Winners! (Of Silmarils & Swag)

Just popping on real quick today to announce the winners for my 6th blogiversary giveaway last week, and to let y’all know that the Silmaril Award WINNER presentation ceremonies are going on this week and next week! (Details below!)

Giveaway Winners

The winner of the paperback copies of Dealing with Dragons and Searching for Dragons iiiis . . .

*drumroll*

  • Maya!

And the four random swag pack winners are . . .

  1. C.B.!
  2. Abigail Harder!
  3. Skye!
  4. Janice Verhoog!

Congrats to all the winners! I’ll be in touch with you shortly through email to get your mailing info. 🙂

THANK YOU so much to everyone who entered and celebrated my blogiversary with me! I wish I could give ALL of you something! *schemes for more giveaways in the future*

Silmaril Awards Presentation Schedule

Yes indeed, the nominations were brought in, the votes were tallied, and only one victor in each category has been chosen in this year’s Silmaril Awards — ten winners in all.

Check out the awards ceremonies linked below, presented by various bloggers and Middle-earth characters, to the most esteemed fantasy characters in 10 categories!

Presentations run September 16 – 27, one per weekday. I’ll update the links as they arrive!

And be sure to come back here on the 25th for my award ceremony for the winner of the Most Silver Tongue Silmaril!

Which category are you most excited to find out the winner? Who are you rooting for? I hope everyone’s been enjoying the 2019 Silmaril Awards!

6 Year Blogiversary + Giveaway!

Just a quick post today (and a giveaway!) to celebrate SIX YEARS of blogging!

*confetti*

Yes indeed, this week I’m celebrating the anniversary of starting this blog half a dozen years ago! I can’t believe it’s been that long. O_O

I want to say a huge THANK YOU to all of you who read my online scribblings! I know I’m not the most consistent blogger these days… *cough* Especially this summer, which has been crazy. (I do hang out at my book blog too sometimes and it’s hard to juggle both right now…) And I appreciate you sticking around. 🙂

Your comments and support mean the world to me and I just want to say thanks for hanging out in (or visiting!) my corner of the blogosphere!

STATS

  • 6 years
  • 320 posts including this one!
  • 631 followers (1337 including linked social accounts)
  • 7,331 comments
  • 21,082 visitors
  • 54,180 views
  • 368,000 words written in posts (that’s 7.3 NaNos. O_O)
  • and none of this includes my book blog. XD

But it’s not about the numbers, it’s about sharing ideas and journeying along with ALL OF YOU GUYS and I appreciate y’all so much!

I’ve met some of the absolute BEST people through blogging, and you people improve my life SO MUCH.

Thanks for coming on this crazy writing and bookish fantastical adventure with me so far. ❤

GIVEAWAY

To celebrate, and say thanks, I have a giveaway for you guys!

Actually, two giveaways: one US only and one international.

Firstly, I’m giving away a paperback set of the first two books in Patricia C. Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles, specifically, Dealing with Dragons and Searching with Dragons! This is a fun series and I especially adore the second one, and want to share the love!

Enter paperback giveaway HERE!

(1 winner. Open September 11 – 16, 2019. US addresses only, please.)

***

Secondly, I’m giving away FOUR (4) sets of swag! See, I have quite a few extras of bookmarks and other fun swag like a handful of stickers/postcards/business cards from various authors, from various giveaways and attending Realm Makers two years. (Mostly Realm Makers. XD) SO I thought it would be fun to share the love! Especially for anyone who really wanted to go to Realm Makers and didn’t get the chance.

Please note most of this swag is fantasy or spec-fic or writing-related.

This one is open internationally! There will be four winners for these random swag packs. (One person will recieve the set of bookmarks/swag pictured above, and the other three winners will receive different ones but a similar number.)

Enter swag giveaway HERE!

(4 winners. Open September 11 – 16, 2019. Open internationally.)

***

Those with US addresses are welcome to enter both giveaways if you like.

The winners will be chosen at random via the rafflecopter, contacted by email, and announced here on the blog on September 18! (Winners will have one week to respond and if I don’t hear back, I’ll choose a new winner.)

Have at it and enter away!


And here, have some virtual cupcakes too! *passes them out*

Y’all are AWESOME! Thanks for celebrating with me and being amazing! Love you all!


(P.S. The voting phase of the Silmaril Awards is currently underway, so you have until September 13, 11:59 pm Central to vote for your favorite fantasy characters!)

Flight of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse: Blog Tour/Review! #FOTRT #BHPFiction


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

I’m thrilled to be joining in the blog tour for one of my most highly anticipated books of the year, Flight of the Raven!

I’m sharing my review today, and there’s also a giveaway for Mark of the Raven and Flight of the Raven, so be sure to enter that at the end of the post.

(Missed my review of book one, Mark of the Raven? You can read that here.)


  • Title: Flight of the Raven
  • Author: Morgan L. Busse
  • Series: The Ravenwood Saga, #2
  • Date read: May 20, 2019
  • Rating: 5 stars!
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Age: Adult
  • Year pub: 2019
  • Pages: 394 (paperback)
  • Fave character: Damien!
  • Source: Bethany House Publishers

My Review

A breathtaking continuation of the Ravenwood Saga, Flight of the Raven completely swept me away!

I loved the first book (Mark of the Raven) and have been on pins and needles waiting for the sequel to release. Flight of the Raven was one of my top-anticipated releases of the year and I was worried it might not live up to the first book, but it surpassed my expectations and I’m happy to say that I absolutely loved this book!

Author Morgan L. Busse has outdone herself in this delightful sequel, with a unique love story, fascinating dream powers, a vivid world, and characters who stole my heart.

Even as Selene finds her new place in the world and struggles to learn more about her dreamwalking gift, tensions are mounting with the oncoming threat of war while the autumn turns to winter, and Damien must sort out plans with the few allied Houses as well as the feelings of his heart. A few mind-blowing revelations and twists were introduced, and I’m so excited to see where these plot elements go!

The new major setting, Northwind Castle, completely captured me. I want to go visit this castle on the cliffs by the sea! The rest of the world is neat too (and GORGEOUS), especially seeing more of it as we do in this one, and I love the feel of it and of the different Houses with their unique gifts, including Damien’s power over water. I also loved the wintry, Christmas-type fantasy holiday. It made me happy. ^_^

I especially found the dreamwalking to be fascinating! I LOVE dream-related things in stories, and I loved the parts in this book which built on the first one—I don’t want to spoil anything, but THINGS are happening and it’s SO intriguing.

Selene and Damien are the best! I love them so much. Reading their story, especially getting to see both of their points of view, was just delightful. Both of them are growing and changing and their story makes me happy as they face new obstacles together. These characters really made the book. (The other characters are all vivid as well!)

The romance was precious! Those who have read the first book will know about a certain event which changed the dynamics for this book, and it definitely made things interesting! XD But I thought it was really well done, and it felt different. I loved watching Damien and Selene get to know each other, and especially how they each have something that the other needs and how they reach out to help each other.

There’s awesome action near the beginning and end, but although technically the main central part of the book is a quieter part of the story, it never once ceased to be fascinating. I love how these books are so utterly absorbing even when nothing obviously exciting is happening. In fact, some of my favorite parts were the parts between, being immersed in the characters’ struggles, the delightful world, and the romance and political ins and outs. I loved ALL the parts of this book!

I suppose I had a lot of feels about one incident near the end—I’m not sure how I feel about that—and I still want to see more of the wyvern riders someday, but otherwise I really don’t have anything to complain about. It was so, so good!

Threads of excitement, mystery, dreams and danger, love and loss, romance and beloved characters, faith, suspense, an enthralling setting, and light overcoming darkness are all intricately intertwined in this masterful tale. It hit just the right balance to keep me turning the pages. I didn’t want it to end and never wanted to set it down. Definitely one of the best books I’ve read this year!

After the way this one ended, with an almost-but-not-quite cliffhanger, I’m SO ready for the final book, Cry of the Raven! (Which my sister and I have playfully retitled Save Ophie. XD) I’ll just be over here on the edge of my seat waiting until it releases, thank you very much. I need it in my life! (Just like you need these books in your life.)

I love this series dearly and I can’t wait to see how Damien and Selene’s story concludes!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher as part of the blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are completely my own.


Flight of the Raven
(The Ravenwood Saga #2)
By Morgan L. Busse
Christian Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 352 Pages
April 30th 2019 by Bethany House Publishers

Selene Ravenwood, once the heir to House Ravenwood, is now an exile. On the run and free of her family’s destiny, Selene hopes to find the real reason her family was given the gift of dreamwalking. But first she must adapt to her new life as wife to Lord Damien Maris, the man she was originally assigned to kill.

While adjusting to her marriage and her home in the north, her power over dreams begins to grow. As the strongest dreamwalker to exist in ages, her expanding power attracts not only nightmares but the attention of the Dark Lady herself.

With a war looming on the horizon and a wicked being after her gift, Selene is faced with a choice: embrace the Dark Lady’s offer, or search out the one who gave her the gift of dreamwalking. One path offers power, the other offers freedom. But time is running out, and soon her choice will be made for her.

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository


Other Books in the Series

Mark of the Raven
(The Ravenwood Saga #1)
By Morgan L. Busse
Christian Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 352 Pages
November 6th 2018 by Bethany House Publishers

Lady Selene is the heir to the Great House of Ravenwood and the secret family gift of dreamwalking. As a dreamwalker, she can enter a person’s dreams and manipulate their greatest fears or desires. For the last hundred years, the Ravenwood women have used their gift of dreaming for hire to gather information or to assassinate.

As she discovers her family’s dark secret, Selene is torn between upholding her family’s legacy–a legacy that supports her people–or seeking the true reason behind her family’s gift.

Her dilemma comes to a head when she is tasked with assassinating the one man who can bring peace to the nations, but who will also bring about the downfall of her own house.

One path holds glory and power, and will solidify her position as Lady of Ravenwood. The other path holds shame and execution. Which will she choose? And is she willing to pay the price for the path chosen?

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository


About the Author

Morgan L. Busse is a writer by day and a mother by night. She is the author of the Follower of the Word series and the steampunk series The Soul Chronicles. She is a Christy and INSPY Award finalist and won the Carol Award in 2018 for best in Christian speculative fiction. During her spare time she enjoys playing games, taking long walks, and dreaming about her next novel.

WebsiteGoodreadsFacebookTwitterInstagramPinterestBookBub


Tour Schedule


Tour Giveaway

  • 1 winner will receive print copies of Mark of the Raven, Flight of the Raven, and a $20 Amazon gift card
  • 2 winners will receive print copies of Mark of the Raven and Flight of the Raven
  • US only
  • Ends June 7, 2019

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grab Our Button!


Talk to me, readers! Does this series sound intriguing? And if you’re a fellow fan of these books, have you read Flight of the Raven yet? I must flail with somebody! Thanks for reading!

NaNoWriMo Writing Tips & Giveaway!

And creeping up, November came…
We readied, all, our hands and wrists;
Sat down before that pale white screen —
Lost in a Nanowrimo mist.

We’re just over a WEEK away from NaNoWriMo 2018 and I’m panicking eeever so slightly.

Because, well, when you’re going to write 50,000 words of fiction in the 30 days of November and you’re super busy and hardly ready at all . . . a little panic is probably healthy. *cough*

BUT I’m also excited because there’s nothing like National Novel Writing Month’s slight craziness to get the words flowing and to get swept away on an awesome writing adventure and basically live and breathe story for a whole month. 😉

For those who’ve noticed I haven’t been around much since the end of the Silmaril Awards… that’s because I just got back from a two-week roadtrip vacation, and I’m a little scattered right now (hopefully I can bring a new Ishness to y’all soon!).

But since it’s time to get excited (and scared… and prepared…) for NaNo, this post is here, and next week I’ll share what I am writing this NaNo season! I can’t wait to tell you guys. 😀

Anyway, I’ve done a few NaNo tip posts in the past, so I thought I’d revisit a couple of those, and share 3 current writing tips — and if you stick around to the end of the post, you can enter to win a copy of “No Plot? No Problem!” by NaNo founder Chris Baty.

3 Writing Tips

  1. Wordsprints with friends — Seriously, these are magic. I don’t always manage them, due to inconsistent internet in the room I usually write in, but this year during Camp NaNo I re-discovered how amazing they are. I always re-discover it, seemingly, so hopefully this time it will stay discovered. XD With or without someone to write with, the NaNo wordsprint tool is my favorite thing on the site and I use it all the time. ❤
  2. Find what works for you — I’ve discovered that I write out of order, that I write in draft zero bits, that I write to fast music, that I do well with wordsprints, and that I absolutely adore using Scrivener, and my new-found love, the companion plotting-software Scapple (by the same people). But something else may work for you. Whether you’re a pantser or a plotter or a mix (*raises hand*), whether you write best by hand or laptop, whatever software you use… with music or without… Try all different ways and figure out what works best for you and then stick to it.
  3. Go to a write-in — Okay, so if you’re doing NaNo, chances are you’re in a region on the NaNo site. And while there are not write-ins everywhere, there are certainly oodles of them all across the states and the world. I may be biased as an ML (Municipal Liaison, organizer of local events/forums for NaNo), but write-ins are a lot of fun. They help you meet fellow writers so you realize that you’re not the only person on this crazy adventure, and they set aside a time and a place simply for you to focus on your writing. You’d be surprised how helpful a room full of typing writers is to inspire you to keep typing yourself! (And if there isn’t a write-in scheduled in your area… set one up yourself. Just go to a library, bookstore, or coffee-ish place, set up your laptop, and write. You can even post about it in your local forum in case other writers want to join you.)

Below are a few prep posts from my past! If you haven’t read them before, go give them a click — or if you have, refresh your memory if you need some ideas/inspiration. 🙂

NaNo Prep Checklist

Firstly, here’s my by-far-most-popular-ever post:

(And the actual checklist. ;))

Sherlock Holmes + NaNo = Fun

Secondly, if you need some humor, it’s just the right time to dig up my NaNo-as-told-by-Sherlock post.

Draft Zero

Thirdly, check out my Draft Zero solution to just getting the story down on the page — particularly useful during NaNo.

NaNo Survival Tips

4th… check out 10 NaNoWriMo Survival Tips:

Secret Weapons

And, finally, there’s also My (Not-So-)Secret Weapons for Surviving NaNo:

Giveaway

I’m giving away a copy of “No Plot? No Problem!” by NaNo founder Chris Baty to one lucky winner! (There may be a NaNo bookmark and sticker involved. ;))

(I think it’s not the most recent edition of the book but it’s the one I’ve read and I happened to have an extra copy so thought I’d share the love.)

The giveaway runs from October 23 (Tuesday) to October 28 (Sunday), 2018 (closes midnight Central), and is open to USA addresses only (sorry, international peeps! I love you too, but shipping!).

You can enter via the Rafflecopter link, HERE.

The winner will be chosen at random, contacted by email, and announced here in my next NaNo-ish post when I reveal what I’m writing for NaNo this year. Bwahaha.


Talk to me! 🙂

Well, are you doing NaNo? What are your favorite writing tips?

Thanks for reading, and may the NaNo prep be ever in your favor!

5 Year BLOGIVERSARY + Giveaway!

Hi everyone! Guess what’s special about today? 😉 (Okay, okay, the title may have given that away. *cough*)

It’s my 5 Year Blogiversary! 😀

Yes, you heard that correctly.

On this day, half a decade ago, I posted my very first post on this blog!

It’s been a long, exciting journey, and I just started another shiny website too (as well as having a book blog I’ve been enjoying for a few years) — but this is where it all began, and it’s still the heart of my online presence as a writer, and… well… a human. 😉

So I’m celebrating with a giveaway (Hobbit-birthdays and all that sort of thing, so read on for that) and general merriment and partying.

*passes out virtual cupcakes and tosses confetti on everyone*

The Stats

  • 5 years
  • 293 posts (as of this one!)
  • 590 followers (plus social media = 1,091 followers, hence the number on the side. ;))
  • 6,700 comments
  • 16,298 visitors
  • 45,789 views

Top Commenters

Commenters are my favorite — this means you! Also, special shoutout to my top commenters of late. You guys are amazing! THANK YOU! (Everyone, check out their amazing blogs! ^_^)

My top 10 most popular posts this year

Thank You

I just want to say thank you.

Thanks to all my lovely readers, followers, and commenters! You make this blogging thing worthwhile. 🙂 It’s been such a joy taking this road with you all. Thank you for joining me in the journey. ❤

*GROUP HUG*

Blogiversary Giveaway

Okay, here’s the part you’re REALLY here for! 😉

There are 5 (ish) prizes — because 5 years — and they are (surprise, surprise!) books!

I love sharing books with people, and I also frequent library sales and collect beloved books. So I’ve decided to share a few of my favorites with y’all! ^_^

But just a second, because I’m going to tell you all about one of the awesome prizes. 😀

Stellar September

I’m extremely excited to be showcasing The Electrical Menagerie by Mollie E. Reeder today!

I won an ebook ARC copy of this book, and loved it so much that I raved about it in a review, got a paperback copy when I got to meet the author at Realm Makers (!!!), and just ordered a second paperback copy just so I could give it away on my blogiversary post today. 🙂

Mollie was also awesome and donated two sets of gorgeous character cards, of the delightful characters from The Electrical Menagerie, for me to share with y’all! (Visit the artist on Instagram.) One set I’m giving away with the paperback (US), and one set I’m offering as an International prize, because I love you peeps too! ❤

But wait, there’s even more delightful news! 😀

The Electrical Menagerie got a starred review on Publisher’s Weekly yesterday! :O I’m SO excited for Mollie, and so proud of her and this splendiferous book (and its characters. ;))! I just love it so much, and I hope more people will discover it. ^_^

If you’re curious to read it, now is a fantastic time to try it out, because the ebook is only 99 cents on Amazon right now, for a promotion Mollie is calling Stellar September. And is it ever stellar! 😀 So go get yourself a copy! ❤

And, of course, enter to win a paperback copy of this (and other books) below. 😉

You can learn more about The Electrical Menagerie, Mollie, and the characters, and sign up for Mollie’s newsletter for a free novelette about Huxley (it’s hilarious, FYI!), at thecelestialisles.com or writeratops.com!

The Giveaway Prizes

  1. The Electrical Menagerie by Mollie E. Reeder (paperback) — Steampunk (ish). The rest of these books I got at library sales, but this one I ordered. It’s a recent release, which I may have flailed about a lot. 😉 And since I’m writing steampunk right now, and love humor and dynamic characters, it seemed to fit the theme of my giveaway. 🙂 Let me just tell you that if you love The Greatest Showman, or steampunk, or dynamic duo friendships, or humor/snark, or magical worlds (floating islands with sky-trains run by stardust!), you simply have to try this book out! ❤ Included with this book is a set of the 4 lovely character cards!
  2. Magician’s Ward by Patricia C. Wrede (paperback) — Regency Fantasy. You can read my full review here, but this is a fascinating and fun story set in an alternate Regency London, about the fabulous magician (and eligible bachelor) Mairelon the Magician, and his ward, Kit, who is a street-thief-turned-Regency-lady. And yes, this is as fabulous as it sounds. XD It’s technically the second book in a duology, but I read it as a standalone and understood it just fine. (I’ve since read the first book, and enjoyed it, but not as much as I loved this one.) This is an ex-library paperback and is slightly worn — apologies! — but the story inside is lovely. 😉
  3. Conrad’s Fate (Chrestomanci Series) by Diana Wynne Jones (hardcover) — Fantasy. You know this had to be on here, because of COURSE I have to give away a DWJ book. 😉 Even if you haven’t read any of the Chrestomanci books before, you can start with this one (as it’s sort of a prequel). It’s a lot of fun, and features a teenage Chrestomanci/Christopher Chant, which was AWESOME. It’s also a buddy story, from the point of view of the “servants” at an older, fancy, British-like house, with magical shenanigans and humor. I love it. 😀
  4. The End of the Third Age by J.R.R. Tolkien (paperback) — This is the tail-end of a series of books featuring some of Tolkien’s older drafts of The Lord of the Rings (edited by his son Christopher Tolkien). But the reason I’m giving away this one is that it has the UNPUBLISHED epilogue of The Lord of the Rings, which never made it into the final version, but which I strongly believed SHOULD HAVE. It’s about Sam and his kids after the end, and makes the end of LOTR not sad, say I — it ends on a better note. There are two versions of the epilogue, both collected in this volume, and even if you don’t read the rest of the book, you HAVE to read them. And I want to make it possible for some LOTR fan to read it, so I’m giving away a copy. 🙂 (Plus, what with the Silmaril Awards going on right now — don’t forget to vote for your favorite characters this week!! — this feels like an appropriate thing to give away. ;))
  5. If You Want To Write: A Book About Art, Independence, and Spirit by Brenda Ueland (paperback) — Nonfiction. This is one of my favorite books on writing. I wrote a whole post about it once, which you can check out to see if it’s the sort of book you would like. And since this is “The Road of a Writer” and I know many of you are writers, it seemed fitting. 🙂
  6. Another set of Electrical Menagerie character cards (INTERNATIONAL) — Because, as I mentioned, Mollie kindly sent along two sets, and I wanted something for any of my lovely non-American readers who would like to enter a giveaway. (Huxley makes a great bookmark. I’m just sayin’. ;))

Giveaway details

  • You must be subscribed to my newsletter, or if you haven’t, your email address will be added to my newsletter, from which you can unsubscribe any time. (But I like to think that the sort of people who enjoy the sorts of books I’m giving away above, will be the sort to enjoy my newsletter. ;))
  • This giveaway is open from September 11 – 15, 2018
  • The books are US entries only (sorry! Because shipping) but the second set of character cards are just for international entries! 🙂
  • There will be 6 winners
  • Winners will be chosen by random draw. The winners be contacted by email, and posted here on or after September 17

You can subscribe to my newsletter here. 🙂

Enter the giveaway in the form below, or, if it’s not working for you, click here!

Giveaway Form

That’s it!

P.S. If you want to follow me on Instagram, I’m hoping to post a different fun picture there each day this week during the giveaway to showcase each of the books, so… there’s that. 😉

Whew! I think that’s all the fun I have for you guys today. 🙂 (Special thanks to Mollie for providing the character trading cards for the giveaway!)

Do you want to read The Electrical Menagerie? And which of these books would you most love to win? 😀 Thanks for joining me in my blogoversary as I celebrate 5 years of blogging! You’re all awesome! ❤