2019 June Goals – Accountability, Check in, and Making $$

I’ve been testing out my Eco-Nuts laundry detergent and I think I love them! I accidentally left the small cloth bag in my laundry full of nuts and it went through the dryer… but other than that they have worked amazingly!

Sadly, most of my seed starts have died but I have three small tomato plants, 3 squash humps (with 2-4 plants in each), 2 zucchini humps (with 2-3 plants in each), a cucumber hump (with 2-3 plants in it), and turnip leaves growing! I don’t think the carrots I planted made it since I don’t see any sprouting above ground. My indoor basil plant is dying and the plants in a jar (basil and mint) both died. I’m really hopeful that my squash, zucchini, and cucumbers will grow this summer though. I have also been scouting out possible foraging opportunities with the Falling Fruit app but have so far had no luck finding cherry or plum trees. I also am unsure when cherries are in season around here… I do have my sights set on a local plum tree (not listed on the app) and have been checking their ripeness weekly. I hope to dehydrate/dry the plums I pick.

On my travels out of state I was not particularly zero waste, sadly, but it got me thinking about the difficulties in reducing single-use items while traveling.

Do you have any other ideas I should consider to reduce my waste?


As far as fitness goals go: Though I signed up to participate in the Blogilates June Summer Sculpt program, I quickly ditched it as I was incredibly busy the first few weeks of the month traveling and taking a class for work. I want to take more dance classes in July and bike over 25 miles (hopefully some of those miles will be biked instead of driven).

I reached a landmark progress goal in my pole-dance career on 6/25 this month!

1. Total pole classes I’ve taken: 388

2. Total years spent poling= 5 (with a year break between pole 101 graduation and my next class)

3. Total money I’ve spent on pole classes: $6,546 (average of $17/class)

4. Total hours spent poling in classes: 616.5 hours = 25.7 days = 36,990 minutes

5. Total instructors I’ve had: 34

6. Total studios I’ve gone to: 11

I’ve performed in front of audiences three times!


Turkish language progress:

I now have 1,176 Anki cards. I’ve done 4,537 reviews. I have spent 4:58:46 reviewing with an average of 56 reviews per day. My grade is 67% D.

July 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 8 finished, word of the day in Anki, Rosetta Stone in Anki, Grammar study
August 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 9 finished, word of the day in Anki, Rosetta Stone in Anki, 100 Anki common Turkish vocabulary
September 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 10 finished, word of the day in Anki, Rosetta Stone in Anki, Grammar study
October 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 11 finished, word of the day in Anki, Rosetta Stone in Anki, 100 Anki common Turkish vocabulary
November 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 12 finished, word of the day in Anki, Rosetta Stone in Anki, Grammar study, take a placement test


My main goal for the year was to save as much money as possible! I’m doing this by earning more money, spending less money, and investing the money that I do have. Here is my monthly budget spreadsheet:

Categories $$ to spend 19-Jan 19-Feb 19-Mar 19-Apr 19-May 19-June 19-July
Take home pay *** *** *** *** *** ***
Earnings *** *** *** *** *** ***
Total Earnings   *** *** *** *** *** ***
Rent 700 same  same same same same same
Phone 45 same same same same same same
Car 300 Over Over Under under under under
Travel 100 Under  0 0 90.05 99.42 196.58
Housing Supplies 25 0  Over Under 105.52 (sharpened knives and got zero-waste supplies) 25.84 7.61
Health & Wellness 60 0 Over Under 113 110.45 84.95
Writing 25 Over Over 0 14.42 (e-books) 0 0
Charity/art 25 Over  15 Under 32 10 15
Entertainment 70 Over  20.95 Over 66.33 61.46 66.95
Fitness Classes 75 Over  0 30 0 133 35
Food – eating out 100 179.98  96.00 185.03 251.16 (Travel to FL) 536.77 (family is in town) 458.99 (family is in town)
Food – groceries 400 575.47 324.88 444 608.48 (travel to FL) 226.03 256.95
Misc. 50 47.92  92.03 660 (put my tax prep and a present in this category) 1.60 348.50 14.34
Total Spent  <50% 55% 42% 48% 47% 55% 42%
Total Savings 2080 Over Over Over Over Over Over

 


My writing goals!! I wrote out a month-by-month plan to accomplish my writing goals.

July – Sell 1-2 At One’s Beast books for at least $11 to break even. Sell 1 Vanessa’s Book of Awesome Things over $1.04 to start making a profit. Sell 1 Ataxia and the Ravine of Lost Dreams book over $1.64 to start making a profit. Redo the draft on my children’s picture book. Perhaps collaborate? Research illustrators and publishers for the book. Update to my author website.

August – Send out Flora to a new beta reader and get feedback. Find a geneologist to comment on the geneology aspects of the book and add in more genetics background for the magic. Research publishers to send Flora out to. Plan book specials for the fall/winter online.

September – Outline Aster & Tilde 5-book series completely. Re-read Aster & Tilde book 1 and edit according to the master outline

October – Write every day and work on Aster & Tilde Book 2

November – Participate in NaNoWriMo and finish writing Aster & Tilde Book 2

December – ??


What are your goals and how are you meeting them this month?

Here is my January goal check in blog post!

Here is my February goal check in blog post!

Here is my March goal check in blog post!

Here is my April goal check in blog post!

Here is my May goal check in blog post!


Recap of events this month:

Maple Valley Days annual volunteering/book-selling event 

Donut adventures in Los Angeles, California

Veggie Fest in Redmond

Indie Author Night at Brick & Mortar Books

Stars Wars in Concert!

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Indie Author Night Aftermath – Brick & Mortar Books Redmond Event

20+ authors pitched their books last Thursday! It was such a fun night. This event happens quarterly so you may have another chance to see me at Brick & Mortar Books in Redmond this year!

Local Event Alert! Indie Author Night – Brick & Mortar Books in Redmond, WA 6/27/19

It’s time for another one of Brick & Mortar’s hugely popular Indie Author Nights!

The event format is simple: they bring in about 20 authors, tell you a bit about them, and they each have 2 minutes to talk about their book or series. After each author has given their pitch, customers will have the opportunity to purchase books and interact with authors!

I’m excited to be a part of this local event and to find some new awesome books to read. My TBR is getting low again…

Here’s a sneak peek at the lineup:

  • Sandra Anderson: Troubled Mother, Troubled Son, an autobiography for older teens and adults.
  • Brenda Baker: the picture book Oddly Colorful!
  • Rachel Barnard: For the Love of Donuts series for young adult and new adult readers.
  • Flora Burlingame: Path of Progress: One Man’s Fight for Women’s Rights and Charcoal and Chalk: John Ogilvie and the Beginnings of Black Education in Texas (adult historical fiction)
  • Van Chesnutt: Push the Red Button, a humorous travel memoir of adventures, misadventures, and observation accumulated over 30+ years of travel.
  • Ellie Collins: Daisy, Bold & Beautiful, a middle grade fantasy full of Greek mythology fantasy.
  • Beverly Cuevas: When the Twinkle is Gone: A Child’s Perspective on Death, an illustrated book for parents with information about how to help children deal with grief.
  • Danielle Dreger: Secret Heart, Bad at Love, and Reckless Night You Won’t Regret (YA queer romantic comedy) and The Ten Fantastic Fails of Rory O’Leary (MG contemporary fiction)
  • Bill Erxleben: A Lion Where There Were Lambs: The Quest for Truth, Justice, and the Rule of Law in the Pacific Northwest, a combination of courtroom drama, regional history, and memoir.
  • Gail Folkins: Texas Dance Halls: A Two-Step Circuit, literary journalism about Texas dance hall culture, and Light in the Trees, a memoir about growing up in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Carol Gavhane: She’s Got This!: Essays on Standing Strong and Moving On, an anthology featuring essays from 46 writers for women and mothers.
  • Julia Goldstein: Material Value, for consumers and to businesses wanting to implement more environmentally-friendly practices.
  • Jennifer Haupt: In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills, a novel for adults inspired by her time as a journalist in post-genocide Rwanda.
  • Amy M Le: Snow in Vietnam is an adult historical fiction tribute to her mother’s heroic decision to flee Vietnam after the fall of Saigon.
  • Ashton Macaulay: Whiteout (A Nick Ventner Adventure), the tale of a drunken monster hunter searching for yeti, and Aberrant Tales, a short fiction anthology.
  • Joyce Major: The Orangutan Rescue Gang, a middle grade fiction full of adventure, friendship, and the environment.
  • Abbi McKee: Cricket and Milo Visit Seattle, the first in a picture book series about two dogs who visit different places.
  • Saqib Rasool: Saqibism, poetry on innovation, entrepreneurship, and inner perception for changemakers, cultural creatives, and entrepreneurs.
  • Sonya Rhen: YA/NA books Space Tripping with the Shredded Orphans, The Shredded Orphans and the Space Pirates, and Requite Me: Poems of Love (humorous adventure science fiction) Jealousy, and Angst (poetry about love and love lost)
  • Deirdre Timmons: Brain Candy, a light-hearted and poignant memoir for people struggling with dire illness or loved ones with Alzheimer’s.
  • Doug Walsh: Tailwinds Past Florence (time travel romance) and The Walkthrough: Insider Tales from a Life in Strategy Guides (for people interested in video games!)
  • O.M. Wills: ERTA: The Complete Series, a science fiction and fantasy series for adults.

Book Review: The Kitchen Brigade by Laurie Boris

The Kitchen Brigade by Laurie Boris

A Contemporary Women’s Dystopian Novel published by Amazon Digital Services LLC (01/10/19)

Summary:

In a not-so-distant future Russia occupies America. Travel is limited. Employment is limited. Freedom is limited. Valerie grew up privileged as the daughter of the secretary of state but is now forced to cook for the army in this occupied-America. With her culinary background she impresses a Russian general and is given the ‘opportunity’ to work in his mansion. Christened “Three” she works with a head chef and four other chefs in the kitchen during the day. This opportunity involves being led to her work space in handcuffs every day, bullied and belittled by the guards and the guests at times, and forced to work for the same men who killed her father and are destroying her country’s freedoms. She knows she will not do nothing, will not work demurely, will not stand idly by if an opportunity presents itself.

Keywords:

Social Sci-fi, Cooking, Kitchen, Servitude, Occupied America, Passion, Friendship, Loyalty, Courage, Despair, Russia, Violence, Oppression, Tension

My Review:

Though supplies may be scarce, the kitchen brigade bring life and love to the dishes they prepare. Head Chef Svetlana says some very poignant remarks about cooking and food throughout the novel. It is their love of food and their passion for cooking that bring life to the kitchen and hope to their hearts. It is this passion that seems to lead them in other areas of their lives and gives them the willingness to stand up for what they believe in and the need to act when they can.

I enjoyed all the characters very much. Head Chef Svetlana seemed so complex when viewed from both her point of view and from Valerie’s point of view combined. Who is Svetlana really and what side does she work for? Valerie is very courageous, even in the beginning she does not yield instantly to her fate. Yet, she does not fight when there is no reason. She is industrious and clever. Two seemed the most complex character with the least explanation or backstory and I really enjoyed this slight ambiguity. In the height of chaos, what would she do? She is the loose cannon that could crumble Svetlana’s plans and yet Svetlana loves Two like a daughter. I adored Four so much! She was so cool. Each of the women in the employ of Svetlana in the kitchen were full of personality.

I enjoyed the details of running the kitchen, including food preparation, wine pairing, cleaning, herb gardening, and more.

This book had great suspension and tension throughout. The ending came suddenly and some of the action I couldn’t quite picture but I enjoyed reading it nonetheless.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services LLC on 01/10/19 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.25

Links for more information:

Laurie Boris’s Website

Goodreads

Twitter

Los Angeles Trip, Impressions, $$ spent

Last week I went to Los Angeles with my partner. He was attending E3. While he was away during the day at the convention, I went out and found donuts, took a dance class, and was part of a studio audience for LMAD.  I spent a total of ~$613. My SO paid for the plane tickets and the AirBnB where we stayed. I rented the car and bought all the donuts! Here is the breakdown of my costs and what we did each day…

Los Angeles, California trip 6/10 – 6/14

Monday:
Picked up rental car – $193
In n Out at 11AM Double Double burgers with fries animal style
Picked up E3 badge
Parking Garage $2 N. LA
Donatsu –  Royal Dragon yeast donut $5 cash including the tip.
Lyft to City Hall to go to the observation deck which was free! $5.80 for the Lyft
AirBnB check in after 4PM less than 3 miles from E3
Drove to Santa Barbara and Cold Spring Tavern, split the bill – $65
Stopped for gas – $40 to fill the tank
Stopped at Ralph’s for snacks and waters

First day thoughts. LA traffic is crazy! Pedestrians, bikers, and drivers alike make crazy poor decisions regarding the usage of the road. People will stop in the middle of the road and put on flashers whenever they feel like it. If you want to make a left turn (most of them are unprotected left turns) you have to wait for the light to turn yellow and then at least two cars running the red light from oncoming traffic before you can make your left turn. This was the hottest day! The rental car process was the simplest I’ve ever been through and I would actually recommend Midway Car Rental (just make sure you get directions for getting to the offsite rental car site).

Tuesday:
Dropped SO off at E3
California Donuts – got a glazed, cream filled, and lemon filled. Donuts were $1 each and I gave $1 tip! Donuts were average – $4
Bath and Body Works and Staples to print my studio audience ticket – $1 printing, $8 bath bomb
4:15 – 5:25 BeSpun Int Upside Down Pole Tricks $35
Big Al’s Pizzeria – got Supreme and BBQ Chicken Large pizzas for takeaway – $48
Ate at Elysian Park and then climbed to the swing and lookout at the top of a hill
Stopped at CVS

I took a pole class at BeSpun. Unfortunately the air conditioning was broken! The class started out slow and then ramped up quickly. I loved the combo we did and we were allowed to take video at the end of class and I was able to dance the combo at this time. Neat little studio NW of Downtown.

Wednesday:
Dropped of SO at E3
Picked up half dozen special donuts from Crafted Donuts – $15 – these were meh
Picked up toilet paper, water, and peaches from Ralph’s nearby – $4.63
Worked at home
8:30 Benihana reservation $80.74
Parked across the street $3.50

Our AirBnB provided 2/3 a roll of toilet paper for our 4.5 day stay… So we had to get some more SMH. I was surprised that with our reservation at Benihana, we weren’t sat until 9:15PM. I’ve never had to wait that long with a reservation. I was ecstatic to find cheap parking across the street, especially since we were parked there for nearly 3 hours.

Thursday:
Dropped off SO at E3
Kettle Glazed Doughnuts $11.75 – decent donuts
Let’s Make a Deal showing 11AM (check in at 10:30AM), rented a cop costume – $25, you can look up the show at a later date with the date 6/13/19 and the code 11030
Picked up SO from E3
Leo’s Tacos $30 cash
Dunkin’ $16.47

LMAD was such a cool experience! I went there prepared to not be in costume and just watch but go so hyped up by the enthusiastic staff and other participants that I wanted to participate. I rented a costume (a cop because I’m a donut enthusiast) and worked really hard to be extroverted so that I would be chosen as a contestant but sadly I was not. It was super fun, regardless, and a little exhausting to smile for over two hours and be energetic for that long. I would definitely do this again if I go back to LA. I arrived around 10AM and drove off the lot around 3:45 so it was an all day event! My favorite part: if I didn’t rent a costume it would have been completely free to participate!

Friday:
AirBNB checkout 12PM
Parked at 2100 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291 $9 for parking (the most we paid)
Muscle Beach being renovated so it wasn’t open 😦 We walked along the boardwalk
Drove to Sidecar Doughnuts and Coffee (gluten-friendly, huckleberry, vanilla glazed) $10.75
Drove to CVS for last minute supplies
Drove to the airport
Picked up In n Out for SO $8.81
Midway Car Rental drop off 4:00PM

I was sad that muscle beach was being renovated but there was a slick little outdoor acrobatic gym? It had two ropes to climb, a balance beam, two rings, and some pull-up bars.

Places I still want to go:

  • the Upside Down House
  • The Last Bookstore
  • Donut Friend
  • Eaton Canyon Falls
  • Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
  • SKS Donut & Croissant
  • The Manufactory
  • Angels Flight Railway
  • Birdies Fried Chicken and Donuts

Maple Valley Days 6th Year Follow-up

This was my 7th year volunteering behind the scenes of the event and FreeValley Publishing’s 6th year having a booth at the festival. Wow! I love being involved with this event and I learn something every year. I get to watch conflict resolution and large event planning. It is amazing how much detail and effort goes into putting on this festival and I’m glad I’ve been a part of it.

Local Event Alert: Maple Valley Days! This Weekend

You can find FVP and some great books by local authors at Maple Valley Days near the info booth! This is our sixth year at Maple Valley Days and we have some new books since last year.

And Happy National Donut Day!

http://www.maplevalleydays.com/

Check out our 2017 Maple Valley Days

Check out our 2016 Maple Valley Days

Check out our 2015 Maple Valley Days

Check out our 2014 Maple Valley Days

LAKE WILDERNESS PARK
23601 224th Ave SE
Maple Valley, WA 98038
 
FESTIVAL HOURS
Friday: 3pm – 8pm – Carnival  stays open until 10.
Saturday: 10am – 8pm
Sunday: 10am – 5pm
 
For more information, visit the official website HERE or visit the new Facebook page HERE

2019 May Goals – Accountability, Check in, and New Goals

I have been collecting all my junk mail for the past 4 weeks and spent time this month attempting to stop this junk mail. I have been doing this since the beginning of the year. Here is a pile of all the junk mail I’ve accumulated in just four weeks! Urgh!

I tried regrowing some romaine lettuce. Check out the progress!

I’ve also planted some seeds and transplanted them into a small garden plot outside in the backyard. I’m hoping even with all the tree coverage that the plot will get enough sun to grow the tomatoes, zucchini, squash, and carrots that I planted. We’ll see…

I bought Eco Nuts to use as laundry detergent and will give them a try this June to see how I like them/if they work well.

Do you have any other ideas I should consider to reduce my waste?


As far as fitness goals go: I signed up to participate in one of my favorite Youtuber’s fitness challenges for June: Blogilates! I did Cassie’s 100 abs challenge earlier this year and she’s back with her 28 Day Summer Sculpt Program.

I also have been biking more and nabbed myself a new helmet since I lost mine in my last move.


Turkish language progress:

I’ve updated my monthly goals again. I’ve added in an assignment for charting the verbs I have learned. I have 85 verbs that I’ve learned/will learn through June and I want to chart them all. The charts will look like this so far because I want to get more familiar with all the verb forms:

Gitmek – To go https://www.verbix.com/webverbix/go.php?&D1=31&T1=gitmek

Present Tense

Negative

Interrogative

Negative Interrogative

Ben gidiyorm

Sen gidiyorsun

O gidiyor

Biz gidiyoruz

Siz gidiorsunuz

Onlar gidiyorlar

Gitmiyorum

Gitmiyorsun

Gitmiyor

Gitmiyoruz

Gitmiyorsunuz

gitmiyorlar

Gidiyor muyum?

Gidiyor musun?

Gidiyor mu?

Gidiyor muyuz?

Gidiyor musunuz?

Gidiyarlar mı?

Gitmiyor muyum?

Gitmiyor musun?

Gitmiyor mu?

Gitmiyor muyuz?

Gitmiyor musunuz?

Gitmiyourlar mı?

Past Tense

Negative

Interrogative

Negative Interrogative

Ben gittim

Sen gittin

O gitti

Biz gittik

Siz gittiniz

Onlar gittiler

Gitmedim

Gitmedin

Gitmedi

Gitmedik

Gitmediniz

gitmediler

Gittim mi?

Gittin mi?

Gitti mi?

Gittik mi?

Gittiniz mi?

Gittiler mi?

Gitmedim mi?

Gitmedin mi?

Gitmedi mi?

Gitmedik mi?

Gitmediniz mi?

Gitmediler mi?

Eventually I will also add in the future tense.

Rosetta Stone Unit 6 is about past and future tenses! I’m probably going to finish up Unit 6 in early June. I’ve had a little trouble with the app not letting me go back to a lesson and fix mistakes I made before without restarting the entire lesson.

I would also like to start going through more grammar lessons. Perhaps weekly?

I now have 942 Anki cards. I’ve done 3,432 reviews. I have spent 3:55:20 reviewing with an average of 56 reviews per day. My grade is 64% D.

June 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 7, Anki cards Unit 7, word of the day, all top 625 in Anki cards, 85 verb declension charts
July 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 8, Anki cards Unit 8, word of the day, top 800 words in Turkish in Anki cards, Vocab cards for first half of the grammar book, purchase a monolingual dictionary
August 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 9, Anki cards Unit 9, word of the day, top 1000 words in Turkish in Anki cards
September 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 10, Anki cards Unit 10, word of the day, 25 specialized vocab in Turkish in Anki cardss, read 1/2 a book and follow audio book in Turkish
October 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 11, Anki cards Unit 10, word of the day, 25 specialized vocab in Turkish in Anki cards, finish 1/2 a book and follow audio book in Turkish
November 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 12, Anki cards Unit 10, word of the day, 25 specialized vocab in Turkish in Anki cards, take a placement test? Take a vocabulary test?


My main goal for the year was to save as much money as possible! I’m doing this by earning more money, spending less money, and investing the money that I do have. Here is my monthly budget spreadsheet:

 

Categories $$ to spend 19-Jan 19-Feb 19-Mar 19-Apr 19-May
Take home pay *** *** *** *** ***
Earnings *** *** *** *** ***
Total Earnings   *** *** *** *** ***
Rent 700 same  same same same same
Phone 45 same same same same same
Car 300 Over Over Under under under
Travel 100 Under  0 0 90.05 99.42
Housing Supplies 25 0  Over Under 105.52 (sharpened knives and got zero-waste supplies) 25.84
Health & Wellness 60 0 Over Under 113 110.45
Writing 25 Over Over 0 14.42 (e-books) 0
Charity/art 25 Over  15 Under 32 10
Entertainment 70 Over  20.95 Over 66.33 61.46
Fitness Classes 75 Over  0 30 0 133
Food – eating out 100 179.98  96.00 185.03 251.16 (Travel to FL) 536.77 (family is in town)
Food – groceries 400 575.47 324.88 444 608.48 (travel to FL) 226.03
Misc. 50 47.92  92.03 660 (put my tax prep and a present in this category) 1.60 348.50
Total Spent  <50% 55% 42% 48% 47% 55%
Total Savings 2080 Over Over Over Over Over

 


I started a new goal for this year: writing!

I want to re-write my children’s picture book, find publishers to send it out to, send out my queries, and source an illustrator if none of the publisher’s want the book.

I want to send out my middle grade fantasy book to agents and if I don’t get any interest I want to have a plan to self-publish this book in 2020. I think I want to work with a genealogist to put more geneology aspects into it as well.

I want to plan out and start working on (writing again) my contemporary new adult romance series. I want to work with other authors to push myself to work on this series and publish the books. I’ll let you all know in a month how this new goal is progressing.


What are your goals and how are you meeting them this month?

Here is my January goal check in blog post!

Here is my February goal check in blog post!

Here is my March goal check in blog post!

Here is my April goal check in blog post!


We have family visiting from out of state and we are taking her to all our favorite places this month!

Cinco de Mayo Redmond Park

Starbucks Reserve Roastery Downtown

Portland Weekend Trip – Kachka

Portland Weekend Trip Pip’s Original Doughnuts & Chai

Book Review: Dangerous Territory: a Keltin Moore Adventure (The Adventures of Keltin Moore Book 3) by Lindsay Schopfer

Dangerous Territory: a Keltin Moore Adventure (The Adventures of Keltin Moore Book 3) by Lindsay Schopfer

A Steampunk Science Fantasy Novel published through Amazon Digital Services (06/01/19)

Summary:

Keltin Moore is a beast hunter starting his own beast hunting company with two of his faithful companions: Bor’ve’tai the Loopi and Jaylocke the Weycliff Wayfarer. Their first job takes Bor’ve’tai and Jaylocke away together to hunt a smoke beast while Keltin holds down the office by himself. Not even a day later Keltin is tasked with an emergency beast hunting job and a secret assignment. Without being able to wait for his companions, he is off north to Krendaria once again.

Keywords:

Fighting, Hunting, Prey, Beasts, Determination, Heroics, Strategy, Politics, Discrimination, Hate, Farming, Working Together, Survival, Thoughtfulness, Injury, Escape, Stealth

My Review:

Keltin Moore’s world is much like stepping into the fictional wardrobe of Narnia with all sorts of creatures, most of them unfriendly. The Beast Hunter’s monsters are varied in form, function, and appearance. I really enjoyed the imaginative world building of the monsters themselves and the weaponry made to defeat them. The author gives the reader the perfect amount of description for both amidst the action of the hunt scenes.

Much like with the other Keltin Moore book I read, the start of the novel builds the world slowly, re-introducing the reader to Keltin and the new problem he must solve. Keltin himself has grown into an entrepreneur yet he remains humble. I really enjoyed his embarrassment and the way he would normalize himself anytime he was being described overly heroically. If I had an Uncle in a fantasy novel, I would like him to be Keltin.

This book reminded of the narrative ease of the Tarzan novels and once the main plot was revealed, I was hooked into the story and didn’t put the book down.

This novel was published through Amazon Digital Services 06/01/2019 and is available on Amazon here.

TLDR Star Rating: 3.75

Links for more information:

Author Website:  www.lindsayschopfer.com

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Lindsay-Schopfer/e/B007EF3MQS

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindsaySchopfer

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lindsayschopfer

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7078379.Lindsay_Schopfer

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/lindsayschopfer?ty=h

Book Review: Love Songs, Detours, Et Cetera (Senior Year Sweethearts Book 1) by Starla Huchton

Love Songs, Detours, Et Cetera (Senior Year Sweethearts Book 1) by Starla Huchton

An Contemporary YA Novel published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (04/14/19)

Summary:

On the first day of her senior year of high school in the small town of Highland, Iowa, Trina gets to school before any of the other students so she can volunteer and help the teachers. Trina bumps into the most popular and best looking boy on that first day. Is it her imagination or is he trying to follow her around school? Trina has one best friend in the entire school and everyone else either ignores her or makes fun of her and her mom. Why would Ethan give her the time of day?

Keywords:

Romance, Love, Friendship, High School, Sewing, Costumes, Musical, Alternative Lifestyle, Family, Best Friends, Senior Year, Volunteer

My Review:

Starla has a way with building amazing characters. I felt like I was Trina. She blends into the background and does her own thing but isn’t afraid to voice her opinion and stand up for herself. Trina drives an old car and has dreams of going places, specifically leaving her small town. Though I’ve never really been in a small town, I felt like I understood entirely the feeling of being unique and standing out in Highland, Iowa. I loved Trina’s interactions with her mom, with her best friend, and with Ethan. Trina’s voice was distinct and she knew what she liked, who she liked, and what she wanted.

The dialogue was clever and realistic and mesmerizing. I couldn’t get enough of it.

The romance was perfectly developed and I loved being inside Trina’s head with her nerves and her anxieties throughout it all. I especially loved Ethan’s reactions to Trina’s anxiety.

Ethan was also well developed as a character. He had a robust life outside of his interest in Trina. He had his own wants and dreams as well as his own faults and problems. I really enjoyed the complication of Emmaline, Ethan’s younger sister in the story as well.

The details of costume building and theater were super fun and I really liked how at this particular high school the theater nerd was the most popular kid in school.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. on 04/14/2019 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 5.0

Links for more information:

Starla Huchton’s Website

Goodreads