Rated, Not Reviewed

Welcome, all!  Here another set of books I've read and rated, but not reviewed.  :]



The Wishing Spell
The Land of Stories #1
Chris Colfer

{GoodReads}
Alex and Conner Bailey’s world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairytales.

The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.

But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.


My Rating

This was such an intriguing story line!  However, I was super distracted by the. . . *cough*  BAD WRITING.  Call me petty, but that's probably the only reason I gave this three stars. . .  I listened to the audio book on this one, read by the author himself, so I could multi-task, and I was blown away by how many uses of the word "said" he used.  I honestly don't think "asked" or "stated" or "whispered" or any other synonyms for said word *winks* is in his vocab.  Still, I'm willing to see past this because I believe it's his debut novel AND it's written for the younger readers -- say, ages 8-12.  The story was interesting to say the least.  If you or your younger siblings love fairytale revamps/[unofficial] continuings, then this would be a fun ride.  Please don't take my word for it!

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The Map to Everywhere
Map to Everywhere #1
Carrie Ryan & John Parke Davis

{GoodReads}
To Master Thief Fin, an orphan from the murky pirate world of the Khaznot Quay, the Map is the key to finding his mother. To suburban schoolgirl Marrill, it's her only way home after getting stranded on the Pirate Stream, the magical waterway that connects every world in creation. With the help of a bumbling wizard and his crew, they must scour the many worlds of the Pirate Stream to gather the pieces of the Map to Everywhere--but they aren't the only ones looking. A sinister figure is hot on their tail, and if they can't beat his ghostly ship to find the Map, it could mean the destruction of everything they hold dear!

Heart-pounding escapades and a colorful cast of characters will have readers setting sail through this wholly original and unforgettable tale.



My Rating

This is another young readers series!  I enjoyed this one.  It was incredibly bizarre, in an interesting/intriguing way, funny, and ADVENTUROUS.  Plus one of the main characters takes her one-eyed CAT along with her.  (A plus in my book, y'all!)  Both Marrill and Finn are searching for something, and it seems the Pirate Stream has thrown them together for this wild ride.  To find what they seek, they must learn to work together and trust each other -- a homesick girl and a friendless boy.  I'd throw in that this would be a great read-aloud for the fam!  Ages 8-12.



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The Selection
The Selection #1
Kiera Cass

{GoodReads}
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.



My Rating

Here's another sorta-futuristic series to add to your bookshelf, whether physical or digital.  I say "sorta" because the world as America knows it is divided up into casts -- people are basically labeled under numbers, One being the rich highborns and Eights being the lowest of the low.  The Selection is pretty much the Bachelor show (if you've ever watched that. . . I can honestly say I never have, nor will I ever.)  A group of girls are randomly selected and taken to the palace to live as princesses -- Ones.  Eventually, they'll be eliminated and whittled down to a select few until one remains, who will then marry the prince.  (NOTE: This is a series!  So don't expect to see who's number one by the end of this little novel. . . )  Also, this is a romance! There's heartache and love and tears and all that good stuff.  Still, I'd recommend for ages 16 and up, at least.


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Farewell, for now, dear hearts!
Sarah

What's in a Name? | Returning!!

Good morning, dear friends and writers and dragonriders!  I'm here to share with you a new Name post.  You may be scratching your head and thinking, "Wait, what??"  I know, I know.  It's been quite awhile since I posted one, so maybe a brief explanation is due:

Names are kind of important.  In Proverbs, Solomon states, "A good name is to be more desired than great wealth. . ." (Pro. 22:1) As a writer penning your amazing story, some key ingredients are NAMES (handle, moniker, epithet, cognomen, etc.) for your amazing characters.  Am I right?  Now, if you are like me, you love finding new names.  Or, when you hear one that is unique and different, you automatically think, "Gosh, that would be great in a story!"  Unfortunately, however, I usually come up with great characters who have be-awesome names, but then my plot and storyline simply STINKS.  Still, that may be the start that prods you into creating a story.  Strong, intriguing, unique, flawed, and beautiful characters need names of the same.  So I came up with this series of posts ages ago to help you as aspiring authors (or established authors) to discover new names for your characters.  :]
In these posts, I share the history and meaning of each name, their origin, and when & where they were popular in this little world.  

*takes deep breath*

With ALL of that said. . . If you have a question regarding a certain name, or you're in need of a character revamp, please don't hesitate to comment!  I have done MANY of these posts -- this counts as number 99!!  Haha :]  You can search my blog, if you think I may have already featured a name you're looking for.  Otherwise, leave a comment if you want to learn of new names with "moon" or "ocean" or "brave" or "royal" (or anything!) meanings.  My source for these posts is behindthename.com (and occasionally nameberry.com).

Anywho, moving on!  Because the above explanation was quite the opposite of BRIEF, I'll only be sharing two names this week.  ;]

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Brigham
M | Old English
BRIG-ǝm

A surname, originally derived from place names meaning "bridge settlement" in Old English.
Desideria
M | Italian, Spanish, Late Roman

Feminine form of Desiderio, the Italian & Spanish form of Desiderius, derived from a Latin word meaning "longing, desire."  This was the Latin name of a 19th-century queen of Sweden, the wife of Karl XIV, who was born in France with the name Désirée.







If you made it to the end of this post, kudos to you!  So.  What did you think?  Would you be likely to use one or both of these interesting names?  I really like Brigham myself. . . Sounds like he'd be an amazing warrior in some Medieval tale, or maybe even the handsome senior in a present-day, high school drama.  ;D  Best part about being a writer, y'all?  You have the privilege of choosing who/what your characters are! So, yeah.  Basically, we ARE our characters. 

Isn't that awesome??

Fairfarren,
Sarah




NOTE:  If you search for names posts or any posts, for that matter, I apologize if the photos are extremely large, causing the words to be nearly unreadable -- that's due to my new template! Unfortunately, I cannot have such large photos because of the smaller space.  So bear with me!  I have not the time nor energy to go thru all of my posts to fix that issue.  Thanks! 

Fresh New Look!

Hullo, dearies!

What do you think of the new look??

While I loved my poppy flower theme, it was time for a refreshing update.  And I've gotta say, I'm somewhat pleased with myself!  Why?  'Cuz I basically did this all by me onesy.  ;D (Or rather, I found a free template I liked and tweaked and personalized it to my taste. . .)

This is just a quick post to say Happy Friday! and that if there's anything funky going on while you're visiting, just know I'm still working on some minor kinks in the code.  {Haha! That makes me sound so very intelligent. *adjusts non-existent smart-looking glasses*}


Instagram | @sarahpenmaiden

 Also, Happy Fall, y'all!!


Love to all!

Sarah

Beautiful | Competent | Loved


You can paint me any way you like
but I would prefer twilight hues;
of oranges, reds, violets, and blues.

- Darla Evans -


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Each person has their very own hue.  Meaning, we are a LIGHT - or a darkness - where'er we roam.  

We must choose which we are striving to be.  If you're like me, you struggle everyday with your "blemishes" or your flaws.  You worry ALL THE TIME.  You wonder what people think of you.  Or what they will think in reaction to what you know to be the genuine you.  You listen all too often to Fear.  

Let me tell you:
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.
While it is so hard to remember, and far easier said than done (to simply NOT worry about your life, your future, your job, school, home, family, relationships, etc.) I hope you will find comfort in the Words of our Lord: 

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
- Philippians 4:6-7 -

As the great Dr Suess said, "You are you, and that is truer than true, for there is no one alive who is youer than you."

Don't listen to the lies.  Try to find that soft Whisper that knows your true worth and run straight to Him.

"So much stock is placed in physical appearance, in the prettiness of the outside package.  But such things do not really matter if one's soul does not possess such traits as honor and virtue; those are what makes one truly beautiful."
- Belle, Belle's Library -

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YOU ARE COMPETENT.
You can do anything you set your mind to.  But if you begin a task, or a project, or a job - whatever - finish it to the end.  And finish well!

"A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, favor is better than silver and gold."
- Proverbs 22:1 -

If a task is once begun,
Never leave it till it's done.
Be the labor great or small,
Do it well or not at all.
- unknown -

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YOU ARE LOVED.
Most religions require heinous sacrifice.  Their so-called "gods" ask the people to die for them.  
My God - Maker of Heaven & Earth, King of all kings, Master of all things - sent His Son to die for His people.  If that is not love, then I do not know what is.

"But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses.  You are saved by grace!"
- Ephesian 2:4-5 -

If you can find your satisfaction and fulfillment in Christ, then you have everything you'll ever need.


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Wow.  I didn't mean to post something so. . . DEEP.  I simply set out to write a little encouraging note for whoever happens to find themselves reading this.  Hopefully, this serves to bless someone.

I'm a worrier!  I've been discontent with myself.  I've been afraid of everything.  
I've learned so much.  And I've still got much more to learn.
But I am confident of this:
God is my God.  I am His princess.  He is my Rock.  And I wish with all I am to shine His Light.


We all have a hue.
What is yours?


Sarah <3  




Photos via Pinterest.

Book Review | Deadly Proof

Deadly Proof
(Atlanta Justice #1)
Rachel Dylan

In the biggest case of her career, attorney Kate Sullivan is tapped as lead counsel to take on Mason Pharmaceutical because of a corporate cover-up related to its newest drug. After a whistleblower dies, Kate knows the stakes are much higher than her other lawsuits.

Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James is still haunted by mistakes made while serving overseas. Trying to forget the past, he is hired by Kate to look into the whistleblower's allegation and soon suspects that the company may be engaging in a dangerous game for profit. He also soon finds himself falling for this passionate and earnest young lawyer. 

Determined not to make the same mistakes, he's intent on keeping Kate safe, but as the case deepens, it appears someone is willing to risk everything--even murder--to keep the case from going to trial.

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WARNING: Possible Spoilers

{The Basics}
This novel is a legal thriller featuring attorney Kate Sullivan in her fight for justice.  Kate loves her job, though at times it is rather stressful and she seems to never leave the office.  But unlike most lawyers she knows, who are in Big Law for the outrageously good money, she cares for the people she represents and fights to be the voice for those who have none and who have lost much.

Landon James is a former Army Ranger with a past filled with regret.  His faith has been nearly non-existent after enduring an event in which he believes God abandoned him.  But when he meets Kate, who has problems of her own in dealing with depression and her high-stress job, he finds the hope he's been unwittingly searching for.  Her open-hearted trust in God brings him back and helps in mending his own heart and also that of relationships he's dumped in an attempt to protect himself. 

{Positives}
In the midst of Big Law and the tension that comes with it, characters strive to do the right thing - no matter the danger to themselves.  Kate tries to be patient with another fellow lawyer lady and eventually they come to an understanding.  Two men who were once great friends but had a falling out, forgive each other and go into business together.

{Negatives}
Blackmail.  Deception.  A man betrays a friend.  A lawyer under a great amount of pressure is told by his powerful client that he must be willing blur the lines a little.  In a law suit, the CEO and COO of a huge, billion-dollar company attempts to destroy/shred/hide important documents pertaining to the case.  

[SPOILER] A young, miffed attorney (one who was booted off a case due to attitude or something similar) steals another attorney's prep binder, documents, and other rather important items related to a certain case in an effort to gain attention and make the more senior lawyer look bad. (The young attorney later confesses.)

{Spiritual Content}
As mentioned before, Kate is very strong in her faith and relies heavily on God to see her through both the trials of her life and that in court.  She claims that her trust in the Lord is what has seen her through the tough battles of depression over the years.  She prays often.

Landon had strayed from the faith, but through the sweet and honest example of Kate, comes to find there is hope in Christ.  He learns to pray again and to let go of the past in order to finally find healing.

{Violence}
A woman is murdered in cold blood.  An attorney's tires are slashed in an effort to scare them off a case.  Another woman is grabbed on the front steps of her house, in an attempt to frighten her.  That same woman is chased up a flight of stairs and has her hair yanked from behind in an effort to cause injury.  Two people are chased by an SUV and rammed from behind - another scare tactic.  One man is shot point-blank in the head, another is wounded in the shoulder by a gunshot.  

{Language, Alcohol & Drugs}
None.

{Love-y Content}
There is obvious attraction between Kate and Landon.  So, it's no wonder they fall for each other.  ;D

{Conclusion}
All told, this was a really good, incredibly clean novel.  I enjoyed the legal aspects of the law (as I work now as a legal assistant), and was pleased with myself that I understood most of what some of the characters spoke of in their use of some legal terms.  But honestly, this would be an easy read for anyone - no danger of misunderstanding anything regarding terms or legal events.  And if perchance you don't recognize a word, look it up!  Dictionaries are awesome.  :]

This was an easy, entertaining read.  I never really felt fully engaged as it wasn't filled with amazing adventure or a thrilling ride into the fantastical, but it was nice to see how much Kate cared for the people she represented and not just the sweet taste of victory and the money that comes with it.  I liked Kate's character, she was humble and true.  Despite having a high-paying job, her home was modest and her personality upright.  Again, that was nice to see.

Recommended ages:  16+
My rating:

I was provided a copy of this 
novel thanks to Bethany House, 
in exchange for my honest review.

The Lunar Chronicles | A Giveaway

Happy Friday, y'all.


I had to share a quick post for this giveaway.  *fangirl squeeeee*
The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyers is one of my all-time favorite book series.  If you've never heard of them, YOU MUST LOOK 'EM UP.  No joke!  If you love fairytale retellings of favorite stories like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White, combined with a huge measurement of futuristic tech and cyborgs and genetically modified wolf-men, and mixed in with mystery, adventure, love, danger, etc. etc. THEN YOU MUST FIND THESE FOUR AWESOME BOOKS AND DEVOUR THEM.

Also, there's now two volumes of graphic novels set in the same universe (that I've yet to read, but totally want to) and, according to the image above, a coloring book.  O_____O That's a no-brainer for me, y'all.

So, click the image above, or this link here to enter into the giveaway for a chance to win this bundle of awesomeness.

{Hosted by Megan Crewe}

{Find the series on GoodReads}

NOTE:  Marissa Meyers has a couple other novels in relation to the Lunar Chronicles.  The prequel, Fairest, features the background and story of the evil queen - the antagonist in the series.  However, I strongly urge caution in reading through its pages as it is extremely vulgar in some scenes and unexpectedly immoral regarding sexuality.
Upon reading it, I was blown away and astonished at such content.  Yes, you feel pity and no small amount of sympathy for the main character, Levana, but in my opinion, this book is NOT appropriate for YA fiction.  And a complete letdown to me, as this is a favorite series of mine.

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Enough rambling!
Go check it out!


Fairfarren,
Sarah

Rated, Not Reviewed

Hello, y'all.  :]  How is your Wednesday?  Mine has been rather sluggish and long, but otherwise pretty good.  

I'm not sure as to my blogging schedule, but today I have some rated, but not reviewed books to share with you.  To explain, these are books that I've read but not posted a [thorough] review on said book(s) - be that here on this little blog, Amazon, and/or GoodReads.  This could include both popular titles from well-known authors, or the not-so-well-known novels you've most likely never heard of.  Either way, I believe it's a great way to discover new reads!

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Robinson Crusoe 2244
E.J. Robinson

This thrilling sci-fi twist on the Daniel Defoe classic has been remastered and re-edited since its original publication! 

Two centuries after mankind drove itself to the brink of extinction, a new civilization rises from the ashes of what was once Great Britain. But when deadly strife breaks out among their ranks, the teenage son of one prominent family finds himself fleeing in the dead of night only to wind up shipwrecked on the forbidden continent of America. Armed with only his wit and the most unexpected of allies, the teenager struggles to survive in a wasteland filled with unspeakable horrors and in the end must uncover the one secret that can save his own people or spell doom for mankind forever.

My rating:

You have probably never heard of this little novel here.  I certainly hadn't until I discovered it through one of my free e-book sources and downloaded it after reading the intriguing blurb.  To say the least, I was pleasantly surprised by a refreshing new twist to the old classic.  The adventure was thrilling, the characters, great, and the story AH-MAZE-ZING.  
I don't recall language, if any there might have been the "d---" word, or "h---," possibly alcohol, though again, I don't remember much, if any.  And neither do I remember any sexual content.  
There's a good bit of violence, blood, and human sacrifice even, thanks to some really bad guys which are basically pirates who only show up at a certain time to dispose of rebels.
[SPOILER] As this is set in the future, the earth is rather dangerous.  Mutated animals and creatures - HUMANS - are to be avoided at all costs.  Especially so, if you were the one who ran from the supposed safety of the civil government and marooned somewhere you didn't think existed.
NOTE:  This is part of a series - but I've yet to read the sequels.

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Thunder
(Stone Braid Chronicles #1)
Bonnie S. Calhoun

In post-apocalyptic America, Selah Chavez is crouched in long grass on a shore littered with the rusted metal remnants of a once-great city. It is the day before her eighteenth Born Remembrance, and she is hunting, though many people refuse to eat animal flesh, tainted by radiation during the Time of Sorrows. What Selah's really after are Landers, mysterious people from a land across the big water who survive the delirium-inducing passage in small boats that occasionally crash against the shoreline. She knows she should leave the capture to the men, but Landers bring a good price from the Company and are especially prized if they keep the markings they arrive with.

Everything falls to pieces when the Lander Selah catches is stolen by her brothers--and Selah wakes up the next morning to find the Lander's distinctive mark has suddenly appeared on her own flesh. Once the hunter, Selah is now one of the hunted, and she knows only one person who can help her--Bohdi Locke, the Lander her brothers hope to sell.

With evocative descriptions of a strange new world that combines elements of scientific advances, political intrigue, and wilderness survival, Bonnie S. Calhoun weaves a captivating tale of a world more like our own than we may want to admit.

My rating:

Again, another futuristic/dystopian story here.  But again, one I was rather impressed with.  It is super clean, no language or sensuality of any kind, if I recall correctly.  And definitely filled with intense action and suspense.  
NOTE:  This is part of a series, but I haven't gotten my hands on the next book yet. . .

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Throne of Glass 
(Throne of Glass #1)
Sarah J. Maas

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king's champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass--and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.
 

My rating:

This is the first novel of the famed Throne of Glass series.  I had seen this book on many different blogs and it had been saved in my GoodRead's To-Be-Read list for quite some time.  When I stumbled upon it at my local library, I picked it up, not really knowing what to expect but certainly intrigued.  Immediately, I was drawn in.  I loved it!  The story was great, the plot intense and terrifying at times, and the characters likable (although I must say Chaol is probably my fave.  I didn't really click much with Celaena. . .).
With that said, the only reason I gave it four stars instead of a loved-it-five was mainly due to language.  This is a secular novel and had a good many "d---" words, "a--," and "h---." There was drinking also, and definite attraction between characters, though it never truly went to the bed. . . at least in this book. . .
Due to the content and a rather large amount of violence and gore, I would only recommend this series to young adults ages 18+.
Other than that mentioned above, I well enjoyed this novel and was definitely hungry for more! (However. . .)

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Crown of Midnight
(Throne of Glass #2)
Sarah J. Maas

[GoodReads]
From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie... and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

My rating:

Alas, this one was such a disappointment to me.  Not only did it have a vast amount of more language staining its pages, but there was a good bit of immorality amongst the characters - to be frank, intimacy outside of wedlock.  I was devastated.  So much to the point, I don't think I can read the continuing, no matter how much I WANT TO.  I don't know about you, but things like that leave a disgusted taste in my mouth and icky feeling in my heart and mind.  It's just so wrong - not what God intended for His precious, dearly loved children.
Anyways, due to the content - violence, gore, immorality, language, etc. - I would only recommend to young adults ages 18+.

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Thanks for reading! (Especially if you made it this far.)  ;]  These opinions are mine alone, by the way.  I can't help it if my moral compass if perfect.  *wink wink*  Just kidding.  Seriously, though, is it not distracting to come across foul language (or worse) in an otherwise AWESOME book?  In the Throne of Glass series - specifically the two I read - it seemed like the author was testing the waters to see how much she could "get away with," so to speak.  That makes me even more wary of the following books. . . Grrrrrrrr. . . 

Have you read the Throne of Glass series?  What is your honest opinion, if so?  And what did you think of the following sequels?

Did you find a book you've not read/never heard of?  Any comments?  Recommendations??  I do loves recommendations. . . :]

Fairfarren,
Sarah

Happy Weekend! Plus some Snippets. . .

The weekend is here!

I don't know about you, but my week's end has gotten off to a great start.  After working three days this week, I took my Friday to clean house and run errands.  I'm a definite homebody, y'all - LOVE being a homemaker!  The calling and "career" of a homemaker/wife/mother is one of the most beautiful, challenging, and incredible things.

I still have so much to learn - it's overwhelming at times, but my God and my husband are so faithful and good.

But anywho, you didn't come here to read all that, did you?  I bet you skimmed and skipped till you came to this little sentence. . . ;D  Well, it's okay!  This post is to welcome you and the weekend, and also to share some snippets from my current WIP (work-in-progress).

Pinterest
Noya
_____________________________________
If I could sum it up in one sentence:
An Elvish retelling of the beloved faerietale Beauty & the Beast.
(by yours truly  *^ - ^*)






SNIPPETS
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One of these objects was a small chest of books cherished by Noya's late mother. Many were of faerie tales passed down through generations, and others held knowledge of distant countries or illustrated poetry.

-------------------------------

The weeks passed and turned into months. Winter came and went, leaving in its wake the blooms and buds of Spring. According to the townsfolk, they had endured a rather mild season of frost and snowfall. Still, it was with a happy heart that Noya welcomed the newly awakened Spring, for she disliked the cold with a passion that made her father and brothers laugh.

-------------------------------

          “Oh no, I thank you, but I need for nothing at all.”
          “Oh come now. New material for a gown? Some lace? Ah, I know! A book or three in which to travel the world and conquer all?”
          She laughed lightly. “You know me far too well. But of what use do I have for a new dress? And there's no need for lace, far too dainty for this clumsy farmgirl. I manage to keep the house lovely, I daresay, and while I adore books, that money can be put to better use.”
          “Bah. You sound more and more like an old mother every day–”
          “What? I'll have you kn–”
          “–and you never think of yourself. Be selfish for me this one time, alright?” He didn't allow her to respond, instead he wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “Now, what gift might I bring you, little sister, if only to give myself the pleasure of blessing you for a change.”
          She couldn't bring herself to be angry with him. He was just as stubborn, if not more. “A pouch of seeds.”
          “Flower seeds?”
          She smiled. “Yes. Roses, to be more specific. Those should suffice, young man,” she added with a wink.
          “Seeds.”
          She looked at him expectantly, waiting to make sure her request registered.
          It did, though he seemed perplexed at such a small request. “Seeds it is,” he said, standing abruptly. “Roses.  Very well, as you wish!”

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          She ran to him and helped him from the saddle, noting how he stumbled a bit and looking with concern at the nasty bruise on his jawbone.
          “Oh Brom, I've been so worried!” she cried, wrapping her arms around him as soon as he turned to her.
          “I know,” he said softly. “The pass was blocked.”
          She nodded. “Master Black told us everything. They searched for you for hours.”
          “I found. . . another way.” What was that in his eyes? Sorrow?

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          He stood a silent giant just inside the border of his Wood, watching the young man and his sister converse quietly under the shelter of the house.
          The maiden was even more lovely than he had imagined.
          A low growl escaped his lips. It was far too late to be thinking such things.

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          Noya blinked suddenly. Before her, though she knew not how her feet had led her here, was a garden filled with roses. It was walled in by marble arches – like doorways – and graceful pillars, making her think of an upside down crown, its open roof nearly thoroughly covered by a canopy of roses. Three benches were located at intervals around the circular walls and a great tree of roses, the mother-plant, rose from the rich dirt and moss in the center.
          A sanctuary.

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          The Beast – Master of the Wood, king of the Hidden Realm – was now the warden of a prisoner.
          A girl.
          Excellent, he thought, his tortured mind at war. What was he to do with her?
          Discreetly, he looked over his shoulder as they walked. They had entered the great castle doors and she was following silently, like an obedient dog.
          Her hands were clasped in front of her body, knuckles white, and her eyes were cast down, watching his hooved feet. Candlelight flickered from their sconces at certain intervals in the hallway they were now in, catching a bit of moisture on her cheeks.
          Abruptly, he jerked himself to face forward again, cursing under his breath.
          A girl.
          And a weepy one at that.
          This was disastrous. What had possessed him to confront the foolish mortal? Ah, but of course. A Beast. And why? Because he had stolen from the only thing that was now most precious to him. The cause of his curse. 

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*waits with bated breath*

Well?  What do you think?  :]

I'd be delighted to know!
Sarah

Welcome, September! (Already??)

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Hello, and welcome to my blog!  If this is your first visit, I hope it won't be your last!

What is Sarah, Plain & Average?
If I could describe my desire for this little blog, it would be to serve as an encouragement to girls and young ladies of all ages -- be that in inspirational posts and mini devotions or open-hearted articles of faith and struggles.

I want to share new and amazing books that I've discovered through my [rather] thorough book reviews and spotlights.

And I wish to share my journey as an aspiring writer with tips, writing prompts, and fun and/or intriguing snippets from my own works-in-progress.

With all that said, here's a question:  
What do you, as a blog reader, enjoy reading the most?
  1. Every day happenings in the blogger(s)'s life?  Posts about their job(s), family, etc?
  2. Writing Tips & Exercises?
  3. Character spotlights, and/or posts featuring anything to do with the blogger(s)'s current WIP?
  4. Snippets?
  5. Story prompts?
  6. Book reviews?
Are you more prone to skip posts that seem unbelievably long? (Yes, we are all guilty of doing that!)  Honestly, what do you think?

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Also, on a super-happy note, we have internet in our home! (Ahhh! We're doomed! It's not a necessity, is it? IS IT??)  Ahem.  But anyways, this means I will be able to post more regularly.  Yay!  No more going to the library or Dunkin to mooch off of free wifi!  :]

And nextly, it's SEPTEMBER??

Have a great week, y'all.
Sarah