Reading

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

Sometimes I LieSometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I listened to Sometimes I Lie VIA an audible audiobook. I enjoyed the story; there are lots of different aspects to the story that all tie together at the end.

I am left working out in my head who did what and why, and how everything came to being. It’s terrific, both easy to read, and a book that makes you think. As you would find out from reading the blurb, this book follows the story of how Amber came to be in a coma.

The subject of a coma patient is interesting, and I enjoyed seeing things from her perspective. You get to hear from Amber when she is in a coma and also before she is in the coma. I was very impressed with the way Alice Feeney wrote the two parts because even without being explicitly told when Amber is in the coma; you can tell because her point of view focuses on what she can hear and what she can see through her closed eyelids.

There are a lot of flashbacks in this novel, and it doesn’t follow a linear pattern. It avoids, however, leaving readers confused by what is happening when.

The only reason I would give this 4 stars and not 5 is that there is a twist at the end that I feel doesn’t sit right with one of the characters. I wouldn’t want to spoil the story, so I won’t say what, but it didn’t quite ring true to me.

All in all, this is a great book.

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Reading

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

Behind Closed DoorsBehind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’m sorry, but this book bored me. Completely and utterly bored me.

Transparent, right from the start, reading this felt like walking through treacle. There were far too many flashbacks, which had already been described earlier in the book and were entirely unnecessary. Also, the bad guy was too bad. I don’t believe that anyone is that black and white in their evil schemes. If there had been one redeeming feature, I would have enjoyed this book far more.

No one is evil all through, and no one is good all through either.

I know some people really enjoyed this, so give it a go, I’d love to hear about it if you loved this book.

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Reading

Backlash by Lynda La Plante

Backlash (Anna Travis, #8)Backlash by Lynda La Plante

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I always enjoy a Linda La Plante book, and this was no exception.

If you like crime thrillers, books that give out clues throughout the storyline that keep you hooked and a teeny bit of romantic tension, this is for you.

It’s not groundbreaking, but it’s entertaining. As with so many books written in a series, they do tend to lose momentum as they go along, but for the eighth book in a series, this is pretty good! Well worth a read if you are after a detective novel that doesn’t make you think too much.

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Reading

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Sharp ObjectsSharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sharp Objects is a very dark thriller filled with flawed (and somewhat mentally unstable) characters. It takes you into a twisted reality which I found quite disturbing at times. Which is, let’s be honest, is sometimes why we read thrillers.

However, this went a tiny bit too far for my comfort, and I found that ready the book caused me to feel quite hopeless in my day to day life.

The story and plot are fantastic, so I do recommend the book, however, make sure you are in a good place emotionally before reading it.

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Reading

Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers

Bridge to HavenBridge to Haven by Francine Rivers

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Francine Rivers is one of my all-time favourite authors. Her book Redeeming Love is the most read, most tattered, books on my bookshelf (it’s one of the very physical books I have kept since purchasing my Kindle). Bridge to Haven is a brilliant book, and almost matching Redeeming Love for me.

Sprinkled with romance, Hollywood glamour, and God, this is religious fiction which won’t bore you to death, or condemn anyone. I experienced a real sense of grief when I finished this novel, as I loved it so much.

If you’ve never dabbled in Christian Fiction, and fancied giving it a try, Francine Rivers is the BEST place to start.

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Novel Writing

Annoying People Make the Best Characters

I bet you have one, we all do. That person who sets your teeth on edge, who drives you up the wall, who makes you google how to get away with murder (I’m joking about that last one…). That person who makes your life difficult.

Have you ever thought of them as Novel Fodder?

Novel Fodder – Definition by Blissful Scribbles – A person or object that can be directly placed into a work in progress to add tension, drama, and interest. Can sometimes be used passive aggressively, which although best avoided, is incredibly satisfying.

Novel Fodder is a great way of letting out your frustration. Write out that person in minute detail, the exact things they do, put it in a character. The annoying character traits? Give them to an antagonist. 

If a good relationship with said person is preferable or necessary editing will need to include a stringent “identity protection” portion so you can veil your frustration. This is recommended in such instances as your wife’s best friend or you boss.

However, that snarky woman you met in Tescos? Write her up. 

That rude driver with the obscene bumper stickers? Write him up too.

Write them up until the frustration is gone, and you’re left with a novel full of real life people. (Obviously make sure to add a large dollop of characters you DO like, otherwise your novel may miss the mark!)

Reading

The Story of Us by Dani Atkins

The Story of UsThe Story of Us by Dani Atkins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Do you like romance novels? If so, this is the book for you. I loved it.

The characters are painted in great detail and full of life. I felt I could meet them on the high street, they were that realistic.

This book is a lovely romance that weaves it’s way into your heart and leaves you wanting more. It became the highlight of my day.

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Novel Writing

The Benefits of Writing in the Morning

Most writers don’t have the luxury (yet) to write as their day jobs, and some, like me, wouldn’t want to. As an extrovert, I need to see and speak to people for most of the day, so a full-time writer’s life would kill me. Part-time writing comes with its challenges, namely, finding the time to write!

One solution to this problem is to either wake up early or go to bed late. As someone who starts falling asleep on the sofa at 10 pm, I am not a good candidate for late nights. Early mornings, however, I can handle.

Here are the top reasons I love to write before my day begins – 

Peace and Quiet – Does anyone else love the sense of peace that morning holds? I live by the sea and it’s a wonderful place to be in the morning. The fresh sea breeze and seagulls are somehow different in the morning before most human’s wake up. There is space to breathe.

A Clear Head – I’m sure I’m not the only one who tries to cram too much into my brain in one day. As an administrator I am adept at multi-tasking, however, it does leave a hangover of sorts in my head. In the mornings my brain is clear and that helps my writing.

Coffee – Coffee is writing fuel, the petrol to an authors engine. At least that’s the case for me, I write best when I can guzzle caffeine until my heart’s content and not worry about sleeping later on.

The sense of Achievement before the day begins – How wonderful does it feel to have ticked something off your to-do list before your work day even begins? Those who run in the mornings know this feeling well. It works in the exact same way for writers.

Evenings free for Friends and Family – Family time is precious, and I would hate to lock myself away every evening. Although I lose out on sleep or perhaps go to bed earlier than others, at least my family feel they have my full attention in the evenings.

I would love to find out if you agree or to hear from a night owl. All comments are so very welcome. 

 

 

Novel Writing

My Novel Writing Secret – Shhh Don’t Tell

I have a secret, a big, fat, secret. It’s increased my daily word count by a third. Do you want to know what it is? Then read on…

I stopped writing my novel weeks ago.

What? How can you have an amazing word count and have stopped writing, you ask? Let me tell you how.

I started dictating my novel.

I’m using a handy dictation tool on my Chromebook and speaking out my novel as it comes into my head. It took a fair while to get used to it, but now, after weeks of NaNoWriMo practice, I am a whizz at it.

Here is a small list of how dictation has improved my novel writing –

Get more words down in the same amount of time. Enough said. Who wouldn’t want to increase productivity without spending money or extra stress?

Improve the quality of dialogue. When you dictate speech it is more authentic, as, well, speech is spoken word, so doesn’t it make more sense to dictate dialogue?

Less temptation to edit as you write. Nearly every post about dictation mentions this. Dictate helps you get into the mindset of telling a story and stops you becoming distracted by editing as you go.

Kinder to your back. Back pain and RSI can cripple an author. We simply aren’t designed to sit hunched over a computer all day. With dictation you can pop on a headset and wander around your laptop – no back strain for us!

This is a small list, there are plenty more reasons to look into dictation – if you are interested I recommend checking it out. If you are a seasoned pro I would love to hear from you.