Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sign-Up to Beta-Read My Novel - Faithless

  I'm pretty excited about this, guys. I've been working on the second draft of this originally very messy, very convoluted, very rushed, very all-over-the-place story since the fall and now I'm finally ready to share it with more people! Are you excited?? Get excited cause it's gonna be awesome! It's been ages since I had beta readers on The Sorceress and the Squid and it's just so so fun to have people reading through your book and getting to see firsthand how they feel about it. It's also a tiny bit terrifying, especially with a book that's still as much of a mess as Faithless is, but I'm really looking forward to it a lot. If you are a somebody who is potentially interested in being part of the beta-reading team for this story, read on for the synopsis and more info regarding the process.

Katarian refugee and dignitary, Sagaar Remus, is reunited after seven years with her husband, Damien Sparr, a convicted war criminal in the Outer Reach whose coupe destroyed her country, city, home and family. After years of separation she meets him in his prison cell, aghast by the atrocities he has committed in the name of his people. With her husband facing the executioner's block and conspiracy swimming around her, Saagar must learn what it means to love someone that you cannot trust.  

  I have a hard time placing this book in terms of genre. I call it something like a dystipian AU but it's not really dystopian or a typical alternate universe setting so I have no idea. Maybe you can help me figure something out? It's running about 50,000 words right now with the potential to probably be longer rather than shorter and it's VERY different than my previous novel, The Sorceress and the Squid, or any book I've done before really. It's much darker, much more serious and adult in tone, much more gritty. It's definitely a more mature book than TSatS. Tbh, it's more along the lines of what I usually write. TSatS was a deviation into the realm of middle-grade fantasy that I don't often work in, but I like writing multiple varieties of things, and hopefully you like reading them too and won't be too turned off by how different it is than my previous book. 

  Below I have posted the sign-up sheet, which will be circulating to the end of January. I will be sending out the manuscript through Google Drive on February 1st and closing up the sign-up at that time. I am looking to give people from February 1st to May 1st to read and let me know what they think, but if more or less time is needed, please feel free to take that time as I will not be getting into editing again until the fall most likely. However, I would really appreciate if the novel could be read by May 1st, if you feel like this won't be enough time for you but you'd still like to read it, just let me know and that shouldn't be a problem. 

  Thank you so much for your participation! Hope to see you on the beta-reading team February 1st! :DD

Sunday, January 7, 2018

My Best Reads of 2017 (and Books I'm Looking Forward To In 2018)

  I read about 30 books in 2017, which was above and beyond my goal of 25 (about 2 per month). I was super stoked to make that number despite the total crazy that was my entire 2017, BUT I did it and I'm quite proud that I made 10 more reads than 2016. :DD

  Since some of the books I read last year were really cool, I thought I'd make a list and share them* with you guys who may be on the lookout for some new 2018 reads and if you have any great books you read in 2017 that you'd recommend, please tell me about them below!!

  *aka slap you in the face with them cause that's how I promote

(in no particular order because HOW WOULD YOU ORDER THIS AWESOMENESS??)
((also, every title links to the corresponding Goodreads page so you can learn a bit more about any books you find intriguing))

  • The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente: I was taken prisoner by the elegantly huge title of this book and after that fell in love with the story itself. It's whimsical, original, and has Alice in Wonderland vibes while being entirely unique. The writing, the characters, and the world are all phenomenally done and I am super keen to read further into this series. The book does work just fine as a standalone though. 
  • 1984 by George Orwell: Because I love old dystopias and totalitarian dictatorships (in fiction that is) I really enjoyed this novel. It really brought you along with the mental track of the main character and had me on the edge of my seat the whole time, really thinking about my own society in relation to that of the world George Orwell creates. 
  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman: Very creepy is the biggest thing about it, I could feel everything in this book - if that even makes any sense. It's a quick, afternoon read but one that stays with you.
  • That Hideous Strength by CS Lewis: I finally finished The Space Trilogy this past year and the final book (though not my favorite) did not disappoint. CS Lewis had a lot of good things to say here and he mixed together some pretty incredible elements.  
  • Lilith by George MacDonald: If I was having to pick a favorite for 2017 books, this one is definitely a contender. Very similar to CS Lewis in style, very complex, very thought-provoking, very...just, no words. I know the Goodreads cover thumbnail looks stupid but this book is awesome. I highly recommend it. 
  • Martin Hospitality by Abigayle Claire: In the fall I got around to reading my friend Abi's first novel and I thought it was amazing! She did a fantastic job and it was a wonderful honeymoon roadtrip read. I particularly loved how she handled her characters and their development. 
  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman: Basically any Neil Gaiman book I read will make it on my lists of books. But this one was really good and really interesting. My favorite Gaiman is still The Ocean at the End of the Lane but this one is up there. It was unique, engaging, and had a ton of twists. I loved it.
  • Fevre Dream by George RR Martin: An actually GOOD book about vampires, not the Twilight garbage train! Huzzah! I'm not huge into the vampire genre but I thought this one was really well done, George Martin is a fantastic world-builder and crafts very powerful scenes that you can totally see playing out in your head. Really good if you like creepyness and vampires. 
  • The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood: Another older dystopia that really grabbed my attention and got me thinking and sympathizing with the character. It raised a lot of interesting points about freedoms in society and how they can be taken away so slowly that no one realizes until it's too late. Well worth the read.
  • The Girl Who Swallowed the Moon by Kelly Barnhill: A children's middle-grade fantasy that a lot of people felt was too slow but I adored. The world, the magic, the characters, ugh, just everything was great. Very reminiscent in tone of my own novel, The Sorceress and the Squid. ;)
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman: Another Neil Gaiman cause he is awesome and his books are the best. I believe this is also meant as a book for younger audiences but I found it very interesting and very unique. Neil Gaiman is an author of children's books who writes things with meaning and purpose, unlike many, and I applaud him and this book for that.
  • Batman: The Court of Owls by Scott Snyder: Technically a graphic novel but I have been getting into this series of Batman lately and am a fan. The Court of Owls I read while waiting for midnight on New Year's Eve and I super enjoyed it. It was trippy and edgy and very cool. I am very excited to read more. 

  Do any of those appeal to you? Honestly, I was blessed with some great reads this year and I really want to share and spread them around to you guys so if anything tickles your fancy at all, do look into it, I promise these were all really good. 

  Also, here is a "condensed" list of all the books I want to tackle in 2018...I will definitely not get to all of them but one can dream wildly, can't one?
  • A Wiseman's Fear and The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss
  • At the Back of the North Wind
  • Something CS Lewis on my shelf that I haven't read yet (Mere Christianity, The Abolition of Man)
  • Or reread Narnia
  • And maybe LOTR too
  • Haha, I'm cute. 
  • Sabriel, Abhorsen, and Lirael by Garth Nix
  • The Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen
  • The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
  • Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
  • Leia: Princess of Alderaan  
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
  • Library of Souls and Hollow City
  • The City of Ember
  • Black Widow: Forever Red
  • Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska by John Green
  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  • The entire Series of Unfortunate Events and All The Wrong Questions by Lemony Snickett
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab
  • American Gods and M is for Magic by Neil Gaiman
  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  • Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson
  • The War of the Worlds by HG Wells
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Les Miserables or The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
  • and like, 2,000 more...
  • but you know, whatevs
  Maybe you can help me out by recommending any on this list that you really liked? I should probably put aside wild fantasies of actually rereading any books this year (maniacal laughter) so we'll rule out Narnia and LOTR unless I get stupendously bored and read A LOT. 

  Did anything I read last year stand out to you? Let me know of any books on this list that caught your attention, and if you have any recommendations for my next 12 months of reading time! I'm sure it will all blow by with me reading a measly 20 books or something...le sigh.