Ибо так возлюбил Бог мир, что отдал Сына Своего Единородного, дабы всякий верующий в Него, не погиб, но имел хизнь вечную.
While I receive many books in exchange for review, I am never required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my very own.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Partial Review: Love and Memory by Kendra E Ardnek

Love and Memory

Release Date: April 22nd, 2021

Book Description:

The Rizkaland Legends #3

When a Queen forgets,

Her enemies rejoice in her weakness.

But when the Queen remembers,

They tremble in fear.

When a King loves,

His country rejoices with him.

But when that love is broken.

The land is broken, too.

Can Water and Fire join again?

Can Love and Memory be restored?

They spent years in Rizkaland. They ruled the land, forged friendships, built families, and made it their home. But then it was time to return to Earth, and their former lives just don’t fit anymore. Clara and Andrew struggle to reevaluate their priorities when hundreds of miles separate them. Reuben and Petra are lost as they seek a balance between their old friendship and their Rizkan marriage. And Ashna and Noraeto never planned to return, so what life is there for them on Earth?

When the unthinkable happens and a new enemy arises, they’re all thrown back into Rizkaland, into a young prince’s rise to power and struggle to build alliances for his kingdom. But they no longer belong in their other world, either.

Are good memories too much to bear?

 I haven't quite finished this yet... mostly because it's massive. But let me tell you this... I absolutely adore this book so far. I read the first part a while back and am starting the second part now and the characters and setting and plot are basically everything I've ever wanted from a fantasy series. I love that the story keeps going. It doesn't end with the marriage or something like that. The story takes on new facets with each saga. I'm in love with Petra and Reuben and Sylvia and Laura and Parker and just everyone! I love that the timeline is so fluid. I adore the number of children that make it into the stories. I'm blown away by the detail. Kendra is a favorite of mine, honestly, and I have been known to binge her books through the night. I promise to update you as I finish the story, however, you should totally go buy it on Amazon. I'll have links at the bottom if I can find them. The book doesn't publish until Thursday though. Also, make sure you follow Kendra on social media to get in on all the giveaways surrounding the release of Love and Memory. You don't want to miss this exciting third book in the Rizkaland Legends.

Friday, April 9, 2021

The Bear of Rosethorn Ring Blog Tour: Guest Post: Kirsten Fichter

 EEEEK!! Y'all know I love a good guest post, and of course, Kirsten is basically my absolute favorite guest to have here! (Inserts round of applause)

Without further ado, the author herself! (Click on the photo to go to Kirsten's blog!)

Retelling an Unknown Fairytale


            Fairytale retellings are becoming a bigger genre every time I turn around. Big-name authors and indie authors and all the authors in-between are writing their take on some of the most popular fairytales out there. I’ve been trying to keep up with all of them (at least, note and list all the retellings that I can), but I think I’ve got to admit that it’s impossible to find them all. Especially all the Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast retellings. There are hundreds of those. Or so it seems.

            (Don’t get me wrong; I love a good Cinderella retelling as much as the next fairytale enthusiast. I just wish people would do MORE.)

            But what about fairytales like Thumbelina? Toads and Diamonds? The Steadfast Tin Soldier? The last has a mere ONE retelling that I know of, and the other two aren’t much better. And the fairytales that are so obscure that, if I mentioned them, no one would have any idea of what I’m speaking? Zilch.

            “These aren’t popular fairytales,” you argue. “People want Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast because they already know the story. They want to have something familiar within the retelling.”

            If you say that, you’re not wrong. We do have a tendency to lean towards things that are familiar. But in doing so, we’re leaving so many wonderful fairytales untouched and unloved. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and if you call yourself a fairytale enthusiast/author, you have to do better than just a version of Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast. You have to go all in.

The unknown fairytales NEED a chance in the spotlight. Many of them are beautiful stories that have magical elements and themes not found in some of the more popular ones. I don’t know why they’re not more known and loved, but they should be.

            Committing to retell an unknown or obscure fairytale isn’t easy. I struggled a bit writing my book, The Bear of Rosethorn Ring, since it’s based on the little-known fairytale Snow White and Rose Red. Now, even though people may recognize the names of our titular heroines, they often don’t know the actual story. (Try me: Do YOU know their story?) I wanted the story to be unique as a retelling, and yet still have enough of the original fairytale to make people interested in that as well.

When working with an unknown tale, it’s really important to keep as many of the big elements intact (or somewhat intact), to allow the reader to get a good feel of the original story. Cinderella is so well-known that if you take away the glass slippers, people still recognize her. If, however, you retell something like The Gnome and take away the underground kingdom, there’s a good chance people won’t recognize it. Many of the original elements are what make the fairytale in the first place, so why erase them?

Now, I’m not saying that you should spit out a near-exact replica of the original fairytale. No, it needs to be your own. Your style, your spin, your retelling. While you should stick to many of the BIG elements, the smaller ones you should change around to create a new story. Decide what’s important to keep for the retelling, and then make the rest your very own.

Obscure fairytales have the same problems that popular fairytales do: ALL THE WHAT IFS. They have plot holes, unexplained details, and sometimes unsatisfactory endings. And these are the perfect fodder for a good retelling. Look for the pieces in the fairytale that don’t make sense, and make sense of them. Cinderella has been given a good many reasons to go to the ball, but do we have reasons for why the witch wanted to poison the prince in The Riddle? Why did the queen put that pea under twenty mattresses when making up a bed for the princess, and why were there twenty mattresses? That reason just became your retelling.

The fun part about retelling an unknown fairytale is that there are so many ways to retell it since no one (or next to no one) has retold it before. If the fairytale is obscure enough, your retelling may be the very first. It’ll be the gateway that introduces people to the original fairytale. How cool is that? I want more people to know about SWRR, and that’s one big reason I’m so excited to share The Bear of Rosethorn Ring with everyone. One of my favorite obscure fairytales is Princess Rosette, and I know that if I ever get around to retelling it one day (which I’d love to, BTW), I’ll be using my retelling to introduce this fairytale to more people.

Retelling an unknown fairytale isn’t just allowing the author to have fun with something that’s been untouched. It’s also allowing the author to become the doorkeeper to offer readers a whole new world of fairytales.

Thank you Kirsten, for agreeing to be here today! Don't forget to check out all her books on Amazon!

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Review: The Bear of Rosethorn Ring by Kirsten Fichter

 You know I love a good Kirsten Fichter book, and of course, this newest installment was no different! (Mind, there are slight SPOILERS for Diamond and the other books if you haven't read them...) Two sisters, Diamond (our lovely Rapunzel) and Marta (our Sleeping Beauty heroine) are finally reunited after spending literally their whole lives apart. As they navigate the tricky waters of familial relations, their father once again betrays their trust by falling back into his old habit of gambling. When he indebts himself to a crazy circus owner, the only way the girls can get him back is by solving the mystery of who wants to assassinate the circus master. 

As always, the characters were so lovely. This one was different in that there was no main romance arc. I kinda liked it, because I know there will be more in the future, but Kirsten wasn't afraid to stop and develop some other relationships on the way. Also, kudos to her for retelling Snow White and Rose Red when very few people have attempted that, unfortunately. I loved seeing all the little pieces of the original plot that were woven seamlessly into the world she's created. It's always interesting to me, because Kirsten's books are non-magical, and I never cease to be amazed at how she gets those magical bits in there without, well, you know, magic. My main complaint is, per usual, that I want the stories to go and go and go and be longer, but tis only a novella length. That being said, totally worth the buy! Go check her out on Amazon. (There should be a link at the bottom of the post unless I get distracted by something shiny before then...) Another thing that I liked was that I felt there was a more mysterious air to this one... just a tiny bit of detective work thrown in, and I live for a good mystery, y'all. While Diamond or Spindle Dreams are probably still my absolute favorite, this is a wonderful next installment. I just really want to know what story she's doing next! (That's usually at the end of the book, and I didn't see it this time...)

I did receive this as a free ARC, but you know me... what I say is what I honestly believe.

Here's some lovely links! Don't miss the giveaway happening at Kirsten's blog and check out the Instagram challenge, too!

-       Author’s Pages

o   Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Blog | Goodreads

-       BoRR’s Pages

o   Goodreads | Amazon

-       Series’s Pages

o   Goodreads | Amazon