Blogging, Book Love, fairy tales, Nature, October Poetry Challenge, Poetry, writers life, writing

October Poetry Challenge: Day 23

abandoned ancient antique architecture
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Escape

 

The stone feels foreign beneath my fingertips.

Dirt crumbles, moss glares, the wind accuses me.

A loud-mouthed crow dives forward.

 

My foot slips on a loose brick,

but a helping hand steadies me

I won’t be devoured by the ravenous bramble this time.

*

Hiya friends, I’m a bit behind on the poetry challenge because I traveled to Nova Scotia last weekend to visit my family.

We went to a pumpkin farm with giant pumpkins (some of them weighed over 1000 pounds), visited pumpkin people in Kentville, and stopped at the cutest tea room called Tangled Garden.

It was a great little getaway, and I returned with a new story idea for my NaNoWriMo project 😀 I’ve already written two chapters, haha. When inspiration hits, I follow ❤ I’m going to save my notes for this project and tackle it in December or January.

Happy writing and see you tomorrow!

Loie

Blogging, Book Love, fairy tales, Nature, October Poetry Challenge, Poetry, writers life, writing

October Poetry Challenge: Day 18

landscape nature flowers summer
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Light Abounds

 

A bright goldenrod

drops on my cold windowsill,

on this rainy day.

*

Hey everyone, hope you’re having a good month so far. I couldn’t find a pic of a goldenrod so I settled with the one above 🙂

See you tomorrow!

Loie

Blogging, Book Love, fairy tales, Nature, October Poetry Challenge, Poetry, writers life, writing

October Poetry Challenge: Day 10, 11, & 12

photo of mountain under starry night sky
Photo by Marco Milanesi on Pexels.com

Lost Moon

 

There are some who say,

the wind always held monsters between its wispy teeth,

but I know better than that.

The terrors only arrived after the moon fell from the sky.

 

So here I must stay, like the ones before,

and sing away the roaring gale

bending in impossible shapes.

*

A Pit

 

Beyond my prison rests a snow-topped mountain.

Deep inside the towering giant

an abyss waits.

 

Darkness sings a ballad from the cracked rock.

I should never go there,

says the scribbled note in my book.

*

Visitor

 

Scarlet leaves flutter into my room

and a crow perches at my windowsill.

A flash of olive-green eyes and a cackle.

 

I rush to my window

but only see endless burnt-gold woods and

an impossibly tall stone tower.

*

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving, friends ❤

Loie xo

Author Interview, Blogging, Book Love, writers life, writing

How to Love a Duke in Ten Days by Kerrigan Byrne Blog Tour

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How to Love a Duke in Ten Days by Kerrigan Byrne

These men are dark, bold, and brave. And there is only one woman who can bring them to their knees…

Famed and brilliant, Lady Alexandra Lane has always known how to look out for to herself. But nobody would ever expect that she has darkness in her past—one that she pays a blackmailer to keep buried. Now, with her family nearing bankruptcy, Alexandra strikes upon a solution: Get married to one of the empire’s most wealthy eligible bachelors. Even if he does have the reputation of a devil.

LOVE TAKES NO PRISONERS

Piers Gedrick Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne, is seeking revenge and the first step is securing a bride. Winning a lady’s hand is not so easy, however, for a man known as the Terror of Torcliff. Then, Alexandra enters his life like a bolt of lightning. When she proposes marriage, Piers knows that, like him, trouble haunts her footsteps. But her gentleness, sharp wit, independent nature, and incredible beauty awakens every fierce desire within him. He will do whatever it takes to keep her safe in his arms.

Author Bio

Kerrigan Byrne

Whether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, USA Today bestseller Kerrigan Byrne uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in every book. She lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her handsome husband and three lovely teenage girls, but dreams of settling on the Pacific Coast. Her Victorian Rebels novels include The Highwayman and The Highlander.

How to Love a Duke in Ten Days Blog Tour Q&A

 

Q: What inspired you to write How to Love a Duke in Ten Days?

A:  I’ve always been one of those women who have enjoyed fierce female friendships. I think that soulmates, even for heterosexual women, can be just as necessary with other women as with men, and a real hero must not just love and respect you, but also your tribe. I wanted to write a series where historical heroines could truly have it all, education, dreams, businesses, wealth, genius, revenge, hot sex, AND true love. Where the sacrifices were made on their behalf instead by them, and where their heroes learn to lift them up in all ways, heal their pains, calm their fears, become their best friends, and protect them with what I hope is a great balance between alpha hotness and progressive sensitivity. 

 

 

Q: Is there one thing you would like readers to take away from this story?

A: That’s tough because I packed a lot in there! I would say the one thing from this book, specifically, is that happiness is attainable against the odds, even when overcoming the worst that people can do to one another. Even though I’m a grown up and a cynic, I still like to write books that remind me that true love conquers all, because that love can come from so many people. 

 

 

Q: Can you describe your typical day writing this book?

A: This book was especially difficult for me to write, so I spent a great deal of time in my bathrobe. I would get up, my fantastic husband would make me coffee, I’d call my critique partner and we’d do a bit of brainstorming, and I’d write and rewrite for hours, stress, cry, throw things, walk the dog, eat, snack, eat some more, facebook way too much, and then finish under word count, binge a tv show or a book until I stared at the ceiling into the wee hours. Oh, and there was drinking in there at regular intervals.

Glamorous, I know!

 

 

Q: Describe the hero and heroine of How to Love a Duke in Ten Days in three words each.

A: The Duke of Redmayne: Wary. Wounded. Wicked.

Lady Alexandra Lane: Brave. Brilliant. Beautiful.

 

 

Q: What is the one thing that the heroine, Alexandra, can’t live without?

A: She cannot live without her two dearest friends in the entire world, Miss Cecelia Teague, and Lady Francesca Cavendish. They literally buried a body for her, and would defend her to the death.

 

 

Q: What was your hardest scene to write in How to Love a Duke in Ten Days? Your favorite?

A: As with many (most) of my novels, the prologues are the hardest to write, and read, I suspect. Usually I take the characters to the very edge of their breaking point, often times pushing them over so they have what seems like insurmountable conflicts to overcome both internally and externally. So, for this book, Alexandra’s assault was the most difficult thing to get through, and boy did I enjoy being able to help Piers put her back together, because he was just the perfect hero for her. Tender, empathetic, a good sense of humor, and a large dose of protective alphaness.

 

 

Q: Why do you write historical romance? 

A:  I’ve always romanticized the past. I can’t help it. I love the pace and the aesthetic, the gowns and the suits and the manners and the manors. I love to do historical research and it’s so fun to see how much we are influenced by the past and how, even though so much has changed through the centuries, people really haven’t. Also, it’s fun to play with language, mystery, and sex in a time when a scandal was still possible. *wink.

 

 

Q: Is there another particular author that inspires you or that you enjoy reading? 

A: There is a LIST! I would say in historical romance, though, it’s always always Lisa Kleypas. She has a grasp on the characterization of historical folks that I can never hope to attain. I’m just in awe of her every word.

 

 

Q: Where do you go or what resources do you use to make sure your novels are historically correct? 

A: I love to find books about a time period at B&N or my local bookshops. I go to Harper’s Bazaar for fashion, and a slew of Victorian references for the time period. I do read blogs and sometimes consult with historians and experts.

 

 

Q: Did you learn anything surprising while researching for this novel?

A: Many things! I learned how truly difficult it was to attain an education as a woman as little as a hundred years ago. It’s really incredible how far we’ve come in a century. 

 

 

Q: What do you do when faced with writer’s block, if you ever are? 

A: Oh man. I often am. I usually try to shake it loose with a brainstorming conversation with a few friends I have who always seem to be able to unstick me. I rely heavily on the creativity of others as well as my own.

 

 

Q: How did you feel the first time you realized one of your books was a big success? 

A: I didn’t believe it. It seems surreal every time I truly realize that a story I wrote entertained another human. Let alone more than one. I’m like… they paid to read it? WHAT? 

 

 

Q: What’s next for the Devil You Know series? 

A: I’m especially excited for the next book ALL SCOT AND BOTHERED because it’s about Alexandra’s best friend the curvy vicar’s daughter, Cecelia Teague. She inherits London’s most infamous and successful brothel, and one imposing, surly Scottish enemy along with it. She and Lord Ramsay, the Lord Chief Justice with an axe to grind against her establishment, can’t be in a room together without the sparks flying. I can’t think about this book without smiling.

 

 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

A: I hope you enjoy this trio of roguish redheads as much as I enjoyed writing them!

Pick up your copy here!

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Blogging, Book Love, Preorders, writers life, writing

Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon

Hi everyone,

I’m part of Kell’s Skeleton Crew 🙂 Kelly’s YA fantasy inspired by ancient Sumer will be released on October 29th by Delacorte. Read more about the inspiration for her debut in an interview with The Book Bratz.

I will post my review in the coming weeks but let me tell you, Gravemaidens is incredible. I rooted for the MC, Kammani. She’s smart and an excellent healer’s apprentice.

gravemaidens_cover

Goodreads Summary

The start of a fierce fantasy duology about three maidens who are chosen for their land’s greatest honor…and one girl determined to save her sister from the grave.

In the walled city-state of Alu, Kammani wants nothing more than to become the accomplished healer her father used to be before her family was cast out of their privileged life in shame.

When Alu’s ruler falls deathly ill, Kammani’s beautiful little sister, Nanaea, is chosen as one of three sacred maidens to join him in the afterlife. It’s an honor. A tradition. And Nanaea believes it is her chance to live an even grander life than the one that was stolen from her.

But Kammani sees the selection for what it really is—a death sentence.

Desperate to save her sister, Kammani schemes her way into the palace to heal the ruler. There she discovers more danger lurking in the sand-stone corridors than she could have ever imagined and that her own life—and heart—are at stake. But Kammani will stop at nothing to dig up the palace’s buried secrets even if it means sacrificing everything…including herself.

Preorder Info

I am so excited to share the link to all the amazing preorder goodies for Kelly’s book!

For all the details, check out her website. She has awesome treats for International readers, those who request Gravemaidens at their library, and an epic gift for US preorders. Hope you are having an amazing summer ❤

Until next time,

Loie xo

 

 

Artist Date, Blogging, The Creativity Diary, writers life, writing

The Creativity Diary M.1

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Irishtown Nature Park

Hi everyone,

I hope you all had a wonderful month so far!

I didn’t complete all my goals, but that’s okay :). Before I share my diary log, let’s take a look at how creativity and health are connected.

Creativity and Health 

I wasn’t surprised to come across an article about how a creative life helps our health. People feel happier when they create, are resilient, and are less anxious.  It’s an exciting find for sure.

On a personal level, writing has filled my life with purpose and joy. I love learning about the craft and studying stories. My world is fuller because of the friends I have made in the #writingcommunity.

How has your artistic pursuit helped you?

Creativity Log 

Friday – I free wrote for around an hour and a half. Worked on worldbuilding questions and rethought some of my character arcs. Honestly, the best thing I did was unplug from the wifi :). I felt hopeful after my session.

Saturday – Reread the first 50 pages of my Celtic fantasy and added revision notes.

Sunday – Played around with a watercolor set and watched a few YouTube videos. I haven’t completed anything yet, but it’s a lot of fun 🙂

Monday – I received notes on my Bluebeard retelling and edited the first 50 pages 🙂

Tuesday – Revised five chapters of my Celtic fantasy. Made an Excel spreadsheet to track every scene in the novel.

Wednesday – I went to Irishtown Nature Park for the first time with my friend in the morning. Snapped some nature shots. Photography is a passion of mine, and I love nature. It’s a nice change from sitting at a desk.

Thursday – Wrote a poem and took some photos of the ocean.

These are just some examples. Every day won’t look like this. I might have just snapped a few photos or scribbled down a sentence on a WIP. I may have thought a lot about writing. It all adds up 🙂

Next Few Weeks

I have family visiting next week, so I’m going to try and wake up earlier. Here are my goals:

  • Finish revising the next five chapters of my Celtic fantasy.
  • Revise the next five chapters of Bluebeard. ( Hoping to send these two projects to betas and CP’s soon 🙂 )
  • Attempt a flower watercolor piece

How about you? I would love to hear about your creative pursuits from this past month:) ! What do you hope to accomplish next month?

Until next time,

Loie xo

Artist Date, Blogging, The Creativity Diary, writers life, writing

The Creativity Diary Blog Series

multicolored abstract art
Photo by Amber Lamoreaux on Pexels.com

Hey everyone,

How are you doing? Happy Friday! The weekend is near 🙂

Today I’m celebrating my 28th birthday. As I was driving to a local cafe, I started thinking about new goals for this year. I want to focus more on writing and other creative pursuits (crocheting, painting, candle-making, pottery, crafting, etc.).

That’s why I’ve decided to start a brand new blog series called The Creativity Diary 🙂

It’s so easy to say we don’t have any time to pursue our creative dreams. I know I did that a couple of years ago and still do depending on the week. I feel frustrated when a week or two goes by, and I haven’t done anything to further my creative journey.

I want to encourage you to chase after your dreams. You can start by making a small step forward.

Once a month, I’ll write up a post about how I did. I may share some interesting finds on creativity and ways to stay focused.

It will look different. Today I unplugged from the internet. I wrote in my journal and brainstormed ways to strengthen the plot in my Celtic fantasy. Maybe tomorrow I will work on my rag rug while watching an episode of a kdrama 😀

The goal is to pursue art every day, even if it’s something small 🙂 Victoria Schwab tweeted about how she doesn’t write every day but keeps the creative door open. I love that.

Goals for the Upcoming Week

  • I want to finish revising the first 15 chapters of my Celtic fantasy.
  • Play around with my watercolors and paint.
  • Research a local pottery class.

What about you :)? What are your creative goals for the week? Is there something you’ve been putting off? I’d love to hear below ❤

Until next time,

Loie xo