Saturday, March 25, 2017

Hope in Nautical Dusk Review

Opal Charm: Hope in Nautical Dusk (Vol. 2)

by Miri Castor

The Gift of Twilight flourishes within Opal Charm as winter descends on Dewdrop. Life was already rough before, but Opal’s got new obstacles to face – getting into high school, bringing her brother back home, and training to protect Athre and Earth from Samael, the mysterious overlord who seeks to rule all, and put an end to her and the Charm lineage. The balance between harsh truths and sweet lies is more fragile than ever.

Yet, as winter rolls on, the balance begins to break as a new threat emerges. Memories Opal once trusted are disintegrating her friendships, and lies are clouding her Path of Dawn and Dusk. Opal must seek the truth while protecting those close to her, no matter how painful it may be.

I was very excited when Miri Castor announced the release of Hope in Nautical Dusk and pre-ordered mine. I was not disappointed in the least. It holds a much quicker pacing than  The Path to Dawn did and Opal continues to grow into a stronger character who does, at times, suffer from feeling of self doubt. But, in all truth, that should be understandable when you go from being a normal teenager to suddenly having the weight of lives on your shoulders. I do look forward to seeing her continue to grow in the next book.

So much happens that is sad, but I don't want to reveal any spoilers here. Let me just say you might find yourself trying not to cry. I can say, that I still love Evron and his complete nervousness. He's still one of my favorites and I look forward to seeing how he progresses as well. Especially in his interactions with Opal.

In this book, Opal begins to discover more about herself and I think that's very important. And, while I might be rooting one way for her heart, I won't be horribly upset if it goes somewhere else. I think Miri Castor is doing a very good job in writing the turmoil going through Opal right now. I will sit by and eagerly await the next book, but no pressure on the author.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Strange Lands Review

Strange Lands (Heroes of Distant Planets #1)
by Anderson Atlas

 "Ripped from his wheelchair by a massive flash flood, Allan drags himself through dense forest only to find himself surrounded by strange and ruthless creatures who are not from Earth. Allan can’t run away and has no means to defend himself. Instinct overcomes his terror and his cleverness blossoms, which is all he needs to survive the dark jungles, poisonous plants, Shadic hunters and the vile slave trader Killian Crow.

Follow Allan's path of self-discovery, and watch him take back what he's lost. Surviving the Improbable Quest is a spine tingling adventure, with exciting twists & turns. A perfect and inspiring read for 10 and up."

***This review was written by my husband***
  
Specifically a YA book, there is nothing in here that will make you raise an eyebrow knowing your kid read it.

That being said, here's where the star rating comes from.

Characters: are all believable, some are greed driven, some are in it for personal reasons, and others just want to get back to before things hit the strange part.

Story: Good ideas, at no point was it ever "It's magic, deal with it." There's an underlying scientific reason, even if it's not laid out in exacting detail, for how the world works. Potentially minus one bit, but I've seen plenty of techno-fantasy talk about souls, so it gets a pass.

Writing: At no point did I have to go over and re-read a typo or a poorly worded sentence, I understood what was going on at all times. If there were errors they were small and infrequent enough that I saw none.

What cost a star:
Pacing at the beginning was rushed a bit, the reader is told there is a period of time that goes by, but there's not really any substance to it. There is no adjustment period, no working on anything, just *problem 1* and suddenly a period of time has gone by and we're getting hit with problem 2. A short scene about going to where the main ends up, and another about what is done between then and the day with a conversation with a nurse, in addition to what is there, would have made me feel like a more solid time went by. Maybe two or three pages tops.

All in, I could see reading more of the series, and giving it to my kid to read as well.

Spoiler:
 Also, note to the author and a bit of a spoiler. The Hindenburg went down in flames because it was full of hydrogen, if it was full of helium there would have been a small fire where it originally started, and if it lost enough lift it would have landed rough.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

ARC Readers Wanted!


I'm still looking for Advanced Release Copy (ARC) readers who are willing to receive, read, and review my upcoming releases! Joining is simple, just fill out this form:


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Monday, February 6, 2017

Art Commissions: Open

I'm opening up digital art commissions in the hopes of being able to save up so my husband, son, and I can take our first ever family vacation. (I haven't been on a vacation since my honeymoon a bit over 12 years ago).  You can see more of my art at http://theartsyauthor.weebly.com/

 Here is my commission info along with prices. All prices are set in USD and can be paid via Paypal . Be sure to read everything before commissioning me, as prices do change when extras are wanted.

 All prices are set for 2000 x 2500 px sized images with 600 pixels/inch. Alternate sizing negotiable.

   Basic Line Sketch   

 These are simply rough sketches on a plain white background.
 Any colors can be requested for sketch lines and background.
(As I have never offered these, I had to use old WIP's to represent them)

$10 full body for one person + $2 per additional person

    Comic Style   

 Full body drawings are done with either a transparent, plain, or very simple background.
These can be done full body or from the waist up.

$35 for both full body or half body + $5 per additional person

   Portraits    

Realistic style portraits are one person only.
These take the longest for me to do and will usually have a very simple background
 
$50 for each portrait + $5 if a more detailed background is requested.

Comic Style portraits are for one person only.
These can be fairly simple to do and usually have a simple background.

$40 for each portrait + $5 if a more detailed background is requested


    Five Color Challenge Style   

These can full body, half body, portrait, or chibi style
Simple backgrounds are easiest with this style, but small details can be added.
Colors can be chosen from my pallet unless you have one of your own to provide.

$25 + $5 per each additional person || + $5 for a more detailed background

    Chibi Style   

Chibis can be done on transparent backgrounds, plain, or simple
$15 + $3 per additional person

_________________________________________________________________________________
 What I will do:
Original Characters, real people (if provided a reference), semi-nudity

 What I won't do: Full nudity, animals (includes furries), monsters, mecha
(I'm good with people, that's about it)
__________________________________________________________________________________
To order a commission just send me an Email with the subject 'Commission'  
and basic information on what you'd like commissioned, such as:

My Purple Bullet - F2U! Type of art requested
My Purple Bullet - F2U! If you want full body, half body, or portrait
My Purple Bullet - F2U! How many people will be in the picture
My Purple Bullet - F2U! Short description of what you want
My Purple Bullet - F2U! Preferred background (transparent, plain, simple, semi-detailed)
My Purple Bullet - F2U! Any extra information you think I might need to know

:wave: I'll note you back to let you know whether I accept the commission and get more detailed information.
Once the art is done, I will email you a small, watermarked version of the drawing for approval.
Once approved, I will send out a Paypal invoice for the commission amount due.
If you don't pay or contact me within 5 days, I will consider the commission to be cancelled.



My Purple Bullet - F2U! Payment methods. All prices are in USD.

All showing prices haven't included wire fee.


My Purple Bullet - F2U! I do have a day job and two looming deadlines with my writing, so commissions can take few weeks.

My Purple Bullet - F2U! As I work on the commission, I will email you with a preliminary sketch and line art of the picture you want,
along with color swatches. You can tell me if you like it or if you want some changes done.
Once I start the coloring stage, changes cannot be made.

My Purple Bullet - F2U! When I finish with your work I'll send you the full sized image file in .png format via email.

My Purple Bullet - F2U! All commissions are for personal and non-commercial use only.

My Purple Bullet - F2U! I maintain the copyright for all my artwork. I have the right to post them in my 
deviantART gallery/Facebook/Tumblr page.
You do have my permission to upload the commission into your personal gallery with credit to me.