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Cookie Break

Writer, stationery addict & occasional cat pillow. Adorer of all things cute. Tea and pasta fanatic.

Giveaway AND a free gift card!

Happy Friday, everyone!

It’s a long weekend here – and if there’s a better way to celebrate that than with a free copy of my eBook AND a free Amazon gift card, I don’t know it!😉 (well, perhaps ice cream…)

dfw-sl-rots-cover-mid [33018]
Want to get this beauty for free?
I’m over at Lina Rochelle Andrew’s blog today to talk about beta reading and what’s involved, and the giveaways are included! If you’d like to celebrate the weekend with me, you can take a look here:

GIVEAWAY!

You can enter the giveaway until 3rd October, so there’s plenty of time!

Good luck, everyone!🙂

And a wonderful weekend to you either way ^-^

~Sarina

Review: Hell’s Teeth by James Fahy

ReviewsHell’s Teeth

by James Fahy

“New Oxford.

A third of the human population has been lost.

The wars came, and they created a monster. The Pale, a subhuman, vampire-like drone. Then they lost control.

In the thirty years that followed, humankind sought to rebuild itself within the walls of New Oxford.

But society had become fractured – humans now lived incongruously among Genetic Others, themselves a group of many subspecies.

The most dangerous of them all: the vampires.

Somehow, these groups have managed a peaceful co-existence under the controlling government influence of the Cabal. But that is all about to change…

When Phoebe Harkness receives a phone call in the middle of the night, things take a turn to the horrifying. Her supervisor at Blue Lab One, a high-security research facility, has gone missing.

And all that is left behind: her teeth.

Dr Harkness now finds herself in a race against time to stop further bloodshed and uncover the mystery behind the victims of this horrific crime. She must navigate the dark underworld of the vampire community, without becoming someone’s prey herself…

But she is not alone – on her side, against all odds, is another vampire. Together they must fight for answers before it’s too late…

Hell’s Teeth is the gripping first instalment of the urban gothic Phoebe Harkness series. It follows the young doctor as she stalks through the corrupt dystopia of New Oxford.”

WWW 27072016.4What I thought:

Hell’s Teeth was my first read by this author, and a recommendation via Instagram. I wasn’t sure what to expect except vampires, since urban gothic isn’t my usual genre, but I think it’s earned itself more of my attention!

Hell’s Teeth jumps straight into the story, and draws you in right away through it’s action-filled plot, its lore of the world and – my favourite – the MC’s sarcasm.

Phoebe Harkness is a scientist working on a cure for mankind’s own fabricated nightmare. Without wanting to give away too much – there are monsters outside the save walls of New Oxford, and they waste no time tearing into their prey. They are faster, more resilient and far more violent than people, and they were created by humans. Naturally, humans can’t control them, and Phoebe is the scientist in charge of developing a cure.

The plot moves quickly from the first page on. There wasn’t one moment when I wondered if a chapter was really necessary, not one character I thought it could have done without – everything is justified, everything and everyone moves the plot along. It’s gripping right from the start, and thanks to Phoebe’s marvellous sarcasm I bonded with her very quickly. Honestly, I think we’re soul mates.

The characters aside, it’s the lore of the world that kept me turning the pages. There are vampires, werewolves, necromancers – but not quite like we know them, and just enough information is given without dumping too much info on the reader at once. In fact, not much at all is said about the other races. Hell’s Teeth focuses on their vampires, so, while the other races are mentioned and we get a bit of information, we don’t get so much that it wouldn’t make sense in the context. We don’t receive info for the sake of it, and it’s left me really curious about the sequel.

There were a couple of minor things which bugged me slightly; there were small inconsistencies in spelling, a few tense changes, and other minor things like that, but nothing that made me want to stop reading. On the contrary – I was sad every time I had to put it down, and all those positives more than made up for it.

Overall this was a thrilling read, with a fascinating world which I loved exploring, and well-known races with fresh twists. This was my first urban gothic read, but it won’t be my last!

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Have you read Hell’s Teeth, or would you like to? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

Get to Know Me tag

A Writer's Musings

As you know I don’t usually do many tags on Cookie Break, but since I’ve had an influx of new followers recently (HELLO!! *waves*) I thought this was a good moment to tell you all a bit more about myself🙂

I was tagged for this weeks ago by my lovely fellow writer and good friend Mollie – check out her blog if you haven’t already, it’s full of witty posts, adorable animals, and some truly amazing writing!

1. What is your middle name?
I don’t have one😦 I’m open to ideas, though, I did always want one!

2. What was your favourite subject at school?
Art, it was the only thing I was good at. We didn’t have cool subjects like literature.

3. What is you favourite drink?
Tea!

4. Favourite food?

EVERYTHING! It depends on my mood, but generally anything with cheese will do. I could also happily eat pasta and risotto every day for the rest of my life.

cheese 3

cheese 2 cheese 1
5. What is the last thing you bought?

Two folders – one for each new WIP. Orange for Immortals (temp. title), and a slightly larger green one for Soul of the Heart😉

6. Is there anything I should know?
I don’t know! Ask away if I’ve given you cause for concern.

7. Favourite colour?
Red? I used to be picky but now I like most colours. Hot pink is a little too girly for me, though.

8. Do you have any pets?
I have my Sellybean! Stay around this blog for long enough and I expect you’ll become well acquainted. Here she is getting between me and my draft-

mascot 2

9. Favourite perfume?
I don’t wear perfume. I bought one ages ago which smells of cherry blossoms, but I keep forgetting to use it. The last time I remembered is months ago!

10. What was the last picture you took with your phone?

mascot19

11. Do you speak any other languages?
I speak German more or less fluently. I’m teaching myself Japanese and am very far from fluent.

12. How many siblings do you have?
None. Although, wait, are we speaking biologically only? I do have a best friend who’s like a sister!

13. What is your favourite shop?

PAPERCHASE!!!!

20Facts5

14. Favourite restaurant?

I don’t have a firm favourite, but depending on my mood anywhere selling burgers or Italian food will do. Or Japanese food – I love Wagamama! Or Ed’s Diner, I guess – I love their milkshakes and hot dogs!

I’m not picky🙂

15. What phone do you have?
Erm… An Android.

16. How tall are you?

5.4 – I was tall when I (and my feet at size 7) stopped growing in 6th or 7th grade, but I’m slowly coming to terms with being fairly short.

17. Can you cook?
I’m no professional cook by any means, but I’d like to think that I haven’t had a disaster in the kitchen for a while!

cake

Baking counts, right? I make a good sponge cake.

18. Have you ever been stung by a bee?
I’ve never been stung by a bee, but I’ve been stung by a wasp once when I was little. It hurt like a bitch, but I was allowed to stay inside all day after and watch cartoons with ice cream, so there was an upside😛 My Mum says I stepped into a nest once when I was a toddler and got stung then, but I’m okay with not remembering that.

19. What is your best childhood memory?
Sleep-overs with my best friend. Being asked, repeatedly, to tidy my room and getting lost in a book instead.

20. How would your friends describe you?
I dunno, you’d have to ask them. The mental one?

21. Watch TV or read?
Read!

22. eBook or Paperback?

I do use both, but I prefer paperbacks. You can’t beat the smell of a new book, or the feel of its pages between your fingers❤ I do see the advantage to having a kindle when you only have a small bookshelf (like me), and my next book haul will be eBooks only, but I prefer paperbacks.

23. Plane or train?
Bus🙂 I hardly ever go anywhere by plane or train, but I take the bus every day to get into work.

24. What is your definition of family?
Your family isn’t defined by your genes. People you’re related to can be just as distant as that stranger you sometimes see on the other side of the road, while your friends and loved ones can be closer to you and mean more to you than your relatives.

25. Why did you choose to be a writer?
That’s like asking someone why they chose to be gay. I didn’t choose to be a writer, I just am.

born this way

Because I’m so behind on doing this I won’t tag anyone, but if you’d like to do this go ahead🙂 I’d appreciate it if you tagged me though so I can be nosy ^-^

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For all of my other musings, click me!

For Cookie Break’s home page, have a look here.

642 – Consequence

Monday Inspiration

Happy Monday, everyone!🙂

While I enjoy doing these prompts and working my way slowly through the wonderful book they came from, I feel like it’s time to mix things up a little!😉 I’d like to ask you for your favourite prompt – or any prompt, if you don’t have one conveniently lying around!  Leave your prompt either in a comment here, email it to me privately, or contact me on any of my other social media sites (view the right panel) – I’ll do one prompt here every other Monday morning and credit you🙂 It’s up to you how many you sent, or where they come from. Whether it’s a prompt you found in a book or online, a prompt you thought off yourself, or whether it’s simply a name or a genre – give it here! ^-^

Now, to this week’s prompt!

As always, if the prompt speaks to you feel free to use it. If you do, please link back here so I can be nosy and read your interpretation😉

***

An email that you inadvertently sent to someone who wasn’t supposed to see it.

“Di, it’s time. Gather Pete, Blake, and Sue and meet me at the usual place tomorrow evening. Don’t contact me before that! It’s not save. I’m not willing to compromise Sue’s or Blake’s safety. I know you aren’t, either. We agreed that they’re too young for this shit.

Don’t worry about Ollie. I’ll deal with her before we meet. She won’t be a problem, I promise. Just get the kids to safety, and I’ll be right behind you.

I love you,

Nick.”

Ollie leaned back in her arm chair, her fingers gripping the hard wood underneath the soft fabric, and smiled. So they were finally making their move – without her? Angry, she got up and flung the picture of them – Nick, Diana, Pete, the twins and herself – at the far wall, where the protective glass shattered dramatically into a rain of razor-sharp corners. Nick be damned! she thought. His whole happy family be damned! When did they decide she was a threat? Before or after she had made the decision no one else had been willing to make? Cowards!

Ollie took a few slow, controlled breaths in, and sank back in her arm chair. Nick was coming for her, and she’d be ready for him.

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For all other writing prompts, check here.

For CookieBreak’s homepage, click me.

All writing belongs to the author, Sarina Langer

Progress Update – Changes to my Friday Posts

A Book's Progress 3

Do you ever have any of those weeks where you feel like you got a lot done, while also feeling like you didn’t get much done? That’s how I’m feeling this week.

In terms of the sequel, I made good progress – I wrote 6,203 words this week, which means that the new total is now in the 60K! I feel like I’m nearing the end of the first draft with large steps, but at the same time there are so many scenes that want to be added while I’m writing. Many of them I can add while I write since they are a natural progression in the story, but many others will need to be added after the last chapter, when I have a better idea of where they’ll fit. My list of places and people (and as of today also events) that need names grows all the time, so I think next week I’ll give priority to that. The last chapter had two people, an event and a place which need names! You might say it’s gotten a wee bit out of hand…

And of course it’s the second book in the series, so I’m trying to avoid Middle Book Syndrome as well🙂

ParksAndRec14

I started my first beta read this week, which is very exciting! I’m so grateful for everything my betas did for my draft, and want to do a good job myself, too. It’s exciting to see the process from the other side, and the novel at such a vulnerable stage!

As the title of this post suggests, I’ve decided on some changes regarding my weekly progress updates. I’ve decided to cut back, a lot, and only post when I actually have something new to report. I feel like my last few updates have all sounded largely the same – progress is being made, this is how many words I wrote, I’m slowly getting there – so, to save all of us a bit of time, I’ve decided to cut back. This way, when you see a new post in your inbox on a Friday, you’ll know it’s news!🙂 It takes time every week to write the updates, and I don’t see the point if it’s going to be the same content every week. I’ll have more time to write, and you’ll have less to catch up on!

everyone wins

Progress Updates might become a monthly thing, with addition of all important posts, such as the completion of a draft, a cover reveal, a completed map, and such, but I’ll see how things go.

May the inspiration find you well!

~Sarina

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All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

The gifs came from Giphy

For all previous updates on my books’ progress, click me!

For Cookie Break’s front page, take a look here.

Review: Awaken by G. R. Thomas

Reviews

Awaken

by G. R. Thomas

“SOME PEOPLE AREN’T DESTINED TO BE ORDINARY.
With a special gift held close to her heart, it was always going to be hard for Sophia Woodville to live an ordinary life.
As a 20 year old nursing grad, she thought she had her future all sorted.
However, destiny was about to intervene.
Her secret was not so secret. The gift she possessed was just a hint of something far beyond her wildest imagination.
Sophia will be pulled, kicking and screaming, into an unseen, ancient world that challenges all that she thought to be true of herself, her family and the origins of humanity.
Original sin, forbidden love and her life in constant danger.
Will Sophia survive this dark twist of fate?
Will the devil be her saviour?
Will an Angel be her downfall?”

WWW27072016.3What I thought:

Since I’ve joined Twitter and Instagram, I’ve found some books I would never have come across otherwise – and Awaken is one of my favourite finds! The characters were brilliantly developed, the world was beautifully built, and the story itself was intriguing – but more on that in a moment.

I was a little worried when I started because there are recurring biblical subtones, and I’m as far away from religious as you can get, but as it turned out there’s nothing like the rise of a new Satan to catch my interest! Who knew?😀

Don’t mistake this for a religious read, though – it’s really not. This is by every means an urban fantasy novel, and chances are I’d have put it down again very quickly if it was as religious as I feared. The religious subtones are just that – subtones, there to give the story more depth. Instead I found it hard to stop reading, and was engrossed in Sophia’s story very quickly.

There are so many things I enjoyed about this novel, but the characters in Awaken are easily my highlight. They are believable and likeable, even the baddies. One of the bad guys, Nik’ael, is one of my favourite characters in the story, along with Koi, who reminds me of my sensei, and Brennan, who I adore for his everything.

The character development was excellent, too. Sophia had a lot to get used to – whether she liked the changes to her life or not, and they were huge changes! – and I think she deserves a gold star for being so patient. If I were in her shoes I’d have snapped much sooner.

The writing style is oddly comforting in a strange, familiar way, and the speech feels very natural. All of those put together made this a smooth read for me. I felt in very good hands the whole way through, and the plot twist at the end came as a big surprise to me. I felt for the characters – even for one of the antagonists, Nik’ael – and wanted them to be save.

The whole story has a lot of depth to it. The world is well planned, the characters developed extremely well, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how Sophia is going to get out of her current situation in the sequel, Surrender.

Some of the paragraphs were too long for my liking, and personally I think the cover lets it down, but neither of those spoiled my enjoyment in any way. Awaken is a really exciting debut full of promise, and I can’t recommend it enough. If you’re looking for an exciting new urban fantasy read, then Awaken is your book!

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Have you read Awaken, or would you like to? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

WWW Wednesday 17th August 2016

WWW 16082016

Apologies for being MIA last week! I had so much to do that, while I had this post lined up and more or less (definitely less) drafted, I didn’t have the time to finish it. Honestly, it completely slipped my mind until Wednesday. I’ll post every two weeks as always from this week on, rather than resume my usual schedule and post again next week. I still don’t read enough for that level of commitment.

This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

WWW WednesdayThis meme will be categorised together with my book reviews. All links will get you to the book’s Goodreads listing, as always🙂

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What I’m currently reading

WWW 17082016.2I, Robot

My SO chose this one as my next read, and since I’d been meaning to read sci-fi for a while this seemed like a good place to start! I’m just over half-way through it now and am really enjoying it, although I’m definitely enjoying some of the short stories more than others. Overall this is a really nice introduction to the genre for me, and I can easily see why Asimov is considered one of the Masters of sci-fi.

It’s made me excited to read more and delve deeper into the genre, so I’d call that a success🙂

Blurb:

The classic collection of robot stories from the master of the genre. One of the Voyager Classics collection, now I, Robot is a major Fox movie starring Will Smith. In these stories Isaac Asimov creates the Three Laws of Robotics and ushers in the Robot Age. When Earth is ruled by master-machines, when robots often seem more human than mankind, the Three Laws ensure that humans remain superior and the robots are kept in their rightful place. But an insane telepathic robot results from a production error; a robot assembled in space logically deduces its superiority to non-rational humanity; and when machines serve mankind rather than individual humans, the machine’s idea of what is good for society may itself contravene the sacred Three Laws… Amazing and timeless robot stories from the greatest science fiction writer of all time.

And…

WWW 17082016.3This Savage Song

This will be my third read by Schwab, and I’m really looking forward to it. If you’ve seen my reviews of ADSoM and AGoS, you’ll know that I enjoyed them while also feeling oddly meh about them, so if this book manages to excite me it’d already be a step up! Because I’m focusing on I, Robot I’m not very far into it yet and I only started it on Monday, but so far it’s interesting. I’m looking forward to seeing how it continues.

Blurb:

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

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What I recently finished reading

WWW 27072016.4Hell’s Teeth

I found Hell’s Teeth via social media. Because it was my first read by the author I had no expectations, and it blew those out of the water😛

Hell’s Teeth had everything for me. It had fantastic lore about the world, which didn’t feel forced on the reader, it had an amazing character I wanted to succeed (or at least not die by the fangs of a mad vampire) and, best of all if you ask me, it had sarcasm! I don’t often find books that speak the same dialect of sarcasm as I do, but this one nailed it. It was tense, it was funny, and it was refreshing in that it didn’t have a romantic relationship, which would only have seemed forced in the setting.

My full review will follow next week, so keep an eye out!

Blurb:

New Oxford.

A third of the human population has been lost.

The wars came, and they created a monster. The Pale, a subhuman, vampire-like drone. Then they lost control.

In the thirty years that followed, humankind sought to rebuild itself within the walls of New Oxford.

But society had become fractured – humans now lived incongruously among Genetic Others, themselves a group of many subspecies.

The most dangerous of them all: the vampires.

Somehow, these groups have managed a peaceful co-existence under the controlling government influence of the Cabal. But that is all about to change…

When Phoebe Harkness receives a phone call in the middle of the night, things take a turn to the horrifying. Her supervisor at Blue Lab One, a high-security research facility, has gone missing.

And all that is left behind: her teeth.

Dr Harkness now finds herself in a race against time to stop further bloodshed and uncover the mystery behind the victims of this horrific crime. She must navigate the dark underworld of the vampire community, without becoming someone’s prey herself…

But she is not alone – on her side, against all odds, is another vampire. Together they must fight for answers before it’s too late…

Hell’s Teeth is the gripping first instalment of the urban gothic Phoebe Harkness series. It follows the young doctor as she stalks through the corrupt dystopia of New Oxford.

And…

WWW27072016.3Awaken

I must sound like I’m finding all my books via Instagram these days! Awaken was recommended to me by several people, so naturally I decided to give it a go. I won’t go into detail now because the full review will be out tomorrow, but if urban fantasy is your genre then I urge you to try this one! If you need more convincing, keep an eye out for the review🙂

Blurb:

SOME PEOPLE AREN’T DESTINED TO BE ORDINARY.
With a special gift held close to her heart, it was always going to be hard for Sophia Woodville to live an ordinary life.
As a 20 year old nursing grad, she thought she had her future all sorted.
However, destiny was about to intervene.
Her secret was not so secret. The gift she possessed was just a hint of something far beyond her wildest imagination.
Sophia will be pulled, kicking and screaming, into an unseen, ancient world that challenges all that she thought to be true of herself, her family and the origins of humanity.
Original sin, forbidden love and her life in constant danger.
Will Sophia survive this dark twist of fate?
Will the devil be her saviour?
Will an Angel be her downfall?

***

What I think I’ll read next

Just this once, the choice is easy!

WWW 17082016.4Witch Infernal

I know I said I’d wait with buying new books until I’ve as good as finished my current tbr pile, but I don’t want to wait for this one. I loved the first two books so much, and can’t wait to see how the story is going to continue. I have high hopes for Witch Infernal, so this was an easy choice for me.

We’ll be back to my usual indecisiveness next week, I’m sure.

Blurb:

The city’s been quiet since Evie and her friends closed the hellmouth. The lycans and Sidhe are on their best behaviour, the witches haven’t been heard from, and Evie should be enjoying the break.

Evelyn Hawke wasn’t made for the quiet life. She’s bored.

Luckily for her, things start going wrong, and she’s expected to fix everyone else’s problems. A trio of celestials task Evie and her friends with the job of tracking down the witch who opened the hellmouth and putting an end to her. Little do they know that the witch has big plans and a far-reaching influence.

 ***

Have you read any of these and would like to chat about it? I look forward to hearing from you if you do – just leave a comment below and we can get this book club started!

My Bullet Journal – Six Months Later

A Writer's Musings

In January I first heard about the bullet journal. As you may have noticed I’m obsessed with all things stationery and colour-coding, so this was too tempting to pass up! I bought one around a week later, but didn’t really start properly until February. So when I say it’s six months later… It’s roughly six months later.

BuJo10

Since then it’s become one of my favourite tools. Or, rather, organisation accessory. Tool sounds too cold, like I don’t care about it – and I probably care too much given that it’s just *ahem* a notebook.

If you’ve been around the internet at all this year, you’ve probably seen the name Bullet Journal pop up here and there. If you search for it on Pinterest you’ll find thousands of posts on how to pretty it up a little, or how to get started. To save you some time, I’ll show you my favourite pages from mine and how I use them.

Also, you can check out the original website and explanation here.

There are two things I love above all others about the BuJo (I’ve seen it shortened to BJ loads of times, too, but my dirty mind won’t allow me to run around telling everyone about my BJ) – the way it helps me organise anything and everything, and that it’s flexible! You can use it for anything you like, and if you change your mind partway through or want to add something new, you can. There are no restrictions whatsoever! Whatever you need to achieve with it, it can do it.

BuJo3

 

BuJo13

BuJo2

These two pages are at the very front of every BuJo. This is your legend, and includes every shortcut or signage you might use throughout. It tells you how things get marked, what different highlighter colours mean, and so on. Mine also includes what I use my various stickers for, but I won’t go into that here.

On the website I gave you above, you’ll find loads of suggestions for your key – and then on Pinterest you’ll find even more to the extend that it feels a little overwhelming. I suggest you keep it simple. You know your own routine best, so stick with what you’re actually going to use. And don’t worry if it turns out that you need others or that you’re not using one as much as you thought you would – this beauty of a notebook is flexible, remember? Change it as needed.

BuJo11

Now, I’ll admit, I’m hopeless at keeping my index updated. Most of the time I forget to add page numbers and/or new sections, and I think that’s partly because I started out with too many. Once it’s time to start BuJo 2 I’ll cut back considerably, and maybe I’ll manage better.

Your index is primarily there so you can easily search the contents of your book, without needing to go over every page until you’ve found what you need. It tells me I mentioned my giveaway on page 57 (amongst others), and that I met a friend for lunch on pages 4 and 55 (amongst others). You can easily see at one glance what comes up loads of times throughout the year, and what you hardly ever have to plan.

BuJo6

This was a natural addition for me. It’s not entirely up to date here, but you get the point. Unlike my TBR list on Goodreads, my BuJo’s TBR list only features books I’ve actually bought, and which are waiting on my physical bookshelf. There’s another double page reserved for future buys after this one, because I know I’ll use it sooner or later.

I’m tempted to also add when I started reading a book and when I finished it, so I can keep track of how long it takes me to read one novel.

BuJo8

I don’t come back to this one often since writing a first draft and editing it over and over again takes time, but it’s a nice little progress status on all my WsIP regardless. Because I don’t come back to it that much, some of the titles are outdated now (Gods + Demons translates to Soul of the Heart)

Plus, it feels amazing to tick off big milestones!

BuJo9

I used to be hopeless at staying caught up on my favourite blogs every day. On this page, I can see at one quick glance which blog to catch up on today. I’m not kidding – before this I tried to catch up with everything every day! Needless to say, that didn’t work out. This is much easier, and I don’t forget whose turn it is all the time.

If your blog is on this list, you might have noticed me commenting on all new posts on the same day every week – this is why!😉

BuJo14

This is one of the main pages just about everyone uses. My yearly planner allows me to see everything I’ve got planned this year, sectioned by month, and I can make additions when necessary. It’s great, but it’s not as fun as this…

BuJo12

… my monthly calendar! It’s almost the same, but it’s more detailed since it’s monthly and therefore features every day, and – my favourite part – I award myself stars for small achievements. Got up at 7am to run for ten minutes? Silver star! Wrote 1K on Relics of Ar’Zac? Gold star! Green stars and blue stars reward the same on Soul of the Heart and Immortals (temp. title)

(I also call bullshit on all the people who say running is fun. It’s not fun. It’s torture.)

BuJo15

This is where I really get down to business. Everything I need to get done per week appears in these. This is where the legend from the first picture comes in – all important appointments are marked by a triangle, all important tasks which should taker priority are marked by an exclamation mark, all research I want to do gets a question mark, and so on. Plus, I go nuts colour coding. My word counts goals for the week get highlighted in blue, awesome feedback I received that week gets turned green, everything in red is directly related to my books – you get the idea.

It’s so satisfying to tick of priority tasks, you guys. So. Satisfying.

Future pages

There are several things I want to add in the future. I’d like to add a gratitude log, and I really want to add pages for monthly highlights such as cinema tickets. And of course the pages I’ve shown you above are only examples! I’ve got two pages for favourite quotes, pages filled with writing goals, a tracker for the Instagram tags I’m doing…

As I already mentioned above, Pinterest is full of ideas on how to fill your pages. It’s a little discouraging to see how beautifully some people design their BuJos, and how creatively some of them get adorned, but remember that it’s yours, and you can do whatever you want with it. If you want to add little birdies and leaves and other stunning drawings that put my doodles to shame in every free corner, you can! If you want to do the bare minimum because you’re artistically challenged, like me, you can do that, too.

You can do whatever you want with it. If this sounds interesting and like something you’d like to try, I suggest you search the internet and see what other people are doing with theirs. Just remember that, at the end of the day, that’s for inspiration and ideas only – you can use yours however you want. It needs to suit you, and no one else.

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For all of my other musings, click me!

For Cookie Break’s home page, have a look here.

Progress Update – Deadlines and Excerpts

A Book's Progress 3

Self-imposed deadlines, that is. And only one excerpt, but it’s longer than usual🙂 There were so many things I wanted to get done this week, and by some miracle I did. One of those things especially I’ve been postponing for a while (*ahem* since March! *ahem*), so it’s a great relief to have that off my back.

mascot18

On the writing front of things I’m happy, if somewhat surprised, to say that progress is happening! I’ve set myself a vague deadline of the end of September for finishing the first draft of Relics of Ar’Zac Book 2, and so far it’s looking good! I know how many words I need to do per day and per week to make it happen, and so far I’m confident I’ll hit it. Mind you, my original deadline was August, but that was always a bit ambitious😛

This week’s word count is 6,970, which brings the total to 57,425. The little progress bar in Scrivener is turning a very exciting yellow!

YES!

As I mentioned last Friday, my routine was shaken up a lot this week. So far things are going well and my writing hasn’t suffered yet, but as things continue I might need to adjust my routine a little. Not to jinx anything, but I think it’ll be fine – my writing has actually gone better than before! But maybe cross your fingers for me just a little.

On Tuesday I asked for your take on Facebook as a professional platform. I haven’t made a decision yet, but either way it’s save to say that change is coming to my author page. Whether that change will be in the shape of me deleting it, or in the shape of me using my account more – which I don’t really want to do – I don’t know yet. But consider this a heads-up that I might suddenly disappear from your list of followed pages. If that happens it’ll be intentional.

Now, it’s been a little while, but I’ve got an excerpt for you!🙂 I haven’t shared much from my new WIP Soul of the Heart before, so I thought it was about time! There’ll be three main characters, and today’s excerpt is from Doran’s POV. I hope you like this first proper look into it! ^-^

***

Doran sank into the nearest tree branch, and prayed to whichever God might listen that this thing hadn’t spotted him. If – no, when – he got out of this alive he would have to have a serious talk with the people of this village. All he had asked for was the location of this stupid artefact he wanted to find, and what did they do? They sent him into a forest full of demons and worse, and probably laughed behind their hands as he got torn apart.

“Gods, this isn’t worth it!” The artefact sat heavy in his pack. It was only a small thing – a little amulet made of gold – but it was worth a fortune, and he felt like his very life was attached to it. If he had known how much trouble it would be to retrieve it- “Oh sod it,” he said, running his hand over the heavier end of his pack, where the amulet was waiting to be sold. “Of course you’re worth it.”

That awful sound of silence still echoed around him. The birds had stopped singing a while ago, and he hadn’t spotted a rabbit in hours. Shortly after the natural sounds had stopped, it had appeared out of nowhere. He would never doubt stories or rumours again. They had to come from somewhere, after all, and after today he was convinced that most of them came from this forest.

Whatever was hunting him was still around, but if he stayed he was as good as dead. At least if he ran he could try to make it out alive – and then those fanatics would get a good talking to!

He took a deep breath in, and stood. The pack was tied carefully around his shoulders, and wouldn’t go anywhere. He could run for hours and jump over whatever lay in his way, and it wouldn’t fall.

Or so he hoped.

His blood froze when he heard it. The rustling of leaves close to him, followed by that vicious silence.

It was close.

Not wasting another moment, he ran. He could feel its presence closely behind him, but if he stopped now it would have him, and he didn’t want to know what it would do with him then. Nothing in this forest was natural, and his imagination was far too vivid to dwell on it.
Something grazed his arm, and drew blood. Sharp razor-like claws grabbed for him, their edges thin as knives and their tips as poisonous as the world’s worst snake.

He needed to get out, now, before the poison got into his bloodstream and corrupted him from the inside out.

His vision was blurring. It gained on him, and another claw-like branch grabbed for him – and missed.

Suddenly the singing of birds filled the forest around him, and the faint rustling of critters in the underbrush filled the gaps. By sheer luck he had made it. Doran knew he would never be this lucky again, but he wasn’t planning on returning. The whole forest could burn down for all he cared, and it would serve those things right, too.

If only he could be sure that they could be burned. They were nothing natural, but he didn’t know enough about demons to jump to conclusions. His little trinket was save in his pack. That was all that mattered.

Well, that and he was alive. Not being dead was definitely a good thing.

It was getting harder to breath. He couldn’t stay out here, the poison would kill him as surely as those things, but he couldn’t go to that village either. The fanatics clearly didn’t care if he died. He wasn’t about to ask them for help, but maybe he could hire a carriage from a nearby town. If he lived long enough to make it to one.

He turned around, and stared right into the face of the demon.

Doran started walking as fast as its poison allowed. He was done with this forest.
He only regretted that he hadn’t brought matches.

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All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

The gifs came from Giphy

For all previous updates on my books’ progress, click me!

For Cookie Break’s front page, take a look here.

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