Monday, May 25, 2020

Reblog- Guardian Wolf: Memorial Day Tribute

If Only Words- If only words could match. If only gratitude could be expressed. Worthy of the sacrifice they made, for all of the rest.
We may not all agree on the why and where’s, but we must agree that without them we wouldn’t be here.
To enjoy the freedom that we have; a price so high has been paid.
...

 A sweet Memorial Day tribute poem by KimGuardianWolf.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Blog Tour: Moonscript!!!!!


 

For a guaranteed spoiler-free review, see my Goodreads review.

Ah, a content warning: Errance is tortured for around...70 years, and so he's pretty messed up. In later chapters, there is a paragraph per chapter that sums up where he's at mentally/spiritually (man did those paragraphs add to the atmosphere of the chapter.) Nothing is ever shown in too much detail since the POV charrie can't stand looking at them for too long, but there are points where some wounds and/or the smell of blood are mentioned, psychological tension is very much present, and he lashes out violently a few times.

Also, I am composing a majority of this post last-minute, and am on a device that doesn’t allow for linking. The links/images shall be updated/added/gifs properly formatted at most a few hours from this being posted (hopefully).

Summary

"It is said that Darkness is empty and whatever vanishes into its depths is lost forever. I know this better than anyone. For I have suffered here in the shadows, and there are none who might find me."

Seventy years. Seventy years the elven prince has been lost to the darkness, assumed dead by his people and endlessly broken for a book that connects to the hidden realm of his ancestors, a land untouched by evil.

And now a light in the shadows. A chance for freedom. But those willing to help him come from the unlikeliest of worlds.

The orphan girl, yearning for a loving family, and the boy who won't leave her side. A healer maiden given an unexpected chance for a life beyond narrowed expectations. A grieving creature flown far from home.

They all search for something and now their fates are tied to his. If their quest for life can pull him from the dark mire in which his soul drowns, then perhaps he can be saved.

Or else he will drag them all down to a fate worse than death.
The beginning of an epic saga, MOONSCRIPT is a journey of innocence, despair, and redemption.

Seven illustrations by the author exclusively included in the paperback edition! 

Purchase links:

Cover

Moonscript Front Cover.jpg
Aaaaaa I can't wait for my physical copy!

Review

SPOILERS AHEAD!


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5 out of 5 stars!

Let’s stick with the characters for this particular review, shall we? I hate to skim over the wonderful description, tidbits that added to the atmosphere, the inclusion of very relatable emotions/feelings that are often neglected in fantasy adventures, and how organically we’re introduced to the world of Orim (THERE WEREN’T A TON OF NAME DROPS RIGHT OFF THE BAT AND I WAS NEVER CONFUSED ABOUT WHAT WHY WHEN OR WHERE.), but I’m writing this on around 5 hours of sleep, a full day, and a very short while until my assigned day of the blog tour (technically just a few hours away), SO let’s get to it.
(Idk if this actually contains spoilers or not, since I didn’t have time to share all the snippets that made me cry/lol. I’ll have to look it over when I’m rested and see what on earth I wrote. :P)

Characters

Rendar, the wonderfully quiet, regal, mysterious, and Earth-shattering character. I loved him right off the bat, such a graceful paradigm of power and meekness...with a glimmer of bad-*$$ attitude (oh my gosh I can feel him half-smiling at me, wondering what he ever did to deserve such an odd description well here you are sir you can’t tell me that you’re not deserving of it because speaking the truth in the darkness is definitely bad-*$$).

“... There are no coincidences in the craft of this world.”

Calmly ignoring the fact that he’d shocked his entire retinue [several times, might I add], the king held out the necklace.
Tellie stared. She couldn’t speak. Finally, she squeaked, “You can’t be serious!”

“Do not doubt, child.” ... “There is much you will not understand. But you’ve been called to this for a reason.” ... “Even when your path seems to lose all light, know that darkness cannot endure forever.”

Also, since I don’t have time to cover a couple wonderful side characters (in this specific case I’m thinking about Leoren, but there are many others I wish to mention—maybe I’ll update this later to include them), I shall instead share a quote of Rendar’s that I was echoing almost the entire time:

“Poor Leoren,” Rendar said, patting his arm. “Always troubled about so many things.”

Errance. *sobs*
I can’t call him a cinnamon roll; I feel like that would be too demeaning/familiar. (Am I the only one who sometimes feels like I’m intruding on a character’s life like a creeper?). I can, I think, call him a diamond.

The prince stared, the sight of death beginning to stain his heart just as the blood stained the elvish livery.

“Listen, human, I might be a plaything for demons, but I will not be toyed with by mere mortal scraps.”

For being so wounded, he was remarkably insolent.

And then he laughed.

The snippets don’t make much sense out of context, but...Idk, they make me happy seeing them in that order.
It’s also weird how much I related to him...I mean, I haven’t been tormented by demons for 70 years, but his brokenness...it’s something that, I think, we’ve all felt at one point or another, in differing amounts of severity.
I CRIED A LOT. There are many many blue highlights regarding his state of mind and the tension of his decisions.

Tellie, the wonderful heroine. Sweet, wounded, and determined to help heal the brokenness in the world around her—starting with Errance. She’s not ready to take on the world by any means, but she—well, she grows. She also doesn’t have to take on anything on her own. (I’m sorry I wanted to say more but I’m tired and my words are beginning to fail.)
I cried with her, I laughed with her, I laughed at her a couple of times (I’m horrid I know), and there were many times her thoughts echoed my own.

She never dreamed anything like this would happen to her—did such things really happen outside of stories?

She wouldn’t cry, she told herself. Crying never helped anything, it just gave headaches.

She’d always imagined having a dramatic speech in a storm, but it really wasn’t so wonderful after all. It was in fact, wet.

Kelm. Is. Adorable. Adventurous. And despite being flustered at a few things, he takes things very much in stride, is inventive, loves stories (I think I got most of the references the author slipped in there XD), and has a realistic/long-term view of things.

“Well, this is all splendid,” Kelm said. “But I have a question of my own now. Is this the privy bucket?”

“Is there a way to retract my wonderful idea?” Kelm asked in a squeak.

He also has a side-goal, which added to his adorableness determination and courage.

“Golly no!” ... “I don’t want Tellie to think of me as a brother!”




(See? I’m a creeper.)

The Daisha (prepositions are important: “Make sure the ‘The’ is attached, I won’t respond otherwise.”). Majestic, furry, and fierce, and, uh, very, very hungry (“That’s a surprise,” Kelm muttered. ... “He means you’ve gotten fat,” Errance said.)
She’s Protective of Errance, to the point that she seems to be the embodiment of Errance’s fanbase. As a reader, who had already cried over the characters several times, I was exceedingly glad and for once didn’t feel like I wanted/had to crawl into the book in a futile effort to protect my darlings, because someone much more capable than myself was already there expressing all of my protectiveness.
She’s amazing.

“If any danger comes near my elf, why I’ll...curses! Curses! The most abysmal of curses on all who have hurt him! May their teeth fall out and may their wings wither! I shall tear them all to shreds!”

“Try to talk some sense into this obstinate creature! If he doesn’t get reasonable soon, I’m picking him up and carrying him back to camp—upside-down! See if I don’t!”

She doles out wisdom with as much force as her blunt advice/observations and blistering threats. This is the main bit of one such nugget of wisdom, because otherwise I’d be posting an entire scene that made me tear up:

“Freedom is terrifying.”

In conclusion:
Realistic characters, wonderful world, plot that has plenty of grip and foreshadowing (and oh my goodness I didn’t even get to the villainous characters, but I have quotes and thoughts on them as well)...
So prepare to have your heart stomped on (in a good way of course).
Also, I couldn’t help but imagine that the author might have hummed this to herself while her characters were being emotionally tried (because it sure felt like it :P):


Author Bio

From the beginning, H. S. J. Williams has loved stories and all the forms they take. Whether with word, art, or costume, she has always been fascinated with the magic of imagination. She lives in a real fantastical kingdom, the beautiful Pacific Northwest, with her very own array of animal friends and royally loving family. Williams taught Fantasy Illustration at MSOA. She may also be a part-time elf. 
You can check out and follow William's art page over here: https://hsjwilliams.wordpress.com/


BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

May 7th
H.S.J. Williams—Tour Launch

May 8th
Light and Shadow—Book Spotlight
E. E. Rawls—Book Spotlight

May 9th
Elizabeth’s Universe—Book Review
Grace M. Morris—Book Spotlight

May 10th
Allison’s Well—Book Spotlight
Amelia Nicole—Book Spotlight

May 11th
Ester S. (Instagram)—Book Spotlight
Imperial Scribis—Book Review

May 12th
The Labyrinth—Book Review

May 13th
Dreams & Dragons—Book Spotlight
Bookish Musings—Book Review

May 14th 
Unicorn Quester—Author Interview
Embers Reviews—Book Review

May 15th
Unicorn Quester— “3 Reasons Why” Video Review
Writing in Rivendell—Book Spotlight
Sarah, Plain & Average—Book Review

May 16th
Jane Maree—Book Review

May 17th
The Bookish Raven—Book Review

May 18th
Words of Hannah Kay—Book Review

May 19th
Functionally Fictional—Book Spotlight
Jenelle Schmidt—Book Spotlight

May 20th 
Beka Gremikova—Book Spotlight
Seven Billion Smiles—Book Review

May 21st
Today by Bryn—Tour Conclusion & Art Gallery

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Reblog- Ink and Sage Podcast

Episode 006: The Fruitful Heist and Renewal of Spirit As ever, I’m not an expert, my intention is to be positive and helpful, and my opinions do not reflect the authors’ worth as people or as writers. Please ensure adequate sodium intake with this podcast.

I (and one of my Nano friends!) got featured on a podcast! This lovely lady, Sage Gordon Davis, is accepting first paragraphs, sentences, or the first line of stories from anyone willing to submit. She dissects them with a reader’s eye, telling what caught her fancy or what wasn’t her cup of tea.
Her podcast is great, take a look!

Friday, April 24, 2020

Book Spotlight: The Emperor's New Concerto




Today, we have a book spotlight: The New Emperor's Concerto!

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Summary

The year is 2228 and the world is on the cusp of World War Four. London is rife with anarchists and secret plots. It looks like dark days are coming for the British Empire. Darker than any that have been seen for decades.
But luckily England has some help.
Sir Lysander is the King's Righteous Man-and all that entails. He's the king's right hand, and a red one at that, the man who stands in the shadows and does what needs to be done for the protection of his country. 
Eidolon is a phantom, the anarchist group Apophis's top retrieval expert. They need something, he gets it, no matter the consequence. Even though he'd secretly prefer to be in his flat with his cat and a good book.
They've been butting heads for a while but in times like these, loyalties are known to change and right now, any help is good help. They just didn't count on being the only thing standing between England and the start of the next world war.

Cover

 

Author Bio



My Photo I'm an Indie writer, book lover, coffee connoisseur and history buff and folklorist. On a normal day you'll either find me reading, writing or on Goodreads talking to other writers. Author of On a Foreign Field, The Modern Tales of Na Fianna series and others.
Find her online at:

Author Interview: Claire Banschbach





Today, as part of the blog tour, we have an interview with Claire Banschbach!
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Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?

I feel like it happens rarely that I’ll find a book that just completely captures me and hits that bittersweet spot where you’re just so immersed in the story and simultaneously wishing it was all real but knowing it’s not. Scorpio Races by Maggie Steifvater was that for me the first time I read it.

What is your favorite childhood book/fairy tale?

We had a St George and the Dragon book (by Margaret Hodges) with the story adapted from Edmund Spencer’s The Faerie Queene. It was my favorite book because A) dragons, B) knights on epic quests, and C) amazing illustrations. It’s still a favorite to this day!

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I feel like I’m a fairly boring writer! :D I will say that I’ve never cried while writing an emotional scene or character death. I usually like trying to wring emotion from words, so I’m always oddly eager to get those scenes to see if I can get them out on paper like they’re playing in my head. (I’m a monster, it’s fine.)

What was/is your favorite part, and your least favorite part, of the publishing journey? 

My favorite part is usually the drafting process, where I’m discovering the story and the characters and being surprised by the twists and turns the story takes! Least favorite part is all the prep work to get everything set up and ready to go and then be brave enough to let your book baby out into the world. It’s one thing to just talk about it, but having people actually read it is something else! 😉

What do you hope your readers take away from this book?  

That it’s okay to be scared, but to try your best anyway. Change is scary, but you come out better for it. That everyone has something amazing about them. You just need to find your own magic.

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There's also a rafflecopter giveaway for an ebook and swag pack! Also, see here for the rest of the tour schedule.

Author Bio

Claire M. Banschbach is a native Texan and would make an excellent hobbit if she wasn’t so tall. She’s an overall dork, pizza addict, and fangirl. When not writing fantasy stories packed full of adventure and snark, she works as a pediatric Physical Therapist where she happily embraces the fact that she never actually has to grow up.
She writes New Adult/Adult fantasy as C.M. Banschbach.

Find her online at:

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Author Interview: Hazel West

A note: I've been having some problems with Blogger lately, in regards to font (mostly changing mid-post, and I can't find anything in the HTML that could be causing it) and images (being super big or super small), so if anything looks wonky, it's because I haven't figured out how to fix it yet. -_-

This month, donate any amount or subscribe to Hazel through her Ko-Fi account and get an exclusive sneak peek of the next book in the Concerto universe, Requiem in Red!
Also check out this Rafflecopter giveaway!








For now, here's an interview with Hazel!
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1. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

I’m not really sure it did change my overall process. I think I’ve always written stories for myself first which is what I would advise all aspiring writers to do. Whether people want like what I write or not doesn’t really worry me. If people enjoy my books, that makes me happy, but if they don’t that’s okay too. I guess if anything, it has made me more conscious of editing by writing, haha.

2. What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

I actually tend to read a lot of under-appreciated books because I kind of have an allergy to things that are super popular. Two that come to mind are the Knight and Rogue series by Hilari Bell and The Secret Journeys of Jack London by Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon. Both of which are very good, but people hardly know they exist.

3. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

This can change depending on the book. Like, with Concerto, the conception to finished first draft was about three and a half months. I wrote this one really quickly. Typically, I will spend about a month researching and outlining a book, which I still did for this one pretty much, though this was one of those books that I wasn’t entirely sure what sort of research I would need so ended up doing a lot of it during the writing process. If I’m doing a historical novel, I will typically start gathering information and spending a couple months immersing myself in the time period and stuff. I feel like I always end up researching the most random things, especially for books like this.

4. Since you write a lot of alter-earth/fantasy-history (futuristic in this case), what would you say are the ethics of writing about historical figures?

Well, I have written historical figures into several of my books. I feel like as long as you keep them true to what we know about them, then I don’t personally have a problem with changing up the storyline a little bit. There’s been some really good alternate history stories. Like, I kind of liked Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith because I think he did a great job of keeping Lincoln in character. NOT a fan of revisionist history. There’s a difference between good historical fiction and revisionist history. Revisionist history is when you for some reason change a figure’s ethnicity to prove some sort of point. Like a certain story about a founding father with a musical inclination. Then you have historical fiction, like Peaky Blinders, where the historical person gets killed off so the original main character can rise to power. I don’t really have a problem with this as it’s still fiction. (Sorry about the long answer! XD)

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Author Bio

My PhotoI'm an Indie writer, book lover, coffee connoisseur and history buff and folklorist. On a normal day you'll either find me reading, writing or on Goodreads talking to other writers. Author of On a Foreign Field, The Modern Tales of Na Fianna series and others.

Find her online at:
Blog
Ko-Fi
Goodreads
Instagram

Book Spotlight: Winter Spell

Claire Banschbach. That name--while very cool--is way easier to say in my head than aloud. XD
She's coming out with the third book in her series, The Faeries of Myrnius! I'm here today with a book spotlight. Read to the end for links to some giveaways, and be sure to check out the live Q&A with Claire and Hazel West.




Summary

A half-breed faery. A war-weary princess. A quest to free three kingdoms from the deadly winter spell. 
Constantly doubted by her ocean faery kindred, Tonya Freyr-dottir only wants to untangle the dormant ice and water magic within her. Then a strange attack makes her unleash a fierce winter on the land and sea. And she has no idea how to stop it.
Princess Diane serves faithfully at her brother’s side, trying to restore their kingdom of Myrnius after the devastating Dark War. Now with brutal winter wreaking havoc, everything they have worked for might be lost to famine and destruction.
Desperate to help, Tonya travels to the far north to unlock her magic, aided by Diane, as well as two land faeries: Dorian, a reckless healer and August, a mischievous warrior. But the north brings fresh dangers, unearths old wounds, and offers more questions than answers.

With doom threatening human and faery alike, Tonya must find a way to trust her new friends and release her magic before all fall to the fury of winter’s spell.

Cover




Author Bio

Claire M. Banschbach is a native Texan and would make an excellent hobbit if she wasn’t so tall. She’s an overall dork, pizza addict, and fangirl. When not writing fantasy stories packed full of adventure and snark, she works as a pediatric Physical Therapist where she happily embraces the fact that she never actually has to grow up.
She writes New Adult/Adult fantasy as C.M. Banschbach.

Find her online at:
Website






Tour Schedule

Monday 4/20: 
        Abigail Leskey – book spotlight
Rachael Ritchey – book review
MH Elrich – author interview

Tuesday 4/21:
Rachael Ritchey – author interview
E Paige Burkes – book spotlight
Kelsey Bryant – book spotlight
Claire B – Winter Spell as gifs

Wednesday 4/22: 
E Rawls – book spotlight
Hazel West – character interview/book spotlight
MH Elrich – character interview, Diane
        Claire B – meet the characters!

Thursday 4/23 – RELEASE DAY!
CB Cook – book spotlight
Marlene Simonette – book spotlight
Claire B – Release Day!
INSTAGRAM LIVE Q&A WITH HAZEL WEST – 7:30 PM CST on @cmbanschbach

Friday 4/24
        Marlene Simonette – author interview
Deborah O’Carroll – book review
Claire B – tour wrap-up