This week was a so-so writing week. I only wrote two book reviews, and I finished making changes to the WIP, so I can continue writing next week. Work was mentally exhausting and I didn’t sleep well for most of the week, so things just kind of dragged. Hopefully next week will be better.
This hasn’t been the most productive writing week, because I never seemed to have enough time! I did get three sessions of revising fiction, and I wrote three book reviews as well. I think the stress from work made everything feel much more tired.
I hope everyone had a good (writing) week! I’m still reading strictly for fun (apart from my monthly reading selections), so no book reviews, but I did get in three fiction writing sessions. The characters are starting to sort themselves out a bit, so it’s the fun part.
Here’s what I discovered this week: I am not in a good mental space to push myself with NaNo. There is too much going on, too much stress, in my life to force myself to write. I did write two book reviews, and went on vacation on Wednesday, so we’ll see if a few days at the beach will change my mindset.
The 5th Wave, by Rick Yancey (TBR). I’m mad this has been sitting on myself for over a year…but glad I also had the rest of the trilogy waiting, as I finished this in three days.
Gilt Hollow, by Lorie Langdon (TBR). This felt like a standard YA book to me. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t stand out.
Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (classic). It’s been a while since I re-read this one, and I loved it all over again. It brought me so much joy! (And the P & P memes on Pinterest are hysterical.)
Lioness Arising, by Lisa Bevere (spiritual). Loved this! Very empowering and motivating.
Dorothy Must Die, by Danielle Paige (TBR). I enjoyed this, apart from how everything in Oz was flipped. Dorothy is evil? That may have been a bit much for my The Wizard of Oz-loving self.
The Summer House, by Lauren K. Denton (review forthcoming). Okay, I’ll just say it: Lauren K. Denton is an automatic, must-read for me. Seriously. I’ve loved everything I’ve read of hers. If you haven’t read any, you’re missing out. Also: LOVED this cover!
The Jane Austen Society, by Natalie Jenner. I enjoyed this so much! It’s about a diverse group of people from Austen’s home town who fight to save her legacy. This novel actually had the feel of an Austen novel.
Of Literature and Lattes, by Katherine Reay. I’ve read a couple of Reay’s novels and enjoyed them very much. I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much, but it was a solid read. There were too many points-of-view I think to make this truly great (to me). I love the feel of this small town, but Alyssa, the MC, was…almost unlikable. Frankly, she was whiny, sat around feeling sorry for herself, and was mean and ugly to everyone around her.
The Girls Weekend, by Jody Gehrman (review forthcoming). This was an interesting closed-door mystery. I really had no idea who did it, but I thought not telling the cops they’d been drugged and cleaning up the house/crime scene was a bad idea.
A Study in Murder, by Callie Hutton (review forthcoming). This was a fun cozy mystery/romance, and I enjoyed this new series a lot.
The Grim Reader, by Kate Carlisle (review forthcoming). I haven’t read any of this series, and I found things a little too good to be true, putting me squarely on the fence with this one.
Red Sky Over Hawaii, by Sarah Ackerman (review forthcoming). I very much enjoyed this tale set in Hawaii around the time of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Very well done!
The Talking Drum, by Lisa Braxton. This is a vividly multicultural tale set in the 1970s and is a solid historical read.
What Unbreakable Looks Like, by Kate McLaughlin (review forthcoming). I thought this was a fantastic read, about a girl rescued from human trafficking and how she heals and starts living again.
A Royal Kiss and Tell, by Julia London (review forthcoming). I didn’t care for either of the MCs through most of the book, finding them entirely too self-absorbed and superficial, but there was a lot of character growth towards the end.
The Woman in the Green Dress, by Tea Cooper (review forthcoming). I enjoyed this novel set in two time periods in Australia, although it took a bit to get going. A female taxidermist, a hunt for opals, and a mystery all round out the action here.
The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones by Daven McQueen (review forthcoming). A poignant read dealing with racism in the south in the 1950s.
More than Neighbors, by Shannon Stacey (review forthcoming). This was a solid romance featuring next-door neighbors.
That Summer in Maine, by Brianna Wolfson (review forthcoming). I didn’t care for these characters and found the whole set-up a bit unbelievable.
The Mountains Wild, by Sarah Stewart Taylor (review forthcoming). Loved the Irish setting, and I never figured out who the killer was. I ended up enjoying this a lot.
She’s Faking It, by Kristin Rockaway (review forthcoming). This reminded me vaguely of Flirting with 40. I enjoyed it and it made me laugh out loud several times.
The Dilemma, by B.A. Paris (review forthcoming). I found the wife to be absolutely self-centered and selfish, and, while I liked the husband, the whole idea behind this story was a bit hard for me to believe (Okay, a lot hard for me to believe.).
Dark August, by Katie Tallo (review forthcoming). This was an interesting thriller, but unlike anything I’ve read before. I’m still not sure what I think about it.
The Last Curtain Call, by Juliet Blackwell (review forthcoming). I’m new to this series, but that wasn’t really a problem. This was an easy read with some amusing bits, but I probably won’t read more of this series.
Death of a Wandering Wolf, by Julie Buckley (review forthcoming). This is the second in a series, and I can’t wait to read the first one, and whatever’s next. Loved the Hungarian culture in this, and it was just a fun read!
The Finders, by Jeffrey B. Burton (review forthcoming). This is the start of a new series, and one I’m eager to continue reading. Of course the dog, Vira, is the star, but I enjoyed her bumbling yet determined owner as well.
Crushing It, by Lorelei Parker (review forthcoming). This is like all my worse fears come to life…with an audience. A fun read with some excellent character growth. And I want to live in this neighborhood.
Dwarf Story, by W.W. Marplot (review forthcoming). This is a middle-grade fantasy adventure that was a so-so read. And it’s not listed on Goodreads that I can find, so I can’t point you in that direction. I don’t read much middle-grade, so this may just be a case of being the wrong reader for the book.
The Infinite Sea and The Last Star, by Rick Yancey. I ended up binging these two in one day after I enjoyed the first book so much. I didn’t really like how it ended, but the ending made sense with the story.
Left Behind, by Tim LaHaye. This is a re-read for me. Just because.
The End of the Day, by Bill Clegg. Though the writing was excellent, I just could not get into this.
The Second Home, by Christina Clancy. Again, excellent writing, but I couldn’t get into it.
The Joyce Girl, by Annabel Abbs. This just did not capture my interest.
Little Creeping Things, by Chelsea Ichaso. Unreliable narrators are hit or miss for me. This was a miss, as there were off-hand mentions of the fire in the past…but no explanation, so I was clueless as to what was going on.
I am continuing to take a break from writing—except for four book reviews. I did type the summary ending to the King Arthur story into the draft, and thought about some of the problems with the draft, but that’s it. I’m brainstorming my next story and re-reading a draft I want to edit and polish next.
What I didn’t do this week was write. At all. Except for three book reviews (two for June, one a last-minute commitment for May). I’m tired. I’m burned out on my current WIP—but planning my next one. My mom is in town to meet my new nephew. I’m just not in a writing mood.
Well, this will be a short update. I did exactly zero fiction-writing this week, and only three book reviews. I’m not very happy with my current WIP—stalled out—and I feel like pushing through is just creating words without quality. Hopefully, I’ll feel up to writing next week. On the positive side, I have been re-reading a draft that I really want to polish and send out into the world before the end of the year.