Monthly Archives: March 2017

News that Gives Wings

Hello, everyone!

I’m feeling GREAT. Do you want to know why?
Oh, come on, we both know I’ll tell you.

 
Remember that short story I sent to my editor? Well, it came back to me two days ago. The red “track changes” feature in Word has been less prolific than I thought it would! I am pleasantly surprised.

 
I am slowly going through all the comments and fixes. It’s a learning process I simply ADORE. It makes me feel more professional and serious about my writing, too. Let’s admit it: entering an important contest after having your work edited IS professional.

 
I wish you, fellow writers/authors, to have your writing edited one day. The feeling is pure bliss. At least it is to me. I am quite proud of how I’m taking all this – on the positive side.
Thank you all for accompanying me on my journey to become an established author. It all means so much to me!

 
I’ll inform you once I’m done polishing my short story and sending it to the contest.

Meanwhile, be aware that I’ll post about three reviews in the beginning of April. I hope you’ll enjoy reading them and discover new books at the same time.

Until next post, sweethearts!

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A Quick Update & a Big Leap for Me

Hello, folks!

I hope you’re all doing well. As for me, I just sent my short story for the contest to my editor. It’s the first time for me sending any writing of importance to an editor, so it’s a big leap. I am both thrilled and nervous, although I can’t wait to get it back. I asked them to be as tough as possible to make it the best version it can be. Plus, this is how I’ll learn what works and what doesn’t.

I’ll let you know how it went once I get it back from the editor! They say I should receive it by Wednesday. I’m so excited I can barely stay still.

Until next time!

P.S.: Expect a few reviews for I have many that are due in the beginning of April. Be understanding. Thank you!

 

Not Everything Dies (Princess Dracula) – A Review

NotEverythingDies

On Amazon

On Goodreads

On Barnes & Noble

* I received an ARC of this book on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review *

I’ve been interested in Princess Dracula for a very long time so when I saw Not Everything Dies by John Patrick Kennedy on NetGalley, I jumped on it. I was lucky enough that this second book in the series is about Ruxandra suffering from amnesia, so even if I was new to the series, I could still read it starting with the second one.

Ruxandra, an amnesiac vampire, is fighting for control against the Beast within. She finds herself locked up in Countess Elizabeth Bathory’s castle. Ruxandra needs to learn the ways of royalty and help Bathory, her odd mentor, keep her lands. But in the end, is the countess friend or foe? Romance, magic, and supernatural elements are all part of this intriguing tale.

I must say this book about vampires did not disappoint me! The cover is simply mesmerizing and well-chosen. It is eerie, gorgeous, and true to the story. The author uses a good vocabulary throughout the book, which makes it pleasant to read. The battles are rough and realistic, just like his depiction of fear. The author makes it all believable. He writes an interesting transition between the Beast to Ruxandra, then back. We can feel the Beast’s anger and its ache for food. The descriptions of settings and characters are precise. There is also a clear difference in characters – I like that! Realism (even though there are supernatural elements) plays an important role in this book. I particularly enjoyed that the novel was divided in short chapters because it made for a quick yet entertaining read. Plus, everything that can go wrong does! There was a lot of conflict, which made it even more enjoyable. I liked how the author describes trivial matters – it’s marvelous to discover such things as soap through Ruxandra’s eyes. It’s as though everything is magnified and impressive.

The friendship between Ruxandra and Elizabeth Bathory was sweet to read. Speaking of the countess Bathory, I thought this was an interesting take on her character. I’ve read a good deal about her as a teenager and seeing her being used in a vampire story makes perfect sense. The character is weird and sensual – a good move from the author, I must admit. This book is true to the vampires’ sensuality. It is also worthy of original, bloody (no pun intended!) vampires with a remnant of a human side. Their cruelty is faithful to folklore with the harsh reality of deaths and tortures. The author is quite respectful of their powers too. Plus, there must have been a good deal of research involved to get the eras and settings well done along with the characters (mostly the countess Bathory), but the author aced it in my opinion.

Everything is logically put into place like pieces of a puzzle. The author pulled it off brilliantly. Let’s talk about dialogue… it was (thank God!) believable. The characters said just enough things to leave us wondering, yet they gave us the necessary information at the right time. Moreover, the way Ruxandra recovers her memories, how she learns of things past, and the way she discovers her powers is interesting and well-written. Finally, the ending was awesome! It was quite thrilling and intriguing, as well as gory and dark. The very end surprised me and I usually figure out the plot twists well in advance!

As for the negative points, the description of the action and fights and the drinking of blood could be expanded. It is quite short compared to the other descriptions. Or when it’s long, it’s because the description is mostly of sexual nature. I understand vampires are usually sensual, but I want to know more about the fights and how it feels to drink blood to survive! In general, more detailed descriptions are needed. Also, they were loads of typos and words that should have been erased. I really hope the book will go through another round of thorough editing because this novel deserves to be read without confusion. Moreover, there are a few inconsistencies in the wording, like in the beginning when Bathory tells her people to use the pronouns ‘’she’’ for the Beast, yet in the next line the countess uses ‘’it’’ too. Lastly, one thing that bothered me was Ruxandra’s lack of motives and goals while the Beast does not. She doesn’t decide anything for the most part of the story… Events just happen to her.

This book (and I bet the series too) is perfect for fans of Anne Rice’s vampires and the Vampire Diaries series and for those who love the sensuality of vampires and their gory life. Even though one hasn’t read the first one, they can jump into Not Everything Dies without any problem for we learn little by little of Ruxandra’s backstory just as she does (of course, reading the first one once you’re hooked to the series is probably a good idea). I give this book a rating of 4 out of 5 because of how true to the vampire’s myths it was and how much of a captivating time I had reading it.

I will definitely read the rest of the series. In fact, I cannot wait for the third book to come out! I highly recommend Not Everything Dies by John Patrick Kennedy – if you love vampires and action, you’ll probably love it just like I do.

Plot vs Story: What Is the Big Difference?

Hello, gals and guys!

Today, we’re going to tackle the confusing ”plot vs story” question.

plot-vs-story

Indeed! Why can’t they be used interchangeably?

I’ve been taking a writing class on Skillshare this week and finally came to learn the answer. The difference is so big, yet we never really hear about it. We keep on using plot when we mean story and story when we mean plot. I figured I’d share this information with you because I kept wondering why the heck were they different. Isn’t that all just the same thing?

No, it’s not. One might think that they differ subtly, yet it’s far from the truth. In fact, it is quite clear.

Plot is actually the physical action of your novel. Let’s use my novel Nightshade:The Death Stone as an example. Rosellia, the main character, travels to different dimensions (this is physical), then she is kidnapped (again, it’s physical), and saved by the Nightshade (physical). This has nothing to do with how she feels about all this. Plot is that: action. It’s what happens to your character in terms of events and situations.

As for the story, it is simply the contrary. Rosellia’s emotions and feelings towards the events happening to her and her growth as a character are what make the story. Story is emotions. Her relationship with herself? Story. With others? Story.

Story is emotions and feelings whereas plot is physical (action).

Don’t we just feel better knowing the big difference?

I sure do!

Now it’s easier for me to understand whenever I read about one of those two important pieces of the creation of a novel. I hope it is easier for you too.

Do you still have any questions about plot or story?

You’re always welcome to leave a comment.

Ivy in Bloom: A Review

ivy

Ivy in Bloom on Amazon

Ivy in Bloom on Indigo

Ivy in Bloom on Goodreads

I picked ‘’Ivy in Bloom: The Poetry of Spring from Great Poets and Writers of the Past’’ on NetGalley because of the marvelous cover that speaks of spring, the idea of introducing children to poetry (which is a big love of mine!), and the topic of the changing seasons, which is rarely explored in children’s literature (yet it is part of their life too).

I must say this book didn’t disappoint me. At all. It is a fun take on poetry for children what with an introduction by Ivy, the main character, and writings from great poets and authors. The poems rhyme, which make it all the more amusing, and they’re easy to understand. The pictures help clarify the meaning if there is some confusion. It tells a story many children live through as they wait for winter to end and spring to arrive so they can play outside and have some real fun. This book achieves it by combining sweet poems with pictures, which are pleasant to look at and cute. The emotions are portrayed by Ivy are easy to identify thanks to the pictures. As for the mood and setting, they are well conveyed.

Even though one of its two main topics is the weariness of winter, the book is quite colorful and filled with beautiful images. One can clearly see Ivy is bored, but without becoming as such ourselves thanks to the entertainment the colors and poems provide us! Moreover, Ivy is a likeable everyday girl who goes from bored to hopeful to happy. I think she is realistic and we can’t help but wish spring to arrive soon too!
I really love how the author credited the great poets and authors at the end of the book by including a short biography of each one and the works from which the lines (in green) were used. I find it highly respectful. Plus, the fact that they described the illustrator’s process in the biographies is interesting. The book is short, yet it delivers its content well.

Although, there’s only one thing I wasn’t comfortable with: one line of poetry talks of God. I know the author probably wanted to convey how everything is going well, so they mentioned God and Heaven. While I think it’s okay for people to believe in God, I am not sure it belongs in children’s literature the way it was presented as we are all different and not all religions believe in a single God. The author could have chosen a better line of poetry to express this.

Besides that, the read of ‘’Ivy in Bloom’’ was entertaining and I consider this book an inventive way to introduce children to poetry and help them expand their knowledge! It is also a lovely addition for those who already love it at a young age (I’m sure I would have dived right in was I still a child!). I decide to give it a 5/5 and I greatly recommend it.

A Step on the Publishing Path (and Other Great Stuff!)

Hello, ladies and gentlemen!

I have two good news for you, an update, and a question.

Let’s start with the good news (it’s my favorite part!).

I will participate in the Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Contest this year in the genre short story category (Romance). Yes, you’ve read it well! I am so thrilled it’s unbelievable. It’s the biggest contest in which I have ever participated. What is pleasant about it too is that they give every participant a free webinar. So everyone wins in a way! I’m just happy to be in.

The second fun thing I want to tell you is making me bubble up with joy: I’ll have my short story edited! I have never had an editor work on a short story of mine, so this is a huge step toward publication and I’m as excited as one can be – I’m ecstatic actually. I can’t wait to read the edited version and learn from it!

As for the update, I am still working hard on Nightshade: The Death Stone. Truth is I had to slow down a little due to midterm exams; however, I now have more free time to dedicate to writing, yay! My main focus is on characterisation and world-building this week and the next, along with outlining (of course!).

With that being said, I have a question: would you be interested in character, world-building, and other worksheets if I made them? Some free and others you would be able to purchase.

What do you think?

Or would you prefer a story binder or a writing planner, or other products?

Moreover, what writing issues would you like me to tackle in order to help you, guys (and girls)?

Tell me your opinion in the comments below! I’m always happy to interact with you.

P.S.: Book reviews are coming your way as well!