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Blog Moved

It is officially the new year and therefore it is a new blog for me! I have moved over to my website amiemccracken.com to blog and give you information about everything that I do as an editor, photographer, and writer. Please check everything out over there and don't forget to subscribe.

Happy new year!


Books in 2012

I read quite a few five-star worthy books in 2012. It's hard to get a five-star out of me. But these eight books will continue to be on my highly recommended list for a while.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is on this list. It's a reread, but it is my absolute favorite of the seven.

And before we get to my top books of 2012, here is a picture of my statistics from Goodreads.

Now in the order I read my 2012 five-star rated books:


Classics Challenge

Of all the goals I attempted to complete this year, I wanted to read more classic books. I typically pick one up every few modern books. So I decided to join in on a challenge to read seven classics. I got through four of them. This is my wrap up:

My list:
These have all been on the list for a while now:
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

 This one sounds very interesting, which usually classic books don't, lol:
Middlemarch by George Eliot

And one reread because I think I was too young and didn't understand it:
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

And my blog posts on the books I managed to read:
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Great Expectations
Gulliver's Travels

I plan to read Pride and Prejudice this January because it is the 200th anniversary of publication (and I just want the pleasure of rereading it). But I will definitely keep these other three on my list for this year.


Call for Guest Bloggers

Hi all. I'm switching my blog over to my website. It's newly built and still a bit wonky, but I'm hoping to be completely switched over with the new year. In order to get the word out that I've moved, I'd like some guest bloggers. If you want to write about our relationship, what you love, writing, reading, books, editing, photography, your expertise...pretty much anything.

Just shoot me an email at amie.mccracken AT gmail DOT com and tell me what you want to write about!

You can see the new website here www.amiemccracken.com

Go ahead and email me with feedback on the site as well. I'd love to improve it.


Writing Retreat in England

I had the express privilege of traveling to Devon England for a writing retreat in November. It was hosted by Charlie at Urban Writers' Retreat. She spent the whole week overfeeding us with cake and vegetables and tea. The cottage was something out of Jane Austen. And the other writers were very interesting and fun to get to know.

I felt a little strange doing this. I'm not one to go somewhere just for myself. It was oh so fulfilling though. The vibe of just being around other writers was like a drug. I wrote a few blog posts, worked on a writing class that I'm taking this month, and finished a first draft of my novel. Overall, I wrote over 10,000 words in four days.

I learned that I can sit down and start writing at 9 am and keep writing until about 4 pm (with maybe a walk or tea break in between). I made some new friends that I can't wait to go back to England and visit again. It was the most relaxing and comfortable trip I've been on. I can't wait to do it again.


Show and Tell in a Nutshell by Jessica Bell - Book Review

Show and Tell in a Nutshell by Jessica Bell is a writing craft book that is practical. Jessica shows the reader how to show in a very practical and dynamic way. She gives examples of telling and then switches them right around to showing. She also provides exercises and blank sheets of paper for the reader to try it all out on their own.

I could not believe the amount of scenes Jessica managed to create with such flair and intensity. The tone of each was so very different. I have never seen such obvious yet beautiful examples of showing. As an editor, I look forward to recommending this book to my authors. It has the ability to broaden a writer's horizon not just in showing but in the tone and temper used.

I received this book from the author for review.


Wright for America by Robin Lamont - Book Review

Wright for America by Robin Lamont is a thriller and a political statement and a personal story all wrapped up in one. The reader follows a radio host who is full of himself, a young actress sticking up for her twin brother, and an FBI agent who has fallen in love with the woman he is tailing. The twists and turns take the reader to unexpected places.

Wright for American by Robin Lamont book cover

The book started out with a topic I was not expecting. The radio host, Pryor Wright, is an extreme republican. And by extreme I mean goading his listeners on to take their anger out on those they disagree with. Then a few chapters in there was a hospital scene between Maren and her twin brother, who was attacked by some of Wright's listeners simply for being gay, and I fell in love with the characters.

At the beginning the twists and surprises all felt trite and obvious. Wright was an easy villain with nothing to love. But at the end, everything culminated in a wonderful catastrophe and each twist went somewhere completely unexpected.

This book really made me think. Robin never forced her ideals on my, she just introduced them and let them simmer in my mind for a bit.

I received this book from the author for review.