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Month: October 2017

NaNo Prep Sessions – Week 5 | You’ve Got This, NaNonite!

It’s almost time, NaNonite. Tomorrow, we begin the month-long madness that is NaNoWriMo. Your characters are ready. Your world is waiting to be explored. Your plot is outlined. You’ve prepared as much as you’re comfortable with (or, let’s be honest, as much as you had time for).

If you’ve missed anything or would like to remind yourself of a previous session, here you go:

Week 1 – Your Characters

Week 2 – Your World

Week 3 – Your Plot

Week 4 – Your Reading List and Rewards

I have also added all five posts here:

Writing Resources

And there’s a new category as well, so no matter where you look, you’ve got all NaNo prep sessions in one place 🙂

I have only a few last words of advice for you:

  • Don’t stop writing to do research. Make a note of what you need to look up, and move on.
  • Don’t stop writing to edit. You’ve got a big word count goal ahead of you, friend. There’s no time for that.
  • Don’t cheat and count the 15K words you wrote before November as NaNo progress. The aim is to write 50K in November, not 5,000 in September, 10,000 in October, and then the last 35,000 in November. I know it makes it easier, but it’s not the point of NaNo, okay? 🙂
  • If you need a snack break, take a breather and have that snack.
  • If you feel like you need a break, take a break. It will seem like a terrible idea in the middle of NaNo, but sometimes just taking one day off can do wonders for your productivity!
  • Share your daily and weekly word counts online. It’ll hold you accountable, and the #bookstagram community on Instagram will cheer you on until their throats are sore! Twitter is another excellent place to announce how you’re doing.
  • Speaking of which, join the #authorconfession tag on Twitter (or Instagram or Snapchat). Next month is all about NaNo, which makes this an excellent community for sharing your word counts and connecting with authors who are going through the same madness you are! Here are the prompts:

  • Have a mascot, something you’ll only use when it’s time to write. I have a shirt I only wear when I write the first draft. That way, when the shirt goes on, it tells my brain it’s time to write and I’m immediately in the right mindset! It might seem too easy or even silly to you, but try it! 😉
  • Add me on the official NaNo website so we can be inspired by each other’s word counts.
  • I’ll be sharing my weekly word counts right here, on this blog, and I’ll be sharing my daily word counts on Instagram and Twitter. Naturally, you’re welcome to join me and compare notes 🙂

Now, are you ready to do this? Are you ready to write the first draft of your novel? BRING IT ON, NANOWRIMO!

*ferocious battle roar*

You’ve come this far. Even if you haven’t prepared that much or at all, you’ve decided to do NaNo and accomplish something amazing next month. Often, setting your mind to a task is the hardest part, and you’ve set your mind to this! You can do this, NaNoNite! You’re ready, your characters are ready, your world is ready, your tea and snacks are ready – all you need to do now is write the words.

If you’re planning on writing every day next month, that’s a measly 1,666 words per day! If you’re planning on taking the weekends off, like me, your goal is only 2,272! Not even 2,5k!That’s not so bad. You can do this, NaNonite. Think how incredible you’ll feel this time next month when NaNoWriMo is behind you and you’ve written a massive 50,000 words! Think of the rewards you won’t get to treat yourself to unless you hit those word counts!

I know it’s daunting, but you’re not doing it alone. I’ve got you. If you join the #bookstagram and #authorconfession community, they’ll have your back, too. And at the end of November, we’ll all have achieved something amazing together.

Embrace your WIP’s magic, and show that mad word count who’s boss!


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Gifs came from Giphy

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

 

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Darkened Light Cover and Blurb Reveal

I have so many pretty things for you today! The most exciting is, of course, the cover for Darkened Light. I love cover reveals, all the more so when it’s my own books I’m showing off for the first time <3 I have the blurb for you, too!

In addition to that, I also have the title of Book 3 in the Relics of Ar’Zac trilogy for you. The lovely K. J. Chapman announced the title last week during Wardens of Archos’ release week. I can now reveal that Book 3 will be called…

Blood of the Dragon

You might already have noticed it on the left-hand side under Progress Update 😉 Since I’ll be writing Book 3 during NaNo, there was really no point in keeping it secret any longer! I first revealed the title during an interview Chapman did with me; if you missed it, you can still read it here.

Now, onto the cover reveal! Are you ready?

DRUM ROLL, PLEASE!

HERE IT IS:

The death goddess Ithrean has led the dead to their rest and watched over them in Dunhă for centuries, but they are no longer at peace. Their souls turn the red grass black, and their corruption seeps into the world of the living.

Naavah Ora is an elven mage who can enter Dunhă at will, and study its corruption like no one else can.

Doran is a runaway thief who cares about nothing as much as the next treasure, even if it puts his own life in danger.

840 is the only male sacrifice in his village, longing for a chance to live.

Ash is a troublemaker who is learning that he can’t burn his way through every obstacle.

To halt the coming darkness, they need to work together.

It’s too bad they are too different to get along.

ISN’T IT BEAUTIFUL!

It will go to critique partners and my editor really soon <3 While it’s still far too early to set a release date, an end is finally in sight!

Share and gush away, friends and Sparrows! <3


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All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

Gifs are 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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Review: Skye by Liz Meldon (All In #3)

“Skye Summers: A sugar baby no more.”

What I thought:

After I devoured the first two books in this trilogy of steamy novellas, I couldn’t wait to read Book 3. I always highly anticipate Meldon’s books and this one didn’t disappoint, either!

I love the blurb – it’s short, to the point, gives nothing away, and makes perfect sense if you’ve read the first two! It may be short but it’s enough!

Skye’s head snapped in the direction of the door, eyes widening at the sound of an all-too-familiar voice–one she hadn’t heard for over a month, but sometimes whispered naughty things in her dreams.

It picks up shortly after Cole, Book 2 in this series, ended, and progresses well from there. Skye hates the position she’s in and she hates not talking to either man. When she runs into Finn, she realises she can’t live without them – but she has no idea how she’d make it work. Meanwhile, Finn and Cole have already come to a decision in their own time; all Skye needs to do is listen, but she’s not ready for the conversation she thinks would follow.

Skye no longer has a choice but to talk to both when her cat Ozzie isn’t well and HOW DARE YOU HURT THE CAT, MELDON! You expect to feel certain things when you pick up an erotic romance, but heartache isn’t supposed to be one of them -.- Not for poor pets, anyway -.- HOW DARE YOU! My heart broke when Skye called Cole, the three words she said to him were enough to make me cry. HOW DARE– You get the idea. I know this book isn’t about Skye’s cat, but as a cat owner myself it made me feel all the things. I didn’t put it down after that because I wanted to know if Ozzie was going to be all right 😛 And no, I won’t tell you. Spoilers and all that. You can totally suffer as I suffered.

It really was a crime that they hadn’t kissed sooner. Skye had always made him brave, but kissing her–it was like she made him superhuman.

This trilogy ended on a high after Finn and Cole finally talked to Skye, who didn’t have a choice but to listen since both men slept over in her apartment after a stressful night at the vet. If you’ve been following this trilogy like I have you’ll be thrilled with the way it ended!

Please be advised that this is an erotic romance and definitely not suited to younger readers.

Since each sequel builds on the book before, I recommend you read them in order. I read Skye in one sitting, and since every book is a novella you could read the whole trilogy in one day if you had enough time.

Skye is out on November 1st, so hurry to Amazon and pre-order your copy now!


Have you read the first two books in this trilogy? 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.

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Review: The Plot Thickens by Noah Lukeman

“As a literary agent, Noah Lukeman hears thousands of book pitches a year. Often the stories sound great in concept, but never live up to their potential on the page. Lukeman shows beginning and advanced writers how to implement the fundamentals of successful plot development, such as character building and heightened suspense and conflict. Writers will find it impossible to walk away from this invaluable guide—a veritable fiction-writing workshop—without boundless new ideas.”

What I thought:

It’s double review day, friends! I’ve got an erotic romance coming up later, but for now I’ve got a book on writing for you 🙂

The Plot Thickens was useful and I definitely took some notes, but as you may know by now I like my theory books funny, and this wasn’t that. It actually reminded me a little bit of that one teacher everyone had who has great info but who isn’t a great speaker. I learnt, but it was a little dry for me. Which is a shame since I really liked The First Five Pages by the same author.

One of the chief functions of multidimensionality is to make a work more realistic, to make it easier for us to relate to the person. It is hard for us to relate to the perfect man. But throw a few faults in, and he becomes more like us.

Having said that, this is great if you need help getting into your characters’ heads. It lists loads of questions you could be asking to either figure them out completely or just to fill in the gaps.

There is some magical element in storytelling, something mysterious that we’ll never label. It is the most powerful form of human creation. It is thought on the page, and few things of this Earth are more powerful than thought.

It all lies before you on the blank page. From your mind to your hands to the keys. Nothing is stopping you from changing the world.

I do feel like it was mostly centred around character creation and development, so if you want help with either of those you’ll find this useful.


Have you read The Plot Thickens? 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.

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NaNo Prep Sessions – Week 4 | Your Reading List and Treats!

Welcome back, NaNonites! How is your NaNo prep going? Are you feeling ready yet? Have you stocked up on tea and snacks? GOOD!

Honestly, friends, this is the best part. You’ve done the hard work, and the worst is behind you (unless you count NaNo itself, I guess). Characters are created, worlds are ready to be explored, and your plot is developed – it’s time we had some fun! 😉

We’re doing two awesome things today: we’re setting our reading lists, and we’re setting our rewards. It’s important to stay inspired when you have a monster deadline, and it’s important to stay motivated. Your reading list takes care of the former, and your rewards will ensure the latter.

Let’s start with your reading list!

Your reading list is a good place for your favourite authors. Re-reading a book you’ve loved before also works – anything to keep your inspiration going! I have a whole shelf of books that inspired me to write better, but next month, I’ll be reading new books by my favourite authors. I know I’ll love these and the wait has been hard, but we all make sacrifices for NaNo, am I right?

Here’s what’s on my list:

Godsgrave

The Language of Thorns

WonderWoman

I’m pretty confident I won’t get through all three, but it’s better to have more lined up just in case than to not have enough when you really need a boost!

You’re all set to get through the month now. It’s time to treat yourself!

The books you’ve wanted for months? Go for it! That jumper you saw the other week? Pop it on the list! That concert you’ve been wanting to go to? Sounds like a well-earned treat for writing 50K!

How you do this is entirely up to you. These are your rewards, after all! They only need to be exciting enough to motivate you to keep writing. Be strict with yourself – if you don’t hit the word count, you don’t get the treat. What’s the point otherwise?

How many goals you set, and whether you reward yourself as soon as you hit your targets, is also entirely up to you. I set three – one at 15K (nice and easy to reach), one at 30K (over halfway there!), and one for reaching the final goal of 50K (you’ve made it! WOO!). Make sure that last reward is a big one; the more you want it, the better. When you feel like giving up, it’s your reason to write on.

I reward myself as I reach my goals because it’s a nice little treat partway through the month (never mind a surge of motivation), but if you’d rather wait until you hit 50K that’s fine, too.

These are my rewards:

15K

The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft

(that’s right, my reward for writing all the words is more research material)

30K

Okay, so, what’s happened here is that I’m an indecisive kitten and don’t know what I want because I kinda want all four but I’m supposed to be a responsible grown-up and save money but they’re all so pretty?? And the worst part is, THERE’S MORE? AND IT’S NANO SO I DESERVE IT?? If you thought you’d chosen your rewards allow me to ruin that and show you Cait aka paperfury’s shop on society6. You’re welcome.

50K

The Well of Ascension

The Hero of Ages

I read The Final Empire a couple of months ago and need these. What’s more motivation than two sequels you desperately need to read, am I right? If these don’t see me all the way to 50K, nothing will.

We’re almost there! I have one more post for you next week and then NaNoWriMo 2017 will be upon us!

In the meantime, you’re welcome to add me on the NaNo Website.

What’s on your reading list, NaNonite? What are your rewards, and how will you treat yourself?


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Gifs came from Giphy

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

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Wardens of Archos Release Week Day 5 – A Review and Excerpts!

Here’s the final release week stop, friends and Sparrows! Author and Blogger Rhianne Williams did an interview and shared some excerpts over on her blog. Take a look:

Show me!


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The image belongs to R. S. Williams.

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Review: Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (The Illuminae Files, #2)

“Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.”

What I thought:

I meant to have this review up last week but life got busy. You all know how it is, right? You’ll forgive me if I throw cookies at you?

This is difficult to review without including spoilers; there are loads of things I want to talk about but I can’t because it would spoil Illuminae for you. My review will be shorter for that reason 🙂

“Patience and Silence had one beautiful daughter. And her name was Vengeance.”

One of my favourite things about Gemina was Hanna’s drawings. I can’t draw to save my life, but I love seeing other people’s drawings and Hanna’s were beautiful. They added a very personal touch to the book, and they were lovely to look at to boot! What more can you want? 😀 I especially loved them because the little blood stain in the corner told a little story of its own. Every time we saw a page from her diary, the blood stain got a little bigger and you worry about whose blood it’s going to be.

I’m not sure if it was the characters or their situation (which is just as deadly, by the way – they’re not dancing around in cotton, exactly) or just that Illuminae has slaughtered all my feelings and left no survivors, but Gemina didn’t hurt as much. There was one scene that got to me more than the others, and that’s when Nik told Hanna about his dog Billy. That one hurt. It hurt a lot.

Hurting she might be, but Hanna Donnelly was raised by a man who thought talking military tactics was a fun way to spend daddy-daughter time. And judging by the set of her jaw, she’s ready to change the rules of the game.

I love how this series is slowly building up to the great finale through the little bits outside the files and video footage. You know, the ones at the very beginning and the very end. The ones with–oh, wait. Right. Spoilers.

Damn it 😛

I’m really excited for Obsidio to come out next year. I don’t usually pre-order books but I will pre-order this one, and I will be ready for it when it arrives! This series is a must if you love strong characters and excellent story telling. A love for sci-fi probably helps but the characters are so strong I don’t think it’s necessary – when your favourites keep dying it doesn’t matter where they do it, you hurt either way.


Have you read Gemina? 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.

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Wardens of Archos Release Week Day 4 – A Small Interview with K.J. Chapman, and a BIG Reveal!

Good morning, friends and Sparrows! Today, I’m over on K.J. Chapman’s blog for a quick interview and a BIG reveal! If you want to know what Book 3 in this trilogy is going to be called, I suggest you head over there 😉

Show me!


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The image belongs to K.J. Chapman.

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

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

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WWW 18th October 2017

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 Wednesday

I’m a bit later than usual today since my release week takes priority, and I didn’t want to post twice in one hour 🙂

This 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

Daughters of the Oak

It’s taking me longer than I hoped to get through this. I haven’t got as much time to read this week , otherwise I’d be finishing it today :/ I’m enjoying it and I’d love to give it more of my time, but there’s too much going on at the moment :/ I’m still hoping to finish it this week so I can squeeze three books into October, but it might be tight.

Blurb:

1646 – The English Civil War. The Royalists of King Charles I, and Cromwell’s Parliamentarians, battle, both eager to lay claim to a tattered country, where life has become cheap and death trivial.

Though, for the lowly commoner, a greater, far more devious, war rages. It threatens the souls of the weak, timid and needy. Seeking refuge in the Lord’s word, God fearing folk employ the skills of one man, the Witchfinder. His success speaks of his talent, to seek out, punish and rid the countryside of Witches, the Devil’s Whores.

2016 – A paranormal team are called to investigate, as poltergeist activity brings terror to one family. Under the cover of darkness, in silent suburbia, an endless night of battle against evil ensues, until finally, a new day dawns.

Lies, secrets, and treachery, it seems, are never forgotten.
Welcome to Manningtree…

***

What I recently finished reading

Dracula

This wasn’t entirely what I expected, but in a good way. I expected Dracula to feature a lot more actively rather than just behind the scenes since the book is, you know, named after him, and it wasn’t as difficult to read as some books of that time. I actually found it very easy to read! It just took me a while because the font is relatively small and a lot of the paragraphs take up most if not all of the page.

Blurb:

The vampire novel that started it all, Bram Stoker’s Draculaprobes deeply into human identity, sanity, and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire. When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries about his client. Soon afterward, disturbing incidents unfold in England—an unmanned ship is wrecked at Whitby, strange puncture marks appear on a young woman’s neck, and a lunatic asylum inmate raves about the imminent arrival of his “Master”—culminating in a battle of wits between the sinister Count and a determined group of adversaries.

***

What I think I’ll read next

Frankenstein

This is a maybe. I’m not getting through Daughters of the Oak as quickly as I thought I would because I’ve had less time to read, and I don’t want this month’s read to spill over too much into November since I’ll need my NaNo reading to get me through the month.

So, depending on when I finish Daughters of the Oak, I may or may not read Frankenstein next.

Blurb:

Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen. At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

Frankenstein, an instant bestseller and an important ancestor of both the horror and science fiction genres, not only tells a terrifying story, but also raises profound, disturbing questions about the very nature of life and the place of humankind within the cosmos: What does it mean to be human? What responsibilities do we have to each other? How far can we go in tampering with Nature? In our age, filled with news of organ donation genetic engineering, and bio-terrorism, these questions are more relevant than ever.

***

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!

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