Blogging

A New Podcast Appears!

bookedallnightI’ve been hard at work lately with my good friend JM Tuckerman over at our new YA blog BookedAllNight.blog and we’ve been two busy birds making a new podcast! We used to podcast once upon a time over at Round Robin Writes but we always ended up falling behind because it was a “Whenever Our Adult Lives Allow Us” type of thing.

But now we’ve got a schedule and a plan to keep to so we’re going to have a constant stream of neat YA bookish content coming to your earbuds.

Our premiere episode will be coming out tonight Thurdsay June 15th, at 11 PM EST. It’s a late night podcast so it’s to theme!

Follow our RSS feed here: https://bookedallnight.blog/category/podcast/feed/

And our Feedburner: http://feeds.feedburner.com/bookedallnight/jOjU

It will be going out to iTunes and Google Play at that time as well.

Blogging

Weekend Writes

Yesterday, I spent some time with my good good friend JM Tuckerman. We’ve been working on some fun projects together, including our new YA book blog, bookedallnight.blog!

We’ve had a little writing project in the works for a little bit now and I’m excited to see it evolve, but we’ve also started podcasting again. The first episode of our new podcast, the Booked All Night podcast, goes live next week. It’s a late night YA podcast, so keep your eyes peeled for a late night release!

Besides that, I also started getting back into the groove of writing my YA Fantasy again. I wrote 3k last night and if I can do half as much each day this weekend, I’ll feel like I’ve accomplished something again. It’s been hard to get back into a pattern of writing daily, but I’ve got plans to finish this YA Fantasy before my birthday and I plan on writing a lot this July when I’m in Poland with family.

So this weekend, I’m hoping to get through the first act and see where that leaves me. I did hit 25k last night though, and that’s a great accomplishment!

What are y’all writing this weekend? 

Blogging

Currently Reading | June 6, 2017

With BookCon behind me, I’ve got a handful of ARCs to read. Which only reminded me of the long list of ARCs I have waiting for me on NetGalley…

So I’m going to try and make a dent in those!

Right now, I’m currently reading:

Windy City Magic: The Best Kind of Magic

Publication Date: May 16, 2017

Buy it here!

25436641.jpgAmber Sand is not a witch. The Sand family Wicca gene somehow leapfrogged over her. But she did get one highly specific magical talent: she can see true love. As a matchmaker, Amber’s pretty far down the sorcery food chain (even birthday party magicians rank higher), but after five seconds of eye contact, she can envision anyone’s soul mate.

Amber works at her mother’s magic shop–Windy City Magic–in downtown Chicago, and she’s confident she’s seen every kind of happy ending there is: except for one–her own. (The Fates are tricky jerks that way.) So when Charlie Blitzman, the mayor’s son and most-desired boy in school, comes to her for help finding his father’s missing girlfriend, she’s distressed to find herself falling for him. Because while she can’t see her own match, she can see his–and it’s not Amber. How can she, an honest peddler of true love, pursue a boy she knows full well isn’t her match?

The Best Kind of Magic is set in urban Chicago and will appeal to readers who long for magic in the real world. With a sharp-witted and sassy heroine, a quirky cast of mystical beings, and a heady dose of adventure, this novel will have you laughing out loud and questioning your belief in happy endings.

Technically, this book came out almost a month ago, so I gotta get through this one quick. But a witch whose magic power includes the ability to find a person’s soulmate sounds like so much fun and I love the idea of it!

Next up on the ARC reading list:

Witchtown

Publication Date: July 18th, 2017

Pre-order it here!

30971734When sixteen-year-old Macie O’Sullivan and her masterfully manipulative mother Aubra arrive at the gates of Witchtown—the most famous and mysterious witch-only haven in the world—they have one goal in mind: to rob it for all it’s worth.

But that plan derails when Macie and Aubra start to dig deeper into Witchtown’s history and uncover that there is more to the quirky haven than meets the eye.

Exploring the haven by herself, Macie finds that secrets are worth more than money in Witchtown.

Secrets have their own power.

I was on a bit of a witch kick when I requested a bunch of these ARCs, so let’s see how these turn out!

Blogging

BookCon 2017!

IMG_20170604_110640_571.jpgAnother year, another BookCon!

I love BookCon, despite it’s many faults. I love seeing book fans and being there with friends and going to panels and autographing lines. I always get emotional and I always leave with a fire under my ass, because I’m always imagining myself on the other side of the booth, of the table, greeting fans of my own books.

I always tend to write the most in the days following BookCon, despite how tired I am afterwards.

I went to BookCon this year with some friend; of course, I was with JM Tuckerman the whole time, and two of the former Robin girls, Emily & Liz, completed the group. We had a great time, despite sleeping in the creepiest hotel ever.

IMG_20170603_174514_541.jpgOf course, I went to the Marie Lu autographing session, despite having all of her current series (I honestly was hoping to nab the Warcross arc, but no such luck. I almost had a panic attack in the crowd of people that mobbed the Penguin booth) & the Susan Dennard signing (she’s just such a lovely person and I love seeing her). I also ended up going to the Welcome to Night Vale signing, despite barely listening to the podcast, because my boyfriend is such a huge fan and he wanted his book signed.

The ARC & tote bag haul was pretty minimal this year. Usually, I’ve got 20 ARCs in hand and 8 tote bags, but no such luck this year. I did manage to pick up an ARC for The Girl With The Red Balloon by Katherine Locke, which I’ve seen on Twitter and have been dying to get my hands on a review copy.

I’m definitely looking forward to hitting up BookCon again in 2018, though hopefully I’ll be able to afford tickets to BEA too!

photo

Blogging

June TBR

Besides trying to catch some sun (instead of sitting inside all summer), I’m going to keep trying to make a dent in my TBR pile! Besides finishing A Court of Mist and Fury, I also plan on finishing the series with A Court of Wings and Ruin and also read some other things!

A Court of Wings and Ruin

I’m halfway through A Court of Mist and Fury at the time of writing this, so here’s hoping I finish it in time to start A Court of Wings and Ruin this June!

23766634Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora

I 100% picked this book up because Pablo Cartaya was my mentor for my first semester at SNC and I love all of his work. I mean, I also love middle grade books. I’ve been trying to read more this semester but that didn’t pan out, so I’ll read more this summer!

epicfailSave the restaurant. Save the town. Get the girl. Make Abuela proud. Can thirteen-year-old Arturo Zamora do it all or is he in for a BIG, EPIC FAIL?

For Arturo, summertime in Miami means playing basketball until dark, sipping mango smoothies, and keeping cool under banyan trees. And maybe a few shifts as junior lunchtime dishwasher at Abuela’s restaurant. Maybe. But this summer also includes Carmen, a cute poetry enthusiast who moves into Arturo’s apartment complex and turns his stomach into a deep fryer. He almost doesn’t notice the smarmy land developer who rolls into town and threatens to change it. Arturo refuses to let his family and community go down without a fight, and as he schemes with Carmen, Arturo discovers the power of poetry and protest through untold family stories and the work of José Martí.

Funny and poignant, The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora is the vibrant story of a family, a striking portrait of a town, and one boy’s quest to save both, perfect for fans of Rita Williams-Garcia.

The Falconer

Teeeechnically I’ve been working on this one for a few weeks now. I got a third of the way through before other things came up and I had to leave this one behind. But Victorian era fearie slayer? Heck yeah!

18817125She’s a stunner.
Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title—and drop-dead beauty.

She’s a liar.
But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. she’s leading a double life: She has a rare ability to sense the sìthíchean—the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans—and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them.

She’s a murderer.
Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons—from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols—ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother.

She’s a Falconer.
The last in a line of female warriors born with a gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother’s murder—but she’ll have to save the world first.

The first volume of a trilogy from an exciting new voice in young adult fantasy, this electrifying thriller combines romance and action, steampunk technology and Scottish lore in a deliciously addictive read.

 

Blogging

May Reads

I didn’t get around to a lot of reading this month. I know, #ShameOnMe.

My semester finished up at the beginning of the month so I spent a little bit of time unwinding and clearing any remaining brain fog left in my noggin. Plus, I spent a lot of time with Jessi planning our joint project for next semester. Also, I played a ton of D&D. I’m that kind of nerd.

But I’ve still been chugging along at A Court of Mist and Fury, so I’m starting to get a little obsessed. Just last week, I sat down to read a chapter before bed and before I knew it, it was one in the morning and I’ve read over a hundred and fifty pages. Oops.

What can I say? I’m coming around to Rhysand.

I also started The Seafarer’s Kiss while at work last week. ACOMAF is just a little bit too big to fit into my purse, meanwhile The Seafarer’s Kiss is the perfect size to keep with me all day. So I started it, but I’m only a few pages in. I’m very excited to read this queer retelling.

But that’s all I managed to read this month! Any fun reads y’all had?

Blogging · Writing

Useful Apps for Writers

I’ve been called a lover of apps. Mozzarella sticks, nachos, onion rings… wait. Not those kinds of apps. What I actually mean are applications, useful bits of tech that make my writing process smoother and a little more enjoyable.

I’ll start this off by saying that none of these apps are sponsored, I’m just a 20+ writer who loves using these apps. Most of them are free (#brokewriterproblems), some have a one time or monthly fee. There are probably other apps that achieve a similar goal for free, but I’ve found what works for me and my operating system. All of the following apps are 100% compatible with Android and Windows, as I don’t use Apple or iOS, so if you use a Mac or iPhone, be aware of that!

Onto the apps!

Pacemaker.press (Base functions, free/Premium functions, $8/month. Web)

I’ve talked a little about Pacemaker before, and how much it’s helped me keep a good schedule throughout my drafts, but my deadline anxiety has been eased significantly thanks to the Pacemaker. It’s a progress tracker that lets you input your goal, be it word count, chapters, pages or anything else, and a deadline. Then you select the type of workload you want, like Steady, a Mountain Climb, Random, and it’ll determine your daily goal in order to finish on time. You can even designate certain days to do more work. Prefer to work more on weekends? Do you work part time or have certain days where you’re at school and can’t write? You can plug in those exceptions and it’ll calculate around them.

pacemakerIt was vital when I knew I would be working weekends and traveling to school two days a week during my undergrad, since I was able to get more writing done on certain days than others and still meet my deadlines. 

There are a dozen different ways you can customize your Pacemaker, but my favorite will always be the ability to see my progress in a graph and the calendar export that lets me keep tabs on my goal on my Google Calendar. The basic functions are free, and you can have up to two projects running at the same time on the basic plan. The premium plan is $8 a month but gives you access to a calendar feature on the site which tracks all of your projects, of which you can have an unlimited number of on the premium plan. But the best part of Pacemaker is that you can use the base of the app for anything, not just tracking word count. I use mine to keep track of when blog posts need to be written, and if I’ve done my daily lessons on Duolingo, and all my writing projects. It’s versatile and I love that about it.

Writeometer (Free, Android/Google Play Store)

writeometerI love graphs and trackers. I’m such a visual person. And Writeometer was the first tracker I fell in love with. It’s a free mobile app only available on the Play Store for Android systems.

Writeometer offers pretty much everything you might need in a mobile word count tracker: multiple projects, reminders to write (customizable to your schedule), it’ll calculate an exact word count or end date for you, and it has a timer to write to. The default timer is set to 25 minutes and you can access the timer directly  through the notification it sends you, and you’re encouraged to write through the whole time, then you can input your word count.

It even has a widget you can stick on your home page that is a shortcut to your project and has a little bar that fills up with your word count as you get closer to your goal! It’s so satisfying to watch it fill up day by day.

Freedom (Free trial, then $6.99/month or other pricing plans. PC/Mac/iOS)

dashboard-ca302c0a5f9210e467742f1b4c817364b9e9ba61b2a03efa1b869b756cad66baFreedom is a site and app blocking app that works across all your devices to block websites and apps. It’s incredibly  handy and I love it because you can have different lists of what to block. Say some days you only want to block your social media, you can make a list for your Facebook and Twitter and any other time wasting site you love. Need to block the entire internet? You can make a list for that too.

The other thing that sets Freedom apart from other app blocking sites is that you can set schedules into it. So say you need to block certain sites and things between 9 and 5 on weekdays, or only certain days. You can do that. This isn’t available in the free trial, last I checked, but the full program includes it.

Since Freedom isn’t available on Android devices, they provide a free promo code to download Offtime, which tracks your mobile app usages and can block apps on your phone for you in the same manner as Freedom.

Whatsapp (Free, mobile, web and PC/Mac)

Okay, okay, I see the irony of suggesting a messaging app right after suggesting an app blocker. I know.

whatsappBut Whatsapp is actually just the latest in my long history of favorite messaging apps. I’ve tried Slack and Skype and Google Hangouts. But Whatsapp is one of my favorites right now for plenty of reasons.

But I mainly use WhatsApp to stay connected and chat with my writer friend(s). Mainly JM Tuckerman. But we use it to chat when we’re writing and reading, and the app runs both on our phones and on our computers and browsers so we can chat while one or both of us are at work. We’re collaborating on a project together so it’s vital that we have a reliable app that lets us chat easily and quickly and also exchange media files if need be.

Plus, the built in gif search is integral to sending each other reaction gifs to our writing or whatever book we’re reading.

Rainymood.com (Free, web)

rainymoodI like listening to something when I’m writing. Usually white noise or my Deep Focus playlist on Spotify. It helps me, unsurprisingly, focus.

Rainymood.com is my go to white noise generator. Technically all it generates is a constant stream of rain and thunder, which is just fine by me. I love the sound of rain and it really gets me in the creative zone when it’s playing.

Some people need more than that, like a generator you can control exactly what kind of white noise you hear. For that, I recommend the mobile app, White Noise Generator by Relaxio on the Play Store. It lets you generate different soundtracks, like rain, a stream, birds or a fire place, and then save that track for listening later. It also has a timer in case you want to use it to fall asleep after a long day of writing!

Those are all the apps I’ve come to love while I write, and I hope they can be of some use to you as well. If you liked this content, be sure to follow me on Twitter and if you want to help me create  more awesome bookish and writerly content, consider buying my a coffee at my ko-fi!

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com