Camp NaNoWriMo July 2016

camp-nano

 

Hooray! – Camp NaNoWriMo 2016 July Edition. 

I’ve decided that I will set my word count goal to 50,000 words even though I’m not exactly sure that I’m going to write. I plan on finishing the first book in a planned trilogy that I started in April’s Camp NaNo. At the end of April, I wrote 40,000 words for the first draft and since then I’ve edited and added about 15,000 more. If everything goes as planned, there’s about 20,000 more words to write on this draft.

After that, I’ll still have 30,000 more words to fill in July and I plan on divvying that up between a few romance novellas that I’ve been writing for KDP. If I manage to hit 50,000 words, it will be the most I’ve ever written in a month and I will be ready to face November NaNoWriMo with more confidence than before.

Wish me luck! You can visit my Camp NaNoWriMo profile here if you want to join in on the fun. 🙂

Advertisements

50 Book Challenge 2016 – June

June was a month dedicated to writing and editing, so not much reading got done.I’m not too confident with my reading progress this year, but I’ve been doing so much more reading for school and research that I think I’ll forgive myself for not meeting my goal this month.

 24120519 13206828 18054085

January – 4/4
1. Glass Ceiling by Julie LaVoie <SEE REVIEW HERE>
2. Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #3) by Ransom Riggs
3. Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer
4. The Iron Warrior (The Iron Fey #6) by Julie Kagawa

7823549 7977037 7977037 17399160

February – 4/4
1. Immortal Beloved (Immortal Beloved #1) by Cate Tiernan <SERIES REVIEW>
2. Darkness Falls (Immortal Beloved #2) by Cate Tiernan
3. Eternally Yours (Immortal Beloved #3) by Cate Tiernan
4. Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1) by Sara Raasch

27468996 7171637 4043 13206900 25246657

March – 5/4
1. Annabeth Neverending by Leyla Kader Dahm
2. Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare
3. Godless by Pete Hautman <SEE REVIEW HERE>
4. Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer
5. Queen (The Blackcoat Rebellion #3) by Aimee Carter <SEE REVIEW HERE>

22489107 17404295 10025305 28934536

April – 4/4
1. Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles #3.5) by Marissa Meyer
2. Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes #2) by Sara Raasch
3. Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2) by Cassandra Clare
4. Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat #1) by Zoe Kalo <SEE REVIEW HERE>

18335634  248932411 29459980 25894059

May – 4/4
1.Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare <SERIES REVIEW>
2. A Mad Zombie Party (White Rabbit Chronicles #4) by Gena Showalter
3. Offered to the Werewolves (Shifters of Shadow Falls #1) Crystal L Shaw
4. Arena (Arena #1) by Holly Jennings

18105451 18132923 17927395

June – 3/4
1.Frostfire (Kanin Chronicles #1) by Amanda Hocking
2. Ice Kissed (Kanin Chronicles #2) by Amanda Hocking
3. A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J Maas
4. MEH

2016 Total – 24/50

Book Review: Annabeth Neverending

Anyone who knows me knows that I love books based in Ancient Egypt. So when I saw that Xpresso Book Tours was hosting this gem, I quickly put my name in for a copy.

27468996

Annabeth Neverending 
by Leyla Kader Dahm
Release Date: December 2015
Add to Goodreads

Summary from Goodreads:

At first, teenager Annabeth Prescott thinks she’s found quite a deal when she talks down the price of an ankh pendant she discovers at a flea market. She soon wonders if the bauble is more than she’s bargained for when she faints and glimpses images from a past life in ancient Egypt.
The discovery coincides with another new find: Gabriel, a handsome young man who takes an interest in her. When she meets his twin brother C. J. at a Halloween party, she realizes they look exactly like two boys who figure prominently into her memories.
Does C. J. share the heroic qualities held by his past incarnation Sethe, her bodyguard when she was Princess Ana? Does Gabriel possess the same evil powers he wielded as Kha, the black sorcerer who sought her affection?
Love meets the supernatural in this gripping young adult paranormal romance. Readers with an interest in reincarnation, as well as ancient Egypt, will be drawn to its mystical mixture of history and hesitation as Annabeth sways between the two brothers.
Will her reincarnated soulmate win out? Or will Kha finally find the way to her heart?

This book hooked me from the description and I was extremely happy to receive a free copy for to to review. I find that the magic and mystery often gets over looked in modern media (or BUTCHERED in the case of Gods of Egypt, but I digress) .

17770754

The book gets right into the story line with Annabeth finding the ankh and meeting Gabriel in the same day. She feels an instant connection to him and they start dating. Soon after she meets CJ and things start to get spiced up.

Annabeth is a good main character / narrator, but I would have liked a bit more backstory and set up to the plot. Annabeth’s past life flashbacks are consuming and very well written. The author has obviously done her research. I’ve done my own learning about Ramses the Second and read other books set during his reign. However,  I felt like she accepted being reincarnated much too smoothly and the fact that she had the confidence to tell her neighbor so quickly (and be completely believed) a bit unrealistic.

I knew from the premise of the book that there was going to be some sort of love triangle. It’s a common theme in YA books and I’ve come to accept that.
the-mummy-movies-fan-art-the-mummy-movies-33401273-500-213

As a self-published book, Annabeth Neverending could have used an editor to make it stronger. What stuck out to me the most was a novice mistake of “telling” rather than “showing”. The story moved along briskly and without much resistance by the main character. Things happened too quickly and too conveniently. However, this is the author’s first book and keeping that in mind, it was very good. We all start somewhere, and I am looking forward to see the author grow her skills.

Wrapping up, this was a quick read by a new author who shows much promise. The story was wonderfully imaginative and I hope to see more authors taking inspiration from Ancient Egypt.

A free copy of this book was provided for an honest review. Thank you Xpresso Book Tours!

annabethneverendingtourbanner-2

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

50 Book Challenge 2016 – March

 

As far a genres go, March was all over the map for me. However, I read more than usual possibly because the weather is nicer and lifting my spirits – or – it was because I had a surgery at the end of the month and had nothing better to do than read.

 24120519 13206828 18054085

January – 4/4
1. Glass Ceiling by Julie LaVoie <SEE REVIEW HERE>
2. Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #3) by Ransom Riggs
3. Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer
4. The Iron Warrior (The Iron Fey #6) by Julie Kagawa

7823549 7977037 7977037 17399160

February – 4/4
1. Immortal Beloved (Immortal Beloved #1) by Cate Tiernan <SERIES REVIEW>
2. Darkness Falls (Immortal Beloved #2) by Cate Tiernan
3. Eternally Yours (Immortal Beloved #3) by Cate Tiernan
4. Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1) by Sara Raasch

27468996 7171637 4043 13206900 25246657

March – 5/4
1. Annabeth Neverending by Leyla Kader Dahm
2. Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare
3. Godless by Pete Hautman <SEE REVIEW HERE>
4. Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer
5. Queen (The Blackcoat Rebellion #3) by Aimee Carter

2016 Total – 13/50

Series Review: Immortal Beloved

Author Cate Tiernan is probably best known for her Sweep Series. When I had the chance to get all three of the Immortal Beloved books *in hardcover* at once, I quickly snapped them up, without ever having read anything by Teirnan before.
7823549

The Immortal Beloved Series
1 – Immortal Beloved
2 – Darkness Falls
3 – Eternally Yours 

by Cate Tiernan
Release Date: 2010 – 2012
Add to Goodreads

Summary from Goodreads:

Nastasya has spent the last century living as a spoiled, drugged-out party girl. She feels nothing and cares for no one. But when she witnesses her best friend, a Dark Immortal, torture a human, she realizes something’s got to change. She seeks refuge at a rehab for wayward immortals, where she meets the gorgeous, undeniably sexy Reyn, who seems inexplicably linked to her past.
Nastasya finally begins to deal with life, and even feels safe–until the night she learns that someone wants her dead.

February was the month of digging into the lovely books I purchased on Boxing Day from Book Outlet. After reading many different books all over different series, I was in the mood to read a series from beginning to end and chose Immortal Beloved. The books are around 400 pages each, but they read quick. I actually read the trilogy in about a week, which is an achievement when you’re a mother and a full-time student.

tumblr_lmaeeiyzld1qb6kd0o1_500

I loved Natasya (more on that later) and to be honest, I started the book completely jealous of her crazy, care-free immortal life style. That faded as I realized that her partying was her way of coping with 450-ish years of hell. I really bonded with her as a character, which is something I usually have more difficulty than I would like to admit. She’s so… REAL – and that is an aspect in leading roles that seems to be lacking in YA these days.

In my life, I have the privilege of things like war and famine being far away, in history or in the news. Going through the process of self-healing and discovery with Natasya and Rayn brought many feelings to the surface. I felt raw and sad, missing times that were well before my own. Sometimes I wished for 500 year old memories and then realized that living forever seemed more like a curse than a blessing. If there’s one thing that Cate Tiernan does perfectly, it was the flash-back. They were each so richly written that I felt as if I was holding a tiny time machine in my hands. She is a masterful writer.

Going by the blurb, I was worried about insta-love between Natasya and Rayn, but I was pleasantly surprised. Now granted, there was some insta-lust, but I’m pretty sure I’d be giddy over this Viking God too. All of the characters blended together well and all grew at a good pace. Of course, Natasya had some of the best character development.

As i cracked open the second book,  Darkness Falls, I was mostly anticipating what would come for the  “villains”, Boz and Incy. Teirnan wrote these indulgent, self-destructive characters perfectly and I think even in our modern lives, we all know one or two people that remind us of Boz, Incy and the other wayward Immortals. I won’t put any spoilers in here but whoo-wee Incy! I love myself a bad boy … but he took it too far.

Unfortunately, what irked me the most was the inconsistencies in the Immortal’s world/backstory/rules. Half the time the reader got a “It is because I say so” or “It is because it is” answer to basic questions about where the Immortals come from and how they age. The information slowly built up over the course of the series, but many questions were still left unanswered. I would have liked their culture and past to have been a bit more well developed, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the series.

immortalbelovedseries

About the cover change. While the new editions of covers are lovely and cohesive and filled with “girl in a gown” goodness, I prefer the original 2011 covers. They seem to match the tone and topic matter of the novels better. My set at home has the 1st book in the original cover, and the other two in the more recent renditions. I’m glad I have at least one original, because I adore the pendant imprint on it. It’d make a sweet tattoo – just sayin’.

If there’s one thing I love most about Tiernan’s writing, it’s the tone. Natasya’s narration was the perfect mix of funny, sarcastic and self-serving, as I would expect an immortal “teenager” to be. There were several times that I laughed out loud and other times where I shook my head at her ridiculousness. Cate Tiernan has worked in children’s and teen publishing for a long time and she has mastered the technique of a perfect narrator.

There’s a lot more about this book that I could get into, but then this review would go on forever. Let’s just say that this book came to me exactly when I needed it. I’ve been going through some things myself lately and having Natasya go through them with me made me feel like I wasn’t so alone.

The question is now… what to read next? I probably won’t dive into Sweep, because I’ve heard that it can be quick offensive and eye-roll inducing for Wiccans. However, when shopping for this series, I also got my hands on Birthright, which seems like it will be a great read. But I also have a bunch of new releases to read.

If only I was Immortal, then I could finally have the time to read everything.