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Book of the Week #68 "Jane Eyre"

by Charlotte Brontë

In this classic tale by one of the most beloved authors of the past 200 years, Jane Eyre is an orphan whom lives with her aunt and cousins at Gateshed Hall. There, she is mistreated by her late mother’s in-law’s, who have only taken her in according to her late uncle’s will. She goes to school at Lowood, where she remains to finish her education, and becomes a teacher. As she turns eighteen, she feels the need for a change in her life, and so she looks for a new situation. Upon advertising, she finds an opening as governess at Thornfield Hall, which, she comes to find, is owned by a mysterious master by the name of Mr. Rochester. Jane soon finds herself in love with her master, and for the first time feels almost happy, or at least content. Yet there is something off about Thornfield Hall and one hears odd things at night.

What can I say that hasn’t already been said of Jane Eyre?  It is a wonderful book that has been read by several generations now. There’s romance, suspense, but there’s more to it than that. Jane Eyre has been mistreated for most of her life, but she isn’t bitter about it, and she doesn’t let it bring her down. She doesn’t think herself to be something terribly special, yet she respects herself and refuses to settle. That makes her even more special.

My views on Mr. Rochester are a little more complicated. When Jane first went to Thornfield Hall, he seemed awfully haughty and rather full of himself; he was almost like a playboy the way he flirted with other women. Yet towards the middle, we see that he really loves Jane, but he lies to her. After their wedding is called off, and Jane leaves, Mr. Rochester nearly dies in when Bertha sets Thornfield on fire, yet he survives, losing an eye as well as a hand. When Jane comes back, he seems more humble. Mr. Rochester isn’t one of my favorite heroes, but I don’t hate him; I just don’t like some of the things he did.

All in all, Jane Eyre is a wonderful classic that every bibliophile should at least try to read.

I give this book a 5 out of 5.

November in Review

Another month is gone, readers and friends. It's so hard to believe that there is only one month left in 2016! It’s just amazing.

I didn't read as much as I would have liked to this month. One of the books I read was longer and had bulkier language, so I'm using that as my excuse, plus I worked more on my novel, which took up some of my reading time. Yet I still got in an okay number of books with hopes to read more in December.

Books Read in November
God's Will by Meghan Gorecki
The Sound of Silver by Rachelle Rea Cobb
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

After planning to read it forever and listing it on almost every Top Ten Tuesday TBR post I’ve done, I finally read Jane Eyre. Let me tell you, it was worth the wait. It’s a new favorite, for sure. After reading The Sound of Diamonds, I really wanted to know how Dirk and Gwyn’s story would continue. I really liked The Sound of Silver, and am looking forward to The Sound of Emeralds. I finally read Meghan’s debut after wanting to for a long time, and it was a good book. I’d definitely recommend it to readers that love inspirational fiction. Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel isn’t my typical read, but it was a nice lighthearted read.

Again, I didn't get quite as much blogging done as I would have liked, but I made progress, and am getting oh-so-close to my goal of 200 posts for the year.

Favorite Blog Posts in November

I want to thank you all for reading A Real Writer’s Life another month. I appreciate it so, and am looking forward to many more months of writing this blog.

-Miranda Atchley

Gilmore Girls Book Tag

I'm a huge Gilmore Girls fan. I really got into the show a couple of years ago when I received season one on DVD for Christmas. I just instantly loved the show with its quirky cast, rapid dialogue and hilarious pop-culture references. I don't do Netflix, so I haven't watched A Year in the Life  yet, but I'm really looking forward to it (someone please put it on DVD)! When I saw this tag on Rissi's blog, I knew I wanted to participate. So below are my answers; hope you enjoy!

1: I Just Got Hit By A Deer!- Character Having The Worst Day Ever
Cinder. Seriously, people from all over the universe are out to get her.

2: Stars Hollow- Wildly Eccentric Cast
A Tangled Web. There are so many characters in this book with all sorts of quirks. A lot like Stars Hollow!

3: Coffee- Book You're Addicted to/ Character w/ an Addiction
Go Set A Watchman. I've read it twice since it released last year. It's one of the few books that I wanted to immediately re-read.

4: Someone Devil Egged My Car?!- Great Act of Revenge
I really can't think of a great act of revenge. Except maybe The Terrible Awful Thing in The Help.

5: Mr. Medina- An Illicit Affair
Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester. Who goes to the altar knowing they're already married to someone else?!

6: Kim's Antiques- A World You're Afraid to Enter
Echoing Rissi on this one and going with The Hunger Games. So scary!

7: Harvard vs Yale- Character Who Needs to Make a Life-Changing Decision
I'm going to go with Dirk and Gwyn in The Steadfast Love series. So much at stake!

8: Luke's Diner- A Comfort Read
Probably some of the books I read when I was a teenager; like Melody Carlson and Jenny B. Jones' young adult books. Simpler times!

9: Am I Crying or Laughing? A Book That Messed With Your Emotions
I didn't laugh or cry while reading this book, but Divergent seriously gave me anxiety.

10: Emily Gilmore- The HBIC (Head B*tch in Charge)
Hilly Holbrook from The Help. She's so mean!

11: Lorelai and Rory- Favorite Family Dynamic
The March sisters

12: I Pushed Him In The Lake!- A Book You'd Throw In the Lake
See my answer for #14.

13: 1,000 Yellow Daisies- Favorite Romance
Anne and Gilbert. There is none better!

14: Jess- An Unpopular Opinion
Twilight. I will never understand the appeal of this series.

15: First Snow- Snowy or Holiday Read
I remember reading The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe for the first time during the winter. It's a great book for a snowy day.

16: Hep Alien- Book Centered Around Music
My Name is Chloe. I loved Melody Carlson's Diary of a Teenage Girl series when I was a teenager, and Chloe (punk rocker with rainbow hair who formed an all-girl band) was my favorite portion of the series.

17: He'd Better Have A Motorcycle!  Book Crush
Ray DeLuca, Herringford and Watts Mysteries

18: It's Repetitive and Redundant- A Book That Could Have Been Shorter
I really can't think of a book I've read that fits this description.

19: Kirk- The Weirdest Book You've Ever Read
Another one I can't think of an answer for.

20: It's a Lifestyle. It's a Religion- That One Book That Means More Than Anything to You
Too many for me to list!

This was a really fun tag! Anyone who wants to participate, feel free to answer the questions and leave a link to your post in the comments.

-Miranda Atchley

Update: The Top 50 Indie Books of 2016

Hello readers and friends! I'm popping in with some good news; A Castle in the Sky was shortlisted for Read Freely's The 50 Best Indie Books of 2016! They've compiled a list of the top 100 nominated indie books and from that list, readers will vote for their favorites to be chosen for the top 50 books of the year. All you have to do is go to their website and vote for your favorite book. You will be able to vote twice in each genre and voting is open until December 16, 2016. And, when you vote, your name will be entered in a drawing to win a $50 Amazon gift card!

Thank you all so much for nominating A Castle in the Sky. I'm honored and appreciate it so much. Have a wonderful weekend!

-Miranda Atchley

Book of the Week #67 "The Sound of Silver"

by Rachelle Rea Cobb

After a tumultuous meeting and getting to know one another as they traveled through the Netherlands in order to escape the riots, Gwyn and Dirk are now betrothed. They travel from the Netherlands to Dirk's family's home, Godfrey Estate in England. He believes that there, Gwyn can grieve with his mother; Gwyn grieving for her parents and uncle, Lady Rohesia for her eldest son. Yet the rumors that Dirk murdered Gwyn's mother and father are bound to fly and Dirk does not want his reputation to affect Gwyn. She feels responsible because she is the one who accused him of murder months prior. Dirk leaves, thinking it will be best for everyone involved, only to find that it takes its toll on them all.

This was a really good book. It's very emotional, lots of ups and downs. Gwyn is still grieving for her parents who died only a few months prior, and now she is dealing with the fact that her uncle is dead after just finding out that he was responsible for her mother and father's deaths. That is a whole lot to deal with. And then add the fact that she and Dirk were betrothed, and he breaks it off thinking she'll be better off without him; and she has to stay with his family, who she had never met before. Poor Gwyn! I felt so sorry for her throughout this book. It would be so hard to deal with all of that while staying with virtual strangers. And I felt pretty bad for Dirk, too, because he had also been through a lot. But, they had hope in the Lord, and that is what got them through it all. And then (spoiler!) we get a happy ending- with a twist.

I have to make a comment on the setting of this series. The Netherlands and England in the mid-1500s? It's just so cool! I love picturing all the outfits and the large, grand homes, and cobble stone streets as they go through town, and the forests and fields surrounding Godfrey Estate. It's just a delight.

All in all, The Sound of Silver was a great sequel to its predecessor that made me curious as to how it will all end.

I give this book a 4 out of 5. 

Black Friday/ Cyber Monday Sale

Hello readers and friends! I hope you all had a great a Thanksgiving. Today I wanted to write a short post letting you all know about my Black Friday/ Cyber Monday sale.

Starting today (Friday) the Kindle editions of my first three novels, Stephanie's Story, A New Season, and Misfit Like Me will be free to download. Just click on each title to be directed to their Amazon listings.

My latest novel, A Castle in the Sky, will be $0.99 to download.

If you download any of my novels, please consider leaving a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or your blog. It would mean the world to me and be a huge help.

I hope you all enjoy the stories! And thank you so much for stopping by today.

-Miranda Atchley

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, readers and friends! I hope you all have a lovely holiday.

-Miranda Atchley