Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Books for the beach/pool

summer tbr 2018

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Girl. To find out more about the top ten theme, or to join in the fun go here.

Today’s theme is books to read at the beach/pool. I love summer and loved finding books to fit this theme. This is also my summer TBR list and it has lots of mermaid books. 🙂

These are also all books I own (except the last one) to help me work toward the #unreadshelfproject2018. You can find out more about that here.

1. Caraval – by Stephanie Garber. Everything I’ve heard about this book has been positive, and the synopsis sounds intriguing. The carnival theme also makes it perfect for a summer read.

2. Legendary – by Stephanie Garber. I thought the first books sounded so good, I went ahead and bought the second one too! 🙂

3. Daughter of a Pirate King – by Tricia Levenseller. I’ve had this book awhile -it came in one of my Owlcrate boxes. It also sounds really good, so I’m planning to read it sometime this summer.

4. Daughter of a Siren Queen – by Tricia Levenseller. Since I’m reading the first one, I have to read the sequel. Plus, this one has mermaids. 🙂

5. Of Poseidon – by Anna Banks. This is the first book in the Syrena Legacy. And mermaids!

6. Of Triton – by Anna Banks. The second book in this triology.

7. Of Neptune – by Anna Banks. The third book.

8. Between the Sea and the Stars – by Chantal Gadoury. This is a little mermaid retelling, and I’ve seen so much about it on Instagram, I can’t wait to read it!

9. To Kill a Kingdom – by Alexandra Christo. This is another little mermaid retelling, though it has a bit of a darker spin. I’ve heard many good things about it on Instagram.

10. Sea Witch – by Sara Henning. Also a little mermaid retelling, this one doesn’t come out until the end of July, but I am pschyed to read it!

What about you? What’s on your summer TBR list? Do you like mermaid books? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

Advertisements
Uncategorized

#Authortoolboxbloghop – Tips for Editing Your Novel

editing your novel

If you follow me on Instagram (@charityrau), you know I have been working through revisions on my novel.  And in March, I shared the different stages of editing (check that post out here).  So, for today’s post I decided I’d share some specific tips for editing your novel. These are some things that have really helped me strengthen my writing, and I hope they’ll help you as well. 🙂

1. Watch out for filter words. Filter words are words like heard, looked, and felt. When you use these words, you filter your characters’ experiences through your words rather than letting the reader share the experience with the character. This goes along with the whole “show, don’t tell” principle.

For example:

Filter word sentences: “I pulled out the bag and looked through it. It had everything I needed.”

Better sentences: “I pulled out the bag and reached inside. A little vial of syrup, dried roots, and plenty of rags. It had everything I needed.”

2. Limit passive sentence use. Passive sentences can be used in some instances, but in most cases an active sentence is better. Active sentences help pull the reader into the action.

For example:

Passive sentence: “The quiet flip of her covers told me she was angry.”

Better active sentences: “She flipped her covers over her head and didn’t say a word. Great, she was angry at me.”

Another example (with a passive/active verb):

Passive sentence: “The team was cheered on by the girls.”

Active sentence: “The girls cheered on the team.”

3. Remove unnecessary adverbs. Adverbs are tricky. Sometimes they can help tell your reader something, but often they aren’t needed. In fact, many times all you need is a stronger verb.

For example:

With adverb: “She walked unsteadily down the stairs.”

With a stronger verb: “She stumbled down the stairs.”

or:

With adverb – “He bowed low and removed his hat, twisting it nervously in his hands.”

Without adverb – “He bowed low and removed his hat, twisting it in his hands.”

It still makes sense without the adverb, and you can infer from the twisting action that he is nervous.

4. Cut out obvious statements. Sometimes an action already tells the reader your character’s emotion or attitude, so there is no need to state that emotion or attitude.

For example:

Obvious statement: “I kicked at a rock in the driveway, angry at the spell and that idiotic woman who cast it.”

If she’s kicking a rock, we can figure out she’s angry.

Better sentences: “I kicked at a rock in the driveway. Just who did that woman think she was, casting a spell on us just to get herself out of a jam?”

5. Remove all the unnecessary thats. ‘That’ is another tricky word. We add it to sentences all the time, but it’s rarely ever needed.

For example:

With that “At least she was pleased that Stephan had invited me to the Spring Ball.”

Without that – “At least she was pleased Stephan had invited me to the Spring Ball.”

As you can see removing the ‘that’ doesn’t change the meaning of the sentence.

These are just a few things that can help strengthen your writing. Both the “that” and the “-ly” adverbs can be fixed with a Find search through your document. The others will take a bit more work to find and correct, but it is worth it in the end!

What about you? What tips do you have for editing novels? Let me know in the comments!

Nano Blog and Social Media Hop2

This post is part of the #authortoolboxbloghop hosted by Raimey Gallant. To check out all the participating blogs, or to join in the fun go here.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Worlds I Want to Visit/Not Visit

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Girl. To find out more about the top ten theme, or to join in the fun go here.

Today’s theme is bookish worlds you want to live in/not live in. It’s hard for me to say I’d actually want to live in another world, but there are some I’d certainly want to visit, as well as some I’d want to avoid. 🙂

book worlds

Here are my picks:

1. Narnia (The Chronicles of  Narnia) – This is one place I’d love to visit! Aslan and magical creatures – need I say more?

2. Hogwarts (Harry Potter) – Who wouldn’t want to learn how to do magic? 🙂

3. The Lunar Chronicles World – A futuristic world with lots of cool tech? Yes, please!

4. Wonderland – There are so many versions of this world (Heartless, Queen of Hearts, Alice and Wonderland, Once Upon A Time, to name a few.) All of them seem like interesting places, and it would be pretty fun to attend a mad tea party.

5. Neverland – Again a lot of versions of this world – Wendy Darling, Never Ever, Once Upon A Time, Peter Pan – and they all have a few things in common: flying capability, mermaids and pirates. Anyone who loves fairytales would love to visit such a place.

And a few worlds I wouldn’t want to visit….

6.The world of The Winner’s Kiss – While I enjoyed the story, I certainly wouldn’t want to visit. All that war, prejudice, and slavery – No thank-you!

7. The world of The Selection – Another read I really enjoyed, but not a place I’d want to visit. Too much poverty and uncertainty. Although the lavish dresses would be cool to see.

8. The world of The Hunger Games – I think it’s obvious to anyone who’s read the book why you wouldn’t want to live here. You might literally have to fight for your life by killing your friends.

9. The World of Divergent – Too much conformity in this world. I wouldn’t appreciate being lumped into a specific group and destined to do the same thing for the rest of my life.

10. Morganville (The Morganville Vampires) While interesting to read about, this is another place where you have to do too much fighting to stay alive. And if you manage to stay alive, you could end up enslaved to a vampire. I don’t think so!

What about you? Is there a bookish world you’d like to visit? How about one you wouldn’t want to visit? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

#authortoolboxbloghop, For Writers

#AuthorToolboxBlogHop – Making Time for Writing

Making Time For Writing

I know sometimes making time for writing can be a struggle. Recently, it’s been a bit of a struggle for me. In the last couple of months, illness, my day job, and family responsibilities have crowded in, and I’ve hard to work harder to make time for my writing. So I thought for this bloghop, I’d share some of the techniques I use to fit my writing time in.

1. Schedule your writing time on your calendar. This is especially important if, like me, you can’t keep the same schedule for each day. Some days my writing time is early in the day, and sometimes it’s in the evening.

2. Set realistic time goals. Sometimes we have a habit of overloading our schedules, and this is true for our writing as well. Some days, writing time might have to be a bit shorter due to all the other responsibilities you have to fulfill that day. For instance, if you have doctor appointments during the day, your daughter’s ballet recital in the evening, and  all your normal responsibilities, you may have to make your writing time shorter. On other days, where you have extra free time, you can make your writing time longer. I find it usually balances out in the end.

3. Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize. Ask yourself, “What things must get done today?” This helps you identify how much time you can set aside for writing. This also applies to your writing. What projects are the most important and need your attention now?

4. Be prepared for the unexpected. Sometimes unexpected things happen: illness, accidents, death in the family. While you can’t really plan for such an event, you can be prepared. First, in your mindset – when something like this happens, realize you might have to take a step back from your writing. This doesn’t mean you’re quitting, it just means there are some other things you have to deal with first.

Second, don’t lock yourself into a tight deadline. In other words, plan more than enough time to complete your projects. For instance, if you know a certain project typically takes you three weeks to complete, give yourself four. This way if something happens to knock off your regular writing time, you have a little time to take off.

5. Take time for yourself. Sometimes you might need to take some time to recharge yourself. I know some people hold to the “write every day” principle, but I find that after a grueling project it helps to take a little time off. This gives you time to reflect on what you want to do next, helps you prepare for the next project (i.e. brainstorming), and lets you focus on self care which allows you to be at your best for the next project. Journaling is a good way to still get some writing in during this time.

These techniques help keep me on track, and I hope you’ll find them helpful too. Also, keep in mind that everyone has bad days, and everyone fails at times. The important thing is to keep at it.

Nano Blog and Social Media Hop2

This post is part of the #authortoolboxbloghop. It’s hosted by Raimey Gallant. For more details and to join in the fun, go here.

How about you? What techniques do you find most helpful in making time for your writing? Let me know in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – “Books I’d Slay a Lion to Get Early”

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Girl. To find out more about the top ten theme, or to join in the fun go here.

Tope Ten Tuesday (1)

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is “Books I’d slay a lion to get early.”

I hate waiting to read books, so typically I wait to start a big series until several of the books have already been released. Sometimes though, I read a book I didn’t realize was part of a series. Also, if a book is by a favorite author, I go ahead and read it. So I only came up with seven instead of ten:

1. The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson – this is the second book in the Truly Devious series. I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

2. Part of Your World by Liz Braswell – This is a Disney book, part of the Twisted Tales series. So far they’ve done Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, and Mulan (which was just released and is on my TBR list for this month). This one is The Little Mermaid and as I love the movie, I can hardly wait for this one!

3. Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco – I love the Stalking Jack the Ripper books and am psyched to read this next one.

4. Last Seen by Sara Shepherd – This is part on The Amateurs series and the books always end on a cliffhanger. Anything by Sara Shepherd pretty much leaves you wanting more.

5. Black Coats by Colleen Oakes – This doesn’t come out until next year, but anything by Colleen Oakes is an automatic TBR for me.

6. The Blood Spell by C.J. Redwine – This is book 4 in the Ravenspire series. Each book can stand alone, but they’re all set in the same world. Each one is also a fairtytale retelling.

7. The Emerald Sea by Richelle Mead –  This is part of The Glittering Court series. A bit different from Mead’s other YA books, but I still really enjoy them and can’t wait to read this last one.

What books can you hardly wait to get your hands on? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Fairytale retellings

 

ttt fairytales

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Girl. To find out more about the top ten theme, or to join in the fun go here.

Today’s topic is a freebie, so I decided to go with my top ten fairytale retellings, because I love a good retelling. 🙂

1. The Lunar Chronicles – by Marissa Meyer. If you aren’t familiar with the Lunar Chronicles, you need to check this series out now! There are four books – Cinder (Cinderella), Scarlet (Red Riding Hood), Cress (Rapunzel), and Winter (Snow White).

2. Wendy Darling – by Colleen Oakes. This is also a series – three books: Stars, Seas, and Shadow. And as implied by the title, it’s a retelling of Peter Pan from Wendy’s perspective.

3. Heartless – by Marissa Meyer. This is not a happily ever after tale. This is the story of how the Queen of Hearts became the queen of hearts. I could’nt put it down, and I loved all the nods to the original Alice in Wonderland story.

4. Queen of Hearts series – by Colleen Oakes. Another origin story about the Queen of Hearts, with three books: Queen of Hearts, Blood of Wonderland, and War of the Cards.

5. The Forbidden Wish – by Jessica Khoury. This is an Aladdin retelling with a twist – the genie is a girl.

6. A Whole New World – by Liz Braswell. Another Aladdin retelling. This is a Disney book, so it starts out just like the Disney movie, but then veers off into it’s own story. Loved it!

7. Princess at The Midnight Ball – by Jessica Day George. A retelling of Twelve Dancing Princesses.

8. Beauty – by Robin McKinley. This is one of my favorites and it’s a retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

9. Cloaked – by Alex Flinn. A retelling of The Princess and the Frog.

10. Sweetly – by Jackson Pearce. A retelling of Hansel and Gretel.

I made a shelf with all these books on Goodreads and you can check it out here. Also, feel free to add me as a friend on Goodreads. 🙂

What’s your favorite fairytale retelling? Let me know in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Books set in other countries

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Girl. To find out more about the top ten theme, or to join in the fun go here.

This week’s topic is: books set in another country. I live in the US, so these books are all set in countries other than the US.

I read a lot of fantasy where the story takes place in a made up land, so I had to think about this one a little. Here’s what I came up with:

top five

1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer, set in China, or at least a futuristic version of China.

2. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, set in France

3. Cress by Marissa Meyer, set in Egypt

One of the reasons I love The Lunar Chronicles so much is because they happen in so many different places.

4. Hunted by Meagan Spooner, set in Russia

5. Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly

Untitled design (4)

6. Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco, set in England

7. Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco, set in Romania

I love this series for so many reasons – the mystery, the romance, the Victorian era… I can hardly wait for the final two books.

8. The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury, set in Arabia/Persia

9. A Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston, set in Arabia/Persia

10. Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George, set in Romania

 

What’s your favorite book set in a country other than your own? Let me know in the comments! 🙂