Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 in Review + The Way of King Read-Along, Week 1

Hello All and Happy New Year! *throws confetti* 

I hope everyone had a wonderful, fun, and safe holiday season. I sure did! It was great. Had lots of fun hanging with the family, crashing my brother's warming party for his new house--it's pretty awesome, and I told him he'd better have BBQs once the weather turns warm--and overall just enjoying the season. 

Today, I'm going to review my goals for 2013 and how I did with them. If you're here for the Way of Kings Read-Along, it's below. Just keep scrollin'.

My goal for 2013 are laid out in detail HERE, but just to recap, this year I wanted to:

  • Read 50 books
  • Get books 1 and 2 of Interchron out, and book 3 written (books 4, 5 planned)
  • Get book 1 of Kremlins, Citadels of Fire, out.
  • Read 500 likes on Facebook, 5000 followers on Twitter, and 1000 followers on my blog.

And how'd I do, you ask?

Well, in terms of reading, I read 75 books this year. (Yea!) That's time and a half what my goal was. I told my brother--who is also big on reading--that I'd read that many and his mouth fell open. And, you know, I felt important. So, good there. (Check out the titles I read here. All by the last 4-5 have been reviewed on my blog.)

I did get book 1 (Persistence of Vision) and book 2 (Quantum Entanglement) of Interchron out. I didn't not get book 3 written, though. Books 3-5 are planned, thought the final two only in a rough way. I don't have a detailed outline.

It's probably worth mentioning that I wrote a whole other book that I didn't mention in my goals for the year because it wasn't really on my radar back then. I got a great idea, and after it percolated for many months, I spontaneously sat down and wrote it. It's Dark Remnants, book 1 of Street Games.

(P.S. I'm trying to wrack up more Amazon reviews for Quantum Entanglement and Dark Remnants, if anyone is interested in a free ecopy. Just sayin'. :D)

So, overall, I put out three books this year. Not bad, eh?

As for Citadels of Fire, it was originally slated for release in September of 2013, but it didn't come out. This book is being traditionally published by Jolly Fish Press, so I don't have any control over when it comes out. It was delayed due to expansion and partnerships of the publisher with the IPG group. Really this is a good thing, as it means my book will get wider distribution when it comes out. It's been pushed to May of 2014, so while I didn't get it out last year as planned, it will come out this year, and hopefully with better results than if it had been put out six months ago. I'm okay with that. :D It's available now for Pre-Order or you can add it to Goodreads.

How about social networking? I did reach this goal...sort of, depending on how you look at it. My Facebook Author page only has 413 likes as of yesterday. So, not quite. But, my book page for Interchron as another 209, and my book page for Street Games (still a brand new page) has 6. I'm not sure how much overlap their is, but it's possible I have 500 all together.

I came SO close to that 5,000 goal on Twitter, with my final count being 4,820 as of yesterday. I'll probably hit 5,000 in the next month or so. So, definitely not a loss, even if I didn't quite hit it. (I think at the beginning of the year I was between 1,000 and 2,000 somewhere.)

And my blog definitely has 1,000 followers. I had to add them all up using the different following techniques. The final number is 1,023. Whoo-hoo!

So, overall, I feel like I accomplished a lot this year. I mostly met my goals and, where I didn't, it was either truly out of my control, or within an acceptable margin.

Come back tomorrow and I'll talk about my goals and MARKETING PLAN for this year, as well as TIPS on how to set one up for yourself. 

Happy New Years Day, Everyone! Get out there and make the most of it! BTW, I wrote and scheduled this post yesterday (Tues). It was so weird to look at the 'scheduled' date and see 1/1/14. So weird! But in a good way. :D

(And don't forget to check out our Way of Kings Read-Along below!)

How did you do with your 2013 goals?

The Way of Kings Read-Along, Week 1

Welcome to week one of our Way of Kings read-along by Brandon Sanderson. For this first week, we read the Prologue through chapter 6, and Susan over at Dab of Darkness is hosting. If you'd like to join our read-along or receive the discussion questions in advance, contact Susan (this week's hostess). Everything in this section is fair game for spoilers, so read at your own risk. 

1) Is this your first Brandon Sanderson experience? Any expectations going into this read along?

So far so good. I'll admit it was a little bit hard to get into at the beginning for me, but only for the first part of the prologue. (That's actually not usual for me when I read epic fantasy, so I'm not sure why.) Now that we've moved into the two dual narratives, Shallan and Kaladin, it's much easier for me to follow. I'm really liking it!

2) In the Prelude to the Stormlight Archive, we see that Talenel (Taln) died and his sword is unaccounted for. Jerzien and company have decided it is best for 1 to suffer instead of 10. What do you make of this scene?

It was really interesting, but there's so much we don't understand yet. My take is that Jerzien is something of an anti-hero. I could be wrong, but Taln definitely didn't come off as the evil sort to me, but there was something about him that made it worth it to Jerzien to kill him. I'm intrigued and can't wait to learn how this will tie into the story.

3) What did you think of Szeth's fighting abilities and the fight scenes? Any thoughts on the crystalline sphere and King Gavilar Kholin's last words?

His abilities were pretty cool. I liked that he could stick himself to the ceilings and walls. That would definitely come in handy in a fight. Yet, it was complicated enough to seem almost like an art. It's obviously something a person would have to train long years to master. 

As for the last words, obviously they were important. Again, there's so much we don't know in this first part. I'm interested to see why the words were so important and how Szeth's actions will affect the rest of the story. I thought it was really interesting that he had no qualms about killing Kholin, but felt like it was a matter of honor to fulfill his last request. Definitely an anti-hero trait. I like it. :D

4) Each chapter proper starts with a few words from a dying person, their station, and status in life. Any thoughts on what these portend?

I think this is really interesting. I totally love it in terms of intrigue. I have no idea what they portend, but I love the idea of recording the last words of dying people and the power that might have. Again, can't wait to learn more.

5) Kaladin went from warrior to slave in a matter of the first 2 chapters. Care to speculate on the details of how his life changed so drastically?

Well, we learned that he didn't kill someone, because he lied to the woman on the Shattered Plains about it. I think it must have had something to do with the outcome of that battle. The Shardbearer showed up and obviously things went terribly wrong.  Beyond that, there haven't been many clues. It would be interesting if Kaladin was somehow betrayed by his own men. There must be some reason that first part was from Cenn's POV, right? Not sure, though.

6) Sylphrena (Syl) the Windspren seems attached to Kaladin. Are you enjoying her character? Do you like the Spren in general in the worldbuilding so far?

I LOVE Syl! She's mysterious and intriguing enough on her own, but the way she plays off Kaladin's character gives him a lot of depth and color. I'm really loving their interactions and am interested to learn what she's all about. Who/what is she? Why doesn't she know much about her own existence? Can others see her? Why is she so attached to Kaladin? I'm really loving this story line!

7) Shallan Davar has finally caught up to Brightness Jasnah Kholin and her soulcaster. Jasnah and the jeweled fabril can change stone to smoke; what else do you think it can do? 

Lots of things. Shallon mentions that it's very powerful and can turn any substance into any other substance. That's all kinds of intriguing! Can't wait to see what else it can do and if Shallon will manage to steal it. I also wonder how she plans to use it. Like an alchemist, perhaps, to turn rock into gold and save her family financially? Not sure, but very intriguing. So far, this mystery is very well-unfolded. :D

What did everyone else think of this section?


  1. Oh, a free ecopy of a book! I'm sold :)

    Your 2013 sounds like it was full of awesome stuff! Hope 2014 is just as wonderful for you

    Kat @ Books Are Bread

  2. Happy New Year! Wishing you all the best for 2014 :)

    Great answers to this week's read-along of The Way of Kings! I'm glad you were able to get pass the initial confusion at the start of the novel :) I love the set-up of the prologue, it really brings the reader into the story and sort of what's at stake.

    My post for this week :)

    1. Happy New Year to you as well! I'll head over to your post. :D

  3. Great set of goals! Happy New Year!

  4. Happy New Year! Wishing you the best.

  5. Happy New Year! I had the same thought about Shallan, that she might want to use the fabrial to generate wealth for her family. I can't wait to see how that situation plays out, because I don't really see her as capable of outwitting Jasnah at the moment.

    1. I agree. I'm really liking her story lie. Thanks, Dr. Allie! :D

  6. The storyline with Shallan is really intriguing at the moment - plus I love the way it's jumping between her and Kaladin.
    Lynn :D

    1. It is difficult to see how they will eventually connect and I don't intend to embarrass myself by guessing! :D

  7. I too like that Szeth was pretty straight up about his killing, agreeing to wear white, etc. But also held the last requests of the King as sacred - leaving the words for his brother to find and taking the sphere.

    The first time I read this, it took a while for Shallan to grown on me. But this second time around, I am really liking her. I know she plans to steal, but I can't help but like her. Her planned theft is to save her family. So, lots of room there for interesting character growth.

  8. 1. I found it a bit of a punch to the face at first: so many concepts and details and names and world building . . . my head was spinning! However, a few hours to let it sink in and I felt a lot more comfortable and now I am telling everyone I meet to get a copy and read it! :D

    2. I didn't feel like any of them were evil, which is why I don't understand the eternal torment aspect of the Pact. Perhaps they are suffering so that mankind doesn't have to?

    4. Usually I don't pay much attention to little epigrams like this in books: but Mr Sanderson will definitely include something very cool using them, so I am hooked!

    5. The Cenn POV was sneaky. It gave us one view of Kaladin and then we had that expectation smashed when we changed to his POV - that Mr Sanderson is a very sneaky writer and totally manipulative.

    6. I love her lack of understanding of herself and her world - it is as if Kaladin has called her into existence somehow.

    7. More sneaky manipulation from our author, setting Shallan up as all nice and lovable and then, SLAP! This is one of the things I love about his writing: you can never take anything at face value.