Black Friday Book Sale

Hi everyone! I’m taking a break from the hecticness of NaNo (and the semi-comatose lazy state of someone who had a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner…) to let you know about a Black Friday book sale of some Indie Christian books… Because BOOKS! And SALES ON SAID BOOKS! And… did I mention books? 😀

I know this is being pretty well advertised across the interwebs today, so if this is the billionth time you’ve heard it, please forgive mwa. 😉 But everyone must hear about it!

I know that at least Shantelle Mary Hannu, Jenelle Leanne Schmidt, Kelsey Bryant, J. Grace Pennington and Sarah Holman have each written at least one tale that I simply adore, and there are lots of other authors participating as well.

You’ll find details below, and be sure to check out the deals of free and discount books! 🙂

I hope everyone (American) had a lovely Thanksgiving; if you’re doing NaNo: KEEP GOING, THE END IS NIGH, YOU CAN DO IT; and happy reading, everyone!

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It’s that time of year. The time for buying presents, making wish lists, and planning New Year’s Resolutions. If any of those activities involve books for you, Indie Christian Authors has a perfect event for you.

From Nov 27 (that’s today!) through Nov 30th, more than 70 independent Christian books are on sale. You can find free shipping, $0.99 ebooks, package deals, and more! And if your budget is depleted from Christmas shopping, they’ve got you covered with some freebies!

Think 70 books is overwhelming? Narrow it down and find the perfect books for you or someone on your Christmas list by using this quiz to generate a customized book list.

What awesome reads of 2015 are you grateful for? What books are you looking forward to reading in 2016?

A note on the Ebooks Only page. All books are listed as “Sold Out.” This only refers to paperback copies of these titles. Please click onto the product pages to find descriptions and links to discounted or free ebooks.

Acknowledgements: Thanks to Leah E. Good for her work organizing this sale, Gloria Repp for completing the time consuming job of uploading book info to the sale website, and Hannah Mills for her fantastic design work on the website graphics. Hannah can be contacted at hmills(at)omorecollege(dot)edu for more information about her design services.

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? 😉

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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!

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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)

Summer 2015 Books!

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

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


A Dream Not Imagined Cover

A Dream Not Imagined – Shantelle Mary Hannu

May 28

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


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Corroded Thorns – Emma Clifton

June

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


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Half Blood – Jaye L. Knight

July 1

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


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Ink and Bone – Rachel Caine

July 7

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


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Silver in the Blood – Jessica Day George

July 7

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


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Finding the Magic – Jack Lewis Baillot

July 17

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


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

summer

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


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A Wish Made of Glass – Ashlee Willis

summer

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


Are you excited about any of these?

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

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

Review: A Dream Not Imagined

My internet is back (for now at least; storms, huzzah…) so I can blog again — yay!

Hmm, I haven’t done a review around here in awhile, so let’s get to it! 🙂

A Dream Not Imagined Cover

A Dream Not Imagined

by Shantelle Mary Hannu

A 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.

My Review

5 stars!

I absolutely love fairytale retellings, so I jumped on the chance to read this one!

A Dream Not Imagined is a lovely retelling that at first feels very like the classic Cinderella… and yet! Those twists! My goodness, I did not see them coming! At first I was so worried and could not see how it could work out all right. But then it surprised me by turning out better than I could have imagined! I was so impressed that it could turn that around and I ended up extremely happy with it. I just loved this book. 🙂

The whole story has an intriguing mystery lurking around the edges, weaving throughout. It was so fun to try to piece together the hints and clues, and then stunning when all the pieces fell into place and the whole picture was made clear–that conclusion! I’ve always said that fairytales and mysteries are my favorite genres for shorter stories–they just seem to fit–and here this is both!

It’s a novella, so it’s a very quick read, but far from making it feel rushed, it felt like just the right size. It was amazing how full of depth and detail it was for its length. The writing has a sweet fairytale-like quality, while at the same time feeling fresh. Miss Hannu is an author to keep an eye on! It’s beautifully written and I could see everything so vividly–I love the “feel” of the setting.

I loved Ellie–she was quite relateable and all I wanted was for everything to turn out well for her, the poor dear! My heart broke with hers, and sang when hers sang… In fact, all of the characters were portrayed with a startling depth and clarity–I felt like they were all quite real, which again was impressive with the brief length of the book. And there is one young man in particular who captured my heart… 😉 He was awesome.

I loved the beautiful romance, which was my favorite part of the story. There is some heartache, but ultimately it was adorable and sigh-worthy. It was sweet and appropriate, so no fears there, and it wasn’t the whole of the plot either, so even if you’re not the biggest fan of romantic plots, I think you’ll still find the rest of the story worth reading.

It’s a non-magical retelling, but it was cute to see how the roles sometimes played by the Fairy Godmother and/or mice in some versions were carried out in this.

There were also some lovely moments about faith and about God writing our stories that were particularly beautiful.

I loved the dancing, and the final scene before the epilogue was awesome. And now I want to eat some apple-tarts… The whole conclusion and ending was perfection itself. ❤

A Dream Not Imagined is a beautiful story with lovable characters, a thrilling air of mystery, a thread of faith, a sweet romance, and some surprising twists. If you like an enjoyable quick read, or a good retold fairytale (and who doesn’t!), do consider giving this lovely one a try. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed! 🙂

(NOTE: I received a copy of this book from the author in return for my honest review. It was not required to be positive. These opinions are entirely my own.)

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A Dream Not Imagined will be released in June 2015. That’s next month, y’all! Keep an eye out for it! 🙂

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April Ishness

It is now the Merry Month of May! (Happy May, y’all!) Which means… Time for another round of Monthly Ishness!

…I have no idea why I call these things that, or if they are at all interesting, but I’ve become addicted to looking back at my month like this.

Anyways, I had a fabulous April — I finished up some projects and did a lot of reading and life was generally beyond tolerable, so yay!

Editing

I completed my editing project! Yay! I know I’ve mentioned it a few times — I was doing a proof-read/copy-edit of an AMAZING Christian fantasy novel called Silver Rose by lovely authoress Shantelle Mary Hannu. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s one of the best books I’ve read this year. ❤

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This was one of my first more “official” editing jobs and I was so happy to get it finished, and it was an awesome experience. 🙂 I may be looking into doing some more proofreading/copy-editing type jobs in the future! Since I’m addicted to catching typos and making things sound better, but don’t consider myself good at content-editing, exactly, since I feel like each story is the AUTHOR’S story and aside from pointing out typos and inconsistencies/stuff that doesn’t work (and lots and lots of gushing about what I love), I’m just not a good critiquer. But the polishing aspect? I’m all there!

Anyways, it was great to work with an author and develop a system for editing and just gain some experience in the field of editing. So I’m quite excited about how it all turned out. 🙂

Writing

I was fairly laid-back about writing this month… I was focusing on finishing my editing job, and then I sort took off for awhile… And after that I was stuck, as I mentioned.

But I did manage to write 3,500 words in April, nonetheless. Snippets for The Secret of Kedran’s Wood and The Other Half of Everything… and started a new random short story.

I’m calling it Darkling Reflections and it’s a contemporary/mystery type of thing with a slight old-fashioned, elegant feel, which I’m 500 words into and should be writing right now instead of blogging… Hee.

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I know, I should know better than to start new stuff when I’m in the middle of so many already… But plot bunnies attack and sometimes you have to just go down that rabbit-trail with them!

Reading

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(My Goodreads Reading Challenge)

Okay, so four of them were rereads (Howl’s Moving Castle, and the first three Penderwick books, which I wanted to reread before reading the newly released one).

But I read 13 books in April…

As soon as I finished my editing, I dived right back into reading other books and… well, let’s just say I kind of went overboard… (My number-of-books-consumed-per-month is normally more in the 5-to-8 range.) But especially as I wasn’t doing as much writing, I just wanted to devour all the books!

The new reads ranged from enjoyable to awesome, my favorite by far being The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye. EVERYONE: READ IT. IT WAS PERFECT. I was also sooo looking forward to The Penderwicks in Spring and it did NOT disappoint! ❤ Oh my goodness. SO MUCH AMAZING. I wish I could write like that. (Aaand now I just have to wait two more years for another one… No big deal, right? *pulls hair out*)

I’m also getting back into reading fairytale retellings! The Princess Curse, Twelve Dancing Princesses, and A Dream Not Imagined… I am officially re-obsessed with fairytale retellings.

Watching

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So many film-ish things! I’m not always a big watcher of movies/TV, as my free-time is usually spent reading or writing, but I muchly enjoyed most of these!

  • Frozen Fever: ADORABLE PERFECTION.
  • Cinderella: AMAZINGNESS THAT I WANT TO SEE AGAIN. ❤
  • Beyond the Mask: SO MUCH AWESOMENESS I CAN’T EVEN. And it’s coming to more theaters! Guys! I am soooo excited about this! Seriously, if you get a chance to see this, do! It was AMAYYYYZING.
  • Mockingjay Part 1: I am withholding my judgment on this until Part 2 comes out. XD
  • Leverage: Can we just take a moment to realize that I finished watching Leverage? As in, have watched every single episode and have now run out of this glorious awesomeness? This is both extremely sad and awesome at the same time (awesome because I finished and it was… awesome). I loved that show so much! So. Much. Amazing. (And Eliot of course. Who is my favorite. …He’s a very distinctive favorite.)

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So that’s some of what’s up with me. 🙂 How about you?

Have you read/watched any of those? And how’s your writing, if a writer you be? 😉 (Especially with Camp NaNo having just ended!)

How was your April?? Do you have plans for May?