Monday, February 3, 2014

Uncluttering my year and Ann Rice

  “On writing, my advice is the same to all. If you want to be a writer, write. Write and write and write. If you stop, start again. Save everything that you write. If you feel blocked, write through it until you feel your creative juices flowing again. Write. Writing is what makes a writer, nothing more and nothing less. — Ignore critics. Critics are a dime a dozen. Anybody can be a critic. Writers are priceless. —- Go where the pleasure is in your writing. Go where the pain is. Write the book you would like to read. Write the book you have been trying to find but have not found. But write. And remember, there are no rules for our profession. Ignore rules. Ignore what I say here if it doesn’t help you. Do it your own way. — Every writer knows fear and discouragement. Just write. — The world is crying for new writing. It is crying for fresh and original voices and new characters and new stories. If you won’t write the classics of tomorrow, well, we will not have any. Good luck.” ― Anne Rice


Even though this quote is a little long, I love it. Write, write, ignore the rules, write what you want to read, just write.

In my head at the beginning of the year I wondered what I wanted out of this writing adventure. I want to finish and publish three books, came the reply. Then I need to kick it into gear. That led to the next thought: I want to be known as the hardest working writer this year. I kind of giggled at that last goal idea and went along my merry way.

Throughout the next few days I went to the library or other places to write and edit. Any free time I had at home I was writing and editing. One day after my brain was fried and could no longer be in writing mode, I went through my emails and deleted and unsubscribed for over an hour. That felt good. Other areas in my life started getting purged and soon I realized what was happening. The goal to be the hardest writer had imbedded itself inside me and I was subconsciously helping it along by cutting out unnecessary extra curricular "stuff."

I've totally cut back on reviewing and blogging, social media and review request. I don't feel I have time if I want to get ahead on my writing and reading. I want, no, I need this year to be about polishing and submitting and publishing.

 My tummy tickles when I think about moving forward in such a bold way and I'm excited to see where 2014 leads me!

What about you? What are you accomplishing this year?


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

SUGAR COATED by Shannon Crane Camp

An unhealthy addiction to sugar cubes, a deep-seated fear of water, and universal luxury—these are the simple things that make up 18-year-old Brynn's Utopian existence. Why, then, is her perfect life also plagued with unanswered questions?

Like every other resident of the planet Halcyon, Brynn's home provides everything she needs, money is unheard of, and life is perfect. But unlike the rest of Seaside's residents, Brynn has questions. Why can't people leave the city? Why does the ocean fill everyone with terror? Who are the Workers? Not only is Brynn curious where others are compliant, but she suffers from chronic nightmares of an angelic woman torturing her for information she doesn’t possess. But these are more than just figments of her imagination; they're memories of things that never happened.

When Brynn meets Jonah, a brilliant, library-dwelling boy who shares her questions and her curiosity, they formulate a plan to find answers. Somewhere, the perfect veneer of Halcyon's instant gratification hides a city that only Brynn knows about—a city she and Jonah are determined to find. But will finding the city give them answers, or simply uncover the horrific truth behind the perfection?


First line:
"Blinding white lights flashed into life, revealing a room less cavernous and imposing than she had expected."

3 Things I liked about SUGAR COATED:
1. The house!
2. Brynn
3. The world

Very cool, dystopian world building. I couldn't figure out the government system or the rules. Everything is perfect where Brynn lives. When a person reaches eighteen, they can move into their own house. And design it or furnish it anyway they want. They just tell their house want they want. Or if they need a Tylenol, they ask. They also name their houses. "I need two pain pills, Charlie." Out of the dispenser comes two pills. Cool. And whatever Brynn wants to wear, the house 'makes' it. I couldn't help but think of iRobots as I read.
I liked Brynn and her bravery and curiosity. She had questions outside of the answers the citizens were always told. She braved going to the beach, then down the beach, then into the ocean, even after being told all her life the ocean is dangerous and kills. Brynn has close friends, including Ty. Their lives are about clothes and parties and hanging out. But it isn't until after Brynn meets Jonah that she finds someone as curious as she is.
The world was intriguing enough to keep me interested without 'telling' me all about it. They could go to the store, order a shirt and the store would 'make' it right then. How? Brynn took a train once-a-month to visit another city. The train had no windows. Why? The characters rarely spoke of their parents or families. Only that at a certain age, they were on their own. There were many questions building up in my mind and not until the end did I get answers. And even then I'm not sure I understood the answers.
The book is an interesting and clean read. I think many YA readers would enjoy it.


 This story moves along and spins its tale. and
Rating: PG 13
V: No
L: No
S: Kissing

Liked: 
World building
TY (especially toward the end)

Disliked:
Ending

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

DESCENDANT by Nicole Giles

 Seventeen-year-old Abigail Johnson is Gifted.

Blessed—or cursed—with Sight and Healing, Abby lives an unsettled life, moving from place to place and staying one step ahead of the darkness that hunts her. When she arrives in Jackson, Wyoming, she is desperate to maintain the illusion of normalcy, but she is plagued with visions of past lives mixed with frightening glimpses of her future. Then she meets Kye, a mysterious boy who seems so achingly familiar that Abby is drawn to him like he’s a missing piece of her own soul.

Before Abby can discover the reason for her feelings toward Kye, the darkness catches up to her and she is forced to flee again. But this time she’s not just running. She is fighting back with Kye at her side, and it’s not just Abby’s life at stake.


First line:
 "Kye's white shirt is drenched with blood."

Right from the first page, this good, clean book is action packed and hard to put down. Abby Johnson is Gifted with Sight and Healing. She is drawn to Kye who is also Gifted. Together they must stop a mad man who wants to kill all the Gifted.
The past and present woven together was intriguing. Well written without tons of romance drama, I enjoyed this story.
I did skim some of the history as to why Kye and Abby are Gifted but what I read I liked, it was very imaginative.

Rating: PG
V: Fighting
L: No
S: Kissing

Liked:
Pacing
Story
Abby

Disliked:
Her publisher going under.

4 STARS

Monday, December 16, 2013

Fav books of 2013 and thoughts

Favorite 2013 reads
In no particular order:

Pivot Point by Kacie West
Sky Jumpers by Peggy Eddleman
Jelicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Ester the Queen by Heather Moore
Countdown by Michelle Rowan
Friends and Traitors by CJ Hill
A Return to Virtue by Elaine S Dalton
Outpost by Ann Aguirre
Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson
The Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo


Going on hiatus:

I love reading.
I love being a book whisperer and helping others find good books to read that fit their personalities.
That's why I made this blog. I've toyed with the idea of incorporating the reviews back in with my writing blog. I'm afraid the reviews will take over; I read about 75 books a year.
Alas, this blog is getting behind in reviews. I'm so busy lately I haven't been able to give it the full attention I like and it makes me sad. I have a manuscript out on request. I am editing my NaNo project from this year and I'm in the middle of writing another story. Keeping up with my blogs is harder and harder. So with a sad heart, I'm going to stop writing up my reviews and catch up on them later. Like in six months or so.
I'll still add my reads to goodreads but not with an extensive review for a little while. But I'll be back when I can.
And I'll still do blog tours/reviews/blasts.

Keep reading!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

THE FALL OF ARTHUR by J.R.R. Tolkien

The world's first publication of a previously unknown work by J.R.R. Tolkien, which tells the extraordinary story of the final days of England’s legendary hero, King Arthur.

The Fall of Arthur recounts in verse the last campaign of King Arthur who, even as he stands at the threshold of Mirkwood, is summoned back to Britain by news of the treachery of Mordred. Already weakened in spirit by Guinevere's infidelity with the now-exiled Lancelot, Arthur must rouse his knights to battle one last time against Mordred's rebels and foreign mercenaries.

Powerful, passionate and filled with vivid imagery, The Fall of Arthur reveals Tolkien's gift for storytelling at its brilliant best. Originally composed by J.R.R. Tolkien in the 1930s, this work was set aside for The Hobbit and lay untouched for 80 years.

Now it has been edited for publication by Tolkien's son, Christopher, who contributes three illuminating essays that explore the literary world of King Arthur, reveal the deeper meaning of the verses and the painstaking work that his father applied to bring it to a finished form, and the intriguing links between The Fall of Arthur and his greatest creation, Middle-earth.

 
Hardcover, 233 pages
Published May 23rd 2013 by HarperCollins

 First line:
"Arthur eastward in arms purposed
his war to wage on the wilde marches,
over seas sailing to Sacon lands,
from the roman realm ruin defending."

Wow. Loved this poem.

4 STARS

SIEGE AND STORM (GRISHA #2) by Leigh Barduco

Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.


First line:
"The boy and the girl had once dreamed of ships, long ago, before they ever seen the True Sea." 

Totally love this series.


Rating: PG 13
V: Fighting, killing
L: No
S: Kissing

Liked:
Aline 

Disliked:
Having to wait for the third book! 

4 1/2 STARS

GUARDIANS by Heather Frost

A vision of Kate's death causes Patrick to intensify his duties as Guardian. The Demon Lord is especially relentless now that Kate is the only Seer to ever escape his grasp. When Patrick discovers that Kate is the key to defeating their greatest enemy, he must choose between sacrificing the girl he loves or letting the Demon Lord win. You won't be able to put this final installment in the Seers trilogy down.

First line:
"I stood at my mother's side, listening to her soft laughter."

And this trilogy comes to a close and what an ending!
Kate and Patrick are the love interests and the main characters. Kate is a Seer and Patrick, her Guardian. Kate must defeat the Demon Lord but Patrick has foreseen her death and he doesn't want to sacrifice her. But she knows her responsibilities and is determined to save the world, even if it means dying.
I thought the book was paced well and kept me interested and turning the pages. I wanted to finish and see how love would win in the end.
I will admit here that my favorite book of the series was the first one, SEERS. I picked up this book once before and I put it down without reading more than a couple of chapters. But this time around I finished. There were some quick fixes and I was surprised a couple of times how someone changed their attitude/personality/life.
This is a good, clean young adult book.

Rating: PG 14
V: Fighting, demons, shooting, stabbing
L: No
S: Kissing

Liked:
Auras

Disliked:
Wrapped up neatly, though was moving

3 1/2 STARS

Thanks netgalley