“Lysander and Venus” Enchanted Book Promotions Blog Stop- Author Interview

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To keep the ball rolling on these two spring months of collaboration with amazing authors, I am honored to be a blog tour spot for Ms. Ly and her latest work, “Lysander and Venus.”  The title really peeked my interest and the cover’s water-color style is stunning.  I wish all the luck to Ms. Ly and her work and tour! She was kind enough to answer an interview for us! Take it away!

Author to Author Q and A

  1. Where did you grow up? Did your childhood have any impact on your writing? I grew up in San Diego. Not feeling like I fit in, despite having a lot of friends for most of my childhood, is what influenced me the most. Feeling hidden in a group.
  2. Tell us about the first story you ever wrote, published or not? I think I was twelve. It was something about a man transforming into a werewolf, probably inspired by Remus Lupin from Harry Potter.
  3. What are you currently working on, writing wise? A distant sequel to Venus and Lysander that ties everything together.
  4. What is your favorite character you have ever created and why? Vespair from my current two published books. She’s misunderstood and not at all black-and-white as characters so far believe her to be. I’m looking forward to showing her truth in the next book.
  5. Do you have to write in order or do your ideas just come to you and you put them in order later? I have to write in order. If I have to change a sequence of events, I get discouraged and distracted. Editing a few words or sentences here and there is fine.
  6. What was your path like until you found writing? Everything felt railroaded to get me to this point, honestly.
  7. How is your relationship with your publishing company? They were the first ones to give me a chance, so I’m grateful to them
  8. Tell us about your covers. They’re only stock photos. I had to pick what looked best and felt the most relevant.
  9. What inspires you to write? Everything and anything, as broad as that sounds. Mostly music, video games and my own experiences.
  10. How do you get book reviews? I don’t have a set method at the moment.
  11. What is harder: writing, editing, or marketing? Marketing.
  12. If you could publish every book idea you’ve ever had, how many books would you have out right now? Just counting the folders I have saved on my hard drive—about 20 books. Counting everything else—over 100, I’m sure.
  13. Have you ever considered co-writing a book or series with another author? I tried that. It didn’t work.
  14. What do you do to relax? Sleep. No matter what I’m doing while I’m awake, my mind is always on, absorbing ideas.
  15. If you could tell your 14 year old self one thing, what would it be? “This is going to keep happening over and over again. It won’t hurt as much next time.”
  16. What advice would you have for this upcoming generation? The same as the above.
  17. Have you ever read a book that changed your outlook on life? Consider What Becomes of the Ashes by Pixelnyx.
  18. Do you have a classic piece of literature or a classic author you are fond of?  I like philosophers such as Virginia Woolf and Simone de Beauvoir.
  19. Any type of music that gets your writing juices flowing? Anything I have a personal, emotional connection with. I’ll usually listen to a song over and over while I envision a scene or chapter. Hearing the song again automatically immerses me in everything all over again.
  20. If you could pick three people who are your heroes or role models, who would they be and why? My favorite philosophers I listed plus Toni Morrison. I admire them for writing unconventional, unexpected work and making a living from it.
  21. Dog or cat person? Dogs.
  22. What do you want to eat right now? Nothing just now.
  23. If you could be in any movie that has already been made, which one would it be? I’d rather work behind the scenes for films like Moonlight or Black Swan.
  24. What is your favorite holiday or time of year? Around this time. It’s usually when a lot of good video games come out.
  25. Anything else you would like to add? Thanks for taking the time to read all of this. I’m not anyone all that important. Even if I was, I’d still appreciate it.

Excerpt from “Lysander and Venus:”

Valerie and I said not a word as we walked from the gallows out to the grounds. I didn’t want any of the guards to overhear our conversation. We stopped once we were outside in the chill of night, away from overhearing ears. She seemed embarrassed to have let her guard down with me. She couldn’t know how much it pleased me to see this rare side of her.

“Expect to see me at court this weekend,” I said. “Once I have a better feel for you, His Majesty will want to have a private audience with us. Let’s give it a few weeks first, shall we?”

“Yes…that’s fine,” replied Valerie, blinking hard to stay awake.

“For now, you ought to return home. I’m certain your family misses you terribly.”

“My sister-in-law will never let me hear the end of it…”

I smiled over her misfortune. “Have a good night, my lord.”

Unexpected, Valerie bent down to kiss my hand. She lingered there, uncertain, staring down at my boots. She then left across the grounds to her estate, oddly subdued. This transformation in her from defiant to demure was beyond fascinating. I’d always known Valerie as a private person who expected danger around every corner. But I sensed she was also deeply sensitive, as I was. She was multi-faceted, as she needed to be to survive.

I wished to see more of her faces—if they were just as beautiful as the one she wore each day.

About the Book:

Title: Venus and Lysander

Author: Yoshiyuki Ly

Genre: Historical Romance / Fantasy

Living as a nobleman and as a woman, Valerie of Lysander is sick of waiting for the world to change. The discrimination she suffers as an outcast builds into resentment. Once Val takes matters into her own hands, the whole Empire of Tynan feels her brand of justice. The Emperor’s adviser, Lucrezia of Azrith, wants more of Val’s ruthlessness—for revenge against the unjust, and for her own desires. Venus and Lysander is an intricate romance set in the fictional Victorian city of Eden, 250 years after the events in The Scorpion’s Empress.

Lucrezia is Lady Chancellor for the Emperor and a sorceress-in-hiding. She is forced to conceal her identity from the religious public for fear of death. As she learns to trust in Val’s chivalry and affections for her, they both fall for the softer sides behind their similar bulletproof personas. Lucrezia receives a mysterious warning about a sadistic enemy threatening the Azrith and Lysander families. Once they discover their nemesis’ true motive, Val and Lucrezia’s tyrannous devotion for one another is all they can count on to survive.

Giveaway!:

Free E-book! Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

Yoshiyuki Ly was born in San Diego, CA. She lived there until moving away to college. In high school, she began writing fanfiction as a serious hobby. Her pen name represents her multiracial heritage and a unique, diverse outlook that reflects in her work. She is a writer and a gamer.

 

Links

http://mybook.to/venusandlysander

http://mybook.to/thescorpionsempress

https://twitter.com/LyLikeLee

http://facebook.com/yoshiyukily

 

Aspiring Author Spotlight- Sherry Howard (A.A.S. #30)

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Hello everyone! ^_^ I know it’s been ages, but I promise that this and next month, I will have more guest authors on my website, a blog tour soon to celebrate the year anniversary of the release of my second collection, “Fallen Star Dust,” and I PROMISE I am still working on my MASSIVE update from August, which will not only include inklings on happenings in my life, but all I have been working on, some mini con reviews, and future projects.  My new teaching job in my new district takes a lot of time, but it is very rewarding for me.  It’s just finding balance for everything. Thank you for the loyalty and patience with me. I love you all! <3

Now, on to the start of this amazing two month train of wonderful people.  I would love to welcome to my site one of the hardest working writers, women, and mothers I have ever had the pleasure to work with and I am so happy to have met her at one of my author book signs at our local library. 🙂  Please be entertained by the fabulous interview and work sample of Mrs. Sherry Howard.

Aspiring Authors Spotlight Questions:

  1. When you wake up in the morning, how do you see life?- I see life as a journey. We are connected to one another by the tiniest of threads and meet many interesting characters along the way. The journey is the destination. Live your live like you’re already at the end. Have no regrets about not stopping to take in those experiences that life has to offer you.
  2. How did writing find its way into your life?- I’ve been writing stories and poems since I was in middle school. I always felt like I wanted to share stories with other people, so I took a story to my English teacher and she told me not to give up. I still have that dream to see my work in print.
  3. What does writing do for you?- Writing has become an outlet for me. As a writer, you can let out your emotions and ideas without interruption. Also, you can live many lives through your characters, exploring worlds you can only imagine.
  4. What sort of genre or type of writing do you do?- While it’s not a widely accepted genre, I like to call what I write “New Adult.” It’s that bridge between Young Adult and Adult. I think we will find in a few years that the genre will become increasingly acknowledged.
  5. Do events in your life or people you know affect your writing?- Depending on what I’m writing, things in my life do affect my writing. I find bits and pieces of my daily living thrown in there from time to time. Experiences do shape the way we perceive our world.
  6. What are you currently work on or what was the last thing you wrote?- The last draft I was working on was titled Lyrics of My Soul. I wrote that story for NANOWRIMO. My current project is titled Daughter of an Outlaw Sinner and it’s a work in progress.
  7. Can you tell us a little about it and its inspiration?- Lyrics of My Soul was inspired by my love of music. It’s about a rising star and her journey early on in her career. Skye’s manger talks her into taking an opening act on a tour for Phoenix Rising, a band with a long history in the music industry. Along the way we learn the reasons behind Skye’s quick jump into the industry and the reasons why she may let her self-destructive behavior get the best of her. Lane is a member of Phoenix Rising and it his persistence that forces Skye to face some of her biggest challenges.
  8. What are your goals for the future?- Right now, I have 3 ½ first draft novels. I would really like to finish editing and revising at least one of those and start the publishing process.
  9. What are your interests or hobbies?- I love to read (what writer doesn’t?), hang out with my daughter, and binge watch Netflix. I am also working on several self-started projects. The 2017 No Tomorrow Challenge, which is about embracing your life and finding meaning in the now. And my other project, co-founded with two other aspiring authors, called Show Me Random Acts of Kindness. It’s a place for people to share their stories about how kind acts were spread to them. Both groups are just kicking off and their pages can be found on Facebook.
  10. If you could be a superhero, what are your powers and how would you use them to help the world?- Superhero’s are fun and amazing, but I’d rather be a mundane and inspire the humanity of people through my actions and compassion as a human.
  11. What advice would you give people who want to write?- Writing is work every day. No one becomes a sensation over-night. Writing is revising over and over again, so that you can present the best material to your audience.
  12. If you could be remembered for one thing or thought, what would it be?- I’d love to be remember for ability to inspire the greatness in others. I believe we all have something to offer the world and I’d like to see everyone reach their potential.

Example of Work:

Sample from Daughter of an Outlaw Sinner

Two years later

My heart is heavy in my chest as I pace outside the club doors. I know Preacher’s inside, but I’m having a hard time working up the nerve to speak to him.

I could end up like my mother. I’m eighteen and he could have the guys dig out a plot of desert right next to her. My life could be over.

I pull a folded-up letter from my jeans pocket. My future. The one I’ve dreamt about could happen. All I had to do was convince him to let me go.

I toss my long wavy black hair over my shoulders and puff up my arms in my leather jacket.

I can do this. I pull open the club door and stomp across the tiled floor in my riding boots.

The club is void except a few prospects cleaning up tables and Preacher sitting at the bar looking down at his phone.

I go behind the counter and grab a bottle of whiskey. I bring it down with a clink and grab two tumblers from beneath the counter.

He studies be from behind his phone screen.

“We need to talk,” I say as I pour our drinks.

I slide the drink over to him and toss mine back in one gulp. He sips his and places his phone face down on the counter.

“I already know,” he says. “I figured you’d have marched in here days ago.”

“How?” I ask after I pull my jaw up.

“I know everything about you. Every step you take.”

“Has Gadget been cyber stalking me?” I fume and pour another drink. “This is exactly why I want out of here. People have a right to privacy.”

“My daughter doesn’t,” he says in calm voice.

“I got into college. Most fathers would be happy for their children.” I huff.

He doesn’t speak only holds his glass up to his lips and stares at me.

“Please, let me go. I don’t want to be here. This isn’t my life, Preacher. This is the one you choose for me. Let me find my own way. I promise you, everything I know about the club dies the day I walk out the door.” I come around and take seat next to him. “Give me a chance to survive.”

He gazes into his empty tumbler and runs his fingers over the rim. His phone beeps and he looks down at it. He pushes himself from the chair and hefts up his cut and I see the dirt crested President’s patch over his left breast.

“There is one condition,” he says.

“Anything, I stand up. Please,” I beg.

“Blayze has to give his permission since you’re his old lady.”

Blayze. I should have saw it coming. Kegan turned Blayze the day after he patched in. It was fitting. When we were children he was always going around catching things on fire. Now, it was his club name. Kegan was gone.

“Alright,” I say.

He nods and starts to the door. “And you can’t come back. Not ever. If you go, there’s nothing to come back to.”

Preacher leaves out the front and I hear him rev his engine before he peels down the gravel road.

I lean across the bar and run my hands through my hair before I slide the whiskey over and bring the bottle to my lips.

It was going to take courage for me to tell Blayze. Sure, I was only his old lady in name. We’ve never consummated the relationship, but I was still his and he could tell me not to go.

About the Author:

I grew up in Las Vegas and moved to small town Missouri when I was sixteen. My life very much reminds me of Gilmore Girls. Art, pop culture, music, and books make up 75% of everything that I am. I consider myself a good role model because I love people regardless of who they are. Most of my time is spent with my daughter and taking her to various dance classes and practices. When I do have free time, I try to take advantage of that time and dive headfirst into my writing. I’m city girl with small town values. I’ve often referred to myself as a kaleidoscope because of the many different sides of my persona.

URLS:

https://sherrylynnhoward.blogspot.com/

 

Top Ten Favorite Romantic Comedy Movies (Top Ten #60):

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Hello everyone! =D *throws confetti, chocolates, and air kisses* Happy Valentine’s Day OR Deadpool Day to all of you! I hope it is as epic a free dinner! For those of you who know me well, February is my busiest month: there are tons of holidays at schools to prep for to entertain our students, cold weather to worry about, either applications or tests for me to study for, and chocolates to bake (which I JUST finished AND my Anime Club helped a bit too and had a ball!)  I am also, however, a huge romantic.  Give me the unrealistic sap so I can melt like butter in the sun and swoon like a Southern Bell.  So, I do declare this Valentine’s Day, to do a Top Ten on my Favorite Romantic Comedies (I love humor in my movies).  Surprise for you: these are REAL movies, not cartoons or anime!

Have a vivid Valentine’s Day or Cracking your Ribs from Laughter Deadpool Day! Here’s my list:

  1. 13 Going on 30,
  2. 10 Things I Hate About You,
  3. My Fake Fiancé,
  4. The Proposal,
  5. 27 Dresses,
  6. Never Been Kissed,
  7. The Princess Bride,
  8. The Sweetest Things,
  9. While you Were Sleeping,
  10. 17 Again,

Others I like:

Pretty Woman, She’s the Man, Meet the Parents, Wedding Crashers, Made of Honor, Runaway Bride, The Wedding Singer, Clueless, Imagine you and me

Past Valentine’s Day Top Tens:

ANOTHER Top Ten Favorite Anime Couples (2016),

Top Ten Favorite Flowers (2015),

Top Ten Favorite Anime Couples (2014)

Pokémon Moon Review

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February 27th, 1996.  This date, this day in time where the air was chilled and the sun sank earlier into its brother sky, will forever be imprinted into the hearts of nerds everywhere, as the day the franchise of Pokemon was born with Red and Green in the glorious land of the rising sun.  No one suspected, including its creators, what an impactful storm it would bring to the world, raising up a legion, a generation, with loyal pocket monsters who have traveled with us virtually through the good, the bad, the victories, and defeats.  And the storm has never stopped.

February, 2016.  20 years after the revealing of Professor Oak and his Kanto crew, celebrated the company of Pokemon. How far they have come! How much they have achieved with 6 generations and they were giving us dedicated Poke Nerds more than we could fill in our packs! Reprinting the first T.C.G. set for modern play.  Monthly mystic Pokemon box sets. Pokemon Go. A S.S. Anne load of special themed 20th anniversary products.  The anime was going strong.  It was glorious, a grand time to be a true Pokemon fan, even if I was 27.  But then, the cherry on top: Game Frank hinted at a new main series game.  Was it the expected Pokemon Z we had been waiting for for nearly three years?  As it the remakes of Generation 4 already?  Or, could it totally be a new generation?  I was assuming Z since there has always been a third game with each generation usually released a year or so after its older twin siblings.

I recollect watching the announcement that night, my husband texting me at work all day about the amazingness of the news.  As I stared at the screen of our T.V., I knew a new generation had been gifted to us and a treasure trove of promises.  I was getting hyped like everyone in the world, eager to dive into this tropical world, one I prayed was based on my beloved Orange Islands (it was not meant to be, but there were some similarities).  I was tickled pink to see the new, innovated generation seven friends…at first.  I know every generation has its cluckers, but we were almost drowned in new content every 2-3 weeks for 9 months, and with each reveal, I was overwhelmed, forgetting about features previously revealed, and sinking lower and lower into our couch  with the unveiling of new Pokemon.  I would almost groan.  I know, how cruel of me, but I felt like not much was left for surprises, especially with the Pokemon.  My excitement would dwindle, and I did not want that. Still, I pre-ordered my copy of “Moon” (if you did not guess that that would be the one I would pick, then you live under a rock).  Derrick “Sun,” and went to my first midnight release for games.  I could not play it until November 20th due to work, but I was ready to be graced with the light of my guardian moon.

So, onward to our journey, where 11 year old can dominate a region with cute animal-like partners. Remember: these are just my opinions.  No need to get offended. I would to hear what you have to say as well. Also, all the images are from Google image search and all credit and respect go to their artist/creator.

Review of “Pokemon Moon:”

Story/characters: 9 out of 10.  I really liked this story! It was extensive, but not overbearing, so I could still go about my normal, happy-go-lucky adventure everyone pushed me into.  I was hooked from the visuals and direction of the opening scene with Lily and Nebby from the get-go (Nebby is DARLING). The cast felt so real to me, like a little family that had adopted me, the new kid, right away, and it did not feel forced or too quick like in some games.   It was a fun puzzle to solve about how the differences from this new region than my own, and being from Kanto made it really feel like I was my character.  Even having my dad’s Greninja was epic!

Kukui is cool, man (yeah?).  He was so carefree and laid back, yet had a passion for his research, but his love for life was his focus, a great quality in a professor.  I felt like he was helpless at times, especially when Lily would disappear and just be up the route (but, hey! What professor isn’t like that)?  The fact he is married to another successful professor is the combee’s knees! Kukui, you are not as suave as Sycamore or dashing as Steven, but you are totally in my top ranks of grown-ups in Pokemon. Stay true to you, cousin!

Lily was a darling character, very light and sweet, reminding me a lot of Maren in my Spirit Warrior series with her gentleness, motherly ways, doubt in herself, but knowing when love needs to win.  I got a little sick of her not saying she was a trainer though and then magically decide to be a better one than me.  I admired her courage for standing up to her mother and saving her despite everything, happy she had confidence in herself, but the switch activated way too fast and it seemed like an unrealistic change.  Her smiling more was precious to see though.  I felt more like her aunt than her friend/love interest (I don’t know; I just got that vibe a few times).  Lily, you are as lovely as your name! Go blossom!

Hau was so…jumpy! My heavens, he made me tired! But, I would grin wide every time I saw him and I loved how he still would have moments of freak-out and some sadness, making him well-rounded despite him being my rival/friend.  His animation was so detailed and lighthearted and by far my favorite of all the characters. I would get so excited when he would throw his pokeball. Was he challenging?  Other than the final battle in the story with him, not really, but he was for SURE the most useful rival/friend character I have ever had when we had to double battle as a team! He held his own and took out as many villain Pokemon as I did. Plus, he gave me fantastic, useful gifts all the time! I do so love me presents! And I so want him and Lily to get together; how precious would that be?  Hau, you are a ray of sunshine. Go share your brightness and happiness with others.  And his story with his dad?  OH! I really like Bird Keeper Toby’s Youtube theory on that! 🙂

Overall, the story kept me engaged and characters made me feel like I had found a home no matter how far I travelled.  And it was a decent length, no like X and Y! It didn’t drag, but it also had a plot. Alola is a fabulous place and a great setting for this tale Game Freak wove.

My biggest complaint with the story is at the very end, after you return home as the first champion for your party, you CANNOT save for about half an hour of story before you technically complete the game! I had church to go to and I was almost late for it. Derrick was miffed about this too.  There were at least two good times I saw where I could have saved.  Not really good planning on their part.

OH! Gladion is so epic sauce! He’s edgy, but has a heart of gold and how he full force tries to save his sister, but acts all tough about it. Adorable! I think my brother would look cool as him! I wish him all the luck in the future.  I wish they did more backstory on how he recused Null!

My mom is pretty rad too in this game! So chill, but still warm and caring to me.

Graphics and Angels: 8 out of 10:  This may look like a weird rating, but hear me out! The locations were stunning and the sprites looked so normal sized that it took some adjusting.  I missed the chibi-ness of X and Y and Alpha and Omega.  But, I have no vices there at all.  You can tell all the attention to detail and how beautiful everything looked that they poured their hearts into this 20th anniversary celebration. Alola is so diverse and I was stunned by all the effects, backgrounds, sprites, and more I saw.

So, why not a perfect score here with the gushing?  Well, two reasons: One, my walking animation.  More like my arm animation.  This may be a nitpick, but it bugged me the second I moved and never went away, the irritation.  My arms were straight as a board and did not move with the rest of my body in time, no matter how fast or slow I was going, although the rest of me did, including my back animation and hair movement! Again, I know they bit off a lot on this platter of new, but I still twitched every time I started moving again.

Second is the fact I COULD NOT SIT DOWN ANYMORE! Really?! You gave me this gorgeous gem and then swipe it from my hands like a fox in a mask! The fact I could lay on random beds AND would SMELL them did not make matters better.  I think I need to check into a mental hospital, my character…I just want to sit down *cries!*

Special Features: 17 out of 20:

  • Rotam Pokedex/PokeFinder: The Rotam Poke dex was SO darling! He was funny and sarcastic and it was nice to have a constant companion, so I didn’t feel alone.  🙂 He was easy to use and I adored the quick access to my map and the list of all the Pokémon. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Poke Finder in this.  I loved the idea of taking pictures, but it was hard to control and I didn’t find the spots easily (but that could have been just me).

  • QR Scanner: This is a cool feature since I collect the codes for my Pokemon TCG account that I never hardly use, lol! I haven’t really tried to find the rare Pokemon after you get 100 points for the Island scan, but I liked seeing the Pokemon I scanned, even if they were not found in Alola.  I don’t think you get to keep them, which sticks! Too easy, I guess?

 

  • Quick Link: Very useful! Used it for battling and training.

  • Alola Forms: I really liked half of the Alola forms for their typing and their fantastic redesign, such as Vulpix, Ninetails, Sandshrew, Sandslash, Raichu, and others, but some were ridiculous! I know it was meant for this, but the Persian, Diglett line, and Geodude lines.  I felt sorry for some of the disfigurements of these Kanto forms, such as poor Raticate, like he’d been to the dentist and had too much novacaine.  It was neat to see the tourist NPCs have the original looking forms of the Pokemon, like Vulpix and Meowth.  The concept is incredible, but I wish they had more choices (even if they were all Kanto; I’d be okay with that).  I have seen so amazing sketches on-line, so ideas are floating out there.  I know these were to satisfy us since we did not get any new mega evolutions and I think it did a good job, but I wish they gave more Pokemon a chance to Delta shine or not look so silly.

 

  • Zygarde Cube Collecting: I have no desire to complete this. I do feel badly for Zygarde because he was hinted for so long and got shunned from the spotlight when no third installment of generation six happened like the world predicted and expected.  I collect the pieces because they are shiny honestly, lol! I can see how this is an appealing, all encompassing side quest for those in their story and post game though.

 

  • Battle Royal: Okay, Kukui being Masked Royale (Oh, my bad; spoilers) was so weird and laughable that it was a tad entertaining, especially when his WIFE had no clue it was him but almost everyone else did! But, the mechanics of this were neat and I would like to try it again a few more times for fun (I only did the required one time).  It did lag and pixilate the graphics to look wacky when I did it, but I also have a 3-DS from 2013, so I was warned that was possible.

  • Z-Moves/Z-Crystals: I really enjoyed the animations for these; it was vivid and fun.  In real life, it would be far fetched, but oh well! I owned it! The ghost and dark ones were my favorite, animation wise.  OH! My Snorlax’s special Z-move! It was a powerhouse and I would grin from ear-to-ear every time I used it! I really liked this way of collection hunting, counting your achievements.  I still miss badges, but I loved the freshness and reward of Z-Moves!

 

  • Hyper Training:  I’m a dumb duck and for some reason, had no idea this was a thing, but I kept wondering where the training was, missing my Super Training.  If it is anything like Super Training from Alpha/Omega and/or X/Y, then I am sure this will be a useful feature (but at times annoying).

 

  • Pokeride: YES! All hail the Helix Fossil; Game Freak heard our twenty years of complaints! Were all the Pokemon needed?  Not in my my mind, but the fact HMs are buried and done with (I pray) was such a gift! Fishing/riding on Lapras in small areas of water, soaring with Charizard, finding hidden items with Scoutland, made the experience more real to me and made me feel like I was 11 again.  I do miss the Eon flute and flying to spots on my own with Latios though.

  • Festival Plaza: I was obsessed with this at the beginning.  It reminded me of the mall feature I had in my Black/White 2 that I would waste so much time and check daily for months.  However, there are not as much opportunity for shops.  I like how you can do events in it and connect with people, but once they were your friend or guest, you could not get anything out of them. As greedy as they sounded, it sucked.  I liked VIPs, doing some of the events, and most of the shops (my favorite are the lotty shops), but it was as incredible as I wanted it to be.  There is plenty to do in it though to unwind!

 

  • Poké Pelago: This is my FAVORITE new feature! I like relaxing mini games/features and this fit my bill.  I would check it twice a day for 10-12 minutes each.  Between this and Pokemon Refresh is most likely why my time is 10 hours more than it should be, ha! I always felt badly for the Pokemon in my PC, but here, they had something to do, could train, and help me a lot! I got some cool wild Pokemon thanks to my berry tree, planted more berries than I ever need, and, my favorite, got SO much money and goodies thanks to my explorer Pokemon. Picking up all my beans made me smile and seeing my Pokemon interact with the environment made me feel like I left them with Professor Oak in the anime; I knew they were taken care of.  This feature is fun, rewarding, and warmed my heart and I want it to be a permanent part (or some form of it) of the Pokemon main series games in the future so much!

 

  • Wonder Trade: Loved it the last two, still adore it here!

 

  • Pokemon Refresh: While I DO miss the mini games I could play with my Pokemon in X/Y, I liked the bonding approach of this one. Graphics? Great! Learning the natures of all your Pokemon?  Fantastic! High-fiving my Pikachu? The bomb! Collecting berries to feed my friends?  Sweet! And the advantages of maxing out friendship and affection, where this helped immensely? You have NO idea how many times my Pokemon dodged attacks, held on to 1 HP in the heat of a tough battle, or even overcame poison all because they LOVED me! Pikachu once dodged three earthquakes from a level 50 Pokemon IN A ROW, a powerful move that would have 1-Hit K.O.ed him, but it was all me, the little hearts above his head filling me to the brim with joy. Anyway I can give back to my dear partners is a blessing and this feature, again, make this experience more lighthearted and made me feel like there was not a screen between us.

  • Battle Tree: I haven’t done it yet, but will soon.  I am so pumped to see Red and Blue grown-up! You guys don’t even know! 😀

 

  • The fact I could change my clothes again was spectacular! I didn’t like as many of these options as in X/Y, but I get the island feel.  I feel like the prices went up too, but maybe I just noticed more… It wasn’t an issue though since I would use amulet coin AND my Snorlax’s happy hour for 95% of the battles I had, earning my 4 times the Pokedollars I would have gotten otherwise.  I think I have close to $700,000 now after buying some clothes and going nuts on items!

Trial Captains/Kahunas/Elite Four: 7 out of 10.  I liked the characters of the trial captains for the most part and how they were there to help you, but normally not overbearing.  The concept of challenges to test your mentality and different skill sets than just battles was an interesting change.  I liked Mallow’s trial the best since it made me have to search and think and I liked the characterization of Acerola; her creepy/kawaii expressions made me shiver and smile at the same time! I really think Mina, the artist, is a cool character by design, but her not having a trail is so lame! My husband said that FINDING her was the trail, lol! Lana was neat too and I liked the little mini story and battle you can do when you meet her twin sisters at her place.

Kiawe had such an epic design and the fire dancing Marowak was SICK, but…his trial was SO STUPID! The hidden different in the shot was a cool idea, but the way they executed it was…bloody awful! I was so disappointed. Sophocles was boring too.  I wish he would have done a quiz show format like Clement did in his gym in “X and Y.”  Oh well.

Oh! The totem Pokemon?  Not a fan.  Did I hate them?  Not really ‘hate,’ but not like.  I see they didn’t want us to battle the Captain for it would feel too much like a gym leader, but I think that would have been better, or the final Pokemon of the Captain’s team by fueled with the energy of the totem of the trial site?  I don’t know.  It just felt off to me.

And DON’T get me started on the Totem battle I had against the grass area! Baka Lurantis and Castform combo, almost blacking me out three times…Thank gosh for a slow battle with Snorlax.  Worst battle I have had in awhile, for how challenging it was.

The Kahunas were cool beans! I liked three of the four of them a lot (I’m sorry, but Nanu crept me out fierce and I wanted to punch him every time he smiled his grimace! That’s not normal…ha, ha, I’m aware he’s a dark type specialist).  Neat designs, cool characters, and powerful role models for their islands; how noble of them to partner with their island’s guardian with the ultra beasts attacking! Mad respect! Hala’s going to make you holler! That’s my new catch phrase!

I did like how each Kahuna was in charge of introducing new trainers with their starter! 🙂

OH! And the final battle! That was a doozy! >.< Had to restart three times (turning my game off.  I always save right before a big, planned battle so I don’t lose anything).

  • Island Trials VS. Gym Battles: So, how do I like this format of achievement in my region when compared the the staple gym battles?  I would have to go with thy gym battles. I love how unique Alola is: its forms, array of landscapes, special features, and such, make it a beautiful and milestone place in the Pokemon universe and I really gave this a shot, but…I miss my gyms, my badges! I like these ideas of mini activities to do to get the Z-crystals ON TOP of the eight gym badges, AND battling the Kahuna from each island before you move it. Four islands to guard, four protectors, four kahunas. So makes sense to me and it may be more work, but that’s why trainers start at 11 instead of the usual 10; to GET that extra training and year to study! This would be my dream situation.  What did you guys think?

Towns/Cities/Region Layout/Routes: 17 to 20– I did like the variety and styles of the locations in this game.  You think tropical, you think warm, a rainbow of hues, and a pleasant environment, and boy, we got that, but we also got different terrains, such as the icy areas, a volcano, dried up grass, ruins, large cities and quaint towns, but all of these are based on real areas in the inspirational Hawaii, so props on the research!

Each island brought something new to the table, but I felt everything was connected, the community of Alola strong as Kukui’s abs (the man lets Pokemon attack him for research!)  I was stunned that Hau had never left his island, not even on a trip, but the scene where we are Kukui’s boat was so sincere, peaceful, eye opening to my adventuring spirit.

I did find some of the routes confusing to navigate through and I know some locations are easy to miss if you are not looking, but since I would walk around so much to capture Pokemon and level up, I got turned around more than I wanted to admit.

And the Aether Foundation layout, the manmade island headquarters! Place that are pure white scream creepy to me, a forced purity, in my mind, forms a cruel type of darkness and was I right!

My game being 12 hours behind/ahead of the regular timeframe took some adjusting. I understand the reason for it and I liked it after a while, but it made the region feel upside down at times, like I could not catch my bearings.  That’s not good being a rookie.

The graphics and attention to detail really made this work for me! Beautiful job there!

Team Skull/Aether Foundation: 9 out 10:  Ha, ha, ha! I can’t help but laugh at this! Who in the bleep came up with the idea of Team Skull and how?! It’s a riot, but I adore them.  I can’t take them seriously at all. In fact, NO ONE in Alola does and I feel sort of bad for them because of that, citizens blaming their actions on young people having too much time on their hands (Nintendo trying to tell us something)? They really are not hard; I only had trouble with one grunt because he kept confusing my Pokemon and the boss in the final battle, but it is good to have those challenges.  Their movements, their antics, their buggy personality and eyes, all make me grin and chuckle.  Are they my favorite team?  No, that will always be Team Rocket, but they are pretty, ‘bad to the bone.’  And A ZILLION times better than Team Flare.

Guzma is a great ying-yang balance with his revenge and rage at Kukui and all the light he represents, but his love for Lusamine and how his team is a family (like Plumeria being a caring big sister to each Grunt).  I would like to learn about him more as a young trainer and the scorn that made him become this role model for all other trainers who could not beat the Island Challenge. Yo, yo, yo, rock on Team Skull.  Their theme is SO catchy too!

The twist of the Aether Foundation did not shock me too much, but I like there were two teams, but not right away, a real mystery.  Like I stated above, the foundation was too white, too clean, too much of an illusion.  Now, Lasamine, although beautiful, was the most INSANE villain Pokemon has ever had! She is also fairly evil too, but her reasoning, what made her crack, all for beauty of this nasty, in my mind, Ultra Beasts and to keep beauty, those who obey her, to herself…was so mental! The scene I saw all those Pokemon frozen in her chamber…holy crap! I actually felt physically sick in my stomach! *covers mouth* The franchise’s first female villain boss make a mark that others will struggle to fill.

The twist of her being Lily and Gladeon’s mom was a concept I have not seen since Silver and Team Rocket.

Bring on the bad to the bone Team Skull cosplays for 2017!

Generation 7 Pokemon: 11 to 15: I will give Nintendo props for not giving us blob Pokemon like in Generation 6 and for making all the Pokemon overly colorful and unique in shape, but it was too much, too extreme.  I did like a good number of Pokemon, but only about half.  A good chunk were just ugly beyond belief! Either the Pokemon were everywhere or near impossible to find.  I did like how they placed several generations of Pokemon in catchable areas, a Generation 5 addition I am so glad stayed.  Some of the new attacks looked epic and the abilities went from awesome to head numbing.  I like the atmosphere of these Pokemon, but they all seemed to tropical focused (literally, there is a lei Pokemon. Adorable, but I had to roll my eyes each time I thought of it).  A little more variety would have been nice.

Like in “X and Y,” only 70 new Pokemon. Go back to my 100! Again, I am sure the updated graphics take more time and I respect that, but you had three years to get used to the coding for that.  If you added even 10 new Pokemon, I think it would have balanced this team more.  I think I like this set a little more than generation 6 due to the attack animations and that they had definite shapes, like creatures, but it still could have been better.

Part of the problem, for me, was they revealed all but like 10 of them before the release! It took out so much of the wow factor.  I think revealing even 35 was too much! Give me maybe 20 or 25 and then let me discover, explore, be a real trainer.

Also…I hate Ultra Beasts! I get it; they are new and supposed to be innovative, but they are ugly and look like someone put a virus in my game.  I can’t get behind them.  Pokemon from space or another dimension? We’ve done that and I can deal with the origin and idea, but the designs are too…blah! They do look like final bosses, but not meant for the world of Pocket Monsters.

The starters were so/so.  I didn’t fall head-over-heals for any of them, but Popplio was by far my favorite AND the only generation 7 Pokemon on my team. I TRIED to have more Alola Pokemon, but I could not find any good fits.

I did like some of the lore and special secrets of a handful of these creatures, like Mimikyu, Oricorio, and Wishiwashi. There were a lot of cute Pokemon mixed in with the strange/ugly, but not a lot of betweens like usual. And Nebby is darling, of coarse! I did like the legendries, but them both being part psychic is still a tad odd to me…

Battles: 13 out of 15: Like the last two reviews, I give major props here for the perfect graphics (I fangirled every time Hau threw his Pokeball because it looked so darn good) and the fact there are NO required rotation battles OR three-verses-three battles.  Other than the lagging for double battles, it was all good.

The only issue I had here was the Pokemon crying for help.  I dislike this feature. You have NO CLUE how many times I was trying to catch a new Pokemon and it would call for help seven or eight successful times in a row and I would be stuck for 10-20 minutes.  My worst one was a battle with an Exgaacute.  *GROANS* I’m done talking about this…

This region will also be special to me because it is the FIRST region I caught a SHINY Pokémon! Derrick and I were stilling on his parent’s large couch for Thanksgiving, my father-in-law taking a nap and the three of us playing Sun or Moon.  Derrick all of the sudden started freaking out for he encountered a Sandile with the sparkles to indicate it was a shiny.  Of coarse he caught it and we all freaked out! I did a deep sigh, exclaiming, “That’s so amazing.  I’ve been playing Pokémon for 17 years and in all of my career, I have never seen a sh…” I had been absentmindedly walking around the route I was in, in grass, and I had an encounter pop up.  In the corner of my eye, almost missing it, I saw the sparkles and looked to see a mauve Alola Rattata! I was hyperventilating then and I caught it! 17 years of playing and within a minute of each other, different games, different routes, but the same couch, we both caught a shiny! His mother tried to sit on the couch later and nothing.

Two days later in bed, I ran into ANOTHER shiny: Trumbeak! I am SO glad my Snorlax learned “Hold On” early on; such a life savior for catching Pokémon! This game will always ‘shine’ as an achievement for me!

Other things I liked/didn’t like:

  • I really liked the coffee shop and how it showed the chit-chat friendliness of these islands and the treats from other regions to show imports.
  • How easy the PC boxes were to organize.
  • The Pokemart employee noticing my new Z Crystal! HA! Loved his expression.
  • How people would heal me and give me items just because I am boss applesauce, but it was not overbearing.
  • The little side quests of capturing certain Pokemon to show them in order to get money.  It was sweet!
  • The good trades with Pokemon Center NPCs.
  • Still LOVING how fast my game is to save and I liked how I wrote it in a notebook!
  • My bag and the amulet for the Island Challenge was so adorable!
  • Having a dad talked about and it MOST likely being Ash! 🙂
  • It was weird to not have Kukui ask if I was a boy or a girl…
  • EX share was the same, but it felt like they balanced the NPCs more so the extra levels did not feel as overpowering the last 1/3rd of the game; they grew with you.
  • I did miss not having a bike…But running INSIDE the building! Holy Snot Rockets Batman! Living the dream! I bet Red will go nuts with that in Alola!
  • The new Elite Four reveal was precious.
  • Cameos of old characters, even those not in the Battle Tree! I like returning characters fans grew up to see them in a new light!
  • The demo was pretty neato too; made you get a good feel for the region.
  • It did seem easier to log on-line, but that could have been me.
  • STILL wish we had Pokemon following us around; I will never give up that dream.  Having mini games back as part of Pokemon Refresh would be hardcore too!

Overall Rank/Final Comments:

And our final score is…*Drum rolls* 91/110: B! Alola, you are beautiful, refreshing, and the best way to show the wave of change for this beloved franchise of precious Pocket Monsters, but still keeping what we love!

Thanks for reading my review guys. What was your team?  What did you like/dislike about Pokemon Sun and Moon.

My Champion Team/Hours/Pokedex:

  • Primarina (Umihoshi) level 65
  • Snorlax (Pancake) level 61
  • Butterfree level 60
  • Umbreon (Tabby) level 61
  • Alakazam (Kaiba) level 61
  • Pikachu (Zappin’) level 63

Time I beat the story: 45 hours and 48 minutes.

Pokedex for the story: 112

If I had to have ONLY Moon Pokemon on my team:

  • Primarina,
  • Mimikyu,
  • Hakamo-o,
  • Togedemaru,
  • Lycanroc (Mid-day form),
  • Steenee

Others I like:

  • Pikipek,
  • Vikavolt,
  • Oricorio,
  • Cutiefly,
  • Mudbray,
  • Morelull,
  • Stufful,
  • Comfey,
  • Oranguru,
  • Silvally,
  • Komala,
  • Tapu Fini,
  • Lunala,

Check out also my…:

Pokémon X Full Review

Pokémon Alpha Sapphire Full Review

Top Personal Most Anticipated Films for Me to See in 2017 (Top Ten #59):

Top Tens and Morgan's Fun ReviewsLeave a Comment

Hello minna-san! I hope everyone had an incredible Christmas.  Other than being sick, I know I did.  ^_^ But, today is December 31st, and that means 2016 is drawing to a close.

I had a pretty eventful year, from learning the ropes of my job at the kindergarten library to starting my first official teaching job in a new district and losing that building in a fire.  I’ve met new co-workers and students, made a safe haven for fellow young otakus, continued to expand my love of nerd culture through cons, events, Pokemon events, and personal endeavors.  I had to hear sad news of idols we looked up to passing and watch my nation biting their fingernails during an election.  I have got to feel warmth and love through my family, friends, and husband still (we celebrated our five year wedding anniversary), their support a treasure, and take a new path for my publication and writing, publishing one new book (“Spirit Vision 3: The Power of Mortals.”)  2016 has been a ride, but I am grateful for each day I get to live, especially since I have more days where I feel ill (although I am adjusting to my medical conditions).  I welcome the new year, 2017, with open arms! Each day is precious!

Soon, Dan and I will do our FIRST video together in a long time to welcome in 2017 and before we start our third annual “March Disney” event (stay tuned for that)! For now, please enjoy my Top Ten Personal Most Anticipated Films for Me to See in 2017 (to go with our upcoming video theme)!

One of my goals this year is to focus more on my writing and website and media advertisement.  As I get older, life gets busier and I get drained to do this part of my life that I cherish.  I will resolve this however, to thank all of you for your support and to stay true to myself! Please don’t give up on me; like Stary, I’ll “hold on to what if.”

Top Personal Most Anticipated Films for Me to See in 2017:

  1. Beauty and the Beast
  2. Power Rangers
  3. Cars 3
  4. Despicable Me 3
  5. Wonder Woman
  6. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
  7. Table 19
  8. Hidden Figures
  9. Ghost in the Shell
  10. Before I Fall

Others I am interested in: Remake of Jumanji, Coco, Baywatch, A Dog’s Purpose, The Circle, ***tard, Fifty Shades Darker

Go here to get a copy of my latest book, “Spirit Vision 3: The Power of Mortals.”

Catch-up on all of Dan and I’s Moon Panda Power videos on our channel.

Top Ten “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” Characters (Top Ten #58)

News, Top Tens and Morgan's Fun ReviewsLeave a Comment

Christmas is one of my favorite times of year.  I love buying the right gift for those I love and seeing their eyes light up, taking the time to think of only them (I like UNWRAPPING gifts as well too).  I sing Christmas songs at concerts and church, celebrate my parents’ birthdays, watch tons of Christmas specials, have family get-togethers.  Decorating, making activities for my students, wishing for light snow, baking a little, and, apparently, getting sick with a cold has become an unwanted tradition of mine these past two years.  -_-;;

Regardless, I got my love of Christmas from my mom and grandma and their awe was inspired by the 1964 Claymation masterpiece “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.”  She owes so much that is of this icon and tears up at the same spot each year. Miles and I have to watch with her every year, being bribed with cheese and sausage, but deep down, I really like this story and treasure this tradition that makes my mom who she is more.  Yes, we gest about it and roll our eyes now that we are adults and we have it all memorized, quoting it throughout the year, but I would not give this up for anything.  Besides, Miles and I now have our Christmas Eve Eve celebration on the 23rd where we watch OUR favorite Christmas specials, mostly VHS, so I suppose we are setting up for our future kids to make fun of us. 😉

In honor of this special’s impact on my life and my lovely momma, here are my Top Ten Favorite “Rudolph: The Red Nosed Reindeer” characters:

  1. Yukon Cornelius 
  2. Hermey
  3.  King Moonracer
  4. Momma/Mrs. Clause
  5. Spotted Elephant
  6. Clarice/Rudolph
  7. Head Elf
  8. Sam the Snowman
  9. The Bumble
  10. Santa Claus

I know I haven’t done any personal updates since school started, and I still plan to.  Adjusting to a new district and teaching as taken a lot of rewarding time. ^_^ Thank you all for the support this year, especially with “Spirit Vision 3.”  I hope you guys have a Christmas as bright as Rudolph’s nose; bring shades! See you next year with more! Tr La La, bye-bye!

Past Christmas Top Ten’s of Mine to check-out:

Top Twelve Favorite New Sun and Moon Pokemon (by design) (Top Ten #57):

News, Top Tens and Morgan's Fun ReviewsLeave a Comment

Last week, the highly anticipated Pokémon Sun and Moon dropped around the world.  I was so hyped for the graphics, the new landscape, and all the features that I went to the midnight event with Derrick (my husband), eager to get my copy of Moon.  As of this post, I have only played the game for eight and a half hours, but because of my busy schedule, Thanksgiving plans this week, and the fact I want to take my time to enjoy the experience, is why this is so.

I haven’t encountered or got to battle against over 75% of these pocket monsters yet, but I will and I plan to do a FULL, detailed review of my experience with Moon just like I did with Alpha Sapphire and Pokémon X.  Plan for that in early 2017! ^_^

I know I have not been updating everyone about my life lately and rest assured, I will.  I figured, on this Black Friday, I owe you a post! So, here are my Top 12 Favorite Pokémon Moon Pokémon (by design).  I look forward to using all these guys in the future on my team or to bond with.  Enjoy and I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving! =D

  1. Popplio/Brionne/Primarina
  2. Rockruff
  3. Togedemaru
  4. Cutiefly/Ribombee
  5. Stufful
  6. Cosmog
  7. Mimikyu
  8. Bounsweet/Steenee
  9. Komala
  10. Pikipek
  11. Oricorio (psychic type)
  12. Tapu Fini

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“Persephone’s Orchard” Enchanted Promotions Book Tour- Exclusive Excerpt!

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Anyone who knows me personally or through my posts or Goodreads most likely has picked up that I am a massive fan of Greek Mythology! When the chance to be a tour spot for this incredible title about Persephone popped up on the Enchanted Promotions website, I knew I had to support this work and author! 😀

Please welcome an exclusive excerpt from “Persephone’s Orchard” by Molly Ringle.

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Excerpt from Persephone’s Orchard:

Adrian introduces Sophie to the way modern-day immortals travel…

 

Adrian rounded a stand of trees, and stopped.

A team of four ghost horses waited there—or at least Sophie assumed they were ghosts, as they were glowing green and translucent. The horses were harnessed to a small rusty bus, which looked as if it had been recently borrowed from a junkyard. All its window glass was gone, and nothing was left of its paint except a few flakes of green and what seemed to be the remains of a letter X in blue. The three tires she could see from this side were completely flat. The horses’ harnesses were entwined in vines of some kind, with a few dried leaves still hanging on in spots. Where the harnesses met the bus, thick metal cables took over, so heavily welded that they had melted into the bus’s exterior and become a part of it.

After taking in this strange contraption, Sophie looked at Adrian.

“So your first big decision is,” he said, “are you willing to climb into this bus with me and fly across the world at incredibly high speeds?”

She gave a laugh of half-panic, half-disbelief. She walked around the back of the bus, touching its dented exterior. It felt solid enough. “What is this thing?”

“Something I built, to attach the horses to.”

“Is it safe?”

“Well, it’s held together so far.”

She circled to the other side, finding those tires flat too. “Is there any other way to get to the afterlife place?”

“Not realistically. This realm isn’t set up for living humans. We’d have to walk across the continent, then build a boat to cross the ocean, all of which would take months and be far more dangerous, so—yeah, this is it. This or ride directly on one of the horses.”

Circling around to the front, Sophie examined the horses. She approached one and reached out slowly. Her hand slipped straight through its glowing neck, but stopped upon the solid harness that secured it to its team. She tried it again, watching her hand glide through the animal as if it were made of mist. Fascination was starting to push out uneasiness, at least for the moment…

“How long is the trip?” She tried stroking the animal’s nose, but her fingers went straight through that too. The horse twitched its ears and whickered patiently.

“About three hours each way,” he said. “So, if you want to sleep on it, you can go back to bed tonight, and we’d take off tomorrow morning. Or—”

“Let’s go,” she interrupted. She moved to the open door of the bus and peered up into it.

“Now?” Adrian’s pitch rose in surprise. “You’d be up all night.”

“I’m not tired. You wanted me to come. Let’s do it.”

About the Book: 

persophoneorhcardcoverTitle: Persephone’s Orchard

Author: Molly Ringle

Genre: Paranormal Romance / NA Fantasy

The Greek gods never actually existed. Did they? Sophie Darrow finds she was wrong about that assumption when she’s pulled into the spirit realm, complete with an Underworld, on her first day at college. Adrian, the mysterious young man who brought her there, simply wants her to taste a pomegranate. Soon, though she returns to her regular life, her mind begins exploding with dreams and memories of ancient times; of a love between two Greeks named Persephone and Hades. But lethal danger has always surrounded the immortals, and now that she’s tainted with the Underworld’s magic, that danger is drawing closer to Sophie.

Giveaway!

Prizes:

A signed paperback copy of Persephone’s Orchard,

A paperback copy of D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths,

A “pomegranate seed” necklace and bracelet set

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/9ef3535b436/

About the Author:

persophoneorhcardauthorMolly Ringle has been writing fiction for over 20 years, and her stories always include love and humor, as well as the occasional touch of the paranormal. Molly lives in Seattle with her husband and kids, and worships fragrances and chocolate.

Links:

Website

Twitter

Tumblr

Facebook

Goodreads

Amazon Author Page

Available here:

Aspiring Author Spotlight- A.J. Blanton (October 2016) (A.A.S. #29) AND “Spirit Vision 3” Release!

Aspiring Author Spotlight, NewsLeave a Comment

Happy Almost Halloween/my Birthday, minna-san! 😀 Once again, I apologize for my lack of massive updates since school started up, but it is just that: my first official teaching job (and all the paperwork, meetings, and prep it takes on top of being in the classroom) on top of running an after school anime club at the high school, on TOP of writing and promoting “Spirit Vision 3,” I get tired so easily and get lazy on my rare moments off. Plus, it’s a half hour drive there then another back.  But, I enjoy what I am doing and I AM working on the update as promised.  Slowly chugging along like a rusted train, but I still have my tracks to guide me. ^_^ Thank you for your patience!

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If you are unaware, on October 21st, 2016, the third book in the “Spirit Vision” series, “The Power of Mortals” was RELEASED in Kindle format and Amazon paperback on Amazon.com! I am ready to break dance with giant lobsters I am so tickled pink by this! It has been a long and different ride to get this fifth book published, but I am so glad I stuck with it for Stary, Umbra, you guys, and myself.  I want to thank Sheenah for the formatting and being my mentor, Suzy for her once again incredible covers AND the new chibi bookmarks, and my Beta Readers: Morgan W,. Dan W., Danny B., Casey, and Kate!

Get your OWN copy here!

Please check out the new “Spirit Vision 3” book page for the cover, links for purchase (more coming soon), excerpts, and more!

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To also celebrate, “Spirit Vision 3” has a book blog tour through Enchanted Book Promotions.  It started on October 21st and ends on November 4th.  Thank you for setting it up! Please check out all the stops by clicking their banner above!

Now, onto my star of this post!  She is my kindred spirit, my spirit animal, my idol.  Her warm heart, charming wit, and bright smile made me relax at the drop of her adorable hats.  I can talk to her about everything and anything and she is my closest con friend.  I know if we lived closer to each other, we would be at each other’s houses constantly, with books, craft nights, and oh so fun, sparkly, and wild “Harry Potter” parties! She is so talented with her shop, decorations, and her photography, has a good head on her shoulders, but a kindness as welcoming as the lapping waves on a summer shore at midnight.  I am so glad she has taken me under her wing, dubbed me as friend, and allowed me to showcase her amazing writing.  As her little Totoro, I will do anything to support her and I know you guys will love this honeybee as much as we all do in Missouri! Please welcome my dear friend and sensei in the ways of the Totoro: Mrs. A.J. Blanton! ^_^ <3

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Aspiring Authors Spotlight Questions:

1. When you wake up in the morning, how do you see life?
It depends. I would love to say that I wake up everyday full of love and zest for the new day. But in truth, everyday is different. Some days I wake up seeing my life as a uncharted path that could lead to beautiful experiences. Some days I awake with a sense of longing and no understanding of how to fulfill my sense of purpose. Some days I wake up seeing the mundane existence that is the ebb of life. And some days I awake seeing my life in all its lovely moments and wondrous relationships. All days become yesterday soon enough so I figure I just allow each day to be its own maker.

2. How did writing find its way into your life?
Through reading I suppose. I cant really recall when the written word was not important to who I was. I began reading at 4 and have never stopped. I love to be transported into worlds and thrown into events. Books are my escape and my reality all at the same time. I have written for almost as long. Nothing grand or impressive by any means, just me jotting down thoughts and characters.

3. What does writing do for you?
Writing gives me another outlet. It allows me to express myself in a way that tends to be more personal than my art, props, and sculpting does.

4. What sort of genre or type of writing do you do?
Young Adult Fiction that slants toward Fantasy or Supernatural. I also write poetry and have written a few children stories. But I have never been published.

5. Do events in your life or people you know affect your writing?
Yes, how could they not? It isn’t a write what you know thing but more a write what you feel. When I am feeling discouraged, my characters feel it. When I am hopeful so are they. I also draw from them a lot as well. When one of my characters dies, I mourn. When one falls in love, I smile.
I try not to base characters on just one person though. Most of the time they are compilations of several personality traits from several people I know. I do draw from situations that I have dealt with when writing. It helps me to organize my thoughts if I can feel or have felt what the character needs to feel.

6. What are you currently work on or what was the last thing you wrote?
I am currently just doing writing prompts getting ready to participate in NANOWRIMO with one of friends.
The last thing I wrote that I actually had someone read is still unfinished. It is called Ghostly Solace.

7. Can you tell us a little about it and its inspiration?
The NANOWRIMO story will be a young adult dramatic piece that may have some fantasy elements thrown into the mix. As I have only written a few paragraphs to try to get into the mind space of what my main character is going through, I haven’t quite figured everything out about the tale I want to weave.
Ghostly Solace is a young adult novel about a girl in high school. She is murdered, comes back as a ghost to help solve her murder and to help the people she left behind deal with her passing. I actually had a dream about a young girl who was murdered and it inspired this story.
A lot of my stories stem from my dreams.

8. What are your goals for the future?
A goal? I don’t really do goals, at least not currently. I am taking this year to just live and see where I land. I am lucky to have a wonderful husband and son who support me in this haphazard journey of self reflection. Dang it! That in itself is a goal isn’t it? So much for the philosophical nomadic expression of my soul. In reality my goals tend to be more goals for the ones I love and less for me. Although, I am trying very hard to work on changing that constant frame of thought. I have dreams more than goals. I dream that my creativity and my businesses can be financially sustaining for my family.

9. What are your interests or hobbies?
I am a geeky girl who likes lots of random nerdy stuff. I like to cosplay and have nerdy gatherings with friends. I love comics, video games, costumes, prop making, wands, sculpting, painting, reading. See lots of random geekery fill my life.

10. If you could be a superhero, what are your powers and how would you use them to help the world?
Is it bad that I actually don’t have an answer for this? I never want to be a hero. But, if I were a character in a comic I think I would probably be the sarcastic best friend who helps the hero to find their way. I have always related more to that type of character.

11. What advice would you give people who want to write?
Just write. It doesn’t have to make sense. There doesn’t need to be a clear path when you begin. All you have to do is sit and express what is in your mind with words. Writing, like all art forms, can be done by anyone at any skill set. All they need to do is write. Write gibberish. Write a sentence. Write random ideas. Write often! And soon you can become a craftsman of words.

12. If you could be remembered for one thing or thought, what would it be?
I want people to remember me as a caring person who always tried her best. I would rather be remembered for a million little everyday things than any one particular thing. when I am gone I want those that knew me to recall something I did or said and smile.

Example of Work:

This interview.
In actuality, here is a sample of the story building I am working on for my NANOWRIMO story.:

I sat there letting the words sink into the depths of my soul. Simple words with no extraordinary meaning broke me. How? How could just words bring my world crumbling around me. My whole life was nothing but a lie. I had been lied to by not just a few people but by everyone who had every known me. Those who promised to love me, those who I thought I could trust with my life and in one swell swoop destroyed me. I hadn’t even began to process that they were gone. They were gone, I let this sink into my mind and felt a sharp pain in my chest. Tears fell from my hazel eyes in an uncontrollable shower. I felt anger build up and I screamed at the air around me. “I don’t know what to do. Why?” I placed my face in my hands. “Who am I? Why didn’t you tell me! Oh God, please why?” I looked around the dark bedroom which seemed so much smaller than it had been just yesterday. “I am no one.”

As I stood up from the chair my legs began to give out on me. Slowly, I made my way to the bed. I curled into a ball, covered myself under the warm patchwork quilt and just let the fear, the anger, the pain overwhelm me. I sobbed for what seemed like hours maybe even days and then nothing.

I awoke and pulled my phone from the table next to the bed. I had slept for 18 hours. Yet my body and mind were still completely worn down. Exhaustion hung around me like a low fog on a brisk fall morning. I wanted to close my eyes again and just hide. Hide from the world, Hide from myself. Hide from the pain. But no matter where I went or what I did I couldn’t find a way from this. It was now my life. Without answers from the only people who actually knew what happened, I must try to grasp the truth. However, right at this moment I couldn’t.

It was numbing, looking around the dark house realizing that I was alone. That mom and dad were no longer there. Tears began to fall once more. Why did they leave me? Why did they have to die? Why did they have to keep secrets?
I was so mad at them and I couldn’t figure out if it was because they left me here without anyone, or if it was because my whole life they had kept the truth from me.

“UGHHHH!” sounds of frustration escaped my body with a slight release of the pain.
I’ve got to get dressed. I have to take a shower and prepare for the onslaught of friends and family coming to offer their condolences. How can I look at these people knowing that most of them knew about me and never said a word? I don’t want to deal with them. I want to just crawl back into my private quilted world and let them have the funeral without me. I don’t want to sit there and listen to them drone on and on about how wonderful our family was. LIES! Why not say the truth? Your parents were wonderful at keeping secrets.

I peeled off my pungent clothes and stepped into the shower. The water from the adjustable shower head  poured over me, mixing with tears. I couldn’t stop crying. Please let me stop crying. I can’t! I don’t want to. I felt my body shaking. I can’t breath. “Please help me. Somebody help me.” The water had turned cold as I sank into in the corner of the tub.

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Adoena (AJ) Blanton was born in Missouri in December 1976. She lives in Branson Missouri with her 21 year old son, Dakota, and her husband. Tom. She works part time at a movie theater and runs two home based businesses, aBeesCreations and partnership in AazuBee Artifacts. She also works as a photo shoot Creative Director sometimes for Friendly Fire Fotography. She loves to create props, work with other creative people and make art. She is currently working on a calendar project for 2017-2018 with over 18 models, photographers and artists. She writes for her own sanity.

You can find my art and items on my face book page www.facebook.com/aBeesCreations

Top Ten Favorite Name-brand Candy Bars/Candies (Top Ten #56):

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Just in time for Halloween! 😀 Here are my top ten favorite candy bars and candies.  As you can tell, most of them are chocolate; it’s something I really adore. Halloween is also very special to me because my birthday is the day after (November 1st), so I got to celebrate two holidays epically in a row! ^_^

Enjoy this top ten and I hope everyone has a sweet Halloween! ;)-

Top Ten Favorite Name-brand Candy Bars/Candies:

  1. Hershey’s Cookies and Creams
  2. Dove chocolate (dark or milk)
  3. Peanut Butter M & M’s AND Peanut M & M’s
  4. Reese’s Cups OR Pieces
  5. Carmel Milky Way
  6. Mounds
  7. Twix
  8. Pay Day
  9. York Peppermint Patty
  10. Take 5

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