Friday, August 30, 2013

Daughter of Light: A Book Review

 Hello everyone! Today I have the privilege of reviewing Daughter of Light by Morgan L. Busse with Team Novel Teen. I was sent this book in exchange for my honest review. I'm going to try to write my own synopsis this time. ;)

Synopsis: Rowen Mar is cast from her village as a witch after a strange mark that can do even stranger things appears on her hand. Thanks to her now dead father's work as a commander in the army, she is offered the job of protecting the High Lord's daughter by those who don't know of her accusation of witchcraft. Arriving in the White City, Rowen tries to hide her mark, which she blames for all her trouble. She attempts to fit in with those around her. But with handsome army captains, and  a war raging, Rowen may find that she cannot hide her secret, because it may be the one thing to save them all. When the Word calls, you must answer.


 This book is an adult fantasy. There were a few more adult themes lightly set upon, but nothing too horrible. In fact, I couldn't distinguish it much from the YA fantasy I read, except that many of the characters are older than the common YA book.

  I liked this book. I mean, how could I not with characters named Rowen, and Nierne? It was very good, especially for what I believe to be a first time author. The fantasy actually had a message in it, and wasn't just written for the sake of having big magic explosions or something of the like. I love how the mark was actually something created by the Word (God) and was created to use for His glory. It's pretty cool.

 There are some pretty interesting (and chilling) characters in this book. The cast is pretty diverse, and some of them never even meet throughout the novel. Mrs. Busse accomplished making me interested in all of the characters and their various stories. There's the initial story of Rowan, a girl who isn't who she or others think she is, and Captain Lore who is very curious about her. We continue to learn about others like scribe Nierne from a country far from the initial conflict facing a terrifying conflict of her own, and sent on a journey for help, and the frightening Caleb, who's works of death and evil do not sit well with him in his dreams.

 Like I said, I enjoyed this book. The worst I can say about it, is that it has a few typos. But it's pretty easy to figure out what's really being said. Nothing is too overdone in terms of romance, violence, etc. This book is clean, and quite good. I find myself itching to read the next installment in this series, Son of Truth.

 Buy Daughter of Light here. 

About the author

Morgan L. Busse writes speculative fiction for the adult market. She is the author of Daughter of Light and Son of Truth, the first two books in a series from Marcher Lord Press. Morgan lives in the Midwest with her husband and four children. You can find out more about Morgan at

 Additionally, I've been offered the chance to have a giveaway! We're giving away an E-BOOK copy of Daughter of Light to one reader.  a Rafflecopter giveaway

ADD Librarian • Blooming with Books • Colorimetry • CTF Devourer • Jill Williamson • Katie McCurdy • The Librarian’s Bookshelf • The Ramblings of a Young Author • Shadow Writer World • A Simple Life, Really?!Who YA Reading? • Worthy2Read

Team Novel Teen is a group of bloggers dedicated to spreading the word about clean teen fiction. Check out other posts about Daughter of Light by Morgan L. Busse by clicking on the links above.

 I hope you enjoyed!

~ a rambling author

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

More Updates

 What to write about today? I've been so busy this entire Summer, I really need to think more about my blog posts. I suppose it's been a long time since ya'll have had an update on my stories?

 The Prince's Quest

 I finished my baby in a year and half, putting in much toil to bring it to a good end. I was ready to start the editing process when the large binder containing a good 50,000 words of the story went missing... I have the beginning and the end, but I'm going to have to rewrite. Yay. Like the facebook page for updates.

Baby, It's Cold Outside 

 Just finished this one! Took about seven months. It needs lots of editing, but I'm glad I'm finished. Also, I'm using this one for something called National Novel Critiquing Month. So a couple people will be helping me out with it.

The Pauper's Masquerade

 This is a new one I'm writing for the Five Glass Slippers contest Anne Elisabeth Stengel is hosting. It's a retelling of Cinderella, and I'll give ya'll some more info about it in future.

 Chasing Shadows

 This one's on a bit of a hiatus while I finish a couple of those I've listed.

 And those are the current one's I'm working on. I have several others up my sleeve, however, so keep an eye out!

~ a rambling author 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

100-4-100 Challenge.

 I'm off to an assembly this entire week! But I prepared my blog post ahead of time, so ya'll would have something. I wanted to share with ya'll something special today.

 The 100 for 100 Challenge is something I've participated in both previous times it was done. It is a wonderful thing for writers, challenging them to write 100 words for 100 days. This really helps you to be productive. The rules of the challenge restrict you from working on more then one project for the challenge, so you actually get something done, and don't just have 100 beginnings! ;) If you're a writer, or interesting in trying to be a writer, I heartily recommend joining me on the 100 for 100 challenge! 

 The link for sign ups is here

~ a rambling author

Friday, August 16, 2013

What's Next? Linkup

 Even though this isn't Thursday, I've decided to take part in this linkup hosted by IceyBook, called What's next? Basically, I'm going to share with ya'll a few book choices I have to read next, and I want your opinion on what I should read next. I'll post the choices, and you can vote in the comments. :)

 So here are the books!


Thalli has fifteen minutes and twenty-three seconds left to live. The toxic gas that will complete her annihilation is invading her bloodstream. But she is not afraid.

Thalli is different than others in The State. She feels things. She asks questions. And in the State, this is not tolerated. The Ten scientists who survived the nuclear war that destroyed the world above believe that emotion was at the core of what went wrong—and they have genetically removed it from the citizens they have since created. Thalli has kept her malformation secret from those who have monitored her for most of her life, but when she receives an ancient piece of music to record as her community’s assigned musician, she can no longer keep her emotions secreted away.

Seen as a threat to the harmony of her Pod, Thalli is taken to the Scientists for immediate annihilation. But before that can happen, Berk—her former Pod mate who is being groomed as a Scientist—steps in and persuades the Scientists to keep Thalli alive as a test subject.

The more time she spends in the Scientist’s Pod, the clearer it becomes that things are not as simple as she was programmed to believe. She hears stories of a Designer—stories that fill her mind with more questions: Who can she trust? What is this emotion called love? And what if she isn’t just an anomaly, but part of a greater design?


  Achan steps into his role as Crown Prince and prepares for war. But war against whom? Could Esek still be alive? Has Lord Nathak taken Esek’s place? Or is the mysterious Hadad the true enemy Achan must confront?

Vrell has her own agenda of serving Prince Oren as a healer, but when she is stormed and lost to the Veil, Achan does all he can to bring her back. His conversations with her are strange, though, as if she has no memory of who he is.

In a land consumed by Darkness, the fate of Er’Rets hangs in the balance as Achan endeavors to take the throne and end the reign of Darkness.

What is that mark? As the Shadonae rise in the west and war threatens the north, a young woman discovers she is not human . . . Rowen Mar finds a strange mark on her hand, and she is banished from her village as a witch. She covers the mark with a leather glove and seeks sanctuary in the White City. She lives in fear that if she touches another person, the power inside her will trigger again, a terrifying power that allows her to see the darkness inside the human heart . . . But the mark is a summons, and those called cannot hide forever. For the salvation of her people lies within her hand.


 So those are the three choices I have for now. Which should I read?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Swept Away: A Book Review

Today I'm reviewing Swept Away by Mary Coneally! (You guys get three posts this week, just in case I'm unable to post Monday.)
 This book was given to me by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 From the back cover: When a cowboy focused on revenge encounters a woman determined to distract him, there's going to be trouble in Texas!

Swept away when her wagon train attempts a difficult river crossing, Ruthy MacNeil isn't terribly upset at being separated from the family who raised her. All they've ever done is work her to the bone. Alive but disoriented, she's rescued by Luke unfortunately, there are more chances to die in her immediate future.

 Luke is on a mission to reclaim the ranch stolen from his family. But the men currently on the property won't let it go without a fight. Luke plans to meet up with friends who will help him take back the land, and since he can't just leave Ruthy in the middle of nowhere, she's going to have to go with him.

But the more time Luke spends around the hardworking young woman, the more he finds himself thinking of things besides revenge. Will Ruthy convince him to give up his destructive path and be swept away by love?


  I thought this looked like a fun book, and having heard some good things about Mary Connealy, I decided to give it a try. It took me a little while to actually read this book the whole way through, not entirely the fault of the book. I happened to get it at a time when there were other books I needed/wanted to read, so this little book was a bit neglected. But when I was almost halfway through the book, I buckled down and read it.

 And I liked it. After my beginning, of reading only bits and pieces once in awhile, I finally started to enjoy it. Swept Away is a good book. I liked Ruthie, always trying to find some task to do, and I wish I was a bit more like her. I'd probably accomplish a lot more if I was! Luke was an interested character. Focused on revenge, it was neat to see him meet the feisty redhead who would soften him up a little. I liked how he was upset when hearing about the cruel family she had lived with, and how he wished he could teach a certain member of it a lesson.

 Then there were the rest of the Regulators, men Luke had formed a tight bond with after being in prison camp together during the Civil War. Big John the Texas Ranger, Dare the doctor, Vince the lawyer, and Jonas the preacher. These four men were fun characters who I expect will be showcased in upcoming books. The sequel to Swept Away- Fired Up features Dare, and another character featured in Swept Away.

 I liked how the main intention of revenge, and wanting the land wasn't as important as rescuing an abused woman and her children to the men, and... well, there was a lot of stuff I liked!

 On the other hand, I like my books to have a tad bit more substance than this one. There was a certain element missing that I can't really name. But I truly did enjoy it, and would love to read the sequel, especially since I suspected about the couple featured in the back, and would love to see what comes of it.

 Thank you for reading this review. I hope you enjoyed it! I give Swept Away 4 stars out of 5. ****

 ~ a rambling author

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Doctor Who Perfume!

 Hello all! Today, I'm doing something I've never done before- reviewing perfume! The perfume I'm reviewing is from the Etsy shop MarieDeMars. She was kind enough to send me SEVEN samples of Doctor Who perfume, and today I'm going to do my best to review them. They are all made with essential oils.

photo taken from MarieDeMars etsy shop

 All right, now on to the review. :)         

We'll start with The Lonely Assassin. This is actually a cologne that came along with the perfume. Don't Blink! This cologne is based on the Weeping Angels. The description given in the Etsy shop is this: Deep earth notes reminiscent of the forest in autumn mix with warm spice and light floral overtones. This is definitely a masculine scent. I like it, but wouldn't wear it because of this. However, I let two of my brothers try. One thought it was okay. The other tried it, and liked it well enough to talk about possibly buying his own.


  Next is Jelly Baby. This perfume is based on the 4th Doctor's favorite candy. The scent is very sweet, as you'd expect, and quite fruity. The shop description fits with my thoughts: This scent is all light fruit and sugar - pure and sweet. And that's what is is. I like it very much. Perfect for if you just want a light scent.

 Still Not Ginger (based on the Doctor's longing for ginger hair) was one of the first I tried, and I wasn't impressed right off. It has a certain bitter quality to it- owed to the ginger, I suppose. But the more I smell it, the more I like it, though it's still not my favorite scent. The Etsy shop describes it as: warm spice balanced with Vanilla and the earthy aroma of Vetiver and Oakmoss. 

 River Song (based on a character in the show) is probably one of my favorites. The scent is difficult to pinpoint. A bit flowery almost, when in actuality it is described in the shop as: balance of sweet citrus and spice – vanilla undertones mix with ginger and tangerine. Love this scent.

  Now to Pond. I'm pretty sure Pond (based on another character) is my favorite of them all. It's another sort of sweet scent, the shop describes it better than I could: Sweet apples immersed in subtle ginger and honey. It's a really lovely, light scent, but has a bit more substance than Jelly Baby. Unfortunately, Pond is being replaced with a new scent based on the same character which is called Amelia. I haven't tried Amelia, but I hope it lives up to Pond!

 Next is Petrichor (the smell of dust after the rain.) This is a very strong scent, another one that's hard to pinpoint. Shop: Slightly elusive, this perfume blends the fresh scent of damp earth with ozone and light floral overtones. I agree, it is a bit elusive, but I think I can pick out the floral. This is another lovely one that I like quite a lot.

 Last, but not least, Silence in the Library, based on a really creepy episode. This is a really different perfume, but I like it. It's not flowery, or sweet... more a tad bit spicy... Shop description: full of deep vanilla base notes infused with black pepper and a touch of neroli for sweetness. This scent is warm and a little spicy, reminiscent of afternoons amongst stack of ancient books. Any scent reminiscent of books sounds good to me!

 I love these perfumes, and will use up all my samples, and hopefully be able to purchase more in the future.

 Click here to get your own.

Check back tomorrow for a review of Swept Away by Mary Coneally!

~ a rambling author


Monday, August 12, 2013

Les Miserables: An Audio Drama Review

Hey you guys! Because of my lack of posting... you get TWO posts this week! Today, a review of Les Miserables, recorded by Focus on the Family Radio Theatre, tomorrow a review of Swept Away by Mary Connealy, and a fun review of some Doctor Who perfume. Now to Les Mis. I was provided this audio book by Tyndale House is exchange for an honest review.

Description: It's one of the world's masterpieces of storytelling. Against the stirring background of the French Revolution, follow the tale of Jean Valjean as he encounters the savage injustice of the law — and then the gentleness and grace of God. It depicts events like the battle at the barricade and a heroic rescue through the underworld of Paris. But the truly epic nature of Les Misérables lies in its insights and glimpses into the human soul. No other novel has captured so well the transforming power of forgiveness as has Victor Hugo's masterpiece, Les Misérables. It has been called the most important novel of the 19th century. And rightly so. It's a tale of war and revolution, a touching love story — and a tale with some of the most memorable characters you'll find in any work of fiction.
Most of all, it's a story about a desperate thief whose life is changed forever when a kind bishop, catching him in the act of stealing precious silver, forgives him. Accustomed to living only for himself, Jean Valjean becomes a kindhearted man who helps a dying woman, cares for her child as if she were his own...and puts his life on the line to help an innocent stranger.
Les Misérables tells of the triumph of good over evil, of love over hatred, and of mercy over the letter of the law.

My thoughts: I love Les Miserables. I love the story, I love the musical (I just had the opportunity to be in it,) and I love just about anything having to do with it. As you can imagine, I was so excited when this audio drama came up for review since I also happen to LOVE Focus on the Family and their audio drama. All excited, I inserted the first CD into my player.

 And I was not disappointed.

 Wonderful narration, brilliant acting, lovely music... this audio drama did great justice to Victor Hugo's story. Being an audio drama, they couldn't fit the entire story in, and that may throw some people off. But if you let yourself appreciate the work for what it is: a wonderful, enjoyable adaptation, there shouldn't be a problem.

 I highly recommend this, and any other Focus on the Family audio dramas. It really does bring the story to life in a fantastic way. I hope that you'll buy this audio book for yourself to see how nice it is. Thank you Tyndale for giving me the opportunity to review it!

~ a rambling author

Friday, August 9, 2013

ABC Reading Challenge: A - Angry by Laura L. Smith

Hey everyone. It's been awhile. I feel like a complete and utter failure with the blog posting schedule, and I really hope I can get back on track. This is the first part in my ABC Reading Challenge book reviews, scheduled on Thursdays. Yay! *blows horns.*

From the back cover:
Emma is angry. She’s angry at her siblings, who she always has to baby sit; her parents, who are divorcing and ruining her life in the process; and herself for not measuring up to anyone’s standards.
With her simmering feelings ready to spill over at any time, Emma's self-worth plummets. Her faith in God is tested in the face of overwhelming hurt that threatens to send her over the edge. Can she turn back in time?
What I thought: There's lots of Les Mis. I love the musical Les Miserables, and this little book showcases a lot of it, from auditions, to show night.  I liked a lot of the characters, like Emma's younger siblings. Her dad annoyed me. Laura Smith likes to write stories about tough issues from rape (It's Complicated) to eating disorders (skinny) and she does a great job at it. Truthfully, someone needs to tackle these issues. Of course there were some things that the characters could have handled better, etc... but for the most part, I found this a really enjoyable book handling the subject of divorce without sugarcoating it, or making it seem like it was right. And it shows that God is the only one that can keep us from being Angry.