Sunday, May 14, 2017

Spinnner of Secrets ~ Annie Louise Twitchell ~ Book Review

Spinner of SecretsSpinner of Secrets by Annie Louise Twitchell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was given a ARC of this book in return for my honest review.

When her cruel step-father forces her to marry Crown Prince Kyle saying she can spin the finest linen thread from straw and moonlight, Letta Miller is caught in a complicated web of lies and deceit. Married to a man she is beginning to love, but who still loves another, Letta finds herself overwhelmed with her new life and runs away…straight into the arms of the very gypsies her talents are supposed to destroy. There she meets a strange man who, when she is taken back to the castle and locked in a room to spin the thread she is incapable of making, appears and offers to do it for her. But he requires payments, and on the third night, he demands her unborn child. Afraid, Letta agrees, but the promise tears at her and she withdraws into herself, becoming cold and silent, hurting Prince Kyle who has begun to care for her. Can Letta bring herself to tell her husband the truth and will she be able to save her child?

Gypsies, outlaws, rags to riches, Ms. Twitchell weaves together tales of love and loss in this unique re-telling of Rumplestiltskin…with a few surprises.

I have been privileged to know not only the author for many years, but this story since its beginning and of all the Rumplestiltskin re-tellings I’ve read, this is my favorite.

Letta had my complete sympathy. She loses her father whom she was very close to when she is young and is then treated like a slave by her step-father. Then he sells her off to a prince by telling ginormous lies and she is forced into becoming a princess and marrying a man who can’t stand the sight of her. She is no longer allowed to associate with her mother and then she begins to fall in love with her husband and he still doesn’t want anything to do with her.

Kyle was interesting. He has had some very tragic events in his life, but I think his obsession with removing the gypsies from the land was rather unhealthy. His sense of duty was quite admirable, but his treatment of Letta in the beginning I found very aggravating. I thought he could have made a greater effort to be kind to her. She didn’t want to be there anymore then he wanted her there.

I wanted to whack the King over the head with a wooden baseball bat.

Queen Isa was sweet. Kind and caring, but no nonsense.

I loved how loyal Jane, Letta’s maid was, even when obeying Letta meant risking Prince Kyle’s grave displeasure.

Rumplestilskin was a very well done villain, he seemed like just a kind old gentleman, but had that hint of black magic about him that made him feel sinister.

I rate this book 4 out of five stars.

Note: There is violence and a child’s death. I would not recommend it to anyone under 14.

Monday, May 1, 2017

So this is how Liberty dies...with Thunderous Applause...

  No, my liberty isn't dying, I watched Revenge of the Sith last night.  For the first time - well, the first time I watched the whole movie.  Years ago I saw the ending at a friends house.  It was a good movie, much better then Attack of the Clones but it was sooooooooo sad!!!!!!

  I know I haven't posted a lot this year.  I really should post more.  I've been doing a few new (and according to most of my family, CRAZY) things and I haven't gotten a few things done that I wanted to.

  From April 3rd to May 3rd, I went on a Vegan diet (yes, I haven't finished yet).  My whole family thinks I'm crazy fro this....except for my twin sister.  And I didn't do it for health reasons or anything like that...I just did it because I wanted to see what it was like.

by Paul Brennan

  I stayed off of Pinterest for Lent.  My whole family supported this.  It was surprisingly easy and since the 14th of April, I haven't been on there as much as I used to.

  I've been bouncing back and forth between wanting to be around people and gobbling up books and wanting people to keep the blazes away from me and shuddering at the thought of reading books.  Normally I love people and books, but lately they just haven't been appealing.

  I have also been to the local Library twice in the last month (both times were when I was in a books mood) which has been amazing because before that it had been close to 10 years since I was last in a library. 

by Vicky Van de Kerckhoven

  I have now seen the Original and Prequel Star Wars trilogies.  That was a lot of fun.  I like the Original Trilogy best.

  I still haven't seen Beauty and the Beast, which is rather disappointing.  Normally when a new movie comes out, I don't mind seeing all the spoilers and all that, but I have gone out of my way to avoid spoilers for B&tB, and I haven't listened to any of the songs.

  I am almost finished reading John Flanagan's Ranger's Apprentice series.  I brought home #'s 11 and 12 from the library today.  So far I'm absolutely loving the series and I ship Will and Alyss (sorry Andie!).  Mel has hinted that a SHE dies in 11 or 12 and that I'm not going to like it.  We shall see.

by Karen Arnold

  I haven't gotten as far on re-reading LOTR to my little sibs as I should have.  We're supposed to be starting the first part of Return of the King, but we're still in the first part of Fellowship of the Ring.  My bad.

  I've been having lots of fun using Mom's new Spiralizer.  Also the Ninja style Food Processor that she found at the thrift store.  I'm totally loving making smoothies and I think I discovered how to copycat the McDonald's Wild Berry Smoothie!!  YUM!!!

  I've probably posted on Instagram too much.

by Paul Brennan

  I haven't done enough writing.

  I've found and fallen in love with The Great British Bake Off and another UK program Escape to the Country.

  I've been re-watching the kdrama Healer and I'm part way through Oh My Venus.  That one's hilarious.

  And I'm sure there are more things I could update you on, but I can't think of them right now.

by Karen Arnold

  Oh!!  I am really, really looking forward to seeing my good friends MovieCritic and PioneerGirl in a few days!  Can't wait to see you girls!!!

  I'm also hoping that pretty soon another friend, Keturah Lamb, will be able to come down and spend a weekend.

  Well, that's all the updates that my fried brain can think of.  Hopefully I can come up with things to post more often.  See ya later folks!!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A Good Laugh

  What happens when your sister's best friend gets a new phone, but your sister doesn't remember the number?  Read on, dear folks, and you shall find out.

  This morning, while I was cleaning the living room, my older sister called me into the office and asked me if I recognized the phone number that had just sent a text to our shared phone.  She thought it was a Montana #, and since she doesn't have any friends up there, but I do, figured it would be for me.  I didn't know it, and the following conversation took place.  In italics are the replies I wanted to give, in bold are the replies that I gave because I decided to be polite.

I love you! 
Well, depending on who you are, I might NOT love you!
Is this someone I know?
The gravedigger.

Gravedigger?  Is this one of my blind dates?  I don't remember any of my blind dates being gravediggers.
You have the wrong number.
I have no clue what you're talking about.

At this point, I looked up the area code, saw it wasn't from Montana....and we both realized who it actually was....about 5 seconds before the reply came in.  Sister grabbed the phone and replied.

It's ME, you twit.  New phone remember?


She is currently laughing herself silly over this.

Same that was too good XD

  It was totally hilarious and I am still laughing!!!  It was sooooooooooooo much fun!!!  It totally made our day!!  

  And yes, I had their permission to post this story.  

 Also, for those of you wondering, I have never been on a blind date in my life.  But I was feeling like being a pain....and this person would probably never know that I hadn't.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Legends of Light: Shadows of the Hersweald ~ Book Release

  Greetings dear people!  Today I bring you the release of my dear friend Hope Ann's third Legends of Light novella, Shadows of the Hersweald.

  Shadows of the Hersweald is a Hansel and Gretel retelling with the theme of Peace.  If you enjoy Christian fantasy and fairytale retellings, be sure to check this one out.  I was privileged to beta it, and I enjoyed it a lot.

They would have to come that afternoon. Haydn glared at the rutted road twisted away from the gate beneath him, slithering into the shadows of the Harsweald. And what was the flaming idea behind leaving him in charge? Tregaron in the hands of a criminal… that would put them all in the good graces of the province governor, no questions asked.

A battered soldier from a defeated army, Haydn knows there is only one end to the arrival of the Prince’s governor. Except he hasn’t counted on the Prince himself. Or the pardon which his recent foe has declared to acquit all those who fought against him.

A pardon Haydn detests.

A pardon that refuses to punish the rebels now threatening his own village. And his sister.
Guilt-ridden from his own actions during the war, Haydn knows there are others who have no conscience at all. Others who are using the freedom of the pardon to forward their own desperate schemes. 

With enemies closing in on all sides, a pardon that refuses punishment, and nightmares of murder and fire haunting his every thought, will Haydn recognize the truth or will his fear condemn everything he loves to destruction?

  Although the history of Aslaria and the conflict between the Prince and the rebel, Tauscher, flow chronologically through the series, each novella in the Legends of Light series is a stand-alone story.  Each novella focuses on one of the nine aspects of the Fruit of the Spirit while twisting fairy tales in a clean, exciting, and inspiring manner.
  Buy now on Kindle, iTunes, and Smashwords
  Add on Goodreads

  And I asked Hope Ann a few questions.  

  Hansel and Gretel isn't a fairytale that I see re-told very often, why did you choose it?
  It just snapped with my theme of peace. Since this novella took place after the war, I knew I wanted rebels or bandits and something of the sort. Forests work well with that sort of thing—and siblings. And… it just happened, I guess. It’s not my favorite fairy tale, but I figured I could change it as I please. So I did. 

  All of your Legends of Light Novellas are Fruit of the Spirit themed.  Why did you choose Peace to pair with Hansel and Gretel?

  I’m running through the Fruit of the Spirit themes in order, so I picked Hansel and Gretel to go with peace rather than vice versa. Peace fit well with the salvation aspect I wanted to show in this story, as well as a good fit with the outwardly troubled aspect of Aslaria after the war. 

  Are any of the characters in Shadows of the Hersweald based off of you?

  No, not this time. All of these characters are pretty different from me. The character closest to me is probably Mathias… But none of them are based off me. ;)

Hope Ann is a Christian authoress who lives on a small farm in northern Indiana. She was homeschooled and now helps teach several of her eight younger siblings.
She has been writing for over five years and has so many story ideas that she doubts she will ever stop. Her favorite genre to write is high fantasy with a touch of the allegorical. A close second is futuristic suspense. Her goal is to not only entertain with her stories but to provide inspirational fiction for young adults.
Predictably, she loves reading fantasy, fairy tales, mythology, and futuristic suspense. Her favorite authors include J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Dickens, Frank Peretti, Mark Twain, and Serena Chase.
Her hobbies include photography, movie making, knitting, tree climbing, writing e-mails to friends, listening to Celtic music, and collecting shiny trinkets for story inspiration.
You can visit Hope’s blog at, or follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter.