Sunday, December 29, 2013

Quote of the Week: December 29, 2013


The best thing you can do for your fellow, next to rousing his conscience, is — not to give him things to think about, but to wake things up that are in him; or say, to make him think things for himself.
George MacDonald



Miss Melody Muffin

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Writing INSANITY Tag




Rules:
1. Grab the Book and Writing Insanity button above! (Or link to our blog, notebooksisters.com, somewhere in your post.)
2. Pick a set of questions. We have TWO sets. One for writers. One for readers. (Psst! You can do both if you so wish it.)
3. Copy the 20 questions below. You can use all of them or just pick out a few!
4. Add your link to our marvellous linky widget below. It'll be open all of December.
5. Visit AT LEAST the blog linked up in front of you. (The point of linkups is to meet new bloggy friends and squeak over books/writing together. Plus who doesn't like comments? Share the love!)
6. WE LOVE BOOKS!!! (Okay, that isn't really helpful, but who cares?)


For the Writers – again answer these out of what you’ve written this year:

1. How many books did you write this year? (Estimate your overall wordcount for us too!)
One complete book, started work on one, and worked on two others.  In addition to WAY too many new ideas to count.

As for my word count, I have no idea- not even an estimate, because much of my writing was handwriting in notebooks.  I do know I put in over 83,000 words on Oath of Loyalty.  I think I did somewhere in the vicinity of 20,000 words on Three Kyngdoms, and about the same on The Land Beyond the Sunset.  Plus lots of random snippets for various stories, about 5,000 words on a short story... and I can't remember what else....

2. Which was your favourite to write?
Three Kyngdoms

3. Which was the hardest to write?
Oath of Loyalty.  It kept changing the plot on me and I was rather bewildered a few times.

4. Tell us about you favourite Male Character you wrote this year!
Prince Astrophel from the Three Kyngdoms, or Laddi Alejan- head bodyguard to the Crown Princess of Denzli.

5. And how about your favourite Female Character?
Seren, princess of Corbenic and Cambria

6. Can you introduce us to some awesome sidekick(s)?
I don't know about the awesome part, but I am rather fond of Sir Caie from the Three Kyngdoms:

    “Astro, I’m not talking about the fight now,” Caie pulled his boots on.  “I’m talking about the Lady Seren.”
    “What about her?” Astrophel looked confused, “I thought you were talking about the duel.”
    “She’s a beautiful woman!  Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed.  Even you couldn’t be that dense.”
    “Sorry to disappoint you,” Astrophel adjusted the the insignia on his shoulder that proclaimed him a knight.  “I saw a brilliant fighter, nothing more.”
    “If we didn’t have to go at this exact moment so we won’t be late to the ceremony, I would...”
    “Probably punch me,” Astrophel replied cheerfully, his engaging grin lighting his face.  “I consider myself fortunate that we do have a ceremony to attend,” he slipped out of the door before Caie could reply.
    “I guess you can be that dense,” Caie fumed to the now empty room.


And Duke Luke from Quara:

Inside the ballroom, Madelia's son Duke Luke waited impatiently for the Royal Family.  He fidgeted back and forth on his feet, standing against the wall with another page.  His mother caught his eyes and gave him a look that plainly said, "Stop fidgeting."  Scowling, Luke obeyed.  He liked dancing, especially with his best friend Princess Elsheba, but he hated the fancy tunic and pants he had to wear.  Oh, when would the Royal Family come in?

7. Any romances in your writing? Which couple didn't go together as expected?
Yes.  Three Kyngdoms has several romances, but I can't tell you much about them yet.  :D  There will be two future romances in Quara... but I haven't written much about them, yet.  In Oath of Loyalty there was the beginnings of a love triangle between Alejan, Johari and Lord Lirios. 

As for not going together the way I expected, well Alejan fell for Johari a lot faster than I had expected.

8. What's your favourite Pinterest Board for one of your books? Can we see some pics for the book they inspire?
I love the board for a story I hope to write next year.  It's the first in a series and it's titled To See The Stars.  HERE

9. What challenges did you compete in this year? (NaNos? Personal goals? Challenges run by other blogs?) And how did you go?
I completed NaNo!!!!!  I also wrote a short story earlier this year, for a contest, and took second place in my catagory.

10. Show us the full cast in pictures from one of your books.
Sorry, no can do.  Partly because they aren't all cast, and partly because of copyright issues with the actors' pics.

11. Epic quote(s) you wrote?
How on earth does one go about deciding one's own writing is epic?  I particularly like this quote:

'Diplomats are the Achilles tendon of a nation.'  Oath of Loyalty

12. Last word from your manuscript(s)! Go!
Asleep ~ Oath of Loyalty

13. First sentences from your manuscript(s)!
"Did you hear the news?" Adetia Torrenth called out as Johari Landison entered her group study room at Shatrah College on a warm Tuesday morning in early September.

14. Show us your favourite funny scene!
Hmmm, I don't write a lot of funny scenes....

    "And these are our new shoes," Jani and Jili brought out the high heeled shoes that coordinated with their gowns.
    "Ugh, shoes." Jyder growled.  "I'm through with shoes for a thousand years."
    "You mean shoe shopping, silly?" Jaci rolled her eyes.  "If you are through with shoes, then why are you wearing any right now?"
    "Huh, you know what I meant." Jyder glared at her.
 Oath of Loyalty


15. Show us a snippet of dialogue you're proud of.
Ummmm, I can't really share any of the ones I'm particularly proud of because of spoilers....  :D  So, this one will have to do.  Again, it is from Oath of Loyalty.

    "That was exhausting." Jaris dropped down on a sofa in the living room.  They were back in the Blue Wing and the aircars were being unloaded by guards.
    "You can say that again," Jyder groaned, falling onto a different sofa.
    "Why don't you two change?" Jemi suggested, on her way through the living room to the bedrooms.  "You'll be more comfortable."
    "Good idea," Jaris stood up.  "Come on, Jy."
    "Nah.  I'm too tired to move."
    Jaris reached down and yanked him to his feet, "March."  He pushed him along the hall to the bedroom the four boys were sharing while Jyder grumbled good-naturedly about bossy older brothers.

16. Tell us about some funny typos or writer-bloopers you've had this year!
There weren't any funny ones, really.  Mostly just me typing at insane speeds and then having to heavily edit the typos later.

17. What has writing taught you about yourself this year?
That I'm still very under confident when it comes to my own writing.

18. Best piece of writing advice you learnt this year?
Stop stressing over the first drafts!!!

First drafts are for finding out what your novel or story is about.  Bernard Malamud

First drafts don't have to be perfect.  They just have to be written.  Unknown

19. Anything big on the horizons for next year? Plans to query? Publish? Edit?
Write a lot more!!! 

Finish editing Oath of Loyalty.
Finish writing the first drafts of The Land Beyond the Sunset and the first book in the Three Kyngdoms series. 
Write the first draft of To See The Stars and possibly the first book in my Gemini series. 

I don't think I'll be publishing anything next year- although you never know!

20. Tell us a bit about a book you're super excited to write in 2014!
To See The Stars- I CANNOT WAIT TO WRITE THIS.  I don't have a synopsis for it yet, but it is set in the future, in another galaxy and basically, it is about a bunch of orphans at a college who band together to form a family... and defeat the villains of course!  Shakespeare's Henry V and Julius Caesar are some of the things inspiring me....



Miss Melody Muffin

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

MERRY CHRISTMAS 2013!!!!!!!!!

Wishing all of my wonderful readers a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!


One cry awakened the world.  One birth changed history.  One life made all the difference.  ~Unknown


Jesus was God's gift to the world, but it wasn't just for Christmas.  It is a gift that has been given every day of every year since that time, and the gift is still freely given.  ~Unknown


And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS, for he shall save his people from their sins.  Matthew 1:21


We saw his star in the East and have come to worship him.  Matthew 2:2


Wise men still seek Him.



May God's blessings rest on you all this holiday season!!


Miss Melody Muffin

Monday, December 23, 2013

Reading INSANITY Tag

Cait and Mime of The Notebook Sisters are hosting a delightful writing and reading linkup and giveaway at their blog The Notebook Sisters.  Go check it out!!!  The linkup is open all month, but I think the giveaway ends in four days.






Rules:
1. Grab the Book and Writing Insanity button above! (Or link to our blog, notebooksisters.com, somewhere in your post.)
2. Pick a set of questions. We have TWO sets. One for writers. One for readers. (Psst! You can do both if you so wish it.)
3. Copy the 20 questions below. You can use all of them or just pick out a few!
4. Add your link to our marvellous linky widget below. It'll be open all of December.
5. Visit AT LEAST the blog linked up in front of you. (The point of linkups is to meet new bloggy friends and squeak over books/writing together. Plus who doesn't like comments? Share the love!)
6. WE LOVE BOOKS!!! (Okay, that isn't really helpful, but who cares?)


I'm going to do both tags, because I like reading and writing evenly, but this post will be just the readers tag, and I'll post the writers tag soon.

For Bookworms – answer these questions out of the books you’ve read this year:
1. What was your overall favourite book this year? (Yes. Pick one.)
WHAT?????!!!!!!!  I don't pick just one favorite ever.  Well, hardly ever. I'm incapable of it.  But, I will list just one from my list of favorite books read this year.  The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer.

2. Favourite debut(s)? (Author must have been first published in 2013.)
I think the only debut I read was Anneliese Blakeney's The Princess and the Sage.  It is side-splittingly funny!!

3. Which books did you reread this year?
Rose in Bloom – Louisa May Alcott
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
(I know I re-read others, but I don't remember what they were.)

4. Favourite cover(s) this year!
Captive of Raven Castle




5. Worst cover(s)?
I can't think of one off the top of my head.  Most of what I read this year were ebooks, and I don't really pay attention to ebook covers.  :D

6. What self-published books did you read this year?
Do You Take This Quest – Kendra Ardnek
Captive of Raven Castle – Jessica Greyson
The Ankulen – Kendra Ardnek
The Princess and the Sage – Anneliese Blakeney

7. Which book(s) gave you a massive hangover?
Conqueror: A Novel of William the Conqueror – Georgette Heyer.  The friendship in this book was MAGNIFICENT and I went around for a few days in a fog because of the end of the book.  It was heartbreakingly beautiful.

8. Best standalone you read?
There were a few, but I think I'll pick The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas.  Talk about superb!!!!

9. Biggest book(s) you've read this year?
David Copperfield – Charles Dickens.  It was long, but worth it.

10. Book(s) you followed the hype for and then loved!
None this year, unless Mirriam Neal's Monster counts, but I beta read that last year before it was published, so I knew there was a blazing good reason for the hype.  (It is an AMAZING book.)

11. Most disappointing book(s) you read this year?
His Holiday Heart – Jillian Hart – a Love Inspired McKaslin Clan book.

12. Favourite leading-female character?
Aaaaaahhhh!!!  I'm awful at picking favorites!!!!!  I had lots of favorite leading ladies... I'll pick one at random....
Echo Sackett from Ride the River by Louis L'Amour.  She was spunky, smart and FUN.

13. Favourite leading-male character?
Again, I'm going to randomly pick from my list of favorites....
Sydney Carton from A Tale of Two Cities.  His glorious act of self sacrifice was WONDERFUL.

14. Best romance(s)?
I don't normally read too much romance, preferring adventure, but I loved the back and forth arguing romance of Simon the Coldheart by Georgette Heyer.  (Not to mention Margaret is fantastic.)  I also enjoyed the romance in Before the Dawn by Joseph Altsheler.  It was very well written.

15. What book(s) hit the DNF list? (Did not finish.)
None.  I have a habit of reading to the end, even if I dislike a book, unless I find strong moral objections such as profanity or anything else inappropriate.

16. What book(s) did you read out of your comfort-zone?
The Love Inspired McKaslin Clan series.  I had read one of the books in the series and didn't mind it too much, though as a rule I don't care for that sort of chick lit.  So, I went ahead and was reading more in the series.  With each one I read I grew more and more annoyed and His Holiday Heart was the final straw.  I swore off such 'Sugar Frosting Books' (as they are known around our house) for good.

17. Which author did you read the most from?
Georgette Heyer.  I read nine of hers, and enjoyed each and every one.  Hers are romance novels I actually like - a lot.

18. Top 5 books you'd recommend from all the books you've read this year?
Only 5??????  I can recommend at least 2 dozen, but I will choose five that aren't very well known, or are new on the scene:
Rupert of Hentzau – Anthony Hope
Captive of Raven Castle – Jessica Greyson
Urchin of the Riding Stars – M. I. McAllister
The Ankulen – Kendra Ardnek
Quentin Durward – Sir Walter Scott

19. How many books did you read this year all up?
70 so far, plus 19 shorter juvenile novels that I was proofreading to make sure they were ok for younger siblings to read.  Not quite as many books as I had hoped to read at the beginning of the year, but still not too bad.

20. What's a book you're hugely excited for coming out in 2014?!
I'm not sure.  I don't really know of any coming out that I'm particularly interested in.  Paper Crowns – if Mirriam Neal publishes it next year.  And My Kingdom for a Quest, if Kendra is planning to publish it next year.


I shall have to do another post detailing more about my favorite books from this year.  :)


Miss Melody Muffin

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Ardnek Books Christmas Present!!!

I've spoken several times of my friend Kendra Ardnek, author of the delightful Bookania Quests and The Ankulen.  Some of you already know Kendra and have read her books.  Others follow her fun BLOG.

Well, Kendra is offering a wonderful Christmas present to her readers.  The Kindle versions of four of her books, one short story and all three of her full-length novels, will be free on Amazon on Christmas day and a few days before and after Christmas!!!!!!!  If you haven't read any of Kendra's books, now is your chance to try them!  I highly recommend them.  My whole family loves the Bookania Quests and I was delighted with The Ankulen.


Here is the schedule for what books will be free when.  Remember, it is the Kindle versions of these books that will be available free on Amazon.  (Clicking each book's title will take you to the Amazon page.)

The Derao – short story – free from December 23-27

Sew, It's a Quest – the first novel in the Bookania Quests – free from December 24-28

Do You Take This Quest? – the second book in The Bookania Quests – free on December 25th

The Ankulen – Kendra's third full-length novel – free December 25th


Many, many thanks to Kendra for this delightful Christmas present!!


Mark your calendars and don't miss this!!!


Miss Melody Muffin

Monday, December 16, 2013

IIIIIINTRODUCING....

CAPTIVE OF RAVEN CASTLE!!!!!


https://zme-caps.amazon.com/asset/SSE/content/4390810/THUMBNAIL_IMAGE?versionId=2&awsClient=416214191754%3Auser%2FMainsite&urlMethod=GET&expires=32923228743843&requestId=b07a80cf-6697-11e3-9e1c-cbb1176aac65&sig=c24aab789ed894af6b4865242a7dbeb9c308d7917d130c3e19214d05ecf3ccab&serial=1


My dear friend Jessica has now published her second book, Captive of Raven Castle.

I was privileged to read this book earlier this year, and let me tell you, YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS IT.  For those of you who have read Jessica's debut novel, Annabeth's War, I liked Captive even better than Annabeth's War.

HERE is the link to the Create Space page.  HERE is the Amazon link.  Head on over and check them out!!!!


Miss Melody Muffin

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Snippets of Story: December 2013

Some of you asked for snippets from my freshly finished novel, Oath of Loyalty.  Here you are!!!  I hope you enjoy them.

Snippets of Story is hosted by Katie at her blog Whisperings of the Pen.



    The young man nodded.  "But, after all, they hold your life in theirs as well," Jaris replied thoughtfully.  Then he grinned impishly, "On the whole, I pity them for it.  You'll be very hard to keep up with."


    "Sure." he texted back.  "Let me know when Ablondi needs a distraction.  I've found some awesome things to do."
    “Are they safe?"
    “Why wouldn't they be?"
    “Jaris Landison, the day you think of safety first will be the day the stars fall."
    “So you're saying I’m reckless?”
    “It wouldn't be the first time someone accused you of it.”


    “Wake up, Johari!  You're not just the daughter of the unimportant, youngest princess and her ambassador husband anymore.  You are the Crown Princess of Denzli and you need to start acting like it.”


    "Why are we all so positive that he is the one who did it?" Miridi asked suddenly.  "I mean, what if we are all wrong and there is someone else behind all this."
    There was silence around the table.
    "Then we're all in way over our heads," Johari said finally.


    "It's just… oh, I don't know," Ablondi stared dully at her cup of Pineapple Mentha.
    "It's just that you are so tired of all of it," Johari said.  "you thought you had left all this behind you, and here it has followed you and dragged you back into it.  But, keep your head up!  It will end, or we'll die ending it, and either way it will be over."
    Several Companions choked, caught between horror and laughter.
    "Either way it will be over?" Taruba asked incredulously,  "That is very encouraging, Luno."
    Johari smiled impishly, "Isn't it?"


    She sighed and Alejan leaned forward, "Luno?  You seem very tired."
    Johari smiled and tried to brush off his concern.  "No more so than usual."
    "I beg leave to differ," he said respectfully.
    "This isn't about me," she tried to tell him but he waved his hand.
    "Luno, we're your Companions.  Everything is about you."


    "But, it makes sense, kind of," Johari's voice held supressed wonder and fire blended.  Her Companions looked at her.  Her gaze swung back and forth between Mataro and Alejan.  Thoughts and ideas raced over the three faces as they looked at each other.


    When the doors of her room had swished closed behind her, Johari let her stone mask partly fall.  Her eyes flashed such fire that Traza, on guard in the anteroom, actually quailed.  Silently but coldly, the princess stalked through to her sitting room.


    "Now, your oath is completely fulfilled.  Calunga has passed on, and as Queen of Denzli, with the authority given to me, I release you from your oath.  You are now free and your own to command."


    When Johari entered the room, she was pulled aside by Taruba, who told her Ablondi was just up and would join them shortly.  Alejan waited and when Taruba was done, spoke,
    "Luno?"
    "Yes, Alejan?"
    "You have a theory about this rebellion, don't you?"
    "Yes.  I personally think it ties in with our discussion from last night."


Miss Melody Muffin

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Abolished Impracticality is OUT!!!!

My dear friend Jack Lewis Baillot published her book Abolished Impracticality today!!!!  Congratulations, Jack!!!!

Today is also the one year anniversary of Haphazardly Implausible, Miss Jack's debut novel and the first book in her steampunk series, of which Abolished Impracticality is the second book.

To celebrate, she is holding a party.  To enter, write a post (or send her an email if you don't have a blog) about your favorite book out of all the books you read this year.

Head over to her BLOG to find out more about the party.  You can buy Abolished Impracticality HERE and Haphazardly Implausible HERE.


Miss Melody Muffin

Friday, December 13, 2013

Poem of the Week: Shadows of the Past

My goodness, I don't even remember when the last time was I did a Poem of the Week. Ii have missed doing them!

I was reading this poem the other day and it lingered in my brain long after I had finished reading it.


 Shadows of the Past
Abigail Stanley Hanna


Sister, the solemn midnight hour
  
Is meet, to weave the web of thought,

To trace the shadowy imagery,
  
From fancy's secret chambers brought.

To enter Memory's hidden cell,
  
And bid the sentinel appear;

Her strange, mysterious tales to tell,
  
And wipe the dust from by-gone years.

To wander back down time's dark stream,
  
And from its margin pluck the flowers,

To twine them with the moon's pale beams,
  
Then fling them over Memory's bow'rs.

To gather all the fragments up,
  
The phantoms chase of other years;

Their blighted joys, their withered hopes,
  
Their clouds, their sunshine, and their tears.

We'll wander forth while others sleep,
  
Fanned gently by the night wind's sigh

And thus our midnight vigils keep,
  
While night's fair lamps burn bright on high.

We'll wander in the realms of thought,
  
That boundless space, who may define?

From which more dazzling gems are brought
  
Than sparkle in Golconda's mine.

Then, sister, let us linger not,
  
The conscious moon her lamp holds high,

And with her smiling, placid face,
  
Beams from the chambers of the sky.

Touched by fancy's magic spell,
  
We'll conjure up the things of yore;

From their cold chambers bring the dead,
  
And friends of former years restore.

But oh, the shadows will not stay,--
  
The dreamy shadows of the past;

Before the sun they'll fade away--
  
Their mystic visions cannot last.

Then let us leave the world of dreams
  
Where shapes and shadows melt away;

Bathe in salvation's cooling streams,
  
And soar to realms of endless day.


Have a good weekend!


Miss Melody Muffin

Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Clap of Joy and a Sigh of Relief...

...Oath of Loyalty is done.

DONE.  THIS BOOK IS DONE.

It finished out at a grand total of 83, 373 words.

I had no idea I had managed to put in that many words.  I thought I had 78, 000 at most.  But, that is what the word counters say....

I am on Cloud Nine.  It is the first one of my novels I've actually managed to finish.  Sure, I have dozens started, and some are more than half done, but this is the first one I've actually completed.

It gives me a huge feeling of accomplishment.  Sort of like I imagine mountain climbers feel when they stand on top of the Matterhorn.

Thank you for the encouragement you readers gave me while I was writing it.  It was wonderful to know that you were cheering me on!!!

So, what am I going to do now?

Firstly, I'm going to edit the many typos in the story.  I have a habit of typing at express train speed when I'm writing a story, and I don't often backspace to correct misspelled words.  So now I have to go back and do that.  Then, after a few more edits to fix things that changed as the story went on, I'm putting it aside for a while.  It can sit and jell and I'll go back to it sometime next year and rewrite it.

At the moment, I'm trying to decide what story I'll work on next.  It will be either The Land Beyond the Sunset or the first Three Kyngdoms book.

And hopefully, I'll be around on Blogger more now, and you'll see more of my normal posts on here.



Miss Melody Muffin