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Book Gifts

I hope everyone had a happy holiday, be it Christmas, Hanukkah, or what-have-you. With gift exchanges, I hope everyone got a bit of what they wanted, but mostly of what they needed.

I was excited to get a few new books from the family. Fireborn by David Dalglish was one of the books I had graciously received. It’s the sequel to Skyborn and is the second book to the author’s second series, Seraphim. Considering how much I had enjoyed Dalglish’s first series Shadowdance, I’m looking forward to starting this series!

The Leveller by Julia Durango is the second book I had gotten. If any of you know me, you’d know another of my beloved hobbies is gaming — I even run a second blog, Double Jump, with my sister Rachel that is dedicated to video games. Durango’s book is set in a virtual reality, a place that is played only in one’s mind. It’ll be fun to see how far the author’s imagination stretches in regards to virtual worlds.

Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley is the third book that had been under the Christmas tree for me. Due to be enamored with Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, Circus Mirandus had been added to my wish list after a stint of researching for other stories that celebrated magic like The Night Circus. I’m eager to see how much I enjoy this magical tale.

What about you? Given or received any good books lately?

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Posted by on December 27, 2016 in Home

 

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you and yours!

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Posted by on December 25, 2016 in Home

 

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Characters and Holidays

With the holidays in just a few short days, have you ever thought about how your characters would celebrate?

What kind of gifts would they give? What kind of gifts would they like to receive? If Christmas isn’t a holiday in your story’s setting, what kind of holidays do they celebrate?

Better yet, how would your character react to the holidays if he/she/they suddenly found themselves in our world? What would they think of a Christmas tree, of a menorah?

Perhaps your stories don’t have room for any holidays in the plot, but wondering how your characters celebrate (or don’t) can be an extra exercise in developing their personalities.

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2016 in Home

 

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“The Christmas Angel” Review

“But I must stay where my heart is, in the theater. And you must stay in Wales, where your heart is. And in the years to come, you will know this is the right decision.” – Jane Maas (The Christmas Angel)

“The Christmas Angel” Review

This post may contain spoilers.

“The Christmas Angel” is a quick read about love, faith, and life coming full circle.

The story starts out in 1875, when a poor Welsh miner named Owen Thomas falls in love with the beautiful actress Jessica Lavery. He sees her star in a play and immediately proposes to her. His earnest charm intrigues Jessica and the two become close through letters over the years. Owen is devoted to his lovely actress, going so far as to build a house and carve a gorgeous, lavender-eyed angel for their future Christmas trees.

Not all is beautiful in this little tale, unfortunately. Despite their growing affections for each other, both Owen and Jessica realize that their personal dreams would be sacrificed if they were to wed the other. Not wishing to grow resentful of Owen for taking her away from the theater nor would she wish to steal Owen’s dream of owning a farm, Jessica declines Owen’s proposal. Although both are brokenhearted, they each move on with their lives and find success in their dreams.

The story continues for a few more generations, with the next part being told by Owen’s wife Maggie, then their son James, then James’s son Nat, then Nat’s sister Katherine, until the tale is finally finished by Katherine’s daughter Susan. The carved angel is passed down from generation to generation and comes full circle as Susan, the descendant of Owen Thomas, marries her husband, the descendant of Jessica Lavery.

This was a wonderful tale with a unique writing style, filled with letters that showed the characters and their love for each other. By passing on their traditions to their children (and their children’s children, and so on), Owen and Jessica prove that their love never died, even as they made the decision to leave each other for the sake of the other’s dreams.

“The Christmas Angel” gets a 5 out of 5 stars.

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2016 in Book Reviews

 

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Book Quotes Part 2

For Christmas this past year, I had received this awesome little present called Novel Teas. On each teabag is a literary quote, and I thought I would share a few with you today. Enjoy!

“Books had instant replay long before sports.”
— Bert Williams

“Never judge a book by its movie.”
— J.W. Eagan

“She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.”
— Louise May Alcott

“When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.”
— Desiderius Erasmus

“Wear the old coat and buy the new book.”
— William Phelps

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
— C.S. Lewis

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2016 in Home

 

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Regarding Muses

muse

My muses suck.

Okay, not really. In fact, I’m grateful for them and the ideas they give me. However, they have mouths the size of a hippo’s. All those ideas are well and good, but not when I’m drowning in a pile of them.

There are several novels I wish to work on right now, with three from this world and two from that and this other one that literally takes place up in the air. Then there’s the story that I had worked on during last month’s Camp NaNoWriMo that can be wonderfully blended in with another in-the-works idea I had gotten about a month before NPC came into play. Is there someone who can invent a machine that can transfer my ideas and words onto separate documents so I can write several novels at once?

The logical solution would be to figure out which novel I want to stick with first and write it. If ideas and snippets from the other stories pester me, I should jot down notes while doggedly continue to work on the novel I first picked. The problem right now is actually picking a novel to stick with.

I’m seriously just thinking of picking a title out of a hat. Or, hey, which title do you guys like best — White Mage, Blood Mage, or Colorless?

I’m blaming my muses for this one. I have so many writing projects that I’ve been getting epiphanies for lately that it’s crazy. In my brain, my muses have always been a couple of guys, a couple of original characters that I had dreamed up eons ago when my friend and I used to role-play together through AIM. Each of us had our own characters along with her playing her favorite movie characters and my characters being primarily from video games. Two of my favorite original characters stuck around all these years and they tend to pop some version of themselves into stories to help move them along, even if they aren’t needed in the long run.

Although those two muses live in my head, I do have another little guy that I like to call my muse:

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His name is Toasty, and Rachel gave him to me last Christmas for the specific reason of being my muse (we were also a bit obsessed with the Hobbit franchise around that time). He’s wearing a little necklace-bracelet-anklet that a good friend of ours had given me, meaning “Make Your Own Luck.” It seemed fitting to give to Toasty as both he and the jewelry’s meaning seemed perfect for a pre-published writer like me (that, and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to untie the back in order to wear it myself). Toasty’s home is sitting atop of my laptop as I write. Sometimes he’s positioned to stare me down as I type out words; other times, his head is tilted as if he’s daydreaming and collecting more novel ideas for me to pursue.

So what are your muses like? Do you have anything physical to represent them? Or do you scoff at the idea of having a muse and taking all the idea credit for yourself? 😉

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2015 in Home

 

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Short Story Sunday – “Black Ice”

Black Ice

The road was slick with the freezing rain that poured down from the dark clouds, and Bert shouldn’t have been as surprised as he was when his car began to slide out of control from the black ice on the road.

His mind went back to his driver’s education class, and his feet moved automatically, pumping the brakes while he did his best to keep steering in the direction that he wanted to move. One of his hands flew to the hazard button, smacking it on, despite the fact that no one else in their right mind was on the icy roads at this time of night. His windshield wipers were working overtime, doing their best to clear away the sleet that hindered Bert’s line of vision as he tried to regain control of his old Jeep.

For the first time in years, Bert’s mouth muttered prayers to God, hoping He would still listen even if the last time Bert had set foot in a church was Christmas three years ago. It appeared that God had not abandoned Bert, just like all of those teachings and psalms said He wouldn’t, for the Jeep eventually cruised over to the shoulder of the road, the vehicle’s speed finally starting to slow down. Bert’s sigh of relief was interrupted when his Jeep thumped into something, halting it into an abrupt stop.

Bert stared out of his windshield, the wipers moving madly, and he squinted to see what he had just hit. There was no other car around, nothing that could indicate it had been some sort of animal, and he started muttering to God about why He would help Bert’s Jeep stop if only to kill a person with his bumper.

He shrugged deeper into his winter coat, tightening his scarf and securing his gloves, before opening his door to the fierce cold. He trudged through the snow to look in front of his car, hoping that whatever he had happened to hit hadn’t been alive in the first place. Maybe he had collided with a rock or a street sign that had gotten loose from the winds.

Bert’s breath stopped as he stared at the prone figure in front of his Jeep. Despite them camouflaging in with the snow, there was no denying the woman’s feathered wings stretching out from the backs of her shoulders.

Maybe Bert should start going back to church.

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2015 in Scribbles

 

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