Thursday, December 26, 2013

Goals for the Upcoming Year and Some Reviews

I really don't like New Year's resolutions...

There's no particular reason to wait for a certain date to get something done, and I'm never really sure the intense pressure a lot of people feel about New Years does them any good at all...

Also, plans are what you make while life happens;

But, going forward:

First off, I plan to review every single book that I read. (I may or may not review books that I've previously read and am currently re-reading, since I do that a lot, too...)

Second, I have two novels to write this year; Blues, the sequel to Roll, and Howling Bitch, the sequel to Blood Sight. Since I did Blues as my NaNoWriMo project and I'm 54,000 words into the novel thus far, I plan to have it completed by the end of February. I'm guessing I have a little less than 10,000 words to go on the project, so it shouldn't take me that long.

Howling Bitch is going to be about the same length, so if I start writing it in March, I'd like to aim to have it done by the end of August. Mostly because I don't intend to try another NaNoWriMo-type-push... guestimating about ~700 words a day, four days a week, I should finish in six months... seems reasonable, right?

Third; Liz and I are finally finished writing and editing our collection of short stories, which underwent a project title change recently, and is no longer "Promptly" but now "Whetting the Appetite" which might be better if I could spell Appetite correctly the first time. Which I cannot. So, we're going to wait a week or so, then both do another complete read through it, make sure we didn't miss any typos and then submit it by mid-January... wish us luck.

Fourth; I also have several other side projects I want to work on. My friend Jonah's working on a collection called Local Magic and I'm hoping to get this ghost project together by January 15th for him. I also have several shorts I want to write and submit for some other collections. I have a ton of story ideas that got abandoned for other projects. Alive and Kicking, Leaving her Marke, one of these days I'm going to write the Wormwood Trade, a steampunk romance that I've had brewing for a while. (Amazing how I seem to only have one front burner, but 500 "back burners".)

I wrote a couple of reviews today, kicking off that particular goal....

Four Stars All I want for Christmas - V.L. Locey

 Let's start off with the fact that I love Locey; she's funny and sweet and her stories are intensely emotional. if I am ever disappointed in a Locey book, it'll be because I went off my medication.

Alex and Cooper are another mis-match to start, attracted to each other but each with preconceived notions that turn out all wrong. One surly painter, one optimistic do-gooder and a pair of quirky cats turn their worlds upside down.

Again, bravo!

Five Stars The Wicked - Thea Harrison

Great add on piece

I love the Elder Races, and this one was pretty fun! Great supplement to the main stories... hot grouchy alpha male, puzzled, exasperated intelligent female. Good mix.

Five Stars Dragos Takes a Holiday - Thea Harrison

More Dragos, More Pia,  and a little bit of Peanut on the side...

Cute story and every bit as fun as the rest of the series; I love the Elder Races...

Five Stars Kinked - Thea Harrison

Best one yet! I've been reading the Elder Races since the beginning, but I really liked this one a lot. Clears up some old mysteries left over from Dragon Bound and brings new life to side characters that have gotten very little attention up til this point. Also, continues to answer questions about the world, tying all the stories together. Marvelous!

Four Stars - No Good Duke Goes Unpunished - Sarah MacLean

Emotional Rollercoaster of a novel

I admit the premise is a bit weak; I spent a LOT of the book going "oh, COME ON... really?" but the love story is good, the sex is hot, and the characters are fairly typical of MacLean, which is to say tough women and tougher men.

(Note: I have not read the other books in this "series" so maybe I would have liked it more if I knew the side characters better...)


  1. Thank you so much for the lovely review!

  2. First, best of luck to you and Liz on Whetting the Appetite! May it bring you both oodles of smiles.

    Second, with regard to your goal to review all the books you read this year, what will you do if you don't like one? I adore reading (duh) and enjoy reviewing (sometimes) but I've never given a *public* negative or mainly constructive review. I'm concerned about retaliatory bad reviews. I don't want to be seen as petty, since I'm an author judging another author's work. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. But mainly, I'm a chicken. :) Any sage words?

  3. well, I've rarely read a entire book that I really hated (I usually stop reading 20-50 pages or so in, if I don't like it) and I'm pretty good at writing the shit-sandwich reviews (nice thing, bad thing, nice thing) and still come out sounding pretty decent. To some degree, I'm very supportive of my publishing sibs (especially at Hot Ink because we're a small, indie publishing company) and if I really didn't like the book, I've been known to shoot the writer an email and ask her if she wants my honest opinion or if she'd rather I not post the review.

    I am a little odd, and I find bad reviews to be amusing. One of my favorites was when someone took a collection, wrote 2-3 sentences praising each story and saved several paragraphs to ream me for a story's ending. I wasn't entirely sure I disagreed with him, either. And I also believe that a whole wall of 5-star reviews is likely to turn off a potential reader who actually reads reviews. (I don't usually read reviews of something to decide if I'm going to buy it, altho I will often read them afterward...) Some 3 and 4 star reviews makes it look more legit.

    1. That makes sense. I've (so far) been able to take bad reviews with a grain of salt but I can't help but feel awful when I read other authors publicly getting ripped to shreds. And I agree, an entire wall of 5-star reviews always raises my eyebrow. Thanks for the thoughtful reply! :)