I am now *open* for review requests. Check out my Review Policy Page for more info

Friday, March 29, 2013

A to Z April Challenge and Camp NaNo

Hey everybody. April is going to be such a crazy month for me. A lot of writing going on. I will be participating in not one but TWO big events that take place all month: A to Z Challenge and Camp NaNoWriMo.

I hope you guys really like my posts because the A to Z April Challenge will have me posting Monday through Saturday with a different letter of the alphabet for each day in alphabetical order. There are a few Sundays where I will be posting some author interviews, so you will need to love me to deal with me posting almost every day for a solid month. The theme I am using for the challenge is Publishing/Writing. This is more or less keeping with the theme of my entire blog. Can I admit that some of the letters were really hard to think of things for, so don't laugh at some of the stretches I make.

Camp NaNo, on the other hand, you won't really see the results any time soon. I am signed up to write 15,000 words by the end of the month. This is on top of the writing for the blog. I know for many writers, 15,000 words may not seem like a lot, but I am a notoriously slow writer.

I am excited to challenge myself with these too. This will definitely be hard and I am looking forward to it. It will be especially challenging when this will probably be the most writing I have ever done in one set of time. Wish me luck!

Will you be doing Camp NaNo or A to Z April Challenge?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tackle It Tuesday: Vos Souhaits

Can I let you in on a little secret?

It is hard to tackle things in your life when you are sick. As I type this post last minute, I can't speak because my throat hurts so much. But the show must go on. I still have to drag my sorry ass to school and do what I need to do.

Well most of the things I need to do. One of the tasks I set myself up to do over spring break was to finish writing a chapter, alas because I've been sick for the last several days, my head has been too fuzzy to get any real work done. I barely wrote 300 words since Thursday.

I hate when being sick keeps me from doing things. Hopefully I will be better by Thursday when my family is celebrating my sister's birthday. Until then I will continue to load up on cough drops and cold medicine.

*Btw the title is French for "to your wishes" a common response for sneezes

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Series of Series

I mentioned a week or so ago that people in my writing group have convinced me it is okay to work on my fantasy series, because series are in and publishers are more willing to accept them from new author now. It is funny that after that conversation I have seen tons of new articles and blog posts about series. And yes it definitely seems true that series are the new it trend. I had to sit and think about how did I miss this. True I am a broke student and haven't been able to afford to buy non-school related books in a while, but have I been this oblivious?

Now that my blinders are off I can see the trend clearly, The Divergent series, Heist Society, The Hunger Games, Graceling, the list goes on and on. I really had to stop and think where the craze came from.

Once I gave this series of series a thought the reason seemed clear on where the excitement came from. Harry Potter is over Twilight is over, even Hunger Games is over, so it makes sense that authors and publishers are duking it out to see what series will next reign supreme.

This is great to me on twofold. One, I love series, and two I get an excuse to work more heavily on the series that has a grip on my heart.

What are your favorite book series? Mine are a tie between Harry Potter, The Lioness Quartet, and The Jessica Darling series.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tackle It Tuesday: Spring Break Edition!

I am officially on the last spring break of my college career. This means I have only two plans for the next week: seeing how many books I can read between now and next Sunday and writing. So far I have finished two books, maybe 50 pages before finishing a third, and have added scenes to and edited a short story.

As I write this post, I am fighting my nerves about posting it to my writing group. I hate when people see my work, but I know the group helps make my work better. They are the best writing group a girl could ever ask for. But that isn't my only writing plan. I hope to be finished through chapter four on my romance and get back fully into the swing of things with my fantasy.

Hopefully this week will be the break I need to take a deep breath before plunging back into the hectic scheduling I so fondly call my life. Short post today, but there isn't much to report, so I will leave you with the recommendation to watch The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. An amazing modernization of Pride and Prejudice set up as a vlog. Whether you love or hate Jane Austen, you will love this series.

Link for entire series

Friday, March 15, 2013

What Attracts You to a Book?

We all like to say that we pick books based on how amazing the blurb sounded, but the book has to attract your attention enough to make you read the blurb first.

I know the saying is "don't judge a book by its cover," but I can't help it. I am a very visual person so the first thing about a book that is likely to grab me is the cover. If the cover is interesting enough for me, I move on to the title.

The title of a book can tell you a lot about the novel. It isn't always helpful, but that is still the second thing I take notice of.

I then check out the author to see if it is someone I recognize. Generally this does nothing for me. If it is an author I know and have enjoyed in the past, great! If it is someone I have never heard of, doesn't matter, I will still flip it over to read the back. The only time the author's name really affects me is if it is one of the few authors I just can't stand to give my money to. Really there are only two authors I can think of off the top of my head that fits into this category (Orson Scott Card and Cassandra Clair, both for personal reasons), but it still matters to me. Only after all of this will I read the blurb.

If the blurb is interesting I will either grab the book to buy or put it on my To Read list. If it is only mildly interesting, I will still put it on my To Read list, but will check out reviews later. Of course with blurbs that don't interest me, I quietly put the book back.

What make you want to pick up a book? Do you go through a process like me?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tackle It Tuesday: Wait Not Going To Grad School Means I'm More Busy?

Who knew that deciding not to go to grad school would mean I am even busier. Now instead of getting things together for the eight schools I was applying to, I am now researching and combing through hundreds of jobs. And let me tell you, entry-level jobs in publishing are slim pickings these days. I am still holding out hope that the house I intern for will hire me, but just in case I am applying for several other positions.

I describe to my mom that trying to work in publishing without moving to New York is like trying to become an actress, but refusing to move to LA or New York. Despite this I am tirelessly trying to find jobs that will let me stay home in Georgia. Boy let me tell you, if I thought jobs in publishing was slim pickings, jobs in Georgia in publishing and jobs that will let you telecommute are near nonexistent. I would really love to stay in Georgia, I love this state with all my heart and am a true Georgia Peach, but it is looking more and more like I am going to have to give up and hitch a ride to New York.

Even if I do go to New York (which I wouldn't want to do until I have a job in the bag), I don't know how I would afford it. New York is so much more expensive that Georgia and this industry isn't exactly known to be a well paying one. Even worse I am afraid that in order to get my foot in the door of another house or an agency, I am going to have to intern again and I just can't afford that. Especially not living in New York.

All this being said, this Tackle It Tuesday is focused on my trying my hardest to find a job, any job, in my chosen field. And it is as hard as trying to catch a unicorn. Maybe by the end of the year, I will have a fabulous agent, and a wonderful seven-figure book deal and won't need to work! (Wishful thinking I know:))

Do you remember what it was like trying to get your first job out of college? Tell me about it!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Review: A Conspiracy of Alchemists

Title: A Conspiracy of Alchemists
Author: Liesel Schwarz
Series: The Chronicles of Light and Shadow (Book #1)
Pages: 326 (ebook)
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Source: Netgalley
Where to Buy: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

LEAVE IT TO CHANCE. Eleanor "Elle" Chance, that is-the intrepid heroine of this edgy new series that transforms elements of urban fantasy, historical adventure, and paranormal romance into pure storytelling gold.

In a Golden Age where spark reactors power the airways, and creatures of Light and Shadow walk openly among us, a deadly game of Alchemists and Warlocks has begun.

When an unusual cargo drags airship-pilot Elle Chance into the affairs of the mysterious Mr. Marsh, she must confront her destiny and do everything in her power to stop the Alchemists from unleashing a magical apocalypse.

What I thought:
I requested this novel from NetGalley because I love steampunks. It is one of my favorite genres. Sadly this book just did not capture me as much as I hoped. The cover pulled me in, then the blurb really piqued my interests, and I thought I would be in for a fun adventure.

Now I understand the copy I was reading was an unproofed ARC, so I hope all of the punctuation and grammar mistakes I saw will be cleaned up before it is officially put out. I would need to look through the finished product, but there were a lot of mistakes for something Del Rey was putting out for reviewers. But I'm new, I could just be mistaken and this is normal.

Elle was just okay as a character. She was stubborn, jumped to conclusions, and seems very young. Yes her stubbornness is what let her become a female pilot in a male dominated world, but she became stubborn with the dumbest things. The love interest lied about his name for his own protection when they first met and she held it against him for the rest of the book, no matter how much he helped her or tried to be kind to her, she was rude because she felt she couldn't trust him. I woke heartedly agreed with the LI when he asked "Don't you sometimes get s little tired of being so constantly outraged?"

We are never told how old Elle is (other than she already passed her coming out), but she seemed very young. If I didn't know any better I would have put her in her teens. By comparison her love interest seemed so much older. Maybe she is older than I felt and is just immature. Either way I just could not figure out why the LI would be interested in her at all.

It could be a family trait of annoyingness though. Once we finally get to meet Elle's father he is just as, if not more, annoying. Mr. Marsh, Patrice, and Adele the fairy are all interesting characters, though it was a bit disjointing to go back and forth between the perspectives of Marsh, Elle, and Adele. I was also able to see one of the main plot twists happening 200 pages before it was executed.

There are several things I had problems with in this book, but the fact of the matter is I stayed up until 3 in the morning trying to finish the book, because the plot and the world was that interesting. I would still consider reading the second book, hoping that the characters are as interesting as the world was. Since this is her debut novel, I am willing to give her a second chance.

Overall: 2.5/5

Friday, March 8, 2013

Big Decisions

This has been such a hectic week for me, as you may have seen in my last posting. Through all of that I have been in deep discussion with my parents and sister (all of their opinions I trust implicitly) about my future. I came to the conclusion that while getting a Master's degree would be personally satisfying, it is not something I need right now and not something worth putting myself further in debt for. This means I now have the seemingly insurmountable task of finding a job. I would prefer getting a job in the specific area of publishing I am interested in (acquisitions editor) but right now any way to get my foot in the door would be amazing. Honestly this decision lifts a huge weight off of my shoulders and I feel happier than I have in a while.

It is still kind of scaryamazing that I am already 23, about to graduate, and searching for a job in my career field. I still feel too young to be doing all of this. I know no matter what age you consider "adulthood" I have probably been there for a few years but it is hard to consider yourself as an adult when youare still in school and living in your parent's house. The world out there is plenty scary, but I am doing my best to prepare myself for it. It helps that I have an amazing support system.

Another decision I have recently made, though not as big, is to go back to working on my YA fantasy book. I originally put it to the side because one of the first things I was told about publishing is most debut authors do not get picked up with a series. My YA is most definitely a series, but with each book having a smaller arc and the series having an over all arc. I was speaking to a few people in my writer's group on Wednesday about that and they convinced me so many debut authors are debuting with series. This gives me confidence enough to go back to working on Searching For Destiny, which is my favorite of all of my WIPs. Since Song in my Heart is my second favorite, you can rest assured that I will still be devoting time to that one. It will actually probably sill be my main project. I will tell you more about Searching For Destiny and the entire Sunburst series another time.

What do you think about debut authors and series versus standalone novels? Do you remember when you were first thrust into the "adult" world?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tackle It Tuesday: Busy As A Bee

It has been a tiring few weeks and I am starting to wonder if it is ever going to let up. It keep finishing work, but as soon as one thing is done two more things are piled on or something happens where I can't work on other things.

I like to think I am pretty active in the community, but this past weekend kept me so busy with volunteer work I was not expecting to do, that I ended up falling behind in everything. I planned to also post a review for A Conspiracy of Alchemists today, but things being a they are, I didn't finish it yet. I have another school paper to do (isn't school fun?), but I did finish and turn in another one that I got an A on. So far I only have about 5,800 words written in A Song in My Heart, but I have decided to put my short story away for a little while, because it is frustrating me to the point where I don't think I can do anything productive with it.

With school I also have two novels I need to read and a midterm tomorrow to prepare for. I tell you, I can't wait to be finished. Some good news on that front though. Yesterday I registered for my last undergraduate classes and I have received my graduation invitation. Of course that also means I am going to have to set aside a couple hours to make out a list of who to send invites to and write out all of their addresses. This process takes me longer than most people because my arthritis makes it hard for me to write.

I am actually squeezing the writing of this post berween assignments I should be working on. So though this post is a bit rough and scattered I will post now and make it up to you with a cleaner post Friday.