Book Review (and author interview!) - When Ravens Fall by Savannah Jezowksi

November 24, 2017

   So I read this beautiful little book over Thanksgiving break, and as the Indie Christian Books Black Friday sale is going on (more about that later in the post), I just had to share a review of it with you guys!

Book Review (and author interview!) - When Ravens Fall by Savannah Jezowski [header image]

4 Stars

   So this was actually a re-read, and you guys know how rare it is for me to enjoy a re-read as much I enjoy the original first-read of a book. But When Ravens Fall is an exception! I rated it four stars when I first read it, and I'm rating it four stars now, because this little novella is gorgeous. <3

From The Back Cover

When Ravens Fall by Savannah Jezowksi, cover image
It is the age of dreams.

When Kenna, the raven, foresees a girl in the Mist, she believes she has finally found the one to break the curse. That has always been her mission, since the day her misguided anger cast the curse than engulfed both her and Odin's son, Baldur, complicating what was already an impossible nightmare. But the girl she sees in the Mist is different than the others who have come for the Trials, than the others who have failed and returned home terrorized by their experience. This girl actually wants to be here.

Astrid, the dragon slayer's daughter, has a plan of her own. She is not interested in dreams and curses. There is only one thing that she desires, and falling in love is not it. After all, some girls were never meant to fall in love.

Baldur, the bear, inherited the gift of dreams from his mother. His dreams are consumed with the one event in his future he cannot seem to escape: his death. For years, he and the Raven have tried to find a woman capable of loving him in spite of his monstrosity, and for years they have failed. The roses are dying and the sky burns red like fire. The times tell the tale of the end.

the epic stuff

- The Norse legends. When Ravens Fall had a whole plethora of Norse legendary mixed into it, which was super cool. It made the story feel that much more alive, which was super cool. I've read next to no books with Norse legends/vikings and such, so it was really cool that When Ravens Fall had that element, I loved it <3. It was great fun getting to read about Baldur and Frigg's prophecy, and Odin and his ravens.

- It's a Beauty and The Beast retelling. You guys know I love my retellings (I'm writing one right now, though mine is Snow White, and not Beauty and The Beast), and When Ravens Fall didn't disappoint! I found it more of a loose retelling, which I was perfectly fine with, and it was lovely <3. 

- The setting. For such a short book, I was quite impressed with the worldbuilding that went into it. The setting was very vivid, and so easy to picture in my mind. I loved how unique it was! 

the disliked stuff

- The length. Novellas are just so short! I think I've said this about every novella I've ever read, but I need more! xD And while I loved When Ravens Fall, I do wish it was a little longer. However, the pacing was really good for such a short story.    

- There were some incorrect formats / typos. Not too many - just one or two typos, and a couple places where a paragraph should have been indented, but wasn't. It didn't throw me off much (I was too busy flailing over the epic story), but I thought it deserved mentioning.

   Both of those are super minor issues, so When Ravens Fall absolutely deserved every one of the four stars I gave it. It's a beautiful story that I would definitely recommend, probably to ages 12+.

   And Mrs. Jezowski herself is here today, and has kindly agreed to be interviewed. She has some cool stuff to say about her stories, so let's get right onto that, shall we? 

Savannah Grace: Where did you get the idea for When Ravens Fall? 

Savannah Jezowski: For my novella, When Ravens Fall, I wanted to write a Beauty and the Beast story that allowed the enchantress to play a bigger role in the story. It always frustrated me in the Disney version that she had one teeny tiny role in the prologue and then she pretty much disappears. Forever. So that is where Kenna came to life, my enchantress who had an incredible part to play in the story. I was also looking for a setting that had never been done before…and I thought, What about Vikings? Because, well, Vikings are pretty cool and unique, right? Once I started researching the old Norse legends, I knew I had chosen wisely. The myths are overflowing with amazing material for retellings. I drew upon half a dozen different legends in order to tell my little tale—such as Odin and his ravens, Baldur and Frigg’s prophecy, Sigurd and the dragon Fafnir, Ratatoskr the gossiping squirrel, and many others.

SG: Astrid is a really strong main character - what inspired you to write her? 

Jezowski: For Astrid, I didn’t want to have the typical Beauty—the booklover, the sweet inner temperament, beautiful in and out. I wanted a rougher character, someone who wasn’t very beautiful (on the inside or the out). Astrid was a rough character to get to like because she was so hardened by her difficult life. She had scars, inside and out, and she didn’t always make the best choices.

SG: How many years have you considered yourself a writer? 

Jezowski: I started writing when I was in elementary school but I didn’t begin to write seriously and attempt publication until I was in college.

SG: What's one piece of advice you'd give to aspiring inside authors? 

Jezowski Ask for help and join Facebook groups. Indie authors cannot be successful alone, so develop a support group and be willing to help others the way you need to be helped. It’s a team effort. Have joint sales and Facebook parties, group giveaways and things like that. Also, learn to do as much as you can yourself because it will save you a lot of money and heartache.

SG: Do you have a favorite out of all the book/stories you've written? 

Jezowski: My favorite is Wither: Five Enchanted Roses. It was a story I wrote to share my own spiritual struggle. I went through a time of difficulty where I felt like God had abandoned me, and writing Wither helped me to work through that time of darkness and find the joy and beauty in restoration.

SG: According to you, what elements make for a good book?

Jezowski: I love character driven stories, stories where the author starts with a character and builds the story around them (like how I built When Ravens Fall around Kenna and Astrid). I also like a little bit of clean romance and a lot of mystery and foreshadowing.

SG: Epic answers - thanks for being here, Mrs. Jezowski! <3 

Savannah Jezowksi's bio image
Savannah Jezowski lives in a drafty farmhouse in Amish country with her Knight in Shining Armor, a little warrior princess, two English Springer Spaniels and a brigade of kitties. Her work has been published in Ray Gun Revival, Mindflights and in the student publication of Fountains at Pensacola Christian College. She is the author of Wither: Five Enchanted Roses and When Ravens Fall. Her first full length novel, After: Neverway Chronicles Book One, will be published in early 2018. She likes books, faeries, writing hats and having tea with her imaginary friends.

   And now you guys are probably wondering about the epic book sale going on (me thinks you may have skipped the post to come down to this part xD) ...

   Indie Christian Books is having their huge Black Friday sale, and the website opens today! There's tons of discounted paperbacks and ebooks, so even if your budget is $0, there's a bunch you can snag! I'm dying to get my hands on some of the epic books <3. (and a quick note on the ebooks only page - many of the books there are listed as 'sold out', but that's only because they're not being sold directly through that page. Clicking on the ebook should take you to a place where you can actually get your hands on the beautiful book.)

   There's also a giveaway going on, so definitely check that out, too!

   Go nab yourself some epic (and cheap xD) books, y'all.

~ Savannah Grace

have you read When Ravens Fall?
which books do you have your eye on from the indie christian books sale?

Taking A Break // When Writing Gets Obsessive

November 17, 2017

   So guess what's a weird post to be posting in the middle of NaNoWriMo? This post is. 

Taking A Break // When Writing Gets Obsessive [title image]

   Let's make one thing clear before I dig into this post - I'm not talking about NaNoWriMo here. I love all the hectic craziness of the month of November, it's so fun. NaNoWriMo (and ... pretty much anyone on a major deadline xD) is exempt from this post. I'm talking about those times when you've been writing so much that you can't stop, even when you're tired of it. I'm talking about how to take a break when you've become writing-obsessed (*cough* something I need to learn *cough*). 

   But how do you know if your writing has become obsessive?

1. Everything Is Dry  

   Your words are dry, your well of inspiration is dry, your plotline is dry - yeah, pretty much everything is dry. Your 'creative tank' isn't full anymore, and you're needing to figure out a way to refuel and got those creative juices flowing again.

2. Writing Isn't Fun Anymore

   So now you're probably thinking 'this could never happen!', but guess what - it can. Getting tired of writing happens to me when I've been writing like a madwoman for weeks and weeks ... and then everything just kinda starts to slide to a stop. I'm tired. The words aren't coming. All inspiration has gone *poof*. Thus, writing is not fun anymore xD.

3. Writing Is Stressful (...but not writing is also stressful) 

   This one is one of the biggest signs that you are over-obsessing about the need to write. If writing is making you stressed, but not writing is also making you stressed (seriously, this happens #me) because you feel guilty about not writing when you could be writing ... yeah, 'tis a problem. And it has happened to me quite often, so I would know. I am the queen of writing obsessively xD.  

   So, those are just a few ways to know if your writing habits have become obsessive. And do you know what you (and I, if I can convince myself about it xD) really need to do when this starts to happen? TAKE A BREAK. Even just a small break - just a couple days, or a week if you have the time - can work wonders. But I actually have a REALLY hard time forcing myself to take a break when I've becoming overly obsessed with writing ... so, how do you do this think called 'taking a break?'. 

1. Give Yourself Permission To Chill 

    This is actually the hard part. See the word 'obsessed' up there in the post title? Yeah, that means CAN'T STOP. I find it really, really hard to quit writing when I start obsessing over it ... even when, deep down, I want a break sooooo bad. So stepping back and giving yourself permission (or forcing yourself) to just chill and not go near a keyboard for a few days is actually hard, but breaks are needed, so DON'T feel guilty about not writing for awhile (#me). You have all the permission in the world to just chill for a few days.

2. Read A Book

   Read two books! Read lots of books! We're bookdragons - it's in our DNA to devour books twenty-seven books in one weekend. Find a nice, huge fantasy book to get your hands on, or a fluffy contemporary to breeze through. Perfect fuel to refill on <3. (and I've posted lists of books that are perfect for Summer and books that are perfect for Fall, so there's some quick recommendations for ya xD)

the unwanteds by Lisa McMann - bookshelf image

3. Work On A New Project

   Sometimes it isn't really a break from writing that's needed - it's a break from a specific project. Working on a new piece (maybe just a short story, or a piece of flash fiction), can kind of give you a breather from whatever you've been currently working on. Sometimes I'll purposefully work on two projects at once, so that I don't get all tired out. But switching projects really can help - especially if you're going from a serious project to a just-for-fun piece.

4. Take A Deep Breath

   Just breath for a minute. For a few minutes. Or a few days, if you need it. Sit back and watch a movie, take a walk, surf the blogosphere, or hang with that strange thing called family (yeah, they exist, too). Relax and do something you've wanted to do for awhile, but that you've put off because of the book you're working on. You are an epic little writing-creature - you deserve a break! Do something fun! Trust me, it'll be worth it ;D.

   And there ya go - all the ways that I get myself to take a breather when I desperately need one. And Thanksgiving is coming up super fast, so I'm going to convince the writer-ly part of my brain to chill for awhile so that I can just hang with family aaaall week. It'll be lots of fun xD. Have an epic Thanksgiving break, you guys - I'll see you after it's over!

~ Savannah Grace

do you get overly writing-obsessed sometimes? 
what do you do to give yourself a break?
have a great Thanksgiving, y'all! 

COVER REVEAL of Fawkes by Nadine Brandes

November 13, 2017

   GUYS. I have been waiting so so long to be able to post this - and now I can!

   Who wants to see the title + cover for Nadine Brandes' newest book?!?!

Title And Cover Reveal For Nadine Brandes' Book [header image]

   If I hadn't been sick when I received the cover image, I'd have been shrieking and bouncing off the walls when I saw it (which was my actual reaction when I heard that Nadine was being published by Thomas Nelson/Harpercollins xD) - but as it was, I had to do all bouncing and shrieking inwardly xD.

   BUT now I'm less sick, and I can do all the bouncing and shrieking with you guys, because it's time to show the cover to all of you! And it's absolutely gorgeous gorgeous GORGEOUS, so scroll down to get a look at the beauty of it all ...






yeah, I'm totally going to do this to you





A Time To Rise by Nadine Brandes

   Nope, this isn't the cover that's being revealed - but it is the cover of Nadine's last book, A Time To Rise. Do you think the next cover can live up to this one? Let's see ... 







so, if you've been around here long enough, you know that I'm partial to books of a certain color






anyone remember what color it is?










well, it just so happens to be the main color of ...











Fawkes by Nadine Brandes [Cover Image]

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes [Cover Image]
Thomas Fawkes is turning to stone, and the only cure to the Stone Plague is to join his father’s plot to assassinate the king of England.

Silent wars leave the most carnage. The wars that are never declared, but are carried out in dark alleys with masks and hidden knives. Wars where color power alters the natural rhythm of 17th century London. And when the king calls for peace, no one listens until he finally calls for death.

But what if death finds him first?

Keepers think the Igniters caused the plague. Igniters think the Keepers did it. But all Thomas knows is that the Stone Plague infecting his eye is spreading. And if he doesn’t do something soon, he’ll be a lifeless statue. So when his Keeper father, Guy Fawkes, invites him to join the Gunpowder Plot—claiming it will put an end to the plague—Thomas is in.

The plan: use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow up the Igniter King James.

The problem: Doing so will destroy the family of the girl Thomas loves. But backing out of the plot will send his father and the other plotters to the gallows. To save one, Thomas will lose the other.

No matter Thomas’s choice, one thing is clear: once the decision is made and the color masks have been put on, there’s no turning back.

Nadine Brandes Headshot Image

- Connect With Nadine Brandes -

   *is practically bouncing with excitement as I write this* Doesn't the cover look incredible?! I had so many expectations for Fawkes' cover (because it's a Nadine book, and the covers for her Out Of Time trilogy are killer), and it absolutely met them all! ALSO IT'S BLUE. I GET TO BUY A NEW BLUE BOOK IN JULY. I'M SO EXCITED, I COULD DIE. All the cover-love for blue books. <3 <3 <3. And not only is this one a blue book, it's a NADINE BRANDES BOOK. Her Out Of Time trilogy is one of the best trilogies I've ever read, so I'm over the moon about getting a new Nadine-book in July! *all the flailing*

   And to top off all this excitement, there's a giveaway for an ARC copy of Fawkes! (also, admit it - that title is epic. It will also always make me think of the phoenix Fawkes from Harry Potter xD)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

   Anyways. Now that you've seen all of my flailing about Fawkes, go check out Nadine's post about her new cover (where you can find pre-order links for ze book)! Fawkes will be available on July 10th, but I don't know if I'll be able to survive the wait xD.

   Now go! What are you still doing here?? Add it to Goodreads! Pre-order it on Amazon! MAKE THE INTERNETS EXPLODE WITH EXCITEMENT.  

   ... so now I shall just sit here and be tortured as I wait to read the epic thing. Someone send help. xD

~ Savannah Grace

freak out with me, you guys - isn't Fawkes' cover gorgeous?
doesn't the plot sound epic?
are you dying to read this book?

Book Review - The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

November 9, 2017

   So I finally finished The Scorpio Races, and now I'm kicking myself for waiting so long to get to it! While there were a couple things I didn't like, overall it was a wonderful book. Want to hear more about it?

Book Review - The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater [header image]
you'll have to forgive me for reusing a title image - but I'm sick, and don't have the motivation to take a new one xD

5 Stars

   I though I'd never get out of my reading slump, and then I get my hands on a five star book. Go figure xD. That's not to say that I liked everything in this book (*points down at the "disliked things" section*), but  overall, it was amazing. It earned those five stars.

From The Back Cover 

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater [cover image]
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

the epic stuff

   - The prose. The prose in The Scorpio Races was gorgeous. And not only was it gorgeous, it felt real - like actual people would have spoken those words. It was beautiful, and so easy to read. Loved it. <3 Also, can we talk about that line on the back cover of the book? "It was the first of November and so, today ... someone will die." I CAN'T. That line is absolutely what got me hooked on The Scorpio Races. (plus, the prose made the book have this certain feel that was just amazing)

   - The characters. I haven't read a book with characters this real for quite awhile. Sean and Puck were both amazing, and I honestly couldn't decide who was the main character? At first I thought it was Puck, then I thought it might have been Sean ... in the end, I settled by deciding that they could both be the main characters, for all I cared xD. I loved them both!

   - The capaill uisce. I've always wanted to read (or write!) a story that had something to do with kelpies, because they're not used enough in fiction. So when I saw that The Scorpio Races was about the capaill uisce, I was very excited. And Stiefvater did so well with them! I'd talk about it more, but I'd get into very spoiler-y territory, so ... nope. 

   - It got me out of my reading slump. I owe the book. <3

the disliked stuff

   - It, ah ... wasn't the cleanest. A fair amount of bad language was used, and (seeing as one of the biggest factors in the book was flesh-eating horses) there was a good amount of gore. Now, I don't know everyone's convictions when it comes to reading, but I would only recommend this to ages 16+.

   I now understand why everyone raves about Maggie Stiefvater's books - she's got an incredible talent for writing and storytelling. I can't wait to get my hands on another of her books!

~ Savannah Grace 

have you read The Scorpio Races?
which Stiefvater book should I read next?

A Call For Betas // Asher Grey

November 5, 2017

   So, I'm finally taking the jump. Who wants to beta Asher Grey?

A Call For Betas // Asher Grey [header image]

   Before you skip down to fill out the form for beta reading at the end of this post, you probably want to know some more about the story, huh? Well, I'll be nice, and not let you all jump in blind xD. I did a post about it last month (and there's some stuff about it on my 'writings' page), but here's some more info ...

- the book is currently 30k words long (I've already cut 15k from it and I still need to cut more, so #help)

- it's a Snow White retelling

- I'll send it to you on the 8th of November, and the deadline to finish it is the 22nd of November (exactly two weeks after, so plenty of time, seeing as Asher Grey is a teeny little book)

- I probably won't be able to accept all the betas who fill out the form. I know, I know - it's strange, and wish I could let all of you read it and help with the editing process, but I just don't have the time for that many betas right now. So probably ten-or-so of you guys who fill out the form will actually be able to read it. I'm so sorry!

   ... and I think that's about it. If you guys have any more questions, leave a comment, and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. Whether or not you're actually able to beta, your interest in my story means so much to me - you guys are the best! <3

~ Savannah Grace

so ... did you sign up?
and how's NaNoWriMo going for you guys?