The Fir Tree – Review

The Fir Tree is a story I had heard before, but did not know well. The sad tale is a cautionary fairy tale with traditional Hans Christian Anderson tropes and an ending that will bring a tear to your eye. In this beautiful green, cloth bound edition, the illustrations of Finnish artist Sanna Annukka elevate the story to new heights of beauty and devastation. Gorgeously rendered and written, this book is definitely worth the read. 4152frzf4cl-_sx282_bo1204203200_*this book was sent to me in exchange for a fair and honest review by blogging for Books*

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A Game of Thrones Reader’s Diary: Weeks 4 and 5

A Game of Thrones

Reader’s Diary

Week 4: Pages 305 – 409

Week 5: 410 – 500 (or 515)

 

I’m going to take this moment to be completely honest with you. I got so into the story, I forgot all about keeping a reader’s diary. I could go back and fake it for you and probably come out with something more entertaining than the previous couple of weeks have been. But in the interest of keeping this blog a real, open, and honest place to talk about books and life…I’m just going to leave you with a few key words and phrases to describe the experience of these past 200 pages:

*AHEM*

 

Murder, INTRIGUE, Folly, Temper Tantrums, Ridiculous Children (Can I slap them…please, PLEASE, CAN I SLAP THEM JUST ONE GOOD TIME EACH? SOMEONE SLAP THAT KID!).

Stop with the stupid.

Seriously…kill that woman. Just…kill her dead. Do it..you should have killed her. Told ya.

DO NOT TRUST HIM – Told ya (they really should listen to me!)

Oh. MY. Gravy Boats. How stupid are you? They put you in charge of people…on purpose? Do they want everyone dead? Well probably.

Oh yeah, that’s a great plan. Start a war and grab the wrong one. Dumbtard.

RUN AWAY. Umm…too late.

MAYHEM.

Thank you for your time. I hope this has entertained and intrigued. There is, really, so much more I could say. But I’ll save the ranting and raving for later, when I’ve finished this book. Or rather, when it finishes with me.

Have you read A Game of Thrones? Are you reading it along with me? Let me know your thoughts down below! Happy Reading

Reading Diary: Game of Thrones

Last week I began a read-a-long of the popular (or at least, famous) book A Game of Thrones. (have you heard of it? I hear its pretty ok I started a Goodreads group and have places to chat about the book…wanna join in the read-a-long? Come on by Buddy Reads with Beth!).

When I started reading, I also started a reading vlog. When I started the vlog, I started a diary type page to keep up when I didn’t want to film. Warning…there are mild spoilers (though I tried to keep that to a minimum). I hope you enjoy my reading Diary for pages 1-109 of A Game of Thrones.

Game of Thrones Diary:

 

I am about to begin reading George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones. This is the first book in The Song of Ice and Fire series and I have heard so many things about this series…I’m almost afraid to begin. But I set up a Goodreads group and hyped up a read-a-long for this, we’re reading 100 pages (or so) a week starting this Friday, July 29th, and I had better set a good example since I’ve never hosted anything previously.

 

July 29th – Starting off

 

Today is the day! I’m about to pick up A Game of Thrones…my friends have warned me against becoming attached to any character, human or not, that shows up at any point in the story. “Don’t even think about becoming attached to a location Elizabeth,” one told me. “Just stay aloof!”

Another, who has lived with me during re-reads of Harry Potter, repeatedly pushed the point that some of the deaths will be as hard, or possibly harder, than those in H.P. and that I MUST remain separate as there is no one to let me lay on their shoulder and watch NCIS at 3 am to get the taste of tears off of my tongue. I’m a bit frightened of this book again.

Prologue:

WHAT?? What the…what is an ‘Other’? Is this some sort of Fey creature?

Man…They weren’t kidding! 3 characters were introduced at the beginning of the prologue…2 were dead by the end of that chapter.

Bran:

The first chapter follows 7-year-old Bran on his first outing with his father and brothers on the way to his father, Lord Eddard Stark, having to take care of a disciplinary issue at one of their holdfasts. Dire wolf pups are found, 1 for each of Bran’s siblings. I wants one.

Catelynn, Daenerys, Eddard, Jon, Arya, etc.

Each chapter switches between the main characters, showing us things that are happening from different perspectives. We get different truths, different visions, different placements. While this sounds like something that would be difficult to follow, the writing is surprisingly easy to slide through. I am amazed at how much harshness and beauty can live side by side in this book. All 3 of the first characters were dead by page 23. The Histories, religions, beliefs, animosities, senses of humor, and personalities of each character are interesting, well done, and enticing. I want more when I should be wanting to set it down and do work. This could be a problem.

 

I dislike the Lannisters.

Bran:

I can’t believe this! What in the world?? What is with these illicit affairs, first of all? And, that aside, HOW COULD YOU/HE DOE THIS? SERIOUSLY? THE KID IS 7 YOU TWIT!

 

Dany:

The characters are all so much younger than I had it in my mind that they were. Harsh times kill off the old and the infirm I suppose. Daenerys Targaryen is 13 as she is wedded of to the 30(ish) year old Khal of the Dothraki. She is a fierce and fiery young lady, I forget her age during the chapter until I am reminded again at her inexperience and youth. However, I can see the makings of a queen. I look forward to more from her and her Dothraki king.

Saturday Stories 7/9/16

This past week was a doozy in the world of words I like to surround myself with and snuggle down in to.

First of all, I joined a Buddy Read/Group Read of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern which began for most of us on Monday, June 27th and is continuing on as people read and discuss at their own rates (One of the readers set up a thread on an existing Goodreads group) and so we are all still delving into the book even if we’ve finished as more of our compatriots comment on the different sections. I, myself, completed this book around Wednesday and absolutely adored it (rating around 4.5 stars, but I bumped it up to a full 5 or Goodreads). I own the beautiful floppy paperback version and also borrowed the audio book from Overdrive. It was fabulous, though the physical copy makes it a bit easier to follow the fluid and jumping time frames.

In the middle of reading The Night Circus, a read-a-thon started up…one that I have been anticipating and refining my TBR list for over the past 2 months. The #SmoresandMayhem Middle Grade Read-a-thon ran from July 1st – July 8th and had only one ‘rule’: each book must focus on a story that takes place during/in/around summertime.

For #SmoresandMayhem I managed to read 5 1/2 books (and DNF 1 more).

I re-read The Babysitter’s Club Super Special 1: Babysitters on Board (By Ann M. Martin) and High Wizardry (By Diane Duane). I haven’t read either of these books in so long that it was almost as though I read them for the first time. I remember loving the BSC book and feeling a bit MEH about the wizarding book and..my feelings haven’t really changed, except that I’m more outspoken about them now.

Along with those two I also completed Deep and Dark and Dangerous (By Mary Downing Hahn), The Wish in the Bottle (By Morna McLeod), and Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library (By Chris Grabenstein) (this was read on audio book and it was AMAZING. Listen to it!). I quit on The Girl who Circumnavigate Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (By Catherynne M. Valente) within the first two chapters. I have handed it over to my mother in order to determine if this is a book that I really do need to try to read again later, when I’m not still on a high from reading a couple of 5 star books prior to picking it up. I’m having the same issue with my 1/2 read book, The Westing Game (By Ellen Raskin)

The cool thing though, is that all the only physical library book I checked out for all of this was High Wizardry…meaning that I knocked out 6 books from my little TBR bookshelves. I’m down to about 45 now!

With all of that reading going on, I did kind of neglect my #HotandSticky Summer Writing Challenge work. I’m still a bit ahead of the game, but not by much with three days of 0 word count so far this month. Today’s (Friday, July 8th) ending target total word count 19,032 and my total current word count is 22,169. I definitely need to get my booty in gear again!

Unfortunately, I’ve lost over half of the original Sylvester outlines and have changed the story so much I’m now stalled in it trying to remember what I wanted so I know what to change (I hate it when I get all switch happy and forget what happens!). So I switched to writing the new children’s chapter book, a sequel to the recently finished Paulonious Punk (which hasn’t even been properly edited yet!) but the past couple of days has just felt like trying to pull cold taffy so all the myriad of picture book ideas, the children’s book, the 5th in the dragon series, the 2 NA/A fantasy stories, and the 2 rewrites are all just being left to their own devices. Normally one will speak to me and the rest get put aside for a bit but right now, right now I’m woefully falling behind. I better get over this soon, though, because I get CRANKY when I don’t write. It’s worse than PMS…it’s SWS (stalled writing syndrome)..and Midol does NOT help! (Coffee, Coke, Dark Chocolate, Chips and Salsa, 90s alternative music, and Netflix binges…these help. Please send some and save my poor family).

All that being said, here is a clip from the children’s chapter book. I’ve only just begun but I really enjoyed this scene, I hope you do too!

That afternoon Pauly called an emergency meeting of the adventuring club. With Fredrick and Mark Finkle still out of town at their lake house for the summer, Pauly, John, and Grandpa were the only official members available, but a quick vote allowed Sarah to tag to along too. If she got too annoying they could stick Grandma with her and ask them to bake cookies or something.

“This is gonna be SO GREAT,” Pauly exclaimed before remembering his role and sheepishly banging his small gavel on the president’s podium (a miniature dinosaur with flat top hair do and a mouth that would open and burp bubbles when you tickled its left ear). “I officially call this meeting to order! Is there any new business to attend to?”

“Yes,” Grandpa Punk solemnly raised his hand and waited to be called on. “Thank you, President Pauly,” he cleared his throat. “THIS IS GOING TO BE SO AWESOME!!!!!!!”

This caused the entire group to dissolve into a laughing it that was so loud and long it disturbed Grandmother Punk, who was in the process of baking and became afraid that her desserts would fall apart if the laughter continued.

When they had sobered up and managed to settle down a little, Pauly posed a serious question.

Fetching the club’s brand new “adventure notebook” (a pleather bound journal with the picture of a mountain on the cover) from its place of honor on top of the cluttered old desk in the corner, he began, “I think that we should each write down what’s going on and our thoughts and stuff about it from now until the end of the trip. That way we have a…a….a.”

“A reckoning of events for posterity,” Grandpa suggested with a smile.

“Exactly, a whatever it is that Granpa just said,” Pauly straightened his spine and schooled his facial expression into one of solemn thoughtfulness, “All in favor?”

Two ‘ayes’ and a ‘yupyup’ rang out among the many inventions and tools of the fort/shop.

“It has been decided,” Pauly intoned seriously, “So it shall be done.“   He passed the notebook and feathered pen to his second in command. “Johnny, will you start us out please?”

Writer’s Quote Wednesday -Birthday Bash

Welcome back to Writer’s Quote Wednesday! This is a weekly get together across many blogs and hosted by the fabulous Silver Threading! Check out her blog for the week here and while you’re at it, check out the amazing Ronovan’s #BeWOW (Be Wonderful (or Writing) on Wednesdays) and see what that’s all about in this post. Silver and Ronovan joined forces and we like to Be Wonderful and Quote Writers all over the place on Wednesdays. 

Today would be Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s 184th birthday and, since he wrote one of my favorite children’s books of all time I thought I would take today to share some quotes from a great author…better known as Lewis Carroll. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass inspire creativity, self acceptance, and a love of strangeness. The Mad Hatter has long been one of my favorite literary characters and the quotes I’ve chosen for you today share that oddness and whimsy that translates into lyrical sentences and happy times. They always remind me that I am an author, a creator, and a fairy tale of swirling words waiting to be written down!

Without further ado…welcome to the wonderful, whimsical, writing world of Lewis Carroll:

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This quote is handy for authors, I think of it all the time as I write and try to make sure my audience has room for their imaginations. 

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selfish actions tend to make us feel poorly in the end…but things we can enjoy with or for others make life a little sweeter every day. 

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If you wrote a sentence, read a page, ran an errand, or even just washed the dishes, you’ve come farther than you know! Every day, every action,very choice, every breath…look how far you’ve come. 

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Write the story, live the story, go kiss that crush you’ve been aiming for..whatever. 

Finally, these two speak for themselves. We are, each of us, something amazing and unique. Don’t worry about the differences, celebrate them!

HERE YE, HERE YE:

By Royal Decree of King Ferdinand of Realta…that precocious Fairy King…and Elizabeth S. Tyree, the woman who writes his stories, I hereby declare the ONE DAY ONLY, MAD DASH Addition of Dragon in My Yard and Dragon on the Green to the Kindle Free Downloads Library.

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, you read that correctly. For TODAY (July 12, 2015) ONLY all 3 of the currently available Stone Dragon Saga books will be ready and waiting for your download!

Remember, check back in HERE to get yourself entered in that contest!

Thank you for everything, I hope you enjoy! Either way, I hope you rate and review.

Momentum

The past couple of days have been filled with writing, Pinterest wins (can you say, creamy mac n cheese anyone!?), and even someone re-pinning my pin of my students’ book!

This week I got CampNaNo tweets retweeted and responded to, I made my work count for the week (2 days early), Finished book 4 in the Stone Dragon Saga (Started Part2/Book6), worked on the companion Middle Grades Dragon novel, and I’m almost finished reading the most interesting non-fiction book I’ve seen in a long while (more on that later!).

So I thought I would try to keep this momentum going by reminding you that my books (and my father’s) are all available on Kindle and Amazon! Below you will find the last few sentences of Book 4: Dragons in the Deep  (Part 1?) AND the links to my author page, my dad’s author page, and my students’ book (theirs is free all week, starting Monday!*)

Please consider giving me a shout and/or writing up a review on Amazon for anything you read! It really helps other readers AND authors when you take that extra minute or two and let us all know what you think! Thank you for everything you do everyday!

May your inspiration soar to new heights this week!

*Dragon in the Deep* 

“What is th…” Nickel leaned toward the screen for a better look but anything she was saying got swallowed as the ‘sea serpent’ caught sight of the little dragon’s lifeless form and surged powerfully through the water, her keen of despair and quick displacement of water combining to create a very unsettling range of wail that seemed to inhabit every object, and person, in the area.

When silence finally came, it was deafening.

Author Page: amazon.com/author/elizabethtyree

Tyree Tomes: http://www.facebook.com/TyreeTomes

Highland Park Presents: http://www.amazon.com/Highland-Park-Presents-Fifth-Grade-ebook/dp/B00VUKNYBQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1429475187&sr=1-1&keywords=highland+park+presents+kindle

Dr. Wilson Jay Tyree: amazon.com/author/wilsontyree