Monday, May 29, 2017

Update on the Muse (II)



*pant pant pant*

I finally have a chance to BREATHE! 


Seriously, guys. It's been that bad. 

I've literally gone non-stop for the past two weeks, running here and there and everywhere to get ready for my summer job...which happens to be over 300 miles away from home. 

Now that I'm finally settled into my room, I can actually do stuff....like breathe LOL. 

My muse has been very gracious to me during this time of absolute chaos. No plot bunnies, no being up in the middle of the night, no characters whispering in my ear, nothing! 

Now, for poor little "Rose of Culmore". 

I had the whole plot outlined. Got some of the beginning written. But that's as far as I got. 

The thing is....I'm stuck. 

Anybody got any good spurning stories that they might be willing to share? I need reason(s) that a girl would spurn a boy for, and for the boy to keep pursuing her (across oceans even). My MCs refuse to bow to interrogation and observation has not worked either. I'm coming up blank. 

Come to think of it, any resources for writing romantic plotlines would be appreciated. That's one thing that I come up short on. 

Scribblingly yours, 

Catherine

Monday, May 22, 2017

Bookish Book Lovers Tag

Hello all,

I must have stumbled onto some good band of elves Saturday-Sunday because I somehow have managed to double my pageviews in the space of two weeks. (HOW???? Seriously, I wake up Sunday with over 500 pageviews on the daily counter, all from the US, and all from the middle of the night.)

When I figure out where they went, I'll send them over to you guys.

Anyways, Melissa Gravitis has tagged me for the Bookish Book Lovers Tag (wow, that is a mouthful)! Thanks, girl! Please check out her blog here, she does some really cool stuff over there!

Ok, here are the rules:

1. Have to use the tag banner (which is above).
2. Answer the questions.
3. Use lots of book covers (cause texts are boring).
4. Tag your bookish friends!

Right then, simple enough. On to the questions!

1. What book(s) are you currently reading? 

The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson

This is one of Stevenson's lesser known books, but it has the same swashbuckling adventure style that Stevenson is famous for. This book takes place during the War of the Roses in England, and it follows the story of a squire (son of a knight) as he comes of age, rescues his damsel in distress and joins a rogue band that is targeting various corrupt knights.

I started The Black Arrow on Sunday. I found a kid's version lying around and was really intrigued, so I'm going to try the full version to see if I like it. So far, it's fairly good. Though it is true that you have to be somewhat familiar with Middle English and the context of the War of the Roses in England in order to fully understand what is going on.

296264
From Goodreads
Check Out the Book Here

2. What was the last book that you finished?

After a Fashion by Jen Turano.

This book starts off with a shop girl going to deliver some products to a spoiled rotten young woman, but then winds up in a scheme to impress a duke. An actress, a down-on-her-luck nanny, a high bred lady and a mischievous dog provide multiple opportunities to laugh as Harriet Peabody tries to escape the clutches of her horrible aunt and into the arms of Mr. Oliver Addleshaw.

I really really loved the characters in this book and the plot was fairly good too. This book really plays around with the idea of birth and rank, which is interesting since it takes place in New York.  The only thing that really annoys me about Jen Turano's works is that she has a few major historical inaccuracies in her plots, making it seem like the story takes place in multiple time periods at the same time (cue confused stares). But, she does have a very good sense of humor, so I guess that redeems her for now.

After a Fashion (A Class of Their Own Book #1) by [Turano, Jen]
From Amazon Store
Check Out the Book Here

3. Favorite book you've read this year?

At Bluebonnet Lake by Amanda Cabot.

A vacation from her fast-paced big city marketing job is just what Kate Sherwood needs, at least according to her grandmother. So, off to rural Texas they go - to the old Christian resort in which her grandmother and grandfather vacationed over 50 years before. But the slow pace of the small town and the collapsing resort bother Kate a lot - that is until a certain "handyman" named Greg shows up to fix the window screen.

I had read some of Cabot's historical fiction works and loved them. So I was surprised to find that she had done some contemporary romance too. I must say, I was not disappointed. While the main plot line was a little cliche-ish, Cabot really put her own spin on the city-meets-country romance.

At Bluebonnet Lake (Texas Crossroads Book #1): A Novel by [Cabot, Amanda]
From Amazon Store
Check Out the Book Here

4. What genre have you read most this year?

Historical fiction/romance. No surprises there, since that is my favorite genre to read.

One book that I really would recommend is one called Love's Rescue by Christine Johnson. It is one of the greatest historical romances that I've read in a while and a close second to At Bluebonnet Lake in terms of favorites this year.

Elizabeth Benjamin has been living with guilt in not living up to her parent's expectations. When her mother dies when she is away at Charleston, she returns to Key West, Florida to take her mother's place in her family home. But before she reaches the harbor, the ship is wrecked on the reef. Suddenly, Elizabeth is forced to confront her past, some secrets of her family's slaves, and the man she once wanted to marry.

Besides a great romantic plot line, this book also was not shy about touching on some of the harsh realities of slavery and the emotional turmoil that goes along with it. Without giving too much away, I must say that Elizabeth's mother must have been a saint for patience and mercy to deal with some of the stuff that she dealt with.

Love's Rescue (Keys of Promise Book #1): A Novel by [Johnson, Christine]
From Amazon Store
Check Out the Book Here


5. What genre have you read the least this year?

Fantasy. I've only read 1 fantasy book so far that I liked this year, which was Eragon by Christopher Paolini (Book 1 of the Inheritance Cycle series). The others that I acquired on Kindle were terrible, therefore they were banished.

A simple extended hunting trip turns life-changing for Eragon. After mysteriously finding a dragon's egg in the middle of an enchanted wood, a simple farm boy is dragged into a web of intrigue that is decades old. With the help of an old story-teller and his dragon Saphira, Eragon must transform from a bratty teenager to a hero in order to free his country from the dark forces of a Shade.

Yes. This book has a lot of bad reviews and the movie is bashed even more. Honestly, I don't think that this book deserves the amount of crap that it gets. Paolini created his own world with his own unique rules of magic, which is not easy. I liked the concept of the Dragon Riders and the Shade the best. In no way did I think this book was a knock-off of Tolkien, though it was certainly inspired by it.


113436
From Goodreads
Check Out the Book Here



6. What genre do you want to read more of?

High/Christian inspired fantasy. I honestly would love to see more books like Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia and other such works.

One that I really really like is Heart Song by Desiree Williams. Talk about elemental magic with a Christian twist!

Alanna, gifted with the power to manipulate natural forces, acts as a Good Samaritan to a grievously wounded young man by healing him. But this simple random act of kindness has huge consequences. Not only is she bound to the prince of the ruling kingdom, she is discovered by the Varkadon, who wish to destroy her before she can fulfill her destiny as Guardian of the Light.

If there was any possible way to combine elemental magic with a Christian worldview, this author nailed it. The only thing that I couldn't really reconcile was the soul-binding. I never really could understand that concept.

Heart Song (Heart Song Trilogy Book 1) by [Williams, Desiree]
From Amazon Store
Check Out the Book Here

7. How many books have you read this year and what is your goal?

Goodness knows, and I have no goal. I read when I want to.

8. What's the last book you bought?

With money???

Eragon, by Christopher Paolini.

Yes, I know I put it in here before, but that seriously was the last book I bought and that was several months ago. And it had been years since I bought a book before that. Free Kindle books have really spoiled me.

Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle Book 1) by [Paolini, Christopher]
Of course, I had to add the other cover!
From Amazon Store
Check out the Book Here

9. What book are you saving up to buy next?

Ohhhh gosh.
I have a LOT of books on my To Buy list, including the rest of the Inheritance Cycle series, several trilogies/series on the Kindle, LOTR, and the Chronicles of Narnia.

I also wanna get When Calls The Heart by Janette Oke. Yes, I wanna compare it to the TV show....though I'm kinda mad about hero's name is NOT Jack Thornton. #ElizabethandJackForever

Elizabeth Thatcher is a city girl that is moving out on her own into the foothills of the Rockies in order to become a schoolteacher. Not interested in marrying anyone, she guards her heart very carefully. But she is not prepared for a Mountie by the name of Wynn Delaney to steal her heart from under her.

When Calls the Heart (Canadian West Book #1) by [Oke, Janette]
From Amazon Store
Check out the Book Here

10. How many books did you check out on your last library visit?

This is embarrassing, but I haven't checked out any books from the library since I was in high school.

I do remember that it was around 6 books the last time though.

11. What's a book you can't wait to read?

Sylvester or The Wicked Uncle by Georgette Heyer. A couple of my fellow bookish friends were fangirling over this one like crazy -- apparently the hero is a Darcy on steroids. If that isn't totally interesting, I don't know what is.

If you would like a review of this book, check out Mary Kate's post about it HERE.

Sylvester: or The Wicked Uncle (Regency Romances) by [Heyer, Georgette]
From Amazon Store
Check Out the Book Here

12. What is a series that I would recommend to everyone?

 The Chronicles of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

Now, a lot of people have read the first book, Anne of Green Gables. But the rest of the books are also really good too. My personal favorite is Anne of the Island.

Anne is finally at Redmond College, earning her BA in English. She still has her fair share of scrapes to get herself out of, including rescuing a cat named Rusty and sharing loads of fun with her roommates Priscilla Grant, Stella Maynard and Phillipa Gordon. But Anne's heart is in danger of being spirited away - but will it be by the dashing Roy Gardiner or the steadfast Gilbert Blythe?

Why is this one my favorite? The question of Anne's heart gets settled after being dragged out for 3 books. Besides, as a recent college student I relate to the stories in this book a lot more.

Anne of the Island (Anne Shirley Series #3) by [Montgomery, Lucy Maud]
From Amazon Store
Check out the Book Here

13. Who's an author you're hoping will write more?

Amanda Cabot.

I mentioned before that I loved her historical romance novels. I think that she does a splendid job of maintaining historical accuracy but her characters are so relatable. My favorite of Cabot's writing is Summer of Promise.

Abigail Harding's sister Charlotte is currently expecting a baby while living with her husband at Fort Laramie, Wyoming. It becomes clear from her letters that something isn't right in Charlotte's world, so in true sister fashion, Abigail goes out to see her - not intending that her affianced heart be taken by a certain Lieutenant Ethan Bowles while she's out there.....

I really liked that the story started off rather platonic-ly before the romance started heating up. It's not often that you get a story in which the lovers become good friends beforehand. Of course with all the trouble that Abigail gets herself into, it's a good thing that she does have Ethan as a friend beforehand.

Summer of Promise (Westward Winds Book #1): A Novel by [Cabot, Amanda]
From Amazon Store
Check out the Book Here

14. A few books your heart adores?

Seriously? A few books?

Fine, I'll put three.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Obviously, I don't need to say what this book is about (if you don't know what this book is about, then shame on you), or why I like it so much. I've been a big fan of this book since I was in my early teens, and this one is my favorite Austen story.

Pride and Prejudice by [Austen, Jane ]
From Amazon Store
Check out the Book Here
North and South by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

Margaret Hale is forced from her childhood home in the South of England when her father leaves his job as a minister in the Church of England. The Hale family makes their home in the North of England in a factory town, and Margaret has a tough time adjusting. Not helping matters is her father's new classics pupil, a factory owner by the name of John Thornton.

I got hooked onto this book by the BBC mini-series, and I must say, that I like the book better (only because BBC made Thornton look like a villain in the beginning and I didn't like that at all!).

North and South by [Gaskell, Elizabeth]
From Amazon Store
Check Out the Book Here
Stars Collide by Janice Thompson

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?

I love this book so much....this couple is so cute. The humor and the 'oh no' situations are enough to drive any blues away that you might have had. And it does give you an insight of what goes on during filming of a TV show (a lot more drama than what goes on the screen!).


Stars Collide (Backstage Pass Book #1): A Novel by [Thompson, Janice]
From Amazon Store
Check out the Book Here

15. What series' conclusion makes you sad?

I was really upset when I finished the Gallagher Girls series. I wanted Cammie's and Zach's story to continue....Though I wouldn't mind a rewrite of the 5th book. I really disliked that book. It was just...not right, didn't fit at all into the story line I thought. Plus the hypnotism and mind control really freaked me out. At least the sixth book fixed some of it, but still.

Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls Book 5) by [Carter, Ally]
Ah yes...this one. Seriously needs a rewrite.
From Amazon Store
Check it out Here

16. What books are on your wish list?

I want to read The Ranger's Apprentice series. My other bookish friends have been clamoring me to read it. Apparently, it's similar to Lord of the Rings, so it must be somewhat good, right?

The Ruins of Gorlan: Book 1 (Ranger's Apprentice) by [Flanagan, John A.]
Book 1
From Amazon Store
Check out the Book Here

Am I done? Phewy!

I tag:

Kat n Lia @ Catholic Girl Stuff

Mary Kate @ Sarcastic Scribblings (Because somebody loves tags.....)

Gray @ Writing is Life (that is, if she isn't sick of tags yet! Don't worry, I won't be offended if you pass, Gray)

Pip @ Pip and Lolly

Faith @ A Writer's Song

Micaiah @ Notebooks and Novels


Man, I'm thinking that this is going to be my last tag for this May Tag Madness Month. My muse is getting bored. Hopefully that means that some stories (like maybe Rose of Culmore) will actually get written soon!!!

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mystery Blogger Award

Hello all,

Soooooo....finally, I can calm down for a spell. Graduation went wonderfully and bittersweetly well (I still catch myself crying....but at least it didn't rain!) and I'm home for a little while.

But, before I delve too deeply into writing again, Mary Kate has nominated me for the Mystery Blogger Award!!!! (Must be TAG season in the blogging world....)


The Rules:
1. Put the award/logo image on your blog
2. List the rules
3. Mention who nominated you and link to their blog. In my case it is Mary Kate @ Sarcastic Scribblings
4. Mention the creator and link to their blog (In this case it is Okoto Engima)
5. Tell the readers three things about yourself and answer the questions that the nominator asked you.
6. Nominate some people
7. Ask your nominees 5 questions

Three things about myself:

1. I tend to overstuff bins and suitcases, making them total cement blocks when lifting them.

2. I love the Latin language (even if the grammar is totally atrocious)
3. I graduated Magna Cum Laude in college 😂

The Five Questions:

1. What is your Favorite Book Character?

Rrrrrgggghhhh. You had to ask THAT one, didn't you?

One of my favorites is Rilla from Rilla of Ingleside. I love watching her grow up and fall in love with Lt. Kenneth Ford.
😍

2. List three books you've read more than 3 times.

Stars Collide by Janice Thompson
Stuck in the Middle by Virginia Smith
All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

3. What is your favorite book cover?
Mine has seen better days....but this book is still one of my favorites.


4.  What is your favorite place to write and why? 

Considering that my life right now is a constant shuffle, I write wherever I get the Call of the Muse. Though more likely than not, it happens to be my bed. Not totally sure why.

5. What snack food/drink do you eat while writing?

Candy and Chocolate are my two snackies for writing. Water is also very necessary.

This tag I open up to everyone! Here are your questions:

1. Favorite book/author as a kid
2. If you could redesign a book cover, which book would it be and why?
3. Best book to movie adaptation
4. Favorite reading spot
5. Best book series ever

Have fun!

Scribbingly yours,

Catherine

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Liebster Blog Award


Hello all!!

So...I have two reasons to celebrate today!

One.....I'm finally done with finals!!!

Two, the wonderful Gray Marie Cox from Writing is Life has tagged me for the Liebster Blog Award! Thank you, dear friend!

***********************************************

Here are the rules:

Link back to the person who tagged you
Answer the eleven questions
Tag eleven bloggers and let them know
Ask your tagged bloggers eleven questions


1. What is your biggest Pet Peeve? 

Being forced to wait before I can do something. I'm terribly impatient.....

2. What is one of your favorite things?

Just one????
Ok......
My Kindle. I got it after my main computer crashed when I was desperate for a device to access the Internet (I didn't have a smartphone), and have loved it ever since. 

3. Do you have a song stuck in your head? If so, which one?

I'm between songs on my mental playlist right now....that'll probably change later today

4. What is your favorite book that you've read this week? 

I just finished a Kindle book called The Crown and the Crucible. It's a historical fiction based in pre-revolutionary Russia (1870s). I really really enjoyed seeing the two protagonists (a princess and her maid) become friends. I will warn my fellow readers, there is some minor infidelity in it though. 

5. What is your favorite movie that you've watched this week?

Hmmm.....I'll have to say Sense and Sensibility, 1995. 

6. Do you have a favorite YouTuber? If so, who?

I don't really go onto YouTube anymore.....I only really used it to listen to music and that has gone down since I switched to Spotify (which I love by the way). 

That being said, I still go on occasionally to see the new stuff from Studio C, Peter Hollens and sometimes a fantasy artist or two. 

7. White, milk or dark chocolate?

DARK....though I'll eat any kind really. Dark chocolate helps me a lot more than the other kinds though. 

8. What is your favorite word? 

I have too many, and I make up others when one doesn't fit. 

9. Do you have a secret talent? 

I can take a tune and play it by ear on the piano or violin. 

10. Who is the first person that you think of when you think "weird"? 

Ack.....rather not say cause I'll get dirty looks. 

11. Would you rather be super famous or rich and unknown? Why? 

Much prefer to be rich and unknown. I'm not one for special treatment, or for millions of unknown people squealing when they see me. Besides, when I'm unknown, I can make much more of a difference in people's lives with my money (and get a few toys for myself). 

********************

Ok, let me scrounge through my reading list here....

I tag: 

Cordy @ Write On Cordy!
Katie Grace @ A Writer's Faith
Tracy Dyck @ Adventure Awaits
Audrey @ Audrey Caylin
Pip and Lolly @ Pip and Lolly 

Here are the questions: 

1. What is your favorite type of weather?
2. What is your favorite music genre? 
3. Hard candy or gummy candy? 
4. What is your favorite color? 
5. Tolkein or C.S. Lewis? 
6. What is your favorite period drama film?
7. Do you have a carefree or work-filled summer ahead?
8. If you could choose any country to go, where would it be? 
9. Would you rather go by horse-drawn wagon, boat, train or plane?
10. What is your favorite sea animal? 
11. What do you pull out of the fridge when you're feeling down (comfort food)?


Forgive me if I end up really quiet for a couple of weeks. Running between four states in the space of a month is gonna be a little winding......

Scribblingly yours, 

Catherine



Saturday, May 6, 2017

May's Beautiful People!!!

PAPERFURY
Join the linkup! Link: http://paperfury.com/beautiful-people-24/
Hello all!!

After emerging victorious from Round One of College Finals, I decided to climb out of my posting slump...just in time for a new Beautiful People post!!!

This one had a parents theme....which was kinda difficult, because normally the parents are in the background with my stories. 

So I decided to pull up one of my *other* WIPs, a historical fiction that I'm starting to revisit again and do the parents of my protagonist and her sister. Enjoy!

*****************************************************************************

Leo and Jacinta Arlen - Parents of Ciara and Grace Arlen 





Leo Arlen 



Jacinta Garcia Arlen

1. Overall, how good is their relationship with their parents? 

Both girls have a very good relationship with their parents, and are extremely fond of them. 

2. Do they know both their biological parents? If not, how do they cope with this loss/absence and how has it affected their life?

Both knew their parents, but Grace's memories are a little fuzzier than her sister's. They lose their parents in the beginning of the story, and it definitely affects Ciara more than Grace.  

3. How did their parents meet? 

Leo is a fisherman. One day as a young man, he ends up going out way too far on his little fishing vessel and somehow winds up on the northern Spanish coast - half starving and cold no less. A Spanish lass and her father were walking the beach when he landed, and they took him in. He was there in Spain for several months, courting Jacinta and eventually they married and they went back to Dover, England. 

4. How would they feel if they were told "you're turning out like your parent(s)"? 

Ciara is heavily criticized for being like her mother, so that statement will probably be met with a stony look if not an outburst of temper. Grace is hard to tell....she's too young.  

5. What were your character's parents doing when they were your character's age? 

At Grace's age, both would have been at school in their respective countries. At Ciara's, Jacinta would have just met Leo, and Leo would be just getting his first boat. 

6. Is there something they adamantly disagree on? 

Yes, the question between work and education for Ciara. Her mother wants her to be more educated, but her father is having struggles keeping his place up, and the men in the town refuse to help them (for reasons), so he wants Ciara to take on a heavier workload.

7. What did the parent(s) find hardest about raising your character? 

Grace was a model child, though she would steal food out of the pantry. Ciara would get into much more trouble though, and getting her out of it was often a trial.

8. What's their most vivid memory with their parental figure(s)? 

For Ciara, it was one time her father came home unexpectantly from the sea with a large catch in a beautiful sunset. For Grace, it was her mother singing a Spanish lullaby.

9. What was your character like as a baby/toddler? 

Ciara was very curious baby. Grace, a rather sleepy one most of the time, unless she was around people because then she was the giggliest thing on the planet.

10. Why and how did the parents choose your character's name?  

Grace was named from Leo's mother. Ciara's name is more interesting. Jacinta had a very difficult labor with Ciara, and was very close to dying. But sheer Providence, an Irish midwife had just landed, and it was through her skill that the baby lived. Thus the grateful parents named the baby after her.

********************************************************************************
Unfortunately, I can't find a good snippet without giving away a ton of spoilers, since I wrote out a lot of the middle already. But....this BP really did help flesh out some of the background, so maybe I'll be able to write out some exposition for this story later. 

Hope your May is not as soggy as mine is! (I swear, if it rains all of next week and into graduation, I'm going to be soooooo mad!) 

Scribblingly yours, 

Catherine 


Monday, May 1, 2017

1000 View Celebration!!!!


Hello all,

So, I didn't expect to post today, but I about busted a gut this morning when I checked my Blogger stats this morning.

I'VE HIT A 1000 VIEWS ON THE REBELLING MUSE!!!!

To be exact, as of about 10 minutes ago, I've now got 1018. I really didn't expect to hit this many views in the 2 1/2 months I've been blogging here.

I'm so grateful to my 5 followers and all of you guys and I just wanna say....

Thank You!!!!!!

*gives everybody virtual cake to munch on and dances off in happiness*

Scribblingly yours, 

Catherine