Top Ten Tuesday – October 31: Halloween Freebie!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

October 31: Halloween Freebie! (Happy Halloween! Let your creativity run wild with a themed post to celebrate!)
I am getting to this pretty late and so here is a quick list. I usually add an explanation for my choices, but I have no time! Too many things going on at once.
1) Favorite  vampires: The de Clairmont family  from  The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. 
2) Favorite ghost story: The Shades of London series by Maureen Johnson. 
3-5) Favorite good witches: Hermione & Luna from Harry Potter; and Diana Bishop from The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness.  
6) Favorite bad witch: Angelique Bouchard from Dark Shadows. The 1960-70’s TV series, NOT the 1990’s TV series. AND CERTAINLY NOT THE TERRIBLE MOVIE WITH JOHNNY DEPP! 
7-8) Favorite zombies:  Liv Moore from iZombie; and R from Warm Bodies.
9) Favorite werewolf:  Quentin Collins from Dark Shadows
10) Favorite Goblin: Sevro  au Barca. Just because I wanted to add something from Red Rinsing here. He’s not really a goblin. That’s just what the mean kids called him. 

New York Comic Con 2017 – Friday, October 6

Friday, October 6
I had to work in the early part of the day so I missed:

The World of Philip K. Dick – The Man in the High Castle and Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams
October 06, 2017, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM, Hammerstein Ballroom – 311 W 34th St

Amazon Prime Video presents a journey into the works of legendary author and sci-fi visionary, Philip K. Dick. This engaging panel, moderated by Deadline Hollywood Senior Editor Dominic Patten, will focus on two Prime Exclusive series – The Man in the High Castle, and groundbreaking new anthology series, Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams – and feature cast and creator discussion, exclusive sneak peeks, content and audience Q&A. Panelists for The Man in the High Castle will include cast members Rufus Sewell (Dark City), Rupert Evans (Hellboy) and Jason O’Mara (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), along with Executive Producers Eric Overmyer (Bosch, The Affair)and Dan Percival (Strike Back). Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams panelists include actor Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones) and Executive Producers Michael Dinner (Justified) and Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica). The panelists will also be joined by Isa Dick Hackett (The Adjustment Bureau), Executive Producer on both series. Panel moderated by Dominic Patten. Talent subject to change.

I am interested in Electric Dreams since Ronald D. Moore is involved.

And I also missed:

Her Universe and Ashley Eckstein Spotlight
October 06, 2017, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Hudson Mercantile – 500 W 36th St

Hosted by Actress and Founder of Her Universe Ashley Eckstein, find out what’s new in the Universe!

Ashley will give advice to fans looking to get into the business of fashion, licensing or acting, share sneak peeks and give new information. Plus she’ll answer your questions!

Her Universe is Your Universe and we hope to see you there!

I got to the convention center a little after 3pm. I met up with my friend Nikki as I was waiting on the queue at the Random House booth for Pierce Brown’s signing.

I had my copy of Golden Son with me (Red Rising I had signed at NYCC in 2014 and Morning Star when it was released in 2016) and Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View. Pierce’s story is called “Desert Son.”

While waiting I saw some people I recognized from the Facebook group. One man had shared a photo of himself in RR cosplay. He was wearing a wolf head cloak. I wanted to introduce myself and say hello but I didn’t want to lose my place in line since Nikki had not come to meet me yet. I thought I’d see them later but I did not.

When it was my turn Nikki took some video but it got cut off so I won’t share it (at this time). I’ll just sum it up.

So a little background: I went to Greece last year and while in Olympia visiting the ruins of the site of the ancient Olympics I bought a gold charm of a laurel. I bought it because it also reminds me of the cover to Golden Son.

I told Pierce I went to Greece and showed him my necklace. He said I got my laurel and it’s not bloody. Haha!

I asked how he came to write from Biggs Darklighter’s point of view in From a Certain Point of View. He said they asked him what he wanted to contribute and Biggs has always been a favorite character of his.

I told him he knows Star Wars so well because his interpretation of the scene was just like the movie. Pierce was surprised I read it already and I said it was the first one I read. (I still have to read the rest but since Pierce signed this copy I want to keep it clean and will listen to the audiobook instead. I also intend to ask the other authors to sign it someday.)

Then I spoke about the Iron Gold sampler.





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Bellwether by Connie Willis

Pop culture, chaos theory and matters of the heart collide in this unique novella from the Hugo and Nebula winning author of Doomsday Book.

Sandra Foster studies fads and their meanings for the HiTek corporation. Bennet O’Reilly works with monkey group behavior and chaos theory for the same company. When the two are thrust together due to a misdelivered package and a run of seemingly bad luck, they find a joint project in a flock of sheep. But series of setbacks and disappointments arise before they are able to find answers to their questions.

I got Bellwether at a signing at NYCC 2016. It was a double author signing and I was really there for the other book, but this was a happy surprise.

I liked that it was a short and fast read (the only reason it took me so long to finish was because work was busy and NYCC 2017 had me put the book on the back burner. Otherwise I could have easily read this over a weekend. I sailed through it to finish this weekend.)

It was really funny. The satire had me really laughing out loud at a few moments. The actions and herd mentality of some of the characters was amusing and comical.

I liked how each chapter began with a bit of history of a fad or trend. It was like a mini encyclopedia.

I was unsure about the time period it took place in because I often wondered, “Why don’t they just order this on amazon?” It was published in 1996. Surly people ordered things online 20 years ago?

Anyway, the romance is minimal and predictable, but the plot is simple and if you’re looking for a fast read that will keep you amused and give you some chuckles., this is it.

3 out of 5 Sheep.

New York Comic Con 2017 – Thursday, October 5

Thursday, October 5

I didn’t get to the Javits super early because I didn’t want to wait in the queue hall. So it was a little after 10. Finally they had us go through metal detectors and looked through my bag thoroughly. (I think the shooting in Las Vegas prompted them to be more vigilant.)

I had no definite plan till the end of the day when I had my Doctor Who Team Up photo op with Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie.

So my first place to head to was the Penguin Random House/Del Rey booth.
I got the NYCC exclusive edition Star Wars book From a Certain Point of View. And it came with a tote bag.


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Top Ten Tuesday – October 10: Three books with winter covers/themes

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

October 10: Ten Books With Fall/Autumn Covers/Themes (If the cover screams fall to you, or the books give off a feeling of being Fallish)

So, I am going to change this a bit because looking at my shelves I can’t find autumn covers. I do see a few winter covers. Besides, I am always cold and autumn weather feels like winter to me anyway.

1) Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit


2) Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys



3) The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden


Top Ten Tuesday – October 3: Top Three Book Boyfriends

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

October 3: Top Ten Book Boyfriends/Girlfriends (Which characters do you have crushes on?)

All Souls Trilogy – Matthew Clairmont
Matthew Goode is playing Matthew Clairmont in the TV adaptation of A Discovery of Witches (currently filming).  I’m excited to see what they do with the TV show and Goode is a good (pun!) choice.
Based on the description of the character when I reread or re-listen to the books I picture (the very sexy) Richard Armitage.
Besides the lure of a mysterious and dangerous vampire, who is also a scientist, I like the character development that Matthew goes through.

Red Rising Trilogy – Sevro au Barca
This is a strange one to explain because Sevro is a bit crazy, very crude, and he looks like a goblin. However, he is fiercely loyal to his friends and very good at being sneaky. He’s easily the fan favorite and we beg Pierce Brown not to kill him off.

The Night Circus – Marco Alisdair
An orphan boy taken as a child to learn magic – no, it’s not Harry Potter. Marco is forced to compete with an unknown opponent through the development and maintenance of Le Cirque des Rêves. He’s described as having dark hair, greenish eyes, and is very charming.
I would love to see this turned into a TV series. The descriptions are a feast for the eyes.

The Blue Tattoo by Steven Laffoley


From Pottersfield Press Fall 2014 Catalogue:
From award-winning author Steven Laffoley comes a compelling tale of love and loss, despair and hope, based on real people and real events, that brings to life one of the most extraordinary stories of our time — The Halifax Explosion.

1917. The Great War has given rise to unprecedented prosperity to staid, Victorian Halifax. It has also given rise to an explosive desire for change. Medical student and daughter of a prominent Halifax family, Elizabeth Beckett dreams of bringing equality to woman in an age when men alone control the world of work and politics. She fights for suffrage to give women a voice in the politics of war. At the same times, sugar refinery worker Danny Cohen dreams of leaving Halifax and a deadly war machine that he sees as only serving the wealthy. He fights to make the money he needs to help himself escape. When their lives collide, their dreams and their views of the world are challenged by the promise of love. Yet their different views on the world prove too explosive. They are torn apart by the collision of their disparate dreams. Elizabeth returns to her suffrage movement for women. Danny escapes to Boston for a better life.However, when two ships collide in Halifax Harbour on December 6, 1917, and the greatest explosion the world had ever known is unleashed on the city, their eyes are opened to new truths. Elizabeth is swept up in the chaos that follows the Explosion and works courageously at a local hospital, overrun with the horribly injured, with dwindling medical supplies and worsening conditions, only to face a once-in-a-generation snowstorm that promises to take away whatever hope remains. Without fresh medical supplies, hundreds will soon die.
Meantime, desperate to return home, Danny hears of a medical relief train leaving Boston and conducted by Christopher H. Trueman, a man with with dark past, who promises to make Halifax in record time. Danny manages to make the train, only to face a snowstorm that stops the train in its tracks. Without action and personal sacrifice, the train may never make it.

Filled with a cast of unforgettable characters — from Boston mayor James Michael Curley to Group of Seven painter Arthur Lismer — The Blue Tattoo tells the sweeping story of the lives caught up in the unbelievable horror of The Halifax Explosion.

I recently went on a cruise to New England and Canada. One of the ports of call was Halifax, Nova Scotia. There I went on an excursion to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Time there was limited so I really only spent time at the Titanic exhibit. (Halifax is where they brought the bodies for identification and the museum had Titanic artifacts that survived, as well as the stories of those who perished). The tour guide of the excursion also told us of the Halifax explosion of 1917. While I was in the Maritime Museum gift shop I saw this book and I had to buy it. I wanted to know more about it but have trouble reading non-fiction books. Since this was a novel I knew I would get through it without difficulty.

Laffoley describes the devastation very well. I saw a clear picture of the destruction, the wounded and the dead. I would get choked up and would have to take breaks because the images and heartache were a lot to read. But it was important to understand the scope of the explosion.

Laffoley was also good at showing the reader the before story of each ship, the SS Mont-Blanc and the SS Imo, without being technical and boring. We saw the point of views of the men on board both ships, their feelings, and seeing what lead to the two ships colliding.

A brief history about the explosion.

I did easily lose track of some of the characters, or in this case historical people. Many appear briefly, and others continued their story as they were important to the recovery. I wish there had been a character list or that I had wrote down my own to keep track of them.

I would have loved a detailed author’s note about his research, as well as what was fact and where he took artistic liberties.

I liked that the timeline of events was manly centered around the disaster. There was a small Act to show the reader the romance between Elizabeth and Danny. I liked Danny and Elizabeth as individuals but the romance was – eh. It was clichéd and rushed, but also not the main point of the story.

Putting that subplot aside it was still a good historical novel. I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to learn about the Halifax Explosion.

3.5 out of 5 Ships.

More about the artist, who appears as a character in the book, Arthur Lismer.
Arthur Lismer’s ‘Sorrow’ painting depicts aftermath of Halifax Explosion

CBC viewers get a rare look at “Sorrow”, one of Arthur Lismer’s Halifax Explosion-era paintings that had been lost for 75 years.

Some very descriptive quotes that stood out to me:
Page 124: Duggan glance over his shoulder and saw what he swore were the eyes of Satan, two lurid spurts of flame rising skyward, chasing a monstrous cloud that rose two hundred feet or more into the air. It was at that moment, beneath the unblinking green eyes of Satan, there came a thunderous howl.

Page 279: And though I feel an unfathomable exhaustion, I feel compelled to keep at it, as though to give up working would be to concede to the chaos so cruelly visited upon us.