books

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

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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

Into The Water by Paula Hawkins|Book Review

Whooo I’m back with an awesome book review. For a while there I’ve not been choosing books to my taste and it’s been frustrating me, because if I stop enjoying reading…then I’d lose my mind.

Into The Water is a psychological suspense/thriller. Although it shares the same brilliant authorship as The Girl on The Train, it was an entirely different story. Paula Hawkins is awesome at taking you through many plot twists and characters’ personalities go up and down rapidly that you end up feeling sorry for the one you feel suspicious about. It’s really a psychological read.

I was surprised by the amount of negative reviews this book garnered on goodreads because I absolutely loved it and rated it five stars. I rarely rate five. In order for me to rate five, the book has to have me on the edge of my seat, losing sleep and just worked up with all sorts of theories.

Anyways, let’s get into the review….

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.

This book was also told in eleven different POVs which I thought was brilliant but a lot of people didn’t seem to care for. Some were first person, some where third but they were all relevant. I love the way the chapters are short and conveying without unnecessary clutter.

Hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.

xo Kat

June TBR list

Hey y’all! What are you reading this weekend? Here’s my June TBR/haul. I’m sure I won’t be getting into all of these by even the end of July as I’m reading slowly. Investing my time in writing so bear with my slow book reviews.

The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter

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Recently I’ve been eyeing this book at my local pharmacy. They have a bestseller section. The cover alone has a certain pull to it.  I don’t want to spoil these books for myself so I didn’t look at any thorough reviews. From what I understand this is a thriller, there’s a murder and it might be connected to a detective’s past. Yeah, that’s what you get from me…I avoid spoilers like the plague because I know I won’t read it if I know details.

Shatter Me by Taherah Mafi

shatter me cover

I’ll be honest, I’m not really interested in this book but there was a hype around it on Booktube so I thought why not check it out at some point? It’s about a girl named Juliette who is locked up for murder who doesn’t touch anyone because the last time she did, she landed up locked up.

Into The Water – Paula Hawkins

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This is one I’m excited about because I absolutely loved The Girl on The Train. Not that it’s the same or anything but when I like an author, I like them a lot. A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

we were liars cover

Friendship between a group of four friends turns destructive.

There are tons of books in my TBR pile that I want to share with you but as I can’t share them all at once, I break them into monthly TBRs. Happy reading and have a great weekend!

xo Kat

The Ultimate Book Tag

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  1. Do you get sick while reading in a car?

Yes, I feel lightheaded.

2. Which author’s writing style is completely unique and why?

I couldn’t choose to be honest. I do love the language of British authors from the 1800s and early 1900s.

3. Harry Potter Series or The Twilight Saga? Give 3 points to defend your answer.

I loved both series at different points in my life. I’ve since outgrown my Twi-phase but I haven’t outgrown Harry quite yet 😉

4. Do you carry a book bag? If so, what is in it(besides books)?

Yes, I do carry a backpack purse with me. It holds basic things like my wallet, keys, phone, Kindle, a notebook and pen when I need to jot down ideas. I’m a mom so there is always spare diapers, a sippy cup and snacks in there too.

5. Do you smell books?

Indeed. It’s intoxicating.

6. Books with or without illustrations?

Funny story. When I was a child and now getting into Nancy Drew, I didn’t want books with illustrations. I felt it too babyish, however at thirty, I appreciate the artwork, and I also like to read comics from time to time.

7. What book did you love while reading but discovered later it wasn’t quality writing?

*hides face* Fifty shades of Grey. Yes, I did read it and I did like it despite having problems with the main characters and plot. I think it was the fact that it all started from Twilight fan fiction that drew me towards it. But yes, I was deeply surprised by the literary criticism that the book got. Not that I didn’t see the flaws in it myself but I thought in order for a book to even get published and create such a phenomenon, then it had to be quality writing.

8. Do you have any funny stories including books from your childhood.

Well it’s not really funny and it’s more about the time I was fifteen in high school. My friend and I discovered Mills and Boons….those Harlequinn erotic romances in the school library and boy did we read the heck out of them.

9. What is the tiniest book on your shelf?

It’s a small book about cat breeds.

10. What is the thickest book on your shelf?

Game of Thrones by George RR Martin.

11. Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself in the future as being an author?

I do write, and have taken up with it seriously in the last year. And yes, it’s a dream of mine, however far fetched to walk into a bookstore and see my book on a shelf.

12. When did you get into reading?

From the moment I could read actually. We had these reading books in school and they were so interesting, detailing Caribbean history and other tales. And at home I was always gifted and surrounded by books so it was a natural process.

13. What is your favorite classic book?

I’ll give some authors instead. Jane Austen, Charles Dicken, the Bronte sisters. Then I also love Dracula, Dr jekyl and Hyde, The Secret Garden, Frankenstein…I could go on and on…when I started reading novels, it was all classics.

14. In school what was your best subject?

Take a wild guess….English!

15. If you were given a book as a present that you had before that you hated, what would you do?

If I’m being totally honest, I can’t hurt a person’s feelings when a gift is involved. I was taught that it’s the thought that counts, not really the gift, so I’d probably place it on a shelf and keep it there.

16. What is a lesser known series that you know of that is similar to Harry Potter or the Hunger Games?

Similarities, I’m not sure. Divergent reminded me of Hunger Games, although I didn’t keep up with the entire Divergent series. I thought the high school in House of Night Series was like a darker, more adult Hogwarts. lol, not really but the thought crossed my mind at that time.

17. What is a bad habit you do while blogging?

Social media and messaging. It’s really the death of productivity.

18. What is your favorite word?

I say basically a lot…does that count?

19. Are you a nerd, dork or dweeb? Or all of the above?

I’m assuming dork or dweeb is somewhat derogatory. I’m not as near as brilliant as a nerd. I’m just passionate about books, and stories, and characters. It’s my hobby. My personality is on the goofy side if that counts as dork or dweeb.

20. Vampires or Fairies? Why?

The vampires that I first read about existed in Anne Rice’s novels and yes I was all about vampires until they got a little glittery. I’m still undecided 🙂

21. Shapeshifters or Angels? Why?

Angels! Because I love the way the TV Show supernatural portrays them.

22. Spirits or Werewolves? Why?

Spirits. I’m not a huge werewolf fan but I do enjoy a good horror movie.

23. Zombies or Vampires? Why?

The Walking Dead, that’s why.

24. Love triangle or Forbidden Love?

Forbidden Love. A person shouldn’t be confused between two loves, then I don’t feel like that’s love. Forbidden Love makes for better anticipation.

25. And finally: Full on romance books or action packed with a few love scenes mixed in?

It all depends on what mood I am in when I choose a book to read.

I tag anyone who wants to do thism tag. Hope you enjoy my answers as much as I did answering them.

xo Kat

What Cats Do Book Tag

PURR

As cats do this when they’re happy or relaxed, what is the book that makes you happiest or relaxed?

  • Oh my gosh, this is a hard one. I like books with plots and twists…maybe a Nora Roberts book or one of those indie books on Kindle. Predictable cheesy romances are sometimes relaxing after a long book.

SLEEP

What is a book that put you to sleep?

  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I understand it was a book loved by many so don’t hate me for my opinion. I just felt it lacking. It was predictable and felt it was a huge build up. Even as part of a series, each book should have a proper ending. I did rave on the amazing writing though, I like the author’s style. That being said, it’s a very appealing book for younger readers.

TWITCH WHILE DREAMING

Have you ever dreamt of a book you read?

  • I’ve dreamt of the heroes of the books I’ve read 🙂

SEEMS TO PLAY NICE

….until the claws are out.  Which book had the biggest plot twist?

  • Thrillers usually have great plots twists. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, Dark Places and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

CUDDLES

Which books character would you give a hug to?

  • Jack, the little five year old boy from the book Room by Emma Donoghue.

CATNIP

What’s a book that made you have warm and fuzzy feels?

  • Most recently The Tycoon’s Revenge by Melody Anne. I like romances with family elements, they make me smile.

CAT BREEDS

What are your favorite books?

  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak hit me right in the feels and it’s definitely one I’d read every few years. But I appreciate books in all genres, really. Thrillers, Horror, Romance, Fantasy, Children’s Literature.

THE VET’S OFFICE

Your least favorite book.

  • There are many books that I couldn’t get through but since I have short term memory, I’ll answer this based on my 2017 reads. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon and Miss Peregrine’s.

BEING PLACES THEY SHOULDN’T

Least favorite cliche.

  • Love triangle.
  • The chosen one who has to save the world. How about a chosen lot? Like the power rangers.
  • Ohhh one I really dislike is the billionaire trend…can’t the less fortunate fall head over heels in love?

THE GOOD OLD CARDBOARD BOX

Most underrated book series.

As it so happens, two of my favorite series are underrated.

  • The Sweep Series by Cate Tiernan. It’s based on Wicca and I absolutely loved it.
  • House of Night Series by PC & Kristin Cast. (Vampire and Wicca themed)

I tag anyone and everyone to do this tag. 

xo Kat

 

 

The Secret Life of A Book Blogger Tag|Book Tag

This is another tag that I stumbled upon recently and thought it’d be fun to do. Like always, I tag everyone and anyone to do this tag.

1. How long have you been a blogger?

Since 2013 or 2014 I think but I’ve only been doing it seriously for about six months now.

2. At what point do you think you’d stop blogging?

I honestly don’t think I can say. Blogging is my way of relaxing, offloading and I meet incredible people with the same interests on here.

3.  What is the best thing about blogging?

It’s my hobby, something I love do to. I write stories and want to make a career in that but blogging gives me that unstructured writing, a way of off loading and I also interact with other awesome bloggers.

4. What is the worse thing? What do you do to make it okay?

The worse thing about blogging is that I don’t always have time to do it…how I make it okay is putting multiple posts out when I do sit down to write 😀

5. How long does it take you to make/find pictures to use?

I don’t do all that fancy shmancy stuff like other super awesome bloggers, I just use pixabay.com for free images. But that’s because I don’t blog about travelling etc If your blog calls for it, I suggest you invest in good equipment and software.

6. Who is your book crush?

It changes so often that I don’t even know hehe. A decade ago, I liked Edward Cullen, before that, maybe Lestat and although he is an older character in Dan Brown books, I quite liked Professor Robert Langdon. Then there’s always the highlanders and dukes in historical romances.

7. What author would you like to have on your blog?

Stephen King, JK Rowling, Anne Rice

8. What do you wear when you write your blog posts?

As I don’t have a specific time to write and I do write in the comfort of my home, my attire ranges from pajamas to yoga pants to jeans.

9. How long does it take you to prepare?

It varies. It depends on when and how long my kids give me a minute.

10. How do you feel about the book community?

It’s awesome. I feel like I’ve finally found my tribe 😀 It’s great, and it’s a very accepting space. No hate, no drama, just books, books, books.

11. What do you think one should do to get a successful blog?

I myself don’t even have a successful blog lol but I think one should just be consistent and write relatable content. Find your voice, whatever you want your blog to be about and just start. You should also be passionate about what you’re putting on your blog because believe me, some days you’re really fishing on what to write about.

Hope you enjoyed this tag as much as I did. Now go do it on your blog 🙂

xo, Kat