Posted in reading, update, writing

Bookstagram

It’s been a while since I did a post, my bad! First things first: I smashed my camp nano goal. My draft is currently at 83k words, and has 2 and a half chapters left until completion, which is super exciting! Because my draft is almost done and I want a break to work on other things/ignore it for a bit before revising and editing, I’ve been started to look at my critiques more, and my bookstagram account.

I decided for today’s blog, I’m going to show the simple background I made to make my photos feel a little more polished. I am beyond amateur at this, but Lauren and I have a lot of fun and that’s all that matters, really.

Supplies: cardboard (free), adhesive vinyl from kmart ($3 for 2 metres), kmart twinkle lights ($5) and hotglue/gun I already had.

  1. Step one involved finding something light, portable and sturdy to use. I ended up salvaging my housemates new pc box, as we were going to recycle it either way. Note: I did cut myself slicing the piece I need, be more careful than me01
  2. Once it was all cut out (albeit roughly), it was pretty straightforward to attach the vinyl. I had to go slow to avoid creases, and make sure you have enough to fold over the edges!02.jpg
  3. Once it was all neatly covered, I arranged the lights in a spiral (I honestly just didn’t know what to do with them) and hot glued them in places, sealing the battery box onto the back.04.jpg
  4. Alright, it looks quite a bit terrible just like this. So, being the hoarder I am, I found some leftover organza from a cosplay and whacked it and hot glued the top on the back, and let it drape down06.jpg
  5. Annnnd this is what it looks like when you cut out the ugly parts!07

It isn’t anything special, but I think it’s pretty cute and a much nicer layout than what I was using. Does anyone else have a book account? If so, comment so I can follow you! I’m off to cry over my last few thousand words of this draft, wish me luck!

Happy writing,

Emm-Kate xoxo

Posted in Nanowrimo, reading, update

Bittersweet Books

I pay no attention whatever to anybody’s praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings”- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

During the confusion of my week, I didn’t realise I hadn’t written a post! So, I’m going to recommend some books! I’m currently reading Shadowsong, book two in a duology by S. Jae-Jones, and I gotta tell you, it’s ripping my heart out all over the place.

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I read Wintersong last year. Sadly, my Goodreads review was lacking, as I was just learning to use the site. However, this is it in it’s entirety:

“I picked this book on a whim, and…I am so grateful to have. It is such a beautiful and unique twist on Labyrinth, so whole and so good in of its own. It was almost rough in its prose, like Liesl’s music, abandoned and wild. I cannot wait to get the second book, and my little heart yearns for resolution or absolution for the Goblin King.”

Needless to say, I’m in love with them. They’re a beautiful metaphor for mental illness, the blurring between reality and the surreal. Also, I’m a sucker for classical music, and the depth that she’s woven music into these stories makes my heart flutter. I’m hoping to finish Shadowsong this weekend; writing my draft and helping with multiple friend’s synopsis’s has been tiring, to say the least. I’m confident a lighthearted and productive weekend lays ahead for me!

 

I hope everyone is enjoying the quiet of winter to get work done- I know I am!

Happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo

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Posted in reading, review, update

The Savior’s Champion Release

Do you love cyborgs? How about Keto recipes? What about women who can curse like a sailor and write like the know danger intimately? This week’s blog may be for you.

So for this week’s blog, I’m going to post some info on Jenna Moreci’s upcoming release (due April 24th!) The Savior’s Champion. Jenna is one of my favourite youtubers and I was planning to do a review next month of TSC also. I can’t wait for my copy and to devour it, and I hope some of you will be enticed to buy it, too. Now, time for the info drop!

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Title: The Savior’s Champion

Author: Jenna Moreci

Release date: 4-24-2018

Genre: Romantic Fantasy Action/Adventure

Category: Adult

Synopsis:

Tobias Kaya doesn’t care about The Savior. He doesn’t care that She’s the Ruler of the realm or that She purified the land, and he certainly doesn’t care that She’s of age to be married. But when competing for Her hand proves to be his last chance to save his family, he’s forced to make The Savior his priority.

Now Tobias is thrown into the Sovereign’s Tournament with nineteen other men, and each of them is fighting—and killing—for the chance to rule at The Savior’s side. Instantly his world is plagued with violence, treachery, and manipulation, revealing the hidden ugliness of his proud realm. And when his circumstances seem especially dire, he stumbles into an unexpected romance, one that opens him up to unimaginable dangers and darkness.

Trigger warnings: this book contains graphic violence, adult language, and sexual situations.

Sounds pretty darn good, right? Then go ahead and pre-order it, already?

Buy links: 

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

B&N

Kobo

IBooks

Indigo

Books-A-Million

Presale Giveaway:

Everyone who pre-orders a copy of The Savior’s Champion is welcome to enter the presale giveaway. Each participant will receive the first five chapters of TSC. Grand prize winners will be selected on the release date, and weekly prizes will be handed out to random winners up to and during the release week. ENTER HERE!

Go here for the Goodreads link, and here to read the first three chapters for free! FREE!

Now, for a little about the author. I mean, just look at this babe:

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Jenna Moreci is a Silicon Valley native and Youtube sensation, dominating the authortube community with her straightforward and hilarious writing channel. A lifelong storyteller, Jenna specializes in crafting thrilling adventures with heaping doses of bloodshed and romance.

When she’s not writing or ‘tubing, Jenna enjoys angry music, potent wine, and laughing until her face hurts with her goofball fiancé.

Webpage

Youtube

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

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Goodreads

Happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo

Posted in reading, review

Be Careful What You Joust For

This month’s review is a little different because *drumroll*… this is the first time an author has approached me to review their ARC! I read “Be Careful What you Joust For” by Ivy Smoak and Ryan Hauge, at Ivy’s request on Goodreads.

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My Goodreads review can be found here.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect because I’ve requested books, but this is certainly different. I rated this book fairly highly- it was easy to follow, had a nice flowing plot with a few good subplots. I was going to rate it lower, but the ending convinced me that I needed to read more of it, so that encouraged the higher review. If you like something with a Game of Thrones meets YA feel, this is probably for you.

Sorry for the short blog this week- I’m rather unwell.

Happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo

Posted in reading, review, tips, update

Why I struggle with popular books

Hear me out. This isn’t going to be a bashing or a witch hunt. This is going to be something I lament on because of my own issues and feelings. No fault on any books or what else.

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On instagram I posted a side by side of two books that I’ve read in the last year. They have similar plots (a retelling of Labyrinth and a retelling of Beauty and the Beast). They were both captivating and both well written. I found Wintersong on a whim, had never heard of it, while A Court of Thorns and Roses was recommended to me. Can you guess which one I struggled with?

Hype and the over exaggeration by others can really kill a book for me. I go in expecting a certain standard, a minimum. I don’t mean the genuine, balanced reviews that feature the good and the bad- I mean the fangirl ones. You guys know. I remember reading Twilight before the movie deal and then suddenly- bam. You couldn’t criticize it. I knew it was flawed when I read it. It was a fun indulgence though, a book I didn’t need to think too hard about, and it didn’t have a standard it needed to reach. The second fandom was attached to it- I was out. (Heck, it was even why I couldn’t reread Harry Potter for a few years).

I like to pick a book without any bias. I should be able to see the cover, read the blurb, and make a decision. With the ability to share opinions though, and the inability of some to make a reasonable, well rounded argument for a book other than “it’s the best and you’re stupid if you don’t like it” (not a quote by anyone that recommended this book to me, just a fond one from my Twilight days), makes reading hard. If I had picked up ACOTAR on a whim? I would have loved it. I mean, I like it, but the WHOLE time reading it I had the shadow of my friends and peers looming over me, telling me that oh no it’s good the starts just bad, or the second book is better, etc.

I don’t like this. I want to make my own informed opinion. I also feel like if someone loves something so much they’re willing to make excuses for it, then I can’t say I what I think for fear of offending and bristling them. GUYS. A book can be fun and not well written. A book can have beautiful prose but be boring as sin.

For instance, the first 30% of ACOTAR? I was already expecting a level of high quality, and those pages lacked it. It was slow, self serving (Feyre stop being so narcissistic, goddamn), boring. I couldn’t not shake all the comments I’d be given though. Wintersong was extremely similar but I didn’t struggle with this same issue because I had made the choice to read that book and I had no idea ‘it was going to get better’. It was a journey that I could make with no bias.

So how about instead of blindly defending the books we love, we realise each and every book has its flaws and weakness, and that others will have different opinions to us and we need to let them make them. Then our inner bitchy fangirl can come out and have heated discussions over a mocha. I can be just as catty about books I love!

Happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo

Posted in reading, update, writing

Rebranding on social media

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Hey guys! This is more of a quick update post than anything. As you may have noticed if you follow me on social media or look at my instagram photos on my front page, my instagram has suffered a bit of a makeover. In conjunction with the beautiful and talented Lauren Rose we’ve started reading, roses and (w)riting, a fun bookstagram style account to track reviews, beautiful covers, and our own writing.

I will be posting snippets of my current W.I.P every Wednesday with an image attached that I find relevant to the story for the first draft to give little hints and excite myself with the project as I go! I really hope to see more of you on social media- while I do update my blog every friday, I like to post stuff in the moment and social media is a lot more accessible for that!

Do any of you have a fun instagram account? Please feel free to drop it in the comments or tag us on instagram for a follow back! We’re always looking for beautiful photos that will sucker us into adding to our TBR pile.

Happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo

Posted in reading, review

Keeper and how it’s keeping it’s way in my heart

It’s the third Friday of the month, which means one thing- it’s my review day! (Two months in a row makes a tradition, right?). This blog is actually coming to you from January- I got my preordered copy of February’s debut novel early and of course I couldn’t help myself.

This month is Keeper by debut author, Kim Chance. Set in the sleepy town of Lothbrook, down in the south, not a lot happens here. Lainey Styles is a brilliant girl, intent on getting into a good college early to make her mark on the world as a scientist. Unfortunately for Lainey, the mark is made on her instead when a 200 year old witch launches Lainey into the ultimate and most confusing journey of her life as she discovers that nothing in her life is as it seems.

Now, if you’ve actually read previous blogs (which not a lot of people have, so I don’t blame you!) or follow me on social media- I freaking love Kim. I stumbled onto her channel on youtube just before Keeper was picked up for publishing and I fell in love with her and her book. She’s genuinely so wholesome and sweet, I get a toothache every time she tweets. I admit, this means I might seem bias, but I promise I will actually do my best to be objective and offer some insight into Keeper.

First things first, I did post a small Goodreads review as SOON as I finished reading, and admittedly, my heart had just been torn in half by the ending of this book. I admit, I was more impressed with Keeper than I thought I was going to be. Kim’s background as an English teacher as well as being passionately adorkable is what set this book over the edge.

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Kim’s characters are so vibrant and realistic. My favourite part of the book is definitely the friendship between Maggie and Lainey- it reminds me so much of my own best friend and myself and it is so precious. They’re all very three dimensional, with flaws, as well as moments of cringe. What might be taken as bad writing choices in other scenarios, these moments actually added humanity to her characters. Like Maggie’s obsession with pop culture and comics- it might feel off-putting if this was all Maggie was, but her little monologues are cute, and a huge tell of how she processes the world around her. It’s also a nice contrast from super logical Lainey, providing a balance between them.

There are so many good flaws amongst the characters. Their willingness to see the good despite the bad, Lainey’s inability to process her emotions because she’s so used to her barrier of logic. The complete and absolute shade that is thrown at us at the end of the novel too- I didn’t call any of that. I spiraled hard.

While I do wish this was written for a slightly older audience, I think a lot of reviewers have missed the point that this is a YA paranormal novel and that is a bit sad to me. For it’s genre and how it’s written, it’s a pretty fantastic, Harry Potter-esque read.

Happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo

Posted in reading, review

Indie Book #1: Suicide Forest by Jeremy Bates

CONTENT WARNING: THIS BOOK CONTAINS SUICIDE, HORROR, GRAPHIC VIOLENCE

So, one of my goals for 2018 was to read one indie/self published book a month. I actually went into the amazon store and grabbed a bunch of random ones from different genres, and refused to read more about the author or the book than the brief blurb provided, so I could form the most unbiased opinions I could. Now, unfortunately for me, I started reading this book literally hours before I heard about the Logan Paul fiasco, so…that is some awkward timing. I do not condone anything that man has said or done; as someone that has attempted suicide myself, and lost a dear friend to it, I’m more than appalled, to say the least.

Moving on from there, the first book I read (my second of the year, which you can see at goodreads here~) is Suicide Forest: World’s Scariest Places by Jeremy Bates. Aokigahara is the actual name of this forest, located at the foot of Mount Fuji, and is a disturbing and beautiful place. My friends that have been said that the trees make a vaccuum and no wind passes, and all you can hear is yourself breathing. Hauntingly beautiful is what one of them described it as. It instills a sense of calm and tranquility, and I can see why people would choose it as an isolated haven to spend their final moments. It breaks my heart that they do, however.

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First off: I love to be scared, but I’m bad at it. My imagination likes to run off on it’s own, and I read most of this over the span of two nights in bed. Alone. Bad decision. The book starts off with a fairly diverse group of people, mostly ESL teachers that are traveling Japan, and want to explore the mountain before they return home. Sadly, the weather is too poor for them to do so, and they decide to wait it out until the next day, as it is a long weekend and they have the time. Some arguments about what to do over night occur when two newcomers stride past, intent on exploring the forest. The original group band with them and together they set off to explore the forest.

I don’t want to ruin this book for anyone that wants to read this, but it definitely surprised me and kept me on my toes. The last third of the book really took a turn I didn’t expect, and I’m glad it did. Going a more supernatural and over the top way would have been pretty expected. There was a lot of shocking things in here, so be warned; there are no punches held and you are going to feel uncomfortable. Even the end of the book doesn’t give you a way out of it. As Mel says in the book: it never ends.

Now, before I read this and reviewed it on goodreads, I didn’t know that Jeremy Bates had been traditionally published before, and that he was internationally recognised. Regardless, I will be airing my grievances with this book: I don’t believe it needed the epilogue. I would have rather the suspense, the cliffhanger, and I think the events of said epilogue were overkill and too dramatic following the climax. It just felt wrong, and off. Other than that, it was fantastically written, and obviously had me quite gripped!

If you have any suggestions for self published authors/debut novels, I’d love to read them! Please comment them, or tweet me.

Happy writing, and reading!

Emma-Kate xoxo

Posted in reading, update, writing

Beginning 2018 the write way

Happy 2018 everyone! I hope your new year has started off on the right foot, and you’re already diving into your projects and goals! I’ve already gotten well underway with several things I want to do with my year, one of which being bullet journaling. I also bought a custom embossed journal cover for it, so I can change my book each year. Neat, huh?

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I’m using my journal for my yearly goals (which have changed drastically in the last few weeks), my quarterly goals, keeping track of what I’m reading, blog info, therapy, and different writing notes and bits. I actually FINALLY sorted all my novel notes into separate folders per book etc the other day, but I’d still like to have nicely written synopsis’s tucked away in here for my own benefit. Speaking of quarterly goals, I figured I’d slip some of them in here!

  • Read seven books before April! Should be easy
  • Finish and enter my first short story competition of the year
  • Finish the outline for the short story horror collection I plan to release this year
  • Get into healthy, habitual writing
  • Start DBT and outline the process each week in said journal
  • Participate in volunteering more with Writer’s SA!
  • Have at least 2k words written a month. This is the only target I am giving myself on this
  • Cook at least one new dish a month outside of my comfort zone
  • Get a little ahead on some blogs if I can. Yeah, that sounds like cheating, but I struggle some weeks
    Finish my last FOUR driving hours (if I can’t manage that with all my lessons booked, we have an issue)
  • Finish outlining the rest of Audrey. I’ve been stuck with massive anxiety about this book, and expressing some parts of it and myself, but I want to get there
  • Be more supportive and loving of my partner and his pursuits, as he’s the entire reason I’m giving my aspirations a go!

I’ve also started my first book of the year with Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, because I’m somewhat obsessed with the movie. I’ll be reading an Indie published book after that, so if you have any recommendations for that, please let me know! I’m also writing my first short story of the year right now for the Hope Prize, so I’ll be keeping you all posted on how that goes.

Please feel free to leave a comment on the exciting plans you have/have started, I’d love to hear all of them. Other people are my motivation- I just get so pumped up seeing others achieve the stuff they love!

Happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo

Posted in reading, update, writing

2018 and onwards

So this is my second to last post for 2017, and it’s pretty exciting. This is also my 20th blog post, meaning 20 weeks of consistent posting (which is a pretty big deal for me, because I usually lack consistency and follow through). I’ve actually already scheduled my final post of the year, so I wanted to take this post to sort of chat about some of the directions I would like to take my blog, social media, and writing next year.

One really big thing I want to focus on is really tying Goodreads into my blog. Goodreads is a pretty important thing for authors- I mean, rates and reviews are massive if you want your book seen and noticed. My intention is to read as much as I write next year, with a minimum goal of a book once a fortnight (two a month is nothing but gotta keep that minimum low, just in case). I really want to put a focus on Indie and debut authors though, so I’ll be reviewing ONE of those at least once a month, with my first book being Keeper by Kim Chance which I preordered (out 20th January!). I also intend to review The Savior’s Champion by Jenna Moreci upon it’s release, which should hopefully be soon.

These are only two books though, and I posted on twitter, but I am seeking call outs for indie published books I can access easily on kindle, as well as debut books. So, if you or a friend has something- feel free to link me! I want to give a shout out to other authors and hopefully help garner them attention. In addition to the Goodreads review, I’ll be dedicating a blog post that month to that author and book, linking their social media, etc. I have a few other plans to go with that, but we’ll see if I can manage them.

I also want to force myself to write more, so I’ll be showing something from my work once a month. It might be some back story, or an excerpt, or some artwork I’ve commissioned, but I WILL be showing something in preparation to hype myself up to finish. There might be some form of giveaways thrown in there, too.

Wising you all a happy holiday, I’m sure you’re all doing something this weekend/week. Thanks for hanging around, and hopefully 2018 I will have a lot more for you all.

Happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo