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What's in a Name?

It's a new week, my lovelies!
How's your Monday progressing?  Today marks the halfway point of January - WUT?? And also my little brother's 22nd birthday.  :]  

In my attempt to accomplish my goals/dreams for this year, I give to you a new set of names!
M | English (modern), Hebrew
JAIR-ann (possibly)

Possibly derived from Jaron, either an invented name most likely based upon the combination of Jarred and Darren; or a variant transcription of the Hebrew name Yaron, meaning "to sing, to shout."

F | English (rare)

From the English word for the little songbird.  It is ultimately derived from Old English wrenna.

M | Irish, English
RIE-ǝn, or REE-ahn (possibly)

The Irish form of Ryan.  The given name Rían possibly means "little king."

F | Biblical, Biblical Hebrew, Literature, Near Eastern Mythology

Ultimately from Yorah, a Hebrew name which allegedly means "autumn showers."

Names & meanings via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.

Do YOU Have a Dream?

Regarding my writings and stories and numerous WIPs and concept ideas. . .

Buuuuuuuuuuttttt. . . In order to pursue said dream, one must actually STRIVE to make it happen.  We all know books don't write themselves.  It takes the pens and minds of the authors to create the treasures that are stories.

Accountability works wonders.  
And that is why I'm sharing my hopeful to-dos with you here.

(Just a fancy word for "goals")

I had originally hoped to have this done last December.  But after the hectic-ness of NaNo, followed closely by Christmas and then New Years, I decided to hold off until January or February.  Honestly, I am glad I waited.  It would have been added stress to the holidays, and I probably would've gotten nowhere.  And now, we're nearly halfway through January!

It is my ultimate goal to publish Noya's story, a retelling of Beauty & the Beast.  This will most likely NOT happen this year, but I can at least strive towards completing the first draft.
My first REAL WIP.  
Like many aspiring authors, I've had countless story ideas that have come to nothing, but Safia's story was the absolute first that I actually took seriously.  I created an entire fantasy world (based on our own), I thought up some awesome characters that I simply fell in love with, and I have written more words and chapters and beginnings than in any of my other stories (the same world that Noya's story takes place - just in a different country).

This would be the biggie.  That's why I thought I would begin with a more simply story like Noya, based on the beloved faerietale, to pursue publication.  One with not as large a plot or word count as it would seem Safia would become.

Who knows?  Perhaps this story will one day evolve.  My goal with this objective is to at least revisit my story world and its characters and see what needs happening.  :]
Blogging is definitely a passion.  I love coming here and sharing my thoughts and little inspirations with you all.  I have always felt that I speak more eloquently through my pen (or keyboard) than I do orally.  Does anyone agree? *raises hand*

It's my objective to blog at least three times every week.  
MONDAYS - Name posts!
WEDNESDAYS - Book Reviews
FRIDAYS - Writing Tips/Inspiration

Seems easy enough.  But that leads to my last objective for this year. . .
There are so many things that take up my time.  I've tried to limit how often I'm on my phone and social media:  From the noonday meal to 7:00 or 8:00 in the evening.  There's absolutely NO NEED to check statuses, photo feed, or the latest listings on my favorite thrifty apps throughout the ENTIRE DAY.  In setting limitations, this gives me more time to focus on what is necessary:  my daily devotion with God, reading the books I've been provided with for reviews, working on new items for my Etsy shop, and starting up some of my old hobbies again - like embroidery, sketching, and photography.

This is a definite MUST.  
Time flies, as they say.  I want to make the most of it!
That's just a few goals I've whittled down for this fresh new year of 2018.  I could name so many more things I want to do.  Will I accomplish them?  I hope so.  If I don't, for whatever reason, I hope I can say "I gave my best.  Here's to the next year!"

Have a lovely weekend, my friends!

Book Review | Scarlet Moon

Scarlet Moon
Children of the Blood Moon #1
S.D. Grimm

Gilead Publishing | October 21, 2016
Fantasy, Christian, Clean Fiction

The hunted Feravolk are counting on Jayden, a seventeen-year-old, dagger-wielding, storm-detecting orphan, to save their race. Maybe they should have thought of that before they killed her family.

The land of Soleden is dying because the sorceress queen hunts and kills the people who cared for all nature, the Feravolk. Through their special bond with animals, the Feravolk have become more than men. Faster, stronger, masters of camouflage and stealth. Only a Deliverer born the night of the Blood Moon can save them from extinction.

According to prophecy, Jayden is a Deliverer, but it’s not a destiny she wants. She has no sympathy for either side. The Feravolk killed her family, so they can die for all she cares. And fighting the queen with nothing but daggers and her special abilities—storm predicting—is a suicide mission. Destiny can pick someone else.

Except hiding from destiny proves difficult; Deliverers attract powerful Protectors. Jayden’s is one of the Feravolk, so he can’t be trusted. But he makes her feel safe. Makes her want to save his race. If she chooses to keep hiding, he’ll remain one of the hunted, but he’ll protect her even if it means his death if she faces the queen. Making the right choice has never been so excruciating, especially since the prophecy says nothing about the Deliverer’s success, or survival.

> > > > > > > > > > < < < < < < < < < <
Be ye WARNED: Possible Spoilers!

{The Basics}
By far, this is one of the best, clean, warrior, fantasy novels I've read in a long time.  I loved the characters, the story world, and the plot was quite gripping.  There's huge value given to the love of family, the loyalty of friends, and the importance of one's choices in following what they call their "Destiny Path."

In this tale, we generally follow the POVs (point-of-views) of four different characters: Jayden, Ryan, Ethan, and Logan -- with Jayden as the MC.  Of the four, three of them are Children of the Blood Moon -- simply put, this means they were born the night of a Blood Moon, which marked them for life and gifted them with various talents.  Among the Children, four are destined to be Deliverers, and are prophesied to deliver the realm of Soleden from the hands of the wicked Queen Idla, and ultimately the Mistress of Shadows.

I could go on, but I think I'd rather you just read for yourself.  :]  No need to spill the spoilers!

Jayden grew up the only girl among four brothers.  They care for her and watch out for each other, and anyone of them, including their parents, would die for the survival of the others.  There is a beautiful sense of family in their relationships with one another, and the love and humor is evident. 

Jayden doesn't want anyone to die for her.  Eventually, she determines to do anything in her power to save those she loves and to rid their world of evil.  No matter the cost.

A young man surrenders voluntarily to save a friend and her mother.

{Spiritual Content}
The Creator is our God-figure in this story.  And there are so many mysteries in His creation and His people.  The talents given to the Children of the Blood Moon could include anything from speed to reading/feeling another person's emotions, to strength, to shapeshifting, to healing abilities, etc. etc.  

There are some known as Whisperers (women of great wisdom and age), who always seem to know more than what they let on.  They communicate through the whispering trees and their wisdom abounds.

The Feravolk are known as a race who bonds with animals, thus their senses are exceedingly keen.  They are masters of camouflage -- very similar to the Elves of other stories. 

This is no la-dee-dah romance novel, I can tell you that.  There is an abundance of blood, gore, sword-slashing, daggers, beatings, bruisings, cuts, gashes, and so on.  An entire family is killed in their valiant attempt to protect their daughter/sister.  They are each viciously cut down by swords and stabbings and slashes to the throat -- though they do their best to hold their own and by their loved one enough time to escape.   

The Feravolk are blamed for the raids on multiple towns and villages.  But in actuality, it is not the feared race -- protectors of the forests and life -- but the soldiers of the evil queen, who burns each village and takes the Children.

Several men surround a young man and begin beating him with kicks and punches.  He survives with bad bruising and broken ribs.  

Lots and lots and lots of battles, one-on-one combat, and sword/dagger fights.  A soldier's arm is cut off in a fight, throats are slashed, people stabbed clean through the body, etc. etc.

Revenge is touched upon, and characters are faced with the questions: "What do you fight for?  What's worth fighting for?"

{Language; Alcohol & Drugs}

A tavern serves food and drink.  There's the smell of tobacco.

A man is poisoned by the venom of a black lion -- an evil winged creature from the Mistress of Shadows (basically queen of the underworld), and, while he is [SPOILER] healed from the near-fatal poison, a tiny bit of the dark venom taints his heart.  Because of this he hears voices that call to him to give in to the evil.

{Love-y Content}
Warning!  There is a bit of a love triangle in here. . .  Ethan and Jayden are definitely attracted to one another.  She, though, was originally to be betrothed to Ryan, brother of Ethan.  I love how they still love and will fight for each other, and while there is still tension because of this, they seem to want to work it out.

In the tavern, a young barmaid catches the "groping eyes" of all the men; one grabs her arms asking for a "little peck."

We see the "aftermath" of a spoiled, smirking prince, son of the queen, who had defiled a young servant girl. . . (we see her sitting upon his bed, disheveled with eyes red from crying, wrapped in silken sheets).  Many men in the same evil palace are known for their greedy, leering personalities and abusiveness to women.  [Apologies, but that particular scene needed mentioned.  No details, mind you, but it is definitely implied as to what happened.]

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised!  I did not have a clue what to expect with this novel, but immensely enjoyed it and have already begun the sequel!   Stay tuned for a review of Amber Eyes, the second novel in the Children of the Blood Moon series on January 26th, where it will be featured here by your truly as part of a blog tour.  :]

I will add this, however, while I greatly enjoyed the characters, the story itself, and the fantasy of it all, I began to grow tired of the constant skirmishes and sword-fights.  Almost to the point where there were so many in such a short amount of time, I found myself skimming through much of the description.  However, don't let that stop you from adding this to your TBR list! This is simply my opinion, and I enjoyed the tale regardless.


I was provided a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

What's in a Name?

It's been so long since I've shared a Name post.  This will be the first of 2018!  How exciting. :]  Since last I posted one of these particular posts, I've gathered some new monikers I believe you may like.  Enjoy!

M | English

From a surname, a Scots variant of Reed, from the Old English possibly meaning "red" (usually a nickname given to one who has red hair or a ruddy complexion) or "clearing" (given to one who lives in a clearing in the woods).

F | Persian
PAH-ris-sah, pa-REES-ah (possibly)

Meaning "like a fairy" in Persian.

Irish, English (modern)

Variant of the Irish surname Finnegan, meaning "descendant of Fionnegan." Fionnegan is a diminutive of the Irish word fionn (or finn), meaning "fair" or "white."

F | English, French, Italian, Russian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian
NA-DYA (French), NAD-yǝ (English), NAHD-yǝ (English), NA-dyǝ (Russian)

Variant of Nadya, a diminutive of Nadezhda, meaning "hope" in Slavic.  This name gained a boost in popularity from the Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci (1961-).

Names & meanings via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.