Saturday, December 31, 2016

Ready For The New Year

Last year I said the same thing. I'm ready to move on to the new year. After a rough 2015, I'd claimed 2016 as my year...it didn't quite work out that way. This past year wasn't horrible for me and was an improvement on 2015 (even though I didn't get to see Chris Cornell in concert again) but still wasn't what I'd hoped.

My 2016 started with closing the retail business I'd spent three and a half years building. It was a personal low and I'm still very bitter. Unfortunately, many factors were working against me and it was necessary. Thankfully, Cori Vidae jumped in and saved the day. She was starting up a micropress and needed help. When she offered to bring me on as a publicist, I jumped on it. In February, Pen and Kink Publishing came to be. It's been fun working with Cori and the authors to put new books into the world and I'm looking forward to continuing that next year.

I had about five months at home after closing my business, working on P&K stuff and my own writing while I kept my eye out for jobs and worked with my mom on an online retail store (still in the works). When a job opened at the local library, I jumped on it and was lucky enough to get hired! I started at the end of June, one week before my girls finished school for the summer. I'd had grand plans of a summer off to spend with them, but when a job comes up, especially where I live, you need to take it.

As for my writing this past year...it was a lot of stop and start with my manuscript. I started querying again in January, fresh from working with editor Kate Angelella. Querying went on hold when the manuscript got accepted into two writing contests, Pitch Wars and FicFest. I met some great people through these contests that I hope to work with in the future as beta readers and critique partners. I can't wait to continue querying my manuscript in the new year. I also wrote a new manuscript, which is still in first draft because I keep getting pulled back into edits for the other one...not that that's a bad thing.

Other highlights from the year include going to see Rob Zombie in concert and visiting my in-laws in Hilton Head, South Carolina (the furthest south I've ever been).

I'm looking forward to 2017 because people I know have books coming out, including my friend and critique partner! There's also the promise of a few new albums next year from artists I like, which also means tours and the possibility of seeing them live. For my writing, I hope to continue to grow and learn, to meet more awesome contacts, and hit some more of my goals.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Favourite Books I Read In 2016

This year I found it hard to get into many of the books I read. I don't know if it was just me because I was restless much of the year, or if it was the books I choose. Maybe both. Holding my attention was not easy this year.

One habit I started (not sure if it's a good or bad one) is reading multiple books at once. If something's not holding my interest, I'd start something new but continue to pick away at the other book. I also don't really like reading on devices, so I usually have an e-book on the go for times I feel like reading off a screen (usually when I'm eating or stuck waiting somewhere) and a physical book that I read before going to sleep.

This year I read 30 books (I likely won't finish another before year end), which seems sort of low. But if you factor in the manuscripts I read for people the number is higher.

Here are my favourite reads for this year in order I read them:






BLACKBIRD SUMMER by Em Shotwell

This debut novel is fantastic! I loved the characters, the world, the story. Confession...it made me cry...more than once. I push this book on everyone I know. I now own a second copy that I can loan people. I can't wait for the sequel!

You can read my review on it here and an interview I did with Em here.
Find it on Goodreads.









TIGER LILY by Wende Dikec

Another wonderful debut novel. It's a young adult story that's fun, quirky, and kept me reading. This one also caused me to shed a few tears.

You can see my full review here and an interview I did with Wende here.
Find it on Goodreads.











IRON DRUID CHRONICLES by Kevin Hearne

I have such a love-hate relationship with this series. I read a few this year and am all caught up. I love the world, the characters, but I find there are things Hearne does that make me hang my head and keeps this from being my fave series. It gets big bonus points for making me laugh, often.

I did a review on Hounded and Shattered.
Find it on Goodreads.








THE REBURIALISTS by J.C. Nelson

This was my biggest book hangover this year. I carried this book everywhere, reading constantly, losing sleep (one night my husband asked me if I was ever going to turn off my light). I was totally useless until I finished this book. I made my husband read it when I was done, my cousin is next in line for me to force it on (not that I had to twist her arm, she likes books like this).

I did a review, which you can see here, and an interview with the author here.
Find it on Goodreads.








SERVANTS OF FATE TRILOGY 
by Wendy Sparrow

This was a guilty pleasure read. I don't read much romance, but I loved the characters, the witty banter (made me laugh out loud), and the sweet story. I write a lot of darker, emotionally intense stories, so it's nice to read something light every now and then.

I reviewed The Naughty List last year, which featured the first novella Stealing Time. You can read that here.
Find out more about this sweet paranormal romantic series on Goodreads.





I'd love to hear what you thought about any of these reads or what your favourite reads in 2016 where.