaney, Tamora Pierce, Sarah J Maas, Michael Scott, etc.

Plot Summary:

Now, normally I do plot summaries on my own because I really love doing that. But I started doing it and realized I was not giving this book and story the credit it deserved and I really like the summary that is on GoodReads and therefore that is what I decided to put here!

Direct from GoodReads, and word-for-word from the back cover:

They called it the Thorn Hill Massacre—the brutal attack on a once-thriving Weir community. Though Jonah Kinlock lived through it, he did not emerge unscathed: like the other survivors, Jonah possesses unique magical gifts that set him apart from members of the mainline guilds. At seventeen, Jonah has become the deadliest assassin in Nightshade, a global network that hunts the undead. He is being groomed to succeed Gabriel Mandrake, the sorcerer, philanthropist, and ruthless music promoter who established the Thorn Hill Foundation, the public face of Nightshade. More and more, Jonah’s at odds with Gabriel’s tactics and choice of targets. Desperate to help his dying brother Kenzie, Jonah opens doors that Gabriel prefers to keep closed.

Emma Claire Greenwood grew up worlds away, raised by a grandfather who taught her music rather than magic. An unschooled wild child, she runs the streets until the night she finds her grandfather dying, gripping a note warning Emma that she might be in danger. The clue he leaves behind leads Emma into Jonah’s life—and a shared legacy of secrets and lingering questions.

Was Thorn Hill really a peaceful commune? Or was it, as the Wizard Guild claims, a hotbed of underguild terrorists? The Wizards’ suspicions grow when members of the mainline guilds start turning up dead. They blame Madison Moss and the Interguild Council, threatening the fragile peace brokered at Trinity.

Racing against time, Jonah and Emma work to uncover the truth about Thorn Hill, amid growing suspicion that whoever planned the Thorn Hill Massacre might strike again.

The Bad:

That it ended? Seriously, when it ended, I almost felt my heart break into two pieces because I realized that it would be such a long wait until I get to read the next one. I already got this book about a month early as it is, and I’m not sure when the sequel is going to come out, or even what the title is. Its been rumored that The Sorcerer Heir is the possible title but there is NOTHING confirmed, at least according to her website. I hope that we hear something soon because this book was GOOD, and I can’t wait to read more about Jonah and Emma.

The Good:

I love all the characters of the Heir Chronicles. I love Jack and Ellen and Seph and Linda and Madison and all of them, and I’ve enjoyed the three previous books. However, there is something about both Jonah and Emma that had me hooked almost immediately. These characters felt so real and so likable right away. I didn’t stop for a second to give them more thought than just “I need to know what happens to these two characters”. Emma and Jonah are two very different characters. Jonah wants to care so much but its hard for him to get close to people because of his dangerous power. He is also aware of what he is, and where he came from. Emma, on the other hand, is unaware of her own background at first, and when she does realize it, she has a much easier time letting people in, even though she has every right to have grudges against. They both have the same sort of mysteries on their hands, they both have such similar backgrounds and yet they tend to push each other away and not trust each other, even when everything is screaming at them to be together, to work together, to figure things out together.

The story is so beautiful, too. Its not what I expected at all. With everything that had happened in the previous three books, it was almost difficult to see how the story could continue and yet not at the same time. This book takes place in the same universe as the first three books but its a new story, new characters, new situation. This made me incredibly wary. I have a sort of caution when it comes to series that go longer than a trilogy. I feel like there are very few authors that can accomplish this, and accomplish this well. I was immensely disappointed in Cassandra Clare’s City of Fallen Angels, and so I’ve been very wary of continuing stories, when the series has technically been wrapped up.

However, I was proven very wrong, and my fears dissipated very quickly. I should have known that the woman who could write the absolutely brilliant four book Seven Realms series would have no problem writing a fourth story in this realm. This was a fresh, fun, adventurous and addicting story. From the very beginning, when we first meet young Jonah amidst the chaos of Thorn Hill, I was invested. I was attracted to the characters, and their different stories and I was curious to see how they would eventually collide. I liked that they started off so differently but that their worlds eventually connected, their stories started to intertwine. It takes a lot of talent to create a story in two different perspectives that seemingly are on two different paths and make them come together, and in a way that you don’t see until its suddenly in your face. I love that. I love that I’m hanging on the edge of my seat, wondering at the mysteries of both of their lives and wondering how they’re going to meet and what is going to happen between them. She is an addicting storyteller than is able to weave a picture of adventure, mystery, action, drama, humor and romance. She is able to accomplish all of that in one book.

I also think that Cinda is an incredible world builder. It is the one skill of writers that I admire more than anything else, and I think a lot of that comes from the fact that I am really incapable of that kind of writing. Cinda has a great example of world building in her full fantasy, the Seven Realms, but I think an even better example of this is in these novels, and even more so in this novel. You would think maybe its easier to create a new world inside of a world that we already recognize but I think its harder. You have to create this entirely new world, a full world with all of its past, present, future, its laws and rules, its people while trying to keep consistent with the actual world that we know. I think that’s incredibly difficult and yet she does it with finesse, without flaw. There isn’t a moment while reading when you think, “this doesn’t seem real to me”. It is believable from page one to the very last page.

Speaking of the last page, without spoiling anything for those of you who haven’t read it (which is a lot, considering it hasn’t been released yet), HOW DARE YOU CINDA WILLIAMS CHIMA? How dare you? I’ve had my fair share of cliffhangers. I read a lot, more than an average person does in a year, and so I’m used to the concept of a cliffhanger. However, this was still a cliffhanger that smacked me in the face and left me wanting to throw the book across the room. Of course I didn’t because it is precious to me and its signed to me! But I was frustrated, in that wonderful way that you can be frustrated. Cinda has created these characters that I absolutely love and that I want to keep on reading about, and then she leaves off the story like that and it was almost painful to not be able to continue reading, to find out what happens next. These characters will be living in my mind for a very long time, as I wait incredibly impatiently for the next book. Emma and Jonah. I am forever in love with these characters and these books.

Rating:

5 out of 5 Stars

Recommended or Not?

Yes! Please, please, please! Someone needs to read these books. Read the Seven Realms series (The Demon King, The Exiled Queen, The Gray Wolf Throne, The Crimson Crown), and read the Heir Chronicles (The Warrior Heir, The Wizard Heir, The Dragon Heir), and read this book! Cinda Williams Chima is an underrated author who deserves all your praise and your support. She is one of the best authors that I’ve read in this genre, in this reading level of young adult literature and just books in general and I will push her books on you until the end of time!

If you are a fan of Cinda’s already, you won’t be disappointed in this book. Cinda takes what she’s already proven that she can do and she makes it that much better. This is a book worth waiting for and I can’t wait til it releases so I can talk about it with all of you!

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I hope you enjoyed this edition of this week’s Book of the Week, because it is a special one! Look out in the next couple days to try your chance at winning a SIGNED advanced copy of this book! It also comes with some swag too, which is always nice, so keep your eye out!

Happy Reading everyone!

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!

Cinda Williams Chima: An Author You Should Be Reading!

I am surrounded by book lovers. Seriously. Most of my friends, cost my acquaintances, ampoule and you, my followers, are book lovers. It makes me incredibly happy to be around so many people who love books because its just awesome. I am able to talk about them all day long, and I have people available whenever to recommend me books :) Fantastic.

But in all this time, all these people that I’ve met, all these book lovers in my life, and I have not met anyone who has read the Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima (or her Heir Chronicles as well).

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And this seriously disappoints me!

Because she is an absolutely amazing author. I’ve only just discovered her books back in October of 2012, not even a year ago, but I am fully addicted to them.

About Her Books

Cinda Williams Chima writes two different series of books, The Heir Chronicles and The Seven Realms series.

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The Warrior Heir, The Wizard Heir, The Dragon Heir

The Enchanter Heir hits bookstores in early October :) 

I’ll talk about the Heir Chronicles first. I adore these books but not nearly as much as the Seven Realms series so I’ll talk about these first. These are a contemporary fantasy, a fantastical idea set in a world that we are familiar with. There are different classifications of people who have special gifts: wizards, sorcerers, enchanters, warriors, and soothsayers. For years, the wizards have held control over everyone else. The different wizard families, the Roses, hold a tournament, pitting different warriors against each other til the death. Enter Jack Swift, a normal every day boy in Ohio who skips his medicine one day and is suddenly super fast, super strong, and feeling better than ever. He soon learns that he is part of this society, that he has both magic and warrior skills, due to some circumstances that occurred when he was born. The Roses are looking for warriors for their tournament, and warriors are running out. Jack’s life soon becomes a danger, as he is hunted by those who would use him. Of course he is also dealing with being a normal teen boy as well, like homework and soccer and choosing between Ellen, the new girl, or Leesha, his ex-girlfriend.

The Seven Realms Series

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

Cinda’s other series, the Seven Realms series, is more pure fantasy than the Heir Chronicles. We meet two different characters. First, there is the Raisa ana’Marianna, the princess heir to the Fells, with her mother Marianna as queen and her sister Mellony. Her father is a trader of the Clans. Raisa is concerned about the strength and well-being of her country, and she is worried that her mother is focusing on all the wrong things. She is spending too much time with the High Wizard, and wizards are highly regulated and not to be messed with lightly. Raisa is both trying to have fun as a young princess heir, flirting with the cute boys and wearing pretty clothes, but also trying to be intelligent, and aware of her queendom and how she can be a good queen. Enter Han Alister, who is living a VERY different life than Raisa. A former crime lord, he is trying his best to find good, honest work in order to provide a decent enough life for his mother and his sister. This is proving hard to do when he steals an amulet from a young wizard and all sorts of bad things start to happen to him. Soon, Raisa and Han’s lives start to intertwine and they both begin to learn that there is more going on in the queendom than they were initially aware of.

How I Discovered These Books

In all honestly, it was all happenstance.

My boyfriend and I were…in Long Beach area for some reason. I can’t remember exactly why, but we were. And we were thinking of things to do and decided to go to Barnes and Noble because I can spend way TOO MUCH time in a bookstore (Hey, we ended up going to a record store later, where my boyfriend spent a whole ton of time). And Jon offered to buy me a book, so I took a REALLY long time to find one haha. I had to make sure that it was good.

Eventually I decided to get The Demon King. I really liked the cover, and its what caught my eye. I love that saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” when it comes to people but when it comes to books, I totally judge by the cover, always. And I thought the cover was pretty badass. Then I read the book synopsis and it sounded really good and I took it home. I finished the book within the next day or two, and then preceded to bust a move between the next three of the series.

Luckily enough for me, I discovered the Seven Realms series right before the conclusion, The Crimson Crown, came out…like literally the week of release. I love it when that happens. I literally consumed this series.

Then for Christmas, my dad bought me the box set of The Heir Chronicles, which I read the week after all the holidays died down :)

Why You Should Be Reading Them!

Honestly, and I mean this in the….nicest way possible, but if you haven’t read these books and have NO plans of reading them in the future, then you’re stupid.

Yeah, I went there, I said it. You are SO stupid.

Haha.

These books are AMAZING. I literally felt completely blown away by the amazingness that is the Seven Realms series. I have been impressed by books time and time again, but these books just simply blew my mind with how amazing they are.

I mean, it has everything that I could possibly want in a book. It has adventure, and magic, and a fantasy fictional world and princesses and hot guys and romance and battles and kissing and everything. Its everything packed into four absolutely amazing books.

Reasons You Should Be Reading Cinda Williams Chima 

1. She creates a brilliant, believable fantasy world. In the Heir Chronicles, its set in our world and yet you believe in the magic, and you believe in the world created with warriors and wizards and enchanters in Ohio because she makes it so easy to believe. They weave regular lives with their fantasy lives. One minute, Jack is at soccer practice, hanging out with his friends, and the next, he is learning spells and how to wield a sword. In the Seven Realms, she creates an entirely fictional world with a queendom (yes, a country ruled by women, I love it!) And again, its absolutely believable. You believe every single bit of it, and you want to live there.

2. All of her books have these incredible characters. They’re all such strong and so well developed characters. Raisa, Jack, Ellen, Seph, Han, Jason, Madison, Micah, Fire Dancer. I love them all. They all have their strengths and their weaknesses and they have their struggles and they fight so hard to overcome them. I love that, even when characters are so different, personality wise or in the circumstances of their lives, and yet they have such similar problems, and can relate to one another. Raisa is a princess, terrified of ruling her queendom as a good queen, of taking her place in her realm, while Han, a former streetlord, is struggling to leave his past behind and step into a more responsible, adult role. So different and yet SO insanely similar. All of these characters are ones that I become attached to, that I wish were my friends, or my family, my lovers, my brothers and sisters. They are such REAL, raw characters. And not only does she have these kickass, strong female characters but she has these super awesome male characters as well. I love me some awesome females, but let’s not forget about the guys too.

3. There is SO much fun going on. There’s so much action in these books, whether through traditional fighting styles, with swords and daggers and all that, or with magical powers. I mean, who doesn’t like sword fights and magic? Crazy people, that’s who. Its a wild ride from start to finish in both of her series, and you find yourself pushing yourself through one more chapter, one more chapter, one more chapter because you’re just dying to find out what happens next. She doesn’t mess around; she puts her characters in danger, she makes you believe that things are going to go wrong, that things won’t end up the way they should, and then she does just that. She takes these teenagers and puts them in these impossible situations with heavy burdens on their shoulders and you’re just glued to the pages as you watch them go through their journey. You’re just addicted to it the entire time. I was dying for that fourth Seven Realms book to find out what happened to Raisa and Han and the rest of the Fells.

4. There are some HOT guys in these books. I love me some crush-worthy fictional characters. You know its a good book when it doesn’t take long for me to fall in love with the characters, not just as characters but as boys that you just wish existed in real life. Like, I have a HUGE ginormous crush on Han Alister from the Seven Realms series. He’s a bad boy, a former crime lord turned wizard who is just so sexy, and captures my heart in approximately three chapters. He’s so snarky and charming and smart and he’ll do pretty much anything to make the absolutely impossible relationship between him and Raisa work. Sigh. I also have a major crush on Seph McCauley from The Heir Chronicles. Ditto on the snarky, sexiness.

5. She’s a seriously talented writer. You could have all the things above but just fail miserably because you’re just a terrible writer, and believe me, I’ve seen this happen! Its like so close, almost there, but no trophy. But Cinda Williams Chima captures all of the above in a beautiful writing style. And the best part is that…she has a beautiful writing style, and tells an amazing story but she doesn’t feel the need to make her language more sophisticated than it needs to be. She writes for the audience, and weaves a beautiful story that you can’t help but fall right into. She reminded me SO much of Tamora Pierce, and because of that, she soon became one of my absolute favorite authors. I also learned just recently that she is a huge influence for Leigh Bardugo as well, and I can see why. All three of these ladies are power forces in the fantasy genre.

6. No love triangles. Need I say more? There’s enough romance to keep me swooning but it doesn’t deter from the story. I love romance and kissing and butterflies in my stomach and shipping different characters and all that, but I love when this is happening for a reason, or it is part of the story. I hate romance just for the sake of romance. I don’t judge those who read pure romance books, or those paranormal romances that focus more on the romance than then paranormal, but it’s not for me. This book has SERIOUSLY steamy scenes one minute and then epic battles the next. Perfectly balanced :)

What Are You Still Doing Here?

Seriously? There are about a hundred more reasons why you should be reading these books. If I haven’t gotten you convinced by now…well I just don’t know what to do with you, except maybe hit you in the face with a wet fish a couple times.

But thats a bit cruel isn’t it?

I’m serious though! Get out there, read these books! You’ll be missing out SO MUCH if you never pick up one of these books; you’ll be missing out on a serious gem in the YA fantasy genre.

So please, check out her books, folks. You’re here on WhatANerdGirlSays, which means that you enjoy what I write, and you probably enjoy the books that I read as well…so trust me, when I say you will be crazy to not pick these up.

And check out an exclusive interview with Cinda coming TOMORROW!

My Nerd Christmas Wish List

So I know I’m nearly twenty-five years old and I’m just a little bit too old for Santa Claus and Christmas lists.

But that doesn’t really stop me from thinking of the really cool things I’d like for Christmas.

So I made a short list of the things I’d like for Christmas. All nerdy, find of course. I am putting the prices on them, ampoule not because I’m telling you to buy them for me…because that’s crazy! I’m doing it because I know that a lot of you would like the same things I do and I’m helping you all out :) Click on any of the titles and it’ll take you to the Amazon page.

Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventure

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All four movies in one box set and on Blu-Ray sounds pretty awesome to me. I deplore the fact that Crystal Skull has to be in there but eh. The other three are so good that its oka. There don’t seem to be a ton fo extras in this set but its all of them in one convenient set, and its the only blu-ray available and that’s pretty awesome.

Amazon Price: Normally 60 dollars, but on sale for 40 right now!!!

Game of Thrones: Seasons One and Two

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I borrowed season one from a friend of mine and I loved the show right away. I wasn’t really able to get into the books but the show is great, pure fantasy…and lots of sex. Not that that is a reason for me to watch it haha but it adds flavor to an already cool show. I haven’t watched the second season, which is why both are on my Christmas wish list. I need to catch up for the third season and I’d really like to add these epic seasons to my growing collection of TV and movies.

Amazon Price: Season One varies, Season Two is 50 dollars

Wonderbook with the Playstation Move Bundle

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Here’s the thing: I’m not really dying to have this. I never really liked the Wii or the Kinect and I wasn’t jumping up and down for the PlayStation Move. I don’t really need it. However, they came out with the Wonderbook which pairs with Pottermore, J.K. Rowling’s interactive Harry Potter site, so you can keep your own House and wand. You get to experience what its like to be a witch or wizard in http://www.amazon.com/Knight-Trilogy-Batman-Begins-Blu-ray/dp/B009JBZH54 at Hogwarts. JKR said its the closest thing a muggle can have to an actual spellbook. Plus it includes all new content from JKR herself. Not. Fair.

Amazon Price: around 100 dollars.

The Dark Knight Trilogy 

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I’m not the biggest Batman fan in the world (that title could possibly belong to my best friend’s fiance) so this simple box set is perfect for me. It includes all three movies (which are super badass) and some bonus features. Christian Bale makes an awesome (and sexy, sexy, sexy) Batman and the stories are all great. Christopher Nolan is a Batman god. Definitely something I want in my collection. Especially because of its awesome, awesome price.

Amazon Price: 29 dollars

Once Upon a Time: Season One

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This is definitely one of my favorite shows. From the very first episode, I was captivated and drawn in. The alternate fairy tales are awesome, especially kickass Snow White who saves Prince Charming as much as he saves her. The season comes with a bonus features and I just have to have this for my collection. I know, this is on Netflix but there’s just something better about actually owning a season of your favorite show to pop into the dvd player whenever you so want.

Amazon Price: 45 dollars

WonderCon Tickets/Anime Expo Tickets

I love going to conventions. Its one of my favorite things to do as a nerd. Unfortunately, conventions are not cheap. Between tickets, parking, cosplays, food and all the amazing things you can buy there, your wallet starts to feel a little empty. So having tickets to these conventions bought as a gift would be pretty cool. Anime Expo tickets are available now and are pretty cheap when compared to other conventions: 40 dollars a day, or 55 dollars for all four days (at least until January 1st, when the price goes up). WonderCon tickets aren’t quite on sale yet but should be on sale soon, considering it hits Anaheim in late March.

The Heir Chronicles Box Set

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I am on a serious Cinda Williams Chima binge right now. She is so incredibly talented and I literally consumed her Seven Realms series. Pure, awesome fantasy. I became addicted fairly quickly. The Heir Chronicles is her other series, fantasy but set in the modern world, unlike the pure fantasy of the Seven Realms. However, Chima is such a good read that I have no doubt that that series will rock just as much.

Amazon Price: 15 dollars

Harry Potter: Page to Screen: The Complete Collection

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If only, right? 600 dollars easily spent. Not. More proof of sucking money out of dedicated, addicted, ready and willing Harry Potter fans. Its 600 dollars! that’s ridiculous. Sadly, this does not stop me from wanting it. It has several books, telling the story of the ten years of film making magic to create the 8 movies we love so much and it even has a prop replica book of the Monster Book of Monsters. It looks cool as hell. It has all these never-before-seen pictures and never-before-known information all about the making of the movies. Its a Harry Potter nerd’s wet dream. Did I mention its 600 dollars? Doesn’t stop a girl from watching though…

Amazon Price: 600 dollars

Harry Potter Ultimate Editions: Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, Half Blood Prince, Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2

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No, I do not want the extensive HP wizard colletion. Its 350 dollars, and I have some beef with it. One, all the digital copies for the movie are Ultraviolet. Take it from me, Ultraviolet sucks. Its super lame and you need an account to watch your digital copy and I just want to watch it on my laptop without any hassle. Two, the only extended editions available are the first two movies. Lame. So I want all the Ultimate Editions of the movies instead. I already have the first two, so I need 3 to 7. I like the cases they come in better and the special features and the books and so on. Forget the huge collection.

Amazon Price: around 40 dollars

Doctor Who: Limited Edition Gift Set

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All six seasons on DVD, plus the specials plus three documentaries plus the 11th Doctor’s sonic screwdriver. It was 175 dollars on amazon (which is an amazing deal) but it sold out fast and is now sold by outside vendors for about 350 dollars. However, I have seen it at Best Buy for about 180. The fact is, its Doctor Who in one wickedly great box set-all six seasons. I don’t care that they’re all on Netflix…I want them for myself. And it has the specials and a sonic screwdriver. If you can pick it up at Best Buy for the cheaper price, its an incredible deal, you can’t get any better than that!

So that’s it. That’s my nerdy Christmas list and it would be really cool to see any of those under the Christmas tree.

But the things I want the most for Christmas: some good grades this semester, good times with my family, relaxation, a wonderful time with my boyfriend and yummy, yummy food. Oh, and to not get sick on Christmas. I always seem to do that.

I mean, what else could I want?

What about you guys? What are you hoping the good ol Saint Nick brings you for Christmas? Or what you’ll get for Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or what ever other holiday you may celebrate in the month of December?

As always, let me know in the comments :)

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