books

Thriller Recommendations| Halloween Reads

I haven’t been reading at my usual pace due to an influx in creative writing. That’s a good thing, right? Since I haven’t done much bookish posts recently, I thought I’d recommend some thriller reads. Halloween is near and I know everybody’s looking for a little scare. Now, these books are thrillers mostly in the psychological sense or mysteries if you will. They’re not haunting horrors and it won’t scare the skin off your bones but they do have twists and turns and I enjoyed them quite much.

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

The book starts with the death of Nel Abbott, allegedly drowned. We get the picture that Nel wasn’t liked very much by her community because she was dredging up all sorts of stories from the past, surrounding the deaths of the women who drowned at the drowning pool. It’s soon learned that a few weeks before, Katie Whittaker, a fifteen year old girl who was best friends with Nel’s daughter, Lena, had met a similar fate in the drowning pool.

Detectives Sean Townsend and Erin Morgan try to find out if there was any foul play in the deaths or if it was suicide, like the many who had died there before.

Past events are tied with current events and there’s themes of love, hate, jealously, abuse, all of the above. I finished this book very quickly and would recommend it to anyone who loves a murder mystery.

The Night Bird by Brian Freeman

The Night Bird Starts with a girl Lucy riding in the car with her best friend. As traffic gets stuck on the bridge Lucy is somewhat getting paralyzed by her fear of bridges. Meanwhile her best friend freaks out for no reason and jumps of the bridge.

Once Frost Easton starts putting the pieces together, it’s revealed that Dr. Frankie Stein’s patients are being targeted by someone called the night bird. Dr. Stein is a psychiatrist that alters patients’ painful memories, for instance if they have a fear of something or a bad experience. The Night Bird is out for revenge and send them on a wild chase, with a lot of plot twists and turns.

Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson

Christine Lucas awakes every morning without any memory of who she is and who she is married to. Pictures tell her that she is married to a man named Ben. She believes herself to be in her twenties but in reality, she is actually in her forties. With the help of Dr. Nash Christine discovers the truth about herself and the disturbing things that accompany that truth.

Happy Reading!

xo Kat

In This Moment by A.D. McCammon| Book Review

In This Moment by [McCammon, A.D.]Book Title: In This Moment

Author: A.D. McCammon

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Summary:  Elizabeth Shea is a widowed mother of two who’s having a hard time healing from the loss of her husband, Xander. She meets Brendon Scott, a school counselor with a disturbing past of his own. Brendon likes Lizzy(as she’s called throughout the book) from the get go, and although it takes her a while to offer her friendship, she eventually does.

My Review:

In This Moment is a sweet, cozy tale about second chances, healing and love. I’m a very character driven reader and I loved the way Brendon’s carefree attitude balanced Lizzy’s restricted one. The story revolves around their friendship which eventually blossoms into more. The author did a great job assessing the feelings of her characters, something I appreciate in the romance genre. It didn’t feel rushed at all, just progressive. Rated four stars on Goodreads, I think this is a great fast paced read for anyone looking for a fulfilling story about two broken people coming together.

Thanks for reading!

xo Kat

How Important is Momentum| Fiction Writing

I stumbled across a video about the importance of momentum when writing a book and although I know it’s a logical way of thinking, I don’t always apply that with my own projects. I allow many factors to affect me from completing a manuscript.

Basically, having momentum means finishing a book, at least a first draft. This is something I’m always struggling with. When I first started out writing books(not poetry), I had momentum. I wrote for a set four hours a day and in four to five months, I had a first draft and revisions completed. The book was a huge embarrassment to me mainly because I feel cheesy about writing romance and sexy times. Also, the book needs a little work before I republish it. It’s an ebook by the way. But…the accomplished feeling of having finished something that took sweat and tears was a great one.

Somewhere along the lines, I lost sight of the fact that I was writing for myself. I wasn’t writing for money, an audience or competition. In my head, I just wanted to write what I wanted to read. I wanted to bring the characters that I had invested so much time into to life. So I wrote, and wrote until I completed my story. Beginning, plot, climax. It was all there.

My insecurities started to appear after publishing my second book which I removed due to it needing a little more work. What made me feel incompetent as a writer wasn’t my newness to the field, it was all of the other things that comes with writing that I didn’t have before. It’s been hard for me during this journey to share my work as it’s always been something very private, something therapeutic in my life. Sharing my work made me feel exposed in a way. Now I’m not that writer that dislikes criticism because I believe our readers are where we grow and learn from. You learn what you’re doing wrong, what you’re doing right and what you need to improve on.

I haven’t been able to finish one manuscript this year despite that fact I wrote over 50,000 words(different projects). Some of these projects began all the way back in 2016. It’s a failure, and I hate it, and I try so hard to work on it.

Coming back to the video about momentum. We have all read books that we didn’t like and books that we loved and adored but they all had something in common. They were completed. My take as a writer is not everyone’s going to love your work and you won’t be an established author until you write and write and learn from it but the importance of finishing, getting to the last page is very high. This is something a writer just needs to do no matter what.

Stressing over an audience and what you think they want to read is one of the most detrimental things you can do to yourself as a writer. You have a voice, you have a story and it’s your right to tell it the way you see fit. And I will touch on the subject in another post of do’s and don’t’s in writing and why I think it’s wrong to give people such a stenciled idea of a creative field.

Writing fiction isn’t like copywriting and I’m very much in my comfort zone with researching and writing articles but when it comes to creativity I let fear overtake the pen. I joke about it as writer’s block but it isn’t so funny when you feel like you wasted an entire year not doing what you love to do. So my takeaway from this video that I looked at is to have momentum. Just write. Just finish. Editing, formatting, promotions, all of that comes after. It really shouldn’t be our focal point when there is a story to be told.

As always, thanks for reading. Drop me a line in the comments and let me know your thoughts.

xo Kat

 

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare| Book Review

Image result for city of fallen angels cover

City of Fallen Angels is the fourth installment of The Mortal Instruments Series. Needless to say, it wasn’t a page turner like the first three books. For me, at least. I did enjoy it however, because it’s a continuous piece of a larger story. I’m not really big on YA per se but I will read it if it sounds interesting. The adolescent nature of the characters really showed in this book, something I didn’t care for but it is YA fantasy so I’m not beating up the book about it.

I enjoyed that there were several points of view rather than just Clary and Jace, especially Simon. The book is somewhat revolved around the importance of Simon being a daylighter and what his blood can do. There’s also the case of Jace who is having nightmares about himself hurting Clary, the one person he loves and can’t live without. We get to see more of Isabelle, Maia’s story as well as a blast from Magnus’ past. The overall plot of the book is okay in my opinion and I did rate the book three stars on Goodreads but I would recommend that it be read in order to complete the entire series as well as read Cassandra Clare’s other series. I believe the Mortal Instruments pave the way for other characters we may see in other books.

I think we may also see pieces of this book in the TV Series. Are you a fan of the show as well? Leave me a comment to let me know what you thought about City of Fallen Angels.

xo Kat

#HappyReading

Thriller September Reads| TBR | Books

Halloween is already in my air. Two days of weather in the 60s and I’m already gearing up for my favorite season, the haunted season. Random Kat Facts: I didn’t grow up in the US so Halloween was just a TV thing to me but ohhh how I wished I could be part of that world. Growing up on movies like Beetlejuice, Hocus Pocus and a ton of horror movies which I wasn’t allowed to watch. Well…fast forward a few years and here I am. Both my kids and I are excited about it. Have any of you started picking out costumes as yet? We haven’t but my daughter is bouncing around ideas. I feel like she’s leaning towards Trolls.

Without further ado, let me explain my Thriller September theme for reading. I read most genres but I pick and choose what I’m reading based on what vibrations I’m getting, and recently I’ve been feeling a thriller/horror binge.

Here’s what I have in mind for my upcoming reads:

Current reads: IT by Stephen King – As with any movie based on a book, I read the book just before the movie comes out.

  • Great Tales of Terror by HP Lovecraft – I’ve always wanted to read Lovecraft because Stephen King, whom I absolutely adore has spoken about being influenced by Lovecraft. I love that it’s a huge volume with a lot to offer, can’t wait to get into it.
  • Penny Dreadfuls (Sensational Tales of Terror) – Compiled by Stefan Dziemianowicz
  • Kingdom Keepers II (Disney at Dawn) – Ridley Pearson
  • End of Innocence – Stephen King
  • Lives of the Mayfair Witches – Anne Rice

Most of these are what I’ve had on my TBR for the longest while. If you have any scary reading suggestions, leave them in a comment!

Happy Reading!

xo Kat

 

Book Club Fails

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About a month ago, I tried to start a book club on Facebook. So far I’ve only managed to attract fourteen members and no one reads the same books at the same time. Hence, the book club fails title. The idea of the page is to share and discuss books even though we all can’t read the same thing at the same time. My blog post today is a little promo tactic for putting my FB group out there. The name of my group is Book Junkies United. If you’re interested in joining our little book discussions and bookish camaraderie send me a message for an invite if you can’t find the page.

Thanks, Kat. xo

July Book Haul| TBR

Thrift store book hunting is becoming one of my favorite things to do. I absolutely love finding such gems for super cheap. This month I had a small haul but I still thought I’d share since I’ve been so behind on blogging. Please excuse my lack of knowledge of these books as I’ve only read the back covers.

  1. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

jodi

I love the way this author writes and I’m disappointed that I haven’t gotten to a whole lot of her books yet. This book seems to be revolved around a school shooting and the witnessing of it. Sorry I can’t provide more details at this time as I myself am trying to avoid spoilers but I will provide a full review once I’ve read it.

2. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

DaVinciCode.jpg

One of my favorites reads til date. I completely trust Dan Brown as an author to deliver a riveting and cinematic experience through his books. I’ve read this one but I couldn’t pass up the hard cover version at only $3 in pristine condition 🙂

3. The Selection Series by Kiera Cass

kiera cass

I picked up books one and three, The Elite and The One respectively. I am not really huge on YA but the books were hard cover and in great condition for the price. The covers were also very pretty so I couldn’t just leave them there. It appears to incorporate fairy tales and romance with a nail biting plot but we’ll see.

Hope you liked my tiny mid month haul. Stay tuned for my August TBR.

Happy Reading!

xo Kat

How I Outline My Novel

There are a few different effective and straightforward methods to outline a novel, however, I do it in my own way. Recently I’ve seen some questions pop up about outlining novels so I thought I’d break down the way I do it since it seems simpler to me, and in another post, I will discuss the other methods thoroughly.

I think my way of doing it is very close to the snowflake method but as you learn more about it, you’ll see that I don’t stick to it fully. I just want to let you know that even though there are actual methods and names for them, there is no wrong way you can do this. Whatever works for you will be best for you. As writers of fiction, things are almost always jumbled and coming to us rapidly and out of nowhere so we tend to note this down all over. From notepads, to phones, to different apps and software. You name it, we’ve written on it.

So without further ado, let’s get into it….

STEP 1

I would call this your idea phase. You know that moment when an idea hits you but it’s only a sentence long? This is just step one. Fun fact about Kat: I used to begin writing with just that first idea and it was horrible. I found myself being stuck more than usual. This is where you’re going to brainstorm. Write down all of the ideas, thoughts, characters, names, whatever contribution you have to bring to this novel, just write them down. It doesn’t have to be in specific order. It doesn’t even have to make sense at this point.

STEP 2

Now that you have all of your ideas down it’s time to really think about the main plot of your story. An idea can go anywhere whether it’s romance, suspense, thriller or a mixture of genres. Try writing a summary of what you’d like your story to be about.

STEP 3

Create character profiles. I’ll briefly explain here how I do this as I plan to create an entire post to help with character profiling. This takes some work, some critical thinking. Not only are you going to name your characters, you’re going to create a description of their physical attributes as well as what they do and what they stand for. For example, if your character’s name is Sophia and Sophia has long blonde hair, green eyes etc etc Then you’ll need to add to Sophia before you start writing. What does Sophia do? How does Sophia think or react? Does Sophia have a shy persona or is she outgoing? What are her likes, dislikes, boundaries.

STEP 4

I’d recommend naming and explaining as much characters as you can at this point. The main ones, their family members(if they have a part in the story). While writing you’ll most likely add characters or omit characters. Have no fear, these changes are doable and nothing is set in stone. Having a base of characters gives you ammo to write with so along with your main plot and setting, you can write something without having to stop every few paragraphs.

STEP 5

I should have mentioned setting earlier but here’s why I left it out until now. During your summary stage, you would have most likely mentioned the location or setting in which your book takes place. Let’s call stage five, research. Whatever you want to put into your novel and you feel like you need to know more about it, get on google and research the heck out of it. Look for pictures of places, houses etc You can save them for later use, or you can just makes notes as your description comes to life in your head. Another thing you want to research is jobs functions, weather of a particular location etc. Anything that you feel you need help with in creating a better summary.

STEP 6

Summary number two! So now that you have all of this information, write a complete summary with the added details of your characters and settings.

STEP 7

What you’ll do from here is expand your summary. Don’t get rid of any of your earlier work by the way. Expand your current summary. Add your sub plots or scenes as I call them. Any specific quote or line you need to place somewhere, add it all in. You can redo this as much as you need to in order to create your desired outline.

STEP 8

When you feel like everything makes sense, start writing. Having this guide will help you to write on days that you’re uninspired or lost because you’ll know what’s going to take place. Even if you get stuck take a time out and then get back into it. Remember this is only the first draft and another fun fact: My first drafts are often horrible and written very poorly with a few brilliant things in between. Patience is virtue when it comes to writing. Take your time, try to finish that first draft even if you’re not completely satisfied. Anything can be corrected, omitted and modified later on.

I hope this made any sense at all and I hope it helps you in your writing process. Good luck!

xo Kat

 

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier|Book Review

*4 stars on Goodreads*

The story begins with Philip, an orphan who was raised by his older cousin, Ambrose. Philip was brought up in a household with no women, so it was odd to him that his cousin Ambrose had gotten married while he was in Italy. They exchanged letters back and forth detailing their days and feelings. Philip began to harbor jealousy in his heart towards, Rachel(also his cousin, who has married Ambrose) since he never had to share Ambrose’s affection before. He loathed the day when Ambrose would bring Rachel home and had a plan set to basically treat her like trash. This absurdity was only heightened as Ambrose’s letters came less frequent.

Philip then decides to go to Italy when he receives an alarming letter from Ambrose but not detailed enough that he knew exactly what was transpiring. He knew Ambrose’s health had declined and was shocked to learn of Ambrose’s sudden death upon his arrival to Italy. His cousin Rachel had already disappeared from the villa where she and Ambrose lived, and Philip was directed to Rachel’s trusted advisor, Ranaildi, the man who handled all of her affairs.

Philip instantly dislikes Rainaldi and goes back home, plotting to do for Rachel should he ever see her. When she finally arrives at his house, he is deeply ashamed, and also surprised by her feeble demeanor. Surely she couldn’t be the villain he had painted her out to be.

As the story progresses, Philips shows himself as a spoiled brat who has become obsessed with Rachel. He enjoys her company so much that he basically demands that she stay with him for a longer time before she moves on to another place. He busies her with decorating the house, and building things around it. His godfather who handles the estate until Philip reaches of age raises concern over how indulgent and insistent he is on gifting Rachel expensive things and allowing her financial freedom to do whatever she wishes.

As per usual I have to cut my synopsis of this book as not to give spoilers. A great, engaging read about deeply flawed characters who you may have a love/hate relationship with. The author’s language was nothing less than marvelous. And I cannot wait to see the movie!

Happy reading!

xo Kat

How I Read for Cheap

Heya Bookish People! Are you ready for the summer sun? I’m not.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. These are all my opinions and whatever books/apps/devices are mentioned, I have purchased. 

If you’re an avid reader, buying books can get a little pricey. It adds up if you’re purchasing each book on average of ten dollars, and hardcovers for way more than that. Some people do love to collect pretty and limited editions of their favorite books and there is nothing wrong with that. But I am a reader for the story. It matters not to me the way it is delivered whether I’m using an actual book or e-reader.

I have a post up which I will link why I prefer using an e-reader. That’s just my preference. And the cost factor and limited shelf space has a lot to do with it.

Let’s get right into the tips I have for lowering your cost of reading.

E-reader

I would say this is the most basic way to cut a few dollars off of your books by using apps such as Kindle, iBooks etc. These apps are all available for your devices for free so there’s no cost to download it and you don’t have to go out and purchase an actual Kindle or iPad. You can do it right there on your phone.

Libraries

I love libraries and recently so many have been closing down which makes me sad but I think it’s a brilliant way to save on books. Not every book I read, I feel the need to purchase a copy of it so this is also a good way not to waste money. Just borrow them, for free. If you don’t like it, just return it.

Thrift-store

Recently I went down to Goodwill to donate some of my children’s books, the ones we have double copies of and they have a really nice shelf with books ranging from 99cents to $3 which I think is a steal. I came home with nine books for less than ten dollars and they were in good condition. Some of them were hard cover, some were in mint condition. Find some thrift stores close by and check them out.

Bookbub.com

I have been using this site for several years now and I’ve accumulated so many free books on Kindle. I don’t know when I’ll ever get the chance to read them all. Basically, all you do is sign up with your e-mail and every day you’ll get an e-mail notifying you of book promotions. Some books you can download for free for Kindle or iBooks and some books have a major price cut. Every day for the last three or four years, I have been opening emails from bookbub.com and it’s been really awesome. I have an abundance of books so I don’t always need to go out and buy a book unless I feel a strong urge to. And also with bookbub, you can select the genres of books that you would like sent to you.

Bookdepository.com

I haven’t ordered anything yet from bookdepository.com but I recently came across it and they do free shipping worldwide so it’s not exclusive to the US/UK. And also, most of their prices are marked down from it’s original selling price so that’s a plus.

ebay

Ebay has many preowned books for sale at marked down prices and sometimes you can score big when looking for an entire series or several books by a particular author.

I hope you all liked this. I do appreciate reading for cheap and if you have any more tips be sure to leave me a comment. I’d love to hear it. 

Happy Summer everyone. Enjoy your weekend!

xo Kat