Saturday, March 25, 2017

TAG #4 - The Snippet Tag (Fairytale Themed)

What ho, my friends! We've come to round four of this month of tag catch-up. In December, Deborah O'Carroll @ The Road of a Writer included me in the Snippet Tag (created by Madeline J. Rose).


The rules are as follows:

-Include the graphic somewhere in your post (or make your own, just so long as you include a link back to Madeline's blog).
-Answer all the questions, however you want to. Creative interpretation is key here! You can use the book you’re currently working on to answer the questions, or other books you’ve started or have written.
-Tag 2-5 other bloggers.

I wanted to feature The Brightest Thread, seeing as it's my primary writing focus right now, but I didn't want to limit myself to just one story (nor did I want to bore you all with nonstop gushing about Luci and Hadrian and spindle trees and dreams). So to diversify things a bit, I thought I'd bring in my other two fairytale retellings (both novella-sized): Blood Rose, and The Glass Girl. I haven't discussed either of them a whole lot on the blog, so it'll be fun to share a couple of glimpses.

Although I must admit, after skimming through them in search of snippets, I cringed to myself at the stories' weak spots. Yet it was encouraging at the same time to see that I have grown and made progress since then.

Without further ado, let's get on to the questions. My {comments} are inserted in fancy shmancy brackets.

1. Share your most gripping, fascinating, and hooking first line of a story.

Not in centuries had the mountains rung with such gladness.

-The Brightest Thread

{This remains one of my favorite first lines.}

2. Share a snippet that literally just crushes your heart into a million feelsy little pieces.

She was Iroran—not one of the thousands he’d always yearned to help—and yet she, too, was chained. And he could break those chains.

“I must break them,” he whispered to the shadows.

Hadrian threw on a cloak, stuffed crushed gildroot in his pocket, and snatched a pack for provisions. As he rushed down darkened passages, his heart beat painfully in his chest. Strange—he was sure his heart had been stolen by the weeping maiden in his dreams.

-The Brightest Thread

{It's off to the rescue!}

3. Share a snippet that makes you want to shout to the world that you’re SO. HAPPY.

But time went on, and I learned to find happiness in what I had left. I spent hours in the studio with Father, helping him stoke the furnace and learning how to use the glassmaking tools. While his team of six workers mixed ingredients, poured molten glass into molds, or formed vessels by hand, I stayed at my father’s side. Watching. Experimenting. Learning his magic. He was so skilled, sometimes I thought he was a Vibrant, a legendary individual blessed with supernatural powers. But of course he wasn’t – Vibrants were only fairy-tales, after all.

Whenever I tired of the furnace’s heat, I would make my way to the shop at the front of the building, where daylight played over Father’s brilliant wares. Crystal clear goblets, painted dishes, and multihued vases were artfully arranged in the front windows. Prisms and ornaments dangled from the ceiling, throwing rainbows and spots of color across the walls. Glass trinkets and baubles and figurines graced the shelves like little treasures dropped by fairies. If I wasn’t spending my day in the studio, I was whiling away the hours in that wonderland of color and transparency.

-The Glass Girl

{From the opening act of my Cinderella retelling. Although the story bears many flaws, the visuals in this scene capture a childhood happiness that I still love.}

4. Share a snippet that gives a bit of insight into one of your most favorite characters ever.

She entombed the star in her fingers. No, such hopes could not be afforded. Not when death lay weeks away, immovable as a mountain. Hoping would only make it more painful when it came.

Her wrist tingled where Hadrian’s fingers had touched her. Strong and slender fingers, calloused, with dirt under the nails. He liked digging in the dirt. He liked making things grow.

“I’m just a dream to him.”

Luci curled into a ball, imprisoned star pressed to her sternum, and tried not to think of the prince who plucked light from the heavens and asked for her name.

-The Brightest Thread

{Luci just breaks my heart. She spends far too long pushing away exactly what it is she yearns for.}

5. Share a snippet that literally melts you into a puddle of adorable, squishy, OTP mush.

The first thing she noticed in the transition from sleep to wakefulness was pain—in her head and in her right foot. Emi moaned.

“Good, you’re awake.”

Prying her eyelids open, she struggled to work out where she was and what had happened. A soft pillow cushioned her head. Whose bed am I in? She tried to rise, but lightning seared inside her skull. “Ow.” She covered her face with her hands.

“Just stay still,” Will said. “You knocked your head.”

“It feels like a rock bounced off me,” she muttered, peeking at him through her fingers.

“I think it was the other way around.”

-Blood Rose

{In case you didn't know, OTP stands for one true pairing, and refers to a fictional couple you love. In this case, I still adore Will and Emi together. The beginning stage of their relationship is so light and fun compared to what comes later. Heheh.}

6. Share a snippet that gets you beaming with pride and you’re just like yep, I wrote that beauty.

Long-forbidden memories tugged at him, and for a moment he relented. They drew him back to hazy summers, when laughing eyes teased him and a girlish giggle chased him down the corridors. When all it took was a plump red apple or a daring climb up the wall to enchant her. How distant those days seemed. Years and use had polished the memories to a sheen, softening their edges and lending them the golden air of dreams.

And yet for all their beauty, both idealized and real, these echoes of yesterday brought with them a sharp pain. For always the summer was swallowed up by winter. Forest romps, once spirited adventures, became attempts at distraction. Her laughs grew less frequent. Unfamiliar faces passed through the manor, arriving confident and departing solemn. Hushed whispers, closed doors, forced smiles, lingering glances…

Thus, summer died at winter’s hand. And then even winter surrendered to darkness, and the night reigned supreme.

-Blood Rose

{Still a favorite excerpt of mine!}

7. Share a snippet of genius, deliciously witty dialogue between your characters.

Luci eyed her company. “Master Boris.”

Her tutor raised his head. “Yes, Princess?”

“Have I ever mentioned you have the nose of a pig?”

Boris blinked and touched his round, upturned nose. “I—no, Princess, you haven’t.”

“I think it goes lovely with your squinty little eyes.”

Aleida hiccupped, but Luci suspected it was a cloaked giggle.

Boris’s face reddened. “Er, thank you, Princess.”

“Alucinora,” Mother said. “I’ve never heard such an insult leave your lips.”

Luci fought back a grin. “I was merely pointing out his natural talent.” In truth, every time she sat under his schooling, she couldn’t put the image of a pig out of mind.

Aleida’s shoulders quaked.

Mother set her fork down with a clang. “Alucinora, perhaps you should keep your compliments on others’ talents to yourself.” She forced a smile. “After all, today is about you.”

-The Brightest Thread

{When a princess "blessed"--or in her mind, cursed--with the gift of diplomacy finds a way to repress her gift for a day, and is finally free to speak her mind . . . well, that's when the fun begins.}

8. Share a snippet that makes you feel like an evil genius for thinking up such a malevolent villain (Mwa-ha-ha!)

Lady Lurline stepped closer, seeming to tower over me on my little workbench. With her ebony hair swept up on her head and her sharp nose pointed down at me, she made me feel like I was under the shadow of a large raven. “Do not question me, Cinderella,” she hissed. “If I ask for something, you give it to me.” She put one hand over my burnt one and squeezed hard, her fingernails digging into me skin. “Do – you – understand?”

Something inside me finally cracked. Father’s death had shoved my heart into a fiery furnace. Then the Lady’s demands had yanked my heart out again into instant cold. I should’ve known that such an abrupt change would cause me to shatter like glass that hadn’t been cooled properly.

I stared up into Lady Lurline’s dark eyes. Isadora, Mysteres do exist. Your mother is one, the devil. Her grip tightened. I glanced down and saw little beads of blood where her fingernails had pierced my hand.

“I will ask you once more, Ellesandra,” she whispered. “What is your recipe?”

“I’m not going to tell you.”

She flung my hand away and stepped back. “Then you have brought this upon yourself.” Fingers splayed and palm down, she extended her right hand. Her skin seemed to darken, first to ash grey, then to coal black.

I jumped off the bench and backpedalled, heart racing. My thought had come true!

She began chanting. “Fires hot and rocks so deep, thunderclouds and skies that weep – to my side you now amass…”

My legs hit a bench, stopping my backward path. Whimpering, I raised my hands in a weak attempt to protect myself.

The Lady’s eyes glowed yellow. “…Turn flesh and bone to limbs of glass!”

Blinding white flashed across my range of vision, bringing with it both searing heat and glacial cold. A scream – my own? – pierced my eardrums. Pain lancing through every nerve, I collapsed on the floor.

-The Glass Girl

{Probably the best scene involving Lady Lurline.}

9. Share a snippet that leaves you breathless, in a cold sweat with action-induced intensity.

The twinge grew to a throb beating in time with his heart. The air thinned; [Will] sucked in a shallow breath. “Emi, there are…things…I need to…explain.” He blinked hard, tried to clear the fog enfolding his brain.

She shook her head. “I think you’ve explained enough.”

“No, there’s…more,” he grunted, swaying on his feet and gripping the bars for balance.




The girl said something, but her words sounded garbled and strange. Will stared down at the floor and fought off the mounting wave of bestial desire.




It descended all at once. Tearing, rending agony; a maelstrom of crimson. He dropped to the ground, felt the vibration of a growl low in his throat.

Clawing at the stones. A howl streaming from his lips. Blood rushing through his veins. Red.

Stone rose up on either side, hemming him in, trapping him. Muscles bunched beneath his skin. He threw himself at the bars.




He crashed against the walls. Pain flared. He lunged again, snarling, scraping, panting.

A sound, high and offensive to his ears, knifed through the air. He turned. A she-creature cried out in a language he didn’t know. He crouched there, staring at her. Heat radiated from her flesh. She was alive. She was prey.

Lips peeled back in a roar to end all roars, he slammed into the bars. They quaked but held firm. The she-creature stumbled backward. He smelled fear.


-Blood Rose

{I think I was almost breathless when writing this scene.}

10. Share a snippet of a most interesting first meeting between your characters.

“Are you alright?” the dove asked. It wasn’t a bird, but a girl standing pale in the moonlight, golden-red hair loose and windblown. As if suddenly aware of his gaze, she turned her back, but not before he caught a glimpse of rainwater eyes.

“It’s you!”

She stood with arms crossed and spine rigid.

“You’ve been haunting my dreams,” [Hadrian] continued. “Who are you?”

“My name matters little.”

“It does if it belongs to the one who rescued me.”

“Falling would’ve woken you up, not killed you. I hardly call what I did a rescue.”

Hadrian sidestepped in an effort to see her face, but she turned too. “Since this is a dream, it makes no difference if I know your name.” But never before had his dreams been so lifelike. What could have inspired his mind to conjure her?

After a moment, her posture relaxed. “Fine. I’ll trade my name for three items from you.”

He chuckled. “One for three? You sound like a valley bargainer.”

“Sensibility isn’t required in dreams.”

-The Brightest Thread

{I'm so looking forward to expanding, perhaps even changing, their first meeting. A dream realm allows for some pretty fun experimentation, a strange and otherworldly backdrop to the beginning of the story's central relationship. Yay!}

Thanks for reading! Now the time comes to tag some fellow writers . . .

P.S. I have had zero time to reply to comments this past week, and it looks like I'll have less than zero time next week (yes, we are pretending that is possible). Do keep leaving those comments, and rest assured I'll return to converse with you once March is over!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

TAG #3 - The Sunshine Blogger Award

[Apologies for the delay, folks! Saturday got away from me.]

The sun is out (today at least--I've no idea if it will be on the day this is posted), and I'm back to thank Belle Anne @ Worlds of Ink and Paper for the Sunshine Blogger Award! I have a sneaking suspicion I've done one of these before, or else I've just seen it circulating the blogosphere countless times. But that's totally fine because it's always different!

The rules are simple: answer 11 questions from your nominator, then tag 11 other bloggers, and ask them 11 new questions.

[Enjoy random pictures that have nothing to do with the post and everything to do with the fact I simply like them.]

[via Pinterest]

1. Who was your fictional childhood hero?

I went through a big mystery phase during my elementary school years. I started out admiring Jigsaw Jones for his money-making, mystery-solving prowess--to the point I begged my mom for a mystery to solve and wanted to be paid a dollar just like Jigsaw. Then my attention moved to the Mandy Shaw series, which I positively devoured, and after that to Nancy Drew. Somewhere midway through the Nancy Drew books, my interest petered out.

2. Who is your favorite band?

Gah, what a hard question! I love Owl City for his whimsy and gorgeous music (though he's not really a band, just one person). But I also love For King and Country for their incredible voices and profound lyrics. And I've also been loving a number of worship songs by Young & Free, Hillsong United, and Bethel Music.

As you all know, I am a multiple choice kind of girl when it comes to these narrow "favorites" questions.

[via Pinterest]

3. What was the most deep book you've ever read?

Aside from the Bible, I'm assuming.

I'd have to say the entire Chronicles of Narnia, because I connected with them in a deep, powerful, simple way during my childhood. They encapsulate something precious about that time in my life, a piece of which I carry with me permanently. That's not to say I haven't read all kinds of wonderfully deep books since then--just that Narnia happens to have a depth of life history for me as well.

4. What was your least favorite book you've ever read? (and I mean if it's your least favorite due to opinion, and not morality of material)

Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, which I had to read for school, was a book I found mind-numbingly boring (sorry, Hemingway fans!) and not at all deep like my curriculum claimed it was supposed to be. It all seemed rather pointless to me, and either too generic or too stark to be the kind of allegory I enjoy.

[via Pinterest]

5. Who (disregarding the classic authors, like Tolkien, Stevenson, and Dickens) is your favorite author?

If you've been an adventurer 'round these parts for any length of time, it's pretty safe to say you know the answer to this.

And once again my answer is not singular.

Bryan Davis, Anne Elisabeth Stengl, and Ted Dekker--in no particular order--are three of my tippity top favorite authors. Together they represent some of my favorite qualities in fiction!

6. What is your favorite movie scene of all time?

TOO MANY. And actually I've never sat down to analyze favorite scenes as opposed to favorite movies. Even if I knew what my favorite movie was, you've now made my dilemma a hundred times more difficult by giving me a hundred options within an option!

Huh. Options within options . . . Dreams within dreams, anyone? Because that final dream sequence in Inception is one of my faves. (I also hate it with a vengeance. If you've seen it, you'll understand perfectly.)

And I love Aslan's death and resurrection scene in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; as well as the attack on Miraz's castle in Prince Caspian.

While we're discussing fantasy movies, can I just say the entire Lord of the Rings movie trilogy is my favorite? No? Okay. Anything taking place in the Shire = favorite. Anything containing Gandalf quips = favorite. The scene in The Return of the King where shots of the battle are intercut with Pippin singing = also favorite.

Lizzy and Mr. Darcy in the field at the end of Pride and Prejudice (2005) is another favorite.

Oh, I also love the boat scene in Tangled where Rapunzel and Eugene sing "At Last I See the Light." All the feels.

Aaaand I'd better stop, but before I do--the "ground rules" scene between Peter and Gwen in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is just . . . just . . . excuse me, I have to go have a good cry.

[via Pinterest]

7. If you had to pick one pen name/stage name to use forever instead of real one, what would it be?

Oh dear. I have difficulty coming up with pen names, because . . .

a) Where do I start?
b) It's so final--you don't want to write one book under a pen name and then decide, "Oops, I like this other name better. Can I change mid-series?"
c) There's pressure to make it a good name that represents you and your books and your main genre and it's supposed to memorable.
d) I would be paranoid about avoiding ridiculous pen names like Daisy Meadows (who writes juvenile fairy books) and Michael Steel/Gunn (not a real person, but I've seen something similar for an author of thrillers).

My real name just seems easier. But if I absolutely had to pick a pseudonym, I would call myself Violet Dragonsbane.


Okay, to be serious, the name Samantha Quinn just came to mind. My parents considered naming me Samantha, and the letter Q is fun. Except now I'm squinting and wondering if Quinn sounds as ridiculous as Meadows, Steel, and Dragonsbane. It's also worth considering the fact that a Q name would put me near the bottom of the shelf in a library or bookstore. Maybe Samantha Blake or Samantha Foster. I really don't know!

8. What do you think is the best hobby a person could have? What about your own personal favorite hobby?

Journaling. It's an ebbing and flowing hobby for me, but I find it so helpful for venting feelings, clarifying thoughts, and writing down prayers and musings. Obviously not everyone in the world processes their thoughts in written form as I do, but for those who share that tendency, I think journaling does wonders.

My personal favorite hobby is--wait, I want you to guess! It's a laughably easy thing to notice, so tell me in the comments what you think it is.

[via Pinterest]

9. What is your favorite kind of scenery to be in (forests, riverside, etc.)?

Any place with trees, so yes, forests are a favorite of mine. I also find mountains cropping up all over my books, so those too. Lakesides and meandering streams are also lovely.

10. Do you enjoy poetry? If so, who, in your opinion, is the greatest poet ever?

I do! Unfortunately, I have not studiously sought out many poets' works yet. But from what I have read, I really enjoy Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson. (I know, I know. Typical high school assignment kind of poetry, but I'm serious. I love most of the (very little) Frost and Dickinson I've read.)

11. Where, if you could choose anywhere in all Europe, in any time period, would you go?

Italy! Renaissance! Yes!

But I would make it a point to travel Britain and France and probably the entirety of Europe as well.

[via Pinterest]

A new set of questions:

1. What's the most addicting app on your phone?
2. What's a song that speaks to your life right now?
3. Do you have a book or movie that's your "happy place"--a fictional world into which you retreat when you need a breather? What is it?
4. What's a book you were (or are) looking forward to so much you're scared to read it, for fear it won't live up to your expectations?
5. If you had to have all of your past memories wiped except for one day, which day would you choose to remember?
6. What question would you like to ask one of your favorite authors?
7. If you had to describe yourself as one of the four seasons, which would it be?
8. What's your personality type? (Myers Briggs, DISC, whichever test you prefer.)
9. An envelope containing $500 shows up on your doorstep. On what do you spend it?
10. Would you rather be trapped in a lamp, a tower, or an enchanted sleep?
11. Which Disney villain(ess) do you find the most scary?

Whew, now to tag 11 bloggers. Here we go:

Florid Sword @ The Writer's Song (Congrats on your new blog!)
And Chloe @ Faeries and Folklore (Welcome to the blogosphere, sis!)

What would your pen name be? Do you have any poets to recommend? What do you think my personal favorite hobby is?

Saturday, March 11, 2017

TAG #2 - Dual Character Inquisition

Welcome to the second instalment of the tag fest! In case you missed it, I'm catching up on all the tags that have piled up over the past few months.


Today's tag is somewhat ironic, considering it's a Dual Character Inquisition, and I was tagged twice: first by Kate @ Story and Dark Chocolate and then by Lucy @ Tangle Webs and Fairy Rings.

The way this works is I use two characters to answer a list of questions, include pictures of them, and at the end tag three bloggers. Because The Brightest Thread is now my primary work-in-progress (when I actually have writing time, that is), what better time to brush the dust off my two main protagonists and reintroduce them to you lovely questers?

Princess Luci

Prince Hadrian

Who inspired this character?

Luci, or Princess Alucinora of Iror, was obviously inspired by the titular character of Sleeping Beauty. The original didn't have much personality, so I had lots of room for invention.

Prince Hadrian of Bauglind, by the same token, was inspired by the prince in the same fairytale. But . . . the original tale's prince is not at all like Hadrian. (If you've never read the original, maybe don't. It's twisted.) To be more accurate, I guess Hadrian was inspired by the montage of noble heroes I've read and watched over the years, heroes burdened by other people's plights and mistakes.

What is their weapon of choice?

Luci has never wielded a weapon, though she wishes her mother would have taught her swordplay.

Hadrian is undergoing rigorous battle training. He's most adept with a sword.

Have they ever been physically violent with someone else? What instigated it?

Luci has wished she could instigate violence a few times, but some of her magical gifts from the fairies prevent it, such as her grace and diplomacy. (Oh, how she hates the diplomacy.) Honestly, the most violent she ever gets is slamming doors.

In his father's court, Hadrian drills with Chief Rook, but has never exercised violence with the intent to hurt or kill until the events of The Brightest Thread. Ogres become a bit of a problem, you see.

Are they more of a rule-follower or a rebel?

Ha! Luci is a rebel at heart, through and through. Being squeezed into a predesigned box by her magical giftings is something she deeply resents. She's too perfect because of them. But inside, where no one can hear her, she's a passionate young woman with a fiery temper.

Hadrian, in comparison to the corruption running rampant in Bauglind, is a rule-follower. He has a strong moral code that he didn't learn from his weak-willed father or his greedy ogress stepmother. (I think it was his birth mother that influenced his goodness.) But if there are rules put in place that go against his convictions, he'll break them without a second thought.

What kind of child were they? Curious? Wild? Quiet? Devious?

Luci was all of the above, actually. Curious about the world she was forbidden to explore, wild at heart, forcibly quieted by her magical gifts, and slightly devious (though she had precious few chances to let that out). She had a fascination with any activity she was terrible at, such as art. The model dragon hanging above her bed is the misshapen product of her enthusiasm as a youngster.

Hadrian was a rough and tumble outdoorsy kid, a boy who dug in the dirt and lost himself in the jungle whenever he could. He was obedient and uncommonly kind, though these traits led to frustration and sometimes even anger against others who acted the opposite way. When his stepmother came into his life, he became noticeably quieter, and retreated to green, growing places more often.

Where would they go to relax and think?

If permitted, and even sometimes if not, Luci would escape to the woods outside the castle. Iror's fairy steward, Aleida, always accompanies her. Being out in the fresh air, where the only barriers are trees and mountainous slopes, helps Luci breathe.

Hadrian gravitates toward the outdoors too. When palace politics or street depravity becomes too much to bear, he disappears into his personal garden to tend his plants and clear his mind.

Do they have a temper?

Luci certainly does, especially when stifled or forced into things. Hadrian is much more laidback. It takes injustice toward someone else to really rile him up.

Would they be more likely to face their fears or run from them?

Luci will face some of her fears dead on, but her deepest fear--that there's no love strong enough to break her curse, or that she will draw that love to its death before it has a chance to save her--is something she hides from for a long, long time.

Hadrian will think it over quickly, make a decision, and simply muster up the courage to face his fears, even if they haunt him deeply.

When they are upset, do they turn to other people or isolate themselves?

Luci shuts everyone out and hides in the castle's library, back hallways, or her chambers. Only Aleida has a chance to get through to her when she's upset.

Hadrian would turn to other people if he had them, but true friends are few and far between in his life.

Say 3 things about where your character lives (as broad or specific as you like).

Luci: She lives in the upper Branch, a steep mountain range in the kingdom of Iror. Her castle is old and majestic, a blend of her father's unshakeable personality and her mother's worn beauty. Her country is struggling financially due to the outlawing of spindles.

Hadrian: He resides in the heart of Bauglind, a kingdom of rainstorms and humidity. His palace has been decadently renovated by his ogress stepmother, at the expense of the people. His country's wealth is severely unbalanced, due in part to the rich/poor divide, and to the support Bauglind lent to Iror in recent times.

* * *

Well, that was enjoyable! It made me even more excited to dig deeper into The Brightest Thread. Now comes the time to tag three people . . .

Christine Smith @ Musings of an Elf
parchmentpathwalker @ The Parchment Path
Blue @ To be a Shennachie

Looking forward to meeting some of your characters! To all who read this whole thing: who do you think you're most like: Luci or Hadrian?

Saturday, March 4, 2017

TAG #1 - One Lovely Blog Award

Hear ye, hear ye! For the month of March, Adventure Awaits will be inundated with tags. Yes. I have a small mountain of them to get through, so I'm borrowing Deborah's ingenious method of catching up all at once. What fun!

Today we're kicking it off with the good ol' One Lovely Blog Award, given to me by Emily @ Ink, Inc. Thanks, Em! The only guidelines are to share seven facts about me. Well. This sort of tag gets more difficult the more of them one completes, as one has only so many facts about oneself to plaster all over the internet.

So to switch things up a bit, and because this is a primarily story-related blog, let's talk about seven popular books I have not read! Some I want to read, and a few others . . . not so much.

1. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Heh. Eheheh. I remember when this series was absolutely huge. I had no desire to read about sparkly vampire boyfriends then, and I have no desire to read about sparkly vampire boyfriends now. Well, okay, I might try the first book someday, if only to determine whether all the Twilight bashers are right. And to see if there's any saving grace in there at all that somehow made Stephanie Meyer such a popular writer. Bottom line: if I ever read this, it will be for observational purposes and not out of any burning desire to enter Meyer's story world.

2. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

There, I said it. I have not read any of the Harry Potter books. GO AHEAD, BURN ME AT THE STAKE NOW. This has got to be the shining-est of shining examples of my White Rabbit tendency when it comes to popular books.

(What is a White Rabbit tendency, you ask? It's the inclination to be "late, very much late," in joining the masses of various popular fandoms. I seem to be at least a couple years behind big sellers like The Hunger Games, Divergent, and even classics like The Fellowship of the Ring.)

As a child, I intuitively stayed away from these books; it was not really a case of my parents banning them from the house. That was probably wise. More recently, however, I've heard opinions from all across the board. Some people adore Harry Potter, some shun the books as evil witchcraft, and others say it's not the magic that's the problem but the characters' immoral choices to lie and disrespect authority. So honestly, if/when I pick up the series, it will be an experimental, I'll-try-book-one-and-see-what-I-think kind of thing.

3. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Classics! Do I love thee or loathe thee? That all depends. In this case, I'm rather daunted by the bloated size of this book. Yet its popularity and premise piques my interest. But great gobs of pumpernickel, does Hugo really go into reams of historical tangents that have no bearing on the story? I'm not sure I can wade through that, but one of these days I'll give it a go. As long as I wear history-proof hip waders (with which to wade through the historical tangents, you understand) I should be okay.

4. Emma by Jane Austen

So far the only Austen novel I've read is Pride and Prejudice, which was fantastic, if a little long. It  was kind of like an extended tea time with just one too many sweet crumpets--light, sweet, entertaining, and just a tad thick on the details. I think I'd love P&P even more upon a reread, but before I do that, I want to try a couple more of Austen's works. Emma seems to be well-loved.

5. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

I absolutely LOVED To Kill a Mockingbird. I need to buy a copy to keep forever and ever. But I also want to read Lee's other book. I know there was a fair bit of controversy surrounding its publication, and I've heard the quality is not as excellent as her first novel, but I'll be reading this regardless. It's one of those books on which I need to form my own opinion.

6. Storm Siren by Mary Weber

This one seems popular among Christian speculative fiction circles. I actually have a copy of this waiting patiently on my shelf, its beautiful cover calling out to me. And seeing as I think I'll be taking a class by Mary Weber at Realm Makers, reading one of her books has moved higher on the priority list. Plus all the great reviews sound promising! I just hope the physical attraction part of the romance isn't as over-the-top as some people have said.

7. A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes

Again, this one seems big in the Christian spec fiction world. The premise sounds ah-MAY-zing, and I just want more Christian dystopian in my life. Quite a few Goodreads friends have enjoyed this one too. So A Time to Die is definitely on my list of books to read ASAP!

Honorable mentions:

Because you want to see my entire TBR list, right? Right? Don't fret, this is not the entire thing. If it were actually as short as what you're about to read, the world would be a simpler place, folks. Oh, and this is actually not a pure TBR because there is one series I don't want to read anytime soon.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman (because unique formatting and threatening AI sounds fun)

The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare (nope, NO thanks, don't need to have a shirtless dude plastered over the front cover. plus it just kind of looks like Twilight-caliber to me.)

The Maze Runner by James Dashner (one of these days I will find out which is better: the book or the movie. somehow I suspect movie.)

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (kind of a modern sci-fi classic, plus the movie was great, so why not?)

Heartless by Marissa Meyer (because MARISSA MEYER and ALICE IN WONDERLAND)

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (so many people love it, and it sounds amusing)

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall (I feel like lots of bloggy friends o' mine adore this, but in reality it might just be three? regardless, it sounds adorable)

Red Rising by Pierce Brown (highly recommended to me! highly anticipated!)

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (sounds epic)

Jackaby by William Ritter (I hear it's good, and I love the name)

The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson (oh my lands, when will I finally get around to this?)

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (somebody will respond to this in all caps, I just know it (love ya, darling), but I don't think I've actually read the real thing before . . . #oops)

What are some well-known books you haven't read yet--some you want to read and some you definitely don't? Are any of the books I mentioned on your list? Are any of these "Tracey, bump these to the tippity top of your TBR this instant" kind of reads?

I almost forgot to actually tag some more people! Feel free to do this in the traditional way (seven random facts), or the "I have never read . . ." way. Or whatever other way you fancy!

And whoever else may want to snag this for themselves! (Honestly, I can't make a specific list too large, otherwise I may run out of people to tag by the time the end of the month rolls around.)