Saturday, January 20, 2018

OOH! I HAVE BEEN TAGGED!//The Writer's Book Tag


Shout out to the blogger you tagged you
Tag 3 people
Use the Graphic 

*scrabbles off to find it* 



And I’ll be tagging

Catherine @ The Rebelling Muse

*aggressive doorbell ringing*

Oh my? Whoever could that be at the door?

*opens door*

*Is fallen upon by two good friends bearing gifts of FOOD*

Catherine: FOOD?? I thought that this was a LITERARY tag!!! I didn’t know food was involved!! 
*mentally kicks herself for not stopping at British candy store on the way*
Lilah: I’m ok with food!!!! Food and books are the best together!!

Mary Kate: *snorts and whispers like this is somehow a joke, because I wrote it late in the night* 
How about literal food?

Mary Kate: *And then wails* We had one breakfast yes. BUT WHAT ABOUT SECOND BREAKFAST!

Catherine and Lilah look at each other, shake their heads, and pick up poor Mary Kate off the floor.

Mary Kate: *whimpers* So hungry

Catherine: I promise you, we’ll have tea later. The bookdragons have to be fed first. 
Onto the questions!!

First Draft: A Book Or Series You Have NEVER Read Before:

Mary Kate: Emma by Jane Austen. I just finished Emma Approved and I am obsessed. 
And a little afraid that the books will not do it credit. Which is weird. Since the book came first...
Catherine: Holy Cal, Lia...we actually got MK hooked onto a period drama related...thing?? 
That’s a shock….

Lilah: I had to pay her back for giving me sad books :D

Mary Kate: Oh come now. I’ve watched Pride and Prejudice quite a few times, 
introduced most of my friends to BBC’s North and South and watched the Lizzy Bennet Diaries 
in a very short space of time.
*whispers* It only took me three weeks to watch all of Emma Approved.

And of course I was screaming like a manic when I watched the last couple videos.

Catherine: For me, it’s the Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan. I’ve just never gotten my
 hands on a copy of them….yet.

Mary Kate: Or The Lunar Chronicles. Which is sad. 

Catherine: That is a bit of a predicament, isn’t it?


Lilah: For me….. The Out of Time series by Nadine Brandes. I’ve heard really good things

Mary Kate: Wow. I’ve never even heard of it before…

Catherine: I’ve heard them mentioned on Goodreads a lot. A lot of fellow bloggers also 
recommend them *wink wink*

Second Draft: A Book Or Series You Didn't Like As Much The Second Time You Read It:

Mary Kate: When Calls The Heart by Janette Oak. I liked it well enough, but then after I’d read 
Pride and Prejudice and Faro’s just didn’t seem to compare.

Catherine: Marcia Schuyler by Grace Livingston Hill. I still like it, but the second read definitely 
exposed a lot of the book’s faults, especially in the plot department….

Lilah: I have never read a book I didn’t like :D

Catherine: Really???

Mary Kate: Not once? EVER?

Lilah: Nooo wait!!! I changed my mind!! Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. *shudders* 
It was so boring!!!!

Catherine: Okay, she is normal then. LOL.

Final Draft: A Book Or Series You've Liked For A Really Long Time:

Mary Kate: I’d better jump down and steal this answer first since I know we all love them...
The Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter

Catherine: UMMM YEAH!!!! And Zach Goode is MINE!!!



Mary Kate: ….

Mary Kate: Though if you had him, that would mean he was an actual person, so you would be 

Catherine: *giggles*

Catherine: I’m going to say A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin. This was one of the first Kindle 
books I picked up in college and I love it still. This WWII romance was really well done, and it got me
 hooked unto a great author.

But what sold me was the fact that the hero is a B-17 bomber pilot.

Why does this resonate with me?

A B-17E bomber, the same model as Walter’s plane in A Distant Melody. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Because my great-grandfather also was a B-17 (also known as a Flying Fortress) pilot.

A B-17G bomber, the same model in which my great-grandfather flew in WWII.
 Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Soooooo….yeah, might be just a tad bit biased…..I do want to finish this series too.

Mary Kate: *starry eyed* soldier/war romance stories...

Catherine: Aren’t they the BEST!!!! Definitely recommend that you go check out Sarah Sundin, 
MK. She’s got a couple of series around soldier/war/nurse romances, and they are AWESOME.

Lilah: i agree about Sarah Sundin books. She is amazing!!!!  For myself though, Anne of Green Gables
by L. M. Montgomery. They are timeless!!

Killing Off Your Characters: A Book Or Series That Made You Cry:

Mary Kate: I actually have never cried when reading a book before...or watching a movie. But the 
closest I came was Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

Catherine: I usually don’t cry either for books (movies is another story). The closest one for me was 
Rilla of Ingleside - when Walter...died. *sobs* Despite the fact that Courcelette was such a beautiful 
name for a city, I can’t think of it without the ol’ sinking feeling in the chest.

Mary Kate: So that just leaves Liliah. The one who actually feels bad when people die

Catherine: HEY!! I feel bad when people die too!! *sniffles and wipes eyes over Walter Blythe’s grave*

Lilah: Do you guys want just one book or a list???

Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin (STILL MAD AT YOU MARY KATE!!!) 
Mary Kate: *Helplessly trying to keep laughs silent*
Rilla of Ingleside by L. M. Montgomery *cries with Catherine*
Whisper To Me by Nick Lake

Plot Holes: A Book Or Series That Disappointed You:

Mary Kate: The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E Pearson. The first book was ok and then….
*SPLAT* Right off the cliff

Catherine: Sounds like a fun ride...not.

Catherine: For me, it was Fatal Frost by Nancy Mehl. It was centered around a stereotypical “strong” 
(strong as in masculine) cold woman who is a U.S. Marshall. There was little character change in her 
at all until the very end, which I didn’t like. I wanted her to become a little more feminine.

Lilah: The Heroes of Olympus. House of Hades. You guys know what I’m talking about.

Writer's Block: A Book Or Series That You Haven't Finished:

Mary Kate: The Canadian West Series. I know I mentioned it on this post already 
(When Calls The Heart is book one) but its the the only series that come to mind…
(if you exclude ones that don’t have all the books published.) I actually read quite a few of them as 
a youngster…until they eventually shriveled and died. Oh well.

Catherine: Good grief, where do I start??? I have multiple ones that fit in this category due to my 
book-shopping habits….

But for this question, I’ll pick the Inheritance Cycle series by Christopher Paolini. I adored Eragon 
(both the movie and the book), and I really want to continue the series one of these days. As soon 
as I get my hands on the rest of them…...

Lilah: The Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan. Stupid brother won’t give me the second book…….

Feedback: A Book Or Series That You Would Recommend To Anyone:

Mary Kate: The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Catherine: The Chronicles of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Lilah: The Ascendance Trilogy by Jennifer E. Nielson 

Mary Kate: And since 2 of my taggie’s already showed up, I might as well tag 3 more….

Brianna Stacyn @ No End of Books (definitely! I would love to see her answers!)
Skye @ Ink Castles
Sarah Baran @ Sarcastic Elf

Catherine: Seeing as how I got “tagged” in this, I may as well tag some people too!

Sarah Rodecker @ Pen of a Ready Writer
Lisa @ Inkwell


Lila Kims @  The Red-Hooded Writer
D. G. Snapper @ Silver Phoenix 

So what did you think? Have you read any of these books? And hey, just because we 
tagged these select 9 people, doesn't mean you shouldn't steal this tag and run. RUN! 

-Mary Kate

Thursday, January 18, 2018

18 Things I Want To Do In 2018

So I did my WRITER goals for 2018 on Tuesday, but wait! There's more!

Goal #1: Learn to dance

More specifically ballroom, swing and latin dancing.

Goal #2: Brush up on my sign language...maybe become fluent? 

I know some american sign language, but I don't really use it a lot and I've forgotten some of it...I think if I practice enough, learn a few words every day and talk to deaf people I should be able to do it. After all, a year is a long time...I hope.

Goal #3: Start learning a new language. 

I know some ASL and a bit of Latin, but I want to start learning something new.

Goal #4: Get that 5k in!

Meaning the race, not 5k words. That's like....a day and a half's writing for me.

Goal #5: Try at least 2 new foods. 

I'm thinking Moon Cakes (China) sound AMAZING.

And probably Pavlova (Australia and New Zealand.)

And basically anything I can get my hands on....

Goal #6: Start lifting 

I want to start lifting weights in college (because I will have so much free time.), but I also want to know that I have the right form so that when some handsy college guy walks over to help me. I If I KNOW I have the right form, that changes things. If I don't....then I don't know if he's being creepy or if he actually wants to help

(That was depressing)

Goal #7: Go on an overnight hike

As in, if I want anything, I have to carry it. Sounds fun right?

Goal #8: Grow my hair out

My hair is currently about 2 inches about my shoulder and I. can't. do. anything. with. it. and. it. is. driving. me. crazy.

Goal #9: Become more flexible

I am about as flexible as an uncooked pasta noodle

Goal #10: Become a morning person!

Current behavior: *hisses at light, ninja kicks alarm clock through the wall, pulls down the drapes, snuggles into blankets, stumbles around like a dead person until the 5th cup of coffee*

Goal #11: Replace my entire wardrobe with clothes I actually like

I'm moving out, so it should be the perfect time to purge old clothes. And I like 80% of my clothes anyway.

Goal #12: Pull an all nighter

You just know this is going to happen next November. An all nighter on November first? YAS.

Or while I'm studying for a test :(

Goal #13: Go indoor rock climbing

Sounds like fun! I will probably die!

Goal #14: Learn to fence!

*stabby stabby*

Oh dear. I've run out of things to do....quick! make something up!

Goal #15: Break a bad habit!

Like starting posts like this without thinking through it all the way.

Goal #16: Spend less time on the internet

Goal #18: Trick people less and stop using cheat-y ways to get around things! 

Also, what can I say? Slytherin!
 -Mary Kate

    Tuesday, January 16, 2018

    Some Writer Goals for 2018

    This post was inspired by Top Ten Tuesday, a blogging linkup hosted by That Artsy Girl! (It used to be The Broke and The Bookish...)


    Goal #1: Read 150 NEW books this year. 

         Last year, I tried to read 200 new books in a year. And I didn't quite make it...though I probably DID read 200 books, if you count re-reads...And I'll also be in college, so I don't know how much that'll set back my reading....So hopefully I'll be able to complete my goal this year

    Goal #2: Write at least two BRAND NEW first drafts

    I mean, come on. I did that last year. It should be a snap. I know that I will at least be working on my newest WIP, Twelve Golden Windows. But who knows what the second one will be...

    Goal #3: Revise one of my old first drafts (which may means scrapping half of it and starting over) and make it a working first draft

    Well, my nanowrimo project is 50k of random, plotless gibberish and In a Dream needs a lot of work plot wise...I certainly want Capes, Coffee Shops & Cake to be done before the next nanowrimo, but I'd rather work on In a Dream right now, so we'll see how that works...


    Based on my current plan, (which is overly detailed and constantly changing) my Camp NaNo project will be the second draft of Twelve Golden Windows, but I might throw in a side project of some sort.

    Goal #5: Do NaNoWriMo

    I'm going to be writing the sequel to Capes, Coffee Shops & Cake this November and I am so excited. (Even though I can hardly stand to look at Capes, Coffee Shops and Cake right now...)

    Goal #6: Complete at least one second draft

    Which naturally is going to be Twelve Golden Windows in April, but my plan is to do at least two more...

    Goal #7: Actually get one of my stories to the third draft stage.

    I actually have never gotten one of my WIPs to the third draft stage. I don't know if I've mentioned it before on the blog, but my writing process is:

    First Draft: The first time I write the whole story out on paper
    Second Draft: Read through the first draft, make notes and re-write
    Third Draft: EDITING BEGINS! In the first edit, I edit everything on the computer. Its easier to see mistakes when editing on paper or listening to it, but this way I can get the majority of it out of the way.
    Fourth Draft: Print it out and scribble. all. over. it.
    Fifth Draft: Read out loud or listen to it being read by some program. There are a lot of programs out there that will read your papers to you, since it is easier to hear mistakes that way.

    Goal #8: Get one of my stories to my AMAZING ALPHA READERS!

    My Alpha readers will get to read it the first time somewhere in between the second and third draft. I would prefer to give it to them AFTER I've had a chance to edit, but I also don't want to edit and then re-write pieces and make major changes so...

    I think I'll give the story to two of my Alpha readers and make Lilah wait until I've edited. (Typos are her weakness.)

    Goal #9: And maybe even Beta Readers?

    Granted, I'll be pretty close to the end when I start asking for Beta readers, but maybe....maybe it will be this year.

    Goal #10: Plot a bunch of new novels!

    I have a bunch of stories to plot. And while some of them are still basically just plot bunnies, a few of them are ready to be plotted out. And by "a few" I mean more then 8.

    Goal #11: Start writing query letters and researching agents.

    Granted, my stories are no where near being ready for this...that doesn't mean I can't start looking into agents and finding some that would match my writing.

    And I will be writing rough query letters from now on in the plotting stage

    Well, we'll see how many I actually get done...
    What are your plans for 2018?

    -Mary Kate

    Thursday, January 11, 2018

    12 Things I Learned From My Cat

    The new year is all about looking back on the things you've learned and looking forward at the things to come.

    So now, I'm looking back at all the life lessons I've learned from my cat!

    #1: Take naps.

    #2: Bask in the sun.

    #3: Eat food you love.

    #4: You're beautiful. Anyone who disagrees are litter box scoopers.

    #5: Take time to play!

    #6: A good death glare will take you far in life.

    #7: Size doesn't matter in life. Only how determined you are and how big your heart is.

    #8: It's important to have claws and be able to use them, but its also important to know when to retract them and pad soft footed. Like when stealing food. dealing with sad people.

    #9: Go a little crazy sometimes.

    #10: Don't be afraid to let someone know you love them. If they don't like you, bite them!

    #11: If someone is making you uncomfortable, tell them.

    #12: If they touch you without permission MAKE THEM BLEED!

    And all you girls out there should go check out this blog, The Cornered Cat.
     Stay safe out there.

    -Mary Kate

    Tuesday, January 9, 2018

    Books With Lock Picks!

    A list of books with lock picks. Because apparently I read a lot of these...

    Also, lock picks tend to equal criminals. And we all love criminals. I mean, look at Kaz. Isn't he just the cutest little killer?

    Books With Lock Picks:

    The Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter
    Ok, no criminals in this one. Spies. But super cool spies.

    Brother Band Chronicles by John Flanagan 
    Also no criminals. (I mean, they sort of are for the first couple books...)
    Jesper is a thief...sort of? He steals things, but just because he is amused by the fact that he can steal things. He always gives it right back. In fact, he usually stands there with a proud look on his face like, "Look, I stole this bracelet right off your arm! Isn't that cool?"

    Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
    Ha! Finally one with thieves! Criminals! (And the legendary Kaz)

    Heist Society by Ally Carter
    Disappointing criminals, but still criminals. (There was too much talking and not enough...actually stealing things?)

    Books That I Think Have Lock Picks, But I Honestly Can't Remember...

    Skullduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
    I feel like this should have lock picks, but it also has magic so did they actually pick the lock or did they just magic it open? 

    The Ascendance Trilogy by Jennifer A. Nielson 
    Sage does a lot of thief-things, but I can't remember if he actually picks a lock...I think he does in one of the books, but he might have just stolen the keys off the guard.

    Poison Study by Maria V Snyder
    Did she pick locks? I have this strange feeling that she picked locks, but help me...I have no memory

      Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
     I know she broke into a house at some point, but she may have just...opened an unlocked door? Climbed through a window? Knocked?

    The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
    I am pretty certain that one of them has lock picks...They break into places...or does she also just use her magic?

    Do you know of any books with lock picks? What do you think of Six of Crows? Do you know if any of these books have lock picks?

    -Mary Kate

    Thursday, January 4, 2018

    Awkward and Awesome of being an Anonymous blogger

    • Your dear friend, who you didn't even tell you were blogging, finds your new TOP SECRET blog in under a week
    • Your IRL friend follow you and you forget if they know its you or not...So when they start a google chat with you and say they liked your latest post you say something extremely professional like, "Oh thanks. I love your blog layout by the way." And they're sitting there like...what?
    •  Do you ever do the thing where you accidentally refer to yourself by your first name? You know, like...
      "...and you say to yourself, why. Why [insert real name]?"

      And then you have to go back and delete it and then you sit there staring at it.
      Should I use my pen name? That just sounds weird...
      Should I just use "girl?" That sounds off too
    • But what if you want to use a different name now?


    • Well, if your a weirdo like me, you can be super amused by the fact that googling your own name brings up nothing on you and yet you run a blog that has 10k+ page-views. 
    • Nobody will creepily follow you on the internet and know who you are. (Creep people will still follow your google+ page, they just won't actually know who you are.)
    • You get to pick a new name!
    • Or maybe just use your real name and then just tell people that its a fake name....and then people who know you IRL won't think its you...
    • I started signing off my posts with M.K. since 1.) I am super lazy and 2.) I intend to publish under M.K. [Last name] since those are my real initials...and everyone started calling me MK in the comments...

      And it makes me laugh.

      You guys are the best.
    • The best of both worlds. You're blogging and keeping your personal stuff to yourself!

      -Mary Kate

    Tuesday, January 2, 2018

    New Favorite Authors From 2017

    This post was inspired by The Broke and The Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday prompt!

    Leigh Bardugo

    Author of Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, The Grisha Trilogy, Wonder Woman: Warbringer, and Language of Thorns

    Leigh Bardugo has become one of my automatic read authors. I have read all of her books and liked them all. I am obsessed with Six of Crows and the Crooked Kingdom

    Marissa Meyer 
     Author of The Lunar Chronicles, Heartless and some other book whose name escapes me.

    The Lunar Chronicles. Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter, with stand alone spin off, Fairest, a short story collection, Stars Above, and of course the graphic novel, WIRES AND NERVE! (Vol. I) 

    Which I love and are now books I will force all future friends and relatives to read. Also the book that I am currently forcing all my friends and relatives to read. 

    The Lunar Chronicles are also my favorite example of a awesome fairy tale rewrite. Perfect blending of old and new plot being woven together.

    Kasie West
    Author of P.S. I Like You, By Your Side, The Fill-In Boyfriend and others

    Some of Kasie West's books are new favorites, like P.S. I Like You, but I didn't absolutely love all of her books. They were ok, but didn't really stick. All the same, when ever one of her books is coming out, I'll make sure to check it out. 

    Jessica George Day 
    Author of The Dragon Slippers Trilogy, Tuesdays At The Castle, and Silver In The Blood, The Princess of the Midnight Ball series.

    I honestly don't know if she's written more books then this. But every one of her books I've read, including the ones aimed at middle school kids and that one weird werewolf one, I've loved.

    Jennifer A Nielson 
    Author of the Ascendance Trilogy and the Mark of the Thief. 

    I loved the Ascendance Trilogy, but didn't finish the Mark of the Thief series. And I think that had more to do with the fact that I don't like reading stories set in ancient Rome then it has to do with her writing style. I am so excited for her new book coming out this year!

    Geogette Heyer
    Author of a huge amount of Regency period novels and that one that is based of the middle ages. 

    I have read her books Sylvester or the Wicked Uncle, Arabella, Faro's Daughter and Simon the Coldhearted. (I've actually read more, but these were the four I liked the best)

    Sylvester or The Wicked Uncle and Arabella remind me of Pride and Prejudice, and Faro's Daughter and Simon the Coldhearted made me laugh so hard. 

    What new authors did you find in 2017? *gasp* Can you believe it's 2018?  

    -Mary Kate

    Thursday, December 28, 2017

    December Is Over And So Is 2017 And Do You Mind If I Scream?

    Because I really, really want to scream.

    This month has been so busy I haven't even had time to freak out over the fact that I'm turning 18 next year and that half of my senior year is already gone and WHAT THE HECK? IT SHOULD STILL BE OCTOBER? WHERE DID ALL THE TIME GO?

    And I really should do an entire end of the year post, but I decided to be lazy and do all my THE YEAR IS OVER wailing in February when my first year of blogging ends. So that means I just get to do an end of month post for December.

    *Throws a tiny handful of confetti over my own head*


    (I am kicking myself. Why did I start using this stupid, really long post names?)

    Bookish Settings I Want To Visit [Excluding Ones That Would Make Me Die]

    I Went Ice Skating Once, So Now I Am An Expert! Bow Before Me.

    Some Of My New Book Obsessions From 2017!

    Equestrians//Didn't She Just Do A Post On This? Think Again!

    Books On My 2018 TBR Pile!

    My Favorite Things To Do In Winter


    (My note telling you that I did a post over at project canvas)

    Christmas Post by Princess Farida and Karin! (Who the heck are they?)


    I plotted another novel! I've written the first few pages, but won't seriously start writing until January.

    12K Pageviews? I feel like I should have done something fun back when I hit 10K...but ha ha, who has time for that?

    Read a seriously sad amount of books. I mean honestly. This entire month felt like it was a week long.

    Midnight Star

    Language of Thorns (Wow was it good)

    The Invisible Library

    The Book Thief

    The Masked City (Invisible Library II)

    The Burning Page (Invisible Library III)

    The Daughter of a Pirate King (or is it THE pirate king?)

    So I read a total of seven new books this month. (Plus I re-read 3 or 4.)

    That is about a weeks worth of reading for me.

    But I had a lovely Christmas and spent time with all of my family and other then that...who cares?

    (I also eat an insane amount of gourmet chocolates.)

    So did you also feel like this month went by WAY to fast? How was your Christmas? 
    -Mary Kate

    Tuesday, December 26, 2017

    Christmas Post by Princess Farida and Karin! (Who the heck are they?)

    K-*Yawns and stretches* So why are we doing this?

    F- Because the author had the other characters narrate the last holiday's blog post and so she feels like she must do the same for this holiday.

    K- That's stupid. They don't even know what this book is about yet because "the author" is too lazy to post anything. She isn't even going to work on this story for months

    F- She finished plotting didn't she? 

    K- Well, yes...

    F- And wrote a bunch of AU scenes for you JUST so that she could figure out your unique voice and get the hang of it? 

    K- I suppose...But she still hasn't told her readers about us. 

    F- It's supposed to be a secret.

    K- Then why did the author make a post about it and give it a label with the book's title?

    F- Oh please, It's not like anyone is going to guess what the book is about!

    K- Fine. So what do you want to talk about, princess?

    F-*frustrated growl*

    K- What? You wanted me to call you princess.

    F- This isn't what I meant and you know it, in insufferable man. I meant, use my title. 

    F- *ehem*

    F- Welcome everyone. I am Princess Farida.

    F-  .....

    K- .....

    F- And this is Karin.

    K- ......

    F- The thief and criminal

    K- ......

    F- Who is trying the challange for my hand which will probably lead to his death just like it has the ninety guys before him

    K- ...

    F- Karin, you have to say SOMETHING

    K- .....

    F- Do you really expect me to do all of this by myself?.....Speak!

    K- Starfish *smug smile*

    F- What does that even mean? You've just been saying it over and over and over...

    K- *still smiling smugly* That's enough for today. Farewell everyone.

    F- What? No, I  wasn't......

    K- The End

    Saturday, December 23, 2017

    GUYS! I Did A Guest Post!

    And it was a lovely guest post too.

    And since naturally you all want to read it, I'll just drop a helpful little link here.

    And while you're over there, be sure to read all about Project Canvas. (And maybe submit a guest post of your own?)

    -Mary Kate