Monday, December 28, 2015

Rizkaland Blog Party Tag

My friend Kendra E. Ardnek is hosting a party celebrating ten years since she began writing about her world of Rizkaland. 



1. Have you read Water Princess, Fire Prince yet?
I have.  More than once.

2. If so, what is your favorite part? If not, what are you looking forward to the most?
My favorite part was the ball, because *SPOILER* it's when it really clicked for Clara that she truly needed Andrew. *END SPOILER*

3. It's Christmas time! What's the best Christmas present you've ever received?
Best, I'm not sure.  Favorite - well, receiving the Silmarillion this year was pretty cool, even though it was technically a belated birthday present and not a Christmas present.

4. What are your favorite fantasy worlds?
Middle Earth, Narnia (because of centaurs and Aslan), a galaxy far far away, and several worlds from books I've beta read that have not yet been published.

5. Who are your favorite fictional couples?
I have many favorite fictional couples.  Some of my favorites are Percy and Marguerite from The Scarlet Pimpernel, River Song and the Eleventh Doctor from Doctor Who, Aragorn and Arwen from LOTR, and Han Solo and Leia Skywalker from Star Wars.

6. Do you have any projects (writing or otherwise) that you've been working on for ten years?
Yes.  At least two.  Their early versions looked very, very different from their current versions.

7. Fantasy weapon of choice?
A sword.

8. Name your element!
Fire. 

9. What are you hoping to see in future volumes of the Rizkaland Legends?
More of Laura; she's one of my favorite characters.  Also, more scenes with Clara and Andrew in later years.

10. What is your favorite Christian allegory?
I haven't read a lot of allegories to date, but of the ones I've read, I think Narnia is my favorite.  Water Princess, Fire Prince is also a good allegory.


To participate in the tag (which earns you points toward the giveaway), go here: http://knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com/2015/12/celebrating-rizkaland-tag.html

For more about the party: http://knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com/search/label/Ten%20Years%20of%20Rizkaland



Friday, December 25, 2015

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Ebook Deals

For the week between Christmas and New Year's Day, author Kendra Ardnek is offering all of her ebooks for free on different days.  If you haven't read any, do check them out!  I've read almost all of her published works, as well as some of her unpublished work and she's GOOD.

Clicking on the book title will take you to the Amazon page.

December 25th ONLY
Water Princess, Fire Prince


December 25th - 29th
Sew, It's A Quest
Do You Take This Quest
The Ankulen


December 27th - 31st
The Derao
Saffron's Big Plan
Tears, Frogs and Laughter
The Prior Quest
The Sun Jewel Contest
Woodcutter Quince


Christmas Tag 2015

My sister, who blogs under the name Erudessa Aranduriel over at The Flowering Vales, tagged me in a short and fun Christmas tag.



Rules - 
-Link back to the blogger who tagged you.
See above.
-Spread this tag like wildfire before December is over.
See below.

1. What's your favorite thing about Christmas?
The general air of love and cheer that pervades the world.  It really does feel like magic that you can reach out and touch.  It's glorious.

2. Giving or getting presents.
Presents are one of my least focused on things at this time of year; I prefer to focus on time spent with family doing special things.  That said, giving.

3. Favorite Christmas movie?
At the moment, I don't really have a favorite Christmas movie (*gasp* I know, shocking), but there is a psycho-thriller Korean mini-drama (8 hours long) called White Christmas that I adore.  It's pretty much the complete opposite of the classic movie in every way possible but it's incredibly fascinating.  (Erudessa and I joke that she has her White Christmas (the classic movie) and I have mine and it's a perfect example of how different our personalities are.)  Also, the Christmas episode The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardobe from Doctor Who is a favorite of mine.

4. Favorite Christmas food?
Cookies.  Duh.  :)  Isn't that everyone's favorite Christmas food?  If I had to choose something other than cookies, I'd say the ham.

5. Ice skating or sledding?
Skating.  It's been several years since I went; I need to go again soon.

6. Decorating a tree or decorating cookies?
Decorating a tree.  I'll leave the cookie decorating to my sisters.

7. Either the tag maker or my sister apparently decided that seven wasn't an official number anymore.  Sorry, Seven.  :)

8. What is your favorite Christmas memory?
Playing with cousins in my grandmother's living room the morning of Christmas Day, after all of the presents were opened, and various ones of us sneaking out to the kitchen to bring back cookies and candy.

9. Favorite Christmas song?
Do You Hear What I Hear sung by Third Day.

10. Hot cocoa or Apple Cider?
You expect me to choose???  Fiiiiine.  Hot Cocoa.


I was supposed to do this earlier this month and join in spreading the tag all over the blogosphere before tomorrow, but y'know life, it has a tendency to intrude.  Any of you reading this who feel like doing the tag, consider yourselves tagged and answer either in the comments below or on your own blogs.


Merry Christmas Eve to you all!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Black Friday Sale ~ Christian Ebooks

While I haven't read all of the authors involved in this sale, I have read some and I highly recommend you don't pass up this chance to snatch some great titles!

Smiley

It’s that time of year. The time for buying presents, making wish lists, and planning New Year’s Resolutions. If any of those activities involve books for you, Indie Christian Authors has a perfect event for you.

From Nov 27 (that’s today!) through Nov 30th, more than 70 independent Christian books are on sale. You can find free shipping, $0.99 ebooks, package deals, and more! And if your budget is depleted from Christmas shopping, they’ve got you covered with some freebies!

Think 70 books is overwhelming? Narrow it down and find the perfect books for you or someone on your Christmas list by using this quiz to generate a customized book list.


What awesome reads of 2015 are you grateful for? What books are you looking forward to reading in 2016?


A note on the Ebooks Only page. All books are listed as “Sold Out.” This only refers to paperback copies of these titles. Please click onto the product pages to find descriptions and links to discounted or free ebooks.
Acknowledgements: Thanks to Leah E. Good for her work organizing this sale, Gloria Repp for completing the time consuming job of uploading book info to the sale website, and Hannah Mills for her fantastic design work on the website graphics. Hannah can be contacted at hmills(at)omorecollege(dot)edu for more information about her design services.


Miss Melody Muffin

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Well, I'm Done

Done with 50,000 words, and thereby done with NaNo.

I am not, however, done with my book.  Nooot by a long shot.  In fact, I think I'm only 1/4 the way into it.

I shall continue to work on this book, but not at the hectic pace I managed for 3 1/2 weeks.  I'll plug away at it while returning to my normal activities, including language studies and more email correspondence and book reviews and blogging.


Best wishes to all of you still working toward the 50,000 word goal, and congratulations to those of you who have already reached it!


Miss Melody Muffin


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Cover Reveal: Immortal Descendants

Those of you who still read my (often neglected) blog, have heard me mention a book called Marking Time.  The book I stumbled on accidentally and loved so much that I ranked it one of my top five favorite reads in 2014.

Marking Time is the first book in the Immortal Descendants series, five books following Saira, Archer and their friends as they try to stop the spread of war through the Families of the Descendants.  Today, I'm here to share the redesigned covers of the series with you.


★ Covers designed by Penny Reid ★

Aren't they gorgeous?

Marking Time (Book 1) is currently FREE for all e-readers!
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1LS9PFD
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1Mf7dkv
B&N: http://bit.ly/1P1gnpL
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1Mn3UxZ
iTunes: http://apple.co/1LSb2gh

Tempting Fate (#2) and Changing Nature (#3) are currently FREE to Kindle Unlimited subscribers!
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1LSbj2F
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1H4Vaok

The paperback versions of all three books are available here: http://amzn.to/1kIpBfs



★ GIVEAWAY★

Enter the rafflecopter below to win a three-book signed paperback set of The Immortal Descendants series with new covers, plus a $50 Amazon gift card, and signed copies of Truth or Beard, by Penny Reid, and The Scribe, by Elizabeth Hunter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Find April here:
April's Blog
April's Facebook page
April's Amazon Author page


Miss Melody Muffin

Friday, October 30, 2015

To See The Stars: Meet the Stars

I introduced the book yesterday, now... meet the characters.


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Verena Silvesti
Cold-hearted, logical analyst who lives for one thing- finding the truth behind her father’s death and justice on his killers.  She doesn’t have friends because she refuses to let anyone get that close to her, unwilling to risk being hurt emotionally, seeing it as weakness.  Cannot understand why Liare refuses to be pushed away by her coldness.


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Liare Patrick Damian Delaney
As an only child he has always longed for siblings.  Traveled widely for many years with his father’s Irish Dance Troupe.  Tries hard to bring light into the dark, manipulated world of Chun Hee College.  Finds true brotherhood with Rajan, Dong Jun, and Mark, but it is threatened by the Conspiracy.


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Kang Rajan 
Passionate young man with a lonely childhood, who throws his energy into politics and social reform.


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Cho Ki Nam
Student president, charismatic strategist, natural leader.  In love with Verena, who enjoys strategy discussions with him, as well as games of chess.


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Park Dong Jun
An admirer of the Minister and Vice Minister of Education.  He joins the Conspiracy because he believes that the goal is right, which justifies the means being used to obtain it.  Very close friendship with Rajan and Ki Nam.


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Mark Velasco
Very close friends with Ki Nam, Rajan, Kyung Jae and Liare.  Good strategist and inspirational public speaker.


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Yoon Sung Soo
Son of Seo Kyung Ra.  Hates his mother because she sent him away to be raised by her sister, to protect the secret of his birth.  Natural analyst.


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Lee Nari
Used to be a warm hearted, caring person but is now jaded, depressed and borderline suicidal.  Has given up on finding anyone who can love her for who she is. 


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Fujita Mi Hee
Quietly friendly with random bursts of energy.  Caring, impulsive and helpful.  Everyone thinks they know her, but in reality it’s a mask.  Inwardly, she’s very lonely and and searching for someone who truly understands her.


Baek Ho Sung
Popular.  Potential heir to Park Sung Chul; favorite of Kim Chae Mi.  Very clever and good at manipulating people.


Alfred Trevor Smythe
Outgoing introvert.  Less responsible twin- spends most of his time wrapped in his own little world.  Protege of the Minister of Education.  He’s been promised a place on the Minister’s Staff.  Told of the conspiracy and given the task of recruiting other key students.


Archibald Tyler Smythe
Extrovert.  The more responsible twin.  Also a protege of the Minister of Education. 


Min Kyung Jae
Lone wolf type.  Comfortable with standing alone, but smart enough to know that there are times when he needs to stand with others and hopes when that time comes, he can stand with people he at least trusts, if not likes.


Kim Mu Won
Tender-hearted doctor.  Good cook.  Sketches when he’s stressed.  Inseparable with Dae Hoon.


Song Dae Hoon
Studying forensic science.  Level-headed and even-tempered.  Often breaks up fights.  Inseparable with Mu Won.


Sun Tae Yong
Suave, debonair, laughing, ladies’ man.  Excellent sense of style.  Prankster and the terror of the campus, along with Young Ki. 


Choi Young Ki
Goofball prankster.  Cousin of Young Sook but genetically tests as his half brother because their fathers were identical twins.


Choi Young Sook
Lazy technogeek with an insatiable curiosity.  Has hacked into various government systems before, out of sheer curiosity and the urge to prove he could.


Oh Jin Ho
Very insecure about himself- mentally, emotionally and physically.  Regarded by most people as dumb, slow-minded or crazy but is actually brilliant.


Moon Ha Neul
The son of a slave, he and his mother were freed when he was 12.  Was once a trusting child but doesn’t trust anyone now because he’s never sure if they’re lying to him or telling him the truth.


Min Hye Ja
Assigned as Ki Nam’s study partner; she adores him and mentally leans on him a lot.  She is wary of Dong Jun and consistently tries to warn Ki Nam about him and about Verena, but Ki Nam dismisses her worries.


Ahn Bora
Study/class partner of Dong Jun, adores him and is passionately devoted to him, helping him in everything.


Chae Eun Bi 
Study partner of Mark.  Steady, dependable, sensible, very supportive of him.


Hwang Jung Sook
Teacher of martial arts, astronomy and literature.  Can see the behind the scenes manipulation of the students and tries his best to show the students in his club right vs wrong, black vs. white- to give them a better moral code than the school teaches.  A Shakespeare enthusiast.


Seo Kyung Ra
Youngest sister of a family who is renowned for powerful women and sometimes powerful men.  Has mentally, emotionally or physically seduced several influential men, including the President, the Prime Minister and both Deputy Prime Ministers.  Sees potential in Verena and tries to take her on as a protege.



Less than 36 hours, my friends.  ARE YOU READY?



Miss Melody Muffin

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Beautiful Books: To See The Stars




1. How did you come up with the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
I've wanted to write about random orphans united by a crisis and banding together into a family for years.  About two years ago, I don't remember what I was watching, but it inspired me to write it with college-age kids, and it grew in leaps and bounds from there. 

At one point, a Julius Caesar-type conspiracy was added and now it is one of the main plot lines. 

Then, this summer I watched a psycho thriller drama that had a profound impact on the way I thought about this novel and I knew I had to write it for NaNo.


2. Why are you excited to write this novel?
Because I want to show that no matter how dark and bleak things seem, Hope and Love are stronger than anything else.


3. What is your novel about, and what is the title?
To See The Stars
At Chun Hee College, orphans are educated free of charge; in return they must give two years of service to the government of Cheonggu when they are done with their degree.  On the surface, it seems like a brilliant and generous idea, but new students Liare Delaney and Verena Silvesti soon discover there is much more to Chun Hee College than meets the eye.

Corruption and manipulation run deep, with opposing forces pulling at all of the students until they don’t know who they are; making them ripe for molding into the perfect puppets.  But, who is pulling their strings?

Liare must find common ground to rally students to fight the corruption, and the horrifying conspiracy emerging... and Verena must decide whether to stand with him, or ignore the coming storm and walk away from it all.  In the turmoil, the students will discover what truly makes a family.


4. Sum up your characters in one word each. (Feel free to add pictures!)
Liare - sunshine
Verena - indifferent
Rajan - fire
Dong-jun - conflicted
Ki Nam -  charismatic
Nari - lost
Mi Hee - searching


5. Which character(s) do you think will be your favourite to write? Tell us about them! 
Verena - She's a very powerful personality, though it's rather latent at the beginning of the book, and I'm intrigued to play with that.
Rajan - He's a rebel and I love writing those. 
Liare - For a while I've wanted to write a hero who can be cheerful without being perfect or naive; someone who had gone through some rough things in life without becoming a total brooder.


6. What is your protagonist’s goal, and what stands in the way?
The orphans mostly just want a life that means something.  At first they don't realize that the 'gift' they're being handed comes with strings attached and that they are little more than puppets being used by their teachers and others.


7. Where is your novel set? (Show us pictures if you have them!)
On the planet of Cheonggu, which means 'azure hills'.  There are literal blue hills on the planet, due to the presence of certain minerals.
Pinterest Board
Series Board


8. What is the most important relationship your character has?
Verena's most important relationship is her (eventual) friendship with Liare. 
Liare's most important relationships are the sibling bonds he develops with various students, particularly Verena and Rajan.


9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
Liare has a deeper understanding of what it means to have a family.
Verena... sorry, no spoilers.  :)


10. What themes are in your book? How do you want your readers to feel when the story is over?
That even in the darkest place, when you feel there is no escaping your life, there are still Light, Love and Hope.


NaNoWriMo BONUS: Tell us your 3 best pieces of advice for others trying to write a book in a month.
Do at least some plotting.  Even if you're a panster as opposed to a plotter, do plot a few things, especially an idea of where you're going to end, because otherwise it's really easy to get off track and then lost.

Take breaks.  Seriously, otherwise you will burn out on the novel by the end of the month.  If you have enough extra words to be able to do so, take a day off from writing.  Or write on something else after you have your daily wordcount done. 

Buddy up with others.  I'm part of an amazing a writing group whose support is invaluable, plus my awesome brainstorm partner with whom I can toss ideas around, word war with and in general, enjoy wreaking havoc with writing.

To join Beautiful Books, visit Sky's blog.


Miss Melody Muffin

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Quote Queste: October 2015 ~ Love and War



Aish, I'm late again.  Sorry 'bout that, readers.

Thank you to everyone (Kendra, Keturah and Tom) who participated in September's QQ!  I wrote most of a scene... but didn't actually get it finished.  I'll do that sometime this month.


Rules:
1. Take the quote below and write a short scene based on it.  It can be a scene for a story you're currently writing, one you plan on writing in the future, or you can make up characters solely for this challenge.
2.  Post your scene on your blog, with the banner from the top of my post and a link to my blog.
3. Come back to this post and leave a link to your post in the comments so the other participants and I can read your scene.
4. Have fun!


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Miss Melody Muffin

A Blog You Should Be Reading

Well, one that I highly recommend anyway.  Over a year ago I read and thoroughly enjoyed Marking Time by April White and have been chomping at the bit to read the next two published books in the series. 

Earlier this year, I discovered Ms. White's blog and read a few posts and liked it.  Now I'm going back through her blog archive and loving her posts.  Smart, saavy advice for writing, amusing anecdotes, seriously, she is FUN.

Check it out:
http://aprilwhitebooks.blogspot.com

At some point (hopefully while the calendar still reads 2015) I'm going to review Marking Time and introduce you all to it, because IT. IS. A. GOOD. BOOK.


This has been your public service announcement for the day.  Carry on my lovely friends.


Miss Melody Muffin

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My Writing Process

My dear friend Mirriam posted about her writing process and then asked others to share what their processes look like.

My writing process took several years to evolve.  Once upon a time, I plotted out every single tiny little detail in every scene and every scene in every chapter, but that was too structured.  It didn't leave me enough freedom.  I was basically writing the story in the outline and then writing the actual story wasn't as interesting.

Then, during NaNo 2013, I did the barest minimum of plotting and figured out the rest as I went along- which resulted in me leaving out several important scenes and character arcs that I could have incorporated with a bit more plotting.  For example, the first male lead was barely in the first draft at all, the second lead having taken over the story.  With a bit more plotting, I think I could have balanced them better.  (It didn't help that I switched stories five days before November started so I didn't have much time to plot.)

Currently, this is what my writing process looks like.


STEP ONE 
The beginning.  Plot and characters.
The nucleus of my plot tends to arrive with my main characters.  Neither precedes the other.  They come simultaneously, which means I spend a few days trying to untangle them so I can understand each.


STEP TWO
General idea of the ending.
Usually the ending comes right on the heels of the plot idea and the MCs.


STEP THREE
Character building.
I take each character apart with question after question after question and then put them back together once I feel that I understand their thought process and backstory.


STEP FOUR
Choose a theme quote.
Quotes are highly influential on me and my writing, so having a theme quote is vitally important to my process.


STEP FIVE
Plot three major signposts.
After I know the nucleus, the MCs and the ending, I figure out three big plot points; landmarks or signposts, so to speak.  These become the basis of the outline.

I plot my books using the rule of three typically (sometimes four).  I divide the novel into three (or four) parts, each part headed by a signpost, and then figure out what major arcs each part has to contain so the ending will come out correctly.  Any details that come along at this stage are scribbled down so I won't forget them, but then the rest of them I fill in as I write.

At some point along the way, the story will be charged with so much energy that it's pushing everything else out of my head and that's when I know I need to start writing.

When I finish a chapter, I scribble a few paragraphs of dialogue or details I know I want to incorporate in the next chapter or two.


Like Mirriam, I'm constantly referring to my pinboards.  Quotes that drive the plot and characters, faces, scenery, architecture, clothing styles, and random things that inspire me. 

I very rarely write without music playing.  I create playlists of the songs that are particularly relevant for that story and listen to it while writing.

I also watch movies/dramas and read other fiction in the same genre as what I'm writing, to help me decide what mood I want to convey.

And above all, I try to remember that a first draft is just that.  The time to put the story down on paper and (try!) not to stress the details too much.  Editing, re-writing and fine-tuning can come later.


Now it's your turn!  What are your writing processes?



Miss Melody Muffin

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Quote Queste: September 2015 ~ Destiny




I apologize for being so late with this month's Quote Queste.  Thank you to everyone who participated in August's QQ!


Rules:
1. Take the quote below and write a short scene based on it.  It can be a scene for a story you're currently writing, one you plan on writing in the future, or you can make up characters solely for this challenge.
2.  Post your scene on your blog, with the banner from the top of my post and a link to my blog.
3. Come back to this post and leave a link to your post in the comments so the other participants and I can read your scene.
4. Have fun!



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Miss Melody Muffin

Friday, September 4, 2015

Water Princess, Fire Prince Blog Tour: An Interview With Jill Anna

Today I'm taking part in the blog tour for Water Princess, Fire Prince; Kendra E. Ardnek's newest novel.  I had the privilege of beta-reading Water Princess, Fire Prince and enjoyed it.  It's a good book and I recommend it, particularly if you like Narnia or just Christian Fantasy in general.



When the Lady Dragon does come,
Hold fast, do not fear, do not run.
Your Water Princess will fight,
Fire Prince will set all to right.
Each shall come from a Fall,
Their union will save you all.

Despite the fact that she's on track for competing in the Olympics, and he's practically raised his younger brothers since they lost their mom in a car accident, Clara Mandras and Andrew Stevenson are pretty much normal teens. They have normal hopes, normal dreams, and they live in a normal world.

All this is torn away from them when they are thrust into another world and declared Water Princess and Fire Prince. With no experience ruling a country, meeting each other for the first time, and being expected to fight the Lady Dragon – an evil sorceress plaguing the world of Rizkaland – Clara and Andrew are under-prepared and inexperienced. Unless they learn to work together despite their standing opposition, Rizkaland's hope will be lost.

What is to come will change their lives forever.




Kendra E. Ardnek loves fairy tales and twisting them in new and exciting ways.  She's been practicing her skills on her dozen plus cousins and siblings for years, "Finish your story, Kendra", is frequently heard at family gatherings.  Her sole life goal has always been to grow up and be an author of fantasy and children's tales that also glorify God and his Word. You can read more about her on her blog, knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com.

Free Books!
August 31st-September 4th:

September 1st – September 5th:


As part of the blog tour, I had the chance to interview Jill Anna, a secondary character in WP, FP and one of my favorite female characters from this book.  (Much of the time, I liked her better than Clara, but don't tell Clara that.)

1. You're a seamstress; what does a typical day look like for you?
Predominately sewing in the seamstress hall with about forty other girls. We receive three meals a day provided we meet a daily quota. It's a hard life, to be certain, but it's better than others, so I don't complain.

2. What was your first impression of your Water Princess?
She seemed a bit unconventional, but Li'Daughter Essua hadn't been exactly conventional either, and it wasn't my place to pass judgement.

3. What was your first impression of the Fire Prince?
He is a rather quiet fellow, and I'm afraid I was rather caught up with worry over Jasmine when I met him, so I'm not sure I formed any first impressions. I was rather impressed with the report Jasmine gave of him, however.

4. When you were chosen to go with the Water Princess, were you apprehensive or eager to go along?
I was honored to be so specifically chosen by the Water Princess. but I'm afraid I leaned more towards apprehension than eagerness. I'd never traveled so far in my life, and while I had a curiosity to see the rest of the world, I was rather comfortable in my life.

5. Who is your least favorite person in Klarand?
This is a rather ... mean question. But I suppose, in the spirit of answering it - Rena. She's a fellow seamstress, but she enjoys putting on airs and belittling me.

Thank you Jill Anna!


For more of the blog tour, visit these stops today:
Kendra's Blog: The Initiation
Morgan Elizabeth Huneke - Interview with Amber
A Heart Redeemed - Interview with Kendra
Jaye L. Knight - Interview with Kendra
Dolls, Books, and Things That Matter - Review of WP, FP
Sutori no Hana - Review of WP, FP
Overactive Imagination - Group review of WP, FP with the Blogger's younger sisters



Miss Melody Muffin

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Summer Heat and Liebster Award


Image and video hosting by TinyPic



I was tagged months ago for the Liebster award by Keturah.  Thank you, Keturah!

Rules:
1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.  Keturah's blog is here.
2. Give your readers 11 random facts about yourself.
3. Answer the 11 questions from the person who nominated you.
4. Nominate 11 bloggers to receive this award.
5. Invent 11 questions for your nominees.


11 Random Facts About Me:
1. Most of the time when I have to come up with these random facts, they're pretty oddball because I'm not very good at this.
2. I've always had a hard time dealing with summer heat.  This summer has been particularly brutal but the days have started to cool down.  We're going to have an early autumn in this part of the country.
3. I'm almost never bored because I have a list of things to do that is longer than the Sears Tower is tall.  (Oh, pardon me, it's the Willis Tower now.)
4. I've never read the Harry Potter series.
5. Laundry is my favorite household chore.
6. Dishes and floor washing are my least favorite household chores.
7. If I'm having a problem in my writing, nine times out of ten taking a shower or a walk will help me fix it.
8. I haven't decided yet whether I'm going to do NaNoWriMo this year.
9. I enjoy walking out to the mailbox to check the mail.
10. Though I do not like spiders, I am not arachnophobic.
11. I can't tolerate snakes.  Any kind of snakes.  If you want to stay on my good side, don't bring snakes around me.


Keturah's Questions:
1. What is your middle name?
May.  Melody May Muffin.

2. Can you play any instruments?
No.  Eventually though, I plan on learning piano.

3. How many books have you read this month?
Counting beta books, ten or twelve so far.

4. Polka dots or stripes?
Polka dots.

5. Do you like bikes?
I love them.

6. What is your favorite country (Outside of the U.S.)?
South Korea, always and forever.

7. Do you like tape or glue better? :)
Tape.  I don't like glue because it's too easy to get it on my fingers.

8. What do you like best? Swimming or hiking?
Hiking.  I don't swim much.

9. If you could choose any career what would it be?
An English teacher in South Korea and a writer and translator on the side.

10. What is your favorite genre to read or write in?
Fantasy and historical fiction to read in, fantasy/pseudo-fantasy/historical fantasy to write in.

11. How many animals do you want? (If you want any, lol).
I'm content with my horse and a cat.  We have a dozen-odd cats running around right now, including several kittens so I'm satisfied where I am with animals right now.


I nominate:
Any of you reading this who feel like answering the questions. :)


My 11 questions for the bloggers I nominated: (I'm just going to pass along Keturah's questions.)
1. What is your middle name?
2. Can you play any instruments?
3. How many books have you read this month?
4. Polka dots or stripes?
5. Do you like bikes?
6. What is your favorite country ( Outside of the U.S. ).
7. Do you like tape or glue better? :)
8. What do you like best? Swimming or hiking?
9. If you could choose any career what would it be?
10. What is your favorite genre to read or write in?
11. How many animals do you want? ( If you want any, lol ).



Miss Melody Muffin

Sunday, August 23, 2015

From the Valley of Smoke....

Obviously the weekly updates I was trying for lagged for a few weeks, but I'm back with one today.  The title is because our valley has been filled with smoke being blown in from the wildfires a few hundred miles away.

Last week I...

{wrote}
Ebony and Aubergine
Two random scenes from later in the series, one of which was for the August Quote Queste
Plotted, plotted and further plotted the Lion & Rose series.


{snippet of the week}
    A third woman joined the two speakers.  “Good evening Lady Leyli, Lady Arwa.  You look worried.  I trust your offspring are not the objects of that worry?”
    “Unfortunately, they are,” Leyli’s frown deepened and she called the newcomer’s attention to the mass of people at the back of the room.
    “The sirins are at it again, are they?” Naziha smiled.
    “I was telling Arwa that no one should have that much power in solely their voice,” Leyli absent-mindedly waved her fan in front of her face.
    “They’re young, don’t forget,” Naziha tried to reassure the other two women.
    “That’s what worries me,” Arwa argued.  “Zahira is younger than Faris and Fahd is near the same age.  Yet they wield a power few others do.  It’s bound to ruin them.”
    “And if you do not see it yet, notice how Satha is quieter than usual lately,” Leyli added.
    Naziha knew that Satha’s languor had less to do with her daughter’s sirin power and more to do with what her daughter had been doing lately, but she was not going to tell these women that.
 

{read}
Our Admirable Betty - Jeffery Farnol
Re-read My Lady Caprice - Jefferey Farnol
Re-read a large chunk of Return of the King - J. R. R. Tolkien


{book quote of the week}
Suddenly Faramir stirred, and he opened his eyes, and he looked on Aragorn who bent over him; and a light of knowledge and love was kindled in his eyes, and he spoke softly, "My lord, you called me.  I come.  What does the king command?"
"Walk no more in the shadows, but awake!" said Aragorn.


{listened}
Kpop.  As usual.
Kdrama soundtracks.
LOTR soundtracks.
 

{song of the week}
 

{watched}
Finished You're Beautiful - with Mom and Butterfly
Yae no Sakura - a Japanese drama that takes place in the late-Edo era 
Finished The Time I Loved You - a Korean rom-com


{drama quote of the week}
Even so, the moon has its uses.  Rather than pointlessly brightening up an already bright day, it gives light on a dark night.  Isn't that useful?
~  Go Mi Nam, You're Beautiful


{learned}
Smoke-filled air profoundly irritates sinuses, particularly if one has a sinus infection at the time. 


{anticipated}
 My weekend drama dates with friends.
The weather being cool enough in a few weeks for me to start working with my horse again.


{wished}
That I lived closer to certain friends.  
That my area of the country would be drenched in rain to halt the spread of the wildfires currently raging.


{loved}
Early morning walks by myself where I can mentally prepare myself for the upcoming day and enjoy a few minutes of coolness before the day starts to warm up.


Wishing you all a great week!



Miss Melody Muffin

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Sirin Voice ~ August 2015 Quote Queste


This month's scene is from a future book in the Lion and Rose series.

Prompt:
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/d3/44/60/d344600f8b02def5b5e6c93ffb190165.jpg


    “Makes you feel almost guilty, doesn’t it?” Zahira questioned, sitting down next to Fahd and speaking in an undertone.
    “What?”
    “Us deriving such immense personal pleasure out of doing something necessary; because of the nature of our power.”
    He tilted his head, causing her to narrow her eyes against the pull of his personality.  “I can’t say that it troubles me overmuch.”
    She narrowed her eyes further.  He grinned, a slow, lazy, curving of his lips.  “You knew I would say that.”
    Her look carried amusement, mild annoyance and reproof.
    “I infer th...” Fahd broke off at the entrance of the butler to announce that dinner was served.  He stood and offered Zahira his arm to escort her to the table.
    Following Alim and Satha down the hall to the dining room, he bent his head just low enough so she could hear his low whisper,
    “We could continue this conversation in a more private setting after dinner, Sirin,” the deep voice caressed her senses.
    She pinched his arm where her hand rested on it.  He straightened and smirked, eyes laughing into hers.  She glared, fighting the twitch at the corner of her mouth that threatened to betray her own smile at the game they played.
    After the traditional meal blessing, and the food had been served, Satha cocked her head at her daughter and Fahd across the table.
    “I believe you have something you wish to say to us, do you not, Lady Satha?” Fahd questioned respectfully.
    “I was wondering how old you were when you learned of your sirin voice.”
    “Fourteen, my lady.”
    “How old were you, Mother?” Zahira had forgotten.  It had been a long time since Satha last spoke of her sirin voice.
    “Twelve.”
    Fahd’s eyebrows swept up in surprise, “You are a sirin, my lady?”
    “From where do you think I inherited it?” Zahira’s fingers brushed the side of his hand teasingly and she arched her left eyebrow, motioning for the dessert to be passed again.
    “I’m afraid my thoughts had not yet extended that far, Rose of my Heart,” he smirked as he handed her the plate.  “Could I not persuade you to demonstrate your power, Lady Satha?” Fahd’s eyes were frankly curious.
    “I did not keep in practice.  I have lost the ability.”
    “I am deeply sorry, my lady,” he dipped his head in mingled sympathy and regret.
    “Don’t be, Lord Fahd.  Although it was not intentional, I have never regretted its loss.”
    Zahira had heard the same words from her mother before on two occasions but they still surprised her.  Fahd, hearing it for the first time, was shocked to his core and she knew he was thinking the same thing she was.  How could anyone not regret having lost the sirin voice?
    “I will always wonder if some of the trials in my life were brought about by my use of the voice and hence, I question if they could have been averted had I not used it.  It is a dangerous tool, Lord Fahd, as I have often told Zahira.”
    “Aye, my lady, it is,” he politely agreed.
    Satha stood, signaling the end of the meal.  The others followed suit.  Zahira took Fahd’s arm and nodded to her parents.  “We’ll be on the veranda for a little while.”
    Alim nodded once in reply but Satha looked troubled.  As they left, both heard her worried sigh and her words to her husband, “No two people should wield such power with their voices alone as those two do.”
    Fahd and Zahira did not speak until they were seated in adjacent chairs in the radiance of the first quarter moon.
    “She never misses it?”
    “Not that I can tell,” the young woman clasped her hands in front of her.
    “How could one not miss it?” Fahd tried to wrap his head around the concept.
    “I don’t know.  I’d feel robbed.  Mute.”
    “Mmhm.  And not just the ability,” he tapped the fingers of his right hand against his chin, contemplating.  “The ecstasy as well.”
    Zahira leaned forward, eyes intent.  “That feeling that no one who is not a sirin will ever understand.  The sheer rising euphoria when someone listens to your sirin voice.”
    “We receive more than we give,” Fahd had dropped his usual half-sneering smirk, his face pensive in the moonglow.  “Which is why you feel guilty when we use our voices for something like this afternoon, ayi?”
    “Ayi.  We’re persuading people to do some good in the world, is it right to feel such a height of ecstasy in the doing?”
    He had no teasing or smirking retort this time.  They sat in silence for several minutes, thinking about their power, and above all, Satha’s words.
    “It’s not like we can change it, you know,” Fahd said at last.
    “Would we, if we could?” Zahira asked very softly.
    They turned and looked each other full in the eyes.  The denial was strongly marked in each face.
    If given the choice, neither would change the ecstasy that was an integral part of their secondary voice.  The pulsing wave of joy that swept over them when their voice poured into a listening ear.
    It was too marvelous a thing to each of them to ever want to change it.



Miss Melody Muffin

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Quote Queste: August 2015 ~ Sirens




Thanks to everyone who participated in July's QQ, including my Pack-sisters who willingly joined me in taking the challenge to the next level and using a current WIP for the scene.


Rules:
1. Take the quote below and write a short scene based on it.  It can be a scene for a story you're currently writing, one you plan on writing in the future, or you can make up characters solely for this challenge.
2.  Post your scene on your blog, with the banner from the top of my post and a link to my blog.
3. Come back to this post and leave a link to your post in the comments so the other participants and I can read your scene.
4. Have fun!



Ready?


https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/d3/44/60/d344600f8b02def5b5e6c93ffb190165.jpg 


 Miss Melody Muffin

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Life Imprisonment - July QQ Part 2

 

The second scene I wrote for this month's QQ.  Since I had written Johari/Alejan, I simply had to write Johari/Lirios, too.  :)


https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/a1/99/11/a199114e9a75775e3e8b76ccdc50a9ac.jpg

    Twist.
    Turn.
    Flip over.
    Twist again.

    Johari growled softly to herself.  Why can't I sleep?  She reviewed her day.  I haven't had mentha or coffee in hours, and no tea, either.  I didn't have much sugar this afternoon, and I accomplished most of what was on my to-do list.  There is no logical reason for me to be awake.
    She made a face as Raydah's words from three months ago came back to her. ‘Legend says when you can’t sleep at night, it’s because you’re awake in someone else’s dream.’
    Who is dreaming about me?
    Alejan, she was certain, was fast asleep.  Most of the Laddies had taken sleeping pills before bed tonight because of the erratic sleep hours of the past week and the fact that all of them had extra training drills on the morrow.
    Besides, idiot, your dream was a freak thing.  It's not like Alejan actually dreams about you.  Ok, this is just weird.  I'm going to stop thinking about it.
    She growled again.  Maybe I should take a sleeping pill.  A glance at her bedside clock told her it was too late for that.  I have to be up in three hours.


    Cold.  Dark.  Open space all around him.
    Where am I?  Lirios looked around trying to make sense of his surroundings.  There was light ahead and he walked toward it.  It illuminated a bench behind which sat several black-robed figures.
    It’s a court of justice.  And someone is on trial.
    He sucked in his breath and froze in place, recognizing the accused.  That’s not just any old 'someone'.  That’s Johari.
    The Chief Justice banged his gavel for silence.  “You are sentenced to life imprisonment.”
    Fire blazed in Johari’s eyes.  “What authority do you have to pass sentence on me?”
    “I have the authority of the people of Denzli.”
    For a moment, her eyes still flamed defiantly.  Then she bowed her head.  “Yes, Your Honor.”
    Four men in red escorted her from the room; down the long aisle and through the massive, stone, double doors at the end of the court.
    The ground shook when the doors closed on the lone figure of his best friend.  The men in red took up guard positions outside the doors.
    The jury rose to leave.  He had to act now if he wanted to act at all.
    “Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury!”
    They turned, seeking the source of the voice.  Lirios stepped out of the shadows and walked to the floor in front of the bench.
    “Who are you that you come before the Supreme Court?” the Chief Justice asked.
    The Supreme Court?!
    “I’m Johari’s best friend, Your Honor.”  The words sounded small, lost in the echoing of the vast room.  “Why is she imprisoned?”
    “It is the will of Dio.”
    “You’re a court, Your Honor, not a church.”
    The Chief Justice looked solemnly at him for a moment.  “It is also the will of the people.  She is a princess.  The people decide her fate.  So it has always been.”
    “Your Honor, I beg permission to join her in her imprisonment.”
    “Why?”
    “Because I am her friend.”
    The silence in the room stretched on and on as the jury drew together in a knot and conferred.  Where is the room in which they usually confer?  This isn’t like a normal court session.
    The huddle of Judges broke apart and faced him again.
    “Lirios, you are granted permission to join Johari in her exile,” the Chief Justice banged his gavel and two of the guards in red started down the aisle to escort Lirios to Johari.
    When the great stone doors swung closed behind him, Lirios stood still, searching the dark room for his friend.
    “Johari?” he called tentatively, heart racing as no one answered him.
    Where is she?  She was taken here.
    Then she was there in front of him, but a far cry from the Johari he knew.  This woman was gaunt and pale, as if she’d been imprisoned for weeks.
    “Johari?” he reached out to hug her but she backed away.
    “What are you doing here?”  Her voice was hoarse, but carried the steadiness he was used to hearing.
    “I came to stay with you.”
    “How can you?  I must stay here for the rest of my life.”
    He drew near then, putting his hands on her shoulders.  “Just because you have to stay here doesn’t mean no one can stay with you and share your pain.”
    She looked at him, eyes dull and then her proud stance broke and she leaned into him.  “Oh, Lirios, I’ve missed you so much.”
    He hugged her tightly, burying his face in her hair.  “I’m here now, Johari.  I’ll always be here.”
    Her arms went around him in return and she lifted her face to his….
   

    An alarm shrilled in his ear and he automatically reached to shut it off.  Lying back, he blinked and then sat bolt upright.
    Johari!  Prison.  Wait, was it just a dream?
    He flung himself back on the bed, frowning at the clock, since it had interrupted the dream at the most interesting part.
    He reached for his CHATU and pulled up a text blank.  Normally, he tried not to presume on his former relationship with Johari and kept texts to a minimum and to reasonable hours, but this morning, with the memory of the dream strongly upon him, he had typed and sent the text before he had a chance to reconsider.


    Johari had spent the last half hour alternately glaring at the ceiling and reading a historical novel.  Her CHATU screen lit up, startling her so she dropped the book, automatically reaching for the CHATU and opening the message.
    Why is Lirios texting me at this hour?
        I hope you’re sleeping right now.  I’m getting up to study, but I’m thinking of you.
    An idea made her giggle softly and she texted him back. 
        How about a video chat while you study?
        Do you honestly think I’d pass up that offer?

    Johari smirked, reaching for a robe with one hand and setting up a video call with her other hand.  She would catch it from Qithera later for not trying to go back to sleep, but video chatting with Lirios was worth a scolding.
    A sudden thought made her pause.  If he just woke up… I wonder if he was the one doing the dreaming tonight?  Her face broke into an hundred lights, eyes dancing and lips curving in a broad smile.



Miss Melody Muffin

Monday, July 27, 2015

July QQ: The Sun Is Dead


Part one of my July QQ.  I have at least one other scene cooking....


https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/a1/99/11/a199114e9a75775e3e8b76ccdc50a9ac.jpg


    Curse the void, why could he not sleep?
    Alejan rolled over onto his back and stared at the ceiling.  A glance to either side of him showed the other Laddies sound asleep.
    Why was he the only one who couldn't sleep?
    It's not as if I've had a quiet day, he snorted softly.  What one of the Crown Princess's Companions ever has a quiet day?  Johari had been inspecting new police stations in and around Qatana and they'd been gone most of the day.  Then she’d had a conference with certain members of the Nobles Council, which left her so annoyed that she had gone to the gym and sparred with two of her Lassies.
    It had definitely been a tiring day, and he hadn't had much sleep the previous night because he'd been up late reviewing security options for the next day.
    So why couldn’t he sleep?  He was tired, he felt it in every muscle of his body, yet his eyes refused to stay closed and give him the blessed sleep he needed.


    The sun was falling.  Not setting, it was falling, in slow motion, leaving a fiery orange blaze behind it.
    The world is coming to an end.  Why am I not more upset about it?  Johari felt detached, as if she were watching it from within her body and also through another pair of eyes not her own.
    The sun continued to burn a trail through the heavens until it fell beyond the horizon.  Darkness settled around her at the same time a pair of arms wrapped around her from behind.
    “The world is coming to an end,” she raised one hand and motioned to the midnight closing in on them.
    “Why do you say that?” the voice was male; smooth, warm and comforting.
    “The sun is gone,” Johari’s eyes clung to the fading orange trail in the blackness.
    “That does not mean the world is also gone.  We are still here,” the voice reminded her.
    “The world will lose all heat and die,” her own voice was quiet and she marveled again at her calm.
    “Heat can be manufactured.”
    “There is no light.  We cannot live without light.”
    “Light can also be created, but there will be no need of that.  Look,” the man turned her gently to face the east.  A huge golden moon rose in the sky.
    “It’s a harvest moon,” she said wonderingly.  “And something’s not right about it.  It rises too fast.”
    “It must.  The sun is dead, Luno; the moon must rise to take her place.”
    “It is too soon for a harvest moon.”
    “Yet it is a full harvest moon, which means too early or not, it’s just right for this time.”
    Johari had no more arguments to make but a shiver ran over her body, as if she could physically feel the earth losing the heat of the sun.
    The arms around her tightened and she closed her eyes for a moment, reveling in the peace and feeling of safety surrounding her.
    Lirios is such a comfort.
    She tilted her head to smile into his eyes and froze.
    It was not Lirios.
    Shock crashed through her as she realized that she should have known all along.  He didn’t call me Johari or Hari.  He said Luno.
    How could I have missed that?

    She opened her mouth to demand what he thought he was doing but the words died on her lips as Alejan’s eyes caught and held hers.


    Johari’s eyes snapped open.  What in the wormhole?!  Where did that dream come from?  She grabbed for her clock.  It was only a little past two-thirty in the morning.  I have to go back to sleep. 
    Sleep was a long time coming.
    At the breakfast table the following morning Johari only half listened to the conversations swirling around her.  By the time she had finally managed to go back to sleep, she only slept for two hours before the morning alarms rang.
    “It’s because I was dreaming about you,” Rabnita was saying.
    “Yiy, why did you do that?” Raydah scolded teasingly.  “I wanted sleep, not to be in your dream!”
    Dream?  Johari picked up an english muffin and began spreading it with raspberry jam, listening closely now.
    “What does her dreaming have to do with it?” Fanli asked.
    “It’s the legend,” Raydah said.
    “Legend?” Fanli still looked puzzled.
    “The Legend of the Dream Link,” Raydah explained.  “It’s a folk legend that says when you can’t sleep at night, it’s because you’re awake in someone else’s dream.”
    “Is there any truth to it?” Darila asked.
    Raydah pointed across the table at Rabnita, “There is!  Just ask her.  I couldn’t sleep last night and now I know why.  She was dreaming about me and I was awake in her dream,” she stuck her tongue out at her best friend and both of them laughed.
    Johari tuned out the rest of their teasing.  Is it true?  The dream from the night before nagged at her, less for its parallels to the social structure of the Throne of Denzli than for its shocking end.
    She set the english muffin down on her plate and wiped her fingers mechanically.  Inexorably, her eyes were drawn to her Chief Laddi where he stood near the doorway, discussing something with Taruba.
    His eyes were fixed on her, not the Lassi at his side, and instead of the usual half-smiling look he always had for her, one eyebrow was slightly quirked, curiosity lighting his eyes.  The eyes that radiated the same safety she’d felt so vividly last night.
    She looked away from the knowledge those brown eyes held.
    So he was awake last night.



Miss Melody Muffin

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Hello Again, Blogging World

I've been out of regular blogging for so long that I'm not sure how or where to start getting back into it.  For now, I'm just going to try weekly updates.

Here's what I was up to this week:

{wrote}
The second draft of Oath of Loyalty
The first draft of Pearl of Loyalty
The first draft of Ebony and Aubergine
Character profiles and plotting on the Lion and Rose series


{snippet of the week}
    She was taller than Alejan had expected.
    While in training, the Laddies had been given the exact height of the princess they would be sworn to, and had practiced for hours with security officers her exact height, but now, meeting her, she seemed taller than her stated height.  It wasn’t her shoes- she wore flats.  It was something else, something intangible.
    Presence.
    She had enormous presence.  Alejan rolled over on his bed and crossed his arms behind his head.  The moment when he had first looked his princess in the eye played over and over in his mind.  There had been a connection there.  Had each of the Laddies felt it when they looked at her?  He had sworn loyalty to her when he advanced to the final round of training, but for the first time he’d met the abstract to which he’d sworn that loyalty.
    She was no longer abstract.  She was flesh and blood to him now.  The woman he would personally face on the morrow and pledge his life to protect.


{read}
It could have been an interesting book, but I found it quite boring.

Again, could have been interesting, but was boring and I felt it didn't capture the spirit of Conan Doyle's original characters.

Re-reading Marking Time by April White.  One of my favorite time travel books.  (I don't normally read this kind of book, because if has paranormal elements, but I really love this one.)
{book quote of the week}
"I didn't go to church for a year when I was a kid.  We'd studied the Spanish Inquisition and I was horrified by the torture done by the Catholic priests.  But as I got older I realized that the horrors are all done by men, twisting the word of God to suit their own desires for power."
~ Bishop Cleary, Marking Time


{listened}
Kpop, of course.  Always Kpop.  Super Junior, Kim Hyun-joong, Infinite and Girls Generation, to name a few in particular.
Michael Learns to Rock - a Danish pop/ rock band
Trading songs with my MuseTwin - songs that make us ache for the characters we write.


{song of the week}

{watched}
Korean dramas, as usual. :)  Specifically:
You're Beautiful - with Mom and sister Butterfly
Hidden Identity
The Time I Loved You

{drama quote of the week}
Having spent a lot of time together… it’s not about how much we know each other, but knowing how big the empty spot is whenever we are by ourselves.
~ Oh Ha Na, The Time I Loved You


{learned}
That a relationship with God is not as complicated as some of us humans like to think it is.


{anticipated}
Two new stories I've been privileged to hear about from their author.
Watching more of a thriller kdrama with the friend who persuaded me to watch it, and saying the same thing at the same time about what's happening onscreen.


{wished}
That one could really travel in time and go back and see once more some of the people that are no longer with us.


{loved}
A family that makes you take a day off when you really aren't feeling the greatest.
Having wonderful friends who stay up late and chat at all hours of the night and squeal over stories and characters and watch dramas and send me kpop gifs and memes and hugs when I'm feeling down.  F5, I love you girls!!



Miss Melody Muffin

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Half-Blood: Book Review



Synopsis:
For all his years as a slave, Jace has known nothing but the hatred people hold for his mixed blood—one half human, the other half the blood of a race considered monsters. Always, he is the outsider and quickly learns it is better to keep to himself. But, when his volatile ryrik blood leads him to do the unthinkable, he is thrown into a world of violence and bloodshed.

Forced to become a gladiator, Jace finds more and more of his heart dying as his master works to break down his will not to become the monster everyone believes he is. When a stranger interferes with his master’s harsh punishment, Jace’s world is upended yet again. But with it comes the possibility of hope that has long since died. Could the man possibly hold the key to escaping the hopeless darkness that is Jace’s life? Is there such a thing as life beyond the cruelty of slavery?



My Review:
Not having read any of the Ilyon books, I opened Half-Blood curiously, not knowing what to expect.  This book both satisfied that curiosity and aroused more curiosity about Jace's future.  I look forward to reading the Ilyon Chronicles and learning more about Jace, and what his future holds.

Jace's character was well-written.  I could feel the rage he felt every time his ryrik blood surged.  I also felt his despair at his situation and the see-saw of emotions every time he entered a gladiatorial arena.

Rayad was easily my favorite secondary character.  (I liked him as much as I did Jace.)

The writing style is clear and easily understood.  The horror and almost unimaginable hardships of slavery were accurately portrayed as well as how important just one kind word or act can be.  Jace's friendship with animals, who didn't care who or what he was, helped not only to bring home the pain he lived through day after day, but also showed what kind of a person he was deep inside, underneath the beatings, the fights and the scorn.

The most important message in this book is hope.  Hope that no matter how dark someone's life is or has been, there is still a God who cares.

I recommend Half-Blood if you're looking for clean Christian fantasy or adventure and anyone looking for stories that portray hope even in the darkest of times.   I don't recommend this book for anyone under 16 or for anyone with an aversion to reading about gladiatorial fighting and killing, slavery or violence in general.


I was given a free copy of this book in return for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.



Miss Melody Muffin

Half-Blood Release and Author Interview with Jaye L. Knight



The gasps and murmuring grew. Though some were hardly more than whispers, clear words reached Jace’s ears—dangerous, monster, animal, soulless. He tried to back away from their accusing eyes, but the collar pulled hard against his throat and held him in place.

For all his years as a slave, Jace has known nothing but the hatred people hold for his mixed blood—one half human, the other half the blood of a race considered monsters. Always, he is the outsider and quickly learns it is better to keep to himself. But, when his volatile ryrik blood leads him to do the unthinkable, he is thrown into a world of violence and bloodshed.

Forced to become a gladiator, Jace finds more and more of his heart dying as his master works to break down his will not to become the monster everyone believes he is. When a stranger interferes with his master’s harsh punishment, Jace’s world is upended yet again. But with it comes the possibility of hope that has long since died. Could the man possibly hold the key to escaping the hopeless darkness that is Jace’s life? Is there such a thing as life beyond the cruelty of slavery?

See where Jace’s story all began . . .

Available on Amazon!
Discover Ilyon in Resistance and The King’s Scrolls.


I had a chance to interview Jaye about her newest book.

Welcome to The Splendor Falls, Jaye!
What was the hardest part about writing Half-Blood?
Half-Blood actually wasn’t as difficult to write as some of the other books in the series because it, thankfully, flowed really well. I had it written in just a couple of weeks. I think the hardest part was making sure all of the facts and scenes fit together chronologically and were accurate to what I mentioned about Jace’s past in Resistance and The King’s Scrolls.

Who was your favorite minor character in Half-Blood?
Well, there are very few good characters in the story until you get near the end, so there aren’t many to choose from, but I’d say Kalli. It was incredibly fun to get to write more about her and Aldor and their first meeting with Jace. That was my favorite part of writing the story.

Out of all the characters you've written, who is your least favorite character?
This is the second time I’ve been asked this for the tour. It’s hard to choose, because even villains are interesting to write in their own ways. My answer before was from one of my old pirate books, but I’ll do something a little different for this one. How about something of a sneak peek? One of my least favorite characters I’ve written is a man named Ruis from book four of Ilyon Chronicles. He’s just a nasty dude and causes certain characters quite a lot of trouble and discomfort.



Jaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Etsy, and on her new fiction forum where you can interact with other readers of the series.



Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a themed giveaway pack! Prizes include an autographed copy of Half-Blood, a blue feather bookmark hand crafted by Jaye, a bronze sword pendant, and a $5 Amazon gift card! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)
GIVEAWAY HERE


Read all the posts in the Half Blood Tour! (Trust me, you really do want to go read them.)


Come back later today for my review of Half-Blood!


Miss Melody Muffin

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Quote Queste: July 2015


 


Already a week into July and I'm only just now posting the QQ.  *sigh*  This summer has been crazy.

Thank you to all who participated in June's QQ!  I'll try to do better this month about reading your scenes.

I started to write two different scenes for the June Quote Queste but didn't finish either one of them.  June kind of went wild on me.

Are you ready for the July QQ?


Rules:
1. Take the quote below and write a short scene based on it.  It can be a scene for a story you're currently writing, one you plan on writing in the future, or you can make up characters solely for this challenge.
2.  Post your scene on your blog, with the banner from the top of my post and a link to my blog.
3. Come back to this post and leave a link to your post in the comments so the other participants and I can read your scene.
4. Have fun!


https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/a1/99/11/a199114e9a75775e3e8b76ccdc50a9ac.jpg 



Miss Melody Muffin