NanoWriMo Update

Week 2

Love this quote so much! Seriously, the reason I started writing stories was because I wanted to be someone I wasn’t. It helped me escape. And now I find that when I don’t write I am in such a grumpy mood. I haven’t been writing much before NanoWriMo…or much this year at all. It’s really sad really. But since I have been writing this month I have seen a drastic change in my attitude and its awesome!

Anyways, I know what you are really here for. You want to know where I am with my goals. Well…here you have it!

Day 1: 0
Day 2: 816
Day 3: 1598
Day 4: 1937
Day 5: 4469
Day 6: 3002
Day 7: 3840
Day 8: 2482
Day 9: 0
Day 10: 4044
Day 11: 2744

Total to Date: 24932

I have learned a few things already. One being that I am happier when I write. The second being that once you have written that first draft it is so much easier to rewrite the entire novel again. Even if you had 72,000 words in the first draft.

I have been putting off re-writing this novel because it was just so much. But I have a 72,000 word outline that I am using to write this novel. The first time around was fleshing out everything. Now, I can throw in things that will hint at things to come because I know exactly what is to come.

This has been a great experience. Last year I made it to the 50,000 word goal, but I never finished the story I was working on. I don’t even remember what it was that I was working on. This time I have a story that has been in my head for years, I have a rough draft, and I am using this month to make it better and get back into writing.

I have let one of my dreams slip through my fingers. I will not let my dream to write slip through my fingers too. I needed this boost to get me out of my slump and back on my feet.

How are you doing with the NanoWriMo?

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What Are You Reading?

Reading Corner

Hello Nerds,

So…I still have not picked up my reading speed. I realize that I have a ton of books to read, but I seem to be in a reading slump. I am falling behind in my reading challenge. I am only 8 books ahead of schedule now.

Moving on…

I am still reading Small Favor by Jim Butcher

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The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld

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and Sortilege by C.M. Cox
Honestly, this one has lost my interest so I need to hurry through it so I can get a review of it done and move on.

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A new one that I am reading is The Selection Kiera Cass
I am listening to this one and I am not so sure I will continue the series when I finish it. The covers are beautiful, but the story…It just feels so…Hunger Games with out the killing. You take a bunch of lower class girls, dress them up, and parade them around the Prince so that one girl can be his bride. I also realized that it takes three books to get to the final girl…It just seems like this story can be told in one book, but I will read through the rest of it before I judge it too harshly.

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What are you reading?

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Pin-It Saturday: Doing the Research

Pin it

This post today was inspired by THIS pin.

I have been working on another story. Something I am really excited about, but I realized it is different from all the other stories I have written in the past. This on actually requires some research.

After doing just a little bit of research I realized that I was so out of my element. I don’t like research, at least I didn’t when I was in school. I always get a mess of information and I have no idea what to do with it from there. And when I say a mess…I mean I practically copied every last word from the books because I never knew what was important!

So I sat down and I tried to figure out my course of action. What and how was I going to research what I needed to find out? I found a method that may work for me. I started searching the more broad terms and note cards. I have this thing for note cards. I love them and using them like the rest of the world uses sticky notes.

I was trying to make up names, so there is a note card for that. I was thinking of strengths and weaknesses for my new character, there is a note card for that. I may have even created a whole new species of supernatural beings, so there is a note card on that. NOTE CARDS EVERYWHERE!

I even went as far as to getting a little note card box and filing these cards into the proper category.

I may just like doing research now!

Of course, there is so much more research to do, but I have found a research method that works for me. I eventually have to make a trip to the library and hope I can find what I am looking for there. I will probably make a list of things I need to find there on a note card…come on! They are easy to carry and to keep organized. I may even try to use the note cards to write my novel.

What is your research method?

Toodles

What are You Reading?

What Are You Reading

Hello Nerds!

Finally moving along with my reading. But I have so much to read. I haven’t been giving enough time for reading, I need to fix this! And more stuff coming in weekly. Not just the books I buy, it seems my name is getting out there and self-published and small press authors are seeking me out for reviews. I’m so excited!

Moving on to my list this week.

I’m reading a new one called Solarversia by Toby Downton. It’s not actually out for the public, but the author contacted me on twitter after I made a comment about Ready Player One. 🙂

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So far the concept is very intriguing and I can’t wait to read more.

Last night I read Delilah Dusticle by A.J. York

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Very cute book. You can catch my review over at TRB when it is published there. But I enjoyed the story! And now I am reading the second novel called Delilah Dusticle’s Transylvanian Adventure.

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I am still reading An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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I have only been reading this on my breaks at work. But it has gotten so good that I may have to sit down on my next day off and finish it.

Of course I am still working on Small Favor by Jim Butcher

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And Talon by Julie Kagawa

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Tell me, what are you reading this week?

Toodles

Book Review: The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

The Infinite Sea

Rating

5 Nerd Girl Rating

Author: Rick Yancey
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Series: The 5th Wave
Genre: YA/Sci-fi/Post Apocalyptic/Dystopian
Pages: 320
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Buy it here: Amazon

First Line: The world is a clock winding down.

**What? How? Who? Huh? Fantastic first line!*

Synopsis: Cassie has found her baby brother, and has saved him from the soldier camp that had taken him away. In the process she found Ben, the boy she had a crush on in high school, before the aliens destroyed normal life. And she lost the alien boy she had fallen in love with in this new life. Now, Cassie, her brother, Ben, and the kids from Ben’s squad are holed up in a run down and forgotten hotel, waiting for Evan Walker, the alien boy who stole Cassie’s heart.

Review: Warning: This will have spoilers. I suggest that if you want to avoid the spoilers, scroll down to the conclusion, where it is safe.

This is the perfect sequel to The 5th Wave. It answers the few questions we had at the end of the first novel. What happened to Evan Walker? What is going to happen between Cassie and Ben now that he knows who she is? How is Sam, Cassie’s little brother, going to adapt to this new world?

My biggest question going into this book was if Evan was still alive. I wanted him to be alive so bad that I could almost taste the heartbreak. And then, he shows up. Just in time to be killed again…until he shows up again at the end. Talk about a rollercoaster of emotions in this book. Not only are we cringing over Evan, wishing him and Cassie could just be happy and safe together, but we are also hoping that Ringer and Teacup are okay.

Sadly, in the end Teacup is killed in order to free Ringer, so that she can escape the soldier camp that she was thrown back into after being captured again. A lot of things happen AGAIN and it’s so frustrating. But the most OMG moment of this whole book is…(Spoiler right here) the aliens are not aliens!! It’s human technology. Humans have betray their own and destroying the place that so many people call home.

Looking back at it now though, It completely makes sense. The world is already going in that direction. We are killing ourselves, and this novel seems to hit the nail on the head. Which is probably what makes it so scary at times.

And let’s not mention how these “aliens” are putting bombs in children’s throats to kill the unsuspecting kind humans left in the world. This is something that actually makes me respect the author, Rick Yancey. Not many people will hurt a child in a story. It’s almost taboo because no one wants to read about a child being harmed. But Sir Yancey (yes I just made him a knight!) has taken the stigma of using children in horrible ways and rubbed it in our faces. While it will make your stomach turn it also makes you want to stand and clap for the brilliant writing!

Conclusion: Again I say, this is the perfect sequel. Questions from the first book are answered, while new questions are left wide open for the next novel. I cannot wait to continue this series. It really makes you wonder what the world would be like when the adults can’t be trusted and kids are being used for war…wait…isn’t that what the world is kind of like now?

As always, a little bit about the cover. Can we please just…highlight the artist of the cover? I feel like the people who design these covers do not get enough credit for the work they do. Seriously though, it’s shiny and I like shiny.

If you read The 5th Wave, then you understand why you must read The Infinite Sea. If you haven’t then please do yourself a favor and read both of them and get ready for the third book due out May 17, 2016.

Toodles

Book Review: The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

The Eternity Cure

Rating

5 Nerd Girl Rating

Author: Julie Kagawa
Release Date: April 30th, 2013
Series: Blood of Eden
Genre: YA/Sci-Fi/Dystopian/Fantasy/Paranormal/Post Apocalyptic
Pages: 434
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Buy it : Amazon, B&N, Other

First Line: I smelled blood as soon as I walked into the room.

Synopsis: Alison has left behind the human boy she fell in love with, along with the humans she had helped keep safe. She was a monster, and she didn’t belong among the humans. There is also the issue that her sire is in trouble and she needs to find him, she owes him, she has to save him.

Her blood tie leads her in the direction of Kanin, her creator. Sarren, a crazy vampire out to kill Kanin, has him and is slowly killing him. Alison is determined to save him, even if Sarren is a lunatic and has already tried to kill her once.

Review: Warning: This review can and will more than likely have spoilers. Should you like to escape the threat of spoilers, please scroll down to the conclusion where you will find a short summary of my feelings for this novel and my plea for you to read this series. You have been warned.

This novel. This whole story. Alison and Kanin. Sarren…Zeke. Oh, lovely, kind, sweet Zeke. I am not going to lie though, as much as I love Zeke, I may love Kanin more. I love a sexy vampire reeking of power.

And then there is Jackal. The vampire who won’t stay down. Though, I must say, Alison is a little tough on the guy. He is her blood brother after all. I kind of learned to love Jackal in this novel, though, with vampires like Sarren, it’s easy to love the much less evil vampire.

Alison follows her blood tie, and then when it breaks apart and there are two blood ties pulling her, she follows the strongest. Can I just say…WHAT? She knows that Kanin is hurt and weak, yet she follows the strongest blood tie? Fine, whatever. She finds Jackal and even though she wants to kill him, she lets him come along. Alison is scared to face Sarren alone and I don’t blame her.

But, enough about the fact that Jackal is still alive. Let’s talk about the fact that in New Covington, the place where Alison is from, the place she lived and died, Zeke is there! He isn’t safe in Eden like Alison thought. Nope, he came looking for her and found himself in a lot of trouble. As always, he is trying to find a way to save all the people around him. So noble of him, but why couldn’t he have just stayed in Eden where he was safe?!  And then he dies.

But let’s face it. He isn’t going to stay dead. The last bit of the novel you have Sarren talking to someone and while you may be thinking that it was Zeke’s dead body, you know better. Sarren isn’t that crazy and just killing the world with the Red lung virus isn’t going to be enough for him. He wants to make everyone suffer!

I do have one complaint. Why was Stick such a jerk?! Now that he is some vampires trained monkey he wants to act like Alison never saved his life. Hello! She died because of him! Ungrateful prick.

 Conclusion:
Sarren is one crazy vampire. He wants to destroy everything, but why? He has tortured Kanin, knowing that his children would come for him. And he doesn’t want to just stop with torturing Kanin and anyone tied to the master vampire. Sarren wants the whole world to suffer. What is this mans deal? Why is he so messed up? I sure hope we find out.

If you like vampire stories then you need to check out this series. I can’t help but to love it, even if people stop loving it after the first novel. I have loved every minute of it and can not wait to finish this series. The bond that Kanin has with Alison is fantastic. I love it. And the bickering between her and her blood brother makes me want to strangle both of them.

This was a great sequel and the cover is another simple, yet beautiful cover. Julie Kagawa is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.

Toodles

Pin-it Saturday: Keeping Time

(Photo Credit)

Keeping track of time in a story is obviously important. It can also be extremely hard to do. When I wrote my first novel, I didn’t keep track of time very well. This is one of the reasons it is still sitting in my “needs to be edited” file. I tried really hard though. I wanted everything to happen over a period of days or weeks. I’m not sure I even accomplished that.

It’s funny how time can get away from you in a story, yet in reality we are always checking the time. At least I am. I am always watching a clock, or checking my phone for the time. There is always things that need to be done by a certain time.

At work, if I open the store, I start 10 minute breaks at 11. Everyone gets a break before the lunch crowd. And I try to have at least one batch of freight out by 12. That never happens, but I do have that set goal. If I am closing, I stop stocking at 6 to start cleaning the store and I make sure everyone has a break before 7.

Life is almost centered around time. We have set times to be awake, to go to sleep. Some people set a time for showers and baths, or set a limit to how long they will take in the water. We set times to leave for vacation, or work, and appointments. Time is just always there.

Yet, when you sit down to write a story, at least when I do, all of time is forgotten.So how do we keep track of time in a story? THIS article gives a few suggestions. I remember being in school writing out timelines. Maybe this is something that needs to be incorporated into my writing as well, sitting down and writing a timeline. Of course, this could all go along with writing an outline…which I have never really done for a novel either.

So tell me, writers of the world, how do you keep up with time in your novel? And do you think it is really important?

Toodles

Book Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

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Rating

5 Nerd Girl Rating

I realize that I give a lot of book a 5 nerdy girl rating…but I can’t help it! I love a lot of books!

Author: Marissa Meyer
Release Date: February 5th, 2013
Series: The Lunar Chronicles
Genre: YA Fiction
Pages: 452
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Buy it: Amazon, B&N, Other Sources

Opening Line: Scarlet was descending toward the alley behind the Rieux Tavern when her portscreen chimed from the passenger seat, followed by an automated voice: “Comm received for Mademoiselle Scarlet Benoit from the Toulouse Law Enforcement Department of Missing Person.”

**If that opening line does not convince you to read this book I don’t know what will!**

Synopsis: In the second instalment of the Lunar Chronicles:

In France, Scarlet’s grandmother disappeared and no one seems to care. The police are convinced that the old woman left to die, simply because her chip was removed and left at home. Scarlet knows better, and soon she meets a man who can lead her to her grandmother.

Meanwhile, Cinder is locked away in prison in Beijing and she has been given the tools to escape. The only problem is she runs into a man who insist that he goes with her, claiming he has a ship to help her get out of Beijing.

And then there is Prince Kai, sitting in his office, trying to deny his attraction to the Cyborg/Lunar that has come into his life. On top of his feelings for Cinder, he is forced to make a decision to pacify Queen Levana for letting her prisoner escape.

Review:  I am in love with this series. And Scarlet is one of the best characters I have read in a while. She doesn’t let anything stop her and she is a fighter to the end. Also, the little romance between Scarlet and Wolf pleases my little romantic heart.

All Scarlet wants to do is find her grandmother, something the cops should be doing, but they have already closed her case, calling it a suicide. Scarlet only has her grandmothers chip and no clue where she has gone.

On the other hand, the relationship that develops between Cinder and Thorne l makes me laugh. Thorne is such an arrogant man, and Cinder loves to put him in his place. He is the perfect person to be around when Cinder is forced to use her Lunar gifts, helping her see that she is not a monster for using it to her advantage.

I feel like Cinder becomes a stronger character in this novel and Kai comes into his own as well. But, at this point, Scarlet is by far my favorite character. Well, Scarlet and Wolf. The whole cast is amazing though, they are all strong characters that are fighting for the greater good of Earth.

 

Conclusion: If you have read Cinder, you will have to read Scarlet. If you haven’t read Cinder, you should probably go read that, like right now, so you can read this book. It jumps around from Cinder, to Scarlet, to Kai, but it is so easy to keep up with and seeing the perspective of three characters enhances the story.

Toodles

Book Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

I realize that I was supposed to do a different post today, but I didn’t have time to get the pictures I needed for it. Ugh work. So instead I bring you a book review!

Rating

5 Nerd Girl Rating

Plus Mustache

Release Date: May 7th 2013

Series: The 5th Wave (#1)

Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy/Dystopia/YA

Pages: 512

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books

Buy it here: Amazon (Other Options)

First Line: Aliens are stupid.

Synopsis:
Cassie may very well be the last person left on Earth. Aliens have invaded and have been killing off humans in waves. The only thing that is keeping Cassie going is the promise she made to her baby brother. She has been running and hiding from the invaders, the ones that look like humans. Food and water is scarce and searching for food means being out in the open when the Silencers can find her.

It’s not long before her Silencer catches up to her and catches her off guard. She is shot in the leg and left for dead, but her will pushes her on until she can’t go any further. She gives herself up for dead, clutching bear and telling her brother sorry for not finding him. When she wakes again she is in an unfamiliar home and a boy who seems to be taking care of her. Evan Walker, the boy who will make Cassie question everything she once believed.

 

Review:
The reason I picked up this book was because of the cover art. It’s so pretty. The creator of the cover did an amazing job and it’s shiny…

This book is so amazing. I have now read it twice and I could possibly read it again in no time. It really makes you think about the world around you and the things you take for granted. Cassie is in this world with no power and no steady roof over her head. She has lost her mother to sickness, watched her father killed in front of her, had her brother taken from her, and she hides in the woods from the monsters responsible for it all. Yet, because of a promise she continues moving on. The hope that her brother, the only family she has left, is still alive and waiting for her.

There are so many novels with strong female characters, but when it comes to the Young Adult genre the girls are sometimes a little whiny and you just want to smack them. Cassie on the other hand, keeps her head up most of the time. She gives herself time to mourn what she has lost, but picks herself back up and keeps going. She is the perfect strong female character. Even when she is injured she keeps going.

The other character that this novel follows, Zombie, a guy the same age as Cassie. The very boy that Cassie was in love with in high school, Ben Parish. Zombie comes off as a little weak. Maybe I am just spoiled by the will and drive of Cassie, but Ben just takes orders. I didn’t really like him until he stepped up for Sammy, Cassie’s baby brother. They are both in a survivor’s camp where they are trained to take on the enemy. Children of all ages are handed guns and taught the magic of combat.

This might be the only problem I have with this book is the fact that a 5 year old is trained in combat, to mold him into the perfect soldier. Of course, the best way to destroy earth would be to brainwash the kids to do your evil bidding.

The love story between Cassie and Evan makes me a little giddy. I feel like it is perfectly done in this story. It’s not overly romantic and it gives them both this moment of peace in the midst of chaos. It would have been unbelievable had Cassie and Evan not developed any kind of feelings for one another. We all need a little love in the chaos.

When I first read this book I didn’t know that it was going to be a series. I thought it was a stand alone, but the moment I read the last words I knew that there would be another novel. I put the book on my shelf and almost forgot about it. Then I saw that there was another novel and I just had to have it.

 

Conclusion:
This story is the perfect dystopian novel. I am so in love with this story. I think this is one of those stories I could read over and over again and never get bored with it. The drive of a sister trying to save her brother. The determination of a child soldier when he finds out the truth. The forbidden love. The only thing this book was missing was…yeah, I can’t think of anything.

Toodles

What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading

Instead of going over all the books that I have open at the moment, let me just share with you all the books I will be actively reading this week. This will make my Monday post, much shorter and I can stop feeling like a failure when I am unable to finish all these books on my plate at the moment.

This week there are only two books I know for sure I will be actively reading, and one audio book.

Forging Divinity by Andrew Rowe. I really need to get this one finished so I can speak with the author for his interview next month.

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and honestly, I cannot get over how awesome this cover is.

Next, I know for a fact that I will finish Isle of the Lost by Melissa De La Cruz this week.

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I am loving this book and the process of learning about the offspring of the bad guys of Disney. I will not deny that I have a huge love for all things Disney.

The book I am listening to this week is The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa. I just finished the second book and I am so excited to read/listen to the next book!

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I have read a few reviews that have hated the second and third book. But so far, I have loved the entire series. And I understand that the main character can be a bit whiny, but she does what she has to do when it comes down to it. Also, life really sucks for her, so…she has the right to be a little whiny.

On a side note, I will also try and decide this week if I will finish Shackleton’s Folly by Todd Yunker. I feel like I haven’t given it a fair try…so I would like to try to get a little further into the story. I have two days in a row off this week and I plan on doing a lot of reading!

So, what are you reading? And what books did you finish last week? I finally finished Ready Player One and that book was so good!

Toodles