The NaNoWriMo Experience | Book Blogger Hop

NaNoWriMo is on every aspiring writer’s ‘to-do’ list! For example, writers plan and outline their stories for this moment in November: National Novel Writing Month! Whether you wish to draft a complete book, or get your creative juices flowing, NaNoWriMo is the time to shine!

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme created by Coffee Addicted Writer. Each week we answer a bookish prompt. Then, we read other member’s answers! You can read Billy’s intro post here!

Have you participated in NaNoWriMo? If yes, how did it go? (submitted by Kristin @ Lukten av Trykksverte)

I took part in (and won) NaNoWriMo in 2018. I drafted a family drama, with two sisters as the main characters. My story also had a close friend enduring an addiction. Since I was a ‘pantser’ (one who doesn’t outline their story), my novel was all over the place! Perhaps I’ll pick it up again and edit it more.

Some NaNoWriMo Facts:

  • During NaNoWriMo, participants write 50,000 words in 30 days (the entire month of November).
  • It began in 1999, yet became a non-profit organization in 2006.
  • Additionally, it runs Camp NaNoWriMo, a writing prep program, in the summer (typically July).
  • For more information, check out their Info Page!

What about you? Have you participated? Feel free to share below!

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My writing flashback!

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First Lines Friday: November 6

First Lines Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Wandering Words. Each week we judge a book not by its cover, but through their opening lines. For more information, click on Wandering Words’ post here.

This Week’s First Lines

‘I grip her hand. Dirt clings to her small palm and makes caked half-moons under her nails. I squeeze her against my side, a shield against the drizzle’.

First Lines Friday Purple Leaf

Any Guesses?

First Lines Friday: a woman shrugging her shoulders.
First Lines Friday Purple Leaf
Jada Pinkett Smith saying 'No idea'
First Lines Friday Purple Leaf
Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey. Link: https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1509387961l/36504901._SY475_.jpg

Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey

A young girl’s disappearance ties two women struggling with the meaning of motherhood and love. This is Rea Frey’s debut fiction novel!

Synopsis

Gripping, emotional, and wire-taut, Not Her Daughter raises the question of what it means to be a mother—and how far someone will go to keep a child safe.

Emma Townsend. Five years old. Gray eyes, brown hair. Missing since June.

Emma is lonely. Living with her cruel mother and clueless father, Emma retreats into her own world of quiet and solitude.

Sarah Walker. Successful entrepreneur. Broken-hearted. Kidnapper.

Sarah has never seen a girl so precious as the gray-eyed child in a crowded airport terminal. When a second-chance encounter with Emma presents itself, Sarah takes her—far away from home. But if it’s to rescue a little girl from her damaging mother, is kidnapping wrong?

Amy Townsend. Unhappy wife. Unfit mother. Unsure whether she wants her daughter back.

Amy’s life is a string of disappointments, but her biggest issue is her inability to connect with her daughter. And now Emma is gone without a trace.

As Sarah and Emma avoid the nationwide hunt, they form an unshakeable bond. But what about Emma’s real mother, back at home?

First Lines Friday Purple Leaf

What are your thoughts on Not Your Daughter?

Do you have any First Lines you would like to share?

Feel free to comment down below!

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Also, a previous Friday post!

‘Those Who Prey’ By Jennifer Moffett | Book Review

It’s my tour stop on the Those Who Prey blog tour! Many thanks to Turn the Page Tours for letting me participate. For more information, check out their Launch Post.

‘Those Who Prey’ Book Information

Those Who Prey by Jennifer Moffett. A young woman standing in a crowd.

Those Who Prey by Jennifer Moffett
Publisher: Atheneum/Simon & Schuster
Genre: YA Contemporary Mystery/Thriller
Release Date: November 10, 2020

Bookshop

Synopsis

Sadie meets The Girls in this riveting debut psychological thriller about a lonely college freshman seduced into joining a cult—and her desperate attempt to escape before it’s too late.

College life isn’t what Emily expected.

She expected to spend freshman year strolling through the ivy-covered campus with new friends, finally feeling like she belonged. Instead, she walks the campus alone, still not having found her place or her people so far away from home.

But then the Kingdom finds her.

The Kingdom, an exclusive on-campus group, offers everything Emily expected of college and more. They bring acceptance, friends, a potential boyfriend, and a chance to spend the summer in Italy on a mission trip. But the trip is not what she thought it would be. Emily and the others are stripped of their passports and money. They’re cut off from their families back home. The Kingdom’s practices become increasingly manipulative and dangerous.

Also, someone ends up dead.

At times unsettling and always riveting, Those Who Prey looks at the allure of cult life, while questioning just how far we’re willing to go to find where we belong.

‘Those Who Prey’ Author Information

Those Who Prey: Author Jennifer Moffett

JENNIFER MOFFETT grew up in Arkansas, where she spent her childhood playing in creeks and climbing trees while dreaming up stories about faraway places. A college study abroad program sparked her lifelong passion for travel. After working in children’s television in New York City, she received an MA in Creative Writing and wrote book reviews for regional publications. Her short stories and poems have appeared in various literary journals, including New Orleans Review and descant. She teaches creative writing on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where she enjoys kayaking, gardening, reading outdoors, and planning trips to new places (preferably with great local yarn shops and bookstores).

My Review

Those Who Prey is a thrilling story that could happen to anyone. Jennifer Moffatt writes Emily’s tale with raw honesty. She is both shy and brand new to the college experience. Also, she wants to share in friendship and first love that being alone in school entails.

No doubt we’ve all come across a new group, with the promise of adventure and connections. I remember my first year in college…there were many instances when I relived the uncertainty of finding kindred spirits!

Sometimes we discover groups that are truly genuine. We share and learn from one another. However, the opposite also occurs. Emily is drawn into The Kingdom and its temptation. As a result, she’s led away from the familiar comforts of home. I found myself going alongside Emily as she embarks on a new adventure: free herself from The Kingdom.

In conclusion, Those Who Prey is certainly an eye opening account of a student swept up into dark secrets, under the cloak of promises. It’s the Dark Academia story that you’ll truly enjoy!

Thank you so much to Turn the Page Tours for gifting me a digital copy for review!

One more thing…click on the banner below to view the other fabulous presenters!

Those Who Prey Banner

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‘The Rage of Dragons’: Book Review

‘The Rage of Dragons’ is the October B2Weird Book Club pick. We follow Tau, a man out for vengeance!

‘The Rage of Dragons’ Book Information

The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter. Link: https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1553927196l/41952489.jpg

‘The Rage of Dragons’ by Evan Winter
Length: 544 pages
Publisher: Orbit Books
Genre: Fantasy
Book 1 of ‘The Burning’ Series
Release Date: July 16, 2019

Synopsis

The Omehi people have been fighting an unwinnable fight for almost two hundred years. Their society is built around war and only war. The lucky ones are born gifted. One in every two thousand women has the power to call down dragons. One in every hundred men is able to magically transform himself into a bigger, stronger, faster killing machine.

Everyone else is fodder, destined to fight and die in the endless war. Young, gift-less Tau knows all this, yet carries an escape plan. He’s going to get himself injured, get out early, and settle down to marriage, children, and land. Only, he doesn’t get the chance. Those closest to him are brutally murdered, and his grief swiftly turns to anger. Fixated on revenge, Tau dedicates himself to an unthinkable path. He’ll become the greatest swordsman to ever live. A man willing to die a hundred thousand times for the chance to kill the three who betrayed him.

‘The Rage of Dragons’: My Review

If you’re looking for an action-packed fantasy, ‘The Rage of Dragons’ is your best bet! This story has both an intricate magical system and a feminine power structure. Our main character Tau fights for vengeance. His father is murdered due to a misunderstanding. As a result, Tau’s journey takes him to train as a Ihashe sword fighter.

Tau trains around the clock as he works toward his goal. Along the way he learns about the inner workings of Isihogo, the underworld. Tau uses this knowledge to his advantage as he perfects his sword fighting skill. Thus, Tau becomes highly respected, and feared.

Character Development

Tau begins with a single goal: kill the people who murdered his father. Throughout the novel, this remains a constant. However, Tau learns to trust in his military brothers as they advance in the competition. It takes time for Tau to learn that one cannot reach a feat alone.

I do wish that we learned more about the female characters in the book. While The Rage of Dragons has a matriarchal magic system, its women are rarely seen. I hope that we view more female perspectives in Book 2!

Worldbuilding & Plot

The Rage of Dragons sets the scene for a stunning world. Indeed, you’re drawn in from the beginning! Everything about Tau’s world (Magic system, Class system, laws) is very unique. Evan Winter truly creates a active world! Moreover, we’re clear about Tau’s goal from the start. Although he has his bumps during his training period, we dive deep into the nature of both Isihogo and the walking world.

Engagement & Logic

Was I interested in The Rage of Dragons? Of course! While certain parts slowed momentum (there are one too many training montages for my taste), this book drew me in from beginning to end. Also, the twists in this book are indeed shocking!

‘The Rage of Dragons’: Final Thoughts

In conclusion, ‘The Rage of Dragons’ is a captivating epic fantasy story! I recommend this novel for people searching for a vengeance tale in a diverse world. Additionally, there are three more books to follow! Plenty of room for women to take prominence!

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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First Lines Fridays | October 23

First Lines Friday is a weekly book meme hosted by Wandering Words. Every week books get judged not by their cover, but their opening lines! Click here to view Wandering Words’ original post!

  • First, pick a book of your shelf (either current read or TBR) and open to the first page.
  • Then, copy the first lines, but don’t give anything away. Hook the reader first!
  • Finally…reveal the book!

This Week’s First Lines

‘A half moon glows on smooth granite boulders, turning them silver. The silence was broken only by the ripple of water from the swift black river and the whisper of trees …’

Any Guesses?

First Lines. A woman shrugging her shoulders. Link: https://media.giphy.com/media/g0gnYxmMwbFE4e7t2t/giphy.gif

First Lines. A man saying 'I'm So Lost'. Link: https://media.giphy.com/media/ZgUK99ejlrEm3NOOjL/giphy.gif

This Week’s Book:

Warriors Book 1: Into the Wild. By Erin Hunter.

Warriors: Into the Wild by Erin Hunter

While this is a middle grade series, I love the idea of feral cat clans! I certainly can’t wait to start reading book!

Synopsis

For generations, four Clans of wild cats have shared the forest according to the laws laid down by their warrior ancestors. But the ThunderClan cats are in grave danger, and the sinister ShadowClan grows stronger every day.

Noble warriors are dying– and some deaths are more mysterious than others. In the midst of this turmoil appears an ordinary house cat named Rusty . . . who may turn out to be the bravest warrior of them all.

More Friday Links

Bookish Friday

Friday Reads

In conclusion, what first lines would you like to share? Comment down below!

WWW Wednesday | October 21

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme originally hosted by A Daily Rhythm. It is now maintained by Sam by Taking On a World of Words. Click here to view Sam’s page.

WWW Wednesday. Link: https://i2.wp.com/wovenfromwords.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/img_1384-0.jpg?resize=259%2C259&ssl=1

WWW Wednesday Prompts

  • First: What are you currently reading?
  • Then: What did you finish reading recently?
  • Finally: What are you going to read next?
WWW Wednesday. What are you currently reading?
The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter. Link: https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1553927196l/41952489.jpg

The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter

The lucky ones are born gifted. One in every two thousand women has the power to call down dragons...”

This is an Epic Fantasy with strong characters. One man is in charge of saving his land from rigid Nobility. This is certainly a page turner!

WWW Wednesday. What did you finish reading recently?
Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips

Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips

On the shorelines of Russia, two sisters disappear…’

This mystery was so engaging! We follow a neighborhood solving a kidnapping case. Broken into months, it was certainly addicting!

WWW Wednesday. What do you think you'll read next?
Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

A god will return
When the earth and sky converge
Under the black sun

I’m reading Black Sun for the B2Weird Book Club. I’ve heard so much about this fantasy novel. I can’t wait to start reading it!

Looking for More Reading Suggestions? Here are some links:

WWW Wednesday: August 5

Non Fiction Stories: Waiting on Wednesday

The Blogtober Tag | Blogtober Day 19

I found The Blogtober Tag through The Kelly Diane Report. You can read her lovely post here!

Blogtober Tag. Photo by Madalyne Stabb on Unsplash. Link: https://unsplash.com/photos/cm6u6zfjPRE
Photo by Madalyne Stabb on Unsplash

What is your favorite fall scent?

I enjoy everything pumpkin, cinnamon and apple based! I specifically love visiting White Barn Candle Co. and Bath and Body Works for Autumn scents!

Do you prefer pumpkin pie or apple pie?

Pumpkin Pie, always! I never have Autumn gatherings without it!

Blogtober Tag. Pumpkin Pie. Link:
Photo by Natalia Y on Unsplash

What is one autumn tradition you have?

Watching Halloween programs on TV! My favorite is It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

Gif of Linus holding a sign saying 'Welcome Great Pumpkin'. Link: https://media.giphy.com/media/REc9778yUjQ08/giphy.gif

What are you planning for dressing up as for Halloween?

Usually I wear something vampiric or cat-like. I’ve yet to look for a costume this year, but I hope I find something fun!

What are you most excited for in Fall?

Watching the leaves change colors! I love going for neighborhood drives, just to watch the Fall foliage!

What is your favorite scary movie?

Evil Dead, followed by Pet Semetary. Both films cause sleepness nights!

What is your favorite Halloween candy?

Reeses Pieces, of course! Chocolate and peanut butter are my faves!

Favorite Pumpkin spiced flavoured thing?

Pumpkin Spice Lattes. This is certainly the season!

Blogtober Tag. Autumn flavored drinks. Link: https://media.giphy.com/media/REc9778yUjQ08/giphy.gif
Photo by Austin Wade on Unsplash

What is your warmest Fall memory?

Celebrating a Halloween concert with friends in New York, back in 2012. I still remember that night!

What is your favourite Autumn must have?

My cardigan and gloves, of course! When cool breezes come, they’re a regular part of my wardrobe. I also wear my long boots throughout the season!

Blogtober Autumn Links

Want more Autumn fun? Here are some links:

A Halloween ‘Itty Bitty’ Snoopy Post

Autumn Theme Books | Book Blogger Hop

Cemetery Boys by Aidan Thomas | Reflection and Review

Reading Snacks | Blogtober Day 15

Reading snacks are such a comfort! Whether it’s a bag of chips or chocolate, trtreatseats are a great reading go-to!

Favorite Snacks

Here are some of my favorite treats:

Potato Chips

Snacks. Potato chips. Link: https://i1.wp.com/www.eatthis.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/bowl-potato-chips.jpg?fit=1024%2C750&ssl=1

I enjoy Pringles and Ritz Crisp & Thins!

Chocolate

Peanut butter cups. Photo by Heather Barnes on Unsplash. Link: https://unsplash.com/photos/gP1YecpRyD8

My favorite chocolate snacks? Peanut butter cups. That’s my weakness!

Granola Bars

Snacks. Granola Bars. Link: https://s3.amazonaws.com/spoonuniversi-wpengine/spoonuniversi/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/HomemadeGranolaBars_Mirabito_FinalProductPic.jpg

Both healthy and flavorful, granola bars are the perfect treats!

Reading Snack Resources

Book Riot shares important food advice while prepping for readathons!

Cozy Autumn Book Tag posts bloggers’ autumn treat entries. Keep an eye out for my contribution!

What are your favorite treats?

Contact Cathleen!

Reading Nook Ideas | Blogtober Day 14

When you hear Autumnal Reading Nook, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

While picturing my autumnal nook needs, cozy and relaxing are important. I want to settle in with a good book. I also want to bring in Autumn vibes!

Here are the factors that are very important when imagining my autumn nook:

Candles: Reading Nook Staples

Autumnal Reading Nook. Photo by Taryn ELliot from Pexels. Link: https://www.pexels.com/photo/lighted-candle-on-white-book-beside-black-glass-bottle-4099355/

When you’re settling in with a good book, candles provide that bookish aura! Available in a wide variety of colors and sizes, candles are perfect to place at your desk or window. Since we’re setting up autumnal reading nooks, Apple, cinnamon and pumpkin scents are in order!

You can find awesome fragrant candles at your local department store or at bookish merch sites. I purchased mine at Bath and Body Works!

Seasonal Surfaces: Reading Nook Ready!

Reading Nook Blogtober. Photo by Valeriia Miller from Pexels. Link: https://www.pexels.com/photo/lighted-candle-on-white-book-beside-black-glass-bottle-4099355/

While your reading nook shouldn’t scream Autumn, a little seasonal nostalgia doesn’t hurt! Whether decorating with Fall colors or setting an Autumn object in your midst, your reading space should welcome the season! Personally, I have some Halloween figures decorating my area, which can be viewed here!

Your Favorite Autumn Beverage!

Autumnal Reading Nook. Photo by Lisa Fotios in Pexels. Link: https://www.pexels.com/photo/cup-of-coffee-beside-green-succulent-plant-1232433/

Coffee, tea, iced beverages…you name it! Every good book is paired with a favored drink. Indeed, no reading nook is complete without it!

What drinks do you enjoy? I adore coffee. I’m never without my caffeine!

Reading Nook. 'Autumn Leaves and Pumpkins Please'. Photo taken at TJ Maxx.

To sum up, your autumnal nook should reflect what’s best for you! Some seasonal touches and personal flair livens up any space!

What would you add to your nook? Feel free to share below!

Blogtober Signoff photo.

Note: Candle and drink photos were from Pexels

A Memory | Blogtober Day 13

My favorite Fall memory involves friendship. Eight years ago I met up with good friends for an Imperative Reaction concert. It was at a popular venue in New York City. With us experiencing present pandemic times, these public gatherings are extra special!

Fall Memory. Imperative Reaction. Link: https://i.pinimg.com/474x/8c/3c/ab/8c3cab64a94b1711f1ccc966d1a974c9--industrial-bands-running-music.jpg

After the show, my friends and I walked around the streets of Chelsea. I loved the cool Fall breeze circulating the area! We chatted about the band, and made plans to meet in the near future. This musical memory remains strong to this day!

Two days later, I visited a good friend in my poetry community. She helped me furnish part of my living space, and I’ll always be grateful to her! We spent a couple hours reflecting on our group. Indeed, it was a good time sharing and laughing! While it was months before I saw her again, we very much appreciated each other’s company.

Currently, my support system stands as a very special Fall memory. While living in New York City, I gained independence from a toxic relationship. I also reconnected with great college friends. One of them later became my future husband!

What is your favorite Fall memory? Feel free to share down below!

Blogtober Signoff photo.

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