Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 Reading and Writing and Blogging OH MY

2014 wasn't a bad year but wasn't a great year either. It was just one of those years that was. I completed a lot of goals while starting others. Kiddo finished kindergarten and started first grade while playing t-ball, soccer and basket ball. We went on our first cruise with my husbands family and made it back safely (though sick). But now 2015 is here!

Reading

I wanted to read 60 books and I did. Plus some. I ended the year with 137 books read (not counting the ones that aren't published yet). In 2015 I'm aiming for 80 books and if I reach that early I'll adjust my goal.

Writing

I put my last complete novel (One More Summer) on the shelf after a round of querying. I got a few partial and full requests but nothing came of those. I started and completed my third novel (When The Wind Blows). I'm debating on waiting for more notes or reading it again myself and going from there. I love this book and want to see it succeed but I also don't want to put it out in the world before its ready. My goal for this year is to start and finish my fourth novel (Falling Slowly) and, if I complete it, start another (What If I Was Nothing).

My critique partner, Jessica Leake, and I have made goals for ourselves. I want to complete Falling Slowly by March 20th (before kiddo’s spring break) which means I need to write 780 words a day to finish on time.

Blogging

I really slacked on blogging this year. The most I did was Ready? Set. Write! and my monthly book updates. This year I want to do more weekly blogging by sticking with What's Up Wednesday? as well as keep up my monthly reading wrap-ups.

December Reads 2014

A few years back I tried book blogging. I suck at it because I can’t just review the book. I want to ramble on for pages and pages or can’t find any words at all. Last year I decided to use Katy Upperman’s idea (it’s okay, she doesn’t mind). Each month I do a mini review of the books I read that month. No picking and choosing, every single book. 2014 ended with 12 books bringing my total to 137 for the year. I'd started out with wanting to read 60 books but when I met that before June I upped it. And upped it. And upped it again.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10866233-the-list
I with a book like The List existed when I was in high school. What these girls went through and learned throughout this book would be great for teen girls today.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15768409-the-retribution-of-mara-dyer
I didn't start this series until until a month before the last book but I'm glad I did. Such a fast paced, thrilling book. 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25373.Nick_Norah_s_Infinite_Playlist
I saw Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist when the movie first came out but didn't realize it was a book. Even through I knew what would happen I enjoyed seeing it from the perspective of each character.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23230.Naomi_and_Ely_s_No_Kiss_List
I wasn't a fan of Naomi & Ely's No Kiss List. To me there were too many different Points of View for one book. I wish they had stuck with just Naomi and Ely.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18406862-sinner
Sinner was exactly what I expected from Maggie. Her characters stayed true from book to book and this was no exception. I love that we even got a glimpse of Grace and Sam.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23295818-starstruck
All I can say about this book was what was Cassidy thinking (even though I love when characters throw us off) and that I needed book three ASAP when I was done.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7741325-dash-lily-s-book-of-dares
I adored Dash & LIly's Book of Dares. Both characters were different and wonderful and I enjoyed following them on their crazy journey.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23285707-mistletoe-and-mr-right
Sweet, cute read though I found it a little predictable. But I liked where it ended.


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23295828-show-stopper
Such a great series! I couldn't wait for each book to be released. Loved how it all turned out!!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20309175-my-true-love-gave-to-me
Though I liked some stories more than others it was a great read overall.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16069030-the-winner-s-curse
THIS BOOK! I have to say one of the best reads of 2014! I borrowed an ARC of the book but ended up buying my own. Can't wait for the second book in March.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17617762-vitro
I really enjoyed Vitro though I was hoping for a little more romance.

November Reads 2014

A few years back I tried book blogging. I suck at it because I can’t just review the book. I want to ramble on for pages and pages or can’t find any words at all. So earlier this year I decided to use Katy Upperman’s idea (it’s okay, she doesn’t mind). Each month I do a mini review of the books I read that month. No picking and choosing, every single book.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12260608-insomnia
 I have very mixed feelings about Insomnia.





https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22718685-joyride
 I really enjoyed Joyride. It had just the right amount of romance while not being too over the top. The pranks were fun, very real to life. And the MC, Carly, was spunky and self reliant. She felt very real, down-to-earth. It's also set in my county so that's all kinds of fun.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22265552-more-than-exes
Very fun, fast follow up to More than Music.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17378508-blue-lily-lily-blue
Confession...I had NO idea this series was more than a trilogy. I was getting annoyed because I wasn't getting any answers. I was just over half-way done when I looked it up and saw there's another book due out next year. But, it was just as good as the other books and I can't wait for the next one.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18285437-rites-of-passage




Rites of Passage holds a special place in my heart. I'm lucky enough to be one of Joy's CPs and got to read the early drafts. It was neat to read the final and see what changed since the first draft. I didn't think she could make the book even better but it was incredible. One of my favorite books this year.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20525621-all-broke-down
I wasn't sold on All Broke Down right away but after a while the characters grew on me and I couldn't help but fall into the world of Rusk University.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6654313-lingerhttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9409458-forever
I've been wanting to read Sinner since it came out this summer but I wanted to re-read the series first. I forgot how much I love the world of Mercy Falls. Shiver is by far my favorite of the series and Forever my least favorite. I'm hoping Sinner wraps the series up nicely.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23262589-vip
VIP completely drew me in. When I got to the end I wanted it to keep going. So glad to see the next two Acts are out next month.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22884154-vigilante
Loved this series.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

October Reads 2014

A few years back I tried book blogging. I suck at it because I can’t just review the book. I want to ramble on for pages and pages or can’t find any words at all. So earlier this year I decided to use Katy Upperman’s idea (it’s okay, she doesn’t mind). Each month I do a mini review of the books I read that month. No picking and choosing, every single book.

I managed to read 10 of books in October bringing me up to 115 for the year. I tried to read a few more scary-creepy-mystical type books this month. I think I did pretty good on that, at least towards the end of the month.


More Than Music (Chasing The Dream #1)
Didn't know much about this book before I picked it up but I got so wrapped up in it. 

Savage Drift (Monument 14, #3)
Definitely a great ending to the series. I love it when it all gets wrapped up in a nice, neat package.

Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up?
I absolutely adored everything about this book. It's a super sweet, clean book (not a go-to read for me) but does deal with a tough subject matter. Ella did a great job with the characters and their stories. And I was super happy with who the real prince charming was. He was my pick from the start.

The Infinite Sea (The Fifth Wave #2)
I'm so glad I reread The Fifth Wave before this book but I'm SO bummed I have to wait for the third in the series. This book was just as good as the first and I can't wait to see how it ends. We're introduced to new POVs in this book. But they're not new characters and it didn't pull me out of the story like other series have.

Ashes to Ashes (Burn for Burn, #3)
What the heck is this book. I loved the first two in the series (Burn for Burn and Fire with Fire). While I really enjoyed this one I want to pretend the ending doesn't exist. It goes right up there with Allegiant in that aspect. Maybe even worse. 

The Willing
Not sure how to describe this book. It's different but entertaining. The writing is wonderful but it's very hard to explain the story. I enjoyed it.

One dream only (One Two Three #0.5)
Loved this prequel to Elodie's One Two Three. She did such a good job showing us Nata and how life was for her.

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1)
This is a reread for me. I'm so glad I picked it up again. I forgot how much I adore the writing and this world. 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18518923-chaos
I LOVE this series and the final book didn't disappoint. I was a little nervous for most of the book but I think Sarah did a fantastic job wrapping this series up. 

I have some very awesome bookish friends and was very fortunate to be able to read an ARC of Emery's new book. She is now on my list of "I will buy anything this author writes" list. This book was different from Open Road Summer but just as good, if not more. I love everything from the unexpected romance to the friendship to the surroundings. Emery does a fantastic job of drawing you into the book and making you not want to let go. I can't wait for this book to be out so I can read it again.



Sunday, October 26, 2014

777 Challenge

The 777 challenge is when a writer is challenged by another writer to post the seven lines of text, seven lines down on the seventh page of their work-in-progress. I was tagged by my friend Katy Upperman (check out her seven lines here).

I'm using seven lines from my WIP When The Wind Blows.

I jog across the empty road to the boardwalk. As my foot hits the worn wood I breathe a sigh of relief. Home.
The beach is where I belong. I was never a candlestick like my brother. I longed to fight against the mold. Against them. Against the perfect little family. That is, perfect until I come in, rocking the boat with my stormy seas.
For as long as I can remember there was a plan and it was set in granite. We—Shawn and I—would graduate high school with straight As, just like Daddy. 




I'm tagging my writer friends: Jessica, Jamie, Ginger, Jennie, Jessica, Tabitha and Valerie.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September Reads 2014

A few years back I tried book blogging. I suck at it because I can’t just review the book. I want to ramble on for pages and pages or can’t find any words at all. So earlier this year I decided to use Katy Upperman’s idea (it’s okay, she doesn’t mind). Each month I do a mini review of the books I read that month. No picking and choosing, every single book.
 
September was an eclectic month (11 books this month/105 for the year). New Adult and Young Adult. Sci-Fi and contemporary and dystopian and suspense. 
 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18869613-boomerang
It was a cute, fun read.Nothing bad but not one of my favorite reads ever. I'll definitely be reading the next one.
 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9627755-isla-and-the-happily-ever-after
I don’t even know what to say about this book. I liked Anna. I loved Lola. I LOVE LOVE LOVED Isla. It was cute, funny, angsty, swoony. I could go on and on. BUt I won't because if you've read it, you know. And if you haven't...well....what are you waiting for?! 
 
 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13644055-opposition
I started this series years ago when it first came out and have read each book since. The last two kind of let me down but this book picked the pace of the series back up again. I’m excited for the next installment.
 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6186357-the-maze-runner
I found this one slow going at first but once I got used to the language and into the story it started flying. I saw the movie opening weekend and can’t wait to finish the series.
 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16068341-the-truth-about-alice
I can’t say enough good things about this book. Told from multiple viewpoints we really get to see what goes on in the minds of high school students and what makes them start horrible rumors. It's a great example of why you can't always believe what you hear. Incredible story very well told. Jennifer really captured the heart of the story and kept me guessing about the truth. It's definitely a book I'd love for my son to read when he's older and going through peer pressure. Sometimes a story or book can express more than someone can explain.
 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18050728-blood-of-my-blood
I love everything about this entire series. I listened to the audio book for each one and the narrator does a fantastic job of making each character their own. The series has a dark tone but Barry Lyga does an incredible job of weaving laughter here and there. If you love a good dark mystery I highly recommend this series. NOT for anyone squeamish about blood and gore.
 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/82434.Saving_Francesca
I wanted to love this book. I really did. I heard so many incredible things about it but I just didn’t. It’s not a bad book. It’s beautifully written. I think my problem was there were so many characters introduced at the beginning and throughout the book that I tried to keep up with them instead of enjoy the story. I’m hopeful that I’ll love The Piper’s Son, but giving myself a break before starting it.
 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18505845-all-lined-up
I just finished up a re-watch of Friday Night Lights so it was the perfect time to read All Lined Up. Cute fun read that made me think of Julie Taylor and Matt Saracen.
 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16101128-the-5th-wave
Originally listened to this book last year when it was released but for some reason came up blank trying to remember it. When the sequel (The Infinite Wave) was released I decided to give this one another go. And I’m glad I did. I missed so much the first time. I’m currently a third of the way through book two and loving it.
 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12753231-monument-14
This was another reread/second chance book this month. I read an ARC back in early 2012 before the book was released and didn’t get into it. To me, the book reads more middle grade and I think that was my problem. Knowing that this time around helped. I was anxious for the second book. Glad I was able to pick it up right away.
 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16075615-sky-on-fire
Which brings us to this book. Sky on Fire was a lot shorter than the previous book (and the conclusion) but I don’t’ think it needed any more. It was perfect. And so far (I’m a third into the 3rd book) it’s my favorite of the series. We’re introduced to a new narrator (it flips between brothers Dean and Alex where the first was just Dean). I was hoping to finish Monument 14: Savage drift this past weekend. I planned on reading the series over the weekend but I was busier than I thought I'd be.
 
So what did you read this month?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What's Up Wednesday? In Which I Catch Up

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk as a way for writers to keep in touch by sharing what they've been up to. Be sure to link up on their site if you want to join in on the fun. 

I took a break from What's Up Wednesday during Ready? Set. Write! But...I'm back!

What I'm Reading


I decided to join the "Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon". You can see my post for that here. And catch up on what I read this summer here (JuneJuly and August). Currently I'm listening to Blood of my Blood, the 3rd Jasper Dent book. Just as creepy as the first two. Love it. I'm also half way through reading Saving Francesca. It's okay. Looking forward to The Piper's Son though. 

What I'm Writing

Sadly...I'm not. I should be...but....I'm not. I haven't been able to switch gears from When The Wind Blows to What If I Was Nothing. I need to spend some time and make a rough outline and get back in the heads of my characters. I think once I start querying WTWBs (I have it out with two beta readers and will see what work it needs after that) I'll be able to get into WIIWN.


What Works For Me

Distance. Sometimes I just need a break from writing.

What Else I've Been Up To

Summer is over and school is back in session. Kiddo is now in the first grade. When did that happen?! And is playing his second year of soccer.
 First day of first grade!
 2013 U6 Mutiny vs 2014 U8 Stingers

I'm still going to cross fit and LOVING it! I'm participating in my first weight loss/get fit/get strong challenge. It started last Monday and lasts six weeks. Can't wait to see how much I improve. I went to my second DEATH BY class today. I did 210 push-ups! I think I left my arms behind.

Over Labor Day weekend we went down to Tampa and watched the Red Sox play the Rays. It was kiddos first Red Sox game and he had a BLAST!
Ready for some base ball!
 Kiddo with his uncle (my youngest brother). We went to Chili's for dinner before the game and there was a lady making balloon animals. These two got crazy hats.
After the game with all the MLB mascots.

So what have you been up to?