Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Spring TBR List

spring tbr

This week for Top Ten Tuesday, the topic is your Spring TBR list. To find out more about Top Ten Tuesday  and to join in the fun, check out That Artsy girl.

I’m so excited that spring is here! Hopefully the weather here catches up soon. I love warm weather. Summer is my favorite season, with spring a close second. I love seeing the world come alive again and was psyched to choose the books I want to read during this magical season.

All of these books are books I own and I’ve chosen them to help me keep progressing with the #unreadshelfproject2018. I’ll probably have a few other books I’ll read this spring, since I have such a difficult time not getting any books from the library, but I’m going to focus on these books. I’m giving myself until the end of June to finish all the books on the list. 🙂

1. Winter – Marissa Meyer: Now that I finally have the paperback copy of Winter, I can finish the Lunar Chronicles!

2. The Belles – Dhonielle Clayton: I’ve been waiting to read this book for over a year. As soon as I heard about it, I wanted to read it.

3. The Hazel Wood – Melissa Albert: This is another book I’ve been waiting to read, and lucky for me it came in the Febraury Owlcrate. 🙂

4. The Last Namsara – Kristin Ciccarelli: One of the Epic Reads quizzes said I should read this book. After checking it out, I realized I did want to read it, and was surprised I hadn’t heard about it before.

5. Persuasion – Martina Boone: I’ve already read Compulsion, the first book in the Heirs of Watson Island, and loved it. So now I need to finish the series. I also met the author and got this book signed. 🙂

6. Illusion – Martina Boone: This is the third and final book in the Heirs of Watson Island series.

7. Wild Beauty – Anna-Marie McLemore: This book is a perfect spring read, since it is about a special garden. This is another Owlcrate book that I have yet to read.

8. The Wish Granter – C.J. Redwine: I loved The Shadow Queen and I pre-ordered this book as soon as I heard about it. It’s simply been pushed down on my TBR list because I always have library books that have to go back to the library. 🙂

9. Dead To Me – Mary McCoy: This is a mystery set in the 1940’s. I love vintage stories, especially mysteries, so I had to include one on this list.

10. Finding my Edge – Karen Chen: With the Olympics just over and Worlds starting in the next day or so, it’s the perfect time to read this figure skater’s autobiography. Figure skating is one of my favorite sports. 🙂

What’s on your reading list for spring? Let me know in the comments!

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#authortoolboxbloghop, For Writers

Editing, Editing, and More Editing – #authortoolboxbloghop

 

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In honor of March being National Novel Editing Month, I wanted to share some things I’ve learned about editing.  Editing is hard! But it can also be fun – seeing your novel turn into a polished manuscript that’s ready to be published.

When I first started editing, I didn’t know what I was doing, and that made it difficult for me. Rather than just jumping into the editing process, you need to have a plan. And to make a good plan, you need to understand the different kinds of editing.

There are four basic types of editing. (Sometimes people lump the first two together, going with three types, but I find it easier to work with four.)

1. Developmental Editing – This editing looks at your novel as a whole. Does everything make sense? Have you shared all the information the readers needs? Have you shared unnecessary things? Are things happening in the right order? Are there any plot holes? At this stage you’re not worrying about spelling and grammar – you’re just trying to be sure your story makes sense.

2. Content Editing – This is a more in depth version of the developmental edit. You’re looking at overall style and pacing, checking to be sure that you’ve sufficiently corrected any plot holes or any other content issues. Are you using the same tense throughout? Does the point of view stay the same, or only change when you intend it to? Is the story a cohesive manuscript?

3. Copy Editing – This stage of editing is when you start looking at grammar and spelling errors. Are there any awkward sentences that need to fixed? Is everything spelled correctly? Are you using the right words for what you want to say? Have you left out any words? Have you used a certain word too many times? Have you used too many adverbs? Have you used the passive voice too often?

4. Proofreading – In theory, this is the final edit – checking line by line to be sure there are no more errors. Sometimes this needs to be done a few times by a few different eyes.

Once you understand the types of edits, you can make your plan. Depending of whether you intend to self-publish, or publish through a traditional publishing house, your plan may vary slightly. Also, you have to understand how you work so you can determine how many rounds of edits you might need.

Stephen King suggests going through three rounds of edits before you ever show your manuscript to anyone, and I agree with him. You certainly want to do a developmental and a content edit before anyone looks at your manuscript, so you can be sure your novel is conveying what you want it to convey.

My editing plan goes as follows (I am still in the middle of this process, and am planning to self-publish my novels):

I typically do three or four rounds of development/content edits (usually two on the computer and two on paper), then send my manuscript to my beta readers. After they have finished with it, I take in all their notes, go through a final content round and a round or two of copy edits, and send it off to my editor.

After my editor has finished, I take in her notes and do two rounds of copy edits. Then I give the manuscript to some friends and family (who have an extensive knowledge of grammar/spelling rules ect.) for a proof. I take in their notes and make corrections, and then do another final proof on paper. So before my manuscript is finished, it typically goes through 10-15 edits, and sometimes more.

What about you? Do you have an editing plan you always follow? What’s your favorite part of the editing process? 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 Favorite Book Quotes

Today, I’m participating in Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. I love this idea. It’s such a great way to connect with other book nerds, so I’m going to try to participate most weeks. 🙂 Today’s theme is book quotes.

book quotes

At first, I wasn’t sure how many book quotes I knew, but after some research I realized I knew more than I thought. I included quotes from some classics and some from favorite recent reads. Hope you enjoy!

1. “I want to do something splendid…something heroic or wonderful that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead. I don’t know what, but I’m on the watch for it and mean to astonish you all someday.”
― Louisa May Alcott, Little Women                                                                                                    (This speech Jo gives about her dreams is one of the reasons I love her so much, and I had to include something from Little Women since it’s been such a longtime favorite.)

2. “I promise, I will not let you die without being kissed.”
― Marissa Meyer, Cress                                                                                                                          (Cress and Thorne are my favorite couple from The Lunar Chronicles.)

3. “As the poets say, stories are truth told through lies.”
― Jessica Khoury, The Forbidden Wish

4. “I am confident, I am capable, and I will not wait to be rescued by a woodsman or a hunter.”
― Jackson Pearce, Sisters Red

5. “I said: “He cannot be so bad if he loves roses so much.”
“But he is a Beast,” said Father helplessly.
I saw that he was weakening, and wishing only to comfort him I said, “Cannot a Beast be tamed?”
― Robin McKinley, Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast

6. “Mirrors only show us what we are. Books show us what we can be.”
― Jennifer Donnelly, Beauty and The Beast: Lost in a Book                                                         (I loved this book and it’s so quotable, I had to include a few from it.)

7. “Isn’t that what a good story does? It pulls you in and never lets you go.”
― Jennifer Donnelly,  Beauty and The Beast: Lost in a Book

8. “Reading became my sanctuary,” Belle continued. “I found so much in those books. I found histories that inspired me. Poems that delighted me. Novels that challenged me…” Belle paused, suddenly self-conscious. She looked down at her hands, and in a wistful voice, said, “What I really found, though, was myself.”
― Jennifer Donnelly, Beauty and The Beast: Lost in a Book

9. “Roses have both petals and thorns, my dark flower. You needn’t believe something weak because it appears delicate. Show the world your bravery.”
― Kerri Maniscalco, Stalking Jack the Ripper

10. “For there are no limits to the stars, their numbers infinite. Which is precisely why I measure my love for you by the stars. An amount too boundless to count.”
― Kerri Maniscalco, Hunting Prince Dracula

 

What are some of your favorite book quotes? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

My Stories

Once Upon A Time… (Part 3)

And here is the final installment in my fairy tale for Fairy Tale Day. If you missed the first two parts, you can find them here: Part 1 and Part 2.

Part 3

The next morning, Maria reached into the SATCHEL she had packed and pulled out the lovely new dress the medicine woman had given her. A deep purple with golden roses embroidered across the dress, it was finer than any anything Maria had ever owned.

“We can’t have our princess looking like a peasant,” the old woman had said.

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After she was dressed, Maria went out and found the medicine woman. Today they were going to find Edward’s real parents. They rode out to the very edge of the castle grounds where a tiny cottage stood up against the wall.

At first, Maria thought there was no way in, for all she could see where great GREEN bushes. But when they got a little closer, she could see a simple wooden DOOR. Once they reached the door, the medicine woman dismounted.

“Wait here,” she told Maria. She went and knocked on the door. It opened just a crack, and then the medicine woman disappeared behind it.

After what seemed like forever, the medicine woman came out. She smiled and nodded at Maria before climbing onto her horse.

As they headed back to the castle, Maria admired the beautiful LANDSCAPE, all green and bright, with the castle rising up from it like a shimmering jewel. She couldn’t believe she was the true heir to it all.

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That night the king held a grand party. All the nobles of the land were there. The villagers gathered their instruments and entered the ballroom to play. They had only finished one song when Will stepped forward.

“And now we present to you the true heir, the Princess Maria!” Gasps and whispers filled the ballroom.

The medicine woman came forward and told what the king had done all those years ago. When she had finished, a CLOAKED FIGURE stepped out of the SHADOWS and pushed through the crowd. He stopped before the king.

“Is this true?” he asked.

The king tried to speak, but his throat closed up and he could only nod. The figure threw back his hood and everyone knew why the king couldn’t speak. The cloaked man was the great wizard Griffin. No one dared question him.

Griffin reached out his HAND to Maria. “Come, Princess. It is time to reclaim your throne.” Cheers filled the ballroom, and the party resumed.

The next day the king sent out a royal proclamation stating that Maria was his true heir and would be treated as such. The punishment for rising up against Princess Maria would be DEATH. Edward was reunited with his real parents, and the king was reprimanded for his lies. A council was formed to keep him in line. And Princess Maria had a life she’d never dreamed possible. Eventually she married Will, and they lived happily ever after.

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My Stories

Once Upon a Time… (Part 2)

This is the second part of my fairy tale for National Fairy Tale Day. If you missed the first part you can check it out here: here.

Part 2

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They went deep into the forest and Will instructed them to HIDE. After what seemed like hours, the sound of dragons and soldiers fighting faded. Will rounded everyone back up and they trudged on through the forest.

Soon joyful MUSIC drifted toward them. Will guided the travelers closer to the sound. They broke through the trees and entered the very village where Will had left the princess. The villagers were celebrating the discovery of the princess. They were pleased to see that the king’s spoiled son wasn’t the only choice to rule the kingdom.

Will found Maria in the medicine woman’s cottage packing a bag.

“What are you doing?” he asked her.

“I’ve spent long enough doing nothing. Now I have chance to do something, and I’m taking it,” she replied.

“What exactly are you going to do?” 

“I’m going to face my father and ask him why he abandoned me and my mother in a tower for all these years.” She brushed past Will and yanked open the cottage door.

Will grabbed her arm halting her exit. “While I love your ADVENTUROUS spirit, you can’t just go charging into the palace. It was chaos when we left. You’re going to have to have a plan, and some help.”

Maria stopped. She sighed and dropped her bag to the floor. “I suppose you’re right,” she said. She crossed her arms. “And I suppose you have such a plan?” she asked.

Will nodded and explained his plan.

The villagers helped the visitors gather all the musical instruments to be found. They crammed themselves and the instruments into the five wagons the little village owned. The few people who wouldn’t fit in the wagons rode horses and mules. It was nearly sunset by the time they reached the capital.

CAPTIVATED by the castle stretching up into the sky, Maria pulled her mount to a stop and stared. Will pulled her forward, not wanting to draw unwanted attention to their caravan. He didn’t stop until they reached the castle guards.

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“We’re here to play for the king. We’re the largest musical group in the land.” Will told the guards.

The biggest guard gave an EVIL laugh. “And you think you can just waltz in through the main entrance? Because you’re the ‘largest musical group in the land’?”

The rest of the guards roared with laughter. Maria clutched Will’s arm, afraid they wouldn’t even gain entrance to the palace.

“You’ve got to go the back entrance like the rest of the kings servants.” The guard jerked his thumb in the general direction of the back of the castle. The caravan started that way as the guard muttered, “Morons.”

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At the back entrance, a guard motioned them in. He directed them to a stable where they would spend the night. Once everyone had settled in, Maria turned to Will.

“So this is good, right? We’re in.”

“Yeah, it worked great. They certainly didn’t suspect a thing. It was almost like we were protected by an invisible MAGICAL SHIELD.”

Even though his words were convincing, his face wasn’t. He stared into the FLAMES as he stirred the fire.

“You’d better get some sleep, Maria. You have a big day tomorrow. I’ll keep watch out here.”

Maria didn’t want to leave him there, but what could she do? Sitting up all night wouldn’t prepare her for tomorrow, so she got up and went into the stable to sleep.

I apologize to those who were waiting to see this yesterday. I’ve been ill and was unable to post. Part 3 will go up tomorrow.

My Stories

Once Upon A Time…

In honor of National Fairy Tale Day, I am posting one of my own fairy tales. 🙂 This tale was created last summer when I participated in an instagram writing challenge – #onceuponyourstory. It was so much fun! There was a prompt for each day, and you added to your story using these prompts.

I had so many ideas while I created this story – ways to turn it into a novel and even ideas for other novels. It was a great writing exercise.

Since it’s a bit longer than an ordinary blog post, I’ve split it into three parts, and the next two parts I’ll post tomorrow and Wednesday. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Also, if you’re on Instagram, (I’m @charityrau), today is the last chance to enter my giveaway there for a copy of Cinderella’s Dress by Shonna Slayton as well as some other goodies.

Part 1

Once upon a time, a servant girl bore the king a child. Angry that the child was a daughter and not a son, the king banished the servant and the baby to the TALLEST TOWER in the kingdom.

The same night, another BABY WAS BORN in the cottage of the castle’s groundskeeper. The groundskeeper and his wife were thrilled as they had given up all hope of ever having a child. When the king heard that this child was a boy, he sent his soldiers to seize the baby, for he had proclaimed to the entire kingdom that his barren wife was going to have a child. Having banished the baby girl that was to be the “queen’s child”, he needed a baby to present to the kingdom.

He demanded that the baby’s parents and everyone else involved in his plotting keep their silence. Death would be the penalty for a wagging tongue. But even the threat of death can’t keep some secrets.

The next morning, the king declared there would be a three day FEAST to celebrate his son’s birth. He invited everyone in the land, and the party was a great success. No one suspected that the baby wasn’t truly a prince.

The king named his stolen child Edward, and on Edward’s eighteenth birthday the king threw a massive party. RED, WHITE AND BLUE flags flew throughout the entire kingdom. All MEN OF ELIGIBLE age were invited to come and compete for a chance to become a knight.

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Meanwhile, in the tower, the servant girl still lived with her daughter. Even more misfortune had befallen the servant, for she had become gravely ill. Her daughter pleaded with the guards to bring help. Most ignored her pleas, but the new guard on the night watch, Will, took mercy upon her and went for help. By the time he brought the old medicine woman to the tower, it was too late.

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The medicine woman recognized the girl’s mother for she had been the one who had delivered the girl so many years ago at the palace.

“You’re the true heir -the only offspring of the king. What is your name, child?” 

“Maria, ma’am. But what am I to do now? No one would ever believe that I’m heir to the throne.” Tears trickled down her face as she looked down at her worn dress. “I can’t stay in this tower any longer. Without my mother, I’ll go crazy.”

“Don’t worry, dear. You can come with me,” the medicine woman said.
Then the medicine woman and Will formed a plan. They would spread Maria’s story throughout the kingdom in hopes of rallying the people to her side.

Will headed for the palace to compete in the knights competition and to gather some knights willing to fight for Maria.

He reached the castle just in time for the sword fights. All participants were divided into two teams and were lined up facing each other. Will took his position in line. SWORDS CLASHED as the two lines charged one another.

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BLOOD spilled as the fights raged on, but when it was over, Will was still standing. He passed through the rest of the soldiers and found some willing to fight for Maria. The king was often unfair, so it wasn’t hard to find those willing to stand against him. The willing ones would all meet together under the cover of night to make a plan.

Word had spread quickly and people were already questioning Edward’s right to the CROWN. The king was furious. He called for all his soldiers and commanded them to seize anyone who said his son wasn’t the true heir. With soldiers searching everywhere, Will knew they had to MOVE QUICKLY.

The people were all ready and waiting at the inn where Will had asked them to meet.

“The king is searching for us. We have to leave town now! ” He explained as gathered everyone up and led them out into the streets. He cleared a narrow path through a SEA OF PEOPLE, hoping they could leave the city gates before the guards found them. They reached the gates and just made it through, when there was a shout behind them.

“That’s them! The people that was speaking against the kings son!”

Will looked back. A weathered old man in rags was yanking on a soldier”s arm and pointing at them. The soldier yelled for his comrades and they all charged out of the gates.

Will scrambled onward trying to think of how they could escape capture. It seemed impossible. Then a sudden BURST OF LIGHT shot across the sky. There was a roar like thunder. Will looked up.

A herd of DRAGONS filled the SKY. Their scales sparkled in the sunlight, a rainbow of blue, green and gold. Will had never seen anything so beautiful or so fearsome. He stumbled BACKWARDS, keeping his eyes on the dragons. They swooped down.

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Their targets were the king’s soldiers. Will realized this was his chance.

“INTO THE WOODS!” He yelled as he turned and led the way.

Reading Challenge

Fairytale Bingo Reading Challenge

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With National Fairy Tale Day coming up tomorrow (February 26th), I felt it appropriate to share one of the other reading challenges I’m doing this year to help me get through the #unreadshelfchallenge2018.

This is a bingo challenge, and it’s the second bingo challenge I’ve done. There are two ways to complete the challenge. You can either choose to get a BINGO (five squares in a row- horizontally, vertically or diagonally), or you can choose to complete the whole board.
fairytale bingo

I’m going to focus on completing a BINGO for the next month or so, but am aiming to complete the whole board by the end of the year. I have already read Spindle by Shonna Slayton (and loved it 🙂 ), but that’s the only square I’ve filled in so far.

The Fairytale Forum facebook group (ran by Ashlee Willis and Shonna Slayton) is hosting this challenge. If you love fairytales, you should definitely check this group out.

And tomorrow, I will be posting an original fairy tale to my blog. Be sure to check it out! 🙂

How will you be celebrating National Fairy Tale Day? Let me know in the comments.