5 things I’ve been doing instead of blogging

Hello internet! My apologies for being MIA all last month. But I’m back!

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I thought I’d share what I’ve been up to during my hiatus.

1. Re-reading the ACOTAR series in anticipation for A Court of Frost and Starlight.31076583 (1).jpgThis shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. I’ve only ever re-read one series and it’s this one and it’s just as good every. single. time. Can’t wait to read ACOFAS.

 

2. Critiquing fellow writer’s manuscripts.

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I participated in #CPmatch again on twitter and matched with some pretty cool writers to swap manuscripts for a critique. It’s been super, super helpful for me and I hope I’ve been helpful to them. But it’s taken up a majority of my free time.

3. Presented at a PRSA Conference in North Carolina on Communication Planning.

PRSA_2018.jpegThis is the best picture I have of me and it kind of looks like I’m about to start dancing, but it’s mostly because I talk with my hands and most of the other shots were blurry. I’m a communications professional by day, and it was a huge honor to present at this conference. It’s also great for my career, but it ate up a lot of my time and attention.

4. Re-doubled my efforts to start querying.

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This is me. Trying to find an agent so I can meet my goal of being published one day. It’s an overwhelming process. Wish me luck!

5. Bought a whole lot of books!

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I didn’t read as much as I usually do, and I surely didn’t write any blog posts, but I definitely bought a ton of new books to read. Hopefully this will encourage some great reviews in the near future!

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Meeting Marie Lu and other reasons I’ve been MIA

Hi there, internet :: waves ::

I’ve been MIA as of late. I blame the horrendous winter weather. (Haha, just kidding. I live in the south! But it has been “cold.”) I’ve been doing more than documenting, including reading without reviewing.

As part of my personal resolutions as opposed to my bookish ones, I’ve been trying to focus more on myself and “self-care,” which means putting less pressure on myself to do all the things. Finding opportunities to “rest” and “relax” helps me “recharge.” (I’m using all the buzzwords in the hopes that it will make it easier. I don’t think it’s working. HA!) Anywho, I’m back. Cue dramatic entrance.

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Meeting Marie Lu

 

For the release of Batman: Nightwalker, I went to Parnassus Books in Nashville to see Marie Lu speak. She was so awesome and sweet in person. Per usual, I completely blacked out when I actually spoke to her but I believe I rambled about my love of Batman and how my car’s name is Bruce Wayne. I’ve yet to read the book but it’s definitely on my TBR.

Jan/Feb Reviews 

 2018 Reading Challenge Progress

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 I have read 15 out of 100 books.

Currently Reading

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Next on my TBR

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What I’m Listening To

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What I’m Watching

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I’m a proud member of #Bachelornation, and The Bachelor Winter Games was the most entertaining 8 hours of television I’ve ever seen. (In addition to the Bachelor, I was watching six hours of bachelor television a week. No wonder I went MIA.) Not only did it have our favorite cast of characters from various seasons of the Bachelor and Bachelorette, it included people from the international versions as well. The tongue-in-cheek way the Bachelor franchise replicated the winter Olympics, including sports broadcast-type interviews and winter sport competitions, was epic. I’m pretty sure I laughed my butt off the entire time. The show is over now, but its definitely worth streaming if it seems like your type of thing.

What I’m writing

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The main reason I’ve been MIA is because I’ve been in my writing cave. I’m trying to stay motivated to finish my manuscripts. I have three of them. I need to stop worrying about querying and finding an agent and just do it! I’m finalizing edits and looking for beta readers. Every day after work, I tell myself “I got this” complete with the SOA-inspired black eye from my own self-doubt. Wish me luck!

 

 

Top Books of 2017

I can’t believe it’s already the end of the year but I’m all about this Christmas cheer.

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According to Goodreads, I’ve read 96 books so far this year. (Still on track to reach 100 by end of the year.) Here’s a list of my top ten for the year of our Lord 2017 (in no particular order).

  1. A Court of Wings and Ruin By SJM – Such a fitting end to my favorite series.
  2. Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller – The Pirate story that I didn’t know I needed in my life.
  3. The Fallen World Trilogy by Laura Thalassa — This was the first time I’d read this author and now she’s on my auto-buy list.
  4. A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet — My new favorite Fantasy Romance series. It’s up there with Kim Harrison, Ilona Andrews and Patricia Briggs.
  5. The Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews — She writes the most amazing sexual chemistry. Read it!
  6. Roar by Cora Carmack — This story made my tornado-chaser-loving heart go pitter patter.
  7. Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff — Bloody brilliant, gentlefriends!
  8. Tied by Carian Cole — She knows how to rip out my heart, stomp on it, dust it off and hand it back while I nod in gratitude.
  9. An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson — Best fae story I’ve read all year!
  10. Tower of Dawn by SJM — That twist, you guys! I can’t believe what this means for the last book!

And now some honorable mentions…

The Great Pursuit by Wendy Higgins – So. Freaking. Good!

Sanguine Moon by Jennifer Foxcroft – This story has a piece of my heart. I can’t wait to read the next one.

Devils Within by S.H. Henson – In these dark times, this story is more relevant than ever.

The Chemist by Stephanie Meyer – Judge me if you want, but Stephanie Meyer can write, y’all.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi — I’m late to the party on this one but it deserves all the hype.

When It’s Real by Erin Watt – Simply a pleasure to read!

 

Can you tell that I had some trouble narrowing it down? What do you think? Read any of these? Share in the comments!

 

Monthly Recap and Book of the Month

October flew by folks! To be honest, I’ve just been trying to keep it together, but I think it was more of me running around like:

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Book of the Month*

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Tower of Dawn by SJM

I don’t think anyone is surprised by this selection.

*based on books reviewed this month

October Reviews (Total-5)

 2017 Reading Challenge Progress

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 I have read 90 out of 100 books. (Read 11 books this month.)

Currently Reading

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Next on my TBR

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What I’m Watching

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I am obsessed with this show. I can’t stop watching.

What I’m writing

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I can’t seem to finish my current work in progress so I’m weighing whether or not I should participate in NaNoWriMo this year to get my word count up. And, yes, I’m aware this it’s already a couple days in November and I can’t seem to make a decision.

What else…

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I recently attended a Backstreet Boys concert and it. was. awesome! It was the first time that I’ve seen them in concert (middle school me was super ecstatic!) and it was everything that I dreamed it would be. *sigh* BSB still has it! I’m a fan for life!

 

Monthly Recap and Book of the Month

As I’ve stated recently, I went on a bit of an unintended hiatus last month, but I’m trying to get back into the swing of things. I missed last month’s recap, so this will be a recap for July and August.

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Book of the Month*

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The Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews – 5 stars

I’m still thinking about this series so I’m picking this series as my book of the month.

*based on books reviewed this month

July/August Reviews (Total-9)

 2017 Reading Challenge Progress

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 I have read 76 out of 100 books. (Read 22 books the past two months.)

Currently Reading

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Next on my TBR

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What I’m Watching

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I’m a proud member of #Bachelornation, so I was pumped for Bachelor in Paradise. But I’m not going to lie, this season is a bit of a let down so far.

What I’m writing

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I recently participated in #cpmatch on Twitter to try and match up with fellow writers in an effort to find a critique partner. It was hella nerve-wracking to put myself out there, but I’ve met some really cool people and I’m optimistic about how I can improve my writing while helping someone else.

What else…

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In September, I’m going to the Tower of Dawn book tour in Nashville to meet Sarah J. Maas! (*cue hyperventilating*) She’s my all-time favorite author so I’m sure there will be plenty of fangirling and trying not to bow in her presence while falling to emotional pieces at her feet.

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Also, in the next week, my home library will have custom shelves installed. This is a HUGE deal for me. I’ve been waiting to have the library of my dreams since I can remember and it’s finally here! Keep an eye out for a before and after library post in the near future.

Monthly Recap and Book of the Month

June has been a whirlwind. I’ve been reading like there is no tomorrow and I got to go to Utopiacon 2017. I’m absolutely exhausted going into July.

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Book of the Month*

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The Queen of Traitors by Laura Thalassa – 5 stars!

It was hard to decide the book of the month this month, but I loved this series so much and I binge-read it. It deserves the top spot this month.

*based on books reviewed this month

June Reviews (Total-7)

 2017 Reading Challenge Progress

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 I have read 48 out of 100 books. (Read 7 books this month.)

Currently Reading

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Next on my TBR

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What I’m Watching

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I’m a sucker for Shadowhunters on Freeform. It makes me want to go back and finish reading The Mortal Instruments series. I never read the last book. The show deviates from the books, but it’s most definitely a guilty pleasure.

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Younger is BACK!!!!! I freaking love this show. If you haven’t been watching it, binge-watch now. It’s addicting and I wish they were longer than 30 minute episodes.

What I’m writing

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This is me trying to find beta readers for my novel. If you’re interested in reading a YA Paranormal Romance, hit me up. I’d love the feedback.

Monthly Recap and Book of the Month

May has come and gone. I’ve been yo-yoing between voracious reading and a book slump, where everything I read is meh, which makes it hard to write reviews.

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 Book of the Month*

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A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas – 5 Stars

FINALLY! It came. It conquered. I’m now utterly ruined for any other type of literature for the foreseeable future.

*based on books reviewed this month

April Reviews (Total-7)

The Chosen by J.R. Ward – 3 Stars

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones – 2.5 Stars

Twist by Kylie Scott – 4 Stars

The Great Pursuit by Wendy Higgins – 5 Stars

Honor by Jay Crownover – 3 Stars

Sanguine Moon by Jennifer Foxcroft – 5 Stars

 2017 Reading Challenge Progress

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 I have read 43 out of 100 books. (Read 12 books this month.)

Currently Reading

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Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott

I’m not really liking it so far…Hopefully it gets better.

Next on my TBR

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What I’m Watching

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It’s time!!!! I am a HUGE fan of The Bachelorette and proud member of #Bachelornation. My Monday nights consist of The Bachelorette, wine and yoga pants.

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I’ve also been watching the Amazon Original series Sneaky Pete. It’s wildly entertaining starring David Shore and Bryan Cranston. It’s great for fans of Breaking Bad.

What I’m writing

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I’m almost done with my current round of edits on my first work in progress. These last few chapters have been a huge hurdle because something isn’t right and I can’t figure out what it is. I just need to buckle down and figure it out.