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2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 25 books toward her goal of 175 books.
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Book Review: Tarnished City by Vic James

This is such an extraordinary series! I read the first book as an ARC last year, and was fortunate enough to win the GR giveaway for this installment and I can confidently report this book is as engaging, action- and surprising drama-packed, and wholly original as the first…

In this book, the world James has crafted is really coming into its own – beyond the exceedingly entertaining main plot lines (there are several, very skillfully intertwined but still distinct enough to stand out and remain memorable across the books), there is a little more background and stage-setting worked into this one, and it really fleshed out the world for me in a way that added depth to the main story lines without ever feeling like extraneous detail. And lest it seem like I’m saying the book is character- or world-driven to the detriment of action or intrigue, let me be clear: there are some seriously mind-bending head games and hidden agendas at play throughout, and they kept me turning pages as fast as I could manage without losing the details that keep the whole thing so perfectly managed (manipulated?)…
Continue reading Book Review: Tarnished City by Vic James

Book Review: When a Stranger Comes… by Karen Bell

I really wanted to like this one a lot more than I did. To start, there’s the premise – fascinating (a mysterious lightning strike, a world turned upside down, fame and riches and evil all blended together, a writer whose creations seem to be coming to life). There’s the main characters – conceptually intriguing (I am fascinated by books about books and the people who write/create/publish them, plus there’s the whole evil/deal with the devil set of personalities, also usually intriguing to me). And there’s the larger questions about reality and wishes – do we make our reality? Is this real? Is she crazy? What are we really willing to give up to achieve our “dreams”? Does anyone EVER learn that you should be careful what you wish for?

Unfortunately, despite all of those positives, I struggled with this one… I really liked the beginning – the setup was intriguing, the characters seemed promising, the secrets and mysteries were thick on the ground. Then things started to slip sideways for me. Continue reading Book Review: When a Stranger Comes… by Karen Bell

It’s Time for the Laugh Awards (aka The Yullies)!

Today I’m sharing a plea – for recognition, for nominations, and above all for sharing the fabulousness that is laughter! – from the good folks at Your Laugh Line. Read on and don’t forget to make your nominations – and when you do, share them below in the comments, I can always use a great funny read!

Strap in! It’s going to be a hilarious ride!

Starting on February 1st, Your Laugh Line begins its official search to find the funniest books written in 2017. It’s like a quest for the Holy Grail (Monty Python or otherwise) but more important! Our hope is that this book is so funny that it will end all war.

Okay. Maybe not. Continue reading It’s Time for the Laugh Awards (aka The Yullies)!

Book Review: The Memory Detective by T.S. Nichols

I know, I know – it’s not EXACTLY a Valentine’s Day book, teehee, but it’s a GREAT read, so forgive me!

Everybody feels fear a little bit differently. Everyone feels love, joy, and sadness differently too, but it’s not quite like fear. Fear is primal. It’s like a fingerprint.

This was an EXCELLENT read. I am captivated by memory and am a long-time fan of sci-fi and thriller/crime/detective stories, and this brought all of those together in a fascinating and unique way that had me on the edge of my seat from the first pages. Cole is a great protagonist. He’s more than a little bit broken – like all good protags are/should be to allow for great story development – and the blend of personalities, memories, and stories that he reveals throughout the course of the book are reflective of that. Continue reading Book Review: The Memory Detective by T.S. Nichols

Guest Post: Making 2018 Your Writing Year: Practice Self-Compassion by Stephanie Vanderslice, Author of The Geek’s Guide to the Writing Life

Today I’m pleased to introduce you to Stephanie Vanderslice and her inspiring (and helpful!) memoir-cum-writers’-guide, The Geek’s Guide to the Writing Life.

Many people dream of making money as a writer. In fact, I’m sure that the 81% of Americans who want to write a book also all want to be the next best-seller. But, like turning any dream into a reality, there are invariably things standing in your way. The writer’s life is no exception. And while some are actual roadblocks, many others are only myths that would-be authors turn into excuses. And that’s why Stephanie Vanderslice has published The Geek’s Guide to the Writing Life: An Instructional Memoir for Prose Writers. To shatter all the myths in the writing world. There are plenty. There’s the ridiculous idea that writer’s block is a myth. And, the eyeroll-worthy idea that all the writers currently publishing betrays the craft of writing. The reality is that unless you have no talent, or you are truly pushed beyond the end of your bandwidth, you can write, publish, and, in fact lead a satisfying life. After all, writing doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition. It takes work, but doesn’t have to be all-consuming. And Stephanie is the real deal. A novelist herself, she is also a Professor of Creative Writing and Director of the Arkansas Writer’s MFA Workshop at the University of Central Arkansas. With 25 years in the industry, she’s encountered most of the myths first-hand and developed the strategies to move past them.

But you don’t have to take my word for it – read on and decide for yourself!

Making 2018 Your Writing Year: Practice Self-Compassion
by Stephanie Vanderslice

In The Geek’s Guide to the Writing Life, I mention often that a writing career is a marathon not a sprint and that if you want to sustain it, you need to take care of yourself and keep your eye on the long game in order to avoid burnout. Continue reading Guest Post: Making 2018 Your Writing Year: Practice Self-Compassion by Stephanie Vanderslice, Author of The Geek’s Guide to the Writing Life

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