Category Archives: books

Current Read: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

How are your current reads going? Any favorites so far? Any struggles?

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One of my current reads is Cruel Prince by Holly Black and I’m buddy reading it with my girl Anna @fairravens. I’m so glad we’re reading this together! Let me tell you, this book has us questioning our life choices. We’re not sure if we like these characters. We’re not sure why they do the things that they do. We’re not sure where this story is going. But we can not stop reading! We’re close to the end, so we may or may not have a more coherent review when we finish. Are there any books that have you questioning your sanity?

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For #marchlitwrit Instalove or Slowburn—Definitely slowburn! My first fandom was Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice–I am a big fan of a slow build up. I also enjoy the hate to love trope too! For Cruel Prince, these tropes are in the story, but the execution has me doubting my love for these tropes! As for my WIP–definitely slow burn!

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For #bookishrandomthings Romance—Um. I think there’s romance in Cruel Prince, but so far everyone hates each other and if there’s a possibility for romance, it’s crushed with murder death kill action.

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For #marchinbooks18 Fictional Villain You’d Join—I’m going to say Madoc because even though he’s despicable and would sooner stab you while smiling, he has no qualms about doing what needs to be done.

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This Cruel Prince cover is an @owlcrate exclusive. Shh…I’m reading bookmark by the fabulous @markedbymary.

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How are we halfway through March?! I’m so not ready for April.

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Authors you’d like to read?

Who are some authors that you want to read this year? Are you planning on attending any signings or book festivals?

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Y’all West @yallwest just released their author line-up and it’s incredible! There are so many authors I want to meet, but first I’ve got to read their books! My March TBR is a mix of actual TBR books (Jason Reynolds and Jacqueline Woodson), but also books of some of the authors that will be at Y’all West: Dhonielle Clayton, Erin Estrada Kelly, Gloria Chao, and Samira Ahmed, to name just a few. I’m hoping to get these books read before the book festival. If you’ve read any of these, what did you think? (No spoilers, please!)

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For #marchlitwrit Writing Beverages/Snack | Writing Workspace: The cloudy skies and rain got the best of me before I could snap a decent picture of my desk! But tea is usually my choice of drink while writing. I might a sneak a cookie too.

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#authorappreciationmarch Author you wish to read

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Hope you are all having a great weekend so far! It’s actually raining here (yay!) so movies and games for us. What are you up to?

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Which fandoms inspire you?

“If there is a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” — Toni Morrison

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What’s your favorite fandom(s)? What inspired you to start writing?

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It’s been a while since I’ve talked about how I started writing. Stories would always pop up in my head since I was a kid but I never really thought of them as stories—just what ifs. What if we won a lifetime supply of Fruity Pebbles? What would happen if I could read my teacher’s mind? And sometimes my what ifs would carry on to TV and/movies shows—would Shaggy be really sad if Scoobie got lost? What would have happened if the Fertellis never found Mikey Walsh, his friends, and One-Eyed Willie’s treasure? I’d come up with these elaborate what-ifs but I never wrote any of them down (probably a good thing) because it never occurred to me that I should.

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Fast forward to my first year teaching—I truly believe books find you when you need them most. First year teaching is hard enough but during that year, my father passed away too. I caught the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth will always be Mr. Darcy to me!) on TV and soon after I read the book. I fell in love with the characters and eventually was inspired by Jane Austen too (she drafted all 6 of her novels in secret on a tiny writing table because women of the gentry did not have jobs). Once I was done reading and binging Pride and Prejudice, the what if’s came back and I put my ideas to paper. Needless to say, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen was my first fandom.

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Featured here are some of the drafts of stories I wrote for the fandom! (Yes, I kept them!) I wrote fan fiction for various fandoms for over ten years, believing it was just a hobby. I’d teach during the day and write when I came home. It wasn’t until I read An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir that I actually considered writing my own story—a biracial warrior princess who has to fight for her life against her father and a diwata—a goddess. But that’s another story for another time!

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Challenges (a day late!😅)

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#marchlitwrit Fandoms that inspire you

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#authorappreciationmarch Jane Austen | Romance

Harry Potter Reread Update

“Fred, your next,” the plump woman said.

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“I’m not Fred, I’m George,” said the boy. “Honestly, woman, you call yourself our mother? Can’t you tell I’m George?”

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“Sorry, George, dear.”

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“Only joking. I am Fred,” said the boy, and off he went.

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For those of you new here, I listen to audiobooks with my children and we are currently listening to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It’s the first time for them and a reread for me. It’s been a really wonderful experience so far!

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Everyone remembers the first time the Golden Trio met on the Hogwarts train, right? Rereading this chapter, I was struck with how much Fred and George makes a splash into the story! Don’t get me wrong, I do remember that these guys were big on pranks and often making jokes, but I had forgotten not only how funny they are, but also how kind they were to Harry when they first met. My kids think they’re hilarious and crack up over their pranks—let’s hope they don’t get inspired by those two!

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For #authorappreciationmarch JK Rowling|Wizards!

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For #marchinbooks18 If you like this, read that—Akata Witch and Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor! It’s darker than Harry Potter, but it still has a great middle grade feel and is a fantastic telling of the Chosen one style story!

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For #marchlitwrit National Grammar Day: Pet Peeve—I get turned off when writers use drunk and drug as past tense verbs—I drunk coffee from Starbucks (should be drank) or He drug the toy box across the room (should be dragged).

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George and Fred Weasley bookmark by the lovely Grace Fung @fictograph.

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Who’s your favorite twin? What’s another series you’d recommend? Any grammar pet peeves?

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Weekend Update!

How’s your weekend so far?

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Today I went on a dumpling crawl with friends (we went to six places!) Then we had tea and Bobba at @bubblerepublicala (pictured here). Afterwards, I watched with my family season 2 of Trollhunters. If you haven’t watched this show, you’re really missing out!

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For obvious reasons, (I’m exhausted!), I’m going to follow Melanie’s @watermelanies lead and keep this short!

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For #marchlitwrit Plotter or Panster? If you saw my previous post, it’s obvious that I’m a plotter. For my draft I had a rough outline of key events! For my revision, I’ve made a general to do list, but this weekend I’m going to get more specific.

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For #marchinbooks18 Favorite Stand-alone books—The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater! Such a gorgeous story!

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For #bookishrandomthings Favorite Non-bookish fandom—Supernatural! I love this show so much! I named one of my sons Dean! Supernatural bookmark and sticker are from the Supernatural @nerdypost box!

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And yes! I brought all this stuff with me to lunch bc I wanted to make sure I got today’s prompts done! Thank you to my friends who put up with my bookstagram shenanigans!

Valentine’s Day Haul

What are some of the best deals you’ve gotten on a book?

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Last week, Target was having a sale on books, music, and board games: buy two and get one free! As a treat for Valentine’s Day, we treated our kids to some new board games and I treated myself to these books! (Best Valentine’s Day gift idea ever!)

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I wanted American Panda by Gloria Chao and when I found out @diversifytheverse was having a read-along for it, I picked it up! (This was the one I got for free in the sale!) I’m excited to participate in the read-along.

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I finally have a finished copy of Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo and was pleased to see it was a Target exclusive with a letter from Leigh! I’ve also had my eye on this Star Wars anthology ever since it’s release! So happy to finally have my own copy. There are so many fantastic authors represented—I’m eager to read Sabaa Tahir, Nnedi Okorafor, and Rae Carson’s stories!

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How’s your week going so far? Not going to lie—life post Black Panther has been a struggle! 😭😏

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January Owlcrate Unboxing: Fearsome Fairytales

What’s one of your anticipated reads this year?

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The Cruel Prince by Holly Black @blackholly was one of the most hyped books last year for 2018 so of course I was curious and eager to read it! Imagine my surprise and joy when it turned out to be the book for the @owlcrate January “Fearsome Fairytales” box! I’m so excited to buddy read this with my girl Anna @fairravens! I’ve already read the first few chapters and so far I’m enjoying the world building and the characters.

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Included were several goodies: a Sleeping Beauty inspired pillowcase by @stellabookishart, a wax burner designed by Owlcrate accompanied by Hansel and Gretal wax melts by @spireside, a Rapunzel inspired charm bracelet by @authoradornment, a monthly postcard with collectible Owlcrate pin by @spykles, and my favorite piece—a stunning rendition art print of Little Red Riding Hood by @annelambelet. Swipe to the next slide to see a close-up!

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Thank you so much Korrina and Team Owlcrate for always anticipating my bookish needs! I can’t wait for February’s theme “Hidden Worlds”!

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Anyone else running like Dr. Ellie Sattler through the week toward the weekend like it’s the perfect hideout from velociraptors? 🏃🏽‍♀️🦖😊

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