Category Archives: Whimsical Musings

Half Month Report

Hi all!

Hope you’re keeping well.

Montreal’s summer is really settling in. We reached 34º celsius with humidity two days ago and this morning woke up to a brisk 12º. Nothing says summer like fluctuating temperature!

extra3 summer winter cold yolo GIF

 

Anyway, I’ve been fairly unreliable on my blog lately and while part of that is because I’m terrible at time management, the other reason is that I’ve been knee deep in edits of Pirate Eyes.

To which you now say… “but Faith, you mentioned that they were done just a few weeks ago. Are you a pathological liar?”

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In all seriousness, though, I was telling the truth when I said I was done, but since then, my sister started and finished her developmental edit of my story and made a few excellent points so I’m just making the minor changes I need to and doing a final readthrough to reassure myself it’s as good as it can be, and then that’s it.

For real this time.

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On top of that, I’ve been dividing my time between work, family and that secret project. Oh, and Social Media. I’ve been most active on Instagram but that’s about to change because I can feel myself reaching the breaking point, which isn’t good… Or so I’ve heard ;P

All that to say, this year has been a challenge for me in terms of learning to balance time. Though I will admit that a good part of my struggle has to do with where I am in my personal life. I won’t burden you with that for now. We all are battling our own inner demons, and all I can say to you, is keep your chin up and put up the good fight friends. Five years down the line, you’ll back on the darker periods of your life and they’ll only be distant memories. Life is so much bigger than right now.

Winding down, I’m making plans, and putting my best foot forward. Scheduling is my best friend right now and I’m creating time blocks for my activities, which means that I’m hoping to post on this blog at least once a week and catch up on your posts and comments twice more.

If everything works out as I hope — edits of Pirate Eyes entirely done by the end of this month — I’ll be starting on Heralding edits next month and coming to you with a special new blog series. Plus that secret project will finally see the light of day!

And keep your eye out for tomorrow’s post, which will be a guest post by the very kind and talented, Sarina Langer!

But enough about me… What have you been up to friends? Anything exciting happening in your life? Do you feel stressed or overwhelmed at the moment? Let me know what’s on your mind and we can support one another as we set forth to create a future for ourselves 🙂

Image result for we are groot gif

all gifs taken from giphy.com


May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

Ten High Fantasies on my TBR | Top Ten Tuesday

Hello friends,

How have you been?

Hope that you are all keeping well and safe.

Today’s Tuesday which means it’s time for a Top Ten Tuesday post as brought to us by the brilliant Broke and the Bookish!

The topic today is Ten Books from X Genre that I’ve Recently Added to my TBR.

As you all know, High Fantasy is a great joy of mine so I’m focusing on the last ten books I’ve added to my GoodReads TBR in that genre

You might recognize a few from my TTT post last week which was about anticipated upcoming releases but there are a few older books here that I’ve only recently put on my TBR because I’m slow to the uptake (that’s the saying, right?) sometimes.

Here they are, in ascending order…


10. Godsgrave (Nevernight Chronicles #2) by Jay Kristoff

23264671 Blurb (from Book One)

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?

9. Blood Red Road (Dust Lands #1) by Moira Young

9917938Blurb:

Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That’s fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when four cloaked horsemen capture Lugh, Saba’s world is shattered, and she embarks on a quest to get him back.
Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the outside world, Saba discovers she is a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba’s unrelenting search for Lugh stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

8. Daughter of the Siren Queen (Daughter of the Pirate King #2) by Tricia Levenseller

33643994Blurb (From Book One)

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

7. The Wise Man’s Fear (Kingkiller Chronicles #2) by Patrick Rothfuss

15808621Blurb (from Book One)

Told in Kvothe’s own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen.

The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature.

A high-action story written with a poet’s hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.

6. The Grace of Kings (The Dandelion Dynasty #1) by Ken Liu

18952341Blurb:

Two men rebel together against tyranny—and then become rivals—in this first sweeping book of an epic fantasy series from Ken Liu, recipient of Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards.

Wily, charming Kuni Garu, a bandit, and stern, fearless Mata Zyndu, the son of a deposed duke, seem like polar opposites. Yet, in the uprising against the emperor, the two quickly become the best of friends after a series of adventures fighting against vast conscripted armies, silk-draped airships, and shapeshifting gods. Once the emperor has been overthrown, however, they each find themselves the leader of separate factions—two sides with very different ideas about how the world should be run and the meaning of justice.

Fans of intrigue, intimate plots, and action will find a new series to embrace in the Dandelion Dynasty.

5. Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst

Blurb:

13056868Liyana has trained her entire life to be the vessel of a goddess. She will dance and summon her tribe’s deity, who will inhabit Liyana’s body and use magic to bring rain to the desert. But when the dance ends, Liyana is still there. Her tribe is furious — and sure that it is Liyana’s fault. Abandoned by her tribe, Liyana expects to die in the desert. Until a boy walks out of the dust in search of her.

Korbyn is a god inside his vessel, and a trickster god at that. He tells Liyana that five other gods are missing, and they set off across the desert in search of the other vessels. The desert tribes cannot survive without the magic of their gods. But the journey is dangerous, even with a god’s help. And not everyone is willing to believe the trickster god’s tale.

The closer she grows to Korbyn, the less Liyana wants to disappear to make way for her goddess. But she has no choice — she must die for her tribe to live. Unless a trickster god can help her to trick fate — or a human girl can muster some magic of her own.

4. Blood Song (Raven’s Shadow #1) by Anthony Ryan

13569581Blurb:

Vaelin Al Sorna was only a child of ten when his father left him at the iron gate of the Sixth Order. The Brothers of the Sixth Order are devoted to battle, and Vaelin will be trained and hardened to the austere, celibate, and dangerous life of a Warrior of the Faith. He has no family now save the Order.

Vaelin’s father was Battle Lord to King Janus, ruler of the unified realm. Vaelin’s rage at being deprived of his birthright and dropped at the doorstep of the Sixth Order like a foundling knows no bounds. He cherishes the memory of his mother, and what he will come to learn of her at the Order will confound him. His father, too, has motives that Vaelin will come to understand. But one truth overpowers all the rest: Vaelin Al Sorna is destined for a future he has yet to comprehend. A future that will alter not only the realm, but the world.

3. Blackwing (Ravens’ Mark #1) by Ed McDonald

33916060Blurb:

Nothing in the Misery lasts…

Under a cracked and wailing sky, the Misery is a vast and blighted expanse, created when the Engine, the most powerful weapon in the world, was unleashed against the immortal Deep Kings. Across the wasteland, teeming with corrupted magic and malevolent wraiths, the Deep Kings and their armies are still watching—and still waiting.

Ryhalt Galharrow is no stranger to the Misery. The bounty hunter journeys to a remote outpost, armed for killing both men and monsters, and searching for a mysterious noblewoman. He finds himself in the middle of a shocking attack by the Deep Kings, one that should not be possible. Only a fearsome show of power from the very woman he is seeking saves him.

Once, long ago, he knew the woman well, and together they stumble onto a web of conspiracy that threatens to unmake everything they hold dear and end the fragile peace the Engine has provided. Galharrow is not ready for the truth about the blood he’s spilled and the gods he’s supposed to serve…

2. The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

34076952Blurb:

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

 

1. The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black

26032825Blurb:

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.


Have you read any of these books? Which books have you recently added to your TBR in the high fantasy genre? Share in the comments 🙂

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith    quill-ink

This Month in Review | May 2017

Hello friends!

Happy June 1st!

Is it happy, though? Not sure how I feel about knowing that we’re nearly halfway through 2017! Anyone else feel like time keeps testing how fast it can go with every passing year?

As with the last four months, I’m starting off this one reflecting on the goals I achieved, those I didn’t and what I have to look forward to in June.

I feel like May was far less productive than June, but I still got some things done 🙂


GOALS OF MAY

  1. Edit Heralding to second draft.
  2. Finish writing my fairy tale adaptation
  3. Outline Hollow Vows (sequel to Pirate Eyes) – I had most of this done, but after edits of Pirate Eyes, I have a new idea for the rest of the series.
  4. Host #FictMAYhem on Twitter/Instagram.I’m really excited to be hosting this again and helping people develop their characters! You’re more than welcome to join us 🙂
  5. Read 5-6 books. This includes Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, which I didn’t get to last month, Nevernight by Jay Kristoff because Sarina convinced me to, and Eon by Alison Goodman.
  6. Watch 4-5 movies. There are so many great ones coming out this month: Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2, Pirates of the Caribbean (Dead Men Tell no Tales), Everything Everything and King Arthur (Legend of the Sword).
  7. Post 2 entries for Crafting the Series.
  8. Special project – I would say more, but it’s a secret for the moment. Just know that something exciting is coming in June and I’m excited to share it with you 🙂
  9. Outline a novella idea. I had started to write out an outline in April and I’m hoping to get more of it worked out this month.

 

ACHIEVED IN MAY

  1. I’m still in the process of editing Heralding. Unfortunately, I spent most of May doing a readthrough of Eléonore to catch any plot holes and make sure all’s set for the sequels. Then I managed a full readthrough of Heralding and made notes of what needs work where. So the actual edits are taking place this month and the draft for betas should be ready by July 1st.
  2. I didn’t finish writing that adaptation, but it really was an overambitious goal to begin with. I have maybe two chapters left on one part and then I’ll start the second. But this isn’t a priority.
  3. I didn’t get to outline Hollow Vows yet only because I’ve been working meticulously on Pirate Eyes. My edit was done but I’m in the midst of another read through to identify those pesky plot holes because my sister pointed out a little problem and now I’m paranoid it’s elsewhere. So we’re both going through it with a fine tooth comb and I have a few beta readers who will be giving it a fresh look as well.
  4. Something I succeeded at! Somewhat. I wasn’t able to stay up to date with posts on Keira, but I was able to provide daily prompts so I hope that #FictMAYhem was a success!
  5. I read THIRTEEN books in May! Wow! I just realized that right now 😂 I’ll do a separate post on this. But I can honestly say my favourite book was…. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff!
  6. I watched EIGHT movies this month, though only three were first time viewings. By far, my favourite was Pan’s Labyrinth! (Still can’t believe how long it’s taken me to watch that!
  7. This did not happen again but I have one almost done and it should be up next week latest 🙂
  8. Ah, the special project. Something my sister and I have been working on. Something coming very, VERY soon 😉
  9. I didn’t touch this at all, but I did write a short script that I’ll be submitting to a couple of contests so there’s a trade-off there!

 

JUNE GOALS

  1. Edit HERALDING to a second draft for beta readers. As mentioned above, I really want to have this done by July 1st, because my hope is that she’ll be out by November latest! So keep your eyes open friends. Eléonore’s coming back.
  2. Outline Hollow Vows: At the same time, make corrections to Pirate Eyes as the edits from my sister (aka my ideal reader) and my beta readers come in. Really hoping to have this done so I can start working on the sequel in July/August.
  3. Write more of my fairy tale adaptation: If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed in my story that I do most of the writing for this at night, which gives me usually half an hour. Honestly, it’s a great way to unwind. The goal is to write at least four nights a week and hopefully make some headway.
  4. Write a Christmas musical for my Church. This will be my second time (it’s been years since the first attempt). And it will be dedicated to my dear friend ❤
  5. Read 5-6 books: I’ll be posting my TBR tomorrow so keep an eye out 😉
  6. Watch 4-5 movies: This includes WONDER WOMAN!!!, maybe Pirates of the Caribbean, and hopefully My Cousin Rachel and The Beguiled.
  7. Post at least one Crafting the Series post. As I mentioned above, I have one just about ready to post. But I do hope to have a second one up, time permitting!
  8. The SPECIAL PROJECT: stay tuned… it’s coming this month…

What were you busy with in May? What plans do you have for June? Share in the comments 🙂

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

Books Still to Come 2017 | Top Ten Tuesday

Good Day Everyone,

I hope that you are all doing well 🙂

Can you believe that tomorrow is the last day of May??

Keep an eye out for some posts coming out this week about where I am in my writing life and my June TBR.

Today’s theme for Top Ten Tuesday as hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is Top Ten Most Anticipated Books For The Second Half of 2017.

Not sure if I’ll actually read these releases this year, but I’m hoping to make time to because they sound SOOO GOOOD!!!


Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff

23264671

If there’s one I have to make time for this year, it’s Godsgrave. I just read Nevernight this month and it BLEW. ME. AWAY. Dark fantasy as its best. A kickass heroine. And worldbuilding done absolutely right.

Releases: September 5th

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

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Truth be told, I haven’t read This Savage Song yet because I’ve been waiting to binge read these two together. And I can’t wait. Shades of Magic is one of my favourite fantasy series and Schwab is easily one of my favourite authors. After I devour these, I only have her Archived series to read as I impatiently await the release of Vengeful next year!

Releases: June 13th

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

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First things first. I am RIDICULOUSLY excited for the Wonder Woman film coming out this Friday. The reviews are rolling in and they are extremely positive!

With that hype going, it’s no wonder that one of my highly anticipated releases is a YA take on the superheroine! And written by Leigh Bardugo! Bring on all the awesomeness!

Releases: August 29th

All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

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I’ve only read one book my Maggie Stiefvater, Raven Boys, and while I had some issues with it, I mainly loved the characterization of the boys and I’m eager to read more of her works. Especially The Scorpio Races, but this one sounds absolutely amazing too!

Here is a thing everyone wants:
A miracle.

Here is a thing everyone fears:
What it takes to get one.

Releases: October 10th

La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

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His Dark Materials was one of my favourite series growing up so when I heard that Pullman was writing a companion series with the first book coming out this year… well… there were a few Hallelujah choruses, I’ll tell you that much 😀

Releases: October 19th

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

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Yes, Leigh Bardugo is featuring twice on this list. But it can’t be help. A collection of six tales with stunning illustrations inspired by myths, fairy tales and folklore… well, that has me sold!

Releases: September 26th

The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera

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I am always on the lookout for new fantasies to add to my ever growing TBR of ‘MUST READ FANTASY NOVELS’ and with both Roshani Chokshi and VE Schwab praising it, you can be darn sure that this one has jumped up a few spots.

Releases: October 3rd

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

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This sounds like a gorgeously realized book, the premise so whimsical and heartbreaking already. I know that many people speak highly of McLemore and I’ve been meaning to pick up a book hers. With the promise of magical realism and a female centric storyline, I cannot wait for this one!

Releases: October 3rd

Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett

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A story about a young girl living in a fictional Himalayan country who joins a legendary explorer on a dangerous climb with “avalanches, ice chasms, ghosts, and other dangers at every turn.”

Yes please!

Releases: September 5th

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

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I’ve only recently started reading fantasy books with a worldbuilding steeped in Asian culture and so far I have been captivated! Enter a retelling of the Evil Queen legend with an antiheroine on a journey from peasant to Empress and onto my TBR you go 🙂

Releases: October 10th

HONOURABLE MENTION

Well, I hear there’s a nifty urban fantasy novel called Heralding releasing Fall 2017, a pseudo-sequel to this little novella called Eléonore by Faith Rivens…

Oh wait… 😳

Sorry for the shameless promotion! 😅


What book release are you most anticipating for the rest of 2017? Let me know!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith   quill-ink

Pirate Eyes | Care to be a Beta Reader?

Hi friends!

Hope you’re having a beautiful Monday so far.

Earlier this month, I finished my last round of edits of Pirate Eyes and I am really happy with where she is now. My sister is currently deep in a read of it of her own, and she’s picked up a few things I missed. This is her first time reading the new draft (for those of you who don’t know the current Pirate Eyes is only half of what she once was. I split the original book in two because there was WAY TOO MUCH happening in it) and I’m glad to have her eyes on it.

But I’d really like to have a few more.

So here’s a call-out for Beta Readers!

Pirate Eyes is a high fantasy coming in at 121,500 words.

Here’s a small blurb for you:

With purple eyes that can see further than any man’s has ever seen, 18-year old Keira’s gaze is set upon the endless horizons of Quarathar. Raised by pirates, her heart is devoted to the Diamond Heart and the Oceans Six that make her home. It’s a good life, even with Captain Sean obstructing her attempts to prove her mettle.

With a bit of stubbornness, she convinces him to give her a chance to show her strength. And ends up discovering a lot more.

Stashed away on the deck of a sunken ship, Keira uncovers the legendary jewel known as the Cerastone and the role that she has been destined since before her birth.

Evil threatens the freedom of her ocean home, manifested in the form of Captain Armando, and Destiny has chosen her as its sword to wield against his impending domination of the Oceans Six. To choose to accept it would be to embrace the powers of the Cerastone and prove her worth once and for all. But to give in to Fate is to renounce Freedom, to become a pawn. To imperil not only her own life, but that of the crew she calls family.

Keira must make a choice: to serve Destiny or herself. With devastating consequences assured either way, Keira’s decision will set her on a path from the life she has known towards a future beyond the reach of even her far-seeing eyes.

If you’re interested, here are a few other things to consider:

  1. I am looking for beta readers who are familiar with the fantasy genre (especially high fantasies).
  2. I will be sending out beta copies this Friday (June 2nd) with the hope to have feedback within 6 weeks (by July 16th).
  3. I need critical opinions that will help me improve my story. Tough love, friends. That’s what I need 😉

If you would like to be a beta reader, please leave me a comment here with your email address or send me an email at faithrivens(dot)writer(at)gmail(dot)com and we can discuss more about it. When you do, let me know what your favourite high fantasy is and what about it cemented your love for it.


Thank you for all your support and encouragement thus far. I cannot wait to share Pirate Eyes with you all one day. Hope you all have a lovely week ahead! Let me know what you’ve been up to!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith  quill-ink

The Big Books of Summer | Top Ten Tuesday

Happy Tuesday all,

I’ve been quiet since my last post, but that’s because I’ve been busy with a few projects. I’m hoping to have an update up this week regarding Pirate Eyes and I’m preparing my usual end of the month wrap-up. But I am loving this new weekly TTT post because (fun fact) I LOVE making lists 😉

If you want to participate, you can find out all the information here at The Broke and the Bookish!

Today’s theme is a Summer freebie so I though I’d share with you my (wishful) summer TBR which is mostly comprised of large high fantasy tomes that could make great door stoppers or head knockers if wielded properly.

But before I jump to that list, I just want to take a moment to extend a prayer to those affected by the attack at the Manchester Arena, and to all of us really, looking for peace and love in this world.

I also want to share this tweet I posted on Twitter this morning. I was feeling really frustrated by what had happened, but then I realized a kinder truth that eased it. I hope it can help do the same for you…

Remember to stand by your values, friends, to look for the light in the dark. Standing together, holding to hope and that wish for peace, that is what will guide us through.


THE BIG BOOKS OF SUMMER | TBR

As a reader, I set aside most of my outrageously large TBR books for the summer months. Here are the top ten I hope (but know I won’t) read this sunny season…

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Coming in at 1,107 pages, this is definitely one of the largest tomes I have on my TBR, and one of my highest anticipated ones as well. I read the first book (Name of the Wind) in the series last year and fell in love with the characters and the narrative style and the setting and… oh! I just fell in love with ALL OF IT ❤️️

The only thing that’s been holding me back is the fear that all wise book readers fear — that by the next time the third book comes out I’ll have forgotten everything that happened in the first two. Of course, by the logic of this, my other fear should be if I remember everything that happened in book one… 😳

Oh well, I’ll take my chances and hope that book three comes out a year from now. Hear that Mr. Rothfuss… Please don’t be another Grr Martin. 😊

Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb:

27855850When it comes to this lovely book, the truth is that I forgot I hadn’t finished the series 😅 I only realized it yesterday when I was looking through my shelves to figure out my June TBR and saw it and then the realization struck hard and fast! 😳

I loved Hobb’s first series (the Farseer Trilogy) & I jumped into her second one hoping for the same feeling. While I haven’t enjoyed it as much, mainly because there’s no character quite like Fitz in it, I do love the ocean setting and pirates (I’m writing a pirate book, so pirates are always a must for me 😉) .

Anyhoo… I intend to finish this trilogy in June. At 800 pages, it’s not too intimidating a read…

Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson:

243272In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with color once more?

Counting this as three, four and five on the list.

Here’s one that’s been on my TBR for much longer than it deserves to have been. I’ve heard only amazing things about this series and I am making darn sure that this summer is the season when I finally indulge.

Whether or not this means binge reading the entire series remains to be seen. If it does then I can look forward to a whopping 2,168 pages of high fantasy epicness!

Not a bad thing in my mind. Not a bad thing at all…

The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman:

1321064The first non-fantasy on my list, this lovely book falls into my second favourite genre category: historical fiction. This will be my first Penman novel – – though she’s been on my TBR longer even than Sanderson! In the past seven months or so, I’ve stocked up on five of her books (Book Outlet had them price at 7.00 versus the normal 20.00. Steal, am I right 😉)

This particularly gorgeous tome focuses on the life of Richard III, infamous for his villainy and twisted shape. Her retelling sheds a different light on the story and I can’t wait to see how she does! In the 936 pages that she tells it in! 😅

This magnificent retelling of his life is filled with all of the sights and sounds of battle, the customs and lore of the fifteenth century, the rigors of court politics, and the passions and prejudices of royalty.

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon:

685374The fourth book in the Outlander series, I have set this one aside since I read Voyager in winter 2016.  While I didn’t enjoy the first book as much as I hoped to, I loved the second one for its historical setting and did enjoy the third one as it introduced new characters and new settings to delight in.

What I really enjoy about this series is how it blends romances, history and fantasy. And Scotland. Enough said!

I really do intend to read the whole series through and if I can get through one a year that would be marvelous. So here’s hoping the summer brings an opportunity to return to Claire and Jamie (which reminds me that I still need to watch the second season of the show. Luckily, it’s now up on Netflix 😊)!

So that’s another 1,070 pages!

The Once and Future King by T.H. White:

10571Another one long on my TBR and on my shelf. I am looking forward to delving into this classic Arthurian text. It’s been too long since I read a book that deals with King Arthur and Merlin and the knights of the round table! The last was Mary Stewart’s Merlin cycle which I must highly recommend to any fellow Arthurian enthusiasts 😊

The version I have is a total 823 pages but there could never be enough pages for me to get lost in when it comes to any Arthur retelling!

Exquisite comedy offsets the tragedy of Arthur’s personal doom as White brings to life the major British epic of all time with brilliance, grandeur, warmth and charm.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy:

18243Nothing like a hefty classic book to make the sun shine brighter and the long days feel longer! 😅

Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once an epic of the Napoleonic Wars, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Tolstoy’s genius is seen clearly in the multitude of characters in this massive chronicle—all of them fully realized and equally memorable.

I have been avoiding this lofty Russian tome for some time only because of the sheer size of it, but I am tired of hiding from it and this summer I shall attend to it with determination! Each summer I try to read a large classic (two years ago it was Les Miserables, before that The Count of Monte Cristo). They are among my favourite books and I have no doubt that Tolstoy will captivate me with his words.

Bring on all 1,388 pages! I’m ready to get lost!

Empress by Karen Miller:

2015492This high fantasy is one that was recommended to me by the lovely and talented Sarina Langer and I have it set to read for July. It’s another chunk of a novel coming in at 717 pages! But the story sounds oh so promising:

Her name is Hekat–
And she will be slave to no man.

In a family torn apart by poverty and violence, Hekat is no more than an unwanted mouth to feed, worth only a few coins from a passing slave trader.

But Hekat was not born to be a slave. For her, a different path has been chosen. It is a path that will take her from stinking back alleys to the house of her god, from blood-drenched battlefields to the glittering palaces of Mijak.

Honourable Mentions

On the off-chance that I finish the ten books above, I also hope to get to these books as well…

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye

Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind

Eye of the World by Robert Jordan



So there you have it! All in all, if I do manage to read these ten books this summer, I’ll be looking at a whopping 9009 pages to delight in! Actually, I rather like the look of that number 😍

What’s the biggest book you’re looking forward to read this summer? Let me know in the comments!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith   quill-ink

Mothers in Literature | Top Ten Tuesday

Happy Tuesday friends 🙂

I’m working on a few blog posts for the next few weeks, updates on my progress and for my Crafting the Series posts that I’ve neglected utterly in the wake of too many writerly goals and personal issues.

But I’ve been seeing a few TTT posts around and thought it might be fun to add this to my weekly blog lineup as I try to create a semblance of order here.

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, it’s a weekly meme that’s all about books and lists based on a theme.

This week’s theme is a mother’s day related freebie! All you have to do is link back to their page. VOILÀ

As many of you may know, the main character in my debut novella is a single mother named Eléonore who fights demons by night while caring for her six-year old son, Étienne.

So my interpretation today is ten fictional mothers who inspired Eléonore!

Ready? Here we go 🙂


 

3LILY EVANS

 Harry Potter as a series defined much of my childhood and inspired a lot of my writing when I was younger. So it seems natural that some of that would rub off on Eléonore’s journey.

Though Lily’s role in the series is limited to flashbacks, it is her initial sacrifice that sets the plot in motion. And that act of sacrificing oneself for one’s child, that selfless drive to give up one’s life for another, is a quality that Eléonore is imbued with and guides most of her actions throughout the novella.

 


15881MOLLY WEASLEY

Of course, another mother from the Harry Potter series, and one who is far more prominent is dear Mrs. Weasley. A firecracker of a character, she has so much heart to her and yet is stern towards her children and husband. Her fierce nature though makes her a protective maternal figure and she, pardon my French, kicks ass when the ones she loves are in peril.

That spitfire spirit is one Eléonore owns… in my humble opinion 😉

 

 


883198

MARMEE

The strong maternal figure raising four daughters, Marmee is a gentle and compassionate woman who performs her motherly duties while her husband is away at war and, for a good part of the book, is the figurehead of the family. She also acts as a moral compass for the girls in their lives.

While Eléonore herself might lack a proper moral code, she does her utmost to impress upon Étienne the need to follow a steadier path than she.


409207CATELYN STARK

There are plenty of mothers in the A Song of Ice and Fire series by good ol’ George RR Martin, from the ruthless Cersei to Mhysa Dany, Mother of Dragons. But I am prone to think back on Catelyn, a woman who loved her children to the point that she was willing to cut a deal with the Lannisters to save her daughters.

It’s that unflinching, uncompromising attitude that inspired certain actions on Eléonore’s part.


41329LEAH, RACHEL, ZILPAH, & BILHAH

This retelling of the story of Dinah as found in the Bible is one about women primarily and the bond between mothers and daughters. But the spirituality between these women and the relationship that they embody is one I tried to capture in a similar way between Eléonore, Sinéand Rosalie–though this is something that grows in the books that follow.

It also inspired the sense that it takes more than one person to raise a child – that old ‘it takes a whole village’ idea that we’ve sorely lost on.


1885MRS. BENNETT

Mrs. Bennett might be one of the funniest mothers in literature, her satirical caricature set around arranging the best marriages for her child. It’s nothing that Eléonore has to work with, but there is a certain frenzy with which Eléonore acts and speaks and that’s in large part inspired by the rather frantically inclined Mrs. Bennett.


30253864LORELAI GILMORE

Not a mother from literature, I’m aware, but a fictional character that I would be remiss to not mention here. Anyone familiar with Gilmore Girls will recognize it for its central mother-daughter relationship and witty banter. It’s that banter that I really tried to hone with Eléonore, trying for dialogue that was sharp and witty, banter that flowed without feeling forced.

From reviews, it seems I’ve done this rather well. So thank you Amy Sherman-Palladino for inspiring me with rapid fire dialogue and cultural references!


Well, that’s less than ten, but anymore would be forcing the truth. Which mothers in literature have left an impact on you? For good or for bad.

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

This Month in Review | April 2017

Hi friends,

April hasn’t been an easy month as you all know, but I’ve been managing to get some things done.

Here’s a quick look at what I’ve accomplished (or not) and what my plans are for May.


GOALS OF APRIL

  1. Final Edit of Pirate Eyes
  2. Finish Edit of Heritage
  3. Submit Walking Blind (a thriller script) to competitions
  4. Read 4-5 books:
  5. Watch 4 movies
  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
  8. Participate in #WIPjoy on Twitter and #danaf7wordstory & #shayverlee6wordstory on Instagram
  9. Create a month of prompts for May.

ACHIEVED IN APRIL

  1. When it comes to Pirate Eyes, I managed to finish editing a hard copy but I’m still in the middle of typing up those changes. That should be done this week and I’ll be opening a call for beta readers soon.
  2. I did manage to finish editing Heritage and it’s in the hands of my sister. I decided I really want her opinion before I send it out to betas. And I’m not rushing to get her out, either. I have other priorities first.
  3. I did a readthrough of my Walking Blind and while it’s pretty good, I need to add a few scenes to allow for some stronger character development. So I’m putting her on hold for the moment.
  4. I read EIGHT BOOKS this month: Stolen Ink (Holly Evans), Everything Everything (Nicola Yoon), The Drowned Tomb (James Fahy), On Writing (Stephen King), A Shining in the Shadows (Beverley Lee), Shadowy Horses (Susanna Kearsley), The Dark Tower (Stephen King) & The Hate U Give (Angie Thomas). And they were all excellent!
  5. I watched FIVE MOVIES: Managed to watch the remake of The Jungle Book twice and I cannot begin to tell you how amazing the animation was! Also watched the new Beauty and the Beast two more times, and though I enjoyed it more the second time, the third viewing was definitely overkill. It’s okay, though because I made up for it by watching the 1991 version again to remind myself of how beautiful and perfect that version was. Watched Jurassic World just last night and was thoroughly underwhelmed. Too much violence. Too little character development. Annie Hall was my favourite watch this month. Diane and Woody were absolutely brilliant! I also went to see The Book of Mormons with my sister and loved it. Definitely not for the faint of heart, but if you’re willing to accept its satirical nature and crass language it’s brilliant!
  6. I started well with this one, but I got so hooked on one of the new stories – a fairy tale adaptation – and I started to write it by hand. It’s been liberating.
  7. Didn’t have the mindfulness or the passion to pull it off this month, but I’m hoping May will prove more fortuitous.
  8. I started off well with this, but I couldn’t keep it up this month.
  9. It is well done 🙂 More on that below…

MAY GOALS

  1. Edit Heralding to second draft.
  2. Finish writing my fairy tale adaptation
  3. Outline Hollow Vows (sequel to Pirate Eyes) – I had most of this done, but after edits of Pirate Eyes, I have a new idea for the rest of the series.
  4. Host #FictMAYhem on Twitter/Instagram.I’m really excited to be hosting this again and helping people develop their characters! You’re more than welcome to join us 🙂
  5. Read 5-6 books. This includes Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, which I didn’t get to last month, Nevernight by Jay Kristoff because Sarina convinced me to, and Eon by Alison Goodman.
  6. Watch 4-5 movies. There are so many great ones coming out this month: Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2, Pirates of the Caribbean (Dead Men Tell no Tales), Everything Everything and King Arthur (Legend of the Sword).
  7. Post 2 entries for Crafting the Series.
  8. Special project – I would say more, but it’s a secret for the moment. Just know that something exciting is coming in June and I’m excited to share it with you 🙂
  9. Outline a novella idea. I had started to write out an outline in April and I’m hoping to get more of it worked out this month.

How was your April, friends? What are your plans for May? Let me know about in the comments. Wishing you all the best, always!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith   quill-ink

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