A Day In The Life Of Kate L. Branson

Summer MeA Day In The Life…is a new bi-monthly feature here at Wordsmithin’ Ain’t Easy. I wanted to do a feature like this for anyone who wonders how people with jobs, family and friends, school, errands can find time to pursue their dreams.

Today we are going to follow fellow blogger Kate at Kate’s Bookshelf through a typical day to see how she fits it all in.  

I’d love to say I have a typical day when everything is scheduled just so, but living on a farm is far from ordinary.  My mornings in the summer start early on Tuesdays and Fridays because that’s the day my mother and I have to get ready to sell our produce in town.  On those mornings I’m up by seven and I’m busy outside working to get produce washed and loaded up by 11AM.  There are at least 2 cups of coffee involved just to make me wake up during this time.  I usually have a book that I’m dying to read or some note to add to my journal, but I rarely have a moment to spare.  It’s rush all day and I don’t even have a moment to think about writing even though most of the time I do think about writing. I write in my head and plot things.  By three in the afternoon I’m biking up to town to help my mother clean up the produce stand and it’s home again to put away everything that didn’t sell for the day.  Usually from about 4 to 5pm we all take a breather because we have been rushing around non stop all that day. Coffee is the main course of attraction at that time.  We are all big coffee drinkers and I always partake of at least four cups throughout the day. Continue reading

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New Book Releases and Giveaway: Aug 2013

Every Monday I will showcase three new release titles coming out that month and announce the winners of the previous week.  This week’s giveaway is going to feature three new books from Graywolf Press.  Why Graywolf Press?  Because Graywolf Press is an independent publisher focusing on contemporary literature.  They are supportive of their authors (new and established) and their selection of titles is diverse and…in a word…awesome.  Check out the titles below and let me know what you think.  You can enter the contest here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tumbledown by Robert Boswell


Graywolf Press

Aug 6 2013

ISBN 1555976492

At age thirty-three, James Candler seems to be well on the road to success. He’s in line for a big promotion at Onyx Springs, the treatment facility where he’s a therapist. He has a fiancée, a sizable house, and a Porsche. But . . . he’s falling in love with another woman, he’s underwater on his mortgage, and he’s put his hapless best friend in charge of his signature therapeutic program. Even the GPS on his car can’t seem to predict where he should turn next. And his clients are struggling in their own hilarious, heartbreaking ways to keep their lives on track. How can he help them if he can’t help himself? In Tumbledown, Robert Boswell presents a large, unforgettable cast of characters who are all failing and succeeding in various degrees to make sense of our often-irrational world. In a moving narrative twist, he boldly reckons with the extent to which tragedy can be undone, the impossible accommodated.

Tumbledown: A Novel

Byzantium by Ben Stroud


Graywolf Press

Jul 23 2013

ISBN 1555970745

Ancient cities and fallen empires come to life in this masterful collection. In the Byzantine court, a noble with a crippled hand is called upon to ensure that a holy man poses no threat to the throne. On an island in Lake Michigan, a religious community crumbles after an ardent convert digs a little too deep. And the black detective Jackson Hieronymus Burke rises to fame and falls from favor in two stories that recount his origins in Havana and the height of his success in Kaiser Wilhelm’s Germany. Ben Stroud’s historical reimaginings twist together with contemporary stories to reveal startling truths about human nature across the centuries. In his able hands, Byzantium makes us believe that these are accounts we haven’t heard yet. As the chronicler of Burke’s exploits muses, “After all, where does history exist, except in our imagination? Does that make it any less true?”


Byzantium: Stories


Duplex by Kathryn Davis

Contemporary Fiction

Graywolf Press

Sept 3 2013

ISBN 1555976530

Mary and Eddie are meant for each other—but love is no guarantee, not in these suburbs. Like all children, they exist in an eternal present; time is imminent, and the adults of the street live in their assorted houses like numbers on a clock. Meanwhile, ominous rumors circulate, and the increasing agitation of the neighbors points to a future in which all will be lost. Soon a sorcerer’s car will speed down Mary’s street, and as past and future fold into each other, the resonant parenthesis of her girlhood will close forever. Beyond is adulthood, a world of robots and sorcerers, slaves and masters, bodies without souls. In Duplex, Kathryn Davis, whom the Chicago Tribune has called “one of the most inventive novelists at work today,” has created a coming-of-age story like no other. Once you enter the duplex—that magical hinge between past and future, human and robot, space and time—there’s no telling where you might come out.
Duplex: A Novel

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Recommended Reading: Under The Empyrean Sky by Chuck Wendig

Corn is king in the Heartland, and Cael McAvoy has had enough of it. It’s the only crop the Empyrean government allows the people of the Heartland to grow ? and the genetically modified strain is so aggressive that it takes everything the Heartlanders have just to control it. As captain of the Big Sky Scavengers, Cael and his crew sail their rickety ship over the corn day after day, scavenging for valuables, trying to earn much-needed ace notes for their families. But Cael’s tired of surviving life on the ground while the Empyrean elite drift by above in their extravagant sky flotillas. He’s sick of the mayor’s son besting Cael’s crew in the scavenging game. And he’s worried about losing Gwennie ? his first mate and the love of his life ? forever when their government-chosen spouses are revealed. But most of all, Cael is angry ? angry that their lot in life will never get better and that his father doesn’t seem upset about any of it. Cael’s ready to make his own luck . . . even if it means bringing down the wrath of the Empyrean elite and changing life in the Heartland forever.

Okay.  I’m going to read all of Chuck Wendig’s books.  This dude is awesome.

I could just stop my recommendation right there.  But I won’t.

I’m not oppressed.  A rich floating city filled with all the spoils of life is not lazily flying above my head.  And maybe I have a nice job that I enjoy going to each day instead of being forced to work a job I hate.  But you know what?  I get it.  At least the corn, high pollen count, and the number of factory workers keeping these small towns running.

I’m from the Midwest (or the heartland, as it were) sandwiched between corn fields.  Year round I struggle with allergies but in the fall I am beat down with sinus pains that threaten to explode my head when the crops are harvested and the sky is covered with corn dust as if I’m in the throes of a piss-blizzard myself.  I could relate as the boys of Under the Empyrean Sky took off in the middle of the pollen infested storm sneezing, hacking, and swelling up like a blister.  It’s how I feel most mornings when I head out into the day. And let me tell you, it blows.  Many days when the allergies get too much to bear, I wish I could just high-tail it right on out of the Midwest.

Sure, part of my love of this book was the fact that I grew up in the heartland and thought it was so cool to read a book featuring an aggressive strain of corn.  The real love comes from the story of Cael and how his family is struggling and can’t see eye to eye on things.  His mother is terminally ill, his father is nearly disabled and working himself to the bone to bring home a measly amount of ace notes, the currency of the Heartlanders.  Cael feels like his father is a dog rolling over for his master and it’s clear from the beginning how much this hurts his father.  On top of that, Cael’s life is changing.  He might be losing the love of his life to his nemesis, and he’s just not ready to lie down and die.  He wants things to change.  More than that: he wants to change things.

Chuck Wendig’s writing is fast paced, to-the-point, and crude.  I love it.  This was an exceptional read and I can’t wait to see what else Chuck Wendig’s been up to as I await the next installment in the Under the Empyrean Sky trilogy.

Under the Empyrean Sky (The Heartland Trilogy, #1)

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Know Thyself: How Understanding Yourself Will Help With Your Writing

Giovanni Bellini - Naked Young Woman in Front ...

Giovanni Bellini – Naked Young Woman in Front of the Mirror (detail) – WGA1786 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We’ve all heard the saying, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I believe this is true.  I like my job at the United States Post Office.  The days and weeks fly by, I’m always learning, and I like the people I’ve met through this job.  Does that mean I spring out of bed in the morning excited to commence my postal work?  I said I like my job, not love it.  Although I don’t mind going in to work each day, I’m not overflowing with anticipation either.

Writing’s different.  When I wake up on a Sunday morning and I get to work on my latest project, the feeling in indescribable.  I look forward to getting up early on my only day off and sitting in front of the computer sipping my coffee, enjoying the company of my dogs, and plugging out those words.  When I succeed in meeting (or beating) my word count goal, the day is brighter.  I’m singing songs I normally hate, I’m dancing, I’m on top of the world.  Writing is so much fun.

Holly Lisle takes the “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” statement a little further for us writers.  She teaches that not only do you need to have a love of writing to be successful, but that you should pick genres to work in that match your interests as well.

For example, it wouldn’t do for me to write a romance novel.  Why?  Because I hate reading romance novels.  Don’t get me wrong, I like a good love story now and then, and love should be a part of any genre because it’s integral in being a human being.  But I don’t like the focus to be on the love affair.  There’s a lot of Twilight fans out there and I am not one of them.  It would be soul sucking for me to try to duplicate Stephanie Meyers’ success by writing a similar story because it’s popular.  First of all, I’d be ripping off her idea.  Second, I would do a lousy job at it.  Third, I would be unhappy.

I believe success comes out of your love of something, and that’s why the above statement is so important.  If you’re excited about your story and falling in love with your characters, you’re more likely to create a rich backdrop for your setting and your characters will be three dimensional instead of two dimensional paper people like a horror movie crew.  They can become real people: a confident man with problems of self-doubt; a morally sound woman with a tendency to be a hypocrite; a stupidly successful man with a complicated home life.

In lesson two of Holly Lisle’s How To Think Sideways Course, she teaches you to create what’s called a Sweet Spot Map.  A Sweet Spot Map is designed for you to have your conscious mind take a nap for awhile and let your subconscious free.  Filling these mind maps with things you love, fear, need, etc. is a great way to get to know yourself.  Some of the words and phrases that come out of your head might not make sense now, but down the road when you’re struggling on a story idea and you look back on your map you might find just the answer you were looking for.

Your writing will become more honest the better you know yourself.  You’ll learn to trust yourself.  You will find surprises in your writing and start having fun again.  You’ll be able to recognize when a story is right for you and can create worlds and characters you’re proud of.  What’s more, your work will feel more like play and you’ll be astounded to see how far you can go with your writing.

When you write, how much of “you” are you putting into your work?  In your opinion, has it helped or hindered the process?

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A Day In The Life of Word Wabbit

A Day In The Life…is a new bi-monthly feature here at Wordsmithin’ Ain’t Easy.   I wanted to do a feature like this for anyone who wonders how people with jobs, family and friends, school, errands can find time to pursue their dreams.

Today we are going to follow fellow blogger Word Wabbit through a typical workday to see how she fits it all in.

Blogging Fits

I was going to title this piece “How Blogging Fits” in an effort to directly answer the question of how blogging fits into my daily life—just how do I get it done. But then I realized that my somewhat random, somewhat organized, at times emotional approach to blogging is more aptly called a “fit,” as in a “sudden uncontrollable outbreak of intense emotion, laughter, coughing, or other action or activity.”

I started my first serious attempt at a blog in 2009 about the same time that I got my first writing-related job. After completing graduate school in 2007, I was determined to get a job “in my field.” I had heard from numerous academics that if you don’t go into your field after graduation, your degree loses its value—meaning that it loses its compelling nature to get you hired in its career path. My field was technical writing. Continue reading

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New Book Releases and Giveaway: Aug 2013

Along with the three new release titles that I post on Mondays, I’m going to be giving away one of these three books.  Every Monday I will showcase three new release titles coming out that month and announce the winners of the previous week.  When the book is available you will receive your very own copy.  Read the book summaries and enter the contest use this Entry-Form

Out of the Black by John Rector


Thomas & Mercer

Aug 27 2013

ISBN 9781477805046

After Matt Caine loses his wife in a car accident, all he has left is his daughter, Anna. But just as the little girl—who survived the accident—finally starts thriving, Matt’s former in-laws threaten to take her away via a bitter custody battle. Desperate to keep Anna and in debt to some dangerous local thugs, Matt has no good options. But he does have Jay, one very bad friend. Just out of jail and plagued by drug addiction, Jay tempts Matt with a foolproof kidnapping scheme. But what sounds like the perfect solution to all his problems eventually leads Matt through a nightmarish maze of betrayals and reversals, pushing him to his breaking point—and beyond.

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Author Interview: Cate Gardner

I first heard about Cate Gardner after reading a favorite short story magazine called Shimmer.  Gardner wrote a beautiful story called The Binding Of Memories that she wrote with ethereal, dreamlike prose.  After reading her short story I went out and bought that issue of Shimmer for my writing partner/best friend/sister-in-law Erin and my big brother and made them read it along with my husband who I thrust my issue at and said, “Read.  This is the best story I’ve ever read!!”   I then read Theatre of Curious Acts and knew I had to talk to Cate Gardner myself.   She was wonderful enough to grant me this very special interview that I present to you today.  I hope you enjoy getting to know Cate Gardner and check out some of her work.  You won’t be disappointed.

Kelli Beck: Can you tell me what a day in the life of Cate Gardner looks like?

Cate Gardner: A tumbleweed picking up words in a busy city while trying to avoid telephone wires. Continue reading

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Recommended Reading: The Clan Of The Cave Bear and Valley Of The Horses by Jean M. Auel


The Clan of the Cave Bear and
Valley of the Horses
by Jean M. Auel
Historical Fiction

The clan of the cave bear is a prolific story about a young girl’s constant courage and loyalty to her true sense of self as she is raised by a people very different from herself.  It’s a compelling journey of a girl growing into womanhood as she tries to adapt to her new people.

The world Ayla finds herself in is strange to say the least.  The world is flipped upside down as she acclimates to her new home.  For one, communication is different.  These primitive people don’t have the capacity to speak a language and they converse using subtle cues of body language and they sign using their arms and hands with noises from their mouths used for emphasis.  For another, the Clan of The Cave Bear don’t look like Ayla.  They are a different species of humans with large brow bones, thick necks and no chin.  Their bodies are large and muscular and their arms lack the rotational abilities of Ayla’s.  Their legs are bowed.  They cannot laugh, smile, or cry. Continue reading

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Starting Fresh With New Novel And How To Think Sideways: Writing Update


Quill (Photo credit: campra)









I’ve fallen behind in my writing course How To Think Sideways.  It’s okay though because I have a plan.

In October my writing partner and I are putting out a book of short stories (title pending) and I needed to stop writing my novel in order to finish the story project.  With my newish job, I just don’t have the time I used to with my old job and I was forced to chose between the two projects.  Since the story book was more pressing, I chose it. Continue reading

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New Book Releases and Giveaway: Aug 2013

Along with the three new release titles that I post on Mondays, I’m going to be giving away one of these three books.  Every Monday I will showcase three new release titles coming out that month and announce the winners of the previous week.  When the book is available you will receive your very own copy.  Read the book summaries and enter the contest here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Butterfly Sister by Amy Gail Hansen


William Morrow Paperbacks

Aug 6 2013

ISBN 0062234625

Eight months after dropping out of Tarble, an all-women’s college, twenty-two-year-old Ruby Rousseau is still haunted by the memories of her senior year-a year marred by an affair with her English professor and a deep depression that not only caused her to question her own sanity but prompted a failed suicide attempt. Continue reading

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Book Trailer: Iron Knights by Robin Bennett

‘It is a universal law of nature that three boys let loose in any wood, in any part of the world, will get themselves into some sort of trouble before teatime.’

Can 3 boys masquerading as real knights destroy the Iron Knights who are terrorizing their village of Four Frogs?

This week’s book trailer of Iron Knights by Robin Bennett is fun.  I love animated trailers and this does not disappoint.  In fact, I found a couple trailers for this book and I will paste them both below:

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A Day In The Life Of Kathryn Johnston

Kathryn JohnstonA Day In The Life…is a new bi-monthly feature here at Wordsmithin’ Ain’t Easy. I wanted to do a feature like this for anyone who wonders how people with jobs, family and friends, school, errands can find time to pursue their dreams.

Today we are going to follow fellow blogger and 4am Writer Kathryn Johnston through a typical day to see how she fits it all in.  

I’m a fiction writer. Mother. Housewife. Daughter. Writing coach. Substitute teacher. Medical office assistant. Creative writing teacher. Volunteer. Not necessarily in that order.

A typical day for me? Controlled frenzy.

I started my freelance business so I could work while staying at home with my kids. However, I had no idea motherhood would be unpredictable, exhausting, and neverending. Time for my writing projects was limited or non-existent. For many months, I couldn’t write at all. Continue reading

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New Releases: Aug 2013 Book Giveaway

I’m changing things up again here at Wordsmithing Ain’t Easy.  Along with the three new release titles that I post on Mondays, I’m going to be giving away one of these three books.  Every Monday I will showcase three new release titles coming out that month and announce the winners of the previous week.  When the book is available you will receive your very own copy.  Read the book summaries below the short video and enter the contest here:  a Rafflecopter giveaway
Continue reading

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Happy Birthday Harry Potter!

I’ve been waiting excitedly for this day to come!  You’ll remember, Faithful Follower that I share a birthday with the Chosen One  and that I feel very special about that.  I’ve put together a little video to celebrate my birthday buddy’s special day.  Hope you enjoy!

Categories: Harry Potter, Life | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

And The Winners Are:

Last week I hosted a couple giveaways and today is the day I announce the winners!!!

Congratulations Jennifer Mendoza on the sweeping win of Lev Grossman’s novel The Magicians, a story about a boy named Quentin who grows up immersed in fantasy novels like Harry Potter and longs for an adventurous life full of danger and magic.

Congratulations are also in order for Erin Elizabeth Long for her victory in procuring The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith, or shall I say,  J.K. Rowling.


Categories: Giveaway, Harry Potter | Tags: | 3 Comments

Books For The Harry Potter Student

Unlocking Harry Potter by John Granger


Zossima Press

ISBN 9780972322126 Continue reading

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Quidditch in Real Life

Oliver Wood showing Harry the Quaffle and Blud...

Oliver Wood showing Harry the Quaffle and Bludgers for the first time in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The Golden Snitch is held behind the Hogwarts crest in the center of the lid. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 2005 Middlebury College students brought the wizarding game of Quidditch to the real world.  Today there are 920 teams in the U.S. alone.  What could be more exciting than real life Quidditch?  That’s right: nothing.   Continue reading

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What To Wear: For The Harry Potter Fan

If you were to find me on SnapChat (the coolest mobile app EVER) you would have to look for KingWease.  Since Ron Weasley is my favorite character in the series and I was especially struck at the Gryffindors chanting “Weasley is our king!” as they carried the victor off after a successful quidditch match, it only makes sense that I have to purchase this hoodie for my fall wardrobe:

Continue reading

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The Real Nicolas Flamel

Nicolas Flamel (gravure romantique)

Nicolas Flamel (gravure romantique) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nicolas Flamel was a man of great alchemical legend who made the philosopher’s stone and achieved immortality with the Elixir of Life.  It is to be said that the famous legend of Nicolas Flamel did not surface until the 17th century.  The real Nicolas Flamel was a Frenchmen that sold manuscripts.  He  was a scrivener who taught writing lessons and helped people to read.

In 1368 Flamel married his soul-mate, Perenelle, a widow that brought the riches of her two past husbands with her. She was the perfect woman to hold onto the secret they would soon behold.  He was a student of alchemy with an immense appreciation for the secrets alchemy held and he deeply wanted to share in the knowledge that was hidden in a particular text.  An angel visited his dreams one night and told him a book was coming to him.  She said, “Look well at this book, Nicolas.  At first you will understand nothing in it neither you nor any other man.  But one day you will see in it that which no other man will be able to see.” Continue reading

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Giveaway Number Two: The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Casual Vacancy

Today’s giveaways are The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling) and The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling.  To enter click here: a Rafflecopter giveaway for The Cuckoo’s Calling and here: a Rafflecopter giveaway for The Casual Vacancy

Winners will be announced July 31st.

Continue reading

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For the Harry Potter Academic: 5 College Courses Featuring J.K. Rowling’s 7 Book Series

English: Coat of arms of Hogwarts school of wi...

English: Coat of arms of Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry from Harry Potter book series, by J.K Rowling. For a reference i used a drawing found on the internet, probably an illustration from one of the books. vector drawing,.SVG format. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Once again Mugglenet Academia has come through with valuable life information.  When it comes time to pick a college, make sure to keep in mind which ones offer Harry Potter courses.  In Japan or China (I’m not sure which and I don’t feel like googling it) there is a genetics course that teaches with the Harry Potter texts.  Don’t ask me how, but it’s happening.  Today I’ve listed five colleges that offer a Harry Potter course to start you on your way to becoming a Harry Potter Academic.

Continue reading

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Giveaway: The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Today I have a very exciting giveaway for you.  I heard about this book on a podcast of Mugglenet Academia and I am positive you will love it!

All you have to do to enter is click here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winners will be announced July 31st.

Quentin Coldwater is brillant but miserable. He’s a senior in high school, and a certifiable genius, but he’s still secretly obsessed with a series of fantasy novels he read as a kid, about the adventures of five children in a magical land called Fillory. Compared to that, anything in his real life just seems gray and colorless. Everything changes when Quentin finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the practice of modern sorcery. He also discovers all the other things people learn in college: friendship, love, sex, booze, and boredom. But something is still missing. Magic doesn’t bring Quentin the happiness and adventure he though it would. Then, after graduation, he and his friends make a stunning discovery: Fillory is real.

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Harry Potter Companion Books

Quittich Through The Ages by J.K. Rowling


Bloomsbury Publishing 

ISBN: 9781408803028

If you have ever asked yourself where the Golden Snitch came from, how the Bludgers came into existence or why the Wigtown Wanderers have pictures of meat cleavers on their robes, you need Quidditch Through the Ages. This edition is a copy of the volume in Hogwarts School Library, where it is consulted by young Quidditch fans on an almost daily basis.

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them by J.K. Rowling


Bloomsbury Publishing 

ISBN 9781408803011

A copy of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them resides on almost every wizarding household in the country. Now, for a limited period only, Muggles too have the chance to discover where the Quintaped lives, what the Puffskein eats, and why it is best not to leave milk out for a Knarl.

Proceeds from the sale of this book will go to improving and saving the lives of children around the world, which means that the dollars and Galleons you exchange for it will do magic beyond the powers of any wizard. If you feel that this is insufficient reason to part with your money, I can only hope most sincerely that passing wizards feel more charitable if they ever see you being attacked by a Manticore.

-Albus Dumbledore

The Tales Of Beedle The Bard by J.K. Rowling


Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN 9780747599876

The Tales of Beedle the Bard contains five richly diverse fairy tales, each with its own magical character, that will variously bring delight, laughter and the thrill of mortal peril.

Additional notes for each story penned by Professor Albus Dumbledore will be enjoyed by Muggles and wizards alike, as the Professor muses on the morals illuminated by the tales, and reveals snippets of information about life at Hogwarts.

A uniquely magical volume, with illustrations by the author, J.K. Rowling, that will be treasured for years to come.

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Harry Potter Extravaganza

Harry Potter Cake

Harry Potter Cake (Photo credit: lesleychoa)

As you may know, Harry Potter’s birthday is on July 31st.  This is a very special day indeed.

Here at Wordsmithing Ain’t Easy, I’m going to have an eight day Harry Potter Extravaganza. Here’s some of what you can expect in the following week:

22 July 13: Harry Potter Companion Books

This post is in the style of my Monday New Release Books and will focus on Beedle the Bard, Quittich Through the Ages, and Fantastical Beasts and Where To Find Them

23 July 13: Giveaway

I’m giving away Lev Grossman’s The Magicians.

Enter to win by following the Rafflecopter link.

24 July 13: For Harry Potter Academics: 5 College Courses Featuring J.K. Rowlings 7 Book Series

Heading off to college?  Well don’t make your decision until you consider the Harry Potter courses available to you.

25 July 13: Giveaway Number Two

The giveaway for The Cuskoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith ;), and The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling will open up today.

Enter to win by following the Rafflecopter link.

26 July 13:  Harry Potter Apparel

A post about all the cool Harry Potter clothing and accessories.

27 July 13:  The Real Nicholas Flamel

Curious about the man behind the myth?  Stick around to learn more.

31 July 13: Happy Birthday Harry!  

We celebrate the chosen one’s birthday with the announcement of the giveaway winners.

Categories: Books, Harry Potter | 3 Comments

Book Trailer: Cragbridge Hall–The Inventor’s Secret by Chad Morris

Happy Friday everyone!

This week’s book trailer is a young adult science fiction book called Cragbridge Hall–The Inventor’s Secret written by Chad Morris.  There’s lots of positive reviews on Goodreads and I can’t wait to get my hands on my very own copy.

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Author Interview: Erin Elizabeth Long

Erin Elizabeth LongYesterday I recommended Grey Magic for you to read.  I’ve coupled the book recommendation with this interview from the author, Erin Elizabeth Long.

You can find her at girlnone.com.  You can find the Grey Magic ebook here and the paperback here.

Kelli  Can you tell me what a day in the life of Erin Elizabeth Long looks like?

 Erin Elizabeth Long I work from home as a freelance editor and book designer (you can find me at http://www.bibliotechbooks.com), so most of my time is spent at my computer. In my pajamas. It’s a glamorous lifestyle. When I’m not actively working on a project or looking for new clients, I’m playing video games and—occasionally—writing.
Continue reading

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Recommended Reading: Grey Magic (Isenland Trilogy, Book 1) by Erin Elizabeth Long

When fifteen-year-old Grimoire Tobin discovers that her uncle is a sorcerer, she’s plunged into the struggle between the forces of light and darkness. One side wants her dead while the other will do anything to protect her–but will she be able to figure out which is which before it’s too late?

Grey Magic starts off thusly: rimoire Tobin had exactly five months, four days, and fifteen hours left to live, but she didn’t know it yet.

From this line onward, I could not put the book down.

Grimoire has lived a life without breeching her moral boundaries.  When she discovers who her uncle is and her world crumbles before her, she discovers that she has a lot to learn about the world–relationships, right and wrong, and the meaning of friendship. Continue reading

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New Book Releases 2013

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Book Trailer: The Signature Of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

I’m a big fan of Eat, Pray, Love so I was ecstatic to hear about The Signature of All Things:

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Literary Tattoos

I love tattoos.  I love the many ways people can find to express themselves using this medium.  I have ten tattoos at the moment.  That number pales in comparison to the number my sisters and my brother have.  I have two literary tattoos, both pertain to Harry Potter.

I got Fawkes on my chest after I finished my first 5k race.  I didn’t get it because of my love of HP, I got it because I like the idea of rebirth, of the phoenix bursting into flames at the end of its life and settling into a pile of ash and through the ashes another phoenix is born.  I like this idea on so many levels.  The obvious one, life is circular.  There’s a quote by Ramana Maharshi that says, “You are now thinking that you are the body and therefore confuse yourself with its birth and death.  But you are not the body and you have no birth and death.”  I also think that its a good metaphor for the trials we face in life.  How no matter how bad things get we can emerge from the depths of the darkness and seek light again.  I figured if I was going to get a phoenix that I couldn’t get just any phoenix: it had to be Fawkes.

The second literary tattoo is the words Wingardium Leviosa which is, as you probably already know, the levitation charm.

Here’s some badass ones I came across on a Pinterest and Google search:

lit tatt lit tatt2 lit tatt3



What do you think?  Do you have any tattoos?  Any literary ones?

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Tune Time

I usually post a writing playlist on Wednesdays but today it’s just about the tunes.  I know a lot of people use music as background for their writing, I use music as a way to brainstorm and inspire.

Today’s song comes from a midwest band called Vaudeville and they will rock your socks off.  My two best friends and I went to see our favorite band, Ours, this past Friday in Chicago.  We like to check out the opening acts because there’s a lot of good music out there that you don’t get exposed to otherwise.  I discovered Citizen Cope’s awesome tunes by seeing an acoustic show by Jimmy Gnecco, the singer of Ours in California.  Since then, I’ve been a big fan of Citizen Cope’s music.

Friday night showcased three bands, and the opening act, Vaudeville was amazing.  These guys have a great stage presence and you can tell they are loving what they are doing.  After their set we got their album and a shirt and the band was really nice and thanked us for feeding them for the night.

If you live anywhere near the midwest, they are on tour right now and I highly recommend you check them out if you get a chance.  Today’s tune is the title track of the album called Vendetta.

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New Book Releases 2013

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Brain Eating Amoebas: Steer Clear Of These Monsters This 4th of July



Protazoa.  Shape shifter.  Brain eater.

I’m talking about Naigleria fowleri, the fiercest amoeba to mankind.

This little son of a bitch is lurking in the depths of your favorite pond, lake, river just waiting for you to shed your clothes and jump in for a refreshing dip in the water.  It’s teasing you–tempting you to dig your toes into the mud and set it free so that when you attempt that fourth somersault in the water and end up choking and sputtering on the surface, it will have already attached itself inside your brain.

Check out the video at the bottom of this post.  It’s called “Amoaba Eating a Green Algae” and I want you to imagine that the algae is your brain.  It’s sickening.  The little bastard gets out its feelers (little blobby arms and legs called pseudopodia or “false feet”) and engulfs your brain until it absolutely devours it.  And you can’t even get mad at the little guy.  I mean, he needs to eat too.

In a ten year span the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) reported 32 cases of this type of amebic infection.  I know what you’re thinking–that’s a small number–but does that small number make death by brain eating amoeba any less horrifying?

The answer is no. Continue reading

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A Day In The Life of Bell Night

Day in the Life:  7am

Day in the Life: 7am (Photo credit: artg33k)

A Day In The Life…is a new bi-monthly feature here at Wordsmithin’ Ain’t Easy.   I wanted to do a feature like this for anyone who wonders how people with jobs, family and friends, school, errands can find time to pursue their dreams.

Today we are going to follow fellow blogger Bell Night through a typical workday to see how she fits it all in. Continue reading

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New Book Releases 2013

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Book Trailer: Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathon Auxier

I was searching through google and came across a blog post about the making of this book trailer by the author of the book.  I love book trailers and I wanted to know more about the making of one when I stumbled upon this one.  It took Auxier a couple months to complete this and cost about $900.  I think it’s fantastic and I can’t wait to read the book.

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