August Ishness {2015}

ishness

Another month has come and gone, so Ishness once more comes our way!

It was WAY too hot again, but it also rained — yay! I mean… I hear tell it was rain. I mean… there were, like, drops of water falling out of the sky. Like… lots of drops. And the weather cooled off and it wasn’t scorching and… it was… wet. For a couple of days. Like… who knew that water fell out of the sky — ISN’T THAT A MYTH? O_O (Ahem. Okay, so maybe it’s not THAT dry around here… BUT STILL.)

Of course it’s hot again NOW, so… So much for that. I WANT IT TO BE AUTUMN, FOLKS. I really do. Of course, then I’ll freeze in 70 degrees… (Seriously, it was 70 and I was COLD. :P) But OH WELL, I guess I can’t win. XD

But enough about the weather… I feel like I got a lot accomplished in August! I’m a happy little writer. ^_^

Writing

For one thing, I wrote 16,000 words in August. Which makes me very happy. 🙂

9d7f4ec3b9d76b65b071b3a86e7a5fbcFirstly… I finished writing my contemporary / mystery / slight romance short story Darkling Reflections!!!

Excuse me while I go run around in reckless circles screaming with ecstatic abandon.

I fiiiiiinished it! I’m so very very proud of me and I love it to death, and it was 11,000 ish words — which is long for a short story but still short, so I’m happy — and it’s kind of gorgeous and I’ve never written anything like it, and I NEVER finish writing stories, so I’m just happy and in love with it. ❤

CAN I JUST FLAIL PLEASE. I FINISHED WRITING A SHORT STORYYYY.

Ahem.
Sorry.
That just… called for a little excitement. >.>

I actually did write a summary for it, so here it is:

Darkling Reflections

A young heiress left alone in the world finds solace in her melancholy by nightly visiting the restaurant she always went to with her father, where she pours her overflowing thoughts into scribbles on napkins. Between avoiding the man who wants to marry her, trying to uncover the mystery of her father’s death, continually running into a mysterious young man in a trench coat, and forgetting to smile at the waiters, she’s keeping quite busy. But there’s still a murderer out there, who will stop for neither rain nor romance.

KW2coverPI also started really writing in The Secret of Kedran’s Wood (KW2) again for the first time since… February. I feel really good about that too! All of the productive feelings!

And I roughly outlined my Sleeping Beauty idea, The Rose and the Raven (not sure if I’ll be doing anything with it yet or not…).

I started some preliminary plotting work on The Silver Forest (this year’s upcoming NaNo Novel; please tell me how NaNo is only 2 months away…), like NAMING ALL THE CHARACTERS. Yes, I’m excited about that. *huggles all the Irish-sounding names* Like, I have a Prince Finnigan. (Come on, tell me that’s not cool??) I’ve gotten a tiny glimpse of the characters I’m having in this ENORMOUS cast this NaNo and I’m ridiculously excited. I’m going to have so much fun (if I survive NaNo and can manage that many characters, of course… Eheh).

Twelve Dancing Princesses ❤ (Pinterest)

Miscellaneous

I took up crocheting again! I hadn’t in YEARS but somehow I got it in my head that I wanted a purse/book bag combination thing and that I could make one… So I did. I kind of love it and feel like it turned out remarkably well, considering I probably hadn’t crocheted a thing in like five years, and that I made it up out of my head and kind of winged the whole thing, hoping it would turn out… Behold its beauty.

IMG_4257

(The blue part is actually much darker than that; my camera's flash has delusions of grandeur and thinks everything is only as it shows it, not how it truly is, and thinks it should be a bright neon blue; but it isn't.)

(The blue part is actually much darker than that; my camera’s flash has delusions of grandeur and thinks everything is only as it shows it, not how it truly is, and thinks it should be a bright neon blue; but it isn’t.)

Watching

Wow, what a weird collection of stuff I’ve been watching… Sci-fi, western, and period fantasy…

moviesaug2015I finished rewatching all of the Star Wars movies to prep for the new one, which was fun. December is soon! I forgot how much I love Obi-wan in the prequel trilogy and Han in the original trilogy. HAN SOLO. SO MUCH SNARK. I love him and young-Obi so much. ❤ (Also Chewie and R-2 are adorable and I love the lizard thing that Obi rides in Episode III. Want one, I do. Also, Yoda.)

I also watched some of this old western TV show about Jim Bowie, which was fun, and saw the BBC mini series version of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, which was… interesting. (CHILDERMASS. I know, nobody’s read that book let alone seen the show, so nobody understands me when I fangirl…)

Bookish

I also got dozens of books from a friend who was moving and was incredibly nice and gave them to me. Like… how do I even express my feelings. ❤

IMG_4260

These are a few of the books I’m most excited to read.

Speaking of books…

I FINISHED READING PLENILUNE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Plenilune Cover SingleYes, that requires caps-lock and that many exclamation points. It does. Seriously though, I’d been in that book since Christmas. It took me almost eight months to read it. I thought I would NEVER be done. But I was determined to finish it in August so I set myself a goal to read a chapter a day and I did it and finished early and just AAAHH I feel so free and so accomplished for making it through that monstrously large book! *happy flailing* Yes, it was worth it, in case you were wondering, simply because of Dammerung, who is a FABULOUS character, one of my favorites of ever. Dammerung is the best. That is all. ❤

I read these books in August. SO MANY BOOKS. I feel accomplished.

Aug2015books

  • A Wish Made of Glass, which I reviewed on the blog. Cinderella-ish and fey things and delicious writing! 5 stars.
  • Mixed on the Twelve Dancing Princesses Tales From Around the World collection. Fairytales are dark, y’all. 😛 Also not all of them were really 12DP but just shared themes. But still interesting, and useful research for my NaNo novel this year! Also Irish fairytales are the best because HUMOR. I kinda reviewed that on Goodreads. 3 stars?
  • Plenilune I already talked about but it gets 5 stars just because DAMMERUNG.
  • The Ankulen was… interesting. Hadn’t read anything like it before. 4 stars. (Reviewed it on Goodreads…)
  • House of Many Ways I reread, which means I’ve successfully reread the entire Howl trilogy this year and LKDJLFKJSDKJL I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. ❤ This one is hilarious and I love it. Also Twinkle. I WANT MY THTWIPEY ONETH. That is all. 5 stars (duh).
  • Loot: How to Steal a Fortune was a random YA heisty book from the library. It was enjoyable and had some fun heisty/con things but… I think something was missing. I don’t know. It was still fun though. 3 stars.
  • Enchanted Glass I also randomly got from the library because DIANA WYNNE JONES. Magical fun ensued. 5 stars (all the Diana Wynne Jones things get five stars).
  • Captive of Raven Castle. I reviewed this on Goodreads too… It was enjoyable. 4 stars.
  • Veiled Rose – I FINALLY FINISHED THIS. I started it in April so I’m so glad to be done. Of course, I’d read Heartless eons ago, so I hardly remember it so the parts that linked up with that I didn’t get as much out of as I should… But Leo and Rose Red are adorable, especially as kids, and Leo’s a mess now and laksdflkdj I need Moonblood this instant. (Also pink frogs falling from trees and I love you I love you. XD) 5 stars.
  • I read one of the novellas in Five Enchanted Roses last month, but I got around to the rest recently. It’s very convenient how there are five different star ratings and five different stories; I assigned a different rating to each. Stone Curse is still my favorite. ❤ The others were varying levels of enjoyable. *shrug* The overall still gets 5 stars because of Stone Curse (I LOVED IT SO MUCH) but the actual rating apparently would average 3 because of a 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 star rating… Anyways I added review-ish thoughts on Goodreads.

Nightstand Books (September)

Nightstand Books is done monthly by Jenelle and D.J. — join them usually the first Wednesday of the month (I know, I tend to rebel and be early…) and share your own nightstand books if you wish!

And heeeere is my Nightstand Book(s) of the month:

IMG_4302

YES! I’m only in the middle of ONE book right now and I feel so happy and accomplished that I finished all those books I was in and wanted to read in August! *happy flailing* I happen to be on page 50 and Percy only FINALLY arrived so I assume the story will pick up now. It’s fun and funny though, and has that “classics” feel that usually means I don’t have a CLUE what’s going on but I assume it’s probably brilliant and over my head. (Robert Louis Stevenson does that to me ALL the time and it’s fascinating.) I plan to finish The Scarlet Pimpernel ASAP and then to leisurely decide what to read next and try not to be in the middle of ten dozen books at the same time ever again. (Ahem. We’ll see how that goes…)

In other news, I seem to have re-discovered my addiction of parentheses. Sorry ’bout that. 😛

***

So! That was my August. No idea what September holds, yet, except that it’s going to be insanely busy. It’s rather a frightening thought…

Also! I’m going to be internet-less this coming extended weekend and very busy beforehand, so… if I’m not around, that is why. But I have something super fun and (hopefully) exciting coming up on the blog next week on Wednesday, so stay tuned!

A Wish Made of Glass

AWishMadeofGlassFinalA Wish Made of Glass

by Ashlee Willis

5 stars

Young Adult / Fantasy / Fairy Tale Re-Telling / Cinderella / Novella

I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the author (thank you!) in exchange for my honest review. These opinions are entirely my own.


My Review

Ever since reading THE WORD CHANGERS, I have been waiting breathlessly for another tale from talented authoress Ashlee Willis. That wait is now over. I was overcome with excitement to begin reading this novella, but at the same time, feared being disappointed after my high expectations. I need not have worried.

A WISH MADE OF GLASS blew me away with its gorgeousness, not only meeting but in fact far, far exceeding my expectations. It is loosely based on the Cinderella fairy tale, and it is written in first-person present-tense, which is a mode of writing that irks me, but I grew used to it in this story almost at once and could not begrudge it, which is saying something.

From the very first, I was entirely enchanted and drawn inescapably into this story and this world, a fey and beautiful one, the beauty starker against the shadows. The writing held me spellbound, the words spun together like the silver threads of moonlight and wishes. I can describe it in no other way than to say that it felt like a fairytale. The whole tale was quietly beautiful.

It held many surprises and was not at all what I expected. This is not a light tale. There is darkness and sadness and the bittersweetness of families and friendships found and broken and found again, and missed chances heartbreakingly forever lost. The story holds all the darkest emotions that can be found, poisonous and treacherous, in the lightless corners of one’s own heart. The heroine is flawed, as all people are. Sometimes it was very hard to read about, and could, I think, easily have made me dislike the story, and yet somehow it did not. And to find the joy and light was well worth it. It makes one think, perhaps, of one’s own failings and beginning to think of letting a light shine into the shadowed corner.

The characters were quite real. Isidore’s sorrow and struggles and innermost thoughts were well-painted. Blessing was an interesting character, the stepsister who is kindhearted but has her own things to wrestle with as well. Young Lord Auren made a surprisingly vivid short appearance and I basically loved him. My favorite character is of course a certain mysterious fey, whose name I realized at the end, with some surprise, we had never learned, and yet decided that it was perfect. Characters like that totally fulfill my reading wish in any book.

The visuals are stunning. I loved the turning seasons and the dresses and cloaks and the ball, but especially the snow and the fey wood and the fey themselves, and I want to join in their dance. I wish there had been more with the fey in the story.

You feel in the end a little as if there are hinted truths threaded through beneath the surface of the tale that you can not quite grasp. At least, that is how I felt. There is something deeper, elusive, and you feel that maybe one day you will understand it, even if you do not right now. But in my experience, the best books are like that.

I adored this quick read and it pulled me completely into a world of rich color and magic and snow and fey dances in the forest. I enjoyed it so very very much.

If you have a hankering for an enchanting tale of light and shadows, a fairy tale in its truest form, a beautiful world with characters who come to life and wrestle with their own darkness, told in words as natural and beautiful as flowing water under starlight, A WISH MADE OF GLASS will be your own wish come true.

Back Cover Copy

From Goodreads:

Deep in a forest glade, the fey folk dance with Isidore, a young human child. Their kinship is the very fabric of her childhood. When her mother dies and her world darkens with sorrow, Isidore finds her belief in the fey folk wavering.

The love of her new step-sister, Blessing, proves an unexpected gift in her time of need. Yet even as their friendship blooms, Isidore begins to see that Blessing is everything she herself has always wanted to be, but is not. Jealousy grips Isidore as she watches this beautiful new sister steal away all she holds dear.

Driven to desperation, Isidore turns to the fey folk once more. She has only one wish to claim from them, one chance to make things right. But she must tread carefully. For wishes, like hearts, are easily broken. And obtaining the one thing she desires could mean destroying the one thing she truly needs.

released August 14, 2015

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

About the Author

Ashlee Willis lives in the heart of Missouri with her husband, young son, and simply way too many cats. While most of her days are balanced between writing, reading and homeschooling, she also loves to crochet, play the piano, and spend time outdoors in God’s creation.

Learn more about Ashlee and her books at her author blog:

AshleeWillisAuthor.Wordpress.com

Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Summer 2015 Books!

Earlier this year I did a post about the books coming out in the spring that I was excited about… Well, since the books I showcased in that post have all released now (*gasp!*) and summer is in the air, it’s time for another post of upcoming books!

Here are 8 books being published sometime this summer that look interesting to me, in some vague semblance of the order they should release…


A Dream Not Imagined Cover

A Dream Not Imagined – Shantelle Mary Hannu

May 28

I reviewed this recently — a fun, sweet retelling of Cinderella. I’ve read it already, but that doesn’t mean I’m not excited for it to release! 🙂


corrodedthorns

Corroded Thorns – Emma Clifton

June

So perhaps I’m not qualified to look forward to this, yet, as from what I can tell it seems to be a sequel (I think?) to one of the tales in the “Five Glass Slippers” collection, which I haven’t actually read yet… But it sounds awesome anyways, (Beauty and the Beast? Yes please and thank you.) and just look at that cover!


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00026]

Half Blood – Jaye L. Knight

July 1

Again, not I’m that qualified, as I need to actually get around to reading Resistance and The King’s Scrolls… But this is a prequel to the Ilyon Chronicles, all about Jace… who, despite my not having read about him yet, I already know from hearing about him that I’ll love him. 😉 And it just sounds super awesome. Plus, prequels are cool!


inkandbone

Ink and Bone – Rachel Caine

July 7

So I know basically nothing about this and have no idea if it will be good or not, but the blurb sounds interesting, and seriously, alternate history where the library of Alexandria survived? Well if that doesn’t sound intriguing, I don’t know what does… (Plus, pretty cover. Yes, I am that shallow. Shush.)


silverintheblood

Silver in the Blood – Jessica Day George

July 7

I just like Jessica Day George. And it sounds fairly intriguing. So.


findingthemagic

Finding the Magic – Jack Lewis Baillot

July 17

More Beauty-and-the-Beast-ness! (Is it just me, or is there a lot of that going on? Anne Elisabeth Stengl seems to be crafting the flow of fairytales these days. Not that you’ll find me complaining. No, no, not at all. Bring ’em on, I say!) I’m not into WWII era stuff, but I’m going to have to make an exception for this one, which I have heard good things about and generally sounds amazing.


fiveenchantedroses

Five Enchanted Roses – by Kaycee Browning, Savannah Jezowski, Jenelle Schmidt, Dorian Tsukioka, Hayden Wand. Edited by Anne Elisabeth Stengl.

summer

Aaaaall the retold Beauty and the Beast stories! Yes. I’m especially looking forward to Jenelle Schmidt’s entry! It just sounds the coolest. Plus, this cover is probably the most positively gorgeous one in the history of EVER. So yeah. There’s that.


AWishMadeofGlassFinal

A Wish Made of Glass – Ashlee Willis

summer

The cover was just revealed last week and you probably still remember my excitement from then… BUT I AM SO EXCITED. A Cinderella retelling by an awesome author – yes. please. I can’t wait!


Are you excited about any of these?

Any other books coming out this summer that you’re excited about?

Share in the comments — I’d love to hear about them! 🙂

A Wish Made of Glass – Cover Reveal!

91uAEpmbMoL._SL1500_Excitement today! I’m thrilled to share in revealing the cover for an upcoming book by Ashlee Willis!

She’s the authoress of The Word Changers. —–>

Which, in case you didn’t know, I absolutely loved and adored to bits (and reviewed). It was one of my top ten favorite reads of 2014. Yeah. This is big stuff, people!

Ever since I finished reading it last year, I have been dying for another book by Ashlee Willis — so I’m so excited about this upcoming release of hers! Which is actually a Cinderella story.

Guys. Do you realize what this means? This means that there will soon be another Ashlee Willis book for us to devour… and not only that, but it will be a fairytale retelling.

Excuse me while I go flail around in unbounded ecstatic joy.

*disappears*

*comes back*

Ahem. Sorry about that. 😉 I’m just soooo excited about this!

Do check out her lovely blog which I greatly enjoy, where she talks about fantasy, faith, fairytales, forests, and other fabulous things! It’s one of my very favoritest blogs ever. 🙂

Ashlee Willis’s blog “Finding the True Fairy Tale”

And now, onward to the revealing of this stunningly gorgeous cover…!

Behold!

AWishMadeofGlassFinal

A Wish Made of Glass

Deep in a forest glade, the fey folk dance with Isidore, a young human child. Their kinship is the very fabric of her childhood. When her mother dies and her world darkens with sorrow, Isidore finds her belief in the fey folk wavering.

The love of her new step-sister, Blessing, proves an unexpected gift in her time of need. Yet even as their friendship blooms, Isidore begins to see that Blessing is everything she herself has always wanted to be, but is not. Jealousy grips Isidore as she watches this beautiful new sister steal away all she holds dear.

Driven to desperation, Isidore turns to the fey folk once more. She has only one wish to claim from them, one chance to make things right. But she must tread carefully. For wishes, like hearts, are easily broken. And obtaining the one thing she desires could mean destroying the one thing she truly needs.

Releasing Summer 2015!

About the Author

AshleeWillisAuthorPicAshlee Willis is the author of fantasy for young adults. She lives in the heart of Missouri with her husband and young son. While most of her days are balanced between writing, reading and being a stay-at-home mom, she also finds time to enjoy forest rambles, photography, and playing the piano.

Connect with her online:

Blog | Goodreads | Facebook | Amazon | Twitter | Pinterest