Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Wednesday Words: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

So I'm going to go ahead and date this for yesterday, because I forgot to post. That's what I get for taking a break.

Happy Wednesday! On the 2nd Wednesday of the month, I share what I am currently reading and provide a line or few from a randomly chosen page. This week, I am reading Roshani Chokshi's The Star-Touched Queen.

I've never read Indian mythology or folklore, so because this book is "steeped with" it, as the blurb says, this is a whole new world for me. But so far, I'm liking what I'm reading. Here is the premise:

"Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself."

Even this didn't give anything away for me, because in the first 60 pages a lot happens! It's an intense start with a lot of great imagery. I have one big suspicion that I'm going to hold on to. If it doesn't happen, I'll be pleasantly surprised.

I am 92 pages into the book, and because I don't want to spoil anything for myself, I will let generate up to page 93. It chose page 72, so let me share a line from there.

The inhabitants of the Otherworld moved airily through the Night Bazaar, sidestepping dancing conch shells and examining iridescent fruits. With their long limbs, stark cheekbones and symmetrical features, they were too perfect to be mistaken as human. 

That last line creeps me out a little. It gives me the feeling that they look human but eerily too human. It reminds me of a scene from The Haunting where the main character is trapped in a room of mirrors, and the first one she looks in, her reflection is almost her but not, and then it smiled, and I died.

What are you reading this week?

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

IWSG: Well, May Went By TOO Quickly

Happy May! It's the first Wednesday of the month, and that means it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, where we throw our insecurities to the wolves that are other insecure writers. Visit the website and the captain of this crew, Alex J. Cavanaugh to participate and visit the co-hosts for the month.

I totally do not remember what happened to make May fly by like it did. I'm pretty sure I read two books. *looks at Goodreads* So I read one book, and that was poetry. I took one more look at Fractured Princess to clear up any typos and continuity errors. That only took me a week, as I had my office to myself for a couple days.

BUT, I did get a lot of work done on a joint project which I can't say much about yet, but I'm very excited! It might involve a bit of travel so I can work with my friend, but it depends on her schedule and my money flow. I just can't wait to share it!

This month's question: What's harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

Well, for a while there, while I was writing YA Romance that no one will ever see, my book titles were the names of the two main characters, so obviously, I had no idea what to name the books haha. Character names come much more quickly for me, unless I need to change them, which I've done to two characters: Jonnie in Fractured Princess and a character formerly named Remi in my NA/A Fantasy project. He's a guard to a princess, and as I read The Belles, I learned there is a guard named Remy, and I was like, "Aw, crap." haha I would've kept the name, but Remi is going to be a pivotal character in my story, as is Remy in Dhonielle's from the looks of it, so I can figure something else out by the time I write "the end" on that project.

How about you? How was May?

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

See you in June!

Hi all!

I'm actually going to take a break for the next few weeks. Working on some things, trying to recalibrate my headspace. Etc. Enjoy May! Spring is here, and I'm loving it (except for the allergies, but ah well)!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Insecure Writer's Support Group: All is One & One is All

Happy May! It's the first Wednesday of the month, and that means it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, where we throw our insecurities into a pile and point at them angrily. Something close to that.

I was going to post about my anxiety and nerves about querying again. I've been holding off on it, and at this point I know it's because I'm scared of yet another series of rejections. But I have to pick myself up by the bootstraps and just do it! I'm writing other stories again, too, so I know my passion is still there. I just have to reignite my motivation and willpower.

Back to my first thought, I was going to post about that, but I read Dianne Salerni's IWSG from the 23rd, "Making Rejection Your Motivation", and I'm once again reminded that it's not just me who feels this way!

And that's what IWSG is for: so we know we're not alone! So, thank you, Dianne; I hope you see this, and I hope others read her post and feel the same way. <3

For those who made it through A to Z, congratulations! How did you do? What did you write about all April? Are you taking a break or delving right back into blogging?

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Wednesday Words: Universal Fan Con

I did not plan to talk about this right now. It just came out of my fingers.

I was supposed to be at Universal Fan Con on Friday, but I received an e-mail last Friday that it is postponed because they didn't have enough money to give us the convention we deserved.

I'm still trying to process that, and if you've been on Twitter the past week, you may have seem some more than livid people who were also supposed to attend, some who--unlike myself, who only lives a couple hours from Baltimore and was able to cancel my hotel and parking--are forced to come to Baltimore regardless.

For those who don't know, Universal Fan Con was created for fans of color and other marginalized groups who don't often feel comfortable at the major Comic Cons for various reasons. This would have been my first big convention (Dover has a free one in the Summer), so I had to really build myself up to go. I wasn't even going the whole 3 days, but I've only really lost my original $35 in backing the Kickstarter. Others--fans, vendors, etc.--have lost more.

There are a lot of fingers being pointed, a lot of excuses and explanations that aren't really acceptable, but a bunch of groups got together and are doing a Pop-up Convention call Wicomicon for those who are stuck going to Baltimore this weekend. I've already made plans since, so I can't go, but I really hope everyone has a great time, and it's great that this group is saving the day.

There's still a lot of research I need to do about the people involved, because I'm hearing things now that I haven't before. Something in me KNEW I wouldn't be going to this convention, especially when I received an e-mail for people to confirm their tickets by clicking a link in a previous e-mail I didn't receive because they said they couldn't charge my card (though they did, so that was terrible communication right there). If things turn back around, then perhaps I can trust the parties involved again, but I'm still on a very unsteady fence about the whole ordeal.

Either way, I have off Friday, so I'll be chilling.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Late Night With Wednesday Words: The Belles

So, I was going to go ahead and push this to Thursday because it'll be after 9PM by the time I post this, but I'm a stickler for my blog schedule.

I am currently reading for pleasure again, so of course the first book I am opening is Dhonielle Clayton's The Belles.

This COVER! It's so beautiful. And when you open the book, there is a HOT PINK MAP. You guys know I love pink. haha

Here is the book blurb:

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.

The magic of and in this book so far, and the imagery and descriptions are captivating! I can't wait to read what happens, so hopefully I can steal some time (I think I mentioned already that this is a busy month for me). If nothing else, I'll be on two planes Monday morning, so I'll have time to read then.

I'm 132 pages in already, so as to not spoil anything for potential readers (and myself), I'll use to pick a page up to that point.  Page 71!

Even though I've been dressed and measured and primped so many times, I still hate the feeling in these moments that my body doesn't belong to me. I become a doll--an object to be embellished.

These lines are a good example of the tone set in this book. There's glitz and glamour and magical cosmetics, but something is amiss in the world of Orléans, and I can't wait to find out what it is!

Also, there are teacup animals.

I'll be in Costa Rica next week, so no Tuesday Tales. Maybe the week after, if I feel like messing up my schedule. ;) See you guys in 2 weeks!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Insecure Writer's Support Group: TAKE THE BREAK

Happy April, everyone!

Some people are participating in Poetry-A-Day. Others are diving into A-to-Z. Have fun! My sanity has once again prevailed, and I'm doing neither.

But today is the first Wednesday of the month, and that means it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Please visit the site and the site of our founder, Alex J. Cavanaugh to join us, visit this month's co-hosts, and to meet some new faces.

This month's question is as follows: When your writing life is a bit cloudy or filled with rain, what do you do to dig down and keep on writing?

Hm...this implies that you have to try to keep on writing during those days. I don't buy into the "if you don't write every day you're not a writer" ideology, so if you're in a rut, it's okay. I take that time to dive into reading, do another hobby that isn't reading or writing, so just *gasp* vegging out. Let your head clear. If you have a dire, burning need to write in that time, then by all means do it, but don't feel like you absolutely have to if you just...can't. *shrug*

See you around the blogosphere.