Writing Update…

Trying to get back into the swing of things after taking a writing break for a while, due to some health issues – both mental and physical. Hopefully I’ll make some more progress this week on “The Scars That Made Us”. One of the more personally connected stories I’ve written in a while.

Enjoy the teaser!

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Reading Challenge Update!

I just finished reading “Tiger’s Curse” last night, and I realized that means I only have one book left to read to complete my Goodreads reading challenge of 15 books. I know 15 isn’t very impressive, but for me, that’s progress compared to last year’s list which was probably half that.

But what about you? Did you set a goal for yourself this year? And if so, how close are you to reaching it? I’d love to know the answer, so leave me a comment down below! We can cheer each other on : )

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REVIEW: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

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Synopsis:

Harry Potter’s third year at Hogwarts is full of new dangers. A convicted murderer, Sirius Black, has broken out of Azkaban prison, and it seems he’s after Harry. Now Hogwarts is being patrolled by the dementors, the Azkaban guards who are hunting Sirius. But Harry can’t imagine that Sirius or, for that matter, the evil Lord Voldemort could be more frightening than the dementors themselves, who have the terrible power to fill anyone they come across with aching loneliness and despair. Meanwhile, life continues as usual at Hogwarts. A top-of-the-line broom takes Harry’s success at Quidditch, the sport of the Wizarding world, to new heights. A cute fourth-year student catches his eye. And he becomes close with the new Defense of the Dark Arts teacher, who was a childhood friend of his father. Yet despite the relative safety of life at Hogwarts and the best efforts of the dementors, the threat of Sirius Black grows ever closer. But if Harry has learned anything from his education in wizardry, it is that things are often not what they seem. Tragic revelations, heartwarming surprises, and high-stakes magical adventures await the boy wizard in this funny and poignant third installment of the beloved series.

MINI REVIEW

As stated before, I’m only going to do small reviews for the Potter series since there are so many books, and only so many ways to explain why I liked them. And with that out of the way, let’s begin!

Every time I open to the front page of these books, I’m astounded at just how eager I am to read them, though I already saw the movies and know what happens. But with “The Prisoner of Azkaban”, there were twists and turns and little details of the story I hadn’t been aware of before, due to their lack of screen time in the movies. And because of this, I would say that book number three so far has been my favorite.

The only thing I couldn’t stand? This man.

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I thought Snape was a dick in the other books (forgive my language), but he brought it to a whole other level in this installment. So much so that I can’t see much redemption for him. Bullying is one of the worst things you can do to a person, but being an ADULT and terrorizing CHILDREN is unacceptable. No way in today’s world would this kind of behavior from a teacher be tolerated. It was terrible, and my heart went out to Neville, Harry, Hermione, and Ron when they were yelled at or given unfair punishment from this jerk. And because of that, I’m knocking a star off the rating. Sorry, but it upset me that much.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling = 4 stars

 

 

One Lovely Blog Award

one lovely blog award

So, I was nominated by my sister from the same mister (Julia of The Romance Bibliophile blog) for this very nice award, and I decided I would share it all with you! Thanks, sis!

Here are the rules should you choose to accept the award… (P.S. I shamelessly stole this format from my sister. Sorry, Julia!)

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog (pingback to this post!)
  • Add the One Lovely Blog Award to your post
  • Share seven things about yourself
  • Pass this on to as many people as you like (max. 15)
  • Include this set of rules
  • Inform your nominees

Okay, so I’ll get to the seven things about me. This should be interesting lol.

1. My real name is Melinda. ‘Inda’ is the nickname I chose instead of ‘Mel’, ‘Mindy,’ or ‘M’.

2. Along with writing, reading, and art, I absolutely adore animals. I always have, and always seem to get along with them better than people, because, hello, if you haven’t figured it out yet, your girl is introverted. Hence my career choice of sitting behind a computer all day in a quiet room. 😉

3. This August was my four year anniversary of being a writer.

4. I wrote and published my first book when I was seventeen, and have written eight books since then and published three.

5. I have the greatest sister in the world, and if you plan to disagree, I will fight you and you will lose. I am convinced we are twins just born seventeen months apart, and she along with my parents are my biggest supporters. She’s also my editor, beta reader, and the one I go to to ping my ideas off of.

6. In my spare time, meaning twelve to two a.m. in the morning, I’m a graphic designer and have an art shop on Redbubble.com. I have designed every cover for every one of my books, and it’s something I’d love to go to school for one day.

7. I always put a character that loves to read into every one of my books, and also use names with secret and or personal meanings behind them. Just Google one to see 🙂

Alright, so this is where I’m slightly breaking the rules. I don’t have a very big list of blogs to nominate since I’m terrible with following many. And the ones I do follow I’m not really sure how to contact since they’re bigger blogs and probably get hundreds of comments a day. But if I did, it would be Kookie Krysp (who is currently taking a break from her YA blog right now) and The Clockwork Reader, whom you can find on Tumblr and Youtube.

I want to thank my sister again for nominating me for this fun award, and I challenge you to do the same with a blog you know!

REVIEW: Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined by Stephenie Meyer

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Synopsis:

For the first time in a stand-alone paperback comes Stephenie Meyer’s Life and Death, a compelling reimagining of the iconic love story that will surprise and enthrall readers.
There are two sides to every story….
You know Bella and Edward, now get to know Beau and Edythe.

When Beaufort Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edythe Cullen, his life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With her porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edythe is both irresistible and enigmatic.

What Beau doesn’t realize is the closer he gets to her, the more he is putting himself and those around him at risk. And, it might be too late to turn back….

With a foreword and afterword by Stephenie Meyer, this compelling reimagining of the iconic love story is a must-read for Twilight fans everywhere.

REVIEW

First off, I want to start by saying the NOSTALGIA WAS SO INTENSE YOU GUYS. And if you’re wondering why, it’s because Twilight was my first ever paranormal read when I was a kid (and also contraband since my mom didn’t approve of bloodsuckers lol). Like every other fourteen-year-old, Twilight was my fav read for quite awhile until I started to explore other series in the paranormal genre. But still, it holds a great place in my reading heart today, which is why reading this reimagined story was like revisiting a part of my childhood.

So…I had not idea what I was getting into when I bought this, not really. I knew the sex of the characters were switched, but I didn’t know just how much of the story Ms. Meyer would change to fit the new theme. And to a degree, all was relatively the same. Except one part, one VERY BIG PART, which I’ll get to in a minute.

I thought it was interesting, getting the same story but from a male perspective. Honestly, when I heard about this anniversary edition, I was really hoping we would get Twilight told from Edward’s POV. I think that would have been super interesting to read. But alas, it was taken in a different direction, and according to Meyer, it was because she wanted to shut down the haters that were saying that since Bella was a girl, her overwhelming feelings for Edward were because of just that, her sex. This new retelling was supposed to disprove that theory. And I agree, it would have been the same whether Bella was male or female. But one thing bothered me about this, and that was the hero worship Beau had for Edythe. I remember that Bella was incredibly in love with Edward, maybe a little too much. But I NEVER remember this kind of, he-can-do-no-wrong, crap. It was kind of annoying, if I’m being honest, for him to flaunt over her looks on every page. Especially when she would get mad at him for no reason, and he would just freaking apologize. A relationship should be about equality, mutual respect. This was idol worship, and it left me feeling kind of awkward, which I’m sad to say.

Now, on to what I really want to talk about.

SPOILER ALERT Y’ALL

GAHHHHHHHH THAT ENDING! Dude, I was thrown for a serious loop, thinking it was going to be the same as the original, because everything else had been up to this point, so why would that change? But oh, HELL, no. Instead we got to see what would have happened had Edward let the venom spread through Bella in the dance studio, turning her into a vampire, and essentially eliminating the need for the next three books in the series, and honestly, I was shook. I loved that I got to see how it could have ended had Twilight been a standalone, because really, that one moment of hesitation could have taken their lives in a completely different direction. No Jacob love triangle, no Renesme, no Voluri nonsense, NOTHING. It was bizarre, satisfying, but also sad to experience this alternative ending. In this version, Charlie and Renee think Beau died in a car accident, the werewolves still hate the vampires, and that’s how it ends. Just…done. Over. He’s gone, the Cullens move to another town a year later, and blah blah blah.

I’m not surprised to say that I liked the original better. Your first love is your first love, book or person, and I don’t think any version of retelling could have changed that for me. But I did enjoy this book and the nostalgia it brought back, the memories attached to it.

Life and Death by Stephenie Meyer = 3.5 stars

Currently Reading : Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

If you follow me on Instagram (@authorindaherwood) then you know I’ve been listening to the audiobook of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”, which is my first audiobook read EVER. I never thought I’d have the patience to listen to someone else read slow (LOL), but this has been a lot of fun. And weirdly enough, out of all the Potter books, I’ve only ever read the last one, and that’s because I was impatient for the final movie to come out haha. So far I’m really impressed with how closely the movie followed the book, which is definitely not something I say often.

Review to come!

3

Synopsis:

Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.

Though Harry’s first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it’s his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.

Full of sympathetic characters, wildly imaginative situations, and countless exciting details, the first installment in the series assembles an unforgettable magical world and sets the stage for many high-stakes adventures to come.

REVIEW: Daughter of Smoke and Bone By Laini Taylor

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REVIEW

Boy, it’s been a long time since I’ve read an angel themed romance. But it doesn’t feel right to put that label on “Daughter of Smoke and Bone”. It was more a demon vs. angel thing, and yet both sides were neither all good or all bad. It was a weird toss up, one that had me constantly guessing.

I’m going to be honest, this thing had me confused until about half-way through. I felt like the author didn’t leave us enough bread crumbs to figure out Karou’s story on our own. It all kind of hit at once, near the end, and I was left slightly dumbfounded and a tad overwhelmed. Not to say I wasn’t drawn in by the beautiful world building and the immaculate descriptions of Prague and every other place mentioned in this book, but I’ll admit: I was kind of hoping for more. I don’t know. I feel like I’m going to get some backlash from this one because everyone kept telling me how much they loved it. And that was one of the main reasons I bought it in the first place. I guess you could say it was an alright read, but not one of my favorites, sadly. I was really hoping to fall in love with this one. I keep looking for my next ride or die series, kind of like how I felt with The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare. I want the characters to suck me, make me think of them well after I’ve put the book down. Who knows, maybe I’m asking too much. But I’ll keep looking for it anyway 😉

In a nut shell, I wasn’t hugely fond of the characters but I was really impressed with the writing style of this author. Everything was described so well – places, smells, feeling. It was beautifully constructed to create this fantastical world of chimaera and angels. In that I give it a lot of props. But unfortunately, I don’t see myself picking up the second book. Overall, though, this was an interesting and different read for me.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor = 3 stars