book reviews, Greetings My Peeps!

Book Review: A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

Greetings my lovelies!

It’s a Monday so it’s time for another book review.  I rate each book/series on a coffee cup rating. 0 cups means I couldn’t finish and 5 cups means that I absolutely loved it.

DISCLAIMER: No one pays me for my reviews…sigh…I wish they would. Not really. These reviews are my personal opinion and just for fun.

Rating: 4 cups

I didn’t know about this book until they started to advertise the movie.  Then I saw it at the book fair.  To clarify, my day job is a teacher.  They have a small section just for the teachers.  Any who, I got this book, mainly out of curiosity and instantly fell in love.

General Overview:

This book follows the life of the  main poochie as he goes through the various incarnations of his life.  He remembers each life and ponders what lesson he has to learn from reach of them and why.  I really don’t want to say much more because I do not want to spoil anything for anyone.

My Thoughts:

I love this book.  The writing style was easy to follow and I was sucked in before I even realized it.  The hardest parts of this book was the multiple doggy deaths.  I know they were crucial but it was like Marley and Me on crack.  My poor emotions were all torn asunder by the end.  My poor puppies were so confused as to why I was clutching them tightly while crying.  All in all, it’s a great book about love and loyalty and what our purpose is in life.  It further illustrates that dogs are too good for us and we are so very lucky to have them in our lives.

Re-readability:

I don’t think this is one that I will ever read again.  It’s not that it’s a bad book, it’s just that some books are only meant for a single read.  I might read it again if I’m ever in the need for a good cry.

 

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Greetings My Peeps!, writing help

Writer’s Tool Box: A Good Thesaurus

Hello my lovelies!

Today I want to help you guys create your own writer’s tool box.  Writing is just like any other craft out there, you need the right tools for the job and what can help you tremendously is a good thesaurus…or three.   And that’s what I’m going to talk about today.  I came across these thesauruses (thesauri) when I was looking for some reference books to help me further develop my writing.  I fell in love with them.  So I’m going to tell you why each one is awesome (In my opinion) and why you should have them.

 

The Positive Trait and The Negative Trait Thesaurus

These two go hand in hand in hand with each other.  For well developed characters they need a healthy mixture of good and bad traits.  No one is solely one or the other….usually.    So each thesaurus starts off with a couple of interesting articles about how to use the traits and how to develop your characters using these traits.  I highly recommend that you read these.  As for the traits, they are listed a lot like chapters.  All you have to do is find the trait you like and turn to the page.

On the page associated with each positive trait you’ll see:

  1. the definition of the trait
  2. other attributes that are similar
  3. why a person may have the trait
  4. how would they behave if they have the trait
  5. emotions associated with the trait
  6. How they might think
  7. examples from literature
  8. traits that might conflict with
  9. negative things that come from having this trait
  10. challenging scenarios for the character with this trait

That’s a lot of info for just a single trait.  But don’t panic, each trait only has two pages of info.  You don’t have to incorporate everything but it does help give you a better idea of how to use that trait for your character.  This format is the same for both sets of traits with the only difference being that the negative trait thesaurus shows how a character might overcome that particular flaw.

 

The Emotion Thesaurus

This one is my favorite because it gives you:

  1. Physical signals for the emotions
  2. Internal sensations
  3. Mental response
  4. Cues for long term and suppressed attributes
  5. And a bonus…writing tips to help use emotions more effectivly

 

Like I said before, I highly recommend that you checkout these thesauruses (thesauri).  They have helped me tremendously and I refer to them all the time.

 

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book reviews

Book Review **Classics Edition** Pride and Prejudice

Greetings my lovelies!

It’s time for another special edition of my Book Review segments.  This time I review the classics.  The rating system is still the same.  I rate each book/series on a coffee cup rating.  0 cups means I couldn’t finish and 5 cups means that I absolutely loved it.

DISCLAIMER:  No one pays me for my reviews…sigh…I wish they would.  Not really.  These reviews are my personal opinion and just for fun.

 

Rating: 1 cup

I know I’m going to get a lot of flack for this, but I HATED this book.  I struggled to get through it from day one all the way through to the end.  This is also one of the rare incidents where I like the movie more than the book.  I know shocking, but it does happen on occasion.

 

General Overview:

In this novel written by Jane Austen there’s the lovely Benette family with too many girls and one seriously hen pecked husband.  The girls are all in a tizzy over some new rich hotties who move in down the way.  They get invited to a party where Jane Benette falls for new hottie.  However his friend, infamous Mr. Darcy, insults Liz (the sudo factor MC) and that sets the events of the rest of the book off.  There’s some scandals and some deep soul searching, not to mention TWO extremely awkward proposals.

 

My Thoughts: 

The pacing was fine and as a love story it’s pretty decent.  I did like the way the characters evolved through the course of the book.  The thing that ruined this book for me was the structure.  I didn’t know who was talking half the time because the conversations jumped around.  Another thing that got me was the multiple ways there were to reference a person.  Now I understand that this book is a product of its time.  I get that and this book just didn’t work for me.

 

Re-readability:

This one is a no go for me.  I re-read it after I watched the movie and it was a little easier since I had some good visuals to keep me on track.  But don’t let my review dissuade you from reading this classic yourself.  There are thousands of people who adore this novel in all its variations (check out Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies).  However, I would recommend checking this book out instead of spending cold hard cash just in case.

 

 

Greetings My Peeps!, writing help

Five uses of Pinterest for Writers

There’s no denying that there are thousands of resources out there today for  aspiring authors and just writers in general.  You can find blog after blog, video after video, and article after article.  Not even mentioning the website that have popped up over the last few years all geared towards independent authors.  Sometimes it becomes too much and you run away to your favorite procrastinating activity for comfort.  Mine is Pinterest.  I could, and have, spend all day on that website.  I look up just about everything under the sun.  But there is a way to turn this into a powerful tool for your writing career.  If you don’t know what Pinterest is it’s a website that allows you to make boards about specific topics.  Let’s say you like to cook healthy meals but don’t want to (or can’t) buy a million different cook books.  You can search for the recipes and save them for later.  This site is completely free which a budding writer’s favorite word.  You can make as many different boards as you like.  You are only limited by your imagination.  Here are 5 ways to use Pinterest as a writer

1. A place to find and bookmark articles on writing and the writing process.  

If you’re like me, you’re always on the prowl for help when it comes to your writing.  Or you may have a question that just popped up and you want to find out how to solve/do it.  You don’t necessarily need that information right now, but you want to have it for future reference.  Well Pinterest is a good place to store all that information.  It’s what the site was designed to be.

2. Save all those cool tips and tricks that will take your writing to the next level.

This is one of my favorite features.  One of the coolest things I found through Pinterest was the site Notebook.ai.  It has literally made world building so much easier for me.  I’ll go into that site a bit more another time but I did a brief over view of it here in a previous post.  Another nifty thing I found was this wheel of emotion that helped you find a stronger word to convey a feeling.

3. Inspirational Quotes and writer humor.

Hey we all need a laugh or a kick in the butt.  You could have a whole board dedicated to that when you start slacking off on writing.  Or you could print them off and put them up around your writing space or where ever you feel like.

4. Half assed research.

There are historical boards a plenty on Pinterest.  Sometimes you come across a interesting historical tidbit that you didn’t know but would work for a book idea later on.  Save that shit!  This will save you time later on when you come around to that idea.  Work smarter not harder my friends

5. Inspriation

This one is my favorite.  I have boards for books that I’ve written and books that I’m planning on.  I’ve also saved some cool historical people that I might like to write about later.  But when you’re scrolling through and you see a picture that is almost exactly what your MC looks like, pin it!  Found a pretty picture of a landscape real or not…pin it.  I like looking at author’s boards for their books after I’ve finished reading the book to see where the inspiration came from and to see if what I saw was the same.

 

So there you have it.  Five easy ways to use Pinterest as a writer.  Below I’ll include links to my boards so you can see what I’m talking about.  Happy pinning and don’t forget to write!

Writing Board

Lost Guardian Trilogy Inspiration

Hell Fire Inspiration

 

book reviews

Series Review: The Crescent City by Kristen Painter

Greetings fellow book lovers!

 

It’s the first of the month and that means it’s time for me to kick off a new segment: book reviews.  Each book will be rated using coffee cups because I am happily addicted to coffee.  A rating of 0 means that I could not finish the book if my life depended on it and a five means that the world could end and I wouldn’t have noticed.

DISCLAIMER: I am not paid for these reviews.  I do them for fun and because I love talking about books.  And there are simply too many out there to hear about them all.

Rating:  3 cups

Sometimes I come across a series and I gobble it up before I can review the first book.  And this series is one of those.  I stumbled across the first book while trolling around my local book store.  The cover grabbed my attention and I loved it so much that I bought it.  I am a serial judge of book covers.  Covers can be works of art in and of themselves.  I make my own covers so I really appreciate a good one.  Anyways, let’s get started.

General Overview: 

In this world, after some big ass war that changed the world; Fae, Vampires, and all other sort of supernatural creatures live out in the open.  Some cities are Havens for Fae and other creatures where they can live in peace because you know not every human is going to be happy that they’re out in the open.  The story starts off with Augustine coming home after being on the run for a while because of events from another series.  He ends up being offered the position of Guardian whose job is to protect all people living in New Orleans. Harlow is introduced not too long after that as she travels to New Orleans to ask her mother for help bailing her out of a really messed up situation. Now Harlow is fae like Augustine but she hates it and has spent her life suppressing her powers.  When she touches people she can read their emotions and she can read emotions off of objects as well.  She’s also a bad-ass hacker which is why she’s in trouble to begin with. The two meet on the Fae New Years but there is a Marid Gras flair to it because everyone is wearing masks.  They meeting and sparks fly and that’s all that I’m going to say about that.  I don’t really want to spoil anything for anyone but some shit goes down with Vampires and evil Fae and Harlow has to come to terms being Fae, while Augustine has to find the ones responsible for putting his city in danger, proving that he’s more than just a former felon.  There’s some mild plot twist but this story is more about the characters.

Re-readability:

This series does alright on the second or third reading.  Now, I can’t speak for everyone, but I tend to skip the sections of characters I could care less about.  With this series while there is a main arching story there is also a secondary villain working in the background until the third book.  I really don’t like reading those sections because I can’t stand the villain.  It’s not that the villain (Giselle a witch) is a bitch with a capital B.  She gets everything that comes her way.  And speaking of villains, the main one for the first two books (Barnzino) seems a bit underdeveloped but serves his purpose.  The main reason why I keep coming back to this series is that I love the interactions between Harlow and Augustine.  Their relationship develops naturally (to me) and I love how Harlow finds confidence in herself and her abilities without fundamentally changing who she is as a person.  That rarely happens with these types of books.

 

My thoughts: 

I like this series.  It grabbed my attention from the get go and didn’t let go until I was done.  I love the main characters and the conversations between them feels real.  The conversations can sometimes come off as odd or disjointed but that’s truly how people talk, especially when there’s more than one person talking.  There’s not much initial world building but we learn more about through the heroine Harlow’s eyes, so it works. I used to love urban fantasy books, until they became too formulaic for me.  But this series blew all that out of the water.  It’s a fresh approach on a tired topic.  Fun fact, this series is a spin off of another series by the same author.  This series doesn’t have that feeling.  It’s a great stand alone series.

sseries review

 

Have you read this series?  What did you think?  Have any recommendations; send them!  I love discovering new books!  Until next time

Greetings My Peeps!

Finding new tools: the good and the bad

Sometimes it’s challenging to be an indie author.  You have to handle all aspects of the book industry (marketing, covers, etc) and create a compelling story at the same time.  It can be daunting but to paraphrase Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, always have your tools.  A writer, no matter if they’re a NY times best seller or just starting out, has to have the right tool for them at their disposal.

When I started this journey, I didn’t have anything really at my disposal.  But now I’ve got some sites that really love and some that while I don’t particularly care for but can’t escape using.  I should note that none of these sites have paid me to say anything about their products or services.  This opinions are strictly my own and for fun informational purposes.

  1. Istock.  This site is great if you have to make your own covers like I do.  You can buy some credits for $20 but you can get three maybe four covers out of that.
  2. Notebook.ai  This is a new discovery for me and I’m in love.  It helps you organize and link up every character, world, culture or what not you have. You don’t even have to link anything until you have a place to put it.  So if you’re like me and flashes of cool ideas come all the time, this site helps to store and organize until you are ready to use them.
  3. Storiad.  Another new site.  This site offers a lot that I don’t really have the time to go into but the main keeper points for me are the marketing plan that they help you make, the pricing calculator, press release kits, and industry networking.  All of these things I needed help with so it’s great that it’s all in one spot.
  4. Twitter/Facebook/Instagram.  I have a love hate relationship with social media.  I’m the type of person who can easily become obsessed with something that continues to stimulate me.  That’s the main reason why I’m not on Tumblr.  No one would ever see me again if I got on that site.  But social media presence is crucial to building an author’s platform or at least getting your name out there.  I try to allot a certain amount of time on each site at any given time to make sure that I stay on track.

These are all that I’m going into today.  If you want, check these sites out or research them to see if they’re the best fit for you as a writer and serve your needs.  If you have something that you think I might like, let me know.  I’m always on the lookout for new resources and tools.

 

Until next time peoples!

Greetings My Peeps!

Out of Balance

I have finished my first year of teaching and boy did the rest of my life suffer for it.  Almost everything got pushed to the side while I tried to keep my head over water.  I had no energy to do anything, and I mean anything.  Most nights I came home and instantly went to sleep.  Now bear in mind I got back home at 3:30.  That’s crazy.  I stopped working out.  I stopped reading.  I stopped painting and I especially stopped doing anything writing related.

I felt terrible.

But now it’s summer so I have the time to catch up on the huge pile I have on the back burner.  This blog being one of them.

My third book is due to come out at the end of next month but I’ve done almost no marketing for it.  I have no idea what I’m going to do.

I need a drink and start getting my life back on track.

Until next time my peoples!