September Wrap Up & October TBR

As you’ll notice in my blog by the lack of actual ‘book review’ posts during September and going into October, I’ve been going through a reading slump. I started three different books and only finished one.

I’d like to blame my book reading slump on the fact that my own novel release was taking up most of my time, but it wasn’t. I still had plenty of time to read, just couldn’t find the desire. Instead, I filled my time up with binge watching Bates Motel.

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September and October also hold the busiest months for me (on weekends) because I have a ton of birthdays in the family and all the haunted houses and Ren Fests that I want to attend. I do most of my reading on weekends, so, you can see the issue.

So, guess how many books I finished in September….

Zero.

Well, that’s a lie. I did read my own book because I was editing it before it was published. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I wrote some funny parts in my novel. It’s a cutesy summer YA read and if you like Jenny Han or Katie Cotugno, you might enjoy my novel. It comes out October 1st! I’ll probably have a page on my blog where you can order a signed copy from me, sooner or later.

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October TBR

 

For October, I decided to try and get in on a Halloween Read-a-Thon that Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews is doing. I’m hoping this will take out my reading slump for the month of October. We shall see! Lauren is also doing a giveaway, so go check out her post!

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So this is actually a erotica novel that I got for free and started in September but got distracted. It’s not creepy, but the cover does creep me out and the main male character isn’t human, I’m not sure what he is actually…

I guess I’ll find out…

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I don’t normally read scary books, so there’s nothing on my TBR in that genre that I’ve been putting off, but I might as well finish up books that I’ve started and try to get them off my reading list. This one will be a decent treat… if you know what I mean… haha!

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Of course I’m going to be watching scary movies this month! I also have a blog post coming up in October about my top favorite horror movies. I think I’m going to try and finish the original IT for this challenge, I only have about an hour left of it. We all know I’ll be watching the usual Tim Burton collection though!

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Easily done, the only time I really have time to read is after dark. I always read between 8pm-11pm. 🙂

 

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I guess you could say this book series is a bit paranormal…

Hoping to read all three, but we’ll see what happens.

Nevermore-Kelly-Creagh

 

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Meh, I don’t really have one that I’m interested in at the moment.

 

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Book two in the Nevermore series hopefully!

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Let’s do this!

 

 

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IT (Mini Series) VS IT (2017 Movie) Review

***Possible Spoilers***

 

A few months back, I saw a FaceBook event near me that would be taking place where you could see the remake of IT, go in a local haunted house and take a midnight cruise down the Ohio river for only about $40 a person. My husband and I are pretty decent fans of horror and I just love Halloween and fall in general. So I knew we had to do this event, the thing was, we had never seen the original IT.

We waited until the week before to watch the original and let me just say I was very disappointing. I grew up hearing my dad say how scary the movie was and that I should never watch it so I did my best to avoid it. First, we didn’t realize it was three hours long, so we didn’t even watch the last hour because it was just so awful.

Disclaimer: I’m not a fan of Stephen King’s books or most of his other movie adaptations, so I’m just reviewing what I know from the movies. 

There was only one moment I couldn’t watch because I expected a ton of gore or something and that’s the scene where they’re in the sewer and the bully gets pulled through one of the tiny tubes.

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I expected to have nightmares, but if anything, I laughed about Pennywise in this version.

 

 

Now, since we had to wait a week after the release, I heard a ton of people talking up the remake. My husband couldn’t get away from people asking what he thought about it, we were missing out, so when Saturday finally came around, I was ready!

Let me tell you, this remake was amazing! It was just creepy enough, but still had amazing humor. The child actors in this did a great job. And I loved seeing ‘Mike’ from Stranger Things, he was probably my favorite character because he was constantly making jokes in order to not feel as scared.

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There were three scenes that I had to turn my head for:

  1. The scene where IT takes Georgie in this version. It was way more graphic than the original. I did NOT expect IT to bite his arm off and then Georgie try to crawl away. That killed me!
  2. The scene where Mike is helping his (I assume) grandpa with the sheep and they’re shooting them with the little gun. I’m not a fan of watching animals die in movies. I also looked away when the bullies tried to shoot the cat, I probably would have walked out if that had happened.
  3. The final scene I couldn’t stomach to watch was when one of the bullies kills his father. It was so sinister.

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Now, though I would give the IT remake a full five stars, there was one thing that REALLY bothered me. It felt like every main adult that we encountered had some sketchy pedophile child molester vibe to them. Even the librarian bothered me. I know that two of the characters were meant to be taken that way, Bev’s father and Patrick (one of the bullies), but even Eddie’s mom was sketchy. Was it meant to feel like that?

There was a Stranger Things vibe to this, I think that might be why I liked it so much. The original was just too cheesy and I understand that it came out 27 years ago so the visuals and what not are not going to be up to par with what I’m used to seeing.

With all this said, I don’t think you need to see the original to enjoy the new. I think you’ll be just fine seeing the new one!

Cover Reveal and 10 Fun Facts About The Last July!

With the upcoming release of my very first novel, I thought it would be fun to share some facts about The Last July as it went from it’s very rough first draft to the final edit. Today is also my birthday, and for my birthday, I’d like to share my cover reveal with my blog followers! This has been a long time coming!

  • The Last July was originally in two different POV’s, Penelope and Sampson’s.
  • In the first few drafts, TLJ was a story about a romance between a camper and counselor. It wasn’t until the final two drafts that Penelope was almost 18 and Sampson was slightly younger.
  • The very first draft of TLJ was written in the Spring of 2014 during Camp NaNoWriMo, I didn’t go to finish it until April 2016 when it was only 31k words. It still wasn’t finished! So it pretty much took me three to four years to write this novel, I just took many breaks. Too many breaks.
  • Some of the camp activities in the novel are my favorite things that I did at camp when I was younger. Swimming, hiking, capture the flag, even the mashed potato mohawks!
  • Camp Arthur is based off of the camp I attended as a kid/teen in Ohio, but is set in Tennessee because it’s one of my favorite places to vacation.
  • I’ve hiked Abrams Falls (twice) and it’s a very tough trail! But the waterfall is so worth it!
  • I wrote about five different final chapters, never sure of how I wanted Sampson and Penelope’s story to end. I finally went to my husband to give me their ending. Yay for having a husband who is also an author!
  • In one of the many drafts, Penelope’s friend, Jenny was supposed to be a camper who suffered an awful fate of a bee sting. I quickly realized that was a bit too morbid, I was watching Game of Thrones at the time.
  • TLJ is a stand alone, but I do plan on writing in the world of Camp Arthur again one day.
  • The authors that I got some inspiration from over the years were Sarah Dessen and Katie Cotugno. I love their contemporary summer romances! Hopefully, one day I can inspire someone the way they inspired me!

 

I also made a blog post for the songs that inspired some scenes in the novel, find that one here. And a sneak peak that can be found here.

The Last July is set to come out very soon, fingers crossed. Follow the blog for updates on the release, deals, and pre-order!

This is an exclusive blog post that I won’t be sharing to any of my other social media platforms! So you guys get to be the first to hear the news!

Guys, now I’m starting to feel like an author!

Here’s the cover! Tada!

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The Last July Pre-Order Is Up!

Guys! The time has come! My very first novel is up on Amazon for pre-order!

 

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I can’t tell you just how excited I am for this! I have been working on The Last July since 2014 and now it’s out there for your reading pleasure! If you go pre-order it right now, it’s available on Amazon for 99 cents! What a deal! A full novel for less than a buck! Oh. My. God!

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Don’t prefer eBooks? Well, you’re in luck! It will also be coming out in paperback too!

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I’m so thrilled! Happy reading, guys! I hope you enjoy! Summer doesn’t have to end just yet, get some last minute summer reading in with The Last July, you’ll have a great time visiting Camp Arthur and getting to know Sampson and Penelope!




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Nestled in a small Tennessee town is Camp Arthur, a summer camp with mountains of possibility. At least that’s how the new owners see it. Penelope has dreamed of being a counselor at Camp Arthur ever since she was a young camper herself. And this July finally brings her chance: an opportunity to be a counselor in training with a cabin full of campers under her watchful eye.

Things get complicated when a fellow counselor jogs right into her life and takes her eyes off her job, and if that wasn’t challenging enough, news from her parents knock her even further off course.

What was supposed to be a fun summer transition between childhood and her adult years turns into something altogether unexpected. Can Penelope balance a budding summertime romance against the drama of a jealous ex and her own family troubles, or will she really have her last July at Camp Arthur?

Wanderlost by Jen Malone Review

Title: Wanderlost26244548

Author: Jen Malone

Genre: Young Adult (super YA)

Rating: 2/5 Stars




 

Not all those who wander are lost, but Aubree Sadler most definitely is on this novel’s whirlwind trip through Europe. A romantic and charming YA debut perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Jenny Han.

Aubree can’t think of a better place to be than in perfectly boring Ohio, and she’s ready for a relaxing summer. But when her older sister, Elizabeth, gets into real trouble, Aubree is talked into taking over Elizabeth’s summer job, leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe.

Aubree doesn’t even make it to the first stop in Amsterdam before their perfect plan unravels, leaving her with no phone, no carefully prepared binder full of helpful facts, and an unexpected guest: the tour company owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t help it, especially with the most romantic European cities as the backdrop for their love story.

But her relationship with Sam is threatening to ruin her relationship with her sister, and she feels like she’s letting both of them down. Aubree knows this trip may show her who she really is—she just hopes she likes where she ends up.




 

I’m not 100% sure what it was about this book, but I just wasn’t feeling it. Possibly the first issue I found with it was the boy on the cover did not match the description of the boy in the novel (I don’t see any curly hair on our cover model…) I don’t know who that boy on the cover is, but it definitely was not Sam.

And I was constantly annoyed with Aubree… or is she Elizabeth…. or Lizzie? I felt like she let the lie of who she was go on for way too long and she had so many opportunities to tell the truth.

The old folk were probably the best part of this book, especially Mr. Fenton and Bento. I have no idea what Bento was saying in Spanish, but I think that’s what made me like him so much.

I didn’t start to enjoy this book until 75% of the way through. I think that’s when we start to see Aubree begin to mature. Part of me could relate to her, being terrified of going to a new country and eating new food, but I also thought she was being a tad overdramatic most of the time.

The rating I gave this book was probably the lowest of any book I read this year, but I think that’s only due to the content being for the younger crowd. I could see someone in their early teens really enjoying this book, but as a 27 year old, it wasn’t up to my standards of what makes a YA book good.

With that said, I think Malone did do a good job of describing the European cities that Aubree ventured through, that was the one thing that saved this book from getting a one star (other than the Mr. Fenton plot, loved his character).

 

Fall/Halloween/Spooky Books You Should Read

Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake

This duology is for those of you that are brave enough to sleep with the lights off after watching a scary movie. Don’t let the covers or YA genre fool you, this set is terrifying. One of my male friends even read it and said it scared him. Definitely check this one out if you’re looking for a creepy ghost story.

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Grave Reminders Series by Rachael Rawlings

Let me just say, I plan on doing a lot of marathon reading at the moment, and this series is one of those. Rawlings is a local author for a Kentucky publishing company and I’m excited to read these three. I did read the first chapter of the first book, and embarrassingly enough, I had to stop because the ghostly figure in the graveyard freaked me out (I was home alone at the time!)

Support local authors!

 

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Nevermore Series by Kelly Creagh

I haven’t finished this series yet, but during the months of September and October, I plan to marathon it. Kelly Creagh is (another) local author and her character, Varen, is every high school emo girls dream boy. I remember first reading Nevermore when I was in college and loving it. It has some ‘creepy’ vibes, but it’s not as terrifying as Anna Dressed in Blood was.

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The Raven Cycle Series by Maggie Stiefvater

Everyone has probably heard of this series, and though it’s not ‘spooky’ it does have some paranormal happenings going on. I haven’t read the final book yet, but I do plan on finishing it soon! If you creep through my blog, you’re bound to find the reviews for the first three novels.

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Cover Reveal and 10 Fun Facts About The Last July!

With the upcoming release of my very first novel, I thought it would be fun to share some facts about The Last July as it went from it’s very rough first draft to the final edit. Today is also my birthday, and for my birthday, I’d like to share my cover reveal with my blog followers! This has been a long time coming!

  • The Last July was originally in two different POV’s, Penelope and Sampson’s.
  • In the first few drafts, TLJ was a story about a romance between a camper and counselor. It wasn’t until the final two drafts that Penelope was almost 18 and Sampson was slightly younger.
  • The very first draft of TLJ was written in the Spring of 2014 during Camp NaNoWriMo, I didn’t go to finish it until April 2016 when it was only 31k words. It still wasn’t finished! So it pretty much took me three to four years to write this novel, I just took many breaks. Too many breaks.
  • Some of the camp activities in the novel are my favorite things that I did at camp when I was younger. Swimming, hiking, capture the flag, even the mashed potato mohawks!
  • Camp Arthur is based off of the camp I attended as a kid/teen in Ohio, but is set in Tennessee because it’s one of my favorite places to vacation.
  • I’ve hiked Abrams Falls (twice) and it’s a very tough trail! But the waterfall is so worth it!
  • I wrote about five different final chapters, never sure of how I wanted Sampson and Penelope’s story to end. I finally went to my husband to give me their ending. Yay for having a husband who is also an author!
  • In one of the many drafts, Penelope’s friend, Jenny was supposed to be a camper who suffered an awful fate of a bee sting. I quickly realized that was a bit too morbid, I was watching Game of Thrones at the time.
  • TLJ is a stand alone, but I do plan on writing in the world of Camp Arthur again one day.
  • The authors that I got some inspiration from over the years were Sarah Dessen and Katie Cotugno. I love their contemporary summer romances! Hopefully, one day I can inspire someone the way they inspired me!

 

I also made a blog post for the songs that inspired some scenes in the novel, find that one here. And a sneak peak that can be found here.

The Last July is set to come out very soon, fingers crossed. Follow the blog for updates on the release, deals, and pre-order!

This is an exclusive blog post that I won’t be sharing to any of my other social media platforms! So you guys get to be the first to hear the news!

Guys, now I’m starting to feel like an author!

Here’s the cover! Tada!

received_10212052203755287

August Wrap Up & September TBR

August Wrap Up

It wasn’t a great reading month for me, I kind of felt myself going into a reading slump. Finally toward the end of the month, I kicked it into gear and managed to finish some books. I did manage to knock out two of my paperbacks that I wanted to get out of the way.

Wanderlost by Jen Malone– 2/5 Stars. Kind of disappointed with this novel. I’d say my favorite character was Mr. Fenton and Sam, they kept me reading on. If it weren’t for them, I probably would have stopped reading. Full Review coming soon, FOLLOW my blog to get notified.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon- 5/5 Stars. This might be my favorite book that I’ve read this year. I finished it in three days! I wanted to finish it before I watched the movie so I could do a double review on it (coming soon) and it was glorious. If you haven’t read this one, you need to. The relationship between Olly and Maddy was beautiful.

Dirty by Kylie Scott- DNF I wasn’t feeling this book as much as I thought. I made it 40% through and I might come back to it later, we’ll see.

 

 

 

September TBR

 

 

Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino- It’s been on my Amazon wishlist for almost a year, finally it went down to 2.99, so I couldn’t pass up the deal!

Dearly Departed, Dearly Remembered, & Dearly Beloved by Rachael Rawlings- I’m going to kick off my fall reads by marathoning this series by a local author. I have high hopes for this one, it was recommended to me by my husband.

Where did I come from? (My Ancestry DNA results)

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The full kit.

 

So a few months back, I spit in a little plastic tube and mailed it off to some scientists to figure out where I came from. Let me just say, I was so excited and kept checking my email everyday in the hopes of receiving my results.

It took awhile, about two or three months to get them back. And what I found out, wasn’t a huge surprise. It was when I dived deeper, that I found out some cool stuff.

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You have to fill the tube up to the wavy line with your saliva. It’s not as easy as it looks.

 

Growing up, my granny always told me I was Irish and Cherokee, she even tried to teach me how to do an Irish jig. I believed her, figuring everyone had a little bit of Irish in them.

SO, I got the results back and I’m honestly not too surprised! Between my grandma insisting for years that we were Irish and a assignment in middle school where we needed to figure out our heritage, the results were pretty on point.

Here’s the breakdown:

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I did find out that I have a tiny percentage (2%) that’s from a small area of Germany. I actually visited it last summer when I went with my husband and in-laws. That was pretty cool to learn. Though if I had knew this when I visited, it would have been an even cooler experience.

Schwäbisch Hall
Schwäbisch Hall

 

I also find it funny that once my ancestors migrated from Europe, they pretty much Screen shot 2017-07-06 at 9.04.27 AMstayed put in the Midwest. Literally, if you were to look at a map, they didn’t go much further than Kentucky.

 

I’m pretty pleased with my Ancestry experience. It’s cool to find out where I came from. I recently went to a Ren Fair and even bought a Scottish Pride kilt since I’m mostly from there. I’m so excited to be able to even say that I’m a little bit Irish this St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve watched more Outlander and everything because of these results. 🙂

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Trust by Kylie Scott Book Review

Title: Trust34776338

Author: Kylie Scott

Genre: Young/New Adult

Rating: 3/5 Stars




 

Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love…the first time someone holds a gun to your head.

After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen-year-old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers.

While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.

An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated.

Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose—each other.




 

I received an eARC of this book via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Lately, I haven’t been breezing through books, but this one, I did! From the very first chapter, I was drawn in and couldn’t put the novel down. That being said, it wasn’t great writing either. It wasn’t beautifully written like the latest Sarah Dessen and it wasn’t ‘life-changing’, but it was very interesting and I’ll give it a ‘okay’ rating for that.

This wasn’t an insta-romance either, which was surprisingly pleasant since I love that troupe. It was more so, ‘insta-crush’. Edie and John go through a traumatic event together, but they don’t immediately want to date. John tries to protect her from his bad boy image, worried people will judge her for being associated with an ex-drug dealer.

I kind of got tired of hearing about the weight of our main character. In my eyes, she wasn’t fat, I couldn’t tell if she was huge or just a little chubby. I don’t think the weight of our character matters much unless it’s part of the plot like in Dumplin’. I feel like in order to make her weight a bigger deal, more people should have been picking on her for that.

The constant underage partying was also an issue for me. I get high schoolers party on occasion, but it felt like that was all Edie and her friends did. Constant underage drinking, sex, ect… I would classify this book as new adult, rather than young adult, because of these topics.

I loved John in the robbery scene, but he fell short after that. During the robbery, John was so kind and social, but after that, we just got grunt responses from him. He seemed to act like Edie was pesky to him. I know John was going through a lot with his brother, and the robbery, but he changed a lot from the guy he was at the gas station.

I’m  also pretty sure Kylie Scott might be a pen name… possibly Kevin/Hedwig from Split has written this book, with all the etceteras in the beginning….

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Overall, I did like the book, but I felt like it had a lot of issues that still needed to be worked out. I plan on reading more from Kylie Scott in the next few months. Always willing to give an author a second shot!