The Best Blog Ever

Ash Leigh Virdell

August 16th, 2020

My dear readers (or curious internet-explorers who should have gone to bed hours ago),

It occurs to me that I'm quickly running low on new books to read. Due to my hermit-like nature, I'm struggling to find recommendations. So until I build up the motivation to scour reviews and reach out to other readers, I'm going through a phase of re-reading.

The best part of re-reading? You discover something new every time! Every time I crack a previously read book - even if it's for the fifteenth time - there's some nuanced detail, subplot, or theme to discover! 

So, if you're looking for books to read or re-read, you're in luck! I decided to compile a list of some of my favorite books over the years - anything and everything off the top of my head that I feel might be worth a re-read myself. Without furthur ado, here we go!

Desert Dark by Sonja Stone

Do you like YA (young adult) fiction? Spies? Survival shows? High school? Well, maybe forget the last one... Desert Dark is a YA novel by author Sonja Stone (an author I actually had the honor of meeting at a YA fiction panel I moderated a few years back).

Ingo by Helen Dunmore

Do you like merpeople? Cornwall? Western-European folklore? Helen Dunmore has been my favorite author ever since I first picked up Ingo - though many of her other works are just as award-winning and imagination-ensaring.

​Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck

Do you like tigers? Jungle adventures? Handsome Indian princes, and Indian mythology spun into a modern-day web of irrestiable romance? This is your book. Go on. Pick it up.

​The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

Victorian, female badassery at it's finest. There's as much magic in this book as in the writing itself. 

The Riddles of Epsilon by Christine Morton-Shaw

An under-appreciated masterpiece. If you like small-town charm and intrigue, insanely captivating mystery and magic, this is an excellent choice for you.

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Need I say more?

The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Marie Pope

The revolutionary war. Ghosts. Romance. History come to life. This a thrilling read and I pick it up at least once a year to re-read. And for some reason it makes me crave Christmastime.

Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

I first read this fantastic historical masterpiece in school - junior high, specifically.  Set in Egypt, this story follows the unbelievable danger and nail-biting-inducing choices of an Egyptian double-agent named Mara. After reading this, you'll understand why Mara is another badass female on my personal list of heroes.

Well, there you are! I have provided you with  a list of some timeless favorites - perfect for a first time or even tenth-time read. You're welcome.

Are there are any books you can't go more than a year without re-reading? Let me know! I'd love to check them out and you never know, I might even write about it here.


Ash Leigh Virdell
​​"Ah! There is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort."

~ Jane Austen

August 5th, 2018

Sorry to keep you all waiting! 

To give you all a quick update, the third and final book in A Tainted Age trilogy is officially complete! Rebel still requires some intense editing and all the expensive fun that goes along with the pre-publication process, so the release date remains TBD. However, rest assured I'll let you in on any exciting updates!

The querying continues for my YA folklore book, with an actual trip to Ireland in order to experience and research the settings and legends for the rest of the series. During a three day roadtrip from Arizona to Oregon, I was flooded with ideas for several new books, so hopefully I'll have more to share on that front as well - including the possibility of a whole new novel, released to you for free! 

More exciting news, GCU Today published an article about me and my writing endeavors, written by journalist Laurie Merrill. If you're interested in reading the article, click here or visit the link on my Extras page!

As usual, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to submit them on my Contact page.


Ash Leigh Virdell

"Shut your eyes and see." 

~ James Joyce

May 3rd, 2017

Hello all!

Apologies for the long hiatus from social media and the website - but due to that hiatus I have good news! Several more books are on the way - including the final book of the Tainted Age trilogy! I hesitated to publish it because there are some changes I'd like to make to books 1 & 2 first, but I'm toying around with the idea of going ahead with the book's publication.

Also! I'll be posting a new book that you can read for FREE on Wattpad very soon! More information to come. This is very exciting, I promise.

As always, thank y'all for being wonderful, supportive readers. I hope to offer you a brand new world of excitement and intrigue to dive into very soon.


Ash Leigh Virdell

"A piece of writing is like a piece of magic. You create something out of nothing."

~ Susanna Clarke

​October 20th, 2015 

It's finally happened! 

Gypsy is officially for sale in both paperback and hardcover! Within the next several weeks it will become available for Kindle and as an E-Book. Soon it should even begin appearing on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, and more!

It has been a long time coming, folks. I'm so grateful to everyone who has helped me make this possible! Attending university full-time, working, and trying to keep up with current writing projects has been quite the challenge and I couldn't have done it without all of the fabulous encouragement from all the friends God has placed in my life! 

You might be asking where this leaves us. Then again, you might not. Regardless, I would like to share my plans for the immediate future with all you lovely humans. 

I am almost done writing the second book of A Tainted Age trilogy, but I don't want to reveal anymore details than that just yet. Don't worry! I love giving sneak peeks and dropping teasers so I'll have something for you soon. 

I'm also planning on participating in Nanowrimo this year for the first time ever! For those of you who may not be complete writing geeks, Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month, which is exactly what it sounds like. During the month of November, I will be putting all other projects aside to write one entire novel. Again, I won't be revealing too much about this project, save to say that it involves Irish folklore, castles, werewolves, and - like any good fantasy - an ancient prophecy.

Anyways, just in case you're interested, that's what my future is looking like for the next couple months! Don't forget to check back here for more updates and blog posts


Ash Leigh Virdell

You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. 

~ Mark Twain