REBLOG: Art Isn’t Anecdote

“Writing, and reading, can be summarized as the act of taking an individual story and extrapolating the universal from it. Action and intrigue draws us in, but it’s the deeper, more human themes that make a story stick with us.”

via Art Isn’t Anecdote — Discover


My Top Five Manga Obsessions

In case anyone didn’t know I am a HUGE fan of manga (Japanese comics). When I’m not reading novels or trying to write novels, I’m usually hunting for the latest copies of my favourite manga and there are quite a few series that I am currently obsessed with.

cover1Skip Beat…this one is a bit of a cheat, since I’ve been obsessed with it for years. But I thought I would share it as my number one because I have yet to fall out of love with this funny, romantic, and at times suspenseful series.

Kyouko Mogami lived solely for her childhood friend Shoutaro “Shou” Fuwa. She follows Shou to Tokyo so that he may realize his dream of becoming a famous singer. When his dream is realized, Kyouko overhears the truth behind his decision to bringing her with him: he was using her as a maid.

Shocked and enraged, Kyouko swears to take revenge by outdoing him in show business. With a new look and a new attitude, she joins LME, the agency where Ren Tsuruga (Shou’s rival and the #1 actor of LME) works, in the hopes of achieving her goal of destroying Shou’s pride.

Along the way, she discovers her true self, makes new friends (and enemies), and finds herself at the heart of some interesting situations that will change her life, and the lives of all others involved, forever.

coverYona of the Dawn. Words cannot describe how epic this series is. The heroine grows from a spoiled, pampered princess to a warrior in hiding. Also, this series probably has the most complex characters I have ever read. You find yourself rooting for everyone (despite all the bad that has happened) to somehow be friends again at the end.

Princess Yona lives an ideal life as the only princess of her kingdom. Doted on by her father, the king, and protected by her faithful guard Hak, she cherishes the time spent with the man she loves, Soo-won. But everything changes on her 16th birthday when she witnesses her father’s murder!

cover4Yamada and the Seven Witches. This manga was a complete surprise for me. But one word:  HILARIOUS! The supernatural elements in this manga are important plot twisters and much random hilarity ensues.

Ryuu Yamada is a second-year student at Suzaku High. Ryuu is always late for school, naps in class and gets abysmal grades. His life is a dead bore. The beautiful Urara Shiraishi, on the other hand, is Suzaku High’s brightest student.

One day, without explanation, their bodies are swapped! Ryuu ends up in Urara’s body, and Urara in Ryuu’s.

cover2Noragami. This was another unexpected, but very pleasant surprise. It’s got great characters, and the central story about a god without a shrine and worshippers but who is trying to get into heaven is such a cool idea. (That summary doesn’t really do it justice and the manga is so much more than that. But I can’t go into a lengthy description without spoilers.)

Yato is a minor god whose dream is to have a lot of followers worshipping him and praying to him. Unfortunately, his dream is far from coming true since he doesn’t even have a single shrine dedicated to him. To make things worse, the only partner he had to help him solve people’s problems, had just quit the job. His godly existence and luck just might change when he stumbles upon Iki Hiyori and saves her life; a feat which also leaves her in quite a predicament so she is stuck with him until her problem gets resolved. Together with Hiyori and his new partner-weapon Yukine, Yato will do everything he can to gain fame, recognition and just maybe, one shrine dedicated to him, as well.

cover3SDK (or Samurai Deeper Kyo). Since I’ve read this manga series over ten times without getting bored and discovering something new each time, it has to go on my top five list. It’s male-focused with a heavy emphasis on action and violence but has moments of comedy.

At the dawn of the 17th century, at the end of the era of civil wars, in a world of chaos, the epic Battle of Sekigahara was joined.One man emerged from the largest battle ever fought on Japanese soil; a terrible warrior of unspeakable power, he was nicknamed ‘the unconquerable.’ Kyoshiro is a peaceful medicine peddler who harbors the soul of an assassin. He accompanies a young bounty hunter across Japan in search of a murderer and on a quest to discover the terrible secret of his own identity.

These are my top five, but trust me when I say it was hard to choose. I have so many manga that I am obsessed with but that does mean I don’t want recommendations. I’m always looking for more great reads! (Especially one’s like Skip Beat…the one month wait between chapter updates is killing me…and it’s even longer to get the bound editions at Chapters.)

Who else is a manga fan? Got any that you are absolutely obsessed with?

Please share,

Rika Ashton (aka Shameless Manga Addict)


7 things that Masashi Kishimoto did to piss off a loyal Naruto fan

I had to reblog this because there are no words for how much I support this blogger’s fifth point. Why, Itachi, why?

-Rika Ashton

(aka Mrs. Itachi Uchiha)


Update: This post was written on the 2nd of February, 2013 just after the events of chapter 618. It has not been updated since (i.e things might have happened in the manga that might have changed my opinion). If you’re the kind of fan, who cannot simply abide that there might exist another human being who might have ideas/opinions that are not the same as yours, please stop reading and leave.

Update 2: The last chapter of Naruto Shippuden is out, you guys. And my sort-of-not-really-an-ode is here. It’s been a pleasure reading this manga with you, ladies and gentlemen.

Warning: If you are the kind of fan who does not want to read any spoilers and are not familiar with the details of chapter 618, DO NOT READ FURTHER. You have been warned.

Everyone who’s read even a little manga or watched some anime has heard of Naruto, the…

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Cover Reveal: The Beast: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward

Hi all,

Thought I’d share this blog post about J. R. Ward’s upcoming Black Dagger Brotherhood novel, The Beast. Some very interesting tidbits in this post.


-Rika Ashton

(aka The Lazy-ass Reblogger)

Reading in Pajamas


The Beast (Black Dagger Brotherhood #14)

by J.R. Ward

Book will feature Rhage and Mary



AMAZON http://amzn.to/1CGbuPU



I’m so excited for this one! I love Rhage and Mary! Love them! There is now a description on goodreads and there is an Amazon link as well but you can’t ore-order yet. You can add to your Goodreads TBR. You can friend us or follow us on goodreads as well. /Cori




His name is Rhage—the deadliest fighter and most voracious lover of all the Brotherhood, whose inner beast could never be tamed. But Rhage found his eternal love in Mary Luce, a woman who once bore a life-threatening curse, while dreaming of eternity with her vampire warrior and protector.

They’ve made it to hell and back. Now their story continues in a new novel sure to draw fans back into…

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June’s Book of the Month…

So many great reads coming in June!! But its no surprise that Nalini Singh’s Shards of Hope is getting my vote…I’ve been talking about this book for months.

-Rika Ashton

(aka Unashamed Fangirl)

Wicked Scribes

It looks like we are closing in on the half-way point of 2015, which is really, really scary. On the positive side, there are some great books to look forward to. To be honest, I figure that the results of the book of the month poll for June is pretty much a foregone conclusion, but I have been wrong before. I have chosen 10 titles to choose from, but if you have another pick just click on “Other” and leave your selection in the comments section below. A complete list of June’s releases can be found HERE.

As always, the book chosen as June’s Book of the Month will be offered as a giveaway at the first of the month.

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Period Drama Soundtracks

A list of beautiful period drama soundtracks to listen to while writing, compiled by my fabulous critique partner and fellow writer extraordinaire, June Hur!

-Rika Ashton

(aka Music Addict)

June Hur

vanityfair2004-still11 I was with one of my writing friends, Kerrie Mcreadie (founder of   Spectatorial   and also a novel-writer), at a coffee shop, working away on our individual manuscripts.

It was pretty noisy where we sat, so she asked me to recommend a soundtrack she could listen to while writing. Right then, a list of period drama soundtracks scrolled endlessly through my mind. I ended up recommending The Crimson Petal and the White’s soundtrack, which she ended up really liking.

So I decided to compile here a few other period drama soundtracks that I often listen to while writing. Hopefully this list (though it’s a small list – I’ll post more, little at a time) will come handy to those writing historical fiction. Or even a fantasy. Or romance. Or anything dramatic.

Miss Austen Regrets


The Crimson Petal and the White [Warning: some pretty R rated scenes]

Parade’s End

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