New at DIY MFA: A Case Study on Family as a Literary Theme


Many of us have read stories where family plays a major role in the main character’s life. However, did you know that the writer is making thematic statements about family by involving parents, children, siblings, and other blood relatives in the story? That’s what we discuss in today’s Theme: A Story’s Soul post at DIY MFA. Using examples from Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones and Michelle Moran’s Rebel Queen, we’ll look at parallels of exploring family as a literary theme and discover how a character’s beliefs about family can be challenged, reshaped, or reaffirmed as a result of the journey he/she undergoes.

Click here to read “A Case Study on Family as a Literary Theme.”

Got any questions or suggestions for Theme: A Story’s Soul? Feel free to comment below or tweet me at @SaraL_Writer with the hashtag #AStorysSoul.

Stacking The Shelves, Vol. 10: New March Releases + Reading Plan for 2015


Stacking The Shelves is a weekly event hosted by Tynga’s Reviews that shares the books (both physical and virtual) that you recently purchased, borrowed from a fellow reader or the library, won from a giveaway, or received as gifts. Stacking The Shelves will post on Saturdays as new books are added to my shelves.

This is getting a little embarrassing. I’ve seen other bloggers post their Stacking The Shelves hauls more frequently than I post mine, but since I don’t seem to read as quickly as other people do, I feel like I shouldn’t buy more books for a while. But I went ahead and bought two more. *blushes*

Anyways, these novels might look familiar, since they were both featured in past Waiting on Wednesday posts. I’ve also decided to share my “reading plan” for the rest of 2015, so you can get an idea of what to expect review-wise in the coming months. But first, the new books!

Continue reading

Waiting On Wednesday Vol. 2: “Rebel Queen” by Michelle Moran

Waiting on Wednesday_1

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming book releases that I’m looking forward to. My WOW postings won’t be weekly, but they’ll come on Wednesdays when my blogging schedule is open and when I add a yet-to-be-published book to my wishlist. 

This Wednesday, I’m waiting on Michelle Moran’s Rebel Queen, which is due out next March. Historical fiction is my second-favorite literary genre after fantasy; and while my tastes in time period and setting are fairly open, I’m partial to exploring more exotic cultures. Moran’s first three novels – NefertitiThe Heretic Queen, and Cleopatra’s Daughter – focused on ancient Egypt. I’ve read the two latter titles and enjoyed them both immensely. Both heroines (Nefertari in The Heretic Queen, and Selene in Cleopatra’s Daughter) learn to navigate their circumstances using their individuals strengths and with courage, integrity, and resolve. Moran has published two other novels since her Egyptian trio – but I’m more excited for Rebel Queen than I was for the others, and for two reasons. First, a HUGE case of coverlove! Isn’t the cover art gorgeous?? And second, a chance to stamp my literary passport to India for the first time!

NOTE: As of today, Goodreads still lists Rebel Queen under its original title, The Last Queen of India. (Now that I think about it, I actually prefer the original title over the official one.)

RebelQueen cover

Rebel Queen
Michelle Moran
Historical Fiction
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Goodreads


From the internationally bestselling author of Nefertiti and Cleopatra’s Daughter comes the breathtaking story of Queen Lakshmi—India’s Joan of Arc—who against all odds defied the mighty British invasion to defend her beloved kingdom.

When the British Empire sets its sights on India in the mid-nineteenth century, it expects a quick and easy conquest. India is fractured and divided into kingdoms, each independent and wary of one another, seemingly no match for the might of the English. But when they arrive in the Kingdom of Jhansi, the British army is met with a surprising challenge.

Instead of surrendering, Queen Lakshmi raises two armies—one male and one female—and rides into battle, determined to protect her country and her people. Although her soldiers may not appear at first to be formidable against superior British weaponry and training, Lakshmi refuses to back down from the empire determined to take away the land she loves.

Told from the unexpected perspective of Sita—Queen Lakshmi’s most favored companion and most trusted soldier in the all-female army—Rebel Queen shines a light on a time and place rarely explored in historical fiction. In the tradition of her bestselling novel, Nefertiti, and through her strong, independent heroines fighting to make their way in a male dominated world, Michelle Moran brings nineteenth-century India to rich, vibrant life.

What book(s) are you waiting on this Wednesday? Are you also looking forward to Rebel Queen?