Saturday, August 31, 2013

Interview with Nicole Sager!


A big welcome to Nicole Sager, author of The Heart of Arcrea, The Fate of Arcrea, and The Isle of Arcrea! Thanks for being with us today. :)

What got you interested in writing?
I don't think I had any specific event that spurred a desire, but I do remember being about 8 or 9 and deciding that I wanted to make an interactive picture book. So my first attempt at writing took place in my room with a bunch of paper, glue, and staples. It's still sitting in a box in my room. After that, I found I enjoyed trying to describe everything around me with different words until the right description fit. 
That's so cool! You definitely do a good job at it. :)

Which is your favorite of your characters (so far)?
 ​ Oh wow! I don't know if I could pick just one! I really enjoyed the comical friendship between Talon & Bracy, and I love Falconer - there are just so many options available for his character! Then of course, I also loved Druet, Renny, and Nathaniel... So many friends! Let me answer this way: My favorite type of character to write about is a comical character who has some depth.  
Falconer will always be my personal favorite! :D 

Are there any specific things/surroundings you need when you are writing for long periods of time?
 ​ I usually need an organized space. My notepad and pen, my notebook w/ a cheat sheet full of character stats, and I love a cup of coffee at my elbow :)

Can you tell a little about your current writing project?
 ​ Of course! I'm currently working on the first book in a new series called Companions of Arcrea. They'll be companion novels to the Arcrean Conquest series, and also take place in the same fantasy world. For instance, book one, tentatively titled "Hebbros", is set in a Mizgalian city and takes place before and after the stories in the Arcrean Conquest
"Hebbros" is the story of a boy named Luke who is growing up in the changing times of a dark city. When his family is torn apart by the edicts of an evil ruler, Luke and his friends find themselves the minority as they seek to wage war on a host of enemies. Amid a multitude of characters, readers of Arcrea will recognize several friends!
I'm really looking forward to reading this, and all of your writing, in the hopefully-not-so-far future, and encountering old acquaintances! :) 
In your book "The Heart of Arcrea",  which character did you have the most fun writing about?
 ​ I think I would have to say either Blunt the minstrel, or Talon & Bracy (I just have to list them together!)
This is the cover for my new book!
Haha, I do too! I love reading books with those types of duos. :) Some of my favorite quotes from The Heart came from Blunt! ;))

What is your favorite Period Drama film?
 ​ I love all the Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, and several Dickens films. My favorite is BBC's "Sense & Sensibility" (2008). And Cranford!
Ah, such wonderful films! and some of my favorites as well. 

If you could visit any one place in the world, where would it be?
The cottage in "Sense & Sensibility" :) On a more local scale - I love to visit BransonMissouri, where my brother and sister work at Sight & Sound Theatre.
I love the view of the sea from that cottage! <3 
I love Sight and Sound theatres! Their production of Joseph is incredible!

 What is your favorite season?
 ​ I love Autumn - still cooling off, but not too hot!
Same here! I love all the colors of autumn; and apple cider! :)
 What do you like to do when not writing?
  Read. Read. And read.
Haha! Good answer. ;)
 Tea or coffee?
 Coffee, with Truvia sweetener and creme brulee creamer
Yummm!! =)

 Socks, or no socks? 
That depends on the season. Summer, no socks. The rest of the year, ankle socks!
 When do you decide you need to stop writing for the day?
 When I look up and realize everyone else has been in bed for 2 or 3 hours! Sometimes it's when I get to the end of a chapter, or just come to a standstill and draw a blank. Then it's time for coffee and reading someone else's book!

Is there a Bible verse that has really stuck out and encouraged you as you've been writing?
 Psalm 70:4b "Let God be magnified." and Acts 20:19a "Serving the LORD with all humility of mind" ~ These verses always remind me that God is my purpose, serving Him is my goal, and glorifying Him is the aim of every word I write.
Those are great verses! God's Word is so powerful and amazing!

Thanks so much for your time, Nicole! It was great to have you here! :)


Friday, August 30, 2013

French Leave


This story was really cute! :) 

I'm really glad that Lord Waverly was given a chance to redeem himself in this book! And he did a good job of it. The part at the end when he's telling Lisette that she challenged him to put the welfare of others before his self was really sweet! 
Lisette reminded me of Catherine Moorland, from Northanger Abbey! :D She was so adorable and she made me smile a lot. :)
As in Brighton Honeymoon, I really liked that the Brundy's were still a major part of the story! :D I enjoyed watching them work through their problems and have a closer relationship because of it. (It was a good example that misunderstandings should be a means of working together and growing stronger, not a reason to give up!) 
William Brundy was so adorable! (The reference to book one at the end was brilliant! =D)
It's not a surprise by now that one of my favorite characters was one who was barely in the story at all- the innkeeper at the waterfront inn towards the end of the story! :) (It's a mystery to me why I get so attached to the most random of characters!)
The Weaver Takes a Wife will always be my favorite in this series, but I thoroughly enjoyed each book for it's own unique qualities and characters, and will continue to look back through these books in the future for some great laughs!


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Miss Darby's Duenna

I enjoyed this one- all the parts with Harry's disguise were hilarious!- but I think this is my least favorite South. Probably because it made me mad! (haha!) Stories where the two main characters are confused as to the others feelings the whole time really frustrate me, and I couldn't stand Lord Mannerly! (which was the goal, his being the bad guy and all. ;)) 
Also, the ending was a bit quick- I felt like all of a sudden **SPOILER** everyone was accepting Mannerly as a friend and acting like he hadn't ever been the villain of the story, when the transition was never explained... one minute Harry was dueling with him to the death and the next he was giving him his consent to court his sister?!?! The end just moved a bit to fast for me. ;)
My favorite character: Sir Harry. ^_^ I liked that he was so loyal to Olivia the whole time! Also- Lady Hawthorne! (the *actual* Lady Hawthorne ;)) She was awesome!! and as usual I really liked the valet, Higgins. He was pretty funny, especially as "Lady Hawthornes'" "ladies maid". ;P
I'm glad I read the book, and I did enjoy reading it- I love Sheri's  writing style and I never seem to be able to put her books down- but I very much prefer Paupers and Peers, and the Ethan Brundy series. :)
Now to make a pot of tea and spend the rest of the day on "French Leave". ;)


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Quote-A-Day: Sense and Sensibility

“The more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!” 

“When I fall in love, it will be forever.”  (one of my favorite Jane Austen quotes!)

“If I could but know his heart, everything would become easy.” 

“She was sensible and clever, but eager in everything; her sorrows, her joys, could have no moderation.” 

“Mary wished to say something very sensible, but knew not how.”  (poor Mary ;))

“It isn't what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.” 

“It is not everyone,' said Elinor, 'who has your passion for dead leaves.” 

“Know your own happiness. You want nothing but patience- or give it a more fascinating name, call it hope.” 

“It is not time or opportunity that is to determine intimacy;—it is disposition alone. Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others.” 

“I never wish to offend, but I am so foolishly shy, that I often seem negligent, when I am only kept back by my natural awkwardness ... Shyness is only the effect of a sense of inferiority in some way or other. If I could persuade myself that my manners were perfectly easy and graceful, I should not be shy.” 

“I come here with no expectations, only to profess, now that I am at liberty to do so, that my heart is and always will be yours.” 

“I will be calm. I will be mistress of myself.” 

“Elinor could sit still no longer. She almost ran out of the room, and as soon as the door was closed, burst into tears of joy, which at first she thought would never cease.” 

“Eleanor went to her room "where she was free to think and be wretched.” 

“I have not wanted syllables where actions have spoken so plainly.” 

“I never wish to offend, but I am so foolishly shy, that I often seem negligent, when I am only kept back by my natural awkwardness."

“Mrs. Jennings was a widow, with an ample jointure. She had only two daughters, both of whom she had lived to see respectably married, and she had now therefore nothing to do but to marry all the rest of the world.” 

“I am excessively fond of a cottage; there is always so much comfort, so much elegance about them. And I protest, if I had any money to spare, I should buy a little land and build one myself, within a short distance of London, where I might drive myself down at any time, and collect a few friends about me and be happy. I advise everybody who is going to build, to build a cottage.” 

“What do you know of my heart? What do you know of anything but your own suffering. For weeks, Marianne, I've had this pressing on me without being at liberty to speak of it to a single creature. It was forced on me by the very person whose prior claims ruined all my hope. I have endured her exultations again and again whilst knowing myself to be divided from Edward forever. Believe me, Marianne, had I not been bound to silence I could have provided proof enough of a broken heart, even for you.”  (poor Eleanor!)

“That is what I like; that is what a young man ought to be. Whatever be his pursuits, his eagerness in them should know no moderation, and leave him no sense of fatigue.” 

“Yes, I found myself, by insensible degrees, sincerely fond of her; and the happiest hours of my life were what I spent with her.” 

“He listened to her with silent attention, and on her ceasing to speak, rose directly from his seat, and after saying in a voice of emotion, 'To your sister I wish all imaginable happiness; to Willoughby, that he may endeavor to deserve her,' took leave, and went away.” 

“At first sight, his address is certainly not striking; and his person can hardly be called handsome, till the expression of his eyes, which are uncommonly good, and the general sweetness of his countenance, is perceived.” 

“Marianne was silent; it was impossible for her to say what she did not feel, however trivial the occasion…” 

“I think him every thing that is worthy and amiable.” 

“His temper might perhaps be a little soured [...]'Mr. Palmer is just the kind of man I like,” (Lol ;))

“And Elinor, in quitting Norland and Edward, cried not as I did. Even now her self-command is invariable. When is she dejected or melancholy? When does she try to avoid society, or appear restless and dissatisfied in it?” 

When it comes to Jane Austen's I could post quotes all day! :D


Brighton Honeymoon

This was really good! I love everything I read by Sheri Cobb South! :D So clean, hilarious and lighthearted! 
I was laughing from start to finish! I loved the whole story line and set-up! Polly was such a sweet heroine, and Lord Tabor was awesome! :) 
I was so glad that even the the plot revolved mainly around Polly, Ethan Brundy and Lady Helen were still primary characters, and still as delightful as they were last time we read of them. :)
As far as secondary characters go, I really liked Lady Tabor and her comedic rudeness. ;) Evers (the butler) was incredible! He was honestly one of my favorite characters- and he was hardly in it! Lord Sutcliffe was fun too, though I never really got attached to him anyways, I was glad he wasn't heartbroken in the end. ;) 
It took me a day to read this, and I almost wish I would have drawn it out a bit longer over the weekend so as to enjoy it longer! But, thankfully, I have two others by the same author on my shelf waiting to be read. :)


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Grand Sophy

This is my new favorite regency at the moment, and definitely my new favorite Heyer! The story was so hilarious and witty, and some of the situations/conversations made me laugh out loud (my sister is witness). 

Sophy was my kind of heroine! I really loved her banter back and forth through the whole thing with Charles- who made a great hero.
Cecelia was so darling! I loved the outcome of her part of the story. :) Augustus Fawnhope (the despairing poet) made me laugh so hard! He made for great comedy relief- even though the whole thing was comedic. ;) Charlbury was one of my favorite secondary characters! He was so sweet and such a gentleman! **SPOILER** He and Cecelia were totally perfect for each other. :) 
I also really liked the younger brother, Hubert, and his transformation and respect for Charles (and Charles' transformation towards Hubert, too). I wish it would have brought him back into the story at the end. One of my favorite scenes in the book was when Sophy talks with Huberts' "enemy". >:)
Miss Wraxton reminded me of Lucy Steele: "innocently ignorant" when you first meet her, but her true character and malicious, conniving intentions coming to light as the story progressed. She REALLY annoyed me. (But I liked that Sophy never let Wraxtons' snubs and obvious dislike get to her.^_^) 
The ducklings at the end (especially with Charles), and Bromfords' "mustard foot-bath" made me lose my breath laughing! (Again, my sister is witness. ;))
Charles was great, like I said. I liked how he was able admit when he was wrong, but also that he was never made to look like "the stupid male", while Sophy remained "the perfect female". :P They were both good at admitting their wrongs- though their many arguments/discussions made for some great scenes and lots of laughs. Especially the back-and-forth on pistols. ;) 
I always find it interesting in each of the Heyers' how the heroine and hero usually have the SAME personality, which usually would not make them "suit", but by the end of the book I am thinking, "how could they NOT get together??" 
Anyway, this review is getting long and nonsensical- SO! I hope this gave a good impression for the book, I highly recommend it- it WILL make you laugh! and I plan on reading it again sometime and enjoying it as much as I did the first time. :)
In the words of Captain Brown(Cranford): "I defy you not to roar!" >:)


Monday, August 26, 2013

Quote-A-Day: The Grand Sophy

Georgette Heyer

My current read, that I am thoroughly enjoying (as I do all the Heyers)! :)

“You are shameless!” he said angrily.
“Nonsense! You only say so because I drove your horses,” she answered. “Never mind! I will engage not to do so again.”
“I’ll take care of that!” he retorted. “Let me tell you, my dear Cousin, that I should be better pleased if you would refrain from meddling in the affairs of my family!”
“Now, that,” said Sophy, “I am very glad to know, because if ever I should desire to please you I shall know just how to set about it. I daresay I shan’t, but one likes to be prepared for any event, however unlikely.”

“Is it not unsupportable to be held down to a canter when you long to gallop for miles?” 

“Since he was himself of a forthright disposition he was inclined to like Sophy's frank, open manners, and obstinately refused to agree that she put herself forward unbecomingly. He did not think that she put herself forward at all, which made it difficult to see just how it was that she contrived to introduce quite a new atmosphere into the house.” 

“I shall be much obliged to you, cousin, if you will refrain from telling my sisters that she has a face like a horse!’
‘But, Charles, no blame attaches to Miss Wraxton! She cannot help it, and that, I assure you, I have always pointed out to your sisters!’
‘I consider Miss Wraxton’s countenance particularly well-bred!’
‘Yes, indeed, but you have quite misunderstood the matter! I meant a particularly well-bred horse!’ 
'You mean, as I am perfectly aware, to belittle Miss Wraxton!'
'No, no! I am very fond of horses!' Sophy said earnestly.
Before he could stop himself he found that he was replying to this. 'Selina, who repeated the remark to me, is not fond of horses, however, and she-' He broke off, seeing how absurd it was to argue on such a head."

“Only trust me! You have fallen into a fit of despondency and there is not the least need! In fact, nothing could be more fatal, in any predicament! It encourages one to suppose that there is nothing to be done, when a little resolution is all that is wanted to bring matters to a happy conclusion.” 


Wednesday, August 21, 2013



I enjoyed this Christian suspense a lot! It was action packed, fast paced and clean! I got through it pretty fast, considering it's pretty big. ;) I think the last half was what really grabbed me, cause things started to take shape- but that's how it always is, right. ;) 
I felt like I was right there with the investigators- I COULD NOT figure out who "it" was!!!! And every time I thought I had it I'd realize it couldn't be...until I realized....maybe it could? :D
I've never really been one for heroes going through a depression, so the main guy annoyed me slightly and I kept finding myself gripping the binding and hissing "Man UP, and get OVER it, Matt!" at the pages, but it wasn't TOO bad and it really did add to the story and make it more touching. ;) 
The girl in the story wasn't my favorite heroine, (she somehow got on my nerves but I honestly don't know why) but she was pretty cool and I liked how she was willing to just be a friend to and encourage Matt- especially since she had her own bits of depression to deal with. 
In all, I really enjoyed it! The Lazarus Trap is still my favorite Bunn so far, but Imposter was a thrilling and suspenseful experience nonetheless, and I will not regret 
having read it! :) 


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Quote-A-Day: Pride and Prejudice

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” 

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” 

“A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.” 

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! -- When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” 

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” 

“There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well. The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of merit or sense.” 

“Angry people are not always wise.” 

“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.” 

“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.” 

“What are men to rocks and mountains?” 

“There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.” 

“I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine.” 

“I must learn to be content with being happier than I deserve.” 

“For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?” 

“Laugh as much as you choose, but you will not laugh me out of my opinion.” 

“From the very beginning— from the first moment, I may almost say— of my acquaintance with you, your manners, impressing me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others, were such as to form the groundwork of disapprobation on which succeeding events have built so immovable a dislike; and I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry.” 

“To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.”

 “I am the happiest creature in the world. Perhaps other people have said so before, but not one with such justice. I am happier even than Jane; she only smiles, I laugh.” 

“You must learn some of my philosophy. Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.” 

“You must learn some of my philosophy. Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.” 

“Till this moment I never knew myself.” 

“He is a gentleman, and I am a gentleman's daughter. So far we are equal.” 

“My good opinion once lost is lost forever.” 

“Oh, Lizzy! do anything rather than marry without affection.” 

“She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me, and I am in no humor at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men.” 

“It's been many years since I had such an exemplary vegetable.” 

“I am excessively diverted. ” 

“You have bewitched me, body and soul.” 


Monday, August 19, 2013

Quote-A-Day: Northanger Abbey

Jane Austen

I could have gone on and on - I love this book so much! =D Catherine is such a fun heroine and Tilney is my favorite Jane Austen hero. :)

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.” 

“It is only a novel... or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language” 

“No man is offended by another man's admiration of the woman he loves; it is the woman only who can make it a torment.” 

“Oh! I am delighted with the book! I should like to spend my whole life in reading it.” 

“If I could not be persuaded into doing what I thought wrong, I will never be tricked into it.” 

“Now I must give one smirk, and then we may be rational again." Catherine turned away her head, not knowing whether she might venture to laugh. "I see what you think of me," said he gravely -- "I shall make but a poor figure in your journal tomorrow." 
"My journal!"
"Yes, I know exactly what you will say: Friday, went to the Lower Rooms; wore my sprigged muslin robe with blue trimmings -- plain black shoes -- appeared to much advantage; but was strangely harassed by a queer, half-witted man, who would make me dance with him, and distressed me by his nonsense." 

“Beware how you give your heart.” 

“No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy, would have supposed her born to be a heroine... But from fifteen to seventeen she was in training for a heroine...” 

“She mediated, by turns, on broken promises and broken arches, phaetons and false hangings, Tilneys and trap-doors.” 

“A mother would have been always present. A mother would have been a constant friend; her influence would have been beyond all other. ” 

“The person, be it gentlemen or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”  (a personal favorite! ;))

“…she had nothing to do but to forgive herself and be happier than ever…” 


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Quote-A-Day: I Kissed Dating Goodbye

Joshua Harris

“When God knows you're ready for the 
responsibility of commitment, He'll reveal the right person under the right circumstances.” 

“The right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing.” 

“Don’t concern yourself with being right in others’ eyes. And don’t secretly hope that their lives will fall 
apart so that your opinion will be vindicated. Instead, concentrate on obeying God in your own life and, when possible, helping others to obey Him as well. 
You don’t have to prove others wrong to continue on the course you know God has shown you.” 

“Living to glorify God means doing everything...
for Him,
His way,
to point to His greatness
and to reflect His goodness.” 

“The world takes us to a silver screen on which flickering images of passion and romance play, and as we watch, the world says, “This is love.” God takes us to the foot of a tree on which a naked and bloodied man hangs and says, “This is love.” 

“Terms don't define our lives; our lives define our terms.” 

“The most romantic things a man can do for a woman are the little things that let her know that she's on his mind and in his heart.” 

“God gave people 2 ears and 1 mouth because He wants us to listen twice as much as we talk.” 

“True purity, however, is a direction, a persistent, determined pursuit of righteousness. This direction starts in the heart, and we express it in a lifestyle that flees opportunities for compromise.” 

“Having a girlfriend was no longer my greatest need. Knowing and obeying Him was . I wanted to please Him in my relationships even if it meant looking radical and foolish to other people - even if it meant kissing dating goodbye.” 

“Every relationship for a Christian is an opportunity to love another person like God has loved us.” 


Friday, August 16, 2013

Quote-A-Day: The Captive of Kensington Palace

(The first one made me laugh! ;))

“Gentlemen, if my love for you equaled my ignorance of everything concerning you, it would indeed be unbounded.” 
― Jean Plaidy, The Captive of Kensington Palace

“But our lives were not as they seemed, were they, Sophia? No one's life ever is.” 
― Jean Plaidy, The Captive of Kensington Palace


Psalm 68:9

I love adding Bible verses to photos I find on the internet! I never know which verse to use or which picture I'm going to edit next, but when I'm looking at a picture, the Lord always brings a verse to mind and I realize how perfectly it fits for that particular photo! Then the fun begins in getting to pick which font I'll use, which colors, sizes, placing, etc. It's a lot of fun! :) Here is one I edited today...


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Quote-A-Day: Blue Dowry/Robber's Cave

For today, I've picked two quotes I like from some old books I just read recently! Hope you enjoy them! :)
The first one is one of my particular favorites! ^_^

“One thing that kept me from being unhappy was the mountains, for with mountaintops to see, a body can't quite despair.” 

― Florence Maule Updegraff, Blue Dowry

“I was placed here to hold this post, and till I receive orders from my leader to quit it, here I am bound to remain. It is his office to command, and mine to obey.” 

― A.L.O.E., The Robber's Cave


Will Our Generation Speak?

This book was so incredibly convicting, I was nearly moved to tears! 

Grace writes in a way that is captivating, challenging, and encouraging. I appreciated the tons of personal witnessing stories she included, and the consistent use of scripture throughout the entire book. I was encouraged by the list of questions (and then descriptive answers) that were provided as conversation starters and tract explanations.
This tool continued to make me challenge myself- what is keeping me from sharing the gospel more boldly and regularly? What material things am I letting use up the time I could be using to make others think of their spiritual life? How am I doing in my personal 
spiritual life?
We should be "ready (and willing) always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear." 
If you are wanting to witness more, learn HOW to witness BETTER, or work on overcoming fear, this book is for you! A must read! For all ages.
Read and be challenged.