Book Review · This Week's Five!

This Week’s Five!!!

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Hey you guys. I know this week has seen the loss of some great people, but it is in the hard times that I think it’s most important to remember that there is good in the world. So here are five things from this week that brought a smile to my face:sadie

  1. If you follow me on Twitter, you may already know, but before Christmas our family adopted a Morkie puppy. I’ve grown ridiculously fond of this little furball and even with the messes I’ve had to clean up, she still brings a smile to my face.
  2. I successfully made a new recipe, Honey Sesame Chicken, and it was really yummy.
  3. Coffee has been exceptionally satisfying this week.
  4. The weather has been beautiful this week, resulting in much time spent outdoors.
  5. I have been working on migrating my various WIPs into Scrivener. I’m really enjoying the potential for organization it offers, and I’m very much looking forward to getting to work on them!

So, how was your week? Anything good among the chaos to report?

Resource Review

Resource Review – Elements of Style

Elements of Style
by William Strunk and E.B. White

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Why I picked it up: This book actually is listed as a recommended resource in The Copyeditor’s Handbook, and I’d been curious ever since I heard of it. I finally made an excuse to buy it (it’s inexpensive, but if you don’t know already, I’m fairly spend-conscious) and I’m really glad I did. I purchased the paperback copy, because when it comes to reference books, I like to be able to flip back and forth easily.

Elements of Style gets straight to the point. It is a nice reminder–or introduction, depending on who you are–of the rules of writing in the English language. It deals with punctuation, clarity, concision, and effective sentences, among other things.

Once the examples were introduced as the incorrect/less-preferable on the left, and the correct/more-preferable on the right, I felt like sometimes I needed a reminder as to which was which, especially if I took a break in reading it for a while. I could have used some more examples and more thorough explaining of the existing ones.

Elements of Style is not the be-all-end-all definitive guide to the English language, and certainly not a guide on how to write fiction, but it is definitely a good resource to have on hand.  As a guide, Strunk and White may have some views on writing that not everyone agrees  on, but the basics are there for the easy taking.

 

Have you ever used this resource? What others do you suggest?

Book Review

Review – Hit by Delilah S. Dawson

I picked up Hit from my library’s Overdrive. I like to browse and when I saw this, the premise looked interesting and I realized this is an author I follow on Twitter, so bonus reason to read it (I’ve never read any of her works before).

 

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No one reads the fine print.The good news is that the USA is finally out of debt. The bad news is that it was bought out by Valor National Bank, and debtors are the new big game, thanks to a tricky little clause hidden deep in the fine print of a credit card application. Now, after a swift and silent takeover that leaves 9-1-1 calls going through to Valor voicemail, they’re unleashing a wave of anarchy across the country.Patsy didn’t have much of a choice. When the suits showed up at her house threatening to kill her mother then and there for outstanding debt unless Patsy agreed to be an indentured assassin, what was she supposed to do? Let her own mother die?Patsy is forced to take on a five-day mission to complete a hit list of ten names. Each name on Patsy’s list has only three choices: pay the debt on the spot, agree to work as a bounty hunter, or die. And Patsy has to kill them personally, or else her mom takes a bullet of her own. Since yarn bombing is the only anarchy in Patsy’s past, she’s horrified and overwhelmed, especially as she realizes that most of the ten people on her list aren’t strangers. Things get even more complicated when a moment of mercy lands her with a sidekick: a hot rich kid named Wyatt whose brother is the last name on Patsy’s list. The two share an intense chemistry even as every tick of the clock draws them closer to an impossible choice.

An absorbing, frightening glimpse at a reality that is eerily just steps away from ours—Hit is a taut, suspenseful thriller that absolutely mesmerizes from start to finish. (Goodreads)

I give Hit 3 of 5 stars! It was good (better than just-ok, but not quite terrific).

Patsy, the main character, has become an assassin for Valor Savings in order to save her and her mom’s lives. She leads a pretty boring, conservative life. She keeps her head down, works hard in school and at her after-school job, and her only real hobby is knitting/yarnbombing. Her only flaw seems to be that she’s too responsible–and that she seems to stop using her brain so much once a boy comes into the picture. I relate pretty well to be a too-responsible teenager, that’s how I was, but I never quite synced-up with Patsy. There’s also no way that I think she could have carried out her mission without the help of Wyatt, which is kind of annoying.

Wyatt’s brother Max is the last name on Patsy’s list, but he helps her out anyways, knowing what she has to do. And, of course, they have an undeniable attraction and trust for one another.

I kind of felt like the characters fell a little flat. Patsy could have used a(nother?) flaw, and Wyatt, although he has a dark past, doesn’t seem all that interesting at the time the book is taking place.

There were some times when I caught myself thinking the timelines didn’t work out for what was going on, but I may have just not been paying close enough attention.

Also, the story is told in first-person, present-tense point of view. This in itself was not a problem, but it’s not my personal favorite to read.

I’m really interested in what is going on in the rest of the world, about the silent war that is being waged, but I didn’t get any answers, and I may not ever, because I’m not sure if I will pick up the next in the series when it comes out. I liked the story ok, but it isn’t one of my favorites.

Have you read, or do you plan on reading, Hit by Delilah Dawson?

 

Personal

Looking Back (2015), Looking Forward (2016)

Trying to look back on an entire year is an odd sensation. In some ways, it feels like 2015 just got started, and in others, it seems it has gone on forever.

In the beginning of the year, I had just graduated college. I was decompressing by catching up on pleasure reading. I started using Twitter more, connected with some authors, and kept getting more and more drawn to books and their associated community.

While this was going on, I was in a constant limbo about whether or not trying for a career immediately would be the best thing. “Best thing” is a relative idea. Some people might see that and say “well of course it would be,” but that wasn’t so for me. You see, I wasn’t a young, detached college graduate. I graduated with a personal life in full swing–married and a mother and all kinds of responsible (for the most part). The “best thing” is not just for me, but for my family. I’ve been fortunate enough to be home with our son for the last few years, and we believe that is the #1 important thing for our family. I’m also fortunate enough to get to continue.

This doesn’t come without pressures. When I was a student I felt like I was working towards a goal that would ultimately lead to other, longer-term goals that we have. But now that I’m not a student, and not yet pursuing a career outside of the home, I feel like that has been put on pause.

The pause has been good in some ways. It has allowed me time to realize my own personal goals and work towards those. Your reading this is part of the result of these new goals. In the last few semesters of college, I realized I really enjoyed the classes where we “workshopped” one another’s papers/projects, giving and receiving constructive criticism and becoming better writers. I decided that if possible, I would like to be able to do that for others–I’d like to be an editor. Can you imagine my disappointment in realizing that there are very few opportunities in my current geographic location?

a074b9ac027d2b84aa48ed27d48fd4ffBy this time, I’d begun beta-reading for some authors and began to think of offering my services publicly. *Cue major anxiety and fear of failure.* This quote nicely captures a change that has happened in my outlook on life, and I decided to take my chances on spreading my wings. Guess what you guys? I’m still in the air.

Along these same lines I continued growing my relationships with authors online, and even got to meet a couple of my favorites, S. Usher Evans and J. Leigh Bralick. They are just as amazing as their books.

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I also attended a few bookish events, hearing and meeting authors before I’d ever read their books. So far, I haven’t been disappointed.

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I also became aware of the book blogging community, and began to show my love for the books I was reading in the form of reviews and recommendations. This is such an amazing community and I’m so glad that I found it.

Okay – I realize a lot of this has been about bookish things. This year it seems much of my focus has been on bookish things, so that’s pretty fitting.

Looking forward to a new year can be just as daunting as looking back. Who knows what 2016  will hold? We just have to do the best we can  🙂

As far as resolutions go, of course I have some things I want to do more of, less of, or better, but I know myself well enough to know that I’m not going to be perfect at those things all the time, so I decided that my resolution for 2016  is to be satisfied. Day by day, I can be the judge of that. It isn’t a set of tasks to complete, it’s an attitude, a reflection at the end of the day.

I look forward to this year. I look forward to meeting more of you, to reading more books, and working more diligently on my own.

I look forward to the time I will spend with my family.

I look forward.

Let’s look forward together.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you have your own 2015 recap or 2016 greeting, leave it below, I’d love to read it.

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves – January 10

Stacking the Shelves

Hello there! Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. These are the books I’ve acquired since the December edition.

Bought


Tangled
by Elizabeth Reyes

Autumn in the City of Angels by Kirby Howell

Dying for a Living by Kory Shrum

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Going Green by Christina McMullen

One Song Away by Molli Moran

Never Never – Part One of Three by Colleen Hoover

Fate and Destiny by G.G. Atchesonstsjan

Borrowed

Hit by Delilah Dawson

Gifted

Air Awakens by Elisa Kova

The Soul Eaters series by Eliza Crewe

Magic-Price (The Crown of Stones #1) by C.L. Shcneider

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Personal · This Week's Five!

I’m Back! And This Week’s Five!

Hello friends. It’s been a while. I hope the new year is treating you well so far. I’m happy to announce my return from the holidays. To kick it off, let’s have a This Week’s Five!

Five things about this week that I enjoyed:

  1. I received Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Night for the 3DS for Christmas. It’s been a long while since I’ve even sat down to play a game, and I’m really enjoying this one.
  2. S. Usher Evans launched the Kickstarter for her newest series, and it was funded in 90 MINUTES. I think that’s pretty darn amazing. It makes me happy. I *may* have read the story already, and it’s damn good. If you haven’t backed her yet, I hope you will consider it.
  3. For Christmas I got a new backlit keyboard and a monitor that’s much better than what I had been using. I can now easily pull up two windows side-by-side AND type in the dark! These things make me so happy! And excited for my clients, too! Because hopefully that means my work will be EVEN MORE AMAZING.
  4. Overall, this has been a really good week.
  5. And finally, I’m so happy to be returning! I needed the break I took, it couldn’t have been more perfectly timed, but I’m so ready to get back into the blogging groove!

It’s been a while, how are you? How’s the new year so far?