Monday, February 28, 2011


Hi, everyone! Today, I thought that I'd post a picture I took of food! Why? Well, the season for this food is quickly (kind of) approaching!

Jellybean Milkshake/Sundae
This picture is an HDR, though it doesn't look like one. It's supposed to look like a Sundae or Milkshake, though I'm not sure if it does or not. By the way, sorting jellybeans by color is not fun. However, that's what it took to get this shot, so I sorted. I actually took it for a contest, but I never got around to entering it. What do you think of it? Please comment and tell me!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Poll Results: Legendary Weapons

Hi, everyone! The "What Should My Legendary Weapon Do To Combat Another Legendary Weapon?" poll is over, and here are the results. Thanks to everyone who voted! I really appreciate your opinions and will consider them and try to use them.

Extinguish any of the fire that comes so close to it. = 2 (40%)
Create a shield around the city. = 2 (40% 
Nothing; Weapon One is just a fluke. = 0 (0%)
Nothing; Weapon One doesn't have to do anything. Weapon Two doesn't exist. = 0 (0%)
Something else. = 1 (20%)

So, Legendary Weapon One should make a shield around the city that extinguishes any fire that comes near it. Either that or Legendary Weapon One should do something totally different.

Please vote in my current poll, "What, If Anything, Would You Like To See More or Less of On This Blog?" I really appreciate your opinion.

Thanks again for voting!

Friday, February 25, 2011

IT'S FINISHED!- My Abridged Week

Hello, everyone! Friday has come around once again, and that means it's time for another update on my life. So, without further ado, my abridged week.

  • ELDEN TALES #2 IS FINISHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, it's finally finished! I think I shall also name it, finally. The title shall be . . . (dramatic pause) . . . Elden Adventures! Also, by finishing this tale, I have written all these this week: a gigantic (for me) battle scene, a scene in which many prisoners are rescued, a scene in which Leilani and a few others confront the leader of the evil people, another scene where a traitor tries to kill all my main characters, and two deaths. Yep, I've been busy. Of course, I didn't have a large number of new books to read, so that helped.
  • There was a photo contest Thursday at the club that Dad and I go to. I got a Third Place ribbon and a Honorable Mention Ribbon. The 3rd place was for "Spoons" and the HM was for "Spot of Color". To see these pictures and others, click here.
  • It, unfortunately, is cold again. It's also windy. Very windy. I nearly got blown away when we went to the library today. I do hope that it warms up soon.

Well, that's my week. Please comment and vote in my polls, especially the Legendary Weapons one!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rosa Chapter Five

Hi, everyone! Been wondering what’s going to happen to Rosa? Well, if so, you’ll find out today, because I’m posting Chapter Five! Haven’t read Chapters One through Four yet, or just need a refresher? Here’s the link to Chapter Four. And now, Rosa!

Chapter Five
Rosa and Mandy hugged each other one last time, and then Rosa turned and followed the huntsman out the door and into the garden. As she looked back one last time, she saw Mandy sitting by the window with her head in her hands. At first, Rosa couldn’t tell what Mandy was doing, but then Rosa realized that Mandy was crying. Shaken, she turned away and hurried after the huntsman, trying not to think about how her life had been turned upside down.
            Rosa and the huntsman walked for hours, first through the small village surrounding the castle, then through pastures and fields, and finally through dark woods. Neither said a word, except for the occasional directions from the huntsman. Then, just when Rosa thought she could walk no further, they stopped.
            “We’ll take a break here,” said the huntsman, “We don’t want to tire ourselves out.” He sat down, and Rosa followed suit. They sat there, barely moving for ten minutes. I could just sit here forever. Rosa thought. It’s so peaceful. Suddenly, Rosa heard a strange sound coming from the trees. It was eerie and frightening, and vaguely reminded Rosa of the castle hound howling, with a bit of the cat’s yowl when someone steps on her tail, and maybe a touch of the scream of pain Rosa had emitted once when she cut a gash in her leg. Rosa’s mind raced as she realized There’s something else too. It sounds unnatural! What could be making this horrible sound? Glancing at the huntsman, she asked “What was that?” Her voice was shrill with fright, and she could barely get the words out.
            The huntsman had leaped up when he heard the sound, and he was now standing with a long hunting knife in his hand.  “Vulges!” he exclaimed. “And close too, by the sound of it.”
            As the huntsman spoke, Rosa heard the nervousness in his voice. What’s going to happen?  She wondered. Will we die? Out loud, she asked “What are vulges?”
            The huntsman looked at Rosa, and she saw that his face was pale. “Vulges,” he said “Are like wolves, only much, much worse. They have two rows of teeth, retractable claws six inches long, and are about the size of a large horse.” As he finished speaking, a growl came from the bushes. Rosa backed away, frightened. She thought That growl sounds as eerie as the howl, and twice as menacing! What is going to happen to us? As Rosa stared at the bushes, she saw two glowing red eyes appear. Suddenly, a huge, dark creature leaped out towards Rosa and the huntsman. The huntsman jumped backwards, and the vulge landed in front of him. “Run, Rosa! Don’t worry about me! Just run!” the huntsman cried.
            Rosa hesitated. I can’t just leave him to be eaten! The huntsman saw her hesitation and called out. “Go, Rosa, please!  It’s the best way for you to help me!”
            Rosa started to say something, but stopped. Slowly, she turned, and then she took off running as if there was a whole pack of vulges behind her. Unfortunately, in her fright she ran into the deepest, darkest, scariest part of the woods. Rosa ran into the heart of the forest.
            As Rosa ran, she heard more howls, howls like those of the vulges, wolf howls, and howls that sounded scarier that the other howls rolled into on and multiplied by a hundred. Out of the corners of her eyes, Rosa saw flickering shapes. Glowing red and orange eyes, huge shadowy beasts, flickering forms that seemed to shift shape in the eeriest way possible, and many more far more horrible things floated just within her vision. Rosa tried to shut her eyes, but they would not, could not close. If anything, they opened wider. “No! No! Get away from me!” screamed Rosa, but to no avail. Now too scared to make a sound, she ran faster, but the phantoms seemed to pursue her. Suddenly, it seemed as if she had run through and into a wall of water, and sunlight hit Rosa’s face. She checked her pace and finally came to a stop. Then, she looked around, surveying her surroundings.

Where is Rosa? Will she be safe there, or has she just gotten into more trouble? To find out, check back soon! In the meantime, please comment! I’d love to hear your thoughts on my writing!

Update: Chapter Six is up!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Changeling Reveiw

Author: Jerry B. Jenkins and Chris Fabry
 As Owen and Watcher continue their search for the King's Son, they encounter the Changeling-a creature with the ability to change into anything, even other people. Will Owen be tricked by the Changeling into leaving his mission? How can Owen know who to trust.
-Summary from the back of The Changeling
 Characters: Very good. Owen, Watcher, and the rest of the characters from previous books remain true to themselves, though Owen grows quite a bit. The Changeling is interesting and funny, even if he is a bad guy.

Location: Ok. There still isn’t as much description as I’d like, and I still got confused.

Plot: Very good! There still isn’t much subplot, but as before, humor, mystery and subplot make up for it. Although this book ends in a major cliffhanger, it’s survivable; especially since (spoiler) the Son’s identity is discovered.

Other: No other comments.

Overall Rating: 3/5

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Rosa Chapter Four

Hi, everyone! Ready for more of Rosa? Well, here’s Chapter Four of the tale. Haven’t read the previous chapters yet? Here’s the link to Chapter Three. Now, on with the tale!

Chapter Four
Several years later. . .
            By the time of Rosa’s sixteenth birthday, things had gotten very bad in the castle. Queen Leila would punish people for the slightest thing, and Mandy, Rosa, and the other servants feared for their lives. Mandy was especially afraid, for she knew that if her secret got out, Rosa’s life would be worth nothing.
            Rosa, however, had no idea of how much danger she was in. She had blossomed into a beautiful young lady with long, golden-brown hair and laughing blue-green eyes. She was still lighthearted, but in a more cautious way. She had grown kinder and sweeter than ever, and many of the servant boys looked at her longingly. What neither she nor Mandy knew was that Rosa’s beauty put her in almost as much danger as if Mandy’s secret had gotten out.
            Queen Leila hurried to her chamber, which no longer had the curtain. There was no fear of intruders now. Her secret was safe. She slipped into her room and forced herself to walk over to the table where the mirror now lay. Picking it up, she softly called “Cullen! Cullen! I need you!”
            The man’s face appeared and he hissed “What may I do for you, my queen?”
            “Cullen, tell me,” ordered the queen, “are any more beautiful than I?”
            Cullen frowned. “There is only one, my queen.” A picture of Rosa flashed across the surface of the mirror. “This girl is a threat to your otherwise unassailable beauty.”
            Queen Leila scowled. “Who is she?” she cried. “Where does she live?”
            Cullen’s face reappeared. “That is Rosa, a kitchen maid in your castle, your ladyship.” He told her, still hissing.
            A wicked smile slowly replaced the scowl on Queen Leila’s face. “I know exactly what to do.” She set the mirror down and hurried away, intent of getting rid of Rosa forever.
Later that day. . .
            Rosa skipped merrily into the little room she and Mandy shared. “Mama Mandy!” she called. “I’m in from the garden!”  She stopped suddenly when she saw the tall stranger talking to Mandy. Rosa recognized him as one of the castle huntsmen. “Hello, sir,” she said, politely. “What brings you here?”
            Mandy turned and rushed over to Rosa. “Quickly, Rosa, pack some things. You must leave the castle.”
            Rosa looked astonished, but slowly moved to do as she was told. “Why? What do you mean? Aren’t you coming too?” she asked, frightened.
            “Rosa, dear, your life is in danger. You need to leave the castle or you’ll be killed. And, I can’t come with you. It would just make things worse.” Mandy told Rosa as she helped her pack a small bag.
            “The queen commanded my brother to kill you and make it look like an accident” added the huntsman. “He told me, and I came to warn you and help you get away. I’m going to guide you to somewhere safe, where Queen Leila won’t find you. I have a few ideas of where to go. I will warn you, we’ll have to go through the forest to get to any of them.”
            Mandy gestured for the huntsman to leave. “We’ll be there in a moment.” she told him. Turning to Rosa, she said “I think I know why Queen Leila wants you killed, Rosa. She’s found out the secret.”
            “What secret?” Rosa asked, puzzled.
            Mandy looked at her and sighed. “Rosa, I haven’t told you everything I know about your mother. First, your mother wasn’t human. She was an elf-maiden, as pretty as you could wish. Second, her name was Ellen.”
            “Like the first queen?” asked Rosa.
            Mandy looked sadly at Rosa. “Rosa, your mother was the first queen. She fell in love with the king and they married, but he fell out of love with her a little before you were born, and sent her away. If he hadn’t, she’d still be alive today.” Mandy wiped her eyes, and then continued. “By right, you’re a princess. And, you’re half elf too, I daresay. That’s why the queen wants you dead. Someone must’ve found out and told her.”
            Rosa felt tears gathering and struggled not to cry. “How do you know?” she choked out.
            Mandy sighed and said “I was your mother’s lady in waiting. She was the only one I ever loved as much as you. Oh child,” she burst out, “I wish that fool of a king hadn’t turned your mother away. None of this would’ve happened if he hadn’t. Ah well,” she sighed, “What’s done is done. Now you need to be on your way, Rosa dear. We don’t have forever.” Mandy and Rosa walked out of their room to the kitchen where the waiting huntsman anxiously paced. “Ready?” he asked as soon as he saw them.
            Rosa looked at Mandy, and then said “As ready as I’ll ever be.”
            “Then let’s be on our way.” the huntsman replied. We need to be out of the forest before dark.”

What will happen to Rosa? Will she safely escape? To find out, check back Thursday for Chapter Five! In the meantime, please comment! I’d love to hear what you think! Also, please vote on my polls. I need your opinions!

Update: Chapter Five is up! 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Patterns And Repetition

Hello, everyone! This Thursday, there is going to be a Patterns and Repetition contest at the photo club Daddy and I go to. So, I thought that I'd post some of the pictures I took for the contest.

Spoons in Black and White- Won 3rd place in a competition

I took this picture very recently. It was actually an attempt at Focus Stacking, which is a technique where you merge two or more pictures with different focus points so you get a picture that has a lot in focus. The attempt failed, but this picture resulted.

The Brick-work on the wall of our house

Same as above

Once more . . . this one is called "Spot of Color" and it won Honorable Mention at the above competition.

These pictures were actually re-dos of two pictures I took the day before. In the originals, it looked as if the wall was falling down. So, the next morning, I went out and re-did the shots, and the end result was these.

Heart-Shaped Cookies

More Heart-Shaped Cookies

These two pictures are of some very well-dipped heart cookies that Mommy made. They made an excellent pattern all lined up on the tray. These cookies were hand-dipped, and extremely yummilicious, which means better than yummy and delicious put together.

I hope you like these pictures! Please comment and tell me what you think! Also, please vote in my polls. With one of them, you could help decide what will happen in Antuindia Chronicles #3!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Poll Results: What Did YOU Think of Knight's Quest?

Hello, all! The "What did you think of Knight's Quest" poll is over, and I shall post the results. Thank you to everyone who voted. I really appreciate your opinions.

  1 (16%)
Liked it.
  4 (66%)
It was ok.
  1 (16%)
Eh. I didn't really like it.
  0 (0%)

Apparently, it was better than I thought. I'm glad that no one said that they didn't like it.

Next two week's poll: a double set. "What should this legendary weapon in one of my stories do?" and "What, if anything, should I do more or less of on this blog?" Please vote in these polls, especially the first one.

Thanks again for voting!

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Warm Week- At Last!

Hail, all ye who cometh to my blog! (Sorry, I've been reading books set in medieval times.) Since today is Friday, (hurrah!) I'm blogging about my week! So, here's what's going on:

  • It's WARM!!!!!! Yes! I am, at this very moment, wearing a short-sleeved shirt! I absolutely love warm weather. It's very inspiring, and more than that, warm weather makes one feel . . . more alive. So, because of the lovely weather, I actually just went out and walked around the neighborhood, just to be outside. And to get exercise, of course.
  • I have gotten a fairly good amount of work done on Elden Tales #2. I currently hope that I will finish it next week, and I believe that I may very well do it. After that, and after I finish Antuindia Chronicles #3, I have a whole new book planned! Well, not exactly planned, but I wrote up the main characters, and a "teaser" for it. Teasers are, by the way, very fun to write.
  • Beren, Luthien, and romance in general are much more enjoyable in poetry. This is what I've discovered while reading The Lays of Beleriand by J.R.R. Tolkien. The Lay of Leithien, which is the story of Beren and Luthien in poetry form,  is actually very pleasant. In case anyone was wondering, Beren is a human who falls in love with Luthien, an elf. Unfortunately, Luthien's father isn't very happy about this, and so he tells Beren he has to go on a more-or-less impossible quest if he wants to marry her. I won't say any more, since I don't want to spoil the story for anyone who might want to read it, but if you decide to read it, the poetry form is, in my opinion at least, much more enjoyable.  

Well, that's about it. As always, please comment on my blog, especially my stories! I'd love to hear what you think!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rosa Chapter Three

Hello, all! I'm back, with more of Rosa! Haven't read the first parts yet? Here's the link to Chapter Two! And now, without further ado, Chapter Three!

Chapter Three
The king was buried the next day. All work except that most necessary had been stopped. And, even those whose work could not be stopped had to attend the funeral. That was why Rosa found herself sitting in the very back of the funeral hall, squeezed between Mandy and a rather large laundress. As the High Chancellor droned on and on about how “this great king would be sorely missed,” which was not entirely true, Rosa squirmed. She was feeling very uncomfortable in her tight position, and she thought about the king to take her mind off it. I never liked the king much, she remembered, but I think he was a bit nicer than Queen Leila. Rosa dreaded the next day, when Queen Leila would become the official ruler of the castle. Desperate to keep her mind off that subject, Rosa turned her attention to studying the king’s face as he lay in the open coffin. His hard, sharp features gave the impression that he had been carved out of stone. His gray hair, which was still streaked with black in places, was combed neatly, but it was too neat, as if he wasn’t a person and never had been. His still-black goatee made it look like his chin was a perfect triangle, further adding to Rosa’s impression that he looked more like a carving that a person. Suddenly, the High Chancellor’s voice words “All rise for the lowering of the lid” jolted her from her thoughts. She quickly stood and watched as Queen Leila ceremoniously lowered the lid. As Queen Leila turned to face the crowd, Rosa thought that she saw a satisfied smirk flash across the queen’s face. Rosa shuddered. Was that really a smirk? If it was, what will happen? What kind of queen smirks at the funeral of her own husband? It could not have been a smirk. It couldn’t have. Could it?
            The next day was just as bad, despite the fact that the High Chancellor managed not to drone on quite as much. After his very lengthy speech, the actual crowning ceremony took place.
            “Do you, Queen Leila,” intoned the High Chancellor, “Promise to rule Aren Castle and the people in it fairly and justly?”
            “Yes,” replied the queen, “I do promise.”
            It’s almost like a wedding! Rosa thought.
            “And do you, the people of Aren Castle,” asked the High Chancellor in the same pompous tone, “Promise to serve Queen Leila faithfully and to the best of your abilities?”
            “Aye,” replied everyone in the crowd. “We do promise.”
            “Then,” declared the High Chancellor, drawing a deep breath and producing the heavy crown worn by the castle ruler, “I give you Queen Leila, new ruler of Aren Castle!” He set the crown on her head and everyone cheered. Then they headed off to enjoy the festivities that came with the crowning of a new ruler. Rosa frowned, and stayed behind. I don’t feel like celebrating, she thought. In fact, I almost feel sick. What kind of ruler will Queen Leila be? It was one thing before, when she didn’t have much power over the people. Now … I don’t like thinking about it. Rosa shuddered and glanced around. She saw Mandy beckoning from the direction of the kitchen garden. A smile brightened Rosa’s face, and she dashed away, glad to be somewhere else besides the festivities. Besides, she thought, who’d expect a mere kitchen girl to join in the festival?

What does all this mean? Will Leila's coronation cause trouble for Rosa and Mandy? Check back next time to find out! In the meantime, please comment! I'd love to hear what you think!
Update: Chapter Four is up! 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Sword of the Wormling Reveiw

Author: Jerry B. Jenkins and Chris Fabry

Characters: Very good. There’s even more variety than in The Book of the King, and the new characters are vibrant and interesting. I found Mordecai to be especially intriguing.

Location: Ok. The Island of Mirantha was interesting, and there was more description, but I sill got confused in several places.

Plot: Excellent! This book picks up where The Book of the King left off, continuing the tale of Owen Reeder. Like the previous book, there isn’t much subplot, but there’s enough mystery, action, and humor to make up for it.

Other: I noticed that this book was not quite as humorous as The Book of the King. However, there is still more humor than in most of my favorites, along with a good-sized helping of excitement. I was also intrigued by the Wormling’s sword, as I found it to be interesting and different. 

Overall Rating: 3/5

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rosa Chapter Two

Hi, everyone! Been wondering what's going to happen next in Rosa? Well, here's Chapter Two to satisfy (some of) your curiosity! New to my blog and haven't read the rest of Rosa? Here's the link to Chapter One! And now, Chapter Two: 

Chapter Two
Mandy stared out the kitchen window, watching Rosa. She sighed. Oh how I’d love to tell Rosa who her mother is! Then she wouldn’t have to hopelessly long for Prince Owen and live as a servant! Mandy sighed and turned away to look at the lunch menu. I must keep the secret a little longer.
            High above, someone else was also watching Rosa. Queen Leila turned from her high window and stalked over to a long, dark curtain. After looking around to make sure no one was nearby, she pulled the curtain over and slipped behind it. She walked over to a tall marble pedestal and picked up the single item on top of it: a small, intricately carved hand mirror. Its polished surface gleamed in the low light as she tilted it so she could see her face. Then, she spoke. “Cullen, Cullen,” she softly called. “I need you!” Suddenly, her face disappeared from the mirror and a dark face replaced it. It was a man’s face, with matted black hair and suspicious black eyes.
            “Yes, my queen?” he hissed. “What may I do for you?”
            “I’m sure you saw the girl sitting in the kitchen garden.” the queen said. “Was she more beautiful than I?”
            “Nay, not now, my queen,” Cullen hissed once more. “You are still the most beautiful in the land.”
            “Good.” Queen Leila sharply replied. “You may go.” She set the mirror down, and the face disappeared.  She walked away, slipping through the curtain once more. No one was more beautiful than she. No one at all.
            Things went on fairly peacefully in this way for three years. Then, disaster struck. It happened at the annual tournament, a competition between the castles to see which had the better warriors, and the greatest display of fighting skills in the land. It was held at a different castle each year, and this year it was Aren Castle, where Rosa lived. And, as tradition demanded, the king of this castle would enter at least one event.
            The king’s chosen event was the joust, which surprised many. The king was notorious for being a bad horseman. The people still spoke hopefully of him winning but Mandy had a different opinion when the news reached her. She revealed it to nobody, but she thought to herself No good can come of this. They don’t consider what can go wrong. And if the king is hurt because he is less skilled than he thinks, what will happen?  
            When the day of the joust came, everyone in the castle showed up. Mandy and Rosa even left their kitchen to see the spectacle, and were able to find standing positions near the jousting arena. After several jousts, the king made his appearance. At first, everything seemed to go perfectly. The king’s tall, brown battlehorse pranced, the king’s armor, sword, shield, and lance were spotless, and the king himself looked regal and imposing. It seemed like nothing could go wrong. As the king galloped down the length of the ring, people cheered. Then, when the king and his opponent made contact, catastrophe struck. The king’s lance struck his opponent’s shield, breaking the shield into fragments. However, the knight’s lance was off-target and it hit the king himself, bursting through his armor and severely wounding him. Doctors were called, and they took the king away, shaking their heads and muttering. The festivities were cancelled, and everyone went back to their usual jobs. None felt like having any sort of celebration anyway, not after what happened.
            The king died the next day, and the whole castle fell into mourning for their lost ruler, from Mandy and Rosa in the kitchen to Queen Leila in her high tower. Everyone was sorry at losing the king, even those who had not particularly liked him. Mandy alone thought I knew no good could come of the king’s entry, but never this. However, everyone shared the thought What will happen now?

What will happen now? Whatever it is, you'll find out Thursday when I post Chapter Three! Until then, please comment and tell me what you think!
Update: Chapter Three is up!

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Pictures: Desaturated Rose

In honor of Valentine's Day, I decided to post a picture of a rose. This picture was taken at Hershey Gardens in Hershey, PA. Instead of doing my usual overflowing-with-color look, I decided to do a muted, desaturated look. What do you think of it? Please comment and let me know!
Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

What I've Been Doing This Week

Hi, everyone! I have returned with an update on what I’ve been doing! So, here’s a summary of my week:

·        I have gotten a little bit of work done on Elden Tales #2. I hope to finish it sometime next week, since it’s quite long already. Of course, after I finish that, I need to finish Alitene Chronicles #3 . . . which could be tricky since I haven’t touched it in months.
·        I have been trying to read The Lays of Beleriand by J.R.R. Tolkien, which turns out to be poetic versions of several tales from The Silimarillion. Unfortunately, it opened with a poem version of The Children of Hurin, which is probably my least favorite work by Tolkien, excluding The Book of Lost Tales. Of course, I might like it more if I hadn’t read it four times already.
·        I am sick and tired of snow and cold temperatures. I want spring! Of course, March is only a few weeks away. On the other hand, a snowstorm at the beginning of March isn’t unheard of around here.
·        On a pleasant note, I have been reading some excellent books lately, including The Wormling Series by Jerry B. Jenkins and Chris Fabry, for which I will be posting reviews on my blog for the next several weeks (for the first one, click here), and the first book in the Wilderking Trilogy by Jonathan Rodgers. Many, many thanks to Jessica for recommending the series!

Well, that’s all for now! Please comment and vote in my poll!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Rosa Chapter One

Hello, everyone! Are you ready for Chapter One of Rosa? I hope certainly hope so! Here's the link to the prologue in case you haven't read it yet. And now, without further ado, Rosa Chapter One!                                    

Chapter One     
Many years later. . .
            Rosa skipped outside, the old wooden water bucket swinging by her side, the handle held securely in her small hand. She hooked the bucket’s handle to the frayed rope hanging in the well beside the kitchen door. She let go and a few seconds later, she heard it splash into the well. She looked in. The bucket was sinking far into the water below. Rosa smiled, then grabbed the ancient crank and began to turn. After several minutes of hard pulling, the bucket reappeared filled with water. Rosa carefully unhooked it, and then walked back to the kitchen. “I got the water, Mama Mandy.” she said. “What next?”
            “Thank you, Rosa dearie.” Mandy told her, standing over a bowl of half-made pancake batter. “Can you cut an apple up without hurting yourself again?”
            Rosa winced. She remembered the painful cut she had gotten the week before when she carelessly cut her thumb instead of the apple. Despite this, she nodded and said “I think so, Mama Mandy.” She got a knife from the case, and then walked over to the table by the apple barrel. Selecting an apple, she began peeling it with practiced motions. As she did so, she watched Mandy bustle around making breakfast for the castle. Mandy’s always been a mystery to me, Rosa thought, though she was careful to pay attention to her apple. Mandy was a lady in waiting of some great lady, but she was demoted to cook. I’m not sure why, but she was. Then again, I’m not sure of a lot of things.
            “Is that apple almost ready, dearie?” Mandy’s voice broke Rosa out of her thoughts.
            “Almost.” Rosa made one more cut, and then carefully carried the pieces over to Mandy. “How’s this, Mama Mandy?”
            “Perfect, dearie.” Mandy said, pushing them into the pancake batter.
            After helping Mandy prepare the rest of breakfast, Rosa skipped back outside, heading for the garden. She didn’t go to the royal garden, of course. She’d never been there, and she knew that a common servant such as herself would never be allowed to enter them.  No, she went to Mandy’s kitchen garden, which had more than herbs and vegetables. One corner of the garden was filled with flowers of all sorts. This is where Rosa went. She sat down on a weathered wooden bench and looked up at the castle. She looked first at the little window that opened into the tiny room that she and Mandy shared. Rosa smiled.  Our window’s the only one with a flower box, and it’s the prettiest and most cheerful window in the castle, she thought. Our little wooden box that overflows with pansies, snapdragons, and more roses than here in the garden may not be fancy, but I don’t care. I think it’s beautiful!  Next, Rosa looked to the top window in the royal tower, where most of the royal family lived. That was the queen’s window. The new queen’s window, that is. The first queen had died when Rosa was very young, around the time Mandy had taken her in. I don’t know much about my family, thought Rosa, except that Mama Mandy was a good friend of my mother’s and my mother and the old queen died on the same day. Rosa frowned. I wish the old queen hadn’t died. I don’t like Queen Leila. She seems evil, and she’s definitely scary. Rosa shuddered when she remembered the one time she had seen Queen Leila. With her long, black hair and pale skin, she looks like a vampire! Those black eyes don’t help! I don’t know why almost everyone in the castle thinks she’s beautiful! She’s really scary! Rosa shuddered once more, and then turned to another window. This was the window of Prince Owen, the king’s nephew, who Rosa had seen several times. He’s incredibly handsome, nothing like Queen Leila! Rosa closed her eyes so she could picture Prince Owen better. She pictured his longish honey-brown hair, his light brown eyes, and his athletic build, everything about him. She pictured his kindness, his charm, his ability to laugh at anything. Suddenly, her eyes snapped open. What am I doing? Prince Owen is high above my station in life! I shouldn’t be thinking about him like this! She took one last longing glance towards his window, then turned away and went to water the plants. They surely need it, with this hot weather! Besides, I need something to get my mind off him!

What will happen next? Check back next Tuesday to find out! In the meantime, please comment with your opinions!

Update: Chapter Two is up! Click here to read it! 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Votes Are In!

Well, the votes on whether or not I should post story parts or not are in! Many, many thanks to the people who commented with their opinions! The verdict? I shall continue to not post story parts on Saturdays. I apologize for any difficulties you had in voting. I hadn't figured out that there was a poll that I could put in the sidebar of my blog! From now on, if I am asking for votes on something, the poll will be right there at the top of the page. Once more, thanks for voting!

The Book of the King Reveiw

Author: Jerry B. Jenkins and Chris Fabry
"Nothing special is the best way to describe Owen Reeder-at least that's what he's been told all his life. When a stranger visits his father's bookstore, Owen's ordinary life spirals out of control and right into a world he didn't even know existed."
-Summary from the back of the book
Characters: Very good. There’s plenty of variety and description, the good guys are very good, and the bad guys are thoroughly bad. Owen is likeable and charming, with a familiarity that is rare in main characters.

Location: Slightly confusing. I would’ve liked more description, and there were several parts where I was wondering where the scene was happening.

Plot: Very good. There doesn’t seem to be much subplot, but the main plot is exciting and clear, with plenty of mystery to keep you on your toes and more than make up for the lack of subplot. Although the book does end in a slight cliffhanger, it’s a small enough cliffhanger that you still feel more-or-less satisfied, and it doesn’t leave you with the feeling that the book isn’t complete as much as other books do.

Other: I very much enjoyed the style this book was written in, as it was very humorous yet still exciting. This is the type of book that will grab you and pull you into the story so that you feel like you are there with Owen, experiencing everything he experiences, as well as plenty that he does not.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rosa Prologue

Hi! Are you ready for a new tale? If you are, great, because I'm going to begin a new one today! This one is called Rosa: A Snow White Remake and I wrote it last summer. I hope you like it! 

            It was obvious that the lady was near death. She lay in bed, shivering, yet beads of sweat dotted her brow. She coughed as she tried to speak. Another woman gently wiped the dying lady’s forehead with a damp cloth. “Hush, hush” she said. “Don’t try to speak. You’ll hurt yourself.”
            “I must speak.” gasped the first lady. “Mandy, I’m dying.”
            “Now, now, don’t say that!” cried Mandy.
            “Don’t try and hide it from me, Mandy. I know.” The lady coughed, then went on. “I have told you what I wish you to do. But there remains one thing.” Her gaze wandered to an open door, through which could be seen a small bed. Upon the bed lay a little girl, sleeping peacefully, blissfully unaware of the tragedy outside.
            Mandy followed the other’s gaze. “What would you have me do, Lady Ellen?” she softly asked.
            “When I die,” coughed Lady Ellen. “Take my daughter and keep her safe. Do not let the king know whose daughter she is.”
            “But why not?” asked Mandy, wiping Lady Ellen’s forehead once more. “Is he not her father?”
            Lady Ellen shook her head. “He abandoned me,” she whispered. “He threw me aside like an old toy. She may have been his daughter at one time, but she is no longer. You must keep her safe from him.”
            “I will, Lady Ellen.” Mandy assured her. “I promise.”
            “Thank you, Mandy, dear Mandy.” Lady Ellen gasped. “Farewell, my dear friend.” Lady Ellen took one last breath, and her eyes closed in eternal sleep. Mandy sighed and a single tear dropped from her eye. She had been Lady Ellen’s faithful servant for many years, and she was the only one who knew that Lady Ellen should be Queen Ellen, and that she was an elf. She also knew that her new task would be harder than any she’d faced thus far, but she would do her best. She would do her best for the lady she had loved and served for so many years.

What will happen to Mandy? Will she succeed? To find out what happens next, check back Thursday! In the meantime, please comment with your opinions!

Update: Chapter One is up! Click here to read it!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

My Week

Hello, everyone! Sorry this post is late. We had a bit of a busy evening last night, and I wasn’t able to post. So, here’s an update on me and what’s going on.

·        I finally got some work done on Elden Tales #2! It’s nowhere near done, but it’s coming along. I’m hoping to work on it some more this coming week.
·        You only have until Tuesday to vote on whether or not I should post story parts on Saturdays! To vote, click here and post a comment with your opinion. Please vote! I need opinions!
·        I’m doing Laser Tag at Laser Nation with my church Youth Group today! I am very excited about this since I really like playing Laser Tag but I rarely get to do so. What makes it even better is that one of my friends from Bible Study is coming too,
·        Remember how last week I mentioned that I had read The Silimarillion? Well, this coming week I am hoping to read The Lays of Beleriand, which is another book by J.R.R. Tolkien that deals with the history of Middle Earth. I am hoping that it will be shorter than The Silimarillion, since I am hoping that I can finish it by the end of February.

Well, that’s my week, more or less. Please comment on my blog and tell me what you think!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Knight's Quest Part Six

Hi, everyone! I’ve returned, with the sixth and final part of Knight’s Quest! Ready to find out what happens? Read on! Haven’t read parts one-five yet? Here are the links to part one, part two, part three, part four, and part five! Now, on with the tale!

Part Six
Sir William and Sir Walter spent an hour creeping through the dark passages of Miran’s fortress, trying to find the throne room. Finally, after following a pair of slaves, they found it. Walter waited in the small anteroom just outside the throne room while William entered.
“Miran, you rascally, rotten, reptilian ripsnorter! Your doom is nigh!” exclaimed Sir William.
            Miran spun around, startled, but the dragon was careful not to show the scaleless spot. As Miran spun, Sir William noticed Princess Ariana, who was chained to the huge, black, stone chair that Miran used for a throne. “Who are you?” asked Miran.
            “I am Sir William of Antuindia, champion of that same city, and I have come to slay you and rescue the Princess Ariana, you vexing, venomous vermin!” replied Sir William.
            “Ha!” bellowed Miran. “You? One human, defeat me, the mightiest of dragons, who has roasted whole armies? I don’t think so. Now, run away, Sir William, while I’m still of a mind to let you live!”
            “You misbegotten muddler!” returned Sir William, “I shall not leave until I have done what I came here to do, or die trying!”
            “Then you have come to your death!” roared Miran, plunging toward Sir William. Sir William quickly dove out of the way, swinging his sword towards Miran. He missed, but Miran was still enraged. He blew a stream of fire at the knight, who once again dodged out of the way. Sir William jabbed at Miran, but he missed once more. Suddenly, Miran struck out at Sir William, who dove away once more, but this time he wasn’t fast enough. Miran’s gigantic claw cut into William’s leg, wounding it.
            Sir William fell to the ground, clutching his leg. “Now, Walter!” he yelled at the top of his voice. “Do it now!”
            Suddenly, Walter, who had been hiding in a small anteroom, threw a huge spider in front of Miran, who reared up in shock. Then, Sir William, with all the strength he could muster, leapt up and drove his sword up to the hilt in Miran’s chest, right through the scaleless hollow. Miran fell to the ground, screeching. “Nooooooo!” he screeched, and then he fell dead.
            William hesitated, listening intently for the cry of guards rushing to their master’s aid. Hearing none, he turned, wondering if Miran had commanded no loyal or at least semi-loyal servants. To his surprise, a crowd of people was gathered around the door. Where’d they all come from? He wondered.
A small girl, probably a slave, spoke up. “Sir, will the master get up?”
Sir William shook his head. “Nay. Miran will not rise again. You are all free to do what you will.”
The servants and slaves stood for a moment, and then someone let out a cry of joy. “We’re free!” Soon all the gathered people were laughing and rejoicing in their new freedom. William pulled a young man aside.
“Does Miran have any guards, anyone who would be upset by his death?” he asked.
The young man shook his head. “No, sir. The only people who might’ve been upset are the soldiers he paid a bit to defend the castle when the master was too lazy to do it himself, and if you leave his treasures here, or most of them anyway, they won’t care one bit.”
William smiled and said “Thank you, lad.” Then he hurried away to tell Walter the news. The two knights and Princess Ariana quickly began the ride back to Antuindia, each astride one of the many horses Miran had stolen from King Jonathan’s stables. Their quest was complete.            
About a week later . . .
            “I hereby declare you commander in chief of the royal army, and the champion of Alitene!” King Jonathan tapped the kneeling Sir William on the shoulder with his sword, and motioned for him to stand. There had been some debate over whether Sir William would accept the position, but the mission had helped him to regain his confidence. The crowd broke into a loud cheer. The people who had assisted with the conquest of Miran had all been well rewarded, from Sir Shaftson Blackwood of Woodsrovia, to the two slaves who had unknowingly informed Sir William and Sir Walter of Miran’s fear of spiders.  The ceremony for doing so was almost over. After King Jonathan made one last speech, Sir William hurried over to Sir Walter. “Some adventure wasn’t it?” he asked.
            “Aye,” agreed Sir Walter. “And I wonder what our next one will be!””
As Lady Aleta finished her tale, the crowd broke into applause. “Hurrah, Lady Aleta!” someone yelled. “That was the best tale yet!” Aleta smiled. She loved telling the tales of Alitene’s history, and like Sir Walter, she couldn’t wait for the next one!

Well? What did you think? Please comment and tell me! Also, don’t forget to cast your vote on whether or not I should post parts/chapters on Saturdays! How? Just click here and comment with your opinion!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Isle of Fire Reveiw

Author: Wayne Thomas Batson
 "As Cat's memory returns, he realizes that he has lived two very different lives: One as the son of the ruthless Bartholomew Thorne; the other as the recipient of kindness from Declan Ross and the crew of the Robert Bruce. Now Cat must choose either to return to the ways of his notorious father and join the evil Merchant, or defy the Merchant and risk his life to save his friends."
-Summary from the back of the book 
Characters: Excellent! Old favorites from Isle of Swords including Cat, Anne, Captain Ross, and Jacques St. Pierre return, along with many new and colorful characters. Also, the Merchant is almost as chilling as Bartholomew Thorne!

Location: Very good. As before, everything is very clear and well described. The Merchant’s lair is intriguing, though it is slightly unbelievable.

Plot: Very exciting! There is, if possible, more action than in Isle of Swords! The main plot is clear, with a good-sized helping of mystery and subplot.

Other: Isle of Fire is an excellent addition to anyone’s collection of books. It has plenty of excitement, mystery, and humor, along with a stunning cast of characters. This is the type of book that you don’t want to put down!

Overall Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Knight's Quest Part Five

Hello, all! Ready for Part Five of Knight’s Quest? If you are, that’s great, because I’m posting it today! Haven’t read parts one through four yet? Don’t worry, here are the links to part one, part two, part three, and part four. And now, without further ado, part five!

Part Five
Shaftson led William and Walter to another treetop clearing, this one with several possible seats. They all sat down and William and Walter glanced at each other, hoping that Shaftson would tell them Miran’s secrets. When he did not, William decided that it was time to take the direct approach.
 “So Shaftson,” started William, “Will you please tell us these secrets we've been waiting so long to hear?"
Shaftson sighed, then said "Very well. Like most dragons, Miran is proud, vain, and has very strong protective scales covering his body. However, there is a small patch, quite close to his heart, where there are no scales at all. No one has ever been able to exploit this, for Miran is careful to not expose it."
Walter nodded. "Any other weaknesses?"
Shaftson shook his head. "I do not believe so. He is clever, but suspicious, and I have heard that he is fond of riddles, though I believe this is true for most dragons. But . . ." he trailed off.
"But what?" William and Walter exclaimed together.
Shaftson sighed. "This is only a rumor, but I have heard that Miran has some sort of fear that is unusual to dragons, which means that it could be anything, since most dragons have virtually no fear. However, if the rumor is true, which I highly doubt, neither I nor any other elves in Woodsrovia know what it is."
William frowned. "It could be true. Even the strangest of rumors often has a bit of truth at the center of it."
Walter grinned. "Whatever it is, we'll figure it out. Thank you, Shaftson."
Shaftson rose and bowed. "It was no trouble. Now, if you'll excuse me . . ." he quickly walked away, leaving William and Walter to plan for the following day.
            The two knights left for Miran’s fortress early the next day, but it was noon by the time they got there. They stopped for a lunch of bread and cheese, and to discuss the plan they had made the previous night.
            “Alright,” said William, “So, the plan is; we somehow overpower the guards, sneak into the castle, locate Miran, create some kind of distraction to get him to rear up, stab him through the unprotected spot, and get out of there with the princess. Correct?”
            “Yeah,” replied Walter, “That’s pretty much it, although I’d prefer to sneak past the guards if possible.”
            “I agree,” spoke William, “But do we know what kind of distraction we’re making? I don’t like going in there unprepared.”
            “No, I’m afraid we don’t.” answered Walter, “But I do agree that that part of the plan is a little weak.”
            Both thought about it for a minute, and then Walter said “maybe we’ll think of something once we get inside. I think we should just wait and cross that bridge when we come to it.”
            “Very well.” agreed William, a bit wearily. “Now, let’s get going!” And they headed for Miran’s fortress once more.
            The two knights approached the back of the castle first. Finding it unguarded, they climbed up fairly quickly, Walter saying “I told you those climbing lessons would come in handy someday! And to think you didn’t believe me! Look how much trouble and noise it saved us!”
            To which William replied, “Hush! Save your breath for climbing! Do you want to get caught?” Walter, seeing the truth in his friend’s words, shut up.
            Once inside the fortress, William and Walter crept through the hallways, trying to find the throne room, where Miran would surely be. Suddenly, they froze. There were voices coming from the next room! The two knights listened, trying to figure out who was within.
            “There. All done.”
            “Really? Let’s see. No you aren’t! You missed this cobweb over here! Get it cleaned up! Hurry!”
            “It’s just a cobweb. Who’s going to notice? We won’t get in trouble.
            “Oh yes we will! You know how Lord Miran feels about spiders! He’ll whip us for sure if you don’t get that cleaned up!”
            “Alright, but what do you mean? How does he feel about spiders?”
            “Don’t you know? He’s afraid of them! He was bit by one when he was very young, and he almost died! Ever since, he’s been scared to death of them! He can’t stand them!”
            “Oh my! I didn’t know.”
            “Well, now you do. Now, we better get to work on our next task, or we’ll be in big trouble! Come on!”
            William and Walter looked at each other. “Just a couple of servants.” said Walter.
            “Slaves, more likely,” replied William. “But did you hear them? Miran’s afraid of spiders!”
            “Yes, I heard. But I don’t see how that’ll help us.” spoke Walter.
            “It might. I have an idea. Do you still have that stuffed spider thingy that you used to scare all those other knights with?” whispered William.
            “Yes, I do.” answered Walter, “But I need to restuff it. But what’s that got to do with –?”
            William spoke cutting Walter off. “I have a plan. Now listen. Here’s what we’ll do . . .”

What is William’s plan? Will it succeed, or will William and Walter be defeated by Miran? Check back Thursday to find out! In the meantime, please comment on my story and vote on whether or not I should post story parts on Saturdays here!