Beauty and the Beast Series, Reading Challenge

It’s time for another fairytale series! If you missed my first series (The Cinderella Series), you can check it out here.  With the new Beauty and the Beast movie about to be released (which I’m super psyched about), I thought it fitting to do a Beauty and the Beast series.

This time I wanted to make it a challenge that anyone can participate in. I’ve chosen five retellings. I’ve already read two of them, and I love them! The rest are books I have on my TBR list. If you love Beauty and the Beast, I think you’ll enjoy them all.

I’ve added the Goodreads links for each book, and listed the date on which I’ll post a review, here on my blog, with discussion questions.

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly (on Goodreads) March 23, 2017

As Old as Time by Liz Braswell (on Goodreads) April 3, 2017

Beauty by Robin McKinley (on Goodreads) May 3, 2017

Beauty and the Beast by K.M. Shea (on Goodreads) May 15, 2017

Hunted by Meagan Spooner (on Goodreads) May 29, 2017

You can choose to read all of them or just the ones you want. I’ve given about two weeks reading time for each book, but if you don’t finish a book by its review post that’s okay. They’ll be nonspoiler reviews. And you can always go back to the said book’s post and comment after you finish reading it.

You can participate in discussion on Twitter and Instagram too. Just use #bbreadingchallenge. I’ll also have a giveaway or two (Beauty and the Beast themed stuff) to go along with this challenge, so be on the lookout. 🙂

If you’ve already read some of this books, that’s okay too. You can still hop in on the discussions and let us know what you think about the book.

 

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Save Money on Professional Edits—6 Easy Ways to Clean Up Your Own Manuscript

Some great tips for editing your work!

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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Over my career I have literally edited thousands of works, most of them written by emerging writers. My greatest frustration always was (and still is) when I couldn’t even GET to critiquing the deeper story elements because I was too distracted by these all too common oopses.

Good editors are NOT cheap. There are also many editors who charge by the hour. If they’re spending their time fixing oopses you could’ve easily repaired yourself? You’re burning cash and time. Yet, correct these problems, and editors can more easily get to the MEAT of your novel. This means you will spend less money and get far higher value.

#1 The Brutal Truth about Adverbs, Metaphors and Similes

I have never met an adverb, simile, or metaphor I didn’t LOVE. I totally dig description, but it can present problems.

First of all, adverbs are not ALL evil. Redundant adverbs are evil. If…

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Blogger awards

Liebster Award

I was nominated for one other award this summer – the Liebster Award.  It’s taken me awhile, but I’ve nominated a few of my favorite blogs for this award. This works similar to the other awards.

You answer the questions from the person who nominated you. Thanks to Marge Tesch for nominating me! After answering the questions, you nominate up to 11 other people, then ask them 11 questions.

Questions from Marge:

1.How long have you been blogging, and what motivated you to start your blog? I’ve been actively blogging about a year and a half. I started my blog as a way to communicate with my readers and share all the info about my upcoming books.
2. In a single sentence, what is your blog about? On my blog, I share good books as well as bits of my life with my readers.
3. How did you decide on the name for your blog? It’s my author blog, so by default it got my name 🙂
4. Where do you get the ideas for your blog posts and how often do you post? I get inspiration from lots of things: books, movies, things that happen to me. I try to post once a week.  (I’m better at this some times, and not so good at it at other times.)
5. Do you ever get “writer’s block,” and, if so, how do you deal with it? Not a lot, but when I do have trouble thinking of something to write about, I take a step back from the computer. I go and do something else for awhile. When I come back, I am usually able to come up with something.
6. What’s your favorite post that you’ve written? Could you provide a link to that post? This is a hard question, but after skimming through my blog post, I decided on Interview with Jessica Day George. This was the first author interview I did.  It was pretty exciting and a lot of fun to do!
7. What is the best advice you can give your fellow bloggers about how to get new subscribers? Interact with other bloggers. Comment and share.
8. Do you belong to any writers’ or bloggers’ associations and, if so, which ones? I am in several facebook writer groups – Platform Challenged, Word Nerds Unite, The Motivated Writer, and Institute of Children’s Literature
9. Where will we find you on social media? FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest
10. Other than blogging, what is your favorite activity? Spending time with family. I also like reading a lot 🙂
11. What one thing would you like to be remembered for? Writing books that people love and remember forever. I want my books to inspire people.

These blogs all have great content. You’ll want to check them all out if you haven’t seen them before.  A lot of them have some cool Instagram accounts too!

And My Nominees:

Brianna Mae Morgan

Heir of Glitter

DM Simpson

Connie Cockrell

Juanita Millhouse

Trena’s Adventures

The Hunt For Paperbacks

Timea Stan

Gabrielle

The Reality Bug

Long for Writing

Questions for nominees:

  1. What inspired you to start a blog?
  2. How long have you been blogging?
  3. What is your favorite book and why?
  4. What are some of your hobbies (besides writing)?
  5. What is the best writing tip you’ve ever been given?
  6. What is the first thing (that you haven’t yet done) on your bucket list?
  7. If you could choose to spend a day anywhere in the world, where would you spend it?
  8. Are you a cat person, a dog person, or both?
  9. What do you do to get rid of writer’s block?
  10. Which of your blog posts is the best one/favorite one you’ve ever written? (Feel free to share a link to the post.)
  11. What do you most want readers to take away from reading your blog?

And to the nominees, no pressure. I understand as writers and readers we have busy lives. I look forward to reading the answers to the questions when you have a chance to post them!

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My Best Reads of 2016

I read a lot of good books this year(I read a total of 60). It was hard to narrow them down to a short list, but these are the ones that finally made it:

 

cinder

Cinder by Marissa Meyer. This retelling of Cinderella was set in a futuristic space age world, and I loved it! I’m not that into Star Wars and stuff like that, so I wasn’t sure if I would like this book, but it delivered.  The characters are relatable, the world-building is amazing, and I couldn’t put the book down.  I’ve already bought the rest of the books in this series, but haven’t read them yet. This was one of my top five reads for the year, and tied with another book for my top read.

 

theshallowgraves

These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly. This was a mystery set in the Victorian era. A young woman tries to discover what really happened to her father – she knows he didn’t kill himself like everyone is saying. An attractive reporter aids her in her search. I loved the heroine. She has the courage to face the truth even when it isn’t easy, and she doesn’t let the strict standards of the time prevent her from finding answers. This was one of my top five reads for the year.

 

glitteringcourt

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead.  The Glittering Court offers servant girls the opportunity to change their lot in life. They are taken to a special place where they are trained to be ladies before they are sent to a newly discovered country where they will marry the noblemen who already live there. Though already a lady, Adelaide pretends to be a servant and sneaks into this group to escape marriage to an odious man. There was lots of glamour and adventure in this book.

 

thesiren

The Siren by Kiera Cass. This was a beautiful retelling of “The Little Mermaid”. Both main characters were willing to sacrifice everything for the one they loved. I even cried a little while reading this book.

 

thegreathunt

The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins. A giant beast attacks the kingdom, and the king calls all the hunters to help catch the beast.  The prize for killing the beast, the hand of his daughter in marriage.  The princess balks at marrying a stranger, but wants to save the kingdom, so she agrees.  Once the hunters arrive at the palace, she is surprised to find she connects with one in particular. The only thing I didn’t like was the cliffhanger this book ended on.  I can hardly wait to read the second book.

 

queenofhearts

Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes. This is a story about the future queen of hearts. Dinah is set to become queen, but not everyone is willing for that to happen. It seems she can’t really trust anyone. Her enemies aren’t just seeking the crown, they are also seeking to take her life. Another cliffhanger, but the next book comes out this month! This was one of my top five reads, and the other book tied for my favorite read of the year.

 

ruined

Ruined by Amy Tintera. Emelina’s family has all been killed.  She seeks revenge by posing as the prince’s intended.  She marries him, planning to infiltrate the kingdom and exact her revenge, but she starts to fall for the prince. I loved the way you see Emelina change through the book, she was relatable and I felt like I was right there with here.

 

theshadowqueen

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine.  I loved this retelling of Snow White. A bit darker than the original, it was full of adventure and romance.  The heroine is brave and determined.  This was one of my top three reads for the year!

 

daughterofdeepsilence

Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan. Frances was one of three survivors on a cruise ship that sank. She knows the truth of what really happened, but the other two survivors have fabricated a story that everyone believes. Frances searches for a way to prove the truth. This fast-paced thriller kept me turning pages into the night.

 

worldsofinkandshadow

Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley.  Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne Bronte have created worlds that come to life. They love venturing inside those worlds to escape the mundaneness of their lives. But Branwell starts to loose his sanity and the girls begin to loose their grip on the real world. When they try to let go, the characters they have created turn against them, refusing to let them leave. A bit different from what I usually read, I really enjoyed this book.  It gave some insight to the Bronte siblings lives and the relationships they had with one another.  After reading this book, I was motivated to find out more about the Brontes.

 

theforbiddenwish

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury. This is an unique take on Aladdin.  Zahra is the jinni in the lamp Aladdin finds. As she stays with Aladdin, waiting to grant him his three wishes, she starts to fall in love with him.  When she’s offered the chance to be free of the lamp forever, she must decide if her freedom is worth losing Aladdin. This was one of my top five reads for the year!

If you want to check out the rest of my reads for the year, you can see them on goodreads here.  What was your favorite read in 2016?  Let me know in the comments!

Little O's Journal

Little O’s Observation Journal: Entry 2

Christmastime is one of my favorite times.  My mom puts up a bunch of pretty decorations.  I especially like the stuffed ones.  They’re just like my toys – lots of fun to play with.

And my parents put a tree up inside the house – just like the ones outside.  I love the tree, even though I’m not allowed to treat it like the trees that are outside.  I like looking at all of its twinkling lights.

There are boxes wrapped in pretty paper underneath the tree and several of them are for me. After they sit there awhile, we’ll get to open them. It’s so fun to rip away the paper and see what’s underneath. I always get new toys and tasty treats!

There’s also lots of food – ham, potatoes, veggies, and bread.  I hang around under the table and catch all the stuff that falls.  Sometimes, people hand me stuff too 🙂 My sister, Minnie, hangs under there with me too.  (My dad’s parents adopted her the same time I was adopted.)

It such a great time of year, and I wish everyone the best!!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

-From Little O

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P.S. Don’t forget to enter my mom’s giveaway for Queen of Hearts, an “Alice in Wonderland coloring book, and a set of colored pencils.  It runs until Thursday. To enter go here!

 

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Tis The Season To Give: So, A Special Giveaway!

I haven’t posted much lately, but I have been busy!  I participated in Nanowrimo, and I’ve been working on preparing  my first novel for publication. I’m going to be able to share details about that soon.  I’m very excited about that, but for the next couple of weeks, I will just be posting regularly here. I certainly didn’t want to neglect posting about my favorite holiday!

The holidays are such a special time of year. Lots of festivities, beautiful decorations, and people are generally  in a happier mood.  And giving gifts to one another is a symbol of the greatest gift God gave us. So for me, one of the best ways to celebrate the season is to give to others.

There are so many ways to give too! You can give gifts you’ve made or bought to loved ones.  You can give toys to underprivileged children. You can give food to those who need it. You can donate to a favorite charity. But not everything has to be monetary. You can also volunteer your time at a shelter or nursing home. And the end of the year is a great time to clean out your closet and donate unwanted clothes.

Regardless of what holiday you celebrate, this is a wonderful time to share with others.  Take time to reflect upon all the blessings you’ve received this year, and consider how you can spread some of that goodness to others.

And in that spirit of giving, I’m having a special giveaway for my followers!  I’m giving away a copy of Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes  (one of my best reads this year) along with a “Alice in Wonderland” coloring book and a set of colored pencils.

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It will run until the 22nd. I will choose a winner on the 23rd and notify them by email. Click on the link below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway