Dreamy Book Covers Tag

My favorite internet librarian has graciously tagged me in a neat bookish tag that of course I had to do because I can’t deny her anything. If you have not met theorangutanlibrarian by now, well, I don’t know what to tell you except to give you this look that screams “you have a problem and you need to fix it now.” She was one of my first 10 followers and my 1000th comment (which btw, I’m quickly coming up on the 3000 mark orangutan so I hope you’re ready!). I could wax poetic about how fantastic her blog is and how much she’s made my blogging experience great but that pretty much sums it up so I hope you visit and follow her site because she’s truly brilliant!

RULES:

  • Thank the person who tagged you.
  • Mention the creator of this tag (Tiana @ The Book Raven)
  • Use the original tag image in your post.
  • At least tag one fellow blogger for doing this tag!
  • List the rules.

‘No Ideas But in Things’ A book cover that perfectly expresses the novel inside it.

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Star nomad is the ship. It’s set in space. There’s a fun crew. And space adventures commence!

‘Dark and Lovely’A cover that is so creepilicious, that you want to eat it up.

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This is a pretty creepy cover in my opinion but the story is great! It’s all about alchemy, elemental mages, necromancy and demons from another plane. I devoured the whole series.

‘Sugary Sweet’A CUTE cover that is so fluffy, you want to give it a hug.

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This is the best I could come up with. I realized I don’t have cute, fluffy book covers so I chose this one because who doesn’t want to hug a wolf?? This, and the rest of the series is on my TBR.

‘The Simple Aesthetic’A book cover that stuns with the most minimalist of designs.

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This one was hard to choose as well but I feel like these UK covers are super minamalistic cause they each feature half a man’s face with a different color title. P.S. The Psy Changeling series is awesome!

‘Cover Envy’A book you wish you had on your shelves, but don’t yet.

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It’s not on my shelves yet but it will be October 31, 2017! I have it on preorder and I’ve never been so excited for Halloween in my life!

‘Traveling Abroad’A beautiful book cover featuring a country outside of your own.

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So the story’s setting is in San Francisco but the stories in the book itself are set in China. There are four mothers who are sharing China’s culture and stories of how they grew up and what it means to be a Chinese immigrant to their daughters who are American born over games of mah-jong.

‘The Colour Wheel’ A cover that showcases one of your favourite colours.

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Purple is my favorite color… (And this book broke my brain for a day)

‘Changing Gears’A cover change you absolutely adore.

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I can’t talk about a cover change without showing you the side by side comparison. The left is the cover I have and the right is the updated one. I definitely like the modern one a whole lot even though the old one isn’t half bad!

‘Oldie but Goodie’A favourite cover of your favourite classic.

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Again, in order to understand why I like the new cover, I have to show you the old one. The left one was the only cover back in high school when this was required reading. I obtained the right one at a book sale for 50 cents and I was blown away by the change and absolutely love it!

And the winner is Which book cover mentioned above is your favourite.

I’m going to do what orangutan did and leave it up to you, dear readers, to decide. Which cover is your favorite? Have you read any of the books listed (besides 12th Grave of course)? Let me know in the comments below!

I nominate:

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Book Types

Since my posts this week have been very book themed, I’ve decided to write up a post about book types. When you think of book types, I’m sure you’re thinking along the lines of genre but what I’m actually talking about are book format types. I’ll talk about physical books as well as ebooks.

When it comes to physical books, there are two main types:

  • Hardcover
  • Paperback

Hardcovers are exactly the way they sound. The book has a hard backing. Paperbacks have a soft backing. It makes them more flexible in the hand. When you sit hardcover down open, it will stay open. Paperbacks don’t do the same thing. You usually have to hold them the whole time or use a book clip or stand.

Within the two main types you have sub types:

  • Sleeved hardcover
  • Embossed hardcover
  • Trade paperback
  • Mass market paperback

A sleeved hardcover is a hardback book with the cover design on a sleeve instead of the actual book itself. You can take the paper sleeve off while reading it to keep it nice or if you loan it to people and are afraid they’ll ruin it. An embossed hardcover has the cover design embedded on the book lining itself. The process involves many sheets of paper and a cast mold of the design being pressed into the book. Hardcover books are already pretty expensive but between these two, the embossed hardcover is definitely a few dollars more than your regular hardcover. Check out the differences below:

Left is embossed; Right is sleeved

A trade paperback is a large, softcover book. It is not to be confused with a large print book because the print size is about the same as your average paperback it just has a bigger binding. A mass market paperback is a small softcover book and it’s usually thicker in comparison to your trade paperback. Trade paperbacks are about double the cost of mass market paperbacks because they are considered high quality. Most indie authors, who aren’t strictly ebook sellers, sell their paper books as trade paperbacks. Check out the differences below:

Left is trade; Right is mass market

Now when you get into ebooks, there are three main formats that people use:

  • .epub
  • .azw
  • .mobi

EPUB is the most common. You can buy or upload epubs to a lot of different platforms. There’s Google Play Books, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Adobe Digital Edtions and plenty of other third party apps that can read epub.

AZW is the second most common because it is the proprietary ebook format used exclusively by Amazon. If you use a Kindle or the Kindle app, your ebooks are this format. The upside to using Amazon is that it is the number one book platform used by all types of authors whether traditional, indie or your neighbor next door. Anyone can upload a book. The downside is that you can’t use .azw with any other app.

MOBI is a lesser known book format that is used but its still regarded as a favorite book format. A .mobi book can handle more rich and more advanced book content than the other two.

Here are a couple of screenshots from the different apps I use:

They all essentially try to give you the bookshelf look within the app. You also have the ability to use bookmarks, highlight passages and there’s a dictionary ready to use if you want to know the definition of a word. Some of these apps even have a read aloud feature. It’s not the same as an audiobook, because the voice is very robotic, but it’s nice to have if you need it.

What do you think of all these book formats? Which ones do your primarily go for? Which reading apps do you primarily use? Let me know in the comments below!

How I Choose My Books Tag

Sometime last week I think, the wonderful Noriko at Diary of a Bookfiend nominated me for this tag. If you haven’t met her yet you need to! She’s so sweet, write fantastic book reviews and has recently been introducing us to different aspects of Japanese culture. Go over there and click the follow button right away!

I decided to be different and instead of pulling pictures from the web, I took pictures of my literal books off my shelf. Hope you enjoy!

Questions:

1. Find a Book on your shelves or e-reader with a blue cover. What made you want to pick up this book?

I couldn’t just pick one. I have a lot more blue books than I thought! Top left, you all already know! This was required reading back in high school and is the same book from high school which is why it looks so beat up. I adore The Three Musketeers. Then of course you have Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I got the first 4 books as a gift when I turned 12 and the rest is history. Eighth Grave After Dark is one of 11, soon to be 12, books in the Charley Davidson series. Lastly, Forged in Blood I is the sixth book in The Emperor’s Edge series. Lindsay Buroker was my introduction into the world of indie authors and I adore everything she writes!

 

2. Think of a book you didn’t expect to enjoy, but did. Why did you read it in the first place?

Switched is basically a different take on the average switched at birth story. The idea of a girl who’s parents think she’s a monster only to find out she’s actually a troll was quite an intriguing idea. I ended up unexpectedly, enjoying this trilogy a lot more than I thought I would!

 

 

 

 

 

3. Stand in front of your bookshelf with your eyes closed and pick a book at random. How did you discover this book?

I discovered this book at a library sale for 50 cents. I found books 1 and 3 and then ended up finding book 2 at Half Price Books. I haven’t read them yet but they look like a fun, high fantasy adventure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Pick a book that someone personally recommended to you. What did you think of it?

An ex friend let me borrow these books to read and at first I wasn’t a fan because the book covers look so silly and the description furthers that. You have plain Jane True in Rockabill, Maine who is a selkie shifter and doesn’t really fit in with “normal” human society; not that it bothers her much. There are adventures and a love triangle (that I actually like!). It was an overall great 6 book series even though it doesn’t have stellar Goodrreads reviews.

 

 

 

5. Pick a book that you discovered through YouTube / Book blogs. Did it live up to the hype?

I’ve only just discovered that booktubing is a thing so I don’t have an answer to this question at this time.

6. Find a book on your shelves or e-reader with a one-word title. What drew you to this book?

When I saw the look of this book, I was instantly intrigued. The description hooked me right away and it did not disappoint and also fueled my love for all things Sandra Brown. In the story, you have a successful ghost writer who is writing the ultimate thriller novel. It turns out that there are some grains of truth in the story and his manuscript editor is unexpectedly in the middle of it all. It’s SUCH an amazing piece of writing. I wasn’t able to put it down once I started.

 

 

 

7. What book did you discover through a film / TV adaptation?

I discovered the Canadian produced television show first. It stars Christina Cox and Kyle Schbmid and I believe it only had 2 seasons. Funny thing is I started reading this 4 book series thinking it was the book version of the show but turns out they only share the same title. I enjoyed it nonetheless considering this author doesn’t write very much anymore I don’t think. Note: This is Jennifer Armintrout not to be confused with Jennifer Armentrout. (Two different people. I checked.)

 

 

 

8. Think of your all-time favorite book/s. When did you read these and why did you pick them up in the first place?

Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught is my all time favorite historical romance. I picked this book up at a library sale back in college for 25 cents. I had never read romance before and she did not disappoint. Her writing style is brilliant. Because of this book alone I developed an obsession with McNaught and now own and have read every book she’s ever written. I had two of my best friends read some of her books expecting them to not like them and they are now collecting their own copies.

 

 

Since this is a pretty long post, I’m going to opt to tag everyone to do this post. I know of lot of you read on a semi regular basis and I can’t just choose certain people because I’m selfish and want to know everyone’s views and book choices. Please link me to your post if you decide to do this! I really want to read them!

What do you think of my choices and reasonings? Have you read any of these books? Do you need a bigger bookshelf like I do? Let me know in the comments below!

I Messed Up Book Tag

book tag

I was tagged by the wonderful Stephanie over at Stephanie’s Novel Fiction. If you haven’t met Stephanie yet, you should. I’ve gotten to know her these past few weeks and she’s such a great person! She’s so smart too! She primarily blogs about books but she also gives us tidbits into her life as a teacher, wife and mother. Check her out and hit that follow button!


A character appearance that you misread or imagined differently:

Rose and Dmitri from the Vampire Academy. I mean come on, even her book cover art person looks more badass than who they casted. As soon as I saw the trailer, I knew I wouldn’t watch it. Rose was portrayed as really fierce, no nonsense character. And Dmitiri was the broody, hot mentor who was a bit older than Rose. It was all just a big no. (Book Rose left, movie Rose right)

A character name that you’ve been pronouncing wrong:

Reyes. I always said it like Rays but apparently it’s pronounced Ray-as. Feyre is another one. The author wrote pronunciations in the book but I still don’t know if I’m saying it right. And lastly, Curran. I don’t know if it’s Cur-ron or Cur-raan or something completely different. Oh! And then there’s Sicarius. That could be Si-car-ee-us or Si-care-ee-us. I could go on… haha

An overused trope that is your guilty pleasure:

I’d have to say it’s the woman who struggles through life in some form or fashion and thinks she doesn’t need a man to make her life better when in actuality the man is the reason her life is getting better and better (Looking at you Pamela Clare, Judith McNaught, etc etc) I’m a sucker for those types of romantic book dramas.

A cliché character type that you like better on screen than reading about:

I think I’d have to say the character that has all the wealth and social status and then gets thrown out for whatever reason only to come back later to stir things up and make things right. In the Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward it was a guy and was still cliche. I definitely like watching it better than reading it (looking at you Revenge).

A word/phrase you learned because of its use in a book:

I’d have to go with phrases I read out of Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones.
“Mistakes were made. Others were blamed.” My old boss used to say that all the time. Not sure where he got it from but I definitely picked it up.
“Don’t judge me because I’m quiet. Nobody plans a murder out loud.” I laughed out loud when I read that one and decided to use it and lastly,
“Time to make today my bitch.” Quite uplifting to yourself when you’re having one of those blah waking days and need to boost yourself.

Have you ever not read or completed a required-reading book for school?

I want to say yes….. I can’t remember what book it was but I remember cutting corners of not reading the book by using Sparknotes. I don’t know if that’s still around now but Sparknotes was basically a website that analyzed each chapter of a book online. You could literally read a book that way without actually reading it. I used it a lot when writing papers to help boost my perspectives or contradict them.

Have you ever skipped (or wanted to) a chapter from the point of view of a character you weren’t interested in? 

Yes to both. Some authors can do multiple character POV seamlessly. Others, not so much. It usually happens when a book is predictable.

Have you ever canceled social plans to read a book?

HAHA! Guilty!! “My husband decided he wanted a date night” is my go to excuse. In my defense though, the book was ridiculously has-to-be-finished-today-no-matter-what type of books and my friends are completely understanding of my reading obsession.


Whew! This took me longer than I thought to finish! I really had to think about my answers. I just want to tag Patty and Lana for this one cause I don’t think they’ve done this tag yet and I want to know what they’d say. If anyone else would like to participate, feel free and link back to me so I can see your answers!

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I’m sitting here multitasking my thoughts about what to write for the daily prompt word and the book I’ve been legitimately glued to for the last 24 hours did it for me:

Namid’s teeth and claws are terrible indeed.

You do not want to know what happens when the humans break their pacts with the earth natives.

You do not want to look an Elder in the eye.

Humans see the Elders as shimmery figures because they simply cannot wrap their minds around what their seeing because their brains are raining with fear.

We are here“, they chant over and over.

Is that enough to save you?

10.5% left.

Books give me life! 🙂

That’s all I have. Hope you all are having a wonderful day my friends!

(P.S. The book is Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop 😉 )

Candy Books Tag

I’ve graciously been demanded asked to do this Candy Books Tag by the most awesome blogger James. It’s a lot of fun and I welcome anyone else who would like to do this, participate as well! James found the tag at Eva’s blog @ BrilliantlyBookishSite but it seems the creator of the tag’s blog no longer exists at this time.

There weren’t any rules but it seems pretty straight forward so here we go!

apples

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The interpretation here, I think, is that you are to choose a book that is deep, meaningful, and was highly praised in the book world but you read it and it just wasn’t as enjoyable as it was for everyone else. My choice here would have to be Lord of the Flies by William Golding. It seemed like a really good book. Plane crashes, boys are supposed to learn to survive and grow this sense of community while they come of age etc etc. Basically a darker version of Peter Pan and has fueled a lot of dystopian stories such as Hunger Games. It won a Nobel Prize and yet it just wasn’t it for me. Maybe because I’m not a huge dystopia fan? I don’t know.

milk chocolate

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I’ve mentioned this in my last post and I’m mentioning it again. I think eveyone should read The Three Musketeers at least once in their life. You will never read another story that features a group of heroes who portray youth, truth, justice and general camaraderie like this book!black jelly beans

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You already know. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. Just don’t even bother. I get the concept especially because its fan fiction based off Twilight but it’s terrible misconception about BDSM. There are plenty of other authors out there who write it much better!chocolate kisses

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Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews!!!!!!! Okay, so what a lot of people don’t know is Ilona Andrews is actually a pseudonym for a husband and wife team who write these books together. The reason I picked Magic Bleeds is because… I can’t even describe it! Just read this snippet:

“I worry about you.” He dipped his head and looked into my eyes. “I worry something stupid will happen and I won’t be there and you’ll be gone. I worry we won’t ever get a chance and it’s driving me out of my skull.” ……. “Do you miss me, Kate?”

Guys, I’m screaming inside just writing this post!

Gummy Spiders

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The Hot Zone by Richard Preston. So I don’t check under my bed but after the recent Ebola virus outbreak, it worries me. This is the fictionalized version where essentially a virus appears in Washington D.C. presumably from an African rainforest and it kills 90% of its victims in days. None of the conventional medicines work so there’s no cure and it becomes a race against time to try to find the source of the virus in order to develop a cure. The scariest thing is this is based off a true story and scientists still have no idea where Ebola virus legitimately comes from and how it’s spread.jumbo lollipop

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I hate to say this because I know there are some serious Outlander fans out there but Dragonfly in Amber dragged so hard. I’m not sure if it was because a lot of it was Claire in the future and I missed Jamie or the fact that there just wasn’t as much action in this installment as there was in the first book. The book is 735 pages long which is not the longest I’ve read but I did finish it eventually; it just took a while.Cotton Candy

3011930120Besides Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume stories, Falling Up and Where the Sidewalk Ends were my absolute favorites! Shel Silverstein always had the coolest, cutest poems and I enjoyed them immensely as a child.

 

 

Have you read any of my choices? If so, do you agree or disagree with them? Let me know in the comments below!

Rapid Fire Book Tag

fire

This the Rapid Fire Book Tag introduced to me by Mischenko over at ReadRantRock&Roll. I’ve just started following Mischenko who has a blog full of fun book reviews and author spotlights! So if you’re looking for something new to dive in, definitely check her blog. It was originally made by GirlReading over Youtube, so be sure to stop by and check her out HERE.


Q&A:

Question 1: E-Book or Physical Book? 

I was always physical books but when I was living paycheck to paycheck, physical books weren’t feasible so I got into ebooks and now I’m primarily ebooks and I’m not as poor as before so when it’s an author I really like I support them by buying both formats.

Question 2 : Paperback or Hardback?

Hardcover primarily but I have a ton of paperbacks and indie authors primarily publish in trade paperback so I guess I’m a mix.

Question 3 : Online or In-Store Book Shopping?

Primarily online shopping because the books that I like aren’t usually found in stores or sold out. However, if we’re talking independent book shops, I’m all over in store book shopping. Buy 2 get 1 free you say??

Question 4 : Trilogies or Series?

Both. A lot of authors start out planning to only write a trilogy and then it turns out that their fans love them and wish they would continue into a series. Either way its a win win cause you have more than one book to enjoy your favs.

Question 5 : Heroes or Villains?

Do anti-heroes count? It’s kind of a mix of the two. I like the guy/girl who seems to be the bad guy but actually has some semblance of a heart in there even if their personality is naturally aloof

Question 6 : A book you want everyone to read?

7126 The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. 

Question 7 : Recommend an underrated book?

Instead of just one book I’m going to say science fiction books written by women are completely underrated. A lot of people aren’t aware that women who write science fiction is like taboo in the book world. The genre is dominated by men and, sadly, a lot of these authors, in order to get their books out there, end up adding romance into their stories to get them out to the masses.

Question 8 : The last book you finished?

17563080 Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop

Question 9 :The Last Book(s) You Bought?

17159944Oh jeez, I scored a handful of books from the thrift store last Thursday. One of them was Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh. It was perfect condition hardcover for 90 cents!

 

 

Question 10 : Weirdest Thing You’ve Used as a Bookmark?

I do a lot of tablet reading so bookmarks are not necessary but I’ve been known to use whatever is closest to me. Plates, hair ties, straws, kitty toys…

Question 11 : Used Books: Yes or No?

Definite yes. I make it my business to go to as many library sales as possible.

Question 12 : Top Three Favorite Genres?

Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction and the sub genres in between

Question 13 : Borrow or Buy?

Buy. I’m all about supporting authors and the only way to do that is by buying their books

Question 14 : Characters or Plot?

Plot. Can have the greatest characters in the world but if they don’t have a good plot I’m not interested. It’s all about that world building!

Question 15 : Long or Short Books?

Depends on what you consider short. Most books I read are 300 pages or more. But I do read novellas that are tied to a series and those are usually 70 pages or less.

Question 16 : Long or Short Chapters?

When I like being tortured everyday (coughcimmeriancough), I like short chapters. But it doesn’t matter to me if the story has substance. The chapters will blend because I’ll be so absorbed and won’t care about anything else besides finishing the book.

Question 17 : Name The First Three Books You Think Of…

12961921457243A4534897 Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught (was just talking about historical romances with a coworker

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (that was almost my answer for books everyone should read)

Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop (currently reading)

Question 18 : Books That Makes You Laugh or Cry?

Both. I’m a bundle of emotions and I get really attached to my fictional characters! 

Question 19 : Our World or Fictional Worlds?

Fictional. The real world is in chaos right now and I’d rather be in fictional world with an HEA ending.

Question 20 : Audiobooks: Yes or No?

No. I’m weird about the way characters sound in my head versus how other people narrate them. I can’t do it. I tried and got upset, lol.

Question 21 : Do You Ever Judge a Book by its Cover?

Guilty. I blame Goodreads for that though! You get into a book spiral because of their recommendations reel and end up clicking all kinds of books that look interesting based off their cover to find out more!

Question 22 : Book to Movie or Book to TV Adaptations?

Book to TV. Movies are one and dones. TV adapations can go on for many seasons! I also say this because I’ve never read Game of Thrones, and don’t plan to, but the TV adaptation is solid gold! (WINTER IS COMING IN LESS THAN A MONTH!)

Question 23 : A Movie or TV-Show You Preferred to its Book?

Outlander. I read the first two books and lost interest but the TV show melts me into a puddle of warm fuzzies when I’m not crying my eyes out. They casted Claire and Jamie to perfection!

Question 24 : Series or Standalone?

I have to say both. I read a lot of series but a lot of the authors like Judith McNaught write series where each book could be a standalone so you don’t have to read the books in order to still enjoy them. But I love contemporary suspense stories (looking at you Sandra Brown) and those are crazy, fantastic standalones.


I wasn’t tagged but I would really love to see cwhiteweb, LizScanlon, Patty, theorangutanlibrarian, and Jo-Ann do this tag and any other bookworms out there like me who don’t post book related things all the time but have a serious addiction to reading 🙂

Anything But Books Tag

I was tagged in this tag by Patty at MoohnshinesCorner. She has an awesome blog full of book reviews and her life’s experiences. I’ve gotten to know her very well through our love of Darynda Jones. She’s a pretty awesome individual and you should definitely check out and follow her blog.

Note: The image used for the Feature Image is not my creation! It belongs to another blogger; The Girl Who Read Too Much book blog.

One: Name a cartoon that you love 

I would have to take it back in time to the Magic School Bus if we’re talking American cartoons but Cowboy Bebop if we’re talking Japanese cartoons. I always loved Magic School Bus. Ms. Frizzle was the best TV science teacher I’ve ever had! Cowboy Bebop is a jazzy, fun-featuring-a corgi anime! Also, Howl’s Moving Castle is a FANTASTIC anime movie. Watch it. You won’t regret it.

Two: What is your favorite song right now? 

What’s trending on my radar is Sia’s newest release. Has a great message and it’s Sia. I love her.

Three: What could you do for hours that isn’t reading?

Sleep. And if I’m not sleeping, I’m binge watching Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime, etc

Four: What is something that you love to do that your followers would be surprised by?

I love buying socks and receiving them as gifts. I couldn’t tell you how many pairs of socks I have and I like wearing them mix matched.

Five: What is your favorite unnecessarily specific thing to learn about?

I like learning about dog and cat breeds. I worked a lot of animal related jobs and it was and still is fun to learn about new breeds especially with so many mixed breeds out there.

Six: What is something unusual that you know how to do?

I know how to bend the tips of my pointer fingers. Not sure how the skill came about but there you have it, haha.

Seven: Name something you made in the last year and show us if you can.

I made pho for the first time by myself yesterday. My best friend showed me how to make it when she was here and I’m very proud. Pho is a thai noodle soup that has a nice, long process. Took 2 and a half hours for the completed product. And yes, they require tupperware bowls cause I don’t have regular bowls big enough for the portion sizes we eat. 😀

Eight: What is your most recent personal project?

I don’t really have one. I want to tackle refinishing my cabinets one day but I need an extended weekend and more motivation to stop reading a book for more than an hour to make that happen.

Nine: Tell us something that you think about often?

Food. I love eating, like all the time. Every time I leave work, I call my husband and ask him what’s for dinner. It might be breakfast for dinner tonight because I really want to attempt making Millionaire’s bacon.

Ten: Give us something that is your favorite.

This is such a vague question. I have a lot of favorites. My favorite color is purple. My favorite dog breed is pit bull. My favorite food is usually of the noodle variety with the addition of sushi and Chinese/Thai food in general. My favorite month is May because my birthday is during that month and april showers bring may flowers. I can go on forever.

Eleven: Say the first thing that pops into your head.

My work day is almost over. What’s for dinner? hahaha

 

Tag! You’re it! Thanks for reading. Feel free to participate in this tag if you’d like.

So you want to be an author

Good morning! Well at least here on the east coast of the US.

In my previous post, I discussed part of my weekend at RAGT (Reader Author Get Together). I will get to part two of my weekend but I wanted to talk about the things I learned from an author I spontaneously met who let me pick her brain for two hours while we were waiting in line to see J.R. Ward. It started out as normal conversation because I had no idea she was an established author. When she told me, I was like woah! and thinking of all you lovely writers out there, I proceeded to ask her a million and one questions about how she got to where she is now. I want to share her journey with you all in the hopes that if you ever decide to write a book or already have a book and want to know what she considered was the best approach to putting yourself out there.


Step One: Write. 

She, like many, didn’t think she could write a book at first. Her friends encouraged her a lot because they thought she had some stellar ideas. One day she decided to sit down and start writing. The key is to keep writing no matter what. Some days you may not feel like writing but push through and do it anyway.

Step Two: Beta readers and assistants.

Once you have a written product, you want to get some feedback. You want to start to build a relationship with people who will be your first book point of contact. Those people will read your stories, judge them, point out any errors they find, critique your ideas and just be the brutally honest people that you are going to need. They also help you to find the events that you need to put yourself on the map. They are usually are your closest friends (who will work for free because they love you and want you to succeed).The more help you have, the more time you can spend on writing.

Step Three: Networking, networking and more networking.

Book conventions, expos, cons, workshops; the list goes on. She went to a few expos and ingratiated herself with authors that are already established. She constantly shared her story ideas while learning the book trends. Romance is HOT right now. Urban Fantasy is super HOT right now. Author Lora Leigh saw something in her and took her under her wing which, alone, changed the course of her career. She gave her tips, told her tricks and introduced her to other authors and editors.

Step Four: Find a proofreader and an editor.

Finding an editor is the first thing you need to do before you find an agent or a publisher. Why? Because your work needs to be spotless. She said enough grammatical errors in your work won’t even get a decent look. And then it goes back to networking. These editors know what they’re doing. It’s highly likely they have ties to agents and publishers and can open the door for you.

Step Five: Independent publishing vs. Traditional publishing

Once you’ve built your literary team, it’s time to decide how you want to proceed. There is nothing wrong with independent publishing. In fact, a lot of authors are migrating towards it because they can set their own rules. Traditional publishing is great but it can take time to be offered a contract. In the meantime, you could be indie publishing. Amazon is the number one hot spot to make that happen. You can start to gain royalties for the product you already have which allows you more time to focus on improving your writing skills or another book while playing the waiting game with traditional publishers. This author put it this way, “If a publisher knocked on my door and offered me a $200,000 contract, I wouldn’t say no but until then I’m living my dream job.”

Step Six: Do not stress over your first bad review. It won’t be your last.

In this age of the internet, it’s hard to tell who’s a true reviewer and who’s a troll. You can read them and stress yourself out or you can be like this author who leaves it to her beta readers and assistant to read them for her and give her quality feedback.


I’m not an expert and I’m sure everyone has their own ways of doing things. However whatever route you decide to take, I hope I’ve shared some useful information I received from this wonderful lady. It’s a long, slow process but in the end it can offer great rewards and if you have enough confidence in yourself and your work, you can, one day, live the dream.

Edit: Patty made me realized I never actually said the author’s name. Her name is Melanie Jayne. She writes contemporary romance with characters age 35 and up. Quite a niche area. She also plans to write urban fantasy under a pen name next. Check out her site here.

My Weekend: Part 1

Let me start by saying I missed you all! I had post ideas in my head but no time to post them. Since I can’t remember them now I’ll tell you about my weekend instead.

Friday night after work, I went to Books A Million to purchase bookish tote bags for the event Saturday. The event was called Reader Author Get Together. It was sponsored my author Lori Fostors and was featuring a ton of my favorite authors, mainly Darynda Jones.

Nobody comes to Ohio. I mean we get a couple famous musicians here and there but never authors. So I made it a point to go. I asked my husband to go with me because 2 of my friends who are also fans couldn’t go.

Cincinnati, technically Kentucky, is 4 hours away. I prepaid for a rental car because I did not want 500 miles on my car. Saturday morning comes and I make breakfast for us and I’m bouncing around because I’m excited to hit the road. We get to Avis to pick up our car, which was supposed to be a subcompact, only to find out they didn’t have any. So the lady says, “hey! free upgrade!” And I’m like cool! Except it wasn’t cool. Subcompact is like a Ford sedan. My upgrade choices were a minivan or a giant Dodge pickup truck… Not happening. It would cost more to fill up those up with gas than the rental itself!

I admit, I was a little frustrated because I don’t see how I was able to make the reservation in the first place if they didn’t have any cars. So the woman offered to transfer my reservation to the Akron-Canton airport. I was agreeable to this since we were headed south anyway except she couldn’t. I had to call an 800number and get it transferred that way. You know what? No big deal; as long as I get my good mileage economy car, nothing was going to ruin my mood.

We get to the airport, get the car, and we’re on our way. It was an hour behind schedule but we still had plenty of time. Leaving at around 10ish, we arrived around 1:40ish, starving. The event is hosted in a hotel so we go across the street to Rally’s also known as Checkers in other parts of the nation.

We order our food and then we go to step away and this big man behinds us orders food. While we’re waiting, this woman comes in and asks the Rally’s worker if he had seen a big man with a gun.

Woah. WHAT?!? (More on that story in Part 2)

I look over and it turns out it’s author J.R. Ward, in the flesh, at Rally’s. I’m not much of a fan of hers. I read a couple of her Black Dagger Brotherhood books and they just did not have enough substance and too repetitive for me. So no, I didn’t fan-girl. I just thought it was cool. My first celebrity sighting!

The booksignings started at 3 so after eating we went in the hotel. It was packed!!! Authors and readers everywhere! Each author had their own table and volunteers were pointing you in the right direction. I got to meet Darynda Jones!!! She’s so cool. I had like 20 books for her to sign (my ten and then requests from friends who couldn’t go).

The funniest thing to happen was she opened one of my books and it was already signed to someone else! She looked up at me and goes, “this is already signed. Where did you get this?” I was like seriously?? Sometimes I buy the books after reading the ebooks and never look in them or I flip past the title page to get to chapter one. So I told her I bought it from half price books. She was like, “DMarcus sold my book!” And burst out laughing. I seriously love this woman. I told her to cross his name out and put mine! His loss is my gain! She just laughed some more and told me that now I have a cool story to tell!

After that she gave me a hug and my husband took a picture of us.

Part 2 coming soon!