Here's another photo prompt to help get you in the mood for writing. What is behind this door? Where is it at? Do you want to open it?
Sorry for the long absence. I've started the year in my new position as a high school librarian (YAY!) and its been REALLY busy. But, I'm back in the swing of things, so I'll be posting regularly again. Even more than before, I hope!
In any case, this week's book just looks really interesting. Salem, witches, and really old grudges.... what could possibly go wrong? Very interested to read this one. And B&N educator week is coming. Just sayin'.
Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous witch trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those trials and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?
If dealing with that weren't enough, Sam also comes face to face with a real live (well technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff. But soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries old curse affecting anyone with ties to the trials. Sam must come to terms with the ghost and find a way to work with The Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first accused witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it's Salem. But history may be about to repeat itself.
I LOVED the first book in this series (Seraphina and the Black Cloak) and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a little history mixed with their magic. Its set at the Biltmore in North Carolina, and it made me want to see the estate even more. This book looks just as good, and I can't wait to see what happens next! Be sure to check out the book trailer for this at the end of the post. It only helps add to the awesomeness!
Serafina's defeat of the Man in the Black Cloak has brought her out of the shadows and into the daylight realm of her home, Biltmore Estate. Every night she visits her mother in the forest, eager to learn the ways of the catamount. But Serafina finds herself caught between her two worlds: she's too wild for Biltmore's beautifully dressed ladies and formal customs, and too human to fully join her kin.
Late one night, Serafina encounters a strange and terrifying figure in the forest, and is attacked by the vicious wolfhounds that seem to be under his control. Even worse, she's convinced that the stranger was not alone, that he has sent his accomplice into Biltmore in disguise.
Someone is wreaking havoc at the estate. A mysterious series of attacks test Serafina's role as Biltmore's protector, culminating in a tragedy that tears Serafina's best friend and only ally, Braeden Vanderbilt, from her side. Heartbroken, she flees.
Deep in the forest, Serafina comes face-to-face with the evil infecting Biltmore-and discovers its reach is far greater than she'd ever imagined. All the humans and creatures of the Blue Ridge Mountains are in terrible danger. For Serafina to defeat this new evil before it engulfs her beloved home, she must search deep inside herself and embrace the destiny that has always awaited her.
So the last few months have been crazy. We've moved into our first house (WOOHOO!) and I've spent the last month or so getting that together. But all the boxes are unpacked, and things are (mostly) organized. We have our own space, and there have been lots of projects involved in getting that the way we wanted.
I also left my teaching job, and will be starting as a high school librarian in the fall at a new high school. I'm SUPER excited for this new chapter to begin!
Alas, in all that, writing has been put to the side. BUT - we've discovered something I hadn't expected at this new house. When we moved, we decided to just get internet, and skip cable. We only had super basic anyway, and we didn't really watch it. We turned it on for noise. However, in the last month and a half since we moved, I've discovered that I must have been paying more attention than I thought. Because I have been more creative in the last 30 days than in ages. I've painted. I've drawn. I've made a serious dent in the hand quilting I'm working on now that the frame has a home again. (I've got two quilts to hand quilt in under 6 months. *gulp* )
Being unplugged has been very... educational. Even the first week I couldn't believe how much time I had. Don't get me wrong - we still have a huge movie collection, and we have Amazon Prime and Hulu. But those require me to actually think and make a choice about what to watch. I can't just snap on the TV and have it there, instantly. I've found that most of the time, I don't want to pull anything out. And when I do, I actually watch it.
I'm going to make a concerted effort to get back into writing a word count goal every day once this week is over. 500 words a day. I'll keep you all updated on Instagram (vbarger13) if you're interested in seeing the progress.
And if you scoff at this whole idea that "unplugging" doesn't do anything, or that you don't watch that TV in the corner, I encourage you to try it for a week. 5 days. Its not much. Don't turn on the tv. Read a book, do art, write. See if your creativity doesn't surprise you.
Poor Lady Jane got the short end of the stick in history. But I love the way this appears to be a much cheekier version of her tale. It looks like it will be a fun read, and I'm hoping to get my hands on this soon!
The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey. In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.
At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane gets to be Queen of England.
Today's inspiration is brought to you by a need for the beach...... What's going on there. Romance? Mayhem? Mystery?
A turn of the century historical, San Fransisco, earthquakes, and a girl on a mission? How can you resist this one? I can't wait to read this!
San Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare’s School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare’s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance through a mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch of spoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong—until disaster strikes.
On April 18, a historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying Mercy’s home and school. With martial law in effect, she is forced to wait with her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Though fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, Mercy can’t sit by while they wait for the army to bring help—she still has the “bossy” cheeks that mark her as someone who gets things done. But what can one teenage girl do to heal so many suffering in her broken city?
Yup! Its that time again. Here's today's #writinginspiration post. Hopefully its sufficiently spooky to jog your writing juices. As always, I'd love to hear what you think of these. Are they useful? Do you want to see them every week?
This is actually the third and final book of a series, and if you haven't read the others, its a great series of books. I'm interested to see how the author will wrap up all the different plot threads, and see what happens to Salome when things finally come to a head!
On the eve of the winter solstice, Salome receives word of a family tragedy in the human world, and an urgent request to return home. But after a failed attack on Winter, and the whereabouts of the Winter Court unknown, Nevin forbids her to go, declaring it too dangerous. However, Salome knows she needs to be with her family and can’t sit by to wait for the inevitable.
Gwenn has been a royal guard most of her life, and although she’s not a fan of humans, she has to admit Salome’s growing on her. So when Salome begs her to cover for her for a few days so she can be with her family, Gwenn can’t refuse. Gwenn soon finds herself creating diversions to keep Nevin from discovering Salome’s disappearance. Problem is the Council is growing suspicious of Salome’s absence, and has started making threats about Nevin’s removal as king. With her lie on the brink of discovery, Gwenn needs to find out what’s taking her brother and Salome so long to return. When she discovers the portals are closed, and someone within the Council has betrayed Summer, Gwenn knows the kingdom’s in jeopardy. But before she can confide in Nevin about helping Salome leave Faerie, Gwenn finds herself at the enemy’s mercy, fighting for her life.
When Salome arrives in the human world, she finds everything in chaos. Grisselle, the Winter Queen, has done the impossible and brought war to Salome’s world. And Kadie is acting as her right hand. Monsters born of man’s worst nightmares roam the streets—dark faeries and ghosts bring terror and destruction. And to her horror she discovers an old enemy is back from the dead, while a new one lurks in the shadows—watching her, hunting her—preparing to make its move. And this time they mean to finish what they started.
A cooking, crafting author who teaches by day and dreams by night.