Friday, May 19, 2017

Turning this blog into a review blog

When I first stated blogging, (back in the day  *grins*) I wrote everything down. From my personal thoughts to my writing journey, it was all on display.

As time has gone on, I've changed and the way I blog has too. Because of that, I'm converting this blog into a review blog.

Any writing updates will be done through my Official Author Website.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Kishaz Reading Corner: Dragonmark by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Disclaimer: I received no compensation from the author or publisher for this honest review.

About the Book

Centuries ago, Illarion was betrayed– a dragon made human against his will, then forced to serve humanity as a dragonmount in their army, and to fight for them in barbaric wars, even while he hated everything about them. Enslaved and separated from everyone he knew and from his own dragon brothers, he was forced into exile in a fey realm where he lost the only thing he ever really loved.
Now he has a chance to regain what’s been lost— to have the one thing he covets most. But only if he gives up his brothers and forsakes the oaths he holds most dear. Yet what terrifies him most isn’t the cost his happiness might incur, it’s the fact that there is just enough human in his dragon’s heart that he might actually be willing to pay it and betray everything and everyone– to see the entire world burn

Buy the Book

Here's what I'm giving it:

Rating: 3.5 stars

Here's why:

Sooo...I liked this book except for two things. 1) Some of the sections in the story were confusing because of the jumping around in the timeline of events. I don't mind "time travel" plots but this one created confusion and that I don't like. 2) I thought this was a stand-alone set in the Dark Hunter universe, which is fine. I expected a couple of appearances from others in her series. What I wasn't anticipating was how many jumped in and I got lost in the cramming of some characters' back story into Illarion's story.

What I did like, was the fact Illarion and his leading lady were both strong characters in their own right. The parts that focused on them were well-written.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, especially if you are a reader of the Dark Hunter series.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Kishaz Reading Corner: Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton

Disclaimer: I received no compensation from the author or publisher for this honest review. I got this book from the public library.

About the Book

In her twenty-fifth adventure, vampire hunter and necromancer Anita Blake learns that evil is in the eye of the beholder...

Anita has never seen Damian, her vampire servant, in such a state. The rising sun doesn’t usher in the peaceful death that he desperately needs. Instead, he’s being bombarded with violent nightmares and blood sweats.

And now, with Damian at his most vulnerable, Anita needs him the most. The vampire who created him, who subjected him to centuries of torture, might be losing control, allowing rogue vampires to run wild and break one of their kind’s few strict taboos.

Some say love is a great motivator, but hatred gets the job done, too. And when Anita joins forces with her friend Edward to stop the carnage, Damian will be at their side, even if it means traveling back to the land where all his nightmares spring from...a place that couldn’t be less welcoming to a vampire, an assassin, and a necromancer: Ireland.

Buy the Book

Here's what I'm giving it:

Rating: 4 stars

Here's why:

Now that Anita has gone back to being the character I enjoyed in the first ten books of the series, the story flows better. This book is the largest of the series (I read the hardcover and it was 708 pages long)

The action was nicely paced and I didn't feel that characters were "shallow." I'm a speed reader so I glossed over the "sex/erotica scenes" because I felt like I've seen/read it all before.

I will warn you that it takes a little bit for the story to truly get going.

Though the Harlequin follow Anita, I still find them creepy and suspect in many of their behaviors. Anita's complicated love life is still going on but it isn't drowning out the other areas of her life any more (at least story wise they aren't.)

I am truly looking forward to the next Anita Blake book.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, because Ms. Hamilton is finally getting back to writing Anita the way she did in the beginning that made me fall in love with the character & series.

Friday, March 10, 2017

2017 is Strewn with Rocks #WereloveSeries

I'm only 3 months into 2017 and all I can say is that Chaos is my best friend. I really wish she would leave. I have things to do and I can't do them when she is joined to me at the hip.

I started off strong, getting 75% of the way through the writing of Werelove #4. Then everything started grinding to a halt thanks to, you guessed it, LIFE and CHAOS. I don't often put out there everything going on in my life but I figured it was time to let everyone know some of the setbacks that I've experienced this year.

Let's get started, shall we?

  1. Two jobs. That's right I'm doing double duty working at a tax preparation business and cashiering at a retail store. I like both jobs but I'd forgotten how draining working more than one job can be.
  2. Illness. This one has been taking a toll on myself and my family. First, my husband landed in the hospital for about four days with pneumonia. Then my youngest got the flu. I had some kind of head/sinus cold. Then my oldest caught something. I thought we were all clear but then this past weekend (March 5) I started to feel very under the weather. Sore throat, coughing, and headaches decided to play with me and throw me around like a rag doll.
  3. Which leads me to this week. On Sunday, March 5, amid the other warning signs, I had, what I thought was a bruise on my left leg. I ignored it, thinking I had gotten it while attending my kids' dance competition. It turned out that it wasn't a bruise but an abscess. That along with my worsening cough and sore throat sent me to the ER on Tuesday (March 7).

    Once the doctor took a look and gave me the verdict, I had to endure getting the abscess lanced so they could drain some of the infection out. I didn't really care what they did, because by that point, I had been in pain for two days and could barely walk. I wanted my body back and anything that needed to be done to fix it was welcome.

    It turned out that my throat and cough are part of an upper respiratory illness and I'm stuck taking antibiotics for the next 14 days to clear it and the abscess up.
  4. In addition to illness and jobs, I also work at a dance studio and we are in the middle of competition season. I mention that here because this takes us to... 
  5. I'm going to be starting my own dance studio in Lakeland later this year. I've been getting myself ready and I'm pretty excited about it. That has taken up some of my time because of the running around getting all my ducks in a row.
  6. Kids. I don't think this one needs an explanation, but when you have two special needs kids (my youngest is Asperger-Autistic), life can be a bit of a challenge. Especially, when the oldest is driving age and thinks that a driver's license is mandatory. My favorite word right now is "No".
  7. Four-legged drama. Yesterday (March 8) and today (March 9) have been some of the hardest days to endure. Yesterday my dog (a female pit mix) attacked my husband's elderly dog, Bravo (chow/shepard mix). I'm not sure what prompted the attack because I was asleep due to my medicines for above mentioned illnesses.

    My dog got poor Bravo by the face and bit all the way down to the bone in his muzzle right below his eye. Bravo's eye is okay but it required sutures and an hour & half to stitch him back together again.

    I had to make the painful choice of return my dog to the shelter where I got her a year ago. I explained what had happened and why I couldn't keep her. She's a good, obedient dog. I hope that at her next forever home, it's just her. I don't think she's meant to have other dogs around her.
So, after all the above has happened, I'm hoping to finally finish Werelove book 4 during my kids' spring break. I will be going back to my home state to visit and there is literally nothing to do and not a lot of distractions either. I think a dose of that as well as the soothing mountain calm will be the nudge I need to finish my novel.

So everyone, hang on and keep your fingers crossed. Let's see if I can cross that finish line.

Friday, December 2, 2016

My 2016 #NaNoWriMo Journey

The Starting Line

I've been participating in NaNoWriMo for a little over ten seasons and I've learned many things in that time.

  1. Always expect the unexpected. Sometimes the things you try to control are the ones that slip away from you the fastest.
  2. A little organization never hurt anyone. I used to relish chaos in my creativity but as I've gotten older and my writing style has changed, so has the way I have to get ready to write.
  3. I am not alone. It's always nice to be able to interact with those who have the same idea/goal as you. Unity and strength in numbers help keep the creativity flowing.
  4. 50,000 is just an ideal number to reach. Yes, it is the ultimate goal for those of us who participate in the "writing madness" but it is actually, in my mind, secondary to what I feel is the true goal of NaNoWriMo. You know what that is? To Write. At the end of the day, that is why we do it. We hope to get our projects going and set our minds free to accomplish that.
  5. Just because you don't hit the 50,000 goal, doesn't mean NaNoWriMo was a waste of time. I'm always telling potential and returning NaNo writers that they should keep in mind the true goal of getting into the groove of writing as the ultimate goal. And, that if they feel 50,000 is a bit much, that they should set their own goal and work toward it.

NaNoWriMo & My NaNo Process

I started off rather rocky this NaNo season and was WAAAAYYYYYY behind. But, once I got in gear, I stayed in gear. Even though I had an idea, sitting down and focusing was my biggest problem.

Once I let my characters take over, it was an easier journey. There were several things that helped me and I want to share them with you.

I love Yankee Candles and the one to the left I've had for several years. I was saving it for a special occasion and found that its gentle scent was rather relaxing. I burned it every single day until I had finished that day's word sprints (via my Facebook friends). I used the whole candle. Guess what  I'm buying for next year's NaNo?

Also, I have to thank my cover artist JD Hollyfield who kept after me every single day to write. In the beginning, it drove me batty because I was being such a sloth. But, once I got out of sloth mode, it was a great motivator.

Thanks also go to my friends Angela, Courtney, Jenn and my daughter, Alea (who participated and won in the Young Writers NaNo), because they all in their own way gave me encouragement.

My NaNo Finish Results

Drumroll please....

Final word count: 50,887

I feel truly accomplish and now I plan to continue building on the momentum that NaNo gave me. To all my fellow NaNo writers, I wish you success in your after-NaNo work.