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ROW80 Sundays

20121007-221415.jpg I SLEPT IN. Wheeee! That just never happens. And even though I slept in, I’ve already been productive today which makes me really happy. Time to check in!

READING. Definitely behind on the reading goal. As I mentioned Wednesday, I hadn’t felt like reading or even listening to an audiobook, and that continued most of the week until yesterday. I listened to a bit of THE RING AND THE CROWN, which I’m really enjoying so far. Already there’s court intrigue, class issues, MAGIC, family drama, and some underdogs to root for – good recipe for me!

I have a MS to beta that I’M REALLY EXCITED ABOUT. Didn’t get a chance to start yesterday, but today, it’s definitely happening.

WRITING. Okay, here’s to more organization. One goal for this week is to tweak how I record these things. I have several tracking sheets, but none really work for what I’m doing right now.

Thursday: Missed morning writing. Did a little research during the sprint at work. Put in about an hour and a half in the evening – lots of research and 936 words of notes.

Friday: Missed morning writing again. 120 words of notes at lunch. About 2 hours in the evening spent sketching scenes, handwritten though, so I didn’t count words.

Saturday: Worked on and off all day. Added to the scene sketches I started Friday and have about 10 handwritten pages of notes/outline stuff.

Discovered lots of new writing music and found things I have that I’d forgotten about. I LOVE the soundtrack for Kingdom of Heaven (Harry Gregson-Williams, 2005) but hadn’t thought of it in forever and now I have probably five different playlists that could use some of those songs.

LIFE. Stilllll working on downstairs, but it’s getting there. I’m not going to put a time limit on it because that just makes me anxious. I’m going to spend a few hours on it today and see where I end up.

Hope you all have a wonderful and productive next week! Stop by and check out some other ROW80ers HERE!

ROW80 Wednesday

20121007-221415.jpg Doing my check-in today since I missed Sunday altogether!

READING. I finished both THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE by Sarah J. Maas and DREAMS OF GODS AND MONSTERS by Laini Taylor. They were both AMAZING. Fantasy. Badassery. Beautiful wordsmithery. If you like those words I just made up, you will probably enjoy both of those books.

I have am in the middle of three different audiobooks at the moment, so I need to finish at least 2 of those to keep up with this week’s reading goal. I just haven’t been in the mood read/listen lately. (WHAT?!?!) Seems odd for me, but I suppose my brain needs a little break.

WRITING. I am just squeezing in whatever I can wherever I can. This week, I’m going to try to be more organized about it. HAHAAAA. HA. No really. I usually do get in an hour in the evening, but I’m so exhausted by then that it’s hard to focus. I really really REALLY need to sort out my hour in the morning. I think with the current state of my life, I might work better before the day truly begins.

LIFE. So my last project was to get rid of all the random stuff in common areas downstairs. Wellllll, there was a lot more stuff down there than I thought. I’ve been working on it here and there for two weeks now and still need a little more time. I have come to the conclusion that I am very skilled at hiding mass amounts of disarray — even from myself. I am, however, very proud of the bags and bags of stuff we’ve gotten rid of or donated so far.

Check in with the other ROWers HERE!

YAB Bootcamp Check-In

YAB-Spring-Writing-Challenge-2014-Large Quick YAB check-in! I need to change my goals up a little bit. Instead of a draft and an outline, I’m going for two complete outlines.

Oblivious Souls. This project has had about 9 million false starts. Oy. Instead of drafting like I had originally planned, I’m going to finish outlining. A ton of things just changed AGAIN, and I have no idea where all the new things are going.

When Stars Collide. I have been doing so much research. Seriously, SO MUCH. This is translating into pages and pages of notes, but since I’m just starting serious development on this project, it doesn’t quite have shape yet. I’m slowly figuring things out and stringing together an outline.

I am going to attempt…I say attempt because I’m not sure how it’ll go…to keep track words or pages or something measurable, even if it’s of notes, just so I can see accumulation over the next couple weeks.

Hope all you bootcampers are doing well!!

ROW80 Sundays

20121007-221415.jpg I’m a day late, but here it is – a goals post for Round 2!!

READING. For 2014, the goal is to read 2.5 books per week. I’m about seven books behind right now. I’m not surprised though considering I’ve been doing so much outlining and developing the last few weeks. I always seem to binge on one or the other for a couple weeks at a time.

AssassinsBladeCover I’m working my way through THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE by Sarah J. Maas, the THRONE OF GLASS prequel novellas. They’re SO GOOD. It’s almost like getting another whole book in the series.

DreamsofGodsandMonstersCover Next up is DREAMS OF GODS AND MONSTERS, the final book in the DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE series. I am not emotionally prepared for this book, but I still can’t wait to start!

WRITING. I have been really bad about consistency with writing. In an effort to improve, I’ve picked actual writing times. To start, it’s 6 to 7 AM and 8 to 9 PM. My hope is that since I’ve set aside the time (and time blocked other important things in my life to not interfere with writing time) that I’ll be able to recover the good habits I used to have!

I also have the 2 PM (EST!) #row80 sprints, but you all know how those go. Work has gotten increasingly complex in the last year. So while I’m there running them and cheering you on, most of you know that I’m not actually writing. I try to do small things like pick names or make lists of things I need to research – things that don’t take ALL of my concentration because I’ve found that I can no longer immerse myself for that hour even if I’m supposed to be taking my lunch.

On that note, remember if you want to join in, come find us on twitter between 2 PM and 3 PM EST using the #row80 hashtag. You can write, read, revise, research – anything that helps you with your writing – including play on Pinterest, watch music videos, stalk goodreads. ANYTHING. We’re firm believers that sometimes you get stimulation and motivation in the oddest places.

LIFE. Oy, my life lol. It’s all over the place. Each week I’m going to pick one personal project to work on. I know it probably seems silly to have to announce these things to the world, but it’s been a rough couple years y’all, and in that time a lot of things have had to be ignored. I need to (and am finally ready to) start slowly dealing with a ton of stuff. The goal for this week is to remove all things/clutter/etc. from common areas downstairs and to get the wood racks we bought 2 months ago assembled. Should be easy-peasy.

Good luck to everyone in Round 2!! I look forward to seeing all your awesome progress. To check out all the ROW80ers participating, clickity click THIS link.

YAB Bootcamp Progress

YAB-Spring-Writing-Challenge-2014-Large We’re just going to pretend this isn’t the first time I’ve checked in since we posted goals. I really have no excuse other than…life…which is not a good one. I’ve made a little progress but not as much as I would’ve liked.

Oblivious Souls. (YA/Dark Fantasy) I’m supposed to be drafting this, but my other project has been demanding all my time! This past week, I outlined a few new scenes for the beginning. Not much, but it’s something!

When Stars Collide. (YA/Fantasy/Time Travel) DUDE. My brain has been on overload with this story. Can’t. Stop. Thinking. About. It. That’s definitely a good thing. I meant for developing and outlining this to be a secondary goal, but it’s fighting for all my attention. I listened to half (about 6 hours) of a lecture on the physics of time, and it was FASCINATING. Really got the gears turning.

That’s it for now. Hope all you bootcampers are doing well!! *waves madly to Team Vesuvius*

YA Buccaneers Bootcamp Goals

YAB-Spring-Writing-Challenge-2014-Large To kick-off spring, I’m joining in the YA Buccaneers Spring Writing Bootcamp!

It runs during March, April, and May. They have a ton of great posts coming up, and I’ve signed up for an accountability team which I’m actually really excited about. I need people to keep me in check.

My big goal for the next 3 months is to complete a zero draft of a YA dark fantasy I’ve been working on. I keep stalling, and it’s mostly because I’ve been letting life get in the way. I just want to see it completed in all its messy glory so that I can move on.

My secondary goal is to finish developing and outlining a YA time travel project that I’m really excited about. There are a lot of complexities that need to be worked out, so I’m hoping to also have that finished so I can start drafting it in June or July. I have no idea if this is actually feasible for me, but I’m going to try!

Can’t wait to hear about our teams and meet everyone!

ROW80 Sundays

20121007-221415.jpg Hey guys!! It’s been a long time since I’ve participated in a ROW80 round officially. Things haven’t (aka life hasn’t) really calmed down, but I’m going to try to set a few easy goals in hopes that I can rekindle some good habits.

Since there’s only a little of Round 1 left, I’m going to use the rest of it to formulate a better plan.

To start, my goals will be:

READING. Continue to read 2.5 books a week. I managed to meet my goal of 75 last year. I even met that goal early and upped it to 100, which I also met! YAY. It’s about the only goal I was successful with last year, so I’ll just focus on the positive and celebrate that.

That was about 2 books a week, so I decided to challenge myself to 2.5 a week this year. I think I am 4 books behind right now, but I’m not worried about that at all yet!

WRITING. Spend 1 hour a day on writing related activities. It can be anything, though ideally I’d like at least 5 of those days to be actual writing. I am still developing a lot of one project I’m working on and doing the outline of another, so I’m going to need a substantial amount of research time as well.

LIFE. My third focus is to work on personal projects, anything from being healthier to finishing a filing system for our house. This week I’m just going to make a list of a few things so that I have a place to start.

And that’s it for now! Stop by and check out all the lovely ROW80 folks HERE, and have a great week.

Kiss Me, Kill Me: Knights of Rilch by Rachel O’Laughlin

kissmekillmelogoflat
 
FRIENDS. REBELS. LOYALISTS.

Or maybe this time, that should be FRIENDS? SERENS? ORIONS?

You see, today I’m going to share with you how much I loved KNIGHTS OF RILCH by Rachel O’Laughlin. Really, I mean LOVVVVVED.
 
Fangirling

I have been waiting for this book since the moment I finished COLDNESS OF MAREK, the first in the series. In that book, it was pretty clear what side everyone was on. In KNIGHTS, I am not sure what side anyone is on. At times, I’m not sure the characters even know what side they’re on. AND IT IS GLORIOUS.

Speaking of characters, Rachel has this gift for creating tortured, complex, PASSIONATE characters. I end up loving people that have done awful things, and I DON’T EVEN CARE.

I’m looking at you Trzl. You better work this shizz out, girl.

Mikel still has my heart. He’s just so darn loyal and lovable. This is me in every Mikel scene:

Kierstaz. KIERSTAZ. She’s amazing. Brilliant. BADASS.

I always have these weird little loyalty arguments with myself when new characters are introduced. I’m all nooooooo who are you and why are you talking to/staring at/going near my friends from Book 1?!?! So it always shocks me when I end up liking a new character.

In KNIGHTS, that character is Sark. MY GOD. I cannot fully explain my love for Sark without spoiling like EVERYTHING, so just know this:

*fans self* Where were we? Oh right, talking about Sark THE BOOK.

The world building is once again amazing, the best part being that it’s effortless. There are a lot of battles in this book which can sometimes be cumbersome to read, but somehow Rachel makes you feel like you’re watching a movie. IT’S LIKE MAGIC. And Rachel is maybe a sorcerer. Rachel?

I’m not sure what happened to Rachel. But it’s KISS ME, KILL ME time!

Oh, there she is!

First, WHO WOULD YOU KISS?

Rachel: Well, besides Mikel…*ahem*… Seriously? Ric. He’d be all gruff and “what the Treacher, kid?”, but kiss him I would. And I would totally kiss Kierstaz. Everything about her just ruins me. My girl-crush on her is almost as strong as the one I have for Veronica Mars.
Lauren: My answer is almost the same as it was for COLDNESS. Mikel. ALWAYS MIKEL. With a little side of Colstadt. BUT SARK. As I mentioned above, I need more than kisses.

WHO WOULD LIKELY KISS YOU? Whether you’d want them to or not…

Rachel: Colstadt? The poor guy goes through a lot. I’d comfort him with hugs and cookies and then you know, he’d definitely fall in love with me.
Lauren: *squeaks* SARK. I am not even going to be practical here, going straight for wish fulfillment.

WHO WOULD YOU KILL?

Rachel: Right now, I almost feel like this should be Trzl. She is seriously asking for it for the way she’s treating my darlings.
Lauren: Otreya. I WOULD END HIM. Messing stuff up for all my babies. (P.S. I love that Trzl is outside of your darlings zone right now. *pets her*)

WHO JUST KILLS YOU?

Rachel: Pier. Definitely Pier. Okay, Pier and Sark both. I can’t even explain why, they just…GAHHHH!!!
Lauren: TrzlMikelTevKierstazColstadtToferRomianz. Uh, is everyone an acceptable answer?! Because really *side eyes Rachel* you know how to make them all so infuriating! Hmmm, but looking back, I think Zven would be the one who just kills me.

So there you go, my feels go splat on the page. KNIGHTS OF RILCH was amazing. This series is AMAZING. If it sounds like your thing, you can find it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Book Depository. Or add it to Goodreads.

And for those of you that like to see the live flailing, the run down for KNIGHTS OF RILCH is at the end of this post. Go on, ENJOY MY PAIN.

KnightsofRilchCover When Serengard rebelled and the Orion monarchy fell, former crown princess Kierstaz Orion’s love for her people became a burning desire to set things right. With a price on their heads, Kierstaz and her brother Mikel led a handful of men against the new army, fighting skirmishes all along the border of Dreibourge. But months of heavy bloodshed forced her small band of knights to abandon the border—and all of Serengard—to the rebels.

Nine years and a thousand betrayals later, Kierstaz and Mikel again find themselves on the run—only this time, they’ve a boy in tow: Malcom, the son of two of the Seren rebellion’s strongest leaders. The new regime wants him dead, Mikel wants him alive, and it’s all Kierstaz can do to keep their tracks covered. Desperate to preserve the innocent life she swore to protect and the brother who has always stood by her, Kierstaz must gamble the last thing in the world she owns: her identity. Secrets are a staple of the Orion family, and those Kierstaz keeps are as dangerous as the ones kept from her.
 
 
OLaughlinPic Rachel O’Laughlin grew up writing adventure stories in which heroines tend to get their hands dirty, bad guys sometimes win, and someone always gets kidnapped. Her passion for history morphed into a love for fantasy in her mid-teens, when she took a brief pause from reality for immersion in the arts and a hands-on education in sustainable living. She lives in New England with her husband and two boys, listens to The Fray, and drinks too many lattes. Two novels in her SERENGARD fantasy series have been released, and a third is scheduled for October 2014.
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EVILFEST aka KNIGHTS OF RILCH Trading Card Reveal: HODRAN

Hi lovelies!! Today I’m bringing you the first EVILFEST of 2014. Mwahahaaa!

EVILGIF

That’s not really a thing on my blog, but you thought it was for a second, didn’t you?

I’ll explain. You may remember how I, shall we say, GUSHED about the very talented Rachel O’Laughlin’s first book in the SERENGARD series, COLDNESS OF MAREK? Well now it’s almost time for the sequel, KNIGHTS OF RILCH!!! Seriously, I can hardly contain myself. I’ve been begging her for spoilers for months…and then in the next breath, telling her not to dare spoil me.

You can imagine this makes me SO EXCITED to get to reveal one of eight GORGEOUS trading cards for the SERENGARD series.

That’s where the evil comes in. Because I have HODRAN. And Hodran is a creep. He makes my skin crawl, and you know what’s worse? He’s all evil-creepy-douchey stuffed in a very nice looking exterior, as you can see in his beautiful trading card below.

collectorcard-2.5inx3.5in-h-front

Original Artwork Copyright Dan Tare 2014

 

 **WARNING** HE’S A CHARMER, LADIES. A man of good fortune. Possibly in want of a wife. But probably as anti-Darcy as you could get. (See: SLIMEBALL. If that happens to be in the dictionary?)

All that aside, I suppose his evil doings are necessary to the awesome that is this series. So maybe we can all agree to love to hate him? YES, I THINK THAT’S IT.

There are 100 limited edition cards of each character. Artwork on the front, stats on the back. I can’t show you the back because SPOILERS, and while Hodran may be evil, I am surely not.

Check out Rachel’s TRADING CARD REVEAL post for links to all the cards!

HOW CAN YOU GET THESE CARDS, YOU ASK?

Email Rachel your proof of purchase, and she’ll send you a set.

-OR-

Purchase them separately. Details HERE.

-OR-

Enter the giveaway below!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

KNIGHTS OF RILCH (SERENGARD, BOOK TWO) releases February 25, 2014

Goodreads | Pre-order

KnightsofRilchCover

Nearly a decade ago…
When Serengard rebelled and the Orion monarchy fell, former crown princess Kierstaz Orion’s love for her people became a burning desire to set things right. With a price on their heads, Kierstaz and her brother Mikel led a handful of men against the new army, fighting skirmishes all along the border of Dreibourge. But months of heavy bloodshed forced her small band of knights to abandon the border—and all of Serengard—to the rebels.

Nine years and a thousand betrayals later…
Kierstaz and Mikel again find themselves on the run—only this time, they’ve a boy in tow: Malcom, the son of two of the Seren rebellion’s strongest leaders. The new regime wants him dead, Mikel wants him alive, and it’s all Kierstaz can do to keep their tracks covered. Desperate to preserve the innocent life she swore to protect and the brother who has always stood by her, Kierstaz must gamble the last thing in the world she owns: her identity. Secrets are a staple of the Orion family, and those Kierstaz keeps are as dangerous as the ones kept from her.

Cover Reveal: SALT by Danielle Ellison & eARC Giveaway!!

Today Danielle Ellison and Entangled Teen are revealing the cover for SALT, releasing in early 2014! Check out the gorgeous cover, exclusive excerpt, and enter to win an eARC!

Before you look at it, let me just tell you that I LOVVVVE this cover. I was all flaily about it to begin with and then this morning I found out that the LOVELY Jenny Perinovic designed it! IT’S SO GORGEOUS, y’all!

Ok, I’ll shut up….GO LOOOOOOK.

SALT-COVER-FINAL-500

About the Book:

 

SALT
Author: Danielle Ellison
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Goodreads/Amazon/Barnes & Noble/iTunes

Penelope is a witch, part of a secret society protecting humans from demon attacks. But when she was a child, a demon killed her parents—and stole her magic. Since then, she’s been pretending to be something she’s not, using her sister’s magic to hide her own loss, to prevent being sent away.

When she’s finally given the chance to join the elite demon-hunting force, Penelope thinks that will finally change. With her sister’s help, she can squeeze through the tests and get access to the information she needs to find “her” demon. To take back what was stolen.

Then she meets Carter. He’s cute, smart, and she can borrow his magic, too. He knows her secret—but he also has one of his own.

Suddenly, Penelope’s impossible quest becomes far more complicated. Because Carter’s not telling her everything, and it’s starting to seem like the demons have their own agenda…and they’re far too interested in her.

I have wanted to read this book ever since I read the description. I’m not sure how I even happened on it. I think it had something to do with twitter and The Little Mermaid. But back to the point, doesn’t it sound AMAZZZZZING?!!?!

Exclusive Excerpt:

 

“Jealousy is cute on you, Pen.”

“Don’t call me that,” I snap, pushing my coffee away from me. “And I’m not jealous.”

He leans back on the chair. “Sure. And I don’t think you’re adorable.” I jerk my eyes up. He’s smiling. Screw this—this is so frustrating. I tap my foot under the table.

“We’re stating the facts, right?” he says.

“Right,” I say.

I don’t have time for this. And what is wrong with this coffee? I feel like I swallowed a fire and it’s all just burning at my stomach.

“You look sick again,” he says.

The poorly—or perfectly—timed waitress comes back with Carter’s coffee and a whole tray of drinks. Carter, obviously, flirts again. I don’t know if he’s doing it to get a reaction out of me, but I’m not going to give him one. I watch him and say nothing, but the whole time it feels darker inside my head and my stomach whirs. It’s more empty, and more full, and unsettled at once. The waitress turns to leave a when it happens.

The waitress coughs, as if she suddenly can’t breathe, and trips. She flies across the air. The tray spills all over a table of four. I gasp, horrified. Another waitress grabs her by the waist, trying to give her the Heimlich. The waitress coughs out the gum. She’s crying hysterically, apologizing to the customers dripping with water.

The weirdest part? As soon it happens, all the fury that was building up inside of me disappears. It’s calm again, normal. The change is so sudden that my fingernails dig into the table. All I can hear is the waitress’s cry.

“I don’t know what happened,” she sobs over and over again. I close my eyes. Everything inside me is completely still. No storm, no clawing, no emptiness or fullness. In fact, I’m suddenly starving.
Carter’s looking at me when I open my eyes. There’s something unsettling in his gaze, something suspicious.

“I gotta go,” I say. He starts to say something. I don’t stay long enough to find out what it is.

Somehow I just did magic.

About Danielle:

 

DaniellePhoto Danielle Ellison is from a small town in West Virginia. She spent her childhood pretending to fly and talking to imaginary friends. When she grew up, she finally flew away (in an airplane) and started traveling the world. She hasn’t stopped yet, but someday she may decide to settle in one place. Her real life friends would definitely like that; they would probably also like if she stopped talking to her characters out loud.

SALT comes out in January 2014, and then it’s sequel. In October 2014, FOLLOW ME THROUGH DARKNESS (book one of the BOUNDLESS Trilogy) comes out. She’s got a busy few years! Find Danielle around the web: Website/Blog/Twitter/Facebook/Goodreads

 

Giveaway Details:

1 eARC of SALT (International)

a Rafflecopter giveaway