Time Flies, and I lose half a year

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I honestly don’t know where the time has gone with a lot of things right now. The year seems to be flying by, and part of what doesn’t help is my 9-5 has gone from easy to 60mph and I’m barely keeping up some days.

I was given responsibility over like 30 people, all of whom have to attend a conference in December, that I will also be attending. So there’s registration and flights, and a room block to get the best price on all our rooms. And it’s been a circus and like rounding cats at the same time.

If you’ve been following my Twitter, you’ll also know this next bit, but if you haven’t been, in June I ended up falling and ended up with a small fracture in my wrist and was in a cast for three weeks. Having my dominant hand in a cast, not fun. And since then I haven’t really been writing too much.

I’m not sure if it’s a block, or a rut or if I’m just really drained after work that’s been keeping the words at bay. All I know is I sit down at the computer to write, and nothing really comes up to put onto paper. I don’t know if part of my problem is I’m putting too much pressure on myself, and on my tying to write and that’s not helping either.

I was thinking of maybe trying to go to bed at better times during the week and get up an hour earlier to try and write before work. I’m not entirely sure if this would help, or work because I’m so not an early bird, but I’m not sure what else to try because right now I’m not getting much in the way of writing done and I know something needs to change.

With it now being October, it also means we’re into PrepTober, the month that precedes National Novel Writing Month. It’s the 31 days (30 now that it’s the 2nd) where we decide on what we’re going to write during November, plot out the characters, create a list of names to choose from if we need to insert a new character, and outline the story that we’ll be slowly writing out to get all those creative juices flowing.

While I’m still trying to get myself out of this rut, what better way to try than with getting everything ready to write, working out plots and characters, and having my list complete. Also, possibly trying to do a few writer prompts during October. Someone on Twitter created the #grimlist2019 for writers to get both in the October mood and in the writing mood. You can find the original tweet here if you’d like a little more information to participate or the prompt list. I’m not sure if I’m going to post the prompts as I fill them in or keep them to myself for the time being. Part of it depends on how they flow.

And, if my talk of PrepTober hasn’t given it away, I am going to try participating in NaNoWriMo this year. I’m hoping to get one or two shorts finished, and maybe even some editing done for one story that’s almost complete but just needs a few more chapters.

And I do plan to update this blog with my progress for both PrepTober and NaNo. I didn’t mean to lapse in posting for so long, but I guess, as they say sometimes, that is life. All I can do is strive to be better and carve out a little more time for writing posts.

Are you participating in Preptober or NaNo? Leave a comment down below and let me know what you’re working on!

Book Review: Striking Midnight by Jennifer Ellision

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Author: Jennifer Ellision
Publisher: Jennifer Ellison
Genre: Fantasy, Reimagined Fairytale
Rating: 4 Stars

Striking Midnight is a Cinderella retelling that is done well with an engaging plot and vivid world building.

The story predominantly follows Cyndria, Princess of the Solian Kingdom, as she enters into the Kingdom of Noctis and becomes one of many eligible women vying for the chance to become the new King’s bride and Queen.

Cyndria’s kingdom of Sol has been blessed by the sun to forever be in daylight, even during the night hours. Without the reprieve from the sun that night can bring, her people have taken refuge in the tunnels below to escape the harsh heat their sun brings as they strive to work the fields as best they can as the warmth scorches the land.

Knox, new King of the kingdom of Noctis, is watching as his people try to stay warm in the forever dark that being blessed by the night and the moon has granted them. But with only the moon, the lands are cold, and little grows without both the warmth and light of the sun.

Both kingdoms are hurting, and both have a lot to lose if they can’t get the other to sign the Daylight Accords, a magical treaty that shares daylight and night equally between the two kingdoms. A balance to cool Sol and warm Noctis.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story. The prose is well written and flows smoothly to keep the reader interested and not really wanting to put the story down. I loved the spin on Cinderella that this author has taken. While she’s still poised and at the whim of her step-mother, she’s also deadly having been trained by assassins from a very young age. The world feels alive as she travels both through her own kingdom and the kingdom of Noctis. I also really enjoyed the internal struggle as facts came to light and hearts started to become involved.

There are only two mild complaints I have when it comes to the book. While this predominantly follows Cyndria’s point of view, it does occasionally shift to Knox’s but it does this without telling you. While not a huge deal because the characters are distinct enough to recognize the change, it would almost be nice to have a little title at the top of the chapter to tell me which point of view I’m currently in. And the story does leave off on a cliff hanger with everything up in the air. While I understand why authors love to use this technique for books, it leaves me feeling like I’m almost not getting the full story. There are ways to wrap up some of the plot to let me feel like I’ve finished a book and am only waiting for the second, instead of making me feel more like this is part one of a book and I’m waiting for part two of that same book.

In the end, I am looking forward to book two to see how everything will unfold in the stories of Cyndria and Knox.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. All thoughts are my own, and were not colored for receiving a free copy.

Book Review: The Quirky Hitman’s Daughter by Joelee Mayes

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Author: Joelee Mayes
Publisher: Joelee Mayes
Genre: Satire
Rating: 5 Stars

The fifth and final tale of the Quirky series, The Quirky Hitman’s Daughter follows Jordan, the oldest child of Dylan, as she faces college and dating when you have an unusual family dynamic.

Jordan usually starts her dates talking about what her family life is like, not necessarily to scare the men away but to make sure they’re actually up to the task of dating someone with a quirky family. After all, who considers four parents all living in the same house and occasionally the same bed normal? Aside from Jordan, that is.

When Tommy comes along, Jordan pulls all the normal tests to see if he can last longer than the rest. Will she scare him away? Or is his family on par with hers, letting him take everything in stride? Will it work between the two?

Find out in this adorable quirky finale. I loved the finale of the series and highly recommend for a cute, quick read.

Book Review: Twisted Desire by Jessi Elliott

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Author: Jessi Elliott
Publisher: Jessi Elliott
SeriesTwisted #2.5
Genre: Urban Fantasy (New Adult Romance)
Release Date: April 16, 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

Find Twisted Desire on GoodReads

WARNING – There will be Spoilers for Twisted Fate (Book 1) & Twisted Gift (Book 2). Pick up copies before you continue with this review!

Twisted Desire is set between the last chapter and the epilogue of Twisted Gift. It gives us the time after Tristan and Aurora were put into their Fae Protection Plan, letting us know how Skylar and Nikolai were as they took The Experiment on to finish this war.

I will start off by saying that I have been waiting for this book since the last one came out in September of 2018. As much as I loved how Twisted Gift ended for Tristan and Aurora, I was really interested to find out how Nikolai and Skyler were able to take care of both the Fae and handling The Experiment. And I can genuinely say that Twisted Desire did not disappoint.

It was fantastic to have Skylar’s point of view with this book because it let us get to know the prickly Fae a little better as she took on the mantel of being the leader of the Dark Fae to Nikolai’s leading the Light Fae. Mix in the fact that they’re striving to have their people accept the dissolved titles of light and dark, trying to become one people in the face of the threat their whole race faces, as well as the tension between them as they inch around the growing relationship between them and it makes for a read that you don’t want to put down.

Learning about Skylar’s past has left me with a new respect for the character, and caused me to root for her all the harder in this book. It was also nice to see that more serious, leader side of Nikolai as he helped Skyler lead the fae as they worked to take down The Experiment and save their people as they could in the process.

The plot kept the story moving, pushing forward with the ever-present danger The Experiment held over them as they worked to bring this war as an end. There are also several twists and turns that I didn’t see coming that kept me from wanting to put the book down for a second, even to just sleep.

Disclaimer: I did receive an arc of the book in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. All thoughts are my own, and were not colored for receiving the arc.

Remember to Find Twisted Desire on GoodReads

Official Synopsis

Being left to lead the fae alongside an annoyingly charming partner really screws with your life. 

Skylar Chen just received the promotion of an eternity. After Tristan and Aurora trade their esteemed status for mundane life, it’s now her responsibility to lead the fae.

The catch? She has to work with Nikolai Sterling. With his constant smirks and dangerous good looks, he has a way of getting under Skylar’s skin like no one else. Even still, she’d much rather be getting under him.

Sexual tension aside, they have a bigger issue to deal with. The Experiment, a human organization built on hatred toward the fae, threatens to wipe them from existence. It’s time for Skylar and Nikolai to recruit allies, bring the fae together, and prepare for battle.

Fighting to protect her people is something Skylar can manage. It’s the skeletons in her designer closet that make opening up to Nikolai where she’s suddenly out of her element.

In this finale novella, the beloved side characters from Twisted Fate and Twisted Gift take center stage to bring down the organization set on destroying them.

Available Now!

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AU

 

Get the rest of the Series

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AU

About the Author


Jessi Elliott is a law clerk and author of both young adult and new adult romantic fiction. Her love of writing was born after many years of reading and reviewing books on her blog.

She lives in Southwestern Ontario with her adorable cat, Phoebe. Yes, named after the Friends character.

When she’s not plotting her next writing project, she likes to spend her time hanging with friends and family, getting lost in a steamy romance novel, watching Friends, and drinking coffee.

You can find Jessi at www.jessielliott.com, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can join her newsletter to stay up to date on book news and upcoming releases.

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Book Review: Confessions of a Naughty Nanny by Joelee Mayes

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Author: Joelee Mayes
Publisher: Joelee Mayes
Genre: Satire
Rating: 5 Stars

While this is the fourth installment of the Quirky Series, and the previous books do need to be read before it, this book follows Dylan’s nanny, Mona. Just as the title might lead you to believe, it’s the confessions of Mona.  How she ended up involved with Dylan as more than just the nanny, her thoughts when Travis – Jordan’s father – enters the picture, and what happens when she grows close to Travis despite Dylan’s interest in the man.

A short but cute romantic read. Won’t want to miss this.

New Release – Fresh Scars

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Fresh Scars

After a chance run in with a wolf and earning a bite, Ava tries to move forward with her life, but things start to shift as she learns about a world that she never knew existed.

You can find the book HERE for purchase or free to read with the Kindle Unlimited program.

Book Review: The Honorable Judge Hammersmith & The Quirky Hitman’s Baby by Joelee Mayes

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Author: Joelee Mayes 
Publisher: Joelee Mayes
Genre: Satire
Rating: 5 Stars

The Honorable Judge Hammersmith (book 2) continues the story from the first book, The Quirky Hitman.

The trial starts and Dylan is able to help out as three people who were supposed to be dead appear in the court ready to testify.

And, The Quirky Hitman’s Baby (book 3) follows Dylan as she and the two men in her life try to find a balance. But things quickly become unbalanced as Dylan finds herself in the family way.

Just like the first one, these two were quick reads, but very cute with great dialogue and witty characters. Highly recommend them if you’re looking for something cute.

Cover Reveal: Twisted Desire by Jessi Elliott

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Title: Twisted Desire
Series: Twisted #2.5
Author: Jessi Elliott
Genre: Urban Fantasy (New Adult)
Release Date: April 16, 2019
Cover Credit: Arijana Karčić, Cover It! Designs

 

 

 
Being left to lead the fae alongside an annoyingly charming partner really screws with your life.
 
Skylar Chen just received the promotion of an eternity. After Tristan and Aurora trade their esteemed status for mundane life, it’s now her responsibility to lead the fae.
 
The catch? She has to work with Nikolai Sterling. With his constant smirks and dangerous good looks, he has a way of getting under Skylar’s skin like no one else. Even still, she’d much rather be getting under him.
 
Sexual tension aside, they have a bigger issue to deal with. The Experiment, a human organization built on hatred toward the fae, threatens to wipe them from existence. It’s time for Skylar and Nikolai to recruit allies, bring the fae together, and prepare for battle.
 
Fighting to protect her people is something Skylar can manage. It’s the skeletons in her designer closet that make opening up to Nikolai where she’s suddenly out of her element.
 
In this finale novella, the beloved side characters from Twisted Fate and Twisted Gift take center stage to bring down the organization set on destroying them.

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Jessi Elliott is a law clerk and author of both young adult and new adult romantic fiction. Her love of writing was born after many years of reading and reviewing books on her blog.
She lives in Southwestern Ontario with her adorable cat, Phoebe. Yes, named after the Friends character.
When she’s not plotting her next writing project, she likes to spend her time hanging with friends and family, getting lost in a steamy romance novel, watching Friends, and drinking coffee.
You can find Jessi at www.jessielliott.com, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can join her newsletter to stay up to date on book news and upcoming releases.

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Too cluttered – then derailed

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So, I was prepared to come on and say that while my writing hasn’t been that successful the last week. I think I’ve written a total of like 600 words, and I’m already considering scrapping them for something different, but at least I’ve written.

But I just received an email about a co-worker passing this weekend. So I’m not as up as I was when I started to write this post. It’s the fourth death in my circle in the last couple weeks. It’s been a hard March so far. Two were family members of people I work with, and two – including this most recent – were people I worked with on a semi-regular basis.

So instead of rambling or discussing word count or goals, I’m just going to leave you with these origami sculptures that were at the Arboretum near me a few years ago. There was an incredible sense of peace and reflection as I wandered the grounds to find them all. And I feel like for today, I need that peace and reflection again.

Each piece was folded out of a giant piece of paper, that was then used to create a mold for the metal to be poured into so that each fold was shown in the sculpture itself.

All credit for these beautiful pieces of art goes to the artist, Kevin Box. The exhibit’s official name was Botanical Peace. Morton Arboretum’s name for it was Origami in the Garden.

March – Thanks for the -3 this morning

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So Feb wasn’t a good month. I had too much going on at work and it kind of killed my brain a lot. That and with the weather shift, my mood has kind of tanked. And with my mood tanking, my will to write, read, or really do anything productive goes with it. weekends have been some cleaning, some crocheting but not much else.

We had cold in Feb, like in the negatives cold, and we had warm in Feb, like 50’s and all the snow and ice are melted and flooding any rivers and houses near the rivers (mine). I had flooding in the basement again due to the spike in temperature to deal with.

It’s been a month.

I think my mood is also toeing the depression line, so I’m trying to keep myself at least moving forward to not fall to that completely. (No one particular thing in my life, no real rhythm or reason, just that way) And there’s not anything particular I’ve found that helps in the grand scheme, just time and keeping myself moving forward. But it means that most of my focus and forced motivation goes to the job that is currently paying the bills and there’s limited left over for the creativity and authorly of me. It means my authorly stuff is falling behind my hopes and plans right now, but I’m trying not to let that weigh too hard on me, or I’ll fall over with it. Right now, I’m taking it day by day and not punishing myself for the things that have to be left on the cart, as it were.

March’s goals are pretty much what Feb’s goals were: there’s a short that needs editing, there’s a short that needs finishing, and there’s a cover reveal that I signed up to be a part of for another author. All good things, all good goals. And all currently in my hopeful list. Here’s hoping March is kind to me.

Also, the one time I felt up to writing, I had to wrangle a cat (picture above). He decided I needed more rest, less work apparently. Because that’s my laptop he decided to sit on.