Posted in Book Love Reviews, Book Reviews, Books, Uncategorized

Book Love Review: The House Of Furies by Madeleine Roux

 

What a winner! I listened to The House of Furies on audiobook during my recent travels.  It was delightfully read and engaging. The narrator used a variety of voices and accents for the characters.

This book follows the runaway Luisa Dutton as she takes employment as a maid at the Coldthistle boardinghouse. She discovers that the house draws people who have done evil deeds to it. The boarders check in to make use of the healing waters of the spring. The owner and staff make sure that the guests won’t be leaving the house alive.

House of Furies

What I Loved About This Book

Louisa is an engaging character. I loved her spunky attitude and her curiosity that always lands her in situations over her head.

Some Chapters are Chapters from the book Louisa is reading. It is written by the owner of the boarding house and documents his travels and insight into creatures and beings that are not human and the abilities they possess. This was a tidy way to learn about the other characters in the book. Expect hellhounds, changelings, and phantom shadow creatures.

The pacing of the book is good. It does start a bit slow but builds up into a powerful story with unexpected twists and turns. I honestly did not know what was going to happen next and it kept me on the edge of my seat.

Louisa is both disturbed, protected, and draw to the house and the strange characters. I really enjoyed her struggle with the evil and the evil deeds of those who come to Coldthistle house.

It is possible that I will never look at birds without remembering this book and the unique and disturbing role they play. I love books that stick a thought or image in my head for years to come.

The romantic relationship was not my favorite aspect of the story but it did play it’s part well and unlike some romantic subplots it was a driving force for Louisa’s actions at times.

IMG_2526

 

You Should Read This Book If

You enjoy a story that plays out the Good Vs Evil idea with a different spin.

You are fascinated with lore, paranormal, ghost stories or urban legends.

You once loved (or still love) all things with an R.L. Stine vibe

You enjoy a historical setting that is rooted in folklore and legend.

On another note, dI highly recommend the audiobook because the narrator does multiple voices and accents. You will thank me later!

BOOKLOVEREVIEW

Overall, I adored the slightly creepy but not quite scary vibe. It does have some gorey scenes but they are written in a way that you get the idea with having overdone gross details.

I have already checked out all the other books by this author and I can’t wait to read the sequel. If you want to talk book with me find me on Social Media and don’t forget to follow me on Youtube.

Posted in #justcreatechallenge, art journal prompts, Creativity

Week #1: Just Create Challenge Update

The first week of the #justcreatechallenge was a blast to create and participate in. Like any new thing, It had a few hiccups and bumps. I confess that I love to plan. I am good at planning. Does this mean I carefully planned this challenge and took time to put it together before throwing it out to the internet world?

Heck no.

Add heading (16)

At times my impulsive nature takes over and I just dive into things.  Headfirst, with a passion but only the vaguest idea of what I am doing. That is exactly how this idea and challenge came to be. I had an idea that ignited passion in me. I put it into action with a tiny bit of thought and little preplanning.

This is not always the best way to do things but it is a great way to learn as you go.  Here is what I learned the first week of the challenge.

  • I love creating prompts
  • Instagram does not love my prompts & I did not like the way they looked on my photo feed.
  • Twitter chats are fun but need more planning, promotion, and participants to be worth the time.
  • People used my prompts to create and if even one person benefits from one of the prompts then I accomplished what I started.
  • Creating the prompts daily was fun but left me little time to participate in my own challenge.

Overall, I am happy with the challenge. The changes I will be making this week are as follows:

  • On Monday I will post a week’s worth of challenge prompts on my website. I will still tweet and share each daily prompt on Facebook and Twitter.
  • For Instagram, I will share one post linking to the prompts each week and share some of my own writing and art related to those prompts.
  • Twitter Chat.  I am going to give it another go this week. I hope you will join me. This weeks topic will be Creating Characters using Prompts.
Posted in Goals & Goal Setting, Life, Motivation, Self Publishing, Uncategorized, Writing

Writing Tips, Truths, & Encouragement

Are you a writing a book? Dreaming about it? Just finished your first draft or planning to write 50,000 words during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November?  I want to offer up a bit of my journey, a few tips, some truths and encouragement to you.  Much of this is writing advice I wish I had known when I started. Some of it is writing advice I ignored and wish I had not.

Watch My Writing Advice Video Here (As always, my video and blog content coordinate but they are not identical content. You will want to read and view!”

Writing Advice.png

First, let’s start with celebration.  I want you to celebrate every step of your journey.  Deciding to write a book is a big thing. Celebrate that. Celebrate your first draft. Embrace it for what it is, you telling the story to yourself so that you can shape it into a story for readers.  It will be a mess and that is okay. Writing is a craft. It will require practice, constant learning, and a lot of emotions. Be prepared for that but don’t look at your first draft as a failure. It is your teacher. It is the first step in your book’s journey. Celebrate.

ballons-2777259_1920

When you finish celebrating your first draft your next question might be the same as mine.  Now what? It is time to revise, self-edit and begin shaping it into something a reader will love.

BUT FIRST… I want you to put it away. That’s right. Put it away for at least two weeks.  Don’t read it. Don’t edit it. Just don’t. I ignored this advice and it was awful. You need to distance yourself from the story. Trust me. If you don’t trust me, you will understand why you should have later. ( I won’t say I told you so, I will send a hug and tissues.)

question-mark-1829459_1920

If you are unsure what to do next, I recommend finding a few good critique partners to take a look at the first draft or your outline. You are not looking for someone to correct your punctuation and grammar you are looking for writers who will provide feedback on your story, plot, characters, and settings.

hope-house-press-127593

Outline. Outline. Outline.  I recommend a great outline before you ever write your first draft. I recommend knowing everything you can about your characters and story before you start writing. You may be the writer who has to write the first draft and then dive into an outline. You are only going to find this out by trying different methods. It is never too late to outline.

home-office-336377_1920

Research, listen, know your genre, and learn from other writers. Try out new writing and outlining methods. If it works, keep it. If it doesn’t toss it ( the advice or the method, not your book)  or tweak things to fit your needs. Don’t stay with a method that is not working for you.  Try something else. As you evolve as a writer, you may want to try the things that didn’t work for you in the past.

woman-1733891_1920

 

Experiencing an emotion doesn’t make it true. You may feel HATE your book. You may feel love your book. There is a good chance your emotions will swing between the two and give you motion sickness.  That is normal.  But, feelings don’t always point to truth. The important thing is to remember that feelings shift. The truth is that you will have strengths and weakness in writing. Find out both. Embrace the good and improve the bad.

motivation-1101844_960_720

 

Don’t Judge your 1st draft by someone else’s published work. Do you know how many times the story was written, edited and revised before it hit the shelf?  Do you know how many people had their hands on it, shaping it before it was published? If you think you are the only one who will shape your book or should shape your book, I encourage you to reach out to published authors and find out what goes into that book on the shelf.

dream-1804598__340

Don’t give up. You have a dream. A passion. A desire. An idea. You and your story matter. No one can tell it like you. I want to see you make it come true.

Have a blessed and bookish day my writing friend!

Posted in Book Reviews, Books, Indie Spotlight, Self Publishing, Uncategorized

Indie Spotlight Review: Ingrid, The Viking Maiden by Naomi Jan Kelly

Ingrid intends to be a strong Viking shield maiden. She is determined to prove to her family that she has what it takes, in spite of her small stature and the coddled life they have given her. When she convinces her friend Shelby to stowaway on one of the boats with her she quickly discovers that she may have taken on more than she can handle. Her voyage turns into a magical adventure when she finds her self-shipwrecked and at the mercy of some strange creatures and faces the truth about her hidden memories and abilities. Ultimately, Ingrid must choose between the path she always wanted and one chosen for her.

Watch my video review of Ingrid the Viking Maiden

Indie Book Spotlight

What I loved about this book:

  • Grand adventures with unexpected companions
  • Mixing the Viking lifestyle with magic
  • Ingrid grows as a character and learns to rely on her strengths
  • A bit of romance, a strong friendship, and Ingrid finds a rather grumpy new pal
  • Great setup for sequel, I want to know what happens to Ingrid
  • It was a quick and easy read.

ingrid

Who should read this book:

  • Fans of Vikings and magical beings
  • Readers who want a taste of romance that doesn’t overwhelm the story
  • Readers who like quirky sidekicks might enjoy Ingrid’s new pal
  • If you like a light fantasy read mixed with a touch of history.

My Personal take on this book:

Well written, easy to read, and entertaining. It kept my attention and I felt satisfied at the end. I enjoyed reading this magical Viking adventure and look forward to the next book from this author.

naomi

You can find Naomi Jane Kelly’s book on Amazon. It is currently available as a kindle unlimited selection.  Visit Naomi’s website to learn more

Have you read a great indie ya, fantasy, sci-fi, or historical fiction book? I would love to hear more.

Posted in Books, Goals & Goal Setting, Quarterly Goals, Uncategorized, Writing

New Video: Update on my Goals

Add heading (4)NEW VIDEO: Goals, Progress,& Books I Read

BIG NEWS

I finished the 3rd draft of my novel and shipped it off to the editor. Okay, so I actually emailed it, but “shipped” has more impact. That was my big goal for the summer and I finished it.

I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Trying not to get too comfortable with that feeling because I am sure that it will return when my manuscript is returned.

 

img_1478

One of the other goals that I completed in the month of August was to read 7 books. I didn’t think it was going to happen because of my heavy writing schedule.  I went on a rambling tangent at the end of the video and listed all of the books that read.

 

I did meet most of my July and August Goals. I made progress on the goals I did not complete, so I count that as a win.

img_9895

My new bi-monthly goals for Septemeber and October

  1. Apply Edits and Complete 4th draft
  2. Newsletter
  3. Plan for 2nd Book & prep for Nanowrimo
  4. Post 14 Videos on YouTube
  5. Make Connections on Social Media
  6. Post 14-18 Blog Posts

Personal/Productivity Goals

  1. Work out 2X week – Track Steps 7x
  2. Eat Healthier 5x
  3. Bullet Journal daily
  4. Daily Dash (morning routine + productivity)
  5. Read bible daily 5X
  6. Create Daily
  7. Daily Tangible  Rewards
  8. Read 16 Books
Posted in Book Reviews, Books, Uncategorized

Book Love: The Night Circus – It is not what I expected

This book was not what I was expecting. It is not the type of book that I usually fall in love with. Yet, It has earned a place in my book love heart, and you may find a place for it in yours – if you are open to reading it and following it to the end.

nightcircus

To boil this story down for you, without spoilers, is no easy feat but I will give it a go. This is the story of a different sort of Circus. A circus without animals but laced with magic. The Circus itself was created as a game board of sorts for two magicians who have been raised and trained to compete in a competition. The end game and the rules are not clear to them or the reader at times. Everyone involved with the circus is an unknowing part of the game, and their lives are affected by it in a magical and sometimes deadly way.  The story is full of secrets, performers, magic and a bit of romance.

night circus 3

So first, let’s talk about what this book is not:

  • Fast paced
  • Action filled
  • An easy read
  • Typical
  • For everyone

If you can get past the things that this novel is not, you might find yourself emerged in the atmosphere of the mysterious circus. I will admit, I did have some issues falling in love with this book. At the same time, I was unable to abandon the book. The bits and pieces of the story came together for me at the end and left me satisfied.

night circus 2

What I loved:

  • The idea of the story and how it came together at the end.
  • The use of colors. I always love it when writers use colors to enhance their story. I don’t know why I just do.
  • The way the author used detailed descriptions to enhance the atmosphere of the story.
  • Trying to figure out how all the pieces of the story fit.
  • It has a few delightful characters.
  • I enjoyed that some portions of the book are written in 2nd person, although I had trouble understanding why that view was used until the end of the book.

Who should read this book:

  • Those open to the 3rd person omnipresent and 2nd person point of view narrations.
  • If you can deal with lots of description, narration and slow moving pace.
  • If you are unsure about reading it, take a chance. I did, and I enjoyed it.
  • Magic lovers

fun-1303947_1920

I listened to this book on audiobook.  The narrator ‘s voice fits the feel of the book perfectly, but I found it so soothing that I almost fell asleep a few times. I had to increase the narration speed a few times to finish the book with out napping.

Overall, this book is one that will stick with me. It is not a book for everyone and certainly not my typical read, but I am giving it 5 stars because it managed to make all of the plot pieces that are scattered about fit together.  The book provoked some deep thoughts and left me with warm feelings and the urge to eat caramel covered things.

So, tell me have you read this book? What did you think?

 

 

Posted in Apps for Writers, Free Apps, Life, Motivation, Uncategorized, Writers ToolKit, Writing

Need writing motivation? Love kittens?

I found a fun website that combines writing motivation and kittens. I couldn’t resist filming a quick video to share it with you.  I came across the website, written kitten while searching for tangible writing rewards to help writers stay motivated.

Watch the video here

Add heading

I admit this isn’t exactly what I was looking for but it served its purpose. It motivated me to write. The moment I stumbled onto it  I jumped in and started writing and earned myself a couple of cute kittens.

Of course, they weren’t real kittens but the next best thing, adorable kitten photos! The website is simple to use.  Just set a word writing goal for yourself, type into the provided text box, and get rewarded with kitten photos when you hit your goal. You can select 100, 200, 500, or 1000 word goals.  The kitten photos are pulled from flicker.

Write words and get kittens!
Need writing motivation? Love Kittens?

Not a kitten fan? No worries, you can select puppies or bunnies for your reward.  Yes, this is a simple concept but if it helps you write it is certainly worth its weight in kittens. The best part? This is completely free. You write words, get kittens, and make progress on your writing.

Add heading (1)

My Experience:

When I was finished earning kittens, I simply cut, copied, and pasted my writing into my Scrivener file. Unfortunately, you can’t take the kittens with you but you can come back anytime and write for more kittens.  I recommend this website if you enjoy baby animal photos and enjoy setting small goals with instant rewards.  I doubt I will be using this daily but it is a fun way to mix up your writing routine and rewards.

So, how about you? Do you love kittens, bunnies, or puppies? Have you tried written kitten? Did it work for you? Do you have any writing motivation tips to share? Let me know!