Monday, August 31, 2015

Ready. Set. Write. 2015 Final check in and wrap up!

 Welcome to the final check in of Ready. Set. Write.   

How I did on last weeks goals:
  • As this is really the last week of RSW I need to kick it into gear.  I'm aiming for 5K in my WiP- Score!  I did just over 5K, I don't remember the exact number and I'm too tired to get up and get my flash drive from my purse as I type this.
  • Work on a description/summary for my WiP- Done.  I think I have something down, though only in writing I still need to work on 'talking' about it.
  • Read 2 books- 50% I read one book completely but I have been working on a few others bit by bit.  I also posted my review for Another Day by David Levithan here

A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised:
            He didn’t get a chance to finish his sentence before mystery guy decked him.  Good right hook to the jaw that landed Andrew on the floor.  Everyone who had gathered around waiting for a fight whispered between themselves as Andrew sat there rubbing his jaw and blood dripping from the corner of his mouth.

            Andrew never got up.  Mystery guy looked at her and gestured for her to follow him down the hall towards the exit.  Lexi walked away with him speechless.  He had just come to her rescue and then defended her honor.  It was sweet.

The biggest challenge I face this week: 
I was in pain for most of it with my back.  I still have no idea how I got my pelvis out of alignment given my normal level of activity is reading/writing and watching TV/movies but yeah it caused inflammation in my lower back and didn't really get better until Friday.  Still a bit sore in the mornings when I wake up but a quick stretch and I'm pretty good.  It just made it hard to do much sitting too long in one spot caused pain but then again moving spots hurt too so it was a long tearful week (I'm a wimp when it comes to pain).

Something I love about my WIP:   
This is our last week and I just have to say that I LOVE EVERYTHING!  I love my characters and my story and the little details that make it perfect to me.  But most of all I love all of you for inspiring me to push on and keep working at it and make me believe I can finish this one.

It looks like that is it for RSW2015!  I have no skills in painting my nails, seriously I can't even clear coat properly, so I won't be participating in the manicure and manuscripts but I look forward to seeing how everyone else did this summer.  Thanks for letting me be part of it.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Cursed Book One of the Beholder Series ~ Cover Reveal

                Hello happy readers!  Today I am working with Xpresso Book Tours and Ink Monster to spread the word about a new series they are putting out by Christina Bauer and share the cover release.  The book is Cursed and it is book one in the Beholder series. Cursed is set to release on March 29th 2016 and is listed as a Fantasy, Romance, YA.  I am beyond excited for the new series, I have such high hopes because thus far I LOVE all three series they currently put out.  They all have amazing kick ass female characters that you love from the start.  First things first let's show you that beautiful cover, this is a cover reveal after all:
Goodreads / Amazon / B&N / iBooks / Kobo

                Beautiful cover aside.  To wet your whistle further here is the synopsis of Cursed:

Although Elea's the most powerful necromancer in history, she's spent most of her nineteen years imprisoned in the Midnight Cloisters.  Enchanted manacles keep her unique brand of soul magick in check.  While the guards and initiates seem contented to torment her, the Cloister's Mother Superior is obsessed with finding a safe way to destroy Elea, both body and soul.

Escape seems impossible until a handsome hunter named Asher offers to help.  Elea takes a chance and soon develops feelings for the mysterious stranger.  However, Asher may not be who he claims.  Then again Elea may not be, either…

Goodreads / Ink Monster / Twitter / Facebook
                That sounds pretty amazing don't you think?  I do.  If I haven't said it enough I'm ready for this book.  Christina Bauer has written another series from Ink Monster that you may have seen me gushing over before, Angelbound, and that is only the first in the series with another set to come out in October.  Christina also graduated from Syracuse University's Newhouse School with a BA's in English as well as Televisions, Radio, and Film Production.  Her day job is in marketing for companies like Microsoft, Cisco, and Brainshark.  She even founded her own software start-up Mindful Technologies back in the go-go 90's.  Christina believes that, upon close examination of Tolkien's text, it's entirely possible that the Balrog was wearing fuzzy bunny slippers. 

                I want to thank Ink Monster and Xpresso Book Tours for letting me take part in this exciting announcement.  I'm ready for this book.  If you are interested in any of the other books they have out, I just so happen to have reviewed each and every one of them!  I was serious when I said I LOVED them.  I'll like them with their titles. 

Angelbound Series: Angelbound, Scala, Armageddon, Maxon
Alpha Girl Series: Becoming Alpha, Avoiding Alpha, Alpha Divided, Bruja
The Shadow Ravens Series: Cipher  

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

David Levithan does it again in Another Day

                I hope you all are having a great Wednesday.  Today I have a different kind of review for you today and a first for me.  A few months back I reviewed David Levithan's Every Day here.  Today I'm going to be talking about the companion novel Another Day.  I was so excited to see this on NetGalley and even happier to be accepted to receive it.  This is not a sequel novel nor does it follow a different character after the events like the other companion novels I've read have been.  Another Day strictly takes place during the time from of Every Day only from Rhiannon's perspective.

Rating: 5 Stars

                If you're not familiar with the basic plot it follows Rhiannon in her life as she meets 'A' a being who has no body.  A moves from body to body every day never in the same one twice and never able to have their own person.  A also has no gender but for simplicity A will be referred to as a he in my review because I saw A as a he.  Rhiannon has accepted her life as is even her distant and temperamental boyfriend Justin.  One day he is completely different and she has a perfect day.  Then the next day it's as if it never happened to anyone but her.  Then as she meets a few strangers she is told by one that they were the one she spent her perfect day with, because they 'A' were inside of Justin's body that day.  It's hard to take in.  We follow Rhiannon as she continues to meet this 'A' in all the different forms and push her beliefs on what really matters in the heart the shell or the soul.

                This book I think could be read without having read Every Day.  I think having read it, and recently, I knew most of what was going to happen so most things weren't super surprising to me but I really enjoyed seeing it from her perspective.  We had lots of stuff that we didn't get in the first book from 'A' while he was dealing with his own internal struggles we see how Rhiannon copes with learning this strange and unbelievable fact that has become part of her life. 

                Seeing how she handled each different incarnation and her struggle to adjust her way of thinking.  Could you love a soul if one day it was a boy and the next a girl always bouncing back and forth?  Could you feel equally attacked to each form because of what is inside or does the outside count for something?  As someone who has had body image issues her whole life this was really interesting to watch her look at.  I loved her comparisons to the car and the driver.  Rhiannon had much more depth in this book and I could understand her reasoning so much more in this.

                My favorite part though was seeing one body in particular through her eyes.  'A' is a boy, one who is very obese and he is clearly uncomfortable.  In Every Day you see how disgusted he is to be in that body, which was new he always respected all the bodies he had, but this one got him and it was at a point that hit the reader.  After reading Every Day I was dreading her reaction to this assuming it would be worse than his, however, Rhiannon was okay with it.  She was more put off by his reaction to it and that he put the awkward space between them there not her feelings on it.  Same goes for how Rhiannon saw some of the other bodies, jealous she wasn't as attractive and how her attitude changed when around that body.  It just shows that we are our worst critics and many times what other people see in us we don't see ourselves. 

                I really enjoyed this book.  I love how Levithan is able to weave so much power and meaning into an entertaining story.  Both books make you take a look at your life.  What is important in a relationship.  Can you truly love only the soul?  Can it work?   'A' always moving never knowing what it is to have anything long term, literally living each day, then with Rhiannon she has sees the downsides but sometimes when you have a life that is stuck the idea of escaping and being someone else for a day sounds appealing. 

                The ending is the same place but the last line.  THE LAST LINE.  Every Day leaves you with a sort of open ending, where there are so many possibilities for the future.  A fanfiction dream of openness.  I had my theory, then finishing Another Day and it is blown away.  I spent hours figuring out an option that I think now suits the story.  Bogdana at Bogdana The Booknerd reviewed this too and was my sounding board coming up with our own 'down the road' ending we are both happy with. 

                I highly recommend reading both of these books.  It really is like reading a completely different story both times because there is so much more in between.  You can check out Another Day now as it came out yesterday August 25th!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Ready. Set. Write. Week 12

                Welcome to Week 12 of Ready. Set. Write.  Simple is the name of the game. 

How I did on last weeks goals:

  • Transition to day shift!  I start back to days Wednesday so I have 1.5 days to adjust my internal clock- Done.  Didn't have a choice really but it went pretty well.  So far my body is really liking the adjustment. 
  • Continue what I started last week, working on scenes I am missing.  I’m aiming for 5K- Fail.  I haven't done anything, this week was hard.  Work was busier than usual and I was crippled part of the weekend after sleeping wrong and messing up my back. 
  • Read and work on my review for Another DayRead!  Took much longer than planned because day shift was surprisingly busy.  
  • Revamp/Re-write my budget.  Rising power costs given the Hades like temps and other bills that flux and revamp my savings and trip fund- Did it!  But I need to revamp again as work is going to cut out OT (which we currently get every paycheck).  Should be much easier though. 
  • Read 2 additional books (not counting Never Fade which should be finished by end of day)- Nope.  I didn't anything else, not even counting Never Fade. 

My goals for this week: 
  • As this is really the last week of RSW I need to kick it into gear.  I'm aiming for 5K in my WiP
  • Work on a description/summary for my WiP 
  • Read 2 books

A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised:

I didn't get anything wrote L

The biggest challenge I face this week: 

Adjusting to being busier on the day shift.  Also I slept wrong or something because my back was killing me all day Sunday it hurt to move at all.

Something I love about my WIP:   
Love in its varying forms.

That’s it for this week.  Good luck this week!

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Geneva Project: Secrets

                It's Friday!  So that means it's time for another review here at Functioning Insanity Reviews.  Last week I reviewed The Geneva Project: Truth by Christina Benjamin here, the first book in the series, and today I'll be reviewing book two Secrets.  You know the drill this is book two so it will contain some spoilers for book one, sorry, but if you haven't read it yet go do so and come right back.  You have been warned. 

Rating:  5 Stars

                Secrets picks up where Truth ended.  Pretty much that same moment, we go right back into it not skipping a beat. Tippy now knows she is Geneva, the Eva, the one meant to lead the Beto people and all on the island back to a peaceful way of life.  The Book of Secrets gave her more than she bargained for with the whole destiny and a sister she never would have asked for.  Still this is not the end she has many more secrets to uncover, some dark and mysterious.  Geneva must decide who she can trust with her secrets and which she must keep to herself. 

                When we left Tippy, aka Geneva, in Truth she just found out her destiny and oh yeah Jemma, her enemy is now her older sister.  Shock set in now.  It's overwhelming to learn  all of this.  Add to that she had just put an end to an evil hunting them and she needed a moment.  Things quickly get into gear as the gang joins with the Beto people in the forest, constantly on the move to keep themselves safe.  My thoughts and theories about a couple things were in fact true, I'm that good.  Though I admit it happened in a different way than expected.  In Secrets we get to meet so many new characters while still learning new things about the ones we already love.  My favorite new addition was Jovi.  We found out more about the legends and history of the island.  This is important if they wish to change the past and not let history repeat itself.  
How I imagine the expanse of forest on the island, lots of places to still discover!
                Along with tons of character development and growth, because Eva has some serious stuff to cope with.  Sure she doesn't always make the sound decisions but she's young and she's overwhelmed and I had a hard time being upset about any mistakes or decisions she made based on flawed logic because of that.  I loved being in her head and seeing just what she was going through and how she came to her decisions.  Even when things are not explained to her fully or she is lied to and betrayed she still finds it in her heart to do what is best for everyone and not take a vindictive stance.  That shows me she is a good leader.  She has her moments and she may do some things against her personal desires and get a touch of payback in there but she at least feels bad after.  Heads up I didn't feel bad at all.  I'm not even going to try and describe the tension of all types between all the characters, lots of emotions and feels happening there.  I think it was best to experience it first hand so I don't want you to be expecting anything and ruin that ah ha moment.  I'll just say wow...some stuff is going down.  High drama levels done right.

                 Secrets also focuses on their mission.  They need to find the four pillars.   Eva believes that the best place they will be is back at the orphanage they escaped from.  They have to go back.  No one is excited at the prospect of course but it's a necessary evil they must work towards with the best plan possible.  The road is dangerous, more so as in this book we find out more of the other side, the evil group that are seeking out Eva and the pillars for a completely opposite reason than peace and unity. Seeing things happen from both angles and knowing how more than the other characters made it all the more intense.    

                There is so much happening in the book. Things never stop moving.  The continued world building is astounding and completely natural as they learn about the legends and at the same time it blends so easily into the characters stories it's perfect.  I really enjoyed this book and I'm beyond excited for book three: Lies to come out next month.  Which leads me into my next bit of news, to celebrate the release of Lies I had the pleasure of doing a character interview of Sparrow.  It was so much fun to put together with the author and I can't wait to share it with you all.  I'll be posting that on September 2nd so make sure to check back then for more.  Until then check back for more fun posts and reviews.  Share your thoughts and feels in the comments below they fill my heart :) 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wednesday Review of...Wednesday by Clare James

                Happy Hump Day!  It's review time and today I am going to be talking about Wednesday by Clare James.  I maybe did choose to review this book on a Wednesday for funs sake.  I was contacted by the publisher and provided a copy for an honest review of this NA Romance, it's full of more adult themes and sexy fun times so recommended for a more mature audience.  Just as a warning to any wee lassies reading. 

                A brief idea of what Wednesday is about.  Moving back home at the ripe age of 21 Aria never expected to be raising a toddler on her own already married and divorced.  Her life was much different than her friends from school who went wild at parties and waking up in different bed.  She had bed times and messes to clean up while studding to be a nurse.  All of that was fine.  Until she started running into her former best-friend Tristan, who has his own issues he’s back in town dealing with like a sick father.  Both happen to have Wednesday nights off, free of their normal responsibilities.  Running into him, even though she was sure he hated her, he made her feel like who she used to be.  So he makes an offer.  Her.  Him.  Alone at the beach house every Wednesday able to lose themselves and take what they needed from one another.  Seems simple enough, though the line between love and hate is very thin.

Rating: 4 Stars

                This books was a quick fun NA read.  I flew through it in a few hours and enjoyed the story.  I found the characters to be interesting and relatable.  I liked Aria from the start seeing what she was dealing with and respecting her values.  I was a bit leery of Tristan at first.  I thought he had turned into a bit of a douche really but as the story progressed and I learned the whole story he grew on me quickly.  And I really wanted to know more about the past they shared and found myself wanting to flip the page to see what would happen between them next. 

                The idea of the book, a enemies with benefits type of thing was interesting.  I liked that they both needed that day for release from their lives.  The story grows and unfolds and we learn more about the characters and the sexy fun times were pretty steamy but did not fill every page leaving plenty of room for a good story.  I would recommend this to anyone who likes a good second chance story or even just a good steamy NA Romance.  This review is short so as not to give away too much but I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.  If you had one day away from the responsibilities and pressures of your current life what would you do to unwind?  Me?  I wouldn't mind a Tristan but honestly I'm such a nerd I'd curl up with a book or sleep.  Until next time...

Monday, August 17, 2015

Ready. Set. Write. Week 11

                Welcome to Week 11 of Ready. Set. Write.  Simple is the name of the game. 

How I did on last weeks goals:

I want to finish Never Fade! I give up.  I am an epic fail!  Okay so I read more of it and I only have like 100 pages to go and plan to finish it today but nope still not done. 

I'd like to get serious about my story and take a look to see what's left that I need.  I write in different parts, whatever scene is calling to me at that particular time.  So I need to start piecing it together and see what is missing, besides the ending- Yes!  I did start going through and found things I was missing, and I swear some of the scenes I remember writing them but they are not on my master copy so all I can think is they got typed and didn’t save L

Along with the above goal I'd like to not only find the missing pieces but write them up and work on as many as possible- So as many as possible turned out to be three.  Still proud it’s 9,711 words so I’m pretty proud!

I'd love to get a week ahead in reviews for my blog so that would be two for this week and next week- Nope!  I did my reviews I posted last week.  I did Truth here and Shadow and Bone here but I didn’t get as much of a head start on this week as I’d have liked.

Along with finishing Never Fade finally I'd like to read at least 2 other books I have on my TBR list for review- Done!  I read 3 books and a graphic novel!  Well I listened to one, I found audiobooks are good for getting reading done when it hurts to read because your eyes or head hurt. 

My goals for this week: 

All the time really but still!
Transition to day shift!  I start back to days Wednesday so I have 1.5 days to adjust my internal clock

Continue what I started last week, working on scenes I am missing.  I’m aiming for 5K.

Read and work on my review for Another Day

Revamp/Re-write my budget.  Rising power costs given the Hades like temps and other bills that flux and revamp my savings and trip fund.

Read 2 additional books (not counting Never Fade which should be finished by end of day)

A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised:  
                Shrugging off his jacket he slung it over her shoulders and helped her slip each arm in one at a time.  “Okay Lexi, I need you to help me here.  Where are your keys?”
                She almost fell out of his grip when she leaned back and lifted up her leg.  He readjusted his grip on her and guided her over to the parking lot and leaned her against her car.  Leaning so his shoulder helped prop her up he reached down and unzipped her boot and found her key, phone, and two cards.  Smiling he pulled out the key and zipped up her boot. 

The biggest challenge I face this week:  It was my last week on night shift (11pm-11am) I’m posting it still on nights but when I leave in a few hours I will be off until starting day shift Wednesday!  So I tried very hard to stay on the night schedule on my off days to make it go smoothly which worked for that but I don’t feel super motivated to do anything when waking up at midnight but lounge. 

Something I love about my WIP:  I’m doing everything thing I can to make it seem as real as possible.  Not gloss over something because it might not be something that will go over well or might be bashed. 

That’s it for this week.  Good luck this week!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Review for Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

                Happy Friday!  The weekend is here!  Time for another review, I've been doing good in catching up with some series I wanted to read in 2014 but never had time to start many of which are already finished making them perfect for marathoning.  Today's book is one of those, Shadow and Bone, the first book in the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo.  I've completed the trilogy as it stands, though I hear there is a short story or novella coming to e-book this month that focuses on one of the characters that intrigues me.  I'll be reviewing the books individually, I've gone back and forth and I like the idea of reviewing each one rather than lumping them all together and giving tons of spoilers for the first books to say anything about the last.

                This story is a fantasy world full of magic and creatures and lots of things and places I can't being to pronounce.  Oh and it has a map which are always so beautiful and fun to look at.  The nation of Ravka is torn in two by what is known as the Shadow Fold, a patch of total darkness that is crawling with monsters who devour people to step into it.  Our heroine is Alina, map maker apprentice in the regiment.  Not good at much herself she is best friends with Mal, another orphan like herself raised in the same orphanage and best friends since childhood.  She may also have a huge crush on him but then again who wouldn't.  They are set to cross the fold with their regiment, hoping to not lose too many.  However, when their ride is attacked Alina reveals a power that saves many, a power that could be the key to setting the war-ravaged country free.  She is pulled away from everything she knows and thrust into the world of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the Darkling.  She is forced to come to terms with her new powers and try to adapt to the new life she has before her and she discovers not everything in the lavish world of court is as it seems.  The whole kingdom is depending on her power to set them all free, yet she isn't sure she can be their savior. 

Rating:  5 Stars

                I didn't know much about this book going in.  I knew a bunch of people on BookTube and blogs I follow talked about it.  I heard about the Darkling, though nothing specific.  I only knew that people seemed to love this series.  I was late to the party but I bought all three last year and they sat waiting for me on my shelf. I bought several books and series before YALLfest last year hoping to get to them all before but let's be honest things never work out as you plan.  Still I missed my deadline but that only meant I could enjoy them later already waiting for me.  My friend at Bogdana The Booknerd told me about a Goodreads read along starting the book we both had talked about wanting to read.  It seemed like a good time to do it and reading only a couple chapters a day kept me on track for my other books as well.  It was hard only reading the allotted chapters.

                That was my general feel through the read along.  I always wanted to read ahead and fly through more chapters by the second day.  The first part has some world building and such, all well done and drew me in but it became hard to put down quickly as well it hits the fan pretty early on and just goes and goes from there.  I followed Alina through her journey and watched her deal with everything thrown at her from having a crush on her sexy and popular with the ladies best friend who is clueless to her feelings, to suddenly being looked at as more than an orphan in the regiment but the most important tool in ending the Shadow Fold.  Serious life upheaval.  She has her moments.  Sometimes I wanted to strangle Alina for some of her choices but all the while I could understand where she was coming from even if I didn't agree.
See the pretty map!

                Some of the other characters, Mal, The Darkling, Genya, etc. put me through the ringer with emotions and feelings.  I could never tell with them.  One minute I was convinced of one thing then a later I was completely thinking something else.  I loved that while I had some aspects pegged from the start I kept second guessing myself on some.  The characters were written that well.  Genya is such a free spirit and from the moment you first meet her you just kind of laugh reading scenes with her.  Mal, boy next door you want to hit on the head for not noticing our herorine and being an idiot at times.  The Darkling who has so much more to him and you see a side to him and think despite the fact that his name is the Darkling and your thinking he's going to be a bad guy by that alone might actually be searching for redemption.  Creepy priests and totally witches (Zoya) who act like the mean girl in school on a much higher scale and everything rounds out.  There are a lot of different characters and personalities in the first book alone. 

                With all the personalities you also get the aspect of royal court.  The good, bad, and ugly.  Politics are not a joy to be thrust into.  A new shinny toy to be played with and fought over.  The intrigue there as well, the whole system between royalty, Grisha, and common folk was well explained and done.  The overall story has a lot going for it with action, adventure, political intrigue, mystery, magic, and yes romance.  Overall I was addicted and I wanted more. 

                That's about all I can say right now without spoiling any of the good fun bits.  I thought this book was amazing full of everything you want in a good high fantasy book!  I'll share my thoughts on the rest of the series in the coming weeks so stay tuned.  Until then share your thoughts on Shadow and Bone in the comments.  What was your favorite part?  Until next time.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Geneva Project: Truth by Christina Benjamin

                Welcome back to Wednesday fun!  Review time.  Today I’m going to discuss a book I got while at UtopYA back in June.  I’m starting to catch up with some of the amply amount of books I came away with.  Seriously, more than a carryon suitcase can hold.  That and a huge tote bag full and some.  Yep lots of books!  Plus even more I got on my kindle while there or added to my wish list.  Anywho I’m starting to get into them and add them into my current TBR lists.  Today that book is The Geneva Project: Truth by Christina Benjamin, the first book in The Geneva Project series.

                Briefly Truth centers on an island that was devastated by the flood several years ago that left many orphans.  The orphans are trapped at the center and put to work scouring the islands flood zones recovering precious stones and things of value for the wealthy citizens of the still prosperous city Lux.  Orphans have no individual names only numbers affixed to John or Jane.  Truth focuses on Jane 65, she is different, the youngest orphan in the center found as only a baby. Her life is rather dull until one day she meets a John from the older year.  He handles himself differently and…he knows his name.  This sets her down a road that spirals her dull life into something completely different as she searches for answers to who she is, the legends of the island, and the magic within some of the orphans.  However, on this quest to self-discovery 65 and her new friends must navigate the new information and who to trust while keeping it a secret from the evil head mistress of the orphanage.

Rating: 5 Stars

                I was intrigued by this book from the start.  I looked up some of the authors for UtopYA beforehand hoping to get an idea of some of the books and to do some pre-orders to keep my budget in check.  Without a budget you could get in serious trouble at a book event.  Truth and the sequel Secrets were on my pre-order list.  The covers called to me, simple and mysterious, and the description or blurb I read for them made me want to know more.  When I went to pick up my books Christina had them all put together in a nifty bag and everything all ready to go including items for photo ops!  We took pictures and discussed her books for a nice little bit and it only made me want to read it more.  If you ever have the chance to hear an author gush about their books I highly suggest it.  Her enthusiasm and friendliness were contagious especially to someone like myself who was still feeling a bit shy at the beginning. 

                This book did not disappoint me.  The world building was done in a way that you don’t really notice it.  The world just comes to life around the characters.  You get to know the world along with Jane 65, ‘Tippy’, and the story unfolds.  The island seems massive with the glamourous city of Lux, the orphanage, the flood work zones, and the vast forest that scares people away, and who knows what else could be on the island we haven’t yet discovered.  Still it had the overall feel of an island like you see on movies or if you luck on vacation.  Also placing the story on an island lends to the seclusion of it all.  Isolated and no real ability to ‘run’ if one wanted as there is a limit to how far you can go.

                Everyone has numbers and not names.  That is a hard idea.  To be regulated as a number, not good enough for a name.  This book handled the idea of self-identity very well.  Some remember their names but you are unable to use it in public, others knowing is a luxury, a privilege almost.  Then you have 65 who is unable to remember anything being as she was too young to have any memories.  She has no idea who she was, she only has a number and no name to hold onto.  She gets a nick name, Tippy, which I find myself always wanting to use instead of something as impersonal as a number.   It’s easy to follow Tippy and root for her.  She is easily likeable.  She is a year younger than the rest she is housed with but always fits to be just as fast and smart as them.  Even more so as the powers come into play.
Telepathy could be very useful...also save $ on cell phone :) 

                Speaking of powers.  I liked that how different they were and how they came about.  Taking time to learn to use them and improve upon them.  There were so many different ones happening but I think one of my favorites was hearing and talking to the animals.  It was only touched upon but that just struck a cord with me. 

                While the powers of some of the characters are pretty spectacular and fit quite nicely with each of them I would love them without them as well.  Which means they are done well.  First I must say this.  I heart Niv!  I gushed over Niv.  Aside from Niv we have Nova, the boy who started it all but telling Tippy he knew his name.  He is friendly and sweet from the start, a year older but always treating Tippy the same as everyone else.  Tippy's best and only friend in the beginning is Remi.  They are the quite duo.  They both kind of keep to themselves and only talk to one another not having lots of friends.  Peas in a pod.  I have some theories about him and his character arc to come.  Then we have two who seem like opposites but are like family, Journey and Sparrow.  Even mean girl Jemma has some depth to her you want to learn more about. 

                I think the story was well paced and kept you wondering what is happening next.  You wanted to go on the journey and find the truth with the gang.  It went by quickly and I didn't want to put it down.  Everything flowed neatly into the next.  My only problem, and I am leery of even calling it that, was that I had with the age of the characters.  They are only thirteen, making Tippy twelve.  It just seemed a bit young for some things.  Maybe I'm dating myself but that may just be that when I was twelve boys were still kind of icky haha and I don't think my thoughts were that deep.  At least not on a regular basis.  I know things have changed in the recent years but mentally I kept aging the kids a few years.  It didn’t hinder my enjoyment at all, like I said my mind just mentally aged them almost without me noticing.  It wasn’t until the age is stated again that I’d pause for a moment like I just realized that. 

                I'm going to be starting the sequel tomorrow, or today depending on what time I wake up, and I look forward to continuing the series and finding out what secrets are waiting to be uncovered.  I look forward to sharing thoughts on it soon.  Also as an added bonus the third book in the series, Lies is set to come out on September 1st!  Which means a super short wait which is always a plus.  Share with me below your thoughts and feels on the book.  If you could have any of their powers which would you choose?  Or pick your own.  Comments fill my heart  with happiness J  Until next time.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Ready. Set. Write. Week 10

                Welcome to Week 10 of Ready. Set. Write.  Simple is the name of the game. 
How I did on last weeks goals:
  • Finish Vicious and Never Fade- 50/50 I'm done with Vicious.  I never even picked up Never Fade again which sucks because I was really liking it.  I will finish it!
  • Read Truth and Wednesday and work on my reviews-  Read both and started my reviews! 
  • Finish 2 posts for this week and one for next week (see above):  I reviewed and posted This Shattered World here and participated in a blog tour for Lumière here.  So just didn't get the one for next week finished only started.
  • Send my short story to at least 2 people for thoughts- Done.  Haven't heard back yet but I didn't get them sent out till Friday/Saturday. 
  • Write 2 scenes in my WIP – Done!  So I ended up reading over my short one more time and added about  3k words or so to it.  I felt like it needed some more depth in it.  I felt it was too open in the ending and since I said I was finished I have felt there was something missing and this kind of came to me and I had to get it out there.  Plus I just finished up work on my 2 scenes before I posted.
  • Finish my blog tabs (about me and my rating system) and get it updated:  Done!  I even added the Contact tab too! 
  • Unpack- Done!  My suitcases haven't been put in the outside storage yet but that's in part because I'm unsure if I want to put it there again.

My goals for this week: 
  • I want to finish Never Fade!
  • I'd like to get serious about my story and take a look to see what's left that I need.  I write in different parts, whatever scene is calling to me at that particular time.  So I need to start piecing it together and see what is missing (besides the ending). 
  • Along with the above goal I'd like to not only find the missing pieces but write them up and work on as many as possible. 
  • I'd love to get a week ahead in reviews for my blog so that would be two for this week and next week. 
  • Along with finishing Never Fade finally I'd like to read at least 2 other books I have on my TBR list for review.

A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised:  An added scene from my short.
                Ian watched her stare at the envelope for a few minutes in silence.  "Do you want me to stick around while you open it or would you rather be alone?"

                It felt heavy.  She had no idea what was inside but she knew from the moisture filling her eyes she was going to cry no matter what.  She looked up at him and shrugged, "I don't care.  I'm going to cry again for sure.  I figure you've had your fill."

                "Let's go inside and get some tissues then," he placed his hand on her back and guided her inside.  She sat down on the couch and curled her feet underneath herself as she looked at the envelope wondering what it would say.  She wasn't sure she was ready to see what was inside.

The biggest challenge I face this week:  Being motivated.  I just wanted to curl up on the couch with some TV/Movies and watch till I slept.

Something I love about my WIP:  I'm starting to get really excited and think I might actually get to finish this!

That’s it for this week.  Good luck this week!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Lumière by Jacqueline E. Garlick

                Hello readers!  Today I’m participating in a Blog Blitz hosted by Seeing Double In Neverland for a book I’m excited about:  Lumière by Jacqueline Garlick.   I’ll give you a quick idea of the story and the author some details you might be interested in and in gun blog tour fashion a giveaway to win awesome goodies!  Lumière will be available on August 11th.

Goodreads / Amazon / B&N / Book Depository
                One determined girl.  One resourceful boy.  One miracle machine that could destroy everything.

                After an unexplained flash shatters her world, seventeen-year-old Eyelet Elsworth sets out to find the Illuminator, her father’s prized invention.  With it, she hopes to cure herself of her debilitating seizures before Professor Smrt—her father’s arch nemesis—discovers her secret and locks her away in an asylum.

                Pursued by Smrt, Eyelet locates the Illuminator only to see it whisked away.  She follows the thief into the world of the unknown, compelled not only by her quest but by the allure of the stranger—Urlick Babbit—who harbors secrets of his own.

                Together, they endure deadly Vapours and criminal-infested woods in pursuit of the same prize, only to discover the miracle machine they hoped would solve their problems may in face be their biggest problem of all. 

                You can also pre-order the sequel Noir available August 18th!  Such a short time to wait between books it’s heavenly! 
Goodreads / Amazon / B&N / Book Depository

About Author Jacqueline in her own words!

Goodreads / FacebookWebsite 
                I write YA, New Adult, and Women’s Fiction.  I love strong heroines, despise whine sidekicks, and adore a good story about a triumphant underdog.  I love to read, write, paint (walls and paper) and plan cool writing events for cool writers here.  I have a love/hate relationship with chocolate, grammar, and technology.  I prefer creating things to cleaning things, and baking to cooking and believe laughter is a one-stop-shop solution to all that ails you.  I also firmly believe ELO’s Mr. Blue Sky can improve even the worst day.  And if that doesn’t work, there’s always Ellen Degeneres.  You will always find a purple wall (or two) in my house (perhaps even a door) and a hidden passageway that leads to a mystery room.  (Okay, so you won’t find a hidden passageway but a girl can dream, can’t she?)  Oh, and tea.  There will always be tea.  I love specialty teas…and collecting special teacups from which to drink them.

                In my former like, I was a teacher (both grade school and college – long story, don’t ask) and more recently, I’ve been a graduate of Ellen Hopkins Nevada Mentor Program and a student of James Scott Bell, Christopher Vogler and Don Maass.  An excerpt from Lumière earned me the 2012 Don Maass Break Out Novel Intensive Scholarship.

                Known for my edge, rule-breaking, Tim Burton-esque style of writing, I’m often affectionately referred to as the Quentin Tarantino of YA among friend in writing circles.                

                Now that giveaway that I mentioned is open to US and Canada Only.  Take a quick moment to enter this lovely giveaway and check out both Lumière and Noir.    

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

This Shattered World a strong sequel that leaves you wanting more

                Happy Hump Day!  It is currently super early (or late depending on your prospective) and I have here a new review to share with you.  But first I wanted to take a moment to announce the winner of the signed copy of ACOTAR by Sarah J Maas was Bogdana!  Thank you to all who participated and keep checking back for more giveaways in the future. 

                Now back to the reviewing, you may remember last month I reviewed These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (if not you can find it here) and today I want to discuss the second installment in the Starbound trilogy, ThisShattered World.  This book is a sequel and while it focuses on two different main characters, Jubilee "Lee" Chase and Flynn Cormac, in a different setting there are still some spoilers as to the first book in the series but I'll keep my review spoiler free.    

Rating: 4 Stars

                First thing you have to point out is another beautiful cover.  I love the continued theme but changing it to a brighter starry background and also changed the characters.  In This Shattered World we are a bit forward from book one and are on Avon, a terraformed planet that is having some issues with rebellious colonists.  Jubilee "Lee" is a captain and meant to crush the rebellion it’s a job but also a personal mission.  She has her reasons for hating the rebels.  Then we have Flynn, a leader of the rebellion.  He has issues with terraforming corporations who promised a better life for the children of the colonists when they were recruited to make inhospitable planets livable.  It's been decades and the colonists are sick of it and fighting back.  The two should never meet.  They are on polar opposite ends of the spectrum.  Snap decisions are made and put them on paths that push them to reevaluate their beliefs and try to find a way to end this senseless war. 

                I really liked this story.  It was pretty amazing to me that the story could be so similar and yet so different all at the same time.  There are still the same elements and everything flows together and blends with what we learned in the first book but at the same time we have a vast collection of characters to interact with in this one.  These Broken Stars focused the majority of the story on the two main characters and their journey and discoveries.  This Shattered World puts you right in the middle of a war full of actions and keeps up the mystery and suspense. 

                Again the tagline for the trilogy is: Three worlds.  Three love stories.  One enemy.  We see what that really means in This Shattered World.  The romance aspect you see is a real star crossed romance for sure.  I loved though it wasn't some instant defy everything I have ever believed in because of insta-love.  There is an initial attraction, yes, but the emotions and feelings come into play is steady and natural.  It progresses in a way that is believable and doesn’t subtract anything from the overall story. 
                Avon is so different from the setting of the first book that it's like discovering a new world all over again because we are.  I'm beyond excited to see where we go for book three.  Avon is suffering and is not prospering and there is a mystical element, leading many to become superstitious about the area.  The play between the military and the rebels was great fun.  Seeing from both characters perspectives was ideal because as a reader you are taken on both sides of the argument.  You can see the good and bad to both sides and see it more clearly.

                The idea to focus on different characters in a different part of space was genius.  It just makes sense and it doesn't ruin the first story by dragging things out but instead gives you a fresh idea and continues with things you were left with questions about in the first one.  I enjoyed the way the two stories pulled together throughout the story but it waited long enough to let the reader really get invested in the current story.  Well done to both authors.  I admit that wasn't my first reaction.  I wanted more of my characters I knew.  Ones I was already invested in.  I think I even complained about that part to a friend.  But as I read I became attached to this new story and everything happening in the world.   I was also able to appreciate the more action packed pace that was set. 

                That's all I can really say without spoiling it for anyone.  Read them in order! That's the only real suggestion I have for you.  I chatted with someone who read This Shattered World first and was somewhat confused when the stories started to merge into a larger overall story.  I think this book was a good sequel and I can't wait for the next one to come out and see how it all plays out in the span of the trilogy.  That's all for today.  Comments make me happy!  Spread the love and tell me your thoughts I'd love to discuss!  Until next time…

Monday, August 3, 2015

Ready. Set. Write. Week 9!

                Welcome to Week 9 of Ready. Set. Write.  Simple is the name of the game. 

So let me just say I did horrible last week and don't expect to do much better this week.

How I did on last weeks goals:

  • Classes- I'm in class this week with a co-worker.  So my plans are to not be late to class each day, pay attention, do well, and not fall asleep in them. – Done!  I was early each day and passed all parts of testing on the first go!  Also I only slept through one video as old as me but I had to lean against the wall to see it at all and then the lights went out and I was out for that wonderful 15 minute nap.
  • Writing-I doubt I'll get anything done – And I was right!  Classes ran from 8-5 (or later if held up) then homework.
  • Reading- I hope to finish my two books and at least one more for review- Nope!  I got maybe 100 pages of non-work related reading done the whole week.  It’s been horrible.  

My goals for this week: 

  • Finish Vicious and Never Fade
  • Read Truth and Wednesday and work on my reviews
  • Finish 2 posts for this week and one for next week (see above)
  • Send my short story to at least 2 people for thoughts
  • Write 2 scenes in my WIP
  • Finish my blog tabs (about me and my rating system) and get it updated
  • Unpack!

That’s about it for me this week.  I’m sure I’ll spend most of today sleeping since I have been ‘working’ since last Sunday.  I’m just happy to be home with my bed and my bebe (my cat Keira) who missed me terribly!

A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised:  Didn’t write any.

The biggest challenge I face this week:  Staying awake in class and getting out of bed to go at all since I’m on nights and the class was during day time hours.  I haven't even unpacked my laptop yet.  Okay I haven't unpacked anything but the dirty clothes bag.

Something I love about my WIP:  That it will wait for me to return to it. 

Sorry I wasn’t able to go by and spread the love last week.  I posted quickly before leaving for class then was there all day and when I got back to the hotel had a ton of homework we worked on (after dinner in a nifty new place) until after midnight. 
That’s it for this week.  Good luck this week!