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Burning Rose by Hope Ann has released. Hopefully, providing I got the time right. It can be a tad confusing when converting American dates and times to Australian, we tend to be a little early, time travellers that we are. As part of her launch team I got an ARC to read and review. Hence this review.

Burning Rose consists of a prequel and three short stories. 

ROSE OF THE NIGHT: a Rose of the Oath prequel
ROSE OF THE OATH: a Beauty and the Beast retelling
SONG OF THE SWORD: a Rapunzel retelling
SHADOWS OF THE HERSWEALD: a Hansel and Gretel retelling

Behind every beast, there is a curse.
Behind every curse, there is a promise.
Behind every promise, there is a sacrifice.
Two hundred years before Beauty was born, blood and tears wove a legend of hope and sorrow. A timeless tale of a forbidden rose and the smooth voice of a masked stranger. A story of rebellion and despair and love. A story of a promise given and of a hope received. 
The story of the Oathkeeper.

With each novella based in an aspect of the fruit of the Spirit, these are fairy tale retellings as you have never heard them before. 


Behind the scenes of Burning Rose: Shadows of the Hersweald

"Writing Burning Rose took around two years, from the publication of the first novella to the final paperback. Of course, that wasn’t non-stop writing. I published each of the three novellas contained in the paperback separately as ebooks, then pulled them together for the first book of Legends of Light. 

My third novella, Shadows of the Hersweald, was probably the hardest. I knew I wanted to retell Hansel and Gretel, but originally the sister was going to be the main character. During my first try, I only got a chapter or two written. The second round I actually wrote the whole novella from Gorawen’s point of view. It didn’t work. Finally, I realized Haydn, Gorawen’s step- brother, had a much more interesting story not to mention a more dynamic history. So I switched main characters, changed the plot a little bit, rewrote it, and was very happy with the result.

Read Haydn’s full story in my new paperback collection, Burning Rose!"

Elissa, a villager from the northern mountains, attempts to save her brother and ends up trapped in a hidden valley with a strange host and a treacherous enemy.

Evrard, the Wingmaster of the Prince’s army, races against his own weakening powers to discover the location of his twin and save her from deadly mistbenders.

Haydn, a pardoned rebel from Tauscher’s army, confronts shadows of myth and former comrades in his struggle to keep his sister safe and find the stolen Stormestone.


My Review 
The prequel/story at the start was just amazing. Of all of them it is my favourite, and as Rose of the Oath followed straight on it was too. The first few pages were a little confusing as I got it into my head that 'I' was female and then relised 'I' was male..... but after that it was very cool. Actually very sad and heart wrenching. I'm a bit of a skeptical person and overall the stories were better than I expected, but saying that I didn't really know what to expect at all.

Rose of the Oath was good, the only thing was I somehow got confused without knowing it and thought that the MCs siblings were her children.... and her brother was her husband... I got a long way through before realising my mistake. The story was mysterious, and heartbreaking. Words wove together in a beautiful way with such a ring of truth. I loved how different it was from the normal fairy tale while still containing many of the elements.



Darkness can be so beautiful when such a great light shines forth from it.

Song of the sword was beautiful. The words were melodious, sparkling with colour and light. The hope and promise the story leaves you with is refreshing. There were some very minor plot twists, which I guessed. The plot, though simple, was interesting. There was no bad content and not even much violence, though there is a war going on and a combat takes place. 

Shadows of the Hersweald was really cool, and I didn't actually guess the full extent of the story twist until it was just about happening! I read this one rather fast too. So obviously it was a good one. The story was beautiful again and full of hope, and forgiveness that just made it so lovely to read. I liked the characters and the retelling factor. It was easy to forget that it was a Hansel and Gretel retelling. There were some major elements from the original, but I loved seeing how things were switched up. This story seemed a bit more violent than the others, but still at a very low level and not descriptive. There was a lot of emotional pain and tortured characters, which is makes them good. They felt very alive and full of history together, and individually. 

The books all follow a story line of the fantasy world they are set in with some characters and time periods overlapping. I would highly recommend this book as a good read with really deep themes that ring with truth and life.

Order Burning Rose now!


Yesterday I got up at an insane time... three thirty if you want to know. Then I drove out to the meeting place, from where I followed buses of people and cars pulling trailers full of hot air balloon, to the launch site. From there I watched the massive balloons inflating, and had to duck out of the way of one that tried to creep up behind me and smother me with its voluminous folds (actually it wasn't that close at all and someone warned me that I needed to move, but that does not sound anywhere near as good.)



 The balloons began to rise as the sun did, making for some beautiful light, especially with all the dust still in the air from our cars on the dirt roads we travelled to get to the back paddock of the vineyard where the hot air balloons launched from.



It was a beautiful morning, and again the dust looked amazing. A lit like fog, which you could imagine it to be unless you were standing there choking and trying not to let the camera get to covered in dust.. and failing. Still, so pretty!






I have known Hope Ann for quite some time and so am quite excited to be able to hand this post over to her and her beautiful book cover. I will also have a review of the story to post as soon as I have read the book. I am almost finished The Shadow Rising (Wheel of Time book 4) by Robert Jordan, after that Hope's book is next on the list. I hope it will be good. For now I will hand the post over to hope so we can learn a bit more about her stories.

It’s finally here! The cover for Burning Rose, a paperback collection of the first three Legends of Light novellas!



A war, founded in ancient legends, changes the lives of those it touches forever.

Elissa, a villager from the northern mountains, attempts to save her brother and ends up trapped in a hidden valley with a strange host and a treacherous enemy.

Evrard, the Wingmaster of the Prince’s army, races against his own weakening powers to discover the location of his twin and save her from deadly mistbenders.

Haydn, a pardoned rebel from Tauscher’s army, confronts shadows of myth and former comrades in his struggle to keep his sister safe and find the stolen Stormestone.

Before the war, before the legends, before the Separation, there was a man who started it all. There was a curse, a promise, and a sacrifice. There was the Oathkeeper.

Fairy tales retold as you have never heard them before. 

ROSE OF THE OATH: Beauty and the Beast

SONG OF THE SWORD: Rapunzel

SHADOWS OF THE HERSWEALD: Hansel and Gretel 
and 

ROSE OF THE NIGHT: a Rose of the Oath prequel

You can check out each ebook individually here or the Burning Rose page here. The Kindle version is available for preorder, but the paperback won't be up to buy until the launch on October 3rd. Don't worry, I'll tell you all about it then. In the meantime, you can add Burning Rose to your lists on Goodreads.

I suppose you'd like to actually see the cover now? Very well. It is glorious. 


Designed by Kate Flournoy

Worth the wait? Because I love it. And it's less than a month before you can hold a copy of Burning Rose in your own hands! Also, if you want blow by blow updates as well as cool tidbits and a behind-the-scenes look of the launch, you can hop over here to Facebook and join the Readers of Aslaria launch group!


Hope Ann is a Christian wordsmith, avid reader, and dedicated author. Her time is taken up with writing, reading, playing with inspirational photos, blogging, helping care for the house and eight younger siblings, and generally enjoying the adventures of life on a small farm at the crossroads of America. She is the author of Legends of Light is currently working on several projects including a fantasy novel and futuristic trilogy. You can find out more about her at https://authorhopeann.com/


I came across the song, Something Just Like This a little while ago and I liked it instantly. "I've been reading books of old the legends and the myths", that is just so me. Heroes from those old legends and myths, and any stories in general, can fill my mind sometimes. Superheroes are rather cool too. The song really struck me with how much I agreed with it though. It made me think. Before I continue, here is the song and lyrics.




I've been reading books of old
The legends and the myths
Achilles and his gold
Hercules and his gifts
Spiderman's control
And Batman with his fists
And clearly I don't see myself upon that list

But she said, where'd you wanna go?
How much you wanna risk?
I'm not looking for somebody
With some superhuman gifts
Some superhero
Some fairytale bliss
Just something I can turn to
Somebody I can kiss

I want something just like this
Doo-doo-doo, doo-doo-doo
Doo-doo-doo, doo-doo
Doo-doo-doo, doo-doo-doo
Oh, I want something just like this
Doo-doo-doo, doo-doo-doo
Doo-doo-doo, doo-doo
Doo-doo-doo, doo-doo-doo

Oh, I want something just like this
I want something just like this

I've been reading books of old
The legends and the myths
The testaments they told
The moon and its eclipse
And Superman unrolls
A suit before he lifts
But I'm not the kind of person that it fits

She said, where'd you wanna go?
How much you wanna risk?
I'm not looking for somebody
With some superhuman gifts
Some superhero
Some fairytale bliss
Just something I can turn to
Somebody I can miss

I want something just like this
I want something just like this

Oh, I want something just like this
Doo-doo-doo, doo-doo-doo
Doo-doo-doo, doo-doo
Doo-doo-doo, doo-doo-doo
Oh, I want something just like this
Doo-doo-doo, doo-doo-doo
Doo-doo-doo, doo-doo
Doo-doo-doo, doo-doo-doo

Where'd you wanna go?
How much you wanna risk?
I'm not looking for somebody
With some superhuman gifts
Some superhero
Some fairytale bliss
Just something I can turn to
Somebody I can kiss
I want something just like this

Oh, I want something just like this
Oh, I want something just like this
Oh, I want something just like this

No I'm not looking for somebody, with some superhuman gifts, some superhero, some fairytale bliss; just something I can turn to, somebody I can miss.

Fairytales can help us see our world, but if looked at the wrong way they can do the opposite. 

It is so true, and yet I forget it so easily. Fairytales have quite a power to draw people away from the real world, and those legends full of heroes, written men, characters. The heroes there are simply characters, they are not real—they are of course a reflection of reality—but there real men are in this world, they are not exactly like those men from stories but they are real. 

Young ladies, we need to be careful not to let those fictional characters steal our hearts away in the pages of their books, their stories, their movies or wherever they are. I have no problem with high expectations, but men are human, people are human, story characters are characters. Humans are not perfect. We are fallible. 

And really do you want a superhero? Jesus is the only superhero earth has ever had, and ever will have, but we can all turn to him, and should place him first.We should not expect men to act as superheroes. Jesus is our superhero. Men should be men. For those of us who are still single, we already have our superhero in Christ, he is "something I can turn to".

Young men, please be men. Strive to follow our hero Jesus, and be men. That is what I suspect most women want deep down, men who can be men. I want something just like this. 

I was put off by the concept of this book at first, but some other people were recommending it so when I spotted it at the library I picked it up and read the back cover and went wow, sounds cool. (And also better than the other two books I was looking at borrowing) But after reading the back cover I just could not put it down, I was intrigued. 


The book is clean (though there are hints at the fact that affairs had happened in the past and hints of romance), there was the expected level of violence for such a book (they are killing a lot of the time) but nothing overly descriptive (except once when there was a lot of blood). Scythe is not written from a chrisatain perspective at all, but it still holds to truths about human nature and that we just cannot be perfect. I enjoyed being able to delve into the themes and perspectives of this book, not of course that I agree with them, but they are what many people believe so it is good to be able to see that this is how other people may see life. To be able to see that humanity cannot ever have a utopia on this earth. And that where there is power there is always corruption. Sure there are some fatal flaws in the worldview, but it still holds truths. Scythe talks about the subjects of death and killing (Obviously) but it is interesting because society usually won't talk about it at all.

The concept was really amazing, and though the technology is not explained (it just works.) I enjoyed it for how far flung and cool it all was. I read it in three days, and that was only because I started it really late one evening. I also really liked the journal entries at the end of chapters, so much foreboding in them, and terrifying thoughts about humanity! I like books that make me think and are also clear on what they think, so even if I don't agree with their thoughts I can still learn from them.

The characters were also petty good. I ended up not liking one who I liked a lot at the beginning, still I could understand why he did what he did, but I was still happy with how his character arc turned out, it was as it had to be, yet not what I expected. The whole thing also tied off nicely and could be a stand alone, though apparently a second book is coming. 



Further notes on the romance: it was kind of unnecessary, it would have worked fine had they been friends. So I kind of imagined it more that way. It also felt like it was put there just to be there. 



It was humourous at times too, in a morbid way. And it makes you realize that living in a 'perfect' stagnant world like the story paints is not something I would want. I am glad for the age of mortality, and that lives can have purpose. But most of all that I have a better answer as to what happens after death than "I don't know."

And so appears yet another tag with an unrelated name, at least it is a pretty name anyway. I am doing this tag thanks to Bonnie, you can check out here blog here, so thanks Bonnie. And yes it was so long ago that I was tagged to do this that it everyone has probably forgotten, like I had until I saw the draft post sitting there getting lonely.

Rules:

1.Thank the person who tagged you
2.Answer their 11 questions
3.Tag 11 people
4.Give them 11 questions to answer

It is things like these rules that put me off tags, because I don't want to tag people if they don't want to do the tag, so if you are reading this you may consider yourself tagged if you so wish. I assume at least 11 people will read this. 

Questions. 

1. If you could change one thing about the past, what would it be? Time travel is complicated, and gets very messed up, and should not be messed with for your own good, and the rest of the worlds. I should know.

2. Which one of your five senses would you give up and live without if you had to? I was going to say smell, but if you lose that you almost lose taste as well, so maybe taste, that way I could eat things I don;t like and I wouldn't care.

3. What is your middle name? L. No actually it does exist, but I usually write is as L. and it is my middle name. 

4. What animal, starting with the first letter of your first name, do you like the most? Chooks, easy, since they are actually one of my favourite animals, in fact I have some eggs in the incubator at the moment and I'm hoping they will hatch so I can have fluffy chickens too!

5. Would you rather have free Wifi everywhere you go or free coffee everywhere you go? If you know me this would be obvious, but free books would be even better. 

6. How do you want to be remembered? As me. I don't really care that much, I guess being remembered is nice, but it won't really matter once I need remembering. Assuming this is after dying remembering. It is also nice when I people remember I exist now too. 

7. Would you rather have a cat with a dog's personality or a dog with a cat's personality? Neither. I am not a dog or cat person. I prefer horses, or chooks (or any poultry). 

8. If you could master one skill you don't currently possess, what would it be? Magic... please..... I honestly don't care what kind of magic, but anything created by Brandon Sanderson or Brent Weeks or Robert Jordan has got to be awesome. But I would even settle for a lesser magic...... realistically, some kind of martial art would be cool.

9. Would you rather fight one hundred duck sized horses or one horse sized duck? Ducks can be nasty, they may not have teeth but once they get hold of you they do not let go, and they will not run away. So duck sized horses sounds really cool. I would catch them and tame them and keep them as pets. 

10. Which are you more likely to fight for: love or money? This is a false dilemma, either or logical fallacy, there are so many other things/reasons you could be fighting for. Like to achieve some goal, because I believed in the reasons. To stay alive. Maybe I would not fight for either of the above. I don't know as I have never had to. 

11. What makes you cry? Late nights..... When my sisters and I stay up and talk and it gets so late that everything becomes funny and I turn into a ball of laughter and tears, and I just can't stop.

These were such weird silly questions that I think I shall leave them here for people to answer if they wish. I would like to specifically tag one person though Jasmine at Where my Wild Heart Grows, you have been tagged. 

Questions Repeated:

1. If you could change one thing about the past, what would it be?
2. Which one of your five senses would you give up and live without if you had to?
3. What is your middle name?
4. What animal, starting with the first letter of your first name, do you like the most?
5. Would you rather have free Wifi everywhere you go or free coffee everywhere you go?
6. How do you want to be remembered?
7. Would you rather have a cat with a dog's personality or a dog with a cat's personality?
8. If you could master one skill you don't currently possess, what would it be?
9. Would you rather fight one hundred duck sized horses or one horse sized duck?
10. Which are you more likely to fight for: love or money?
11. What makes you cry?
It all started because Jane wanted some cool T-Shirts but there were not any we could bet because they were no longer in stock or did not ship to Australia... except maybe for fifty dollars. So I began designing my own. I then had to find somewhere to print them and low and behold you could create your own shop. So I did.


Of course Jane and I went out do do a photo shoot in one of the t-shirts that we got her. Apparently is it comfortable as well as cool. 


We decided that I also need to make another design saying "Trust me I'm a writer, I know exactly what I'm doing." and be very heavy on the sarcasm. If you want to know why you will have to ask Jane.


In case you missed that first link here is another one to my store: https://clare.secure-decoration.com/


Do you like the designs?
Which is your favourite?

Rules:
0.5. Wonder why in the wold it is called the 'Wisteria Writer's Tag' 
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Answer the ten questions asked.
3. Add ten (writing or book related) questions of your own.
4. Nominate people.

So a wisteria is a climbing shrub of the pea family, with hanging clusters of fragrant flowers, typically pale bluish-lilac in colour. Native to eastern Asia and North America. Ornamental varieties are widely grown on walls and pergolas. And it is a plant that has nothing to do with writing unless you count the fact that is smells heavenly and therefore the scent is quite inspiring. It's a pity I can't smell any now.

And to avoid any confusion I must confess that I don't have any photos of wisteria (well actually I may, but I don't remember when I took them and I take have over 1,000 images that I keep each month -don't ask how many I take- and funnily enough I can't find the photos), but I did have that shot of a beautiful smelling purple flowering native plant on hand, so it had to do. Now that the wondering is over I will thank Jane my lovely sister over at Maiden of the Misty Mountains who tagged me. Thanks, Jane.

Now to proceed to the questions she asked.

Questions:

1) What inspired the idea for your current WIP (work in progress), and how long have you had the idea? The Rooglewood Press writing competition.

2) What are you most looking forward to about this WIP? It being finished... well being finished means it is way better than it is now so that would be great. It needs to get a lot better.

3) Have you ever dreamed about your characters? No, I do dream a lot but not usually about my own characters, although I have used things from dreams to inspire parts of stories.

4) How do you go about naming your characters? I take ages, or else I write out a name and it is there. But every name must fit the character and have a meaning that goes with them, meanings are so important for me. My characters names are often short and unusual, I also tend to make a lot up by combining parts of two other names. 

5) Do you plan out your theme? Vaguely. For my current WIP it was easy because they asked that you would use some of or similar themes to the original Snow White story, that is also often what I do with my retellings. My other stories kind of find their theme as they go along.

6) Do you discover the MBTI thing of your characters? (if so, what are the types of your WIP protagonists?) Yes, for my longer works anyway. I never did them with this story but I do know what a few of my main characters are in my other story that I have put aside while working on the Snow White retelling.

This is what Irene my MC gets.











7) Have you a favourite genre to write in? (or do you like switching it up randomly) Fantasy, but I dabble in other genre too, mostly fantasy though, logical magic and world building make a good story for me.

8) What is a big inspiration for you in writing? (a person, book, quote, scenery, ect.) Umm, life. I always have ideas. Someone will just say some word or sentence and I will be whisked off to some shadowy world that I then try and light up. Characters jump out and worlds unfold and I have to pack them all away before anyone notices. And I have to ignore most of them because I can only write one story at a time.

9) Are you competitive in your word counts, or more chill and relaxed? Depends. If there is no chance of me winning then no, I will simply not care. But if I decide I want to win them yes. I do like beating myself though and beating goals and things like that.

10) Do you like sharing small snippets of your work? (*hint hint* :P) No. I will share all or nothing. If you want to beta read something then sure but snippets are my preciousssssss.

As it turns out I was also tagged by Jasmine from Where My Wild Heart Grows, so thanks to her I have more questions to answer..... so here goes.

Le Questions come again:

1) What was the closest time ever your character came to perishing? Well my antagonists goal is simply to kill the MC so quite a few times, and then there was the time she did die..... but spoilers.

2) Was your character close to his/her parents or were they very distant? She does not remember anything about her parents as she was only 2 when they both died.

3) When was the last time your character felt scared? Like they couldn't do anything- helpless! Hmm, when she was poisoned and almost died.

4) What would your character do if they lost the ones they loved/cared for? Not know what to do. Mourn, be tempted to kill someone but probably not go through with it.

5) What are your stories stakes at this moment? The MCs life and then her friends lives then her families lives.

6)  Your Character's friends are all jumping off a dragon. Would your character do it too? There are no Dragons in Elsewhere so this question is an impossibility.

7) The villain has won. What become's of your character(s)? They are dead.

8) What does your character want? Instead, what does he/she actually NEED? She wants to be left alone, but needs to fulfill the bad guys quest, and other things that I also can not mention.  

9) Say your character has a pet, what would it be? Wow, a pet, chooks maybe, I honestly never thought of Niamah with pets. In 'Relinquished' Irene has a pet camel and also kinda has pet goats.  

10) You character needs something done imminently, but they are trapped in a cave. Wait, there is someone on the other side who can help your character! What would your character say to them? I have no idea, I am wondering how they can even speak with someone outside the cave, if they could I think they would ask the person on the outside to help them get out.

There we go, all done. Was I meant to do anything else? Probably. Oh yes, think of more questions and tag people. Well if you are reading this and wish to answer the same questions I did (in a post or in the comments), please do, if not well I don't see how any questions I think up would be much better. I would rather be off editing my story. So consider this post done, or don't but I do, and you can't change that fact. 

As soon as I finished reading this book I sat down and pre-ordered the second, which was finally released today. Unblemished is the first book in a trilogy by Sara Ella. When I first saw the cover I thought it was beautiful, the story fits the cover.

The story begins in a modern world but there are parallel universes and ways to move between them so of course things get complicated. The story is lyrical and magical. I was a bit unsure with the start of it, it felt all horribly contemporary to me but then the strange things started happening and stuff got cool! 

I enjoyed the themes of love and light and dark, Verity and the Void, and the 'reflection' that it has to Christianity. Although love triangles are sometimes nasty this was the best one I have ever read, so pretty good for a love triangle. I really liked how it all worked at the end with the 'magic'. It is central to the plot without the plot being about which one should the girl choose. (thought that is certainly an element) I am still a bit annoyed about some of the things that happened there. But I must say no more.



The magic/gifts/powers some people had were really cool and made sense. It was a page turning story. With some twisty bits at the end but I still had to spend most of the book wondering who was double crossing, and not trusting anyone. The world building was average and fairly simple/normal as far as fantasy books goes, though the magic was interesting, and not exactly the same as anything else I have read. Some people not familiar to the genre may find there is a lot of world building, but in my pov there was not that much. (but I did just finish a Robert Jordan Wheel of Time Book just before reading this one)

There were some cliches that bothered me a bit like the bad guy info dumping as he has the good guy backed into a corner, and just explaining everything. (which happened big time twice) Things also happens so fast at the end that it was a tad confusing but I forced myself to read it all slowly and it does make sense. Though I still have quite a few questions I want answered. At first I thought there would be more allegory, but it did not turn out like that so I suppose it is all in the theme and is not meant to be allegorical.

As far as content goes it was pretty good. There was not really any bad content, obviously there was fantasy kind of violence, and romance/attraction/girl looking at guy way too much. There are also some references to affairs and children born outside of wedlock. Only one this made me a bit uncomfortable and that was the fact that one of the callings/magical abilities is shape-shifting, and when those characters turn back into humans they are described as naked (nothing more).

I had a few other peeves and a lot of questions (but it is the first book in a trilogy so there should be questions.) I was bothered that some elements I thought were significant never turned out to be. Maybe they still could, but maybe I look way to deep into things.

Still I did want to hit the MC over her head every time she went out at night alone or only with one other person....just aaggh, don't put yourself in that position. El narrated the story and she gave the story its own unique/distinctive voice. I liked the musical references and it was nice overall, but I personally would prefer a less modern feel. As I said though, I am waiting excitedly for the next book and I have heard good thing about it from some influence readers!



Have you read Sarah Ella's book?
What is the best book you have read in the last month?



I was so happy when I found this book in our library but now my heart is destroyed. It is written as a prequel to Alice in Wonderland. But it is not quite so mad, which I personally liked as Alice got too weird for me. 

It took me a while to really like the characters, other than Jest, and I did at times wonder why Cath couldn't just get over it and marry the king and be happy. But from the lovely ending (haha) on page 321 the book just tore me to pieces. So if you want a happy ending and all that, do. not. read. a. single. page. past 321.

I eventually realized that I like all the characters and yes I had guessed the plot twist, but it was still good, and well done, and I suspect quite a few people would be surprised by it. The ending was what I expected, except I never expected it to hurt so much. 

Even though I never really liked Alice in Wonderland that much I really enjoyed all the references to it. Now I know why they paint all the white roses red.. oh my heart. And why the Hatter is mad and the raven, and why the queen of hearts is heartless. It is all explained!

This was nothing like Marissa Meyers other books, at all, but it was a good book, still you will probably enjoy it more if you don't expect it to be like her other books. It is something else entirely. The first half of the book was a bit slow, but not the ending. I could not put it down as I read the last third. Also the dreaming stuff was really cool as was the baking. I was also pleased to have the jabberwocky and vorpal sword in there, because that is my favourite piece of Lewis Carroll's writing. 

Content wise, it centers on the romance, or lack thereof between two characters while another two romances go on through the story. (Can't say anymore because spoilers) There is no particularly descriptive violent bits and not that much violence. It is quite odd at times but no where near the level of Wonderland oddness. (a plus for me because that was too weird) There are also three sisters who tell prophecies that in some regards come true

Have you read Heartless or any other Marissa Meyer Books?
What did you think? Do you want to read this one?



I heard of the Snowflake method of plotting from some writer friends and wanted to try it, because before that my poor stories were very, extremely, highly un-plotted. The main one I have been working on for years is a mess. But then I read this book and it inspired me. 

So in case you have not heard of it let me introduce How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method.


This book is amazing. I have never read such a fun writing book before. Sure I have read other good ones but this one was so engaging. The first more than a half is written as a novel in which the main character is being taught how to outline using the Snowflake Method. It is kind of like you as the reader are also sitting in the class and you can go off to do your homework on your story as the main character does.  

To give you a bit of an idea the teacher is called Baby Bear and the main characters name is Goldilocks. There is a main plot line running through the book of Goldilocks wanting to write a story and a secondary plot line as well. I just wanted to keep on reading like it was a novel.

And yes the Snowflake Method, has made me write some kind of outline and I managed to get up to starting step 8.... after that I'm not so sure if all I have is a mess, but it is so much better than what I had before that. And so much less of a random mess, and I know what I am doing now. It was so fun to read through and helpful too, I highly recommend you give this a go and you may even find that is it just right.



See look how ordered does that look! I am so happy right now looking at that. It took me ages to make Scrivener do what I wanted but I knew it had to do it somehow I just had to find out how and an hour or so later I did. Yes I whited out the main parts because spoilers. 

And binary, because I have been looking at it for half the day. No I can't read it, but my sister needed a book cover and I don't use other people's graphics if I can help it (unless they happen to be in public domain or are book covers.) So I spent ages making some binary graphics up. And they look cool, but as far as I know the book covers are secret for now. So you only get to see the binary on the first picture of this post, which is comparison to the cover is quite un-epic. And has nothing to do with snowflakes or my own writing.

Anyone else plotting for camp NaNo?

If you have followed my blog for a while you may remember when I did some fan art for Gillian Bronte Adams fantasy story, and I'm glad to say that today she is guest posting here! In case you have never heard of her here is a little bio, then ill hand it over to Gillian.



Bio: GILLIAN BRONTE ADAMS is a sword-wielding, horse-riding, coffee-loving speculative fiction author from the great state of Texas (America). During the day, she manages the equestrian program at a youth camp. But at night, she kicks off her boots and spurs, pulls out her trusty laptop, and transforms into a novelist. She is the author of Orphan’s Song, book one of the Songkeeper Chronicles, and Out of Darkness Rising. Visit Gillian online at her blog, Twitter, or Facebook page.



Today, we’re looking at the letter G.
G is for Gundhrold
They were coming.
Gundhrold peered into the moonless dark, feathered wings ruffling in the breeze. Distant howls sounded to the beat of thundering hooves and clinking armor. Distant, but rapidly approaching. Foul murderers. His claws dug into the bark of the limb, and dark sap bubbled out of the scratches. A fresh scent hovered around him, strange amidst the eerie screams borne upon the wind, and he studied the russet sap staining his claws like blood.
Writing the prologue of Orphan’s Song (book one) from a non-human perspective was both challenging and fun. Gundhrold is a griffin, which in our world is considered a mythical creature with the body and tawny colored fur of a lion, crowned with the head of an eagle and russet feathered wings. At the opening of
Orphan’s Song, he is already long past his prime, though he would never admit it. Particularly not to the peddler, Amos McElhenny.
In the world of Leira, griffins served the Songkeepers and Songlings as Protectors, and as such, they were ever hunted by the Takhran. It fell to the council of griffins to determine which individuals had received a partial gifting (Songlings) and which had received the full gifting (Songkeepers). In Songkeeper, we learn that one such decision led an angry young man named Rav—brother of the Songling Zahar—to betray the griffins to the Takhran, a deed which led to a horrible tragedy. Now as the last of his kind, the task of protecting the Songkeeper falls to Gundhrold alone.
“For centuries, my kind have served as Protectors for the Songkeepers and for anyone who showed promise of possessing their abilities—Songlings, we called them.” – Songkeeper
By the time the story begins, Gundhrold has lived long enough, traveled wide enough, and endured hardship enough to not suffer fools kindly. He is the king of acerbic wit. Although he is far from human in matters of social niceties, sarcasm is one human habit that he has completely mastered.


One of my favorite parts of writing is when you get to pit vastly different characters together in tough circumstances and see what hilarities ensue. As an author, it’s like having front row seats to a cage match—albeit, generally a comedic one. It’s time to kick back, settle in with a bowl of popcorn, and wait for the fists to fly.
Gundhrold was such a strong personality in and of himself that he needed an equally strong personality to butt heads with, and Amos … well, Amos was the perfect candidate. If you haven’t met Amos McElhenny yet, he’s a traveling peddler with a fierce temper and tongue to match. So—SPOILER ALERT—at the end of Orphan’s Song, throwing Amos and Gundhrold into a do or die mission together was just too good an opportunity to pass up. *evil chuckle*
Gundhrold’s head lowered until his massive beak was only inches away from Amos’s nose. “I am a son of the desert. This was once my home—the home of all my kind. I know every crag, every slope, every crick and hollow—”
Amos rolled his eyes. “Every blatherin’ speck o’ sand?”
“I know where I’m going. Don’t interfere.” The griffin padded off, broken wing still trailing the ground, leaving Amos racking his brain for a suitable insult for the … the … insufferable beast.
Needless to say, much hilarity (and fist throwing) ensued …
Gundhrold is fierce in battle. Not at all the sort to trifle with. But beneath his ferocity and rigid exterior, he hides a heart that beats with the truest affection for those under his care. He will fight to the death for those that he seeks to protect.
Gundhrold bared his teeth. This was death. This was the end. And he would meet it with all the fury in his soul and wake in Emhran’s land to greet the dawn.


Songkeeper Blurb: War ravages Leira and the Song has fallen silent.
Freed from the hold of a slave ship, Birdie, the young Songkeeper, and Ky, a street-wise thief, emerge to a world at war. Hordes of dark soldiers march across Leira, shadowed by whispers of plague and massacres, prompting Ky to return to his besieged home city in hopes of leading his fellow runners to safety.
Desperate to end the fighting, Birdie embarks on a dangerous mission into the heart of the Takhran’s fortress. Legend speaks of a mythical spring buried within and the Songkeeper who will one day unleash it to achieve victory. Everyone believes Birdie is the one, but the elusive nature of the Song and rumors of other gifted individuals lead her to doubt her role. Unleashing the spring could defeat the Takhran once and for all, but can she truly be the Songkeeper when the Song no longer answers her call?

Check out the links below for a place to purchase the books.
Barnes and Nobles: Orphan’s Song, Songkeeper


And before you leave, don’t forget to enter the giveaway! One lucky winner will take home a copy of Orphan’s Song,  Songkeeper, and a gorgeous handmade mug. Two lucky winners will take home copies of Songkeeper! Enter through the Rafflecopter below and be sure to visit www.gillianbronteadams.com to continue following the blog tour. You can earn new entries for each post that you visit along the way. Winners will be announced after April 15th.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you encountered a griffin in a fantasy book/movie before? What is your favorite type of mythological creature?


It has been requested of me to share some more of my blackout art. So here it is, these got  a lot more arty than the first one I did. The umbrella design is one I found another place and copied the idea but what the picture says is of course of my own creation. 


Yes I have a bible that I rescued at the book fair from going to the tip and yes I do use it for craft, and yes I do feel terrible every time I cut a piece out of it and yes it was even worse cutting a page out it it, but also very effective!


I really like how you can add so much by taking away. It is so fun to change what the paper says into something completely different. 

These other pictures that contain people were first sketched from a photos of people I found online but I generally looked at a page and then knew just what picture I needed to find and put on it. 


 The wind idea also came off another persons blackout poetry art piece. I liked it, so I flicked through the pages of the falling apart poetry book I have used for some of these pieces until I found a page with the word 'wind' on it. It turned into this. 

This one was fun. My parents thought I might die from the smell of the permanent markers. It was quite different removing everything else and making the white/blank parts what was there. I also did not intend to make the lady quite so thin, but I forgot that the outline was more like an inline since not the outside of the line but the inside would become the outside. (Sorry if that confused you)


This last one is my favourite though. I saw the words "THE ELDERLY GENTLEMAN" and some of the other words on the page that I have brought out in the image, and I knew instantly what I wanted it too look like. The problem was I couldn't find a photo of an old man with a stick in the position I imagined. Eventually I found one that I could flip and then sketch from. Resulting in this. 


 Do you sketch?
Do you like playing with words?
Have you ever tried any blackout poetry?