Wednesday, 10 February 2016

OPEN BLOG MONTH: Julia Ember with Babes From Books

Babes from Books

A Top 5 List by Julia Ember

I’ve seen quite a few Bookish Boyfriends or YA Dudes I’d Date posts floating about the blogosphere! And while I love them, when Nicola asked me to write a guest post, I wanted to write something well, a little bit queer.
So, when she picked this topic, I was more than happy to oblige! I present to you:  Babes from Books … Julia Ember’s most swooned over YA Book Ladies.

#1 --  Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Independent, lethal, resilient … really, really loves chocolate. What isn’t to love about Calaena? From the start, I found the way Sarah J. Maas’ wrote her sexy and intriguing. She has brutal fighting skills and she’s a survivor, yet she’s very femme. That’s a combination I unfortunately don’t seen often enough in YA. I loved how Calaena took control of her fear, stuck up for her friends and completely dominated in the trials. In the book, Maas’ describes her as having quite an elfish look with very fair hair and eyes. With the training regime she maintains, I imagine her being very athletic and muscular in build.

While I have no athletic skills whatsoever, I can definitely imagine myself hiding behind a pillar to watch her spar. There is something particularly alluring about a woman who can take out the Captain of the Guard. Our evenings could be spent overindulging in our mutual chocolate passion and obsessing about nice clothes.

Our First Date:  For our first date, I would take Calaena to The Chocolate Tree, a delicious little chocolatier/bakery in the heart of Edinburgh. The seating is in a small, enclosed back room, so Calaena’s natural assassin instincts wouldn’t cause her to feel too exposed. The streets in the area are small and winding. It would be easy for her to melt back into the crowd.

What I’d Wear: A black cape and a hood, so she wouldn’t feel stared at.

#2 – Alanna of Trebond from Alanna by Tamora Pierce

They say the first love is the deepest, don’t they? Although many Bookish Girlfriends have come after Alanna, my love for her has never dwindled in the decade since I first read the book. Alanna is all fire – a swift fighter, gifted mage, vengeful temper and a redhead. Given that she successfully disguised herself as a boy for four years, I’ve always thought of Alanna as quite petite and androgynous. Pierce describes Alanna’s eyes as brilliant violet.

Alanna always kind of reminded me of a sexy hedgehog. She has quite a bristly exterior and doesn’t like to dwell on her vulnerabilities. But underneath lies a deep loyalty towards her friends and a strong nurturing side, plus she’s absolutely brilliant at Secret Santa. Alanna managed to pass useful gifts to Keladry for years without being discovered.

Our First Date: For our first date, Alanna and I would go horse riding in the Highlands. Alanna is very active and we both love horses and magnificent scenery.

What I’d Wear: A classic dress with a sweeping skirt and a hat, plus a sidesaddle. Alanna is the white knight in shining armour type. Every knight needs a damsel. *cough*

#3 – America Singer from The Selection by Kiera Cass

I am a sucker for musical talent. America Singer comes from an entire family of musicians, she’s exceptionally skilled in her own right … and she was beautiful enough to snag a prince’s interest with just one photo. America is a social activist who isn’t easily intimidated into silence. She sticks up for her ideals and isn’t afraid to express them, even when doing so could put her in danger. America is whip-smart and easily destroys the arguments made by proponents of the unfair caste system that exists in her world.

I have huge amounts of respect for people who stick to what they think is right, no matter what.  America isn’t a warrior, but she’s brave in her own right. Plus, all things considered, a smile that can dazzle a prince, can probably dazzle me.

Our First Date:  In her role as a musician in a repressive cast system, America is always forced to perform in the background for others without becoming the centre of attention. I would take her to the opera so others could perform FOR HER and we’d sit in a private box. Afterwards, we’d head out to a rigorous political debate or a protest march.
What I’d Wear: Nice dress pants and a fancy sweater for the opera, but I’d wear an activist t-shirt underneath for the debate!

#4 – Swift from The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie

Ever since I read The Abyss Surrounds Us, I had this feeling that Swift and I were meant to be. For a start, Swift is actually a lesbian, so aside from the fact that I have a girlfriend and Swift is fictional, there really are very few barriers to our relationship.

Swift is a badass lady pirate with a side-cut and a tattoo. Although she tries to act tough, Swift has a definite soft side towards the protagonist, Cass, and risks her own place on the ship in order to help Cass succeed. There are some really epic spooning scenes in the book – an activity that is vastly underrated and underrepresented in literature! I want some Swift Spoonage.

Our First Date:  I’m going to hazard a guess that Swift is probably pretty sick of boats, but she does seem to have a fascination with sea creatures (at least around Cass). So we’re off to the Aquarium to take a look at the beasts Swift sails over every day but can’t see because she’s in a boat and doesn’t swim very well.

What I’d Wear:  With her haircut and tattoos, Swift gives off a pretty cool, alternative vibe. I’d be freaking out that she wouldn’t think I was cool enough, SO I’d definitely wear an off the shoulder top to show off my own tattoo.

#5 – Shahrzad from The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Shazi is a spunky, brave tremendously gifted storyteller who doesn’t realise her own striking good looks. When her best-friend is killed by her kingdom’s capricious boy King, Shazi vows to get revenge. Unlike Celaena, she isn’t a trained assassin, so she has to rely on her wit and her charm in order to trap him at exactly the right moment. She keeps herself alive by telling stories Khalid can’t bear to leave unfinished. I am a huge Middle Eastern food aficionado and can’t think of a better date than listening to a beautiful girl tell stories.

Ahdieh is as sumptuous a storyteller as Shazi herself and most aspects of Shazi’s physical appearance, including the reactions of the men around her, are meticulously described. She has some killer dresses!

Our First Date: Shazi loves good stories above everything, so I think we would need to make our date a literary one! As she would be flying in from the Middle East, it makes sense for us to meet in London. We’d visit some top literary sites: Platform 9 ¾, The British Library, Foyles Bookshop, the independents on Charing Cross … and cap off our evening with a GIGANTIC FEAST.

What I’d Wear:  Shoes I can walk in! I have wedged trainers, so I could look fashionable and still stand up. I’d also bring an extra coat so I could smoothly offer it to Shazi if the temperature difference was too much!

That concludes my Babes from Books post! I hope you enjoyed my tongue-in-cheek look at a few terrific books.

About Me  / My Book

Twitter:  @jules_chronicle 
Pre-Purchase Link:

Originally from Chicago, Julia Ember now resides in Sunny Scotland where she learned to enjoy both haggis and black pudding. She spends her days working as a professional Book Nerd for a large book wholesaler, and her nights writing YA Romantic Fantasy novels.  She also spends an inordinate amount of time managing her growing city-based menagerie of pets with Harry Potter themed names. 

A world traveller since childhood, Julia has now visited over 60 countries. Her travels inspire the fictional worlds she writes about and she populates those worlds with magic and monsters.


Jacket Copy: 

After a savage attack drives her from her home, sixteen-year-old Mnemba finds a place in her cousin Tumelo’s successful safari business, where she quickly excels as a guide. Surrounding herself with nature and the mystical animals inhabiting the savannah not only allows Mnemba’s tracking skills to shine, it helps her to hide from the terrible memories that haunt her.
Mnemba is employed to guide Mr. Harving and his daughter, Kara, through the wilderness as they study unicorns. The young women are drawn to each other, despite that fact that Kara is betrothed. During their research, they discover a conspiracy by a group of poachers to capture the Unicorns and exploit their supernatural strength to build a railway. Together, they must find a way to protect the creatures Kara adores while resisting the love they know they can never indulge.

That was fun, wasn't it?! I fully support those choices. Especially Aelin! Thank you for sharing your Bookish Babes, Julia! Think I may have to do one myself now. 

Who are your Top 5 Bookish Babes?

Until next time,