Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Maze Runner, By James Dashner

I am BACK! Woohoo!

Finally, the day job weekend conversions are OVER and I can get back to normal again. Well, I've already started that, actually, I just haven't made it over to the blog for a while. It seemed somewhat pointless since I didn't have anything to talk about but boring day job conversion weekends. No one wants to hear about those, my poor husband least of all. At least he was there to suffer through these trials with me...

Speaking of trials (cough) I did manage to finish The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure, books 2 and 3 in The Maze Runner series. I read The Maze Runner sometime last year, but only reviewed it on Amazon... or Audible... I can't remember which. Way to be on top of my game, eh?

Anyway, The Maze Runner as a series gets a solid four stars from me. I really enjoyed the set up of the first book, but something seemed to happen with the second. I'm not sure what exactly, the book was good and there was non-stop action, but I felt a disconnect from some of the established characters. However, some new characters are introduced in book two that quickly became my favorites. I enjoyed The Death Cure as much as I enjoyed the first book.

*** Minor Spoiler Below ***

I've read some reviews that revealed a lot of people didn't like how book three ended. Some stated there was too much information left out, but I felt we got the perfect amount. No, we never end up finding out what motivated Thomas prior to joining the Gladers, but do we really need too? That wasn't our Thomas. Our Thomas started the moment he woke up in the box and we were with him from then on. The mystery that still lingers about his past was not something that I was missing from the story. Also, the whole tie up at the end with WCKD was brilliant.

I really want to say more, especially concerning Newt's storyline, but since the movies are being made, I'll keep that to myself. Those that have read the books will probably understand where I'm going with this.

In conclusion, I found this to be a very entertaining YA novel/series. I even recommended it to my daugher, who blew through the three books at top speed. I think she finished The Death Cure in one day. Whew!

Now on to other things, like what's going on with The Phoenix Curse right now?

Well, all three parts of After are now available for digital download across Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Apple, Scribd, Oyster and a few others.

After - Part Three's paperback proof is in the mail now... WOOWOO!! Keep you're fingers crossed on that one, because I spent two weeks fighting with the cover for that before it got accepted. Oy, why does it have to be so difficult? Let's hope the cover is perfect when I get it, so I can hit that publish button right away.

Next on the paperback/hardcover list of things that are happening, After, the complete book one, will also have a wide release soon. I'm only waiting on one thing to get started on the formatting... The teaser chapter for Dreamland that is already in the hands of my beta reader!

Can I get a HELLZ YEAH??

Not to worry, (if you're the worrying type.) You won't have to run out to buy the full book to get the teaser. That will be posted on my blog as soon as I get it back. Yes, I'm anxiously awaiting that too.

And lastly (I like that word), some juicy tidbits on Dreamland. Mmmhmm. The book is shaping up to have about 9 chapters. I'm halfway through writing chapter 4, and plan on a spring break marathon to see how much closer I can get to number 9 this month. You might be seeing Dreamland - Part One by the end of the year! That's currently my goal, but if I can get it out to you prior to that, I will.

And that's all I have for now.

Except for this... The dress is white and gold.


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Stormlight Archive, by Brandon Sanderson

Man... so what the hell just happened?

I guess I'll start at the beginning of my latest mind-boggling journey. As I've posted before, I finally decided to get over my worries of a different author taking over The Wheel of Time and finish reading the series. I'm so glad I did, because the final three books were an epic roller coaster of emotions that I'm not likely to forget anytime soon. The books were brilliant!

So, since I enjoyed the writing style so much, I started  The Way of Kings, book one of The Stormlight Archive by +Brandon Sanderson. The book started slow with a lot of juicy backstory-tidbits along the way, and I listened to it here and there. (Side note, Kate Reading and Michael Kramer narrate the books and they are AWESOME!!) The books are friggen HUGE though... like if you actually had a hardback copy, you could use it as a weapon huge.

But, anyway... Being huge and getting to know new characters in an epic adventure was a slow process for me. I refuse to lie and say that I fell in love with the books on the first page, because I didn't. The first POV's that are introduced are not the main characters, they're snippets into perspectives to add a bit of backstory and mystery. By the time I did get to one of the main characters, I wasn't sure how long I would be in their perspective... and then we jumped to another perspective... and then another... and then there were interludes.

Hrm...

Okay, so after all is said and done, I understand. I've even gone so far as to re-read these 'one-off' perspectives now that I've finished both books, because I understand, but man was I so hella confused and lost during the first half of book one that it put me off reading for a while. I'm not one to abandon a book, but if I was, I might have walked away from The Way of Kings... and it would have been a colossal mistake.

Then I hit the second half and Oh. My. God. Everything came together and shit started going DOWN.

At that point, obsessive mode got turned on, and I devoured the rest of The Way of Kings and hit Words of Radiance with a passion. Sanderson has securely made his way into the select few that I call my favorite authors. These books are amazeballs, full of brilliant imagery, solid characters and a vast world that feels real.

As soon as I finished Words of Radiance, I did what I normally do (don't judge me) and started searching message boards and reddit for discussion and theories on what I might have missed, as well as when book three is expected to release. I never imagined what I would find...

The... Cosmere? What the hell is that?

MORE BOOKS!! YES!!! So, Stormlight Archive is just one series of books set in the same universe, and there are a ton more words to read before book three comes out. So excite! My husband has already finished Mistborn, which I'll start soonish after I wrap up some other obligations.

Oh... um.. speaking of. I have some Phoenix Curse news, woot woot! It's probably not what you're looking for, but After is being released to multiple platforms this month. In fact, part one is already available at Smashwords.com and is currently FREE for the month of February. Grab it if you haven't yet!

Part two and part three will follow, and part three will finally have it's paperback debut! Keep you're eyes open for those.

One last thing, D.R.J. Publishing is also hosted Thief for free for the month of February at Smashwords, because... ya know.. romance and stuff. Hopefully Amazon will follow suite soon, but they currently still have the cost listed at $.99. Someone should probably send an email. *ahem*

So there is my very wordy, image free post, because I'm too lazy to add images today. Been sick since last Friday so please forgive me! Will be back soon with a review of The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I survived!

Last week was terribly, terribly crazy! The day job is working on converting to a new program, so that meant working through last weekend... Both Saturday and Sunday... At the office... Full days... So this Saturday was my first day off in 12 days.

Doesn't that sound crazy? That's not the end of it. My husband was away on a business trip all last week, so it was just me and the toddler struggling to survive. Somehow, I managed to make it through with both of us still intact. I survived on cereal and corndogs, cuz... Well, I can't cook. The boy lives on chicken nuggets anyway, and those are easy to throw in the oven. It did get scary there for a little bit cuz I had to break into my second box of cereal by the end of the week, but luckily my husband was able to catch an earlier flight home, so imminent crisis averted.

There's another conversion weekend coming up again in February... /sigh... I just need to sell more books. Working these 12 day work weeks is a real strain, mentally and physically. It's messing with my writing time, too. It drains me and zaps all the creative energy.

Well, I'm back at it this week. Currently I'm working on a wide release of After, tentatively scheduled for next month, once I'm released from Amazon's KDP Select. Oh, and I guess I have a little bit of news for you. Katlynn Rose has published her first novella! Woot Woot!

Thief: The Dove in the Darkness

So yes, that's my new pen name, and my first shot at writing romance. I'm still not sure how I feel about romance just yet, it's definitely out of my comfort zone, but there it is in case anyone would like to give it a go! Thief is currently on sale for $.99. As always, if you read it and enjoy it, please leave a review!

Short update today, but I haven't fully recovered from last week yet. Have a wonderful week, everyone!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

30 Books

And we're back from the holidays! I hope everyone had a wonderful time and are well prepared for the New Year. It's getting cold down here in Texas! (and by cold, we mean in the 30s. How you people live up North is beyond me.)

My time working on other projects is over, and my focus is now turned completely toward The Phoenix Curse. I'm working on formatting the three parts into one complete book, as well as getting some more work done on Dreamland. Many many edits lie in front of me for what's already been written, and many many words still need to be put down on paper. It's become a bigger project than I ever expected it would be, but I'm happy about that. Dreamland - Part One will be completely written before I turn to another project. I'm also expecting this book to be a bit heavier than After by the time it's all said and done.
We all do this, right?
I'm preparing a little treat for all my wonderful Phoenix fans to be released at the end of February, so there's a little something to look forward to while the book is in the works. Yay! I hope that's exciting news for everyone.

I guess it's time for a little 2014 recap. Last year, I never got down and made any resolutions. I vagued it up, and vagueness is the cause of many a failed resolution. The only solid resolution was to complete NaNoWriMo, which I was able to accomplish with a little room to spare. Not much, but a little. My second resolution was to 'lose weight." Okay. I did that. And then I promptly gained it right back. That does not count in my book, so I'm done with any type of resolution to lose weight/work out. Not to say I'm giving up on that, I'm just not going to confine it to one small time-frame of the year that's normally forgotten by the end of January.

But I did accomplish one of my vague resolutions. "Read more." Check!! Okay, so most of it was listening to Audible books, but THAT COUNTS considering I don't have time to sit down and actually read as much as I would like. Some books were read, but Audible was available to give me a link to all the wonderful stories that I would otherwise be deprived of. Thank you, Audible!

Total count: 30. Resolution for 2015: 35.

I'm not exactly reaching for the stars here, but I'm keeping it reasonable. Also, you have to consider that nearly half those books from last year were the gigantic tomes called The Wheel of Time. Geez, but Jordan was not shy on his word count. And half of those were re-reads, but they still count! Except Crossroads of Twilight. I just read Leigh Butler's re-read on that. For those of you that have actually read the series, I'm sure you understand. Crossroads of Twilight was not counted in my total.

That pretty much sums up my actual resolutions from 2014, but what I consider one of my biggest accomplishments was not even a resolution. Yes, I finished my first real book and got everything published, and figured out how to start on a completely different story that will one day be another best selling novel (right?!?), but there was something else I did that was a major lifestyle change for me. It might seem small, but for as much as I loved it, it was a huge change in my life.

I gave up caffeine.

I was never a big coffee drinker, but for years the only liquid I consumed was Diet Coke, and large volumes of it. First thing in the morning, I had to have my Diet Coke. I'd be late for work because I'd stop by McDonalds just to grab one. Not exactly a good habit to have and very unhealthy. Stimulants do not go well with someone that has hypertension, so I dropped my Diet Coke habit in October and haven't had any caffeine since. I, however, switched to caffeine free Diet Coke for a while, but that is still not healthy, so I've even cut most of that out and have switched to water.

Water is boring and gives me heartburn, but I feel a difference, people! Dem fancy doctors and health nuts might actually know what they're talking about! (no offence to fancy doctors and health nuts intended.) So my vague resolution for 2015 is 'drink more water.'

And I think that about sums up my thoughts on this topic. I'll be back to posting a little more regularly (expect at least 2 posts a month), and there's a small announcement coming later this week, so be sure to check back!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Thirst of Corben - By Johi Jenkins

I was recently gifted an ARC of Thirst of Corben from +Johi Jenkins, and it was absolutely delicious! For those of you that are into The Thirst Within series, you won't be disappointed with this one.

I don't think I'm giving anything away by saying this book is about Corben's past, and how he came to be who and what he is. I can't express enough how very, very interested I was to learn more about Charlotte, and this novella pretty much answered most of those questions, although the big ones are still hanging out there. As this mostly takes place in the past, there isn't a lot revealed about the Tori/Charlotte mystery, nor the effect it has on Corben and Thierry

There was, however, quite the twist at the end that left me ready for the next book. I'm not sure if Johi has a publication date ready yet for Thirst of Corben, but here's a link to her blog and facebook. Also, here's her author page for good measure.

And now I'm waiting as patiently as possible for the 2nd installment of Thirst. And Resurgence. I also loved that book.

The next on my list to read is The Lost Centurion, by +Monica La Porta , and my audible is glued to The Way of Kings, by +Brandon Sanderson. Gotta get some variety in there.

As for project list, I'm putting the final touches on Thief, so if anyone wants an ARC, please shoot me an email at drjpublishing@gmail.com. (Remember this is romance!) It will be ready before Christmas, and I have a few copies to spread around.

After that, Dreamland. Expect a teaser early next year!


Friday, November 28, 2014

NaNoWriMo and Black Friday


NaNoWriMo is DONE!! Woohoo!! I finished day before yesterday, and that feeling of accomplishment was just as wonderful as I remembered. I know there are some amazing writers out there that were able to actually finish their manuscript, but I was quite happy to end with my 50k words. I would say I'm only about halfway through the actual story, though.

Day 13!
I know I was quiet through-out November. I was actually really hyped about this year's NaNo and had a pre-NaNo post all worked up in my head, and then I was struck by a horrible migraine type headache on Halloween. BALLS!! It was horribad. Now, I've suffered from migraines all my life, and this was not one, but it was damn close. I've been getting these types of headaches a lot recently, but this one topped the charts on suckage. I remember the first one I got was during my first NaNo in 2012. It put me down for a few days then too. (see the chart to the left for historical accuracy.)

It did not occur to me until 2 years later, that the headaches might be caused by my blood pressure medicine. Brain child, I am not. Anyway, I dropped those meds and went to the Doc for something else. As soon as I did, I instantly felt better. The new meds aren't dragging my energy levels down either, so I feel better than I have in a long while.

Look at that beautiful, smooth climb of words,
LOOK AT IT!!
So NaNo pretty much went off without a hitch this year. I wrote consistently every day, paced myself well, and finished with an awesome push right at the end. Look at that last push right there at the end! 4000 words in one day! I had just hit one of those scenes that I couldn't wait to get to, and the story just flowed. It's funny how some days getting 1000 words down is like squeezing blood from a turnip, and others it's a flood of thoughts that my furiously typing fingers are just trying to keep up with.

I am really starting to love this story line and my awkward little seraph. I can't wait to finish it and get it out there, but that will probably be late in 2015 by the time I get to it. Don't worry. Dreamland will come first.

So, yay!! Maybe this next year I can give Camp NaNo a shot and actually succeed. For now, I'm working on a small project for December and also plan to send some ARCs out of my novella. If anyone is interested in that, just drop me an email at drjpublishing@gmail.com; subject ARC THIEF.

Meanwhile, After - Part Three is ON SALE TODAY for $.99!! This quite possibly could be the last time I'll be listing it for sale because I'm seriously thinking of pulling it from Amazon KDP Select. It's just not giving the results I want, and I'd like to open the books back up to other platforms. I guess it did okay in their Kindle Unlimited program, but it's not pulling the numbers that part two did, so I'm a bit disappointed.

Anyway, tell your friends! Grab it now! Send it as a gift! yada yada ~insert more corny sales pitches here~ (I'm not good at marketing!)

Black Friday Only!

He's such a cute wittle puppy!

And that's all I have for now. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, have a safe Black Friday, and hang on to your butts! The holiday's are in full swing!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dead Trees - By Eli Constant

My mind is wandering down crazy paths today! I'm so close to finishing the editing for my alter ego's novella, and all I want to do is write the prologue for Dreamland. I have it all sketched out, and I'm eager to jump in! Maybe I"ll get that started today once I hit my editing goals. Sounds like a plan to me!

So, recently I was gifted the audio book Dead Tress by +Pamela Lorence. She saw my review on That Ghoul Ava, and highly recommended +Eli Constant's book. Pamela also does the narration for Dead Trees and it is superb!

Dead Trees was definitely not what I expected from an apocalyptic story. It opens six months after the disintegration of society, although we do get bits and pieces of information that fill in what happen during that time. Most of the book is told in Elise's POV, but there are a few scenes that aren't, and I'll call those guest POV's because it's not the norm. This is Elise's story.

As a mother, I related to Elise on a lot of levels. Not the kick-ass warrior part, but the mommy part. (I've already faced the fact that I would be a goner in the first 48 hours of an apocalypse if Buffy or the Winchesters don't come save me,) Elise is smart and willing to do what it takes to not only protect herself, but her two daughters. Now, as a mother, as soon as I found out she had a toddler in the car, my stress level shot through the roof. There were some very tense scenes that I ended up sitting in my car after the drive home just to listen to them. I had to know what happened!

The monsters in this book, or maybe I should say beasties, were so well done that I actually had nightmares about them. Yay for my over active imagination!

Pamela Lorence did an awesome job bringing Elise to life, and there were a few times I actually teared up while listening. I immediately bought book 2 for my kindle once I finished, which I've already started. Let me tell ya, book 2 starts out super creepy. It might take me a little while to get through this one since I have to find the time to read, but maybe I can catch some downtime this weekend. It is the calm before the NaNoWriMo storm.

So there's my Dead Trees review, and an audible review of a full five stars will accompany it. I may take the rest of the week off blogging while I wrap up the novella. Unless something else exciting comes up, I will catch you guys next week!