Writing Update #4

Still working on my SF WIP.

Sometimes I feel like I’ll forever be working on it.

I started today, with every intention of finally finishing the chapter that has been the chapter from hell. It’s not that it’s a hard chapter, it’s just taken me forever to get the feeling right for it. It took me a forever to get the opening right. A week or so ago, I did. I loved it, it captured the feeling I wanted, and guess what?

You can probably guess.

You might even be screaming internally like I am.

My mac decided to crash? Or something. The screen was being all funky, and I had to do a hard shut down – something I hate doing, because it’s not good for the mac/computer. Turns out, even though I saved, I lost the entire half chapter I’ve been steadily working on for the last two weeks. Luckily, I remember what happens – I do have outlines, but I can’t seem to get that feeling back.

Which makes me so incredibly sad.

Image result for lucifer gifs

I’m trying to be positive and telling myself that I could create something even better, but here, in this moment, I’m not feeling that.

I’m feeling a bit dejected quite honestly. I had plans to actually finish this chapter today, so I can finally move on to the next chapter to revise it. I had pulled ahead and had fixed my glaring plot issue, and now it feels like starting from scratch. That feeling of – I felt like I had the first part of the chapter perfect, I had spent an absurd amount of time getting it just right, and now, I have to redo it all – it’s a kind of a mental block.

So, instead of chugging ahead tonight and finish this chapter, I’ll come back tomorrow with fresh eyes, a new perspective, a new day, and some coffee, and I’ll finish it then.

Right now, I don’t think anything I’ll write will be worth keeping, because I’ll just be grasping for what I lost. Yes, I’ve searched for it, in the hopes that it autosaved or something, and no luck.

There is a tiny silver lining – I took a photo for my Insta story earlier, and while it’s blocked out in my stories, I took the photo with my phone camera, and not in Instagram…which means, I have the unedited, un-blocked out last few lines of where I left off!

I fully know that this could have been so much worse than just losing half of a chapter. I’m normally so good at saving every 10ish minutes, that way if something like this happens, I’ve lost very little work.

Whatever overcame my mac, the hard shut down and reboot just wiped it, I guess.

Okay, I’m done whining, it’s happened, just got to sit my ass in a chair tomorrow and fix it. I had planned for this update to be a victorious one – I finished the chapter and can finally move on!

I’m going to go eat some mini starbursts and watch something, probably Roswell (the new one). It’s on Netflix and I need something new, since I finished Lucifer. Watch it if you haven’t already, it’s amazing.

Hope your writing journeys are going better than mine is right now!

MORAL OF THIS STORY – SAVE! SAVE! SAVE! And make sure you have up to date copies, or duplicates and save in multiple places.

GIVEAWAY!

img_4409I’ve had some booming growth on my blog in the last few months, and I want to give back! I got my hands on some goodies from Apollycon 2019 and I don’t have room for it all! I want to pass along some books and some swag to you guys! All the items in the bags were graciously donated by publishers and authors at the event. This is stuff that was given to me and my friend, as well as some items that we picked up at the event over the last two years.

As a Titan (VIP) ticket holder for the last two years, a bag full of books and swag is one of the perks. I only have limited space, so I want to pass on some of this great stuff to you guys! I’m so grateful to you and the support you show by simply following my blog and checking it out.

Complete honesty moment – my goal is to reach 200 blog followers and I’m so close! I’m hoping this giveaway will help push me to my goal! But this is primarily a THANK YOU to everyone who already follows me and interacts here on this blog and my other social media platforms. It means the world, and it blows my mind that I’m at almost 160 followers and that people are interested in what I have to say and the things I talk about.

The Rules:

I have 3 bags stuffed full of past Apollycon goodies – books + swag. They don’t all contain exactly the same items but do all contain something Jennifer L. Armentrout – the creator of Apollycon!

This giveaway will be running from May 26, 2019 to June 10, 2019. I’d run it longer, but I’m out of town through the end of June and want to be able to get these bags out to the winners before then! There will be three winners – each receiving one of the bags full of books and bookish goodies!

This giveaway is US ONLY.

1 entry if you follow my blog + leave a comment with your most anticipated read + plus proof of extra entries.

Extra entries:

1 entry if you follow my twitter + retweet the post about the giveaway

1 entry if you follow my instagram + like the post talking about the giveaway

**PLEASE DON’T FOLLOW AND THEN UNFOLLOW AFTER GIVEAWAY ENDS

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I did a poll on Twitter, and as requested, here are images of what is contained within each bag –

img_4397

img_4399

img_4398

Each contains a mixture of (some) signed swag, Apollycon themed swag, Romance Books, YA Books, and of course, Jennifer L. Armentrout Book(s). They’re will even be some extra goodies not pictured!

Shiny New Ideas

They happen when you least expect them to – those pesky, brilliant, wonderful, torturous shiny new story ideas. They usually pop into existence when you absolutely have no time to work on them and you’re neck deep into another project. They don’t leave you alone, pounding around inside your head until you write them down. Sounds familiar? I bet it does.

Image result for shiny gifs

If you write, I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about. They’re usually the opposite genre – in my experience – or sometimes just different than your current project. Some insist that you write them right now and others are good with just a quick jot down of ideas…mine are often the former. I have journals and files full of shiny new ideas and since it’s been awhile since I’ve talked “writing journey” on this blog, I’m going to tell you how I handle them.

I categorize them into two different groups – genre doesn’t matter. They are either “500” or “10k”.

“500 (words)”

These are basically just kind of basic synopsis’s for whatever idea. These are the ideas that kind of just pop into existence without having a solid idea for the entire story. So, I quickly write out everything that’s swirling around in my head. I try and keep these roughly around 500 words. Yes, they sometimes run a little over, but this exercise is supposed to be quick. Sometimes it’s just a quick scene, or a rough outline, and getting those few thoughts on paper achieves two things – 1: the shiny new idea is recorded and I can go back to it on a later date, and 2: it’s no longer beating around inside my head begging for my attention.

But you might ask – what if that doesn’t work? What if after giving yourself 500 words, the idea is still beating around inside your head?

Well, my answer to that is 10k.

“10k (words)”

Meaning, I put aside whatever currently project I’m working on, and I sit down and pump out 10k of whatever is going on in my mind. Usually it’s a scene or two between whatever the characters are doing or feeling. I’ve found that just giving myself 10 thousand words and dedicating a few days to just word vomit the story out of me, fully kicks it from my head.

I don’t always reach 10k before the pressing urge dissipates, sometimes it only takes 2, or 3 thousand. I cap it at 10k, because I would continue writing if I didn’t and would completely ignore the initial project I was working on. It’s shiny with a new world and new characters to explore and learn and that’s enticing to any writer. As much as we love our characters, sometimes we just need a break and that’s where it becomes dangerous – at least for me.

I often get plagued with shiny new book ideas – I remember a lot of my vivid dreams, which always somehow make for pretty interesting story ideas. Actually, most of my shiny new ideas are story idea. Like I mentioned earlier, I have so many journals and files pertaining to new ideas that I’ll likely never be able to write them all, especially when new one’s pop into my head all of the time. Some of them are like half-baked chicken, they might look good from far away, but they are utterly raw underneath, and honestly, are probably subjected to forever being ideas versus an actual story. These ones are usually just little scenes that have no story behind them, and I probably just wanted to write that kind of scene.

Others come to me as fully-fledged ideas with a conflict and resolution. I can see the world, the characters, everything about the story, and then I hope one day I can write it and it just doesn’t sit there collecting dust. Other ideas come from music or a writing exercise, and the creativity just starts flowing.

If you’ve heard of NaNoWriMo – I usually try and tackle one of these shiny new ideas that I’ve accumulated over the year(s). I normally take November off from whatever project I’m working on to work on something else. In a time of the year where it’s usually pretty hectic, I use it as a chance to be creative.

Maybe I’m alone in this feeling, but I don’t feel truly creative in the revision process. Drafting is where I see the world come to life on the page. I get to create, rather than improve. I’m not knocking the revision stage – it’s important. So, I usually use November as a way to fall back in love with writing, and I get to work on a new story while I do it, and then it’s back to regular programming.

I’m currently working on my SF WIP, and occasionally working on a high fantasy. But I’ll give you a peek into what other ideas I want to work on. Now I’m not going to go into any specifics, because I do want to write these stories, so I’ll give you genres. I’m also not going to dig out my journals – there are so many of them, and it would take a year to go through them to find the ideas, so here are the ones on my mac.

-Beach Contemporary Romance

-Summer Camp Contemporary

-High Fantasy

-High Fantasy: Light v. Dark

-Dystopian: disease

-Beauty and the Beast Fantasy Retelling

-Fantasy with a savior heroine

-Mermaid (inspired by TSwift Starlight)

-Fantasy: girl on an island

-Fantasy: Frozen Underworld

-Dystopian

-Peter Pan Retelling

-Fantasy: Collide

-Dystopian: Lighting

There are quite a few, I know, and most of them are probably multiple books stories. My brain is an over achiever obviously. For me, I’ve learned that I can’t ignore the shiny new ideas. They tend to eat away at me until I acknowledge them and if I don’t, I can’t focus on whatever project I’m currently working on.

I will say this, and I can’t stress this enough – this two-category method works for me. It allows me to ultimately stay focused. I can’t guarantee it will work for you, but feel free to give it a try! It’s taken me a few years to get to this spot with my constant onslaught of shiny new ideas.


What are your methods of dealing with shiny new ideas?

Currently Reading & Watching #3

Image result for reading gifsI’m reading again, so that’s great! For a few weeks I was in this weird place of wanting to read everything, so I was reading nothing, but I’ve moved past that, and I’m onto my fifth book for the month! You’ll have to wait for my wrap-up to find out what all the books are. Luckily, I’ve enjoyed everything I read, and the shows – been really enjoying them as well. I love getting lost in stories, as do we all.


Book time!

Eyes on Me – Rachel Harris – PB

I’m only about 100 pages into this book and I can kind of already pinpoint what the big conflict is going to be, but so far, I am loving this book! This doesn’t surprise me as. I am a fan of Rachel Harris’s and her YA contemporaries are some of my favorites. I contemplated keeping this book for when I go to the beach at the end of summer, as I love to read contemporaries on vacation, but I couldn’t wait any longer to dive in!

Allied – Amy Tintera – Audiobook via Audible

I started my physical copy of this book forever ago and for whatever reason, never got around to finishing it. Not to mention here was no audiobook for it yet, and I had listened to the first two and really liked the narrator. Well, now there’s an audiobook! I can’t wait to dive into it and finally finish this amazing trilogy!


Now for shows!

Lucifer – Netflix

Twitter made me do it. And I’m loving it. Normally crime shows can drag on (for me) and I lose interest very quickly…more so if I’m bingeing them. I prefer them as a week by week basis, but Lucifer is great. I love the whole cast and can’t get enough of it. When Lucifer sings…I die.

Vikings – Amazon Prime

I’ve been watching this with my family and with the second half of season 5 finally available for streaming, we’re catching up. Certain characters just need to go, be knocked down like ten thousand pegs, or just die. The show’s getting a little tedious and it’s really moved away from what it was in the beginning.

Liv & Maddie – Netflix

Judge all you want, but Dove Cameron is a pretty good actress and I just wanted something light and fun to watch when I needed a break. Something that didn’t need me to pay attention to every detail. Also, it’s just a pretty good show, full of sassy characters, music and silly plots. Definitely a good show to unwind with.

The 100 – CW/Live TV

It’s back! Waiting each week for episodes sucks – especially after bingeing the first five(?) seasons, but so far I’m enjoying this new one, and I’m interested in seeing where it goes from here.


QOTD: What have you been watching and reading? I’m always looking for new recs!

Book Review: The Blood Spell (Ravenspire #4)

the blood spellTitle: The Blood Spell (Ravenspire #4)

Author: C.J. Redwine

Pub. Date: February 12, 2019

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5


Blue de la Cour has her life planned: hide the magic in her blood and continue trying to turn metal into gold so she can help her city’s homeless. But when her father is murdered and a cruel but powerful woman claims custody of Blue and her property, one wrong move could expose her—and doom her once and for all. The only one who can help? The boy she’s loathed since childhood: Prince Kellan.

Kellan Renard, crown prince of Balavata, is walking a thin line between political success and devastating violence. Newly returned from boarding school, he must find a bride among the kingdom’s head families and announce his betrothal—but escalating violence among the families makes the search nearly impossible. He’s surprised to discover that the one person who makes him feel like he can breathe is Blue, the girl who once ruined all his best adventures.

When mysterious forces lead to disappearances throughout Balavata, Blue and Kellan must work together to find the truth. What they discover will lead them to the darkest reaches of the kingdom, and to the most painful moments of their pasts.

When romance is forbidden and evil is rising, can Blue save those she loves, even if it costs her everything?


This will be a spoiler free review.

Well, I think I have a new favorite Ravenspire novel. I’ve loved and thoroughly enjoyed each book in this series, and I’m sad that this is the final one. I’d happily read more retellings set in Ravenspire. Easily. I loved this book a lot, which I figured I would. I loved the way the story of Cinderella was retold, and by the time I go to the iconic parts I was giddy with excitement.

I think The Wish Granter might still be my favorite fairytale retelling, just because so rarely do you see Rumpelstiltskin as the center of a story (that isn’t the original tale). Nobody asked me to, but if I had to rank the books in this series, it would probably be.

  1. The Blood Spell
  2. The Wish Granter
  3. The Shadow Queen
  4. The Traitor Prince

But even that list might not be super accurate since I really did enjoy each book in this series. I remember when The Wish Granter was announced and being bummed that it didn’t follow the characters from the first book. In the end I didn’t mind, and I like when series switch up the characters, and maybe past ones pop up in later books. It paints a bigger picture of the world.

I guess, all in all, this is me wanting more books set in this world, with more fairytale retellings.

I loved the cast of characters in this book. Blue and Kellan are kind of enemies to lovers – she finds him completely annoying and irresponsible, and he considers her a spoil sport and ruiner of all things fun. This kind of makes them two sides of a coin, and they balance each other out very well. They both deal with loss and feeling as if they are at fault.

I would say that this book deals with some heavier topics, such as guilt, suicide (no one commits it, but the thought about whether or not it would just be easier to give up), feeling like no one is on your side, loneliness and facing fears. It didn’t feel like a topic heavy book, nor did it read like one. It all felt very organic and very in line with the characters.

I really liked Blue and Kellan and how their relationship went from one of tolerance, to dependence and fondness. I also really loved Kellan’s sister, Nessa. She was a lot of fun and saw things before her brother did. If she could have, she would have willingly played matchmaker.

Blue’s grandmother was also a great character – fiercely protective and hot headed – she constantly was looking out of Blue, even if Blue didn’t need it. But that’s what grandmothers do.

As for Dinah – I’m a little over the evil stepmother/guardian characters. While she wasn’t the worst example, I found her tedious. I tend to find these characters tedious because no matter what has happened to them, the way they go about justifying their insane actions and declarations is just annoying. Maybe it’s just because I’ve read so much fantasy lately, but whenever an evil stepmother/ guardian comes into the picture, you just know life is going to suck for the main character.

I did like that Blue gave back just as much as she got, and didn’t back down, but Dinah was kind of surface at best.

“You wronged me X number of years ago, so now I’ve bided my time and I’m here for my revenge! Mwhahah!”

(Not an actual line from the book – but you get the gist)

 The ending of this book is definitely satisfying and pretty full circle, even if it’s a little convenient…but it is a Cinderella retelling, so it really only had one ending.

Like I said, I absolutely enjoyed this book and wouldn’t be opposed to more set in the Ravenspire world. I feel like so many more stories could come out of it.

 

 

 

Book Review: Cardinal Machines

cardinal machinesTitle: Cardinal Machines

Author: Tracy Eire

Pub. Date: September 14, 2018

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.75


Katherine Zoey Cardinal would rather be known as Zoey Collins. It makes her invisible in school, at home, and lifts the eponymous mantle of her Great Aunt – a Mother of A.I., and 1st to put androids on the moon – from her shoulders. The Collins family is rife with penetration-testers and Private Eyes, a gene Zoey has inherited in spades. Emancipated from the Cardinals, Zoey is trying to make it on her own when her Great Aunt dies, leaving her a prototype Cardinal Machine. 

Both beautiful and buttoned-down, he ends up installed in Zoey’s front room, and things are looking up – her model was designed for federal investigations and general law-enforcement. Very helpful when Zoey finds a man she’s tracking, dead, in a seaside park. The Sheriff’s Department rules it an accident, but her android’s assessment calls it murder….


The author of this book reached out to me and gifted me a copy of Cardinal Machines in exchange for an honest review and feedback. This will be a spoiler free review.

This book pleasantly surprised me. I wasn’t sure what I was going to find upon opening the file – there aren’t any reviews for this book on Goodreads, besides some 5-star ratings. I only had the synopsis to go by – which sounded promising – but there was no feedback from others on what to expect.

Overall, I enjoyed the book – the plot, the characters, the action. I thought that the characters were likable, Zoey has a bit of a temper and short fuse, but she’s been through a lot in her, so far short life. It’s not been easy on her, and she struggles with loss and feeling lonely. Her friends are good people, but sometimes they project their wants and needs onto her, and just kind of expect her to agree. I didn’t find this annoying, and actually found it pretty accurate to how teenage girls can act. As for Ocean – the android – I liked that we (the reader) got to see how he grew and changed a bit. Granted, he’s supposed to replicate humanity, but it was almost like he was human…at least more so than other androids. I have my suspicions about who he might be – there’s a theory presented in the book (I won’t give it away due to spoilers) but it would make sense if it went that route. His history is kind of this big mystery that is alluded to in the book, but Zoey isn’t privy to.

I liked Ocean’s and Zoey’s dynamic – she’s a lost and lonely teen who’d rather be out solving crimes and bringing in bad guys, and he’s actually programmed to do those things, but he spends a huge amount of time taking care of her and making sure she eats healthy foods. He kind of mother hens her, and I loved it. Like this is an android built for tactical and dangerous situations, and he’s put into a house with a teenage girl and spends time making sure she gets enough sleep at night and makes sure she has a comfortable place to live. It’s not shocking that Zoey forms a bond with Ocean very quickly, and why she freaks out when she thinks that at any moment, she could lose him. The more I think about it, the more I realize and love that he fusses over her. Yeah, it might be his programming, but I think that falls under “keep her safe and out of danger” not “make sure she eats three healthy square meals a day”.

As for the plot – it’s basically an action filled murder mystery, set in a futuristic California. Zoey’s Great Aunt created AI’s and upon her death, left Ocean to her. Zoey is a Private Eye – and I won’t lie, it was kind of hard to buy this, as she’s only a teenager. I understand that she followed her Uncle everywhere, and after a tragedy, she took up the family mantle, but it was a still a little hard to accept. It almost felt like she should’ve been older than 18, seeing as she’s still in high school.

They work together to solve a crime, which kind of morphs into another crime, but then swings back around full circle. The book ends having completed that mystery, but there’s a much larger game at stake and Zoey and Ocean are undoubtedly going to be in the middle of it.

I’ll briefly touch on the writing, before I jump into the few things that confused me (other than Zoey’s age) in this book. The writing solid. Like I said before, I honestly wasn’t sure what I was going to find when I started reading. With no reviews to give me an idea, I went in blind and with an open mind. I wanted and needed to give this book a fair shot, and I’m glad I did. I thought the writing was really good, though there were a few instances where I had to reread a section to understand what was happening…that could have been on me though, reading too fast. It’s a little science heavy in parts – some of that kind of went over my head, but it doesn’t necessarily detract. I would say that it means the author did some research before writing those scenes. It was also very easy to picture locations and places while reading. A pretty clear picture was painted, and I appreciated that.

So, besides some of the passages going over my head, and having to reread sections, I think my biggest confusion was the world itself. Obviously, it was set in the future, but I was never certain how far in the future. People dressed like we do today, even wearing Uggs. I mean, who’s to say they won’t still be wearing them in the future, but it kind of threw me out of the world. I had pretty clear pictures of the different places Zoey and Ocean visited and went to, but the world itself was confusing. It almost felt like I was just dropped into the middle of Zoey’s story with very little background info. As the reader, we only see the world through her eyes – and it’s not favorable towards androids, but why she’s parted ways with the Cardinal side of her family isn’t super clear – at least to me it wasn’t. And as I said before, you don’t get much of Ocean’s past either. Maybe this is clarified in the second book, but I struggled with the world a bit.

Despite the few confusions I had, I don’t think they super negatively impact the book, or the story as a whole. I also can’t think of another book that I’ve read that’s like Cardinal Machines. It’s unique and definitely stands on its own. I think the author did a really good job on this book and I’d definitely be interested in checking out the second book – Cardinal Spark when I catch up on some of the other books I need to read. I think it would also make a pretty good TV show, with it’s interesting character and crime plot. Though in that regard, I can kind of think of some comparable shows. It was good mix of sci-fi with this kind of dystopia feel.

If you’re looking for a good read with attractive androids, a hotheaded girl, a bit of murder and chaos, then you should probably check this book out.

 

Book Review: Storm and Fury (The Harbinger #1)

storm and furyTitle: Storm and Fury (The Harbinger #1)

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Pub. Date: June 11, 2019

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5


Eighteen-year-old Trinity Marrow may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her unique gift is part of a secret so dangerous that she’s been in hiding for years in an isolated compound fiercely guarded by Wardens—gargoyle shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her, flesh and bone, to enhance their own powers.

When Wardens from another clan arrive with disturbing reports that something out there is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s safe world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own that will upend her world yet again—but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to put her trust in Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed…


This will be a spoiler free review. I was lucky enough to be able to trade on Twitter to get an advance copy of Jen’s next book.

I finished this a few days ago and have been struggling to write my review for it because I want to scream certain things, but those things are spoilers. But I’m going to do it anyways.

HOLY ⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️ BOOK!

⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️!

I’M SO EXCITED FOR A NEW TRILOGY ABOUT ⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️!

Okay, I’m done. I redacted the spoilers, so no hurt feelings. I just needed to get that off my chest. I say it’s a spoiler because it’s a big reveal for one of the characters, so I won’t give it away. I’m not sure if I truly saw the reveal coming, but it’s a good one and it makes sense to the story and the world Jen has created.

Speaking of the world, it was fun being back in this one. Now, it’s been quite a while since I’d read the White Hot Kiss Trilogy and it took some really deep mental digging to try and remember what had happened…I’m still not entirely sure, but there is definitely a re-read in my near/immediate future. Reading Storm and Fury has just made me really want to re-read the books. I’ve said it so many times on this blog, but I’m a huge JLA fan and will read just about anything she writes. I was in this reading slump, and I knew if I could just sit myself down and start this book, I’d be hooked easily – and I was!

In the acknowledgments, Jen says she had to rework/rewrite the world, and while I can kind of see that, I also think that the direction that is taken in this book feels natural. Like, you have this so you will have this. Sorry I can’t really be any clearer – spoilers! But basically, it’s like two sides of a coin, or two halves of an apple. It makes sense.

This book starts strong and keeps going until the last page. I was left dying for the next book – one, due to the cliffhanger, and two, due to the sweet moment it ended on. I cannot wait to get back to this world, with these characters.

But let’s talk about them for a minute –

Trinity – she’s badass. Better than most of the Wardens around her, she can kick some serious ass. She doesn’t let others define who she is, and she doesn’t hold back when they try and take her on. She also doesn’t let her failing eyesight stop her from doing anything, and while she doesn’t broadcast it, she doesn’t keep it from those who might ask. She’s also a hot head, full of snark, but has vulnerable moments. I really enjoyed her character, how she could carry her own and kick ass, but also not shy away from the fact that there are things she needs help with. True to JLA form, I have another new favorite female heroine!

Zayne, we meet again. * swoons * I remember liking Zayne in the White Hot Kiss trilogy (when I re-read them, I’ll have a better opinion, but until then) and actually had to do a little digging to try and remember how that trilogy ended. He’s like all of JLA’s hot guys (not complaining, I’m a big fan). He’s gorgeous, got a bit of humor and snark. He’s got the body of a god, and he’s willing to do anything for the girl he likes – even when she can kick his ass from here to next Sunday. He’s definitely not without his own secrets and baggage.

The two of them together…I loved them, a lot and I cannot wait to see how their story unfolds in the next books. Drawn together, they have to learn their boundaries and as they grown closer, and feelings grow stronger and hotter, they both have to face truths. Truths that hurt and can put them in danger, but they’d do anything to protect one another. I kind of liked the aspect that she was stronger than him – so often in books is the other way around. I’m not saying one is weak and the other is strong, they can both be strong and badass in their own ways, but Trinity definitely can whoop some ass…Zayne’s ass, and it’s kind of refreshing. Especially since he’s a huge, badass Warden.

As for some of the side characters, you’ll get to meet them soon, but I really cannot wait to read more about Peanut. That’s another thing Jen does well, the quirky sidekick/best friend who isn’t always a living…breathing…human. I say that, because…well, you’ll find out. Peanut’s great though and he’s also a new favorite.

If you’re ready to dive back into a new JLA book full of demons, Wardens and ⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️with some kick ass action scenes, some fluff as well as steamy, full of banter and snark, look no further. Storm and Fury is the first book in a new set of books, keep an eye out on JUNE 11 2019 for it in stores! You don’t want to miss out on Trinity and Zayne’s story.

Book Review: Stain

stainTitle: Stain

Author: A.G. Howard

Pub. Date: January 15, 2019

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Once upon a nightmare, her fairy tale begins…

After Lyra—a princess incapable of speech or sound—is cast out of her kingdom of daylight by her wicked aunt, a witch saves her life, steals her memories, and raises her in an enchanted forest … disguised as a boy known only as Stain. Meanwhile, in Lyra’s rival kingdom, the prince of thorns and night is dying, and the only way for him to break his curse is to wed the princess of daylight, for she is his true equal. As Lyra rediscovers her identity, an impostor princess prepares to steal her betrothed prince and her crown. To win back her kingdom, save the prince, and make peace with the land of the night, Lyra must be loud enough to be heard without a voice, and strong enough to pass a series of tests—ultimately proving she’s everything a traditional princess is not.

Continue reading “Book Review: Stain”

Book Review: Undying (Unearthed #2)

undyingTitle: Undying (Unearthed #2)

Authors: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Pub. Date: January 22, 2019

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Trapped aboard the Undying’s ancient spaceship and reeling from what they’ve learned there, scavenger Mia and academic Jules are plunged into a desperate race to warn their home planet of the danger humanity’s greed has unleashed. From the mountains of Spain to the streets of Prague, the sequel to Unearthed is a white-knuckle ride that will send readers hurtling back to earth and leave them breathless until the last page.


This will be a spoiler free review…mainly because it’s been so long since I read it and I don’t remember specifics. It’ll also be a relatively short review for the same reason.

Firstly, there was a recap for Unearthed at the beginning of this book and I loved that. Having been a year since I read the first book, it was nice to have a little refresher before diving in. I also now want all major fantasy/series books to provide a short little recap. I don’t know why it’s isn’t more common place, with at least a year being between most releases and I read so much in that time frame – as do other readers. I can’t keep every story straight. Even ones I truly love – their plots start to blur after a while.

I absolutely loved this book and thought it was a great conclusion to the duology. You know how sometimes, the ending falls flat, that doesn’t happen in this book. Actually, there was a moment towards the end that had me screaming and running to Twitter to tweet at Amie and Meagan.

Tears! Tears fell from my eyes reading this book and I definitely did not anticipate crying reading the book. Turns out I just needed to wait another few pages and I wouldn’t have gone screaming to Twitter about a certain scene with a certain character.

Anyways, this was such a good ending to this story, to Mia and Jules’s story. I enjoyed their relationship a lot and how it progressed. I also didn’t see some of the twists coming, and more than once, I was holding my breath trying to figure out exactly how this was all going to go down, and if people were going to make it to the end of the book.

And the end of the book, how it wraps up for Mia, I absolutely loved it.

There was only one little thing that I wished had been different. I was a little disappointed that the “space” element kind of gets lost in this book, but I find that, that happens a lot in YA sci-fi. Clearly it doesn’t affect my love for this book, this duology, and it’s my spaceship/space opera/set in space loving, sci-fi loving heart that wishes it had taken place somewhere other than Earth. But that’s why I’m writing that story – the one I want to read, the kind I love. I’m not faulting Undying for not being exactly the book I desperately want, but if you go into it thinking that it’s going to be Indiana Jones meets Lara Croft in space, like Unearthed was, you’ll maybe be a bit disappointed. I also understand that this was where the story was always leading, back to Earth, with Mia trying to get back to her sister. So, it makes sense plot wise.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, the duology, and further cements that I will read anything that Amie and Meagan write together, and anything Amie writes, anything Meagan writes, and by extension, anything Amie and Jay writes. Give me all the sci-fi fantasy these three can throw at me – I will read it.

April Wrap-Up

I had big plans for April – to make a dent in my TBR, to read more books that I did in April, but that didn’t happen. Instead I binged watched my favorite TV show, and then started a new one. Suddenly I was at this point of wanting to read everything, so like any normal avid reader, I read nothing.

You know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s like a self-imposed reading slump. So many good books, and you want to read them all, so you can’t choose which one to read first so you sit in book purgatory not reading anything. Your TBR continues to get bigger, while you are knocking nothing off it, and yet you just sit there thinking about how many books you need to read, and it becomes a thing that’s nearly impossible to get out of.

Image result for reading gif

That’s where I am currently at. Though, I did listen to a bit of my current audio book for about an hour yesterday while I was washing my car. So, baby steps.

While I haven’t been reading, I have been writing again, so everything kind of balances out…right?

Anyways, let’s jump into the five books I read last month! I have full reviews up for each of these books – I’ll link them below (respectively) so I won’t go into too much detail.


soul in darknessSoul in Darkness – Wendy Higgins

⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 (PB Finished 4/3/19) GR

Based on the Roman/Greek mythology of Cupid and Psyche by Lucius Apuleius, New York Times bestseller Wendy Higgins brings the tale to life, weaving layers that show exactly how a sacrificial lamb can be enchanted by an unseen monster.

I enjoyed this book, as I do every Wendy Higgins books, but I felt it was a little rushed and could have maybe been two books, or even just a slightly longer standalone. Overall, I enjoyed the retelling/reimaging of a Greek/Roman story that I wasn’t familiar with.


V. VisionsVortex Visions – Elise Kova

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (PB Finished 4/5/19) GR

All eyes are on her and Vi must make the hardest choice of her life: Play by the rules and claim her throne. Or, break them and save the world.

Not shockingly, I loved this book. I loved being back in this world, and with some familiar faces, and many new ones. I absolutely love Elise Kova, her writing, her characters, her stories and am so grateful that I was able to read the second book early!

 


through the white woodThrough the White Wood – Jessica Leake

⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 (ARC Finished 4/6/19) GR

Katya and Sasha are desperate to stop the encroaching army, and together their powers are a fearsome weapon. But as their enemies draw nearer, leaving destruction in their wake, will fire and frost be enough to save the world? Or will they lose everything they hold dear? 

I enjoyed this, but again, I felt like it needed to have been longer. I never felt the true emotional consequences for the characters, and while I did have tons of emotions while reading it, it was hard to really bond with the characters, and build that connection. It kind of felt like at least a duology (maybe a trilogy) was smashed and packed into a single book setting. Overall, it was a pretty easy and definitely enjoyable read.


Chosen Champion Final Cover 72Chosen Champion – Elise Kova

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (ARC Finished 4/8/19) GR

She will learn the hard way that some evils never die… They only bide their time…

I screamed when this popped into my inbox. And then I read in almost one whole sitting. Once again Elise blew me away and had me gaping at the end of the book. I legit couldn’t believe the end of it, and I’m so excited for book 3 – and I cannot wait!

 

 


again but betterAgain, but Better – Christine Riccio

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (ARC Finished 4/9/19) GR

Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless.

I won’t lie. I didn’t expect to love this book just as much as I did…still do. I’m not a huge contemporary reader – so I expected to maybe enjoy this, maybe have it be a 3/3.5 star read. I stayed up until 5:30 in the morning reading this book and had all the feels and suddenly wanted to go do a study abroad trip to London…I’m not even in school anymore. I absolutely loved this book and have been pushing it on everyone.


While I do wish I had read more in April, I’m kind of glad I didn’t. The books weren’t all five star reads, but I did enjoy every single one I read. Sometimes quantity isn’t the way to go. But with that being said, if I’m going to make my April/May/June TBR I have got to start reading asap.

Honorable Mention:

I didn’t finish this book, but since I got roughly 70% of the way through it before I hit my reading rut/slump, I feel like I should at least mention it.

cardinal machines.jpgCardinal Machines – Tracy Eire

GR

I was asked by the author to read this book, and I agreed. She sent me a copy, and I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect. There are only two 5 star ratings on Goodreads, and that tells me nothing except for the two readers enjoyed it – which is great! So, I went in blind, with the synopsis to guide me, and I’m enjoying the story. I’ll have a full review up, once I finish it, so I won’t go into too many details. For me, it’s not a 5-star read, but it is sitting around a 3.5/3.75 right now. I like the concept, the writing is pretty strong, but there are a few instances where I have to reread because I think I’ve missed something, and it’s a little hard to buy that a teen still in high school is acting as a bail bonds man…person…I’m interested in seeing where the story goes/how it ends.

*And I’ll just say, in case it wasn’t clear from all my other reviews. Any review I do, whether it’s on a book I bought, an ARC/eARC (traded or from a pub), or one an author has asked me to read, will be 100% honest. It will be my opinion. Not influenced by anyone else. That’s the great thing about people, we all have our own opinions.


Well, this post ended up being way longer than I thought it would…for only have read 5 books. Ooops.

QOTD: What was your favorite read in April?