Belated Nightstand Books: July 2017

Well, it’s not the first Wednesday of the month… and we’re over halfway through July (WHAT?) but here we are with another round of “What’s on YOUR Nightstand?”

Nightstand Books

I hadn’t done a nightstand books back at the beginning of July because I really didn’t have anything new to show you! What with spending most of my spare time editing Minstrel’s Call and doing all the behind-the-scenes prep for the Silmarillion Awards, I haven’t had a ton of time for reading. This means that I am still working my way through The Aeronaut’s Windlass from back in May… I renewed it from the library TWICE and maxed out my ability to renew the book and had to take it back. Thankfully, I have an amazing husband who went to the bookstore over his lunch break and bought me my very own copy! (Young ladies, take note… jewelry is nice, but a man who will take time out of his day to go get you the book you are bummed about having to put down… #dreamy)

I have had a couple of nights at the pool watching our girls take swim lessons and have gotten a bit more time to read lately, which means two things. 1) Sadly, I am nearing the end of the book I am currently reading. 2) I can start thinking about new books to read!

So, here’s what is in my near future. From the bottom up:

How to Study Your Bible for Kids by Kay Arthur & Janna Arndt – this is something I’m going through with Leiana and Nathalie this summer. It’s a really neat way to introduce your kiddos to the concept of inductive Bible study. It frames everything in “detective lingo” and has fun things like crossword puzzles and fill-in-the-blanks and word searches to make it more kid-friendly. So far, we are enjoying it.

Alora: The Wander Jewel by Tamie Dearen – this was the Fellowship of Fantasy’s June book club book. I have… fallen behind a bit on the book club readings. But that doesn’t mean I won’t catch up at some point!

When Hope Springs New by Janette Oke – I started re-reading the Canadian West series last year and realized the other day that I hadn’t finished it. So this is a re-read, but I enjoy Janette Oke.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer – With the characters from the Lunar Chronicles making a solid appearance in the Silmarillion Awards two years running… I figured it was high time I started reading them to see what all the fuss is about. Haven’t started it yet, but am expecting to enjoy this series.

More Stories from Grandma’s Attic by Arleta Richardson – the book I’m currently reading out loud to the kids through the summer.

The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket – Derek is currently reading through the Series of Unfortunate Events to the kids in the evenings. I’ve read them before, but it’s fun listening to them again.

Not pictured, because I couldn’t find it, Nathalie and I are reading a book she won at the library in their summer reading program called Wildborn: Spirit Animals book 1 by Brandon Mull. I was a bit leery about it at first, but two chapters in and it seems like a pretty fun fantasy. We shall see how it continues.

And that’s about it for reading plans for the near future.

I hope you’ve been enjoying the Silmarillion Award Presentations! So far we’ve been entertained at this year’s Wisest Councillor and Least Competent Henchman presentations. Today we will get to attend the ceremony for Most Silver-Tongued Bard… which is one where I am really hoping for a certain outcome. Though Kiernan Kane didn’t make it into the top five this year, there is a certain bard I am very much hoping rises to glory and receives a Silmaril of his very own this year, because he greatly deserves it. Also, this is my favorite category… as bard-characters are rather near and dear to my heart. THE LINK IS NOW LIVE!

Have you been enjoying the Silmarillion Awards? Have you been pleased with the winners? Surprised? Which award presentation are you most looking forward to? Don’t forget, the fun doesn’t end on July 28th… we are having a celebration of LOTR’s 63rd birthday on the 29th and you are welcome to participate with a blog post of your own celebrating Tolkien or Lord of the Rings. We will also be announcing the winner of the One Grand Prize to Rule Them All giveaway on that day!

And what’s on YOUR nightstand, dear Reader?

~ jenelle

Super Heroes Giveaway

No, no, no… not a giveaway of or by SUPERHEROES…. a SUPER HEROES GIVEAWAY! I do understand the confusion, I do, but there is a very important space in there.

Because July just somehow wasn’t quite epic enough this year… the Fellowship of Fantasy has banded together to giveaway one awesome grand prize, focused on the Hall of Heroes anthology that they just released. I did not manage to write a story for this one, but I already have ideas percolating for the next one, and I will tell you all about that at a later date.

Hall of Heroes Giveaway-Covers & Prizes

 

Look at all these fabulous books you could win – and all of them have a HERO of some kind in them. In addition to these books featuring various heroes, we’re giving away a beautiful journal. Perhaps those blank pages are calling you to create a hero of your own!

But wait… this isn’t just an ebook giveaway! Many of these books are being offered as PAPERBACKS (such as the Hall of Heroes anthology itself, and King’s Warrior by Yours Truly), which just makes the giveaway that much sweeter… like homemade ice cream on a hot summer day.

For my hero, I’ve chosen to feature BRANT from King’s Warrior. Those of you who have read the book will most likely agree that Brant is about as epically heroic as it gets. Enigmatic and brooding, strong of both arm and character, noble and quick to act… with a streak of dark humor, Brant is the sort of hero you would definitely want on your side in a battle. But don’t take my word for it… because all through this week, you can get the ebook of King’s Warrior for FREE!

The Hall of Heroes anthology is also permanently free in ebook form, so you should definitely check that out. The Fantastic Beasts anthology was amazing, and I have no doubts that this one is every bit as good. I can’t wait to read it, myself! 

So, what are you waiting for? Enter the giveaway and then head on over to Amazon and start reading one of those free books today while you wait for the winners to be announced!
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And in addition to all of that… the Silmarillion Awards Ceremonies have begun! Head on over to ADVENTURE AWAITS to attend the presentation of the Wisest Councillor Silmaril!

~ jenelle

Stardust

Favorite Family Films Header Graphic

I apologize for the lateness of this post, but that’s just the kind of week I’ve been having. But my difficult week is to your benefit as it means you get a rare Saturday post. I’ve got some fun things coming on Monday you won’t want to miss, and the Awards Ceremonies commence on Monday as well. Other than my own category, I do not know who has won the other awards, so I am very excited to attend the ceremonies and see who our victors are this year!

But anyway, on to today’s post…

This week’s Favorite Family Film is a more recent offering, but became an instant family favorite nonetheless. Stardust is an epic, adventure story filled with swashbuckling pirates, evil witches, nefarious princes, and a beautiful fallen star that everyone seems to be hunting for their own purposes.

This movie takes its themes and blends them into a fun-filled mixture of creepy and corny, sweet and stunning (visuals), hilarious and heartwarming that just somehow works really well.

A little over-the-top at times, Stardust does a fantastic job of throwing you into an unfamiliar realm as you follow young Tristan through a hole in the wall bordering his normal and hum-drum little village into an unexpected place of magic, mystery, and danger.

Remember my first Favorite Family Film recommendation? Well, I can’t deny that Michelle Pfeiffer is a big reason I love this movie… even if she does play a villain. She does a fantastic job being creepy and also just a little constantly “put out” with fact that everything about her quest is so difficult. Watching her be annoyed is pretty entertaining by itself.

Tristan is a sort of sweet, bumbling oaf at the beginning of the movie, and I enjoy watching him grow up, as it were, and come into his own throughout the story. He sets out on a quest to win the heart of the most beautiful girl in his village, and ends up on an adventure quite a bit bigger than anything he expected. Along the way, he must dodge the villainous princes who are competing to find their father’s necklace so they can ascend to the throne (succession rules in this land are a bit cut-throat). He also meets some highly entertaining characters such as the ferocious Captain Shakespeare (who really would rather not be ferocious at all… think of him as a sort of unwilling Dread Pirate Roberts).

And in the center of it all, the lovely, naive, innocent young star who has fallen from the sky and whose only wish is to go home without being used or killed or eaten… is that really so much to ask? If you enjoy a fun, fantasy romp with a fairy-tale feel and movies that have a little bit of everything… you will love Stardust.

Stardust is available to watch for free through Amazon Prime. You can also rent it through the likes of iTunes and Vudu. 

~ jenelle