Book Release Day! Our Wild Magic

The day is finally here! Our Wild Magic is now available for purchase here.

for the cursed
the wicked
the wild
the charmed
for those in their ever after
and for those on their way
A fairytale-inspired poetry collection
in five parts from author Amanda Linsmeier.

I’ve gotten great blurbs from fabulous authors, terrific advanced reviews, and so much support. Thank you all for checking out my book. I hope you love it!

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Flash Fiction Friday (again)

Hope you like my new story ♡ The word prompt was “Vanish”

A twig snapped beneath her shoe, the ivory kid-leather boots already scuffed with dirt. The luminescence of the tiny mother-of-pearl buttons dotted up her ankles was mirrored in her dangling opal earrings, in the almost colorless-blond of her hair, the slight sheen of sweat on her furrowed brow. Despite the chill outside, her skin burned.

“I…I thought this time…” She took another step, dropping her skirts from her hands, uncaring that they’d soon be soiled. Broken branches, dead leaves, and dried mud littered the area she knew should be pristine. Her breath blew out in a hazy plume of exasperation. “It should be here.”

Memories swirled over her: the velvety feel of rose petals beneath her naked fingers, the taste of oddly-flavored teacakes: jasmine peppercorn, dark chocolate with birch sap frosting, or blood-orange and thyme, a half-moon smile, the soft, downy fur of a rabbit…

“Come now.” Her fiancé Edward tugged at her arm gently. “Let us go.”

She wanted to whirl around and argue, wanted to run her fingers through her curled coif and unthread it all, wanted to scream that this was not right…none of this was right! But she nodded, followed him to the waiting carriage. The driver snapped his whip. Her betroved didn’t show his impatience in the same manner, but she knew. They were sick of accompanying her here.

“Alice, my dear.” Edward lifted her hand, brushed his lips against the gloved-knuckles. “Can we move past this, now? There is nothing here to see.”

She turned from his searching eyes, the expectation pressing around her. To be simple, and meek, and normal.

Nothing here to see.

But there was. She screamed in her head. But there was.

***

“…hallucinations have to stop.”

“But electrotherapy…”

The voices weren’t quiet enough—Edward, her parents, the doctor. Alice pressed her hands against her ears, and tried to shut them out. As sure as she was of her self, the constant doubt was wearing her down.

The memories had felt like a dream for years. A full decade had passed while she thought her fanciful imaginings were simply that…imaginings. Then, four months ago, she caught a glimpse of a snow-white rabbit outside.

“How strange.” Her mother had sipped her tea, one eyebrow raised as she glanced out the window at the stretch of green grass and the animal in the middle of it. “A white rabbit, this time of year?”

Alice had looked, and it had winked at her. Winked!

That’s when, like lightning shot through the sky, the reality had slammed into her. Wonderland had been real. As that truth became clear, so did the location of how to get there. A half-days ride away, set in the middle of a faerie circle in the woods, was a door to the magical land.

But now it was gone.

And nobody believed her.

They would erase the illusions from her mind, they said. Before the wedding. A fresh start.

Soon the memories would do the same thing Wonderland had… vanish.

Flash Fiction Friday

Hi there! I’m participating in a fun flash fiction challenge on Instagram, and I wrote up this 499-word story this morning, inspired by the prompt “Wicked”. Let me know what you think! 💅

Tittering at a worn, wooden table in the middle of a cottage sat two sisters. A third young woman, the eldest of them, Sulea, stood in a haze of fragrant fumes as she mixed drinks. The scent of juniper, bitters, and burnt marshmallow hung on the air, and the clank of spoon against glass rang out. Outside the moon was sickly-white; the light shone through the windows. Sulea’s hands were steady as she stirred, yet her stomach coiled with anticipation.

“Did you see their faces?” The youngest, Fehna, giggled and wiped tears that had spilled onto her acid-green skin. “Those idiots never saw us coming!”

“I love how that one was just so surprised. His face…” the middle snickered. Her skin was the darkest shade of green, and it couldn’t be exaggerated that she was the most wicked.

The three broke into laughter again.

Sulea set the glasses down and took her seat at the table. She raised her own drink triumphantly, the billowing black of her sleeve hanging off her cuff with an elegant—if threadbare—fall. They’d never been wealthy, but that was about to change. “We got what we went for. It’s only a matter of time before we rule all.” With that rule would come not just wealth, but power.

Without mentioning it, the three synched their glances into the other room. On a crude, handmade bench sat a pair of glittering slippers, sequins winking in the moonlight.

“So beautiful,” Fehna whispered. She pushed up from her chair, just a little, as if she were going to rise.

“Don’t,” Sulea snapped. “You know how dangerous they are. Don’t weaken yourself.”

I’ll have to watch her carefully. Sulea thought. She’d already allowed herself to weaken, already let her foolish heart soften for another, let her power dwindle with her vulnerability. Letting yourself be mesmerized—by lovers, or even enchanted tools—was the surest way to suck your magic dry. Her throat clenched with hatred, and she forced a smile on her face. “Now, let’s drink to us.”

“The wickedest sisters of all!” the three said in unison, clinking their glasses, and downing a long pull of the cocktail.

After a minute, the middle sister said sharply, “What’s in this?” Her skin appeared to be lightning, her chest rising rapidly.

Fehna’s eyes slid to Sulea, wide, but with an admiring glint within. “Did you poison us then?”

“Of course not you.” Sulea scoffed, jabbed her green finger—still caked with blood to her left. “Her.”

They both looked at Glinda, whose skin was smudging out at the sharp edges, turning as milky as the moon. Her hands wrapped around her throat as her wickedness choked out of her. “Why?” she managed weakly.

“Him.” Sulea said. Her heart thumped inside her chest. Revenge would make it harden again. “Get out.” Before I kill you.

And Glinda did, escaping into the moonlight, tripping as she ran out into the woods. Leaving two sisters, laughing at the worn, wooden table.

First Review Up

Yay! The first advanced review of Our Wild Magic is up, and is fabulous! Please visit this site to read Jessica’s review.

As for an update, I’m still tweaking the manuscript but I hope to get it set this week, then formatted, and finally proofed! It feels sooo slow but I’m really taking my time because I want it to be amazing.

Thanks for your patience as I’ve spent hardly any time blogging this year so far. I promise to get back soon with some book reviews ♡

Book Review: The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle

The Goblins of Bellwater

I picked this up for the gorgeous cover, and was interested in the premiss. Kit, goblin liason, is stuck stealing for the tricky creatures. When he misses a payment, they tend to get into mischief, stealing people to turn them into goblins…or killing them. As long as you stay off their magical paths and don’t eat their tainted fruits, you’ll be safe. Too bad a young woman named Skye wanders into the forest and gets put under a spell. Part of the enchantment renders her unable to smile, or even speak of the goblins. Her sister Livy thinks she’s suddenly depressed, and turns to Kit for comfort. When Kit’s own cousin Grady gets involved with not just Skye, but those tricky goblins, trouble is ahead, and time is running out before the goblins add another member (or two) to their tribe.

I really enjoyed this! After reading reviews, I can see how some people didn’t get into this, but I loved the weirdness of it. I was slightly confused about the mentions of sex in reviews, because there’s really not much so I think most was removed, and I kind of wish I’d read the earlier version. Shrugs.

If you’re not into creatures, this might be hard to suspend your disbelief, but I liked it. The characters were well-written, the tension believable, and the ending was amazing– the tasks! I loved the nature throughout, and the love Livy shows her sister. I enjoyed that for an adult (or new adult?) fantasy there was no gore, and hardly anything violent. I liked the softness of it, because that seems rare. The very end was a bit too tidy, but that’s ok. Overall 4.5 stars.

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Sweetheart Swag Book Giveaway ♡♡♡ 

My fellow book besties and I wanted to give back and do something fun for Valentine’s Day, so we’ve picked a few of our favorite love stories, and treats, for you to treat YOURSELF. Included in this giveaway is:

-These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer

-Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

-A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas 

-Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst  (this was my pick! It’s an #OWNVOICES f/f fantasy)

-Déja You: Stories of Second Chances by the 5 of us besties- me, Jamie, Kelly, Bianca, and C.H. 

-Enamel heart pin by Jacobson Design Shop 

-Prima Naturalis black mud soap

-A handmade rose quartz bracelet, made by Bianca!

-Cupid keychain set (m/f set) 

-Engraved “love” beach glass from InLoft Calligraphy 

-Organic caramel sea salt chocolate bar

-Author bookmarks from us all

To enter:

-Must be in the US. 

-Must be 18 or older. 

-Follow this link to Rafflekopter and gain as many as 34 entries by following as many of our accounts as you like! 

Ends on 2/14/18. 

This giveaway includes books with sexual content, some mild and some more explicit. 

Giveaway not affiliated with any site. Shipping is included. 

Thanks for entering, and good luck!

Pre-order Up! 

The fantasy anthology I’m involved in is up for pre-order now. 

Check out this gorgeous photo by Instagram @januaryrabbit whose story Little Red kicks off the anthology. 

More about the book, which will be released in paperback too, March 1st:

Eu-2 Publishing is proud to present Fireflies & Fairy Dust: A Fantasy Anthology, with content from over twenty fiction authors, poets, and artists, both established and emerging. This collection features twists on classic nursery rhymes, retellings of familiar fairytales, and also brand-new work that is sure to become favorites. From uplifting to stark, poetic to funny, sweet to sorrowful, we’ve got you covered with this magical collection.

Includes work by: Kennedy Vega, Autumn Lindsey, Jewel Eliese, Aisha Mohamed, Robert Rogler, Marya Layth, Haley Pritzl, A.N. Moore, Amanda Linsmeier, Joe Euclide, Jamie McLachlan, Norma Bishop, Bianca M. Schwarz, Cara Masset, Alicia Gaile, Candice Conner, Shirani Rajapakse, Kerry E.B. Black, Mandy Eve-Barnett, Kim Plasket, Artyv K, and Leslie Wibberley.

Revise & Resubmit

Or otherwise known as an R&R. 

What is this? And why am I blogging about it?

First, if you’ve been following you know I’ve been working on my Weightless revision for awhile. I finished about two weeks ago, and began sending out my first batch of queries to literary agents (of this YA version. If you recall, I queried way back in 2016 but that was an entirely different Middle-grade manuscript, basically, and I’ve carefully revised since). I got a quick request for the FULL manuscript from an agent and was super excited. Then. 

The rejection email came, but it wasn’t the typical “not for me” rejection. It had gems such as “lovely writing” and “you have something here” BUT then there were detailed remarks on why agent didn’t fall in love, including serious characterization issues. Gulp. 

I took some time to let it all soak in, because as much as some of the comments caught me off guard, once I thought about it, I realized there ARE issues, and the biggest ones were things I’d never even realized, such as my main character being too “good” in parts, basically devoid of any personality. Yikes. So. Now what? 

The agent invited me to resubmit my manuscript after revising, and I know how great an opportunity that is. It doesn’t mean she’ll accept it even after, but it does mean she sees potential. 

I’ve started making changes, and the easy things were, well, easy to change. But there’s a huge aspect of the story I need to change and I’m struggling. Deep breaths, right? 

Anyway, I’m going to take a few days off from revisions (round 500??) and just read for pleasure. I need to clear my head (So. Much. Confusion) and get inspired to tackle this head-on. Hopefully this time-out will give me fresh eyes to get focused on what needs to be done, and HOW I can do it. 

So wish me luck! XO

Amanda 

Book Review: Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popović

Wicked Like a Wildfire (Hibiscus Daughter, #1)Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popović

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I got Wicked Like A Wildfire this summer, and sadly, it sat on my bookshelf unread, for months. The premise sounded intriguing though, and I finally picked it up a couple weeks ago.

Twin sisters, Iris and Milena, both have what their mother calls a “gleam”—a unique magical gift. Iris can see flowers in fractals, and translates what she sees into blown glass. Milena uses her voice to interpret emotion. Their mother, the sharp-tongued Jasmina, can evoke settings with her baked goods. The three live a sheltered life running their café in Montenegro, and Iris and her mother are constantly at odds with each other, even going so far as to slut-shame the other. Iris rebels by drinking, being promiscuous, and always dreaming (and talking) about Japan since she and Milena have a long-lost Japanese father. Then everything changes when their mother softens one night, showing them tenderness once again. Too bad the next day she is brutally attacked, and left hovering somewhere between not alive and not quite dead.

The girls are determined to find out what happened to their mother, and who the strange visitor who came to town was just the day of the attack. The storyline twisted deeper and deeper, bringing new light to who their mother was, and why she became so cold toward the two, and the more I read the more interested I was.

Lovers of sparse, clean prose might not care for the poetic descriptions. At times it even became noticeably to me—and I love a beautifully-crafted sentence, but overall I loved it. Passages like:

Other days, she made floating islands, fluffy lumps of spongy, unset meringue bobbing in creamy zabaglione and laced with orange syrup, violet preserves and a powder she ground from bee pollen, so every bite tasted exactly like late spring sunshine. She churned her own gelato too, but her chocolate stracciatella was always streaked like a sunset with other things, marmalade and rose hip jelly and crystallized chips of honey, and somehow it put you in mind of the sky—the held breath of twilight, the sanctity of dusk, and the final slippage of night. And you knew that when she looked at the sky, this was the taste that bloomed in her mouth.

(OMG gorgeous, no?) really set the tone of the story, and I felt so much of my imagination was using the senses the author brought to life. At times, the description slowed down the story, and I wish there’d been more with iris’s glass blowing—we only get 1 actual scene of the process and I’d have loved to have gotten more immersed in her talent. But in general I loved the story, the question of who had attacked their mother (and why), would she survive, and the hint of romantic tension throughout. The last 20% had me with my knuckles white, for things really got exciting, and I was left both unsure what to think, and freaking out for the next book. I cannot wait for the second book to find out more. 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for a lush and generous book about sisterhood, complex mother-daughter dynamics, beauty, love, sensuality and for including diverse characters and relationships.

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