Saturday, January 30, 2016

What I'm Reading/Watching: The Shannara Chronicles

Let's just say that the new MTV series, The Shannara Chronicles, has brought back my love of all things Shannara. It's been a long time since I lost myself in the world of elfstones. I received my first Shannara book as a gift from my mom one Christmas in high school. I remember the colour of the book (maroon), the picture of Shea and Flick on the cover, and the sword. But honestly, I don't remember much of the story.

I do, however, remember loving it. I remember reading every Shannara book I could get my hands on. Since those days, there have been many more Shannara books published, and, as all things do, my brief obsession passed and I moved on to other books.

But this series! I mean, yes, there are some cheesy parts, some parts that make me go, "Really? That's the best your graphics department could do?" But there are other parts that make me go, "Yes! This is why I loved Eretria." Of the things I do remember about these books, that character is one of them.

A few months back I took a stack of old books that I was done with (i.e. never saw myself reading them again, and had already loaned them to everyone I knew who would be interested in reading them), and exchanged them for new ones. Of these, I picked up a copy of the First King of Shannara. This is one of the Shannara books I never got around to reading the first time I lost myself in the world of Terry Brooks. I'd almost forgotten about it hidden away on my basement bookshelves. But the first episode of the series reminded me, and well, now it is on my bedside impatiently waiting to be read.

(My copy of First King of Shannara and LIFE STORY Movie Magic magazine Shannara article)

But I wanted to know how closely the MTV series followed the books, so I found myself at the bookstore browsing the fandangled new copies of "The Elfstones of Shannara", which is Book 2 of the original series and where the television series is starting up. The second book probably makes a better show because of its strong female characters. Let's admit it, there still aren't a lot of fantasy series that have characters as strong as both Amberle and Eretria, and the dynamic of those two is just hilarious in the show.

It may be that because I don't remember much of the original book series, that the television series is that much better for me (because usually I dislike book/movie/television transition. But, browsing through Elfstones and reading all the good parts, I thought the television show was following the book quiet closely.

Now, would I recommend you read the books if you're watching the television show and have never picked up a paper copy of the Shannara books in your life? You bet - especially if you love to read like I do. Shannara is a beautiful, well thought out world. And it happens to transition to TV well too.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tuesday Writing Prompt

Which fish are you? What is your life like? How does the water feel/smell/taste? What are you doing today?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Tuesday Writing Prompt

Two Options from the picture below today:

1) Pick a candle, who is it burning for?

2) Who lit these candles, write about that person.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Saturday, January 9, 2016

What I'm Reading: The Selection

Book Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

When I began this book, I thought I would maybe find it a bit predictable and boring and cheesy. And maybe it was at first. But then I got into it. I had my peeves with the main character, namely, I felt at times that she was a bit "holier-than-thou", I mean, honestly, who wouldn't want a shot at being a princess, but I think we managed to work through our differences. 

The Selection is like The Hunger Games if The Hunger Games had no violence and had taken place in the capitol and involved a prince... The writing is good, the story okay, but I definitely prefer The Hunger Games - that trilogy is one of my favourites (though I don't really like the movies)

The Selection definitely picked up about halfway through, when the love story really got going - and I'm definitely a sucker for a love story. By the end I wanted to know how the love story would end, but ran out of book. 

So will I read the next book? Most probably. However, there is a 22 week wait for it with the library! Yikes! Guess I'm not the only one who enjoyed this story!

Solid 4/5 stars. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Broken Tide at Indigo

One of the best/worst things about self-publishing is finally seeing your work on the shelves of your local book store. I finally have Tales of a Redheaded Sea-Witch for sale at the Indigo on 8th Street in Saskatoon. So if you still haven't picked up a copy and you like your Plum Rewards, go now.

For other news regarding my experience in self-publishing, I updated my EFT information on Amazon, as it appears they changed the form making it super easy to connect to your account now, which means I get paid every 60 days and no longer have to wait for 100 dollars to collect up for each individual Amazon marketplace. This, to me, is awesome. I make very little from my book sales, but what I do make is enough to buy myself a new book or a Starbucks. And hey, if you liked my book, why not spread the word (think of it as buying me a coffee! Lol).

I'm working on Dark Shores (Black Depths #3, for release in March 2016), and rewrites on a stand alone YA Sci-Fi called Under Jupiter (for release TBD).  I'm reading away, enjoying others words as much as my own, and preparing some reviews for this blog. It's snowy and cold here at the moment, so I'm also busy staying warm with coffee and cream most afternoons while I try to get as much done as I can.

My giveaway on Goodreads just ended, and I'll be putting together the packages for the winners right away. Thank you to everyone who entered. Even if you didn't win, I hope one day you Tales of a Redheaded Sea-Witch and enjoy it. To all the winners - Congratulations, you should receive your book shortly. If you didn't win, and are interested in reading Tales, (Black Depths Book #1), keep and eye on this website and blog, as I will likely do a much smaller giveaway (I'm thinking three copies) closer to the release of Dark Shores.

Take Care and Happy Reading!

Monday, January 4, 2016

What I'm Reading: The Sin Eater's Daughter

Book Review: The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

First off, I will say how much I love the cover to this book. So awesome. So cool. So colourful. Take a look, then you will understand.

I also loved the premise of this book. At first, it seemed to hold so much promise. But very quickly, I was lost in the boring, slow moving, self-serving backstory. To put it bluntly, the first five chapters were painful, but I held on because I was very intrigued with the idea that someone's touch could me death.

After the first five chapters, the story picked up, as it moved away from all the exposition, at least for a little while. There were a few twists and turns I'm still not sure I liked, and a triangle that didn't quite form. It is difficult to rate this book because as I said, I loved the premise, but it just wasn't carried off near as well as it could have been. Editor fail, I think. However, I'm sure part of this is just preference, and it didn't move along quickly enough for me. Though there were points where things seemed to just jump ahead (maybe a few too many epiphanies for the MC).

Overall, I'd give it a 2/5. I did get to the end, but at times it was precarious.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

What I'm Reading: Princess Leia, And Watching: Star Wars - The Force Awakens

I'll proudly say it: I love Star Wars. I'm a huge fan and have been since before I can remember. As a child, I loved acting out the scene from Star Wars A New Hope where Princess Leia is stunned by the stormtroopers. I acted it out over and over again, until eventually I outgrew it. Now I'm an adult, and parents no longer control how much time I spend in front of my television or computer, so I'm free to watch the movies whenever I want (yes, my father did actually ban me from watching Star Wars as a child because he'd seen it too many times). But, over the fast few years, I hadn't watched the old movies as much. Honestly, I no longer needed to, because I had every moment memorized. So, imagine how thrilled I was for a new Star Wars movie. Naturally, I saw The Force Awakens on opening day.

I loved it.'

I wasn't head over heals in love with it. But I loved it.

That's all you need for a review of that.

So, after I'd seen the movie, and felt that yawning stretch of another year before I get another new Star Wars movie, I found this: a Princess Leia comic.

I devoured it. I loved it. I loved how it stayed so true to the character and yet brought in new depth for her. I loved the artwork. I loved the cover. I loved it all. If you're like me, and grew up idolizing Princess Leia, and you just can't get enough: read it. 5/5 stars. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

What's Up New Year

Happy New Year to All!

I'm excited for 2016 to begin. I have a few amazing things coming for you all this year. First off, Dark Shores, Book 3 of the Black Depths series will be released in March. So make sure to read Tales of a Redheaded Sea-Witch and Broken Tide before then. Before the end of the year, the Black Depths series will reach it's conclusion, though I am not entirely sure when the fourth and final book will be released. A new standalone book, called Under Jupiter, will be release mid-year for you all to enjoy. This is science fiction, so look out all you outer space lovers, this YA adventure is for you. There will be plenty more book reviews, movie reviews, etc. this year. I will update creative projects and interesting ideas as I have them. And of course I will continue with posting a photo writing prompt every Tuesday.

Do you have any New Year's plans? If so, I'd love to hear them. Any big aspirations in 2016?

Here is a page from my art journal with some thoughts of my own.