09.26.11

The Traitor’s Wife by Kathleen Kent

Posted in Review at 1:28 am by Amber

The Traitor's Wife by Kathleen Kent
Title: The Traitor’s Wife
Author: Kathleen Kent
Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books
Source: NetGalley

Originally published under The Wolves of Andover, The Traitor’s Wife is a prequel of sorts to The Heretic’s Daughter as some of the characters are in both books. Though I heard a lot of good things about The Heretic’s Daughter, I never got around to reading it. I’ll definitely make the time now. The Traitor’s Wife was an engrossing read and I didn’t want to put it down.

Martha is sent to live with her cousin, Patience, who is pregnant with her third child and requires assistance while her husband travels to do trading. Living on the land with them are two hired hands, Thomas and John. Martha is strong-willed and particular in her wants. Thomas immigrated to America from England and is rumored to have executed King Charles I.

The chapters alternate between Thomas’s pursuers and the developing romance. Set in historic Massachusetts, Kent gives the reader a peek into the difficulties of travel by ship and living on a homestead without any of the conveniences we have today.

Mailbox Monday – September 26th

Posted in Event at 12:33 am 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. September’s host is Amused by Books.

Several books arrived this week. The first is The Traitor’s Wife by Kathleen Kent through NetGalley. I’ve already finished reading it and the review will be up later today.

The next two were presents from my husband. On his annual business trip to Canada, he usually brings me back a book or two. Originally, born in Ireland, Emma Donoghue presently lives in Canada and I now have two of her books. The first is Room. It was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize and was all over the book blogosphere. The second book of hers is a collection of short stories titled Touchy Subjects.

Another print book is Trout Valley, the Hertz Estate and Curtiss Farm by Lisa Damian Kidder. This summer, my husband and I visited the Westcott House (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright) and the history about the family was just as interesting as the house. I’m looking forward to learning more about this piece of Illinois.

I purchased Entangled, a Paranormal Anthology with the proceeds going to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. I’ve been reading it on Kindle during my lunch break.

Lastly, another print book arrived on Saturday. A Long-Forgotten Truth by Rachel Ballard. The publisher, Rozlyn Press, is looking for novel submissions and while on the site I thought this looked good. The main character is 18 when she uncovers a family secret. The ghostly voice in her head won’t go away so she sets off to find the truth.

What arrived in your mailbox this week?

09.22.11

ROW80 Round 3 Final Check-in

Posted in Event, Writing at 9:57 pm by Amber

Fireworks

My revised goal for Round 3 of A Round of Words in 80 Days was to write another 5,000 words on my unfinished fantasy manuscript.

Here is how I did:

Goal: 5,000 Words
Words Written: 5027
Progress: Made it!

I was behind until this week when I kicked it into gear.

Are you going to join me for Round 4? I’m going to work on some short stories and getting my first three pages of this novel back to an editor.

09.18.11

ROW80 Sunday Check-in for 9/18/11

Posted in Event, Writing at 7:47 pm by Amber

Before I get to the goals I wanted to talk about procrastination. I’m really into the habit of not writing more than writing. The other week I put some thought into my procrastination habit. Depending on the circumstances, I’m a rebellious or perfectionist procrastinator.

It wasn’t until recently I picked up on my rebelliousness. For example, I should weed the backyard so we have more grass than weeds but I’m an adult with my own house – I’ll get to it when I get to it.

The perfectionism thing is something I’ve been slowly letting go of the past few years. I started with giving myself permission to write lousy first drafts. Sound familiar to anyone?

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. There are 4 days left in the challenge. That averages to 1622 words a day in order to make my goal.

Goal: 10,000 Words
Words Written: 3510 (nothing new since Tuesday)
Progress: Extremely Behind But Can Still Catch Up

But I’ve decided to revise the goal. Another way of letting go of perfection, right? I know I can write those words all in a day or two if I do nothing else. And the point of A Round of Words in 80 Days is to have a life while you reach your writing goals.

So here is my revised goal:

Goal: 5,000 Words
Words Written: 3510
Progress: Behind But Can Still Catch Up

09.16.11

BBAW Daily Topic: Blogging

Posted in Event at 8:01 am by Amber

Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2011 BannerToday is all about blogging tips.

Here are some tried and true blogging tips:

  1. Use the schedule feature! I love this feature in WordPress (and I think most blogging platforms have it). How do you think I was able to find the time to post every day this week? I spent about two hours on Sunday writing all the BBAW posts. I already have book reviews scheduled for when I go on vacation in a few months.
  2. Make quality posts on a regular basis. If there’s no quality content, people will stop dropping in to say hello. Isn’t every blogger pleased when someone leaves a comment?
  3. Have a variety of posts. Vary the length. Add pictures. Use bullets or different font colors. Make your posts visually interesting.

Have you noticed any new trends or tools in blogging? What are some of your tried and true blogging tips?

09.15.11

BBAW Daily Topic: Readers

Posted in Event at 8:45 am by Amber

Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2011 BannerToday’s daily topic is about reading. Has book blogging changed the way I read?

Absolutely!

  • Overall, I read more. I don’t go months at a time without reading some book.
  • I’ve read more fantasy in the last four years. I used to read mostly literary works.
  • I keep track of the books I read. I love LibraryThing. Access databases were always the pits to work with and I never really knew what types of things I wanted to keep track of. LibraryThing lets me do that and includes stats on other things. For instance, I didn’t realize most of the books I read are by women.

Has your reading habits changed over the years?

09.14.11

BBAW Daily Topic: Community Part II

Posted in Event at 8:16 am by Amber

Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2011 BannerToday’s BBAW Daily Topic is on Community. How do you find a community and keep in touch?

How do you find a community?

  1. I suggest using an internet search on your reading interests. Add a genre into your search term. For example, “book review fantasy” or “fantasy book reviewers” will get you started on finding people who review fantasy books.
  2. The Book Blogs group on Ning is another place to find people who like to read and review books. There are a few authors too.
  3. When you find blogs that may be of interest to you, take the time to read a week or two of posts to get a feel for the person’s writing style. Some, like Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’? are informal and chatty. Others, like A Guy’s Moleskine Notebook, are more formal and focused.

Keeping a part of the community you find can be more difficult. Here are a few tips.

  1. Until a year or so ago, I used bookmarks to keep track of the sites I wanted to keep up with. That is so old school! Having a RSS Feed now seems mandatory. I now use my Google Reader to keep track of my friend’s feeds. Now it’s not hit or miss if I go to the sites I want to keep up with.
  2. Leave comments. Often, if you stop by someone’s blog and leave a comment, they’ll drop by your blog too. They may not leave a comment, but they may like what they see and add you to their feed.
  3. Memes and Challenges. If you participate in memes on a regular basis, you’ll get to know the other people who participate. You will visit their blog (and vice versa). Same thing for challenges. It doesn’t matter if it’s a reading, writing or blogging challenge, you’ll start to recognize the names of the participants and you’ll find people you connect with.

What tips do you have on finding and keeping up with your communities online?

ROW80 Midweek Check-in for 9/14/11

Posted in Event, Writing at 7:15 am by Amber

In case you didn’t know, it’s Book Blogger Appreciation Week. Get to know some book bloggers or put in your name for a giveaway prize. Either way, stop by and spread some comment love.

It’s 9:30pm on Tuesday and I haven’t written anything yet today. So I’ll give you my ROW80 update and then get cracking.

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. There are 8 days left in the challenge. That averages to 811 words a day in order to make my goal.

Goal: 10,000 Words
Words Written: 3510 (689 since Sunday)
Progress: Extremely Behind But Can Still Catch Up

I’m slowly bumping up the word count. How are you doing on your ROW80 or writing goal?

09.13.11

BBAW Daily Topic: Interviews

Posted in Event at 8:13 am by Amber

Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2011 BannerToday is the Interview Swap Day where book bloggers interview each other.

Below are past interviews I’ve done from Book Blogger Appreciation Week.

2010 interview with Suey of It’s All About Books.

Suey’s 2010 interview with me.

2009 interview with Tess Hilmo.

Tess’s 2009 interview with me.

2008 interview with Jen Forbus of Jen’s Book Thoughts.

Jen’s 2008 interview with me.

09.12.11

BBAW Daily Topic: Community Part I

Posted in Event at 10:33 am by Amber

Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2011 Banner

In case you didn’t notice, today is the beginning of Book Blogger Appreciation Week. Giveaways, posts on book blogging topics and interviews abound. This year I’m not participating in any interviews but I am going to post on the daily topics. This year the topics were posted ahead of time to give everyone a chance to get started.

Today’s daily topic is community.

Community: A body of persons or nations having a common history or common social, economic, or political interests.

I wanted to highlight some of the people who are part of my reading and writing community on the internet. They are listed in no particular order.

Kathy of Bermudaonion. She often leaves comments on my site so I know someone is reading! 🙂 Her own blog has a variety of posts so it’s never boring when I drop in.

Rhonda Parrish. She’s got an editing hat (Niteblade) and a writing hat. She may not realize it, but she’s got a mentor hat too. Rhonda is an example of a do-er. She writes. When she didn’t see her writing interests represented, she made an e-zine to make it happen.

Lisa Damian of Damian Daily. She’s a writer and book reviewer. Her blog chronicles her interests and observations.

Do you have anyone you think of as part of your reading or writing community on the internet?

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