Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Tunage Tuesday - Final Fantasy Music

I'm not sure if you know or not, but Final Fantasy XIV (14) has just released a new expansion called Stormblood

and it is awesome!!!

Adam and I have been playing for over a year now and it's become an everyday part of our lives. The Final Fantasy games have always been a big part of our lives (even if we differ on which ones are the best) and it's nice that it can continue to do so for us as a couple.
So in honor of Stormblood, here are some lovely songs for you, because who doesn't love FF music?

This Devin Super Tramp film, arranged by Stephen J. Anderson, features non other than our favorite violinist Lindsay Sterling

This medley and the video are absolutely gorgeous! Not to mention that Lindsay brings our favorite characters to life so easily.

So I mentioned that Stormblood is out, but I'm going to go back to the previous expansion for a moment to feature this next song. Heavensward was a great expansion that had a sad story about a woman and a dragon who fall in love and how it ended in disaster for them.  
They even included a song about it. 

It's called Dragonsong

Adam asked me to learn it for him, so I've been working at it slowly. I found this great piano karaoke version of it that lets me practice.

you know, in case you want to learn it to

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to be the most adorable BLM ever

Roxie Sky will kablamo your ass and look adorable doing it

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Newfangled 52 - May Edition

Spring colds turn to viral pneumonia, always fun. I spent most of May sick, hanging out on my couch and binge watching Netflix. And when I couldn't stand to watch anymore crappy movies, I turned to the solace of audiobooks. How wonderful they are. 

Here's what I read and listened to this month:

by Kiera Cass 

342 Pages (8:48 Hours)

Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon’s heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own. Eadlyn doesn’t expect her Selection to be anything like her parents’ fairy-tale love story. But as the competition begins, she may discover that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she always thought.

Audible had a sale and I managed to pick up a bunch of books to complete series that I was working on. When I started this, I didn't realize that it was going to be taking place 20 years in the future. Although I was glad that America's story was over, as I couldn't figure out where the story would go from there, I wasn't thrilled with their snotty daughter and redoing the selection all over again. Yet as the book went on, I found myself really getting into it and watching the characters grow in a way that they didn't in the first part of this series. By the end, I couldn't wait to start the next book so I could find out what would happen. 

by Jim C. Hines

389 Pages

When Isaac Vainio helped to reveal magic to the world, he dreamed of a utopian future, a new millennium of magical prosperity. One year later, things aren't going quite as he'd hoped. 
An organization known as Vanguard, made up of magical creatures and ex-Porters, wants open war with the mundane world. Isaac's own government is incarcerating "potential supernatural enemies" in prisons and internment camps. And Isaac finds himself targeted by all sides. 
It's a war that will soon envelop the world, and the key to victory may lie with Isaac himself, as he struggles to incorporate everything he's learned into a new, more powerful form of libriomancy. Surrounded by betrayal and political intrigue, Isaac and a ragtag group of allies must evade pursuit both magical and mundane, expose a conspiracy by some of the most powerful people in the world, and find a path to a better future. 
But what will that futures cost Isaac and the ones he loves?

This series just keeps getting better and better and it's getting harder not to justify buying it in hardcover just so I can find out what comes next. Now that magic is out in the open, the game has totally changed. People are up in arms about the uses of magic both good and bad and many are angry that they've been kept in the dark about it for so long. But while magic can heal the sick and save lives, it can also create new weapon and new destructive armies of magic wielders. It's a pretty neat look at magic that you don't usually get. I also really love libriomancy and the thought of magic coming out of books. So cool.

by Kiera Cass

278 Pages (7:12 Hours)

When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illéa to hold her own Selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty-five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone.
Eadlyn still isn’t sure she’ll find the fairytale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible—and more important—than she ever imagined.

Who do you think is going to win? It's amazing that with these Bachelor type books, you really do pick a favorite and hope that they win. For me, I was right and super happy about it. This book actually had moments where I found myself getting really emotional. Wasn't expecting that to happen at all. Maybe it was a side effect of being sick. :P
I'm glad this series is over, as I don't think they could've added anything else to complete it more that it already is. I'm looking forward to reading some of her other books.

by Maggie Stiefvater

391 Pages (10:03 Hours)

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.
The trick with found things, though, is how easily they can be lost.
Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

I was glad to pick this series up again, since It's been awhile since I read the last one.
I'm going to say, without a doubt, that this was my favorite out of all of them. 
I really loved that as everything finally started to come together that it all started to fall apart as well. It also had one of the best villains in the series in it.

by Seanan McGuire

354 Pages

October "Toby" Daye is finally doing all right—and that inevitably means it's time for things to take a turn for the worse. Someone has kidnapped the sons of the Duchess Dianda Lorden, regent of the Undersea Duchy of Saltmist. To prevent a war between land and sea, Toby must not only find the missing boys, but also prove that the Queen of the Mists was not behind their abduction. She'll need all her tricks and the help of her allies if she wants to make it through this in one piece.
Toby's search will take her from the streets of San Francisco to the lands beneath the waves. But someone is determined to stop her—and whoever it is isn't playing by Oberon's Laws. As the battle grows more and more personal, one thing is chillingly clear. When Faerie goes to war, not everyone will walk away.

Oooooh..... so good! This month seemed to really be full of the best of the best of series and I'm very happy about that. This one was no exception. I love this series so much.
I always love the descriptions of faerie and the trip to the undersea kingdom knocked my socks off. I am a sucker for a good undersea kingdom. It's hard to imagine the stakes being even higher than usual for Toby and her friends, but somehow they always are. Having to stop a war takes the story telling to new heights and I love it (and hate it for pulling at my heart strings)
Must read more....

by Terry Pratchett

283 Pages

On Discworld, a dying wizard tries to pass on his powers to an eighth son of an eighth son, who is just at that moment being born. The fact that the son is actually a daughter is discovered just a little too late. The town witch insists on turning the baby into a perfectly normal witch, thus mending the magical damage of the wizard's mistake. But now the young girl will be forced to penetrate the inner sanctum of the Unseen University--and attempt to save the world with one well-placed kick in some enchanted shins! 

Adam has really gotten me into Discworld lately, so this became my RBA book for the month. You can tell that this book is early in the Discworld Universe because it doesn't quite have the same flow or level of sass that his later books have. That doesn't make it any less fun though. I love the fact that even early on he's challenging gender roles and "how it's always been"
This book truly great for someone like me.

by Maggie Stiefvater

448 Pages (11:51 Hours)

All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love's death. She doesn't believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.

It's always hard to come to the end of a series, but at the same time, it's nice when it's over. That's how I felt about this book. There were some great revelations (and I'm totally shipping it!), but I wasn't overly thrilled about how it ended. I found it to be a little anti-climactic after all the hype surrounding it. Maybe it's just me. I loved everything else about it though.

by Glen Cook

319 Pages

Some feel the Lady, newly risen from centuries in thrall, stands between humankind and evil. Some feel she is evil itself. The hardbitten men of the Balck Company take their pay and do what they must, burying their doubts with their dead.

This was my original RBA for the month, but with being sick and this book being heavy and awkward, it's one of those huge soft cover books that are hard to hold, and me being sick and weak, I put it aside for a lighter paperback. It's also 3 books in one, so it's extra big and clunky. It was a hard book to get into. The writing style is awkward and takes some getting use to, but once you do, the story is quite interesting. Being part of a mercenary guild is difficult, especially when you realize you might be on the wrong side. It also takes a neat look at magical warfare and puts a bit of a more modern spin on it. I will be reading the rest of the books later this year 

by Mitchell Hogan

80 Pages (2:15 Hours)

Ten years before A Crucible of Souls…
In the bustling capital city of the Mahruse Empire, Felicienne Shyrise spends her days as a talented investigator, taking on stolen goods and missing person cases, and the occasional murder the city guard are too incompetent, or too lazy, to resolve.
During nights, she hones her skills playing Dominion, a board game almost as complicated as life itself. She dreams of making a name for herself, and becoming the richest woman in the Empire.
But when she’s roped into a murky investigation by a First Adjudicator to the immortal Emperor himself, her life is thrown into disarray. Will this be the perfect opportunity to showcase her skills and make valuable connections, or will her future now be in the hands of political powers that can never be denied.
Working against her will, and afraid of the consequences of refusing the commission, she uncovers evidence that points to an attempt on the Emperor’s life. Felicienne rapidly finds herself a target, and must use her considerable wits to uncover the plot of an unseen enemy who always seems to be one step ahead of the game.
This is a standalone novella of 20,000 words. No prior knowledge of the Sorcery Ascendant Sequence is required to enjoy it, which means it's a perfect introduction for new readers or a chance for Sorcery Ascendant veterans to spend a little more time with Felicienne Shyrise.

So, on top of being sick, my phone went wonky for a few days when the new iPhone update came out and got stuck in an endless loop of updating. So not being able to get to my current audiobook, I booted up my old phone and listened to a short story that I had yet to get to. It was a prequel to an already established story, but I was able to to still follow along just fine. It was okay. I'm sure if you knew the characters and the universe, it would be more interesting, but on it's own it wasn't anything impressive. I might look into the others later on, but we'll see.

Books that I am currently reading

by Timothy Zahn
341 of 694 Pages (12:59 of 26:15 Hours)

by Anthony Ryan
425 of 602 Pages (24:39 Hours)

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Extraordinary Voyages #6)
by Jules Verne
228 of 394 Pages

by Rohinton Mistry
30 of 603 Pages

Seeing (Blindness #2)
by José Saramago
237 of 307 Pages

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Tunage Tuesday - Fan.tasia

Every once and a while, something magical happens...
Okay, so maybe it's not magic, but just incredible editing skills. Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference. As is the case with this amazing video by Lindsay McCutcheon

I can't even begin to imagine how long that took to put together. It boggles my mind!
It's gotta be magic

Thursday, May 4, 2017

I Am One With The 4th The 4th Is With Me

art by Obvian
It's Star Wars Day!!!!
May the 4th Be With You!

I love Star Wars Day. I get to brake out all my Star Wars clothes and accessories (not that I need an excuse), pull out my DVD's (also don't need an excuse) and just totally submerse myself in all the glory of my favorite fandom.

It's exciting that this year also marks the 40th anniversary of A New Hope and the beginning of all this worldwide craziness. 

It's amazing that a small movie made 40 years ago has touched so many people and continues to inspire us and new generations with each new edition to the ever expanding Universe.

On a sad note, Carrie Fisher is not here this year to celebrate with us. It's been hard on the community but we continue to celebrate her life and the affect she's had on us all. And we know if she were here, she'd want us to be covered in glitter

  In Memoriam here is a beautiful rendition of Princess Leia's theme performed by Player Piano

I've got my glitter on, do you?

And this Star Wars Day, I think you deserve to treat yourself
How about with this awesome Box Lunch pendant?

That's right, this Death Star locket contains the hidden secret plans inside!! Thanks to Kessel Runway for this awesome find!

I'm off to watch some Star Wars, but remember, keep Star Wars with you all through the year and everyday can be Star Wars day @._.@ 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Newfangled 52 - April Edition

art by Risa Rodil

Hooray for spring colds. I've had this one for the last few weeks and am only now beginning to feel better. There's not much that you can do when your sick and everything , even standing up, is a challenge. Thank goodness for books and audiobooks. They've kept me company when there was little else to do but binge-watch Netflix.

Here's what I read this month:

by Leigh Bardugo

52 Pages (0:52 Hours)

There was a time when the woods near Duva ate girls - or so the story goes. But it's just possible that the danger may be a little bit closer to home. This story is a companion folk tale to Leigh Bardugo's debut novel, Shadow and Bone.

I've been reading and loving the Grisha novels and these little short stories are the icing on the cake. They are short folk tales from that World that give just a little background to some of their superstitions and beliefs. This one deals with a wicked step-mother, a wood witch and missing girls that seem to disappear into the forest. But who is responsible? 

by Kiera Cass

323 Pages (7:25 Hours)

The time has come for one winner to be crowned.
When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she'll have to fight for the future she wants

I've got to admit, I didn't think I'd like this series as much as I do, but I'm really enjoying it.
This book is much better than the last two. America has finally given up her silly love triangle and decided that she loves Maxon enough that she wants to spend her live with him, even if that means being Queen and having to deal with his awful father.
But things are escalating in the world around them and the rebellions are stepping up their games as well. More attacks are happening and people are beginning to choose sides.

by Scott Lynch

530 Pages

An orphan's life is harsh — and often short — in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains — a man who is neither blind nor a priest.
A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected "family" of orphans — a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards. Under his tutelage, Locke grows to lead the Bastards, delightedly pulling off one outrageous confidence game after another. Soon he is infamous as the Thorn of Camorr, and no wealthy noble is safe from his sting.
Passing themselves off as petty thieves, the brilliant Locke and his tightly knit band of light-fingered brothers have fooled even the criminal underworld's most feared ruler, Capa Barsavi. But there is someone in the shadows more powerful — and more ambitious — than Locke has yet imagined. 
Known as the Gray King, he is slowly killing Capa Barsavi's most trusted men — and using Locke as a pawn in his plot to take control of Camorr's underworld. With a bloody coup under way threatening to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the Gray King at his own brutal game — or die trying...

This book was a lot of fun. When I was reading Six of Crows, Adam thought I might enjoy this book for being similar. So this is my RBA book of the month (actually last month, but I didn't get it finished in time). It was a lot of fun to see how a group of confidence men work, but even more fun to watch the situation get totally out of control and watch them trying to make things right. I'm really looking forward to reading the next book and seeing what's in store for these lovable characters.

by John Green

229 Pages  (6:48 Hours)

Katherine V thought boys were gross
Katherine X just wanted to be friends
Katherine XVIII dumped him in an e-mail
K-19 broke his heart
When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.
On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun--but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.
Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.

I'm not a huge John Green fan, but having only read The Fault in Our Stars, I thought I'd give this $2 audiobook a go. It was hard at first to listen to. Colin is not a likable character at all. Lucky for him (and me), the other characters are and they were what kept me listening. As I was, I thought of all the terrible things I was going to say about this book when I was done, but then the unthinkable happened. Colin grew as a character and actually became kinda likable in the end. I know, I was surprised too, although I shouldn't be since John Green is known for his characters and building amazing relationships. I guess I shouldn't judge a book by one annoying teenager.

by Patricia Briggs

292 Pages

When Mercy Thompson, mechanic and shape-shifter, attempts to return a powerful fae book she previously borrowed in an act of desperation, she finds the bookstore locked up and closed down.
It seems the book contains secrets -- and the fae will do just about anything to keep it out of the wrong hands. And if that doesn't take enough of Mercy's attention, her friend Samuel is struggling with his wolf side -- leaving Mercy to cover for him lest his own father declare Samuel's life forfeit.
All in all, Mercy has had better days. And if she isn't careful, she may not have many more...

When I stared this series, I wasn't thrilled with it, but I found the 5 books at BMV for next to nothing and kept them on my shelf as fillers for when I was between series that I really liked. But as the books went on, they became more of an escape when I just wanted to get lost into something simple and fun. I've actually grown to really like the series and this book was probably one of the best so far. Although the over arcing story line is about the fae searching for the book that she has hidden, the underling story is so much better. It really shows what being in the Pack is like and where everyone stands. It also deals with the person vs. the wolf inside, which I found fascinating. Now that my pile of these book is finished, I'm going to have to go back and see if I can find the rest.

by S. Andrew Swann

336 Pages

It has been a year since former thief Frank Blackthorne became Princess of Lendowyn and married a dragon. He's coming to terms with his new life, but during the royal anniversary banquet, an elven prince reads a scroll of evil magic and Frank's world is turned upside-down. Again.
The scroll's spell causes a murderous rampage in a palace full of noble dignitaries, so it's no surprise Frank's visitors are angry. The Elf-King Timoras threatens war but Frank can't do anything about it: because of the same bit of scroll magic, the ex-Dragon Lucille has taken over the princess's body, unaware that Frank is still there, locked in her skull. And worst of all, the fate of everyone may soon rest on the shoulders of the man responsible for the whole mess, someone who should be safely dead...

This book was good, silly fun, which is exactly why I bought it. I wasn't sure if I was going to have a chance to finish it though, as it took an impromptu swim in my tub. Luckily, after some quick googling, I found a few methods that would help. After about a week of working to get it dry I managed to flatten it enough that it was in good enough condition to read again. It's not perfect, but it still worked and the story was good enough to be worth saving.  

by Sarah J. Maas

648 Pages (20:18 Hours)

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .
She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.
Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

This is another series that just keeps getting better and better. It's nice to see characters come into their own and take charge. It's one of the things I think Sarah J. Maas is really good at doing with her characters. I really feel like this story is coming together and it's nice to see the separate story lines begin to converge. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book.  

by Joe Abercrombie

366 Pages

Thorn Bathu was born to fight. But when she kills a boy in the training square she finds herself named a murderer.
Fate places her life in the hands of the deep-cunning Father Yarvi as he sets out to cross half the world in search of allies against the ruthless High King. Beside her is Brand, a young warrior who hates to kill. A failure in her eyes and his own, the voyage is his last chance at redemption.
But warriors can be weapons, and weapons are made for one purpose. Will Thorn always be a tool in the hands of the powerful, or can she carve her own path? Is there a place outside of legend for a woman with a blade?

This was my other RBA for the month. I read the first one last year in March and wasn't really sure what I thought of it. I'm glad Adam pushed me to read the second book because it was much better. I liked the characters more and the story felt smoother. I'm looking forward to finishing the series.

Books that I am currently reading

by Timothy Zahn
93 of 694 Pages

by Anthony Ryan
425 of 602 Pages (24:39 Hours)

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Extraordinary Voyages #6)
by Jules Verne
102 of 394 Pages

by Rohinton Mistry
30 of 603 Pages

Revisionary (Magic Ex Libris #4)
by Jim C. Hines
125 of 389 Pages

The Heir (The Selection #4)
by Kiera Cass
225 of 318 Pages (8:48 Hours)

I know, I know, so many books that I'm currently reading have been on here forever. I promise I am trying to make some progress on them, slowly but surely.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Star Wars Forces of Destiny

There’s never been an all-star lineup like this in any galaxy.
Rey, Ahsoka Tano, Jyn Erso, Princess Leia, Sabine Wren, and other icons of a galaxy far, far away will take center stage in Star Wars Forces of Destiny — a new animated micro-series and initiative celebrating some of Star Wars‘ most beloved and inspirational characters. Announced by Disney and Lucasfilm today, Star Wars Forces of Destiny launches in July with a series of animated shorts (2-3 minutes each) on Disney YouTube, exploring all-new adventures of the fan-favorites. A two-part TV special featuring eight additional shorts will follow on Disney Channel in fall 2017. Significantly, Daisy Ridley (Rey), Felicity Jones (Jyn Erso), Tiya Sircar (Sabine Wren), Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano), and Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata, narrating the series) will all reprise their roles for the show. Developed by Lucasfilm Animation, Star Wars Forces of Destiny will remain true to the Star Wars canon, showing how choices both big and small ultimately shape the destinies of beloved characters. - Starwars.com

Like DC Superhero Girls, Disney has finally gotten the hint that girls like Star Wars too!

Not only will they be featuring shorts on these amazing Galactic Ladies, but the merchandising is going to be awesome!

Books! Books about Star Wars girls!! I'm so excited!

But I'm not going to lie, I'm mostly excited for the dolls!
Just look at this all-star lineup! 

I can't wait to add these to my collection of Star Wars dolls. They will look so good with my multi-Padmes and Leia

I'm so excited for this next generation of girls who are growing up with these. Now they can save the galaxy without having to make their own dolls have Leia buns. Let us bring up more strong woman who want to save the Galaxy