Greek Mythology Book Tag

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I saw the Greek Mythology tag over on The Girl Who Read Too Much. It looked like such a fun tag so I knew I would have to do it! I grew up reading and hearing stories from Greek mythology (yes, long before Percy Jackson), and I have always loved it! So here are my answers for the Greek Mythology tag!


Zeus; God of the Sky and Thunder/ King of Gods

Favorite Book (choose your own category)

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Of course tags always have to start with a hard question! Agh! I have read so many good books (especially lately) that it hurts to choose. But, seeing as I have to choose one, I am going to say Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake. It has been my favorite for a long time… and I talk about it a lot. It really is an amazing book.

Second and third place for this category definitely go to The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti (read the review here) and Beyond the Rising Tide by Sarah Beard (red the review here).


Poseidon; God of Seas and Earthquakes

A Book that Drowned you in the Feels

41zlOSzTsuL__SX331_BO1,204,203,200_There are SO MANY books I could choose for this. Gosh, this might be an even harder choice than the first one. Hmmmmmmmm.

Okay, so after much thought I decided to go with Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. You can read my review of the book here. I chose this book because there were so many different types of feels that by the end I really did drown in them. It was just so emotional and heartfelt and beautiful and amazing. I also think I cried at least three times while reading it, so if that doesn’t qualify as drowning in the feels I don’t know what does.


Hades; God of the Underworld

Favorite Book with a Dark/Ominous Plot

18805623I would say Anna Dressed in Blood, cause you know, murderous ghost and all… but seeing as I already chose the book for something, I am going to go with The Tenderness of Thieves by Donna Freitas.

This book definitely has a dark side, along with a story I couldn’t put down. The whole book had this dark feeling to it, and that really made it a great read. You can read my review of the book here.

It is a really great young adult romance/thriller, especially for someone like me who doesn’t read a lot of thrillers.


Hera; Goddess of Marriage and Family

Cutest Fictional Couple

jjjGahhhhhh. All these favorites! How can I ever choose? Hmmm. I am going to have to go with Kai and Avery from Beyond the Rising Tide by Sarah Beard.

These two met for the first time when Kai died saving Avery’s life. There’s not much I can say without giving away the plot of the book, but they both make a huge sacrifice for one another in the end that kind of solidifies their status as most-in-love-perfect-adorable couple and I wish someone would love me like Kai and Avery love each other.


Athena; Goddess of Wisdom, Handicraft, and Strategic Warfare

Series with the Best World-building

Gryffindor_bannerThis is the easiest question yet. My answer to this is obviously going to be Harry Potter.

So yes, I know that there are flaws to the Harry Potter universe, but lets be honest here. Who doesn’t want to live in the Harry Potter world? I would trade anything (well, almost anything) to be a witch at Hogwarts and learn to do magic, and play quidditch.

Oh, and as you can see by the banner, I am a Gryffindor. Yes, AM. I AM. Don’t argue with me on this. My letter just got lost in the mail. Silly owls.

**Update: seeing as I’m North American, and would be at The Ilvermorny School, I thought I should add in that I am in the Horned Serpent house!**


Aphrodite; Goddess of Love and Beauty

Most Beautiful Cover on a 2016 Release

28220701And we’re back to the hard questions. TBH this year seems to be the year for absolutely stunning book covers. Don’t ask my why, cause I don’t know. But seriously, every time I go on twitter or booktube I see a new cover that is just too beautiful to even be allowed to exist.

I think I’m going to go with The Infinity of You and Me by J. Q. Coyle. This book’s expected release is November 8, 2016. I am really excited to read it.. the synopsis sounds amazing! And just look at this cover art. It is stunning.


Ares; God of War and Bloodshed

Most Violent Book you have ever Read

29097229Umm, TBH I don’t really read a lot of violent books. I think the most violent and all around disturbing book I’ve read is Autobiography of a Serial Killer by Travis d. Bickel.

This book is literally a written account of what goes on inside a serial killers mind. It was extremely disturbing and graphic. I didn’t enjoy the book at all (and I definitely do not recommend reading it), but it was very violent and disturbed, so I’m going with it. If you want to read my review of the book click here.

Honestly if you can come up with a more violent book than this one I’d be surprised….


Hephaestus; God of Blacksmiths and Fire

Scorching Hot Swoon Worthy Character

Percy_Jackson_PortraitOh man, oh man. It seems like in every good book there is a character who is worthy of this title. Gosh. Just thinking about all the hotness is making my face red. Gahhhh, why are all these questions so hard!?

Because this is a Greek Mythology book tag, I am going to go with a character from my very favorite Greek books…. yup! You guessed it (probably), The Percy Jackson Series!

Okay, so I started reading these books back when I was in middle school, and I have ALWAYS had a crush on Percy. I’m not ashamed to admit it. So there. Although his water powers might put a damper on the whole fire thing… but still. I chose Percy. Oh, and I love Logan Lerman (even though I hated the PJ movies). So that’s an added bonus.


Artemis; Goddess of The Hunt and Virginity

Favorite Kick-Ass Heroine

8d4120fb1eeff89c61483b3e83c940ceThere are some pretty kick-ass ladies out there, but I’m going to go with Cassie from The 5th Wave.

So, although I have an eBook copy of the book sitting in my phone, I haven’t actually read the book yet. I’m basing my choice on the movie version of Cassie, and just kind of assuming that it will match up with book Cassie.

I chose her because unlike other heroines, she doesn’t rely on others. She knows what she has to do and she goes for it, not caring if she has help or not. And yeah, she’s scared, but she’s brave. There is nothing more kick-ass than that.



Apollo; God of Light and Healing

Sequel Book that Redeemed its Series

I honestly can’t think of one. If I’m not dying to read the sequel to a book I don’t, so maybe I just haven’t given any books the chance to be redeemed by their sequel. Oops. But if you have one please tell me. I’d love to know.


Demeter; Goddess of Fertility and Agriculture

Favorite Book Setting

23209941Hhhmmmmm. This is tricky. I would say Harry Potter if I hadn’t already used it for one of my answers. I would then say the Percy Jackson universe, but again I used it… and as you can probably tell I don’t want to use a book/series/world more than once.

So I am going to go with Don’t Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski. If I were in the class (or any class really) that got a tainted shot and was able to read minds, that would be awesome. Or disastrous. But if I hated it I could always wear dark sunglasses and my troubles would be fixed.

Another perk to this setting is besides social shunning, there is nothing threatening anyone’s life. Ya know, there’s no imminent threat.


So that is the end of the Greek Mythology Book Tag! I will admit that there were 3 god/goddesses that I skipped, mostly because this book tag is already hella long… but if you guys liked it and want me to do more just tell me in the comments below and I’ll do those three and maybe some of my other favorite Greek gods.

So do you agree with my answers? What books and characters would you pick?

I am not going to tag anyone in particular, but if you want to do the tag you are more than welcome, and put a link down in the comments so I can check out your answers!

Book Reivew- Autobiography of a Serial Killer

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Autobiography of a Serial Killer by Travis D. Bickel
Published by CreateSpace on February 7, 2016
Genres: Horror, Autobiography
Pages: 139
Goodreads
Amazon

Unlike anything you have read before. A disturbing look into the mind of a serial killer, in his own words!

Not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach.

Autobiography of a Serial Killer was really disturbing. I was warned about that (I mean, the book clearly says “Dark and Disturbing” on the front and has a warning on the back). So yeah, I knew what I was getting into before I started reading the book.
That being said, the book still surprised me with its crudeness. It kind of made me want to go throw up. It really offered a true unfiltered look into the mind of someone deeply disturbed and twisted.
One thing I’ll say about Autobiography of a Serial Killer is that it is a truly honest account of what went on inside the mind of Leif Damstroft. So if you want to understand what motivates such twisted minds as his, this book definitely will help you do that.
I advise against reading this book unless you have a very strong stomach and don’t scare easily.

I am going to give Autobiography of a Serial Killer two out of five hearts.

♥ ♥

*This book was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. This has not in any way affected my views or opinions of the book.

Author Q&A- James W. Ziskin

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing James W. Ziskin, the mystery author of the Ellie Stone novels. He has been nominated for the and Lefty award and has won the coveted Anthony award for the Best Original Paperback in 2015. Read the interview below!AuthorPhoto1_CreditWilliamZiskin.jpeg

Q: How long have you been writing?

A: I began writing at the age of twelve. After several bad novels and forty years of starting and stopping, I finally succeeded in writing a book good enough to sell to a publisher. Now four books later, I’ve learned the most important lesson: Never give up.

Q: What inspires your writing? Do you have a muse?

A: A deadline. The best inspiration there is. That and a deep-rooted love of stories and language. Never be boring. And you’ve got to care about words.

Q: Tell me about your latest book, Heart of Stone. What was the original idea behind it?

A: Heart of Stone is the fourth book in the Ellie Stone series. It’s set in August 1961 on a beautiful Adirondack lake. I felt it was time to give Ellie some support and love in the form of her aunt Lena and elderly cousin, Max. I also wanted to explore music, art, culture, Cold War politics, and the fiery passions of old grudges. The story revolves around the diving deaths of two men in the waning days of an idyllic August vacation. One of the victims is a teenager from a nearby music camp, while the other is an unknown man. A stranger to the lake. Ellie wonders how they happened to be diving from a dangerous cliff together. Surely they didn’t know each other. Add to that a reunion with some old friends, a torrid summer romance, and a healthy dose of nude bathing and you’ve got Heart of Stone.

Q: What is your writing process like? How much ‘grunt work’ goes in to the finished product?

A: Writing a novel is a marathon. Of course I’m not the first to say that. Some days it’s a slog, while others it’s a breeze. But you’ve got to put in the time. I typically take a couple of months to outline my books. There’s a lot of time staring off into space, thinking about the plot, the setting, mood, and characters. Then there’s the research and the solution to the murder. Once I’ve done all that, I clear the decks as best I can for three or four months to write the first draft. A thousand words per day should get it done in three or three and a half months. Then comes the revision. I revise many, many times before submitting the finished manuscript to my publisher. And then I revise some more as they edit it. No, writing isn’t as glamorous as people think. It’s a lot of time alone staring at a screen, searching for the right word, followed by months, even years, of waiting to see if anyone liked it.

Q: If Ellie Stone met Nancy Drew, what do you think would happen? Would they work together or get in each others way?

A: Ellie Stone would love Nancy Drew. Surely she read all the books growing up. But Nancy Drew might be scandalized by Ellie. Nancy Drew was a “nice girl,” while Ellie most decidedly is not. She’s a nice person, just not a nice girl.

Q: What is something you want the world to know?

A: That we can do better as a civilization. Much better.

Find James Online:

Website

Twitter

Goodreads

Amazon

Barns & Noble

IndieBound

 

Book Review- Fangirl

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Published by St. Martin’s Press on September 10, 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 445
Goodreads
Amazon

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.
Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…
But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?
Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?
And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Fangirl just didn’t do it for me. Was it a good book? Yes. Was it entertaining? Yes. Were there moments when I got emotional? Umm, kind of. But when the book was over I didn’t want to dive back into Cath’s world. I wasn’t left wanting more.

Fangirl didn’t really have a clear plot line. There was no ultimate goal or something that the characters were working towards. Instead it just felt like I was reading about a year in Cath’s life, the first year she went to college. But it didn’t feel like anything special. It just felt like I was reading about a girl who was trying to make her way in a new situation, and wasn’t ready to let go of the past.

One thing that bugged me about Fangirl was there were no surprises. There were no twists that I couldn’t see coming from a mile away. The book just fell flat for me, no matter how much I adore Regan (who by the way is my favorite character in the book… and an awesome roomie).

I feel like this book could have been so much better. There was so much potential in Fangirl that when the end came I was more disappointed than anything else.

I am going to give Fangirl three out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥

Things Indie Authors Do Wrong

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So before I start this post, I just want to make it very clear that this is a rant. I’m not talking specifically about any indie authors or books, and what I say does not apply to all of them. I am just going to talk about a lot of “mistakes”, or rather “turn-offs”, that I have noticed in independently published books.


1. Cover Design

So, obviously every book has a cover. I mean, how could it not? It is a book… right?

What I have noticed with indie books, is a lot of authors get pre-made templates to use or watch a few YouTube videos about graphic designing and decide to go ahead and make their own.

Can this work? Yes.

Does this work? Most of the time, sadly not. See, it’s not that the covers are horrible or ugly (I mean, in some cases they are, but that’s not the point), it’s more that the covers are boring or unoriginal. They don’t stand out in the crowd. Nothing about them screams “Pick me up and read me right now!”

I’m going to be totally honest here and tell you that when I buy books (like actually spend my own money to purchase a book), it is either because I 100% am in love with the author and I don’t even look at the cover, or because the cover is so beautiful I can’t leave the store without it.

What can I do to fix this problem?

Why, thank you for asking that totally relevant question.

I think the best thing to do is to stay away from designing your own cover. This is for the same reason we authors have beta-readers and editors: we can’t always see the flaws in our own work.

The challenge with this is having to pay someone to create a cover. It is a bit of a catch 22; you need money for a good cover and you need a good cover to make money. There’s no perfect solution to this, but after investing all that time in writing and editing and such, why not invest a little money into a stunning cover?

If you do decide to hire someone, make sure they are a good graphic designer and have done notable books in your genre before. Otherwise you may as well save your money and take your chances designing the cover on your own. Also don’t be afraid to tell the designer you don’t like the first cover they come up with… its important to be able to convey the feeling and emotions of the book through the cover. That is what makes them so great.


2. Bad Editing

Getting a really good editor can be hard and expensive. I get that. However, that is no excuse for some of the things I have seen in indie books. I mean, I have come across some pretty awful spelling and grammar mistakes (and I mean super noticeable ones… not just little “barely-there” mistakes).

I mean lets be real here: there is no excuse for an author to shift between third and second tense in the middle of a paragraph. That’s just not okay. NOT OKAY PEOPLE. Just had to get that out there. Stick to your tense.

Then of course there are those books where I’m not even sure if the author was sober when they released. There are forgotten characters and plot lines and it just makes me wonder if the book was just written and put out into the world without so much as a proof read.

What can I do to prevent such a horrendous mistake?

Thank you for yet another totally relevant question.

Bad editing is pretty easy to avoid…. as long as you are willing to put in the time and effort. I mean, you could always hire a professional editor (if you don’t mind the cost), which of course is never a bad idea. But if you don’t want to, you could do several other things.

You could:

  • Find a bunch of beta readers who are willing to give you pointers and suggestions (and who preferable have some kind of writing experience or who are avid readers and know their stuff).
  • Join a critiquing group (just remember that means you will most likely be critiquing other peoples work as they critique yours)
  • Let your finished manuscript sit in the back of a closet for a few months then re-read it with a set of fresh eyes
  • Stalk an editor on twitter until they finally agree to edit your book for free
  • Sell your soul to the devil in exchange for a perfectly edited book

Wow. That escalated quickly.


3. Awful Book Formatting

So you know when you open up a book and it just doesn’t look right? That is probably because it wasn’t formatted well. The whole book just feels amateur-ish. It throws the book off, if you know what I mean.

If there is one thing I appreciate most about traditionally published books it is the book formatting. I have to give it to the publishing houses… they have got the page design down to an exact science; it just gives books that extra special “pop”.

I feel like a lot of indie authors overlook how important page design is. A books interior design can make or break the entire reading experience.

Now, I’m not saying that every single indie author should have a design at the beginning of ever chapter or a special symbol between scene breaks, I’m just saying that more often than not the interior of the book just isn’t put together the right way.

Tell me how to make the inside of my book beautiful. I beg of thee!

How demanding of you! But okay, okay, I’ll do my best.

So, I’m obviously not a graphic/any kind of designer, but there are a lot of them out there. If you do decide to hire someone to make a cover, ask them about interior book design. More likely than not they will have experience with that as well and be able to make the pages of your book look beautiful and amazing (and the pages of your book will match the cover).


So there you have it. Rant over (I think). Feel free to share your opinions, and any other “turn-offs” you have noticed in indie books (or published books if you want). Have you ever noticed my book turn-offs?

Book Reivew- The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett

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The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti
Expected publication by Sourcebooks on January 3, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary, Fiction
Pages: 300
Goodreads
Amazon

A teenage misfit named Hawthorn Creely inserts herself in the investigation of missing person Lizzie Lovett, who disappeared mysteriously while camping with her boyfriend. Hawthorn doesn’t mean to interfere, but she has a pretty crazy theory about what happened to Lizzie. In order to prove it, she decides to immerse herself in Lizzie’s life. That includes taking her job… and her boyfriend. It’s a huge risk — but it’s just what Hawthorn needs to find her own place in the world.

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett was amazing. Like seriously one of the best books I have ever read (and I read a lot of books). Hawthorn Creely is an incredibly entertaining narrator. She has this unique view of the world, like everything and anything is possible.

The book starts when Lizzie Lovett disappears, and Hawthorn begins to obsess over what happened. Why? Because bad things don’t happen to perfect people… or so she believes.

The book is filled with imagination, adventure, and some of the most amazing insults and curses I have ever read in my whole life. They are fresh and original and hilarious. I seriously think Chelsea Sedoti is a genius.

Like this little piece of gold here:

I wished someone would replace Mychelle’s fancy shampoo with a drugstore brand. I wished she would suddenly forget the name of her five favorite songs. I wished every time she microwaved a frozen burrito, the center would stay cold.

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett was an quick, easy read. And now all I want to do is go read it again (and again and again). The characters are all so original and interesting, and each bring something unique to the story. The plot is exciting, and the writing is amazing. I want more Hawthorn Creely in my life! And I definitely recommend this book to any lover of fiction; you do not want to miss this.

I give The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett five out of five hearts. If I could give it more, I totally would. It’s just that amazing of a book.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

*This book was given to me by Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. This has not in any way affected my views or opinions of the book.

Blog Tour Book Review- Turning Grace

Welcome to my stop on the Turning Grace
Book Tour
hosted by YA Bound Book Tours!


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Turning Grace by J. Q. Davis
Published by Createspace on June 10, 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror
Pages: 190
Goodreads
Amazon

**Medal Winner of the 2014 New Apple Book Awards in the E-Book Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror Category**

Life or death?
It all seems to be the same for Grace…

Some of us have been there before — falling for the hot, popular jock who just so happens to be dating the hot, popular girl in school.

Your snarky-but-always-right bestie insists you make a move, but you’re not so much into putting yourself out there.

Then it happens, and suddenly you find yourself eating a cat on your neighbor’s porch.

No? Never happened to you?

Well, Grace Watkins can’t say the same. Her hunger is growing with each day that passes and her urges are getting harder to control.
No one can explain why her body is changing, except one man.

Turning Grace was cute. It was easy to read and pretty entertaining. Grace is just an average teenage girl (or so she thinks); she has a crush on the popular boy and has a best friend who keeps her afloat in the world of high school. The characters did feel a little young to me, but it worked in the story.

I feel like Turning Grace is a great book for girls 12 and under. Get much older than that and the events in the book just don’t feel possible. It was a little (*a lot) out there for me, and I just couldn’t see any of these events actually happening. And let’s get real people: in order to totally love a book you need to believe that somewhere in some alternate universe these events have actually taken place. Turning Grace just didn’t do that for me.

Overall the story was entertaining. I do want to read the next book in the series just to find out what happens next. If you are looking for an easy, fast, and fun read then you might want to try reading Turning Grace.

I am going to give Turning Grace three out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥


unspecifiedAbout the Author

J.Q. Davis is from New Orleans, Louisiana. She and her husband,
an active duty Marine, have no children but consider their pooches, Lucy and Bella, their daughters. When she was little girl, she aspired
to become a writer. But then one day, she learned about zombies…and now she wants to be a zombie.
Find J. Q. Davis Online:

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