The Death of the NaNo Goal (and Picking Up the Pieces)

It’s the last week of NaNoWriMo and many people are still plugging along, either having completed their goal and still going, or they’re just words away from completing.

I am not one of those people.

It all started when my daughter got sick. Then I got sick. Then my daughter got sick again and my son got sick at the same time. Then, when they were better, my husband got sick. Add in a birthday for Little Man, a trip to the doctor for the kids, and another trip to the doctor for the hubs and you’ve got two weeks worth of getting very little done. Okay, there was a lot of reading, but that’s for fun and the house looks about like it would if I were still doing NaNo. (Not toxic, but don’t worry about stepping on the clothes all over the floor and throw those used paper plates lining the counter away while you’re at it. The Legos are just a part of having kids, not NaNo, so you’re on your own if you step on one of those.)

I was doing quite well during the first week. I got my counts in and was keeping up with the daily goal. I was chugging along nicely, even though I wanted to stab every word like the cake in Taylor Swift’s new video. But I still wrote with the mantra “Fix it later!” playing on repeat in my head…

I will run this place!

So, it’s kind of a blessing that I got behind and decided to step away from NaNo this year. I still feel the guilt of failure. Oh, do I. But I’m not going to let it stop me. You see, I went back and read a bit of what I’ve written and discovered that if I continued any farther than where I stopped, I wouldn’t have wanted to fix it. I would have wanted to just throw it in the trash and never bother with it again. Which is sad because I’m absolutely in love with the idea of this book.

I can fix what I’ve written so far, but from now on, I’m going to focus on what I’m writing instead of how much I’m writing. Because, even with an outline, I started going off on too many damned tangents and they are tripping me up. Sure, I filed them aside and put them in the “deleted” folder and went back to my outline, but they were/are a distraction that I don’t need. I’ve got enough of those.

I never stopped writing words, I just didn’t have time to pump out the 1667 words a day that was required. Some days, I got as many as 500 words. Other days, I got a sentence. And that’s what helped me realize that this book isn’t a fast-draft kind of book. It’s a take-your-time-and-do-it-right kind of draft. I’ve fast drafted before and it worked for what I wrote, but there have been other projects that took me months to write. Not because I didn’t write, but because I took my time to really think about what came next and how I was going to write a particular scene.

So, while I may have failed NaNo, I haven’t failed my book. I can live with that.

Did you participate in NaNoWriMo? How’s your last week?

Katie Signature

 

 

 

 

ALL THE THINGS!

Yesterday was kind of a crazy day full of Things Happening. Some good, some bad, and some full of WTFery. I’m going to recap in case some of you missed the happenings.

First, the ESA (European Space Agency) landed a probe ON A COMET! This is a huge thing. Before, we’ve only ever take pictures of them or had things crash into them (on purpose). But yesterday, we actually landed a probe on one! This is exciting and worth many more exclamation points!!!! The New York Times has a long list of photos that tell the story quite well, so I’d suggest checking it out. And another more comprehensive article about what happened yesterday is right here, but be sure to start from the bottom of the page, because the updates work their way up instead of down. Then, if you want to watch an incredible short film inspired (and produced) by the ESA about the importance of the Rosetta mission, watch this (Also, watch it if you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, because Aidan Gillen):

Another good thing that happened yesterday was the announcement of cooperation between Women, Action and The Media (WAM!) and Twitter to produce a form for people to report harassment based on gender bias. It’s not limited to women, but it is focused on women. So, even if you are not a woman, you can still fill out the form. I’ll let Buzzfeed’s Tasneem Nashrulla explain it, since she does a much MUCH better job than I could. This is a huge thing. For years, people have complained about the harassment policy on Twitter and how little gets done when it is reported. The block feature is minimalist and isn’t meant to actually block people from viewing your profile. It’s just a stop gap so harassers can’t follow you, but they can still seek you out via search. They still see everything you post and they can still @Tweet you. Twitter recently added the Mute feature so you can mute people you don’t want to hear from, but that doesn’t stop the harassment, it just makes it harder to see… Which is a double edged sword. You may feel safer, but people you’ve muted can still threaten you and dox you. And they’re more likely to get away with it (unless you have friends watching your mentions for you and can catch it). This new partnership  has the potential to make Twitter a safer place for everyone.

Now I’m going to delve into the WTFery real quick to get it done and over with. Because ugh.

Yesterday, Time Magazine online posted a poll for words that should be banned in 2015. Among then were basic, kale, literally, and… feminist. And the reason feminist was on the poll?

You have nothing against feminism itself, but when did it become a thing that every celebrity had to state their position on whether this word applies to them, like some politician declaring a party? Let’s stick to the issues and quit throwing this label around like ticker tape at a Susan B. Anthony parade.

Of course, it’s leading the poll with the most votes, and The Mary Sue can tell you why. TIME, I just… I can’t even.

I’m not linking it because it’s already gotten enough attention due to the WTFery of it all. A lot of people assume it’s click bait, but that doesn’t remove or excuse the insult. I am a feminist. And the more celebrities that do identify themselves with this “label” the merrier. The word represents an idea that all people–no matter their gender–are equal, and feminists fight for that equality. Anyone who thinks feminist is a buzz word needs to read up a bit more on Women’s Suffrage.

On to a bit of bad from yesterday that hit closer to home… literally:

 

That’s the town square where I live. In all, three businesses were destroyed and several others damaged. It’s not certain, but it’s believed the fire started with a spark from a glue gun.

Neighboring communities banded together to help send more firefighters (around 100!!) and more trucks to battle the fire.

A flower shop, a t-shirt and gift shop, and a salon were completely destroyed. An ink store and law office were badly damaged. Several other businesses suffered smoke damage.

It’s a small town of about 3,000 people. Everyone knows everyone and no one is unaffected.

Before

After

The fire started around 10am Wednesday morning and was still going in the evening. Even now, as I write this 24 hours later, smoke still rises and the structures still smolder. One of the main roads had to shut down for most of the day creating barely contained chaos on the side streets as people who needed to pass through town turned off the highway.

Anyway, I don’t want to leave you on such a dour note, so I’ll leave these right here:

 

 

And one more…

 

NaNoWriMo, Writing Hangovers, and Scrivener

 

The first full week of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is done and I managed to end it barely on target. I think I had only 200 words left to reach the stats page goal for the 9th, so I consider that a win for the week. Most of my writing happened with the #writeclub sprints from Thursday morning through Saturday night. They dedicated that time to a NaNoWriMo marathon and I was able to get about 10K words written thanks to that. Ten thousand words in three days is pretty good considering I had some major distractions in the form of family. I couldn’t participate in all of the sprints, but it gave me enough motivation to write when I could, even if I couldn’t report in my word counts. I was there for the first sprint and the last sprint though, so I feel good about that.

Oh, but the hangover. I didn’t even know it was possible to get a writing hangover, but it is. By Saturday morning I was a freaking zombie. It was like Death decided to make me his plaything and have a little fun in the form of drawing and quartering me. I wouldn’t be surprised if the words I wrote all Saturday were the same words over and over (“Oh God, it hurts! Oh God, it hurts!”). My brain just kind of shut down and didn’t care what I wrote. Which, is good for a first draft since NaNo is all about just getting words down and turning off your inner editor. I think mine died sometime between Thursday and Saturday morning. Or went into a coma. If that’s the case, I should thank Death for his help, but maybe next time just work over the editor and leave the rest of me out of it? Because ouch.

At one point during the sprint marathon my computer decided to fritz out on me. She’s getting old, and showing it more and more. It’s about time for me to pick up a new laptop, but that’s going to have to wait until I can save up for it. Even if she quits on me before I can get a new one, I’m so thankful to Scrivener’s auto backup. When she glitched, I had to do a hard restart (eek!), and when I clicked my Scrivener icon, I freaked out a bit. Every word I’d written since the start of the marathon was gone… And then I remembered I’d changed the name of the file. The words were still there, just under a different name. Even the ones I’d written just before the Black Screen of Doom.

Anyways, I’m off to get more words written and hope that my computer doesn’t fry any time this month.

I hope you have a wonderful day!

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo?

Katie Signature

 

 

 

 

Guest Post: Casting Catch Me When I Fall by Vicki Leigh

I recently had the pleasure of participating in a fun (and scary) blog hop called My Worst Nightmare. It was all about the participants worst nightmares (obviously) and it was inspired by Vicki Leigh’s book Catch Me When I Fall. Today, I’m pleased to have Vicki here to talk about casting the characters in her book.

Casting CATCH ME WHEN I FALL

One of my favorite things about planning a new novel is casting my characters. See, I have this weird writing quirk where I ask each characters’ picture what they would do/say whenever I get stuck on a piece of a dialogue or a scene. Kind of weird; I know. But I also attach the pictures to post cards and make a character board for quick reference with character traits, physical features, etc. on the back.

So, when I start casting my characters, I begin by jotting down their personality traits and flaws, as well as what they look like. Then I hop on to Pinterest and Google and find the celebrities/models that most resemble the characters in my head. Today, I thought I would share my casting choices for CATCH ME WHEN I FALL.

Of all my characters, selecting Daniel was, surprisingly, the most difficult. I had a very specific, detailed image of him in my mind; I even put a call out on Twitter for suggestions. But he still went through three casting changes until I finally found the perfect Daniel — The Tomorrow People star, Luke Mitchell.

Daniel Graham
Played by: Luke Mitchell
Age: 17
Hair: Blond
Eyes: Blue
Height: 6’0”
Build: Athletic
Ethnicity: British
Traits: Alert, Ambitious, Analytical, Courageous, Decisive, Focused, Honorable, Intelligent, Mature, Proper, Protective
Flaws: Cynical, Controlling, Grumpy, Impatient, Withdrawn

The others weren’t as difficult, but it still took time. Regardless, I always have a blast playing casting director, and I’m excited to share whom I chose for each character. (For the sake of length, I won’t list the traits and flaws for the rest of the cast.) So, without further ado, here are the rest of my casting choices for CATCH ME WHEN I FALL:

Kayla Bartlett
Played by: Lyndsy Fonseca
Age: 16
Hair: Dark brown
Eyes: Hazel
Height: 5’4”
Build: Curvy
Ethnicity: American

 

Seth White
Played by: Fred Tolliver, Jr.
Age: 18
Hair: Black
Eyes: Brown
Height: 5’10”
Build: Muscular
Ethnicity: American

 

Samantha (Sam) Turdall
Played by: Katrina Bowden
Age: 16
Hair: Blonde
Eyes: Blue
Height: 5’9”
Build: Athletic
Ethnicity: American

 

Tabitha (Tabbi) O’Neill
Played by: Liv Moore
Age: 12
Hair: Red
Eyes: Blue
Height: 5’1”
Build: Thin
Ethnicity: Irish

 

Ivan Antonov
Played by: Anton Yelchin
Age: 17
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown
Height: 6’1”
Build: Athletic
Ethnicity: Russian

 

Lian Zheng
Played by: Arden Cho
Age: 16
Hair: Black
Eyes: Brown
Height: 5’5”
Build: Athletic
Ethnicity: Chinese

 

Nolan Wells
Played by: Matt Cohen
Age: 18
Hair: Dark brown
Eyes: Brown
Height: 6’2”
Build: Average
Ethnicity: American
What an amazing cast! I can see them all fit perfectly in their roles too=) Thanks so much to Vicki Leigh for stopping by and sharing her cast, and don’t forget to check out her book, Catch Me When I Fall!

Catch Me When I Fall, by Vicki Leigh

Genre: young-adult, urban-fantasy, paranormal-romance

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Release­­: October 23, 2014

Cover Artist: Conzpiracy Digital Arts

About Catch Me When I Fall:

Recruited at his death to be a Protector of the Night, seventeen-year-old Daniel Graham has spent two-hundred years fighting Nightmares and guarding humans from the clawed, red-eyed creatures that feed off people’s fears. Each night, he risks his eternal life, having given up his chance at an afterlife when he chose to become a Protector. That doesn’t stop a burnt-out Daniel from risking daring maneuvers during each battle. He’s become one of the best, but he wants nothing more than to stop.

Then he’s given an assignment to watch over sixteen-year-old Kayla Bartlett, a clinically depressed patient in a psychiatric ward. Nightmares love a human with a tortured past. Yet, when they take a deep interest in her, appearing in unprecedented numbers, the job becomes more dangerous than any Daniel’s ever experienced. He fights ruthlessly to keep the Nightmares from overwhelming his team and Kayla. Soon, Daniel finds himself watching over Kayla during the day, drawn to why she’s different, and what it is about her that attracts the Nightmares. And him.

A vicious attack on Kayla forces Daniel to break the first Law and reveal his identity. Driven by his growing feelings for her, he whisks her away to Rome where others like him can keep her safe. Under their roof, the Protectors discover what Kayla is and why someone who can manipulate Nightmares has her in his sights. But before they can make a move, the Protectors are betrayed and Kayla is kidnapped. Daniel will stop at nothing to save her. Even if it means giving up his immortality.

Find Catch Me When I Fall Online:

Goodreads | Amazon  US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About The Author:

Adopted at three-days-old by a construction worker and a stay-at-home mom, Vicki Leigh grew up in a small suburb of Akron, Ohio where she learned to read by the age of four and considered being sent to her room for punishment as an opportunity to dive into another book. By the sixth grade, Vicki penned her first, full-length screenplay. If she couldn’t be a writer, Vicki would be a Hunter (think Dean and Sam Winchester) or a Jedi. Her favorite place on earth is Hogwarts (she refuses to believe it doesn’t exist), and her favorite dreams include solving cases alongside Sherlock Holmes.

Vicki is an editor for Curiosity Quills Press and is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency.

Find Vicki Leigh Online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

My Worst Nightmare Blog Hop

Today, I’m taking part in Vicki Leigh’s “My Worst Nightmare” blog hop, to celebrate the recent release of her young-adult, paranormal-romance/ urban-fantasy, CATCH ME WHEN I FALL, which centres around seventeen-year-old Daniel Graham, a Protector of the Night, who has spent two-hundred years fighting Nightmares and guarding humans from the clawed, red-eyed creatures that feed off people’s fears.

Rules:

  • On 03.14 post about your worst nightmare, and what form the clawed, red-eyed creatures would take if they fed off your fears.
  • Visit the other participants of the blog hop, and comment on their worst nightmares

At the end of the blog tour, on 11.14.14, Vicki Leigh will pick one of the participants at random and award them with a Catch Me When I Fall Swag Pack, containing a dreamcatcher hand-made by Vicki..

Participants:

Cassidie Jhones at Rebook424 – Cassidie’s Reviews | Tawney Bland Twinning for Twins

Laura Rueckert | Katie Teller at Katie’s Stories | Ayden Morgen at A.K. Morgen Writes

Sharon Bayliss | Emma Adams at From the Writer’s Nest | The Writer Diaries

Katie at Writing, Reading, and Life | Robyn Koshel at Elder Park Book Reviews

Jenny at J. Keller Ford – Fantasy Author YA Junkie | S. K. Anthony

Merisha Abbott at Blissful Book Reviews | Sarah at Ink of Blood

Amy at Home Is Where the Wine Is Book Blog | Zoraida Cordova at Wonderlands

Ryan Hill at Ryan Hill Writes | Christie Gibrich at A Geek In Librarian’s Clothing

Nichole Giles at Random-ish | Kayl Hughes at Kayl’s Krazy Obsession

Rebecca at Sister Sinister Speaks | Kathy Kozak at Ordinary Girlz Book Reviews

Victoria Biram at Scribblings of an Aspiring Author | Vicki Keire at Vicki Keire Writes

Chelsea at To Each Their Own Reviews | Sarit at Coffee Books & Art

Jennifer Brooks at The Cubicle Escapee | Katja at Cautious

Cait Spivey | Lucy Lala at Book-A-Holic                   

My Worst Nightmare

When I was pregnant with Little Man, I had a really terrible nightmare.

I had just watched Sunshine the night before and then had the brilliant idea that watching The Mist would be okay.

(Yeah, don’t ever do what I did.)

I decided to banish these movies from my life with a nap, because I was pregnant and had already eaten all the chocolate in the house. And naps solve just about anything. So, I curled up on my bed, closed my eyes, and proceded to get the living crap scared out of me.

The nightmare starts off with me running from some animal. I think it was a werewolf, but I can’t be certain. Eventually, the werewolf goes away and now my daughter and I, then only a toddler, are running for our lives. The world had become dangerous, not because of people, but because of the weather. Mother Nature was pissed and decided to get her revenge out on humanity by freezing the environment.

We ran, my daughter and I, as fast as we could away from the people freezing around us. We were just about to a safe place when the unthinkable happened… I watched as my daughter froze right in front of me.

It’s the only time in my life that I’ve ever sat straight up in bed out of a dream. And being as pregnant as I was, that was one hell of a feat.

So, if my nightmares were to take any shape, it would be in the form of my daughter iced over. *shudders*

About Catch Me When I Fall:

Recruited at his death to be a Protector of the Night, seventeen-year-old Daniel Graham has spent two-hundred years fighting Nightmares and guarding humans from the clawed, red-eyed creatures that feed off people’s fears. Each night, he risks his eternal life, having given up his chance at an afterlife when he chose to become a Protector. That doesn’t stop a burnt-out Daniel from risking daring maneuvers during each battle. He’s become one of the best, but he wants nothing more than to stop.

Then he’s given an assignment to watch over sixteen-year-old Kayla Bartlett, a clinically depressed patient in a psychiatric ward. Nightmares love a human with a tortured past. Yet, when they take a deep interest in her, appearing in unprecedented numbers, the job becomes more dangerous than any Daniel’s ever experienced. He fights ruthlessly to keep the Nightmares from overwhelming his team and Kayla. Soon, Daniel finds himself watching over Kayla during the day, drawn to why she’s different, and what it is about her that attracts the Nightmares. And him.

A vicious attack on Kayla forces Daniel to break the first Law and reveal his identity. Driven by his growing feelings for her, he whisks her away to Rome where others like him can keep her safe. Under their roof, the Protectors discover what Kayla is and why someone who can manipulate Nightmares has her in his sights. But before they can make a move, the Protectors are betrayed and Kayla is kidnapped. Daniel will stop at nothing to save her. Even if it means giving up his immortality.

Find Catch Me When I Fall Online:

Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About Vicki Leigh:

Adopted at three-days-old by a construction worker and a stay-at-home mom, Vicki Leigh grew up in a small suburb of Akron, Ohio where she learned to read by the age of four and considered being sent to her room for punishment as an opportunity to dive into another book. By the sixth grade, Vicki penned her first, full-length screenplay. If she couldn’t be a writer, Vicki would be a Hunter (think Dean and Sam Winchester) or a Jedi. Her favorite place on earth is Hogwarts (she refuses to believe it doesn’t exist), and her favorite dreams include solving cases alongside Sherlock Holmes.

Vicki is an editor for Month9Books and Curiosity Quills Press, an intern at TriadaUS Literary agency, and is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency.

Find Vicki Leigh Online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

You can participate in this blog hop too! All you have to do is sign up on this linky list thing and post about your worst nightmare!

 

 

Happy Halloween!

No matter how you celebrate, I hope you all have a spooktacular day!

Goodbye already, Clara! and Rick In a Coma?

WARNING! If you haven’t seen the latest Doctor Who or The Walking Dead episodes, then you don’t want to read this.

First, I want to discuss Doctor Who.

Something changed. Last season on Doctor Who, Clara didn’t bother me. It seemed like I was the only person in the world who didn’t mind Clara as a companion. I saw her as an unlikable character, but it didn’t bother me. And then this year started and we got a new Doctor. I was iffy about him at first, but I’ve come to love his grumpy demeanor. Clara though. Oh, Clara. You’ve gone from unlikable to down right hate-able.

I know when it started too… It was the snap. THAT SNAP! I was under the impression that the TARDIS didn’t like her and then all of a sudden she has the ability to snap and the TARDIS obeys? No. Just no. (I’ve already discussed this, but I just can’t get over it.) Then, the final straw came when SHE CALLED HERSELF THE DOCTOR.

W.T.H.?!?!?

(I loved his response when she said it.)

A lot of the blame falls to Moffatt though. Is he trying to get people to celebrate when Clara leaves? Because if he is, he’s succeeding… But something tells me that’s not what it’s about. Something tells me it’s all about how clever he thinks he is.

And then this past Saturday’s episode. I thought it was one of the best so far, but one article I read (which I can’t link to because I don’t remember where I read it and I can’t find it now) said it was kind of bullshit. I mean, if you’re going to be absolutely literal about science and physics as it stands now, then sure. It would be difficult to suspend your disbelief. Then they brought up the whole time-line thing with the moon and all that. It was discussed in the show even, but does no one remember TIMEY-WIMEY? I mean, it’s only the most repeated phrase from the show ever. And it’s on the most suggested “first” episode ever (BLINK).

The article did bring up some good points though, all to do with a hypocritical person Clara is. Not to mention really, really terrible person if she was willing to LET ALL THOSE KIDS DIE RATHER THAN LET THE DOCTOR SAVE THEM!

I enjoyed the story though, even if the science part was a little off. Turns out the episode was written by someone other than Moffatt, though I would be surprised if he got his hands on the script in the end and adjusted to make Clara look like the ass she is. There I go, blaming Moffatt again.

Still, I liked the episode… Especially the sentient symbiotic protector of the earth bit. Little firefly like creatures that can grow trees over the entire Earth over night? I love the idea!

Okay, so I’ve abuse my capslock enough for one blog post. Let’s move on to something that probably won’t anger me enough to abuse my keyboard…

Let’s talk The Walking Dead.

I love this show. Seriously.

I recently tweeted about my love of the show:

 

It’s probably sad that this is true, but I don’t care. Sad or not, it’s pretty true. It’s just about the only show I get excited about any more. And The Talking Dead, but the two go together, so really it’s like a two hour long show about Walkers. The best two hours a week. I recently read an article that suggested people think Rick is still in a coma. Robert Kirkman shot that down, which is good because that idea makes absolutely no sense to me. It would be a ridiculous ending and basically insult every fan of the show and graphic novels. Then, he had to go and tweet this:  

Of course, he is joking, but people still freaked out.

Because the creator of The Walking Dead is totally going to tell you how things end before you get to the end… (sarcasm font enabled)

Anyway, I really want to talk about Garreth and the other Terminus people, Maggie and Glenn leaving the group, and Michonne getting her katana back.

Let’s start with Michonne. In the episode before Four Walls and a Roof, Rick asks her if she misses her sword. Her reply? That she didn’t miss it. That she had been a different person when she held it. That it was just something she found after it all began. That she missed Andrea and Hershel, but not her katana.

When she takes it back from the Terminus guy, you can see the riot of emotions in her. She might have said she didn’t miss it, but the truth is she did. It became an extension of her. At the same time, she didn’t miss who she was when she had it. It’s essentially her totem for terrible shit happening to her, but also of her survival.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wonder if they’ll explore that in any of the upcoming episodes, or just gloss over it. I’d like to see them really use this as a catalyst for more character development. The writer in me begs them to.

 Now how about a little bit about Garreth and the people from Terminus?

Of course, I knew that the group leaving the church were coming back. I mean, they’ve lived this long, and smart is why. Okay, lucky had some to do with it too, but mostly it’s their intelligence. Going to Terminus was because of need and hope. I mean, all the signs promised safety. The group(s, because at this point they were split) new there was a chance of danger, but I don’t think they envisioned cannibals. That’s extreme, even for a world filled with Walkers.

But, they got out of there. Thanks to Carol being badass, they escaped. Terminus was no more.

Unfortunately, Garreth and a few of his cronies survived. I’m sure at some point these people were nice and did help others. Then they saw and experienced some of the worst that humanity has to offer. It twisted them enough that they went dark side. Unfortunately for them, that meant facing off with Rick and company.

That church scene though!

Wow.

At the end of the episode, Daryl has come back from running after the people that took Beth. Carol went with him, but we don’t see Carol. All we see is him turn around and tell somebody that it’s okay to come out. If it was Carol, she would have been there, so WHO IS HE TALKING TO? I assume it’s people from the hospital where Beth is being held, but we won’t know for sure until the next episode. We also find out what happened to Beth.

But what gets me is that Maggie, Beths sister, has barely given a crap about her! After the prison and before Terminus, she was crazy with the need to find Glenn. Which, I get that. I do. But the only thought she had for Beth was after Daryl said he was with her, but that she’s gone. And then nothing again! Great sistering there, Maggie! This sums up my feels on the whole thing:

Anyways, that’s enough about my fandoms for now. I hope you are having a wonderful week!

What shows do you get excited about?

 

 

Review: The Gathering Darkness by Lisa Collicutt

 

The Gathering Darkness, by Lisa Collicutt

Genre: young-adult, paranormal-romance

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Re-released: September 22, 2014

Cover Art by Eugene Teplitsky

Find The Gathering Darkness Online:

Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

About The Gathering Darkness:

They say “third time’s the charm,” and for sixteen-year-old Brooke Day, they had better be right. She’s been here before, twice in fact, and so has the darkness awaiting her return.

When Brooke is forced to leave Boston for the village of Deadwich, she thinks her life is over. New friends become estranged—downright evil. But worse, recurring nightmares become reality.

Enter Marcus Knight; he’s popular, hot, and the only person Brooke can trust.

Not to mention, they’ve shared the same nightmares.

With the discovery of an ancient Celtic amulet, Brooke and Marcus unravel the secrets of her past, revealing the path to her future.

As the equinox approaches, darkness and light merge for the first time in a century. Soul-mates reunite. Magic awakens.

 

The Review:

I had a hard time getting into this book. While the story itself is fun and interesting, there were some things that made it difficult for me to dive in completely. There are quite a few cliches, a whole lot of summarizing where I had hoped for more, and quite a few places where it seemed like a bullet-point list of the action. The author dove right into the “evil things” going on with creepy visions instead of letting the tension build which, for me at least, made the creepy not at all creepy.

It wasn’t a terrible book, and I did enjoy the premise behind the story, so I give it 3 stars.

 

About Lisa Collicutt:

Lisa likes to write dark and twisted tales of magic and romance. She has a passion for Young Adult and New Adult Paranormal Romance. When she’s not conjuring tales about witches, demons, and other magical beings, she can be found leathered and bound to the back of her husband’s Harley, touring her homeland of Nova Scotia, Canada.

Enter Lisa’s imagination where realism ends and fantasy begins. But heed these warnings … it’s dark, it’s magical, you may experience tingles.

Find Lisa Collicutt Online:

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Review: Paths of Alir by Melissa McPhail

In Melissa McPhail’s award-winning epic fantasy series, A Pattern of Shadow & Light, she introduces her readers to the realm of Alorin and a magical Adept race facing extinction. The race’s tragic decline is the result of Malorin’athgul, powerful beings from the fringes of Chaos, whose presence in Alorin has caused a shift in the cosmic Balance. Fate bends to their will, and this is set upon Alorin’s destruction. Alone in understanding the threat they pose, Alorin’s Fifth Vestal, Björn val Gelderan, has launched a desperate plan to stop them: a “great game” played upon the tapestry of mortal life. Now, in Paths of Alir, A Pattern of Shadow & Light Book 3, Björn’s Players have taken the field:
Along the lush Caladrian coast…the truthreader Tanis returns to the place of his birth and finds mysterious and wonderful workings waiting for him. But the zanthyr warns Tanis that ominous events lie ahead, and the lad soon wonders if even his mother’s magical lessons will be enough to keep him alive.
In the dungeons of Tal’Shira…held prisoner by the Adept Inquisitor Taliah hal’Jaitar, Prince Trell val Lorian is facing a life of enslavement. Only two paths lie open before him: one means an eternity of torture fighting Taliah’s attempts to break him; the other requires surrendering to her will. But can he really sacrifice everything he is to walk Taliah’s path of twisted magic known as mor’alir?
In the snow-bound Castle of Tyr’kharta…Prince Ean val Lorian must choose between saving his brother Sebastian or his loyal men. But to choose his men means leaving Sebastian to an eternity of enslavement; while rescuing Sebastian means abandoning his friends along with his honor. Either decision will test Ean’s newfound skills as well as his conviction, for as the prince soon learns: once a man becomes a Player in the First Lord’s game, not even death can give reprieve.

I was thrilled with the opportunity to review Paths of Alir, Book 3 in A Pattern of Shadow and Light, as part of the Dagger of Adendigaeth blog tour through Novel Publicity. I pounced right away because I’d already read the first book, Cephrael’s Hand, and reviewed it and immediately went out and bought the second book, The Dagger of Adendigaeth. As soon as I was done with the second in the series, I watched and waited for news of when the third would be released. To say I was excited would be an extreme understatement.

Before I started reading Paths of Alir, I went back and reread the first two books. A long enough time had passed since reading the first two that I didn’t want to start the third cold and end up jarred from not knowing what was going on. It turns out I didn’t need to though. The author dedicated a small bit at the beginning of Paths of Alir to remind readers what had happened thus far and where all the characters were left in their journey.

The story centers on Alorin, a world where magic, known as elae, is failing and the Adept (magical) race is dying. Balance between shadow and light is tilting in the wrong direction and it’s killing the world of Alorin. The reason Balance has changed in this world? Immortal beings who thrive on destruction and chaos and who’s own magic, called deyjiin, is poisonous to elae.

This book starts off where the second left off in the characters’ stories. I was sucked in from the start and read this book in just two days. For such an epic story with so much to cover, yeah… I’m exhausted from the lack of sleep I’ve gotten. The story is enticing, thrilling, and I may have cried once or twice (or a dozen times).

I give it five stars. I highly recommend it=)

Now, since this is part of a series, you should most definitely read the first two books. And, since this review is part of a blog tour, you have a chance to win a signed copy of the second book, The Dagger of Adendigeath as well as other possible prizes.

 

About the Book – About the Author – Prizes!!!

About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win one of two $50 Amazon gift cards or an autographed copy of The Dagger of Adendigaeth! Here’s what you need to do…

  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on my blog

That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win the first gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found HERE. The other two prizes will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Dagger of Adendigaeth tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

About the book: “A Pattern of Shadow & Light Book 2

At long last, the reason for the blessed Adept race’s decline has been discovered: powerful beings known as Malorin’athgul are disrupting the Balance and preventing Alorin’s Adepts from awakening to their gifts. Who are they? Where are they? And how can they be stopped when they wield a power meant to unmake the universe itself?

In T’khendar…Prince Ean val Lorian has forsaken his companions in blood and battle to join the traitorous Fifth Vestal in T’khendar in the hopes of gaining some insight into the tragedies that plagued his Return. Now he must confront the man he’s long thought of as his enemy and discover the role he is meant to play in the First Lord’s darkly magnificent game.

The Vestal Raine D’Lacourte has followed his traitorous oath-brother Björn through six kingdoms and into the distant realm of T’khendar seeking explanation and atonement. But the condemned realm harbors shocking secrets, and Raine soon realizes he’s facing his greatest enemy yet—not in Björn, but in the truth.

Elsewhere in Alorin…the young truthreader, Tanis, faces a new villain in the fiery-eyed man he followed from the café in Rethynnea; the soldier Trell struggles to reconcile his growing feelings for the girl he rescued from the river against the guilt of his unknown past; and in Tambarré, another truthreader named Kjieran van Stone treads the incense-filled hallways of the Prophet Bethamin’s temple hoping to uncover a plot of treachery and betrayal before the Prophet demands his soul.

The time has come for each player to claim his role in the First Lord’s masterful game. All will be tested, but only time will tell how many can survive the dagger of Adendigaeth.

 

Get The Dagger of Adendigaeth through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Get Paths of Alir through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

 

About the author: Melissa McPhail is a classically trained pianist, violinist and composer, a Vinyasa yoga instructor, and an avid Fantasy reader. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, their twin daughters and two very large cats.
Connect with Melissa on her website, Facebook, Twitter,or GoodReads.

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Something Something DOCTOR WHO!

Sick sucks. I’ve spent the last few days waiting for a cold to run its course. The fever is finally gone–I’m not nearly as sick as I was three days ago–but I’ve got the left-overs to deal with still. So, the last few days I’ve spent in bed with a craft book and a new series to watch on Amazon Prime.

The series is Extant, which has one season for a total of 13 episodes. I looked, but there’s no news yet on whether there will be a second season. To be honest, even if there is a second season, I’ll probably wait until it’s over and watch it on Amazon if I watch it at all. It was fun, but not something I get excited over, like The Walking Dead or Doctor Who. Halle Berry was, of course, phenomenal, and the ending tore me to bits, but that’s about it.

The craft book, which I’m still reading, is The Plot Whisperer by Martha Anderson. I’ve read the book before, but I didn’t take notes or use a high lighter, so I decided I would read it again. It’s all a part of my plan to outline my WIP over the next couple of weeks. I have K.M. Weiland’s Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success queued up on my Kindle for reference as well. The great thing about that book is, it comes with parts high lighted already. :-) With those books, and the various other craft books I’ve read and have on hand, I should be able to get my story outlined with little trouble.

I had a great response to my IWSG post last Wednesday, and I want to thank everyone who took a moment to offer some ideas on how to move past these walls. I can’t say enough how much I love this community! You guys are awesome!

And since I HAD to bring The Doctor into this, how about a little discussion about the new one? Warning! There will be:

To be honest, it took me a couple of episodes before I decided I like the new Doctor. I finally started liking him once I realized he’s The Grumpy Doctor. And I don’t mean an “old man” kind of grumpy, I mean woke-up-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-TARDIS-in-a-never-ending-Monday-morning-time-loop kind of grumpy. I like it. I like this Doctor. I like the way Peter Capaldi plays him. It works.

Now, allow me a moment to scream about something:

WHAT THE HELL WITH CLARA’S FINGER SNAP?!?!

Most of the time, when something happens on Doctor Who that is very obviously Moffat attempting to be clever, I’ll just roll my eyes. I’m not even going to get into the whole “companion as a sexual object” discussion, because I think I might explode (watch this because it’s all my feels on the subject). But this little stunt… No. Just no. NononononononononoNO! The TARDIS doesn’t like Clara! The Doctor even brought that point up in Saturday’s episode! So why the HELL is Clara able to snap her fingers and the freaking TARDIS doors obey her? I actually paused the show to rant about it as soon as it happened. I’ve never been anti-Clara. I didn’t like her, but I didn’t dislike her either… Until that finger snap. Now, I can’t wait for a new companion. And I know it’s not Clara’s fault. It’s Moffat’s, but still. Just… No!

There are rumors going around that Clara’s on her way out as a companion (this is the only article I could find on the subject), and the latest episode may have been the door to that actually happening. Clara got pissed at the doctor for forcing her to make a decision instead of telling her what to do. I could go on about what I think of that, but I’m still exhausted from the snap fiasco. All I know is that now, when 2049 comes along, I’m going to be staring up at the moon waiting for it to hatch. Also, this is a direct result of watching Doctor Who:

 

 

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It’s already started! #CrackInTheMoon #DoctorWho #WRL #DailyDiary

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 Anyway, I’m looking forward to next week’s episode and the episodes to come. It will be interesting to see how they take Clara out of the show and who the new Companion will be. For now, I’m going to go eat because I haven’t had breakfast yet.

Until next time!

Are you a fan of Doctor Who? Which Companion is your favorite?

(Mine’s Donna. ;-) )

Katie Signature