Category Archives: Whimsical Musings

The Editing Life

Hi friends,

I have a few blog posts going but in the midst of Heritage edits, I felt inspired to put those aside and focus on a writer’s best friend/worse enemy: the editing phase!

Yes that dreaded beloved part of the writing process where the magic really happens!

Like a magic trick, the final product – in this case a book –  is revealed as a wondrous whole but the audience doesn’t get to see the work that went into making that illusion real.

There’s a lot to consider when editing a book. There are different stages of editing. A first draft is often a mess of ideas and strings of words (some writers nail it on the first try – they are the exception) and requires rewrites and revisions of characters, subplots, arcs. Once the story is solid (it can take a few edits to get it right), then come the line edits where the focus is on the language conveying the tale, the style of prose, the voice. And then there are the nitty gritty copy edits and proofreads where grammar and syntax and spelling are cleaned up for a final copy.

Right now, I’m somewhere between a developmental and line edit. I’ve been tackling Heritage since early 2016 after writing it for NaNoWriMo in 2015. Since then, I’ve made a lot of big changes, primarily:

  1. Switched from third person to first person
  2. Switched the gender of a character from male to female
  3. Extended a subplot that needed more room to breathe and develop
  4. Removed a whole subplot that slowed the action at the beginning
  5. Basically rewrote it to suit a younger audience. Originally wrote with Young Adults in mind. Now, it is aimed at Middle Grade.

I had thought at this point in my writing process, that Heritage would be ready for my critique partners and editor. But new revelations have thrown a wrench at the best laid plans…

Because it has occurred to me that Heritage should be written in third person POV!

You say now: “But Faith! You spent a whole edit just changing it from third to first. What are you doing to yourself?”

I answer you: “I am doing what must be done to save the story I love.”

Though it’s certainly not as epic as that, this edit feels like I’m taking on an insurmountable obstacles. But I love this story enough to make one last big change and reap the reward at the end.

So that’s where I am, but I wonder if I would be here if I had taken different steps earlier on.

When I first wrote Heritage, I wasn’t thinking enough about audience or POV. I was thinking story, characters, world and theme. Which isn’t a bad thing. My story came out strong enough on the first try because I knew where I was going – even though some things changed during the writing because as much as I plan, I also leave myself open to diverge as inspiration strikes.

What I have learned from this experience is how important is to decide on the voice and POV and audience at the start. It was always something I took for granted. I assumed YA, but I never allowed myself to consider MG. I wrote in third because I struggle with first then changed it because I believed the narrative needed a more intimate voice. But the whimsy I want to capture with it now written as MG means I need a third person narration.

I am glad for this learning curve and proud of it. Ever since Heritage, I’ve taken more care to consider more thoroughly where I want to go with my stories and who I want to reach them with and the proper voice to convey them.

Eléonore and Heralding were published after I’d switched from third to first in Heritage and so I was able to recognize early on that the only way to tell that story was in Eléonore’s voice with all the snark and maternal love she has.

So writing tip for the week, friends! Even if you’re a pantser, don’t overlook the importance of determining voice and audience from the start. It will save you a big headache further down the line. Believe you, me!


Friendly reminder: if you’re looking for an editor to tackle your novel or screenplay, my sister and I offer editing services here: Inky Service 😉

And question for you, friends. What has been your most ‘painful’ edit? Share in the comments and let’s discuss the editing life!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith   quill-ink

Want to connect across social media? You can find me here:

BOOK REVIEW BLOG: booksspringeternal

GOODREADS: Faith Rivens

INSTAGRAM: @booksspringeternal & @faith_therivens

TWITTER: faith_therivens

FACEBOOK: Faith Rivens

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Mid-Month Check-In | 01.18

Hi friends,

The first half of January is over and done with! The year has just begun and it’s already speeding by!

I hope it’s been a great start to the year for you. It’s been busy here for me, what with things happening beyond my control, but I’ve been staying as productive as possible and trying not to get so stressed. I think it’s working. I certainly have accepted that you have to (forgive the trite saying) roll with the punches.

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In terms of my goals for January, I’m rather pleased with a lot of the progress I’ve made…

  1. Finish my current edit of Heritage – I’m over halfway there, and that’s with more rewriting than I’ve done on a project since Pirate Eyes in August 2016!
  2. Type up the handwritten first draft of Destinies Entwined – I’ve typed up 20k so far but I have at least another 50k to go, so this might not get done, but as long as good chunk is through, I’ll be happy
  3. Launch service with my sister – ACCOMPLISHED. In case you missed last week’s post, we launched our editing service for manuscripts and scripts last week. You can find us at Inky Squid Editing
  4. Post at least three blog posts here to help other writers – The first of these should be posted Friday, so eyes open 🙂
  5. Read 4-5 books – I’ve read four books so far (Wuthering Heights, Howl’s Moving Castle, Keep Her Safe & A Desperate Fortune) – for more on this, check out my new review blog BooksSpringEternal
  6. Watch 5-6 movies – I have accomplished this as of yesterday! My sister and I did a double feature downtown and watched Call Me By Your Name and The Shape of Water! Both were extraordinary. I also rewatched North & South (the BBC miniseries), Howl’s Moving Castle & Star Wars IV: A New Hope, and we caught The Last Jedi last Friday! Needless to say, it’s been an amazing month in movies thus far!!
  7. Write one short story – Well on the way to this one. I have a story outlined and I’ll be writing it this week and next.
  8. Finish character sketches for secret project with my sister – Finished in the first week!

 

So yes! I’m feeling rather accomplished today 🙂

 


How about you, friends? How is your month going so far? Anything exciting happen? Share in the comments and let’s cheer each other on through the good times and the more difficult!

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May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

That Secret Project with my Sister… not a secret anymore!

Hi friends,

I can’t believe we’re finally here. At this moment.

For the past six months you’ve heard me mention a secret project that I’ve been working on with my sister. Well I can finally tell you what it is.

…….

…….

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We have officially launched an EDITING service for authors and screenwriters! It’s been a dream of ours to pursue a career in the written word. We’re writers first, but editing is a passion of ours too!

If you, or anyone else you know, are looking for an editor, why not come give our website a turn around to see if we might be a good fit for you! We’re offering promotional prices for the first six months.

https://www.inky-squid.com/

Here’s a quick blurb from the site:

Inky Squid is an editing service run by us, Faith and Chelsea, sisters who share a love of storytelling. Readers from a young age, becoming writers was the first logical choice. From there, editing was the next calling to make stories our life’s purpose.

Partners-in-crime, we’re all about collaboration and teamwork.
We look forward to getting to know you and your story!

Our site isn’t just about offering editing services, though. We also have a blog where we’ll be sharing tidbits about the writing and editing process, and a resource page where we link to other helpful websites for writers. Wnd will soon be posting worksheets of our own to further help you in your writing journey

Lots of exciting things coming soon everywhere!

Maybe I’ll see you over there 😉


Stay well, friends! And never stop pursuing your dreams! The road may be long, but the journey is part of what makes it worthwhile.

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

2018 | HERE I COME!

Hello friends!

I hope you’re having a wonderful start to 2018! I’ve been slowly reorienting myself to a regular week of balancing work and writing and other life things. It’s been going well so far!

I’m here today to share with you my goals for 2018 and this January specifically. There are a lot of them! But I’m determined to see them done!

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  1. START A REVIEW BLOG
    • Excitingly enough, this is already done! You can find my new book review blog here: BOOKSSPRINGETERNAL
  2. QUERY PIRATE EYES TO AGENTS
    • I had started this process last year, but it led nowhere. Persevere, I say!
  3. EDIT HERITAGE TO A FINAL DRAFT AND QUERY TO AGENTS
    • Though I am querying Pirate Eyes, I believe that Heritage, my beloved MG story, will be the one to earn me representation.
  4. EDIT DESTINIES ENTWINED TO A FINAL DRAFT AND QUERY TO AGENTS
    • My fairytale retelling has become a passion project for me! I finished the first draft in December and I am devoting myself this year to editing it to its best!
  5. FINISH WRITING THE PHANTOM SQUAD AND EDIT IT TO A SECOND OR THIRD DRAFT – HAVE IT IN CP HANDS
    • I’m a quarter into this paranormal Victorian novel and it’s changed in so many ways, even though I had outlined it. That’s my writing life. Plantser all the way.
  6. WRITING A SHORT STORY FOR AN ANTHOLOGY
    • So excited to say that I’ll be supplying a retelling of a French Canadian legend for an anthology due out at the end of next year! I’ll be writing it over the course of this year. It’s supposed to be between 5-7k so it shouldn’t take me long.
  7. WRITE FIRST DRAFT OF MUSICAL SCRIPT
    • Another surprise passion project. Over the last few weeks I’ve been outlining a musical based off a fairy tale. I already have a good grasp on the songs and the story line.
  8. FINISH FIRST DRAFT OF THE DESERT KNIGHT
    • My NaNoWriMo2016 project remains incomplete. I’m nearly halfway through it and I will see it done this year. I still love the story, but I’ll need to rethink a bit of it before I jump into writing it. A project for later this year.
  9. WRITE FIRST DRAFT OF INÌONAOFA #3
    • I am so proud of Eléonore and Heralding and I am excited to write the rest of this planned 5-book series, but I don’t have any expectations of publishing the third book this year. I’ll be working on an outline for most of the year and hopefully finishing a first draft before the end of the year.
  10. EDIT THE BROTHERS DARWIN SCRIPT TO A FINAL DRAFT
    • This script is a family drama (not my usual go-to genre) but it’s one I’ve been working on for eight years off and on and I’m ready to finally get it out to agents this year.
  11. OUTLINE A SCRIPT TO WRITE NEXT YEAR
    • This is a fantasy script à la Lord of the Rings with kickass female leads. I need to do a lot of world-building and organizing of thoughts. I’ll iron out the details as the year goes on.
  12. OUTLINE AND WRITE SPECIAL SECRET PROJECT WITH SISTER
    • I want to say more about this. I can’t yet. But soon. It’s something we’ve been working on for eight years! And it’s one of our proudest works!
  13. PRACTICE THE VIOLIN/PLAY MORE GUITAR – WRITE MORE MUSIC
    • I used to compose a lot, but I’ve let my passion for music fall to the side in the last year. I want to embrace it again.
  14. TRAVEL TO THE UK
    • This would be a big thing ticked off my bucket list.
  15. READ 100 BOOKS
    • I read 120 in 2016 and 117 in 2017, but I have 730 unread books on my shelf, friends. Time to get that number down.
  16. WATCH 60 MOVIES
    • There are so many to be excited about this year. I still haven’t watched The Shape of Water or The Last Jedi. So they’ll be top of my to-watch list. But there’s also Black Panther, Infinity Wars, Annihilation, A Wrinkle in Time, Isle of Dogs, Ocean’s 8, Incredibles 2, Mowgli, Mary Queen of Scots & Fantastic Beasts 2 to look forward to!
  17. LAUNCH SPECIAL SERVICE WITH SISTER
    • Coming VERY SOON!
  18. LIVE HEALTHY (EAT HEALTHY, HEALTHY WEIGHT, BALANCE IN LIFE)
    • I know this is low on the list, but it’s one of my most important goals this year! I need to take better care of myself. We all do!
  19. LEARN A THIRD LANGUAGE (ITALIAN OR JAPANESE)
    • I already know a bit of Italian because it’s my dad’s first language, so I’m hoping to work on it and to start learning Japanese.
  20. PUBLISH MORE BLOG POSTS THAT HELP OTHER WRITERS
    • I am going to get this done this year. I already started drafting a MASTERING series, and there’s the CRAFTING THE SERIES posts I have planned to. I’m devoting myself back to this lovely community. Hope you’ll join me too!
  21. MARKET ELÉONORE AND HERALDING TO WIDER AUDIENCE
    1. Again, this is superbly important for me. I love my Iníonaofa series and I need to see it grow.
  22. SUBMIT AT LEAST SIX SHORT STORIES FOR CONTESTS OR MAGAZINES
    • One every two months. Should be doable!

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Are you still with me? 😉

If you are, here are my specific goals this January:

  1. Finish my current edit of Heritage
  2. Type up the handwritten first draft of Destinies Entwined
  3. Launch service with my sister
  4. Post at least three blog posts here to help other writers
  5. Read 4-5 books
  6. Watch 5-6 movies
  7. Write one short story
  8. Finish character sketches for secret project with my sister

What are your goals this year, friends? And this month? Let me know what you hope to accomplish so I can cheer you on! Whatever your goals, keep believing in yourself and you can achieve them! I know it!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

Year End | At the close of one chapter, another begins…

Hi friends,

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas, that you were surrounded by family and friends, that you are full of love and hope.

Despite the ugliness of this year, I had a lovely Christmas and subsequent week. It was a quiet one with my family. But it was beautiful in its simplicity.

And now a short musing to end off this year…

On this, the penultimate day of 2017, I am looking to a brighter future, to a more productive 2018, to a more balanced year, a year where I take care of myself, but also give more to others. A year where I learn to be patient and less stressed with my time. A year where I find happiness in the small things, and blessings in the sorrow.

On this, the penultimate day of 2017, I want to take a moment to reach out to you, dear friends, and apologize for my sparse presence here. Thank you for sticking with me through it. Thank you for continuing to support me.

On this, the penultimate day of 2017, I wish to extend to you all and to all those whom you love a very happy New Year full of love and kindness, full of hope and peace, full of possibility and opportunities.

Stay well, dear friends. I’ll see you on the other side 🙂

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

UPCOMING REVEALS, GOODREADS GIVEAWAY, NANOWRIMO & MORE

Hi friends,

Hope you’re all doing well!

I’m checking in today with a quick update as to where I am with my writing & other such progresses.

The Iníonaofa Chronicles:

As you may already know, the release day for Heralding is set for December 4th 2017! The blurb and cover reveal are set for this Friday. If any of my fellow bloggers would like to help share the news on Friday, click the link below to sign-up and I’ll send you email instructions by Tuesday 🙂

BLOGGERS UNITE

Everything is on track for publication and I’ll also be announcing a call for ARC readers on Friday, so eyes open friends! The time is approaching!

Also, I’m running a giveaway for a signed paperback of Eléonore (only for UK, US & Canada)! Here’s the LINK!!

You have until November 1st! Good luck 🙂

NaNoWriMo 2017:

Those of you who’ve been following me for a while, might remember that I last NaNo I had started writing a project called The Desert Knight. i stopped working on it the day I hit 50k, and I haven’t touched it since.

But this November, I intend to finish it. There should be a good 50k left in it. And if I finish my narrative with less than 50k, I have plenty of other projects to fill the space up with 🙂

Other WIPs

In case you’re interested 😉

Heritage: I had to put it on hold recently, but I’ll be working on it on and off for the rest of the year, slowly converting it for an MG audience.

Destinies Entwined: My fairy tale adaptation. I’ve begun writing it by hand again but haven’t had a chance to type it up yet! I think I’ve written a good 5k-8k this month.

TPS (Novella): A Victorian gothic with ghosts, I finally finished outlining it and hope to write it in December. I am really excited for this one, friends!

New Blog Series

I am starting a new series here called, Reading the Craft which is all about lessons I learn about writing through the books I read. The first one I’m working on is Mastering the Middle Grade. I read alot of MG novels last month to prepare for fixing up Heritage and the patterns are incredible. I have quite a bit to say on character arcs and plot structure and theme, but is there something else you’d be interested in: i.e. worldbuilding, prose, specific plot points?

Let me know 🙂



Hope you’ve all had an amazing weekend! Any exciting news you’d like to share? Any good books to recommend?

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith     quill-ink

 

WARDENS OF ARCHOS | Character Aesthetics

Happy Monday friends!

Today is an exciting day! Today marks the release date of Sarina Langer’s second book & sequel to Rise of the Sparrows: WARDENS OF ARCHOS.

Once a despised street rat, now the reigning queen of Rifarne, Rachael is at the centre of everyone’s attention. All she wants is a few peaceful moments to herself—

but her kingdom has other plans.

The Tramuran ambassador unnerves her.

The Krymistian lady is hiding something.

A Mist Woman brings her a gift, and a warning: Aeron’s death has released the Dark One’s shades into the world. And Rachael, as the only living seer in existence, is the only one who can stop him before he destroys everything she’s beginning to cherish. But can Rachael trust the Mist Woman, or is Kaida just another sorceress playing with her life?

There’s a chance that answers are hidden beneath the ancient Krymistian ruins of Archos.

If only she could be sure that her nightmares of Cephy are just that, and not something darker…

Rachael is running out of time. The shadows are coming, and their claws are reaching for her.

A five-star, fast-paced, page-turning high fantasy read, you’ll want to read this one friends!

I’m honoured to be hosting day one of Sarina’s blog tour! She’s been an inspiration for my own writing journey!


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“The night the blue blood runs free the Sparrows will rise once more / Find the Sparrow who sees ahead  and it will lead you to victory / Trust the Fox, and it will betray you before the end / Do not accept the Ar’Zac, for it will lead you to ruin” – RISE OF THE SPARROWS

To celebrate the release, I’m sharing some of the stunning character aesthetics created by Sarina. I’ve paired them with a few of my favourite quotations from Rise of the Sparrows Wardens of Archos.

Sarina’s worldbuilding and characters are just two of the elements that really stand out in her narratives. Each character brings a lot of baggage with them (emotionally) and they are as much on a journey to save Rifarne as they are of self-discovery and growth!

Hope you enjoy learning more about some of the prominent characters in the series…

RACHAEL

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“Rachael of Rifarne, do you swear to protect this country and its children with your life, to the best of your ability no matter the cost, for as long as you live?” She swallowed. How could she? “I swear.” “Do you swear to give fair trial to all criminals, and pass judgement as you see fitting?” How could she? “I swear.” “And do you swear to wear this crown with honour, and with pride, and to represent the people of Rifarne in the same manner?” She was shaking. She was a fraud, and everyone here knew it. “I swear.” “And do you swear to rule with kindness, with fairness, and justice?” Maker help her, how could she do any of these things? How many people were waiting for her to lose her nerve? “I swear.”
– Sarina Langer, Wardens of Archos 

 

CALE

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He was too angry with himself to sleep just yet. He swung his sword a couple of times, felt its weight in his hand, then pivoted and struck. Aeron. Videl. Gullible fool of a king Aeric. The memory of their faces was enough to keep him training until the moon stood high above the White City, and his joints burnt. Every ache, every sore spot, was less than he deserved. He screamed, cut a training dummy in half with one clean swing, and went to his knees next to it. He leaned on to his sword’s hilt while he recovered, feeling every sting his exhausted lungs caused. Cale sheathed his sword when his breathing had calmed. He left the courtyard and the faces of his dead enemies behind. He didn’t need them. There were plenty of nightmares ahead of him to fill the rest of the night.
– Sarina Langer, Wardens of Archos

 

KIANA

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“No. I’d never take a life just to see the light go out in my victim’s eyes.” Kiana glared at the smouldering remains of Commander Videl. “I’m not a monster. Tramura’s history is full of monstrous things they should be forgetting, but instead they celebrate them. I kill because I have to, not because I enjoy seeing the terror in their eyes when my knives pierce their skin and they know they’ve lost.” – Sarina Langer, Wardens of Archos

 

KAIDA

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Kaida’s fingers traced the outlines of the embroidered symbols, her touch gentle. “Do you recognise this?” asked Rachael. “I do.” She didn’t look up when she spoke. Her eyes had clouded with memories. “I have spent many years studying history, and have spent a large part of my studies on the old magic. I know this banner from paintings and drawings only, but to see it for myself… This banner—this whole temple—was around before the war that buried the old magic in time. All this was here when magic was an accepted part of the Northern Reaches. So many secrets have been lost, but this banner prevails. Does that not astound you?” – Sarina Langer, Wardens of Archos

 

REEVE

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Reeve moved along the wall, sticking to the darkness. Small spaces like this temple gave him a headache, but the shadows helped. They were his; he could navigate them better than any street in daylight. If he just stuck to the dark edges, he could do this. – Sarina Langer, Wardens of Archos

 

CEPHY

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“I came to bring you this.” From under her rags Cephy brought forth a small loaf of bread. It didn’t seem to be warm any more, but it still looked good. “You were twitching in your sleep a lot, and you were crying. I was scared, and thought about getting help, but then you woke up and you looked scared, too.” – Sarina Langer, Rise of the Sparrows

If you haven’t read this series yet, friends, I highly recommend you do! Stirring high fantasy adventure. Rachael is a main character you will FEEL for and want to get to know better.

You can check out more of Sarina’s character aesthetics on her Pinterest page: https://uk.pinterest.com/sarinalanger/

Here are some other links for you to click onif you want to know more about Sarina & her series:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sarinalangerwriter/

Twitter https://twitter.com/sarinalanger

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/sarinalangerwriter/

CookieBreak https://sarinalangerwriter.com/

Newsletter https://sarinalangerwriter.com/subscribe/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15230729.Sarina_Langer

My book on Amazon myBook.to/roaz1

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

SEPTEMBER 2017 (and a newsletter sign-up!)

Happy October friends!

How is it possible that September has already flown by? I smell conspiracy 😉

It’s been a busy September over here and I thought I’d share some of the more important updates with you!



NEWSLETTER

After months of thinking about it, I finally threw myself into creating a newsletter and I am excited to share the sign-up link with you today!! If you’d like extra teasers, features, giveaways and general bookish delights, you can sign up below!!

SIGN UP HERE!!!

FREELANCE SUCCESS

I also got my first real paid freelance gig, and it’s writing reviews. Getting paid to read. That’s the dream friends. It’s definitely not enough to convince me to quit my day job, but it’s something to add to my CV 🙂

One step at a time, friends, one step at a time!

HERALDING

This project is at the forefront of my mind at the moment! The publication date is fast approaching. Release, cover and blurb reveals coming this week, so eyes open! My editor is working through it right now and I’ll be looking for ARC readers soon 🙂

Also, I’m hoping to reveal the news about Heralding across the blogosphere so if you’d be willing to share the news with your followers, leave me a message below in the comments!

 

PLANS FOR NANOWRIMO ’17

Some of you who have been following me for a while might remember that I wrote 50k of a novel called The Desert Knight for last year’s NaNo. I haven’t touched it since, but I am planning to finish it for this year’s NaNo. Anyone else joining in the fun this November??

MISCELLANEOUS PROJECTS:

HERITAGE: My YA fantasy about a fiddler and her grandmother which I’m slowly transforming into an MG one, because the narrative is better suited for a younger audience. A discover made better late than never 🙂

TPS: A novella inspired by a short story I’m currently submitting. It’s set in Victorian London and features ghosts! That’s all I’m saying 😉 I’m nearly done outlining and I’ll probably start on the first draft come December.

Destinies Entwined: A fairy tale retelling. I’m over halfway through the first draft. I hope to be done writing it by the end of the year.

Fairy Tale Musical: Untitled at the moment, but I’m working on the outline at the moment, and the narrative has taken on a life of its own! It’s really gotten me excited 😀



Okay, that’s all from me for the moment…

What are your plans for October, friends? Any new developments? I’d love to hear more about it 🙂

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink

You Should Read This | January 2017

Hi friends,

Can someone please tell me how it’s possible that today is September 25th. I’m fairly sure it was August when I went to bed yesterday… 🤔

It is still 2017 right?

So, today, I’m starting a new series that explores the best of the books I’ve read every month. I’m starting this late in the year, so I’ll be posting one for each I’ve missed every third day to get started.

Hope you find it entertaining and resourceful!


LITTLE WOMEN – LOUISA MAY ALCOTT

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Genre: Classic, Coming of Age

You Should Read This, Because… besides the fact that it is a classic, it’s also a wonderfully inspiring coming of age story about four sisters who endure life together. They bicker and argue as siblings do, but they also rely on one another for strength and courage as they are met by adversity and tragedy.

As a reader, it will touch upon a wide variety of emotions. As a writer, it’s a masterclass in writing characters with real feelings and reactions, and real life moments.

MARIANA – SUSANNA KEARSLEY

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Genre: Historical Romance, Supernatural

You Should Read This, Because… it’s a beautifully imagined romance that is vividly told through sweeping prose. One woman inhabits two lives when she moves to Greyweathers, and travels back and forth between her present life and her past self.

As a reader, it is a perfect read to get swept away into the seventeenth century, and a perfect recommendation for lovers of Outlander & Kate Morton. As a writer, it is a great lesson in writing vivid descriptions that draw readers not only into location, but time.

A MONSTER CALLS – PATRICK NESS

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Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

You Should Read This, Because… it will make you feel. There are certain books you read and you know that it’s one that the entire world would find worth reading because it captures the human experience so perfectly. This is one of those books. It reaches so many truths about human emotions and honestly explores the fear of loss.

As a reader, it is a perfect read for a cold night, to get cozy with and let your emotions flow. For a writer, it is a lesson in how to capture the human emotion with honesty and integrity.

THE BLUE SWORD (DAMAR #1) – ROBIN MCKINLEY

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Genre: Fantasy

You Should Read This Because… it’s a classic fantasy adventure set in a sprawling desert location and features a formidable female protagonist. What more, it is written in mesmerizing prose that pulls you into the world and action and hooks you in.

As a reader, it is a short (considering it’s a fantasy novel) but fulfilling narrative for the escapist desires. As a writer, it is a lesson in world building and establishing gripping plots.

VICIOUS – V.E. SCHWAB

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Genre: Fantasy

You Should Read This, Because… it is an excellently book that subverts the superhero trope and introduces a stellar cast of characters. It is also a masterful exploration of the grey area of morality and the dark side of ambition. Victor Vale is a complex character who jumps between moments of violent cruelty and tender compassion.

As a reader, it is a refreshing break from much of the same old same old of heroes and villains. As a writer, it is a lesson in crafting an antihero who is not without the potential of redemption.





That ends volume one of You Should Read This!

Have you read any of these books? Have they had the same impact on you? Less of one? More?

Stay well dear friends!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith    quill-ink

Favourite 2017 Reads (So Far) | Top Ten Tuesday

Hi friends,

Happy Tuesday. I’m sorta kinda back… 😉

I’m playing catch up today and participating in Top Ten Tuesday after missing the past two weeks.

The topic for today is best books you’ve read in 2017 so far. Want to join, check out The Broke and the Bookish!

Only three of these were released this year. The rest have been long on my TBR.


10. The Blue Sword – Robin McKinley

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My second read from McKinley, this book was an absolute gem of high fantasy, with stunning worldbuilding. I love Harry. Such a short book too. Definitely one I’ll reread in the future.

9. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Saenz

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This book holds a special place in my heart. Not only was it a moving story, but it was my first experience listening to an audiobook and Lin’s voice was perfectly suited to telling this contemporary epic.

8. Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor

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I read this entire series this year. The first book hooked me with its star crossed romance and mythology! The two that followed were still breathtakingly written, but they lacked the tight plot and compelling narrative of the first. Still a beautiful trilogy though.

7. The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

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Can’t begin to express enough how amazing this story is. I don’t read many contemporaries (especially in the YA category — somehow two are on this list, so maybe I should reconsider 🤔). The social relevance of this book alone is enough to convince me that its a book everyone should read.

6. Norse Mythology – Neil Gaiman

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The universe must have heard my dreams when it inspired Neil Gaiman to write his own adaptation of Norse mythology. It was preordained that I would love this! And love it I did, with all of Loki’s snark 😍

5. A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness

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I read this book early in the year and I nearly forgot that I had, it feels like a classic already, a book I’ve known for a long time. I read it in one sitting and it broke my heart.

— the next four are honestly impossible for me to order because they are all epic! —

1. Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo

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This was the last book I finished reading and oh my gosh! My heart doesn’t know what to do with itself. I need more of these amazing characters. More, I tell you! MORE 😭

1. The Dark Tower – Stephen King

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I devoured the last three books in this series and I can’t recommend this twisted and complex story enough. The journey of this narrative left me breathless and the ending… Seriously, King is a mad genius!

1. Nevernight – Jay Kristoff

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A perfectly dark fantasy! Reminded me of Game of Thrones – which is a very good thing in my books – with Mia even reading a bit like the epic Arya Stark. But believe me, Mia is her own unique character and one of my favourite protagonists. Godsgrave can’t come quick enough!

1. A Conjuring of Light – VE Schwab

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So maybe I lied. 😅

There’s a reason this is the last one. Because it’s honestly the best book I’ve read this year. I don’t know what it is about the characters and the story but Schwab crafted such a strong world with the Shades of Magic series that I want to get lost in it over and over and over again! Not to mention, that this is one of the most brilliant finales to a series. Though, I wish it was not the end…


What are the best books you’ve read so far this year? Any of the ones I’ve mentioned on your list? Let me know in the comments friends! Hope you’ve all been keeping well!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith  quill-ink