Filtering

I found this awesome writing blog about Filtering. What the author is talking about is how the world is filtered in first POV or third POV by the prose used to describe scenes. For example, using the words felt, thought, contemplated, within a POV. Here is the link. If you are a writer I highly recommend to check it out!

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Redeeming Love

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers was probably the first romance I read when I was in college. And I loved it!

Redeeming Love is actually based off the Biblical story of Gomer and Hosea. You know the age-old story where God tells Hosea to marry that girl and Hosea is all, but she’s a prostitute God! And God is all, did I stutter? Tale as old as time. 😉

Anyhow, when I first read this book I was like how in the world is this going to unfold, because I had read the Bible story and most of the characters in the Bible (imo, not to offend anyone) are pretty bland and straightforward because they are teaching lessons not entertainment. So how was she going to bring these two-dimensional characters to life? Well, she did and she did an amazing job!

I loved both love interests. Angel has a heartbreaking backstory and her attitude stems from that, and her brokenness is why I was drawn to her character.

Michael is a little too good to be true at times, but his persistence also makes him a likable character.

Overall, this was a really good book to start off the romance genre for me. Not to mention I love the time period of the gold rush. If you are looking for a sweet romance with some dark undertones and a religious background I recommend you read this book.

Writing- Action Beats

So, as usual, I was using the world wide web to learn more about writing. If you want to get better and you don’t have the money to attend conferences and take expensive classes like me it’s the next best thing.

Today, I discovered Action Beats. I had been using them in my writing and didn’t even know there was a name for them. Turns out I’ve been using them kind of wrong. Now I know better. Here is an amazing article on Action Beats. She really spells it out and you should check it out if you are a writer and also don’t understand or know what an action beat is.

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

The first time I read this book was in middle school and I loved it as much then as I do now. The world is different than any other I had ever heard of before and it was the best. I related so much to Lucy and her optimistic outlook on life. Only seeing the good in people (or talking animals).

As a child, I wanted to jump into this book and experience this new world. What child wouldn’t want to find a new world at the back of a closet during a game of hide and seek? As an adult, it brought back that nostalgia of imagination and wonder. Sometimes I was shocked how brave Lucy was talking to strange creatures and not running away.

Not only was Lewis great at creating a unique universe his characters are very dynamic. All the sisters and brothers are so different from each other. Even each creature is so fleshed out that you feel like you have met that type of person in your everyday life. And to top it off and intriguing plot.

One thing I was surprised about as a child was that my mother told me this story was a Christian allegory where Aslan was like God. I didn’t see the connection when I was younger. Although, the fight against good and evil is certainly there. And honestly, I might have missed it as an adult as well if it wasn’t pointed out. Both times I was so immersed into the story it really felt like a different world with a different set of rules and where religion was kind of far off and not as important as the task at hand.

The best part of this book is that my daughter also loves it! Something we can talk about and discuss. Now I just need to get her to read the next one!

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A Clash of Kings

Did I mention before that I love the way Martin writes? Well, I do. His writing is just so gripping and pulls you right into the story. Love it.

A Clash of Kings is the second of The Song of Ice and Fire series. I think I liked it even better than Game of Thrones. In Game of Thrones, it introduced a lot of main characters and the main problem that will run through the series. In A Clash of Kings, we get to know the characters more in depth. They all over the map in Westeros going their own way with their own stories.

My favorite character is still Daenerys even though she makes bad decisions from time to time. She is strong and a good leader. The fact that she is still barely a teen making such grown up decisions just goes to show how much she has to grow and become that much stronger.

The characters either become more endearing or more hated in this book. I think the connection between the Stark children and their direwolves are interesting and I keep wondering if there is a deeper connection or meaning that hasn’t been revealed yet.

Still so many people die. The next in the series is A Storm of Swords 🙂


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A Monk’s Tail

This was an amusing story. I don’t normally read this kind of book, but I’m glad I did. The world building and descriptions really brought me into another world filled with humanoid animals. I believe the only other book I’ve read with talking animal characters was The Chronicles of Narnia and that was ages ago. This is very different from Lewis’ novel…very different in a good way and there are no people at all, which really makes it that much better. 


I think the main character Bow is a great MC, certainly intertaining. He is sarcastic and kind of an ass, but a loveable ass. He really makes the book great and he cracks me up. The great thing about a character like Bow is that even though he is crass and speaks his mind whether he should or not is that he is loyal and he really would die for any of his friends, a true hero. 


In fact, I really loved all the characters. They are all a bit cheeky in their own ways and some of them have pretty cool magical abilities. 
If you are looking for an adult book with a humorous tone and talking animals this would be a good book for you. It is also good at setting a medieval-ish tone and sucking you into another world. 

Gathering Blue

Gathering Blue is the sequel to The Giver. If you have read my review of The Giver or many of my book tags you will know up until I read Eleanor and Park this year The Giver had been my favorite book since sixth grade. So, my husband bought me the sequel when he found out there was one.

Unfortunately, this book was really absolutely nothing like The Giver. In fact after reading it it seems like these two books aren’t even in the same universe.

This book is about a remote village in a forest and the way the elders make the rules. It felt more like The Village by M. Night Shyamalan than The Giver.

The main character is Kira, who is physically disabled and usually the disabled in this village are shunned, but because of who her mother was (who died) she isn’t abandoned by the village. She also has a talent in weaving and the book focuses a lot on her weaving, which I found very boring.

The title of this book is about Kira gathering a blue color she uses in her weaving. Her friend Matty is a messenger and one of the only people who will talk to her with her disability. He was way more interesting than Kira and the sequel is about him, which is a good idea because there is really not any interesting thing going on with Kira. This book was sadly very boring to me.

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Top 5 Books for 2018

So, I don’t think I’ll be able to squeeze in any other books this year, so I’ve decided to list my top 5 books I read this year. Out of the 32 books I read I really read some good ones, so this was a little hard for some of the list!

#5 

Goodreads link
Amazon

Dystopia is my favorite genre and this book did not disappoint!

Blurb:

Post-apocalypse; Penelope Evans is eighteen, living in the Colony along with her family and other survivors. She finishes a day in the laboratory when her identification card begins flashing. This flash starts an upheaval of events leading further from her normality and towards the epic truth.

James Garak is attending the Academy where he works on achieving a higher rank. Nobody ever expects Penelope and James’ relationship to last long. A year later, they’re still together.

But when they are forced to run, Penelope’s world turns upside down as she discovers the truth that changes her life forever.

With lives at stake and guards on their trail, will they make it to safety? Will the dishonest lies behind the island’s bureaucracy shatter her existence or give her the drive to find a sister she never knew existed?

#4

Goodreads
Amazon

This is actually the first cyber punk book I’ve ever read. 2019 I will start off with the sequel. I’m still looking forward to reading Ready Player One. 

Blurb: The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down Warcross players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. To make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire. 

#3

Goodreads
Amazon

This paranormal thriller had me on the edge of my seat and I loved the MC!

Blurb: There weren’t any second chances for the undead at least not by Phoenyx’s standards. Especially not after having the audacity to try and take her out. That was the biggest no-no of all. When that happened, you paid with your life––or un-life, so to speak. 

As a child, Jane heard voices. Felt what others could feel. She was witness to the things that went bump in the night and could tell a person’s deepest, darkest thoughts with only a touch. Until tragedy changed her life completely, thrusting her into the care of Hutton Grimshaw.

As, an esteemed chair member of The Order of the Flame, Hutton does what he must. Training young Jane to be the one thing the shadows feared. Now, at the age of twenty-five, she is known as Phoenyx, the world’s deadliest supernatural assassin. 

The hard and fast rules change when she finds Judas, a vampire, suffering in a back alley with no memory of who he is, or why he’s becoming more and more human every day. With a price on her head and the survival of humanity at stake, Phoenyx finds herself . . . Changing. Her true nature is slowly beginning to reveal itself and mysteriously, Hutton is the only one who seems to know why. 

After years of taking down the supernatural beings that plague her hometown of Crystal Haven, Phoenyx finds herself teetering on the fine line between good and evil. While her attraction to Judas begins to consume her, growing like a fire out of control, one thing becomes undeniably clear . . . 

If you play with fire, you’re going to get burned.

#2

Goodreads
Amazon

This was the book that my hubby got me last Christmas! It’s a classic vampire novel, predating Dracula and I couldn’t have loved it more! ❤

Blurb: Okay, so there is really not a blurb for this book. IDK why maybe because it is originally French or just so old it doesn’t have one, but I’m going to make one up if you are interested in this read!

Laura is a young woman living with her father in their old almost run down stone castle. Everything is going normal and steady until one day a carriage is over thrown near their home and Carmilla a survivor from the carriage is taken out and needs a place to stay until she gets better. 

With Carmilla comes a new life to the castle. A new life filled with darkness and light. Laura finds in Carmilla a friend and confident, but at times Carmilla becomes more friendly than Laura knows what to do with like strange kisses and caresses. 

Once Laura starts to become ill like her late cousin before her, her father knows something is amiss and is racing with time to find out what is ailing his daughter. 

#1

Goodreads
Amazon

Hands down Eleanor and Park was my favorite read of the year. I cannot believe I haven’t gotten around to more Rowell books! I’m certainly putting more of her books on my TBR list this year. It’s no surprise that this book was listed as the most popular book on my goodreads in review list. 

Blurb:  

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

Goodreads Challenge

I just love the Year in Review and the Goodreads Challenge from Goodreads. To me besides seeing what my friends are reading these are my favorite features. This year I was able to read 32 books! For me being a full time teacher and mom, that is pretty good. And I don’t even count any books I read to my classroom 😉 Last year I only read 24 books so I’m reading much more. I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store.  How many books did you all read so far?

The Little Prince

The little Prince or Le Petite Prince since I got to read it in French class when I was in French four in high school. I’m really glad I got to read it in it’s original language, although I’m not so sure now I could still read it in it’s original language. 

I absolutely love this children’s chapter book. And although it’s a children’s chapter book, there is so much simile and metaphor there I wonder if the children reading it would understand what is going on? Of course, that’s when good parenting comes in and you have discussions with your children about what they read. 

The first time I read this book I thought, “Just a kids book to help us learn French,” but the class discussions were great. 

The Little Prince is about a young boy traveling to several planets by birds and opens with a crashed pilot in the the desert who discovers him. Each in counter the young boy makes teaches him something about adults and sets him apart from them in their thinking. 

The relationship that sticks out the most of all his ‘adult’ encounters though is that of the rose on his own asteroid. The rose is self-centered, rude, and very hard to get a long with. Even so, the Little Prince shows her love and kindness, eventually getting her a glass globe to live in so she can stay safe. She often times feigns illness or other lesser problems to get his attention. Like any relationship such as this, the Prince learns he is being taken advantage of and finally decideds to travel to other planets. 

There is so much packed into this short novella and will be one I read over and over again.