Editing Update

I’m currently doing a read through of my manuscript trying to watch out for crutch words. While drafting my manuscript I kept a list of these words, words that I tend to overuse, and going through the list I’m actually pleased with how just keeping track of them has helped me reduce them a fair amount. Now that I know what the results are for each of these words, I’ve set a minimum and maximum usage amount, followed by alternative words so that I can focus on finding appropriate substitutes. I base the usage amount of the overall word count for my manuscript.

Of course, I’m sure my editor will find other words that I may not have picked up on myself, but many of these words are ones that they pointed out with my first book, so I’m hoping to reduce them before passing my manuscript along to her.

Crutch words aside, I’ve also created a checklist outside of my draft notes on any corrections, additions or areas that I think need fluffing or cutting down. I’ve also included a list of things to keep in mind while I’m reading.

I like to do these types of full edits before I pass my manuscripts along, because I find that the cleaner my draft is, the easier time we’ll have going over it.

For this edit, I’ve been making great use of my thesaurus, and am challenging myself to step away from my comfort zones a little bit. Anything that seems off or feels like it needs to be reworked or cut, I’ve been tackling immediately. My goal is to complete this edit by the end of the day, and so far I’ve been making great progress. With that said, it’s back to work for me. I’ll be treating myself to some ice cream once I complete everything on my list.

You and Me

Lyrics I know you and me Could be More than two I know you and me Could be I don’t want to say goodbye To […]

Shadow Phoenix, Vol. 1, Episode 1

About

A young maid is catapulted into an inventor’s explosive world. Will a brazen tongue and a desperate attempt to save his life destroy her future?

Louisa balances on the cusp of two very different worlds, but as the bastard child of parents born of the social elite in London, she has no name and no future until one fateful night. Forced to act when her employer accidently blows up his lab, Louisa moves from the shadows to the spotlight.

With destiny upended, she hovers on the precipice of a new life. If she can manage to hold her tongue, and her un-lady-like curses, she could have everything her exiled mother dreamed for her – but is that what she really wants?

Juggling the layers of lies knotted into her existence, Louisa must face her future or die trying.

Thoughts

This series sounded really fun, and I’d been meaning to read it for some time. It’s a quick read, which was nice, because I was able to read the first episode during my break.

I already adore Louisa and Bennett. The episode was well paced, and I’m excited to continue on to the next.

I also really loved the cover, and the idea of setting this series up where it releases in episodes, like Charles Dickens original works. It adds a lot to the world building, and kind of feels like reading a graphic novel.

This is a really fun series and I can’t wait to continue!

Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.


Let Me Save You – Review

About Seventeen-year-old Nila Izawa’s life in small-town Japan is orderly, simple, expected. On the walk home from school before winter break, Nila finally sees that […]

Pre-Order Twenty-Eight Years by Telma Rocha

Pre-orders for Telma Rocha’s novel Twenty-Eight Years just opened up. I saw on the authors Instagram, that they would be donating their royalties from pre-orders along with money from their workplace to help with aid in Ukraine.

About

A past love and a new romance have more in common than Jenna bargained for!

Jenna Taylor has it all, or so she thinks: a secure job as a journalist at a prestigious magazine in downtown Toronto, a steady relationship, and a bestie everyone wants. When her fiancé, Josh Harrison, gives her the ultimatum to start a family now or they’re over forever, she’s shocked and hurt. His sudden announcement forces Jenna to accept a much-anticipated promotion in Quebec City-one she would have turned down for him. The promotion comes at the most convenient time and the distance is just the perfect amount of space to start over and nurse her broken heart.

But, when Jenna meets Liam Garnier in Quebec City, the shocking resemblances between the two men unnerves her. Could it be possible that they just look alike-not likely! Jenna takes it upon herself to discover the truth. The reality of the situation comes with a lot of consequences: hurt the people she loves the most or remain quiet and keep the truth from Twenty-Eight years ago buried. Can Jenna live with what she knows and not tell the ones she loves, and can she do so without it tearing her apart?

You can follow the author on Instagram, or check out their website: https://www.telmarocha.com/

April Novel Update

Back in October of 2020 I wrote a post about what real life books the cast of Vermin might have on their bookshelves. It was probably one of my favourite posts to make. I’d love to do a version with modern books, as I tried to choose those that would’ve been published during the time the series takes place. I’ll definitely make time to go through some books and see which ones fit best with which characters.

Book two is going very well editing wise. I was hoping to get through this final bit before the end of the month, but then I realized that the month is ending like…tomorrow! It’s already May!

I’m going to make sure I tidy up these scenes, and make sure I go through and read everything over one final time before I send it off. I over edit…I know that…so I’m thankful that I have an amazing editor who can say “Okay. Enough! It’s good!”

I really need that. I wish I had an editor back when I was in school, because I constantly felt like my work was incomplete, sometimes starting over five or six times. This is why I have my 3 rounds of edits rule. After three times of looking over my work, I will pass it on to the next person.

If you’re like me and find yourself constantly needing to make sure everything is “perfect” I recommend putting a limit on yourself. I find three full edits takes me less time, and allows me to meet my deadlines. Of course, different methods work for different people, but this has definitely made things less stressful.

Please be on the lookout for another giveaway, as there will be more after book two release announcements are made. This will again be held on Goodreads, and I will of course send out reminders to everyone during the duration of the giveaway so that they have an opportunity to enter.

I’m so excited for this second book! Thank you to everyone who has read book one, for being so patient. I’ve loved hearing your thoughts on the series so far, and I love that my characters have resonated with you.

If you’re interested in character themed content, here are some posts you can check out:

Character Bookshelf

Character Interview #4 Rose

And of course, there is also character related content on TikTok @TheVerminSeries.

If you would like to listen to the first chapter of the book for free, you can check it out here on YouTube:

That aside, I’d like to wish you a lovely day. Keep reading, stay hydrated and stay tuned for my review of an upcoming young reader’s book being published by Scholastic. It is absolutely fantastic, and perfect for fans of superheroes, kid’s who love to draw…and anyone that absolutely adores fantasy.


Read More about Vermin

We Have Our Winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered the Vermin giveaway contest on Goodreads! We’re thrilled to announce that we have our four winners, and I personally […]

Daughter of Black Lake – Book Review

About

It’s the season of Fallow, in the era of iron. In a northern misty bog surrounded by woodlands and wheat fields, a settlement lies far beyond the reach of the Romans invading hundreds of miles to the southeast. Here, life is simple–or so it seems to the tightly knit community. Sow. Reap. Honor Mother Earth, who will provide at harvest time. A girl named Devout comes of age, sweetly flirting with the young man she’s tilled alongside all her life, and envisions a future of love and abundance. Seventeen years later, though, the settlement is a changed place. Famine has brought struggle, and outsiders, with their foreign ways and military might, have arrived at the doorstep. For Devout’s young daughter, life is more troubled than her mother ever anticipated. But this girl has an extraordinary gift. As worlds collide and peril threatens, it will be up to her to save her family and community.

Set in a time long forgotten, Daughter of Black Lake brings the ancient world to life and introduces us to an unforgettable family facing an unimaginable trial.

Thoughts


Wow! Cathy Marie Buchanan has done it again!
I absolutely loved reading about Hobble, Devout, and Smith. The story was so vivid. I was constantly filled with wonder, and anxious of what Fox would do next, and what secrets were kept in the past.
I also loved the way the chapters were split, with Devout’s written almost as if they were being seen by someone else, in third person because they happened in the past, whereas her daughter Hobble’s were written in first person, present day. I thought that this made the story stronger, and it also allowed the reader to get a clearer picture as to who Smith was through the eyes of both his wife, who had known him since he was a boy, and his daughter who could tell his every thought just by looking at him.
I loved each and every character in this book, and was definitely drawn to Smith, despite him not having a perspective. It was clear how much he cherished his family, and wanted to keep them safe, making decisions that could put himself in grave danger.
The way the suspense was built up in this story was also fantastic! I was constantly worried about what might happen to this family. I don’t want to spoil anything but it was definitely a thrilling read.
I can’t wait to see what’s next for this talented author!

Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

April Novel Update

Back in October of 2020 I wrote a post about what real life books the cast of Vermin might have on their bookshelves. It was […]

Let Me Save You – Review

About

Seventeen-year-old Nila Izawa’s life in small-town Japan is orderly, simple, expected. On the walk home from school before winter break, Nila finally sees that she is crumbling under her mother’s strict expectations, both of them fueled by resentment towards Nila’s absentee father. Nila reaches for the courage to break free, but her fear of failure is overwhelming.

Wavering on the edge of stability – and adolescence – rude, annoying, beautiful Kai Kento’s insults, at last ignite Nila’s resilience.

Thoughts

This novel reminded me of some of my favourite emotionally charged shojo series like We Were There and Peach Girl. I think the reason Peach Girl kept coming to mind was because Nila’s father called her Peaches growing up.
The doll house thing made me cry so much. I also built one with my dad as a kid, and I could understand how Nila must’ve treasured doing something so special with her dad. I won’t say anything more about it because I don’t want to spoil anything.
I loved all of the character’s in this novel! I especially drawn to Kenji as he developed throughout the story. I think Kida was my favourite side character. She gave off cool big sister vibes, despite being Nila’s best friend, and she almost reminded me of a combination of Claudia and Stacey from the Babysitter’s Club. She was just cool, and it was obvious her and Nila truly cherished their friendship.
I cried throughout the last half! So much happened. I felt like I was right there with Nila, throughout all of the chaos…Nila’s voice was so clear throughout the story. You could sense her anxiety, joy, and defensiveness within each chapter. There was such a clear reasoning behind her actions, and her initial hesitance with Kai. Even her frustration with Kida, which I’ll be vague about to avoid spoilers, was understandable. Nila was hurt by the very people who were supposed to love and protect her, and although she responds differently to situations and people than her brother Kenji, who is more abrupt and rash, it is clear that the two of them need to lean on each other along with the love and support from Kai and Kida to pull them through. Nila is a force. I loved her story so much. She really blossomed as a character.
Kai was cheeky in a good way. He was adorably sweet. He really pushed Nila to come out of her shell and I don’t think it would’ve been possible if he hadn’t been so open and charismatic. Kai’s very upfront and forward, whereas Nila’s more reserved and in her head about things. I loved how honest he was with her, and how the two of them grew together. It was so cute watching Nila fall in love with him.
Lindsey-Anne Pontes did an incredible job of capturing those glittery…petal covered, panels you might see in a shojo manga, and also included some of my favourite tropes from the genre! It was so cool how she created the feeling of reading those emotionally raw scenes in this medium. Especially with the flashbacks!
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of manga like We Were There, Orange, and Mars or coming-of-age novels such as The Steps or Star Girl. I think you’ll adore this book.
The ending was extremely satisfying!

Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Anonymous Noise Vol. 2 – Review

About Nino Arisugawa, a girl who loves to sing, experiences her first heart-wrenching goodbye when her beloved childhood friend, Momo, moves away. And after Nino […]

Books You Should Read if Rose Is Your Favourite Character

Something you might’ve noticed is that almost all of these books fall under romance. Rose is a romantic at heart, and adores books with romance, animals or adventures. She’d most likely be a big fan of stories like Pippi Longstocking, Black Beauty, and Little Women. If she was into manga/anime, I’d say she would definitely be a fan of series like Yona of the Dawn or Love Me, Love Me Not.

Something of hers that I wish I had, is her attic library. It’s so cozy up there, and she has books that were collected first by her grandparents, then her father and uncle, and now a collection of her own. I love finding books that belonged to my family members and reading them…plus old books have this gentle…almost calming scent and feel to them, and that connection to books is something I definitely share with her character.

If you could recommend a book to one of your favourite characters from the series, which would it be?


Read More about Vermin

When Roland Met Dianna…

Want to win a signed copy of Vermin? You can enter the giveaway on Goodreads in March! The contest opens March 1st, and will run […]

Nicholas’ Playlist

“Hallet, Matya Frudach!“ Translation: “Hello my friend!” In today’s post I’ll be sharing a handful of songs off of Nicholas’ playlist. Like Roland and Dianna’s […]

A bit of Rambling After A Lot of Tea

So far the new year has gifted me with wonderful literature. I’ve read dozens of books and haven’t dnf’ed a single one. I’ve actually enjoyed the majority and given many of them 4 and 5 star ratings.

Tonight I plan on reading, as I always do, and I’m finally at a place where my TBR pile is nearly finished so I can actually go out and get some new books. I actually borrowed books for the first time in forever, and finished both the day I got them! They were both equally stunning, and memorable. I’m so glad they caught my attention. I can’t wait to choose my next handful of reads. Of course, there are also a bunch of books that I’m excited to check out this year. One in particular this summer, that I’m definitely going to pre-order. I’ve got a little collection of this authors work going, and thus far she has yet to disappoint me. I’ve definitely got to lend some of those books to the readers in my family. I think they’ll really enjoy them.

I’m a bit wired, despite it being late in the evening, but I’ve had a lot of tea…like three or four cups? I lost track at some point. I tried exercising to help myself calm down a bit but I’m still wound up. I’m usually like this after I record or write…I get really hyper and excited. I suppose excited is probably the best way to describe it.

Oh, right! On that note, I’m pleased to announce that the Vermin book giveaway is officially underway, and people can enter on March 1st. I’m so excited to be doing a giveaway during my birth month. It makes it all the more special. For this giveaway, we’ll be giving away four signed copies, to people who have added the book to their list on Goodreads.

The other day one of my best friends told me that another friend of hers got a copy of my book, which made me super happy! It was so sweet of her to recommend it to someone, and I always love hearing peoples feedback. Plus a few of her friends are local authors as well, and I absolutely love supporting my fellow authors. Many of the authors I’ve met so far are YA and Children’s Lit authors, which is awesome because I still read those genres both in my free time and for work.

The sequel for Vermin still doesn’t have a title yet, but I have to say I am absolutely in love with certain scenes. It’s so hard not to talk about it and gush over things because I want to…but I don’t want to spoil it for new readers! I hate having books spoiled for me. I’ll be sure to share the link to the ARCs when the time comes. I believe these will be digital copies like last time? They should work on kindles. I don’t have a kindle or kobo currently, and read most of my ebook ARCs using an app on my computer called Overdrive. I think it also allows me to sign out library books? So if anyone is ever worried about that, it works really well, and makes it easy to keep track of page numbers, chapters etc.

I’ve actually got a few ARCs to complete before the end of February…I believe those books are releasing mid-March, so I definitely want to get my reviews out by then. I highly recommend checking out review sites that offer ARCs like Netgalley, ARC Reviewers or…there’s another one I’ve used but I can’t recall the name. It might be linked with Reedsy? Anyway, I like all three and I’ve found some really great books on there. I love the fact that I can explore a bunch of new genres, or get to check out debuts, and new series. Plus writing reviews is really fun for me.

I only annotate books with sticky notes and things occasionally. Mainly because I don’t like writing on the actual pages, so instead I’ll write down words or phrases that stick out to me or my favourite things in a notebook. I also developed a skill growing up, where I’d memorize page numbers from where I left off in a book, and now it’s fairly easy for me to flip through and find my favourite passages. This was incredibly helpful whenever we had to do read aloud assignments in university, and explain what stood out to us about each passage. I think annotating everything I read, would make me feel like I was doing homework…but it’s still fun journaling. Perhaps I’ll set up an official book journal this year? Maybe I’ll start one next month.

I’ll share the links to those two ARC websites, for anyone interested in doing reviews:

Netgalley

ARC Reviewers

From these sites I’m currently reading Escaping the Caves, and a manga called Falling Down. As for already released books, I’m reading Let Me Save You, and A Sign of Affection Vol. 4.

Happy reading!

Giveaway!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Vermin by Ardin Patterson

Vermin

by Ardin Patterson

Giveaway ends March 31, 2022.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway


A dying boy
A rebellious girl
History poised to repeat itself

Left for dead at the side of the road in an outlawed town, Nicholas is rescued by a human girl. Plagued by fevered dreams and a lethal illness, Nicholas doesn’t know what to make of her kindness. If she knew what he was, death would be a merciful gift.

Rose takes it upon herself to show the boy hospitality, despite her uncle Roland forbidding her from going near him. She survived the brutal sickness and knows exactly what their guest is going through—he needs a friend.

Roland stands to lose everything when he discovers what Nicholas is. Dire circumstances force Roland to turn the boy into a test subject. However, in coaxing an old flame into helping domesticate the beast, Roland ends up in a cruel experiment of his own.

As Rose and Nicholas grow closer, Roland’s decision to keep the boy’s identity a secret threatens to bring history full circle. Can Roland guard two hearts as he struggles to keep the boy and his future alive?


This giveaway opens March 1st, and will run until the end of the month. Be sure to check out the novel on Goodreads!