Monday, August 29, 2016

Review: THE WRATH AND THE DAWN

I'm sorry I missed last week! I decided to do a short review of THE WRATH AND THE DAWN today. I'm setting it up a little differently, so let me know what you think of the more casual review style in the comments!

Here's the cover with its interesting overlay design:


Wondering about the picture beneath? Here it is (although the proportions are slightly altered and there's writing on it):



THE WRATH AND THE DAWN's main character is Shahrzad, a girl who volunteers to marry Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan, in order to avenge her best friend. Khalid marries a different girl each day...and her dead body is found the following dawn. But Shahrzad soon finds herself falling for the young Caliph, and as she learns more about him, she learns that he may be different than she thought.

That's my blurb for the book. Here's the one I pulled from Goodreads:

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.
She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.



...And here's what I thought of it!

THE WRATH AND THE DAWN is very different from a lot of other fantasy books out there. While most fantasy novels are set in a world obviously inspired by Europe during the Middle Ages, this book has a distinctly different setting. The world feels like it was inspired by the Middle East, and I loved how that gave this book a different texture.

Shahrzad is rash and not afraid to speak her mind, two common traits for main characters. While a lot of authors will give their MC these two traits for the first five chapter of their book (as long as it takes for these traits to get them in trouble) and then discard them, Renee Ahdieh (I'm sorry; I don't have an accent key on this computer) was sure to follow through. Yes, Shahrzad is rash. But she never stops being rash. And that makes all the difference.

I really liked this book, and it was a quick read. Thanks for visiting my blog and have a great day!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Nothing New Today!

Thank you for checking in, but I don't have a new post for you today. Have a great week and happy reading!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Camp NaNoWriMo: July 2016


It's always hard for me to dive back into blogging after an extended break. As you may have seen, I posted a list of last names last week. However, I thought that this week I would do something a little more personal and talk a little bit about what I did in July.

Ever since I did NaNoWriMo for the first time in November 2015, I've become a big believer in it. I love the way it pushes you to write and achieve goals you never thought you'd be able to reach. And while I absolutely loved November's NaNoWriMo, I've found that I actually like Camp NaNoWriMo (which takes place in April and July) better.

Camp NaNoWriMo differs from the regular NaNoWriMo in a few ways. First of all, Camp NaNoWriMo allows you to set your own goal. While I went into April's Camp with a goal of only 10K words, I decided to really challenge myself and set a goal of 50K words for July. (Spoiler alert: I reached my July goal!)

Another difference between Camp and the November NaNoWriMo is this: you get sorted into a "cabin" with up to eleven other writers. You can set parameters (such as word count or age) so everyone in the cabin has something in common. I absolutely loved the way cabins worked! I found my cabin mates to be amazingly supportive and helpful.

NaNoWriMo has taught me that I work well under pressure. On the last day of Camp, I ended up writing 16K words in order to hit my 50K goal. For those of you who have never had to write 16K words in a single day...it's hard. But that's the sort of motivational magic that NaNoWriMo brings you.

So will I be doing NaNoWriMo again in November? Of course! But I wouldn't be telling you the whole truth if I didn't say that I'm more excited for April's camp than I am for the "official" NaNoWriMo.

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

Friday, August 5, 2016

205 Last Names For Your Fictional Character

I have A LOT of trouble naming my characters, and I find that deciding on a last name is almost twice as hard as picking a first name. I've compiled a list of last names to use whenever I can't seem to come up with a decent surname on my own. 

Here's my list of 205 last names, arranged alphabetically. I hope that it can help you name your character (or create a cool pen name!).

Adams
Ahern
Albom
Allende
Anthony
Arnett
Arroyo
Arthur
Ashbery
Asher
Baker
Baxter
Berg
Black
Blake
Blayton
Blyton
Braithwaite
Brigham
Bristol
Brown
Burnett
Burns
Butcher
Cameron
Campbell
Camus
Canavan
Card
Carter
Chapman
Christie
Clancy
Clay
Cole
Colfer
Cook
Correia
Crane
Cross
Crowley
Cummins
Cunningham
Dean
Dekker
Dolamore
Downer
Dragon
Duane
Duffey
Duncan
Dunn
Eager
Edgerton
Elliott
Escher
Evanovich
Evans
Extence
Feehan
Fisher
Flinn
Flyte
Fox
Franklin
Genova
Gilbert
Glass
Glen
Goldman
Grace
Gratton
Gray
Greene
Gregory
Griffin
Gristwood
Haddix
Haines
Halle
Hamilton
Han
Hannah
Harkness
Harrison
Hartnett
Heideman
Hein
Hernandez
Herron
Higginson
Hill
Hobb
Hoover
Hubbard
Hurley
Irvine
Iskowitz
Ivory
Jacobs
Jayne
Jefferson
Johnson
Jones
Keller
Kelly
Kendrick
Keys
King
Kingsbury
Kittredge
Klein
Knapp
Kolee
Lane
Larson
Lawrence
Lee
Leialoha
Leviathan
Lloyd
Lopez
Love
Lowe
Lowell
Madigan
Madison
Maguire
Manor
Mantel
Marie
Maxwell
McCollough
McCray
Meyer
Michael
Mills
Miranda
Monk
Moore
Morgan
Nelson
Niles
Noyes
Oke
Oliver
Olson
Osborne
Palmer
Park
Parr
Patterson
Paul
Penn
Perkins
Peterson
Pierce
Pike
Pinson
Poulson
Putney
Quest
Reed
Rhodes
Rivers
Robb
Roberts
Rosnay
Rovin
Ryan
Schwab
Scott
See
Sheldon
Sivec
Snyder
Sparks
Stassen
Steel
Stevermer
Stewart
Stone
Sullivan
Susac
Swells
Tapscott
Tomlin
Tuchman
Watson
Webster
Weeks
Werlin
White
Wick
Williams
Willingham
Wilson
Winlock
Woods
Wrede
Yalmon
Ying
Young
Zeine
Zhang