Issue with Publishers!

Heya,

So today I had an appointment scheduled and I arrived a little early. Luckily, there was a thrift store right next door. That’s a book lover’s dream; at least it should be! Everyone loves cheap books don’t they? 

So I hit the store and I got some great books for .99 each! (list below) So a bit later, I posted in one of my FB bookclub groups and gushed about one of the books that I got. Inferno by Dan Brown.

Lo and behold…I was told that the ONE book that I was excited about the most….Is A PART OF A SERIES!!!! What!? Why didn’t the book tell me that?

I just don’t understand why it is so easy for some books to have “Book One of…..series” or simply a numbered order inside of the book, and then it’s so hard for other books to do it. I opened the book at the thrift store and read the inside, it sounded soooooo good so I immediately put it on the buy stack. Since I was getting several I bypassed on the other books by the same author that were on the shelf.

Turns out…a few of the ones I saw on the shelf WERE APART OF THE SERIES! But I didn’t even know. The book, Inferno, is actually number 4 and didn’t mention anything inside the flap or any of the pages.

Why!? Why!? Why!?

As a relief, I’ve been told that I can still read and enjoy the book without having read the others first. Well, GOOD!!! Because I was already 20 pages in when I posted.

Anyway, that’s one of my issues with publishers or book makers or book designers or cover editors or WHOEVER is responsible for this travesty!

Thrift Store Haul:

Inferno by Dan Brown

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials by James Dasher

 

Good Readdance,

Jade

Dystopian Book Suggestions

Heya Readers!

So I asked in a few of my book groups for book suggestions. I specifically asked for Dystopian books, adult – not YA. I received tons of excited responses but it also let me know that sometimes even we, readers, do not always read. Dystopian and post apocalyptic books are not the same. Just because there has been a virus or nuclear war, does not mean the book is now dystopian.

I digress.

Since some of the books actually sounded really interesting, I decided to put them on my list anyway. So do not fret.

That being said..here are the books that I pulled from those suggestions, read the synopsis and decided to add to my TBR pile. I’ve requested most of them from the library and, as things go, they all came at the same time. So I currently have around 8 books sitting next to my bed.

Oh lord!

Below are the books, their covers, the beginning of the synopsis and their links. Enjoy!

Anthem by Ayn Rand

Anthem is a dystopian fiction novella by Ayn Rand, written in 1937 and first published in 1938 in the United Kingdom. The story takes place at an unspecified future date when mankind has entered another Dark Age. Technological advancement is now carefully planned and the concept of individuality has been eliminated. Get It Here!

Anthem by Ayn Rand

Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart

In the near future, America is crushed by a financial crisis and our patient Chinese creditors may just be ready to foreclose on the whole mess. The novel takes place in a near-future dystopian New York where life is dominated by media and retail. Get It Here!

Super Sad True Love Story

Arrowhead by Paul Kane

As the world dies, a legend is reborn!- In the years following ‘The Cull’ England has reverted back to the Middle Ages, ripe for invasion by the Frenchman De Falaise and his group of mercenaries. They enter through the Channel Tunnel and work their way up the country. Ex-policeman Robert Stokes lost everything to the virus that ravaged these isles. Along with his wife and his son, it took Robert’s whole reason for living. But when De Falaise arrives at Nottingham – proclaiming himself the new ‘Sheriff’ –Robert finds himself drawn reluctantly into the fight, using the famous legend of a Hooded Man as his guide! Get It Here!

ArrowHead by paul kane

 

The Circle by Dave Eggers

When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world—even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge. Get it Here!

the circle dave eggers

The Power by Naomi Alderman

In THE POWER, teenage girls now have immense physical power–they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world drastically resets. Get It Here!

the power by naomi alderman

 

The Stand by Stephen King

This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death.
And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides — or are chosen. A world in which good rides on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abigail — and the worst nightmares of evil are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the dark man. Get It Here!

the stand by stephen king

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Largely set in a futuristic World State of genetically modified citizens and an intelligence-based social hierarchy, the novel anticipates huge scientific developments in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation, and classical conditioning that are combined to make a utopian society that goes challenged only by a single outsider. Get It Here!

brave new world aldous huxley

The Overstory by Richard Powers

An Air Force loadmaster in the Vietnam War is shot out of the sky, then saved by falling into a banyan. An artist inherits a hundred years of photographic portraits, all of the same doomed American chestnut. A hard-partying undergraduate in the late 1980s electrocutes herself, dies, and is sent back into life by creatures of air and light. A hearing- and speech-impaired scientist discovers that trees are communicating with one another. These four, and five other strangers—each summoned in different ways by trees—are brought together in a last and violent stand to save the continent’s few remaining acres of virgin forest. Get It Here!

the overstory by richard powers

The Binding by Bridget Collins

(This one I added myself! It sounds so good but it doesn’t come out in the US until April 9th! Of course I had to add the full synopsis for this one!)

Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a letter arrives summoning him to begin an apprenticeship. He will work for a Bookbinder, a vocation that arouses fear, superstition and prejudice – but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.

He will learn to hand-craft beautiful volumes, and within each he will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, he can help. If there’s something you need to erase, he can assist. Your past will be stored safely in a book and you will never remember your secret, however terrible.

In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, row upon row of books – and memories – are meticulously stored and recorded. Then one day Emmett makes an astonishing discovery: one of them has his name on it. Get It Here!

the binding by bridgett collins

 

If you’ve read any of these books, liked them, disliked them, hated them or haven’t read them (or listened to them) yet but plan to…let me know in the comments!

I’d seriously love to hear your thoughts. How did you like the book? Did you know what was going to happen? Could you predict the way it would go? Are you upset with the ending? Happy?

If you have any book suggestions or any reviews you’d like to see here, let me know!

Good Readdance,
Jade

New Posts and Beta Reading Services

Heya! 

So I took a hiatus from the blog for a few months. Since finding out that I am pregnant again, I’ve had a lot of life things to deal with. Fall 2018 school semester, a high risk pregnancy (with copious amounts of doctors visits and check ups) and a new job (and now past job) has taken up most of my time. 

However, I’ve been reading a lot! Of course…nothing detracts from my reading! I have a lot of new reviews that I want to share with you and, as the semester just ended, I have plenty of time over the next few weeks to write them! 

Also, in case you haven’t noticed, I have added Beta Reading services to my blog and I hope, if any of you are writers, you will take advantage of my reading addiction! 

If you’d like to know more about my Beta Reading services head over to that page to check out my process, rates and more!

Beta Reading Services

I’m still taking suggestions for books! Feel free to comment or send me a message and I’ll look into it for my next read! 

Alright guys! Gonna keep this one short for today. Oh, how I’ve missed you

Good Readdance, 

Jade

Book Length Matters…Or?

This is a question that has been on my mind a lot lately. I’m a part of several reading groups on Facebook and it’s asked so many times. I wonder, are you partial toward a certain length?

I turn that question back on myself and it’s really tough for me to answer. I find that most of the books I tend to read all have roughly the same amount of pages. Usually, I find a romance or mystery to be around 280-320 pages. Most of the science fiction or fantasy novels are considerably more than that. As someone who grew up reading mostly romance, it never occurred to me to think about the length of one. I don’t think, in anyway, it correlates with how much I like or dislike a book. I love to read Harlequin and those books are very tiny…very…very…tiny.

That being said, to answer the question, I am fond of books of all sorts of sizes. I am currently reading a book that is around 600 pages and I’m rather enjoying it. If a book is interesting enough, keeps a certain amount of tension and urgency, then I will read it no matter the size.

So, I turn the question to you, reader. Do you prefer certain book lengths? Are you someone that hates to read anything long? Do you love quick reads? Are long reads considered quick reads to you? Let’s chat.

 

Good Readdance,

Jade

Ending the Summer Semester with Yoga

Sunday is my favorite day of the week.

I have always loved Sundays. It’s not because of church, I don’t go. It’s not because I’m off work, I used to. It’s because the day calls to me. I wake up and I feel happy, even when I’m sad. The vibes of every sunrise and settling of every sunset cleanses my aura.

This semester was a little tough for me. I had a lot going on. I finished writing Phoenix (Yay!), I also finished revising Phoenix (Yay!). I’m also actively trying to find a new apartment, only 12 days left and still no luck! I had just started a new job at the beginning of the summer so I’ve been training for that. On top of everything, one of my professors was very rude. Let’s just say it wasn’t the smoothest semester.

That being said, I discovered some things about the city. I found out that they do yoga in the park every single Sunday. This same park has a farmer’s market with loads of fresh fruits, music, vendors and crafts. In all the time that I’ve lived here I had no idea about this. Farmer’s markets are my favorite. I’m a big fan of fresh produce, especially if it’s locally grown. It transformed my Sundays.

Now that I have, what I would consider, a stable office job, I don’t work on Sundays. My heart is so happy. Gone are the worries of the week. Gone are the rushes of homework. The only thing that is alive and well, on Sunday, is my soul. My soul loves yoga and all things meditation. It loves introspection and worry free analysis.

Yoga feeds my soul.

The instructor says “Set your intentions for your practice today. What are you trying to get out of your yoga session? What do you think will set your week off on the right path?” My answer, for the last 5 weeks, has been ‘peace’. I need peace. I’m a worrier. I freak out. It doesn’t have to be about something bad or something big. I worry about if I’ll finish reading a book in time. I worry if my food will be gross even though I’ve cooked a dish a million times. I worry about my guy on his way to work and I worry about him on his way home.

I just need peace. My mind is tired but always running. It’s filled with spiraling thoughts and battle scenes. Every Sunday I stumble over to yoga with mat, towel, water bottle and $5 in tow to get the peace that I need to survive.

Then I survive.

No New Book Review! Sorry!

Heya!

So, I know I haven’t posted a new book review lately but it’s because of a good reason…I’m reading a really, really, really big book. Well, it’s sort of big but mostly it’s really interesting!

If you’ve watched my instagram or Twitter you’ll know what book I’m reading! It’s nearly 600 pages long! I’m actually liking it a ton so I haven’t been able to read any other books. I usually read 4-5 at the same time but I’m sort of stuck on this one.

I am trying to write the blog posts that are in my queue and finish revising my own book, Phoenix! Gotta get all this stuff out! July is a busy month!

Jade
P.S. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still reading the book club book but that is more out of necessity for the meeting.

Cherchez La Vie: June 2018

 

Cherchez la Vie
Look for Life

 

This June’s Cherchez La Vie went amazingly. I actually celebrated on Sunday, which is crazy that I’ve never done that before with, you know…Sunday being my favorite day of the week. I’m glad I did because I’ve never had a Cherchez turn out better than this one.

Itinerary:
I woke up early, a new occurrence for me, and I got out my notecards. It was time to take stock of the last 6 months. A moment of introspection and reflection; see what really happened, what I’ve gone through and where my head is at now. I thought of the things I accomplished from the last Cherchez, in December 2017. I thought of what goals I didn’t meet, what I didn’t even try to do and what was very easy for me to do. Then I thought of the next 6 months, what I want to do, what I think I can do and what I know is life changing.
(The important thing about goal making is being realistic. Yes, it’s important to make goals that push you but it’s also important to know there are steps to everything. Sometimes you have to slowly take each…step…at…a…time instead of expecting to jump right to the top; of weight loss, a finished book or hair growth goals.)

Then I wrote my list of ‘June 2018 Cherchez La Vie’ goals. Your list can be big or small, important things or just a simple To-Do list, anything. I choose to do both and some I roll over from the last list. I have life goals, relationship goals, randomly jotted down goals and also house goals. I have big dreams and I know that every Cherchez I need to be doing SOMETHING that gets me closer to my aspirations.

  1. Completely pack up everything for the move.
  2. Edit and Revise Phoenix.
  3. Prep pitch for PitchWars in August.
  4. Consistently go to gym (roll over)
  5. Find new apt and move
  6. Get rid of unwanted clothes, minimize
  7. Paint at least 1 canvas
  8. Get 401k set up! (Done)
  9. Set new weekly hair routine
  10. Clean apt for move
  11. Buy more book shelves!
  12. Buy a writing desk!
  13. Go to Yoga in the park for the first time (Done!)
  14. Cook steak and potatoes- fancy
  15. Meditate daily for 1 week (Initially)
  16. Write FF Anthology Piece
  17. Consistently write ASR Posts
  18. Officially set up and promote ASR Newsletter
  19. More Photos with Tony
  20. Experience more of the city
  21. Wake up earlier- more often (eek!)
  22. Make female friends- consistent friends (roll over)
  23. Read more (roll over)

After making my list of goals I ate breakfast and then got ready to leave. I attended the Yoga in the park class for the first time! So I can mark that off my list! I was so excited because I loved yoga in college. I was definitely more fit back in college; I ate healthier and worked out more. I didn’t have a car, at first, so I was always moving. Since getting a car, and moving here, I realized that I live a very sedentary life and I don’t eat nearly as healthy as I could. I’ve just recently been trying to do things that can work out my body and my mind simultaneously so this was a great start.

Yoga in park

 

After Yoga I talked about society, culture, and life as a black woman with a new friend. I’ve been looking for ways to enhance my life and having a female friend is definitely a way to do so. I love my guy and all but having someone to chat with, laugh with, hell…giggle with, is very important. I have been missing that since I moved here and I knew creating a book club is one of the best ways to do that.

Once we parted ways I took my time walking through downtown and taking in the weather. I stopped at the library to pick up more books. Even though I read a ton, I could always read MORE and so that’s on the list, of course. So…I sat in the park downtown and read for hours. It was amazing.

Then I got rained on.

So I ran to get food, bagged up my books and walked back to the car. Having curly hair is a great thing in this case. My books were tightly protected so I could really take my time, breathing in the rain, the scent of moisture and peace.

After I got home I relaxed with my guy, read, wrote and reflected over how the day had passed. I couldn’t help the sense of true peace that seemed to heal all my worry and strife for the day. I could truly sit and not feel like I should be up working more, fighting more, getting more strength, breathing more…I could just stop.

And that is what this holiday does for me. That is what Cherchez La Vie can do for you. It’s looking for life, searching for life, searching for THE life. Creating this holiday in high school was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my entire life.

So participate! Go head, it’s not too late to make your list of goals for the next 6 months. The next Cherchez is December 30, 2018. You can change your life in that time. I’ve done it! Just think, on my goal list for December 2017 I wrote “Start school to finish bachelors degree” and now I’m finishing my second semester. I also had “Write and pitch a book” on that list and I’m actually pitching Phoenix next month! Trust me…it works!

 

Cherchez la Vie
Look for Life

Happy Readdance,

Jade

So…Many…Books!

Heya,

We are moving out of our apartment in August. The crazy thing is that, yes, I’ve started packing already. I am so glad that I am because I already have five duffle bags and four big boxes filled with books and I haven’t even touched the other rooms.

We have so much stuff in comparison to when we first moved in two years ago. I’ve bought three bookshelves and I plan to get a few more as well as smaller bedside tables to put my tiny lamps on. I love to read in bed and this is definitely going to be a happy moment for me.

Another thing is that I have no doubt I will be buying more books between now and our move out day. I am keeping a box empty just in case I do…which I will. So, full circle. We are actually going to get a moving company because there is no way I will be able to carry any of these boxes. My guy is considerably stronger than I am but even he won’t be able to lift them. Hopefully the movers come with a dolly.

In our new apartment, I’m hoping to set up our TV and library room just how I like it and keep it that way. I don’t currently have a writing desk but I will be buying one to fit in a tiny alcove that the new apartment has tucked between the living room and the bedroom wall. It’s right next to our porch so I could swivel and watch the horizon as I write.  There’s also enough space for one or two of my tiny bookshelves to fit. It’ll be so awesome!

Anyway! Do you guys have separate rooms or spaces for your books? Give me some ideas! How do you work your love for books into your home?

Good Readdance,

Jade

6 Steps to Love Reading

You may think that this is a silly title or even a silly topic but it’s important!

I think that a lot of people just don’t ‘get’ it. They can’t figure out what is so appealing about curling in bed with a good book. That doesn’t mean they don’t want to read, they just probably never enjoyed it on their own sooo…they don’t. Well, I can help!  Hopefully. I want to give you a few tips of my own that have really helped me and others glean the most they can from reading.

1. Find a Genre You Like!

You might think this is a no-brainer but it’s not. With so many people telling others what you ‘should’ read or what is ‘posh’ to read, it can be daunting for someone who is just starting to pick up books for pleasure. Think of movies or TV shows that make you happy. Do you enjoy ones that are scifi? Like Fringe or Doctor Who? Are you a psychological thriller kind of person? Dexter, Mr. Robot, Black Mirror? Are you a fan of the cutesy shows or romance filled hour long love fest? Hart of Dixie, 90210, Bones, Gossip Girl, etc? Looking at what you like to watch can definitely help you figure out what you like to read. Then research or go to that section in your local library or bookstore and pick something up! Read the flap!
2. Don’t Finish If You Hate It!

I know, I know. Tons of people think that not finishing a book is so taboo but I don’t! I currently have 250 books in my TBR (to be read) pile and that’s just physical books that I own. Not E-Books. Not library books. Not books in the queue. I don’t have time for that. Ain’t nobody got time for that! I do try to give a book a few chapters before I throw it against the wall but I definitely won’t torture myself further if I can barely get past a paragraph without dying inside. That being said, if a book is suggested to me (via a book club, blog request, etc) I will definitely stick with it longer than normal. I want to give everything a fair deal. But I’m an aficionado at this, don’t try this at home kids! It can be discouraging if you find yourself unable to get into a book or if it takes months to get through it.

3. Buy Books!

Now, I’m not sponsored, as much as I would love to be, but amazon and half priced bookstores are your best friend. I say actually buy your books because you are more likely to read them, in my opinion, than if you grabbed it from the library or borrowed from a friend. As a borrower, you are under pressure to finish quickly (heehee) and return it in mint condition. I always try to take the best care of my books but if I carry a book everywhere, because it is so good, and end up accidentally dropping it in the dirt, that’s only on me. No fines accrued. And I’d still read it.

4. Start Small!

Don’t think that you have to burst out of the gate with a 1100 page monstrosity of Stephen King’s or a hard read with emphasis on philosophical imagery, blah, blah, blah. Start with something short, something innocent. Start with a light hearted novel. I’d say even start with a YA, anything to ease yourself in. If you are a ‘take the leap’ type then go ahead and ignore everything in this section. Go forth, you over achiever you, Mary Higgins Clark awaits you.
5. Discover You Neeeeds!

Why did you decide to start reading more? Are you trying to better yourself? Are you wanting to see what all this book hubbub is all about? Are you trying to teach yourself about a specific subject? I think this is important because at least now you know what types of books you are looking for and won’t stress yourself out. Meaning, if you are wanting to read about demons and warriors and bloody battles, picking up a book on the children in the attic won’t appeal to you.

6. Change It Up! 

This is sort of a continuance and contradiction to number 5 and number 1! So this one is just for fun. As a kid, I was obsessed with romance and love and rainbows and historical and and and… It wasn’t until I graduated high school that I began to really broaden my horizons. By dipping into other genres or randomly buying books without vetting them, I then discovered how much I love mystery, psychological thrillers, witty banter, spy novels and even some non-fiction (woa what?).

So, if you are looking to get into the world of nerdiness I hope that I’ve helped you take the next step. Below I will share with you some authors, and their genres, that I really enjoy!

 

 

Julie Garwood- Romance and Mystery romance

Lynsay Sands- Paranormal Romance, historical romance, romance romance!
Tina Wainscott- mystery romance

Nora Roberts- Formula Romance
James Patterson- Psychological, mystery, procedural, etc. (He also writes YA)
Mary Higgins Clark- Mystery! Crime!

Nora Roberts, John Grisham, Ray Bradbury, George Orwell, Cindy Gerard, Gena Showalter, Iris Johansen!

 

Happy Readdance,

Jade

P.S. If you have any other tips you’d like to share with other readers, let me know in the comments! Did any of these help you? What are you going to read next?

What I REALLY Learned About Myself Last Semester

So…big surprise. Not really, you guys know I’m in school and I’m learning new things. I’ve always loved school. The only drawback to being in school, I thought as a kid, was that other people would be there. Sounds silly. I know. I was so shy and reserved that I never realized that it was other people that made it enjoyable. I loved to learn, loved to interact with my teachers and I loved to be in the school setting. I didn’t realize that it was the back and forth, the give and take, of the student to teacher relationship that drew me in. The constant feedback, the discussion over lecture. I just loved it.
(I’m in the year book as the teacher’s pet, by the way)

Anyway, I wasn’t one of those people who had a hurtful or sad school experience and I’m grateful. School was actually my escape. Being a foster kid, turned adopted kid living in a foster home, was pretty hard on me. I shoveled it inside and didn’t dare let anyone see my pain or what I felt on the inside. Leaving the house, and going to school, took me away from anything bad that could happen. At school, I could expand my mind, learn new things and be a different person. I wasn’t a victim at school. It was a safe haven. If only I could just learn more, I’d be free, I thought.
As I grew older, it became very apparent that I needed to bring that kind of positivity back into my life. Now, my current home life is amazing. Despite any sadness that I’ve have due to my losses, I am very happy. It wasn’t that I needed an escape. I’m in love with my soulmate and I live eighteen hours away from anything that has ever hurt me. In the grand scheme of things, I’m doing fucking fantastic! It was that I needed more. More for me. More from me. More expansion. I needed to prove to myself, not to anyone else, that I could achieve anything I set my mind to.

This last semester solidified who I am as a person…to me. It told me that when I want something, I go after it. It told me that when something is hard, like that third math exam that really kicked my ass, I flip things around. It taught me that I do have the ability to meet deadlines. It said ‘You are attentive. You are responsible. You can do this.’ Most people may think ‘Aww, you’re just now learning that?’ and to that I say YES!

I spent too much time as a kid listening to other people.  Older people. People who knew things. Whether it was my bio mom saying she didn’t want me and wished she didn’t have me. Or a sibling concocting a cockamamy story that I was so worthless that I’d actually been left in a dumpster before social services found me. Whether it was my first grade gym teacher saying that I was so angry, he wouldn’t be surprised if I became a serial killer or that one lady who said I could never be a model because I wouldn’t grow up pretty enough. Or even those who gave the statistics about kids in foster homes or the life expectancy of those coming out of ‘the system’. I spent entirely too much time thinking about how people saw me and I retreated further into my bubble.

I retreated so far into books and fiction that for a moment I forgot what was real. People asked, when I grew up, why I didn’t feel compelled or peer pressured by the stories I read. Asked why romance and passion didn’t turn me into a fairy tale loving, wide eyed, girl with too many wedding aspirations. I just didn’t believe in me or anyone wanting to be involved with me enough to think those things would ever be real. In a way, it shielded me from a life time of disappointment. Now that I know differently, I go unbiasedly into relationships, friendships and yes, heartache still.

Now, as an old soul in a twenty-five year old body (albeit creaking knees and popping elbows), I still had things to learn and discover about myself. I was terrified to start school again. I know what kind of person I was during University back at 18. I was free. I knew exactly what, and who, I wanted to be and yet I knew nothing at all. There are a ton of mistakes I made back then. I don’t regret them, because they brought me here, but I do acknowledge them. I was scared that who I was then is actually who I would be now, in school.

But I’m not.

I’m a ‘stay up late until I get the assignment done’ kind of girl. I’m a ‘create a homework planner so I always know what’s due’ kind of girl. I’m a ‘help other students with their homework and assignments because I know the material’ kind of girl. I’m a ‘stick it through even though I might fail’ kind of girl.

That is what I REALLY learned about me last semester.

I know who I am.
Do you?

Stay Safe,
Jade