Thursday, February 15, 2018

So Sang The Dawn {review}

2/7/2018
um, no review right now, too busy crying, good cry, don't worry, LOVED the book, it's beautiful.






2/10/2018
OKAY. deep breath. 

So I'm procrastinating on an article by writing this, but at least I'm writing, right? Yeah, anyway. 

I don't know that I've read a book like this in a while. This one really needs like seven out of five stars. The last time I remember reading a book in such pell-mell haste and reaching the end and just---hanging---was when I read Moonraker's Bride for the first time. Before that, Jane Eyre. In fact, I think I could list to you all the books I've read that yanked me in and ate me up in the process of reading, and when I came out... I'm going to sound like Gandalf when I say "You may never return... and if you do, you will not be the same." So Sang The Dawn is one of those books for me.

The prose is vivid, engaging, and nearly flawless in terms of pacing, plotlines, and flow. The story is sharp, harsh in places, and it hurts in all the right places. This brought me to tears so many times - actual curled-up-on-the-bed SOBBING. I read it in a week which is the fastest I've ever read something of this size. I stayed up late nights reading, which is also unusual for me. 

Aurora was entirely too relatable and I slid into her shoes so easily that it scared me. Raine reminds me of my own best friends and made me miss them dearly. I haven't slid so completely into a story in a while and it took me a good two hours after I finished before I could even quite remember me. 

Okay. Let's see if we can make some order out of my feelings on this book:

IT'S HUGE. I could win awards for the book yoga I pulled off to be able to read this comfortably. Eh, nah, I couldn't. But anyway. Ever since AnnMarie published, I've been debating whether it would be as big as my cat. The answer (as evidenced on her Instagram @elli_and_indie) is that yes, it is pretty much just as big as my cat. TOTALLY WORTH IT TO HAVE THE PAPERBACK. In a lot of ways it needs to be that big. The story is so big that it needs every single one of its 723 pages. 

I loved it. I just totally and absolutely loved it. If I was beta reading, I would point out the three typos I found (and for the record 3 typos over 723 pages is totally insanely good.) That's it. I can't find anything that I feel needs to be changed except that I need the sequel RIGHT NOW PLEASE AND THANK YOU. 

The characters, the setting - I won't give you spoilers, but THE WHOLE FREAKING SETTING IS AMAZING. Reading it in February, in the mountains of Western Maine, I knew exactly what she was talking about and I adored it. 

The story-telling has a beautiful blend of detail and action that is both poetic and made my heart race. 

This is a high fantasy story like few I've read and it has the added delight of a contemporary world and a high fantasy world blending flawlessly. 

It's taken me three days to be able to think enough to be able to write a review and knowing me, it will be like three weeks before I can verbally talk about it. 

I apparently made a record by sending the author her first ever review in GIFs only. 

There is semi-graphic violence and heavy themes, but it's all handled so well, so I recommend for 14+.







I highly recommend getting your copy from AnnMarie's website - you can get it signed, and she does the most amazing wrapping and packaging job. Seriously, that got all the heart eyes from me. 




AnnMarie's Website



Amazon Link




-Annie

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Copyright 2018 by Annie Louise Twitchell. 

Friday, January 26, 2018

One Year Ago {this calls for celebration}




One year and one week ago I sat in the living room on a cold Saturday morning and read through the entity of KDP's (Kindle Direct Publishing) terms of service. One year and one week ago I talked with my dad and decided on Annie Louise Twitchell as the name I would publish under. One year and one week ago today I opened a KDP account.

One year ago today I uploaded the cover file:





One year ago today I struggled over the acknowledgements, how to express what I felt and what I wanted to say. I'd never felt that something was so important. 

One year ago today I uploaded the finalized manuscript. 

One year from tomorrow, January 28th, my first book was published on Amazon Kindle. 

The Christmas Ladder is a little tiny story; it's about 10 pages long. It's a true story, mostly. It's based on a story from my great-grandmother's childhood. To celebrate my first book baby's birthday, I've listed it for free on Amazon on the 27th, 28th, and 29th. 




It's been a long year. It seems impossible that it's been a whole year already, but at the same time I can't believe it's only been a year. I'm standing on the edge of 21, almost teetering, waited with bated breath. I don't know what I'm waiting for. 

This past year has been full of pain and grief and anger and hurt and depression. It's been full of anxiety and fear. It's been full of hope and love and joy and the kind of laughter that explodes into a million glittering echoes because there's nothing else for it to do. It's been full of growth and change and healing. 

I've moved mountains, I think, at least for myself. 

I'm so thankful for this last year. 


-Annie

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

It's Okay {my afternoon}





I'm in several young writer's groups now, and I end up on the older end of the age range in most of them. I tend to mildly 'big sister' them, especially during a writing event month. I post reminders and encouragements and offer virtual hugs as needed. It's something I'm pretty good at, and it's useful for some of the members.

This week has been challenging for me, personally. It's been hard and I've felt so worn out and tired. I had a panic attack (full blown panic attack, it was pretty bad) this morning when I realized I hadn't written at all yesterday, and only a couple sentences the day before. I'm not doing any yearly writing challenges this year and I've actually met my January goals about a week ago, so I couldn't figure out why I was panicking about it, but once my buddy got me calmed down and I was okay, I was able to sit down and do some journaling. That satisfied whatever it was that had prompted the panic attack. 

This evening, I was just feeling really discouraged and down. So I squished my anxiety about saying anything and asked in one of my writing groups for some encouraging quotes, memes, whatever. 

The response was pretty overwhelming and I was actually finally able to cry, which I hadn't managed yet. After I had a good cry I felt so much better. I felt refreshed and clear-headed, I could think properly, my body was relaxed and didn't feel like it was falling apart on me. 

It just really reminded me that no one here is an island and that it's totally okay to need help and to ask for help. I often have this whisper in the back of my mind that says you don't need to bother anyone with that and sometimes, I let it decide things for me. But tonight I didn't, and I'm so very thankful that I didn't. 

I feel ready for my day tomorrow and I'm looking forward to the handful of projects I have lined up. 

-Annie 



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