Aesthetically Pleasing Book Tag // Book Photo Shoot!

Hello guys! Just a short post for today, but it was so much fun to do. 😀 I saw this tag a while ago and thought it looked like a fun photo-op. These are all pictures I took and edited using Pixlr. I hope you like them! 🙂

~ Best Color Combo On A Book Cover

I know I’ve gushed over this cover before, but I have to do it again because it’s just so PRETTY. The colors of maroon, gray, and white look just lovely together and the detail work is so neat and intricate.

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~ Best Typography/Font On A Book Cover

I love, love, love the title font! It’s so swirly and curly and the contrast with the author’s name is really well put. ❤

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~ Best Simple Cover

I’ve had this book since forever. I remember really sympathizing with the MC, who’s a homeschooled girl. 😄 Story aside, the cover is stunningly simple and so delightful! ❤

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~ Best Endpages

Okay, so, this is the hardcover edition of Winter. And all the rest of the books I own in the series are paperback. Naturally, this very much annoys my OCD tendencies, but I think I can live with it, considering how cool the endpages are. 😀

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~ Best Map

I loooove maps in fantasy books. And this one is no exception. The world of Six of Crows is so cool and we get to see a lot about the culture of each place. And, you know, the sea creatures lurking in the water is an added bonus. 😄

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~ Best Naked Hardback

Even though I didn’t enjoy Illuminae as much as I thought I would, I have to give credit where it’s due. This is an AWESOME cover. The dust jacket is suuuuper shiny, which was a bit troublesome during the picture-taking, but it looks really cool with or without it.

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~ Best Back Cover

I picked up this book at a local bookstore…I maaay have just bought it because of the pretty cover. I know, shallow, but it can’t be helped. In this case, I think I like the back cover a smidgen more than the front, if only because of the abundance of time-like words. 😀

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~ Best Chapter Headers

These headers aren’t the fanciest by any means, but I love them anyway. I adore cogs and clockwork and the like, and it’s just so pretty and simple. I love me some steampunk! 😉

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~ Best Illustrations

This is another book I may have bought purely for the cover. Although I didn’t particularly enjoy the story too much, the illustrations are EPIC. All actiony and stuff. 😄 And yes, that is a Loki staff necklace and a mini replica of Thor’s hammer. I am quite proud of them. 😀

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~ Best Spine

This book is MASSIVE. But I still love it so much. The spine is so nice and smooth and the font is twirly and fun. And it has that nice, buttery feel to it, so that’s a plus.

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~ Favorite Cover On Your Shelves

Yes, I came back to Six of Crows. What can I say? IT’S SUCH A COOL COVER. The way the crow’s wing melts into the city, creating an illusion… I LOVE it.

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There we go! Wow, it was so much fun taking those pictures! I loved experimenting with props and such. 🙂 Do you have any favorite book covers? Let me know down below!

until-next-time-1

 

The Blizzard of Westchester

February Fantasy Month Banner

Hello bloggers! Today, I have for a story I whipped up for Jenelle’s Fantasy is February Month short story challenge! (It’s a bit late, but that’s okay, right?) I wrote it in about an hour or two, so it probably won’t be amazing, but I hope you enjoy! ❤

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“I am in no way under any obligation to make sense to you.”

Isidora spun her goblet of grape juice, watching it swirl in a tornado of purple. She was sick of dealing with these men and would much rather have called it quits for the day.

“But Isi, we need-”

Don’t…” Isidora’s eyes glared bright with anger, “call me Isi.”

The man dipped his head in acquiescence and tried again. “Isidora, highness, don’t you think we should be doing something about this coming storm?”

“Frederick makes a valid point, highness,” Kiernan put in quickly. “The white is closing in and snow is imminent.”

Isidora cast her eyes to look out one of the long, colored-glass windows lining the great feasting hall. The snow was coming down gently now, but she knew without a doubt that it would only get worse the longer she waited.

“I made myself quite clear, gentlemen,” she said with a sigh. “We shall wait for Felix to come, then sort out the matter. Then and only then.”

The men said nothing for a moment, each too afraid to speak, instead, staring disinterestedly at their plates of turkey and corn mush.

Isidora stood. “I’m tired now, and I will be retiring to my room. You are all free to stay and finishing supping in the dining hall.” She set down her half-drunk glass of juice and stepped lightly from the room.

When she reached her rooms, she quietly bolted the door shut, fell onto her bed, and started to cry.

Why couldn’t the men see? Felix would fix everything. It didn’t matter that he’d been out traveling for some months. When he got wind of the storm brewing, which he surely will, he would come home.

But a little voice in Isidora’s heart told her that wasn’t true. Why after all this time would he come back so suddenly? Despair ate away at any hope that was left.

What if Felix was lost? Or, worse yet, caught in the storm, never to be seen or heard from again? She had no desire to wear her black mourning gown.

Not again.

A small knock sounded on the door. Isidora sat up, hastily wiping her tear-stained cheeks, and hurried to pull the door open.

In the entrance was Ferdinand.

“Isidora? I need to have a word with you. I’m terribly sorry for…disturbing you,” he said, noting her red cheeks.

“No, no,” Isidora said, trying to sound casual. “It’s fine. I’ll meet you in the library.” She turned to her desk, but paused. Turning around she eyed Ferdinand. “It is just the two of us, right?”

Ferdinand looked a bit unsettled, but nodded all the same. “Yes, yes, of course. I could tell you were getting upset by all the men.”

Isidora nodded and hurried to powder her face. She hardly wanted Ferdinand to think she’d only gone to her rooms to cry. Which, she supposed she had, but that was beside the point.

Walking briskly down the halls, she soon reached the massive doors of the library. She tugged them open and saw Ferdinand, back to her, staring out the window. He turned when he heard the doors open. “Hello.”

Isidora nodded and strode up to him. “What was it you wanted?”

Ferdinand nodded his head, as if that answered the question. After a moment he spoke. “We’ve had word from Heimberg.”

Isidora’s eyes widened. Felix was supposedly in Heimberg. “What is it?”

Ferdinand didn’t speak for a moment, then looked fiercely up at Isidora. “Heimberg is snowed in.”

For a moment, Isidora said nothing, too stunned to comprehend what Ferdinand had said. She swallowed.

“Felix…Felix is in Heimberg.” Her voice quavered, try as she might to control herself. I’m not crying in front of Ferdinand again.

For the first time that night, Isidora noticed the bags under Ferdinand’s eyes. He had evidently known this for some time, which made Isidora worry all the more.

“If Felix is really in Heimberg,” Ferdinand said with a tired sigh, “then he is stuck there. For how long, I don’t know.”

A biting wind rattled the glass of the window, causing Isidora to step back in surprise. The storm had started brewing.

Isidora crept toward the window, feeling the icy glass under her hand. But it wasn’t like any cold she’d ever felt. Where the warmth of her hand would’ve melted a patch of ice away, instead only succeeded in sending a chill up her spine. She wrenched her hand away.

“This is like no other blizzard, Isidora,” Ferdinand said, coming up beside her. “It is the work of dark magic.”

A sharp rap at the door sent Ferdinand rushing to open it. A footman stood in the entrance.

“Yes?”

“Our scouts have found something…” The footman hesitated. “Someone.”

Ferdinand glanced back at Isidora, awaiting her command. But Isidora had no desire to figure out what to do about the situation. “Who is this stranger?”

“No stranger, I’m afraid, highness,” the footman said, shuffling his feet. “It’s Felix.”

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Isidora was at the entrance to the castle in a matter of moments, with all the men trailing her. She poked her head out one of the windows lining the room and saw in the distance a group of men plodding toward the castle.

“Bring him in immediately,” Isidora stated firmly, not dragging her gaze from the little party.

“Yes, highness,” the men replied, gathering their cloaks and rushing out into the unearthly storm.

Isidora watched and waited, her heart thumping violently in her chest. There was so much she wanted to say. So much she didn’t understand.

Felix had told her he must be away on a business venture, but when he hadn’t returned in the a week’s time, she had known something was very, very wrong.

The letters had stopped coming, people in the neighboring kingdoms hadn’t seen him for considerable amounts of time, and so, Felix had been presumed missing.

Isidora had known in her heart that wasn’t so. Felix wouldn’t leave her to fend for herself. He was still out there. Somewhere.

And now here he was, fast approaching the castle doors.

The wide French doors blew open with a wintry gust, and in stepped four men, all protectively surrounding Felix, who was half-blue and shivering.

Isidora flew into action.

“Get him some hot broth! And a blanket! And perhaps some dry clothes, too.” She tried to shove past the scouts to get to Felix, but they shoved her back.

“Felix has told us not to come near him, highness,” one of them said stoutly.

Isidora pursed her lips. “He is in no condition to make any sort of decision for himself. Step aside.”

Just then, a forceful gust of air burst through the windows, shattering the glass, letting in the biting cold air. Shouts arose as the wind took shape, forming into a swirling tornado of snow.

Eyes wide, mouth hanging, Isidora stared at the wind. She glanced back at Felix, who was backing farther and farther away, fear in his eyes.

“This kingdom belongs to winter,” a deep, echoing voice said. “And I shall be the one to claim it.” The voice was coming from within the swirling tempest. Isidora tripped on her skirt, backing up against the wall. A frostiness had entered her veins, leaving her frozen in place.

She felt an icy hand grip her shoulder, and saw that it was Felix. He was staring up at the wind, though he didn’t look as fearful as before.

“Isi,” he said, his voice quivering from cold. “I need you to get down. This tornado is dangerous.”

Isidora nodded numbly, unsure of what she had just heard. Nonetheless, she slowly lowered herself to the ground. Felix remained upright and pushed himself toward the storm.

“Coldspawn!” he shouted into the wind. “You’re not welcome here!”

“I will rule this kingdom and call it my own,” the chilling voice hissed. “And from then on, I will be known as the Blizzard of Westchester!”

Felix took a dizzy step back. Isidora remembered the feel of his hand on her shoulder. He was freezing cold. A thought sprang to mind. Felix is freezing to death.

Rising to her feet, Isidora called for order. The commotion of the guards and men died down, and she spoke.

“We all need to huddle together to get Felix warm!”

The men stood in stunned silence.

“Well?” Isidora exclaimed. “I’ve finally made a decision. Make it so!”

And so, all of the people in the room grabbed each others’ arms and flocked together, until they formed one giant group of people, all huddled around Felix’s shivering body.

The warmth of their togetherness spread through the room like a physical thing.

Felix’s voice rose from above the storm. “Leave, Coldspawn. You have no power here.”

A hideous screeching sound shocked everyone’s eardrums, and then the storm receded. Frigid silence filled the room, all of the people stood, too afraid to move away from their group of safety.

Isidora finally shoved through the people, dragging Felix along with her. Holding his hand was like holding an ice cube. “What have you gotten yourself into?” she said, looking up at her brother.

Felix shook his head, shivering. “I…It’s just my luck, I guess. I ran into an angry wizard and he cursed me with a blizzard hanging above my head.” His voice shook and his lips were blue. “I didn’t want to come home like this. But I also didn’t know what to do. I was too weak to think.”

Isidora wrapped her brother in a hug, trying to rub some warmth back into him. “I was so worried about you. What were you doing in Heimberg?”

“I was seeing the healer there, to see if he could cure me. But he sent me away because I was causing to much damage to the kingdom.”

Isidora sighed. “I never want you out of my sight again. Come on, we’re getting you into bed with a warm blanket and some chicken broth.”

“Oh, Isi, I’m sure it’s not been all bad. Ferdinand has to have taken good care of you, right?”

Isidora stared up at Felix’s cold blue eyes. Mischief shone bright in them. “You’re still Felix, to be sure,” she said in relief.

After Felix was comfortably settled in bed, Isidora sat by the blazing hearth in his room and stared out the window. Snow was falling gently now, and the moonlight made it appear glittery on the hills.

“He won’t stay away forever.”

Isidora turned to her brother. “What?”

“Coldspawn,” Felix said. “He won’t stay away for long. He’ll be back.”

A rap sounded on the door and then Ferdinand walked in. He bowed to Felix and then Isidora.

“I need a word with you both,” he said, striding up to Isidora and taking her hand. He kissed it gently.

All cold vanished from her as the warmth of Ferdinand’s touch filled her whole body. She glanced at Felix and saw he was politely looking away, yet still smiling with an inane grin on his face.

“What did you need?” Isidora said calmly, since clearly Felix was not going to speak for the both of them.

“The blizzard has moved from Westchester to Rouxley. The people are in distress.”

Felix sat up at this. “This is my fault. We need to stop him.”

Isidora nodded. “As soon as you’re better, of course.”

“I won’t be able to wait,” Felix said with a weak smile. “But I won’t be going alone this time.”

“Thank goodness for that,” Isidora said smiling back.

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Well, there it is. If you managed to read through the whole thing, you deserve cake, honestly. And if you enjoyed it, you get cake and ice cream. 😉 Comment down below what you thought of it. And tell me, are you working on any fantasy stories?

until-next-time-1

 

My Favorite Fantasy Couples // A Shout-Out List

couples-of-fantasy

It’s Valentine’s time! (If a little late, but shh that doesn’t matter) And, of course, now is the prefect time to gush over share my favorite fictional couples. So, fitting in with the theme of February is Fantasy Month, I have a list of no less than 24 of my favorite fantasy couples.

{WARNING: There are moderate to severe spoilers ahead, so proceed with caution. Or if you’re into that kind of thing, read with reckless abandon. Which ever you prefer.}

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Cinder + Kai

From the first chapter, I knew that this was going to be one of my favorite couples ever. And I was not wrong! These two are so ADORABLE together!! I’ve found that couples who can banter wittily back and forth with each other are my absolute favorite kinds of couples. Cinder and Kai nail that aspect, to be sure. 😄

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Scarlet + Wolf

This is one of those mushy-gushy couples that kinda make you want to throw up a little, but, in a good way, you know? Wolf is just such an over-protective little wolf pup and Scarlet pretends she hates it when she actually doesn’t and they’re basically SO CUTE.

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Cress+ Thorne

Ah, yes, my favorite couple in the Lunar Chronicles. Thorne is the epitome of the bad boy, space adventurer, aka, Han Solo. Cress is a spunky, not-quite-as-fragile-as-you’d-think, yet she still manages to be totally adorkable and lovable. It takes a bit longer for Throne to see that Cress is what he needs in life because, obviously. But they’re definitely high on the list of best fictional couples.

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Winter + Jacin

Winter is such a tortured little thing, and I can’t imagine a better person for her than Jacin Clay. He’s such a rock-solid, no emotion, kind of guy (for actual, legitimate safety reasons), and Winter is…Winter. Impulsive, cheeky, and adorable. They’re like polar opposites, but clearly opposites attract in this instance.

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Ella + Char

My first ever ship. I read this when I was like 9 or 10 and I remember thinking ‘Will Char just propose to her already?’ Of course, this arrangement gets mess up, leaving me an angry heap. Things work out though, and they’re eventually together, after much frustration and secret-keeping. And even though I love the movie adaption, I still think the romance is better told in the book. They left out a lot of little touches that just make it so much more cute, in my opinion.

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Alice + Jonathan

We don’t really get to see much interaction between these two, but I still think they’re adorable together for the, like, 10 pages we see them together. *nods*

Anna/Hannah + Lockwood

Oh, how do I begin to explain? I suppose I’ll just have to sum up. Lockwood is the most awesome pilot to ever grace the pages (well, except for maybe Carswell Thorne…maybe…) He pretty much pretends to have no emotions, and then along comes Anna, and…well, things change obviously. She’s not enticed with his fake charm, and instead actually gets him to open up. And the result is SO CUTE.

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Liddi+ Tiav

Lesser known book that I just read, but I LOVED. Not just for the great story, but obviously for Liddi and Tiav’s amazing relationship. And trust me, it’s amazing when a girl can’t even say two words to this guy and they still manage to be the cutest couple. Communication is clearly not a problem here!

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Wilhelmina + Engelbert

We see more of Mina and Etzel’s relationship in the second book, where they’re running a successful coffeehouse together. At first, I wasn’t sure how I liked them together. But the more I read and saw how much Etzel respected Mina (and surprisingly too, because it’s in older times and generally women don’t get respected like that), I started shipping them. Hopefully it’s a relationship to last. I can’t say what Mr. Lawhead will do with them. *nervousness*

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Rose Red + Lionheart

This is the classic, guy-doesn’t-know-if-he-should-go-with-girl-but-girl-is-lonely-and desperately-loves-guy-but-guy-also-loves-girl-but-is-so-flighty-and-indecisive-that-he-ends-up-running-away-and-leaving-her-to-her-lonely-self. Um…okay, so maybe that’s not classic, but such is the case. Lionheart does make amends, though, and lucky for him. I might’ve had to shake him half to death and demand he return to Rose Red if he hadn’t. 😄

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Imraldera + Eanrin

SNARKY COUPLE. I loves them. Sarcasm literally oozes from Eanrin, while Imraldera tries to beat any kind of sense into him (which doesn’t work, by the way). Also, Eanrin is a cat half the time, which could explain his I-couldn’t-care-less attitudes. They’re totally amazing together, in short.

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Ginger + Halcyon

So, technically, Hal is half-cat, which…I suppose makes things a bit strange, BUT THEY’RE JUST SO PERFECT TOGETHER. They’re both sarcastic, which is a total win in my eyes, and they both are so headstrong, they basically try to out headstrong themselves, which doesn’t usually end well for either participant, but it’s okay because they care too much for each other. They’re perfect. Now, if only there was someone for Azrael…

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Catherine + Jest

They both share an affinity for food, which is definitely taking great strides and leaps to a great relationship, in my opinion. Catherine is perhaps a bit whiny and needy, but Jest is amazing, so it’s okay. And perhaps if they had had the time to actually get to KNOW EACH OTHER, Cath could’ve grown a back-bone. BUT NOPE. THAT’S NOT WHAT HAPPENED. AT ALL.

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Inej + Kaz

This is one of those romances that I wish would’ve been just a touch more fleshed out. I mean, we’ve come to the hand-holding stage by the end of the duology. What. KAZ YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO PROFESS YOUR LOVE FOR HER WHAT ARE YOU DOING. Ahem, anywho…They’re still so cute together. I’m not complaining. Much.

Nina + Matthias

This relationship is so…how shall I put it? SAD. No, no, something nicer, maybe…DEVASTATING. All kidding aside, they’re pretty adorable. ❤ Except for that thing that happened. The thing that kinda ruined everything and crushed my heart. But anyway, it’s totally true love if he gets you a box of chocolate cookies to help you get through withdrawals and he knows just the ones you like. Just saying.

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Drusilla + Frederick

At first, I really thought Frederick was a jerk, but I soon found that he was just a poor misguided soul that needed someone like Drusilla to steer him right. And now they’re an adorable couple! Yay! 😀

Rosalind + Marius

The first time I read this story, I didn’t know how I liked their relationship. BUT NOW IT’S MY FAVORITE. *aggressively ships* Couples who constantly try to out wit each other are my favorite.

Evelyn + Henry

This is just such a sweet, gentle romance. I immediately loved Henry from the start and my love only grew the longer I read. And when he met Evelyn for the first time? *sighs happily*

Alis + Auguste

Auguste was by far my favorite character in this story, so it would make sense that I was rooting him and Alis the entire time. Even if they couldn’t see it right from the start, they were clearly meant for each other. 🙂

Elsa + Karl

I only got a very small taste of what their relationship could be. But I definitely liked what I saw! They each have such big dreams and they’re both so passionate, and I just really need to read The Battle of Castle Nebula now…

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Cecilia + Pepin

YES. THIS COUPLE. GAH, I LOVE IT SO MUCH. *smiles dreamily* So what if maybe halfway into the story I suddenly felt the urge to slap Pepin really hard? THEY’RE SO CUTE TOGETHER SO IT DOESN’T MATTER…Right?

Bet + Corwin

I just really appreciate this couple. A lot. Bet is so plucky and energetic, and Corwin is…well, he’s more laid-back, cautious. And given the circumstances, I’m very glad he’s cautious and overprotective of Bet. They’re wonderful together. ❤

Karyna + Barend

Karyna is the sweetest thing in the world. And Barend is…not. BUT IT DOESN’T MATTER. Barend is literally a half-bear, but Karyna loves him anyway and I just really love that they love each other, you know?

Bellenya + Ritter

I did NOT see this coming, honestly. It was hinted at a little by a few flashbacks from childhood, but I was not expecting it. They’re super adorable together though. Ritter is the best of ever and I just love him and Bellenya together.

Phew, that’s my parade of couples! It’s probably a jargled mess of nonsensical raving, but oh well. 😄 Do you have any favorite fictional couples? And how was your Valentines day? Let me know down below!

P.S. Question: how many times did I use the words together, adorable, and love? Answer: too many. 😄until-next-time-1

Life Lessons Learned From Fantasy Tag

February Fantasy Month Banner

Hello bloggers! Sorry for the slight hiatus; life matters got in the way, but I’m back with a tag! Jenelle very recently tagged me to do this, and since it’s February is Fantasy month, I thought it would be the perfect thing to do!

Here’s the rules:

1. Link back to my blog

2. Use the image above

3. Tell us 5-10 lessons you’ve learned from reading a fantasy book (or watching a fantasy movie) – lessons can come from multiple sources, as well, of course

4. Tag 2-4 other bloggers to keep the game going

Let’s begin!

~

 

The Tales of Goldstone Wood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl7069751

This is probably my favorite modern allegorical fiction to date. I love all of the subtle nods to the Gospel and how each character plays an important role in each book. Lionheart, especially, is one of my favorite characters, showing the picture of man and flesh. (Though, he does turn around in the end, but…spoilers… 😉 )

 

6741865The Real Life series by Nancy Rue

These are technically not fantasy, but they have one very special aspect that makes them more on the fantastical side. They’re also for real the only books that have ever made me want to cry. I love how relatable all of the people are, how even if you’re going through a rough time, there’s always hope. In this case, in the form of a living book. The Living Book. I love all of them so, so much, but my favorite will forever be the first one, which tells the story of a girl with ADHD. They are touching stories that I hope I’ll never forget.

 

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende27712

I read this for the first time a couple of years ago and I simply LOVED it. There are so many interesting places and moments, that I couldn’t possibly recount my favorite. But I do remember while I was reading, I was always waiting for the moment when Bastian would return home. And that filled me with a realization. That even though ‘going on adventures’, and ‘befriending dragons’ is lots of fun, home will forever be where you belong and where your heart will yearn to be.

 

607014Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

I read this when I was really young, and I remember thinking it was the best book I’d ever read. Now that I’m older, my thinking hasn’t changed by much. Ella’s such a fun, spunky, lovable character, and she really taught me that even if things seem tough right now, things will always turn out in the end. Even if that end is hard to see and ridden with evil-stepsisters and man-eating ogres. 😉

 

 

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo76920

This was another childhood favorite, and I still love it to pieces. There are so many lessons buried deep in the story, but the one that caught me most was forgiveness. It’s so easy to fall into the ‘everyone else should be apologizing to me’ thinking, and totally disregard forgiveness. It makes you humble. And in God’s eyes, ‘the meek shall inherit the earth’. It’s not hard to see why this masterpiece won a Newbery Award.

 

24605019The Word Changers by Ashlee Willis

I love this book so much. I loved all the bookish themes and near allegories sprinkled throughout the entire book. The one that really jumped out at me is the allegory of the Author. As in, in order to let the Author regain control of the story, we must allow ourselves to be written into His grand story, that is the life He has for us. And that means letting Him guide us by His Spirit. And in my opinion, this book desperately needs a sequel. Please?

 

~

Whew, that’s the tag! And it was a lot of fun! As for tags, I tag…

Elise @ E.E. Rawls | Savannah @ Scattered Scribblings | Winter @ Winter’s Falling Fast | Bernie @ Bernie’s Musings and Doings |

Thanks again for the tag, Jenelle! And if you’re reading this and want to participate in the Fantasy Month fun, I encourage you to do this tag! Or if your in a writing mood, Jenelle has a short story contest on her blog with a link-up. I’m considering a story, and hopefully I’ll have it up sometime this month!

What about you? Have you learned any lessons from fantasy? If so, what are they? Let me know down below! ❤

 

A Spot of Writerly Poetry

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when a writer tells a story

riddled with magic and impossibilities,

i stare spellbound, hanging on every word.

the imagination flows from every handpicked word,

entire worlds are created and destroyed by sheer willpower.

right prevails, and the writer earns applause.

~

what is a comfort in life’s deep throes?

prose.

what can have perfect diction?

fiction.

what is mightier than force from men?

pen.

~

writing.

words. pages. heart.

stories can whisk you away.

love. adventure. woe. joy.

reading.

~

you are my novel.

beautiful. tantalizing.

you are my treasure.

~

what makes a good book?

dream steam.

who knows the write way?

prehensile pencil.

why create the story?

worthwhile smile.

~

Just a couple poems I jotted down. They probably aren’t the best, but I like them. How have you guys been? ❤

until-next-time-1

The Tag of Happiness

Tag of Happiness

I saw this tag quite a bit ago on Deborah’s blog, and it looked like so much fun! So, since I’m in need of a bit of happiness to beat the winter blues, I’m giving it a whirl. ❤

Guidelines:

  • Take the banner and put it in your post
  • List as many things as you want in each category
  • Come up with more categories if you wish
  • Tag as many people as you want

~

Songs that Make me Happy

Pure Imagination – (Lindsey Stirling, Josh Groban, and the Muppets cover. And yes, it’s as epic as it sounds. 😀 )

Something Wild – (Andrew McMahon and Lindsey Stirling)

Prism – (Lindsey Stirling. What can I say? Lindsey makes me happy. ❤ )

Diamonds – (Hawk Nelson)

This is Not a Test – (Toby Mac)

Higher – (Unspoken)

Books that Make me Happy

Well…Let’s try to keep this short. 😄

The Tale of Despereaux – (Kate DiCamillo)

Twinepathy – (C.B. Cook)

Illusionarium – (Heather Dixon)

Ella Enchanted – (Gail Carson Levine)

Paper Crowns – (Mirriam Neal)

Cress (Book #3 in The Lunar Chronicles) – (Marissa Meyer)

Jackaby – (William Ritter)

Movies that Make me Happy

A lot of these are going to be Disney/Pixar movies, because they always make me happy. 🙂

The Aristocats

Treasure Planet

Meet the Robinsons

Zootopia

The Avengers movies

Big Hero 6

The Emperor’s New Groove

The Hobbit movies

Tangled

Wreck-It Ralph

Short Films that Make me Happy (Deborah’s added category I’m stealing)

Feast – (played before Big Hero 6)

Get a Horse! – (played before Frozen)

Paperman – (played before Wreck-It Ralph)

One Man Band – (played before Cars)

Presto – (played before WALL-E)

Day and Night – (played before Toy Story 3)

Foods that Make me Happy

Tortellini Alfredo

French Fries

Strawberries

Raspberries

Apple Crisp

Milkshakes from McDonalds

Lasagna

Nachos

Cheese Curds from our County Fair every year

Anything from Chick-Fila

Words that Make me Happy

This is actually kinda tough…I’ve never thought about certain words I like. I just like all of them!

Vellichor – n. the strange wistfulness of used bookshops

Snippet – n. a small piece or brief extract

Wizard – n. a person skilled in magic

Sciamachy – n. a battle against imaginary foes; fighting your shadow (this is actually the name of one of my novel ideas)

Time – n. the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.

Twist – v. form into a bent, distorted shape

Encyclopedia – n. a book on many subjects (I remember liking this word even way back when I was younger. I think I liked it because it was the hardest word that I could accurately pronounce 😄 )

Petrichor – n. the smell of rain (that’s also a thing that makes me happy. 🙂 )

Scents that Make me Happy

Vanilla

Bread straight from the oven

Fresh-cut grass

Sugar cookie dough

Hot apple cider

Autumn – (As in, the fresh, new smell in the air)

Cinnamon

Coffee – (I don’t like the taste though!)

Sounds that Make me Happy (category I added)

The sound of a guitar being strummed

A crackling fire

Rushing water

Classical music – (It’s so relaxing to listen to)

Leaves crunching under your boots

Laughter, knowing you’re the one who caused it

Random Things that Make me Happy

Big, cozy blankets

Inside jokes

Hay rides

Going to the movies

Good memories

Writing down a great dream you had last night

Watching bloopers

Owls

Playing and/or listening to music

~

That was so much fun! It really brightened my mood. ❤ As for tags, I tag…

Winter @ Winter’s Falling Fast | Bernie @ Bernies’ Musings and Doings | Elise @ E.E. Rawls | and Savannah @ Scattered Scribblings

That really got me smiling! 🙂 Do you have any things that really make you happy? Let me know down in the comments!

until-next-time-1

 

Beautiful Books // 2017 Writing Goals

bb-redone

Hello beautiful bloggers! Guess what? It’s Beautiful Books time! You can link up on Cait’s blog here.

These look like really good questions, so let’s get right into them!

  • What were your writing achievements last year?

My biggest achievements were participating in JuNo and NaNo this year. I’m fairly happy with what I have so far. 🙂 For JuNo, I wrote Rewrite, which came up at about 47,000 words. For NaNo, I wrote Erase, which I wrote about 45,000 words of. I also did a lot of editing on Imprint.

And of course, we can’t forget the 1,000,000+ plot bunnies that showed on my back doorstep this year. Wait, that’s not an achievement? Oh. Well, I can’t just turn them away. Even if they drain my sanity.

  • What’s on your writerly “to-do list” for 2017?

> Keep working on editing the whole Imprint trilogy.

> Plot and outline my new trilogy about superheroes, and possibly write the first book for JuNo (and maybe do NaNo too, if I’m feeling crazy 😄 ).

> Get better at writing imagery. This is something I struggle with a lot. I know how I want things to look and appear, but I just can’t get it meshed right into the writing. It’s either no imagery at all, or clumps of description that seem clunky and awkward to read. 😛

> Try to write every day! If I really want to be a ‘real’ writer (whatever that is), I should probably devote a bit more time and energy into it.

  • Tell us about your top-priority writing projects for this year!

I don’t always know exactly what I’ll be writing. Sometimes I’ll feel like editing Imprint, or writing more of it, or outlining something totally different. But I definitely think I’m going to start on The D trilogy this year. (It might need a better name…It’s a working title.)

As for what the trilogy is about…I myself don’t even really know yet. 😄 It’s about heroes and villains and what would happen if the lines between them where fuzzy and meshed and that sort of thing. It has virtually no plot, but I have lots of scenes playing through my head and scribbled down in my notebook. I might do a separate post later on when I actually know what I’m talking about.

FirstAndMonday cats i have no idea what im doing

  • How do you hope to improve as a writer? Where do you see yourself at the end of 2017?

I mostly see myself tucked away in a dark corner, feeding my millions of plot bunnies, and typing what they tell me to.

bunny rabbits bunny island
This is legit me.

 

JK, that would totally never happen…*nervous laughter*…Right?

In all honesty, I really just want to try and improve in all the ways I can. Possibly begin work to publish a book. Who can know what the future holds? 😉

  • Describe your general editing process.

I don’t really have a process. I really don’t. I write what I think looks good, I give it to my family, see what they think, then fix things based off of what they say. I think it’s a bit biased with my parents, but I’ve gotten help from my aunt and siblings a little too. I should probably have some sort of actual process. *shrugs*

  • On a scale of 1-10, how do you think this draft turned out?

If we’re talking about the two drafts I haven’t touched since I JuNo and NaNo, I’d say they’re pretty messy and basically…

.

I’m doing this a lot of the time. I have no idea how to go about finishing them (because yes, they are not finished yet. Erase in particular is barely half done. *cringe*). I need serious help.

  • What aspect of your draft needs the most work?

How ’bout…every single aspect of them? That they’re dangerous landmines of plot holes and rabbit trails?

  • What do you like the most about your draft?

I really love the characters most of all. There’s a lot of them, which I think makes for a challenge, but I love it. They’re all so fun to write and I love getting to know all of them better through writing. I’m actually having a fun time with world-building too. *le gasp* I know. It seems crazy, but it’s crazy fun! 😛

  • What are your plans for this novel once you finish editing? More edits? Finding beta readers? Querying? Self-publishing? Hiding it in a dark hole forever?

It would be really nice to find some beta readers once I’m ready. I’d also like to try querying…but everything needs a TON of editing still. So, not so sure when I’ll ever get to that…Hiding it a dark hole forever is sounding more and more tempting…

You ain’t seen me, right!

  • What’s your top piece of advice for those just finished writing a first draft?

I’m going with the answer I’ve seen given by most bloggers, just because I agree with it the most.

LET THE DRAFT REST.

Don’t try to edit it immediately after you write it. You’ll get frustrated, and it will most likely turn into a creative mess. It’s important to step away from your work. It gives you time to mull it over and be more prepared to revise and edit.

Do any of you guys have any writing goals this year? Maybe some interesting writing quirks? Let me know down in the comments below!

until-next-time-1

2016 // A Short Review

2016

Well, golly. It’s actually 2017? *waves at time passing by at abnormal speeds*

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” – I’d say this quite perfectly sums up 2016, for me at least. There were a lot of worst times, but there were also a lot of very best times. And since I try not to be a pessimist, here are the best of times this year for me. 🙂

Life ~

~ I went to two of my cousins’ weddings this year. (One of which I was a bridesmaid in!) The first wedding was in March, the day before Easter, actually. We took a long drive up to northern Minnesota and had a nice time meeting with family. My brother was one of the ushers. The second wedding was in June, (and it was super hot, let me tell you…). It was at my cousin’s parents’ barn, which is like seven miles away from us, so no long drive this time. I was a bridesmaid in this one, and I had to wear high heels for the first time…I stumbled a lot. 😄 But I got to wear a super cute dress, so it was okay. 🙂

~ I turned 16 in July this year! I’m not much of a…party person, so there was no ‘Sweet Sixteen Bash’ or anything. I just hung out with family and ate cake, you know? Thus far, being sixteen is no different than being fifteen. Excepted sometimes I feel obligated to get a job and pay a lot of things for myself. That doesn’t really work out though, since I still don’t have my driver’s license…

I honestly hate driving…I don’t even know why.

~ I got braces towards the end of October (which worked out good because I was partially distracted by NaNo and such). At first, I absolutely detested them. They hurt my teeth and my face and I basically wanted them off. Now. But we’ve come to a civil relationship and I hardly notice them much anymore. Plus, there’s like a million rubber band colors to choose from…O_O

Writing ~

~ I finished Rewrite during Junowrimo this year. I had already written 14,000 words from my failed attempt at Nanowrimo in 2015, so I was ahead by a bit. I still ended up with 45,000 words though, and a half finished story. It was a ton of fun to write though! ❤

~ I also wrote Erase this year during Nanowrimo, which I had much better success with (compared to last year’s attempt..). I didn’t win, but I made 45, 000 words. And the story’s far from over…like, 70,000 words from over…it’s going to be monstrous and an absolute dream to edit, I imagine.

no scared computer nope typing

~ I’m working on revising and editing Imprint to get ready for publishing (maybe). I have my parents and aunt helping with things like sentence structure and wording. I have the first few chapters relatively polished, and I’ve written my very first query letter. It was…interesting, and I still don’t know if I’ve done it right, but I guess I’ll find out when I send it out. 😄

Blogging ~

~ I participated in the first annual Silmarillion Awards put out by Jenelle Schmidt and D.J. Edwardson, and it was a TON of fun. 🙂 You can check this post to see who the winner was for Most Epic Hero (hosted by Aragorn). It was also my most viewed post this year on my blog. Thanks to all who commented! ^_^

~ Five most popular posts…

~ I somehow managed to reach over 80 subscribers…so, um, that’s AWESOME. 🙂 Thank you to all who read and comment on my blog. You rock! ❤

~ Also this year, I wrote 86 posts. 86 GUYS. That’s a TON for me.

Movies ~

I saw a lot of good movies this year! Some are new this year and some I just saw for the first time.

Zootopia ~ 5/5

Aww, this is possibly the best animated film I saw this year. It was just so cute and fun and HILARIOUS. 😄

zootopia fist bump

Captain America: Civil War ~ 5/5

captain america civil war

 

You can read my full review here, but basically IT WAS NOT OKAY. BUT ALSO AMAZING. It’s complicated…

The Tourist ~ 4.5/5

request johnny depp angelina jolie movie quote the tourist

I really, really liked this one! It had a lot of action and wit and I DID NOT see the plot twist coming…There were a few suggestive parts and language, so I bumped it down a half star, but otherwise, totally fun!

Napolean Dynamite ~ 5/5

Guys, I think this may be the funniest movie I saw this year. IT’S JUST SO HILARIOUS. My sense of humor could be described as lethally sarcastic, which is why I found it so funny. Definitely a must-watch!

napoleon dynamite

Finding Dory ~ 5/5

I actually didn’t expect to like this as much as I did. It was no Finding Nemo, but I still loved every minute of it. It brought back maybe a bit of nostalgia, since I remembering watching Finding Nemo a lot when I was younger. 🙂

Disney/Pixar's Finding Dory cute disney adorable pixar

Lord of the Rings trilogy ~ 5/5

I have to give these all five stars. I just have to. They’re SO. GOOD. I don’t really have to say much else. If you haven’t watched them, DO IT. NOW.

the lord of the rings lord of the rings

Doctor Strange ~ 5/5

marvel doctor strange

You can read my full review here. But mostly all you need to know is that it was EPIC. I totally loved it. There were a few sprinkles of weird stuff here and there, but all in all, it was a GREAT movie.

Trolls ~ 4/5

This is probably the movie I liked the least this year. And it’s not that it wasn’t good or anything. It was. Though had I been younger, I think I would’ve enjoyed it more. But there was a lot of references to the 80s which was fun to see. 🙂

trailer

School of Rock ~ 4.5/5

school of rock

This was hilarious, is all I can say. All the school kids are awesome in their own way and I really liked their relationship with Dewie. It was just a fun movie to watch.

Reading ~

So, I kinda feel like I…failed…in the reading department this year. Don’t get me wrong, all the books I read were (for the most part) SUPER GOOD. I just didn’t read very much is all.

I only read 35 books this year. That’s not too bad, but I feel I could’ve read more. A couple of favorites from this year…

Heartless by Anne Elisabeth StenglIllusionarium by Heather DixonJackaby by William   RitterPaper Crowns by Mirriam NealTwinepathy by C.B. CookThe Word Changers by Ashlee Willis

Goals for 2017 ~

Writing-wise ~

I’m really trying to focus on polishing up Imprint, but I do plan on doing either JuNo or NaNo, depending on what’s going on those months. I plan on sending out a query sometime at the beginning of January to a publishing house. I don’t know how it will go, but I’m excited to find out!

Also, I’m trying to outline a new trilogy! O_O It’s kind of weird, now that the Imprint trilogy is mostly written. (Of course, there’s still a bunch of work that needs to be done on all three books, but still.) I’m excited to start this new series.

I also got a Wattpad account and I have more than a dozen ideas for some novellas and short stories I may or may not post on there. We’ll see. 😉

Reading-wise ~

Since last year’s reading was a bit of a bust, I’m setting my a bit lower this year in hopes that I’ll be more motivated to reach it. My Goodreads challenge is set for 50 books. We’ll see if I can make it!

Blogging-wise ~

I really want to connect with more bloggers this year. I follow so many blogs, but I never really interact with the authors, so I’m going to try to comment more and make new friends. 😉

Life-wise ~

The most important thing I’m going to try and focus on this year is digging into the Word. I feel like for the most part, I’ve been neglecting God’s Word. I’m on a mission to change that and become more immersed in the Bible than I was last year.

Other, smaller things ~

~ I should probably get a job of some sort. I don’t know.

~ I need to drive more, despite my sheer dislike of it. And that’s made harder by the fact that I live in a cold, icy state, where driving is dangerous this time of year. 😛

~ I also am trying to find ways to share my musical abilities with others. I’m not much for being the center of attention, but I would love to be an accompanist or play in an orchestra maybe.

Phew…That’s a wrap! I hope you all had a wonderful 2016 and have an even better 2017! Have you made an resolutions? Goals? Chat with me in the comments below!

until-next-time-1

The Christmas Song Book Tag

Hello everyone!

I have a Christmas-y themed tag today, since, well, it’s almost Christmas. 🙂 I believe it was originally created by booktuber Hailey in Bookland. And since I’m currently fresh out of creative ideas, I thought I’d give it a whirl.

On to the questions!

1. “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch”
Name a villainous character you couldn’t help but love.

I’d have to say Kaz from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. He’s just plain awesome (setting aside the disappointment of the second book 😦 ). And he’s definitely very villainous…and proud of it… 😄

2. “All I Want for Christmas is You”
Which book to you most hope to see under your Christmas tree?

I’d love to see any books under the tree, really. 😄 But in particular, I’ve had my eye on the Bright Empire series by Stephen R. Lawhead for a while…

3. “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”
Name a character that overcomes major obstacles and learns to believe in themselves.

Ooh, that’s a tough one! I might choose Cress from the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. At first, she’s really timid and scared of everything. But as the series progresses, she becomes steadily more brave and sure of herself. She’s one of my favorite characters in the series. 🙂

4. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”
a) Which character do you think would be on the top of the naughty list?
b) Which character do you think would be at the top of the nice list?

Hmm…

A) I’m going to have to go with Kaz again… 😄 Just because of…reasons. Lots and lots of reasons.

B) I’m gonna say Jonathan from Illusionarium by Heather Dixon. Sure, he’s not perfect, but I think his heart’s in the right place. ❤

5. “Frosty the Snowman”
Which book just melts your heart.

Without a doubt, Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. Because obviously if I were heartless, my heart would’ve melted, right? 😛 All kidding aside, this book was really gripping and it really did melt my poor heart into a feelsy mess.

6. “Feliz Navidad”
Choose a book that takes place in a country other than your own.

I’m trying to think…Does a sorta imaginary/real world count? If it does, then I choose Illusionarium, which takes place in London in alternate universes.

7. “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”
Which holiday themed book do you use to spread the Christmas joy?

Perhaps the obvious choice would be the Bible, since it contains the Christmas story. 🙂 And I don’t really read holiday themed books much anyways.

8. “Sleigh Ride”
Which fictional character would you choose to spend the holidays with (doesn’t have to be a love interest!)

ALL OF MY FAVORITES. I can’t choose, seriously? I’d love to spend Christmas with all of them! ❤

9. “Baby it’s Cold Outside”
Which book that you didn’t like would you sacrifice to a fire to warm yourself up in the cold?

Burn a book?! How dare you! *shakes head disapprovingly* In all honesty, though, I don’t think I’d ever have the gumption to burn a book, even if it was horrible. *shudders*

10. “Do You Hear what I Hear?”
Which book do you think everyone should read?

ALL THE BOOKS. No? You can’t do that? Okay, well, here’s a few recommendations then; Paper Crowns by Mirriam Neal, the Tales of Goldstone Wood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl, Illusionarium by Heather Dixon, Twinepathy by C.B. Cook, and the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.

That’s the tag! Do you have a favorite book to read around Christmas? A favorite Christmas song? Feel free to do this tag if you so desire. I hope you’re all having a wonderful Christmas season and I’ll see you all next year! ❤

until-next-time-1

Pitiful Prose // I’m a Princess?

pitiful-prose

Hello everyone! Just a short post today. And it’s a little something different. You’ve gotten a taste somewhat of my writing style, so I thought I would share with you what my style was like say, five or so years ago. It is cringe-worthy, but since I’m allowed to poke fun at myself, I’m sharing it.

This was a short story, based on a dream I had (yes, I remember that far back!), about…becoming a princess? I have no idea honestly. 😄 It was an odd dream…

(All names have been changed for privacy. 🙂 Oh, and this is completely unedited. I only tabbed where I thought it looked best.)

*shudders* Here we go…

Are you going down or what? said Samantha. I looked to see if it was safe and Slide down the Giant Water Slide at the Gershwin-Muller Community Center.

“Closing time.” Said an employee.

We all scrambled to the door as fast as we could and then went out. We all started giggling as we walked home. When the Split roads came we all Said Good-bye and went home.

But me? as I walked home I came to pass a dark shadow in the field. All the sudden, I saw a glowing sun, along with More Shiny lights. The lights soon Shaped in to a Castle.

I Watched in awe and decided that I’d go take a look. I went in to the ditch that lead to glowing castle. I got closer and Closer and CLOSER, till I was stopped by a butterfly of some sort or was it?

I looked a little closer and saw a tiny face and tiny hands and feet. It was a fairy!

“I’m your fairy godmother,” said the fairy “and I’m going to teach you how to be the princess that you are.”

What? Suddenly I was whisked away to the luminous Castle.

As soon as we were in I was put on a smooth silver convaer belt. “You must be Mistaken” I said, but the fairy said “No, you are a Princess”

“Am I a really a true princess

“yes, but your Certainly not dressed like one

I looked down at my fushia pink and black swimsuit. Finally the convaer belt stopped. The fairy waved her wand and when I looked down I saw a breathtaking Gown. It was a fluffy pink, with lovely Puffed sleeves and laced edges

“Cool!” I said.

“Next up Jewels.” said the fairy. The convaer started up again and I was off. A few minutes later, the enormous convaer stopped once again. At that moment the fairy had waved her wand and I had Necklaces, braclets, rings, glore.

“Wow! this is amazing!” I said. The fairy just nodded her head and started the convaer again.

My final stop was a Colossal Stage.

“Get on.” Said the fairy “Don’t be shy.”

I stepped on to the gigantic stage and thought “I wonder what it will be like to be a real-live Princess.”

The End

Well…that was painful. I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse of my younger writing life. I’m thinking about making this a monthly segment. What do you guys think?

until-next-time-1