Book Review – Seeds of Hatred by Christian Nadeau

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BOOK COVER BLURB
As a former assassin, a man on the run for years, Marac survived taking on odd jobs, living on society’s fringe, never putting down roots for fear of having to run again. Until he’s hired to steal a trinket from the Brotherhood.
Newly graduated, Soren is ready to shoulder the responsibities that come with an officer’s commission. Serving in the Brotherhood of Khanbis a privilege, one that he abandoned everything for. But when an Angel calls on him, he knows his first assignment is more than it seems to be.
As a Lightbearer, gifted with the power to shape light to her will, Alex lived a sheltered life in Tyranor’s monastery. Should the Brotherhood find out what she was, they’d kill her, but the monastery is underground, safely hidden from their prying eyes.
Then It all comes crashing down. A terrible game is played, and when the powerful move, pawns are doomed to be sacrificed.
Are they?

PLOT
The story basically revolves around these three people, as mentioned in the book blurb, but it isn’t just limited to that. As the book started I thought- “So only these character’s point of view is used.” And I was wrong.
There are many short paragraphs (basically they’re sections) which change the point of views some times. And they didn’t confuse me at all. Now I haven’t read many fantasy books and I know the struggle to literally get into the book. And the start seems to be the most difficult part because all the characters are getting introduced. (AND THIS BOOK HAD 80+ CHARACTERS) And so when I started reading it flowed smoothly. I understood what was going on. No unnecessary action sequence to throw me off. The whole book was crisp, up to the point and just the best example for why we really should concentrate on editing more.
(The author ‘Christian Nadeau” himself told me that the original draft was 320k words and he edited to make it 180k and still it’s a lot of words.)
So plot wise, I’m impressed. There are like different factions made up – Brotherhood, Lightbearers, Darkbearers, Fey, Thrall, Revenants, etc. And they all had their own reasons to start a war. Some were trying to stop it and some were in favour it. It just was a mix of opinions and egos.
But the book ends in a CLIFFHANGER. I seriously thought the war was going to take place in this book but IT DIDN’T. And it’s okay no hard feelings (though I screamed a little inside because I wanted to KNOW MORE) *deep breaths* And seriously does any war just start like that? No it doesn’t. Hence the book was REALISTIC.

CHARACTERS
Now this is what I call a ‘strong character’ book. Every character was well thought out. But there was this minor problem. I thought about how the characters, which I repeat were 80+ could have been cut short a little. Because somehow the author named every soldier and every slave and I know it could’ve been hard on him too. But that’s just creative criticism.
I couldn’t actually write about each and every character there is but I can assure it will be like Game of Thrones level characters in a single book (and I haven’t even read Game of Thrones, so don’t quote me on that!)

WRITING
The writing was sharp and not too much description but just enough to make you know what was really happening. And I can’t just write anything more about it because by now you would’ve known that I love this book! (Not forgetting that it ends in a cliffhanger!) *runs away to sob again*

MY REVIEW
Overall just because it was huge to read and took me almost 10 days of my life I would give it 5 stars. No. that wasn’t the real reason. The real reason being that I haven’t read a good from a very long time (like 6 months) and reading was a fresh experience for me.

You’ll LIKE it if:

  • You like a fantasy world based novel
  • You like a book with a truck load of characters
  • You like a book that’s well thought
  • You want to really not want to miss out on a great book
  • You want to read a series

You’ll NOT LIKE it if:

  • You want a light read
  • You don’t like too many characters
  • You don’t want to read a series

*The author provided me a copy and it in now way affects what I think and my review*

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Is Free Verse a Type of Poem?

Here’s a quick reminder that I wrote this just because I don’t know why free verse qualifies as a poem. Now don’t go ‘Oxford’ on me and just give me the proof that free verse indeed is a poem. I KNOW. I just FEEL like it shouldn’t be. It could be it’s own writing style you know? 

Like I wrote a ‘free verse’ today. It’s just my opinion. And I searched it’s meaning and here’s what I got:

Poem (as given in Cambridge Dictionary) a piece of writing in which words are arranged in separate lines, often ending in rhyme, and are chosen for their sound and for the images and ideas they suggest.

Free verse is a type of poem

I’m not sure about that

I can too write random sentences 

And rhyme ‘sit’ with ‘flat’

No offense to the ones who write it

But what’s the fun in it?

Scraching your head to find the correct words

And rhyming ‘sit’ with ‘lit’.

Why not call a free verse, a prose?

A poem is what it’s called

I understand the difference 

It’s like distinguishing a hairy person from a bald. 

SUMMER OFFER- 12 eBooks for $24?? (Am I kidding?) // No I’m not!!

You want to make your summer more interesting? Don’t have enough money to buy ebooks? What if I told you that you can get 12 books worth $50 for less than $24

Beginning June 21st until June 30th ALL of the eBooks will be discounted to $1.99 … that’s TWELVE titles in all from 50-75% off.  

And, they’re not all one genre either.  Cynthia Roberts is a romance author that likes to mix it up from Suspense, Contemporary, and Western/Native Indian Romances.  

Think of how much you will get to save … all 12 in total normally sell for $50 incl. tax and are now available for less than $24 … and that’s more than 3 months of reading.

If this isn’t a money-saver offer, I don’t know what is.

And the best part? You can shop from whichever online retailer you like! 

 Links for all the online retailers below.

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

Kobo

Apple

I don’t write poems

I don’t write poems

Rhyming words are tough to find

I try anyway

Maybe something luckily would cross my mind

Now do you have any tip

To let me learn

The art of poetry 

That I don’t find to be that easy

“Just keep writing” 

Is the one tip I hear

And that’s what I’ve been doing

From the past one year

But now when I look back

I’m not that bad

Because I wrote a whole poem

In rhyming words. How’s that?

Three Tips To Ace Your Exams

There are many tips that can make you a better student and this post is no different. But the way I see it studying becomes really simple if you know these three simple tricks.

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But I’m no expert in these matters but these tricks helped me a lot and I hope that they help you too to become an expert in studies.

 

  • The first thing that you should remember is: Please don’t try to study on the bed. I was very guilty of this habit and I’m glad to say that I changed it and since then I’ve experienced a massive increase of interest in my study habits. It’s best to have a desk or table that you can use every time you do homework. If you associate that environment with work, you can actually start to focus faster; that’s why doing homework in bed isn’t such a great idea. You associate that environment with sleeping, not studying. Keep your work area well stocked with pens, pencils, notebook, and textbooks — anything you’ll need to do your assignments.

 

  • The next thing is developing your studying timetable. Don’t give yourself too much stress by studying for 2-3 hours straight. Allow yourself some time off; you’re only human. You can follow the “40 minute study rule”. The “40 minute study rule” tells that you should study for 40 minutes straight and then take a 5 minute minutes break. You can increase it to 10 minutes too. But don’t do any distracting activity during this break like watching TV or going online. They are activities that distract you from studying and it would be very difficult to recover after the break to study again. Do something light like talking a brisk walk or stretching.

 

  • And the last thing to remember is study regularly. That’s it. Even if you have a year or even half a year to prepare for your exams, study regularly. Make your timetable and allot some hours on each day. The hours you have to decide can me totally up to your needs, total syllabus or your capacity to study. Then study regularly. It is the simplest method to score good consistently. Because of the regular studies you’ll not even feel the pressure of the syllabus swallowing you during the examinations.

And if you tried these, tell me in the comments below if they worked!

 

DISCUSSION #2- What is the secret of successful writing?

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This is my second discussion post where I ponder upon some questions and I seek the answers from you.

You can check out my first discussion post where I ask you whether you like coincidences in books here. 

This week I am thinking about- What is the secret of successful writing?

We all write something every day, whether be it emails, letters or blog posts. We all have a different writing style, different vocabulary and different tone to write.

Everyone has different writing methods and attitudes. To some writing is a daily chore, and to some it is a deep mysterious art, to others a painful affliction. For some writing flows fast and confidently; others agonise over every word they think of. For some writing is the result of a planned process, a thoughtful process after thinking about every little detail; others think it as a ‘spur of the moment thing’ and jump in heedlessly, leaving the polishing for later. Some write to make a living, some write for enjoyment. Some write from experience, some from imagination and the rest after painfully researching.

There are many professionals and all have their own writing style. That’s what defines them. Many people have different views about how a ‘Successful Writing’ piece should be.

I’m going to see the various types and then we’ll discuss what you think works the most.

Firstly, there are those who need a creative inspiration or a particular mood, like George Eliot, to write effectively. They in times suffer from what is called a ‘writer’s block’. Either the inspiration dries up or they cannot settle down to the tasks, even after getting abundant ideas. To put it another way, the problem is either what to write or how to write.

Others are extremely unromantic about the ‘business of writing’ as they would call it.They work regularly keeping a tight schedule for everyday and following it diligently. They treat creating a literary masterpiece no different than drafting legal contracts or even insurance claims.

Nicholas Monsarrat, author of The Cruel Sea, apparently used to work a regular nine-hour day in his study, starting at 6 a.m. the Italian novelist Alberto Moravia would spend three hours at his writing desk each day, between 7:30 and 10:30 a.m.

Some authors need absolute privacy and silence to concentrate properly. The French novelist Marcel Proust had to seclude himself in a cork-lined room before he could settle into a creative working mood. Others need the daily hustle and bustle of life to inspire their masterpieces.

Some authors write extremely quickly and fluently. Dr Johnson completed his short novel Rasselusin the space of a single week. Balzac could write 200 pages a week when the need arose; so too the French novelist Stendhal. Others could write with excruciating slowness: another great 19-century novelist, Gustave Flaubert, often managed no more than two pages a week- sometimes only a single page. His classic novel Madame Bovary took him five years of painful full-time writing.

Some authors, such as Anthony Burgees or the late A.P.J. Taylor, happily draft original material directly on a typewriter or word processor. Others, such as Roald Dahl and Fay Weldon, Iris Murdoch and Athol Fugard, seem to need the feel of a pencil or pen in the hand, as if there were some mystical connection between the moving hand and the creative mind.

And one more thing, in the great divide between business-like ‘craftsmen’ author and moody ‘artistic’ authors, the everyday writer, in my opinion, should come down on the business-like approach. The creative ‘once-my-mood-gets-better’ writer may produce greater poetry or deeper novels, but in everyday writing it falls flat.

Of all business-like authors, Anthony Trollope’s daily routine remains the best known and the most impressive. For most of his writing life, he had a full-time job as a civil servant with the Post Office and his enormous output of over 60 books was the product of his leisure hours. Along with his busy life, he found 15 to 20 hours a week for his writing. Day after day, year and year, he would sit at his desk between 5:30 and 8:30 in the morning , writing 1000 words an hour after planning each novel thoroughly.

Business-like such authors may be, they are not always without superstitions. Melvyn Bragg insists on writing for a Monday morning writing the first word for a new novel. The 19- century French novelist Honore de Balzac insisted on having an unripe apple on his desk, and Alexandre Dumas, creator of The Three Musketeers, would always write bedsocks while writing whereas Roald Dahl favours large yellow notepads.

So the question is- All these writers differ so widely in their working methods, what guidance can we derive from them?

Perhaps, I think, to take writing seriously, and to work intensely at getting it right- that is expressing your thoughts as clearly and accurately as possible.

What do you think? Do you write fast- or take your time in plotting everything? Do you treat writing as a business or as an art? Do you believe in superstitions while writing? If yes, then do tell!

 

 

When You Think You Are Alone, You Are Not

 

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Dear reader,

This is a letter to let you know you’re not alone. Just believe in yourself and in good times. There would be times you’ll laugh like the world doesn’t exist and there will be times when that ‘someone’ who was your world will leave you.

People will let you down. That’s the truth.

In this short, yet a very long life you will find many people; the ones who were your friends and decided not to, the people who were close to you but found it easy not to.

Their cowardice will hurt you. It’ll break you and you’ll never feel you’ll be able to recover from it. But you will. You will recover from it alone and you yourself can do it all. All you’ll need is a little courage and you can conquer.

Some will hurt you and some will leave you. And all you can do is ‘detach’. Detach from them, detach from the world. Remember them for what they taught you. Remember them for the moments you spent with them without any regrets. Remember them for the change they brought in your life and in you.

Remember them for the person they were. Remember them for the person they made you into. The strengths and weakness both they gave you. The happy and sad memories they gave you. The things they taught you. The things you learnt with them. The time you spent with them. The things you planned to do with them. The things you couldn’t do.

They may not be present in your life now but their presence was crucial for you and it is now because you developed into a better and stronger person you are.

Forgive them for what they did. Forgive yourself for what you experienced. But never forget the part they played in your life. How once you laughed with them so joyously thinking the day didn’t have a tomorrow. Thinking that you would remain that way for the rest of your life.

But you didn’t. And that’s okay. When they chose to move on, they made you independent. They released you from the burden of pleasing them. You are free now. You are free and beautiful and independent.

What happened if you lost one bird while flying? There are still more flocks to find the one you’re searching for. Till then just keep searching and keep learning. Because we can always learn from our mistakes and the circumstances. Fall back and get back. And never go down again.

Yours truly,

Vrushali

 

400 Followers?! Am I dreaming??

No, I’m not.

I reached a 405 followers…

And I can’t believe it.

It’s more than I ever expected this blog to reach. I picked up my diary and opened it to the page where I wrote, a few days after I started this blog, that I had 22 followers and I was endlessly gushing about it. That seemed like a big things then. I never accepted the fact that someone might read what I write. And here I am after a year of writing here, after a year of many posts and a year of confusion too. I changed many things over this span of time. Sometimes I would start with a meme and then leave it after a few weeks, not thinking about doing it again. Sometimes I would start another and it would end abruptly.

Some things I started and they are with me till now. The things I wrote before completely different from now. How my opinion changed in a year. I was someone ignorant of the things going on in the world, living in my own bubble, but then WordPress and this blog and this community of some awesome people changed me.

And I’m very glad for that.

And I know I don’t need to state the benefits of blogging here, because if you’re reading this, I know that you think so too.

So here’s to more happy days for you and me, both and more surprises.

And here’s to a loving blogging community and a great number of friends gained.

Thank you.

Camp NaNoWriMo Update – Why I’m No Longer Continuing It

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which I’m no longer!

The Camp NaNoWiMo started on July 1 and here is what I did during this week –

DAY 1

WORD COUNT- 1708

MY DAY- My day started good as I was excited for writing for the first day of NaNoWriMo. I started writing thinking it was too easy to write 5000 words a day but when I actually started writing, I knew it is not that easy. Hah, I picked up my speed and wrote.

DAY 2

WORD COUNT- 1127

MY DAY- My day went kind of lazily. I made a water colour painting for the World Water Colour Month and the rest of the time I just read. Also I received The Night Circus! Yay! And after the thousands of good reviews I read about it I’m very excited to read it. But not too many expectations; it ruins the book, right?

 

DAY 3

WORD COUNT- 1199

MY DAY- It was a Sunday and I decided to write more because practically I’ll be with the laptop the whole day. But my plans failed badly and in the evening I decided to make up and wrote 1127 words. Pretty great for something written in such a short period of time. I wish I had written from the morning but I was too lazy.

DAY 4

WORD COUNT- 406

MY DAY- I painted during the day, did some studying (even though I’m on a holiday) and slept my heart’s desire and in the evening I started writing but after an hour of watching TV and writing simultaneously I preferred the TV and stopped writing. On an average I have to write 12500 a week and unfortunately in this week I wrote 4440 words. It means I have to write 8060 words more in just 3 days. Can I achieve it? I think so. Let’s see.

 

DAY 5

WORD COUNT- 285

MY DAY – After about 4 days I’m starting to get bored. Partly because I don’t have a good story and I don’t know what to do with it and partly because I can’t seem to write with a deadline. I have been completing the Water colour paintings for posting every day and that seems a bit of a work for me. the rest of the time I read and study for some time.

DAY 6

WORD COUNT – 0

MY DAY- I didn’t write anything. I thought of writing something in the evening but canceled it too. I think I’m not ready for Camp NaNoWriMo. I have been meaning to take part in the November NaNoWriMo and I guess I’ll plan ahead of time and try then.

 

DAY 7

WORD COUNT – 0

My day – After a day with no word count, I’m sadly abandoning this project. I’ll write whenever I feel like it and I’ll complete this book but for now I don’t think I can complete this. But I’m happy about the fact that I wrote some 4700+ words in four days and I’ll do some more later.

Unfortunately, I have left Camp NaNoWriMO. I think I better sharpen my writing skills with other forms of writing like some short stories, essays or articles. But right now I don’t think I’ll do something productive with my time taking part this time.

I know it’s a challenge to just write but what’s the point in investing so much time and writing and then thinking what I have written is not good enough for a novel.

But next I promise to write something useful and worth my time.

Camp NaNoWriMo – My Project 2016

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Camp NaNoWriMo is what everyone’s been excited for! And I’m too participating! Are you? You should. It has already started and if you want to join, hurry up!

So today I’ll be telling you about the project I’ll be taking up this July. It WAS a horror novel just like I told you in my previous post but I changed it. It was totally last minute and I’m glad I did that.

Actually what happened was that I had started this novel called ‘Infection’ a few weeks back, without any knowledge of the possible plot (like a panster!) but then it started to fail miserably because after some chapters I couldn’t think of how to move the story forward. And then in the middle of writing I decided to write the plot outline somewhere (like a plotter!) where I could use it as a reference and then my story moved forward.

But then something happened. I couldn’t find the ending to my novel. Then I decided to discard it till July’s NaNoWriMo ends. And I plotted an outline for a different horror novel for July. But then on the eve of June 30 I had this idea for a possible ending to ‘Infection’ and that was when I decided to switch.

And I had already written 9000+ words before July so I’ll not count them for July but I have a personal target to taking the novel up to 90,000 words. That way I’ll be able to win the NaNoWriMo and also finish my first draft.

Wish me luck! And all the very best to all of you who were brave enough to take part in Camp NaNoWriMo!!

Tell me what you think about it! I’ll be more than happy to listen!