Monday, March 30, 2015

Monday Reads

I used to post every Wednesday for What's Up Wednesday- talking about what I'd read for the week, what I was writing, and what else was going on in my life. But since that has gone the way of the dodo bird, I had to decide, what next? I do best when I have structure and direction, so after thinking about it, I decided to take the idea of What's Up Wednesday, but spread it out over three days.
Monday will be MONDAY READS: all about what I've read the past week. Wednesday is WEDNESDAY WRITES: all about what I'm writing, revising, beta-ing, or whatever. And I'm going to stick with my Love List on Friday, but changing the name to FRIDAY LOVES. I'm going to try this out for a bit and see if it works. Hopefully, too, this will keep posts short, because I'm all about brevity.

So on to today, my first MONDAY READS post.
Kendra has always felt overshadowed by her older brother, Grayson, whose OCD forces him to live a life of carefully coordinated routines. The only way Kendra can stand out next to Grayson is to be perfect, and she has perfection down to an art -- until a cheating scandal threatens her flawless reputation.
Behind the wheel of her car, with Grayson asleep beside her, Kendra decides to drive away from it all -- with enough distance, maybe she'll be able to figure everything out. But eventually, Kendra must stop running and come to terms with herself, her brother, and her past.

This past week, I read PERFECT ESCAPE by Jennifer Brown. I had a hard time with this book and really wanted to DNF it a few times. I ended up finishing to the end, but I think I could have given it up and wouldn't have missed out. Not that this wasn't a good book in its way. I really liked reading about a character with extreme OCD, and the relationship between the two siblings. That being said, I felt like the MCs inner monologue was the same throughout. She would go back and forth between, I hate my brother he's ruined my life I can't take it anymore, to, I love my brother and maybe I can fix him. This went on through the entire book and I got a little sick of it. I wasn't satisfied by the end either, although it was realistic, it just didn't feel like a strong enough character arc (like, she just swapped back to, I love my brother). People will disagree, because I know lots love this book, but I just wasn't feeling it. :(

Now I'm reading OUT OF THE EASY by Ruta Sepetys and I'm LOVING this book so far.

What are you reading?

Friday, March 27, 2015


First on my LOVE LIST this week, a video made by Dove, not sure if it's a commercial or not, but it has such a powerful message and it totally made me cry. I found it on Facebook via HuffingtonPost. Check it out:

Another thing I found on Facebook was a funny Buzzfeed article: 23 Signs Your Jane Austen Addiction Is Getting Out Of Hand. Ah, Buzzfeed, what would I do without you?
And what would I do without gifs?
One thing I'm NOT loving this week: Zayn Malik has left One Direction. My inner thirteen-year-old is like, totally bummed out. 
Bye Zayn. 1D fans will miss you.

What are you loving this week?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

What's Up Wednesday: Insurgent

I finished SHOPAHOLIC TO THE STARS by Sophie Kinsella. I got more into it by the middle, but it was a bit long and then it ended abruptly. I liked it better when the books were more standalone. I do still get a kick out of Becky's hijinks though. Then I read WHEN JOSS MET MATT which I liked, although their relationship was this one endless cycle and that's exactly how it started to feel- endless. I pretty much knew what would happen in the end and I just wanted to get to it. Now I'm reading PERFECT ESCAPE by Jennifer Brown.

Still working on JAR OF HEARTS. I've found my groove and I think things are going good. I'm still jotting down each chapter on notecards, but I've already started moving things around. I really hope I'm not messing it all up! Goal: keep at it!

I haven't really set goals during WUW posts. I usually forget. But I find having a daily goal, even if it's just, do a little bit, helps a lot. I don't have a set day or time I want to be done these revisions, I just want to keep up the momentum.

Tried out a new restaurant on the weekend- The Canadian Brewhouse. Food was good, I had a super yummy donair, but it was really loud in there (I sound like my mom). Also saw INSURGENT. I liked it, although I wasn't blown away. It's been forever since I read the book so I don't know what they changed/cut, but a lot of it felt familiar to me. Everything except that box. What was that??? ( I remember the message, and Tris giving herself up to go there, but nothing else to do with that box.)

Friday, March 20, 2015


Whoops, it's now 1:08 pm on Friday and I've just realized I totally forgot about my Love List for this week.

So, without futher ado...

I finished all three seasons of Sherlock. And while the plots didn't blow me away, the relationship between Holmes and Watson (Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman) totally made the show. I'll definitely watch next season.

Found this new song called House of Cards by Tyler Shaw which is excellent.

And a shout out to the FB group I'm part of called Querying Authors. They're awesome!!!

What are you loving this week?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What's Up Wednesday: Cinderella

I read I WAS HERE by Gayle Forman. I liked it, like I like all her books, but it was my least favorite. I had a hard time connecting to the MC. And while I liked the romantic subplot, I didn't gel with the end. I can't say more without giving spoilers. Now I'm reading SHOPAHOLIC TO THE STARS by Sophie Kinsella and it's of course very funny, if a bit long.

I finished one CPs notes on JAR OF HEARTS and I'm working another's notes.

Note cards. I don't always use them but they come in handy when you have to move scenes around. My CP has moved a lot of my chapters around in her edits, and it's hard for me to see if those changes make sense or not. So I'm going through her other notes while jotting each chapter scene onto notecards. When I'm done I'll lay them all out and hopefully see what works.

I saw CINDERELLA on the weekend. I thought it was lovely, although it was hard to really get into it with my six-year-old being so fidgety, the mom and kids in our row who kept getting up and going to the bathroom, and the row of kids behind me that kept kicking my chair. It was a beautiful movie though, colorful and magical. I wanted Cinderella to get a little backbone earlier on, but then again, I thought the movie did a good job of showing how a woman can be both strong and kind at the same time. (Instead of the usual strong/snarky heroines.)
Cate Blanchett's costumes were DIVINE.

Friday, March 13, 2015


This week has been a bit tough. I've had some personal issues going on and there have been some tears. Top of my LOVE LIST for the week has to be my husband, who should win an award for how supportive and understanding he is.
Our wedding day, almost fourteen years ago
One morning this week, when I was feeling particularly miserable, I decided to play Just Dance 2015 for exercise. A couple of songs in, I realized that I felt a lot better. So second on my LOVE LIST is the magic and fun of Just Dance.
What are you loving this week?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

What's Up Wednesday: Reading, Revisions, and TV

This week I read PUSHING THE LIMITS by Katie McGarry which was a great book- totally sucked me in. Then I read LOOP by Karen Akins. I love time travel and thought this was a great concept. I also loved the voice of the MC. I felt like the love story could have been a bit swoonier though. Now I'm reading I WAS HERE by Gayle Forman.

I finished my WIP last week and went right into revisions on my old NaNo (from 2013) MS JAR OF HEARTS. Right now I'm going through in-manuscript notes from two of my CPs and then I'll get to the bigger issue stuff. You know when you get back revision notes and you think, HOW CAN I EVER DO THIS? And then you get to work and it all clicks into place and everything works out? Well, I'm still in that first part.

I bought myself some notebooks because I have random notes spread out here and there and everywhere. So far I've compiled the notes from my most recent WIP and from JAR OF HEARTS. Doing this helped me to get back into the MS, and this way, I'll have everything I've ever thought/written/conceived of in one spot.

Not much. Family dinner at The Olive Garden. Catching up on Agent Carter and The Bachelor. Watched Million Dollar Arm. Bought tickets for Cinderella this coming weekend. PitMad today.
I want this outfit for Halloween. Or maybe everyday.
I also made this yummy banana bread thanks to a recipe from Jaime and I've been eating it for lunch like a super healthy adult.
What have you been up to?

Friday, March 6, 2015

Love List #6

The thing I LOVE THE MOST this week is FINISHING MY WIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Of course, this is how I felt writing the thing:
And then how I felt when I finally finished:
The thing needs a lot of work, including an added POV, but I'm taking a needed break to do edits on a past MS.
Another thing I love this week? Well, I ALWAYS love Taylor Swift, but I'm psyched that Style is on the radio now, since it was one of my faves off her album from the start.
What are you loving this week?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

What's Up Wednesday: Relief and The DUFF

I finished HEIR OF FIRE by Sarah J. Maas, and while the book did grab me a bit more by the end, I was kinda disappointed. Even more so when someone told me it's going to be a SEVEN book series. I thought it was ending at four, so powering through number three was worth it. Now... I'm not so sure I'll continue. :(
After that, I read NORTHANGER ABBEY by Val McDermid- a modern day retelling. It was okay. I have so  many thoughts on this Jane Austen project happening that they might need their very own post.
Now I'm reading PUSHING THE LIMITS by Katie McGarry.

Yesterday, I finished my WIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The funny thing is, despite all those exclamation points, I'm not even excited. Just relieved. This thing has plagued me from start to finish and I'm just glad to be done the first draft. It needs SO MUCH revision, it's too short, and I think it needs another POV, but for now, I want to set it aside and STOP THINKING ABOUT IT. Just for a little while.

Having a daily goal. My WIP gave me such h-e-double-hockey-sticks that I haven't wanted to sit down and write, but I've been forcing myself to anyway. Just a bit each day. One thousand words. I manage it every time I get my butt in the darn chair. And obviously it worked since I'm done.

I mentioned on my Friday's Love List that I saw THE DUFF a couple of weekends ago. The movie was lots of fun, although there were a few things that bugged me (mean girl was one-dimensional, the mannequin scene was over-the-top and long, and Mae Whitman is NOT fat). I laughed a lot though and it made me want to reread the book since it's been so long.