What I'm Reading & Writing Wednesday!

whatimreadingandwritingwednesday

Hello there again, time to catch up with one another and discuss what we are reading, writing, and/or are working on this week. This feature is my own little spin on MizB’s WWW Wednesday, over at Should Be Reading. If you haven’t checked her blog out yet, you definitely should!

What I Finished Reading…

15792316I finished Split Second, the sequel to Pivot Point the other day and really enjoyed it. Hopefully tomorrow or Friday I will be posting a review! Overall, I have been very impressed with both books and love Kasie West’s writing style.

What I am Currently Reading…

BookCover_Lost_in_StarlightLost in Starlight by Sherry Soule. This book is going to be released on Thursday, June 26th. I hope to have a review up this week. So far, I think Lost in Starlight is a lot of fun. The main character is quirky and likeable.

What I am going to read next….

I’m not quite sure, honestly. I have a couple of choices, but I think I am going to pick one that is on my shelf that has been there for a while.

What I’m Writing…

As a result of my Camp NaNoWriMo post the other day, I started talking to Megan over at LifeWriterMegan and she and I traded the first chapters of our novels. I have always been terrified to share my writing with other people, even those who I am close to. However, it’s been a really nice process so far! Constructive criticism can only help to my my writing and my novel that much stronger.

So I am working on my novel again, draft 3. And I will continue to work on it during Camp NaNoWriMo and hopefully continue to get some feedback from other writers. It’s really the only way to push forward and get this novel written and ready to self-publish!

 

I probably won’t be reading all that much during the month of July, while I am working on my Camp NaNo novel. I really need to take some time off to focus on writing. So I will probably only read 1-2 books the whole month. While reading books gives me inspiration, I really can’t have the distraction.

 

What are you reading this week?

 

Mini Review: Pivot Point by Kasie West

PivotPointHC_jkt_des8bGoodreads Synopsis:

Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier . . .

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.

In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.

Mini Review:

I found Pivot Point to be a very unique and intriguing read. I loved Kasie West’s writing style and the format that she chose to use to tell Addie’s story and the huge decision that she has to make. The idea of paralell universes that split from the many sides of one choice is fascinating to me. It was very interesting to see what crossed over between the two choices that Addie could make. The characters in this novel were also incredibly likeable. Both Addie and her best friend Laila are characters that I could see myself being friends with.

With some really interesting and quite shocking twists, great characters, and a fun and engaging story, Pivot Point was a great summer read!

Giving Camp NaNoWriMo Another Try.

2014-Participant-Facebook-Cover

I tried Camp NaNoWriMo in April, the same month I attempted the A-Z challenge, took a trip to visit a friend, my computer decided to stop working and I had an unbelievable amount of other things going on in my life. Needless to say, I wasn’t very successful and that was really disappointing for me.

I am going to give it another shot in July. However I don’t really know what to write.

I can keep working on revisions of the novel I’ve been working on since last November, which I finally feel I have a decent grasp on (even though I have a million questions, mostly ones that actually require another human being to read my work– which I am so nervous about).

or…

I can start a new, fresh novel, which is barely planned out in my head. Luckily I still have time to outline a bit and come up with the big and important events in the story.

What would you suggest I do? Keep working on the one that I have been trying to make progress with or start a new novel?

Also, I am almost to the point where I would like to talk to a critique partner about my first chapter.  I know that this isn’t a whole lot to have someone read and respond to, but I have a couple of questions that would change the way I write the rest of the novel.

First off, I am wondering if I should continue writing in 1st person, or if I should re-write in 3rd.

I am toying with writing with multiple perspectives (my first draft is writting in dual perspetives) or just telling the story from the main character’s perspective. I am afraid that using multiple perspectives might give too much away when it comes to the plot twists and such.

Where would you go to get a critique partner?

What have your experiences been with critique partners?

I’m so scared to have someone else read what I’ve written. What if they hate it and think my writing sucks? It’s a huge work in progress, but I feel like it’s the right next step to take so that I make the right choices in the future.

 

 

Why I Love the YA Genre- Guest Post by Sherry Soule, author of Lost in Starlight

“Why I Love the Young Adult Genre”

Guest post by author, Sherry Soule

Banner_V4

 

Today author, Sherry Soule has some exciting news to share with us! She will be publishing a brand new Upper YA / Sci-Fi Romance series: the “Starlight Saga” with scorching-hot character chemistry, exciting suspense, and epic romance on June 26, 2014.

To help promote this amazing interstellar love story, “LOST IN STARLIGHT,” Sherry is doing this guest post to share the news with fellow bibliophiles. So without further, ado, please welcome Sherry Soule to Amanda’s Nose in a Book!!!

 

Hi everybody, I’m author, Sherry Soule—waving from the SF Bay Area. Thanks for letting me visit today, it’s an honor to be a guest here and meet fellow booklovers.

Ever since I was a child, I have recognized that books are a way to travel to other places and have incredible adventures. Even though I am older than the average teen reader, I’ve always loved reading Young Adult books and strongly believe you’re NEVER too old to read them.

One reason that I enjoy reading YA Lit is because most novels in this genre are fast-paced and thrilling. And teenage characters tend to have a more hopeful perspective, which draws me in—plus the fact that I’m really a big kid at heart. I also adore that there are so many books created into a series nowadays, so that you can continue to have additional adventures with your favorite characters.

Could my love of YA Lit be simply because I’m still stuck at age sixteen, just a teenager-at-heart in disguise?

Could be. And like many of you, I’ve read hundreds of YA books and I can actually say that I enjoyed almost all of them. Some I genuinely loved, and these books became like good friends that I didn’t want to part with, so they adorn my bookshelves and wait patiently to be reread again one day. Other novels were simply read and then disregarded with a contented smile.

Although I buy many of my books through Amazon, I am never embarrassed to buy YA novels in bookstores, or carry them around with me. I love the genre and always have and always will.

We all have diverse tastes in literature. Most of you will have various genres that you love to read, and probably some of my favorite books are simply your forgotten reads. That is what makes the world of YA Lit, and reading as a whole, so fascinating. Each one of us will enjoy different types of characters, plots, and, of course, a writer’s voice, the way only they can tell a story.

At its core my new novel, LOST IN STARLIGHT, is basically a love story about two lonely hearts finding each other and how their “forbidden” friendship changes both of their lives. Sure, there is an element of danger regarding this star-crossed romance, but they are both young and reckless. Who isn’t at that age?

And I don’t know about you, but I need some romance in almost every book I read. Even in YA! And if you’re a hopeless romantic at heart, then you’ll enjoy reading my new book.

Thus, LOST IN STARLIGHT is the first book that I’ve ever written that focuses mostly on romance rather than any paranormal baddies trying to kill the heroine or having the plot center around a supernatural mystery to solve. And I think the heroine of my new series, Sloane, is rather unique. To me, she’s not your average “Mary Sue” or flawless heroine. She has some self-esteem issues, but she’s also headstrong and gutsy, with an eccentric fashion sense.

Thank you for letting me chat about my love of young adult literature. I hope you enjoyed this post. Now go feed your mind and read a book! Preferably one of mine  🙂

 

Please mark your calendars to buy your copy of LOST IN STARLIGHT on June 26th 2014!

Read the first five chapters for free on wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/story/14214838-lost-in-starlight-syfy-romance

BookCover_Lost_in_StarlightVOLUME ONE of the Starlight Saga- Synopsis

 

High school reporter Sloane Masterson knows she has one helluva story when she witnesses hottie Hayden Lancaster bending forks with his mind.

Like any good journalist, Sloane sets out to uncover the truth, even if it includes a little stalking. When the superhuman feats start to pile up and the undeniable heatrises between them, Hayden has no choice but to reveal his secret: he’s an alien.

They’re as different as night and day—she’s a curvy, purple-haired, horror junkie and he’s a smoking hot, antisocial, brainiac—yet the intense fascination between them refuses to go away. Even at Hayden’s insistence that dating each other is “off limits” and crazy dangerous, their fiery attraction threatens to go supernova.

Now Sloane’s dealing with creepy government agents, über snobbY extraterrestrials, and a psycho alien ex-girlfriend out for revenge. After a crash course on the rules of interstellar dating, Sloane must decide if their star-crossed romance is worth risking her own life….

About Sherry Soule

Sherry Soule lives with her family and one very spoiled black cat in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the bestselling author of the adult novel, “Immortal Eclipse” and the popular YAunnamed series: Spellbound. Sherry writes thrilling tales of romance and suspense, often mingled with a dash of the mystical and a splash of trendy fashion. Her love of literature began when she was a young girl and it has continued throughout her life.

Her published novels do not include any graphic sex scenes or explicit violence, nor excessive profanity, so that all of her novels can be read and enjoyed by both teens and adults.

Sherry’s debut novel, “Beautifully Broken” was nominated for Best Paranormal Romance in the 2011 Wizard and Witch/Sorcery category by The Romance Reviews (TRR). Her adult novel, “Immortal Eclipse” is a *TOP PICK* by Night Owl Reviews.

Places you can find Sherry Soule:

Official Blog

Twitter @SherrySoule

Please add LOST IN STARLIGHT to your TBR on goodreads

 

The awesome book cover was designed by the talented, Kristen Thompson-Oh of KCT Designs at www.kctdesigns.com

Eager to read a sneak peek on your Kindle? FREE every Friday from Amazon: http://amzn.to/1hdo6Oh

 

 

 

 

 

Confessions of a Book Blogger: Blogaversary!

 

bloggraphicThis week I am celebrating my blogaversary.

One year ago today I started Amanda’s Nose in a Book. I started with no idea how to run a blog that wasn’t a personal journal, all I knew was that I wanted to share my love of books with people. At that point I was kind of frustrated with the fact that I wasn’t teaching and spreading my love of reading and writing with middle and/or high school students. This blog gave me such a great outlet to share that love with other readers, writers, and anyone else who happened to stumble by my blog.

Want to know a confession???

I didn’t even know if my blog would last this long when I first started it. Sure, I’ve taken breaks here and there, but I had no clue what to expect. Sometimes when you first start something it seems new and awesome for a while and then eventually loses it’s appeal.

Another confession…

Book blogging hasn’t lost it’s appeal for me. it is something that I look forward to doing every day. Even if I don’t post or have time to comment, I try my hardest to read at least a couple of other blogger’s posts.

The biggest reason why I love blogging—

You. I would have given up a long time ago if it wasn’t for the wonderful and supportive book blogging community. So I would love to thank all of my readers and fellow book bloggers who have pushed me to keep going and have inspired me.

tumblr_luzbxj6S9s1qduutsYou guys and gals are amazing.

 

So here is to starting a whole new year with Amanda’s Nose in a Book! I hope to keep going strong 🙂

What I'm Reading & Writing Wednesday!

whatimreadingandwritingwednesdayHappy Wednesday! What I’m Reading and writing Wednesday is my own spin on MizB’s WWW Wednesday. You should check out her blog over at Should Be Reading.

What I just finished reading:

Last week I finished Dreams of Gods and Monsters (you can read my review here) and I finished reading Pivot Point on Sunday. My review for that book should be posted later this week!

What I’m Reading Now:

15792316I am currently reading Split Second, the sequel to Pivot Point by Kasie West. It is formatted a bit differently, but I’m liking it so far.

What I will read next:

BookCover_Lost_in_StarlightLost in Starlight by Sherry Soule! Sherry contacted me a couple of weeks or so ago to read her newest novel (to be released June 26th!) The idea seems pretty cool, so I’m excited to see what it’s about. I will be posting a guest post from Sherry Soule on Thursday, which will have an excerpt from the novel, so keep an eye out!!!

What I’m Writing:

I have been trying a new approach to outlining and drafting, which I will go into more in a later post (hopefully this week) and it seems to be working so far! It has been very helpful in organizing my ideas from my first draft and the beginning of my second draft into something that will hopefully resemble a coherent, well-developed, and hopefully “good” book!

I signed up to do Camp NaNoWriMo during July and I’m not sure if I want to continue working on The Girl in the Glass Coffin (the book I have been working on since NaNoWriMo 2013) or start a whole new project (which would most likely be Confessions of an Ice Cream Girl). Both novels are calling to me. While Glass Coffin is coming along very slowly I am actually quite happy with what I am doing and working on right now. However, this other story is calling to me.

What would you suggest I do?

Are any of you doing Camp NaNoWriMo in July? We can choose private cabins now, and say who we would like to be in a cabin with, which is great! Would any of you like to be in a cabin with me?

Review: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

13618440

~~Spoiler Alert~~ If you haven’t read the first two books in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, this review may contain spoilers. If you would like to remain spoiler-free for yourself, you can check out my review of Daughter of Smoke and Bone or Days of Blood and Starlight (depending on where you are in the series or what you would like to do) 🙂

Synopsis (Goodreads):

By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael’s brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz … something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?

Review:

I have a tendency to try to marathon trilogies and/or series and burn out half-way through. This was not the case with Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. Where the first book in this trilogy was a fantastical original fairytale, and the second book was a brutal and heart wrenching (yet very good) continuation to the series, I feel that Dreams of Gods and Monsters was the perfect blend of the first two books. We had the fantastical worlds and stunning imagery and writing, yet there was quite a bit of brutality and suspense.

I love the growth that the characters in this series have made over the course of the trilogy. Karou has come to know and understand herself and her place in the universes that she belongs in, Liraz becomes a hell of a lot more likeable (I think her transformation is the biggest one in the series), and Ziri, oh I love Ziri. I love Karou, but I think that he is my favorite character in this whole series. We are also introduced to an awesome and fascinating new main character Eliza, who I adored. I would love to see more of her story. Laini Taylor has succeeded in keeping my interest and making me so emotionally invested in these characters that I was heartbroken and happy and scared right along with them. My poor boyfriend sat next to me one night as I screamed “No!!!!” at one heartbreaking moment and another night where I kept saying “yay!” over and over again. These characters will not be leaving my mind anytime soon, that’s for sure.

While I found that Dreams of Gods and Monsters had it’s slow-ish points, most of the book kept me on the edge of my seat and reading for hours on end. It begins in a rather nerve-wracking way that really makes you nervous that the shit is going to hit the fan, and it does quite a few times.  However Laini Taylor has written a wonderful conclusion to an equally amazing trilogy.
Because Laini Taylor is amazing— here is a video of her talking about The Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy, especially Dreams of Gods and Monsters.

Top Ten Books on my Summer TBR List!

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is Top Ten Books on my Summer TBR List! So in no particular order.

1. Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Landlinegrey-1-e1381519474537-300x441I adore Rainbow Rowell’s books and this book sounds quirky and interesting. Goodreads says it should be released on July 8th!!!

2. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets to the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

9781442408920_custom-ab1ee04526644c3ae958cba37007c84d709a2fb1-s6-c30I’ve been meaning to read this book for a while now and I keep hearing so many wonderful things about it.

3. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

9464733This book has been on my shelf for a year now, just staring at me and daring me to read it. I have heard that this book is funny, so it would be a perfect summer read. Plus, I love Libba Bray.

4. Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

51FOzy2lxyLI didn’t get the chance to pick this one up when it was the Booksplosion book of the month, so reading it a little late isn’t that big of a deal 🙂

5. City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

9781442416895_email-1-265x400

Actually I’m not quite sure I will get to this one this Summer because I would like to re-read The Mortal Instruments series this summer (or try to). I don’t remember a lot of what happened in the whole series because it’s been a while. I feel like I need to catch up before I read this one.

6. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

10194157I used to get this series mixed up with Daughter of Smoke and Bone *cringe* because the names were similar, but it’s about time I see what The Grisha series is all about.

7. Demonglass (Hex Hall #2) by Rachel Hawkins.

8428064I read Hex Hall last fall and never got the chance to pick up the second book in the series. It was such a fun read, that I think I should continue this summer.

8. Spellbound (Hex Hall #3) by Rachel Hawkins

11454587See #7

9. If I Stay by Gayle Forman

4374400Not the kind of book I’d typically pick up and read, but the intern in my office recommended it and had me watch the trailer to the movie. It really sounds like a good concept and a lot of people do like it a lot.

10. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French KissYes, I would finally like to read this book this summer. It looks like a cute summer read.

 

Blogaversary Week!!!

BlogaversaryWekk

This Wednesday is my Blogaversary!!! To celebrate, I have quite a few posts planned out for this week, something for every day including: Confessions of a Book Blogger, Reviews, a guest post, and more!

Here is my tentative schedule:

Monday- Blogaversary post, Review: Dreams of Gods and Monsters

Tuesday- Top Ten Tuesday

Wednesday- What I’m Reading & Writing Wednesday, Confessions of a Book Blogger

Thursday- Guest Post: Why I Love YA by Sherry Soule, author of Lost in Starlight

Friday- Review: Split Second by Kasie West

Saturday- Confessions of a Book Blogger

 

And there may be other fun odds and ends mixed in there as well, so stay tuned 🙂

 

Bookish Pet-Peeves: Why I no longer lend out my books.

The other day, I decided to re-read the Mortal Instruments series since it’s last installment City of Heavenly Fire was recently released. It’s been so long since I read some of these books that I really don’t remember anything about them at all. I know that I had a blast reading them the first time, so I figured a summer re-read would be fun.

So I went to my bookshelf and looked, and looked…

buellerI even searched behind other books since it wasn’t with the rest of the series on my shelf ( and I always keep series together on my shelf). Only to find that it wasn’t there at all.

And then I remembered that I lent it out to a friend about 2 years ago… and it was never returned to me.

Which is a huge pet-peeve of mine. I always make it a point to return books that I borrow.

This has happened to me so many times in the past, where I lend out books (sometimes more than one— sometimes many more than one) to a friend, only to have them not returned. Sometimes when I politely inquire or remind people that they have borrowed them, i find out that they have been lost or are damaged. Some of these people I’m not even friends with anymore. So getting back the books I lent out may never  happen.

The problem is this… I love sharing my love of books with people. But it sucks when my private library is missing more than 20 titles due to people not returning what they borrow. So yes, I have become rather stingy when it comes to letting people borrow my precious books. I am no longer the library of Amanda (even though I miss it). I’ve started to only let family members borrow books, or friends who I see all the time.

Do you let people borrow your books? Have you run into the same problem?

What do you do when this happens?