Monday, August 27, 2018

REST-OF-THE-YEAR TBR // specific bookish plans (but no promises)


Hola, mis amigos! I feel like I keep missing posts, so apologies for that. :P Life... gets in the way of blogging sometimes. Especially when it's late August and school has just started. (More on that in my upcoming "life update" post!)

Today, I'm sharing with you my rest-of-the-year TBR. Which I'm very excited for, because planning out the books I want to read - or should read - in the near future is one of my favorite things to do! Even though I often fail to stick to those plans, haha. I don't consider myself a mood reader, but if a self-imposed list of upcoming reads is too long/complicated or becomes boring, I will turn my back on it. :P

So, I suppose I should make this clear from the get-go: I make plans, yes, but no promises. As I'm sure every one of my lovely readers understands, life sometimes tries to crush me under the weight of its demands and responsibilites. Still, I'm going to try! I'm going to try to read all of these books before the end of 2018.

Let's not talk about the end of the year, though...

LET'S TALK ABOUT THE TBR.

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(One more note: These fun plans of mine disregard the several series I'm in the midst of reading. I intend to continue with those series alongside these other books, of course, but fitting them into this post felt like a bit much. So these are pretty much only the stand-alones on my TBR.)


September: The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill

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Historical fiction isn't my favorite genre - it doesn't appeal to me anywhere near as much as fantasy does. But I REALLY want to read this one! Stephanie Morrill is one of the authors behind the Go Teen Writers blog, which I love, and though I've wanted to for a long time, I haven't yet read any of the books by any of the GTW authors. (Shame on me.) Also, the book Stephanie Morrill co-authored with Jill Williamson, Go Teen Writers: How to Turn Your First Draft Into a Published Book, is my favorite writing craft book.

I've heard many a good thing about The Lost Girl of Astor Street, and I'm dying to finally read a book by this author. Hopefully I can find time to read this next month!





 October: Entwined by Heather Dixon


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I feel like it's been too long since I read a YA fairy tale retelling. Better yet, I've NEVER read a YA retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses. (I'll have to crack open the ol' Brothers Grimm collection later, because I'm not even all that familiar with the original story...) I chose October for Entwined because I seem to remember hearing that it's sort of creepy-ish?? Or at least has some eerie elements?? I don't support Halloween, but this book sounds like it'll make a perfect autumn read!

Besides, I've been meaning to get my hands on a Heather Dixon novel. Both this one and Illusionarium are on my TBR, so I had to make a choice. XD






November: Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter

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The Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter is amazing, and I enjoyed Embassy Row too - though that one wasn't as good. Since I've yet to read anything but series by this author (does she even have any stand-alones other than this one?? I think not) I'm intrigued as to what she's capable of in a stand-alone setting. ;)

The cover and synopsis scream COLD NOVEMBER WEEKEND, WRAPPED IN A BLANKET. *nods* I shall oblige. Plus the story sounds like a blend of fast-paced, fun, cute, and intense. #HereForThis XD








December: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott


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This particular cover is very spring-y, but I'm determined to finally read this classic at Christmastime. :D

I'm familiar with the basic story, thanks to abridged versions from my childhood. I know a lot of the characters' names and personalities. I KNOW ABOUT THE TRAGIC LAURIE THING. AND THE BETH THING. *cough*

But I must read the original! No matter how intimidated I am by the length of classics like this, I can pretty much guarantee that I'll be cracking Little Women open come December. Mark my words...





And then there are school breaks. Fall break. Thanksgiving break. Christmas break. I don't know how much reading time I'll have during my breaks - life will be happening, and I'll also want to write a lot - but here are some stand-alones (one or two have sequels, I think) I'm adding to the list in hopes that I'll get around to them. They've been calling to me from my monstrous TBR pile for QUITE A WHILE - meaning that I badly want to read them! We'll see. :P


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A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness ~ Lots of my friends like this one, and it just sounds... exceptional.

The Archived by Victoria Schwab ~ I'M DYING TO READ A VICTORIA SCHWAB BOOK. I feel like I, as a fantasy fan, am missing out... XD

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys ~ Lots of rave reviews alllll over the place. There are so many WWII novels on my TBR, and - as you well know - historical fiction isn't even a genre that usually appeals to me!


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An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson ~ Sounds like a fun fantasy with a REALLY cool concept! O_O

To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo ~ Idk, it sounds very dark?? But also soooo cool! I've gotta try it.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern ~ If "circus fantasy" isn't an official sub-genre, IT SHOULD BE. Everyone seems to be falling under the circus story spell, and I'm no exception. ;)

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I know this is EXTREMELY ambitious of me, but I'm afraid that if I don't read these books - books that have screamed at me from the depths of my TBR for what feels like forever - sooner rather than later, I'll never get around to them...? *shrug* Maybe I'm just tired of waiting.

No promises whatsoever, but I'm going to make the effort. If I don't succeed, I'm not going to beat myself up or anything drastic like that. *snorts* But, I know I'm going to get to at least some of them, and that excites me!

We'll have to wait and see what sorts of craziness the rest of 2018 brings, I suppose.



The Lord's Truly,
What do you think of my rest-of-the-year TBR? Have you read any of these books? What's on your TBR for the near future?? Talk to me! :D

Saturday, August 25, 2018

COVER REVEAL // a certain sort of madness by nicki chapelway


Hello, friends! I have another book cover to reveal to you today! And lemme just say... THIS IS ONE EPIC BOOK COVER.

As you can see by the post title and graphic, this cover reveal is for Nicki Chapelway's book A Certain Sort of Madness, the first installment in a series called Return to Amar. If you haven't read the first book in Chapelway's My Time in Amar series, A Week of Werewolves, Faeries, and Fancy Dresses, check it out on Goodreads HERE and then go read it! It's quite wonderful. :D

All right, you know the drill. Get ready for some scrolling!

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Like I said, this is a VERY COOL cover!!

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I know, I'm so mean. MWAHAHA.

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Insanity is catching…

Alicia Hareton is crazy. But that’s nothing new. Her insanity is inherited from her mother, just like her magical abilities and her blood ties to the strange and alluring world of Amar. She’s spent her life on Earth and yet Amar has always called to her, an intoxicating melody that she cannot ignore. Returning to Amar would put her life in danger, but Alicia has never let such technicalities stop her before.

However, when her mother is captured due to her reckless actions, Alicia will do anything to rescue her. That includes trusting her grumpy, sarcastic imaginary friend, who claims he doesn’t know her and doesn’t seem that imaginary anymore. Or that trustworthy. Together, with the help of her cousin and a band of misfits, they partake in an extremely ill-advised heist on the faerie court in order to find a way to defeat the most powerful mage in all Amar, who also happens to be Alicia’s grandfather. But not everything in the faerie court is as it seems, and soon this unlikely group find themselves fighting for their lives as well as the lives of those they love.

In a world of madness and magic, the lines between lies and loyalty are blurred and sometimes the only option you have left is to let the insanity loose.


Add it on Goodreads HERE.

~~~

I don't know about you, but that cover plus that fantastic synopsis have me EXTREMELY intrigued! I mean... "imaginary friend"? "Band of misfits"?? "Heist"??? "Faerie court"???? This is sure to be one fun, stabby book. What do you lovelies think? Comment below! ;D


The Lord's Truly,

Saturday, August 11, 2018

HOW I PANTSED MY NOVEL'S FIRST DRAFT // a collab about pantsers



Hey, friends! Today I bring to you a collaboration! And not just any collaboration - a collaboration with my friend Nicole from the epic blog Wild Pennings. In this collab, we are going to talk to you about PANTSING. For part 1 this morning, I’m going to let you inside the head of a pantser - in other words, I’m going to share my pantsing process with you! Then later today, Nicole will be sharing a different post in regards to pantsing. Rather than about pantsing, she is going to be writing something for pantsers. So definitely be on the look-out for that this afternoon!


What's fascinating about pantsing is that there's no pattern to follow, no set of patterns to choose from. When you're writing by the seat of your pants, you don't fully know what you're doing or what’s happening. Some scenes and plot points and what-not come to mind as you get to them in the drafting process, and some come to mind as you’re brainstorming outside of writing. Either way, it’s a journey of discovery. Where will the journey take you? You don’t really know until you're on the road; you don't really know until you get there.


Let’s make one thing clear: When I pantsed the very first draft of my current novel-in-progress, I didn’t know much of anything about story structure. These days, a lots of writers will have studied different story-structuring methods and so will naturally keep that in mind as they write. As for me, when I considered myself a full-on pantser, I was undereducated on that sort of thing. I didn’t keep story structure in mind (except for beginning, middle, climax, and end) as I wrote that first draft.

Did I survive said draft? Barely...


But discovery writing (as some call pantsing) is a cool experience nonetheless. Lately I've been dipping my toes in outlining, which has been fun, but when I was a pantser through and through my story surprised me many times. Sometimes when I didn't even know how a scene was going to end, I just kept typing and the end just… HAPPENED. Which then opened up several opportunities for how the next scene would go.

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I blindly poured out scene after scene. And I didn't know what the climax and ending would be either, until I got to them.


When you’re a hardcore pantser, sometimes it seems like you're not even the one writing.


Another funny aspect of pantsing - that I've experienced - is how not much is set in stone, and that can result in some serious nonsensical messes. XD Something I may have incorporated early on in the story could disappear all of a sudden, without my realizing it. Without an outline, without knowing the ins and outs of my story beforehand, it's way too easy to introduce a character or object or some other piece of foreshadowing out of the blue and then forget about it.


And what is the result of that? Plot holes galore.


OH. MY. GOODNESS. You have nooooo idea how many ginormous plot holes riddled my novel's horribly messy first draft. For example, towards the beginning of the story I mentioned something about the Book of White Magic. Whatever that was. :P One little mention of an ancient book that was probably supposed to turn into something significant over the course of the story. I think I planned to find out later on how exactly it would be significant. (Aaaaah, the beauty of pantsing. XD)


But did I ever mention the Book of White Magic again? Haha, NOPE.


By the time I finally got to “The End” of my fairy tale retelling, I knew full well I had a problematic draft on my hands. In fact, I felt it necessary to completely rewrite it. (Now I’m on the fourth draft and it’s looking much better, but that’s beside the point…) The point is, I had SO MUCH FUN discovery-writing that story. Yes, it had a lot of problems. Yes, I barely survived it. Yes, I got stuck sometimes and had to brainstorm my way forward. But not knowing what happened next made the drafting process all the more exciting and enjoyable. Of course, that’s not to say plotting is not exciting or enjoyable - like I mentioned previously, I’m currently trying my hand at it and it’s been fun!


But, there’s a certain thrill to not knowing what’ll happen next…

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Before I wrap this post up, I have one piece of advice for you, whether you're a plotter or a pantser. To my fellow pantsers: If you've never tried plotting, give it a shot! And to my fellow plotters: If you've never tried pantsing, give that a shot! For the longest time, plotting did NOT appeal to me. I could hardly stand the thought of planning out my story beforehand.


Then, after learning more about the beauty of story structure, I finally told myself, "You're going to do it. You're going to try plotting your next book." And now I'm in the thick of sequel-planning and having SO much fun with it!

All I had to do was try it out, and suddenly I realized that maybe the idea of being a plotter wasn't so far-fetched after all... XD

So let me advise you: Try plotting. Try pantsing. Expand your horizons. You never know if something will work for you or not! :))


All right, friends, I hope you enjoyed learning about my pantsing process and how I pantsed the first draft of my novel! Writing by the seat of your pants is hectic all around, but it's nonetheless an exciting experience.

Now talk to me! Are you a pantser or a plotter? Let’s chat about discovery-writing. And be sure not to miss Nicole’s post (<< link) this afternoon! A big thank you to her for reaching out to me about this collaboration! <3

The Lord's Truly,

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Classic Book Vote Results // Hiatus Announcement

Hey, friends! I apologize if this seems hastily written (it is), but I'm popping in really fast to announce something I should've announced a long time ago - the answers to that classic book vote I hosted a while back, in which I gave you the opportunity to vote on the classic book you thought I should read first.

Well, here I am, finally getting back to you with the results. :P

And the winner was...

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

I plan to read it this month, and I'm super excited! :D

My second announcement is that I'm going somwhere where no WiFi is available, so I have to take an Internet hiatus from today until the 4th. I won't be able to see any emails, messages, comments, posts, or otherwise until I return. 

God bless you guys! <3

~ Lila Kims