Beautiful: Reader’s Guide

The Reader’s Guide to Beautiful is now available on the books page of my website.  It features some discussion questions, a bit “about the author”, some information about the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, and a sneak peak of my upcoming novel Frozen Heart. It’s free so check it out!

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It's #selfpromotesunday and I'm sharing the news that a reader's guide to my novel, Beautiful, is available for free on my website: franlaniado.wordpress.com/books. It has some discussion questions, background information and a sneak peek at my next book, Frozen Heart. . . . . #books #Beautifulbook #fairytaleretellings #beautyandthebeast #indiepub #indieauthors #indiebooks #indiesareworthit #indiebooksbeseen #indiefantasy #indieauthorsunited #indieauthorcentral #bookpromotion #bookmarketing #authorcommunity #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #authorsofig #writersofig #writersofinstagram #writerscommunity #writerslife #bookbuzz #amwriting #bookstagram #igwritingcommunity #writersnetwork #workinprogress #supportingindieauthors

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Coming Soon!

I’ve been working on a reader’s guide to Beautiful. I had initially planned to have it out by the book’s first birthday but some other things go in the way. But it’s coming soon, so keep an eye on the “books” page of my website. I’ll also share on my blog when it’s up. But it’ll have:

  • Discussion questions
  • Background information
  • A sneak peak of Frozen Heart
  • more…

Plus it’s free!

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It's #selfpromotesunday so I'm sharing something I've been working on. It's a reader's guide to my novel, Beautiful. I wanted to have it ready for Beautiful's first book birthday there were some delays. It includes some discussion questions, information about me, a small preview of my #workinprogress and some behind the scenes tidbits. It will be available for free on my website (franlaniado.wordpress.com/books) so keep a lookout. . . . . #books #Beautifulbook #fairytaleretellings #beautyandthebeast #indiepub #indieauthors #indiebooks #indiesareworthit #indiebooksbeseen #indiefantasy #indieauthorsunited #indieauthorcentral #bookpromotion #bookmarketing #authorcommunity #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #authorsofig #writersofig #writersofinstagram #writerscommunity #writerslife #yaauthor #iwritefantasy #bookstagram #bookish #bookworm #igwritingcommunity

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Happy 1st Book Birthday to Beautiful!

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A year ago today I published my first novel, Beautiful: A Tale of Beauties and Beasts.  It’s been a good year as far as writing goes. I learned a lot about publishing and I think that I’ve gained some confidence as I work on my second novel.  Here are some posts that I’ve written over the year about my journey with this book.

Why Authors Love (and Hate) Reviews

Why You Should Read My Book

Research When You’re Writing Fantasy

What I’d Tell Myself About Writing A Book…

Why I Write What I Write

Publication Day!

Pre-Publication Jitters

Hopefully by this time next year Beautiful will have a book sibling!

Fairy Tale Book Boyfriends

Finn from Beautiful was selected as Epic Faerytales’ 14 Fairy Tale Book Boyfriends To Get You Through February. I got such a kick out of being mentioned on the same list as authors such as Sarah J. Maas, Diana Gabaldon, Kristin Cashore, and Grace Draven! You can check out the list at the link, and get Finn for yourself in Beautiful.

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Available Here!

Yes this post was shameless self promotion. Sorry for not warning you! Happy Valentine’s day!

Why You Should Read My Book

I know I promised to slow down with the shameless self promotion and I will. Just one more post…

I’ve blogged about my book, Beautiful, but I realized that I hadn’t actually told you why you should read it. So here, in random order, are the reasons you should read my book:

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  • It features two protagonists who are sympathetic but flawed. Both grow in significant ways over the course of the novel. No Mary-Sues or Gary-Stus here.
  • It actually features a healthy YA romance. No triangles, no insta-love, no possessiveness, no mind games.
  • It explores aspects of a popular fairy tale that are aren’t often addressed in retellings.
  • We see two characters who have both grown up with a certain degree of privilege try to stand on their own two feet for the first time. They are successful in some ways. Other ways are harder.
  • There is a brief introduction to two of the characters featured in my follow-up novel.
  • Reviews are good. According to Amazon reviewers, it is “compelling,””vivid,” “a delight to read,” and “sweet.”
  • It’s free on Kindle Unlimited and only $2.99 to own.

Amazon reviewers are saying_

  • Make a great gift for fantasy/fairy tale lovers this holiday season.

Top Ten Tuesday: Cozy Winter Reads

For That Artsy Reader Girl’s Top Ten Tuesday:

December 4: Cozy/Wintry Reads (Make this prompt suit your current season if needs be.)

There’s nothing I love more than curling up under a blanket with a good book and some hot cocoa while the snow is falling outside. Here are my favorite cozy winter reads:

51lz9ueudjl-_ac_us218_1. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie- Hercule Poirot is on a train that is trapped by an avalanche, just before a passenger is found murdered. Poirot is on the case and the thirteen other passengers in the car are his only suspects. The only problem is that they all have both an excellent motive and an airtight alibi. Just an FYI, the recent film changes some elements of the ending, so even if you’ve seen that, you may still be surprised.

51mxt4oifll-_ac_us218_2. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden- Vasilisa grows up in a home in the Russian wilderness that’s snowed in each winter. She spends the season with her siblings listening to their nurse’s fairy tales. When her mother dies, her father brings a new wife home from Moscow. Vasilisa’s stepmother is religious and won’t allow the family to honor the household spirits as they always have. Though the family acquiesces to her wishes, Vasilisa suspects that this decision will have grave consequences in this re-imagined Russian fairy tale.

41d0oywr9zl-_ac_us218_3. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey- A childless couple in Alaska in 1920 indulge in a bit of silliness on the night of the first snowfall. They build a child out of snow. The next morning, the snow child is gone but Jack and Mabel start to catch glimpses of a little girl, running through the trees. This child seems to survive alone in the Alaskan wilderness. Is she their snow child come to life or are her origins more mundane? Jack and Mabel come to love this girl, whom they call Faina as if she were their own. But will they be able to care for her as they would a normal child?

51qgclwqxal-_ac_us218_4. Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin– This is kind of a love it or hate it book (though don’t judge it on it’s bizarre film adaptation!). In New York City at the turn of the 20th century, Peter Lake attempts to rob a mansion that he thinks is empty one cold, winter night. It’s not empty. Beverley Penn, the daughter of the house is there, dying of consumption. They fall into a love so powerful that Peter, an uneducated thief will embark on a quest to stop time, bring back the dead and cure disease. It’s full of symbolism and beautiful writing, but some readers will find it overlong and indulgent.

51c-asvgcil-_ac_us218_5. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield- I read this one snowy day, and I’ll always associate it with winter for that reason. Vida Winter (is the name a coincidence?!) is a reclusive author who has made up stories about her life, but hidden the truth of it. Now that she’s old and sick she hires biographer Margaret Lea to tell her true story. It’s a tale of gothic strangeness, and a ghost, a governess, twins, a topiary garden and a house fire.

 

218weryp6kl-_ac_us218_6. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton– The title character of this slim novel is a farmer burdened by a barren farm an a hypochondriac wife, Zeenia. When Zeenia’s cousin, Mattie visits, Ethan falls in love with the warm girl who is everything that his wife is not. But his attempts to escape with Mattie may doom them all to a cold life on Ethan’s unproductive land.

 

518ejevmohl-_ac_us218_7. The Woman in the Window by AJ Flinn- Anna Fox is an agoraphobic who spends her days in her Harlem townhouse drinking wine, watching old movies and spying on her neighbors. When she witnesses a  murder in one of the their houses, the police don’t believe her (she’s a drunk with a history of psychological issues). We learn more about the chilly roots of those issues, and the mysterious events of that happened in her neighbors house, as we read.

517vbd5d37l-_ac_us218_8. Still Life by Louise Penny– There’s been a murder in the tiny town of Three Pines, a rural village just south of Montreal. When Inspector Gamache and his team arrive, everyone assumes that middle aged artist Jane Neal was killed in a tragic hunting accident. But Inspector Gamache soon discovers that Three Pines is hiding some dark secrets. While the village seems cozy and the food is described as yummy, the murders would probably keep me from wanting to move to Three Pines.

51zrrxlch9l-_ac_us218_9. The Loop by Nicholas Evans- In Hope, Montana, a Rocky Mountain ranching town, a pack of wolves has emerged and reawakened a tension that existed a century ago between humans and wolves. Helen Ross is an environmentalist who is sent to Hope to protect the wolves. Her mission brings her into conflict with Buck Calder, a brutal but charismatic rancher, as well as his son, Luke, with whom Helen begins an affair.

 

51laj9fuhcl-_ac_us218_10. A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick– In 1907 Wisconsin, 58 year old Ralph is waiting for his mail order bride to appear. He put out a classified ad, and is expecting his new wife at the station, but with Catherine Land gets off the train she’s not at all what he expected. She has plans to slowly poison Ralph and leave Wisconsin as a wealthy widow. But on Ralph’s snow bound estate, he reveals to Catherine that he’s a man with secrets and plans of his own.

 

 

A Bit More Shameless Self Promotion

I promise not to do this again for a while!

Firstly, I’m pleased to share that Beautiful is included in Enchanted Quill Press’ Festive Fairytale & Fantasy Book Fair. If you haven’t read Beautiful yet, it’s a lovely way to escape the stress of the holiday season. It’s free for Kindle Unlimited customers and only $2.99 for an ebook. Also, check out some of the other amazing books that are included in this promotion.

Festive Book Fair Image

Also, today I skyped with a middle school class that is learning about fairy tales and retellings. I remember a few occasions when authors came to my school and spoke to my class. It was always such a thrill for me to feel like someone who had actually created a book was taking the time to answer my questions. Today, I was about ten times as thrilled to answer some of the questions that these kids posed. I don’t imagine they were as thrilled as I was to have me there, but they asked some great questions and I really enjoyed talking to them as an author. I suppose that I don’t feel like an author most of the time. Usually I don’t identify myself as an author unless I’m writing (and sometimes not even then) so it was a bit odd to talk to people who know me only by a book I’ve written. Odd but exciting!