Series to Read While Waiting for GRRM’s Next Book  July 24, 2014

If you’re a Game of Thrones/Song of Ice & Fire fan, you’re in a bit of a tough spot right now. It’s the break between TV seasons, and the next book in the series is nowhere in sight. If you’re waiting for the next book in particular, you likely have more than enough time to read everything on this list before it appears. So if you’re jonesing for an epic fantasy fix, I’ve got some suggestions for you:

Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings

Assassin's ApprenticeGreat characters, above all. If you think you care about GRRM’s characters, Hobb’s about to school you in emotional hooks. But this group of books also has: political scheming and intrigue. Magic. Strange foes, unlikely friends, rare dragons, long journeys. While Hobb doesn’t kill off characters with quite the frequency of GRRM, it packs a gut punch when she does. This is possible my favorite fantasy world, and the first trilogy especially possibly my favorite series. It’s so good, you guys. The different trilogies/groupings of books all take place in the same world, but don’t all focus on the same time period or characters. But there’s just enough overlap between them (random cameos and references) that they’re connected and you feel like you’re in on an inside joke. While most of these sets are complete (no waiting!), she did just start a new series in this world that I have an ARC for, and I’m super excited about it.

Start with: Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1)

Series reading order:

Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel Universe

Kushiel's Dart This is another series with sweeping political intrigue and continent-spanning drama. It takes place in an alternate version of Europe, and follows (at least for the first series) the life of courtesan and spy Phèdre. There’s plenty of danger and a good amount of sex, given her profession. The characters and world are both richly developed. Like GRRM, Carey doesn’t shy away from hurting or killing off characters. This is another one of my all-time favorite series, especially the first trilogy.

Start with: Kushiel’s Dart (Phèdre’s Trilogy, #1)

Series reading order:

Melanie Rawn’s Dragon Prince

Dragon PrinceIf you want complex, world-spanning political drama and power struggles, this will fit the bill. The world is richly developed and diverse. It’s got an interesting magic system. There’s a decent amount of love stories/sexy times, if you’re missing that about the GoT HBO show. The cast of characters is huge and the POV jumps around to follow different people, much like GRRM’s stuff (there’s a handy chart of families/characters included in each book). And, you know, it’s finished – no waiting.

Start with: Dragon Prince (Dragon Prince #1)

Series reading order:

Steven Brust’s Dragaera

Taltos If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a break from the grimness of GRRM, you might give this world a try. Brust has set up an unusual world, with distinct houses of power and more than one kind of magic. The Vlad Taltos series especially is just fun to read – the narrator, Vlad, is a smart-ass, wise-cracking type of guy. It wasn’t unusual for me to laugh out loud reading these. That’s not to say Important Serious Things don’t happen in the books, because they do. But humor is one of Vlad’s coping mechanisms, so it diffuses things most times. The other books in the world are even more tongue-in-cheekily written, with a healthy dose of the absurdity that historians can display. You still get the intricate political intrigue, and danger, and adventures, but in a lighter tone.

Start with: Taltos

Series reading order:

What fantasy series would you recommend for those coping with Game of Thrones withdrawl?


Right Now  July 23, 2014

Right Now

Right now, I am…

still in PJs. It’s only 9am here, so I don’t feel too bad about that. Plus I’m waiting for Ian to get out of the shower.

considering firing one of my clients. The pay is good and I like the company in general, but the new marketing person that I interface with is a headache to work with. Subtle attempts to educate her about design and email clarity have fallen flat. Not sure it’s worth the stress to continue with them.

addicted to a new game on my iPhone – Two Dots.

drinking sweet tea.

glad that my only out-of-the-house to-do today is grocery shopping. I’ve had social outings the last 3 days, which were all fun and good, but I just need a day home.

happy to have met up with my booth partner for the upcoming craft show, and am feeling a lot less stressed about it. Yay!

so excited to have been approved on NetGalley for ARC’s of Robin Hobb’s Fool’s Assassin and Joe Abercrombie’s Half a King – can’t wait to read them!

needing to weed the flower beds and water the plants.

getting stinkbombed by Sienna laying under my desk.

feeling like we accomplished a lot the past few days. Ian took off work from last Thursday to today, and we’ve been doing some major house cleaning and closet organizing. I still have to sort out my office and office closet, but pretty much everywhere else in the house is done.

relieved to have gotten a good night’s sleep last night, after the insomnia attack of Monday night.

How is your hump day going?

Tuesday Treasure Trove  July 22, 2014

Tuesday Treasure Trove: this week's round-up of read-worthy links.

Things of Note:

Not too talky this morning. Insomnia hit hard last night; I need all the coffee, please. Still working through shop photos, still doing house-cleany things with Ian since he has a week off. Our major projects have all been closet-related. Our open spaces are kept pretty neat, but apparently are various closets are where we let our inner packrats loose. No more! There have been two full-car loads to Goodwill with clothing, books, random furniture type things, etc. And there was organizing on top of the de-cluttering. We have bins and designated shelves and shoe cubbies now. Shoe cubbies, you guys. Like, an actual separate piece of wooden furniture specifically for shoes. This is what being an adult feels like, amiright?

What have you been up to? What’s made you feel like an adult lately?

New Prints  July 21, 2014

Well, I finally got around to photographing all of the new prints I’ve been churning out for the upcoming craft show. And listings have started to go up in the shop. Here’s a peek at a few:

yellow flower

bubble seahorse

red dragonfly

white ivy

mint birds

More will be coming as I work my way through the photos. I took something around 1100 photos (for over 100 prints total), so it’s a bit of job, to say the least. I’ve got another big batch I want to print, so there will probably be another big photo shoot, though maybe not until after the show. But today I have a meeting with my booth partner for the show, and it’s officially less than a month away, so things are going to get down the wire fast!

What creative pursuits did you get up to this weekend?

July Etsy Finds  July 18, 2014

Two themed Etsy treasuries for you again this month, take a gander:


For the 7th month of the year.

Number Seven Print Vintage Style Sports Decor Birthday Decor Coastal Beach Decor Surf Decor Baby Nursery Beach Nursery Decor Kids Room Decor
Lucky 7 Jewelry- Upcycled Number 7 Black & Brass Pendant
Number 7, Plastic Wood like Finish Number 7, Vintage Number 7, Self Standing Number 7
The Lucky Seven 7 Number Monogram Linen Cotton Pillow Cover - Throw Pillow - Number Print - 17" x 17"
Number Seven Tape Measure Photo Printable Graphic
Vintage Metal Number Six or Seven Price Sign Double Sided 6 or 7 Old Gas Station Bent Number Blue & White Address Sign Plate
Typewriter Key Oak Leaf Ring Number Seven
Lucky Number Seven - Fine Art Photo on 4x6 Bamboo Panel
Modern House Number Aluminum Modern Font Number SEVEN 7 in Bronze
Number Seven Ring
Birthday Shirt - 7 year old shirt - 7th Birthday - Number Shirt - Birthday Boy, Birthday Girl - Party - Kids Tshirt Size 8 - Gift Friendly
Number 7 silver necklace - Perfect 7 number seven pendant necklace with a petite freshwater pearl - personalized jewelry gift idea
Retro Number Seven Poster - Number Poster - Custom Numbers for Your Home - Vintage Typography Posters - Number Prints
Instant Download Digital Commercial Use CU Printable Art House Number Seven Black White Street Address Sydney Australia
Vintage brass tag necklace, Lucky #7
One Vintage Three-Inch Aluminum Number Seven SHIPPING INCLUDED


The 7th month of the year was renamed Julius (July) after the death of Roman emperor Julius Caesar, as it was the month of his birth.

Julius Caesar Bronze reproduction medallion - relief sculpture - decorative art
Julius Caesar Quote Cufflinks - I Conquered Cufflinks - Men's Anniversary Gift
Julius Caesar Quote, Beware the Ides of March Cuff, William Shakespeare Quote Jewelry
1895 Roman Art, Antique Print, Tivoli Temple, Colosseum, Porta Aurea, Jupiter Temple, Julius Caesar, Agrippina, Caracalla, Pompeii, Rome
Shakespeare's Tragedy of Julius Caesar - Gollancz - McKay - ca. 1900
Antique Hand Made brass, steel and horse hair Replica Roman Centurion Helmet Prop
Roman Emperor JULIUS CAESAR Tie tack or Cuff links or Ring or Pendant or Brooch
Quote 8x10 Print, Julius Caesar  quote print Wall art Quotes and sayings Print
Bronze Green Chrysolite Veni Vidi Vici Caesar Roman Sun Jupiter Arrow Victory Ring Size 10
Caesar in Gaul. Written in Latin. Early 20th century vintage hardcover military history
Julius Caesar "Et tu, Brute" cuff bracelet Vintage style brass or stainless steel
Julius Caesar Bust (Stone Gray with Earthy Green Roman Ivy on White Tee) - Boys Tee size 4T-5T
JULIUS CAESAR – A marble bust of the Roman Emperor, after the antique, Italian studio, 1880.
Repurposed Art from Shakespearean Book of Quotes - Julius Caesar
Tiberius Caesar Cufflinks in solid sterling silver Free Shipping
Julius CAESAR, The Noblest Roman of Them All - General, Statesman, Consul, Author, Original 1933 Book plate

What does July make you think of?

Book Review: Archon  July 17, 2014

Archon (The Books of Raziel #1)

by Sabrina Benulis.

Archon Archon is book one in a series about Angela Mathers, a troubled young woman who dreams of angels and is apparently unkillable (she knows, she’s tried). The book starts as she’s released from a mental institution and starting out at a new university, West Wood Academy, a priest-run school for blood heads like her (red-headed children with powers). Society sends all such children to one place, because one of them is going to be the prophesied Archon, who will unlock the lost book of the archangel Raziel and have the power to remake the universe. And seeing as Angela dreams of angels, she is attracting attention from anyone who has a stake in the Archon prophecy, whether they want to stop her or control her.

This was a breathless, strange little book. And I mean that in a good way. Breathless because things happen so fast and even the characters that the narrative is following don’t fully understand everything as it’s happening. Strange because it’s this odd blend of alternate reality, dark fantasy, theology, mystery, and YA romance. There are red-headed witches, evil angels, half-demon priests, and a whole lot of surreal gothic ambiance (somewhat unclear, but I think it’s supposed to take place in the future). Also a whole lot of bloody violence, shifting alliances and trust issues. It makes for a compelling read, because you’re never quite sure as a reader whose side someone is on or what their end game is. It’s not the type of read you can skim- you will miss important details if you do that, and probably be confused. But if you pay attention, enough questions are answered that you will be drawn into the world of the story.

Overall it was a satisfying read in itself, but also sets the stage for a pretty sweeping fantasy series. It’s definitely on the darker side, though, so if you’re looking for something light and fluffy, this may not be for you.

I give it 4/5 stars.