Saturday, November 7, 2020

I've Moved!


Hey all! I've moved over to ...


victoriagracehowell.com


Come join the fun! This site will be up for posterity, but all new posts will be on the new site. Thank you so much for your support!


Friday, November 6, 2020

Book Review and Writing Lessons: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

 


In The Son of Neptune, Percy, Hazel, and Frank met in Camp Jupiter, the Roman equivalent of Camp Halfblood, and traveled to the land beyond the gods to complete a dangerous quest. The third book in the Heroes of Olympus series will unite them with Jason, Piper, and Leo. But they number only six--who will complete the Prophecy of Seven?

The Greek and Roman demigods will have to cooperate in order to defeat the giants released by the Earth Mother, Gaea. Then they will have to sail together to the ancient land to find the Doors of Death. What exactly are the Doors of Death? Much of the prophecy remains a mystery. . . .
With old friends and new friends joining forces, a marvelous ship, fearsome foes, and an exotic setting, The Mark of Athena is be another unforgettable adventure by master storyteller Rick Riordan.


Series: The Heroes of Olympus (Book 3)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; Reprint Edition (April 8, 2014)
Page Count: 672 pages


If anything I need this year is a laugh and Rick Riordan’s books are always my happy place books where I can read about amazing characters in epic quests but also giggle along the way.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

So Your Character is From Malta ... Featuring Charlene @ OnlyfortheBooks

 

So Your Character is ... is back for a time after a long hiatus! In this series, I interview lovely volunteers from around the world to give you a firsthand account of being a citizen of their respective country or having a disability. I'm hoping to encourage international diversity, break stereotypes, and give writers a crash course on how to write a character from these different places on our planet. If you haven't checked out last time's So Your Character is from Mongolia ... be sure to hop on over there and give it a read!

Disclaimer: The content below may be culturally shocking to some. Each of these posts is as uncensored as possible to preserve the authenticity of the cultures of each of the interviewees.

(None of the Images are Mine)

Friday, October 30, 2020

Monthly Wanderings: October 2020




October was kind of a weird month. The weather was great yet I was also stressed because I'm trying to figure out what my life is going to be like next week and sweet Momo got spayed and she's recovering, so it's been kinda weird. XD

Friday, October 23, 2020

So Your Character is From Mongolia ... Featuring Jenny Sandiford

 


So Your Character is ... is back for a time after a long hiatus! In this series, I interview lovely volunteers from around the world to give you a firsthand account of being a citizen of their respective country or having a disability. I'm hoping to encourage international diversity, break stereotypes, and give writers a crash course on how to write a character from these different places on our planet. If you haven't checked out last time's So Your Character is from Latvia ... be sure to hop on over there and give it a read!

Disclaimer: The content below may be culturally shocking to some. Each of these posts is as uncensored as possible to preserve the authenticity of the cultures of each of the interviewees.

(None of the Images are Mine)

Friday, October 16, 2020

Book Review and Writing Lessons: The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks

 

Thousands of years after the destruction of the age of man and science, new races and magic now rule the world, but an imminent danger threatens. A horde of evil Demons is beginning to escape and bring death upon the land. Only Wil Ohmsford, the last of the Shannara bloodline, has the power to guard the Elven Princess Amberle on a perilous quest to save the world, while the leader of the Demon force aims to stop their mission at any cost.


Series: The Shannara Chronicles (Book 2)
Genre: MG Fantasy
Publisher: Del Rey (October 10, 2000)
Page Count: 576 pages

Last year, I got this book for free in the Realm Maker's grab bag since Terry Brooks was the guest of honor at the conference. He's been lauded as a grandfather of modern fiction in the lines of Tolkien. I'd never heard of him before the conference, but I decided to give him a try. Maybe I'm just too used to modern-style fiction, but this was the worst book I've read in a while. 

Friday, October 9, 2020

Writing Lessons from Video Games: Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition

 


I've only heard of this game recently what with the remake having just come out this year, but my two good friends recommended it to me so I thought I'd give it a shot. I really enjoyed it. It was a great original story with more twists at the climax than I’ve ever seen in a story! The characters are all great and so well developed for a large cast! And the world building is just amazing!


Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition is set on a world where people and machines live on two dormant titans known as the Bionis and Mechonis. These two races are at constant war with each other. After a terrible attack on his village a Homs named Shulk armed with the mysterious blade called the Monado seeks revenge against the machina who have devastated his people.

Warning: Big spoilers for points 3-5!


Friday, October 2, 2020

Book Review and Writing Lessons: Gatekeepers by Robert Liparulo

 

The house talks. It breathes. And it's hungry.

The Kings have been in the creepy old place, their new home, for only a few days, but they've experienced enough terror to last a lifetime. And the mystery is growing even more baffling. Shadowy and shifting, the big house conceals doors into other worlds that blur the line between memories and dreams and the slightest misstep can change history forever.

At least, that's if they believe the trembling old man who shows up claiming to know them. "There's a reason you're in the house," he tells them. "As gatekeepers, we must make sure only those events that are supposed to happen get through to the future."

The problem is that horrors beyond description wait on the other side of those gates. As if that weren't enough, the Kings are also menaced by sinister forces on this side like the dark, ancient stranger Taksidian, who wants them out now.

Xander, David, and Toria must venture beyond the gates to save their missing mother and discover how truly high the stakes have become.

Series: Dreamhouse Kings (Books 3)
Genre: MG Fantasy
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishing (February 21, 2012)
Page Count: 320 pages

My friend and I decided to read this book together and it's certainly one of my favorites of the series so far!

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Monthly Wanderings: September 2020

 


FALL IS HERE! It's a gamble her in Georgia if it's going to cool down or stay hot for another month. Kinda like reverse Groundhog Day ... But this year the weather has cooled down and it's been fabulous! Fall is in the air! AND I AM SO READY FOR IT!


Friday, September 25, 2020

Book Review and Writing Lessons: Crooked House by Agatha Christie


The Leonides are one big happy family living in a sprawling, ramshackle mansion. That is until the head of the household, Aristide, is murdered with a fatal barbiturate injection. Suspicion naturally falls on the old man’s young widow, fifty years his junior. But the murderer has reckoned without the tenacity of Charles Hayward, fiancé of the late millionaire’s granddaughter.

Genre: Adult Mystery
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reissue edition (February 1, 2011); Originally Dodd, Mead and Company (March 1949)
Page Count: 256 pages

I've become an Agatha Christie fan in the last year, so I've been itching to get my hands on another one of her mysteries! Crooked House is considered one of her best, so I decided to give it a go! 

Friday, September 18, 2020

Writing Lessons from Video Games: The Gabriel Knight Trilogy

 

The Gabriel Knight PC game series is a 90s franchise I hadn't heard of until recently when writing a review for a gaming website. When my editor asked me to include a comparative title for my review, I decided to give the first game a shot since the remake was on-sale. I ended up really liking the first two games of the trilogy, but not liking the third. So I'm very torn about this series as a whole.

Gabriel Knight focuses on the titular character's adventures as a Schattenjaegar or Shadowhunter as he solves mysteries surrounding supernatural creatures around the world.

Warning: Spoilers in points three and five.


Friday, September 11, 2020

Yellowstone National Park 2020 Report

 

Gosh, I haven't done a report post in so long. 2020 has not been the year for traveling lol, but I'm happy to finally be able to share my adventures with you all again. Yellowstone National Park has been on my must-see list since I saw got the World Explorer card in the mail (Anyone else remember those?). The bison, the geothermal activity, the mountains, the weather. All up my alley. With most of my plans for this year being canceled, I decided to spontaneously take a trip to this amazing place with my dear sister-cousin. Brace yourself for a long post!

Friday, September 4, 2020

Book Review and Writing Lessons: The Awakened by Richard Spillman






Everyone dies once. But what if a chosen few were raised from the dead? Two thousand years ago Jesus resurrected his friend, Lazarus, who founded a secret organization: SOAR. Since then Jesus has added to the resurrected—The Awakened—to aid Lazarus in SOAR's battle against Satan's slaves, the UnVeilers. The threat is escalating. The UnVeilers have stepped up their attacks on mankind through a charming leader and a devastating series of bombings in Dubai and Tel Aviv. But the invasion doesn't stop with international terrorism. The UnVeilers are searching for a secret that Jesus embedded in Lazarus’ journal that not even Lazarus knows—and it will determine the fate of mankind. After a failed cyber-attack against SOAR's computers, Lazarus and his team of experts must find the secret before the UnVeilers do. What clue is he overlooking that could turn the tide of this ageless conflict? The souls fighting with Lazarus are weary, but the war against evil is far from won. Can Lazarus and his team set aside their longing for heaven and put a stop to these satanic attacks before it's too late?

Series: The Lazarus Chronicles (Book 1)
Genre: Adult Thriller
Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink (September 13, 2018)
Page Count: 360 pages

I won this book as a prize in Jill Williamson’s marketing class at Realm Makers last year in St. Louis. I wasn’t hugely intrigued by it at first, but I have so might as well read it.



Friday, August 28, 2020

Monthly Wanderings: August 2020

 


August was a mostly uneventful month. XD The best part was hiking other than that work work work lol. 

Friday, August 21, 2020

Book Review and Writing Lessons: Watcher in the Woods by Robert Liparulo





Twelve-year-old David and his family search for their kidnapped mother in the many different time period portals of their home, but when a stranger appears and tries to force them to sell the house, their desperation reaches new heights.

Series: Dreamhouse Kings (Book 2)
Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (February 3, 2012)
Page Count: 304 pages

I'm finally getting to reading this sequel! I read the first book back in 2018 and bought this sequel last year at Realm Makers and I've finally gotten around to reading it!


Friday, August 14, 2020

Writing Lessons from TV Shows: The Witcher






I’ve been on a Witcher kick lately! Between playing the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and watching the Witcher Netflix, I’ve come to love Geralt of Rivia and become fascinated with the story world. I’m still playing the game (it’s so huge, man) but I have finished the Netflix show and besides the mature content I enjoyed it. Henry Cavill does an amazing Geralt of Rivia, Jaskier is hilarious, the music is so good, and the visual effects were really nice too. It had its flaws like I felt like though the show is called the Witcher it focused more on Yennefer of Vengerberg (and I’m not too crazy about her) and I wanted more of Geralt and Ciri’s relationship but hopefully, in the next season, we’ll get more of them.

Geralt of Rivia, Yennefer of Vengerberg, and Princess Cirilla of Cintra are entwined by destiny. Geralt is a famed Witcher, a mutated monster slayer, Yennefer is a sorceress, and Ciri is the last of the line of Elder Blood. The three must find each other to save the world from the Niflgaard Empire and even dark forces. 

Warning: Spoilers in points two and five.


Friday, August 7, 2020

Book Review and Writing Lessons: Scythe by Neal Shusterman




A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

Series: Arc of a Scythe (Book 1)
Genre: YA Science-Fiction
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (November 28, 2017)
Page Count: 464 pages

This book is definitely the most challenging book I’ve read this year. It’s not really a book for pleasure but a book to make you think, so for a while, I had trouble liking it but by the end, I learned to appreciate it for its themes. 

Friday, July 31, 2020

Monthly Wanderings: July 2020




July was a pretty good month! I feel like the months are steadily getting more normal as we get through this dumb pandemic. Maybe by Thanksgiving or Christmas, we can function like regular human beans.

(I apologize for the insane formatting. Something happened to blogger and my whole post screwed up)


Friday, July 24, 2020

Why I'm a Christian but Not a Christian Author






I’m a Christian but I want to break into the mainstream publishing industry. As of right now, that hasn’t happened but I want to shoot for the stars and see how close I get. Honestly, I feel like I’m in this awkward middle in my publishing views like I don’t quite fit into either but ultimately ABA (American Book Association) publishing won out.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Book Review and Writing Lessons: The Door Within by Wayne Thomas Batson



Aidan Thomas is miserable. And it's much more than the strange nightmares he's been having. Just when life seemed to be coming together for Aidan, his parents suddenly move the family across the country to take care of his wheelchair-bound grandfather. When strange events begin to occur, Aidan is drawn into his grandfather's basement where he discovers three ancient scrolls and an invitation to another world. 

No longer confined to the realm of his own imagination, Aidan embarks on an adventure where he joins them in the struggle between good and evil. With the fate of two worlds hanging in the balance, Aidan faces Paragory, the eternal enemy. Will Aidan be willing to risk everything and trust the unseen hand of the one true king? 

The answer comes from The Door Within.

Series: The Door Within (Book 1)
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Inc; First Edition Third Printing edition (August 9, 2005)
Page Count: 316 pages

I’ve heard of this book for years but never got to it until recently. One of my good friends prompted me to get it while at Realm Makers and I even got the book signed by the author, but as much as I wanted to like it the story just didn’t do it for me. 


Friday, July 10, 2020

Writing Lessons from Movies: The Matrix Trilogy





Since I’m at home a lot more than normal I’ve had time to watch movies I’ve been wanting to watch for a long time and the Matrix trilogy was a franchise I’ve wanted to see for I don’t know how long. I watched the first one as a teen but that was like ten years ago and Netflix had all three so I binged them all. Normally I make these posts about movies, shows, and video games I absolutely adore, but this time I’m going to be more critical because this series had such potential then dropped the ball on the second and third movie. Besides the unsatisfying ending that I won’t go into cause spoilers, I’m going to go into some other nitpicks that would have went a long way. 

The Matrix is about a man named Neo who discovers that the world he knew was only a computer simulation created by machines to keep the human race pacified as they’re used for batteries for a nightmarish dystopian reality. He journeys with allies Morpheus and Trinity to save humanity for distinction and liberate those trapped in the Matrix.


Warning: Spoilers in point two.


Friday, July 3, 2020

Book Review and Writing Lessons: Hunger by Michael Grant






It's been three months since all the adults disappeared. Gone. Food ran out weeks ago and starvation is imminent. Meanwhile, the normal teens have grown resentful of the kids with powers. And when an unthinkable tragedy occurs, chaos descends upon the town. There is no longer right and wrong. Each kid is out for himself and even the good ones turn murderous. But a larger problem looms. The Darkness, a sinister creature that has lived buried deep in the hills, begins calling to some of the teens in the FAYZ. Calling to them, guiding them, manipulating them.

The Darkness has awakened. And it is hungry.

Series: Gone (Book 2)
Genre: YA Science-Fiction
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books; 1 edition (April 8, 2014)
Page Count: 608 pages

I've made it through book two of the Gone series and man, was it crazy! Things just get worse and worse for the poor kids of the FAYZ but thankfully, there was lots of hope along the way.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Monthly Wanderings: June 2020





This month has been better than the last ones. It was good to see family and friends after a long time and get progress in editing.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Book Review and Writing Lessons: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins








Ambition will fuel him.
Competition will drive him.
But power has its price.

It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined — every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute . . . and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.


Series: The Hunger Games (0)
Genre: YA Science-Fiction
Publisher: Scholastic Press (May 19, 2020)
Page Count: 528 pages

I could hardly put this book down! So many things about Snow and the Hunger Games world make sense now! It was so cool to read about the history of Panem. Honestly, Katniss has it easy compared to the 10th Hunger Games. 

Friday, June 12, 2020

Writing Lessons from Video Games: Final Fantasy VII Remake





I've been anticipating this game since last year when I started getting interested in the original Final Fantasy VII after playing Kingdom Hearts since the franchise features some of the beloved characters. I decided to wait for the remake and after hearing good things about the game I snagged it on release day! This is a long game (and Animal Crossing is distracting), but I'm so glad I played it and I can't wait until the next part releases! 

Final Fantasy VII Remake is about an ex-SOLDIER named Cloud Strife. He takes up a mercenary gig with a group of eco-terrorists who have the goal to destroy the mako reactors powering the city to save the planet. When their mission fails horribly, things escalate and Cloud becomes more involved than he'd anticipated when he stumbles upon a mysterious florist and hooded ghosts. 


Warning: Spoilers in points four and five--especially five.


Friday, June 5, 2020

Book Review and Writing Lessons: Gone by Michael Grant






In the blink of an eye, everyone disappears. Gone. Except for the young. There are teens, but not one single adult. Just as suddenly, there are no phones, no internet, no television. No way to get help. And no way to figure out what's happened.

Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day.

It's a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen, a fight is shaping up. Townies against rich kids. Bullies against the weak. Powerful against powerless. And time is running out: on your birthday, you disappear just like everyone else. . . .

Series: Gone (Book 1)
Genre: YA Science-Fiction
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books; Reprint edition (April 8, 2014)
Page Count: 576 pages

During this time of weird, I’ve been reading the Gone series with my lovely friend Cassia. This book originally came out in the mid-2000s so it’s a very nostalgic time for me and somehow this book slipped through my reading list. It’s been a blast reading this aloud with my good friend and of course doing all the voices. It reminds me of simpler times and I need that right now. 


Friday, May 29, 2020

Monthly Wanderings: May 2020






May has been a much brighter month than the last two. Things are feeling almost normal here in Georgia and hopefully, by Fall we'll be past this thing. 

Friday, May 22, 2020

Book Review and Writing Lessons: Firstborn by Tosca Lee






Face-to-face with her past, Audra Ellison now knows the secret she gave up everything—including her memory—to protect. A secret made vulnerable by her rediscovery, and so powerful neither the Historian nor the traitor Prince Nikola will ever let her live to keep it.

With Luka in the Historian’s custody and the clock ticking down on his life, Audra only has one impossible chance: find and kill the Historian and end the centuries-old war between the Progeny and Scions at last—all while running from the law and struggling to control her growing powers.

With the help of a heretic monk and her Progeny friends Claudia, Piotrek, and Jester, Audra will risk all she holds dear in a final bid to save them all and put her powers to the ultimate test. Love, action, and stunning revelation reign in this thrilling conclusion to The Progeny.

Series: Descents of the House of Bathory (Book 2)

Genre: Adult Thriller
Publisher: Howard Books; Reprint edition (May 2, 2017)
Page Count: 337 pages

I'm gonna be honest, it was a little hard reading this book lately. Reading characters being able to do all the things I want to do like go to restaurants, festivals, and travel was kinda tough with this day in age, but I pushed through it and ended up enjoying it. Ironically, it feels easier to relate to characters who are in more fantastical circumstances right now. 

Also warning this review has a lot of spoilers about the first book just cause of secrets revealed. Read at your own risk.



Friday, May 15, 2020

Writing Lessons from Video Games: Ori and the Will of the Wisps






I played the first game a few years ago and fell in love and I played the sequel as soon as I could download it in March! One of my many corona coping mechanisms. This one completes Ori’s story and brings a satisfying conclusion to the series. The writing for these games is just fantastic.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps is about a forest spirit who helps raise a young owlet named Ku. After Ku learns to fly, she and Ori fly to another land far from their home, but a terrible storm thrusts them out of the sky and damages Ku's wing. Ori must find a way to reunite with the owlet while evading the evil entity Shriek and find a way to heal the land before they can go home. 


Warning: Spoilers about the first game and spoilers in points 2-5.


Friday, May 8, 2020

Book Review and Writing Lessons: The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan





Percy is confused. When he awoke after his long sleep, he didn't know much more than his name. His brain-fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight. Somehow Percy managed to make it to the camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he had to continually kill monsters that, annoyingly, would not stay dead. But the camp doesn't ring any bells with him. Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn't do a very good job of it. When the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her "gift" for an evil purpose, Hazel couldn't say no. Now, because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk.

Series: Heroes of Olympus (Book 2)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Disney Hyperion (October 4, 2011)
Page Count: 540 pages

I'm so happy to be back in the world of Percy Jackson! It's been a while, but from the first page, I was back to a happy place. This book was such a breath of fresh air for me during this time in my life. 


Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Monthly Wanderings: April 2020






Am I the only one who feels like the last two months have felt like ten years? March was definitely a dark month, but it feels like hope started to come back into the world at the end of April. My state is beginning to open up along with others in the US, so maybe we're finally reaching the light side of this tunnel. 

Friday, April 24, 2020

ScribeTunes: Chasing





The newest ScribeTunes is here! American and Canadian powers combine in a collaborative project between me and Cassia Schaar to help writers have the best music for their writing. Have you ever spent half an hour or more trying to find the right mood music when you should be writing? Then this project is for you! Every other week we will be releasing playlists on Spotify and Apple Music that are themed for any writing scene you can think of! 


Tuesday, April 21, 2020

A Book Review of The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman






This bewitching and harrowing tale of mystery and survival, and memory and magic, makes the impossible all too real...

A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse where she once lived, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: William Morrow (June 3, 2014)
Page Count: 181 pages

At this point, I've dabbled into Neil Gaiman quite a bit. I've seen Stardust and Coraline and I just recently read Norse Gods. Now I wanted to read one of his books that hasn't been adapted into a film and really dive into original Gaiman writing. 



Friday, April 17, 2020

A Book Review of Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson







For a thousand years, the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years, the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the "Sliver of Infinity," reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler's most hellish prison. Kelsier "snapped" and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark.

Kelsier recruited the underworld's elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. Only then does he reveal his ultimate dream, not just the greatest heist in history, but the downfall of the divine despot.

But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel's plan looks more like the ultimate long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she's a half-Skaa orphan, but she's lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets, and gotten it. She will have to learn to trust if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.

This saga dares to ask a simple question: What if the hero of prophecy fails?

Series: Mistborn (Book 1)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Teen; Reprint edition (May 13, 2014)
Page Count: 672 pages

I read Steelheart several years ago and I honestly don't remember a ton about it, but I've been wanting to try some Brandon Sanderson again and fans of his that I know have been recommending Mistborn, so I tried it and honestly I'm now a huge fan too. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Now I'm 27 ...





 Well, my 27th year has not started in the most optimal fashion what with coronapocalypse and all, but there are some good things that happened on my birthday and some things to look back on from my good 26th year!

Friday, April 10, 2020

ScribeTunes: Skirmish



The newest ScribeTunes is here! American and Canadian powers combine in a collaborative project between me and Cassia Schaar to help writers have the best music for their writing. Have you ever spent half an hour or more trying to find the right mood music when you should be writing? Then this project is for you! Every other week we will be releasing playlists on Spotify and Apple Music that are themed for any writing scene you can think of! 


Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Writing Lessons from Video Games: Final Fantasy X






AT LAST, I'VE FINISHED THIS GAME! I started it on my PC like last year or so and never finished it because my PC was so freaking aggravating to play on, but then in November, I got a copy for my PlayStation which I played through until the final battles which I watched on YouTube because I didn't feel like grinding to play these mega-hard bosses that are all consecutive. But! Overall, I really enjoyed the story. It really struck me the second time because I was too distracted with tech difficulties last time. Some of the quotes just really struck me and I really got into the emotional beats of the story. They were so inspirational I decided to write a whole post about the game! 

After a mysterious entity called Sin thrusts Tidus into another world, our hero finds himself trapped in the mystical land of Spira where Sin is a plague defeated only by Summoners. Tidus finds himself a guardian of the beautiful Summoner Yuna as he helps her on her journey to defeat Sin and find a way home. 

Warning: Big fat spoilers in points three and four.



Friday, April 3, 2020

A Book Review of Let the Ghosts Speak by Bryan Davis



In 19th century Paris, Justin Trotter, an immigrant from England, is making his way as a book translator while paying for his blind twin sister’s care. One evening, Marc Noël, Justin’s well-to-do friend and fellow thespian, invites him to a masquerade party at an abandoned schoolhouse. Justin hopes this will be an opportunity to get to know Marc’s lovely though sharp-tongued sister, Francine.

At the event, Justin meets four ghostly strangers—two adults and two children—who warn him that the party guests are in danger, and they must leave at once. True to their prediction, a murder takes place, and Justin is the prime suspect. He escapes and becomes a fugitive, hiding in the Paris catacombs.

Mystery and intrigue swirl as the ghost of Joan of Arc and other martyrs guide Justin on a lonely journey to prove his innocence and protect his sister from an abusive caretaker. Who really committed the crime? Marc? Francine? A ghost? And does seeing these ghosts mean he is going insane? Maybe he really is the murderer after all.

Genre: Adult Mystery
Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink (April 15, 2020)
Page Count: 245 pages

I've had the honor to be able to obtain an advance reader copy of Bryan Davis' new release coming April 15th!

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Monthly Wanderings: March 2020





March 2020 has sucked. There's no way around it. It hasn't sucked not just for me but for the whole world. It's been a month of destroyed dreams and lost lives. I've tried to stay positive about it but it feels like every string of hope I latch onto gets taken away. 


Friday, March 27, 2020

ScribeTunes: Somber






The newest ScribeTunes is here! American and Canadian powers combine in a collaborative project between me and Cassia Schaar to help writers have the best music for their writing. Have you ever spent half an hour or more trying to find the right mood music when you should be writing? Then this project is for you! Every other week we will be releasing playlists on Spotify and Apple Music that are themed for any writing scene you can think of! 


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Advanced Description: Take Your Prose to the Next Level





In the past year, I've learned that description is a lot more complicated than you think. It's not just using the five senses. It's about invoking emotion with your description as well. 

Friday, March 20, 2020

A Book Review of The Progeny by Tosca Lee





Emily Jacobs is the descendant of a serial killer. Now, she’s become the hunted.

She’s on a quest that will take her to the secret underground of Europe and the inner circles of three ancient orders—one determined to kill her, one devoted to keeping her alive, and one she must ultimately save.

Filled with adrenaline, romance, and reversals, The Progeny is the present-day saga of a 400-year-old war between the uncanny descendants of “Blood Countess” Elizabeth Bathory, the most prolific female serial killer of all time, and a secret society dedicated to erasing every one of her descendants. It is a story about the search for self filled with centuries-old intrigues against the backdrop of atrocity and hope.

Series: Descents of the House of Bathory (Book 1)

Genre: Adult Thriller
Publisher: Howard Books; Reprint edition (March 7, 2017)
Page Count: 352 pages

Ever since I attended Realm Makers for the first time I've heard people rant and rave about the awesomeness of Tosca Lee. I'm so excited to finally read one of her novels!


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Five Tips on Designing Book Covers for Indie Authors Featuring TerriblyBadBookCovers





I am so excited to have TerriblyBadBookCovers on the blog today! Their cover finds have had me in stitches, so I am so happy to learn tips on how to actually make a good cover! Please welcome them to the blog!