my writing

Ahoy Beta Readers!

Let’s celebrate! 

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My novel is finally in a place where I feel like I can push it out into the world. Therefore, I am in search of beta readers. My book is a 73,000 word YA fantasy entitled Beautiful Beast and it is a clean read (meaning no coarse language or sex). At this point, I’m just looking for general feedback. Anything will help. 

If you are interested, please let me know by sending me a message through my contact page and I will send you the first 3 chapters so you can decide if its something you would like to read. Lastly, I prefer to use google docs so you can make comments and suggestions; although, I am definitely open to other formats as well. 

Now without further ado, here is the blurb: 

My name is Kalista. They call me the beast.

Kalista has been cursed by a powerful sorceress and now is a prisoner in her own palace.
As petals fall from an enchanted rose, her fate draws nearer, but she refuses to be defeated so easily. With her own magic, she pushes against the bindings of the curse, yet what if it is not enough and the only way the curse might be shattered is through the help of another?

When Arawn crosses into the beast’s domain, he has one motive: to gain revenge for his brother’s death. But as he draws nearer to the beast and is surrounded by invisible servants, magical banquets, and an enchanted forest, he realizes that this beast is much more complex and much more human than he first thought.

As they collide, Kalista must risk opening her heart to another, while Arawn must learn to see past his hate and prejudice. Together, they struggle against spells, wolves, and time itself to break the curse because if they don’t succeed, the sorceress will win and will continue burning her ruthless path of destruction.

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And a few pictures from Pinterest since I don’t have a cover yet. 

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Thank you so much,

Emma 

P.S. I would be open to doing a trade as well, as long as your book is a good fit for me.

P.P.S. If you would rather receive a completed copy in return for a review, just sit tight. A post about ARC’s will hopefully be out before too long.  

Book Reviews

Beast of Rosemead by Lucy Tempest

I love Beauty and the Beast retellings. In fact, Beauty by Robin McKinley is one of my absolute favourite books. However, with this one, I had a really hard time getting into it. It may have been partly the world-building. I still feel confused about it. The dresses, horses, and swords suggest something more medieval, but the dialogue is modern. Further, on the dialogue. It felt like the characters yelled too much and this was accentuated by the overuse of exclamation marks. I am one for the careful use of exclamation points, so having one almost every other page was a little too much. Lastly, Leander’s treatment of Beauty made me rather uncomfortable. Maybe it was getting a little too close to abusive. I mean this is a tricky subject because some would argue that even Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” carries this (what do you think? Add your thoughts in the comments – I’d be interested to hear them).
So, anyway. This book didn’t go super well and I doubt I will read any more books from this series.

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P.S. I’m not sure if like the cover… The background, dress, and word art are beautiful, but the figure looks a little too much like a Barbie…

Thank you to Netgalley for providing an ARC. All opinions expressed are my own.

Book Reviews

Hunted by Meagan Spooner

“There’s no such thing as living happily ever after — there’s only living. We make the choice to do it happily.”

It took me a bit to get into this one, but once I did, I loved it. This was a fresh spin on Beauty and the Beast which combined the popular fairytale with the story of Ivan, the Firebird, and the Gray Wolf.

“Fairy tales are about lessons. Those who are virtuous and true are rewarded, while those who are wicked and greedy are punished.”

Fierce and brave, Yeva was determined to avenge her father, even if it meant facing the beast who killed him. I loved this twist on Beauty’s character and the way she played a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with the Beast. I’m not convinced about their relationship, though. I felt that it was surface level and could have been fleshed out a bit more. The other characters were interesting and I liked the twist on Gaston. For a change, he was actually a decent and kind fellow. Lastly, I loved how Asenka’s story ended. Actually, I think that was one of my favourite aspects of the story. She deserves a novel dedicated entirely to her.

The writing was beautiful and despite the fact that the plot was slow to start, its pace picked up as the story went along. I’m not sure about the ending, though. The whole point was that they had been longing for something their entire lives, that there had been disquiet in their hearts and that this was finally annulled by their love for each other. I liked this book, but I was left with an empty feeling. Sure, it’s romantic and all, but it was a little shallow for my taste.

Finally, this was an enjoyably clean read.  

If you love fairytale retellings, you must put this one on your to-read list.

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Beauty by Robin McKinley

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“I said: “He cannot be so bad if he loves roses so much.””But he is a Beast,” said Father helplessly.

“But he is a Beast,” said Father helplessly.

I saw that he was weakening, and wishing only to comfort him I said, “Cannot a Beast be tamed?”

― Robin McKinley, Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast

When I was about eleven, I was looking through the ceiling tall bookshelf that sat in our basement. The books in it were books that my mom had bought for a few dollars and never read but didn’t have the heart to get rid of. Most of them were covered with a thin layer of dust so that when I pulled them from their tightly tucked positions my nose would tickle and threaten to sneeze. But all of that is beside the point…

One day I decided to ignore the bottom two shelves of thick encyclopaedias and read the book with the cover that had a girl in a yellow dress on it and was titled Beauty by Robin McKinley.

To say the least, I was hooked from the very beginning. I soaked up every word which I still sometimes find surprising since not everyone finds it an easy book to read, and I was only eleven.

Robin McKinley’s style of writing is quite different from most other books I’ve read. The paragraphs are long and detailed and with allot of books, I just skip those descriptions over. Why? Because they’re boring. I want to get to the exciting parts, where there is action. But McKinley’s descriptions are artistic, they are beautiful, and they are compelling. I mean, look at this:  “It was of grey stone, huge block set on block; but it caught the sunlight like a dolphin’s back at dawn.”

― Robin McKinley, Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast

That’s not just writing, that is art. That is painting a masterpiece with words.

The plot is also really well worked out. Maybe it’s a little slow at first; she doesn’t meet the beast till halfway through the novel. But maybe McKinley’s point was following the story of Beauty, not Beauty and the Beast. After all, the book is called Beauty.

Moving on, I simply love Beauty’s character. She is so honest and brave and she doesn’t pretend to be someone she isn’t.

The ending, is point blank, a happy ending. Every time it leaves me with a smile on my face and a feeling of satisfaction. Beauty grows out of her awkwardness and really is beautiful, not only on the outside but also on the inside.

I could probably go on and on about this book, but I’ll save you the pain and cut it short. I will say, though, that I’ve read this book over and over again till the cover has fallen off and I’ll probably keep reading it till it crumbles at my touch.