Posted in 1940's, Book reviews

“Finding the Magic” by Jack Lewis Baillot ~ Book Review

Finding the Magic

 

“Finding the Magic” by Jack Lewis Baillot

A Novella Retelling of Beauty and the Beast

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

 

About the Book:

 

Belle’s father has always taught her to see the magic in the world around her, but when war comes it suddenly becomes harder to find. During the bombings of London, Belle is sent to live with Adam Prince, a bitter gentleman who has lost much and has therefore locked himself away in his mansion. When Belle meets Mr. Prince she decides she will show him the magic her dad told her not to forget, but it isn’t as easy as she thought it would be.
Aided by her new friend, Belle begins to break down Mr. Prince’s wall. But, just as she is helping him find laughter again sorrow strikes too close to home and Belle herself begins to lose hope.

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

This was super sweet and super good! The writing alone was excellent, and the story-line was positively adorable. It was just a short novella sort of story, but it held great meaning, and was a superb Beauty and the Beast retelling. I love how it started out with an excerpt of the original tale.
It has a beautiful and gentle faith-strand that glitters sweetly.
And the fact that it was set in Winter, with the snow and all the happy feelings that creates… <3
I definitely have a soft-spot for Beauty and the Beast stories, and this one was extra delightful! I love the author’s writing talent, and look forward to more of her penned creations!
*I received a complimentary ecopy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
Posted in Book reviews

Book Review: “Quest for a Beast” by Sarah Holman

Quest for the Beast: A Beauty and the Beast story

“Quest for a Beast” by Sarah Holman

A Beauty and the Beast short story

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

Adara thought there would be nothing to do over the summer except read her favorite fairy tale stories. However, she finds herself tagging along with her brother and his friends in a quest to find a criminal known as the Beast. The quest turns out very differently than any of them imagined.
A story of faith, redemption, and happily-ever-after.

My Thoughts:

Sarah Holman writes great fairy-tale retellings. I have loved each one I’ve read thus far, and this is no exception! This is a very unique Beauty and the Beast tale, and very well done. The ‘moral of the story’ was so beautiful and touching, and I just really enjoyed it. The ‘where you treasure is, there your heart will be also’ really got me and made me think. The faith in these books are always strong!
The Beast character I liked right away (not really a surprise for me!), and I really liked Adara, and sweet little Chris.
Bravo to another tale well done, Miss Holman!

Posted in 1940's, Books, update, Writing

Cover Reveal: “Finding the Magic” by Jack Lewis Baillot

Hello readers! Today we have something a bit different from the ‘Pinterest Favourite Friday’! Today I am delighted to be sharing the cover reveal for Miss Jack Lewis Baillot’s upcoming book,

Finding The Magic

It is a Beauty and the Beast retelling and sounds lovely. Of course you are wondering what does it look like? Oh yes. Well, without further ado…here it is:

 

Displaying CHIP.jpg

 Book Blurb:
 Belle’s father has always taught her to see the magic in the world around her, but when war comes it suddenly becomes harder to find. During the bombings of London, Belle is sent to live with Adam Prince, a bitter gentleman who has lost much and has therefore locked himself away in his mansion. When Belle meets Mr. Prince she decides she will show him the magic her dad told her not to forget, but it isn’t as easy as she thought it would be.
 Aided by her new friend, Belle begins to break down Mr. Prince’s wall. But, just as she is helping him find laughter again sorrow strikes too close to home and Belle herself begins to lose hope.
About the Author:

Jack chases Dragons on a daily basis though has yet to decide if she wishes to slay the Dragons she finds or ride them. She wishes she had a library as big as the Beast’s, or Prince Adam, or whatever you wish to call him. She’s working on that goal currently, at the same time searching for a house with two stories so she can slide down the banister every morning on her way to breakfast.

As a general rule, Jack doesn’t write sad books, but she might have slipped in this area when she started to write about World War Two.

When she isn’t writing Jack is researching, which means she is reading. And when she isn’t reading, it might mean she’s sleeping, but probably means she’s eating. Especially if the food is cookies.

Currently Jack is trying out the life of a Dwarf, even though she’s a Hobbit. She’s traveling about, looking for her home, and hoping the end of her search leads her to a cave with a Dragon who needs to be battled and enough Arkenstones to fill her dream library with books.

You can learn more about Jack and her newest books at jacklewisbaillot.com

======================================================

So! There we have it. See, didn’t I say it sounded good? And the cover is delightfully beautiful. Can’t wait to read it! Also, just because it is fun, Jack put together some posts on her blog introducing her characters, so I thought I would share that as well:

Character Post One

Character Post Two

Thanks for letting me be apart of your cover reveal, Jack! I enjoyed it. :) Congrats on this new book of yours!

Posted in Books, Pinterest favourites

Pinterest Favourites Friday Week Eleven

Good day to ye! Has the weather been nice where you’re at? It’s been nice here, but very windy…I don’t care for the wind much at all, but the fresh air is lovely. Even if I still prefer winter. :D

So, this week’s pins are as follows:

I do.

This is so true. I just talk better in writing – letters, emails, stories, poems, etc.

Handmade, drawing envelopes, great for cute snailmail.

I thought this was an adorable way to decorate an envelope. I am always looking for more ways to decorate my penpal’s letters. =) There are so many cute ideas out there!

Fun! Please do :)

Did this on Pinterest – ’twas fun.

Story inspiration, of course!

modest prom dresses with sleeves | Dreamy Modest Prom Dresses Cap Sleeve Ball Gown

And I love this dress – the colours, the skirt. Oi! I would love it very much. :)

I finished this book:

Salt-Covenants-Cover-Final-FrontAnd really enjoyed it. I’ll be posting my review probably tomorrow.

I began reading:

I don’t know how far I’ll get – I’m always a bit tentative with fairy tale retellings because of the magic and all. But we’ll see. =)

I also hope to start this book soon:

I’m an early reader, which is always exciting and fun!

Okey-doke, I think that brings this to a close! How has your week been and what has it been full of?

Posted in Books, God's Lessons, Random babblings, update, Writing

Hello 2015

I believe this is my first post of the new year. I have a couple book reviews scheduled, but I thought I should post something more before those – you know, so as not to start off the year with more book reviews. ;)

I confess though, that I am not entirely sure what I should be writing about. I do not have any resolutions, and barely any goals. I don’t really go in for that kind of stuff. I have a sort of reading goal (no surprise there, I’m sure), but that’s all. I’m just going to see where God leads this year. :)

As for my reading goals, they are meager. I am going to try to limit the books I review this year because 50 was a bit too much last year :D I’ll still be reviewing some, no doubt. As I said, I already have two scheduled. And I still have three more books to read and review for sure. But my main reading goal this year is to get through as many books on my own shelves as I can. I might even try to tackled “Wives and Daughters”. Or at least I’d greatly like to. :)

You know, as I am sitting here contemplating what to write, I don’t think I ever mentioned on here one of my exciting accomplishments of December…Though I think some, if not most of you already know from me telling you. :) But I was so pleased to finish writing one of my writing projects!! It is the first lengthier book I’ve ever completed to its whole. It is my retelling of “Beauty and the Beast”, and it is now finished. Well, that’s not to say it’s ready for presentation, because I still have a great deal of editing to do, but hopefully this year I will be able to share more about it with you all, and I am prayerfully considering publishing it. We’ll see. :)

Beauty and the Beast Bookmark by Achen089.deviantart.com on @deviantART

 

At the very end of December also, I wrote a very-very short story, that I was pleased with. I have never been able to finish short stories, because I love details and depth. But I made this one to be only 2 or so pages long and still complete. God is good. :) I wrote another such story last night, too, which was fun. But mainly this year, I am hoping to finish another one of my bigger and greater writing projects. God willing!

 

And thus I end a quick update and a first post of 2015. I hope your year is splendid!

Posted in Books, lists, Writing

A Writing Tag

Hello!
I meant to get this post done sooner, but life has been BUSY. I feel like I keep saying that, but it’s true.

I saw this writing tag over at this blog: However Improbable
And since she said anyone who wanted to could take it, I did! So here are my answers, answered to the best of my ability at the present moment:

1. What am I working on?
Currently I am working between my kingdom-y “fantasy”-type book and my retelling of Beauty and The Beast. (Yep, I know lots of people are doing BATB retellings for the Rooglewood Press contest, and so am I! I will not actually be entering mine though.)

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Well, I’d like to say (humbly) that it differs because I dig deeper into the characters and their struggles/joys etc. It is relatable, because oftentimes the characters are broken – and we are all broken in some way. My goal is to spread His healing through my writing.

3. Why do I write what I do?
Because I love it. It is the gift God has given me, and I write for Him. Writing is a great passion of mine. =)

4. How does my writing process work?
Erm….off and on. Sometimes I write for hours and days at a time, but then go days, even weeks (eek!) without writing anything story-wise. I used to panic about that, but God continually reminds me that I am writing strictly for Him – only. No one else. There is no dead-line or high expectation I am trying to reach. So I only write when He inspires me to write. :)

And there it is! If you would like to do this tag too, please do! But also, please let me know because I would *love* to read your answers!!

Posted in Books, God's Lessons, Writing

My Stories

Hello!

One of you dear readers suggested/requested that I do a post sharing about my stories. Thank you for your input, Emma! I do really appreciate that. :)

So. My stories. :D I now have four that I am working on – at one time. I know, it is wise to only stick to one, but my mind doesn’t seem to want to work like that. :)

Lets see. The main one is one I have been working on for two years.I actually have a growing feeling it’s been almost three years now…And I am aware that most people finish their writings in at least a year, sometimes shorter, but that has not been God’s plan for this story.

I am having a terrible time trying to think of how to explain them…I joked to a dear friend, “Uh…they’re mostly fantasy. But not fantasy, because they’re not magical or anything. They’re like fairy-tales, on really not like fairy tales.”

They have an air of being ‘fantasy’ but not completely. I do not include magic, spells, witches, or really anything super dark. My purpose in all of my stories is to bring the reader back to God – not that the reader has never met Christ or anything, but that it is important that God is the base and subject of every book, no matter where the reader is at. My characters go through stages of healing, sometimes finding Him for the first time. No matter how my stories differ from each other, I always want them to reflect my Lord. Because He is the One writing these story – and I’m not just saying that. I have recently had the experience of what it would be like if He wasn’t writing through me – there would be NO story. I stared at the page of one of my works in progress, and I couldn’t fathom how to put a sentence together to form a story. He took away the ability for a few moments in order to teach me and remind me that it is all Him. He has given me the gift or writing and it is all for Him.
So that being said, I would have no writing ability or stories if it were not for Him. I’m so thankful for it, because writing is very important to me. It is how I ‘vent’, and sort through what I’m feeling. And by living through my characters, I find healing too. God has a funny way of teaching me something through what my characters are going through. And I like that. :)

Okay, so when it comes to actually telling someone what my stories are like…I am very much like this:

 

"Well... it's about this guy - but actually, it's about this whole community of people who... well, it's important because several generations back... when such and such thing happened - that's explained a few chapters in... and then he comes to realize... It's about a guy."

 

(Someone who pinned this on Pinterest typed an accurate description: “Well… it’s about this guy – but actually, it’s about this whole community of people who… well, it’s important because several generations back… when such and such thing happened – that’s explained a few chapters in… and then he comes to realize… It’s about a guy.” – that is almost EXACTLY what I do when someone asks about my books!!)

Hehe. I will try to give you an idea though. Three of my stories are a similar genre – like I mentioned above, being kinda like fantasy but also a lot like medieval-y. Two are retellings (but not really. I can’t think of the right word! Because it’s not completely a retelling) of fairy tales. You know of the whole Rooglewood Press doing the Five Glass Slippers, and the Five Enchanted Roses? Yeah, sorta like that. I am doing my own Beauty and the Beast one, and my own Cinderella, but obviously I won’t be submitting the Cinderella one, as that is already past, and I actually won’t be submitting my B&B one, for various reasons. It is also too long already for it. :)
I don’t want to give too much away about my stories until they are complete. Because I do hope to publish them, God-willing!
The last one, the fourth, is a more modern one set in ‘today’. I haven’t worked on that one a great deal though. It is only a couple chapters long. :)

I think my favourite part about writing (one of my many favourite parts) is creating the characters. I  love characters. I love relating to them.

:)

 

Yep, they’re very real to me.  :)

One thing that trips me up with writing is focusing on other people’s tips for writing. There are a million and one sites out there to tell you how to start a story, what ways are wrong, etc. But they’re just opinions. My advice? Write what and how God wants you to write. He gave you the gift for a reason and He knows how to write well! Another thing: do not focus on the word count! I learned this by experience. I was too focused on my word count and it really hindered my story. Write to enjoy and glorify. Not to satisfy the world and publishers.

And personally, I don’t think you have to write every day like so many things say. I don’t write every day. I got way too caught up on that and just like focusing on the word-count, it takes away from the story. I now only write when God prompts me to and gives me inspiration. And I bounce between my stories. :) I do usually write something every day – but it’s not in a story always. It’s just like a letter, my journal, or working through emotions, etc. I still only do it to enjoy it and help. Not because I have to.

Okay, but back to my books….not my ‘rants’ or advice. XD

My main characters are almost always female because I, obviously, know them better and relate. Writing is like painting, to me – you are creating something that no one has ever created before. Just with words. Pretty cool. :)  But I do enjoy writing the secondary male characters – they’re different, and hopefully not too much of an ‘idealist’ version that often happens when we females write male characters. :D

My longest-lasting story (the one that is going on three years) is set in its own Kingdom with ruling Dukes/Duchess’. My main character is a Lady. She’s very humble, though, and has an incredible love for the Creator.

My Beauty and the Beast story is sorta set in its own kingdom – I mean, it is, but I don’t focus much on where it is – and I haven’t thought about the rulers or anything. The main character is just a common villager, owner of a sort of medicine shoppe, and she is kinda stubborn and does not care for the Lord.

My Cinderella one is likewise in its own kingdom, but again I haven’t sorted out the details. I really haven’t sorted out much details at all for this story. The main character is authentically a daughter with a stepmother and sisters ;) But she is not completely like Cinderella…I don’t know a whole lot about her just yet, but I look forward to working on her more. =)

My modern-day story is set somewhere in NY I think, and the main character has had an immensely rough life. Like, really, really, really rough one. It’s quite terrible, actually. She doesn’t believe in God, because of everything that has gone wrong in her life. She doesn’t believe in His grace. But I’m sure that’ll change over time. :)

 

And there you have a brief summery of my writing! =) I am sorry it is not much, but I hope it is somewhat ‘satisfactory’!

Oh and here’s just a funny pin on writing (can you tell I like “Sherlock”?):

 

 

A Writers Comic - Writers Write Creative Blog

 

Thank you for reading! :)