Category Archives: Progress Report

AN UPDATE (LATER THAN BETTER BUT AT LEAST NOT NEVER)

Happy Wednesday friends,

Where have I been?

Not even sure how long it’s been since my last post… I’m a little afraid to look…

*peers over folded hands*

CRIKEY!! Surely not!?

And yet the truth is the truth friends. It’s been 18 days since my last post. In my defense, this has been a really difficult month for me in my own personal life and I’ve just been overwhelmed with work and family issues and trying to balance writing on the side.

The struggles of a writer, am I right?

I don’t want to make any promises and say I’ll be back at more regular intervals moving forward because I know what’s coming up and I know it’s going to be difficult to balance. Some people are really amazing at being able to pull it all off, but my head hasn’t been in the game lately and this blog is what’s taking the beating as they say.

But I’m not going to hold that against myself. I’ve been making some progress in writing and reading despite the turmoil and that’s what I’m coming to share with you today….

MY WRITING LIFE

I finished my edits of Heritage earlier this month and the manuscript is now in my sister’s hands. She’s always my first reader when it comes to my novels. In Stephen King’s On Writing, he mentions how his wife, Tabitha, is his IDEAL READER. Well, that’s my sister to me and what she says is what I always depend on. Can’t wait to get her thoughts before moving forward with it.

My main focus this month, though, is Pirate Eyes and I’m about a third of the way through edits and she is sparkling like a diamond in my eyes. I haven’t touched her since last year and coming back to her is a joy. I’ve cut words like there’s no tomorrow; I’m actually really excited to see how many words the MS will have dropped by the end of this edit. An edit which is bound to be my last before betas. I’ll talk more about that at the end of the month….

In other news, I was struck by the idea bug last month and started to outline a new novel except the bug is really bad and I’ve started to pants it, which is a rare thing for me to do, but inspiration has struck hard and fast and I’m rather in love with where this story is going. All I’ll say for the moment is that it’s a fairy tale adaptation because there obviously aren’t enough of those, but I’m blending in some mythology with it and I actually think it’s kind of beautiful…

My lack of humility today astounds me ;P

 MY READING LIFE

I’m doing fairly well with my reading this month. I haven’t participated in a WWW Wednesday in a long time – maybe next week – so I thought I’d share a quick glimpse at what I’ve been reading…

  • Stolen Ink by Holly Evans – 4 stars – the first in a new series, I love how the magical system is based in tattoos and ink.
  • Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon – 4 stars – I very rarely read anything contemporary and even more rare is my choice to read a YA one, but with the movie coming out and it being directed by a Canadian woman (NATIONAL PRIDE) I figured I should read the book. Really glad I did!
  • The Drowned Tomb by James Fahy – 5 stars – the second in the Changeling Series, these books remind me of The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings with a beautifully realized mythology, resonating characters, and stellar worldbuilding!
  • On Writing by Stephen King – 5 stars – people have always said and now I understand it: All writers must read this book! It is gloriously inspirational and relatable and focuses less on structure and more on craft! Plus it’s a brilliant memoir.
  • A Shining in the Shadows by Beverley Lee – 5 stars – the second in the Gabriel Davenport series, Beverley is a master storyteller and this is a gem of dark fantasy with memorable characters and a gripping plot
  • The Shadowy Horses – 4 stars – by Susanna Kearsley – the third of Kearsley’s books that I’ve read this year in my goal to read through her entire works and I loved the setting and the romance in this one. A bit of a slower plot, but the historical time that our protagonist is exploring is one that highly intrigues me. The Ninth Roman Legion is one of those mysteries…

At the moment I’m currently reading a chapter of Women Who Run with Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, which is going to be a book I will return to time and time again, I can tell because it resonates with me on so many levels and it delves into myths and fairy tales in a new light.

I’m also reading The Dark Tower by Stephen King, the last book in the series, and I don’t really think I’m ready for it to end. My nails are not handling it well at all…


That’s about all I wanted to share with you today, friends. I hope that you’re all doing well. My plan this weekend (on top of reading and writing) is to catch up on your posts. I hate falling behind on your blogs. I apologize for any spamming that might occur because of it.

Stay well ❤

And let me know in the comments how your month has been going and what your plans for the weekend are! Let’s catch up because I’m tired of falling behind ❤

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith   quill-ink

This Month in Review | March 2017

Hi friends,

I hope you are all doing well, that you are happy and surrounded with love.

Many of you know that I lost a dear friend this past week. I have been blessed by such kind words and thoughts from you all and I thank you profoundly for all of it. You cannot know how deeply grateful I am for your support and love! May you never doubt that I am here for you, that I am thinking about you, and wishing you all the best.

With what’s gone on, I’ve drawn back from social media but I’ll be making a steady return this week because I miss interacting with you. And because closing myself off won’t help me grieve any more.

So here is a look at what I have been up to in March and what I will be up to in April.


GOALS OF MARCH

  1. Read 4-5 books.
  2. Read 1 nonfiction
  3. Watch 5 movies (I’m upping the challenge this month)
  4. Polish draft of Heritage (my 2015 NaNoWriMo which is currently entered in #PitchMadness and I’m just making sure she’s absolutely ready for agents round — in case I make it to that round)
  5. Polish draft of The Glass Slippers (there are quite a few script competitions coming up and I really want to have this Cinderella adaptation ready to circulate!)
  6. Finish first draft of Heralding (if I crank out about 15k a week, I should be there – it’ll put her above 80k and right now that seems like a good length for a first draft)
  7. Practice the violin – I’m serious about this one this month and I’ve set time for practice!
  8. Start final edits on Pirate Eyes – because she needs to be in at least an agent’s hand before this year is done!

ACHIEVED IN MARCH

  1. Read 8 books! My top three are: Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett, The Manningtree Account by Becky Wright & Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King
  2. Read 2 nonfiction books – What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dicken Knew was a brilliant book that covered the time period with quirky language. And Writing Young Adult Fiction which reads as an excellent starter’s guide, but failed to add anything for me.
  3. Watched 8 movies – This included three version of Beauty and the Beast (a highlight was the original 1940s black & white version directed by Jean Cocteau).
  4. I am just a few chapters away from a good polish of Heritage. It should be done by the end of this weekend.
  5. I didn’t touch The Glass Slippers, but I did write a short story that I’m really proud of and have plans to expand it into a novella.
  6. I finished the first draft of Heralding two days ago. In the wake of the tragic news, I withdrew to my books & writing for solace and poured a lot of myself into her. She’s complete now at 78, 721 words after writing 55,587 words this month.
  7. Didn’t touch the violin at all despite best intentions. Oh well…
  8. I didn’t touch Pirate Eyes either, but she’s printed and ready for April. Which leads me to…

APRIL GOALS

Of which there are many…

  1. Final Edit of Pirate Eyes – I want her in the hands of beta readers by the end of the month.
  2. Finish Edit of HeritageAnd have her in beta readers hands before April 15th
  3. Submit Walking Blind (a thriller script) to competitions – a few years back I made it into the quarter finals with this script and I hope that she’ll go further this year.
  4. Read 4-5 books: this list includes some of my most anticipated releases this year: A Shining in the Shadows by Beverley Lee, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas & Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman.
  5. Watch 4 movies: Hopefully this will include Logan.
  6. Outline a few stories – I have five new ones that I’m especially inspired by and want to use this relatively quiet month to tackle them.
  7. Post 2 entries of Crafting the Series – you might remember that I had started to post on my experiences writing Eléonore and I’ve let that slip away from me, but I’m intent on continuing it. Sorry for the slowness.
  8. Participate in #WIPjoy on Twitter and #danaf7wordstory & #shayverlee6wordstory on Instagram
  9. Create a month of prompts for May. I have a few ideas running around for the successor to #FictFBFeb17 that I hosted on Twitter. Hopefully I can make it as much fun as the last.

Well, that was more than I expected to write. Again, I am wishing you all so much happiness and love! Stay well, friends, be kind to one another and to yourself.

Let me know what you have planned for April in the comments.

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

Remember to Love Me | Becky Wright

Hi friends,

Yes. I’m alive.

I know I’ve been gone for a while. I’ve been hiding out in my writing cave lately. This month I’ve written 26,942 (not including today’s word count which is over 2k already). I have 30k left to write to get to the end of this first draft and I need it to be done for the end of the month, so fair warning that I’ll be a little absent for the next two weeks.

Until then, I’ll drop in with a few reviews and any other posts I can manage.

Like this one!


33149049BLURB

1900
Annabelle yearns for nothing more than motherhood. Losing her own mother in child birth at the tender age of four; a gaping hole has grown in the pit of her belly with the desire to nurture a child. Her sole purpose, she values its significance and her duty to provide an heir to devoted husband Richard Hardwick, successor to a wealthy landowning family. But motherhood may not be as she once hoped, as fate deals her a cruel hand, leaving her with a life-changing dilemma.

Her younger sister Emily, vibrant and full of zest is engaged to the dashing Lance Corporal James Wright, jubilant with thoughts of the future she imagines nothing but wedded bliss on the horizon. But as a new century dawns, darkness falls, as the Boer War gains strength James is deployed to South Africa, leaving his new bride alone with an uncertain future. As melancholy festers, Emily escapes the rural confines of Bury St Edmunds to stay with Aunt Anna by the sea, where she languishes in nature’s rough vast beauty. As the distance stretches between the sisters, so too does the life-thread of family.

1997
April has spent her solitary childhood in the pretty Norfolk village of Winterton-on-Sea, surrounded by its quiet lanes and circular pastel holiday cottages; a child flourishing in its rural beauty and thriving off the natural elements of sandy dunes and buffering waves. But now, after leaving University and as her 21st birthday approaches, April finds herself relocating closer to her Grandmother Sarah, to her mother’s childhood home of Bury St Edmunds; a market town in the heart of the Suffolk countryside. Her parents open their longed-for antique shop, and although April is eager to assist with the busy Christmas rush, she aches for something else; a missing puzzle-piece. She looks to Sarah for guidance and direction, struggling to adjust, in her heart, pining for her sea-side home; she takes solace in the extraordinary bond she shares with her grandmother

April’s feelings of uncertainty amplify as she steps over the threshold of her ancestral home; an early Victorian townhouse at the heart of the historic town, where time has stopped in its tracks, pristine and perfectly antiquated. In a visit to the attic late one afternoon, she discovers more than just dusty tea chests and old suitcases. She encounters an ancestor that has remained, a beautiful ghostly apparition whispering secrets in the shadows.

As the weeks follow and Christmas arrives, April is confronted with strange visions and dreams; memories of a lost, long buried time, of grave secrets, of sisterly love, romance and family loyalties that stretch beyond even love’s limits. April is thrown into turmoil, living moments in two eras, experiencing love and loss in both. With the help of Annabelle’s diary, she begins to unravel the mysteries of her ancestor’s history as her own destiny falls into place. Piecing together snippets of another life, giving peace back to the house and laying ghosts to rest; she unfolds the mystery of her family’s Supernatural Legacy.

REVIEW

A brilliant debut novel full of romance and heartbreak, that pulls tight on your heartstrings and ensnares you with magical prose and lyrical beauty.

Fantasy might be my most read genre, but historical time slips/time travels/parallel tales are second to it. I love fiction that weaves narratives through two or three different time periods, seeing the connection of various lives, seeing recurring themes and settings. And that is what I loved most about this truly enchanting read.

In the present day (1997) April is a young girl who is still searching for her purpose in life. When she and her family move near her grandmother, she discovers a family secret and pieces together the lives of her ancestors, all the while coming to understand her role within it.

Annabelle and Emily are two sisters living at the turn of the century, learning to love and coping with love. They face hardships, and their bond is challenged at each obstacle that meets them.

Both these narratives come together in spectacular fashion and it was hard to keep a dry eye throughout the story’s development. Becky Wright gives and takes, sometimes too much for one’s heart, but her characters are so strong and when they interact with one another and come together to support each other, they reawaken hope to ease the soul.

Reminded me of Susanna Kearsley in the best of ways, this novel is not one that you want to miss out on if you love historical romances.

CONCLUSION

A truly stunning debut! Brilliant and beautiful.

RATING

quills


May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

This Week in Review | 27.02.17 – 06.03.17

Happy Monday Friends,

I’m glad to be back with  TWiR after awhile without posts. But first, an apology:

I’ve been struggling a little lately with balancing life and my writing and my social media feeds, but I think this week things might start looking up. I’ve already started catching up on comments and posts that I’ve let slip away from me and I should be up to date today and I’ll be sure to try to keep up with them more consistently going forward!

That being said, let’s take a look at what I’ve been able to accomplish this week!


Posts on My Blog

Game of Shadows Review

This Month in Review

My Writing Projects

For the first time in a while, I’ve actually made decent progress on two of my projects. I’ve changed mentalities since February, making sure to prioritize my writing, which hadn’t been the case at all last month.

I’ve set goals for each week in March to help me accomplish my monthly goals. For HERALDING, the first full length novel in the Iníonaofa Chronicles, I’ve set a writing word count of 15k for Wednesday, March 8th — the MS word count stands at 34k. Right now I’m sitting on just a little over 11k of words written since March 1st. Which means that all I need to do is write 2k a day to get there. Absolutely feasible!

91f5138b-5bb7-4499-b81c-f96e4af09122.gif

Some of you might have seen that I submitted HERITAGE, my 2015 NaNoWriMo novel, to #PitchMadness at the end of February. Well, the choices were made yesterday and I wasn’t one of them. But that’s okay. There were 60 of 1300 that went on to the agent round, and the judges remarked that over 300 made it into the first round ‘love’ pile. Those names weren’t released, but who knows, I might have been one of them — I like to think I was 😉

In any case, I’m editing through Heritage right now. This is the second draft I’m working with. My goal is to get halfway through the MS by Wednesday. This one’s a bit lofty and I’m ready to not make it. So far, one of the biggest change involved combining two chapters that were far too similar and moving up the action, which is always better.When I started, my MS was 84,856 words in length. I’ve cut 413 words in the first eleven chapters. And I’m pleased with the pacing so far. But I’ll definitely be looking for beta readers come the end of the month.

77450083-a0db-48ff-9bbb-0f8ade986d5a.gif

So if anyone’s interested in a YA fantasy novel about a timid fiddler who embarks on an adventure with her grandmother to destroy the rising Shadows threatening to steal the light and happiness from their homeland, let me know 😉

EXCERPTS

I thought I’d share a small excerpt for each of my WIPs from what I’ve written/edited recently:

HERALDING  –  a bit of dialogue between two characters that I’m rather fond of

“I already told him to go.”
“Obviously, he didn’t listen.”
“Obviously, I have no sway over him.”
“Obviously, you didn’t try hard enough. He likes sex with you. You should use that.”

HERITAGE –  perfecting Peggie’s voice is one of the highlights of this novel for me.

My bow descended with a far more spritely attitude than it had before, evoking a light-hearted melody that honoured the night and the white light that graced the land of Adramache. Images of couples dancing and children laughing played through my mind. Happiness, joy, hope: those were the emotions that guided the song. The moon gifted me with them, and I could do little else but bring them to life through my fiddle’s wooden form, expressing through music what I saw inside. Without words, the moon sent me inspiration and I heeded his creative call.


Well, that’s it from me. Let me know how your week has been friends! Any accomplishments? Any happy occurrences? Anything you’re struggling with? Here’s a safe space. So feel free to share 🙂

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

This Month in Review | February 2017

Happy Wednesday friends!

Today begins a new month and I don’t know about you, but I’m personally relieved that February is being left behind. It was a difficult one on my end and I’m hoping that March proves a more productive month and a happier one.


GOALS OF FEBRUARY

  1. Read 5-6 books
  2. Watch 4 movies
  3. Read 1 nonfiction
  4. Write first draft of Eléonore‘s sequel
  5. Write high fantasy screenplay to first draft
  6. Edit family drama screenplay to final draft
  7. Edit Pirate Eyes to beta draft
  8. Learn to play the violin

ACHIEVED IN FEBRUARY

  1. Read 10 books! If you check out my WWW Wednesday posts, you’ll be able to find out more, but I’ll share here my top read with you: A CONJURING OF LIGHT!!! …… Bet you didn’t see that coming 😉
  2. Watched 6 movies! Lost in Translation – The Royal Tenenbaums – Inside Out – O Brother, Where Are Thou? – Hidden Figures – Bridget Jones’ Diary. I was going to rank them, but honestly I loved them all. If I had to choose a favourite, though, it would have to be LOST IN TRANSLATION
  3. I actually managed to finish Under the Black Flag from last month and read Big Magic  as well!
  4. Well, Heralding was at least started… I’m sitting on 23,000 words right now, which is decent, but definitely not where I wanted to be…
  5. I got to 20 pages. Which is deplorable. We’re not going to talk about it.
  6. Didn’t even touch it.
  7. Didn’t even touch it.
  8. Oh hey, didn’t even touch it ;P

Don’t we love how accomplished I was this month!

MARCH GOALS

  1. Read 4-5 books.
  2. Read 1 nonfiction
  3. Watch 5 movies (I’m upping the challenge this month)
  4. Polish draft of Heritage (my 2015 NaNoWriMo which is currently entered in #PitchMadness and I’m just making sure she’s absolutely ready for agents round — in case I make it to that round)
  5. Polish draft of The Glass Slippers (there are quite a few script competitions coming up and I really want to have this Cinderella adaptation ready to circulate!)
  6. Finish first draft of Heralding (if I crank out about 15k a week, I should be there – it’ll put her above 80k and right now that seems like a good length for a first draft)
  7. Practice the violin – I’m serious about this one this month and I’ve set time for practice!
  8. Start final edits on Pirate Eyes – because she needs to be in at least an agent’s hand before this year is done!

A little less ambitious than last month I think ;P How was February for you, friends? What did you accomplish? What are your goals and plans for March?

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith  quill-ink

WWW Wednesday | 22.02.17

Happy Wednesday friends!

Didn’t think I’d have this post for today, but I have to share my reading habits with you because of one word: SCHWAB! 😍

Thanks to the lovely Sam at Taking on a World of Words for hosting this amazing blog hop every week! If you aren’t following her already, you’re missing out 🙂

Want to join in? All you have to do is answer these questions:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

CURRENTLY READING

Dreadnought (Nemesis #1) by April Daniels

33126630Blurb:

Danny Tozer has a problem: she just inherited the powers of Dreadnought, the world’s greatest superhero. Until Dreadnought fell out of the sky and died right in front of her, Danny was trying to keep people from finding out she’s transgender. But before he expired, Dreadnought passed his mantle to her, and those secondhand superpowers transformed Danny’s body into what she’s always thought it should be. Now there’s no hiding that she’s a girl.

It should be the happiest time of her life, but Danny’s first weeks finally living in a body that fits her are more difficult and complicated than she could have imagined. Between her father’s dangerous obsession with “curing” her girlhood, her best friend suddenly acting like he’s entitled to date her, and her fellow superheroes arguing over her place in their ranks, Danny feels like she’s in over her head.

She doesn’t have time to adjust. Dreadnought’s murderer—a cyborg named Utopia—still haunts the streets of New Port City, threatening destruction. If Danny can’t sort through the confusion of coming out, master her powers, and stop Utopia in time, humanity faces extinction.

An ebook received through NetGalley, this book was just released in January and I’m actually rather enjoying it. The unique perspective has drawn me in and there’s an eclectic cast of characters to round it up. The story seems to be working with extremes but I do appreciate that the author is trying to explore the force of transphobia (and homophobia to some extent). The protagonist is highly likeable and the writing is quirky and and suits the first person POV.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

30278755Blurb:

Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.

So far, this is proving to be a very inspiring and motivating read! I find it especially poignant these days, and maybe just the kick in the creative butt that I need 😅

FINISHED READING

A Gathering of Shadows & A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #2 & 3)by V.E. Schwab

20764879Blurb (from A Darker Shade of Magic, the first book)

Kell is one of the last travelers–magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad King–George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered–and where Kell was raised alongside Rhy Maresh, the roguish heir to a flourishing empire. White London–a place where people fight to control magic and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.

29939230Officially, Kell is the Red traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

What an absolutely brilliant series this has been! Whether it’s the gripping prose or the engaging world building or the memorable characters, Schwab has brought such magic into the world with this series. I haven’t felt this satisfied with a conclusion in a long time and it’s bittersweet to know that the adventure is over. Of course, that’s where the magic of the re-read comes in.

I do highly recommend this series ❤

READING NEXT

The days are winding down, but I’m still hoping to get through these ones!

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

31430932Blurb:

If you want something done right….

When the ruthless Pirate King learns of a legendary treasure map hidden on an enemy ship, his daughter, Alosa, knows that there’s only one pirate for the job—herself. Leaving behind her beloved ship and crew, Alosa deliberately facilitates her own kidnapping to ensure her passage on the enemy ship. After all, who’s going to suspect a seventeen-year-old girl locked in a cell?

Then she meets the (surprisingly perceptive and unfairly attractive) first mate, Riden, who is charged with finding out all her secrets. Now it’s down to a battle of wits and will… Can Alosa find the map and escape before Riden figures out her plan?

Debut author Tricia Levenseller blends action, adventure, romance, and a little bit of magic into a thrilling YA pirate tale.

Wolves of the Calla (Dark Tower #5) by Stephen King

4978Blurb:

 

 

Roland Deschain and his ka-tet are bearing southeast through the forests of Mid-World on their quest for the Dark Tower. Their path takes them to the outskirts of Calla Bryn Sturgis. But beyond the tranquil farm town, the ground rises to the hulking darkness of Thunderclap, the source of a terrible affliction that is stealing the town’s soul. The wolves of Thunderclap and their unspeakable depredation are coming. To resist them is to risk all, but these are odds the gunslingers are used to. Their guns, however, will not be enough….

 

Ashael Rising (Vessel of KalaDene #1) by Shona Kinsella

34097124Blurb

Ashael is a hunter-gatherer woman, apprenticed to Bhearra, the healer and spiritual leader of their tribe.

The Zanthar are invaders from another world who extend their own lives by stealing the life-force of everything around them. They were last seen on KalaDene 200 years ago. They have returned, looking for The Vessel, a being prophesied to hold the life-force of the land.

Iwan is a slave to the Zanthar, descendant of the folk that were taken as slaves the last time the Zanthar visited this world. He is sent out as a spy, while his mother is held hostage to ensure his compliance.

When Iwan and Ashael meet and she invites him to stay in Oak Cam, neither of them realise that she is the one the Zanthar seek. The fate of KalaDene and all of its people rests on Ashael’s shoulders.


Share your WWW link in the comment or let me know what your reading habits have been like lately. Let’s spread the bookish love across the sphere 😊

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith  quill-ink

Isle of Winds | James Fahy

Happy Tuesday friends,

Sorry I’ve been quiet lately. It’s been a busy week and I’ve been focusing my attention elsewhere.

Today, I have a new review to share with you. 🙂


28173857BLURB

Robin Fellows lives with his grandmother and lives what appears to be a rather ordinary life for a normal twelve year old boy.

But when Robin’s Gran dies, quite suddenly and a bit mysteriously, his world is turned upside down. A long lost relative comes out of the woodwork and whisks him away to a mysterious new home, Erlking Hall, a quiet estate in the solitary countryside of Lancashire.

Suddenly Robin must adjust to his new reality. But reality is no longer what he thought it was…

Erlking has many secrets – as do his newly found Great-Aunt Irene and her servants. After a strange encounter on the train and meeting a cold, eerie man on the platform, Robin begins to notice odd happenings at Erlking.

There is more than meets the eye to this old, rambling mansion.
Little does he know that there is more than meets the eye to himself.

Robin is the world’s last Changeling. He is descended from a mystic race of Fae-people, whose homeland, the Netherworlde, is caught in the throes of a terrible civil war.

Not only this, but in this new world there is a magical force that has infiltrated the human realm.

Before he can wrench power from the malevolent hands of the Netherworlde’s fearsome tyrant leader, Lady Eris, he must first search for the truth about himself and the ethereal Towers of Arcania.

The first instalment of The Changeling Series, Isle of Winds is an engrossing tale written in the traditions of high fantasy story-telling while carving out a magical new realm. It is perfect for fans of The Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter series.

REVIEW

Since I can remember, fantasy has been my genre of choice. I grew up on the magic and whimsy of Tolkien, Rowling, Lewis & Pullman. If I were a child now, I would equally have delighted in this bookish treasure.

But don’t get me wrong. As an adult, I have adored it. I just feel bad that my past self never got to grow up with the magic that this book brought to life for me during its reading.

As a reader, there are always two aspects of a novel that I need to be completely convinced of: memorable characters and convincing worldbuilding. Of course, the plot has to be strong too, but if it is missing either of those features, there’s a good chance that the plot will not be as gripping or engaging as it could be. Fortunately, Isle of Winds excels on all counts.

We are introduced to our protagonist, Robin Fellows, in a moment when life is catapulted from the familiar. His grandmother is dead and he is being forced to relocate to a manor to live with an aunt he never knew existed. Of course, the thing he doesn’t realize quite yet is that he’s about to discover the truth of his heritage and stumble into a fantastic adventure that most kids dream about.

From the get-go, Robin is a likeable boy with a natural curiosity and a good spirit. As with every good story, he’s only as strong as his supporting cast, and they are in anything but short supply. From the formidable Aunt Irene, to the enigmatic Karya, these characters blend into Robin’s life as he comes to uncover the Fae world he was born into.

And what a world it is! The mythology that layers it is superb and leaps off the pages with such vividness that you feel ready to get lost in yourself. The manor where Aunt Irene lives, Erlking Hall, is a beautifully imagined place with passages and secret doors to rival Hogwarts. The Netherworlde is crafted with equal attention, a parallel land existing with the world we know. The magic system of Arcania is full of its own mystery, while the mystical folk that inhabit the world take inspiration from Greek and Roman mythology! Have I conveyed the brilliance of it yet?

CONCLUSION

A truly remarkable debut to a series, Isle of Winds is full of twists and turns and provides an adventure that is engaging, gripping and captivating. A magical ride you don’t want to miss.

RATING

quills


If you want to interact with James, you can find him here:

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

If you want to discover the magic of Isle of Winds for yourself… AMAZON

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

The Iníonaofa Chronicles | Title Reveal & Other Tidbits

Happy Thursday friends!

Today, I’m excited to share some news about my urban fantasy series: The Iníonaofa Chronicles.

First, let me highlight some tidbits about the series that you might not yet be aware of…

PRONUNCIATION:

I’ve gotten a few questions about this one, so I figured it would be a good idea to share the trick of it with you.

Iníonaofa combines two Irish words: Iníon and Naofa.

Iníon means daughter or girl and Naofa means holy or sacred. For the purpose of this story, the word Iníonaofa means Sacred Daughters. The purpose of that, well… you’ll have to read to find out.

Now, how do you pronounce it? As such: In – een – nay – fa.

The Series Structure:

I have a total of twelve novels/novellas planned for this series. I can’t go into too much detail for some of them because it will spoil a major arc. At the moment, four full length novels will make up the core of the series with the novellas working as companion pieces. In this large system, Eléonore works as a prequel of sorts, but an essential one, as the character of Eléonore is at the heart of the series. I would recommend reading her before leaping into the series…

And speaking about leaping into the series, now seems like the perfect time to present the title reveal for Book One of the Iníonaofa Chronicles…………………………………

…..

…..

TITLE REVEAL

3 …..

2 …..

1 …..

 

Harkening (1).png

 

That’s right. HERALDING.

I don’t have a blurb to share with you right now, mainly because I haven’t written one yet, but also because any blurb would hold some spoilers for Eléonore, but I can share a small premise (if you really don’t want spoilers, just skip the purple bit)…

Eléonore scratched only the surface of a grander plot in Quebec City. Demons and sorcerers are conspiring, a new force is awakening, and all of it heralds an entirely more sinister hellhole of trouble for Eléonore to get sucked into.

CRAFTING THE SERIES

This is just a reminder that for the next few months every second Thursday will be dedicated to a new blog series – CRAFTING THE SERIES – that will explore my journey with Eléonore. I’ll start with conceiving of the idea. If everything goes well, I’ll be providing PDFs to accompany each step to help you take your story from creation to publication too!

Exciting times are coming 🙂


May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith  quill-ink

WWW Wednesday | 15.02.17

Happy Wednesday friends,

This seems to be a thing now, posting every second week, and it’ll probably stick because life is hectic ;P

As always, WWW Wednesday is a wonderful opportunity to delight in discovering what other people have read, are reading or will be reading. Because our TBRs are in need of it, right? 😅

Thanks to the lovely Sam at Taking on a World of Words for hosting this amazing blog hop every week! If you aren’t following her already, you’re missing out 🙂

Want to join in? All you have to do is answer these questions:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

CURRENTLY READING

A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) by V.E. Schwab

20764879Blurb (from A Darker Shade of Magic, the first book)

Kell is one of the last travelers–magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad King–George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered–and where Kell was raised alongside Rhy Maresh, the roguish heir to a flourishing empire. White London–a place where people fight to control magic and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

I have been putting this one off because I wanted to read it close enough to A Conjuring of Light‘s release date. Since that is LESS THAN A WEEK AWAY!!!! now seems like a good time to start on this one 💖

UPDATE: Only 40 pages in and I am already in love. There are pirates!!!

FINISHED READING

Game of Shadows by Erika  Lewis

31140987Blurb:

Ethan Makkai thought that seeing ghosts was the worst of his problems. Between his ethereal gift and life with a single mother hell-bent on watching his every move, he feels imprisoned. When Ethan sees a chance to escape, to leave the house by himself for the first time in his life, he seizes it, unaware that this first taste of freedom will cost him everything.

Ethan is thrown into a strange and eerie world, like nothing he’s ever seen. He’s assaulted by dive-bombing birds and rescued by a stranger who claims to be his bodyguard. His apartment is trashed, and his mother is kidnapped to a place Ethan never knew existed—a hidden continent called Tara.

Travelling to Tara in search of his mother, Ethan discovers that everything he knows about his life is a lie. His mother is royalty. His father is not dead. His destiny is likely to get him killed.

Confronted by a vicious sorcerer determined to destroy the Makkai family, Ethan must garner strength from his gift and embrace his destiny if he’s going to save his mother and all the people of Tara, including the beautiful girl he’s fallen for.

Definitely a new fantasy series to look out for. I was fortunate to receive an ARC from NetGalley and really devoured this one. Reminded me of Percy Jackson and The Mortal Instruments with a Celtic twist. And the mythology really was the best part! My review for it will be up next week in anticipation of its release February 28th!

Dawn Study (Soulfinders #3; Poison Study #6) by Maria V. Snyder

30375956Blurb (from Poison Study, first book in the series):

Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison…

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear…

Well, that brings this series to an end. I’ve enjoyed the ride and especially certain character arcs. While I was glad to follow this series to its end, I hate to admit that I wasn’t completely sold on this extended trilogy in the Poison Study universe, if only because a lot of the conflict and conversations became repetitive over times and Yelena’s character seemed to fall to the background too often. I think I’ll review this and Night Study together as they really lead one into the other.

A Second Chance at Life by Kassandra Lynn

33838303Blurb:

Lady Elaina had everything—wealth, title, and irresistible beauty—until her jealous half-sister ruined her reputation and forced her into a disgraceful marriage. She died amidst the flames, murdered and betrayed by her husband and half-sister. As the flames roared, the loss of her unborn child created a thirst for revenge.

A magical amulet sent her two years back in time. She has another chance to make things right for herself and her family, yet what began as a plot to undermine her half-sister’s machinations quickly evolved into a political conspiracy that will rock the entire empire and make Elaina realize she might not have traveled back in time alone.

This is another NetGalley arc and I had such difficulty getting through it. To be honest, it’s not the kind of story I tend to go for, but I was intrigued by the premise and thought it might be a nice change of pace. But the dialogue was terribly stilted and the characters unlikable as a whole. What was most difficult for me though was the unrealistic worldbuilding. I put up a review on GoodReads and I will say that others have more positively received it. It might just be me then and so, while I won’t recommend it, I will advise that I am also not one for romance heavy plots with no other substance, so that’s a bias to take into account.

In Calabria by Peter S. Beagle

In CalabriaBlurb:

From the acclaimed author of The Last Unicorn comes a new, exquisitely-told unicorn fable for the modern age.


Claudio Bianchi has lived alone for many years on a hillside in Southern Italy’s scenic Calabria. Set in his ways and suspicious of outsiders, Claudio has always resisted change, preferring farming and writing poetry. But one chilly morning, as though from a dream, an impossible visitor appears at the farm. When Claudio comes to her aid, an act of kindness throws his world into chaos. Suddenly he must stave off inquisitive onlookers, invasive media, and even more sinister influences.

Lyrical, gripping, and wise, In Calabria confirms Peter S. Beagle’s continuing legacy as one of fantasy’s most legendary authors.

This is reminding me that I’ve read more NetGalley ARCs then physical books. I do not like this statistic ;P
 In Calabria is my second Peter S. Beagle book and so far my favourite (I haven’t read The Last Unicorn yet though, so…). I fast tracked the review because it releases today in the UK! So happy book birthday! A five star review from me. You can find it here!
Isle of Winds (The Changeling #1) by James Fahy
28173857Blurb:

Isle of Winds is the first instalment in a Middle-Grade age fantasy series

Robin Fellows lives with his grandmother and lives what appears to be a rather ordinary life for a normal twelve year old boy.

But when Robin’s Gran dies, quite suddenly and a bit mysteriously, his world is turned upside down. A long lost relative comes out of the woodwork and whisks him away to a mysterious new home, Erlking Hall, a quiet estate in the solitary countryside of Lancashire.

Suddenly Robin must adjust to his new reality. But reality is no longer what he thought it was…

Erlking has many secrets – as do his newly found Great-Aunt Irene and her servants. After a strange encounter on the train and meeting a cold, eerie man on the platform, Robin begins to notice odd happenings at Erlking.

There is more than meets the eye to this old, rambling mansion.
Little does he know that there is more than meets the eye to himself.

Robin is the world’s last Changeling. He is descended from a mystic race of Fae-people, whose homeland, the Netherworlde, is caught in the throes of a terrible civil war.

Not only this, but in this new world there is a magical force that has infiltrated the human realm.

Before he can wrench power from the malevolent hands of the Netherworlde’s fearsome tyrant leader, Lady Eris, he must first search for the truth about himself and the ethereal Towers of Arcania.

The first instalment of The Changeling Series, Isle of Winds is an engrossing tale written in the traditions of high fantasy story-telling while carving out a magical new realm. It is perfect for fans of The Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter series.

Just finished this one last night and it was W – O – N – D – E – R – F -U – L! A brilliant fantasy adventure that fits in beautifully with classics like Chronicles of Narnia and The Hobbit! Seriously friends. Read this one! My review should be up soon!

READING NEXT

Uh….

29939230

Yep! 😊

But also… I know that I won’t get through my February TBR. It was ambitious to begin with, but I am trying to get through these before the month through…

ARCS:

31430932   34097124   30279514

My Bookshelf:

4978     24453082

Perhaps still a little ambitious…


Let me know what you’re reading or have read or plan on reading next or share a link to your post.

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

This Week in Review | 05.02.17-12.02.17

Good evening!

Sunday is coming to a close here friends. I hope you had a lovely weekend. Mine’s been fairly productive, if not a little hectic at the same time.

Just coming to share the highlights of my week with you 🙂


Posts on My Blog

Eléonore Annoucement

REVIEW | Summerlong by Peter S. Beagle

REVIEW | Desert Jewel by Natalina Reis

My Writing Projects

I’m working on two main projects at the moment, the sequel to Eléonore – title reveal coming this week – and a new high fantasy screenplay. I’ve reached 7k in the sequel and 10 pages in my screenplay which is less than I hoped, but not shabby when all is said and done.

I’ve outlined both so I know where the story is going in each case and expecting that some changes will be coming as they always do. It’s the plantser in me.

My screenplay is one that I conceived a few years ago, but left without touching for a while. After rewatching all of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies with my sister, I felt inspired to pick it up again and try something new: to write a fantasy film without basing it on a novel. I think the story is unique and I look forward to sharing more about it as it comes.

With regards to the second book in the Iníonaofa Chronicles, I like how it’s taking shape, though I am also aware that it’s going to need a wee bit of editing once it’s done. Not worrying about that now, though. This first draft is about the writing!


Hope you’ve all had an amazing week and best of luck with the next one. Let me know what special moments have defined your life this week. Stay safe and be good to one another, friends!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink