Category: Books (page 1 of 4)

Why You Should Read The Wanderer’s Daughter – Review

The Wanderer’s Daughter is the first book in the Georgie Tanner Series by Justyn Walker. It’s hilarious and you really should read it.

The book is middle-grade and is full of quirkiness, humour, and bit of grossness and comic violence. The stuff kids are supposed to enjoy. I first read it quite a few years back. I know it was in the last ten years, it might have been in the last seven. I still love it today. It was one of the first fantasy books I read outside of Narnia and the second book is one of my favourite allegories ever.

The characters are brilliant. Georgie Tanner is an orphan and a misfit. Her best friend (and only, but who’s counting) Thomas Finnigan isn’t an orphan (though he might as well be for the attention his parents give him), but he is also a misfit and not very brave. And when I say misfit I mean Georgie has been expelled from many schools (she’s currently at St. Mary’s School for Very Difficult Children), and trouble just is drawn to her. She can’t help it. And Thomas gets his lunch stolen everyday. And then they meet and quickly fall through a puddle into the magical land of Allegoria.

Not everything about Allegoria is nice though. They still have to go to school and as neither Georgie nor Thomas know anything about acting like the princess and knight they’re supposed to be, that does not go well. There’s also people being killed in the forest, impending doom, and suspicious characters.

There are certain aspects in common between all books in the series. They always attend school (it’s peasant school where they learn to rake dung in Book 2). There is always a game of Combat Croquet which is a lethal sport with golden armadillos for balls. And there are always monsters and at least on nasty member of the Royal family (and sometimes they’re one and the same).

There’s also a contrary magical book that only opens to riddles, has a time limit and tries to bite off Thomas’s hand more than once. It can however be quite useful. A bat named Max Mousewing or Agent MM is a recurring character as is Smokey the Terrible (a dragon) and Lydian, the great Magician or Wanderer (the book was originally titled The Magician’s Daughter and I have no idea why it was changed for Kindle). Lydian is also Georgie’s father by adoption.

Other characters include a nutty wizard who makes cockroaches into stools and sandwiches, changes people’s hair colour and usually pretends to be a ghost. He found it inconvenient to be around after giving the Duke of Osterik ostrich legs. He also has secrets.  For example he’s the one person who knows where to find the wizard stone that can defeat the dark lord Morlock. Unfortunately he’s forgotten the riddles that explain where to find the keys to unlock the wizard stone.

Despite the presence of a wizard, a magician and a dark lord, the book doesn’t have a lot of magic. It’s mostly silly fairytale type stuff. Or monsters. Anything kids might think of as monsters appears. Bogie men, pirates, ogres, vampires, trolls, and giants. They’re all very much just monsters though and are mostly scary by ugliness or size. They’re not creepy.

The whole Georgie Tanner series is unapologetically allegorical, but I don’t think it’s preachy or overdone. But then, I’m not sure I’m good at telling when a book is preachy and when it’s subtle. However I’m not sure a book with this amount of silliness could be preachy. It’s just too fun. There’s certainly things that can be learned from the story, but it comes naturally.

Now why do I love these books? I’m not sure I can explain it simply. But inside all the silliness is a tale of learning to become brave, and of accepting your identity. The series is also one of the few that my older brothers read and talked about. I had heard quite a bit, so when the third book was published and they got it from the library, I read it too. And then one of them got book two out to read again, so I read it. Finally I helpfully got the first book out for him and was able to read it. So I read them in reverse order. Twice actually.

The second book, The Ancient Machine is my favourite, so I’ll share its description. It’s rather cruel of me, because all but the first book are near impossible to get outside of Australia. I need to contact Justyn Walker and see if I can get him to put them on Kindle too.

The Ancient Machine

When an accident causes Georgie’s orphanage to be drowned in 10,000 gallons of gluggy, grey gruel, Georgie and Thomas sink through a bottomless puddle of gruel into Allegoria once more. There, Lydian the Great Magician charges them with a quest to find a machine that is ticking down to the end of the world – when an ancient curse will be unleashed upon mankind!

In this funny and daring pursuit, Georgie and Thomas team up with a troupe of traveling daredevils, discover a hidden fortress of forest animals, meet some colorful underground grunks, and have several near-painful encounters with a well-meaning torture master.

 

Giveaway

My editing launch giveaway is still running and The Wanderer’s Daughter is one of the prizes.
The deadline is getting close so make sure you share it around.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Beautiful New Covers and a Crossover Ficlet

They’re here. Six beautiful new covers for the books I love to talk about here. Well at least I love talkihng about Rizkaland, and can’t avoid talking about Rizkaland. I cannot recal if I’ve ever talked about The Ankulen. I should have mentioned it because it makes me laugh and I love it.

Kendra’s sneak peeks had given me an idea of what some of the covers looked like. She also had shared a cover she was working on which was nothing like the final product and nowhere near as awesome. Unexpected plot twist there.

The books are also being edited to make them all shinier and add extra special content. Kendra’s first book, Sew, It’s a Quest has already been re-released, and the others are on their way. And if you want a copy of all the new books, Kendra currently is running a give-away of the full set. Head over to her blog to check it out. Any comments on this post count towards the giveaway.

But enough of me yammering. You want to see the covers and then you want to read the mini fanfic I wrote which crosses over with my own stories. (Don’t ask me how I know what you want. I just do. It’s a blogging skill.)

Covers are incoming!!!!

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Sew, It’s a Quest

It’s lovely, and shiny and pink!

Two twins in a fairy tale world must find their Fairy Godmother before their eighteenth birthday, lest they forever be stuck with the other’s gift. (Cause that would be bad, you know, when your gifts are sewing and swordplay.)

Kendra’s Revison notes: I sent this book to my kindle, tore it to shreds, then retyped the whole thing, making every word fight to stay in the book. I completely rewrote one chapter, and added/expanded several scenes, focusing on character development and pacing, in particular Robin’s character.

She did an awesome job too. It’s changed from being a nice story, to a great book.

GoodreadsPaperback – FREE ebook

 

Do You Take This Quest

You know I love the colour purple, right? And incorporating the old cover is awesome.

A prince’s quest for allies against his misery uncle and a madcap race to get home for a wedding. (Also an odd girl looking for a paintbox, and some funny family resemblances.)

Kendra’s Revision notes: This book has one added chapter, a few (potentially) added scenes, and a severe edit. Again, focus is going to Robin’s character development. I hadn’t the maturity to completely handle her emotional situation when I wrote this book, and now I intend to fix that.

I’ve seen the extra chapter and it’s amazing. A lot of emotional depth to it.

Goodreads

 

My Kingdom for a Quest

Prince Arthur’s quest to take back his kingdom, and Casperl’s quest to find out how, exactly, he’s a prince.

Kendra’s notes: This book was mostly clean … but it’s getting a part two. AKA, book 3.5, The Quest for a Quince, AKA, Casperl’s story. There will be a edit to part one, though.

I’m not the biggest Bookania fan out there, but I’ve enjoyed every snippet from The Quest for a Quince that I’ve seen so far. I think something big is going on, but I don’t know what. (common trait of Kendra’s books)

Goodreads

Those first three covers were made by Kendra. The next three are designed by Alea Harper, an excellent aspiring designer. Go over to her website Elvish Pens, Fantastical Writings and have a look at the covers she’s made for her own writing. (She made me a rough one when I mentioned the elements I’d like. She’s awesome.)

 

The Ankulen

Jen knows she had an imagination once – how far will she go to get it back?

This is especially a great book for writers. It takes place in an intersection of imagination and reality, makes fun of a few of Kendra’s writing tendencies, and explores the purpose of imagination. It’s also thoroughly fun and has chapter titles like: In Which I Discover that My Imagination is Gray.

Goodreads

 

Water Princess, Fire Prince

When two teens are pulled into another world, fire and water must work together to defeat a dragon.

I absolutely love this cover. The colours fit so well with the book. It give it a much more dignified look than the original cover. It might also help me get over my mental image of Rizkaland as white. There is snow when the book begins, and even when it’s gone, I still picture it. Snow and coloured trees.

Goodreads

 

Lady Dragon, Tela Du

Purple – Red – Beautiful

Only the Tela Du stands in Amber’s way for ruling Rizkaland forever. Petra would much rather find her long-lost sisters than fight a Lady Dragon.

I just dicovered I have a slight attachment to the old cover for this book. Yes, this one is better. Yes, I complained a little about the other not matching my standards. But its gold, and its vibrancy made me love it anyway. The one bit of my mind that wants things to stay the same is fighting with rest over how excited I should be.

 

Check out what everyone says about the covers and comment over there too. Then read my fanfic.

 

As part of the giveaway on her blog, Kendra is asking for crossover fanfics. There’s a number of options, but I choose to pull a few of my characters into Rizkaland. I have Demetrio from Lady of Courage and Cassia from SubM. Demetrio is supposed to be a villain, but doesn’t act like it, while Cassia remains anonymous and is a nuisance. I hope you like it.

 

Just Get Off the Mat

It was still early summer, but there was a patch of red leaves showing through the trees ahead. Demetrio pushed ahead. If the trees were suffering from some blight, he ought to know about it.

Further on were still more red trees. He stepped from the path to see how far the trees extended. They vanished again. Puzzled, he stepped back to the path. The trees appeared again. Demetrio hurried on. There was a loud click behind him and he whirled around.

Impossible. Red trees surrounded him. Yellow grass too. Was he going mad?

“Excuse me sir, What way would I walk to find a town?”

Demetrio scanned the trees and spotted a small golden-haired girl under one of the trees. He strode forward and grabbed her wrist.

“What have you done to the trees?” he demanded.

“I? The trees? They were red when I arrived here. Where they different before?” the girl asked.

“There were green trees here, just a minute ago. And green grass. Not this atrocity. Don’t pretend you know nothing about it.”

The girl’s eyes grew big. “You’re not from here either, I see. And you don’t know what happened.”

Demetrio loosened his grip on the girl. “Where is this then? Because last time I checked, I was very much from Doranto.”

The girl sighed. “It seems there was some reason for me to be here then. You’re not in Doranto anymore. You’re in another world. She said it was called Rizkaland before she disappeared.”

“Rizkaland? World? She?” Demetrio pulled his hat off and rubbed at his head. “What on earth do you mean?”

“I mean you’ve been transported to a place completely disconnected from where ever you’ve come from. Unfortunately, that means you can’t get back all on your own. Neither can I. So, we’re stuck here. And there is magic which just makes it all worse.”

Demetrio raised his eyebrows. He still had no idea what was going on, but his senses said this was real. So presumably the magic was real and could be useful. “What is this magic? I’m not sure I believe you.”

The girl twisted her had from his grip and stepped away. “You really don’t need to know.”

Demetrio took a step after the girl and grabbed her by both wrists. “Tell me. Please.”

She stared back at him for a long moment. “Fine. But I’ll advise you to avoid all of it. Magic is not something to be meddled with and there could be all kinds in this place. Take this for example.” She pointed at a purple mat under their feet. “If you say a special word, it transports you somewhere else.”

“Do you know what the word is?”

“Yes, but I’m not using it. I don’t do magic. That’s why I asked which way the nearest town was.”

Demetrio stared at her. “I don’t suppose you could tell me the word.”

“Nope. I wouldn’t want to have someone else’s use of magic on my mind. We’ll just have to wait for someone else to turn up.”

“You said there was a woman here?”

The girl nodded. “Yep, she went off on the mat to find someone else when I refused to use it. She’ll probably be trying to come back about now.”

Demetrio tugged at the girl. “Look here. I don’t know how these things work, but I’d imagine it’s not a good idea to stand on them when someone else wants to use them.”

She pulled back. “Oh, they just won’t work. But I don’t want her using magic either.”

~The End~

Rosette Thornbriar review + Interview with Rachel Roden

Last day of my blog streak. Nothing more until next week if only to not overload people.

Today we have this sweet little story.

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.

~Review~

I don’t tend to read children’s stories much, but I like this one.

Rosette Thornbriar is not overly simple and fits very well in its setting. I have read stories in which something is skewed or just sounds plain odd in a different setting. This isn’t one of those. Granted westerns, especially bedtime story western aren’t my area of expertise, but it feels right.

There’s a cute little town and a devoted hero. He doesn’t just ride out, hack through a few briars and rescue the girl. It’s much more complex than that. We’ve also got Cindy who I look forward to seeing the next story.

As a children’s story, Rosette Thornbriar is very short. I think I’ve just begun, then realizes I’m half way though. It’s well paced though. The ending ties up almost too neatly, but that’s common to both fairytales and childrens stories.

If you have children, or simply like fairytales, this is a great book.

~Interview~

I got to interview Rachel and found she likes nice long answers.

What is your favourite color? Least favorite?

Yellow … but not lemon yellow, a nice rich golden yellow that is tending toward orange.
I also really like purples all the way into the indigo range, but not the maroon range.

I don’t like dark colors. Especially like dark blues and blacks. But maybe the color that appeals to me the least is that dusty blue – cornflower blue ….

I like my colors bright and full of life.

What is a book that changed your life?

Other than the Bible …. probably the Hobbit. When I was about 7, we went to a play in the park where we watched “the Hobbit”. The story intrigued me, but I could never remember the name of it later. I already liked reading, but mostly read biography’s and picture books at that time. By the time I was 9, I had begun an all out search for the book from the play, and soon realized that it was only going to found in a longer book. I spent the next 5-7 years searching for that book. Along the way, I tripped on fairy tales, science fiction, fantasy, and hundreds of authors and series of books.

Finally, in my mid teen years, I was telling someone about the play, and they recognized the story and soon I held my first copy of “The Hobbit”. I read a lot of books over the years while searching for that book, fell in love with the genre, and never looked back. The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings remain one of the few books that I have read a second time – on purpose.

I love your story. It’s amazing that it took you years to rediscover the book. I admit to being a frequent re-reader.

What do you love most about fairytales?

How much variety there is … yet the different cultures all have a cores set of stories that are the same. Every culture has a Cinderella tale. They all have a trickster tale and a fools tale as well, and overall, there is a lot of similarity between those. And yet, each culture and it’s values can be glimpsed within each story set.

It makes me wonder about the origin of the Cinderella tale. Some stories might all tie back to a single event no one remembers well, but I highly doubt it’s one of them.

Which fairytale might you tell after Cindy Ellen?

I have a Frogdrick Pierce about half written. And once I think of a name, I have a Snow White partially fleshed out. I’m also considering points for Rumpelstiltskin and Rapunzel. I even have a Hansel and Gretel tale bouncing around on the edges of my brain.

There are so many tales out there that could be told. I love the name Frodrick Pierce.

What do you think has had the biggest impact on your writing?

My huge imagination combined with the vast number of books and stories that I’ve read. I also have a gift for taking any situation and randomly coming up with a story to fit it. The biggest negative impact though, is that I can’t spell half of the words that I want to use, so I end up putting in synonyms for them. Spell check has improved my ability to churn out material though.

Random odd fact: I once won a spelling bee and once received the only 100 on a spelling test in my 5th grade classroom. Both time my teacher was speechless.

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.

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

 

~Giveaway~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Other blog stops today:

Knitted By God’s Plan – Twisted Dreams Feature

Morgan Elizabeth Huneke – Rosette Thornbriar Feature

Interviews:

The Destiny of One – Kendra

Reviews:

Reflections of the Heart – Twisted Dreams

The Flowering Vales – Twisted Dreams

Twisted Dreams Mini Review + Interview with Morgan Huneke

Free piece of advice: Write posts for blog tours at least three days in advance. Especially  when you have multiple post or the last possible day you can write it is a Monday.  It’s probably only the beginning of Monday for most you, but it’s quite late here and I’m only just starting this post.

So hello everyone! This is the beginning of the three Sleeping Beauties blog tour. I have posts the next two days as well, so be prepared. There will be much mentioning of fairytales and possibly more late night posts.

Today I have the pleasure of Interviewing Morgan Elizabeth Huneke and reviewing her book Twisted Dreams. Which is a great book. If you like your sci-fi and fantasy mixed, you should read it. If you like funny characters or surprises you should read it. If you like fantasy adventures with political elements you should read all her books.

“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.

See I told you it was interesting. Now onto the interview. I asked Morgan a series questions about her favourite things. It’s turned out quite fun.

Welcome to my blog, Morgan. Let’s start this off with a question that fits the tour. What’s your favourite fairytale?

Morgan: I’ve always had this strange fascination for Rumpelstiltskin. I’m really not sure why. Maybe it has something to do with my obsession with spinning and weaving. There’s so much that’s intriguing about Rumpelstiltskin, so much that’s unexplained. Like, why did the miller insist his daughter could spin straw into gold? Why did Rumpelstiltskin want the baby? Why was guessing his name the way she could get out of giving up her child? I feel like you could do so much with that story.

It is fascinating. you just made me wonder why I hadn’t tried mixing Rumpelstiltskin with Rapunzel since Spinning and weaving once were significant in what has become Girl of the Rumours.

Of all your published books, which is your favourite?

Can a parent have a favorite child? Every book is special to me in a different way. I try to choose, and, well, I can’t. I love all seven of them.

I would probably have to say the same. Except I don’t have seven books and none are published.

Favourite food?

That’s a tough one, but I think I’ll go with baked potato soup. Potatoes + milk + cheese + bacon = awesome. I’m a bit of a dairy addict, and I love potatoes. When I cook, potatoes and cheese are almost always involved.

I can never answer that one one either. But that sounds delicious.

Favourite board game?

I’m going with Balderdash, even though these days we usually play with too many people to use the board and just keep score on a sheet of paper instead. It’s a lot of fun, good for a laugh, you find out about some really strange laws and weird movies, and you learn a lot about people and how they think. I always have a good time when we play.

I’ve played that game out of the box only a couple of times. At home we just do it with a dictionary. It is fun.

Favourite book you’ve read in the last few months?

Exiles by Jaye L. Knight. It’s such a good book. Quite an emotional roller coaster, but so good. Every storyline was gripping, there were some twists I didn’t expect, moments that made me sad, moments that made me mad, moments that made me tense, moments that made me extremely happy. Everybody should read Ilyon Chronicles.

Yes, yes, yes! I haven’t read Exiles yet, but I am so looking forward to it. Emotional roller coaster and all.

Favourite character in Twisted Dreams?

Matthew. He’s the crazy one, and he’s just so much fun to write. He’s cast as Matt Smith and inspired by the Eleventh Doctor. He’s also the only one of the main trio who isn’t twitterpated. He’s a great character.

I’m not surprised my that answer. I think Matthew is my favourite as well.

And because I really do want to know, What was the first inspiration for Twisted Dreams?


Well, Rooglewood Press announced that their fairy tale retelling contest was to be Sleeping Beauty and I wanted to enter. I started brainstorming ideas for a twist, one of which was “what if the enchanted sleep is actually a good thing?” From there, it merged with the Doctor Who episode “Amy’s Choice” where the characters keep flipping back and forth between two places and have to figure out what’s real and what’s a dream. I took that concept and ran with it, throwing in BBC Merlin, Star Wars, and Michael Vey for good measure. It’s certainly been quite interesting.

That’s a great premise and I really like where you’ve taken it.

Morgan: Thanks for having me!

It was a pleasure.

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. And do. I’ve got to know Morgan over the last few years, and I’m really glad to have her as a friend.

~Mini Review~

I have a confession to make. I have a tendency to rush through books and skim them a bit. I catch what I missed on the second pass. However, I’ve not done my second read of Twisted Dreams. So this will be short and a bit spotty.

 

It’s a sound story with fun characters and strong themes.

I love the beginning. It’s told from Leisel’s point of view when she’s a baby. The confusion when she falls asleep only to awaken in another world is very realistic.

The theme of trusting God, not in a prince to rescue is beautiful.

I recommend it.

Add on  Goodreads. Preorder on Kindle so you can get it when it releases in a couple of days.

 

 

Now I must go get my beauty sleep.

A-Z Bookish Tag

I borrowed this tag from Kendra E. Ardnek who stole it from Rachel Rossano.

1. Author You’ve Read the Most Books from:

Definitely Martha Finley. There’s 28 Elsie books and another 7 Mildred books which I own. There’s also a handful of obscure standalones that I can still highly recommend. Wanted: A Pedigree, Signing the Contract and What it Cost, and The Thorn in the Nest are the best of them. The last of those has a male lead and a complex secret. None of them have a perfect child for the MC.

(After writing this I realized, that the correct answer is Enid Blyton. I read 60 – 80 books by here back in the day. It’s almost scary.)

2. Best Sequel Ever:
I’ve got to say the same as Kendra. The King’s Scrolls by Jaye L. Knight.  It’s my favourite book of one of my favourite series. I’ll add in a second of The First Traitor by Laura Campbell. It did everything I hoped for, and both of these sequels almost broke my heart.
3. Currently Reading:
Our Intrepid Heroine by Ness Kingsley. I need to finish it, but I was getting my brothers to read it aloud in the car and I haven’t taken them anywhere for a few weeks.4. Drink of Choice While Reading:
I don’t really drink while reading. But water is my primary drink.

5. E-reader or Physical Book:

Physical book. Though I don’t actually have an e-reader, so I use my phone instead. Price means I read a lot more e-books.

6. Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated in High School:
I didn’t go to highschool and I didn’t date. (Attention from boys made me avoid them) But I would have like to be friends with Reuben from Kendra’s Lady Dragon Tela Du. (or maybe not). Also Hank Coolidge from the Starlight Animal Rescue series by Dandi Daley Mackall. Her books were my favourite for a time.

7. Glad You Gave This Book a Chance:

I could list so many books here. Yet, I rarely read a book I really doubt I’ll enjoy. But I almost never got around to reading Ellie Burton and the Reflective Portals which I won in a giveaway, and found it a decent book. It was aimed at a slightly younger audience, so it’s not my favourite, but that wasn’t why I almost didn’t read it.
8. Hidden Gem Book:
The Magician’s Daughter by Justyn Walker. It’s portal fantasy, very quirky, very good allegory.  Unfortunately, being self published in Australia, it’s really had to come by physical copies in the rest of the world. It’s available on Kindle, (as The Wanderer’s Daughter) but the sequels aren’t. If they were I’d try to promote them more, but as it is, it’s kind of pointless.
9. Important Moment in Your Reading Life:
I was somewhere between 7 and 9 when I first started reading a chapter book on my own. It was The Prodigal Cat by Janette Oke. I started reading it aloud to Mum. Next morning I was reading it before breakfast. I haven’t been able to stop since.10. Just Finished:
Third Daughter by Susan Kaye Quinn. It’s Indian inspired steampunk and I’m writing steampunk that might have a little element of Indian culture. I like it, but probably not enough the buy the other books. (It was free)

11. Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:
Erotica or anything heading that way. Anything with romance as the sole plot. Terribly written books. Anything that glorifies evil.

12. Longest Book You’ve Read:
I’m not at all sure, but Queechy by Susan Warner is near the top of the list. It’s over 25 hours in audio. If I can count nonfiction, I’ve got a lot of possible options.  Macauley’s History of England winning at 100+ hours of audio. It’s five books though.

13. Major Book Hangover Because Of:
I don’t really get book hangovers. But I walked around smiling for a week after reading Samara’s Peril by Jaye L. Knight.14. Number of Bookcases You Own:
Two. Though one’s only partly full and I have a bunch of books on another shelf in the house.  I borrow the libararies shelves and money too.

15. One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

One book?!? What is this one book? I used to often read a book twice in a row because I would miss things the first time. I still do frequently. But I’ll pick Water Princess, Fire Prince. I read that again straight after beta reading and gave Kendra more feedback. And then read it again just before she sent me an updated version to read before the release.
16. Preferred Place to Read:
Anywhere is fine. Bedroom is common. Outdoors is great given sutable weather.17. Quote that Inspires You/Gives You the Feels from a Book You’ve Read:

“We will stand for what is right, and good, and true. We will protect and aid each other and all those Elôm brings into our path. We will remain faithful to Him, even when it may cost us our lives, and we will stand firm against the evil that will soon surround us. We will not back down. Each of us, right here, right now—we are the resistance.”
Last paragraph from Resistance by Jaye L. Knight.

18. Reading Regret:

I once read a sequel to The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnet. It was unfortunately not a childrens book at all. And The Secret Garden doesn’t even need a sequel. I don’t remember the name, but don’t ever read it. It’s the book that makes me wish books had clearer ratings. I didn’t realize because it was filed as ‘Large Print’, not adult. Not that I didn’t read any books that were aimed more at adults at that age, but I might have been wary. ( clarification: this book was by another author)

19. Series You’ve Started and Need to Finish (All books are out in the series):

I’d like to finish the Follower of the Word Series by Morgan Busse someday. And the Dark Trench Saga by Kerry Neitz.

20. Three of Your All-Time Favorite Books:

Lady Dragon, Tela Du by Kendra E. Ardnek, The Ryn by Serena Chase, Deliver by Trica Mingerink.

21. Unapologetic Fangirl For:
The Ilyon Chronicles, The Rizkaland Legends, The  27th Protector Series, and various other books as the occasion arises.22. Very Excited for This Release More than All the Others:
Exiles by Jaye L. Knight.  I’m making myself wait to get a physical copy though.

23. Worst Bookish Habit:

Getting all the free books. Also skimming to get though books faster.
24. X Marks the Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:
Trouble in a Fur Coat by Janette Oke. It’s also the last book on the top shelf. Next shelf has writing books.
25. Your Latest Book Purchase:
I just preordered Spellsmith and Carver 2 by H. L. Burke26. ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

 I stayed up pretty late the last two night writing. So I’ll say Girl of the Rumours.
And that’s that. Feel free to take this tag. After all, I did.

White Dawn: Review and Giveaway

Continue reading

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.

 

Blades of Acktar Characters Part 2

I’m continuing my discussion of my favourite characters of the Blades of Acktar series by Tricia Mingerink. I cannot promise this to be entirely spoiler free, but I won’t tell more than necessary. And anyway, if you care about getting spoilers, just go read the books.

Part one is here, in case you missed it.

Martyn Hamish

Loyalty. That’s the first word I associate with Martyn.  Duty is the second. This guy follows orders. Martyn  was Leith’s best friend in the Blades. He’s kind of a nice guy. At least as far as assassins go. But unlikely Leith he’s not going to walk away from his duty just because some girls were strangely kind to him. He’ll follow orders. Even that includes doing terrible things.

One interesting aspect of Martyn’s character is that he doesn’t do so well without someone to follow. He’s the main character in Deliver and *spoiler* in Deliver the Blades have been disbanded. King Respin is gone. Martyn is feeling slightly lost and betrayed, and confuses and uncomfortable. And he’s more lost than he realizes. He needs someone who will give him orders. And someone who will challenge his stubbornness. And once that happens and he realizes that he’s been an idiot, he slowly comes round.

Shadrach Alistair

Shad is the son of Lord Henry Alistair and Leith’s new best friend. He’s not got some tragic childhood, or (so) many people trying to kill him. He’s just a nice guy. And a lord’s son.  Which is somehwat of a recurring joke. As a lord’s son he had a rather different upbringing to Leith. But he’s still pretty good at tracking and fighting. Maybe not quite as good as he thinks, but he can handle most things. He’s more of a leader and is quite involved in the resistance against King Respen. 

While Shad doesn’t make it into my top characters, he
does get some of the best lines. Or is around when some of the best lines are said. In real life he’s probably the guy you’d want around. A good man, not overly complicated, with no enormous scars in his past. He’s dependable.

More Blades

Jamie Cavendish is a Blade trainee. He’s kind of awesome. Very brave. He deserves a lot more space than I’m giving him right here. But I haven’t got the time. So just read the books.

 

Blane Altin. One of the youngest Blades. Someone Leith wishes he’d gotten out. One of the resons I despise King Respin. Turning boys into killers.

Ranson Harding. The Blade one above Blane. They’re friends. Almost like brothers. He also could be a nice guy if given the chance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s one more character I’d really like to to talk about, specifically from Deliver, but i haven’t got a picture for he and I’m not sure what to say. So I’ll just squeal. Kayleigh!!! Really she’s an awesome character. One of the reasons to read Deliver.

Pictures grabbed from these Pinterest boards: https://au.pinterest.com/jessica2012d/martyn-hamish/  https://au.pinterest.com/jessica2012d/shadrach-alistair/  https://au.pinterest.com/jessica2012d/deny/  https://au.pinterest.com/tmingerink/ya-novel-defy-the-blades-of-acktar-3/

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