Planning My Story Bible

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What’s a story bible? Something to help keep your universe and characters in order, especially when writing a series or epic fantasy. All your important info at your fingertips for when you need to find the name of your hero’s first cousin or how your magick system works.

I started making one for my Lily and Quinn series, but I have recently decided to start fresh. The biggest problem for me is that I am a total journal junkie, so now I have to figure out what to use for it. (Word docs or something on your comp works too! I just like having something I can hold in my hand.)

I also want to break mine down a bit more then I did originally. Is that what I should do or is that the planner/journal junkie inside of me? Hopefully it will all work out so that the series bible I make will be helpful and not one big mess. 😉

This is how I plan to break mine down. If you have made one, or plan to make one, I would love to hear what other sections you have in yours! 🙂

Characters-A) My writing buddies know I am a huge fan of visual character sketches. I am going to put a photo or two per page of what my characters look like. (I have some from magazines and those I printed). I will also make bullet point notes on physical appearance, so that if I just want to double check on my hero’s eye color, I will open to the first few ages of my notebook and find it.

Characters-B) The character sketch. Bullet points on my characters and notes.  I will be sure to leave extra space. My fictional best friends tell me something new about them on a regular basis.

Timeline- I have four short stories published with this world, and a fifth on the way. Not to mention novels I have started/written. I will have a section to timeline for linking important events, plus bullet points on what happened in each story.

Vampire/supernatural lore- One big thing I had to come up with in my stories are my vampires. What kills them, how a person turns, abilities, etc… On top of that I have other supernatural creatures and a magick system, so I need to have sections devoted to that. I almost wrote myself in a corner once with how the vampire system works in my universe. I don’t want to do that again.

The Bad Guys- Some of my villains have been killed off, while others are still (possibly) at large. Each one of them, dead or alive, will have their own page of notes. Even the dead ones might come back, since I plan to write a prequel or two.

Setting- My universe is pretty much where I live, but with changes. I need to make notes on certain places, such as where characters live, favorite places to go, etc… If my world was in a sci-fi setting or alternate universe, my notes would be way more in depth.

Maps/photos- As with my characters, I like having a visual as well as written notes to look back on for my setting. I will use my own drawn maps for some of it, as well as sections of real world maps.

Notes- A section for other story ideas and things I want to include. This will be in the back section. Sometimes when I am out, I make notes in my phone, or on scraps of paper. I need to keep my ideas together in one spot for a change, so my series bible will be the best spot for them.

Every writer has their own tools, and for me, a series bible will be a valuable tool.

 

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Plan of Attack: The Ever Growing ‘To Read’ Pile

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One of my new years goals was to read more. So far I am failing in that department, but mostly due to several migraines. I wouldn’t wish those on my worst enemy.

Anyway, as I grabbed something from my little office the other day, I started browsing my bookshelf. Those books won’t get read if they stay in there!

So I looked through them and picked out about fifteen books I have been anxious to get at. Then I cleared off my coffee table and laid them out.

books to read

A variety of books to devour.

My plan is this: I can read only books on this table. One a book is read, it goes back on my shelf. I can’t add to the table until these books are all read.

I have a variety of books on here. The Walking Dead compendium is what Mr. C gave me at Christmas. The Nora Roberts on the top right is one my mom suggested to me. I have local authors, such as Sherry D. Ramsey and Hugh Macdonald’s ‘Trapper Boy’.

A lot of these books I wanted to read ages ago. I am finally going to get on it and catch up on my reading. Because the best place to go is in the pages of a good book.

I will do a review on them as I go as well.

What is on the top of your to read pile?

From The Book Pile: The Shadows

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I spent the wee hours of this stormy day finishing off my latest read. At 4 a.m as the wind howled outside and the snow piled up around us, I felt a little bit heartbroken and yet happy at the same time. That’s what happens when you are routing and hoping for the best for two brothers.

shadows

Personal opinion: 4 out of 5 stars

I am a huge fan of J. R Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. The Shadows is book thirteen in the Black Dagger Brotherhood. As always, the book is well written  and each character had their own defined voice. Which is hard to do when you are writing with so many personalities.

This book took me longer then thought to read. For starters, this book focuses on Trez and iAm, Shadows from the s’Hsibe. While I am a huge lover of iAm, his brother Trez was far from my favorite character. So it was (at first) hard to get into.

Also, when you get hit with a migraine or two, the last thing you do is strain your eyes and make your head worse by reading. That’s if you can actually keep your eyes open while in the middle of one.

But the last few days I have had my head down in the book, lost in the world of my favorite vampires.

In the beginning of the series, the points of view are few. Usually the Brother whose story it is, his mate, a villain and maybe another character is who you would be in the head of. But as the books went on, more and more PoV’s were added. I wasn’t happy with the last few books. In one book I skimmed much of it because I had zero interest. I didn’t see the purpose of that character having a PoV.

In this book however, the PoV’s were ones I wanted to see, for the most part. I didn’t skim as much as I had in the last book. I was anxious to know what was happening and a bonus: my fave character finally had a PoV again. If you have read the books, you know Rhage hasn’t had a real PoV in awhile. Which I know is also setting things up for the next book which he is the main focus. (I admit, if that book is “watered down” with a ton of different view points, imma be pissy. I need a dose of my book boyfriend 😉 )

I grew to love Trez, and my heart broke for him. (No spoilers). While in the past I felt Selena, his mate, was a cardboard character. But in this novel she was more in depth and I  enjoyed her much more.

iAm is a character I felt bad for in the past. He has taken care of his brother for so long. Putting his life on hod in some ways so he can be there for Trez. After all he has done, the Shadow was due some happiness.

All in all, this was a good read. If you have read The Shadows, what did you think of the book?

10 of My Favorite Horror Movies From The 1980’s

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And in no particular order!!!

I love Halloween. And I love a good horror movie. And I love them when they aren’t so scary, too.

I’ve been in old school mode and have been re-watching some of the movies I watched growing up. So here are ten of my all time faves. (Keep in mind I am a huge movie buff and my fave list is as big as my favorite book list).

#1- A nightmare on Elm Street. I’ve been a massive Freddy Kruegar fan since I was a kid. I started watching these movies earlier then a kid should. But I grew up to be normal. Well…I wouldn’t say normal, but I could be worse. 😉

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Myself and Mr. C with Robert Englund!!!

#2-Fright Night. I love a good vampire movie. And this is one of my faves, including the new version.

#3- The Lost Boys. And speaking of vampires, I can’t forget this classic. The Lost Boys is a movie I (sadly) didn’t get to see until a couple of years ago. I recently wrote a fan letter to Keifer Sutherland and I really hope he signs the pic of ‘David’ that I sent.

Lost_boys

#4- My Bloody Valentine. This movie was filmed locally!!! Woot!!! I really need to sit and have a re-watch of this soon, since it has been ages. I watched the remake with Mister in our early days of dating.

#5- Critters. I blame my sister for getting me hooked on creature features. If they are small like these guys or as massive as Godzilla, I want to watch the movie!!!

#6. Gremlins. Who couldn’t love the lil face of Gizmo?! I would love to have a Mogwai. However, I’d make sure not to break any of the three rules.

gizmo

That face though ❤

#7- Beetlejuice. Do you know how excited I am about the sequel?!?! I am also a little terrified. Because I loved the first one so much, I am wondering how the sequel will go. It’s always a 50/50 shot of them getting it right or screwing it up. However, Tim Burton is involved soooooo odds are I’ll love it!

#8-Teen Wolf. Not exactly a horror, but I’m pretty sure it helped to fuel my love of supernatural. I used to watch this movie over and over again.

#9-Pet Semetary. Being the animal lover I am, I loved the idea of a graveyard, even a creepy one, could bring a pet back to life. But the dead should stay that way. This take on zombies is the one that creeps me out more then ‘The Walking Dead’.

#10- Maximum Overdrive. Yet another from The King of Horror on my list. Maximum overdrive was the first Stephen movie I have ever watched. I was fascinated with it. It introduced me to the world of sci-fi and horror and I wanted more. Every so often I look at my toaster and think of this movie… 😉

maximum overdrive

And who wouldn’t be freaked the hell out seeing this coming at you?!

What are some of your favorite horror movies from this decade? 🙂

Book Review: Lover Reborn

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lover rebornBack Cover: Ever since the death of his shellan, Tohrment has been a heartbroken shadow of the vampire leader he once was. Brought back to the Brotherhood by a self-serving fallen angel, he fights again with ruthless vengeance, unprepared for a new tragedy. Seeing his beloved in dreams—trapped in a cold, isolated netherworld—Tohr turns to the angel Lassiter to save his former mate. The only way to rescue her is for Tohr to love another. As war with the lessers rages, and a new clan of vampires vie for the Blind King’s throne, Tohr struggles between an unforgettable past and a hot, passion-filled future. But can his heart let go and set all of them free?

My Rating: 5 out of 5

My Review: Lover reborn is book 10 in the Blackdagger Brotherhood series. It is now in the top 3 of my favorites for this series. It almost comes in first, but Rhage (book #2) will always be my #1!

Ok so, I was looking forward to this book for awhile. Tohrment was one of my favorite brothers since book one. His character has pretty much gone through hell and back, and finally he gets his own book and happily ever after.

Through the coarse of the series, the man Tohr looked up to as a father/best friend was killed, his shellan was murdered, his best friend and Brother (the Blind King) was severely injured, had a rift with his adopted son, and he was on the brink of death himself. If it wasn’t for a sassy fallen angel, he would have died. When he returned home to the mansion to be with his Brothers, Tohr was the shell of who he used to be. And come on, after everything he went through, who could blame the guy?

Lassiter informs Tohr that his late shellan, Wellsie, has not moved onto the Fade. That she is stuck in the In Between, and if Tohrment doesn’t move on, his beloved will vanish with their unborn son into nothingness. And it’s not just Wellsie’s fate at stake. Lassiter has been sent to help him move on, and he doesn’t think he’s the angel for the job.

Meanwhile we have No’One, once a female of worth, she comes from the Other Side to be with her daughter. She has her own horrible past and renamed herself No’One, since that is how she sees herself. Later she is renamed, and I loved the new name and how it happened.

I loved watching Tohr and No’one become friends, and then slowly turn into more. He denied any feelings of love even though to me it was obvious. A couple of times I yelled at the book (am I the only one who does that!?) because I just wanted them to realize their love and be happy.

We also seen more of the Band of Bastards. The leader, Xcor, wants to overthrow Wrath and become King of the vampire race. We haven’t seen much of the Lessers, aside from the fights with them. (I hate when I have to read the point of view of one of those baby powder scented bastards.)

This was the best book I have read in this series in awhile. I enjoyed the last few but they didn’t have me this engrossed. Tohr ripped my heart up on more then one occasion. I am a sucker for pain and angst in a book and this poor guy has it in spades. Needless to say, I cried with him but I also cried for him.

Some people online were worried that the WARDen couldn’t pull this story off. She totally did. I had faith in her.

Now that this book is finished, I have two books to go before I am caught up, but I doubt I will get both finished before the newest is released at the end of the month. I need to track down a copy of ‘The King’, and luckily for me I have ‘Lover at Last’ sitting on my shelf waiting for me.

New Book Series by JR Ward and my Happy Mail

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So firstly, because I am freaking the hell out at this news, I have to mention the newest on J.R.Ward.

My book review I posted the other day was one book in the Blackdagger Brotherhood series, which I am in love with.

The one thing with the books growing, the story becoming more complex, is that you see ledd of the ‘originals.’ The vamps that made you fall in love with them.

You still see them of coarse. One thing I loved about ‘Lover Unleashed’ was that I got to see the POV of Vishous, who is one of the originals.

Anyway, seems like JR Ward misses them too. the good ol’ days. The fun times with lines such as “If you’re going to bloody up the human, please take him outside.” And things like cherry stems, Grey Goose, and the boys causing shenanigans.

She’s announced a new series, which the brothers are back in the forefront, and the first book comes out this December. I can hardly contain myself. Mr. C is shaking his head at me. I love him but he just doesn’t get it.

Here is the link to the WARDen’s Goodreads post, explaining it all.

Goodreads | J.R. Ward’s Blog – The Black Dagger Legacy Series – February 10, 2015 09:21.

In other news, I was super stoked to get a letter today from Rosa in Denmark! (I hope my letter reaches you soon, if it already hasn’t!) It’s been a slow mail month (incoming wise) since I owe so many people a letter. So I was very happy to find the pretty letter in my mail box! 🙂 I just making a post from my phone app this morning, but in good old classic Blackberry fashion, my app isn’t working.

Anyway, I am going to go back to squeeeeeing over this latest news and attempt to write a letter 😉

Book Review: Lover Unleashed by J.R Ward

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I’m not used to doing book reviews. This is something really new to me. So I ask that you be patient with me. I’m sure in time I will get better. (I hope.)

Today I sat down and finished ‘Lover Unleashed’, book nine in the Black dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward.

I should back track just a tad. If you haven’t read any of these books, let me give you a brief idea of them.

The series is a vampire romance, and the Brotherhood is a group of big, badass warriors. The books are full of dark fantasy, romance, drama, ass kickin’ and some fun twists added in. The Brotherhood protects the ‘civilian’ vampires from their enemy, known as the Lessers. (I do think they could have been named something better, but whatever. The term has grown on me.)

If you decide to read these books, I highly suggest starting from book one, Dark Lover.

Summary from the book jacket:

In the darkest corners of the night in Caldwell, New York, a conflict like no other rages. The city is home to a band of brothers born to defend their race: The warrior vampires of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Payne, twin sister of Vishous, is cut from the same dark, seductive cloth as her brother. Imprisoned for eons by their mother, the Scribe Virgin, she finally frees herself – only to face a devastating injury.

Manuel Manello, MD, is drafted by the Brotherhood to save her as only he can – but when the human surgeon and the vampire warrior meet, their two worlds collide in the face of their undeniable passion. With so much working against them, can love prove stronger than the birth right and the biology that separate them?

My thoughts:

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to sitting down and reading this one. I had devoured books one through eight, yet paused on the series for several months because book nine felt daunting. (Also, after power reading the first eight, I needed to read something else for a bit before I got back on the vampire wagon, so to speak.)

The reason is this: I wasn’t looking forward to Manny. When he appeared in another book, I figured he was there just for a small purpose, never to be seen again, and I didn’t pay much attention to him. I just didn’t like him.

But now that I read the book, I am so glad I did. While this is not the best (in my opinion) in the series, it is far from the worst.

Payne and Manny are a better couple then I originally thought, but they didn’t have the ‘pop!’ that the other couples had in the previous books.

I found there were too many point of views. In the start of the series, it is just a couple POV: the vampire, his mate, and the enemy. But at the series continued, more POV were added. (Which usually I don’t mind at all. I was used to the format of the first few books, so adding in more characters through me off. It makes sense though, as there are a lot of them. Plus more side stories help keep the series going.)

I did enjoy seeing more of Vishous and his shellen Jane. He has a big fan base, and his fans will agree he is better then ’50 Shades’. ( I have no thoughts on this, I have yet to read those books.) It was great to see his POV again, more of his back story, and how he deals with his Jane. (Who is a ghost, BTW.)

The book also introduced new vampires, a group called The Band of Bastards, who came from Europe. This book laid some foundation for what’s to come. I am looking forward to the trouble they will cause, and how King Wrath and his warriors will deal with them.

I was rooting for Payne and Manny the entire time. Payne suffers an injury, and Manny being an amazing surgeon, is brought in to help her and heal her. He is a human, but yet begins to face some odd experiences, things that only male vampires have. When he first sees her, one word comes to mind: MINE.

I love how he adores her, and aches for her. I love that Manny will do anything for her and it broke my heart when I didn’t see a way for them to be together. Neither thought that a future together was possible. Their love is slower paced but yet romantic. I admit I loved Manny quickly. And I think other readers did (and will) as well.

One side story with Quinn and Blay, well, it seemed kinda pointless. We didn’t see their POV very often, and the little I learned (that Quinn is suffering from not telling Blay he loves him), could have been shown in another way. There wasn’t much development on their story and I feel that their POV could have been left out.

I think I will leave it here, because if not, I know I will let out every single spoiler and basically end up summarizing the entire book. When it comes to this series, I can talk on and on and on about it.

Have you read this book? Or any of the BDB series? If so, tell me your thoughts!