Happy 1st Blogiversary!

Apparently it’s my blogs anniversary. I hadn’t even realized it until just now. Traditionally, with my older blogs I would make a long post highlighting the years…but I didn’t plan anything. This will also probably be posted a day late because its 11:30pm…

So for starters…

My blog is officially a year old. Happy 1st Birthday kiddo!

I’ve been catching up on my reading lately, and I have a bunch of new reviews planned out. My TBR was shrinking last week, but now it’s growing again! Hooray!

I also have a bunch of exciting news that I can’t wait to share. I hope you’ll all be as excited about it as I am. All I can say for now is that I’m doing a super cool project, that I am pumped about! I’ll talk more about it before the premiere!

Today I had my favourite ice cream and watched 90 Day Fiancée with my sister which my Dad absolutely hates but put up with because we rarely get TLC on our station unless its like a monthly promo thing…we also didn’t let him change the channel. I’m not a huge fan of reality TV but I find this show addicting. I don’t know why. I think I can recall a YouTuber who discussed TLC (The Learning Channel) as a modern day Freak Show. I agree with her. After thinking off the top of my head, most of what airs on that station reminds me of the old “COME SEE THE MAN WITH THE SEVEN EARS!” type thing…only its on television. I wish I could remember the name of the YouTuber, because that video is seriously worth watching if you have the time. I want to say her name was Ada?

Anyways, that’s enough about television.

I had ice cream, finished compiling and organizing my research results and now that I’m finished with that I’ll be rewarding myself with a few more books to add to my shrinking TBR.

I’ve been low-key participating in a co-workers read-athon. I like read-athons, but I sometimes have a hard time filling all the prompt categories. Sometimes I try to knock out two categories with one book. I’ve found this helps. I love that her prompt allows us to read diversely and explore different mediums and genres but also gives us the freedom and flexibility to read whatever we like at our own pace! I also got a very lovely list of series recommendations from her, which I am extremely grateful for! I was starting to worry that I’d run out of novels to read. She’s such a fun person to work with, we literally just gush over YA novels and the majority of what she recommends me is 100% up my alley!

Working in a bookstore is the best. I miss my co-workers so much during lock down but every once in a while people send out emails or our managers call to check on us. It’s extremely thoughtful and I just…I feel so happy and safe with everyone at our store.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t complete 5 books in four days last week. My managers even asked if I was really reading that much…and to be honest I don’t even know how I accomplished that. I haven’t read like that since I was in my first year of university. I guess it happened because I was multitask reading a bunch of different books around my birthday and then when we went into lock down I was just reading with my niece…because this little girl who used to hate reading now adores it! We pretended to have a book club. I think we should try to continue it via social distance because it was so much fun. I actually have a post planned involving some of our reads and reviews of certain Middle Grade books. She gives fantastic reviews, so I’d love to get quotes from her on her recent reads for that post. Who knows, maybe I’ll interview her.

She’s also been making her own comic series! It’s really creative and I love how her personality shines through it. She’s got a great sense of humour so seeing that in her stories always makes me happy.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading my blog over this past year, and have found new books to add to your reading list…or perhaps one of my writing related posts has helped you. If you have a blog, feel free to share your link in the comments, I love checking out other bloggers!

Character Menu: If your character had a restaurant what would they serve?

Welcome to Tabitha’s Kitchen.

For tonight’s special we have roast beef served with a broccoli salad, Yorkshire pudding, potatoes and of course peas. Remember, you must eat the same amount of vegetables for how old you are. If you don’t, you won’t be able to enjoy the lovely dessert. Served in a pretty little dish, Blanc Mange! A delicious treat, especially as the months grow colder.

Haha! I had fun with this one. It was hard picking the right photos though. It’s also made me a tad hungry…but alas I’m off to bed.

Here’s my latest drawing. It’s for an earlier prompt that I decided to redo. I like it much better.

Oh No! I Messed Up My Prompt for the 9th!

Today I was supposed to write a song about one of my character’s, which I did haha and am debating on sharing it today. I’m thinking that I’ll probably redo the recording of the song and post that later this weekend.

I suppose in the meantime I’ll share the rough version I did today. I warn it is very rough! It’s also in two languages…English and the language some of my character’s speak in the series. I will be sure not to sing and record while half awake next time haha.

Okay so apparently I can’t upload it on here right now…so I’ll be posting it to Soundcloud temporarily! I’ll replace it with a better version on YouTube.

Oh…so I have no more space on Soundcloud. Uh…

Well um…this isn’t going as planned. I was supposed to post this at 10 am to begin with but I was at work. Err…Um…change of plan.

I will post the song tomorrow once I get everything sorted. Sorry about that! In the meantime I’ll be completing my drawing for the day, which you can watch on my Instagram @ardinpatterson. I’ll also save it to my story.

Books & Tea

My tea is currently too hot to drink so I decided to see how many books are on my TBR list right now. Somehow the list has grown to 103, which is definitely not what I expected. I underestimated.

I ended up buying another book yesterday…while looking for something completely different. I actually had a video on it auto-play on YouTube the night before and then there it was on the shelf. Next thing I knew it was in my hand and I was paying for it.

I need to show a little more will power when it comes to books though. I think its because I’d been trying to keep my spending budget so tight during this pandemic, that I end up having a few days where I buy 1 or 2 things.

Books make me happy. I love anticipating what will happen next and flipping through the pages. I think during 2020, a little thing like that can do your mental health some good. It’s nice to just jump into a book and escape reality for a little while.

I know with this book that I got, it’ll probably be far from the stories I’m used to reading. I don’t mind horror films. I actually enjoy them (although I prefer horror shows because the suspense builds more and they raise the stakes for characters). Still, I don’t usually read horror. I can’t think of the last time I did. I know of one Webtoon that only updates in October. It was a bunch of ghost stories and things. I thought that was a good. I think I must’ve read it three years ago? That might be the last horror type book I read.

Regardless, it’s fun to genre jump every once in a while. I find when I stick to one genre too much, I end up reading the same types of stories over and over again. This isn’t a critique on the writers, but more an observation. It’s more of “this is what I like and where I feel safe” so that’s what I read. These are stories where I can usually tell if the ending will be happily ever after or happy for now.

I’m definitely going to review the books I’ve bought over the last two days. I have high hopes for them.

Reviewing Book Previews on Amazon: Sloane, The Flawed Attraction Series and The Dawn Thief

I decided to review book previews from books on Amazon to help promote authors who released books during the early half of this chaotic year. My goal with this is to share these works with potential readers, who may enjoy these stories and also help these authors get more reviews on Goodreads and on Amazon.

If you, or anyone else you know has released a book this year, feel free to leave a link to it in the comments with a brief description (perhaps a single sentence pitch) for myself and others to check out. Please be sure to include the genre and other links that you feel would be beneficial (social media, where to purchase the book etc).

Alright, the first book is…

Sloane by Nick Kurch

Sloane is a scandalous force of nature! From the first page, this blonde is weaving tales of mobsters, monks and love affairs in a hotel lobby. This somehow landing her a room, free of charge.

The way in which she prays on the sweet clerk, Mary, and pulls her into her story is astounding. Even when she slips up, she finds a way to draw Mary back into her lie. As the promotional tagline for the book reads, she’ll make you want to believe!

About the Author:

Nick Kurch is a Hawaiian author and self-proclaimed, boring man with not much going on. He lives vicariously through his ridiculous characters and their misadventures.

Nick dabbles in writing books in both fiction and non-fiction and has written for publications such as ClutchPoints, The Manifold Magazine and Love Knot Books.

You can follow Nick on Twitter @authornickkurch and find his debut novel Sloane on Amazon.

Next is…

Final Year and Vice Ride by MJ Moores

For this one I will be covering two novels, both apart of the author’s Flawed Attraction series.

The first few pages of Final Year are intense. This thriller romance follows Beth and Jeremy, two complete opposites who find themselves on campus during a lock down, hunting Jeremy’s not-so theoretical chem project.

In this first chapter we follow Beth as she gives into her gut and runs back to help Jeremy as the other students on campus make their way to the stadium. Alarms are blaring and she continues to tell herself to go with the group, but instead heads back to help him. Her gut knowing that something is very wrong. When she finds Jeremy he’s on the floor, barely able to stand. His insulin is low and it is clear that he needs to see a medic stat.

Jeremy on the other hand is more concerned about his work.

MJ Moores novel Final Year received a 5 star review on Favourite Readers.

The next book in the Flawed Attraction series is Vice Ride.

Vice Ride is MJ Moores newest addition to this romance series, which follows Amber and her ex-boyfriend Josh across the Kawartha Lakes region in Ontario (yay Canada!).

In the introductory chapter, titled Venus Fly Trap, we meet Amber, who is moving back home after being away for eighteen months at school in London.

It isn’t going as she planned.

For starters, she gets stuck moving her luggage on her own and to make matters worse someone is watching her from across the street: her ex-boyfriend Josh, who she tries her best not to give the finger.

It’s very clear in this chapter as Amber’s frustration grows that she wanted nothing more than to move back in without Josh catching a glimpse of her. To her the entire relationship was a mistake and being near him and back in the Kawartha makes her uneasy.

About the Author:

MJ Moores has had a passion for storytelling since she was nine years old. Starting her career as an English teacher in Ontario, she writes and has an adoration for multiple genres. MJ has written for Authors Publish Magazine and Indyfest Magazine. Her work can also be found in many anthologies, such as Unbound II, Brave New Girls and more. She has also written and published several works including a steampunk serial, available on Amazon.

Her Flawed Attraction series follows characters in their early 20s, going beyond the initial stages of a crush and getting to the deeper roots of what draws people together. In this case, two people who are polar opposites and how each moment in the novel brings them closer together as they learn to see past each others initial impressions, their personal prejudices and also the realization of their feelings for one another.

You can follow MJ on Twitter @AuthorMJMoores or visit her website: https://mjmoores.com/

Onto the next book…

The Dawn Thief by Amelia Thorn

In the opening chapter of The Dawn Thief the reader is met with a scene of a young man chained up in a cell, known to the town of Cresvy as Evil Incarnate, a cell that he’s been in for seventeen years of his life. This mysterious man, has silver sewn into his clothing and has memorized each and every sound both within and outside his cell. His only friend, a cat named Whiskey, who he is drawn to for their similarities…that being, his other form, a wolf.

The young man (and wolf) Silas believes his entire existence could put those he loves in jeopardy. Spending his life, he has always been an outcast feared by the people of Crevsy. Doomed to a lonely existence.

About the Author:

Amelia Thorn is an author from West Yorkshire.

After suffering from a back injury in their youth, Amelia was forced to bed rest, where among her limiting activities–homework, watching television and reading–she discovered her love of writing.

She claims the book she wrote during this period was gobshite, but the passion for writing remained with her ever since.

The Dawn Thief is her debut novel.

You can find Amelia on Twitter @AmeliaGThorn

Novel Update

I finally finished writing out my potential scene replacements! I’m so happy. I got very busy working on other projects and thought it would be a long while before I completed them.

Today’s plan is to take a bit of time to read over what I’ve written, maybe get a second opinion from my sister if she’s not too busy (she’s an artist, she’s always busy) and then send it off to my editor for her thoughts.

Currently I think that this scene fits within the narrative but I am worried about it’s length. The scene its replacing was 2 pages shorter. I also struggled with making it a scene that didn’t have any loose ends that would need tying up later.

The more I edit, the more excited I am to have others read this book. It’s my first time publishing anything…and I’ll be honest I’m a bit nervous. I’ve spent years working on this book and my hope is to have others love it as much as I do.

Brief Update

This is just a brief update on where I’m at with my editing and my journal that I’m using to reorganize my novel information.

If you watched my latest vlog, you’ll know that I recently went out to get a journal (that’s super cute by the way), to help me reorganize all of my novel information into an easy…reference book…yah, that’s basically what it is.

While editing I was finding it tedious to keep having to search for all of these files, some dating back to like 2013 to double check information about the world and characters, or to just answer one of my editors questions.

I made very detailed notes on the world of my novel as I went along over the years, which I’m thankful for because when I need it, I have it…but it’s annoying having to search through all these files trying to find exactly what I want. So I categorized it all, as you’ll see in the video.

Since I recorded the video, I’ve been working from my studio or editing for others, along with hanging out with my niece for the first time in forever. Which was really nice, and I’m glad that we got to chill. However, I was far too tired to work on anything else, so I decided to that I would jump back into editing this week. It’s now Tuesday.

So far I haven’t done any editing for myself, mainly because work carried over from last week that needed to be done. I also made the mistake of staying up far too late last night, so now I’m trying to force myself to stay up past 8pm, so that my sleep schedule doesn’t get thrown off.

I did some sketching earlier of a few ideas I had and also looked over some of my notes, once I submitted my work, but I haven’t done any edits today. I’m planning on jumping into it tomorrow, so that I can spend time organizing the reference book, although I still have lots of other things that need to get done.

Honestly, 2020 makes me hate being on the computer sometimes. I never thought I’d spend this much time on social media…ever. Luckily I got a new book to read, so I’ll be able to enjoy that when I need a break from screens.

I really enjoy editing and have a habit of launching myself into it for several hours without breaks…so I’m trying to at least create some sort of routine for myself, where I edit after lunch. I prefer to do my other work in the morning, like recording and such and usually aim to complete it by 2:30 the latest, depending on what it is.

I’m hoping to have the reference journal complete by the end of the week, but I’m also not going to rush through everything. I want to take my time, look over my editors feedback, start a conversation about certain sections that we feel need work and really enjoy the experience.

The journal is a bit hard to see in this image.

It’s probably easier to look at in the vlog, but I really like the colour. I scoped it out back in November, really liked it and when I saw that it was still at the store, I bought it.

It was such a great deal too. Plus there’s a tiny rocket ship.

Normally I’d pick a journal that actually reflects the novel I’m writing, but I wanted the one with the teeny tiny rocket. I just like doodling teeny tiny rockets…so…that’s basically why.

Anywho, I’ll be ending this blog post here, I just wanted to do a little update…and also felt the need to write something. I’ve been missing writing…but editing is its own thing, and each stage of this process is definitely worth it.

Book Talk Episode 16: Still Editing!

Editing is a lot of work. I actually think it might be more work than it was to write the novel, however I’m looking at all the positives that come out of receiving feedback on my work. It is helping me grow as a writer.

The scenes that I’m reworking with my editor, are stronger because of her insight and suggestions. She noticed things that I completely looked over (or forgot about).

I’ve been recording videos of the process, because I want to have something to look back on after this process is over. I’ve never made a vlog before, but I figure it’s not much different than a diary. Those also require editing, but it forces me to take a break when I get stuck editing my novel.

I’m getting more excited about having others read my book, especially my family and friends. It’s been seven years since I started writing this novel. I’ve never spent so long writing something, but life happened and there were periods that I had to set it aside for a few months at a time, especially while I was in university. I finished drafting it near the end of my third year and by the 4th I typed everything up and started tweaking things.

I like to take my time editing, and I’m also planning on getting some things to keep myself organized. That way, when I’m editing the other books in the series, I have something to refer to. I’ll try and show that on my vlog (and here on the blog). I’m hoping it works, but even if it isn’t as helpful as I’d like, at least I tried.

Well, I’d better get back to work! I also have recordings to edit today, so I’m trying to manage my time the best I can.

New Neighbours

If you have been following my Twitter or blog posts from a few weeks back, you will know that I was keeping tabs on the surviving eggs in the robins nest that somehow made its way into the hose connected to our dryer (yikes).

I am sad to announce that the two surviving eggs have not hatched, and from what I believe they are long past their incubation period, so it is unlikely that they will.

However, my the duck eggs that my niece’s family was watching from her uncles yard hatched, and we got to watch the video of that, and of the baby ducklings following their mother down the street (very cute).

I also learned that there is a new nest, where our robins were relocated, and according to my Nana these also seem to be robins eggs. I usually only observe from a distance, because I don’t want to disturb them, but its nice to know we have some new little neighbours…hopefully they all hatch and are healthy!

When we were younger rabbits usually made nests (if they do that?) on our friends property, and we often watched the new babies. One year they made a nest in her mother’s flower pot! It was so funny watching all the little babies running around in there. One kept jumping out of the pot, and we had to put it back.

I know that people say not to touch wild animals, and especially babies because the parents may abandon them…however, we were concerned that because it couldn’t get back into the pot, that it would get hurt or attacked by a larger animal or possibly end up stuck, so we very carefully put the little one back and scolded it for continuing to jump out immediately after.

It was almost like when my niece used to throw her sippy cup on the floor and go, “Uh oh!” as a toddler, wait for me to pick it up and then throw it again.

It seemed to amuse the baby bunny.

I hope that we’ll get to see little baby birds around. I used to love seeing them, while they were learning to fly. Over the years I can recall two or three that I watched from a distance while their parent coached them. It was honestly very cute.