Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Writing Update: March Goals


Happy Wednesday!

Although I have been productive this month, I haven't gotten too far in most of my goals. This month was spent working on other people's work from proofreading and formatting in print/ebook formats a friend's novel to formatting and designing a cover for a friend's poetry print book. I'm also currently editing another friend's novel. I love having the opportunity to help out friends, even if it means my own work falls to the wayside.

What I did accomplish was my self-edit of "Paper Lanterns," and I should finish my content edit of Once upon a Nightmare: A Collection by the end of the month.

Here are my March goals:
  • Once upon a Nightmare: A Collection - I have line edits (I start on the last page and work my way to page one so I can focus on each line without getting caught up in the story), a Kindle proofread, and formatting the print book.
  • "On Day 168" - I would like to finish writing this short story in March.
I will finish up my edits on a friend's novel in March as well. I'm taking a break from Marked because I want to publish Once upon a Nightmare: A Collection in April and need my main focus to be on it.

What are your March goals?

2015 Stats (1/1/2015-2/24/2015): 10,541 words written and 217 pages edited

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Falling for #Specfic: Are You DC, Marvel, or Both? / Wattpad Wednesdays: Reborn Chapter 19

DC, Marvel, or Both? Can you choose a side?

Picture found here.
I love superheroes. A lot of people are probably getting tired of all the movies and TV shows coming on featuring superheroes and villains, but I must admit I'm not tired of it at all. In fact, it makes me want to read more books and comic books featuring my favorite heroes and villains. But do we have to pick the DC universe or the Marvel universe or can we be fans of both? Marvel, to me, is a bit more relaxed and uses more comic relief. DC tends to be much more serious and gritty.

When asked the question "DC or Marvel," my first thought is I'm a DC girl. Batman is my homeboy. I grew up with Batman in comics, movies, and cartoons. On my shorter lunch breaks at work, I watch Batman: The Animated Series, which debuted in 1992. Yes, I remember watching it when it originally came on. I was ten at the time. We sang "Jingle Bells, Batman Smells" on the bus that year. In sixth grade, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have answered Catwoman--or would have wanted to answer it that way if I thought grown ups would understand. I also love how in the Justice League Batman, even though he has no superpowers, always seems to be the guy to save their butts.

The Flash is my second favorite superhero. Whereas Batman is dark and gritty, the Flash is lighter, more comical. I love, love, love the new TV show on CW. Barry Allen is perhaps the perfect guy, and I must admit I have quite the crush on him, even though he doesn't have the wealth that Bruce Wayne does.

Because of the Flash, I am now getting into Arrow too. I've started watching the TV show on CW, but I need to catch up on the previous seasons.

So I'm clearly in DC's camp, right? Well, not completely. I've never been a big fan of Superman or Wonder Woman, although I'm very interested to see how Wonder Woman works out in the upcoming Batman v Superman movie. Superman kinda grates on my nerves. He is too goody-goody and seems rather stuck up.

As for Marvel, I do have a soft spot for some of their characters. I've always loved Spider-Man, even though I'm not fond of spiders. *laughs* Peter Parker has a wonderful geeky and awkward side. I've enjoyed the movies I've seen as well as the cartoons. I absolutely loved The Guardians of the Galaxy movie and now want to learn more about them. I am Groot. And I have enjoyed the X-men as well as the Avengers, although I've never been a fan of the Hulk or Captain America.

As for villains, I'm sorry, but DC has Marvel beat in my book, although Marvel does have a few good villains out there like Loki and Magneto.

In the end, although I may lean toward DC as a favorite universe, I do enjoy Marvel too. It might be 60-40 for me.

What's your favorite universe: DC or Marvel? Or do you enjoy both?


Read Chapter Nineteen here or click here to start from the beginning.

Untethered Realms hosts #SpecFicChat on Third Fridays on Twitter.

Next chat begins February 20, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. GMT/12:00 p.m. EST

Topic: What makes #fantasy believable?

Use #SpecFicChat to join the conversation any time.
The chat is ongoing.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Bookworms News / The Very Inspiring Blogger Award


BOOKS READ

Firefight by Brandon Sanderson
Of Blood and Sorrow by Christine Rains

BOOK REVIEWS

Firefight by Brandon Sanderson
Everything David thought he knew about Epics is not even the half of it in Brandon Sanderson's Firefight. David is a strong, intelligent, and sometimes rash character. He has a tendency to get into trouble and find a way out. I love how he thinks for himself and doesn't go along with the Reckoners' plans. The book is fast paced. I didn't want to put it down and had to find out what would happen next. The revelations about Epics sometimes made me gasp, and I'm looking forward to learning more about the world David lives in. Firefight by Brandon Sanders is an epic sequel to Steelheart. Can 2016 hurry up already so I can read Calamity (book three)?

Of Blood and Sorrow by Christine Rains
Letting a vampire loose on the city may be one of the best and worst things demon Erin Driscol has done in Christine Rains' Of Blood and Sorrow. One of the things I love the most about this book is Erin, a Phage demon. Her insecurities make her relatable, and her growth throughout the story made me root for her. Quite the handsome hero, Nicolas is quite a match for Erin. He breaks the vampire mold. The Putzkammers are the family anyone would be lucky to have, and I loved the mysterious of the characters Abdiel and the Lady. The story is fast paced, action packed, and quite emotional. Erin could've supped on my own sorrow over some things that happened in the story. Rains makes vampires and demons feel new again. I enjoyed delving into the world she created again and again. If you're looking for something unique amongst vampires and demons, then look no further and read Of Blood and Sorrow by Christine Rains.

COVER REVEAL

A monster hunts us. After hibernating for a decade, it’s ravenous. We long to stop this nightmare, but the end of the road is far. There is no waking up once a legend sets its sights on you.

Disappearances every ten or so years make little impact on the small town of New Haven, Virginia. Hikers get lost. Hunters lose the trail. Even when a body is discovered, the inhabitants’ memories last about as long as the newspaper articles.

No one connects the cases. No one notices the disappearances go back beyond Civil War times. No one believes a legendary monster roams the forests in Southwestern Virginia.

I don’t either until the truck breaks down on an old mountain trail. Cell phones won’t work in this neck of the woods. It’s amazing how much a person can see by starlight alone. So what if we can’t feel our fingers or toes as we hike toward the main road. How many more miles left to go?

Crrraaack!

Hear that noise?


Amygdala Design created this pre-designed cover that I thought was perfect for Once upon a Nightmare: A Collection. I'm looking forward to seeing the print version too as soon as I have that information available to give to Ida.

A legend awakens...
April 2015
Paranormal Horror/Thriller
Add on Goodreads.

BOOKS RELEASED IN FEBRUARY

Polar Day by Julie Flanders
Don’t Forget to Breathe by Cathrina Constantine
Defying Reason by Elizabeth Seckman
Saltwater Cowboys by Dayle Furlong
The Wonders by Paddy O’Reilly
The Death of the Detective by Mark Smith
Blanche Among the Talented Tenth by Barbara Neely
Heart Collector by Jacques Vandroux
Everything Burns by Vincent Zandri
Finding Sheba by H.B. Moore
Almost Dead by T.R. Ragan
Follow the Leader by Mel Sherratt
The Venus Trap by Louise Voss
Shady Cross by James Hankins
Monday’s Lie by Jamie Mason
The Glittering World by Robert Levy
Tiva Boon: Heir of Abennelp by Jenn Nixon
Wide-Open World by John Marshall
It's What I Do by Lynsey Addario
The Great Time Lock Disaster by C. Lee McKenzie
Mark of the Thief by Jennifer Nielsen
The Return by Jennifer L. Armentrout

By the way, this is my 1000 post!



Tyrean Martinson awarded me with the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. I consider her a dear writer/blogger friend. She always has a way of making me feel special. She's the author of the Champion Trilogy, which you should check out if you haven't already.

The rules for accepting this award are as follows:
1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.
2. Display the award logo.
3. Nominate at least 15 other blogs (more or less) and provide a link where they may be found.
4. Then, go to their blogs, leave a comment to let them know they have been nominated, and where to find the information they need to accept (rules).
5. Mention three things that inspired you the most during the past few weeks.

Three things that have inspired me recently:
1. The new cover art for the second edition of Once upon a Nightmare: A Collection. A lot of people may say you should leave a published book alone, but I'm so pleased that I am doing another content edit and such and republishing it with a new title and new cover. I feel like I'm finally doing this collection the justice it deserved, and the cover art inspires me to keep working.

2. This being my 1000th post. When I started blogging in May 2009, I never really thought I would reach ten posts, much less than one thousand.

3. I know it's probably cheesy, but all of you inspire me. Your posts, your comments, your encouragement throughout the years. If I hadn't met so many great friends through the blogging and writing communities, then I doubt I would still be here. My blog is my one comfortable spot on the web, and that's because of you.

As for nominations, I really, really hate to nominate people. I don't want anyone to feel left out. It's like having to choose between chocolate chip cookies, cheesecake, and donuts. Don't make me choose. If you want the award, consider yourself nominated.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

#IWSG: No More Excuses / Wattpad Wednesdays: Reborn Chapter 18

IWSG was created by the Captain Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh. To visit the other participants, click here.
My motto this year is "No more excuses."

Last year and really since I've finished the rewritten draft of Reborn back in April 2013, I found tons of reasons to excuse myself from writing. I often used reading or social media as a way to avoid the writing/editing I was supposed to do. I was too tired, too bored, too uninspired, too yada yada yada to write.

There are real reasons why writing/editing might not get done as planned. The day job might throw more work at me. I usually only write/edit during the day job as I do need to unwind from the day for my mental sanity. Writing is not unwinding for me. I don't write much on the weekends for the same reason, although I am trying to make some time on my longer (more than one day) weekends. Health reasons are an acceptable excuse for not writing. I've been sick and injured. It's really hard to write those days, and it's okay not to write on those days. I've also had more joint pain and probably have carpal tunnel (doctor's appointment next week about it), which slows down the writing. To me, those are acceptable reasons to slow down and maybe not write for a day or two.

But no more of those flimsy excuses. No. More.

Okay, true, it's a work in progress, but I'm doing better. That's why I've been slower to respond to blogs and social media. Making writing/editing a prerogative means I sometimes don't get around to blogs/social media every work day. Sometimes I'll take a work day to just catch up on blogs/social media. So far it is working out better that way, even though I don't stop by as quickly as I used to.

What's your motto for this year? Do you find excuses not to write/edit?

Read Chapter Eighteen here or click here to start from the beginning.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Writing Update: February Goals


Happy Wednesday!

Although I'm already behind where I'd hoped to be, I am very pleased with the progress I've made. I'm over a third finished with the second edition content edit of Once upon a Nightmare: A Collection, and I'm very happy with the two chapters I've written in Marked and the one scene in "On Day 168." I'm hoping to kick things into a higher gear in February, and I'm crossing my fingers that the day job will be calmer than it has been in January.

Best of all, I'm loving writing again. It's energizing me and getting rid of the clutter in my mind. I remember now why I write and feel in a better place with my writing. This is very good because there were a lot of times last year I really considered stopping the torture I was putting myself through and quitting either by taking everything down and acting like being a writer never happened or finishing up The Fate Challenges (I do hate leaving a series hanging) and never publishing anything after that. Sometimes we need a break to refocus and reorganize what we want, and I'm happy that I still want to write and share all these stories in my head.

Also my writer anniversary came up in January! On January 15, 2009, I decided to write with publication in mind and wrote my first chapter of Reborn, which I published in May 2014.

That said, here are my February goals:
  • Once upon a Nightmare - I want to finish the second edition content edit. I still have line edits and two proofreads (one on my Kindle and one print proof) left to do before publishing. Once I finish the content edit, I'll be taking down the individual stories and the collection (ebook/print) from other retailers. I wasn't going to do a print version at this time, but I found the perfect pre-designed cover art and getting both ebook and print covers together cost the same as getting either print or ebook. I plan to publish the ebook in KDP Select for a limited time and publish the print book everywhere.
  • Marked - I will keep writing Marked.
  • "Paper Lanterns" - This short story will be in Untethered Realms' anthology Mayhem in the Air (Forthcoming 2015), and I would like to complete my self-edit of it before sending it to our first editor (I'm the second editor of the anthology). I haven't said too much about "Paper Lanterns." The story is futuristic fantasy, and the premise is how far would a person go to destroy the one he loved who betrayed him. The story involves paper magic and takes place about twenty-five years before a New Adult series I'd like to write one of these days.
  • "On Day 168" - If time, I'd like to write another scene in "On Day 168," which will be in UR's anthology Ghosts of Fire (Forthcoming 2016). "On Day 168" is epic fantasy and is set in the Amoran universe but in Norvadia (the Great Beyond) instead of the Kingdom of Amora.
What are your goals for February?

2015 Writing Stats (1/1/2015-1/27/2015): 7748 words written and 61 pages edited

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Falling for #SpecFic: The Hobbit - Book and Movies / Wattpad Wednesdays: Reborn Chapter 17

After watching The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in movie theaters, I decided to read the books. I read The Hobbit back in 2002 and followed it up with The Lord of the Rings. Last year, I re-read The Hobbit so I could compare it to the movies.

I must say I had forgotten a lot between reading the book in 2002 and watching the first two movies before re-reading the book, including who died at the end. I enjoyed re-reading the book. The movies didn't stray too much, with some exceptions.

What I loved about the book and movies equally:

  • Bilbo
  • The dwarves
  • Gollum, the riddles, and how Bilbo gets the ring
  • The eagles

What I loved in the movies more than the book:
  • The elves
  • Smaug
  • Orcs/goblins

What I loved in the book more than the movies:
  • The lack of the love triangle
  • The focus on Bilbo's story

What I disliked about the movies:
  • The love triangle
  • The battling of the Necromancer (It was a little anticlimactic for me.)
  • The splitting of the book into three movies (Two would've been better.)
  • The way the third movie lacked a beginning, middle, and end and felt more just like the end
  • Radagast (Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy this strange little wizard, but I felt his scenes were a bit too long.)

What I loved about the movies that wasn't in the book:
  • Tauriel (So I didn't care as much about the love triangle, but she was pretty kick@ss in general.)
  • I liked the earlier Necromancer scenes, just not the final one
  • The connection with The Lord of the Rings (Now I want to re-read The Lord of the Rings and re-watch the movies!)

Have you read The Hobbit or seen the movies? What did you think of them?


It's time for another chapter of Reborn to go up on Wattpad. Read Chapter Seventeen here or start from the beginning here.

And speaking of Speculative (Spec) Fiction (Fic), Untethered Realms will be hosting #SpecFicChat on Fridays on Twitter.

Next chat begins January 23, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. GMT/1:00 p.m. EST
Topic: Punking it up. What's the attraction of Steampunk?

Use #SpecFicChat to join the conversation any time. The chat is ongoing.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Bookworm News


BOOKS READ

Grimm: The Icy Touch by John Shirley
Sleeping Jenny by Aubrie Dionne
Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution by Keith R.A. DeCandido
The Pescetarian Plan: The Vegetarian + Seafood Way to Lose Weight and Love Your Food by Janis Jibrin, recipes by Sidra Forman
Psych: Mind-altering Murder by William Rabkin
Of Fire and Ash by Amber Argyle

BOOK REVIEWS

Grimm: The Icy Touch by John Shirley
The past comes to haunt Nick Burkhardt in John Shirley's Grimm: The Icy Touch. As a big fan of the TV show Grimm, I was so excited to find out there were TV tie-in books to the series. The storyline for this novel didn't disappoint; however, I thought the characterizations of the characters weren't quite what they are from the show. Shirley over-exaggerated the characters a bit too much. The book felt overwritten at times. That said, I did enjoy the plot in itself. I had to know what would happen and felt the pace was good and suspenseful. Although Grimm: The Icy Touch by John Shirley could've been better, I am looking forward to reading more Grimm books.

Sleeping Jenny by Aubrie Dionne
Jenny's dreams lie a future away in Aubrie Dionne's Sleeping Jenny. I felt for Jenny's plight. Being cryogenically frozen until there is a cure for her type of cancer and not knowing what year or century you'd wake up in or if you'd wake up at all is a terrifying prospect for anyone. I loved how Dionne balanced Jenny's fears and hopes. Jenny felt real in her futuristic world. I enjoyed the world-building on how the planet became what it was. The story was fast paced and action packed. And when I got to the end, all I wanted to do was read the next book, which unfortunately isn't available yet. I love Aubrie Dionne's work, and Sleeping Jenny is perhaps my new favorite of her books.

By the way, I also love how the story ties in with Dionne's other series Paradise Reclaimed (Young Adult Science Fiction Romance) and A New Dawn (Science Fiction Romance).

Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution by Keith R.A. DeCandido
Finding the medal awarded to Ichabod Crane could protect Sleepy Hollow from evil in Keith R.A. DeCandido's Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution. I love the TV show Sleepy Hollow, so as soon as I discovered there was a TV tie-in book I had to read it. DeCandido has written probably the best TV tie-in book I've ever read. The characters jumped to life from the page and sounded just like they do in the show. The blend of history with present was seamless. The plot moved forward at a fast pace. I felt like I was watching the show instead of reading at times. Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution by Keith R.A. DeCandido is perfect for fans of the show and anyone else who enjoys a great story. I really hope there will be more Sleepy Hollow books in the future.

The Pescetarian Plan by Janis Jibrin, recipes by Sidra Forman
Janis Jibrin's The Pescetarian Plan will having you thinking of a different way to eat better and still enjoy food. I haven't been a very healthy eater, despite giving up mammals in 1998 and all meats in 2005 until I added back in fish and seafood in August 2013. I was more carb-ivore than vegetarian and then pescetarian. But this book makes me excited to be a pescetarian. With Jibrin's dietitian background and scientific research to back up her claims, she has crafted a basic way for people to eat more healthy, whether their intentions are to lose weight or maintain weight or just feel better about themselves. The steps are clear and understandable, and I love that you don't have to do everything at once. It's an ongoing process. The book also comes with tons of recipes created by Sidra Forman that I'm eager to try out as well as a section on how to cook fish for the cooking challenged. Jibrin also wrote a section on fishing and its impact to the environment, so the reader can find the best fish for them and the Earth. I highly recommend The Pescetarian Plan by Janis Jibrin and will continue to use this book in the future. 

Psych: Mind-altering Murder by William Rabkin
Shawn's obsession with a new case may mean the end of Shawn's partnership with Gus in William Rabkin's Psych: Mind-altering Murder. I'm a huge fan of Psych and still can't believe the series is over. Now I've read the last book in the TV tie-in series, and I have to say it is the best of the five books written. Shawn is still his hyper yet extremely intelligent and observant self, yet this book shows a lot of the growth Shawn had throughout the TV series. The characters came to life on the page, and the fast paced plot kept me turning the pages to find out what would happen next. If you're a fan of the show, then you won't want to miss out on reading Psych: Mind-altering Murder by William Rabkin.

Loose Corset by Christine Rains
Morgan's online role-playing game life comes to a head against reality in Christine Rains' Loose Corset. The strength in this novella lies with the characters. Morgan is smart and beautiful yet insecure and comes across as very real. Gorgeous Dean is a very sexy match for her, and yet I worried their real life obligations would get in the way of their budding desires. I laughed so many times at the geeky jokes Rains has sprinkled throughout. For erotica, the sex was steamy and inventive, but the plot was really what drew me in. I had to know what would happen to Morgan and Dean. Loose Corset by Christine Rains is a fun, steamy affair that'll titillate the geek in all of us.

By the way, I was lucky enough to read early drafts last year of all the Dice and Debauchery series. They're all funny and sexy and great reads.

Of Fire and Ash by Amber Argyle
Nelay must never acknowledge the fairies she sees or the consequences will be great in Amber Argyle's Of Fire and Ash, a prequel to Summer Queen. Nelay seems more adult than her young nine years, but growing up in the harsh and unforgiving desert has stripped away any childhood she may have had. What I love most of Argyle's work is her world-building and this novella is no exception. She packs a lot in and makes the setting and people come alive. I particularly loved her descriptions of the fairies Nelay can see. My heart breaks for Nelay and her family. Of Fire and Ash by Amber Argyle is a powerful and heartbreaking story. I'm now even more excited to read Summer Queen coming out later this year.

PROMO

Geek girl Morgan Reid has been to many conventions, but none that had her wishing it would never end.

Dressed as their characters from the online game Steampunk Quest, Morgan and her best friend meet the other players for the first time in real life. Morgan's attraction to the gorgeous Dean Bradley is immediate, making it difficult to breathe in her tight corset. Even after a few dice shattering orgasms, she doesn't believe this can be anything more than a con fling. But Dean is making her feel things she's only read about in books. Can Morgan let go of her cool-headed logic and allow herself to fall completely for the perfect geek guy?

Purchase links: Amazon / Nook / Ellora's Cave / Kobo

Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. Please visit her website and blog.

BOOKS RELEASED IN JANUARY

Woven by David Powers King and Michael Jensen
Loose Corset by Christine Rains
The Angel Killer by Lisa Voisin
Firefight by Brandon Sanderson
Beautiful Redemption by Jamie McGuire
Gun Street Girl by Adrian McKinty
Quarry’s Choice by Max Allan Collins
52 Likes by Medeia Sharif
Lady Honor’s Debt by Maggi Andersen
All It Takes by Clare Dugmore
Of Fire and Ash by Amber Argyle