Category: Let’s Discuss

Sep 07
Book Box Subscriptions. Yay or Nay? Let’s Discuss.

Book Box Subscriptions. Yay or Nay? Let’s Discuss.

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I’ve only tried a few book box subscriptions, but determined that they’re not for me. There are a few reasons for this: I’m disappointed when I get books I already have. The first book box that I ever got was a Page Habit box, and I LOVE the idea behind this box! It includes an annotated book. What could be better right. When I got my first box, I was so excited. I opened the box … and it was a book I’d already read. Not even just a book I’d already read, but one I was only meh about (it wasn’t bad, but not fantastic either, and not a book I was interested in reading again.). My excitement deflated. I’m not all that excited about swag. I know this might make me like a bookish heretic, but I’m generally not crazy about swag. I do love pins and buttons, and I don’t mind bookmarks,… Read more »


Aug 29
Where to Find Book Series Recaps. (Since most books don’t have a synopsis.) Let’s Discuss.

Where to Find Book Series Recaps. (Since most books don’t have a synopsis.) Let’s Discuss.

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The other day, I posted a random tweet about how I wished there was a synopsis at the beginning of new books in a series. Based on the response I got, I’d say quite a few people agreed with me. Why is it that TV producers don’t expect us to remember what happened last week without “Previously on” reminders, and yet book publishers expect us to remember the details of a story for a whole year or more? Can’t we have a “Previously in” in our books? Pretty please? — Nicole Hewitt (@NicoleMHewitt) August 25, 2018 First off, I was excited for the fact that my tweet went mini-viral (well, at least, it’s by far the most attention one of my tweets has ever gotten). But I was also both amused and educated by the responses. But what did I mean by these 280 little characters? Some people misunderstood my intent. There were… Read more »


Aug 15
I Love Me Some Purple Prose. Let’s Discuss.

I Love Me Some Purple Prose. Let’s Discuss.

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We all have specific writing styles that we gravitate to. And it’s interesting how one style can resonate so strongly with one person and totally turn someone else off. I was reading a review of A Thousand Perfect Notes the other day and the blogger mentioned that while she didn’t dislike the book, she wasn’t a fan of the purple prose. My response: “WHAT? That’s my favorite part!” First off, I should give a little definition of purple prose, in case you’re not familiar. Wikipedia says: “In literary criticism, purple prose is prose text that is so extravagant, ornate, or flowery as to break the flow and draw excessive attention to itself. Purple prose is characterized by the excessive use of adjectives, adverbs, and metaphors.” Okay, well when you put it that way, it sounds pretty negative. But I guess everyone has a different threshold for when flowery language starts… Read more »


Aug 08
Goodreads’ YA Books Lists. Let’s Discuss.

Goodreads’ YA Books Lists. Let’s Discuss.

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For their celebration of YA Week, Goodreads created a few lists specific to YA. I know I just did a post on Goodreads Mid-Year lists, but I couldn’t resist checking these out too. I was curious how many of the books I’d read. CLICK ON THE CATEGORY HEADINGS TO SEE THE LISTS ON GOODREADS. 100 Top YA Books: This is an all-time list that Goodreads came up with using books that are most often on shelves and their ratings. I’ve read 54. (And I’m reading The Book Thief now, so I’m almost at 55. Plus, I just got Crank from the library yesterday.) I had 19 of them on my Goodreads TBR. (10 of which I own but haven’t read yet.) 9 books weren’t technically on my TBR, but I probably plan to read them at some point. There were 18 books I either hadn’t heard of or had no real desire… Read more »


Jul 19
Goodreads’ Mid-Year Book Lists. Let’s Discuss.

Goodreads’ Mid-Year Book Lists. Let’s Discuss.

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Annemieke over at A Dance with Books mentioned Goodreads’ mid-year book lists, and I thought it might be fun to do a quick post about them. The Best Books of the Year (So Far) Goodreads put together this list using a combination of popularity (on the most shelves) and rating. They listed a few books in each category: Fiction, Mystery & Thriller, Young Adult, Nonfiction, Historical Fiction, Romance, and Fantasy & Science Fiction. Not surprisingly, I haven’t read any books on any of the lists except Young Adult. BUT I was surprised to see that there are some other books on the list I’m actually interested in. Fiction: I’ll probably read Still Me at some point. I read and enjoyed Me Before You, but I never did get around to After You. I’d like to finish the series. Mystery & Thriller: I don’t read mysteries OR thrillers, so imagine my… Read more »


Jul 13
The WIFYR Workshop Experience

The WIFYR Workshop Experience

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Illustration Credit: Ginny Tilby I’ve had a couple of people ask about how the WIFYR workshop worked, so I thought I’d explain the process. This is the first workshop I’ve done, but from what I’ve heard from others, it’s pretty typical of the way writing workshops are run. (Though sometimes they might have a more specific genre or age range focus. And I’m sure there are some that are handled differently.) Preparation: There were 12 writers in my workshop. All of the novels submitted were either YA or MG. They could be any genre. (We had two MG blends of fantasy and contemporary—like mine, one MG fantasy, two YA historicals, two YA paranormals, two YA fantasies, a YA dystopian, a YA contemporary, and a YA retelling—which was actually a short story.) For this particular workshop, we exchanged the first 6000 words of our books (approximately 20 pages) for critique. (There were… Read more »


Jul 11
The Mid-Year Book Freak-Out Tag

The Mid-Year Book Freak-Out Tag

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I saw this tag first over at Read All the Things, but it’s been around for years and it’s making its way around the blogosphere! Best book you’ve read so far in 2018? Aru Shah and the End of Time is definitely my favorite MG I’ve read this year. This book has such gorgeous writing and the best MG voice I’ve ever read. It’s the kind of book that makes me wonderfully happy and weep in jealousy at the same time.  🙂 YA is harder, but I’m going with A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews. It’s really hard not to be biased here because it’s Cait, guys (and no matter how hard we try to check our biases at the door when we review, it can’t be done completely).  But I just loved this story. It broke my heart and featured Cait’s beautiful writing and it was just wonderful.   Best sequel you’ve… Read more »


Jun 29
Top 10 Writing Tips I Learned at WIFYR

Top 10 Writing Tips I Learned at WIFYR

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I took in a lot of fantastic writing advice at the WIFYR conference. I thought I’d share my some of the lessons I learned with all of you. All of these came from the breakout sessions or keynotes. I tried to keep these specific to writing advice rather than publishing/querying advice, but I’ll probably do another post with some great points that were made when it comes to querying! Top 10 Writing Tips I Learned at WIFYR Books are made in revision, and you can’t revise nothing. So write! This is a quote from Trent Reedy’s revision class and it’s pretty simple, but also really profound. So often we want to get things right the first time around, and we can be so focused on perfection that we don’t end up really accomplishing anything at all. You can’t revise what you don’t write! Trent also talked about the importance of having… Read more »


Jun 26
My Personal Connection to Pride Month, Some Recent LGBTQ+ Reads, and Integrating My Faith and LGBTQ+ Issues

My Personal Connection to Pride Month, Some Recent LGBTQ+ Reads, and Integrating My Faith and LGBTQ+ Issues

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Be forewarned, this post is going to be more personal than book-related (though I have some books at the end if you scroll down!). A lot of you have been around my blog since the beginning and you’ve gotten to know me a bit over these past five and a half years, so you know things have been going on in my personal life. Things I haven’t addressed directly, but I’ve alluded to over the past few years. Sometimes deciding how much to share of our personal lives on our blog can be a tricky issue. But I decided this week to dive in and just address things head-on since it was starting to feel a little disingenuous not to. Especially since I’ve talked about my kids on the blog for years, and those of you who are astute may have noticed that I’ve gone from talking about my son Jaden—to referring to my… Read more »


Jun 18
Some Changes Around Here: A Change to My Rating System

Some Changes Around Here: A Change to My Rating System

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Hey, everybody! I’m back from WIFYR, and it was an amazing experience. I can’t even begin to tell you how wonderful it was to be around other writers and soak in all that writing knowledge and experience. I’ll be writing a few posts down the line about what I learned, but first I just wanted to tell you all about some changes I’m making to the blog. Don’t worry, you’re not going to notice any HUGE differences. But this conference solidified something I’ve been thinking for quite a while: as an aspiring author, I need to shift my reviewing style slightly, and I will no longer be including negative reviews on my blog. I know some of my fellow bloggers will be instantly put off by this, and I get it. I do. Like I said, this is something I’ve been contemplating for quite some time, but I hadn’t pulled the trigger… Read more »