Bout of Books 2019 Wrap Up

I planned to have this written up on Monday, but I was a little busy finishing Omega’s Homecoming (Book 5 in the Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga.) It’s been a long road, but I’m thrilled that Blake and Jonah’s story is moving onto the editing process!

Originally I hoped to read 7 books, but in the end I only managed to read 4. Of those 4 only 1 of them was on my original TBR. Two were non-fiction research books which I won’t be talking about here because spoilers and privacy. Though, I’m usually good to manage a book and a half or two a week. So, Bout of Books went great for me this year! I’m now two books ahead in my GoodReads Goal of 100 books this year.

Rainbow Islands by Devin Harnois

Rainbow Islands

This book was sort of dystopian. No, it was dystopian, but it was done in such a way that it didn’t feel like the normal dystopian. Parts of this narrative were whimscial (Griffin Riders) and others parts dealt with serious issues facing the LGBTQ+ community. I loved this book to be totally honest. It was a little out there. Okay, a lot out there, but the writer did an incredible job at being inclusive. For me, it was whimsical, but a ‘feel good’ read. So, naturally, the second book I read for Bout of Books was also by Devin Harnois. I blame him and Rainbow Islands for my sudden change in plans. lol

Not My Apocalypse by Devin Harnois

Not My Apocalypse (Alex Holden, #1)

In this book, Devin Harnois’s voice carries over with the same in your face diversity and mostly likeable characters. It’s not as whimsical as Rainbow Islands and definitely has so much darker parts, but he carries on with nothing being sacred except human and animal rights. The main character thumbs his nose at his less than desirable ‘destiny.’ Even if he has to use his demonic powers along the way to be free of it. I enjoyed Alex’s (the main character) dirty mouth and headstrong attitude. It’s the normal teenage angst but with a supernatural and divine twist.


Bout of Books Readathon TBR

I’m on track for my Good Reads reading challenge, but I don’t want to fall behind while I’m busy writing book 5 of the Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga. So, when a friend asked if I was participating in Bout of Books I knew I was even when I said I wasn’t sure I’d have time. Like everyone, some days I get so busy I forget why I started writing. I started writing and continue to do so, because of my love of stories.

For those of you unfamiliar with Bout of Books you can check out the full information here.

Bout of Books is a readathon to encourage readers to read more than they normally would through the week of 5/13/19 to 5/19/19.

The Walking Dead Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye by [Kirkman, Robert]

I never quite stick to my TBR for readathons. I’ll likely read the combined volumes of the Walking Dead Comics during the readathon. I’m on the second volume and really enjoying finding out where my favorite television show came from. They’re really different, but I’m loving them! If I haven’t devoured them by the time Bout of Books roll around I’ll likely spend the week finishing them up. There are 33 volumes. I’ll likely still be working my way through them.

I’ve also picked up a few novels in case I want to change things up during Bout of Books.

Rainbow Islands by Devin Harnois. I’ve wanted to read this alternate world LGBT book for a while.

Rainbow Islands by [Harnois, Devin]

The Devil Between Us by S.C. Wilson

The Devil Between Us by [Wilson, S.C.]

Let me know in the comments if you’re participating in the Bout of Books Readathon this year!


Reader Q&A

This post has been a long time coming. I apologize for running a little later than I thought I might. I was really excited to hear what you guys wanted to know about the Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga.

Anna asks: How do you come up with the names and what one is your favorite book and why?

Hi Anna! Thanks for your wonderful questions.

Names can be complicated. A lot of the names for my book characters are borrowed from role play characters I played when I was younger. I’ve altered a lot of them to keep them separate from my awesome memories, but I do use a lot of them. For minor characters I have a baby names book that lives on my desk to thumb through if I’m stuck. Sometimes, the names just come to me from the mysterious place that drops ideas into the brains of writers.

I’m always a little shy to answer which book is my favorite, because I don’t want to sway readers on which book, they should like best. If I had to pick one it would be Omega Sight. Monta was so much fun to write. He’s from the part of the country I was born too and really trying to overcome prejudices he grew up with both about himself and other people. Also, Ross and Monta loved to argue for the make up sex. It took them a while to get it right, but when they did they made a lovely happy family. Monta is still one of my favorite characters.

Rachel asks: Two questions: 1) what made you decide to write MPreg 2) are you going to miss this series.

Hi Rachel! Thank you for asking!

Mpreg was a big part of my old role plays. I don’t remember how they were first added in. I think it was just to thumb out noses at science that said two people of the same gender couldn’t have a baby together. It took the real-world frustration and did something about it – at least in the role play. Also, I’ve never lived within ‘normal’ gender binary. So, why should my characters?

Then a friend introduced me to the concept of Mpreg romances as novels. I knew I had to try my hand at it.

If the Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga were to end, I would miss it, but there are some big things coming up in future books. I’ll keep writing the Saga as long as there are readers who enjoy it.

Sabella asks: Do you have an idea of how a story will turn out before you begin writing? Also, can’t wait for Sky’s story.

Hi Sabella! I wish I knew how long books would be. In the beginning of the Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga I definitely had a better grasp of just how long the stories would be. Now, I can guess, but most of them end up a bit longer than I thought. As a reader, I know that books in series tend to grow as the series progresses, but I never understood why until I was working on Healer’s Oath (AKA Doctor Bane’s Book.) There are a lot more characters and forces at play and to do justice for the series I need to give them all the time they need to tell the story.

I’m so excited to write Sky’s story! I’ve had it mostly planned since he and Darian came into my head. Yes, they’re twins so they came together. Okay, I’ll admit Darian came first. That’s why he’s the Hemlock Wolf Pack Patriarch and soon to be Pack Alpha. There are still a few books before Sky comes home. I know Darian and Bane are excitedly waiting on his return, but it’ll take something really impactful happening to bring Sky home. There are a lot of scars between him and his twin and old wounds heal slowly. Just talking about Sky’s story makes me want to work on book 5. That way I can write Sky’s story sooner. In future books there will definitely be more dragons.

Karsyn asks What is your favorite locale of your books and why do you like it the most?

Hi Karsyn! My favorite location was introduced in Omega Sight. At the very top of Hemlock Mountain sits a statue of Juda and Frost the founders of the Hemlock Wolf Pack. It’s a beautiful monument to what the pair went through to start and maintain their family. Eventually there will be a prequel where I finally share Juda and Frost’s story. I’ve shared bits and pieces including a few scenes of a play based on Juda’s life in my stand alone Ardan’s Oath, but I want to share the story that brought all of the Hemlock’s to where they are now.


Camp NaNoWriMo 2019 Wrap Up

After taking three days off from working on my novel and blogging it’s time to reflect on the month. Every time I participate in a NaNoWriMo event I always swear it’ll be the last and it is the last time until I forget how crazy it makes me. lol

This year Camp Nano was definitely complicated by undeserving drama in my personal life. All of this taught me I can write through hurricanes, but now after two days of not working I’m still tired. I still don’t have a title for Book 5 of the Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga. Though, I do have a good idea of the next 2-4 books in the series. Some exciting things are in store of the Hemlock Wolves and their mates. Also, some danger brews in the future. To be honest, I’ve spent a lot of the last two days staring into space and daydreaming about future scenes.

Camp NaNoWriMo was fun for the most part. Mostly, it just proved to me I can write through almost anything if I have an idea I’m passionate about. I met my word count and surpassed my word count goal for the month, but I still have a third of the book to write. So, it’s a victory, but it feels like such an odd time to celebrate.

April was my busiest month of 2019 so far.

I’m relieved April is over, but tomorrow I’ll go back to writing on book 5 of the Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga.


O.W.L.’s Magical Readathon 2019 Wrap-Up

When I announced to my friends I was not only participating in Camp NaNoWriMo in April 2019, but also participating in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon and a month long readathon I got some weird looks. Ever since I was a kid, my life revolved around stories. Telling them, reading them, imagining how everything could be different if one thing changed. What I couldn’t predict was the drama coming into my life in April. I planned to read a book for all of the prompts in O.W.L.s Magical Readathon, but that didn’t happen.

The announcement video. This is full of information. Yes, schedule willing I’ll participate in the N.E.W.T.s as well in August 2019.

So What Did I Read for O.W.L’s Magical Readathon?

I’m happy to announce I did meet the requirements for my Journalist/Writer path. So, as long as I get my N.E.W.T.s in August I’ll be good to go. Let’s talk about the requirements for my chosen path first.

I needed:

History of Magic: Read a book published at least 10 years ago.

Muggles Studies: Read a contemporary novel

One other O.W.L. of my choice: I chose Astronomy which mean I needed to read a book with ‘star’ in the title.

History of Magic O.W.L.

For my History of Magic O.W.L. I didn’t have to look far. I read two books this month that met the requirement, but one also met my Herbology requirement.

History of Magic O.W.L. – Check!

I read The Downsiders by Neal Shusterman published in 1999. Yes, I know that doesn’t sound old enough to be for History of Magic, but that’s 20 years ago. I don’t often glance at publication years, because it has the habit of making me feel old. lol But for this challenge I made an exception.

Downsiders was a wonderful YA book about a city built under NYC. In many ways it was a coming of age novel that explored what we believed about ourselves and how complex societal beliefs evolve.

Muggle Studies O.W.L.

I don’t read a whole lot of contemporary fiction, but I do love novels by Catherine Ryan Hyde. She writes emotional fiction in my opinion. I’ve yet to read a book by her that I didn’t enjoy. She also has a few LGBT titles as well.

For my Muggle Studies O.W.L. I read Heaven Adjacent by Catherine Ryan Hyde. It’s another great book by this author. Her writing always pulls at the heart strings and digs into the soul.

Astronomy O.W.L.

For my astronomy O.W.L. I read The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White. This was a modern take on Egyptian mythology that did not fail to entertain.

Care of Magical Creatures O.W.L.s: Read a book with a land animal on the cover.

Only the Animals by Ceridwen Dovey

Charms O.W.L.s: Age line read an adult work (I went with non-fiction for this one.)

PTSD Recovery by David Craft

Herbology O.W.L.: Read a book with a plant on the cover.

The Boy Next Door by R.L. Stine

I had a lot of fun with this readathon and can’t wait until the second part rolls around in August!