Hi all! I’m back with a fun readathon for February. It’s my birthday month, so I always love doing something extra fun.
I thought for awhile about what I wanted to do this year, and decided I wanted to try a Taylor Swift themed readathon, so I chose some of my favorite love songs and created prompts for each one.
You can interpret the prompts however you would like, and not all the books have to be in the romance genre as long as you can fit them into one of the prompts. I also made the prompts broad enough so that you don’t neccessarily have to be a Swiftie to join in.
I’ll be posting templates and the bingo board to my Instagram, both in my stories and my highlights. You can post to all social media with the #swiftielovesongreadathon.
I’m also going to do a giveaway for this readathon. You can get an initial entry by sharing the graphic on Instagram with the hashtag and tagging me. Each time you post with the hashtag and tag me so I can see it, you will recieve an additional entry. And every time you get a bingo, you will also recieve an entry. The winner will get a book (up to $20) of their choice from Book Depository.
And just for fun, I’ve also created a Spotify playlist for the readathon so you can listen and get inspiration for your book picks!
Calling all Nancy Drew fans! Or thriller/mystery fans!
For 2023, I’m hosting the Nancy Drew Vibes Book Club on the Fable app, an app for hosting book clubs. We will read books with Nancy Drew vibes – think intrepid girl detective.
Not all books will neccessarily be YA, and we may even do books that crossover into fantasy. You don’t have to have actually read Nancy Drew to participate, as long as you enjoy mysteries and thrillers.
Our first read is The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. We offically start reading on January 4th and wrap up on February 18th.
On the app, there are checkpoint dates, but they are just suggestions. You can read the book as quickly or as slowly as you want. This is just for fun, so you don’t have to read every book the club reads if you don’t want to.
One of the things I love about the Fable app is that you can read books within the app. When you sign up at my link, you also recieve a $5 credit to spend on books.
If you have any questions about how the book club works, don’t hesitate to ask. Also, if you have any suggestions for the club’s next read, let me know in the comments. I’ll take all reccomendations, and we will vote on the next book to read.
I’ve decided to bring back the Read, Write, Grow writer’s book club for 2023! For the first two months (Jan-Feb 2023), we will read one book since we are just now voting, and the beginning of a new year is always busy.
Voting is open now in my Instagram story. We are choosing between The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Mass and Writing Active Hooks by Mary Buckham. You can also vote for your choice via the survey below.
I’m testing out the book club in the Fable app. If you haven’t heard of it, the Fable app is specifically for book clubs. It allows you to chat while reading the book. It is divided up by chapters and also shows the reading breakdown for the book. If you are interested in trying out the Fable app, you can join here. Search for Read, Write, Grow and you should find the club. If you have any problems finding, just let me know.
Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! Looking forward to a year of growth and reading in 2023!
This year it didn’t seem as hard to pick my top ten reads, not because I read a lot of boring or disappointing books, but because these books just really stood out to me.
1. The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse – This was my first really good read of the year! It’s a secluded location thriller, set in a Gothic-y resort that used to be a psyhiatric hospital. This one kept me turning pages late into the night. If you love thrillers, you’ll enoy this one.
2. The Agathas by Katherine Glasgow and Liz Lawson – This is a YA mystery. Two girls who are complete opposites solve the murder of a classmate. Not only was this also a pageturner, but I loved the friendship that formed between the two girls.
3. The Messy Lives of Book People by Phaedra Patrick – This is a general adult fiction book. It follows Liv Green, a maid who wishes to be a writer. She gets her wish, when her famous author boss dies before finishing her book. Liv has to finish the book, but in doing so uncovers secrets, including one that has a surprising connection to herself. I finished this book in one night. It was full of heart, hope, and a dash of mystery, and I kept thinking about it long after I had closed the book.
4. A Comb of Wishesby Lisa Stringfellow – This is a MG fantasy about a girl who gets a wish from a mermaid and has to figure a way out of the exorbitant price the mermaid is demanding in exchange for said wish. This is an excellent book – everything you are looking for is there. It would be great for use in the classroom, but I think any fan of fantasy (no matter their age) would enjoy it.
5. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – I know there are some people who didn’t like this book, and some who avoided it because of some controversy, but this is an excellent story. It has the quality of a classic book, and I have no doubt it will become a modern classic. You do have to understand the style of writing is different from a typical popular book, but that is part of what makes it such a good book. It is a true examination of human nature, both the positve qualities and the negative ones. The movie is excellent as well!
6. The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager – Also a thriller, this one took an unexpected turn from the author’s typical books. I know some people did not like it because of that, but I loved it. It was masterfully done and hooked me in from the first page.
7. The Housemaid by Freida McFadden – Another thriller that hooked me immediately. Also, there is second book coming out in 2023, so as soon as I heard about it, I added it to my TBR list.
8.I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy – A step away from my normal genre, but so good! This is a memoir from one of the child stars from the Nickelodeon show iCarly. So honest and humorous, it was especially great on audio as Jennette reads it herself.
9. The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James – I have enjoyed every book I’ve read by this author, but this one is a bit different than some of her others. It is historical, set in the 1920’s, and is supernatural, but is so well written it was hard to put down.
10. Survive the Night by Riley Sager – I know this is the second book by this author, but what can I say? Riley Sager is king of writing thrillers you just can’t put down.
Have you read any of these? Let me know in the comments!
Hi all! Today I am sharing the Fairytale Reading Challenge for 2023! This is the third year I have hosted the challenge, and it is always a lot of fun!
This is a laid back challenge – you can read a retelling or the original fairytale. Some people also like to do the added challenge of watching a movie or tv show based on each fairytale.
Share what you read or watch on social media with #fairytalereadingchallenge.
You can get a free printable bookmark for the challenge from here. I left a bit of white space on the bottom as I didn’t like how long last year’s bookmark printed out. If you would prefer a longer one, just let me know and I’ll send you the link for it.
What fairytale are you most excited to read? Let me know in the comments.
With NaNoWriMo (National Writing Month) right around the I wanted to share some tips to help you make the most of this month. And in true pantser fashion, this doesn’t include making an outline. 🙂
Clear your calendar. Take a look at your calendar and make sure you don’t have any uneccessary activities planned for the month. Can something be moved to next month? Don’t volunteer to host Thanksgiving, but if you have to do so, see who can help you. Kids? Spouse or partner? Delegate as much as you can to other people.
Plan meals ahead of time. Think about what you are going to do for meals. Again, maybe you can delegate this to someone else, or maybe you can do some quick microwavable meals during the week and cook only on the weekends. (This is my plan.)
Gather your supplies. What did you need for a sucessful writing session? Notebooks, pens, candle, snacks, drinks? Figure out what things you need and stock up on them. Some of my neccessities include dark chocolate peanut M&M’s, salt and vinegar chips, Coke, ingredients for homemade mochas, Pentel purple pens, and a notebook. (Yeah, I’m a junk food junkie, I know. 🙂 )
Create a workspace. Determine where you are going to work. Maybe you already have a space, but it might need to be cleared to work. If you don’t have one yet, consider a place where you can work without interruptions, ideally a place where you aren’t doing a lot of other activities.
Think about your story. Even though I don’t have an outline, I do think a lot about my story. This includes creating an aesthetic or mood board, making a playlist, creating a working cover. I also jot down a few notes in my notebook of things I don’t want to forget before I start writing.
And most importantly, do what you can to make this experience fun! I always create a bingo board, and if you missed my previous post with the board and all my other templates, you can check it out here.
What do you do to prepare for NaNoWriMo? Let me know in the comments!
It’s that time of year again – the start of November and National Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. Writers from all around the globe attempt to write a novel or part of a novel equaling 50,000 words. Maybe you’ve tried it before or maybe you’ve only considered it. This will be my seventh year seriously (I attempted to do it a couple years before, but didn’t see it through) doing NaNoWriMo and it is motivating and successful for me. However, I realize it is not for everyone, so I wanted to share why it works so well for me to help you decided if it might work for you.
The Deadline – Many writers dread the deadline, but it is highly motivating for me. I’m a huge procrastinator, so I often need some external motivation to help me get things done.
The Challenge -This kind of goes along with the first thing, I love to win and if I don’t meet the deadline, I don’t win. The drive to win keeps me in the game even when things gets difficult.
The Project – I am a project writer – which basically means I can work hours at a time when in the middle of a project. I don’t always write every day, but I write in large chunks of time when working on a project. Once I’ve finished said project, I need some reset time, and can take up to a couple weeks off from writing.
So, if these things are things you can relate to, you might want to give NaNoWriMo a try. However, if it all seems a little overwhelming, you can also adjust your goal. If you want to start out with a smaller goal like 30k or even 25k, you could also do that.
One thing you do need to have is commitment. If you’re are serious about doing it, wholly commit to it, letting friends and family know you are doing this. Post on social media and even create little rewards for steps along the way. The first couple of years I tried NaNo, I didn’t go in with a firm commitment and I didn’t win or even come close to winning.
If you do decide you want to do NaNo, check out my #nanobingo22 board and other fun templates here.
Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or if you’ve decided to do NaNoWriMo.
Hey everyone! I’ve created another bingo board for this year’s NaNoWrimo. I’ve already shared it over on my Instagram, but wanted to share here in case anyone missed it, or they aren’t on IG. So here it is:
Feel free to screenshot or print, and share with the tag #nanobingo22. I’ve also created some additional templates to go along with the bingo board. There is a board for each week to share your weekly update, and a board to share your word count for the day and the bingo square you completed.
Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? Let me know in the comments!
Jack Swift remembers everything—even the horrible things he’d like to forget. To keep his guilt-ridden memories from haunting him, and to dodge his abusive foster mom, he buries himself in any book he can find, dreaming of his ultimate escape: becoming a doctor.
But fate has another escape in mind.
At 3:33 am on his fourteenth birthday, Jack is kidnapped by a monstrous rhinoceros and whisked away to another sphere of existence: the land of Keymark. Though this world is filled with pixies, monsters, pirates, elves, warriors, and mythical wonders, it is without healing magic—that magic was stolen by an evil, immortal prince hell-bent on domination. With no understanding of medical science to heal their wounds or illnesses, Jack’s kidnappers ask the impossible of him: use his knowledge to save a life…or be trapped in this bizarre world with no chance of rescue.
Jack doesn’t have secret magic, a great destiny, or any medical experience.
Why do they all expect him to become a legend?
This book is written in a different style than the typical YA book, but I still found it engaging and exciting. I think the style is more comparable to an adult high fantasy book, but the content is YA. There are talking animals, magic, and lots of otherwordly creatures. And I liked the illustrations that were included.
I enjoyed all the vibrant charaters, my favorites being Memphis, the rhino, and Fuji, the lizard. Jack’s journey, both physically and emotionally, was well done and gave me all the feels when it finally came full circle. There were many unique moments in the story, giving me vibes of Jumanji, The Neverending Story, and Frankenstein.
I think anyone who enjoys a good fantasy story will enjoy this, but especially fans of Stardust, The Neverending Story, and The Hobbit.
About the Author
A. R. Witham is a three-time Emmy-winning writer-producer and a great lover of adventure. He is the world’s foremost expert on the history of Keymark. He loves to talk with young people and adults who remember what young people know. He has written for film and television, canoed to the Arctic Circle, hiked the Appalachian Trail and been inside his house while it burned down. He lives in Indianapolis.
I’m excited to be part of The Write Reads blog tour for Clean Sweep by E.B. Lee.
About the Book
Carli Morris is looking forward to a quiet retirement. Earning billions from the sale of her Madison Avenue ad agency, she dreams of spending her golden years painting and giving back to society. But the heartbreaking discovery of a homeless woman poisoned to death on the streets of Manhattan reopens the wounds of Carli’s own tragic loss.
Realizing her busy career turned her away from the vulnerable, she throws herself on a mission to get the defenseless off the streets. But as she sacrifices her own needs to support others, her new colleague’s mental illness and Carli’s unresolved grief collide in a staggering sequence of events that will alter her life forever.
Can Carli dig deep and make a powerful, personal impact?
Clean Sweep is a dynamic literary novel. If you like moving revelations, gut-wrenching decisions, and life-affirming transformations, then you’ll love E. B. Lee’s enlightening tale.
This book is a bit different from what I usually read. It was a bit heavy and sad, though that can be gathered from just reading the blurb. It deals a lot with the homeless people of New York City and their plights.
The characters were interesting and unique, though I figured out where the storyline was going pretty early on. There is also a Christian element to the story, as Carli works with a church group to help the homeless.
If you enjoy heavier reads, you will probably enjoy this one. Fans of The Book Thief, Dark Places, and It Ends With Us will probably also enjoy this one.
About the Author
E. B. Lee was raised in Weston, CT and enjoyed the best of a then-rural town and easy access to the high-energy world of New York City. She brings together elements of both in her debut work of literary fiction, Clean Sweep, a heartfelt story of human connection, tough choices, and compassion. Prior to writing, Ms. Lee was a flower farmer and worked in the environmentalfield. She earned a Masters Degree from Yale School of the Environment and undergraduate degree from Yale. E.B. Lee now writes in North Carolina and Connecticut.