Books in April

Apologies for the hiatus! Work and life have been extremely busy lately. I haven’t even done any writing, though I plan to soon. This time I wanted to wait for a rainy day to do my book pictures for April. My original idea didn’t pan out this time, but I still think the pictures turned out well. I even got a surprise in the sky to make up for my frustration!

 

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My reading goal for 2015 is to read 115 books. In April, I read seven books. That’s the same number I read in March. I’m a little behind on my goal, but I have hopes of catching up. Here’s what I read last month.

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I was surprised with a beautiful rainbow after having a frustrating rainy evening and not getting the pictures the way I’d hoped.

 

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Favorites: Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn’t Have) by Sarah Mlynowski

Least Liked: Small Damages by Beth Kephart

 

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Cover Reveal: DISSONANCE by Mariella Hunt

Hey guys! Today I am very excited to present a new cover reveal from a dear inkie friend of mine. This book has been long in the making and it will be here soon!

dissonance

Isn’t it gorgeous?

 

Title: Dissonance
Author: Mariella Hunt
Genre: YA Fantasy

Synopsis:

Fifteen-year-old Allie Grant lives crippled by her illness. Though kept in isolation, she’s never alone: A spirit named Song lurks in the silence of her bedroom.

When Song reveals its dark nature on the night of her recital, the show ends in tragedy. Verging on death, Allie’s taken in by an uncle she’s never met.

Julian claims to be a Muse with power over music and answers that’ll heal her. The cure she needs is rare, requiring of him a difficult sacrifice. Allie soon suspects her uncle has a secret that’ll turn her world around.

But with days left to live, she might fade without learning the truth…like the finishing chord of a song.

About the Author

 

Mariella Hunt is a writer with a strong love for coffee and guinea pigs. She likes using big words in everyday speech, and keeps journals of quotes from the greats.
Most days you’ll find her on a well-loved armchair, reading–or working on one of her many projects. As she cannot stick to an outline, she rewrites way too much.

Learn more at: http://mariellahunt.com/

Follow her on:

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This is one book that I am definitely keeping my eyes out for. You should, too.

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What I’m Working On: May 2015

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Hey guys. Camp NaNo ended a few weeks ago. Since then, the only writing I have done is editing for NestPitch. Our Reasons is now online for agents to consider. Cross your fingers for me?

https://smjohnstondotcom.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/nestpitch-sj2-our-reasons/

Other than NestPitch, my plans are to continue re-writing and editing Creeper unless something significant happens. Then I’ll take it from there. I’ve also decided to start creating a new website. I’m playing around with some templates. I hope you’ll be willing and able to follow me to a new site. With so much writing to be done, I’ve decided that I’d rather focus on that more than blogging. I will miss blogging but my heart isn’t in it as much as it used to be.

Will keep you updated on the new site, NestPitch, and my other projects.

 

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Books in March

So the book pictures for March got delayed for a month and a week because of insane rainy/dreary weather as well as lots of real life stuff going on. And while this wasn’t my original idea, I think they turned out well.

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My reading goal for 2015 is to read 115 books. In March, I read seven books. In February, I read eight. I read ten for January. So far, I’m doing okay with my goal. Here’s what I read last month.

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Favorites: The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg

Least Liked: Into the Darkness by V.C. Andrews (Andrew Neiderman)

 

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Results of Camp NaNo 2015

 

 

Hey guys. Apologies for the delay. Right after Camp NaNoWriMo ended, my fiance’ and I went to look at vendors for our wedding for a long weekend. I’ve had some time to think and I believe there will be some changes coming to this blog. More details later.

I finished Camp NaNo a day before schedule. Not bad considering I was unable to write much (or at all) here and there. My final word count ended up being longer than my first draft at 56,290 words. The original was only 50,114 words. I definitely like the changes in the new version and it’s always nice to do some cleaning up. I plan to go over it one more time before I begin querying and entering it into Twitter contests.

I will probably also do Camp NaNoWriMo in July to motivate myself to finish my Creeper short story collection.

How did Camp NaNoWriMo go for you? Are you planning to go again in July?

 

 

 

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What I’m Working On: Camp NaNo 2015 (Week 2)

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Hey guys. Camp NaNo started two weeks ago. How is everyone doing with it? I’m still behind, though I am slowly catching up. In between working 45+ hours a week at my regular job and doing some freelance work on the side, I feel I’m not doing too terribly.

I will probably be at 18-19K by the end of tonight. What are you at? How is Camp NaNo going for you?

Apologies for the lack of book reviews. It has been a very busy month! I hope to have some pictures of the books I read in March up whenever it decides to stop raining all the time here. ;)

Until next time!

 

 

 

jncname

What I’m Working On: Camp NaNo 2015 (Week 1)

wiwo14

 

Hey guys. So Camp NaNo started a week ago. How is everyone doing with it? I’m a bit behind because it has been difficult finding the energy to write after working overtime for the past few weeks. But it’s not bad, and I am confident that I will eventually catch up. Even though I’m sleepy, I’m enjoying the re-write. The Birthday Bash is going to be even better than before.

I am almost to 9K now. What are you at? How is Camp NaNo going for you?

In non-Camp NaNo news, I’ve also entered Our Reasons to #NestPitch. Wish me luck!

Until next time!

 

 

 

jncname

Book Review–Just Like Heaven (If Only It Were True) by Marc Levy

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This is the 22nd book from my 115 in 2015 Reading Challenge.

 

Picture Source: Goodreads.com

Picture Source: Goodreads.com

Just Like Heaven (If Only It Were True) by Marc Levy
Published May 1st, 2000 by Pocket Books

 

What do you do when you find a stranger in your closet, particularly when she’s surprised that you can even see her — and she can disappear and reappear at whim? What if she then tells you that her body is actually in a coma on the other side of town? Should you have her see a psychiatrist or should you consult one yourself? Or do you take a chance and believe in her, and allow yourself to be swept up in an extraordinary adventure?This is the beginning of the dilemma that Arthur, a young San Francisco architect, is faced with when he discovers Lauren in his apartment.

Arthur is the only man who can share Lauren’s secret, the only one who can see her, hear her, and talk to her when no one else so much as senses her presence. So when doctors prepare to end Lauren’s physical care — which would destroy the magical bond she and Arthur cherish — he must find a way to save her. For, after all, it is only her love that can save him.

A heartwarming love story that’s impossible to forget, an adventure that is by turns breathtaking and hilarious, “Just Like Heaven” is a captivating tale that evokes the essence of romance and our boundless capacity to believe.

 

————-

Plot:

I picked this up from the thrift store because I really enjoyed the movie and it’s always fun to read the books they’re based off of. Not really the case with this book. While it wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, it had a very slow pacing. I plan to re-watch the movie but it seems that only the most basic ideas were used for the movie because I didn’t remember most of what happened in the book.

The plot just really seemed to drag for me. I was glad when I was almost to the end just because I was tired of reading it.

Setting:

The apartment and hospital are not portrayed nearly as well as in the movie. However, the place Arthur’s mother left him sounds beautiful and interesting.

Characters:

I loved the two main leads in the movie. In the book, I didn’t care much for either. They were all right, but they just seemed to lack depth. They were just “there.” Arthur’s friend, Paul, had more personality.

Relationships:

Lauren and Arthur’s relationship in the book was very slow paced, sometimes confusing, and didn’t seem to have much chemistry. Maybe it’s because neither character seem very well developed. The whole purpose of this story is to want to root for these two but I honestly didn’t care enough about them to do that.

Writing/Voice:

The writing is okay, but tends to come off as a bit dry. While the majority of the book is slow paced, some parts felt downright painful wading through mentally.

Ending:

I can’t remember how the ending was in the movie, but I’m torn on whether or not I like the ending in the book. If I cared more about the characters, I think I’d be mad about it.

Overall:

Had a great plot idea, but wasn’t well executed in the book. This is one of those rare cases in which I think the movie is better than the book. The book was too slow, the characters boring, and if you don’t care about the main relationship in a romance, the story is already doomed.

 

 

2stars

 

 

 

 

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What I’m Working On: March 2015 Update #2

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Hey guys. Sorry about the lack of posts lately. It’s gotten busy here. Camp NaNo starts next week so I will only be posting occasional updates and Book Reviews. If you want to be more involved in my Camp NaNo stats, follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

I haven’t been up to much lately except for a couple new parts of Creeper. I’m going to go ahead and put it on hold so I can prepare for Camp NaNo. Pretty excited!

Are you participating in Camp NaNo? If so, what is your book about? Would love to hear about it!

Until next time!

 

 

 

jncname

Book Review–Into the Darkness by V.C. Andrews (Andrew Neiderman)

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This is the 21st book from my 115 in 2015 Reading Challenge.

 

Picture Source: Goodreads.com

Picture Source: Goodreads.com

Into the Darkness by V.C. Andrews (Andrew Neiderman)
Published February 28th, 2012 by Gallery Books

 

Despite the brilliant sunshine, I felt a chill surge through me. I paused and looked at the house next door. Was Brayden just another one of my fantasies?

Bestselling author V.C. Andrews portrays her most romantic couple since Troy and Heaven in the Casteel series…in this twisting tale of desire and obsession, reality and dreams.

As lovely as one of the precious gems at her parents’ jewelry store, Amber Taylor is shy and introspective—qualities misread by others as being stuck-up and superior. Facing a long, lonely summer working at the family shop, Amber’s world lights up when the Matthews family suddenly moves into the house next door, a property that has stood neglected for the longest time.

And when she meets Brayden Matthews, an only child just like her, Amber soon becomes infatuated with this handsome, quirky young man who seems to know her innermost feelings almost before she does, who takes her places she never knew existed in her small town. Their connection is electrifying, unlike anything Amber’s felt before. But as quickly as he appears, Brayden vanishes into the darkness. And finding out the truth about him will push Amber Taylor to the edge of madness….

An atmospheric journey of passion and suspense that builds to a jolting, unforgettable finale, Into the Darkness showcases V.C. Andrews at her best.

 

 

 

————-

I’m a big fan of VCA novels. Well, at least I was until the most recent Neiderman books. I’m still trying to give new books a fair chance. We’ll see how long that lasts.

Plot:

The plot doesn’t make a ton of sense. It had great potential, but just fell really short. I felt like the author wasn’t sure where to go so he would quickly abandon one idea and switch to something else. That’s how it felt, anyway.

Setting:

This is one of the few things that I actually liked. The setting was neat. Little community with a close-knit neighborhood yet still had nature surrounding it? Sign me up. I’d love to be able to walk to town within minutes as well!

Characters:

None of the characters, except perhaps Amber’s parents, were well fleshed out.

I wanted to like Amber so bad but she just kept rubbing me the wrong way. She was all right in the beginning–minus the describing everything in jewel-tones/jewelry terms–but it didn’t take long for her to start wearing on my nerves. Mostly her obsessing over the same old things and acting in unexpected ways without an explanation is what did it for me.

Brayden wasn’t any more likable. His presence and behavior was confusing, even once the ending sinks in.

Surprisingly Shayne (who the hell uses that spelling, anyway?) was likable for a little bit but then for whatever reason he starts acting really weird as well.

Conclusion: I don’t like any of these people and don’t care what happens to them.

Relationships:

This book was touted as being the best love story since Heaven and Troy. Ha. What? Did we read the same book? While there was one scene in which Amber and Brayden had great chemistry, for the most part it fell flat. It certainly wasn’t even a quarter of the romance portrayed by Heaven and Troy in Dark Angel. Their relationship didn’t make me feel anything.

I liked Shayne and Amber’s relationship somewhat better until things fell apart. Though the third person thing did get on my nerves after a while.

In a way I liked the relationship Amber had with her parents, but in another sometimes they acted really strange with her as well.

Writing/Voice:

It seems that each time I pick up a new VCA novel, the writing gets worse. I couldn’t even feel sorry for Amber at all–that’s how little I cared for her POV. I’m glad the jewelry term descriptions stopped after the first chapter, though. It would have been very annoying if that had continued. So I guess that’s a plus.

Ending:

I already knew this was a ghost story, so the twist wasn’t really much of one for me. Even though I didn’t really much care for this book at all, the ending seemed very “Meh.”

Overall:

Had potential and a great setting, but I couldn’t care for any of the characters, relationships, or writing. I found the book to be boring for the most part.

 

1star

 

 

 

 

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