Mermaid Read-a-thon

A Mermaid’s Tale Challenge

The second blog challenge for the Let’s Be Mermaids read-a-thon is hosted by Marta at the bookmermaidblog.  Her challenge is to create your own mermaid tail.  (If you haven’t heard about the read-a-thon yet, you can read about it here.)

So I created a mermaid on a digital doll page (http://www.azaleasdolls.com/dressupgames/mermaid-creator.php) and it has the kind of mermaid tail I’d love – shimmers of blue and purple. If I could’ve added another color, I might have added a little green.

Here it is:

Mermaid-by-AzaleasDolls

What kind of mermaid tail would you like? What do you think you would look like as a mermaid? Let me know in the comments!

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Mermaid Read-a-thon

Mermazing Monday Blog Challenge

Today’s challenge for the Let’s be Mermaids read-a-thon is hosted by April at Hauntedbybooks and her challenge is to share some of your favorite mermaid things: books, movies, tv shows, ect.

If you haven’t heard about the Let’s Be Mermaid Read-a-thon yet, you can check out my post about it here.

So, here are some of my favorite books and movies:

mermaid books and movies

I just finished To Kill a Kingdom yesterday and loved it! Anything Jennifer Donnelly writes is really good.  Aquamarine is a bit cheesy, but I still love it. I have some great memories of watching it with my sisters. 🙂

And some other mermaid things I love:

mermaid other things

My mermaid tail blanket is great for IG posts, and I love the Bath and Body Works Mermaid line they came out with this summer. The shell is a Tarte eyeshadow compact with lots of beachy colors. I’ve used it almost every day since I bought it! And my mermaid scale leggings which I only paid five bucks for at Five Below.

What kind of mermaid things do you love? Let me know in the comments!

Mermaid Read-a-thon, Reading Challenge

Let’s Be Mermaids Read-a-thon

mermaid readathon

So I found out about this read-a-thon on Instagram, and decided to give it a go. I’ve haven’t yet participated in a read-a-thon, but have been wanting to. I love the mermaid theme of this one, and since I already have several mermaid books on my summer TBR, it works out. 🙂

The read-a-thon runs August 5th -11th. There are video challenges as well as the reading challenges, but I’m going to be focusing on the reading challenges, as I don’t have a YouTube channel. You can find out all the details about the read-a-thon on the YouTube channel here.

mermaid reading challenge

So my TBR list for the read-a-thon includes:

1. The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill (the chosen group read for the read-a-ton)

2. Emerge by Tobie Easton (a recommendation from one of the hosts, Ashten, https://wonderlandiansbooks.wordpress.com/)

3. Submerge by Tobie Easton (the 2nd book in the Mer Chronicles)

4. Aquamarine by Alice Hoffman (a book that is also a movie)

5. Of Poseidon by Anna Banks (just another mermaid book on my TBR list 🙂 )

mermaid books

You can also follow the read-a-thon on Twitter and Instagram.

 

How about you? Are you participating in this read-a-thon? Or reading any mermaid books this summer? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

 

Reading Challenge

Reading Challenge Check-in – #unreadshelfproject2018

shelf update

So since we are halfway through the year (hard to believe, isn’t it?) I decided to do a check-in to see how I’m doing with the #unreadshelfproject2018. If you haven’t heard about this challenge or missed my first post about it, you can check it out here.

I have read 86 books this year, and 23 of them were my own unread books. My original goal was to read 120 of my unread books, so I have a lot of work left to get to that goal. I love my local library, and every time I go, I find more books to read. I’m going to have to limit library visits so I can finish more of my own unread books! 🙂

These are the 23 books of mine I’ve read so far:

  1. Dead to Me by Mary McCoy
  2. Finding my Edge by Karen Chen
  3. Winter by Marissa Meyer
  4. The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
  5. In Her Skin by Kim Savage
  6. Veronica Mars: The Ten Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas
  7. Fall of Night by Rachel Caine
  8. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  9. Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book by Diane Muldrow
  10. Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine
  11. Everything I Need to Know About Love I Learned From a Little Golden Book by Diane Muldrow
  12. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  13. Black Dawn by Rachel Caine
  14. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  15. The Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz
  16. Private by James Patterson
  17. War of the Cards by Colleen Oakes
  18. Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
  19. Ferdinand and the Bullies by Walt Disney Company
  20. Fairest by Marissa Meyer
  21. Cress by Marissa Meyer
  22. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
  23. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

How about you? How are you doing on your challenges for this year? Let me know in the comments.

#authortoolboxbloghop, For Writers

#authortoolboxbloghop – Connecting With Readers Through Your Blog

Connecting With Your Readers#authortoolboxbloghop

Connecting with your readers is not only important, it’s also a lot of fun. So, I’ve decided to do a little mini-series about connecting with readers for the next couple of #authortoolboxbloghop posts. Hope you enjoy! Also, I apologize for getting my post up late today, it’s been a busy week.

As a writer, connecting with your readers is essential. I’ve seen a lot of writers make a concentrated effort to connect with other writers (which is also important), but neglect making connections with readers.  With all the technology we have now, it’s easier than ever to connect with readers all around the world. Today, I’ll be focusing on making connections through blogging.

Here a few tips that have helped me:

Determine who you readers are. Before anything else, you have to know who you’re readers are. It might be tempting to say “everyone”, but while we all want “everyone” to read our books, your outreach will not be effective if your target readership is too broad.  I write YA, and specifically fantasy with a fairy-tale twist, so I know I want to connect with others who enjoy reading fantasy and fairy-tale retellings.

See what kind of blogs your readers follow. Once you’ve determined your ideal readers, then you need to find the kind of blogs they like to follow. A google search can help with this.  Type in your genre followed by  “book blog”.  I’ve discovered the YA community is great, and many of the readers are also avid bloggers. They enjoy book blogs with book reviews, reading challenges, and awesome giveaways.

Format your blog accordingly. After you’ve seen the kind of blogs your readers like, you can format yours similarly. Since I know my readers like book reviews, challenges and giveaways, I make sure to incorporate those things into my blog.

Interact with similar blogs. Not only do you want to research blogs to give you ideas what your readers like, but you also want to interact with these blogs. Comments and likes are key in making connections with others. I keep a list of my favorite YA blogs and set aside time each week to visit and comment on those blogs.

Participate in blog hops or challenges. This is taking it a step further than just commenting or liking. Many communities have a blog hop (similar to this one) or some kind of other challenge where participants search for said challenge (often by a hashtag on social media) to comment and like posts that are part of the challenge. I participate in “Top Ten Tuesday”, a challenge where the host gives a topic for each week and the participants list their top ten books on that topic. It’s a lot of fun to see who else might have listed the same books you did. You can check out my last Top Ten Tuesday post here.

These are just some of the things that have helped me make some great friends and find my readers via blogging. What are some ways you make connections with readers through your blog? Let me know in the comments!

NanoBlogandSocialMediaHop2

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

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!

 

 

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.