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Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by @lainitaylor and a 3×5 #Giveaway

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is the first in a trilogy. The second is Days of Blood and StarlightThe third, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, releases next spring.
daughter_of_smoke_and_boneAround the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

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5 Ways Creative Cross-Training Can Improve Your #Writing #WriteTip

watercolor_old_fishermanAthletes train by spending grueling hours preparing for their sports. One way they do this is by cross-training.

We can do the same with writing.

Despite hours languishing in front of the keyboard, intense word sprints, or writing exercises, another way to exercise the writing muscles is to participate in another form of creative activity.

I find painting indispensable for my writing. And writing valuable for painting. They fuel each other.watercolor_Nebula_II

But how can creative cross-training be helpful?

By training your brain to function in ways also applicable to writing:

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How the Milky Way Makes You Feel Alive

Milky Way

I’ve always wanted to paint the Milky Way. So when Michaels had a crazy canvas sale and I found this goodie for half-price, I knew I had my chance to paint it.

We spent an entire afternoon scraping paint out of our faux-wood floors after I finished flinging stars. (In my defense, not all of it was my mess. A massive glop or three belonged to the hubster.)

I felt so alive when I plopped in front of the starry canvas.

Why do I bring this up?

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