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Showing posts from January, 2017

Q & A With Author Sarah Stevens

Hi, Sarah! Let's get started. What are your ambitions for your writing career? 
My ambitions for my writing career would include writing and writing and hoping to one day make the best sellers list.  
What would your career look like in an ideal world? 
In an ideal world my career would look like I could support my family with my writing and have a name for myself.

Those are great goals! What’s your guilty pleasure TV show?  
I love to watch Once Upon a Time. I'm not really a big TV watcher because you will find me with a book in my quiet time. 
I love OUAT too! Do you believe in fate or love at first sight? 
I believe that there is someone for everyone, that date plays a roll in it. It is possible for you to fall in lust at first sight but not so many people are lucky enough to find their forever with them.  
What is the strangest fact about you? 
Strangest??  I'm pretty boring so I'm not sure about a strange fact. 
Which writers inspire you? 
Micalea Smeltzer, R.K. Ryals, Colle…

Q & A With Author Linda Bloodworth

Hi, Linda. Thanks for joining me. Let’s get started. What are your ambitions for your writing career? 
I assume one day become insanely famous and be able to call the shots without someone wanting to change things. 
That sounds nice. What would your career look like in an ideal world? 
I’d have the freedom to write at my own pace, and to work with people I admire.
What’s your guilty pleasure TV show? 
Oh, do I ever love reality TV. It’s awful, when Jersey Shore started I could not stop watching this train wreck. Now, I love Hell’s Kitchen and House Hunters.
HGTV is taking over the world. Do you believe in fate or love at first sight? 
I do, it happened to me.
What is the strangest fact about you? 
Oh gosh, where do I begin. I used to sleep with one eye open due to a childhood surgery for lazy eye. Not so much anymore.
That sounds unpleasant! Which writers inspire you? 
Stephen King. Peter Straub. Ursula K. Le Guin. My main character’s name is Ursula after her.
What are you working on right now? 

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children | Ransom Riggs

“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.”
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy. Number of Pages: 352. Perspective: First. Location: Wales
This is the story of a boy who witnesses his grandfather’s horrific death. He learns that the crazy stories of people with strange talents that his grandpa used to tell are actually real people in a hidden orphanage off a remote Wales island. He decides to go find these people to help him mourn and move on. For a complete summary, you can go here.
The coolest part about this book is that it contains the pictures that the author based his characters off of. They are either real people or slightly manipulated to show people with strange traits or talents, such as levitation. 
I finished this book as I was sitting in the theater waiting for the movie version to start. This forced me to compare the movie and book quite heavily. The movie version was good on its own, but they…

You | Caroline Kepnes

“I don't say anything. I know the power of silence. I remember my dad saying nothing and I remember his silences more vividly than I remember the things he said.”
Genre: Thriller. Number of Pages: 422. Perspective: Second. Location: New York.
You is the story of a bookstore manager, Joe, who quickly becomes obsessed with a beautiful and quirky customer. For a complete summary, you can go here.
The main draw of this book is that it is written in second person and the narrator is a stalker. So it seems as though you are the object of his obsession. Sound creepy? Yes, it was. However, I think the author dropped the ball on how creepy it could have been. But maybe that’s the point. You start to think that Joe isn’t really that bad, or that his actions are justified, when they are actually illegal and very messed up. 
I do think there was the potential for a huge twist at the end. I was waiting for it, but I think the author ended up going with an easier direction. There were all the clues th…

Red Queen | Victoria Aveyard

“The truth is what I make it. I could set this world on fire and call it rain."
Genre: Fantasy/Dystopian. Number of Pages: 383. Perspective: First. Location: Post-Apocalyptic United States.
There is a divide between the people in this post-apocalyptic dystopia: red or silver bloods. Red bloods are lower class. Silver bloods are upper class and have extraordinary abilities. But what happens when a red blood has an ability of her own? For a complete summary, you can go here.
When I first finished this book, I planned on giving a 5-star review. It was a quick and interesting read and very fascinating. However, after discussing it with my book club and digesting the book a little bit, I decided that the familiarity of the story knocked my rating down to 4 stars. It was too similar to many of the other Young Adult dystopian books out there. Sometimes I can’t remember what happened in Red Queen versus Hunger Games versus Divergent. A relatively normal, bland, nondescript teenage girl suddenl…

It’s a Writer Thing — Goals vs. Outcomes

This is a guest post by Jessica Bayliss. 

Happy New Year, wonderful writers! Welcome back to It’s a Writer Thing.
Today, I want to talk about goals. In my work as a clinical psychologist, I help people set goals to improve their health and overcome challenges. I’m a firm believer in making commitments to ourselves, regardless of what our life strivings are. 
But the way we set goals matters. 
Here’s what I mean. Take someone who is trying to lose weight. Their goal might be to lose ten pounds or twenty pounds or whatever. But actually, number of pounds isn’t actually a goal; it’s an outcome. A goal is something completely different.
Outcome: the long-term thing we’re trying to accomplish through our day-to-day efforts: losing ten pounds, quitting smoking, being more socially-active, writing a book, being a successful author. All of these are outcomes.
Goal: the day-to-day behavioral steps needed to reach our outcome. 

In the weight-loss realm, a goal might b…

The Girls | Emma Cline

“That was part of being a girl — you were resigned to whatever feedback you'd get. If you got mad, you were crazy, and if you didn't react, you were a bitch. The only thing you could do was smile from the corner they'd backed you into. Implicate yourself in the joke even if the joke was always on you."
Genre: Historical Fiction. Number of Pages: 355. Perspective: First. Location: California.
The Girls follows Evie in 1969 as she becomes obsessed with learning more about a mysterious free spirit girl who she keeps seeing around town. Evie learns that this girl is a part of a rumored cult, and then begins to get caught up in a dangerous scheme. For a complete summary, you can go here.
First of all, I took way too long to write this review. I read this for my book club a few months ago and we had a really amazing discussion, but now it feels hazy. This book tends to be advertised as being about the Charles Manson cult. Now, there are many parallels, but don’t go into this book…

Best Book of 2016!

Throughout the year, I have been awarding books with my Best Book Award if they receive a five-star rating from me. In order to receive a five-star rating, it needs to be an incredible book that leaves me with nothing bad to say. I have read many outstanding books this year, but a few have stuck in my head and really made a lasting impression. It was hard to pick my favorite book of the year, but here is the winner and a few that almost made the cut. Please comment with your favorite book of 2016! 

Best Book of 2016: 
I’ll Give You The Sun | Jandy Nelson
“Maybe some people are just meant to be in the same story."

Genre: Young Adult/Romance. Number of Pages: 371. Perspective: Alternating First. Location: California. 
I’ll Give You The Sun follows a set of twins, Jude and Noah, through middle school and high school. The perspectives alternate between Noah’s, when the twins are still close at the ages of 13 and 14, and Jude’s, when they are 16 and no longer speaking. It pieces together a pu…