Book Review: Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn


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Just Like Heaven

by Julia Quinn

genre: historical romance

Just Like Heaven by Julia QuinnI’m closing in on the end of my A-Z author challenge with only five letters to go. Looking through the thread for Q authors, I found historical romance novelist Julia Quinn. After two disappointing novels, Just Like Heaven had me laughing nearly every chapter and hitting the steering wheel crying, “Yes, yes, yes.” Completely cliche, guy falls on top of girl and they kiss moments, but I loved it. You don’t read romance novels for a surprise. Romance novels by definition have to have a happy ending.

Summary from Audible

Honoria Smythe-Smith is:
A) a really bad violinist
B) still miffed at being nicknamed “Bug” as a child
C) not in love with her her older brother’s best friend
D) all of the above

Marcus Holroyd is:
A) the Earl of Chatteris
B) regrettably prone to sprained ankles
C) not in love with his best friend’s younger sister
D) all of the above

Together they:
A) eat quite a bit of chocolate cake
B) survive a deadly fever
C) fall quite desperately in love

It’s Julia Quinn at her best, so you know the answer is…

D) all of the above

Continue reading

Book Review: Serena by Ron Rash


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by Ron Rash

genre: historical fiction

Synopsis from Goodreads

serenaThe year is 1929, and newlyweds George and Serena Pemberton travel from Boston to the North Carolina mountains where they plan to create a timber empire. Although George has already lived in the camp long enough to father an illegitimate child, Serena is new to the mountains—but she soon shows herself to be the equal of any man, overseeing crews, hunting rattle-snakes, even saving her husband’s life in the wilderness. Together this lord and lady of the woodlands ruthlessly kill or vanquish all who fall out of favor. Yet when Serena learns that she will never bear a child, she sets out to murder the son George fathered without her. Mother and child begin a struggle for their lives, and when Serena suspects George is protecting his illegitimate family, the Pembertons’ intense, passionate marriage starts to unravel as the story moves toward its shocking reckoning.

Rash’s masterful balance of violence and beauty yields a riveting novel that, at its core, tells of love both honored and betrayed.

Continue reading

__picture it & write


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I urge people to join in, comment with your paragraph of fiction to accompany the image. It doesn’t have to follow my story or reflect the same themes. It can be a poem or in a different language (provide a translation please :) ). Anyone who wants to join in, is welcome. This photograph will be reblogged under Ermisenda on tumblr and added to the Picture it & Write gallery on Facebook and Pinterest.

Please continue to write however you’re inspired, but add a tag to the beginning of your post if there’s mature content in order to keep Picture it & Write an engaging event for all of our followers.


He wouldn’t pick up. I rang his number again. Just when I was about to give up, he picked up the phone. “Please hear me out.”

“I don’t do commissions anymore.”

“Just one more. I will pay you more than any other client. You name the figure.”

There was silence. “I don’t want your money.”

“What do you want?”

“To be alone.”

- Ermisenda Alvarez Continue reading

__honours thesis completed



Woohoo! That thesis has been submitted. I will no longer be tormented by it (until I get my marks :P). What a great feeling this is! Although, to be honest, I’m having trouble letting go of working on it. I came back from university today and struggled to just ‘entertain myself’. What is this thing called life? I feel like there’s always more work to be done! It can be hard letting go of long-term projects, even when they’re done. Have you finished a long-term project recently?

- Ermisenda

Book Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano


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(The Chemical Garden #1)

by Lauren DeStefano

genre: dystopian, YA

Synopsis from Goodreads

witherBy age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children.

When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape–before her time runs out?

Together with one of Linden’s servants-Gabriel-Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?

Continue reading

__lesser-known editing symbols


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lesser-known-editing-symbols-writing-editingI love the heart and light-bulb symbols! :P With most editing happening in Word with track changes, there isn’t need for little symbols. But I think if my editor drew on my manuscript she would use numerous comic speech bubble symbols. It would represent ‘let us into the characters thoughts’ here’. Is there a symbol your editor would create just for your manuscript? Did these symbols make you laugh/smile?

- Ermisenda Alvarez

Picture it & Write


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Welcome to the Picture it & Write creative writing exercise. I invite people to join in, comment with your paragraph of fiction to accompany the image. It doesn’t have to follow my story or reflect the same themes. It can be a poem or in a different language (please provide a translation). Anyone who wants to join in, is welcome. This photograph will be reblogged under Ermisenda on tumblr and added to the Picture it & Write gallery on Facebook and Pinterest.

Please continue to write however you’re inspired, but add a tag to the beginning of your post if there’s mature content in order to keep Picture it & Write an engaging event for all of our followers.

old books

Books are my favorite thing in the world. They are just like people, in some ways. Old dust and cracked spines can hide youthful insides, vibrant histories, imagination spilling out to weave tales to put little ones to bed. Others are bright and colorful on the outside but have no substance on the inside. You have to take time to get to know them. It’s a commitment. You can fall in love with a good book.

-Eliabeth Hawthorne

Picture it & Write now supports The Girl Effect, a movement empowering girls to break the cycle of poverty in their communities, countries, and world. All profits from the publication are donated to this cause.

Everyone is welcome to use the button, just link them back to the Picture it & Write category or Ermiliablog:) Share your love for Picture it & write on your blog with the image below. Be proud, and stylish ;) !

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

Movie Review: The Maze Runner


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The Maze Runner
Movie 1

genre: science fiction, dystopian, young adult

the-maze-runner-movie-posterUsually, I tell people to read the book before the movie. Don’t read the book. Wait for the movie to hit NetFlix. If you’ve read the book, wait a week or two from when you finished reading until you go see the movie. The movie changed 70-80% of the book. I finished the book the same day I went to see the movie, so I sat there the entire time shaking my head with my brows creased thinking, “That’s not how that happened. That didn’t happen. That’s out of order. That didn’t happen. You skipped that. What the…? Why did you change that detail? What did that accomplish? What??? How? That didn’t… How are you going to finish the movie if you changed… you changed the ending…”

Continue reading

__book hangover memes


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book-hangover-reading-funny-memes6I just finished reading One Day by David Nicholls and I’m trying to process what I feel about the novel. There were many things that I disliked, but I was most definitely touched by the novel’s story. It held me there. It made me reflect on life, love, and regret. But I’m not quite ready to write a review. I need time to think about what what I feel… to process…

book-hangover-reading-funny-memesAs you can see, I’m having a book hangover.

But rather than keep processing my feelings, I decided to find book hangover memes that reflected the situation we readers often stumble into.

Do you suffer from book hangovers often?

- Ermisenda

book-hangover-reading-funny-memes3 Continue reading

Book Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner


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The Maze Runner
Book 1

by James Dashner

genre: science fiction, dystopian, young adult

Completely by coincidence, Ermisenda and I have both been reading The Maze Runner. We didn’t realize it until she beat me to posting her review by three days. Though I could wait to post mine, she and I came away with very different opinions, so I hope you enjoy reading my take on the book as well. I’m going to see the movie this evening, so I will be posting that review on Friday.

Ermi, don’t you dare post yours on Wednesday. ;)

Synopsis from Goodreads


If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.

Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Everything is going to change.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Remember. Survive. Run.

Continue reading


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