Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

It's time for What's Up Wednesday!!!

What I'm Reading

  I've been preparing my mind and attitude for the new school year so I've pushed aside most of my fictional books in favor of ones that are on homeschooling. I'm currently reading For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay and Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola. Both of them are full of inspiration and ideas. I've been trying to read A Tale of Two Cities... We'll see how that goes. It takes a fair amount of concentration and my children don't allow for much of that!
   I'm listening to The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield and when my brain needs something a bit lighter I've been listening to Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews. I love the first and am not far enough into the second to have formed an opinion. 
   My children and I just finished reading Mary Poppins by P.L.Travers and my five year old is begging me to read the sequel. I love that! We are now reading Misty of Chincoteague and I expect will finish it in a few days as my oldest son stares at me with wide eyes and begs me to read another chapter ever time we read it.
What I'm Writing

  Do homeschool goals and lesson ideas count??? I'm craving a good, long writing session and now that I have most of my planning complete (until school starts and I need to make weekly plans anyway...) I'm hoping to indulge in one.

What Inspires Me Right Now
  Lately I've been inspired by my homeschooling friends and all of their insight. I've also been very inspired by Schole Sisters. It is a new blog and though I tend to not be as classical in my teaching style most of the ideas and conversations are exactly the sort of things I've been craving. I love that it blends the classical styles with Charlotte Mason ideas. 

What Else I've Been Up To

  I recently discovered the show Fringe on Netflix. I may be a bit obsessed. It is the perfect break from planning, reading and organizing. I've also been crocheting again. I've missed it and it is the perfect thing to do while watching Fringe :)

What have you been up to? Do you have any read aloud suggestions? I'm always looking for great books to share with my kids!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

It's time for What's Up Wednesday!

What I'm Reading
   I've been reading constantly since I finished writing 50k for JuNoWriMo. I guess my brain was craving words that it didn't have to come up with. Some of my choices are for fun, some are review books and some are for the YA Buccaneers Summer Reading Challenge.

   This week I read Captured by Love by Jody Hedlund, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by Mindy Kaling, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (I'm still reeling from that one...), Pulled by Becca Campbell (its her latest novella and it has me so ready for her next novel), and One Two Three by Elodie Nowodazkij.  
   I'm still reading The Best of It: New and Selected Poems by Kay Ryan. I'm also reading Shadow Hand by Anne Elisabeth Stengl and A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens along with a handful of other books... Yep. Lot's of reading.
  My kids and I finished reading In Grandma's Attic by Arletta Richardson and we just started the first Mary Poppins book. I loved that book when I was little so it's so fun to read it with them!

What I'm Writing
  I finished drafting my fairytale novel during JuNoWriMo. All fifty chapters of it. I've been calling it Mirra after the MC but I'm thinking of calling it Mirrors and Ice. It is sitting for a few weeks and now I'm working on some short stories that have been bouncing in my head and the novel I accidentally started. Seriously, I didn't mean to but I blinked and had 10k so I'm going with it. It's my first YA contemporary (think Gilmore Girls meets Anne of Green Gables meets rural Montana).  Since I typically write fantasy I'm finding this to be very refreshing.
  I have a fear of sharing my work so I stuck one of my short stories on Wattpad. You are welcome to read it if you promise not to ridicule my poor first attempt at cover art. The flower is actually a picture of my shower curtain.

What Inspires Me Right Now

People that live quite lives with big impacts.

What Else I've Been Up To
   Did I mention that I've been reading a lot lately? And writing accidental novels? Besides playing with my kids and finally dusting the entertainment center, that's about it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Book Reviews

 I've been reading a lot lately and am so behind on my book reviews. Here are two of the books I've read in the past few weeks. Both of them were excellent reads!

Silenced by Dani Pettrey

First thoughts: I've enjoyed the entire series so far but Kayden and Jake have to be my favorite couple yet.
What it's about: Kayden McKenna goes climbing only to discover a dead man on a cliff ledge. It appears to be an accident but Kayden isn't so sure. She and Jake, a family friend, find themselves apart of the investigation. The more they learn, the thicker the mystery becomes.
What I liked about it: One of my favorite things about this series is the Alaskan setting. It is as full of danger and surprises as the McKenna family itself. I loved watching Kayden and Jake discover each other's secrets and their relationship unfold.
What I didn't like: The only thing I didn't like was that I couldn't go to Alaska to read the book.
Who I would recommend it to: I'd recommend this book to anyone that enjoys mystery, romance and an inspiring story.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Captured By Love by Jody Hedlund

First thoughts: This book drew me in just as completely as Jody Hedlund's other books have. The balance of history, romance and intrigue were as perfect as I've grown to expect them to be.
What it's about: It is the story of a young woman named Angelique who lives on Michilimackinac Island during the early 1800's. Times are hard and the people around Angelique are taking sides. The British have invaded the island and if that isn't enough, everyone is starving. Despite this, Angelique risks her own safety to care for a woman who is like a mother to her.
 When her childhood friend, Pierre shows up Angelique isn't sure what to think. She just knows that she is drawn to him, just like when she was a girl, and that everything around her is more dangerous than ever.
What I liked about it: I loved the depth of Angelique's character. She has spunk, yet is a lady and nothing will stop her from doing what she believes is right. I also loved how this story balanced being inspirational and a page turner.
What I didn't like: I loved the entire book!
Who I would recommend it to: I think anyone who enjoys inspirational and historical fiction would enjoy this exhilarating read.

I received a copy of this book from the author and Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Second Daughter Book Release

I am so excited about this book! I loved Third Daughter and have wanted to Second Daughter ever since. If you haven't read Third Daughter don't forget to pick it up while it's on sale!

Second Daughter (The Dharian Affairs #2)
Assassins, skyships, and royal intrigue... Kindle, Kobo, AllRomance
Second Daughter is the second book in The Dharian Affairs trilogy (Third Daughter, Second Daughter, First Daughter). This steampunk-goes-to-Bollywood (Bollypunk!) romance takes place in an east-Indian-flavored alternate world filled with skyships, assassins, royal romance and intrigue.
Reviews of the first book, Third Daughter:
"The author fuses carriages, steam trains, airships and clockwork with the rich eastern culture that underlies Bollywood storytelling..." - Cherie Reich
"The political intrigue, the steampunk gadgets, and the beautiful costumes kept me in wonderment." - Tony Benson
├ČThird Daughter is vividly breathtaking. Quinn delivers royal intrigue, exotic locations, and sweeping romance. Not to be missed!├« - Pavarti Tyler, author of Shadow on the Wall
ON SALE - 99cents until 7/21
Third Daughter (The Dharian Affairs #1)
Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iTunes, AllRomance
(also available in print)
The Third Daughter of the Queen wants her birthday to arrive so she'll be free to marry for love, but rumors of a new flying weapon may force her to accept a barbarian prince's proposal for a peace-brokering marriage. Desperate to marry the charming courtesan she loves, Aniri agrees to the prince's proposal as a subterfuge in order to spy on him, find the weapon, and hopefully avoid both war and an arranged marriage to a man she does not love.
Both books now have a map!
Speedy Tweets to Share: NEW RELEASE: Second Daughter (Dharian Affairs #2) Assassins, skyships, royal intrigue #steampunk #fantasy #romance WIN Gift Card and PAPERBACK Third Daughter (Dharian Affairs #1) #steampunk #fantasy #romance Skyships, saber duels, royal romance: Third Daughter (Dharian Affairs#1) ON SALE 99cents
Thank you so much for helping me get this book out in the world! Win paperback copy of Third Daughter  $10 Amazon Gift Card
check out the gorgeous formatting of the print book!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group

I can't believe it's July and time for IWSG already!
I've been chasing away my insecurities by writing so much I don't really have time to think. It mostly works. The one thing that nags at me is my growing pile of first drafts and partially edited manuscripts... I need to tackle them but drafting is so much easier. I really want to get some of my work completely done, shared with others and perhaps published. 
  Any advice is more than welcome!
Happy writing everyone!!!