August 24, 2017

20 Random Facts About Me: A Birthday Post

20 Random Facts About Me: A Birthday Post

In exactly six days, I will be turning twenty. Yay! Because of that, I won't be doing any blogging next week. I want to just enjoy myself and celebrate with my family. The week of September 4 I'll be back with an August summery/book review post.

But for today, I decided to do a post about me, something I don't do a lot. I'm going to tell you twenty random things about me, so maybe you can get to know me better. If this doesn't interest you, check back September 4. Here we go!


1) I play violin and piano. I've been playing violin for about fourteen years and piano for probably around eight.

2) I've been in an orchestra. I was both a first and second violin in a private Christian school orchestra. They let homeschoolers play with them, even though they don't go there. I loved playing with them so much.

3) I have never gone to regular school in my life. I'm proud homeschooler from kindergarten through my senior year.

4) I want to learn to play the bagpipes. It's a weird instrument to want to learn, but I love the way they sound. It's very different from a violin, however.

5) I've moved seven times. And lived a variety of places. From a trailer park to housekeeping a 100 acre farm.

6) I've only ever lived in Maryland. I have some military friends and they're always astonished that I've only lived in one state. I've also never lived anywhere but Anne Arundel County.

7) My favorite Broadway musicals are Wicked, Hamilton, Les Miserables, and Phantom of the Opera. Although, I will admit I like the movie versions of the latter two better than the Broadway ones. I've only listened to the soundtrack though, so they're probably better in person.

8) I want to travel the world. Not all at once, but someday I'd love to do more traveling. My sister and I say we'd love to go together and explore.

Our cat, Cheshire. She's a rescue.

9) I'm a cat person. I got my first cat when I was ten, but she had to be put down two years ago because she got a brain tumor. (One of the worst days of my life.) Now my family has a cat named Cheshire. She's black and adorable.

10) My favorite book genre is probably fantasy. I think it's because there aren't any rules. Anything can happen and the possibilities are endless.

11) I love comic books and graphic novels. I don't claim to be an expert on either one, but I do love to read them. The only thing I don't like is graphic novel adaptations of my favorite books. The characters never look like I think they should.

12) My favorite musicians include Lindsey Stirling, Meghan Trainor, Sabrina Carpenter, Taylor Swift, and Josh Groban. I also love a lot of YouTube artists like the PianoGuys, Peter Hollens, and Jonathan Young. I tend to like upbeat music, but there are times I like soft music too.

13) I'm a uber nerd fan of Disney. I know so much trivia, random useless facts, and have all the movies memorized. It's ridiculous. But I wouldn't have it any other way.

14) My other fandoms include Doctor Who, Star Trek, Marvel, DC, and Star Wars. You can call me an all around geek, and I'll be fine with that.


15) I was Jack Skellington for Halloween last year. I love how my costume came out. I'd like a better skirt to go with it, but other than that, it was perfect.

16) A hidden talent of mine is that I write poetry. I've been writing poems from a young age and have taken several poetry courses over the years. My poems either tend to be heartfelt or silly.

17) I love baking. My best recipe is a chocolate chip cookie one that my siblings say is the best. I can't wait until I have more opportunities to try new recipes.

18) I'd love to design clothes some day. I already sketch lots of designs, but I'd love to make them into real clothes in the future.

19) I love 18" dolls and Lego. And I have a large collection of each. They were some of my favorite toys when I was younger, and I haven't outgrown them yet. (I don't think that will ever happen.) There are some stories I could tell of what my siblings and I played with them.

20) So far, I've drafted 7 novels. They're all at various stages, but I think that's not bad. And that's not mentioning the other sequels and novel ideas I'm working on. One of my favorites so far? The Geek, the Jock, and the Rebel and How They Saved the World. It's a humorous sci-fi book about three teenagers and an evil pop-star.

There you go, twenty random things you probably didn't need to know about me! But now you do. Anyway, as I said, no posts next week. I'll be back September 4 with a August summery and book review post.

Let's talk! Do you have any questions about my random facts? (I'd be happy to answer if you do.) Do you want to give me a few random facts about yourself? Tell me in the comments.

August 21, 2017

Pros and Cons of Being a Book Nerd

Pros and Cons of Being a Book Nerd

Book nerds are generally the same. They read voraciously, know big words they use in everyday conversations (like voracious), live in palaces made of books, and own dragons. No wait, forget the last two. Anyway, if you're considering joining our ranks, here are a few pros and cons to consider.

Pro: You never run out of things to read

Book nerds always have books around. A shelf crammed full, a bag from the library, not to mention the ones forming their furniture. I never have a problem with finding something to read, no matter my mood. (Although it's a good thing I'm not in a horror mood like ever, because I don't own any horror books.)

Con: Your TBR is threatening to eat you

But on the flip side of that, you probably have so many books waiting to be read that it would take several life times to get through them. Library due dates don't help anything either. I'm sure one day my books are going to fall and kill me if I don't finish reading them. At least most of my TBR is digital. Thank God for Goodreads.

Pro: You're always finding new suggestions

When you're a reader, you're constantly finding new suggestions for books to read that mean your TBR will never go away. Your friend mentions a book that sounds interesting. You walk in the library and find five new books that look amazing. A book blogger reviews a book and you must read it immediately. With so many books in the world, there will always be new ones waiting to be read.

Con: Right after you manage to diminish your TBR

Of course, all these suggestions will land on your doorstep right after you were feeling proud of yourself for getting ten books off the TBR. You turn around and the next thing you know you have three new books on your shelf. One peek in the library produces a bag of books. And let's not even mention opening up Goodreads. Two minutes later and your to-read shelf has grown by a hundred books or so.

Pro: There is no end to the nerding out over books

There is nothing like discovering an amazing new book, series, or author. You read it through, geek out over it online, and leave a stunning review on Goodreads. If you're really in love, you buy it. Finding a new fandom is the best thing in the world.

Con: No one else has read it

Except for the fact that no one you know off-line has a clue what it is. Sometimes you don't even hear about it on the internet. You want to scream about the book to the world, but can't find anyone to share in your excitement. What a letdown.

Pro: They make it into a movie

The news arrives that your favorite book is being made into a movie. You hear the new and tremble with trepidation. Will they do it right? Will the characters look just like the picture in your head? Will they even pick the right actors?

You stalk the internet, critiquing every choice of casting, director, and assistant grip. Then the first trailer arrives. Not bad, you think. Maybe this movie will even be okay. As time goes by, you become excited to see it. You re-read the book just so you can have it fresh in your mind before watching it.

Con: That movie sucks (especially if it's a series)

Okay, not every book turned movie sucks. In fact, I'd say over fifty percent have succeeded (which in this case means they mostly stuck to the book and didn't do anything too weird to it). But there will be the times when you watch the movie and come away with a feeling of disappointment. How could they do this to your precious book? Prime examples include: Divergent, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and Eragon.

Pro: So many pretty things to admire, take pictures of, and use as furniture

Books are amazing. They have beautiful covers. They can be read, used as art, and used to take pictures of. How can you resist their colorful appeal? I mean, what other medium can you make a chair out of? Or a Christmas tree? They have so many uses outside of just reading. Book photography, while time consuming, can be so fun. (Unless you're working with library books. Curse you shiny book protectors!)

Con: High risk of book damage

However, with all the fun things you can do with books, comes the most horrible thing you can do to a book. Damage it. Thankfully, I have never (that I can recall) damaged a book beyond bending the cover or creasing a page. But there are so many opportunities to hurt them, especially with outdoor book photography. They get their revenge, though, with stupid paper cuts.

These are just five of pros and cons of being a book nerd. If you can think of more, leave them in the comments and I might make a part two sometime. I hope you enjoyed this bit of humor from yours truly.

Also, today is the day of the big solar eclipse. We're in the path of about 80% coverage. What is it like where you are? I'd love to know.

Let's talk! What are your biggest pros and cons? Do you have a book to movie that you absolutely hate? Tell me in the comments.

August 17, 2017

5 Writing Lessons from Sing

5 Writing Lessons from Sing

Of all the non-Disney kids movies that came out in the last year, my favorite was Sing. It interested me from the first trailer, and when I watched it, I was blown away. It was so good. Yeah, there were a few problems, but those were easily overlooked by list of great things about it.

There are a lot of things writers can learn from this movie. Today, we'll be looking at the five lessons we can learn from Sing and how we can apply them to our own novels. Warning: There will be spoilers for the movie ahead.


1. Characteristic moments are important

Sing opens with a bit of Buster Moon's backstory, then does a quick montage to introduce all the main characters. What the filmmakers did so well is that each little scene shows us who the character is, how they enjoy music, and gives a hint towards their conflict. Buster is a showman who wants to share his joy of theater with the world. Rosita is shown to be a mom who wants to be noticed again, while it's easy to tell Johnny doesn't want to be part of his dad's gang. Ash has a horrible boyfriend, Mike is a jerk, and Mina has fear issues.

When you introduce your character, show readers who they are quickly and easily. Try to show their personality, desires, and flaws all in one scene. It's tricky, but it can be done. And when it's done well, people will feel quite quickly that they know your character and get a feel for who they are.


2. Give us good arcs

Over the course of the movie, the characters go through arcs and become better people (or animals if you want to be technical). They overcome their flaws and show the world who they are. Each character has a point where they could just give up and go back to the way they were, and each rejects it marvelously.

Follow a good arc with your characters, and readers will be rooting for them. Make them fail, then get back up again. Let their insecurities shine through in the Dark Night of the Soul. Then when the climax comes, they can rise from the ashes like a phoenix.


3. Develop all your characters

Sing had one disappointing character. Mike. He's introduced as a busker, a con man, and mean, and never progresses past that point. The whole movie I was waiting for them to drop the bomb on why he's like this and make me sympathize with him, but it never came.

I guess with so many characters, it could be easy to overlook one, but I feel like it was an oversight on their part. Mike could have been used so much more effectively. Instead, I think he was just there as some extra conflict. My sister and I make theories about why he is the way he is. (And hopefully, should they ever make a second one, they'll expand on him.)

The lesson we can learn from Mike is that you shouldn't overlook characters that are a major part of the plot. Make sure to develop all of your characters. If you give us a reason why a character is nasty, then we're more likely to like them then if we never see why. Take Loki, for example. If we never knew his backstory and all the hurt and betrayal he felt, he'd just be a psychotic bad guy. Instead, he's one of Marvel's most popular villains.


4. Think about worldbuilding

The other major disappointment in this movie was the worldbuilding. It was hard not to compare it to the other big animal world film, Zootopia, which I loved. While very different stories, both take place in animal filled cities. And while Zooptopia's world was one of the best I've seen, Sing's was. . . not.

It felt like they took ideas from Disney, but didn't fully develop them. They tried to make the world work. Buster's bike has extra tall pedals. Mike's car has a tiny steering wheel, way smaller than the size of the car. There's even a water way for water animals to use. But it didn't make much sense. Wouldn't they have different sized things for different sized animals? Or what about housing? Mina's house was so small she had to squeeze through doorways.

Take time to build your world. That step is often overlooked anymore and it shouldn't be. What happened to the epic fantasy worlds of old? Instead we're left with half developed, mush worlds with questionable rules. Please, take a little extra time in prewriting and work on your world. People will thank you for it.


5. Make the stakes personal

Every character has something to prove and something to lose in this movie. That is clearly displayed in the climax, where they have their singing show despite the fact that there is no money, there isn't much of an audience, there isn't even a real theater left. As Buster says, they're doing it for themselves. Each one steps up and defeats their own inner demon through the songs they sing.

Rosita lets herself go and proves that she still has it. Johnny makes up with his dad and proves that it won't hold him back. Ash sings a powerful song about how she won't let someone else push her around. Mina gets over her shyness to learn she can perform. Mike just does it to show off. But still, it remains true to their character and gives them a lovely arc.


Give your characters something personal to lose in the stakes. Does the villain plan on world domination? Then make him threaten the hero's sister as well. Have a bully at school? Make the bullying affect their performance skills, threatening their school play auditions. Make it personal and readers will be hooked, plus they'll root for them.

Let's talk! Have you watched Sing? What was your favorite part? What did you learn from it about storytelling? Tell me in the comments.

August 14, 2017

How to Add Length to Your Novel

How to Add Length to Your Novel

I'm an underwriter. When I write a novel, they hit my intended word count, but still tend to be on the short side. I've tried Googling solutions to this, but there aren't a lot of answers for my problem out there. In fact, most people seem to have the opposite problem. They write massive drafts that need toning down, not bulking up.

Over time, I've learned how to do this on my own. That's why I decided to write my own post on how to add length to your novel. I'm going to share what I've learned in hopes that some other writer out there might be helped. Ready to get started?

1. Outline well

A good outline is a key factor for me in writing a well filled-out novel. If you know all the scenes in your novel ahead of time, you're much less likely to miss something important. Take the time to do some outline before you start writing and it will help a lot.

I would totally recommend K. M. Weiland's Outlining Your Novel book and workbook for anyone who wants to learn more about this. I used her method for my recent novel, Return to Wonderland and so far, I've actually had to make my goal larger. Everything she does doesn't work for me, but that's normal. You've got to make your own method of doing things.

2. Find the missing scenes

When you've finished your novel, it's time to edit it. One of the first things you should do is find where you might be missing scenes. Some may jump out at you immediately. Others may be more difficult to find.

You can start by checking that you have enough reaction scenes, something that has a tendency to be skimped on. Another large cause of missing scenes is if you tell a scene instead of showing it. Of course, not every scene can be shown, but you need to check that you didn't skip one (or add one) that should be part of the plot.

Once you've made a list of missing scenes, write them and add them it. It's not that hard. You just need to make sure you transition nicely with your additional scenes. And don't forget to keep your novel consistent as you add in your scenes.

3. Flesh out your plot

Scenes are also related to plot. If you outlined your novel well, you may have no plot problems. But plot editing is always important, especially to catch plot holes. For this, I suggest K. M. Weiland's other book Structuring Your Novel and the workbook that accompanies it. It has helped me so much in editing some of my older novels that I didn't use proper outlining techniques on.

As you go through your plot, see if there are subplots you can add to add length. A short novel can often be the cause of a flat plot. Find the places that your plot needs work and improve your novel.

Often when I'm working on my plot, I find I've missed something important, or find a new layer that can add depth and length to my novel. It's amazing what changing a few things can do to make your story better.

4. Enhance your characters

Characters are the heart and soul of your story. No characters, no novel. You've got to make sure you have good, full rounded characters as you edit your novel. Making sure your characters are perfect can also add length to your novel.

Start by taking a look at your character arc. Your main character needs lots of work to be a good protagonist, and if you don't give him or her that, your novel will fall flat. Guess what? K. M. Weiland has a whole blog post series on that too! It has helped me a lot with rounding out my characters.

See where you might need more scenes to help your characters come to life. Do you need another clash with the antagonist? A mirror scene to show how your protagonist has changed? A date with the love interest?

5. Deepen your descriptions

Finally, let's talk about descriptions. They get often overlooked or cheated because people don't think they're important or don't want to go overboard. However, adding description can not only make your novel come to life, it can increase your word count.

Some of my favorite authors have the ability to make me see, feel, taste, and smell their world. Tolkien, Jacques, Lewis, all of them have amazing descriptions. (Interesting fact: Brian Jacques wrote such lovely food descriptions in his books because as a child he always wanted to know what the people were eating at feasts.)

Everyone remembers to add some descriptions of what things look like. But try to make things come alive by adding what it smells like, tastes like, feels like. Have you ever been a super smelly place where you try to breath through your mouth, but then you can taste the smell? That level of description will make everyone think of a time like that.

6. Don't go overboard

A word of warning on lengthening your novel. Don't go overboard and add in unnecessary stuff. You might have to accept the fact that your novel might just be a little shorter than average. Figure out how much you can add without going over the top and stop there.

Let's talk! Do you have problems with underwriting? Do you have any tips to add for writers who have that problem? Tell me in the comments.

August 12, 2017

Beautiful People #27: August Edition

Beautiful People #27: August Edition

I've decided to start joining up with the Beautiful People tag each month. It's a tag made by Paper Fury and Further Up and Further In. I'll try to post it either the second or third Saturday each month, depending on my schedule. Anyway, on to the questions! I'll be doing this for Hana, the main character in The Girl with the Sword.

1. What are they addicted to/can't live without?

Her sword that gives her superpowers (for obvious reasons) and her art supplies. If she doesn't have a way to draw, she doesn't know what to do with herself.

2. Name three positive and three negative qualities about your character.

Positive-
Brave
Big hearted
Talented

Negative-
Shy
Self-doubting
Indecisive

3. Are they holding onto something they should get rid of?

Hana still has every drawing she's ever made since like first grade. She should really sort through them and get rid of all but the best ones.

4. If 10 is completely organized and 1 is completely messy, where do they fall on the scale?

Probably around 8 1/2. She likes to keep her things neat and organized so she can find things when she wants them.

5. What most frustrates them about the world they live in?

Besides all the bad things in it? (Which is part of the conflict of my story.) She is most frustrated by bad drivers. She doesn't like it when people don't follow the rules and drive safely so no one gets hurt.

6. How would they dress for a night out? How would they dress for a night in?

For a night out, Hana would wear a cute little dress with a statement necklace, flats, and maybe something in her hair. For a night in, she'd wear either jeans and a geeky tee shirt or some sort of nice looking pajamas.

7. How many shoes do they own and what kind?

Hana owns eight pairs of shoes, which are mostly made up of flats, tennis shoes, sandals, and boots.

8. Do they have any pets? What pet do they WISH they had?

She does not have a pet. She doesn't have time for one with all her other activities. But if she could pick any pet, she'd have a dolphin. They're smart and beautiful.

9. Is there something or someone they resent? Why and what happened?

She resents a guy who used to a be a good friends of hers. But I can't tell you what happened or why because *spoilers*.

10. What's usually in their fridge or pantry?

Healthy foods, ingredients to bake things like cookies, and lots of rice.

Let's talk! What are some of your answers to these questions? How many pairs of shoes do you own? Tell me in the comments.

August 10, 2017

Everyone Is An Artist

Everyone Is An Artist

How often do you hear people claim they can't draw? Or how often do you say that yourself? People assume that just because they don't have a talent for drawing or painting, they can't create art.

However, I have a different opinion. I believe that everyone in the world is an artist and can make art. Curious to know why? Then read on.

The Comparison Trap

Let's start by talking about the comparison trap. This is when people get caught comparing themselves or their work to others. It normal ends in feeling of inadequacy and frustration with yourself or what you do.

No matter how good you get at something, no matter what it is, there will always be people that are better than you or that you think are better than you. Once you start comparing yourself to these people, you'll have a hard time stopping.

When people say they can't draw or don't  have the talent for art, that's normally because they are comparing themselves to people who have a different style or more practice. If you don't see yourself as an artist, you need to stop right now and see who you're comparing yourself to (because I know you have someone in mind). Now, let go of that feeling of inadequacy and let's talk about the next thing.

Practice!

Many people have a talent for or enjoy making art of some kind. But they think they aren't good at it because they compare themselves to people who have practiced what they do for years.

If you're one of those people, you need to remember that important fact. Other people are probably better at it because they've practiced more! If you really want to get better at your favorite art form, you need to take time to practice. I've found the idea that if you love something enough, you'll find a way to make time for it to be true. Even just five or ten minutes a day can help you improve.

Some people also believe they aren't good at art because an art teacher told them that, or they had a bad experience with it. Don't let that sort of thing stop you. You just need to keep experimenting to find out what your area or style is.

Artist?

And finally, let's talk about artists. The general term is used to refer to someone who creates visual arts, like painting, drawing, sculpting, collage, and more. The actual definition can refer to anyone who does an art, whether that is creating art with mediums (pencil, paint, markers, etc.), making movies, acting, dancing, or singing.

So, if you make YouTube videos, you're an artist. If you draw amazing pictures, you're an artist. If you are a graphic designer, you're an artist. If you dance, free style rap, or play the saxophone, you are an artist.

That's why I believe everyone is an artist. We've all been given some artistic gift of some kind. We just use our gifts different ways. All you need to do is go out there and try. Don't give up because someone is better than you. The majority of famous artists are famous because they are unique. Let you shine through in your art.

Let's talk! What do you think about artists? What's your artistic talent? Tell me in the comments.

August 7, 2017

Reversing Time: Why You Shouldn't Use It

Reversing Time: Why You Shouldn't Use It

Tell me if this sounds familiar. The heroes of the story have gotten themselves in deep trouble. Everything seems lost. Then one of them makes a wish, goes into a time stream, or does something that reverses everything and keeps it from happening. The story is over, but everyone, except maybe the protagonists, have forgotten what happened. But at least nothing bad happened.

This is something my sister and I call reversing time. And it annoys us to death. Why? That's the subject of this post.

What Do I Mean by Reversing Time?

Like I said in the introduction, reversing time is when you get to the end of the story, then someone does something that makes everyone go back to the beginning of the story. They then prevent the whole chain of events from happening and most of the time people lose their memories of what did happen that was prevented.

Sorry if that's a little confusing, but it's a confusing concept. There are several problems with using this storytelling technique that I'm going to cover.  Let's get straight to the first one.

Reverses Character Arcs

When people reverse time in stories, it takes away memories from most of the characters. Taking away their memories and going back to the beginning also undoes anything they learned along the way. The characters return to their previous selves. If you do that, what is the point?

Example:


• Tamina from Prince of Persia. The princess goes along with Dastan on his journey to find the Sands of Time. As the story progresses, the two fall in love and she becomes a better person. But when Dastan reverses time and stops his uncle from killing his step-father, they have to meet and fall in love all over again. Which makes her whole arc useless.

Makes the Story Pointless

If you undo everything that happened in your story, what was the point of telling it? Maybe you could use this properly, but I've never seen it done. Your theme is wrecked because the characters learned nothing and it just makes everything that happened pointless.

Example:


• The end of Ninjago Season 6. (Yes, I watch Ninjago. It's a good show.) At the end of season 6, Jay uses his last wish to wish none of this had ever happened so he can save Nya (so cliche). It takes them all back to the time when the story started, and though they sort of remembered, it really gave the whole season very little point.

Takes Away Memories

I've already mentioned this one with the others, but I'll say it again. Reversing time normally makes the characters, except maybe the protagonist, forget that anything happened. Relationships forged, friends made, lessons learned, all out the window. It is so annoying every time it happens.

Example:


Superman (Christopher Reeves movie). At the end of the movie, there's a lot of disasters going on and Superman is hard at work saving lives. Unfortunately, he doesn't realize that Lois is being suffocated until she's already dead. (And we're not even going to start the discussion of how much of a damsel in distress Lois is.) Superman flies around the Earth and reverses that whole chain of events (we're also not talking about how that wouldn't work or that fact that he just killed a bunch of other people to save Lois). And since he reversed time, no one remembers anything that happened.

Messes Up Timelines

Another problem with turning back time is when they don't fix the problem. Instead, they have to keep living in a giant paradox. Or they do fix it, but change the timeline so that something else happens instead and confuses everybody. Don't reverse time, it isn't worth it.

Example:


• The end of Meet the Robinsons. I liked this movie, but the ending could have used some work. There's lots of jumping through time, changing the past and the future, and basically creating a mess. Lewis technically made so many paradoxes and anomalies, I think the universe would have ended. I mean, how do you learn your motto from yourself? It doesn't make sense.

It's a Cheaters Way Out

My biggest problem with this method of ending a story is that it is normally used because the writers got themselves in too deep and couldn't figure another way out. Instead, they cheat and reverse everything. Problem solved, right?

Except that leaves readers and viewers unsatisfied. We can tell you ran out of ideas. We know you're cheating your way out. I'm sure this isn't always the case, and you may be able to pull this off well, but I've never seen one I liked yet.

Example:


• The final episode of Power Rangers: Dino Super Charge. At the end of the season, the Power Rangers go back in time through a black hole to stop the events that happened during the two seasons. They also stopped the dinosaurs from going extinct, so when they got back to the present, there were live dinosaurs. Not only is that cheating your way out of the ending, it's impossible for dinosaurs in exist in today's environment.

Final Word

Reversing time is something that annoys readers or viewers to death. My sister and I get so mad when they chose this as their ending. It also turns people off of re-watching the movie. Why would we invest all that time in something that doesn't matter because it's all reversed?

There are variations on this that work well. In Doctor Who, Donna loses all memories of the Doctor, but only to save her life. It hurts the Doctor to do that to her. Or in Teen Beach 2, where Lela rewrites the timeline so Brady and Mack never met, but they still meet each other after that. If you must use time travel in your novel, think of new creative ways to use it that won't tick off your readers.

Let's talk! What are your thoughts on reversing time? What do you hate about it? What do you like about it? Tell me in the comments.

August 3, 2017

Book of the Month: The Wish Granter

Book of the Month: The Wish Granter

The Wish Granter
by C. J. Redwine

Blurb: The world has turned upside down for Thad and Ari Glavan, the bastard twins of Sundraille's king. Their mother was murdered. The royal family died mysteriously. And now Thad sits on the throne of a kingdom whose streets are suddenly overrun with violence he can't stop.

Growing up ignored by the nobility, Ari never wanted to be a proper princess. And when Thad suddenly starts training Ari to take his place, she realizes that her brother's ascension to the throne wasn't fate- it was the work of a Wish Granter named Alistair Teague, who tricked Thad into wishing away both the safety of his people and his soul in exchange for the crown.

So Ari recruits the help of Thad's enigmatic new weapons master, Sebastian Vaughn, to teach her how to fight Teague. With secret ties to Teague's criminal empire, Sebastian might just hold the key to discovering Alistair's weaknesses, saving Ari's brother- and herself.

But Teague is ruthless and more than read to destroy anyone who dares stand in his way- and now he has his sights set on the princess. And if Ari can't outwit him, she'll lose Sebastian, her brother. . . and her soul.

Cover Review: It took me far into the book to realize what the cover had to do with the story, but that's okay. When I got it, the cover made perfect sense. It's a beautiful cover with all the embroidery, including the words. I think the needle and blood are a bit distracting, but they do make sense with the story.

My Thoughts

Plot: The Wish Granter is a pretty fast paced novel, but it also has it's down moments. It was a great combination of action and reaction scenes. It kept me flipping pages and was very exciting. It's based off the fairytale "Rumpelstiltskin", which I think is awesome because there aren't a lot of those. It takes place after the events in the original fairytale, however, I won't tell you more than that because I might spoil it.

Characters: The characters were my favorite part of this book. Although it may sound like it, Thad isn't that important of a character. Ari and Sebastian tell most of the book.

Ari was awesome because she's a princess, curvy, and has amazing appreciation for food. She can make the best sounding desserts. And I want more curvy princesses! That was one of the best parts. Sebastian was a more sensitive character but just as deep as Ari. He's emotionally scared from an abusive father and has PTSD. (I could be wrong though. I'm not sure if I have the right one.)

Then there's Teague. He was scary and awesome and had his own problems from his past. He was a great villain. He even had some soft spots. Teague was much scarier than Rumpelstiltskin in Once Upon a Time.

World: This was a beautifully built fantasy world. This story takes place in one of seven countries, and there's a map in the front and everything. I felt like there was nice politics and worldbuilding as well.

Other: There was some great magic in this world to. Wish Granters are fae that can grant your wish, but some, like Teague, take your soul in return. It could be scary, but I loved it.

My Rating:







Let's talk! Have you read The Wish Granter? Do you want more princess in various sizes? Tell me in the comments.