JUST CHECKING BACK IN

This is me reporting back. 😛 I’ve still been on semi-hiatus these past few months. Though I’m still writing (and reading), I’m actively searching for a job. It’s pretty difficult, especially in my city. Where I live in is small and has an abundance of CDL driving and import/export related jobs, which I can’t do or don’t appeal to me. I’ve made some money in a few occassional gigs, though it’s nowhere near enough. Computer work is my favorite career, alongside writing. Unfortunately, they both have the same huge drawback: I can’t afford advertising. It’s not “I won’t,” I literally can’t. I’m hoping to have more luck soon.

Changing the subject. As you can see, I’ve also given a new look to  my website. It was looking pretty…unappealing. And it was time for a new coat of paint, too. Blue is my favorite color, so that’s why I selected this particular theme. This look is perhaps the one I’ve liked the most yet. I want to add a new header later on. The current one looks quite good, for a default header.

I’m still working on Project Obsidian, my upcoming sci-fi novel. Given my current hardships, I haven’t even finished a first draft. Not quite, I’ve done some revisions that sort of bring it up to the level of a second or third draft. That’s just how I write. My first drafts aren’t a piece of junk. I just like my stuff (writing, my phone or computer UI) to look good. Anyway, I don’t know when I’ll be able to set a release date for my new novel. I’m really shooting for it to be this year, preferably in the fall. I read somewhere that that’s a suitable time for releasing sci-fi and fantasy books.

Until the next time. Oh, and I’ll see if I can post more book reviews. I haven’t had much time for that lately. Au revoir!

MY GOALS FOR 2017

Good morning, everyone! A new year has started, and I’m already looking forward to what it could bring. As I mentioned recently, I’m working on a new science-fiction adventure. Other than that, I’ve published three other books. The first one, Dream Date, was released in 2014. That remains my only series so far. I have hopes of continuing it, but that’s unfortunately not in the plans at the moment.

I haven’t written a post like this before. Planning for the year is not something I usually do, not really. Sure, I do plan certain things in my head. I just don’t put it on a list, though. I’m not really an agenda kind of guy. I wanted to share my goals for the year, though. In no particular order: Continue reading

MY BEST READS OF THE YEAR, 4th EDITION

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Another year is almost at an end. This just doesn’t cease to amaze me, though with less intensity. When it’s the start of the year I can’t wait for it to end. Then when the year ends, I wish it lasted longer. Part of the reason is that I wish I could accomplish more. In 2016, I’ve published no more novels. My last one was In A Greater Reality, back in November ’15. This year, I canceled a project I was working on, so that slowed me down. Now I’m writing a new sci-fi novel I’m very excited about.
As 2016 is the fourth year I’m tracking my books finished in Goodreads, I finished less new books. I’ve been instead re-reading old ones. Three years is, well, pretty long to go without revisiting novels I liked in the past. So once again, the pool to choose my best reads from is smaller. That means that this year, the list will be 10 books long. As usual, I include a star rating and a short summary of the books chosen. I’ll start at 10 and go down until reaching my #1 read of the year. Without further ado:
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2016 SO FAR: MY UPCOMING WORK

Halloween’s already around the corner. Everyone else is already looking forward to it, buying costumes and sweets. My family and I don’t celebrate it, though. I just use it as an excuse to wear a costume. I don’t have one this year, at least not now. Maybe I’ll buy one after I publish this post.

As far as work is concerned, I’ve been writing as often as I could. I admittedly had a short writing slump a few months ago, though. Besides, most of my time was spent planning. I wanted to publish a new book this year, but I canceled one I was writing early on. That one is not Dream Date #3. I’m not sure when I’ll revisit that series, but I would really like to. For now, I’m focused on the sci-fi genre. I’m working on a new book dealing with advanced technology and genetics. The special thing about this one is that it will most likely be released as a serial. I think that format would be fitting for this story. A weekly serial would be too slow, though, so I’m looking at releasing episodes at least twice a week.

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2016 SO FAR: LEARNING A NEW LANGUAGE

pexels-photo-27812It seems the years pass by faster the longer one lives. That’s certainly been the case for me. I’ve been quite busy even though I don’t have a job. Writing books is a lengthy process. I’ve also been doing something new this year: learning a language. I’ve wanted to learn French for a few years, and I finally took the plunge.

At first, I doubted that I could learn a new language without a teacher. I became interested in French after discovering Alizee, one of the most famous European singers. I found an album of hers for sale at Best Buy around 2011. Yeah, it seems even in boring small cities like mine you can find obscure (for the U.S.) music. Anyway, I was hesitant to learn French for the aforementioned reason. And it never occurred to me to sign up for French classes at the community college…there were none in high school. My class schedule was full, anyway.

Looking back, it was too early to sign up for a French class. After what I’ve learned so far, I think I’ve done better by myself. I first started learning French by signing up for a Duolingo account in September of last year. I made my first mistake then, though. Still doubting a language could be learned without a classroom, I went slow. By slow, I mean learning around ten words a week. It was a good call at first, but after I got better, I should have tried to learn more.

As I (slowly) progressed through the Duolingo tree, I found that the content was a bit more advanced than I wanted. My interest was in learning words for conversational use, not stuff I should know if I planned to move to France. So in February of this year, I downloaded an app called Memrise. On that one, I went faster. I studied a lesson a day (each lesson has no less than ten words, usually sixteen). Every Sunday, I would review stuff that I learned that week instead of starting a new lesson. When I signed up for Memrise, there was a course called A1 French. That one had around twelve hundred words in total. It’s been phased out, and divided into new courses with around four hundred words each. I started with French 4, because the earlier courses had words I learned in Duolingo and in A1 French.

This year, I also started listening to French music and radio stations. My favorite artist by far is Joyce Jonathan. This woman has the most beautiful voice I’ve ever heard. I don’t know, I just find it so appealing I could listen to Joyce all day. And she also has des jolies yeux and adorable cheekbones. Anyway, over time, I discovered new musicians to listen to. Some of my other favorites are Louane, Nolwenn Leroy, and Yelle. Music is so effective at learning a new language that I can now speak a bit of French.

I’m surprised by how much French I know now. And I haven’t even signed up for a class or spoken the language to anyone. I plan to do the latter in the future, though. Since I’m probably the only trilingual for at least a half mile radius, I searched for other ways to hear spoken French. This led me to discover a few great YouTube channels. I’ve never watched any, not having a need or interest. The one I watch the most is Patricia B en Francais. Patricia’s excellent for a French learner because she’s an American who moved to France. She now speaks the language almost flawlessly. Most of Patricia’s videos are about fashion and makeup, though, but they’re still useful to learn French. It helps that she’s easy on the eyes and ears.

So, that’s it for today’s post. I’m writing another one like this for next week. In it, I’ll reveal a few new details on my newest project. Have a good day!

BOOK REVIEW: BEHIND THE HANDS THAT KILL

BEHIND THE HANDS THAT KILL (In the Company of Killers, #6)

Author: J.A. Redmerski
Published on: May 6, 2016
Genre: Suspense, romance, thriller
Published by: Self-published
Format: E-book, paperback, Audible

Even professional killers need vacations, but for Victor Faust, his vacation in Venezuela is about more than relaxation and time alone with Izabel Seyfried. It is a chance for him to come clean to Izabel: to tell her the truth about why he sent her to Italy with his brother, the truth behind his interest in Nora Kessler, and about his knowledge of Izabel’s child with her former captor. But before Victor can spill his soul, reality proves that for some killers, vacations are just pipe-dreams.

Attacked and kidnapped, Izabel finds herself stuffed in a suitcase, while Victor later wakes up imprisoned in a cage. In any other situation, Victor would find a way out and save himself and the woman he loves—but not this time. When the identities of their kidnappers are revealed, Victor loses all hope, and begins the mental process of accepting his and Izabel’s last moments together. And Izabel’s final moments of life.

As if his circumstances are not complicated enough, members of Vonnegut’s Order are finally closing in on Victor. And when they do, he comes face-to-face with someone else he once knew and loved, who could either help him, or make a grave situation much worse. Victor’s past has finally caught up with him: the women he has cared for, loved, and killed; the families he has destroyed; the unforgivable crimes he has committed. And now he must face the consequences, and pay the ultimate price for absolution.

But when it is all over, Victor may not have the strength to pick up what is left and move on. Because the event changes him. Because love changed him. And because, unlike before when he thought it is was for the best, he cannot imagine a life without Izabel in it.

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BOOK REVIEW: DEFECTOR (VARIANTS, #2)

DEFECTOR (Variants, #2)

Author: Susanne Winnacker
Published on: June 26, 2014
Genre: Sci-fi, romance
Published by:Razorbill
Format: E-book, paperback, Audible

Tessa has finally made peace with her life as a Variant. She and long-time love Alec are officially a couple, and for the first time, she has everything she wants.

But the air is tense at FEA headquarters. An agent has disappeared, and rogue variant organization Abel’s Army is likely the culprit.

When Tessa is summoned for her second mission, she is unexpectedly launched into a massive conspiracy. Her best friend Holly is kidnapped and Tessa knows it was meant to be her. But who is after her? And more importantly, why?

When the FEA’s efforts to rescue Holly don’t yield any results, Tessa takes matters into her own hands. Desperate to save her friend and uncover the mystery behind Abel’s Army, Tessa launches her own investigation—but nothing could prepare her for what she finds. Everyone in her life is harboring secrets: Alec, her estranged mother, even the father she never knew.

The truth will take her out on the road and out of her comfort zone, with danger lurking everywhere. Summoning all of her courage and strength, Tessa must decide who can be trusted and what is worth fighting for—even if it means going against the life she thought she wanted. Her final decision will leave readers breathless.

 

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