Charting Stars Trailer

ONLY ONE MORE WEEK until release day!!!
So excited to share this Charting Stars trailer with you!

Talia Benson would consider herself fairly ordinary. Anyone would. Diligent student, only child to a single mother, protector of three cats—nothing crazy has ever happened to her. And Talia wants it to stay that way: stable. Her knack for making friends, along with her obsession with the stars and her love for skirt pockets, coffee, and art, is more than enough to keep Talia happy for the rest of her days—that is, until a single evening in front of a blank canvas becomes the adventure she never dreamed she wanted.

Now, Talia finds herself lost in a world completely unlike her own, a land where monsters roam and magic thrives, where wars are born then die at the wave of a hand, and where strange entities decide the fate of those who live among the Nine Realms. The guardians of these foreign lands have seen a great shift in the heavens. Something has changed, a prophecy has been spoken—a darkness is coming. But maybe, just maybe, an ordinary girl thrown between worlds could be the key to saving it all.

Charting Stars is the first book in a spirited, heartfelt young adult fantasy series by Micheline Ryckman that will appeal to the minds of those who’ve always felt, well, ordinary. Talia’s adventures prove that even an average everyday girl can have skills enough to be a hero. And she’s joined on her journey by a lovable cast of characters—some human, some furry, some covered in ivy vines—who will steal your heart away.

 

Charting Stars COVER REVEAL!!!

Charting Stars is the first book in a spirited, heartfelt young adult fantasy series by Micheline Ryckman that will appeal to the minds of those who’ve always felt, well, ordinary. Talia’s adventures prove that even an average everyday girl can have skills enough to be a hero. And she’s joined on her journey by a lovable cast of characters—some human, some furry, some covered in ivy vines—who will steal your heart away. Book releases May 21, 2021.

Talia Benson would consider herself fairly ordinary. Anyone would. Diligent student, only child to a single mother, protector of three cats—nothing crazy has ever happened to her. And Talia wants it to stay that way: stable. Her knack for making friends, along with her obsession with the stars and her love for skirt pockets, coffee, and art, is more than enough to keep Talia happy for the rest of her days—that is, until a single evening in front of a blank canvas becomes the adventure she never dreamed she wanted.

Now, Talia finds herself lost in a world completely unlike her own, a land where monsters roam and magic thrives, where wars are born then die at the wave of a hand, and where strange entities decide the fate of those who live among the Nine Realms. The guardians of these foreign lands have seen a great shift in the heavens. Something has changed, a prophecy has been spoken—a darkness is coming. But maybe, just maybe, an ordinary girl thrown between worlds could be the key to saving it all.

This book is now available for preorder via Whimsicalpublishing.ca or Amazon.com.

The Lion of the Sea Release Day!

“Perhaps the present, no matter how messy, is the perfect time to live.”

Family is not always blood, and home is where the heart is. It took Dain Alloway years to understand these foundational truths. Now the captain of The Maiden, surrounded by the found family he loves, Dain sets out to end a centuries-old genocide and prevent an oncoming war. But when the girl he loves is torn from his arms, Dain might be forced to choose between saving just her, or saving them all.

“Good morning from Canada, my Whimsies! 🎉⚓️THE LION OF THE SEA IS HERE!!! ⚓️🎉

What a whole lot of craziness we faced last year, right?! Oh my word! Not only were we all slapped with this ongoing pandemic and a LOAD of other madness, but once again, I faced some very hard personal health struggles. It was so nuts that there were days I wondered if I’d ever finish this second book in The Maiden Ship trilogy. But, somehow, despite everything, I did! 😅 And it feels like an epic feat that I get to share this story with you TODAY! WOOT WOOT!!! 🎉 TMS was my debut novel, and I’m hoping–praying you all enjoy my sophomore novel just as much. 🤞🤞🤞

I’m just so grateful to those who take a chance on reading my books, it’s an honour that you would give up precious hours of your life to my writing. 🙈💓🙇🏻‍♀️ I cannot express how much that means to me—sending love and hugs to you all today!!!❤️❤️❤️ ” ~ Micheline Ryckman

The Lion of the Sea is the second novel in Micheline Ryckman’s, The Maiden Ship, series, and it releases today! This YA fantasy adventure is chalk full of action packed scenes. You’ll rejoin a loveable cast of characters from the first book and meet some nasty pirates and alluring mermaids along the way.

You can purchase the paperback through our shop here or you can also purchase it through AMAZON in paperback and ebook format as well.
Happy reading!

 

The Lion of the Sea BOOK TRAILER!

Only two weeks left until The Lion of the Sea releases on February 7th! Can’t wait for you all to read it. 😀 Super excited to share this book trailer with you, hopefully you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed creating it! I need to express my great gratitude to my daughter, Hannah, for helping me create this beautiful video and for composing the music for it as well, she is amazing!

There’s still time to get your preorders in for the paperback version and snag some of the preorder incentive goodies too – just click HERE! 

But for those who don’t have the budget for the physical version of TLOTS at the moment, I have made the kindle ebook available on AMAZON for only $1.99 until just after the release date. 😀

The Lion of the Sea COVER REVEAL!

“Perhaps the present, no matter how messy, is the perfect time to live.”

Family is not always blood, and home is where the heart is. It took Dain Alloway years to understand these foundational truths. Now the captain of The Maiden, surrounded by the found family he loves, Dain sets out to end a centuries-old genocide and prevent an oncoming war. But when the girl he loves is torn from his arms, Dain might be forced to choose between saving just her, or saving them all.

Can we all just bow to the greatness that is @gabriella.bujdoso please?!?! 😱  I’m just unbelievably grateful for her talent on this cover art! 😭👌🏻

I cannot wait for you all to read the second book in my The Maiden Ship trilogy! 🙌🙈🙌 Release date for The Lion of the Sea is February 7, 2021! You can PREORDER the paperback through my website/shop , the ebook on Amazon, or the exclusive hardcover edition through Faecrate.  (Preorder incentives pictured here are only available with the paperback through our Whimsical shop and are not included with Amazon or Faecrate orders.)

THE SHOP IS OPEN!

If you’ve missed following along on social media, my shop was closed for over a month due to health problems, but I just reopened it today, and pictured in the gallery above are a few samples of some of the new postcards that have gone up!  Click here to head to the shop now!

I am definitely playing a lot of catch up on things after being away so long, trying to get my commission work back on track, working at getting The Lion of the Sea out into the world (cover reveal coming November 14th), and trying to add fresh new items to the shop before Christmas hits. (I have some really great Caraval and Acotar inspired headbands coming soon, so keep your peepers peeled !) Also, in case you hadn’t heard, I’m so excited to announce that I got a two year contract with Sarah J Maas, she’s given me permission to not only sell ACOTAR inspired art, but I’m now allowed to sell TOG and CC art as well! I’ve added some of those fandoms into my shop already, but I look forward to creating new art for these in future too.

Apologies for any inconvenience my closure and absence may have caused, thank you so much for your patience. If there are any questions, needs, or concerns please feel free to email me.

Can We Actually Change the World?

   Can we actually change the world?

   I think so.

   I’m serious—I believe that every single person has to ability to affect change, and the more individuals who attempt it, the more compounded and wide spread the effects. However, I also know that it can be hard to find a way to even start. We might want to help, but then the world’s problems loom large—so overwhelming that we feel powerless and frozen. Where on earth does a person even start?

   I’ve read a lot books on writing over the past two years, and a common theme—or a common piece of advice given, is to write about what you know. I would take that advice a step further and tell you to write what you’re passionate about. We all have our things, the interests that light a fire in our belly and push us to pursue what we love. People’s range of interest can vary from gardening, to art, to space exploration, to math, to horses, to coding, to hospitality, to reading, to mechanics… You catch my drift, right? Well, the truth is, knowing what we care about most is often the best place to start on the journey of discovering how we might affect change. If we first focus on what we know—on what we are passionate about, it often leads us where we need to be.

   In my life, I first zeroed in on mental health because of how my son has and still suffers. It took years for me to realize the importance of mental health to cultural change, but I eventually made it my focus to try and raise money and awareness. I believe that a mental health renaissance and revolution will not only improve the lives of people who suffer with mental illnesses, but it will also improve the world as a whole. So, you’ll hear a lot about mental health from me, and in my shop I have a line of art dedicated to raising money toward it. Now, this doesn’t mean mental health is the only focus of my heart, I also have a transgender sibling who only just recently, after fifty years of staying silent, finally told her family (me included) who she really was. I’m super proud of her. And I’ve heard her talk about some of the struggles of facing the prejudice in our world today. Her story and plenty others led me toward fighting against social and racial injustice and I created a line of art to help come alongside two organizations who are currently on the ground working toward building a better, more diverse world culture. And then I also have an intense love of gardening and being outdoors, so my heart is very drawn to environmentalism. But, beyond being an avid recycler and trying to live more sustainably on a farm, I’ve yet to find my way in this area fully—I’m working on how I can do more for change here too. Above all, my faith, which is an integral part of who I am, calls me to love and so my passion in all of these areas is love; love for God, for my family, for others, and for the earth. Anyway—I tell you all this to demonstrate how your own life, interests, and passions can lead you to places where you can affect change.

   Now, please know that I celebrate the fact that your views, faith, or passions will be entirely different from mine. It would be sad if they were not, so many worthy causes would miss out otherwise. Perhaps you’re someone who believes that being politically active is the only way to change the world, or you’re someone whose heart leans toward education and the change it brings, or your heart is to simply feed the hungry, or your someone who steers toward animal rights and activism… Every cause is worthy, and the spectrum is broad, but that doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Do some soul searching, start small, find the things you know, the things where you are at in your own life right now, and then explore your passions around them. I promise, this kind of search will eventually lead to a place where you feel you can affect change. Then you focus on that one, two, or even three or more if you’re ambitious, and you go out and change the world.

P.S. Remember it’s a journey. I did not discover all the things that moved me overnight. Have grace with yourself, and take on only what you can handle. And then have grace for others as well, they might choose a different cause than you, let them, the world need them to.

Better Together

Did you know that there is a new charity product line in my shop called the Equality Campaign? Through learning and research over the past month, I discovered a charity that that doing great things toward healing and building a better future of equality in Canada:

Across Boundaries: Provides a dynamic range of mental health support and services and works within Anti-Racism/Anti-Black racism and Anti-Oppression frameworks. These frameworks address the negative impact of racism and discrimination on mental health and well-being.

100% of the proceeds from these new items in my shop will be donated to Across Boundaries. I’ll be updating my IG stories to let you know whenever a new donation is made. Hopefully sales will amount to enough to do at least semi-annual donations.

I was inspired to create the art and designs here from two different scriptures 1Cor ‪13:13‬b and Rev.7:9. In ancient times the palm leaf was a symbol of victory and peace, and obviously hearts are a symbol of love. Check out the rest of this product line by clicking >>> HERE!

 

Personal Grace

Do you ever think about grace? 

   Once upon a time, in my twenty-something days, I was the most graceless person on the face of the planet. No joke, you would not have liked me, at all! I was conceited, self-serving, and unkind. I had very little compassion for those around me, and I drove hard nails into the judgemental coffins I constructed. 

   It took years of health struggles, and a veritable volley—(Oooo, I like those two v-words together)—of real-life-kick-in-the-pants-problems, before I understood the true meaning of grace. It wasn’t until I’d walked in some hard shoes that I realized I had no right to judge. Most of us learn this life lesson first, and as a result, most of us get better about having grace for others. But what about having grace for ourselves too?

   Sometimes, I’m downright brutal; I berate myself for not getting all the things down, I’m by far my own worst critic, and I constantly focus on my mistakes. Sound familiar? 

   I think we treat ourselves poorly for a lot of reasons, but especially because we often believe its immodest to extend grace to ourselves—almost like we’re not being humble if we give ourselves some slack. Honestly though, self-abasement is abusive to the soul, and no matter how innately human, it draws us down a dark path. The truth is, we’re NOT perfect, the fact is, no one is. And the MOST graceless thing we can do to ourselves is to constantly focus on our shortcomings.

   For example: living with chronic illness is my reality. I can’t do ALL the things anymore, and in this, I need to have grace, either that or the frustration around my physical limitations will destroy me emotionally. I also need to have more grace for myself when I mess up. While I should definitely acknowledge my mistakes, I can’t let them define me… Mistakes can be used to help me grow, but afterwards, I need to move on.

   Personal grace will look different for each of us, but I honestly believe that if we don’t start extending more of it to ourselves, we’ll eventually have nothing left to give others.