Category Archives: Whimsical Musings

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

A Personal Eulogy

Friends,

I had an entirely different blog post prepared for today, but in the wake of recent news, I feel compelled to share another.

PLEASE BE WARNED! What follows deals with death (specifically suicide) and so please turn away now if you don’t feel comfortable reading that material. I do not expect you to read or comment. I am just writing this because I am looking for a way to cope with my grief and this is the only way I know how.

A young friend of mine, a young man I have known since I was perhaps twelve and he was six, passed away yesterday. I have not seen him since Christmas time, though I have spoken to other members of his family since and interacted with them on social media. But today I received the hardest news I have ever received. He is gone. And he took his own life.

And his twentieth birthday would have been Sunday.

And I am heartbroken. Devastated. At a loss.

And I am angry. So very very very angry! Angry with myself. Angry with the world.

And I feel guilty. I wonder why I didn’t reach out to him, why I haven’t tried to talk to him, even just to leave a message to ask how he is. Why?

And I know it’s not my fault, but I still feel culpable and this feeling of helplessness, of despair, of having the deepest desire to turn back time and take him in my arms and tell him that everything is going to be okay is unlike any feeling I’ve ever had before.

He was such a beautiful young man, full of potential, so smart, so witty. I’ve admired him greatly and I always imagined that he would do amazing things, and it kills me inside to know that it won’t happen now.

Oh, this feeling!

I want to believe he’s in a better place; I want to, but I keep thinking that this life could have brought him such beautiful experiences if only he had stuck it out.

And if you are still reading this friends, please take my advice. Reach out to those you love, to people you might have neglected recently. Reach out and tell them how much they mean to you. Reach out and tell them that you care. Tell them that you’re there for them.

And if you, my friends, are going through a hard time, please do not give up. Please stick in there. If you need someone to reach out to, I am here. And there are other people out there who can be there for you too. I know it. You are too special and worth too much to admit defeat now.

Be strong for one another. Never take for granted what an act of kindness can do. There is no such thing as a small one, as someone reminded me lately (you know who you are, my dear), and it could turn someone’s whole life around.

And to my friend, my beautiful friend who I want to believe is in heaven now because my faith is such, I am sorry if I failed you and if you never knew how much I loved you. And I hope that you can forgive me. And I hope that we can find each other again one day.

I had always hoped you might be the one. ❤

Faith

Manningtree Account | Becky Wright

Happy Friday friends,

Life’s been keeping busy, but I’m doing my best to make time for y writing. I’m actually ahead with Heralding and managed to write a short story this past week that I’ll submit to a few places next week.

Anyway, I’ll be posting a small update Sunday on the writing front.

For now, here’s another review for you 🙂


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1646 – A time of English Civil War, when life is cheap, death common and superstition consumes the hearts of God-fearing folk. The life of a healer is precarious, dwelling in the shadows of normal society. Ostracised, their time running out as the self-appointed Witchfinder General scours the countryside for the Devil’s whores…

2016 – One dark night, one sleepy town, one family gripped by terror. The EAPI paranormal team are called to investigate dark poltergeist activity. But, as the eternal night finally loosens its grip, it seems that some evil deeds are never forgotten, reaching out from beyond the grave to exact their revenge…

REVIEW

Well that was wonderfully dark and creepy and haunting!

A fast-paced story. A page turner. An absolutely spellbinding narrative that I could not put down. This novella might be little but the impact is great!

It’s hard to say much without spoiling it and I feel as though it’s best to go in knowing as little as possible so that each twist and turn hits as it should.

What I will say is this: Becky Wright does a masterful job of crafting a sinister atmosphere, her prose is mesmerizing and her narrative is perfectly executed.

And at the end, all I could think was: “Please sir, I want some more.”

CONCLUSION

If you like your tales dark, settle in for the night with this gem. You won’t regret it!

RATING

quills


May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

WWW Wednesday | 22.03.17

Happy Wednesday friends,

I’m back today for WWW Wednesday and boy has it been a long time ;P

I’ve been busy with writing, participating in an #AuthorHop on Instagram and life… beautiful, unexpected life! I’ve found time to read since my last post, but not the time to post. But today, I fix that.

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

The Splendour Falls by Susanna Kearsley

18998861Blurb:

Chinon: château of legend, steeped in the history of France and England.

It is to Chinon that Emily goes on a long-awaited holiday, to meet her charming but unreliable cousin, Harry. Harry wanted to explore the old town and the castle, where Queen Isabelle, child bride of King John, had withstood the siege of Chinon many centuries ago, and where, according to legend, she hid her casket of jewels. But when Emily arrives at her hotel she finds that Harry has disappeared, and as she tries to find him she becomes involved with some of the other guests and learns of a mystery dating from the German occupation during the Second World War. Another Isabelle, a chambermaid at the hotel, fell in love with a German soldier, with tragic results.

Emily becomes increasingly aware of strange tensions, old enmities and new loves; as she explores the city, with its labyrinthine dungeons and tunnels and its ancient secrets, she comes ever closer to the mystery of what happened to both the Isabelles of Chinon’s history.

Chances are I’ll be done this one by the time you’re reading this but I’m including it here for the moment because I’m still 100 pages from the end. It’s the second Kearsley I’m reading in my 2017 read-a-thon of her bibliography. It just took a really tragic turn that I wasn’t expecting….

FINISHED READING

The Manningtree Acount by Becky Wright

34510505Blurb:

1646 – A time of English Civil War, when life is cheap, death common and superstition consumes the hearts of God-fearing folk. The life of a healer is precarious, dwelling in the shadows of normal society. Ostracised, their time running out as the self-appointed Witchfinder General scours the countryside for the Devil’s whores…

2016 – One dark night, one sleepy town, one family gripped by terror. The EAPI paranormal team are called to investigate dark poltergeist activity. But, as the eternal night finally loosens its grip, it seems that some evil deeds are never forgotten, reaching out from beyond the grave to exact their revenge…

I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful this novella was! Thrilling and gripping! After reading Becky’s debut novel (Remember to Love Me), a time slip romance, I was excited to see how she handled a paranormal thriller and WOW! She’s a true storyteller, able to work her magic across genres. My full review will be up tomorrow!

READING NEXT

Song of Susannah (Dark Tower #6) by Stephen King

5093Blurb (from The Gunslinger – Book I the series)

Set in a world of extraordinary circumstances, filled with stunning visual imagery and unforgettable characters, The Dark Tower series is King’s most visionary feat of storytelling, a magical mix of science fiction, fantasy, and horror that may well be his crowning achievement.

In The Gunslinger (originally published in 1982), King introduces his most enigmatic hero, Roland Deschain of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting, solitary figure at first, on a mysterious quest through a desolate world that eerily mirrors our own. Pursuing the man in black, an evil being who can bring the dead back to life, Roland is a good man who seems to leave nothing but death in his wake.

The penultimate in the series, I am excited and nervous to finish this amazing adventure. I have fallen in love with these characters and am constantly amazed by King’s masterful storytelling. If you can stomach some of the more gruesome elements, this dark fantasy is brilliant and shouldn’t be missed!


Share your WWW posts below or let me know what your week has been like in books in the comments below!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

March IG Author Hop!

Hi everyone!

I hope that you’re well.

Over the next few days, I’m participating in an author hop on Instagram to help generate buzz for our books and to spread the word of other amazing authors out there!

If you’re on Instagram you should go check it out because part of the hop includes the chance to win amazing prizes! You can find me another the handle @faith_therivens.

And I’m giving away a copy of my debut urban fantasy novella, Eléonore!

33113796Eléonore Dormant’s life is a precarious balancing act: librarian by day, demon hunter by night and single mother around the clock. Each day brings its challenges and she brings her A-game. It helps that coffee and a bottle of painkillers are always in supply.

For six years, she’s protected the streets of Montreal from all manner of demons and the consequent evil that they would wreak on her city. But even a resumé like hers isn’t enough to prepare her for the unforeseen night when she becomes the hunted.

A sorcerer, an enigmatic Elder, has placed a hefty bounty on her head and the demons are eager to claim the reward for her capture. They bear down on her, disrupting her mode de vie and endangering her son’s life all in one fell swoop. But Eléonore is ready to fight whatever Hell deigns to send her way to save him. The path she pursues will lead her to new places and old faces.

One thing is certain, Eléonore’s about to get into a whole hellhole of trouble.

If you’re interested in winning a copy, make sure you check out my March IG Author hop post to complete all the steps to be entered: HERE!!!

If you found your way here from Instagram, and have already completed the other steps, just drop a comment below to let me know what you love most about Spring and leave your Instagram handle so I can know you completed your entry!

Best of luck, friends! I’ll announce the winner on March 22nd!


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.

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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

Game of Shadows | Erika Lewis

Happy Sunday friends,

Hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend today.

I’m excited to share this review with you! The start of a new and exciting fantasy series, it releases this Tuesday!

Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for giving me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.


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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.

REVIEW

I think that most of you know by now that fantasy is my go-to genre in my life, and I was excited to get the chance to discover a new fantasy series, especially one with a lot of promise, great world building and fun characters.

The story begins in a world we know well and a boy whose life is about to be changed forever. Like Percy Jackson and Clary Fray before him, Ethan believes himself to be an ordinary kid, except for the ghosts that he sees that no one else can. In fact, Ethan does share a few commonalities with these characters. Like them, his mother has been concealing the truth of his heritage. Like them, one moment throws his normal world into chaos and leads him to discover a new world.

While Ethan’s arc emulates some of those that came before, the plot still features unique characters and interesting twists and turns to keep one interested and to allow the comparisons to fall away for the most part.

What is most wonderful about this story is the worldbuilding. I’m a sucker for Celtic mythology and Erika Lewis does a fantastic job of bringing the land of Tara to life and imbuing it with creatures and characters that provide moments of whimsy and moments of fear.

The plot speeds along at a great pace, packed full of adventure, as Ethan embarks on a journey of his own: to rescue his mother from the clutches of a sorcerer. It makes for a gripping read that rises above the small stumbles. The ending especially leaves off on a tantalizing note and I am rather intrigued to see where this story will go next.

CONCLUSION

A wonderful debut to a new YA Fantasy series, if you’re looking for an exciting adventure, look no further.

RATING

quills


May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink