Today I’m happy to be a part of Danielle E. Shipley’s blog hop to promote her new novella, The Sun’s Rival. This is Book Five of the Wilderhark Tales — and having read several others in the series, I can tell you they’re a quick, fun, romantic read. So check it out!
Posts Tagged With: Novella
Note: I won this novella as part of a contest on the lovely Danielle E. Shipley’s blog — not only did I get a signed copy of the novella, I also got some truly excellent artwork based on the novella, done by the author herself! Thanks so much, Danielle!!!
Fantasy / Fairy tale Novella
A witch’s attempt to cast one spell too many casts everyone touched by her previous spells into chaos. Scattered throughout each other’s pasts, Sula and Edgwyn, Villem and Rosalba, and the rest of the magic’s affected have a single chance to break this last enchant- ment before their “happily-ever-after”-s cease to have ever been.
I really enjoyed this fairy tale! I’ve read the second book in the Wilderhark Tales series, so it was really fun to see many of the same characters in this story — not to mention some new and intriguing faces! I loved the concept of the seventh spell re-setting all the witch’s prior spells and having all the characters revert to their pre-happily-ever-after states. It was such a fun twist, and something you don’t come across a lot in fantasy series. The writing itself is charming, and there are lots of unexpectedly funny laugh-out-loud lines.
I was also a huge fan of the storyline between the enchanted harp princess and the wandering minstrel — which is great, because I’m pretty sure the next Wilderhark Tale is about them! Speaking of the characters, I’d suggest reading the other Wilderhark Tales before you read this one — having missed the first one myself (soon to be corrected!), I felt I was missing a couple of important story elements, although the author does a great job of filling in the gaps for those of us who may not have had a chance to read all the prior books in the series.
A quick, cute, romantic read — check it out!
Five out of five stars
Unrelated media of the day:
I may have shared this already, but it’s tons of fun, so why not give it another shot?
It’s “Akinator, the Web Genius”, which is basically a website that plays 20 questions with you to guess which person/character you’re thinking of. I’ve played it a bunch, and it’s fairly alarming how quickly it can guess some extremely esoteric characters.
The Amber Ring
A former network administrator and software developer for the U.S. Department of Defense, A.L. Walton (otherwise known as Piscis – or simply “the fish”) currently resides in Boise, Idaho, where he spends a good chunk of his time making stuff up and putting it on paper. And writing music. But mostly the other thing.
At the age of ten, Sofia Corona saved the Fairwoods from the malevolent grasp of the Cedar Witch and her goblin army.
Two years later, she drowned unceremoniously in the lake behind her Oregon home.
In the months following the Heroine’s death, when the Fairwoods face a resurgence of goblin attacks, they are forced to turn to Sofia’s cynical twin sister, Maya, for help. Although she wants nothing more to do with her sister’s fanciful adventures, Maya comes to realize that this one last favor could give her the closure she needs to put Sofia’s memory to rest and move on with her life.
With her twin’s magic ring and faithful gryphon companion, Maya embarks on a reluctant journey of whimsical antics and unwitting self-discovery in this stark but humorous fairy tale.
I loved this novella. It’s short, it’s sweet, and it does a glorious job of turning the traditional “hero” story on its head. One of the things I loved about this book is that there’s your classic heroine destined by fate to save a magical world of zany fantasy creatures … except that she drowns in a pool, and suddenly it’s up to her emotionally detached sister to save the day instead.
The character of Maya is so fun, precisely because she is so far removed from what a heroine is supposed to be. She’s rational and cynical, so rather than reacting to a whimsical forest creature with delight, she gives it this “you’ve got to be kidding me” look and then tries very hard to be polite while inwardly bemoaning the ridiculous situation she’s in.
The novella is packed with a variety of whimsical forest creatures, my personal favorite being a tribe of trolls who consider themselves expert hat makers (they’re not), and are convinced the rest of the world are set on stealing their hats (they’re not). Sometimes the “whimsical encounters”, as I like to call them, seemed a bit tightly packed together, but it’s a novella, not a rambling 100k word fantasy novel, so allowances must be made!
All in all, a delightful little read!
Five out of five stars
Unrelated media of the day:
As you may recall from a previous post, I recently had the good fortune to read Miss Danielle E. Shipley’s new fairy tale novella, The Stone Kingdom (Book Two of the Wilderhark Tales). It is now time for the review!
The Stone Kingdom (Book Two of the Wilderhark Tales)
Fairy tale / Fantasy
Danielle E. Shipley
One thoughtless act is all it takes to bring the curse threatened on Rosalba’s christening day to pass. Now the princess must combine her desperate determination with the service of benevolent tailor Edgwyn Wyle to find the second half of the key to her kingdom’s restoration.
This was a short, sweet, and delightful novella. The heroine, Rosalba, is everything a princess should be — kind, beautiful, caring, and rather feisty on top of that. She falls into the classic fairy tale trap of doing something she really shouldn’t, and the kingdom pays the price for her mistake. Luckily, help arrives in the form of the chubby but helpful tailor Edgwyn — an endearing young man who is probably my favourite character in the story. He’s everything you want in a fairy tale prince, minus the rock-hard abs and … well, being a prince. But he’s kind, and generous, and their love story was so fun to watch unfold.
As this was the second novella in the series, and I hadn’t read the first, I was expecting to be hopelessly confused, but that wasn’t the case at all — this novella stands on its own as a separate story. I could tell from the way certain parts were written, and the inclusion of a couple of chapters that struck me as being rather irrelevant to the story, that these were put in to tie this novella into the existing series and please fans of characters from the first novella. As a new reader, I found that a bit irksome, but hey, I can hardly fault a book in a series for being part of a series!
Aside from that, I found this novella to be a charming and excellent read. Shipley is obvious well-read in fairy tale lore, because she draws a lot on common fairy tale tropes (evil fairy curse, princess trapped in tower, etc.), but she puts her own spin on them, which makes for a really enjoyable read. I would definitely recommend this story to any fairy tale fans out there!
Five out of five stars!
Today’s guest post comes from Danielle E. Shipley, the talented author of assorted short stories, novellas, and novels (several of them already published, with many more to come!). Check it out!
* * *
“Learning to Live the Dream”
These have been the most unbelievable last several weeks of my life.
It all started in February (my gosh, was it really only February??) when J. Taylor Publishing accepted my submission for their YA short story anthology, “One More Day” (coming this December). This was the first “yes” I’ve gotten from the publishing industry that came with contracted royalties, so I was … what’s the term? A wreck. (The crazy happy kind.)
Not much earlier, I’d made the commitment to myself to stop talking about “someday” and finally self-publish my darling fairytale novella series, “The Wilderhark Tales”. Upon signing my short story with JTP, I wavered for a moment about whether or not to pursue the self-publishing project right now, as planned, or put it off ‘til later. That moment lasted all of a few seconds. The promises I make, I keep. The first Wilderhark Tale was going forward. (“The Swan Prince”, coming May 31st .)
So, I had a short story to prepare for a publishing company, and a novella to edit, acquire a cover for, figure out how to format for paperback and e-book, and, also, in addition, plus … (There’s a lot involved in self-pubbing a quality book, y’all.)
And then JTP asked for my novel, “Inspired”. (Coming in March of 2014.)
This is it, people. This is the start of the writing career I’ve worked for since my latter teens. At what’s-seemed-like-an-eternity last, I can say I am living the dream!
… But wait. Where did all my writing time go?
I had it soft, ‘til now. With no other real demands on my time, I could pretty much spend all day, every day, writing up a storm. Now? Not so much. A long list of pressing deadlines comes first.
It would be easy – arguably justifiable, even – to move writing new material off my priorities list until later. Problem is, that looks an awful lot like the same “someday” region to which I almost relegated my fairytale series. I don’t want to exile writing to “someday”! A fine howdy-do that would be: “Oh, yeah, thanks for getting my foot in the door of fame and fortune, Writing. It’s been real. But, uh, I’m kinda busy, these days, so … Y’know what? I’ll call you.” *calls “someday”*
Not even. That’s no way to treat something you love. I wouldn’t be typing this blog post right now if I didn’t love writing. I’m a writer. Writers write. Beginning, middle, and end of story.
So yeah, I’m up to my ears in line editing and social networking, I’ve got a mad amount of forms to fill out and accounts to keep tabs on … but I’m also making time to write. Maybe not every day; certainly not all day, anymore. It might only add up to a few thousand new words a week, for a while. That’s all right. I’ll work my way back up to my old deranged levels of productivity, or I’ll settle into something more like the routine that real authors keep.
‘Cause I’m as real an author now as the best of them, guys. And I’m gonna write like it. That’s a promise.
* * *
Danielle E. Shipley’s first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself … or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof. When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them. She’s also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble. When she’s not living the highs and lows of writing young adult novels, she’s probably blogging about it at EverOnWord.wordpress.com.