Beyond NaNoWriMo

Beyond NaNo

NaNoWriMo has come and gone. It’s been a week since the end of the 50k-word challenge.

Did you hit 50k words? Did you complete your novel entirely? Do you still have more to go even after the 50k words?

Whether you’ve finished or not, here are some things you can do now that NaNo is over.

Step Back.

Take a break from your novel. Writing 50k words in 30 days is a lot, especially if you’re an overachiever and reach way over 50k within the month. It’s a lot of strain on your brain, your eyes are crossed, and your fingers can no longer type. Give your characters some space and take a rest.

Write Something Else.

If you still have the itch to write or are afraid you’ll get out of your writing routine, write something else. Write a new novel, a short story, or a poem. Take a break from typing and hand-write for a change. If you hand-wrote your NaNo novel, take a break from that and type something up.

Edit.

Okay, okay. If you really can’t part from your beloved novel go right ahead and start editing it. Start rearranging those scenes, deleting whole pages, or just be on the look-out for typos. Print out your novel and gaze upon the beauty of printed words and breathe in the smell of wet ink.

Read A Book.

Writing aside, I’m sure you got a bit behind on your reading during NaNo… Am I right? Read a book in the genre you wrote for NaNo (or a different genre). It’ll give yourself a break, but the creativity will still be flowing through your bloodstream.

Outline Your Next Project.

Hey, Camp NaNo is only four months away.

Advertisements

One of the Few by Jason B. Ladd

Via Publishizer
Via Publishizer

Title: One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview
Author: Jason B. Ladd
Genre: Military/Religion
How I got the book: from the author in exchange for an honest review

Summary (from Publishizer):

His mission began with a realization: though ready to defend his country, he was unprepared for his most important missions as a husband and father. Drawing from his military experience as an F/A-18 “Hornet” Weapons and Tactics Instructor and a former F-16 “Viper” Instructor Pilot, Ladd warns seekers about spiritual apathy and teaches Christians tactics for withstanding spiritual attacks.

Birthed from a legacy of service, One of the Few speaks from the spirit of a man reborn—with the soul of a Marine, the mind of a fighter, the heart of a father, and a commitment to the Son. Join him as he uses fighter pilot fundamentals to embark on the greatest mission of all: the pursuit of truth.”

I’ve had the privilege of following some of the worlds greatest leaders, and the number of collaborators on this project is growing. I’m asking you to join us. The questions you ask along the way could bring you to people and places you never knew.

It might just be the beginning of your own journey to becoming One of the Few.

I used to laugh at Christians. Now I’ve joined them. I’ve led Marines in combat. Now I want to lead others to Christ.

My Review (may contain spoilers!):

This novel is inspirational as Jason B. Ladd tells stories of his time in the U.S. Marines and how he found his faith in Christianity.

The book was written well and formatted in a way that I haven’t come across before. The prologue was before the introduction and then it started on chapter one.

The novel came full circle with the epilogue touching base with the prologue and the last chapter continued from the first chapter.

The story touched upon real life events in Ladd’s life and connected them to what’s taught in the Bible. I enjoyed reading about Ladd’s life and how he discovered his faith thanks to his wife.

The book was split up into three parts. I have to admit the second part drew me out of the story a bit. There were a few chapters where I felt I was reading an essay about the Bible rather than reading about Ladd’s life. He always connected the Bible to his life, but the Bible was analyzed a lot.

Other than that, I thought One of the Few was a great read and definitely a book for anyone; especially if you’re a Christian.

One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview by Jason B. Ladd gets 4 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“I became acustomed to moving every few years; it was an exciting opportunity to travel the world.” –Jason B. Ladd, One of the Few

About the Author (from his website):

Jason B. Ladd is an author, speaker, and Marine providing a cultural apologetic focusing on leadership, parenthood, and worldview development. He helps people discover, understand, and strengthen their faith.

Twitter | Facebook | Google+

One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview will be available on November 10, 2015.

Gasp by Lisa McMann

2015-08-15 18.24.28

Title: Gasp
Author: Lisa McMann
Genre: Young adult paranormal
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary (from Amazon):

After narrowly surviving two harrowing tragedies, Jules now fully understands the importance of the visions that she and those around her are experiencing. She’s convinced that if the vision curse passed from her to Sawyer after she saved him, then it must now have passed from Sawyer to one of the people he saved.

That means it’s up to Jules to figure out which of the school shooting survivors is now suffering from visions of another crisis. And once she realizes who it is, she has to convince that survivor that this isn’t all crazy—that the images are of something real. Something imminent.

As the danger escalates in this conclusion to the Visions series, Jules wonders if she’ll finally find out why and how this is happening—before it’s too late to prevent disaster.

My Review (may contain spoilers!):

Just like the first two books, the visions are still happening.

Jules has realized that when you save someone from a vision, you accidentally pass on the vision.

They saved a lot of people from the school shooting so now they have to figure out who they passed the visions to in order to stop the next tragedy.

Bed-ridden for a while due to the shooting, Tori finds it hard to help Jules and the gang solve the next disaster; especially since she’s the one having the visions. Ben, who they saved from the shooting, helps them along the way.

Together, Jules, her two siblings, Ben, Sawyer, and Tori solve the next tragedy.

It isn’t until much later they realize how Jules got the vision in the first place. I found the answer to that question to be very satisfying. It was great how Lisa McMann brought everything full circle.

There’s no explanation how the visions came to be in the first place, but that’s left up to the imaginations of the readers.

Gasp by Lisa McMann gets 4 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“Too bad there’s nothing admirable about being a fraud.” –Lisa McMann, Gasp

Be sure to check out my Goodreads page to see what I’m reading next!
If you have a book recommendation for me, I’d love to hear it! Feel free to get in touch using the contact form on the Contact Me page.

Bang by Lisa McMann

2015-08-15 18.24.14

Title: Bang
Author: Lisa McMann
Genre: Young adult paranormal
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary (from Amazon):

Jules should be happy. She saved a lot of people’s lives and she’s finally with Sawyer, pretty much the guy of her dreams. But the nightmare’s not over, because she somehow managed to pass the psycho vision stuff to Sawyer. Excellent.

Feeling responsible for what he’s going through and knowing that people’s lives are at stake, Jules is determined to help him figure it all out. But Sawyer’s vision is so awful he can barely describe it, much less make sense of it. All he can tell her is there’s a gun, and eleven ear-splitting shots. Bang.

Jules and Sawyer have to work out the details fast, because the visions are getting worse and that means only one thing: time is running out. But every clue they see takes them down the wrong path. If they can’t prevent the vision from happening, lives will be lost. And they may be among the casualties…

My Review (may contain spoilers!):

They don’t understand how, but Jules passed along her vision “curse” to the man she loves–Sawyer.

Now Sawyer is seeing visions everywhere and his are much more gory than what Jules saw. Sawyer hears 11 gunshots and can see people dying from gunshot wounds due to a school shooting.

With the help of Trey and Rowan, Jules’s two siblings, Jules and Sawyer piece together his visions to figure out when and where the shooting will happen.

This novel felt repetitive. The only difference between this novel and the first one, Crash, was that Sawyer was seeing the visions instead of Jules and the disaster was a school shooting and not a car accident.

I still loved the characters and the plot even though it was more or the less the same as the first novel. It was another quick-read and two new characters were introduced as a result of the shooting.

I do have to give credit to Lisa McMann because school shootings have been pretty big lately. Plus, the culprits opened fired at a club meeting for people who are gay. Another controversial topic. She did really well capturing those two issues in a unique way.

Bang by Lisa McMann gets 4 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“Hell, I wish all guys could just cry and not have it be such a big stupid deal. Shed a tear. Be a man. Whatever.” –Lisa McMann, Bang

Be sure to check out my Goodreads page to see what I’m reading next!
If you have a book recommendation for me, I’d love to hear it! Feel free to get in touch using the contact form on the Contact Me page.

My Kindle Broke

So I went on vacation and brought my Kindle. I read one book on there and was in the middle of another book on the way home.

Unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to finish that book for a little while. I mean, I have the Kindle app on my iPad so I could continue to read it, but I’m bummed out that I don’t have my actual Kindle anymore.

We came home Saturday morning and Saturday night I was looking at my Kindle to see what kind it was. I never had a case for it so I wanted to ask for one for my birthday.

When I turned it on, it said the battery was dead. It was 3 quarters full just that morning and the battery normally lasts forever.

I plugged it in. It turned on, but the light was orange instead of green. I unplugged it to see how the battery was, but it remained on the charging symbol and the light shut off. None of the buttons worked.

Kris managed to shut it all the way off, but now it won’t turn back on. I kept it plugged in hoping that would work. I finally got the green light so I turned it on. The screen remained blank and after a few tries, the dead battery symbol showed up again.

I’m pretty sad about this. I had a lot of books on there that I hadn’t read yet. Again, I can still read it through the app on my iPad, but I want my actual Kindle.

I also wish I knew why it broke. I’ll be two- or three-years-old in December. As far as I know Kindles should last a lot longer than that. But it is the first edition Kindle, so… I don’t know.

I guess I know what I want for my birthday now.

I Am The Traitor by Allen Zadoff

2015-07-26 19.30.08

Title: I Am the Traitor
Author: Allen Zadoff
Genre: Young adult mystery
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary (from Amazon):

The Program has sent Boy Nobody on countless missions, instructed to kill whichever target he was given. But now, after going rogue, he is on his own mission to rescue his friend Howard, who was captured by The Program.

Boy Nobody manages to free Howard as well as Tanya, a mysterious girl who was being held with him. Putting their skills to the test, Howard and Tanya help Boy Nobody collect information about his father, eventually revealing a dangerous secret that teaches Boy Nobody a valuable lesson — he can’t trust anyone.

On the run from The Program, Boy Nobody must face his past, as he’s forced to decide where his loyalties lie.

My Review (may contain spoilers!):

I have to say that this was a satisfying ending to the trilogy. I want more, but then the series would just be dragging on.

Zach saves his friend Howard from The Program and also an unexpected prisoner: Tanya. Zach doesn’t know what to make of her, but he allows her to tag along anyway.

Judging how the first two novels went, I wasn’t sure what to make of Tanya. Was she good? Was she bad? Was she going to live?

I was happy with the way things turned out; especially since I liked Tanya.

Point one for Zadoff; he created some strong female characters who could hold their own. I was impressed with that. You don’t see that too much these days.

This final installment was action-packed from start to finish as it picked up right where book two ended. The ending was not certainly something I expected. I felt like I should have seen it coming, but I didn’t; which is a good thing.

The ending was sort of a cliff-hanger, but not in a suspenseful way. It was more left as an imaginative way. You have a feeling where the characters will go from there, but it’s left to your imagination. You just know that they all got a happy ending.

I Am the Traitor by Allen Zadoff gets 5 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“Women. There’s not a lot of information about them in the training manual.” –Allen Zadoff, I Am the Traitor

Be sure to check out my Goodreads page to see what I’m reading next!
If you have a book recommendation for me, I’d love to hear it! Feel free to get in touch using the contact form on the Contact Me page.

Would You Rather: Reader Edition

Remember the Writer Edition of Would You Rather I posted a few days ago? Well, this is the Reader Edition, which was also taken from Herminia‘s blog.

Thank you Herminia for all the great blog post ideas!

Would you rather only read trilogies or only read standalones?

Standalones even though I mostly read series. I think standalones are easier and less complex; especially when writing book reviews.

Would you rather only read male or female authors?

I don’t understand this question. I don’t think it matters what gender the author is. Though, I will say that it’s probably easier to read a male protagonist when the author is a male and easier to read a female protagonist when the author is female.

Would you rather shop at Barnes and Noble or Amazon?

Barnes and Noble. I can feel, smell, and thumb through the pages before I buy. Plus, I don’t have to wait for it to ship and deliver and I’m at Barnes and Noble every week.

Would you rather books were made into TV shows or movies?

Movies. I think TV shows end up getting dragged on too long because of the multiple seasons.

Would you rather read only 5 pages per day or 5 books per week?

Five books a week, hands down.

Would you rather be a professional author or reviewer?

Author. I love reading and reviewing, but I have too many stories to tell.

Would you rather be a librarian or a bookseller?

Bookseller. I think a lot more happens in bookstores than libraries.

Would you rather read only your favorite genre, or every other genre but your favorite?

This is tough. I guess I would go with every other genre, only because I like variety.

Would you rather only read ebooks or physical books?

I would rather physical books, but I do love both.

Again, feel free to answer these questions on your own blog and maybe come up with some new ones!

Memory Man by David Baldacci


Title: Memory Man
Author: David Baldacci
Genre: Mystery
How I got the book: Borrowed from my mom’s bookshelf

Summary (from Amazon):

Amos Decker’s life changed forever–twice.
The first time was on the gridiron. A big, towering athlete, he was the only person from his hometown of Burlington ever to go pro. But his career ended before it had a chance to begin. On his very first play, a violent helmet-to-helmet collision knocked him off the field for good, and left him with an improbable side effect–he can never forget anything.
The second time was at home nearly two decades later. Now a police detective, Decker returned from a stakeout one evening and entered a nightmare–his wife, young daughter, and brother-in-law had been murdered.
His family destroyed, their killer’s identity as mysterious as the motive behind the crime, and unable to forget a single detail from that horrible night, Decker finds his world collapsing around him. He leaves the police force, loses his home, and winds up on the street, taking piecemeal jobs as a private investigator when he can.
But over a year later, a man turns himself in to the police and confesses to the murders. At the same time a horrific event nearly brings Burlington to its knees, and Decker is called back in to help with this investigation. Decker also seizes his chance to learn what really happened to his family that night. To uncover the stunning truth, he must use his remarkable gifts and confront the burdens that go along with them. He must endure the memories he would much rather forget. And he may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.

My Review (may contain spoilers!):

This novel was interesting until the very end.

It follows Amos Decker, a man who can’t forget anything due to a brain trauma that caused him to have an exceptional memory. Decker used to be a cop and then detective before his family–his brother, wife, and child–were murdered.

The killer was never caught until one day, years later, someone confesses. At that time a shooting occurs at the local high school killing several students as well as a couple teachers.

Decker is brought onto the case as a consultant as they realize both the shooting and the death of his family are connected.

The novel follows Decker as he tries to follow the killer’s clues, which are directed at him. The case is a lot more personal than anyone ever thought.

Overall, this was a great mystery to read. It was heavy, but all questions were answered by the end, the characters were well developed throughout the book, and the plot was complex enough that it wasn’t predictable but you were able to slowly figure it out along with the characters. Which, in my opinion, are the best types of mysteries.

Memory Man by David Baldacci gets 5 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“Damaged minds, even turned exceptional in some ways, are capable of many things. Some good, some bad.” –David Baldacci, Memory Man

Be sure to check out my Goodreads page to see what I’ll be reading next!

The Boy On The Wooden Box by Leon Leyson

2015-07-09 19.29.21

Title: The Boy on the Wooden Box
Author: Leon Leyson
Genre: Autobiography
How I got the book: I borrowed it from my mom’s bookshelf

Summary (from Amazon):

Leon Leyson (born Leib Lezjon) was only ten years old when the Nazis invaded Poland and his family was forced to relocate to the Krakow ghetto. With incredible luck, perseverance, and grit, Leyson was able to survive the sadism of the Nazis, including that of the demonic Amon Goeth, commandant of Plaszow, the concentration camp outside Krakow. Ultimately, it was the generosity and cunning of one man, a man named Oskar Schindler, who saved Leon Leyson’s life, and the lives of his mother, his father, and two of his four siblings, by adding their names to his list of workers in his factory—a list that became world renowned: Schindler’s List.

My Review (may contain spoilers!):

Inspiring.

Breathtaking.

This book is an autobiography written by Leon Leyson, a Jewish boy who survived the Holocaust. He was only ten-years-old when the Nazis took over.

Leon survived because of Oskar Schindler as well as the strength of his family.

It’s a quick, easy read and has more than enough information. The first chapter explains background on Leon, his family, and his life before the Nazis. The rest of the novel–up until the last chapter–is his experiences being held captive by the Nazis and working for them as well as trying to stick with his family as they keep getting split up.

There’s an afterward of letters written by Leon’s children as well as pictures.

It’s a sad tale, but has a happy ending. I think this is a story that everyone should read.

The Boy on the Wooden Box gets 5 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“A hero is an ordinary human being who does the best of things in the worst of times.” –Leon Leyson, The Boy on the Wooden Box

Warriors: Power Of Three Books 4-6

2015-07-02 20.22.59

Title: Warriors: Power of Three: Eclipse (book 4)
Author:
Erin Hunter
How did I get the book: 
I bought it.
Genre: Juvenile fantasy

Summary (from Amazon):

Firestar’s three grandchildren have learned of the powerful prophecy that foretells their destinies, and the responsibility of deciding the Clans’ future weighs heavily on the three apprentices. But each secretly yearns for power: Lionpaw dreams of being undefeatable in battle, while Hollypaw longs to be a great leader and Jaypaw knows only he can see the true past and future for them all. Their strengths are tested when ThunderClan is suddenly attacked—and all four Clans are thrown into a battle unlike any the cats have ever seen.

Then a dark shadow falls across the forest, and a mysterious stranger warns the Clans of more trouble to come. For the first time, it appears that StarClan does not hold the answers the cats need.

All of a sudden, the warrior code is being tested. A crisis of faith threatens to tear the four Clans apart and destroy what the cats have built their lives upon. . . .

My Review (may contain spoilers!):

This book held so much tension. It was great.

WindClan sneak attack and RiverClan are with them to fight against ThunderClan. ThunderClan asks ShadowClan for help and before you know it, the four Clans were battling it out all over ThunderClan’s territory, two versus two.

There have been plenty of battles throughout this series, but not a battle as big as this one. It was amazing how the four Clans feuded with each other for so long.

This battle lasted three chapters. Most battles last one chapter, sometimes less. This set the tension and mood for the next two books; that’s how much of an impact it left.

Everything that led up to the battle was great and when the battle was over, a new character was brought in (even though he was technically introduced before the battle) making the Clans question absolutely everything–and I really mean everything.

Warriors: Eclipse by Erin Hunter gets 5 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“Truth is a powerful weapon… We must be careful how we use it.” — Erin Hunter, Eclipse

2015-07-02 20.23.53

Title: Warriors: Power of Three: Long Shadows (book 5)
Author: Erin Hunter
How I got the book: I bought it
Genre: Juvenile fantasy

Summary (from Amazon):

The Clans are in turmoil. ShadowClan has turned its back on StarClan and pledged to follow the dark predictions of Sol, the strange cat who foretold the solar eclipse. But not all the cats have lost faith in their warrior ancestors. . . .

Jaypaw is convinced that StarClan still holds an important place in the warrior code, and his search for answers leads him far back into the past, farther back than even StarClan can remember. Lionblaze, tortured by violent dreams and bloody visions, wishes he had never been prophesied to be one of the three but to turn his back on his littermates would be the ultimate betrayal. And Hollyleaf is terrified that once the Clans lose their faith, the warrior code will fall apart. She’s willing to fight tooth and nail to preserve it—whatever the cost.

And when murder stalks into the heart of ThunderClan, the cats realize that the darkest shadows don’t always lie outside the territory.

My Review (may contain spoilers!):

This book didn’t get good until the ending.

A new character, Sol, was introduced in the previous novel. He was a pretty big character to the plot of this series and yet he was barely in this book. He took over ShadowClan for a bit, but even that sub-plot didn’t last too long.

The book really picked up when one of favorite characters turned out to mentally unstable and ends up getting murdered.

This character, Ashfur, was barely in the book as well. You didn’t get to see him progressively turn evil and lose his mind. So it was a huge shock to find out what he had been planning all along. Not to mention it’s a pretty dumb reason as to why he went crazy; it was all because of a girl. Like we haven’t seen that one before….

We find out the three main characters’ parents are not actually their real parents creating tension between the cats; especially as they try to figure out who their real parents are. Which is kind of obvious to the reader, but we don’t officially find out until the end of the following book, Sunrise.

With that being said, the whole book felt kind of pointless up until the end. And I think that was only because they wanted to create a decent cliffhanger for the next book. Which they succeeded at; just ask my sister about how I barged into her room ranting about the ending and mixed emotions I felt.

Warriors: Long Shadows by Erin Hunter gets 4 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“Then we could pelt Blackfoot with acorns and he’d think they came from StarClan.” –Erin Hunter, Long Shadows

2015-07-02 20.23.38

Title: Warriors: Power of Three: Sunrise (book 6)
Author: Erin Hunter
How I got the book: I bought it
Genre: Juvenile fantasy

Summary (from Amazon):

A mysterious murder in the ranks has ripped ThunderClan apart. But more secrets still remain to be discovered.

Jayfeather is determined to find out who his real parents are. But he’ll have to trample through a forest of lies in order to uncover the truth. Hollyleaf is shocked by her Clan’s disobedience of the warrior code, and distraught enough to strike out at someone she’s always admired. And Lionblaze must bear horrified witness to events that will change everything he believes.

In the harshest days of leaf-bare Clanmate turns upon Clanmate, danger lurks behind familiar faces, and one more warrior may be lost forever. . . .

My Review (may contain spoilers!):

This book got to the point that I was unable to put it down towards the end. But that was it–towards the end.

Being the last book in the Power of Three series, I have to say that I expected more. The book took place right where Long Shadows took off, but that ended up being pretty much the entire book.

ThunderClan is on the hunt for clues as to who killed Ashfur. I’m not saying they should let it go, but I didn’t think it needed to drag out through the whole book.

All secrets are revealed (plus another shocking death) about 40 pages before the end of the novel. The whole book was so slow and then all of a sudden everything happened at once.

Plus, the shocking death was abrupt and kind of swept under the rug, which I didn’t like because it was a major character.

That death did however put a twist on the prophecy that I didn’t see coming and it makes sense. So, that was a good thing.

Warriors: Sunrise by Erin Hunter gets 4 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“His words are nothing more than mist and sunshine, impossible to hold down.” –Erin Hunter, Sunrise

 

Be sure to check out my Goodreads page to see what I’m reading next!