Wednesday, October 28, 2015


TELL ME TUESDAY is a feature that oozed from my post Twitter party fried brains. It is a floating feature (depending on your reading style), where you tell us what you are reading now, and why, and what you will be reading in the future from your tbr pile, and why. I am oh so curious why people read what they read. So tell me!

Joining me this week...
Go have a peek at their new grabs and tell them yours.

I am on the last bit of SLADE HOUSE, about 10% more. The first 50% of the story was really good, but around the middle of the book, when it goes into the backstory, it is like listening to a dull history lecture. I thought it was getting interesting again when it was beginning to tie up all of the plot threads, but it just isn't cutting it. It isn't that it is contrived, but it reminds me of an anime I used to watch. I can't tell you which one because it would be a definite spoiler if you knew what it was about. This is from the author of Cloud Atlas, and The Bone Clocks. I still haven't seen the Cloud Atlas movie because I wanted to read the book first, but after being underwhelmed with this one, I may not read it at all. I guess there are crossover characters from each book, but the novels are still considered standalones. Some readers seemed to be confused about this on Goodreads thinking they didn't like this book because they needed to read the others. Unless the conclusion blows me away this will be a three star read.

I don't think I have any ARCs due until the end of November, so I am going to read this Netgalley nonARC that archived today, THE WORLD OF POO. And then continue to get my Pratchett on with my own ebook of WEE FREE MEN

What are you you reading? Tell me!

Sunday, October 25, 2015


THE SUNDAY POST is a weekly feature hosted by Kimba at the Caffinated Book Reviewer. It is a chance to recap the previous week, share news, showcase books and/or bookish things we have received, and tell about what is coming up on our blog in the next week. You can view the guidelines, HERE.

This was actually the week before, but I did not post a The Sunday Post. *NOTE: Do not try to finish posts when you are sleepy. I listed DEATHLY HALLOWS as my favorite book about witches, when my favorite Harry Potter is HALF-BLOOD PRINCE! Potterhead problems, ha ha. I have fixed it. I am asking everyone who is in the Halloween Spirit to do the tag!

I tell you all about the Kindle download fiasco. And about the scary books I am reading.

Kaylee, Shannon from REX ROBOT REVIEW'S five year old daughter, gave her first book review on my Children's book blog TICKLING DRAGONS! She reviewed THE WORST WITCH; kicking off the blog's Halloween Witch Week. Mommy also had her input, and there were witchy activities at the end of the post. If you have kids, grandkids. or babysit, you should check it out.

I didn't do much of anything on the blog, but I did hang out on GOODREADS quite a bit last week. I revised my shelves so that children's picture books and instructional books like cookbooks and gardening books do not count towards my "read" totals. They now have separate "exclusive" shelves and I don't put a date on the review, so  they don't count towards my reading challenges. I have always felt guilty about the picture books that take five to ten minutes to read,  and cookbooks that I leaf through and don't read every page, being in my totals. I also did dedicated shelves for books that I only might want to read labeled "looks interesting", children's picture books, and cooking/gardening books so my tbr isn't so unwieldy! I also did more tidying up in the the UKYA group that I inherited in shambles a few months ago. I think I have all of the old messy boards gone now. If anyone is interested in being an admin LET ME KNOW! You don't have to be from the UK, you just need love some British YA books. I also, in feeling homesick for MyLeaky the Harry Potter social site affiliated with The Leaky Cauldron, started a HP fan group called HOGWARTS IS OUR HOME. It has a ton of different boards, so if you love Harry Potter you should join me there. I could also use some admins to help me in that group, too. I am monitoring the Ravenclaw common room, but I will need a house member for each of the others.

Remember the free Kindle Classics DRACULA ebook I added the narration to for 99¢? I am listening to it now and it is stellar! It is a full cast narration and two of the narrators are Tim Curry and Alan Cummings. Even if you don't intend to read it soon you should snap it up now. 

Cait's post on PAPER FURY was all the rage among book bloggers two weeks ago, but I (as you know) didn't have a Sunday Post last week, so just in case anyone missed it here it is, HOW TO BE KIND TO BOOK BLOGGERS.

Greg from BOOK HAVEN also had a popular discussion post from two weeks ago, BLOGGING VS REAL LIFE, so in case you missed that one, here you have it.

This was the HUGE NEWS last week! I got it almost immediately because, as one of the last dwindling members of THE LEAKY CAULDRON'S MyLeaky social site, I am friends with the person who posts most of the stories to TLC's newsfeed and I got a heads up just before she posted. This was a huge boon to the Harry Potter fanpage I co-head admin on Facebook. The post reach on that page was almost 5,000 and it might be more now because I haven't checked in a while. A ton of people shared it too, so FB will boost our post reach on other posts. I thank her for that. I was hoping it would do the same thing on my book page, but I think only two people shared it. Hehe.
This is the artwork animated version.
THE CURSED CHILD picks up where THE DEATHLY HALLOWS epilogue leaves off and is about Albus Severus. The tagline is, "Sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places."

The Goodreads group HOGWARTS IS OUR HOME has two, THE CURSED CHILD, discussion boards. You can see the play's NEWS board, HERE .

There will be all kinds of witchy things going on at TICKLING DRAGONS for HALLOWEEN WITCH WEEK.

Have a Spooktacular week!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


TELL ME TUESDAY is a feature that oozed from my post Twitter party fried brains. It is a floating feature (depending on your reading style), where you tell us what you are reading now, and why, and what you will be reading in the future from your tbr pile, and why. I am oh so curious why people read what they read. So tell me!

Joining me this week...
Go have a peek at their new grabs and tell them yours.

I just finished listening to my audiobook of
When I went to read two of my Edelweiss books, that pubbed on October 6th, I had a little problem. They were nowhere to be found on my Kindle. N-O-W-H-E-R-E. After scratching my head and looking at other books I clicked download for on September15th, I realized they were ALL MISSING! I could still re-download all of the others, but AN INHERITANCE OF ASHES (which was one of my most anticipated books this year), and A TALE OF HIGHLY UNUSUAL MAGIC had archived. I contacted Amazon Kindle and they said pretty much what I thought they would say... that it was Edelweiss's problem. I contacted Edelweiss and have not heard anything from them yet, but I am sure they are going to say it is Kindle's fault (which I think it is because everything else I did on EW on that day finalized). So, I was forced to write my very first physical copy request. I emailed the publisher of AN INHERITANCE OF ASHES about what happened, told them that it was one of my most anticipated novels this year, and gave them all my stats. I said I hoped they might have a spare ARC lying around. That was a week ago and I haven't heard anything yet, but hey, I now am confident to request ARCS from other publishers.

Next audiobook, DRACULA.


I guess it is...

Are you reading anything scary? Tell me!

Saturday, October 17, 2015


BEAUTIFUL BOOKS is a writerly blog linkup event, focused on NaNoWriMo novels. It is taking the place of BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE FOR WRITERS, this month. This month we’re introducing your work-in-progress and next month we’ll talk about YOU as a writer (!) It was designed with NaNoWriMo in mind. NaNoWriMo is a writing event where you write a 50,000 word novel in a month. But you can do it for ANY novel if you’re not a NaNo participant. 

I am not doing NaNoWriMo, but I am opting to do this seeing it is in place of this month's BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE feature.

*NOTE: Blogger is still putting garbage code in my html. Going in and getting rid of it usually works, but this time it didn't, so sorry about the random font sizes and wide spacings. The text was also this light grey color, so I had to bold all the print. I didn't want everyone to think I am crazy. I am, but  I don't want you thinking about it. Ha ha!

  1. How did you come up with the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
  2. Why are you excited to write this novel?
  3. What is your novel about, and what is the title?
  4. Sum up your characters in one word each. (Feel free to add pictures!)
  5. Which character(s) do you think will be your favorite to write? Tell us about them!
  6. What is your protagonist’s goal, and what stands in the way?
  7. Where is your novel set? (Show us pictures if you have them!)
  8. What is the most important relationship your character has?
  9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
  10. What themes are in it? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?

1. We started reading the Harry Potter books when my son was seven and the first three books were already published, but after we finished the third book he was chomping at the bit for more. One night I made up a bedtime story about an American witch named Saffron who goes to a witching school called Belfry Academy and he loved it. I started writing the stories down so I could read them to him in a more developed manner, and not have to come up with scenarios off-the-cuff. I guess in a way it was fanfic because my American characters would make reference to Hogwarts and Miss Cackle's Academy (Worst Witch) , but at that time I had never heard of fanfic. I came across a box full of the Hidden Magic notebooks, so I decided I wanted to serialize the stories on Wattpad. Since then I have made outlines for two more HM books.

2. I am excited to write these books because I love telling stories.

3. The full title of this book is Hidden Magic: The Adventures of Saffron Browne. It is about a nine year old American witch who attends her grandmother's small witchery school (ten students) called Belfry Academy. The flavor of it is more like the television series Bewitched (if you have ever seen the classic reruns) and the movie Practical Magic.

4. One word characterizations...
SAFFRON: nurturer.

SAFFRON'S GRANDMOTHER, Isadora "Izzy" Browne: traditional.

 FIG: wise.

SAFFRON'S MOTHER: narcissistic.

SAFFRON'S 13 YEAR OLD COUSIN, Belladonna "Cyx" Burke: confused.


HER GRANDMOTHER'S BEST FRIEND, Imogene "Gi Gi" Blackmore : trustworthy.

SAFFRON'S GRANDPAPA, Aramis "Ari" Browne: absent.

5. Other than Saffron my favorite character to write would be Fig.
Saffron hates Fig's monthly midnight moanings! I like writing this character because they don't remember whether they were male or female in life.

6. I think Saffron's original goal was to be successful at everything her mother is not. She has taken over mothering of her younger brother and wants to be a dedicated and skilled witch.

7. This novel is set mostly in Sleepy Hollow, New York (my father's family was part of the founding membership in the 1600s) , but there will be some traveling to Salem, Massachusetts and Mystic, Connecticut.

Belfry Manor, home to Belfry Academy has three distinct sections. The original part of the building seen above is from the 1700s and has a simple clean, light, colonial feel to it with pine flooring and painted white woodwork. The sitting room, kitchen, ballroom (now the dinning room/gymnasium) and solarium (now the art/dance studio) are in this part of the building. 
The second wing that you can just barely see on the right, was an add-on built in the mid 1800s. It has oak flooring, dark oak paneled walls, and the fireplaces have thick, carved dark wood mantles. The library, music room, and Saffron's grandpapa's study are in this part of the house.
Grandpapa's study.
The third wing, which you can see on the right side end was built by Saffron's grandparents after they bought the house as newlyweds in the 1920s (witches don't age as we do). It was specially built with no electrical wiring, so that its energy would not interfere with magical energies. Her grandmother's study, the apothecary room, and several small rooms that will be converted into classrooms are in this wing.
Isadora's study.

There is also what Isadora calls the "backhouse".

For orientation as to the manor house,  you can see the back of the 1920s wing through the archway. The cook and her husband, the groundskeeper/driver, live on the first floor. There are guestrooms on the second floor and a full finished attic. The guest rooms will become rooms for the older students and the attic a common room space.
The backhouse attic renovation in progress.

And last, but not least in the farthest back corner of the property, the spell casting tower.
Built in the 1950's because of the numerous new electrical devices in the first two wings of the house causing a slight energy leakage into the 1920s wing. This building is used for important spells and also serves as a rookery for the Manor's conspiracy of ravens.

8. At this point in her life Saffron's most important relationship is with Fig, the entity in the belfry attic. Of all of her family she feels closest to her grandpapa, but he is gone ten months of the year. She had always felt secure and comfortable with her grandmother's best friend Gi Gi, but now that Gi Gi was to become a Belfry Academy teacher, Saffron feels strange treating her like a buddy. Her grandmother is not unkind, but has a seriousness about her that makes it difficult for Saffron to feel affectionate towards her, and sometimes even comfortable around her, so that leaves Fig. Fig listens to her problems and gives her advice. Fig dances, sings, plays games and reads with Saffron. Fig is always there when Saffron needs them.

9. Saffron changes in a few different ways. First she starts to see that she doesn't need a smartphone, big screen television, and her laptop to be happy. She also begins to trust others enough to let them help take care of her little brother. She starts seeing the difference between trying not to become like her mother and seeking to become her best self.

10. The theme of this story is finding your authentic self, and self realization. I would love it if the reader felt empowered to just be themselves after reading the story. 

If you would like to see more of my Hidden Magic inspiration images, the Pinterest board is, HERE.