Friday, September 19, 2014

Forgotten Heroines #6: Arabella Bishop

{I was in the middle of writing this post when Hamlette’s Pirate Blog Extravaganza was announced, and it fit so well I decided to wait to post this for the occasion. So without further ado, here’s a bit of an ode to the heroine of a sadly neglected work: Captain Blood.}

{WARNING: contains [mild] spoilers}

One thing I’ve discovered during my classics clubs reading is that I have a definite weakness for swashbuckling adventure stories- especially those written during the early-to-mid 1900s. And considering that I greatly enjoyed the movie version of Captain Blood, I devoured the book at a remarkable speed (I really liked it, although I do caution that there’s a bit of language) And not only is the main character an engaging hero, but I personally think his love interest is equally interesting. (let’s face it- all of my favorite scenes involve her)

I love Arabella Bishop because I find her relatable and admirable; she’s sensible but also sensitive, and she’s one of the few heroines who actually has good reason to jump to conclusions about the hero. (I hate those books where the hero and heroine “hate” each other and they don’t really have a good reason to other than the fact that they’re stubborn) Between misunderstandings, the lies and machinations of other people, and the very large fact that the guy has a lifestyle the girl doesn’t approve of, let’s just say that Arabella Bishop and Peter Blood have a lot of relationship issues to work through.

The love story of Arabella Bishop and Peter Blood is unique in the fact that both of the characters secretly like each other- but Captain Blood doesn’t think he’s good enough for her, and Arabella…well, Arabella knows it’s against her better judgment to fall in love with a pirate, of all things. She’s also, at 25+, a bit older than a lot of early-era romantic heroines, especially ones in the genre her story inhabits. I love the fact that while she doesn’t completely ignore the way her heart pulls her, she doesn’t let it dictate her judgment, either. And it’s her very goodness that checks Captain Blood’s own actions; despite his immoral occupation, there are certain things he just won’t do, because he knows that Arabella would never approve. He doesn’t think he’ll ever see her again, but it’s her memory that, in essence, becomes his conscience- or, at least reminds him that he has one.

I also love Arabella because she’s not only kind, but determined in her convictions. Perhaps one thing I enjoyed most was her absence of flirtatious behavior. I related to her because she didn’t play games; she felt very genuine to me. She's one heroine that I honestly love reading about.

Anyway, Captain Blood- movie and book- is one of my personal favorites, and I was so glad 
I could share a bit more about it!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

{Top Ten Tuesday} Top Authors I've Only Read One Book From But NEED to Read More

I’ve never done a Top Ten Tuesday before, but I know of several bloggers who do this often and I thought I might try doing it a few times. This week's topic was actually pretty difficult for me, because usually if I like an author…well, I read more of their books! But I’ve finally come up with what I think is a pretty accurate list of authors whose books I would definitely like to read more of, but I just haven't gotten a chance (or found access to) read them.

1. Lori Benton
I was really impressed with her debut novel Burning Sky and have been trying to get my hands on The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn to no avail. Christmas wishlist, perhaps?

2. Leo Tolstoy
I’ve been meaning to get to War and Peace for a while now, but keep putting it off because it’s such a commitment.

3. Katherine Reay
Maybe this one's cheating a bit since she currently only has one novel out at the moment, but I can’t wait to dive into her upcoming book, Lizzie & Jane! Dear Mr. Knightley was quite a hit for me.

4. Rachel Heffington
Really looking forward to Anon, Sir, Anon, as well as her contribution to Five Glass Slippers.

5. Megan Whalen Turner
Well, I’ve heard people go into raptures over her The Queen's Thief series, and though I didn’t really get into the first book (although it certainly got better as it went on) I do fully intend to give the other books in the series a try...especially because I've heard the sequels are even better than the first book.

6. Diane Zahler
I read her book The Thirteenth Princess…and as I’m racking my mind I realize that I literally remember zilch about it. Still, her covers are pretty (my major book weakness) and they're also fairy tale retellings (another weakness) so even if I can’t even remember why I only gave The Thirteenth Princess 2 stars, I’m sure I’ll read more of her books if I find them.

7. Rafael Sabatini
I read Captain Blood and it was amazing. I need more of his books, pronto.

8. Catherine Marshall
Because I’ve only read Christy, and that really is a shame.

9. Camille Elliot (Camy Tang)
I read her Prelude For a Lord and was quite fond of it, so who knows- I might like her suspense stories, right? I remember years ago thinking her Sushi series looked interesting, especially because there’s not a lot of Asian heroines in Christian Fiction.

10. Alethea Kontis
I had some problems with her novel Enchanted, but I did like her writing style, and the other books in the series are definitely a reading possibility. 

So...are there any authors you've only read one book of, but would love to try more?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Half-Baked Tag

elegant cupcakes

So Anne-girl has begun her (new-ish) writing blog, Half-Baked, and though I’m a little late, I've decided to fill our her lovely writerly questionnaire.

What is your favorite kind of cake? If you don't eat cake {because of gluten issues or allergies or diet or whatever} what is your favorite dessert? Birthday cake. Mainly for the icing. There’s just something about store-bought buttercream that really does it for me, despite the fact a host of people *cough cough my sister Emily* think it’s too sweet.

How long have you been writing?
I wrote my first story at the age of eight, and it was a 1940s mystery that involved stolen antiques and a dart board featuring the face of Adolph Hitler…I always was a child of slightly violent passions and a curiosity for archeology, even back then.

Do you read books and blogs about writing? If so what are some of your favorites?
Hmm, well I do now with Half-Baked! I don’t follow a lot of writing blogs, but I do enjoy posts on writing by authors whose books I really enjoy.

Do you believe it's important to study writing as an art form? Why or why not?
I do- on a certain level. However, I find that it’s a lot easier to read about writing than to actually, you know, write. As a terrible procrastinator when it comes to noveling (seriously, I’m writing this as I’m supposed to be working on a Beauty and the Beast re-telling) I just try to write and then study of bit on the art of writing every once in awhile. Most of my studying is focused on reading the books I like and then trying to infuse the same feeling I get while reading those books into my own writing, if that makes any sense at all.

Who's writing has influenced yours the most?
Probably L.M. Montgomery and C.S. Lewis, because I read The Chronicles of Narnia and Anne of Green Gables when I was pretty young, and their style of writing always appealed to me- I love the dreaminess and old-fashioned charm of L.M. Montgomery, but I also adore C.S. Lewis’ rather matter-of-fact story-telling.

Do you consider writing more important than food? Why or why not?
Actually, if there is one thing I do like more than writing…it’s good food. Sorry ‘bout that. I’m a little infamous for not being shy when it comes to eating.

Tell us the thing you are most excited about with your writing.
I have a story idea that just came to me not that long ago, and I’m REALLY anxious to start on it! It’s more along the lines of a children’s/middle grade fantasy, but also something I think older readers can enjoy, too.

What are you dreading most in your writing?
Editing. It really is the bane of my existence- especially because once I actually finish getting all my ideas on paper for that first draft, I’m ready to move on to my next idea. It’s really difficult for me to stick through a manuscript through thick and thin and messy edits.

Would you rather have people love your book now or be considered a genius after you are dead?
Well, I lean a bit toward the latter option, although I’m not sure about being a genius. My dream would be for people to love my books the way I love certain novels that aren’t perfect- aren’t masterful- but speak to me in a deep and meaningful way- ones like Anne of Green Gables or Pride and Prejudice or A Little Princess- books I love not because they’re amazing works of literature but because they mean something to me personally. You know, the types you just want to hug and keep safe and admire on your shelf because you feel like you know and love all the characters. If there are just a few people who feel that way about my stories, then that’s really all I want.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Giveaway Winner!

The Great Book Sale and giveaway is over, and the winner is


Congratulations! Email me @ thestorygirl (at) yahoo (dot) com so I can get your adress and send you the book :)

(if I get no reply before the end of the week, I'll select another winner)

Thanks to all who entered, and remember, the rest of the books are still on sale here!

Monday, September 1, 2014

4 Years a Blogger!

I know a lot of people host giveaways and blog parties when the reach their blog anniversary...and this year I sort of did. Except it wasn't intentional, since I didn't realize it was my blog-i-versary until today ;)

I thought it might be interesting to look at my "blog looks" through the years.

this was before I learned how to center my header :)

I think the third & fourth ones might be my favorite,but I do like them all :) My current header looks a little boring compared to the others, though. I might change it again sometime soon...

Oh, and the book giveaway has started, so go check it out! (and remember, even if you don't win, it would please me VERY MUCH if you bought any of the titles. We've just moved and my room is somewhat smaller than it was, so I'm really cramped for space and need to get rid of these. :)
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