How the Irish Saved Civilization

To start off my reading challenge, I started with “How the Irish Saved Civilization” by Thomas Cahill. My goal was to learn more about Irish history, and this book most definitely helped me accomplish that. Next time I’d like to focus on ancient Ireland and the Celts, but this book taught me a lot about Ireland leading up to the Medieval era after the fall of Rome. After reading, I’d recommend this book to anyone interested in the topic.

How_the_Irish_Saved_Civilization Continue reading

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My Reading Challenge

I’m starting a new reading challenge next week. For those who follow me on Twitter, you know I like to write. For those who also write and are trying to get published, you know how hard and draining the process can be. Sometimes you just need to take a break and regroup. For those who work in publishing, you likely understand how hard it can be to find time to read outside of your workload. While I’m between writing projects, I decided to make a dent in my library wishlist. At this point it has something like 70 books on it and it grows every month.

One of the best ways to improve your writing outside of well, actually writing, is reading. Since I work as an editor and literary assistant, I try to read widely to get a handle on what’s hot, what’s been overdone, and what I wish would be written. I’ve also been working hard at trying to improve my own writing. As such, I’m planning to read 1-3 books a week for a minimum of a month across multiple genres outside of my work hours, which alone include at least two unpublished books a week. I like to write fantasy and historical, so there will be a lot of that included. I plan to include adult, young adult, and some historical non-fiction. Continue reading

Filtering in Writing

Filter words. It can be so tempting to use them, but they weaken your writing, especially when overused. One of the most common issues I spot when editing is the use of filtering.  From my experience it’s a common habit for new authors and one that can be hard to break. Even yours truly had to learn to break the habit. Let’s get started on how to spot and revise filtering.

What is filtering? Filtering words are words that place your character between an important detail and your reader because the detail gets filtered through your character’s point of view. These filter words can tell us sensory details, what a character sees or feels, and what they think. Filtering can make it hard for readers to connect to your world because it creates distance between the reader and your narrator. Filtering can also lead to telling instead of showing. You can show us how your character feels about their world through dialogue and character development, but we don’t need details and actions filtered through their point of view. Let us connect directly to the world. Continue reading

The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence

This time I want to talk about a historical I read recently based on a real woman. The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence is a good read for those interested in 15th century Florence and the painter Botticelli. The story is about Simonetta, Botticelli’s muse and the woman who may have been his inspiration for Venus in his famous Birth of Venus painting.  I couldn’t pass up the chance to read about Botticelli’s muse and a woman rumored to have been Giuliano Medici’s mistress. I’d never heard of Simonetta before and I love reading historical fiction about real people, especially well-researched stories. Plus the cover is gorgeous.

Most Beautiful Woman in Florence

Big warning on this one: Simonetta’s story ends in tragedy. I don’t want to give spoilers, but if you only like happy endings this isn’t the book for you.  However the ending added to the tragic romance aspect of the book in a way that tugged at my emotions. I appreciated that the author kept the tragedy true to life and didn’t trade it in for a happier ending. Out of everything about this book, the ending is what will stick with me. Continue reading

The Greatness of Libraries

Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows I love my library. I moved from a small town with a small library to a city with a huge local library and I love it. I’m a huge reader but can’t afford to buy the large amount of books I read a year. My library keeps me on budget and lets me indulge without worrying about money. If I want to do some research for my writing, I visit the library to find out what I need. And the best part about libraries these days? You can “visit” without physically going to your library. I will have more in-depth posts coming later this year about how to get the most out of the library as a writer and published author, but for now here is a peek at how awesome libraries are.

My library has thousands of ebooks, which means I can hop on OverDrive and download some books or place holds or make returns without stepping foot in the physical library. Some books my library only has physical copies of, but I can check the catalog and place holds on my laptop or Kindle instead of having to go to the library. When my hold comes in they email me and I go pick it up. However, ebooks take the pain out of having to go back to the library to return. I like to walk to my library, so I’m less likely to check out material during winter when I don’t want to walk so far. In that case I stick to the dozens of ebooks on my wishlist. Continue reading

Meet an Author: Lindsey Frydman

Lindsey was a proud 2016 Pitch Wars Mentee and thoroughly adores being a part of the wonderful writing community. Lindsey writes about heart-stopping romance, rule-breaking heroes, and everyday magic. THE HEARTBEAT HYPOTHESIS is her debut novel. Lindsey is represented by Naomi Davis of Inklings Literary Agency.

Your book HEARTBEAT HYPOTHESIS is your debut novel. In the book Audra walks in the footsteps of Emily who died too young. I feel like a lot of us wind up knowing someone who died too young. Did any personal experiences inspire the story?

Actually, no. There was no personal experience that inspired the story, though I have known a few who’ve sadly died too young. The story was actually inspired by a news article about a fifty-something-year-old woman who received a twenty-one-year-old’s heart after she died in a car wreck. Afterwards, the older woman set out to complete the young girl’s bucket list so at least her heart could experience all the things she’d wanted to do. Continue reading

Wintersong

I don’t normally do reviews on my blog, but I do review most books I read on my Amazon account. However, I recently finished reading WINTERSONG by S. Jae-Jones and let me tell you, I loved this book so much I need to talk about it. There is going to be a sequel in 2018 called SHADOWSONG and I can’t wait to read it. The story is beautiful and haunting and I know I won’t forget it anytime soon.

Wintersong

So some information on WINTERSONG before I talk about what set this book apart for me. WINTERSONG is set in 19th century Germany where Lisel’s sister gets spirited away by the Goblin King. Her grandmother had always warned her to follow the old laws, for every year on the longest night of winter the Goblin King will emerge into the waking world in search of his eternal bride. Lisel must save her sister, but when she does she is faced with an impossible choice: go home with her sister and let the world fall into eternal winter, or sacrifice herself as the Goblin King’s bride to save the world. Continue reading