Category Archives: Personal

Work in Progress Tag

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I saw the lovely Natalie from Pickle Hearts Books do this tag, so I thought I would answer the questions about the book Nicole and I are currently working on, which will hopefully be part of a trilogy.

What is the working title of your book?

Summer Storms (Can you guess it’s set in the summer? Great)

Where did the idea for your book come from?

Well, one of the four main characters came to me first. Diego was created very naturally one day, and I knew I wanted his story to have some fantasy aspects, though I didn’t want a full fantasy world. I told Nicole about Diego, and she helped bounce ideas with me. Then she suggested I add faeries to the story. I thought, hmm, why not? But the more I thought about the book, the more I just wanted Nicole’s ideas. So I asked if she wanted to co-write it with me, she said yes, and we went from there.

What genre is your work in progress?

Summer Storms is an urban fantasy novel. It can also be categorized as LGBT+ because we have a gay main character, a bisexual main character, a ftm trans character, and a bunch of other characters in the spectrum. It has magic, humor, action, adventure, romance, drama (gotta love the drama), and a lot of heart. There’s definitely a focus on friendships and family.

Choose the actors for your movie rendition.

This is really tough. I’m gonna do some serious googling here.

Ailsa:

Gina Rodriguez

The Build Series Presents Gina Rodriguez Discussing The New Movie "Deepwater Horizon"

I love Gina, and I want to see her in everything, so maybe I’m a little biased, but work with me here. Gina would be the perfect Ailsa. Although Ailsa has a darker skin tone, and is a little thicker, Gina would be amazing as Ailsa. They’re both very empowering, fierce women.

Monica:

Ana Brenda Contreras

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I’ve always admired this beautiful telenovela actress. She’s incredibly talented, and she knows her drama. Monica is all about the drama, so it’s a perfect fit. She has the same skin tone, and hair style. Make this happen.

Leon:

Valentino Lanus

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I think Valentino is good for Leon because they’re both very handsome, charming, and yet they have that mysterious sort of broody undertone. I think they’re similar physically as well, although Leon probably has softer facial features, if that makes sense.

Diego:

Michael Peña

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Although Diego does not wear glasses, I think Michael is pretty much exactly like Diego. He has that sad puppy dog look on his face, curly hair, and a cute belly. I’m actually very happy with this pick. If Summer Storms every becomes a movie, I hope he’s not too old to play Diego. (Although Diego is 38 in the first book, so already an old man).

One sentence synopsis of your book.

Four friends come together to fight off a twisted faery who continuously torments them.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

We really hope to get traditionally published. It’s a long, complicated process, but we’re willing to go through it.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

We wrote the first draft in about a year. We’re already on the second draft, but that one took over a year.

What other books would you compare the story to?

There aren’t many books I’ve read that are similar. I’m not sure why there aren’t more popular faery books. It seems like Holly Black has a monopoly on those. It could be compared to Iron Cast because of the close character relationships. Maybe also to Fairy Bad Day, but only if you compare the fairies, not the plot.

Who or what inspired you to write the book?

I would say, Nicole and I inspired each other, and continue to inspire each other. Writing a book with someone else makes the process so much easier — and fun!

What else about your book might peak the reader’s interest?

We have a lovely slow burn romance that will keep you hooked as much as we’re hooked on it. There are intense scenes that will keep you on the edge of your seat. A lot of action, some twists and turns, but with a mix of humor to keep a balance. The friendships that form between our four main characters is strong and sweet. It’s a story that was so easy and yet so difficult to write. It means a lot to me, and I know it means a lot to Nicole, too. I’m excited to share it with the world someday.

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Spook-a-thon TBR

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October is here, and I have yet to read any of the spooky books I wanted to read. In order to try to fix this, I’m joining the Spook-a-thon from October 16th (today) to the 22nd. It’s hosted by BooksandLaLa Bookerly and Paige’s Pages.

Challenge 1: Read a thriller

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A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena. I have no idea what it is about, but it’s the group book for this read-a-thon. I put it on hold at my library, and it still hasn’t come in yet. Hopefully I will have it in time to finish it, because I really wanted to follow the group book for once. This is supposed to have 305 pages.

Challenge 2: Read a book with a spooky word in the title

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Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan. My spooky word here is killing. Apparently a group of students accidentally kill their English teacher. It sounds like a good time. This is 222 pages.

Challenge 3: Read a book based on a childhood fear

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Summer of Fear by Lois Duncan. A girl’s family takes in a cousin, and she’s sure her cousin is a witch. This might seem odd since I now love books about witches and magic, but I was terrified of witches when I was younger. I would constantly have nightmares about a witch getting her cauldron ready to eat me. Whenever I woke up from these dreams, I would be convinced she was in the corner of my room. So I would always lay very still, and never open my eyes. I guess hoping she wouldn’t notice me? I’m not sure, but I think that I was scared if I got out of bed to tell my parents that meant she would get me. This book is 226 pages.

Challenge 4: Read a book with orange on the cover

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Little Deaths by Emma Flint. This is a historical thriller that I think will be interesting. It’s about a woman who’s two kids are murdered, and that’s all I know really. This is the closest thing I could find that fit kind of. It’s more of a red in person, but we could call it blood orange for the sake of the challenge.

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But it’s fine honestly. This is 304 pages.

Challenge 5: Read a book that has a spooky setting

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Bird Box by Josh Malerman. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book. This is a book set in a world where if you look at this monster you go mad. I think. Which is a pretty scary place to be. This is 262 pages.

In total that adds up to 1,319 pages. I hope since this is five books instead of the usual seven I will get to them all. 

The Harry Potter Book Tag

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We were tagged by Lorryn from Reading Parental. Thanks so much for tagging us!

Am I a pureblood, half-blood, or muggle born?

Nicole: I never get answers like this. How am I supposed to know? Do I choose one randomly? Because then I would be a half-blood since they get the best of both worlds. Is it decided in terms of privilege? Then I would be a pureblood, but not the Sacred 28. More like the Weasleys.
Isis: I’m a half-blood for sure.

Which wand chose me?

Nicole: I just took the quiz on pottermore for this and it says elm wood with a phoenix feather core. 10” and unyielding flexibility. Apparently that means I’m capable of highly advanced magic with great range, and I guess it’ll be stubborn about working for other people.
Isis: I took the pottermore quiz as well. I got the vine wood with a unicorn hair core. 13 1/2″ and quite bendy flexibility. Mine is a rare wand, and their owners are those who seek greater purpose. So that’s new.

Did I take an owl, cat, rat, or toad with me?

Nicole: A cat obviously.
Isis: Owl!

Where did  the sorting hat put me?

Nicole: I’ve taken the quiz a lot, and it’s put me in every house. The most recent one was Hufflepuff. But I’m a Ravenclaw.
Isis: Hufflepuff every time!

What house did I want to be in?

Nicole: Ravenclaw
Isis: Hufflepuff!!! Represent.

What lessons are my favorite and least favorite?

Nicole: I always wanted to know more about the Ancient Runes class. History of Magic would be my least favorite.
Isis: I would love the potions class because Snape would be my teacher. I don’t think I would like the defense against the dark arts one because I’m not much of a fighter.

The form my patronus takes?

Nicole: Pottermore said an Osprey. Some type of eagle, I don’t know.
Isis: Deerhound. But honestly, I would have been okay with a snake.

What does a boggart look like to me?

Nicole: I have so many fears how would it just choose one? But uh maybe everyone hating me.
Isis: A giant worm that feeds on humans.

Do I partake in any magical hobbies or school sports?

Nicole: No I hate socializing.
Isis: I would attend every Quidditch game to support my house, of course.

Where would I find myself hanging in my free time?

Nicole: Probably by the lake, the library, or in the dorm when everyone else is in the common room.
Isis: The library, or anywhere where there’s food. Or candy.

What would I most likely get detention for?

Nicole: Being late to class.
Isis: Not getting all my work done.

What career do I want after leaving Hogwarts?

Nicole: Inventor of spells. But also a writer. There’s never any fiction books mentioned, and maybe it’ll make everyone relax if they could read for fun.
Isis: Can I be in film or television? I don’t think that was ever discussed in the books, but I want a career like that in the wizarding world.

Which of the deathly hallows would you choose?

Nicole: The Elder Wand
Isis: The Invisibility Cloak
 

Favourite book?

Nicole: The Goblet of Fire
Isis: I love The Prisoner of Azkaban, although it also breaks my heart.

Least favourite book?

Nicole: Half-Blood Prince
Isis: I’ve never liked the Chamber of Secrets so much.

Favourite film?

Nicole: Prisoner of Azkaban
Isis: The Order of the Phoenix. I loveee Dumbledore’s Army.

Least favourite film?

Nicole: Order of the Phoenix
Isis: The Prisoner of Azkaban. Love the book, but the movie never felt as good or exciting.

Favourite character?

Nicole: Harry Potter until the very end
Isis: I love Sirius Black very much.
 

Least favourite/most hated character?

Nicole: Snape always
Isis: Umbridge.

Favourite teacher at Hogwarts?

Nicole: Hagrid even if he sucked as a teacher
Isis: Snape! He’s my boy.

Least favorite teacher at Hogwarts?

Nicole: Umbridge
Isis: Umbridge, too. But does she count as a teacher?

Do you have any unpopular opinions about the series?

Nicole: Honestly I’m not even sure what’s unpopular or not so here’s a couple of my opinions. Snape wasn’t bullied, and is a horrible person. Draco and Harry are not perfect parallels to Snape and James. Draco deserves more of the redemption arc/hero attention than Snape ever did. Dumbledore sucks and should have been put in Azkaban. Harry is biracial and bisexual. Ginny isn’t Lily reincarnate. Harry isn’t unobservant and stupid. Remus wasn’t a father figure to Harry.
Isis: I love Snape with all my heart. Leave him alone.  Also, maybe not relevant to the 7 “real” books, but MAKE SCORPIUS AND ALBUS GAY, YOU COWARDS!

If you could save one character from the finale battle who would you save?

Nicole: This is so hard but Fred. His death still hurts so much.
Isis: Fred. Honestly, why???? WHY did we have to break up that amazing duo? It’s just not fair. Not fair at all.

My Theories and Hopes for The Ship of the Dead

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The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan is the third and final book in the Magnus Chase series. It comes out in six days, and I can’t stop thinking about it. Isis still hasn’t read the first one like I’ve been begging her to do for months, so I decided to make a post similar to her Ari and Dante post talking about hopes and theories for what will be in this next book. 

Disclaimer: I’ve only read the first three books in the original Percy Jackson series, and the first two of the Magnus Chase series. I have no idea what happens in the rest of the series, so if something ties into that I don’t know about it.

Also, there is obviously going to be spoilers below.

  • Alex and Magnus romance. In a perfect world, this would be extended to a five book series so that this romance could continue to be a slow burn. However, I think I saw Riordan say on twitter it is definitely three books, and I need Magnus and Alex to acknowledge the feelings they have in some meaningful way.
  • Blitzen and Hearthstone confirmation. I’m not usually so set on the romance side of books, but they are obviously together. I need them to confirm it very obviously in the text to be happy. Maybe with hand holding? An I love you? I don’t ask for much.
  • A conversation between Riptide and Jack. I want Annabeth and Percy to be shocked. It can last for two lines, honestly, it just needs to happen.
  • I know everyone is freaking out over Percy being in this book. I saw Riordan put on Twitter that it won’t be a big part. Honestly, I think he’ll be in it for one chapter, maybe three at the most. I see them talking, and Percy sending Magnus to talk to someone else as a way to help. Or giving him something, like the ship of the dead, that will help, and that’s it.
  • Speaking of the ship of the dead, does that mean that Hotel Valhalla is gonna be on this ship? Is T.J., Halfborn, and Mallory going to play a bigger part in this book? I hope so because I love the time they are present.
  • But if they are all going to be out that means that Ragnarok will happen? It seems likely, yet I hope not. I don’t see how it can happen and be all wrapped up in one book. Not in a satisfying way at least.
  • Sigyn, Loki’s wife. I think she will end up playing a big role in taking down Loki. I’m not sure if she’ll team up with Magnus or do something completely on her own, but I think she will be important.
  • I don’t think Andirson or Greta, Hearthstone’s brother and mother are dead. Or, at least, their deaths are more than what we’ve been told. I’m not sure what part this will play in the overall plot, or if it’ll be a part of the cursed ring keeping them from their journey.
  • Frey, Magnus’s dad. I think we will see him in person in this book. 
  • Sam will be in great danger with Loki, but she will overpower him.

There’s probably a very big plot point that I’m forgetting to even mention, but oh well. I realize these aren’t very creative, or even thought out in a big way but honestly I’m bad at that. I  just know I’m excited for this book, and wanted to list out a couple of things I think are important for this last book.

 

The Reading Quest Final Update

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Nicole:

In the last update, I was unsure of which book I would continue. I ended up reading, finishing, and loving Serpentine by Cindy Pon. It was 274 pages, and a complete five star read for me.

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Out of the five books and 1,964 pages I had in my TBR, I finished three books and 1,083 pages. While not living up to my hopes, I finished books I’ve been meaning to read for a long time. Plus, all the books I read I enjoyed. So I will have to consider this a success on my part.

Isis:

I was under the impression that the read-a-thon was over a week ago, but apparently it wasn’t. I did read, but it was not one of the books on my list. However, I’m still counting it. I read The Last Cigarette on Earth by Benjamin Alire Saenz. It was 130 pages long. I wrote a review on it. 

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I also read 10 pages in After the Quake by Haruki Murakami. I’m really not feeling this book of short stories anymore. I loved the first story, but I couldn’t even finish the second one. Maybe I’m not in the mood for this book right now.

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So, in total, I read 471 pages and two books during the read-a-thon out of the five books and 1,200 pages from my TBR. I blame it on my recent obsession with Friends. It happens every time I decide to rewatch it. But come on, it’s the best show!

The Reading Quest Update #2

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Nicole: First, I have to apologize since there hasn’t been any posts for two weeks now. I didn’t put up an update last week because honestly I didn’t open up a book at all. And since I didn’t finish anything, I didn’t have a review to put up. This week however was much better. I read all week, and finished The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan on Thursday.

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It was 312 pages, and a five star read. Since then I’ve been bouncing around books again. I’ve read 10 pages of Serpentine by Cindy Pon and 44 pages of Asylum by Madeleine Roux even though that wasn’t on my TBR for this.

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I’m not sure if I will continue one of those, go back to The Bone Witch, or start something new. There’s one more week of this Reading Quest, and I hope to finish at least one more book.

Isis:  This week I had a lot of health issues that stopped me from reading a lot, but I still managed to get some reading done. Thanks to goodreads, I was able to monitor the pages I read in Fat Angie. I got to page 108 on 8/27, and then to page 161 on 8/29, and this was my favorite moment because the romance started kicking in. And let me tell you, I was rooting for this romance. It was very sweet. Today I managed to finish the entire book, so I read 263 pages for this book. 

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I have some mixed feelings about Fat Angie. Although it was mostly good, there was a lot that bothered me. The writing style was odd. I liked Angie, but didn’t like the way she narrated the book. I didn’t like KC’s dialogue, as much as I liked her. Their lingo just didn’t make much sense. Overall, I did appreciate the themes in the book, and the romance between Angie and KC. I also really liked Jake, Angie’s friend. He was so sweet and supportive. I wish I’d managed to finish other books during this time, but I’m glad I got one done at least. Counting the bit I read from the other books, I read 331 pages total.

Reading Quest Update Week #1

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Day 1:

Nicole: I decided to start by reading Reckless by Cornelia Funke. All I knew was it involved fairies in some way so I thought it’d be a good book for researching a little for the book I’m writing with Isis. I got to 70 pages.

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Isis: I had a busy day Sunday, so I didn’t read anything.

Day 2: 

Nicole: I continued the read Reckless, and read 69 pages.

Isis: Didn’t read on Monday either. Go me!

Day 3:

Nicole: I was deep in the book, and decided to devote more time for reading. I ended up read the last 255 pages to finish the book. I also wrote a review for it already. You can read it here. This completed the read a book set in a different world challenge.

Isis: I started by reading Fat Angie by E.E. Charlton-Trujillo and read two whole chapters. I read up to page 28, and let me tell you, I was tired from all my hard reading.

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Day 4:

Nicole: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco was my next pick. I had a busy day, and unfortunately only managed to read 12 pages.

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Isis: I went to the doctor this day, and couldn’t even get out of bed most of the day. I read a few more pages until I made it to page 32 of Fat Angie.

Day 5: 

Nicole: I had appointments again, but I arrived early and read 40 more pages. 

Isis: I don’t think I read on Thursday at all.

Day 6:

Nicole: I think I read another 10 pages, but I had enough time to read more. I just choose to do other things.

Isis: I read up to page 40 of Fat Angie on Friday. I’m an excellent reader.

Day 7: 

Nicole: I didn’t read anything. I’m struggling with The Bone Witch, and it really sucks. I’ve been so interested in it for so long, but it’s a slower paced fantasy. In general, I struggle with those more. I’m thinking of setting it aside, and picking up another book but I’m not sure. It makes me feel guilty.

Isis: On Saturday, I made it to page 66 of Fat Angie. I decided this book relied too much on bullying and too little on the f/f romance, which is what I was interested in. So I thought I should read the beginning of all of my books to try them out. So, I read up to page 16 in The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, which was very intriguing. I’m enjoying the narrator, and I want to get back to it soon. I read up to page 28 in After the Quake by Haruki Murakami. This is a collection of short stories, so I read the first one, and started the second one. It was really good. Then I read up to page 18 in A Monster Calls. It’s already feeling quite sad, so I feel like I’ll need to take it easy with that one. And finally, I read up to page 6 of A Kiss in Time, which was only the first chapter. This one was just okay, it’s your typical Sleeping Beauty retelling. Nothing special so far.