Book store staff are always trying to look up books based on the color of their cover. I’m just doing my best to try to help.
Yellow Cover YA Novels
I feel like there would be a major mix of highs and lows about working for a bookstore. The plus would obviously be spending your entire day surrounded by books, which would be a dream to me.
The downside would be that they have to always answer the question, “I’m looking for one book that has a certain colored cover.”
Well, I aim to please, so I’m doing my best to answer the question in this article.
The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Nighttime
interesting book of a guy who sees things differently from the rest of the world- he’s on a different wavelength, as it were.
It Only Happens in The Movies
Audrey starts working at the movie theater, and falls in love with a dude working there. Sounds like a dull book, I know. But actually it’s a rough romance with ups and downs, so it’s kind of fun.
Futuristic dystopia where emotions are forbidden, and love may not be able to conquer all. Fairly serious book that addresses Depression.
The Extraordinary and Unusual Adventures of Horatio Lyle
This time, a mystery! This mystery is set in Victorian times. It kind of reminds me of a revamped take on Sherlock Holmes, although the lead character is a much more human connected person than poor Sherlock is really capable of.
A classic teen read about drama, cliques, travel, and the Sunny L.A. life. This isn’t the first book in the series, but it is fairly interesting, and just what I’d want to read when I was exhausted and wanting something light and interesting.
Looking for a book with a yellow cover? No problem!
I tried my best to list the best YA books with yellow covers. Hopefully you either found the book you were looking for, or found a great book to add to your TBR!
Be sure to sign up for the emails if you want to keep track of future book reviews and get a free copy of my book “Magic Moves”.
Cathy Rocks if you love all the fiction and want to get reviews on the best of the best across genres!
I’m always on the lookout for the next book to read, but I have to admit sometimes very genre specific blogs don’t fit me well. I’m not a specific kind of reader, I like many different genres, so it’s an issue for me. Cathy, thankfully, is here to help!
Cathy at Between The Lines
Cathy has a lot in common with me. She loves books, dogs, and the beach, and I just don’t think I need to say more with that kind of recommendation!
Cathy covers different genres of fiction.
What Makes Her Rock
For those like me who want the best of the best from across fiction!
Short Reviews are Great for the Time Crunched
Her reviews are usually just one computer screen long, which is great if you want to figure out if a book is right for your TBR pile fast.
Not a professional- Which Can Be a Good Thing
I like that Cathy isn’t a professional book reviewer. You know she says good things about the books because she means it, not because it makes her money. (I haven’t reviewed anyone on this site who is willing to leave good reviews for books they don’t like, just so you know.)
Great All Around Book Blogger
Cathy is awesome, and if you like a lot of different books and have very little time I think she’s a great blogger. And her reviews are entertaining, without dragging on so long they become reviews themselves! I’m a fan.
Be sure to let me know in the comments who your favorite book reviewer is!
I thought it would be fun to show all of you how exactly a writer gets their work done. I know many writers like to work at their couches, their desk at work, at a flipped entrée table while they’re commuting in to work each day – but I spend all day, every day working and writing at my desk.
Learning something about my set up might help you, as well. Between my two jobs I work 86 hours a week, and clock 8,000+ words a day. Some of them are in my novel, some are marketing and business strategy, but all of it takes a powered up mind and a maximized workflow. My workspace is one of my big partners in creating my work routine to let me be so prolific.
I’m also sharing a few links to the things I own and use everyday in my workspace. These links are affiliate links, and make me a few cents without costing you extra.
I just want to share some noteworthy things about my desk set up. Because I am self-employed, and because I use my home office as my real office every day, my workspace is set up to help me think and work creatively and efficiently. I don’t want something as silly as a poor workstation set up to slow down my release dates!
One thing to note is that the desk itself is set up at a yellow wall. According to some reports the idea that yellow is good for a cheerful mood may actually be quite credible, and besides that bright sunshine yellow is a great color to stick on the walls in a basements with limited natural light and only a few mini windows at the top of the walls.
The desk itself, though, is even more important to my productivity and mood. I have to do whatever I can to keep myself focused and having a good time during the 86+ hours a week I work, and my workstation is one of my biggest partners in that. (Along with a 15 minute power nap and a short morning walk. And a little stretching for 5 minutes every hour to get my blood pumping and powering up my brain!)
There are a lot of essentials I have set up on my desk. I have to be careful about what I keep on hand, because my “desk” is actually a sofa table, and it’s only about 6 inches deep of workspace. As you can see, there’s barely enough room for my keyboard to fit in front of my monitor. But that’s a bit of a good thing, partially because my “desk” was free, partially because my desk is kind of cute, and partially because it helps me keep down the clutter which is a constant struggle and other areas of my life. (This is why I will probably never show you any other space in my home, because my desk is the only organized area.)
Goals In Sight
As you can see on the wall in the background, I have printed out and hung up my yearly goals list. It’s not really a professional goals list, it’s more of the “my life in general goals” kind of list. It’s an excerpt from my “30 things to do before I turn 30” list, just to help me break down my decade-long goals into smaller action steps I can actually get done. My actual publishing goals, where I write down the books I want to get finished and when I want to finish them, is the first link on my toolbar in my web browser so that I can update that much more often than I update yearly goals. (That, and because I don’t like bothering with printing things too often. So I only save printing for stuff I really need the visual for, even when I’m off screens.)
Above that are my two sticky notes where I keep my rough outline of my daily schedule. my daily schedule is:
And then I like to break down the personal part of my schedule. this is one of the main things I do to make sure I’m building myself not just as a person trying to make an income, but also as a human trying to improve myself as a person.
One of my current month’s goals is to get rid of some things I don’t need any more – I found out I still had some toys left in storage from when I was a kid – and get them into the hands of people who need or want them. Or both. Who am I to judge? But it still the last thing on the list to declutter because the other goals are supporting bigger decade-long goals, so they are the priority.
I also have two other sticky notes, each of them a reminder for a virtual meeting I have coming up next week. Since I don’t have too many meetings like this anymore, it makes sense to put reminders in a very visible place the few times I do have a meeting so I can’t forget them.
Desk Must Haves
I keep my water bottle at my desk so I can drink throughout the day and stay healthfully hydrated. It’s just plain water, but it’s in a reusable bottle so it saves tons of plastic each year, saves money, and gives me much cuter options than buying disposable water bottles.
I also have my notebook and may pen case crammed on my workspace. I like caring a paper notebook around so when I have ideas or little pull ones or pieces of writing in mind for a book I can write it down quickly and easy without the distraction of writing on my phone. I also write much faster on paper than I do on a tiny phone screen, and unlike screens I never have problems with writers block when I write on paper. I still do most of my writing for my novels using that very keyboard and monitor though, because it is much quicker to add it and revise and organize a book that is in a program like scrivener instead of in a bunch of different notebooks. It also doesn’t hurt my wrist tape in a computer, unlike the hand pains you can get after six hours of writing on paper. At least I get hand cramps writing for that long.
Then I have a little bucket that holds my backup drive, which is a total must for anyone who writes books (I can guarantee every author who types their books has lost an entire finished book at least once to a crash computer losing the data, and I am no exception. Actually, I had this happened three times, which is very frustrating so I go overboard in backups now.) I also have my headsets slung on that little bucket, which is a very handy for when I’m dictating like I am doing for this post right now. I find when I switch between typing and dictating I get a new burst of inspiration and ideas, and it helps switch up which thing is sore or hurts from doing hours of work at a time.
The last thing on my desk is my small things organizer. In the top shallow dish I have a USB jump drive (source two of backing up novels in progress), lip balm, and my backup jump drive that is shaped like a bunny. And I have an assortment of pens and pencils behind that that don’t work very well. I should probably change them out for new ones. But instead I’m writing this, and I’m okay with that. in the little swing out drawers I have staples, mini stapler, eraser refills for mechanical pencils, binder clips, pushpins and thumbtacks, and an empty drawer that is supposed to have paperclips but I seem to have run out of those. Again, not going to bother refilling that for now.
Under all of that is where I have some presumably important papers. I know one of them is the service plan guarantee for my backup drive, but I have no clue what the others are, and they’re upside down so I can’t really check them without moving all my stuff. And that’s not going to happen.
And in the middle of all that is my monitor, keyboard, and wireless mouse. They aren’t particularly noteworthy, except for the keyboard hot. I got that with my computer from sky Tech gaming. I think the computer, partially because it’s very pretty, partially because it was within my price range, but mostly because it works for my work. I have lots of storage space, it has enough memory to have 1 million Internet browser tabs open at once which is great for my working style, and it has basically the same specs as a business computer with some extras that make it work even better for graphics and video work. It also looks way prettier than a dumb gray business computer. I know having pretty things doesn’t seem essential, but if you are working a creative job I think if there is a choice between something boring and something that is aesthetically inspiring in some way then the choice is pretty clear. Especially when this was a little cheaper than a similar business model that didn’t have quite as many upgrade for speed and the million browser tabs. Plus I’ve grown tired of some of the bigger brand of computer manufacturers and their complete lack of customer service and longevity in their products, so is time for me personally to move on to a brands like this. After all, it makes since for an India author to support a smaller brand. And so far in my experience with this computer it’s been great!
The only big downside to my workspace is that the workspace itself is so very shallow – sofa tables were not engineered to be ergonomic desks – and it’s a little uncomfy. I have enjoyed my Ikia Snille desk chair for many years, many many many years, but a $20 chair is never going to be ergonomic. A great deal, yes, but not comfy. The back is very short, which is unfortunate because I am particularly tall for a woman, and the height adjustment only goes so high. I think part of the lack of comfort is that the seat is cracked on the right side, but it wasn’t too comfy before that happened either. I have two pillows piled on the seat so it doesn’t dig into my legs as much anymore, but it still is not particularly comfy. Hopefully someday I can save up a bit of money from working as a full-time author and full-time blogger (I’m not including what I do posting on this website in that) and buy myself a good ergonomic chair. I also keep a cardigan on my chair so that when it is cold, which it always is, I can work without freezing off my fingers. I have found not freezing makes a big difference in productivity.
So there you go. That’s my total desktop and workspace tour. I hope it gives you some good insight into my work process for working at home as well as my goal setting and productivity efforts. Hopefully hearing from me can inspire you as well.
If you’d like to get a virtual tour of my digital desktop, be sure to let me know in the comments below
I’ve shared my favorite songs to write books by before. It all started with my first Revising Playlist post, where I shared a few requirements from my revision music.
It’s hard to stay focused when your soundtrack has words
This includes even words in other languages you don’t understand, as that can still distract your writing
Last month I’d thrown out my previous rules completely and switched back to my listening to my current favorite songs. This month, however, I’ve moved into a sort of happy medium, to listen to lyricless songs that are still more song than ambient soundtrack.
A great way to accomplish that, I’ve found, is to turn to movie soundtracks. They are full of emotion and great for doing your English homework or writing for fun, and they help drown out the distracting noises of people that may be around you.
To add even more fun I’m sharing my favorite soundtracks for movies based off of books!
The Lord of the Rings
Of course I love the books. And the movies. I love great stories and this series fits the bill both in literature and cinematic editions. But I also love these soundtracks to play in the background for writing any genre of book because they just spark my imagination.
Pride and Prejudice
The 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice is my favorite on screen adaptation and I can and have argued with those who disagreed on this. Sure, there are screen editions that portrayed every single tiny detail that happened in the book, and that’s pretty cool. But the acting was completely flat to me in those versions so I won’t make myself sit through a painful performance just because it’s more detailed. Well, actually I can and will if the alternative is a flashy adaptation that really kills the source story (I’m looking at you Disney retelling of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. I still prefer the BBC version of the series because Disney completely missed the plot on this one.) But anyways, the music of this movie and the emotion of it is excellent, and I may or may not have watched this movie weekly in Middle school during 2007-08 and monthly at the beginning of High School.
A person doesn’t always need calm and soothing music to work by. The suspense of this soundtrack is really key for me when I’m doing work that I don’t want to do. It’s like the violence of the music soothes me when I want to put things off forever but know I can’t because I have a job to do and bills looming if I don’t. (Because that’s one of the joys of adulthood.) You may relate more to doing math homework you hate. Or some other homework that involves calculations if you are anything like me. It can be freeing to sort of vent your frustrations through the music.
Happy writing and studying adventures!
I hope my favorite songs can help you focus on whatever work you have on your plate, like they’ve helped me.
Graduations aren’t really anyone’s favorite event in the world. There’s a lot of pomp and circumstance, which many Americans tend to dislike. Worst of all you end up spending a few hours watching person upon person walk across the stage before the person you came to see is up there for five seconds.
But still, a graduation is special. It’s a nice time to celebrate that someone put a lot of late night studying and crying over essays and working their butt off to learn something and advance in their career and life.
Grad School Graduate
The graduate (my sibling) is particularly not into graduation ceremonies, and really wanted to avoid the event, but she went on with it anyway because her parents said they’d honestly feel disappointed if she skipped out on it. So she went, even though she’d rather have done anything else.
In the case of my graduate, it was a time to celebrate pouring a few ten thousands and several hours of hair pulling and midnight studying squeezed in after being a teacher all day long into getting a graduate degree so she could continue on the path towards her goal of being a professor some day. It was a particularly noteable occasion because she finish her grad degree in one year while she was working full time with special needs students who kick and bite her, so a lot of impressive hard work and stubbornness went into this occasion.
The average grad degree takes much longer, often 3-6 years for people who are working full time. And, well, the average person doesn’t go to get a Special Ed grad degree with a focus on autism education in the first place either. But she’s been aiming to be a professor for a long time, and to be a professor of teachers for a year or two, so it’s not a surprise to any of us that she went for this. I suppose the Special Ed focus was pretty normal though, considering that her visual processing disorders and the effect it had on her education was much more severe than my own rather significant case. And, considering the grad, it’s not much of a surprise that she’d power through full time work and full time student status at once. I think the only thing that really ended up surprising anyone was that her focus was in a different branch of Special Ed than she had a personal background with, but it seems to be working well for her.
After the ceremony, to do something the grad would actually like in celebration of the occasion, we went out to a cafe.
It’s been raining almost constantly for the last week, I suppose because the weather forgot to do that in the Spring as is proper, so the tables outside were unusually empty.
The inside, however, was crammed full of humans. We managed to squeeze out a table, though, and sit down with out treats.
I had a nice mushroom quiche. Mushroom is just a favorite flavor that I never get tired of! And then I had a lovely triple lemon cupcake. I’m not so convinced the whipped cream piped on top was actually lemon flavored, it tasted more like a plain vanilla, but it was a lovely contrast to the slightly sour lemon filling and the fairly sweet lemon cake.
So that was how we celebrate a graduation! What do you do in graduate season?
In books, it seems like there is always one guarantee. The underdog of the tale will always win.
These underdogs are normal people who are buried under outside forces working to bring them down- a bigger opposing sports team, a teacher out to get them, an amputee running a race, a family racing against a tornado trying to destroy their home and livelihood.
Somehow, I always find stories like this addictive. It feels so relatable to read about a character going through tough times, because everyone has experience some kind of hardship or struggle in their life at some point. Some of us more than others, admittedly, but still everyone has experienced it. And so it’s so magnetic to read about a character who is feeling some of our same emotions and dealing with some of our same problems.
In real life, we know, it isn’t always so easy to win. In real life sometimes insurmountable things conspire against us, and sometimes the bed guy or the big guy or the harsh forces of nature or whatever it might be wins. But we love that in books and stories, we see characters win against their problems. It helps us to think about how we might win against our own demons, gives us courage to fight the skeletons in our own closets.
First, let’s Break Down Where we Meet Underdogs
An underdog is a word used to describe stories, real or fictional, where the people who have everything to lose still make it in the end. These are the rags-to-riches stories, Remembering the Titans, The Karate Kid, and the Rocky of the world. Yes, a lot of the most famous underdog movies are sports themed. No, I don’t know why that is, but people who watch sports more than I do (I still call the thingie on the field in American Football the yellow fork, and I forget what people correct me to every time. I feel no shame in that.)
Besides the strange connection these stories seem to have with the sports fiction genre, they are also all united by following the same basic plot. The characters, the locations, the jokes, everything is unique about each of them, but even so every story with a beginning and end made since the dawn of humanity can be boiled down to just three basic plot types.
In books we call this the archplot. Every book, movie, and any other kind of story that has a beginning, middle, and end out there in the world is one of three basic plots: arch plot, mini plot, and anti plot. The majority of novels follow the arch plot, the classic plot where the characters begin one way and something about them changes by the end.
Mini plot is completely different from archplot, because the characters are struggling with internal forces and their own heart. The best example I can think of is It’s a Wonderful Life. There is the archplot element, still, in that George Bailey is fighting against the evil bank that stole George’s bank’s money and is trying to own all the town. That is definitely archplot. But the majority of the movie is spent by George questioning himself and going through his dark night of the soul. He questions why he was even born, and thinks that no one’s life would be changed if he hadn’t been. It’s a good movie to watch when you are struggling with your own dark night of the soul, but it’s also a good illustration of that international struggle that characterizes mini plot.
Anti Plot is complicated, and the stories written for it tend to be either confusing, depressing, or both. The point of Anti Plot is that the characters don’t change. The characters start the story with some inner problem and outer problem conspiring against them, and by the end those forces are either still conspiring. The characters don’t win or change. I’m not personally a fan, though I will reexamine that in the future and try books in this style again someday.
The Magic of Underdogs
The point of all of this is to still go back to the underdogs. We can learn a lot about them. What traits, exactly, make it so people who have everything stacked against them still win?
The first answer is that it isn’t all as one sided as it may seem. Underdogs who come out on top always have more of a drive to win than the opponents. They want to succeed more, and in stories that means they do.
Optimism. Underdogs always have enough optimism to believe there is a chance for them to come out. They have to, or else why would they try at all?
Perseverance and the drive to keep going even when the going gets hard instead of giving up and running away from the challenge.
Make a battle plan. Underdogs always make a battle plan, whether it’s the kid Kevin McAllistir from Home Alone figuring out how to oust bad guys who invaded his home or Harry Potter fighting the most evil and powerful wizard in the world, if you are fighting someone who clearly has the upper hand you need to have a battle plan to figure out what strengths and strategies you can use to win.
Make friends, because you are stronger together. Countries can be toppled by rebels, bullies can be defeated by the unpopular kids, illness or disability can be overcome or worked around.
You Can Win Even if You are an Underdog
You can still win and make things work, even if you are the underdog in your own story. You need to put in the hard work, have the positive mindset, work with friends, and make a plan and you will have a good chance of overcoming difficult odds.
It won’t be easy, of course. The thing about being the underdog is that you are in the disadvantaged position. You will have to work harder than the forces conspiring against you to come on top. But that’s okay. That’s life. The majority of humans in the world never get anything without working hard for it. The same will probably be true for you too.
It’s so magnetic to read about a character who is feeling some of our same emotions and dealing with some of our same problems. We read about their problems, and see how they have success in the end, and it helps us feel more prepared the next time we have the same problem, because we’ve heard about how to win despite that particular difficulty before. Even in fiction, like Fantasy books about dragons, are relatable. My Shadeworld books are mostly dragons and fey and wizards and magic, but when you dig into it the characters are dealing with jealousy and betrayal and heartbreak and confusion, just like all of us have experienced before.
So be brave! Maybe, just maybe, if you work hard at it, you can still come out on top in your situation.
I personally love music. I love listening to it. I love just going about the average every day parts of my life to a soundtrack. But just like I shared in my last Revising Playlist post, I have a few requirements from my revision music.
It’s hard to stay focused when your soundtrack has words
This includes even words in other languages you don’t understand, as that can still distract your writing
My solution then? Skip the actual music and use ambient soundtracks instead, either meant to be white noise like cafe sounds or meant to get you into the mood for a scene you are writing with genre ambient soundtracks meant to sound like fantasy world music. And that worked pretty well.
But I still love music and want to listen to the real deal. Lately I’ve thrown out my previous rules completely and switched back to my current favorite songs.
Wait- Maroon 5
This song is completely stuck in my head. I don’t think it’s a life changing song or anything grand like that, but it’s a great earworm that my brain can not just let go even after listening to it maybe a dozen times on a recent long car trip.
This song is amazing. And free on Google Play. And amazing. And now I need to buy all the rest of the band’s music.
Sadly no Youtube video of it so you can’t really get a feel for it before downloading, but seriously the song is great electropop.
Later a Dream- Grooms
This is a great song that lies on the genre spectrum somewhere between acoustic and the easy listening version of pop. (You know what I’m talking about.) It gives me soothing vibes, while also being cheery. I’m a fan of this at any rate.
Happy writing and studying adventures!
I hope my favorite songs can help you focus on whatever work you have on your plate, like they’ve helped me.
In honor of Summer FINALLY happening this year, I’m kicking off a new series of YA book roundups: Beach Reads! These books are totally perfect for hanging reading on your sand speckled towel at the shore, of course, but they are also great reads for the flight to your vacation destination. Or the hours long road trip. Or sitting in school or work and wishing you were heading off to some vacation, for that matter.
A trip around West Europe involves a lot of boy drama and family drama. And you know me, family drama is right up my alley. Like most vacation themed books it’s pretty light hearted but it does delve into some exploration of identity. Plus, being nineteen is an awkward feeling where you don’t quite feel adult or teen, so that’s definitely interesting to connect to.
Lottie’s Aunt, a famous author, dies, but that’s only the beginning. A series of letters from the grave push her to do new things that will lead her to her tipping point. The book pays homage to books and reading as much as to the mysteries that plague Lottie’s Summer.
Lara is a girl facing the Summer of Senior Year. Yep, where she is no is all a pretty big deal. But in between fun and trying to moonlight as her parent’s wedding planner, she has to deal with the looming problem of The Future.
Cath is a bit of a mess. Honestly, life is moving too fast for her, and she isn’t quite ready for her first year of college yet. It’s going to happen soon either way though. Join Cath as she digs deeper into reading and fandom to escape the pressures of reality, only to find that maybe everything is going to turn out okay.
What did you think of this week’s #BeachReads? Did you read and enjoy any of these books?
I don’t know about you, but I’m an optimistic person. I put out on my little publishing calendar that I was 100% certain that I would write and revise and edit an entire novel every single month.
Has that happened yet? No.
Life happens instead. Sometimes I get distracted building up my other blog or applying to writing contests and guest posting to make some cash to pay the bills. Sometimes I get distracted because something big happens in my family, like a funeral or a wedding. Or, in my case this year, I’ve had two funerals and a wedding happening back to back. The wedding was lovely, and slowing down my writing after the funerals was right for me in my healing journey, but the fact remains that I don’t actually write as quickly as I set out to. Whoops.
So currently PS The Dragon Sleights is only half done on the draft. That doesn’t include revising, or editing time, so that’s a bummer. Instead I’ve been working on getting my first novel, “Family Inflammed,” released as my first print book. Which is very exciting because I know many people prefer a good bookcase over a tablet stuffed with e-books, and libraries tend to prefer the same thing as well. So I’m working on that as sort of a hold-you-over release.
But the good news is that part of the reason PS The Dragon Sleights has been delayed is because it is coming out to be an epic book. I know every author tends to feel that way about their work, but this book is really going to turn the entire Shadeworld series on its head. The characters defied my expectations, and I’m sure they’ll do the same for you, so get ready.
Shadeworld Season One Box Set Coming Soon!
In other news, even though I still plan for the grand total of Shadeworld books to be quite large, after I do finish releasing the third book I will also release a collection of the books so far. Call it season one of the series, if you will.