Steampunk, Explosions (Almost), & All the Writing: May 2018 Ishness

Well… I’m back!

In the famous words of Sam Gamgee (I was creative about the punctuation, but still). Which most people consider to be the end of The Lord of the Rings — EVEN THOUGH THERE WAS A PERFECTLY GOOD EPILOGUE AFTER THAT WHICH SOMEBODY CONVINCED TOLKIEN TO LEAVE OUT OF THE PUBLISHED VERSION AND WHICH I’VE STILL NOT FORGIVEN WHOEVER-IT-WAS FOR DOING BECAUSE REALLY. IT NEEDED THAT AWESOME EPILOGUE.

Ahem.

Pardon my Middle-earth rabbit-trail.

Anyhoo, I’m back from my May hiatus-of-sorts, and I’ll now proceed to fill you in on aaall the writing/reading/watching/etc. that happened while I was away from blogging!

Including snippets and the time my street almost blew up. Ish.


Writing

I wrote 15,000 words in May, which I’m extremely happy about! Especially since that’s more than I wrote for April Camp NaNo. XD

Most of that was due to a lot of lovely wordsprints during Indie E-Con, which had a week-long word-war… which I won due to my 10K words that week. 😀 I was kiiind of really excited about that! I actually wrote 11.5K words that week if you count Sunday — just over the amount of words I’d written in the entirety of April for Camp, so I’m very pleased!

I wrote parts of a couple other things, but mostly I was working on my steampunk-fantasy novel, The Siren and the Skyship, which is flying along quite nicely! I’m extremely happy about this. 😀 I’ve been writing mostly out of order, just a scene here and a scene there (but they’re connecting, finally!), sometimes in a messy draft-zero form, and the plot is still being stubborn and I KNOW I’ll have to rewrite a ton, but at least I’m making progress and having a BLAST. It’s so much fun and I love this story so much. ^_^

I wrote over 13K words on S&S in May, so last I knew, the story has reached about 67K words. I’m getting to write actual-big-important-scenes and it’s fabulous. 😀

In short, I wrote a TON (for me) this last month, and I’m having the absolute best time, and IT MAKES ME SO HAPPY. ❤


Snippets (from The Siren and the Skyship)

Keller threw up his hands. “You were tracking me? I always knew the stories were right and stepbrothers are evil.”

“It’s stepsisters,” Gerias protested, “and I’m not evil.”

“You put a tracking on me without my permission. What do you call that?”

“People rarely put trackings on people with permission,” Tasmania mused.

Gerias sighed. “No offense, Captain, but you’re not helping.”

Keller pointed at her. “You are, actually. Thanks for that.” He sent a pointed look at Gerias.

***

“You know, we never did get that time hanging out and chatting, just the three of us,” Tasmania said.

Percy’s face dropped. “Oh. I—I forgot. I had that thing and then— I’m so sorry—”

“Don’t. I know you’re busy. It’s just… this is fun, you know? Just getting to chat for a minute. Alone. Ish.”

Ish here meaning in a ballroom surrounded by about three hundred people,” her brother said wryly.

Tasmania wrinkled her nose, but she was smiling too. “That’s exactly what ish means.”

“Well, you know what? Forget social thingamawhatsits and duties and whatnot; they can go hang,” King Percival said recklessly. “The three of us do need to find a time to just chat—let’s do it tonight.”

“What, after the ball?”

“Yes, exactly.”

“At, like, midnight?” Tasmania raised an eyebrow.

“We’re grownups. We can stay up late,” Percival said bullishly.

Tasmania laughed. “I meant, there’s that whole coronation thing tomorrow morning. Are you sure you want to stay up late talking all night the night before? You’ll be all bleary and half-asleep and red-eyed, and you’ll fall asleep while you’re being crowned or something.”

“Exactly. It’ll be glorious. Why not live a little, I say? And then I can always say anything that goes wrong was your fault, you know,” he teased.

“Just you try,” Tasmania said, smirking.


Reading

I read some lovely books this month!

  • If you’re curious about these, you can click the following links to read my reviews of: Kate’s Dilemma, The Story Peddler, Mythical Doorways, and The Stealthmaster’s Shadow. I really enjoyed all of them!
  • Oh, oh! And Mythical Doorways had some delightful short stories (and it’s FREE, so you should totally pick it up!), including one with my new favorite character, Jayden. I’ve only met him in short stories, but HE’S MY FAVE. If you hear me randomly flailing about him, this is why.
  • Common was SO SWEET. Lovely fantasy/fairytale-esque romantic YA, reminiscent of things like Ella Enchanted. I loved it. ^_^
  • Trial by Song was a FASCINATING modern retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk and was SO INTENSE. O_O *collapses* It also ended on a terrible cliffhanger from which I’ve still not recovered.
  • A Sidekick’s Tale was a hilarious western novella — kind of like if a Bertie Wooster story was a western. XD
  • AND THEN THERE’S THE ELECTRICAL MENAGERIE. People. You need this book in your life. It’s a steampunk (ish) novel with a buddy story (kind of) and snark and humor and show business and illusions and murder and danger and plots, and I can’t really categorize it but IT WAS SO GOOD AAAH. I currently have a book hangover from this delightful book. How will anything ever be this good again? *collapses* The Electrical Menagerie is releasing this week. Anyway. If you’re not sure if you’d like to try it or not, you can check out Arbrook Huxley and the Star-Crossed Lovers to see if you’d like more of the same, since it’s a short story which is free on the author’s newsletter and is HILARIOUS. XD (Butbutbut. Carthage and Huxley. They’re my favorites. :D)

(I’m not going to link to all the titles but if you’d like to check out any of these books, you can find links to them on my Goodreads Reading Challenge page.)


Watching


  • So, I saw Avengers: Infinity War and Solo: A Star Wars Story. And, in an attempt to be a good blogger and share things I thought about them in this post, I wrote up thoughts on both at least three times and erased them and… yeah, no, not going to have opinions because I hate having those (or at least sharing them) and I don’t want to be roasted by (or hurt feelings of) any who feel strongly one way or another. I had mixed thoughts on both, disliked some things, enjoyed others. 🙂 The end.
  • I also randomly re-watched the Lord of the Rings fan-films Born of Hope (THE SONS OF ELROND!) and The Hunt for Gollum. XD
  • And just a few episodes of the usual suspects: Once Upon a Time, Trollhunters, NCIS, and White Collar. And a little re-watching Sherlock. Still enjoying all of ’em in their way! 🙂

Also, speaking of movies, there’s a poster for the next How to Train Your Dragon movie AND AAAAAHH LOOK AT IT!!!! ❤

(I’ll just be over here QUIETLY SHRIEKING about this, thank you. *muffled “squee!” noises*)


Life

I’ve been working on a website and some branding/theme stuff for my writing self, so I’m hoping to share some of that in the next month or so. 🙂


I guess the most exciting thing that happened was my street almost blowing up.

I may exaggerate.

Slightly.

“We may experience some slight turbulence and then… explode.”

Okay, so some roadwork people hit a gas line right in front of my house, and they kinda-sorta evacuated half the block. We grabbed laptops and went down to a cafe thing for a couple of hours and saw reruns of the Royal Wedding, and mostly just hoped they (the road workers, not the royal people) wouldn’t accidentally blow up the block or anything. But it got fixed and we went home and everything was fine. It was just… an interesting day. *cough*


My sis and I have also been jogging occasionally, which has been fun because we’ve named ourselves the “Like a Quick Lady” Writer Fitness Club. Because writers need to get out too.

It’s a reference to a line from Beggar Magic by H. L. Burke:

She started to run, but heard her mother’s voice in her head, “Do you want to be so out of breath you can’t even say ‘hello’ when you find your friend? Walk like a lady.”

Like a quick lady, Leilani decided.

(Beggar Magic is an excellent book I really enjoyed, and if you’re curious to read it, it’s currently the free thing you get if you sign up for H. L. Burke’s fun newsletter. FYI.)

I just like that line, and “like a quick lady” is something I say when I’m in a hurry. XD So when we’re jogging, we say that a lot, as well as “On your left!” (Because Captain America.) Because what fun is jogging unless there are lots of fandom-y, inside jokes? 😉


Also, fresh apricots are STUPENDOUS, I TELL YOU. That is all.


June Plans

Well… it’s June (HOW??) so Realm Makers is less than a month and a half away, which is TERRIFYING (I mean… exciting, too; but still terrifying), so I really have to get on that to-do list of mine and start finishing up some of the projects I’ve been working on, like my official website and things. 😛

So I’ll be focusing on various writerly pre-conference things and trying to juggle life, while also hopefully keeping up with a bunch of book releases and reviews because some little otter secretary seems to have signed me up for a lot of blog tours and review books right when I need to be busy with other stuff. 😉

But that’s how these things go, and I’m super excited for all the books (you can check out all the bookish things going on this month in my Bookish News post on my book blog!) so yeah. It’s going to be fun! I just feel extremely busy. XD


How about you? Thoughts? What are your June plans? Share in the comments — I’d love to hear all about it. ^_^ I hope you have an amazing summer! Thanks so much for reading. ❤

Advertisements

The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron (Book Review)

Good morning, my dear Roadlings!

I’ve been a teensy bit absent around here due to Camp NaNo, which has not left much time for reading or blogging… But I’m happy to announce that I hit my NaNo goal!

In honor of this fact, have a book review of a fascinating novel I read this week to celebrate completing Camp NaNo. 🙂

The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron

(I’m in love with the cover! ❤ )

Title: The Lost Castle
Author: Kristy Cambron

  • Date read: April 23, 2018
  • Rating: 3.5 stars
  • Genre: Contemporary / Historical Fiction
  • Age: Adult but teens would love it too
  • Year pub: 2018
  • Pages: 385 (ebook)
  • Series: The Lost Castle, #1 (stands alone)
  • Source: The publisher (Thomas Nelson) through the Booklook Bloggers program
  • Notes: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

My Review

3.5 stars

Firstly, this book is GORGEOUS. The writing, the descriptions, the setting—I was drowning in beauty. The author’s voice and the poetic descriptions were really enjoyable to read. ^_^

This book is actually three stories in one, which was fascinating. Three stories set in three different time periods, but intertwined and connected by names, places, family… and intriguing items. An eighteenth century portrait, a fox brooch, a World War II photograph… and a castle in France. Almost the entire book is set in France in three different time periods (contemporary, WWII, and the late 1700s), with a dash of contemporary America and WWII England.

My favorite of the three storylines was actually the contemporary one: a young woman named Ellie trying to find a mysterious castle in France and coming up against unexpected roadblocks, like visiting a vineyard and meeting the Irish grandson of the old Frenchman who owns the vineyard. (Loved the grandfather!) Quinn Foley (said Irish fellow) was one of my favorite parts of the book. He had some fun lines and I loved giving him an Irish accent in my head. XD Ellie was spunky and I liked her. Together they make an interesting pair, especially when they’re at odds. 😛 But I loved when they worked together, too.

Another of the story threads deals with Revolution-era France, and a lady who was supposed to be marrying the lord of a certain castle… when a peasant uprising changes her life and the lives of the aristocracy in Paris and elsewhere. She adapts surprisingly well, and it was neat reading her story of working alongside Robert, the younger brother of her betrothed. I like Robert a lot too. 🙂 This was another era I enjoyed reading about.

Less-favorite (for me), but still super gripping, is the storyline in the World War II era. This one featured Vi, a plucky British gal behind enemy lines in Nazi-occupied-France. I personally don’t really care for reading about this time period—it just depresses me for some reason—but these sections were certainly thrilling, and I did enjoy them sometimes. It was mostly interesting as Vi is Ellie’s grandmother, and so piecing together her past in these flashbacks/third narrative was intriguing. Plus, there was Julien, and I really liked him! And there were a couple of references, like to Sherlock Holmes, which I enjoyed. 🙂

I loved getting to follow three totally separate, yet somehow connected stories, and putting together pieces as they alternated.

It was also fun how the castle (the Sleeping Beauty, as it was called) was at the center of the three plots; it gave it a connected feeling.

Sometimes you’d hear bits of one of the stories in one of the other stories, which gave it a fascinating, layered feel.

The characters were quite lovable, the romance threads were adorable, and like I said, the writing and description was breathtaking.

What I didn’t like as much was mostly a certain THING that happened, which I saw coming and was fairly obvious, given the evidence, but still. I can’t STAND sad endings, and it was depressing, even if some readers might find it bittersweet and not mind. I won’t give away details, but the NUMBER ONE RULE of romance is you-know-what… and that one broke it. And my heart with it. *cough* If a book wants to make me dislike it, all it has to do is kill a favorite character or have a bad ending… It made me a sad otter. 😦

To be fair, there WERE three separate storylines and I was QUITE happy with how two of them turned out, so that’s not bad, statistically. 😛 Most of the book is a solid, gorgeous 4 star. I knocked off half a star for the sad thing.

Other than said disappointing ending of one of the threads, and simply not usually caring for WWII-era stories (which is totally a me-thing), I don’t really have anything to complain about. (I do still think if certain characters had been more Narnia-like and not been standing around talking about nylons and lipstick, a random side character wouldn’t have died. Air-raid shelters exist for a REASON, people, and you should totally get in them instead of standing around putting on makeup. PLEASE. Sorry, a pet-peeve of mine. XD)

Content: There’s a bit of violence (I mean, WWII…) and involved intensity, but otherwise it’s a clean read, and even though I think it was written for adults, it’s suitable for teens. It’s technically Christian Fiction, though there’s not a huge message or anything, just occasional mentions of faith (surprisingly few, actually) and the quiet touch of God’s presence even amid war-torn France. So even if you don’t technically care for this genre, you won’t find it preachy.

Overall, it was a gorgeously-written, enchanting read, skillfully weaving three storylines together, with memorable characters, and for the most part I really enjoyed it! 🙂

If you don’t mind a tiny smidgen of tragedy and some bittersweetness mixed in with your historical/contemporary romance-mystery-ish stories, you’ll absolutely love this. ^_^

I’m glad I gave it a read, and I’m now curious about this author’s other work!

Some Favorite Quotes

“A tourist like you, ya mean?” He tossed a glance down at the half-hidden map in her hand. “I didn’t think they still made maps that folded.”

“Yeah. They do, apparently. I found it in a bookstore at the airport. And good thing, because my GPS hasn’t once found a signal out here.”

***

“And you didn’t come all this way to France just to get arrested, now, did ya?”

***

“… even if it was only for a short time, that time forever changed her. And if it’s succeeded, isn’t that what a story should do? Change us in some way?”

***

“Maybe they’ll see the fairy tale in this place too.”

***

“I like the idea about buildin’ up the wall again. It’s grand. But I thought maybe we could start with the chapel? If you say yes, we’re goin’ to need it first.”

I review for BookLook BloggersI received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

About the Book

Ellie Carver arrives at her grandmother’s bedside expecting to find her silently slipping away. Instead, the beloved woman begins speaking. Of a secret past and castle ruins forgotten by time. Of a hidden chapel that served as a rendezvous for the French Resistance in World War II. Of lost love and deep regret . . .

Each piece that unlocks the story seems to unlock part of Ellie too—where she came from and who she is becoming. But her grandmother is quickly disappearing into the shadows of Alzheimer’s and Ellie must act fast if she wants to uncover the truth of her family’s history. Drawn by the mystery surrounding The Sleeping Beauty—a castle so named for Charles Perrault’s beloved fairy tale—Ellie embarks on a journey to France’s Loire Valley in hopes that she can unearth its secrets before time silences them forever.

Bridging the past to the present in three time periods—the French Revolution, World War II, and present day—The Lost Castle is a story of loves won and lost, of battles waged in the hearts of men, and of an enchanted castle that stood witness to it all, inspiring a legacy of faith through the generations.

Links: Author • PublisherGoodreadsAmazonBarnes & Noble

Let me know what you think in the comments! Thanks for reading. ^_^

Lightporter Cover Reveal!

It is with GREAT delight that I’m here to announce: the long-awaited sequel to Twinepathy by C.B. Cook has not only a title (Lightporter!) and a first-draft written (!!!), but also has a COVER, which I am here to help reveal today!

I’M SO EXCITED! 😀

You may remember my flaily review for Twinepathy… and I’ve been waiting for the sequel ever since!

(Also, if you HAVEN’T read Twinepathy and want to (and of COURSE you want to, because it’s awesome) it’s on sale today for $0.99 on Amazon Kindle, so grab you a copy HERE, or, if you’ve already read it, maybe leave a review. ^_^)

I absolutely NEED to read more about the epic adventures of Blaze and Anvil and Albany and Brooklyn and aaaall the superpower peoples that I love. ❤

So having a cover is one step closer to me being able to read it, and of course makes it more real, so I’m SO HAPPY.

(I’m actually doing two awesome cover reveals today — one here and one on my other blog. ‘Tis a day of cover excitement. :D)

…Yes, I’m stalling.

*cough*

FINE.

Here is the cover! 😀

Isn’t it epic? 😀 I love the Arctic look! I CAN’T WAIT TO READ IIIIT AAAHH! *flailing*

Links

Lightporter on Goodreads • Twinepathy on Goodreads • Twinepathy on Amazon • C.B. Cook’s Blog • C.B. Cook on Pinterest • C.B. Cook on Goodreads • IDIA Group Board on Pinterest

So what do you think? Isn’t the cover cool (in more ways than one? ;))? Did you read Twinepathy and what did you think? ARE YOU AS EXCITED FOR LIGHTPORTER AS I AM?? (And what are you most looking forward to in it? For me, it’s definitely Blaze — and Anvil. :D) Tell me aaaall in the comments! 🙂 Thanks for reading! ^_^

Tare + Teague Beautiful People: Appearances {Aug 2016}

bpaug2016

*creeps out of hiatus briefly*

*whispers:* Sooo… I kinda-sorta-almost-maybe-perhaps-possibly might have accidentally seen that Beautiful People was up for this month and that it was on Appearances and been unable to resist doing it.

I also kinda-sorta-almost-maybe-perhaps-possibly might have been unable to decide whether to do Tare from my Kedran’s Wood series or Teague from The Other Half of Everything for it.

So I’m doing both of them.

Behold, Beautiful People!

*tosses thing at you and creeps away again*

bp

Monthly character questions for writers, hosted by Sky @ Further Up & Further In and Cait @ Paper Fury — join the linkup!

1. Give a brief overview of their looks. (Include a photo if you want!)

Tare: Nineteen years old, tall, black hair pushed back, dark blue eyes, chiseled face, black leather jacket, black shirt, black pants, black lace-up boots. (Okay, yes, you get the picture: face and hands pale, eyes dark blue; otherwise, lots and lots of black.)

tarecollage

Tare-ish things

Teague: Twenty-five years old, tall, sandy hair tousled and falling down over his forehead, uncertainly-colored sea-like eyes, vague face, grey jeans, casual t-shirt/buttoned long-sleeved shirt in muted colors of light grey, pale brown, or white.

teaguecollage

Teague-ish things

2. Share a snippet that involves description of their appearance.

Danger zone. Don’t invite me to share snippets of when we first meet two of my favorite characters– Whoops, too late. You were warned. I’ve been unleashed… Here we go.

Snippet of the first time Meridian sees Teague:

OHEcoverA faint padding sound came, then finally the door opened. I braced myself for a crazy old man with a white beard. I did not brace myself for a twenty-something-year-old young man with sandy hair, which was unfortunate, since that meant I was unprepared for this.

He couldn’t have seen my extreme surprise, though, since he wasn’t looking at me at all, but at a book he held open in one hand. He was also rather more good-looking (in a vague sort of way) than he had any right to be, considering I had expected an 80-year-old guy. He wore faded grey jeans which might once have been black, and a tan-ish vest over a button-down white shirt with sleeves rolled up to the elbow and a slightly crooked collar. The white socks on his shoeless feet provided the reason for the padding sound in place of ordinary footsteps.

Aaaand a snippet of the first time Teague sees Meridian, since he didn’t look up at the time. XD

A pair of uncertainly-colored eyes—blue? Grey? Green? Brown? Dust? Ice?—glanced briefly up at me from under sandy-colored hair-tips spilling down to his eyebrows. His focus returned to the book briefly and then flickered back up to me again and stayed there this time, sudden mild surprise in his face.

Snippet of Tare from The Owl of Kedran’s Wood (the first in the series), the first time we get a good look at him:

KWcoverHe was young, maybe nineteen—Lavender wasn’t sure, not being real good with ages—tall, and still clad entirely in black. He had a hard, chiseled face, without expression, somewhat pale in contrast with his black hair slicked back. His eyes were a very dark blue that Lavender had never seen the like of before, and they looked steadily back at her for about three seconds—not so long that it became awkward, but long enough to show that he knew she knew he was watching, and that he didn’t care. Then he moved away from the window and walked on down the street at an easy stride, his hands thrust into the pockets of his long black leather jacket.

Snippet of Tare from The Owl of Kedran’s Wood when he really shows up for real:

Presently the metal door of the warehouse creaked and the sound of metal grating together filled the air. The Wildlings rose and stood, watching the door, which swung open.

A figure stood in the doorway for a long moment before stepping forward into the pale florescent light. It was the young man who Lavender had seen now on two occasions. The light glinted dully off his long black leather jacket and dark hair, highlighting his expressionless face. His black boots were planted firmly apart on the concrete as he stood his ground opposite the half-dozen creatures.

It seemed he was not who they had expected.

“Who are you?” one of them asked.

His voice was quiet and low, half careless yet with a slight edge to it. “No one you want to mess with.” His eyes turned toward the caged Chess Club, taking in their situation in a glance. “So . . .” He looked back at the monsters, linking his fingers and flexing them outward, like one readying for a fight. “How do you want to do this?”

They stared at him in silence for several moments. Then one turned away, jerking his head toward the intruder in a sign to his companions, saying only, “Kill him.”

3. What is the first thing people might notice about them?

For Tare… his formidable-ness. Overall shadowy-ness and commanding presence, combined with his leather jacket.

I imagine most people wouldn’t have a “first thing” they would notice about Teague because he’s so vague and unassuming on first acquaintance they might not even notice him at all. XD

4. What are their unique features? (Ex: freckles, big ears, birthmark, scars, etc.)

Tare’s unnaturally dark blue eyes and his expressive dark eyebrows. He does also have scars, but they’re not normally visible.

Teague has grey-green-blue-something, uncertainly-colored eyes, and also a vague, rather dreamy and absent expression as if he’s not really paying attention to anything in this world.

5. How tall are they? What is their build (Ex: stocky, slender, petite, etc.)

Tare’s around 6’1″ I think; tall, lean, thin but not skinny.

Teague is 6′, rather thin, but a bit more muscular than you would think at first.

6. What is their posture like? How do they usually carry themselves?

In a nutshell: Tare is like a large tense black panther who’s permanently slightly peeved with the world; cool and removed in a catlike way, but clearly dangerous. Teague is like a lanky, lazy ginger cat who couldn’t care less about the world, not because he’s coldhearted, but because he never remembers the world exists. …Our world, anyway.

Tare has an upright posture and decisive manner of carrying himself — confident but slightly wary and calculated, with very precise movements and an acute awareness of his surroundings. He’s constantly paying attention to what’s going on around him. His movements have three speeds: casual, stealthy, or quick, depending on his mood/circumstances. Be nervous around all three.

Teague slouches a little, normally with his head bent to look at a book or notepad while he walks, and tends to move slowly and a little dreamily, as if he’s not fully awake or moving through molasses. There are times, however, like when he’s worried or angry, when he can liven up more than you would think. And we won’t get into what he’s like in… erm… other places, since that’s another story entirely.

7. Your character has been seen on a “lazy day” (free from usual routine/expectations): what are they wearing and how do they look?

Tare’s wearing black jeans, black socks, and a black button-up shirt. His hair might be more mussed than usual, instead of sleeked-back. In this scenario, he’s hanging out in his very neat “lair” (a.k.a. his small, dark, paneled apartment in the long string of abandoned buildings), probably reading a book, or carving some wood with one of his knives, or cleaning his weapons, as close to relaxing as he gets, which isn’t usually very close…

Teague is wearing his usual casual jeans, probably grey, and either a t-shirt or a button-up shirt and white socks, or else is barefoot. In fact… he looks as he always does because all his days are lazy days. 😉 He’s lounging around in his rather messy rooms at the top of the old house, either reading or scribbling away, and likely absentmindedly burning his dinner unless Meridian’s there (if he even remembered anything about dinner anyway).

8. Do they wear glasses, accessories, or jewelry on a regular basis? Do they have any article of clothing or accessory that could be considered their trademark?

Tare DEFINITELY has a trademark, namely his black leather jacket. It’s notorious. XD As for accessories, do a lot of guns, knives, and other weapons count? He also has dark sunglasses he wears occasionally.

Teague doesn’t seem to have a trademark, unless you count that he wears vests sometimes. Oh! He does have a dark blue wool coat, kind of like the style Sherlock wears. *nods* He also wears a certain key on a chain around his neck.

9. Have they ever been bullied or shamed because of their looks? Explain!

Um… no? There mayyy or may not (*cough*spoilers*cough*) have been an occasion when Tare’s leather jacket and “scary” attitude got him some mockery when he was younger, but it would have been from a slightly nervous distance, and regardless, he never paid any heed or cared at all. Also when his change of eye color was noticed by someone, it kind of bothered him a little.

Teague never paid attention if anyone said anything so he doesn’t know. XD

10. Are they happy with how they look? If they could change anything about their appearance, what would it be?

Neither of them is the sort to think much about their looks at all. So methinks they’re content. They are both rather laid-back in that regard and don’t care about their appearance, so whatever they are is their casual, natural look.

So there you have it. What think ye? Also, remember that old saying, “Appearances can be deceiving”? Well… although some things about their appearances do reveal their character, the saying does apply to Teague and Tare. 😉 Just sayin’.

The Sunken Realm by Serena Chase: Review (Pirates!)

justiceandtruthcazien

(Yes, I made this. I couldn’t help it…)

THE SUNKEN REALM KINDLE COVER SEPT 2015The Sunken Realm

by Serena Chase

5 stars

Fantasy / Christian Allegorical / Pirates / Twelve Dancing Princesses Retelling (ish)

Book #4 in the Eyes of E’veria series (but can be read as book 2 in the second set within that series, after The Seahorse Legacy).

Find the book on…

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Find Serena Chase on…

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

My Review

I’ve been breathlessly awaiting THE SUNKEN REALM ever since I finished reading THE SEAHORSE LEGACY. And at long last I have read it! (Many thanks to the author for the free copy I received in exchange for my — honest — review! Which follows…)

This book has pretty much everything. Love. Pirates. Fantasy. A touch of time-travel. A twist on the Twelve Dancing Princesses fairytale. Duels of sharpened wit in dialog. Actual duels (or at least fights). Adventure on the high seas (and/or islands). Awesome characters. And of course Cazien (see above).

In a sense, it starts a little slow, focusing on Cazien’s and Erielle’s relationship, but honestly I didn’t care that not much was happening excitement-wise, and would have been content to read an entire book about them doing nothing, because I just love them so much and I was never once bored. But not to worry — it quickly got quite exciting! Oh, did it ever. I was on the edge of my seat with all the thrilling adventures they got up to, including dealing with sinister plots and all the mysteries and fighting and the Island Realm and all.

Readers of the first two books (THE RYN and THE REMEDY, which I haven’t read yet, having started on book 3, THE SEAHORSE LEGACY) will be glad to see Julien, Rynnaia, Rowlen, Gerrias and others make quite an appearance in this one, about halfway through.

Things that I loved:

  • Cazien is still basically the best thing of ever!! Ah, that dashing endearing rogue of a Seahorse Pirate, ever ready with a blade or a perfect snatch of dialog. Impossible to describe, just take my word for it that Cazien is one of the awesomest characters ever.
  • Cazien and Erielle together. They are positively adorbz. Erielle grows a lot in her character arc and I’m happy to say that I liked her in this book! (She had been getting on my nerves in the previous one.) She has so much spark and fire and bounce to her. And she and Cazien in their duels of wit and their love story are simply perfect and precious and awesome. It’s so much fun. ❤
  • The dialog, humor, wit, and flying sparks. This sort of fits into the previous point. But all the dialog is great, especially between Cazien and Erielle, and between Erielle and Ayorn — aahh I loved that! (She’s quite talkative, and Ayorn is… not. So amusing. XD)
  • Along that line: Ayorn. AYORN WAS AWESOME. THAT IS ALL. (This coming from a book where you’d think all I’d be able to do is babble on and on about Cazien… well, there’s another fella in here who’s awesome too. That’s most impressive.)
  • Julien and Cazien interacting. Julien, being Erielle’s brother and all, kind of hates Cazien for a bit there and it’s glorious. I loved it so much. XD
  • Rowlen and the Storyteller stuff. IT. IS. AMAZING. I adore it way too much and simply NEED to go back and read the first two books if only for more glimpses at Veetrish storytelling. That’s fabulous fantasy. (Can I live in E’veria and be a Storyteller, please and thank you?)
  • Speaking of… The setting. I was so immersed in this stunningly rich and well-drawn world! The islands, the sea, everything — I was so much a part of it and so pulled in. A fabulous world that I want to read on and on about!
  • The twelve dancing princesses bits!!! Wow. It took awhile for that part of the story to arrive, but when it did I was just so so SO excited to see parts of the fairytale weaving into this new tale in a totally unique, different way, and yet there all the same. AAHH. It was so fascinating. I just loved it. (My favorite fairytale and all… and this was a totally new take on it!) It’s not TOO big of a part of the overall plot, but important enough to be awesome.
  • The Christian allegorical stuff was simply beautiful. Erielle’s struggles and the scene at the end of part one… so powerful. Rynloeft, the E’verian equivalent of God, had a definite presence in the book which I found very well done. Christian fantasy of this sort is a favorite of mine.
  • Everything about the Seahorse Legacy. I love the idea of these Seahorse Pirates who are the wielders of justice on the high seas… And everything about the Legacy which Cazien carries as its Heir, his connection with the currents and even the brilliance of everything relating to his inability to be inland too long in connection with the main plot problem. I. Loved. That. It was brilliant. And poor Cazien! Whenever he needs to go be in the sea… Just awesome. ❤ But… yes, all of the Seahorse Pirate stuff was some of my favorite ever. This is awesome fantasy, y’all. (Plus, piratey stuff! Yay!)
  • Also their apparent motto: “May justice and truth be served.” (And usually answered with something about cleverness… a sort of pass-code, almost.) I loved it!! It’s used so often and I became so familiar with it that when I was reading another, totally unrelated book, after reading this one, the characters were talking about justice and I found myself wanting — and in fact expecting! — them to say “May justice and truth be served.” It would have been as natural as breathing. And then I was actually disappointed that they didn’t, in fact, say it; before realizing that DUH, of COURSE they didn’t — this was an entirely different story! Ahem. All that to say, I’m very attached. ❤
  • Last but not least: Timey wimey. There’s not a lot of it and I can’t say much because spoilers, but the time-travel-ish things were so cool and really added an extra layer of awesomeness to this story.

As far as downsides… I had some slight disappointments in the plot, and also I can’t entirely recommend it to everyone, just because it was more dark and adult, which is a bit unfortunate to my mind… but couldn’t really have been avoided. There were some darker, scarier, more mature themes than even in The Seahorse Legacy, and some disturbing stuff. I’d definitely recommend it for older readers; not so much YA. I’d call it adult, myself (though I may be overreacting…). And I do wish . . . oh, a hundred things! *clutches heart* I can’t really complain here because spoilers, but I wish a thing or two had turned out slightly different… *wistful sigh* But all in all it turned out pretty well and I don’t have anything to complain about other than a personal preference or two.

Basically I loved THE SUNKEN REALM and just want to hug these characters and live on the high seas of E’veria with the Seahorse Pirates forever.

In the words of the Seahorse Heir himself: “May justice and truth be served. …And may I be clever in the dispensing of it.” Oh, you are, Cazien. You are. Always. ❤