Wondering Writers #13

How many projects do you work on at the same time?

When I was writing the first draft of The Power of Whispers I was determined to only work on one book at a time. If I had ideas for another story, I wrote down some notes, I even allowed myself to think about that story in my spare time, but I never actually worked on it. I thought it was best to remain focused.

Now that I’ve completed my first draft, I’m having second thoughts. My motivation for editing is limited and so I’m finding I’m often not doing any writing at all. There are other factors to this too. The holiday season was very busy, I need to start looking for a job and the Australian summer is making me feel lazy…

I’m feeling as though I might be better off at least doing some kind of writing though, even if it’s not always attempting to edit. I have a short story in mind for one of the minor characters in The Power of Whispers, so I might work on that for a while just to help me get back into things.
How many projects do you work on at the same time?

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Book Release: Angel of Shadow by D. H. Nevins

Angel of Shadow
Wormwood #2
D. H. Nevins
Dystopia/Paranormal
Author website

Angel of Shadow is now available for purchase!  I have recently reviewed this book and I would definitely recommend it!  The blurb written by the author can be found at the bottom of this post, though I suggest you only read it if you have read book one already.

If you have not read book one yet, it is currently free!  Here’s the link to Wormwood on Amazon.  You can also see my review for book one here.

 

Giveaway

D. H. Nevins is hosting a GIVEAWAY for two paperbacks and five ebooks of Angel of Shadow!  It is open internationally until the 5th of February!

She is also starting up a newsletter if you want to sign up!

 

Let me know if you are interested in this book! I would love to hear your thoughts!

 

Blurb:
D.H. Nevins hurtles you into a world of half-angels, demons and tormented love in this driving, dystopian sequel to Wormwood.

Half-angels, known as Nephilim, have all but destroyed the surface of the Earth. Yet for Kali Michaels, her life is now much more complicated than simply surviving. Grappling with her own powerful identity, she worries her connection to the world of Shadows could destroy those around her.

And what if she hurts Tiamat Wormwood, the Nephilim outcast who has given everything to save her? Tiamat and Kali know they have no future—not when outside forces and Kali’s own power push both the humans and the Nephilim to the brink of extinction.

As she fights to stop the inevitable, she is led to question who her real enemies are, and whether the ultimate threat may actually be herself.

ARC Review: Angel of Shadow

Angel of Shadow
Wormwood #2
D. H. Nevins
Dystopia/Paranormal

Rating: 4/5

I received this book as part of a give away promotion before the release.

Synopsis
I only write summaries for the first book in a series because they give away spoilers.  You can see my synopsis and review for book one here or read the Goodreads synopsis for this book.

Characters
I mentioned in the review for book one that I did not feel as though I knew Kali as well as I should after finishing a book.  I connected with her more during book two and I understood her motivations and thoughts.  Kali goes through some changes and I found it really interesting to follow her struggle and self doubt.  There was a point near the end that bothered me, when Kali seemed to take her time to really get involved, but overall I thought she was a well developed character.

I’m not sure why I did not mention Richard in my review for book one.  He is definitely coming out as one of my favourite characters in this series.  He seems perfectly deceptive and manipulative.  He is exactly what I would expect from a menacing demon and I enjoy the encounters with him (does that make me evil?).

Different characters are introduced and I found most of them to be interesting and well developed.  There was one that did not feel quite right during the book but it was explained later and her reactions to situations made a lot more sense.

Plot
This book follows a similar slow pace as the first one, with the majority of the story taking place over a few days.  I enjoyed the pace and I thought it allowed the reader the opportunity to really get involved in what Kali was experiencing.

Similar to book one, there are things that happen in this book that do not seem to quite add up as you read through the chapters, but it all makes sense by the end.  I was actually quite surprised by some of the explanations and I really enjoy it when plots are not predictable.

There was one aspect of the plot that seemed repetitive and I struggled to understand why the characters did not grasp the situation and continued to make the same mistakes.  An explanation was provided but I do not think it was enough.

World
There were some interesting changes to the world that I cannot mention without giving away spoilers.  I also felt as though the use of shadows was unique and clever.

I found myself a little lost with the description of some of the caves and I do not think I pictured the area correctly.  This bothered and confused me slightly but only for about one chapter.

Writing
I found a few tiny errors and some of the descriptions and explanations were a bit repetitive, but most of the book is really well written and an easy read.  I think this is a great achievement for a new author.

Just like book one, book two is difficult to put down, especially if you like stopping at the end of a chapter.  You are often left with a hint of what will happen next and it makes you want to keep going.

Overall
This is another enjoyable book by D. H. Nevins, with interesting concepts and a well thought out storyline.

I would recommend this series to anyone who enjoys dystopia or paranormal genres, but I would also recommend it to those who want an unpredictable read.  I really liked the little surprises.

 

Angel of Shadow will be released on the 13th, so not long to go now! Let me know if you plan on reading it or if you already received an ARC.  I would love to know your thoughts.

 

Wondering Writers #12

WonderingWriters

Do you have specific writing times each day/week?

I’ve mention many times before that I have a young daughter and that spending time with her limits my time to write.  I’ll make it clear right now that I do not say that as a complaint.  I love spending time with her.  However, her naps are at different times of the day and go for different lengths of time.  It makes it impossible to set up real schedules or any kind of routine.

The only time I know I can set aside is Wednesday mornings.  My daughter goes to childcare for a half day and I strictly avoid making other plans for that time.  The childcare was closed for a few weeks over Christmas though, so I’m feeling even more out of touch with my writing.

Then there is the fact that I should start looking for work.  That will take up even more of my free time and I expect I’ll be too tired after long days to do any writing.  My daughter will then only go to childcare when I am working, instead of giving me free time to myself.

So I would like to know if routines work for others, especially if you have other commitments, like children or outside work.  Are you able to maintain a balance in your life?

Do you have specific writing times each day/week?

Book Review: Wormwood

Wormwood
Wormwood #1
D. H. Nevins
Paranormal/Dystopia

Rating 4/5

This book was on my WordPress TBR list.

Synopsis
After witnessing the destruction of the world as she knew it, Kali becomes one of the few remaining people.  She struggles to survive as a race of half angels attempt to send her to her final judgement, but one of them has other plans.  Tiamat tries to protect Kali, but at what cost?  And what role is Kali really meant to play?

Characters
Kali is a conflicted character, devastated by her loss and confused by remaining relationships.  She is determined to survive, even if there is little to actually live for.  I sometimes felt thrown by her reactions to situations, which reduced my ability to form a connection with her.  I don’t feel as though I know her character as well as I should now that I have finished the book.  However, this is only book one and she still has space to grow and develop.

Tiamat is also conflicted but I understood his reasoning a little more.  I found his lack of explanations bothered me a little, though it did fit with his character.  I felt as though he could have found a way to explain things to Kali a bit more.

I found the Nephilim quite interesting.  They caused great destruction but I felt sympathetic towards their difficult upbringings and the struggles they faced with their compulsions.

Plot
As I read the book, I felt as though the plot had a few holes.  There were some things that confused me earlier on in the book and I thought they had been overlooked but most of them were later explained, and I am fine with that as long as it adds up in the end.

The romance in the story seemed a little unrealistic.  I would understand if it was just attraction, but there was not enough of a build up for true love to have formed.

This is a slow paced book, and I enjoyed this pace for the most part.  I felt a little impatient in the middle, just wanting to know where the story was going, but most of the time I liked hearing about the smaller situations instead of just skipping to bigger things.

World
Parts of the world were really well thought out, with tainted water and darkened sky, but other parts seemed to rely on either accidents or possibly intentional power.  Most of the humans were wiped out but horses and their equipment could still be found.  There also seemed to be a lot of standing caves for a world that had been destroyed.  Most of this did not bother me, but I would have liked a bit more information to fit the pieces together.

Writing
This is a very well written book and the author has a decent vocabulary that is combined with good sentence structure.  It was quite impressive, especially for a new author.

Overall
This book was an interesting read and it has definitely left me curious for the next one in the series (which is due to be released on the 13th of this month).  I have many questions waiting to be answered.

This is also one of those books that is difficult to put down, especially in the earlier chapters.  It always leaves you wanting to keep going to find out one more bit of information, but by the time you get it there is something else you want to know.

I would recommend this book to those who enjoy reading about survival and coming to terms with change in dystopia settings.

Also, I love the acknowledgement at the end where the author thanks her cat!

 

Have you read this book?  What did you think?  It is currently free on Amazon!

December Overview

A few days late posting this.  It have had a very busy couple of weeks!  I spent most of December focusing on family and social occasions, so I did not get a lot done in the way of writing.

Writing
After finishing my first draft at the end of November I took a week off from writing to catch up on other things that I had neglected.  After that, I found it very difficult to get into the editing process and I only managed to go through my prologue and chapter 1.  I am fairly happy with both of those (at least for now), but I still have a long way to go…

Reading
I read and reviewed three books during December.
Zephyra by Andrea B. Lamoureux
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
November Rain by Shannon A. Thompson

I also did a beta read for Dylan over at A Writer and his Cat

Overall, December was a very slow month for my WiP but I am happy with my level of reading and I am definitely happy with my progress for the year.  Finishing the first draft of my WiP was a major achievement for me.

 

Let me know in the comments if your December/year was productive!  If you published any books in 2017, feel free to drop a link in as well.

Wondering Writers #11

WonderingWriters

What are your New Year resolutions and goals?
Responses can be about anything, not just writing!

First of all, let me just say happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a fun and safe night.  We enjoyed having our friends over and our daughter handled everything rather well for her first New Years.  The fireworks didn’t even wake her up!

Anyway, back to the topic!  There are several things I want to change/achieve during 2018.  The main one is that I want to focus more on my daughter.  I want to read to her more and spend less time on my phone while she is around.

I’m going to have to start looking for a job this year.  My daughter turns one in February, and that’s how long I gave myself for maternity leave.  I hope to find something that won’t be too stressful and will be flexible with my other commitments… We’ll see….

I want to publish a book this year!  My current WiP is still at the beginning of the second draft.  I have not had much time to work on it during the holiday season, but I hope to pick it up again soon.  Still undecided about how I am going to publish (traditional or self publish) but it is definitely something I want to be looking into.

So they are the main things I would like to achieve this year.

What are your New Year resolutions and goals?

Wondering Writers #10

WonderingWriters

How do you juggle writing and the holidays?

Christmas and New Years are fast approaching and I always find this a busy time of year.  This year seems even busier, even though I am no longer working, I have my daughter to look after and can’t just randomly go shopping whenever I feel like it.  I am very excited for her first Christmas though!

I finished the first draft on my WiP at the end of November and, since then, writing has been very slow for me.  I am finding the editing process to be a little daunting and definitely feels like more pressure.  It is likely that it is because of this that I am allowing myself to have the excuses of “I’m just too busy at the moment” and “I have other things I really need to do first”.

I would be curious to know if I would have used such excuses if I was still writing my first draft (a process that I really enjoyed).  I’ve decided not to force myself back into writing though. I trust that I will get to it eventually, and I don’t want to ruin the holiday spirit by feeling guilty for not writing.  I definitely plan to focus on it more in the new year though.  I’ll be pushing myself more then too.

 

How do you juggle writing and the holidays?

Book Review: November Rain

November Rain
Bad Bloods #1
Shannon A. Thompson
YA Dystopia / Urban Fantasy

Rating: 4/5

 

Synopsis
Seventeen year old Serena is sentenced to death because she is part of a race known as Bad Bloods, people who have remarkable abilities.  She manages to escape her execution and returns to the dangerous streets, where she meets Daniel, another Bad Blood.  Little does she know how important their connection is going to become.

 

Characters
Serena is an interesting girl who has clearly had to grow up too quickly in order to survive.  Her experiences as a prisoner changed her and she is torn between her responsibilities and learning more about Daniel.

Daniel seems to be the typical sort of guy who wants to help everyone even if it is dangerous.  He has a secret though, which makes his character feel quite elusive.

There are a lot of characters in this book and they are mentioned right from the start.  I found it difficult to keep up with everyone and what they could do.  I feel as though this also hindered my ability to form connections with the main characters.  I would have liked a little more depth with them.

 

Plot
The set up of this story kept me interested and I was eager to see what was going to happen.  It is a slow paced story and not a lot happens, but I enjoyed the trickle of information.

I was taken by surprise when the book just ended though.  It is only book 1 in a series, and I expected there to be unanswered questions, but it seemed like an odd place to finish.

 

World
I liked the idea of the world and all the different abilities.  I was keen to learn what each character could do and they seem to have flaws in their abilities as well, which makes them more realistic.

I found the harsh reality for the Bad Bloods quite devastating when I really thought about it.  The government were sentencing children to death and parents were quick to abandon their own children.

 

Writing
This is another well written book by Shannon A. Thompson, and it was an easy read.  I do not recall coming across any typos and the descriptions were easy to understand.

 

Overall
I struggled to come up with a rating for this book because I feel as though I have only read half of it.  It does have a lot of potential though, and I definitely want to know what happens next.  There was a note at the end that mentioned that Bad Bloods had originally been published as one novel and then taken off the market shortly after.  I am curious as to why this happened.

I would recommend this book for those who enjoy easy to read YA books.

Book Review: Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass
Throne of Glass #1
Sarah J. Maas
YA Fantasy

Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis
Eighteen year old Celaena is a highly skilled assassin serving a life sentence in the salt mines of Endovier.  The Crown Prince makes a deal to sponsor her in a tournament to find a champion for the King.  Celaena despises the King, but the opportunity to gain her freedom is too tempting to resist.

But defeating her opposition in the tournament is not Celaena’s only challenge.  An evil is lurking within the castle, traces of magic have been found, and there are also matters of the heart.

 

Characters
I really enjoyed Celaena’s character.  She was interesting, amusing and just entertaining to read.  Her character is the best part of the book and she is the reason why I continued to look forward to my limited reading time.

Some of the other characters in the book seem a bit predictable and stereotypical.  I found this to be disappointing, but it did not interfere with my overall enjoyment.

 

Plot
I was quite interested in the plot until magic started to play a larger role.  I felt as though it was a little too convenient and more explanation about its use was definitely needed.  There were times when something happened that made sense to those who understood magic, but not to those who did not, but they did not appear to react in any way.

The love triangle theme also seemed a little unnecessary and I felt as though it was a little unrealistic.

 

World
I liked the set up of the world and the background about the wars and what the King had done to the other regions.  It made sense and it was a good foundation for certain feelings and character impressions.

The description of the castle, especially Celaena’s rooms, gave me the impression that the castle itself was actually the size of a city.  This was another thing I found unrealistic.

 

Writing
There were a few errors and typos and, without going back and actually checking, there was one point where I was certain the number of other potential champions was mistaken.

There was also a lot of focus on what the characters were wearing, and not so much on the description of the areas they were in.

 

Overall
I enjoyed the book, but mostly due to Celaena’s character and not necessarily for the plot.  I am curious to know what happens next, so I will probably still read the rest of the series, but there are so many other things that I want to read so I think I will just come back to it another time.

It is a very easy book to read and quite typically Young Adult, so if you enjoy that sort of book then I would recommend giving it a go.