Writing Update #12

This is unfortunately going to be short.

I don’t know what happened in January. I did dive back into my SF WIP, I started re-reading it since I hadn’t messed with it since October. Then, I don’t know what happened.

So, really, I haven’t worked on my SF WIP in weeks, again.

I’m bummed.

And now I’m so busy at work, and I’m exhausted and physically sore when I get home, the last thing I want to do is write.

It’s all excuses I know, and I’m frustrated.

I want to work on this WIP and I’m going to finish re-reading it, so I can dive back into the revisions. That’s my weekend goal.

To get back into revisions.

On another note, I had a shiny new idea present itself to me.

I was at work, loading shirts into the folding machine (I work at a Shirt Screen Printing and Embroidery shop) and my brain kind of turned off and I was doing my job by muscle memory, and ‘Phantom City’ came into my head.

Screen Shot 2020-01-29 at 11.00.46 PM

I don’t really have a clear picture of what the story or the conflicts are, but I’m definitely interested in finding out. I thought about it all afternoon and then when I got home, I started typing it up on my Notes app, and I’m sure there’s almost a thousand words written? I think it might be kind of dystopian, with a paranormal element – though, I’m not entirely sure yet.

So, clearly, I’m not too tired to write. But I also feel like drafting is way easier than revising where you have to be more critical.

Anyways, I’ll probably still tinker with this new idea a bit and see what happens. I’ll probably mess with it while on lunch break or something, since it’s on my phone. I can say the re-read of my SF WIP and revisions for at home.

If you have any tips on how to power through utter exhaustion at the end of a long day, I’m here for them. Also, any tips on how to sit down and work on a WIP when you’re utterly exhausted is highly appreciated.

Next month I plan on have a longer Update, with better news than ‘I’ve wasted another month not working on it’. Oh, and if you’re interested, you can check out this post here, and see the Sim4 Versions of my characters from my SF WIP.

Currently Reading & Watching #11

Image result for reading gifHonestly, I can barely keep my eyes open while writing this, and I still have a few other things to do before I legit drop into my bed. So, sorry in advance if this post is on the shorter side.

Not that these posts are ever very long.

Anyways…

I’m currently reading two books and I’m still deep in my Grey’s rewatch, but I’ve been watching a few other things as well. Despite being busy as hell and tired all of the time, I’m still managing to read at least 2 books a week, and to unwind, watching some sort of show.

With that being said, and with the fact that I’ve yawned a million times since I sat down to write this post 5 minutes ago, we should probably jump in before I fall asleep on the couch.


BOOKS:

Havenfall (Havenfall #1) – Sara Holland

I read an excerpt for this last year and loved it. Netgalley gave me a copy and I’m so excited to finally be able to sit down and read the rest of this book! I’m not very far in – only thirty or so pages, but I can’t wait until after work so I can sit and read it.

Twisted Palace (The Royals #3) – Erin Watt

I mainly picked this one up because I need to work on finally finishing the series, and I know once I really sit down to read it, I’ll breeze through it. This series is like junk food – you can’t put it down once you start.


SHOWS:

Grey’s Anatomy (Netflix & Live TV)

Still deep into this, and I’m bitter that Riggs and Mer don’t get to really be anything. I loved them together. It’s also come back to live TV, so I’m watching the new episodes as they air. I’m bitter as hell about the whole Karev thing. He’s my favorite character, so I’m a bit heartbroken. I am excited to see what Mer does about DeLuca and this new Peds Doctor.

Alexa & Katie (Netflix)

Okay, technically I finished it a day or so ago, but I love this show. So much. The new seasons are never long enough. I need more. I do wish the timeline wasn’t progressing so quickly, but oh well. It’s so feel good and funny and I think it handles heavier topics very well.

LOST (Hulu)

I think I included this in the last CR&W post, but we’re making slow progress, but I think I’ve hooked my mom. My dad on the other hand, I think is feigning disinterest, but is actually interested. I’m hoping to get another few episodes in this week. I’m determined to get my parents – or at least my mom seriously invested. This has been years in the making.

Vikings (Live TV)

This. Show.

It’s had its bumps, but overall, it’s been consistently good all around. Last week’s episode was rough…actually the last few have been rough and emotional. I’m kind of in awe of the storytelling in this show and how it all comes together. The visuals are stunning, and the characters are compelling and unabashedly flawed and badass. There was one characters death, and you think that she’s invincible, and it hit me so hard. Honestly, I teared up.


And with that, it’s time to do the last few things I need to. I’m basically headed off to bed, but feel free to tell me what you’re currently reading and/or watching!

Book Review: The Stars We Steal

the stars we stealTitle: The Stars We Steal

Author: Alexa Donne

Pub. Date: February 4, 2020

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.75


Engagement season is in the air. Eighteen-year-old Princess Leonie “Leo” Kolburg, heir to a faded European spaceship, only has one thing on her mind: which lucky bachelor can save her family from financial ruin?

But when Leo’s childhood friend and first love Elliot returns as the captain of a successful whiskey ship, everything changes. Elliot was the one that got away, the boy Leo’s family deemed to be unsuitable for marriage. Now, he’s the biggest catch of the season and he seems determined to make Leo’s life miserable. But old habits die hard, and as Leo navigates the glittering balls of the Valg Season, she finds herself falling for her first love in a game of love, lies, and past regrets.


This will be a spoiler free review.

I went into this book with pretty much no expectations. I’d not read Alexa’s debut, but this sounded like something right up my alley and I knew I needed to read it.

Can I just say that, that sentence was kind of weird to write…which is ridiculous because I’m clearly not the author, but I always find it weird when I’m talking about any other Alexa’s.

Anyways, I digress. I went in with no expectations and was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed this book, though I did think the ending was a bit rushed.

Honestly, I think it could have been a duology, but I do appreciate that it was fairly easy read and definitely engaging. I read it in two clumps of time, not putting it down during those hours. I also appreciate that it was a standalone, because that meant no waiting for book 2 to come out.

The Stars We Steal kind of reminded me of kind of reminded me of These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, which doesn’t upset me in the slightest. I’m a big fan of these more fantastical science-fiction stories – that and the fact that it’s set on a spaceship is an automatic selling point.

I think this book is a really cool take on what humanities future could look like if or when we make it to space – splitting up based on royal affiliation and country. With that being said, I think the whole ‘world’ that is created in this book could have been explored further and in more detail. I found it hard to keep track of all the ships – most just mentioned in passing. It was hard to understand the massive scope of it all, and why we should really care about the suffering people – not to sound like a horrible person. I think the whole humanity suffering, ships becoming dilapidated and the lack of resources issue wasn’t really expanded on and just put in there as a catalyst…since nothing really comes of it.

Sorry, maybe that’s a slight spoiler, but I didn’t get the point. I feel like a lot of the ‘political intrigue’ just didn’t hold the weight it was supposed to, therefore I didn’t care. I also think that if this story had been two books, instead of a standalone, we would have gotten more, and it would have held more weight and impact for the characters. Because as it stands, it really doesn’t impact them greatly at all, and for it to be an inciting incident…it fell flat. It was like all this tension and chaos and calamity was building and before the balloon could burst, it just slowly deflated and that was that. It’s unfortunate

As for the cast of characters, my least favorite was Leo and Carina’s father. I can’t stand parents who act like insufferable children and can’t get their shit together to be the parent. I get that it happens in real life and it’s very unfortunate, but it’s just one of those things that irk the hell out of me. That and the whole ‘the oldest child has to carry all the weight, while the younger one can do whatever the hell, they want sans consequences.’ No thank you, it’s bullshit.

But overall, I really enjoyed the cast. Leo and Carina were great, and I loved their bond. Though, I will say, that I had a bit of trouble picturing them (which seems to be a trend in this book). I liked how they were opposites, but were fiercely loyal to one another, even when they don’t get along.

Elliot, Evgenia and Klara were all great supporting characters as well. Elliott being stubborn, goofy and also loyal. Evgenia being pretty much ball of sunshine and easily likeable. Klara, who spends a great deal of the book being a bit unlikable, but powerful and unyielding and loyal to her family when it truly matters. Oh, and Daniel! I loved Daniel. I loved his character and I wish there was more book so I could see his and Leo’s friendship grow.

Also, the whole Vlag – month long dating scene. I get why it happens, but I also felt like maybe it could have been handled differently? I don’t know. I liked it, because as a plot element, yes, but I also felt like it was lacking.

I think that’s the biggest thing with this book. While it’s a good read, and fun and just overall enjoyable, it’s lacking in so many areas. So many elements and ideas that just don’t quite pan out to their fullest potential. I know reading it, I was down to the last 100 pages in this 400-page book, and I had no clue how it was going to end, because there seemed to be so much story left to tell…like a whole other book’s worth of story. It’s why I think the ending felt flat and rushed and just not what I expected. I think without the Epilogue, I would have been more disappointed. By the time I reached the end, I just wanted more.

I want to be clear – I didn’t hate this book, despite the issues I had with it. I was invested, I wanted to know what happened next, I loved the characters and hated others and I loved the setting and the feel and overall, just really enjoyed the book. But I also had issues with it and that’s okay. I do definitely recommend this book and you should definitely pick it up. It’s a good escape, and that’s what books do best – provide a few hours escape from the real world. You can pick up The Stars We Steal on February 4, 2020 when it hits shelves! I hope you enjoy!

There’s Someone I Want You to Meet

Well, someones, as in plural…is there a plural of someone?

I just Googled, and yes there is – despite Word giving me the annoying red squiggly line under it.

I’ve talked a bit about my SF WIP Destiny and I was playing around on The Sims4 – I’m sure you’ve figured out by that sentence alone what this post is going to be about. But as I was saying, I was playing around on The Sims4 and I decided to make my characters.

Though, real talk, I technically made them a few years ago, but they’ve gotten an upgrade. I don’t use Custom Content in my game – mainly because I feel like it’s a rabbit hole I shouldn’t go down – so these Sim versions of my characters are a close approximation of how I envision them. I also had to adjust their wardrobe greatly, but I feel like it’s pretty close to how they would dress day to day on board Destiny.

I also went ahead and did all of the outfits, though, some aren’t necessary to my actual WIP. Like with the last Sim Character post I did – here – I had so much fun doing this and I kind of want to actually play with the characters now.

I’m sure this won’t be the last time I make over these characters – I like to go back and do it from time to time whenever I purchase new packs for my game. New packs = new content and maybe one step closer to getting them exactly right.

This is just for fun – despite the sheer amount of time it took to do this – and I highly encourage you to create your own characters in Sims4. It’s a fun way to bring them to life, so to speak. I’m not going to be going into too much detail, as I don’t want to influence your opinion too much on the characters before ever reading the book – hopefully one day it’s published.

I teetered on the edge of even writing this post. I wasn’t sure if I should share the characters before the book is even in stages of publication, or if I should just eventually let you meet them on the page. But I’m in this place with this WIP where I’m excited about it. I can actually see myself taking the next steps this year. The story is finally what it was always meant to be and people outside of family and friends have read bits of it – which is a huge step for me personally. I just want to share these characters with you – or at least give you a brief introduction.

With that being said, let’s jump into this.

I’ll group the characters by families – and I should mention that I didn’t include every character.

I’m also going to time stamp this post as if you were meeting them at Destiny’s Launch in November 2065.


Screen Shot 2020-01-26 at 4.06.14 AMName: McKenna Hampton

Age: 19

DOB: October 15, 2046

Height: 5’6”

Eyes: Brown

Hair: Dark Brown

Family: Mom + Dad + Cole

Fun Fact: She likes coffee with her sugar

Quirk: Her jaw ticks when she’s trying to stay calm.


Screen Shot 2020-01-26 at 9.13.47 PMName: Cole Hampton

Age: 26

DOB: August 2, 2039

Height: 6’2”

Eyes: Blue

Hair: Light Blonde

Family: Mom + Dad + McKenna

Fun Fact: He knows how to make ice cream in a zip lock bag.

Quirk: He cracks his knuckles when he’s stressed.


Screen Shot 2020-01-26 at 9.18.29 PMName: Conner Hawthorne

Age: 20

DOB: April 14, 2045

Height: 6’0”

Eyes: Blue-Grey

Hair: Brown

Family: William + Sarah + Melanie

Fun Fact: His pancakes are always lumpy no matter what.

Quirk: He find’s McKenna’s temper endearing, and you can tell, because he smirks.


Screen Shot 2020-01-26 at 9.59.11 PMName: Melanie Hawthorne

Age: 16

DOB: April 20, 2049

Height: 5’5”

Eyes: Grey-Blue

Hair: Brown

Family: William + Sarah + Connor

Fun Fact: She has a massive crush on Jack, but alas, it cannot be.

Quirk: She twirls a strand of her hair in her fingers when she’s nervous


Screen Shot 2020-01-26 at 9.58.52 PMName: William “Will” Hawthorne (Husband)

Age: 53

DOB: January 4, 2012

Height: 6’1”

Eyes: Blue

Hair: Brown with some streaks of grey

Family: Sarah + Connor + Melanie

Fun Fact: He has the same smirk when it comes to McKenna’s antics.

Quirk: His right eyebrow raises a bit when he’s hearing bullshit.


Screen Shot 2020-01-26 at 9.59.00 PMName: Sarah Hawthorne (Wife)

Age: 50

DOB: July 2, 2015

Height: 5’7”

Eyes: Grey

Hair: Dark Brown

Family: William + Connor + Melanie

Fun Fact: Is a mother to all – Free Mom Hugs anyone?

Quirk: She knows when either Melanie or Connor aren’t telling her the truth about something. Sixth mom sense.


Screen Shot 2020-01-26 at 10.36.13 PMName: Clara Castor

Age: 19

DOB: December 5, 2045

Height: 5’4”

Eyes: Blue

Hair: Light Blonde

Family: Father + Hawthornes (by default)

Fun Fact: Not so “fun” but Clara’s sick but enjoys just hanging out with Connor, who’s her best friend.

Quirk: She can read a 400-page book in mere hours.


Screen Shot 2020-01-26 at 9.15.54 PMName: Jack Archer

Age: 26

DOB: May 5, 2039

Height: 6’2”

Eyes: Green

Hair: Brown

Family: unknown

Fun Fact: He’ll be the first one to tell you if there’s anyone attractive nearby. He’s open to anything.

Quirk: He gets really quiet when he’s worried and won’t talk.


Screen Shot 2020-01-26 at 4.36.26 AMName: Celia Arden

Age: 19

DOB: June 8, 2046

Height: 5’8”

Eyes: Green

Hair: Blonde

Family: Father + Mother

Fun Fact: She’s a bitch to everyone.

Quirk: Self-absorbed and doesn’t take no for an answer.


Screen Shot 2020-01-26 at 10.29.25 PMName: Luke Pierce Aimes

Age: 21

DOB: Feb 1, 2044

Height: 6’0”

Eyes: Green

Hair: Dark Brown

Family: Father + Mother

Fun Fact: He’s super smart – went to medical school and works as a doctor on board Destiny…there might have been some nepotism involved.

Quirk: Also, a bit self-absorbed.


I had to keep it vagueish as to not spoil anything, so if you have questions, I’m sorry. Hopefully one day everyone gets to read this SF WIP I’ve created. That’s the goal, that’s the plan. Until then, I hope you enjoy this little peek into a good chunk of the main characters.

I’m feeling inspired now, and if I didn’t have work in the morning and have to be up in about 6 hours, I’d probably sit down and jump back into revisions.

Let me know if you create your own characters in The Sims4!

 

Book Review: Scorched (Frigid #2)

scorchedTitle: Scorched (Frigid #2)

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Pub. Date: June 16, 2015

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Sometimes life leaves a mark.

Most days, Andrea doesn’t know whether she wants to kiss Tanner or punch him in the gut. He is seriously hot, with legit bedroom eyes and that firefighter body of his, but he’s a major player, and they can’t get along for more than a handful of minutes. Until now.

Tanner knows he and Andrea have had an epic love/hate relationship for as long as he can remember, but he wants more love than hate from her. He wants her. Now. Tomorrow. But the more he gets to know her, the more it becomes obvious that Andrea has a problem. She’s teetering on the edge, and every time he tries to catch her, she slips through his fingers.

Andrea’s life is spiraling out of control, and it doesn’t matter that Tanner wants to save her, because when everything falls apart and she’s speeding toward rock bottom, only she can save herself.

Sometimes life makes you work for that happily ever after…


This will be a mini spoiler free review.

Why is Jen so good at writing such flawed and wonderful guys? Sure, maybe they start off as assholes, or put on a front to hide their real feelings, but damn, she makes you care for them. She also makes you wish they existed in real life.

Maybe they do.

But I’ll blame Jen for my high expectations.

It’s been five years since I last read this book, and I didn’t remember most of what happened. If you wait long enough to reread a book, it’s like reading it for the first time all over again. It’s great.

I’ve already established that I loved Tanner – he’s not perfect and makes some terrible mistakes. But he owns up to them. He doesn’t just sit in his wrongness and pout; he acts like an adult and apologizes.

I also like Andrea. She’s struggling, keeping it all hidden behind smiles, sharp witty barbs towards Tanner and the air that nothing is wrong. Even though it the furthest thing from the truth.

Whereas the first book in this series is a bit more lighthearted, despite the events that take place, this one has more of a real world feel. Almost like the stakes are higher and the characters have further to fall.

If you’re looking for a quick steamy read where the characters cope with the cards, they’ve been dealt in whatever way they can – alcohol, sleep meds, a veneer of sharp barbs and bickering, and anger. Where the characters have to learn how to navigate a world that throws obstacles at them constantly and where you can find your soul mate even when you’re struggling – you’re going to want to check this book out. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.

Book Review: Maybe This Time

Maybe this timeTitle: Maybe This Time

Author: Kasie West

Pub. Date: July 9, 2019

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️


One year. Nine events. Nine chances to . . . fall in love?

Weddings. Funerals. Barbecues. New Year’s Eve parties. Name the occasion, and Sophie Evans will be there. Well, she has to be there. Sophie works for the local florist, so she can be found at every big event in her small hometown, arranging bouquets and managing family dramas.

Enter Andrew Hart. The son of the fancy new chef in town, Andrew is suddenly required to attend all the same events as Sophie. Entitled, arrogant, preppy Andrew. Sophie just wants to get her job done and finish up her sketches so she can apply to design school. But every time she turns around, there is Andrew, getting in her way and making her life more complicated. Until one day she wonders if maybe complicated isn’t so bad after all . . .

Told over the course of one year and following Sophie from event to event, this delightful novel from master of romantic comedy Kasie West shows how love can blossom in unexpected places.


This will be a spoiler free review.

This book fell flat for me. It wasn’t horrible and I did enjoy it, but I don’t think it really worked. I liked the idea of just seeing snippets of this year in Sophie’s life, but I didn’t really feel any emotional connection. I wanted to really love this book, I’ve loved a few other Kasie West books, but something about this one just didn’t do it for me. It was cute, and the way it was written was different, but I never found myself rooting for her or her and Andrew. I just felt no connection to either of them.

Though, there was one moment, when they were fighting, and something happened. It was a very iconic scene and I kind of loved that moment between them. It was perfect and easy to picture, and I loved it. But overall, I just wasn’t satisfied with them. It’s like their relationship was too easy, even with the constant bickering. Ultimately, I just think the emotional weights were off in this book. The stakes weren’t high enough, and they were resolved way too easily.

I honestly don’t know what else to say about this book. I don’t think I went in with high expectations. I mainly picked it up because I’d liked a bunch of her other books, so I guess I expected to enjoy it. I did, on a base, ‘it’s an enjoyable read, where the stakes aren’t that high, and you can breeze right through it’ kind of a way. I just don’t really feel much for this book, it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t amazing, it just was.

This isn’t going to turn me off of her books, because I’m always down for a good rom com/fluffy contemporary.

Let me know what you thought of this book, or what your favorite Kasie West book is!

Book Signings – Anna Bright, Brigid Kemmerer & Breeana Shields

img_7721Maybe you’ve already seen it on Twitter – and by ‘it’ I mean, what I did this weekend. Well, firstly I went to two book signings, Brigid signed at both, but the second one I got to moderate.

I GOT TO MODERATE FOR BRIGID.

And Breeana, whose book The Bone Charmer is amazing you should go read it.

But I got to moderate for Brigid at one of her signings.

If I could go back and tell 2012 me, who had just discovered Brigid, who was only a fan who made a shirt with ‘Elemental’ and ‘#TeamGabriel’ and ‘#MerrickBrothers’ on it, would one day get to moderate one of Brigid’s signings, not to mention be her friend…I would think I was crazy. I also still have the shirt I made – I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get rid of it.

It’s so surreal, and I still can’t believe I had to opportunity to do this. It was even weirder being on that side of a signing, in more of a ‘professional’ capacity over a ‘fan’ capacity. I’m so grateful Brigid gave me this opportunity, and hopefully in the future it can happen again.

img_7690But let me backtrack, and start with Saturday’s signing, since that one was first.

Actually, I guess I should backtrack a little bit more, and say that I was supposed to moderate this signing – the one with Anna Bright. Then Brigid asked if I would be okay with doing her Delaware signing instead. I said yes, and while I was bummed that I wasn’t going to get to ask Brigid and Anna questions, I was still excited to go and just be a fan and support both of them.

Brad and Britney from AudioShelf – who have a Booktube, Bookstagram and Podcast, moderated the Saturday signing, and they Live Streamed the whole thing. Between them, Brigid and Anna, the atmosphere was light and fun and just overall fantastic to listen to. Though, not going to lie, I made sure I paid attention to their questions because I was a bit nervous of moderating at the Delaware signing.

img_7685You should also go follow them across all their platforms – they’re pretty amazing and funny and definitely worth it!

Anyways, I went to this signing with my best friend, she hadn’t been to a signing in forever, so it was really fun being able to go with her. We went to Brigid’s first ever signing for Storm back when it released, and we always try to go to any of her local signings (if our schedules permit). We got to be fans and wait in line for Brigid to sign our books – my collection is growing again.

img_7724Brigid teased that Curse 3 has a title, and that it’s really good. She also said that it might be revealed in the next couple months, so everyone should keep an eye out. She also said that Curse 3 will have four POVs – Harper, Rhen, Grey and Lia Mara – so for everyone who missed Rhen and Harper, fear not! They will be back.

Anna talked about her aspirations for The Boundless which is due out in June, and how she originally wanted the book to have about a billion POVs – spoiler, it doesn’t much to her dismay. She also briefly talked about her next project and I’m looking forward to it.

Brigid and Anna are always fun to listen to and watch whenever they’re together. Make sure you check out The Beholder if you haven’t yet – also, make sure you check out the Elemental Series by Brigid. It doesn’t get enough love.

img_7726Saturday’s signing was a lot of fun, and it ended too soon…even though it lasted for over two hours? I was bummed it ended, but that only meant that the next day I was going to be moderating a signing for Brigid and Breeana.

Fast-forward a night and a few hours, and I’m in a car with Brigid, headed to Christiana Mall in Delaware. Honestly, I was pretty nervous. I don’t really like speaking in front of people, it’s never really be something I’ve enjoyed or even been good at. I spent the whole car ride internally freaking out while we chatted about books, writing, everything and anything.

When we finally reached the Barnes and Nobles at the mall, this is where it got a bit surreal.

img_7725In the past, I would go, find a seat and sit there until the authors come out. This time, I got to go with Brigid to the Employees Only break room, and we hung out there and chatted for a bit. Then it was time to go downstairs, and they led us around the back side of the escalator and behind some shelves and then out to the table. It was just weird being on the other side of it. How many times had I seen the authors show up, come out of a back room before the signing? How many times had I wondered what that would be like, to be there with them, hell, to be one of them?

While I’m not yet published, and I was there to ask questions, it was this little glimpse into what I really hope is in my future.

Then the questioning started – by yours truly – and I started with ‘How Dare You?’ directed at Brigid. For those of you who have read and finished A Heart so Fierce and Broken you’ll understand. Then I talked up Breeana’s book, The Bone Charmer, which I had recently read, and it really was amazing. It’s being slept on, so go, pick it up. It’s so good!

img_7689From there my nerves kind of disappeared. They never fully went away, because I was sitting and talking into a mic in front of a lot of people, but I was able to push them towards the back of my mind and kind of get lost in the moment.

Once again Brigid teased about the title to Curse 3 and asked if everyone wanted to know what the title was.

The crowd basically erupted, and Brigid had to backpedal. I was sitting there thinking that sometime overnight she’d been approved to reveal it, but nope. Everyone got so excited and I really cannot wait to see the announcement for it. Then she said it’s “A Blank so Blank and Blank” and that was it. People laughed and I think Brigid felt bad. I don’t think she expected for people to be that excited about a title reveal.

img_7688Breeana talked about her book and its sequel, The Bone Thief coming out in May – I’m super excited for it! She also talked a little bit about her next project, though it hasn’t quite been announced. She told me a bit about it after the signing had finished, and y’all it sounds amazing. I’m so excited for this project and I cannot wait to read it.

Once I was done asking my questions, the audience had some – a lot were writing craft related. Both Brigid and Breeana were happy to answer them, and then after the actual singing part, the event was over. I met so many people, had so much fun, and I’m still sad that the weekend is over, and the event is over…it’s Wednesday and I still have a bit of a hangover from it. But it’s also kind of the best feeling, because it was a fantastic weekend. It was a memorable experience. I discovered a new to me author and became friends with her. I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.

img_7720Right before we headed out to dinner, I was talking to one of the employees who helped run the event and she asked me if I was in publishing, or a rep of some kind – basically how I knew Brigid. So, I told her. I’ve been a fan since 2012 and that grew into a friendship and when Brigid asked if I wanted to moderate, I said yes. When she asked where I lived, and I told her about 30 minutes away from Brigid, her eyes grew wide, and then when she asked if I drove up here, and I told her that I rode up with Brigid, she said that she would probably die if she could ride in a car with her favorite author. I couldn’t help but laugh, because same.

Basically, the whole weekend was amazing and surreal, and I would 100% do it again if Brigid offered. Hands down.

Dinner with Brigid and Breeana was great and lots of fun. We talked about legitimately everything and had amazing food. My burger was fantastic. As was my wine.

img_7686Then it was time to part ways, sadly and the drive home was full of listening to Brigid’s ACSDAL playlist (it’s perfect) and just talking. I’ve been sworn to absolute secrecy, like, upon pain of death, but y’all Curse 3 is SO going to be worth the wait. Trust me on this.

Trust me.

What Brigid has in store…

I get giddy just thinking about it.

Ugh. I can’t wait.

Don’t @ me, asking what I may or may not know. Sworn to secrecy upon pain of death.

And then to top off an already amazing night/weekend, Brigid loaded me up with a few copies of her books, and a signed copy of Heart. I went to the DE with two books in my bag and left with legit more than I could carry. So, thank you so much Brigid for contributing to my collection of your books.

img_7723And circling back around to that signed copy of Heart. I had a signed copy of Curse from ALA, and I’m currently running a giveaway over on Twitter, where one person will get the signed set. So, if you want a chance, make sure you head over to my page, I’ve pinned the tweet to my page, and enter!

I’m really excited that I’m able to do this, and I wish I could’ve done more than one set, and could have done international. Unfortunately, for now, I can only choose one winner. I’m excited to pass along these two amazing books to one lucky someone at the end of the month. So, if you’re interested, make sure you head on over to my Twitter and enter to win the first two books in the Cursebreakers series!

I want to close out this long post, by thanking Brigid for letting me moderate and driving, for not face timing Sarah J Maas (lol, long story) and for everything else. It meant so much, and hopefully one day I get to do it again. I can’t wait for Anna and Breeana’s upcoming releases, and you should check out AudioShelf as well!

Book Review: Tweet Cute by Emma Lord – Blog Tour

Tweet Cute_Blog Tour Banner Onsale

Today’s Book Review is going to be formatted a bit differently, as I’m was fortunate enough to be chosen for the Blog Tour of Emma Lord’s Tweet Cute! I’m super excited and grateful that I get to be part of this (my first ever blog tour!!) and for such a good book! I loved every minute of this book and you’re going to want to pick it up as soon as possible!


If I can’t sell you on this wonderfully fantastic read, maybe these authors can –

Tweet Cute delivers in every possible way: a perfect enemies-to-lovers romance, a whip-smart plotline, and endearingly real characters. I devoured it.” – Francesca Zappia, author of Eliza and Her Monsters

“Sweet and fun! An adorable debut that updates a classic romantic trope with a buzzy twist.” – Jenn Bennett, author of Alex, Approximately and Serious Moonlight

“A witty rom-com reinvention for the Twitter age, Tweet Cute pairs delicious online rivalry with deeply relatable insights on family pressure and growing up. This fresh, funny read had us hitting ‘favorite’ from page one.” – Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka, authors of Always Never Yours and If I’m Being Honest


Tweet Cute_CoverTitle: Tweet Cute

Author: Emma Lord

Pub. Date: January 21, 2020

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming — mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account. 

 Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time. 

All’s fair in love and cheese — that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life — on an anonymous chat app Jack built. 

 As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate — people on the internet are shipping them?? — their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.


I want to thank Netgalley and St. Martins Press for gifting me an eARC of this book and allowing me to take part in the blog tour. As always, this will be a spoiler free review, and all opinions are my own honest ones.

I went into this book expecting to really enjoy it, really like it. What I didn’t expect was to stay up until 4:30 AM grossly immersed and utterly in love with this book. I literally did not stop reading it until I hit the end, and only then did I look at the clock and think ‘shit…I have to get up in four hours’…this past Saturday was rough. The lack of sleep was totally worth it, because getting that lost in a book is the best feeling ever…even if you’re a zombie for the rest of the day.

If you’re a fan of the movie, You’ve Got Mail, or you enjoyed Tiana Smith’s How to Speak Boy or Brigid Kemmerer’s Letter’s to the Lost you aren’t going to want to miss this book. It has it all, unrequited love in an online chat room, a social media Twitter war, budding romance between two school friends and so much drama that Emma expertly weaves together to tell an engaging and funny story.

Between the snarky tweets full of memes and backtalk, to the constant ribbing between Pepper and Jack, and the near soul bearing moments between Wolf and Bluebird – you’re automatically hooked.

Speaking of Jack and Pepper, I loved them. I loved their chemistry, on and off the screen. I loved how well they complimented each other, even when they were mercilessly roasting each other. Even individually, their relationships were real, and hard, and full of overbearing parents and the pressures of trying to be a teen. Individually they deal with so much and when they come out the other side…well, you’ll just have to read the book to find out how it all ends, and where they end up. Trust me, you want to know.

Pepper has to deal with so much, and I’m amazed she was able to function. From trying to stay at the top of her class, college interviewing, Social Media managing, baking (I really want to try Monster Cake), blogging and an overbearing mother, life isn’t exactly easy for her.

Jack has similar pressures, feeling like he’s the second-best twin – forever in his golden brother’s shadow, college and what he wants to do in life, and feeling guilty about wanting things other than to take over Girl Cheesing.

Between sending snarky tweets and chatting about swimming and bearing their souls, Jack and Pepper feel like such real representations of teens. It made it really easy to relate to them. I remember the pressures of high school, and trying to figure out what my place in the world might be and how I would fit in. It’s stressful, and I think Emma captured that feeling perfectly. Especially the parts where Pepper and Jack have arguments all because of miscommunication. Emotions run high when you’re a teen and sometimes your first reaction is a bad one. They learn quickly and are able to smooth things over, so there’s that. They’re more mature than a lot of teens (lol).

I feel like I’m running out of things to say. I thought this review was going to be super easy and quick to write. I loved the book, I want everyone to read it, but I guess my thoughts are still stuck on the let me shove this book at your face and demand you read it while I scream about how much I loved it and how much you’ll love it if you give it a chance. And the characters – the setting – just everything about this book is so fun and enjoyable and you’ll love it. Trust. Me.

Yes, I know that’s so helpful, but don’t we all just want to be able to dive into a book, and forget that the real world exists for a bit and just wholly occupy our minds with something else? Isn’t that what we all strive for when reading books? For me, Tweet Cute did that. I was able to get sucked into the snarky, fun, dramatics that is Pepper and Jack’s life and I’m thrilled that everyone gets to now read it.

If you’re looking for a fun, dramatic rom com, with tweet wars, anonymous online chat friends, and romance, you’re not going to want to miss this book. You’re not going to want to miss falling in love with Jack and Pepper’s easy banter and great chemistry. Out today, so make sure you pick up your copy of Tweet Cute!


Emma LordEmma Lord is a digital media editor and writer living in New York City, where she spends whatever time she isn’t writing either running or belting show tunes in community theater. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a major in psychology and a minor in how to tilt your computer screen so nobody will notice you updating your fan fiction from the back row. She was raised on glitter, grilled cheese, and a whole lot of love. Her sun sign is Hufflepuff, but she is a Gryffindor rising. TWEET CUTE is her debut novel. You can find her geeking out online at @dilemmalord on Twitter.

You can also purchase your copy through this link, which will direct you to a page that lists every place it’s available for purchase! I hope you enjoy!

Buy Tweet Cute here

 

Book Review: Frigid (Frigid #1)

frigidTitle: Frigid (Frigid #1)

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Pub. Date: July 15, 2013

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


For twenty-one-year-old Sydney, being in love with Kyler isn’t anything new. They’d been best friends ever since he pushed her down on the playground and she made him eat a mud pie. Somewhere over the years, she fell for him and fell hard. The big problem with that? Kyler puts the ‘man’ in man-whore. He’s never stayed with a girl longer than a few nights, and with it being their last year in college, Syd doesn’t want to risk their friendship by declaring her love.

Kyler has always put Syd on a pedestal that was too high for him to reach. To him, she’s perfect and she’s everything. But the feelings he has for her, he’s always hidden away or focused on any other female. After all, Kyler will always be the poor boy from the wrong side of tracks, and Syd will always be the one girl he can never have.

But when they’re stranded together at a posh ski resort due to a massive Nor’easter, there’s nothing stopping their red-hot feelings for each other from coming to the surface. Can their friendship survive the attraction? Better yet, can they survive at all? Because as the snow falls, someone is stalking them, and this ski trip may be a life-changer in more ways than one.


This will be a short, spoiler free review.

Technically this is my 3rd 5 star read this year, but I’m hesitant to count it. Not that I’m going to remember to actively keep track of this list. I hesitate to count it because it’s a re-read…but the fact that I still loved it so much and it’s been 6ish years since its publication, maybe I should.

I picked up Frigid in my efforts to continue my reread of JLA’s very extensive backlist. I hadn’t read it since its publication, and I knew it was a relatively short book and I’d be able to get through it quickly.

I should note – for those of you who might not know – heads up, this isn’t YA. It’s definitely New Adult.

It’s also just really enjoyable, a bit predictable, but it allows you to turn your brain off for 250ish pages. You get to just immerse yourself in the story and get lost. It’s one of my favorite things about this book. As well as the fact that it takes place on a mountain, in a snowstorm.

Shenanigans ensue.

All sorts of shenanigans.

There’s also the little bit of mystery and a bit of terror.

If you’re looking for a book that’s got romance, a bunch of steamy scenes and some emotional growth, all set to the background of a giant snowstorm and some buckshot, you’ll want to check this out. Kyler and Sydney are so much fun, and so worth getting to know.

 

Book Review: The Bone Charmer (The Bone Charmer #1)

the bone charmerTitle: The Bone Charmer (The Bone Charmer #1)

Author: Breeana Shields

Pub. Date: May 21, 2019

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


In Saskia’s world, bones are the source of all power. They tell the future, reveal the past, and expose secrets in the present. Each village has a designated seer who performs readings for the townsfolk, and in Midwood, the Bone Charmer is Saskia’s mother.

On the day of her kenning—a special bone reading that determines the apprenticeships of all seventeen-year-olds—Saskia’s worst fears come true. She receives an assignment to train as a Bone Charmer, like her mother, and even worse, a match-making reading that pairs her with Bram—a boy who has suspicious tattoos that hint of violence.

Saskia knows her mother saw multiple paths for her, yet chose one she knew Saskia wouldn’t want. Their argument leads to a fracture in one of the bones. Broken bones are always bad luck, but this particular set of bones have been infused with extra magic, and so the break has devastating consequences—Saskia’s future has split as well. Now she will live her two potential paths simultaneously. Only one future can survive. And Saskia’s life is in danger in both.


This will be a spoiler free review.

UM, why didn’t y’all tell me about this book sooner? Why’d you let me sleep on it for so long?

Say hi to my second 2020 FIVE STAR READ.

Yep.

You heard me…well, read me.

Second 5 STAR READ of 2020.

I wasn’t expecting it. Hell, I figured I needed to give the book a fair shot if I was going to be moderating a signing that Brigid and Breeana would be at. I wanted to be prepared, or at least attempt preparedness.

I devoured this book in a handful of hours. I stopped when life got in the way – i.e. dinner, chores, basic needs and the act of finally printing out a picture of my dog to go in his urn (sorry, sad, I know, but it needed to finally get done). But I think I read this book in probably 4 hours total? I never wanted to put it down and fell easily back into the story each time. I was freaking hooked. Now I’m sad I finished. What am I supposed to read now?

I’ll be honest, my expectations weren’t high – mainly because I basically knew nothing and hadn’t heard much about it. I’m so glad that they were exceeded. I loved this book, the characters, the world. There were moments I dreaded and some that made me laugh, and others that shocked me. All signs of a great read.

I was about half way through and I thought I was reading the plot very well, and knew how it was going to play out.

Nope.

I was wrong.

So, so wrong.

But, like, in the best way possible.

Because what actually happens is so much better and exciting and kind of rage-y than what I anticipated. In fact, what I thought was going to happen, would have been really boring, and now I’m questing myself as a writer…just kidding…sort of.

I loved Saskia as a character, and I loved the dual realities that happen in the book. I really enjoy how events mirror themselves in both. I also liked Saskia’s character growth and how she’s basically the “Chose One” without being overly glorified. She struggles just like everyone else and using her magic does not come easy for her.

After reading a few books where once the “Chosen One” has their awakening and everting comes super easy, and they’re basically prodigies with everything, this was refreshing. I liked watching her start to grow into her powers and stopped shying away from them because of what her mother wanted.

The magic system * chef’s kiss * I loved it (do I sound like a parrot yet?) and had no trouble following it. It wasn’t overly complicated, but not so simple it felt lacking.  I thought maybe I’d be a bit put off by *bones* but as it turns out, not a problem. I thought it was really interesting how there were three different levels in being a Bone Charmer, but many levels of using the magic in bones. I also really loved the idea of the tattoos appearing – like how cool would that be?

Side note was never a fan of Declan…he was a little too, childish.

Bram on the other hand…I guess I have a thing for brooding, silent, outcasts. He needs some hugs. Lots of hugs.

I really enjoyed the growing connection between the two of them and how it started out as this child fear and trauma and then started to grow into something more and then [REDACTED] happened.

I could list out all the individual things that I enjoyed immensely about this book, but those would be spoilers, and this is spoiler free. But overall, the book just gave me this feeling of pure enjoyment and even that’s not most accurate world. I just look at the book and I have no words, but tingles build in my chest and – I’m literally tossing my hands in the air, because I either don’t have a word, or can’t think of one – but fine, enjoyment. I loved this book, the world, its characters, every little, shock, funny remark, tension filled moment. I’m already in desperate need for book 2 – I’ve already wished for it on Netgalley and I’m so glad I decided to pick this up and give it a chance.

You should too.

For sure.

Read it.

Ps. I seriously need book 2. I need to know what happens next.