Thursday, May 28, 2015

Follow Friday: Scary TBR Lists + Friday Funnies

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!



How many books do you have on your TBR List? -- Suggested byObsessive Compulsive Reader 


On Goodreads.com, my TBR list currently has 762 books on it. As sad as that is, it gets worse. I know I have books on my shelves at home and on my kindle that aren't actually on my goodreads TBR shelf. So, I'd say overall my TBR is 800+ books long. AND...I often just put the first book of a series on the list. If it's awesome, chances are I'll read subsequent books for that series, too. So...

How many books are on your TBR list?




Welcome to Friday Funnies! Because everyone needs a good laugh on Friday.

(All pictures courtesy of my LOL Pinterest Board or my Geektastic Board.)


LOL.

No idea if this is real or not, but if it is, oh good heavens! I think it's safe
 to say the connotations of most of these words have changed since the '60s.


This video is only funny if you're familiar with Game of Thrones. If you are,
 it's hysterical. If not, you'll be super-confused. You've been warned. :D



Our Game of Thrones musical continues as Nikolaj Coster-Waldau brings us Closer To Home. If you're in the U.S., then watch Red Nose Day USA this Thursday at 8/7c on NBC for more! #RedNose
Posted by Coldplay on Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Hope one of those gave you a laugh. Which was your favorite? What's making you laugh this Friday? I'd love to get some links! 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

5 Ways to Become an Expert in Your Field

When I published my first book, Persistence of Vision, my marketing rep had me fill out a questionnaire about how I planned to market my book. Then he called and we had an hour long conversation about it. At some point in the questionnaire, I wrote that I wasn't a dystopian expert or anything, but I did know a lot about the genre. My marketing rep responded by telling me to never say that again. He said I should sell myself as a dystopian expert and think of myself that way. It would give me authority and credibility when it came to my book and help me further my career. 

Best advice I ever received!

As writers, there is an unspoken expectation from our readers that we be experts at what we're writing about. Not to mention it might  just be the most effective way to market our own work. 

But am I suggesting you tout yourself as an expert when you're not? Of course not. Even after my marketing rep's suggestion, I didn't label myself as that for a while. I didn't feel knowledgeable enough yet. Instead, I worked hard to get to the point where I could call myself that. 

So, how do you become an expert in your field, genre, or passion? There are several ways. These are my favorites. In my opinion, they produce the fastest, best results.

1) Tell yourself you already are. What we think about we bring about. Just like writing down a goal makes it more attainable, telling yourself you are something is the first step to becoming it. 


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2) Do the research  

     a) Read I doubt I need to tell anyone in this community that reading is paramount. If you want to know about something, you have to do the research and learn about it. The fastest way to find out whether you really care about something is to start researching it. If you've lost interest in five minutes, you don't have much passion for it. If you stay up all night going from link to link and reading more and more...


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     b) 10,000 hours - It's pretty well-accepted knowledge that to become an expert, you have to do something for 10,000 hours. That's a lot of time, but think of it this way. If you write for 10 hours a week, it'll take a thousand weeks to become an expert. The more you do, the faster you excel. But don't worry. If you really love what you're doing, you'll do it in your spare time anyway. You'll hit this hour requirement before you know it.

     c) Educate yourself and form an opinion - Being an expert is not about reciting fact or having read all of the literature ever written on a topic. Rather, it's about knowing enough to form an opinion on the issues people care about. 

Example: If you want to call yourself a vampire expert, you don't have to have read every vampire novel ever written, or be able to recite every significant date in Anne Rice's career. On the other hand, you should probably know the difference between Bram Stoker and Stephanie Meyer, and have an opinion about their different approaches to vampires. Of course, the more you do read, the more authority you have on the subject.


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3) Speak it, write it, teach it - You can memorize facts until you're blue in the face, but you'll just forget them if you don't refresh every day. The fastest way to learn something and ingrain it in your own mind is to teach it to someone else. So do that. 

Example: It can be done verbally, in writing, or in a teaching environment, such as a class, conference, panel, or seminar. The great thing about the writing community is that everyone always wants to learn from everyone else's experiences. So you'll always have an audience. 

4) Blog - This is an extension of #3, but there are SO many reasons to blog as an author. You can teach concepts through writing, connect with an audience, and learn more than is humanly possible just learning on your own. 


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5) Get Started! Now! - True inspiration comes after you get started, not before. When I started blogging, I was super-nervous and knew absolutely nothing about it or any other online platform. The learning curve was amazing to me. The more you do, the more you know. In a matter of months I was better-versed on blogging and online platforms than most people I know. So don't let not knowing something slow you down. In order to become an expert, you have to get started!

Are there any of these you'd like more details about? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Happy Memorial Day, 2015!!!

Happy Memorial Day, Everyone! May God Bless you and yours on this very important holiday!

My family has a tradition of going up Parley's Canyon to have breakfast together bright and early. We start a fire, eat homemade food, have a program where anyone who wants to can tell patriotic stories, say the Pledge of Allegiance, honor my great-grandfather who is a World War II veteran, and then, if the weather is good, play sports together for a few hours. (The weather isn't supposed to be very cooperative this year, so we'll see how long anyone holds out up there.)

I was raised in a very patriotic family, which I consider to be a priceless blessing. So I'll leave you today with some images to help us remember that we live in the greatest country in the world, and it's not something to be taken for granted.

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What are you doing to celebrate Memorial Day?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Book Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

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Okay, crazy week. This post is going up late and I probably won't post tomorrow. Hopefully on Friday, though. My sister is getting married in less than three weeks and wedding preparations are taking up ALL of my extra time, so my posting may be spotty until after the first week in June. 

So, I finally read Dare You To by Katie McGarry. I have had it on my kindle since around Christmas time, so I'm glad I finally got to it. *I largely avoid spoilers in my reviews so if you haven't read it, you can read this review without worry.*

Plot: Book 2 of Pushing the Limits focuses on Beth's story. (Pushing the Limits is not a series that needs to be read in any particular order. The same group of friends is in each book, but each installment is about a different character's story, so they feed into one another but aren't necessarily chronological.) So Beth is a rough girl. She's had a difficult past, beyond what most people can imagine, and when her uncle shows up to take her away from her broken home, she fights him tooth and nail. Meanwhile she meets Ryan. They really hate one another at first, and the reasons for their initial interaction are anything but the right ones. But, as time goes on, and they get to know one another, things begin to change. Tale-as-old-as-time-style.

Characters: The great thing about Katie McGarry is that her characters are so colorful and believable. The voices are never remotely the same. And it's a nice blend of ages. Their teenager-hood is obvious, but not in an annoying way. McGarry's characters have real problems, not just high school problems, and that makes them more mature than most teens. (Which I think is why I can stand to read her books. High school books generally aren't my thing.) All characters in the book jump off the page as real and believable, and you'll find yourself very invested in their stories.

Writing: The writing is phenomenal. McGarry's stories always draw you in and you can't stop turning pages. A word of warning, though. With Beth being a "rough" girl, there are a lot of cuss words in this book. I remember seeing them in Pushing the Limits #1 as well, but it was much more prevalent here. Lots of f-bombs and other cussing. Maybe I just don't remember how much there was in book 1, but I have the impression of that one being PG-13-ish, where the content in this one is much closer to rated R. You've been warned. 

Ending: I liked the ending. McGarry is good at endings. She always manages to sum up the major problems of the novel, but also leave enough open for it to feel real. Not everything is tied up in a neat bow, but things are being worked on, and you feels satisfied with where she ends.

Overall: Here's the thing--and I've said this before--contemporary romance, especially of the high school variety, is really REALLY not my genre. I generally wouldn't touch it. But McGarry's books I will read and even look forward to reading. That should tell you something. She's really that good. In short, highly recommended! 

Has anyone else read Dare You To? What did you think of it?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Blood, Boobs, & Carnage Blogfest

Happy Monday, Everyone!

Today we have the Blood, Boobs and Carnage Blogfest, hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh and Heather Gardner

If you want to join, sign up on the Linky List below.

Instructions:
Post about a movie, television show, book, or all three that falls into the category of Blood, Boobs, and Carnage. (Or just Blood and Carnage or other mixture.) It can be any genre that fits the bill – fantasy, science fiction, action, adventure, western, thriller, etc. Here’s a few examples – Conan the Barbarian, Breaking Bad, Fast and Furious, The Watchmen, etc Post the badge and visit other participants.
And what a I posting about?

Come on, you knew it was coming. It's only my favorite show that I do extremely long, detailed recaps and analysis of when it's on...

The Walking Dead !!!

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The great thing about TWD is that it has everything. Great story lines, great character arcs, great plot twists, plus the excellent effects (gore, etc.) tragedy, and the human element that gets you all addicted and you just can't stop watching. 

There are no boobs in the walking dead. Very little skin at all, in fact. But there's definitely blood and carnage. Most kills in this show are zombie in nature, but there's some gore involving the living, too. 

I've added some gifs below to illustrate. Notice how Daryl is in most of them. That's because he's the show's most physical character and generally gets the best kills. Of course there are a few other characters with gnarly kills as well.

Daryl hatchback walker kill. - Season 3 Source

Daryl beheading a walker. - Season 1 Source


Daryl killing Merle (after he became a walker). - Season 3 Source


Rick ripping out Joe(bad guy)'s throat with his teeth. - Season 4 Source


Noah's death (voted worst/gnarliest death of season 5). Source


Daryl killing 3 walkers at once with a chain (a.k.a. awesome!) - Season 5 Source


What's your favorite involving blood, boobs, and/or carnage?

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Follow Friday: Book Organization + Friday Funnies

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!



How do you organize your books? Either at home on your bookshelves or on your reading-device, or on your bookish platform like Goodreads, Leafmarks or Booklikes. - Suggested by Unconventional Book Views.

Thoughts for Thursday: The Importance of Art + Johnny Worthen's The Finger Trap

Before we get to T4T, a couple of orders of business:

1) Check out yesterday's blog tour stop over at Kissin Blue Karen. It's a great review for The Botanist (Yea!)

2) Also check out my good friend, Johnny Worthen's new book, The Finger Trap.

Tony Flaner is a malingering, part-time comedian who is full of sarcasm and never finished a thing in his life. He’s had 12 years to prepare for his divorce and didn’t. He had his entire life to choose a career and hasn’t. Now time’s up, and he’s in a world of trouble. But all of that changes when Tony takes a first date to a drunken party and ends with him facing prison for the murder of a girl he hardly knew. To save himself, wise-cracking Tony must discover who the mysterious girl was, what she was involved in, and what the hell she saw in him in the first place.

Isn't the cover amazing?



Thoughts for Thursday

(It's been SO long since I did one of these!)


Thoughts for Thursday is a meme where we share thoughts or quotes that we know or have recently come across. Each week there is a specific subject or theme. These can be quotes from books, quotes by famous people, (quotes by YOU, perhaps ;D). Anything from anywhere is game, though we do ask that you keep your quote to a few sentences at most. Don't quote, for example, entire passages of a book or essay. These can be funny quips, cool sayings, hair-raising antidotes, movie lines, any kind of quote you can think of!

Just have fun, collect awesome sayings by awesome people, and try to be inspired!

This week's theme is the importance of art.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.--Scott Adams

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Book Review: The Scorch Trials

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After reading The Maze Runner by James Dashner a few months ago, I knew I'd want to read the rest of the series. I finally got a chance to read book 2, The Scorch Trials in April, but due to the A to Z Challenge on my blog and tons of other things going on in my life, I haven't posted a review of it yet.

I usually don't like to do reviews so far after I've read the book. I tend to forget the details and what my first impressions were. Because of that, this review will be on the shorter side.

**I stay largely away from spoilers in my reviews but there may be some minor ones, especially for book 1. Read at your own risk!**

Plot: The story picks up pretty much exactly where it left off, with our group of boys in a bunker of sorts, hoping to learn the truth of the Maze and all their previous trials. Instantly things get weird, though, and it seems their brief 'sanctuary' wasn't a sanctuary at all, but rather just a respite between periods of drama, and perhaps even a passage into the next phase. We learn more about the virus that seems to have ruined the world, and what it does to it's victims, but as per usual there are more questions than answers.

One thing I will say about this series, it is anything but predictable. I can never even begin to imagine where Dashner is taking us next. And that's refreshing.

Characters: As in the first book, we get a lot of character development with Thomas as his relationships with the other boys, Teresa, and a new girl in his life develop. There are endless complications and contingencies to wade through, with plenty of dystopian death and drama along the way. Good times.

World-Building: The world in book 2 is very different than book 1. Where the first one consisted of the maze, with lots of vines and greenery (the feel of it was somewhere between woodsy and tropical), book 2 takes place in a waterless desert (hence the title). It's just as vivid and exotic as book 1's locale, though. How different it is from book 1 is kind of shocking to the senses.

Ending: The ending, as you might imagine, leaves the reader salivating for book 3. I kind of figured it would. Overall, though, I felt it closed and summed up most of the threads for this book, so it was a satisfactory ending. Of course now I'm going to have to finish the trilogy. Eventually. :D

Has anyone else read Dashner? What did you think of him?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Want to Meet + Teasers

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.


Ten Authors I REALLY Want To Meet

Couple of things. As an author myself, I don't think I get quite as worked up about meeting authors as others in the bookish community. Not that I don't want to meet them, but I'd be just as excited to meet and unknown author as to meet a famous one. 

Also, do all authors on our list have to be living?

10. Charles Dickens - I'd love to talk to him about how he formulated his stories. Of course I'd probably just giggle at his accent.
9. Cormac McCarthy - I totally want to talk to him about the way he writes and why he does it that way.
8. Shakespeare - 'Cuz, obviously...
7. Bram Stoker - Totally want to talk to him about how he came up with the iconic villain that now so permeates our culture.
6. Katie McGarry 
5. Joseph Conrad - I'd love to hear his passion/apathy theories from his own mouth and how he formulated them. 
4. Terry Goodkind - I loved his Sword of Truth series.
3. Brandon Sanderson - I've actually met him before but it was very brief and I didn't get to talk to him much. I'd really like to pick his brain.
2. J.K. Rowling - Again, obviously...
1. Robert Jordan - Unfortunately he passed away in 2007, but I'd still really like to meet him. 

Teaser Tuesday:


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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This week's teasers come from Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys.
"Listen," I said. "The men." It grew louder. Louder. They were singing, singing at the top of their lungs. Andrius joined, and then my brother and the gray-haired man. And finally, the bald man joined in, singing our national anthem. Lithuania, land of heroes... 
I wept.
What are you reading this week?

Dragon Races

Happy Monday, Everyone!

I had no idea what to post today. Weird, I know. I could have figured something out, but I had a really busy weekend and didn't want to think/work really hard. :D

So, I thought I'd ask a question and get some opinions. 

As most of you know, one of my WIPs is a high fantasy about dragons. It's really a back burner project right now as I have three other projects I need to complete before I focus on it. It probably won't be out until next year. But...I do think about it from time to time. 

I have lots of races of dragons in it, and I want to make sure I'm hitting the major climates and terrains. Each species communes with the elements of its environment and takes on the traits of it's surroundings in various ways.

So far, I have...




Forest dragons, 
















Ice dragons, 














Water dragons










Desert dragons (below)                                                                                   Cave dragons






Volcanic Dragons
(think obsidian)



Bonus: Zombie dragon. 
(Not sure if they will actually be in my story but had to post it 'cuz it's cool. :D)


What do you think of my dragon species so far? Can you think of any other kinds I should include? Suggestions welcome. :D

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Follow Friday: Next Reads + Friday Funnies

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!



How do you decide what books to read? - Suggested by So Many Books, So Little Time

It depends. I'm pretty whimsical about what specifically I'm going to read, but sometimes I make lists of what I want to get through soon. This year, I decided I wanted to reach as many of the books I have stored on my kindle as I could, so I made a list of those plus any others I wanted to be sure to get through this year. I work off of that, but as for specific titles, I just glance through it and decide what I'm in the mood for next.



Welcome to Friday Funnies! Because everyone needs a good laugh on Friday.

(All pictures courtesy of my LOL Pinterest Board or my Geektastic Board.)


SOOO my sister!

Seriously, who comes up with these things? :D

Wookie the Chew
(Star Wars/Winnie the Pooh mashup.)
Who would've thought? So stinkin' cute, tho.

'Cuz, yeah.

Right?

LOL.

Morbid (of course) Walking Dead joke.

The Hobbit/Hunger Games Mashup

Please do!

How do you decide what to read? Any of these pics make you smile? Have a fantastic weekend!