A Quick Update

I’ve had an exciting last few weeks . . .

  • I recently finished editing Paper Planes and Other Things We Lost by Mindy Hayes and Michele G. Miller. Can I just say how absolutely amazing this piece of literature is? You can find the Amazon Kindle link HERE. Check out some of those incredible reviews? I’m so proud to say I was a part of the process. Watching the characters transform and seeing how great Mindy and Michele worked together was a wonderful experience.
  • I have a third editing client, but more on that at a later date. Let’s keep the suspense rolling.
  • I’m back to blogging. I took a mini hiatus as I was finishing up Paper Planes and followed up with a breather. Now that it’s almost summer, I will be posting at least once a week.  There are many reviews, tips, and writing prompts coming your way.

Let’s do something easy – what are you currently reading? Did you recently read anything interesting? Share in the comments.  

Advertisements

Book Release Party – Hosted by me!!

Join me this weekend as I host a book release party for Michele G. Miller and Mindy Hayes! Their new book, Paper Planes and Other Things We Lost, releases on Monday, June 6th! We will be celebrating all weekend long, with Saturday and Sunday being fun drop-in days as we build up to Monday’s takeover takedown! There will be giveaways, games, and great posts throughout the entire weekend. Click on the image below to go directly to the event and RSVP. Once you get there, comment on my most recent post to let me know you came from! Can’t wait to celebrate with you!LITME PP Party

Fun fact!! I edited this book and loved every minute of it . . . each time I read through!!

https://www.facebook.com/events/560358820811494/

(H) An Interview with Mindy Hayes

H
Today’s post for the A-to-Z Challenge is brought to you by the letter H!

Mindy HayesFor today’s post, I decided to interview my newest client, Mindy Hayes! Mindy has written a great variety of books so far, with some wonderful projects coming down the pipeline. She’s originally from San Diego, California, but now resides in Summerville, South Carolina.

Hi! Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview for Livre It To Me. Let’s start out with something easy. What have you written?

Hey Hey! I’ve written the young adult fantasy series, The Faylinn novels, as well as the contemporary romance series, The Willowhaven series. And I just finished the coming of age romance, The Day That Saved Us, which will be available SOON!

What are you working on at the minute? What’s it about?
Well, I’m working on a few projects right now. One that’s being referred to as the #secretproject with Michele G. Miller that I’m not allowed to talk about yet, but I’m very excited about! I’m also in the middle of a collaboration with Veranda Kuhar who is illustrating a children’s book I wrote called, I Could Be A Monkey. And finally, I’m working on a psychological suspense that’s been in the making for over a year about a rock star that is accused of murdering his fiancé. And that’s all I’m going to say about that last one!

When and why did you decide to become a writer?
I think I’ve always had a little bit of a writer in me. I used to write little stories in notebooks and pretend I’d written novels. But, I didn’t actually start writing novels until 2007 after I got married. I’d just finished Twilight (I know. That’s what they all say, but it’s true. Haha.) And I thought to myself, ‘I want to write a book, so why the heck no?’! My husband wanted to know what I did with his wife because I wasn’t even much of a reader before we got married.

What is your favorite genre to write in and what draws you to this genre?
You know…I can’t pick one genre. I love anything that surprises me, and my stories surprise me all the time…haha. I honestly think it depends on what I’m writing at the time. I’m a big believer in writing for myself, so I write what I want to read, and I love reading an assortment of things. I loved fantasy when I wrote The Faylinn novels, and I’ve loved writing contemporary for the last couple years. My psychological suspense is definitely a change in genres, but it’s just as exciting, if not more because of all the twists and turns and mystery. Most things I’m still in the dark on that one!

Out of all the characters you have created, who are you most drawn to?
I’d have to say Sawyer Hartwell (Me After You) from my Willowhaven series. I wrote that book when I was going through a serious low period in life. I’d recently lost some close family relationships that seemed irreparable. I was recovering from a miscarriage after years of infertility. Sawyer Hartwell became my therapy and my heart. I think she’ll always be my favorite because she helped drag me out of the darkness when I needed it most.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start writing your first book?
Well, if we’re talking about my first published book, Kaleidoscope, I’d recently finished a YA faery series that I DID NOT like. I wasn’t a fan of how the author depicted the faeries, so I decided I was going to write faeries how I imagine them. And that’s the beauty of writing. It’s up to you to create a world you believe in!

What/who are your muses?
MUSIC. I always have music when writing. I have a playlist for each book before I start to write and add songs to it as the stories progress. And people, of course, anyone and everyone! Watch out! My husband, ex-boyfriends, actors, musicians, friends, ex-best friends. I also go to Pinterest for a lot of inspiration. Paintings, scenery, sweet couple love photos, etc…

What is your writing process typically like?
Every book has been different. I’m very much a pantser. I can’t outline. It’s pointless. I’ve tried, but I veer from it almost immediately. I write what comes to me, and I figure out how to make it all come together. Sometimes I write the end and go back to the beginning to figure out how to get there. Only once have I needed to write a book chronologically and that was Luminary because I was wrapping up The Faylinn novels, and wanted to make sure nothing was left out or unanswered. It was the most difficult book to write. Writing chronologically stumps me. I need to be able to write whatever I’m inspired to write whenever I feel like it.

What goes into your cover selection process?

It depends on the designer and the cover. I designed The Day That Saved Us cover and asked my designer to put it together. It went through a gazillion mockups before one felt right. While some of my previous covers were custom shoots, and I simply handed them off to the designer and asked for her to work her magic! I want to make sure my covers stand out in the sea of novels. You’ll never see a naked man chest on my covers (No offense to other writers! Just not my style.)

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

I honestly think writer’s block comes when the story isn’t going in the right direction. So, I take a step back and rethink what I’ve already written and go back to when it was going smoothly to figure out where I went wrong. I also plug in my headphones and blast music sometimes to clear the cobwebs. I’ll probably go deaf at an early age. Or I read. Read, read, read. Words inspire me.

Do you personally prefer to read e-books or traditional paper/hard back books?

I prefer traditional paperbacks, but the only time I really get to read now is right before bed while my husband is sleeping next to me and I can’t turn on any lights, so I have to read on my phone. Also the convenience of e-books is undeniable. I can’t always carry around a book in my purse, but I’ve got hundreds on my phone.

Who are your favorite authors?

Oh goodness. Tarryn Fisher, Gayle Forman, Colleen Hoover, Melina Marchetta, Jenny Han, Katja Millay, Tahereh Mafi, Paullina Simons. Just to name a few…haha

What books are you currently reading?

Right now I’m reading Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone and loving it!

Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to edit it or do you prefer to finish it all at once?

Well, I’d prefer to finish it all at once. I’m a culprit of self-editing. I can’t leave a scene alone, so I’m constantly going back to the beginning, reading forward and then moving on with whatever scene I decide to write next. So, if I think the book is done, it’s probably not, so I won’t leave it alone for more than a couple days before I go back to it. I can’t leave it unfinished for long.

What’s your favorite quote?

Well, fetch. I can only pick one? Umm…probably a Tarryn Fisher quote. This one is from her book, Mud Vein.

“There is a string that connects us that is not visible to the eye. Maybe every person has more than one soul they are connected to, and all over the world there are those invisible strings. Maybe the chances that you’ll find each and every one of your soulmates is slim. But sometimes you’re lucky enough to stumble across one. And you feel a tug. And it’s not so much a choice to love them though their flaws and through your differences, but rather you love them without even trying. You love their flaws.”

It’s 1am and you’ve been writing all night. What three items are on your desk?

My water bottle, my phone, and snack of the hour (goldfish, popcorn, chocolate, anything unhealthy most likely) And technically it’s my couch. I’m not cool enough to have a desk yet…haha.

When you aren’t writing, where can we find you?

Working. Fun, right? I’m an office manager for a few chiropractic offices that take up most of my time, so when I’m not there, I’m writing. I try to squeeze in time with the husband, of course…haha. We have our shows (Blindspot, Castle, Quantico, New Girl, Mindy Project, Arrow, The Flash, Criminal Minds, Limitless, Undateable, Life in Pieces, Baby Daddy, Elementary, Big Bang Theory, Second Chance, Mysteries of Laura, The 100, Scorpion, etc… Clearly we have a problem) that we watch together every night before he goes to bed and I stay up to write. It’s turned into our nightly ritual. My life is pretty glamorous.

Tell me a joke.

Why don’t you ever see hippopotamus hiding in trees? Because they’re really good at it.

Haha…I only know corny jokes.

What is your favorite book and why?

Oh geez. Favorite book. I have several. Don’t make me choose! Mud Vein by Tarryn fisher, Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, and If I Stay by Gayle Forman.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

Sitting on my couch writing. Most probably. Haha. But hopefully I’m happy and still loving what I do.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Don’t let your feelings of inadequacy keep you from pursuing your dreams. That feeling with never goes away. Only you can keep you from reaching your full potential. Just keep writing what you love. Don’t let anyone take that away from you.

Thank you so much, Mindy, for taking the time to do an interview with me!
For anyone interested, Mindy’s books can be found here:
Kaleidoscope (Faylinn, Book 1)Amazon Link
Me After You (Willohaven Series, Book 1) Amazon Link

A Little Update

Life has been pretty crazy lately, but I can’t complain too much. reading mindEach day is a brand new adventure, especially when I have a book in my hands. There’s something wonderful
about going from the stress of the day to the comfort of words on a page. Reading is yoga for the mind, and I love finding my Zen. 

 

Here’s a little update on what’s been going on with me:

  • I was laid off of my full-time job the week before Christmas. The company I was working for laid off 200 employees, and since I was one of the most recent to start, I was one of the first ones out. Being a recruiter during a hiring freeze isn’t promising, since the work relies heavily on hiring. It’s been a rocky road, but I am confident I will find something great again. In the meantime, I’ve been keeping busy.
  • I’ve been spending a LOT of time with my almost 5-month-old son. He’s pretty fantastic, honestly. I’m constantly amazed by him. You can read more about my adventures as a first time mom over on my other blog, Steps In Mommyhood.
  • I’ve been editing Michele G Miller’s soon-to-be published book titled West and it’s soooo good. West is a mirror of the From The Wreckage series, but from West’s point of view. This is one that you seriously shouldn’t miss! More information to come!
  • I am really excited to announce that I am now Mindy Hayes’ proofreader! I love her writing style and energy, and I can’t wait to dive into her work! I may also have another client for editing, though this has not been confirmed yet. If you’re interested in my editing services, please reach out to me. 🙂
  • I started school back up on January 4th and I’m enjoying my class on Organizational Development. Still maintaining my 4.0 GPA and balancing all of life’s goodies. I’m also looking into taking some editing courses to continue honing my skills and staying up-to-date.
  • I signed up for the A-to-Z Challenge again this year. Since I jumped on board so early for this go around, I am working on pre-loading all of my entries to stay on target. More on this to come in a separate post. In the meantime, if you have a blog, definitely consider signing up for this.

I’m working on creating a better system for posting on this blog in general. I will be working in editing and style tips, writing prompts, and other fun things. Keep your eyes peeled for more!

#BookBlogWriMo Days 14-17

Day 14

In case you haven’t figured out by now, I love books. Beyond love books. I breathe them in, eat them up, and bathe in their goodness. I clothe myself with their pages and dance to these page-turning rhythms.

Okay, so maybe that’s a bit wordy and dramatic, but it sort of covers how much I love books.

Day 15

I’ve been pretty lucky along the way to be able to get to know some really talented authors. Obviously, I’m really close with Michele. Editing her books has been a dream and she’s incredible to work with. I’ve also been able to get to know Mindy Hayes, author of the Faylinn novels and the Willowhaven series. Lastly, I don’t think there has been a release of Lindy Zart‘s that I haven’t jumped on. It’s always exciting to see her new teasers for works in progress and I enjoy being one of the first to read and review her books.

There are definitely others, but those are the three who stand out right now. Hopefully over the next year I will be able to create some new friendships and partnerships with other incredible authors. If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out each of the authors linked here. Their styles are diverse, with many genres and unique stories to choose from.

Day 16

I tend to do better with a schedule, though I have been known to review books at leisure. I enjoy hopping on a blog tour to review books, as this introduces me to books and authors I may not have read before. I like the structure of a tour, but I also enjoy the freedom of a self-driven review. I have a few self-driven reviews coming up the pipeline, but then again there are some great tours coming up too!

Day 17

I’ve altered my review system over the past year, but my review process has remained pretty much the same. You can view last year’s post here.

As for my system – If you don’t remember, I had a pretty hefty undertaking with each review I was writing. I’d write at least a five section review, elaborating deeply on characterization, dialogue, visuals, plot, and the ending, all leading into a score. I’d add up the points out of five for each, with the highest being 25. This was simply a bit much for me. I recently changed my process to be an overhead review, touching on each part easily, but not separating each subject, and averaging each of the scores in a breakdown at the bottom. Check out my review for Mindy Hayes’ Kaleidoscope for quick reference.

I like this system far more and it gives readers a much more one-stop shop.

Thirty Days of Thanks – Days 14-17

I am thankful for warm and soft chocolate chip cookies, photographs, winter clothing, and Netflix.

Book Review: Kaleidoscope by Mindy Hayes

Kaleidoscope Hayes

Kaleidoscope (Faylinn Book 1)
By:
 Mindy Hayes
Publication Date: December 28, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Blurb:
“Was I still a human? Gosh, I still wanted to be human. Even just to keep a sliver of who I thought I was. But as I thought about being human, standing in the shade of the forest, I felt less human than ever. The trees fought for my allegiance.”

It starts in her chest. The change Calliope doesn’t see coming. It pulses like a second heartbeat, urging her to give in to the need to be in the depths of the forest. She’s compelled to fight the pull, but the more she denies it the stronger it becomes until she finally surrenders and is pulled into a secret world of enchantment.

Kai and Declan need her to accept what she is, but with everything left unsaid, acceptance may be the least of their worries. Knowing their fate lies in her hands, they’ll stop at nothing to protect and prepare her for what lies ahead.

Will Calliope be able to accept what Kai and Declan reveal or will her desire to be normal keep her from acknowledging her true destiny?

*~*

I have been a follower of Mindy Hayes for some time now. I was introduced to her by Michele and couldn’t wait to get my hands on one of her novels. Well, I got my hands on it and then let it sit in my To Be Read pile for a bit of time. What a silly decision!! I am a sucker for fantasy novels, especially well-written ones like Kaleidoscope. Hayes pulled me in with her prologue and I was reading with bated breath until the last page. Truth be told, it took me a day to finish this book; I just couldn’t put it down.

I enjoyed getting to know Calliope, the main character of this novel, and meeting her friends and family. Calliope is discovering herself and not all of these discoveries are easy for her. She’s well-developed and continues to grow through this novel, and surely into the next two. Cameron, Calliope’s best friend, is another character I loved. He’s the perfect best friend and I love the dynamic between him and Calliope. Now, Kai and Declan are fabulous. Their banter and honesty made me look forward to each time they appeared, wondering what would happen next.

Hayes writes with a lot of color and description, allowing the reader to easily visualize what is happening in the story. The use of nature to drive the plot enhanced the story and became almost a character in itself. Fantasy has always been a favorite genre of mine, getting lost in a world I wish could exist beyond what I know. Hayes helped make that vision come to life on the pages of Kaleidoscope.

The next two books were on my Wishlist even before I finished this one and I can’t wait to add them to my Hayes experience.

*~*

The Final Countdown

Characterization – 4.5/5 Stars
Dialogue– 4/5 Stars
Plot – 4.5/5 Stars
Visual Imagery – 5/5 Stars
Ending 4.5/5 Stars

Total: 4.5 Stars

Links
Amazon Kaleidoscope (Faylinn #1)
Amazon Ember (Faylinn #2)
Amazon Luminary (Faylinn #3)
Amazon Complete Faylinn Book Bundle
Goodreads Book Page

About the author:

Mindy is the author of the YA Fantasy Faylinn Novels, Kaleidoscope (Faylinn #1), Ember (Faylinn #2), and Luminary (Faylinn #3), as well as the Contemporary Romance Willowhaven Series, Me After You (Willowhaven #1) and Me Without You (Willowhaven #2). Currently, she’s working on the Coming of Age Romance, The Day That Saved Us.

She grew up in San Diego, California exploring her interest for singing and playing the piano. Mindy first discovered her passion for reading when she had to make her first flight alone to South Carolina to visit her, then, fiancé. Her love for writing followed shortly after. Mindy and her husband have now been married for eight years and live in Summerville, South Carolina.

FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK!

FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK!