Saturday, 3 December 2016

Review - The Voyage to Magical North (The Accidental Pirates, #1) by Claire Fayers




Title: The Voyage to Magical North (The Accidental Pirates, #1)
Author: Claire Fayers
Pages: 320
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Release date: 5th July 2016

Blurb from Goodreads: 

Twelve-year-old Brine Seaborne is a girl with a past--if only she could remember what it is. Found alone in a rowboat as a child, clutching a shard of the rare starshell needed for spell-casting, she's spent the past years keeping house for an irritable magician and his obnoxious apprentice, Peter.
When Brine and Peter get themselves into a load of trouble and flee, they blunder into the path of the legendary pirate ship the Onion. Before you can say "pieces of eight," they're up to their necks in the pirates' quest to find Magical North, a place so shrouded in secrets and myth that most people don't even think it exists. If Brine is lucky, she’ll find her place in the world. And if she's unlucky, everyone on the ship will be eaten by sea monsters. It could really go either way.
 



 




My Review:

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Macmillan Children's Publishing Group and NetGalley*




Twelve-year-old Brine was found in a boat with only a piece of starshell, something that allows magicians to harness power. Ever since, she has been a housekeeper for a magician and his annoying apprentice Peter.
When the magician announces some changes, Brine and Peter flee, only to find themselves rescued by the crew of the Onion, a pirate ship captained by the legendary Cassie O'Pia.
A series of events then sees the duo on a dangerous quest to find Magical North.
Will the Onion make it to Magical North?
Will Brine find out about her past?


The Voyage to Magical North was a fun, middle grade book.
The characters were okay but I didn't have any favourites.
The plot was quite fast paced but it didn't hold my attention and I found myself skim-reading.
The idea of Magical North was intriguing and I liked that there was a library that men couldn't enter.


Overall this was an okay read but I lost interest.


Friday, 2 December 2016

Blog Tour + Guest Post + Giveaway - Shattered Pack (Alpha Girl, #6) by Aileen Erin




Find the tour schedule here.






Shattered Pack by Aileen Erin
(Alpha Girl)
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: March 28th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult


Meredith Molloney never thought she’d find a mate, let alone someone like Donovan Murry—one of the most powerful Alphas alive. Now that she’s no longer cursed and the evil Luciana Alvarez has been taken care of, she thinks life will finally settle down. Boy, has she never been so wrong.

In the middle of the night, Donovan gets a call telling him that his pack has gone to pieces. The news that his second in command has been found brutally murdered has Donovan packing his bags for Ireland, but the last thing Meredith wants to do is leave Texas. She’s heard about how the Celtic Pack are with outsiders. And Donovan has more than a few exes in the pack that will be less than friendly.

Meredith’s never let a few angry wolves stop her, and she’s not about to start now. She’s faced down much worse the past few months. But when she gets there, she finds that it’s not just a few exes who stand in the way between her and her Full Moon Ceremony with Donovan.

Meredith is thrust in to a deadly game of pack politics, one the fey have happily joined in on. When the dust settles, she knows she’ll either have everything that she wants or lose it all.












 


 10 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer

(Note- there were more pics but Blogger threw a hissy fit and wouldn't save them)

1.      Read.


The best way to learn to write is to read. But don’t just read to get lost in the story. Read to know what others are doing, how they’re doing it, and to know what your competition is. If you get lost in the book, that’s okay. Finish it. But then go back and read it again. Learn why you got lost in it. What is it about that author’s writing that was so amazing? If you’re reading something and you hate it, why do you hate it? What are they doing that’s making it hard to finish? Once you can recognize both in other’s writing, then you can start doing that in your own. You’ll learn what you want to do, how you would do it differently than everyone else, and you’ll find your own voice.



2.      Morning Pages.


This is something from The Artist’s Way, but it kind of changed my life. Every morning, first thing—or as soon as I can manage—I start writing in a journal. Some days it’s my worries. Stresses. Others it’s my grocery list. But dumping everything that’s on my mind on the page leaves me with room to think about other things, most importantly, it gives me the space I need to be creative and “hear” my characters’ voices. I don’t know if it works for everyone, but it definitely works for me. Give it a try! It might just change your life. ;)



3.      Learn the rules. Then break them.


You might be wondering why I’m saying you have to learn them first, but it’s important. You have to know why the rules are there. They serve a purpose, and so I find it essential to know them. All of them. The rules of the genre you’re writing in. The rules of plot and structure. The rules of writing in general. Then you can choose to knowingly break them. Bend them. Change them. But being aware of them makes it easier to know how—and when—you should break the. Some of them maybe shouldn’t be broken—like the HEA (Happily Ever After) at the end of a romance. But some of them—like changing tense—could be broken for a reason. Like John Green did for the third act of Paper Towns.



4.      Plot.


I’m not saying you have to write one of those massive 70 page outlines, but before you start writing, you should know how plot works, and—at the very least—the basic way it’s going to unfold in your story. My plotting is pretty basic. I use Save the Cat’s Beat Sheet + 40 note cards. Just that little bit will keep me going. If I feel like the story is starting to get away from me, I can look at them and find my way back to what I’m really trying to put on the page. But hey, if you’re one of those 70page plotters, go on with your bad self! ;) I don’t know how you do it, but I admire it. For the rest of us, some plotting can go a long way. Especially when it comes time for revisions.



5.      Write what you love.


The old rule was “Write what you know.” But that gets boring. I mean, if I wrote what I knew I certainly wouldn’t be writing about werewolves. I haven’t even met one yet! ;) But if you’re curious about a subject, or—even better—love a subject, then write about it! Even if you’re not an expert. That’s what research is for. Your passion for what you’re writing will come across on the page, and it’ll make it way more fun for the reader to read.



6.      Write every day.

It doesn’t have to be good. Give yourself permission to write a shitty first draft. Don’t worry, you’ll have edits and revisions galore to polish and make it perfect. But getting in that habit of writing every day will help you get that book finished. Even if it’s just for ten minutes a day. Even if you only get a paragraph down. Day by day you’ll get closer to finishing. If you write one page a day, by the end of the year, the book will be done. Like magic. Except with a lot more work. ;)



7.      Don’t end the day when you finish a scene or chapter.


If I stop writing at the end of a scene or chapter, the next day is writer’s block hell. I sit there for a while, scratching my head, wondering where I was going with it…  But if I end my writing day in the middle of a chapter, I can breeze right in the next day. I know what I was doing, where I was going, how I was going to end the chapter/scene/what-have-you. I don’t know why it’s a thing, but it’s a thing. So, even if I’m out of time for writing and it’s the end of the scene, I’ll write a few paragraphs into the next scene and then stop. It makes all the difference.



8.      Learn to love editing and revising.

Writing is rewriting. You’ve probably heard that, but that’s because it’s true. Very, very, very few people write a pristine, perfect first draft. It’s near impossible. So, find a critique group or someone you trust. Give them your work. Listen to their notes. Take their advice. Edit. Revise. Repeat. The people that I know that have become successful authors are those who take notes. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it here again, a good critique partner or content editor is worth their weight in gold. Find one. Cherish them and their advice.



9.      Don’t forget to take time “fill the well.”

When your life is busy and you’re on a deadline and have a million and one things to do, it can be hard to fill the creative well. Sometimes I find myself sitting there, writing, and I know that that day’s work isn’t going to be a keeper. But I’m often (read: always) on a deadline and feel like I have to be in that chair working away. Getting out of the house and doing something that’s not writing can actually take less time than gutting out those few pages that I’m going to end up trashing. It can be a walk, coloring or drawing, going to a movie, seeing an art exhibit, reading a book, or anything else that gets you excited to sit back in that chair and get to work. When I’m writing, I tend to go into hermit mode, so finding that time to fill the well is a priority. I have to remind myself that it’s time to fill that well so that I can do the best writing possible. I highly recommend it.



10.  Don’t listen to everyone else. Do what works for you.

Now that I’ve told you everything I think you should do to make you a better writer, I think you should tell me to shut the f*ck up. In the nicest way possible. These are all things that work(ed) for me. Things that I think help. But I’m not you. So, take all of this with a grain of salt. Try the ones that you like. Ignore the ones you don’t. But above all, listen to yourself. To your gut. Do what works for you.








Author Bio
 
Aileen Erin is half-Irish, half-Mexican, and 100% nerd–from Star Wars (prequels don’t count) to Star Trek (TNG FTW), she reads Quenya and some Sindarin, and has a severe fascination with the supernatural. Aileen has a BS in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, and spends her days doing her favorite things: reading books, creating worlds, and kicking ass.









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