Friday, January 31, 2020

The Retirement of Lianne Taimenlore

Yes, folks, that's right. 

Lianne Taimenlore is officially retiring. 

One of the first headers ever to appear on this blog. *all the nostalgia*

For several years now, I've struggled with the thought of retiring this blog. Every time it came up, however, I struck it down with a vehement sentiment. After all, I've been here since 2011, and I've loved every moment of it. Why change something that's worked so well?

Here's Why

One of the biggest reasons for this is for my writing. Lianne Taimenlore has served as a great spot to host my books and all, but I want something more professional. Something that tells people I'm serious about my writing and serious about the books I hope to publish. I don't think I'll ever make a million-dollar career out of being an author, but I'm hoping that having a more official writing site will help me put a better author-centered foot forward.

Also, lately, I've been pretty overwhelmed trying to keep up with several blogs and writing stories and being mommy that I've realized it's time for a change. I have two kids now at home that I'm trying to keep alive on a daily basis, and there's only so much naptime in a day that allows me to sit and work in peace. I've already deleted three of my old blogs - all three of which really haven't seen activity since 2014 (or earlier). [I'll even wager you forgot those three blogs existed, so brownie points for anyone who can name even one in the comments.] My hope is to bring what I love, all the blog posts I want to write, all together in one spot. That way I'm writing for one blog, rather than four.

That being said, that also means I'm retiring from posting on KiriBeth. I will still be reviewing books, just no longer posting them on that site.

Where am I moving?

So, where am I going to be blogging then? Where will people be able to find me, Kiri Liz?

Well, over the next few months, I'll be transferring data and all the things to a blog I began as a homework assignment -- A Synesthete Writer. All information concerning the online home of Kirsten Fichter, author, and Kiri Liz, the online personality, will be there.

In case you missed the link earlier -- A SYNESTHETE WRITER.

What about FTC?

For those interested, yes, I will still be one of five fairy godmothers writing for Fairy Tale Central. I have no plans to change that. *grins* A lot of the stories I write are fairytale retellings, anyway... Besides, with those other fairy godmothers to have fun with, it doesn't feel like work.

Last Thoughts

I'm not planning on deleting Lianne Taimenlore entirely, so you will still be able to visit here if you so chose. However, the blog will no longer be active. This will be my last post to publish here in this hallowed realm.

I'm still feeling a lot of bittersweet sentiment over this. Lianne Taimenlore has given me 9 wonderful years. I'm highly embarrassed to go back and see some of the earlier blog posts that I wrote. *whew* I'm forever grateful for the readership this blog has seen. After all, a blog isn't much without its dear, dear readers. You did so much more in shaping this blog than you realized.

But it's 2020. If ever there was a year for change, this is it. We're moving forward.

*cries all the ugly tears*

Please consider following me and my writing adventures on A Synesthete Writer

God bless!

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Snow's Kiss - A Snow Queen Story

It's the Snow Queen month over at Fairy Tale Central! Where I'm at currently, we haven't got any snow, so I keep reading through the posts to make it feel like winter. Seriously, January in the southern USA isn't winter. I've got true northern blood running through my veins, and I ain't apologizing.

Anyway, Arielle has once again given us a writing prompt to run wild with, based on the original fairytale of the Snow Queen. And since we all know that I love chasing plot bunnies... here's my contribution. Again, this is reading like more of a first chapter to something, rather than an independent story. 



“Well, are you going to kiss me or not?” 

Gerhardt grinned at the scowl on her face. “We’ve been over this, your majesty. Kissing you would kill me, and I happen to value my life right now.” 

“Don’t call me that, peasant,” Fannara spat back, her mouth twisting in a scowl. “And it wouldn’t kill you. You know this is what your father wants.” She kept her voice low, and he knew why. 

Gerhardt’s father, along with all the other chiefs of the northern tribes, stood watching his every move. As well they should be. He was about to pick a woman to spend the rest of his life with, a woman with whom he would lead his tribe, a woman to raise the next generation of chiefs. His father had spoken many times of Fannara’s beauty and her family’s influence among the northern tribes. A union between their two tribes would make a powerful union, to be sure. 

But his father didn’t know Fannara like Gerhardt did. He didn’t know the cold, compassion-less temper that lay beneath her crystal beauty. 

“Kiss me,” Fannara whispered again. 

Gerhardt stared hard at her. It would be so easy to lean forward and press a kiss to her forehead. So easy. So simple. One forehead kiss that would seal his decision and proclaim his choice of bride to everyone in the room. 

“I’m sorry, Fannara,” he said finally. “I can’t.”

“Coward,” she hissed. 

“Don’t make a spectacle,” he returned calmly. 

He cast his eyes down the line of kneeling girls beyond Fannara. There were so many they reached to both sides of the igloo, and each one was dressed in her finest furs and jewelry. Various gaps broke the line where the sons of the tribes before him had kissed and claimed their brides. Each man had walked outside to present his choices to the villages gathered, and the roars that had erupted at each appearance would by no means die anytime soon. Once the sons had all chosen their brides, the joyous crowd would rush all the couples off to a wedding ceremony. After that, the celebration would last long into the night with feasting and dancing. He could already smell the aroma of fried fish floating on the chilly breeze. 

It was tradition, after all, to have the eligible sons of the northern tribes pick a bride on the first day of winter. Entering the long winter months with a wife was a sign of joy, hope, warmth, and life. 

And now everyone was waiting on Gerhardt. 

He bore one last scowl from the kneeling Fannara before he moved on to stand in front of the next girl. She was a girl he knew from his own tribe, but he barely saw or heard her. One by one, he slowly made his way down the line of girls, stopping at each one to listen to what they might say to him. It didn’t matter what any of them said to him because he already knew his choice. 

Black hair framed her face, the dark locks barely contained in her braid. He took a deep breath. It was time to show his father where his heart had been loyal for the last three years. 

“Eirwen,” he said, “what will you say to me?” 

Her eyes twinkled in the way he loved as she looked up to meet his gaze. “Only that you should have worn your darker caribou coat. This one is too light. The color doesn’t compliment your skin at all. You’re a disgrace to the tribe.” 

He grinned. “And will you take the hand of this disgraceful son?” 

Even though he knew she’d been expecting the question, her breath caught audibly. “Are you sure, Gerhardt?” 

“I’ve never been more sure.”

“And your father?” she whispered. 

He stole a glance at the group of chiefs at the far end of the igloo. In the dim light, he could barely make out his father’s face. “I’ll make him understand. I’m not giving you up. I love you, Eirwen.” 

Her cheeks pinked. “I love you, too, Gerhardt.”  

His heart soared as he leaned forward and pressed his lips against her forehead. Somewhere behind him, he heard a snort of rage. Presumably from Fannara. She would get over it eventually. Even though she acted like a queen, she couldn’t always have everything she wanted. 

Gerhardt held out his hand to Eirwen and pulled her to her feet. With her hand tucked securely in his elbow, he led her past the group of chiefs and outside. The setting sun on the snowy horizon blinded him momentarily before the roar of the crowd deafened him to all else. He felt Eirwen’s hand tighten on his arm in excitement. 

People crowded around him, everyone wanting to get a good look at the new bride in her furs. Once they were certain of her identity, another roar of approval went up and the tribes fell back to create a path to the place where the wedding ceremony would take place. 

The only place large enough to accommodate everyone was the central cavern carved into the side of the mountain. Gerhardt preferred the coziness and icy curves of an igloo to the dark reaches of the cavern rooms, but one could only make an igloo so big. 

The short, zigzag tunnel designed to keep the snow and wind from the cavern was small and dark – a stark contrast to the giant, golden-lit expanse beyond. Fires and tables lined the outer reaches of the room, aromatic foods indicative of the joyous banquet to come. Caribou, walrus, polar bear, and fish comprised most of the feast, but the cooks had outdone themselves with dried berries, seaweed soups, and roasted roots as well. But, as hungry as he was, Gerhardt barely noticed the smells. 

He and Eirwen took their places at the end of the line of couples going down the center of the cavern. Already, he could see the priests of the northern tribes waiting to unite the new couples in marriage, but no one could begin until the chiefs of the tribes were in place. And, as always, they were taking their time. 

Gerhardt wished he could make time move faster. Even with Eirwen clutching his arm now, he still felt that she could slip away from him at any moment. Fannara’s face kept flashing in his mind. She could rant all she wanted, but once he and Eirwen were united before the Lord and the tribes, there was nothing she could do about it. Eirwen would be his wife, and he would be her husband. The thought sent excitement down to his toes. Eirwen must have felt it, too, for she squeezed the thick sleeve of his coat. 

Slowly – too slowly – people trickled in, filling every space in the cavern. The crowds still roared and the noise was even more deafening as it bounced off the rock walls. 

Finally, the chiefs were in place. The oldest priest climbed up onto a carved dais and spread his hands for silence. 

“My people, the tribes of the northern reaches, welcome! The Lord’s blessing shines down upon these new couples tonight. May the warmth and love that each feels tonight carry him through this coming winter.” 

The lights went out. 

It was without warning, and for a moment silence swallowed the eerie darkness. Gerhardt thought his heart stopped in the quiet. 

Then, people began panicking. Shouts for fires, for a light, for anything punctuated against the rock walls. Women screamed. Dogs barked. Tables and food platters hit the stone floor as scared crowds ran over them. If Gerhardt had been capable of coherent thought, he would have described it all as pure chaos. 

People began jostling him from every side, men and women and children all racing to find lights or something useful. In the blackness, Eirwen’s hand was wrenched from his arm. 

With a shout, he leaped after her. But in the darkness, it was impossible to locate her again, and he ran into someone solid. A thick man, he guessed, by the size and stench of him. 

He could hear his father and the other chiefs yelling above people, trying to calm everyone down. 


His shout died instantly in the noise surrounding him. There was no answer that he could decipher. 

The first light to rekindle drew everyone’s attention right away. It took a moment for Gerhardt to recognize what he was looking at, and when he finally sorted it all out, he realized he was far from the original spot he’d been standing in. 

For there in front of him, standing with both feet planted firmly into the rocky floor of the entrance tunnel, was a dwarf. His head came almost to Gerhardt’s waist, and the torch he held in his hand illuminated the scowl on his face. 

He pointed a thick finger at Gerhardt. “Bring us the mirror, and the brides come home. You have ten days.” 

And with that, he whacked the torch against the wall of the tunnel, extinguishing the light. 

Gerhardt dove forward in the darkness. “Ow!” The cold stone of the tunnel greeted his hands and his face, and he crashed to the floor. Everything smarted, but the pain didn’t register. 

They took Eirwen. The dwarves took Eirwen. 

He didn’t know when someone finally got a fire lit behind him, but soon the light was spreading to every corner of the cavern. Wails and moans filled the space. Gerhardt didn’t want to turn around and see the truth, but he knew what had happened. 

The dwarves had snuck in and stolen every new bride. Every girl that had been kissed and chosen that day were gone. 

“You should have chosen me,” Fannara hissed at his side. 

Gerhardt rounded on her with a shout. “And if I had, you’d be missing right now, too! Did you want to be kidnapped? I’m sorry I ruined such a fun opportunity for you.” 

“You know you were wrong to choose her,” she snapped back, ignoring the looks of shock sent in her direction. 

“I would never choose you!” he yelled, fists curling. 

“Am I not beautiful enough?” 

She cares about her beauty when how many innocent girls just got kidnapped? “Eirwen is the fairest of them all, Fannara! You could never come close to her beauty!” 

She fell back, shocked and silent. Her face went pale against her dark furs. 

“Now that you have made your opinion so decidedly loud for everyone to enjoy,” Gerhardt’s father said suddenly, stepping past the last few people standing between him and his son, “there is the matter of the mirror to discuss.” 

Gerhardt felt fire leap up within him. “I’ll take it to the dwarves at once.” 

“Oh, no. The council of chiefs must meet to decide that. I believe most would rather let the girls go than surrendering the mirror to those outlaws.” 


Snow Queen meets Snow White...

God bless!

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Top 10 Books: 2019 Edition

This year was a year of fairytale retellings for me. Not only did I publish one of my own (shameless advertising: link to Spindle Dreams on Amazon), but I read about 30 retellings in twelve months. Many of those were related to being a reviewer for Fairy Tale Central, but most were purely for pleasure's sake.

Now let's see if I can make a Top-Ten list for the books I read this year. New books, new-to-me books, re-reads, all the books; we're just grouping everything together. If you ask me tomorrow what my top 10 books were for last year, the list may not look exactly like the list below.

Interested in reading more about some of these books? I'll be including links to my full reviews on KiriBeth and FTC when available.

#10: The Curse of Gold

I don't typically read short stories, but I picked up quite a few of A.G. Marshall's shorter works as they became free throughout the year and I finally made the plunge before Christmas to read all the ones I'd picked up. Wow. They're all tiny, golden nuggets of the most unique fairytale retellings you'll ever read. I LOVED how twisted this Rumpelstiltskin story was -- easily my favorite out of the ones I read. Definitely recommend for a snowy afternoon when you're looking for something different to read alongside of your hot chocolate.

#9: The Princess and the Pea

This was my very first K.M. Shea book. And it did not disappoint. I loved the twist on the original fairytale, and that the pea was such a big part of the book! If you want to retell the Princess and the Pea, YOU MUST INCLUDE THE PEA.

#8: The Warrior Maiden

It's been a while since I've read a Melanie Dickerson book that I actually really loved. Not since Huntress, anyway. A lot of her books got into the same rut -- hero and heroine fall in love, heroine gets kidnapped, happily ever after. BUT. Mulan was so different! And she acted like Mulan. SHE FOUGHT. And she didn't get the cliched kidnapped. I think this book right here has restored my hopes in Dickerson's retellings.

#7: Only a Novel

A re-read for this year! Ahhh, still sooooo good! For anyone who wants their lives to look like a Jane Austen novel, THIS is the book to read. Sweet, well-paced, humorous, chock-full of Austen references. The best. Really.

#6: The Dragon's Flower

I said in my original review that this was probably the closest to the original fairytale retelling I've ever read. I'm not always big on Oriental-style stuff in general, but I think this book changed my mind about that. Long, but a well-worth-the-read Rapunzel story.

#5: Mechanical Heart

How shall I describe the ways I loved this book? I'm still a little speechless thinking about it. It was amazing. Rapunzel in steampunk like you've never seen her before. EPIC.

#4: King's Blood

This was a long-awaited read. There's just something Dickens-esque about this trilogy (like if you mixed it with Arabian Nights and Tolkien), and I love it to pieces. Definitely would recommend for a more mature reader, though.

#3: Bitter Winter

These last three books really are competing for top place. It's so hard to put them in a permanent line-up. Urgh. The latest book in the Ilyon Chronicles was everything I wanted it to be. And now I'm DYING for book six, Daican's Heir.

#2: The City Beyond the Glass

I LOVED THIS SO MUCH! One of my reads for FTC, and it just blew me away. Not quite twelve princesses in this 12DP retelling, but SO WORTH IT. It was super unique and ahhh!! All the lovely things. *heart eyes*

#1: Elantris

When I step back and force myself to think, I really think this was my top book for 2019. My first ever Brandon Sanderson. AND I LOVED IT. It was an epic fantasy that broke every cliche fantasy ever succumbed to. MARVELOUS. I can't wait to get my hands on more Sanderson. BECAUSE WE NEEDS MORE SANDERSON, PRECIOUS.


And that's it, folks! What were your top reads last year? Have you read any of the ten I've listed above? Let me know in the comments!

Ready to get onto finding my top ten books for 2020!

God bless!

Monday, December 30, 2019

December 2019 Book Haul

Well, here we are, folks! It's the end of the year already, and I'm absolutely flabbergasted that 2019 is OVER. Where have the last twelve months gone?? Somehow, it just feels like we were celebrating New Years' and Easter, and now we're about ready to welcome 2020. SO MUCH has happened this year, and it's nuts, but I'm not going to harp on all that right now. 

Because right now is Book Haul time. Believe it or not, I only got one book for Christmas: C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy in one volume (from my awesome hubby -- I've been wanting to read that for so long!!). And sadly, I don't have a picture of it. All of the pictured books below were ones that I collected before Christmas. Enjoy!

Emily of New Moon // Emily Climbs // Emily's Quest // L.M. Montgomery -- The last few years have re-awoken my interest in Montgomery's novels. It was super exciting to find a box set of the Emily trilogy since I've yet to read any of the Emily books. 

Minuk: Ashes in the Pathway (Girls of Many Lands) // Kirkpatrick Hill -- I remember reading a few of these books growing up. Girls of Many Lands was a spin-off historical series that American Girls put out way back in the day. I seriously cannot remember if I've ever read Minuk or not, though.

Unlocking the Spell (Wide-Awake Princess, #2) // E.D. Baker -- The first fairytale retelling in this giant pile! I'm a bit disappointed I didn't find the first book in this series, but maybe I'll read them out of order. Don't judge. I believe this book is based on Snow White and Rose Red. 

Bella at Midnight // Diane Stanley -- Another fairytale retelling! This is a Cinderella one that I've yet to read. 

Enchanted (Woodcutter Sisters, #1) // Alethea Kontis -- Fairytale retelling #3 which is based on the Frog Prince. I haven't read this one yet, either. *le gasp* So many retellings, and so little time. 

Fairest Son // H.S.J. Williams -- AT LAST! I've been looking forward to this gender-swapped Snow White story since FOREVER. I can't believe I haven't gotten my hands on it until now. 

With Blossoms Gold // Hayden Wand -- Fairytale retelling #5 and probably one of THE BEST Rapunzel stories you'll ever read. IT IS AMAZING.

The Healer's Apprentice // The Captive Maiden (Haigenheim, #1 and #4) // Melanie Dickerson -- Sensing a theme here? Retelling count up to seven now for this month. I read both of these forever ago, but I don't remember them all that well. And I actually have very few Dickerson retellings, so I was happy to include these to Huntress and Fairest Beauty to make my Dickerson collection add up to four books total. 

Landon Snow and the Auctor's Riddle (Landon Snow, #1) // R.K. Mortenson -- This book looked so fun. Landon gets swallowed by a book. LITERALLY. HOW COOL IS THAT?

Once On This Island (Mackinac Island Trilogy, #1) // Gloria Whelan -- I loved this trilogy growing up!! I'm a Michigan girl at heart. 

Because colorful books -- why not a rainbow?

The Siege (Guardians of Ga'Hoole, #4) // Kathryn Lasky -- Slowly adding to my Ga'Hoole books. Some day I'll actually read this series. 

Pippi Longstocking // Astrid Lindgren -- Another childhood favorite. I can't believe I hadn't picked up a copy of this until now. 

The Family Under the Bridge // Natalie Savage Carlson -- I haven't read this, but it looked like such a cute story! It's about an older man who makes a family with a bunch of homeless kids. 

Shakespeare's Scribe (The Shakespeare Stealer, #2) // Gary L. Blackwood -- I really enjoyed the first book, so of course I'd jump on the second when I found it! 

Wishing Well (The Misadventures of Benjamin Bartholomew Piff, #3) // Jason Lethcoe -- This is another series that I'd never heard of, but the books just looked fun. Yeah, so now I have book #3, but not #1 or #2. #bookproblems

North by Northanger: Or the Shades of Pemberley (Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mysteries, #3) // Carrie Bebris -- I don't think I've read any Austen fanfiction/other authors' continuations. But this one looked interesting, so I thought I'd give it a go. 

Shield: A Prequel to Medallion // Dawn L. Watkins -- Super excited about this one! A childhood favorite by one of my college professors! 

Mik-Shrok (Adventures of an Arctic Missionary, #1) // Gloria Repp -- Ever since I first read this trilogy, I've loved huskies and wanted so badly to visit Alaska. I love these books SO MUCH. 

King's War // Jill Williamson -- I CAN FINALLY FINISH THIS SERIES! I've been dying since this summer to know how it ended once I read King's Blood

Bitter Winter // Jaye L. Knight -- When one makes a Christmas order and needs some extra $$ to get the free shipping from Amazon (yes, I don't have Prime), you get the next Ilyon Chronicles book. #noregrets I seriously cannot wait for the final book in this series to come out, Daican's Heir


What books did you add to your shelves this month? Any literary Christmas gifts? I'd love to know! Share in the comments below! 

God bless!

Friday, December 13, 2019

How NaNo Went

I'm not really sure what I was thinking this year. For four years, I ignored NaNo in order to complete my college studies. I missed it desperately, but there was absolutely no time to write 50K between homework assignments.

Once I graduated, I thought: Certainly, now I'll have more free time to write. And last year, that was more or less true. As a mother of a seven-month-old, I still had quite a bit distracting me, but my daughter was old enough where she could sit by herself and play while mommy wrote.

THIS YEAR. HOWEVER. My daughter is now one and a half years old, running everywhere, getting into everything, etc. etc. And then we also threw in a newborn on top of that. I was so happy our son arrived early (especially considering my wish to NOT give birth during NaNo), and since he would mostly sleep the first few weeks of his life NaNo would be a cinch, right?

Ha. No.

Let's just say newborns and NaNo really don't mix. There was VERY little sleep involved. I'm a stubborn, crazy idiot who thought she could write 50K while nursing a newborn and keeping up with a rambunctious 18 month old.

Oh yeah -- and get this. A week into the month, my husband started experiencing horrific stomach pain and had to go to the ER for emergency appendix surgery. I'm an extremely emotional person when it comes to the people I love, so the day of his surgery I wrote a grand total of 145 words. *shakes head* That kind of stress I don't handle well.

Thus, it was not an auspicious start to this NaNo. I was behind for most of the month, by about 6,000 words or so. There were days when it felt like I was pulling teeth to get even 500 words out, and all I wanted to do was to go to bed.

I did mention I was stubborn, right? In spite of everything, I didn't want to quit. How in the world could I call myself a decent writer if I didn't even TRY? I was NOT quitting. I ended up doing most of my writing between 10pm and midnight, which was when both of my kids were asleep. Thankfully, my husband was typically doing homework about the same time, so it was nice to have a buddy to work alongside of.

And then on November 29th, I finished my 50K.

After so much stress about writing, it was glorious to finish a whole day early. I'm still a little in shock that I finished.

My advice to those writing mommies out there: NaNo with a newborn really isn't the greatest idea. Unless you're way better with managing your time and making schedules than I am.

But how about the story?

I was working on The Twelfth Kingdom, one of my 12DP retellings. Initially, I began the month with 120K already written on the tale, and the 50K allowed it to grow up to 170K.

And it's still not finished.

My goal originally was to have the first draft of this story completed by Christmas. I doubt at this point that'll happen. So, right now, I'll be so happy if I can finish the book by the end of January. And hopefully wrap it up in NO MORE than 200,000 words. Secret of the Hazel Tree ended at 198K on the first draft, and I would be so happy to finish this book in fewer words.

Ha. We'll see.

But snippets, shall we? I don't think it's fair to drag you through the entire month of NaNo with me and not share a few snippets. Since it's closing in on the end of the book, much of what I wrote would be spoilers, so I'm afraid I have to be extremely picky when sharing these.


“But what about the shoes?” Bethjasmine asked. She had yet to wear out a pair, but Josette knew their governess’s tirade with the tattered slippers that morning had left a marked impression. “If we keep dancing, they’ll keep wearing out.” 

This time, no one wanted to bring up the option of dancing barefoot. As thin as the slippers themselves were, they were still a necessity when dancing underground. 

“Let them wear out,” Laris grumbled. “The king will keep paying for new ones, since we’ve got to have them. Rancune will be stumped that we’re improving. And Severamer can have a fit when she can’t figure out what’s going on. All of that makes me pretty happy.” 

Issie continued to hug her shawl. “That sounds awfully rebellious to me.” 

Aleevity shook her head. “Well, I never considered myself a rebel, but if this is what it takes to become one, I’m for it.” She caught the look in Nattalaris’s eyes and snapped on it. “And don’t you dare say anything about me agreeing with you. I promise you, it won’t happen again.” 


A movement of something dark caught the corner of his eye, and he looked towards it. “More coming in that direction, m’lord.” 

Waedan didn’t turn, but tossed his eyeglass at Tarren. “Tell me how many.” 

Tarren accepted the instrument. “It looks like another three regiments or so. Probably close to… Waedan!” The words caught in his throat as the eyeglass exposed the newest threat against Fort Kalt. “They’ve got ladders!” 

Waedan grabbed the eyeglass back. “Pere save us,” he breathed, looking at the black-garbed teams carrying the ladders through the snow. “They mean to breach us.”


At length, they went over a bump larger than normal, and Tarren nearly cried out as the wagon crashed down on the opposite side. 

“Wait! Stop the horses, A!” Roughly, he grabbed the side of the wagonbed with his left hand. “I’m walking for a bit.” He tumbled out a bit ungracefully, but thankfully didn’t embarrass himself by faceplanting on the road. 

Q leaped out behind him, wincing and rubbing his seat. “Coming with you, friend. I don’t think a body can manage much more of that.” He frowned up at A. “Are you deliberately driving over the biggest rocks and bumps?” 

A scowled from the driver’s seat. “Of course not! You two just have soft bottoms; that’s all. You’d think the time we spent at the fort would have toughened you up some.” 

Q only shook his head. “I still think you should have let me drive.” 

A’s hands tightened on the reins. “You always want to do everything!” 

“That’s because I do it right.” 

“I’m doing fine!” A retorted hotly. “I haven’t driven off a cliff like you said I would.”



Tarren felt his eyebrows lift in surprise. “You don’t approve?” 

“Of the king’s behavior?” Oberran growled. “No, and no. Now mind, he’s my cousin, so I’m allowed to say what I want about him. You keep your tongues clean. But blast the man for a perfect idiot. He’s shown little sense in that situation or in any since.” 


A declared he didn’t care what the duke called him; he was just interested in trying the Cathair feast. “I’ll go as a pig herder if that’ll get me to the dining table,” he said honestly. 


Josette tried to come to her sister’s aid. “It wouldn’t be proper, Prince Austuce. She’s…” 

“No, forget proper,” Laris snarled. “I’m not afraid of stepping out of propriety, but I might hurt the poor runt! And what would your honored father say if I drew blood on the lord of the Lower Home?” 

“My honored father,” he replied evenly, “was the one who suggested it.” 

Laris’s fingers tightened around the sword hilt. “Then I’ll meet you in the courtyard.” 


God bless!

Monday, December 2, 2019

November 2019 Book Haul

With NaNo going on all month (post on that to come soon), I really didn't expect to be adding many books to my shelves this last month. November was already crazy, seeing as I had a newborn on my hands in addition to a one-and-a-half year old. Add in a busy week of being with family for Thanksgiving and an emergency appendix surgery for my hubby... yeah, November was nuts. Looking back now, I'm surprised I had any time to go shopping at all.

However, I will say that book mail is DA. BEST. Sometimes, you don't need time to go shopping. You just need to check the mailbox. *grins*

So, here's November's book haul.

Sorry for the dark coloring; I don't feel like editing the pic.

The Rope Trick // Lloyd Alexander - After reading the Prydain Chronicles and the Westmark Trilogy, you can bet I'll pick up any Lloyd Alexander book I can.

Writing Magic // Gail Carson Levine - Who knew that the woman who introduced the world to fairytale retellings also wrote nonfiction? I'm pretty excited about this one.

By the Shores of Silver Lake (Little House, #5) // Laura Ingalls Wilder - The ONE Little House book I didn't have yet. SCORE.

Florence Young: Mission Accomplished (Christian Heroes: Then and Now, #23) // Janet and Geoff Young - I remember reading a lot of missionary stories growing up, and these are the types of stories I want to be able to share with my kiddos.

The Princess // Lori Wick - A friend of mine a long time ago told me this was her favorite book, and I completely forgot about it until I came across this copy in a thrift store. I'm not familiar with the author, but it's definitely a score at a thrift store price.

A Walk with Jane Austen: A Journey into Adventure, Love, and Faith // Lori Smith - The title of this one jumped out to me. I've never read anything like this before, and it's Austen, so I'm pretty excited about it.

The Book Thief // Markus Zusak - I don't normally go for the books that have all the hype, but I've wanted to read this one for a while. And it was $1. It was a no-brainer.

Captive Treasure // Milly Howard - A book from my childhood. I grew up with a lot of books from BJU Press, and I loved them all. This one always reminds me of Lois Lenski's Indian Captive, as both books basically have the same plot.

Silas Marner // George Eliot - Classic in a gorgeous hardback. I'm always up for that.

Sew, It's a Quest // Do You Take This Quest? // My Kingdom for a Quest // Honor: A Quest In // Hair We Go Again // Kendra E. Ardnek - BOOK MAIL. MADE MY DAY. I just realized recently that I've only read the first two books in this series. *le gasp* Now, I can fix that! Super exciting.

The Dragon's Flower // Wyn Estelle Owens - Also BOOK MAIL. I'd completely forgotten I'd won this giveaway until this showed up in my mailbox. A Rapunzel tale worth the read. Review here on KiriBeth.


And that's it, folks! What books did you add to your shelves in November? Any favorites in the ones I hauled above? Let me know in the comments!

God bless!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

October, Princesses, and NEWS

If you hadn't already heard, October is Twelve Dancing Princesses month over at Fairy Tale Central. I've already posted a short story/opening scene snippet on a new 12DP retelling that I DARE NOT go back to with NaNo so close on the horizon. There's just so much about the original fairytale that people overlook sometimes; it's just cool to jump straight in and pull things out to twist in your own way.

Ahem. So, yeah, I'm definitely NOT thinking about that other story. Especially since I'm planning on working on my OTHER 12DP mammoth novel for NaNo. The Twelfth Kingdom is currently 118K words, and I'm really hoping to be able to finish a first draft by Christmas. Maybe. We'll see how November cooperates with me.

But I'm talking of 12DP-- and Fairy Tale Central. Because this month, guys, I had the honor of writing up two book reviews as well as participating in a film group review. It was so much fun! You would think by now that I'd be sick of 12DP, but I'm still feeling ready to jump into more retellings.

First off, I soooo enjoyed getting to read Suzannah Rowntree's The City Beyond the Glass. Set in Venice (which was too cool with gondolas and the works!), this story follows the adventures of three sisters (instead of twelve), but the fairytale vibes are super strong and extremely well-worked. It gets a bit darker at times, but I would definitely recommend this for any fairytale enthusiast. It was absolutely lovely and perfection.

I also reviewed The Night Dance by Suzanne Weyn for FTC. That one... hmmm. To be honest, I wish that author hadn't written it. The whole premise is such a cool idea with a King Arthur and 12DP mashup. IT WAS GLORIOUS. But the execution of the plot, the characters, the legends... it all came across VERY WEAK and it was almost too disappointing to bother with. I struggled with putting this review on FTC only because I wanted so badly to LOVE this book, only to be able to say, "It was a meh retelling." Urgh. PEOPLE. Arthurian legends and 12DP were MADE for each other. Someone do this idea justice, PLEASE.

Besides those two books, I did an extra 12DP reading and reviewed The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine on my book blog, KiriBeth. THIS BOOK. I'm still kinda bitter over it. Again, a fantastic idea of setting 12DP in the Roaring Twenties and the speakeasies. I mean, where better historically for a group of sisters to dance the night away? HOWEVER, there was a lot of moral content that I had big issues with. I won't go into detail here, but you can read the full review on KiriBeth. I was super bummed. In all honesty, I don't think I could really recommend the book to anyone.

But let's end this list of reviews on a bright note, shall we? I mentioned above I'd participated in a film group review for FTC? Well, the lovely ladies and I had tons of fun writing up our thoughts on Barbie in the Twelve Dancing Princesses, one of my favorite Barbie movies/kid fairytale films to date. I'm still very much a kid at heart, and this movie shall always be a favorite.

Oh, yes, and I did promise you a bit of news, didn't I?

(My apologies for just an ultrasound pic, but I'm not extremely comfortable with sharing pics of my kiddos on a public blog at the moment.)

Many of you know that our son was due to be born here early in November. Well, he's no longer a November baby since he took it upon himself to arrive a full two weeks and two days early. Baby Joey is doing well, eating like the growing boy that he is, and his older sister absolutely adores him. If my writing at all seems garbled, that's probably because I'm not getting a full night's sleep every night. But he's totally worth it.

I'm still a little in shock that he's already here. It's difficult to look at him and not feel a sudden, overwhelming sense of blessedness. God truly has been gracious to our family -- first, with the birth of our daughter back in April of last year, and now the birth of our son. Every life is precious, and when it's your own kids, somehow, it's only that much more precious. I wouldn't trade them for the world.

Joey will be making NaNo VERY interesting, though. Kiddos come first, obviously, but I'm hoping to get some writing done.

How about you? Any plans for NaNo? Or shout-outs for other 12DP retellings I need to read? Let me know in the comments below!

God bless!