Guest of the Month Club #1 – The YA Book Traveler, Sarah K.

I’ve recently decided to join the Guest of the Month Club hosted by Emily Reads Everything. Once a month, I’ll be hosting a fellow blogging friend right here for your enjoyment. This week, help me welcome Sarah K., The YA Book Traveler.
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Personal · This Week's Five!

This Week’s Five!!!

Copy of This Week's Five!!!

It’s time for another recap of five things this week that I enjoyed!

  1. This was the week of Thanksgiving here in the USA, so my husband got to be home the entire week! It has been so nice.
  2. I’ve spent a lot of time with family this week, which always brings a smile to my face.
  3. I ran into someone I used to work with and sometimes wonder about. It was good to see her and know that she is doing well.
  4. I recently admitted that sometimes I have problems with dialogue. Karen S. Conlin over at Grammargeddon! has a useful post I found myself referring to this week–Mechanics of Dialogue: Part 3, Interrupted Dialogue.
  5. Inner Glow,” a poem from Z. at Bedsheets and Canyons.
  6. Because one and two are so similar, here’s an extra. Oreos.

Thank you for stopping by to see what little things made me happy this week. What’s something good from your week? Are you looking forward to the next?

Personal · This Week's Five!

This Week’s Five!!!

Fall This Weeks Five

Five things this week that I enjoyed:

  1. Hubby’s Thanksgiving break has begun!
  2. A Dark So Deep released! (Review here)
  3. Overused Words You Should and Shouldn’t Delete from Lara Willard over at Write Lara Write
  4. This greenhouse (can I live there please?!)
  5. I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time playing Blossom Blast on my phone these past couple of days. I haven’t been feeling well and the colors and sounds are pleasing, haha.

How about you, what’s something you enjoyed this week?

Book Review

Review-A Dark So Deep by J. Leigh Bralick

Happy book birthday to the amazing J. Leigh Bralick!

Today she’s releasing A Dark So Deep, the second book in the Madness Method. I’ve been lucky enough to meet the awesomeness that is J. Leigh and to actually beta-read this new release! The fact that I got to see this story before its release for free has no effect on my review, it’s simply awesome, free or not.

If you haven’t read book 1, The Madness Project, check it out here, and here’s my review. If you have, and you’re ready for A Dark So Deep, it’s here.

This review may contain spoilers if you haven’t read The Madness Project, but I’ll try not to spoil anything from A Dark So Deep.

Cavnal stands on the brink of war. With the threat of insurrection from within and the threat of a world war from without, peace seems a fragile, distant dream. At the heart of the chaos stand Tarik—beloved Prince, rebel, traitor—and Hayli, the captured mage who knows too many secrets.

With the world falling into chaos around them, Hayli must struggle to save her sanity and escape her captors, while Tarik must wrestle with his own inner prison before he forgets his reason for fighting. Some believe he is the key to defusing the hostilities before they begin. Some believe he is the only one who can save the mages from annihilation. Torn between the bonds of duty and blood, Tarik begins to understand that his choices are never as simple as he believes, and some questions have no clear answers.

With alliances threatened, Hayli in the grips of the Science Ministry, and the line between loyalty and betrayal blurred, there is only one question that matters: If the price for peace is too high, is war the only option? (Goodreads)

I give A Dark So Deep 5 stars!

The madness turns dark as Tarik struggles to find his place in a world where things aren’t as they seem, and Hayli struggles to hold on to the secrets and truths the Science Ministry tries to erase.

There is seriously so much to this book. I almost don’t know where to begin…so I’m gonna reference my first review as a starting point.

The pacing: just as you think “maybe I can put this book down at the end of this chapter,” you’re proven wrong. There was never a good place to stop reading, the intrigue got twistier and turnier (you like that?) with every page.

The characters: I love that the characters struggle so much with what’s right, and what’s wrong, and what are their actual thoughts anyways? The darkness they are in seems so relatable to me, even if I haven’t been in their shoes. Even they don’t know if they’re good or bad, and I love that! There’s also some more exploration of the secondary characters and they are important to the story.

The setting: Even more exploration of Cavnal and mentions of other countries kept me interested in the setting. The steampunk remains an interesting element and I really loved it!

In keeping with getting to know some of the secondary characters better, we also get to see some of the other magic they use and it’s pretty cool and useful. Tarik has yet to completely understand his magic, and it’s heartbreaking and heart-pounding and hopeful and scary and I could just go on and on.

Spending time with the skitters and the mages means we get to enjoy the Cavnish slang some more!

Repeated images and lines that are very powerful, to me at least.

Despite what they’ve been through, the romance between Tarik and Hayli is beautiful, frightening, and dangerous.

There’s a lot of action in this book, and a lot of political players driving the events that are beyond the mages’ control, including Tarik.

The alternating POV between Tarik and Hayli continues to be strong and their voices distinct, their struggles pulling at your heart-strings and tear ducts. I love when an author pulls this off so effectively, and also still gives so much insight to the other characters that we don’t see the thoughts of. The writing is just absolutely beautiful and mind-bending and I hope you give it a chance, it will not disappoint!

Also, check out this tweet if you need any more reasons to read this:


This Week's Five!

This Week’s Five!!!

Oops, I missed Saturday, ohwell. Here are five things from this week I enjoyed.20151108_174553

  1. Playing outside with my son. There is more to this than just being outside. It’s that I’ve had the energy (mental and physical) to actually go out and do that, to laugh, and to enjoy it.
  2. Coffee has been exceptionally good this week.
  3. I went to my best friend’s baby shower yesterday, it was so cool. It was in the church we grew up in, and it was neat to think there would be another generation roaming its halls.
  4. I met Kate! #k8chatIRL 🙂
  5. Sweatpants.

Overall I’d have to say my week was pretty great, how was yours? Are you looking forward to something in the near future?

Resource Review

Resources! Punctuation and Capitalization in Dialogue

Have you ever said a word over and over again until you aren’t even sure what the word is? Until it loses all meaning and you begin to question the meaning of words at all, to question the meaning of life?

Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration.

Dialogue is one of those things for me. I know how to capitalize and punctuate dialogue, but when I think about it too much, I start to second-guess myself. It’s one of the things I find myself looking up from time to time because my mind has warped my thoughts to the point of feeling like I’ve never known a single thing about it. Usually, when I do look it up, I’ve been doing everything correctly, but it sure is crazy the power of the mind to make you second-guess something you know you know.

This post, Punctuation in Dialogue from The Editor’s Blog by Beth Hill is one I keep coming back to. In a single article it answers most of the questions I find myself asking, and is written clearly. I love that I can easily discern between examples and explanation.

There are some follow-up posts, More Punctuation in Dialogue–A Reader’s QuestionsEven More Punctuation in Dialogue–A Reader’s Question, and a downloadable Punctuation in Dialogue (PDF). I haven’t invested the 99 cents for the PDF, the articles are usually sufficient for my needs.

So, if you find yourself, like me, sitting cross-eyed and contemplating dialogue, I think these articles are a good place to start.

This Week's Five!

This Week’s Five!!! – November 7

This Week's Five!!!

  1. I was so happy to hear that BBC will be adapting His Dark Materials for TV!
  2. While I’m a bit behind on my NaNo ventures, I’m happy to see many friends and participants doing very well indeed!
  3. The weather is starting to cool off, and I can open the windows during the day. This makes me very happy.
  4. This tumblr post.
  5. This was a really hard week for me, but things are looking up.

So how was your week?