Wondering Writers #11


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Wondering Writers #9


What is your writing background?

I started writing children’s stories when I was about seven years old.  I wrote about a boy and his pet dog as they went on life adventures.  I still have some of those stories tucked away in my cupboards somewhere!

Since then, I had an interest in writing but never really went anywhere with it.  I was introduced to a fantasy roleplay website when I was seventeen (that has since closed down) and I spent a lot of time on there.  I definitely think it helped to improve my writing skills and I really enjoyed sharing my characters with others and coming across unusual situations that I never would have thought of by myself.

I often tried to start a book.  I had several plans for different plots and I found world building to be fairly easy as I let my imagination roam free.  However, I never actually started writing.  That was always the hardest part for me.

I eventually created a family and race that I wanted to write stories about, and I used the roleplay website to flesh out my ideas.  I created the descendants of the books I had planned on writing and this helped me with building on my history and other characters.  It still took me a long time to actually start writing a book though.  I had a trilogy planned first, but scrapped that idea in favour of a different, stand alone story.  That leads me to my current WiP, The Power of Whispers, currently (slowly) going through the second draft process.


What is your writing background?

TBR: Wormwood

Wormwood: Book 1
D. H. Nevins
Author’s Site

I first came across this book yesterday when I saw the announcement for the cover reveal of Book 2 on Twitter (that linked to a blog).  I’m not going to include the picture of Book 2’s cover in this post because there was an official release for it, but you should definitely click the link and have a look.  It’s really something special!

So, since I am one of those people who gets excited by awesome book covers, I naturally looked into the series and I was not disappointed!  It sounds quite interesting!  And if that is not enough, Book 1 is free on Amazon!

Check out the above links to find out more information and let me know what you think!


Click the link for more information about my WordPress TBR list and how to get your book on it!

Writing Update: Editing Chapter 1


I started editing the other day and when I got to the end of chapter 2 I realised I had not even added in the things I wanted to add.  I had only really worked on sentence structure and the flow of the story…

So, today I went back over my prologue and chapter 1 and spent a lot more time on them.  I think, maybe, I am finally happy with those…? (probably until I read them again and decide they are still not ready…)

I am still finding editing a lot more time consuming and difficult than the first draft, but I am hoping I will get the hang of it soon…

Book Review: Zephyra

Book One of The Elemental Diaries
Andrea B. Lamoureux
High Fantasy

Rating: 4/5

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Experience the growth of Zephyra as she struggles with living as a royal.  Being the cousin to Adelaide, the heir to the throne, she feels as though she is unimportant and that everyone is out to get her.  The difficult relationship she has with her mother distances her from the rest of the court, and there are very few people she can trust.

Life changes drastically once Adelaide becomes Queen, and Zephyra must make a difficult choice in order to keep her cousin safe.  This leads her into dangerous situations, as she comes to realise that life outside of the palace is not as pleasant as it had seemed.

The plot thickens as Zephyra learns new information, and she must find other ways to help Queen Adelaide, while also discovering the burning power within.

This book contains well developed characters that are consistent and relatable.  Their growth relies heavily on their backgrounds and past experiences and we are given a lot of information.

Zephyra starts as a girl who just wants to feel included, but she learns that life is not fair and she closes herself off from the rest of the world.  She has good intentions, but she has been hurt too many times, and her pain is clearly expressed.  Zephyra is a realistic and interesting character.  The relationship she has with her mother is intriguing and her actions were understandable, considering her past experiences.

Adelaide comes across as the pretty girl who has everything going for her, at least on the outside.  Deep down, she struggles with maintaining a strong appearance and everything is not as easy as it seems.  She is a kind character and I liked reading about her.

The book starts slowly, explaining the early life of Zephyra in detail.  I was a bit lost at first, unsure where the story was leading, but I soon became absorbed in what was happening and the slow pace was actually enjoyable.

The pace quickens suddenly, but it was easy to keep up.  I found the dangers a little repetitive, as Zephyra seemed to keep running into the same type of people, but it also remained consistent with the world and so it did not bother me much.  I also thought the control of power came on too easily and it should have been explained more.

This book appears to be suitable for Young Adults for the first several chapters, but the later plot is clearly written for mature audiences.  I did not have any issues with what happened but some people might disagree and have trouble reading about some of the experiences.

I loved the world.  There was a good amount of detail in the world building.  Different regions had their own colours, symbols and even different hair.  Looking back on it now, I wish I knew more about it, but enough information was provided while reading and I am sure we will be given more details in the future books.

This book is well written and I noticed very few errors.  There is a consistent use of language that suits the world, and I found this really enjoyable.

I also found the small paragraph written just before chapter one to be very interesting and it was a good inclusion.

I really enjoyed becoming lost in Zephyra’s world and I felt involved in her life as she grew.  I will definitely be reading the next book in the series when it is released.  I look forward to it!

Wondering Writers #8


How deeply do you plan your characters?

I’ve given my world a lot of thought and I have even used it and some of the characters that appear in my WiP during roleplaying.  It was a great way to get to know the race that I had developed and what the main family was like.  Of course, I set the roleplaying at a different time frame and the person who replied to me knew my intentions of using the race and characters for books.  I won’t be including any of their material.

Anyway, getting off topic.  I have some characters that I have developed quite a lot.  I know their history, what their personalities are like, what they are capable of.  I generally even know at least something to do with their future.  I find these characters really easy to write and I hardly have to think about what I am doing.

Then there are the times when I have a gap that needs filling.  My WiP is a heroic fantasy and there were heaps of people to meet along the way.  I did not plan a single one of the non-essential characters in advance, and I really enjoyed coming up with them as I went along.  I tried to add detail into their lives during the short space of time they were in the book, and it really gave me something to think about.

It’s these characters that I enjoyed writing the most.  In fact, one of these “space filling” characters is my favourite for the whole book.  I’ve mentioned before that I am thinking of doing some short stories about characters that other people like, I might need to start with this particular one 😉

I definitely think it is important to know your protagonist very well before you start.  I remember realising that I did not know mine enough when I was six chapters in and I went back and thought about things more and edited what I had done.  He was boring and I realised I was focusing too much on the story, and not enough on him. But the other characters, I don’t feel like they need every detail written down first.  I enjoyed their growth as I went along.

How deeply do you plan your characters?

Writing Update: Started Editing


I finally started editing my WiP, after finishing my first draft last week.  I had spent so much time on writing during November that I really wanted to catch up with some other things first.  Though, now I realise that this was also just an excuse.  I find that I have very little motivation for editing.  I really enjoyed doing the first draft and letting the story flow, but I know what happens now.. now I need to go and make everything.. better…

I feel like there is a lot more pressure for the second draft.  The first one was easy for me (once I finally got started, for the second time…). I followed the characters and enjoyed their surprises.  Whenever I came across something that did not seem to be quite right, I knew I could just get my idea out there and fix it up later.

I have just gone through my prologue and chapters 1 and 2.  I added another 100 words while changing sentences and explaining things a little more.  Once I reached the end of chapter 2 I realised I had hardly touched my to do list.  There were things I wanted to add that I still have not added… so I guess I will be going back over it again…

Does anyone else find that the second draft has more pressure?  What do you do to increase your motivation?