The Bookshelf Corner

Book reviews, creative writing, and more!


Leave a comment

Mid-Year Look Back 2019: Favorite New Authors & Books (so far)

Favorite New Authors

 

Favorite Books Read

Advertisements


Leave a comment

(My) Frequently Used Words I Try To Avoid While Writing

Royalty Free Image via Pixabay

I’m always trying to improve my writing because it needs work. One of my problems is weak word choice. I’ve seen these words called “filter,” “fluff,” or “sticky” words. They excessive use of such words have a way of creating boring passages and passive voices. These words distance the reader from the action, dulling their senses.

Good diction is key. It creates solid writing.

I always have on hand a physical or electronic dictionary and thesaurus. Websites like dictionary.com and thesaurus.com are lifesaving. But that doesn’t stop filter words from slipping into my writing.

Recently, I have reflected on this dilemma and have come up with a list of words tend to overuse when writing stories.

And, yes, this post is guilty of using these words. But let’s focus on language within storytelling.

Now, I’m not saying that these words can’t be used. They just need to occur infrequently and used aptly. Also, there are far stronger words use to elevate your writing. “The right words in the right order.”

Creative usage of words allows an active voice to shine through flat language. I need to be more specific in my descriptions by selecting stronger vocabulary that best fits a sentence (and that fits the voice of whoever’s POV). Utilizing figurative language is beneficial as well.

But as we all know, practice practice practice is the mother of quality writing.


Follow me on Goodreads

Follow me on Twitter @bookshelfcorner

Shop at my Spreadshirt store

Follow me on Instagram


As Always, Happy Writing!


Leave a comment

New Book Finds via the Book Blogging Community

Royalty Free Image via Pixabay

You never know what you’ll discover reading others’ blog post. There’s a lot of wonderful content shared within the book blogging community and on bookstagram. For me, one such perk is finding new books to read that you may not have discovered on your own (or were on the fence about).

Here are 11 new books I’ve added to my TBR thanks to the wonderful people of the book blogging community and bookstigram:

 

Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
(The Shadow Game, book 1)

Image via Goodreads

 

Aurora Rising by Annie Kaufman
(The Aurora Cycle, book 1)

Image via Goodreads

 

Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau-Preto
(Crown of Feathers, book 1)

Image via Goodreads

 

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

Image via Goodreads

 

Everless by Sara Holland
(Everless, book 1)

Image via Goodreads

 

Furyborn by Claire Legrand
(Empirium, book 1)

Image via Goodreads

 

Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames
(The Band, book 1)

Image via Goodreads

 

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Image via Goodreads

 

Seafire by Natalie C. Parker
(Seafire, book 1)

Image via Goodreads

 

Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

Image via Goodreads

 

Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan
(Something Dark and Holy, book 1)

Image via Goodreads


Follow me on Goodreads

Follow me on Twitter @bookshelfcorner

Shop at my Spreadshirt store

Follow me on Instagram


AS ALWAYS, HAPPY READING!!!


Leave a comment

ARC Book Review: Dragonslayer by Duncan M. Hamilton

Thank you to Tor Books (Macmillan-Tor/Forge) and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC to read and review. Dragonslayer by Duncan M. Hamilton is set to be published July 2, 2019.

 

Image via NetGalley

Genre: Fantasy
Series: Dragonslayer, book 1
Rating: 4 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

Summary (via NetGalley):
In his magnificent, heroic, adventure fantasy, Dragonslayer, Duncan M. Hamilton debuts the first book in a fast-moving trilogy: a dangerous tale of lost magics, unlikely heroes, and reawakened dragons.

Once a member of the King’s personal guard, Guillot dal Villevauvais spends most days drinking and mourning his wife and child. He’s astonished—and wary—when the Prince Bishop orders him to find and destroy a dragon. He and the Prince Bishop have never exactly been friends and Gill left the capital in disgrace five years ago. So why him? And, more importantly, how is there a dragon to fight when the beasts were hunted to extinction centuries ago by the ancient Chevaliers of the Silver Circle?

On the way to the capitol city, Gill rescues Solène, a young barmaid, who is about to be burned as a witch. He believes her innocent…but she soon proves that she has plenty of raw, untrained power, a problem in this land, where magic is forbidden. Yet the Prince Bishop believes magic will be the key to both destroying the dragon and replacing the young, untried King he pretends to serve with a more pliable figurehead.

Between Gill’s rusty swordsmanship and Solene’s unstable magic, what could go wrong?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My Review:
Dragonslayer is an entertaining adventure about a man fighting to pick himself up after falling so low and a woman looking to find a place she can finally call home where she won’t have to live in fear.

This was a heavily character driven story as the reader witnesses the internal/external struggles of the main characters and their subsequent growth. This is always nice to see and it was well-crafted by the author. I just wish there had been a bit more action to balance things out. However, based on the ending, I expect things to engage things of epic proportions in book 2, which I am looking forward to reading.

Guillot dal Villevauvais is a drunk. His drunkenness understandable once you learn what prompted it but it makes you wonder if he really is going to be the supposed hero of the story. His fall from grace, his loss of those he loved most, sent him into a deep drunken depression. But I liked that the author didn’t make that the sole reason. That his past goes much deeper than what we and Guillot originally thought. And although he’s fallen so far, he still is the brave, honorable chevalier people used to respect him for being.

Solène I liked but I kind of wished there was more to her. There was just something missing, something unexpected, to make her more a rounded character.

Mystery and millennium old secrets are brought to the surface, making the world Hamilton builds a very intriguing puzzle to solve in future books.

I loved and was sadden by Alpheratz, the dragon in question, getting sections of the story told from his point of view. I think it was a good choice to hear his thoughts and feelings. He is not some terrifying wild beast (well, not completely) but a living being whose everything was taken from him, the last of his kind. His rage and vengeance are understandable. Getting to know Alpheratz brought an additional awareness as to who the true villains of the story are.

I’m looking forward to reading book 2.


Leave a comment

[Bonus Weekend Post] My Largest Book Haul Ever!!!

You can follow me on Instagram @thebookshelfcorner


Find me also:

on Twitter @bookshelfcorner
and Goodreads at TheBookshelfCorner


AND, AS ALWAYS, HAPPY READING!!!


Leave a comment

Weekend Writing Prompt #29

What Happens Next?: Write what happens next after the provided prompts below.

 

The baseball was heading toward the outfield. . . . .

One last block would complete the tower. . . . .

The children opened the door. . . . .

The thunderstorm brought with it. . . . .

A daunting signpost was hammered into the front lawn. . . . .