The Author Christmas Tag

This tag is so ridiculously late that it’s extremely awkward to post it now… I thought I was doing really good with getting stuff out on time and even scheduled a few things over Christmas break, but it turns out that every single post I wrote went to my drafts instead of publishing to my blog. I don’t know if something updated, something decided not to play nice with a screen reader, or if it was just an idiotic operator error on my part, but yeah… I almost took over all your inboxes by hitting post all, but I thought better of it, which explains why you’re getting a Christmas tag after Christmas. I am also very sorry to Lia and everyone else participating in Short Story Society! All of my short stories were in those posts that went to drafts. They are now for sure scheduled to post over the next few days, but I had a couple things like this that had to go out in a specific time frame.
I saw this tag floating around youTube, (it’s actually called The Author Tube Christmas Tag), and decided to do it because I had some super fun answers for my characters! It was originally created by Living Within Fiction, and the rules are simple: just answer the questions given for a character of your choosing! I’m not tagging anyone because it’s so late, but feel free to do it and leave me a link in the comments if you want!


  1. What would your main character’s favorite Christmas song be?
    Umm… My main character would avoid Christmas music like the plague.
  2. Pick one of your characters. What would be on their Christmas wish list?
    Nico would be quite happy with a new knife or sketchbook.
  3. Which one of your characters, as an adult, would still believe in Santa Claus?
    Honestly probably none of them… I guess Diana would be the most likely, but she’d only do it to irritate her sister.
  4. Would your MC drink eggnog? If not, what would their Christmas go-to drink be?
    I’m just gonna do all my POV characters!
    Nico would only drink it if it was mixed with alcohol or Bliss, which is a magical drug that I made up.
    Ela might drink the kind that has those weird sweet flavors like coconut and stuff in it.
    Adam would be more likely to drink something like a peppermint mocha.
  5. Out of all of your characters, who would be the best gift giver?
    Definitely Adam or Ela! They’d both put a lot of thought into the gifts for the people they cared about.
  6. Your MC got a gift that he/she hated. What would he/she do?
    Well Nico doesn’t ever show much emotion, so you’d never know he hated it unless you really knew him well!
  7. Does your MC sleep in on Christmas, or wake up early with excitement?
    Nico gets up insanely early every day.
    Ela would be the one you’d have to drag out of bed.
    Adam would be cool with whatever.
  8. What would be your MC’s favorite part about the Holidays?
    Nico would be excited to get out of school, but he’d also hate having to go to all his family gatherings.
    Adam would love all the shaman rituals and traditions.
    Ela would love being out of school and getting to party with her friends.
  9. Your MC and his/her love interest step under the mistletoe. What happens?
    Nico and his love interest, (I am not telling who it is), would just look at each other, and laugh, and look away, and then they’d probably just walk off in opposite directions because their rebels like that.
    Adam and his love interest would kiss because that’s just what you do under mistletoe.
  10. Which of your characters would you find in the kitchen making Christmas treats?
    Definitely Raquel Blackthorn! She’s kind of the grandmother of the whole group.
  11. Lastly, a question for the author. What are some of your favorite books to read during the holidays?
    Harry Potter!!! I’ve spent the last couple days reading Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

The Islands at the End of the World (spoiler free review)

The Islands at the End of the World cover

Title: The Islands at the End of the World Author: Austin Aslan Series: Islands at the End of the World #1 Genre: Young Adult, SciFi Pages: 384 Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books Published: August 5th, 2014 Format Read: Audio Find It On:

iBooksamazonGoodreads

Synopsis From Goodreads

Right before my eyes, my beautiful islands are changing forever. And so am I …

Sixteen-year-old Leilani loves surfing and her home in Hilo, on the Big Island of Hawaii. But she’s an outsider – half white, half Hawaiian, and an epileptic.

While Lei and her father are on a visit to Oahu, a global disaster strikes. Technology and power fail, Hawaii is cut off from the world, and the islands revert to traditional ways of survival. As Lei and her dad embark on a nightmarish journey across islands to reach home and family, she learns that her epilepsy and her deep connection to Hawaii could be keys to ending the crisis before it becomes worse than anyone can imagine.

A powerful story enriched by fascinating elements of Hawaiian ecology, culture, and warfare, this captivating and dramatic debut from Austin Aslan is the first of two novels. The author has a master’s degree in tropical conservation biology from the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

My Rating: ☆☆☆

Before I get into this, I have to say that I would probably give this a two star rating had I read it and not listened to the audio book. There are a lot of long passages of Hawaiian language, and I think it would have detracted from the story had I been trying to read the text. When I see a word I don’t know in a book, I usually end up googling how to say it because it bugs me until I know. That being said, the audio book made all the Hawaiian words sound Beautiful! It pulled me into the story rather than bringing me out of it because I wasn’t struggling to read words I’d never heard before.

The Plot:

The plot was very original! We’ve seen stuff like this before: worldwide power outage, people panic, economy shuts down, government is obviously keeping a massive secret, there’s lots of fighting, and alien attacks and biblical prophecies come into play. However, The Islands at the End of the World does a really good job of putting a new spin on things. Because it’s set in Hawaii, we become amerced in a new culture that adds to the mystery. Austin Aslan does a fantastic job of pulling you into the Hawaiian world and making you believe in the culture, and then he throws a massive plot twist into the mix that creates an ending you’ll never expect.

The Characters:

Ok… Several of the characters seemed a little flat to me, (Leilani’s dad for instance), but Leilani kind of makes up for it. First of all, she has epilepsy, and it’s not one of those things where the character has a medical disorder just for the sake of having a medical disorder. It does cause a couple problems, and it is relevant to the plot. The only problem I have with it is that Leilani’s dad tends to have a… somewhat downplayed reaction when Lei has an epileptic seizure. There’s one point where she wakes up, and he’s just like, “Hi,” and I was left going “Shouldn’t you be a little more concerned that the world is in chaos and your daughter just had a horrible seizure?!” I personally have a disorder where my adrenals don’t work, and I’ve had some pretty bad seizures before, and my parents are not exactly cool, calm, and collected when I come out of it… I also question some of the language used when Lei has a seizure. It’s referred to as “fits” a few times, and I think I remember reading somewhere that that’s not accurate. Epileptics can feel free to correct me in the comments if I’m wrong!

Why is this not a five star book?

•Several flat characters. •The thing with the Hawaiian language mentioned above. •Downplayed reaction to epileptic seizures. •Some awkward dialogue. •Possible incorrect medical language concerning epilepsy.

Why is this rated three stars?

•Hawaii makes for an interesting setting. •Cool new culture. •Epileptic character that isn’t just epileptic for the sake of being epileptic! •Original spin on an old plot. •Cool Hawaiian shaman people. •Hawaiian language sounds beautiful in the audio book. •An ending you’ll never expect!

Conclusion:

I will be reading the second book as soon as I find it! I did point out a lot of flaws, but quite honestly I didn’t notice those until I started taking notes for this review. The writing pulled me in, and held my attention until the end.

Share your thoughts?

Have you read The Islands at the End of the World? Do you want to read it? What are your thoughts on the use of foreign language in books and characters with medical disorders? Let’s chat in comments!

Awesome Gifts for Writers

It’s Christmas time!!! I gotta admit that I’ve been in a bit of a “bah humbugish” mood lately because of school and a small plague, (aka this stupid cold), but I’m coming around now that it’s December and it actually feels like winter around here. Anyway… Rambling aside… I thought I’d compile a list of bookish and writerly Christmas gifts! This list is in no particular order; it’s either things that I’ve received/bought myself in the past or have on my wish list this year.

Cheyenne’s Bookish And Writerly Gift Guide:

•Notebooks, journals, cool paper, etc…
While we writerly types tend to do the majority of our official novel drafting by keyboard rather than pen, we still gotta have our cool paper and journals for scribbled notes and ideas! I am currently obsessed with traveler’s notebooks, which are awesome because you can have multiple notebooks in one leather journal cover! And maybe the leather cover makes me feel like a fancy writer person… I think I probably totally killed that image by saying “writer person…” If you still have no idea what a traveler’s notebook is after reading the introduction, (linked above), I’d be happy to do an introduction/review/much better explanation than this is turning out to be of how I use mine when I can breathe through my nose!
•Fancy pens! (Blind writers can either substitute a slate and stylus or send me horrified emojies in the comments for daring to use such in today’s age as they’ve been doing on twitter.)
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Ya gotta have a cool writing utensil to write in that fancy journal.
•Books!
This one goes for both writers and your typical bookworms. You could even get really innovative and give a writer a book about writing! I’m currently inthralled in Tarot For Writers if you don’t wanna have to search.
•Cool bookmarks
Writers like shiny things. We really like shiny things that we can apply to books or writing. Bookmarks are perfect, and bookmarks for traveler’s notebooks usually have dangling charms that make pretty noises and make writers like myself very happy! Or maybe I might be very easily amused???
•Writerly clothing
Did you immediately conjure up a picture of a professor looking guy in an ink-stained leather jacket, or was that just me? If you didn’t, that’s totally fine, because I’m not talking about that! Writers like to be comfy, and you can find lots of writerly T-shirts. Seriously! Just Google it! I mean Google, “Writerly T-shirts,” not, “IT.” I currently own several writerly T-shirts, (thank you, Mom and Grandparents, for the writerly birthday gifts), my favorite of which says, “Please do not annoy the writer. She may put you in a book and kill you!” It also has a raised up fountain pen and dagger on it, probably because I text the dagger emoji way too often… No, I’m not crazy; it’s just my angry emoji!
•Writerly jewelry.
This might vary for different writers, (depending on whether they like jewelry or not), but I have a couple of things that I wear whenever I sit down to write. My jewelry isn’t specifically writerly, and honestly I don’t know when, why, or how I started wearing it for writing, but I usually have my peridot ring, my copper Triskelion ring, and my angel wing locket necklace when I sit down to write. However, if you Google, “Writer jewelry,” you’ll get some more specific writer things! I recently watched a youTube video by Emmalederman about writerly gifts, and she has a ring with the names of her characters engraved on it. Here is her video if you wanna check it out…

•iTunes/Amazon/Barnes & Noble gift cards.
If you reeeeeeeally don’t wanna go out of your way to find your writerly friend a gift, this’ll do the trick! I promise they will find something from one of the stores above!

Share your writerly wish list?

Did I miss anything? Is there anything cool on your bookish or writerly wish list? I’d also love to know what books you want, (because my TBR only consists of 52 books at the moment.) 😜