Archive | October 2017

October Bookish News + Nightstand

Two things today: Bookish News and Nightstand Books!

This Month in Book-ish News…

I’m a calendar nut. I put EVERYTHING on my calendar, including author birthdays and releases for books I’m excited about… and stuff like that.

So, similar to what I shared last month, I thought I should maybe, occasionally, share upcoming bookish things, since I bother to keep track of such things myself. XD

Is this something that would be of interest to any of you?

(I’m sometimes asked how I keep track of books that are releasing and so on. XD Answer: eeeverything goes on my calendar!)

For now, anyway, here’s a smattering of readalongs, releases, etc. which are taking place soon! (Because EVERYONE is doing EVERYTHING right now when it’s time to ignore everything and get ready for NaNo, but oh well. XD)

Enjoy. 🙂

Newses, preciousss

The Vintage Jane Austen group is collecting bloggers interested in taking part in The Vintage Jane Austen Event blog party in early November, so if you’d like to interview an author or read and review one or more of the VJA books for free, you can sign up HERE!

The Fellowship of Fantasy Bookclub‘s book of the month for October is The Beast of Talesend by Kyle Shultz. If you’ve been wanting to read it, now’s your chance!

Speaking of Kyle, he’s also serializing an exciting and funny Fantasy Western book on Wattpad every Monday; it’s fun. XD

Daley Downing is holding a readalong for her book, Masters and Beginners, in October. Again, if you’ve been wanting to, now is a good time to read it!

Amber @ Seasons of Humility is holding a readalong for Pride and Prejudice.

And because ALL the readalongs are happening… the Fall readalong for the Diana Wynne Jones group on Goodreads is Fire and Hemlock. I may have to jump on this one later (like as a NaNo reward?) because I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH AND NEED TO RE-READ IT SOMETIME, but hey. XD

Hope Ann’s Burning Rose just released, and there’s going to be a Facebook party for that and another book on Saturday, October 7 (8-10pm EST), so you’re invited! (If you’re on FB, you know… *cough*)

The third book in the Spellsmith and Carver trilogy, by H.L. Burke — Magicians’ Reckoning — is releasing October 14. 🙂

October 14 is also, I hear, Indie Author Day! How fun is that. ^_^

The third Beaumont and Beasley book by Kyle Robert Shultz — The Mirror of Rorrim (I love that title!) — is releasing October 31. 😀 (What can I say; Kyle has a lot of book news this month. 😛 )

The Orphan’s Wish by Melanie Dickerson (June 2018) has a cover AND IT’S PRETTY. (Also giveaway involved. Go visit the cover-reveal/giveaway post!)

Jenelle Schmidt is hosting a month-long celebration of dragons with #Drachtober.

NIGHTSTAND BOOKS

(Nightstand Books was created by DJ and Jenelle; share your currently-reading books!)

My ongoing quest to finish my review books before NaNoWriMo hits and kidnaps me to write a 50,000 word novel of my own, continues! XD Many of these are still on here from last month…

EBOOKS

  • Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith – Shaun Hume — I’m almost done this one (maybe I’ll finish today?) and it’s so fun! And intriguing… o.o
  • Magicians’ Reckoning – H.L. Burke — The final Spellsmith and Carver book; I have an ARC for this one, and I’m SO. STOKED. I can’t wait to read it for more Jericho and Auric! 😀 (Just don’t remind me it’s the last, because I don’t want to feel sad. *cough*)
  • Disowned – Sarah Addison-Fox — Still looking forward to this one! ^_^
  • Second Impressions: A Collection of Fiction Inspired by Jane Austen – edited by Hannah Scheele — I don’t read many short story collections, but I’m reading this soon for the Vintage Jane Austen Event blog party. I’m excited! 🙂
  • Beta-reading is also a thing.

PHYSICAL

My latest bullet journal and NaNo-plotting journal make a cameo here… I’ll be reading them a lot in the coming month, I’m sure. XD

  • Mind Writer – Mike Lynch and Lisa Godfrees — Yep, still hoping to read this one. 😉
  • Christmas Coloring Devotions — Oh, look, a coloring book! I’ve never done an adult coloring book before. I got this from BookLook Bloggers for review. I’m excited to try it out and hopefully relax myself occasionally. XD I’ll probably review it in December…
  • Breakwater – Catherine Jones Payne — I libraried this and can’t wait to read it! Hopefully I can do so before it needs to head back… At least it’s short. 😉
  • Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen — I’m rereading this for the readalong and mayyy bow out if life gets too overwhelming, but I’ve been wanting to read it again for AGES so this is the perfect excuse! Especially to get ready for the release of the final Vintage Jane Austen book, Presumption and Partiality by Rebekah Jones, which I’m SUPER excited for! 🙂
  • If I find the time, I wouldn’t say no to re-reading The Beast of Talesend because it IS the FoF book of the month and it’s super fun and short. If I have time. XD I’m also kind of re-reading The Reluctant Godfather by Allison Tebo, aloud to my younger siblings, because I won a beautiful paperback from the author (thanks, Allison!) and it’s funny and Burndee and yes. 😛

There may be a couple of other books, especially if I get involved in an ARC or two, but at the moment these are the ones I have. XD Should keep me busy enough… *cough*

Basically I WANT TO DO ALL THE THINGS but realistically have no idea how much of this I’ll be able to get to. 😛

I do have to remind myself that if I DON’T happen to get all of these done this month, it’s not the end of the world. I’ll just… likely not get around to much reading until after November, if that’s the case.

But I need to remember to give myself some grace if I can’t be superhuman and accomplish EVERYTHING before NaNo. Because Life and having a plotted novel ready to write are both important, as is remembering, occasionally, to breathe. (I don’t do this enough. :P)

Keep reminding me if I start getting overwhelmed. XD

Whew! So there’s aaall the Book News and Nightstand for October! Any book news you’re excited for, or that’s not on my list? And what’s on your nightstand this week?

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

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Burning Rose Review + 3 Steps To Rewriting Fairytales Guest Post

Hi everyone! I’m excited to be a part of the release of Hope Ann’s paperback collection, Burning Rose!

In this post, I’ve got a review for the book, below, and an awesome guest post from Hope Ann about writing fairytales! 🙂 Thanks for coming over to my blog today, Hope! ^_^

Enjoy!


Hope Ann is a Christian wordsmith, avid reader, and dedicated author. Her time is taken up with writing, reading, playing with inspirational photos, blogging, helping care for the house and eight younger siblings, and generally enjoying the adventures of life on a small farm at the crossroads of America. She is the author of Legends of Light is currently working on several projects including a fantasy novel and futuristic trilogy. You can find out more about her at authorhopeann.com


Guest Post from Author Hope Ann

Burning Rose and My Three Steps to Rewriting Fairy Tales

There are three steps I follow when I settle down to rewrite a fairy tale.

Research the basics

I go back and read the original fairy tale before I do anything else. The popular version of some stories, like Beauty and the Beast, are much different from the fairy tales themselves. This isn’t to say you can’t use aspects of popular retellings, such as having a Gaston character in a Beauty and the Beast story, but brush up on the original story first and write out the basics you want to keep. For Beauty and the Beast, this would include a beast who is overly protective of a rose, a girl who gives herself for her father and lives at the beast’s place for a number of months, and ends with a week where she leaves and comes back late. Many fairy tales are very basic with a simple plot that can be treated almost like an outline

Ask why

Why does the beast care about the rose so much? Why does the father let his daughter give herself up, or does he allow it at all? Why is Beauty late in returning home? Many fairy tales abound with many questions that are never explained. Answering these can create fascinating backstories and subplots.

Twist familiar aspects of the story

Maybe the beast doesn’t want Beauty in his castle anymore than she wants to be there. Maybe the witch in Rapunzel is actually saving the child from her parents. Maybe a brother eats the apple in Snow White to protect his sister and ends up asleep. Have fun. Switch good or bad characters. Switch the roles of a character or combine them. Most readers know how a given fairy tale ends. Twist the story enough so they don’t know if the characters will get their happy ending, or twist it again to completely turn the fairy tale on its head. The important thing to remember is to treat the original fairy tale like an outline and move out from there.

I’ve enjoyed changing fairy tales, even ones I don’t care for, into exciting stories. And now, for the first time, you can read my first three retellings in one paperback book!

A war, founded in ancient legends, changes the lives of those it touches forever.

Elissa, a villager from the northern mountains, attempts to save her brother and ends up trapped in a hidden valley with a strange host and a treacherous enemy.

Evrard, the Wingmaster of the Prince’s army, races against his own weakening powers to discover the location of his twin and save her from deadly mistbenders.

Haydn, a pardoned rebel from Tauscher’s army, confronts shadows of myth and former comrades in his struggle to keep his sister safe and find the stolen Stormestone.

BONUS

Before the war, before the legends, before the Separation, there was a man who started it all. There was a curse, a promise, and a sacrifice. There was the Oathkeeper.

Fairy tales retold as you have never heard them before.

ROSE OF THE OATH: Beauty and the Beast
SONG OF THE SWORD: Rapunzel
SHADOWS OF THE HERSWEALD: Hansel and Gretel
and
ROSE OF THE NIGHT: a Rose of the Oath prequel

Order Burning Rose now!


Title: Burning Rose
Author: Hope Ann

  • Date read: September 30, 2017
  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Genre: Fantasy / Fairytale Retelling (Beauty and the Beast, Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel)
  • Age: YA
  • Year pub: 2017
  • Pages: 452 pages (paperback; though I read an ebook version)
  • Series: Legends of Light, 1-3
  • Fave character: Haydn, Evrard, Adrian
  • Source: The author (thank you!)
  • Notes: This is a collection of 3 novellas and a novelette prequel.
  • Links: Add on GoodreadsPurchase

I very much enjoyed this collection! 🙂 Here are some individual thoughts about each story, and then some thoughts at the end about all of them in general.

Rose of the Night

3 stars

This is a prequel novelette set before the three novellas. It’s not a fairytale retelling, but is an allegory of the Fall of Man and has a few other Christian elements. It was actually super depressing and dark—as might be expected from that kind of thing. XD But wow. O_O So I didn’t care for it as much, BUT I liked it better once I had read the next story and could just view it as the backstory of the Beast character from the Beauty and the Beast story. XD Overall, a little depressing for me (others might enjoy it more!) but definitely gripping, interesting, vivid, and very atmospheric! 🙂

Rose of the Oath

4 stars

A Beauty and the Beast retelling! I enjoy those, and this was original and intriguing! It has some unique things like the heroine’s brother, instead of dad, picking the rose, and the rose itself is VERY connected to things… 😉 It was so fascinating seeing the “Beauty” character (Elissa) communicate with the “Beast” character (Oathkeeper Adrian) because he couldn’t really speak because of a curse. I didn’t love Elissa but she was all right, and Adrian was pretty awesome, so. 😀 I liked Eldric (her brother) too! I’m trying to think what else I can say without spoiling things! It’s classic and new all at once. I kind of want to live in that castle. The writing was vivid, and there’s a lot of scary wolves and gorgeous roses. What’s not to like? 🙂 It’s not quite a top-favorite for some reason, but overall it was intriguing and exciting, and I really enjoyed it! A good B&B retelling, and a good story in its own right, too. 🙂 *hugs story*

Song of the Sword

4 stars

This one was so unique and fascinating! The two different planes of existence, the “Tangible” and the “Melody” or spiritual realm. It was so cool reading about Evrard, who has the ability to slip back and forth between the two. (Think, like… Inception, or Jill Williamson’s the Veil, but different.) I really liked Evrard. Andrinion the falcon was kind of a know-it-all, but fun too. XD Roinette is the heroine, who is the Rapunzel character, and I liked her too. (Though, in a fun twist, she has a “pet”/friend, a white cat with wings, who is named Punzel. :P) It’s kind of a VERY loose Rapunzel retelling… there’s a tower and Roinette has long hair, but that’s mostly it… But it was still fun. 🙂 There were a few times when the stuff about which “Realm” the characters were in got confusing or didn’t quite line up, but I still liked the idea a lot! I was a little sad that there wasn’t any romance, because I kind of suspected there would be (because… um… Rapunzel?), but I might be a minority. XD There were a couple of twists—both of which I partially guessed—and I really liked one and the other really disappointed me because sometimes you WANT to like a character but then they’re evil and yeah. >.> Ahem. But the other character twist was awesome. XD Anyway, I’m a little mixed about a couple of things, but on the whole it was just so original and neat. Exciting and fun! 🙂

Shadows of the Hersweald

4 stars

The first half of this one drove me rather batty with only hinting at things with NO explanation, even though the hero would have known; a classic example of hiding information from the reader, which is a personal annoyance of mine. Ahem. Could just be me, though. XD (And I fully admit I had a headache when I read this one, so it’s possible my brain functions didn’t pick up on things I should have, but still.) That frustrated me, especially when a few things just didn’t make sense. BUT by the end, once everything came together and I finally figured out what was going on, it turned out to be one of my favorites in the collection! 🙂 So that was impressive. ^_^ I keep thinking about it and I almost want to go back and re-read it now that I know what was going on. XD It’s a loose but original retelling of Hansel and Gretel—I liked how a few elements from the original made it into this one in unexpected ways. 🙂 I really, really liked Haydn. The story was vivid when it wasn’t being vague, and the setting was neat, and the other characters were cool too. Sometimes I wasn’t sure who I should like because I kept being afraid all of them would turn out evil. XD So that kept me on my toes. 😛 Overall, although the first part annoyed me, I ended up loving it muchly! 🙂

Overall Thoughts About the Burning Rose Collection

The three novellas had strong sibling themes going on, which was nice. You don’t always see a lot of that. ^_^

There is one particular plot-twist that ALL four stories had, which started to get tedious… I won’t say what it was, because spoilers, but things do kind of stop being plot twists and start being repeating plots eventually… But I might not have noticed if I’d read them all separately? And I kept predicting them… whoops. (#curseofbeingawriter)

However, one good thing about having them all in one collection: I did love how, even though the stories all follow totally different characters (except Adrian in the prequel and Rose of the Oath), there was still an overarching thread to follow through. It was kind of like it might be if episodes of a TV show followed different storylines but had an overall plot in the background?

I sometimes felt like since I was expected to already know the allegorical elements from Christianity, they weren’t explained IN the stories very well? Which was a little odd. And it also often happened off-screen. But what there was I did like. 🙂 (Other than the prequel being depressing. XD)

The writing was distinctive, and, while sometimes (due to the short nature of the stories) I was a little confused about what was going on, mostly these novellas were vivid, gripping, thrilling, and unique, while spinning threads of familiar stories into a tapestry of new, colorful tales. On the whole, I quite enjoyed them, and recommend them to anyone who likes a good fairytale! ^_^

(I also noticed that the next one that’s supposed to come out in this Legends of Light series is a Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling! Excuse me while I search for a time-machine so I can go read it. 😀 *bouncing in excitement*)

(I received a free e-ARC of this collection from the author—many thanks! These opinions are entirely my own.)


Have you read any of Hope Ann’s novellas? (You can find Rose of the Oath for free, by the way!) And have you ever read any retellings of Hansel and Gretel? Or do you have some favorite retellings of B&B or Rapunzel? Let’s talk about aaall things retellings! Let me know in the comments! ^_^

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer