Plate Update: Parties, Shakespeare, and Autumn

I manage to tackle some things on my ridiculously full plate then someone inevitably offers me seconds. Who cares when the “food” is so good? 😉 Here’s an update on what I’ve been doing. This past month, I…

Beta-read:

You’ll Be Like Faye by J.C. Buchanan (four stars)

The Silent Blade by Jesseca Wheaton (four stars)

Operation Space Cats: The Rescue Mission by Lesa McKee (five stars)

Fitting In by Rebekah Morris (five stars)

I’m also reading someone’s work in progress. 😉

Pleasure read:

The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell (three stars)

Writer to Writer: From Think to Ink by Gail Carson Levine (four stars)

The Twenty-four Days Before Christmas by Madeleine L’Engle (four stars)

Rose of Prophecy by Hope Ann (five stars)

The Doll with the Yellow Star by Yona Zeldis McDonough (five stars)

The Princess in Black; The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party; and The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde all by Shannon and Dean Hale (all four stars)

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams (four stars for my edited copy)

Gossamer by Lois Lowry (five stars)

Answered:

Emails! You wouldn’t believe how many it takes to plan a blog party. 😉

Blog and Facebook comments

A Goodreads ask-the-author question

Homeschooled Authors Read-to-Win questions

Googled:

Briggs-Meyer personality types (for stories and a tiny bit of matchmaking :P)

A quote from The Silver Chair

Symptoms of dyslexia

Punctuation with quotation marks

British vernacular ❤

The Fowler brothers

Shipping rates and rules (not more matchmaking, goofy)

Removing dried milk paint from brushes

The Dot and the Line by Norton Juster

Scraps for chickens

Hobbit height

Myrmidons

Poodle skirts 😉

Spelling of ice cream, and I found this great quiz

List of words Shakespeare invented

Jury duty

Proper paragraph length in creative writing

As well as more grammar rules, celebrity heights, and some Facebook how-tos. 😉

Wrote:

Emails😛

Blog posts (the top five being New York Times by the Book Tag, Book-Lover Blog Tag, the previous plate update, Positively Negative, and Seasonal Notebook Tutorial)

More “Legend”!

A new short story called “Enjoy the Poodle Skirt”

Writing prompts! (more on that later 😉 )

Edited:

The short story 😉

This month, I’m looking forward to beta-reading a ton more; sharing two interviews with you (one in cartoon format and the other as part of Kellyn Roth’s blog tour); pleasure reading the rest of my library hopefuls; and being one of the hostesses of a blog party.

Your ears just perked up. I saw them. “Blog party?!!” You’re invited, and here’s your adorable invitation made specially by Rebekah Morris. Pass it on!

Invitation

I also have plans to finish up “Legend” and start a new short story. 😉 And that’s just the word related projects! We’ll see how my plate fills up this coming month. You never know what might be for dessert! 😉

How was your August? Are you excited for autumn? 😉

While It Lasts…

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I have something very important to tell you. *drops voice to a whisper* There are only 2 1/2 days left of Read-to-Win. Better slide into home plate and post those reviews!

And even if you won’t make it in time to enter the giveaway (though my book is remarkably short); it’s still worth it to get $0.99 books, right? 😉

Need help making last minute book grabbing decisions? We authors are giving a nod to our top five favorites this week; and I wrote a blog post about some of my favorites.

Ten…Nine…Eight…

Time is running out. You must hurry. There are 28,800 minutes left until Read to Win 2016 ends. That’s only twenty days! 😉

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Hop on over to Amazon and pick up one of these books for 99 cents, review it on Goodreads, and get entered in the Homeschooled Authors’ giveaway!

Read my post Favorite Books from Read-to-Win 2016 if you need recommendations. 😉

Plate Update: Princesses, Sandwiches, and Free Books

Remember that crazy picture of my ridiculously full plate I shared last month? Here’s an update on what I have and haven’t eaten–I mean, accomplished. 😉

Last month alone I…

Beta-read:

Grace Space by Robin Merrill (three stars)

Growing Up Neighbors by Frances Hoelsema (two stars)

Song of the Sword by Hope Ann (five stars, but you have to wait to find out why 😉 )

The Dressmaker’s Secret by Kellyn Roth (three stars)

I’m also reading a few chapters a week of someone’s work in progress.

Pleasure read:

The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald (five stars)

The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald (three stars)

The Fairy’s Return and Other Princess Stories by Gail Carson Levine (three stars)

A Different Kind of Courage by Sarah Holman (four stars)

Mad About Madeline: The Complete Tales by Ludwig Bemelmans (four stars)

Chickaboodle by Valerie Howard (four stars)

Answered:

Waaay too many emails ;P

Blog comments

Those stock questions Goodreads asks authors

Homeschooled Authors Read-to-Win questions

Googled:

Flaming arrows (I promise this was for a writing project)

Calvinist jokes… heh, heh

Word definitions

Copyright laws

Landmark books

Celebrity heights (Because it’s really important to know that Jimmy Stewart was 14″ taller than June Allyson, and Sherlock isn’t really as tall as he looks because Watson is super short. Oh, and Molly is pretty close to my height!) 😛

Sandwiches cut with love (don’t ask, just read)

The Lady of Shallot

WordPress, GoogleDocs, and Amazon how-tos

Capitalization and grammar rules

Doctor Who 50th anniversary (because my computer glasses make me look like Osgood, and it is my hands-down favorite episode)

Rules for bus travel

Wrote:

Emails 😛

Blog posts (the top five are The Lady of Shallot, Story Excerpt: Bringing in the Plants, I Write MG/YA Fiction Blog Tag, “Lost” in the Bookstore, and What’s on My Plate?)

Edited:

An excerpt of “Kiera”

Some of my siblings’ work 😉

This month, I’m looking forward to focusing on my own writing; more beta-reading; Hope Ann’s book release (!!!); and pleasure reading Amanda Tero’s Journey to Love and Letter of Love (since they are FREE today and tomorrow on Amazon!). And that’s just the book-related stuff!

How was your July?

Favorite Books from Read-to-Win 2016

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Do you see all the book covers crammed onto that graphic? For the remaining six weeks of summer, they are on sale for 99 cents each as part of Homeschooled Authors’ Read-to-Win event! Buy one of these books and review it on Goodreads this summer to get entered it the giveaway for an Amazon giftcard! The more you review, the more entries you get. 😉 (Read this article by Chautona Havig to discover no-brainer reviewing.)

Because my book is featured in this year’s event (see that pretty graphic way down on the sidebar?), I’m not able to enter in the giveaway; but the 99 cent books are still available to me! 😉

Let me introduce you to some of my favorites…

  1. Red Rain by Aubrey Hansen. As can be seen from my extremely enthusiastic review a few years ago, this was a great introduction to the sci-fi genre and still holds a special place in my bookshelf heart. (My 14-year-old sister just finished it and raved about it.) 🙂
  2. Gift from the Storm by Rebekah Morris. I read this book early last year and loved it to pieces. Read my review to find out why I read it to my younger sister immediately after reading it to myself and then loaned it to all my friends.
  3. Water Princess, Fire Prince by Kendra Ardnek. In my review, I called it a “book nerd’s dream” with excellent world-building, good characterization, and TONS of literary references. A great find this summer!
  4. Implant by J. Grace Pennington. This dystopian book was quite the wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey surprise. Read my review to find out some of the reasons why. 😉
  5. The Treasure Hunt by yours truly. *blushes and remembers the scripture about letting another man’s mouth praise you* I’m really excited to have my book featured in this year’s event because now I can share it with you all for a much lower price.

I’m also looking forward to trying out Kate’s Innocence by Sarah Holman, and maybe a few others. 🙂

Be gone with thee now! Thou must get to thy reading. (You also might enjoy jumping into the weekly Read-to-Win blog posts. This week we authors are explaining how our faith affects what we read.)

Book Review: Water Princess, Fire Prince

“When the Lady Dragon does come,
Hold fast, do not fear, do not run.
Your Water Princess will fight,
Fire Prince will set all to right.
Each shall come from a Fall,
Their union will save you all.

Despite the fact that she’s on track for competing in the Olympics, and he’s practically raised his younger brothers since they lost their mom in a car accident, Clara Mandras and Andrew Stevenson are pretty much normal teens. They have normal hopes, normal dreams, and they live in a normal world.
All this is torn away from them when they are thrust into another world and declared Water Princess and Fire Prince. With no experience ruling a country, meeting each other for the first time, and being expected to fight the Lady Dragon – an evil sorceress plaguing the world of Rizkaland – Clara and Andrew are underprepared and inexperienced. Unless they learn to work together despite their standing opposition, Rizkaland’s hope will be lost. 

What is to come will change their lives forever.” (from Goodreads)

I read this book in a matter of hours; and, believe me, traveling to other worlds does really mess with your timeline! ; ) Here’s what I thought of my adventure…

Rizkaland (once I figured out how to pronounce it) was a very intriguing world. Just familiar enough to keep it from being confusing, but very original and fascinating! I loved the different colors of water, and the journey through the mountain.

My favorite character was definitely Andrew, with Clara as a close second (once she came around). They both had so much to learn, and I loved watching them grow. Jill Anna, Jasmine, and one surprise character (whom I can’t name) were also big favorites. I found Laura amusing and mysterious, and I look forward to finding out more about her.

The whole story was a book nerd’s dream—tons of literary references from the start that added so much! (Who else begins their book with a hilarious take-off on Jane Austen’s famous beginning of Pride & Prejudice or throws Alice in Wonderland references in with the dialogue?!!) Quite the clever plot with lessons in trust, hilarious moments (like teaching medieval friends to play Monopoly!), great action, and even some mystery. (That was definitely my favorite!! Some big surprises.)

Just a note, there is some strong romance SPOILER ALERT! between married teens END OF SPOILER!, thematic action, and slight feminism.

Altogether I found it to be a great non-magical (nearly) fantasy for older readers! Please excuse me while I go use the great seal of England to crack nuts. ; )

Book Review: Implant

implant cover“Welcome to the world of a universal cure.

Gordon Harding didn’t ask for the life he has. He didn’t ask to be orphaned. He didn’t ask to go through life with cancer. And he certainly didn’t ask to be pulled into a future world without warning–a world where every human being is controlled by means of a medical implant.

And when he learns that he’s the only one who can destroy the base of operations, he’s faced with an impossibly painful choice: either hide and let the world decay under this mysterious futuristic force, or rescue humanity from oppression, knowing that there’s someone out there who is willing to use any means necessary to stop him.” (from Amazon)

I picked up this book by J. Grace Pennington on a whim and read it as fast as I possibly could. It had such a clever, interesting sci-fi plot that wasn’t too confusing but just mysterious enough to keep me reading. 😉 I was also pleased to find that the author did more character development than in the Firmament series, which was a big bonus. I enjoyed it so much especially Doc and Neil; but unfortunately it gets pretty graphic in the violence area (battle scenes and descriptive deaths), so I won’t be able to give it a five star review. If you’re a good skim reader though, I highly recommend this fantastic story!

And the good news for you is that Implant is part of Homeschooled Authors’ Read-to-Win , so this summer you can try it out for only a dollar! 😉 Pretty sweet, eh?

If you found this review helpful, please vote for it on Amazon and Goodreads.