Thursday, December 6, 2018

Takhayyal writing prompt 92: End of Year Magic


Welcome back Ladies and Gentlemen, Artists, Poets, Writers, Authors, Dreamers, Friends and Family; Welcome EVERYONE to Nadaness In Motion's bi-weekly picture-prompt writing challenge Takhayyal.

The holidays are almost here and I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I hope you'll find some time to write a piece, no matter how short.

I hope you like the December 2018 writing prompt, which for me seems to mix magic with Christmas.

Is this father Christmas? A wizard in red robes? What is he up to?

Your words, your story (or poem)... you decide!






Arabic for Imagine, Takhayyal is a challenge for writers of all ages and genres; a place to spark creativity.
Your post can be in English or Arabic, prose, poetry, short story, flash fiction; you name it and write it.

General rules:
·        No nudity, violence, and/or abuse.
·        Leave the link to your post in comments below OR post your piece as REPLY to this post
·        Your piece MUST be inspired in some way or other by the above picture
·        Multiple entries allowed
·        It is not required but it is a nice and encouraging gesture to comment on others' pieces.
·        Feel free to add your Twitter handle (@....) so I can tag you in my tweets!

Let's IMAGINE!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

On the Count of Three by Carolyn Arnold - Book Review


Book: On the Count of Three
Author: Carolyn Arnold
Publication Date: 10 December 2018
Publisher: Hibbert and Stiles


"Our unsub has never been about hiding the identity of his victims. He's always left their teeth intact and never mutilated their faces, making identification easy."

On the Count of Three by Carolyn Arnold is the seventh instalment in the Brandon Fisher series. This is my first read in the series and I didn't feel lost in any way with it being the seventh.

I loved that the book opens with a flashback from the killer, initiating suspense from the first page. The "unsub" appears to seek out recently-released people who were found guilty in drunk-driving accidents.

Miami police department (PD) officer Kelly Marsh investigates a murder and thinks there is a serial killer on the loose. So, she calls former mentor Jack Harper and his FBI team to assist her with the investigation.

A lot of emotions are flying as Kelly struggles with her boss, who doesn't do much but get the spotlight, while Brandon Fisher, a member of Harper's team, feels that there is some kind of history between Kelly and Jack. Throughout the novel, we see Brandon being jealous of Kelly, creating some occasional humour and suspense.

"Not only had they been happy to see each other but every word that came from [Kelly's] lips seemed to make Jack proud. And in contrast, everything I said was frowned upon. Literally."

On the Count of Three reminded me of the show Criminal Minds, and later one of the characters voices my thoughts. I felt that several of the characters were similar to those from Criminal Minds; Zach is a lot like Spencer Reed, and their lead Jack Harper is a bit like Aaron Hotchner.

Also like the series, there were some bits that felt like the quotes they used at the beginning and ending of each episode. Still, the book is different in its own way.

"The BAU?" Her brows rose in perfectly shaped arches. "Like from that TV show Criminal Minds?"

Each character has their pros and cons; I liked the medical examiner with her black humour, and Kelly, a woman hell-bent on bringing justice to those who deserve it and one who views the perpetrators who were murdered by the killer as victims.

My Advanced Reader's Copy (ARC)

One of the things I really liked about On the Count of Three is the use of actual policing and procedures. Carolyn Arnold provides detailed information about decomposition and lividity for the bodies they find in a way that is both educational and exciting.

There is also lots of conversation throughout the book to keep the pace quick and the reader's mind working.

"Hope was a double-edged sword. It could empower and destroy. In some ways, hope was worse than closure. Especially, when bad news came on the tail end of sparked optimism."

I felt that the book had too many perspectives. Nearly all were in the third person, with the exception of Brandon's, which was in the first person. In most cases it was easy to pick up whose perspective the reader was seeing the events from.




The sections where the killer was the speaker were interesting, showing how they felt, spoke, acted and reacted, and so on.

"I would kill to sleep in."
She had no idea how exhausting kidnapping and killing were. How both deserved a nice, long snooze afterward.

Although the book is one of the Brandon Fisher series, Brandon is not the only main character. We see perspectives from various characters including Zach and Kelly. I felt that Brandon wasn't the know-it-all who had all the answers. Again, since this is my first read in the series, I don't know if this is the case with the other books – but it is something I thought worth mentioning.

Overall, On the Count of Three is quick-paced and exciting. The reader is easily immersed in the investigation as the FBI and Miami PD detective seek to uncover clues and pinpoint bits and analyse what is going on to catch the serial killer.

"Charm and charisma were two of the best weapons in any murderer's arsenal. Sweet, yet sticky like honey."

The language is easy and I picked up some new investigative and medical-examiner terminology. I enjoyed Arnold's word choice throughout On the Count of Three, including the quotable bits at the beginning of some chapters. But particularly how the book ends not only by catching the killer but through word choice.

"Chaos and aftermath didn't have to be viewed as horrible. Light came from darkness."

Overall rating: 4.5 stars


Check out this post by Carolyn Arnold on Five Steps to Profiling a Serial Killer.
  
Note: I received an advanced reader's copy (ARC) of On the Count of Three from the publisher Hibbert & Stiles in exchange for an honest review.


Friday, November 30, 2018

NaNoWriMo 2018, Mission: Completed


It gives me great pleasure to announce that I've completed NaNoWriMo 2018 AHEAD of schedule!

Yes, I finished those 50,000 words two days before the deadline!

I'm
Super
Excited!

This means I've done and finished NaNoWriMo two years in a row AND each time I've upped the game and learnt things.



November started out with a cold for me and there were several days I couldn't write. But there were several others when I wrote 2,000, 3,000 and even 5,000 words!

Writing is like running a marathon. Your mind feels like it's been whipped around, after trying to beat a car on a race track. But when you write, even 500 words, you feel like you've accomplished something.

When you finish NaNoWriMo, you feel like you've accomplished A LOT.

There were many months in 2018 when I couldn't write. But when November started, I knew that there were sacrificed to be made and I made at least 25 nights of the 30-day month count.

Sleep is one of the things you have to sacrifice often during NaNoWriMo. But trust me, it's worth it!

Not only did I pass 51,000 words, my story isn't complete. I have about three or four chapters to go (may be more depending on the characters' actions) that I will continue working on in December.

Here's my NaNoWriMo Success Certificate!



Where's yours? Leave it in the comments below or send me Twitter or Facebook link with your winning post. I'd love to share the joy and support you.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Daughter of Water by Nada Adel Sobhi – Poem



Wrap me in your cold arms
For the sun scorches my skin
Drag me into your dreamy depths
I'm a daughter of water,
Daughter of the mighty sea

Your melody flows over your waves
To my longing ears

Original Image cropped. Photography by Nada Adel Sobhi

I gaze upon at the raging blue
But when I close my eyes
My vision clears
And in the black background of my lids
I see the fish, the dolphins,
The pearls in their pretty pink shells,
The mermaids gliding, waving at me

I'm a daughter of the mighty sea
And the journey to your dazzling depths,
I shall gladly take.


By: Nada Adel Sobhi


Inspired by the mighty Mediterranean and its ever-turquoise blue waters.

My writing notebook. Photography by Nada Adel Sobhi




Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Violin Words by Taylor Dean - Excerpt



Violin Words by Taylor Dean

When Jade Lockwood begins to receive anonymous love letters, she becomes a woman on a mission. She’s determined to figure out who wrote the flowery, over-the-top letters filled with the sweetest violin words she’s ever heard.

She’s neglected her love life, concentrating on Lockwood Cabins, the business her father built from the ground up. But her sweet letters have awakened something inside of her, something that can’t be ignored.

Facing Christmas alone this year, her emotions are already fragile. Add in a mysterious burglary, a handsome stranger, and a little deceit, and it just might be the most eventful Christmas she’s ever endured.

Will Jade find her happy ending? Or will her love letters prove to be nothing more than a sinister ploy?

Find out in this charming Christmas novel.




Praise:

Don’t miss this fun, perfect holiday read by a master storyteller!
-Mylissa Demeyere, Author of The Songs of You and Me and The Songs that Brought Me Back

A sweet, heartwarming romance with a twist of mystery and suspense, all wrapped up in Christmas magic that makes this one hard to put down.
-Charissa Stastny, Author of The Ruled Out Romance Series







Excerpt from Violin Words by Taylor Dean

I have no clue whatsoever as to The Author of the one and only love letter I’ve ever received. I’ve neglected my love life, giving all of my attention to Lockwood Cabins. Now I realize what a mistake that has been. When I read the letter, I’m filled with sensations I didn’t know existed.

It’s as if I can physically feel the depth behind his words. I’m taken away to another world and I just want to float away, wrapped in his love.

The Author’s words are flowery and eloquent, stirring and moving. They’re as lyrical and achingly sweet as a few strokes from a violin.

Violin words.

Yes.

My letter is filled with violin words. All meant for me. And I love them.

A few simple chords from a violin inspires soul soaring emotion within me and leaves me breathless. Somehow the sound speaks to me and I have to close my eyes and thank God that I’m alive, if only to hear such a precious sound.

But when I read my love letter, my reaction is the same. Words alone have never had this effect on me. Plain and simple words—twenty-six letters all strung together in thousands of combinations—and together they form the most beautiful thoughts. I hold the letter to my chest and absorb the love.

It’s the sweetest torture, the most exquisite agony. I welcome it. To feel is to live, I know that now.

Wow. Just wow. Are those violin words really directed toward me? I always figured I’d meet someone and get married one day. But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine a man would speak to me like that. It sends a thrill through my body. Every time.




Author Taylor Dean


Taylor Dean lives in Texas and is the mother of four grown children. Upon finding herself with an empty nest, she began to write the stories that were always wandering around in her head, quickly finding she had a passion for writing, specifically romance. Whether it’s paranormal, contemporary, or suspense—you’ll find all sub-genres of clean romance in her line-up.





Blast Giveaway Details

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 12/12/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Sunday, November 18, 2018

NaNoWriMo 2018 progress and updates, part 1



It's week 3 in November or as writers know it, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

I had intended to do a weekly progress post with my writing – didn't happen obviously. The mid-way post, this one, is coming in a little late BUT the good news is I'm on track if not a few hundred words ahead, which is great because several unexpected things have popped up along the way.





I had a rocky start to the month because I had a severe cold that rendered me asleep for almost two days. After that I was behind for a bit later was able to get some 4000 words in a day and then another 4000 words in week 2.

For the first week, 1 to 7 November, I wrote 12239 words out of 11669! So despite the cold and a few things, I was able to make up for 2 days of no writing!

For the second week, 8 – 14 November, I wrote 26287 words out of 23338! Again ahead of schedule.

The thing is I need to finish by the 28 of November. So wish me luck to make it to 50,000 words by then!



This blog post is written after midnight on 18 November, so I haven't included the word count for that day, since I haven't written anything. I'm also on track, not ahead just barely there

If you're interested in keeping up with my NaNoWriMo updates, follow me on Twitter, where I post regularly about NaNoWriMo, with occasional screenshots from my work in progress.

Speaking of my work in progress? I don't have a title yet BUT I can tell you it has a feisty kick-ass woman, several handsome ancient Egyptian gods, magic, and what I hope its lots of humour and action. 



Apart from NaNoWriMo, I had been planning to post a book review every Friday. That also did not happen. I have finished reading TWOSPELLS by Mark Morrison but have not had the opportunity to sit down and write the review. When I do, it'll be on the blog before you can blink ;)

Since I'm unable to post reviews, I'm running a poll on my personal Facebook page and my Nadaness In Motion page on what poem to post next Friday. Get your votes in. Ode to Inspiration OR Daughter of Water? You decide.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Just a Name by Becky Monson - Excerpt



Book: Just a Name
Author: Becky Monson
Publication date: 8 October 2018
No. of pages: 320

Holly has a plan for everything. But she never could have planned for this.

If there’s one thing Holly Murphy loves, it’s a solid plan. She has her entire life figured out—or so she thinks. But when life pulls the rug out from under her, she’s left to deal with a canceled wedding—hers, to be precise. And the promotion she’s worked toward for years is now in jeopardy because the team she supervises doesn’t like her management style.

Thinking that Holly is too tightly wound and needs a break from everything, her boss demands she take a vacation. But how can she take a vacation when her promotion is on the line? Trying to help out, her best friend, Quinn, suggests she still go on her honeymoon and conduct a nationwide search to find a man with the same name as her ex-fiancé to use his plane ticket. Leaving Holly to wonder if she’s the only sane person left on the planet.

Yet when her boss gets wind of the idea and loves it, Holly finds herself in a corner she can’t get out of. And when handsome Nate Jones from Newport Beach gets picked to go with her, she wonders if this whole thing won’t be so bad after all.

Can Holly learn to let go? Or will this crazy adventure send her running right back to her safety net?

Get your copy on Amazon

Praise for Just A Name

“Just a Name is a delicious escape! I devoured every character, every moment, and every quirk and couldn’t get enough. This book is Becky Monson at her finest!” -Author Whitney Dineen

“Becky Monson has outdone herself with Just a Name. It’s FANTASTIC! I’m still swooning.” -Author Jennifer Peel

“Fans of romantic comedies should grab a copy of Just a Name; it has the perfect balance between sweet and sassy.”-Readers’ Favorite

"Full of fun, swoon, and humor, all topped with unexpected twists. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in these pages!" -Katie's Clean Book Collection

"I loved it. Becky Monson is so good at writing humor into her books. Sarcasm and wit reign supreme right along with a slow growing romance." - Aimee Brown from Getting Your Read On






Excerpt from Just a Name by Becky Monson

“Holly?” a deep voice says from behind me as I wait for my order at the Lava Java, a quaint coffee shop across the street from my office building.

Oh, please not now. Not now. Not. Now.

What’s next? A rainstorm? Actually, that’s highly likely with the smell of rain in the air, the rumble of thunder in the distance, and the ominous clouds I saw as I walked over here. Typical springtime in Orlando.

I turn around and find Logan Palmer standing there in dark jeans, a fitted black T-shirt, and flip-flops. Or, in other words, his standard outfit. The T-shirt color can vary from day to day, but that’s about it. His light-brown hair is disheveled, and the beginnings of stubble appear around his jaw.

“Logan,” I say, feeling like a big chunk of ice just landed in my belly.

So far this morning, I’ve found out my team hates me—and I could miss out on one of the biggest opportunities of my career because of it—and my boss wants me to run away on some crazy trip before I can even fix it.

And now? Now I run into Nathan’s best friend, roommate, and business partner, who has never liked me, and I’m quite sure is one of the reasons things ended like they did. The way Nathan broke it off wreaked of Logan, actually.

“How . . . are you?” he asks, his fingers extending and then clenching into fists at his sides. Even with my average height and three-inch heels he has to peer down at me, his sea-blue eyes searching my face as he does. He looks . . . nervous.



Author Becky Monson


By day, Becky Monson is a mother to three young children, and a wife. By night, she escapes with reading books and writing. An award-winning author, Becky uses humor and true-life experiences to bring her characters to life. She loves all things chick-lit (movies, books, etc.), and wishes she had a British accent. She has recently given up Diet Coke for the fiftieth time and is hopeful this time will last... but it probably won't.




GIVEAWAY TIME

$50 Amazon Gift Code or $50 in Paypal Cash - 
Ends 11/27/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via Amazon.com. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Sunday, November 4, 2018

Invitation to Poetry by Mihai Brinas – Book Review


Book: Invitation to Poetry

Author: Mihai Brinas
No. of pages: 65



Invitation to Poetry by Mihai Brinas is a collection of poems on various topics, from love to longing, to fantasy, to books, to some pieces whose main theme I couldn't pinpoint.

The collection opens with a 'sweet poem' though the ending drags me out of the mood.

"Let There Be Rain" and "Time in Unequal Installemnt Payments" are one of my favourite pieces in the collection. I'm including "Let There Be Rain" in full below.



Overall, I think an Invitation to Poetry is an introduction to the poet's work but I also think it needs some work. Some pieces had unnecessary repetition, some read more like prose rather than poetry.

But having taken a second look at some of the pieces while writing this review, I feel it has potential. Some poems are deep, others light. It is a collection of diverse poems.



Recommended pieces in an Invitation to Poetry include: "The Guard", "Hidden Truths", "Searching for the Light", "Knowledge of Returning", "The Sadness of Books", "The First Contact", "Jealousy", and "Dream Come True"

Overall rating for Invitation to Poetry: 3 stars

Note: I received a free e-copy of Invitation to Poetry from its author Mihai Brinas in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, November 2, 2018

My American Nightmare, a Women in Horror Anthology


This post was originally meant to go up on 30 November 2018 but due to personal delays, I was unable to post it ahead of Halloween.
So here goes:

Today, I'm featuring My American Nightmare, a Women in Horror Anthology.
While, I don't know any of the names in this anthology, I like featuring horror authors on Nadaness In Motion.
I've previously featured interviews and reviews for women horror authors including but not limited to Theresa Braun and Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi. I've also done a detailed book review of Monsters Exist, which features a host of horror writers.

Anyways, for My American Nightmare I'll be featuring some excerpts from the short stories in the book. Stories are selected by Azzurra Nox. The book genre is young adult horror.

Synopsis:

For Fans of American Horror Story, Stephen King, Joe Hill, and Danielle Vega

America, land of the free, land of the brave, land of nightmares? A group of female authors come together in this collection of creepy tales and psychological horror stories to bring you chills and disturbing images that won't leave you long after you're done reading. From zombies to rural small towns, to the foggy New England to the glamour of Hollywood, each story focuses on a diverse aspect of living in America and the horror found in bullying, being the “new girl,” starting your first job, and navigating the murky waters of adolescence and all the terrifying changes that come with it.
Bold and haunting, My American Nightmare encompasses daring stories from new voices in the horror genre. This collection will unsettle your nerves and linger in your mind, demonstrating that women can show you a nuance of horror that isn't always evident from the male perspective.

Dare to take a walk on the dark side.

Stories In the My American Nightmare Anthology

Angela Sylvaine – The Ballad of Sorrow and Lila
Amelia Kibbie – We Kill The Skullman
R. A. Goli – Mr. Buttons' Tea Party
Jamie Kahn – The Poison & The Ivy
Rachel Bolton- The Girl & The Yellow Wallpaper
Hillary Lyon - Boys' Night Out
Nicky Peacock – She Looked Like Krystal Sparkle
Spinster Eskie - Angie's Change
Sheri Kreitner - The Pickman Sisters of Salem
Sierra Ryan – Volunteer
Kara Nelson - The Eye
E.F. Schraeder – Night Moves
Andrea Teare – 39 Days
Heather Miller - The Stars
Marnie Azzarelli – When Evacuating Pennsylvania
Erica Ruhe - Perle
Phoebe Jane Johnson - Ruby
Azzurra Nox - Whatever Happened to Peyton Rose?
Kara Dennison - Billson





From “The Girl & The Yellow Wallpaper” by Rachel Bolton
The faces in the flowers were more pronounced than usual that night. Big eyes, gaping and expectant, seemed to blink back at her. Lizzie dismissed the idea immediately. Paper did not blink. Nothing could move in the room, except her. But the yellow faces had a more human quality the more she looked. They were women’s faces. Lizzie found something feminine in the shape, warped as it may be. The heads in the wallpaper appeared to tilt to the side, violently, like their necks had been snapped.


Excerpt from “Perle” by Erica Ruhe
A muscle flickered in that clean-shaven jaw. “Step out of the vehicle.”
I hesitated. Another bang.
“I said step out of the vehicle.” Singer popped the snap on his holster. “I’m not gonna ask you again.” Dog whimpers urged me to comply.
My shoulders slumped. I released the latch and fought open the stiff door. It protested with a loud, long squeal.
“Now what is in the back of this truck?”
Still I hesitated, puckering my lips in a coy attempt at innocence.
“My stepdad.”




Excerpt from “Whatever Happened to Peyton Rose?” by Azzurra Nox
“Jesus,” she whispered, not sure if anyone could hear her. The dolls made her feel unsettled as they stared back at her with vacant eyes. Peering down, a scream escaped her throat when she realized that their plucked eyes were scattered on the bed. She pushed the comforter off of her. The eyes fell down, making a sound similar to marbles crashing to the floor as she ran for the door.
Frantic, she opened the door and stood upon the landing. She looked to and fro, not knowing what direction to run to next.
Don’t panic! She told herself. And yet, her hands were shaking.

Check out the My American Nightmare's book trailer. Add the book on Goodreads. Purchase via Amazon.


Need to know more about the book? Check out the rest of the tour, including reviews and excerpts. 

About the Author
Born in Catania, Sicily, Azzurra Nox has led a nomadic life since birth. She has lived in various European cities and Cuba, and currently resides in the Los Angeles area. Always an avid reader and writer from a young age, she loved entertaining her friends with ghost stories. She loves horror movies, cats, and a good rock show. She dislikes Mondays and chick-flicks. CUT HERE, her debut paranormal urban fantasy was inspired by a nightmare the writer had a few years ago. Some of her favourite authors include Anne Rice, Oscar Wilde, Chuck Palahniuk, and Isabella Santacroce.

Connect with Azzura Nox via her Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Amazon * Goodreads


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