Saturday, March 28, 2015

Interview Saturday: PRINCESS LILIAVAINE from The Surrogate Sea!

 “Oh, wow, there are a lot of cobwebs in here.” Ashley Vaandere meanders out onto the Interview Saturday stage and looks around before brushing some dust from the interviewer’s armchair. Though the stage wasn’t visibly moved, the sounds of seawater crashing against the shore can be heard. “This just won’t do at all.” Blinking her blue eyes and shooting the audience a grin, she throws her arm out and spins in a circle.

A swath of flame bursts over the stage, brushing over everything and scorching away the dust and cobwebs, all without burning anything (or anyone). Once the stage is nice and shiny again, the flames vanish, and Ashley rubs her hands together. “Much better! Alrighty – I’m Ashley Vaandere, your host, and here today I’m pleased to welcome Princess Liliavaine Wyle of The Surrogate Sea by Danielle E. Shipley!”

Surrogate Sea cover, frontA massive seawater wave crashes onto the stage, its retreat revealing a tall, slender girl, her long flaxen hair and fashionable blue riding coat miraculously non-soaked. She strides to her seat with a smile for the audience and nod for her hostess. “My thanks for the invitation, Ashley. And for moving your studio seaside! Dreadfully considerate of you.”

“Our pleasure!” Ashley drops into a quick curtsy for the princess before sitting down in her seat. “So, Lily – is it okay if I call you that? – I’ve heard that you’re ramping things up in this new addition. In such a way that you become a sea. Is that for real? Is it fun?”

“Entirely real,” Lily laughs. “And far more fun than not! Mind you, it wasn’t my original plan. But practically everyone else in my family has had a magical adventure, and my sister got to marry a king of the Sky, for goodness’ sake. So when the opportunity to take the place of the Great Sea came my way, I was hardly going say ‘no’!”

“Heck yeah, I don’t blame you. Adventure received where adventure is due!” Ashley empathizes. “Y’know, I thought controlling fire was cool, and I’m not a fan of water, but being the ocean would be rad. Now, the book blurb explains that you go to look for love in the most ‘fantastical of places.’ What about your bestie, Chancewaine? Can we give the audience a bit more background on the where and why for that?”

“Oh. Chance. Well.” Lily’s expression vacillates between pleasure and discomfort. “We’ve known each other forever. He’s like the brother-friend Laraspur has in Ionquin – (they’re my elder sister and brother, you know) – but… well, that’s all very wonderful, but it’s not for marrying, is it? So I have to look elsewhere, for something more. Something – someone – to blow me away with their exceptionality. And the natural world seems the place to look for that. I mean, have you met the Sun?”

“That is very true. Someone you see as a best friend and brother isn’t marriage material. Haha, I can’t say I’ve met the sun. I’ve met someone who knows someone who represents the sun, but not a personal meeting. And not your sun, either.” Ashley grins and crosses her legs at her ankles as she leans back. “Your parents couldn’t have been happy with you deciding to, well, become the Sea on them. Were you planning to tell them what happened? What about Ionquin or your sisters?”

“I’m going to tell them,” Lily protests. “…Eventually. But it isn’t as simple as— what is it modern people in your world do? Text and tweet? Not an option in my society. Nor did I have a courier on hand to take down a letter and run it back to my family, first thing. And one of the few limitations on the Great Sea is her inability to travel far beyond her borders. Besides…” She squirms. “If I told them straightaway, and word reached the Moon, he might make me go right back to being human. Where’s the adventure in that?”

“Talk about restrictions,” Ashley comments. “I get where you’re coming from. One person hears the wrong thing, and it’s game over for your journey. Man…it’s so hard to get adventure nowadays!” She thinks about her next question.

“Erring on the serious side here, but being the Sea and all…sorry, I can’t seem to get over that.” Ashley grins sheepishly, scratching the back of her neck. “Is it all fun, or is there more work involved than you’d think? Do you feel it when people are sailing on the water? What about if they’re swimming?” Questions continue to pour out of her mouth without a filter. “Does it tickle? What about all the fish and other ocean life? Do you get to talk to them? Does it get lonely, on that note? Do you still sleep? Eat? Do you-”

Laughing, Liliavaine holds up a hand. “Slow your stream, Ashley! Let me see if I can recall even half of your hundred questions. Can I feel ships upon me and creatures within me? Yes, if I’m paying attention. My waters are so vast, and those things so small, it’s like the touch of a gnat; it might go unnoticed. Talk to fish and such? I could, the same as the air could talk humanity – that is, the living air can; the winds. But they won’t generally bother because, frankly, they see it as beneath them. And in fairness, what isn’t beneath the Sky? As for loneliness,” she snorts lightly, “who even has the chance? The South Wind won’t leave the Sea in peace for more than a day.”

“That is so cool,” Ashley informs her. “Being able to feel everything. Hm, I don’t know; maybe fish would know more than you expect! I guess I understand though.” She laughs quietly. “Ah, a pesky admirer, then. Hm… So what did you think of this Muirigan, who you traded places with?” Ashley queries, leaning back in her chair and folding her arms behind her head. “It’s kind of weird that she’s competing for the love of someone you’re really close to, isn’t it?”

“I see Muirigan and I as being much the same, in some respects,” Lily muses. “We both know what we want, and we’re willing to go after it, never mind the lines drawn around us at our births. Her romantic interests may not make perfect sense to me, but when you’ve spent your whole life in the world of water, maybe a human prince ends up looking pretty exotic.”

“Wow, not to mention the fact you two had similar circumstances in the first place. Like you said, bound by lines drawn at birth, but once you met you could break them. That’s awesome.” Ashley nods in understanding. “Right, I can see the uniqueness of a human prince in that scenario. And what do you think about Austeryn, the Wind you end up associating with?”

Lily’s lips screw sideways. “I believe your world categorizes his kind as ‘creepers’. The other three winds come across as so straightforward, but him? He’s a snake of a storm. And… complicated. Though if nothing else, I suppose one could admire his persistence. He’s determined to make me trust him.” She crosses her arms. “Best of luck with that.”

Ashley has to take a minute to laugh at Lily’s expression, as well as the reference to creepers. “Oh, man! That’s gotta be something.” She snickers once more before calming down. “Yeah… And I wish the best of luck to you to persist those advances. How about some more casual questions?” Ashley looks around thoughtfully and back to Liliavaine. “What kind of hobbies do you have? What are some of your likes and dislikes?”

“Well, Father got me into horsemanship early; I do love a good gallop o’er the hills. Used to enjoy going to balls more, too, before it all started to go a bit same-old, same-old. And anytime Chanewaine would visit my kingdom, or vice versa, we could do any old thing and have fun. Anything but sitting around, doing nothing. That’s no way to live a life.”

“So. True,” Ashley agrees wholeheartedly. “You and I need to go on an adventure together. I had once been intended to own a horse, but then that idea changed down the road.” She shrugs. “Especially when some of your balls don’t get the magical intrigue some others get, I bet it would get boring! How about some self-perceived strengths and weaknesses?”

“As the Great Sea,” she says, grinning, “the strengths are beyond measure. Simply as myself, though… boldness. Audacity. A proactive spirit. These traits may have gotten me into an awkward spot, a time or two, but I’d rather that than wait around, bored, for what I want to come to me. Because there’s no guarantee that it will, is there? It’s either risk having things happen to you, or risk having them not. I’ll take my chances with the former, thank you.”

“Totally. Those who seek activity shall receive!” Ashley responds. “No point in being passive. Life is too short.” She motions around the stage. “Now, I had a light show just a bit ago. This stage is pretty durable. If you’ve got the power, would you want to give a little show of what you’re capable of?” She stands up and backs away from the main area of the stage. “Although, being a bit of a fire-inclined person, maybe try not to drench me, heh… Otherwise, have at it!”

Lily’s fingertips tap her chin. “My entrance wave may be tough to top, this far onto the shore. Oh!” Her face lights up. “But I can do this.” With a smile, she closes her eyes and dissolves, her from gone in an instant from solid and girl-shaped into clear water running down from her seat and off the stage. After a few beats, she runs back in from the wings and stikes a pose. “Ta-da! Sorry for the short delay,” she says, sitting again. “I had to rejoin with my greater waters before I could resolidify my core. Elemental law. You know how it is.”

Ashley rises from her seat in surprise as the princess suddenly turns to liquid, and gasps as the water runs off the stage. “H-hey, we’re not done,” she protests, just as Lily runs back in. “Oh! That was awesome!!” she exclaims, a huge grin on her face. “Elemental law—yes, I definitely know how it is.” She settles back into her seat as well.

“Final question, then! It was a bit of a coincidence that you got to become the Sea. If you could turn into any being, however – yourself, a different person, or Wilderhark, or the Sun or Moon… If you had your choice, what would it be, and why?

“Ooh, anyone at all? High Goodness, how to choose? I think… I might go with a wind. After all, they can take on any shape they wish, so in a way it would be like being one person and a million! If there’s no room for a fifth wind, in addition to North, South, East, and West, I’d take the East.” She flashes a grin. “He’s lord of the lightning.”

“Lord of the lightning—that would be fun,” Ashley muses, looking thoughtful and nodding in agreement. “Well-thought answer!” She gets to her feet again and smiles.

“That’s all the time we have for today.” Ashley steps forward and bows to the audience once, and then to Princess Liliavaine. “It was an honor to meet you, milady! And now, in the tradition of past interviews, we’re gonna go have some lunch, on me. How about seafood?” Ashley can’t help a snicker at her own ‘clever’ joke, and insists, “I was totally kidding.” Taking Liliavaine’s hand, she waves farewell to the audience.

“Until next time on Interview Saturday! Liliavaine’s journey can be read in The Surrogate Sea, available for purchase on Amazon, Createspace, and Barnes&Noble. Also, the links for the other stops on the blog tour today are just below. C’mon, Lily – let’s go talk dancing with our powers!” Grinning, Ashley leaves the stage with the Surrogate Sea.


Saturday, March 28th =
Flame Writer (Character Interview)
Four Thousand Words (Author Interview)
YA Chit Chat (Character Profile)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Happy Book Birthday, Surrogate Sea!!!

The day has finally arrived! Liliavaine's and Muirigan's adventures are open for the world to see now, so what are you waiting for? Go Snatch A Copy! First two links for paperback, last two for ebook. 

Danielle Shipley has a huuuuuge giveaway going on that you can read about on her blog (here, specifically), but here's this to take a look at!

Surrogate Sea Launch Week Tour Pics, Giveaway

There are a ton of ways to enter. 
-Each copy of a Wilderhark Tale that you buy, paperback or e-book, results in a 10-point entry.
-Buying any other copy of Danielle's work results in a 10-point entry. These include Inspired, One More Day, The Toll of Another Bell, and Legends and Lore. 
-A review of The Surrogate Sea on any reviewing interface - blog, Goodreads, Amazon - gives a 7-point-entry for each instance.
-Change your social media profile picture! This can be done on Twitter or Facebook most noticeably. Change it to The Surrogate Sea for launch week and get a 7-point entry.
-Share/Tweet about The Surrogate Sea's launch! One point for each time.
- Share/retweet any “Surrogate Sea”-related post Danielle tags with: *Share/RT for entry in #WilderharkTales6 giveaway!* = 1 for each time

Lastly, here's the schedule for this week.

Thursday, March 19th =
Tuesday, March 24th =
Book Marauder (Spotlight)
D. Lee Jortner (Author Interview)
The Flight Reflex (Guest Post)
Shout with Emaginette (Guest Post)
Wednesday, March 25th =
The Black Hound’s Daughter (Letter from Author to Character)
Laney McMann (Flash Fiction)
Rewan Tremethick (Author Interview)
Thursday, March 26th =
A Drip of Truth (Flash Fiction)
Dreaming Awake (Character Profile)
The Ink Caster (Character Interview)
Rie Sheridan Rose – The Bardabee Poet (Letter from Character to Author)
Friday, March 27th =
Are You Afraid of the Dark? (Flash Fiction)
The Feather and the Rose (Author Interview)
Saturday, March 28th =
Flame Writer (Character Interview)*****
Four Thousand Words (Author Interview)
YA Chit Chat (Character Profile)
Sunday, March 29th =
Mere Joyce (Spotlight)
The Parasite Guy (Character Profile)
Monday, March 30th =
Julie Antonovich Reece (Flash Fiction)
OriginiquEquanimity (Guest Post)
Ravenhart (Guest Post, Author Interview)

Have at it, and go get The Surrogate Sea!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

BRT: ARC The Surrogate Sea by Danielle E. Shipley

Title: The Surrogate Sea
Author: Danielle E. Shipley
Number of Pages: e-book
Rating: 4/5
Release Date: MARCH 24, 2015 - NEXT TUESDAY!

Add it on Goodreads!

(An ARC was provided by the author for an honest review. I was not compensated in any other way.)

My Goodreads review states that this novella, for me, can be described in one word: "unexpected." This still holds true. It isn't unexpected in a bad way. Another phrase I used was "benefit of the doubt."

Being completely honest, I didn't like this novella's conclusion. For all of the tales of true love that we've read in The Wilderhark Tales up until now, how this book ends does not feel like true love. That's why I'm sincerely hoping this turns out to be a Part-One-of-Two ordeal.

Everything else remains just as amazing as has come to be expected though. Each character has their own motivations, feelings, and methods of addressing conflict. Reading The Wilderhark Tales can be like reading a pop-up book: the characters are still leaping off the pages! 

The progression of the plot was steady and never felt too rushed or too slow. Especially considering Shipley's transitions from Liliavaine to Muirigan to Ionquin to Vesparya (and more at times), she did a beautiful job of keeping their stories separated and at the same time joined together, all the while keeping the perception of time well in place.

As for the plot's twists and turns, there are no shortage of twists throughout this novella! Unexpected, indeed. "Whoa," "Huh?," and "What!" were all uttered at least once during my reading. The Surrogate Sea's got it all - sibling rivalry and love, scorned love, playful banter, conflict and resolution. Not to mention we get to see all of the awesome cast introduced in The Sun's Rival! (*Gasp!* More Lumónd and Laraspur!)

Though, as I said before, the resolution didn't satisfy me. It might satisfy others, but it didn't work for me. The final pairing that much of the book focused on (not Muirigan's) doesn't settle well with me, and I'm sincerely hoping that I'm right that the tale of The Surrogate Sea isn't quite over.

Yet, even if it is, that doesn't change the fact that this was a deeply enjoyable read and inspired a myriad of feelings. This book is especially a good novella for moral debates. This is indeed one of the most investing books of the series.

In conclusion, Danielle Shipley's fantastic writing has struck again! 

Read The Surrogate Sea next Tuesday, and prepare for the blog tour starting on its release! Stop by Jodi L. Milner's blog (click!) for the beginning of the tour on the 24th. My own blog tour stop will be the following Saturday, so check back here then too!

By the way, have the link to Danielle's blog as well. She's got all of the other details! 

Lastly, The Sun's Rival is on sale for 99 cents for a limited time! Hurry! 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

W3: Have An Ambient Day!

I just wanted to share this. (click!)

It's a website with music to set a mood. Not really music, but white noise. I know some people work much better in certain environments, and you can play at having that sort of environment with this mixer. 

You can select one you like and decide the frequency of some of the noises, how loud they are, and whether they sound at all. It's pretty neat! I don't normally like ambient stuff, but it can get me out of a slump, for sure.

Of course, this isn't only for writing. This can be used for anything! 

Have a good day, everyone!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Random Monday: Coffee

Last night after work I pulled into the Starbucks drive-thru at 9:57 PM - three minutes before they closed. As I pulled up to the window after ordering, I apologized. "I just got off work and hurried over here..."

"Hey, you've got time," the very-kind barista said. "When you need coffee, you need coffee, right?"


I don't know about you, but when I wake up in the morning, I usually have two thoughts on my mind. One is, naturally, "Do I have time to write before I go to school today?" and the second is, "I need coffee."

I used to hate coffee. That probably comes from my dad drinking it black and me trying to conform to his tastes when I was younger, but I couldn't get past how bad black coffee tasted. (He's since started using creamer.)

It was around the time I went to visit one of my best friends that he took me through a Starbucks and got me a Gingerbread Latte. It was November. I took a sip. It was alright. The more sips I took, the more I liked it. (Yes, Phil, this is your fault. :P)

When I got back home, I went a little Starbucks-crazy. I became a member and earned my gold card in less than a month.

I have officially become a coffee-holic. My mornings have to involve coffee, or it turns out to be a sore day indeed. It's only gotten worse since my parents got a Keurig. I just find it amusing how, when I was younger, I very solemnly vowed to myself to never enjoy that adult drink.

And now here I am, typing this up with a mug of coffee. Starbucks Veranda Blend, if you were curious.

Are there any other coffee fiends out there reading this post? How do you take your coffee? Does it get your brain going or do you just enjoy the taste? 

Have a happy Monday, everyone, and enjoy the wonderful weather we've been having!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

BRT: The Sun's Rival by Danielle E. Shipley

Title: The Sun's Rival
Author: Danielle E. Shipley
Number of Pages: e-book
Rating: Can I give this a 10/5?
Released: December 2, 2014

Next to the uncommon beauty of her sisters, Princess Laraspur feels invisible, until she learns the two most powerful kings in the world have their eyes fixed upon her. But the ensuing double-courtship goes horribly awry, requiring Laraspur to brave the secret perils of earth, sea, and sky, on a quest that will try the very essence of her being.



Right, then. That would be my author (Flame Writer) running around talking in tongues about this book. So, this is Ashley Vaandere talking, gonna try to scramble up a review from some of the notes she's got, while she continues to do her thing over there.

Character exploration: Phenomenal. Not a page goes by without a hint toward some development.
Plot progression: Wondrous. It never moves too fast or too slow and keeps the reader hanging on for more.
Plot twists: Scream-worthy. There aren't very many twists, but the ones that exist are scream-worthy.

Flame Writer says, "One of the early seeming 'plot twists' isn't much of a twist, but I don't think it was meant to be. Given the title of the book, the choice Laraspur makes seemed rather obvious. However, that happens near the beginning, so that choice isn't meant to be so much of a twist rather than the framework for an oncoming twist."

With that, this book focuses on Laraspur, one of the daughters of Edgwyn and Rosalba, and plants her in the middle of a story that Edgwyn told her when she was a little girl. With the help of her brother Ionquin she'll have to, as the blurb says, brave many perils on a time-defying quest.

"He was such a jerk!"

Yes, he was. She's referring to Laraspur's antagonist, not Ionquin. And yet, according to her notes, he is an interesting one. He's not an "Oh, I'm so evil!" kind of antagonist - he just seems kind of selfish and not used to being defied. So when that happens, he doesn't react in the best of ways.

Conflict and resolution are top notch, the quality of writing as entrancing as readers have come to expect, and Shipley shows once again how much of a wordsmith she is when it comes to Laraspur and Ionquin puzzling out the map for their quest. In addition to that, the sibling friendship between Laraspur and Ionquin is fantastic. 

"Shipley made a deal with an anarchwitch, I swear, to make these riddles so well," Flame Writer calms down enough to add.

The tension in this novella surpasses almost all of the others, perhaps with only the exception of The Seventh Spell. The Sun's Rival successfully tugs at the heartstrings (Flame Writer cried near the end), has absolutely AMAZING descriptions, builds up character and plot nicely, and concludes perhaps a little too quickly, but in the perfect way regardless. 

There's also at least one point in this novella when you'll glare very darkly at the page. Like so:

With that, Flame Writer will conclude.

Taking a deep breath, the author of Flame Writer and Ashley Vaandere's story lets out a screech: "READ ITTTTTT!!!!!!!"

She swears it's the best one of the series so far.

Only twelve days to the release of The Surrogate Sea, the sixth book of The Wilderhark Tales! Get ready! ARC review on next Thursday.

BRT: The Song Caster by Danielle E. Shipley

Title: The Song Caster
Author: Danielle E. Shipley
Number of Pages: e-book
Rating: 5/5
Released: June 24, 2014

The dull doom of impending marriage at his back and a reticent royal at his side, remarkable minstrel Gant-o’-the-Lute is off in search of adventure, and you can be sure he finds it – complete with much music, magicked maidens, and a dangerous power so great, Lute might for once find himself outmatched.


Remember my little complaints regarding The Seventh Spell? They don't apply any longer. I doubted that I would have to worry for long! I admit upon starting this book I had my insecurities: I didn't know much about Gant-o'-the-Lute just yet, and I was not a fan of Benedeck in The Stone Kingdom.

As usual, however, my interests were captured and happily enslaved to the book's plot. Throughout this novella we learn a little more about the culture that is the world of the Wilderhark Tales, including some of the "myths" that pervade their culture and we get to witness another kingdom or two.

There are also cats. Lots and lots of cats. (The cat lady inside me squeals.)

The character exploration in this addition surpasses that of the previous books. In the first, Sula and Villem found themselves,  but when it came to their innermost traits, they didn't get into that as much. The same for Rosalba in The Stone Kingdom. The Seventh Spell spent much more time focusing on the major problem at hand (understandably). 

So to have a book that's perfectly paced while digging into the depths of the two protagonists is refreshing and fun to read! It ties up a loose end left behind from The Stone Kingdom and shows us so much more about Lute's conflicting desires - and, once again, love prevails over all in a wonderful twist.

Perhaps the one thing I'm unsure of in this addition is how a certain spell was cast in the first place. To prevent spoilers, all I'll say is that it's a spell Benedeck is sent to solve. Did Lute accidentally cast it?  I don't think it was ever confirmed. 

The only other thing I wondered about was Viralei's characterization - everyone else got plentiful development, but I didn't see as much from her, only a few tidbits about the culture of her kingdom. (I personally would love a book about her kingdom.)

Otherwise, I have no complaints about The Song Caster. Delicious plot twists, amazing characters, perfect pacing, a nice blend of conflict and resolution, in general a fantastic and worthy addition to The Wilderhark Tales.

***There is going to be another post today for The Sun's Rival! Stay tuned!!***

Writing World Wednesday: Discoveries During Editing

If I had made a Random Monday post, it would have been about me being on Spring Break, haha. Spring Break is why I didn't make a post. (I was lazy.)


This sort of relates back to a post I made a week or two ago about characters defying what their authors think is going to happen. I don't know about you, but when we're writing, the number of things that don't go as expected often reach the double-digits. Maybe even triple, if you're unlucky. 

That leaves a LOT to do during the editing process. The adaptations to fit the plot as it is after the first draft, the sentence structure, paragraphs, entire scenes changed or even deleted... Yeah, you know the drill. My point on this is:

Have you ever noticed that sometimes you subconsciously seem to pick up on how a plot might change? I know a couple of times during my editing process I'll come across something that very effectively foreshadows that happens in the future - something I hadn't anticipated during the initial writing.

Maybe it's the characters again, picking up on things we don't! Is this just me, or does this happen to some of you too? Are our characters picking up on our plot changes before we're even aware of them ourselves? If that's the case, they need to let us know earlier on!

(It is indeed 1 AM. And technically Thursday. But I am one of those people who continues to call it Wednesday until I go to bed.)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

BRT: The Seventh Spell by Danielle E. Shipley

Title: The Seventh Spell
Author: Danielle E. Shipley
Number of Pages: e-book
Rating: 4.5/5
Released: January 28, 2014

A witch’s attempt to cast one spell too many casts everyone touched by her previous spells into chaos. Scattered throughout each other’s pasts, Sula and Edgwyn, Villem and Rosalba, and the rest of the magic’s affected have a single chance to break this last enchantment before their “happily-ever-after”-s cease to have ever been. 


It's no secret that I love Danielle Shipley's work at this point - or, I hope it isn't. The Seventh Spell is no exception to that flow - I'm still in love with the work and the characters .

And characters come forth in abundance in the third installment of the Wilderharks. Each has their own predicament, tale to tell, and skill that assists all of our beloved protagonists out of the situation they've found themselves in.

*Cough* Sula.

From the first page, the reader is unfailingly hooked - again. Shipley's skill to carry a story from project to project and keep the precise characterization, tone, and pacing consistent is still extraordinary. 

A few of my favorite things from this book include the fact she has still continued to offer nods of acknowledgement to fairytales of old, that each and every new character gets just enough time in the spotlight to become someone we care about immensely, and the idea utilized for the plot of this project in general. 

I really have no idea how she keeps making these riddles and songs. I'm starting to think she's striking deals with anarchwitches to have this kind of talent. I couldn't make a song or riddle like the ones in The Seventh Spell to save my life.

The settings and characters, again, are just fantastic. The plot is beautiful and well-executed.

And now, for the cons. This might be one of the first times I've ever had small complaints about her books, but they're minor indeed:

1. Pace. I stated earlier her pace is still consistent - and where it concerns how it spans across the books, it is. Yet I encountered a few issues when, especially near the end, it seems that there are still events waiting to occur, yet they're skipped in favor of going straight to the end. Since it's a novella, I understand there were constraints, but it still felt rushed
2. Lack of resolution in some aspects. At the very end it seems a few plotlines that had been utilized throughout the work were sort of abandoned (for example, Sula having a minor conflict with [spoiler - highlight to read] Sigmund and Edgwyn). Some of the characters also vanish - which is addressed in the next book, but was so open-ended in The Seventh Spell.
3. Lack of conflict. This kind of ties into the lack of resolution. Don't get me wrong. Conflict was abundant and wonderful in this book! Yet there are a few times when it seemed some characters should have argued/hashed things out, and they never did. Example: Sigmund and Sula didn't have enough conflict/resolution, nor did Aurabella or Cellodran.

Again, all of these points can be traced back to the constraints Shipley faced since this is a novella. The fact there were a few flaws doesn't detract from the work enough to come even close to saying, "Don't read it!" On the contrary, this book set so much into motion that I'm going to beg for people to read it.

Small flaws or not, it's fantastic. This book weaves together the plots of the previous books - something a lot of authors fail to do - and incorporate a half dozen new plot points in such a way that readers won't get lost or wonder who or what they're dealing with. Her writing flows as always. In the end, very great book, and worthy as the third installment of the Wilderharks. 

Formatting issues wouldn't permit italicization of "The Seventh Spell/Wilderharks" throughout the review. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

W3: NaNoWriMo 2014

W3 is much easier to type than Writing World Wednesday.

It never occurred me to write a post about it - I'm not sure why I didn't. How did your NaNoWriMo 2014 go? 

The first few days went pretty great for me - I wrote 7k in one day near the beginning. I went through a slump afterward due to school and work, though. [[[Yeah, work was interesting during that time.]]] Afterward I bounced back and made it to 51k!

Whether we succeeded or not, just writing at all is a fantastic achievement. Every word goes to the story that may change someone's life. Just keep trucking it along!

On that note, I guess there's an app on GooglePlay called NaNoProgress that poses a bit as an out-of-November NaNo word counter. I'd recommend it, if I could get it. It's only available for Samsung devices.

It's almost that time... I'm gearing up for Camp NaNoWriMo, too. How about everyone else? If anyone's curious about joining my cabin with Z.G. Writer (heh, it's been a while since she posted, but she is still writing) let me know.

Have a good Wednesday, everyone, and take a minute today to write three sentences in your WIP for me! If you have any stories about your NaNo experiences leave a comment~

Book review on The Seventh Spell tomorrow!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Random Monday: Tones

I've always been intrigued by how the subtlest differences in tone can work. Sometimes they can sound similar and sometimes unearthly different. 

I won't lie - my parents bicker a lot. I tend to leave the room whenever they do. In my upstairs room, I can hear the fluctuating tones of their voices downstairs. I groan to myself every time I realize they're arguing.

Imagine my surprise one night when I ventured downstairs to get a drink, thinking they were in a fight, and instead found them snickering together. Somehow the stress in their voices matched, to a degree, some of the joking tones they used. 

On the other hand, in my workplace, I've been having a very hard time with my manager. In a sentence, I feel as though I'm inconveniencing her every time I ask a question. Even her texts to me give off the air of, "Leave me alone, I don't have time for this." 

Just the slightest shift in volume of a voice can mean the world. One night when I was speaking to her, I asked a question, and her voice dropped - almost un-noticeably - but enough that I felt as though I couldn't ask any other questions for the rest of the evening.

This is actually a great tool to utilize in writing. Simply making a character use a different word than they would usually use, or use a shorter sentence than they might normally say, can speak a lot for what the character is actually feeling.

Just a random musing I've had lately. What sort of experiences have you had when it comes to people's tone of voice?

Have a happy Monday, everyone!