Review of Last Will and Testament of Captain Nemo

The Last Will and Testament of Captain Nemo: A Retelling of the Little Mermaid by Mary Schlegal

Will and Testament

Available on amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Last-Will-Testament-Captain-Nemo-ebook/dp/B06XQF1G5N

I picked up this book for free while it was on promotion. Here’s a little bit about the book before I get into my thoughts on it.

Blurb:

From the tragedy of The Little Mermaid, and the mystery of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, comes the truth that ties them both together: the story of the love that saved a life and started a war, of the quest that became an obsession . . . of the seaman who, for love of a mermaid, became a legend.

Genre: Fairy tales; retellings; fantasy

Review:

The subtitle of the story says that it is a retelling of “the Little Mermaid.” I disagree. I would call it an extension of the “Little Mermaid.” The Last Will and Testament of Captain Nemo is a short, yet exciting little story. It takes the form of Captain Nemo’s last letter before his death where he elaborates on how and why he created his Nautilus. It takes the classic tale by Hans Christian Anderson (not the Disney version) and adds upon it in a unique way. In so doing, the author links it to 20,000 Leagues under the Sea.

I have to say the beginning was a bit of a drag, but there is no way for the author to change that. In order to get to the tale, she had to retell the “Little Mermaid” story. For someone who knows the original tale it was a bit repetitive, which the author acknowledges in her introduction. But again, it’s necessary. Once the end of that tale comes, the story comes alive. I was lost in her narrative at the edge of my seat till the end. I enjoyed it immensely.

One gripe I had was how the author presents the antagonist. It was almost as if the narrator was trying really hard to tell me how bad, nasty, immoral, evil, and incapable of love he was, but I didn’t see it. Selfish, yes? Cruel, sure. But it wasn’t all that the narrator tried to tell me. Plus, the very events of the book tells me that the antagonist is capable of love. None of it would have happened if he couldn’t. But that was a minor gripe.

The writing style cleverly mimics classic books like 20,000 Leagues under the Sea with its long sentences and flowing, almost purple prose. It was a little hard to get into, but once I settled into the rhythm of the text I had no trouble. The writing style underscores the story—adding to the realism of a person in that time writing a letter.

CONCLUSION:

I recommend you all pick up this book. It’s $0.99 on amazon, though I picked it up for free on Facebook, and you can read it through in about an hour. I don’t like to give perfect scores, and this one had some issues, but I feel confident giving it a 4.8.

-*heart* M.R. Anglin

Peek into the Mind of an Introvert

My book release date is coming up which got me thinking about book release parties. I’m not a party thrower.  I always thought that I didn’t want to throw a party because I was afraid no one would show up. But today when I thought about what to do for my book release, I had a revelation! Here’s a peek into my thought process:
 
Me: My release date is coming up. I should do something to celebrate!
Positive Me: Great idea!
Me: Maybe go to a kinda pricey restaurant and splurge on a huge dessert.
Positive Me: You can post it on FB live. Or better yet, invite people on FB! It’ll be a blast!
Me: I can do that!
Anxious Me: But what if no one comes?
Me: . . . !
Positive Me: Don’t listen to her. Now, when should we have it?
Anxious Me: I’m serious. We’ll be humiliated.
Positive Me: What if people do show up? Ever think of that?
Anxious Me: Yes. Then we’d have to *socialize*!
Me: O_o
Positive Me: . . .
Me: Yeah, I’m not doing that.
 
And that, my friends, is why I don’t throw parties.
-*heart* M.R. Anglin
**Don’t forget Prince of the Sun, Princess of the Moon releases Feb. 20, 2018.**
 

My First Blizzard

I’ve been in New York for a few months, and I return home tomorrow. To commemorate my leaving, Winter Storm Grayson dumped about 13″ of snow on Thursday.

Here are some pics.

IMG_20180104_100559

There are supposed to be some stairs there.

IMG_20180104_100603

The snow stopped me from getting out the back door.  Later on, I went out again and . . .

IMG_20180104_145757

Yyou can see how high it came up. Crazy.

Throughout the day, I went outside to see what it was like in a blizzard. My pictures aren’t great–partly because my phone is old and partly because I’m a lousy photographer, but it’ll do.

IMG_20180104_100804

You can see how high the snow came up to my feet. That’s up to my shins!

IMG_20180104_101010

In the midst of the storm.  Within five minutes all that cold and wind and snow whipping around leaves you so breathless. I couldn’t stay out very long. Not that I wanted to, anyway.

After the storm ended, my sister and I went out to get something to eat. The roads had started to get plowed but hadn’t been salted yet. So there was a thin layer of ice over the roads. We were fine until we got to the drive through (Shout-outs to Taco Bell being open) where we nearly got stuck–tires slipping and us not making any progress. But my sister got us through! It was dicey for a minute there.

And today, I was shocked at how much snow accumulated on the side of the streets. Some of it nearly reached neighborhood windows.

I had a blast experiencing my first blizzard but as I told my sister, I had so much fun because I had a warm, safe place to stay. My thoughts traveled to those who don’t have a warm place to be. Especially since the temperatures will plummet over the next few days.

In any case, tomorrow I travel back to sunny Florida. Good-bye, NY. Thanks for the memories.

-*heart* M.R. Anglin

Fire and Ice-Cream Book Review

I don’t read as many books as I should, but I plan to change that in the upcoming weeks. Not all will end up with a review, but I just read this book and thought I would share. (This is also me putting off my writing for the day, but I digress).

Here’s my review of KM Carroll’s Fire and Ice-Cream.

 

Fire and Ice Cream (The Draconic Mysteries Book 1) by [Carroll, K.M.]

 

Tianna Tokala is starting a new life in Carefree, Arizona, working in an ice cream parlor. She also has the magical ability to turn into a small dragon called a drake. All she wants is a quiet life where she can make ice cream with her wonderful ice breath.

But when her manager is found dead with a bowl of Tianna’s Rocky Road ice cream beside her, Tianna springs into action. With a knack for observation and her enhanced drake hearing, she delves into her manager’s smoky draconic past.

Aided by a secretive drake, a single mother, and a four-year-old dragon shifter, Tianna must unravel the web of lies that surround this dragonic death … or there may be more fire than ice cream.

A cozy mystery with dragons and ice-cream–who could want more?

I really liked this book. The writing was as smooth as (dare I say it?) freshly churned ice-cream, and the world-building was phenomenal! You can tell the author took the time to think about these characters and how the shape shifting mechanics worked. I could actually imagine a place in Arizona where dragons and drakes are flying around somewhere.

My one criticism is that the mystery seemed to take a back seat in the first half of the book. I found myself more interested in the characters and their backstories and not really caring much about the mystery. The stakes didn’t seem high enough–maybe this is normal for cozy mysteries, but it struck me as odd.

During the second half of the book, however, the action, stakes, and mystery ramp up! It all culminates to an exciting clash that wrapped things up satisfactorily.

Here’s hoping the author comes out with book 2 of the series soon. When it does drop, I aim to pick it up.

4.5 stars.

-*heart* M.R. Anglin

Exciting Updates!

Sorry about the silence . . .

I made it through Hurricane Irma A-okay. Right now, I am in New York for a few months which puts most of my writing work on hold. But I have a few projects I plan to be working on while I’m up here.

One project is the Silver Foxes comic that I’ve been drawing. I took a little break from it, but plan to pick it back up while I’m away. I don’t have access to a scanner or anything for the moment, but I can at least get a lot of penciling done.

My second project is a bit of a secret right now, but I hope I can get it done by the new year.

Project three is working on marketing. I’ve been taking a class, and got some really good ideas about how to market my books. So far, I’ve learned about Facebook ads, how to leverage a Facebook page to make maximum impact for those ads, and BookBub ads and featured deals. Can’t wait to try out what I learned.

But the most important project is getting ready for my book, Prince of the Sun, Princess of the Moon. You see, when I was sent the galleys from my publisher to review–about 2 weeks ago–I overlooked the most important sentence of the e-mail. I have a RELEASE DATE! And what is it?

***Feb. 20, 2018!***

That’s when my book will be released. I am so excited! I’m going to spend the rest of September finalizing what I’ll do for promotions and then work on it from October onward. Look for posts involving crafts inspired by the book or character profiles or things like that in the near future.

-*heart* M.R. Anglin

 

ECLIPSE DAY!!!

It’s finally here! Eclipse day!

This morning, I thought I was so smart. I thought to myself, “I’ll leave my house so I can get to the library at 10. That way, I’ll be at the front of the line.” Then I’d get my eclipse glasses, spend the day at the library until the event starts, and see the eclipse. Perfect!

Except people had the same idea as me . . . but better. Some were there at 6 and 7 in the morning. Others had chairs set up waiting to get glasses. Talk about DEDICATION! The line was sooo long, and the library wasn’t handing out glasses until 1pm. But my sister and I stuck it out, and they decided to give out tickets so we didn’t have to stand in line all day. So I got me a ticket for the glasses! YAY!

golden ticket
The golden ticket . . . except it’s blue.

So my sister and I did some work at the library while we were waiting until we heard the announcement to line up for the glasses. I was so excited I walked out with a bunch of unchecked out library books. But I got them checked out and got in line for the glasses. It was a MADHOUSE! Lots of people were there wanting glasses–most without tickets. My sister and I got ours. It was fantastic.

The eclipse has started now, and as I wait for the moment the moon will cover the sun the most, I want to share with you a little more about my upcoming book, Prince of the Sun, Princess of the Moon.  I’ve been mentioning the book quite a bit because I’m excited for it. It was inspired by my eldest nephew and my only niece as well as the verse, Joshua 10: 12b-13a (NIV), which goes thusly,

     “O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.” So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar.

I’ve always been fascinated by that verse and so many of the themes and royal titles in the story come from this.

As for the inspiration from my niece and nephew: when she was a baby, my niece used to sleep all day and be active at night. My nephew, being older, did the opposite. So that gave rise to the story concept of “day people” (those who get energy from the sun and sleep at night) versus “night people” (those who gets energy from the moon and sleep during the day).

In any case, as I’ve mentioned before, the book contains a solar eclipse which is why I’m thinking about it today. And to celebrate the eclipse here is a book blurb of Prince of the Sun, Princess of the Moon–the one I originally wrote. I’m still in edits with my publisher, so it may not be the final version, but this is the spirit of the book:

For years the Moon Palace in the Valley of Aijalon and the Sun Tower in the Plains of Jashar has stood as testaments to the power of the sun and the graciousness of the moon.  Helio and Lumina, Guardians of the sun and moon, kept watch over them and the Prince and the Princess who ruled them.  But the Prince and Princess are missing, and the sun is exhibiting strange behavior.

Now Joshua and his younger sister, Deborah, must untangle a web of lies and deceit to uncover the secret of who they really are and save their world from an imminent disaster brewing in the heavens.  And they must hurry.  Between the earthquakes, the sun and moon standing still in the sky, and the planet Jants hovering closer than it’s ever been, the planet could be torn apart before they have a chance to do something about it.

So that’s that! I can’t wait to share more with you about this book and its release.

And now . . . I go outside to enjoy my glasses.

Until next time,

*heart* M.R. Anglin

Eclipse and Books

The Eclipse is coming! I’m so excited for it. I’ve always wanted to see a total eclipse. Unfortunately, I won’t be in an area where I can see the total eclipse, but I will be able to see a partial one. Monday morning, I’m heading out to the library to go to their viewing event. Free solar eclipse glasses FOR THE WIN!

“Coincidentally” my upcoming book, Prince of the Sun, Princess of the Moon features a solar eclipse as a main plot point.  I don’t have a release date yet, but this is too good a chance to pass up. So to celebrate, I’ll be disclosing the tentative book blurb and perhaps post an excerpt from the book.

Hopefully, I’ll remember to take good pictures of the eclipse to post here, too. I’m so excited! XD

I hope you’ll join me Monday!

-*heart* M.R. Anglin

Fail Week

This week was rough. It seemed like everything I did failed.

A prime example of how my week went is my crochet project. You’ve seen the pictures I’ve posted of my current crochet projects, right? Well, I have to rip out two of them and start all over. Turns out I made a tiny mistake at the beginning which compounded until I couldn’t move on in the pattern. Six weeks’ worth of work down the drain.

It was a CAL (crochet along) so the pattern was only released a week at a time, but it was devastating to have to rip all that out. I’m almost caught up with one of them, and the other I’ll have to get to next week.

Yeah, so that was an example of my week. But ah, well. It’ll be alright. They can’t all be great weeks. May God be praised in the good and the bad.

-*heart* M.R. Anglin

 

What I’ve Been Up to

So this week I started/continued some new projects.

  1. Of course, I’m still working on my SF comic. It’s being uploaded on dA.
  2. I’m working on a book for my mother’s church. I’m also illustrating it. I’m not so confident in my art skills, but I’m moving forward.
  3. I’m working a new ministry/volunteer project. I don’t want to give details until at least next year, but if you have suggestions for any type of children’s, YA, and MG books, please let me know. All genres, please–including non-fiction.
  4. I’m working on two crochet projects. One is: http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/persian-tiles . It’s nice.

The other is this one:Week 3 CAL

It’s part of Dearest Debi’s Crochet-a-long  here: http://dearestdebi.com/garden-romp-crochet-along-2017. She’s also uploading the pattern a week at a time on her youtube channel. It looks even more amazing in real life. And it’s gorgeous even though I messed up. By far, it’s the most intricate thing I’ve ever crocheted, and it’s so interesting to work on.

Anyway, so that’s what I’m up to.

-*heart* M.R. Anglin