Walking into a Nightmare with Project Sprite (Week 4 of July’s Camp Nanowrimo)

You realise you’re having a nightmare when you cannot wake up! What am I talking about? I’m talking about the procrastination routine I got going. It was already too late to say ‘please let it be a dream!’ when… 😰

….when I woke up the next morning. I checked the calendar and screamed my heart out (was I exaggerating…no…no I wasn’t). Half of the month is already gone because I kept pushing the revision plans to another day! It sucks to be so behind on my editing goal. I thought I had everything planned out but of course I didn’t.

Just when I thought time was on my side.

I put on my game face and pulled an all-nighter….to get the edits done. 😱 *cue the internal screaming* I had to 👏 finish this draft 👏 by the end of July…and I had only edited 14 chapters…(well, 15 so far, at the time posting this). I had another 40 chapters to go, and 10 DAYS to get them DONE!! 😱 😱

When I said ‘pull an all-nighter’, *cough cough* I meant revising only till midnight because if it was later than that, then that would be a no-no to me. 😅

Anyway, my goal for #ProjectSprite is to edit 20 chapters this week! Am I crazy? YES!! Do you think I can do it? I hope so!! 😰

I’m now realising that I’m not a fan of editing 😆

Do you prefer editing or drafting?

This was recorded on July 18-22

Talk to you guys soon! Alex is signing out.

Copyright (©) of alexwritesandsings

Into the Spooky Forest with Project Sprite (Week 2-3 of July Camp Nanowrimo)

I’m gonna start with a BANG! I’ve reached the Act 2 of #ProjectSprite (my novel-in-verse story). Also, 🙌 reached my goal which is to edit 5 chapters this week!! I’m hoping to get another 5-10 chapters done this week. We’ll see, we’ll see 😌.

Today I challenged myself to edit as many chapters as I could but managed to edit only 2. I still want to try to reach my goal of 4 today. Fingers crossed!! So check out my Instagram to see the progress I’ve made. There, I always keep you up to date in whatever I’m working on. Join my chaotic writing process, haha 🤣.

In any project, the beginnings are hard to start. But I always need to remind myself that…that’s no such thing as making a draft perfect, only better. That’s what edits are for: to make a draft better, and readable.

😰 Chapter 7 was the hardest to edit! No matter how much I edit that poem, it’s still a hot mess. I haven’t found the right words to go in the poem yet. I always find myself pressing the delete button too many times, and rewriting it over and over again. It’s just not “perfect” yet. All the rewriting and deleting and rewriting…😵made me go insane haha. I’m pretty sure this chapter will need another set of revision again.

This was all recorded on July 4-17.

That is all for now. Alex is signing out.

Copyright © of Alexandria Johnson

All about Project Sprite

“This story is so weird! Seriously, who would want to read a story about a feather?” I remember telling myself that back in 2018. I sent this to my CP to review and she told me that the idea was unique, and she enjoyed it. I was shocked, till this day, I still cannot believe that she or anyone would read it. Of course it had some problems in the story…that would be another post.

But I took her advice to revise this story. She was the first one to give me the green light to go forward with this story. So if Sania you’re reading this, thank you so much for giving this story a chance. Sometimes we need a simple ‘YES’ or ‘I enjoyed it’ to encourage us to write the stories we want to write.

• • •

PITCH

Feather is not wanted in a world where technology has evolved. Like who uses an ancient tool that doesn’t have an ink compartment like a pen does? No one. Feather loses hope and accepts the truth that he is not needed in his human household anymore. Will he ever fulfill his need of being ‘used’ again? Or will Feather move on and search for a new purpose?

MORE ABOUT PROJECT SPRITE

  • Type: Novel in verse
  • Genre: fantasy & poetry
  • Setting: Set in an enchanted forest
  • Tone: Quirky. Bizarre.
  • Style: Written in 1st person, past tense (still deciding)
  • Additional elements: MAGIC!
  • Story: Explores inner strengths, human cruelty towards animals and forests
  • Stage: Editing Draft 1

Project Sprite’s AESTHETIC:

© Project Sprite official aesthetic

• • •

INSPIRATION

  • Inspired by a poem I wrote that has the same title as this story.
  • I read Enid Blyton’s short stories when I was growing up. Stories about brownies and pixies and goblins and magic sparked my imagination for this story. 

PLAYLIST

• • •

Thank you for reading. If you like more updates of this, and other projects I’m currently working on, follow me on Instagram @alexwritesandsings and free stories-in-verse every Friday.

That is all for now. 🙂

Change happens for a reason, be it good or bad; it is a process of growth.

Feather

Talk to you guys soon! Alex is signing out.

Copyright (©) of alexwritesandsings

Embarking on a journey with an old project (Week 1 of July’s Camp Nanowrimo)

I decided to work on an unedited draft I wrote back in 2018. I knew, it was time for me to kickstart that project again because I wanted to query that sometime this year. Fingers crossed, I will reach that point.

Date: 7/7/2021

I’ve reached chapter 2 in #ProjectSprite (my novel-in-verse project). YAY! It took me two days to edit chapter 1 because I was coming up with different first liners. I’m always like this whereby I must find it there and then if not, I cannot sleep at night, haha!! I still want them to hook the reader from the first page even if the storyline is kinda odd.

My goal for the week is to get to chapter 5 at the end of the week ASAP.

The whole week I was busy working on the chapters. I think chapter 4 was the hardest to write. So many continuity problems and some words didn’t add up. I had to rewrite the sentences here and there to make the context clearer. I had to throw out the previous ‘good stanzas’ too… Well at that time writing it, they were good but now, I realised it was repetition.

So did I manage to reach the weekly goal?

One word: YASSSSSSSSS!!! I just finished editing last Saturday! *does a happy dance* Then, gave myself a break on Sunday. Yippee!!

That is all for now. Alex is signing out.

Next post is all about my Camp Nanowrimo project: Project Sprite. So stick around! 😀

Copyright © of Alexandria Johnson

My Author Website is LIVE!!!

It has been so long since I update you about this! The website has been up and running many weeks ago but I never really sat down, and write a blog post about it.

So here is one late post:

My author website is up and running!!!

I’ve added a 🌟 Freebies page where you can access free stories, poems set in the Glass Kingdom world, book news, character profiles, Glass Kingdom playlist, and MORE with a password only my newsletter subscribers know.

To do that you have to do is sign up for my newsletter to get the above goodies, and even MORE stuff!! 😆

😉Are you excited? Because I AM!!!

I can’t wait to share some fun EXTRA stories with you be it in the Glass Kingdom world or some spooky reads coming this October.

Be on the lookout for that!

Do you have an author website?😯 Share them below! I’d like to know.

Talk to you soon! Alex is signing off.

The Faceless Woman | Short Story Update

Just a reminder: This is my original work and plagiarism of any form will not be tolerated.

Summary: Wei Yang hires the faceless woman to get information on a man but everything goes terribly wrong when things don’t go according to plan.

Genre: Flash fiction

POV: Third person, present tense

Word Count: 2,873 words

Characters: Wei Yang, The Faceless Woman,

The writing bit: I wrote this for a submission. It was a hard piece to write considering I wanted to make this story into a spy story but my CP said that it doesn’t feel like it was a realistic story so I had to scrap that idea and recreate the story. So no spy story which is a total bummer.

Conception: For the title, I was inspired to use the same title as my paranormal poem.

That’s it for this update! I hope that one day I can share this story with you!

Saving Mother | Short Story Update

It was formerly called The Sunflower and the Moonflower’s Argument. Yes, it was a long title so I had to cut it short.

Just a reminder: This is my original work and plagiarism of any form will not be tolerated.

Summary: It’s about two sisters getting into an argument on whether or not they should save the dying earth as well as their mother. The younger sister wants to but will her older sister help her?

Genre: Fantasy, Flash fiction

POV: First person, present tense

Word Count: 904 words

Characters: Two sisters and Mother

The writing bit: I wrote this for a climate change contest and it was my first time writing a really short story. About 900+ words. I have written some short stories in the past but that was for fun and nothing else. I didn’t think I’ll be submitting stories like this to a contest. It’s kind of fun to be honest…NOT to be on deadline (phew, that was rough) but to come up with a concept, then draft it and after that, have someone read it and give me feedback. I don’t know why but it seems like a fun process to me…

Though the not so fun part was scaling the word count down. It was hard to do so and I was sad that I had to cut almost all the important words that layered the story. I am unsure why I don’t like to write stories that have one layer in them. I like writing stories that intersects with every plot point—well I guess I can say I’m symbolism lover.

Conception: My brain is strange so bear with me…Bizarre thing was I was inspired by the word, Mother Nature and I was thinking to myself why not give nature a human personality. Hence, you gotta read it to understand what I mean here…hehe..

That’s it for this update! I am surprised that I had fun crafting this story from scratch which I hope one day to share it with you!

(Book Review) Not the Heir by Hudson Warm // Spoiler-Free

I received an advance reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.   My opinions are my own.

Title: Not an Heir

Author: Hudson Warm

Publisher: Hudson Warm

Genre: Fantasy

Goodreads Synopsis:

A jealous prince. A legendary key. An enchanted forest.

In the kingdom of Silverkeep, seventeen-year-old Basil Avington is accustomed to his opulent life as a prince. That is, until the king’s unforeseen death. Now the future is approaching sooner than Basil thought. His twin—eldest by seven minutes—has stolen his first love, his dignity, and soon, will take the throne. There’s only one way for Basil to attain power: embarking on a perilous venture to find King Philip’s key, which, according to ancient lore, bestows the kingdom upon its possessor. But it’s been lost for centuries.

Armed with only a bejeweled sword and imaginative wit, Basil is not prepared for what’s to come. The magical forest of Golden Grove will pull him into a world of horse-legged satyrs, a stunning nymph, and the evil Ambrosia—a forest tyrant with baffling powers. His selfish hunt for the key will endanger his life, but failure would lead to an unbearable existence second to his undeserving brother.

Unfortunately, the Silverkeep throne seats one.

Review

This book reminded me of the world of Narnia especially when I was reading about the enchanted forest. I love every aspect of the world building in this story. The magical creatures just added more flavour to it. But I wish there had been a magic system with rules that would make the world more interesting. Nonetheless, this world was still intriguing to read. 

I like the story though I would prefer the plotline to be a bit more layered, especially the romance. I’m glad that Warm kept the story simple and easy to digest. The pacing was good. And I cannot help but be excited for Basil’s journey to discover the hidden key in the later chapters. 

Warm definitely portrayed the life of a jealous prince SO well that I could see his compressed pain on the page and that made me root for the character even more. I love the structure of how the kingdom worked. It really made me feel like I was right there watching the characters do their daily routine. Hence, it was real to me. This was a good debut, and I can’t wait to read more from this author.

That concludes my review.

I rate this 3.5/5.
 
“Not the Heir” comes out today! Grab your copy now! 
 

Alex is signing out.

Copyright (©) of alexwritesandsings

Book Links

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Author’s Links

Website | Instagram |

Happy that my poem is published!!!

Never thought I would see the day, ‘Scarred Fingers’ be published. This poem is a little different from the poems I usually write.

It’s NOT fantasy.

It’s about how war breaks out from a tiny, insignificant incident and spreads like wildfire.

I had honestly lost hope with this piece because of the rejections I kept receiving — and that discouraged me. On reflection, I realised I didn’t take no for an answer. So I sent it to wherever it was best suited, and kept praying that it will get accepted.

And it finally did. 😆😁

via GIPHY

Eeek, the poem is available online. Click on the link to read it.

If you had enjoyed the poem, would you be so kind as to rate it. Reviews like this are so important to me because that way, I can improve more as a writer and a poet. A million thanks!😊

I realised:

“you gotta stay true to yourself. Your voice is unique. Your storytelling is unique, and your stories are yours to tell!”

Tips on Silencing your Inner Critic

It’s been awhile since I posted something on here.

And I want to update you guys here too of what’s going on (need to work on posting here too).

✨ Here is what’s happening in my life right now:

I’m way too active on Instagram (follow my writing journey there too. I post daily video updates and mini games on insta stories.) I have been posting what I’m up to, and posting my weekly writing updates. It has become my accountability haven.

AND I’m never active here. Ooops. I am hoping to change that in the next couple of weeks.

But ONE major thing happened, I need to tell you, and that is…

I’m putting Project Glass Kingdom on HOLD for 9 days (today is day 6th in the midst of writing this) because I was distracted by a poetry book contest I saw online. So I decided to give it a shot and go for it.

It’s been too long since I get up from the chair and do something with my poems. I do try to submit them to poetry competitions from time to time. But this time, I wanted to do more. I wanted to try to get a poetry collection published.

That would be a nice dream come true. A book published? Ahhh, dreams.

That’s wishful thinking as well because one needs to put in the work to be up on the shelves with the authors they admire.

To get there. you have to put your foot in murky water.

Like in any story, the main character goes through the muddy middle to reach their goal. In this case, you’re TRYING to put yourself out there by sending out short stories, essays and poems to literary magazines. THIS will help you build your name. To build connections. To practice trying something new once in awhile. To take up more challenges. To get out of your comfort zone. To try to do more and not sit with the bystanders.

Surely, there’s always going to be obstacles standing in your way. But does the main character (YOU) give up?

No.

Even if the voice in your head tells you not to, as cliché as it may sound, YOU don’t give in to that nasty remark.

Think about it.

You have poured your heart and soul into a piece or project that you’re passionate about. The one piece or project that made you spend days, months maybe years to craft it. AND, you just want to keep it to yourself. Because you’re scared of the what ifs? What if the story’s not good enough? What if the piece gets rejected? What if I’m not a good writer??

Have you heard of this phrase,

I live by it.

Don’t let a nasty voice at the back of your mind tell you that it’s impossible to put it out there because you’re not ready. Because you’re not good enough. Because you won’t get published, or whatever the reason may be.

Nonetheless, IT’S OKAY to feel like that, everyone gets this way. I know I do. 

AND WHEN your inner critic nags you, do the opposite of what that voice tells you. Submit that piece! Submit that manuscript! Submit that painting! Submit that poem!

Don’t doubt yourself anymore. Do the scary thing. Don’t listen to that voice. Do listen to your fiery passion!

It’s good to keep these things in mind that…

you’re growing as a writer and

if you don’t put yourself out there, you won’t make connections, 

if you don’t build up your name, readers will not know you,

if you don’t let bygones be bygones with criticism then you won’t develop thick skin, 

and improve your craft further.

✨ SO NOW, THIS IS THE TIME…

to embrace these fears that are tearing you down, 

to put yourself ahead and not let your dreams die because of doubts, 

to cross out the things that are holding you back, 

and crumble them, and throw them into the wastebasket. They aren’t worth it.

Now, come forth, and go, conquer your fears! You won’t regret it.

*By the time, this post goes up. I’ve already submitted the fantasy poetry collection, and am working on my fairy-tale mash-up WIP .

That is all for now. Alex is signing out.

Copyright (©) of alexwritesandsings

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10 THINGS to do while stuck AT HOME

Feeling bored in the house?

Don’t know what to do besides stare into space and watch TV?

Fret not, here are 10 things to keep you SANE while staying at home:

1. List down all the things you enjoy doing and do each one accordingly. And then, cross them out.

  • My favourite thing to do is to make lists. I have no idea what makes me excited about creating lists but when it’s done, you get to cross it off and you feel satisfied.

2. Exercise

  • Got to keep fit to keep your muscles energized and on your feet at all times.

When this dystopian event ends and life returns to normal, you might be too busy to do workouts already since you’re back to work/school.

3. Spring clean / De-clutter

  • The horrible thing that you keep putting off. Now it’s time to spring clean your workspace/ house till it shines.

4. Listen to some music while writing/painting/creating/singing/doing yoga

  • Another type of exercising. That’s what I like to do. Turn on some upbeat music and dance aka exercise. Or put on some music and write some poems and your Work-In-Progress.

5. Educate yourself. Learn a new skill/language.

  • There are loads of classes online that are free like YouTube and Pinterest and blogs which you can learn something new.

6. Make a scrapbook OR Journal

  • Keep a journal nearby. Journal through the good and the bad of the crisis time because it’s like a historical piece. Think of it this way, one day, you might show it to your grandchildren and say, “I will never forget the time when I and your mother/dad had to live in a cooped up world. It was like a dystopian novel.”
  • Or create a list of all the things you took for granted, and once this is over, do the things in the list.

7. Play video games

  • Playing some games can take your mind off the stressful things that’s happening in the world right now. It doesn’t necessarily have to be video games, you can play board games and puzzles too.

8. Drink lots of water and rest well

  • All this worrying and anxiety can make you feel drained out. So drink plenty of water, and take care of yourself.

9. Take part in contests, quizzes, hashtag challenges

There are a lot of tag challenges on Instagram and on twitter that you can try like #30DaysofHaikuChallenge on Instagram

Or you can write a short story or a poem and submit it to online magazines.

10. Explore fictional worlds

  • Remember there’s a stack of unread books stashed away in the closet. Might want to use this time to dig in and gobble up the words (I’m telling myself too -__- )
  • Last but not least, read to escape. If you can’t travel in the real world, travel through fictional ones.

[ s m a l l  r e m i n d e r ]
The biggest downfall is to waste time just because there’s more time to waste. Do something! Take advantage of this time to do what you love. DO THE THINGS that make you happy. Feels like the universe has stopped time for you to do your own thing. Use this time wisely because time waits for no one and it’s hard to gain back the time that is lost.

OWN it this time!

So, QTOD: are you going to use this time to CREATE something or just stare into space?

Tell me your plans!

That is all for now. Alex is signing out.

Copyright (©) of alexwritesandsings

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I finished something // now what?

On 24 December 2019, an incredible feeling happened.

Non-writer: Santa came to town?

Me: No. It’s not any feeling, it feels like I can do anything if I set my mind to it.

Non-writer: Did you find a genie hidden in the star of the Christmas tree?

Me: No, although that is a good idea for a story.

Non-writer: Oh I got it! Your cousins are spending a week at your place?

Me: OH YES! But that’s not it…of course, I’m happy *scratches my head* but that’s not the incredible feeling…I was talking about…

Non-writer: Then?

Me: I’m happy that I FINISHED MY 1ST DRAFT! 3 years, I have been working on it for three years. That is cause for celebration, right? 

A celebration indeed. It lasted the whole of December 2019, spending time with my cousins. It was a wonderful celebration and I got to see more of my hometown. 

I have been thinking long and hard about Project Fire’s future (whoa, when did I think like this), I have noticed that I am too in love with the world and I want to succeed in this (long) series so I decided… 

I have decided to shelf it.

Non-writer: whoa, whoa, whoa, you’re going to keep it? You just said that you’ve spent 3 years writing it, and now you’re gonna keep it? What’s the point of writing it when you know you’re going to hide it in your closet?

Me: (technically, series don’t necessarily do well especially when one is a newbie in the publishing industry. I haven’t created a name for myself. Mmmm, do readers want to take a chance on this? 0_0 I don’t want to risk it.) I want to build an audience first. I want to get my name out there.

But I have good news.

Non-writer: 

Me: I’m working on another project. It’s a fantasy romance this time!

That is it for now. Alex is signing out.

Copyright (©) of alexwritesandsings

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Project Fire + NANOwrimo | Update #1

It has been a hot second (more like a month) since I have updated you on Project Fire and NaNoWriMo.

NaNoWriMo is going great and I hope it stays that way. Work has been piling up so I will probably do that in the next couple of days. Then I can focus on ONE thing: Project Fire.

I’ve decided to be a NaNo rebel this year and focused on finishing the manuscript. It’s a promise I made to myself. Thus, I cannot break it. Before NaNo, Project Fire was sitting at 40K. But now, I’m aiming another for another 50k to complete the length of the novel, and the story.

About Project Fire (so far)

🌟 it’s a series, book 1

🌟 Genre: Dark Fantasy

🌟 A crossover between middle grade and young adult

🌟 Third Person limited

🌟 it questions about what will happen if tranquillity disappears from the world.

🌟 has portal magic

🌟 forbidden friendships and magic

🌟 Trope used: play on the Chosen one

Update: I have only two more articles to write today while working on my Nano Project.

That is all for now.

Alex is signing out.

Copyright (©) of alexwritesandsings

My Preptober + NaNoWriMo plans

Preptober is in session! So it is time to prepare for next month. What is happening in November? NaNoWriMo = National Novel Writing Month is coming, and I gotta prepare for this. I don’t want to flunk it without coming up with a plan just like last year which means I need to finish my outline.
 
I have been outlining since January and I am almost to the end but it is hard not to feel discouraged and drained out. I have been working hard on this story and it feels like this story is the one that I would like to get it published one day.
 
It is brewing and I’m still writing those words I told myself to take breaks on the weekends. So I wouldn’t feel the weight of stress crushing my shoulders.
 
It is sucking out the joy of writing, but I like it. Weird. Outlining helps me plan the story. I like asking questions like who is going to give advice to my MC. Or why are the characters standing here, or by any chance, are they looking at something that glows in the dark? And everything they do, it must mean to the story. I need ALL the details. When I don’t know something, I’ll write down notes to remind myself that I need to change stuff that doesn’t make sense.
 
Preptober Goals:
  • Finish the outline for Nano Project aka Project Fire

October Goals:

  • Plan a secret project
  • Write more poetry and submit them
  • Engage more with the social crowd

Alex is signing out.

Copyright (©) of alexwritesandsings

(Book Review) Karma’s Children: Discovery by Maverick Moses // Spoiler-Free

I received an advance reader copy of ‘Karma’s Children: Discovery’ from the author in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own.

Title: Karma’s Children: Discovery (Karma’s Children #1)

Author: Maverick Moses

Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Mastermind Resource Group

Goodreads Synopsis: After a tragic accident leaves a fellow high school student dead, Krista, Klause, and Kevin Atwood find themselves linked to each other, and entangled in a mysterious force that threatens
the lives of those around them.

Their mother, the physical embodiment of Karma, herself, has no idea what’s happening to her children—which leaves Krista, Klause, and Kevin alone to discover the purpose of their potentially sinister birthright.

Now, thrust into the grey area of a world that seems black and white on the surface, the children struggle to figure out the true nature of their dangerous new abilities, while getting pulled by two opposing forces hoping to corrupt their hearts and guide them against the other.

Will the Atwood siblings figure out how to control their powers before anyone else gets hurt? Or will they become corrupted by the darkness of their newfound abilities?

The first of a twisted urban fantasy trilogy, Karma’s Children: Discovery is wrought with hidden desires, evil in disguise, and action-packed mystery—perfect for fans of Kendare Blake and Kim Chance.

Review

The writing style was a bit odd to me at first and it took me a few pages to get into the characters’ heads. It was a bit slow in the beginning but it did pick up the pace. I realised it was written in third person omniscient which I am not too familiar with. I usually cannot sync with the style but this book made it easy for me to understand, and it wasn’t that chaotic.
 
I felt like it had too many characters and I couldn’t keep track of each and every one of them. I wish the author had toned it down. Or maybe I am not used to reading about so many characters all at once.
 
All in all, I love the plotline as it is different. I love originality! It gave me some Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children vibes because of its intensity, level of darkness, and the richness of an unusual story. It is action-packed and has a retro feel to the tone of the story and characters. And that kept me entertained throughout.
 
I rate this 4/5.
 
If you are fans of Derek Landy’s The Demon Road Trilogy and Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine Home for Peculiar Children, I recommend this series.
 
“Karma’s Children: Discovery” is out now!!!
 

Alex is signing out.

Copyright (©) of alexwritesandsings

Book’s Links

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Author’s Links

Website | YouTube | Twitter | Instagram

(Book Review) Through Her Eyes by Sophie Fahy // Spoiler-Free

I received an advance reader copy of ‘Through Her Eyes’ from the author in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own.

Title: Through Her Eyes

Author: Sophie Fahy

Genre: Mystery/Suspense

Publisher: Blossom Spring Publishing

Synopsis:
LIFE IS NOT ALWAYS BLACK AND WHITE, SOMETIMES IT’S A THOUSAND SHADES OF GREY.

Seventeen-year-old, beloved Alyssa Darlington has always been a party girl: quick-witted, fierce and very smart; with a strong future ahead of her. But after surviving a brutal attack at her best friend’s end-of-summer house party, the only thing that seems fitting for Alyssa is revenge.

AND WHEN THIS BECOMES HER TWISTED REALITY, IT’S EASY FOR THE SHADOWS TO TAKE OVER.

After something so traumatic, Alyssa struggles to stay at the top of the social ladder – climbing to the top is hard – trying to stay there while, newly, partially blind, is even harder.

There’s a weight upon her shoulders.

Quietly searching for answers, Alyssa unlocks memories and reveals secrets that should have been buried.

THREE SUSPECTS. ONE LOVE.
A WHOLE LOT OF FAMILY DRAMA

Review

I am not a fan of reading prologue but this one made me want to turn the page and read what is going to happen. It hooked me.
 
Though the beginning pulled me into the story until a few pages in, the pacing began to slow down. But the narrative still kept me engaged in the story. A lot was going on. Some were intense, some weren’t.
 
I like that the story focused on developing the characters, getting to know them. I feel there’s too much on the romance side which I didn’t enjoy. For me, I prefer reading slow-burn romance so when it comes to love in books, I am very picky.  I also wish the story focused more on the difficulty of being disabled. I wanted to see the pain in the family’s eyes, the struggle and how would they cope with it. I wanted to see more emotions and supportive moments with friends.
 
Despite all this, that didn’t make me stop reading it for I wanted to know who was behind this. I like how Fahy played around, twisting the truth here and there, confusing me. It was fun — guessing who the culprit was. Although I sensed a twist in the end, aha, I didn’t figure out who had done it. I love it when the author steers me into thinking it was someone else who was the culprit. Even so, this was a good mystery with a side of drama and romance.
 
I rate this 3.5/5
 
“Through Her Eyes” is coming out on 28 August 2019.
 

Alex is signing out.

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Book’s Links

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Author’s Links

Website | YouTube | Twitter | Instagram

(Book Review) The Stolen Kingdom by Bethany Atazadeh // Spoiler-Free

I received an advance reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own.

Title: The Stolen Kingdom #1

Author: Bethany Atazadeh

Publisher: Grace House Press

Genre: Fantasy, Retelling

Goodreads Synopsis:

How can she protect her kingdom, if she can’t protect herself?

Arie eagerly anticipates becoming Queen of her humble kingdom. Even when a Jinni’s Gift manifests before her 18th birthday, she fights to hide the forbidden ability.

But when a neighbouring king attempts to marry her and steal her kingdom, discovery feels imminent. Just one slip could cost her throne. And her life.

A Jinni hunter and his crew of thieves are her only hope for removing this Gift. And she must remove it before it’s exposed. Or die trying.

The Stolen Kingdom is a loose “Aladdin” retelling. Set in a world that humans share with Mermaids, Dragons, and the elusive Jinni, this isn’t the fairytale you remember…

Review

One word: hooked.

I am not a fan of retellings but this book hooked me good.  I cannot put the book down. It has bewitched me into a devouring beast that needs more after reading the first few chapters.

It is loosely based on Aladdin as Atazadeh says in her YouTube video, and I understand why. This is uniquely different. I am grateful that the author stuck with the main elements of the story — the lamp, the jinni (or genie), the commoner, princess, a sorcerer, and the sultan. But she also added her own twist to them. Even though the story she is recreating is far different from the Disney’s version, the essence of the folktale is still there. The story is captivating. There are more characters to root for and THAT kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I like it when I don’t know what is about to happen…I love surprises.
 
Slow burn romance. Yes, I love reading slow and steady romance. Arie and Kadin have one of the best relationships I’ve seen in books. They had cute moments and tense ones which were fun reads. The pacing was not too fast, it had the right tempo—nicely paced. It was action-packed the whole way, I don’t think I ever once got bored.
 
I recommend this promising series to anyone who enjoys fantasy or retellings. This entertaining story will make you hunger for more.
 
I rate this 4.5/5.
 
“The Stolen Kingdom” is coming out on 20 August 2019.
 

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How to write without looking back at what you have written?

Have you had an idea that you have simmered for some time now? But when the time comes to write it down, you get frustrated when writing the first page?

As you write, you feel like an imposter writing the story you want to tell. You feel like you’re not good enough to be writing this story. Your fingers hover the keyboard. You don’t know what to think; whether you should press delete, or keep going.

Not looking at what you have written is easier said than done. KICKSTARTING on your draft is terrifying. Though it is an exciting adventure, it is also a challenge. There is no such thing as a perfect draft, only a rough one. Sometimes, with other authors’ drafts, we are afraid that they are better, more polished. But HEY, who said that their very first drafts were excellent?!

So how to write without looking back at what you have written? This is not an easy task, not even for me. Even writing this post makes me feel like I’m an imposter. Should I be even writing this?

Here are some ultimate weapons that I find useful when writing the first draft. The first draft can be of anything, may it be a blog post, an essay, assignment, a story/flash fiction.

ULTIMATE WEAPON #1: Writing Sprints

This has taken me to a whole new level. you set your timer for any amount of time and you WRITE, WRITE, WRITE, and then when your timer rings, you take five or ten. Then, you start again. The point is to shut out everything and focus on what you’re doing. Put your fingers on the keyboard and type away while the clock is ticking down.

I recommend using a timer either on your mobile, watch, or computer. The one I always use is https://www.tickcounter.com/timer, and I 100% recommend it! It is easy to use and user friendly.

ULTIMATE WEAPON #2: Join Camp Nanowrimo

Here is what the website looks like

This coming April, Camp Nanowrimo is rekindling. Before I go further, let’s make sure we’re on the same page. Hang on,


Camp Nanowrimo is not an actual camp set out in the wilderness. Neither there are no people around the campfire singing nor telling ghost stories. Well, the ‘stories’ part is true on what the website is about. Camp Nanowrimo is a virtual writing retreat, where you can work on or edit your past drafts or start anew.

Before you tune out, did I mention it is completely free?

It works a bit like the official one, National Novel Writing Month. It is where you set up a goal for your project and keep track of it project every November.

You may be wondering,
“why should I join Camp Nanowrimo when I can join the official one?”
“Wait, isn’t this website for writers? I’m not a writer.”

THE THING WITH CAMP NANOWRIMO, IT’S…

Hear me out, anyone can join Camp – and when I say anyone – I meant anyone who likes writing in general. If you feel like you work better and faster with a deadline reaper lurking, this retreat is for you! Camp Nano happens twice a year in April and July when Nanowrimo happens annually. Though, that is not the only difference.

One of the things I like about Camp is that it has adjustable word counts (like you can change it anytime you want). You can set hours or minutes you want to spend on your project. This is beneficial especially if you have a full-time job or cannot write as much as you want to. Also, you can set your goal to pages, like you can write or edit how many pages you want.

So this is a bit similar to writing sprints. Before the start of April, key in your project and set a goal for yourself. Once you have done that, wait for the event (don’t forget to come back to it) and then when it begins, you write like there is no tomorrow. There is no time to be wasted especially you have 30 days to finish it. You cannot afford to waste time reading back your work and editing/rewriting it.

Sit down, and type it all out. You can also use comic sans font to oppose you from seeing your previous words. I like the font but I have heard from other people that they can write better if they use that font. Different people have different opinions, I guess.

Inside look of Camp Nano

To take part, you must first have an account on the official website, https://nanowrimo.org/ and then use those requirements to surpass the guards at Camp Nanowrimo website, https://campnanowrimo.org

Thank you for reading. I appreciate every read. Hope you have a wonderful week!

This post is not sponsored but I love Nanowrimo. One of my go-to to fast drafting. Have you added your project yet?

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