Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Until That Distant Day Cover Reveal!

Are you a fan of historical fiction that is steeped in suspense, action, intrigue, and romance? If so, then you've come to the right place! Award winning author Jill Stengl is releasing her first novel in seven years. This is quite obviously a big deal, and I'm terribly excited to announce that there will be several giveaways from the author herself along with tantalizing sneek peeks about her her new book Until That Distant Day.

But first things first. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU MRS. JILL!

Yup, Jill Stengl's pristine new cover (designed by the ever amazing Anne Elisabeth Stengl) is being revealed on her birthday! How exciting is that?

Now, for the moment you have all been waiting for, here is the cover for Until That Distant Day.

Paris, France
1792

0NzYyMGZiNjAwZjNmMTRhNTUxOTQ2MTQyOjIw/
Colette DeMer and her brother Pascoe are two sides of the same coin, dependent upon one another in the tumultuous world of the new Republic. Together they labor with other leaders of the sans-culottes to ensure freedom for all the downtrodden men and women of France.

But then the popular uprisings turn bloody and the rhetoric proves false. Suddenly, Colette finds herself at odds with Pascoe and struggling to unite her fractured family against the lure of violence. Charged with protecting an innocent young woman and desperately afraid of losing one of her beloved brothers, Colette doesn’t know where to turn or whom to trust as the bloodshed creeps ever closer to home.
Until that distant day when peace returns to France, can she find the strength to defend her loved ones . . . even from one another?
Coming April 25, 2014
From Rooglewood Press

Such a beautiful cover! I especially love the blue color of Colette's dress.



AUTHOR BIO:

Jill Stengl is the author of numerous romance novels including Inspirational Reader's Choice Award- and Carol Award-winning Faithful Traitor, and the bestselling novella, Fresh Highland Heir. She lives with her husband in the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin, where she enjoys her three cats, teaching a high school English Lit. class, playing keyboard for her church family, and sipping coffee on the deck as she brainstorms for her next novel.

EXCERPT FROM THE STORY:

Until That Distant Day
Opening of Chapter 1
I was born believing that the world was unfair and that I was the person to make it right.
One of my earliest memories is of Papa setting me atop a nail keg in the forge; I could not have been older than two at the time.
“Colette, give Papa a kiss,” he said, tapping his cheek.
“Why?”
“Come and sit on my knee.”
“Why?”
My response to every order was the same, asked with genuine curiosity. I did not understand why his watching friends chuckled. Why should I press my lips to Papa’s sweaty, prickly cheek? Why should I hop down from the keg, where he had just placed me, and run to sit on his knee, a most uncomfortable perch? I felt justified in requesting a reason for each abrupt order, yet he never bothered to give me one.
Mama, when thus questioned, provided an answer in the form of a sharp swat. This I could respect as definitive authority, although the reasoning behind it remained dubious.
My little brother Pascoe was born believing that the world was his to command. As soon as he acquired his first vocabulary word, “No,” he and I joined ranks in defiance of established authority.
Many impediments cluttered the path of destiny in those early years: parents, thirteen other siblings, physical ailments, and educational difficulties. And as we grew into adulthood, more serious matters intervened, even parting us for a time. But I will speak more of that later. For now, let me assure you that, no matter the obstacles thrown in our way, our sibling bond seemed indissoluble; the love between us remained unaffected by any outside relationship.
Pascoe and I were young adults when revolutionaries in Paris threw aside the tyranny of centuries and established a new government based on the Rights of Man. From the seclusion of our little village in Normandy we rejoiced over each battle fought and won; and when our local physician, Doctor Hilliard, who had first mentored then employed Pascoe for several years, was elected as deputy to the National Assembly from our district, a whole new world opened at our feet.
My story truly begins on a certain day in the spring of 1792, in the little domain I had made for myself in the kitchen at the back of Doctor Hilliard’s Paris house. Perhaps it wasn’t truly my domain, for it did not belong to me. I was merely the doctor’s housekeeper and could lay no real claim. Nevertheless, the kitchen was more mine than anything had ever been, and I loved that small, dark room; especially during the hours when sunlight slanted through the bubbled-glass kitchen windows, making bright, swirling shapes on the whitewashed walls, or each evening when I arranged my latest culinary creation on a platter and left it in the warming oven for the doctor to discover whenever he arrived home. That kitchen was my home. Not the home I had grown up in, but the home I had always craved.
On that particular day, however, it did not feel the safe haven I had always believed it to be. Loud voices drifted down from the upper floor where the doctor and Pascoe were in conference, disturbing my calm. When I closed the connecting door to the dining room, the angry voices drifted in through the open kitchen windows. I couldn’t close the windows; I might smother of heat. Yet I needed to block out the sound, to make it stop.
So I slipped a filet of sole into a greased skillet and let it brown until golden on both sides. The hiss and sizzle did not quite cover the shouting, but it helped. Then I slid the fish onto a waiting plate lined with sautéed vegetables fresh from my kitchen garden; and I topped all with an herbed wine-and-butter sauce. A grind of fresh pepper finished off my creation.
But my hands were still trembling, and I felt as if something inside me might fall to pieces.
Pascoe often shouted. Shouting was part of his fiery nature, a normal event. He shouted when he gave speeches at section meetings. He shouted about overcooked meals or inferior wines. He shouted when his lace jabot refused to fall into perfect folds.
But never before had I heard Doctor Hilliard raise his voice in anger.
Doctor Hilliard was never angry. Doctor Hilliard never displayed emotion. At most, he might indicate approval by the glance of a benevolent eye or disapprobation by the merest lift of a brow. Yet there could be no mistaking the two furious voices overhead. I well knew Pascoe’s sharp tenor with its sarcastic edge; but now I also heard the doctor’s resonant voice crackling with fury.
I managed to slide the hot plate into the warmer alongside a crusty loaf of bread and closed the door, using a doubled towel to protect my shaking hands.
Behind me the connecting door was flung open, and Pascoe burst in as I spun to face him. “Gather your things; we are leaving,” he growled. His eyes blazed in his pale face, and the jut of his jaw allowed for no questions. He clapped his tall hat on his head as he passed through the room.
I donned my bonnet and sabots and picked up my parasol. “What has happened?” I asked just above a whisper.
“I’ll tell you once we are away from this house.” His lips snapped tight. His chest heaved with emotion, and he grasped a portfolio so tightly that his fingers looked white.
I could not recall the last time I had seen my brother in such a rage.

____________


Be sure to check out Until That Distant Day' s new book page right here.

And also decorate your blogs with this pretty little blog button!


http://untilthatdistantdaynovel.blogspot.com/
 

Don't forget to enter the giveaway right here at Jill Stengl's blog! She is graciously offering ten of her marvelous novels for us to win...so enter away!

<3 Clara

Friday, November 15, 2013

Reunited

My brother-in-law is an amazing photographer, and he is training my sister to become quite good at the art as well. It just so happens that they've traveled all the way from Arkansas to the swamps of LA to shoot a wedding  this weekend. We are all going to have so much fun watching season three of Falling Skies together (my brother-in-law and sister have not seen it yet. Poor things.)  Hopefully I can get some pictures up of the wedding before too long so you can see some pretty wedding pics. (Seriously, who doesn't love some good wedding pictures to look at?)

Me, Laura, Anna
In the meantime, I'm reunited with my gorgeous sister, and we're sure to have a good many laughs! Hope you all have a wonderful Friday full of good movies, pizza, and books!
                                       
<3 Clara

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thor and My Wild Red Headed Sister

Hello, all! It's been a while since I've posted, and I'm terribly sorry for that. I've been writing like a madwoman trying to get my short stories done by the deadline. I almost have Life at the Crystal Shoe Factory finished, and I'm half way through The Moon Master's Ball. I'm happy with the way both of them are turning out, and I certainly am excited to read everyone elses's stories that they've submitted! If you are a writer and want to have  a chance to be published, click on the button on the side of my blog that says "Five Glass Slippers", and it will take you to the website where you will be told the stipulations for the short story contest. This is a publishing opportunity that you writers don't want to miss out on!

On to other happenings of the day, Thor: The Dark World comes out, and I'm SO EXCITED!! If you would like to see a hilarious video featuring Loki and a bunch of kiddies or some goofy Thorsday pictures, head over to James's blog J and J Productions.


I am utterly thrilled about going to see this movie, but for more reasons than one...

I have a sister named Laura. She has red hair and the wild personality that goes right along with it. She, my brother and I went  to see Thor when it first came out at midnight, and I got so frustrated with Laura. When I go see a movie I want to sit quietly and soak up every line and every action scene, and as soon as Thor started, I realized that it was going to be an amazing movie.

But when I saw Laura with her giant bag of popcorn over by the pump where you can squirt out more butter pumping pumping pumping, I knew that the butter was going to soak through her bag. And sure enough, after we sat down and the movie started she's sitting beside me, chomping away at the popcorn and then I hear her say, "There's butter all over my jeans!"
She somehow remedied the problem and we continued watching the movie in silence. After Thor's almost coronation, Laura looks over at me and chuckles. "You're soaking this up, aren't you?"

I shushed her.

Then Thor and his companions get to Jotunheim and Hogun says, "We shouldn't be here." Laura starts laughing and leans over to me again. "That's an understatement."
"Will you be quiet?!" I was getting quite upset by now, and I looked at her to give her an angry look, but she made a goofy face, making me laugh.

The third incident happened when you see Loki as a blue baby. That got Laura tickled once again and I hear her quote softly, "I had a fairly standard childhood." (Those of you who are fans of Megamind will get that reference) I couldn't help but laugh along with her at that moment.

The night continued in a similar fashion. Laura being annoying, and me not be able to get angry with her because she's so funny. But now she's married and living far away from me so she won't be able to ruin my first viewing of The Dark World. Of this, I am excited; but....I might just miss her a little bit....


<3 Clara
  

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Robin Hood

The Disney cartoon of Robin Hood is one of my favorites. I love the scene when Robin proposes to Marion and the pretty song "Love" is played. I recently learned on my guitar and my brother recorded me playing it  with an app on his phone. Anywho, here it is, and I hope you all enjoy it! We may do more songs in the future:)




<3 Clara

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Something I Can't Copy: M. I. McAllister

My life has been rather hectic of late. Between traveling to Arkansas to see my beautiful sister and handsome brother-in-law, and between my work, life’s been crazy. And when life is crazy, the blog gets ignored.
But now I’m back and here’s a new post!

M. I. McAllister.

Mrs. McAllister has written books with characters in them that have become my friends over many years…and they’re all animals. Yes, M. I. McAllister writes completely epic stories and centers them around her main character, the squirrel with the pale fur, Urchin of the Riding Stars. But there are many more characters than just Urchin! She created a whole world full of hedgehogs, squirrels, moles, otters, and the occasional swan. This world, rather, island, is protected by magical mists that prevent anyone harmful from entering into the peaceful little world of Mistmantle.
I’m getting carried away talking about her books! Anyway, these books have been near and dear to my heart since my brother bought Urchin of the Riding Stars for me one Christmas long ago. But my very favorite aspect of her writing is how she makes an island ruled by animals and protected by magical mists so real. I can practically taste the warm cider in Brother Fir’s tower, or smell the herbs growing in his room. I can nearly feel the autumn breeze as it clips through the trees of Anemone Wood, carrying the smell of salt from the ocean surrounding the island. I can clearly see in my mind the Castle, the center point of the island, and the beautiful glistening harbor down below it, otters playing in the waves.
And how does M. I. McAllister do it, you ask?
I haven’t the slightest idea.   
But one thing is for certain: her books are classics, and no matter how hard I might try, I can’t recreate this feeling of wistfulness in my own little story. This is something that I can’t copy, even though I try to!

Have you read any of Mrs. McAllister’s works? If so, please comment and tell me what you think!  Here are some illustrations from her books.


You can visit M. I. McAllister's blog at The House of Stories

<3 Clara

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Being a Copy Cat: Anne Elisabeth Stengl

There are tons of fabulous books on my bookshelf written by equally amazing authors, and as I looked at the rows of many exciting fantasy books this morning, I realized something.

I want to copy the authors that I look up to so much.

Now I don’t mean copy as in plagiarism, but I mean copy as in finding what makes their story so wonderful, and applying it to my own work-in-progress. There are many authors that I look up to. Anne Elisabeth Stengl, Gail Carson Levine, Jessica Day George, Elizabeth Goudge, M. I. McCallister, Dave Barry, and Ridly Pearson are just a few. Each of these authors has the ability to make me feel whimsical, frightened, enthralled, mystified, and I realized that I personally want to convey their fantastic writing traits in my own story.

In Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s marvelous book series, The Tales of Goldstone Wood, she gives such a pristinely clear vision of when and where her books are taking place. This is something I want to express in my own work. I can easily picture where all of her castles and lands are, what  her characters look like, and where the story is taking place, because she herself obviously has a clear vision of the where, when, and who. Before I started my story, I took this into account. I tried to map out in my head where all of my kingdoms will be located, who my characters are and how their paths will cross, and have their paths crossed before? Of course, I am no expert. I only try to copy the authors who I look up to, and hope that my story will turn out alright!

While there are many more traits of Anne Elisabeth’s writing that I admire, the art of making her world feel so very established is what stands out to me the most when I read her books.

So my question for you today is this:

Who are the authors that you look up to? Are there any traits of theirs that you try to copy?

<3 Clara

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Character Interview

One of my characters, Doctor Nicholas Kinkly, was interviewed by the Writer over at A Writer's Ponderings. I know that he would love it if you all stopped by and dropped him (or the Writer) a note! Actually, if you are a writer and would like to let one of you heroes or villains be interviewed, then send an e-mail to thewriterofponderings@gmail.com.

<3 Clara

Monday, September 30, 2013

Favorite Heroes: Part 2


Since there are so many cinematic heroes that I love (there are far too many favorite literary ones for me to even mention), I've decided to do a part two post about my favorite heroes. Goodness, I have so many favorites, I don't know if I can remember them all! Perhaps I'll be doing a part three in the future...

Again, they are in no specific order. (Except for the Doctor. He will always reign supreme.) 

Ivanhoe



Steven Waddington (you may recognize him from The Last of the Mohicans) plays Ivanhoe in my favorite adaptation of Sir Walter Scott's epic novel, IvanhoeThis particular version of Ivanhoe is a BBC miniseries, so it's a bit long. But you can watch it in segments if you want to, although I usually watch it straight through! It's probably my very favorite BBC movie, and I love Ivanhoe's honorable and brave character.
(The movie also has the amazing Robin Hood in it!!!)

John Sheppard



I love his sunglasses.

John is my ideal hero. Brave, sweet, a little cocky, sarcastic but not annoying, he is basically perfect. I only wish there were more seasons of Stargate Atlantis.


Samwise Gamgee

Sam is kind, brave, loyal, and just down right good. He's so sweet, you can't help but love him!
"Frodo wouldn't have got far without Sam."

Captain Jack Sparrow



What's not to love? He's witty, hilarious, and good (as good as he can be, anyway). Captain Jack is one of the most quotable characters since anyone in The Princess Bride, and he never fails to make me laugh.

Tristan



I only just recently watched the movie Stardust, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It actually reminded me very much of The Princess Bride with its quirky characters and goofy jokes. Tristan was an excellent character. You couldn't help but like him! He's sweet, brave, a bit naive...and not the least bit cocky! Which, as much as I like the cocky characters, was quite refreshing.

Robin Hood



Robin Hood is also one of my favorite literary heroes...I love him! And while I think Errol Flinn was the best Robin Hood, I also enjoyed Joe Armstrong from the BBC series.


Yes...even though this show was incredibly cheesy I never missed an episode. *blush*


I have many, many more favorite heroes (including everyone from the Lord of the Rings), but these are the first that came to mind.

Happy writing!

<3 Clara




Thursday, September 26, 2013

Learning to Focus

I am no professional writer. But I do write a great deal, and through the hours that I spend typing away at my laptop I’ve learned one very important thing.

Focus.

If I’m in a room with people walking past me, saying “hello” and “good morning” I totally lose my train of thought. It’s horrible! When I got my new job I started riding to work with my sister who works at the same place I do, she has to start her work at seven A. M. and I don’t start mine until ten; so I have quite a bit of downtime. I usually write in this time period, but I can’t escape the people. They’re all very nice, but they totally distract me! It’s even worse when they walk by with their cute little puppies who are struggling to get close to me for some petting.

But I can’t think about the puppies or hummingbirds fluttering past the windows. I have to focus on my writing. I just found out that it’s actually not so hard to do when you put your mind to it. Usually I take a deep breath and tell myself NO INTERNET. My reward after a few pages of writing is to check and see what’s going on in Goldstone Wood, but only after a few good pages.

When I’m in the sanctuary of my room at home, I have a piece of paper taped on the outside of my door that says, “Le writer is writing. Leave now and never come back!” Of course, no one in my family cares anything about the sign and they come barging in anyway saying something like, “CLARA WHERE’S THE...” and so on. That means that I even have to practice being focused at home. If any thoughts of checking to see if anything new are happening on the blogs I follow spring to mind, I shut them down. If I go and check to see what’s happening on over at A Writer’s Ponderings, I probably won’t be back to my neglected story for quite a while, and when I do eventually get back, I won’t be able to remember the witty line my hero was about to say.

So the moral of this post is this: find the weakest point in your focus and do your best to get rid of the distracting problem. And then watch your story growJ

I think that I have even become more focused after this…SQUIRREL!

                                                           
<3 Clara

Monday, September 23, 2013

Goddess Tithe Cover Reveal!


The time has come to reveal the amazing cover for Anne Elisabeth's new book, Goddess Tithe. But this is not like her other books...no. Goddess Tithe is full of Anne Elisabeth Stengl's very own artistry! She has been kind enough to allow me to give you a sample of the illustrations you will witness while reading her new and amazing book.


The covers of her books get more and more beautiful!
Here's a little about the book itself.

The Vengeful Goddess
Demands Her Tithe
When a stowaway is discovered aboard the merchant ship Kulap Kanya, Munny, a cabin boy on his first voyage, knows what must be done. All stowaways are sacrificed to Risafeth, the evil goddess of the sea. Such is her right, and the Kulap Kanya‘s only hope to return safely home.

Yet, to the horror of his crew, Captain Sunan vows to protect the stowaway, a foreigner in clown’s garb. A curse falls upon the ship and all who sail with her, for Risafeth will stop at nothing to claim her tithe.

Will Munny find the courage to trust his captain and to protect the strange clown who has become his friend?



                                          

I simply cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of this book!

Now here's the illustration you've all been looking forward to.



Anne Elisabeth is such an amazing author and artist!

Now, for the most exciting part about this cover reveal, is an excerpt from the story itself!
Enjoy!
***
Excerpt from the Story:
Here is an excerpt from the middle of the story. In this scene, Munny has been ordered to Captain Sunan’s cabin to clear away his breakfast . . . an unexpected task, for a lowly cabin boy would not ordinarily dare enter his captain’s private quarters! Munny hopes to slip in and out quietly without attracting the captain’s notice. But his hopes are dashed when Sunan addresses him, asking how their strange, foreign stowaway is faring:
__________
“And what do you make of him yourself?”
Munny dared glance his captain’s way and was relieved when his eyes met only a stern and rigid back. “I’m not sure, Captain,” he said. “I think he’s afraid. But not of . . .”
“Not of the goddess?” the Captain finished for him. And with these words he turned upon Munny, his eyes so full of secrets it was nearly overwhelming. Munny froze, his fingers just touching but not daring to take up a small teapot of fragile work.
The Captain looked at him, studying his small frame up and down. “No,” he said, “I believe you are right. Leonard the Clown does not fear Risafeth. I believe he is unaware of his near peril at her will, suffering as he does under a peril nearer still.”
Munny made neither answer nor any move.
“We will bring him safely to Lunthea Maly, won’t we, Munny?” the Captain said. But he did not speak as though he expected an answer, so again Munny offered none. “We will bring him safely to Lunthea Maly and there let him choose his own dark future.”
“I hope—” Munny began.
But he was interrupted by a sudden commotion on deck. First a rising murmur of voices, then many shouts, inarticulate in cacophony. But a pounding at the cabin door accompanied Sur Agung’s voice bellowing, “Captain, you’d best come see this!”
The Captain’s eyes widened a moment and still did not break gaze with Munny’s. “We’ll keep him safe,” he repeated. Then he turned and was gone, leaving the door open.
Munny put down the pot he held and scurried after. The deck was alive with hands, even those who were off watch, crawling up from the hatches and crowding the rails on the port side. They parted way for the Captain to pass through, but when Munny tried to follow, they closed in again, blocking him as solidly as a brick wall.
“Look! Look!” Munny heard voices crying.
“It’s a sign!”
“She’s warning us!”
“It’s a sign, I tell you!”
Fearing he knew not what, Munny ran for the center mast and climbed partway up, using the handholds and footholds with unconscious confidence. Soon he was high enough to see over the heads of the gathered crew, out into the blue waters of the ocean. And he saw them.
They were water birds. Big white albatrosses, smaller seagulls, heavy cormorants, even deep-throated pelicans and sleek, black-faced terns. These and many more, hundreds of them, none of which should be seen this far out to sea.
They were all dead. Floating in a great mass.
Munny clung to the mast, pressing his cheek against its wood. The shouts of the frightened sailors below faded away, drowned out by the desolation of that sight. Death, reeking death, a sad flotilla upon the waves.
“I’ve never seen anything like that.”
Munny looked down to where Leonard clung to the mast just beneath him, staring wide-eyed out at the waves. “How could this have happened? Were they sick? Caught in a sudden gale? Are they tangled in fishing nets?”
There was no fear in his voice. Not like in the voices of the sailors. He did not understand. He did not realize. It wasn’t his fault, Munny told himself.
But it was.


***

Oh my!! Can you possibly wait to read this? I certainly can't! Tell me what you think about Goddess Tithe in the comments below. As always, I love to know what you all think!

<3 Clara

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Darling Dog

I realize that I have been remiss in introducing you all to one of my most adorable family members. Since I haven't acknowledged him on this blog, he has become a bit upset. He wants to be admired and adored like a proper prince, so I decided to give him the chance to be admired. I give you Samwise the Brave.

No. I do not mean this Samwise the Brave:



I mean this Samwise the Brave.


Sam has been my precious prince since I was eight years old...we got him from the pound and he has been part of the family ever since! He thinks he is very handsome, and I agree with him:)

Most of the time Sam is usually inside lounging upon a bed or asking for a treat, but on hot summer days he has been known to wear a turban. See here: 

Isn't he precious?!

Sam also likes to dress up with scarves once in a while.



But he doesn't always play dress up. Most of the time he is guarding the house.


One time he even chased down a coyote to protect me!

On Sunday afternoons he likes to sit on the front porch with the rest of us while we drink tea and coffee.




Sam: "May I have some of that yummy smelling tea? Please?"

But he can get frustrated with us sometimes. Usually, he gets upset with us when it's late at night and we won't turn the light off. But instead of getting too upset with us, he just fixes the problem.


He has covered his head up when tired on many occasions.

But most of the time he just sleeps with his head uncovered.




Samwise has a wonderful life. It's full of adventure (he charged a goat today!), it's full of treats, it's full of camping, it's full of car rides and hugs and kisses. There was never a dog with a more loving nature and calm spirit. He is truly a Darling Dog!



<3 Clara 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Favorite Heroes

First of all, Benedict Cumberbatch has recently become one of my favorite villains (I was actually more on his side than Kirk's at some points of the movie) from the AMAZING movie, Star Trek Into Darkness.

He was amazing. Did I already say that?

Alright, here are my favorite heroes in no specific order.



Captain America is so honorable, kind, and just good. I love him because, while cocky characters are great fun and quite loveable, he is serious and sweet without a hint of pride. Steve Rodgers is my favorite superhero.




 Farimir does what's right in spite of his father's wishes and becomes a better man than his brother. He is my altime favorite character in The Lord of the Rings, and that has nothing to do with how handsome he is.
Well...that might not be entirely true :P


He's such a good character. I love him!



It's Han Solo. 'Nuff said.




Yes, he looks quite bizarre. In fact, he looks so bizarre I almost didn't watch the movie Alice in Wonderland. But I'm so glad I did. Johnny Depp (my favorite actor) gives such depth of emotion to the Mad Hatter, and he makes me want to watch the movie over and over again.

Now, for my final and very, very favorit hero. He is good and kind, and never thinks of himself. He loves adventure and would do anything for those he loves. He has all of space and  time at his fingertips and yet he is terribly lonely. He looks young, but has the eyes of one who has seen all the horrors of the world. I give you the crazy man in a blue box.



Bowties are cool.

So who are your favorite heroes? I'd love to know!

<3 Clara

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Of Questions and Answers

Hannah just tagged me for yet another Q and A! She came up with some fun questions and I had a great time answering. Here they are!

  1. Which fictional character has inspired you the most to be a better person?

Well, I’d have to say Princess Una from Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s book Heartless. That may come as a bit of a shock considering she’s selfish, immature, and quite mean to the hero of the story, but I find her inspiring because she isn’t perfect. She’s lost and floundering alone and yet she refuses to be helped-- at first. In the end she chooses to do what’s right, and ultimately becomes a very inspiring character.

2. What landscape do you love the most (desert, rain forest, snow, grass-fields, mountains, etc.)?

            Mountains! I love hiking and seeing the gorgeous views from the top of them.
     
“I want to see mountains again, mountains, Gandalf! And then find somewhere quiet where I can finish my book.”

….I had to put that in there.

3. Name your #1 Literary Crush.

            Honestly? I don’t know. Eanrin with his smug attitude and yet very soft heart is definitely one of my favorites. Also, I love the wizard Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle, (who is very similar to Eanrin) and Rhyse, the loveable sorcerer from The Two Princesses of Bamarre. Oh! And there’s Ren and Kishan, the thousand year-old Indian brothers and princes from The Tiger’s Curse series.

4. If you were in a book, what name would you give yourself, what role would you play, and what would you look like?

           Ha ha! This is a fun question.


            I think I would give myself the name Belle since my parents almost called me that, and one of my many nick-names is “Clara Belle”. I wouldn’t be the main character in a story. I think I would be more of the Samwise Gamgee character; true friend to the main character and their protector. I would look just as I do now: light brown hair, dark brown eyes, and a bit short. (My brother Ian has taken to calling me a little “Adipose” after the Doctor Who episode. He says I look like one and I’m quite insulted.)

           

                               Tell me that I do not look like this.

5. If you could have any superpower (flying, strength, far-sight, etc.) what would it be?
            FLYING!!! Oh, how much fun it would be to fly!

6. Name your favorite activity you did as a child.

Going on “Adventure Walks”with my imaginary friends the Dinosaurs Rex and Raptory. I was far too into the Jurassic Park movies.

7. What food have you never tried, but really want to?

Indian. As much as I love Thai food I think I would really enjoy the spices and intricate dishes of the Indian culture.

8.  What do prefer, fantasy or sci-fiction?

That’s like asking me to choose between Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings. I can’t do it. I love them both.

9. Do you prefer indoors or outdoors?

Outdoors! Although I’m usually inside typing away at my computer…

10. If you writing, how far along are you in your current work-in-progress? And if you don't write, how far along are you in the current book you're reading?

I’m in my second chapter right now…which sounds pitiful, but I’ve been writing and re-writing my prologue and first chapter for what seems like a very long time!

Thanks Hannah for tagging me! These were fun and clever questions, and I had a great time answering them. I’ll do my Favorite Heroes post on FridayJ

Happy reading!

<3 Clara

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Favorite Villains

I just got finished watching Thor: The Dark World trailer for the thousandth time and am more excited about it than ever. The best thing about it is Loki. He's probably one of my altime favorite characters ever created, and Tom Hiddleston plays the part to perfection. While my favorite superhero is Captain America, (he is just so honorable and good) my favorite character with superpowers is Loki, although his powers are more on the magic side. I really, really hope he turns good in this movie...and maybe he's going to be a little attracted to Jane? That would make the movie even better!

I've noticed a theme in some of my favorite characters...they always tend to be the bad guys. So, I thought I would tell all of you who my favorite villains are.

 I love Erik from The Phantom of the Opera
  No...I don't like him just because Gerard Butler plays him in the movie.

I've already talked about how much I LOVE Loki.

Tom Hiddleston is one of the best.

Michael from Stargate: Atlantis


The Atlantis team really messed up with him...they captured him, lied to him, and were mean to him...and then they did it all over again! Shame on you Dr. Weir!

I even like Anakin Skywalker despite Hayden Christensen's dreadful acting.

He did improve in Episode III.

So who are some of your favorite characters who are villains? Please tell me in the comments, I'd love to know!

Next post I'll say who my favorite heroes are:)

<3 Clara

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Fantasy Movies are Taking Over!

Have you noticed the sudden surplus of fantasy movies? I'm not complaining...I'm actually completely thrilled! Finally, after Tim Burton's hit "Alice in Wonderland", people are starting to realize that fantasy movies are something that people like to watch. After "Alice", Snow White and the Huntsman came out along with Mirror Mirror; both were excellent fantasy adventures, although throughout Snow White and the Huntsman I was yearning for more dialogue. Later this year, The Seventh Son is coming out starring Ben Barnes and Jeff Bridges!
I 'm not quite certain what I think of this movie so far. It looks like it has potential to be quite good, but it also looks like it could end up being a bit of a mess. The movie is based on a series of books by Joseph Delaney.


Ben Barnes and Jeff Bridges.


Another fantasy movie that's coming out is Maleficent by Disney.


                                                                                                                                                                  Well, Angelina Jolie certainly looks the part, but I really don't know what what to think about it. I've heard that it's supposed  to be a lot like Wicked in that she starts out good and there are explanations why she turns bad, blah blah blah. I would have preferred Disney just to make Sleeping Beauty be the main character...but, Maleficent may prove to surprise me, and I could end up loving it. I won't judge until I see the trailer.

Next fantasy coming out is Cinderella, directed by Kenneth Branagh. SQUEEE!!!!!! Kenneth Branagh did such a wonderful job with Thor, I can hardly wait for Cinderella!

Lily James will be playing the part of Cinderella, and I think she's the perfect pick!



And Cate Blanchett will be the evil stepmother! Again, another perfect pick!



And the Prince will be played by Richard Madden. I've never seen him in anything, but it looks like he will be a very good Prince!



Oh, and guess who the Fairy Godmother will be played by?



Yes, Helenah Bonham Carter is a bit bizarre, but I think she will be a wonderful Fairy Godmother!

Are you excited about these fantasy movies coming out? I certainly am! Also...there are rumors of a Beauty and the Beast movie being made...it's not official yet, but there are rumors....

<3 Clara


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Hunchback Assignments

My family recently had a "staycation". What is a "staycation", you ask? It's a time where no one leaves the house over the weekend, and we all just read and watch movies and eat yummy treats. It's wonderful. Anywho, during this "staycation", I finally got my hands on a series of books that I've been wanting to read.
The Hunchback Assignments is a sci-fi spin off of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
 The mysterious Mr. Socrates rescues Modo, a child in a traveling freak show. Modo is a hunchback with an amazing ability to transform his appearance, and Mr. Socrates raises him in isolation as an agent for the Permanent Association, a spy agency behind Brittania’s efforts to rule the empire. At 14, Modo is left on the streets of London to fend for himself. When he encounters Octavia Milkweed, another Association agent, the two uncover a plot by the Clockword Guild behind the murders of important men. Furthermore, a mad scientist is turning orphan children into automatons to further the goals of the Guild. Modo and Octavia journey deep into the tunnels under London and discover a terrifying plot against the British government. It’s up to them to save their country.


                                                                      ***

This wasn't the best book I had ever read, although it was a fun read. There wasn't a bit of language through the whole book, although I found it slightly dark in some places. If you like sci-fi, this is the book for you! It's a quick read, and you won't be bored while immersed The Hunchback Assignments.

Happy reading, everyone!

<3 Clara

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tagged Again!

Hullo one and all! The Time of the Tags is upon us, apparently... you remember that in my previous post, Hannah tagged me for some super fun questions. Well, I just discovered that Rachel over at Sesquipedalian Dreamer tagged me for another blogging game! This time, I just list my favorite movies! (This is going to be tough because I have a surplus of favorites.)  

1. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
I love these movies because...do I really have to explain? Are we all in agreement that these are the best movies ever made? Yes? Ok. Moving on, then.

2. The Phantom of the Opera
This is a beautiful movie with a completely enrapturing story. Even if there wasn't stunning music and a classic story to go along with it, I would be satisfied watching the movie just for the gorgeous dresses. Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, and Patrick Wilson star in this heart-wrenching movie...I can't even say how much I love this story and movie. No matter how many times I watch it, The Phantom of the Opera never gets old.

3. Thor

Well, of course I have to have a superhero movie in here somewhere! Thor was quite a surprise to me. I didn't expect to like it nearly as much as I did, and I was thrilled with the wonderful acting, humor, and fantasy aspects of the movie!

4. Wives and Daughters


Who doesn't love a good BBC movie? I love the emotion in the movie, and the character of Molly. Really, there are no better actors than the British! There are many BBC films that I love just as much as Wives and Daughters such as North and South, Cranford (1 and 2), and Pride and Prejudice (Jennifer Ehl and Colin Firth version).

5. Horatio Hornblower


FIYAAAAAHHH!!!!!!

This is another BBC series that I simply couldn't live without, and every time I watch it I feel the irrepressible urge to yell "Fire!" Again, the acting is excellent, and the stories are wonderful.
"I congratulate you on you perspicacity, sir!"
That is a much quoted quote around our house from the episode "Fireships" :) 


Those are the main movies that come to mind, and I do watch many of them with "clearlplay". Some others that I love are Pirates of the Caribbean, Alice in Wonderland, the Oceans trilogy, The Princess Bride, Tammy and the Bachelor, Star Wars and many, many more!

Now I'm supposed to tag more people. And those people are....

Hannah

ghost ryter

Rebeka B.

If ya'll don't want to participate, don't worry about it!

Happy reading everyone!

<3 Clara