Summer Roundup

Roundup (noun) – 5. a summary, brief listing, or résumé of related facts, figures, or information –

Well, it’s September 20th today. My calendar tells me that Autumn doesn’t officially start until the 22nd, but we’ve been feeling the chill in the air for a little while here, so it seems like a pretty good time to do my summer roundup.

I had a great time this year. I got some writing done, Dead Water was released on August 8th, I’ve finished the draft of Doomed Seas, which will be my first release of the fall, and I’ve begun my 365K words in a year challenge. I got some reading done, with reviews of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini TaylorThe Shadow Hour by Melissa GreyMechanica by Betsy CornwellHarry Potter and the Cursed ChildWith Malice by Eileen CookSnow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch posted for your perusal. I got a new Kobo Aura One, which I’ve loaded up with books for the upcoming fall season, and I’m going to be posting about my most anticipated Young-Adult Fall 2016 releases tomorrow.

My favourite part of summer is just being able to sit outside, especially if the bugs are mild. It’s tradition for me to go on a trip to the Rocky Mountains, and we did that in August and got some gorgeous photos. Coupled to the mountain trip this year was attending the When Words Collide writing conference in Calgary, which is always an amazingly fun time. I learn a lot, meet knew friends, and always head home with new ideas.

I also love the summer flowers, and as fall approaches and the flowers begin to die off, I find myself missing their bright and surprising beauty. But the beauty of the changing leaves quickly fills in many of the colour gaps, until the brown of the pre-snow takes over, and then I look forward to the crisp white of the first snowfall. But first, here’s a look at my favourite blooms of the year.

What will you miss most about summer?

What I’m Listening To: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

A Young Adult Audiobook Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Early this week, I mentioned I was going out on a long road trip. Audiobooks always make the time go faster, so for this trip I borrowed a copy of Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Taylor, Laini Unabridged Edition (September 27, 2011) (associate link), as presented by Hachette Audio and performed by Khristine Fran. I’d heard about the book a few times and seen it around. It sounded interesting enough (and was immediately available) so I picked it up. I was pleasantly impressed.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone begins by following the Story of Karou, who lives in Prague, and whom we slowly find out isn’t quite human. I found it a bit slow to start, there is action right away, but not too much knowledge, which means I didn’t immediately understand where the story was going. But the writing is beautifully descriptive, which I love in an audiobook, and the dialogue was snappy and fun. There was a shift three-quarters of the way through the book, which changed the pace a bit, and slowed things down at a moment when I wanted them to pick up, but then I fell into the second story and began enjoying everything again.


The audiobook itself was well done. The narrator overall did a pretty good job voicing the characters. I especially liked her voice for Brimstone and Zuzana. There were a couple points where the voice for Karou got a bit high-pitched for my liking, but they were few and far between.

The whole, side 1 vs side 2 storyline is a bit old hat (I found this a bit like The Girl at Midnight, though both stories are very unique), but this book is well done with strong characters. My only real complaint would be all the discussions about how “beauty doesn’t matter”, yet everyone in the book is “achingly” beautiful I *almost* wanted to puke. But enough about that. Well, not enough. I wrote a short essay about that, which I’ll post tomorrow.

But for now, if you’re looking for a good Young Adult Fantasy Story on Audiobook, this might be the one for you.

4/5 Stars.

J. E. Hunter is the author of the Black Depths Series. Tales of a Redheaded Sea-Witch, and Broken Tide, the first two books of the series can be found on  Amazon,  Kobo,  iBooks,  Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords. The third book, Dark Shores, was released April 1, 2016. The fourth and last book of the Black Depths series, Twisted Currents, will be released in the fall of 2016, after Dead Water and Doomed Seas, two Novellas featuring Caesar.

A Blog Tour

Over the past weekend I was very busy participating in the 3-Day Novel Writing contest, which was awesome. I expunged an idea that occurred to me a while back. It felt good to get it out and put me way up on my 1,000 words a day goal. I wrote 22,000 words over the weekend, so I guess now I don’t have to write until September 23rd, but that’s not the point. The point is to write 1,000 words per day until next September. I’m hoping it really is habit forming, and that the year will teach me just to get it done!

Today however, I headed out on a five hour trip for my day job (almost all writers I know have one). I kicked it off by getting a pumpkin spice latte and browsing the bookstore. I did not, however, buy any books because my shelf is overwhelmed with books right now. But I am pretty tempted to pick up Empire of Storms on ebook.

I am currently in my hotel room, ready to wind down after spending 5 hours listening to the audiobook of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor. I actually am excited for my 5 hour drive home on Thursday because of this book! I’ll post a review on the weekend.

Oh, and last but not least, Tales of a Redheaded Sea-Witch is on tour this week, with reviews and some guests posts. If you haven’t seen them yet, here are a few links:

What are you up to?