Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Writing is Beautiful

I am extremely happy right now, although frazzled and getting dangerously close to burnoutville.

But guys.... guys.... My fully revised manuscript will be finished by Friday and ready for the editors. Half has already been printed and turned in.

I just *gasp* needed a little break. 

I'll leave you with this, a vision of how writing can be beautiful, spoilers removed, of course. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

For The Watch

Okay, here's the deal. A long time ago I had a conversation with myself on whether or not I would go full 'fangirl' on my blog, and I decided it would be in my best interest to avoid that happening. I also decided to keep my blog to book reviews instead of TV show/Movie stuff, but I think I'll be stepping outside those boundaries in this post. At least it won't be too much of a stretch since this will touch on the books as well as the show.

I'm talking Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire here, people. Thar be spoilers ahead!

But real quick before that, I'll get the Dreamland update out of the way, just in case you aren't interested in yet another post about Jon Snow. (EF YOU OLLY! amirite?)

So the rewrites are going exceptionally well. I think changing up my formatting schedule has helped that. I left a lot of notes to myself to correct things while I was writing my first draft and that list of honey do's is almost completed! I actually think I still have a good chance to finish today and then dig in on the polishing for my beta reader as early as tomorrow. That's a huge step done in the completion of the book. You will definitely have the first part of Dreamland in your hands before the end of the year!

Okay, so on to my rambles, and I will warn everyone again, this will contain show/book spoilers.


There, that should do it.

So the hype for the Game of Thrones season 5 finale was strong. I had my expectations up, although not as high as they were at the end of season 4. Then, I was so deflated with the lack of a certain character's reemergence, but a glimmer of hope still remained for season 5. When I saw the title of episode 10, Mother's Mercy, the hype started to build again. Like so many other book-readers out there, we were almost positive that Mother's Mercy was pointing towards that same certain character that did not appear.

And then Daniel Portman, the actor that plays Podrick Payne, was quoted as saying that episode 10 would 'break the internet!'

Hype train, full steam ahead!

So I watched Hardhome (S5E8) and kept my silence... well, I had too cuz it was so hard to breath after watching that episode. Thank you D&D for showing us what actually happened at Hardhome instead of hearing it from some news reports. 

After The Dance with Dragons (S5E9) I remained mute... well, because I was crying tears of sadness for Shireen and then awesomeness for Dany... Guys, that episode was a fucking rollercoaster for my emotions.

Then came Mother's Mercy (S5E10), the episode that was supposed to end all episodes. 

And it didn't... or so I thought, but I'll get to that in a moment.

The hype and expectations were so high for me for this episode, that I couldn't help being a little disappointed. My definition of 'breaking the internet' would have needed something to shock book readers AS WELL as show watchers. I needed LSH to be in that episode, or the confirmation that Azor Ahai was reborn... something... anything! But we got "For the watch!" which I knew was coming, yet hated seeing it. Jon was my favorite book character and out of all the tragedy that happened in those books, the only scene to make me shed a tear was the one prior to him getting shish-kabobed, although that was cut from the show. (which was fine with me, it didn't fit into the show storyline.)

So I hopped on reddit to see the reaction threads in r/gameofthrones, and I giggled as I scrolled through them all. (We do that cuz we're a bunch of assholes.) 

Then it began... my internet began to break in a way I never considered.

You see, A Dance with Dragons released in 2011. I've known that Jon has been dead/not dead for the past four years, and for some reason, I've been okay with that. He obviously isn't going to stay dead! He can't. HE JUST CAN'T, PEOPLE!! My belief in this has been unwaveringly firm, at least until the aftermath of Mother's Mercy hit.

Don't get me wrong, I still firmly believe Jon is not gone for good. I believe Mel will rez him, that he is the champion of the light, (Azor Ahai if you will) and although he might be a bit darker as was Dondarrion, he'll still be Jon Snow.

But it's hard to be still that little voice inside me going "what if?"

Because Kit Harrington in his interviews is saying, "Oh yeah, Jon is dead. Deader than a door nail. Now I can explore more possibilities." (that is not verbatim, duh.) As well as D&D saying he's dead. Well, of course he's dead. He's just going to be revived again so he can do his grand thing, whatever that may be. 

But.... What if?

Oh shut up, little voice. 

So my internet has been broken since the morning after "For the Watch." The only thing that comes up in the search engine is Game of Thrones related. I can't stay away from westeros.com, watchersonthewall.com, the wiki's, the subreddits.... I swear I'll be rereading the books by the end of summer. I am completely and totally obsessed at this point. I need the next book, Martin!!! NEED! I haven't felt this taut with anticipation since the ending of book 7 of wheel of time... and then Jordan smacked us in the face with Crossroads of Twilight. Don't do that Martin. Give us what we want!

So in my broken internet, there are a lot of odd theories out there. Man do I love pulling out the tinfoil and settling down with some crazy-ass theory. I've read R+L=D and B+A=J... lolno. And my favorite nutty theory is Lyanna is still alive and happy as a certain Septa traveling with the Golden Company. What??? No... And.. omg... Drogo+Dany=Tyrion, the time traveling fetus. BWAHAHAH! I love this stuff...

So here's some of my thoughts, but I am always, and I mean ALWAYS open to reading other's thoughts and theories.

  • Lyanna is dead... but why is she the only woman to have a statue in the crypts?
  • Lemora is probably the Mad Maid, although part of me really wants her to be Ashara Dayne.
  • God would I love it if Daario was Euron, but I doubt that's even possible.
  • Coldhands is not Benjen, I'm sorry. I don't think we've seen the last of Benjen, but I also don't think he's alive anymore.
  • Varys is a mermaid? ROFL! I can't even comment on that one. He is also a HE... And not Illyrio's wife.
  • Aegon is a Blackfyre, but he doesn't know it, and Jon Connington definitely doesn't know it.
  • Bran is never leaving that cave physically again.
  • Jaime will kill Cersei, after she tries to make use of the wildfire the Mad King left behind.
  • HR=HS. Man, do I love love love this theory! The chances of it being true are pretty slim, but Howland Reed has to come into play at some point in a big way in the next book/season.
  • Tywin Lannister was sterile. 
  • Roose Bolton is not a vampire.
But my main theory, one so prevalent it might as well be cannon now, is R+L=J. The only thing I'd like to add on this is the promise me, Ned. I have read a lot of theories, and I know I can't be the only one out there to think this, but I also haven't read this anywhere yet.

Lyanna wasn't begging Ned to promise her to raise Jon and keep him safe. That was something that Ned would have done on his own. She was, instead, begging Ned to tell Jon who he really was, and I don't just mean a Targ. Rhaegar was consumed with the three heads of the dragon, and he firmly believed that the heads were his offspring, and that one of his offspring would be the Prince that was Promised. It stands to reason that Lyanna, a young, impressionable girl that is in love with this immaculate prince, would have also fallen in love with his passion.

This is the promise that Ned made to her, and the broken promise he laments in the black cells. He never told Jon what his destiny was/is, that she believed him to be the Prince that was Promised.

There is more, there is always more, but I think that's enough for today. I will add, that I am looking forward to any and all surprises that Martin is going to throw at us. Prove us all wrong! Muwah!

Unhooking my mind from Martin's world has been difficult, but it's time to get to the editing station. Everyone remember to have a safe and wonderful Fourth of July weekend!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Mastic, by Eli Constant

So this post should have been up yesterday. I had intended to write it, but there was one scene I was toying with that I thought I was so close to being finished with. I told myself I would give my blog a little lovin' as soon as that scene was done. If I let myself get distracted, it would never be finished. I've been struggling with it for four days now!

And I did it. I finally finished it, but I never actually got around to the blog. Sorry about that! 

I'm here now, and today we're going to talk about Mastic, by Eli Constant.

This book was an original, dark fantasy. (my favorite genre.) Lots of mystery involving a type of supernatural being that I've never read about before. In fact, I would actually love to explore the lore behind them... or him, as it was very intriguing.

The story set up was great, and although there were some parts that made me wonder why we were being told about certain things, it all came back around in the end. There didn't seem to be anything left open ended, (ya know, except that one thing that was intentionally left open ended that makes me hope for a second book.) 

One part was a little confusing when half the book was 3rd person and then switched to 1st person for a good portion, then back to 3rd person again. I was listening to the book on audible, so I'm not sure if there was something actually written in the book that made this make more sense, but it did throw me off at first.

Speaking of audible, Pamela Lawrence did an excellent job narrating the book. Her character voices were consistent to where I knew who was speaking before the dialog tags were read. She can really put emotion into the characters too, make you feel for their situation.

Overall, I think it was a decent read and the book is really well reviewed. If you're looking for something with a little romance (not graphic) and an original story, you might want to give this a try. Wasn't my favorite book from Constant, (I loved Dead Trees) but still a good book. Also, the cover art is beautiful. 

Now, that gets me caught up a little bit. I'm still two reviews behind and halfway through another book! Weee!! So hard to keep up.

In Dreamland news, I'm super happy with how the rewrites are going this time around. Hard not to start trying to polish, but I had a lot of cleaning up to do with the first couple of chapters. At least half of that is done now. I still have a lot of work to go, but I'm excited! I never feel this good when facing edits, so this is an improvement! 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Vengeance of the Iron Dwarf, By R.A. Salvatore

Happy Tuesday morning! Time to get back to it and get some of these reviews out of the way before I forget them. I'm getting behind!

There are a couple things I'd like to get out of the way before I jump into the review. May has been a very busy month for me, hence the lack of posts. My husband and I celebrated our 7th anniversary, my eldest son graduated high school, and my daughter now has her first car. It has been somewhat hectic! The astonishing thing was that I actually found the time to finish the Dreamland - Part One manuscript in the midst of all that! Yes, you heard me! First draft is DONE!

*does Snoopy dance*

The rewrites are already underway, but this is the area where is difficult for me to gauge a timeline. I can think I'm on track and then end up having to rewrite a full two scenes or some such. I still think I'll be able to be done before summer is over, though. Then the editing and polishing stage can begin and that doesn't take near as long. Hopefully my estimated release date of late this year is accurate! I think it might be!

Now on to the review.

Vengeance of the Iron Dwarf was more exciting than the last installment, Rise of the King. As I stated in the review for Rise, it was mostly setup, and a lot of what was set up came to fruition in Vengeance of the Iron Dwarf. DO YOU LIKE DRAGONS?? I like dragons, and we get some very satisfying and unique scenes here. The waging war is huge in scope, involving a lot of towns I've been familiar with for decades. Things don't end up well for a lot of them, and it was a very emotional read.

There was a distance in the books from some of the characters, especially the humans. Mainly because we don't know them as all the old humans we knew have been dead for centuries, and a lot of the dwarves were just names or acquaintances before. We spend just as much time in those perspectives as we do our Companions of the Hall. 

Sept 1st Release!
This stories's scope was vast and covered a world changing event. One that needed to be told and was a very satisfying to read. That being said, I do miss the single adventures of the Companions. The smaller ones, where only those directly involved matter. I hope the next book in the Drizzt saga takes us back there. I do think the artwork that's up on Amazon now is stunning.

Hopefully, some loose ends finally get tied up in this next trilogy, plus I am missing Artemis! What the heck has he been up too? I think I'm looking forward to this next set of books more than I did this last trilogy due to how much I love the underdark. I can't wait for them to get the chaos they think they want! With the way Salvatore can deliver a truly satisfying scene, I'm sure I won't be disappointed. 

Okay, one review down, two more to go. Told you I was behind! I'll try to get those up quickly before I get to caught up in the rewrites and my brain turns to mush.

Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Lost Days

Just a quick post since I was MIA last week. I intentionally skipped my normal Tuesday review because I... well.. wasn't ready to write a review yet. I figured I'd be able to get one up this Tuesday, and besides, I'm known for doing that anyway. Sounded like a good plan except I didn't expect to get hit with the mother of all stomach viruses on Sunday.

Oy... Just know these past couple days have been horrible. I will spare you the gory details.

Anyway, due to this virus rampaging through my digestive system, I lost three days of writing. Three days without a word! I was doing so well, too. It was almost certain I could finish the first draft by the end of the month, and I still think I can. We have 2 weeks left, and I only have 2 chapters to go. I think I can do it.. right? Yeah... I think I can do it. I'm getting back on that horse today.

There are a few upsides to being sick. I'm caught up on all my TV shows now (except for The Walking Dead, that one I just couldn't do.) AND I did got to watch the Game of Thrones premiere live. Oh, so excited for this season! I can't wait until Drogon finally makes his appearance.

Anyway, I'll be back later this week with my review. This one will be on R.A. Salvatore's Vengeance of the Iron Dwarf, and then next week I'll have an indie review for Mastic by Eli Constant, which I'm nearly finished with.

This post feels like it's been all over the place, but I don't have it in me to correct it right now. Sorries!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Mistborn, by Brandon Sanderson

Can you actually read this?
BAM! Five Stars! That was a no brainer for me. Any book that keeps me up until 3am because I Can't. Stop. Reading, gets a top-notch review from me. Don't believe me? Check out my fitbit captured stats the night I finished Hero of Ages.

I'm crazy addicted to reading, guys. Totally obsessive compulsive, and I LOVE IT!

So, back to Mistborn. This will be a review on the first three books in the series, The Final Empire, Well of Ascension and Hero of Ages, since it's all one continuous story. I half read, half listened to the books. Michael Kramer once again narrates, but this time he also does the female POV's. Although I missed Kate Reading, Kramer does an excellent job as always. His character accents helped bring the story to life and were pretty consistent all the way through. There was also one character whose voice deepened by the third book, which I thought was an very good portrayal of growth, because... well.. that character had seen some shit by then. It was a nice touch.

The series is more of an urban fantasy, and is set in a world that was conquered by the Lord Ruler one thousand years in the past. There are Noblemen (the Lord Ruler's followers) and the Skaa (the slaves punished by the Lord Ruler for not following him.) Pretty simple set up.

The Lord Ruler is a very mysterious entity and Sanderson did a fascinating job with his slow unveiling of this particular big bad. The Lord Ruler is seen as a god, his powers in Allomancy (the worlds magic system) far greater than any of the Noblemen that follow him. The Skaa have little to no hope in achieving freedom until our antagonist, Vin, joins up with a Skaa thieving crew intent on the impossible task of overthrowing the Lord Ruler.

The three books mostly follow Vin, who is only sixteen when we first meet her, but the books span a few  years and she grows into a competent young woman by the end. Although some of the reveals were pretty heavy handed, I'll admit that Sanderson really had me wondering how he was going to wrap everything up. Not one possible ending that I thought up was even close to what happened, and that night spent reading until the wee hours of the morning was truly worth it. Tears were shed. I was so caught up in this world that I had to take a short hiatus before I started my next book.

Which is Vengeance of the Iron Dwarf. Can I get a WHAT WHAT from the Drizzt fans out there? Oh, yeah! (I'm already halfway through... Did I mention I'm behind on reviews? NEway...)

So Camp NaNoWrimo is starting tomorrow, and I've entered in the estimated 25k words I have left to write for the first draft. That should be an easy goal to hit, so a release by the end of this year is looking highly likely! Are you Phoenix fans excited yet? If you weren't aware, you can find the prologue online over here. Just a little taste of where this next installment is heading... at least for one of our loveable Phoenix, anyway.

Well, that's all I have for today! Have a great week and happy reading, as always!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Darkness Of The Womb, By Richard B. Knight

Here we are at another wonderful Tuesday! I hope everyone is enjoying their week so far!

Yeah.... nevermind. I'm not this cheerful in the morning. Honestly, it's dangerous to talk to me before 10am. I am not fully functional. There's a good chance I could have forgotten to brush my hair before I left the house. For best results for all parties involved, contact me after noon.

We should probably just move on to the review, whadaya say?

Recently, I finished another indie book, Darkness of the Womb, by Richard B. Knight. This is the first book by a very promising new author and one to keep an eye on.

Darkness of the Womb is a good mix of fantasy and horror, and it's the good kind of horror. Psychological. The story is about an unborn child who doesn't want to be born. He is on a mission to abort himself and the story details the journey of his parents as they try to save him. Human traits are personified as antagonists and unlikely heroes, each one identified with signature colors that result in a very vivid story.

Although the structure of the story felt weak in some places, it was still an enthralling read. Knight did an excellent job with his characters and I found myself invested in the side characters as much as the main. I would call it a dark fairy-tale, and it receives a solid 4 stars from me. I enjoyed the book so much, I will probably be grabbing his second novel as well.

When I finished Darkness of the Womb, I jumped into Mistborn... Man... what a wild ride that was. That will probably be my next review.

Aside from all the maniacal reading I've been doing lately, I've put in a lot of work on the consolidation of After and I'm pleased to announce that the paperback and e-book are available now! With a brand new cover! If you've already purchased all three books, the consolidated book doesn't offer any new content, although it might be a bit cleaner as far as editing goes. It does however, have the first teaser chapter of Dreamland at the back.

Oh my!

No need to rush out(over?) and buy it just for the teaser. I have a brand new page up for Dreamland updates alone, and you can find it there. You'll also notice I've finally added a timeline for publication as well as some interesting stats. That date isn't set in stone as of yet, but I do plan to be finished with the first manuscript by the end of April. Things have been going so well with the writing lately, I don't want to say anything else or I'll jinx myself!

Read up and enjoy!

And try to survive until Friday!