2015 Book Challenge #1

Read So You Can Write

If you happened to read my post on my book blog, then you might have an inkling on what I’m about to say. But I thought it might be another way to keep me accountable to y’all and myself, in my latest challenge.

I realized after completing my Goodreads reading challenge for last year that I barely read thirty books. Just thirty in a year! That may sound fantastic for many of you. Life can be busy and it’s easy to let things slip away from us. But this last year I barely wrote as well. I looked at the past couple of years and saw a pattern. Because in 2012, when I was writing Qeya, Silver Hollow and Stay, I read 80 books. And at the time, it wasn’t a hard feat whatsoever.

So here’s my challenge: 90 Books in a Year. And even though I typically only post book reviews on my book blog, I’m going to make an exception. Every couple of books or so I’ll post my reviews here to keep on track. Hopefully I’ll read so much that I’ll find fresh inspiration and excitement to share my own stories.

Feel free to leave comments with suggestions or to share your personal challenges for 2015. Let’s make this new year a brilliant one!


#1) Flukes” by Nichole Chase

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Review: This isn’t my first introduction to Nichole Chase’s fabulously fun writing. “Suddenly Royal” won me over with a dreamy landslide of imaginatively fulfilled girlhood fantasies, and “Flukes” was no different. Every little girl dreams of being a mermaid at some point and “Flukes” painted a fantastical picture of what happens when you grow up a sea monster with human parents. The additional island setting with its marine center offered a slightly more exotic but imaginable fantasy. While in my opinion there wasn’t enough time devoted to understanding the whole mermaid mythos, along with its rules and such, the author provides enough to leave you wanting to know more. I enjoyed the romance, which wasn’t too cheesy or over-the-top, while being just wonderful enough to add warmth and heat to the story. The characters are all interesting and enjoyable and I look forward to the next story penned by this author.


#1) Finding Cinderella” by Colleen Hoover

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Review: In the same vein as “Hopeless”, Colleen Hoover takes us once again along the road to redemption and offers us hope. “Finding Cinderella” is a novella in the same world as the aforementioned novel, and while it is shorter, it possesses the same quality and natural, gritty beauty you can expect from this phenomenal author. Hoover has a true gift for young and new adult romances, and each of her stories are markedly different in the best of ways. “Finding Cinderella” is told from the refreshing, crass and irreverent point of view of Daniel, a teen with a penchant for nicknames. His quest is to find his long lost Cinderella and, of course, he has to give up before he can truly find her. While I had a clear picture of where this novella was headed, I was pleasantly and shockingly surprised by the turn of events. Furthermore, it solidified my opinion of Colleen Hoover having the freshest voice of her genre.


13568903#3) Thorns” by Kate Avery Ellison

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Review: I dove into “Thorns” quickly after finishing “Frost”, first installment in Kate Avery Ellison’s “Frost Chronicles”. And after, quite unceremoniously, it was lost in my to-read list. I’m very happy that I picked it up again earlier this evening. I was quickly drawn back in by Lia Weaver and her extraordinary family. I am a huge fan of Ellison’s gift for world building and strong female characters. She isn’t an author afraid to go deeper, to portray various kinds of strength and courage. Questions from the previous story are explained further in this installment, as well as revelations that will have your head spinning at the possibilities. You might have already guessed that I just opened the next in this fantastic dystopian series, “Weaver” and look forward to unwinding the tapestry the author has woven for us.

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Happy Almost New Year!

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$.99 Christmas Sale!

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Merry Christmas peeps!

Today I’m reminded how even though this year has been tough for me and my family, that we have always had what we needed and always been cared for. In this world today, that’s the most anyone can ask for, I feel. Thank you everyone for making this year wonderful!


Now to fun tidings!

For a limited time, Silver Hollow is only .99 on Amazon! You won’t want to miss this sale, or Amie’s wild and wacky adventure into a castle lost in time.


Click on the pic to follow the link and own your copy today!

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Synopsis

Amie Wentworth writes paranormal romances, not because she is looking for a degree in ectoplasm, but because she’s got bills to pay. Ever since her parents’ car crash, she has trusted books more than people. Not even a letter from her long-lost uncle, begging her to visit, gives Amie incentive for anything other than ire – until she is stabbed in an alley and brought back to life by a mysterious stranger.

Being a believer in the corporeal, she is determined to root out the logic behind the unexplained. Never mind the possibility she might be a part of it, or the fact her dearly departed dad left her with an inheritance she can’t return. To make matters worse, the man who saved her life keeps turning up and her would-be-murderer is still at large.

Soon Amie is dragged into the very sort of tale she is used to selling. Silver Hollow is a place of ancient traditions and supernatural dangers, where everything is the opposite of what it seems and few escape sane. When she comes face to face with the ugly truth, will she too be sucked into her father’s madness? Or will she discover that madness is just another name for honesty?


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A raw blog post.

A raw blog post.. : A.K.A. MOST Amazing Dream Story EVER

Colleen Hoover is a success story, but that’s only part of her tale. She’s a dreamer and a wonderful, passionate author and I’m proud to say I read her first novel, Slammed, before it made it to the “big time.” She has remained one of my biggest sources of inspiration. Keep it up Colleen! And thank you for sharing your dream with us.

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FREE TITLES :D

Merry Early Christmas, peeps!

Great news! For a limited time only, you can purchase both Heaven’s Edge novellas for free on Amazon Kindle. Click on the pics below to follow the links:

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Short Synopsis

Qeya: Heaven’s Edge #1

Qeya has spent her life set to drift on heaven’s edge.Forced to lead before she is ready, Qeya must find a way to put aside ancient prejudices so they can all survive. Old enemies must form new alliances if they are to last the night. For no one knows the secrets of the new world and only a few can survive the living nightmares at heavens edge.

Ohre: Heaven’s Edge #2

Ohre has never given into his wild nature while living on board Datura 3. Plucked out of a lonely existence at the bottom of the ocean as a boy, he struggled to learn the ways of the land dwellers. He never asked to live with the heaven sailing miners. To keep out of trouble, he stuck to the things he learned, mining and working on his latest invention. But when his adopted clan’s ship is attacked and only he and the Royal children are left alive, he must give into the instincts he long fought against.


Tamn

It’s been a while since I mentioned anything about Heaven’s Edge, or the third installment in the series, Tamn. Real life and other concerns kept me from finishing this series, but it is by no means finished. If you’re a fan of the books, please shout out and let me know! The more incentive I have to write, the sooner you get to find out what happens next…

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What Is Urban Fantasy?

In my mission to better understand & hopefully tackle the Urban Fantasy genre, I present you with wise words from fantastic authoress Jeannie Holmes,


“Urban fantasy is often defined as having supernatural/paranormal elements layered over our recognizable modern or near-future world. The setting is a large city such as Los Angeles, New Orleans, or St. Louis. Often the main character is female and the story is told in first person point of view. The story can have elements pulled from other genres such as science fiction, mystery, horror, and romance and woven together in a cohesive manner with varying degrees of emphasis placed on each of these genre elements. Primarily, the plot will consist of a mystery to be solved or a problem to be corrected before some great calamity strikes. Romance, if present, is usually a secondary plot. Character and story arcs often carry for multiple books. These are “The Rules” of urban fantasy.”

JEANNIE HOLMESARTICLE PAGE LINK


My response? All these traits certainly seem to have a pattern in this sub-genre. And I’ll certainly be keeping them in mind as I work on my new series. If you want to know more about Jeannie and her expertise, visit the links above.

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Tuesday Teaser

I’ve had more than a handful of other things to work on today, from work to finishing up final exams and papers for the end of this semester. Props to those of you who are taking more than two classes! Hang in there, you can do it. But I thought I’d bring back the Tuesday Teaser, for fun and my curiosity. I’m wondering just how many of you read this and what you think of the snippet I’m about to reveal. Care to share?

Source: MorgueStock

Source: MorgueStock


She came from a world of black and white. Their lives played out through the glass of an old mirror, a tainted reflection of truth. After so many centuries of playing it was easy to forget the reflection wasn’t quite real. At times the illusion seemed real enough, but the glass was only so thick and the mirror stretched so far.

The library’s ivory piano keys were scuffed, faded after being worn down by her hands. She wasn’t the only one in the manor who could play, but she was the only one who played to escape. Nights when she could not sleep found her either poking her nose where it didn’t belong or in the melodies of Chopin and Rachmaninoff.

Few Chosen wasted their time on instruments of the past in the House Causing Light. The Gisnu, as they were also known, were the most technologically advanced of the ten Houses and the most closely connected to humans. They offered Ilu’s children their little toys in exchange for power and humans unwittingly gave it. Few outside knew that the toys the Gisnu invented could only be controlled by them. Even though they lived uncomfortably close to the ever flux world of men, there were relics of the past everywhere.

When her guardian dragged them to America a century before, he wanted her to learn everything she could from the Gisnu. They were the reason, after all that the Chosen retained absolute power today.

Of course I should learn their ways, she thought as her fingers hit the keys too roughly. The fact that she despised the sharp angles, the crudity of everything the Gisnu created never made a difference in Etlu’s opinion.

You have a duty to your House, Anu and to your people, her guardian often said.

She couldn’t help the bitter twist of her mouth as she tried to forget her duty and his words in the melody. Here in the manor library it was easy to fade back into time, when days were not filled with constant noise and hours could pass easily. And it was the reason she was in trouble at present.

“You’ve been hiding from me again Anu.”

With good reason, she thought to herself.

“You left the manor again…” he added in a heavy tone. Thick wreaths of smoke blew smoothly from his lips like he had done the simple act thousands of moments just like this. And something must have troubled Etlu greatly. It was the only time he chain smoked in the first place.

She tried to keep her tone polished and even as possible. “Lady Nin does not teach me anything worth knowing. Every lesson is technological progression against the human threat and secret weapons.” After eight centuries of lessons with the rulers of each House she felt she had the right to complain.

Eight centuries of rulers trying to dictate the way I think and feel…

But her anger softened when she looked up from the black and white keys and into his eyes. Etlu was the only thing that made her life tolerable. His steel orbs shone luminescent from the shadows with indifferent sorrow. No matter how closely their fates were tied there would always be a side of him she could not see. And she would never stop trying to see the truth behind his mask.


Any thoughts or suggestions? This is a big work in progress so I’d love to hear from any of you :)

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Anthology Sale!

Great news! The “Other Days” Anthology, kindle edition is temporarily available for free! Sale lasts from tomorrow (Saturday) until Wednesday, so spread the word!

Follow these links to your free copy today:

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Rain, Rain

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Words To Live By

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“Prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. It causes you to work not on what you like, but what you’d like to like.”

Paul Graham (How To Do What You Love)

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