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Archive for the category “Celtic Mythology”

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

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My Rating: About 50…or Maybe 60…of 5!

After re-reading The Raven Boys, Book 1 of the Raven Cycle, I remembered all over again why I love Maggie Stiefvater’s writing.

After reading The Dream Thieves, Book 2 of the Raven Cycle, I have decided that I want to BE Maggie Stiefvater when I grow up.

There are no words to convey how powerful and moving her writing is. And I know a LOT of words. Just none that do the job adequately.

I enjoyed her Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy. It was sweet, and spooky, and an unusual take on werewolves. I LOVED The Scorpio Races, a dark, hauntingly beautiful tale of young love, unfolding on the backs of the capaill uisce, or water horses of Celtic legend. But the first two books of the Raven Cycle are simply beyond my ability to explain. With lyrical precision, and dark imagery, Stiefvater creates a cast of characters unlike any I’ve ever encountered. The four Raven Boys are a disparate, yet tightly bonded, group of young men who attend Aglionby Academy. They are at once admirable, flawed, driven by needs too complicated to explain here, and made alternately strong and weak by those same needs.

And then there’s Blue, the non-magic girl in a house filled with seers and diviners, and whose gift is amplifying the magic of others. Once Blue becomes part of the group of Raven Boys, things change in so many unexpected ways, it would be hard to keep up, without the skillful plotting of the author. Her lyrical turns of phrase aren’t the only thing at work here, though to be sure, it’s her writing that makes the tale as powerful as it is. Her story line is terrific, but her words are positively inspired. As I said in an earlier post, Stiefvater  can lay open a character’s soul more efficiently than a boning knife, and often, with equally painful results. Her words left me gasping more than once, because, quite simply, her writing has a kick like a mule.

I can’t recommend this series highly enough. Hands down, the best two books I’ve read in several years, and I’m counting the days until I can read the last book, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, coming October 21.

The Dream Thieves

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And We Have A Winner!

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Two, actually. Congratulations to mergirl and marje on winning downloads of Maggie Stiefvater’s lovely book, Scorpio Races! I hope you both love it as much as I did! Stay tuned for next Monday’s giveaway, when I’ll be offering a free download of Jim Butcher’s latest Dresden Files book, Skin Game. See you then!

DON’T FORGET!

Be the first to email me today, after 3:00PM EST, and win a free download of Maggie Stiefvater’s Scorpio Races! FREE is GOOD! 🙂

Monday Giveaway!

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The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Today starts one of my new features…Monday Giveaway Day! Be sure to make a note. Every Monday, I will give away a free download (or maybe more) of one of my favorite books. There will be many genres over the weeks ahead, so you’re sure to find something you’d like.

Today, I am giving away one that I dearly love by Maggie Stiefvater, Scorpio Races. It is a re-imagining of the Celtic water horse myth, told as only Stiefvater can. Scorpio Races is listed as a YA book, but trust me on this. It works for adults, too. The writing is lovely, the characters, touching and poignant, and the water horses…capaill uisce…are terrifying and beautiful at the same time.

A favorite quote of mine:

I don’t look away from Puck. “I think you assume too much, Dory Maud.”
“You leave nothing to assumption,” Dory Maud says. “You swallow her with your eyes. I’m surprised there’s any of her left for the rest of us to see.”

I know some of you would love this book as much as I do, so here’s what you do to win a free download for your Kindle: email me and ASK. That’s it. The first person to email me at mmeara@cfl.rr.com AFTER 3:00PM EST will win a copy. (I want to give folks on the west coast a chance, too, hence setting the time a bit later in the day.)

So…make a note. Set your timer. And email me after 3:00PM Eastern Standard Time. Be first, and you win. Be second…and you MIGHT win, too. I’ll think about it! 😀 😀 😀

Monday Lunch Time Giveaway….Late!

Yeah, I know it’s way past lunch time in my part of the world, but in other areas, I might still be in range. Sorry for the delay in today’s giveaway, but as some of you know, I have developed some complications from my cataract surgery and am having vision problems. Between having trouble seeing to work on the computer, and all the visits to my doctor, I’m behind on everything. But I’ll catch up, I promise. And I’m still offering some free downloads of books I love today.  All you have to do is email me with the name of the book you want. It would be a good idea to let me know what your second or third choices would be, too, in case someone beats you to the draw. You can find my email under the Contact Me link at the top of the page. Here are today’s offers:

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater: I have 2 free downloads available for this. Maggie Stiefvater is a truly gifted and beautiful writer, and of all her books, The Scorpio Races is my favorite. It is a haunting, magical, and dark tale centered around the Celtic legend of the water horse. This is a Young Adult book, but it is NOT young adult writing, believe me. Try it. You’ll be as in love with Stiefvater’s writing as I am. The Scorpio Races is a stand-alone book.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater:  Okay, so I’m back to Maggie again, but really, any fan of Urban Fantasy, magic, Celtic legends, and beautiful writing should be reading her already. She’s one of the best. This book is completely unique in the way it approaches an odd assortment of characters whose lives become interconnected in unexpected ways. There is another Celtic legend at work in the background here, too, but I’m not going to give away any more than that. I’ve already got the 2nd book in this series waiting in my To Be Read basket, and I can’t wait to get started on it. Book One was utterly captivating. I have 2 downloads available of this book, too.

Killing Floor by Lee Child: The book that started Jack Reacher on his cross-country adventures. For those of you who have not gotten into Reacher’s stories yet, this is the place to begin. One of my favorite series. I have two downloads of this book available as well. 

And as always, anyone who’d like some bookmarks from my novel, Wake-Robin Ridge, need only email me with their mailing address, and I’ll send you some, for your own use, or for give-aways to friends and family. 

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So there you have it. I will run today’s offer through tomorrow afternoon, to make up for it being posted so late. Hope you’ll all forgive me, and be sure to tune in again next Monday for another Lunchtime Giveaway.

A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett

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My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

In keeping with my promise to myself to read the four Tiffany Aching stories before starting at the beginning of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, I finished the second Aching book over the weekend. A Hat Full of Sky started a wee bit slower for me than The Wee Free Men, but it began to pick up pace rapidly, and I was soon Read more…

The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

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My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Where have you been all my life, Terry Pratchett?  How could you have written so many books, and I am just now discovering you?  The bad news is, I have missed out on so much good reading, here.  The good news is, Read more…

Cold Days by Jim Butcher (Finally Finished It!)

Jim Butcher's Cold Days Cover

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Dang, Jim Butcher!  Take us on a ride, why doncha?  I finally found time amidst all that’s going on around here to finish Cold Days.  I read until 2:00am last night, determined not to stop until I knew how it all turned out.  Holy guacamole!  This book is what Cecil B. DeMille would write if he were an Urban Fantasy author instead of a long-deceased director of big-budget Hollywood spectacles from decades ago. Read more…

Good Morning, Everyone!

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Cover of Jim Butcher’s Ghost Story

(Probably My Favorite in the Entire Series)

It’s finally cool here in central Florida–and by cool, I mean 50-ish at night, and 70-ish in the daytime–so I should be working in my yard, cleaning up the mess from late summer.  But after 5 days of hauling tree debris around and trying to make a dent in that particular mess, I really don’t feel like it.  The garden will have to wait a bit longer, I’m afraid.  And then, there’s my latest distraction:  Read more…

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys Book Cover

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Maggie Stiefvater has become my very favorite Young Adult Urban Fantasy writer in the world.  Period.  I don’t know another author, Young Adult or not, who can make my heart ache more deeply for her characters than Stiefvater.  Her writing is exquisite Read more…

Ashes of Honor by Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire's Ashes of Honor Cover by Chris McGrath

My Rating: 5+ out of 5 Stars

POSSIBLE VERY SLIGHT SPOILERS ALERT!

When I finished Ashes of Honor last night, I was dancing on the seat of the Comfy Chair, fist-pumping, and yelling “Yes, YES, YEEEESSSS!!!”  I can  guarantee that this was not a pretty sight, but what else could I do?  The book was definitely Read more…

Quote #9 – Maggie Stiefvater

“Dory is what Mum used to call a “strong-looking woman,” which means that, from the back, she looked like a man, and, from the front, you preferred the back”
― Maggie Stiefvater,  The Scorpio Races

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

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MY RATING:  5 out of 5 Stars

It’s hard to find words to describe a book so hauntingly beautiful and thought-provoking as this Young Adult novel by Maggie Stiefvater. Okay, I found some words, but I’m not sure any of them are the RIGHT words. All I can say is Maggie Stiefvater writes like an angel. She can slowly, but inexorably, pull you inside of a character’s heart and soul better than almost any writer I know of (except maybe Marisa de los Santos). I loved Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, but this eerie tale Read more…

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