The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

So it’s been like five minutes since I’ve talked about Rick Riordan which I need to rectify now!.

Not only are his stories funny, but they are so diverse and inclusive. As a former teacher and parent of a child with a learning disability, Rick Riordan wrote his books so that every kid could find themselves in the story. 

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I’ll have to admit, I’m a big Percy Jackson fan, and when the series ended, I was so sad! Then I heard he was going to write more books, but when I heard Percy wasn’t going to be in all of them, I admit, I wanted to punch a cloud. Percy must be in all the books!

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But, since it’s Rick Riordan and he pretty much owns my soul, I gave his other books a chance. I’m so glad that I did! Even though Percy is not in all of them (sad face), he still wrote compelling characters that I grew to love like Piper, Jason, Leo, Hazel, and Frank; or Magnus, Samirah, Hearthstone, Blitzen, and Alex; or Apollo, Meg, Will, and Nico. And they were all connected to Percy in some way so it made it a little easier to accept those stories.

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So, I was really reluctant to try the Kane Chronicles because it was new characters and new beliefs and mythology (Percy is based in Greek mythology and the Kane Chronicles is based in Egyptian). But since we’re all caught up with Rick’s other books (I’ve been reading them with my kids for a year now), we decided to start the Kane Chronicles (while we waited for Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead which comes out tomorrow!).

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And I am not too proud to admit that I’m sorry to have taken so long to start this series! We just finished The Red Pyramid and I loved Sadie and Carter and their story was trademark Rick Riordan full of humor, adventure, and of course dealings and battles with gods! We’ve already started Throne of Fire and we can tell it’s going to be another great story!

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If you’re not sure where to start, Percy Jackson and the Olympians is the first series. If The Lightening Thief has been on your TBR, what are you waiting for?! Any other Rick Riordan fans out there? πŸ™‹πŸ½ Who else is excited for Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead?

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It’s really October, isn’t it? My mind has not fully accepted this fact! πŸ™…πŸ½

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Writing update!

It’s been a while since I shared my progress on my novel! I finished my draft in August and took some time off before revising. And to be honest, when you do a thing for two years and you finish the thing, it kind of messes with you and so I had to spend some time sorting myself out. As an aspiring author, you’re goal is to finish the story. It’s different for everyone but the message is to don’t give up. But when you finish, it’s like, now what? πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ.

I had to spend some time rethinking what I wanted for my story and how I could fix it. It’s not easy because when you finish a draft (that took two years to write), it’s hard accepting that there’s still a lot of work to do.

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Once I came to terms with the fact that I needed to revise (because a part of your brain wants to be done with the thing), I took out a new notebook (because any reason to use a new notebook is the bee’s knees) and did a brain dump of all the things I wanted for this story. I spent some time hemming and hawing at the audacity of my demands (if I were the drinking type, copious amounts would have been consumed) and when I decided it was time to get down to business (read: talk myself down from the very high ledge I put my self on), I began to systematically break down my wishlist for this book into actionable tasks.

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Basically, I Hermioned the hell out of what needed to be done.

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I printed index cards summaries of each chapter (compliments of Scrivener’s index card feature), then I created an index/list in my notebook with each chapter, noting the Acts and Climax points in the story and now I’m book mapping my story–a developmental editing strategy to show where themes and other details show up in the story for consistency and pacing.

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If your eyes are crossing at this point, it all means I’m kicking ass on this revision.

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I’m actually excited for October (and not just because it’s my birthday month and Halloween 😜), but the light at the tunnel does not seem so far away now. I’m setting a goal to be done with revisions by the end of this month!

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Anyone else get excited about doing things that involve notebooks and lists? πŸ€“ Also, I was recently sorted into Ravenclaw (surprising I know), so when this Luna with the Gryffindor mask (which was where I had been previously sorted), it’s become like my mascot while I work on this book–Hermione inspires me to get things done, but Luna reminds me that there is also wisdom in taking time in the process too.

September Wrap-Up

September was a good reading month for me which is surprising since it was the first month back to school and it was really busy here. Thank goodness for audiobooks!.

I think I’m going to stick with categories instead of ratings for monthly wrap-ups. This picture was taken at the beginning of the month to show what I was currently reading. I had a few other titles I wanted to read as well and I did. 😏 Any of the books you read this month fit in any of the categories listed below?

🍁Grimdragon recs that I’m so glad I picked up:
The Last Mortal Bond Book 3 of The Unhewn Throne Chronicles by Brian Staveley 
The Gunslinger: Dark Tower 1 by Stephen King (I’m starting book 2 in the hopes that I can figure out what the hell happened to Roland?!)

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🍁Graphic novels I read this month and highly recommend:
Princeless Volume 1 by Jeremy Whitley
Monstress Volume 1 by Marjorie Liu
Shattered Warrior by Sharon Shinn

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🍁New to me authors who surprised me:
Simon vs. the Homo Sapien Agenda and The Upside of Unrequited Love by Becky Albertalli 
American Assassin: Mitch Rapp series #1 by Vince Flynn

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🍁New favorite kick ass MG/YA heroines:
Hunted by Megan Spooner 
The Goose Girl: Books of Bayern Book 1 by Shannon Hale
Waistcoats & Weaponry Book 3, Manners & Mutiny Book 4 of The Finishing School series by Gail Carriger

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🍁Pretty much broke my heart
Lord of Shadows: The Infernal Devices Book 2 by Cassandra Clare

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🍁Books I set aside and might get back to eventually (or not):
Roar by Cora Carmack
The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

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Mini-Book Review: American Assassin by Vince Flynn

Happy Thursday! Wow. How is it almost October already? September just flew by! We’ve been getting used to a school routine and I’m hoping to find loopholes soon so I can get back to regular posting..

So, I am very susceptible to advertising. If I watch infomercials long enough, it becomes increasingly difficult to argue against the logic of why I do not need a Snuggy (I live in Southern California where our winters dip into the low 60s–that’s cardigan weather! A Snuggy would be delightful.)

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Now if books are involved, all the logic is sound. The trailer for American Assassin looked appealing to me (and okay Dylan O’Brien is pretty easy on the eyes) and I really enjoyed the Jason Bourne movies too. Then when I found out the movie was based on a book, I thought I’d give it a try.

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I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I did enjoy the book! I don’t normally pick up military/political thrillers, but I do like bad ass characters and action movies (don’t get me started on old school Kung fu movies) and this really did deliver. Mitch Rapp is a likeable character (for a trained assassin) but he’s guided by a personal loss he experienced and decides going after the people responsible is the only way to save other innocent people. The training, fighting, and black op assignments seemed authentic. I have no experience in any of those areas, but we were given just enough details in the book to help understand what’s happening as opposed to being weighed down by it.

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I highly recommend it if you’re looking for fast paced action with the trope of one person facing impossible odds and somehow still succeeds. I’ve already started Kill Shot which is book 2 in this series and I’m enjoying it as well!

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Monday (bookish) challenges!

Yes! It’s Monday, said no one ever.πŸ˜‘ 😁The only times I look forward to Mondays is when it’s a holiday. Or if donuts are involved. 🍩.

I hope your day is going well! I picked up the Unofficial Cookbook for Harry Potter Food at Costco today. I don’t know if the recipes are good but the pictures are stunning. I’ll share a post about it later this week! Anyone have this and try any of the recipes yet?

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For #watermelanerdsseptember, How quickly do you usually finish a book? Hmm. It really depends on what kind of book it is and if I can get it on audio. It also depends on how much I’m enjoying it. But I don’t read in long blocks anymore because kids so sometimes it takes a little longer. πŸ˜ƒ YA Contemporaries can take a day or two. Literary fiction can take a month or more, depending if I want to revel in the words. YA fantasy can take a couple weeks but less if I really like it. Adult fantasy can be 2-3 weeks again depending on how much I like the story. Graphic novels usually take a couple days but sometimes I drag them out when I really like the story and there aren’t any new issues out yet. How about you? How quickly can you finish a book?

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For #grimdragon A picture you never used–I actually have quite a few! πŸ˜…

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For #writerswhobookstagramsept National Comic Book Day–Any of these on your TBR?

Books and Food!

Hey, friends! How have you been? I hope you’re all having a fabulous weekend so far! Once a month I get together with my foodie friends to try a new restaurant and this month we tried a food market that served eggs Benedict pizza featured here and also braised Hey, friends! How have you been? I hope you’re all having a fabulous weekend so far! Once a month I get together with my foodie friends to try a new restaurant and this month we tried a food market that served eggs Benedict pizza featured here and also braised short rib tater tot poutine (not pictured because we shoved it in our mouths).😜.

I’m currently buddy reading Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor with Renee @bookishblissandbeauty and we are enjoying it so much. It’s an MG fantasy that incorporates Nigerian folklore and culture. We are loving the cultural details and learning so much about Nigerian folklore. The second book Akata Warrior comes out this fall and I can’t wait!

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The #grimdragon prompt for today is A great bookstagram moment you had! It’s so hard to pick just one. Of course finding bookstagram was a great moment. I found it when I had become a stay-at-home mom, so it was a wonderful place for me to interact with other book nerds and eventually make friends too.

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But, I have to admit, winning a signed copy of A Torch Against the Night in An Ember in the Ashes contest hosted by one of my favorite authors Sabaa Tahir was pretty awesome. I wrote a found poem (using existing words found in a paragraph/passage/page, etc.) from a certain scene between Laia and Elias. 😏 A few months later, I was able to give her a handwritten copy of the poem at a signing.

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What are you up to this weekend?

Book Challenge: Are you a mood reader?

I hope you’ve all had a great weekend! We had no plans and hung out at home. It was glorious! Do you ever feel like time just needs to slow down?.

I spent this weekend catching up on reading (and house stuff–boring). On top of my September reading, I’m also buddy reading a few books.

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I’m reading Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli with my girl Belinda @bookstorm. We are loving it so far and the audiobook is fantastic!

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I started Roar by Cora Carmack with my buddy reading besties Sadie @devourer.of.books, Adelide @thebookishhistorian, Ruthie @paperbackparamour, and Sam @_sklevy. We just started it, but already, everyone is loving it!

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Not pictured, but I’ll also be reading Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor with the fabulous Renee @bookishblissandbeauty, Goose Girl by Shannon Hale @squeetus with my BG bestie Jenn @a_tad_bit_bookish, and Dark Tower Book 1: The Gunslinger by Stephen King with my good friend Vicky @zoetzure. These are all highly anticipated fantasy reads that I’m so excited for and thrilled to be reading along with friends.

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For #watermelanerdsseptember, Are you a mood reader? I usually have a set list of books to read each month, but it’s fluid, depending on new releases and if a title at the library catches my attention (which is almost all the time), or if I see books on #grimdragon which is pretty much the equivalent to what all the cool kids are doing right now so whatever books they read means I have to rectify my situation STAT and read them too. (But seriously, check out that tag to add to your already precarious TBR stack and find awesome humans to follow). Anyway, I usually do read most of the books I set out to read at the beginning of the month along with some unexpected selections. Are you a mood reader? Or do you like picking out books before hand?

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Succulent sticky notes and double tipped highlighters from Target; Succulent themed washi tape and scrapbook paper from Michael’s.

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