Birthday Book Haul 2017

Apologies for the hiatus. It’s been a bit of a crazy month. My birthday was this month so I obviously bought myself some books.

I got The Chemist from my library’s outlet store. The top four books were from Book Outlet. Tiny Pretty Things, The Merciless 2, Get Even, & Partials. The rest came from my local used book store–all of these were about $4 because I took in some old books for store credit.  Two Animorphs, Just After Sunset, Dead White, The Unwelcomed Child, The Snow, Surrogate Child, A Gift of Magic, and Summer of Fear (which I already had a copy of but I liked this cover better and am planning to send the other to someone).

 

I got the Goosebumps book from Ebay so I can do the Goosebumps-along that Richard @ Richard’s Book Nook is hosting again this year. Join us! This Star Won’t Go Out, All the Light That We Cannot See, and Dumplin’ came from my local Goodwill.

So that’s a total of 18 books for my birthday, which is perfect since it landed on the 18th! Complete coincidence!

 

I took in about 15 books for store credit so at least I got rid of some of my collection. I probably won’t read any of these this year except for the Goosebumps book. Still, I feel like I’ve done better with book buying this year than I did in 2016.

 

What books have you bought lately?

 

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Camp NaNo July 2017 Announcement

In April, I used Camp NaNo to finally finish my novel, Creeper, which had previously been two short stories with a conclusion in mind. Since I did pretty well with that, I thought I would try it again since I’m having trouble getting motivated on my own.

The last time I did both sessions of Camp NaNo, it was disastrous but I feel like I can swing both if I keep my goals smaller. I’m thinking I will do 30K with this one as well. It also helps that I have a week off in July.

So for July Camp NaNo, I will be re-writing Whispertown with a goal of 30K. I have been wanting to work on this and I hope it will motivate me to do so next month. I’m excited to see how the story I love hopefully become even better. I feel like Whispertown is an important and relevant story, especially as of late.

Whispertown is about a teenage girl named Cassie who finds herself pregnant after being sexually assaulted by her boyfriend, who also happens to be the local pastor’s son. Not quite sure how to handle the situation in her small, conservative town, she battles with whether to stay and face the judgments of others or leave town.
Here’s the updated cover, which I created in Adobe Illustrator:
Are you participating in Camp NaNo? If so, what is your story about? Best of luck!

March & April Book Haul

My goal for 2017 is to try and buy less books overall and to try to buy more that I will read this year. Here’s how I did this month.

I plan on reading The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers around July. I had a few credits on BookMooch so this was basically free.

Booktuber and YA author Maggie Ann Martin sent me Hotel Ruby for a giveaway I entered. I plan to read this one around Halloween. It sounds similar to Evil in the Walls so I am curious about it.

I got The Daughter of the Pirate King with my March Owlcrate box. If I have time this summer, I definitely want to squeeze it in. I don’t think I’ve ever read a novel that focused on pirates.

All of the wonderful bookish goodies in my Owlcrate.

I plan to read Rise of Empire next month. I also hope to squeeze the 6th One Piece manga in for this month. I may read Proven Guilty later on this year if I have time. I saw the Irish Fairy and Folk Tales and had to get it. These were bought used on eBay and Amazon.

James Alexander released a new sweary coloring book called Road Rage. It is hilarious. I sat on my patio and laughed until I cried as I flipped through the pages. Unfortunately he is having some issues with Amazon and CreateSpace refusing to stock his work. I am really glad I grabbed it when I did and hope they will re-instate his books.

I didn’t care for any of the library editions for The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn so I decided to get this adorable Puffin edition off eBay. I plan to read this for my classic next month.

I found Illuminae at my local Ollie’s Discount store for $6 so I found it hard to resist. If I don’t get to it this year, I would like to make it a goal to read it next year. Sci-Fi is a genre I rarely read from and this one actually interests me.

James May’s Toy Stories was at my library’s outlet store. I scored it for a couple of bucks and will probably gift it to my Father-in-law, who enjoys James May and these sort of books.

I got Suite Scarlett with BookMooch points.

I also got Vampirella, a comic, and Shark Movie Mania in March’s Horror Block. I definitely want to try to get to both of these this year since I am obsessed with sharks and would like to read more comics.

I have been hearing great things about You and I found a brand new hardcover of it at Dollar Tree. Definitely going to get to it soon.

This isn’t a book but since it’s book related, I thought I would add it. I found this at Target.

I also found these adorable Harry Potter magnetic book clips at Target!

 

I acquired 15 books during these months and plan to read 9-10 of them this year. Not bad!

 

Books in January 2017

For 2017, I have challenged myself to read 80 books. In January, I read seven.

 

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New Favorite: FrostBlood by Elly Blake

Least Liked: 5th One Piece (For Whom the Bells Toll) by Eiichirō Oda

Classic: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Old Favorites (Re-Reads): Heaven by V.C. Andrews, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling.

I loved Harry Potter as much as I always have and reading the new illustrated version was a wonderful way to re-read the book.

I also loved Red Queen. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up was inspiring. The 5th OnePiece manga was decent, but far from my favorite. Overall, I had a great reading month!

Also, if you recognize this background, that’s because you saw it in my book pictures last January–only there was snow then. I decided to revisit this place (the inside of a large bush at my apartment complex of all places) because I think it’s a beautiful backdrop.

 

 

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My “new” favorite read for January 2017. This happened to be a review book, too.

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My classic read for the month.

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This year I decided to re-read the Harry Potter series. My husband got me this beautiful special illustrated edition of the Philosopher’s Stone to begin. The illustrations are wonderful!

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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo has been a huge inspiration to me de-cluttering my life. So far I am more than halfway through my apartment and parting with clutter as well as re-organizing my life has helped so much. Being surrounded only by things I love, need, and use is so much better than hanging onto things I didn’t truly love. Highly recommend if you are looking for a positive change in your life.

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I also decided that I would re-read the Casteel series by V.C. Andrews as well as her original stand-alone, My Sweet Audrina, and the new sequel to MSA. Since VCA died in 1986, only a few books under her name were actually written by her. Heaven was one of the ones she did and I somehow loved it even more now than I did when I first read it at 14 or 15.

Heaven Leigh Casteel will always be one of my favorite fictional characters of all time and while this series is tragic, I am also always there to root for her and her dreams. If you want a book that will touch you, disgust you by the cruelty of the world, and make you want the main character to succeed no matter what, I highly recommend this one. I will be reading the next one in Feburary!

So what did you read in January and what were your favorites? How many books are you tackling for 2017?

jnc

January Writing & Reading Goals Check (February Goals)

Last month I decided to do a post with a list of goals I wanted to accomplish in the coming month. Let’s see how I did.
GOALS FOR JANUARY
✓ Read The Bell Jar for my classic book

✓ Read at least 6 books

✓ Read Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone (illustrated) for my TBR

✓ Read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up for my TBR

✓ Read Red Queen for my TBR

✓ Read Heaven by V.C. Andrews for my TBR

✓ Read Frost Blood for my TBR/review book

✓ do book pictures for the month
✓ Work on Creeper re-write

I got through all of the books plus an extra one (a OnePiece manga) and I plan to do my Book Pics tomorrow. The only thing I did not get to was writing and I hope to get more accomplished next month. I have been really focusing on de-cluttering my apartment so I figure once I am finished I will have much more time to write. I’m halfway through!

GOALS FOR FEBRUARY
✓ Read at least 6 books
✓ Read The Princess and the Goblin for my classic book
✓ Read Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets (illustrated) for my TBR
✓ Read The Wrath and the Dawn for my TBR
✓ Read A Court of Thorns and Roses for my TBR
✓ Read Dark Angel by V.C. Andrews for my TBR
✓ Read When You Came Back for my TBR/review book
✓ do book pictures for the month
✓ Work on Creeper re-write
✓ Enter Pitch Madness on the 24th

Wish me luck! Do you have any goals this month? How did you do with your goals for January?

 

jnc

The Book VS the Movie: Beastly

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Book written by Alex Flinn, 2007
Movie directed by Daniel Barnz, 2011

Synopsis from Goodreads.com:

I am a beast. A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog, but a horrible new creature who walks upright – a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.

You think I’m talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It’s no deformity, no disease. And I’ll stay this way forever – ruined – unless I can break the spell.

Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and a perfect life. And then, I’ll tell you how I became perfectly beastly.

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VS

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Which I Viewed First: The book.

Which I Enjoyed Most: The book.

Out of 5 stars, the Book Gets: 3.5 stars.

Out of 5 stars, the Movie Gets: 2.5 stars.

Things the Book Did Better: Characters were better and the story was deeper. The romance was better than the movie.

Things the Movie Did Better:  Neil Patrick Harris.

Verdict?: Book.

Should the movie be re-made?: Maybe if it followed the book more closely and had a better main cast. I liked Neil Patrick Harris though. He sold it.

What do you think? Agree, disagree? Would love to hear your thoughts!

 

See more Book VS Movie posts HERE.

jnc

2017 Writing Goals

Last year was not a great year overall when it came to writing. I’m pretty sure the only major achievement was writing Not My Fault for NaNoWriMo, and starting on the re-write of Creeper. I miss writing and need to make more time for it. I’m hoping that I will be ready to begin thinking about publishing this year or next. Whether it’s traditional or self-published will just depend on how the year goes.

My goals for 2017:

* Finish Creeper re-write.

* Continue to enter Twitter writing events such as Pitch Wars, Pitch Madness, #PitMad, etc.

*  Re-write Whispertown.

*  Re-write/edit Our Reasons.

* Re-write/edit Evil in the Walls.

* Write something new

* Begin researching serious publishing options
Those are going to be my main goals this year. I really want to work on fine-tuning these stories and hopefully find a publisher for at least one of them. If not, then I will more than likely look into self-publishing.

I’m sure most writers have fantasized about becoming famous because of their books and I’m no exception, but over the last few years that dream has changed. Now my only wish is to share my stories with the world and see them on bookshelves, whether on readers or those in stores. I miss readers so much.

Hopefully 2017 will be a more productive writing & editing year than 2016 was!

 

jnc