“cool beans.”

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Okay, I don’t want to become one of those bloggers who posts twice a year and begins each post with “I’m soooo sorry for being away for soooo long, you guys”.  And it seems ridiculous to think that I’m turning into one of those bloggers because I just posted on Monday.  But I’m super busy these days with Real Life Stuff and that doesn’t leave a lot of time for fangirling or coming up with entertaining, creative content.

HOWEVER.  I figured I’d give you a little update on my life (if anyone actually cares, y’know) and there’ll probably be some squee as well because I’ve read some good books and watched some good movies lately.

Sooooo…

-I got a job!  Kind of.  I was hired to create content for a website or websites (not entirely sure if there’s more than one website I’m writing for).  Anyway, I research and write about the most random things you can think of but it’s still writing and I’m getting paid for it so YES.  I love writing.

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-And speaking of writing, NaNoWriMo season is upon us!  I’m insanely excited – I think this is going to be my best year yet. (Last year I wasn’t able to do a full NaNo and it was really messy and kind of meh.)  I donated for the very first time so now I have that silly halo over my profile picture.  You check out my author page here and add me as a buddy if you’re participating as well!  I’ve also put together a Facebook group for a very special write-a-thon I’m planning to do during NaNoWriMo…

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-My family got a kitten.  I christened her ‘Cinder’.  Because small + black + certain awesome fictional character.

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-Watched ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ night before last.  Overall, I liked it but I felt that most of the action-y scenes went on for way too long.  Thoughts?  And I don’t have the whole history of being an avid Star Wars fan to make me enjoy it more, so there’s that as well.  But I did like every single character in one way or another, so that was good.

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-Coffee is still the best thing in the world.  That, and the Oxford Comma.

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-I got my ears pierced!  I was in the mall one afternoon, nothing much to do, so I went into Claire’s and got them done.  I’ve got tiny, twinkly earrings that are beautiful.  Love them.

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-Mom stubbornly refuses to let us draw names for stocking stuffers until at least December 1st.  IT’S NOT FAIR.  I say, as soon as Thanksgiving is over, it’s officially Christmastime.  What do you all think?

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What’s your favorite thing about October?  And do you agree with me about the Oxford Comma?

Eva

P.S. The title for this post comes from the movie ‘Wonder’ (2017), which I re-watched this afternoon.  Touching film.  Highly recommended. (I think the quote is used in the book as well, which I also recommend.)

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bookish birthday tag

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I turned 20 today.  It’s a bit unreal to me, seeing that zero because it means I’m officially out of the teen years and have moved into the ‘twenty something’ stage of life. (Also, I’m now as old as Darry from The Outsiders.  YESSSS.)  I definitely feel like I’ve matured over the past year (in some areas anyway) because so much has happened in my life and that’s always conducive to personal change and, hopefully, character growth.  I didn’t feel like writing some deep, philosophical post, so I’m answering the ‘Book Birthday Tag’ which I found on Brilliantly Bookish.

BIRTHDAY CAKE: A BOOK WITH A PLOT THAT SEEMS CLICHE, BUT YOU ADORE IT ANYWAY

The Siren is a pretty straight-up YA romance (even if one half of the main couple is, y’know, a siren) but I almost loved it (as opposed to just liking it).  I definitely enjoyed it more than The Selection (also by Kiera Cass).

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PARTY GUESTS: YOUR MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK RELEASE FOR THIS YEAR

I just learned yesterday that Scott Westerfield plans to release four more books in the Uglies series.  The first one, Imposters, will be published in just a few days and I can’t wait to read it and spend more time in the Uglies universe and with Tally Youngblood.

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BIRTHDAY PRESENTS: A BOOK THAT SURPRISED YOU WITH HOW MUCH YOU LOVED IT

Heartless by Marissa Meyer.  I’ve never read Alice in Wonderland (and when I first read Heartless I hadn’t seen any of the movies either) so I didn’t really know what I was getting into with Marissa Meyer’s most overlooked book.  But it was breathtakingly beautiful and tragic and I love it so, so much.

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“HAPPY BIRTHDAY” SONG: A BOOK THAT CERTAINLY DESERVED ALL THE HYPE IT GOT

The Hunger Games.  It’s a brilliant feat of storytelling.

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HAPPY MUSIC: A BOOK WITH SOME VERY BEAUTIFUL AND TRULY MEMORABLE QUOTES

I couldn’t not give The Book Thief as my answer.  Incredible prose and stick-in-your-head-forever-and-ever narrative, dialogue, and metaphors.

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GETTIN’ OLDER: A BOOK THAT YOU READ A LONG TIME AGO BUT YOU THINK YOU WOULD APPRECIATE MORE IF YOU READ IT AS A MORE MATURE READER

I tried reading The Count of Monte Cristo several years ago but eventually gave it up because I was bored and confused.  I think I’d enjoy it much more now.

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SWEET BIRTHDAY MEMORIES: A BOOK THAT KEPT YOU INCREDIBLY HAPPY DURING A SAD OR DEMANDING PERIOD OF YOUR LIFE

I don’t know if there’s really any book that fits this category, but I do remember that The Outsiders and A Monster Calls really spoke to me and moved me in the summer of 2017 as Dad became sicker and sicker.  But no book made me ‘incredibly happy’.

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Have you read any of my book choices?  When is your birthday?

Eva

follow-up to my rant

Ugggh.  I just want this whole thing to be over.

But since posting my rant about being asked to take down a negative review of an indie book, I’ve since been messaged by the author’s friend.  She explained that she, personally, believes that reviews shouldn’t be taken down just because they aren’t good.  It’s the author that asked her to message me about taking down my review (why the author didn’t message me herself, I have no idea).  So I’m just writing this quick post to clarify things and apologize to the author’s friend.  I had no idea her views and the author’s views didn’t align when I posted my original rant.

And so, goodnight.

Eva

time for a rant

A couple weeks ago, I requested – and received – a book for review.  (I’m not going to give you the title of the book or the name of the author because my rant centers around the author and I’d rather not draw attention to her.)

So anyway, I read the book and wrote a review on Goodreads (it was also published on Amazon).  It was a two star review, mainly because the book was pure romance (something I didn’t know going into the story) and I don’t much like romance novels.  However, I said very clearly – and more than once – that fans of fluffy romance would really enjoy the book. (And when I say ‘fluffy romance’ I don’t mean it as a put-down.)

All was well and good, I thought.  Until this evening when I arrived home from church to find a long message from the author’s representative in my Goodreads inbox, asking me  (but it was ask-ordering, I felt) to take down my review.  To quote her:

“…if you don’t enjoy the book and you’ve received it in exchange for a review, it’s better to just not review it. The reason the author gives out copies is to help their book get more and higher ratings, and getting a low one really beats the purpose of having reviewers read it. There’s kind of a general rule in the indie author world that if you get a book to review and your rating is 2 stars or lower, just don’t review it…you got a copy ( the author giving it to you so her rating could go up ) but instead it went down which beats the whole purpose of it.”

I took down my review from Goodreads and Amazon but my two-star rating still stands.  So now when people check out this book on GR, they’ll see my two-star rating but not my review which clearly stated that fans of romance would dig the book (it just wasn’t my cup of tea).

It strikes me as really unethical and bordering on dishonest to delete reviews that aren’t three stars or more simply because it lowers the book’s overall rating on Goodreads.  Personally, I’m very suspicious of books that have only four or five star reviews (which is pretty much what the book in question has right now).  And what’s up with that ‘general rule’ thing?  I’ve never heard of it and I know indie authors and…yeah.  It’s messed up, IMO.

What happened to “I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my HONEST review”?

If you’re an indie author (or a writer in general), I’d love to get your thoughts on this!  Do you hold to that particular rule of reviews?  What do you have to say about this issue?

Eva

P.S. Nine times out of ten, I don’t think authors should respond to reviews of their work.  Thoughts?

celebrating 300 (and 1) followers + giveaway!

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ASODIFJAWOIEJFJIOADSFJKAJSROE.

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I’m insanely excited and happy and just…joyful because in less than a year one hundred new, lovely people have decided that my blog was Just The Thing for them. ❤  And, honestly, that makes me a little scared and a lot humbled because who knew that my crazy, weird blog posts would mean something to so many people?

So, thank you.  To all my followers.  Your comments make my day.  Your support encourages me in so many ways.  I write for you because you get my fangirling and freaking out like nobody else.  Y’all are awesome.

In keeping with tradition, I thought I’d share my top ten favorite blog posts from the past year or so.

And now for the giveaway!  No coffee-related stuff this time because I just didn’t get a chance to include that.  Sorry. 😦  I do have some super awesome stuff, though!

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Close-up of Wonder Woman because she didn’t show up well in the other image.

Look at all that loot! *grins*  Let’s make a neat little list thingy, shall we?

~The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron – a beautiful WWII novel
~The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin – you can read my review here
~’The Space Between Us’ (2017) – a sci-fi romance starring Gary Oldman and Asa Butterfield (you can check out PluggedIn’s review here – it is rated PG-13)
~one Jane Austen bookmark coloured by moi – the quote on the flip side reads “Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love”.
~an adorable, tiny Wonder Woman
~five purty pencils – pink and purple
~a pack of three mini notebooks

RULES:

  • Giveaway open only to residents of Canada and continental USA. (Sorry if you’re not in North America.)
  • To enter, leave a comment on this post telling what you like best about my blog! (Also include an email you check frequently so I can contact you if you are the winner.)
  • Giveaway is open until July 21st. If I reach 310 (“THERE IS A LONELY TRAIN…”) followers by then, an extra little surprise something will be added to the prize package. So let people know about the giveaway + my blog. 😉

Good luck and thanks again for all your support!

Eva

me, currently

Reading… 

Keturah by Lisa T. Bergren.  And let me tell you, if it wasn’t a book I had to review, I would not be spending any more time on it.  Keep an eye on my Goodreads for a proper review in the next couple days.

Watching…

Well, last night my family watched some of ‘National Treasure: Book of Secrets’ – I expect we’ll be finishing it tonight.  It’s pretty good (though I’m not a fan of Nicholas Cage).

Trying…

To convince myself to stop writing a blog post and go do some actual writing (well, fanfiction, but I take as much care with my fanfiction as I do with my original writing, so yeah).  I don’t think it’ll happen, but I’m trying.

Cooking…

Um…I’m writing a blog post in my bedroom, people.  So I obviously can’t be cooking anything right now.  However, I might make supper tonight.  We’ll see.

Eating…

Millions of adorable baby carrots.  One of my sisters left a bag of them in our room and I can’t. stop. eating.  At least they’re a healthy snack!

Drinking…

Nothing at the moment.  I’m always a little leery of beverages around my electronics.  I did have some awesome coffee earlier this morning as I read my Bible.

Texting…

Well, it’s more instant messaging, but I just shot off a message to my FAVORITE BESTIES IN ALL THE WORLD asking if they were attending a picnic that’s happening in Edmonton today.  Still haven’t heard back from them.

Pinning…

I don’t pin too much these days.  One of the best things I pinned recently was this:

YAAAAAS.

SHIPSHIPSHIP.

Doing…

Crying over the beauty of ‘Proud Corazón’.

Going…

To church outreach this afternoon.  Every Saturday (except the last one of each month) my family and the pastor’s family and other people from the church give out gospel tracts, John & Romans, and free Bible studies.  It’s a great time of fellowship and getting God’s Word into people’s hands.

Loving…

Gael García Bernal’s accent. ❤

Hating…

Ernesto de la Cruz. (Are y’all sensing a theme here?)

Discovering…

I have no idea!  Though it’s true that I sometimes believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast, I haven’t been wowed by any new fact or big discovery today.

Enjoying…

A clean room, baby carrots, and Michael Giacchino’s sweet, sweet skills.

Thinking…

How awesome it is that I was able to pre-order Nadine Brandes’ newest book, Fawkes, and be eligible for pre-order goodies, too.  I highly recommend you check out Fawkes.  It’s going to be epic.

Feeling…

Pretty happy, actually!  Saturday mornings are so relaxing.

Hoping for…

Good weather.

Listening to…

The ‘Coco’ soundtrack.  Duh.  I’m obsessed.

Celebrating…

Well.  Father’s Day is…tomorrow?  Right?  I’m not sure what I’m going to do but I want to do something to remember my dad and to honour his memory.  Probably won’t be anything public like a blog post or a Facebook update, but I’ve read a few articles talking about what you can do to celebrate your dad even when he’s gone, so…yeah.  I’m still not looking forward to tomorrow very much, though.

Smelling…

Nothing, really.

Thanking…

God, for all the blessings He has given me – and continues to give me.

Consdering…

Father’s Day.

Finishing…

This baby carrot I’m currently eating.

Starting…

Another baby carrot.  HELP ME.

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How has your Saturday gone so far?

Eva