Set against the backdrop of 1880s
Paris and the stunning Opera Garnier, The Guardian of the Opera: Nocturne
brings you the familiar tale from a different direction. Meg Giry met the
Phantom once when she was twelve years old, a new ballet dancer lost in the
Opera’s maze. Years later, when an Angel of Music offers singing lessons to her
best friend Christine Daaé, Meg is sure she knows what’s actually happening.
But as strange events unfold and the pieces stop adding up, Meg has to wonder
if she truly understands the Phantom—or Christine.
Erik is a man of many talents and
many masks, and the one covering his face may be the least concealing. The
opera house is his kingdom and his refuge, where he stalks through the shadows
as the Phantom of the Opera, watching over all that occurs. He never intended
to fall in love; when he does, it launches him into a new symphony he’s certain
can only end in heartbreak.
Cheryl Mahoney lives in California
and dreams of other worlds. She is the author of the Beyond the Tales quartet,
retelling familiar fairy tales, but subverting expectations with different
points of view and new twists to the tales. She is also a co-author of The
Servants and the Beast, and its companion piece, After the Sparkles Settled.
Cheryl loves exploring new worlds in the past, the future or fairyland, and
builds her stories around characters finding their way through those
worlds–especially characters overlooked or underestimated by the people around
She has been blogging since 2010 at
Tales of the Marvelous (http://marveloustales.com). Her weekly Writing
Wednesday posts provide updates about her current writing, including excerpts.
She also posts regularly with book and movie reviews, and reflections on
reading. She has been a member of Stonehenge Writers since 2012, and has
completed NaNoWriMo seven times.
Cheryl has looked for faeries in
Kensington Gardens in London and for the Phantom at the Opera Garnier in Paris.
She considers Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness Quartet to be life-changing and
Terry Pratchett books to be the best cure for gloomy days.
Sometimes I believe the course of my life was set because I got lost one day when I was twelve years old. I got lost often that year, but only once that mattered. I had first come to the Opera Garnier only three days before, and I defy anyone to learn that labyrinth of rooms and passages so quickly. It didn’t help being a girl from a small village, come to Paris with my mother just a week earlier. The city was bewildering, unimaginably bigger than my little village of Leclair. And the Opera was the heart and center of Paris, stranger and wilder and even more confusing. I was supposed to be on my way to ballet practice. I was a petit rat, the lowest tier of society among the Opera’s performers. Madame Thibault the ballet mistress presided over us, and she did not tolerate tardiness. I didn’t want to be late. I desperately wanted to be at ballet practice—but I was lost. Some wrong turn mixed me up somewhere, and from there I could only fly through the maze like a small ghost, unable to find the way back to my intended path. The Opera held too many similar corridors, with their polished marble floors, gilt paneled walls, and long arrays of mirrors. No space in the Opera was plain or generic, until the dizzying amount of detail, the carvings and the gold designs and the patterned grates overwhelmed me, so that I couldn’t pick out one familiar note in the crashing, thundering symphony of it all. It felt equally impossible to ask for directions from anyone I passed, the looming scenechangers with gap-toothed grins or the elegant sopranos with their noses in the air. By the time I might have built up enough reckless courage to speak to someone, no one was left. I had got below ground level, probably not very far, but low enough for the halls to be deserted, low enough for it to feel cool despite the summer warmth above. I’d left behind the human smells of the upper corridors, the grease paint, perfume and cigar smoke. Down here the air smelled damp, reminding me of the fabled lake said to be even farther down. In stark and jarring contrast, these walls were plain, white-washed stone, unevenly lit by flickering gas lamps. When I came to a bleak and empty dead-end, I gave up. I slid down to sit against the cold stone wall, one arm around my ankles and forehead against my knees. With my other hand I held tightly onto my small gold necklace, the barest of comforts in the desolation. My hair fell forward like a golden curtain around my face, blocking out the dismal, silent, baffling corridor. I half-believed that I would never get out, that I would die lost in the depths of the Opera. Part of me found that the preferable option. To stumble in late to ballet practice would mean facing the ballet mistress’ mocking disapproval. She would hate me, the other girls would laugh at me, and my entire life, not to mention dancing career, would be over forever. I’d never earn any money to help Mother afford to stay in Paris, and we’d have to go back to Leclair where nothing would ever happen to me ever again. So I sat in that dead-end corridor and cried. “It can’t be as bad as all that.” The voice that broke the silence was the most beautiful I had ever heard. Perhaps that was a strange adjective for a male voice, but it was a true one. It was a melodic voice, every syllable flowing smoothly into the next while the pronunciation stayed crisply clear. And it was a kind voice as well, sympathetic with a bracing amount of levity. It was a voice I would have had the courage to ask directions from, just a little earlier. By now, the situation felt too far gone to be salvaged. Ballet practice would start within minutes; I couldn’t imagine getting there in time now even if I knew the way. So I just sobbed out, “I can’t find my way to practice and the ballet mistress is going to kill me.” Only then did I lift my head to push my hair back, wipe my eyes and look at the man who had spoken. And then—sob catching in my suddenly tightening throat—then I got scared. The other ballet girls had already taken great delight in telling me about Le Fantôme, the Phantom of the Opera, the specter who stalked the corridors, harbinger of death and disaster. I froze, staring at this strange figure so tall above me. He was wearing the formal, all-black evening clothes the stories had promised. The legend also mentioned hands covered in blood, which his weren’t. His eyes weren’t the glowing yellow of the tales, but he did wear a molded white mask over the right side of his face in a more mysterious touch, while a broad-brimmed hat cast another layer of shadow. A mask and evening clothes in the morning were unusual, but we were in an opera house. My instinct that he was the Phantom came from clues harder to define than a mask: a shroud of mystery surrounded him, from the swirling black cloak to the inexplicable way he seemed as much shadow as man, indistinct in the dim light, as though he was so used to blending in that he forgot to stop. Somehow I thought of the Phantom at once, before he even had time to say, “In that case, I understand why you’re upset. There are many people I would rather cross than the ballet mistress.” It was a sympathetic remark, made in that perfect voice, with a faint smile as well. However, my mother had warned me often enough not to trust strange men just because they smiled, and this one was stranger than most. “Who are you?” I gasped out, though I felt horribly sure that I already knew. He fingered the brim of his hat, and I read thoughtfulness in his stance. “I am a sort of…guardian of the Opera,” he said at last, which only confirmed my worst fears. “You seem unfamiliar. Are you new?” I could think of no answer that felt safe, so I chose the truth and said, “Yes.” In a way, everyone was new. The Opera Garnier had opened in January, and this was only June; I couldn’t imagine learning every face in six years, let alone a mere six months. “I see. Old hands have no business getting lost, but when new it is difficult to avoid. I will help you.” And he extended one black-gloved hand. My heart pounded in my chest so loudly he must have heard it, and my fingers tightened, wrapped around my legs. I stared at his hand, unmoving, for so long that he took it back again and said, “Not too new, I see, to have heard of the Phantom.” So it was true, and only more terrifying that he admitted it. I looked up at his green eyes, at that mask, and squeaked, “Are you going to kill me?” He crouched down, bringing his face nearly to my level, black cloak pooling around him. Closer now, I could see his eyes through the shadows, greener than anyone’s I had ever seen. “I will tell you a secret, but you mustn’t tell anyone else because it would ruin my reputation. I do not eat girls’ hearts. I have never drenched any walls in blood, at least not in this country. I cannot read minds or send nightmares, and—brace yourself, this one will be shocking—I am not actually a skeleton with glowing yellow eyes.” He said it with such perfect solemnity that a giggle escaped me in spite of myself. It may have been slightly hysterical. He nodded once. “I swear on Mozart, Beethoven, and Stradivari that if you come with me, you will reach ballet practice unharmed.” When he extended his hand again, I took it. Even though I knew it was probably just a trick of voice, I was obscurely reassured by the vow—and I was also acutely conscious that he could kill me whether I went voluntarily or not. His fingers closed around mine and he rose to his feet, drawing me up. For a supposed ghost, he had a warm and solid hand. “One story that is true—I walk through walls.” He reached out to the wall behind me, and I turned my head in time to see a panel pivot out, revealing a dark space behind it. How many doors like that existed in the Opera, if one had happened to be right next to me all along? He waved his hand through the air, a candle appearing between his thumb and forefinger. He lifted the candle and blew lightly over it. I was still noticing that he was a ghost who could breathe when the candle crackled to life with flame. “How did you do that?” I asked, eyes widening. His half-smile broadened. “Magic.” He stepped through the opening, candle illuminating a narrow tunnel of bare stones and wooden cross beams, more a space between walls than a proper passage. Following him was either the bravest or most foolish thing I had ever done. The Phantom guided me through endless turns and up a multitude of tight curved steps, the candle seeming to cast as much shadow as light. At first I walked stiffly, spine tingling with terrors, but slowly my breathing began to steady and my heartbeat to settle down, as we kept walking and he kept up a pleasant, if mostly one-sided, conversation. He told me that the ballet mistress, though fearsome, had never actually murdered anyone. He advised me to stay away from the cellars, and if I got lost in the future I should keep going upstairs, never down. Some time when I wasn’t lost, I should go up to the roof to see the excellent view. He also told me I was not to worry if the ballet girls weren’t friendly at first, and I was never to feel that their opinion defined who I was, a statement that at the time seemed absurd and yet became remarkably comforting in later days. I peeked at him when I dared, though with the shadows around us, the shadows cast by his hat, it was hard to see even his unmasked features. I thought he maintained a friendly expression throughout, rarely looking at me, focusing instead on the path ahead. I couldn’t hazard much of a guess at his age. No gray hair or stooped shoulders, definitely not an old man—but also definitely belonging to the foreign realm of mature adults that any people at least ten years older than me seemed to inhabit. I had little time to contemplate. That dark walk didn’t last more than five minutes, though I would spend far more time remembering it. That day, he was soon reaching out to another wall. A movement of his fingers and a panel slid to the left. Beyond it, I could see a brightly-lit hallway, empty of people, full of the Opera’s characteristic decorations. “Turn left, go right at the first intersection, and you should be just in time for ballet practice,” he said, handing me over the threshold. I stepped out into the light, flexing my newly-released fingers. For feeling so reluctant to follow, I now felt strangely adrift to be sent back on my own. I hesitated, looked back at him in the shadows. “Thank you.” It felt inadequate. He touched the brim of his hat in acknowledgement, stepped back a pace and vanished into the darkness. The wall slid shut, looking no different from every other panel in the corridor, as if it had never existed. As if he had never existed. I tentatively reached out and touched the wall, patterned in pale blue with generous gold molding. Nothing moved, and I couldn’t even see a seam amidst the intricate design. I drew my hand back and shook my head, fuzzy, as though I’d just woken out of a remarkably vivid and extraordinary dream. Here in the waking world, I still had to get to ballet practice, with no minutes to spare. At that thought I dashed off down the hall, spun right at the intersection, and arrived breathless at the mirrored practice room just ahead of my time. The ballet mistress looked down her narrow nose at me as I came in the door. “Do save some breath for dancing, Mademoiselle Giry.” But that was nothing; that was harmless. I was on time to take my position at the barre and she wasn’t angry with me, and besides—I had met the Phantom of the Opera and lived to tell the tale. In the afterglow of that, even Madame Thibault didn’t seem so terrifying.
He waited until the rapid beat of her footsteps faded around the corner, then turned to make his way through the narrow passage towards the nearest descending staircase. He didn’t often intervene so directly. It wasn’t safe. But he found it hard to consider a crying little girl dangerous. She was small and alone. Before she lifted her head, he had thought she was even younger than she was. Helping her had seemed harmless enough—even amusing, to show off that candle trick. Mere sleight-of-hand, but enough to impress a Persian Sultana, and certainly good enough for a little ballet girl. Nothing was ever unmixed though, and for all he had found the encounter pleasant, it hadn’t been without a pang. He hadn’t liked hearing the fear in her voice. Surprising, when it was exactly what he wanted, what he had spent these past months carefully composing. He needed the fear. He needed the Opera Company to think that he was the dangerous one, so it wouldn’t occur to them that they, with their numbers and their confidence and their ability to cooperate, were the true dangers, the ones capable of hounding and harrying and hunting down the outcast in their midst. He ran his fingertips along the rough wall of the passage, mere inches from the busy life on the other side. Any attack would be more complicated than a raging mob with pikes; France was a civilized country, outside of her sporadic revolutions. But the result would be the same. The guillotine, or even worse—a cage. He was guilty of the crime of being different, the world had convicted him at birth, and he had ample precedent to suggest how they would sentence him. But not while he possessed the Opera Garnier. Not while he was the Phantom of the Opera, stalking as ruler through its hidden passages, shadowed vaults and lofty catwalks. They would never catch him. They would never cage him. Not again. He would do whatever was necessary to ensure that. For all their melodramatic complaints, the Opera Company was happy enough to be occupying a haunted theatre—a high-quality ghost lent a certain prestige—and if Monsieur Poligny the manager was not so happy about paying a salary to a ghost, well…the man should have chosen more wisely than to marry a woman with his wife’s background. The Opera Ghost had recently obtained some very interesting information, and a little judicious blackmail should resolve any further issues with the management. As for the little blonde girl, likely it would turn out for the best with her in the end. The ballet dancers and chorus girls loved telling tales about the Ghost, and they much preferred blood-curdling horror stories to ones about a helpful specter. She would be absorbed back into the anonymous crowd of little dancers, all much alike. It had been merely an educated guess that she was new—he didn’t really know every face, at least not yet. By the time she was telling the adventure to a dozen giggling friends, it would be about how the terrifying Phantom had nearly abducted her and she’d barely escaped with her life. He wouldn’t waste his time watching that conversation. He knew that was how it would go. And it was better that way.
A standalone novel in the Mayfield Family series with an unusual premise and an uplifting ending.
Lady Sabrina endured an abusive marriage, a miscarriage, and early widowhood to emerge as a smart, successful, confident woman who found a way to make her mark in a man’s world. She has friends and purpose, but cannot hide from the emptiness she feels when the parties are over and the friends have gone home to families she will never have.
Harry Stillman may be charming and handsome, but he’s a gambler and a rake who has made a mockery of his privileges. He turns to the mysterious Lord Damion for financial relief from his debts, but still ends up beaten nearly senseless by thugs and left in an alley.
When Lady Sabrina comes upon Harry after the attack, she remembers the kindness Harry once showed to her six years ago and brings him to her estate to heal. Though their relationship begins on rocky footing, it soon mellows into friendship, then trust. But Lady Sabrina needs to keep Harry at a distance, even if he is becoming the kind of man worthy of her heart. After all, she is keeping a secret that, if exposed, could destroy everything she’s so carefully built.
“Uplifting…Kilpack flips the typical Regency romance script, with the heroine rescuing the hero. Kilpack’s strong, upright heroine who finds a way to claim her power in Regency society sets this love story apart. This magnetic tale will appeal to fans of emotional romance.”—Publisher’s Weekly
“Kilpack takes traditional regency roles and challenges them. She shows how one person can make an impact in the world. I found the story and premise unique.”—Heather Gardner, Fire and Ice
“This is a story of redemption above all else…the ending was perfect.”— Lucinda Whitney, author of Rescuing the Prince
Josi S. Kilpack is the bestselling author of several Proper Romance and Proper Romance Historical series and a Cozy Culinary Mystery series. Her books, A Heart Revealed and Lord Fenton’s Folly; were Publishers Weekly Best Romance Books of the Year. She and her husband, Lee, are the parents of four children.
Another round started as Ward returned with another drink. Harry ignored this one, his stomach burning and his head pounding. The smoke in the room was thick enough to choke on.
“Can we call it a night, Stillman? It’s nearly three o’clock in the morning.”
Ward leaned in and lowered his voice. “Every round is a new risk. You’re further ahead than you’ve been in months.”
“Bad luck!” Harry turned to scowl at his friend. One never talked about losing when at the tables. It was almost as bad as having a woman stand on your left side. Thankfully, the group of light-skirts who ran pretty fingers down a man’s arm and laughed at jokes that were not funny had thinned out considerably after one o’clock in the morning. However, women had not served as a distraction for him for months now.
Harry ran a hand through his hair, which felt as grimy as his skin, willing his heart to slow. He began to swirl the cup—his main was nine this round, so he needed to swirl the cup eight times counterclockwise—eight was his universally lucky number—and nine times clockwise.
“. . . Stillman’s got a fortune waiting if he’d just find himself a wife.”
“Shut your mouth!” Harry yelled, snapping his head toward Ward, who sat backward in his chair, elbows propped on the table.
Ward raised his eyebrows. “I was just telling these blokes that I don’t know why you spend so much time here when you’ve a fortune just waiting to be—”
“Stop!” Harry barked as his heart sped up even more. It had been a mistake to tell Ward about Uncle Elliott’s gracious offer—an inheritance if Harry married a genteel bride—but Harry had been too drunk to be wise the night it had come out. Harry was too drunk to be wise most nights. He was not too drunk tonight, however, to keep Ward from revealing private information.
“Why should I not tell your friends?” Ward challenged, his eyes bleary with drink but also anger. He wanted to leave.
If only Harry could.
“Afraid the rest of us will be jealous of your opportunity?” Ward pressed. He was trying to pick a fight, likely thinking it would force Harry out of the hall, but he did not understand that Harry needed to stay. Ward was as much a gambler as Harry was, but he had better income and more understanding parents. Harry’s parents were dead, Uncle Elliott had cut him off more than a year ago, and he’d burned through his quarterly profits—such as they were—within weeks of the last payment.
“I shall ask you to keep my business private, Mr. Ward,” Harry said through his teeth.
Harry tried to focus his attention on the game, but his thoughts had been jumbled by Ward’s reminder of the world outside this club. There was no doubt in Harry’s mind that Uncle Elliott’s “bribe” that he settled upon his nieces and nephews when they made a good marriage had mostly been directed at Harry—Uncle Elliott had never liked Harry very much. Two of Harry’s cousins—Peter and Timothy—had already saddled themselves with wives, but Harry had no plans to do the same. Harry had inherited his father’s estate, which meant he could
make his own way. However, Uncle Elliott was no longer paying Harry’s debts now that he’d presented an opportunity that he believed would turn Harry into a respectable gentleman.
Harry had seen his uncle only once since his explanation and presentation of the “marriage inheritance” plan almost a year ago. Harry had lost nearly five hundred pounds the night before and had been in the depths of misery, so many of the details had been lost on him.
He’d been able to sell fifty acres of his land soon after meeting with Uncle Elliott, however, which paid off his debts and allowed him to live well through the fall and winter off the remaining profits and improved luck at the tables.
In January, he’d received his profits for the last quarter of the previous year and been surprised at the decreased revenue. The fields had not produced well, his solicitor had explained, and there were concerns about the old steward’s ability to manage. Two tenants had moved to a neighboring estate due to unfinished repairs Harry had neglected for three years. The solicitor had suggested Harry spend some time at the estate setting things right and improving profitability, but Harry had been sure that the faster way to make up for the lost profits was at the tables.
Chapter One Pages 12-14
Bestselling author Josi S. Kilpack tours the blogosphere May 4 through May 22, 2020 to share her third novel in the Mayfield Family series, Rakes and Roses. Forty popular book bloggers specializing in historical romance, inspirational fiction, and Austenesque fiction will feature guest blogs, interviews, exclusive excerpts, and book reviews of this acclaimed Regency romance.
may have left the circus behind in Oregon, but there is plenty of show still to
and Henry land in France, they are whisked away to Croix-Mare, the home of
Henry’s grandfather, Nutesh, where they will prepare for a journey they never
could’ve imagined. Now that they have all three AVRAKEDAVRA texts—Life, Death,
and Memory—the books must be destroyed in the Undoing.
it’s not as simple as taking the books to their birthplace in Babylon and
setting them alight. Genevieve and Henry must rely on unexpected allies as they
embark on a harrowing global search to acquire pieces necessary to complete the
Undoing. They’re offered cover and protection by La Vérité, the secret network
of followers devoted to the message of the AVRAKEDAVRA, who, not surprisingly,
are found under the big top—because no one does underground quite like the
loyalties among the magical community are fragile. Genevieve, still grieving
the loss of her mother, now struggles to control the new AVRAKEDAVRA-bestowed
gifts, and with mounting threats to her psyche and body, she clings mightily to
the promise of a brighter future once this is over—if they can survive it. And
Henry, broken by his father’s treachery but entranced by the heartwarming
connection his family’s text has granted him, grapples with the fact that once
they succeed in destroying the books, he’ll lose the only family he has left.
our two young heirs will learn that when hope has abandoned us, the
overwhelming love of friendship and family is all the magic we need.
Something slams into her. The lyra whirls like a half-dollar spinning on its
My mother is thrown backward.
And she falls.
in the Cinzio Traveling Players Company, Genevieve Flannery is accustomed to a
life most teenagers could never imagine: daily workouts of extravagant
acrobatics; an extended family of clowns; wild animals for pets; and her
mother, Delia, whose mind has always been tortured by visions—but whose love
Geni never questions. In a world of performers who astonish and amaze on a
daily basis, Delia’s ghostly hallucinations never seemed all that strange . . .
until the evening Geni and her mother are performing an aerial routine they’ve
done hundreds of times, and Delia falls to her death.
a dark curtain in Geni’s life opens. Everything has changed.
reeling from the tragedy, the Cinzio Traveling Players are also adjusting to
the circus’s new owner: a generous, mysterious man whose connection to the
circus—Geni suspects—has a dark and dangerous history. And suddenly Geni is
stumbling into a new reality of her own, her life interrupted daily by the
terrors only Delia used to be able to see.
visions around her grow stronger, Geni isn’t sure who she can trust. Even
worse, she’s starting to question whether she can trust her own mind.
“Jennifer Sommersby’s Sleight makes magic from an enthralling
premise, wonderfully-drawn characters, and beautiful words. It’s hard to avoid
descriptors like entrancing, spell-binding and mystical.” —Michael Grant, New
York Times bestselling author of the Gone series
“Fantasy readers will fall in love with Sleight. Like a circus, it’s an
intoxicating mix of beauty, humor, magic, and danger that means the reader
can’t bear to look away until the final page.” —Eileen Cook, author of With
“Startlingly imaginative and vividly realized.” —Ira Bloom, author of Hearts
& Other Body Parts
Review: With a cast of interesting chracters, colorful backstory and action packed plot, I enjoyed Scheme. The relationship between Geni and Henry is solid. They compliment one another. It was refreshing to see positive adult models and mentors in their lives to guide their journey. Magic, circus elements, and fantasy make a menagerie of an adventure. A unique and spellbinding read. Content: moderate violence, swearing.
though, who am I? How about a list? We Virgos tend to like lists:
I reside in the Great White
North, though the webbed feet prove that I originate from Portland,
Oregon. Last U.S. address was Los Angeles. No, I do not miss the traffic.
(Although Vancouver is #2 in North America for Worst Traffic Ever.) I do
miss California’s awesome beaches.
I write under the pen name Eliza Gordon for
non-YA titles — romantic comedies and Happily Ever Afters. (These books
are NOT for kids. Mature themes, adult language, super-inappropriate jokes
that will make you giggle. Well, I hope.)
Member of SCBWI (Society of
Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators)
Member of the eight-person
fiction cohort of the 2007 Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University
Studied copy and substantive
editing (2005-06) at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. As a writer, I
have worked with and studied the practices of some of the best editors in
the publishing industry. #luckyJenn
Studied English, political
science, and criminology via Washington State University
I’m called Mom by three
I will never join the PTA or
PAC, so please, don’t ask. I also don’t do candle, jewelry, or clothing
parties. Thanks, though. I’m sure the finger sandwiches are delicious.
I used to do all of my
first-draft writing in the car, at night, in the parking lot of my
favorite coffee shop. These days I write where it’s quietest — home, or
my local coffee shop.
I buy a lot of books. A LOT. No,
seriously. I have a problem.
I am a soundtrack/movie score
JUNKIE. Hans Zimmer and Alexandre Desplat and Sonya Belousova and
the Greyson-William brothers and Ramin Djawadi … and HARRY ESCOTT.
*swoon* He followed me back on Twitter and I almost died. Almost. If you
ever need movie score recommendations, I AM YOUR PERSON.
I am obsessed with
elephants and otters. I’d like to smooch one of each someday.
Cat person. The household is
ruled by an overweight tuxedo cat named Nuit and her very energetic little
sister, Rosie Cotton (named after Samwise Gamgee’s wife from Lord of
I love coffee, Shakespeare
(!!!), Joan of Arc, most things pastry, MOVIES (oh man I love movies so
much), the Golden Rule, and bloody good writing.
I am Team Superman all the way.
I wear the same outfit every day: a Superman T-shirt and jeans, and I have
a very cool Superman tattoo inspired by the artwork of comic book artist
I adore Lord of the
Rings and The Hobbit — and I ship Kili +
Tauriel forever, and I don’t care if Tauriel wasn’t in original Hobbit
story. <3 horin="" ili="" o:p="" ragon="">3>
I now have five tattoos,
including the Dwarvish script from Kili’s rune stone (from Desolation
of Smaug). I waited until my 30s to get my first tattoo,
just to be sure I wouldn’t regret it.
Muses help me write — I have
many. I love movie stars!
I hate thunderstorms, paperwork,
people lacking humility, lazy writers with a sense of entitlement, and
going to the dentist. Oh, and bad drivers. THE BAD DRIVERS TURN ME INTO A
RAGE STORM OF CALAMITOUS DOOM.
practical guide to improving your life–and your impact on the world–in thirty
simple days by radically reducing waste without losing your lifestyle.
Overwhelmed by clutter, anxious about your environmental footprint, and looking
to make a change? You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to reconfigure your
consumption–still, it doesn’t hurt that Anita Vandyke is. A qualified engineer
and the eco-luxe lifestyle champion behind the popular zero-waste Instagram
@Rocket-Science, Anita Vandyke has made the change to a zero-waste life, and
through hands-on advice and charming illustrations, she shows us that with ease
and style, we can too.
By incorporating thirty simple rules one day at a time, A Zero Waste Life is a
manageable guide to forming a more conscientious, intentional life in just one
month. Offered inside is guidance for tackling waste and making ethical choices
when it comes to shopping, eating, travel, beauty, and more. With her signature
elegance and encouraging voice, Vandyke proves that we can stop depending on
plastics, tidy our homes, and clear the way for a cleaner future–and that when
we stop wasting, we start living.
hear of the conservationist lifestyle, it sounds idealistic and undesirable—a
life spent sacrificing conveniences and laboring over smelly compost. Not quite
so, according to stylish lifestyle expert, social influencer, and qualified
rocket scientist Anita Vandyke, whose popular Instagram (@Rocket_Science) documenting her hip, conservationist
lifestyle has amassed more than 82,000 followers, and who is the author of the
upcoming, much anticipated, beautifully illustrated, and highly readable
guidebook A Zero Waste Life in Thirty Days.
Releasing just in time for Earth Day (April 22, 2020), A Zero Waste
Life in Thirty Days makes it easy—even convenient, fun, and envy
producing!—to become a conservationist. Inside, Vandyke elegantly and
encouragingly invites readers to follow a simple, manageable plan that will
incorporate sustainable techniques into their lives one day at a time over a
30-day period, and leave them with a more intentional, fulfilling, and
Vandyke focuses on incorporating practical ways to reduce waste, such as with:
food and shopping (become a better
cook, reduce costs from packaging, and spend less eating out);
beauty and cleaning (DIY organic
beauty and cleaning products to avoid toxins);
and recycling and composting (the
basics and why it isn’t as daunting (or smelly!) as it seems).
quitting her corporate job helped her find her path, and that her financial
savviness during her “funemployment” is what led to a zero waste lifestyle. “I
don’t have all the answers to living a 100% zero waste life,” she says. “It’s a
goal, nothing more. I believe we can all be everyday activists and take little
steps to reduce our waste.
Anita Vandyke is a qualified rocket
scientist (graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering – Aeronautical Space) and
runs a successful Instagram account (@rocket_science) about zero waste living.
She was born in Guangzhou China,
raised in Australia and currently splits her time between studying Medicine in
Sydney, and living with her husband in San Francisco. She regularly blogs about
her passions of zero waste switches, minimalism, travel and all things green
Anita’s first book A
Zero Waste Life: a thirty day guide published by Penguin Random
House, Australia is available at all good book stores. Her second book is
coming out in 2020.
No Nice Girl Swears is the original,
trailblazing guide to the “new etiquette,” brimming with timeless advice on
style, romance, and grace, and finally back in print 90 years after its
original release. Forewords by today’s editor in chief of Town & Country
and the editor in chief of Vogue from 1914–1952.
Heralded as the go-to guide for soon-to-be
debutantes and ladies who’d recently made their debut, No Nice Girl Swears
ushered in a “new etiquette” on its release in 1933, much to the shock—and
delight—of the high-society crowd of jazz-age America. Today it is equal parts
time capsule (how to dress for dinner on your transatlantic voyage) and
timeless missive (how to ditch a date who’s had a few too many).
Worldly-wise socialite Alice-Leone Moats advises
on everything from style and dating to travel and party throwing, and weeds
through the dos and don’ts of weddings, weekend trips, and the workplace. Her
wisdom, though steeped in the charm of her time, endures: treat others—and
yourself—with respect, always put your best foot forward, and don’t throw a party
without champagne. It’s just good manners.
This keepsake volume includes a new foreword
from Stellene Volandes, the editor in chief of Town & Country, the original
foreword from Edna Woolman Chase, Vogue’s editor in chief from 1914–1952, and a
contextualizing preface. It encourages consideration of what etiquette rules
we’d like instilled today, and shows how Moats helped usher in a world where
women could speak—and act—freely.
“A book of modern etiquette for the modern
debutante and sub deb, with an eye on her mother. Definitely keyed to the city
and suburban communities, rather than the small town. Humor and commonsense
combined in due proportion in answering such questions as: Shall I ask him in?
May I call you up some time? What is the technique of being picked up? What
should be done if my escort passes out on me? And so on. In addition, the author
gives the latest usage in the matter of debutante parties, chaperonage (you’d
be surprised!), engagements, weddings, clothes, week-end parties, and other
contingencies. In good taste, and yet distinctly smart. The book itself is
another experiment in colored stock—yellow this time—but since the books are to
be sealed with cellophane wrappers, the prospective buyer wont know what she is
getting until the purchase is made.”
“In spite of such reminiscent titles of ‘Shall
She Ask Him In?’ and ‘Never Speak To Strangers Unless They Speak to You,’ these
chapters contain serious advice—the pragmatism of it all cloaked in a flippant
and humor-flecked style.”
Review: This book was a fun diversion and trip into the past rules of society in urban New York. I enjoyed reading the advice the writer gives women trying to navigate their season of dating. Fun, yet practical, some of it is still applicable today.
—New York Times
Moats (1908–1989) was an American journalist and author who was born in Mexico
to wealthy and socially prominent American parents. She attended convent
schools in Mexico City, Rome and Paris, as well as the Brearley School in
Manhattan and the Fermata School for Girls in Aiken, South Carolina.
Gadoury, The Parliament House, and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover
for BEYOND THE SHORE AND SHADOWS, the second book in her YA Little Mermaid
Retelling Series, which releases May 2021! Check out the awesome cover and
enter to win a $10 Amazon GC!
Lena is a
merrow in possession of the Magick Skal, the shell once owned by the Queen of
the merrows. And now, Lord Jarl knows her secret and wants it for himself.
away from the Lundby-Wyatt Inn, leaving behind everything she was familiar
with, Lena finds herself in the company of the warm and kind Soren Emil.
villagers turn against her and Soren, they’re forced to leave the burning Bror
Boghandel behind and escape to a forgotten cottage on the edge of the shore,
where no one will find them. Lena knows she must get the shell back to the sea
and destroy it, before it falls into the hands of Lord Jarl, or worse, his
apprentice, Jace Wyatt.
help of some unruly pirates, Lena and Soren journey to the sea, a place Lena
never thought she’d return to. There, she will have to face not only the Sea
King’s army, the Fosse-Søfolk, but the impossible choice to sacrifice her own
life, or the life of the man she loves.
Lena, a Merrow girl, lives in the Skagerrak sea with her father, Carrick and
her brother, Javelin who tells her of the legend of the Merrow Queen murdered
by her human lover when greed takes over. But what’s worth spilling the queen’s
blood? Gifted from Poseidon, himself, a magic shell gives any human the ability
to control both land and sea.
When Javelin is called to join a clan of Merrow soldiers bent on protecting
their waters from human invasion, Lena resists Merrow law and ventures to the
shore with no choice but to swim to land.
With newfound legs, Lena is whisked away on a new adventure with new friends
and new trouble. Everyone seems to want something from her as intrigue lurks
around every corner.
Trying her best to hide who she is and remain safe from the dangers of the
human world, will Lena finally find where she belongs, or will she be swept
into a strong and stormy current by lust, greed, and jealousy?
Excerpt from BETWEEN THE SEA AND
STARS (Lena #1):
“Tell me the legend of the Skagerrak queen.”
Javelin lifted a brow. “It’s hardly a legend, Lena,” he said. “It’s
barely been a decade.” His voice was easy, unbothered by the possibility of
being overheard. They were alone in this place. There was no need to whisper or
scold or shush. Still, he groaned. “I’ve told that one a thousand times. You
should know it by heart. Aren’t you tired of it yet?”
“Come on,” Lena urged him. “It’s my favorite. Tell me again.”
He rolled his eyes, but his mouth curved into a grin. “Fine.” His scooped
a clam shell out of the sand and began sliding the sharp side of a rock against
its grain. “The queen fell in love with a human man,” he began, his strong
fingers holding the clam firmly in place. “Every full moon, she used her magic
to travel ashore to see him.”
About the Author
Chantal Gadoury is an Amazon Best Selling Author who is originally from the countryside of Muncy, PA. Chantal likes anything Disney, plays a mean game of Disney trivia, enjoys painting and has a interest in British History. Chantal first started writing stories at the age of seven and continues that love of writing today. As a recent college graduate from Susquehanna University, with a degree in Creative Writing, writing novels is a dream come true.
Missionary John H. Groberg returns to Tonga in the 1960s with his wife and their five young daughters. When their sixth child is born with a serious illness, the Grobergs face their ultimate test of faith, only to find themselves surrounded by the love andprayers of thousands of Tongans. Barriers of inter-religious strife are soon broken down as all unite in hopes of a miracle that will save the baby’s life, as well as the life of a Tongan minister’s son.
Yesterday, we watched The Other Side of Heaven 2 as a family. It is a high action film with moderate violence, so you may want to pre-screen or have the remote ready to fast forward. Elder Groberg is in Idaho Falls, Idaho with his young family when he is called to be a mission president to Tonga and surrounding islands. Back to the place where he served as a young man, now with hundreds in his care. We cried many times and marveled at the hardships they endured, as well as the faith they showed with prayer. Highly recommend for youth and adults.
Content: domestic violence, gang violence. High tension.