NanoWriMo and how to survive it

Hello and welcome to the Nano post! If you're already in on this dazzling little world, then you're already four days into it. How are you doing? Fully caffeinated still?

If you're the type of person to not know what NanoWriMo is-- you're saner then the rest of us. Basically, you have a whole month--November--and you write 50K WORDS. Sounds super simple, right? Yeah, totally. You have a month beforehand to prepare, to outline and to discover your characters. If you are anything like me, you'd also prepare emergency phone numbers to your local bar and hospital because Nano gets crazy. 

Writing is hard, okay. It's like a universal truth that writing is challenging and nine times out of ten you want to bash your head into the keyboard--and hey, some get great stories from doing it! Trying to get multiple characters into a story and getting the plot out in an amazing way takes skill. 

So if you're curious or are already in the midst of head-butting your keyboard, here are some helpful tips I've gained over the years:


1. You're writing a first draft, not a finished project

I can hear your heart race and the worry that you've got in your head. You're saying No, Emma, I'm a perfectionist. There's no way I can just let go and right. It has to be perfect. 

Well, let me fill you in on something here: I'm a perfectionist as well. It bugs me to see red squiggly lines under my words or when I miss a comma or forgot to capitalize a letter. It bugs me so much, I end up fixing them as I go. And it's okay to want a perfect WIP, but remember this is your FIRST draft! You'll have so much more after this one, so don't try to worry so much. Besides, you have to save something to fix in the next check! But you need to tell yourself some things:

  • Tell yourself you can edit AFTER you finish

  • Accept that you want it perfect but messy is fine

  • Treat yourself with chocolate and lemonade 


2. What am I writing?

It happens. A word is a word for Nano, even if we have no idea what it is we're actually writing. Sometimes when I write a chapter, it ends up being 15 pages long because often times, I don't know what I'm saying. It's a huge mess and more often than not a paragraph is filled with ridiculous things that have nothing to do with the story itself, but I keep it all in there because:

  • You learn a lot about your characters that way. The best part of writing books is creating these people and giving them identities and personalities. I like these drawn-out scenes because I learn more about them

  • Pro tip: don't backspace, don't go back. Just leave it because for one thing, it's words and secondly, backspacing takes time and you don't have that with Nano


3. Jealousy is a thing

Sometimes we see other people writing and their books are at 20k in two days and we feel jealous. But why? 

  • Why can't I write as fast as them?

  • Their story must be better

  • I suck because I can't get more than 1k written in a day

  • That person's only been writing a year and already has a book deal? I'm six years in and got nothing

  • Their first draft is perfect

None of the above matters. Don't sike yourself out! We all begin with a blank page and a few ideas. We all write at our own pace, stories are subjective, and any amount you get written is amazing! You can't hang onto the negative thoughts, it won't get you anywhere!

4. Don't "hobby" your writing

Unless you really do think of it as a hobby and not something you're trying to make your life's work. Then that's totally okay, you can skip this. But for the people who are looking at this as a career, read on and see what I don't want you to say to yourself:

  • my book sucks

  • I'll never get it published

  • her book is better

  • writing slow means I fail

  • I shouldn't get published because others work harder than me

Stop! Don't say these or anything else about your writing! It's a huge, dark hole when you start talking to yourself like this. Everyone's story is different, and we want to read yours.

What're some of your tips for the challenging month? Comment below and let me know :)

Writer on, Nanoers!

#TheReadingQuest | A readathon of sorts

So the last time I did a readathon, I failed. Like, so hard. To my defense, a last minute migraine kicked in, and those who suffer know how difficult it can be to blink, let alone read. 

I've found another one, at last minute like always, and I'm so excited! It starts tomorrow and is called-you know it- The Reading Quest by ReadAtMidnight! You can find the sign up and info page by clicking her name. It's a readathon of sorts thats like a game. You choose a character, like a Mage or knight and each journey or book you complete, gives your chatacer XP, and soon your character can level up!

I have chosen to be have the Knight character! Fierce and protective! Here is the sheet, so you can see the other characters and what I've got to accomplish!



As you can see, it's pretty neat! I'm so excited. I'll be posting about each square I accomplish and give a tidbit about that book! I'll also be putting a video on YouTube for when I start this and finish at the stages!

This artwork is adorable, and couldn't be completed without CW of Read, Think, Ponder! Serious, mad credit to this awesome person! Check it out!

Now, onto my TBR!

Here we have my first read! This will be going on square 1, and my journey is: the first book of a series! 

Uglies is about a world where you're completely normal and "ugly" until you go through a process to become beautiful. But not everything is as it seems on the greener side. 








This next one is for: A book with a verb in the title! This follows Haven, a girl who gets a prestigious award to be at a posh school. She meets a few interesting people who have the knack for turning her world upside down. Nothing about these people-including her new crush-is normal, though, and she's going to find out what's going on. 


This one is for: A book with a weapon on the cover! This follows Adelina, a survivor of a terrible blood fever. Many died, but those that didn't changed-some even gaining gifts, powers. 

: A book with a red cover. This has some red, so I'm counting it. For anyone familiar for Black Widow, this follows Natasha as she fights her way through trouble and enemies. 


For: A book that has a tv/movie adaption. This one is coming out next year I believe, and stars Alex Wolf and Ross Lynch. This is written by Derf, who was a good friend to Dahmer during high school. This is his story about knowing him and the experiences he had with him. 

Book Tag!

So, I totally lost the name of this tag. If you know it, let me know below so I can rename it!


1. You have 20,000 books in your TBR, how in the world do you decide what to read next?

It totally depends on my mood. Sometimes I'm into YA, sometimes it's erotica or fantasy. 

2. You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you put it down or are you committed?

Usually, if I'm not into it by at least ten chapters I set it down. Why waste my life reading dud books?

3. The end of the year is coming and you’re behind on your reading challenge, do you try to catch up? And if so, how?

I always set a challenge but I don't beat myself up about it. Life gets in the way.

4. The covers of a series you love do not match, how do you cope?

I get so annoyed, but honestly, I can't afford to go willy-nilly and buy fifteen different versions. 

5. Everyone and their mother loves a book that you do not. Who do you bond with over your shared feelings?

My best buddy in the world. We usually read the same types of books and have the same thoughts or feelings toward them. 

6. You’re reading a book in public and you’re about to start crying. How do you deal?

This happens a lot. I either set the book down or read it and mentally yell at myself to remain stoic so no one questions why the chick is crying for no apparent reason.

7. The sequel to a book you loved just came out but you’ve forgotten a lot of what happens. Are you going to reread it?

I dislike this so much! I always tell myself to wait to read it until its close to the second book releasing but never do so I'm usually stuck waiting a year. So, yes. I will most likely reread the first one but probably not right away. 

8. You do not want anyone to borrow your books, how do you politely say no when someone asks?

I just say no. Everyone knows how territorial I am with my babies. 

9. You have picked up and put down 5 books in the last month. How do you get over this reading slump?

Usually, I just read a familiar book, something by a favorite author. It can work or other times fail, but I go for it. Sometimes I try reading an ebook or if that's my problem, a physical book. Or I just let myself take a break from books altogether. A pain, but there it is. 

10. There are so many books coming out that you are dying to read, how many do you end up buying?

Hahaha. But really, it depends on what's going on that month. Bills and such can get in the way, so I'll get two, maybe three books if possible.

11. After you purchase all of these books that you’re dying to read how long do they sit on your shelves before you get to them?

If it's a specific one, I'll read it right away but sometimes they sit on my shelf until I feel like reading it. 

Book Blogger Test Tag

The rules:

You must answer all of these questions truthfully and once you’ve completed this tag, tag 5 other book bloggers to answer the questions next.

1. What are your top three book pet hates?

Broken spines, cover changes, having a series of paperbacks and one hardback, or vice versa. 

2. Describe your perfect reading spot?

The cliche big comfy chair where I can fling my legs over the arm and snuggle under a comfy knit blanket.

3. Tell us three book Confessions

More than 80% of the books I own, I haven't read. I want to organize my books by color but I'm too anal to do that and they must be by author. I want to cry when I get rid of one, so I have a shelf of books I'll never read but couldn't bear to part ways with. 

4. When was the last time you cried from a book?

Probably Damnable Grace by Tillie Cole.

5. How many books are on your bedside table?


6. What is your favorite snack when reading?

Grapes and cheese!

7. Name three books you'd recommend to everyone

Heart on a Chain by Cindy Bennett, Significance by Shelly Crane, Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead.

8. Write how much books mean to you in three words

I love them.

9. What's your biggest reading secret?

I'm not a fan of books full of diverse characters who lay it on thick and ruin the story. 

10. Show your favorite part of your bookshelf


One of My romance section with my favorite authors!


I have no 5 people to tag, so if you do it let me know below! :)

June Releases

I can't believe it's June, and with a new month brings new releases! Here are a few notable releases I found interesting. 


Our Dark Duet-Victoria Schwab

With a release date of June 13th, this is one of the top anticipated releases. Our Dark Duet is the second book in this series and follows Kate Harker, a girl who hunts down monsters.












  Once and for All-Sarah Dessen

Louna's mother is a wedding planner, and despite seeing many happy couples, she's cynical about love and doesn't believe in happily ever afters. Ambrose, a serial dater, is setting out to change her mind about love once and for all. 

This releases June 3rd, and I'm so excited to read it!







Words in Deep Blue-Cath Crowley

Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones years ago and left a letter proclaiming her undying love. Only Henry never wrote back.

Now, Rachel has returned to the bookstore, working alongside Henry. Surrounded by happy couples, exchanging letters through books, a love begins to bloom.

Set to release June 6th.





Midnight Jewel-Richelle Mead



The anticipated sequel to The Glittering Court, this follows Mira, a refugee of war. She goes to court and learns to be a proper lady, one of nobleness to marry a well-off man. 

Only, during the night, she hatches a plan to escape, all the while finding love, passion, and freedom. 

Releases June 27th.





Bad Romance-Heather Demetrios



Bad Romance is a story of darkness merging into light. 

Grace wants out of her home. Away from her abusive father, and crazy mother. She leaves one prison to end up in another. 

Gavin was charming and sweet until he became possessive and mean.  

Releases June 13th.




Until it Fades-K.A. Tucker


This story follows Catherine, a truck stop waitress and single mother working hard to give her daughter a good life. She just wants to lay low and keep out of gossip in town. 

That all changes when she saves the life of a famous hockey player. Now her life is in the tabloids, and every second she's with him, she finds it harder to resist. 

Releases June 27th




The Impossible Vastness of Us-Samantha Young

India has moved across the country and fallen down the social ladder. It's taken time to hide her personal life and be known as popular before the move. Now she's living with her Mother's new husband and his daughter.

With the help of His daughter and her boyfriend, India falls back down the ladder. But as they spend time together, secrets begin to be spoken and a friendship blooms.

Releases June 27th




Book Blogs I Love

Hey, my lovely readers! Today's post is about the book bloggers I love! I have so many, my little folder in my favorites could practically burst if real. I won't be writing all of them, but if you'd like to hear about more, let me know below and I'll write another post.


Firstly, here is The Rustic Window. I adore her blog. It's got a gorgeous layout and features beautiful photos taken by the owner, CiCi. She has many reviews on her site, and is making a section that's solely for stories about women of color! It's a fascinating place to read reviews and her thoughts on bookish things. 


The next blogger on my list is Josephine from Word Revel. Her website is easy to navigate and isn't too full of activity. She has reviews, categorized by genres, challenges by year which involves her telling what she's doing that year and it's a great way to find some for yourself! She also has a features section. It has Bookstagram 101, photography, personal thoughts, etc. 


Rebecca from Unbound Pages is awesome. She offers posts on how to upkeep your blog, how to make it pop, and get viewers. She also has a review section. She's got many helpful posts on there, and I love to read her thoughts. She's got a well-maintained site and her writing is perfect. 

Christina from Girl in the Pages has a cute blog. She has an area called bookshelf, where she features the books she'll be reading in each year. I think that's a fantastic idea and may implement that myself. She also has reviews, of course. She has categories under it, including: by author, by title, by rating, boyfriend book, film, and book buddy reviews. She has a section about tips, monthly recaps, etc. It's chalk full of wondrous posts. 

The next one is Cait from Paper Fury. I adore this girl. She's witty and has a way of connecting with readers. She's just so fun and isn't afraid to be herself. She has reviews, an area for blogging, books, life, and writing sections. 

The Secret Life of a Book Blogger

I've seen this one floating around on the blogosphere, and have been looking forward to doing this post. No one tagged me, but I will tag Gwen from Life of a Nerd!


How long have you been a blogger?

I started writing reviews almost a year ago. I've come a long way in the way I write my reviews, and have been able to see my writing mature and grow over the year. Now I also do author chats and biblio posts. I salute those who have been doing this longer than a year.


At what point do you think you'll stop blogging?

Oh, man. I want to say never, I have been doing this for a while, but I can't control the future. Who knows what could happen, but I'll always be reading and writing novels, and both go hand in hand with my blog. 


What is the best thing about blogging?

The fact that I get to write about my favorite past time and writing isn't enough? The community is amazing. I haven't made a huge impact, and barely anyone knows who I am in both the BookTube community and writer community, but I can see the people who are so passionate about books and loving towards people. There is hardly mean spirtied people among us and it's a wonderful change from the real world.


What is the worst thing? What do you do to make it ok

The worst thing is how internally demanding it can be. I find myself worried over the petty parts like followers, stats, ARC envy, etc. It can almost make me too upset to update and it puts the thought in my head of "Am I really good enough for this?"

What makes me feel better is the friends I've met in this community. 


How long does it take you to make/find pictures to use?

Considering a lot of the photos I use are taken by myself, way too long. I spend usually an hour or two taking photos. I'll have a couple hundred of the same book before I think it's good enough. Any non-taken photos I just download from Amazon, so that isn't too long of a process. 


Who is your book crush?

Ooo, I love this question.

  1. Caleb from the Significant series
  2. Rhy's from ACOMAF (I'm aware he was in the first but still)
  3. I have way too many to add here


What author would you like to have on your blog?

Richelle Mead, Shelly Crane, Colleen Hoover. Just to name a few. Not that I'd be able to ask questions. I'd have keeled over from them wanting to have me interview them. 


What do you wear when you write your blog post?

There are no uniforms when it comes to blogging, thank goodness, but I sure you I look fabulous in a Ninja Turtle onesie ;)


How do you feel about the book blogger community?

You are all precious beings. 


What do you think one should do to get a successful blog?

I'm still trying to figure that out but it may involve

  1. A genuine person 
  2. who cares for the community
  3. not afraid to voice their opinion
  4. interacts with their fans



April To Be Read

Hey all my bookish loves! I'm here today with my April TBR! I'm so excited for this month's reads. Check out what I have planned!




A Court of Mist and Fury is one I've already read. It was my favorite book of 2016, and has reigned supreme thus far. I'm re-reading this with my buddy since the third book, A Court of Wings and Ruin is set to release in May! This story continues to follow Fayre, a strong young woman who has many challenges ahead of her. 









Midnight Jewel is the second book in the Glittering Court series by Richelle Mead. Each story follows a new character, ones we've already met in the first story. I adored the first one, and look forward to this one as well. 










Letter's to the Lost is a standalone and follows Juliet, a girl who has lost her mother. While writing letters and setting them on her mom's grave, she begins to receive letters back-from Declan, a young man who has his own demons to fight. They'll learn that the two know more about each other than what's let on. 

It sounds like a story full of young love, conquering your demons, and moving on from a painful past. 

Beauty and the Beast Retellings

Since the Beauty and the Beast debuted I thought I would make a post about some retellings! I absolutely love Beauty and the Beast retellings and I've read so many. 






When 19-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin — one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it… or doom Tamlin — and his world — forever.








I am a beast.

A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright — a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.

You think I’m talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It’s no deformity, no disease. And I’ll stay this way forever — ruined — unless I can break the spell.

Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I’ll tell you how I became perfectly… beastly.






In this modern-retelling of "Beauty and the Beast," Savannah Carmichael, betrayed by an unreliable source, returns to her hometown of Danvers, Virginia with her once-promising journalism career in ruins. Given the opportunity to get back in the game by writing a patriotic human interest piece, Savannah turns her attention to the town hermit, Asher Lee, a wounded veteran who returned to Danvers eight years ago, and hasn't been seen since. 

After an IED explosion in Afghanistan took Asher's hand and disfigured half of his face, he's lived a quiet life on the outskirts of Danvers where the locals respect his privacy...that is, until Savannah Carmichael comes calling in a borrowed sundress with a plate of homemade brownies. When Asher agrees to be interviewed by Savannah, he starts feeling things for the beautiful reporter that he hasn't felt in years. 

Misfits in small-town Danvers, Savannah and Asher create a bond right away, touching each other's hearts in ways neither thought possible. When a terrible mistake threatens to drive them apart, they'll have to decide if the love they found in one another's arms is strong enough to fight for their hard-won happily ever after. 


Betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom, Nyx has always known that her fate was to marry him, kill him, and free her people from his tyranny. But on her 17th birthday when she moves into his castle high on the kingdom’s mountaintop, nothing is what she expected — particularly her charming and beguiling new husband. Nyx knows she must save her homeland at all costs, yet she can’t resist the pull of her sworn enemy — who’s gotten in her way by stealing her heart.











  • Of Beast and Beauty

In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.

Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.

As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.

Anticipated Reads of 2017

Hey all! I'm here with my most anticipated reads of 2017! I'm so excited for the releases this year, I can hardly contain my chocolate loving soul. 

First off, I have just this simple, no big deal book...


Its A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN by Sarah J. Maas! Ya'll, I am so excited for this one! I LOVED ACOMAF, like I devoured it so fast, I nearly wept in pain when I had finished it. No joke. And the COVER for this one? Gorgeous. 







The next one I'm excited for Caraval. I know it's already out, but like with everything else, I'm so far behind in the times. I'll get to it at some point!







This one looks so good! It's a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, a perfect time since the movie is coming out. And everyone knows I love a good retelling!







Okay, hold up. These next three books are basically books about already made superheroes and I seriously dig it. Plus, the authors are bomb. On this list is Batman by Marie Lu and Catwoman by Sarah J. Maas! 







This one looks amazing, I mean the cover it beautiful! Plus the plot ain't too shabby, either ;)







I adore Sarah Dessen, I've read everything but Saint Anything and obviously, this one. So I'm ready for it now!







Okay, there are a few of my most anticipated. I'm sure there are more but there's so many releases this year, I can't keep up! Let me know what yours are!

-The Avid Reader-

March To Be Read

March is full of amazing releases and I'm so excited to get my hands on them. My TBR for this coming month is a little out there, especially considering I've failed on most monthly TBR's in the past few months, but I'm trying! All but one of these books are buddy reads with my super cool friend, reader, writer buddy-Amanda! 

You can also watch our TBR video on our channel.

  This first one is the shortest (I believe) and we plan on reading it first.  We Were Liars  by E. Lockhart is supposed to be a great book with a major twist at the end! We shall see ;)    This comes from my Bookstagram, as you can probably tell! 

This first one is the shortest (I believe) and we plan on reading it first. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is supposed to be a great book with a major twist at the end! We shall see ;)

This comes from my Bookstagram, as you can probably tell! 

  This next one we're so excited about! RoseBlood   by A.G. Howard! I'm so pumped for this. I love retelling stories, and I'm so hopeful, because I've only read a handful of good ones! 

This next one we're so excited about! RoseBlood by A.G. Howard! I'm so pumped for this. I love retelling stories, and I'm so hopeful, because I've only read a handful of good ones! 

 The next one on our list is  Garden of Thorns  by Amber Mitchell.   I saw this while looking on Goodreads while preparing for our Tea Talk on our YouTube channel and knew this had to be on my list. It sounds different and cool, which is a feat considering it's fantasy! 

The next one on our list is Garden of Thorns by Amber Mitchell. I saw this while looking on Goodreads while preparing for our Tea Talk on our YouTube channel and knew this had to be on my list. It sounds different and cool, which is a feat considering it's fantasy! 

 Again, another retelling! I'm so excited for this one. I've heard it's pretty good.

Again, another retelling! I'm so excited for this one. I've heard it's pretty good.

 This one is the only one we're not reading together. This is book two of Future Shock and I adored the first one. I have a review  here  that you can read.

This one is the only one we're not reading together. This is book two of Future Shock and I adored the first one. I have a review here that you can read.

 This one looks super cute and a refreshing read after all of this fantasy. It's a contemporary romance that involves two people locked in a library and love ensues. I can't wait!

This one looks super cute and a refreshing read after all of this fantasy. It's a contemporary romance that involves two people locked in a library and love ensues. I can't wait!


So here are all the books I'm reading in March. Have you read any of these? What's on your TBR for March?

-The Avid Reader-