Announcement! The Ebony and Fire Writing Club!

So two days ago I discussed opening the Raven Writers Accountability club and while working with Phoenix we talked about it and changed things up a bit.

Follow Phoenix’s website here: https://penableme.wordpress.com

Also check out Pheonix’s post for more information: https://penableme.wordpress.com/2020/05/25/new-join-the-ebony-and-fire-writing-club-now/

Each week, I will still be posting about my project, goals, and how I did that week and as a part of the club I encourage everyone whose joining to do the same!

We both are setting up donation pages for special access to advice, tips and tricks, and inspiration. Phoenix has even discussed some special offers that we will be providing over time!

Here is the link to my donation page: https://ko-fi.com/thebookraven

Leave your name down below if your interested in joining!

Phoenix made an awesome trailer for all of you as well!

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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If you love my content and wish to offer me extra support by me a Kofi on my donation page!

A Love Letter to All the Books I Haven’t Written Yet

Dear future novels,

You swim in my head haunting my dreams. You take up more note space in my phone then I ever thought you would. You entice me and make me feel gloriously happy when I think of what you would look like as a full story.

Each and every one of you is unique occupying a different part of my heart. I love each and every one of you (even the ones I haven’t thought of yet). Some of you are contemporary, some of you are horror. Those of you who are fantasy or sci-fi you know how much I dream of writing you well. To all the other genres thriller, magical realism, historical, and romance too..you know I have so many dreams of your existences too!

There are times when I toss in turn just thinking about little scenes that would go perfectly in one story and begging to be seen. Sometimes I feel this soaring deep within my bones just imagining the worlds that I had never seen before.

All you characters are inspiring some sassy some serious… some filled with sadness and others might just be delirious. I love those of you who are angry and just want to fix what’s wrong, but those of you who just want to deal with yourselves that just as valid too. Some of you have magic others are subjected to it. Some of you have none at all and that’s just the fun of it. I can’t wait to write your stories and breath into you all some life. Some victims, heroes, protagonists, all just trying to do what’s right (for you).

I know a lot of you are impatient waiting for me to write your story, but all I need is time to make all of your stories the best that they can be.

I love all the places you take me and I love all of your dreams. I love you future novels. I can’t wait to see where else you bring me.

Love,

Tiana

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this little letter. Let me know your thoughts down in the comments.

-Till next time!

This Impossible Light: A Review 

This Impossible Light by Lily Myers


My Rating: 5 emotional stars!

Publisher: Penguin Young Readers 

Publish Date: June 6th, 2017

Recieved: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review. 

Pre-order: Amazon

Synopsis: 

From the YouTube slam poetry star of “Shrinking Women” (more than 5 million views!) comes a novel in verse about body image, eating disorders, self-worth, mothers and daughters, and the psychological scars we inherit from our parents.
Fifteen-year-old Ivy’s world is in flux. Her dad has moved out, her mother is withdrawn, her brother is off at college, and her best friend, Anna, has grown distant. Worst of all, Ivy’s body won’t stop expanding. She’s getting taller and curvier, with no end in sight. Even her beloved math class offers no clear solution to the imbalanced equation that has become Ivy’s life.

 

Everything feels off-kilter until a skipped meal leads to a boost in confidence and reminds Ivy that her life is her own. If Ivy can just limit what she eats—the way her mother seems to—she can stop herself from growing, focus on the upcoming math competition, and reclaim control of her life. But when her disordered eating leads to missed opportunities and a devastating health scare, Ivy realizes that she must weigh her mother’s issues against her own, and discover what it means to be a part of—and apart from—her family.

 

This Impossible Light explores the powerful reality that identity and self-worth must be taught before they are learned. Perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson and Ellen Hopkins.

Trigger warning for eating-disorder

Musings: 

This novel written in poetic verse takes you on a journey of mental illness and the aftermath of a family broken apart in a lyrical, crisp, and stunning way. At first I was taken in by Ivy this smart girl mc that felt so much like me. I was that weird girl who enjoyed school, who’s favorite classes were english, math, and science. Except while Ivy embraced that side of herself I hid it away as much as I could. 

When things started to change in the novel and Ivy started to talk about her loss, loss of family, loss of friends, loss of herself, I began to feel sick, because her spiral into body dysmorphia was similar to how my own spiral into a depression occurred although for very different reasons. As hard as it was for me to read the truths that were being spoken, I could not put this book down. 

This bright, funny, nerdy character got dull and dizzy with her fight to control her eating and I was breaking all over inside for it. All she ever wished for was reliability as reliable as 2+2=4 and she broke when she found that to be human is to be unrealiable. Till she could no longer have the heart to remember that there could be an good to life, just discipline, biking, and study study study. 

This book was undeniably one of the best books I’ve read in 2017. Not only that, but one for me to realize that my own scars need a little more work to be fully healed and that that is ok. To human is to take baby steps towards something a bit more positive little by little every day. I am happier for having read this book that beautifully and horrifically describes how one can fall into a state of declining mental-health. 

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed reading this review. I also hope that you will consider reading This Impossible Light. It is such a gem of a novel. 

Day 4 of #my500words and I mostly spent my time trying to write government files failing and doing research. Slightly frustrated, but entirely excited, I can’t wait to continue writing this story!

-Till next time!

I Am Obsessed: The Story of my Love for a Certain Book

I haven’t felt this way in a long time. Absorbed in a world, in a book so irrecoverably that I don’t want to do anything else but read it. I haven’t felt a need to live in a story and to breathe in its words like I’m starving for it. It reminds me of how reading always was for me when I was a kid and my heart swells with the love for words and stories ever more because of it. 

I’m not gonna talk about what book, rather what series has made me feel this way. That will come later and all of you will know what it is when I talk about it because it simply has set a fire in my heart for how much I love it! I had long been on a semi-reading slump before it and now it’s what I dream about. 

Maybe it’s crazy to feel this way. To become so invested. Maybe it’s stupid to care so much about a string of words, but those string of words make my heart beat faster, my smile appear, make me laugh, and tear at my heartstrings. They made me feel for the first time in a long time that maybe just maybe it’s ok to dream of love. Ok to open up and just live. That it’s ok to let yourself go and see where the world will take you and I feel all the better for it. 

I’m simply full of so much emotion right now and what I’m reading hasn’t even finished. So I’m going to return to it now and let my mind feel the freedom of wholly loving something imaginary. 

I can’t wait to talk about it with you all soon! 

Thanks for reading! Gosh I am so happy in this moment. This is what was in my heart to say and I am so incredibly contented and happy with what I’m reading that I felt as if I would burst if I didn’t share that emotion. I wish for everyone to read a book that makes them feel as I do right now. That is my dream! 

-Till next time! 

Quests of the Kings: A Review 


Quests of Kings by Robert Evert

My Rating: 2.75/5 Stars

Publisher: Diversion Books

Release Date: March 14th, 2017

Recieved: Net Galley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review

Pre-Order: Amazon

From the author of the Riddle in Stone books comes a thrilling new series for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Kristin Cashore.
Across the realms, the kings’ quests captivate the imaginations of nobles and commoners alike. These dangerous competitions pit the most daring adventurers against each other as they compete for riches and glory for their kingdoms.
Plain and ordinary Natalie, a sixteen-year-old peasant girl, loves listening to stories about famous adventurers, but the thrilling action of the kings’ quests seems far removed from her everyday life of mucking out stables and working every odd job she can find to support her siblings and disabled mother. However, after a violent run-in with Brago, a ruthless adventurer who believes Natalie is a threat to his mission, she is dragged unwillingly into the latest contest.
On the run from Brago, Natalie seeks refuge with a rival adventurer, the legendary Sir Edris, and his squire, Reg. As they toil together to find the object all of the kings desire—an ancient golden harp—Natalie starts to feel safe with the fatherly knight. Yet, despite Edris’s protection, Brago is never far behind. When one of Brago’s cruel plots separates Natalie from her protectors, she must become as strong and cunning as the adventurers of old to save her friends and stay alive.

Musings: 

I really enjoyed reading Quests of Kings, it was an adventure. As much as I enjoyed reading it I wanted more. There was something about the characters and how they were written that makes you want to care, but also separates readers from them. 

This book felt like one big adventure story. It ignites an almost childlike wish to go out into the world and experience all there is to see. To be and do something more. 

I liked Natalie as a main character. However, I felt she was confused and at times acted colder then her thoughts would suggest her to be. I felt like she was a girl that was broken by her circumstances and never gave herself to what she truly wanted in life. I also feel that there wasn’t enough time spent exploring her thoughts as a character and allowing her to act more naturally. It was like hearing snipets of her voice every once in a while, then rushing to the plot in other parts. A lot of times I felt like something would happen and she would cry, but then in the next two seconds it would be over and it was like an important event that happened is no longer important. 

The one part of Natalie’s character that didn’t add up was when she would complain. The girl who does everything she can to feed her family. The girl who cares more about others well-being then her own, doesn’t makes sense with the character that whines about her burdens. Her initial actions do not coincide with what she says and I felt like I was reading about two completely different kinds of characters. It made Natalie fall flat as a result. 

I also wish there was more character development for all the characters in the story. I felt that the secondary characters were often easy to look past, because they were not given enough time to truly speak. The biggest example of this is Arist, he is a secondary main character that I felt like I was starting to get to know, but in the end I felt like I didn’t get to know him as well as I should.

I also felt that the death that occurs in this book wasn’t felt as deeply as it should have because the readers didn’t get enough time to care about that character and afterwards the death would feel skimmed over. It felt very rushed, it happened so let’s move on, type of thing. 

The things that Natalie goes through are horrific. Her sarcasm and strengths would be felt much stronger if more meaningful time was spent on her dealing with the emotions she has. When connections are severed it is severely painful and emotionally crippling for all people. If that was shown more, I feel like I would have connected with Natalie so much more. 

This novel has the potential to be something I could fall in love with. At this point while I enjoyed it, I wanted to care more. 

Thank you all for reading. I hope you enjoyed this review. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Are you thinking of reading this book? Have you read any other books from this author? If so, what are your thoughts?

-Till next time!

Aftercare Instructions: A Review


Aftercare Instructions  by Bonnie Pipkin

My Rating: 5 thoughtful stars

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Release Date: June 27th, 2017

Recieved: Netgalley provided an earc copy in exchange for an honest review

Pre-Order: Amazon




In the tradition of Rainbow Rowell and Jandy Nelson, a powerful, big-hearted journey of furious friendship, crazy love, and unexpected hope
“Troubled.” That’s seventeen-year-old Genesis according to her small New Jersey town. She finds refuge and stability in her relationship with her boyfriend, Peter—until he abandons her at a Planned Parenthood clinic during their appointment to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. The betrayal causes Gen to question everything.
As Gen pushes herself forward to find her new identity without Peter, she must also confront her most painful memories. Through the lens of an ongoing four act play within the novel, the fantasy of their undying love unravels line by line, scene by scene. Digging deeper into her past while exploring the underground theater world of New York City, she rediscovers a long forgotten dream. But it’s when Gen lets go of her history, the one she thinks she knows, that she’s finally able to embrace the complicated, chaotic true story of her life, and take center stage.
Aftercare Instructions, an electric, format-crushing debut, full of heart and hope, follows Gen on a big-hearted journey from dorm rooms to diners to underground theaters—and ultimately, right into readers’ hearts.


Musings: 

In a single word this book is: bold

Why isn’t this book everywhere? It’s gorgeously written, real, and full of life. It discusses a topic that fills the masses with a charged energy on both sides of a story and is born from the burning embers of a movement that has caused a lot of debate, especially now. I could whisper the word abortion and pretty soon a whole room erupts into discussion and inevidibly arguments. I have no idea why, but the topic of abortion has latched onto me recently (as it may have for many of us) and hasn’t let go. I’ve thought myself to be on all sides of the spectrum pro-life, pro-choice, and somewhere in-between. 

However, this is not only a book that tackles the hardships and choices of abortion (something that it does brilliantly I must say) it is also a story about family, relationships, and simply being human, mistakes and all. I loved that while abortion is a huge theme of this novel it is not the only one, and quite possibly, not even the most important. 

For Genesis, there is a whole lot that occurs in a single week, and family is a huge part of it. Years ago when Gen lost her father, her world broke apart, her mother broke down, and Gen took it upon herself to pick up the pieces, for better or worse. Having to be a stronghold for her mother is a huge part of this novel, a depiction of mental disparity caused by grief that added a depth to this story that continues to tug at my heart. 

Gen’s father, who feels like the guiding voice of this novel, felt like a catalyst for healing and a constant source of strength. Even as he caused his wife’s greatest weakness in his death. Gen’s dad was a curiosity, his traits branded into Genesis’s own. His heart in hers, his hand guiding her towards his past, in a shining light. I felt his voice so much in this because of every flashback and rush toward the future surrounded itself in theatre the thing he loved to do most. 

I love the aspect of theathre in this book. The parts written in acts. The idea of plays woven deep into the rhyrthm of this novel. It added a richness to the story that would never have existed. It’s importance unexpected, but completely right. 

Peter the boy that Gen fell in love with that left her alone at Planned Parenthood. Religious, hurting, and confused Peter, who after all the emotions, I never ended up hating, though I really really wanted to. 

This novel is driven by its characters. Driven by their conflicting desires and shared hopes. All tied up in a thing called aftercare, because you may not be able to be in control of how things happen, but you can work towards becoming healed. 
This book deserves to be read, shared, discussed, and read again. This a novel that society needs. I hope that you consider my words and take them to heart. No matter what you believe, this is a book that can help bridge an understanding amongst us all,  if only you are willing to take the jump, with your eyes wide, and your mind open…

Thank you for reading. Let me know any concerns you have about the topic above. I’m always open to discussion. I want to hear all of your thoughts and if you do decide to give this book a try let me know. 

-Till next time!

Writing A Novel, Phase 1: Research


In this post, I am both announcing and discussing something that I am incredibly excited and proud of, the start of my new novel project. 

In my New Years Resolution 2017 post, I meantioned that one of my goals was to finish the first draft of a novel idea that I am incredibly excited for, this post is to layout how I am going about starting it. 

For now the story and idea is under wraps, but what I am willing to say is that this book is a contemporary piece and the main character has a certain mental and physical struggles that they must go through, that are a huge focus of the story. 

In order for me to be able to start writing this story authentically, it means that I must do a lot of research and discussion before I can feel more comfortable writing about this issue. So to begin, I am outlining Phase 1: Research. 

I am beginning this process by looking on YouTube for videos of people who have personally experienced the things that I am writing about. (I hope to eventually contact and converse with a few of those I watch about any questions that may come up) 

I decided to contact my colleges librarian today about where to go to find better research for what I will be writing about and she was a huge help in pointing me to some books, databases, and other sources for me to take a look at and read. I’ve never actually felt so excited to research something in my life. The motivation of what I want to create makes it all worthwhile. 

I hope to soon delve into the many articles and books surrounding the central focus of my story. I can’t wait to let you all know more as my story progresses, but I want to leave it to mystery for now, as I haven’t fleshed out enough of the story yet. 

Gosh, I am so excited! Thank you all for reading! I hope to keep you all updated soon. Let me know what you think in the comments below. Any advice you have for me for my start in the journey of creating a book is well appreciated. 

-Till next time!