Book Reviews, Books and Me

Review: Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige

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Stealing Snow (Stealing Snow #1) by Danielle Paige 3/5

14805553_1306343342750413_826693064_n.jpgFirst kisses sometimes wake slumbering princesses, undo spells, and spark happily ever afters.

Mine broke Bale.

Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent her life locked in Whittaker Psychiatric—but she isn’t crazy. And that’s not the worst of it. Her very first kiss proves anything but innocent…when Bale, her only love, turns violent.

Despite Snow knowing that Bale would never truly hurt her, he is taken away—dashing her last hope for any sort of future in the mental ward she calls home. With nowhere else to turn, Snow finds herself drawn to a strange new orderly who whispers secrets in the night about a mysterious past and a kingdom that’s hers for the taking—if only she can find her way past the iron gates to the Tree that has been haunting her dreams.

Beyond the Tree lies Algid, a land far away from the real world, frozen by a ruthless king. And there too await the River Witch, a village boy named Kai, the charming thief Jagger, and a prophecy that Snow will save them all.

Thanks go to Netgalley and Bloomsbury Publishing Ltd for giving me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Review:

Snow is cooped up in a mental health institute all of her life because everyone thinks she is crazy. She quickly finds that she is not insane, just unique. After Bale disappears and a mysterious man who tells her of another kingdom comes to her in the night, she makes a decision to change her life and everything she knows. Through ‘the tree’ Snow finds a world that makes her seem normal, but she really isn’t, not even in Algid. She is the one they have been waiting for.

There was brilliant world building, magical descriptions, and an intriguing narrative. Paige’s writing style is easy to read, not overly wordy, but still captures the essence of the story.

The characters were distinct, although there were times when the love… square (let’s call it a square) became unbelievable because I couldn’t fully embrace why one corner of the square would have fallen for Snow. When Snow was with another corner it felt natural, and I was screaming ‘Just kiss him- I would!’ Needless to say, I have a favourite from the love square; a favourite who was part of the most interesting group of people from the narrative. I thoroughly enjoyed the descriptions, the ‘rules’, and the not so nice or trusting personalities. The final corner, Bale, was vital to the story, but I wasn’t rooting for Snow and him to be reunited in the ‘happily ever after sense’.

For a YA book, I can see this being well received by teens, and the action, love, and fantasy really draws you in. However, there were just a few unbelievable aspects for me. That being said, I want to keep reading this series because I need to know if Snow finally locks lips with my favourite ‘corner’.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

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Thrown to The Blue, Writing Exercises

Capitalisation of Honorifics and Names is the Bane of my Editing Life

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What has this edit and my proof-reader shown me? That I am inconsistent in my capitalisation of honorifics and names. Oh my word! As soon as my proof-reader started pointing them out, she just couldn’t stop. I mean, seriously, I’m totally crap and inconsistent to the point of frustration.  Titles such as King, Your Majesty, and the more common ‘Father’ (in terms of referring to an actual person by that name), are just a few of my pit falls. This is how I picture my proof-reader’s reaction every time she has to correct me on this issue:

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What makes this edit even more exasperating is that my novel is full of honorifics with one of my main protags coming from royalty. Oh well, at least I am now aware of my annoying tendencies, right? Ha!

Do you have any annoying writing habits/ pit falls? What is your biggest editing peeve?


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

GIF sourced from GIPHY.COM

Thrown to The Blue

Thrown to The Blue Novel Aesthetics

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I have been Pinteresting the afternoon away, and thought, ‘why don’t I share my completed novel aesthetics board for Thrown to The Blue?’ So, here it is:

I am a big fan of using Pinterest to make novel aesthetic boards, and I thought my beta and ARC readers might appreciate a little glimpse at what was rattling around in my head when writing Thrown to The Blue.


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

Pictures sourced from Pinterest.com

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Writing and Me

Self Belief

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I have been inspired to write this post by Al over at Hyperactive Pandemonium. Al’s post about the motivational quotes he relies on to get him through writer’s doubt, got me thinking about my own motivation when it comes to my writing. You can check out Al’s post here: Step Up Saturday.

Other than a love for writing, we must have some motivation, some inkling that we can write a book, edit a book, and publish a book. Mine was a quote: ‘She believed she could, so she did.’ I wrote this quote in the front of my notebook for EVO Nation. For some reason- a reason I still cannot fathom- I knew EVO Nation was the book I was going to complete and self-publish. Before I had even written a word of the first draft, it was the one I had all my determination, motivation and inspiration focussed on.

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I did! And I have since done it again and again.

Anytime self-doubt creeps in, I just dig out my original EVO Nation notebook and look at this quote. It’s hard to not find a sliver of self-belief when I know I have succeeded in something I only dreamed I could do.

Do you have a go to quote or practice to beat self-doubt? Can you pin point the moment your dreams started becoming reality?


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

Writing Exercises

10 Weeks, 10 Prompts, 10 Minutes #9 (Prompt Me Special)

The purpose of these writing exercises is to take a prompt a week for ten weeks and allow myself ten minutes to expand on it. All the prompts are taken from my writing prompt eBook: Prompt Me.

To check out my list of ten prompts, and maybe have a go yourself, follow this link.  Go with the flow, take the prompt literally, or just allow elements to inspire a totally different story. It is up to you. Link back to me, so I can have a read of your creations.

The Prompt:

“As soon as I admit that someone is my friend they end up dead. So, for all intents and purposes, I don’t like you.”

“No! You don’t get to push me away.”

“And you don’t get to die because of me.”

She throws me aside, but I grip her forearm, forcing her back to face me. “It won’t be because of you, it’ll be for you… always for you.”

I know that look. It’s the look she had her on her face when she kissed me all those months ago. She can try and push the memory from her mind, but it’s the only real thing I remember of the last year. It’s only there for a second before her eyes shadow over and she coughs away her emotion.

“Okay, I can accept that you don’t like me, but look me in the eyes and tell me that you don’t love me,” I say. She looks to her feet. “Tell me, Erin! Tell me and I will walk away. You’ll never have to see me again.” Still she is quiet. Stepping closer to her, I make her meet my eye. “If you say it, you better mean it, because I will walk away if that’s what you want.”

Her breathing is ragged and her chest heaves in air. “Do you love me?” she asks.

“Don’t reflect the question. Why the hell would I have followed you blindly into this madness if I didn’t love you? I’ve been shot, burnt, buried alive, and she asks me if I love her,” I say, a smile pulling at the edge of my mouth.

She scoffs now. “I thought you were just a bit of an idiot.”

“Yeah, that too.”

She steps away, hands me a gun, and marches on. “Well, if you’re coming, you better get your ass moving.”

“Hey! You can’t leave it like that. Tell me you don’t love me, Erin.”

“You said that if I say it, I better mean it.” She glances back over her shoulder and smiles.

It’s not the declaration of love I was hoping for, but it’ll do for now.

 


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

 

 

 

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Thrown to The Blue Playlist

I’m reblogging this post because the ARCs of Thrown to The Blue have been sent out, and it felt like a good time to revisit my playlist.

I would add two new ones since completing the first draft: Heathens by Twenty One Pilots and The Emperor’s New Clothes by Panic at the Disco.

Writerly Bookish Stuff

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It’s that time again- playlist time. I’m at the 3/4 point of my first draft of Thrown to The Blue, and I decided that it’s time to blog about my playlist for this novel. I’ve been listening to a variety of songs of late, but have whittled it down to a select few that have drawn my attention.

  1. Keaton Henson- Sweetheart What Have You Done to Us? Watch Video.
  2. Bastille- Things We Lost to the Fire Watch Video.
  3. Soundgarden- Blow Up the Outside World Watch Video.
  4. Zedd ft Jon Bellion- Beautiful Now Watch Video.
  5. Of Monsters and Men- Yellow Light Watch Video.
  6. Metallica- Until It Sleeps Watch Video.
  7. Urge Overkill- Girl You’ll Be a Woman Soon Watch Video.
  8. Lynyrd Skynyrd- Free Bird Watch Video.
  9. Nick Jonas ft Tove Lo- Close Watch Video.
  10. Ariana Grande- Dangerous Woman Watch Video.
  11. Damien Rice- Colour Me In Watch Video.
  12. Damien Rice- Delicate

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Thrown to The Blue

Thrown to The Blue Update

Book Review(2)

What a hectic ten days! I have been listening to the comments from my beta readers, choosing what to apply and what to ignore, and editing my eyeballs right out of my head. This morning, I sent the ARCs to my ARC reviewers and I feel like I can breathe a sigh of relief.

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Thrown to The Blue is due for release on Nov 11th, so in just ONE MONTH! Eeekk. You can pre-order copies from Amazon Kindle now. I will probably do one more run through of editing beetween now and then, and my proof-reader will also be proofing my amendments. At least I have two weeks to complete this run through before I have to upload the final copy to Amazon to make good on my pre-orders. I can turn the burners down a little and go snail speed.

Now, what’s on my agenda?

Planning my daughter’s 6th birthday party. Yep, it is the day after release day, and 40 children will be attending. Why do I do these things to myself? It’ll be fine… I think.

Thank you to everyone for your continuing support. If you would like to receive an ARC copy for review, I’m happy to send more out.


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

GIFs sourced from Giphy.com