Friday, March 28, 2014

One Realm Beyond: A Book Review

Hello all! Today I will be reviewing One Realm Beyond by Donita K. Paul. I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion from the publisher.

Back cover:
Cantor D’Ahma waited his whole life for this day. Born with a gift to walk between worlds, the young realm walker is finally ready to leave his elderly mentor and accept his role as protector and defender of the realms.
But mere hours after he steps through his first portal, Cantor discovers that his job will be more dangerous and difficult than he ever imagined. The realms are plagued with crime and cruelty, and even members of the once-noble Realm Walkers Guild can no longer be trusted. To make matters worse, his first assignment — finding a dragon to assist him on his quest — has led him to Bridger, who is clearly inept and won’t leave him alone.
With the help of his new friends, Bixby and Dukmee, Cantor must uncover the secrets of the corrupt guild before they become too powerful to be stopped. But his skills aren’t progressing as fast as he would like, and as he finds himself deeper and deeper in the guild’s layers of deceit, Cantor struggles to determine where his true allegiance lies.

 This is the second Donita K. Paul book I've had the opportunity to review. I thought it looked interesting so requested to review it. I have mixed feelings. I like it, I do. It just took me a little while to get into the story.

The best part for me is probably the characters. Each is unique, and interesting in their own way. From the constantly shape-shifting, clumsy dragon, Bridger, to the quirky but clever Bixby. Each person had a part to play and none were there as "extras."

 The storyline was also good even if it took me  several chapters to be drawn in. I enjoyed Cantor's journey once I was in, however. This book mentions wizards, which I'm not a fan of, but I'll reserve judgement on that front because I haven't seen any of the wizard's yet, though from what's described they're said to work for the God character of the story. At least that's what I took from it. 

 Anyway, it's very interesting. If you like fantasy involving dragons, and special abilities, and portals to other worlds, you'll love One Realm Beyond!

~ a rambling author

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

You Ask Fanic: The Answers

This is the look he's giving me right now.
Last week, I asked you to send questions in for my creepy creep from The Prince's Quest, Fanic. Although he's such a weirdo, people seem to love him... something I don't quite understand. Anyway, here are the questions you asked. I'll try to keep him from being too... um... freaky.

What got you interested in blades and knives, and what was your first knife you ever got? 

 I like the way this is starting out. There is no reason not to enjoy the benefits of a knife. With my many blades, I can accomplish anything a bow or sword can with less work. Although, I sometimes use a bow, I much prefer knives. For example, you can run out of arrows, or grow exhausted with a sword. A knife brings the two together. You can throw them, or use them in hand-to-hand combat. And knives are the best choice for my profession because of the secrecy they allow. I received my first knife on my eighth birth celebration. It was a paltry weapon from my mother, but I put it to good use, and it began my love for cutting things.

Who was the first person you killed? 

 That would be the man my mother married when I was ten. He was a brute, and I should be thanked for his death. He lasted until I was fourteen, and then I grew tired of him.

Can you talk about how you felt afterwards?

 Triumphant, what else? To put down a man such as that can be described as nothing else. I discovered that killing is what I am good at.

Would you consider yourself more of a psychopath or a sociopath?

 My dear, are you questioning my sanity? (Me: I think he's a sociopath with psychopathic tendencies. But I don't know. :P)

Is there anyone who's ever been dear to you in life? Or have you always been more of a lone-ranger? 

Having someone you care for makes you weak. I had a mother, but she's dead now. When I was eighteen I fancied I loved a girl. She's dead too. Come to your own conclusions.

Who or what do you hate most, and why?

I don't think there's anyone left to hate. If I hate someone, they die.

What would you do if you encountered that person/thing/situation right now?

 I think I already made my answer clear, but I would kill them. Quite possibly.

What do you fear? Or will you admit to fearing anything at all? 

 *Yawn* Fear is my domain. I am the shadow in your bedroom, I am the dagger waiting to stab you. I live on fear. 

What's your favorite blade type/design? Tanto? Bowie?

I don't know what a Tanto or Bowie is, but if I understand the question, you're asking me my preferred knife? My favorite blades are the ones I make myself, or get through the black market weapons dealers. I like them to be long, so they're easy to slip between ribs. Or at least to wave around threateningly. Thin is also a bonus at times.

Which style of knife (ex. Throwing, dagger) do you prefer?

I enjoy all kinds. Each has its merit. To choose one would be like choosing a favorite child. If I had one.

How many knives do you own?

The answer varies. I carry a certain number on my person, and keep some in my dwelling. I like collecting a knife from every city I visit. I'd say nearing 200 at this point, though I only carry fifteen with me.

Which is your favorite?

 My serrated blade. It was created with jagged edges, and is the most fun to terrify people with.

 And would you agree that Damascus steel is the best? 

 I've never heard of such a thing as Damascus. The best steel comes from the mines in Linaeus. Also, Masin has good metal if they would bother collecting it. 

Do you prefer to work as an assassin or a scout and why?

An assassin's job is more fun. Though the pleasure isn't really from killing. When you're a scout you can terrify the people you are tracking, or even those you are working with. I'm at the middle of the road here.

Did you ever have a family? Where are they now?

 These questions are so repetitive. I had a family. I had a mother and a sister. They're both gone. It's none of your concern.

When did you find yourself first enjoying pain? How did it make you feel when you realized it?

 I broke another boy's arm when I was twelve. When you first find yourself enjoying pain it can be frightening until you transition into appreciating it. I felt powerful.

If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?

I would have killed my mother's husband sooner.

Say you're sick in bed, trying stubbornly to rest, and have absolutely no intention of moving. If there was one sound in the world that would force you out of that bed to go chasing after the source, what would it be?

 I don't get sick. But one thing to make me leave my bed would be the sound a person. Because when I sleep, no people should stir.

If a stranger were to approach you and introduce themselves, any suspicions aside, what is the first thing about them that you would notice?

 If they carried a visible weapon. If they looked afraid.

Can you identify a single thing that changed your path in life, and would you change that if you could?

As I've said, the killing of my mother's husband. I was preparing to be a fisherman, but that changed it all. I wouldn't change it. Can't you see how happy I am?

 Has Fanic always enjoyed hurting others or was there a time when he didn't? 

 You make is sound so animalistic. And I'm right here. No third person, please. Hurting others... hmm. I suppose I may not have enjoyed it when I was young. But I was weak. I'm not weak anymore.


 Thanks for the questions everyone! Sorry Fanic was such a creep. You can read more about him in the future, I hope, in The Prince's Quest! And perhaps in more writing posts.

~ a rambling author

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Birthday Books

 Alrighty, so I already talked about having my birthday this past Saturday. Well, I received three books from friends, and I've decided to showcase them today.

 The first book I received just after midnight, from one of my close friends. It was... Les Miserables! I've listened to the audio drama, been in the musical, seen the musical, etc... but I've never actually read the full out giant book for myself before. I'm so excited to add this classic to my read list! Yay! Have you read Les Mis, or a book of equal length? What's your favorite classic?

 The Last Sin Eater by Francine Rivers. Seriously, I LOVE this book. It's been a couple of years since I've read it, and I'm thrilled to read it once again. It's a beautiful story and highly recommended. Have you read any Francine Rivers books? Have a favorite?
A few hours later, during lunch, another friend surprised me with a present. One was a Doctor Who mug, (YES!) and the other a book. And not just any book. My favorite book.

 Lastly, not long after my second surprise, a wonderful mother gave me a fantastic gift, and one ofUnlocked by Karen Kingsbury. This is actually a story I've been wanting to read. I was interested in reading about a boy with autism and how a local girl wants to 'unlock' him. I'm really excited to read this.
things inside was...

 So thank you to the three people who were so kind to get me these lovely books. I'm can't wait to read them! (Note: Also, I received a Barnes and Noble gift card, so more books! Yay!)

~ a rambling author

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

And Then I was an Adult and it was All Very Frightening...

 Another show just ended for me... this one Willy Wonka. I got to have so much fun playing Mrs. Gloop, an indulgent mother of the fat, greedy Augustus. There's so much I could say about that part and show, but I'll wait for one of my "The Other Side of Me" posts.

I also want to say a little bit about my birthday. Yup, Saturday I turned eighteen. I'm an old fogie now. Something they like call... adult. *Shudder*

 So I've joined the ranks of the grown people, but I'm still a child at heart, so Peter Pan will still take me to Neverland, right? ........... Yeah. So, anywho, eighteen.

 I chose a word at the beginning of this year. It was change. And yeah. Things are changing. I'm now a legal adult. I can vote. I can sign things for myself. It's bizarre. There are so many things coming in my future, things I can look forward to, and things that I'm a little afraid of. But that's all part of life, right? I have to take an entrance exam to a college, and graduate high school. I feel more desperate to get my book done. I have things I want to accomplish. New goals.

 Seventeen was a great year. It was beautiful. But eighteen started off with a bang, and I count my birthday this year as one of the best so far.

 It started at midnight. I was staying at a friend's house before another day of Willy Wonka... (My friend was also in the show, playing Charlie's loud grandma, Georgina.) I hopped in the shower, and by the time I got out, it was my birthday. I never really thought about what it meant, and as my friend Sarah would say, "That was one life changing shower!"

 I had hardly settled into the bed, when Sarah surprised me with a gift. It was so sweet, and the card she wrote me almost made me cry.

 We went to sleep, and the next day began. The celebration never seemed to stop. Twice in the dressing room I was sung to in the midst of pulling on clothing, and twice more outside the dressing room. It seemed I could turn nowhere without someone calling "Happy Birthday!"

 Several friends gave me lovely notes and gifts (Thanks Will! And you're mom! And Eliza! And everyone!) I was actually floored. I couldn't believe so many people cared so much to give me something. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy and like crying all over again. My friends are so wonderful!

 I made a mistake in the show that afternoon, and it was pretty upsetting. But many people, both kids in the show, and their parents encouraged me.

 After a three show day filled with friends, and enjoyment, we went to a restaurant the theater people like to gather in on the second Saturday night after the show. We ordered food and talked and talked and talked. And then they sang to me again. I'm pretty sure I came pretty close to turning permanently pink.

 I must have decided that such a momentous day as birthday number eighteen couldn't happen without some near death experiences, so I proceeded to choke on my mozzarella sticks (twice) and trip on the pavement.

 Ah yes. An eventful day all wrapped up back in Sarah's bedroom, reading facebook posts. Eighteen is an exciting age, I suppose. I think I rather like it. After all, it's not the person's age on the outside, but the inside, right? Ha. Logic.

I'm sure I've missed something. And tomorrow I'll go into more depth about this since most of my presents corresponded with books, and I was looking for something bookish to write about tomorrow. But for now, I must bid you farewell. I'm an adult, which means I have awfully important things to do. Which is a joke, by the way.

 I am thankful to God for giving me eighteen years of life, and for the things that happened this year. I'm so excited for the future that He has planned for me. I know I cannot fear as long as He is with me, showing me where to go.

~ a rambling author

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Just a little note.

 Alrighty, becuse of things... and the fact that I want a few more questions for Fanic's post tomorrow... I'll be moving that to next week, and just doing my life post tomorrow. So please get your questions in! Many thanks!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

You Ask Fanic

This was the best I could do.

 All right, so you've met Elric and Anya, two of the principle characters from The Prince's Quest, so now you get to meet Fanic... Someone I'm not sure how to introduce as.

 Fanic, well, he's interesting. I suppose he's a bit of a sociopath. Or something of that sort. He enjoys pain... in doses. The first time you meet him he is shoving someone head under the water and enjoying every moment. He also takes great pride in his collection of knives, often using them as a tool to scare unsuspecting victims with.  His favorite is his serrated blade. He's very interesting. He likes to threaten people, but often is more talk than anything. He has a checkered past, and hires himself as an assassin or scout. There's a lot more to him, but I'll let you ask the questions.

~ a ramblign author

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Couple of Willy Wonka Snapshots.

 The shows went well last weekend. Right now we're having our in between rest before another hectic weekend of shows... so much fun! So, I though I'd give you a little preview of a couple photos taken over the weekend.

THE Willy Wonka himself. (And some Oompa Loompa people.)

My brother and his "son" Thinkin' Postive. 
Me and my little "Snausage vausage" Augustus. ;)

 ~ a rambling author

Thursday, March 6, 2014

What are you reading?

 So I'm crazy busy with tech week for Willy Wonka (The show opens tomorrow AGH!!!) so ya'll get another short post. I'm still reading One Realm Beyond, but what are you guys reading? Any book recommendations for moi?

~ a rambling author

You Ask Anya: The Answer

Found on Google.

 So here are the answers to Anya's questions! Thanks everyone for asking, we're very interested to answer. Well I am. Anya isn't exactly thrilled. So here they are!

  If a madman with a blue box showed up at your front door and offered to show you the universe, what would you do?

 I'm sorry. I don't really understand the question. I think if the man were truly mad I wouldn't want to go with him. I've met some mad people, and it wasn't a nice experience. (Me: Why all the Doctor Who questions? :P)

What kind of music or musical instrument is your favorite?

 I like the trill of a flute. Such a lovely sound. But I love all types of music and instruments, so it would be a hard thing for me to make a definite choice.

What is your favorite season and why?

 There is so much beauty in each season that I'm not sure I could choose. The One created them so unique. I do love Spring when things are starting to grow, but Autumn brings such interesting colors. Summer and Winter also have their merits.

Do you sing? 

 I do, but mostly in worship. I'm not a minstrel or anything fancy such as that.

What would you do if Elric asked you out? 

Asked me... out? You mean to go outside? (Me: She means it in a romantic way. What would you do if Elric wanted you to go somewhere with him because he liked you.) Oh. *Blushes* I... I do not know. He's nice, I suppose.

If you had the chance to travel, would you? Where would you go? Why?

 My father and I always talked about going to the Unknown Lands. I've always wondered what it is like there... what mysteries can be unfolded. I would travel if I get the opportunity. And I would go for the reason of discovering new things, hopefully.

 What would you do if you found out someone close to you betrayed you?

 Once again, I'm not sure. These are strange questions. The One asks us to forgive those who oppress us, but in the face of such an act, I'm sure it would be hard.

Why isn't your mother in the picture? 

 Ah. Well... my mother passed away when I was a very little girl. She had a sickness that our physician was unable to treat.

What are your hobbies? 

 Cooking, going on picnics, walking, working with my father, conversing.

Who is your closest friend?

Ryald, I suppose, though he can be overprotective to a fault. He's the stableboy who's decided to be my older brother.

What do you dream about?

 Many things. Seeing the Unknown lands, visiting Linaeus, a future as a wife and mother, many things.

Are you satisfied with your life?

 We can always wish for bigger things, but for now, I am happy for all The One has bestowed upon me.

Who would you die to save?

The Scroll of Wisdom talks about giving your life for a friend being the greatest form of love... Most likely easier said than done. But my father... Life without him would be so hard.

Do you expect to ever get married and have children?

 It is one of my greatest desires. Currently, our town has a shortage of honorable young men. Excluding Ryald, who I couldn't marry anyway. 

What is your fondest memory?

 There are many. Visiting the Worship Hall with my father as a girl, and having him read the holy text shines brightly in my mind. I also have some recent memories of picnics and new friends that I wish to remember always.

Do you read?

If there is a book to be found in my small town, I will be found reading it at some point.

If you could travel to any place in your world, where would it be and why? 

Everyone seems very interested in my travels. I would like to visit those I've mentioned, but I think I would also like to see the other countries surrounding Linaeus, more specifically Dagger Island and the Alven Isles. I've never seen the ocean.

What circumstances people make you get the most sad, angry, excited, and nervous? 

I am most sad at the thought of someone never knowing The One, and never wanting to know Him. I think I might be angry if someone was cruel to someone I loved. I would be excited to see new things, and to introduce someone to new things. I would be most nervous to accidentally betray someone. It is always important to be careful what you say.

What's your favorite food?

Fresh baked bread with newly harvested honey spread on top. There is nothing so tempting and delicious.

Would you ever consider killing someone? In what situation would you do that? Is there anyone you would never kill? 

We are taught that is the most precious thing there is, and to end a life is terrible. I know death is sometimes necessary, and the Scrolls of Wisdom tell of such things occurring, but I don't think I could. Something very terrible would have to happen to make me consider taking another life. I would never kill those I love especially.

How do you feel about your family? What do your relationships look like?

My only family is my Father, Amos. And I love him more than I can express. Our relationship is one of great closeness. Losing my mother caused us to cling more to each other. I am thankful to the One for keeping us together.  I have a normal relationship with those in my town, friendship with Ryald, and a new, different friendship with Elric.

What is your first memory?

My mother singing to me as a little child, stroking my hair, and talking to me in soothing tones.

A few of your favorite people?

My father, of course. Physician Brown and his wife are wonderful people. Ryald. And I'm enjoying getting to know Elric. I think there's a lot more to him than he realizes.


Well that's that! I hope you enjoyed Anya's answers! Thanks for asking. And next week we'll get to see into the deranged mind of Fanic... Mwahahaa.

~ a rambling author


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Life Update

Hola everyone! Today's post is just going to be a short update, considering everything that is going on right now. :P

 I'm in tech week! Also known as the week that all horror breaks loose in theater. Okay, well it's not really that bad. It's just the week preparing for the show... it opens on Friday. The show is Willy Wonka (again) but this time it's the full show and I'm Mrs. Gloop. But I just wanted to let ya'll know. Because I might not have super long or detailed posts this week, being crazy busy. Tomorrow, I WILL be answering Anya's questions, so keep an eye out! Talk to you later! (Ooh, and look at the picture I found on Pinterest that describes tech week below.)

~ a rambling author