Book 10 – Nevermore by Nell Stark and Trinity Tam

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This is the second book in the Everafter series, so far there are four books. I don’t have the other books yet, but given how much I like these first two books I’m sure that the others will follow soon as well. I read this book literally on the last day of the year which is why I didn’t have the time to write a proper review before the year ended.

If you plan on reading these books do not continue reading, this contains spoilers!

Alexa has made the biggest sacrifice she can to make sure that Val can continue to be herself. The parasite that is changing Val into a bloodthirsty vampire in time will also change her soul unless she keeps her sanity by only taking blood from one donor – Alexa. In order to be able to give Val all the blood she needs, she’s made the decision to become a wereshifter. Wereshifters are able to regenerate their health if they shift and therefor they are also able to endure more trauma. On the other hand pain makes them shift, which imposes a danger to Val. Alexa needs to control her impulses and to do so she has to make a decision which keeps them apart for a while.

This is such an easy book to read, the story has a really good flow to it. Which makes it easy to read. The story has a couple of nice twists and turns especially that one at the very end was a huge surprise. Makes me wonder where that is going in the following books. There are at this point two more books in the series – there is Nightrise and Sunfall. I hope to be able to read them soon, at the moment I don’t own the books. I better go and make sure that I fix that!

 

 

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The end is in sight

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This whole year I’ve been working on my year in hindsight posts, each month I made one and we’re now at the end of my first year of doing this. I really enjoyed myself with this task that I gave to myself. In my opinion it’s something I’ll be able to look at in a couple of years to see what this year was like. And I have to say that it has been a very fun year. A year with lots of new experiences like my vacation to Sardinia, which happened in June. I never could have expected beforehand that it would bring me this much fun to go on a vacation with twenty two completely different but fun people who I’d never seen before. I’m so glad that I did it though, I wished I would have done it a lot sooner. But then again I probably wouldn’t have met this particular group of people.

But lets take a look back at the rest of the year;

Normally families celebrate Christmas in December but we celebrated it in January, the reason being that my sister and brother in law where literally on the opposite site of the world when Christmas was actually happening. February was quite calm, not really a month where I did a lot or where a lot was going on.

In March I had a chance to see Lindsey Stirling perform live in 013 in Tilburg, a wonderful concert which was even better than I’d expected it to be. Her show – because it truly is a show – is captivating and beautiful and a lot of fun to watch. Even though she ‘only’ plays the violin I can guarantee you that you won’t be bored. Not for a single second. She’s funny, reminiscent and honest, she doesn’t shy away from the things in her life that hurt her.

April was a month of opposites, I celebrated my birthday but I also had to go to the funeral of someone I knew. Both of those events happened literally days apart, it was a strange situation. May was another calm month, not much happened no big events. Though I did book my trip to Sardinia in May.

In July, August and in October we had a reunion with our vacation group and I also met up with two of them in September for the official reunion (which was organized by the travel agency). In July we went surfing, well some of us did. I passed on it, but we did have a very fun afternoon and we also a good meal at the beach club! Those Hamburgers were something else! In August we opted for an afternoon at the bowling alley, followed by a meal and a night of dancing. Six of us stayed at a hostel for the night. In September we had the official reunion from the travel agency which also gave us a chance to do an optional workshop in mountain biking or trail running. Due to my shins splint anything related to trail running is out of the question so I opted for the mountain bike tour. We did about 16 kilometers and it was in a beautiful environment. Yet again a very different environment that we have here in Eindhoven or in the South where I’m originally from. On October first we had another reunion, this time we decided to go for an Prison Escape – which is an different escape room in every cell which amounted to a total of twenty four rooms. Another really fun never before done experience which I can recommend to anyone.

November is traditionally the month of Nanowrimo, do I need to say more? If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while you know that without me repeating this here. This year I didn’t make it but what I did write was more than I possibly could have imagine to begin with, so I’m really happy about this years Nano.

And now it’s December, the last month of the year and a month filled with celebrations, one after another. We first had Sinterklaas on December fifth and of course that was followed by Christmas Eve and in our case the first and the second day of Christmas. And lets not forget about New Years Eve. This year I will most likely celebrate it with some of my friends, we’ll be playing Cards Against Humanity! We’ll see how that goes, it sounds like it will be a lot of fun.

Here are some numbers that define my year

Here are some stats which I’ve received in these past couple of weeks from different websites.

According to Spotify I listened to it for 5679 minutes, which seems a bit low if you ask me. That is only 94 hours give or take and that translates to 3,9 days. Yet I listened to 785 different songs by 164 artists.

I also spend 404 hours on my XBox, that time was mostly spend on the Destiny and Mass Effect franchise but also Tombraider and The Division have been played a lot this past year.

Goodreads informed me that I read ten books this past year, which was my goal. Though I have to admit that I almost didn’t make it. Because I only started to read the last book on December 29th. That was about 3000 pages. This past year I’ve read a book with the most twisted character ever – Gone Girl. I read a book which got me thinking about the way we handle our privacy on the internet – The Circle. That was my least favorite book this past year. Yes, it got me thinking but it certainly wasn’t the best book I read.

This year I wrote 52 blog posts, lets see if I can beat that number next year. I certainly have some ideas of how I can achieve that. But first lets party!!!

2018

 

December in hindsight

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December, the conclusion to another year! The year has been good, all in all very positive year but you can read more about that in a ‘Year in hindsight’ post which will be posted on my blog right before midnight tonight.

December is always a busy month, effectively you have only three weeks of work but you are expected to do the same amount of work you need to do when you work every workday of the month. Intertwined in between those workdays we had Sinterklaas which was really fun. I celebrated it with my friends, we had a blast. I got a gorgeous present made by my best friends son and his dad.

And we had Christmas of course, which I celebrated with my family. For the first time in years my sister and brother in law were with us as well. So that was fun! And we also celebrated it with my grandmother and the extended family.

This past week has been a week off and I took some well deserved rest. I chilled at home with my parents. I went to the movies, I had to go see that last Pitch Perfect movie, I loved it! And there was time to read some books, watch some Netflix shows.

And tonight we’re going to celebrate New Years Eve with a couple of people from our writing group, how cool is that! Who could have guessed that we would now be a group of close friends who celebrate days like this together? Honestly when I started the group I was simply looking for some people who understood what Nanowrimo was about. Today however they’ve become true friends who I can count on when I need them.

Reading and writing

I read a couple of books this month, I finished reading The Circle. A book which gets you thinking about privacy and about what we do in the internet. But the book isn’t all that interesting unfortunately. And to be honest coincidentally a friend of mine borrowed me her blu-ray disk containing the movie. Honestly with a cast that includes Tom Hanks and Emma Watson I had high hopes that they could have made it worth my time. But the movie is definitely wasn’t worth my time. It could have been so much more. A true shame!

The other books I read are Everafter and Nevermore, a supernatural love story about vampires and wereshifters including two awesome women. I really enjoyed reading these books. They are easy to read, not too long and there is a really cool story intertwined. I really want to recommend these books.

Looking ahead:

  • 2018 is about to start, let’s take a look ahead.
  • I want to take another trip, right now I would say Croatia is high on the list but it might also be somewhere else. We’ll see what happens.
  • Pinkpop has some awesome names for this coming edition, though with those awesome names also comes a smaller chance of actually getting tickets. I have to try to get them though – Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters are among them.
  • There are many books which need to read – I want to make sure that the all of those unread books in my apartment get read.
  • I would also like to go to Disneyland Paris, I have been there once before when I was about twelve years old and I think I’m due for another trip to Disneyland. It’s been something that has been on my mind for a while.
  • We’re planning another reunion with the vacation group, Groningen is the plan – like it was in November the one we unfortunately had to cancel at the last minute.

 

Book 9 – Everafter by Nell Stark & Trinity Tam

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The reason why I picked up this book was simple. I wanted to read a love story – preferably between two women. There aren’t enough stories involving lesbian or bisexual love stories if you ask me. This book is one of the first I came across. Looking at it now I can’t imagine how I didn’t see the mention of ‘a paranormal romance’. Somehow I didn’t though and I was surprised by the paranormal side of the story.

A very nice surprise if you ask me. It certainly made for a very good story, I really enjoyed reading this. Reason why I probably didn’t make the connection is because I never really use the word paranormal, I’d rather use supernatural or call it what it is – a story about vampires and were’s. But not the kind of sparkly vampires we’ve seen in that other book series which shall not be named.  This is a story about becoming a vampire and about a lover who wants to do everything in her power to keep your soul save.

Valentine Darrow is ready to spend the rest of her life with her lover – Alexa Newland, little does she know that the rest of her life is going to be a lot longer than she ever could have imagined when she becomes the victim of a brutal attack. At first it seems to be a simple mugging but soon Valentine starts to experience an extreme thirst which can’t be stilled. Her own medical knowledge as a med student can’t explain the thirst. However with the help of a doctor she finally gets some answers. She’s slowly becoming a vampire.

Immediately after I finished reading this book I started on the second book, Nevermore. Which I hope to finish later today so I can add it to my 2017 Reading List. Which would mean that I have finished my challenge of reading ten books during this past year.

The Post-Nano blues

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I originally started writing this post this past week but somehow it got deleted – lost, whatever somehow it didn’t get saved. So I’m rewriting it.

I certainly don’t have the post-nano blues. In fact I wanted to write but time just simply slipped away from me the first week of December. Work was busy and my personal life was jam-packed with all different appointments as well.

On Thursday (the official last day of Nano) and on this past Monday I worked overtime at work. We had a really big assignment, one that yearly returns and is for a huge charity event. So on Thursday I arrived at work around 7.30 in the morning and I was back home at 11 in the evening and on Monday I was home around 10 in the evening.  So there was no time to writ on those days.

On Saturday we had our yearly TGIO (Thank God It’s Over) party, we always have it on the first or second Saturday of December to celebrate that we made it through another November filled with writing. Despite the fact that I didn’t make it, I am content with what I did during November. In fact I’m super happy with it! So how could I not go to the TGIO. We talked, had fun and shared a perfect meal – I love that Florin Burger!

Sunday was the day I had planned for purchasing presents and making my surprise gift for our yearly Sinterklaas Surprise (which is kind of like Secret Santa). On Tuesday we actually celebrated Sinterklaas. It was such a fun thing! I got a great gift, the first part of The Mockingjay on a blue ray disk and a powerbank! And the packaging was simply amazing! My best friend’s son had me, so with help from his dad they made a complete stage out of cardboard boxes and they put Beth Hart and her complete band on the stage! So cool! It’s the best Surprise I ever got.

Surprise

The present was hidden underneath the stage. It’s really a beautiful present to receive and so perfectly catered to me! I love it!

Anyway the rest of the week was busy, busy, busy and the weekend I spend at my parents place. I hadn’t been there in a long time, and I also visited my grandmother. She’s such a sweet lady, I called her up in the morning and I went by we had a meal together.  It had been a long time since my grandmother and I had a meal together at her place. I should really do that more often.

And now it’s Friday again! How the hell did that happen? One more week until the Christmas break, wow the year is almost over! It’s almost unbelievable how fast the year flew by. And it is even more incredible how fast these past couple of weeks have flown by since November ended and not much writing has happened. Hopefully I can change that this weekend, but seeing how much I still have to do before Christmas I’m not sure if that will happen. We’ll see!

 

November in hindsight

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All throughout this month I’ve been thinking about my ‘November in hindsight’ post and I decided that I wanted to post this on my blog on November 30th. To literally finish the month off in the only right way, especially since I’ve been posting these hindsight post quite late these last couple of months. So half way through the month I started to write the first couple of things for this particular post. So that I would be able to just add some last minute changes to in on the 30th before publishing it.

Nanowrimo

My November has been all about Nanowrimo and it was a good month. We’re now literally at the end of the month and I can tell you that I have a accumulated a grand total of 33 516 words. A word count which I’m really happy about. This is way, way better than I expected to do and I’ve written way more creative stories than I ever could have imagined. And even though I haven’t reached the 50 000 words which were our goal for Nanowrimo I am content with what I did. It was hard – I’m not going to lie about it – I struggled but in the end I was able to get to a really nice word count. A word count which is much higher than I expected to reach, so nothing to be ashamed about. Maybe I’ll reach the 50 000 words next year. We’ll see.

Our Epic Blue Unicorn group had four meetings at the Library on Friday afternoon, around five we would gather and sit at ‘our table’. The only thing missing is the fact that they don’t put up one of those plates with reserved on the table for us. But other than that we can easily call it our table. Next to our Library meetings we also had one Ikea meeting. We had so much fun, we’ve invited some new people to our group and I sure hope some of them will stick around for the future. This was the fifth year our group was active and during those five years I’ve made some wonderful friends who are really dear to me.

Reunion

I was supposed to go to Groningen for another meeting with some of my vacation friends but that didn’t happen. For several different reasons we had to decide to move the weekend to February or March of next year. Because December and January are just going to be too busy to make it work. Hopefully I can tell you all about my city trip to Groningen in the first couple of months in the beginning of 2018. I’m looking forward to it.

Efteling

Since Groningen wasn’t going to happen I was free to make some last minute new plans for the last weekend of the month. My parents were going to the Efteling – it was a day out to the park provided by my dads work – and my mom asked me if I wanted to join them. The Efteling is a beautiful theme park in the Netherlands, and during the winter months they turn the park into a winter wonderland of sorts. It always has a special atmosphere which is vastly different if you go there in the summertime.

If you ever have a chance to go to the Efteling you should really do so it is a really beautiful theme park, whether you go there in the summer or in the winter. The theme park is different from any other theme park I’ve been too. They have their very own style which appeals to young and old people alike. Most people in the Netherlands have been there at least once and the park has been voted best theme park many times over. This year the park has even been voted the most beautiful theme park in the world by the Americans. And the park has been scoring well on all types of theme parks lists. It’s an original park by which I mean that it is not based on Disney for example so it has a very unique style.

I’ve been to the park so many times and I still love it each and every time. From an early age on I’ve been going there, with my parents, with our school on a school trip and nowadays I often go there with a group of friends. It is always fun to see that people from a young age all the way up until the elderly enjoy themselves.

Reading and writing

Since November is all about Nanowrimo you have already been able to read all about my word count and writing for the month in the beginning of this post and in all the other posts I made about Nanowrimo. So it would be a little redundant if I repeated it all again. So for now this is all going to be about my reading.

I’ve finished up my latest book in the last couple of days of this month, it was The Circle. A book which really got me thinking about all the things we’re giving up when we aren’t careful with our privacy. I learned one thing, I don’t ever want to give my privacy up. Not because I have a lot to hide yet simply because we should be able to keep some things to ourselves if we want to. And everything – every single detail certainly isn’t a good thing.

Music and television

I decided to write some posts I haven’t previously added to my blog, the first one was about the 300th episode of Grey’s Anatomy. One of my favorite shows of all time. Another post I wrote about a television show was the one about the Once Upon A Time season six finale.

I also managed to wrote two cd reviews from albums I’ve been listening to these last couple of weeks. The first one was about The Corrs’ new studio album, named Jupiter Calling. I’ve loved the Corrs for at least the last twenty years and I was really surprised when this album came out. The second one was about Pink. A singer / songwriter who I really admire. She has been at the top for so many years and each and every time she comes up with a new song or a new album which tops the charts. Beautiful Trauma is a great new album – with a wide variety of songs.

Looking ahead:

  • December is right around the corner, everyone in the world knows what that means, the holidays are coming!
  • December also means lots of extra time at work! The busy December month, probably goes for a lot of people at work.
  • We in the Netherlands have Sinterklaas, which we celebrate on December 5th. We do a Secret Santa type of thing which is always a lot of fun!
  • Of course there is the TGIO party (Thank God It’s Over) and that refers to the party to celebrate that we’ve survived another November full of writing. I’m going to Utrecht to meet up with my fellow Dutch Nano’s.
  • Christmas! Who doesn’t love Christmas? I know I do, it means I’ll get some
  • New Years Eve still sounds so far away but it is right around the corner! And this year I hope to celebrate it in a different way than I did previously.

Once Upon A Time

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Recently I’ve started my one month free subscription to Netflix and I have to say I love it. For the longest time I tried to stay away from it because I can be somewhat obsessive with these type of things. In all honesty I bench watched television shows before there was a name for it. So knowing myself I thought that I would be better off not having Netflix at my fingertips. But now I have and the first show I watched was ‘Once Upon A Time’. Mind you I did watch it, Once Upon a Time (pun intended) but when they stopped airing it on television here in the Netherlands I stopped so I was pretty far behind.

However that show is so good, the characters are sublime. Especially when they switch from their fairy tale character to the regular character. I was intrigued when I saw the announcement for the show – way back when. Bringing fairy tales into today’s world sounded like an awesome idea. Especially since I’ve always liked that idea, I was even thinking of doing a modern version of a fairy tale for Nanowrimo that particular year. But then Once Upon A Time started in September and I wasn’t able to stop myself I had to watch this show. And therefor I threw that writing idea right out of the window especially since I fell in love with some of the characters – namely Regina and Emma and I knew that no matter what I tried to write it would become Femmeslash fanfiction.

I’ve now finally been able to watch all six seasons of it and I love it, still I do. But I am afraid that I could have done without those last couple of minutes of the sixth season finale. If they had cut the show off right after that look into the future with the Charmings living happily ever after, Emma and Hook married and Regina finally being called the Queen in a positive manner. And of course Belle and Gold dancing together to that oh so well known song from Beauty & the Beast.

I mean, really wasn’t that all we ever wanted to see a happy ending for all of the fairy tale characters. And the worlds that have been destroyed when Emma lost her faith during the final battle have been restored from Wonderland to Neverland and from Arendelle to Oz. And even the Evil Queen got her happy ending and a new adventure with Robin Hood!

But then they added those last few minutes! And I’m sitting here and all I can think is why? Why? I mean I knew that there was going to be seventh season and I also know that a lot of people aren’t returning.

Why oh why

I know myself, I’m going to watch the seventh season – even if it is just to find out if my assumptions, the ones that I have right at this moment are going to be true. I need to see it for myself.

How can I not worry about the seventh season when I know that a lot of the regular characters are not coming back or only as a guest role. I mean there is no Snow White, no Prince Charming, no Emma Swan (only as a guest star), no Belle (only as a guest star), no Zelena (she will only be a recurring star) and Henry has been replaced by an much older actor. As a fan from the start I can only worry until I actually see it. And right now the seventh season is not available to me, I have no idea when we will get it on Netflix. Once it is though I will be watching it and I hope with all my heart that my fear is not coming true.

I often wonder why they can’t stop a show at it’s peak, why do they always have to drag it on. On one hand I’m wondering why they can’t stop at the top, however I am one of those people who feed this kind of behavior. By the simple fact that I continue watching the shows. Let’s face it most shows keep adding seasons, why? Simple, because we keep watching them and it generates money – lots of money. I’m not saying that all shows loose their appeal but some certainly do.

And while I keep watching them I have to admit that it’s sometimes really hard to do so. A really good example is Glee, I loved the singing (I really have a weak spot for musicals) but they should have finished long before they did. Charmed is another one of those shows, loved it but it continued way too long. Bones, CSI (plus the spin offs), the Law & Order franchise, ER and the X Files are all shows which ran out of steam long before they stopped or should have stopped. I guess with The X Files they gave it another boost with the new seasons. Law & Order SVU is still running pretty strong, I mean I still watch it but I can imagine that a lot of people have given up already. Especially since most of the original cast have been replaced several times over. And the list continues on.

On the other hand there are also shows that never really got a chance. For instance Firefly – yes, I am one of those people who still thinks after all of these years that this show never got the chance it deserved. And I think that’s a shame, however the show got a cult-status right now something which it might have never gotten if they just kept going on and on.

In conclusion I guess it’s fair to say that there is a fine line between the top and that slippery slope. But once you’re over the top there is no turning back. I really hope I’m wrong when it comes to Once Upon A Time.

Do you have a favorite show? Or know of one that should have stopped a long time ago or one that didn’t get a chance. Let me know.