Introducing My Genderbent!Mulan/Amazons Retelling - Beautiful People #21

Monday, September 26, 2016
Beautiful People #21: Mulan Retelling

Beautiful People is a link-up hosted by Sky @ Further Up and Further and Cait @ Paperfury. At the beginning of every month, they post a couple questions, which you can answer with info about the characters in your current writing project. The link-up is designed to help you learn more about your characters and share them with the world. Find more info here.


How did you come up with this character?

Currently none of the characters in my Genderbent!Mulan/Amazons project have solid names (and I also don't have a title yet, normally those two are like the first things I come up with, but this writing project's been a bit different). I think my main character's name will most likely be Keung, but that's definitely liable to change.

Keung popped into my head when I decided I wanted to do a Mulan retelling, at first he was girl, but then I decided I wanted to genderbend it and so his gender changed. Honestly I haven't been focusing to much on his character yet, I've been busy doing research on The Amazons and Ancient Chinese culture (you'd think me being of Chinese descent would mean I'm already well versed in the latter, but I'm really not in the slightest). So yeah that's how Keung came to be.


Have they ever been starving? Why? And what did they eat to break the fast?

Keung and his family are rather well off, so from what I've plotted out so far, no. However as I develop the plot further, I feel like such a scene will probably come along, and if it did, he'd break the fast with some steamed buns and rice porridge.


Do they have a talent or skill that they’re proud of?

So in the world of the Genderbent!Mulan/Amazons story, every family has special power or skill that is passed down from a mother to her children (sorry dads). So the power Keung inherited is skinshifting (which means he can change his appearance. However he can't like grow a beak, he can only manipulate the feature he already has. Also pretty much the only thing he can't change is those uh unique male parts...). Also skinshifting is like really really rare and one of the more powerful skills, so yeah he's proud of his ability.


List 3 things that would make them lose their temper.

Messing with Keung's family is pretty much the surefire way to piss him off, and he definitely has plenty more pet peeves coming in the future, I just haven't gotten around to building that part of his character.


What is their favorite type of weather? Least favorite?

Keung likes the rain, but only when it's not getting in the way of his life. Finding him watching the rain as it streams down the windows and beats down against the world is a pretty common occurrence. As for least favorite, he absolutely despises the blistering summer heat.


What is their Hogwarts house and/or MBTI personality?

I'm gonna have to go with the obvious and say Hufflepuff, after all the Ballad of Mulan is all about family. Mulan takes her father's place out of love for her father, Keung will do something similar for one of his family members.

If I had to put him in a house other than Hufflepuff, I'd say Ravenclaw, as he kinda is the smart friend. Basically when everyone else is planning on doing something stupid, he's the one nagging them all about being idiotic, and trying to prove their idiocy to them by poking holes through their plans.


Are they more likely to worry about present problems, or freak out about the unknown future?

For Keung it depends, if there's major problems in the present to worry over, he'll think and contemplate about them until he's completely worn out. However if everything is going jolly well, his mind tends to wander to futuristic issues. (Basically, he's a full-time worrier like someone I know *cough* me *cough*)


What is their favorite thing to drink?

I'm going the extra cliche route and saying, tea. Well, for now. I haven't had this writing project running around my head for that long, so I'm still figuring out the plot and characters, and I have zero clues what Keung would like the drink.


What is their favorite color? Least favorite?

Blue is his favorite, specifically the pale tones. And his least favorite is gold, too gaudy for his tastes.


What is a book that changed their life?

I really have no clue which book I'd pick. I haven't read a lot of ancient Chinese novels, and I'm not even certain which time period I'm sticking this fantasy in....

Are you working on a story, or do you plan to? If you're working on one, how far along are you?
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They're All Grown-Up - Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch Blog Tour + ARC Review + Giveaway

Monday, September 19, 2016
Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch Review

Small warning this review will contain spoilers for the first two books in this series, Snow like Ashes and Ice like Fire.

Frost Like Night was a wonderful conclusion. I was a bit worried about this one cause the second book lacked some luster (though that can most likely be attributed to middle book syndrome), but Frost like Night was amazing and unlike Ice like Fire, never reduced me to an angry, flaming, human.

Synopsis & Details:

Angra is alive, his Decay is spreading—and no one is safe. Meira will do anything to save her world. With Angra trying to break through her mental defenses, she desperately needs to learn to control her own magic—so when the leader of a mysterious Order from Paisly offers to teach her, she read more... jumps at the chance. But the true solution to stopping the Decay lies in a labyrinth deep beneath the Season Kingdoms. To defeat Angra, Meira will have to enter the labyrinth, destroy the very magic she’s learning to control—and make the biggest sacrifice of all.

Mather will do anything to save his queen. He needs to rally the Children of the Thaw, find Meira—and finally tell her how he really feels. But with a plan of attack that leaves no kingdom unscathed and a major betrayal within their ranks, winning the war—and protecting Meira—slips farther and farther out of reach.

Ceridwen will do anything to save her people. Angra had her brother killed, stole her kingdom, and made her a prisoner. But when she’s freed by an unexpected ally who reveals a shocking truth behind Summer’s slave trade, Ceridwen must take action to save her true love and her kingdom, even if it costs her what little she has left.

As Angra unleashes the Decay on the world, Meira, Mather, and Ceridwen must bring the kingdoms of Primoria together…or lose everything.

Title: Frost like Night (Snow like Ashes #3)
Author: Sara Raasch
Series: Snow like Ashes
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Romance
Source: I received an arc from the publisher for review consideration (thanks Balzer + Bray!) this in no way affected my review, cross my heart.

I'm pretty satisfied with how this series ended.

Though I was a bit annoyed with how looonggg it took them to realize the solution to the, (view spoiler)[Meria has to die to save the world issue. It was pretty obvious to me the second the Cordellan dagger appeared.] But I can definitely see why the plot worked out how it did.

The love triangle conflict wasn't as prominent (if not practically none existent) in the third book as it was in the second (Which was a REALLY good thing). (view spoiler)[I sorta realized that Theron was pretty much only a conventional romantic blockade™, and had like zero chance of ending up with Meira. Which was kinda annoying, since pretty much the only reason the second book bugged me so much was that curse of a love triangle. Though Mather, the dude I was rooting for, did end up with Meira, so there's not really much for me to complain about.] I also acquired a new otp, Jesse and Ceridwen rather quickly stole my heart in Ice like Fire, but in Frost like Night they ran away with it.

Despite being a near 500 paged book, Frost like Night moved relatively quickly for me.

One afternoon I just sat my butt down, decided I was gonna finish my copy, and pretty much whipped through it in a couple of hours. So if you're worried that this one's gonna be a tad slow, like Ice like Fire, then you've got nothing to fear.

I'm sure this is kinda of a weird thing to say, but toward the end of the book, I had this little "my child's all grown up epiphany."

It just suddenly hit me how much the story had evolved, and how much Meira and all the characters had grown. I'm really going miss them, though I'm super excited to see all that Sara Raasch has in store next.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Have you read this series? Are your Team Theron or Team Mather?
About Sara Raasch
Sara Raasch has known she was destined for bookish things since the age of five, when her friends had a lemonade stand and she tagged along to sell her hand-drawn picture books too. Not much has changed since then — her friends still cock concerned eyebrows when she attempts to draw things and her enthusiasm for the written word still drives her to extreme measures. Her debut YA fantasy, SNOW LIKE ASHES, came out October 14, 2014 from Balzer + Bray, and the sequel, ICE LIKE FIRE, comes out October 13, 2015. Neither features her hand-drawn pictures.

Blog Tour Schedule
Week One
Week Two
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Quartz Gazette August 2016 - School has Started Once Again + Moving is on the Horizon

Monday, September 12, 2016
Quartz Gazette August 2016

So high school has begun for me, and it's definitely been an interesting two weeks. It's also the reason why I've been largely absent from Quartzfeather. I'm having some trouble keeping up with my weekly schedule, so from henceforth I'll be posting bi-weekly and Quartz Gazette will be posted bi-monthly.

In other news, I'm moving houses this Friday. Yay for the new house, boo for all the packing. I'll also have the space for a bookshelf in my new room and that is always a plus.

On twitter, yesterday, I passed 100 followers, which is awesome! But I'm honestly not sure how long that will last, cause my Twitter followers count is always a bit sporadic.

Watched & Read

  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda // This was just purely adorable, it took me a couple of times to actually pick up the book and read it through, but in the end I'm so glad I did. I just wanna pinch Simon Spier's cheeks.
  • Wolf by Wolf // Another five star! I really enjoyed Wolf by Wolf, the alternate history topic, and the fantasy weaved into the story made for a wonderful read.
  • Cursed Child // Like the rest of the book blogging world, I didn't much like this one either. I ended up getting quite annoyed at Cursed Child cause the the original trio was quite out of character, and the plot was fairly ridiculous. Hopefully Fantastic Beasts will be better.
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe // I was under the impression that this book was an old classic for a bit, oops. My interest was first piqued when I saw a piece of Voltron Legendary Defender/Aristotle and Dante crossover fanart on Tumblr. And then after learning Lin Miranda was the narrator for the audiobook I knew I had to read this one. I really loved Aristotle and Dante (Ari's mom is awesome!), but I felt that the story moved a bit slow at times, which is pretty much the only reason for the 4 starred rating. Also I'm super excited for the sequel, but I'm honestly a bit confused on what it's gonna be about, the first book's ending wrapped things up rather nicely.
  • Raven Boys // I mostly read this book cause our great overlord, Cait, kept bring up how good it is. I'm a bit uncertain on how I feel about it, I loved certain aspects of the Raven Boys, but other parts just downright confused me for awhile. Not too sure whether I'm going to continue on with the series. I will say this though, Gansey has my complete and utter devotion.
  • Where the Mountain Meets the Moon // It's certainly been awhile since I've read a middle grade book and it was really nice to read one with Chinese culture. All in all it was a sweet book, and quite charming. The art included with in, which was drawn by Grace Lin herself, was a great addition.
  • Snow Like Ashes // So I thought Snow Like Ashes was a Snow White retelling at first glance, which it most definitely wasn't. The plot started off a bit cliche, and I was only semi-interested, however toward the beginning/middlish of the book there's a certain plot twist that caught my attention and hooked me in.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender // The finale absolutely tore out my heart, I was crying terribly. I can definitely see why Avatar is an animation legend. I've started Korra, but I'm not completely sure whether I like it yet.
  • Paper and Fire // currently reading Paper and Fire has been on my currently reading shelf forever, I don't think I want to DNF it, but at the same time I haven't really been motivated to read it recently.
  • Ice Like Fire // currently reading I adored the first book, but so far the second hasn't earned the same leval of adoration. Meira's been really annoying so far, and her actions make me wanna throw the book out the window sometimes. (view spoiler)[And honestly I find the love triangle to be unnecessary and exceedingly aggravating.] Also the ratings for this book really plummeted, considering how well the first book did, so my expectation aren't that high for Ice Like Fire.
  • A Curious Beginning // currently reading The main reason I requested A Curious Beginning was because the similarities between it and The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. So far the book's been greet, the mc seems a bit pushy, but perhaps that particular character trait will grow on me.
  • My Lady Jane // currently reading When I was younger I was obsessed with the Tudor Era, so I know Jane's rather sad story by heart, that makes My Lady Jane even more entertaining, cause I can tell what they've changed. Also humor in this book is impeccable.


Some Quote Love

Happenings in the Blogosphere

  • Loony Literate Emily brings up the age old question, can you be in two Hogwarts houses?
  • These Paper Sites Does that name sound familiar? Well Stephanie from These Paper Hearts has launched a new blog about coding! I'm so excited, as she is one of my favorite bloggers, and I was so sad to see her close her other blog.
  • Free Borboleta Fran shares the news that Google will be penalizing popups and welcome mats from now on. For more info check out her post.

What have you guys been up to in August? If you're still in school, did yours start up again?
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