MadCap Retreats

I’ve got something really cool to talk to you all about today. It has to do with writing, something you guys know I also love.
Sometimes writing can feel like an isolating and daunting task. Every day you can sit down and put a ton of work into what you’re writing, but when you look back you think it’s terrible! Sometimes it even makes you doubt your love for writing. It can make you hate building a world or crafting a story about characters you love and hate.
Whenever this happens to me I always feel alone. Then I remember that once you are part of the writing community you are never alone.

This August, Courtney C Stevens, author of Faking Normal and The Lies about Truth will be hosting a retreat weekend, The Anatomy of Publishing, as part of MadCap Retreats.
From Courtney:

I spent 200+ hours studying and translating his work for young adult culture. I built a personal workbook for individual manuscripts. I built stopgaps for others, and then I led a retreat. It helped other writers. Now, I want to do that again in August.

So, this incredible long post is an invitation to join me for a weekend retreat. Please click this link and check it out:

I won’t promise you the earth will tilt on its axis if you attend, but I can promise you’ll leave more confident in your own abilities as an artist. (Not to mention, you’ll leave with a personal marketing plan. See the retreat description for more information.) If you need a pick-me-up, this might be it for you. Take a risk with me. Find your stopgap.

This is such a great opportunity for anyone who loves writing to attend a really great retreat! Courtney is also offering some really cool prizes, all available here

Book Films!

There have been a few bookish related movie bits of information that have come out recently.

The first has to do with the Between Shades of Gray film! It has an official title now, Ashes in the Snow, and I love it! I asked Ruta if she chose it, but she said the production team did though is is still very happy with it. The title reminds me of both of the covers (paperback and hardcover).
There was also news of an actress cast as Lina! Her name is Bel Powely and while I have never watched her in a film before I’m sure she is perfect for the role. The article in Hollywood Reporter also mentioned that filming will begin this winter which is so exciting! I feel like I’ve waited so long for this book to be adapted into a film! As I’m sure any other person who has read the book feels, this is definitely one of those things that needs to be on the big screen and sent to a wider audience. Hopefully this will raise awareness of the book itself, Ruta’s works, and to the plight of the Baltic people during WWII and after.

Another film that I am excited about is Maze Runner: Scorch Trials. I read the first book and loved it. Watched the first film and loved it. I have not read the second book however, but I am sure I will love this film just as much. I am still stuck on whether or not to read the second book before the film is released. On the one hand I want to know how the story truly goes, on the other hand it would be fun to experience the story on film for the first time. Regardless of which order I read it in though, I know I will read this book and finish out the series.

Here is the trailer for you to enjoy!

As for updates on me, I’ve had my graduation ceremony and now I am finishing out two classes over the summer and I will officially be finished with college in August! I’ve started to read Rook by Sharon Cameron and I am in love with it! So far the world Cameron has spun has been amazing and I feel like this is the best work we’ve seen from her yet! She just keeps getting better and better.

Almost Done!!!

You guys. In less than a month I will be finished with the bulk of my remaining classes for school. After that I will only have one class each month until August when I officially graduate. So right now I am in book reading purgatory where I can see the end, but I’m still not there just yet.
I have three books reading for me when I am finished with this semester. The final book in the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan and two of the books in Richelle Mead’s Bloodlines series. So excited to start reading all of those!
Then I need to read the Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows and Rook by Sharon Cameron! I also have two book events over the next two months that I will be attending. Can’t wait to get reviews up for those.

Ruins by Dan Wells

Title: Ruins
Author: Dan Wells
Publication Date: March 11, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Purchased

From Goodreads

Kira, Samm, and Marcus fight to prevent a final war between Partials and humans in the gripping final installment in the Partials Sequence, a series that combines the thrilling action of The Hunger Games with the provocative themes of Blade Runner and The Stand.

There is no avoiding it—the war to decide the fate of both humans and Partials is at hand. Both sides hold in their possession a weapon that could destroy the other, and Kira Walker has precious little time to prevent that from happening. She has one chance to save both species and the world with them, but it will only come at great personal cost.

I’ll admit I was worried about this one. I’m always very nervous when I fall in love with a series because so often the ending is just disappointing and it ends up tainting what was otherwise a fantastic series. So many times that type of ending has caught me in its trap and I was rightfully nervous about this one. These were large books (all pages together total 1,508) and I was going to be so disappointed if the ending to this adventure was a letdown.
I was not disappointed.
Like so many of the others, Ruins just kept throwing new information at me. Even when the remaining pages started dwindling and I knew the end was just a few pages away the speed hadn’t slowed down yet and there was no reasonable ending in sight. I thought the book was doomed. I’ll admit I lost faith for a few pages.
But I was so wrong. This entire series Dan Wells hasn’t steered me wrong once. The second book was almost 600 pages and while in some other books I might have been grumbling over the length and whether or not it was needed, I loved every single word on every page. Of course he knew what he was doing. The ending all came together perfectly. Except…one thing. I want to know what happened to the Reserve.
One of the things I loved so much about this was the battle between science and nature. Science has almost destroyed nature and even afterwards there are some who are still looking to science to solve the problem. Every single time the “creature” showed up and warned people about the coming winter I was further drawn into this book, which was an amazing accomplishment on Wells behalf because I was already pretty drawn in.
Again, I loved the different storylines that were all happening at once. I didn’t feel like there were as many as with Fragments but Wells was still able to handle each of them perfectly.
War books are tricky to write. Some authors tend to stick to just the people fighting the fight that are dying, but the good ones show realities of war and Ruins was one of them. In war there are so many things happening all at once. It’s chaos. I definitely got that feel from this book. Add in the weirdo science aspects of everything and it just gets even more complicated. If you are reading this I am going to assume that you’ve read the previous two books so this won’t be too much of a spoiler. The Partials and humans have to co-exist in order to survive. Kira believes with all her heart that this can happen. That if she can just get each side to listen to her that it will all work out. I love this. This is a girl who knows that the entire existence of humans and Partials rests on her shoulders. I got that from this book. The divide between the Partials and the humans was created over a few decades worth of differences and mixed belief. The humans believe the Partials released RM and killed most of the humans. Some of the Partials believe it as well and I loved the bits where the Partials talked about how remorseful they were. I loved that the book shows that these two sides who hate each other actually have people who believe in the other side as well. This book proves that you have to work together with people who may not be exactly like you in order to survive.