Tuesday, October 18, 2016

NaNoWriMo - Prep

I have decided to try out NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and see where it takes me. I tried it last year, but I didn't get a whole lot done. I have problems with finishing projects. *sigh*
But this November I WILL complete my WIP and shake my fist at procrastination! I've already written around 35,000 words, so 15,000 more can't be that hard...right?
I have only finished one writing project longer then 10,000 words which ended up being 20,000 ish words. So this is a heftier project.
I will prevail!
Anyway...my weakness is outlining. I'm a natural pantser, but I have to write a thorough outline or else my ideas and plans start spider-webbing with no end in sight. If you're familiar with the Myers-Briggs personality types, I'm an INFP which means I am not what you would call organized or structured. Plus I'm extremely right-brained which kinda means my brain does little multi-colored explosions that send sparkly unicorns prancing toward new shiny ideas...ideas which they eat up and then run wildly in all directions.
So as I prepare, I am refining my outline and trying to stay inspired. Oh yes, and saying no to tempting new concepts that smell like cinnamon rolls and bacon.
I've been rummaging through NaNo's forums and I see that people are making lists of things they need to do before and during November. Lists...hmmm...remind me what those are again? They sound...practical. And they don't smell like cinnamon rolls and bacon. They smell like...new shoes. *eyes them skeptically*
We'll see how this goes.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Book Review

A Time to Rise by Nadine Brandes 

A Time to Speak: *Parvin dies*
A Time to Rise: *JUST KIDDING*

Okay, so Parvin is back with God guiding her steps. She literally came up from the grave because He wasn't done with her yet.
I love how much Parvin has grown throughout the series and though she has changed a lot since book 1, it hasn't been unrealistic. I loved her confidence in the Lord. It's amazing how when we let go of our own desires to serve God, He gives us the boldness to walk in His path. Parvin was definitely more bold, but not cocky. Spiritual boldness is much different then arrogance. In fact, it's quite the opposite, for to be truly confident in God, you must surrender your pride. I really enjoyed that message throughout the book.
The plot was riveting and not at all what I predicted. in some ways I liked that, but in my Skelly Chase predictions, I wasn't as satisfied. Lots of plot twists, surprises, and awesome moments.
Of course, just like the previous 2 books, the action was none stop and yet somehow Nadine managed to fit in character development, humor, sweet moments, and little things that really glued the book together.
Nadine's writing has improved and I really felt myself drawn into Parvin's world even more so then the first one.

Violence: shooting, beating, a dog attack in which everyone ends up okay. There are also some moments where a character deals with violent thoughts (said character couldn't help it).
Language: zero
Romance: one quick kiss. Can I just say, even though there was a love story, Nadine didn't feel the need to revolve the book around their relationship. It's hard to find a young adult book where the romance is clean, crisp, and cute without it becoming the center of the characters story. It was refreshing.

Over all, A Time to Rise was a great ending to the Out of Time series, and I look forward to more of Nadine Brandes' work in the future!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Cover Reveal - Lady Dragon, Tela Du

Lady Dragon, Tela Du (The Rizkaland Legends Book 2) has revealed its' official face!
I know this post is super duper late, and I'm sure you've all seen the pretty new cover for Kendra E. Ardnek's upcoming book, Lady Dragon, Tela Du, but I thought I'd also share some fan art for it.

                                                      Here's some mock cover art:

And here is my personal favorite couple in the series who, if you've read the first book,  Water Princess, Fire Prince, you have already met, Amber and Granite. At the time, I was reading about their younger days when life for them was carefree and joy-filled, so I had to draw it.*sniff sniff*

But now! If you haven't seen the official cover, here it is for you to gaze upon and admire:


Two girls with one face
Two girls with twisted fate
One in purple, one in red
One shall speak the other’s death
Who shall win their final war?
Lady Dragon or Tela Du?

Amber, the Lady Dragon, has been promised a fifty-year reign over Rizkaland and nothing can stop her from claiming it. But when you've lived six thousand years, fifty is such a pitiful number. Only one person can keep her from making this reign permanent - the Tela Du, a girl who shall share Amber's face.

The last thing Petra wants is a magical world interrupting her plans for a normal life, let alone an ultimate battle against the Lady Dragon with only one prophesied survivor. She has her childhood best friend, Reuben, at her side, but she's not sure if he's more of a help or a hindrance right now. Though she'd much prefer to just return home and forget about this whole crazy affair, things change when she discovers that the world has surprising connections to her own family - including her sister who disappeared without a trace two years before. Still, Rizkaland can't possibly expect her to risk her very life, can it? 

Now, go pre-order it, and look forward to some awesome characters, world building, and action!

~About the author~

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. 


Official Website:

Add to Goodreads:

Preorder Book:

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Five Magic Spindles: Classic Stories Retold

 I have been reading Five Magic Spindles and so far this collection of fairytales has been absolutely riveting! Dragons, ghosts, cowboys, you name it!
If you enjoy old fairy tales with creative twists, then pick up a copy only today for $0.99!



Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Book Review: Samara's Peril

29725491When news comes that Emperor Daican has been discussing war plans with his war strategist, the resistance in Landale organize a covert mission to find out more information. What they discover is more than just information regarding the threats to Samara. With impending war following close behind, they travel to Samara to warn the king.
Amidst war plans and gathering the numbers to come against the emperor's powerful army, Jace struggles to find footing in the battle of his heart. The weight of the past, and the fear of making mistakes overwhelms his confidence in Elom's redeeming power. But when he encounters a missing piece to his past and begins to understand more deeply the strength of Elom's love, he faces the coming hardships and sacrifices with new boldness.

After a year of waiting for this book, I was finally able to read it and I enjoyed pretty much every minute of it. There were some areas that I skimmed over that weren't as well written, but the characters made up for that. For me, the characters are what brighten a story. If a plot is bland or the writing cheesy, but the characters are dynamic and colorful, I will most likely enjoy the book. Jaye L. Knight does such a fantastic job writing her characters and she amazes me with how many people she can fit into a book and make me feel like I know all of them. Her main characters are so amazing and real that I want to cry when they cry, laugh when they laugh.
Also, world building? While most of it is classic medieval fantasy with castles and dragons, she explores the more cultural side of the land and people. All the different races have different traditions, attire, history, legends, weaknesses, strengths, etc. I found this side of development very interesting.
The action is well paced and kept me clued to the pages.
The dragons fights. EPIC. 
Am I just getting more emotional as I get older, or are books all of the sudden more emotionally engaging these days? Goodness, so much turmoil in the heart, mind, soul. Prepare to be torn apart over the character's struggles.
I loved the theme of the power of Jesus' blood. We do not need to clean our lives up to come to Him. There is never a time when we are too dirty with sin to be accepted. With repentance and faith, God will wipe away every stain. He will wash us. He will make us clean in the eyes of the Father. And He will welcome us with open arms.

Things to be aware of:

Violence: battle scenes, some torture, blood from injuries and wounds. It's not described in detail, so it's not overly gruesome. I thought it was well-painted.
Intimacy: There is a mild kiss or two. There is an unsavory character where it is implied that he does not have good intentions toward a female character. Threats are discussed, but it is handled very tastefully and justly.

I would recommend this book for ages 13 and up, but perhaps younger, it all depends on the maturity of the reader! :)

Now for some fan art! Some of these I never finished, but I'll go ahead and put them up.

This one is Jace and Kyrin on a hunting expedition of some kind.

This is an unfinished sketch of Kyrin. I was super inspired to start, but as the book went on there were so many better scenes that I wanted to draw and I couldn't keep up with that many projects. I have more fan art, but I wanted to save them for the fan art contest coming up: Ilyon Chronicles Fan Art Contest
And lastly we have a rough depiction of Kyrin remembering her father.

Hope you enjoyed!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Book Review: A Branch of Silver, a Branch of Gold

https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1458303822l/29546496.jpgWowzers. I am pretty sure I burned calories reading this book. It was so intense.

Heloise, a spunky peasant girl lives a regular life full of routine and predictable events. But when she wakes up on the morning of her 14th birthday, everything changes. She suddenly finds herself whisked away on a frightening adventure where she discovers a doorway into a different world. A world which somehow holds power over her and her loved ones. When her sister, Evette, disappears during an enchanted dance, it takes all of Heloise's strength and courage to find her, even when her own family denies Evette's very existence. Despite all the questions regarding Heloise's sanity, she seeks the reasons behind the disappearance and unearths a terrible curse. With the help of an apologetic son of the Marquis, Heloise navigates her way though the Faerie realm and endeavors to break the curse which has enslaved hers and generations of forgotten sisters.

I started reading this in the evening and once I got started, it was impossible to put it down. Even when I had to eat dinner with my family, my mind was not in the present world, but in the world of Goldstone Wood. The story was a balance of colorful personality, clever humor, and eerie terror. It is a tale of bravery! Of Sacrifice! It is also a tale of immortality; even though our bodies die, our souls live on.
There were a few moments where it dragged and I skimmed a little bit, but even the slow parts were so beautifully written that, if you had the patience, you would enjoy it if just for the pure art of it.
It was a bit dark and gruesome at some points, and sometimes just generally creepy. So keep that in mind if you are sensitive to the dark side. ;P

If you've read Twelve Dancing Princesses, then you will see slivers of the classic story weaved creatively into this amazingly strange book.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Book Review: Monster in the Hollows

Oh my heart...I didn't think after reading it's preceding volume (North! Or Be Eaten) I could get as stressed, anxious, and frustrated as before. All of this in a good way, of course. Who likes a book with no tension? Well, let me tell you, this one's loaded with it.

The Wingfeathers take refuge on Nia's homeland, the Green Hollows, and find safety from monsters, traitors, fangs, and all the evils Gnang the Nameless sent after them...Or so they thought.
When they step foot on shore and the Hollows folk see a grey fang among them, the people forget they are in the presence of the Queen and Jewels and Anniera.
After much deliberation and outrage, things calm down enough to let Kalmar pass through the town unscathed. After the children are enrolled in school, Janner and Kalmar endure a whole lot of bullying, and Janner often wishes he doesn't have to be a throne warden so he could just be a normal boy. What takes him a while to realize is that Kalmar has the hardest time of it. In addition to constant condemnation, he also bares the weight of his own guilt.
As time goes one, the Wingfeather children are slowly left alone and start to be seen as normal kids. But things start taking a turn when a cloven, a dangerous monster from the deeps of the forest, appears. The patrol injure it and it disappears into the forest.
When farmers start noticing their livestock is growing smaller in number, suspicions rise. A discovery is made and accusations come flying at Kalmar and the Wingfeathers. After things escalate, everything explodes with treachery, irrational fear, violence, fangs, and all sorts of evil that the Hollows folk always thought they were so good at preventing. What they don't realize was that they let their own fear of Gnang the Nameless dictate their conscience. It takes great loss for them to come to their senses.
Through the loss however, the Wingfeathers make one giant discovery that changes the course of the conflict.

 I was so worried, especially starting at the last half. Some parts I cheered, other parts I growled, and still others I cried. None of this was because I didn't like it or because it was poorly written. On the contrary, it was so well done that I felt like I was there during the anger, sadness, and triumph. Mr. Peterson did an amazing job building his characters and taking me by surprise with plot twists and unexpected turns of events. I don't get attached to characters very quickly, but this series left me staring at the books, unsure what to do with my life now that I no longer have those fictional people with me.

PROS: Everything. Characters, writing, world building, emotion, action, adventure, plot building, the list goes on.
CONS: There is some violence, and it can be a bit dark in some moments and scary for younger kids.

I look forward to reading the next (and last) book in the series!