Month: June 2017

Beautiful People: Cassia


The year is 1776; the world is a different one. I am sitting in a dim room that feels like an attic, though it’s hard to be certain. You are sitting with me, though not actually there. You’re more inside my head than anywhere else. Neither of us are exactly sure how we got here, but we know why. There’s one another person in the room. A blond girl wearing practical clothes and a serious expression is sitting on a low chair in front of me. Her name is Cassia Rerdbin and I’m supposed to be interviewing her. She doesn’t seem surprised or unwilling, but refuses to let me make any record of what we say. That’s what you’re here for, to help me remember.

I’ve been chatting with her for a little while now, but nothing of substance has come up. “Have you travelled much?” I ask her.

Cassia shakes her head. “Not unless you count exploring the streets of Delman travelling.”

“Exploring a city sounds like fun. What’s your favourite place to visit there?”

She leans her hand on her hand meditatively. “The parkland. We have been boating on the river several times and it was so peaceful. Much more natural than the artificially crowdedness of the rest of the city.”

I nod and move on to the next question. “What’s one mistake in your life that you’ve learned from?”

Cassia wrinkles her nose. “Are not you supposed to start with easy questions? If this is how you do an official interview, you’re terrible at it. But I will try to answer. It is hard though. Unless I want to be ungrateful and whine about the opportunities I have been given, I’ve only really made small mistakes.”

I laugh. “Small mistakes are fine Cassia. You can still learn things from them, even if it’s forgetting to set an alarm while cooking.”

“Set an alarm while cooking?” Cassia echoes. “What would you want to do that for?”

“It’s complicated, and would distract me from talking to you,” I offer. I figure it must be a cross cultural miscommunication. Those happen sometimes.

“Oh. Well I made a few dreadful mistakes when I was learning to sew. Sometimes It’s hard to tell the backs and fronts apart. Fortunately, we mostly do alterations.”

“So, you studied sewing here at the school. What else did you study? Any favourites?”

Cassia smiles. “There’s so many amazing things to study and a lot of freedom. I especially enjoyed traditions and law. There’s such a vast array of examples. There is also wonderful art.” She drops her voice almost to a whisper. “It almost makes back to the drawbacks of studying here.”

I’d like to ask her more about those drawbacks, but it’s not on our list and we’ve been discouraged from asking about the school for an undisclosed reason. So, I move onto the next question.

“Did you study plants at all? I’m supposed to ask you about your favourite flower?”

Yes, we both know that could be smoother, but it doesn’t really matter.

“I doubt you know them, but there’s an Erint tree here at the school. It came from Trerike, which is my fatherland. They are very pretty trees too, and the leaves are good for medicine.”

I smile. “Very nice. Trees have a more enduring beauty than flowers. I could dream about them. What about you? Anything particular you dream about at night?”

Cassia looks down and fumbles with her hands. She’s seems rather bothered, I’m surprised. We thought this was an easy question when we discussed it earlier.

“I- I have bad dreams,” Cassia whispers, “I keep dreaming about magic. Something terrible happens and I’m caught in the middle.”

I reach out and squeeze her hand. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have asked.”

“No, it’s alright. You couldn’t have known.”

I nod. “I’ll move onto a cheerful question. What would you choose to eat if you went out for a special meal?”

“Whatever was recommended.” Cassia laughs and shakes her head. “Sorry, I’m not a food person really.”

“That’s fine. What’s one thing you want to do before you die?”

“Move to Trerike. I have wished we lived there since I was 10. I would also like to travel to some famous libraries.”

“You’re a study freak, aren’t you?” I ask.

“I wouldn’t call myself a freak, but I certainly love to study.” Cassia leans back in her chair and sighs. “Learning is my life. I just hope it will not be my death.”

“Any other special talents?”

“Writing is part of academia, but I consider myself reasonably skilled at it. I like presenting an argument.”

“Debating then? Have you ever argued hard enough to make any one cry?” I’m glad to get that opportunity to slip the question in. It could otherwise be rather sensitive.

Cassia shakes her head. “I don’t like open disagreement and debate isn’t my thing. I’d be more likely to cry myself than make someone else cry.”

“You must be a nice person to be around then. This is pretty much the end of the interview. I’d love to stick around, but I don’t have the time. I just need you to confirm the veracity of your answers. Not that you’d lie about them, but it’s a formality.”

Cassia nodded. “I understand formalities. And I promise that was all true. Some say I might be biased in my research, but I would never lie in an interview.”

“Well it was nice meeting you. I have a suspicion I’ll see you again someday, but farewell for now.”

“The same.”

Cassia smiles and the room fades from our view. The white page of my blog appears behind it.

 

~The End

 

This interview is based off the questions from Beautiful People by Cait and Sky. Stop by paperfury.com or furtherupfurtherin.net to see other people talk about or to their characters.

Sleeping Beauty Tales Thrice Revealed

 

After missing a weeks post, here I am again with a second post this week and a third may be coming. I have it pretty much written, but had to put it off to tell you about other people’s books. This time It’s a cover reveal. For three books. Three Sleeping Beauty retellings, all by people I know. They’re all coming out on August 7th. You can look out for more updates here.

And now on with the covers. After that, I’m sharing a few of my favourite Sleeping Beauty retellings.

 

~Poison Kiss~

 

Everyone knows that Sleeping Beauty’s curse is triggered when she pricks her finger on a spindle and that she is awakened by true love’s kiss … but what happens when the wicked fairy decides to switch things up?

Edmund didn’t mean to put Auralea to sleep, but now it’s up to him and the famous Puss in Boots to figure out how, exactly, a spinning wheel is supposed to awaken her.

~

I’ve was privileged to read some of Poison Kiss even before the story was finished and wished I had the whole things. Later when Kendra had the whole book done, I read the whole thing and loved it. It’s fun, quirky and surprisingly deep.

You can add Poison Kiss on Goodreads and preorder it on Amazon.

 

Kendra E. Ardnek is a homeschool graduate who picked up a pen at an early age and never put it down. The eldest of four, she makes her home in the Piney Woods of East Texas with her parents, younger siblings, giant herd of giraffes, and honor guard of nutcrackers.  She’s also a generally fun person to know.

You can and should connect with Kendra on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. She has a lot of pictures pinned for future books and I always enjoy trying to puzzle them out. But she makes it tricky.

~Twisted Dreams~

 

“I, Calandra, of the Wingans, do bestow upon you, the Princess of Hanover, a gift. You have been given long life. I cannot interfere with that, but when you are sixteen years of age, you will prick your finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into an everlasting sleep.” She stepped closer so that she could be heard only by Liesel and her parents. “Then you will at last see the truth. Be wary. Be wise. Your fate rests upon yourself.”

On her sixteenth birthday, Princess Liesel Rosanna falls victim to a sleeping curse—but wakens in another world, a prisoner of war. As the bait in a trap for her fiancé, the crown prince of Hanover, Liesel longs to escape back to the fairy tale world. The world where she is only wanting a true love’s kiss to set everything to rights.

As situations quickly grow dire, Liesel must choose which story to live, which life is real. The fate of her country rests on her decision.

~

I don’t know much about this story, but it’s enough that I’m very intrigued. I think it’s going to become my favourite of Morgan’s books.

Add Twisted Dreams on Goodreads. Preorder it on Amazon.

Morgan Elizabeth Huneke is a homeschool graduate who lives in Georgia. She has enjoyed creating characters and writing stories since early childhood. Books have always been a big part of her life, never more so than when working at the local library. Her other interests include reading, playing and teaching piano and violin, and politics. She is the author of Across the Stars and The Experiment as well as the Time Captives fantasy trilogy.

You can connect with Morgan on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

 

~Rosetta Thornbriar~

Once upon a time, way out west…

Back when they were young’uns, Fleur Guardstone proposed to Rosette Thornbriar with a cigar band ring. However, not long after, she disappeared back into the forest and hadn’t been heard from since. However, when Fleur hears reports of smoke coming from that woods, he’s determined to find out if it is, indeed, his dear Rosette. If he can get past all of the briars.

~

This is a western. As I read westerns on odd occasions, and fairytale retellings reasonably often. I think I’ll check this out. Or at least stick it on my list.

You can add Rosette Thornbriar on Goodreads and preorder it on Amazon.

 

Rachel Roden is a natural story teller, capable of weaving the most hilarious of fairy tales. She fell in love with the Lone Ranger in her teens, but ended up with a basketball referee instead. Together, she and the Ref homeschool their four children in the Piney Woods of East Texas, as well as any other odd kid who ends up in their house. She might also be the sole human who still uses math after college. She also happens to be Kendra’s mom.

You can connect with Rachel on her blog, twitter, and Pinterest.

~My Favourites~

It’s been a while since I’ve read Waking Beauty, but it’s beautifully written, thought provoking, and a bit terrifying (maybe an oxymoron, but it fits). Recommended if you can handle reading about nightmares and the less nice types of fairytale magic.

The Healer’s Apprentice is historical romance and doesn’t have the iconic elements of Sleeping Beauty stories, but it’s a sweet story.

 

This book of Kendra’s is more tha a Sleeping Beauty story, but that what it started as. Since it’s the first book of a series, Kendra has it free many times. But it is now permamatly free on Smashwords. Check it out here.

And that’s that. Don’t forget that there’s three new books coming out on August 7th.

Rose of the Oath is here!

Some of my readers will remember my review of Shadows of the Hersweald by Hope Ann. Back before then I reviewed Song of the Sword, the second book of the same series. Now I have for you a review of Rose of the Oath, the first book of the series.

Yes, you read that right. This is chronologically the first book. It’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling and it’s delightful.

War clouds the horizon and rebels gather under a mysterious leader. Alone, with her two younger sisters, Elissa watches the mountain road desperately for her brother’s return. Instead, she receives news of his capture by a strange figure covered in scars and cloaked in wolf skins.

With rebels drawing nearer, she sets off to find her brother. To save him. There is no one else who can.

Yet she soon finds the rose that granted her warning now holds her captive in safety. Outside the valley, war threatens those she loves most. Though her strange host claims the ancient promises of the Prince’s return and victory over the rebels, Elissa knows the blood-drenched truth. She is on her own. Elissa will do anything to keep her family safe, but more than one kind of wolf stalks the Blackwood and danger lurks closer than she could ever imagine.

My Review:

I always enjoy stories of sibling relationships and this is a great one. In fact I’ve noticed all of The Legends of Light so far have sibling relationships at their core. Elissa would never have ended up a captive of the ‘beast’ if it were not for her love for her brother and sisters. yet it is the same love that makes her captivity so bad.

Hope’s take on the Beast is one of my favourites. He’s not an animal, but a beast of a man; both in look and in brusqueness. He has deep secrets, and he never speaks of them. But then, he doesn’t talk at all. But he does write and can be quite humourous from time to time. It’s an interesting dynamic. The beast also cooks. There’s none of those enchanted servants common to B&B stories.

Elissa can be a bit feisty. She won’t put up with the Beast’s worse behaviour, won’t let him leave wounds untended, and his clothes all shabby. She frequently questions his need to have a prisoner and keeps the one friend who is able to visit her a complete secret.

Wolves are a big part of this story. They’ve been roaming about for generations and are greatly feared. The Beast pays quite a lot of attention to the wolves and there are various rumours about him and them. But even more significant than the wolves are the roses. Surprise! There’s roses everywhere. They’re quite important. So is an oath.

There’s also a villain. Tauscher, the leader of the rebels.  And maybe someone else. I had suspcions, but they weren’t quite right. The book certainly didn’t end up where i expected it to.

The plot was good with stong themes and characters. The book is a novella, and the story felt just the right size. It wasn’t crowded, rushed or thin. It was good.

 

Download Rose of Prophecy for FREE at:

Amazon 

Smashwords

iTunes

Add it to your shelf on Goodreads

Also, a bonus! For those of you who may not have seen it, Hope is also giving away the prequel to this Beauty and the Beast retelling, Rose of the Night – an account of how the ‘Beast’ became the Beast.

 

Click here to claim your free copy!

Add to your shelf on Goodreads

Finally, in honor of the official release of Rose of the Oath, Hope’s other novellas are $0.99 for this

week only!

Buy Song of the Sword: A Rapunzel Novella

Buy Shadows of the Hersweald: A Hansel and Gretel Novella

About Hope
Hope Ann is a speculative fiction writer who lives on a small farm in northern Indiana. She has self-published three Legends of Light novellas and writes regular articles for Kingdom Pen as the Writing Team Captain. Reading since the age of five, and introducing herself to writing at age eight, she never had a question that the author’s life was the life for her. Her goal is to write thrilling Christian fantasy and futuristic fiction — stories she longed for while growing up. After graduating from homeschool, Hope now teaches writing to several of her eight younger siblings. She loves climbing trees, archery, photography, Lord of the Rings, chocolate, and collecting shiny things she claims are useful for story inspiration.
You can visit Hope’s blog at authorhopeann.com, or follow her on FacebookPinterest,Instagram, or Twitter.

Random Things I Learnt in May 2017

χαιρετε

That’s a new Koine word I learnt. It’s translated rejoice and is also used to say hello. Transliteration is ‘chairete’. Which makes me think of ‘charity’. However the word translated ‘charity’ in the Bible is αγάπη (agape) which is selfless love. And in the middle of researching that I discovered the greek word for cookies, μπισκότα (biskóta).

But enough of the greeting. I didn’t mean to get into the subject quite so soon as that.

I’ve found since my post on my study intentions that I lose interest if I set my research subject up beforehand and don’t have any motivation than presenting a report on it. So, instead I’m going to sum up what I’ve learn at the end of each month. I don’t have a lot for May because I didn’t think of recording at the time and my mind is a bit of a muddle today (a week ago when I wrote this) But I still learnt things.

In Greek:

Upsilon is hard to pronounce. Both the name of the letter and the letter itself.

Saint and sanctify have the same root in Greek. (I suspected that was the case, but didn’t know.)

There is only one kind of article. In English we have two. The definite (the) and the indefinite(a). Koine Greek only has a definite article, but it has multiple forms because like most languages it’s more complex than English. (English has it’s one complexities, but they’re mostly from inconsistencies of pronunciation and spelling as opposed to grammar. But them as a native speaker, I have it easy.)

Music:

Concertos always have three movements.

Some people don’t appreciate flutes as much as they should.

Clarinets come in different sizes

Writing:

Procrastination is really easy.

My secret project, SubM, is prone to theological discourses.

Copywriting is really hard. Even when it’s just explaining my editing services.

If I, living in Australia, do an editing job for someone in another country that is classified as an export.

Reading:

The first few books of The City of God aren’t as complex as I expected. Also Augustine is very thorough. He demolishes the arguments the pagan Romans had against the Christians, them he turns to history and shows how the Roman’s gods didn’t help them. Them he turns to another bit of history and shows how the gods didn’t help them their either. Repeat that several more times also showing the depravity of the gods and how they didn’t help other people groups either. I’ve learnt some history. I’m ready for something new.

Also Patrick Carr has a definite style to his stories. There’s always someone evil who has gotten some unknown and prohibited power. And they’re hunting the hero down, while he tries to figure out  what’s going on. They usually move in before they’re seen. But I don’t mean that in a bad way. Just because I’ve noticed his style, doesn’t mean  his books are unimpressive. They’re wonderfully deep.

I’m hoping to get back to my regular posting next week. I’ve just been feeling a little overwhelmed by life lately.

 

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