Tag Archive | E. Kaiser Writes

The Road to Bremen! (by Kelsey Bryant)

The winner for the giveaway of a signed paperback of Common is . . . Raechel L.! Congrats, Raechel! The winner has been contacted. Thanks so much to everyone who entered! Stay tuned for more giveaways because I love sharing the bookish love! ^_^

Speaking of bookish love, I’m here with a review of a lovely novella/children’s book which released TODAY, and is a retelling of The Bremen Town Musicians! GUYS. I LOVED THIS LITTLE BOOK. ❤

The Road to Bremen by Kelsey Bryant

Utterly charming! A tale full of heart. ❤

I’ve always loved the fairytale of the Bremen Town Musicians, the old donkey and dog and cat and rooster on the road to become musicians in Bremen. I have fond memories of hearing an audio version of the story, and a particular picture book I found fascinating with pictures I remember vividly.

So when I heard Kelsey Bryant was writing a retelling of it, I was ecstatic! Her pen skillfully brought this story to life in this novella-sized children’s book, complete with charming illustrations by E. Kaiser Writes.

I loved how it felt true to the original tale but brought out new and unexpected things too, with some excellent twists and turns! It has its own share of excitement and adventure and, yes, peril at times! But it still feels so absolutely cozy at the same time, which made me happy. 🙂

The Road to Bremen is like a golden sunbeam across a field of wheat on a quiet summer day. It just FEELS lovely. You want to bask in it as you read. It’s rich and well-written and draws you along like a breeze calling you to the shade of the forest. You can feel the dust of the road and you’ll smile or laugh at the quiet humor or the banter between these larger-than-life (but so REAL!) animal characters as they go on their adventure.

The characters are so loveable! Etzel the donkey, from whose perspective the story is told, absolutely stole my heart. I just love this donkey and his voice! He has so much character. Jager the dog is sort of mournful but funny. XD Katarina is so CAT-like and prim, and I loved the dog-vs.-cat references. And then Rudiger is so extremely vain and always quoting Aesop and it’s great. XD I just love them all! You have to read this to meet them! There are a couple of human characters, of course, who add to the story, but I won’t spoil anything by talking about them. 😉

Also, I love that it’s set in Germany and how there are German words thrown in here and there. I felt so immersed in the forest and town and roads and setting. It made me think a little of Melanie Dickerson’s fairytale retellings and made me feel at home. 🙂

I totally recommend this if you enjoy retellings and need a quick, novella-sized read, or if you have children in your life. I feel like it would be a wonderful book to read aloud!

Just— *hugs book* It feels totally classic and makes me happy! ^_^

Disclaimer: I beta-read this book. I was not required to write a review and the opinions are my own.


About the Book

Their lives are saved by a dream. But only friendship can make that dream a reality.

Once upon a time…

Etzel the donkey is getting old, but he works hard on his farm—until the day Herr Hoffman decides he is no longer worth keeping. With no choice but to escape, Etzel sets off on the road to Bremen to seek his fortune as a musician. On the way, he rescues three other animals—a dog, a cat, and a rooster—who are also old and destined for death.

Will these four new friends find their success and worth as musicians in Bremen? Or does the road hold something better?

Based on “The Bremen Town Musicians” from the Grimms’ Fairy Tales. Ideal for kids from 7 to 11 years old, but great for all those young at heart.


About the Author

Kelsey Bryant lives in Central Texas, but being one-quarter German, she’s always wanted to visit Germany. Bogged down during the crafting of a much longer book, Kelsey started writing a retelling of one of her favorite fairy tales, “The Bremen Town Musicians,” to resuscitate her creativity. She rather liked the result.

Kelsey is the author of the Six Cousins series and Suit and Suitability, part of the Vintage Jane Austen series. The Road to Bremen is her first book for children. Besides writing fiction, Kelsey is a copyeditor, a martial arts instructor, and an avid student of the Bible. Visit her at kelseybryantauthor.com or on her blog, Kelsey’s Notebook.


Links

Purchase on Amazon (paperback or ebook)

Add on Goodreads

Announcement Post on the author’s blog!


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Suit and Suitability: Vintage Jane Austen Poison Kiss: A Twist of Adventure Cover5_story

Thanks for reading! 🙂

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King’s Ward by E. Kaiser Writes: Book Spotlight!

Hey guys! I just wanted to let you know about a new book by a lovely author friend of mine, which just released this last weekend! It’s called King’s Ward and while I haven’t read it yet, I’ve enjoyed her books and I’m excited for it!

If you like non-magical fantasy adventure, you’ll love these. ^_^

You can check out the blog tour, and also be sure to go enter the giveaway. 😀

Check out these loverly new covers for the books in the series — and the first book is free right now! 😉


Jeweler’s Apprentice
Five Gems Book 1
by E. Kaiser Writes
Genre: YA Fantasy Adventure 
On her first visit to the palace, sixteen-year-old Fia stumbles upon a court intrigue. To keep the secret safe, the Chancellor sends her off as apprentice to a famous, reclusive, mountain jeweler…
…And straight into adventure.
Discovering gems with deep secrets and new friends with the same, Fia learns a whole lot more than just making jewelry: when to trust a stranger, and when not to, why not to try stealing from gem thieves; what heroism is; what royalty ought to be; and that the mountains themselves can sometimes be the greatest danger of all.
Is the legend of the Sunlight Stone true?
Will peace ever come to the war-torn neighboring kingdom?
And what is the stable boy hiding…?

Traitor’s Knife
Five Gems Book 2
Secrets. Sabotage. Murder. With Olayin House temporarily turned into a weapons factory, Fia is confronted with the care of three refugee children, an ill-timed visitor, a perplexingly brash messenger that she isn’t quite sure what to think of, all while trying to keep her friend’s secrets safe. But when dangerous accidents start to happen, the young apprentice begins to tread a fine line of suspicion. Are saboteurs out to nix the weapons works… and is the incognito crown prince in mortal peril? Winter in the mountain house isn’t as cozy as her apprenticeship was expected to be. 
**Only .99 cents!**

New Release!

King’s Ward
Five Gems Book 3
With her wealth of loyalist secrets, Fia’s position at Olayin House is compromised. Now a potential danger to two countries, she is made a ward of the king and sent away yet again; this time into the grassland kingdom of Erlandia, but her journey amongst the horse folk takes unexpected turns.
Trapped under siege, she faces two men from her past… one she fears might murder her, and the other may die of plague unless she wins the battle for his life.
And with the Sunlight Stone traded for troops, how long will Erlandia’s peace last?
 
E. Kaiser Writes was born into a family of readers, and got started on storytelling around the age of four when her older siblings prompted her into recounting an absolutely ridiculous account of a parallel childhood. It was good for the family’s general entertainment, and she discovered the thrill of making people laugh.
At the age of seven her mother read the Hobbit aloud, and a fascination with beautiful fantasy was born. At nine she came to the decision that she wanted to be a writer, and set to reading rabidly to learn the art. At thirteen she attempted her first novel, and it was eaten in a computer’s demise.
Afterward, during her teenage years she tried very hard at various times to stop writing all together.
Not succeeding, she at last gave in to her addiction, and wrote “for fun”.
Her first novel, Jeweler’s Apprentice, is a light-fantasy adventure for teens. The shy, bookish heroine is thrust out on the first step toward the adventure that awaits, and growing up. More books in this series are expected.

Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

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Look at the pretties! Sound intriguing? Have you read any of these? Thanks for reading! 🙂

Start of Summer #BookHaul

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I don’t buy a lot of new books, but lately I’ve splurged a bit because so many friends are coming out with books I NEED… plus I won a book and got one for review and went to a library booksale.

SO! I thought I’d share pics of these books because they are so gorgeous and I’m so excited about them. 🙂 Here’s my April/May/June (so far) book haul.

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I’ve mentioned King’s Folly by Jill Williamson (and I reviewed it, whaddayaknow) which was a review copy from Bethany House. But I have to show it again because #gorgeous.

I won The Firethorn Crown by Lea Doué in a giveaway from Clean Indie Reads, and it came all the way from from Nova Scotia/Cape Breton in Canada! How cool is that?? ^_^ It’s a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, which I mayyy or may not have a gargantuan small obsession with, so I’m very excited to read it! 🙂

Paper Crowns by Mirriam Neal. I’M STILL BOUNCING OFF THE WALLS THAT THIS IS PUBLISHED AND I OWN IT AAAHH. ❤ ❤ ❤ I know I’ve mentioned it several times already but seriously, this book is one of my FAVORITEST of ever, and everyone needs to read it. Highly recommend. *nodnod* (And by “highly recommend,” I of course mean “YOU NEED THIS MARVELOUS BOOK IN YOUR LIFE GO GET A COPY RIGHT NOW YOU NEEEEED IT!”)

Songkeeper by Gillian Bronte Adams, which I read an e-ARC of before it came out, but simply HAD to get a physical copy! EEEP. Isn’t it lovely with its friends (Orphan’s Song and Out of Darkness Rising)? ^_^ (My review of Songkeeper.)

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bookhaul3Aaand as I mentioned, the books by E. Kaiser Writes came out in print and I had to get these gorgeous beauties. THEY’RE SO PRETTY. She illustrated them, inside and out, and while I’ve only read Prince of Demargen so far (review here), I’m really excited about all of them. ^_^

THAW, 1-3:
Winter’s Child
Winter Queen
Prince of Demargen

Five Gems, 1-2:
Jeweler’s Apprentice
Traitor’s Knife

So! I’m really excited about my shiny new books. (I hardly ever get new books so this is really exciting. ^_^)

And then here’s my stack from a library booksale. (I’m noticing a green and gold theme…?)

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Sabriel – Garth Nix (Really excited to read this one!)
The Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfield
The Time Paradox (Artemis Fowl, #6) – Eoin Colfer (Slowly collecting these…)
The Faerie Path – Frewin Jones
A Curse Dark as Gold – Elizabeth C. Bunce
Song of the Sparrow – Lisa Ann Sandel
Tales from Far and Near – Arthur Guy Terry
The Penderwicks – Jeanne Birdsall (I love this book! ❤ )
Conrad’s Fate – Diana Wynne Jones (I love this one too! ❤ )

Also a few picture books (Farmer Giles of Ham by Tolkien with a different illustrator, a Snow White illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman, Oscar Otter illustrated by Arnold Lobel), a pamphlet on Scottish history, and a blank journal. 🙂 (I collect journals… it’s a very bad habit of this particular writer…)

I’m curious if you’ve read any of these or want to? What’s a book you got recently you’re excited about? I’d love to hear! Share all, page-dreamers of mine! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

Reading Roundup #1

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It’s been a month since I started this blog! Hurray! More importantly, we’re a month into this new year of 2016, and I read several lovely books in January, so I’m here to start a monthly trend on The Page Dreamer: a Reading Roundup to record what I read each month!

I started out the month by reading some books I’ve been meaning to read for review and hadn’t gotten around to yet, interspersed with a couple random books… As I finished a book on the 22nd, I looked back and went “Wait a minute. I’ve read six books in three weeks.” Six books is what I generally average in a month when I’m neither super busy nor reading a lot. But I felt like all I’d been doing the last three weeks was read–how was it I hadn’t read more?? That was when I realized… “Oh… they’re all enormous books.”

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I keep a spreadsheet of books I read every year. Because it’s so fun. And yes, that’s 2222 pages total right there…

So then, having gotten the large ones of a pressing nature out of the way, I ate some smaller bite-sized books which were a nice change. ^_^

I also… um… seem to be having a problem with being too generous with my star ratings? I do this at the beginning of every year because I have nothing to compare with and am generally feeling magnanimous. So… all the five stars! (Except for two.) Oops?

And I read three books in a row (not counting the nonfiction) which featured enormous sea monster serpent things. (The Sunken Realm, Goddess Tithe, Out of Darkness Rising.) Go me. 😀

Books I read in January 2016

{My Review}

5starrating1. Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones — I really loved this! Of course, it’s by one of my top-two favorite authors, sooo… that’s not surprising. 😉 And it’s about books and writing and it’s a retelling and a lovely friendship/romance and has Tom Lynn. All-round win on this one!

{My review on The Road of a Writer}

5starrating2. Yorien’s Hand by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt (The Minstrel’s Song, #3) — So enjoyed this, and am really looking forward to going back to read the first two books in the series! I loved the world, adventure, dragons, and characters (especially Brant & Kiernan Kane!). Fabulous Epic Fantasy. ❤

{My Review}

3starrating3. The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke — I loved most of this one, but was slightly disappointed by the ending… Still, I’m glad I read it and it’s definitely worth reading for those less picky about their endings than I! 😉 Venice and brothers and the mysterious boy Scipio and detective Victor who has pet tortoises.

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{My Review}

5starrating4. Prince of Demargen by E. Kaiser Writes (Thaw, #3) — This was a very interesting sequel to a Frozen-like story (The Snow Queen retelling) and I’m very much looking forward to reading the first two in the series. But it’s quite rich and I love Hess a ton and it’s brilliantly written.

5starrating5. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes #3) — I haven’t reviewed this one… It’s actually a reread, ish… I think I’ve read them all before? But I don’t really remember them so I’m working on going through all the Holmes stories — yay! This is the first collection of short stories (after the first two novels), and has twelve stories in all. My favorites I think are The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet, and The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle. Anyways I’m loving reading through Holmes — so awesome, and I love him and Watson: they’re a great pair! 🙂

{My review on The Road of a Writer}

5starrating6. The Sunken Realm by Serena Chase (Eyes of E’veria #4) — Pirates, time-travel, a Twelve Dancing Princesses twist, romance, Christian themes and fabulous fantasy, not to mention Cazien. ❤ I can’t 100% recommend it due to some mature content and general scariness, but otherwise fabulous.

5starrating7. Goddess Tithe by Anne Elisabeth Stengl (Tales of Goldstone Wood, #2.5) — Haven’t reviewed this either, but oh my goodness, I adored it! *huggles little book* Set in the midst of Veiled Rose (book 2) which is the last Goldstone Wood book I read, it’s just a perfect little tale at sea, with mystery and fantasy and an elegant perfectness to the writing. I loved Munny and he and Leo’s relationship was so fun — they don’t even speak the same language, which made it hilarious! XD Anyways it has a bit of everything and was kinda bittersweet and perfect. ^_^ ❤

{My Review}

4starrating8. Impactivity: How to Set the World on Fire Without Burning Out, by Tracy Higley — Interesting non-fiction of a self-help, time-management, inspirational sort of thing. I hope to put some of its ideas to use… Hopefully I’ll read it again. Very well put together.

5starrating9. Out of Darkness Rising by Gillian Bronte Adams — Also didn’t review. But it was so so beautiful. A little novella, I read it in a sitting, and it’s a gorgeous allegory. It was incredibly well written — I love this author’s style! — and just… gaah. Words fail me. It was such an amazing allegorical story! ❤ It was so immersive and detailed, I really felt pulled in, and the timeless tale of love and salvation was so beautifully woven. It made me really love the Prince and his Father and look to the allegory beneath, pointing upward. Just an awesome story. (Not to mention one of my favorite covers!)

5starrating10. Half-Blood by Jaye L. Knight (Ilyon Chronicles, #0.5) — Everyone and their cousin seems to be after me to read this series, so I finally sat down and read the prequel novella in an attempt to get me hooked enough to not be too daunted by the length of the later books… It’s kinda dark and likely not everyone’s cup of tea, but I didn’t mind it so much since I’ve read similar tales before. Jace is awesome (naturally) and I love Rayad too, and I’m looking forward to continuing the series. 🙂 (Ya know, once I get over the length… >.> *cough* I’m sorry, long books tend to get postponed by this skittish reader…)

Have you read any of these?

What have you been reading?

Dream away in those pages…

~The Page Dreamer

Prince of Demargen by E. Kaiser Writes

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5starrating

Title: Prince of Demargen

Author: E. Kaiser Writes

review

I was struck by how unique this book is! I’ve never read anything like it. I loved the main character, Prince Hess! He was one of my very favorite things about the book. Getting to follow along with his adventures and struggles and watch him grow was awesome. He has such a distinct personality and I loved his sort of dry way of thinking and talking! 🙂 Definitely a deep character right there, with some very compelling struggles. (Also the stable and brawl scene was awesome. Just saying. It was glorious.)

It’s the sort of story you dwell deeply in… Adventure upon adventure, which you’re a part of, living in the land and traveling with Hess as you read along, instead of rushed through. It’s a book that knows how to take its time but be intriguing (I couldn’t put it down!), how to have fun but also be elegant and get at the heart things. The writing has a classic, timeless aura, peppered with fine humor. I loved it!

The book made me feel deeply: I’m not much of an emotional reader, but I cried near the beginning over Hess and his brothers, and laughed at humorous lines and great bits of dialog. (The dialog is great, especially Hess’s…)

The other characters were neat and well drawn too, though I didn’t see much of them (consequence of starting a series in the middle, I suppose…). They were really great to read about together–the relationships were fantastic, as was trying to piece them together… Looking forward to seeing how it all pans out! Hess’s horse Tompte was a great character in his own right–adorable and so loyal! Princess Girta has a long way to go before I’ll be able to like her, but Queen Ilise was cool, and I really loved what little I saw of Kai! I’m super intrigued by him and I simply can’t wait for Reindeer King to release!! *flails a little*

The series is a retelling of The Snow Queen and other such tales, and this particular book is rather like what a sequel to the movie Frozen might be like if it had been a bit different. (So if that idea intrigues you, definitely give it a go!) I love retellings and this one was great. Also fairytales are able to paint certain truths in a way that many other things can’t, and I think this one did a good job at some of that.

I did jump right into the middle of the series, as I haven’t read the first two books yet, and the fourth is not yet released. So I’m not sure if I actually have complaints about Prince of Demargen, or if they will be taken care of by the other books. Time will tell! (I’m wavering between a 4.5 star rating and a 5 star one, but I’m currently settling on 5 and assuming my problems will be swept away by the rest of the books.) A few times things felt to me like they came out of the blue or I didn’t know some characters well, but that may be fixed when I read the first ones, and several things were not wrapped up which I really want to see concluded (like the brothers!!), but hopefully those will be sorted out in the next book. 🙂

So my only complaints that may still remain after reading the other books (we’ll see) would be that a few things felt random or not explained well and I’m still wondering about, and the discussion questions at the end of the chapters dragged me out of the story. I prefer to be immersed in the story (and usually was), instead of yanked out after every chapter, but I ended up being able to skip them, mostly… But still.

Other than those minor things, and being on the edge of my seat waiting for the next book to release (not actually a bad thing. ;)), I loved it!

Overall, Prince of Demargen is a rich unique tale and is a very enjoyable read. I definitely recommend this one and look forward to reading the rest of the series!

(I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review, and the opinions are entirely my own.)

factoids

Illustrator: Illustrated by the author — lovely illustrations! Though few, I adore them…

Genre/Category: Fantasy / Christian / Fairytale Retelling

Age Group: Young Adult

Published: 2015

Pages: 408

Series?: Book 3 in the Thaw series (part of The Fairytale Collection). Preceded by Winter’s Child (#1), and Winter Queen (#2); followed by Reindeer King (#4) — publishing soon.

When Read: January 20, 2016 (yes, I read it in a day, despite its length! So hooked…)

Favorite Character: Hess! And Kai.

Other Notes: Read a PDF copy from the author.

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{Goodreads} • {Amazon}


Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages…

~ The Page Dreamer

 

Nightstand Books {Jan 2016}

Nightstand Books is a monthly meme created by Jenelle Schmidt and D.J. Edwardson, focused on taking a look at your nightstand of books, i.e. what you’re reading or plan to read this month. Join in if you like! It’s usually the first Wednesday of every month… sooo I’m a week late. 😛

Also, I tend to go a little overboard with my posts, because I always plan a bit over-ambitiously what I want to read and it doesn’t always pan out so well… Ahem.

Still, on we go!

Physical Nightstand

nightstandbooksjan2016

Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones: I got this for Christmas and read it on New Year’s Day (all 400+ pages of it, and actually stayed up till 3:30 a.m. to do so, so yes, it was good) and really enjoyed it. Maybe I’ll write a review? 5 stars.

I’ve started reading a handful of books with daily readings, for the new year. I usually mean to and don’t usually succeed, but this year I’m trying! Most notably A Year With C. S. Lewis. It reminds me that I really need to read through several of his nonfiction works. I’ll obviously likely be in this all year, so I’ll just mention it this time. 😉

I don’t know about the following, as I would like to read them soon, preferably this month, but I don’t know how soon it will happen.

  • The Night Dance by Suzane Weyn: Got this for Christmas and looks like a delightful little read (Arthurian/Twelve Dancing Princesses!).
  • Out of Darkness Rising by Gillian Bronte Adams
  • Half-Blood by Jaye L. Knight
  • Goddess Tithe by Anne Elisabeth Stengl: These three are small novellas which I would love to just sit down and devour but haven’t found a moment for yet.

Virtual Nightstand

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The Sunken Realm by Serena Chase: Currently reading and excited for it. Pirates and Captain Cazien. YES. ❤

Yorien’s Hand by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt: I read this and loved it. I reviewed it on my other blog, as I had gotten it for review; but I may also post the review here sometime. 5 stars.

Rising Shadows by Ashley Townsend: This is next on my list to read. Looking forward to reading it, as I already love the characters (one in particular…).

Prince of Demargen by E. Kaiser Writes: If I can finish the books I’m supposed to read for review, I hope to read this one and review it by the 22nd, so we’ll see. It sounds cool!

The Poisoned Cure by Deborah Dunlevy: Can’t. Wait. Dying to read.

Again, not sure how many I’ll get to…

I also have a handful of books I’d love to reread soon (Holmes short stories, The Blood of Kings Trilogy, Ronia the Robber’s Daughter, Rick Brant…), and having just finished Yorien’s Hand I have upped King’s Warrior and Second Son on my read-soon list, and there are countless other books on my shelves waiting patiently for me to read them… But books for review come first, and I would like to read some of my smaller things, plus I’m not made of time, so we’ll see how much happens in the rest of January…

Basically I want to read ALL OF THE THINGS! (RIGHT NOW! *flails*)

What’s on your nightstand? 🙂