Gardening with Julia – An Update (1)

Hello everyone! It’s been a week since I’ve planted carrots and started the lettuce and spinach seeds, and I thought it’d be a great time for an update!

Continue reading “Gardening with Julia – An Update (1)”

Book Review

Review – Legend by Marie Lu

Having seen such ravings about Lu’s works floating around the internet, I thought I’d give Legend a try.

11810047What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills. (Goodreads)

I give Legend by Marie Lu 3 of 5 stars.

I think a friend nailed it on the head when she said she felt like the characters were so much the same. I love voice, it plays a really big part in my enjoyment of books. Here was a book told in alternating first person POV, but the only reason I could readily know which I was reading was whether the font was bold or regular. Seriously, June and Day were very similar and sounded the same as I read. Both were smart, perceptive, logical, athletic, and really seemed to lack imperfections. Sure, June could be a little bit of a trouble-maker, and Day could, too. But, but…there wasn’t enough conflict to feel like their choices were made that much more difficult.


I love big-bad-government plots, really, I do. For me it was the strongest part of the story, the most interesting detail, but it felt pretty secondary for most of the book. The book could have started with Day and Tess finding the numbers under the pier–that! would have gotten my attention much better, I think.


There wasn’t really anything bad about this novel, but there just wasn’t anything that made me thrilled about it. Nothing to make it stick out as something extraordinary.

I may pick up the next in the series if I see it, but I’m not likely to seek it out, at least not any time soon.

Resource Review · writing

Finding the Right [Writing] Revision Process

[Writing] A Byers Editing Blog Series for Writers, Inspiring confidence and imparting the skills for success

I finished the first draft of my novel, now what?

Much like the writing processes and habits, the revising process varies from one person to another. No matter what order is the most effective for your process, there are some shared steps to take. Continue reading “Finding the Right [Writing] Revision Process”

Garden · Personal

Gardening with Julia – My Little Herb Garden & Greenhouse

[Introductory Post]
[The Plan]
[Bucket Hunting]

Along with starting a vegetable garden, I decided I wanted an indoor herb garden, as well.

Continue reading “Gardening with Julia – My Little Herb Garden & Greenhouse”

Personal · Uncategorized

I Love Indie Authors

Indie authors have a special place in my heart, although you may not know the reason why.

I have come to love the time and dedication many display in getting their work out to readers. I have come to appreciate the community they have built up, and the way they build each other up. I have come to love how they are following their dreams. These are loves I have recognized in the past year-and-a-half (or so).

I have come to call some of these authors some of my best friends.

But I loved them before that.

I loved them when 4.5 years ago, I was gifted with a kindle, and I found a world of adventures for free on Amazon (I still have the best-sellers bookmarked on my toolbar). We had just welcomed our son into the world, and my kindle was like my escape from crazy post-partum emotions and my tether to sanity in the wee morning hours. When my husband returned to work, these authors provided me with companionship as the hours ticked by in sleepless delirium. They may also have been responsible for a few all-night reading binges that I really shouldn’t have done.

These were some of my favorite stories, and several of the authors have become favorites, with me buying their books when they’re published. While I’ve come to appreciate the personal side of these authors, they started out as unknowns to me, my consumption of stories far outweighing my thoughts of the authors and their lives. I’m glad that I’ve become more aware and more aware of what I can do for authors, especially the self-published ones. It’s been quite the journey for me to go from being a simple consumer to a cheerleader, I’m so glad I’ve taken it.

So, dear Indie author, if you are reading this, I want to say thank you. Thank you for the amount of dedication you display in your work. If you offer a book for free, I say thank you, because you may be changing a reader’s life, even if they aren’t thinking about yours.



Gardening with Julia – Bucket Hunting!

[Introductory Post]
[The Plan]

How I acquired my buckets for container gardening

Hey guys! So it’s been quite an adventure, but I’ve found the buckets I need for this new adventure!

Continue reading “Gardening with Julia – Bucket Hunting!”

Garden · Personal

Gardening with Julia – The Plan

[Introductory post]

Hello there! Welcome to my new feature, where I’m going to document my first foray into vegetable gardening.

Continue reading “Gardening with Julia – The Plan”

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves – February 7

Stacking the Shelves

Hello there! Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. Usually a weekly meme, mine seem to pop up more on a monthly basis. These are the books I’ve acquired since the January edition. Whoa, a lot more than I thought! Continue reading “Stacking the Shelves – February 7”

Book Review

Review – The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Seeing all the excitement about the upcoming release of the third book in this trilogy, and the recommendation of friends, I decided to see what all the fuss was about. I borrowed this book from my library on Overdrive.

19415228Winning what you want may cost you everything you love

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined. Set in a richly imagined new world,

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart. (Goodreads)

I give The Winner’s Curse out of 5 stars. Given the chance I’ll read the second one, but it isn’t a story I’m ga-ga over.

Throughout the first 20% of this book, I seriously doubted my decision-making ability for picking up this book. The descriptions felt clunky and overbearing, and I felt no connection to the story. Luckily, when I picked the book up again the next day, the story seemed to have taken a turn for the better, and I mostly enjoyed the rest of it.

Arin’s plan was very clear early on, and Kestrel really just seemed like a spoiled noble with a soft spot for slaves and a mind for games.

I did find the world and the opposing cultures a bit interesting, but also a bit vague at times.

The last bit of the book seemed rushed, and I might have enjoyed a little bit more of a fleshed-out end to this part of the trilogy.

I’ve heard a lot of praise for Rutkoski’s writing style, but I didn’t particularly like it. There were moments of “oh that’s beautiful,” but overall it wasn’t anything I found remarkable.

All of this is not to say I can’t see how loved the story is, it just wasn’t awe-inspiring for me.