Life, Writing

Meraki Literary Subscription Box Review

Subscription boxes are fun. You pay a  little each month, and get a box of little goodies.So when my author friend, Alicia Willis, started her own literary subscription box, I knew I had to give it a try.

 

There are different options you can subscribe to– you can get chocolate, tea, or coffee with your box, but I choose the no food box option. Each box comes with pens, stationery, paper, or just about anything you writing heart desires.

~ What was inside ~

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I totally forgot that I wasn’t going to open anything till I had more pictures taken–whoops. 🙂 

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Can I just say that these came at the perfect time? I need labels for the tabs of my binder, and now I have some–and pretty ones that my girlish heart loves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sorry for the glare, but who can resist a doughnut eraser?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Be still my beating heart. Glitter. Teal paper clips. Adorable push tacks. **fans self.**

 

 

 

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You can never have too many notebooks. 🙂 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We always have that one book that needs protection. I now have a cover to protect said book.

 

 

 

Like what you see? Want you own box? Sign up here to get yours today!

 

 

~ Wordcount Wednesday ~

Wordcount Wednesday

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Beauty and the Beast ~ I’m hoping to start on edits on Valentine’s Day–I’ll be past my Western Civilization CLEP test, and what better day to start a love story than on Valentine’s Day? 😉  There are also some friends whom I promised to send the story too, so I need to get busy.

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The Little Mermaid ~ This sits at 19,133. Haven’t been able to work on this one much because we are putting new floors down in our kitchen and laundry room. Everything from said rooms is in the living room and the whole house is topsy-turvy. I did take the time yesterday to brain-storm over a plot hole–actually several of them. After an hour, the sun broke through (literally because it was raining outside) and I got two problems fixed. The workers may or may not have heard me squeal….

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Rapunzel ~ This is still at 669–it has many holes that hours of thinking have yet to fix. I may need to ditch my current plot, but I don’t want to because I love it so much. I am planning on watching Tangled Saturday, so maybe that will give me some inspiration.

How is your writing on this Wednesday?

 

Author Interview, Blog Tours and Giveaways, Book Reviews

The Lost Girl of Astor Street Clue Hunt: Clue 13

Who can’t resist a good mystery? My mystery reading has been limited to Encyclopedia Brown when I was young, and now Agatha Christie, so when I signed up for an ARC of The Lost Girl of Astor Street, I was super excited.

This wasn’t an ordinary mystery. The story was set in 1920’s Chicago, a culture I was studying at the time (for the American History 2 CLEP test). I recognized things that I had learned, and at the same time, what was happening in the rest of the world was flying through my brain.

For the release, I am participating in a Clue Hunt. For details, visit Stephanie’s blog.

 

“It should concern you that Al Capone is our measuring stick.”

-Detective Cassano, The Lost Girl of Astor Street, by Stephanie Morrill

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From the back of the book:

When her best friend vanishes without so much as a good-bye, eighteen-year-old Piper Sail takes on the role of amateur sleuth in an attempt to solve the mystery of Lydia’s disappearance. Given that Piper’s tendency has always been to butt heads with high-society’s expectations of her, it’s no surprise that she doesn’t give a second thought to searching for answers to Lydia’s abduction from their privileged neighborhood.

As Piper discovers that those answers might stem from the corruption strangling 1924 Chicago—and quite possibly lead back to the doors of her affluent neighborhood—she must decide how deep she’s willing to dig, how much she should reveal, and if she’s willing to risk her life of privilege for the sake of the truth.

Perfect for fans of Libba Bray and Anna Godbersen, Stephanie Morrill’s atmospheric jazz-age mystery will take readers from the glitzy homes of the elite to the dark underbelly of 1920s Chicago.

I received a free copy of The Lost Girl of Astor Street via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 ~ Review ~

Characters: Good strong characters that I related to and enjoyed. I seriously loved Piper, who remained me of myself sometimes.

Plot: Fast paced and gripping, I read this book in two days, I just couldn’t put it down. I didn’t cry, but I came close to it once or twice.

Writing: The writing was beautiful. I loved it. I don’t know if melt is a good word, but it melted me. Stephanie has an amazing talent, and I hope we see more of Piper.

Bad Language: None

Inappropriate Content: A married man has a girlfriend; Piper goes to a speakeasy.

Over-all-rating: 5/5  I loved this book. Really, really loved it. Go buy yourself a copy of it here:

~ Interview ~

When did you first realize that you loved writing? I’ve wanted to be a writer since first grade. My elementary school encouraged writing time and we had freedom to write whatever kind of stories we desired. Then a parent volunteer would type our stories up for us, and we could pick the color for our cover and the binding. At the end we were supposed to illustrate it (I was awful) and then read it to the class. I loved it so much, and after that I always wanted to tell stories for a living.

When were you first published? My first book was Me, Just Different, which was the first in a contemporary YA series called The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt. It released in 2009, and then two more followed it. I have two other contemporary YA titles, the Ellie Sweet books, that came out in 2013. The Lost Girl of Astor Street is my first historical mystery.

Do you write by hand or on the computer? I write on the computer, unless I’m brainstorming. Then I find that nothing works as well as a notepad and pen.

Is your writing inspired by other authors? I’m sure every story I’ve ever enjoyed (or not enjoyed!) has found its way into my writing style in some sense, but there’s no one specific who I try to sound like.

Where did you first come up with the idea of The Lost Girl of Astor Street and what motivated and inspired you?  My initial idea for The Lost Girl of Astor Street came while I was putting away laundry, of all things. My mind was wandering (as it often does during chores), and I started thinking about different stories I like. I thought about Veronica Mars for a while, and then something triggered a thought about Downton Abbey, and I thought, “I wish there was something out there that was like Veronica Mars but in a Downton Abbey kind of setting. Oh, maybe I could do that!”

How long did it take you to write The Lost Girl of Astor Street?   After I spent about a month doing research, my first draft took me about three months. And then my edits seemed to take forever. I spent about a year trying to turn my lousy first draft into a book that I wanted to read. I had never written a historical or a mystery, so I had a lot to learn!

Do you have a favorite character? What is it that you like most about him/her?   It’s probably a bit silly to pick Piper as my favorite character, but I loved writing her. The way she saw the world was really interesting and enjoyable for me to write.

I just love author’s inspiration boards on Pinterest. Check out Stephanie’s here and here.

You can also find out more about Stephanie Morrill at her website, http://www.stephaniemorrill.com/

And if any on my lucky readers are near Gardner or Overland Park, Kansas, Stephanie will be there for book signings! 

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Clue 13: own

Links to the rest of the clues:

Clue 1: Stephanie’s Morrill’s Blog
Clue 2: Some Books Are
Clue 3: Gabriella Slade
Clue 4: Page by Page, Book by Book
Clue 5: Pens and Scrolls
Clue 6: Singing Librarian Books
Clue 7: Heather Manning
Clue 8: Annie Louise Twitchell
Clue 9: Noveling Novelties
Clue 10: Kaitee Hart
Clue 11: Classics and Craziness
Clue 12: Zerina Blossom
Clue 13: Rebecca Morgan
Clue 14: Keturah’s Korner
Clue 15: That Book Gal
Clue 16: Anna Schaeffer
Clue 17: Hadley Grace
Clue 18: Lydia Howe
Clue 19: Ramblings by Bethany
Clue 20: Matilda Sjöholm
Clue 21: Lydia Carns
Clue 22: Broken Birdsong
Clue 23 & Clue 24: The Ink Loft
Clue 25: Roseanna M. White

~ Wordcount Wednesday ~

~ Wordcount Wednesday ~

Wordcount Wednesday is here again, where I tell you how my writing is going.  I had to take a rain check on last week because I had a test I needed to study for.

Beauty and the Beast retelling ~ Draft 1 still currently sits at 24,607 words. It still sits upon my shelf and I’ve left it alone. Frankly, I forgot about it, being wrapped up in my retelling of The Little Mermaid. 

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Retelling The Little Mermaid ~ This is currently at 14, 294. I’m not going as fast as I was at first, but it is still a story near and dear to me. I’m brushing up on the sea and re-reading the original fairy tale, which is much more depressing than the Disney movie let on.

Who loves buying inspiration? I’m already a sucker for those cute Funko Pops, so it wasn’t so hard to convince myself that I really did these for writing. 🙂

 

Retelling Rapunzel sits at 669 ~ Sort of at a standstill on this one.  I’m trying to use the Snowflake Method to work out all the kinks that need fixing so I can get this show on the road. Haven’t bought any inspiration for this yet, but I do owe myself another Tangled movie night.

How’s your writing?

Fairy Tale, Life

Beauty & the Beast Trailer

The official Beauty and the Beast trailer is here! My favorite fairy tale (I have about six or so boards on Pinterest) with an amazing cast of favorite actors is hitting the big screens March 17th. I cannot contain my excitement (I may or may nor have watched the trailer three or four times) Are you excited?  What do you think? What’s your favorite fairy tale? 

~ Wordcount Wednesday ~

~ Wordcount Wednesday ~

Introducing Wordcount Wednesday, where I give you updates on how my writing is going, while at the same time, trying not to give too much away. 🙂 

Beauty and the Beast retelling ~ Draft 1 currently sits at 24,607 words, roughly four hundred words short of my target of 25,000 words.

Here it sits, bulging with critiques I received at Winter Workshop, out of sight, out of mind. I’m trying to leave it alone till March. We’ll see how long I last…..

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Retelling Rapunzel ~ This currently sits at 900. This is my second attempt, though you must know phase one went to 1,600 words and it just wasn’t working. So I trashed it and started over.

Retelling The Little Mermaid ~ This sits at at 6,969 out of my target goal of 80,000-100,000 words. This story is going to be epic and so far it’s working beautifully. I started this story a week ago and have averaged roughly a thousand words a day. I’m in my element–the sea– and I love it.

How is your writing coming along?

Book Reviews

A Time to Rise Book Review

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There was once a time when only God knew the day you’d die. ~ A Time to Die, Nadine Brandes

Wow.

The series is over. I’m still trying to deny it, because I don’t want it to be over. 

 

How I currently feel:

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I will probably randomly stroke the spines or read what Nadine signed inside.

I really have no words to tell how much this series means to me. I love it. 🙂

Characters 5/5 ~ I am very glad that one character I suspected of…something (trying not to give spoilers!) turned out just like I thought. I was very happy.

Plot 4/5 ~ Very well paced, though it did feel a little slow at times. I really loved how Nadine brought everything together at the end. Such an epic conclusion to an amazing series.

Want to read/ability: 5/5 ~ You need to add these to your to-read pile. They are so good.

Bad Language:  None

Inappropriate Content: None

Overall rating 5/5 ~ I love these series, and they are marked as my favorites. I started reading Parvin’s journey when I first met Nadine at the OYAN Summer Workshop–I probably would not have read these books if I hadn’t. I grew and changed with Parvin in the best possible way—growing closer to God with her.

There was once a time when only God knew the day you’d die….

Check out Nadine’s site here

If you are interested check out my A Time to Die board on Pinterest here, because every book that I adore needs an aesthetic board.