Saturday, May 25, 2013

She Lives... Talking About What Will Be Happening in June.

Plenty. Even though I'm still not back at 100%, I am thinking about how I want to handle my blog once I get my new laptop next weekend / get my desktop in for repairs. This post is mostly about my goals for that, and I'll share a little bit of update news for Promise Me Forever.

First, the blog. Because we all know it's been horribly neglected.

For a while now, I've been saying that my review system is no longer working for me. I've read some really great (and some not so great) books this year, but I just get this feeling that I'm saying the same things to you guys over and over. My review system worked fabulous when I started the blog. It helped me make sure I covered all the aspects of writing / books that I care about. But now it has become a bit too much of a mold. So... I'm here to present my new review setup.

Kat's New Review System: 

Each review will continue to begin with an image of the cover, as well as my thoughts going into the book / why I picked it. I feel that this gives my reviews context and that it's often the most "me" part of them. I like doing this part and don't want to lose it.

This is exactly what it looks like: a header for me to put the book summary under. I'm not going to be putting my thoughts on actual plot structure here anymore, though. Some books make me wanna talk plot; some don't. I think, by this point, people know I read the books that I review. I don't need to "prove" it as though my readers are my fourth grade teacher and I'm giving a report. (How freeing this feels!)

This is where you'll get my reaction to the books I read. I'll still be talking plot, character and romance like I always have. But I'll be judging what and when to say stuff based on the book, rather then my review outline. My reviews are likely going to be shorter and more to the point (*hopes, prays*). I don't know whether people are benefiting from the two hours to write reviews I do on here and I know my reading isn't increasing from them at this point.

Much like my old "In General" tag, this is where I'll sum it all up and put my rating of the book up for your use. This part is pretty straight forward, and generally where I grab the quote I use for my BOTM picks.

Other Blog Stuff:

I'm still sorting out how I want the rest of my schedule for the blog to go, but I can tell you that I do want to do more discussion posts, I will be putting up teasers from my writing and telling you guys how that is coming along, and I will be very happy to get back to being involved with cover reveals, blitzes, etc. (You have no idea how many came out this month that I didn't sign up for because of all the tech grief.)

That lovely new header on this post, "What's Up This Week?" is probably going to take the place of Stacking the Shelves / Shopaholic Sunday, in that I'll still share what I've purchased, but I also want to share what's going on in my life. I don't always buy books, and honestly (this is going to sound absurd, but it's the truth...) I'm tired of the pressure that trying to do a weekly "What did I buy?" has put on me. I'm not, for lack of a better term, an aggressive reviewer. Publishers aren't trying to break down my door to give me books, and honestly, that's a good thing. When I *do* get a book of NetGalley I make sure it's something I'm going to read. But getting books from publishers, in my opinion, often involves a committment that I can't keep AND write at the same time.

*NOTE: In no way am I implying that any of You have put me under pressure to do a book buying topic: that's totally on me and it's time I dealt with it because my bedroom looks like a damn library. :P

The next few weeks will be a growing and shifting period here at I Write, I Read, I Review. But like anything else that grows over time, changes were bound to happen here. I thank all of those who have stuck with me through all of this and who continue to read my posts. It means a lot.

And Now, Some Promise Me Forever Updates: 

I'm currently writing Chapter Six of this novella and I'm currently about half way through the plot outline I set up before I began. I'm totally thrilled with how this is going and I'm having a blast getting to know Lila and learning ever more about Kyden. Lila may well be the most gutsy, take-no-prisoners heroine that I've ever written. She has someone she wants to protect (her little sister, Blossom) and damn if that hasn't made her fierce. I totally can't wait for you all to meet her. :)

The latest word count sits at approximately 16,000 words. I started writing this draft about two weeks ago, and it's already come so far. I'm totally thrilled with this progress!

As always, thanks for dropping by! Just think... One more week and this place should return to some semblance of actually being alive. C'mon, June 1st! I want my new laptop!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Kindle Fire HD is Coming to Canada!!!

Today as I was going through my facebook feed, I found that had posted an update with a link to this:

I've been intrigued by the idea of owning a Kindle Fire from the moment they first released, but was obviously deterred by the fact that they are not directly available here. Sure I could have bought one while in the states, but I'm one of those paranoid people who would worry about whether it will work--at all--when I got it home.

To me this seems like pretty exciting news, so I figured I'd start a thread to see what thoughts others could add.

-- Does anyone outside the US have experience with Kindle Fire coming to your country? Is it worth getting if you're not from the states?

-- My logic in getting a Fire would be to use it as a tablet. (And, of course, to read. Though I'm sure I'll still keep my regular kindle around as well--longer battery life + e-ink). Has anyone else used the Fire in this manner? How does it stack up? What advantages or limitations does it have next to a 'regular' tablet? Next to an iPad?

-- If you own a Fire in general (anywhere in the world) are you happy with it? How do you use it / what has it improved for you?

-- Does anyone have advice on which model is the best choice? Which accessories are must haves? Which bluetooth keyboard(s) work with this device? Which apps are the most handy / interesting?

-- My fellow Canadians: Are any of you excited about the release of the Kindle Fire here, too? What are your hopes? Concerns?

Anyway, I hope there are others who are interested in this too and I figured it was worth a try. Thanks so much for taking the time to read. Have a great day!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

More Updates: Writing, PC Repairs, and Getting A New Laptop...

Okay... Until I get this mess with my PC sorted out I'm probably going to update once a week just to let you guys know what is going on. Here are all the details of May 4th-11th, 2013.

Books I've Bought:

My Kindle got a bit more love. :)

Writing Updates: 

I started writing Promise Me Forever this week and the rough draft clocks in at roughly 6,500 words so far. I'm absolutely thrilled with the progress I'm making on it. I know I'm not as active here, and one of my later announcements should help more with that, but on the writing front I'm in great shape!

It's a bit irritating to have to put Sweet Rebellion onto the back burner, but all my notes for that are backed up on my e-mail and I don't want to go through the headache of switching them to where / how I'm writing the SP novella. That's part of the reason I planned the releases the way I announced them last week.

I'm also going ahead with planning the next SP novella, By Darkness Deceived (which is Ruby's story, for anyone curious) and my second Maple Springs novel, tentatively titled His Sweet Obsession (I'm still staying mum on the details for that--It's got a long way to go.)

For anyone interested, I usually post a daily word count update, complete with a snippet of whatever I'm writing, on my facebook author page if you would like to follow it. :)

PC Repair / Blogging Updates:

I have not been signing up for cover reveals, tours, etc. because this PC is running with two broken legs and one hand tied behind its back. It's still going to be a while before I can actually get it working properly. I don't drive, our local computer shop has hours that conflict with my family's work schedules, and if I were to take it in right now it could be a week or two before I would get it back.

Your continued patience is appreciated. :)

Time For A Laptop! :) 

This nightmare of thinking I lost all my writing is never going to happen to me again. Ever. I spend way too much time on my stories for them to get eaten by some stupid virus or maliware attack on my computer.

Now, I will make two things clear: (1) Yes I intend to use the laptop as a laptop, not just as a big fancy flash drive. (I had someone ask me this on a forum. "Ooo, we've got a funny guy, huh?" :p) But his point is clear: get a darn flash drive while I'm dong all this. And (2) Yes, I realize this isn't a magic wand that's gonna make me write twice as much. (I wish! Even though I outline, my characters surprise me when I get to the drafts and writing their stories often throws really awesome curve balls at me that I don't see coming.)

The point, really, is that if one machine is down I'll be able to use the other (see my current situation above, for example.) and the laptop will give me additional portability (and the ability to put a wireless printer in our living room, since my room is too small.)

After doing a bit of research, I've decided to budget myself $700 before taxes (Canadian; and not including getting a mouse, laptop bag, flash drive and printer / paper / binders to organize things.) I've gone far too long without getting things set up to take this writing thing seriously. I realize none of this is going to write the books for me, but (for me) I think there is some type of pride in having everything together and working properly. Plus I can sit at the dinning room table, which is much closer to the tea kettle and microwave. :p (Sound business / productivity strategy there, yes?)

But WOW do I have options! Do I want a touch screen? Do I want dedicated graphics? (My main PC is a gaming machine, and my bf is all "Just think, we could still play LOTRO if you go on vacation.) Do I want something with an SSD? (Expensive, would have to be a bonus, but very writing practical.) 15.6" or 17.3" ?

To tell you all the truth, what I want is:

1. A machine that is capable and which will load things without acting like a turtle. Meaning: it needs a decent processor.

2. A machine with a screen that I can read / see. Fortunately, I'm buying for writing and blogging, not gaming. Most of my writing / blogging programs can have their fonts increased for the drafting / editing stages.

3. (And really it should be #1, since it will likely be my deciding factor) A machine with a keyboard that I don't despise. I'm a writer. If my hand (I use a one handed typing technique, as I have little control of the fingers on my right hand) is gonna be like a permanent growth on that thing, it better work with me, rather than against me.

Everything else is a bonus, really. (I mean, I know I want at least 4gb RAM and that if I don't get a dedicated graphics machine that I should aim for something with Intel 4000 so it is at least up to date in its incompetency. :p *Did I say I was a gamer? :p*)

Anyway, I think that sums everything going on this week up. :) Would you guys like me to post a weekly recap of my facebook writing snippets here? Have you read / do you want to read any of the books I bought? Do you have any thoughts about my upcoming laptop purchase? I'd love to know! 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Updates: Writing News, PC Troubles and Sorting Everything Out

Hey guys!

I know I haven't been on here as much as usual lately. Initially, it was just the fact that I am writing stuff as well as reading and blogging. Unfortunately, my computer got some crazy virus from Windows Update (!!!!!!) last Wednesday (nearly two weeks ago) and I'm going to have to take it into the shop. It's been keeping me back from getting work done here and on my current projects writing-wise, and it's keeping me from signing up for stuff (seriously--I have like four things in my mail that I'd LOVE to do but since I don't drive I can't control *when* my PC will go in or come back. I'm gonna have a blank zone for a few days soon and I can't have something scheduled then.)

I'm still sorta having trouble sorting out how I want to run this blog and write. I'm doing a LOT of writing right now. (Well outlining right now--I was writing before things went crazy with the PC. And yes, thank goodness, all my work is safe.) I have probably 15 to 20 books I've read in the last couple months that I haven't reviewed yet. Heck, I have video reviews for some of these on my camera. (Those aren't up because of PC grief.) Here's the thing, though: I feel like I keep telling you all the same things again, and again, and again. I know they're about different books, and characters, and romances, but something really isn't working and I can't put my finger on what it is.

Okay, enough whining. Let's talk about some good and exciting stuff, shall we?

I'm sure by this point, most of you who visit often know what this is. *points at Sealer's Promise cover*. Well... The reason you haven't heard much about it lately is because it's going through re-writes from Hell. And that is still very much the case.


Today I want to announce that the Sealer Saga will be getting two prequel anthologies, Twilight of the Gods (Sealer Saga Anthology #1) and Parting the Veil (Sealer Saga Anthology #2). I will be releasing three novellas in each of these and they will be available both as individual downloads and as the above-mentioned anthologies. And today, I'm going to share the working (meaning: this could change) title and summary for the first story in Twilight of the Gods...

Promise Me Forever
(Sealer Saga Prequel Novella #1)
by Kathy Coleman
Before he became the God of Plagues...

Before the Veil between Zynedia and Earth was parted...

Before he vowed to protect Sarena Lengton...

Kyden loved Lila.

Determined to save her little sister Blossom, Lila has come up with a foolproof plan. At this year's Festival of the Wind, she will offer herself as a consort to Kyden, the Lord of Healing--if he will save Blossom's life. Of course, whether the plan is foolproof because it will work, or because only a fool would trifle with a Sealer, is anyone's guess. But Lila's mind is made up: Blossom's life is in danger, so she must try.

After living nearly nine thousand years, Kyden is sure he has seen and done everything--until his new consort starts to make demands. Equal parts annoyed and amused, he denies her request. But when her life is put in peril, Kyden does the unthinkable--he bends to a mortal's will.

With Lila at his side, Kyden feels alive again. But a jealous Goddess will stop at nothing to make Kyden her own, and when the dust settles nothing will be the same. People say love can heal all wounds. But is it strong enough to keep two people together when someone is willing to destroy the heavens to keep them apart?

The winds of change are about to howl.

The art I'm thinking of buying for the cover can be found here, for anyone who is curious. :) (As with my title and summary, this is "working"; if someone else buys it before I do this will change. Why haven't I bought it yet? Because I view putting a cover on a book my reward for completing it... or at least *thinking* I have. ;) Yes, I'm quite likely an odd duck.) 

Next, I'm sure some of you have heard a bit about a little project I've been working on called The Mansion You Stole. I believe I said I had written roughly 17,000 words of it the last time I posted? Well, because of PC troubles the word count hasn't budged this week. But it now has a new title, a summary and a potential cover. (Same rules of logic apply that I stated for Promise Me Forever). 

Sweet Rebellion
(Maple Springs #1)
by Kathy Coleman
Megan Sinclair leads a double life. To the outside world, she is the daughter of a wealthy record label executive. A spoiled rich girl who fled Toronto for the little town of Maple Springs to escape imaginary problems. To Dazzle Records she is Claire Walker, a brilliant songwriter and guitar prodigy. When Megan decided to quit writing for Dazzle three years ago to pursue a college degree, she never imagined the consequences of her choice could be so dire.

Determined to get his songwriting machine back, Megan's father sells the house she's been living in to Clay Freeman. Once Dazzle's fastest rising star and Claire's former writing partner, Clay cut all ties with the "guitar genius" a year ago when she refused to work with him on a new single.

Now, Clay is Megan's only hope of retaining the life in Maple Springs that she has come to love. He has no idea that she and Claire are the same person--or that Megan has harbored a huge crush on him during their entire co-writing career.

Megan knows that she'll have to tell the truth eventually if she wants a chance at anything real with Clay. But as she gets to know him, and falls totally in love, will she have the courage to speak up knowing it could end things between them... forever?

And for those who are curious, here is the cover I'm thinking of buying for Sweet Rebellion. This one is pretty likely, since I want to sorta 'brand' the Maple Springs books this way. (Yes, I do have more planned. No, I'm not saying any more about that today. I've got too much going on as it is. :) ) 

And now for what is likely the biggest piece of news regarding these two stories: I am hoping to have both Promise Me Forever and Sweet Rebellion released by the end of 2013. I'm not going to say I *will*. But I will say that is my hope / plan / goal. If things go as I want them to, Promise Me Forever will release this July / August, and Sweet Rebellion will come out in November / December. 

And now, with that crazy announcement, I'm going to close this. Because I have seven zillion tons of work to get done if I want to make this happen. Thanks so much to those who continue to follow I Write, I Read, I Review despite all the crappy (or non) scheduling that happens when I write. I truly do appreciate it. 

So, are you excited about Promise Me Forever or Sweet Rebellion? Do you like the covers I'm hoping to buy for them? I'd love to know. :) 

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