07.31.11

ROW80 Sunday Check-in – July 31st

Posted in Event, Writing at 3:11 pm by Amber

ROW80 Logo

Happy Sunday!

My goal for Round 3 of A Round of Words in 80 Days is to write another 10,000 words on my unfinished fantasy manuscript. That averages to 125 words a day. I’ve been doing some writing this week so I’m still a little behind but have room to catch up.

Someone in their initial ROW80 post said they’d do weekly check-ins but not two as it seemed a bit much. I’ve found that doing a check-in makes me think about doing my writing and that’s something I need during the week.

Goal: 10,000 Words
Words Written: 1204
Progress: Behind But Can Still Catch Up

How are you doing on your ROW80 or writing goal?

07.28.11

Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner

Posted in Review at 1:03 am by Amber

Title: Best Friends Forever
Author: Jennifer Weiner
Publisher: Atria
Source: Columbus Metropolitan Library

Addie Downs and Valerie Adler will be best friends forever. That’s what Addie believes after Valerie moves across the street when they’re both nine years old. But in the wake of betrayal during their teenage years, Val is swept into the popular crowd, while mousy, sullen Addie becomes her school’s scapegoat.

Flash-forward fifteen years. Valerie Adler has found a measure of fame and fortune working as the weathergirl at the local TV station. Addie Downs lives alone in her parents’ house in their small hometown of Pleasant Ridge, Illinois, caring for a troubled brother and trying to meet Prince Charming on the Internet. She’s just returned from Bad Date #6 when she opens her door to find her long-gone best friend standing there, a terrified look on her face and blood on the sleeve of her coat. “Something horrible has happened,” Val tells Addie, “and you’re the only one who can help.”

Best Friends Forever is a grand, hilarious, edge-of-your-seat adventure; a story about betrayal and loyalty, family history and small-town secrets. It’s about living through tragedy, finding love where you least expect it, and the ties that keep best friends together.Addie Downs and Valerie Adler will be best friends forever. That’s what Addie believes after Valerie moves across the street when they’re both nine years old. But in the wake of betrayal during their teenage years, Val is swept into the popular crowd, while mousy, sullen Addie becomes her school’s scapegoat.

I read Weiner’s first two books after they were released and loved her main characters. The novels included smart, plus sized women who just couldn’t get all of the pieces of their lives working together.

At first I wasn’t sure what to make Addie and Val. Addie has such a rich interior life and Val seems so shallow. As the book went along I couldn’t help but realize it’s brilliant. Addie’s metamorphosis from a woman who lets her life be decided by easy decisions to one who celebrates life is breathtaking.

07.27.11

ROW80 Midweek Check-in – July 27th

Posted in Event, Writing at 1:20 am by Amber

ROW80 Logo

My goal for Round 3 of A Round of Words in 80 Days is to write another 10,000 words on my unfinished fantasy manuscript. I did the math and that averages to 125 words a day. As of today I should be up to 3,000 words.

I’ve made some progress in the last few days. Encouraging comments left on my blog let me know I’m not in this alone. Also, I keep thinking about the 5k+ days I’ve put in the last two NaNoWriMos and how painful they were. I don’t want or need self induced stress so I try to minimize it as much as possible. And it turns my right hand into a claw from typing so much.

Goal: 10,000 Words
Words Written: 1075
Progress: Behind But Can Still Catch Up

If one of your goals is to edit a novel, I recommend EditPalooza at Savvy Authors. There is a new one starting in September. It fills up pretty quickly but as they get more editors to agree to work with the group, more spaces become available. I did one earlier this year for another unfinished novel which helped me use different writing muscles.

How are you doing on your ROW80 or writing goals?

07.25.11

Mailbox Monday – July 25th

Posted in Event at 10:22 pm by Amber

Mailbox Monday

A big thank you to Marcia at A Girl and Her Books for originating Mailbox Monday. This weekly meme is now on tour with a new host each month. July’s host is A Sea of Books.

I stuck to my guns for a week before I let something new into my house. That’s an improvement, right? (insert chuckle here)

“Blindsight” by Kait Nolan. It’s a short story, so it shouldn’t get me behind in all my reading, right?

What arrived in your mailbox this week?

07.24.11

ROW80 Sunday Check-in – July 24th

Posted in Event, Writing at 11:52 pm by Amber

ROW80 Logo

Happy Sunday!

My goal for Round 3 of A Round of Words in 80 Days is to write another 10,000 words on my unfinished fantasy manuscript. I did the math and that averages to 125 words a day. Since Wednesday I’ve made some movement in the right direction. I’m behind. It’s still early though, so I am not concerned yet about meeting my goal.

I had Thursday off work and the plan was to spend an hour or two writing. Instead, the wireless network that went on the fritz was fixed and I did a first pass on all the paper clutter in the office. It was truly liberating to get that stuff gone. Eventually I’d like to put a desk in there so I can have my own place to write.

Goal: 10,000 Words
Words Written: 664
Progress: Behind But Can Still Catch Up

How are you doing on your ROW80 or writing goal?

07.20.11

ROW80 – Midweek Check-In 7/20/11

Posted in Event, Writing at 7:06 am by Amber

I feel guilty. I didn’t do my Sunday update and I didn’t write anything new this week. I know the point of ROW80 is to be able to have a life while meeting your writing goals. There will be more progress this week. If not, you can call me a yellow-bellied gecko.

Goal: 10,000 Words
Words Written: 619
Progress: Behind But Can Still Catch Up

It’s not too late to participate in A Round of Words in 80 Days.

What writing did you get done in the last few days?

07.19.11

Ascension by Sable Grace

Posted in Review at 1:40 am by Amber

Title: Ascension
Author: Sable Grace
Publisher: HarperCollins (Avon Imprint)
Source: NetGalley

Ascension by Sable Grace

The gates of hell have opened, and one woman will stand in the crossfire as the Dark Breed — vampyre, demons, shape shifters — and mankind fight their last battle for survival.

Kyana is half Vampyre, half Lychen…and the last of her kind. Determined, dangerous, and damned, she has no love for the mortals who have imprisoned and misused her. But when the Order of Ancients entrusts her with a mission — to find the key that will send the Dark Breed back into Hell for eternity — Kyana has no choice but to accept.

She is furious to learn her assignment comes with an escort. . . Ryker, a demigod and fierce warrior who long ago found a way under her skin and stayed there. In a shaky alliance, they discover an ancient cult with dangerous motives and a god who seeks to destroy all others. And as Kyana begins to feel the heat that threatens to bind her to Ryker, she knows she has to resist.  For it could only mean the undoing of them both. . .

Kyana is tough but vulnerable.  She is the best of all the tracers. She suffers from motion sickness and she doesn’t let many into her inner circle. Her grudge with Ryker is a result of the Vampyre and Lychen traits warring within her. Vampyres are known for their promiscuity while Lychens are monogamous. Her life as a human was not the best so she’s created her own family in Haven (her roommate and witch) and Geoffrey (a vampyre and fellow tracer).

I only have one complaint – multiple muddled points of view in some of the chapters. I did read an ARC of the book so the instances of head hopping may have been edited out by the time the book reached the printers.

The world building is phenomenal. It mixes Gods and Goddesses with the present day to help save everyone from the hell demons.

Ascension was a fast read because of the twists that kept being thrown at Kyana.  The ending was jaw dropping and satisfying.  Everything in the story led up to it. Kyana’s character goes through a believable transformation from start to finish.

The next book, Bedeviled, should be released in January 2012.

07.17.11

August Readathon

Posted in Event at 11:39 am by Amber

There is something about August 6th which makes it the hottest social day of the year. I’ve been invited to an out of town wedding, a multi-class high school reunion, a family get together and I’ve just learned it’s part of a 48-hour readathon. I think I can only manage to get to one of these.

If you’re interested in the 48-hour readathon, you can learn more about it at LibraryThing.

And you’re certainly welcome to participate in Do Nothing But Read Day 2011 which is also on August 6th.

07.14.11

Draw the Dark by Isla J. Bick

Posted in Review at 12:06 am by Amber

Title: Draw the Dark
Author: Isla J. Bick
Publisher: Carolrhoda Lab
Source: ARC from NetGalley

“The things I draw: They tend to die.”

There are things the people of Winter, Wisconsin, would rather forget. The year the Nazis came to town, for one. That fire, for another.  But what they’d really like to forget is Christian Cage.

Seventeen-year-old Christian’s parents disappeared when he was a little boy.  Ever since, he’s drawn obsessively: his mother’s face…her eyes…and what he calls “the sideways place,” where he says his parents are trapped.  Christian figures if he can just see through his mother’s eyes, maybe he can get there somehow and save them.

But Christian also draws other things.  Ugly things.  Evil things.  Dark things.  Things like other people’s fears and nightmares.  Their pasts.  Their destiny.

There’s one more thing the people of Winter would like to forget: murder.

But Winter won’t be able to forget the truth, no matter how hard it tries.  Not as long as Christian draws the dark…

Draw the Dark was a pleasant surprise.  It’s dark in a delightfully creepy way.  Bad things happened in Winter before Christian was born and he has the opportunity to set them right.  The plot threads include self-discovery, a mystery and high school horror.  I enjoyed the way Bick combined the subplots with the main plot.

It’s nice to see a teenage protagonist who doesn’t have everything figured out.  He wants friends but doesn’t have them.  When he finally gets one it’s partly because she points out he can’t recognize when someone is being friendly towards him.

I’ve read several books with World War II as the setting and this was the first time I’d heard about POW Camps in the U.S. with German soldiers.  It was nice to have a new element added to my knowledge of the war.

About the Author
Ilsa J. Bick is an award-winning science fiction author primarily known for her Star Trek novels and short stories. Her first Star Trek novel, Well of Souls, became a 2003 Barnes & Noble bestseller. In addition, she has written several stories, novellas, and novels for the BattleTech and MechWarrior: Dark Age franchises. She has also published a number of short stories in various magazines, anthologies and other online venues. “The Key,” a supernatural murder-mystery about the Holocaust and reincarnation, was named “distinguished” in The Best American Mystery Stories, 2005, and a novella-length sequel is forthcoming. Before she became a successful author, Bick was a child/adolescent and forensic psychiatrist. She holds a degree in literature and film studies, and has presented and written widely on applied psychoanalysis and film.

07.13.11

ROW80 – Midweek Check-in 7/13/11

Posted in Event, Writing at 10:00 pm by Amber

I did write a first draft of a short story this week but those words don’t count towards my ROW80 goal. My ROW80 goal is to add another 10k words to an unfinished fantasy novel I’ve been working on. Although I’m behind I’m still happy because I’m making progress.

Goal: 10,000 Words
Words Written: 619
Progress: Behind But Can Still Catch Up

It’s not too late to participate in A Round of Words in 80 Days.

What writing did you get done in the last few days?

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »