Unsanctioned Eyes Giveaway!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017
pictures courtesy of brianna's sister, lillian.

Hello everyone!

Wow, it's been awhile since I've last posted on this blog. It's been a good break, but I'm excited to be back. And I'm starting the return with a giveaway! Those who have been following this blog for awhile know that I don't do many giveaways unless I'm really excited about them.

And I'm really excited about this book. ;) 

I met the author, Brianna Merritt, last year at Realm Makers (during lunch, actually. there's something about food that can form fabulous friendships.)


Now she's publishing books and being all amazing and I can't be happier for her. Before we get to the fun interview and giveaway and about the fantastic book, WATCH THIS BOOK TRAILER. Alea Harper made it (who was also at that food-bonding lunch table at Realm Makers) and if this doesn't make you want to buy the book, I don't know what will.


INTERVIEW

what was the first book that made you cry?

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas. The ending of the book is just... AHHH! So emotional!

what does a typical writing day look like for you?

A typical writing day for me looks like a trip to the kitchen to get a cup of tea, flipping through my social media accounts (including a trip through my Pinterest boards for the WIP I'm writing on that day), and then choosing my music. After that it's just a matter of letting the words flow. :)

if you could spend a day with any of your characters, which one would it be, and what would you do?

Tough question. I think I would choose Garrett. He's a very mysterious, very deep guy and I think it would be fun to get to know him better. We'd probably end up going for a drive to get coffee and then spying on the rest of the Unsanctioned Eyes crew.

tea or coffee? 
TEA ALL THE WAY!

plotting, writing, or editing?
Writing, though all three are enjoyable.

morning or night writer?
Night writer.

introvert or extrovert?
Introvert with the insane super power of coming across extroverted when I need to be. ;)

UNSANCTIONED EYES BLURB
Her death was just the beginning.
Quinn Rogers doesn't exist. There are no records of her name. Her DNA has no match. She is a ghost. A phantom killer no one can trace. The perfect assassin. Or so she thinks.
At the top of her game, Quinn's no longer looking over her shoulder. Her master will protect her, save her, like he always has. But there are forces at work neither of them suspect.
Can Quinn find the truth in a world of lies? Or will her unsanctioned past catch up to her in the end?
find Unsanctioned Eyes on Amazon and Goodreads! 
GIVEAWAY

Brianna is most graciously giving away a copy of Unsanctioned Eyes, along with a matching bookmarks and a notebook! I'll be very happy for whoever wins, but I also might be a bit jealous. :P JUST LOOK AT THOSE PRIZES. *stalks mailbox waiting for my copy to come*

This giveaway is US only
(sorry... BUT I've heard rumors from Brianna herself that she plans to do an international one in the future, so make sure to follow her so you don't miss that :D) and ends July 7th. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brianna grew up in a small town in Oklahoma learning the language of the wind and trying to survive the heat of summer. She fell in love with all things literary at an early age and the journey from reader to writer followed. With the help of One Year Adventure Novel, she finished her first novel in 2012 and hasn't been able to stop creating new worlds and adventures since.

As well as writing, Brianna is addicted to tea, chocolate, and music. When she isn't reading or writing, Brianna teaches Ballet and Jazz.

She lives in Virginia with her family and spoiled Dalmatian, Valentine.


Connect with Brianna on her social media!

MAY HIGHLIGHTS // 2017

Saturday, May 27, 2017
BOOM. What better way to start out this post than with a picture of donuts? I moaned over the sad lack of donuts in my life in my April highlights post, but I'm happy to say that the need has been taking care of. :') (but donuts are like pizza. there can never be enough)

May was kind of relaxing? Despite the fact that I squished boatloads of activities into my days? It's a weird concept but somehow that happened. I had fun spending more time with my family, playing board games, and we're almost to the end of the Harry Potter movies. It's been awhile since I've watched the last one so I'm pumped to see it again. :D

Speaking of movies, I'M GETTING SO HYPED FOR SPIDER-MAN HOMECOMING. I just... *faints from excitement* It looks hilarious and exciting and unique and heart-breaking and I JUST WANT IT NOW. Forty-one days! (not that I'm counting or anything... *coughcough*)

And continuing on the topic of Marvel, I haven't seen Guardians of the Galaxy 2 yet... but it will happen in June. I re-watched the first one this month in anticipation and it's so weird and dorky but great at the same time. xD

[still loving my bullet journal! I've found that color coding works well for me -- blue for fun events, black for work, and purple for Church. I change it up with a different color scheme each month. :D]

Working has been crazy! (as always) Starbucks had their Frappuchino happy hour deal (actual insanity). To make it bearable there were dress-up themes each day, so I had the chance to rock my Captain America shirt during superhero day. Always representing my fandoms. <3 (I wanted to wear my apron backward as a cape and be my own superhero, but... that unfortunately defeated the whole purpose of the apron. xD)

The most important happening of the month: SCHOOL. IS. OVER. I repeat: school is over. Glorious summer is beginning and I cannot wait. The season of graduation parties has begun, and it's a bit terrifying to realize that this time next year I'll be the one planning my own graduation. *gulp* Yikes. I'll stop thinking about it for now. xD

It's weird to realize how fast a year can zip by. I was reading my monthly highlight's post from May of 2016, and I had just started working for Starbucks! And Captain America: Civil War came out! *sniff* Time for a rewatch... <3

After deciding to take writing slower, I had high hopes for reading to take a giant leap this month. Think of how caught up I could get on my Goodreads goal! I could maybe binge-read ten, fifteen, maybe even twenty books this month with all the extra time!

HA. HA. HA.

Or... just five. :P Which is still good, I know, but... I just wish I stayed focused enough to get through all the books I want. *sigh* Oh well. I'm actually getting nervous that I won't make my reading goal of 100 books... o.O

And even though I have Resistance pictured above... I didn't read it. Instead I beta read Exiles, but since that's not out yet... I didn't have a way to take a picture. :P


Ahh, writing. There's not a lot to discuss in this section, since I discussed most of it in my last post, the joy of stress-free writing. Basically, I took a month off of writing (except for 500 words I wrote), and it was a glorious break. This happened more than I'm willing to admit:
My writing hiatus stops today, though. I'm planning to make major progress with some editing this afternoon/evening, and am actually looking forward to it?? I think it's because I'll be doing mostly line edits, and that's my favorite part of the editing process. <3 (don't talk to me about macro edits/big picture stuff. ew. -.-)

Not sure what I'll be working on in June yet. I'll be polishing my conference material for half the month, and afterward maybe I'll try to FINALLY finish my Camp NaNo project. That novel has given me so much struggle. It refuses to be written. *smacks it with pizza and glares*

I know I just took a week off in May for blogging, but I'm going to have to do it again in June. June is just so crazy, you guys. Lots of working, and then a two day Christian concert festival, a week long writing conference, and then a week long family retreat at a cabin. Very fun things... but... hard to squish blogging into the midst. 

I'll post a wrap-up of the writing conference -- memories, things I learned, helpful tips to pass on -- on June 24th. I'll do a June highlights post after that, and in July I'll finally resume my normal posting schedule. After this month there shouldn't be anymore random hiatuses. Thanks for sticking with me through the chaotic journey. <3

<3,
katie grace

what are your summer plans?
what's on your summer tbr?

THE JOY IN STRESS-FREE WRITING

Saturday, May 20, 2017

I've been thinking about writing. This should be no surprise -- since I'm always thinking about writing... but, more specifically, I've been thinking about my future of writing. 

Maybe I'm the only one who does this, or maybe you can all relate. But it's easy to think ahead a couple years and wonder if my novel will be on the shelf, or if I'll still be rewriting that Idiot Novel for the millionth time. :P

It's scary mulling over the future -- fantasizing the unknown. Throughout the last several months I've been setting bigger and tougher goals for myself, with that dream of becoming an author right before me.

Honestly? It's been exhausting. I've been hustling for the last two years, always writing editing (ha... ha...), always pushing myself. Don't get me wrong, it's important to set goals and encourage yourself to do better. Without all my goals, I would've gotten very little done.

But! It's also important to not push yourself past your limits.

As I've mentioned before, I'm taking May slowly with my writing. My goals for April's Camp NaNo made writing a little too stressful, so I had to take a step back and evaluate writing. I write because I enjoy it! Not to induce gallons of stress. (I don't think stress can be measured in gallons... but... go with it.) So taking a break and waiting to feel the yearn and the reason to return to the story again is a good decision for me.

And I think once I rekindle that fire and passion, setting goals will once again feel like a fun challenge and not a chore. :P I'm still doing writing related things (because how can I completely stay away?), but I pushed aside those crazy insane goals, and my head feels thousands times lighter. This break is exactly what I've needed. And I'm actually doing other things too!
played piano for fun - read through old drafts - spent time on bullet journaling - binged read books - longer devos - extroverted + hung out with friends - took several walks - cleaned my room (only for it to become messy right away, haha) - made a dessert - took a trip to the library - had more movie nights with the fam - spent more time with my sister - sucked helium out of balloons (hehe) - written 500 words - critiqued stories

^^ I probably wouldn't have done any of that if I had my overachieving writing goals to keep up with as well. I'm learning that it's important to pay attention to other passions and people! There are so many things I want to do. SO MANY. Becoming an author is a long journey, and I want to enjoy the process, living life to the fullest while I do so. (that means maybe not staying inside all day and ignoring the world :P) I'm doing my best to find a balance between it all. xD

Anyways, as you can see, I've only written 500 words this month... but I think that's okay. I've also started editing the first couple pages of Where Shadows Lie for the MYWW conference, AND I'M SO, SO EXCITED. I think this is one of the first stories I won't have to completely rewrite. o.o (of course there will be rewriting involved, but they key word there is: completely)

I don't know what will happen after May, yet. June is filled with concerts and writing conferences and vacations... and once that's all over, I'll be working near thirty hours a week (help). So we'll see. Maybe Camp NaNo in July is when I'll begin the writing craziness again, mwahaha.

Well, there you have it. This post is a bit messy and discombobulated (fabulous word, isn't it?), but I wanted to give a little update on this month.

You're all amazing. 

<3,
katie grace

(also, Christine wrote something kind of similar to this on her blog, but said it in a much more eloquent and readable manner than I managed. She's awesome.)

(also, also, how is it the twentieth of May?? I legit thought we weren't even halfway through the month and now I'm confused. :P)

how has writing been going for you this month? <3