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Saturday, January 28, 2017

January Whisperings

Greetings, dear Dragons! For a while, I've been wanting to restart my wrap-up posts. In 2015, I had a short series called The Events of Nightwind Court... but what with the cheesy title and all, my interest quickly declined... So I'm proud to introduce to you -- Whisperings!


{Image by yours truly.}

Of course, I'm not sure whether I'll do a Whisperings post every month, but I'm trying to get into a stricter blogging routine, so Lord willing, they'll be around for a while!

First thing's first...

School
(I know, a rather depressing first topic. I'm sorry. But it'll get better, I promise!)

Yesterday, I turned in all my homework for the month... and am now done with the entire semester! Although I'm very excited about it, at the same time it reminds me that I've got a whole new semester to complete. But, thankfully, the second is always easier than the first!

Acting: The Magic Flute

{Image provided by Adira Rosen.}

We began rehearsals last Wednesday! So far, we've gone through most of Act I, leaving a rehearsal for the rest of Act I on Monday, an off-script rehearsal for the whole of Act I on Tuesday, and more later on!

I'm honestly in love with my character, Princess Pamina. She's so terribly fun to play! She's bratty, princess-y, a control freak, and a little boy-crazy. She also gets to hit a monster over the head with a book!

January Films

Captain America: Civil War

{Source.}

Thanks to Netflix, I finally got to see Civil War! I must admit that, while it was well-made, it was not my favourite Captain America movie. It was pretty fun to see all the Avengers, though! At first, I was pretty upset that they changed the Spiderman actor, but... he grew on me. A lot. His interactions with Tony were HILARIOUS! πŸ˜„

Bunk'd

{Source.}

I'm rather embarrassed to admit it, but... yes, my mom and I have been watching a Disney Channel show. We usually don't watch them (since, honestly, there's better quality entertainment out there, and Disney Channel shows aren't always the best...), but we'd watched Jessie a few years ago, so when we were bored, surfing Netflix one day, and ran across this Jessie spinoff... why not?

Bunk'd is actually pretty good compared to other Disney Channel shows. The characters aren't all dumb, and some of them are actually rather endearing. Lou, Emma, and Xander are my favourites!

A Series of Unfortunate Events

{Source.}

I have The Bad Beginning sitting on my bookshelf, but I've yet to actually read any of the books... (*winces*)

BUT OH MY STARS, GUYS. THIS SHOW IS SO WONDERFUL. LIKE, WHERE DO I EVEN BEGIN?!

I finished what I think is season one (the first eight episodes, anyway) last night, and WOW, PEEPS. WOW, JUST WOW. jdjgbkjgf jkvbk fvdkgjbvlpoqpbqgb (See, I can't even type!)

The ending of episode seven, though... Dearest Dragon, if you've seen it, WE NEED TO TALK. I literally cannot handle the doors and the couple and then Violet, Sunny, and Klaus and then the thing and then OH MY STARS! I nearly cried. (But I nearly cried at the end of episode eight, too. Mainly there 'cause I didn't want to wait anymore for season two.)

January Reads

This month, I read a total of four books (a rather pathetic number for a book dragon, I know, but I'm a bit of a slow reader)! You can check out my reviews by clicking on the images below.

Waking Up by Ted Dekker



Five stars, mainly for the addictive writing.

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen



Three to four stars. Though I'm a huge fan of the movies, I just didn't love this one.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding



Two stars. The writing wasn't that bad, but... the content.

Sky's Bridal Train by Margo Hansen



Four stars. This made for a fun and rather adventurous read, but it wasn't a favourite.

January Music

The Magic Flute

Since being cast as Pamina in The Magic Flute, I've become some what obsessed with Mozart's opera. I even made a playlist for the whole show, and while only a few of the songs from the opera are on it, I'm still very proud. πŸ˜ƒ

The Celtic Collection by Adrian Von Ziegler

{Source.}

I've known about Adrian Von Ziegler for a while, now, but I've only just started really listening to his music, particularly The Celtic Collection. It reminds me of a videogame I used to play, with a soundtrack I loved!

Covers, Vol. I by Evynne Hollens

{Source.}

I really enjoyed Peter Hollens and his wife's YouTube channels, so when I found out Evynne had released her debut album, I rushed to Spotify and added it immediately! It's a pretty fun album, but I'd say my favourite track has to be Fields of Gold. (*sighs*) Her version of it is probably my favourite rendition ever...

Writing

2016 was a very poor writing year for me, so I've been trying to get back into it. Having my desk covered with old rehearsal schedules and cast lists hasn't helped at all (which is probably what I'll attend to after I publish this post πŸ˜‰ ).

But something has happened that's very exciting, and is rather a boost of confidence for me! If you didn't see me mention it earlier this week, I'm a finalist in SpecFaith's Winter Writing Challenge! (You can vote for me here, if you're so inclined.)

Even if I don't win, it's still been a wonderful experience, and I'm so thankful to God that I was able to participate in it! ☺

Beasts of Grimm
(Because everyone totally names their house one thing, and then changes it a couple years later... And everyone names their house, in the first place. πŸ˜‰ )

Sweetie

{Image by yours truly.}

Our oldest dog got a professional haircut, recently! We usually give her a haircut ourselves, but decided to take her to a groomer, this time. AND DRAGONS. THEY PUT A BOW IN HER HAIR. AND IT IS WAS STINKIN' CUTE!!

Belle

{Image by yours truly.}

Belle's been Belle. Never needing a haircut. Sitting on top of me at every possible moment. Stealing my pillow when we go to bed. πŸ˜‰ Still, her and Sweetie are as cute as can be. ❤

Blogging

Finally, we come to blogging! I did a lot of scheduled blogging, this month. Here are some of my January posts:










Elsewhere in the blogosphere:

  • Tracey Dyck wrote about why fiction matters -- read post
  • Jenelle Schmidt restarted her fun meme, Nightstand Books, and announced the upcoming February Is Fantasy Month challenge -- read post
  • sadly, Anne Elisabeth Stengl announced that she'd be discontinuing her book series, Tales of Goldstone Wood -- read post

As to the results of the blogging survey, thank you so much for letting me know what you'd like to see more of! Some results have still been trickling in, so Lord willing I'll announce the conclusions in February. ☺

How has your January been? What did you accomplish, this month?

<3


Friday, January 27, 2017

SHADOWS OF THE HERSWEALD // Cover Reveal, Book Trailer, & Excerpts

New from author and blogger Hope Ann comes Shadows of the Hersweald, the third novella in the Legends of Light series. Today, I have the honour of sharing with you Dragons the cover for Hope's new release, and it's perhaps my favourite Legends of Light cover, yet! Without further ado, here it is...

{Cover by Katherine. Image provided by Hope Ann.}

A battered soldier from a defeated army, Haydn knows the only end to the arrival of the Prince’s governor is chains, followed by punishment and possible execution. Except he hasn’t counted on the Prince himself. Or the pardon which his recent foe has declared to acquit all those who fought against him.

A pardon Haydn detests. A pardon that refuses to punish the rebels now threatening his own village. And his sister.

Guilt-ridden from his own actions during the war, Haydn knows there are others who have no conscience at all. Others who are using the freedom of the pardon to forward their own desperate schemes.

With enemies closing in on all sides, a pardon that refuses punishment for the rebellion, and nightmares of murder and fire hovering in the back of Haydn’s every thought, can he save the only ones left he cares about before it is too late?



Book Trailer

Here's the original trailer Hope made for this book:

video

There's a new book trailer coming out, as well! You can watch it here.

Sneak Peeks

And here are a few excerpts Hope invited us to share:

{Image provided by Hope Ann.}

{Image provided by Hope Ann.}

{Image provided by Hope Ann.}

{Image provided by Hope Ann.}
About the Author

Hope Ann is a Christian wordsmith, avid reader, and dedicated authoress. Her time is taken up with writing, reading, archery, knife throwing, creating writing prompts, helping care for the house and eight younger siblings, and generally enjoying the adventures of life on a small farm at the crossroads of America. She has self-published fairy tale retellings on Amazon and is currently working on several projects including a fantasy novel and futuristic trilogy. You can find out more about Hope and her work at authorhopeann.com.


Reveal Schedule

Friday, January 27th:



Saturday, January 28th:



Sunday, January 29th:


~

Goodness, doesn't this story look exciting? I read Hope's debut novella, Rose of Prophecy, early last year, and it remains one of my favourites of 2016! I have no doubt that Shadows of the Hersweald will make for a wonderful read, as well. ☺

What do you think of the cover? Have you read any of Hope Ann's books, before?

<3


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

LEFT TO DIE // Blog Tour, Interview, & Giveaway

{Image provided by Ivy Rose.}

About the Book

{Image provided by Ivy Rose.}
Lindy Greene's life is perfect. Too perfect. But living as a missionary nurse, serving in a small hospital in China, soon brings the disaster she fearfully anticipates. All of her well-thought-out plans for the future disintegrate after pulling a fatally ill, disfigured, abandoned child from a pile of trash. She doesn't even like babies.

Nathan Thomas can't find balance. College suited him just fine until his cash ran out, forcing him to the Chinese mission field with his parents. The chaotic atmosphere in China does little to relax his agitated mind, and the pretty blonde nurse at the hospital does nothing to help him focus.

The Chinese mission field isn't for the faint of heart. Nathan wonders how he can survive his remaining time there, while Lindy struggles to help everyone she can. With different ideals pulling them in separate directions, there is one thing drawing them together: A tiny, sickly, crippled orphan who relies on them to stay alive.




Interview

Welcome back to Whispers on the Wind, Ivy! Would you mind telling us how the idea for your latest release, Left to Die, came to be?

The idea for Left to Die is inspired by my sister, whom we adopted from China almost ten years ago. The story was inspired by her and all the other orphans in the world who need forever families. I hope and pray that Left to Die will open the eyes of individuals and help them see how severe the orphan crisis truly is.

Where there any parts of Left to Die you found particularly difficult to write?

The hardest part of this story was the scene in the orphanage. In the first draft, I left descriptions vague and bland out of my own selfishness. The reason was clear enough to me: I visited my sister's orphanage. I saw how dirty it was. I stroked the cheeks of those tiny babies. I felt their desperate hands grip my fingers. And I wanted to forget all of that -- I had forgotten most of it. It wasn't until my mom read that section of the book and encouraged me to dig deeper -- to show my readers what it is really like without sugar-coating. So I did. It was hard, digging up those memories I had conveniently forgotten.

Thank you so much for taking time to answer my questions, Ivy! It's been a pleasure having you here! One more question, if you don't mind: Which Left to Die character did you find easiest to relate to?

Thanks for having me! Though it sounds clichΓ© to say so, I can relate most to Lindy, the main character. She and I share a love for nursing, coffee, tea, and loving on other people. And an independence that gets us in trouble sometimes. ;)

{Image provided by Ivy Rose.}
About the Author

Ivy Rose is an eighteen-year-old history lover and literary enthusiast. Aside from writing, she enjoys being outdoors, eating chocolate, travelling, reading, and doing TaeKwonDo. She resides with her family of nine on the banks of the Long Lake in eastern Washington.

You can connect with Ivy via her blog, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Instagram.


Giveaway

{Image provided by Ivy Rose.}

Left to Die Prize Pack

Tour Schedule

Monday, January 23rd:



Tuesday, January 24th:


Wednesday, January 25th:



Thursday, January 26th:


Friday, January 27th:


Saturday, January 28th:


~

Oh my stars, Left to Die sounds like such an incredible story! And Ivy is an amazing author! Her debut novel, The Old River Road, remains to this day one of my absolute favourites.

A huge hug and "thank you" to Ivy for taking the time to answer my questions! ❤

So tell me: When will you be picking up your copy of Left to Die?

<3


Monday, January 23, 2017

I'm One of the Top Three Finalists in SpecFaith's 2017 Winter Writing Challenge!

A week or two ago, I entered SpecFaith's 2017 Winter Writing Challenge... and now I'm a finalist!

My story's pretty short -- only one- or two-hundred words. If you happen to read it, would you mind voting for it? You can do so at THIS LINK.

{Image by yours truly.}

Have a fantastic Monday, dear Dragons! And keep an eye out for an interview with Ivy Rose, coming tomorrow morning!

<3


Saturday, January 21, 2017

Blogging Survey!

{Image by yours truly.}
Hello, dear Dragons! I wanted to pop in and let ya'll know that my blogging schedule will still be somewhat hectic for a little while. But, I'm also curious what you would like to see me blog about more! So please take a few moments to fill out the form below (or you could fill it out at this link, if it doesn't show up for you below) and I'll keep your suggestions in mind as I plan my upcoming posts! :)


<3


MARTIN HOSPITALITY // Cover Reveal

Hello, Dragons! Today, I'm thrilled to be sharing with ya'll the cover for Martin Hospitality, by Abigayle Claire. The setup for the story is one I'm sure you'll love, and the cover itself is absolutely darling...

{Cover art by Mandy Cave. Image provided by Abigayle Claire.}

Gemma Ebworthy is eighteen, pregnant, and alone. Now that she's been evicted, she spends the night in a barn, never dreaming that tomorrow could bring kindness of a life-changing magnitude.

The Martins aren't a typical family -- even for rural Kansas. With more kids than can be counted on one hand and a full-time farm, Gemma must make a lot of adjustments to fit in. But despite their many differences, Gemma finds herself drawn to this family and their radical Christian faith.

When Gemma's past collides with her yet again, she must begin revealing her colorful history. With every detail Gemma concedes, she fears she will lose the Martins' trust and the stable environment she desires for herself and her unborn child. Just how far can the Martins' love and God's forgiveness go?




About the Author

{Image provided by Abigayle Claire.}

Abigayle has been a writer for as long as she can remember, but did not begin seriously pursuing becoming an author until 2015. Since then, she has started a blog and numerous social media accounts, graduated high school as a homeschooler, and participated in the infamous NaNoWriMo. Other than writing, she is also pursuing work as a freelance editor. Writing is her ministry and reading is her pastime. Abigayle lives in Central Texas with her six younger siblings and parents.

You can connect with Abigayle via her blog, The Left-Handed Typist; Goodreads; Twitter; Google Plus; and Pinterest.


~

Isn't that cover gorgeous? I can't wait for Martin Hospitality to come out!

Keep an eye out for the blog tour, running February fourth through February eleventh. Martin Hospitality will be available on Amazon starting the first day of the tour!

<3


Friday, January 20, 2017

THE JUNGLE BOOK // Movie Review

{Source.}
Found alone as a small child, Mowgli has no memory of mankind. To him, the world is merely the jungle and all the animals within. But when a vengeance-seeking tiger threatens his life, Mowgli is forced to leave... yet how on earth could he establish a life beyond the one he's come to know?

★★★★☆

I really enjoyed The Jungle Book! Though I was rather weary at first, wondering how in Gallifrey they'd be able to do a good job with CGI animals... I was really impressed!

The crew behind the movie did an amazing job! The script was fair enough, and the acting well. The plot moved along a little slowly in the beginning, but quickly sped up.

As to the animals -- each creature's varying set of mannerisms was incredibly accurate! I was shocked at how each species moved according to how one might expect it to. The wolves had little head-nods and twitches that made me think so very much of my own dogs. Though I have yet to see many of the other creatures beyond the local zoo, I felt like all the animals were well-portrayed.

So if you're feeling like cuddling with your pet, this is the perfect movie to watch while doing so! πŸ˜‰ (Bagheera is my favourite. ☺ )

You may want to know: There is a fair bit of violence (but little to no gruesomeness).

~

Have you seen The Jungle Book? What did you think?

<3


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Remembering Autumn...

I
remember
autumn.

{Source.}

I remember cold evenings
spent with a warm mug, outside.

{Source.}

Writing away the world--

{Source.}

--and then finding myself
at Ireland's fair seaside.

{Source.}

I remember rain,
pounding, pulsing rain,
hurling itself against the side of the castle.

{Source.}

Deep blue waters,
the churn of a waterwheel--

{Source.}

--the cold of a raging river.

{Source.}

Loud, melodious,
roaring, coursing
thunder.

{Source.}

I remember autumn;
so much to see, so much to do, so much to explore
before winter set in.

{Source.}

I remember wistful memories
of fencing with a knight who has never been.

{Source.}

I remember forests,
each woodland swept with a fine mist.

{Source.}

Oh, I remember autumn!
What dances there were!

{Source.}

What lights, what wonder,
what silence...
as the world drifted by in a blur.

{Source.}

Nights spent by
a warm fireside
tucked into the heart of a castle.

{Source.}

Donning royal blue capes,
hiding amongst scarlet-hued drapes.

{Source.}

The book won't be closed for long--

{Source.}

--for I cannot forget the autumn.

{Source.}

I will never
forget
the autumn.

{Source.}

<3


Notice

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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