Friday, September 30, 2011

Book Review - If I Stay

If I Stay
by Gayle Forman

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen year- old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...
A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make -and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

Why I Picked This Book:  I have seen this book around so much, I think I was purposefully not reading it.  You know how that can be.  Then one day I found it on sale, and figured it was about time to dive in.

My Thoughts:
Wow.
If I Stay pulled me in and didn't let me go.  The reader discovered the story with the main character Mia, as the bits and pieces were put together, memories were remembered, and decisions hid around the corner.  I couldn't put it down.  I finished this book in a day.  I could have finished it in a sitting, if life would just stop getting in the way.

I am not typically a fan of ghost/out of body experience stories.  I don't know.  Maybe because I read too many bad ones when I was younger.  Forman redeemed this for me.  In If I Stay, Mia and her family have been in a car accident, but she can't remember it.  First she is driving along the Oregon road with her family, next she is standing next to her body, the car torn apart.

As the story unfolds, Mia's memories intermix with her present as she watches the doctors rushing to save her life.  Her parents are gone.  She has no idea if her brother survived.  And now she must decide: Go, or stay?

I will admit it: I cried.  More than once.  Even typing this now and remembering some of the scenes, I am getting choked up.  It felt so real, so innocent.  Mia's relationship with her boyfriend was simple and real.  Nothing amazing or crazy, but so much like my own past relationships I couldn't help but relate.  Her relationship with her family was refreshing: She loved them.  There was no teenage angst.  No mean or crazy or missing parent.  Just a family.

And, might I add, Forman got Oregon just right.  I couldn't help but chuckle at the cracks on weather.

At times the writing wasn't the most amazing in the world.  Sometimes the memories might have dragged, or slowed.  Sometimes I wondered why she was even remembering that piece to begin with.  Regardless of all that, I couldn't not love this book.  It touched my heart and left an imprint in my memory.  

And then I ran to hug my kids, and to tell my husband to drive home safe.
I highly recommend this read.  Especially to those who love to tear up.

My Rating:
(5 out of 5 stars)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

WIP Day - Decisions

Hello WIP Day, we meet again.
Let's dive right into those updates, shall we?

PN:
I have come to a decision.  Gasp!  I know!

The reason I have just been sitting around twiddling my thumbs is, well, that's part of this art.  The querying process.  Sitting.  And waiting.  Well, my waiting has come to its time limit.  Not to mention my self-confidence hasn't really been appreciating getting rejected.  I know it is all still part of the game and we need to be tough, but each one still hurts regardless.  They say it only takes one... Yet...

I thought about tucking it away until we all forget it ever existed.  Maybe querying even more agents until my brain explodes. Neither of those felt right for me.

I have decided: I am going Indie.
That's right.  Self-published world, here I come.  While the agents I did query didn't feel Prison Nation was the book for them, I still love it.  It is the first book I have completed.  It is my writing love child.  That's right.  My baby.  And it deserves a binding that will eventual crack, a cover that will someday tear, pages that will crinkle and dogeared.  The life of books, isn't it grand?

I haven't set a release day.  Yet.  Right now I am brainstorming on that lovely cover, while planning to do one more edit sweep.  It has been a few months since I read it last.  There is sure to be something I missed.  In about a week, once photos are hopefully near done and before I get too much into prepping for NaNoWriMo, I will dive in.

Stay tuned.  Dates will be announced.  Soon.  Ish.
Nervous!

In other News:
The photo editing backlog is dwindling, thank goodness.  Man it feels good to cross those names out!

ITB is still sitting in first draft form, waiting to someday be read.  Honestly, editing is not the fun part.  I dread it.  But it is what makes the book beautiful.  So, after this year's NaNoWriMo, I am coming for you ITB.

Oh!  Ok.  So I am having a hard time picking which book to read next, after I finish devouring The Omen Machine.  So I thought to turn to all of you awesome followers for your two cents.

Here are three books at the near top of my TBR shelf (Such a massive shelf.  More like a bookshelf.  Jam-packed.  It's a beautiful thing!)  I would love you thoughts... so click next to the title you think I should read (and review) next! And... GO!





That seems to be it for this week's WIP day.  How is yours?

Happy Writing!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Banned Books Week Hop

Welcome to the Banned Books Week Hop, hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & I Read Banned Books

This week we are talking about banned books.  Challenged books.  All those books that people, somewhere, have decided must not be read.  (For more about this topic, click here.)

You know, like the mad frenzy against all things Harry Potter.  Mainly for the use of witch craft and realism.

A Brave New World, because a parent complained that its characters "showed contempt for religion, marriage and family."

The Lord of the Rings for being "satanic."

Even books such as The Hunger Games and Twilight, even Clifford, have been challenged and/or banned from schools and communities.

What is your take on banning and challenging books?
Mine?

I believe that every book was written to be read.  If you do not agree with its thoughts, then don't read it.  Don't buy it for your children.  But do not, do not ban it from the world.

Your view point is your view point and I respect that.  Banning art is something that should never happen though.  There are books out there I do not desire to read and will advise my children to stay away from as well.  Yet I will never push for them to disappear from the world.

Once we ban books, we begin to ban thoughts.  Once we ban thoughts, the world becomes a dull, dark place.


In honor of this week's hop, I am giving away
$15 for the Book Depository 

The lucky winner who's name gets drawn will be encouraged to chose a banned or challenged book.  Go on, stretch your mind.  Read a banned book.

This Hop will run until October 1st, when my handy Rafflecopter along with Random.org will choose the winner.

To enter: GFC follow me, and fill out the Rafflecopter below.

To view and enter all of the other great hopper's giveaways, click here.

Happy Banned Reading!





Book Review - 7 Scorpions: Rebellion

7 Scorpions: Rebellion
by Mike Saxton

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
The world was turned upside down by the swift and brutal attack of a dictator known only as Zodiac. Planting flash bombs in every major city across the world, he detonated them simultaneously, sending the survivors into chaos and anarchy.
In the wake of the destruction, Zodiac unleashed the dreaded Seekers, a group with the ability to radiate an aura of intense fear, which would complete the enslavement and extermination of humanity.
A former vigilante, turned government super soldier experiment, emerges from his self-imposed exile to challenge the new status quo. Can Vincent Black, with his makeshift team of unlikely allies, overcome the demons of his past to help preserve the future of humanity?


Why I Picked this Book: I was offered this book in return for a fair and honest review.

My Thoughts:
7 Scorpions: Rebellion was an intense video game meets print read, with near nonstop action and pace.  There was rarely a moment of the characters sitting around, twiddling their thumbs.  Instead, as soon as peace set in, something would explode, someone would scream, something would happen to trigger another fight.

Overall, I enjoyed the book.  The plot and story was intriguing.  It was refreshing to read a sci-fi book again, written solely for the enjoyment of sci-fi.  The world has been taken over by a mad-man psychic named Zodiac.  America is in shambles as his fear inducing drones wipe out the remaining remnants of the population.  And Vincent Black, a man now stepping out of self-imposed isolation after escaping being a government guinea pig, is our last hope.

Um.  Hello.  It may sound cliche and old, but sometimes something that isn't so "new" is the best thing to devour.

Saxton did a great job of building this world of destruction.  I truly did believe that the world had gone to heck and didn't doubt for a moment that these bad guy drones were doing Zodiac's bidding (maybe in part due to their lobotomized brains...)  As the story unfolded, Saxton slowly let loose the back story and the pieces slowly came together.

Slowly.  While I did appreciate knowing more back-story of more characters, I almost got tired of learning where everyone came from.  The strange ensemble of characters was nice, though at times a bit too convenient.  While the convenience was stated in the book, I would have liked to not feel so "planned" and more "oops!"... if that makes any sense.  The description in this book sometimes got to be too much.  Yes, I would skim...

Along with that, there was repetition.  Alot of repetition.  Every couple chapters, thoughts and statements were repeated.  After a time, I was rolling my eyes and muttering under my breath that I "already knew that."  While some key quotes make sense being repeated, others just got tiresome and well... repetitive.

But hey: There was action.  Tons of it.  I sure got my fighting fix with this book!  And might I add: Lexi is one kick-ars lady!

Maybe if some/more of the description and repetition had been cut out, I would have felt different about this book.  There were other grammar errors that got to me as well.  (Such as the overuse of the caps lock key... lots of caps lock yelling.)  One or two more sweeps in the editing phase probably would have fixed this.

Like I said, I enjoyed 7 Scorpions: Rebellion.  I truly do feel like I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't been on a time line to read it.  Even with that, it took me longer to read than my usual books.  I can easily see this book turned into an awesome teenage shoot-them-up game.  Any young man (or older... or action seeking woman for that matter) looking for a book full of violence, action, and non-stop "go go go" will most likely enjoy this book.

(Note: This book has violence.  And language.  Lots.)

I look forward to seeing where Saxton takes us next.  Now that I feel completely worn out from all that battling and crazy fighting, I think it is about time to relax.  In hiding.  Away from the end of the world.

My Rating
(3 out of 5 stars)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WIP Day - Updating on Updates

Bloggers! Hello!

Fall here in Oregon is having a hard time deciding if it wants to happen or not.  The last week has been great: rain, changing leaves, cool breezes.  Now the weather reports say we are going to go back up to the 80's.  No summer, no.  I do not want you anymore.  Just... leave.

Updates.  Updates...

I am almost done with my photo editing backlog.  Almost!  As soon as these shoots are finished up, I plan to start my plotting for this year's NaNoWriMo novel.  Yes, I am about 95% positive I know which book has won the "rights" to be written.  But it sure needs some plotting.

Which is strange, because I love to pants it.  My, how things change!
Twitter #writeshove buddies... I will be back.  Soon.  I need you!

- PN is still floating in LaLa-Agent-Land.  I have a few I think I need to requery, or maybe I should just drop it all together and start prepping for the indie world.  I don't know.  What a huge decision!  What should I do?

- ITB is sitting and stewing.  I plan on attacking it after November, while that novel gets its turn to stew away.  I think this is a good plan.  As nice as it is to hammer out the book and dive straight into editing, stepping away and letting your mind forget it all actually does wonders.  I have high hopes for ITB.  So I need as much time away as I can manage before I tear it apart.

- I am looking for insight.  Mondays are my Mash-Up days, where I post anything from random jokes to writing tips, Give-Aways to rants and ramblings.  Is there anything out there you would like to hear from me about?  Any topic you would like to dive into my head, and blog, for?  I am thinking of changing some things up, but want feedback before I do anything. So... type away!

- I should be taking part in the Banned Books Hop starting this weekend.  "Should" being the main word.  Man, I want to.  But finances are... well, you know how it is.  So, we will see.  You will know by the end of the week for sure!  And if I am able to do it... make sure to enter and spread the word!

That seems to be it for this week's WIP day.  How is yours?

Happy Writing!

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Favorite Books - Part 2

I know I know.
I was supposed to post this on Friday.  But Friday happened, and the post didn't. Let's just say that having a photo editing backlog (as awesome as it is) sure can impede on my writing and blogging.  I need to find my groove with all of this.  And I will, I promise.

Ready for another segment of My Favorite Books?

For those of you who don't know, this is a segment I post every so often, in which I share one of my all time favorite books.  The ones I love so much, I reread more than is probably healthy.  Ones that just a 5-star rating doesn't do justice for.
This segment's book is:

Ender's Game
by Orson Scott Card

Okay.  Ender's game, and both amazing series that branch off of it.  I have to include them all.

Have you read this book?  Oh my, I love it.  Card is such an amazing writer.  I discovered him years ago with his book Enchantment, then sadly forgot about him.  A few years back a friend handed me Ender's Game and told me that I just needed to read it.  I did.  Then I bought it.  And the two series that branch from it.  And I have reread it.  Many, many times.

In Ender's game, the earth has been attacked by aliens so nicely named Buggers (you know, because they resemble bugs... political naming at its best!)  Ender is a third child, which is mostly unheard of in that time.  And he is a genius.  His sister Valentine and brother Peter are also geniuses but lacked the traits needed to be accepted in the Battle School.  Ender, of course, has it all.  So off he goes.

This battle school floats in space and houses the smartest children of the world.  They are trained for battle, for leadership.  They play an awesome game in zero-G.  And, like any school, you have your good... and you have your bad.

Ender must find a way to not only do well in school, but survive.  Along with that, the world leaders have their eyes on him.  The Buggers are getting closer, and the leaders have planned to use these children to fight the last battle.  With Ender as the leader.

It is so hard to summarize this book.  I just love it.  The conflicts that abound.  The broken family ties.  The loving sister and psychotic brother.  Loyal friends and angry enemies.  Aliens.  It has it all.  All through the eyes of a child so much smarter than his years, but a child none-the-less.

Then there are the series that branch off of it.  One follows Ender as an adult in exhile.  The other follows Bean, one of Ender's team mates, as he goes back to Earth and the wars waiting there.  I can't pick which series I love more.  I honestly can't.

And what's this... I have heard rumor that Card will be writing one more to connect and end these two awesome stories.  Is it true?  Does anyone know?  I am dying here!

If you are looking for a great scifi with easy reading, deep thoughts, and an awesome mix of humor/fighting/smartypants... Read Ender's Game.

Here is the synopsis:


In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut--young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.
Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.
Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives. (Goodreads)


And to add to Orson Scott Card's awesomeness, he wrote a "how-to" book titled How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy.  It is such a great read, you forget that you are learning.  I am sure this book will get a segment of its own soon enough, but I had to mention it now!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Actual post coming... soon...

Crazy day here in my home.
Chocolate milk dumped on keyboard. Doctor appointments. Exhaustion.
I will be posting a book post today, but it may not be until this evening.
I know I know.  I'm sorry.

Until then:
Have you seen the cover reveal for Insurgent?


I must say:
I love it.  I love how it kept the same overall style of Divergent, but is different with that awesome tree.  What does this tree mean?  I have to know!

Gosh, I wanna read this.  Like, right now.  Now.
Do we really have to wait??
What do you think?

Alright, off I go to mop up milk, get the kiddos ready, and get my day going!
Go Go Go!

Remember:
Check back later for my post about another on of my all time favorite books.

Until then... Happy Writing

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

WIP Day - ...what was I saying?

It's... Wednesday.
Wait, really?
Gah.

Where has my week been going?

So last night I watched Beastly.  I have to admit: I was very very very disappointed.  I haven't read the book yet, and was hoping the movie would at least pull me towards finally making that purchase.  Instead, it chased me away.  Have any of you read it?  Is it worth a chance?  Or should I just walk away, like I did at the end of that flick?

Okay, updates:

My books are still on hold.  While I make the frenzy to catch up on my photo editing backlog, my writing has been put in stasis.  Which is good for it.  It needs to simmer.  And soak.  And my brain just needs the break.  ITB has a ton of editing ahead of it.  PN, I feel, should endure at least one last round of nitpicking as I wait (still) to hear back from the last few agents.

Not to mention I still have to plot away for my NaNovel.
This year I am writing in 3rd person.  It is actually the POV I pretty much always write in.  Last year, for NaNo, I took up a challenge and wrote PN in 1st.  And I fell in love with it.  Then I wrote ITB in 1st.  Now, for this year, I am going back to what I have always known.  Hopefully it will work out!

Curious about my NaNovel for this year?  (Yeah, me too...)  I am sure a post is coming... soon-ish.

Oh!  I got another blogging award!  I love these!  Actually, it was two.

 

The Ramblings of Amy just passed on The Versatile Blogger Award, AND The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award... to me! (Well, and 4 others. But I am included!)

Thank you Amy!!

Now, to follow the rules, I must:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. Share 7 random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the award on to 5 more blogger friends.
4. Contact and congratulate the blogs you're passing the award on to.

Ready for the facts?

  • I am semi lactose intolerant.  Just enough to get sick and icky feeling, but not enough to have to push away that first bowl of ice cream.
  • I know all the words to the Llama Song.
  • I love ketchup on my mac and cheese.
  • I am scared of steep hills.
  • I grew up next to Canada, yet have never been there.  At all.
  • I can make a mean paper snowflake.
  • When I laugh really hard, I hiccup.  Loud.

Time to pass this award on!
I choose...

Trish @ Word + Stuff
Michael @ SLC Kismet
Cassandra @ CA Marshall

Enjoy the awards blogging peeps!  And make sure to pass it on!

How is your WIP day?  Anything exciting?
Happy Writing!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Where is Your Inspiration?


I woke up today to the first crisp fall morning of the year. Everything is covered in a thin fog, dew thick on color changing branches. The air is light, hinted with a coming chill yet still warmed from the fading summer. Hello Fall. I welcome you.

It got me thinking.
What inspires you?

Now, I have already made a post about Muses. Today I am not talking about what/who gives you those ideas, that send your mind into a frenzy. No, I am talking about what inspires you. What is it that, when you see it, makes you want to sit down and write. What sounds or music draw your fingers to keys?  What makes you go: "Ah yes, that's the stuff."

I have to be honest:
Where I am living right now far from inspires me. Though I did work hard on redecorating my dining room into a writing den, I still feel far from inspired most days. We live in a two bedroom apartment (four person family...) which has been under construction since February (so much for just a four week project!) The area we live in is just a normal sub-suburbia area, littered with fast food restaurants, freeways, and noise.

Now, where I grew up...
A small island in Puget Sound, off the coast of Washington State. Though over-priced and prone to rumor spreading, it is a gorgeous place. From the West side you can watch the lights of Victoria. You can escape to any of the many beaches for a day away, a romantic sunset, an impromptu picnic. The Island lives and breathes the arts. Oh, and no fast food restaurants. True story. None at all.

That is what inspires me. When I smell the rain, when I see the crashing waves. When the world is quiet and easy.  When I feel like the only way to fully appreciate the beauty around me is to create.

Maybe it is because that is what I grew up with.
Maybe it is because all the busy, crazy distractions of "real" life are inexistent.

Whatever it is, I love it. And it makes me want to write. It pulls the words out. And I long for it.

Sadly, most of us do not live in our dream place.  It can be hard to feel inspired.  To feel that overwelming urge to just write write write.
But we can make our own inspiration.

  • Transform a writing den. Or nook.  Or couch cushion...
  • Make those playlists.  Music, ambience, whatever the noise you need.
  • Set aside time where you can escape into solitude.  If things like the internet, kids, television far from inspire you, hide from them, even for a short time.
  • Or submerge yourself into people watching.  Whichever works best.
  • Accept that where you are is where you are. If you pine for inspiration, it will probably hide. Just... allow it to happen.  It will.

My inspiration today: The fog and dew.  I think it is time to create.

What is yours?
Happy Writing

Friday, September 9, 2011

Book Review - The Replacement

The Replacement
By Brenna Yavanoff

Synopsis: (From Goodreads)
Mackie Doyle is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is fighting to survive in the human world.
Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate's baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.

Why I Picked This Book: Come on, do you see that cover?  What the heck is going on there!  I couldn't resist!

My Thoughts:
The Replacement is an eerie, dark tale about monsters that live underground, missing children, and secrets.  Yavanoff spins a tale that is so strange and intriguing, you can't help but dive in and let the dark mysteries engulf you.  Then... just when you expect the explosion of a crazy, messed up world... it falls kind of flat.

Sad, I know.

I had high hopes for The Replacement.  Come on, this story line is gold.  Children go missing, replaced by monsters who die shortly after.  And Mackie, the male main character, just so happens to be one of those monsters.  He survived.  Against all odds.  Except now, sixteen years later, he is dying.

And only the dark world he came from is able to save his life.

I loved the darkness.  The nonstop unsettling feeling.  When I read this synopsis, my mind went wild with where this book would go.  So, what happened?

The majority of the book talks about Mackie being sick.  Or getting sick.  Or thinking about getting sick.  I get it: He is allergic to iron and blood and church.  (Something, I have to say, I still don't fully understand...)  But he was just so... weak.  I understand weakness.  No one is perfect.  But Mackie didn't have weakness: he was just weak.

Secondary characters.  Roswell was awesome.  Almost too awesome.  Perfect and smart and caring and handsome and... we get it.  Then there is Tate.  Oh Tate.  Tate is the female interest.  And to be honest... I could never get a fix on how I felt about her.  She was angry.  Then seductive.  Then pissed off.  Then kissy.  Now, I get that teenage girls are fickle, especially when their younger sister has gone missing and has been replaced with a dead monster.  But still... I honestly can't say I liked Tate.

As far as world building goes... it was there.  Just not as much as I craved.  I would read entire pages and find myself wondering what just happened.  I would reread sentences trying to grasp what the character was trying to say.  As soon as I met the underground people, I wanted to be in there world and their world alone, but it never happened. I loved the idea of this story.  Gosh, I adored it.  But the execution was...

Meh.

Why on Earth a town would just sit around for generations, as every seven years children were swapped out for look alike monsters who would just croak... it is beyond me.  I never was able to grasp what made the town so amazing that everyone wanted to stay.  I would get out of dodge, fast.

(NOTE: This book likes the use of the "f-word" and has a few semi-sexual scenes as well.  For those of you who prefer to stay away from that content, here is your warning.)

Yavanoff has skill.  I will give her that.  To think of this story, to let your mind go there, is quite something.  I am very curious about where her writing career will go, and will definitely be following her along the way.  As for The Replacement... it was decent.  Not amazing, not horrible.  It didn't take my breath away, but I didn't throw it across the room either.

If there is a sequel ever, I am not sure I will read it.  Still, The Replacement was a nice fix for a semi-horror craving.  I liked it.  For maybe some reason I can't fully explain, I liked it.  The plot and writing is what saved it from a lower rating.  I would love to give it more, but the monsters might get me.

My Rating:
(3 out of 5 stars)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Back to the Books WINNER is...

What a great turn out for my first Blog Hop ever!  This was awesome, thanks to YOU.

To all you new followers: Stick around.  We have fun here, I swear.

I won't make this a long post.
I know all you want to know is if you won...
So, without further ado, the winner of the $15 Book Depository (as determined by Rafflecopter with Random.org) prize is:

Entry #66 
SASSE
Congrats!
I have sent you an email.  
If I do not hear from you within 48 hours, I will have to redraw the winner.  
So... get to responding!

Upcoming events:  I will be taking part in the Banned Books Week Blog Hop later this month, so keep your eyes open everyone!
Along with that, I have a few other contests and Give Aways in mind for the near future.  Very near future.

Want more?  Let me know!  Any ideas?  Do share!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

WIP Day - I live!

Hello all!
It feels like forever since I last posted here.  But, fear not, I am now back!

Our vacation went great.  I have to say: I miss the island.  (For those of you who don't know, I grew up on San Juan Island in Washington state.)  It is just so gorgeous there.  Amazing.  I felt my breath catch as soon as we arrived and I didn't get it back until we left a week later.  How crazy is it that I grew up there, but never realized how amazing the place is... until I left?  I am already pining away for our next visit.

While there, I managed to do seven different photo shoots.
Yes, seven.
I was crazy.
I am slowly sifting, editing, and posting previews for these shoots on my Facebook photography fan page.  If you want to see them... click here.

Just for fun though, here are a couple of the shots I got this last week.




Now, back to writing!

ITB Update:  
I finished ITB, last week.  I have decided to step back from it for a good week or two, before I dive in and start tearing the thing apart.  It has alot of work ahead of it, and we need some space.  It's nothing against you ITB.  I just have a vision... and I will make that vision happen!

NaNoWriMo:
I think (think think think) I have decided on my NaNovel for this November.  I would love to have it set in stone soon, so I can actually start brainstorming and prepping.  Man, it is hard to choose!  If any of you find a way to invent more hours in the day, let me know.

Hops:
Have you noticed I am part of a blog hop?  (Which, by the way, ends tonight...)  I will be joining another one at the end of the month as well.  It is fun, and addicting!
To all of you awesome new followers: WELCOME!
I hope you stick around.  You make me happy.  Really, you do.

Reviews:
Have you read my book reviews?  Do you enjoy them?  Do you have a book that you wrote that you would like a review on?  Is there a certain book you have seen floating around you would like another opinion on?  Let me know!

If you have written a book and would like to contact me about doing a review/interview/giveaway/something awesome, click here to read more about it!

If there is a book you would like to hear my thoughts on, send me the title!  Who knows, maybe it is already in my TBR pile.


Well, that is about it for this week's WIP day!  I am looking forward to melting back into my schedule now that vacation time is over, and getting to know each one of you a little better as well!

How is your day?  Any WIP updates? I missed you!
Happy Writing!

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