A Book Review: Rulers & Mages

Author Daley Downing was kind enough to send me an EARC (early advanced reader copy) of the second installment of her series, The Order of the Twelve Tribes, Rulers and Mages.

I was a major fan of Downing’s first book, Masters and Beginners and was won over again with Rulers and Mages. Mystery, magic, drama, and love abounds!

I greatly enjoyed that Downing wrote a series with teenagers who only rebel when they must, and show respect for themselves and their family. Downing proved it is entirely possible to hold a reader’s attention without sex, drugs, profanity, etc. This quality alone makes her stand apart from other YA authors of her time. For this reason, I hold her writing in high esteem, but that’s not the only reason I will keep reaching for more books from this series.

Downing’s characters are distinct and well created. I especially appreciate the fact that she included diversity in her characters, including two with autism. Through her characters, Downing taught me a lot about autism. We need more “own voices” in our literature to promote inclusion and understanding in our society. Downing did a fantastic job at that.

With all of the above-mentioned, wonderful qualities, Rulers and Mages was also a very well-written and thoroughly enjoyable progression of The Twelve Tribes story. I’m excited to pass this series to my own children when they are old enough to read.

***

Please take a moment to check out Downing’s website, The Invisible Moth.  Her posts are very informative about the publishing and author world. I’m always so impressed by Downing’s thoroughness in her writing, whether it’s her blog or her book series.

-Rachel McKee

Sunday Social

I created Sunday Social as a way to mingle, collaborate, and share our blogs. Sunday Social is one more place where you can share a post that maybe didn’t get as much feedback as you were hoping for. Sunday Social is a place to meet new bloggers.

This weekly post is a “wild card” of sorts. There aren’t many rules but I do ask that you follow a few guidelines.

  • Give honest, constructive feedback, but always be courteous.
  • If someone takes the time to comment on your post, please return the favor and check out their endeavors too.

How do you participate?

It’s very easy.

  • Copy and paste the link to your blog or a specific blog post in the comment section below.
  • Give us a little blurb about your blog, the feedback you are looking for, or if you are just hoping to meet some new blogger buddies.

Voila! That’s it.

See you same time again next week!

If you feel inclined, please re-blog to help this party grow.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please post those in the comment section as well.

I look forward to reading everyone’s posts.

Cheers! *Clink*

-Rachel

Micro Fiction: Michelle

The black lace that covered her arms was a vain barrier between her skin and the draft in the bar. Her stomach and jaw were clenched from the chill and concentrating on the task-at-hand.

Said task, was sitting in a corner booth directly in front of her own. Peeling the label of some micro-brew and clenching his jaw while listening to his comrade’s escapades from the previous night. Either he didn’t approve or he was cold too. (That clench was intense.)

Fortunate for her, the Seattle bar boasted modern, mid-century decor with low-back seating and moody light. Perfect for blending in and snooping on her current assignment as he dropped bits of beer label onto the table.

Invisibility was Michelle’s super power. No, she did not possess actual magical abilities, but she was an expert at going unobserved when it suited her. She contributed her chameleon abilities to her looks. Her sandy blonde hair, average height, thin figure, and unremarkable brown eyes meant people didn’t find her overly attractive or horribly ugly. To be honest, she didn’t have one outstanding or striking trait that made people remember her for better or worst.

When she was younger she used her bland appearance like a security blanket. Now it was her money-maker.

Nobody from the small logging community where she grew up ever thought much of Michelle, that was fine with her. Never would they suspect she would become a private P.I. with her own, highly successful company, yet here she sat, watching some millionaire’s husband throw back a few beers with his bud.

Rather a boring job by this appearance alone, but the “devil is in the detail” and Michelle was a pro at sniffing out sin. Actually, she was the best.

Mac and Cheese Meltdown

Mac and Cheese Meltdown

Staring at the pot,

willing it to boil.

Give me a bubble, a sizzle,

just cook.

He’s flailing on the floor,

screaming, “I want It now!”

He makes a dash,

I lunge.

Those skinny legs are fast.

He beats me to the box, noodles rain down.

Boiling water.

Turning off the stove,

I sink to the floor.

I curl up among the hard, yellow shells, and close my eyes.

His wails turn into the cry of a seagull.

Lying on the beach, I’m younger.

My name isn’t “Mama”.

My breath aligns with the tide.

Push, pull.

In, out.

I allow myself this moment,

to escape.

I open my eyes.

He is watching cartoons,

The Mac & Cheese forgotten.

-Rachel McKee

So You Want to Be an Indie Author

Thank you for detailing many of the aspects to consider with self-publishing. Your posts are always so thoughtful and detailed, it’s really wonder how you do it all Daley.

You do? Huh, what’s wrong with you? Completely kidding. Total snark. Yes, come back here! Considering that I’ve successfully made it through my first year as a self-published author, I think a post with some advice for those hoping to enter this field is appropriate. And, really, you can approach me on Twitter or something, […]

via So, You Want to Be an Indie Author… — The Invisible Moth

Sunday Social

I created Sunday Social as a way to mingle, collaborate, and share our blogs. Sunday Social is one more place where you can share a post that maybe didn’t get as much feedback as you were hoping for. Sunday Social is a place to meet new bloggers.

This weekly post is a “wild card” of sorts. There aren’t many rules but I do ask that you follow a few guidelines.

  • Give honest, constructive feedback, but always be courteous.
  • If someone takes the time to comment on your post, please return the favor and check out their endeavors too.

How do you participate?

It’s very easy.

  • Copy and paste the link to your blog or a specific blog post in the comment section below.
  • Give us a little blurb about your blog, the feedback you are looking for, or if you are just hoping to meet some new blogger buddies.

Voila! That’s it.

See you same time again next week!

If you feel inclined, please re-blog to help this party grow.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please post those in the comment section as well.

I look forward to reading everyone’s posts.

Cheers! *Clink*

-Rachel

Picture Pick FriYAY: Snohomish, WA

Good morning readers,

I’m currently typing one-handed while holding Hayden with the other. (Please excuse typos.)

I also caught the cold that I have been dodging for weeks. Seems like everyone has been sick.

Luckily, I can still host a virtual party without serving my germs as a party favor. I hope you can attend Sunday Social this week, even just to “pop in” for a few minutes. I can’t tell you how much fun SS has been for me! If you can’t make it, don’t worry, you can stop by again next week.

The photos featured today were taken in the photogenic farmlands, and river valley of Snohomish, Washington State.

Washington State

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Washington State

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If you would like to see more of Miles’ photography you can visit his Instagram account.

Have a wonderful weekend readers.♥

-Rachel

 

 

Magic: Age Isn’t Relevant

People of all ages love books about magic. (I also understand that people of all ages dislike books about magic.) Today we will focus on the former, and not the latter.

I remember when publishers redesigned the Harry Potter books to look more “mature”. I picture a man in a business suit, hunkered down with The Sorcerer’s Stone. On his way to close a multi-million dollar deal. Hat pulled low, in an airplane seat, giving the person next to him the side-eye, praying they don’t recognize what he’s reading.

Pardon the digression.

Anyway, I was just sitting here thinking about why adults continue to love fiction and magic. Here is what I came up with.

Escapism

Escapism is an appealing part of magic for everyone. Living in a world where there is still so much to discover. We can leave our assignments and jobs behind and live through the characters. How wonderful is that?

Possibilities

In magical realms there is an abundance of possibilities. Many of the rules from our world go out the window: gravity, time, travel, death, etc. In the magical realm anything is possible, but that’s not to say these worlds are without rules. As we know, there are still always rules to be broken. The rules in the magical realm are exciting, but they aren’t OUR rules.

Innocence

Innocence may be the strongest driving factor for adults who read books cpntaining magic. For those of us that still peak a little further into the back of a closet, or poke our heads into the attic, or who still hold on to the tiny shred of hope that our invitation to Hogwarts is on the way, we are reluctant to let our innocence vanish.

In a world that feels uncertain, it’s comforting to allow ourselves to believe. Not only in the possibility of magic, but that people can rally a together and beat “the bad guy”. That the good guy CAN get the girl, and that maybe, when we are challenged, we too will rise.

What keeps you reaching for those books about magic?

-Rachel

Weekend Get Away

Hi everyone,

First, I want to thank everyone who participated in Sunday Social. I’ve had the best time meeting new people and catching up with old friends.

I feel very lucky because I got to read your incredible blogs from this amazing cabin in Shelton, Washington with my family.

While I was reading your incredible writing I was also taking in this view.

Here are some more pictures from our trip. We left Sunday and arrived home this afternoon.

Thank you again everyone. It means so much that you shared your beautiful blogs at my virtual party.

I hope to see you all again this Sunday.❤️

-Rachel

Sunday Social

I created Sunday Social as a way to mingle, collaborate, and share our blogs. Sunday Social is one more place where you can share a post that maybe didn’t get as much feedback as you were hoping for. Sunday Social is a place to meet new bloggers.

This weekly post is a “wild card” of sorts. There aren’t many rules but I do ask that you follow a few guidelines.

  • Give honest, constructive feedback, but always be courteous.
  • If someone takes the time to comment on your post, please return the favor and check out their endeavors too.

How do you participate?

It’s very easy.

  • Copy and paste the link to your blog or a specific blog post in the comment section below.
  • Give us a little blurb about your blog, the feedback you are looking for, or if you are just hoping to meet some new blogger buddies.

Voila! That’s it.

See you same time again next week!

If you feel inclined, please re-blog to help this party grow.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please post those in the comment section as well.

I look forward to reading everyone’s posts.

Cheers! *Clink*

-Rachel