Words and Christmas

I just finished writing for today… This is the 100th day since starting the 100-for-100 challenge to write at least 100 words for 100 days, run by Go Teen Writers.

Since September 15th, I’ve written every day (okay, so I took a day off each week, and used up my 7 days of “vacation” where I didn’t write. But besides that!). I’m very burnt out, but very pleased that I managed to continue to the end–and so much productivity!

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But you know what this means? With my completion of the 100 for 100 Challenge, I’m finally done with my writing obligations for the year. I’ve been looking forward to taking a writing hiatus for awhile now, and I would have taking off right away when NaNo ended (so much burn out!) but I held on and got out 100 words per day to continue the challenge.

So now I get to take off a few weeks! I’m so excited.

I’ve been burning the candle at both ends, and blowtorching it in the middle. After a crazy NaNo season spanning October and November, a road trip, and a stressful December, I’m ready to crash.

So now I want to cut back and enjoy Christmas-time and the end/beginning of the year and generally take off from writing and things. Hopefully do nothing but read and catch up on life things for awhile. I’m going to RELAX… 🙂

I’m also going to be taking a wee bit of time off from the internet. I might be around occasionally, and I DO have some blog plans… even some scrumptious things that are scheduled to post–yes, this blogger is ahead of herself for once. *rubs hands gleefully together* But in general I need a bit of a break and I might not be very consistently present on the interwebs for the end of 2014 and the start of 2015.

So! In the meantime, I hope you all have a blessed Christmas and a fabulous New Year!!!

Lots of love,
Deborah O’Carroll of The Road of a Writer

Christmas
MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Doings, Schemes, and Panic

Happy October, everyone!

You may have noticed it’s been a bit quiet around here… I’ve been quite busy and have been meaning to post a bit of an update, but it keeps not happening.

So! Here are some updates on what I’m up to, my writing, plans for the blog, and other fun things!

Updates From the Writing Front:

100-for-100-badgeFor one thing, I’ve jumped on board a very fun contest being hosted by Go Teen Writers — a challenge to write at least 100 words every day for 100 days. I’m working on my sequel-in-progress “The Secret of Kedran’s Wood” and it’s forcing me to get some work done on it every day despite my busyness, so I’m very happy I joined. Otherwise, I’m not sure I’d get ANY writing done these days…

Participant-2014-Twitter-ProfileSecondly, NANO APPROACHETH! Yes, hard to believe as it may be, NaNoWriMo is nearly upon us once again. November is creeping toward us at an alarming pace, and now that it’s October and the imminent site-relaunch of nanowrimo.org is coming soon, it’s time for me to start planning my novel for this year’s mad contest of writing 50,000 words in 30 days! *cue maniacal laughter*

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nano_14_ml_badge_300pxI’m also a volunteer to help organize my local region of NaNo again this year, ( I’m called a Municipal Liaison, ML for short — pretty cool, huh?) and have a couple other crazy things coming up in November.

So life is going to be absolutely packed. …To say the least. Yes, it’s slightly terrifying how busy I will be. But I’m very excited!

And I can’t wait to get started on the story I’ll be writing — which I’ll introduce to y’all soon.

Fun Stuff:

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Do hop on over to Of Battles, Dragons, and Swords of Adamant for the launch contest/giveaway of Gillian Adams’ debut novel Orphan’s Song! (Remember when I did a cover highlight on it?) She’s got a contest and giveaways, running for all of October, and it’s all VERY exciting!!

My friend Christine had this in a post recently. It’s the best thing ever so I had to use it. XD

I finally saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Yes, it was as thrilling, heartbreaking, epic, fun, and totally awesome as everyone said. (The only thing it was missing was Hawkeye… I’m now even more impatient for Avengers 2 to get here!) You can kind of tell I have a Winter Soldier/Avengers obsession these days with the state of my movies and TV board on Pinterest…

Coming Soon on the Blog:

I hope to have a couple book reviews and/or bookish posts coming up these next couple weeks, so watch out for those! (I know, all I do is reviews these days… but I’ll have other things lined up soon as well.)

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reviews coming soon – I hope!

After that, assuming I have my NaNo novel somewhat plotted, I hope to do a post on it to introduce you to my latest darling project! And perhaps I shall do an interview with one of the characters from my NaNo. (Since character interviews seem to be popular around here…) If so, I’ll probably ask for questions again. 🙂

Depending how well my preparations go this month, I hope to have a few posts pre-written and ready to go up in November, because otherwise the chances of my blog not being neglected are fairly slim… So we shall see. Besides that I’m likely to be rather silent during NaNo — and beforehand, prepping — but that comes with package. 😉

And that is what is up with me.

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NOVEMBER IS COMING! IT’S SO EXCITING/TERRIFYING!

…Ahem. Excuse my my panicked enthusiasm…

What’s going on with you? I’d love to hear all about it! 🙂 Any exciting plans? Are you doing NaNo this year?

Merlin’s Nightmare

Time for a book review! For “Merlin’s Nightmare”, book 3 of The Merlin Spiral by Robert Treskillard.

The author is running an awesome contest to promote the series, with neat prizes including a kindle and a sword (!), so be sure to go check out his website!

KingArthur.org.uk

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Merlin’s Nightmare (book 3 of the Merlin Spiral)

by Robert Treskillard

Stupendous – Five Stars!

I’ve never had such a case of review-writer’s-block before, because I couldn’t figure out how to express how much I enjoyed this book.

The Story:

Merlin’s Nightmare, book 3 of The Merlin Spiral, takes place about 16 years after the first two books. It follows an older, 30-something year old Merlin, and a now-grown Arthur, who at 18 is full of liveliness and is ready to take on the whole world, seemingly. Together with various other characters, both new ones and re-imagined figures of legend, they must face overwhelming odds and perils from all sides in a desperate fight to save Britain from destruction.

Here is the Arthurian legend reborn.

I’m not sure how Treskillard managed to make it so original and fresh while simultaneously drawing so many parts of the old King Arthur stories into it so well, but he did.

General Review:

I enjoyed this book SO MUCH. From the very beginning I was completely spellbound – I couldn’t stop reading and finished it in a few days. It was basically everything a book should be: gripping, epic, and just a lot of fun. I kept coming across bits of hilarity and general awesomeness that I would excitedly quote aloud to whatever family member happened to be around. I found myself laughing several times, and the action, adventure, journeying and battles were all awesome.

A lot of things near the end had me nearly squealing with excitement, and it’s killing me I can’t talk about them due to spoilers. Let’s just say it does NOT disappoint in the realm of epic Arthurian-ness. *SQUEAL*

I feel like Merlin’s Nightmare forms the core of Treskillard’s retelling of the Arthurian story. Everything comes together and explodes into this sweeping epic tale, with the first two books providing excellent background so that everything makes sense and you know where it all came from, while also anticipating the continuation of the saga. It was the perfect third book to a trilogy. Anything that bothered me about the first two was swept away because it all makes sense now. I can see the whole. The story arc of Merlin is complete in a way, while at the same time beginning a new one that will focus on Arthur himself.

Merlin:

I loved Merlin in this book, seeing his journey through the first two books, into this one, and with a hint toward becoming the Merlin of legend. I can see his faith from the first one, his fighting spirit from the second, and a measure of caution and wisdom brought on by both and the years since, as he continues to struggle toward who he needs to be, before his earthly lord, and his King on high.

Merlin is in his 30s and has a family of his own by the start of the book (can I just say how much I love his whole adorable family?). I was worried about this, because I normally don’t like stories where the young hero grows up, but Treskillard pulled it off impressively. If anything, I liked the grown up Merlin even better, and could only think “Here indeed is the great Bard of Britain.”

Arthur:

Arthur is without a doubt the number one thing I loved about the book. He was perfect – both original, and also measuring up to the Arthur of traditional Arthurian legend. All King Arthur figures have a lot to be compared to, and I wasn’t sure if he would be able to compete. I need not have worried. Treskillard’s Arthur was absolutely AWESOME. I loved his boundless energy, his dashing recklessness, his courage and natural leadership qualities, and all-around epicness. He was strong and kingly and downright fun, and overall just stupendous and KING ARTHUR. ❤ I really REALLY liked him and can’t wait to see more of him in later books!

Cons:

In the interests of being balanced, I’m trying to think of any downsides to the book, which is actually difficult. I will say that some of it is a bit scary and/or violent for younger readers, though it didn’t bother me for the most part. It also ended more suddenly than I would have liked, but that’s mainly because I wanted to savor it all and didn’t want it to end.

Overview:

Book 1, Merlin’s Blade, was great. Book 2, Merlin’s Shadow, threw me for a loop because it was so unexpected and different, so I was startled into not enjoying it quite as much, though it was still good. Book 3, Merlin’s Nightmare, simply knocked me over with its awesomeness – as a re-imagining of the Arthurian legend, as its own story, and drawing all the threads from the first two into it to complete the epic tapestry of this story.

I say complete, but there are some threads left over to lead into the next three books, The Pendragon Spiral, which I’m absolutely dying to read. Treskillard had better get those books out pronto before I expire of anticipation. 😉

Bottom Line:

Read this book, people! If you like Arthurian stories, action/adventure, fantasy, YA, Christian fiction, or just a really good, well-crafted story, or all of that rolled in one. Just read it!

Disclaimer:

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher (Blink YA Books) in return for an honest review. It was in no way required to be positive. These opinions are entirely my own.

Find Merlin’s Nightmare at:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Goodreads

Find the author, Robert Treskillard:

Website: KingArthur.org.uk

Blog: EpicTales.org

Twitter: https://twitter.com/treskillard

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/treskillard

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I’ve also reviewed the first two books in the series. You can see my reviews on Goodreads here: (Click the pretty covers)

Merlin's Blade by Robert Treskillard

Merlin’s Blade

Merlin's Shadow by Robert Treskillard

Merlin’s Shadow

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Thanks for reading!

Do you like Arthurian stories? Do you have a favorite retelling?

I’d love to hear, if so! I’m always looking for good retellings. 🙂