The Summer Bucket List Book Tag

I wasn’t exactly tagged in this post. I saw a post on nen & jen. After the five, they said “You”. That’s good enough for me! You can find thier beautiful blog on the tag here.

The Rules
  • Link back to the original creator in your post.
  • Feel free to use any of Tiffany’s graphics in your post, or create your own!
  • Tag 5 other people at the end of your post, and let them know you’ve tagged them. 

Can’t say this was one of my favorite books of all times, but it was interesting to say the least. Without giving too much away, I strongly encourage people to read about it. For more information, click here.

This whole series has shaken me to the core. It’s insane and mind blowing. I fully recommend keeping the next book on hand so you can grab it immediately when finishing the current one. To experience the best of two worlds, click here.

This series was amazing. And the journey the trio goes on in this book is one of the best book journies ever. And there are QUITE a few out there! Visit the world of Harry Potter here!

This book had me hooked from the very beginning. The whole series has me in it’s trap. If you haven’t read this series, I strongly recommend you give it a chance. The story is just as beautiful as the cover! Live the life of a Reaper here!

I read this entire book in one sitting. I was tempting to take it and re-reading it. I can’t wait to devour the rest of the series. If they are as fast-paced and unique as this one, I’m going to be hooked! Travel back in time here!

This was a beautiful story. The whole trilogy was amazing. I didn’t want it to end. This author doesn’t get the recognition she deserves. This trilogy doesn’t either! Fall in love with a new trilogy by clicking here.

This book is where this series started picking back up for me. I almost set the series down because I felt the author was getting bored with the series. That changed with this one. That’s why I consider it a breath of fresh air. For more Stephanie shenanigans click here.

There’s only so much I can say about this book without giving too much away. But if there’s a character who fits this more, it’s her. She decided to do something that everybody told her was impossible. She risked everything for what she believed in to conquer this challenge. And she made it awesome! Read and see!!! Continue following the Reaper’s life here!

If I tell you that this book would be a happy read, I would be lying. It is very sad. Don’t get me wrong. There are happy moments, but the author definitely makes you work for them. The book is sprinkled with all kinds of Greek recipes. It’s beautiful! To learn to love again and grow with this family, press here.

I know this is going to be insane. But it’s true. This book and the author inspired me. It Gets Worse was inspiring too. Shane Dawson struggled with some of the same things I did in life. And it’s nice to know that I’m not alone and there will always be a positive. I especially love that he can find humor in anything. Especially the most horrible moments of his life. Get inside Shane’s life in small doses here.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this tag! If you’ve read any of these, let me know. The five people I choose are:

Traveling Trailer Trash

TheGeekishBrunette

Confessions of a YA Reader

My Books-My World

A Little Haze Book Blog

YOU!!!!

First Book Chat With Kyra Dune

How long did it take you to write your first book?

It took me about a year in total.

What inspired you to start writing?

When I was in fourth grade, our teacher let us sit quietly at our desk and do whatever if we finished our assignments early. Me, big old nerd that I am, always did, so I’d have a book to read. I’ve been a big reader since forever. One day, I finished my book, I didn’t have another one, so I just took out my notebook and started writing one. I’ve been writing ever since.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

Three. That always seems to be my magic number.

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

When I opened the email and saw my book had been accepted for publication, I cried.  It was just the most amazing feeling ever.

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

I don’t have as much free time for writing these days, so it goes a bit slower. As far as publishing, I now self-publish all of my books. I like the control and, honestly, I’ve made more money off my self-published books than I ever did off the traditionally published ones. Granted, I’ve only worked with a few small press publishers, and not any real big houses, but I definitely like self-publishing better. Of course, if one of the big boys in New York ever came knocking on my door, I wouldn’t slam it in their face.

How many books have you published since then?

I have 40 published novels to date.

Links:

Amazon

Other retailers

Deep Echoes by Melody Ash Book Review

I really enjoyed this story. It covers a very popular topic, but in a very unique way. I enjoyed reading it a lot and wish it was longer. There will be other books in the series. Which I find amazing. I am excited to read them all!

The characters are really amazing too. I wanted to just keep reading about them. They were all likeable. There were a few characters that faded in the background more than they should for my liking. I think that’s just my personal preference.

I really enjoyed this story. I recommend anybody who likes time travel type stories to read this. It’s exciting and fast-paced. I read it all in one sitting. While I wish there were things that were prolonged a bit, the story was very enjoyable. I hope that the rest of the series will be as well.

Buy it now for $0.99!!!!

First Book Chat With Golden Angel

How long did it take you to write your first book?

My first book actually started out as a serial for an online website that was eventually turned into a book and self-published. I think it took me about a month and a half to get the full story written and uploaded to the website.

What inspired you to start writing?

The website I was reading erotica on! After a couple of years I ran through all the stories I wanted to read and I knew exactly what kind of story I wanted to read but no one seemed to be writing new ones exactly like what I wanted. So I figured I should give writing a shot, because then I could have exactly what I wanted without relying on anyone else. I’d always enjoyed writing anyway and I had all these ideas in my head about what I wanted to see happen in a story; it was a bit of a relief to finally get it out of my head and onto some ‘paper.’

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

I just published a chapter at a time on the website. I did some proofreading / editing of my own before self-publishing and added a few small scenes, but I went back again later and did more rounds of proofreading / editing, with the help of others.

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

Readers from the website had actually asked me to publish the story, they wanted to be able to buy it and read it on their e-readers and not just online, so at the time it didn’t feel like that big of a deal. It was just ‘oh, sure, I guess I could do that’ – looked up how to publish through Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, etc. and just got it out there. It wasn’t until the sales and reviews started coming in and I realized people who weren’t just readers from the website were also reading it and loving it and wanting more that I really had that moment of awe and realized “Oh wow… I actually wrote a book. That people are reading.” That was both humbling and amazing. Publishing the second book was so much scarier because I finally had all the usual worries – what if people don’t like it? What if it doesn’t live up to what they wanted after reading the first book? I do remember that I cried the first time I held a paperback of my book in my hands.

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

So different and yet so the same! Now I rarely have time to write for the website, but I feel like I’m still writing books for the readers who want specific stories from that world. I spend a lot more time editing and proof-reading, I have beta readers now who help me, and I pay to have the editing / proof-reading done. The biggest difference to the publishing process is that I now actually do marketing. I was so scared of the author community back when I first began publishing, I didn’t consider myself good enough to even try talking to other authors, and now I feel like I’m fairly involved in the community which welcomed me with open arms. I kick myself for being so shy at the beginning, but I’m so glad to have found them now!

How many books have you published since then?

I believe I’m at about 40 books under my main pen name, not counting the anthologies I’ve been a part of, and another 10 under my alternate pen name. And still going!

Buy the book here!

Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovich Book Review

I started to feel like this series was going downhill during the teen books. It seemed like the author was running out of ideas and getting bored with the characters. They weren’t horrible books. It just didn’t match up to the start of the series. The series is beginning to picking back up. I’m falling back in love with the series. Well, I didn’t really fall fully out of love with this series. It’s still one of my favorites of all times.

I will always love the characters in this series. I want more books with Mooner in them. He is my favorite characters in all the series. And let’s be honest, Ranger is definitely book boyfriend material. Meow. Grandma Mazuur and Lula always manage to bring chaos to the story. One of the biggest reasons I love them so much! I also wish Stephanie’s parents played a bigger role in the series.

I will always recommend this series. It’s witty and hilarious! It’s your normal mystery/thriller but with a lot of humor. I’m excited to keep reading this series. I’m ashamed to admit I put this series down for awhile. I’m making up for it now though!

The Blogger Recognition Award

I was nominated for The Blogger Recognition Award by Kitty Marie’s Reading Corner. I’m not too familiar with this award since I am fairly new to the serious blogging world. But it seems to be a project for bloggers to help lift up other bloggers. I am all for that.

Thank you Kitty for the amazing nomination. I’m truly humbled. You are a far more advanced blogger than I am, but I appreciate that she sees me as worthy of a Blogger Award.

THE RULES

  1. Thank the blogger/s who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  6. Comment (or pingback) on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

How I Got Started

Back in 2013, I was feeling very lonely. There wasn’t a lot of readers in my area I could talk to. That I knew of anyways. I met some readers online and they changed my life forever. I discovered online parties all about books. And reviews! I could share my thoughts of books online! It was amazing! I was empowered. I wrote my first ever book review in September of 2013.

I’ve had many blog names before this trying to find one that fit perfectly. In 2015, I created the pen name for myself Willow Star Serenity. It was one of my best decisions. At one point I had a blog called Willow’s Thoughts And Book Obsessions. I wasn’t ever fully happy with this blog name. It was wordy and not really fun.

A couple months ago the name Willow Writes and reads just hit me. And I knew it was the name for me. I did what it took to make my blog official. I’m not branching out and attempting to network with other blogs. Every day I learn and grow. I’m not advanced, but I’m doing what I love. Talking about books!

My Advice To New Bloggers

  1. If I can advise ANYTHING, it’s to be yourself. Post about what you love. I know it seems easier to follow the fad or the latest “viral” things. But unless it’s something that makes you happy, this won’t make you happy for long. Personally, I love to post about authors and books. I love to write reviews. It’s what keeps me happy and keeps me posting! Some people may want to blog about traveling or cooking or anything! The point of the matter is it has to make you happy in the end of the day. If that shows in your blog, the readers will follow.
  2. Interact with other bloggers. Interact with the community that you’re wanting to blog about. If you want to gain interest, you have to show the people that you’re there. You don’t have to be totally extroverted to do this. It may make the process a lot easier. But in time, it will come.
  3. I know I’m only supposed to post two pieces of advice, but I feel this one is important. Please be patient. Things take time. You’ll learn and you’ll grow. The readers will follow. Circling back to Tip #1, be yourself. If you are true to yourself and your blogs, your readers will be true to you. Give it time.

This is the part where I’m supposed to nominate 15 people. As I’m new to the blogging world, I don’t know 15 people to nominate. Maybe one day I will. Until then, if you are reading this and you are a blogger, feel free to tag yourself! All I ask is that you put the link to your blog in my comments so that I can read and share it! I’ll also follow your blog if I’m not doing so already!

Happy Birthday Audiobook Obsession

All week long I’ve been racking my brain to figure out the best kind of post to honor Audiobook Obsession for their first birthday! I mean these ladies put in a lot of work to make these tours and reviews possible. They are amazing, intelligent, and highly organized. So they deserve a high praise anyways. Especially on special days!

Then it hit me. The best way to honor their birthday is to share my own personal story. I can’t tell you how long I’ve worked with AO. I can’t even tell you how I came to join it. What I can tell you is that it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Through AO, I discovered one of my favorite narrators of all time. Her name is Sarah Puckett. She’s incredibly talented and incredibly humble about it. I’ve also branched out and listened to books I’d of never listened to before. And that’s not evening mentioning that I got to meet two of the sweetest ladies of all times! They are amazing and I will happily work with them as long as they will let me.

If you love listening to audiobooks as much as I do, I would seriously consider giving them a chance. You’ll discover new authors and narrators. You’ll discover a great community that treats you like family. They have a review group and a tour group! I’m happily an active member of both.

Happy birthday Audiobook Obsession! I’m proud to be a part of your beautiful community. Krystyn and Brandie are some of the hardest workers I know and I will always happily consider myself a part of their team and community!

Here are links for their pages:

Like their page here:

https://www.facebook.com/AudiobookObsession/

If you’d like to become a reviewer, join here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/AudiobookObsessionReviewGroup/

If you’re a blogger who participates in blog tours, join here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/AudiobookObsessionTours/

Phoenix by Jessica Wayne Book Review

I’m going to be completely honest and state that I wasn’t fully feeling this book once I first started it. I was underwhelmed with the storyline and lack of details. A lot of it felt brushed over. I kept reading though. I’m glad I did. I fell in love with the story. I can’t wait to read the rest.

If it weren’t for such amazing character development, I wouldn’t have given this story a real chance. And that’s sad because this wound up being a pretty amazing story. The characters, especially the main two, were so easy to connect with. There were a few characters that I wish had a bigger role, but maybe they will in future books!

The narrator was the other reason I didn’t put this book down. She has incredible talent. I was pulled into the story and the emotions because of her. I hope she goes on to narrate the rest of the series. I also look forward to listening to more books narrated by her.

All in all, it was a great story. I may not have enjoyed it at the beginning, but I warmed up to it immensely. I fully recommend this book and look forward to reading the rest of the series. I’d love to find people who have also read this book to talk about it with them.

First Book Chat With Casey Hays

How long did it take you to write your first book?


About three months, but it wasn’t very good. In fact, I’m rewriting the story now. It will be released in 2020 with a new title and cover. Now, it takes me 6-8 months of writing to bring a book up to standard for publishing.

What inspired you to start writing?

I was a high school English teacher for 11 years, and I really wanted to write a book for my students. So… I did.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

I can’t even remember, it’s been so long. And I’m one of those writers who stops to revise as I go. I never get through even one draft without revising it. But if I had to guess, I’d say I wrote roughly 5-7 drafts and a dozen revisions of my first book (working closely with my editor) before I felt comfortable with publishing.

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

I was elated. I wrote the book in 2008, but it was not published until 2012 because I was in a queue at the publishing company and had to wait my turn. Impatience set in, but finally, it was my turn! I wanted to be published by my 40th birthday. I turned 40 in April and the book released May 15. Close enough!

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

Now, I take my time. I’ve learned how to slow down and develop my characters, my setting, my storyline. I let these elements lead the story rather than forcing a plot. I still revise as I go (I can’t seem to break my self of that) but I’m what you’d call a sculpting author. I shape and perfect the story bit by bit as I go. Then I go back and do it all over again two or three or ten more times with my editor. I still only release 1 or 2 books a year. I’m a stickler for doing my best to present a book that is error-free for the most part and satisfying and relatable for readers who enjoy my genres. I’ve learned the fewer books I publish within a year’s time span, the better they will be. So I’ve never published more than 2 in a year. I’m also my own publisher now with my own company, Whispering Pages, LLC, so I get to work at my own pace. It’s refreshing.

How many books have you published since then?

I have a total of 10 books published in two genres: dystopian sci-fi and paranormal romance (all YA books expect for A Heart of Flesh – it’s New Adult Dystopian.)

Magic Harvest by Mary Karlik Book Review

I really enjoyed this story a lot. I’m convinced that if I hadn’t had training and studying for certification, I’d of finished this book in one sitting. It was entrancing! I was rooting for everybody! I do have to disclose that there is a minor bully trigger warning. It’s brief but it’s there.

The characters were, for the most part, very relatable. There were times that they came out a tad bit robotic. But that was very rare. I was rooting for all the good guys!

The narrator did a fantastic job with this book as well. Her accent was a bit distracting. In a good way of course. It was very entrancing. I believe she added to the story very nicely! I hope she narrates the rest of the series!

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