Sunday, December 30, 2012

Book Cover of the Week - #8

    Yes, yes, I know. I have not been taking care of my weekly BCotW's. But I'm back now! That's what's important! Right? Right.

This week's winner for Book Cover of the Week is......
D. Barkley Briggs' Corus the Champion, book two in the Legends of Karac Tor series!!!!
Congratulations, D. Barkley Briggs!! You are the author of this week's featured novel!
God bless,

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" - A Movie Review

    On December 22, 2012, I made my first trip to see a movie in theater in 3D. That movie was Peter Jackson's adaption of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, which was The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
     The whole experience was simply amazing! The Hobbit has finally made its way to the big screen, and after much effort on the parts of the directors, writers, and actors, the movie did not disappoint. The Hobbit is a visually stunning movie experience, whether you see it in 3D or not, BluRay or DVD.
    The character portrayal was simply amazing. I couldn't help but feel giddy when the Wizard Gandalf appeared on screen, for he is such an incredible character, and Ian McKellen portrays him extraordinarily! Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield, Gloin, etc... Such amazing and entertaining characters!

    The scenery and landscape did not lack depth, and it did not have to put much effort into amazing even the most "anti-fantasy" viewer out there.
    The only language that I heard contained was "jaxie", which is a Dwarf's word for "rear-end". The violence definitely lived up to its PG-13 rating, but it was not overwhelming. Battles, severed limbs, gutted ghouls. Peter Jackson did not shy away from scary images either, and Gollum is as scary as ever in this prequel to The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
    The movie did not lack action, neither was it short on intrigue. And the swords were absolutely stunning! I want Glamdring and the Orcrist!
    I truly wish that I could go to see The Hobbit once again! And you can be sure that I will be one of the first to pre-order the DVD when it becomes available!
    Have you seen The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey yet? What did you think? If not, do you plan to?

5 of 5 stars!

    Here are some images for The Hobbit for you to enjoy!

God bless,

Friday, December 28, 2012

"To Darkness Fled" by Jill Williamson - A Book Review

    Enter Darkness...
    They have no choice. Chased by an evil prince, Achan, Vrell, and the Kingsguard knights flee into Darkness. They head north, for Tsaftown and Ice Island, where they must free an army that can help them fight for Er'Rets.
    Darkness sickens Vrell. How long can she keep her secret without being caught? Achan already suspects her of lying. If she is not careful, he will suspect her of treason as well. She hopes he will let his suspicions go until they reach her home.
    Achan wanted freedom, but this new journey has bound him more than ever. Sir Gavin's claims are so far fetched. First, that there might only be one God, and second, that this God chose Achan to push back Darkness, the magnificent curse of Er'Rets. Him. Achan. Barely a man himself.
    Each setback Darkness brings seems minor compared to the one choice only Achan can make. What will he choose?

    This second installment of The Blood of Kings trilogy by Jill Williamson was amazing! The prose is magnificent and graceful, allowing you to glide through the pages. The author takes you on a stunning visual journey through Darkness, and back into Light. She provides vivid imagery, and fills the pages with magnificent creatures.
    You are guided through the emotional, physical, and spiritual journeys of Achan and Vrell, the protagonists. The author is certain to prove that Achan and Vrell are not the invulnerable characters that so many writers make their protagonists out to be, providing plenty of conflict, and emotional/physical turmoil. In addition to that, the author seamlessly brings the Word and the Truth of God further into the light, unashamedly revealing God's truth to the reader who reads with an open mind and an open heart.
    This installment is more on the mature side; I would recommend it for older teens. The romance is brought up several notches, and one of the characters experiences her "month-blood". No language is used.
    The violence is also brought up a little bit. Severed arms, slit throats, and an abundance of epic battles!
    All things considered, To Darkness Fled was a highly enjoyable read, and an epic adventure that I would recommend to those 14 and up!!
    Have you read this book yet? If so, what were your thoughts?

5 of 5 stars!

God bless,

P.S. - Merry Belated Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

2013 Literary Endeavors

Happy Holidays, everyone! Christmas and New Years are fast approaching, and I've been readying myself for my 2013 writing goal. :) Have you?
    Anyway, my writing goal for next year is to write a 200,000 word novel. It is an epic fantasy novel in the category of The Lord of the Rings or Vox Day's Arts of Dark and Light.
    In some ways, I wonder whether or not I could actually succeed at such an extravagant goal. I ask myself "What could I possibly write that could take up 200,000 words?" The answer to that question is that I'm going to go deeper in this novel politically, historically, romantically, and I'm going to add more depth in the area of world-building. And I'm going to have a plethura of characters, with which I can extract my evil genius and torture upon! *cue insane laughter* 
    I am really excited about this novel, which I have decided to title, for the time being, A War of Swords, book one of a new series. (I will disclose the name of the series at a later date.)
    In any case... are you guys up for a synopsis?

        In a world where Elves are outlaws, it is unsafe for 18-year-old Ainariel Swiftblade and her comrades to roam the forests, their natural homes. They hide wherever the god of myth, Ahlyos, grants them sanctuary. They practice their ancient rites in the shadows, and are constantly at war with those who would seek to wipe them out forever.
    One day, Ainariel discovers that she isn’t just a normal Elf; she’s special. She’s been bestowed with a special gift. She comes to realize that she is of royal heritage and that her faction of Elves is those that the wicked would seek to destroy.
    She, along with her comrades, seek out the one thing that can restore the Elves to their position as one of the Six Highblood Races of Arylla: an enchanted Sword, rightly named Endirul, Elvish for “Restorer”.
    Ainariel finds an ancient prophecy that directs her path to find Endirul, but first she must travel through the Seven Deadly Territories (name is a work in progress) in search of the wizard who enchanted the blade.
    Will she be able to find Endirul and restore the Elves to the Six, or will those who oppose them be victorious and wipe the Elves off the planet forever?

    I'm sure some of you can imagine why I am so excited for this new Elven fantasy. :) Anyway, I do hope that you enjoyed the preliminary synopsis.
    What do you think? What are your goals for 2013?

God bless,

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Giveaway for "Starflower" by Anne Elisabeth Stengl and "The Fairest Beauty" by Melanie Dickerson

Christian Bookshelf Reviews is having a giveaway for Anne Elisabeth Stengl's novel, Starflower as well as Melanie Dickerson's novel, The Fairest Beauty! Enter yourselves to win!

God bless,

"By Darkness Hid" by Jill Williamson - A Book Review

Half of Er'Rets is locked beneath an impenetrable shroud. On he side that still sees the sun, two young people struggle to understand the mind-communication abilities thrust upon them.
    It's called bloodvoicing. Some say it's a gift. One of the newly "gifted" wish it had never come.
    Achan has been a slave all his life. Worse than a slave - a stray. He is consigned to the kitchens of a lord and forced to swallow a foul potion every day. When an enigmatic knight offers to train Achan for the Kingsguard, he readily accepts. But his new skills with the sword do not prepare him for the battle raging between the voices in his head.
    Vrell Sparrow is not who she seems. She masquerades as a boy to avoid capture by the powerful forces that seek to exploit her. But Vrell feels called to help a young squire who recently discovered his bloodvoicing gift, even if doing so requires her to work with those who could destroy her.
    While Achan learns to use his new ability, Vrell struggles to shut hers down. All the voices strive to learn Achan and Vrell's true identities - and a different kind of voice is calling them both.
    Toward a destination that is by darkness hid.

    By Darkness Hid, book one in The Blood of Kings trilogy was an amazing read! I could not put the book down! If found myself immediately pulled into the world of Achan Cham and Vrell Sparrow, Er'Rets. This book is like no other I have read, masterfully weaving the battles of the heart and the will with the battles of the land surrounding them. The story world is as intricately designed J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, among the worlds of other authors, and contains such depth, that I longed to learn more of the history of Er'Rets. As things were explained throughout the book, I continued to devour the pages, learning more and more of Achan, Vrell, and their comrades.
    This book, though, seems to be driven more towards older teenagers than toward those of the younger generation. Violence is at an average, and I never once found myself cringing at a "disgusting" scene, as some might call it, but not I.
    By Darkness Hid is an amazing novel, with memorable characters, and unexpected plot twists! I fully intend to continue reading whatever Mrs. Williamson writes next! (Current read: To Darkness Fled, book two in The Blood of Kings trilogy)
    Feel free to comment! What did you think about this book? Have you read it? Do you plan to?

5 of 5 stars

God bless,

Saturday, December 8, 2012

"The Tide of Unmaking" by Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper - A Book Review

    Seven years have passed since the Lords of Berinfell - Tommy, Kat, Jimmy, Johnny, Autumn, and Kiri Lee - watched the horror of Vesper Crag wash away, as well as their fallen kinsman, Jett Green. But with Grimwarden in exile, the realm of Berinfell finds itself ill-equipped to weather the coming storms.
    Kiri Lee begins to whisper of ghostly visitations. Taeva, Princess of the Taladrim, desperately seeks out the Elves of Berinfell to rescue her kingdom. And the genocidal Drefid Lord Asp launches his campaign to conquer Allyra. And Earth. But far worse still is a consuming terror on the horizon: an unstoppable force that threatens to devour all creation and all hope.
    Nations will crumble, loyalties will be tested, and even the might of Berinfell's Lords may not be enough to stem...

    The Tide of Unmaking is the stunning conclusion to The Berinfell Prophecies. Sir Batson, and Sir Hopper have done it again! They've woven the depth of world-building that you see in The Lord of the Rings with the spiritual wholesomeness of The Chronicles of Narnia and the action and adventure of, well... every action-packed novel/movie out there! And even better was that it was doused with heart-warming humor! I could not put this book down and found myself reading late into the night to finish it.
    I was sad when I came to the conclusion of the Lords' story, for my journey along with them had come to a close.
    This book is truly a fantastic read for fantasy lovers of all ages, containing no inappropriate content, nor any foul language. The violence did arise a notch, but, according to my standards, should not be too much to worry about, though younger readers may be slightly disgusted. (beheadings, stabbings, sword fights, etc...)
    I look forward to reading more stories by both authors!

5 of 5 stars!

Endurance and victory!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Movie Recommendations!

    Merry Holidays, Deck the Halls, Happy Falalalalalidays, Happy Hannukah, Kwanza, whatever applies to you! LOL
    As I am sure you ALL know (unless you've been living in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, at the center of a planet in outer space... with no calendar, or date tracking device), Christmas is coming up! If you're like my family, you have already sat in front of the TV/fire, drinking hot chocolate whilst watching a heart-warming Christmas movie. If not, it's time to get started! You don't wanna miss out on some family Christmas movie time. That's one of my favorite parts about the holidays.
    So, now I am going to list some of my favorite Christmas movies in order of age rage. There will be an Entire Family category, and a 13 and Up category, just to help you choose which movies are appropriate for you and your family.

  • The Santa Clause - starring Tim Allen
  • Santa Clause 2 - starring Tim Allen
  • Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause - starring Tim Allen
  • Fred Clause (Le Frere Noel) - starring Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti
  • The Christmas Shoes - starring Rob Lowe and Kimberly Williams (this one is a more serious-minded Christmas movie)
  • Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws
  • The Christmas Blessing - starring Neil Patrick Harris, Rebecca Gayheart, Angus T. Jones, and Rob Lowe (sequel to The Christmas Shoes, also a more serious-minded movie)
  • Prancer Returns - starring John Corbett, Stacy Edwards, Michael O'keefe, and Jack Palance
  • The Twelve Dogs of Christmas - starring Jordan-Claire Green and Tom Kemp
  • Holiday Engagement - starring Bonnie Sommerville, Shelley Long, Jordan Bridges, and Haylie Duff
  • Christmas with the Kranks - starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis. (Some of you may have seen this and wondered why I would put it in this category. But bikinis and speedos... yeah. Other than that, it's a hilarious Christmas comedy!)
  • The Christmas Card - starring John Newton, Alice Evans, and Edward Asner (this movie could actually be in either category. I just put it in this one because it is more of a romantice Christmas movie, possibly something that would bore younger children)
    I do hope that you decide to look into these movies, because they are indeed fantastic Christmas dramas and/or comedies. One of my personal favorites is The Christmas Card. :)
    What are some awesome Christmas and/or Holiday movies that you recommend?

God bless,

Saturday, December 1, 2012

One Year Blogoversary!!!

    So, guess what?! I have officially been blogging for one year! *holds for overly-enthusiastic applause* Today, is the anniversary of the day I started Shattering the Darkness, which has gone through many titles, as well as many faces, before I finally became happy with the appearance and title of my blog.
    Wow. I can't believe that I've been a blogger for one year already! It seems like just yesterday that I started it. :)
    Anyway, Happy anniversary, to all you who have stuck with me from the beginning (or nearly the beginning) and even to you new followers!

God bless,

In other news, I have finished the edits and the final read-through of my manuscript, Paradox, and am one step closer to getting this story into your hands!