Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 10)

The Worth of a King Cover Reveal

It is my pleasure today to participate in the reveal of a cover of a book I’m really looking forward to. It’s The Worth of a King by  Kendra E. Ardnek. Yes, the same Kendra I often do reveals and releases for. And I still complain about her books not coming faster.

I have read a large part of Worth already and quite enjoyed it. I don’t know how it’s going to end yet, but I suspect a mixture of triumphant and ominous. Both of which are awesome in their way. But enough of my speculations. You want to see the cover.

Cover in…

 

3…

 

2…

 

1…

 

Pinterest!

 

Okay, this isn’t the cover. It is coming though, it’s the next picture down. But I thought I would share an inspiration pic first and a dialogue snippet.

 

Not the cover. Just some smoky crown from Pinterest.

Kendra says: This is an aesthetic pin that screamed Worth to me for some reason. It ended up inspiring the titles of the book’s three parts.

“Oh, Sidi, it’s a crying shame how little time we’ve spent together of late,” Nadilynn declared, as Obsidia left her bedroom, Christa a step behind her. “And now there are only a few weeks before my birthday!”

“We are greeting our guests together today,” Obsidia pointed out.

Your guests,” Nadilynn corrected. “My suitors.”

Sighing, Obsidia slipped her arm through Nadilynn’s. “Come along.”

“And even now, one of your girls is trailing behind us.” Nadilynn gave a melodramatic sigh as they started walking. “I’m beginning to think that I’ve been replaced.”

“You are leaving me in a few months,” Obsidia pointed out, shaking her head. “I had to think ahead.”

 

And now we have the cover in all its glory.

. . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . .

 

Isn’t it pretty? It’s a little different to Kendra’s other covers, but Worth is just a little different. It’s not fairy tale or portal fantasy. It’s, well just read the description. I can’t explain it well enough.

 

Princess Obsidia’s father was killed the night she was born. Since there was no male heir, the crown went to the man who killed him, by Dialcian law. This never bothered her, growing up, and when it comes time for Obsidia to choose her husband, she chooses Prince Delaney, the son of that man, with little hesitation. Only then does her life start crumbling around her.

Adrian expected to live a normal life, taking his father’s place at the print shop when his father retired. But, on his eighteenth birthday, when the princess’ engagement is announced, his world is ripped out from under him when he learns that his life was a ruse, and he is the twin brother to the princess – and expected to take back his father’s throne.

Delaney knows that his country is hovering on the brink of war – and that his father may harbor murderous intentions towards his intended bride due to her Zovordian blood. He wants nothing more than to protect Obsidia and his people, but as merely prince, he has little power against his father.

The ancient war between the Dragons and the Immortal King and Queen is nearing its climax, and the three are already caught in it.

 

The Worth of a King will be coming out on the 27th of August.

(That seems ages away, but I know it will come all too quickly.)

You can add the book on Goodreads here and the first chapter is waiting for you to read it right here.

 

Kendra E. Ardnek, as always, loves fairytales and twisting them in new and exciting ways. She’s been or acting them on her dozen plus cousins and siblings for years. “Finish your story, Kendra,” is frequently heard at family gatherings. Her sole life goal has always been to grow up and be an author of fantasy and children’s tales that glorify God and His Word.
Find her online at: Website || Blog || Goodreads || Facebook || Twitter || Amazon 

 

You can find more snippets from  the book along with inspirational pins, more copies of the cover, and the comments of awesome people who are not me, at all these lovely places.

Savannahjaysworkshop

Dreams and Dragons

Unicorn Quester

Kiri Liz

Morgan Elizabeth Huneke

Read, Write, Laugh, Dance

Elvish Pens, Fantastical Writings

Books, Baking, and Cowgirl Boots

Jenelle Schmidt

Jessica Greyson

The Music of a Story

The Flowering Vales

The Rambling Rose

Written Rest

The Labyrinth

Bible and Books

Jaye L. Knight

 

 

Amber Eyes Review

About the Book

Destiny can be cruel
Darkness retreated from the light of the scarlet moon, but has since grown even stronger. The Mistress of Shadows has found a new pawn—one that may be the key to unlocking the door to her underground prison. Now evil threatens to escape its shackles and destroy the land.

In the aftermath of loss and betrayal, Jayden’s fight with the enemy still isn’t over. But while she isn’t sure she can stop the Mistress alone, leaving her friends might be the only way to keep them from being consumed by the darkness.

With lives hanging in the balance—and no time for error—can Jayden make the right choice?

AmazonBarnes & Noble Christianbook.com

 

 

My Review

I have mixed feeling on Amber Eyes. The first book, Scarlet Moon didn’t really grab me. There’s nothing particular I disliked, but neither did the concept intrigue me, or the characters grab at my heart. With Amber Eyes, I started out feeling the same, but as it went on, I found myself loving more of the situations and the characters.

It is a complex story, with many different threads and characters. Sometimes I didn’t fully follow everything, though that’s probably because I didn’t remember Scarlet Moon especially well. I probably should have re-read it first, but I couldn’t be bothered and it was a little late by the time my brother mentioned he’s had it checked out of the library for longer than I knew I was reviewing Amber Eyes

The whole Deliverer’s harnessing the power of the Creator to fight against the Mistress if Shadows things is part of what makes me feel a little uncomfortable. I think too much, you see, and try to classify the theology and worlds of the stories I read, and this one is hard to put in a box. It’s not the Christian semi-allegory type of story, and it’s not the type of story where there’s a Christ figure somewhere in its history, or a church at the current time. It’s something else and I don’t understand it. I think it’s taking after more popular fantasy in some ways, but from a Christ influenced angle. But I don’t read the more popular fantasy, so I have little idea what I’m talking about.

The other thing that makes me uncomfortable is the darkness in the story. Because it is dark and violent at points. I know there are reasons to write darker stories, and that the dark can make the light shine brighter, but I don’t have to like it. It’s more than human darkness and it’s not confined to just a small part of the story. It’s not made fun of or laughed over. So, if you can’t take dark stories, I don’t recommend it.

Yet despite all the darkness, there are beautiful moments. There is hope. There is love. There are moments of happiness and heroes rescuing people. There are even the rare humorous moments. There is dancing, and friendship. There is self-sacrifice. I loved this part of it.

As far as magic in this book, there is a few kinds. There are the talents of the Children of the Blood Moon. They’re simply specially abilities they are born with. There is the magic of the healers, Also a born magic, and a self-sacrificing one. There is the magic of various creatures, plants, and beasts. And finally, there is evil. The evil is clear and obvious. That is one thing I like about Amber Eyes. The characters are complex. Characters who are fighting for good don’t always do right. Yet there is always at least a hint that it is wrong. There might be plenty of characters who think the end justifies the means (or plain don’t care if either are good), but that’s certainly not what the book is presenting as true.

I always try to learn something when I read a book. I didn’t get anything big out of Amber Eyes. I can’t even say what the theme is. But I did learn a few little things: A guy can never have too many sisters.  Be honest with your friends. Appearances can be very deceiving. Sword fighting is like dancing. (Really!) Don’t trust evil people, and liars. If you are forced to choose between two dreadful options, don’t blame yourself for the result. You didn’t cause it to happen.

So that’s the book. Read it if it sounds like the kind of book you would like. I can’t deny that it’s well written with well-drawn characters. And it did hook me enough that I will likely read Book Three when it comes out. If I had it now, I know I would. I doubt I would read it a second time, but I do want to know where the story ends.

 

About the Author

S.D. Grimm’s first love in writing is young adult fantasy and science fiction. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency and author of SCARLET MOON. She currently has four books under contract, including the remainder of her YA fantasy series Children of the Blood Moon. When she’s not writing or editing, Sarah enjoys reading (of course!), practicing kickboxing and Brazilian jiu jitsu, training dogs, and binge-watching shows with great characters. Her office is anywhere she can curl up with her laptop and at least one large-sized dog. You can learn more about her upcoming novels at www.sdgrimm.com.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Goodreads | Newsletter | Spotify

 

Facebook Launch Party

Calling all book readers! Join author S.D. Grimm as we chat about her fantasy novel Amber Eyes on January 30th from 8 PM to 11 PM EST (6 PM CDT and 5 PM PST).

Grab your favorite drink and snack and be prepared for a fun time of chatting with SD, games, and giveaways.

Special guests Nadine Brandes, Lindsay A. Franklin, and Sara Baysinger will also be sharing their books and joining in the fun.

RSVP Today

 

Giveaway

Want to dive into a new world? Enter to win a signed copy of both Amber Eyes and Scarlet Moon, a grimmlie dragon of the dragon on the cover (made by the author), a charm bracelet (made by her Captain America), and a $10 amazon gift card. (US only. Sorry!)

>>> Entry-Form <<<

 

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, January 22nd

Tuesday, January 23rd

Wednesday, January 24th

Thursday, January 25th

Friday, January 26th

Saturday, January 27th

Monday, January 29th

Tuesday, January 30th

Wednesday, January 31st

Thursday, February 1st

Friday, February 2nd

Saturday, February 3rd

Monday, February 5th

Top Ten Reading Goals for 2018

Hello my friends,

Today I decided to take part in the Top Ten Tuesdays Link up. I do have a few other ideas for blog posts, but they’re more or less stuck. I lost the notes for one and I haven’t come up with the core element for another. So resolutions it is.

I’m not always much of a New Years resolutions person. I’ve heard enough stories about people giving up on them while it is still January, so sometimes I don’t feel it’s worth doing. That’s probably to my loss because plans have to be made sometime and the beginning of the year isn’t a bad time. So my reading goals:

  1. Read less books. Yes, this sounds like a strange one, but over the last couple of years, I’ve been stuffing my mind with so many stories that they’ve just become a muddle.
  2. ​Read slowly and deliberately. The only reason I’m able to read so many books is because I skim and don’t leave time to absorb them. I don’t take the book in properly. It’s a bad habit I’ve had for many years, and it only got worse with digital books.
  3. Only read when I’m done with other work. This is probably the biggest one. Reading has been the bane of my productivity. It’s been taking up time belonging to other things. It’s the reason I didn’t write this post earlier in the day. The only exceptions to this is reading the Bible and listening to audio books. Depending on the work I’m doing listen can help me along.
  4. Read more blogs. I used to follow quite a few other writers, but I’ve got busy and not kept up with them. It’s more for networking than learning that I need to do this, but I know there’s a lot of things worth reading out there.
  5. Write more reviews. This isn’t a new goal, but it’s a common failing. I know reviews are worth a lot to authors, but it’s so easy not to write them. Yet it’s isn’t difficult to write a very short review for the majority of books. I like giving my whole multi-sided opinion and recommendation for a book, but I don’t always have to. I’ll likely not do review for the books I could care less about, but I should attempt the ones I’m not sure how to feel about. Writing makes the thoughts clearer.
  6. Read a SpecFaith article at least once a week. There’s a lot of good in here.
  7. Read a Creation.com article at least once a week. I can always do with some science or apologetics to keep my mind active. I ought to read the Creation magazine more too.
  8. Finish all the non-fiction books I’m partway through. I can’t skim books on theology or any detailed topic. They require concentration and focus. That also means they take quite a bit longer and I do have a very long non-fiction list. (Thirty-six on Goodreads, not counting books on writing, and there’s more than that on our bookshelves that could be listed.) So this year i am going to focus on getting through at leas the ones I’ve begun. The possible exception is Augustine’s City of God which I got half for the purpose of getting the really long book achievement on Audible. It is fascinating at points, but thirty hours, is thirty hours, and there’s a bit more than that left.
  9. Take notes when I read. I think a lot while reading, but there are so many thoughts and brilliant lines that escape me later. I need to find a way of making notes without constantly distracting from my reading, and then it’ll be good. I do have a journal I’ve used for that purpose already, so that’s not a problem.
  10. Get to the point in my Greek studies that I can read sentences not just one word in ten (and that is only due words we use in English and a few extremely frequent words).

Now all I have to do is remember and do these things and everything will be, well not perfect, but likely better. Remember the signs.

A Quiet Start to a New Year

Happy New Year everyone!

I’ve had a pretty quiet year so far. It’s not been empty, but I haven’t felt rushed. Bathroom renovations have taken up the last couple of weeks including Christmas Eve and Boxing Day. Apart from that I’ve been sewing, reading and keeping up with my 440 words a day minimum. The last few days there’s been editing work as well.

In reality, this year probably hasn’t been much quieter than last year at the same time. The only difference was last year I was getting exciting about going away for a week long course at the end of the month and this year I have very little planned.

I’m going to keep writing obviously, and I hope to pick up more editing. Sewing is something I can always find more to occupy myself with, and my accounting job keeps coming at it’s steady rate. That’s the everyday things. Beyond that I have the studies I started last year, and dropped partway though. I must pick those up again. The Greek is good for my mind and a good Bible study tool, while Theme Mastery something I really need for my writing.

I’ve also got a couple of exciting things coming up. Camping in March with a bunch of Homeschoolers including Jane Maree, and in October I’ll be going to the Creation Super Conference which is sure to be exciting. Loads of information and people to meet, a long car trip, and the perfect climate for swimming. Yes, I’m rather excited.

Last year I was considering the possibility of figuring out a way to attend Realm Makers this year, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. I thought about it after hearing two good writing friends say they hoped to go this year, but I don’t feel that adventurous right now. I’m not sure why, but right now my daydreams of travel are quite happy to remain only day dreams. I’m happy to stay home reading and writing.

The natural house daydreams have been plaguing me again lately. I need to use them as motivation to get other things done, because they can take up a bit of time.

Honestly, that lack of ambition is scaring me a little. Even if I don’t feel like it right now, I really do know I want something to happen in my life, and I can see I’m doing almost nothing to make it happen. I’m becoming one of those passive people who never make interesting characters in books. Probably not even funny side characters. Just a background character that doesn’t contribute anything. And I wasn’t put on this earth to do nothing. I have a purpose.

Now that I’ve got all that out of my head, I’ll just wrap this up by wishing you all a blessed, productive, wonderful year.

 

Great peace have those who love your law and nothing can cause them to stumble.

Psalm 119:165

Festivals and Holidays of Verlis

Merry Christmas dear readers.

I did it this time. Here is you promised pre Christmas post. Since I have holidays on the mind, I thought I would write something about the holidays in some of my own writing. Since Lady of Courage is set in an alternate Italian maritime world, it doesn’t have any especially unique holidays. It does begin on Chistmas Eve with a Ball and that’s about it. In contrast, for Girl of the Rumours, I have had to do a fair bit of world building and that includes multiple sets of holiday customs.

Festivals in Verlis and Amra differ quite a bit. In Amra they are community celebrations and times of fun. In verlis they are more solemn. There is some slight religious significance to soem of the festivals, but it has mostly been stripped away. The old folk religions of the countries were never very ritualistic or held strongly and when the new beliefs came, the holidays were all changed.

There is a Harvest End Festival held twelve weeks after the summer solstice. It has a spirit of thanksgiving and rejoicing over the harvest. In Amra is is celebrated by huge markets in all major towns and feasts where ever people are gathered. There will be dancing and various competions or skill. Wrestling, archery, staff fighting, and the like. The celebartions frequently go on for several days. There are musicians playing all of the old and new tales until all hours of the night and religious leaders will take opportunities to speak to the people. Everywhere, the feast will begin with a prayer everyone joins in on and the day before the festival there are often special services in the chapels.

In Verlis, there are no markets and no huge gatherings. Throughout the day you are not to eat any food from the years produce, only that of the previous year. Everyone will give gifts of food to their friends and neighbours as they can afford. It usually will be something they themselves do not grow. If you are giving to those of higher class, the gift must be tasteful and well presented, but will often not be large. The extremely wealthy will often give enormous gifts. Everyone gives what they can to those less fortunate especially as this is a day when they cannot refuse it. The gifts are traditionally given anonymously, though people often know who various gifts are from. The festival ends with a time of solemn reflection at sunset followed by a meal of all new food.

The Spring Festival is held in the middle of planting. It is barely celebrated in Amra. Traditionally it is the time of drinking new milk and letting the animals out to graze in the mountains. However, no one waits for a particular day to come if the conditions are right and there is little mention of it these days. The remnant of the festival is the wearing of flowers and the dancing of the girls of each town. It is also common practice to plant herbs on this day. Prayers will be offered for a good growing season.

In Verlis, the prayers have a much greater emphasis. Everyone gathers and prays all day. The prayer are usually not just for a good planting and harvest, but for any need. In recent and not so recent years, the prayers have been for peace, for safety. Is is the one day of the year that a large portion on the population prays anything than ritualistic form prayers.

A few significant events in Girl of the Rumours happen on these festivals. Aydel dances with Nylf at the Harvest End Festival in the town of Jarrah. He tells her something that changes her life. To finish up the day, they get chased by guards and she meets Wil, Elind and Mim. (Who all happen to have an ‘i’ in their names. Funny that.)

Towards the end of the story, someone takes advantage of the Spring Festival’s distraction to further his own plans. That, put simply, wasn’t not a time the prayers for peace we answered. Not that day.

I feel that there ought to be more holidays. Something like Passover or Christmas. They haven’t come up yet and I don’t know if they will. I believe they differ between the different church branches and never became huge public celebrations. Passover would be close to the Harvest End Festival in timing. Christmas could be mid-summer, but given we do not know an actual date for Christs birth, they don’t not in most part have any celebration other than that of the new year.

There are also festivals and holidays in the neighbouring nation of the Dlinaat. The culture in entirely differnt, and the festivals have a great deal to do with their main religion. They worship the sea, or a sea god of some kind, or just simple water. It has all gotten rather mixed up over the long existence of their civilization. The migration from islands to dry plain has been a major factor in the development of the current rituals. Very few people In Verlis or Amra are familiar with their customs and I haven’t learnt the Dlinaat language yet, so I cannot study directly from the source.

It is also rumoured that there is a separate Dlinaat group who’s beliefs and practices are very reminiscent of Christianity. It seems they are the product of the knowledge of the way spreading along many paths. They do not mix with foreigners any more than the rest of the population, so they are few facts, but it is believed they celebrate Christmas. Because at least one group out there has to.

I have probably made this a little confusing. Is this our world or not? Truth be told, I haven’t quite figure that out. it’s some kind of alternate universe. Some major things are the same. Other parts of geography and history are entirely scrambled. I may end arranging things to make in entirely different as it changes more each time I think about it, but I haven’t reached that level yet.

This is likely my last post for the year so until next time, have a joyous Christmas and a blessed New Year.

Beautiful NaNoWriMo project

It’s time for the Beautiful Books link up with Cait and Skye. This month I get to introduce my NaNoWriMo project. I’m going to be writing A Brigand, No Longer which is the sequel to Girl of the Rumours. I have talked about it before (see this post), but some of my ideas have changed a little and i’m going about it in a different way.

What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

Joane being interesting inspired this book. In particular ongoing conflict between Joane and Elind, back in an imaging of the story where Elind was young. And I may have had the idea for about two years. This time last year, I was expecting to begin writing it very soon.

Describe what your novel is about!

Joane and Aydel adjusting to their new situations. Impending war. The groom being captured just before a wedding. Mayhem. Outlaws running wild. Fathers. Sisters. Lots of spoilers.

What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!

Wide stone streets petering off into dirt paths. Buildings in a mixture of stone, wood and plaster. Plentiful gardens. A river flowing through the town. A dirty tent town for refugees. a tangled forest stretching down from the mountains.

Introduce us to each of your characters!

Joane: Fierce, tomboy, man-hater, intimidating leader, protective, despiser of chiefs, lonely, proud, illiterate.

Aydel: Broken, freedom-lover, comforter, shunned, healer, best sister ever, regretful.

Wil: Noble, cautious, protective, can’t say what he wants, haunted, self-sacrificing, trustworthy.

Ireen: Power-hungry, not a compelling leader, terrifying, clever, perpetual rebel,  hurt.

How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)

I’ve done a bit of outlining. Still more to do. And I’ve stocked up on chocolate that is to be doled out at mile stones.

What are you most looking forward to about this novel?

Figuring it out. I have some plans, but I’m really just looking forward to seeing where it goes and what new characters pop up.

List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

  1. A lot of the book is in a city.
  2. The city is more open than crowded, and is generally cheerful.
  3. Bright, strong colours are the fashion.

What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?

Joane wants to make the world calm down, but she’s removed herself from her old place of authority and is hopeless in the new situation. Aydel wants her sister happily married, but Arthen has been taken in a raid and Aydel is prohibited from leaving the city.

How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

Joane will be less jaded and suspicious. More graceful and capable. Aydel will have found hope again.

What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?

Right now, I feel that a major theme is new beginnings. Submission and trust will come into play as well. I want people to come away feeling lightened and cheered.

 

That’s that, and you can check out the other entries here or here.

Giveaway Winners Announced

Hello everyone,

I finally found enough time to draw the giveaway winners out of Rafflecopter’s magical algorithms (not that it has any). This will just be a short post, but I’ll have something  worth reading up in a day or two.

(I’m excited enough to use a GIF despite having an aversion to them on blogs)

 

Now, here are the winners:

The free critique goes to Keturah Lamb.

Half price on any one of my editing services goes to Faith Blum.

The ebook of The Five Unnecessaries was won by Sarah Taleweaver.

The ebook of the Wander’s Daughter goes to Erika Mathews.

 

I will be contacting all the winners and for everyone else, I still recommend the books and my editing services.

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

Editing Launch and a Giveaway

Hey y’all,

I finally did one of the things I’ve been planning ever since I got this website. I am now offering editing services!

I’ve always been one to notice typos and grammar mistakes and I’ve read so many stories that I have a reasonable idea of how that work. I offer basic proofreading, line editing to really help people improve the flow of their prose, and a critique of the general structure.

I’m pretty sure I will comment on other things while line editing though because I won’t be able to stop doing what i do when beta reading. I considered offering structural edits, but I’m not confident in my abilities with that, so the critique will be my way of moving in that direction.

To celebrate the launch I’m running my first ever giveaway. You have a chance to win yourself a free critique, a 50% discount on any one of my edits, or an eBook.

I’m giving away two favourites books that don’t get enough exposure. The Five Unecessaries by Laura Campbell is dystopian that doesn’t follow the usual conventions. It’s gritty, real, and beautiful. The amount of kissing takes it close to the edge of my comfort level. You can check out my full review here.

The Wanderer’s Daughter is quirky middle grade fantasy by Australian author Justyn Walker. It’s rather allegorical (what else would you expect when it’s in the land of Allegoria), but not heavy handed. The story carries itself fine and is completely hilarious. I’ll put up a review for it during the week.

And here is the giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Reality in Fiction: Contentment

I’ve had the idea for this post for months now. And finally it’s happening. I thought it would work well as part of a series. Probably posted monthly. I should be able to keep up with that. What? It’s not like I never have regularity and posting on time here. Just not often enough.

The series is going to focus how certain ideas play out in real life and books in general. I’d like to think it’s got a bt of writing advice, but non-readers should find it just as interesting. Unless you hate discovering the patterns  in most books which make it easier to predict things. (you know, the two leads will end up together if it it’s romance, the hero always wins, that slightly suspicious man is obviously evil unless he’s actually good.  Or on a deeper level you know that the protagonist is going to have to change in a certain way before he can succeed)

There are reasons things play out the same way in many stories. One of those reasons is because it’s real. Stories aren’t always like reality, but if they’re too far off in certain ways, they don’t work.

There’s a truth I’ve discovered that I think is one of the secrets to a good life. If you’re not content with what you have, you’ll never be happy however much you have. Or to look it from a less material perspective, if you’re waiting for things to change before you can be happy, it’s not going to happen. This is something that might be shown in a story, but certainly not every story. However there is a flipside, that I think subtly shows in many stories. It’s possible to be too content.

Yes, you can be too content. you can become complacent. Yes, you shouldn’t rest your happiness in things being a certain way, but sometimes things really do need to change. You must not be content to let evil go past. You must not just subsist even if it’s comfortable.

Just think of a story, any story. Is the protagonist completely happy with the way things are? Maybe they are. But do they stay that way for long? Of course they don’t. Something goes wrong and they’re forced to deal with it. If they were perfectly content to let things happen as they may, they would never get any where. They would be beaten before the fight even begun.

I’m terrible at pulling out examples because I know a lot more obscure stories than popular ones. But I’ll choose The Horse and His Boy. If Shasta had been content, passive, he never would have run away with Bree. He might not have listened at the door of the hut and known he was to be sold. And Bree, if he’d become complacent with his lot as a prisoner, he never would helped Shasta escape. Now you could say that to act differently was besides those characters natures, and you’d be correct. But that really is part of the point.

For another example I’ll pull out Truth by Molly Evangeline (aka Jaye L. Knight). Makilien, the protagonist lives in a little walled village no one ever leaves. She was drawn out by curiosity, but also by a sense that things should and could be better than they were.  She was not content to simply leave things as they were. (This isn’t the best example, because the other villagers were more afraid and down trodden than complacent, but I think it still works)

Now for an example of a passive character, Jane Bennet. I’ve read Pride and Prejudice twice I think and don’t feel all that familiar with the details of the story, but I would call Jane passive. Things happen to her. Mr. Bingley just gets dropped in her lap, so to speak, and when he’s taken away, Jane hardly does anything. She’s just content to let things be. She doesn’t grasp after anything. That’s why she isn’t the protagonist. Lizzie is. And Lizzie isn’t afraid to let people know when she’s not happy.

This isn’t to say you can’t have a protagonist who is content, or that they have to speak their mind. Just don’t let them be passive, and don’t you be passive either. Find your contentment and go change the world. That’s how to be happy. (part of it at least)

 

 

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