#WWW Wednesday – August 16, 2017

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

I finished  Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh last night, and have kind of weird feelings about it. I definitely enjoyed parts of it, but at the same time, I never felt really invested in it. Maybe I’m still slightly in my reading slump, or maybe I hyped it up too much to myself, but I felt it was just missing… something. My review will go up on Friday.

I also posted my review of The Space Between by Rachel Sanderson this week. Click here to read it.

What are you currently reading?

I have just started Miss Muriel Matters by Robert Wainwright today. It’s a biography and I don’t usually read a lot of non-fiction, but I have to write a critical review of a biography for a history course I’m doing this semester. I’m only about 30 pages in so far but it’s really interesting!

I am nearly 3/4 of the way through the audio book of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I think once I got into it and got used to the narrator, the rhythm of the descriptions started really working for me, though every now and then I get frustrated by certain aspects of it (mostly the plot, or lack thereof)

What do you think you’ll read next?

I thought I might go back to The Ship From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig and see if I can get into it enough to finish it. The love story was overpowering the time travel and I wasn’t terribly interested, but I think they were just going off to a mythical country when I put it aside, so maybe it will pick up.

What are you reading this week? 🙂~ Emily

 


P.S.
If you feel so inclined, head on over to my writing blog, Letting the Voices Out, where I’ve shared an excerpt from my current WIP today.

#WWW Wednesday – July 19, 2017

Hello everyone! I’m wondering if you could do me a favour? Next year I’m going to be trekking through the Himalayas to raise money for the UN Women National Committee and their work in Nepal assisting women and girls who were displaced after the 2015 earthquake. I’m only $40 away from my first milestone of $1000 raised. Could you donate and help me reach that first target? Any amount would be very much appreciated!

I also have a Facebook page set up where you can see updates of my preparation and fundraising journey. I’d love to see you there!

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

It’s been a bit of a slow reading week this week. I’ve finished one print book and one audio. The print book was The Year of Freaking Out by Sarah Walker. It was sweet but a bit dated. I reviewed it here.

I also finished The Art of Purring by David Michie. This is the second book in the series The Dalai Lama’s Cat which teaches Buddhist methods of mindfulness and paths to happiness through the perspective of HHC, His Holiness’ Cat. It was cute but not quite as good as the first one, I thought. Though this could be because David Michie was also the narrator and he wasn’t as good a narrator/performer as he is a writer.

What are you currently reading?

 My main read at the moment is 1984 by George Orwell. This is a re-read for me; I’m going to see the critically-acclaimed stage show next week and I wanted to refresh my memory.

am still reading  Dracula by Bram Stoker and The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig, though there has been little movevment on any of them recently.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I really should get back to the two books I just said I’ve had little movement on, but I’m really tempted to start some of my ARCs. Particularly Daughter of the  Burning City by Amanda Foody, which looks awesome! Check out that cover.  (Actually, my ARC has a way less pretty cover, but I’m  just ignoring that).

What are you reading this week? 🙂

~ Emily

 


P.S.
If you feel so inclined, head on over to my writing blog, Letting the Voices Out, where I’ve shared an excerpt from my current WIP today.

#WWW Wednesday – July 12, 2017

t’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last WWW post, and in that time, I’ve finished several books.

I finished listening to The Prestige by Christopher Priest. It was really hard to not compare it to the movie, which I think tells the same story in a much tighter way. I posted my review here on Monday.

I then began July by returning to Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events. I read The Ersatz Elevator, The Vile Village, The Hostile Hospital, The Carnivorous Carnival and The Slippery Slope (books 6-10) in quick succession. I thought for a while that The Vile Village was the last one I had read as a child, but I definitely read this far. I have a memory of Sunny cooking with wasabi, which I haven’t come across yet, so I guess I read far more of the series back in the day than I thought.

Other reviews posted since my last WWW post are The Mystery at Maplemead Castle by Kitty French and Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice.

What are you currently reading?

am still reading  Dracula by Bram Stoker and The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig, though there has been little movevment on any of them recently. I only finished the 10th ASOUE book this afternoon, so I will probably return to one of these tomorrow. I need a break from Snicket before I finish the series.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I got The Year of Freaking Out by Sarah Walker out from the library today. I think this is a YA Contempory, and I’ve got it on my TBR for the Australian Women Writers Challenge. I also posted my July – September TBR, which you can read here. It’s a mix of ARCs and challenge books. e

What are you reading this week? 🙂

~ Emily

 


P.S.
If you feel so inclined, head on over to my writing blog, Letting the Voices Out, where I’ve shared an excerpt from my current WIP today.

#WWW Wednesday – 28 June 2017

t’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

I had a good week this week, polishing off two books from my April-June TBR. I’m not quite going to get everything ticked off but I’ll come close! The books I read were  The Mystery and Maplemead Castle by Kitty French, which was just plain fun, and Beneath the Apple Blossom by Kate Frost, which was a lot heavier, but I couldn’t put it down.

I also posted reviews of Ensnared by Rita Stradling and Beneath the Apple Blossom. Click the titles to read them.

What are you currently reading?

No movement on Dracula by Bram Stoker this week. I’ll get back to it in July.

I have listened to the majority of The Prestige by Christopher Priest now. I was a bit worried that the second half was going to drag (I thought it was heading towards the climax then realised that I was only at 45%) but it is still interesting and I’m about two-thirds of the way through now.

And I have finally started reading The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig, the sequel to The Girl From Everywhere, which I read about 18 months ago and reviewed here. I haven’t had much time to read so I’m still only at about 15%, but it’s starting to get going. I am worried it might be focusing more on the romance than the time travel, but some of the reviews assure me this is not really the case, so fingers crossed.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m going to try reading The Bloodshade Encounters/The Songspinner by K. C. Finn. This is two novellas in one volume, they are prequels, I guess? to The Book of Shade, the first part of the Shadeborn series. I’ve read about 10% and I have a bad feeling this is going to suffer a bit from it’s-been-too-long-since-I-read-the-first-one syndrome; I can’t really remember who the characters are so reading their backstories isn’t meaning much. But I did buy it so I’m going to give it a bit more of a go.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

~ Emily

 


P.S.
If you feel so inclined, head on over to my writing blog, Letting the Voices Out, where I’ve shared an excerpt from my current WIP today.

Book Review: The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Title: The Girl From Everywhere
Author: Heidi Heilig
Genre: YA/historical/fantasy
Date Read:
01/02/2016 – 05/02/2016
Rating: ★★★★☆

Review:

girlfromeverywherecover

(Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review)

I’ve mentioned this book on the blog a few times recently, and now finally, here is my review. I really enjoyed this book, with its blend of history, fantasy and mythology, a setting we don’t see much of, and interesting characters. While there were a couple of issues that knocked half a star off for me, but overall it comes highly recommended.

Somewhere-around-sixteen-year-old Nix and her father, along with their motley crew, are time travelers. On board a tall ship called The Temptation, they travel to different times and places using maps drawn at the time. Nix’s father is only interested in finding one map, for Honolulu 1868, where he hopes to save Nix’s mother, who died giving birth. Nix is worried what might happen to her if her past is altered, and wants to learn to Navigate so she can leave the Temptation, but until then she has to continue helping her father with his crazy schemes, even one that could put their whole crew, as well as the Kingdom of Hawaii, at risk.

This book has a hugely diverse cast. Nix herself is half-Chinese, and the crew of their ship includes Kashmir, who is Persian (also a significant character), as well as another Chinese man and another woman who is both African and gay (her wife’s spirit also follows them around allegedly). In fact, even when they arrive in Hawaii, the majority of the characters are Chinese. So that was really great. The characters are all really well developed as well. Nix has a strong personality but that is coupled with guilt about wanting to get away from her dad. Kashmir is charming and fun.

The world-building is also fascinating. While most of it is simply historical, the local myths play a huge part. I’ve never heard any Hawaiian myths before so that was really interesting. There’s also the fact that the maps don’t just take Nix and her crew to the time and place the map was drawn. They also take them to a place where the beliefs of the map-maker are true. For example, if they have a map of ancient Athens drawn by someone who believed wholeheartedly in the Greek gods, then when they use this map, they will arrive in a version of Athens where there honestly is a parthenon of Gods atop Mount Olympus. I won’t give anything away about how this is used in the book, but it does involve not only Hawaiian mythology, but also Chinese, and weaves it into an actual, but little-known historical event. I didn’t actually know this until I read the author’s note at the end, and I had to give her props for the way she did this.

Now I guess I should go into the things I didn’t like so much. Firstly, the official blurb is a bit misleading. It makes out that Nix’s father threatening to strand Kashmir somewhere in time where Nix can never get back to him is a huge part of the plot. It’s really not; it maybe takes up 10-15% of the book, and there is other stuff going on at the same time. Other, much bigger stuff, which is much more important than a possible sort-of romance. On that note, the second thing that bugged is me is that there is a love triangle. There have definitely been worse love triangles in other YA books, and the two guys don’t act like entitled prats who deserve Nix’s love, but the presence of any love triangle in a YA book nowadays is enough to make me roll my eyes. And by the end of the book, they are all travelling together, which means there is definitely room for it to get annoying in the next book (the author has stated this is a duology). Thirdly, I did find it hard to follow some of the time travel stuff, especially as it started getting wibbly-wobbly time-loopy at times. But for the most part, that wasn’t a huge problem.

This is quite a lot longer than my usual reviews, but I think I have covered pretty much everything. Now go forth and buy this book!

#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 03 February, 2016

First up on today’s post is WWW Wednesday. All you have to do is answer three questions about what you’ve been reading. Then link up with others in the comments on Sam’s post.

  • wwwwednesdayWhat are you currently reading?

The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig. This is my first proper ARC from NetGalley, as the few things I’ve had previously have been published prior to me requesting them. This one is released in a few weeks, so I’m hoping that I’ll get it read quickly. It’s a quite inventive time travel story. Heilig said in answer to one of the questions on her GoodReads profile that she had just figured she’d throw it up on Wattpad, but her mum persuaded her to look for an agent. I’m glad she did!

  • What did you recently finish reading?

The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris. It was… mostly okay? The idea is that Loki is looking back over his time with the Norse Gods prior to Ragnarok and telling his side of the story. Except he sounded like an immature, 21st century teenager as he told it. And when he says things like “I flipped Odin the bird” I was just like, “… really? Are you being metaphorical or are you saying that gesture existed a thousand or so years ago?”

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

I have a couple of things from the library and another NetGalley item still waiting. The Ghost Writer by Damon Norko is quite short so I might read that to make up for the time I lost by taking a whole week to read Gospel of Loki.

Now onto WIPpet Wednesday. For those unfamiliar, WIPpet Wednesday is a weekly blog hop where a group of writers share a snippet from the current WIP (work in progress) that somehow relates to the date. You can join in by clicking the little blue guy to the right and leaving your link there.

wednesdaybannerYou may have to indulge me over the next few weeks as I try to work out what I’m going to do with Worlds Apart. I reached 9.5k with it in its current form and realised I was biting off more than I could chew, mostly in terms of world-building, as well as how much I would need to return to and fact-check. Yes, I had an outline, but an outline does not a fully-fleshed-out-world make. A More Complicated Fairytale has two main characters, perhaps six major side characters and four locations. Also, there’s no magic. A consistent magic system doesn’t get developed overnight, and it’s not something that comes to me easily, but unfortunately, the entire plot of Worlds Apart relies on magic being a thing. Unless I turned into sci-fi, but then that would present its own problems.

So anyway, all this is to say that at least today’s, and possibly future weeks’, WIPpets will basically be bits of scene I’ve scrawled down in the hopes I can use it later. Two of the things I’ve done in an attempt to scale everything down is to modernise the setting, and instead of being a princess, Adelyn just has a wealthy father. Oh, and I swapped the names of Adelyn and another character, Carrie Cortain. So now Carrie is the daughter of the wealthy businessman, and Adelyn is from a slightly rougher part of town.

Goodness me, this has gone on longer than the WIPpet is going to be. Okay, five lines (adding the day plus the month) from my handwritten notebook. So it’s very short. Rougher-part-of-town!Adelyn is waiting at the gates of Carrie’s fancy private school for Carrie to appear. She understandably feels a bit out of place there.

She pulled the cap further down over her eyes and continued to watch. Some of the other students glanced across at her, but she was out of their minds again by the time they passed her.

I’m not even 100% sure that phrasing works. I’m trying to go for an “out of sight, out of mind” thing. Anyway. I promised myself I would do some house cleaning tonight and it is already 8pm, so I should get this post finished and go do that.

~ Emily