Readathons, Uncategorized

My O.W.L.s Magical Readathon 2020 Wrap Up!

I had a lot of fun in April with this readathon! It really brightened up the time I spent at home. A lot of places are relaxing social distancing, but I’m not. I won’t go into what I think too much in this, but let’s just say if there were another big readathon this month with great prompts like this I’d be down for it.

I completed all the prompts this time around. This is my second year attempting the O.W.L.s last year they went great and then life totally freaked up my N.E.W.T.s in August.

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I enjoyed most of what I read last month. (I read books outside of this too which totaled 19.) My favorite new reads were The Things I’m Seeing Without You and What If It’s Us?. Seriously I love those books. They’re YA, but you should still read them.

This month I’m participating in a smaller readathon that I love the message of! More info on which readathon it is and what my TBR looks like for it.

Readathons, Uncategorized

I Finished My O.W.L.s (To be a Healer) (An O.W.L.s Magical Readathon Update)

Yesterday evening I finished reading Nicholas Spark’s Message in a Bottle. It was the last book I needed to fulfill the prompts to be a healer through the O.W.L.s Magical Readathon (along with my extra lectures.) Since there are still 8 days left in the month I’m going to go for a clean sweep of the prompts. Yep, I was that kid in school too.

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The books above in green are the ones I needed for my readathon goals and have finished readidng. The ones under those are the ones I need to make a clean sweep of the readathon.

I think besides being stuck at home what helped me the most this time around is the fact I changed out books that fit the prompts and my reading whims and moods. We’ll see how the rest of the month goes, but either way I’m ready for my N.E.W.T.s come August 2020!

Readathons, Uncategorized

O.W.L.s Magical Readathon Reading Update 2

Reading has definitely made my time in self-isolation more magical. I don’t have much more time than I did before this started. I work from home. I write almost everyday. I just published a book and am taking a long weekend. Which is rare. Really rare for me to do as a workaholic. This hasn’t been my highest reading month. That was January with 17 books. So far this month I’ve read 10 books so far this month. Only 6 of them have been for the readathon.

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So far most of the books I’ve read for the readathon haven’t been the ones I thought I would from the start. All of them have changed except Hum If You Don’t Know the Words. It was a really good book. I’ve added in other rereads and some random books I grabbed off the shelf when the power was out here for 21 hours earlier this week.

The only O.W.L.s I have left to pass are Transfiguration and Defense Against the Dark Arts. I’m currently reading and listening to two separate books that have nothing to do with the readathon, but caught my attention. One is a library loan e-book of World War Z. I want to get it read and returned so the next person can read it. I had to wait a few weeks to get it.

I’m happy with my progress this month, because I have 12 days (one of them including Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon) and only 2 more books to read for this challenge. I don’t plan on switching the books I chose for those subjects at this time, but who knows? I’ve always been a reader who follows her whims.

Readathons, Uncategorized

O.W.L.s Magical Readathon Reading Update

Finally! I’m writing a blog at an appropriate time and not when I should be working on my novel! Book 9 of the Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga is off to the editor! I can’t wait to bring it out for everyone to read, but for now it’s time to catch up on my own reading. My O.W.L.s are going a bit slower than I thought they would.

I know it’s only the 8th, but I’m behind by my own logic.I should finish a book about every 2 days to get through all 8 of them this month. It’s the eighth and I’ve finished one. My Potions O.W.L. at that. I’m in the middle of my O.W.L.s for Care of Magical Creatures and History of Magic. My TBR has shifted a little bit as my mood has changed. I switched from the Christmas Carol to the Most Dangerous Game for my Potions O.W.L. Then I switched my History of Magic to The Witchcraft of Salem Village. It’s non-fic about the Salem witch trails. I think it’s in the spirit of the O.W.L. I’m currently reading that one and Hum if You Don’t Know the Words. I’m enjoying them both for different reasons.

I’ve put together a handy spreadsheet to track my progress. I should say I’ve also finished two books I wanted to read that were not for the O.W.L.s and that’s why I’m behind on the readathon. I’m reading just not what I should be reading. lol As usual, this list is subject to change on O.W.L.s I haven’t started.

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How’s your O.W.L.s Magical Readathon Going?

Readathons, Uncategorized

O.W.L.’s Magical Readathon Preparation

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Soo… Tomorrow the magical journey begins! Yes, that’s right! Tomorrow is the first day of O.W.L.’s Magical Readathon 2020! I have a lot of work (AKA Book 9 of the Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga) going on next month. As well as Dewey’s and a personal project I’m considering. I’m unsure about how to go about the latter, but some planning will definitely be needed if I’m going to balance everything!

I’m still really excited for April to get here. With all the crazy stuff going on in the world I need a good distraction that allows me to connect with the world while still practicing social distancing. I may be a little over cautious I refuse to even order out. Though, everyone I know is doing it. I want a calzone, but not not enough to take the risk. At this point, I’d just rather be too safe than not safe enough. Anxiety or caution. Frig if I know. lol

So, first off, Book 9 is on schedule. I already read (I’m averaging 12 books a month as of right now) so I don’t think the readathon will interfere with that.

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In the mean time to get ready for the month – I’ve made the first reading journal I’ve had in years. It’s really cutesy with drawings and stuff, but my phone won’t take a decent photo of the pages. That sucks, but life goes on.

I’ve sorta planned out my reading order, but that’s always subject to change. I’m the sort of reader who follows their whims and moods. So, these readathons are always a challenge for me. Dewey’s Readathon is at the end of the month and I’m hoping to use that as a catch up for anything I don’t get to throughout the first part of them month.

First up, I’m tackling my second largest book (the largest if Order of the Phoenix, but I love that book and can finish it in a day if I have nothing else to do). My first O.W.L. read will be for my Transfiguration course. I’ll be reading Incubus Dreams by Laurell K. Hamilton. This is a reread for me, but I love the Anita Blake series. I wanted to read Micah, but that book is still at a friend’s house waiting to be shipped after the plague ends.

What’s your first book for O.W.L.’s Magical Readathon?

Readathons, Uncategorized

My O.W.L.’s Magical Readathon TBR

It’s almost April and you know what that means! It’s time for my second attempt at the O.W.L.’s Magical Readathon. Last year my O.W.L.’s were flawless. My N.E.W.T.s not so much. So, this year I won’t be going after writer/journalist again. I”m going the healer career path. While also going for the add-ons of Animagus Training and Legal Defense of Fantastic Beasts.

That’s 8 books which is more than doable with my reading record this year. (32/100 books so far as of 3/21/20.)

To accomplish my career and side courses I’ll need to accomplish the following.

Herbology: Mimbulus Mimbletonia: A title starting with M

See the source imageThis book is a reread for me, but it was the first book that came to mind when I read the prompt. It’s a really good series that I hope eventaully to reread in its entirety just not next month. lol

Charms: Lumios Maxima: A book with a white cover.

One thing that helps me in readathons is to leave some of the books up to what I feel at the time. This is one of those. Just glancing at myself I can see 6 books that have white covers. I have plenty to choose from and will when the time comes.

Defense Against the Dark Arts: Grindylows: A book set at sea or the coast.

See the source imageThis is another reread for me, but I haven’t read it since I was a teenager. I know Nicholas Sparks if famous for breaking hearts, but I really love some of his books.

Potions: Shrink Solution: A book with less than 150 pages

See the source imageI swear not every book for the readathon is a reread! There are some I haven’t read yet! BUT of course this is another reread. My copy of the Christmas Carol has about¬† 125 pages. It’s an easy read I can finish in a setting and assure I get my potions O.W.L.

Transfiguration: Animagus Lecture: A book/series with shifters.

See the source imageThis is another reread from a favorite series. It’s not my favorite in the series that is Micah, but Micah was one of the books left with a friend after I moved. We were planning to ship everything soon, but… COVID19. My stuff can live where it is for now.

Arithamancy: Magical Qualities/Balance/Opposites.

Paris with You (Camden Cove #4)I read all over the place, but one genre I don’t read a lot of is sweet adult romance. I’ve read the other books in this series slowly over months, because they’re a nice change of pace but not my favorite by far.

Care of Magical Creatures: Hippogriffs: A creature with a beak on the cover.

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I’ve heard really good things about this one and it’s set on my shelf long enough. Time to finally crack it open. lol

History of Magic: Witch Hunts: A Series with a witch or wizard.

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Those of you who know me know this one is going to be an HP book. I’m doing a reread through the series this year as I’m in the mood for it. I don’t think I’ll start the next one (Order of the Phoenix) before next month so I can save it for this prompt.

That’s my TBR for next month. If I finish early (Which I might. I’m averaging 10 or 11 books a month this year I might try to add in some of the other prompts too just for the extra O.W.L.s

Are you participating in O.W.L.s Magical Readathon next month?

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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!

Readathons, Uncategorized

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 16: The Day Things Started Coming Together

A realistic portrait of me working out the plot of my current WIP.

I didn’t write over the weekend and I didn’t blog yesterday, because I was caught up in perfecting the plot of book 5 of the Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga. My plot’s verging 6k words all by itself. I thought everything was perfect. Then today at the end of my writing time I realized it’s not. I left a gaping hole! I yelled plot twist in my head and moved on. I’ll have to fix that in a few chapters, but for today that’s okay. I can live with the knowledge my plot is only *almost* perfect. lol

Today’s word count was my best of the month. I’m just over 28k words in total. Meaning I’m back to being a little ahead of schedule. Since writing the blog yesterday today the words just rolled off my fingers. This proves it. I’m a plotter at heart and mind.

I wrote 3,690 words today. I’m on chapter 17/37. That final chapter count is subject to change when I go back in to tweak my plot, but for now I’m happy with my progress. I might not finish writing the book this month, but it’s likely I’ll make it to my 50k word goal. I did a couple of fifteen minute writing sprints to get me started today. I think my nicotine levels are evening out. (I’m just over 3 months quit and still using the gum.) So, I’m excited for the rest of my work week. I’ll likely break 30k words tomorrow and then around Monday hit my 40k mark.

Yesterday I wrote about the importance of taking breaks and there’s no better advice for me to give. I took the weekend off and on Monday everything started coming together. So, if you’re feeling burnt out today. Take a break and practice some self-care.

It’s only about 4pm (EDT) and my writing day is over. I plan to settle in and read a book as my part of my O.W.L.s Magical Readathon. Today I’ll be reading The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White.

I won’t talk about this book here, because I plan to talk about all the books I read throughout the month for O.W.L.’s Magical Readathon in a post next month.

That reminds me Amazon is doing a great deal for 2 months of their Kindle Unlimited Membership for just 99 cents. Seriously, if you guys haven’t tried it out go take a look. I’m not sponsored by them or anything like that. I just really enjoy the service. I’ve found some of my favorite books on there. And yes, if you subscribe you can read all the Hemlock Mpreg Universe books as part of the subscription.

How’s your Camp NaNoWriMo going this month? Happy writing and reading! Book on!

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Camp NanoWrimo Recap Day 12: TJIF (Thank Juda It’s Friday!)

Today was about as great as yesterday. I’m just dragging along, but I’m still on track to finish 50k words by the end of the month. I’m looking forward to two days off this weekend to recharge my batteries and squeeze in some reading time. (I need to work on my books for O.W.L.s Magical Readathon). Blake’s story (Yep. I still need a title. lol) is moving along fine, but thank Juda it’s Friday!

****For those of you who haven’t read The Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga, Juda Hemlock is one of the two founders of the Hemlock Wolf Pack bloodline.****

What I accomplished today:

Despite being really tired today I did write through the ending of chapter 15. I have some fleshing out to do come Monday, but that’s Monday Maggie’s problem. lol

Snags Along the Way:

I had a major case of the Fridays. I’m ready for a weekend of not dancing and sparring with my keyboard.

How today went:

Starting Word Count: 22,224

Total Words Written: 1,988

Ending Word Count: 24,212

After thoughts:

TJIF! Seriously! I’ll be happy to get back to work on Monday, but for now I’m off to enjoy the weekend!

Happy writing and reading! Have a great weekend!

Readathons, Uncategorized

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon Supplies

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There’s half an hour until I dive in nose first to a book! I’ve gathered most of my supplies. I’ve left most of my snacks in the kitchen – fruit and prepreped meals. I didn’t want to let this fun reading party knock me off my healthy eating stride! It’s about the books not the food! But… If I run out later I’ll likely grab some chips! lol I’m only human yet to evolve into a unicorn who can read all day without chips!

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Books: I’ve added more since I made my TBR list. Also, my kindle is charging and the Christopher Rice series I listed on my TBR post are e-books! I’m not sure how many I’ll get through today, but I will post updates as the day goes on and a recap when the readathon ends.

Treats for the Pup:¬†Treats and a raw hide for the pup today! He won’t be missing out on his morning walk (already done!) but he’ll likely lose out on some playtime. Hopefully, the raw hide will keep him busy (he likes to toss it in the air and chase it around when it falls.) and make him forget I technically ignoring him to play with a dead tree with symbols on it.

Pepsi and Tea: I promised myself today I wouldn’t go hog wild on the soda! So, I have extra tea instead! One’s even caffiene free! Don’t worry, this isn’t much more than I normally cosume in a day.

Nicotine Gum and Hard Candy: My normal quit smoking supplies within arm’s reach! I’m 82 days quit. Yeah, I’m still working on cutting down on the gum, but that’s a topic for another day!

My Go-to Slytherin Mug: I bought this mug as a gift for myself after publishing Omega Magic. It’s been my go-to ever since!

Notebook and Pen: I’m a writer! I never know when an idea will smack me upside the head! It’s also useful for tracking the time I actually read too. lol

Little Sticky Page Markers: Just in case I misplace a bookmark!

Well, just 20 minutes to go now! Are you ready to read? If not put your pajamas back on and grab a book!