Saturday, February 25, 2017

With Blossoms Gold Cover Reveal!

It's time! I'm very pleased with the way this cover turned out, and I hope you will be, too!




She never wanted to leave the tower. He never wanted to rule the country.

Nella has lived quietly in her tower in the woods for over a decade. After dangerous accusations drove her and her grandmother away from their village, they escaped deep into the forest where no one would try to harm them. Now, after her grandmother's death, Nella is alone, and she is determined to stay that way. She has no patience for a world she deems judgmental and ignorant.

Or so she tells herself. In reality, her paralyzing fear prevents her from stepping foot outside of the tower.

Prince Benedict Allesandro is an adventurer- a rescuer who prides himself on saving the weak and unfortunate. When he hears rumors of a beautiful damsel trapped in a tower, he rushes to her rescue...only to find a woman who most definitely does not wish to be saved.

But when war breaks out, this reckless prince and reclusive maiden are faced with overcoming their deepest fears in order to determine not only their own fate, but that of their entire country.

Coming April 2, 2017

Add this book on Goodreads.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Pinterest Storyboard Party

     Elisabeth Grace Foley is holding a Pinterest Storyboard Party, and as I am constantly making Pinterest storyboards for my novels (it's one of the first things I do in planning stages) I couldn't help but join in. Unfortunately for the party, almost all of my Pinterest boards for my unfinished novels are kept secret until a month or so before their release, so these are for the novels that have already been published.

     With Blossoms Gold's mood was inspired by Renaissance paintings, brocade fabrics, gardens and flowers, damp catacombs, Shakespeare's plays (specifically Romeo and Juliet and The Merchant of Venice), a random de'Medici documentary I watched for research, and the costumes of Ever After.

     I loved making this board for For Elise. Its contemporary setting, dash of 1940s nostalgia, and setting of a Victorian mansion meant it was a fun board to put together.

     The Wulver's Rose remains one of my favorite storyboards-partly because I love the gloomy mists of the Scottish landscape. You might also notice a few elements that didn't quite make it into the final book. One day, depending on publishing rights, I'd love to re-add some of those scenes to the novella and expand it unto a full length novel. Of course, I don't have much hope of that happening (even if I did have the opportunity, I have too many other things to work on) but it's a nice thought. :)

     I hope you enjoyed these! If you'd like, you can join the party too! Find more about it here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Sweet Remembrance Cover Reveal

     Today I'm pleased to show you the cover for my fellow Once author's standalone edition of her story Sweet Remembrance. Emily's story is both beautiful and tragic and, fair warning, may make you cry!

Sweet Remembrance: The Little Match Girl Retelling

In the despair of the Warsaw Ghetto, a young Jewish woman fights the Nazis with the only thing she has left—her memories.

Add on Goodreads
Purchase the eBook

About the Author:

Emily Ann Putzke is a young novelist, historical reenactor, and history lover. She's the author of It Took a War, Resist, Sweet Remembrance, and co-author of Ain't We Got Fun. You can learn more about Emily and her books at

Giveaway Winners!

Hello friends! The winners of the Kindle copies of For Elise are:

Emily Ann Putzke
Brooke Elizabeth Smoke

Congrats! I've emailed you all, so you should be hearing from me shortly.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The I Love Austen Week Tag

*gasp* Hayden posts twice in one day! Will wonders never cease? This is what happens when a blog party is going on, I suppose ;)

1.  Which did you experience first, a Jane Austen book or a movie based on one? 

     A book. My first experience was reading Pride and Prejudice when I was 12. I only picked it up because it was supposed to be an important classic book, even though at the time I didn't know anyone who had read it or even liked Jane Austen. Because of that, I came into the book blindly with no expectations or even a clear picture of what the book was about. Therefore, it was one of the best reading experiences I've ever had.

2.  What is your favorite Austen book? 

     Emma, followed by Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey.

3.  Favorite heroine?  Why do you like her best? 

Image result for elinor dashwood 2008

     Hmmm. I think my favorite heroine is Elinor Dashwood although, ironically, Sense and Sensibility is probably my least favorite Austen book. (I do like the story, and love the movie adaptations, but the novel itself has always been a harder one for me to get through). Elinor is certainly the Austen heroine I relate to the most, and I admire her strength of character.

4.  Favorite hero?  Why do you like him best? 

     Mr. Knightley, of course. He's just so good, with an uncommon amount of common sense. But he's not perfect or boring, and I love his sarcastic comments and sense of humor.

5.  Do you have a favorite film adaptation of Austen's work? 

     Well, I have favorite versions of each story. Well, mostly. The film adaptations for Sense and Sensibility and Emma are practically a tie, and I haven't seen the newer version of Persuasion recently enough to make a call on it. But I definitely like the newer BBC version of Mansfield Park, for all its faults, because it is just so much better than that travesty that is the 90s version. I've only seen one version of Northanger Abbey which had wonderful casting if some odd and out-of-place directing choices, and I actually enjoyed Love and Friendship, despite all the hate it's gotten.

     BUT I'm sure the real question is which P&P adaptation I prefer, and it's definitely the Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle one. (I'm not quite a hater of the 2005 one, but some aspects of it do make me grit my teeth)

Image result for pride and prejudice 1995

6.  Have your Austen tastes changed over the years?  (Did you start out liking one story best, but now like another better?  Did you think she was boring at first, then changed your mind?  Etc.) 

     Actually, yes. I used to think of Pride and Prejudice as the be-all, end-all, most perfect of Austen's works; however, I've been so overexposed to it over the years I've lost my taste for it a bit. I had to read it several times, and then I was in a theatrical production of it so I know the story far, far too well. The story is still great and amazing, but I just have needed to take a break from it for a while.

7.  Do you have any cool Austen-themed things (mugs, t-shirts, etc)?  (Feel free to share photos if you want.)

     I have some very pretty Jane Austen notebooks, but sadly few Austen-themed items besides the books and some of the movies.

8.  If you could ask Jane Austen one question, what would you ask her? 

     How much are your characters based on the people that you know? Which of your heroines do you relate to the most?

9.  Imagine someone is making a new film of any Jane Austen story you choose, and you get to cast the leads.  What story do you want filmed, and who would you choose to act in it?

     Well, there's not really a Mansfield Park adaptation I'm satisfied with, so I'd choose that one.

Image result for eleanor tomlinson death comes to pemberleyImage result for tom hiddleston jane austen regrets

Fanny Price- I was throwing around the idea of Eleanor Tomlinson, only to find that that's who Natalie chose, too! :D I also thought of Kimberly Nixon, who played Sophy in Cranford, as an option as well.

Edmund Bertram- Tom Hiddleston (just because if anyone could make me *truly* like Edmund...wouldn't it be him?)

Henry Crawford- maybe James McAvoy? If only because his role in Becoming Jane seemed a little Henry Crawford-ish to me at times.

Mary Crawford- Michelle Dockery. Don't tell me she wouldn't be perfect for this one.

10.  Share up to five favorite Jane Austen quotations!

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” -Northanger Abbey

“A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.” -Pride and Prejudice (I quoted this just yesterday, because my mother and sister do this ALL THE TIME)

“There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well. The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of merit or sense.” -Pride and Prejudice

“The ladies here probably exchanged looks which meant, 'Men never know when things are dirty or not;' and the gentlemen perhaps thought each to himself, 'Women will have their little nonsense and needless cares.” -Emma

Don't forget to check out more Austen-themed goodness on Hamlette's blog here!

Home to Highbury: On Loving Emma


     Emma became my favorite Jane Austen story the moment I was introduced to it. The Gwenyth Paltrow movie version has long been one of my favorites, and though it took me several watchings to appreciate it, the BBC version has also become a well-liked adaptation. And then, of course, there's the book itself- one that I've been re-reading for class this semester and loving every moment of. I've greatly enjoyed my British Novel class because of the discussions we're able to have about literature--though, in truth, it can be a little frustrating as well (because, I mean, if you don't love Mr. Knightley I just don't think we can be friends.)

from tumblr

     I'm not sure why this book is my favorite. As much as I like her, I freely admit that Emma Woodhouse is one of Austen's more maddening heroines and I can't give Mr. Knightley all the credit for making me love the novel so. Then why do I adore it so much?

     When it comes down to it, I think what I love about Emma is the close-knit society in which the characters exist. Highbury isn't a large town, and everyone seems to know everybody, at least by sight. There's a small circle of friends, family, and frenemies in a way that's not so different from my life, but different enough for me to yearn for its simplicity, and its absence of 24/7 news, politics, and Facebook rants. It seems cozy there, and comfortable. There's something about a small, old-fashioned English village that seems welcoming--a reason, perhaps, why my favorite Elizabeth Gaskell movie adaptation is Cranford--and when I'm reading Emma I feel like I've been enveloped in a warm blanket and set in front of the fire. (My long-neglected and abandoned etsy shop, in fact, bore the name of "Home To Highbury" as homage to one of my favorite fictional places) It's the only Jane Austen novel where the action doesn't move from place to place. There are no scenes in London, no trips to Bath, no excursions to the distant house of friends or distant relations. We might hear of events happening in those places, but all of the "on-screen" action happens in Highbury.

     Like most Jane Austen novels, the problems of Emma are in some sense small. There are no explosions, no world-saving exploits, no fights against tyranny or examples of political intrigue. But maybe because it's so contained, so centered on a small group of people, is why it works so well. Everything that happens in the book is vitally important to the characters's lives. It delves into the emotions, misunderstandings, and mistakes that we all make. There is so much about the book that is appealing to me: the characters who are so distinct and yet are so familiar because we've met their counterparts in our everyday lives; the equally familiar but uncomfortable situations they get themselves into, and the promise of a happy ending. But for all its familiarity, it's still a form of escapism, too. I know that sometimes I get wearied from the world and all of its current problems: its immorality, its strife, its determination to reject all that is wholesome and good. Jane Austen's world was far from perfect, but Emma's idealistic one very nearly is, and we know that all of her problems will (eventually) resolve themselves.

      When it comes down to it, visiting the unchanging world of Emma is a bit like coming home, where Mr. Woodhouse always has a bit of gruel set out for you, Miss Bates is as eager as ever to talk anyone's ear off about Jane Fairfax, and Mr. Knightley's sage advice is always a short walk away.

(Interestingly enough, it seemed like everybody on my Goodreads feed was reading or rereading Emma this past month or two. I wonder if we all decided to do so separately, or if we saw that others were reading it and thought it sounded like a good idea!)

Friday, February 10, 2017

For Elise Giveaway

     Happy (early) Valentine's Day! I've always loved this holiday, probably because as long as I've remembered my parents have bought my siblings and I chocolate to celebrate. And to help you celebrate, I'm giving away 3 kindle copies of For Elise.

Good luck!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Cover News & Upcoming Giveaway!

     Hello friends! I've been absent for a while now, busy with school but also with some upcoming projects. One of them? Readying With Blossoms Gold for its paperback edition. I'm almost done with the cover, and it's time to get participants for the cover reveal on March 1st! If you'd like to join, just leave your email address in the comments (I'll have the comments on moderation) OR send me an email at thestorygirl20[at]yahoo[dot]com and I'll send you the cover, story synopsis, and coordinating links a few days before the reveal date.

     Also, today is For Elise's first birthday! To celebrate, I'm going to be holding a Valentine's Day giveaway where I'll be giving away 3 kindle copies! It begins on the 10th of February and I'll be announcing the winners on 14th.

See you then! (in a figurative sense, of course)

With Blossoms Gold on Goodreads
  For Elise on Goodreads
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