Thursday, March 22, 2018

Fictional Bucket List

I have lots of things on my bucket list, most of which involve wanting to do more traveling. And, hopefully, over the next sixty or so years, I'll be able to cross most of those things off my list. There are a few things, however, that I know I'll never be able to do because they involve fictional people or places. Every now and then I read a book and wish I could be a part of it somehow. Below is a list of those book-related bucket list wishes.

If Books were worlds I could jump into I wish I could...

Have tea with the Mad Hatter

Go shoe shopping with Cinderella and Dorthy

Attend a class at Hogwarts

Plant a flower in the Secret Garden

Binge watch The Selection

Learn alchemy from the vampire Myrnin

Ride a horse across the moors surrounding Wuthering Heights

Flip into the Territories

Ditch out on digging holes to eat jarred peaches

Attend a Lascivious concert and swoon over Kaidan Rowe

Join the search party to find Amy Dunne

Support the Nosferatu Presumption of Innocence Bill

Learn archery from Katniss Everdeen

What's on your fictional bucket list? Share in the comments below.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Review for Veiled by Stacey Rourke

4 Stars. V for Vendetta meets Buffy. Veiled is a gritty crime drama with vampires that looks at the politics of a world aware of the undead deciding whether or not to allow them to integrate into society. Filled with witty dialogue and a fast-paced plot this was a fun read.

There are some really beautiful descriptions in this book and a few scenes that are downright creepy. You really get sucked into the writing. Veiled is dark and intense and the vampires felt real and scary.

What I enjoyed most about this book was how it used vampires to look at racism and make a smart commentary on how one group views another and how stereotypes form peoples' opinions. The lead character, Vincenza, or Vinx, goes through a lot of character development from the beginning of the book until the end as she seeks both vengeance and acceptance. I had a hard time connecting with Vinx in the beginning of the book. She was bitter and a little full of herself at first. It took me a little while to warm up to her, but by the end of the book, I was definitely rooting for her. Vinx is witty and a little vulgar and a truly interesting character. Her story is complicated and as you learn more about her it's hard not to relate to her.

I loved Vinx's relationships with her friend Mics, who I also thought was a solid character. However, I felt like there needed to be more backstory to Vinx's relationship with Finn and to the relationship that forms between her and Carter. There needed to be more build up to their attraction. I didn't really feel the connection between Vinx and anyone, with the exception of her friendship with Mics which I thought was really well written. Overall, Carter and Finn felt like weaker characters and I wish both of their story arcs had been fleshed out a bit more.

As for the story structure, I liked the alternating flashback chapters at first, but by the halfway point of the book, they started to make the story feel a little disjointed. The storyline definitely didn't flow as smoothly as I would have liked.

By the end, the book left me with some questions that I'd want to read the next novel in the series to know more about. However, while I found the ending satisfying overall, there were a few plot holes that took away from the believability of how things concluded. <spoiler> For example, Vinx and Carter get into a bad situation at the end where they are nearly killed. Carter escapes and saves Vinx, by pulling out his phone and filming what's going on. But, it's not clear why the bad guys don't just kill him and take his phone. </spoiler> There are a few conclusions that are jumped to and a character, <spoiler> Amber,</spoiler> who really just acts like an idiot. But, there are a few twists at the end that suggest the second book in the series will be worth reading.

Was the writing/editing solid?

5/5 - Veiled is really well written with beautiful imagery and was free of errors.

Did the book have a well-formed plot/subplots?

3/5 - The romantic subplots needed more fleshing out.

Could you relate to the characters?

4/5 - Vinx is a little hard to love at first, but she grew on me.

Did the story make you feel?

4/5 - I definitely had the feels at times but wished I could feel more of the chemistry between Vinx and Carter.

Was the book unputdownable?

4/5 - I set it down a few times, but never for real long.

Indie Book Goal 2018 Notes

This is the first book I've finished for my #IndieBookGoal2018 where I've pledged to read at least 10 Indie books before the end of the year.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Reading and Writing Wrap-Up February

I know February is a short month, but it feels like its short a week instead of just a few days. This month flew by and I definitely didn't get as much done this month as I wanted.


Books Reviewed in February:

None. :(

Books Read in February:

I'm almost done with Veiled by Stacey Rourke. So far it feels like V for Vendetta meets Buffy. 

I'm also about halfway through Where Worlds Meet by Lucinda Elliot and have been enjoying that as well.

Books to read in March:

I plan to start another book from my Indie Book List after I finish Veiled and Where Worlds Meet. I have a few books in mind that I plan to look at next, but I haven't officially picked one yet.


Big picture editing for Unraveling in the Night (Book 2 in the Cereus Vampire Chronicles) is officially done. I'm currently doing some "search and destroy" of my usual overused phrases and I plan to start stage one of beta reading this month. I like to get chapter by chapter feedback from betas on Scribophile, and after that, I'll be looking for a few betas to read through the book as a whole.


I didn't blog a ton in February, but I did finally create an Instagram account! You can now follow me on Instagram at laurynaprilwrites

My Favorite Blog Posts in February:

Favorite Post Written: Ways It's Gotten Harder to Self-Publish: I vent a little in this post talking about things that have changed in the self-publishing world since I published my first book almost six years ago.

Favorite Post Read: What is Magical Realism on Book Riot: This is a genre that's interested me and Book Riot does a good job explaining just what it is.


My day-job this past February was a little less crazy than it'd been in January, but I was still working a lot of overtime. The snow also started to melt and my yard has been a mud-puddle for weeks, except for those two days where everything froze solid, but that's Wisconsin for ya.

How was your February?

Indie Book Goal 2018