Book Review: Fate’s Past by Jason Huebinger

Fate's PastFate’s Past by Jason Huebinger
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fate’s Past is a suspenseful, heart-pounding supernatural horror novel that kept me guessing until the end. Once I picked it up, I didn’t want to put it down!

The story was very well developed, and the characters were interesting and relatable. I honestly felt like I would react the exact same way as Carrie and Cameron if I were in their situation.

Huebinger’s descriptions were remarkable; I was able to get a clear picture in my mind’s eye of everything that was happening. Fate’s Past not only has amazing suspense, but the action scenes were well-paced, keeping my eyes glued to my screen. I genuinely couldn’t get enough!

The ending surprised me. It was absolutely fitting with the build-up, concluding in a spectacular way. I would definitely recommend this book! Well done, Jason Huebinger!

I was given an ARC for this book in exchange for an honest review, but I’ve already pre-ordered my own copy.

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Being Thankful

Good evening, my amazing blog readers! I’m so sorry that I’ve been absent of late. It occurred to me recently that I’d been in the middle of my current WIP (To Woo A Troublesome Spy) for over a year now (Ah! Yes. Since the beginning of last March) and I’ve decided to dedicate a good portion of my time to working on actually completing it. I’m making some progress, which his wonderful! It just means that I haven’t been blogging much. Sorry about that!

The purpose of this post is to just take a moment to say how touched, honoured, humbled, and completely and utterly grateful I am to have such an amazing support network in my life. Today I felt the need to discuss something that’s been troubling me, and right away I was surrounded by the love and encouragement of my husband, my mom, my kids, my seriously spectacular publisher, my RWA group, and my friends.

For hours I’ve been speechless and teary-eyed. You all have no idea just how much you mean to me. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I feel like I’m the luckiest lady alive!

Thank you for reading and Happy Friday!

Book Review: 122 Rules by Deek Rhew

122 Rules (122 Series #1)122 Rules by Deek Rhew
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Deek Rhew is a master when it comes to humour. Not only is this a great mystery, thriller/suspense novel, but Rhew adds his own flavour of levity that had me laughing throughout.

This was an effortless read. The engrossing plot kept me eagerly reading until the end. Rhew created a cleverly-written and well-timed novel. I genuinely can’t wait until I get to read the next in the series!

Kudos, Deek Rhew, on a spectacular book!

I received an ARC from the publisher, but I’ve already pre-ordered my own finished copy.

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Book Review: Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Annihilation (Southern Reach, #1)Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’d been warring with myself on whether or not I should write this review. I don’t like to write negative reviews, generally. It’s evident, however, that I’m not alone in my opinion, for these SFF fans/reviewers seem to be divided when it comes to the Southern Reach trilogy. Some give it rave reviews, and others feel as I do: a little cheated.

I have to give the author credit, the language and general writing was superb. What fell apart for me, however, was the style and story. The entire novel was written as diary entries, which makes my “show, don’t tell” instinct twitch. I will grant, that there were some good points, but the drawn-out descriptions were filled with what I felt was unnecessary information. I would have liked to get some more emotion out of the protagonist and more dialogue out of everyone.

The suspense just wasn’t there for me. It felt like there was no urgency, no immediate danger. It is possible that this is because these are all diary entries, and I knew that the main character survives at least to write the entries. If it was written in-the-moment I might have been more invested, unfortunately, this just fell short for me.

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It’s Release Day!

I’m very pleased — and outrageously excited — to announce that as of today, I am officially a published author for Pandamoon Publishing! Today is release day for my debut novel, Love’s Misadventure, the first in the Mason Siblings series!

This is a dream come true! I’m so very lucky to have such tremendous support from my friends, family, and my amazing Panda family with Pandamoon. You all are wonderful!

I’ve already got some great reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. I’m flattered! Thank you all so much!

News and Exciting Update!

Good morning, everyone! It’s been a while since I made an official blog post, and for that I’m sorry. Life has been quite busy in the Champagne household! We spent nearly three months dealing with colds/flus/viruses, but as of this weekend we seem to be officially over it all *knocks on wood*.

Also in my personal life, we’ve officially begun renovations on our carport and front steps to our house. The carport is turning into a garage and our stairs will no longer be curving. It’s a very thrilling change for us!

My writing is coming along nicely. Slow, but steady (it wins the race, doesn’t it?). I’m now nearing the half-way mark of my current work in progress, To Woo A Troublesome Spy, which is very satisfying.

In other writing news, I have an exciting update! My first novel (which was originally self-published, but removed from online retailers when I was picked up by Pandamoon Publishing) is coming out very soon! The official press release hasn’t gone out, but you’ll be seeing Love’s Misadventure in mid-March! Huzzah! I’m so very excited!

I’ll post again once I have the official press release.

Thank you all so much for reading! Happy Sunday!

A Little Update On My Writing

Good morning, blog readers! I’m just popping in to let you all know that while I’m not regularly blogging right now, I have plans for future blogs. At the moment, my current novel (tentatively named The Charming Spy) is sitting at 71,000 words and I’m getting eager to get as much writing in as I can to finish it up.

This novel is about Sir Bramwell Stevens, whom we have met in several other of my novels, and Miss Rose Wilkinson, the niece of a suspected traitor. I’ve begun writing the last few chapters and it’s very exciting! I find myself getting nervous for my characters while I write, but as with all romance novels, it will end happily!

Off I go back to writing! Thank you all so much for reading! Have a great week!

A Little Something on How I Write

Good morning, everyone! I hope you’ve all had a great week. We’ve got a cold running through the house, but gratefully we’re nearing the end of it.

Today I’m going to tell you all a little something about how I write. There are lots of organizational systems out there that are meant to help authors, but I’m very much stuck in my ways. I am a notebook kind of girl.

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The first thing I do when plotting a novel is: I write my ideas down. I have a whole section of my notebooks reserved for future plot ideas. And they’re generally quite vague in details, just a sentence or two. For example: for my second novel my line was “Previously best friends, he is spy wanting to protect her, she feels abandoned, villains threaten her and force him to keep her save.” Then the more I think about the plot, the more details I put in. I find photos for inspiration, think of names, and then I begin to write character outlines.

My character outlines are generally a page long and consist of my hero and heroine’s age, appearance, habits, background, family, scent, sounds, likes, and dislikes, etc.

From there, I begin writing a general plot outline so that I know where the story is going to take me. This is never a ‘set-in-stone’ outline; I find that mine changes quite a bit when my characters take form… they like to lead me in different directions unexpectedly.

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Because my hero and heroine change my plot so frequently, once I write a much more detailed plot outline, I can only write one to two pages in advance. Only once I have typed the pages will I know for certain where to go next. For that reason I type and write notes alternately.

Once I have my detailed plot notes I sit down to type. During the week I have difficulty finding time, as with four children, my days are filled. My eldest is in Kindergarten, so my days aren’t as hectic as they once were, but with trips to and from school with my other three children, I am still quite busy. Thankfully, my husband has been so good to me and gives me time on the weekends to dedicate to writing. That is when I hide away in my office, curl up with a blanket and my laptop and get to working!

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I think that is enough about my writing for today. If you have any questions about my process, please feel free to comment! I would be pleased to answer any questions you have.

Stay tuned for another blog about how I write focusing on research and the ever-challenging historical timeline!

Thank you all for reading! Have a great Wednesday!

It’s Been a While

Good evening, blog readers! Wow. It’s been almost two weeks since I’ve written a blog post. Sorry! We dealt with the kids being sick with nasty colds and other issues, all of which have been taken care of. My children are all well recovered and running about like little monkeys once again.

I just finished reading two great books, which I’ve reviewed on Goodreads. They were Fried Windows: In A Light White Sauce by Elgon Williams and Sitnalta by Alisse Lee Goldenberg. I confess that excluding J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, I have never read anything akin to fantasy before these two novels. I read Historical Romance nearly exclusively (though I intend to remedy that). But I must say, that I truly enjoyed both of these novels.

Sitnalta was a light and calming read while also adventurous and interesting.

Fried Windows: In A Light White Sauce brought me into an entirely different world. It was wonderfully and magically entertaining.

Things got rather busy for me once I signed the contracts with my publisher; there were a lot of behind-the-scenes things that were required of me and I needed to re-edit my five novels. Things are just now calming down, so today I began the process of re-absorbing myself in my next novel. As I am already a quarter of the way through writing it, I must re-read what I’ve already written before I start writing again. I must say, I am rather excited about this one! Of course, I’m always excited about my current novel!

I plan to continue writing blogs, though I cannot say how many of them will be about new foods that I try. Each time I try something new, however, I promise to take photos. For now, you will likely hear about the progress of my writing, books, or other of my hobbies.

Thank you all for reading!

How I Started Writing

Good morning, everyone! As I mentioned in my previous blog, I haven’t been doing any real cooking lately. Last night for dinner we had scrambled eggs, hash browns, and cheesy sausages. So, naturally, I haven’t had much in the way of material for food-related blogs.

Alas, I thought I would share something about myself. As most of you probably already know, I began writing as a young child, mostly scribbles in notebooks that I claimed were novels. But what actually began me wanting to write true stories was a book that I had read by Betsy Byars called Beans on the Roof. It is about a young boy wants to write a story.

beans

After I put down that book, I picked up a notebook and began to write in earnest. I have countless notebooks filled with short stories that I had written as a child and throughout my adolescence. I believe that at the time I preferred mystery and adventure stories, as was evident from my writing.

By the time I was in my pre-teen and early teen years, I found that my writing turned into poetry; mostly sappy love poems or angry teen poems. Once my office is set up and I have unpacked all of my boxes, I will gladly share some of these with you. Honestly, they’re laughable.

If you have read any of my bios or my webpage, you will know the rest of my writing story. By the age of fifteen I was at the grocery store with my Mom and I asked her if I could pick a book to read. She said yes, but, because she was in the lineup to pay, I had to be quick. I ran to the book section and picked the book with the cover that caught my attention the most. That book was Blue Moon by Jill Marie Landis.

Blue Moon

This book brought me into a world I had never known existed. The world of historical romance. I was in love. Since then, I haven’t stopped reading the genre.

The rest is pretty simple; I started wishing that I could find novels with very specific plot lines. I read the backs of books, searching and searching for the exact novels that I wanted to read. At the urging of my husband (thank you!) I began to write plot outlines for novels, pulled up my computer, put my hands to the keys, and wrote. I was finally able to have books with the exact plot that I loved and wanted to read.

It is likely that I will write further blog posts on the subject, but these are the basics on how I got started.

Thank you all so much for reading!