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This blog is managed by us two sisters, known to some as Ants and Epic. We're a pair of up-and-coming authors and avid readers. This blog is mainly full of honest, Christian book-reviews and an occasional update about our writing. We love hearing from you all so feel free to drop a comment anywhere to just say hi!
Also, got any book suggestions? Something you'd like to see reviewed? Leave the title in the comments and we'll try to get to it!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

30 Writing Facts About Me

In response to the prompt on Nate Philbrick's blog, I thought I'd give a list of a few of my writerly habits along with an update on Mark My Soul!

1. I need music, whether to drown out background noise (there is always way too much background noise) or simply to get me in the mood, I almost always need music.

2. Unless I'm writing something short. Then I don't NEED music but I still prefer it.

3. I usually have tea to stimulate me; I love Chai, Rooibos, Jasmine, Cherry...just about any tea but mostly not very fruity flavored (and I'm not a big fan of Green tea).

4. I rarely drink coffee but I will sometimes with cocoa in it and lots of cream and sugar.

5. In winter I almost solely drink Egg Nog while writing

6. I also usually have sweets...bad for the teeth but brain stimulating when I get stuck!

7. When I'm facing real tough writers block (meaning I don't want to even THINK about that story I need to write on) I find it helps to pull my hair up...for no particular reason usually using decorative style hair sticks or pencils.

8. I write with my sister. I usually get a lot of questions about this one so I'll explain. It's like having a  live-in writing buddy. We both come up with stories, ideas, characters and then we brainstorm together. Then I write down what we came up with and she edits and helps us both see where we need revisions and where we need to leave well enough alone. Even with a story of 'my own' she's still editing, helping me brainstorm and always there to let me talk and sort things out.

9. I like to write with siblings/sibling like relationships. Good ones. I don't see enough good sibling relationships in most of today's popular media (one of many reasons I read manga/watch anime because they usually have this feature). So my sister and I have taken it upon ourselves to overuse this wonderful trope!

10. I like to write children. While siblings can mean just about any age I usually like to have at least one small child (under the age of twelve) in a story. While this is not always a given, it's normal for us. I have a lot of younger siblings so I'm used to kids thought processes and mannerisms so I find it pretty easy to make up children for my stories!

11. While I have never sworn against cliches (that's impossible), I'm very proud to say I haven't yet used anything regarding a prophecy and don't plan on it!

12. Plot suffers in my hand...and so do characters but in a different way. When writing, mostly I want to write about, for, and to my characters...which means my plots have a tendency to be strung out at best. Personally, I like this type of story but I still firmly believe my books take it to a new level and need a bit of help in focusing...kinda like me.

13. I like to work on a lot at once. I'm constantly having new ideas and it's so hard to ignore them  for a long period of time so I usually have to have several stories going to keep my interest and help me pause new opportunities.

14. I used to write all on paper and at the age of...12 maybe? I had completed three entire books I was very proud of.

15. Now I write almost entirely on my computer and get a lot more done in a lot less time.

16. I do keep a notebook full of random ideas, names, places, even family trees; along with notes on my computer, on word document, and on my I said, lots of ideas constantly.

17. I don't like romance. Okay, being a girl I appreciate pairings and a relationship that maybe even leads to hand holding (maybe) but for the most part I'd rather read about a dishonored knight raising a disowned six-year old princess in a swamp than about the same plot but an older love interest princess. Romance normally just rubs me the wrong way which means I don't write a lot of all.

18. I pretty much only write fantasy.

19. I love coming up with the cultural aspects of my countries! From language to traditions to commerce; I always enjoy working this sort of stuff out even if it never really gets used.

20. I'm terrible at poetry but I like making up songs to be used in the story.

21. I don't like killing my characters. Don't get me wrong, if I find it necessary they are definitely going to die, but I get myself way too attached  and it hurts me to kill them.

22. that being said I enjoy putting my characters through an awful lot of pain and tears before the end.

23. I cannot simply write a side character. Normally I'll know that person's name, family history, and have a spin of novella (if we're lucky) planned for them. I am the worst at writing quick characters! I feel like every person has a point and purpose of their own and, if I like them, I want to write more for them!

24. I cannot write anything short. Well, I can but it takes monumental effort for me to write anything beneath 20,000 words.

25. That being said I usually have a tough time getting started. When I first sit down to write in the morning I feel brain dead. but once I get going I hate stopping.

26. With a few rare exceptions, I hardly ever know exactly how my books are going to end before I'm at least halfway through the draft.

27. I hardly ever plan out a book. I usually have at least two characters planned, a few plot points and maybe a beginning and I just go from there.

28. I have to write. Despite having a hard time getting started, I can't go too long without writing, I just cant. I love what I do and do it a lot. I even write on my phone when I can't get to anything else (fun fact: I wrote an entire first draft of 100 Word pages on the notes in my phone)!

29. I don't describe my characters often. Usually I'll point out anything noteworthy or important about their appearance (and their eye color is bound to show up at some point) but otherwise I leave it to the imagination and maybe drop a bit about their looks through the way the rest of the cast sees them.

30. I hate writing one or two characters. I love writing big groups. It's easier for me to be able to hop from several different points of view and perspectives. It always makes dialogue scenes less repetitive.

I think that about sums it all up! Honestly I didn't think I'd make it to 30!

And as for Mark My Soul...I did not win the cover contest so I will be putting something together and then looking into easy ebook formatting while going through one last quick edit. I doubt this story will be out before February is out (sorry) but I can assure you I am actually working on it!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Book Review: Star of Wonder

 Summary: An epic quest across the sands of Arabia 
  In the exotic land of the east, a group of scholars studies the night sky for generations, until finally a star bursts onto the scene, signaling the birth of a new world leader.
But when an ancient document surfaces, whispering of an artifact of immense power, the temptation to seek out its power infiltrates their caravan.
The soldier, the mage and the Egyptian princess each has a secret to protect. But if they are going to survive the dark forces battling for their prize, they must learn to trust each other—in what will surely be the journey of a lifetime. 

Thoughts: While not really being one for romantic reads, I do dearly love travel which was why I snagged this book when I found it free for my Kindle. Honestly I was surprised. Having previously read another book from this author (Awakening) and wasn't overly impressed. This short story however hardly focused on the relationships at all. There's something bigger happening and a grand adventure across a beautifully described desert landscape during one of the most pivotal moments in the history of humanity envelops this rich little tale! Needless to say, I was pleased. I actually really liked the characters in this short story and will undoubtedly be picking up the rest in the series as I'm pretty curious to see where it goes!

Content: Implications as to possibly molesting a woman. It's unclear but can be seen as such though it's mentioned in past tense. Otherwise clean!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Cover Reveal: Adela's Curse

Yay! I'm very excited to finally be able to share this book with you all! I've been waiting for it to come out and it is! First off, the story:

Summary: A witch and her master capture a young faery and command her to kill their enemy. Adela has no choice but to obey. If she does not, they will force the location of her people’s mountain home from her and kill her. To make matters even worse, the person she is to kill is only a man struggling to save his dying land and mend a broken heart.
Count Stefan is a man simply trying to forget the woman he loves and save a land crippled by drought. When a mysterious woman arrives at his castle claiming to be a seamstress, he knows she is more than she seems.
Adela enlists the help of Damian, another faery, to try and delay the inevitable. He insists she has a choice. But with the witch controlling her every move, does she?

 And now (drum roll) I present to you...the cover!

 Lovely right?

Author Bio
Claire Banschbach was born and raised in Midland, TX, the fourth of eight children. She was homeschooled through high school and is now a proud member of the Texas A&M University class of 2014. She is currently working on her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Texas Tech University Health Science Center. She continues to write in her spare time (and often when she doesn’t have spare time). She hopes her strong foundation in God will help to guide her writing. 

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