Fall 2015 Books

Today is the first day of Autumn! Yayness! Can you feel it in the air? Maybe? Almost? …Ahem. Autumn just kind of excites me because it’s not going to be as HOT and it feels adventurous and it smells nice and feels nice and of course NaNo will be soon and… you get the picture. I LIKE AUTUMN. There.

Also, yesterday (Sept. 22) was Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday. Couldn’t let that go un-noted… HAPPY BIRTHDAY GUYS. (Yes, I always celebrate the Long Expected Party, even if it’s just by thinking about it.)

I’ve heard it called Hobbit Day… and yesterday for it, Rebekah @ Wordsmithing and Worldbuilding posted possibly my favorite Middle-earth-ish post ever.

Everyone, go read it.

Fans of Tolkien and Lord of the Rings and Middle-earth: read the post because you will understand and it will ring true (no pun intended).

Non-fans: read the post because it will show you why you should become a fan and read the books.

I just love that post a lot and it reminded me again of all the reasons why The Lord of the Rings is my favorite book and Tolkien my favorite author, and… it made my soul happy. ^_^ ❤

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And now, with a new season, once again, it’s time for some book anticipation…

*drumroll*

Here is a list of books coming out this Autumn that look interesting to me!

poisonedcurecover

The Poisoned CureDeborah Dunlevy

September 8, 2015

Okay, so this one is technically already out, and before Autumn officially hits. But still! I’m so very very excited about this! I need to get my hands on it. NEED. The first book in the series, The Book of Sight, was one of those random free Kindle downloads I did a lot of when I first got my Kindle app. Except that this one I actually read it. And loved it so much that I actually bought the second and third book. (Bought. This is the person who doesn’t buy books very often, especially not e-books.) And I actually read them. And I’ve been waiting on the edge of my seat for the fourth to release — and I hear there’s going to be a fifth, which makes me all kinds of excited!

Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo

September 29, 2015

I know nothing about this except it’s apparently set in the same world as Shadow and Bone which I know nothing about except that it’s quite popular and several people I know seem to love it so I want to perhaps try it… But Six of Crows is on my wishlist because it sounds like an awesome fantasy heisty book. What is not to like? No idea if it’s cool or not but it certainly sounds cool…

THE SUNKEN REALM KINDLE COVER SEPT 2015

The Sunken Realm – Serena Chase

September 30, 2015

Ever since I finished reading The Seahorse Legacy, I’ve basically been dying to read the conclusion. So… yes. Though I do hear that The Seahorse Legacy was kind of redone, so I must read that again as well! Bwahaha. ALL OF THE EPIC PIRATENESS. And and aaaaand… CAZIEN. ‘Nuff said. ❤

A Thousand Nights – E. K. Johnson

October 6, 2015

In this case, I’m entirely guilty of cover-love. I totally am only interested in it because of its gorgeous cover. Well, that and I think it’s a retelling of Arabian Nights which just sounds awesome because retellings! I have no idea if it will be any good or not though.

The Golden BraidMelanie Dickerson

November 17, 2015

Another medieval fairytale retelling of Hagenheim from Melanie Dickerson! I’ve loved previous installments in the series, and I keep hearing there are secrets and surprises in store for this one… Plus, THAT COVER. ❤ Needless to say, I’m very excited! Also, Rapunzel. It will be interesting to see how it’s retold in this tale!


Defying ShadowsAshley Townsend

November 2015

This is the sequel to Chasing Shadows, which I reviewed. I’m curious what will happen next with the romance and timey-wimey stuff and Robin-Hood hints and that ending of Chasing Shadows… Yes. Very curious… (Also scared of how it will turn out. But still curious. XD)


So there you are! What I’m looking forward to. I probably won’t manage to get hold of them all, but y’know me and my lists. 😉 It’s still fun, right?

Are you excited about any of these? (Aren’t they pretty covers?? #shallowbookworm)

Any you hadn’t heard of before?

And what are you excited for coming out this Fall? 🙂

ALSO IT’S FALL, GUYS. FAAAAAAAAALL! ❤ *throws leaves spontaneously*

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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

A Cinderella-ish Interview & Giveaway

(from Pinterest)

Today I’m joining in on the blog tour celebrating the release (yesterday!) of the Cinderella novella A Dream Not Imagined — which I reviewed recently. As I may have said before… who doesn’t love a good retelling? 😉

Blog Tour Banner

Be sure to check out the other posts running through the weekend — and remember to enter the giveaway below!!

But first, I’m excited to have the lovely authoress herself over on my blog to answer some mostly Cinderella-themed questions!

Enjoy!

Interview with Shantelle Mary Hannu

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1. What do you like most about the story of Cinderella?

Hmm, the idea of a getting a gorgeous gown and fancy dancing slippers is such fun! 😀 And also, I just really like the thought of this orphan girl—hurt, belittled, and having lost all those she loved—who finds a beautiful love story despite the odds! ❤

2. Do you have a favorite retelling in book form?

Only one?? 😉 I think I’d have to say Entwined by Heather Dixon. It was quite creepy at some points, but I just ADORED all the dancing, the precious little sisters, the totally sweet romance, the magic tea set . . . It’s for sure my favorite retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses!

Others I have to mention: The Fairest Beauty by Melanie Dickerson, Cinderella’s Dress by Shonna Slayton, Before Midnight by Cameron Dokey, and The Seahorse Legacy by Serena Chase.

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3. How about favorite Cinderella film?

Totally Cinderella [2015]. I LOVED it!! ^__^ Such gorgeousness!! So lovely and sweet! An absolutely beautiful remaking of the original tale!

4. What is your favorite element in the classic Cinderella tale? (The slipper, romance, carriage, rags-to-riches…?)

A rags-to-riches is always an interesting thing to read of . . . But it can bring trouble too; like Miss Prudence. Lol! Wasn’t that her name? The strict lady who drove poor Cinderella crazy! :p

I love the glass slipper part of the story actually. Something about the prince picking up her dainty little shoe. ^_^

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5. Who is your favorite character in the Cinderella story, and who’s your favorite in your version, A Dream Not Imagined?

I’ve always had a soft spot for Anastasia, after watching Cinderella II. So her, Cinderella, or Gus. 😀

In my version . . . I do particularly like Ellie, of course! And my “fairy godmother” also endeared herself to me.

6. You wrote it originally for Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s fairytale contest, but aside from that, what caused you to write a retelling of your own? Where did the idea come from/what was your inspiration?

Fairytales are one of my favorite things to read ever. I’m just captivated by them. Cinderella, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves . . . *hugs them all* The plots are just so neat that I want to try create my own retellings, I suppose. I would like to write a whole collection of fairy tale retellings! ^__^

Inspiration for A Dream Not Imagined? I’m not really sure. I had some ideas jotted down prior to finding out about Anne Elisabeth’s contest, but I think most of those changed, haha! I just started writing, and it all came! 🙂

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7. Do you have a favorite theme/scene/part in your story A Dream Not Imagined?

The bits about dancing are a favorite. The Epilogue gives me a soft, happy feeling. I quite like my theme sort of about surrendering . . . probably because it’s a lesson I’m learning in my own life. 😀

8. Do you have pictures and/or actors in mind to “play” the parts of the major characters in A Dream Not Imagined?

I do!! ^__^ Visit the first post for this blog tour. Or my Pinterest board for A Dream Not Imagined.

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9. Do you have any tips for writers who would like to try their hand at a fairy tale retelling?

Follow the classic storyline, or make all kinds of exciting changes . . .  either way will be amazing I think! There’s so much potential! Just read or watch the classic story, and then start writing. 😀

10. And (be honest, now — Cinderella-themed questions aside…) what’s your favorite fairytale? 😉

Um . . .  do I have to? ;D I don’t think I can pick a favorite, I just . . . can’t. My top three favorites would probably be The Twelve Dancing Princesses, The Little Mermaid, and Rapunzel.

Thanks for joining us, Shantelle! ^_^

About the Book

A Dream Not Imagined CoverA MAID, a PRINCE, and a DUKE. A GARDENER, a STEPMOTHER, and a secret…

Ellie Abbington, a beautiful yet unassuming young woman, quietly longs for her life to change. Too privileged to associate with the servants—too underprivileged to associate with her own family; she dreams a dream of a prince and a happily ever after. But it could be that her own stepsisters, conniving Dezmarie and easily-influenced Adelaide, are dreaming the same dream…of the same prince. In the end, are dreams even all they’re made out to be? Especially with deep and long-hidden secrets about to be unearthed?

A Dream Not Imagined is a non-magical fairytale novella based loosely on the classic tale of Cinderella.

Now available as a Kindle ebook on Amazon!

Amazon-Buy-ButtonGoodreadsButton

About the Author

KODAK Digital Still CameraShantelle Mary Hannu was born in the mountainous west, spending her golden childhood years there. Since then, she has relocated time and again with her parents and seven siblings, making cherished memories in both the South and Central United States.

A Christian homeschool graduate, Shantelle has a passion for writing and all things books. From a young age she’s been penning tales with a hope of sharing with the world adventurous and soul-stirring stories that bring glory to God.

A Dream Not Imagined, a fairytale novella, is her first published book. She’s currently preparing a full-length fantasy novel for publication as well, and working on its sequel.

Shantelle blogs at A Writer’s Heart about her stories, favorite books and movies (with reviews), healthy wheat-free recipes, and hosts fellow authors, among other things. One of her joys is connecting with fellow writers and readers! You can also find her on:

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Google+ | Pinterest

*****Giveaway!*****

Enter the rafflecopter form for a chance to win a kindle copy of A Dream Not Imagined and a $5 Amazon giftcard!

One winner will be chosen May 31st, and the kindle book and gift card will be sent to their email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

But wait, there’s more!

Because I so enjoyed A Dream Not Imagined, I’m offering a giveaway of my own!

As well as the official rafflecopter giveaway for the blog tour, I am also going to give away a kindle ebook copy of A Dream Not Imagined to one random commenter here on this blog!

So comment away, and a random commenter will be chosen Monday June 1st and I will announce the winner and email them.

So, readers: A question for you! Answer for my personal giveaway:

What’s your favorite Cinderella retelling?

(from Pinterest)

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

Nightstand Books – May Edition

Nightstand Books is a monthly blog meme Jenelle Schmidt and DJ Edwardson started… the idea being that we take a look at our nightstand of books we’re reading/looking forward to reading that month.

I think it’s a fun idea and since I have a large stack currently (and forgot to mention anything about them in my last Ishness post…) I thought sharing them with y’all might push me to actually finishing some!

Since I’m in the middle of 7 books (yes. Seven. *cringe*) and have another half-dozen I’m dying to get to…

So, without further ado, behold!

NightstandBooksMay
Plenilune by Jennifer Freitag — Planetary Fantasy. I started this on Christmas, got a hundred pages in by sometime in January, and didn’t pick it up again until a couple days ago. It’s so rich that it’s very slow to read, which coupled with its ginormous length makes it daunting as Mount Everest. But I’m making the climb! If I can manage to read a chapter a day, I hope to finish it this month…

Fairest by Gail Carson Levine — Snow White retelling, set in the same world as Ella Enchanted. I read this once, forever ago, and remember practically nothing about it. So I’m re-reading it this month with my bookclub. Fun!

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien — Needs no introduction. 😉 Another re-read… I started this on Tolkien’s birthday (Jan. 3rd) and… have been a few chapters in ever since. I just haven’t felt like re-reads lately, but I want to finish that up this month as well! So I can start on re-reading The Lord of the Rings for the umpteenth time… Mwahaha.

Veiled Rose by Anne Elisabeth Stengl — Goldstone Wood, book 2… I’m a bit of a ways into this and loving it to death. 11-year-old Leo and Rose Red are ADORABLE and Stengl’s writing is both gorgeous and funny. I have no idea what took me so long to get to it after reading Heartless eons ago…

Moonblood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl — Goldstone Wood, book 3… So I’m not to this one yet, obviously, as I’m still in Veiled Rose… But the Goodreads group for Goldstone Wood is having a group read-through for Moonblood, starting May 1st and running till near the end of June. Hence my hastily trying to finish reading Veiled Rose so I can join in the fun! It’s going to be AWESOME.

The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman — Contemporary Fantasy with the premise that magical fairytale items are lent out like library books. Cool idea, much?? I have been dying to read this ever since I found it at a used bookshop several months ago and it has been sitting on the top of my “read-right-now!” pile for a very long time. Somehow I just haven’t started it yet. But as soon as I finish some of the ones I’m reading right now, I’m going to devour it.

Out of Darkness Rising by Gillian Bronte Adams — Christian allegory fantasy novella. Similarly, I’ve been wanting to read this ever since I got it. I can’t wait!

Mist of Midnight by Sandra Byrd — I won this Christian/romance/historical/gothic book in a giveaway and it looks super intriguing. Different from my normal reads but I’m looking forward to trying it out and seeing how it turns out.

But wait! I’m also in some ebooks!

Silly ebooks, not physical enough to put on a nightstand for a picture… *shakes head*

Here are my current-and-soon ebooks:

kindleMay
Galdoni by Cheree Alsop — Kind of futuristic/modern-ish about some experiments who are basically humans with wings. This was one of those random-free-ebooks things that I downloaded–no idea why–and I accidentally started reading it and got hooked. It’s totally not my genre or my type of thing, and I’m not even sure what I think about it yet, but I’m really curious to find out what happens anyway.

Twelve Dancing Princesses Tales From Around the World edited by Heidi Anne Heiner — EEE!! So I’m super excited to devour all these versions of my favorite fairytale, collected from around the world… I also get to call it “research” for my upcoming NaNo novel this year, so that’s fun. 😉 But there’s, like… 50 in this thing. (So some of them are only vaguely related to the Twelve Dancing Princesses type stories. But still.) All the deliciousness! I’m having so much fun.

The Valley Stories Omnibus by Sarah Scheele — I’ve read the first two in the collection (Alyce, and Consuela) which I adored, and can’t wait to read Victoria, which I hear is a Snow White/Twelve Dancing Princesses story! (Lots of that going around this month…) I just KNOW it’s going be be awesome. 🙂 (Also, the author is giving away free ebooks of this collection to anyone who signs up for her newsletter on her website!)

Chasing Shadows by Ashley Townsend — Time travel and a masked man? Yes please! I’m reading this for reviewing and am super intrigued so far… So I just need to finish it and then y’all should be watching for a review on it! 🙂

Heidel by Anita Valle — After getting hooked on Maelyn and Coralina, I can’t wait to read this third “Nine Princesses” novella! This one’s about the cooking princess, so that should be interesting…

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So there are the books I’m reading right now and want-to-read-right-this-instant-but-will-try-to-wait-till-I-finish-some-of-the-ones-I’m-already-in. Yes, that’s 13, and it’s unlikely I’ll get to all of them this month. But I just had to share! 🙂

Have you read any of these? Are they good?

Are any on your to-read list?

And what are your May Nightstand books?

Feel free to join the meme if you like, and check out Jenelle and DJ‘s posts (link to them if you do it)! 🙂