Sunday, February 28, 2016

Writerly Bundle #4: Prepossessing, Emma Main Titles, and Emma's Perfect Match

Welcome to this week's Writerly Bundle! A post where I hope to inspire you with three of the world's greatest things: music, words, and tea.

In the middle of winter, I bring you a hint of Spring in this Jane Austen-inspired grouping! I'm not normally a girly person. I'm more of a kick-butt and taking names kind of girl, but Jane Austen is one of my few exceptions.

The Word:

1.) that impresses favorably; engaging or attractive: a confident and prepossessing young man.

Example Sentence: Mr. Knightley is prepossessing man.

The Song:
"Main Titles"
from Emma
by Rachel Portman

Since I'm doing a tea about Emma, I had to include a piece from the film! I haven't seen this movie in so long, but all of this Emma has made me want to watch it. I love Gwyneth Paltrow in this role as the young matchmaker. This piece is lovely, calming, and happy with a tint of nostalgia. The flute and harp have such a beautiful duet.The violins are so sweet as well. This piece is good for a fairy tale, a historical, and it could even be applicable for a contemporary.

The Tea:

Emma's Perfect Match

The Description: This is an elegant, youthful green tea and full of romance for matchmaking, especially with the addition of pink rosebuds and rose petals.  Add to this, real dried strawberries very likely picked right from Mr. Knightley's garden. There is a ladylike hue, dare we say blush, to the steeped cup thanks in part to hibiscus which represents Emma's sharp wit and occasional sharp tongue. Altogether it is a blend even Mr. Woodhouse surely could not object to if taken with friends in the comfort of ones home.

In this cup, we hope Emma at last finds the perfect match and we celebrate with this aromatic and delicious blend!

China green tea, roses, strawberry, dried fruits assorted, rhubarb and hibiscus and natural flavoring.

 How I found it: Bingley's Teas was generous enough to give me a lovely box of samples for review! I discovered them because of Sara Letourneau over at Bibliophile's Reverie!

The Tea: Before we even get to the tea, can I take a moment to talk about how lovely these teas are packed? I know that's a strange thing to talk about, but oh my goodness, I'm not a girly person, but I felt so girly when I received this box packed with crinkles of blue and lovely blue tissue paper. I am not a fan of pink, so I was in absolute bliss to see girly wrapping in blue! 

A wax-sealed envelope!
*clears throat* Now onto the tea.

First of all, this tea smells like heaven. You probably know by now that I am an absolute sucker for rose teas (You can check out my Ruby Rose and Yuki blends for confirmation of this statement). Then put rose with a strawberries. *sighs in ecstasy* Can I get an amen? This tea brews a light rose petal pink. Even without sugar it's a sweet and like the description says it has a strong rose flavor. It ends with strawberry and rhubarb flavors, with not too much of a hibiscus taste since I haven't had much luck with hibiscus (Anyone remember the Passion tea review? Yeah nope).

This tea is perfectly fitting for Emma. It is beautiful from rose, sweet like the rhubarb, cunning and witty like the strawberries, subtle and charitable from the green tea, and with a hint of mischief and naughtiness from the hibiscus. This perfectly suits her character!

Serving Recommendations: I steeped this tea at 212 F for four minutes and added sugar.

How much is it and where can you get it? You can find this tea at the Bingley's Tea's website for $16.95 for 6o grams of tea. That's a lot of tea. You could make at least twenty cups from that. It comes in a gorgeous book box (which I'll show you in another review).

So how good is it? Five stars! This is a truly wonderful tea in every way! 

Have you seen or used this word before? Have you heard this piece before?Have you tried this tea? Have you seen or read Emma?

If you liked this post, come back every other Tuesday for book reviews; Friday for tags, character interviews, and link-ups; Saturdays for writing advice and life updates; and Sundays for the Writerly Bundle which includes a new soundtrack piece, vocabulary word, and tea review! To help support my dream to be an author follow this blog, like me on Facebook, watch me on deviantART, and follow me on Pinterest and Twitter. If you want to know more about my books check out them out here. Thank you! :)

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Monthly Summary: February 2016

February was a crazy busy month, considering I spent half of it out of the country visiting one of my best friends Cassia! I didn't get too much writing done, but I got so many plot bunnies for Red Hood while up in the snow-covered north. Well, partially snow-covered, since this is the warmest winter they've had in a long time. Still I had many awesome experiences I will treasure for years to come!

What I did:

1.) I finished my microedits for Red Hood and went through a lot of critique, getting it ready to submit to a publisher in March!

I also got some pretty big news.



My flash fic the Six Swans of Salem has been accepted in the flash fiction magazine Splickety: Havok. The Fairytales: Unfettered edition of the magazine will be released in April right before my birthday. ^ ^ I'm so excited because this is my first print publication ever! In a little over a month I'll be holding my writing in my hands officially published with a paycheck! I'm so utterly excited! If you'd like to purchase a copy (Print copy is $6.95 and Digital is $3.49), you can get yours here after it releases.

2.) I went to Canada! I talked about this in more detail in the tag this month, but I didn't include some pictures I'm going to show here. I spent twelve days with Cassia from Dimensions of My Universe in Alberta, Canada! We skied, pretended to be kids again in Tellus Museum, took pictures in a wildlife reserve, explored an ice castle, swam in an indoor waterpark, and even went to the Rockies in Banff! We had such an amazing time. I already want to go back!

Skiing at Snow Valley

Messing around with this light/shadow box at Tellus Museum

Elk Island Photoshoot

Elk Island Photoshoot

Elk Island Photoshoot

Ice Castle

West Edmonton Mall Waterpark


Skoki's Waffles and Crepes!

Downtown Banff!

The Rockies!

Sleigh Ride!

Fairmont Hot Springs Hotel since 1888

Johnston's Canyon!

Hot Springs
3.) I've finished The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey and Orphan's Song by Gillian Bronte Adams! Reviews will be up in the coming weeks. Let's just say, one was good and one was bad.

4.) I made it by the skin of my teeth, but I did finish two drawings of Cynara from Subsapien! This is my first fullbody in a while. I was definitely rusty. XD

5.) I guestposted on Faith and Fantasy Alliance (the official Realm Makers conference blog) about steampunk and Sara Letourneau's blog about being a plonster and on Arlette Writes about how much I love writing.

The Geeky Department:

1.) I'm on the last season of Lost! This is definitely a crazy show. I didn't expect it to go in the directions it did. XD

I like this gif a lot.

2.) I'm on Season 6 of GMM! I'm determined to catch up so I can officially make it part of my daily routine!

They're such dorks. XD
3.) I watched Spirited Away with Cassia. It was her first time seeing it. My third. The movie just gets better with every watch.

4.) I also go through half of Your Lie in April with Cassia. We plan to watch the rest at the same time will camming. I like it so far. ^ ^

Takes me back to my piano competition days.

5.) I also saw the 5th Wave in theaters. Check out my review on Geeks Under Grace!

 What I Learned:

1.) Always Be on the Lookout for New Post Ideas - I don't know about you but I have this fear that I'm going to run out of ideas on my blog and one day I'm going to say, "Hey, guys ... I've got nothin'." But I've found that I'm constantly inspired by keeping a look out. Look at what questions members in writing communities are asking. I've been inspired to write a post about how to get back into reading. This is a problem I've experienced and I found this out because some people commented about how they're having trouble. It's now on my list of ideas. Is there something you're passionate about? Write about it. Is there something you discovered how to do? Write about it. Is there something you learned this whole new method on how to do? Write about it.

2.) This is some really great advice for aspiring writers -

3.) Airport Security Doesn't Like Me - So I've been on plane six times in the past four years. Three out of six of those times I've been held up by security for some reason. First time was on the way back to the USA from France and I was randomly selected to be screened. The only thing suspicious i had in there was a plushie of my book character. Second time I got in trouble on my way to Canada because I had pepper spray (I live in the Atlanta area, people), and I had to have it thrown away. That held me up for like a half hour to an hour while I was signing all of these documents.

Third time was on my flight back from Canada and security thought they saw a letter opener in my purse. What idiot would take a letter opener in their purse is beyond me. It was chopsticks. Chop. Sticks. Last time which was on a connection on that same journey, was I was randomly selected again. The dude gave me a choice of the scanning machine or being physically pat down.


Machine please. No, I don't want to go behind that stupid curtain and let you get your little airport man, two by two hands of blue hands all over me.

I'm a 5' 9", Southern, pale, blonde, blue-eyed white girl. Do I look intimidating to you?!

Basically, what I'm trying to say is if you need any help for book research about being pulled aside by airport security for minor "offenses", I've got ya covered.

This is what I looked like. Does this look intimidating to you?
4.) I Love Canada - Despite the mishaps on the plane, I really enjoy the country of Canada. I already miss hearing "eh" and Canadian, British, and French accents all the time. I miss the colder weather. I miss the people I met up there. I miss Tim Horton's. I miss the Rockies. I hope I can make a trip back soon. I still have much to see.

Last Tim Horton's. Sadness ...
5.) First Official Editing Experience - Now that I'm being published in a magazine for the first time, I have some experience in a minor publishing experience. I thought I'd give you some incite, so you have an idea of how it goes if you're interested in submitting to a magazine.

After I wrote my piece and had the heck critiqued out of it, I sent it off via email and to the magazine's articles to the acquisitions editor. In about five days (aka the night before I left for Canada), I got my first ever acceptance notice! I cried. I'll admit it. I'm still in shock it happened. The head editor for Havok also gave me some tweaks from the associate editor. I fixed those (they were minor and actually helped enhance the story) and sent it back. That's as far as I've gotten, but I've been informed I'll be getting my contract soon, and I'll be submitting a bio and photo for the magazine as well.

Speaking of that ... I'm thinking about changing my main author profile picture. Do you like the original (the first) or the new one (the second) better?



What I'm Going to Do:

1.) I'm going to finish looking over critique for Red Hood, do a few more polishing edits, then send it off to the publisher who wants to see it. *crossing fingers because this is my dream publisher* I'm also going to plan and begin writing Silver Hood, the sequel for Red Hood!

2.) I actually don't really have any exciting life plans for next month. Ummm ... Looking for a part time job to help save up for a conference? Does that count? Yeah probably not ...

3.) I'm going to finish Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (which is really good so far by the way) and read Cinder by Marissa Meyer (I know, I know. Finally), and The End of All Things by Jill Williamson,

4.) I'm going to work on the Pro Expressions Challenge, which is fitting since I'm interviewing her next month, and I'd like to Rouyn Expressions Challenge too if I get time.

5.) I'd like to do more guest posts and reviews if I get the time. We will have to see. March is a month where I'm not totally sure what I'm doing. XD

Last Month on Stori Tori's Blog ...

This month's Writerly Bundles: 
Writerly Bundle #1: Hebetude, Un Nouveau Soleil, and Linden Tea
Writerly Bundle #2: Aeonian, The Council of Elrond, and Korean Honey Plum Tea
Writerly Bundle #3: Ludic, Tears - River's Eyes, and Seven Blossoms Tea

This month's books:
A Book Review of The Heir War by Jill Williamson
A Book Review of Blur by Steven James
A Book Review of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
A Book Review of Me, Just Different by Stephanie Morrill

This month's writing tips:
Why Reading Regularly is Essential to Being a Good Writer
So Your Character is From Australia ... Featuring Cait, Imogen, & Ely
Writing Lessons from Movies: Ever After

My stories stuff:
Questions for Sonne (Silver Hood)!
Beautiful People: Valentine's Edition - Rouyn & Elasa (Starbloods)
Interview with Sonne (Silver Hood)

Other stuff:
The Tag of Happiness & The Dragon's Loyalty Award

Coming Soon to Stori Tori's Blog ...

More awesomeness coming to you next month in some anticipated posts! I'm so happy to be able to get them to you now. ^ ^

March 1 - A Book Review of the Revised Life of Ellie Sweet by Stephanie Morrill - Where I analyze yet another contemporary novel, but this one the main character is a young writer.

March 4 - Questions for Pro (Subsapien) - A call for questions for one of my side characters from my science-fiction series Subsapien. She's my Southern, tomboy character. Pro had an interview a while back, but it's been years. Come ask her a few Qs on this day! Here interview will be posted on March 25th!

March 5 - Antiheroes 101: What is an Antihero and How do you Write a Successful One? - Do you like Sherlock, Tony Stark, or Han Solo? Then this is the post for you! I give you some good tips on how to write a good antihero.

March 6 - Writerly Bundle #5 - Where I continue my fangirling over Jane Austen inspired teas and tunes. (technically the first one begins tomorrow but you know ...). This week will be Lizzie Bennett inspired!

March 8 - A Book Review of the 5th Wave by Rick Yancey - A lot of people have anticipated this review and on this day I shall bring it to you. I've also reviewed the movie, which I will be including in that review. Is this alien apocalypse story any good? What can it teach us about writing?

March 11 - Beautiful People - I have no idea what I'm doing for this, but I'm sure Cait and Sky will have something wonderful in store.

March 12 - So Your Character is From Canada ... - The next edition of the So Your Character is From Another Country series! Tracey Dyck from Adventure Awaits, Adriana Gabrielle from the Librarian Files, and Cassia Schaar from Dimensions of My Universe will be joining me for an exclusive interview about life as a Canadian. Because I recently went to Canada, I will be including a video interview with Cassia! It's going to be a great post.

March 13 - Writerly Bundle #6 - I'll be reviewing an exclusive leap year Adagio tea!

March 15 -  A Book Review of Allegiant by Veronica Roth - Another review I know some of you have been looking forward to and I've made sure it's right before the movie comes out. I plan to be reviewing the film over on Geeks Under Grace. I'll include the link in the review after I've seen it.

March 18 - Tag - I'll be doing another one of the tons of tags, I'm tagged in, not sure which one yet, but it'll be good. XD

March 19 - Writing Lessons from Movies: The Prince of Egypt - Anyone remember this animated classic from their childhood with amazing songs based on the Biblical story of Moses? It's pretty awesome, right? What makes it awesome? Find out in this post!

March 20 - Writerly Bundle #7 - More Jane Austen teas! This one will be from Persuasion.

March 22 - A Book Review of Peril by Suzanne Hartmann - I've had this book on my shelf for a while and I finally decided to crack it open. Was that a wise decision?

March 26 - Monthly Summary - I do this again and apparently you guys like to read me ranting about my life, so I bet you're looking forward to this.

March 27 - Writerly Bundle #8 - Another Jane Austen-inspired tea called Brandy Oolong! Let's see if it's any good.

March 29 - A Book Review of The End of All Things by Jill Williamson - A book review of part three of the King's Folly! You can check out part one and part two!

Elsewhere ...

Kind Things To Do For Writers, Bloggers, + Authors by Katie Grace @ A Writer's Faith - A really cute post on how to give writers, bloggers, and authors some love. :)

Does Fiction Give Us Unrealistic Expectations? by Olivia Hofer @ Story Matters - A discussion on fiction.

The Lost Art of Honor–And Why We Need it Back by Emily Tjaden @ The Incandescent Life - A post we all need to hear.

3 Notebooks Every Writer Needs by Bethany Youngblood @ Forgotten Featherpen - A nifty post about notebooks to keep us organized!

ELEMENTS OF A GOOD ROMANTIC SUBPLOT by Imogen Elvis @ Gossiping Dragons - A great post that basically talks about everything I don't like about romantic subplots and how to write a good one.

Over all February has been a really fun and exiting month. March will probably simmer down a bit, but some downtown will be nice. Happy March!

How was your month? What did you do? Are you looking forward to any of the upcoming posts? Have you been to Canada? Have you ready any of these books or seen any of these movies/shows? Has airport security ever pulled you aside? Which author picture do you like best?
If you liked this post, come back every Saturday for more writing advice, character interviews, book reviews and more! On Sundays I have Soundtrack Sundays where I post a new score piece, Tuesdays are Tea Tuesdays with tea reviews, Wednesdays I have Wonderful Word Wednesdays where I post a new vocabulary word, and Fridays are Fan Fridays where I post tags and other goodies. To help support my dream to be an author follow this blog, like me on Facebook, watch me on deviantART, and follow me on Pinterest and Twitter. If you want to know more about my books check out them out here. Thank you! :)

Friday, February 26, 2016

Interview with Sonne (Silver Hood)

Sonne (Silver Hood)

*sitting in a chair in a room with a laptop on my lap* Hey, everyone! I'm here with Sonne, a side character from the sequel to Red Hood called Silver Hood. If you'd like to get know a bit about her before the interview, check out her bio! Thank you for submitting questions! This helps me get to know my characters so much better. If you'd like to get some tips about interviewing characters, I wrote a post all about it!

Greetings, everyone. *smiles, pets Mjukur on her shoulder*

Are you ready for your first character building exercise ever?

*firm nod*

All righty. The first question is anonymous and it is: I noticed that your name is the same as the German word for ""sun."" Is that just a coincidence, or did your family name you for the sun on purpose?

What is "German?"

I'll answer this. Yes, she was named that on purpose in reference to the dawn. *winks*

*narrows eyes*

*rotates feathery antennae*

The next one is from Sara Letourneau: What is conversion magic? What does it allow you to do?

Conversion magic allows me to change the forms of objects. I can turn stone into a bowl or ice into a chair. I primarily use stone as my weapons with my sling and bolas. I can change the shape of the stones as I please.

Good to know. *types that down* Next question is from Skye Hoffert: Is your magic hard to use?

It can be. It depends on what you are trying to convert and how large it is. Turning a pebble into an arrowhead is simple, but transforming a boulder into a statue is difficult.

*nods*  The next question was asked by multiple people. I was afraid that Mjukur would be seen as gross because he's a large bug. But I'm happy to be proved wrong.

*pets Mjukur's head* Mjukur is certainly more than a "large bug."

*smiles* Jessi L. Roberts and several anonymous people ask: How did you find the moth, or did he find you? I love Mjukur! It's super cool. I'm curious though. How did Sonne come to have a pet moth? How did you meet Mjukur? Sonne, your friend Mjukur sounds like a wonderful moth! May I ask how you met him? Where did you get Mjukur? He's adorable!

*beams, holds Mjukur in her hands* He was a gift for my twelfth birthday. He brings me objects to convert, sends messages for me, and finds things such as food for me. I would consider him my best friend.

*nestles in her hands*

Nyawwwww. Here's one from Liz Brooks: Do you worry that your moth will get killed or injured?

Of course. I have sometimes left him home because of this fear, but he always finds a way to follow me.

Awwwww. Okay next Q from Jessi L. Roberts: What does he eat, and does he perch on your shoulder, hover, or find a more embarrassing place to perch, like dangling off your neck or nesting in your hair?
He prefers to stand on my shoulder, though sometimes he will sit on top of my head. 
I do not have much hair for him to nest. *pinches hair on her boy cut*

All right next question is from Ruth Blomgren: Do you have a plan for tomorrow? Next week? Next year?

Tomorrow I am teaching magic to new recruits. Next week I have a mission for the cause. 
Next year I hope to bring peace to Isriki and if not that bring us a few steps closer to it.

*nods* Here's another from Ruth: Do you have a job/school? Who do you work for/how loyal are you?

I believe I stated this above, but I work for the North Wind and I am very loyal.

Liz Brooks asks: Are you glad to have joined the North Wind?

Yes, my life has meaning after joining them.

Sara Letourneau asks: What do you hope the younger generation can learn from the example you and the North Wind have set?

That peace is possible, that not all thirst for power and bloodshed, that some still wish for the ties between Isamaour and humans to be remade.

That's a good example to set. Sara also wants to know: Do you have time for hobbies outside of campaigning for the North Wind? If so, what are they?

I enjoy spinning thread. It's calming and allows me to have time to think.

*smiles* Liz Brooks and an anonymous questioner ask:  What was the best part of your childhood? So... what fond memories do you have of your childhood? 

Receiving Mjukur is definitely one of them as well as receiving my spinning wheel. A memory from the end of my childhood is fond to me as well. At my womanhood ceremony when I received my prayer crystal. *holds up the crystal on a chain around her neck*

Another anonymous question: What is one remarkable childhood memory that you think has changed you?

The one mentioned in my bio I would consider remarkable.

Here's another from Sara: How did moving from place to place so often affect you?

I could never create any lasting friendships for I could never communicate with my old friends once I moved. I lost old possessions I could not take with me during our journeys. Anything I own since then is precious to me for it helps me remember all of those homes I used and left.

Another from Ruth:  Are you resilient enough to change with circumstances/environment?

That is one thing all of my different homes have taught me. I can live anywhere and make the best of any living situation.

*nods, types that* Ruth has another question for you: What do you think of yourself?

I believe I am a strong person and I can do great things.

An anonymous questioner asks: What would it take to get you to kill?

That is a difficult question ... I suppose if it was the only way to stop someone from doing 
something horrible, but even then I would try to disable them first.

Ruth would like to know: Do you have family/friends?

Yes, I have many now within the North Wind. My only family are Hulda, Ingveldur, and Rakel, the three woman who raised me.

*nods* The next one is from Skye Hoffert: How is your relationship with the old ladies that raised you?

I visit them at times, but they do not approve of my involvement with the North Wind. 

The next five questions are from Ruth:  What would have to happen to make you speak out, or, defend a stranger, in public?

I would speak out for anyone being oppressed. *firms chin*

Me:Who/what makes you feel completely loved and accepted?

The North Wind does. They are like my family. We all fight for the same cause. It is a comforting sort of unity. *strokes Mjukur*

Me:  Who/what makes you feel most afraid?

The possibility that we might lose.

Me: Ruth Blomgren What is the trait you most deplore in yourself/others?

Greed. It is greed that began this war and greed that has made it continue for half a century.

Me: Ruth Blomgren What is the trait you most admire in yourself/others?

Humility. People who put their needs over others are great persons indeed.

Me:And the last two questions are from Liz Brooks: Have you ever forgiven your people 
for killing the man who showed you kindness? 

No, I am not sure if I ever will.

Me: What does true peace look like to you?

A world where we are not constantly fighting with the humans. Where we can trade once again 
and blood is not shed daily.

And that is it for the questions. Thank you to everyone who submitted them! If you'd like to know more about Sonne's series check out my post about the first book. You can check out more about her fellow characters in the interviews listed below. Thanks for reading!

Thank you and farewell!

What do you think of Siocban? Do you have any further questions for her? Have you ever done a character interview? Share a link in the comments!

You may also like:

If you liked this post, come back every other Tuesday for book reviews; Friday for tags, character interviews, and link-ups; Saturdays for writing advice and life updates; and Sundays for the Writerly Bundle which includes a new soundtrack piece, vocabulary word, and tea review! To help support my dream to be an author follow this blog, like me on Facebook, watch me on deviantART, and follow me on Pinterest and Twitter. If you want to know more about my books check out them out here. Thank you! :)