New York Times By The Book Tag!

Hi guys! I just saw this awesome tag over at Poppy’s Best of Books and thought I would participate! Please feel free to do the same and let me know if you do! Thanks!

Questions:

What book is on your nightstand right now?

Stay Close by Harlan Coben! I was re-reading Wicked but it was going kind of slow. My mom found me Stay Close really cheap so I started reading that instead!

If you could meet one author (living or dead) who would it be? What would you ask?

Harlan Coben is my favorite actor but I think I’d have to go with John Saul. I struggle a little writing imagery and Saul is amazing at it!

What books might we be surprised to see on your shelf?

Maybe the couple of non-fiction books I have? I don’t know.

How do you organise your personal library?

Not very well, actually! It’s sort of my author and title, but also by size. I refuse to put a small book under a big one even if that’s how it would go alphabetically! There’s a such thing as something looking awkward!

What book have you always meant to read but haven’t gotten round to yet?

A lot of books that I haven’t finished (I know, I should be ashamed – and am!). Some of these include Zoo by James Patterson and Missing You by Harlan Coben.

Disappointing, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you were supposed to like but didn’t?

I don’t really know. I do know though that even though it’s well written, I find Harry Potter highly overrated!

What kind of stories are you drawn to?

Thrillers and more recently, horror stories. I also love books with well written imagery! I like to be able to see with my mind’s eye what’s going on!

What do you plan to read next?

Hopefully I’ll be able to re-read Wicked. I really do want to.

I Tag…

Everyone, especially book lovers!

May Photo A Day Challenge & Book Challenge – May 11th

May Photo Challenge:

A decorative pillow I got for my last birthday!

pillow

Wanna participate? See schedule below!

mayphotochallenge

May Book Challenge:

Today’s photo is a picture of your favorite character. This was a little hard for me since I’ve read so many books and can’t remember all the characters. However, I’m going to go with Cassie Winslow from The Unwanted. I do have the book but don’t feel like digging it out. I found this image on Google Images!

Wanna participate? See schedule below!

bookchallengemay16JPG

Reading/Writing Suggestions

Some of you may know that in addition to writing about anxiety, I sometimes write about reading and writing. I’ve been working on a story lately and I realized that although I’m still may not be the greatest writer in the world, I’m pretty proud of what I’ve written so far.

I think that a great way to get better at writing is to read more. Not only does reading give you an idea of what works in a story, but you can see how other authors write and get a feel for how important the author’s voice is. Once you realize what makes a good story, you can find your own voice and write your own amazing story!

I thought I would make a list of writers that I think are amazing. This way if you plan on writing a story of a certain genre, you can know whose books to read to give you an idea of what makes such a great story and what qualities make a great writer!

Thriller

-Harlan Coben: In addition to great ideas, Harlan Coben has a way of keeping you on your toes and making you feel part of the story. I get so excited when he comes out with new books! By the way, he’s coming out with a new one called Fool Me Once on March 22nd! He even has a video up about it on his website! Feel free to let me know if you check it out!

Recommended Books: Tell No One, Long Lost, etc.

-James Patterson: James Patterson is also an author that has the amazing talent of keeping you on your toes. His chapters are quick-paced and short. He makes you want to keep turning the pages for more! If you want to check out a great TV series based on one of his books, check out Zoo. It’s on Netflix!

Recommended Books: Now You See Her, Truth or Die, Zoo, Sunday’s At Tiffany’s (Romance, also a movie!), etc.

Horror

-John Saul: Let me tell you guys something. John Saul is an amazing writer! I wish I would have read his books even earlier on. The story that I mentioned that I’m working on is a ghost story and I really feel that reading John Saul’s books has helped me. He’s a mastermind at using imagery. So many times I find it hard to feel like I’m part of the story, but with his books, it’s easy! In fact, I almost stopped reading a book by him because his imagery was so strong (I’m still not sure I like the book, it’s a bit depressing. It’s called Shadows.)

Recommended Books: The Unwanted, Nathaniel, Hell Fire

-Stephen King: I actually have only read a few short stories by Stephen King (I’ve never finished any of his longer novels), but I do LOVE his ideas and a lot of the movies and TV shows that were made from his books! He has great ideas and really is a good writer! I’m going to list some of the movies/TV shows that I love that were created from his books!

Recommended watching: The Dead Zone (TV show), Haven (TV show), The Stand (TV show/Movie), The Dead Zone (Movie), The Langoliers (Movie), Storm of the Century (TV series/Movie), Fire Starter (Movie), The Shawshank Redemption (Movie), The Shining (Movie)

 

Extra recommended watching: The 4400. I just started watching this on Netflix and really like it so far! It’s a science fiction show.

 

Other Great Books with Great Writing:

Suspect-Robert Crais: A GREAT book for both those who love suspense books and books about animals. See description here.

Dead Lines- Greg Bear: Another great ghost story. I haven’t read it in a while, but it’s always the book that I say is my favorite! Want to know more? Click here!

What books do you recommend for those who want to write/read thriller or horror stories?

The Friends Book Tag!

friends

Okay so Kat at Life and Other Disasters did this awesome book tag! My favorite TV show is Friends so I couldn’t pass it by. However, instead of doing all books, I might do some shows/movies as well. So without further ado, here are the questions!

 

THE ONE WHERE EDDIE WON’T GO – A CHARACTER I WISH WOULD JUST GO AWAY:

Eric Cavanaugh’s father in The Unwanted by John Saul. I can’t remember the father’s name at the moment, but I HATE him! He’s a total a** and the whole time I just wanted him to die. Of course, there are a few characters in that book like that, but Eric’s father takes the cake!

THE ONE WHERE ROSS AND RACHEL TAKE A BREAK – FAVORITE BREAK UP SCENE:

This is hard. Can I pick Friends when Ross and Rachel take a break? The part where Ross is kissing Rachel and trying to make her forgive him but she can’t makes me almost cry. I guess I would be cheating to pick that though. Ah…what the heck!? I pick that scene for now. If I come up with anything else, I’ll let you know!

THE ONE WITH ALL THE KISSING – A BOOK WITH LOTS OF KISSING:

Oh jeez, another tough one. I don’t really read a lot of books where there’s a lot of kissing honestly. Let’s just go with the beginning of Truth or Die by James Patterson. There’s not that much kissing, but it’s all I could come up with! Sorry! There’s a lot of kissing in the TV show One Tree Hill though!

THE LAST ONE – FAVORITE SERIES FINALE:

Ha, this is funny because when it comes to shows, it’s Friends for sure! However, when it comes to books, I’d have to go with The Unwanted again because the ending was so unexpected!

THE ONE WITH A BLACKOUT – A SCENE I’D LIKE TO FORGET:

Hmm…I’m gonna go with a scene from the movie Bag of Bones. It was really creepy. If you watch the movie, maybe you’ll know what I mean. I don’t want to ruin it by saying.

I’m adding a book scene to this. I just started reading Shadows by John Saul and there’s this really graphic scene that I really wish I wouldn’t have read. :/

THE ONE WHERE CHANDLER CAN’T CRY – A BOOK THAT DID NOT MAKE YOU AS EMOTIONAL AS OTHERS:

Ooh, while maybe not “emotional” as in sad, I’m going to define emotional in this case as a book I didn’t think was as good as everyone thought. Now I know this will upset a lot of fans, but the Harry Potter series! I read most of the books and while they were written pretty well, I wasn’t as in love with them as everyone else was!

THE ONE WHERE JOEY DOESN’T SHARE FOOD – A BOOK YOU WON’T EVER LEND:

Wow, this seems like such a harsh question! Maybe Deadlines by Greg Bear because when asked, I always say it’s my favorite (even though I haven’t read it in a while). Either that or Nathaniel. Also, I once lent a book to someone and that didn’t go well so I bought another copy. Chances are I wouldn’t lend out that one again either!

By the way, The One Where Joey Doesn’t Share Food is a GREAT episode! 🙂

THE ONE WITH THE THUMB – A RECENT READ THAT YOU WOULD GIVE TWO THUMBS UP TO:   

Hellfire! You can read my review here!

THE ONE WITH THE ICK FACTOR – A BOOK WITH A PET PEEVE:

Okay, I’m TOTALLY going with a movie here. The Wizard of Oz! I hate when in books, movies, or TV shows, something happens and it ends up being all a dream! UGH!

THE ONE WITH THE LESBIAN WEDDING – FAVORITE LGBTQ BOOK COUPLE:

I feel horrible, but I can’t think of one at the moment!

I tag…

Rae from Bookmark Chronicles

Abbie from Café Book Bean

Kendra from Reads and Treats

Mary from Mary’s Average Adventures

*Anyone who wants to participate! Especially Friends fans! Feel free to paste a link to your tag in the comments section!

Hell Fire – A Book Review

Image found on Google Images

Copyright: 1986

Rating: 4.5./5

My Synopsis:

Beth Rogers just recently became a member of the Sturgess family though both Abigail and Tracy Sturgess act as if she and her mother are scum. Meanwhile, Beth’s stepfather, Philip is determined to make his wife and stepdaughter feel at home.

A hundred years ago, something horrible happened at the family mill. However, the tragedy has been held a secret for years. Before he died, Conrad Sturgess urged that the mill be torn down, but no one listened and now, years later, people are finally starting to wonder if he was right. Will Philip and Beth’s father, Alan, stop working on the mill and listen to those who say it’s a bad idea to keep it there, or will they continue to work on it against some of the townspeople’s wishes?

My Opinion:

Another ghost story is cleverly and skillfully delivered to us by John Saul. While the book starts out a little slow, it soon turns into a fast-paced page turner. Saul is amazing at including imagery that makes us feel as if we are part of the story and he has a great talent for developing characters that we find ourselves feeling strongly about. We know immediately who to root for and who we want to fail.

This story is a little “creepier” than The Unwanted and Nathaniel. While Nathaniel was definitely eerie, Hell Fire contains more violence and frightening imagery. However, that’s part of what adds to the greatness of the story. The plot is filled with mystery, violence, history, and revenge.

Another great thing about Hell Fire is that it touches on so many issues that are relevant in the world today. The story is not only a ghost story, but it also deals with class and the resentment that one side of a town has for the other. The story also touches on the hatred that one sibling can have for another and how jealousy can turn a person into something someone else may have never thought imaginable. If you’re looking for a book that has many facets and is scary at the same time as relevant, Hell Fire is definitely for you!

 

 

Grains of Sand – January ’16

So as many of you know, Sandy from Sandycademy, created a wonderful project called Grains of Sand. Grains of Sand is a great way of keeping track of your monthly progress. For this month, please check out Sandy’s progress here. She accomplished some great things!

The following are my Grains of Sand for January 2016!

Had a good January 1st

  • Did a lot of exercising like I wanted to

Worked on story with Jade

  • I really enjoy writing and working with someone so talented. Projects are a great way to communicate with others and share your talents with one another. Also, working on a project helps with responsibility and creativity.

Was able to help someone with something

  • This felt great! To be able to help someone and really feel like I made a difference meant so much to me!

Went downstairs and did what I went down to do-to look for a picture I had been looking for. I didn’t find the picture, but I didn’t go upstairs before looking through everything I wanted to. I remained calm, did what I needed to, and went upstairs!

  • It felt so good to be successful at something that usually might cause me some anxiety. I really felt empowered getting this done!

Started exercising/practicing more

  • Consistently practicing facing my fears feels wonderful! It makes me see that I have the strength and ability to get through my anxiety. It’s not always easy, but with hard work you can accomplish your goals!

Started reading Hell Fire by John Saul

  • I started yet another great book by John Saul. It really does feel great to read again. At first, I wasn’t reading it at a very good pace, but then I started to and really like it so far.

Got interviewed by Sharon at Curious Queendom about communicating through blogging

  • I was so honored to be chosen for this interview. Sharon is a wonderful person, friend, and writer. Her article is great and she’s so full of kindness. Her article that I was interviewed for will be posted on her blog tomorrow! Please take the time to check it out! She’s awesome! 🙂

Was able to accomplish something that I hadn’t done in a while

  • It felt so amazing to do this again. I was able to once again show myself that I do have the strength to get through my anxiety and that I can!

Made some progress at my grandma’s

  • While I still struggled a little, I was able to do two things that I usually wouldn’t feel able to do. While these accomplishments may seem small to some, there is no such thing as insignificant positive progress! To read my post on this, click here!

 

Grains of Sand-December ’15

As many of you know, Sandy from Sandycademy created the inspirational project, Grains of Sand! As my first post of the new year, I will be posting my Grains of Sand for last month!

-Won two-line horror story contest over at World of Horror!

  • This was exciting for me because I love writing and to see how many people enjoyed my story, even though it was only two lines, meant a lot to me. I’d like to give special thanks to Amir from World of Horror for hosting the contest. Also, thank you to all who voted!

-Made some great new friends on WordPress

  • To some people, this might not seem like a big deal, but to me it is. I met a lot of supportive and kind people and while I’m not sure if that’s really an accomplishment, it is something that I find wonderful that it happened.

-Finished reading Nathaniel by John Saul

  • Towards the end of the year, I really started getting into reading again. In December, I read Nathaniel. It’s a great book by John Saul and I recommend that you guys check it out!

-Got a really nice compliment and generous gift from a friend

  • This also may not seem like an accomplishment per say, but it is something positive that happened. This person made me feel really appreciated and I’m very thankful for that.

-Wrote some poetry that I’m proud of and received high praise

  • I’ve said this before, but I think as writers, we all tend to doubt our talent at times. However, through blogging, I’ve gotten some really nice compliments on my writing. Thank you all so very much!

And these are my Grains of Sand for December of 2015! Thank you to all who read my blog and support me! Also, please check out Sandy’s blog if you haven’t already done so! Happy New Year!

 

 

Nathaniel – A Book Review

Image found on Google Images

Copyright: 1984

Rating: 5/5

Once again John Saul delivers a great piece of writing!

My Synopsis:

When Michael and his mother, Janet, visit Michael’s grandparents in Prairie Bend, they don’t plan on staying long. However, they soon find that they are in for much more than they bargained for. From rumors of ghosts to secrets that go way back, the town is much less welcoming than it first appears. Soon, Michael and his mother are facing situations that they never thought they’d have to face.

My Opinion:

Nathaniel managed to be even better than John Saul’s The Unwanted! Nathaniel is, while it may sound like a cliché, a definite page turner. Nathaniel is full of suspense and you soon see that Saul is willing to do what many authors aren’t. At times, you’re not completely sure what characters to root for or which ones you can trust. Nathaniel is filled with great characters and creepy plot lines.

After reading The Unwanted and Nathaniel, John Saul has become my third favorite author. For someone who’s pretty picky about what they read, I must say that I love the way he writes. His writing style is amazing and he manages to make each book different. While there are some similarities between the books in the way that he writes them, I don’t feel that Nathaniel sounded too similar to The Unwanted when I read it. Each book was unique and fresh.

I highly, highly recommend you read this book. If anyone has read it, or decides to, I’d love to hear what you think!

*Image found on Google Images

The Unwanted – A Book Review

It’s time again to take a break from writing about anxiety (though I did just get my blood drawn and got a little anxious afterward), and write another book review! I just finished The Unwanted by John Saul and man, was it good!

Image found on Google Images

Copyright: 1987

Rating: 5/5

My Synopsis:

Cassie Winslow is forced to move back where she was born when a horrible accident occurs. Right from the beginning, Cassie finds it hard being accepted by her classmates. Her father, who she doesn’t often get to see, is happy to now have Cassie living with him. His daughter, Jennifer also looks forward to having a step-sister. Rosemary, Cassie’s stepmother, tries to accept Cassie but doesn’t find it to be the easiest thing to do.

Miranda is a woman that many people in Cape Cod consider to be a witch. No one talks to Miranda and people try to avoid eye contact with the woman at all costs. However, when Cassie arrives in the town, she finds herself oddly drawn to the woman.

Meanwhile, Eric Cavanaugh is the Winslow’s next door neighbor. His home life is difficult to say the least, but he is fairly popular in school. What will happen when Cassie and Eric meet and how does Miranda play into it all?

My Opinion:

This book was great! From beginning to end, John Saul uses clear imagery. There aren’t a lot of books where I feel that I can truly get lost in them, but this was one of them. The characters were described excellently and I really felt as if I got to know them. I loved the character of Cassie and I love how Saul manages to keep his readers guessing until the very end.

This book is advertised as terrifying but I consider it more along the lines of eerie. It has a lot of creepy scenes and it’s definitely gruesome at times, but there was never a moment where I felt like I jumped out of my skin. However, I did think that it had just the right amount of horror to it.

Many of you may know that I have the bad habit of not finishing books. It’s not that I don’t love reading, it’s just that it takes a really good book to hold my attention and to keep me wanting more. I couldn’t put this book down and I probably would have read it a lot faster if the typing wasn’t so small (I know that makes me sound old, but it’s kind of tiny)!

I strongly suggest that you guys read this book, especially if you like horror stories or want to read a book that’s not too scary, but creepy enough. The Unwanted has a great plot, great twists, and great characters. If any of you read this or have read it in the past, please feel free to let me know what you think!

I seriously almost don’t know how to describe how good this book was. It was well written and honestly, really, really interesting!