Saturday, 22 June 2013

Summer Reading

Sitting on a beach, in a car, under a tree, in a tree, or on a boat, reading is best done in the summer. A lot of people don’t have work or school getting in the way of our towering book piles that have been cluttering (can books ever really clutter?) up every room in our houses. We all have those summer reading lists that we try to get through, so here is mine:

·         The Light Between Oceans – ML Stedman
·         The Golem and the Jinni – Helene Wecker
·         The Morning Gift – Eva Ibbotson
·         Reached – Ally Condie (Okay, I don’t want to read this, but I need to finish the series)
·         The Witch of Blackbird Pond – Elizabeth George Speare

I’ll probably be adding more throughout the summer, so keep your eyes open. So the question is, what are you reading this summer?

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Twitter!

Hey ya'll! I just got a Twitter account to follow my writing and writing thoughts. Follow to get the latest updates of what's up in my writing world! @MissAmyWolfe

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Out of my Comfort Zone

Lately I've been finding myself wanting to pick up a story I started back in grade eight or nine. The is about a girl named Caitriona (you can find a summary under my stories) and the story is contemporary/paranormal. Do you see my problem? I never write contemporary and I'm afraid I just don't know how. I mean, I can relate to the main character: we're both teenage girls who live in Nova Scotia, so it should be easy. What a misconception.

The main character doesn't stay in Nova Scotia though, she travels to Ireland where 98% of the story takes place. So this means that I have to set a story in a place I've never been; easy, I've done it before. But to write the mind of a modern day teenage girl; impossible.

Facebook! Twitter! Instagram! How can you be a teenager and not have one if not all of these? And you can't leave them out because then it isn't realistic. If you write in the 1800s, you don't have to worry about these things.

Hopefully I don't screw this over. Does anyone have any advice for a writer in need?

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Top Eleven Literary Couples

Here is an early Valentine present for you all: a list of my favourite literary couples. Now, I must warn you, this isn’t your average list for one reason: there is no Elizabeth and Darcy. This is because I dislike Pride and Prejudice. I couldn’t make it through the book (or even Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) though I did watch the movie (though I must admit, it was terribly boring). Darcy is a rude jerk to Elizabeth at the beginning. I don’t know why she started to fall for him. I guess it is true that girls love jerks (I feel although I will get hate for this). *There may be spoilers for these books, so please: READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!*

Without further ado, my top eleven literary couples:

Number Eleven
Anne and Gilbert (Anne of Green Gables)

I absolutely love Anne of Green Gables. A few years back I went over to the Island to visit Green Gables Heritage Place. It was lovely, but this isn’t about my trip. While I was there I bought the complete box set of the Anne books. These let me relive my childhood (I used to worship the cartoon) and relive Anne and Gilbert’s love. From smashing her slate over his head, to not acknowledging him for several years, to college, typhoid fever, marriage and children, we see Gilbert mature and Anne realized her feelings.
They’re truly a sweet couple with the innocence of childhood. It shows that the old wives tale is true: boys tease the girls they like. Anne and Gilbert’s romance shows us how childhood sweethearts (um, they were kind of?) can become husband and wife.
“I don't want diamond sunbursts, or marble halls. I just want you.”

Number Ten
Noah and Allie (The Notebook)



She didn’t care much for him at first, but then they spent a lifetime together through all the odds. She wanted for him for seven years and to me, waiting for the love of your life is romantic because, as you know, good things come to those who wait. Even though they fight 98% of the time, they are still madly in love with each other.
I love these two because they act just as a real couple do. They fight constantly, but they always make up for it afterwards. Also, I love romances were one has to wait for the other, it just shows how dedicated they are.
“It’s not gonna be easy. It’s gonna be really hard. We’re gonna have to work at this every day, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, for ever, you and me, every day.”

Number Nine
Westly and Buttercup (The Princess Bride)

 
He was a poor farm boy, she was a beautiful maiden. She could have had any man in the world, but she fell in love with him. But what is a love story without tragedy? Yes, there seems to be some in this story, but they do find a happily ever after. Not even giants, shrieking eels, or six-fingered men could keep these two lovebirds away from each other.
These two are just a really sweet couple and I love how Westly will go through anything just to get his beloved back from the evil prince.
“As you wish.”

Number Eight
Jane and Mr Rochester (Jane Eyre)


Jane comes to Thornfield Hall to be the governess to Adele, only to find herself very taken with Mr Rochester. Even with a strange presence hanging around Thornfield Hall and a secret Mr Rochester is not willing to tell, Jane does not give up on the handsome man, even when he has a pending marriage with another woman. With a few more events (not to spoil it for you fine people), they finally find their ways to each other.
I love how Jane accepts Mr Rochester just how he is. She doesn’t want him to change and she loves pretty much every little thing about him. He teases her in a way that I find endearing.
“Than let you will decide your destiny. I offer you my hand, my heart. Jane, I ask you to pass through life at my side. You are my equal, my likeness... Will you marry me?”

Number Seven
Odysseus and Penelope


Penelope was the wife of Odysseus. Odysseus fought in the ten year Trojan War but even once it was over, he didn’t appear for another ten or so years. His wife, although lonely, stayed faithful to her husband and declined 108 suitors. When Odysseus does return, he kills all the suitors (starting with the one who was drinking from his favourite cup!).
Again with the waiting. I love how she was so faithful to him throughout those twenty years he was gone. Also, it was pretty romantic (in a sick and disturbing kind of way) that he killed all those men who tried to get with her when he was gone.

"Stranger, my beauty went forfeit to the Gods the day my Husband sailed with the Argives, for Troy. Should he return, to cherish me, my fortune and favour would improve. As it is, Heaven afflicts me too sorely. All the island Chiefs court me uninvited, and ravage the Estate: While I neglect my guests, the suppliants that come, and even Heralds on a mission, to eat my heart out for Odysseus."

Number Six

Orpheus and Eurydice



Orpheus was a really great musician, poet and prophet. His wife was Eurydice, though not for long. At their wedding she was bitten by a snake and died. Orpheus was so heartbroken that he played only sad songs – sad enough to make the gods cry. Orpheus travels to the underworld where he played for Hades and Persephone who agreed he could have his wife back. But there was a hitch: he had to walk in front of Eurydice and not look at her until they got to the living world. Once he reached the upper world, he looked back, only for her to still be in the underworld. She vanished forever.

This is just sad. He loved her and she him, but in a cruel twist of fate she was taken away from him. Then, when he thinks he will have her back, he loses her once again due to the fact that he just really wanted to look upon her and make sure she was okay.

Number Five

Romeo and Juliet (Romeo & Juliet)



Okay, we all saw this one coming. They are on every single ‘favourite couples’ list. We all know the story, so let’s just skim over it. They are two star-crossed lovers who meet and in a few days fall in love, get married and die.

A lot of people say that this is unrealistic, but really? My cell phone battery lasts longer than most relationships these days. To see this story as romantic, you really have to believe in love at first sight and young love.

“But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon, who is already sick and pale with grief, that thou, her maid, art far more fair than she. Be not her maid, since she is envious; her vestal livery is but sick and green and none but fools do wear it; cast it off. It is my lady, O, it is my love! Oh, that she knew she were!”

Number Four

Ron and Hermione (Harry Potter)



It took seven books, eight movies and ten years, but in the end we see these two in love! Okay, so we have all been waiting for it, ever since that very first day on the train when the three all met. When they finally kiss in the last book, everyone in the fandom sighed with relief – there was no more waiting!

My reason for these two? Just ‘cause. They are so cute with the way they are always bickering and trying to make each other jealous by dating other people. It was just amazing when they finally ended up together.

Number Three

Kit and Nat (The Witch of Blackbird Pond)



Kit and Nat first meet on a ship sailing from Barbados to Connecticut. Kit is going to move in with her mother’s family and Nat is the captain’s son. There is a bit of tension between them at first, but as time goes on and Nat returns from his voyages, they grow closer and closer together. Even through an engagement to someone else and a witch hunt they are together in the end.

Even though for a good portion of this book they aren’t together, you can totally feel the bond between them when they first part.

“All the way up the river she's been holding back somehow, waiting. Now you'll both have to wait. I'm not going to disappoint her, Kit. When I take you on board the Witch, it's going to be for keeps.”

Number Two

Jamie and Claire (Outlander)



He is a Highland Scot from the 1700s and she is a British nurse from the 1900s. She goes back in time and meets him. They marry out of convenience but soon they fall madly and deeply in love. There are battles and kidnappings and murder – even a lot more time travel – but they always find a way back to each other.

 I love their chemistry. They go so well together because they are both stubborn and care more about other people than themselves.

“Blood of my Blood, and bone of my bone. You carry me within ye, Claire, and ye canna leave me now, no matter what happens, You are mine, always, if ye will it or no, if ye want me or nay. Mine, and I wilna let ye go.”

Number One

Daenerys and Drogo (The Game of Thrones)



They first met when she was pretty much being sold to him by her brother for an army of warrior rapists. Even though she is frightened of him, after their wedding night, they fall deeply in love. She was ‘moon of my life’ and he was ‘my sun and stars’.

This couple. This couple is just the cutest I have seen in my whole entire life. They are absolutely perfect for each other. I can’t even really put it into words. When I think about them, I get that giddy feeling of happiness.

And, since you have all been such a great crowd, I have BONUS couple for you guys.

Jon and Me (The Game of Thrones/My Imagination)



Um, yeah, that is totally a real literary couple and my complete favourite. We would make such a cute couple. ;)



Stay tune for a link to my ‘Favourite History Couples’ on my history blog!

PS. Who are your favourite literary couples?

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Cate of the Lost Colony [Review]


Title: Cate of the Lost Colony
Author: Lisa Klein

Pages: 336

Lady Catherine is one of Queen Elizabeth's favorite court maidens—until her forbidden romance with Sir Walter Ralegh is discovered. In a bitter twist of irony, the jealous queen banishes Cate to Ralegh's colony of Roanoke, in the New World. Ralegh pledges to come for Cate, but as the months stretch out, Cate begins to doubt his promise and his love. Instead it is Manteo, a Croatoan Indian, whom the colonists—and Cate—increasingly turn to. Yet just as Cate's longings for England and Ralegh fade and she discovers a new love in Manteo, Ralegh will finally set sail for the New World.

Seamlessly weaving together fact with fiction, Lisa Klein's newest historical drama is an engrossing tale of adventure and forbidden love—kindled by one of the most famous mysteries in American history: the fate of the settlers at Roanoke, who disappeared without a trace forty years before the Pilgrims would set foot in Plymouth.
I loved this book at first. A lot of people said they found the first part boring, but I found it interesting. But many things seemed to bug me about this book.
I hated Queen Elizabeth I. I love love – she hated it. Nobody was allowed to be in love or have a beau except her – and she didn’t even really have one! She was flirting with guys less than half her age, but Heaven forbids a young girl found someone who caught her fancy.
I like Ralegh a bit. He was noble, honest, but power-hunger. I don’t think he really loved Cate. He loved what she could give him. But if you know about Ralegh, you’ll know that not everything works out.
I didn’t know anything about the Lost Colony. This book made me research it and I am very intrigued by it. What really happened to them all? I like to think they found their way like in the book.
This book was actually boring after the first part. You think going to an uncivilized land would be exciting – not in this book. There were many times when I wanted to site down the book and never pick it up again, but I had to finish what I started.
There was no romance in the book. It clearly implies that it is on the back, but the first actual kiss for Cate took place 300-some pages in! There was absolutely no connection between Cate and Ralegh. She claims she loved him, but I couldn’t buy it.
I rate this: 2 ½ stars.

Ladies in Waiting [REVIEW]


Title: Ladies in Waiting
Author: Laura L Sullivan
Pages: 336

Eliza dreams of being a playwright for the king’s theater, where she will be admired for her witty turns of phrase rather than her father’s wealth. Beth is beautiful as the day but poor as a church mouse, so she must marry well, despite her love for her childhood sweetheart. Zabby comes to England to further her scientific studies—and ends up saving the life of King Charles II. Soon her friendship with him becomes a dangerous, impossible obsession. Though she knows she should stay away from the young, handsome king, Charles has a new bride, Queen Catherine, and a queen needs ladies in waiting. And so Zabby, Beth, and Eliza, three Elizabeths from very different walks of life, find themselves at the center of the most scandal-filled court that England has ever seen.

I really liked this book in the beginning – even the middle! But once I hit a certain point, I wasn’t very fond of it.
The characters were a tossup for me; I’m not sure if I liked most of them or hated them. Let’s start with our three Elizabeths. Eliza, I really liked her. She was funny and crude, threatening her suitors with cutting off their… urm, cods. She was determined to be a playwright no matter what others thought of her. Zabby, I didn’t really care for. She was smart, a bit strange, and fancied herself in love with a married man – the king! What was wrong with her? All she wanted was to sleep with him. Beth was my favourite out of them all. She was sweet, innocent, pretty, and a tad mad, I believe. She lived for love – it was all she ever wanted. On their own these three girls would be fine, but together they made a great big Mary-Sue.
Let’s take a look at the other characters, shall we? King Charles, I’m not going to sugar coat it, he was a man-whore. I don’t agree with infidelity. It’s one of the worst things to do to you spouse. Especially when she is as sweet as Catherine. She loved Charles with all her heart, but he had tons of mistresses and didn’t love her like he should’ve. Harry, Beth’s love, was one of my favourite characters. He loved her after all those years and tried to win her doing whatever could. They said he was brash, but I think he was in love.
Now you’re probably wondering why I hated the ending. It might have been because there wasn’t one. The book just sort of ended. There was only really a closing for Zabby (if you could call it that). I’m still not 100% sure how Beth was in the end of the book as there wasn’t even an epilogue to tell me how they were now faring. It felt although someone had ripped out that last few pages of my book.
I rate this: 3 stars.

In the Shadow of the Lamp[REVIEW]


Title: In the Shadow of the Lamp
Author: Susanne Dunlap
Pages: 293

It's 1854 and sixteen-year-old Molly would give anything to change her circumstances as a lowly servant in a posh London house. So when she hears of an opportunity to join the nurses who will be traveling with Florence Nightingale to the Crimea, she jumps at the chance. The work is gruelling, the hospital conditions deplorable, and Miss Nightingale a demanding teacher. Before long, the plight of British soldiers becomes more than just a mission of mercy as Molly finds that she's falling in love with both a dashing young doctor and a soldier who has joined the army to be near her. But with the battle raging ever nearer, can Molly keep the two men she cares for from harm? A love story to savour, and a fascinating behind-the-scenes imagining of the woman who became known as the lady with the lamp.
I knew little about Florence Nightingale before reading this book. So, like any history/book nerd, I consulted Wiki about her. She seemed like a pretty cool lady. The way she was portrayed kind of reminded me of how Elizabeth I is always done – nobody is allowed to be in love.
I enjoyed the characters a lot. Molly is a strong young lady who seems to always have a battle raging within her, but does the right thing. Her two lover interests – Will and Dr Maclean – are wonderful. I love ‘love triangles’ and I always root for someone from the start to finish, but I didn’t in this one. Before she met Maclean, I was rooting for Will. But once she met the charming doctor, I was torn. Both men are so different in the best of ways. Emma is a good companion for Miss Molly, though at first I wondered what she was about.
The plot is amazing as is the description. I felt as if I was there and could see everything vividly in my head – the swaying ship in the storm, the battlefield, and the wounded soldiers. At times it was so descriptive in what was happening during the operations that I had to close my eyes, take a deep breath and get a new pair of knees before continuing.
There was a moment near the end (when you read it, you will know which part) that affected me greatly. I was sitting in class when I read it, tears pricking my eyes. That wasn’t the only part where I cried. I can promise you, if you read this there is a 96% chance of muttering ‘who is cutting the onions?’
Even though there were many sad parts, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Molly ends up happy with one of her young men though there were many times I doubted it.
I rate this: 5 stars.