Every Heart a Doorway–Book Review

Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children #1)Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was so much fun! I loved the concept, and the characters were strange and wonderful. The ending seemed abrupt, which is really the only thing that kept me from giving this five stars. And the scene at the very end? I did not expect that! Now I feel like I don’t know where the next book is going to go, and I’m really excited to find out.

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Better Read Than Dead–Book Review

Better Read Than Dead (Psychic Eye Mystery, #2)Better Read Than Dead by Victoria Laurie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the mystery part, but I really wish these characters seemed more like real people. Too much sudden jumping from one emotion to another that feels artificial. And the tarot reading scene where Abby learns to do the Celtic Cross spread, which is described as the easiest, in only an hour had me rolling my eyes. There were also an awful lot of cliches and stereotypes about mafia families. And the resolutions were too easy and felt contrived. I have an oddly large number of complaints about a book I also managed to enjoy. I’m sure I’ll read more of these, but I’m hoping for more depth.

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Abby Cooper–Psychic Eye Book Review

Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye (Psychic Eye Mystery, #1)Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye by Victoria Laurie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a fun and rompy kind of read. The characters are interesting, the clues to the mystery were just enough to make you think you might figure things out before Abby does. It was a perfect palate cleanser after reading something heavier, too. I think this is definitely going to be a fun bingey kind of series.

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Devolution–Book Review

Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch MassacreDevolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre by Max Brooks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a hard book to read. I loved the way we got the story–interviews and excerpts from a few sources plus a diary that’s been left behind. But from the beginning we know the dark outcome for the most part, so the story felt hopeless. We start getting to know these people, and we even have some empathy for them and understand them, and they become real, and we know what’s coming. I had to read this one with breaks to read other, lighter things. Also–that ambiguous ending! I would have at least liked a full wrap-up!

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What’s a Ghoul to Do?–Book Review

What's a Ghoul to Do? (Ghost Hunter Mystery, #1)What’s a Ghoul to Do? by Victoria Laurie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The premise is fun. I love ghost hunting stories. But I was bothered by the two main characters and their relationship.

Slight spoilers below.

M.J. is supposed to be an independent woman, but she acts completely weird for no reason around Steven. And he is aggressive with his pursuit of her and sudden grabbing her to kiss her to the point of being inappropriate and making it feel like mild sexual assault, except she seems to want to kiss and grope him back. The relationship is like an old romance novel, and this was published in 2007, so I expect better.

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Bellweather Rhapsody–Book Review

Bellweather RhapsodyBellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kate Racculia wrote another whirlwind of a book with so many fun and quirky characters and a fascinating setting. I really enjoyed visiting this place, and having it filled with band and chorus students made it even more fun. My only complaint is that this isn’t anyone’s story. We move from character to character, circling back through them, so the story is about all of them. But there’s no lead, really, and that always makes it harder for me to stay immersed in a story. I still highly recommend this one, because the vivid writing and all the oddballs overcome that relatively small flaw.

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It’s A New Year!

We’re almost a week into the new year. You probably already knew that. I also meant to write this post on Sunday, which you probably didn’t know. I checked early for the FB post on Sunday, and it wasn’t up yet, so I told myself I’d check back later and do my goals. And then I forgot.

Now I’m writing it while armed terrorists are in the U.S. Capitol, and I feel kind of dumb writing this right now. But it’s Wednesday check-in for ROW80 (Round of Words in 80 Days), and I am trying to stick to some routines. So onward I go.

Here’s my overall plan for the year and a breakdown by rounds. I’m guessing some of this will need to be tweaked as the year progresses, but it looks like a good starting point at least.

2021 Writing Goals

  • Write, revise, and submit eight (8) short stories
  • Finish a first draft of Old Ghosts
  • Outline a story for NaNoWriMo
  • Write the NaNoWriMo story and win NaNo 2021
  • Do writing practice at least once a week
  • Complete Sarah Selecky 6 Weeks 6 Senses course (starts January 1)
  • Complete the Cat Rambo classes I bought (4 of them, so probably one a month after the Sarah Selecky course is finished)

ROW80 Round 1 Goals

  • Write (or finish), revise, and submit two (2) short stories
  • Complete an outline of Old Ghosts
  • Start writing Old Ghosts (at least 2,500 words/week)
  • Do writing practice at least once a week
  • Work on writing courses

ROW80 Round 2 Goals

  • Write (or finish), revise, and submit two (2) short stories
  • Write at least 2,500 words/week for Old Ghosts
  • Do writing practice at least once a week
  • Work on writing courses

ROW80 Round 3 Goals

  • Write (or finish), revise, and submit two (2) short stories
  • Finish writing first draft of Old Ghosts (at least 2,500 words/week)
  • Brainstorm/audition NaNo 2021 ideas and pick one
  • Do writing practice at least once a week
  • Writing retreat if possible

ROW80 Round 4 Goals

  • Write (or finish), revise, and submit two (2) short stories
  • Outline a NaNo 2021 story
  • Write 50,000 words in November
  • Do writing practice at least once a week (take November off if needed)
  • Spend December doing writing practice and working on goals for 2022

Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts–Book Review

Tuesday Mooney Talks to GhostsTuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts by Kate Racculia
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t know what to say about this book. Glorious, wild, kitschy, offbeat mystery puzzle of a story. Like Clue and Knives Out and all the best of that genre. With people I fell in love with and can’t believe aren’t going to tell me more stories and have more adventures for me to follow along. I’m so in love with this book and so very sad it’s over, and I can’t wait to read it again. This was a dreamy delight.

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