Summer 2018 playlist – easy & lyrical.

Whether you’re reading by the beach, or stuck inside during those summer storms, an easy summer playlist can make your day that much brighter. I have countless mood playlists for every situation or emotion you could imagine, but today I am going to be sharing the songs I listen to for an easy, lyrical summer. I prefer slow, mellow tones and deep voice, as you can tell through these songs:

~ Hold my girl by George Ezra ~

~ Hearts don’t break around here by Ed Sheeran ~

~ Ever since New York by Harry Styles ~

~ Cherry wine by Hozier ~

~ Tenerife Sea by Ed Sheeran ~

~ Thunder clatter by Wild Club ~

~ Peaches by In The Valley Below ~

~ Caroline by Jon Foreman ~

~ Mess is mine by Vance Joy ~

~ Shotgun by George Ezra ~

~ Run with me by Hudson Taylor ~

~ Biba be ye ye by Ed Sheeran ~

~ Barcelona by Ed Sheeran ~

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What songs are on your summer playlist? I love finding new music!

Thanks for reading,

Taylor.

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The Literary Dinner Party Book Tag

I found this tag on Dreamland Book Blog and it seemed like a fun one to do! Let me know down below who you would choose, or if you do this tag because I would love to check it out.

Here are the questions:

1. One character who can cook/likes to cook
2. One character who has money to fund the party
3. One character who might cause a scene
4. One character who is funny/amusing
5. One character who is super social/popular
6. One villian
7. One couple – doesn’t have to be romantic
8. One hero/heroine
9. One underappreciated character
10. One character of your own choosing

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Without further ado, let’s get into the tag:

1. One character who can cook/likes to cook

  • I have no idea. Do many book characters like to cook? I really cannot think of one off the top of my head; we are already off to a bad start. I feel like I would have to go with Isobel from An Enchantment of Ravens because if her and I were in the fae world, her and I would be the only ones able to do any cooking.

2. One character who has money to fund the party

  • Harry Potter is obviously loaded, so I would definitely want to befriend him and have him fund the party. Plus, he has great manners.

3. One character who might cause a scene

  • I will go with Celeana Sardothien from Throne of Glass  because trouble seems to follow her everywhere, and if she received a dirty look she would likely hole a knife to the person’s throat. I just won’t set one at her placemat.

4. One character who is funny/amusing

  • Levi of Fangirl is one of the most amusing characters I have ever read, though I don’t believe he fit in too well with the other guests. I feel that he wouldn’t be bothered in the slightest though because he fits in so well with all types of people.

5. One character who is super social/popular

  • Not many characters that I read are very sociable because by the end of the book, their lives have crashed down around them. I believe maybe Will Herondale from the Infernal Devices because he is very popular in his world as well as charming, so he would be excellent for a dinner party.

6. One villain

  • The Darkling from Shadow and Bone. Yes, he’s a terribly awful person, but he’s also my villainous crush and I feel like he could really woo the guests. Or maybe I would choose Tamlin just so I could poison his food…

7. One couple – doesn’t have to be romantic

  • You all know I have to invite Rhysand and Feyre to my party; I’m sorry if that is a really uneventful answer for you all but it wouldn’t be my dinner party if they weren’t invited.

8. One hero/heroine

  • I would like to invite Cleo from Falling Kingdoms as my heroine because she has been through quite a lot and I have only read the first book of the series. I just think she could really use a friend.

9. One underappreciated character

  • One underappreciated character I would like to invite is Okami from Flame in the Mist because not enough people are talking about that book and nearly not enough people are talking about Okami. He is so strong and mysterious, and he would be great to talk with over dinner.

10. One character of your own choosing

  • Hermione Granger would most definitely be my guest of choosing because she could tell my other guests about the wonders of dentistry, and she is one person I would love to have a conversation with. She would have excellent stories and she is incredibly intelligent.

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And of course I would invite all of you because how selfish would it be to have all these amazing people in one room and keep them to myself!

What book characters would you love to invite to a dinner party? Tell me down below (and I hope I’m invited)!

Thanks for reading,

Taylor.

How I Edit My Bookstagram Pictures

I have been on Bookstagram (which is just an Instagram about books) since December of 2017 at @taylorisreading, and I have had a lot of questions about how I got my latest theme. Today, I am going to walk you all through my process!

So, first I take a picture that I like and send it to the Afterlight app to add a dust filter (dust 12). After that we get this:

 

 

Then we move into the Instagram app! I do not use any other app to edit my pictures except for Afterlight to get the dust filter.

  • I add the Aden filter, and on some pictures it is a little intense so I adjust as needed (usually to around 90-85)
  • Go to the editor section and adjust brightness to 20-30
  • Contrast to 15-20
  • Structure to 30ish
  • Warmth to 10-15ish
  • Saturation to 5
  • Color, orange, to 15-25
  • Highlights to 20-25
  • Shadows to -60 to -75
  • And sharpen to 35-40

And then we get this:

Ta da! Then you just write a quick caption and load the bottom with hashtags and you’re done.

Let me know down below if you use any specific editing apps for your pictures!

Thanks for reading!

Taylor

The First Ten Chapters: Editing Edition

 I am back with another edition of the First Ten Chapters, but this time from the editing stand point.

     In my situation, the editing side isn’t too different from the writing side because I am re-writing the first twenty or so chapters! I have been writing this book over the span of the last three years, so the end of my book is tremendously different from the beginning of it. However, I have taken away and added so much and created so many answers for things I really couldn’t answer before. I am really happy with where my book is heading at this point and I am even more happy with how the second book is looking in my mind.
So far, I am on chapter 12 and I have only been able to recycle one chapter to make minor changes on. It was such a great feeling to knock out two chapters that day. My goal is to have the second draft of my book completed by the time my fall semester picks up in the end of August.

     I thought I would let you all have a little insight into my book for the first time ever!
It involves a strange land that is VERY loosely connected to hints of Norse mythology, and there is a magical mirror and an evil ruler and an average bookworm main character who is so excited to have her own adventure like the ones she so often reads in books. There’s political turmoil and feasts and parties and a villainous creature, and the MC has no idea what she literally stumbled into.

     That is all I will say for now as I don’t own any rights to my idea or have the idea secured with a publishing company. I wish I could blab on forever about it to you guys, but I really can’t.

     At this rate, my book will probably go beyond the 26 chapters I had in my original draft, and will probably be over the 77,500 words of the first draft as well. As daunting as that sounds as I am currently at 21,400 after chapter 11, I am very proud of how much I have expanded my world and how much I have created for this second draft. I added so much more depth to the novel and did so much more world building to make it what I had dreamed of but never knew what the book was missing.

     So, my biggest struggle thus far has been getting distracted, and by this I mean I have two other book ideas that I am outrageously ready to start writing, but alas, I really want to finish this book first. It is so tempting sometimes to just designate a day to one of the other books, but I need to keep on track with my current WIP.

     When I get to the third draft, I know that it will speed along a lot better because as of right now I hope for at least three chapters a week. It will also mostly come down to making sure everything makes sense, everything has been connected properly, there are no loose ends that shouldn’t be loose ends, and there aren’t any grammatical errors. I also plan to have beta readers for my third draft so I can see if the idea suits my target audience.

     In all, right now I am really just re-writing and will have more an extensive update once I complete this draft. I will still keep you all updated, though!

     Let me know about your WIP below or what you think of the editing/writing process.

Thanks for reading!
Taylor . x

June TBR!

My May TBR was a somewhat success! I was able to read Scythe, Flame in the Mist, and Siddhartha, and I started Roar but I was, sadly, not able to finish it before June came around. I think that having these monthly TBRs are helping with my reading pace because I feel more goal oriented about it so I read more throughout the month. For the month of June my goal is about the same, I have four books I really want to get to and they are as follows:
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
ACOWAR

This book is massive, so I honestly don’t know if I’ll be able to get through all of these books this month. I already started it and I am on page 110, so I have about 600 pages left. Yay! That was a sarcastic yay because big books are intimidating, but it also wasn’t a sarcastic yay because I love Pyrthian and my babies Feyre and Rhysand.
Ok, serious question. How do you pronounce Feyre and Rhysand?
I say Feyre like Fair and Rhysand like Ri-sand. SJ Maas said that it is Fey-ruh and Ree-sand, but I just can’t deal with that.
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
truthwitch
I love this cover. Safiya looks like a boss woman with the blue smoke whipping around her and her sword and knife. I cannot wait to get into this book and read about this really unique magic system. I love the concept of being able to detect lies, that would be a great super power, and that is the power that the main character, Safiya, has. Because the power is so desirable, the nobility she is born into is willing to kill for it, so she has to keep it on the down low. I am so ready to dive into this story!

Crowns of Croswald by D.E. Night
crowns of croswald
I received this book from the author in May to hold a giveaway on my Instagram (congrats to the winner)! From the moment I saw it and everything in the cute little magical box, I was excited to get into it. It has magic and the boarding school trope plus an evil queen, so it’s pretty much everything I want in a book? It is also middle grade so it should be very light-hearted as we follow Ivy through the world of Croswald.

Antigone by Sophocles

This book isn’t very important to the list for two reasons: 1) I have to read it for the same philosophy class I had to read Siddhartha for (which isn’t too bad), and 2) it was only 50 pages long and I finished it in one day – which was yesterday. It was interesting with the Greek setting and ideals, but even better it was very short and super easy to read. But to be honest, putting this book on this TBR was the equivalent of putting “laundry” on your to-do list when you’ve already done it just so you can check it off.

Let me know down below what you plan to read throughout June!
Thanks for reading!
Taylor

Mini May Book Haul

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Today I am bringing you all a very mini book haul for the month of May! I am so glad to have acquired all these books, and incredibly lucky as two of the three were won in giveaways, but I’ll talk more about that later.

Currently, I am still reading Roar by Cora Carmack, and I love the story but I just cannot stay focused on it. I blame that on having so much to do – I have two classes to keep up with and I am trying to edit my novel, so there is very little time in between.

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

ACOWAR

This I the first book I received of the month, and I was so fortunate as to win it in LiteraryNessie‘s Instagram giveaway! I could not believe that I actually won a giveaway because, really, who wins giveaways?

There was so much trouble trying to pick up the package because my apartment and the apartments around me lost the package and I thought I would never see it. To my surprise, while I was at home for the week, I got a call saying they found it and I nearly screamed.

I would really like to say thank you to LiteraryNessie! Be sure to go check out her Instagram because she’s great ❤

The Crowns of Croswald by D.E. Nightcrowns of croswald

This book was sent to me by the author in the cutest little magical box with some goodies that related to the book. She also worked with me to hold my own Instagram giveaway to give one of the entrants their own magical box including a copy of the book which was so much fun and congrats to the winner!

This is a middle grade novel following a girl named Ivy who discovers she has magical powers after she crosses the border that separates the mundane from the magical. From there she finds a school for magical children and fights against the power of the dark queen.

This book is on my June tbr, so I can’t wait to dive into it because it sounds so whimsical and fun! Also, boarding schools, especially magical ones, are my thing so I am all here for this book.

Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings

Zenith

This is the second book that I won in a giveaway this month, and do you know who held the giveaway? Sasha Alsberg! Only my favorite booktuber ever! I have been really bumming that I haven’t been able to read Zenith yet, and I really just entered the giveaway on a whim thinking my chances of winning were so slim, but lo and behold… I won!

The book is specially signed, making it my first ever signed book as well!

Most of you probably know what this book is about, like ACOWAR, so I won’t bother with a description. The only thing I will say is: female space pirates.

So that was my mini May haul! Let me know if you received/bought/rented any books from the library in the comments below 🙂

Thanks for reading!
Taylor

Writing Topics to Cover in Videos

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Hello everyone!

So today’s post is just me asking for your opinion, fun! I will be launching a series of writing videos on my booktube channel and I am crazy excited for it. One video has already been filmed and edited and will be up in the next few weeks, but I am wondering what you all want to see. I have some topics I want to cover, which are:

  • Book Bibling (already filmed and edited)
  • Character Plotting
  • World Building
    • Food
    • Religion
    • History
    • Government
    • Civilization
    • Geography and its impacts
  • How to start the beginning
  • How to start the end

I need you guys to tweet me or comment down below any ideas you want me to discuss because I just want to help you all in any way that I can. Writing is really stressful and isolating so if we can help each other, it can be even more fun! So what is something you struggle with? Don’t be afraid to ask anything!

Let me know of any ideas you all think of and I’ll be sure to make a video!

Thanks for reading!
Taylor

What I Read: College Freshman

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I am back with another post on the books I read during the school year, except this time it’s for college! Yay! You can check out what I read my senior year here. Click on the titles to go to the review of the book.

Let me know what books you read this past school year or what books you read as a college freshman!

illuminaeIlluminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

5 out of 5 stars!

 

 

 

 

 

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. MaasQoS

5 out of 5 stars!

 

 

 

 

 

mark of athenaMark of Athena by Rick Riordan

4 out of 5 stars

 

 

 

 

 

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddorlookingglasswars

3 out of 5 stars

 

 

 

 

 

noviceThe Novice by Taran Matharu

4 out of 5 stars

 

 

 

 

 

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugosiege and storm

4 out of 5 stars

 

 

 

 

 

diabolicThe Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

4 out of 5 stars

 

 

 

 

 

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. MaasACOMAF

5 out of 5 stars!

 

 

 

 

 

HunterTheFallenOneHunter: The Fallen One by C.L. Hagely

3 out of 5 stars

 

 

 

 

 

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdiehwrathandthedawn

5 out of 5 stars!

 

 

 

 

 

cruel beautyCruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

5 out of 5 stars!

 

 

 

 

 

Firebolt by Adrienne Woodsfirebolt

2 out of 5 stars

 

 

 

 

 

torchagainstthenightA Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

5 out of 5 stars!

 

 

 

 

 

Ash Princess by Laura SebastianAshPrincess

4 out of 5 stars

 

 

 

 

 

empire of stormsEmpire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

5 out of 5 stars!

 

 

 

 

 

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowellfangirl

5 out of 5 stars!

 

 

 

 

 

FallingKingdomsFalling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

5 out of 5 stars!

 

 

 

 

 

An Enchantment of Ravens by Maragret RogersonEnchantment_of_Ravens

5 out of 5 stars!

 

 

 

 

 

control freakzControl Freakz by Michael Evans

2 out of 5 stars

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading!

Taylor

Great Book Outlet Deals Right Now!

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I did a post like this a while ago, and I think it was helpful for some of you fellow compulsive book buyers out there so I’m doing it again! This is, again, not sponsored at all by BookOutlet, I just think they are a great site with great books and great prices. As usual, you also get free shipping from the site if you spend $35 or more. You can check out my last post like this because some of the deals from there are still mostly relevant, although some prices have changed a little.

Over $5

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

cinder

$5.39 (list price $9.99)

Paperback

Bargain Book Copy

 

 

 

 

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

scarlet

$5.39 (list price $9.99)

Paperback

Bargain Book Copy

 

 

 

 

Cress by Marissa Meyer

cress

 

$5.39 (list price $10.99)

Paperback

Bargain Book Copy

 

 

 

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

renegades

$5.39 (list price $19.99)

Hardcover

Scratch and Dent Copy

 

 

 

 

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

scythe

$9.69 (list price $18.99)

Hardcover

Bargain Book Copy

 

 

 

 

Divergent Box Set by Veronica Roth

divegent box set

$18.99 (list price $51.96)

Paperback

Bargain Book Copy

 

 

 

 

Under $5

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

unravel me

$3.79 (list price $9.99)

Paperback

Scratch and Dent Copy

 

 

 

 

Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima

Flamecaster

$4.29 (list price $9.99)

Paperback

Bargain Book Copy

 

 

 

 

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

dumplin

$4.29 (list price $9.99)

Paperback

Bargain Book Copy

 

 

 

 

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

caraval

$4.79 (list price $18.99)

Hardcover

Scratch and Dent Copy

 

 

 

 

 

Roar || Review

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Title: Roar

Author: Cora Carmack

Publisher: Tor Teen

Format/Pages: Hardback, 378

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating:

~ Goodreads Synopsis ~

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.
Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.
Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

~ ~ ~ ~