Book Review: Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk

Hi there, Realmers, Marshmallows, Extraterrestrials!

My first book review in 2018! I really liked this book. I got it for Christmas from my mom. *blows kisses of eternal gratefulness to mom* I think this counts for my 2018 reading challenge, but I’m not sure, because I started it in 2017. But I only read like 4 chapters, so…

Anyways, on with the book review!

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Cover/Blurb

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From the author of the critically acclaimed Wolf Hollow comes a moving story of identity and belonging.

Twelve-year-old Crow has lived her entire life on a tiny, isolated piece of the starkly beautiful Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts. Abandoned and set adrift on a small boat when she was just hours old, Crow’s only companions are Osh, the man who rescued and raised her, and Miss Maggie, their fierce and affectionate neighbor across the sandbar.

Crow has always been curious about the world around her, but it isn’t until the night a mysterious fire appears across the water that the unspoken question of her own history forms in her heart. Soon, an unstoppable chain of events is triggered, leading Crow down a path of discovery and danger.

Vivid and heart wrenching, Lauren Wolk’s Beyond the Bright Seais a gorgeously crafted and tensely paced tale that explores questions of identity, belonging, and the true meaning of family.

Cover: Guys, the cover is B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!!!!!! Let’s just take a moment to APPRECIATE THIS AWESOME MARSHMALLOW OF A COVER. The sunset is enchanting, especially with the sea reflecting it. The sunset (or sunrise, depending how you look at it) fades in to a gorgeous ombre night sky. The sun and the skiff silhouette in it’s center add the perfect touch, bringing the whole cover together. And don’t forget the feather in the reflection of the sea, which looked odd to me at first, but actually played a big part in the story.

Blurb: The blurb does a great job of summarizing the book in a spoiler-free way, (I can’t stand when books have spoilers in the blurbs) (trust me it’s happened before) but, it was a bit too good at summarizing the book to where my expectations were very high and when I went to read the book I was slightly disappointed.

4 Star Rating

It would have been a perfect 5 if the blurb didn’t make me a bit disappointed. 😦

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Characters (Warning: Some Spoilers!! Read at your own risk!!)

Crow was a great, well thought-out character. I didn’t really see her arc very clearly, though. Her need to find her family was intriguing, her thoughts were provoking, and she was truly unique. I would have liked more description of her appearance as to be able to picture her better, but the plot-necessary details, like her age and the birthmark on her cheek, were mentioned very early in the story. Overall, Crow is a wonderful man character for this book.

Osh was one of my favorite characters, but his backstory was foggy. At the beginning of the book he seemed mysterious, but at the end you were just waiting for the big reveal, who he really was, what his backstory was, but…(spoiler)that never came.(end) (If you want to read the spoiler, copy and paste it in to a word program or you blog editor and change the color to black.) That was really disapointing because I was expecting a whole lot more from this character.

Miss Maggie was a fun character that didn’t play too big of a role in the story but I couldn’t imagine this book without her. She was full of wit, grit, and gut, a great role model for anyone, anywhere.

Nurse Evelyn Morgan was a great character that wasn’t actually “there” on the book but was mentioned many times in the story and was a HUGE part of the plot.

(I’m not sharing my thoughts on the antagonist because the antagonist’s name (and possibly gender) is a spoiler!!)

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The characters were very well thought out but I was expecting so much more. Half of this review could have been 5 stars if!! I!! wasn’t!! disapointed!! Plus, I wouldn’t have been half as disappointed if the characters made you expect less. I MEAN COME ON EVERY BOOK HAS THE BIG REVEAL WHY CAN’T IT BE TO THE ONE I (very cleverly, I might add) FIGURED OUT AND THEN IT TURNED OUT TO BE spoiler SOME RANDOM OTHER PERSON!!! end(Again, if you’ve read this book, just highlight the white text.)

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Format

The format of this book was the standard chapter book format. I think there was about 42 chapters, each chapter being about 7 pages long, which I think is a good length for this type of novel. The graphics on the chapters were nice, and the brush-font of the first letter in the chapter was cliché but cute. I would have liked to see more creativity with this book’s format, or maybe multiple POVs at least…

4 Star Rating

The format was average. Pretty good, but could have been better.

Overall

I really liked this book, how I got to learn about the Elisabeths and Cuttyhunk and Penikese and the rich history those islands have. I was intrigued by the daring feats Crow performed, seemingly in the antagonist’s grasp, but then she pulls away. The characters were admirable, funny, and well-thought out. However, the well-done blurb (and I don’t mean it was done well!) set high expectations and made this book a slight disapointment. Even though this book isn’t a perfect 5/5, I still recommend reading this book because it is a good balance between an intriguing and relaxing read. And, you may want to read it to see what you think of it!

4 Star Rating

Most writerly,

Ice Cream Party

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AAWC Challenge 2: Dancing in Starlight

Hello there, Realmers, marshmallows, extraterrestrials!

Sorry that I wasn’t able to get an entry up last challange! I started it, but the I forgot to finish it and post it by the deadline. :,( Well, I’m on Team Forest!

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(All prompts will be in bold.)

Artwork:

Photos: 

Prompts used: 2

Times team name used: 1

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“Star bright, star light, the first star I see tonight…” I sing softly to the stars in the night sky, hoping with all my might my wish would come true–that I would find a family.

“I wish I may, I wish I might–”

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“TIANA! What are you doing up past lights out?” Rebecca Findley, the caretaker of my group home, scolds me. I jump out of my chair and stare at her, wide-eyed.

I shake with fear. My heartbeat goes from an excited flutter to jackhammer mode, banging against the inside of my chest as it climbs up my throat. “S-s-sorry,” I stutter. I fold and unfold my clammy hands, crossing them against my chest and hen letting them lay to the side, too scared and nervous to stand still.

“You can’t go to the field trip tomorrow, Tiana. You know better than to stay up late. It’s against the rules here and you know that full well.”

“I understand, Mrs. Findley.” I hang my head low, not wanting her to see the shame in my face.

Rebecca replies with a “Hmph!” and switches off the lights. I climb in to bed.

I flip the sequins on my mermaid pillow from teal to grey, teal to grey, teal to grey anxiously.

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I had to go to the field trip tomorrow–It was at NASA, my dream workplace. I had always wanted to go there, and now I blew my chance. I sigh and roll over. It takes me awhile to fall asleep, but by 10:00 PM, I’m out cold.

~

Beep beep. Beep beep. Beep beep.

My alarm clock rings shrilly. I slap the snooze button and roll over, groaning. My groggy brain takes a while to process that I need to wake up.

When I finally do wake up after those precious 10 minutes of silent snooze-button-ing, I pull on my favorite pineapple shirt and skinny jeans. A burst of excitement races through me. I’m going to NASA!

Then I remember what happened last night. A flood of disappointment washes over me. I deflate like a popped balloon dejectedly.

I sigh, gazing at the sleeping figure of my roommate, the group home’s infamous troublemaker named Lane. We are like night and day–she’s brave and aggressive, and I’m shy and timid. Wait–sleeping figure? She’s not at the NASA trip!

I creep towards her silently, afraid of waking up my devious roommate. I gulp down a deep breath of air and swallow the lump in my throat.

I pounce, like a lion, on to Lane’s bed. “Wake up!” I’m too scared to speak in more than a whisper-shout, but Lane wakes up.

Her face is red and angry, her hands clenched. She sees that its just me and calms down little bit. “Whatever you’re waking me up for, it’s got to be good.”

“Why aren’t you at the NASA trip?” I ask her. “Everyone was supposed to leave by 6:30. It’s 7:45 right now.”

“Same reason as you,” she replies, a hint of annoyance in her voice. “I got in trouble, and I can’t go to the field trip.”

“I know a way to get to the field trip.”

~

“Are you sure this was a good idea?” I ask.

“It was your idea in the first place.” Lane replies with a roll of her eyes. We’re in Mrs. Cranfield’s bedroom–the strict owner of the group home. Rumor has it that the tiny Mrs. C has a safe hidden in her closet–a safe filled with our records…and bus tickets to field trips.

We open her door slowly. To  my dismay, Mrs. Cranfield’s closet is ginormous. The ceiling to the floor is covered in racks and racks of clothing, with the occasional shelf here and there. “I can’t believe she’s hogging all these clothes to herself,” I complain. “We only get two outfits for each day of the week.”

“Shhhh,” Lane hisses. “Rebecca could still be here. She stays here for all of the detentions.”

“I’m sure Rebecca went to the NASA trip. She wouldn’t want to miss out on that.”

“Neither do I,” Lane shoots back. “So help me find this safe!”

We search for a long time. Finally, I find a perfectly squared crack in the mirror.

I try to pry it open with my fingers, but the computer-in-disguise-as-a-mirror flashes a message on to the screen in bright red letters: ERROR DETECTED.

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“Lane, I think I found it!” I call to her excitedly. She rushes over.

I watch her for a moment, studying how she types in codes in to the keypad and cleverly comes up with potential passwords.

“Oh my, this would look so cute on you!”

“Be quiet! I’m trying to crack this safe.”

With a beep, the screen flashes ‘PASSWORD ACCEPTED‘ in bold green words.

“YES!” Lane and I cry in unison, high-giving each other in celebration. Then we cover or mouths at the realization that we’re making noise, giggling.

With a hiss and a slide, the high-tech safe slides open. Stacks of papers ranging from adoption records to forest sightseeing brochures are what I see when Lane and I peer inside of it.

I pull out a NASA brochure and an envelope marked ‘BUS TICKETS’. I can’t believe my luck!

I flip open the brochure, mesmerized. A factiod inside reads: The nearest star is 4.37 light years away from Earth. Which is why most wishes take at least 9 years to come true.

The nearest star is 4.37 light years away from Earth. Which is why most wishes take at least 9 years to come true.

Memories flash through my mind.

All of those years of wishing on stars.

Last night.

“I wish I may, I wish I might…”

I had been swishing on stars since I was 5.

I’m fourteen.

“Earth to Tiana?” Lane waves a hand in front of my face.

“Sorry,” I reply.

The door bursts open.

“What do you think you’re doing?”

~To be continued~

New Story Series??

Hi there, Relamers, marshmallows, extraterrestrials!

(I hurt my right wrist so this post may be a little choppy)

So, I have some good news, and some bad news.

Let’s do the bad news first. (If you’re the kind of person who likes good news first, then simply scroll down.)

The Bad News

The Strike Rebels is going on hiatus. *cue gasps* And it may never return! *cue more gasps* I didn’t really enjoy writing that story, plus the plot I had in mind was cliché and wasn’t very good. Plus, it wasn’t very popular, so…yeah, those are 4 very bad reasons. But read on, my dear optimists! Because next is the good news!

The Good News

I’m starting a new story series in it’s place! I had an awesome plot bunny that I thought would be cool to use as a story series! Are you ready to see what it is?

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wishes

Everyone has their own star. They just need to find it.

Loren is a bullied twelve-year-old who struggles with schoolwork and paying attention in class. During those long hours at school, she daydreams of wishing on a star that actually comes true. One night, a chance happening has her wishing on the star that she was born from–the very roots of her soul trace back to her Wishing Star. She has to complete a series of crazy tasks before her wish can come true–and Loren is up for the challenge.

I’m so excited for this series! I’m especially excited to write Loren’s character! Chapter 1 will be up soon. Possibly tomorrow!

Most Writerly,

Ice Cream Party

My 2018 Goals (ft. a very cute llama)

Hello, Realmers, Marshmallows, and Extraterrestrials!

Wow.

First of all, I have to say that I’m very sorry for not posting for the entire month of December. I was so busy with Christmas specials and things on my other blog, American Girl World, that I didn’t have time to post on here. I feel like I failed you marshmallows.

Blah blah blah, just on with the post. XD So, okay I’m going to be sharing with you my goals for 2018! That I will probably not accomplish And, some thing that I accomplished in 2017!

What are we waiting for? Let’s get started!

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2017 Accomplishments

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1. I started this blog!

On May 14, 2017, I posted A First Impression! I decided to start a writing/book blog because I wanted to post about my writings on a blog. I decided I couldn’t post those kinds of posts on my AG blog, so I decided to create this one!

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2. A family in Africa now has a llama!

For one of my Christmas presents, I decided to donate a llama to heifer.org! No, you’re not actually donating a physical llama. You’re actually paying for the animal, which they send to families in poor countries like Hati or Bolivia. You can give all these types of animals, foods, care packages, and more. Heifer is a really great project and I hope that I can donate to them again! I chose to donate a llama ($20 for a share of a llama, $150 for an entire llama) because my BFF loves llamas.

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3. I got all A’s this semester!

I feel like i’m bragging  Somehow, I managed to get all A’s! And I got an A+ on my worst subject, Math *shudders* so I am pretty proud of myself! Although I did get just an A on Science because I turned n something late, but I think that’s still pretty goo! (Just to let you know, I am NOT bragging!) (Actually nevuhmind I am)

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4. I went to summer camp for the first time!

For the first time ever, I went to summer camp! I had a blast. I went to a summer camp in New Braunfels, TX, with two of my BFFs. We stayed in a cabin, had fun theme nights, made lots of friends, had pool parties, but my favorite part was every night when we would sing the camp theme song and listen to a devotional! I scored the top bunk, too, which made it all the better. 😉

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5. I read a TON of books

I read a ton of books this year! Some of my favorites include Amazing Acts of Courage, Paper & Fire by Rachel Ciane, and The Wednesday Wars!

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2018 Goals/Resolutions

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1. Read 100 Books

I decided that I’m going to challenge myself to read 100 books in one year! I’m super excited for this!

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2. Read my Bible every day

I’m going to start reading my Bible every single day in 2018. I’m going to hopefully do a reading plan. I’m very excited for this!

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3. Post more frequently

I really need to focus more on this blog. I post a lot on my other blog, but I feel like this blog needs more attention. Also, I want to post more devotional posts like this one.

 

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4. Drink more water

I really need to start drinking more water. I’m going to start drinking one+ bottle(s) of water every day, and carry one with me wherever I go.

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5. Stretch more

I really need to start stretching more. I’m going to check myself every week to see if i have my splits. I used to be able to do it, but then I stopped stretching as much, so now I need to get it back again.

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Aaaaand that’s it!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my goals and accomplishments! Come back soon!

 

Most writerly,

Ice Cream Party

 

The Aftermath of NaNoWriMo… ((explained in fabulous gifs))

I have returned, Realmers, Marshmallows, and extraterrestrials!

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So somehow, I managed to…

Win NaNoWriMo?

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Once upon a time, at 8:14 PM on Thursday, November 30, EmeraldPhoenix wrote 20,000 words. She screamed her head off and did a happy dance that looked all to similar to this:

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She marched around the house and danced with her dog as siblings and parents looked at her like she was crazy.

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She then begged her mom to buy her a NaNoWriMo shirt, which the mom decided to tell her “Maybe”, which translates to hopefullyyouwillforgetabooutthisandiwonthave towastesixteenbucksonatshirtthatsayssuperpowerednoveling in mom speech.

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mayyyybeee

So since it is very creepy that she is talking in third person, Emmie will stop now. XD

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BUT MARSHMALLOWS–I WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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i think i’ve used this one before

I was going to do a play-by-play of my daily word counts, but they ended up all being the same: I wrote this many words. I’m tired an’ I want marshmallows NOWWW XDDDD

Now for the great debate: am I a plotter or a pantser?

Remember this post?

For all you plotters, like me, October is spent laboring planning your novel. I’m a pure plotter. I love having my story all laid out for me and all organized ahead of time, so when I plunge in to November and lose my mind, I can still be organized and beat writers’ block real easily so yeah. 

 

Me now: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHA yeah right. pure plotter? HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA heh. heh. hehe. ok. i’ll stop now.

SRSLY i sound so confident. But as I wrote my second novel, I got a…plot idea?

And I LOVED the plot idea, ok? And it also changed the course of my whole entire novel, so i pretty much threw caution my outline to the wind and wrote my novel un-outlined. It may have been the fact that I (a used 180000 different outlines (b like my last novel, I got confused with my different plots (c I JUST COULD NOT figure out how to write character arcs ugghhhh

So am I a plotter or a pantser? I’ll have to wait and see. When I do Camp in April, I’ll probably outline a whole lot more. Hopefully.

So when can we read this?

I hit 20k, but I’m actually still in the…wait for it…intro! 😮 this cray cray. I’ll go ahead and repeat the gif from above:

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So I’ll lazily write a few chapters this December, but in Jan-Feb I hope to do some full-fledged novel writing. EEEEP I’M SUPER PSYCHED!

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Bye for now!

Also, before I go, does anyone have any suggestions for a Christmas special for this blog? Thanks!

Most Writerly,

Ice Cream Party

i’m randomly popping in from my hiatus to do the double scoops contest…

Hello, Realmers, Marshmallows, and/or Extraterrestrials!

Yes, I am randomly posting in the middle of a hiatus. A few updates, before we begin:

NaNoWriMo is going great! I’m at 43% of my goal and I really love the story I’m writing. I’m having so much fun! I miss blogging on here and AGW, but it’s been nice not to worry about getting that post up or finishing that book I need to review….

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me enjoying hassle free life^
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me missing blogging^

Ok, here’s for the actual entry part!

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why is the image so small idk

The prompt:

Pounding feet echoed. Eerie screams. Creaking doors. Then, suddenly, darkness.

My photo: IMG_1697.jpg

Pounding feet echoed. Eerie screams. Creaking doors. Then, suddenly, darkness.

I kept running. I heard a noise behind me. I turned my head around to see what it is, but the blackness prevented me from seeing anything.

I felt a sack being thrust on to my head. I couldn’t believe I had let down my guard like that. But it was too late now.

“Let me out!” I tried to shriek, but the darkness seemed to swallow me whole, muting me. A tear slid down my cheek. If only I hadn’t pushed her, then I wouldn’t–then she wouldn’t–

I brushed the thought away. Weariness took over me and I fell fast asleep in seconds.

I woke up in a strange room. There was testing tubes everywhere. Immediately, I knew I’m in his lab. I tries to sit up, but my arms were tied down with something. I couldn’t tell, what it was, but I knew it was something strong.

The Man came over. “What is your name? It’s not The Man,” I asked him.

“I’m afraid I can’t tell you that,” he smiled cockily. I wince as he hits me.

“Why?” I asked, an idea popping in to my head.

Suddenly, I didn’t care about what The Man’s name was.

~TO BE CONTINUED~

NaNo Is Upon Us… + My Novel Idea! + AN ANNOUNCEMENT

Hello, Realmers, Marshmallows, and Extraterrestrials!

WOW, it feels like I haven’t posted in FOREVER! i’m really sorry. Buuuut….

IT’S OCTOBER.giphy

It totally snuck up on us. Like, whaaaat? It was just Summertime and we were having a ball posting every day and lazing around and watching Liv and Maddie marathons. But, Time had to betray us and now it’s October. Which, for most people, means Oktoberfest and Aggie games and Halloween costumes, but for us authors, it’s the dreaded…

brainstorming.

UGGGHHH. My brain does not appreciate storms. Instead of raging hurricanes of ideas, all I get is a little drizzle with like 2 plot bunnies. But, after some serious meteorologist training and weather machine-inventing, I finally, maybe, have an idea for NaNo!

But, what’s NaNo?

NaNoWriMo, or NaNo, is a super fun, super crazy, and super insane challenge to write a novel…in one month! Click here for the under 13 site and here for the adult site! NaNoWriMo occurs every November, which means October is filled with either…

1. Sleeping & Other Normalness and Survival Skills

If you’re a pantser, October is for catching up on sleep and not thinking a wink about NaNo! However, you’re in for more pain in the long run…there’s this thing called editing.(aka absolute horribleness)

Pansting works for some people, but definitely not me. I had a plot for my last novel but then I got 999,999,999,999,999,999 other ideas and then it turned in to a complete mess. But, other marshmallows feel that outlining restricts their creativity, and that’s completely ok!

2. Planning…

For all you plotters, like me, October is spent laboring planning your novel. I’m a pure plotter. I love having my story all laid out for me and all organized ahead of time, so when I plunge in to November and lose my mind, I can still be organized and beat writers’ block real easily so yeah. It’s like, building the skeleton for your novel, and then when it’s time for NaNo, you can add in the flesh, eyes, hair, and maybe dress it up a little bit.

How does planning work?

It’s extremely simple, dear marshmallow.

Usually, what I do, is I write the names of my chapters and who’s POV each on is in. So:

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Then, I’ll take the chapters and write short summaries about what needs to happen in them, characters involved, important or detail, etc.

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Then, I’ll map out each scene with the same process. It’s A LOT of work, but t’s all worth it in the end!

Aaaannnndddd now…………

My Novel Idea!

img_1439Please do NOT copy this idea! That would be plagiarism, which is VERY, VERY, WRONG! I spent a lot of time on this and I am planning on publishing it, so PLEASE don’t copy!

Here’s the cover! (Don’t worry, it’s temporary 🙂 )

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I made it using Canva!

*All of the images used in the cover are royalty-free and most are from Google images.

So basically, it’s about this girl (Aspen) who’s brother died, and she’s gone slightly insane. She’s a little paranoid and believes that the stars are dead people and she “visits” Aaron’s star when she stargazes. Then, she finds out she got accepted to a school to help her become a Huntress (like her brother, who was training to be a Hunter) and then she finds out her arm leader might have a secret that could lead to the truth of her brother’s murder. And then there’s this whole other POV of a young Alchemist who is seeking a job as a professor at Huntrex Academy…and then there’s this whole Love Interest thing who ends up being the villian or something. I’ll just show you the blurb:

I’ll be back next summer.

Those are the words that Aspen’s brother  always whispers in to her ear before he leaves to go back to the Huntrex Academy, where he is learning to become a Hunter and join the Hunt.

But one year, he can’t keep that promise.

The dramatic turn of events leaves Brooke with nothing but a scar on her cheek, a letter in her hand, and a broken heart. The stars are her only escape from reality.

Five years later, it is Brooke’s turn to attend Huntrex. There she and her new friends discover that their dorm leader has a secret that could lead to the truth about her brother’s death. Can they figure it out before it’s to late? And more importantly, can Aspen become herself again?

Meanwhile, a young Alchemist seeking a job as the Alchemy professor at Huntrex has his own problems. He’s almost broke and in desperate need of money. But when accused of being connected to a tragedy, he might have to leave Huntrex…

So there you have it, folks! It’s actually the same novel you guys helped me pick a cover for, but I didn’t feel like any of them really fit the fantasy theme, so I made a new mock one.

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Today is also National Day on Writing!

Why do you write? YWP NaNoWriMo shared the hashtag #WhyIWrite! Learn more at http://whyiwrite.us.

I write because I can express my feelings and pour out a message in words. I can create any story I want. I can make a time machine. I can fly. I can do anything, create anything, when I write. I can share God’s amazing and powerful love for us through my words, my stories. #WhyIWrite

Why do YOU write? Comment below or post with the hashtag #WhyIWrite!

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An Announcement

BECAUSE OF NANOWRIMO, I will be going on a hiatus for November. I know I just got back, but 20k is a lot for me! I really want to focus on my novel and not procrastinate like I did in August.

I’ll be back in December! Expect a Halloween story coming soon!

Most Writerly,

Ice Cream Party

 

TDSWP Day 2!

Here’s my entry! I’m on team strawberry.

The Prompt!

1. It stopped. Just like that. She stared at it. What had happened? What had gone wrong?

Here’s my photo:

Elisa held the watch in her hand. It stopped. Just like that. She stared at it. What had happened? What had gone wrong?

Elisa sighed and put the watch on the desk. I’ll never be able to make it work.

She threw the little thing down in disgust, cracking the rhinestones that had taken ever so long to carve and then place in the metal. Stomping out of the room, she took one last look at it. I hate you, she thought, burning with anger. I spent months making you and you don’t even work.

She ran out of the dim workshop as fast as her legs could carry her. She slammed the door behind her and flew down the hallways. The only sound was her feet pounding against the floor and her panting lungs gasping for air. That was weird—the engineering academy was always buzzing with activity. The campus was empty too, she saw, sprinting down the stairs. It seemed they had put a new statue in the Great Lawn—it was of a young couple, sitting on a bench, gazing in to each other’s eyes. It was creepy. Elisa kept on running.

After she had gotten off of campus, the hustle and bustle of the street was gone. She noticed a lot of new statues.

But when she came home to her dad, frozen, in the middle of drinking some coffee, Elisa finally figured out.

The watch wasn’t broken.

Time had stopped.

The Double Scoop Writing and Photography Contest Day 1

Hello, Realmers, Marshmallows, and Extraterrestrials!

I have returned.

Hello everyone, sorry I haven’t been posting on here! The fabulous Rachel is hosting a Writing + Photography Contest! Go team Strawberry!

On to the Prompts, shall we?

My photo:

The muscles in my legs move rapidly as I round the corner. I pick up speed, my long hair flying out behind me in all directions. I won’t dare look back. Tears clung to my eyelashes. I raise an ungloved hand to wipe it away. It disappears in the whirlwind of emotions.

I keep running. Faster. I trudge on.

Nobody knew who I was.

Nobody knew what I was.

All I knew is that I had somewhere to get to. I move faster.

The place is in sight. The tall, looming trees tower above me, making me feel small. I hop over a small trickle that once might’ve been a rushing stream with roaring waters. Imagine having to cross that. I shudder inwardly.

The Oak with its long branches and lush leaves greets me. “Hello,” I say to it, taking off my hood.

“Hello,” the Oak says. “What time is it?”

I check my watch. “1:00 AM. Perfect.”

I prepare wrap my hands around the trunk, but the Oak stops me. “Your gift?” It inquires.

“Here,” I place a single silver coin on the Oak’s outstretched branch. Though it has no eyes it pauses for a moment, as if examining it.

“Accepted.”

“Thank you, Oak,” I take a small curtsy, then I hoist myself in to the branches. I climb higher and higher until I had run out of branches to grab, bark to cling to.

Taking a seat in the high treetops, I take a blanket out of my bag and spread it out on the leaves. I lay there, gazing at the stars. One million things melt away and I become One with the sky. My steady gaze never leaves the stars. A tear trickles down my cheek. As a child, this is what I’d do to forget about missing Aaron when he went to school. I always knew he was near, laying on the Oak, watching the same stars as I.

Now, I did this as a reverence to him. To remember Aaron.

Looking at the stars, I imagine that when Aaron had died, he became a star. I was sure of it. When a person dies, they go to Heaven. Then they become a star and watch over the world, their shining faces lighting up the night.

As I turned to leave, I whispered something to a bright star. Some people called it Polaris.

I called it Aaron.

I hope you enjoyed! Thanks for reading! (I’m on a mobile device so I don’t have access to my signature! 😦 )

Book Review: Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine

My head’s still spinning.

Hi there, Realmers, marshmallows, and extraterrestrials. The thoughts running through my head are:
OhmygoshwolfethomasimissedyouyayyourebackwaitautomataaregoodnowdariopleasedontdieohgoodyouresafeomygoshtheresnaomiDONTTURNTHEMINyesgetthetagsOHNOBURNERSINEEDTHENEXTBOOKRIGHTNOW
and,
when is the movie coming out??
So I guess we’ll just carry on with the book review…

iu-1COVER/BLURB

paper-and-fire-rachel-caine

Let the world burn.

With an iron fist, the Great Library controls the knowledge of the world, ruthlessly stamping out all rebellion and, in the name of the greater good, forbidding the personal ownership of books.

Jess Brightwell has survived his introduction to the sinister, seductive world of the Library, but serving in its army is nothing like he envisioned. His life and the lives of those he cares for have been altered forever. His best friend is lost, and Morgan, the girl he loves, is locked away in the Iron Tower, doomed to a life apart from everything she knows.

 After embarking on a mission to save one of their own, Jess and his band of allies make one wrong move and suddenly find themselves hunted by the Library’s deadly automata and forced to flee Alexandria, all the way to London.

But Jess’s home isn’t safe anymore. The Welsh army is coming, London is burning, and soon, Jess must choose between his friends, his family, and the Library, which is willing to sacrifice anything and anyone in the search for ultimate control…

Cover:
I feel like the cover was kind of busy. At the top we have the author name and reviews but the sizes are all different so it looks a little messy. Then we have the title in this super huge font on top of flames and dragons and all sorts of stuff. Then at the bottom we have a sketch of the Black Archives and then a random burn and then the series name and the tagline. I was kind of disappointed about the cover. It looks to messy and busy. I definitely like the British version better:

9780749017323

,although I am not sure what the raven is for.
Overall rating:
4347962749_4c6189a3fe
3/5 stars.
Blurb:
THIS BLURB IS AWESOME, OKAY?? Like reading it makes me want to just get this book in to my hands so I can stroke it and devour it and read it’s awesomeness. This blurb is really well done except the cliffhanger wasn’t the best. BUT THE CLIFFHANGER IN THE ACTUAL BOOK *dies because needs Ash and Quill immediately* When reading this i felt so awesome and important like the Artifex Magnus. Like just wow.

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Artifex Magnus^

almost-5-stars4/5 Stars.

(Sorry about the different images it peeves me too)

iu-1Ships Characters

JESS. OHMYGOODNESS JESS. He was just this smol and incredibly squishy marshmallow and he was built just so well. He had the coolest backstory and was just this witty and sneaky fellow and he was so smart when he SPOILER figured out how to turn of the automata. Ciane did a really great job with our protagonist.

Morgan. Oh Morgan. This spunky, fearless, young Obscurist who hates the Iron Tower, and loves Jess. She was just my absolute favorite character, and I admired her bravery and qualities though I think she got mad at Jess a bit too much but she was trapped in a tower to be breed like an animal.  I think we’ll excuse her for this one.
giphy
This main secondary character/Love Interest was very well built.

Wolfe. This awesome dude with a goatee (Am I the only one imagining him like this??) and a complicated backstory was super-well done. His perspective was interesting. I felt so bad for him when he was in a trance with that Mesmer… *shudders*

Glain was this brave warrior gal who is tough on the inside and out, but when you get to know her she’s quite friendly. Glain helped Jess throughout the story, especially in the beginning.
THOMAS!!!!!! YAYAYYYY THOMAS I MISSED YOU. The whole plot was based around Thomas’s rescue so I was SO HAPPY TO SEE HIM ewleriltbny. He’s this giant of a guy who has these delicate hands and amazing imagination who can build ANYTHING. But guyyyys when he built Frauke… *dies* oh wait, I can’t die, I have to read the third book first.

KHALILA. KHALILA!!!!! YOU’RE BACK. *hugs marshmallow khalila* Khalila was this witty, smart, gold-band Scholar who willingly went rebel to help save Thomas. Khalila was this amazing little bean AND I JUST WANT TO SQUISH HER, OK??
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Dario. Oh, dario. You fisty, cunning, Spaniard. he and Khalila are so cute together but Dario overdoes it and it’s so funny! He calls Jess “Scrubber” which I crack up at XD XD
Overall:

5-star-rating5/5 stars!

Format

I liked the format of this book. It was a Chapter followed by an Ephemera and the chapters were divided in to scenes. It was a very practical format that didn’t exactly fit the fantasy genre but the ephemera was super cool to read.
almost-5-stars
4/5 stars

OVERALL

I WANNA BE AN OBSCURIST, OK? Minus the whole we’re-forcing-you-in-to-the-Iron-Tower-and-trapping-you-there-while-we-breed-you-like-you’re-an-animal thing. BUT THIS BOOK WAS SO GOOD. After I finish typing this I’m going to go read Ash and Quill.
I RECOMEND THIS BOOOK SO MUCHHHHHH

4.5/5 stars!
But before we go, i want to give a huge shoutout to…
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ILSA @ A WHISPER OF INK!

She was the one who helped me discover this series and told me which books dragged and what to expect etc. She’s just this awesome bean so CHECK OUT HER BLOG NOW!!
Most writerly,Ice Cream Party