If I had a Boat

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Cendrillion Cycle--THE BATTLE OF CASTLE NEBULA

It's not an unknown fact that one of the most popular novellas in Five Glass Slippers was A CINDER'S TALE by the ever amazing Stephanie Ricker. Her writing is so easy to read with enough sci-fi lingo to feel authentic, but not so much as to make your head spin. I was thrilled when I discovered that A Cinder's Tale was just the first in her short-story series, THE CENDRILLION CYCLE! And what's even more thrilling is that her newest novella, The Battle of Castle Nebula is officialy out!
 
Whovians and Trekkies, prepare to meet your newest fandom...
 

She has nothing left, not even her dreams. But Elsa Vogel still has her duty, and she will do it, no matter the peril, no matter the anguish in her heart as she leaves her ravaged home planet, perhaps never to return.

And the same tragedy that tore Elsa’s life to pieces also transformed the lives of others. Others who may need a reason to go on living, after the cataclysmic Battle of Castle Nebula…
*
I'm just thrilled beyond reason with this novella. Who wouldn't be? We get to reach into the past and watch as our beloved characters (Elsa, Karl, Bruno, and the rest) meet each other for the first time. And can I just mention that cover? Talk about epic!
 
I hope you'll pop on over to Amazon and purchase Stephanie Ricker's outstanding new creation!
 
*

Author Bio:
Stephanie Ricker is a writer, editor, and tree-climber. She adores the cold and the snow but lives in North Carolina anyway, where she enjoys archery, hiking, and exploring with friends.  
Stephanie’s first novella set in the Cendrillon universe, A Cinder’s Tale, was published in Five Glass Slippers, an anthology of Cinderella-themed stories. Stephanie’s fiction has also been published in Bull-Spec, a magazine of speculative fiction, and in four consecutive editions of The Lyricist, Campbell University’s annual literary magazine. Her senior thesis on Tolkien was published in the 2009 issue of Explorations: The Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity for the State of North Carolina.
*

 
Right. Now I'm off to read it myself!
 
  (And don't forget to enter in the giveaway!)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Blogger Awards--The Winner!

Well, I'm so sorry to post so late, but my internet was down and then I was at work, unable to write blog posts. Thankfully, the net's up and running now, and I'm able to announce the winner before the day is done!

You voted on and chose the top three contestants for the Best Title category, making it quite difficult for me to choose a winner!

But the choice had to be made--from my own The Moon Master's Ball, to Rachel Heffington's intense, but comical mystery, Anon, Sir, Anon and finally Jennifer Freitag's enchanting Plenilune....


*drum roll*
*trumpets sound*

And the winner is......

 
PLENILUNE!
 
Congrats to Jennifer Freitag and her spellbinding title!
 
*
Thank you to all who participated--and a special thanks goes to Allison and Hannah, the two creators of the Blogger Awards.
 
I'm already excited for next year's party. Are you? Who knows, your book just might end up being on the list of best titles next go 'round!
 
(if you'd like to participate in next year's Blogger Awards, contact Allison Ruvidich at aruvidich@gmail.com)


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Titles, Titles...

Allison asked me if I'd write a post on how I chose The Moon Master's Ball as the title for my short story. And I'm so glad she did! But I'm afraid that there isn't much to tell...
 

 
The title came before the story did, because really, besides pumpkins and evil stepsisters and fairy godmothers, what is always present in the Cinderella story?
 
The moon.
 
Even if it's only in the background, it's always there, hiding behind clouds as our heroine climbs into her pumpkin coach. So as I sat thinking late one night, it simply made sense to add the moon into the title of  my short story...and then an idea struck me. What if there was a master of the moon! His name would be the Moon Master! *Cue epic music*
(Because WHO DOESN'T love it when there's a mysterious "master" of some kind in a story?!)
 
And then of course a ball must be present in a Cinderella story. Hence The Moon Master's Ball was born. I didn't necessarily form the title around the story, which is what I usually do, but the story was formed around the title.
 
And while on the subject of titles, (I'm getting tired of typing that word) I find that there's a pattern to them...they always have the same kind of rhythm, if that makes any sense. To Find a Castle, The Moon Master's Ball, The Delicate Matter of Murder (then my Five Enchanted Roses title which mustn't be revealed yet). See what I mean?
 
So tell me about your titles! How do you come up with them? And is there a pattern that you've found in each one? 


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Finalists!

 
 
The time has come to announce the finalists for the First Annual Blogger Awards! (actually, the time came and went a little while ago, but here they are, nonetheless)
 
Plenilune-- by Jennifer Freitag
Anon, Sir, Anon-- by Rachel Heffington
The Moon Master's Ball-- by...*blushes* me....
 
Thank you to all the voters! I've got my work cut out for me. Plenilune and Anon, Sir, Anon are both fantastic titles, I don't know which to choose!
 
In the meantime, how's everyone's writing going? I've not been around lately due to my feverish working on my Five Enchanted Roses entry...are any of you entering? Working on something else entirely? Let me know! I always love hearing about new up-and-coming books!
 
 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Book Review: ANON, SIR, ANON

As you most of you know, I love a good mystery. So when Rachel Heffington asked me to be an influencer reader for her newest novel, ANON, SIR, ANON, I was bubbling with excitement!
Yet, beneath the excitement I wondered--despite Heffington's excellent story-telling abilities--would she deliver a good mystery?
~
 
The 12:55 out of Darlington brought more than Orville Farnham's niece; murder was passenger.
 
In coming to Whistlecreig, Genevieve Langley expected to find an ailing uncle in need of gentle care. In reality, her charge is a cantankerous Shakespearean actor with a penchant for fencing and an affinity for placing impossible bets.When a body shows up in a field near Whistlecreig Manor and Vivi is the only one to recognize the victim, she is unceremoniously baptized into the art of crime-solving: a field in which first impressions are seldom lasting and personal interest knocks at the front door.Set against the russet backdrop of a Northamptonshire fog, Anon, Sir, Anon cuts a cozy path to a chilling crime. 
~
I'm not quite sure what I was expecting from this book, but I was certainly surprised to find a warm, cozy theme winding its way through Whistlecreig's countryside. There were foxes, there were warm cups of tea on chilly nights. There were golden afternoons, forest walks, crackling fires, and scones.
 
But in the midst of all this whimsy, there was murder.
 
 From the opening line, I was hooked. Farnham is one of the most memorable characters in all the books I've read this year, and I absolutely loved his and Vivi's interaction together. The heroes were each so very endearing, and the mystery itself--well, I was stumped! 
 
And while much of the dialogue is playful banter, the murder is never taken lightly--something I appreciated in Heffington's writing. In many ways, I felt as though I was reading a human version of The Mistmantle Chronicles, or perhaps The Wind in the Willows. ANON, SIR, ANON captured that same delightful, whimsical feel. 
 
I recommend this book to lovers of P. G. Woodhouse and Agatha Christie--but beware! Once invested in this book, you just might find yourself developing a desire to visit the golden countryside of Whistlecreig, and a yearning to quote some Shakeskeare. 
~
 
I do hope you'll look for ANON, SIR, ANON this coming November!
 

 
 





Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The First Annual Blogger Awards!

Well, what a fun announcement I have for you today!
 
The clever Hannah Williams and Allison Ruvidich have come up with a fun, festive blogging party that will get everyone across the blogosphere involved!
 
I give you the...
 
 
Yes! The Blogger Awards will lead up to Christmas, and I'm already feeling Christmas cheer across the internet!
 
Here's how it works.
~
Best Book Design, hosted by Ghost Ryter (aka Beckah) on Thursday, December 18

 
Best Cover, hosted by Hannah Williams on Friday, December 19
 
Best Title, hosted by (me!) on Saturday, December 20

 
Best Heroine, hosted by Allison on Sunday, December 21

 
Best Hero, hosted by Hannah Williams on Monday, December 22

Best Author, hosted by Ghost Ryter (Beckah) on Tuesday, December 23

Best Book, hosted by Allison on Wednesday, December 24
~
 
Now here's the part that you all come into play, because the Blogger Awards just couldn't happen without you! We need some nominations! Just leave me a comment below and tell me what 2014 book you think has the best title. Easy, right? Then, if you'd care to, pop on over to--
 
 
 
 
--and let them know what books you'd like to see in the First Annual Blogger Awards. I'm super excited to be involved in this, and I hope you are as well!
 
Let the festivities BEGIN!
 

Lets all give Hannah Williams a BIG round of applause for creating these widgets!
 
So, folks, feel free to nominate away!
 

 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Monday, September 15, 2014

ANON, SIR, ANON Cover Reveal!

Dear folks and followers of the blogging world, I am most pleased to introduce to you a new novel by the ever amazing Rachel Heffington!
 
If you've never heard of her before (I'm sure you have), she has written and published two excellent  works of authorship. The Windy Side of Care, a novella that was published in Five Glass Slippers, and also her full-length novel entitled Fly Away Home.
 
But neither of these works can quite compare to...
 


 
The 12:55 out of Darlington brought more than Orville Farnham's niece; murder was passenger.
In coming to Whistlecreig, Genevieve Langley expected to find an ailing uncle in need of gentle care. In reality, her charge is a cantankerous Shakespearean actor with a penchant for fencing and an affinity for placing impossible bets.
When a body shows up in a field near Whistlecreig Manor and Vivi is the only one to recognize the victim, she is unceremoniously baptized into the art of crime-solving: a field in which first impressions are seldom lasting and personal interest knocks at the front door.
Set against the russet backdrop of a Northamptonshire fog, Anon, Sir, Anon cuts a cozy path to a chilling crime. 
 
~~
 
You each know how I love a good mystery, and since I happen to be one of those special people who got an influencer copy (yes, I'm rubbing that in) I can safely say that Anon, Sir, Anon delivers every expectation one has for the classic, cozy, suspenseful mystery. Rachel Heffington once again delivers! I look forward to further sharing my thoughts on this novel with each of you.
 
Until then, don't forget to, "Remember, remember the 5th of November..."
 


Friday, August 22, 2014

The Moon Master's Ring

I hate to keep harping on about Five Glass Slippers this and Five Glass Slippers that, but please just bear with me a post longer...
I have a ring. It's a big, lovely ring made from a very old button that came from within the vault of an equally old bank. It's called "The Turquoise and Moon Glow Ring" from Grandmother's Buttons, which is a jewelry store inside an old bank. The rings, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings are all made from antique buttons. Cool, right?
Inside the vault
Isn't is just perfect for The Moon Master's Ball?

  And here I am modeling it.

Anyway, you really should check out the store. It's full of whimsical jewelry, and I think every fairy tale writer should have at least one (make that two) pieces of jewelry that reflects their work. So why don't you do a little bit of shopping at Grandmother's Buttons? At least browse their find jewelry...perhaps you'll get some writerly inspiration from it!

Do you have any pieces of jewelry that have found their way into your story? I'd love to hear about them!



Monday, August 18, 2014

The Word Changers

Oh dear. Has it really been that long since I've blogged? Yes...I guess it has...although I really have been quite busy of late. Between training for a new job, finishing up my Goldstone Wood fanfiction, and working on my own story, there hasn't been much time for blogging.  
But now I'm back with one very belated book review: The Word Changers by Ashlee Willis!
 
 
A place where words can change an entire world …
_______________

Escaping from the turmoil of a broken family, fifteen-year-old Posy finds herself at her usual haunt … the library. This time, though, when she chooses an unfamiliar book from the shelf, she does not devour its words and pages as she usually does.

Its words devour her.

Posy is pulled into the pages of a fairy tale, even mistaken for one of its characters. But all is far from perfect in this story’s Kingdom. Characters are whispering of rebellion against both their Plot and the deadly king who has seized control of it. And Posy must find a lost princess whose role in the story is crucial before her own story comes to a horrible end …

With the proud and haughty Prince Kyran as a reluctant companion, Posy ventures past the Borders of the Plot, into the depths of the gloomy and treacherous Wild Land forest that lies beyond. Secrets are buried there. Dark mysteries and shadowy creatures, dangerous and deadly.

Yet the deadliest danger of all is the one that Posy carries
within herself.

Soon it is clear that finding the lost princess is the least of Posy’s concerns. The Author of the book must be found. His Plot must be put to rights again, his characters reminded of who they were first created to be. Only then will the True Story be written, both for Posy, and for the tale she has now become a part of.

Courage and forgiveness are needed for Posy to find her way home again. But bitterness and shadows haunt her every step of the way...
  _______________
 
This is one of those books that just has the feel of a classic. When you step into the world of the Word Changers, you are instantly transported to one of those rare lands that make you wish you could live there with the characters. As skeptical as I was on how Ashlee Willis could make the idea of characters changing the Plot of their story believable and not confusing, she somehow managed to weave a plot that was unique, exciting, and easy to read!
 
And really, how on earth did Ashlee Willis manage to squeeze in every aspect of a fairy tale that readers love? Moonlight, owls, romance, treachery, comedy, whimsy, a powerful message...oh, I loved it more than I can say!
 
My only problem with this story is that I wish I could have read it when I was eleven or twelve...boy, would it have been a favorite then (it's still a favorite now!)!
 
I recommend this to all fantasy lovers: old, young, boys, girls...it doesn't matter what age or gender-- if you read The Word Changers, it will undoubtedly be a favorite on your bookshelf! 
 
 

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Writing Process Blog Tour

I was recently tagged by the amazing soon-to-be-author Heather Fitzgerald to participate in The Writing Process Blog Tour! 
 
See here to view an interview with Heather!
 
What am I working on right now?

 
It's a story called To Find a Castle, and is centered around a young girl who is invited to petition for a ladies maid position in the far-away kingdom of Guaire. Unable to refuse a queen’s wishes, she leaves, carrying the burden of dark warnings from an old friend with her. But whispers of rebellion and the sudden reappearance of a long-lost castle causes her to wonder if she was called to Guaire to merely become a ladies maid, or something else entirely…
( I'll be writing a post about this story soon!)
 
How does my work differ from others in its genre?
 
That is a question I have often asked myself, wanting to be certain that my plot was original enough and not just a rip-off of every other fantasy floating around in the book world. But what Anne Elisabeth Stengl has so often said is that you are what makes your story unique. There have been many stories with the same theme throughout the ages, but each story manages to be different, simply because of the author and their own ideas they bring to that same old story. Everyone has their own twist on a classic tale, and that is what makes my story -- or any other story -- different.
 
Why do I write what I do?

 
 
People live real lives that don't (usually) include sword fights, castles, dragons, fey folk, or enchanted forests, and it's just fun to escape from drab reality for a while and into a book. I absolutely love describing the fantastic, and attempting to create a whimsical world full of different characters with their own motives. Fantasy is just fun.
 
How does my writing process work?

What's a writing process? :P
 
My writing process begins when I get an idea, and when I get that idea, I scribble it down in my journal so as not to forget it.
(I once even attempted to draw a little house I had in mind for a story idea...it turned out rather hilarious. Drawing is not a strong point of mine!)
 
After writing the idea down, I usually set it aside and let it steep in my brain for a little while, and during that time I decide what setting I will give to this story. Whether it will take place in a snowy tundra or in a lush wood...that sort of thing. Then I decide on the characters and what sort of nationality they will have. Even though what I usually write is fantasy, I like to keep fairly normal sounding names. In The Moon Master's Ball, all of the names were British. In To Find a Castle, most of the names are Scottish -- excluding Roxanne Birtwhistle. I hope this gives a sense of a realistic feel to an otherwise unrealistic story. 
 
Then, after months and months of just sitting and thinking about the story, I start it. And delete it. And start it again until I find the perfect beginning. The body and conclusion just come as I write (I can't sound any more vague, can I?), and usually there's a lot more deleting along the way (And tea. There's always lots of tea...), and eventually, I'm finished. So there's not much to my writing process -- at least not yet -- I'm really not that experienced of a writer!
 
_____
 
I hope y'all enjoyed reading a bit about my writing process...even if my answers were a bit vague! Now it's time for me to tag three more writers to participate in this blog tour! All you have to do is answer the same questions I did.
 
Hannah
Jack
Emma
 
But don't let the fun just stop there! What about the rest of you?  How do your writerly brains work? I'd really love to know!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, June 30, 2014

~A Heffington Post~

I wonder how Cinderella would wear her eye makeup? In books, writers don't often take time to describe what color eye-shadow their heroine is wearing -- at most they describe her dress and hair. But how would the beautiful and innocent Cinderella wear her eye makeup?  
 
A question for a pro, if you ask me. 
Thankfully, dear Slipper Sister Rachel Heffington happens to know a thing or two about makeup...
 
...and is willing to share a few of her cosmetic secrets with each of us today!
So assemble your brushes, lip glosses, and powders to prepare to transform yourself into Cinderella!
____
 
We all have those (very) occasional days when our hair behaves perfectly, we feel pretty, and we're on quite  good terms with everyone and everything. But sometimes we feel like the pre-fairy-godmother Cinderella and it's all we can do not to wish someone hadn't dropped her glass slipper last night and ruined it all. On these days, one of the best things a girl can do for herself is to dress the part of a capable, graceful woman. (The rest usually follows suit.) In that spirit, I have answered Clara's call for a Cinderella makeup style with a style any girl can perfect: a beautiful, bright-eyed, simple look worthy of any princess at a ball. Here, my lovelies, is the Unadorned Me:
 

I started with a palette of purples and blues by Rimmel London, which just looked Cinderella to me, rubbed a bit of primer on my eyelids so the makeup would stick better, and curled my eyelashes.
 

I took the lightest shade of blue and swiped it across my lid, paying special attention to the inner corners of my eyelid and fading it toward the outer edge. I took the second blue and worked it from the crease into the outer corner and a bit up into the middle. The silver, I swiped onto my brow bone. Which this was applied, I blent (yes, I claim that as a word) the colors together till they looked muddled in a beautiful way. Then it was time to deepen the drama by working a bit of the plum into the crease. I blent this and outlined the top and bottom of my eyes with it as well.
Cinderella's essence is the gentle, doe-eyed sort of beauty, I've always felt. (Though I paid little enough attention to this aspect in The Windy Side of Care) Thus, I decided on a kitten-eye with black liquid eyeliner. You don't have to use liquid liner, but I feel it helps keep a clean edge, which you want with this look. No smokey, smudgy eyes here, please! The difference between a kitten-eye and a cat-eye is that you don't extend the line far outside your natural eye-line. Instead, you just flick the end upward a bit in a playful manner. Next, I applied mascara liberally as I pleased until it looked pleasant to me. As an aside, I pencilled in my brows just a bit to create a uniform bit of glam. You know the routine.
 

I dabbed a bit of concealer under my eyes (essential for dark circles gained by scrubbing pots and pans after the midnight ball) and puffed on the tiniest bit of blush on my cheek-bones and across my nose with a puff on my forehead and chin. This technique gives the sweetest look of sunkissed-ness. Last but not least, I used a bit of Rimmel Stayglossy in a nude shade so that the eyes would be the focus of this gentle, girlish makeover.
 


A green dress and aqua shrug nodded to Disney's light blue Cinderella while keeping my look casual and modern while simple pearl earrings played up the innocence. And there you have it! A makeup look capable of charming the heart of any old prince. ;)

____

Discover more about Rachel Heffington and her various writings at The Inkpen Authoress.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Sunflower Blog Award

Oh, goodness me, did you SEE Elisabeth Brown's beautiful dress for the blog tour? Why, that purple color is simply beautiful on her. This blog tour is loads of fun, isn't it? The music, the dress, and her Cinderella story were all such fun to see, hear, and read! I simply can't wait to see the other authoress's dress picks.

Not part of the blog tour? Follow the link to see a beautiful dress, hear a beautiful song, read a fun story, and enter your name for a chance to win a one-of-the-kind giveaway!

Moving on to other matters, Rina (from the lovely blog Rina's Reading) tagged me for the Sunflower Blog Award. What fun!


The Rules

1. Share 11 facts about yourself
2. Answer the 11 questions the previous blogger asked
3. Tag 11 bloggers and ask them 11 new questions


Alrighty, so here are eleven facts about me! I'll try not to be too boring.

1. I become incredibly attached to TV characters.
2. My dog is secretly a prince.
3. I don't know how, but I wound up with the Dwarf blood of the family. My brother and older sister inherited the Elvin blood, and look perfect no matter what they're doing. No such luck with me. Phooey.
4. I love to buy antiques.
5. I am the World's Biggest Procrastinator.
6. I have never read the first three LOTR, but I have read The Hobbit. What? Hannah, stop giving me that condemning look! I will read them...eventually!
7. One of my all-time favorite books is The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge.
8.  I used to threaten my sisters that if they ever got engaged, their wedding would be sabotaged. By me.
9. Disney's "The Lady and the Tramp" and "The Great Mouse Detective" greatly influenced The Moon Master's Ball.
10. Basil from "The Great Mouse Detective" was one of my biggest crushes. Oh, come on, he's the handsomest mouse ever!
11. Forget Mr. Darcy, give me Henry Tilney!

Eleven Questions for Me

If you could travel back in time and be the proverbial fly on the wall, when and where would you go?

Hm...I would love to be a fly on the wall when Jane Austen finished writing Pride and Prejudice.
I wonder if she was excited, relieved, or just mildly pleased with herself, and I wonder if she had any idea what mark her books would make on literature.

Favorite genre?
Fantasy! No doubt about it.

Favorite aspect of blogging?
Meeting new people in the blogosphere.

Least favorite part of blogging?
Getting over the scary fact that people are actually READING what I write.

If you could swap places with a book character, who would it be (and for how long)?
I would eagerly swap places with Christine from The Phantom of the Opera. Perhaps I could change a few plot points by acting different than the original Christine. If not, and if things start going south with Erik, I would like to go back to my normal life, please!

What's the longest you've stayed awake?
Six o'clock in the morning.

What are the next three books on your to read list?
Five Glass Slippers (currently reading), Fly Away Home by Rachel Heffington, and The Word Changers by Ashlee Willis Leakey.

Where do you get most of your books from?
Amazon.

Favorite place to read?
The sun room in my house. It's so bright and cheerie and has the world's most comfortable reading chairs ever!

You've been invited to a costume party. Who will you dress as?
Angelina Jolie in the movie The Tourist. The black ballgown she wears at the end of that movie...I want to wear it. Of course, I'd look nothing like her while wearing it, but I can dream, right?


What's the most memorable thing you've learned from a book?
That the yellow dog does not like the pink poodle's hat from Go Dogs Go by Doctor Seuss.

What great questions, Rina! They were fun to answer.

Now it's time for me to tag eleven bloggers...but methinks I'm going to cheat and only tag a few.

Hannah
Molly
Beka
ghost ryter
Emma

Please keep in mind that there's no need to participate if you'd rather not, and if any of you who I haven't tagged would like to participate, then please feel free to do so! 

My Questions for You

1. Who was your first literary crush?
2. What "type" of story do you see yourself retelling in different ways in your writerly future?
3. Do you snack while you write?
4. Favorite movie star?
5. Pretend your literary crush asks you to go on an adventure with him. How do you respond, and what sort of villains will you face?
6. What's your favorite fairy tale and why?
7. If you could choose to spend one day with anyone, who would it be?
8. Who do you most look up to in the writing world?
9. What character from LOTR would do you think you most resemble in personality?
10. Where do you spend most of your time?
11. What weapon would you prefer to fight with: sword, dagger, bow and arrows, or pistol?
_________

Alrighty, I hope to see you at the Royal Ball on Friday!




Thursday, June 12, 2014

Updates!

Well, the release date of Five Glass Slippers is so near, I'm practically pinging off of walls with excitement! But you can actually order it now on Amazon. Be sure to grab your own copy!
 And can you believe that only yesterday I was trying to convince someone not to buy it? What kind of writer am I?

 It was a somewhat gruff gentleman, who probably hasn't read a fairy tale in his life, who was writing down the title and saying he would buy it, and that he couldn't wait to read it on his Kindle. I told him, "But my story is a fairy tale! It's kind of weird, too..." But he still said he would read it, which is slightly nerve-wracking...  

My Grandmother pre-ordered her copy of Five Glass Slippers, and she recieved it Monday! Since I don't have my copy yet, and Anne Elisabeth doesn't have hers, she's got herself one of the earliest editions...a fact my Grandmother is proud of!
Isn't it such a beautiful book? So thick and shiny...

But she isn't the only person to get their copy before me.

Jakob Cook, British Instagramming friend, just got his copy as well! Now, I don't know about you, but I think that's pretty cool :)

(have an Instagram account? follow him @jakob_cook)
Reviews

There have been several lovely reviews for, not only The Moon Master's Ball, but the other stories as well.
Check out the book's Goodreads page to read what the first readers thought!

Best-selling author M. I. McAllister was kind enough to read and review as well! And do be sure to check out her very own blog, From the House of Stories. Also, her new book, Archie's War is due to release July! I don't know about you, but a book that includes a boy, a dog, and the first world war sounds rather good to me...

Amazon also has a few reviews up, so be sure to check those out as well. After reading the reviews, I can't WAIT to read the other four stories!

Are you excited for the blog tour hosted by the experienced Amber Stokes (aka The Fairy Godmother)? I am! There will be lots of fun happenings and giveaways during the tour. The theme is, "Cinderella for a Day".

There have also been some more posts on the Five Glass Slippers blog. One post is by the lovely Emma Clifton, and Rachel Heffington. Don't you want a little more insight to their characters? Well, then, follow the link!

You might've seen a blogger by the name of Ghost Ryter about the blogs. Well, she has a blog of her own, and now has a followers gadget! Do pop on over to anything, everything, and leave her a note!
She asked the other day how To Find a Castle was coming along, and I thought it was high time I did a little spoiler-free post on it! So be looking for that in the near future.

Also, Ashley Willis Leakey's book is now officially released! Woohoo! Do you have your copy of The Word Changers, yet?

Goodness, that was a lot of updates, but I hope you're excited about all the goings on in the blogosphere!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Rooglewood Press Announces ~FIVE ENCHANTED ROSES~

What you're about to see here is what you've probably already seen on quite a few other blogs.
It is something quite beautiful and exciting.
It is everything I was hoping for.
 
It is--
 
Five Enchanted Roses
 
Oh, have you ever SEEN a more beautiful cover in all your life?
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Rooglewood Press is delighted to introduce their second fairy tale novella contest--
Five Enchanted Roses
a collection of “Beauty and the Beast” stories
The challenge is to write a retelling of the beloved fairy tale in any genre or setting you like. Make certain your story is recognizably “Beauty and the Beast,” but have fun with it as well. Make it yours!
Rooglewood Press will be selecting five winners to be published in the Five Enchanted Roses collection, which will be packaged up with the gorgeous cover you see displayed here. Perhaps your name will be one of the five displayed on this cover?
All the contest rules and information (how to enter, story details, deadline etc.) may be found on the Rooglewood Press website. Just click HERE and you will go right to the page.
Rooglewood Press’s first collection, Five Glass Slippers, is available for pre-order now and will be released on June 14. Do grab yourself a copy and see what these talented writers have done with the timeless “Cinderella” tale!
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Well, what do you think about this exciting new contest? I know Beauty and the Beast is a fairy tale that is quite popular, It's certainly one of my favorites, so I'm sure you all have a story or two up your sleeves for Five Enchanted Roses...

 Will you be participating? I hope you will! Also, be sure to grab this lovely little blog button to add a little more decoration to your blog. :)
 

This cover illustration was rendered by Julia Popova, “ForestGirl.” You can find out more about this gifted artist on her website: www.forestgirl.ru

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Hollow Kingdom Review

Well, I think I already mentioned how much I enjoyed The Hollow Kingdom, but I want to get a little more specific about it. Let the review begin!
 
 
 
In nineteenth-century England, a powerful sorcerer and King of the Goblins chooses Kate, the elder of two orphan girls recently arrived at their ancestral home, Hallow Hill, to become his bride and queen...
 
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The Hollow Kingdom is one of those books that you stumble upon by complete accident, and you feel as though your life has been changed for the better. It's a frightful story told in three parts, and each part has its own entrancing aura...
 
Starlight, part one, begins with an eerie warmth about it that made me want to be reading the book on a chilled fall evening with a cup of cider. Mystery, magic, and an underlying feeling that there was more to the story than you first may believe immediately pulled me in to the story. It was dark, but not too dark. In some ways the book had a very Jane Eyre- ish feel to it. 
 
Probably what I loved most about Claire B. Dunkle's writing was not the eeriness that I love so much, or the mystery, or even the light humor that often made me laugh out loud throughout the book. What I loved most were the characters she created. I have never read a book with so many diverse characters who didn't resemble any other character I had ever read about before! The hilarious big-sister little-sister relationship was spot on. Emily was adorable and hilarious. Marak, king of the goblins, was a character that truly kept me guessing throughout the book. What is he really thinking, anyway? And Kate, sensible, proud Englishwoman was a loveable, courageous heroine whom I came to love!

And did I mention the rather adorable cat, Seylin?
 
Lamplight, part two of the book, began continuing the same magic and excitement as the beginning of the book. I really enjoyed the classic goblin feel it gave which was most reminiscent of The Princess and the Goblin.
 
Part three, which I cannot remember and Google refuses to help me, plus I'm no where near the book to look, is the only part of the book I had a slight problem with. It was still wonderful, don't get me wrong, but it was rather...sudden. It almost seemed disjointed with the rest of the book. But, I ignored this and wound up loving the ending of the story. It was masterfully told, with the exception of the slight disjointment (which is strictly my opinion. You might not find it disjointed in the least.).
 
All in all, The Hollow Kingdom is a must read. Anyone who enjoys fantasy should love this book. Really, though, I recommend it to anyone who has a love for wittiness and excellent writings. I should probably re-read it and take notes in my journal...
 
Well, what do you think? Have I piqued your interest?  

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Coming Soon!

What ho!
 
(okay, so, I might be writing this really late at night...which means I'm feeling a little random. Sorry.)
 
Random babblings aside, I thought I might mention that I'm going camping, which means I will be hiking, sleeping, eating, hiking some more, eating, kayaking, eating...and reading. Lots of reading. What is a camping trip truly for if not reading?
 
I planned ahead and ordered some books that I've been eyeing for quite a while. I told myself that I wouldn't read any of them until I was at the campground.
 
My resolve ended the minute I opened The Hollow Kingdom for a peek at whether or not it was going to be a good read -- just a peek, mind you.
 
The book was finished in one sitting.
 
 
She had never screamed before, not even when she overturned the rowboat and almost drowned. But now she screamed, long and loud, with all her breath.

"Oh, I know what's bothering you," Marak teased before Kate could turn away in disgust. "The cloak and hood. It's been on your nerves all evening. You've been imagining all sorts of horrors, I'd guess."
This is just another way to goad me, Kate thought grimly, but he was absolutely right.
Marak tugged back his hood and examined her stunned expression. He watched her cheeks grow pale, her lips bloodless. He grinned in delighted amusement.
 
"You imagined all sorts of horrors. But maybe not this one."
 
*
Hallow Hill has a strange and tragic history. For thousands of years, young women have been vanishing from the estate, never to be seen again. Now Kate and Emily have come to live at Hallow Hill. Brought up in a civilized age, they have no idea of the land's dreadful heritage. Until, that is, Marak decides to tell them himself.
Intelligent, pleasant, and completely pitiless, Marak is a powerful magician who claims to be a King—and he has very specific plans for the two new girls who have trespassed into his kingdom.
 
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Well, the fact that I've already ordered the next two in the series of The Hollow Kingdom should tell you that I enjoyed this book very much. But I'm going to leave my review for when I get back from my trip.
 
What I'm going to read next, and what I'm guessing will be my favorite of the books I ordered, is Keturah and Lord Death. 

It just gives the feel of a classic!
 
Keturah, renowned for her storytelling, follows a legendary hart deep into the forest, where she becomes hopelessly lost. Her strength diminishes until, finally, she realizes that death is near—and learns then that death is a young lord, melancholy and stern. She is able to charm Lord Death with a story and gain a reprieve, but he grants her only a day, and within that day she must find true love. A mesmerizing love story, interweaving elements of classic fantasy and high romance.
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Needless to say I have big hopes for this one. I read the prologue and it instantly reminded me of Robin McKinley's writing...although perhaps not as complex. We'll have to wait and see. But the plot is promising, and I'm very much looking forward to sharing my review with all of you!

Lastly, I ordered a retelling of The Phantom of the Opera. I was incredibly excited to find a retelling of one of my favorite stories...and by a Christian author, no less! 

 
Chanson de l’Ange by Paisley Swan Stewart is a 3 volume epic retelling of The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux. Drawing inspiration from The Opera Ghost in all his incarnations through book and film; and remaining faithful to key story elements from the classic original, the author weaves a haunting tale of Christine Daae’s companionship with the mysterious Angel of Music. Book One~Orphan in Winter: opens with the tragic death of ten year old Christine Daae’s father, ushering in dramatic changes when she is left in the care of Madame Louise Giry. Christine makes her new home in the The Paris Opera’s conservatory where she encounters a bohemian world of singers and dancers, and where she is visited by the unseen Angel of Music.
 
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Despite the thrill of finding a POTO retelling -- and also despite the fact that the author is a Christian -- I don't have completely favorable feelings towards Orphan in Winter. After glancing through a few of the pages, it would seem that Paisley Swan Stewart decided to retell the movie version. Or the play version. Whichever you like.
 
This bothers me.
 
The play of Phantom of the Opera was Andrew Lloyed Webber's own retelling of the classic, haunting tale. It would have been, in my opinion, a much better idea to retell the original story from Gaston Leroux's novel. It definitely seems as though Stewart modeled her Erik after Gerard Buter -- not Leroux's "Poor, unhappy Erik."  
 
Plus, in the very small bit I have read, it seems as though it won't be the most wholesome of books... I'm not sure if I'm even going finish this one :(
 
So there you have it! Reviews for these books will be coming shortly, and in the meantime, I hope you all have a delightful day!
 
 
 
NOTE: In a post or two ago, I mentioned an artist by the name of Meredith Dillman. Let it be known that I do not agree with everything she believes in or stands for...after perusing her site a little bit more, I noticed that she might not be the most respectable of people. :) 
 


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

UNTIL THAT DISTANT DAY Launch Tour!

 
Thank you all for stopping by my corner of the blogging world today! I'm simply thrilled to be a part of Jill Stengl's blog tour for her unforgettable novel, Until That Distant Day.
 
 


Author Bio
Jill Stengl is the author of numerous romance novels including Inspirational Reader's Choice Award- and Carol Award-winning Faithful Traitor, and the bestselling novella, Fresh Highland Heir. She lives with her husband in the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin, where she enjoys her three cats, teaching a high school English Lit. class, playing keyboard for her church family, and sipping coffee on the deck as she brainstorms for her next novel.

She blogs at Books, Cats, and Whimsy. Do stop by and follow her to keep up with all her writing and reading-related activities!


Back Cover Description

Colette and her brother Pascoe are two sides of the same coin, dependent upon one another in the tumultuous world of the new Republic. Together they labor with other leaders of the sans-culottes to ensure freedom for all the downtrodden men and women of France.



But then the popular uprisings turn bloody and the rhetoric proves false. Suddenly, Colette finds herself at odds with Pascoe and struggling to unite her fractured family against the lure of violence. Charged with protecting an innocent young woman and desperately afraid of losing one of her beloved brothers, Colette doesn’t know where to turn or whom to trust as the bloodshed creeps ever closer to home.

Until that distant day when peace returns to France, can she find the strength to defend her loved ones . . . even from one another?

"Jill Stengl is one of the rare authors with the ability to transport the reader to another world--a delightfully rich world of scent and sight and sound.” – Kim Vogel Sawyer, bestselling author of Echoes of Mercy
“Award-winning author Jill Stengl has created her greatest work yet in the inspiring and moving Until That Distant Day.” Jill Eileen Smith, bestselling author of the Wives of King David series.
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What a treat it was to be able to ask the author a question! Although I must say it was rather hard to leave it at just one question...
 

What aspect of writing a historical novel do you find the most challenging?

As far as the historical aspect goes, my greatest challenge in writing a historical novel is avoiding anachronisms. My characters need to think, speak, and react as people of their time period, not mine.

For example, in Until That Distant Day I wished to portray my characters as true Catholics, for in this setting and time period, it would make no sense to portray them as behaving, thinking, or speaking as modern evangelicals or Protestants.

But I am not Catholic myself! I did my best to portray my characters and their beliefs in love and in truth.

Another challenging aspect of this particular novel was the complete lack of hygiene in eighteenth-century Parisian society! So, for the most part, I just don’t go there. LOL
A more general difficulty in writing historical novels is the problem of conflicting sources. Two eye-witnesses to the same event sometimes contradict each other. So which account should an author use? If details conflict, I try to avoid using either. I’m sure I made some mistakes that would offend any serious historian, but I’m hoping for a bit of grace. After all, this is fiction. Heh.
Thank you for joining my blog tour, Clara!

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Thank you Mrs. Stengl for writing a fantastic novel!
 
Don't forget that the spectacular book is on sale right now for only $0.99! Now that's a steal, my friends!
 
 
Don't forget to enter your name for a chance to win this fantastic prize!

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
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