Challenges/Tags/Fun Stuff, NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo Book Tag 📚

I am not participating in NaNo this year, but the awesome madamewriter did this book tag on her blog and I couldn’t pass it up. You know the drill. Grab your coffee and let’s do this!

Related image

1. How many times have you done NaNoWriMo?

Five times. I’ll admit that the very first time I participated, I was not prepared, but did it anyway and found the experience to be overall enjoyable and I told my friends and colleagues about it later on. 

2. How did you first find out about NaNoWriMo?

I can’t actually remember. Let me think for a bit…

Image result for gif spencer reid coffee

…nope, still nothing. Someone must’ve informed me about it, but that memory eludes me now.

3. What was the name of the first novel you attempted with NaNo?

Beyond Beautiful. Back then, I remember thinking that romance stories were garbage and I decided to write my own after being inspired by an Aerosmith song of the same title. It turned out to be interracial and it dealt with issues such as accepting God and learning to accept that the past shapes one’s present/future. Maybe one day, I’ll dig up the story and post it on here… although now, I’ll call it rubbish.

  

4. Give us a 1 sentence summary of what you’re writing this year.

I’m not participating this year, but I am working on various writing projects at the moment including Crazy Rich French Twins which is a wealthy parody about a pair of mirror-identical French twins that breaks stereotypes (hopefully!).

5. What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever been given?

I’m not one to take writing advice. I just like writing and I have learned to love it even on difficult days. However, I’ll share a favorite writing quote of mine:

Image result for writing quote french authors

Writing is a way to talk without being interrupted.

6. Did you ever take a year off from NaNo? Why?

Yes, twice. The first time I had taken a year off I had no inspiration to participate and the second time, which is this year, is because I don’t have the energy to do so. 

7. What’s your biggest inspiration when figuring out what to write?

I always say that inspiration is all around us! I’m inspired by nature, by news headlines, by the books I read, everything and anything!

Image result for gif inspiration

8. Read us the first sentence from one of your novels.

Ridiculously rich people enrolled their privileged children at Paris High, a place for snobs to mingle with other snobs. 

So begins the first sentence of the first episode of Crazy Rich French Twins.

9. Why do you love writing?

I write because I want to read something that hasn’t been in print before. I write for the sheer fun of it and for the pleasure. I write because I express myself better with a pen in my hand. I write to get better. I write to explore my own universe. I write because it’s therapeutic and I empty my mind when I do. I write to inspire and to invoke thoughts. I write because I am in love with words.

Image result for gif inspiration

To those of you participating in NaNo this year, all the best with your projects! 😄

*** GIFs and images via Google Images

Books & Reviews 📚

Book #109: Finding Opa!

What does the Greek word Opa mean? According to some it is a word or pronouncement of celebration; the celebration of life itself. It is another way of expressing joy and gratitude to God, life, and others, for bringing one into the state of ultimate wisdom. 

Stacey Lane Bryant has three rules. She doesn’t drive; she doesn’t travel; and she most definitely will not date. From the outside, this odd-ball, thirties-something, single black woman is simply a creature of habit who has been beaten down by the tragedies of life. However those on the inside know that she’s the widow of esteemed astrophysicist Drew Bryant, a highly sought after best-selling romance author and a devoted cat lover. The rules are simply designed to keep her safe and keep her sane. However, someone didn’t tell the Greek bombshell, Dr. Hunter Fourakis, that rules weren’t meant to be broken. While at his favorite pub, he eyes Stacey and instantly falls under her spell. Only, his rusty moves don’t get him far with the brilliant introvert, who quickly leaves just to get out of his grasp.

What is meant to be will be, and the two run into each other in another chance encounter. This time Hunter is able to convince Stacey not only to go out on a spur-of-the-moment date with him but also to consider an unorthodox proposal that would benefit them both. 

Hunter’s late wife was killed while serving in Iraq, and he mourns every year for two months and three days. The mourning period is usually miserable for Hunter, but this time, he wants to celebrate life. Stacey’s second romance novel is due to her agent in two months but is totally lacking motivation or passion, because she hasn’t gotten over her late husband. Considering that they both need someone for a short period of time to fulfill very specific needs, they agree to be each other’s help mate temporarily. Only as deprived widows, pressured professionals and lonely hearts, they find that while deadlines pass and mourning time ends, love lasts forever.

Read this romantic tale about two people who fight through tragic personal loss, family prejudices and age-old traditions to find good old fashion love in the second book of the Lonely Hearts Series, Finding Opa!

Image result for gif sighs

I can’t sugarcoat how horrible this book is!

The back cover contained too much information and I should’ve taken it as a sign in not purchasing the book, but I still give it the benefit of the doubt. The story had no proper build-up between Stacey and Hunter. Everything went by way too quickly. Before I can savor a moment, it was over faster than a ride at Disneyland. There was no chemistry between the two at all. 

I think the author should’ve had this book thoroughly edited for the typos ruined the story. A few typos:

^ The answering looking her vulnerable brown eyes was melting. (Page 68)

^ “Did I move to fast?” (Page 73)

^ “You’ve been working none stop on the book.” (Page 136)

^ To Hunter, the words didn’t quiet capture all that she was to the world. (Page 162)

^ “She’s is your future wife.” (Page 183)

Also, Stacy’s mother died of cervical cancer but on page 51, she died from ovarian cancer. Writers, please, reread your work, let test/Beta readers read it, and get someone to edit. 

The Fourakis family is racist. They didn’t like Stacey because she wasn’t Greek and they presumed her to be poor. I hated that she stooped to their level and pulled the wealthy card. She should’ve taken the high road.

The ending also felt rushed as if the author was happy to type ‘The End’.

THE CHARACTERS

I disliked both main characters. I think the author was desperate for us to like Stacey Lane Bryant. She tried too hard and I ended up disliking Stacey a lot. She didn’t do anything for me. She didn’t come across as real because the author spent too much time “sexing” her image up as she’s the world’s sexiest woman to ever exist. As for Hunter, I hated that he felt the need to use the ‘I am a doctor’ line every chance he got. I didn’t like him at all. He was pushy and gossips like a woman. Major turn off! He acted like a child and literally forced Stacey into marriage even when she wasn’t ready to fully commit.

COVER

The close-up of the male model is beautiful. However, I didn’t think it conveyed the tone of the story. 2/5.

OPENING

Sitting in the back of T.W. Milligan’s pub near ten o’clock on a dreary Wednesday night, Stacey worked alone in her booth on her netbook. She had been there for hours in the smoke-filled bar pouring her thoughts into her computer and trying to develop the perfect story. But so far nothing meaningful had hit her because of a dreadful writer’s block. As she ordered another beer, she finally took her fingers off the black keys and yawned.

Books & Reviews 📚

Book #23: Love Script

Author: Tiffany Ashley
Publisher: Circle 1 Publishing, LLC (2011)
Pages: 270

BLURB: 

Determined to land a huge advertising account for his company, Nick gets a LITTLE carried away and tells the potential client he’s married, then he has a serious problem—he can’t join the client on the ship unless he shows up with the wife he’s supposed to be taking on an anniversary cruise.

Laney Parks is either in the wrong place at the wrong time, or the right place at the right time-She isn’t sure which. She isn’t even entirely certain of how she got roped into posing as her hunky boss’s wife. She finds it SERIOUSLY unnerving, though, to ‘stick to the script’ when that includes cuddling up and kissing in public, and even more unnerving to share the close confines of the cabin – and its single bed – with him.

review

…REVIEW!

Actually, I want to talk about the contents of this book.

So, you may notice that I didn’t include a photo of the cover. That’s because I didn’t like it. I am game to read any material (even if it’s just once), but I don’t know what to make of this book. I admire interracial love stories, but there are not many good ones out there. Or maybe I am looking in all the wrong places? 

I first read this book in 2012 from a friend of mine, but I was swamped with work, studies and other reading material at the time that I read it half way. Recently, I was on the hunt for Interracial Romance novels and I remembered this one my friend loan to me, so I’ve decided to ask her to borrow it once again.

I wish I hadn’t bothered.

From the cover, I knew it was going to be a steamy book and although somewhere along the line I was irritated at Nick, the story line, the plot, the characters, the scenery, everything was well written and the only typo I found was on page 146 (‘she’ instead of ‘the’). Yes, well written, but it isn’t going to stop me from asking about the runaway plot which actually made me want to read the book in the first place.

Legend has it that I am still looking for it.

Nick treated Laney like a sex object (“Laney, give me what I want freely, or else I’ll be forced to take from you.”). What? He treated her like nothing, yet, Laney couldn’t wait to jump into his arms because of some sort of attraction in the air? The dude might be a hot number, but he’s rapey!

The body might be saying okay, but if the mind is not on par with the body, then it is not okay to be taking advantage of someone. Seriously, it is one thing to have a sexy alpha male, and another to have a dominating forceful rapey male who was either threatening to rape or was helping himself (Somehow, he would have to convince Laney she wanted it just as badly as he did). I don’t care if this is the author’s fantasy, it was not romantic. 

At the climax of the story, I didn’t like when he kicked down Laney’s door and stormed in on Danny when he was trying to comfort Laney, and that’s when Nick decided that his new job was a police officer and proceeded to interrogate both Laney and Danny, asking them if they were sleeping together blah blah blah. Just when I thought Nick couldn’t get any lower, he went and did it:

“I’m a selfish bastard, Laney. I don’t share my toy.” 

AND!

“I love you, Nick.”

“Thank God. I was prepared to pay you to marry me.”

Erm, excuse me? Didn’t you hear the man refer to you as a toy?

Image result for gif johnny depp yes

Those jokes were not funny and it just implied what Nick would ALWAYS see Laney as in their “relationship”: an attractive arm piece.

The point is, Nick said/did incredibly hurtful things to Laney, and she stupidly kept coming back and like Olivier Twist begging, “Please, sir, I want some more.” He treated Laney like a discarded toy throughout the story and she let him. Aren’t strong heroines out there anymore? You know, the ones who won’t let men treat them like dirt and who would mean it when they firmly say no? I am not buying the ending of the story either. There was an attraction on their part, but not love. Nick was probably the most annoying and arrogant male protagonist I’ve come across. He was constantly horny, intimidating and I stress, RAPEY!

Another thing I dislike was the repetition about Danny’s sexuality. We got it from the moment it was established that Danny was gay. There was no need to be rude throughout the book in repeating his sexual orientation. The unnecessary rambling of the author sometimes drove me up a wall.

Good plot but the author missed it.

The ending implied that there could/might be a follow-up. I won’t be reading it. Had this book been mine, I know exactly what I would have done with it after reading:

fire animated GIF

VERDICT:

canstock18820718…had the so-call alpha male not come across like a creepy rapey jerk! Sexual assault is not sexy. This author can write, but I doubt I might be reading anything from her again.

NEXT UP:

Image result for gif michael jackson reading

I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella