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Friday, November 25, 2016

Sass on 7th // Modest Fashion

Hello, Dragons! Today I want to take a spare moment of your time to tell you all about my friend Allie's fashion business, Sass on 7th.

It's often quite a project to find modest skirts. But just by knowing the width of your waistband and the fabric and length you want, Allie can find you a pair of jeans and customize them into a skirt, to your desire.

I own a couple of Allie's skirts, and let me tell you: They're some of my favourite skirts ever; Allie does an absolutely gorgeous job.

You can find Sass on 7th at this link. Here's a look at one of the pre-made skirts:

{Source.}

I hope ya'll have had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a safe Black Friday!

<3


Indie Christian Reads // Black Friday Sale!

Smiley
{Image provided by Indie Christian Authors.}


It's that time of year, again! 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 the perfect event!
From November twenty-fifth through November twenty-eight, more than seventy independent Christian books are on sale. You can find free shipping, ninety-nine-cent ebookspackage deals, and more! And if your budget is depleted from Christmas shopping, they've got you covered with some freebies!
Think seventy 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!

(A note on the "ebooks only" page: All books are marked as "sold out," but this only refers to paperback copies of those titles. Please click onto the product pages to find descriptions and links to discounted or free ebooks. Also, some of the authors this year chose to not sell their paperbacks directly through the site. Those books are also marked "sold out," but if you click them open, you'll find a link to the site where they are on sale and a discount code for you to use at checkout.)

Thanks to Leah E. Good and Kendra E. Ardnek for their work organizing this sale, and Hannah Mills for her fantastic design work on the website graphics! Hannah can be contacted at hmills@omorecollege.edu for more information about her design services.


Are there any new books you hope to read, this year?

<3



Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, Dragons! I pray you all have a great day filled with family, friends, food, and fun! ;)
{Source.}
<3


Saturday, November 19, 2016

FANTASTIC BEASTS & WHERE TO FIND THEM // Movie Review

{Source.}
Newton Artemis Fido Scamander is a completely ordinary wizard, despite his peculiar preference of magical creatures over people, as well as his expulsion from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry due to such.

But when Newt arrives in New York with a briefcase full of magical creatures and one of the creatures gets loose, it sets off a chain of events more devastating than he ever could've imagined.

★★★★☆

I enjoyed Fantastic Beasts, and it was certainly better than The Cursed Child. Like with The Cursed Child, however, there did seem to be a little too much "new" magical content. A majority of Newt's creatures had yet to be introduced in Harry Potter, but had there been a hippogriff or phoenix sighting, I feel like it might've made the story more relevant to the original series.

The historical relevance to Harry Potter was very well done, though! We hear whisperings of Dumbledore, get to meet Grindelwald in person, and experience a little taste of the US's wizarding culture (for the record, the UK is now even cooler in yet another aspect).

The acting was well done, but the plot was a bit predictable, and Fantastic Beasts would probably be most enjoyed by someone who has already been introduced to Rowling's world.

But Fantastic Beasts was a great movie. Though it's not something I'd particularly long to see again, it was rather delightful, and well worth the watch. ☺

(One -- okay, no, two -- last things: 1. Newt Scamander and I are in the same Hogwarts house! 2. Queenie's awesome. There. I'm done. 😁 )

You may want to know: There may be a stray swear word or two, and there is a majority of magical content, as well as fantasy violence; slight, minor implications; and some frightening scenes.

Are you going to see Fantastic Beasts, this weekend?

<3


Friday, November 18, 2016

BELLANOK // Blog Tour, Book Trailer, Interview, & Giveaway

Today, I have the pleasure of sharing with ya'll an interview I did with Ralene Burke, author of the Bellanok series! The first book is titled The Reluctant Savior. Here's the cover and a snippet about the book:

{Image provided by Ralene Burke.}

Bellanok is a haven for myths and legends... until evil discovers a way in. Now the fairy queen, Fauna, must journey from the island realm to the modern world to find the man the Creator appointed to save their kingdom. A man she has been dreaming of her whole life. 

Brian is a down-on-his-luck pastor on the verge of giving up on God. He’s tired and frustrated -- a failure. No sooner does he make a decision that jeopardizes his career than an unusual blonde woman shows up and tries to convince him he is some kind of savior. 

Fauna must open Brian's eyes to a different reality, and Brian needs to embrace the haven's secrets. If neither of them succeeds, Bellanok will succumb to evil and the world will lose all trace of innocence.


Available on kindle, and now in paperback!


Book Trailer


Click here to see the Bellanok Pinterest board!

Interview

Welcome to Whispers on the Wind, Ralene! It's a pleasure having you here! First off, would you care to tell us a little bit about yourself?

Thank you for having me, Olivia! It's so exciting to be here.

I am a fantasy author, freelance editor, and social media consultant. Outside of my office, I am the wife of a veteran and homeschooling mama of three. Yes, my days are very busy. :)

Is there any particular music that helped to inspire or set a mood for the Bellanok series?

No, I actually can't usually listen to music while I write. It's too distracting. A friend of mine has been trying to share more instrumental music with me to show how it can further inspire my scene. But usually, it's just the sound of my children or the TV in the background.

Jeremy Renner. {Source.}
If Bellanok were a TV series, who might your picks be to play Brian and Fauna?

Hmm... good question. I originally thought that Jensen Ackles would make a good Brian, but he really is too "pretty boy" for what I imagine. Maybe more of a Jeremy Renner.

As for Fauna, she was a little more tricky. She's a couple hundred years old, but merely early twenties by our standards. I never actually found an actress that I was satisfied with. For those who have read it, I'd love to hear your ideas!

Are there any authors who've made a major impact on your writing life?

There have a been a few over the years. Most recently, my critique partner, Morgan Busse, has really pushed me to dive deeper in my stories, which has made them richer. Other authors, like James L. Rubart, James Scott Bell, Serena Chase (and some others) have influenced me with their amazing writing and stories.

Besides writing, is there anything else you'd be interested in pursuing?

Well, when I felt the need to find a way to add to our household income without giving up homeschooling, that’s when I got into editing and social media. Editing felt like a natural branch from writing (and many of my writer friends had commented on my editing skills over the years). And social media consulting put to good use my love of Facebook, Twitter, and other fun online places.

If you could have an entire day devoted to writing, what would it look like?

I've rocked a 10k day before. It took about eight-and-a-half hours, but it was fantastic. My hubby took the children out for half the day, and I had the house to myself. I worked on a schedule of fifty minutes for writing, followed by ten minutes of cleaning or some other activity that took me away from the computer and my office.

If you could live during any time period in any place, when and where would it be?

In the TARDIS with the Doctor. Does that work? Okay, more realistically, I really can't imagine living in another time. Another place maybe. I think it would be interesting to live in Europe, a place so rich in history and people. But I know I was made for the time and place that I am in, so I don't often fantasize about living elsewhere. Unless it involves unicorns, dragons, and fairies.

Thank you for your time, Ralene! Before you go, I have one more question: What advice do you have for fellow authors, particularly those who are currently unpublished?

Don't give up! Bellanok was my fifth novel. The trilogy that I got a contract for was based on my fourth novel. Learn, grow, and keep writing. Also don't be afraid to move on. Sometimes the stories we write aren't meant to be published but to teach us. I know that there is a good chance my first two novels will never see the light of day. So don't give up.

About the Author

{Image provided by Ralene Burke.}

Whether she's wielding a fantasy writer's pen, a freelance editor's sword, or a social media wand, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer's world. And her goal is to make it SHINE! She has worked for a variety of groups, including Realm Makers, The Christian PEN, Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, and as an editor for a number of freelance clients. Her first novel, Bellanok, is available on Amazon!

When her head’s not in the publishing world, she is wife to a veteran and homeschooling mama to their three kids. Her Pinterest board would have you believe she is a master chef, excellent seamstress, and all around crafty diva. If she only had the time...

You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter, or at her website.

Giveaway

Ralene is giving away two paperback copies of The Reluctant Savior! Hop on over to her website to check it out! The giveaway ends the last week of the blog tour.

Tour Schedule

~

Many thanks to Ralene for letting me interview her! ☺

And don't forget to pick up Bellanok! Unicorns, dragons, creatures of Faerie... what fun! Click here to add the first Bellanok book to Goodreads.

<3


Friday, November 11, 2016

SAMARA'S PERIL // Book Review

{Source.}
Samara's Peril by Jaye L. Knight

✰✰
(3.5 stars)

Samara's Peril, the third volume of The Ilyon Chronicles, continues the story of the Resistance and their attempts to keep the emperor and his armies at bay.

Though I thoroughly enjoyed the prequel and first two volumes in the series, I didn't love this story quite as much... There was a plot twist in the first half of the book that was very well done, but I did feel that there was too much violence.

While violence doesn't typically both me (and please know that Jaye L. Knight's books are never gory), there was quite a bit of warfare and death. The amount of killing just really rubbed me the wrong way. And I had a bit of a hard time making my way through the battle scenes.

Kyrin. Oh, Kyrin. Though she's one of my favourite Ilyon characters, I just didn't love her in Samara's Peril, and she seemed a bit too flawless (which is probably because she was mainly viewed through Jace's eyes), which made her rather hard to relate to.

Overall, I do recommend giving Samara's Peril a read. It is part of The Ilyon Chronicles (which is reason enough, right there), and while I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the other installments, it still made for a good read. :)

You may want to know: There is fantasy violence, a few sacrifice scenes, and mentioned effects from strongly implied (but never directly stated) rape.

Click here to read my Goodreads review.

(Samara's Peril was written by Jaye L. Knight and published by Living Sword Publishing; its copyright date is 2016.)

<3


Friday, November 4, 2016

Let Us Be Strong

{Original image source. Edited using PicMonkey.}
They call it self-sabotage. It's the thing that makes the alcoholic drink "just one more" bottle of whiskey. The drug addict "just one more" dose. The emotional eater "just one more" bag of potato chips. The smoker "just one more" cigarette. The procrastinator "just one more" "quick" project, first.

It seems something we can all agree on: That we've all, at some point in our lives, sabotaged ourselves, whether it's involved procrastinating (moi), smoking, drinking, abusing drugs, being a glutton, or something entirely different. For one reason or another, we may not want to succeed. And what we're doing is not okay.

Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV) states:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Proverbs 25:28 (ESV) also tells us that "a man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls."

Imagine that. Imagine New York -- a place full of potential -- un-moving and dead and silent. So silent, let's say, that no nation has bothered to tend to it. There are no signs of life about. Weeds peek out of little cracks in the sidewalk, and a couple old, aluminum cans clatter in their places on the street. No one seems to care what happens to New York: It's a city with no walls -- and that's the identity of a person who does not know -- or care -- how to control themselves.

In 1 Peter, Peter writes to the congregations "in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia" (1 Peter 1:1, ESV). He urges them to "be self-controlled and sober-minded" (1 Peter 4:7, ESV).

In Matthew 23:25 (ESV), Jesus addresses the "scribes and Pharisees," calling them "hypocrites," for "inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence."

When we give in to temptation, we are being greedy and selfish -- just as bad as the scribes and Pharisees!

But God gave us free will. 2 Corinthians 3:17 (ESV) states:

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

So we have a choice. We can continue to burn, crumble, and fall... Or we can pray. Pray for strength, for wisdom, for guidance. We can push on when times get tough and come out of temptation with God as our Conqueror.

Romans 12:12 (ESV) invites us:

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

What will you choose?

<3


LOVE & FRIENDSHIP // Movie Review

{Source.}
Inspired by Jane Austen's unfinished work, Lady Susan, Love & Friendship follows the crafty manipulation of the novel's namesake.

Lady Susan firmly believes that she is particularly clever, and everyone else dimwitted, save for the young man she hopes will marry her daughter. The only problem is that "everyone else" knows she's clever... and they're terrified. Of course, Lady Susan's hopeful match for her daughter is actually the dimwitted one, and the poor victim of his affections cannot seem to escape him.

Love & Friendship follows a short snippet of the lives of the Vernon family -- Susan, who just wants everything to go her way; Frederica, who really doesn't want to marry that dimwitted gentleman; Reginald, who's not sure what he wants; and Sir DeCourcy, Lady DeCourcy, Charles, and Catherine, who just want to be rid of Susan and provide Frederica with her best chance.

✰✰✰

I really like Jane Austen's stories, and though I understand it that Love & Friendship strays quite a bit from the original tale, Lady Susan, I wanted to like it. And while there were one or two comical moments, I really didn't like Lady Susan (or her particular friends) as characters. Susan just seemed far too much of a schemer and generally annoying person, and I felt terribly sorry for all her pawns, relatives and suitors included.

...So, I don't think I'd recommend Love & Friendship. Though I am fan of the time period and setting, it wasn't enough to make me like it, so I'm afraid it's only earned two stars from me.

You may want to know: There are discreet implications, as well as a separation between a married couple due to unfaithfulness.

~

Have you read Lady Susan? Do you have an opinion on how it compared to Love & Friendship?

<3


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

THE LOST GIRL OF ASTOR STREET // Book Review

{Source.}
The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill

(4.5 stars)

(Note: I read The Lost Girl of Astor Street prior to its official release.)

Okay. Wow. Give me a moment to catch my breath.

The Lost Girl of Astor Street was amazing. It was riveting; the plot, characters, and writing style all meshed together so brilliantly, it was like magic. It seemed evident that Stephanie did her research, because the 1920s seemed so alive and pulsing, as if they had a heartbeat.

I do admit that it took me a chapter or two to get into it, seeing as it took that long for the heroine to grow and the story to progress. But it was so worth it.

And haven't I mentioned the romance? (*cues the fangirling*) (*pauses*) THE ROMANCE WAS SO INCREDIBLE. I CAN'T EVEN BEGIN TO DESCRIBE THE COUNTLESS NUMBER OF TIMES I NEARLY SCREAMED/CRIED WITH JOY. (*squeals*) (*jumps up and down like a little girl*) (*straightens bowtie*)

Stephanie tied up all the loose ends perfectly, and I firmly believe that not a strand was out of place. So I definitely recommend it -- it is SO worth the read. :)

You may want to know: There were light implications of indecent acts against characters, as well as murder, violence, and some drinking.

Click here to read my Goodreads review.

(The Lost Girl of Astor Street was written by Stephanie Morrill and published by Blink; its copyright date is 2017.)

So, you should totally read The Lost Girl of Astor Street! It releases February seventh, 2017.

<3


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As of September sixteenth, 2015, this blog has been reformatted. However, all posts before that date have not been updated to fit the new format, and may not be as simple to read.

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