Sunday, July 30, 2017

Andora's Folly BLOG TOUR


  I know, I know. I said I wasn't coming back til the end of August - and that is still true! But today I have briefly broken my blogging hiatus to bring you a review of Andora's Folly by my good friend (Abi)gayle Claire. I had the privilege of being a beta-reader for this book and can honestly say I enjoyed it so much! I am so pumped to help push this book out into the world on it's second day!

andorabanner.png

  I was super pumped to read this story and was not disappointed. The premise was great - a medieval retelling of Pandora's Box - and the execution was excellent. Abi really knows how to spin a tale. I'm here today to share about the story on its release, including a detailed review for you guys to pick through. Of course my aim is to get you to pick up your copy, so get your Kindle ready. ;)

ABOUT THE BOOK

Andora's Folly Cover 7.jpg

Andora is a beautiful young woman with insatiable curiosity. Raised in splendor, she is spoiled by her privileged life. When a love letter is slid under her door, her life takes a drastically unromantic turn. Nothing makes sense—her arranged marriage, the gifts her parents bestow on her wedding day, or her new husband’s temperament.

As Andora begins to unravel the mysteries around her, she ignites a chain of events that have the power to sabotage her entire village forever. Only her new-found wisdom as a desperate peasant's wife can save her from her folly.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

authorheadshot.jpg

Abigayle has been a writer ever since her mother taught her how to hold a pencil. However, she devoted more time to reading words with her green eyes than writing them with her left hand. Inspired by a crazy dream at the age of seventeen, she set off on a journey to self-publish her first novel, Martin Hospitality. Since then, Abigayle has devoted herself to sharing what she has learned through the mediums of freelance editing, and her blog theleft-handedytpist.blogspot.com ... when period drama films are not calling more loudly. None of her successes would be possible without the support of her Savior, large family, and online community.

  ALL THE LINKS



MY REVIEW

Now that the formalities are out of the way and I've hooked you with that great synopsis, allow me to get right into my review. As a beta-reader, I got a sneak-preview of this story and count myself super lucky. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and could not hardly stop reading once I got into it. And I usually have a hard time making myself read on the computer! So there, that's saying a lot about this story right off the bat. I even went back to read it at 1 am after ten plus hours of driving the tractor (unfortunately the internet was not working).

BE WARNED: The below contains some spoilers, nothing too major, but if you want to go into the book blind, don't read this next section!

I really enjoyed Andora, the main character. She was spoiled, entitled, and airheaded, but still genuinely likable and I pitied her on more than one occasion. She was definitely thrown for a big curve through the novella and I couldn't help but feel sorry for her as her life was turned around and she was forced to muddle through it. She had a really great character arc and I super appreciate that Abi was able to pull it off, writing about a spoiled and whiny princess-type and managing to make her interesting, likable, and redeemable is no easy task. Abi's character development is definitely spot-on.

The mystery and pacing combined kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading. I supremely enjoyed the revelation of events and the scheming that was going on behind the scenes. Abi did great work with how she paced everything and brought things out into the open in a timely fashion.

Varos was another fav. He was the funny, charming, younger brother who was kind and decent and good all-around. I enjoyed him a lot as a secondary character. His brother, Andora's husband, Theus, was a wholly other matter.

I can't say I liked Theus as a person at all, as a character he was interesting, but he really frustrated me. I suppose we can credit this to Abi's skillful character-building once more, as my strong dislike for him proves that she crafted someone well-rounded. I know that some readers ended up liking him by the book's end, so maybe that will be you? He personally did not grow on me, but that did not detract from the book at all.

I enjoyed the villain a lot as well - even if he was quite a creep! Ah, writing reviews is so hard without spoiling everything and I don't want to do that, so I guess I'll wrap up...

Andora's Folly definitely gets a Five Star Rating in my books and I highly highly recommend it. If you've got some spare change to add to your Kindle library, make this book your next choice! I guarantee you won't be disappointed! :DD

andorameme_sarahgrace.jpg
You must read simply for THIS quote XD

Sunday, July 2, 2017

June Highlights + Hiatus Announcement

  Hey guys! So, June was crazy and the summer ahead will be crazier still. I'm so pumped for it all though - just pray I don't crash and burn!


LIFE EVENTS



  • I've been at camp with the horses so much this month. Since the fifteenth I've been house/horse sitting while the usual horse-minder is off on vacation. It's been really great, though busy and I've hardly been at home except to work with cows (ew). I've had to take care of a horse and his fungal infection which has been lovely. But I've also gotten to ride and fool around, watch a lot of Netflix and just enjoy some alone time. 
Watching Kyrianna splash horses from atop Duke
  • Earlier this month our local homeschool circle had a fun barn dance party for the birthday of one of said circle members, which was pretty fun. Jonathan and I practiced dancing for our wedding which went okay I think. XD
#couplegoals
  • I've had two bridal showers this month - one from friends and one from my church. Both were very nice and now I am swamped with kitchen items (five different sets of measuring spoons) but hey, free stuff! ;) Also people encouraging you and sharing in your excitement, so that's pretty nice.
Bicycling Bridesmaids

People listening to me talking for some reason...
  • I finished my courses for my Creative Writing Certificate this month!! I am so excited that this two year process is now complete. All I need is to get my certificate...
  • I attended my former homeschool association's Homeschooling through High School meeting and had the privilege to speak to the audience of parents and teens about my experience homeschooling in high school along with my writing/publishing venture. That was a great little bit of marketing/sharing. 
  • We went to Heritage Park in Calgary for the day and I hung out with my sister and enjoyed the old-fashioned vistas of the town. 
  • New Imagine Dragons album!!! Also, Jonathan and I have tickets to see them in October, which I am so looking forward to.
  • This last week of June was devoted to my sixth staff training camp which was full of hilarity and great times. One of the highlights was going to see Canada Day fireworks in town on the eve of Canada Day. All 50+ of us got on a school bus, raided an Esso (as pictured) and went to the arena to watch the fireworks go off. We did it last year too and it's become a pretty cool tradition. 
  • While at staff camp, I got baptized! I decided that I wanted to commit fully to God before committing to Jonathan when I get married next month, so that's what I set out to do. It was a little scary getting up there and sharing things I had not shared with hardly anyone else, but really good too. It was a very cool moment. 



WRITING LIFE


  Basically all the writing I did this month was: editing Thin-Skinned to submit for my final school project, and writing a couple thousand words of The Wandering one afternoon while house-sitting because I was bored and thought I should be productive (cause apparently I can't NOT do something anymore). So needless to say, not much excitement in that aspect of my month, but I am totally okay with that. Wedding plans, camp, moving, farming, etc took up my time and now that summer is upon me, I don't expect there will be much more writing happening until September rolls around and the craziness abates - kind of. I mean, I will be just moved out and newly married so that might be kinda crazy too, but hopefully I will have more free time. XD We'll see I guess.

  Of course, another reason I'm not going to be too hard on myself is...I PUBLISHED A BOOK! AND WENT ON A BLOG TOUR! AND HAVE SOLD A BUNCH OF BOOKS! AND IT WAS AWESOME AND I LOVED IT!

  *ahem*

  Anyway, I'm sure y'all have heard enough about The Sorceress and the Squid's release. I certainly don't want to make you sick of it, so I won't blab too much more. XD But for those who managed to slip by without knowing about it, here are some links for you to check out...




READING LIFE


Reading pretty much did not happen this month. I am also okay with that as, again, there was so much else to be done. However, I did have the privilege of beta-reading Abigayle's newest novella: Andora's Folly (a Pandora's Box retelling). It was super cool, very original and it really pulled me in and had me totally engrossed in the characters. Abi is a great writer and I was so happy to finally get my hands on some of her work (I've finally ordered Martin Hospitality now too, so I'm excited to read that sometime this summer - maybe on my honeymoon/vacation/finally-a-break-from-the-crazy).

ANDORA'S FOLLY by Abigayle Claire

5/5 "Andora is a beautiful young woman with insatiable curiosity. Raised in splendor, she is spoiled by her privileged life. When a love letter is slid under her door, Andora’s father seizes his chance to settle a score with the lover’s family. His plan rests on one thing: Andora’s folly. 

As Andora begins to fall into her parents' trap for revenge, she has only her new-found wisdom as a peasant's wife to right the chain of events that have the power to sabotage her entire village forever."



BLOGGING LIFE


Blogging went really well this month I think! Of course I hosted my own blog tour for TSatS, but I also participated in Kara Swanson's tour for The Girl Who Could See. I posted a list of books you should read for me this summer and the 5 stages of self-publishing. And of course I had my book release post and blog tour wrap-up. I think it was a good month for blogging. I had several cool new interactions and just really enjoyed the experience my whole month. It probably helped that I've now made myself a blogging schedule. :P

Followers: 29 (up from 23, which is super cool)
Pageviews: 8091
Posts: 74

GOALS


Goals for June 


  • Get published! // YES! THIS HAPPENED AND IT'S SO COOL!!
  • Get more bloggers to join my blog tour (as of now, I am very low on numbers so if you would like to join my blog tour, running from the 18-24th, that would be amazing and I will love you forever!) // Legit blown away by how this need was met, I had more than enough people for my week-long tour and I couldn't be more thankful for them all and their willingness to participate. Love you guys!
  • Keep plugging away at Thin-Skinned // I'll call this done. XD I'm putting away the manuscript for a little while but I definitely have a better idea for my future direction with it from my course. 
  • Read 2 books // Didn't read two, but I DID read one so I'm glad of that. 
  • Finish betas/ARC's // Did this one, YAY! #AndorasFolly


Goals for July/August

(I'm combining the summer months for reasons I will list below...)


  • Sell 50 copies of The Sorceress and the Squid // We'll see how this goes, if I can do that, I will have actually MADE money of my book, so that's my hopeful goal. :P
  • Read 2 books // Due to summer camp and wedding stuff, this may or may not happen, however I DO have my honeymoon roadtrip to read, so that might be a good time to catch up...


  And that's it! I'm being generous to myself over this tumultuous summer. XD

  Well, now that I've wrapped up my June, let's look forward a little bit to the coming summer...

  As most of you know, I'm getting married this August (the 19th) and will be working at summer camp all throughout the summer. Between these two things, plus other stuff like moving, birthdays, and other summer events I will have very limited time for blogging (and limited internet access as well). Rather than rushing and trying to stuff things in, I've decided to give myself a two month hiatus to fully enjoy my summer and devote my attention to the really big things in my life. I am so so excited for the next two months and all they will hold - it's going to be truly fantastic. I will still be around, checking up on the blogs I follow, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram when I am not at camp, so I won't have fallen off the face of the earth. XD I just won't be posting on here. Don't worry, I will be back early September with tons of cool content including a new book to start on the editing/publishing process. Keep your eye out for that and more things to come this fall! I will also have a giant summer wrap-up to share with you guys some of the cool adventures that July and August have in store.

  So, wish me luck and keep me in your prayers as big things are happening and I'm still a tad nervous (but mostly excited)! 2017 has been such an amazing year so far and I have a feeling it'll only get better. Thank you for your part in making the first half of it so awesome. ^_^

  How was your first month of summer? Are you also blown away by the fact that 2017 is half gone? What plans do you have for the rest of the summer months? Let me know in the comments below!