Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Brief note

Hey y'all,

I have to take a quick hiatus starting today (8/22) till Monday, (8/28).

I've got some personal business to take care of....mostly preparing to enter grad school. I'll still keep up with reading everyone's posts as best I can, but comments will be sporadic at best. And my posts that I was planning on doing are going to be pushed back.

In answer to your comment, Sarah, I'll search out those modesty interviews again and give you the links to them. I have them saved somewhere, I just need to find them.

See you again in a week!

Scribbingly yours,
Catherine

Monday, August 14, 2017

I Play Tag Catch-Up Part 2: Summer Party with Cookies!



Hello all,

Be forewarned....this post is going to be very, very long as well.

This is Part 2 of I Tag Catch-Up! The tags featured in this post are the Summer Fun Tag, The Cookie Book Tag and the Real-Life Blogger Party Tag.

Ready to go? I am! So, let's be off!



Tag #1: The Summer Fun Tag

Lila Red @ The Cheapskate Bibilomaniac tagged me for the Summer Fun Tag, which was created by Mikayla @ Making Music for the Maker. You can view Lila's answers here. Thanks for the tag, Lila!

Rules:
1. Thank the person who tagged you and link to their post.
2. Answer the questions.
3. Tag at least three people.

Questions:

1. What's a nickname only your family calls you?

I've actually been called this outside of my family as well but one nickname that my family calls me is "little lady". Every other nickname my family calls me is classified information.

2. What's a weird habit of yours?

Acting out my daydreams when I'm alone (or I think I'm alone). Not sure why I do it, I just do.

3. Do you have any strange phobias?

I have a terrible fear of rats and mice. One of my worst nightmares was someone shoving a dead rat in my face. Seeing a live rat or mouse paralyzes me, a dead one makes me shudder like this:


via GIPHY


4. What's a song you secretly love to blast out when alone?

"That's What Makes You Beautiful" by One Direction.

Yes, I know. It's One Direction.

This is the only song that I like from them. But honestly, this song helped me through some really bad periods of low self-confidence. The song itself is good, and that's what counts for me.

5. What's one of your biggest pet peeves?

When people talk about authority figures (especially bosses) behind their backs about what they do wrong, why their actions seem stupid to them. Honestly, even if I agree with some of those points, the fact is...the boss is in charge. Often times, there is a reason why he does the stuff that he does. Have a little understanding, people!!!

6. What's one of your nervous habits?

Playing with my hair. I do that when I'm agitated.

7. What's a YouTuber that always makes you laugh?

I don't watch YouTube that often - most of my YouTube watching is watching music videos.

8. What's your first stuffed animal and what's it's name?

Just an ordinary bear named Teddy  :)

9. What's a drink you always order from Starbucks?

I'm not a coffee drinker, so I don't get stuff from Starbucks.

10. Do you have any weird body skills?

I used to play fiddle fairly often, and I have a terrible time using my pinky finger to play notes.

Why?

When I press the string, the one joint in my pinky finger flattens out, so my finger doesn't remained curved like it's supposed to. And I can't get it to not do that.

11. What's your favorite comfort food?

Macaroni and Cheese, by far. Second would be ice cream.

12. What is a phrase or exclamation that you always say?

I say "geez Luigi" a lot. It's a phrase that I created on the spur of the moment at one point, and it's remained in my vocabulary.

13. What is one thing that you used to wear when you were younger that you would never wear now?

Pants and shorts (by themselves)

I fell in love with modesty and dressing femininely when I was 16. After hearing a lot of interviews with Christian guys about what they see and feel when they see a woman in pants, and reading a lot of books and articles, I decided that I was not comfortable wearing pants in public.

Honestly, I don't really miss pants and shorts. I find that I'm cooler when I'm wearing skirts in the summer. I get much more respect and chivalrous behavior from men. I will wear sweatpants at home if I'm not feeling well, as well as shorts under my skirts (jeans if I'm working very laborously). Otherwise, it's long skirts for me.

14. What did you want to be when you were younger?

A veternarian. Then I found out I would need to be in school for 8 years, and there were a lot of things in the job that I was not comfortable with. So I went for agriculture instead.

15. How tall are you?

Let's put it this way...I'm short, but not that short. Short enough to have short girl problems. Nuff said.
16. What are five ways to gain your friendship?

1. Keep me in the loop. Always. I don't care if it's a minor detail or if it doesn't concern me 100%. Just tell me. I'll probably need that information at some point anyway.
2. When I ask for help, show me but don't do it for me. Let me do it while you're talking to me. And I'll always stop and make sure that I'm doing it right, so don't lie if I'm doing it wrong.
3. Actively take interest in what I say. I'm more likely to be the listener in any given time. I don't really mind that, but when I want to talk about something, I wanna talk about something!
4. Please don't swear or make obscene gestures in my presence or hearing. I'm a lady, and I don't take that kind of stuff very well.
5. Stick with me through the storms. It's one thing to share the joys, but another to share the sorrows. If you're still here after my sorrows are done, you're a friend. Period.


Now...to tag people.....

ohhh are you guys hungry? I've got some tasty books cookies down below!


Tag #2: The Cookie Book Tag

Yesss, this delicious tag!!! Faith/Florid Sword @ A Writer's Song tagged me for the Cookie Book Tag. You can see her answers here. I was watching the blogosphere go crazy with this tag, and I hoped I'd get it!

Rules:
1. Thank the person who tagged you.
2. Showcase books with the following descriptions.
3. Tag how many people you want.

Chocolate Chip - A book that never gets old

Stuck in the Middle by Virginia Smith

from Amazon.com. Check out the book HERE
A couple of years after graduating college, Joan Sanderson finds that her life isn't really going anywhere. She has a good job and loves taking care of her family; but that isn't enough. She has no social life, and no boyfriend since Roger the Rat dumped her. When a new doctor, coupled with a rambunctious puppy dog, moves next door; she finds out what she has been missing...

This book was one of my first Kindle finds, and it is still one of my absolute favorite books. Joan's and Ken's romance is one of the best romances that I've seen written in a contemporary piece.

Dutch Snowballs - A book that gives you an unexpected surprise

Runner Up by Leah Banicki

Runner Up by [Banicki, Leah]
From Amazon.com. Check out the book HERE

Tired of being on the sidelines when it comes to dating, Hannah Parker is finally stepping out looking for love. She lands a spot on the hit TV show Soulmate, and she falls for Anthony Capricchio - the dream guy of any girl with morals. But with 24 other women on his heels, will Hannah even have a chance with him? 

Ok....that plot twist in there was totally mean. Just as mean as the plot twist in Frozen. NOT JOKING. I WAS ROOTING SO HARD.....
And seriously, that much drama over a TV show? Turned me off watching shows like the Bacherlor and the Bacheolorette, that's for sure. But maybe that was the point....

Molasses - A book with a character that gets into a sticky situation

Every Bride Needs a Groom by Janice Thompson.

Every Bride Needs a Groom (Brides with Style Book #1): A Novel by [Thompson, Janice]
From Amazon.com. Check out the book HERE

In a small towns, there are a lot of "givens". Katie Fisher counted on one "given" too far when, acting a false hint, she applied for a bridal contest from Texas Bride. When her boyfriend leaves her high and dry to chase new dreams - coincidentally hours before she wins said contest - Katie is in a pretty bad bind. How is she going to explain to the wedding dress designer - and her pro basketball player son - that she doesn't have the groom? 

Ladies...assuming that the guy is going to propose is a really bad idea.....just saying. But how she gets out of this jam is absolutely adorable.

Oreo - A book dealing with light and darkness.

Draykon by Charlotte English.

Draykon (The Draykon Series Book 1) by [English, Charlotte E.]
From Amazon.com. Check out the book HERE

Could one little gem cause so much trouble? 

The discovery of istore by an introverted jewelry collector named Llandry sets off a series of murders and a lot of people desperate to get at the beautiful stones. But is there a deeper connection - one to the long-lost race of drakoni? 

Not only does this book have different realms, each one has unique characteristics. Some are literally light, some are literally dark. Besides that obvious analogy, there is some really shady stuff that happens in the book - the mystery around the istore especially. This book is a great fantasy book - chock full of fantasy creatures from ortings to drakoni. For my fellow fantasy readers!

Sugar - A book with a super sweet villian

Dr. Horatio vs. the Six-Toed Cat by Virgina Smith

Dr. Horatio vs. the Six-Toed Cat (Tales from the Goose Creek B&B) by [Smith, Virginia]
From Amazon.com. Check out the book HERE

A quick read deserves a quick introduction. Serving as a prequel to a book series called Goose Creek B&B, this book provides plenty of small town laughs as a girl introduces her fiance to her parents and the town vet tries to stop an epidemic of six-toed cats. 

I tell you...this question really floored me. You know how many books I had to scour through to choose one for this question???

Anyways.....

The title kinda gives it away a bit....in this particular book, there is a 6-toed male cat that is creating dozens of litters left and right. And the vet (Dr. Horatio) is getting fed up with dealing with crazy cat ladies freaking out over their precious kitties sporting extra toes. Hence, we have an elusive, very sweet villian to deal with.

Monster - A book that confused your emotions.

The Crown and the Crucible by Michael Phillips and Judith Pella

The Crown and the Crucible (The Russians Book #1) by [Phillips, Michael, Pella, Judith]
From Amazon.com. Check out the book HERE

A simple country girl leaves her ancestral home in order to serve in the castle of a Russian princess. But while the two girls are learning from each other and uniting in friendship, political revolution is threatening to pit family and friends against each other. Will their friendship stand it? Will their respective brothers be alive at the end of it all? 

Ok....what really confused my emotions about this book was the romance between the Prince Sergei and the maid Anna. Gah....I kinda wanted them together...but the class differences really stuck out. The fact that it was genuine attraction and not an impure one really made it worse.

Warning: This book has a minor infidelity plotline with Tsar Alexander.

Snickerdoodle - A book that makes you laugh

Pink Flamingoed by Steve Demaree

Pink Flamingoed (Book 1 Aylesford Place Humorous Christian Romance Series) by [Demaree, Steve]
From Amazon.com. Check out the book HERE

When he moves in an old family home, Brad intends on making it his writer's retreat. That is, before he gets roped into helping with the Christmas caroling, a neighborhood joke involving a pink flamingo, and a beautiful girl next door. Before he knows it - boom! - he's interwoven into the Aylesford Place social life :). 

I guess that as a humorous Christian book, I would certainly hope that this book would make me laugh....

This book is one of those really light reads that I tend to read if I'm having a bad day. There really isn't much of a plot per se, as it is a collection of neighborhood vignettes with a loose timeline. There is a romantic plotline that ties up the book rather nicely.

Peanut butter - A book with a nutty character

Stars Collide by Janice Thompson

Stars Collide (Backstage Pass Book #1): A Novel by [Thompson, Janice]
From Amazon.com. Check out the book HERE

Kat Jennings and Scott Murphy are just your ordinary TV family sitcom couple. Comforting kids, reading lines, falling for each other in real life....
Wait, what?
Uh huh. The flame is sparking on the other side of the curtain. The trouble is, how to keep Kat's Grandma from hurrying the romance and keep the ever nosy press from helping her?

Kat has a grandmother who has Alzheimers. The way that it is presented provides several laughs, eyebrow raises, and "okay....."s from the reader, guarenteed. Her quirk of dressing as classic movie stars (and quoting them like a pro) endured her to me in an instant.

Now I wanna re-read all of these books.....

Hang tight with me guys! I've got one last tag to go!! 



Tag #3: The Dream Real-Life Blogger Party Tag 

This was an open tag created by Abby @ Up and Downs. Thanks Abby, this one looked like a lot of fun! You can check out her post here.

The Rules:
1. Thank the person who tagged you.
2. Answer the questions
3. Tag 5 people.

1. Name the venue for this party!

The South Carolina coast or the Sea Islands. In a Marriott resort.

Marriott resorts have a LOT of amenities, great service and activities. They're my favorite hotel chain, but the timeshare hotels are even better.

And the Sea Islands have forests, beaches, and still have access to some metro areas :).

2. List 3 foods that need to be present.

 Chocolate fountain, complete with strawberries and other fruit.

 Hamburgers. All-American food, and it's my favorite party food.

Macaroni salad or a mac and cheese dish. Maybe I should have said macaroni dish....

(Though I'll admit, those shish kabobs almost made it on there. Don't they look AWESOME??)

3. Dance Time! List 5 artists/bands for your party mix tape.

I'm going to slightly alter this question to "What songs would you put in?". Because I'm not one that looks at artists, I look more at songs. (Same way I look at movies and not actors.)

"Cotton Eyed Joe" by Rednex - seriously my favorite line dance ever.

"Cha Cha Slide" - another one of my favorite dances. And yes, I can go all the way to the floor.

"Y.M.C.A" by Village People - I forgot half of the hand motions that go with this song, but I like the message of it!

"On Top of the World" - The Peter Hollens/Mike Thompkins version is the best.

"Just the Way You Are" by Bruno Mars - Every party needs an uplifting song :)

4. What three activities would we mostly engage in?

1. Talking to each other! Us introverts may take us a minute, but we'll pull ahead of the extroverts in no time with all the like-minded peoples.

2. Real-life tag posts...AKA ICEBREAKERS!!!

3. Snapping tons and tons of photos!

5. Describe a collaborative post that you would do at a party.

I honestly would do a vlog with several blogging buddies. Because why not? They're already there!!!

6. What habits or interaction qualities would you notice?

I notice a lot of things...would I pay attention to them would depend on what it is.

I'd notice who was listening and who was talking the most though.


I've finished all the tags (thank heavens)....except to tag people! 

FOR ALL TAGS - It is open season again. Take one, take all, it's your choice!! 

I know...I'm taking the easy route. But, as I explained in the last post, with everybody finishing up summer, I don't want to add any more blogging to everybody's to-do lists.

Hope you enjoyed my tag posts!

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine

Saturday, August 12, 2017

I Play Tag Catch-Up Part 1: Character Tags




Hello all!

Be forewarned....this post is going to be very, very long.

My apologies, but it was either that or several separate tag posts! All of the tags in this post and in the next one came to me during Camp NaNo, hence they were made to sit in the waiting room while *other* stuff got done first (cough cough Rebellious Writing cough cough).

The tags that will be featured in this post are: The Dual Character Inquistition Tag, The Character Karoke Tag, and the Of Rising Authors tag.

Onward to the first stop!



Tag #1: Dual Character Inquisition Tag

So Rachel @ R's Loft tagged me for the Dual Character Inquisition tag an embarrassingly long while ago. You can view her answers here. And Melissa @ Quill Pen Writer tagged me again during the last week of July. You can view her answers here. Thank you both!! Sorry this has taken so long to put up!

Rules:
1. Pick 2 characters (hence the dual in the name)
2. Include pictures of them. (At least one of each)
3. Answer the questions (hence the inquisition in the name)
4. Tag at least 3 bloggers

The Characters:

You'll probably recognize these two!



Yes, these are two of my characters from "The Apple in the Snow"! This is Eirwen's father, King Aneirin and her stepmother Ceinwen.

The Questions:

1. Who inspired these characters?

They were inspired by the Kings and Queens from various Snow White stories, but a lot of individual characteristics (like Ceinwen's green dresses) were inspired by Pinterest.

2. What is their weapon of choice?

Aneirin's weapon of choice is his longsword. As a Welsh king in the Middle Ages, he would obviously lead his armies into battle.

Ceinwen's best "weapon" is probably her tongue. Nuff said.

3. Have they been physically violent with someone? What instigated it?

Well, Aneirin has been in some nasty battles when his kingdom of Glywysing was invaded by the Danes, so yeah, he's been physically violent. Does he like it? Not in the least.

Ceinwen doesn't harm people physically. Her method of warfare is emotional manipulation.

4. Are they more of a rule-follower or a rebel?

Aneirin is definitely a rule-follower. He's also the kind of person that will give the person the inch, if you get my meaning.

Ceinwen is more of a rebel. She believes that the world revolves around her desires, so if the rules doesn't suit her, she doesn't follow them.                    

5. What kind of child were they? Curious, wild, quiet, devious?

Aneirin was a quiet child. Eirwen was kind of like him as a child.

Ceinwen was definitely a devious child. She was always trying to manipulate her family and friends into doing what she liked and getting what she wanted.

6. Where would they go to relax?

Aneirin's favorite place is the forest that borders the Perllan, which is a decaying apple orchard that is attached to the castle. It's a quiet place to escape to when Ceinwen gets on his nerves.

During the story events, Ceinwen insists on building a water feature in the middle of the late Queen Heulwin's garden. It is here that she relaxes.

7. Do they have a temper?

Aneirin does have a breaking point, but you really really really have to push him. And then you better clear out for a few days.

Ceinwen sure does! Being a rather self-centered young lady, she does not like it when her will isn't fulfilled.

8. Would they be more likely to face their fears or run from them?

Aneirin, after gulping a few times, will face his fears.

Ceinwen will collide with them head on.

9. When they are upset, do they turn to other people or do they isolate themselves?

Aneirin, like most men, will isolate himself to calm down.

Ceinwen, like most women, will seek out Sarnai or another one of her maids and vent to them.

10. 3 things about where they live (broad or specific).

They live in a stone castle.

Their living quarters are on complete opposite ends of the castle. Ceinwen never took Queen Heulwin's bedchamber - Eirwen inherited it after her mother died.

The castle has an extensive garden layout - which include the Queen's gardens, the kitchen gardens, the herb gardens and other gardens....

So, who do I get to tag.....find out at the end of this post!

Onto the second stop!



Tag #2: The Character Karoke Tag

Anna @ A World Through Her Heart tagged me for the Character Karoke Tag a few weeks ago. You can view her answers here. And I'm sneaking some bonus questions from Juls's post here. Thank you both!

For this tag, I'm going to switch it up and talk about another one of my WIPs, temporarily named Caoimhe. You can find out more about it on my page "My Muse's Works in Progress".

Rules:
1. Thank the person who tagged you.
2. Answer the questions.
3. Tag any number of people.

It's your OTP's wedding day. What is the song that plays during their first dance?

If the OTP from my book ever made it to the present day, this version of I Won't Give Up by Jason Mraz would probably be their wedding song.


But, as they probably will not leave Alldermaere, I think that this song would be better suited for their "couple's dance".



What song(s) describe your protagonist?

The song that best describes Caoimhe is the song "Wunderkind" by Alanis Morissette.


Now do you recognize it?? LOL.

Any instrument players or characters with ties to music?

Aderyn, a good friend of Caoimhe's, is a really great singer. There are probably some families with other ties to music, but I don't know just yet. Caoimhe has tried to pick up a musical instrument during her education, so far it hasn't been going well.

Go-to songs for battle, romance or intense scenes?

I have a lot of songs for intense/battle scenes, but I'll give my four favorites here:

A Warrior's Fate by Antti Martikainen



Falls of Glory by Brunuhville



Song of the Lonely Mountain - both the Peter Hollens and Neil Finn versions.


Wolf Blood by Adrian von Ziegler. This one is the one that I use a lot for writing Caoimhe.



I have different songs for romance. I'll give three here:

Birth of Love by Brunuhville



White Rose by Peter Crowley



Bound by Adrian von Ziegler



What song matches the first scene of your book?

The first scene is Gail being a typical teenager, being on her devices and IMing her best friend Maeve Carwyn.

I think that the perfect song for that scene is the song "Home" by Phillip Phillips.

I'll put the Peter Hollen's version, as I like it better.


If your book was made into a TV show, what song would be the intro?

The introduction or theme song of Caoimhe would be Adrian von Ziegler's song, Prophecy.



This was the very first song of Adrian's first 2-hr Celtic compiliation, and the first song of his that I had ever listened to. It was listening to that 2 hr playlist for the first time that my muse really went loose for the first time - creating the story of Caoimhe in the process.

If you received a call from an agent saying you're being published, what is your celebratory song?

My celebratory song would be The Call by Regina Spektor


If you're wondering why this song is familiar, it played at the end of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. I love this song a lot, and it captures a lot of my sentiments if I ever got my book published.

As for tagging...please be patient, I still have one more tag left today!


Tag #3: Of Rising Authors Tag

I was double-tagged for this tag too! Middle Earth Musician (a fellow cabinmate of mine from NaNo!) tagged me for the "Of Rising Authors" Tag. You can view her post here. Jane Maree (my cabin leader!!) also tagged me on Monday, so her questions (the ones that didn't match MEM's) will be included as bonuses. You can view Jane's answers here. Thank you both!!!

I'm switching back to "The Apple in the Snow" for this tag, so here we go!

The Rules:
1. Thank the person who tagged you.
2. Answer the questions.
3. Tag 4 people.

The Questions:

1. Do you listen to music as you write?

Yes, I love to listen to music as I write. It's great for capturing the emotions that I want. Biggest problem usually is that the song is too short.

2. If yes to Q1, what genre? (Bonus: Lyrics or no lyrics?) 

It depends on what I'm writing. Celtic is a favorite for most of my works.

Lyrics sometimes help, sometimes don't. Like I said, it depends *shrugs*.

3. What song do you think is your WIP's theme song?

It's called Y Gog Lwydias (a Welsh song, translates to The Grey Cuckoo). The lyrics don't really have much connection to the story, but it's such a pretty song and it gets me in the mood to write The Apple in the Snow.

This is the closest one that I managed to find on Youtube. I like the Sian James version much better.



4. Who is the MC in your current WIP?

In my current WIP "The Apple in the Snow", the MC is named Eirwen. As I've probably explained to death now, she's the princess and heir to the throne of Glywysing. In the story events, she is just about to celebrate her age of majority (which is 18). With this big birthday coming up, she will take on her full duties as the female co-rule of Glywysing.

5. What is their (MC's) deepest, darkest fear?

Eirwen fears that she will never be a good queen to her people, that she'll fail. She feels that she is not prepared to take on her full responsibilities, in spite of her numerous talents.

6. What is your favorite scene that you've written in your WIP?

Writing the beginning snippets was my favorite, so far anyway.

7. Do you enjoy writing from a child's, teen's or adult's point of view?

Ah....

I've only really written from a teen's point at this point. So I'm kinda biased toward that. I'm experimenting with young adult though, we'll see how that goes.

8. Do you prefer first or third person point of view?

Third person, most definitely. I write in a more omnipotent style, which doesn't really work in a first person story.

9. What writer do you think handles action scenes the best?

Hmmm....that is a good question.

I'll probably go with J.R.R. Tolkien. His action scenes are gripping.

10. What is the best book you've read about writing and who wrote it?

Ahhh....I've actually not ready any books about writing except for my English textbooks. And believe me, I can skip those.

Bonus Question from Jane: Do you like to write from all genres, or do you stick with one? 

Umm, I'm kinda in the middle on this one.

There are genres that I won't touch (dystopian being the main one).

But I have been experimenting with multiple genres - historical, contemporary and fantasy.


So now, I've finished all the tags....except to tag people! 

FOR ALL TAGS - It is open season. Take one, take all, it's your choice!! 

I know...I'm taking the easy route. But with everybody finishing up summer, I don't want to add any more blogging to everybody's to-do lists.

Stay tuned for part 2 of Tag-Catch-up!

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

National Book Lover's Day: Celebration and Reviews!!!



Hello all!

National Book Lover's Day is finally upon us!!!

Which means that....

THE REBELLIOUS WRITING PAGE IS UP!!!!!

I know, I'm celebrating late. I couldn't help it, I didn't get my post done before this morning, which meant that I had to wait until after I got off of work - which was late, go figure.

But...that means I can give a stats picture!!! We already have a grand total of 20 followers and 620+ page views...in 14 hours!!!! AHHHHH....so exciting!!!

Seriously, go check it out our website and our kick-off post with all the founders!

Seeing as how this is National Book Lover's Day, I decided to not just do an announcement post, but also a book review post! I've hinted about this in my last post, but I didn't expect the timing to work out to do it today!!!

So. last week, I was snooping around my Kindle bookstore (as I do every couple of weeks or so) looking for the latest freebie kindle book to snag.

And I struck book gold by finding not just one, but two really awesome period drama books written by Carolyn Miller. They were the first two books of a series called Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace. This is a new series - Book 2 (The Captivating Lady Charlotte) came out this past June and Book 3 is set to come out this October.

Being the rebel that I am, I ended up reading the second book first. Actually, to be fair, the second interested me more than the first one. And the second one made me decide to get the first one. I will say though - there are spoilers for the first one in the second one. So read the first one first :).

In this post, I'll be reviewing both Book 1 (The Elusive Miss Ellison) and Book 2 (The Captivating Lady Charlotte). I'll give my synopsis of the work, what I liked/disliked, and #RebelliousWriting ratings (swearing, abuse and lust ratings, overall rating, and movie/age ratings).

The Elusive Miss Ellison:

From Amazon.com. Check out the book HERE

Synopsis:

Lavinia Ellison is the only maiden that is not besotted by the new 7th earl of Hawkesbury. And with good reason. Besides her family's long-standing dislike of the family, Lord Hawkesbury has a seeming disdain for the poor tenants on his estate - a crime that Lavinia finds unacceptable.

Nicholas Stamford, Earl of Hawkesbury and recent war hero, is finally coming home to take over his uncle's estate, complete with emotional baggage - not just from the recent Spanish wars, but also from the irresponsible actions of his relatives years ago. Bored with all the coquettish airs of the local girls, he finds himself annoyed with (and attracted to) the literary and downright sassy minister's daughter.

When Lavinia's generosity suddenly puts her life in mortal danger, long-buried secrets and feelings threaten to be revealed....but will it be a hope or a detriment to Lavinia and Nicholas's future?

What I liked:

  • Anybody that knows me knows that I love sass. Lavinia is definitely a sassy young lady, especially in the beginning. Her initial conversations with Lord Hawkesbury remind me of the initial conversations between Elizabeth Thatcher and Jack Thornton in When Calls the Heart.
  • This book really brought out a Catholic principle that doesn't get a lot of attention: the upper classes having the responsibility of helping the poor (especially tenants). A lot of period drama seems to scorn the lower classes, focusing on balls and "other flippery" if I may quote Lavinia's Aunt Patience. It's refreshing to see the poorer people enter into the story for once. 
  • The romance developed slowly. It was much more of a "stuck on you" romance than a quick burst, which I really liked. 
  • Like the romance, the change in Lord Hawkesbury's character was also slow. Carolyn Miller really did a good job of showing changing emotions and feelings as they truly happen. 
  • Lavinia is a modest young lady and Lord Hawkesbury appreciates her as such. Fangirl worthy for me!! 

What I didn't like:
  • Some of Lavina's "disappearances" were a little off to me. I get that she isn't a typical early 1800s lady, and she visits a lot of the poor and thus remains elusive that way. But disappearing in a house while she sick and then shrugging it off as a habit? Jarring, to say the least. 
  • There were some rather obvious references to Jane Austen's works in some areas. While she did a good job of hiding most of them, one stuck out like a sore thumb. (Hint: haircut). 
  • There was, at one point towards the end, a seemingly small but somewhat major editing mistake. Lord Hawkesbury is notified of certain events by one of his servants, Giles. Giles leaves. Lord Hawkesbury almost immediately calls him back, tells Giles all that he told his Lordship before, with the servant acting as if he didn't know, and then the story continues as normal. Now, I think that Miller may have intended to put another servant's name in there the second time instead of Giles (Edwin would be a good guess), but it never happened. Whatever the case may be, it was still jarring.  
  • Little incidents that didn't have enough foreshadowing to make sense in the bigger narrative (Dora). 
  • The "redemption" plotline. While handled better in this book than some of the others I've read and liked, it still has a cliche feel to it. And to be honest, I have problems with redemption story lines because a lot clash with Catholic doctrine, which makes me uncomfortable. 
  • I came into this book looking for answers on how that feud between the Hawkesbury and Salisbury families (remember, I read the second one first, so I was a little confused). I got some, but not enough. 
Ratings:

Swearing: None spelled out (alluded to)
Abuse: Alcohol is certainly mentioned, but there is no drunkenness.
Lust: Towards the end, there is a scene where immodesty leads to an assault.
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Movie/Age Rating: PG, but I would recommend 14+ (due to the assault).

The Captivating Lady Charlotte
From Amazon.com. Check out the book HERE

Synopsis:

Lady Charlotte Featherington, daughter of the Marquess of Exeter, is experiencing her first Season, and is quickly realizing that being a debutante is not just attending balls. Despite the fact that she is infatuated with a striking young lord, her parents (especially her silly mother) wish her matched to the Duke of Hartington - not only an unhandsome and boring recent widower, but one shrouded in scandal, no less!

William Hartwell, Duke of Hartington, has had enough of the ill-hidden whispers concerning his first wife. He finds relief in the compassionate eyes of the marquess's daughter, and further interactions with her kindles a longing attraction to her captivatingly vibrant personality. But malignant forces, both physical and emotional, are draining his confidence and his sense of security.

Will Charlotte put her feet upon the ground, or will William be forced to always look at reminders of his shattered past?  

What I liked:
  • Again, Carolyn Miller captured the emotions of each character spot on. Everything from Charlotte's giddiness with a crush to the Duke of Hartington's crashing despair at losing his wife. 
  • Speaking of which, can I just applaud the way that Hartington remained faithful to his unfaithful wife? Or how his relationship with Rose changed? (Sorry guys, I can't give too much more because of spoilers). 
  • This book really showed how gossip can really hurt people, which you don't see often either. 
  • The culprit behind the mysterious "incidents" really did remain mysterious until the climax. 
  • The Duke of Hartington is a progressive farmer and backer of innovation. You normally don't see these in a period piece like this. I found it fascinating (then again, I am a farmgirl at heart)
  • The dry humor, like the first, is excellent. 
  • Hartington is the sweetest, most attentive, most kind, most patient man EVER. Just goes to show that looks don't always reveal the character, and that men CAN be emotional - hide it as they may. 
  • I loved watching Charlotte and William fall in love with each other. 
  • The book cover is honestly prettier than the first one :) I love the peacock blue and the white. 
What I didn't like:
  • Some modern colloquialisms did sneak in. 
  • I noticed a theme of similar names between the books. I wish the author had been a bit more original and done completely different names, but that is just my opinion. 
  • Bella (a horse) is portrayed as being a very young horse (less than 2 years old) but already broken enough for a lady to ride. To me, that's a little farfetched. I would have believed 2 1/2 years, not less than 2. 
  • There was some instances where unnecessary drama was put into the story. 
Ratings: 

Swearing: None, not even alluded to.
Abuse: strained family politics, but no explicit abuse situations.
Lust: Some unwanted advances, wife's infidelity mentioned several times.
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐✩  (4 1/2 stars)
Movie/Age Rating: PG-13 for adult situations.

So ends my reviews for these two awesome books! I could literally fangirl about these books for much longer though....the characters especially!!!

Have any of you guys read these books? Is the Rebellious Writing website as good as what you thought it was? Tell me, I'm curious! 

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine

Sunday, August 6, 2017

A Walk Down Memory Lane with My Little Sister




Even though we are not biologically related, she is the little sister I never had.

Without her, I'm fairly sure I would never have been on the blogosphere at all.

I refer to her on the blog as "my best friend", "my little sister", "BFF/little sister".

And it's time I acknowledged her by name. 

My fellow bloggers, let me take you on A Walk Down Memory Lane with my little sister....



Lia



You probably know her as one half of the blogging duo Kat n Lia @ Catholic Girl Stuff
She also blogs as Lilah @ The Singing Writer

So why the secrecy? 

When I started blogging, we decided not to acknowledge each other right away as knowing each other, mostly because I'm more of a private person who doesn't want to reveal all of her secrets. A decision that Lia has been grumbling about ever since.

We had been toying with the idea of a "reveal" post at some point. It just got accelerated when my big mouth let the cat out the bag in the comments section of the Early Writing Tag last month.

Hence, for National Friendship Day, we decided to do matching posts, asking and answering questions about our friendship. You can view Lia's post HERE.

The lane is ahead, ready to travel with us?

1. How long have we known each other/how and when did we meet? 

We've known each other almost 5 years. 

I actually met her parents before I met Lia. When I began college, I didn't have a car and I needed a ride to get to the nearest Traditional Latin Mass. Our dads had a mutual acquaintance who put them in touch with each other. I met Lia two weeks later, but it took a few weeks of a chatterbox brother of hers to get our friendship started. LOL. 

From the first semester of college, her family made it quite clear that I was a part of it. Especially as my college stay wound down, I spent most of my spare time at their house. It was interesting to try and explain to people what exactly our relationship is. "Our adopted college student" and "unbiological sister" were the two most popular ones.  


2. Over the course of our friendship, what are some of the things that I introduced/dragged you into? 

Good heavens, this is going to be a long answer....

Movies/Musicals:

Phantom of the Opera ~ that darn bewitching music, I swear.....as related in my fandoms post, this one was a stickler that didn't leave me alone. While I've seen the Royal Albert and the 2004 movie, I can't decide which one I like better (I like some from each one).

Marvel ~ Who knew I had a secret love for superheroes and action???

When Calls The Heart ~ GAH!!! That show is now one of my favorite shows of all time. I'm now a full-fledged Heartie and I love it. We definitely had a lot of fangirl moments connected to this show.

Anne of Green Gables movies ~ I swear, we both laughed and cried during these movies. I think it was during watching these movies that we discovered that we're both incurable romantics...and that we're both Anne Shirley.

Anastasia ~ For a non-Disney movie, this film had Disney quality. I love Bartok the most.

The Emperors New Groove ~ After hearing countless references to it around the dinner table, we finally watched it together my senior year. Kronk and Yzma are my favorite villian duo ever, by the way.

More chick flicks (Letters to Juliet, Leap Year, Ever After...) and a lot of classical movies (Cheaper by the Dozen, Greatest Show On Earth) ~ My DVD to-buy list grew exponentially after several movie weekends. Letters to Juliet and Ever After are two of my very favorites.

Music:

Celtic Thunder ~ How in the world I never listened to them before, I will never know...Lia's family is a huge fan, so naturally I checked them out. They are now featured prominiently in my Celtic Spotify playlists (and their Greatest Hits album is the only CD that works in my car player....don't ask me why, it just is.).

Peter and Evynne Hollens ~ These two artists are some of the best a cappella artists ever. We are always on the lookout whenever a new song pops up on YouTube for either.

Collabro ~ Another a capella group that is super good. I now have some of their hits on my Spotify playlists.

Other:

How to say my Rosary in Latin ~ I actually wrote 4 posts about that in my other blog, Frugally Fancy.

Blogging ~ She started her blog Catholic Girl Stuff with Kat about 2-3 weeks before I started my blog Frugally Fancy. Her enjoyment finally pushed me to make the plunge into the blogosphere. Haven't lived to regret it!!  


3. What was the most embarrassing moment that we shared? 

Lia has an older brother that is close to my age. We all were hanging out with her extended family during the last days of August, right in the beginning of my sophomore year. 

All of a sudden, that chatterbox brother of hers pipes up....

"You know...I think that (older brother) and Catherine should get married because they both have red spots all over their face." 

Yes, both of us did have a bad case of acne that year. 

Thank heavens that the only person that didn't hear that was the older brother in question (though his confusion as to why everyone was dying of horrified laughter was rather funny....


4. Out of all the movies and TV episodes that we have watched together, which one was the most memorable? 

Lia and I have watched A LOT of movies and TV episodes via Netflix and DVDs, especially during my junior and senior years. We have a good many memories from watching When Calls the Heart. Watching one of those episodes would be the cause of much fangirling between us.

But the most memorable film experience for me was when Lia, I and a bunch of our girl friends from church all went to see Cinderella 2015 in theaters.

We had gone shopping beforehand, so we were had high spirits to begin with. All of us enjoyed the movie very much - so much so that we spent well over an hour in my car with snacks and drinks just fangirling about that movie. I will definitely treasure it always as one of the best memories of my youth for sure. 


5. What is the funniest moment that we shared? 


We have had a lot of funny moments over our long friendship. Dunking brothers in pools and our various conversations with our friends in church all come to mind easily.  

But I think the funniest one for me was when we watched Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story (yes, that crappy third movie that doesn't deserve to exist). 

The movie was on a double-sided disc. No problem right? 
We start the movie and we are soooo confused. It started right in the middle of a very emotional battle scene. There were characters I didn't know the names of, it was just so much of an emotional mess. 

IT WASN'T UNTIL THE END THAT WE REALIZED THAT LIA HAD STARTED IT ON THE WRONG SIDE. 

It definitely took several minutes before we were able to breathe because we were laughing so hard. 


6. What is one fact about you that you haven't told me yet? 

I want to take up martial arts someday...as well as take up horseback lessons again. 


7. We're constantly scheming. Which castle-in-the-air we created is your favorite?

Ok, so we both have a mutual friend from church. During my late sophomore-early junior year, she had a slew of guy problems. I knew of one guy that was looking afar at her, and he was the perfect match for her (I'm not kidding, gals, he is the sweetest gentleman ever). 

We both shipped it hard. We were dreaming that they would finally get together so much, I'm sure we acted like silly schoolgirls (but who cares?). 

After at least 6 months of attempting to push him away, she finally started dating him and ohmigosh, they are the absolute cutest couple EVER. 


8. Which Jane Austen heroine are you most like? 

Originally, this question was "Which fictional heroine are you most like?" That quickly led to some problems, as we kept getting the same answers....how I have no clue. So we decided to narrow it down, and Jane Austen was a good fit as both of us are period drama fangirls. 

We used this quiz.

We each took it twice - once for ourselves and once for the other. 

When I took the quiz for myself, I got Elinor Dashwood. Which makes a lot of sense, considering I have a practical side but a hidden emotional side as well. 

I took it for Lia and I got Marianne Dashwood. Which is odd, considering that's the younger sister of Elinor. Lia does have a lot of similarities to Marianne (at least I think so anyways).  


9. What is one thing that one of us loves and the other of us hates? 

Les Miserables. 

I can't stand Les Mis. I don't like the story at all. 

She has the soundtrack memorized and has fangirled over the movie. 

To each their own, I guess. 


10. What are five random facts about me (Lia)? 

1. She has a thing for anime, among other film genres. 

2. She is obsessed with Hunter Hayes and his music. 

3. She's thinking about being a voice teacher.  

4. She is a very fast reader (possibly faster than me). 

5. She loves milk chocolate....particularly chocolate mousse :)


Ah yes.... this beautiful chocolate mousse will be missed dreadfully.

Bonus question: What is the sweetest memory of our friendship?

When I graduated college, I was an emotional mess. I wrote about it on Frugally Fancy here. 
It was ridiculously hard to break ties with the college friends but it was heart-breaking to say goodbye to my little sister and her family. 

The feels got compounded when she wrote a blog post to me, using the lyrics of one of the songs that was played at my graduation ceremony - "For Good" from the musical Wicked.

To this day, that song makes me cry. And Lia knows that it takes a lot of emotion to make me cry. 

And, just like that, we are at the bend in the road. 

Currently, Lia and I are about 800 miles apart from each other. While the Internet has been keeping us in touch, it's not the same as being there physically. I miss my little sister very much, and I hope to visit her in the near future sometime.  

Hope you enjoyed this post! I'll soon be putting up a review post for two books that I've recently read that I HAVE to tell y'all about! 

Scribblingly yours, 

Catherine 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Blog Tour: Rebellious Writing



Hello all! 

To celebrate the grand opening of the Rebellious Writing website in a few days, I'm participating in my first ever blog tour!

First, I must pay homage to the lovely founder of the Rebellious Writing (and incidently, the source of these lovely headers that I will be using for this tour)....

Gray Marie Cox

She was the one who struck the match to get this movement even started. Please check out her blog Writing is Life

Secondly, I must acknowledge.....

 






Anna C. S.

Catherine Hawthorn
(oh wait...that's me.....)


So what is Rebellious Writing? 


Well, to answer that question, here is.....


We believe
In light 
In truth
In goodness
We believe in tomorrow's generation
In creating a better world
Through words
Through books
We believe in fighting for what we believe
We believe in high expectations
That we are capable of anything we set our minds to
We the youth...
Believe in Rebellion
Rebellion for Righteousness
For light
For verity in a world of lies
For beauty in a world of darkness

Why was this movement created? 

Watch the video to find out!


How do I find out more?? 

Check out our...

Here

Here

Here

Here

Here

Rebellious Writing Blog Tour
Here

and be sure to visit our website (www.rebelliouswriting.com) on August 9 (National Book Lover's Day)!!!!


Please, please, please, please feel free to participate and do a blog tour of your own for Rebellious Writing!!! We would love to see more bloggers get involved with this movement!

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine